Monday, December 31, 2012

Wish (GBE 85)

To end the hate
The meaness
The greed
The brokeness
Of humanity
Humanity sails
Over the cliff.

Harry's Road Trip. (Blogophilia 45.5)

Hey, Heidy and Howdy!  It's your favorite randy dandy old time disc man Harry Handy, here to fill up your time in God's waiting room.  And have I got a story for you.  Ol' Harry here took a road trip out west, to beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I'd heard it was lovely and a great place to relax after dealing with program managers without a clue.  I mean, I know the music exists to sell advertising, but funeral home ads? I just had to go somewhere far, far away.

Getting there was quite the ordeal.  I flew out the nest and up to St. Louis, where I had to do the one thing air travelers dread, changing planes. We were a little late getting off and my layover was short, so I knew it was going to be hustle. I asked the gate agent coming off the plane where my next flight was.  It was all the way at the other end of the airport and I had 20 minutes to get there.  It kind of looked like this.

On the way over, I had to visit the facilities. I'm quick in that department (TMI?), so that went off fairly well, except for the guy in the next stall who was multitasking with his cell phone.  I always knew life insurance sales was a crappy job, but really?  Cold calling in the loo?

Anyway, I made the flight and drifted over the Great Plains to Albuquerque Sunport.  When I got in, it was about 10:00 PM and the airport had already rolled up the sidewalks.  Not a single thing to eat anywhere.  At least the car rental places were still open.  My reservation in hand I find the Enterprise counter and they send me out to the lot to pick up the wheels for the weekend.

Yeah, it was going to be quite a trip.  I did find a Waffle House open and got a quick bite.  Then I found my way to the 25 Freeway to head north to my destination.  

It was a completely moonless night and the road was deserted after I cleared the city limits. The only thing I could see was the white ribbon of concrete arcing up the big pass north of town.  The radio is on this old timey AM country station called "The Truck Driver's Friend, out of Kearny, Nebraska". I was kind of impressed the signal was that strong.  It reminded Harry here of when he was a wee tot, collecting contact cards from stations around the country. Out of professional courtesy, I gave the guy a listen.  Tears In My Beer Country isn't really my bag, but he handled his duties well.  

After a while, the ghostly pavement became mesmerizing and I hit the zen zone of the long distance drive, almost dreamlike.  In the distance, I saw a form almost the same color as the pavement walking in my lane.

But it didn't look like Lenore and it didn't say "Nevermore".  It apparently was a homeless idiot heading up to the next exit for a drink.  With an inappropriate comment about road sense and whatever immigrant that was,  I changed lanes.

I pulled off the freeway at the main exit and got up to my hotel, only to find the registration desk closed.  Huh?  I knocked and I knocked, but no one ever came out to check on me.  I looked around to see if they had left me a key, but no such luck.  A Cop showed up and asked me what I was doing there.  I mentioned I had just flown in and supposedly had a reservation.  He didn't believe me and asked me if the heap outside was mine.  I said it was a rental and reiterated that I had a reservation.  He told me to move on before he admitted me to HIS hotel.  So, I did.

I pulled into a 24 hour diner to bide my time.  As I was drinking the watered down coffee, a guy that was as dirty as a chimney sweep came in.  He'd definitely had been in the liquor and started flirting with the waitress. About that time, the same Cop from the hotel shows up.  I was really beginning to feel like Charlie Daniels about this point.

So, Ol' Harry left and headed up into the hills.  Maybe I could find some peace and quiet.   It was almost sunrise, so I figure I might as well see what kind of show I could see.  I've always been a sucker for a good light show.  I find a pull off that has a good view of the valley and change the radio to one of the NPR stations.  The sounds of morning birds chirping came out of the speakers.  I shut off the motor, sat back and watched something better than Super IMAX.

It really became a relaxing trip.  And the wedding I attended was beautiful, too.

It's come to the end of the line for this Harry segment.  Remember to take your Geritol. and you too could rock like Keith Richards. 

Good night and sweet dreams

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Midnight Mass (Blogophilia 44.5)

Christmas eve and spirits past hang heavy. As Kari looked into her glass, it occurred to her this was not her favorite holiday.  Old clients communing in their own midnight mass above her weathered couch.  But Kari didn’t like to think of herself as a Priestess, powerful and holy.  She wasn’t.  She was a human helping other humans’ transition to the next phase, whatever it might be.  That is all. The images always seemed to mock her loneliness and vulnerability.  And really, why couldn't they do that at All Saints.  It was what the holiday was for she thought, gulping down the ruby dregs. 

She was so stoned she couldn’t make sense of the images on the TV.  A mummified skeletor speaking demanded attention.  The audio didn’t match the video exactly, like one of those poorly dubbed art movies. The addled brain had some difficulty processing the effect. A disembodied voice stated her weight would disappear if she would just use this product.  Looking down at the soft tummy poking from her sweater, she laughed.  That easy?  Yeah, right.   

The remote then brought up the face of a talented tarot artist, another shallow huckster.  But it was a subject she had some interest in. There had been enough contact over the years to convince her the spirits were there, if patient.  She poured another glass of wine and picked up the pipe.  

