Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

As I look back on 2009 it had all the ups and downs of an EKG after wind sprints. The lows sent me to the depths of depression and the highs kept me smiling like the Joker. In some respects I am very glad to see the passing of this last year and am ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of 2010.

I have never been a "Resolutions" guy. In fact, I think they are pretty ridiculous. I mean really. If you have to wait until a certain time of year to set goals you are limiting yourself. Personally, I think it should be a process of continuous review. Jeez, I am getting awfully serious here.

That being said, here is a short list of what I expect to be continually working on during 2010 and probably for the rest of my life.

Happiness - You can never have enough and I need to seek more ways to grab happiness by the throat and wring every ounce of it out that I can with my ever tightening grip. Hmmm better keep an eye on this one.

Empathy for others - Oooo boy. This is a big challenge for cynical me, whose base philosophy is "Too bad ignorance isn't painful". It also may conflict with item #1.

Love - Here is a little something you can never have too much of or give enough. I think I need to work a bit more on the giving part.

Moderation - I'm an all or nothing kind of guy. When I ran it was with obsession. When I switched to cycling it was so I could take on 100 mile rides. Drinking - we don't need to go there and don't any more. I need to embrace moderation and stay away from obsession.

Time with my family - Work has dominated my life from the time I was 14. Yes, I need to pay the bills, but I also need to blend my life with those most important to me (see items 3 and 4).

Listening - What? Okay, bad joke and every time someone says something about hearing or listening, some idiot always chimes in with a "What?", so I said it for you. Listening is hard for some of us. I am usually too busy thinking about my response to what someone says to fully concentrate on what is being said. Here is where I need help. The better I can listen, the better I believe I can stay on top of everthing listed before "Listening". Hear me?

Keep it light - I love humor, but I can be very serious and I can be extremely hard on myself. Not only do I have to keep it light on others, but I need to cut myself some slack.

Lose weight - Ha! Just kidding. No stupid resolutions for me - see item #4.

Stir it up - Sometimes I have a tendency to go with the flow too much. I need to stand up and question more often. Express my feelings instead of burying them. Allow a bit of anger even.

Expect abundance - No this doesn't go against item # 4. I'm not talking about over abundance, I'm talking about comfort and raising my level of expectation without being unrealistic. Wrap you heads around that one....pretty specific, eh? But if you ponder it, you'll understand.

A Happy 2010 to all of you and I hope your lists suit you well and are fulfilled. Thanks for your kind comments in 2009 and I relish the thought of more in 2010.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aaaaa It's Snowing

In Portland, any time it snows the city is sent into a panic and basically shuts down. We get so little snow during the course of the year that we don't have the huge fleets of equipment to clear and sand (we don't use salt on our roads). Frankly, the snow doesn't usually last long enough for that type of Herculean effort to be necessary.

So what we do is run away from work, jam the streets like a frozen parking lot and spin tires. Since I have been working (and I use the term lightly at this time of year) from home. I didn't have any place to drive to or from. I put a jacket on my big headed dog, grabbed my son and went for a walk through the falling snow. It was wonderful. Played like a kid one eighth my age (yes, I'm that old).

Mrs. Monkey Man, however, wasn't that lucky. While she only works three miles from home, traffic was a bitch and after for 45 minutes and progressing a mere mile and a half, parked her car and walked the rest of the way.

I met her halfway with a heavier coat and a warm hand to hold. Our walk home was delightful. There is a walking path in a green space near our neighborhood that was a winter wonderland. Snow still falling and creaking under our feet as we walked. It was peaceful and romantic. The stillness and quiet that comes with snow enhanced the whole experience.

Even though it was almost six o'clock in the evening when we got home, it was as bright as midday outside. It was quite surreal. We were greeted by a snowman at the bottom of our driveway that had been built by the neighbor kids. Check it out.

This morning the snowman is toppled and the snow is mainly slush, but I have a white birthday and that's pretty cool.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Race Brain

The stillness exploded
into the night magnifying sound.
Breathing thundered.
Subtle snores broke
in ear splitting waves.
Exhaustion knew no time
and cared little for rest.
Eyelids ground like rusty shutters
wanting to close but
refusing until the race
was complete
and the stillness renewed.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday 160 - Walk in my shoes

I tried on the shoes
but the fit wasn’t right.
Then tight.
No matter the walking distance,
it was only empathy touching
imagination that opened my mind.

This is a Sunday 160.
Take the 160 Challenge if you dare.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

From the Monkey Man family to all of you - a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Quietly it churns.

Grinding through old memories,

real or imaginary.

Real are discarded.

Imaginary are embellished.


Given fangs and claws

that will tear

at its creator.


Ever churning.

Rest and silence be damned.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter's Fog

The fog rode in
on the back of winter's cold,
piercing with its icy chill
any warmth it could find.
Disfiguring all in its path
with an enveloping blur.
Monochrome reigned.
Stealing color
as it rolled over the countryside.
Feathers fluffed.
Hair on ends.
Heat - a precious commodity
with frozen fog ravaging the land.

Stopping the flow - A Sunday 160

The usually rapid stream
flowed slowly.
Bogging down
by unseen forces.
Ever slower,
then finally halting.
Dammed by
the on rush itself.
Mall exits at Christmas.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the 160 Challenge if you dare.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Save the Whales

The Ady Gil was recently added to the protest fleet
of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The vessel, which runs on low emission, renewable fuels
will be used to scare off Japan’s Antarctic whaling fleet.
When interviewed about what renewable fuel
will be available in the Antarctic,
the vessel’s skipper replied,
“Whale oil, of course.”


