Category Archives: self portrait

Mickey at Sixty, Part Two

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As often happens with doddering old doofuses, you can easily reach 500 words and have to stop for the day even though you are still not through with saying all the stupid stuff you have on your doddering old doofus mind.  So that’s when you get a part two the next day.

Things have happened to me in the middle of the year following the sixtieth anniversary of the blizzard I was born during in 1956 that I still haven’t talked about during this Mickey at Sixty topic.

I am, after all, a survivor, about to pass birthday number 61, the year beyond which Robin Williams never made it.  I have always said that if the old saying, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” is actually true, then I must be Superman by now.  I am now in my third year of not being able to afford the medicine the doctor thinks I should be taking daily.  I have had arthritis for 42 years.  I have been a diabetic for 17 years.  I have been a cancer survivor since 1983.  By all rights, I should be long dead by now.  How God ever made that mistake, I will never know.  Surely it was an oversight on His part.  “What? Mickey is still alive on planet Earth?  How could I let that happen?  Oh, well, maybe we give him one more year to see how that turns out,” God says, and all the angels agree with him because angels never think for themselves, at least, not after Lucifer, that nutty angel in the red pajamas that always carries around a pitchfork.

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And what am I actually doing with my year of life that I probably wasn’t supposed to have?  Constructive things like becoming a nudist and giving up on wearing clothes.  (Probably not a great idea for someone whose corpus strangioso is so intolerably unsightly to normal people.)  I went to the nudist park in Alvord, Texas one time.  And I liked it.  And I have thought about going back on another weekend, but something always seems to come up and prevent me from following through with the plan.  But it has been remarkably good for my blog.  Apparently having my post Becoming a Nudist appear on clothesfreelife.com refers loads of readers to my WordPress blog.  Who knew that nudists were such avid readers of humor blogs by goofy Mickeys?  They have helped make my blog post Why Do You Think That? Part Four one of my most popular blogs of the year.

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This is also the year of my life in which I was forced to give up on the idea of restoring the swimming pool to life and having it removed, thanks to the bully-boy encouragements of the city pool inspector and the rest of the Nazis down at the City Environmental Services Office.

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Dreams die hard… and expensively… by stages.  It took most of the summer to get it done, but now my swimming pool is no more.

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So now Mickey is a sadder-but-no-wiser Mickey with no more swimming pool.

But Mickey is still Mickey, even at sixty.  He will break out the paper and colored pencils and still do the doings that old doofus Mickey will do, writing a bunch of nonsense, and coloring…20171008_211247 stuff, and doing some of it naked.

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Filed under autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, humor, medical issues, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Mickey Being Mickey

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A new day dawns.  It leaves me wondering.  Who am I today?  Who will I be tomorrow?

The opportunity to have any sort of control over who and what I am is coming to a close.  I don’t really know how much longer I have before pain and illness dissolve me into nothingness.  But death is not the end of existence. I may be forgotten totally by the day after next Thursday, but my existence will still have become a permanent fact.  Yes, I am one of those dopey-derfy-think-too-much types known as an existentialist.

I am feeling ill again.  Any time that happens may be the last time.  But that doesn’t worry me.

 

 

The important thing is that the dance continues.  It doesn’t matter who the dancers are, or who supplies the music.

We can be clowns if we choose to be.

We can safely be fools if we really can’t help it.

An awful lot of awful things go into who and what we are.  Those things make us full of awe.  They make us awesome.  Aw, shucks.  What an awful thing to say.

 

But what is all this stuff and nonsense really about today?

It’s just Mickey being Mickey… Mickey for another day.

It’s not really poetry.  It certainly isn’t wisdom.  It’s a little bit funny, and only mildly depressing… for a change.

It’s just Mickey being Mickey.  And a partially Paffooney gallery.

…To fill some space today.

And wonder about tomorrow.

And just be Mickey a little bit more.

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Dvorák’s Scherzo in the Nude

Another opportunity to visit the nudist park has passed without me being able to seize the day and do what I really wanted to do this weekend.  It was, however, a different set of reasons than last time.  Last time I was determined to go on a Saturday when more nudists would actually be present.  I got sick and it rained that Saturday.  So I set my sights on Labor Day weekend.