It was a ritual implement and she  used it to transport her to another plane.  Resembling a dagger, it had been a thank you gift from a friend of a client.  He was a homeless man running from decisions he had made, like so many of them. She never judged. It wasn't her job.  Every time she smoked, the image of him calling the girls name arose.  It took time, but he hung on long enough to have them reunited before his passing.  It was her best case, to her mind. Another ghost to deal with tonight, but truly a  pleasant one.

With a flick, the Zippo’s flame touched the bowl.  A halo of smoke formed around her silver mane.  Gee, add some charcoal wings and the illusion would be complete.  Silly and cynical didn't match the image, though. She lay back on the couch and turned off the TV.  An image of Randi, the transvestite with the shagged blond hair drifted along the ceiling.  He had been such a funny valentine.  No, more like a madman across the water, with his short green skirt and white blouse.  It had been almost a year since he passed in her arms, completely alone in this world. She knew he was in a better place now, but still had some regret over her service.  So, who would handle the job when it was her time?  She had no one left since Mama died.  Maybe the powers that be figured she could do it herself since she had done it for so many.  

Looking at the ruby liquid, she decided she didn’t care anymore.  She took another sip and drifted off. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Angel Protection Service

In a top floor office in a faceless suburban office park…


“It’s a beautiful day here at Angel Protection.  My name is Michael, how may we be of service?  Your husband is doing what?  Looking at another woman?  Let me pull up the records. Yes, I see that.  It appears to be his Assistant.  She is a nice girl, but a little na├»ve.   Reviewing, it does not appear anything has transpired yet. Yes, we have several services that may work.  What’s that?  Ma’am , I think a lit taper up the butt to be a bit harsh.  Yes, Ma’am, We understand jealousy here, but we always try to provide the best service for all parties involved.  Looking on the map, it appears you are in winter there?  We have our patented “Angel in the Snow” that will strand his car half way to her house.  Well, Ma’am, his confession would be up to him.  Would you like me to order that for you?  Done.  Thank you for your call; it has been our pleasure to serve you.”


“It’s a beautiful day here at Angel Protection.  My name is Gabriel.  How may we be of assistance?   Your child is drinking and smoking?  Let me access the file….Yes, I do see her with her friends.  It looks like they are passing a brown paper bag and listening to “Mad Man Across the Water”.  Oh, hold it.  A bong is being passed like a chalice.  No Ma’am, we really don’t pass judgment here.  That is handled in Soul Receiving. Yes, Ma’am.  We have a service that would work.  We send down Guardian agents to draw the wayward back toward the straight and narrow.  The agent we have in mind seems to have great luck in saying “What’s your sign” to get them talking.  And you would like to have this started now?  Oh, on Friday after school.  Yes, Ma’am.  You order has been placed for Friday.  Thank you for depending on Angel Protection.


“It’s a beautiful day here at Angel Protection.  My name is Raphael.  How may we help today?  Yes, Sir. Let me access the records.  Oh, my.  It has been a long road for all of you.  I’m so sorry for your travails. I can tell you that the end is coming for this phase soon.  Excuse me?  Normally, telling the future is not done, but our rules are made to be broken.  Yes, Sir, the pain will soon abate.  Yes, Sir, there will be a time of emptiness, but please don’t despair.  It is a time of healing and that does have a bit of its own pain.  But we promise you, Sir, you will indeed see both her and happiness again.  Just leave everything to us.   Excuse me, Sir?  I’m not sure if we have any openings.  Frankly, Sir, you will have to wait until the end of your own road to apply.  You order has been placed and that you for putting your trust in us.”
“It is a beautiful day here at Angel Protection.  My name is Uriel.  How may we be of assistance?  Oh!  Mr. G!  I did not recognize the number.  Yes, Sir!  You have a big project and need all of us in the main office?  Right away, Sir.  Just let me put on the auto menu.”

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Arm Chair Quarterbacking

Today is Monday, December 17, 2012.  We are 72 hours past one of the most horrific events we have witnessed.  And now the Quarterbacks and Coaches are doing the post mortem.

The two most common issues, Guns and Mental Health, do play a part in the massacre.  As does parental and teacher confusion on how to react to the shooter.

And then you have the people who wish to make their political points, whether it is those blaming Gays, Abortion or general decadence, or maybe others with lack of health care or whatever.  What matters is there are 28 dead, caused by an outpouring of unmitigated rage.

Whether you believe in God or not, all of us must face ourselves in the mirror.  Who caused it? It was us.  Selfish and self serving humans trying to accomplish some goal that when all is said and done will be forgotten in the mist. 

Ecclesiastes reminds us: There is nothing new and all mankind's efforts are meaningless and vain.

Dear Lord,

Bless those who have loss and are in pain.  Keep them close and see them to some resolution of what happened.  There is no explanation in this life adequate for the loss, we know.  But allow us to learn from it as part of you will.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

LinkedIn (Blogophilia 43.5)

As most of you know, I am currently looking for a job.  And at 54, that is not an easy proposition.  One of the tools of that can be used in the modern era is the social network  It operates on the theory of Six Degrees of Separation, where by using six links you can connect to anyone int he world. In LinkedIn's case, they use only three. And by referring and being referred, theoretically employee and employer are matched to their positions more effectively than the older methods of cold calling and newspaper ads.  It can also be used to scare up sales leads and other types of business activities.

