A substantial amount of time has passed since I last contributed a writing to the fine folks at Pontchartrain Press.
I've been doing important things over the previous months, such as devaluing journalistic integrity of a New Orleans magazine via guest contributions and returning to my longtime career path.
Actually, I blew off all writing deadlines and pretty much everything else upon learning that the Mayans had, somehow, developed a calendar with an expiration date- thus bringing about the end of the world.
Upon receiving this alarming news, I immediately did what any logical person would do...I emailed Donald Trump, since he gets along famously with Mexicans.
Now that I think about it, the Mayans were a relatively advanced civilization whose people demonstrated brilliant innovations in applied math and writing techniques; they created topless beaches in Cancun AND the bottomless margarita.
Constructing an incomplete calendar will forever cast a dark shadow over these impressive accomplishments as far as I'm concerned.
Their lax work ethic should also serve as a stark reminder to those who consider hiring Hispanic "Day-workers" in front of the neighborhood Home Depot and/or voting for Jeb Bush.
Example: The Mayans constructed pyramids (and my neighbor's house) which are referred to as "Ruins", while Egypt's pyramids proudly live on!**
**Note: Minor codes exceptions, as it relates to Egyptian pyramids, include isolated scorpion infestation and acts of deadly homeland terrorism in and around the neighborhood in which they are situated.
Before anyone hastily judges me as a xenophobe, it's important to note that
I absolutely love Hispanics...especially Salma Hayek.
Since I really have nothing of measurable importance to contribute upon my return to Pontchartrain Press, I figured it to be acceptable that I simply offer a rambling. The piece documents a 364-day journey of self-awareness and is titled:
"Things That I've Learned"
Also known as:
"I'm Glad That My Parents Aren't Alive To Witness This Shit-Show."
1. Gossip still amuses me, in that one can only WISH that half of it were true. Unfortunately, my "gossip" life is much more exciting. To clear the air, a typical day in my world, regardless of what one might hear through the grapevine, unfolds as follows:
Have some coffee and a smoke
Go back to sleep
Watch Judge Judy
Flip between Judge Nasty and whatever baseball game is being televised
Drift off to sleep
Wake up to find that the neighbor's cat has entered my house and is laying on top of me.
Think about writing
Go back to sleep
Wake up to learn that the Red Sox lost the game
Scrap plans for writing
Feel remorse for being an ass hat to my ex
2. As evidenced by an aggressive fly which has invaded my house this week, stinging caterpillars on the sidewalk and a city-wide infestation of knife wielding mosquitoes and brain eating amoebas, I've learned that even the insects and organisms are thugs in New Orleans!
3. I came to know three angry gentlemen this year who are age 74, 76 and 79 respectively. If I made it that far, I would be happy to still be ALIVE. If I were able to attain an erection at that age I'd consider it an added bonus.
4. I accept the fact that I'm far from perfect, as are we all...except for Carson Daily.
Through the years there have been missteps, mistakes, errors in judgement, approximately 4-minutes, passed out (face down) in the snow, attending a Loverboy concert and downright stupidity.
The saving grace that illuminates the road before me is to work toward reconcile, to help others when I can and to recognize every experience (good or bad) as a learning curve.
5. My friend, Doug, has apparently mastered a gardening feat in that he has grown peppers in his back yard which are so hot that they could be weaponized and sold on the black market to North Korea.
6. My neighbors are clinically insane...and usually drunk.
7. SAVOR those in your life who you love and who love you...no matter the flaws. You'll miss them when they're gone. I promise.
8. The aftermath of hurricanes trigger incredible sale prices.
While waiting in line at the ONLY operating convenience store, thanks to generators, this is an actual transcript between me and a store customer. It's important to note that she is a known neighborhood prostitute:
Me: Hey how ya' doin'?
Hooker: Good...it's been slow since the Hurricane passed last night.
Me: I'm sure.
(Insert awkward silence)
Hooker: So...you want a quick Bl*wjob for $20
(Insert awkward silence)
9. Me and my friend, Cornell, can indeed solve the world's problems from his front porch...until his pint of Gin runs dry and/or his wife comes out to yell at us around 3:00am. These days, thankfully, I'm the sober one.
10. The most stupid name an automaker could ever give to a car is "Yaris."
11. Monuments and flags don't kill people...assholes do.
12. My friend, Todd, is still somehow married, which teaches me that...well, it actually teaches me nothing. Other than the fact that he's often quite intoxicated, is regularly forced to attend functions which include in-laws who are also regularly intoxicated as nephews and nieces run around in circles screaming as though they are running from the scene of an ISIS attack.
13. Words are more powerful than many people realize. I need to measure mine more often.
14. The Hot Tamale candy machine at an establishment in New Orleans is broken and dispenses candy with no money required. I will NOT be naming this establishment in the interest of greed.
15. Mike, the editor, recently paid me a compliment! Which confirms that, no matter what YOUR doctor says, Adderall IS indeed right for him.
16. I learned nothing during my downtime about soccer.
17. No matter what you might think, there is absolutely NO way to look cool while driving a mini-van.
18. An inordinate amount of attractive women in New Orleans jog at 6am.
19. I hope I don't look like a creepy dude at 6am.
19. Creative appreciation is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, I recently suggested that a friend, who's trying to come up with a name for his band, call themselves:
"Tom Selleck's Moustache"
Against protest, my suggestion was flatly rejected.
20. All cell phones are different, so make sure to do your research before making the purchase. example: In the past, mine sent out random, idiotic texts after about 4 Irish whiskeys.
21. I learned that, sometimes, it can be an impossible mission to cheer up a friend or loved one and that it's best to leave well enough alone so that they might handle it in their own way, as painful as it might be.
I boldly look to the future and fondly ruminate on the past...except for a creepy moment at age nine. Every time I get into a van that smells like cotton candy and cigars I piss myself. Long story.
It wasn't easy being a kid...and not much easier as an adult but, growing older DOES bring one perk: discounts. I understand that the neighborhood "working girl" is running a birthday special.
copyright Pontchartrain Press, 2015
AUTHOR NOTE: This piece is dedicated to Kristi, who tolerated me despite tough times and set me back on a smarter, healthier road. Truly the love of my life.