An Unbearable Game

If you didn’t get the hint from last Sunday’s critically acclaimed ignored Mite Be Funny cartoon, I went to the Chicago Bears football game. Not the kind of football where feet are primarily used to move the ball, but the American football where hands are mostly used to advance the ball, but feet are still used to run and kick occasionally. Wouldn’t that be a boring game if feet weren’t used to help score with the football?

Okay, I stand corrected. That looks interesting. Anyway, I went to the game and despite sitting in great seats thanks to a wealthy and generous friend, I have complaints. Now, I know it is not Festivus season yet, but I can’t stop myself from airing my grievances.

And who better to share my grievances with than you lucky blog followers who are glued to your screens as a captive audience? So, here we go …

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If Meat is Murder, Then What is Dairy?

Maybe robbery? I’m not sure, but I am certain that I do try and avoid eating meat, primarily for religious reasons as I am an ordained Dudeist priest. But it is also a super-healthy way to avoid eating very tasty, enjoyable food. So, when I got the call to do a taste test for a plant-based food, I was all in. Plant-based eats and paying me money to shovel them into my pie-hole? It was too good to be true. I headed over to pick up my food for an at-home taste test.

As I drove over to the testing facility, my mind spun with all the plant-based food possibilities. Maybe it would be a savory rump roast made entirely from chickpeas? Or, perhaps it was a complete Thanksgiving dinner molded out of ground brussel sprout meal.

Instead, it was this …

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Say What?

Being old, I like old sayings. I especially like the old Scottish proverb from the 1600s, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” No, I didn’t actually use it myself in the 1600s, but I think it clearly conveys that you need to make things happen and not just wish for them to happen. However, I’m not sure the term beggars is politically correct these days. I think financially-disadvantaged is now the proper term. “If wishes were horses, the financially-disadvantaged would ride” just doesn’t seem to have the same cachet. And who wants to go ride a horse? Raise your hand if you do.

Put your hand down. Nothing good can come of that.

But there is an alternate version of the saying that I prefer.

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Bonjour France, J’ai Un Blaireau Dans Mon Pantalon

For you unsophisticated readers, I believe that title translates to “Hello France, I have finished my Channel swim,” but I could be mistaken and it may mean “Hello France, I have a badger in my pants.” I’m hoping for the former as I have figuratively arrived in France after my swim across the English Channel this summer. The French were quite excited for my arrival earlier this week.

You can see my route from the beach at Dover in England to just southwest of Calais per this map.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Chatting You Up

It was the early 80s and punk music was fading fast. Even The Clash had evolved into incorporating more diverse genres in their music as evidenced by 1981’s “This is Radio Clash” and 1982’s “Rock the Casbah.” Did they sell out? No, but they did change with the times … except not so much in concert. They were still a nasty punk band live. I recall my boss at the time telling me about attending a Clash concert in 1982 at the Aragon Ballroom, affectionately called the Aragon Brawlroom by Chicagoans. Back then, you would want to wear old shoes to any concert there as there would be puddles of beer and urine throughout the space. Anyway, my boss told me that he was close to the stage and was spat upon by The Clash. My reaction at the time was, “Lucky.”

Fast forward to the 2020s, and I swore punk was dead and buried. Oh, sure, there were supposedly some punk banks still around, but I didn’t think they really had embraced the punk sound as defined by Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, The Ramones, and early Clash. For me, punk was RIPing, until I heard The Chats.

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Cereal Killer Diet

Some of you may be wondering why I have not recently chronicled my battle with weight. Well, there has been a sort of detente between me and my fat for one year now. Sure, there have been minor ups and downs, but for the most part, I have maintained my weight for exactly one year.

Although this stable weight was not my ultimate goal weight, it is 15 pounds down from my portly apex and a weight I’m semi-comfortable at. I still jiggle but don’t draw as much attention as I used to.

I’ve been somewhat resigned to being 5 pounds away from my goal weight which would still put me at about 10 pounds overweight. But then, I discovered what I am calling the Cereal Killer Diet. It seems like only yesterday that I stumbled upon it, when in fact, it was two days ago. Let me take you back in time to those events of that fateful day.

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Why Do I Blog?

If you are a regular reader of this blog, that’s likely the million dollar question you want answered. And if you are an irregular reader, try adding more bran fiber to your diet. There are some posts I create that are just plain and simple unpopular. For example, this one about an obscure Abra Moore song. It was met with a collective yawn, despite being about a peppy pop tune. Ah, but something did come of it.

When I do stumble across an old song that I hear and enjoy again, I tend to listen to it numerous times before moving on. That particular song was not on my music streaming platform, so I had to cue it up on YouTube to listen to it and also see the music video. Well, Ms. Moore is cute as can be in that video from twenty-five years ago. I got to wondering if someone (not me, honey, if you’re reading this) might crush on a person as they were in the past. And so, a short story about unrequited love coalesced and congealed in my mind. It will go in my collection of short stories about friendship as a follow-up to my award-winning book of short stories about the afterlife.

