Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lost In Translation

I found passion for writing at an early age. Whether or not I’m any good at it isn’t for me to decide…but, I enjoy it. 

I give full credit to Mr. Miller…my fourth grade teacher.  Mr. Miller often sent letters and notices home to my parents and, in order to save him unnecessary embarrassment which could potentially befall someone charged with the daunting task of shaping young minds, I’d return his notes before delivering them.

Mr. Miller was about 147 years old-- which presents an abundance of clarity as to why he smelled funny.  He also went to the bathroom a lot and often fell asleep at his desk with false teeth dangling from his mouth in a puddle of drool. 

I now understand that this was a primary reason as to why Mr. Miller was always so grumpy. 

I often highlighted spelling errors and offered helpful wording and/or sentence structure recommendations on his notes because I felt that his unfavorable assessments of me would carry more weight with my mom and dad if they were a bit more polished.**

**Note: Hats off to my 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Hanner.  She was an excellent teacher in the area of English composition.

Neither Mr. Miller nor the school principal seemed to find my recommendations helpful at all.  In fact, my dad held even stronger feelings on the subject. 

As I recall, my father was buddies with the school principal, Mr. Granstaff.  Dad often asked if I knew exactly how and why my antics at school made things difficult for him.  I astutely and, I believe correctly, replied: 

"Because it likely made things uncomfortable for the two of them when he and Mr. G. got drunk every weekend watching football." 

This is about the same time frame that my dad threatened to send me away to the local military academy.

Many of us seem to take “getting to the point“ as offensive or curt…especially when it’s presented in written form. Then again, perhaps it depends on the topic.


 Dear Jim,

I loved that story about the ways people quit their jobs…especially your resignation letter. Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know.

Love your writing dude!


Dear Mr. Patrick,

Our client, Chase Bank, has turned this account over to our office in order to take legal avenues to collect the $10, 872.50 owed. 

So that we might collect  full payment on your balance due without legal action, please call our office immediately.

Admittedly, I realize that my written words might be taken in a way in which they were not intended.  It goes without saying that my SPOKEN words have the aforementioned effect.   

I began my writing "Road to Recovery" by practicing on a friend of mine with a Happy Birthday sentiment on her Facebook page.

I believe that it was a strong and positive exercise in getting to the point without creating an awkward or odd aura associated with conveying my point.  

As the corporate mantra, from my former employer, goes, perhaps "Less IS more."   

Hey there...Hope you’re having a great day!

I had a slight problem in securing your birthday present.

It was not an elaborate gift idea but I thought you’d like it. It’s a rather long story, so I shall give you the short version.

My friend, Chris, visits South America every other year. Did you know that South America is the 4th largest continent in the world? They also broke off ties with the West (super continent-- Gondwanaland) around 135 million years ago.

It had something to do with health care reform, I suspect, but I can’t seem to substantiate this theory.  Rush Limbaugh is working dilligently to confirm it, so I will sleep better, taking great comfort in the knowledge that he is on the case.

Anyway, Chris left for his trip, along with his buddy Phillip, last month for a guided expedition. I concluded that it would be great to seize this unique opportunity by having Chris capture and bring back a Collared Peccary.

Since you're a lover of animals, I just KNEW that this would be the perfect little pet!

Peccaries are cute little hoofed mammals (12-16inches) and eat berries, nuts, insects and roots.**

**(Note: Not the kind of “nuts” who live in New Orleans...or my ex-girlfriend)

Of course, because of their tendency to overeat, they also devour entire South American crops…which is why farmers use the Peccary for target practice.

Funny, I’ve never seen or heard of PETA jumping all over THAT bandwagon.

I’ve never seen Pam Anderson, the rocket scientist that she is, pose in the nude as a form of silent protest on a PETA billboard with a caption which reads…

“Save the Peccary!!!”

Anyway, Chris managed to secure a Peccary! Of course he somehow also secured a sexually transmitted disease from an overnight stay in a tiny mountain village…but that’s a LONG, crazy story!

Due to the fact that Chris allowed Phillip to book the trip this year, Phillip cut corners and hired a crazy, alcoholic expedition guide who also only had one foot.  He was missing his left eye as well.  He also showed up 2 hours late...slurring and reeking of alcohol. 

