Maintenance Man Union Draft #3

2099“Look lady, you’ve stolen the attention of one of my best friends, and because I can’t share as much of him, I thought I’d steal some attention from you with these flowers. Please consider it as a maintenance transfer, as I’m making a foray into your heart, in the hope that it will transfer over to his. Basically I’m beating around your bush with a secret ménage à trois, so I can pretend to not be jealous.”

That’s not quite what I wanted to say. Can you folks help me out with this one? How would this make you feel? Would it bring you laughter and make you want to kiss your man? The first one just said,”I’m sorry for your loss”, because I’d be in town stealing his attention and gave her sympathy flowers for it. Since he doesn’t call me back much, I have to work my angle carefully, because she’s pretty cool and I don’t want to change that.

The second one said, “These flowers are maintenance, so I don’t have to field his woes if you decide he’s not good enough. Give the flowers to his daughters if you’re having doubts. We’re maintenance men, and he isn’t maintaining me, because he’s maintaining you. I’m trying to help you lady, because he makes me feel gay and possessive too.”


What will your last words be?

When the media comes calling, and you’ve got a chance to create a sound bite, what will it be? I was taught that the answer should be the same to every question regardless of relevance. What is it that you want to say, because whatever you do, that will be all that’s printed.

My glasses aren’t rose-colored, in fact at times they’re black and covered in dust. I see injustice when I care to look, and the only times I stop caring to, is when the collective voice chants,”No!”.

The mob is full of anger chanting a frustration to the world, and I don’t want to be swept up in a moment of passion built on hate. Grassroots movements don’t require a devil to fight, or a bully to whip.

If you’re an activist and are dedicated to changing the world, what do you want to see built? What is the thing you fight for, and are you focusing on that or the thing you wish to destroy?

This idea came to me out of frustration from not being able to answer Peoples inquiries after I burnt out. They wanted to know what I was doing with my time, and I didn’t have an answer that would fit into how they saw me.

For years I’d chosen to be the change I wished to see in the world, by eating vegan, only riding on bicycles, and participating in demonstrations. I carried signs, pamphlet-ted, raised money, sat in meetings, played parts in guerrilla theaters, blockaded roads, went to jail repeatedly, talked to reporters, wrote press releases, and a variety of other volunteer efforts for the sake of the movement.

Like I said, my glasses aren’t rose-colored, in fact at times they lie smashed on the ground at my feet, with each shard representing something I failed to help, or something I did. As the population of our world grows, the problems we face grow too. If you want to contribute to a cause, pick one. What’s the flavor of your hate? Really?!?

I’m writing this article to remind myself to demonstrate the difference between demonstration and protest. The media has a heyday ruining protests. Who wants to see a crowd of angry people on the corner shouting doubts? I don’t. It makes me feel sick.

There are always two sides to a coin, and in my experience, the one that fits me best is the struggle within myself to be honorable as the coin. What is the soapbox you stand on? I had a guy criticize me recently and tell me that I didn’t need a doctorate, and I should use less wordplay. Huh. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I should put up, shut up, and give up.

So what works? What part of acting for the collective health of our world will I be willing to chant as my last words? When the chips are down, and I leave a legacy as a message on my tombstone, what will it be? I don’t want a tombstone, so where will my ashes go? If I disappear in the night, will people miss my laughter or be glad for the respite from my rages?

I love it when a group of people work together to change something. A team on the playing field of life setting out to win. The other team might be playing against you, but at least the game can be fun. Maybe the umpire is corrupt. So what? Wouldn’t it feel better if you won while the ref was cheating?

I hope this inspires me to be more critical of my posts, to take out the judgements, the generalizations, and the doubts. To preserve what I believe in, instead of chanting down a system that brings me frustrations by failing to meet the needs of the underdogs.

The ability to make life ends with a period, while the ability to potentially make life starts with a period. I believe in the ability of the question mark to change the world, do you? What is the change you wish to see? Do you hope for something? When you see something on the street, do you ask yourself a question about it, or make a preformed judgement to chant out doubts, and in the process miss what life is about?

Thanks for reading my articles. I love what gratitude does for my spirit, and when you give me a reason to appreciate what you do, you make it in me.

