Sunday, January 30, 2011

voyeurism isn't always sexual...

or maybe it is? what the fuck do i know?

if i haven't come out here and bold-faced said it before, i have definitely alluded to it: i am a voyeur. (and yes, because i am also a big bucket of contradictions, i too am an exhibitionist.)

i like to sit quietly and watch people in their natural habitat. generally, they do little of note, and i get bored and watch someone else. but occasionally, they do something that piques my interest, regardless of how ordinary it appears.

recently, i was out smoking my pipe on my front porch, and about a quarter mile away, i see a woman in her back yard. why did this woman catch my eye at all? well, probably for the usual reasons. she was tall. the distance between us made it hard to judge, but i bet she would be a good six inches taller than me, and i am not short. she was black. she had long thin legs that were on display as all she was wearing were some brightly-colored booty shorts and a tshirt. beyond that, i had no idea what she looked like. so perhaps my initial reason for watching her was sexual: i guessed (as much as i could tell from such a distance) that she was a very attractive woman.

but as i watched her, she became more interesting to me. she apparently was on the phone. one arm kinked at the elbow to meet her head. it wasn't hard to imagine a cell clasped in that hand. she paced back and forth over and over, occasionally gesticulating with the other hand.

i knew why i was outside in my yard. smoking is prohibited in our domicile, even though both my wife and myself are smokers. we don't want our home smelling like it, and we don't want our kids exposed to second-hand smoke. but why was this woman outside? wouldn't she be more comfortable inside her house having this conversation. i tried to see if she too might be smoking as she talked. i would have no way of knowing if she had a cigarette in her hand, but her movements indicating that she was not smoking.

what kind of conversation was she having? she was pacing quite a bit. was this a heated discussion? was she getting some bad news? was she in an argument with a significant other?

as i watched her from a distance, i began to do what i generally do when i people watch: i make a story. "baby, i aint comin' home tonight." "what you mean you're not coming home tonight?" "i just can't do this anymore." "what you mean you can't do this anymore?"

after a bit, a dog ran up. ah, so this is why she is having this lengthy phone conversation outside. she is probably catching up with a family member. perhaps chatting with her best friend about a man, or work.

but she lets the dog in, and continues pacing.

maybe it is like my original story, only several weeks later. maybe there are little ears inside the house that shouldn't be exposed to what she is saying: "you motherfucker, you can't just go off and leave me for that slut and not expect some repercussions. no, i will not cut you a break on the child support. fuck you, you can discuss it with my lawyer!"

but this conversation would burn out too quickly, and the stance of this woman is not one of anger, or of shouting. i play through other possible scenarios in my head.

after a bit, i am not even focusing on the woman any longer. i am wondering if i am the only person that watches someone of interest and makes up stories about them. it's not sexual for me. i will not replay this in my head during a shower. but it is fun to sit there and watch her and imagine what is going on in her life right now. i wonder if the people-watching spawned the writing, or vice versa? did i begin to write as a method for capturing the tales i created around people i watched, or is watching individuals a natural by-product of wanting to write successfully? do my fellow writers spend as much time just watching incidences and persons out of context of anything and creating elaborate tales in their head about what led to that moment, or what was going on behind the scenes?

as i tap out my pipe and notice that the woman is still talking, and still pacing, i come to the conclusion that while the particulars may be a chicken/egg conversation, the crux of the matter is that being a successful voyeur and being a successful writer/storyteller seem to go hand in hand.

darth sardonic

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

...and elderlies are like children

i have often held the view that overexposure to my mom gets to be frustrating.

so when my wife said she was going to fly my mom out for christmas/new years for five weeks, i said, "oooookay." with my eyes wide and a certain lack of confidence.

my wife was going to be gone for a week of that time, early in the visit. now, o thou beloved non-existent readers who have repeatedly returned to watch the decay of this tiny rotting carcass in the woods of the world wide web will know that i never do well when my wife is gone. it isn't as bad as it was the four summer months that she was away to parts east. i learned alot during that time. i give myself a routine, a purpose for each day. but i still spend however long she is gone generally exhausted, and mildly hungover.

the point is, when my wife is gone, i have a routine, and it works for me.

having my mom there completely messed up my routine, and i spent the days while she was gone trying to figure out how to keep my mom entertained.

the five weeks slid rapidly down from there.

in many ways, my mom is like one of the kids. she waits to pounce on something you say so that she can interject with a story she is dying to tell that really has nothing to do with the original conversation in the first place. matter of fact, much like the kids, she is barely listening to what you say, except to find that moment when she can talk about something wants to talk about.