This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.
If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.

While I am sure whale oil would work, I very much doubt the fine folks at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society would even sniggle at my attempt to poke fun at them. Click on the Ady Gil link above for the whole story. Be sure to listen to the spooky music intended to scare the Japanese whaling fleet. Good luck to these people in their efforts to save the whales.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spell Czech

During the coarse of righting, spell Czech can bee vary important. Know won likes two have a story published that is full of misspelled words. Eye pride myself on my spelling as eye am sure many of ewe due. That is why eye have carefully checked this document too make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt this peace was perfect.

Now that is knot to say that everything eye have written hasn't had a mistake now and then. After all, wee can't expect to catch every little detail. Eye mien any won can overlook sum small error and should bee forgiven.

Won should bee cautioned, however, on to much reliance on spell Czech. Many times eye have scene spell Czech sea a word that is spelled correctly, butt it isn't used in the proper context. Yew no watt eye mien. When ewe leave the "Y" off the end of "they" butt spell Czech still says it is all rite to use. Doesn't even sea it as a misspelling and their yew are with an embarrassment on you're hands.

Fortunately four me, eye have spell checked this story and know words were found too bee misspelled. Good news all. Thee system works.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Take Pause

Words rattle in the mind
like the tail of a coiled snake
waiting to strike.
It's the first defense,
this effort to lash out
with deadly swiftness.
The assault meant to bite deeply
and discharge the verbal toxin
upon its prey.
The rattle quickens,
sending surges
through the thoughts.
The coils tighten,
yearning for release.
The rattle warns,
but only one can hear.
Should the strike hit home,
the damage will be fatal.
Organize the words.
Relax the coils.
Let all survive.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A chilling tale.

Arctic Storm watch
is all over the media.
A cold front like no other.
Icy cold moves down
from Norway and
is likely to
permanently settle
in Jupiter Island, FL.

This is a Sunday 160.
Take the 160 Challenge if you dare.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


After only a few minutes
all the trees began to
look very much alike.
He knew he must be lost.
The minutes turned to hours.
Light to dark.
His thoughts turned to loved ones.
How would they find him?
Suddenly, a voice called to him –

“Hey, buddy, pick a Christmas tree. We’re closing.”

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.

It is also G-Man's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Galen.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

No Rose Bowl

It was a classic battle.
Back and forth.
Toe to toe.
A true heavyweight fight.
No one deserved to lose,
but in the end
it wouldn't be Roses for beloved Beavers.

This is a Sunday 160.
Take the 160 Challenge if you dare.

But better yet, Challenge yourself to post the best comment. There may even be a prize!

Friday, December 4, 2009


The dark gray clouds
rolled ominously
over the forested hills,
completely enveloping them
in gloom.
The small sliver
of blue sky
that remained
hid and shivered in the cold.
Frost struck windows
and roofs
with its expanding
white crystals.
The last of fall’s leaves
curled tight
to keep themselves warm.
Winter arrived with a sneer.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.
If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Challenge is Good

The gauntlet was thrown down
and the antagonists stood by
ready for a battle.
The challenge was on
to see who could write
the most creative comment on the page.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the 160 Challenge if you dare.

But better yet, Challenge yourself to post the best comment. There may even be a prize!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Knowing the battle
could be quite deadly,
she put on her body armor,
elbow pads, knee pads,
helmet and steel toed boots.
This wasn’t a rehearsal
or a scouting party,
this was the real deal.
She was prepared
for the worst,
as she knew others would be.
This year Black Friday would be her Bitch.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.
If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Every day since his forced retirement he walked the same path. He had come back from the war with anger and guilt. Then he found himself replaced by automation after 34 years with the only thanks he received being a pat on the back and a small union pension.

Even retirement dealt him a fist full of poor cards when his wife of 45 years died before he could allow himself to be happy with his new found time and he was then more alone than he had felt in his entire life. Loneliness and boredom. His love gone. His friends passed or out of touch. He fell deeper into a depression he didn't recognize or know how to overcome. His generation knew nothing of therapy. They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and got on with life, no matter how miserable they were.

His anger at the cruelty of the world left him bitter and resentful. He walked in an attempt to let off the steam, but even this became painful as his once fit and toned body began to feel its age and fail him. Everyday, the same walk with only his animosity and shadow as companions. The walks seemed to leave an impression of his consciousness. His shadow tending to lead the way as his body struggled to keep up. The shadow knew the routine - 'round the casting pond, past the playground and duck pond with a stop at the lone willow next to the bridge over Crystal Springs Creek.

Same route. Same time. Daily. For years. Until he finally fell asleep and never woke up.

He was no longer physically taking his walk. Only his shadow remained to repeat the daily sojourn. A shadow so barely perceptible that only a glimpse out of the corner of one's eye might catch it. The man was gone, the shadow stayed. A ghostly apparition. Was it a lost soul unable to let go of an earthly attachment? Was it simply a shadow locked into the long established pattern looped through the end of eternity - neither ghost nor lost soul, but disembodied shadow doomed to repetition of long completed activities, yet still attached through the depth of negative or positive emotions delivered over the years?


What are these Shadow People?

