A Setting Entry

The gray sky; the sun mimics the moon due to the shaded film. Yet, a tear in the atmosphere presents hope that the cover can be removed – as sleek as a surgeon’s incision, operating to free the day and cure the cold depression. (No picture taken)

A Setting Entry

Dirt land. There isn’t much other than twigs, tumbleweed, broken branches, and layers of llama feces. The animals follow their owner; a plump man from age, but his long gray hair expresses a youthful, rebellious spirit. Steel sheds and trailers clutter the plot, as does vehicle junk and the bodies it fell from. A creek gently flows behind his property and through native land – a peace that can be easily disturbed by a buyer. He lets a part of his past go.

11/25/16 A Setting Entry @ https://clknauf.com

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An Observation Concerning… Changing and Napping

“So we keep waiting (waiting), waiting on the world to change.”
-John Mayer, “Waiting on the World to Change”

I’m an author. I’ve been known to read and understand words from time to time. I know how to put together a few complete sentences despite what some people claim and Microsoft decides to point out with their stupid green lines. With that being said, with all my experience in fiction and journalism, I will admit that some stories and linguistics trip me up – it’s just a little degrading when it happens to be a children’s story.

This isn’t just some random story thrown together by a couple of people trying to figure out what they want to do with their life, this is a classic: Rip Van Winkle. What? Can’t a grown man, an adult – or of adult age at least – capable of making his own decisions read a fairy tale for whatever reason? It’s better than living in a fairy tale like the heartbroken dreamers who convince themselves that Disney stories are a factual way of life or some 20-something-year-old who scrounges for something to eat in their parents’ fridge to fuel the late hours they spend thinking about working on a children’s book.

Most people know the legend of the sleepyhead, but like most childhood stories, there’s usually a more advanced, darker take to the fairy tale. Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Irving short:

“Their tempers, doubtless, are rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace or domestic tribulation…”

And another…

“The great error in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor. It could not be from the want of assiduity or perseverance…”

Okay, this didn’t necessarily trip me up as I claimed earlier, but the language was rather unexpected. Say you’re reading this to your child –  Are they going to understand it? Probably not – and don’t say, “Well the doctor said that my kid is so smart, more advanced than most others their age.” Spoiler alert: your doctor probably says that to a lot of parents. And we wonder where the modern mentality of delusion and regression begins.

On another note, maybe stories like Rip Van Winkle do explain a child’s fashion sense at times:

“They were dressed in a quaint, outlandish fashion; some wore short doublets, others jerkins, with long knives in their belts, and most of them had enormous breeches, or similar style with that of the guide’s. Their visages, too, were peculiar: one had a large beard, broad face, and small piggish eyes; the face of another seemed to consist entirely of nose, and was surmounted by a white sugar-loaf hat, set off with a red cock’s tail.”

And another….

“There was one who seemed to be the commander. He was a stout gentleman, with a weatherbeaten countenance; he wore a laced doublet, broad belt and hanger, high-crowned hat and feather, red stockings, and high-heeled shoes with roses in them.”

Oh, those crazy Dutch killer gnomes. Also, if I may point out, I think this commander might be suffering through an identity crisis. Wait, am I not supposed to say something insensitive like that? Good, I didn’t think it was insensitive either, but you never know who’s reading.

Perhaps the tales were meant to build a child’s vocabulary, but let’s face it, these stories are a thing of the past and don’t translate to the modern era. People had better control of the language back in the day. Case and point: my writing now. And to think, they didn’t have the dependency of autocorrect or dictionary apps on their phone (what phone, am I right?) or the ease of right-clicking for synonyms to make them sound smarter. They actually knew the meaning of certain words and how to use them correctly.

Things have changed, that’s for damn sure. Are we happy with the direction we’re going or would we rather distract ourselves with petty indifferences, avoid major conflict by presenting meager complaints, and wait for a solution?

Moral: Get black out drunk and pass out to avoid your troubles. We all have our own Dame Van Winkles, am I right, fellas? I’ll pay for that one.

Better Moral: The world is going to keep changing whether or not you stop or whether or not you like it, so you need to adapt.

Bonus Moral: Don’t listen to John Mayer and wait for the world to change; if you don’t like it (whatever your world may be), don’t be lazy, and do something about it.

Bonus Bonus Moral: 20-year naps only grow beards, and most people have those already anyway.

Okay, I’m done. I need to make a change and progress. Do you?

A Character Entry

She’s young, probably in her early-twenties, a tight waist and natural milky skin. An auburn braid hangs to the top of her back, secure and healthy. Her eyes sparkle from behind her sleek and trendy black frames, and her freckles are subtle enough to be endearing while not noticeable enough to stare – though it’s difficult to find a man without at least one eye on her as she graces the room.

Small gages fit her spirit, a long warming smile is always present, as is the distinctive bleeding ink of a tiny shred of tribal heritage displayed on her left arm: beauty on a beauty. Wonderment in  the eyes of a free-spirited vegetarian, bubbly and high on life, but perhaps her natural drug of choice changes in the evenings. She should be unattainable to all but the luckiest of alike suitors, however, a pleasant acquaintance worth having to brighten up the day.

If there was a flaw it would be the odd way she repeats the same saying in instant succession. Perhaps this is a defense or a form of comfort to survive the daily diner drudge of serving others, most staring at her backside as she walks away and tends to other tables. Unfortunate for her, a creepy obsession for some regulars.

