Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Undistinguished Guests Of Dishonor

Doubt like acid
Raining on his hopes
Like Dick Rowe stating guitar groups are on the way out
Doesn't want to spend the rest of his life trying to live it down
Minutes pass as if hours
Can't seem to hear a word clearly
Everyone moving as if underwater
Out of focus passersby and trees of light
A lost dog in an alley
Looking for a way to get home

Try recklessly
Try without regard
His mind screams at him over and over 
Trying to fan the flames of desire
Shouting down that bully, uncertainty

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reasons To Be Grateful, Part IV

Some people have everything, some people have nothing. Then there are people like us, We have something, enough something to keep us happy...and help us forget the people who have nothing,

Damn, gotta find a way to help the people who have nothing that helps and doesn't hinder their path to self-sufficiency,

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

These Two Idiots

You know what's awesome? Awesome is having two dogs that never stop wagging their tails when you come home from work. Pisses the cat off, but what the hey.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Few Things I'm Not Going To Do During The Holidays This Year

The holidays are upon us in the U.S., and by holidays, I mean the Christmas holidays (inwhich I include Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, & Festivus). Truly, they have been upon us for six weeks or so now - quite a few stores had Christmas decorations for sale in early October, and now there are houses in the neighborhood that are covered in lights and assorted plastic Santas and inflatable snowglobes.

Dwelling on the blatant commercialization of it all is a pointless exercise - heck, Linus did an excellent job of that in the cartoon A Charlie Brown Christmas which was made in 1965, so yeah, that horse has been beaten enough.

I have though, been thinking about what I can do to lessen the effect of the over-the-top consumerism that rears it's ugly head at this time of year, at least the effect it has on me and my attitude, and I have come up with a few ideas.

For starters, I'm going to try to avoid being judgmental of people who do get caught up in the more commercial aspects of the holiday. If people want to go shopping at midnight on November 27th, if that's what makes them happy, so be it. I will not be critical of them simply because it's not something I would ever do.

Second, I'm going to try to be more aware that for a lot of people, these are very special holidays. There are people who celebrate Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/Festivus with solemnity and seriousness (okay, maybe not the Festivus crowd), and I will confess to having been judgmental of them, too. When someone greets me or wishes me a "Happy...whatever," I will return the greeting with a warm "And to you and yours as well."

Third, and this is a biggie...I'm going to flat out just enjoy the fact that the majority of people who are out taking advantage of the myriad sales and promotions during the holidays are doing so with the intention of finding something nice for the people in their lives who matter to them, who are important to them, and who they want to make happy.

Because heck, if rampant consumerism can get people to stop and really think of the people in their lives who are important, who matter, and who are the people they want to make happy...even if it's only for a short while...then it's a good thing.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Some Faces, Some Hands, Some Feet

                         Sketches With Fine Tip Sharpie, Ballpoint Pen, CRB 12 23 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Parking Lot Glacier

The problem with the big piles of snow in the parking lot is readily apparent. The temptation to drive up them is immense, especially if you have an SUV or AWD about which you have been curious as to it's true capabilities.

That in itself would not actually be a problem if the temperature had stayed in the high-twenties or low thirties.

Then the snow would have stayed relatively soft...but with the temperatures falling below zero for a few days in a row, the piles of snow became piles of ice, small glaciers if you will.

And all you get when you try to four-wheel over one of those is a lot of slipping and sliding...backwards.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On Two Separate Occasions, So, Like Twice

After two years of being taken for granted in the home, marginalized at social gatherings, and treated with near-complete indifference in every other setting or situation, PL made the decision to tear asunder what many thought was a very happy home.

"Ah, if only they knew the truth." PL thought as neatly folded clothes were packed into a large red suitcase. "If only everyone could see AL as I do, have to endure the emotional and physical abuse, have to hide the bruises, have to put on a happy face when happiness was as far from what I was feeling as earth is from heaven...then they would all understand."

Tears filled tired brown eyes for the third time in the last twenty minutes. Taking deep breaths, PL counted down from ten and then continued to fill the suitcase. All of the clothes from the dresser and the high chest were now packed. The closet was next. There was only the large duffel bag left to fill. 

PL judiciously scanned the clothes that hung on the left side of the closet. Pushing aside a dark green sweatshirt emblazoned with "Vancouver Canada" in large colorful letters, a souvenir of a honeymoon that ranked as one the worst memories of PL's life, a double handful of clothes on hangers were grabbed and tossed unceremoniously onto the bed.