Last summer Mrs. Monkey Man and I were walking through our local park. As I turned to cross a small bridge over the creek that fed a duck pond, I caught motion out of the corner of my eye. It appeared to be a silhouette of a man wearing a black hat and black overcoat. A closer look revealed.....nothing. No one was there, just a willow tree, motionless in the still afternoon air.

I shivered in the summer heat and shook my head. "What's wrong," asked Mrs. MM. "Nothing," I said. "I thought I saw a man in a black hat and coat, but there was nothing there."

"I saw it, too." she replied.

We had both seen this shadow person. Neither of us had an explanation as to what it was. Where it came from or where it went. It was an eerie experience to say the least. We talked about it later. How was it that we were sensitive to such visions? She had seen them before, so had my son. This was my first. It was at once terrifying and intriguing. Were they all around? Do they protect as a guardian angel? Are they interdimensional? Was it just a shadow?

I may never know. But I do know what I saw and how it made me feel.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Awards are silly....but

Marla from Butts and Ashes recently flicked an award my way (get it, Butts & Ashes...flicked). God, if I have to explain it, it must be crap. Well, that's my sense of humor. A little sick. A little twisted. A little dark. A lot stupid. No apologies because that's just the way I'm wired.

While the award has an insipidly ridiculous illustration that drips with cuteness (I hate cuteness), I accept it in the spirit it was given. Apparently, something in the way I write attracted Marla and led her to think I deserved this award. Perhaps she had already given awards to all of the other blogs she reads and I was the only one left give one to. Or maybe, she felt sorry for me. Regardless, having accepted this award I must now tell Seven things about myself than no one may know.

1. I sang in school (you know - choir) until my Sophomore year in college, when an instructor finally figured out I didn't know how to read music. Hey! I had a great ear and a pretty decent voice.
2. I am a cancer survivor. Okay, anyone who has read my blog over the last few months already knows this, but I like to crowbar it in because it gives me an opportunity to tell anyone who reads this to GO GET A COLONOSCOPY it could save your life.
3. Years ago I actually got paid to write. I was a copywriter and publicity writer for an advertising agency. It is also how I lost my love for writing. Took me almost two decades to realize how much I missed it. Now I write for me - not some client...or you for that matter.
4. I was raised to think that what I did is who I was, so work for me was everything and it dictated my moods and controlled my psyche. It almost cost me my family. Today, I am happy just being me and putting family and friends first. Happiness is an inside job.
5. I have seen shadow people. 'Nuf said. Maybe there's a blog in there somewhere.
6. My dog is a pit bull and he is a wonderful, sweet dog who loves people - at every meal - OK, just kidding about the every meal part. I believe animals are a reflection of their owners and if you teach your dog to be mean, it will be mean - lab, golden, pitty, whatever.
7. I am a huge Oregon State Beavers fan and they play on December 3 against their in-state rival for a chance to go to the Rose Bowl. Send them good thoughts or I'll come and burn down your house. Just kidding. I might whizz in your backyard, but I would never burn down your house. Go Beavs!
So who do I bestow this award upon now? I'm thinking Big JeNN at This is Now. I like her. She rides a Harley, loves her husband and family and has a healthy view of life. There are others I would also consider this for, but I can only choose one.
Thanks again, Marla. This was actually fun. (Except for having to put that flowery GD award logo on my blog. I am so embarrassed. I will have to check myself later to make sure I still have all my man parts.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bad Occupations

He had to
record the color
of each leaf
he bagged.
Being OCD
and doing
yard work
was a shitty combination.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The brain worm swam
through the grey matter
as easily as a bird floating
on currents of wind.
Damn worm.
The dizzied victim wobbled,
knowing the source
but unable to do anything about it.
Sinking further into a mind scrambled coma,
he shared:

It’s raining men.
Thank you VH1 One Hit Wonders of the 80’s.”

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.
Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.
I am dedicating this 55 to my daughter, who watched VH1's One hit Wonders of the 80's last night and planted any number of awful brain worms in my head. Since I couldn't shake them, I had to share. So to all of you who have read this - You're welcome! Hope you enjoy this torture as much as I did. Perhaps my playlist will override It's raining men, but I doubt it.
Enjoy your weekend. - MM

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A lone witness.

The jays screamed

from the safety

of pine branches

as the cat prowled

the ground.

The chickadee

was not so lucky.

A yard gnome stood as the lone silent witness.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A tasty 55

Overcome with a passion
few could understand
he began the process
of undressing his victim.
Peeling a layer at a time
to reveal the milky white skin
he so loved to see, feel and taste.
The skin beckoned.
He opened his mouth
and bit hard,
tearing into his target.

God, he loved onions.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bumper Sticker Madness

Driving the U-Haul on Sunday - yes, I am still having to get behind the wheel of a U-Haul, we had more junk to move and, no, I didn't get stuck - I was following a mini van that had one of the most interesting combinations of bumper stickers I had ever seen.

On the left hand side was a sticker that read - "The two voices in my head both say they don't like you".

Then centered on the rear window just to the right of that sticker was a "Coexist" sticker.

What is it with people? Coexist? What the voices inside his/her head are happily coexisting and agreeing that I am not the likable kind?

Or perhaps this is a husband and wife combination who have conflicting issues that need serious resolution. Needless to say, I was not only puzzled, but quite amused. If I weren't on my way to return the U-Haul, I would have followed them in order to take a picture to share with you all.