A man is allowed to commend allure even if there is a lack of interest, for he will always be in love with another through eternity.

An Observation Concerning… Excellence

“Had the guts, got the glory, went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop.”
-Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles for winning Super Bowl LII (“52” for all you non-numeral number people), the first in franchise history.

Thank you again, New England, for making it fun, but you probably understand why no one is offering sympathy for your loss.

Let’s cover a few things…

THE GAME: Great Super Bowl, but not the greatest – there were flaws (specifically, missed kicks).
FOOTBALL SQUARES: Jake Elliot and Stephen Gostkowski (see above) owe me $50 so they need to each pitch in and send me a check.
THE CATCH RULE: Change the damn thing already, NFL.
COMMERCIALS: Tide was the clear winner, they were spot on. That was dumb; it’s why I don’t write commercials.
NBC: Did anyone else find it ridiculous that NBC had to tell people to make sure to set their DVR for extra time to watch This Is Us in case the game went too long? Have we really reached a point in our society where people can’t think to do that themselves? We have.
THIS IS US: We finally saw Jack die. It was good (why would you say that?), but somehow not as climatic as it should’ve been.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Entertaining, but I didn’t understand why they had to use a flawless white grand piano during his tribute to Prince (other than the representation, of course), easily upward of $100k I’m sure, just so JT could hammer out a handful of basic chords anyone could’ve played – and apparently it didn’t bode well with Prince fans. What a waste of resources.
“CHAMPIONS” SHIRTS AND HATS: We really need to stop wasting resources (see above) and dressing developing countries in clothing that represents losing.

The Patriots don’t actually represent losing, and people hate that. There’s something to say about this though. We’ve come to a sad point in our society where greatness seems to be frowned upon. Not many people appreciate the idea of a dominant dynasty, the achievement of excellence whether it’s because of bitterness or jealousy. The mystique of greatness must be admired. I didn’t realize this until yesterday, but out of the eight “Brady-Era” New England Super Bowls, I’ve actually cheered for the Patriots six times. Let’s quickly go over that.

YOU: Oh come on. Do we have to?
ME: Yes; you have nothing better do and that’s why you’re reading this post, and don’t lie and say you’re jam-packed with work the Monday after the Super Bowl.

FOR- 2002 vs. St. Louis Rams: It was cool to see them win their first.
AGAINST- 2004 vs. Carolina Panthers: It would’ve been cool to see the Panthers win their first.
FOR- 2005 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: I’m a Washington Redskins’ fan (and amazingly not a racist).
FOR- 2008 vs. New York Giants: Again, per my loyalties, I just can’t root for rivals, but I can recognize and congratulate.
FOR- 2012 vs. New York Giants: See 2008.
FOR- 2015 vs Seattle Seahawks: There’s just something unlikable and annoying about Pete Carroll and his players.
AGAINST- 2017 vs. Atlanta Falcons: It would’ve been cool to see the Falcons win their first.
FOR- 2018 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: See 2005.

However, it was cool to see the Eagles win their first Super Bowl, and to do it by taking down the evil empire. There’s nothing wrong with the Patriots; they’ve displayed excellence in an era when most are content with average and believe the playing field needs to be evened in all aspects of life. Opportunity should be given, but you have to do the rest. I applaud New England for what they’ve accomplished – which is easy to say now because we’re finally at the tail end of this thing.

Yet, this is about the Philadelphia Eagles and the way they earned their victory when all hope was lost after Carson Wentz got injured in the latter part of the season. It’s okay; Nick Foles went out and won MVP. That locker room wasn’t handed anything, they weren’t settled on accepting their participation trophy, and because of that, we all got to witness something wonderful.

There’s a middle-aged man who works the front desk at the gym I frequent weekday mornings. He was in the best mood I had ever seen him in; greeting everyone with the longest grin imaginable and whistling between happy anecdotes. He’s an Eagles’ fan, from Philadelphia, and he actually said he can die a happy man now. Let’s not get too obsessed now. The footage of the pandemonium in Philly was fantastic; all the ecstasy and tears of joy was touching in a way (my friend and I set the over/under of arrests at 125). However, that overwhelming happiness wasn’t derived from contentment with average or good enough; it was given to these fans through excellence by a group of men who earned their success.

Congratulations again, Philadelphia, now you’re the most hated team in the league (you were up there to begin with). To be disliked for winning means you’re successful, which is better than being admired for a false sense of accomplishment.

A Character Entry

There’s actually a grouping of these people inhabiting every corner of two intersections, and most likely under the bridge they man – where there’s a high possibility that other services are offered for extra compensation. However, this one man is particularly noticeable, for he is one-legged.

An amputee without a prosthetic, exposing a filthy deformation at the thigh with back-alley stitching that forms chills just from the idea of grazing . He’s tan from the sun, race, and dirt, and sits in a stolen wheelchair, begging for not only money, but mercy and sympathy. It’s given on a daily basis, and has been for years, but the routine – who once offered their pity – now know his true intentions.

An unmotivated trickster, an actor who performs his sob story in garb of stolen valor only to take advantage of the merciful and use their good graces as a form of payment to feed his fixes.

A strip club regular. A drinker. A user.