How often does work phone you to tell you that you have the day off? I guess I have time to post something after all…

Thanks to El_Presidente for subscribing. I can tell you’ve been reading a while anyway, I just haven’t been writing as much as I ought to.

funzone: Sorry I’ve been caught up with work lately…


My roomate for my second and third years in college was a guy that was also from New Jersey. we hit off really well, and his folks were pretty cool too… I’ve actually since been to his house and stuff like that, kinda miss him, but anyway..

He was a bass player that graduated high school by showing the pricipal a tape recorded on his four-track. He liked to make up pieces that reminded me of Bela Fleck tunes, except that it was all his bass and that’s it…

He had one that he admitted sounded like it could be a pop song. He even asked me to write ballad-type lyrics for him, under two conditions:

The first I guessed before he said it. No cliches. ‘Down on my knees/Begging you please’ is right out. ‘I gave my heart to you’ might work if the context allowed it, but… probably not…

The second, he said, was ‘No lies.’ I giggled, because I understood what he meant by that, though I did have to think a second.

He meant that he didn’t want his song to be about ‘I’d pluck the stars from the sky and give them to you,’ or ‘I’ll give you anything you want’ or even ‘I’m completely at your beck and call,’ not just because those are also pretty much cliches, but because even if anybody’s said that, or heard somebody say that, maybe you meant it for a day or so, but you know that real life won’t allow for that.

You can’t even say ‘I’ll spend every waking moment by your side,’ because eventually, you have to go to work, or the bathroom, or something.

Why do people still make money off phrases like that?


This actually began as a rant about certain friends of friends that you’ve already heard about. The root of the problem is much larger than that, and for the time being, I haven’t got a solution.

I live in a ghetto. To the south of the ghetto is Great Lakes Naval Training Center. It was built with the promise that their money would help clean up the ghetto. Fat chance. But anyway, south of the NTC is Lake Bluff, followed by Lake Forest, IL, home of Mr T., Mr. Walgreen, the Chicago Bears’ training facility and a whole host of immensley rich folk, a stone’s throw from the ghetto.

This means that I see the whole mixture of folk at work as well as walking and driving around it. Grand Avenue is a mix of beaters and Beemers, POS’s and SUV’s.

Crossing the street between the supermaret and the mall to cash my check, I waited at the corner watching a Lincoln Navigator in the left turn lane lay standing across the crosswalk almost sticking out into traffic. The turn-lane signal for the other road was green. Cars in the twin turn-lanes nearly hit each other as turners swirved to avoid the humongous SUV, which had more than a length of space that its lone driver could have reversed into had her eyes not been so focussed on the traffic light.

You may recall “People get tired,” which I quoted someone who attributed most (anti-?)social rage to fatigue. I almost subscribe, but he missed something. I would have felt no remorse watching that lady lose her front bumper while standing in the turning radius of other traffic, and I refuse to believe that her mistake had anything to do with a temporary mental lapse. Sometime in recent years, politeness and common sense got flushed straight down the magic white wishing well.

The short back-and-forth with Mister_Green tried to delve into this little problem, why everyone in retail service has to deal with the occasional shortage of etiquette. Even folks who haven’t worked retail can recall clients or even retailers who have seemed to need lessons in either manners or sense.

Our social structure is now geared towards fun. Entertainment, peace of mind, and happiness bombard us in all forms of advertising, and even our own speech. So what really makes us happy?


This plain and obvious message was written on the back of a one-dollar bill a customer gave me at work. The message would be more poignant on a twenty but I suppose it would be circulated much better on a one.

My friend I’ve refered to as Mark likes to tell a story-

When he was stuck in northbound traffic on 41 (leaving Lake Forest) he noticed something profound; in the southbound lanes, the faces of the drivers were focussed, argumentative, or otherwise miserable. The passing BMW and Mercedes-Benz products suggested success, but there was not a smile to be found. In front of him was a worn out pickup truck filled with landscaping equipment and a few lanpscapers, who Mark tells me were of the Mexican or at least hispanic persuasion, laughing and having a wonderful time, probably on their way home from a hard day’s work. Now, this could be a simple case of relativity: perhaps landscaping pays so much money that compared to what they were accustomed to, our landscapers are rich? Maybe landscapers in Lake Forest get paid good money? The fact remains that the landscapers were having more fun than the luxury car owners, and their fun had nothing to do with money.

Indeed, the tease at the top of this page seems to be me whining about the bad economic standing I’ve dealt with for seven years now, but I’ve learned to be happy with my life as it is. By this regard I am succesful despite being uninsured and owing a lot of money! I’m tired of people telling me I should “better myself” because there’s nothing wrong with me! My sources of unhappiness are those that think I need financial peace of mind, a date, a family life, a different job, or whatever, and anyone who would dare lump their stress and unhappiness on me.

There’s actually a lot more to this thread, but I want to stop now in case I think of something more positive to write about in the meantime.

Best wishes. -ch


5 thoughts on “

  1. ORANGE!  Yeah, when I took a paycut to go to my new job I wasn’t happy at first because after all it’s a paycut.  But now I could care less, because happiness has no price eh?  Good lesson that people don’t believe but one day will all learn.  ORANGE!


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