I personally don't have any bumper stickers. I don't believe in displaying on my bumper my feelings, insecurities, political affiliations or anything else for the world to see. It's my business. I do, however, get a kick out of reading those of others.

Why just the other day as I was allowing a tailgater to pass me by, I noticed she had a sticker that read "If you're going to ride my ass the least you could do is pull my hair." That's my kind of sense of humor. The hair pulling part, not the part that a tailgater has an anti-tailgating bumpersticker. The latter is just irony.

But I must admit, I am confused about the character in one of my favorite old comics - Calvin and Hobbes . You see Calvin everywhere in a variety of situations. Clearly he is now just a whore for money with no true loyalty. He pees on Chevys, Fords, GM's then prays at a cross. Oh, wait now I get it, it's okay for him to do these things because he prays for forgiveness. Near as I can tell that's how Christianity works for some....but that is another blog for another day.

What does your bumper say about you?

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's raining.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Words will never harm you???

The words flew from her lips
with skin piercing velocity.
They ripped and cut and left
gaping wounds that may
take a lifetime heal.
His only recourse – forgive.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Friday, November 6, 2009

20 years

November 6, 1989 was a very significant day for me - it was my first day of a life in sobriety. As a blogger, I haven't written about my sobriety because it is personal and something I don't share with many outside of small groups of "insiders". However, I am proud of my 20 years of sobriety and feel the need to put a few thoughts into words.

I am not big on drunk-alogs, so I won't go into the how it was part of my story. I drank like a pig until the party was over, then drank some more. I drank until I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and knew alcohol was running and ruining my life. I had to stop. I also had too much pride and ego to go to treatment, so I grabbed on to the arms of chairs in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and gripped until my knuckles turned white.

I did what I was told - got a home group, a sponsor, did service work and didn't drink. I committed myself to sobriety and hoped for a better life. I learned faith.

Now, twenty years later, I am at a different stage in my life. Yes, I still go to meetings, but I am no guru. Nor do I want to be. Today, I just want to participate in and enjoy life. I don't spend time worrying about "God's will" for me or even reading the "Big Book" for that matter. I learned some time ago that meetings can take me only so far. That not all answers are there or in the books we are told to use as a guide early on. I do believe there is reference to seeking professional help in the pages of that big blue book and that is what I needed to do to help myself become whole.

I went to meetings. Put on a happy face but was miserable inside. Depressed. Angry. In denial that someone with as much sobriety as I had could still have problems. But guess what? I have this condition. It's called being a member of the human race and we all have issues we have to face. They aren't exclusive to alcoholics, although to hear some people talk in meetings you would think so. Again....News Flash! Human beings of all types have mental and physical problems and we all have to learn how to deal with them.

So does twenty years make me some sage old timer bathed in a constant warm light of serenity? No. It makes me a guy who has been to lots of meetings, is twenty years older than he was when he stopped drinking and has maybe learned a thing or two along the way. But I would hope I would be open minded enough to learn and grow over that period of time.

In sobriety I have been divorced, married, had two children who have never seen me drunk (but have seen me as a raving lunatic), lost a parent, had cancer and the chemo that goes with it and I very nearly lost my family due to stubbornness and deep seated anger. For that matter, I had lost sight of myself. Through it all I never drank and with the help of a loving wife and professional care, I rediscovered love and goodness in my life. I woke up. Life had been dark and smelled of I pulled my head out of my ass.

I also rediscovered writing. Yes, I can go on and on, but don't we all at times. I write today for me. Sometimes to release, vent - as I am doing here. Sometimes just to draw a picture. To feel the creative juices flowing again. It was a love I lost and, again with the help of my beautiful and talented wife, found anew. (Anew....pulease.)

So, CHEERS! everyone. Lift a glass of your favorite beverage (I prefer H2O) and toast to growth, happiness, faith and love of family and friends.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fall 55

Clouds strolled by
on the wings of wind.
Dark gray on a background of pewter
with the occasional shimmer
of silver or blue.
Cold stopped the sap
from flowing through the veins
of deciduous leaves
ripping the blue
from their spectrum
and leaving only
the fires of yellow,
orange and red
to warm Fall’s chill.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I can scribble in a superior fashion - I guess

I have been honored with an award from Matty in his blog Cha-Ching in which he lists a variety of awards he recently received. The award he passes on to me is the Superior Scribbler. I haven't decided if this award is for my writing or if Matty has secretly been talking to Mrs. Monkey Man who has told him my handwriting is nothing more than illegible scribbling.

Now comes the cut and paste part of this blog. I really wanted to rewrite these rules to make them mine, but truth be known I was just too lazy having been in a state of recovery from eating all my kids' Halloween candy and the hangover that goes with it. (Okay, that was a blatant plug to my last blog - the Sunday 160 - which is a basic rip off of G-Man's Flash Fiction Friday 55.)

I guess since I really didn't have anything to write about other than getting this award, I would just run on and on and see how many links I can get in to my older posts. Try this one. I wrote it when I couldn't sleep one night. Or this one which I wrote as a tribute to Mrs. MM who I love and respect to no end.

Oh, yah, the rules.

The Scribbler award comes with some rules:
• Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
• Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
• Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
• Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

My Scribbler Award winners are:
Pheromone Girl Grows Up (Be sure to link to and read her older posts as Pheromone Girl)
Adventures of One Sober Woman
Let Me Go On And On...
Green Eyed Momster (I know you've already received one of these....but not from me)
Mrs. Nesbitt's Place

So there you have it. If you haven't visited these writers, please do. If you have, please continue to do so. Thanks again, Matty, and did I mention my blog on Childhood Fear or my post that was my first stab at poetry?