Most of the clothes had been purchased before the wedding. Not much money had been available to add to a wardrobe after the discovery of AL's huge debts. The expense of the elaborate wedding & reception and then the three-week honeymoon, had been a concern, but PL rationalized it all as a "once in a lifetime" experience and event. The revelation by AL upon their return from Canada of not only a staggering amount of student loan debt along with high-interest credit card debts, but also a vehicle repossession and tax liens from the federal and state governments going back three years, had nearly sent PL running. But the vows were still regarded as sacred then, the whole "...for better or worse, for richer, for poorer..." still carried immense weight.

Now, PL almost mechanically flipped through the clothes sprawled on the bed, selected a few items that still had appeal, then neatly folded them up and placed them in the duffel bag. The process was repeated four more times, until the duffel bag was too full to accommodate anymore clothing.

Turning slowly, as if reacting to a bad joke overheard in a crowded club, PL scanned the room. There was nothing that looked worth taking. None of the pictures hanging on the walls nor any of the stupid little trinkets that AL brought back from any of the supposed business trips had any meaning anymore, if they ever really had in the first place.

The monitor of the computer still lay on the floor where PL had thrown it. The graphic email addressed to AL from a person who had been described as a business associate still burned in PL's mind. What part of that email, and no doubt many others that hadn't been inadvertently left open, respected the mutual vows to love, honor, and cherish? PL again wiped welling tears from the now reddened as well as tired eyes.

Picking up both the red suitcase and the duffel, PL made for the front door. On the small table in the kitchen the note that had been carefully worded lay next to the photo from the wedding, the shattered glass in the broken frame looking like a violent spiderweb.

Suddenly aware that a few things had been forgotten, PL put the suitcase and duffel down and headed back to the bedroom and went into the master bath. Grabbing a small plastic tote that had been given as part of a Spa package, PL dumped the bath salts, the shea butter, the lemongrass aromatherapy soap, the inner peace body oil, and the relaxation shower gel into the sink. From the left side of the small counter PL took the toothbrush, toothpaste, the shaving cream, razor, and underarm deodorant and placed them all in the plastic tote.

Last time he had walked out, PL had left those items behind, a "subconscious reason to return" his therapist had said. He wasn't going to make that same mistake twice.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Cat Refers To Me As...

I have no idea what my cat is thinking, or if it thinks at all for that matter, but I do wonder if he has a name for me as I have for him. 

The cat looks at me while sitting by the front door with an expression that says "Let me out, dumbass." At least that's what that expression on his face looks like to me. Of course, there is always the possibility that the expression is meant to say "Oh great and mighty operator of the portal to the outside world would you be so kind as to open it for me? Please?"

But I doubt it.

Ivy League Beer

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The City Of Mary

So I was involved in a conversation with the well-traveled Canadian, both of us going on about the various places in North America that we mutually had had the opportunity to visit. His choice for the most spectacular natural wonder was Sequoia National Park, mine was the Grand Canyon. 

In our individual top tens, there was a lot of common ground - the front range of the Rockies here in Colorado, The Nova Scotia/Maine coast, Wrangell/St. Elias, Niagara Falls & the Great Lakes.

And Montreal, but we both had the same caveat about Montreal. It was the city we liked, the architecture - not the people. The city was spectacular, the people, eh, not so much.

Of course, we both stated that it wasn't all the people of Montreal that were, uhm, difficult, just a few. Unfortunately, we both seemed to have run into the same few difficult residents of the city of Mary.

Amazing how just a handful of people can taint the reputation of a city of almost two million, eh?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

She Was Wearing Bowling Shoes And Had Breathtaking Hips

It wasn't the way she dressed that turned heads
And caused hearts to skip a beat
She looked as if she was wearing clothes
That had been left in a retirement home's lost & found

No, it wasn't the ill fitting blouse and the long pleated skirt
Nor the homemade sweater that was tied around her neck
It was those hips

Electrifying, poise-annihilating
Captivating, attention-galvanizing
Shamelessly objectifying
Libido-shaking, senses-stunning
Agonizingly bewitching


Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanks, Larry

Ninja Larry, contributes how he can
Keeps the field mice out of the house
Which is all well and good
Unless you're a field mouse....

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tonights Feature: Feet

                    Sketches of feet with a ballpoint pen by CRB November 13th 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

War Movies & Wine

On this day in the U.S. we honor all who have served in the military, whether in time of war or peace. Other countries have similar days - Remembrance Day in Commonwealth countries, Armistice Day in several European countries & New Zealand.