my mom has long eaten her meals and told stories at the same time. everyone does this. but my mom, in a neat and gross twist, rather than saying a sentence and waiting to tell more until she has chewed her food, or at least tucking partially-chewed food into her cheek and hiding her mouth while talking, my mom will chew and talk, and move the food around her mouth. i learned a long time ago to be looking elsewhere when we eat and she is talking. however, that doesn't stop whoever is across from her from occasionally getting pelted with bits of chewed food.

my mom doesn't know how to eat at home. what i mean by that is, if she is hungry, she immediately thinks, "let's go out." i had met my weight goal of 195 (and surpassed it actually) and then frequent meals out gave me ten pounds back.

i like to drink. this comes as no surprise to anyone who has read a couple of these posts. my mom enjoys being on vacation with us, because she will have a kahlua and cream or two every night. but as a couple weeks go by, my mom start making little digs about how much i drink. now, i wait until the kids are in bed. on weeknights i might have a couple. one day, i am getting a nasty cold, and skip the nightcap. since i wasn't making myself one, i forgot to ask mom if she would like one. a few minutes later, i hear, "you're not drinking tonight?" in an expectant kind of way, as if to say, "i want a drink." you can't have it both ways, mom. i either drink or i don't drink.

despite the fact i clean every day, she seems to think i live in squalor. pointing out that i need to clean this, or pick up that, or put those away. usually while i am already busy doing about ten other things. one day while i was making lunch for the kids, for instance, and trying to bus the kitchen at the same time.

but the big one is when she starts involving herself in how we raise the kids. no. 1 had a very bad day at school. he acted out. several times. then he was acting out at home when he should've been writing out the punishment paragraphs that he scribbled all over earlier at school. he's scribbling on them again. he is blaming anyone and everyone else rather than taking the blame for his own actions. i have calmly, collectedly, and with a bit of wit and humor (thanks, dad), tried to rectify the situation, tried to get no. 1 to understand the consequences of his actions, and he simple wasn't having it. what am i left with? well, from experience i know that the only thing that is going to get no. 1 to break through his funk is a solid display of dominance. and yes, when i do it, the wiseacre part of my brain runs a picture of two wild birds, their feathers flared in an attempt to look bigger than they are. and that is almost exactly what it is: i get in no. 1's face, i yell at him loudly, my chest is out, my arms are back. it is almost surgically effective.

but behind me i hear my mom, "honey, i think maybe you need to go upstairs for a moment."

no. no. what i need to do is impress on my oldest that things don't always go his way, and that choosing to act out against others when they don't is the wrong choice. and the only way to do that is to step into the bastard dad role. i am not hitting the boy, or touching him in any way. i am not calling him names. and i have already tried the calm, loving approach, and it failed miserably. i tried it a few times. i am left with the dad whose eyes flash lasers, whose voice booms like thunder, and who is clearly not allowing any leeway for goofing off, acting out, or in any other way defying what he is saying right now. i sure as fuck don't need my mom diving in mid-tirade to call me out like i am still the age my oldest is now.

my display is effective with the boy, and he does his homework calmly. he is relaxed. he turns his day around, finally. and i tersely and succinctly explain to my mother that i was never not in control at any point the entire time.

which didn't stop her from butting in again a few other times.

i love my mom. and despite the scathing nature of this post, i still will. i always will. and i accept her shortcomings, and as a result, try to stay away from her enough so they don't become the kind of issue that they did this last visit.

thanks for letting me vent here, which is sometimes the only place i can get it off my chest without hurting feelings that don't deserve to be hurt.

darth sardonic

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Friday, January 21, 2011

a political rant, kids!

i know i owe you other posts that i have previously alluded to, but i haven't done a nice political rant in quite some time. again, this is a political rant, and i know a few of you non-existent readers don't like those, so give this a miss. or read it and call me horrible names loudly at your computer screens, it's a free country.

here's the deal: i have been thinking alot lately about our country, and our governing body. i have come to the conclusion that absolutely no form of government actually works indefinitely. because governmental bodies are ideals, and, unfortunately, the world is populated with human beings.

what's that mean? well, let's look briefly through history, shall we? (we're gonna anyways, might as well play along.) there are some basic governmental ideas: monarchy (royals are the rich elite, whose problems have nothing to do with the common man who ends up actually making their country run. add to that the fact that they are generally encouraged to keep the bloodline pure, and eventually you have imbeciles who are married to their cousins trying to run a country full of people they cannot relate to in any way shape or form.), fascism (one guy runs the show, and eventually even his close friends get sick of his shit, and someone offs him, and steps into his place, ad inifinitum--and again, the man upon whose backbone the country runs has nothing in common with the guy running the puppet show.), communism (the only two countries left that claim to be communist are cuba (a dictatorship actually) and china (the most capitalist country in the known universe). all other communist countries gave up the ghost quite some time ago.), democracy (which i personally have been watching tank for the last few years.) and socialism (which might be the one governmental style that goes about its business quietly and actually offers everyone a chance at having a decent standard of living.)

