Sunday, December 26, 2004

Christmas playin with plastic tauntauns...

Don't I wish. The best I ever did as a kid was play with my millennium Falcon Christmas morning, while my Uncle (Mike, I think) played his Star Wars laserdisc. For you younguns out there, think of an LP sized DVD. The year was 1980, And I also remember it because that was the year my Grandpa (Mom's side) and Uncle (Dad's side) got me the same lego star destroyer that I wanted... It was a lego Christmas after all. In my mind, it was the most memorable Christmas ever.

Until this one.

2004, as many of you know, has not been a great year to be Rob. Christmas day found me alone, depressed, with plans to gorge myself on a 22 lb. Turkey. But as I sat down to eat, the strangest thing happened... I heard children laughing outside... And playing! Now, I know my neighbors have kids, but they never play outside... EVER! So, like the poem says, "out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I ran to the door to see what was the matter" Or something like that... I'm sure you get the idea... Anyway, it was snowing!

In New Orleans!

On Christmas day!

I couldn't believe my eyes! My Neighbor, Keylee, couldn't believe my hair (I hadn't combed it yet that day) It was Snowing! All at once, I felt like a child again... The spirit of the season coursed through my veins like I had been freebasing Christmas cheer or something. I went for a walk among the big, fluffy flakes, amused by all my neighbors, outside with their families, enjoying the first snow in new Orleans in over ten years. As many neighbors gawked, called loved ones to share this miraculous sight, and threw poorly fashioned snowballs at one another, All of the crap I've been through this year suddenly seemed meaningless.

It was Christmas, it was snowing in my adopted hometown, and I was the happiest guy in the world. Carefree stroller through A white Christmas in New Orleans. Proud recipient of an honest-to-goodness Christmas miracle.

Bing Crosby, eat your heart out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Okay... Time to do something Profoundly stupid.

Sometimes dear readers, when life kicks ya in the nuts, you just have to say what the hell. I was sitting at home on Tuesday without much to do, when I decided to call Donald to see if he wanted to hang out. He did, but we were stuck for something to do. He suggested bowling. I Don't enjoy bowling much (once, I bowled an 8!) so I said lets drive to Jackson instead to visit Stacey and Drew. So we did. Throwing common sense, responsibility, and a touch of sanity to the wind, we took off for casa Sphieler not knowing for sure if they would even be home.

so, after the three hour drive, we sat in Stacy's driveway and called he to see if she minded having company. Surprised the crap out of her... It was great. Then we went out for barbecue, and had cracker barrel for breakfast the next day before heading home.

I feel so much better now.

One thing that this has shown me is that as much as I hate to admit it, my brother may be right. I do need a prolonged vacation. Soon. The stupider the better. Something to prove to myself that I am still in charge of my own life.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Okay... Enough already!

I'm lookin at you, God. You think I don't see you there hiding and giggling behind the sofa, but I do. I have really had enough of your messing around with my life for your amusement, you hear me? Capital E- nuff! I don't care for your freaking tests... I feel that if I have done something so wrong to deserve all this, there is no way that I have not atoned for it at this point. SO KNOCK IT OFF ALREADY! AND STOP F#@&ING GIGGLING AT MY MISERY! TAIN'T FUNNY!

Well the rest of you out there are probably wondering why I sound a touch upset. Long story short: Charity is in the hospital again, And of course she and I both blame me for it. I know... Not my fault... I was just looking out for me, right? Well, my selfishness landed her in the hospital... AGAIN! I found this out primarily because the hospital that she was being admitted to called me at work to get her insurance info, otherwise, I would still probably be boppin along in blissful ignorance.

I know that on some level that if Char can't be responsible for her mental health, then there is no way I possibly can be expected to be... But still, it bothers me that I seem to be the only one who genuinely cares what happens to her. So, if I don't step up to the plate with her illness, NO ONE WILL.

Now, the question is, does that automatically mean I have to? Does my obligation to Charity not only as her husband, but as a caring human being, a good Christian, and possibly her only true friend, mean that I put her needs ahead of my own happiness?