The first level connections are supposed to be your personal acquaintances and business associates.  People you have directly done business with and have some idea how they work.  Then they have associates, who are second level and then from there it goes to the third level.  To illustrate how strong the separation theory is; I currently have 210 first level connections, which translates in 7 million possible business connections in 55 industries and in almost every country in the world.  Because of my background, the vast majority of the connections are accounting or benefits related. I do have some in publishing and theater, but not enough to really count. 

But there is a problem.  I really am not sure that is where I want to end up.I spent the last 30 years of my life working with numbers and people and they both leave me cold. Do I stay in the benefits fields where most of my personal time capsule is?  Or do I branch out to use my writing talents to entertain those around me?  I do have good track record in personal relations and negotiating equitable agreements.  But the thought of dealing with another person with an agenda doesn't interest me.   But there is the matter of the mortgage, so I keep applying. 

When I am selected for an interview, a lot of younger HR types look at me as if I have onions on my belt.  The personal touch is passe with the hyper tracked process controls used in modern business.  The customer (or employee) is a number to be dealt with as quickly as possible, not a living thing that COULD take their business elsewhere. Most of the business don't really care whether customers stay or go. It is maximizing the profit on the one transaction that matters. Employees can be replaced with more computers and machines.  They are more reliable, anyway.  Ultimately the business has a full pantry, but a problem. The drive to maximize  wears out the organization.  Like a spent plant, in can no longer provide the seed to keep the process going and it dies a slow death. Think of Hostess and other recent business failures.  Suck them dry and leave the husk behind. 

I will interview with someone and I can spot whether they are one of the hyper tracked.  They are extremely careful to stay on script, knowing their every move is being recorded.  I will sometimes throw an odd answer in to see if I can throw them, but most of the interviews are like robots.  The script is sacrosanct.  I know the odd answers take me out of the running for the position, but that is fine.  I probably wouldn't fit there anyhow. I'll just track them to see if they ever do fill the position.  So far, most of them haven't.

So I move on.  I will eventually find something that fits.  Meanwhile, I have time to read, write and enjoy those around me.  I learned a long time ago I didn't need the new car or the fancy house (although this one could use some work). Things work out like they are supposed to in the end.  My opinion doesn't really matter.  

Oh, and if you want to see the profile. It is here.  LinkedIn

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ramblings (Blogophilia 42.5)

I'm being lazy this week.  Can't really come up with a coherent story line or poetic epic that fits the prompts this week. And that is strange since a lot of my characters struggle with their thoughts of grandeur.  Take Jeremy from Intake and The Test.  He thinks he can change the world through a violent action.  There are very few situations where that really makes a difference.  There have been many incidents in the last year where disturbed and broken people have blocked the exits to wreak their vengeance against the perceived wrongs they have suffered.  And the only reaction has been a little more wariness amongst the populace. 

These people fascinate me.  Having come from a somewhat dysfunctional family, I can somewhat empathize with their plight. I have sometimes daydreamed revenge against those who may have wronged me.  Then I come to my senses and realize if I do that, I would never see the rainbow of hope again.  But these people that don't need to be named, feel the only option is gunfire or explosions.  They have no hope and no love.  Only anger and destruction will do. 

I  have characters that sit in the eye of the storm, like Kari Summers (MarkThe Date and the Street Light series), that act like gatekeepers to those who might escape their sorrow. Acting as a healer and an angel to help the suffering to the next level. Her actions are heroic to me.  She is who I really want to be.  Free of material concerns and available to serve humanity for the good.  I sometimes wish for the confidence to take this path.  But I always find an excuse not to.    

I look at my own writing as a sort of escape from the mundane and boring life of an office drone.  Of course, right now I am not even that.  Just another unemployed hack looking maybe to make a dollar on the process.  Maybe I'll succeed.

Who knows.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8

A long time ago
In a place that still exists
The Concept of Instant Karma became real

A chance encounter?
Or  not?
On Central Park West

David met John
Only David walked away
From the strawberry stained scene.

The press screamed
And his widow cried
The friends were left to wonder why.

David, looking like Elmer Fudd
Chatted with the bag lady
While he awaited his fate.

And the rest of the world,
Not by premeditated choice
Were left wondering what it meant.

Now many years later
We still sit here
Waiting for our own Instant Karma to come.

Monday, December 3, 2012

2 pieces (blogophilia 40.5)

Mists rise over the bluff
And past the moss
Forming tears on the
Faded, dark marble.
A mute testament,
She stands as a reminder
Of the transitory nature
Of existence.
A grim weeper mourning
A life cut short,
Or lived long
And forgotten
In hustle of our lives.

Photograph (c) 2011, 2012, Bonnie Godbee, Savannah Ga.  Used with permission.  

The image
Of an ugly child,
Negative image of Bella,
Looks down upon me.   
Her crooked teeth biting
Into an apple.
The store thinks I would buy
This food for me just by the example.
I don't think so.