we, the people of the united states of america, in order to form a more perfect union, wrote the declaration of independence and the constitution. we had amazing ideas. they were revolutionary for the time. a government by the people, for the people?!!? these guys are batshit crazy.

but look at us now. there is no more by the people for the people in our democracy today than there is in my morning coffee. that's because my vote counts for so little, depending upon the state in which i reside. but, even if my vote counted for alot. even if the us tallied up every vote of every person and counted it as one and the president was picked by a majority of people nationwide, what? still not working exactly as the founding fathers had hoped, and here's why. to run for president costs money (it shouldn't, but again, we are human beings, greedy, selfish, and bastards all around) and the only people getting money to campaign and get their names out there are the people being backed by their parties. and their parties get the money from special interest groups. big tobacco, big business, the oil companies. people with money who want to get away with murder and who will give you money to make sure they can continue doing what they have always done. which is fuck us in the ass, and line their pockets.

once the president gets into office, he/she doesn't do shit anymore. well, unless it serves some need for them and/or their special interest groups. what has obama done? not much. tried to push through a nationwide healthcare bill that was deemed "socialist" by the blind majority and therefore considered "bad." dropped some stimulus money in apparently the wrong places from where i am standing. he will go down in history as the first black president of the united states of america. unlike dubya, who i still feel fucked us soundly in the ass while drawing in coloring books as he sat on the toilet, obama will probably not be voted in for a second term.

and if you squint enough, if you let your vision go blurry enough, what's the difference between the democratic and republican parties? if you see past the rhetoric and he bullshit, and the stuff they say to make us like them, are they any different? no.

but our other option is the american nazi party. i believe they are calling themselves the tea party for short. these guys, oh jaysus. they want to go back to the original constitution. women, you should hate and despise this party as much as the minorities already do. you know why? because the original constitution treated you (along with the blacks and indirectly any other person of ethnicity) as 3/5's of a person. you will lose your vote (well, you probably won't cause they really want and need it to get anywhere, but you can see that the point i am making is there is absolutely no way to go back to the original constitution without traveling back to the late 1700's. as far as the original intent of the constitution goes, well, i think we are doing our damnedest to keep that alive as is. the only thing that might improve the situation is if we took money out of politics completely. not gonna happen.)

the original tea party was a protest against exorbitant taxes and tariffs place on us by great britain, and spawned a revolution. you know what countries that have a revolution against their own existing government end up with? communism or fascism.

sorry, ladies and gents, no answers here, really, just worries and loudly spouted words delineating what should already be obvious.

darth sardonic

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Monday, January 10, 2011


*darth walks in and looks around*

oh, oh my god. it reeks of neglect and decay in here. damn.

*darth walks over to the windows and throws open the blinds. light floods the room*

good lord, look at the dust! oh my. and who pissed in the corner over here??!!?? that's just sick and wrong.

*darth grabs a broom, a pail, and a duster. he puts on an apron (and i think you out there, the non-existent readers who would particularly find that amusing know who you are!) and begins to set about the difficult task of tidying up*

someone left a shoe. and who do all these rum bottles belong to? pigs, the lot of 'em, geez.

*darth lugs several overstuffed bags of trash outside the door. he brings in paint and brushes, lays down a drop cloth, and sets to restoring this blog to its former glory*

well, i think we all know; me, and you, the remaining non-existent readers (i have 11 followers! 11! most of whom i have never talked to, received a comment from, or even know anything about!) that when i say "former glory" i might be overexaggerating some. and i don't think overexaggerating is even a word, as the "over" part is already implied in the very word "exaggerate" so seems like a bit of a ridiculous hyperbole to tack them both together...

where was i? oh, yes. i still write. some. in my head more than anywhere else, of course. apparently 2010 was a bit of a bad year for me, blog-wise at least. i dunno.

but i do know that i need to clean out my pals list yet again. and i need to frequent this little tetanus nail in the playground of the world wide web (and yep, i keep coming up with less-than-savory euphemisms to describe this little blog i have nurtured like a malevolent mutant cat o! these many years now) a bit more frequently.

for now, i am gonna get back to dusting this place, but i am writing (in my head) a couple blog posts; one about my mother, and another about the inherent voyeuristic tendencies in writers, that i will share very soon, along with whatever other vomitus that spills forth from my awkward, demented, and yet well-meaning imagination.

to those 11, and to you the true non-existent readers (and a few of you are both), thanks for sticking with me, and i hope to make 2011 the best year yet!

as if i was running for president or something, geez.

darth sardonic