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This weekend the hurricane that ravaged Houston changed my plans.  You see, the storm also ravaged Port Arthur and the distribution points that local gas stations rely on for new shipments on a weekly basis.  I did not see the gas shortage coming in time.  The lines at gas stations and two hour waits for gas mostly all happened before I was ready to cope with it.  So I was not prepared to make the trip when the time came.  Gas stations are limited to selling chewing gum and promising that more gas would be available by the middle of next week.

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Yes, the boy in the picture is me naked as I might’ve been in a more sylvan youth than the one I actually had.

So I am left to sit here in my bedroom studio in the nude writing this and listening to Dvorák’s Scherzo Capriccioso on YouTube.

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A scherzo is, perhaps, the perfect metaphor for an essay like this one.  Most of what I write are really scherziplay (or scherzi if I hadn’t goofed on that typo in the definition) if you analyze them closely.  Sprightly and humorous idea flows (at least, they make me laugh) that wax thoughtful and slightly serious at certain points.  This one, the capriccioso, the capricious and mercurial idea that I have somehow turned into a nudist, is my attempt to make sense of the nonsensical, the whims and flimsy that led me to be a naked old man.

You may have noticed in my artwork a tendency to associate nudity with childlike innocence.  (At least, you should have noticed if I have any ability at all as a writer and artist to guide your perceptions.)   There is no sense at the nudist park that it is about sexuality and impending orgies.  Those things are completely against the rules and have no place among actual nudists.  You go to a nudist park and it is just you and your towel for sitting on talking to a bunch of naked people who just as fat and old and saggy and baggy as you are, each with their own towels for sitting on.  Nobody uses more than their first names, and more than that is not necessary.  Nudists are more open and honest than most people you meet in social situations.  They literally are not hiding anything.  And I have discovered that I fit right in there.  It seems like the most natural thing in the world.

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Once I got past the initial embarrassment that anyone would feel in that new-nudist situation, I came to the conclusion that I have always been a nudist.  Having been born a nudist, my parents and grandparents trained me not to be one, and being sexually assaulted at ten gave added horror to being naked around others that it took a lifetime to overcome.  But naked is how we were created.  There is a reason that Adam and Eve didn’t wear clothes in Eden.

I didn’t get to go back to the nudist park this holiday weekend.  I will never convince my wife and kids to go with me either.  In fact, I myself may never have another opportunity to go back there.  But listening to Dvorak’s Scherzo has confirmed in me that I am a nudist and always have been.  Sorry if I have frightened you with my naked ideas, but maybe you should listen to a scherzo naked and test whether you are one too.

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Mickey and the Mother of Invention

Cool title, right?  No? It needs a lot of further explanation?  All right, here goes.

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“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist of creating out of void, but out of chaos”—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Whether you prefer the stealer of Tesla inventions or the author of Frankenstein for invention quotes, you have to admit they are both right.  Those of us who think creatively try with all our might and mind to take the wreckage life has given us and make something new.  Preferably we make something that is good for us and improves our situation.  But sometimes it turns out that it only makes matters worse and creates monsters of the mind.

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When I was ten, I was sexually assaulted by a neighbor boy who was older and stronger and decidedly crueler than me.  It split my world into pieces.  I retreated into fantasy worlds and lived in my imagination far more than the real world.  The monster in my memory was locked away in a tightly sealed forget-me box.  I repressed the memory successfully until I was twenty-two.  My creativity and inventiveness turned to fantasy art and fanciful fiction.  I worked at having a good sense of humor, being a tough athlete on the high school football field, and trying to force people to accept me as the brainiac weird kid who always knew the answers in science class and could do practically anything except successfully talk to girls.

Surprisingly my greatest invention would turn out to be me.  I reinvented myself.

I would’ve never believed when I was young that I was made to be a teacher.  I lived inside my own head.  How could I be a teacher and control a classroom and make people listen to the various shards of nonsense that I was completely full of?  But, through gradual problem-solving, I learned to be an effective public speaker.  I learned how to be an engaging presenter.  I did a few magic tricks.  I told more than a few jokes.  Some of them were even funny.  I learned how to put ideas in front of children in visual displays and organization charts.  I learned how to teach people to read.  And more than that, I learned how to teach people to learn.

