Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Late Birthday to the Late Donald Dorsey

Donald Dorsey (1/18/1934-6/8/2000) on the back patio of our old house in Reading with his gill-bearing winnin's.
My dad was one of the most benevolent humans that ever existed. Even his punishment was a joke by today's standard. "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about!" What does that even mean? You'll make my favorite t.v. show star Anne Coulter and Bill Maher? And would that even be a bad thing? O.k., I just want to pause right here to say that if any reality show producer runs with this idea, I want a cut. Add some boxing gloves... Some Jello... My money's on Coulter. I think she's part giant.

But back to my dad.

He worked his ass off. So much so that we didn't get to hang out with him nearly enough. And after he retired and had more free time, we kids had our own shit going on and unfortunately missed out on better getting to know this amazing man. Here's what I DO know...

  1. My dad liked to fish. I totally get that. I also like to fish. I don't necessarily like being IN the water, but I am enamored with beings that are able to breathe that shit. Fascinating. And about the most peaceful pastime ever (except for the murdering of living things part).
  2. My dad was an amazing golfer. I don't know if this is actually a fact, but it's what I gathered from the stories I heard, and he DID actually get a hole-in-one once. There's a trophy to prove it. 
  3. My dad loved watching birds. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, he and my mom moved to a condo in northern Cincinnati-ish. Their unit overlooks the lake, and my dad kept a pair of binoculars on the table by the window so that he could watch the ducks, swans, cranes, etc. that frequented the area.
  4. My dad was a pretty good artist. One time my mom and dad took a painting class at a rec. center somewhere. I remember seeing their work from that class and being impressed by both of their abilities (this was before I made art myself). My dad's paintings had a raw sensibility that showed the perfect combination of untapped skill and passion. If you asked him to talk about his work he would most likely have squinted at you with his head tilted and told you that, "The instructor set up a table of objects that he told us to paint." What's to talk about? Duh.
  5. My dad was funny. He liked to watch shows with funny people. He loved the old greats. Bob Hope. Bill Cosby. Benny Hill. And for a laugh he would take his teeth out and smile. His signature move. Classic.
  6. My dad loved sweets like it was his job. Donuts almost every weekend growing up. And don't even get me started on his endless supply of chocolate-covered bridge mix that he squirreled away. He was always saying, "Don't touch my secret stash!" But he always let me have some. I made sure there was bridge mix at his funeral. That was important.
  7. My dad was a simple man. No bullshit. If he was mad, he was mad. This was not very often, and when he was no one felt the least bit threatened. If he was sad, he was sad. When his younger brother died, I saw him cry. It was the only time I really remember him crying. If he was happy, EVERYONE was happy. He really loved his grand kids. I don't think I ever saw anything but a smile on his face whenever the whole family got together. Unless someone left a half-emptied pop can lying about. That was his thing. Leaving non-consumed pop in a can. It became a family joke. I think about it all of the time.
I like to think that I was my dad's favorite. I may have not been the easiest child, but I think that my dad got a chuckle out of the way I lived my life. He teased me constantly (something my older brother apparently inherited). He made fun of the way I looked or dressed, but always with a smile on his face. Before he died, he told me that he "got" me. I like to believe that he finally understood why I lived the way I did. He was 66 years old. I was with him when he died. I was sad. I am sad.

You were awesome Donald L. Dorsey. I am so blessed to be your spawn. I will see you again in a bit. Save me a spot.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Karmic Comeuppance

This bench from is super similar to our two hijacked ones. R.I.P. studio benches...

So if you're somebody who SEES two metal chairs that clearly belong to someone but are sitting unattended near a dark alley and you think, "I wonder how much I could get for those chairs at the scrap yard?" then lo, with that mere thought you have brought a small, karmic curse upon your household - like maybe a reappearing raccoon who week-after-week tips over your garbage cans until you finally have to rent a live-trap, make a peanut butter sandwich, lure the raccoon into the trap with said sandwich, carry the caged raccoon into the van without him scratching you and giving you rabies or hepatitis, then drive him to a faraway park to peacefully let him go. Then you have to worry if he had a family who relied on him to provide food and whether your relocation has killed innocents. Maybe your worrying has kept you up at night subsequently impairing your judgement. Maybe you decided that it was o.k. to have dinner with your boss. Maybe his wife found out. Maybe she threatened to kill you. Maybe you had to move to Canada.

