Category Archives: goofy thoughts

When the Old Mind Wanders…

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When the old mind wanders…

They tell you you’re just too slow.

But thoughts like mine drift everywhere,

And the edges of the universe… are a place to go.

 

Maybe I should write in red.

And argue with the voices

That rhyme inside my head.

And break the rhyme scheme 

Here and there

Because of what they said.

Eden

Or maybe I should write in blue

Because I’ve been thinking in the nude

And laying all my secrets bare

Which really might be rude.

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But the old mind wanders…

In the form of a poem,

And breaks and squanders

Tallest waves in mere foam.

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Filed under artwork, clowns, goofy thoughts, humor, nudes, Paffooney, poem, poetry, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Never Seen Before

So, President Cheetoh-Head is threatening to use nukes to blow up the world in response to threats by Supreme Leader Fat-boy Jong Un.  Maybe I have even less time than I thought I did to get my work out there for others to see.  I am resigned to dying in total obscurity as a writer.  Which is entirely okay.  But I have some things to show you that have not already been seen.

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This is a picture that has been in my folder in the closet since 1978.  It is a part of a cartoon story that would later become Hidden Kingdom.

I haven’t been hiding things so much because I am ashamed of them, though you can see some amateurish flaws in my work, but more because I simply haven’t taken time to use these particular pictures.

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I bought this toy from the Wonder Woman movie, horse and doll, for under $20.

This toy purchase photo from a week ago was a buy I made to feel better after learning that I was going to have to declare bankruptcy.  I thought about using it in a blog before now, but never found the right time.

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This picture of Jade Beyer watching the outside world full of edible cats and sniffable stinks was taken while eating some ice cream.  She was in a funk about not being offered any, and there were people out there using her favorite park across the street.  She boofed at them until I scolded her for barking too much.

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I found a sheet of school pictures from the late eighties when I was a much younger man, looking a little bit like Harry Potter who hadn’t even been published yet.

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I cropped it to make a better self-portrait of the way I once looked in school, wearing a tie as a teacher, and gray suspenders because I was a fool.

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And then I enhanced it using a phone-camera app recommended to me by Vietnamese immigrant school girls.  It made me look even more like an older Harry Potter.

So, there you have it.  Secrets revealed.  Pictures never before seen in public.  And I am not now totally ashamed… just mostly.

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Filed under autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, Hidden Kingdom, humor, Paffooney

For the Love of Sad Clowns

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This is my latest clown picture, inspired by my newest fascination with Puddles’ Pity Party on YouTube.  Like all my clown pictures, I am fairly sure that my number one son will tell me it’s a creepy clown.  He has never liked clowns.  When he was still small we took him to the pre-show at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus which at that time was Meet the Clowns.  We met the men… and women… and dwarves… in the face paint with the loud personalities and huge red smiles.   I was charmed, as always, but number one son spent most of the time behind my pantleg, peering around for sneak peaks at the clowns.  He was actually shivering most of the time.

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But me, I love clowns.   Always have.  Especially the sad clowns.  The hobo clowns.  Red Skelton playing Freddy the Freeloader, Charlie Chaplin as the Little Tramp, Marcel Marceau, the peerless mime, and Emmett Kelly Jr. as Weary Willie.  There is something deeply poetic and resonant about a clown who makes you laugh by his outward actions but manifests deep feelings and an underlying sadness on the inside.  It is a metaphor for the whole of life in the human world.

Puddles walked on to the stage of America’s Got Talent and engaged everyone first with his silent-clown mime routine, and then grabbed everyone right by the heart by singing a song about drinking and swinging on the chandelier with such emotion and operatic power that, by the end of the song everyone was standing, everyone loved him.  Singing clowns with a sad song help us keep our own little boats afloat on a vast and stormy ocean of life.  The song buoys us up and makes it bearable to tread water a little longer.  I am at a time and place in my life where I really need that.

I love clowns.  Especially sad clowns.  Particularly when they sing.