The guide was, supposedly, from Brazil, yet he couldn't even speak Portuguese!!!!  THAT should have been their first warning sign. 

Allow me to point out the obvious here…There are some things one simply should NOT book through Travelocity.com.

They were lost in the Andean mountain territory for 3-weeks thanks to Phillip’s thriftiness in not choosing an experienced guide.

After a couple of weeks in the wild, food became a major issue, as did the burning sensation in Chris’ pee pee area. They were tired of eating tree limbs, leaves and insects, however, the Peccary was in culinary heaven!

This must have been hell on earth, as Chris and Phillip are avid meat eaters. So, as these things go, the Peccary became a delicious prospect to the guys.

Sadly, I’m now able to report that Peccary tastes a little like Buffalo…according to Chris.

The guys DID manage to save a tooth from the Peccary, which I commissioned a local artist to affix within a lovely little necklace. I’ll drop by and leave it on your doorstep.

If you’re home, I MUST come in and tell you the strangest story I’ve ever heard which happened to a buddy of mine the other day!

I hope you have a Happy Birthday!



I’ve NEVER understood why American Greetings or Hallmark won’t entertain the idea of me working on their writing staff.

After learning that I was working on this piece, a girl I know thought it to be a good idea to share a recent text message conversation between she and a gentleman she’d recently met. 

I was pleased to learn that I'm not the only person whose words become lost in translation: 

You would be a fantastic “sub”


Let's pause for a second.  As the recipient of her initial text, the proper response from this gentleman should have been:

a) Thank you, but I have a bad back…and my knees are fairly weak. Plus, I don’t own a “gimp“ suit or a “gag-ball.” Thanks anyway!!

b) Absolutely! I’ll be over in 15-minutes!! Should I bring my "gimp" suit?  Xoxo

It will all make sense as you read on…We’ll call this little conversation:


Who is this?  What am I a good sub for? This is an odd message

You’d be a good sub for a Domme

Yeah? No clue what that means, who is Domme? Is he/she with you? Can you be more specific?

Sub= submissive. Domme= dominatrix

Ah. Who has come to this conclusion?

I have

Ah. Yet I don’t have a name associated to this telephone number. How can I domme someone when their name is a mystery to me?

You can’t Domme.


a) You’re not a girl
b) YOU would be the sub

BTW, I’m Veronica…we met about two hours ago and talked for about an hour.  You gave me your number dumb ass! xo

Ah…Well, I appreciate the compliment but I am on the wank right now and I’m too far away for anyone.  Anyway, I don't think Shannon would be the "sub" type. LOL!

I think you may possibly be confused, but that could just be the wank. Come back to the bar tonight and we’ll talk then.

I am really tired and I don’t know if I want to risk driving back that far. Is there no middle ground we can meet at??  What am I confused about by the way??

I take your silence as a bad thing?

I would love to continue this convo, but must sleep now. Tomorrow perhaps??

U still there????

Meanwhile...the the following day:

I went to sleep last night after our last text…No, Silence isn’t bad. Come out tonight.  I promise you'll have fun!

So, what is going on there? Some kinda concert or something like that?

Yeah, something like that.

Doesn’t look like I am heading out.

That sucks. I be sad. :(

Sorry to disappoint, I apparently have that affect on women…LOL!!

I was going to fix that.

I appreciate the sentiment but I don't believe you're my type.

I don't think so either.

Gas is getting too expensive for me to get out anyway…and I have to drive to campus 3 times a week as it is. BTW, I am curious as to how the discussion of me being a good sub came about? Can you elaborate?

On second thought, you ask way too many questions to be a sub.

And so, young Sean will never receive the answers he so desperately seeks…all because of rising fuel prices!!

Unfortunately, in the instantaneous society in which we live, communicating with my friends via instant message or text is, as I’ve been told, a disaster waiting to happen.

I’m not sure what that means, but it prompted me to take a closer look at who I associate with via social networks.  Mr. Miller...where are you when I NEED you???  Oh, you're dead.  I forgot.

I glanced at my “friend” folder last week and realized that I didn’t know several people on the list. These are people who I can’t recall EVER having a conversation with, much less email or message exchanges.

Who is Cynthia Hobbs???? Wait a second…she’s pretty cute.