I am very confused... So I turn to the great male role models of our culture. Jesus would just wave a hand and heal her. Superman would try to help her, no matter the cost. Indy would kick some Nazi ass until he found an artifact which would solve the situation. Curly would wack her in the head with a two-by-four by accident. Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck.

Of course, the three stooges probably aren't the best role models in this situation, are they?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Oh, Brother.

Well, something interesting happened last night... I heard from my semi-estranged brother. I will admit, It kinda suprises me that I heard from him, but then again, I figure Mom probably had something to do with it.

I can hear that phone call now... "Ya know, your brother is having a really rough time down there, and it would be nice if you called him. LIKE, NOW!"

Ahhh, a mother's gentle persuasion. How do I know this? because every time something unusual happens in Jay's life, I get a similar phone call, and then I spend a half hour justifying to Mom why I haven't called sooner. Sheesh.

Anyway, I gotta give props to Jay; he did call. Of course, he then spent at least a half hour trying to persuade me that I absolutely need to leave town for a few days, despite me telling him that that wasn't gonna happen due to my life's circumstances.
Again, Sheesh.

Maybe it's the whole debate/forensics thing in him, but sometimes he just doesn't know when to let well enough alone. Proving yourself right should be secondary to making someone feel better, ya know? It amazes me sometimes how different we really are. I wonder if it amazes him, too.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Wading in the stream of conciousness

Well, I feel like writing today, and since my current screenplay is going nowhere, I figure a blog entry will help me get it out of my system. Problem is, that it's tough to write about something when you have nothing interesting in mind.

Robert Silverberg once wrote "Every day I get out of bed and step on a landmine. That landmine is me. I explode forth with ideas, dialogue, and exposition until I contain the whole mess on a piece of paper" Or at least he said something remarkably similar to that. As I get older I find my once photographic memory doesn't quite get the details right like it used to.

Anyway, I envy the man. It must be nice to know that whatever spouts forth from your brain is worthy of putting into words. Although, when I get up, I feel like I'm about to explode too... primarily because I usually have to pee.

Robert Silverberg I'm not.

So, writers block sets in as sure as the sun rises in the east, and I sit here typing out horrid cliches like that last one. Well, maybe not horrid, but certainly tired.

Anyhow, My life is still... Upsetting. But, I do think it's getting better. Sure this whole "impending Divorce" thing is hanging over my head and weighing me down to the point where I feel like just my hair weighs about thirty pounds... but all things considered, I'm actually doing pretty well. No heart attacks so far... and my finances are lower than I would prefer, but all in all I'm okay.

First time in weeks I've been able to say that.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Christmas is coming!

(cue little Japanese men running and screaming in terror)

Well, just like Godzilla, Here comes Christmas. The birth of Jesus celebrated, pre-packaged, used to sell everything from apple pie to razors, and wrapped up with a bow and a note that says "11th commandment- thou shalt not humbug".

Random thought- If it's Jesus's birthday, how come we get no cake and ice cream?

Well, I for one refuse to put up decorations this year. It's just me, and I see no point. I also refuse to be frickin jolly. I will not wear my santa hat, and I will not wrap any gifts for myself to put under the tree, which I am not putting up.

I will not suffer fools gladly this season, either. So, DON'T tell me "but, Rob... it's Christmas!" I really don't want to hear it. If I choose to celebrate the birth of the christian savor by cursing loudly at my chimney after downing several quarts of heavily spiked egg nog, that's my business. If my road to inner freakin peace has no exits labeled "Christmas cheer" that's also my business.

I'm sorry... I sound really hostile.

And that's not what the holidays are about. But, by the same token, they aren't about Santa, gifts, malls, presents, decorations, or even that sweetest of all mistressess, Egg Nog.

It's all about peace on earth, and goodwill toward your homies and honeys.

For shizzle, my frizzle. I've been watching MTV. Does it show?