Told you I was going to promote. Happy November.

The Day After

His headed pounded,
aching from the previous
night's activities.
Regrets and remorse.
But he couldn't
stop himself.
Halloween candy hangovers were a bitch.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mutilation Muse

He crept up on his victim.
Knife held high.
His heart pounded in his chest
as his plan ran through his mind
over and over again.
He knew this was
a job he had to do.
Razor sharp steel
piercing flesh,
changing this perfect form
into something
horrifyingly different
and unrecognizable.

Carving pumpkins was carnage.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.

The challenge is on.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.

If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Fish Stinks from the Head

Written up and verbally spanked.
Watching as the set up for the future
was being indirectly laid out.

The stink rose from it as if the paper
had been flavored by the words and
pressed from the compost of evil
thoughts and manipulative planning
that had bred this blood sport.

Toe the line. Meet unstated goals.
Don't make any mistakes and please
check your sense of humor at the door.

Family and camaraderie are spoken
here but only played out as a fantasy.
We want to pretend to look good so
our Gods of a greater corporate level
can see that we mean well.

It is all about facade.
True heart means nothing.
Soulless eyes lead.
Church on Sunday allows them
to be forgiven and let's them
live with their sin in a false skin.

A skin uncomfortable to me.
Let them have it.
Let them chafe.
Let them view a reflection that
looks familiar but scares just the same.

Agendas are kept hidden as new plots
hatch from the rot of spoiled minds.

Honor and honesty don't play
in today's game.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting Hitched

Moving is among the most stressful things that can happen in the average person’s life. It may not be at the top, but it makes the list and I have yet to talk to anyone who is overjoyed at the prospect of boxing up their lives and living the chaos of not having access to your junk at one residence and reorganizing at the other.

MM: “Where’s my underwear?”
Mrs. MM: “You packed them. You ought to be able to find them. If not, you just go commando?”

So those are the minor details and time will get us organized again. The real fun is getting people together, filling up that Uhaul and all the goofiness that goes along with a bunch of non-professionals pretending to know what they are doing. Me...I drive the truck and pack the back like a Tetris pro. King size bed at the back, couch here, desk there, fill holes with boxes and try not to break stuff or scratch Mrs. MM's furniture. Remember those luggage commercials with the gorillas tossing around bags? Well, we just can't allow that.

Packing the truck goes pretty well. We manage to get everything we wanted into it plus quite a few items we thought would have to go on a second trip. Down goes the back door of the truck. Our friends start taking off to meet us at the new house and I hop into the cab of the Uhaul, slip the key into the ignition, fire that baby up, put it in gear and step on the gas. Rrrrrrrrr spin the tires as I go nowhere. "What the..." I say to myself as the stench of burning rubber wafts through my nostrils, "how come I'm not moving?"

Out I jump from the cab. Mrs. MM looking not too pleased informs me that we seem to have the trailer hitch stuck on the small rise in our driveway. Shit! High centered in my own drive. I am pissed that I've done something stupid....again.

At this point everyone involved in the move becomes an expert engineer. Neighbor Brian grabs wood planks and a hammer from his garage and starts shoving them under the tires that just don't seem to want to touch ground completely. My mother-in-law starts randomly shoving two by fours around the end of the bumper and calls her husband asking him to drive over with a big length of pipe. I grab a pry bar from my garage (thank God I didn't throw it in the back just to fill a little more space). Mrs. MM puts her driving expertise to good use.

We rock and push and pry and smoke tires and try more wood and gravel and chanting and do an 'unstick my truck' dance. Nothing. We huddle and try more of the same but this time I stick my pry bar under the trailer hitch and stand on it. We move about a half an inch. No one notices but me. So we try more rocking and pushing and gravel. I stand on the pry bar and start jumping up and down on it. Miraculously and through all our efforts we sccccraape off the rise in the drive and are ready to move again....45 minutes later.

Mrs. MM drives the truck around the corner and parks it. When she returns neighbor Brian is putting his detective hat on and analyzing the scrapes the truck's hitch made in the driveway that have left a clear 'N' like shape.

"Looks like he backed up once, scraped just a little on this rise then moved forward and backed up harder a second time to get further up the driveway," he surmises. "That's why it high centered. He made two runs at it to get it more stuck the second time."


Yes, I used my best testosterone laden punch to the gas to see how far up the driveway I could get this baby when I parked it. The first effort wasn't good enough, so I did it again. Truth be known I wasn't really surprised when it was high center, I was just hoping to get enough traction to pull it off the rise. As Homer Simpson said in his sing-song fashion - "I am smart SMRT, I mean SMART."

What would a move be without a memorable moment to tell the grandchildren. I bet you've had your own memorable move. Wanna share?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A New Home

The day was bright and beautiful.
The work was back breaking for old men
not used to hard labor.
You discover who your true and
best friends are
when you move.

This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

The move is done. We now live out of boxes until we get organized again....but that's a whole different story.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Moving on

My life over the past almost three years has been stressful to say the least. I have sold a house, moved three times, been diagnosed with colon cancer, had surgery to remove the cancer, been through chemotherapy for same, nearly alienated my family due to my inability to handle the stress, lived with relatives for a short period and now am moving again. But this move is a positive one that I am looking forward to.

