<— Part 1 —-<
Instead of driving west into Utah, then up to Idaho, we drove north to Montana in a spontaneous change of plans wholly inspired by a coloring book, Bucky Thompson and the Redskins. As my dad now saw it, we were somehow bound to honor the unspecified deeds of a few or maybe several unnamed individuals of vague and generalized historical significance. When asked where we were driving or to whom we were supposed to feel indebted, my dad would only answer with, “You’ll see,” and a smile that anticipated what was no doubt going to be a big payoff.
Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into…well, more hours. Entertainment was desirable and necessary, but seemed perpetually elusive, like the face of an adult in a Charlie Brown cartoon. 20 Questions, Slug Bug and a game of I Spy that ended with my sister, Michele, hitting me (she got mad because the only things I would ‘spy’ were things inside the car. “Stop picking ‘headrest’. Idiot.”) Eventually, we took to humming the theme songs of television shows.
On some highways, even starting a game of Slug Bug can take several hours
By the time my dad and I started in on what my sister termed to be the ‘kajillionth stupid’ rendition in a row of the Bonanza theme, my dad suddenly announced, “Here we are!”
PREFACE: Much of my childhood was spent on the road, but not in a Beatified, romantic sort of way. Instead, it was simply that we were forced to. Whether transferred, offered a better job or just simply fired, my dad’s job(s) kept the family moving from town to town and state to state, the only constant in our lives being each other and boxes marked Bekins.
When I was in the third grade, my sister and I attended three different schools in three different states thanks to three different moves. The following takes place during move #3 from Colorado to Washington.
It seemed as though my dad had become delusional, that he believed he could enact an honest to goodness miracle. How? By attempting to make a 1400-mile drive less oppressive and monotonous–daresay fun–to a 9-year old boy and 14-year old girl.
“Honey, look! We can fit my clubs, your dresses, the dog and still have plenty of room for the children’s many, many tears!”
The suggestion was that my sister, Michele, and I begin collecting knickknacks from any points of interest we passed. We were assured that not only would we “get a kick out of” doing so, but that we would probably end up thanking my dad for helping us begin what could very well become a lifelong hobby. (SPOILER: We never had to thank him.)
In the past, I’ve provided tips for in-person interviews. From small business to high-profile companies, these tips have resulted in several readers’ successful interviews. In other cases, these tips provided employers with the insight to which of the candidates were on top of their game. In one case, these tips were said to have resulted in a long-term stay at the Smiley Flowers Sanitarium, but since conjecture is not the same as proof, I intend to continue dodging such subpoenas.
As technology continues to evolve, so does our navigation of business culture. Gone are the days of pneumatic tubes and teletype machines. Today, video conferencing and telecommuting are common components in the business world, especially in a growing global economy. To compensate for the fast-paced, zoom zoom, bing bang, pow pow, vroom vroom of today’s corporate world, recruiters have found modern short-cuts for the interview process. Phone and video interviews are just two of the ways the business world has kept up with the technological advances.
At the party celebrating his promotion, Gary joked that his preferred title was Pneumatic Pneumanager. Later, Gary confidently claimed, “It’s a job I’ll have forever. The future is now!”
If you are currently looking for work, you may be asked to participate in a phone or even video interview with an HR rep, recruiter or government employee assigned to verify your unemployment status. Whatever the reason, you may feel ill-prepared for such an informal and impersonal interview style. Below you will find tips that will prove successful in turning your interview into a job offer.
As with every holiday, there are some events that have themselves gone on to become traditions. Things that, if they ceased to exist, would devastate the hearts of families around the globe. These traditions include:
* The lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
* The Nutcracker being performed to the delight of children of all ages
* Taking pictures with Santa
* Staring patiently at a motionless Nativity scene
Of course, no holiday would be complete without the elaborate Christmas party here at Calahan Manor. Millions of people wishing they were invited, scrambling for Paparazzi pics or insightful Tweets from staff, anything to feel that much closer to all of the glamor and sophistication that is a Calahan Family Christmas.
The closest most of you will ever get to my front door.
Perhaps it is the season and the spirit of giving. Perhaps it is the eight seasoned spirits I consumed moments ago. Either way, I am feeling generous. How generous, you ask? Generous enough to allow you, a lowly reader, into the Calahan Family Christmas extravaganza.
You’re welcome. Continue reading
“Trick or treat!”
“I got a rock.”
