No Shave


It's the 15th hour of the 23rd day of this largely cold and dreary No Shave November.

My beard has started doing pull-ups in the mornings.

In the evenings, as of late, I feel driven to poke my head out of the front door and let it glisten in the moonlight a bit. While this tends to facilitate the growing process, it also serves to quiet down the neighbors' barking dogs, which is a perk.

The television constantly flickers WGN, which has proven to carry the most Walker, Texas Ranger reruns.

This seems to help keep the beard from getting anxious.

More updates as they come...


Selfie Witness Protection


Just witnessed my first-ever "duck-face, car/driving selfie" in-person.

To wit:

Red light. Gentle stop. My peripheral vision has picked up on some movement coming from a Black Suburban.

I let out a dry sniff, wrap my arm around the passenger's seat and let my gaze wander casually to the right.

Quintessential bleached-blonde beater -- not particularly cute, not particularly heinous-looking -- is jerkin' and gyrating around in her seat like she's dodgin' jabs from Muhammad Ali, her self-cocked iPhone catching all kinds of different poses and angles as it clicks-clicks-clicks away.

My forehead is pinching shut.

She's twitching her lips and eyebrows recklessly as an imaginary photographer barks: "Give me happy, baby! No, now pain! And anguish! Now you're strolling, now you're strolling, just havin' a stroll on The Boardwalk..."

She continues to fire off selfies as she lurches out into the intersection, rolling one wheel onto the curb, then off again -- the Suburban bobbles back into the right lane.

A driver behind me palms his horn twice. The light is now green.

I let my foot off the brake and try to un-furrow my brow as I watch her pull into a Walgreens.

I'm trying to make sense of it.

I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard.

But I can't.


Desperate Charades En Route to Seoul


 ... I felt the first pangs of fear begin to seep in.  Those bolts and jolts that clench your heart a bit, jerk your eyes open a little wider and take your breathing up a notch.  I can never tell adrenaline from an extreme freak-out.


Hard-wired Days and Unnecessary Nights on St. Croix



... But it was worth it. It seems that every now and again, we find ourselves churning madly in a little corner of the world – wherever it may be – where we are truly content for a few moments, a few days, a few years, for some maybe it’s a lifetime. It wasn’t that we were necessarily a part of anything bigger, but we were a part of something better. There was an overwhelming sense of perpetual victory all around – that only you and a select few had it all figured out, and that we were taking part in something that the rest of the world was missing out on...


Northern Musings Part II: "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."



Northern Musings: Part II

I'm a weird tourist.

No Statue of Liberty, no Empire State Building for me. Somehow, waiting in line for an hour and a half to shell out $60 and hitch a ride up the second tallest building in New York City just doesn't sit right.

I'd rather spend my time swilling 40 oz. malt liquor on a rooftop in Chinatown while playing "Cornhole." Fantastic way to spend the downtime during a Northeastern tour. The rest of the time I'd simply hoof it around town, wearing down my unconditioned legs to the point of exhaustion and copious amounts of Ibuprofen.

Maybe stop in an Irish Pub for a break and a pint of something heavy. A stroll through Central Park. Then a breeze through Grand Central Station. Blow my money elsewhere on highfalutin drinks and dishes in Manhattan.

Don't appease the tour hawkers...


Northern Musings



... And that's what it is. Those early mornings creep up quick in NYC; before you've realized it, the legs of the barstools around you are jetting upwards, and you're waving around a glass of Pinot Noir while giving dating advice to the bartender.

You don't even drink wine, and what's worse, the poor bastard is listening to you. It's late. After hours, and your friends point you toward a subway. You trust their judgement, give them a wave -- let them know you'll be just fine. Just riding out of The City...


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