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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Night In Denver

Helluva game tonight, helluva win for the Broncos. Cold, snowy, hostile weather for a visiting team. The officiating didn't make it any easier. A W is a W though, according to the hardcore fans I was watching the game with.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Chair Worth Remembering

A large, comfortable easy chair
From which one could take the world at ease
Capable of fully reclining, it was great for naps
Or reading short stories published 
                                       In quarterly fantasy magazines
Or even weighty tomes on evolutionary psychology
It was upholstered in a soft leather 
                                     That boasted a hand-rubbed finish
Over the years it began to take on the shape 
Of the weighty man who sat in it for hours a day
And of the weighty dog who curled up in it
When the weighty man was away

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Only Real History Is That Which You Experience

It never fails to amaze me how readily people believe what they hear or read, especially if what they hear or read fits their own preconceived notions of what is true, or rather, what they believe should be true.

All The World Needs Is A Slice Of Ice Cream Cake


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pacific Beach Post Card

                                              The view south from the Crystal Pier

Prospering Through Simplicity

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Passionate,Fevered Youth

There may one day be a person, or perhaps several people, who will comment on a failure on your part to accomplish something, or maybe just falling short of achieving some long sought after goal with the words, "Forget about it kid, you have your whole life ahead of you."

Ignore that person or persons. Those people are pure poison to those who wish to succeed on a high level. Start associating with people who, in the exact same circumstances say the words, "Don't let that set you back. Figure out what you did wrong and then try again, eliminating whatever mistakes you made."

Hell, surround yourself with those people. Those are the people who understand failure is just a lesson to be learned and then applied, Those people who tell you to quit while you're ahead, who say you have your whole life ahead of you, they are wrong.

There are no guarantees. The only thing you have ahead of you is the next moment, Tomorrow may ever come. If you keep quitting every time someone makes a disparaging or discouraging comment regarding your efforts, you may soon find yourself saddled with too much doubt to ever try to pursue your ambitions again.

Do what it is you want to do, and do it to the best of your ability.

Unless what you want to do involves hurting or taking advantage of other people, Don't do that to the best of your ability - Don't do that at all.

The Quandry

My head is feeling a mile thick  

                                         Denser than concrete brick 
      This brain o'mine has gone numb 
                                   Every thought is coming out dumb


    I'm shamelessly begging for some 
                                            But it just won't come...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

On The Right Foot

The Reverend Jesse Jackson paid a visit to the High School I was enrolled at when I was 16 years old. He was there promoting "Operation PUSH," an organization he was part of that promoted racial harmony.

He singled me out in the crowd at the assembly (which wasn't hard as I was one of nineteen or twenty white kids there, in a sea of 1,000 or so African Americans kids.

He said to me, our hands gripping each other, "I appreciate your support."

Back then I beamed, proud to have had a momentary contact with a man that had a large influence on the community in which I lived.

It took me years to realize he says that to everyone.

The Young World, The Young Time

Friday, November 13, 2015

I Stand With France

Days like today, when you hear and read about the horror in Paris, knock the breath right out of you. 

Six different locations targeted, 128 people confirmed killed. The work of "extremists". "terrorists."

I cannot even comprehend what the good people of Paris are going through right now. The people of France, much maligned and negatively stereotyped, are wonderful people, people who, like you and I, believe in freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of being.

And those beliefs have earned them the wrath of a band of religious zealots who do not believe in freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of being.