I dare you to watch these videos and not fall in love with Puddles.  That’s the point of sad clowns.  They make you laugh at the sad and serious things that tear people apart.  And by doing that, they put Scotch Tape on the tears and put you back together.

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Filed under battling depression, clowns, commentary, goofy thoughts, humor, Paffooney, sharing from YouTube, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Theme Songs for Living Life

You know how in movies and on TV they play a soundtrack behind the action of the show?  And how, sometimes, if the movie or TV show is any good, it enhances and underscores whatever is happening to the main theme of story and the action that expresses it on the screen?  Yeah, that.  A complex idea that lies just under the surface of consciousness, a something that somebody sometime thought up that actually works and can work quite well.  But why does it work?

Put as simply as I can say an idea that is so layered and complex, it is because that is how real life works.  Yeah, there is music in the background of every life.  It plays almost unnoticed until that point where you suddenly realize how it defines your very soul.

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Through childhood and junior high and high school, I used to joke with my two sisters that every song that came on the radio was my favorite song, my theme song.  Every new Beatles’ song, or Paul Revere and the Raiders’ song, or Elton John musical fantasy was the song that defined my entire life.  Yes, I really was that fickle.  But I was also responding to a sense that who I was had to change into something new as often as you heard a new song on the radio or bought a new record album.  (Yes, I know some of you have no idea what that is, but I am a child of the 60’s and 70’s, and I make no excuse for that.  So deal with it.)

I hope you have listened to some of the YouTube song-thingies I have added to this post.  They are not picked at random.  They are some of the key theme songs of my goofy, pointless, and fantastical life.

The Astroboy opening theme is here to represent my early childhood.  When I had the courage of the irrepressible imagination of childhood.  I soared with Astroboy through every black-and-white episode I could get hold of in the 60’s.  At times it met getting out of bed early to catch it at 6:00 am, just after Channel 3 came on the air in the morning.  At times it meant rushing home as soon as school let out because it came on only half an hour after the last bell, and the school was on the north end of Rowan, while home was as far south as the town went.Astroboy

I really used to believe that I would grow up to lead a heroic life and make a name for myself that would inspire others to greatness too.  We are uncommonly stupidly when we are children, and we need simplistic theme songs to wake us up to life gradually.

The Eagles provided the theme songs of my high school and college young manhood.  Trying out life, at times boldly, and at most times timidly, I had to “Take It to the Limit” as often as I could manage.  It turned out that due to irrepressible social awkwardness, my greatest presses against the walls of my existence were all academic in nature.  We learn by doing… and failing… and trying again.  The songs become more complex as they weave themselves into the background of your life story.

As a young teacher, shy and soft-spoken, it was impressed on me that discipline was about controlling behavior which you had to do by being stern and unyielding, good at rule-setting and handing down punishments.  But with my goofy temperament and non-threatening clown face, I soon learned that that road only led to misery and heartache for both me and, more importantly, the students.  In the 80’s I learned that you had to follow Bobby McFerrin’s philosophy of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  I learned that you don’t teach someone lasting lessons by pushing them from behind with paddles and switches, but by leading them forward with jokes and obvious joy in the lessons you are teaching.

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Now that I have grown old and awful in the winter of my life, the songs that express my personal themes are classical music and complex with snowflakian symmetry and stark, cold beauty.  I would talk about a few more particulars, but I am now well past 500 words, and if you don’t have the idea yet, I’m sorry, you are probably never going to hear that music yourself.  But don’t worry… be happy.

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Filed under artists I admire, artwork, autobiography, commentary, goofy thoughts, humor, insight, irony, music, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Becoming

The classic line from the visionary poet Theodore Roethke;

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But the truth is, before you can BE you must first BECOME.

I know what you are probably thinking.  “What is this idiot rambling on about now?”

Well, sometimes you simply have to spout a lot of love and hoo-haw and just pretend it means something.  That is the core, I think, of what philosophy is all about.

But maybe a list of what I have already become will get the idea knitting itself together.  You know, a list of the things I can already just BE.