Via Facebook Email
From: Jim

Hey Cynthia,

I noticed that you’re on my Facebook friends page. I’ve been sorting through this page in order to clean it up a bit and, while I’m not quite sure how we know one another, I glanced at your photo albums.

Judging by the visual content in numerous pictures within your online albums, I strongly suspect that you would look STUNNING without clothes-- as especially evidenced by the photo of you wearing that revealing bikini at the lake in your album titled “Chillin’ Wit Da' Peeps/ Summer 2010.”
In the high hopes that I might see more revealing photos of you in the future (either posted to your Facebook page or by personal correspondence) You'll be pleased to know that I have decided NOT to “De-Friend” you.

Instead, I thought I’d send you this email and “Poke” you. Um, not literally-- I meant “poke” in Facebook vernacular. (I.e. Subtly saying hello.)

I hope that this email and the news of my delaying "De-Friending" finds you well and in good spirits.



Via Facebook
From: Cynthia Hobbs

Uh…WTF??? I’m your Realtor. I sold you a house 7-years ago.

With that…I suppose it’s time for me to be quiet.  Perhaps Mr. Miller was correct after all. (sigh)

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Author's Note: For our national and international readers..."Wank" is New Orleans slang for West Bank.  It's an area of the metro which prides itself on nothing in particular.  Several of it's citizens routinely enjoy a dozen alcoholic libations and drive home across the bridge, usually crashing into the guardrail.  It is home to several wonderful establishments such as Target. And, for a TRUE New Orleans dining experience, you'll also find a Taco Bell, The Texas Roadhouse, McDonalds AND a brand new TGI Friday's!!  Those crazy "wankers." 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kick My (mail) Sack!!

It’s been a long time since I’ve kicked the mail sack. It‘s not that I don‘t enjoy interaction with the readers, I love it actually. I’ve just been traveling a bit over the past few weeks and, after being stranded by a snow storm in the Mid South for a short time, my mind has been preoccupied with Global WarmingÒ research.

I even sent a letter to Al Gore Ô , hoping that he might be able to better enlighten me. In addition to Global WarmingÒ questions, I alerted him to the fact that I'd found a photo of him which made him appear as though he were an angry blow-up doll.  I then offered to give him a hug. 

Two very polite gentlemen from the Secret Service paid me a visit not long after that.  They provided valuable writing critique as it pertains to sending correspondence to former Vice Presidents/Presidential candidates. 

We begin with a helpful pointer for the website.

From: Eric C.
Philadelphia, PA
While I'm very much a fan of your writing and your blog... How can I put this delicately? It pisses me off.

Granted, I'm completely bat sh*t crazy, and silly things are what chap my ass and set me off. That doesn't make me any less of a person so don’t judge me!

OK, maybe it does, but stay with me on this.

The color scheme, it's all wrong. When I try to read (TRY, being the operative word) it makes me want to book an airline ticket to New Orleans, find you and kill you.

As a result of my dyslexia, poor education, and your f**ked up color scheme, my eyes start going all crazy when I read your website.

They actually go in and out of focus to the point where I feel the need to do that weird thing you only see in bad films and/or cartoons where they shake their head from side to side and then rub their eyes with the sides of their balled up fists as if they were cleaning the lenses of binoculars… all for the sake of being wacky.

That being said, I am a creature of habit, and I don't do well when it comes to adjusting to change. On those grounds, correcting your f**ked up color scheme would probably trigger a multi-state killing spree.

So, keep up the good work…and don't change your sh**ty color scheme!

From: Jim
That may be the nicest, most sincere compliment I’ve ever received! I now fully realize what the "City of Brotherly Love" truly means!! 

Your missive reminds me of the methods which my mother and father employed to coach and encourage me to excel.  They'd often shower me with positive guidance by informing me that the other kids were far better than I and that I was an accident. 

Oddly, now that I think about it, it's reminiscent of pillow talk with my last girlfriend.  She was such a positive influence in my life. 

Sorry about your dyslexia…In keeping with strict adherence to the American’s With Disabilities Act, I’m considering the following design for my new background color. I think you'll find it helpful...

P.S. Thansk for reading my Bolg! Ooops…Blog.

From: Andy
Mission Viejo, CA
I notice that you goof on Nickelback sometimes. I think they TOTALLY sold out! What do you think?

From Jim:
Well, Andy, I’m not sure that they ever bought in. But, I certainly don’t want to gratuitously bash Nickelback.