The French and Americans are kindred spirits. I stand with France.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Unfortunate Tango

Pete took a seat at the end of the bar
He had his sights set on Gina
But everyone knew he wouldn't get very far

Gina was in the cantina looking for a fix
She had tried hard to kick it
But now to get it she was turning tricks

Carlos was dealing kilos from the trunk of his car
He cut his junk with Ajax
And still dressed like an '80's Pop Star

Karen wasn't into sharing any of her blow
She was a selfish little nymph
Everything was a bargain, everything was quid pro quo

They all sought shelter together
Not from the weather, not from a storm
The shelter they sought was from life itself
From the daily struggle of life itself

In time Pete would either move on or suck on the barrel
Of a Colt .45
Gina dreamed she would either wind up in Beverly Hills
Or be taken out on a gurney
Carlos didn't fool himself, he knew it would catch up to him
He had a reservation on a slab
Karen held out hope she would be able to shake the dragon
Unfortunately that was not to be

They all sought shelter together
Not from the weather, not from a storm
The shelter they sought was from life itself
From the daily struggle of life itself

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

At Least The Dentist Was Happy

Today's words of advice: Take care of your teeth. Brush and floss daily, and for the love of Pete, see your Dentist, or any Dentist for that matter, at least twice a year.

Those are words of advice I really wish I had listened to on at least one of the bazillion times various Dental professionals had spoken them to me over the years.

But I didn't, and now I have to pay the piper.

If I had to rate my desire to visit the Dentist on a scale of 1 to 100, with one being a feeling of slight inconvenience and 100 being a life sentence in a Stalinist era Soviet Gulag...then my desire would be in the mid '90's at the very least.

To say I dread going to the Dentist would be a gross understatement. Dread is simply trepidation. This is full-blown fear.  

It stem's from bad childhood experiences, of course. Truth be told, I haven't had an especially bad visit at the Dentist in at least three decades, but those visits have been, unfortunately, too few and much too far in between.

Much, much too few and much, much too far in between. My last visit to the Dentist was...July or August of 2008.

Seven years between visits to the Dentist is not good by any measure, even with regular brushing and sporadic flossing. The glorious result of that level of helter-skelter tooth care is this:

Yeah, I'm an idiot...and today (and probably for the next few days) I'll be an idiot who can't drink or eat anything I like to drink or eat. Applesauce and Hummus, oh yay.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Less Than Funny Bit

"Why," He asked, "Would you want to move to Connecticut?" She stared at him momentarily, as if the question he had posed had the most obvious answer. "Lewis, you have to be the biggest idiot I have ever known. Your brother lives in Connecticut, and despite his marriage to Clara Enright, I have every intention of making him mine. You can take that to the bank."

Lewis stared after her as she walked down the hall to the front door, stifling a laugh like a schoolboy watching his teacher about to sit on a thumbtack. His brother may be married to Clara, but he knew that marriage for the sham it was.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

All Your Tumultuous Struggling For Recognition

You have a belief system
Based on what you were taught, what you learned
Or maybe even what you discovered

It guides your thoughts, establishes your bounderies
Gives you a moral compass

Regardless, it doesn't matter much to the world
What your belief system is about


The world only judges you on one aspect of your life
You may think it's what you know

But what you know is only what you know

You may think it's what you can imagine
But what you can imagine is only what you can imagine

In the short or the long run
All that really matters to the world
Is what you do

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Political Intrique Story Intro Idea

For the first time in what felt like millennia he found himself alone. The house was library quiet and he relished the serenity of enjoying his coffee uninterrupted. Thoughts of work loomed over his shoulder and tried to crash his idyll, but with an unexpected ease he was able to push those thoughts out the window. There would be plenty of time for work tomorrow, when he would once again have to awake to the blare of an alarm and neurotically carry out the actions that would get him to the office.

Today, this morning, he wasn't having any of it. The issues that would usually crowd his mind and weigh him down like an aircraft carrier's anchor chain were like soap bubbles to him, floating momentarily in the air, then disappearing in a sudden *pop* of dissolution.

It was Fall, Autumn if you will, his favorite season. Not too cold, and not too hot. The trees were alive with color from their dying leaves, an irony that never escaped him. 

From his vantage point in the kitchen he could see squirrels scampering along tree branches, energetically preparing for the  advent of winter. That reminded him too much of his usually daily routine, so he turned toward the small television that his wife had made him install on the wall opposite the stove. 