I have already become college educated.  I have a BA in English and an MAT in Education (Master of the Art of Teaching).  Those letters my college years bestowed upon me are only an “N” short of being an anagram for BATMAN.  So I have almost become BATMAN.

I have also finished becoming a teacher.  In fact, I have spent 31 years becoming a teacher.  I have gotten so teacherfied over the years that I am actually now becoming a retired teacher.  I haven’t learned the art of retired teacher yet.  It is still gonna take a bit of practice to start getting it right.  But I can get a kid to sit down and shut up with just a look.  I can read the mind of a glum-faced student and know we are about to have a bad day.  And I always know when to tell a really awful joke so that the students know their only hope of keeping their lunch down and retaining their sanity is to ask me to please get back to today’s lesson.  So I can BE that, at least in theory.  I am still BECOMING retired.

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Why-ever would I draw myself as a naked boy?  I have inexplicably weird urges sometimes.

I am a living, breathing human being.  I have been that now for sixty years and eight months.  I have practiced it enough that I can BE that without even thinking about it.  Well, not now, just most of the time I don’t have to think about it.

But I did make a huge mistake fairly recently in applying for a chance to be a blogger for an AANR-affiliated website.  Yes, that’s right, the American Association for Nude Recreation.  I signed on to write about being a nudist.

I am asked to write a review of the nearest naturist park, the Bluebonnet Naturist Park in Alvord, Texas.  I am hoping to find a day for a day-visit that won’t find a lot of people there.  Ummm.  How did I get roped into BECOMING a nudist?  Is it too late to back out now?  Or would that be UNBECOMING?

But most of all, I have labored long and hard at BECOMING a real writer.  I have two books already published.  Aeroquest and Catch a Falling Star.    You can find them both on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  But don’t buy Aeroquest.  Those cheap burgle-binkies don’t deserve to make any more money off of me.  I have another book coming out soon from Page Publishing, Magical Miss Morgan.  It is a book I am really proud of, though these foofy publishers have done nothing to help it and a lot to mess it up for me.
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But, I must admit, I have just finished reading Mitch Albom’s masterpiece, The Magic Strings of Frankie Pesto.  It is a miraculous, engaging read that made me laugh and made me cry and made me fall in love with the story.  And it is so far beyond what I can do that I must write a review on it, maybe tomorrow, and gush praises all over it.  I can only dream of BEING a writer like that.  It proves to me that I have a lot more BECOMING to work on.  Sorry, Ted, I am just not there yet.

 

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, goofy thoughts, humor, insight, nudes, Paffooney, philosophy, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Things I Must Tell You Before I Die

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I collect sunrises.  The picture above is today’s, July 16th, 2017, looking east over the green belt park in Carrollton, Texas.  Every new day is a miracle.  I am sixty years and eight months old as of this sunrise.  I have six incurable diseases and am a cancer survivor since 1983.  One of those diseases is diabetes, and I cannot afford to be put on insulin.  There is no reason to believe I will have another sunrise tomorrow.

But I am not sad or angry.  I am not afraid.  I am thankful.  I have lived a good life.

And here’s a secret nobody has probably ever told you before in these exact words;  “Life is a miracle, and no matter how cruel it has been to you over time, or what terrible things have happened to you, the world is a better place because you have lived in it.”

Amazingly, those words apply even to Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson.  If you think about it, there was a backlash to all the misery, suffering, grief and death they caused.  In a backhanded way,  bad people make us come together, find the strength in ourselves to resist evil, and make the world better in ways it couldn’t have been if there had been no challenge or reason to do it.  Think of all the heroes like Oscar Schindler that Hitler’s persecution of Jews created.  Think of all the times a Satanic figure like Manson made you shudder when you confronted the darkness in your own soul, and how it made you vow to be a better person than he was.  And how you kept that vow.