Cramped quarters has been the order of the day for the last ten months. Now comes a home with creature comforts I have been without for some time. Simple things like a dishwasher, disposal, decent washer and dryer. I know, others have it much worse, but allow me my indulgence. You do what you have to do to survive and our tiny home for the past ten months was serviceable but try sharing a single bathroom with two teenagers and doing without the aforementioned. Waaa. Poor me.

So this week begins the move and will take me away from some of my usual activities, like blogging. I have my priorities after all. So I move on to a better, roomier and happier place. I get keys today.

There will be space for all. A kitchen that has room for more than one (I miss cooking with Mrs. MM), a master suite with walk-in closet and our own bathroom, an office, space for the kids, a real garage and a hot tub the size of Rhode Island.

I was grateful to have a roof over my head, but am excited to be taking the next steps in my journey through life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You're Toast

"What can I get you," he asks.

"Just toast with butter.

My stomach, it’s upset," she replied.

"As you wish," he said

as he adds something special

to the butter.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Not just a glance

The dagger was thrown
with the skill and accuracy
of years of practice
and a finely honed talent.
The edge glint
in the sun light
as it neared its target.
A deadly steel
that could rend flesh
so easily if it hit is mark
as the thrower
had envisioned.
If only looks could really kill.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.
If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man.
The challenge is on.
Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Visiting the town where my grandparents lived and my parents grew up got me to reminiscing about them. My Dad and Grand Dad had a bucketful of sayings which got me thinking and trying to recall some of their more interesting colloquialisms I've heard over the years. Here is a small collection of the sayings and who I attribute them to.

"Like a fart in a skillet" - my dad would say this about anyone who was twitchy, indecisive or annoyingly energetic. You know the type. You may even be one.

"Not worth sour owl shit" - Dad again. Never did figure out how he would know if owl shit was sour.

"Even a broken clock is right twice a day" - Dad was always eager to point out how often he was right and how stupid others could be. I believe he was truly amazed when someone he felt was not up to his standard of perfection would actually get something right. I also know he didn't make this one up. He just liked it.

"Wop Slop" - anytime my mom would make a dinner with red sauce, my father would refer to it as wop slop. In this he provided me my first lessons in sensitivity.

"Slip me a slobber" - my Grand Dad's way of saying 'give me a kiss'. This is the man who taught me that it was okay to pee behind the barn if I couldn't make it back to the house in time.

"Give me a Road Shortener" - Grand Dad's reference to handing him a beer before he took off on a road trip. It was an easier, softer time when the cops would escort you home.

"Slicker 'n' cow slobbers" - Grand Dad of course. He was a farmer who apparently had a saliva fetish. Sometimes I wondered about his relationship with his cattle.

"Picking fly shit out of pepper" - An old boss used to day this about people who found his work just not quite good enough. Perhaps a bit more detail oriented than he was.

"Jumping over dollars to pick up dimes" - same guy when talking about people who would spend money stupidly thinking they would gain from it.

Then there are a few from one of my more anally obsessed friends - Tighter than a chickenhawk's ass in a full dive & Tighter than a gnats ass stretched across a rain barrel. We won't go down the road of women in religious positions.

We have all had those friends or relatives who love sayings. Maybe you're one of them. In any me your stuff.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This last weekend Mrs MM and I took off to celebrate our seventeenth wedding anniversary. We travelled to one of our favorite little towns in Oregon - Hood River. We spent much of our early relationship in the area which is called the Columbia River Gorge. An area very dear to us both.

While we typically travel the area between our home town, Portland, and Hood River enjoying the hiking trails and waterfalls, we decided for our weekend away we would travel further east along the Gorge. It is still beautiful, but just not as green. Here in Oregon, we refer to this part of our state as the "High Desert" country. These are a few photos of the sites we took in.

We took off from Hood River and went about 40 miles east to the Mary Hill Museum. The museum was built by Samuel Hill, "the catalyst behind the Columbia River Highway", to be his eastern ranch. Due to issue of travel during that time period, the early 1900's, he ended up dedicating his home as a museum instead.

Mary Hill Museum Grounds Entry

On a very park like grounds that is open to the public are a number of sculptures. Including the rather whimsical "Taco Bell", a bell hanging from a bar that has a sculpted taco on it. This was my favorite. Mrs.MM with the Pine Cone. Inside the museum are collections of artwork from Czar Nicholas, Rodin, fascinating chess sets, painting on loan from various private collections and items that leave you scratching your head wondering what the heck are these beautiful works doing out in the middle of nowhere.

Czar Nicholas

Monkey chess could I resist.

Then beyond the Mary Hill Museum we went.

Sam Hill's Stonehenge Memorial to WWI

An old barn outside Goldendale, WA I had to shoot.

Wind turbine farm.

And back to Hood River for a romantic dinner. (Mrs. MM hates sentences that start with And, but I had to do it.)


You expect perfection in others

but expertly overlook

your own imperfections.

Set the example

of your expectation

and see how comfortable

you feel in that skin.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare. Write a story using 160 characters - including spaces. Your cell phone will tell you if you have reached 160...but cell phones lie...they usually have only 144 to 150. If you want "perfection" in your count, use word count in Office Word and check the character count there. It sure beats counting. Or just say "screw it" and send a maxed out text. Have fun. - MM

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's a Crime

The pulsing light of a television bled

throughout the room

as the only form of illumination.