Let’s substantiate your hypothesis by applying mathematical perspective, in order to lend credibility or disprove your assertion .

We‘ll do so in the form of a “word problem.”

The scenario:
Thomas gives Julie $22.75 which he cashed in at the Coin Star machine, using the pocket change he'd amassed over the past month.**

**Thomas has never had sex with an actual woman and he is a huge fan of CSI Miami.  He also collects Star Wars action figures 

Julie spends $6.50 on a McDonald’s number 4 extra value meal (hold the pickles). She then gives Thomas $4.25 so that he might get the number 2 value meal. **

**Julie is a greedy, high maintenance, colossal drama queen/diva and always feels the need to purchase the most expensive items-- whether it be at a restaurant or a store. 

She often runs out of money, leaving Thomas to foot her bill at the bar or nightclub. 

As these things go, she flirts with Thomas just enough to receive free drinks, going home for the evening with a much better looking, more confident man while Thomas goes home alone to the studio apartment behind his grandmother's house...often contemplating suicide as he reels in massive disappointment with himself for being so gullible.

Julie then spends $12.00 on Itunes, downloading good music from real rock bands (as she waits for Thomas to bring her a double top-shelf margarita from the bar)   

Question:  Does Nickelback suck?
Answer: Yes.

From: Cheryl
Astoria, NY
Do you know much about birth control methods? My friend was telling me about the “Plan B” drug, but I don’t know much about it.

From: Jim
Let me thank you for placing your trust in me for planned parenthood advice. It is an admirable testament to you being sexually irresponsible.

That being said, I employ “Plan A,” which usually includes me mentally undressing my 6th grade teacher, Ms. Watson. When I’m tempted, this not only curbs my appetite for unprotected sexual relations, it also makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Of course, I sometimes employ Plans “C” and “D.” While it’s the long way around the block for abstinence, it involves four shots of Irish whiskey and a trip to the Taco Bell Drive-thru.

I find that, after getting drunk and puking up Taco Bell, it is doubtful that anyone will be having “relations” with me. Except for the drive-thru window girl perhaps…which would likely just be angry sex.

Plan "E" also works from time to time.  It's a combination, stemming from the sex policies of two U.S. Surgeon's General, C. Everett Koop and Joycelyn Elders.  The "Koop" advocated abstinence, while Elders recommended self satisfaction as the BEST method.

You'll have to decide which works most effectively for you.

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit...again.

From: Messaay
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

"ارتداء الجوارب جعل كرات بلدي الحارة. وأنها تجعلني تبدو جميلة

From: Jim
Yes! I totally agree. Except for that last part.

From: Melody
Helena, MT
Hey, can I send you a recent photo of myself? It’s actually from 2002. Is that still considered to be recent? I use it on E-Harmony and other dating sites and seem to get better results.

From: Jim
Sure thing Melody. I used the following photo of myself (circa age 5) on a dating site when I was researching a story at my former news room job. It was quite effective, as I received several very nice responses.


Had I been in the market to pick up 60 year old ladies or male pedophiles, I’d say that I hit the jackpot.  Don't judge me!!! 

From: Julia
Lexington, KY
As a writer, you probably smoke. What is the most dangerous cigarette?

From: Jim
The one which falls between your legs and rolls under the car seat while you’re traveling at 75mph down the Interstate in a hard-driving rain storm after leaving the 2-for-1 happy hour.

From: Robert
Chicago, IL
Hey man…my best friend Larry told my wife that you wrote about me in one of your stories. It's weird that he didn't tell ME since we watch football together all the freakin' time!  Anyway, would you send me an autographed copy? You can send it collect…I don’t care. Thanks!

From: Jim
Yes indeed...I remember writing about this a few weeks ago.  It stemmed from a letter that I received from your friend Larry:

Dear Jim,

There’s really no way to fully express this without being brutally honest. I hang out and watch football A LOT with a buddy of mine. His name is Robert. (Go Bears!)

Anyway, my feelings have become quite conflicted over the past few months and it‘s finally reached a point where I need to act upon them.

Sure, it’s fun sitting in the man-cave watching hours and hours of football with Robert, but I can’t go on living behind this wall which has simply become a thin facade of emotional denial.  I think that it's time for Robert to know the truth!

