Tag Archives: colored marker

Dippy Duck Dreams

The hardest dream-to-reality connection to make is my duck nightmare.  I know I bummed the world out yesterday with unfunny dream deliberations.  But in this post I explore the lighter side of nightmares.  It all began when I was about four years old and we went to the Deer Park Zoo in Mason City, Iowa.

Truthfully, when you look at it from the proper point of view, at four you are small and all animals look like monsters.  The three ostriches they had in a chicken-wire pen were at least several hundred feet tall.  The deer were huge with giant Bambi-eyes.  I was little and still very much in a touchy-feely stage of life.  And the goose-pen had a large hole in the front, just large enough for a goose head and neck to fit through at high speed.  That is exactly what happened when one wide-eyed nerd-child wandered close enough to give a gander a premium chance at a beak-first goosing.  Whether my pants had to be changed immediately afterwards is something I have yet to work up the courage to ask my parents about.  No rush.  They are only in their eighties now.

Anyway, I was left with a recurring nightmare, always involving a duck or very similar waterfowl with big, massive, white dentures.  Yes, you heard right, a duck with teeth.  It’s all right for you to laugh now, but I woke up in cold sweat every single time I had that nightmare.  Right from the moment when I realize that the evil little duck-mind has fixed its wishes on taking a nice, big bite, to the split second where the toothy duck-head zips towards me, I am gripped with total existential terror.  And it wakes me up.

20150104_205916

So what does this doozy of a dream mean?  Do dreams have to have a meaning?  All two-hundred-plus times?  (I lost count, so sue me.)  I do believe, however that it must be some kind of anxiety dream.  And the last occurrence was now four years ago, so the possibility of duck-dream remission is very real to me.

If my last post chilled your innards, then hopefully this one lit them up with laughing gas.

Leap of FaithThis closing Paffooney from yesterday is entitled “The Leap of Faith”.  I’m not sure why that is important to know, but it is.

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Badfinger

Yes, there is a James Bond villain who has targeted Texas freeways, liberal politics, and Facebook in general.  He is a bad, bad man who likes to inflame arguments, create racial tension, and fan the fires of road rage.  So, this is my attempt to call this bad man out and make you aware of at least some of what he’s doing.

redneck friends

First of all, I know a way that you can prevent Badfinger’s minions from driving on Teexas roadways.  You can cut off the middle finger of both hands, and those minions don’t know how to drive any longer.  I saw that in action today as I took my number two son to the oral surgeon to have four wisdom teeth extracted (and yes, I know that is probably a bad idea, but he didn’t really have that much wisdom with the teeth still in, anyway).  To get into the proper turning lane, I chose a spot I thought I could get into.  I pulled up to the spot with my turn signal on so the driver in that lane could clearly see my intention.  He zoomed up to close the opening and gave me the middle-finger-indication of his approximate I.Q. as measured by driving habits.  So, I decided to go behind him.  But he immediately, without signaling, tried to ram his way through to the lane I was patiently waiting in.  I had to back my car up while sitting, waiting for the light to change.  The guy behind me felt he needed to signal his I.Q.   But he was apparently smarter by one than the other driver as it took both hands to accomplish this feat.  When the light turned green, the minion in front of me reminded me of his I.Q. again and zoomed into my lane and passed three cars in the lane he was originally in, then forced his way back into the lane to make the turn.  This bit of gracious roadway etiquette accomplished two things the driver probably didn’t intend.  One, he nearly got his precious BMW dented by the car he cut in front of, and two, his mad swoop left a void in his lane that I could get into so that I might safely round the corner on the next green light.

John Kasich flipping the byrd at teachers.

John Kasich flipping the byrd at teachers.