Such phrases have become synonymous with Halloween. Halloween itself has become a billion dollar industry with super stores popping up in recently abandoned retail locations. From scary masks and fake blood to unlicensed likenesses of trending pop culture characters, you can get just about anything in these stores. Almost. Due to licensing reasons, you can’t get a Captain Jack Sparrow costume, but they will have Captain Dreadlock Pirate Guy. Does your child want to become Groot, the lovable giant from Guardians of the Galaxy? How about, instead, your child goes about the neighborhood as Rooty-G, the talking stickman? $35 well spent, I say!
“No, I’m not Baggy the Bag Monster. I’m Rooty-G!”
Maybe we, as a culture, have become spoiled with so many creative options so readily available. Whether we’re going downtown for an all-night party or just staying home and having drinks with a few friends, elaborate costumes are easy to come by and, frankly, somewhat expected.
There was a time, though, when people had to rely more on their own creativity and resourcefulness. Below are old-time costumes that were quaint in their simplicity.
Generally, maturation is defined by a person’s reaching a physical and emotional “growing up”–the result of experiencing and benefitting from life’s innumerable lessons and, ultimately leading to each of us becoming the best us we can be.
As kids, we sponge-up as much information about life as we can because it is, from a basic primal instinct, required for all of us to survive. Such things as language, memory, why that thing is okay to touch, why that thing hurts, what that other thing even is exactly and why does eating it cause dizziness and an ability to hear colors. Without this necessary evolution of our individual selves, humans as a species would have long ago gone the way of the DoDo (not the bird, but the 1931 off-Broadway show about talking hair do’s that subsequently closed after only two weeks due to the smash success of the neighboring, less insistent musical, TryTry).
Doris Jenkins in her final performance as Hattie the Hairpin, one day before her suicide
Growing up, I learned at a normal, healthy, socially acceptable Continue reading
As with last year, I have decided that the best way to celebrate the holidays is by putting together a sort of thank you to all my new readers, including the following folks who are, like, completely not spambots and are instead, like, super legit readers:
elitesecuritycameras (a really big supporter of mine for years)
freepsychologyreading (get a few drinks in this guy and you will hear some amazing stories!)
bookcheaphotelsonline (Kind, soft-spoken and knows all there is to know about cheap hotels, so hit him up)
ใส้หมูสับนี่อยู่ข้างในนั้นเป็นการ (what can I say? I love you, squiggly! I don’t care who knows it)
So, for new readers and old ones alike, please feel free to download these images that I “borrowed” and share them in celebration of the true meaning of Christmas: Maxing Out Your Credit Cards! Continue reading
If Oregon code 131.125 is taken into account, the statute of limitations on this particular crime has long since passed. This allows me to speak openly and in detail–without concern of incriminating myself or my accomplice–in a way that would stir up the Oregon DA to open its drawer of unsolved crimes, give the media reason to drag my name through the ringer and cause shame-by-association to my wife or friends.
My Future Friends. From L to R: Zip Gun Joe, Me, Coked Up Gabe and Racist Alan
The truth is that, at one point, I was a burglar. Not the cool, acceptable kind of burglar with a black hat, black mask and striped prison garb whose only joy stems from stealing Quarter Pounders, Big Macs and other food stamp-priced burgers devoid of nutrients. No, I was just a no-good, soulless, morally bankrupt house burglar whose life had been on its way to one of ruin and prison brawls—the kind of fate that would be a lot to handle for anyone.
But, it was even harder for me. I was only 4!
Adam over at Chowderhead, in what can only be seen as an attempt to lose readers, has interviewed me for his blog. If you get a moment, head on over and give it a read.
WARNING: The interview does contain pictures of my face (in my opinion, my very un-photogenic face), so be aware that you may find yourself immediately vowing celibacy.
NOTE – While I am offline writing fiction and ignoring my blog, I’ve decided to post a few pieces that 99% of you have never read.
Originally published by Forces Of Geek
Perhaps I’d been serenaded “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” once too often while still in the womb or maybe it was the steady diet of Donald Duck brand orange juice made with fruit concentrate that did it to me. Whatever the root cause, I was raised with an inherent love of all things Disney. To my sister and me, Disney cartoons and films were seen as the embodiment of all things good, they conveyed a world where things were safe, where good things happened to good people and where solutions to most of our problems were just a Sherman brothers song away. I believed that the Disney magic was real. Real, that is, until… that one day.
What happened that day, you ask?
A sobering reality that haunts me to this day–that’s what happened.
Let us journey, boys and girls, back to a not-so-magical land called… Anaheim.
“Oh look. Anaheim has people dress up as foliage. How quaint!”
That particular morning, my adorable self had woken up with an enthusiasm unmatched since Continue reading