So anyway, for the holidays this year, try not to get down on those who have no spirit, give em a hug instead. They, like me, probably need one.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving day, 2004

Well, once again this year, the time is upon us to give thanks for all that we tend to take for granted throughout the year, and many of us sit at the table in front of the turkey thinking about what we are truly thankful for. I'm spending this thanksgiving in Jackson, MS with my good friends Stacey and Drew. I know I probably could have fenagled my way into an invitation closer to home, but with all that has happened in the past few weeks, I figured I really needed to get out of town for a few days. To think, to clear my mind, to release the lingering guilt over the end of my marriage, and of course to reflect.

For me, thanksgiving throws me into an exceptionally reflective state, and I guess that's kinda the point, right? So, with all that has happened over the past year in my life, what do I have to be thakful for?

1)My health. No heart attacks so far. Although my friend Lauren pointed out just the other day that I could have had one and never know about it. Like I don't have enough to worry about, now I've started saying to myself "oh, NO! I feel fine! I could be having a heart attack!"
2)My carrer. Things going exceptionally well at the lighthouse lately, and the higher-ups seem to think I'm reponsible. Who knew?
3)My Friends. Through this difficult time, they have all been there for me in every way possible. I could list folk by name, but I don't want to leave anyone out. Y'all know who you are.
4)My family. We may be disfunctional, but when I think about how my "immediate family" has suddenly changed with the breakup, I realize that my parents and brother are a damn fine bunch. There are fences there that need to be mended, sure... but at least they aren't fifty feet tall and electrified, like the one with my mother-in-law.
5)Lastly, I am thankful that despite how she probably feels about it, Charity is getting the help she needs. The psych ward is no place to spend a holiday traditionally reserved for family, but I know that it may be for the best. I just hope that through the haze in her mind right now, that she still realizes how much she is loved...

Well, Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. May your blessings exceed your expectations, and may your turkey never be dry.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

How did Doogie do it?

Doogie Howser, I mean... the guy would sit at his computer week after week, with something insightful to say. Me, I'm lucky if I even sit here typing, much less offer some true insight. Maybe this whole Charity thing just has me down to the point where I'm losing my creative spark and sparkling wit, But maybe I just need better writers.

Still, let's try the whole insight thing this week, and see where it goes, shall we? After all, my last "insight" entry was pretty funny... ("life is short")

This week's insight: No matter what direction you think your life will lead you, it will invariably have ideas of it's own.

We are just passengers in the car of life, folks... and someone else is obviously doing the driving. If I could go back in time, say fifteen years, and explain to my younger self all that has happened from living in New Orleans, to Char's illness, to the eventual breakup of my marraige, I doubt I would believe me. (much less the idea that I was testing a time machine)

In fact, I would assume that the time travel thing had driven me thouroughly mad, and would check into "wacko" insurance. So, of course, when I was twenty or so, I know what phrase would have convinced me... "Someone else has the keys." You see, one of Pop Cerio's fave cliches is "life is like a car, and you are the driver". Well, mine's a lemon, with a sadistic drunk behind the wheel.

I need to take away the bastard's keys.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

10- If "A" Then goto "reaction A"

There are times in all of our lives when ouside forces conspire to unravel the carefully woven tapestry that is our lives. What I like to think makes us all unique is how we react to that unraveling.

But that's hardly true, now is it? We all seem to be hardwired to react in a very specific and predictable way to the outside stimuli we all face on a daily basis.

For instance... if you get hit in the face with a pie, your reaction would probably involve the following...
First, you would wipe your face... and be angry. Second, you would smile, and see the humor in it. Third, you would look around for another pie to exact your revenge.
My point is, we all would react to this situation in roughly the same way. maybe a little more angry, maybe a little more jovialy, but the undercurrent would always be the same.

But why?

Does "stimulus A" always have to mean "response B"? or is this just some form of conditioning that we have all been indoctrinated to? Why does getting hit with a pie mean we should laugh at the idiocy of the situation? and Why is the appropriate followup another pie, and not say... a shotgun?

