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Friday, April 29, 2022

 It occurred to me Thursday, while driving between my newspapers, that I've not taken the time to consider my trauma over the past couple of years.

I haven't suffered the trauma of losing a loved one, at least recently. Nor have I been in a terrible crash or been beaten up. Hell, I haven't even dated Amber Heard.

But I have suffered.

Now I have to figure out how I deal with it. 

As I drove with radio off -- drive time is great thinking time -- I thought about how I've not addressed this. I'm not going to play the game of comparing tragedies. I'm not going to do the Monty Pythong thing where distinguished gentlemen argue who had it worst. 

As I've climbed from the bottom hole of my troubles, I tried to keeping moving forward -- even if a centimeter at a time. While doing that, I brushed off indignities, depression, panic, anxiety. I almost had my first anxiety attack Wednesday yet I'm fully housed, paid well and love my job. That's likely what led to me considering the trauma issue.

Remember, I consider myself the luckiest man in the world. The breaks I've received, the help handed to me, new friends, all the blessings a person can receive and I've counted and stored each in my brain.

But I've also played that Wisconsin man thing -- probably more than Wisconsin -- where I wave off pain. "It's nothing," I've said to myself thousands of times over the last three years.

I'm reminded of Homer Simpson's advice to his children: Bury your feelings way down deep inside you, where you'll never hear from them again.

I'm working on my feelings -- both of them.

Peace unto the Ukraine and peace and feelings unto you my brothers and sisters.

Monday, April 25, 2022

 The unpacking continues.

Wow, nice pots and pans. Too many of them, including a set from Simply Ming that I didn't need but man, they are nice pans.

What's this? A really nice Bulova watch? When did I have money -- and the gall -- to buy a nice watch? It doesn't fit my current asceticism. 

There's a waffle maker I've never, ever used. I now understand why Eggo was such a giant leap forward for humanity.

Oh, and a smoothie set I've never used. That will go off to a friend's kid. As did the complex citrus juice another friend took home Sunday after she brought me food and checked to see if the stacks of boxes and fallen over on me. They had not.

My well-used Panini press survived three years of storage and I can't wait to press foods with it. (I make a pretty decent seasoned turkey burger with it, topping the sandwich off with some ranch dressing and a couple slices of tomatoes.)

I have a foot-high stack of The New York Review of Books that I don't think I will catch up with. The stack, when bound with twine, could make a pretty good boat anchor around the lakes here.

There are a number of boxes of clothes -- I was unaware I had so many. I'm not sure if any will fit. And has the leisure suit passed in popularity?

By the end of the week, I'll have the boxes from the living room cleared -- most of them are kitchen items. Then I'll move on to the boxes in the study/guest bedroom. Then, someday, perhaps not even this year, I'll finalize my bedroom.

Peace unto the Ukraine and piss unto all of you my brothers and sisters.

Friday, April 22, 2022

 Two weeks is too long.

I'm sorry for my absence as I enjoy this space,

The move is done but the unpacking must move forward more quickly than slowly. At this point, rather than carefully and particularly put useless items away, I'm just opening boxes and placing stuff in open flat tops and some empty drawers.

Empty drawers is a great band name.

I've also been busy at work, failing to take off at least one day a week -- one of my New Year's resolutions. So that resolution goes the ways of others, i.e. lose weight, learn an instrument, getting a gigolo job.

Gigolo job is a great band name.

I heard last week from Bertha, who continues to look out for me. Thank you, Bertha. She looks out for my welfare, offers me advice and sends $27 each time. She bemoaned my inability to follow advice about getting a woman friend. I believe Bertha has not seen a clear photo of me. And I hope she is not bothered that I used the money to buy some drinks for myself. Or I could consider the drink as a woman friend named Tanqueray martini.

Tanqueray martini would be a great band name.

Each night, as I unpack more stuff -- things I haven't seen for three years in most cases -- one thought becomes more and more clear: I have too much crap.

I'm ambivalent if Too Much Crap would be a good bad name. A decent bumper sticker perhaps. But not a band name. Please advise.

Again, I'm sorry I've been gone too long particularly as we move toward a two-year anniversary of this blog in little more than a week. Although I had multiple places to stay during my sojourn, this blog has been something of a home for me even if virtual.

Thanks for joining me on this surreal journey.

Peace unto the Ukraine and peace unto you my brothers and sisters.

(Editor's note: Peace unto the Ukraine would be a band I would see everyday. Peace Unto You My Brothers and Sisters would be a great name for a Hippie Praise Band that sneaks beer between sets. For the record, the beer would be Miller Lite. "And Jesus said, "Thou art less filling and tasteth great.")

Friday, April 8, 2022

 I don't want to be one of the Collyer brothers.

