All posts by X Teri

My Apologies For The Troll(s)

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Friends:

Please accept my apology, one offered to all those who may have seen some particularly hateful commentary.

Someone I know is struggling with alcoholism and mental issues. The prognosis is such that it’s not going to improve. The truth is that I’m going to simply have to tolerate it until he’s no longer able to behave inappropriately. On the one hand, what he’s doing is completely objectionable; on the other, he’s often not in charge of his own faculties, so it’s difficult to hold him accountable like I would a normal person. While what he’s doing is a crime, I ask that you ignore anything bizarre that might appear in the comments for a short time. I’ll clear, delete, and block all the offending content as soon as it’s brought to my attention. I can block by email, name, and IP; as you know, however, these are not sufficient to thwart someone who actively seeks to inflict distress or inconvenience on another person.

If you see or hear anything crazy, threatening, or angry, please let me know. (Not from me – from him. You can ignore my stupidity and treat it as normal day-to-day craziness.)

I’m not posting this to draw sympathy, prayers, or well-wishes.

It’s literally to let you know that you might see some startling things across my blog and social media. I’ll correct them as soon as they appear. I’ve spent 50+ years adjusting to the insanity of anger and addiction; a little bit more probably won’t ruin the remnants of my own sanity. I have to admit the latest round of hatred and bile thrown at me was a bit over-the-top.

Thanks, X
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The “It Is What It Is” Cliché Comparison

 

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“Truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth” has to be one of the most meaningless clichés on social media. It’s clever, but meaningless, like a quick conversation at the coffee kiosk on an early Saturday morning.

I see it used by fundamentalists, by liberals decrying the prejudices of conservatives, and all manner of people who need a convenient way to stigmatize those they identify as their detractors.

“Any quote, axiom, cliché, or saying that can be equally used by polar opposites is meaningless in all contexts. It is the “it is what it is” of social knowledge.”

A Snapshot of Memory

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*Guest Post

In this day of phones, digital cameras & easy(easier) photography the world is full of portraits & life-changing memories artfully posed, beautiful for sure yet simpler to catch. Engagements, births, holidays, moments in time long ago not as spontaneous if caught on film.

Back in my childhood photos of the ilk were less common unless you sat in a photographer’s studio- not as accessible to the working folk. You snapped a pic, waiting for the roll of film to be finished, brought it in to be developed, and usually, you got an envelope full of crossed eyes, blurry shots, laughable seconds. Few and far between were photos remarkable.

While we were not the kind to sit in a studio for a portrait, have on the walls framed photos of our time vacationing or spending a holiday, this one moment in time my father took of me is as artfully placed to be one.

Summer, on my front porch, resplendent in my bathing suit ready for running through the sprinklers. That, as I recall, was quite a looked forward to part of any sun-shiny moment then. Playing with my Rubik’s Cube- must’ve been 1980 or so.

I don’t remember much of this day, but I do remember (hindsight, mind you- as a kid I couldn’t register this) my dad got this sort of inspired look on his face and asked me to sit on the steps, against the column of the porch, and try to solve it. So I did. And he took this picture.

No digital cameras, no immediate pics to edit. Just a simple photograph on a camera with film he had to wait to develop to see if it turned out.

I think of this as my “portrait” to this day. It was a good moment. I’m thankful for that second in time captured. I think it still resembles me, captures the person I am inside. Sometimes the spontaneous becomes immutable…

 

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A Party For My Mother-In-Law

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At my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday party yesterday, we all had a laugh. The church we invaded for the party is in Fayetteville, not too far from the U of A campus. About halfway through, some of us heard a loud bang, followed by immediate darkness in the church. Because the game was about to start, we could only assume that a higher power was expressing disinterest in the game rather than our party. We were without power for the last half of the party. As it turns out, the Razorbacks were without energy for most of the game themselves. We got the better end of the bargain, in my opinion.

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Christ’s Church of Fayetteville graciously gave us the run of the fellowship and church on Saturday when we held the party.

I was tasked with getting the balloons for the roadside for the party. I bought mylar balloons and triple-tied them to each other and to a large traffic cone at the roadside entrance to the church. About 45 minutes later, I glanced through the frontside vestibule doors. A man was walking past on the sidewalk. He was holding a colorful balloon similar to the ones I displayed. It occurred to me that the odds of an adult man coincidentally having a balloon similar in appearance to mine on an early Saturday afternoon were about zero. I went out the side entrance and walked around. It turns out that the odds were indeed slim. For reasons unknown to me, he had cut off one of the decorative balloons as he passed. He looked happy, so I can only assume that a balloon was just what this fellow needed to improve his day. Besides, I couldn’t imagine calling the police to report a stolen party balloon, especially if it improved the gentleman’s day.

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Here are the two remaining balloons.

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One of the surprises I made for Julia’s birthday was a 90-page bound book, stuffed with pictures of her life. Its contents did not reflect a life reduced to mere pages. Somehow, what filled it was greater than the sum of its photographs.

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There is no greater juxtaposition in life than of age and youth unless it is the smile of each generation celebrating a year, a life, and fellowship. That one of the participants in the picture has a touch of frosting on his lips further proves the efficacy of a life of humor and good food.