It wasn't long before he was wishing he was still watching the squirrels, as the news report that was interrupting the rerun he had wished to watch had stabbed him in the heart as sure as any dagger could. It was coverage of an incident in a country on the opposite side of the globe, but which was also one of his countries closest allies.

The smart-phone recorded video that the station had bought off a tourist showed the Prime Minister of the allied country walking out of the entrance of a large government building, and then suddenly collapsing on the staircase, his limp body tumbling down the last three steps before any of his protection detail could react. 

The reaction of everyone in the frame told him all he needed to know - the Prime Minister had been assassinated, and he was going to have to get back to the office immediately.

Sending Crooked Stave Glassware Halfway Across The Country

If you ever find yourself needing to ship a couple of fairly fragile longstem glasses via UPS, here is a bit of advice: Prepare the package so that it will be able to withstand both concussion and compression forces. 

One of the longstem glasses to be shipped

One of the better lightweight materials that can resist moderate compression is Styrofoam. Get your hands on two 3" X 5" X 24" pieces of this wonderful material and do the following: 

Step one, cut the two 24" long pieces exactly (give or take) in half so that you have two 12" long pieces.

Step two, draw out the shape of the glassware on both of the 3" X 5" X 12" pieces of Styrofoam.

Step three, cut out the the shape of half of the longstem glass using a sharp cutting tool - I've found that a Ginsu steak knife is perfect for the job.

Step four, be sure to cut out half of the contours of the glass as true to half of it's shape as possible, as you're going to need to be able to fit half of the glass into each block of the Styrofoam.

Step five, once you have two pieces of the Styrofoam cut out to fit half of a longstem glass, you're ready to place the glass in what is for all intents and purposes a protective shell. 

Step six, place the glass between the two pieces of Styrofoam, being careful to ensure the glass does not rattle around loosely in it's little sarcophagus. 

Step seven, using 2" wide cellophane tape, secure the two pieces of Styrofoam around the glass. You may also want to write a bit of instruction as to where it would be best to cut the tape in order to avoid damage to the glass when the package is opened.  

Step eight, repeat steps 1 through 7 with the other glass.

Step nine, place the two Styrofoam-encased longstem glasses in a box about two inches larger all around than the combined size of the Styrofoam blocks. 

Step ten, get your hands on some bubblewrap, it's a great lightweight material that readily disapates moderate concussive force. Wrap the Styrofoam such that there is a two inch layer of bubblewrap on all sides.

Step eleven, place the Styrofoam and bubblewrap encased longstem glasses in the box.

Finally, step twelve, seal the box shut with the 2" wide cellophane tape and take it on down to the UPS store, Three-day ground will suffice. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

The One Right Before Their Eyes

On a whim he'd had his portrait painted by Pricasso
At a party he attended with a debauched debutante
She considered him at most to be an intellectual rake
And at the very least a deviant idiot savant
He thought her behavior was deliberate satire
Of her convent education and forced proper etiquette
She thought his rash impulsiveness a relief
From all the fools who thought of her as delicate

All they each had ever wanted 
Was to be free of the burden of living life in disguise
All they each had ever hoped for 
They both discovered sitting right before their eyes

She had seen him in the supermarket
Shopping for bachelor supplies in a 3-piece suit
He had noticed her at a neighbors bar-b-que
Drinking Coca Cola from a champagne flute
Some would call it serendipity
Some would call it chance
Two kindred souls discovering each other
Suddenly relevant characters in a Gothic romance

All they each had ever wanted
Was to be free of the burden of living life in disguise
All they each had ever hoped for
They both discovered sitting right before their eyes

It took months before the well-built walls came down
It took months before either one would admit to the possibility
Both of them surprised by the stirrings that they felt
Both of them trying hard not to admit what was obviously
Sitting right before their eyes
Both of them had spent their lives
Convinced there was never going to be a day
When they would meet a person they actually liked
And who would feel about them the same way

All they each had ever wanted
Was to be free of the burden of living life in disguise
All they each had ever hoped for
They both discovered sitting right before their eyes