Not that I've been hit by any pies lately.

Still, recent events in my life have started me thinking about this principle. Other, perhaps more relevant examples would be things like "if girlfriend or wife cheats" response is "end relationship"... or "If you get hit by a car" response is "you must sue regardless of injury"... or even "country attacked by terrorists" response "must go to war with everyone"

I think the true test of a person's charecter is how often they Don't go with the "response B". So, in the intrest of science... try this for a day: every time something happens that would make you say, angry, ask yourself "is this the only reaction I could have?" Let me know what happens.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

So, what can I write about in ten minutes?

I have ten minutes before I must leave for work. So, when not much funny is going on in my life, I tend to write in the "stream of conciousness" style... bear with me, okay?
Not much funny has been happening to me of late. Char is gone, and I am alone, reading up on divorce law. I told her that if she ever needs anything, I will be happy to provide it if I am able to do so, but her Mom of course disagrees. (quelle suprise, non?) The other day, I got into a shouting match on the phone with Her mom that really unsettled me. I know it's her daughter, but she is having trouble accepting that our marriage simply isn't working out. she said some pretty horrible things to me... much worse that char ever has... and I just lost it and tore into her... New York style. I know I have it in me, but it's an animal I don't let out too often, and never without being really pissed.

The "New York" in me is vicious... and knows exactly what to say to totally pull the rug out from under a verbal attacker. My comments are not only biting when I get like this, they downright draw blood. I felt bad... not because of any injury I may have caused my Mother in law, but because Charity was right there, watching me do it.

Go figure.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Curve ball- Warning! serious topics ahead.

Sometimes, I just have to write. I write to clear my head, to hash out ideas, to cheer myself up, and to just get it out sometimes, when life has me by the proverbial balls.

This week has proven to be one of those times. I'm normally pretty good at keeping the happy face in the face of overwhelming sadness around me, but this week has been different. It's just too much to bear.

To begin with, My marriage is going through a difficult time, and more than likely will not come out of it intact. There's a lot more to it, but suffice it to say that neither Char or I are really happy with the way things are, and when that happens, change is inevitable. She's moving out tommorow. Perhaps our marriage was a mistake, i mean, we still are madly in love with each other... but as a close friend of mine recently said to me, "a marriage is not just about love." There are some serious issues that I simply cannot forget, get around, or otherwise forgive anymore.

Char is going to live with her mom. Trouble is, Mom ain't doing so well. A few weeks ago, she found out she has spots on her liver. For those of you that understand the implications of that, well... lets just say that it's difficult telling someone that you know may not see next christmas that her daughter's marraige simply won't work. I really love that lady, and she doesn't deserve this... but I know that after two failed marriages of her own, she does understand. She just worries about her daughter's ability to get by without her.

On top of that, two very close and dear friends have suffered a devestating loss, one for which I can only imagine the pain that they are going through right now. They both read this blog regularly, so guys... know that my thoughts and prayers are with you despite my plate being full.

Times like this for some reason, always make me think of my aunt Vita. This lady has had some of the toughest experiences I can think of... Unable to have kids, she adopted my cousin, who died of a brain tumor at an all-too-early age, and she herself has been diagnosed with M.S... But through almost all of it, She always was a rock, and one of the toughest people it has ever been my pleasure to know. She would always say "it's a test." And I suppose life is a test...

I just hope I pass.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

"another day goes by, a fork stuck in the road..."--Green day, 'time of your life'

Well... My life lately has taken a few interesting turns, and I am continually suprised at where life takes me. I always like to feel like my life is kinda like driving a car, choosing your path along the way, but as I get older and "wiser" I realize more and more that it is far more like a darkride roller coaster (much like Disney's "space mountain") You think you know where you're headed, but it's all hooey. Things happen to you and yours that always change the plan, weither you like it or not. Sometimes I think the best we can do is just hope that the guy who laid out the path you're stuck on truly has your best interests at heart.