The stench of soiled clothes

and months of dirty dishes

made this a crime scene

unlike any other.

Where do you start

or do you just turn around

knowing this is one case

that will never be resolved.


This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man. The challenge is on.

Or come back on Sunday to try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text message, you can do this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pets and Peeves

There are a number of blogs I have read that go under such titles as Cheers & Jeers or Rants & Raves and I have truly enjoyed reading them (thanks Green Eyed Momster who credits Little Ms. Blogger who I am ashamed to say I have only recently visited). That was run on. I have also been tempted to join the fray, but have this ego that just won't allow me to write without originality in concept.

Well, ego be damned. I keep seeing things that fall into these love it or leave it categories and are great fodder for a rant or a rave, a cheer or a jeer and in my case, because I want to be different, a Pet or a Peeve. I am not following the Rant and Rave Wednesday format that is short and concise due to the fact that my opinions are bloated and I like to hear myself go on and on.

So Here are a few of my Pets and Peeves.

Pet - Family Game Night. No particular night. Just whenever we feel like it, we bring out Cranium, Pictionary, Wise and Otherwise or Pretty Pretty Princess. You should see us in plastic crown, earrings and necklace.

Peeve - Ridiculous redundancies people say all the time. Like past history - as opposed to future history; reduce down (duh!); and also (I've seen this in newspapers and heard it on radio....come on); and UPC code - UPC stands for Universal Product Code so you are saying Universal Product Code Code - I hate that.

Pet - Card stores. I love buying cards. We have a local card shop with cards I can't find anywhere else. Cards that say things like, "You're a fucking Rock Star" and "Sorry I was such a dick" and "I just fucking love you." I stocked up on the Sorry card - I really can be a dick.

Peeve - Our landlord, who is actually a developer. Perhaps I should refer to him as the developer posing as a landlord. He calls up one day and tells Mrs. MM "Just wanted to let you know I have decided to put the house you have spent hours painting and making livable up for sale. You don't mind if I interrupt your family's life by running realtors and tire kicking potential buyers through your house at a moments notice, do you?" We polished this turd of a house for him to the point that it has charm and is presentable - inside and out. Afterall, we live in it. So this is what we get in return. Mr. Developerlandlord is now and forever known as Chicken Fucker.

Pet - The Blogosphere. I admit I am hooked. I have been pulled in by creative writing and the way you all really care and show it. You are a great bunch and I have been adding so many blogs to follow that it is becoming difficult to stay on top of it. I need to remind myself that family and job come first and you are just a fun addition. I have come to love and appreciate you all.

Peeve - Ignorance. I once had a bumper sticker that read - Too bad ignorance isn't painful. I still feel that way.

Pet - Giving recognition to people in Blogland. I recently passed on an award to a few bloggers. But I didn't include my favorite blog - Pheromone Girl Grows Up. This is one of the most talented writers I have ever been exposed to. She sucks you into her stories and leaves you begging for more. Be sure to stop by and go to some of the older posts from her blog as Pheromone Girl. I hope she writes a book someday. I will be the first in line to buy it. I love her.

Pet - October 9. My anniversary with Mrs. Monkey Man. We will spend this weekend away from the Internet and in loving bliss.

So there you have it - Pets and Peeves. Don't know if this will be a regular post for me, but it will definitely be part of the notes I keep in the Moleskine Mrs. MM gave to me. (She is so awesome and thoughtful.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Good-bye 160

Blackness covered the day.

Trees shivered to shed their leaves.

Skin disappeared.

Fingers replaced by wool.

Skies cried in grief.

Summer ends

in a thunder clap.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Over the Top Award

I recently received this award from Green Eyed Momster who is a kick in the pants. Thank you
GEM. It is called the "Over the Top" Award and I am humbled to be recognized. (I am so insecure that any attention I get causes devotion and drooling.) I jokingly referred to this award as a chain letter award, but was informed by the lovely and much more talented than I, Mrs. Monkey Man, that is is called a meme.

So here are the rules of this meme award as passed down to me by the fore-winners (is there such a thing).

1. Answer the questions below using only one word (Good! My simple mind couldn't handle more than that.)

2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you (What's next, bow to your partner and doe see doe?)

C. Pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers (Shown below.)

So, now the questions:

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket

2. Your hair? Gone

3. Your mother? Guilt

4. Your father? Passed

5. Your favorite food? Steak

6. Your dream last night? Sex

7. Your favorite drink? Water

8. Your dream/goal? Happiness (ditto!)

9. What room are you in? Bedroom

10. Your hobby? Walking

11. Your fear? Failure

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Loved

13. Where were you last night? Restaurant

14. Something you aren't? Patient

15. Muffins? Banananut (OK it’s not really one word)

16. Wish list item? Motorcycle

17. Where did you grow up? Portland

18. Last thing you did? Changed

19. What are you wearing? Jeans (ditto!)

20. Your TV? Off

21. Your pets? Doofus

22. Your friends? Caring

23. Your life? Transitioning

24. Your mood? Thoughtful

25. Missing someone? Dad

26. Vehicle? Explorer

27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes (ditto!)