The U.S. Military is 100% volunteer, and has been for over forty years. People who join the U.S. military do so for a wide variety of reasons - some feel a sense of duty, an obligation, to serve the country by being part of the defense forces, some are carrying on a family tradition, some join up to make use of the educational opportunities, some enlist in the hopes that the military will "straighten them out," and some are just using the military to get out of an ugly situation at home.

Whatever the reason, each and everyone of them take an oath that includes the words "I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

That's a heady sentence right there. It tells you that, if required, you're going to have to use force, possibly deadly force, against other humans.

And that is, IMHO, the single worst thing one human can be asked to do to another. 

But the world we live in is a dangerous place, and the single nicest person you have ever known has known the fear of being vulnerable, of being at risk, of being threatened. There will always be predators, there will always be megalomaniac despots with delusions of grandeur. It's not a Hollywood plot device for spy flicks, it's reality. 

So, if you get a chance to say thanks to a Veteran today, do so. It's a helluva job they have, in times of war and peace.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The First Cold Snap Of The Fall

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Did We Scare Them All Off?

Where have all the UFO's gone? Not to long ago it was common for a foggy, indistinct, out-of-focus picture of a UFO to show up in a newspaper or magazine with regularity. This was at a time when the average person did not carry a camera around with them every minute of every day, so when a person who just "happened" to have a camera with them "happened" to see a UFO and was able to get a few pictures of such, it was a big deal.

Nowadays, when nearly everyone has a high quality camera and video recorder with them 99% of the time (in their smart phones, of course)...well, the frequency with which UFO's are caught on film has dropped to nil.

So what happened? Did the spacemen all get scared off because we now possess the technology to not only record them, but to contact others about their appearances in the sky (or on the ground, I suppose) almost instantaneously? 

Or maybe, just maybe, since it is increasingly easy and simple to verify what was in the sky (or on the ground) on any given day at any given time (what with satellite imagery, security cameras, etc.) it was the kooks and con men that got scared off?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

One Minute Later

Famished vampire gods
Stalking through the obligatory fog
Looking for a nubile taste treat
Out for a midnight jog

Damn, that's horrible. Seriously.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bad News Is...Gotta Eat Less. Good News Is...More Guinness!!

So, I pay a visit to www.fitnessfrog.com and use the Total Daily Energy Expenditure calculator to see how many calories I use in a typical day. I entered "light exercise" for my daily activity level, and the calculator gave me a TDEE of 3,241 calories.

Which is awesome on many levels...but it hasn't changed my Doctor's opinion that I should be taking in no more than 1,500 calories a day until I am below 200 pounds.

Harsh, man, harsh.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Elliot And Lawrence Meet For Lunch