I can see God in the planning phase of it now..."I've got his great roller coaster idea... of course no one will survive the fifty foot cliff it runs off of, but what the hey.... Hey, is that Rob guy outside? he'd be perfect for this one."

But I digress...

There are a few forks that came up this week, most having to do with my carrer. I promised I would not bitch about said career, so I will just say this... I think everyone's carrer has highs balanced by spectacular lows. I had a great high early this week, and hit an amazing low yesterday.

"Fifty foot drop anyone?"

So I sit here, contemplating the future of my carrer. Do I follow blindly in hopes of success? or do I jump off the roller coaster now? Another interesting twist that came up this week is that I applied for a part time gig as a paranormal investigator.

I know... the buisness cards alone will be worth it if it comes through. Anyway, all this brings me to what is really on my mind right now.... My relationship with my brother.

"warning... serious topic ahead... please keep your arms and hands inside the car at all times, and enjoy your ride."

I know... I went from "a" to "24" there. I suppose a little explanation is in order. You see, The carrer issues led to the paranormal thing, which lead to me talking to mom about it last night, (you have to know her), which lead to her apparently telling Jay, which lead to the e-mail I got from him this morning after almost a year of not speaking to him.

Follow? Good. Let's move on. My relationship with my brother is... strained. Not for any really good reason, either... it just is. I believe that as we have gotten older, our paths have just diverged is all, and we have developed into two very different people, with very different outlooks, motivations, et cetera. This in and of itself is not a bad thing... The problem is that I don't feel that we would be friends, or even associates at this point if we were not brothers. There's more behind it I suppose... I mean, Jay can be mean, pig-headed, and more than just a little condesending, as well as arrogant and downright rude. I just don't enjoy his company, or the way he makes me feel about myself in his presence, so I choose to avoid him.

I can only assume that he feels much the same way, as the last time I checked a phone works both ways. Again... in and of itself not a problem, but my Mom is distressed at the fact that we don't get along. Mind you, She hasn't spoken more than a few words to her brother Joey in years, (for much the same reasons), but I'm the bad guy for not getting along with Jay. Interestingly, I figure mom must have shared my little analogy with Jay, because his e-mail read in part, "we are not mom and joey". He's right... we're Rob and Jay, with our own unique problems, perspectives, issues, and coping mechanisms. One of them happens to be to avoid each other.

I know what you're thinking... "You must be this emotionally mature to ride this ride." Hey, it works for me, okay?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Life is short.

Well, its been another couplea weeks, and I've come to a few realizations:

1) As smart and charming as you think you are, you will always have those moments when you are neither...
2) Cheese goes bad if you leave it in the fridge too long...
3) Life is short.

It's number three I think I'm gonna start on, although the transitory nature of refrigerator cheeses will be worked in here somewhere as well. Number One has a story behind it as well, but I think I may leave that for another day, as it makes me look really stupid. (Not that hard, I know) well, maybe not, as all three are kinda related.

So, anyway... Life is short. I realized this when I grabbed a piece of cheese to snack on from the fridge the other day, popped it in my mouth, and promptly spit it out. (very very stupid- hense revalation #1) okay, show of hands... Who knew that cheese goes bad? don't the french age cheese for like, centuries or something? that must be really, really bad cheese! So anyway, I look at the cheese wrapper, and realize for the irst time in my life that cheese HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE! News to me.
Then again, expiration dates on milk were news to me when I first moved out on my own. (has it really been over ten years?)

True story: My first week out on my own, I was up late, looking for a midnight snack. I walk across the floor of my modest studio apartment over to my even more modest fridge, and open it to find the half-full gallon of milk I bought when I moved in. I open it, take a big swig, and realize that the milk is well on it's way to being cheese. Of course, I spit it out, and promised myself only to buy milk by the quart from then on.

But I digress...