28. Your favorite store? Resale

29. Your favorite color? Blue

30. When was the last time you laughed? Minutes

31. Last time you cried? Thursday

32. Your best friend? Wife

33. One place that I go over and over? Park

34. One person who emails me regularly? Dennis

35. Favorite place to eat? McCormack's

I included a (ditto!) when I had the same answer as GE Momster because she did the same thing for the person who passed it on to her and I am a copycat. This was fun but now I have to pick six, which will be hard. So I choose -

Chronicles of a Croydon Boy (reveal yourself Phillip)
Let Me Go On and On (you are amazing)
Adventures of One Sober Woman (you adventurer you)
This is harder than answering the questions
Sixtyfivewhatnow (my fellow Orgonian)
The Peach Tart (love you Peach)
and Mr. Knowitall (that's for getting me hooked on that 55 bs - love that too)

I also want to plug The Walking Man because he is talented and I follow him, but know he wouldn't do this award business.

So have fun accepting this award you six and I'd say let me know when you post, but since i follow all of you, I'll know anyway. Love you all. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Red Angel

The argument was getting too heated.

Both parties stood glaring,

pink faced with veins

popping everywhere.

Silence suddenly

overtook the room,

forcing calm and

reducing blood pressure.

They turned to face

the perpetrator

of this most profound

and mysterious occurrence.

Floating above the fray

was the sage Red Angel.

Kind words and logic then prevailed.

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man. The challenge is on.

Or Try my Sunday 160.
If you can fill a text messages, you can do this.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just Because...

I have made a few observations that I want to share. They all begin with....
Just because.... own an expensive car doesn't mean you know how to drive.
...your hair and nails are perfect doesn't mean you look skinny.
...your dog will fit in a purse doesn't mean it can't walk.
...your signal works doesn't mean you should leave it on for 10 miles. are alone in your car doesn't mean people can't see you pick your nose. own a cell phone doesn't mean everyone wants to hear your conversation. have a bluetooth ear piece doesn't mean you look any less crazy talking to yourself.
...your children can run free in a restaurant doesn't mean they should.
...your S2000 may look like a sports car it's still a Honda.
...your daddy was president and you went to an Ivy League school doesn't mean you have a brain in your head. know the words to a song doesn't mean you can carry a tune. can play softball at 40 doesn't mean you are an athlete. have your turn signal on doesn't mean you can merge into my lane without looking.

I was going to add "Just because you can make a list doesn't mean you can write." but I would have been dissing myself and a number of very entertaining blogs I keep up on. I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you will add a few of your own.....just because.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Breathtaking 160

He held his breath and stayed silent.
His heart felt like it was beating as
loud as a drum. Footsteps drew closer.
Playing hide and seek was quite exhilarating.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fifty Five???

As nearly sixty people each week (or is that 55 on average) offer up their creative thoughts in fifty five words, I wonder to myself, “Is anyone really counting the words on every submission?” First, who would be so obsessed? Second, is everyone that honest? Who would really know if this is fifty four or

This is a Flash Fiction Friday 55.

If you want to know what the hell that means visit g-man. The challenge is on.

Or Try my Sunday 160.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is this offensive??

Last Friday I showed up at work wearing a short sleeved, black button front shirt with the Playboy bunny logo over the right pocket and the words "Talent Scout" over the left pocket. Fun shirt that gets great reaction.

Unfortunately, one of the reactions I got was being asked to go home and change my shirt because it was inappropriate and would send the wrong message to people about our company. While I am still trying to figure out what that inappropriate message might be, you should know that most of my clientele are young or youthful creatives - graphic designers, hip slick and cool ad execs and very casually dressed buyers who also deal with the designers and "look how cool I am" ad execs. (Okay, maybe I'm being a bit harsh on the ad execs, but I used to be in that role when suit and tie were the dress code of the day. I hope Goodwill is making a bundle off my old suits.)

Now mind you, I'm not so ticked off about being asked to change. After all, there are people out there who would no doubt fly into a sexual frenzy at the mere sight of the Playboy Bunny logo. That surely was Hugh Hefner's intent when creating it back in 1953. No, changing my shirt wasn't the issue. It was the fact that I was brought into someone's office and given the inappropriate attire speech in front of a coworker. What am I a five year old.

"Now, Monkey Man. The other children are getting very excited over the suggestive clothing you are wearing. We are all in agreement it is most harmful to us and we will soon begin effing each other in every possible orifice because we have no self control and are being whipped into distraction by the hypnotic effect of the logo on your shirt." WTF!?!??!! (Okay - I paraphrase).

So being a company man, I took this to human resources and expressed my dissatisfaction at being singled out for my clothing when we have no dress code other than "Don't wear open toed shoes in the plant", "Keep hair and jewelry out of the machinery" and "Don't stand in a bucket of water while operating electrical equipment" know....the usual. I especially pointed out being called to the carpet in front of someone else. I just want to make sure we do things by the book around here and that management manages people with respect.

Am I asking too much?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stop That Whining

They whined and bickered

until she could stand it no longer.

"Stop it or I will bitch slap

the three of you," she hollered.

Her husband and kids stood silently.


This is a Sunday 160.
Take the Challenge if you dare.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Death for their kind

Fog drifted across the casting pond
as the sun drug itself up
over the shoulder of Mt. Hood
painting the sky a fiery pink.
Fall hung in the morning air
so thick it left its sweat
on windows and windshields.
The same wetness it would excrete on leaves
holding the cold morning air
and sucking the blue from their veins.
Leaving them to only hold
the yellow, red and orange hues
that spelled death for their kind.
While beautiful to most,
it was the end of the time
of living beauty for trees.
Now they would stand naked
to the cold for months
awaiting the warmth
and gentle color pallet of Spring.