Another minion of Badfinger is a politician that, until recently, I thought was one of the least evil of the toxic clowns in the Republican Volkswagen, John Kasich.  He proved to be an enemy of mine because recently he put the finger on the entire problem with education, teacher’s lounges.  Apparently it is not enough to take strong union representation away from teachers.  He doesn’t want evil communist teachers getting together to complain about class sizes, increasing teacher layoffs, reduced funding, and increasingly draconian testing rules in bastions of communist union power, which he believes are the insidious teacher’s lounges.  I’m not sure why he thinks he’s punishing teachers by taking that cramped little misappropriated closet space away from us.  What will we lose?  A place to make copies on the xerox machine?  Our departments have no money for paper or ink.  A place to put our lunches in an antique refrigerator which may or may not prevent spoilage at temperatures a little warmer than room temperature?  Most of us can’t afford the slice of our fifteen minute lunch hour to walk all the way to the other side of campus and go up two flights of stairs.  But he doesn’t want us to have a place to bad mouth the government that exists only to make our lives harder. And he doesn’t realize that most teachers save their gruesome and evil plans for rebellion until they can meet together at Hop Xing’s Bar and Grill (now with Karaoke) at a time of day when it no longer matters if they get totally schnockered, or if they burst into spontaneous karaoke versions of Journey songs.  Teachers will continue to do the job even without the lavish teacher lounges that don’t actually exist anyway.

So, what am I proposing we do to combat Badfinger and his multiple minions in the fight for God and country and a little respect?  How about an anti-bloviator ray gun that we can disguise as an ink pen?  It might  prove useful against Donald Trump and other Republicans that are our potential next President and chief vilifier of rogue educators.  How about a secret politeness pill that we can slip into the drinking water and make everybody, Badfinger’s minions included, into nicer people?  I’m sure those things will never get voted for… primarily because we really need them.

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Filed under education, humor, Paffooney

The Unique Joy of Having Redneck Friends

redneck friends

Yes, I live in Texas… And yes, I know a redneck or two… or 600.  But it is a unique joy that almost has to be shared to be believed.  They do not think like I do.  To them, I am just a commie, liberal, tree-huggin’ atheist with very bad hippie-hair.  But not all of them are automatically unkind to me for who I am… in fact, some of them are my friends.

Now, I have to say that, being a Texan is not an advantage for making friends with rednecks.  The home-grown brand of Texas Mexican-hating, gun-loving redneck are suspicious of me because I was a gol’ dang Texas edjumacator for so many years.  You gotta be suspicious of anybody who teaches, cuz they want to make our children smarter than us.  That’s a gol’ dang liberal trick from way-back-when.  Who knows what kind of communist liberal ideas a communist liberal college edjumacated idiot wants to plant in the heads of our kids?  Oh, and people who are smarter than us are all idiots, because they have all them new-fangled ideas and facts and some-such, but we got common sense.  That makes us better’n them no matter how gol’ dang smart they are… gol’ dang ’em!  (I can’t even write these words without hearing that South-Texas Winchuk-family-from-the-Brush-Country accent in my head.)  Texas rednecks are hard to warm up to unless they’ve already reached the stage of wanting to grill your ass on the Winchuk family barbecue pit.  Then it is entirely the wrong part of you that gets warmed up because they don’t accept that the word “ass” is the Biblical word for donkey.

The majority of my redneck friends are actually from Iowa.  They are the people that I grew up with who knew me as a boy.  They know I am intelligent all the way to insane levels of intelligence.  And while they also believe their common sense trumps my intelligence, they have a soft spot in their hearts for the old egghead Superchicken they used to know in high school.  They mistakenly believe I am still a Republican by nature and probably support Ted Cruz for President, because he seems like a good Christian conservative fellow.  They argue with me about why they have a right to keep their guns and refuse all background checks or gun registration or licensing of guns because, sure you have to have a license to drive a car and get married because those are seriously important and potentially dangerous things, but we are talking about guns here.  They argue about why I should not be offended by their Confederate flags and why I really ought to listen to Fox News because they don’t lie to you like the rest of the liberal media.  And how did they get to be so sunburned on their backs of their necks and all over their political ideologies?  There was a time I voted for Charles Grassley.  But Republican Iowa… the Iowa of Republican Governor Robert Ray in the 70’s and President Eisenhower supporters in the 50’s… has changed right along with the entire Republican party.  They are now goose-stepping along to the conservative beat of drums worthy of Hitler and Goebbels politically.  But they don’t identify with fascism.  They believe conservative means good and liberal means bad… so Hitler was a liberal, right?  They vote in a way that allows racist-fascists like Iowa Congressman Steve King to goosestep all around the country saying ignorant and destructive things, and think that General Eisenhower wouldn’t shoot King as if the Iowa Congressman were one of the enemy were he to hear some of King’s rants in favor of the military industrial complex that Ike himself warned us against.  You can’t convince them that they’re wrong.  They are louder than you, and that makes them right.  But I love them.  I grew up with them.  And I know they are too Iowa-stubborn to ever change their Iowegian minds in a direction that might actually make their lives better.  So bless them and take care of them for me, Lord, because they have common sense… which makes them better than me.