I honestly don’t think I would’ve learned to do all of that if my childhood psyche hadn’t been broken and hidden away in brain boxes when I was ten.  I might still have been an artist.  But not the teacher and story-teller I ultimately became.  Without the mountain to climb, a boy can never become a mountain-climber.  Without a star to see and study, he can never be an astrophysicist.  And without a brain filled with broken brain bits, a man can never learn how to put himself back together again, let alone teach others how to do it.  All the king’s horses and all the king’s men are no help with this endeavor.

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Have I now explained my terribly tilted title?  Does this help you see how I have sung the songs taught to me by the Mother of Invention?  Probably not.  I am a rather dense little goof and the work of making me into me is not yet finished.  I crashed and burned again a couple of years ago when I had to retire from teaching.  I had to invent myself again as something new.  I am certainly not done hitting the metal work with a big black hammer.  But, perhaps, you can see the tool-marks on this blog and learn something from it too.

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Crazy Poems by an Insane Poet

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I Let My Dog Write This Poem

MMMM-woof!

Smell that?  Definitely Cat poop.

I love that smell.

And what’s that smell over there?

I mean right there!

Quit pulling on my leash!  I have to smell it!

Ahh!  Bird poop from a pigeon with a fatal disease.

And over there!  Yes, stop holding me back!

Oh!  A dead bird!  Yum!  Icky dead things taste great!

But it was a pigeon.

MMM-woof?  Can dogs get pigeon diseases?

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Why on Earth Did I Turn into a Nudist?

It is so embarrassing to admit it

I have no clothes to fit it

That feel as good as going bare

And wearing not even underwear

And the wind and the sun on my naked skin

Open my heart and let the sunshine in

I’ve never really felt so alive

As I feel while talking the naturist jive

And living life as a naked man

And doing the things that Adam can

How can it be such a stupid thing?

That makes my heart to dance and sing?

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Thar Be Pirates, Yaaar!

The Pirates o’ Bank o’ Merricka has stabbed me wallet

And make thar monies by stealin’

And whooda thunk it?  But the Pirates be many blokes

Who sells insurance or credick-card akkounts

And compounds the fie!-nance charges

At twelvety-hunnert thousing per cent

And makes thar monies the ol’ fashioned way

By hooks and by crooks but mosty by stealin’

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And so… There you have it.  Three poems about things that recently made sanity a bit harder to define when looking in the old mirror.  I am not saying I have gone insane, but I do think I may be on the right road to go over the hill and around a couple curves to find the place where you have to go to find it.

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Stupid Is as Stupid Does

This is not a tribute to Winston Groom and his famous creation, Forrest Gump.  This is an admission that when I have had very little sleep and lots of worry lines on my brow, I often do remarkably stupid things.

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And sometimes, doing something monumentally stupid makes me feel better.  You know, more a part of the stupid, meaningless, and goofy world around me.  So, what stupid thing did I do?  I joined a nudist organization’s website.  Me, who freaks out when members of my own family happen to see me naked.  And, you see, there is more to joining this organization than just signing up for some random thing on the internet where you get a lot of random emails.  I had to submit nude photos of myself to be posted in community forums.  And I may be able to write a blog for this website, which will mean taking some camping gear and actually going to the naturist club site near Dallas to experience the things I will be writing about… and probably making jokes about.  But don’t be afraid of being subjected to the hideous torture of having to see me naked.  In order to see any of that, you would have to join the organization yourself, and you are probably not as stupid as me.  (But I am not telling you the name of the website anyway.)

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This is a detail from an illustration based on Golding’s Lord of the Flies.  But it is also a picture of me and a childhood friend from back in the skinny-dipping days, based on an old black-and-white photo.

You see, I have some real life experiences with nudists before this happened.  I had a roommate in grad school who liked to go au naturel, and even was comfortable with me being in the room when his girlfriend was visiting.  He was nude in the kitchen one time when my grandparents came to visit.  It is a good thing my grandfather entered that room ahead of my grandmother.  I also had a girlfriend in the eighties who had a sister living in the clothing-optional apartment complex in Austin, Texas.  Every time we visited Austin, the city nearest where my parents lived, she would stay with her sister there and I would have to go in to fetch her whenever we had plans.  Sometimes I was there just to visit.  But always, since clothing was optional, I took that option.  I did get used to being around naked people, though.  I actually have nudist friends.

So, though I am not a nudist, I guess I already know a lot about how to be one.  It is how I managed to stumble into this awkward arrangement.