"Look man, I'm not the one saying you've been acting a bit odd since the break up, but apparently I'm the one expected to bring it up," Elliot said while staring at the menu. "I will admit though, that I do agree with everyone that has been stating what is pretty damn obvious."
     "Dude, I appreciate the concern, really, I do," replied Lawrence with a smirk that said the exact opposite. He looked across the room towards three waitresses who were huddled together near the servers station and hoped one of them would glance their way and at least acknowledge his and Elliot's presence in the restaurant.
     "Larry, do you have to yank my chain here?" Elliot followed his friend's stare across the room to the waitresses as he put down the menu. "I love you like a brother, man, you know that. So does everyone else - Tina, Brett, Parker, even Reets. We're all just concerned man, We don't want you to think we're not here for you, that you can't talk to any of us about it, you know?"
     Lawrence Chase Mills looked at his friend for a long minute, his eyebrows furrowed as if he was wrestling with a final Jeopardy question.
     "There's really nothing I feel a need to talk about El', honestly. Kelly and I should have parted ways over a year ago. Both of us knew it, but neither of us had the courage to make the first move. All I did was what had to be done. It is what it is, and there's no changing it."
     "Man, I can understand feeling like you're in a rut relationship-wise, hell, we've all been there - but you two, you've been together over five years man, that's a lot of time invested in each other, that's a long road traveled together."
     "Well, the truth is El', in that entire five year period I don't think I was ever really, truly happy being with Kelly after the first couple of months. I know I gave everyone the impression that I was happy, and it looked like Kelly and I were just as happy as a couple could possibly be, but the truth, the real down and dirty truth is, I was not happy, not by a long shot."
     "What? You're talking nonsense. You two went out to Sparks with Reets and I just a month ago - you can't tell me you didn't have a great time!" Elliot looked at his friend in confused disbelief. Lawrence was still looking hopefully towards the waitresses gathered at the server station. Slowly Lawrence turned towards Elliot and smiled.
     "It was a show Elliot, a show. I've been putting on a show for everyone - Kells. you and Reets, everyone. I, I just felt compelled to do it for some reason, to paste a smile on my face and to laugh and to act like everything was as good as it could possibly be. But it wasn't good dude, not at all."
     A short slightly heavyset waitress suddenly appeared at their table, catching both men off-guard. "Good afternoon and welcome to Sophie's Gentlemen. My name is Bree and I'll be your server this afternoon. Can I start you off with some drinks and an appetizer?'
     Elliot cleared his throat and said, "Yeah, I'll have a jack and Coke, tall, and potato skins to start. What are you getting Larry?"
     "Do you have Michelob Ultra on tap?" Bree the waitress nodded affirmatively towards Lawrence. "Great, I'll have the largest you have. And the calamari."
     Bree the waitress smiled as she wrote down the orders and said, "I'll put the appetizers in and have your drinks in a minute." then turned and walked off towards the bar. Lawrence's eyes followed her for a few seconds before he turned back towards Elliot.
     "See, that right there, that's one of the reasons I had to break it off Elliot. You saw me stare after that waitress, right? Do you realize how much grief I would have had to endure if Kells had seen me do that? Seriously, it would have gone on for days, weeks. Reets ever give you crap for glancing at a waitress dude? You ever have to spend hours, and I mean freaking five or six hours, being bitched out because you looked at a woman who was slightly, and I mean just slightly, attractive? Not a stunner, just a plain old somewhat attractive woman, not even dressed provocatively?'
     "What are you talking about? Kelly was never insecure, not that I ever saw. I don't ever remember her acting jealous."
     "That's because, my friend, you only ever saw her acting secure, confident. But it was all an act dude, Our whole relationship has been one big act, like some freakin' sitcom, except without the laugh track or witty repartee. That woman was incredibly insecure, and extremely possessive. I had to pretend I was wearing blinders whenever we were out in public together - hell, why do you think we haven't gone to the beach with you guys for the past few summers? Too many women in bikinis dude, it was like walking through a mine field while battling hiccups for me. If it wasn't for you and Reets El', we would never have left the house for anything other than going to her Dad's or the market. Even in a damn movie theater she'd accuse me of scoping out other women."
     Bree the waitress returned to the table with the drinks and set them down in front of the men. "Your appetizers should be up in a minute - have you decided what you would like for lunch?" 
     Both of the men looked at her blankly. Lawrence said, "Uhm, no, not me - El'?" Elliot looked at the menu in his hand and said, "Give us a few minutes - I'll be ready to order when when you bring the appetizers."
     "Okay," Bree replied. She walked away and Elliot quickly scanned the selection of burgers and chicken sandwiches on the menu, mentally ticking off what he didn't want to eat. He glanced over at Lawrence, who seemed to have decided and had put his menu off to one side.
     "Wow, I don't know what to say. You should be up for an Oscar if you were acting happy the entire time you were with Kelly, man. Seriously, I never once thought of you as unhappy."
     "Think about me and Kelly for a minute Elliot. Think about how little time you actually ever spent with us as a couple. That night we met up with you and Reets at Sparks? That was the first time all of us had been together since New Years - almost nine months ago. I had to beg her to go El' - she is insanely jealous of Reets, like, talks about beating her up and ripping out her hair level jealous."
     "You have got to be kidding! Reets is your step-sister!" That's insane! What could she possibly be jealous of?"
      "Anything and everything you can imagine Elliot, that woman has accused me of anything and everything. I am not kidding."


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ballot Box Canyon Boulder

The US Lawyer Olympics here in Colorado, or as the media likes to call them, the mid-term elections, are just about wrapping up. Looks like this years winners in the Distorted Facts field events, also known as Proposed amendments 67 and 68, and Propositions 104 & 105, are the people of Colorado. I believe that is the first sweep of the medals for the people since..., well, since ever.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Concerning Differences Of Opinions Between Mates

There is nothing the matter with having a pleasant disagreement with your spouse/partner/whatever about, well, anything, and then not actually reaching a conclusive settlement regarding whatever the issue was. There does not always have to be resolution - it's ridiculous to think there needs to be. Sometimes, people just have differing opinions about things, and that's all there is to it.

Said the twice-divorced guy with a hundred or so ex-girlfriends,

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What's Up, Dog?

There must be a reason Kiwi is in the shower. There must be. A deep dog desire to get clean? Maybe a hankerin' to play in the rain?