If you are someone who TAKES two metal chairs from a very poor non-profit operation that provides services to adults with physical and developmental disabilities and has signs all over indicating such an operation then lo, you have karmically:
  • Donned a ski mask that you bought from the thrift store that happens to have lice in it. No, bedbugs! No, lice AND bedbugs!
  • Entered the Bank of Karma armed with several automatic weapons, and while you did not have to use your weapons, your hold-up generated enough stress to cause the bank manager to have a heart attack resulting in his untimely death and causing a sub-list of additional curses.
  • Successfully exited the bank, but with all of the hold-up excitement you now have spontaneous diarrhea, and all that's nearby is a really dirty truck stop.
  • Made it to the toilet, and by barely I mean that you now have a small stripe in your underpants. On the way out you slip on a puddle of piss and scrape your hand on a rusty nail. You can't remember the last time you've had a tetanus shot.
  • Peered into the opening of the bag of stolen money at the same time as the packet of dye inserted by the bank teller explodes.
  • Realized that you were very allergic to the dye in the money bag and as a result your face has swelled to twice its size and you now have trouble breathing.
  • Made it to the emergency room at the same time that the local news appearing on the television in the waiting room is reporting on your bank robbery with video that clearly shows a guy with your exact build committing the crime. You remember you have a ski mask in your back pocket. Someone makes a call. Authorities show up. You are arrested. You are tried in court. You are found guilty. You are transported to prison. On the way to prison, your vehicle falls off a bridge into a lake that contains a recent oil spill. Someone is smoking a cigarette. Everyone explodes.
So... Enjoy your stolen benches motherfucker. I hope it's all worth it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

John Boehner is My Homeboy

So whenever John Boehner pops up in the news Dave likes to say, "Your homeboy John Boehner said this." or "Your homeboy John Boehner did that." Calling the current Speaker of the House my "homeboy" is not only a funny thing to say but is also a true statement. Both John Boehner and I are from Reading, Ohio.

This morning while reading the news Dave tells me, "Your homeboy caused quite a stir last Friday." Apparently my boy John said to Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader, "Go fuck yourself!" Twice. Oh, Mister House Speaker John Boehner... Welcome home.

John Boehner's f-bomb (outside the Oval Office, no less) is the most divine example of "You can take the boy outta ____, but you can't take the ____ outta the boy. You see, Reading is a town of... well...

*Population: 89% White, per capita income $24,181. Does that paint a word picture?

In a town where the school fight song was reworded into a drinking dirge ("Cheers, cheers to ol' Reading High, you bring the whiskey and I'll bring the rye...") and where couples often marry weeks after graduation, John Boehner's much-publicized remark comes as no surprise. Reading is a place where historically people have had to "scrap" to get by. Like myself and The Speaker, over half the population of Reading comes from either fighting Irish and/or tough-as-nails German heritage and many of these folks are of the repressed, Catholic persuasion. Shake that up with some ice and a twist of redneck and you've got one mother of a dirty badasstini. Black t-shirt wearing, heavy metal-listening, two-packs-a-day smoking, powder kegs of awesome. Welcome to Reading. Do. Not. Fuck. With. Us! And while the Speaker may not have been a head banger, he DOES come from a family of 14. Holy shit! If that is not grounds to give someone a wide berth, I don't know what is.

It's true that I might hesitate when asked, "Where are you from?" and at times I might even answer, "Around Cincinnati." but I can tell you that for the most part I am PROUD to be a Readingtonian. Not only do we have your back, but we are a loyal and giving bunch. Need a ride somewhere? Need help moving that couch? Need help taking in the groceries? Need help with that bottle cap? We're there for you and we have a bottle opener. A person from Reading will ALWAYS let you "bum a cigarette", and you KNOW we'll light that bad boy for you. We'll give a homeless person our last few dollars. We'll cover your bar tab. We'll let you sleep on our couch. We might not fit in at your country club, but we are the nicest people you'll ever meet. As long as you don't piss us off.

No doubt influenced by his "don't take shit for granted" Reading upbringing, John Boehner worked his ass off to get through school, put himself in the way of a few lucky breaks, and was smart enough to align himself with the right people to get where he is today. He might look and act like a Republican, but under those expensive suits and that crazy tan beats the heart of man who comes from gritty and humble beginnings. He says swear words in The White House. He likes a drink. He's got moxy. I don't agree with almost everything he stands for politically, but shit,.. I would not hesitate to buy that badass Readingtonian a Little Kings any day.

*According to the 2010 Census

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today is the first day of the rest of your year...

Illustration by Frances Brundage (1854–1937)

Whaddup 2013?

Because I thrive on disappointment and regret, I have decided to again make some New Year's resolutions. But this year I'm punching Baby New Year in his wee noisemaker and keeping things on the list a bit mo' real. "Aim low!" That's my motto for 2013.

  1. Step up the "Don't Have Children, Get a Dog!" campaign among new couples or anyone planning on procreating. This was my 2012 brainchild that had only just begun to take form. I'm planning on maybe a book or a website or at least a mission statement for the sometime distant future. Or not. "Aim low!"
  2. Write a book. Or start a book. Or think about a book. Maybe write an outline. Whatever...
  3. Work out at least 30 minutes a week.
  4. See a minimum of one doctor.
  5. Plan my funeral slide show. You never know! I want to be ready. And I want it to have cat breading.
  6. And on that note... Create an urn for my dead, cremated self.
  7. Find another pair of perfect work pants and perhaps burn current work pants.
  8. Figure out a way to make a few more thousand dollars. Or a few more dollars.
  9. Take down my Etsy site until I have something worthwhile to sell. No planned date for that. 
  10. Fix one thing that is falling apart in my house.
OH MAN! That feels great! I'm pretty sure that I will look back on 2013 and shine like a fucking ROCK STAR!!!

...And THAT ladies and gentlemen is how you write a New Year's resolution list.