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, politics

Writing in My Head

Okay, I am justifying and vilifying today because yesterday I didn’t write 500 words… the first time in 2015… not in my blog, not in my novels, not even counting text messages.   I had extenuating circumstances.  I went to a movie, Disney’s Inside Out which made me laugh and made me cry like any good Disney/Pixar movie always does.  Then I got a message that one of my children went into the hospital in Florida.  And I have been down and out with a bad back, so I missed the Florida trip all together… (the child is fine, by the way, thanks for asking that in your head while reading this).  But all of that stuff and nonsense is really just an excuse for a dastardly act of cowardice.  I didn’t write a full 500 words.  How dare I?   This writing thing has now become my sacred mission from God.  After all, I retired from the first sacred mission because poor health was God’s way of telling me, “MICKEY, IT IS TIME TO BE A WRITER.”  Really!  He talks to me in all capital letters just like that.

girl n bird

And you have probably noticed already that I am doing stream-of-consciousness writing for today’s post, a useful form of pre-writing that is known for producing lots of garbage to go along with the gemstones-in-the-rough.  My mind is still boiling with emotional turmoil and upset and less-than-critical thinking…  The reasons for that are understandable… I am guessing. …  But I think the point is (if points are possible in this no-win game I am playing, and losing, called Old Age) that I am never really not writing.  I have two novels in rough drafting at the same time.  Both When the Captain Came Calling and Stardusters and Space Lizards are both on my task bar at this very moment.  I add new inspirations for the next canto every time a new light bulb clicks on over my little furry head.

20150216_152544 Happy Doodle
swallowtail

So the ideas are already there for several pieces of writing that I simply have to sit down and knock out on the keyboard.  Potentially I have way more than a mere 500 words waiting to blossom and unfold like flowers into paragraphs of purple paisley prose.  (Since this is as close as a writer can come to showing how he actually thinks, I guess I have also answered a question that many who try to read my writing have been wondering about… I really do think in loopty-loops with streamers attached and a knot in the tail.)  Writing is not something I can ever be accused of not doing because writing and thinking are the same thing… the only difference between the 500 per day and the leventie-leven trillion in my head is your access to it in a form that is written down and edited (well, at least re-read for typos… I kinda like leaving the stuff and nonsense… and moldy bananas… in the final product because I can pass that particular form of goofiness off as humor).  (And, yes, it just helped me pass 500 for today.)

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Crummy Times

I am down and out again.  The rain keeps coming down in Texas, when the wind isn’t trying to blow us away…  And the pollen is higher than ever, with a really high mold count (to which I am very allergic).  I am not the only member of my family suffering right now, and I just finished compiling fifty dollars worth of paperwork for my health insurance company because there are claims they don’t want to pay for.  I am not an insurance-scammer.  I really have been ill.  I really have avoided expensive medication and referrals to specialists because I can’t pay for them.  The pirates are actually the ones who have collected all the insurance premiums and then don’t intend to pay anything out.  Sure, we are talking about pre-existing conditions, but the law says they can’t hold that against me any more.  I could take them to court, but lawyers cost money too, and WHAT PART OF BROKE DON”T THEY UNDERSTAND?  

This post is a place-holder.  I have been religiously posting every day in 2015 and this post answers that particular quest today.  But don’t worry yourself, Ol’ Black Timothy (the pirate pictured below in red, beside his best friend Scruffy Bill, who has two wooden legs, two wooden arms, and a wooden head)!  I promise you, I will get to the humorous post where I skewer the evil buccaneers at (I won’t disclose the name, but it rhymes with Aetna in the way that orange rhymes with orange) and the evil swashbuckling freebooters of (rhymes with Bank of America…and possibly Providian).  But for right now my head is hurting, I cannot breath, and I have a sick child to take care of at the same time.  (How’s that for typing with one hand and fighting with a saber in the other?)