It all started last football season. I noticed a quick glance here and there, a slight brush of the hand on my shoulder once in a while, but I discounted it to an overly active imagination. Surely these weren’t seductive advances!!  I have never had sexual thoughts like THIS...I mean, Robert is my BEST FRIEND for God's sake!

One night it finally happened! Robert and I passed out on the futon in the man-cave after we drank 3 cases of beer and I, being somewhat of an alcoholic, woke up and decided to have another beer while watching Sports Center.  I wanted to wake him and tell him of my feelings, but he seemed to be sleeping so peacefully.

So, I went to the kitchen and there she was…Robert’s wife was standing there, drinking a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. She was completely naked…well, with the exception of a pair of over-sized fuzzy house slippers which were fashioned after Garfield the Cat.  Now that I think about it, she also had a Chicago Bears hair scrunchy in her hair. Finally, she made the first move! The glances WEREN’T my imagination after all!

We had dirty, sloppy, amateur porno sex, much like that of two retarded Wildebeests. All of the rapid motion, combined with the 30 beers and the jar of salsa and bag of Tostitos which I’d consumed, caused me to throw up all over Robert’s wife.

She took me upstairs and cleaned me off and that’s when I knew it! That’s when we both knew that we were destined to be together.  We both fully understood that this could only mean one thing...we must devise a plan to kill Robert.

So, my question to you is, do you think the Bears have a chance at going to the Super Bowl this year?


From: Steve
Houston, TX
Hey, how would you describe your writings? I tried to tell a co-worker today and then I paused for a moment, trying to find the right words. I finally admitted that I didn’t know how to describe it. I sure hope YOU know! Haha.

From: Jim
I’d describe it as a cross between a life insurance policy narrative and an assembly manual for a home entertainment system…written in Esperanto by a drunken, attention deficit disorder suffering, manic-depressive vagrant.

From: Chris
Seattle, WA
Pleeeeease do me a favor.  Let everyone know that it DOESN'T RAIN IN SEATTLE EVERY DAY!

From: Jim

From: Ayame
Naha, Okinawa
uh, suckie suckieをさせていただきたいと思います

From: Jim
Will you marry me???

From: Alisha
San Francisco, CA

I love you!

From: Jim
I would remind you that written communication is a direct violation of the restraining order.  It's over Alisha...move on.

From: Jeremy
Boston, MA

I do not like your writings.  That is all.

From: Jim
Yeah, I don't care for them too much myself Jeremy.  Thanks for lending validation to my suspicions.

Yes indeed...the mail sack is always interesting, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the Pontch Press maniacs. 

I’m happy to say that since I last shared the Pontchartrain Press mail sack, we’ve picked up over 10-thousand readers on six continents.

Special thanks to the "official" followers who have been with me from the beginning, including my friend Eric.  I invite you to check his blog at:


And for those who do not "publicly" follow on Blogger, that's okay.  It will likely keep you off of the FBI watch-list.  Hehehe.  Plus, voyers are sexy!

After reading these letters and the reader statistics, a powerful, heartwarming and telling story is illustrated…

...The world is doomed.

As a side note-- the moment that someone teaches polar bears how to read, I feel pretty good about my chances of gaining an Antarctica audience.

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Drive Thru Window...Open LATE

"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis."
                                                                            ~Jack Handey
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to surmise that I, typically, do not write anything profoundly deep or earth shattering. Of course, with the recent dismantling of several NASA projects, there are a lot of rocket scientists out of work. It now appears that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be a rocket scientist.
I’ve been abundantly fortunate in that, for most of my life, I have been surrounded by people who search for the positive.  They always find humor and downright absurdity in the worst of situations.

I tried this out the other day as I walked down a neighborhood street in Uptown New Orleans.  I saw a pigeon squashed almost beyond recognition.  This is a creature that can soar as high as the clouds, yet chooses to run when people or vehicles approach.  Rather than fly.

This is why pigeons (and Mike) are stupid and will NEVER form a central government and take over the world...this is a positive.

On a recent afternoon I found myself lounging around in the dumpster of self pity and loathing which sometimes accompany a deadline driven work schedule or negative feelings brought about by someone being rude.

Even though my thoughts tend to skew toward the melancholy around the holidays, I still try my best during trying times to adopt an attitude of optimism-- steering away from the winding and dark path of temptation toward cynicism.  I must admit that...