So, it occurs to me, while trying to rinse the foul taste of expired cheese from my mouth, that if I am going to continue to be this stupid in the future, that I may want to start taking better care of myself. After all, the long term effects of expired cheese are nothing when compared to the long term effects of continuous twinkie ingestion. Life is too short, and for all I know, that cheese coulda killed me! So I made up my mind that rather than spend my "morning time" fiddling on the computer for an hour, (I wake up usually at 6:00am, but don't really need to wake up till 7.) I will instead use this time to exercise.

From now on, Honest.

So this morning, I went out for a jog. Yes, a jog. I walked out to the levee, stretched a bit and took off like the wind...

For about 50 yards.

"Just great." I think to myself... "I am so out of shape, that I have to get back into moderate shape just to begin really getting into shape." So, I strolled instead of jogged, for about two miles. I came home dejected, and consoled myself with a little debbie fudge round.

Baby steps, people. Life is also too short not to treat myself to a fudgy snack once in a while.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Status... maybe not quo....

Well, Char has returned from her Grandma's funeral, and it's great to have her back.

Looking at some of the things I've been writing, I realize that this has already started to turn into a "dear diary" sorta blog, and that was never my intent. So today, I think I'll talk about why I want to get back into a weekly (if not daily) writing habit.

Creativity is a very important part of who I am, weither it be making up jokes on the spot, thinking outside the box on the job, speculating as to the future plot twists of my favorite shows, animating things in flash, working on my website, or just weaving a good short story. A month or so ago, I realized it had been AGES since I last put fingers to keyboard in any meaningful fashion.

Never a good thing.

Anyway, so I decided that having this blog would give me an excuse to write on a more regular basis, which is true enough, but I find myself more often enough stuck for a topic to write on. I subscribe to writer's digest's "prompt of the day" but more often than not, it turns out to be something like "go out and buy a book about writing" like that'll get me to write. The things I do think of to write about tend to come out like this entry, all maudlin and such. I think the reason for this is that a typical entry for me isn't really long enough for me to relax and get funny.

Also not a good thing, especially if you actually read this blog on a regular basis. Humor is sometimes a harsh mistress.

What is a humble-yet-longing-to-be-a-pop-culture-icon guy like me supposed to do to fill space on his blog?

Obviously, Run for president.

So, my friends, what you will see here on days that I can't think of what to write is how I feel on the issues, and maybe just a skootch of my plan for a better America. (Not to be confused with my plan for world domination, or my plan to send out for pizza.)

See what I mean? The longer the entry, the funnier I get.

Continuing on the point of this post... A few weeks ago, I went to a movie with some friends, and it was suggested that I should run for president, accompanied by the resounding cheer of aproval from everyone within earshot. Of course, that could have been for the "baby geniuses 2" trailer. (See...This the funny, people!) Anyway, I figure a failed presidential run would look great on my resume, and maybe even make a cool reality show, so I have made up my mind to do it. My peeps have spoken, and they say "Rob for prez". Of course they could have been saying "send Rob for pretzels", but why should I let that stop me?

More to come....

Friday, September 03, 2004

Grandmas and hurricanes

I called my grandmother last night for the first time in years. She lives in florida, you see, and right now there is a catagory four hurricane headed right for her. She's decided to ride it out, and told me my uncle Vinny is coming over there to button up her house good and tight. I hope she's okay. Anyway, it made her night to hear from me, but her first real question was "so is your father still fat?" gotta love the old gal. Also, Charity's grandma is very ill, and my mother in law and Char are riding up to georgia this weekend to visit...

As I get older, I seem to be constantly reminded of my own mortality... I dunno if this is a good or bad thing, but it is definately I will have to explore when I can devote more time to writing about it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Well, here I am, creating my own blog without a darn thing on my mind to say...

I guess I should introduce myself... I'm the webkahunah, and I have created this blog to give myself an excuse to write once a day. I will write whatever strikes my fancy here, be it rants, apathy, obsevation or jokes. Perhaps you will find it entertaining, perhaps you won't.. one thing I will not do is bitch about my job, as I did that once on a previous blog and it nearly got me fired.

Trust me, you don't want to hear about that anyway. I do hope you like my posts, and any comments are welcome.