Black Tim

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Teachers Aren’t People… (Apparently)

Black Tim

If insurance companies are people in the same way the Supreme Court says that corporations are people, then they are pirates.   Not Robin Hoods of the Sea sort of pirates who take from the rich and give to the poor.  No, we are talking about the kind of pirate that latches on to the people too powerless to resist their boarding actions and wrings every last penny out of their rudely squeezed and and drained souls.  That kind of pirate.

The reason for the rant is not something I can fully discuss here.   I am in need of a mental health professional for a member of my family.   Of course, if you have read this blog, you probably have already assumed I am talking about me.  Having been a middle school English teacher the suspicion that I have let all the doves out of the loft is a pretty safe assumption.  Still, one would assume that a retired teacher with health insurance should be able to get whatever professional help he needs.  Not according to the company reps who are happy to take my monthly premium.   Previous Psychiatrist, Dr. Good, was one of the best in the city.  He understood the problem better than any other doctor we encountered, including the emergency room doctor and the behavioral hospital doctor.  But our lovely education-friendly State of Texas has to cut back spending on education.  Teachers make too much money and have too many expensive benefits.  And besides, tests clearly show that we are not doing our jobs right.  (This part is true and not merely sarcasm… of course, the tests get harder every year to prove we are doing worse by lower scores).  So, Statewide we have gone to cheaper health insurance.  Dr. Good doesn’t deal with the cheap-o company.  You can’t blame him.  They don’t pay actual money for health care because that cuts too far into profits.  So, no more Dr. Good.  And we haven’t yet found a doctor  to replace him.   Worse yet, we have been working with a therapist who is more patient and kind than we probably deserve.  He has been billing us only the co-pay and negotiating with cheap-o for the rest of his fee.  The previous insurance gladly paid for his services as he helped prevent needless trips to the hospital and helped us accomplish minor miracles.  Cheap-o  told him that even though he’s listed in-network, he isn’t really in-network  and they don’t intend to pay him for the last four months.  Damn.  I hate pirates.  They don’t treat you like a people…. more like a milk cow or something.

So, with extensive stressors in my life, and poor health getting worse, a little depression to boot… it’s gonna be all right.  God and the devil will work something out.  Since I’m still alive, I can safely say, life is good.

Black Wizard

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Dippy Duck Dreams

The hardest dream-to-reality connection to make is my duck nightmare.  I know I bummed the world out yesterday with unfunny dream deliberations.  But in this post I explore the lighter side of nightmares.  It all began when I was about four years old and we went to the Deer Park Zoo in Mason City, Iowa.

Truthfully, when you look at it from the proper point of view, at four you are small and all animals look like monsters.  The three ostriches they had in a chicken-wire pen were at least several hundred feet tall.  The deer were huge with giant Bambi-eyes.  I was little and still very much in a touchy-feely stage of life.  And the goose-pen had a large hole in the front, just large enough for a goose head and neck to fit through at high speed.  That is exactly what happened when one wide-eyed nerd-child wandered close enough to give a gander a premium chance at a beak-first goosing.  Whether my pants had to be changed immediately afterwards is something I have yet to work up the courage to ask my parents about.  No rush.  They are only in their eighties now.

Anyway, I was left with a recurring nightmare, always involving a duck or very similar waterfowl with big, massive, white dentures.  Yes, you heard right, a duck with teeth.  It’s all right for you to laugh now, but I woke up in cold sweat every single time I had that nightmare.  Right from the moment when I realize that the evil little duck-mind has fixed its wishes on taking a nice, big bite, to the split second where the toothy duck-head zips towards me, I am gripped with total existential terror.  And it wakes me up.

20150104_205916

So what does this doozy of a dream mean?  Do dreams have to have a meaning?  All two-hundred-plus times?  (I lost count, so sue me.)  I do believe, however that it must be some kind of anxiety dream.  And the last occurrence was now four years ago, so the possibility of duck-dream remission is very real to me.

If my last post chilled your innards, then hopefully this one lit them up with laughing gas.

Leap of FaithThis closing Paffooney from yesterday is entitled “The Leap of Faith”.  I’m not sure why that is important to know, but it is.