**(The previous sentence could not be completed as it is tied up in red tape, awaiting disbursement of emergency funding from the multi-billion dollar BP oil spill and Katrina relief programs) 

Finding the positives hidden amongst the negatives…a sadistic little Easter Egg hunt if you ask me. In the grand scheme, I suppose it all depends upon attitude and outlook.

Let’s pull back the curtain on an ongoing highly scientific study, also known as...typical interaction with my friends.

Usually when I write or conduct research, my instant messenger is on and minimized in the background. Which reminds me, I need to create a fake identity so that my friends would have better success in solving the JFK assassination than to spot me online.

They’ll usually instant message me when I’m doing extremely important things, such as wanting to be left alone. With no such luck, I found myself sucked into the three following conversations…simultaneously.

I wish that I were making up the following conversations, as it would effectively showcase writing ability.

Incoming conversation from

I’m so fed up with people and many things in general.

Could you be a little more vague?  "People" and "things" are far too specific for me, generally speaking of course. 

I'm being serious. 

Trying to lighten the moment with something stupid...much like the way when Ryan Seacrest tries to conduct a serious interview.  Let's have lunch this afternoon and you can fill me in.  I promise not to do "things" which are irritating but I can't guarantee that we won't encounter "people" who might further perpetuate your feelings of being fed up.

Incoming conversation from
Mr. M:
HEY...Have you seen this latest McDonald's french fry commercial? Brilliant!!

The fry falling under the car seat into a parallel universe where the Medieval villagers living in the carpet are celebrating their prayers being answered because they're starving and the giant fry is embraced by the oppressed, toiling masses?

Mr. M:
Yes! Cool huh??

I haven’t seen it, only heard about it…I’m waiting for the Broadway musical version...don‘t spoil the ending for me.  

Mr. M:
Hahaha.  Smartass!  Btw, would YOU eat a french fry after it falls between the seat on the floorboard?

Seeing how whatever might be hidden within the carpet of my floorboard is likely healthier than a fast food french fry...absolutely. 

Incoming conversation from
Sometimes I wonder why I go out of my way to do anything nice, only to have people dump all over me.  My work is piling up and I want to have time to enjoy the rest of the holiday!  Everyone took off for the weekend and stuck me with this mess.

Hang on, I’m talking with a friend who apparently is in love with a McDonald's TV ad. Which reminds me, I feel positive that I’m the only person on the planet right now who’s engaged in a conversation which involves critiquing a french fry commercial.  This is a sad commentary on my life.  Even worse...now I'm craving McDonald's french fries!

Mr. M:
One time I dropped a lit cigarette under the passenger seat in my friend’s car. Smoke began to rise from under the seat!! Good thing I was drinking. I poured my beer on it and it went out.

I’m sure that will be a hilarious story to share at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting years from now.

OK, just message me when you're free.

Incoming conversation from Chris:
Hey man...Good seeing you the other night.

Good seeing you too.

Hey, I went out with that girl you introduced me to, Haylee. I'm kinda iffy bout that chick.  She‘s as crazy as the day is long!

She is indeed. However, we’re only slightly past the Winter Solstice, so the days are pretty short right now. This can actually be viewed as a positive from an astronomical perspective.  Especially if you're just looking for a "quickie."  Proof positive:

                    Just make sure you change your cell phone number
LOL!!! Funny.

Good luck.

Incoming conversation from
I’m gonna take my cold medicine and sleep. I wish people knew how badly they are stressing me out this week. I truly believe NO ONE understands a day in my life right now! I'm sick, overworked, alone on New Years miles from my family...Urgh!!!

Let me know if you’d like some perspective…I’d rather not send it unsolicited, but since I’m now free from two earth stopping conversations about fast food and a crazy woman, I find myself with undivided attention just for you.


You have pleasant, yet high maintenance people in your world to be sure. We all do I suppose.  You’re also sick with a bad cold which, understandably, lowers emotional tolerance.

It’s difficult sometimes, and I realize that it’s easy for me to sit back from across town and offer my words like some sage atop an unrealistic mountainside. But, I’m not a sage and I’d never live on a mountainside anyway…I’m scared of goats. And rednecks with guns.