Tiger saddle maintenance

Have you ever noticed how therapists and psychologists seem a little bit nuts? For example, I was building a fence for one, and he wanted me to make it with a pattern of pickets, that didn’t have a pattern. He sat in a lawn chair coaching me on what order to put them in…so they wouldn’t have an order. I enjoyed the process, even when he had me take the fence apart to put less order in it. I made good money and managed to convince him to let me put the posts in gravel instead of concrete, as it’s the devil.

I went to a therapist once to help me figure out what was wrong with my heart and head. I remember a couple of things he said to me, “Your a weird fucker, and I like you.” and “Learn to ride the tiger”. He gave me the best thing money can buy. Acceptance, and a plan for willingness to accept myself. I didn’t give him a cent, because I didn’t have one, and he said the first visit would be free.


Thanks to the Poodle at for this image, and my brother for telling me of it. The blog is filled with funny dog stuff if you need an adjustment later. This article is a tiger saddle that I built in May 2012, and it needed some maintenance on it today:

Generating shine for the darkness in others is challenging, rewarding, and devastating. It brings me to my knees in shame at not being able to do it for myself when I run out of fire…and my heart has already been broken too many times.

For the first time in my life I have avoided the dark hole of hell that is depression, and the best advice I can give to myself is to find a wife who loves my dog enough, as he gives me Oxytocin in my brain. O, and she needs to love to cook and put up with a full grown kid who periodically get’s too excited.

I’m sitting in the noonday shade, looking out over hillsides of orange trees heavy with fruit, soaking up the tinder making blaze that is the ball of life above our earth, and I am thankful for family that will feed me in this time of loose ends. A bowl of mixed nuts and dried fruits is helping me edit this, so that was literal.

So if you see me wild eyed with a knife in years to come, and running through your yard at night singing some lonely song, or find me sleeping in your bushes on the perimeter…. I’m guarding the lettuce.
If you think I sound like a loony, it’s because bugs bunny is tasty and irritatingly sneaky, so please leave the sharpening stone out by the hole under your fence with some honing oil.

This is me grounded because if I was manic or barely avoiding it, I’d be driving around town looking for more rabbit holes, or headed south in the search of sun. My mom always knew better than to put me in a room by myself to play, and I hope this helps you on your path to having a mentally healthy day.

Where does selfish stop and self preservation begin?

One of the turning points in my life came when ashamed of my inability to be who I wanted to be, I looked up the word grace. Learning to define the word and find it’s synonyms, was a way to help guide my life in a healthier path towards self respect. Knowing I was young, brash with my words and calling it blunt honesty as a way to justify my communication style. Confusingly wrong it felt to be. I knew I had behaved arrogantly, or immaturely and had voiced something I shouldn’t have. I had said too much. I had not taken enough care with my words.

The following quote came from a movie I saw recently. I had to rewind the thing over and over to get it all down. It was worth the process as I love quotations that feed my value system.

I substituted “selfishness” for “nature” in the quote, due to my love for the grace of nature. 🙂

″The nuns taught us, that there are two ways though life. The way of selfishness, and the way of grace. You have to choose which one to follow.

Grace doesn’t try to please itself. It accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. It accepts insults, and injuries.

Selfishness only wants to please itself, but others to please it too, likes to lord it over them, to have it’s own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy, when all the world, is shining around it. When love is smiling through all things.

They taught us that, no one who knows the way of grace, will ever come to a bad end.″

I ran into an article in The New Yorker while in Brooklyn a few weeks ago while buying a sandwich at a deli. It’s the latest release of the magazine, the article is titled Kin and Kind. What was outstanding to me about it, was the way it gave insight into questions I’ve asked myself too many times: Am I only selfish? Is every action I choose rooted in the fact that it will bring me joy? Is there such a thing as altruism?

Is life like one of my biggest heros says it is? Does the world hate one thing more than any other? Is it not the monstrosities of fascist war mongering criminals, or the serial killers trails, but the dreaded Do-Gooder, that’s despised the most? Should I choose not to be as good as I am, so I can fit in better? Am I going to alter my life path because of a batch of selfish peoples guilt complexes? Should I be selfish in order to gain their approval? Do I need to be more selfish in order to survive and thrive?….

..Every time I help somebody or volunteer….is it just because I’m going to feel good about it, and I want to feel good, so I do it? Is it guilt that motivates me, because I feel blessed and lucky to feel the way I do about the community and family experiences, that have defined my life?

I loved that the article took the concept and made it into a basic rule of natural biology for me. Humans are successful due to their ability to socially coordinate efforts. We have proliferated the planet because we can work together.