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It seems I may have become a nudist in my doddering old age.  I signed up to blog for a nudist website associated with the AANR (American Association of Nude Recreation) and suddenly I have nudist friends who are encouraging me to take all my clothes off and go camping in spite of my little pink psoriasis spots.  I haven’t actually gone naked camping yet, despite the invitations.  But if I continue to blog about it, I will end up having to. Even though the pay per article is pretty paltry.   Hmm.  I still might not.  But you can’t be any more naked with no clothes on than you are when you bare your soul by writing.  If you have actually read my blog, you have seen things that are well beneath the very skin of me… all the way to heart and bone.  And here is the secret I must impart about all of that nakedness stuff;  “People are actually naked all the time.  Clothes merely make us think that we are not.”

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Here’s a really important thing I have to tell you.  I was a middle school teacher and actually loved it.  Don’t tell the people at the Institute for Keeping Crazy People Off the Streets.  They are probably still looking for me.  Though I have reason to believe they may also be entirely imaginary.  Teaching middle school kids will do that to you.  I was an English teacher for 31 years in Texas public schools.  I taught kids to read.  I taught kids to write.  I taught kids to laugh at Mark Twain’s story about a jumping frog and the people who bet on them.  I taught kids to be amazed at the ways and words of William Shakespeare, to see language and stories as poetry and music and the “stuff that dreams are made of”.  I taught them that Socrates supposedly invented school the way we do it now with teachers using the Socratic method.  So I suppose, realistically, you would have to say that I taught over a thousand kids in South Texas to sincerely hate Socrates.  But here’s a secret I must also tell you before I can die; “When it comes to learning about love and life and laughter, they taught me so much more than I could possibly have taught them.  I loved being their teacher for the too-brief time it was my privilege to be that.”

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And there you have it.  Three things I had to tell you in case I croak before sunrise tomorrow.  I am not saying that is what will happen.  Only that it could happen.  But there is wisdom in telling secrets and not carrying them with you to the grave.  Or was I supposed to admit that it is actually foolishness?  Now I’m not sure any more.  But it is one of those.

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Filed under autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, humor, insight, inspiration, Mark Twain, nudes, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, William Shakespeare, wisdom

The Care and Feeding of a REALLY BIG DOG

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My neighbor, Wendy Wackyname, is the owner of a really big dog.  I asked her how she managed a dog that was bigger than a moose and weighed more than an elephant.

“You have to be able to solve problems you never thought you could have,” she said.

“Problems like what?” I stupidly asked.

“Well, a dog that big not only chases cars, he often catches the littler ones like yours.  It became a real problem when he finished chewing on them and wanted to bury them in the back yard.  When we lived in Oklahoma, our back yard just wasn’t big enough, and the local police kept wondering about what might be buried there.  I guess they had a lot of missing persons cases.”

“Oh, that does sound bad.”

“Yeah, but moving here solved that problem.  We now live next to this nice big park with lots of room for a dog to bury stuff.”

“So he isn’t cured of chasing cars?” I asked nervously.

“No.  But that isn’t the worst problem.  Feeding him is really expensive.  We have to buy a truckload of dog food every week.  That problem has gotten worse since we left Oklahoma.  There used to be a cattle ranch nearby.  At least until the last of their stock mysteriously disappeared.”

I decided I should probably change the subject a bit.

“How do you walk a dog that big?”  I asked.

“Oh, I don’t.  I climb up on his neck and hang on to the collar as hard as I can, and we go for a run.  We ended up in Waxahachie, Texas last week.”

“Does your mother ever let the dog in the house?”

“Oh, no.  Foozy is an outside dog.  If he wags his tail indoors, he breaks all the furniture in the room.  Besides, the doors in this new house aren’t big enough for him to fit through.”

“Wendy, did you ever read those kids’ books about Clifford the Big Red Dog?”

“Oh, sure.  But life with Foozy is nothing like that.  Giant dogs are a much harder pet to take care of than people think.”

I remembered then how my little dog somehow managed to make five poops a day.  Did Foozy do that too?  And how did poor little Wendy go about bagging it and depositing it in the trash?  I finally decided I didn’t want to know.

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Filed under goofy thoughts, humor, Paffooney, pen and ink, pen and ink paffoonies, satire