I unabashedly stole the picture of Julia and Marie’s children from Marie, who I finally met after a long social media friendship. The picture best reflects the life I hope Julia has experienced and for the years awaiting her.

 

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My mother-in-law with the diamond painting of her favorite dog, a Chow; my wife worked hours on the painting.

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Julia happily looking her over surprises, as a slideshow of 300+ pictures of her life plays in the background.

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Another picture I stole from Marie, pictured on the left. This is her and Julia: cousins.

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We had somewhere around 25-30 people show up. It’s difficult to plan parties anymore. Those who attended were all happy. Julia certainly was.

Given that the lights were out for half of the party, it was a success.

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Listing To The Middle

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Make fun of my stack of index cards I always carry? Look at this totally legit “Coupon” I’m gonna use at Guido’s Pizza.

The young cashier got a huge kick out of the coupone when I handed it to her at the register. She went to the back to prank the kitchen staff. She proudly kept it.

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“No, it’s none of your business why I want a dozen of these.”
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I submitted my concealed carry gun permit application. Because it didn’t have my category, I scribbled in “Glue Gun.”

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Iguess holding up a $3 bottle of Oakleaf wine at Walmart market and shouting, “I’ve got supper!” is somehow not a good idea?

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There are times when I catch myself forgetting how nice it is to be able to communicate in another language. English is a bastard of a language and I pity anyone trying to feel comfortable with it as a second language.

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If it is one thing I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t count on, it is an abacus.

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Bad news: my neighbor’s new pet Rhesus monkey died during an explosion.

Good news: now there’s enough Rhesus Pieces to give out to the kids on Halloween.

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Today is a day when I truly need Shoresy to accompany me as I encounter the rash of degens in my path.

P.S. If you don’t know who Shoresy is, you have my sympathy, loser.

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Another deconstructed social media post…

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A bit of foolishness, a bit of satire…

If you suffer from GSS, please accept my non-apology.

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“Thumbless people have no middle finger” is both true and deeper than the words themselves belie.

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The market is getting too specialized. Now they’re identifying foods by the hour of consumption.

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A Personal Story

 

 

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This is a personal story. It explains a sensation that infrequently overcomes me. Maybe you’ll find something interesting in it.

I’m re-watching “Breaking Bad.” When the episode “ABQ” came around, it hit me like an anvil, exactly as it had during the first watch. Not only is the episode one of the best television episodes ever made, but it also resonates with me like a gong. It’s not just the contrasting complexity of circumstances in the show; it’s the familiarity I feel when I observe people around me as they incorrectly calculate risk and probability. On a long enough timeline or with sufficiently strange variables, darn near anything is likely to happen to any of us on a given day.

On Saturday, Sept. 28th, 1991, around 11:30 a.m., a plane crashed on the trailer I lived in. I was inside, watching a movie, and attempting to forget the fact that I had called in for the first time from work that Saturday. Like Walter White, I was deep inside my own head until the pilot crashed. I too looked up toward a crisp blue sky, seeing a jacket and parachute slowly descending toward the ground. It was surreal, unnatural, and moments passed before I saw the plane, followed by the pilot dead at my feet.

Every time I mention the story of pilot Joe Frasca crashing and dying, someone new comes forward with a crazy tidbit to demonstrate how intertwined we all are.

Because I watched “ABQ” again, I now find myself looking up like an OCD sufferer. It happens every time that something drags me back 29 years ago. The urge will pass, as it always does.

The concentric, albeit hidden, circles that surround us also bind us.

One lingering effect of the plane crash back in 1991 reminds me of the bewildering complexity of probabilities. It’s why I look at lotteries a little differently than most people.

We’re all on the timeline. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen.

Whatever ‘it’ is, it is coming.

Ready or not, the anvil awaits.

Nuance

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Your Monday options: will you be Malachi or Isaac today? Regardless of where you work, I suspect you might think you too are in a dangerous cult, led by madmen.

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Do you call them “buffet pants” or “comfy pants?” Or “fat pants?”

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“Forever Box” is my new favorite word for coffin.
And people say I can’t learn anything from the internet.

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Last night at supper, I inevitably did my artwork with index cards, markers, and the tools around me. Thus was born “Shredded Cheddar President.”

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Box fan from home.
Check.
Full set of pillows from home.
Check.
Two individual comforters from home.
Check.
I pity everyone else in the hotel.
Savages!

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According to my manager, I should not refer to my workplace as “The Badlands.”

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*Content warning: I love mocking positivity memes and clichés. My version expresses a greater truth, one rarely voiced by our great poets, yet still affecting us all.

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Last week, my friend Josh invited me to his church. “It’s right up your alley, X. We do things differently.”

At 10:05, I entered a bit late. Josh was already seated up front. I nervously walked past all the congregants. An unusual, high-pitched sound filled the air. I was too distracted by my lateness to figure out what was afoot.

I sat next to Josh on the second row. “Sorry I’m late,” I whispered.

I soon figured out what the noise was when I entered.

The pastor looked across the pews and said, “If everyone will get out their Humnals, we’ll hum #456.”

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“The more violent the sport, the sexier that those on the sidelines dress. Which means politicians should be wearing negligees.” – X

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