I went to Germany, Austria and Italy in June of this year. It was a fantastic trip. I took thousands of pictures with both my phone and camera. I'm still sorting through them so I can put them on memory sticks and give them to my travel mates (my brother, Jim, and sister-in-law, Karen [who upgraded us to first class flights those two amazing studs], Karen's sister, Tina [also known as American Eva], Eva [aka The Manager], and my cousin, Seppi [Austrian Larry.])
The Manager forced us to walk an average of 13,000 steps every day. It was torture. I was miserable and cranky. Everyone took my poutiness with much more grace than I showed while enduring it.
When I got home, I decided to continue walking. After being abused as I was in Europe, an hour each morning would be as nothing in comparison.
Except, it's REALLY boring walking in circles in my neighborhood. So, I entertain myself by by setting little photog tasks for myself. You can join me if you want.
This coming week, I'll be taking pictures of cement graffiti.
Humans putting their marks on walls is an ancient tradition: cave paintings in the Cave of Altamira, Santander, Spain, workers marking tombs in Giza, brothel messages from Pompeii, "Kilroy was here" during World War II, tagging in inner cities.
Graffiti is officially an art form.
* Let me know where you've posted your pictures (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, what evs) I'll come look and comment.
*** You should stop reading this now and go somewhere else because this will be the most pathetic self indulgent load of crap on the Internet.
Good thing I got my 500 daily words done yesterday morning because if I had to do them last night, I would have been fucked. I'm not in a much better frame of mind this morning.
I want to quit writing. I have no idea why I want to write. It's fucking painful. Oh, should I have warned you that there'd be lots of cursing. This shit just hurts too much. It is physically painful to think about writing. I have nothing to say. I'm irrelevant and boring and I can't figure out why I should bother.
Last night, I almost deleted my Facebook account. It's a good thing I have fairly strong impulse control. I'd be causing havoc all over the place if I didn't. The writing gurus are right, though. Committing to writing everyday and posting this bullshit - without qualification or excuses - helps to force me to do it even when I hate it - writing - and myself.
The disdain I have for my writing can't be expressed. I never want to put pen to paper again (yes, I still write like the ancients did) or put my fingers on another keyboard. But the white screen calls to me and I respond like an addict. I hate it. I hunger for it. The thought of it makes me ill and more depressed and hopeless. I have to have it. I have to have more. I obsess over it. It invades all of my thoughts and moments.
I'm writing a one thousand word story for a writing contest and it's stupid and fractured. It makes no sense. I have until the twenty-ninth to finish it and submit to the judges. I suppose I'll work on it today. Maybe I'll read it at my writing group tomorrow. It's so dumb though. My adjectives are trite and mundane. Dumb. Seriously. I could throw up right now.
One soul is living and dying in five different dimensions/lives, switching genders and time periods. In one thousand words. What was I thinking? Man, I'm desperate. I have nothing to say and so I'm saying dumb things.
If you came here to read this crap, I'm sorry. I should put another warning in the beginning that I would be wallowing in self-pity and boring you with my whining. It's getting harder and harder each day to bother with anything. Routine is the only thing getting me out of bed now. I think it's the thing that's killing me, too.
Doodling helps you reduce stress. I need a big doodle pad. People are coloring now. I remember when I got laughed at thirty years ago for coloring. Now, I'm really babbling. I've completely lost focus.
I went back up to write a disclaimer so I could say, "I warned you."
If you've read this far down, though, I seriously apologize.
One thousand, seven hundred and forty-five people from eight hundred twenty-four households located in one point one square miles of a valley in the Shale Tier. Jon knew the names of all of his constituents. He greeted them on the street, in the grocery store and the VFW. They smiled when he asked about their families, their jobs and pets. As mayors went, he was the best. He kissed babies, shook hands with farmers and listened to women. In every election year, the good people of his town re-elected him. He led his town for twenty years now.