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Doofy Dog Doings

I noted before that I have so far used an alarming number of dog-poop jokes in my creative writing projects.  (All right, two instances may not really be alarming, but it does indicate that I am thinking about dog poop way too much.)  I guess the reason for it is that I have a dog, and she is not a genius dog.  She is smarter than I can cope with, but she only beats me at chess once out of every thirty games.  She inspired today’s Paffooney, so let me show you the picture before I tell you everything that is wrong with my little dog.

Dingledum dog

Okay, my dog looks nothing like this.  She is a Cardigan Corgi, a dog bred to chase and kill barn rats, or to protect the baby’s crib when the adults are not in the room.  She is highly possessive, and she considers me her property.  So, here’s where the dog poop comes in.  I have to walk her twice a day, and I have to take a Walmart bag with me to pick up the poop in the park (even though it is obvious that no one else in our neighborhood does it despite the posted law).  And it turns out that this is not enough to keep her from pooping in the house.  The little poop factory can make as many as five times in one day.  And even worse, she will poop in punishment if we commit the crime of leaving her alone to go somewhere.  We get back from the dollar movie and she has pooped on the dining room carpet, or in front of my bedroom door, somewhere where she knows I will see it and get mad.  She doesn’t care if she gets punished in return.  She is satisfied if she made her point.  So I am drowning in dog poop on a daily basis.  It’s no wonder it’s on my mind and I end up writing about it.  God help me, of all the things to have on your mind, I have dog poop on mine!

If you are wondering about the rat in the picture, there is a rat part to my doggy nightmare.  We live near a city park where there are lots of storm drains and rain gutters for rats to inhabit.  And there are throngs of rats.  When we kept the dog in the yard on a chain, the rats would come by daily to laugh at her before coming into the house and gnawing rat holes into the walls and ceilings and eat the glues out of the spines of many of my books.  So rats are a part of the reason she now gets to live in the house.  My wife goes ballistic from seeing or hearing rats.  But I think they still laugh at her as they come in anyway. It’s just that they stay quieter with her around and my wife doesn’t see or hear them.  So, it would be problem solved if only the poop problem would go away.

Here’s her actual portrait.  Sorry if it is too scary for children and the faint of heart.

Jade Monster1

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Bad Character

As I lay here ill with another in an endless series of viral infections, I am reminded of the real reason I have been thinking so much lately about Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy.  (Of course the fact that I am re-reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles has something to do with it).  It’s all about character.  That’s what Victorian writers were all about.  No one ever handled characters as masterfully as those two novelists.  And, being ill and in pain, subject to problems with debt and credit cards and bankers, I began thinking about villains.  Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist is one of the scariest villains in literature.  Murdstone from David Copperfield  and Daniel Quilp from The Old Curiosity Shop are relentless predators.  Uriah Heep from David Copperfield is smarmy as they come.  In Tess young Master D’Urberville-Stokes has stolen the family name, and he steals Tess’s innocence in a manner that would make him a rapist in our day.  He gets away with his horrible crime and later destroys the innocent woman, one of the best and most worthy characters in literature, because a corrupt and disintegrating culture allows him to do so.  These characters are so carefully drawn and gloriously illustrated in the prose of these books, that I can see them in my artist’s mind’s eye.  So I was inspired to draw a villain today.  Since I am forced to think about bankers now, I drew a pirate.  Yes, I know there’s no transition between Victorian novels and this picture, but I am not well, okay?

Black Tim

This particular pirate has a red face, red hair, red mustache, and wears red clothes, so naturally his name is Black Timothy.  He is a credit card banker for Bank of America, the foulest kind of pirate to ever sail an international bank on the high seas.  His friend is named Scruffy Bill.  Now, when pirates get an arm or leg or other limb blown off by cannon fire or cut off in a saber fight, they replace that part with a wooden prosthesis.  Bill has lost every limb he has, including his head.  Now that his head is replaced with a wooden prosthesis, he can only repeat what Black Timothy says… but that works out well, because no one really understands Tim when he speaks, and Bill uses simpler words to say the same thing (primarily because he doesn’t remember all the bad words Black Timothy knows).  So Bill takes the place of a parrot, and he serves as a translator for Tim allowing all of us to be truly disgusted by what he says.

Now, I am aware that my villain in no way matches any of the wonderful characters in Victorian novels, but I wanted to make a Paffooney with pen and ink and colored markers, and I have a lot of red markers.  Forgive me for random acts of Paffoonery.

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