They are the most famous hoarders of all time. They died within days of each other. One of them was disabled and relied on his brother to feed him. The other brother, who fed him an odd diet of black bread, peanut butter and 100 oranges a week, died while delivering food to his brother when a pile of junk fell on him and he was crushed.

That's what my apartment looks like right now.

I have a pathway through the living room. Same for the two bedrooms and the kitchen. But it's not a pile of stuff. Everything is boxed until it isn't so.

What's going to happen this weekend is a massive unpacking where I don't look to put stuff away. I'm just going to take it out of the box and put it on a flat surface.

In moves past, I've tried to make the change orderly but I've learned that takes too much time.

I'm just going to take the crap out of boxes for two days and deal with whatever happens.

I'm tired of not being settled so let's be unsettled but have access to my stuff.

Additionally, I'm coming up on three years since I've seen most of my stuff. I'll unload and if I don't need it, donate the stuff to local agencies.

In the way I've lived over the last half decade, stuff means less. Yet it will be fun to see what I've missed and how I'll use it.

Please look up the stories on the Collyer brothers.

And peace unto the Ukraine, the lives of the Collyer brother and unto all of you my brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022


Here's Kid in Hollywood last week. Her internship job that day was to deliver 15-20 scripts for various production agencies around town.

For this task she wore a famous T-shirt from here in Hayward, Wisconsin. It's from Lynn's Custom Meats. The shirt reads, "You can't beat Lynn's meat."

In the words of Larry the Cable Guy, "That's some funny stuff right there."

I just found out today that one of her bosses exhorted her to get a script on to someone's doorstep despite some impediments include a closed gate. Kid studied the situation, climbed the fence and delivered the script to the doorstep as requested. Then climbed her way out.

I'm incredibly proud of her.

She's the smartest person I know, she's kind and open-minded and, obviously, funny.

It's helluva thing bringing someone into this world and that little blob of humanity turns into something like Kid.

I've written before and I'll write again, when I was a young man, I thought I had something great in me. 

It turned out to be Kid.

Peace unto the Ukraine and peace and spectacular children unto you my brothers and sisters.

Monday, April 4, 2022


Were one to to peak into my new place, it would appear I'm a collector of the finest cardboard in America.

A licensed cardboardian.

Note the different names on the boxes.

That represents moves from professional movers in Burlington, North Carolina, to Bloomington, Indiana. Then from storage at the newspaper to storage in my friend Josh's garage. Then from his garage to the house I was renting in Hayward, Wisconsin. Then from the house where I was partially unpacked to storage in my friend Kelly's garage. And finally from there to the new abode about three blocks away.

Over that time, I picked up boxes where I could but often had to buy them because I was being kicked out quickly. (Please note I've been kicked out of plenty of fine joints in my time.)

The unpacking begins in earnest Tuesday night. (Tonight I had to buy the new move items, the key being a shower curtain with rings to hang them on. Soap, shampoo, plastic cups and paper plates -- the housewares of a transient imp.)

This weekend, I shall cook. If you're local stop by.

Peace unto the Ukraine and peace and impishness unto all of my brothers and sisters.

Friday, April 1, 2022

 Tomorrow I will have an address and it will be official.

My landlord's contractors are moving me into me into my new place. I met the mover today and noted my knees are shot. The boss is a gracious guy who said, "We'll carry the boxes -- your only job is to point."

I can do that.

This will be the last of homelessness, I hope and suspect, well into the future. 

I'm working on a plan where in five years, I'll buy a plot of land and in another five years I'll buy one of those tiny homes and build on that plot. And when I have the opportunity to retire, probably about age 70, I'll have my own place in the Northwoods.

That means if you come to visit, bring a tent. I'll provide copious food and drink. And on the upside, you won't have to listen to me snore -- which by that time will sound like a T-Rex chewing glass.

I've noted earlier I'm going to unpack like a fiend. That means chaos in the short term but the sooner I can get to cooking for myself and friends every night, I will be pleased. The sooner I can get my desktop and laptop, the more I can work on serious writing projects. As soon as I can get a grill, the more carcinogens I can swallow (please pronounce "swaller").

I imagine Saturday night I will remain at the Steakhouse & Lodge as I'll need Sunday to set the place up for basic living.

As someone who's moved much, the first thing I'll get tomorrow is a shower curtain and a towel. I learned that lesson moving from Beaver Dam to Wisconsin Rapids in 1992. I already have a box of other essentials like paper towels, paper plates, plasticware and garbage bags.

After about 25 moves, I've become a pro.

Finally, I can check out normalcy for a while. Full transparency: I'm not normal. 

But I can make soup, grill some brats or steak, hell, I can make a crappy frozen pizza in my oven.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and frozen pizza unto all of you my brothers and sisters.