My point is that if you want to be a writer, then write something, anything. My middle daughter and I just had a conversation about creating. She’s a dancer who just resigned from her dance company in Chicago, but she still has some dance projects she would like to create. We discussed how the hardest part of the creative process is just finding that moment in time to begin. So, my advice is … start writing. Even if it is just an inconsequential blog post. You never know where it may lead.

Space > Pie > Bus > Eagle

Well, that’s certainly a confusing title. Let’s start with eagle and work right to left. No, I didn’t see a bus hit an eagle, but I was planning on seeing an Eagle. Specifically, Don Felder, who was thrown out of the Eagles, was set to play a free concert promising lots of Eagles music about a half hour away. I kinda, sorta planned to go in a very noncommittal type of way. That was, until I heard about the bus. There would be no parking at the venue. We would park off-site and take shuttle busses to and from the concert area. Ugh! The thought of cramming into a shuttle bus with potential Coviddy people was abhorent to me. So, I applied some critical thinking to the situation to understand if I really wanted to go to the concert. The critical part was easy. The thinking part? Not so much.

I started with an analysis of the Eagles. The headliners were always Glenn Frey and Don Henley. I’d go see them perform solo. Well, maybe not Glenn Frey these days. RIP. Next up is Joe Walsh, perhaps known more for his solo work and his time with the James Gang. Wait, what? Are you telling me you are unfamiliar with the James Gang? In that case, my advice is to “Walk Away.” If you click that link, you get the original album version of the song. Here’s a cool, stripped-down, liveish version where Walsh and his cohorts define power trio with their performance.

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Defeeted

I have successfully recovered from my bout with cellulitis. Not that any of you care. I can count on one hand the cards, letters, boxes of candy, flowers, cash, gift cards, etc. that I received, and I don’t have to use any fingers or even my hand. Fortunately, as I recovered from the cellulitis, I developed a case of plantar fasciitis so that I can still have something to complain about.

If you are not familiar with plantar fasciitis, it’s quite painful. But sometimes, from pain comes amazing art. However, in this case, I wrote a poem. More accurately, it is free verse, because I was too lazy to rhyme. Before you click to continue reading my new creation, I should warn you that the two people I have read this to have been at a loss for words upon hearing it, and not necessarily in a good way.

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Is a Milton Berle Reference an Insult or Compliment?

I got into a Twitter war yesterday over this post from right wing policy pushers @IllinoisPolicy.

Why did I choose to go to war over that? First, I don’t like @IllinoisPolicy. They just make shit up, which appears to be the MAGA Republican strategy these days. Throw lies at the wall and see what sticks or resonates with their base. I don’t have a problem with most of those numbers shown in that graphic, although I rarely use a paid parking garage (nobody outside of Chicago does), and I know I have saved waaaaaay more with grocery taxes suspended. What I have a problem with is that apparently the numbers weren’t adding up for them, so they threw in that mysterious “Permanent increases over 4 years” expense to make it look bad. That’s just utter nonsense. What does that even mean? They may as well have listed “Parmaflankerstein tax” at $2720.99.

So, I sprung into action to defend Illinois and our beloved Governor JB Pritzker, who doesn’t need my love or defense since he’s a billionaire but has been a great governor despite rolling in dough. I engaged. I defended. I went down the rabbit-hole with the crazies. But I kept my cool and tried to use facts. What did I get? So much anger from them. Why are they always so mad? How can someone go through life like that? And I got what might be a compliment or an insult. I’m not sure.

One of the Pritzker-haters came at me with this …

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Hard-ly a Vegetable

Yep, I grew this carrot in our vegetable garden this summer.

No, it wasn’t hard. I didn’t have to stimulate its growth at all. It faced some stiff challenges in May & June with very poor weather, but I believe it was inured and hardened by the experience. You may think I’m making a big deal out of this and stroking my ego, but it’s not like I want to erect a monument to it. I’m just rigid in my belief that it is quite an accomplishment.

Alright, that’s all for now. I have to return to my grade school playground to make poopie jokes about the teacher.

Pitching Religion

My local baseball team, the Chicago White Sox, stink. I could accept that, except they were one of the favorites to win the World Series this season. Maybe as a last resort, the White Sox are hosting a Faith Night this Wednesday. The only thing that can save their season is if Jesus joined the team on Faith Night to lead the White Sox down the stretch to the World Series. And I’m not talking about center fielder Jesus Rodriguez getting promoted from the White Sox’s minor league team. I’m talking about the big JC. Except, there’s a problem.

While Jesus Christ may not make an error while playing the field, he’s a liability as a batter. He always wants to sacrifice himself. And if he does get on base, he’s never a threat to steal a base. I think the White Sox may be wiser to use him as a pitcher. Think of all the perfect games he could pitch.