Either that, or I go back to the drawing board philosophically, and question that maybe we really like to hump like rabbits, more than we like to kill each other, so we can hump like rabbits on foreign soil that we made less populated, by killing off the people who were already there…humping like rabbits? I hope that was a fun little circle for you to ride. It was fun to write. I imagine my editor will have something to say about the misuse of punctuation. Good thing she’s sleeping. I get to play with no rules…except that I had to put a blanket on her so she wouldn’t shiver….and I’m waiting for her to wake up so we can…….I really aught to look up Easter. Seems like Semana Santa is just another name for, it’s spring time, the squirrels are chasing each other, and even saints….like to…..

The article was fun for me to read. It gave me a new way of looking at the ″evolution of altruism″ : The New Yorker March 5th ;
″They are perhaps the most successful form of multicellular life in history, with some fourteen thousand known species. They account for roughly the same amount of biomass as human beings. This biological success is especially remarkable because it depends entirely on the ability of ants to cooperate, to form intricate societies structured around hard work and shared sacrifice.″

Salt Water On A Wound

This is meant as a double entendre. Yes, and no. Round. Whole. The soothing painful pleasure of hot water to cold water; repeat: on a bee sting, athletes foot, mosquito bite, systemic allergic reaction, or poison oak.

I heard recently about a wall of sticks built in a public park in Germany. I was excited about the prospect. There is very little in life that compares to living by the ocean for me. Anyways, the Germans got that figured out a long time ago, and built a water wall in their public square. Let me know if you know where. The idea is simple. A water wall is built by piping water up to the top of a vertical structure, and distributing it along the face to create a wall of water. When salt water is used for this, the vaporized liquid is released into the surrounding air, creating oxygenated salt water. If you’ve ever wondered why the cat drinks out of the tub, get yourself a little mini fountain water bowl for them, it just tastes better when it is. Found this site a couple years ago, and it thrills me to no end:

Ever since I was about thirteen, I’ve become more susceptible to reactions from poison oak. The blisters start out as small bumps at the sleeves or cuffs of my clothes, and from there due to rubbing, spread and multiply. Calomine lotion doesn’t work anymore. Bentonite clay worked for years, then didn’t anymore. Dried oats helped a little, and then I got desperate. In my line of work, I have to be able to bushwack.

I asked everybody I knew if they had a cure. The stuff was getting into my ears, close to my nostrils, and creeping on my ballsack. I don’t remember how I caught it, it’s not relevant, because it wasn’t an epic exposure, just your garden variety I crawl through everything, chance encounter(although there are four bushes of the stuff within 400 ft. of me as I write this).

My lawyer came through again. She said to use salt water. “Duh!!, and “Yay” I said to myself then, and to this day, I pray, that salt water keeps working. The last time I used it, I’d been cutting firewood for a cabin in the woods. The poison oak had wrapped it’s tendrils around the trunks of the trees, it was winter so the leaves weren’t growing, and as a vine, it bucked right up with the rest of the wood. Sawdust and wood chips flew in the regular manner; everywhere, and I got a blister on my lip. Yep. Predictable. Right where I wanted it least. Anyways, I started dipping my face in a highly concentrated mixture of salt water, and letting it soak into my face. The result?

The neighbor stopped by in between treatments, and what did he see? Looked like I’d been putting my face in a mound of you know what. I had drank enough coffee, and he was seeing me for the first time, that I had to mention, it wasn’t what he thought it might be. Five miles from the closest house, I wasn’t to happy to see him in the first place, neither was my dog, and I was glad he wasn’t getting a friendly enough reception to get out of his truck. I had only left the gate open for the next load of firewood, not for his snooping creepiness to venture on in and ask a bunch of questions. Rude guy! That’s beside the point though. He laughed when I implied the connection between my face covered in white powder, and poison oak. It went away by the next couple days. He left quickly because my dog was scratching his truck, and it’s hard to like somebody, that doesn’t like you, especially when your rude. I know from experience. I am at times an asshole, and this was a time, I didn’t regret it. When you live all alone on a mountain, your thinking is a little rural:

It’s in the department of nunya sometimes. Nunya business where I’m from. I’m just passing through, or I might make a home here, in one of your abandoned neglected structures. On the other hand, if I was breathing salt water infused air, I would word this differently. But alas, I’m not, and I hope you weren’t offended by how this stagnant valley air makes me think. I’ll move back to the ocean soon.