He was born in 1956, in this town. His mother gave birth to him at home in her marital bed. He grew up here, running between corn stalks, laughing, mouth wide open, occasionally swallowing a bug. He stacked bales of hay into tunnels in a barn, crawling through the straw up to turrets above the cow stalls. He warmed his bare feet in fresh patties, squishing them between his toes.
In one of these rocky mountain fields, at the age of twelve, Jon spoke his promise to a hawk circling over his head.
"One day, I will be king."
He spoke these words in a rush as he ducked behind the old rusting cars his father had dumped in the upper cow pasture. He peeked around a rotting tire. The old man carried his black belt between both big hands, snapping the leather and clicking the pin against the buckle. The sound traveled up the hill to Jon's hiding place. Jon picked up a rock. His father came around the car. Jon stood. He topped his father by three inches. Jon looked to the house. His mother leaned on one of the porch columns, blood from her forehead smearing the white paint. The wet dark smudges called to Jon like a neon sign telling him it was time.
His father raised the belt. Jon pushed his father's drunken arm aside and smashed the rock on his father's head.
The insurance money sent Jon to a private high school and a prestigious college. His mother turned out to be an investment wiz which set them up as small town royalty. Jon came home at twenty-two to do good works. The next year, he took part in his first election and he won in a land-slide.
He looked out of his office window. The large panes gave him an unobstructed view the town's main street. His people traveled the center of town with purpose. They dressed in grays, browns and dull blues. He watched them with an unexpected sense of dissatisfaction.
Yellow caught his eye. Lavender, red and stark white flashed. A girl danced on the side-walk in front of the bank, her blonde hair floating on the breeze. He leaned foreword placing his hand on the glass. His mouth watered. His body tingling. As he watched the girl spin, he heard music swell around him. He wanted.
Lemonade hits the spot on a hot summer's day. Some people drink iced tea. I don't care for tea. The leafy, herbal flavor tastes bitter on my tongue. The sweet and sour of the yellow citrus beverage brings shivers with each sip. It's what I drink when I want something a bit stronger than plain water. I don't drink soda, either.
Gin and Tonic with a wedge of lime tastes good, too. I'm not opposed to an alcoholic drink. No prohibition bullshit for me. Some people can't handle their liquor, but I'm not like them, so I'm going to have a drink when I feel like. A Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon was best during Winter. They were heavier, warmer.
Milk went best with spaghetti. My mother's spaghetti. She wasn't Italian. She was German. Her spaghetti sauce was brown because it was mostly ground beef with lots of browned onions. The tomato sauce was just a condiment. There's be lots of left over spaghetti noodles. Those would be turned into a breakfast treat. She brown plain bread crumbs in butter, add the cooked noodles and top them with white sugar. Milk was a must with this dish, too.
Both of these noodle dishes are my favorite meals. They are my comfort foods. Literally. Both will put me into a carbohydrate stupor more effective than any calming drug. I need a lot of calming. Too much activity, too many questions, any excessive behavior must be squashed. Don't wiggle, jiggle or giggle. Have a cookie and be quiet.
Water is the best drink, though. Cold. I drink water all day. I prefer seltzer. The bubbles wake up my tongue. I don't know why the bubbles are good, but they make the water more yummy. I like the brand Vintage for my seltzer water and my tonic water. That brand has the best flavor for both.
I should have perfect skin and be the picture of health with all of the water I drink. I bet I'm more water than most people. Tests have shown that the average is 60% for the average male and 50% for the average female. Apparently, age, health, weight and sex all affect how much water is in a person's body. I think I must be at least 75% water. I'm an overachiever.
Oh, I almost forgot coffee. I don't really like coffee. I need it. First thing in the morning, I must have brewed coffee, black. A nice dark roast. I require two cups before anyone is even allowed to look at me. You'd be jeopardizing your life by talking to me before I've had three. Another two cups and I begin to function like a normal human being. I don't drink any coffee after eleven in the morning. I'd be up all night, the agitation creeping through my flesh and keeping my mind spinning. I don't like the taste of the stuff. It's bitter, but the idea of milk and sugar in it makes me queasy. The only way to have sweetened creamy coffee is as ice cream.