Consider this, when you see someone who always appears happy and well put together, it’s not always as easy as they make it appear; it takes work. Ultimately, it’s about being about as happy as you want to be. 

We all get dumped on at some point, we all make bad decisions at some point, but we, hopefully, learn and move forward.  Except for me...at least today. 

I decided to complete the circle of bad dietary decisions yesterday and eat fried chicken from the convenience store on Canal Street.  I suppose I'll never learn that lesson.

In all seriousness, I absolutely want to throw my hands in the air and give up some days, just as you.

I miss my mom for some odd reason more than ever today…perhaps it’s a New Years day thing. For that matter, I miss my father and the rest of my family.

We’d sit and play cards or a board game and enjoy immeasurable fun on New Years Day. It was the type of fun that a 12-year old takes for granted…until he or she reaches their 30's and realizes that people do not live forever.

Today is a tough day for you, but it will pass. Even with people in your world who seem to be trying their best to derail you, remember, there are more people in your world who do the opposite.

I find myself in a small writer’s studio on this holiday with a scared little homeless cat who probably felt as though the world had passed her by.

We’re in the middle of a city which embraces death by way of celebrating life IN death. That’s powerful perspective if you ask me.

You, me, many of our friends & colleagues, complete strangers and the scared little cat will find ourselves on difficult footing from time to time.  There’s no magic phrase that I can write to change that byproduct of life, but I wish there were.

I plan to greet the new year by writing myself into a coma today for a project which will not pay a single penny.

Seeing how I am not independently wealthy, I shall then look forward to work this week with a satisfied feeling of good fortune knowing that MANY people do not love what they do. You love your job, as do I, and I wish everyone could experience that feeling.

I'd say that puts us one step ahead in the game.

There have been numerous times in my chosen career where I had no idea how I could possibly pay the next rent check, much less provide some semblance of a “quality of life.” Yet, I managed…and somehow still do.

This is a boat which is not unfamiliar to you and now is a good time for you to draw strength from those memories.

I’m not a holy roller, but I pray every day. It’s not a practice which brings comfort to everyone nor do I impose it, but it works for me. 

Usually I pray that I won't be sent to Hell for my sense of humor. Hehe.  But then I realize that I will probably be sent there for laughing at people who fall off bicycles. 

I try to meet each day with proportionate realism. I’m not blind to the absurd, nor to the injustices and acts of inconsideration which are lobbed by acquaintances and strangers alike.

I remember these things in order to not relinquish control of my values, outlook or wellbeing to those who have no respect for others, much less for themselves.

If nothing else, these people serve as a user's manual to better guide me in understanding how NOT to behave.

I also find something for which to be thankful every day. Today, I’m thankful for Gummie Lifesavers.  Why?  Because they taste so damn good!

I'm also thankful that I didn’t have to take a friend of mine to Wal Mart, as I greatly dislike venturing into a Wal Mart. Malls and large department stores make me want to move to a remote island where my only social interaction is with a volley ball named "Wilson" after a terrible cargo plane crash...surviving only on tree bark and small woodland creatures.

Even when I find myself at extreme low points in life and just when I feel that everything I do is for nothing…I’m reminded of the love, encouragement and support shown to me by great friends such as yourself.

A treasure indeed.

While I can certainly take self-loathing to Olympic proportions, good people such as yourself provide a moment of pause. A flash of levity which takes the wheel from my hand and firmly places me back on a healthy road.

Take deserved time today to feel the "blahs" and to pout...it's healthy so long as it's got an expiration time and date.

And so, until we meet for food later, I happily write today.  But, as with the events which inspired the story “Chariots of Fire“, I believe you were made for a purpose.  I believe I was made for a purpose.  Sometimes I'm not sure what it is, but, I know one thing...

...When I write, I feel pleasure...especially when it's a "cheer up soon" note to a friend.



By the way, since I’m working for free today and my cell phone provider has no noticeable interest in waiving my current bill as a kind holiday gesture, may I pass the offering plate and count you in for a donation?  Hehehe.

Nice try. I feel better though.

Hahahahaha!  Some guy just spilled on his bicycle in front of my window on the sidewalk!  Awesome!!!!

WHAT is wrong with you???

Why do people always ask me that??

Hey, this latest McDonald's french fry commercial IS really good.

User Jim is currently offline

         "When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other."
                                                                           ~Alan Alda

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011