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I know I will never be able to get my wife to go along on this harrowing adventure.  She refuses to even consider going nude in the house.  She has to wear clothes to bed even though studies say that sleeping nude is good for you.  I will be facing this basically naked and alone.  And possible paid writing work will never make this worth it by itself.

But my photos are already posted and approved.  My membership is a real thing.  And I am not ready to shoot myself for this stupid decision.  In fact, I will probably be less naked there than I have been here in this very blog where my every secret is laid bare and made fun of on a daily basis.

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Filed under battling depression, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, humor, nudes, Paffooney, self pity, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Why Do You Think That? Part 3

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A taxonomy of different living beasts in our world is an important thing to keep up with.  Because they are constantly evolving, due to processes of evolution (Stop hitting me with that old family Bible, Reverend Winchuck!  It is still legal, for now, to say that word), you have to constantly change and refine your understanding of beasts and their relationships to one another.  So here I am trying talk about “Why liberals and conservatives are completely different species!”

When I look at a group of people, a crowd, a… what do you call a flock of people?  An idiocy perhaps?  They all look the same to me.  To tell which species they are, I have to hear them talk.  So I selected a couple of notable interviewees to explain what the differences really are.

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Bull Blindersly, head of the Bullish for Trump and Trumpkins Committee

The conservative I will use to represent conservatives is Bull Blindersly, who I noticed briefly had a Make America Great Again red hat on until the wind took it off his flat head.  I’ll let him tell you the difference in his own words.

“It’s easy to spot a libtard.  They have pointy little nerd heads full of stupid ideas based on statistics and encyclopedia facts and other such brainiac junk that clogs up your head.  They don’t have the common sense they were born with because they spend all their time reading and thinking and other stuff that just gets in the way.  There is a simple solution for everything in life.  The economy is healthy and grows if you give tax breaks to rich folks and job creators.  They will spend that money they have earned to improve things for everyone.  You don’t fix problems by dancing around giving away my hard-earned tax dollars to folks who don’t work hard enough.  Those people are just tempted to become blood-sucking parasites for life when you do that.  We need to build a wall around Animal Town to keep more of those kinds of people out.”

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                                                                                                                                                                  Phillip “Flip” Moosewinkle. ACLU lawyer and Dal Mation, independent media journalist

I talked to Flip Moosewinkle and his friend Dal Mation because they were protesting in front of city hall with “Not My President!” signs and other signs that indicated they were liberals because everything was spelled and punctuated correctly.

Flip; “I think conservatives talk without thinking first most of the time.”

Dal; “You have to be careful about making blanket statements like that, though.  It is not backed up by any studies I can find with Google on my i-phone.  And we want to be fair and considerate when making statements about our opponents.”

Flip; “Yes, that’s quite correct.  But a shoot-from-the-hip style of discourse is still common among those we argue politics with.  They’ll accuse us of trying to take away their rights to own guns and won’t even listen when we try to shift the conversation towards gun safety and responsible ownership.  They mostly agree with our positions when it comes right down to it, but they rarely listen to our point of view.  They would rather call us names and chant slogans.”

Dal; “True, but you have to admit they do tend to win arguments that way in public forums.  Maybe we should try some of their tactics, and try to be more forceful in making our case the way they are.”

Flip;  “Do you really want to sink to their level?  Then we’d be no better than they are.”

Dal;  “But isn’t that the point we are trying to make?  Aren’t we all the same and no one is better than anyone else?  Aren’t we trying to be fair and loving to all?”

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Doofy Fuddbugg here is an example of what a “Nolt” is.

Of course, it is at this point in the consideration of the topic that I reach the inevitable conclusion that I am dealing with two different categories of animal here.  One side is patently unfair, and the other is marginalized and ineffectual.  One side is often predatory, while the other is routinely prey.

What do I do about it?  The conservative side has purged themselves of all compromisers, liberal-leaners, and RINO’s (Republican In Name Only, not rhinoceroses).  The liberal side never wins.  (Yes, I know Obama was president, but look how easily he was erased from the public conversation when his term ended.)  There is no place for moderates any more.  To be moderate is to be isolated and headed for species extinction.    So I am a liberal now, hoping the side that is in power at the moment won’t pass a law against my continued existence.  And trying exceptionally hard to fit in with other members of my same species.

 

 

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