Monday, August 31, 2009

Story time with Carl

I'm a little too lazy to come up with something to write about so I'll just share this bit of hilarity. If you are my wife I would refrain from listening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trail blazin'

It's Tuesday and I'd like to say I'm at a crossroads but I'd have to be on a path to reach that point. Those of us that blaze a trail of our own don't encounter off ramps or any kind of delineation with the exception of whatever may impede our progress through the fields of uncertainty. We stomp hard so those who follow us know where we've been.

As was noted in an earlier post I turned 31 last week. I typically see another year as one step closer to the grave and I am working my way towards that demise. It's a screwed up way to look at it but only if you don't enjoy the means at which you make it happen. I don't enjoy the means in which I'm making it happen but I'm trying to.

At work I find trenches where I can hunker down and fight my battles and trust that the lack of skill among those that surround me will ensure my progress. True, they can take you down with them and in many cases they do. The trick is to avoid obstacles. I used to do quite a bit of research and development but most of that work involved me identifying obstacles which I was and still am very good at. Today it's mostly reports and very little problem solving. I lack the tools to motivate my guys into doing their jobs but I've found a solution as of late.

It's incredible how much people do to keep from getting hassled. That's the crux of it really. They don't want to be told over and over to do their jobs so they do their jobs. It's micro-management on my part which sucks but in the long run it builds habits for both of us.

Let's talk about habits since I don't want to talk about work. I have habits like any human being though they're more like routines. I mow the lawn once a week. I've been trying to do the front and back on different days so I get additional time to enjoy it. My only other habit is keeping my car clean. Aside from those inane activities I don't have anything that I feel the need to do besides, eat, poop, and go to work.

I want to write music but it's hard to sit down and reflect on your life when there isn't much going on. I just don't see myself writing songs about visiting my in laws or mowing the lawn though I'm sure I could write plenty about the latter. I think I just need to find a way out of this funk I'm in and find a way to do with my life as I've done with work. I need to put on my big shoes and start wearing a path through somebody's yard.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I turned 31 yesterday and I feel like I turned 31. I can take it either way. Hooray for being old enough to be married and a homeowner. Hooray for being old enough to be taken seriously in most settings. There's a caveat to that. Save for some crazy ear hair and an assortment of grays and whites that do battle with my receding hairline for attention I still look pretty young. I occasionally get the "Wow. You don't look that old." from various young people who think they're older than me because they don't notice things like a wedding ring and the details noted above. I can add a few years by letting my beard grow in but I've grown tired of having one and have been going without.

Within the last year that's lessened since pretty much nobody asks for my credentials anymore. The only thing that makes an attempt to say, "Hey buddy, you're still young." is the self checkout at Wal*Mart when I try to buy an R Rated movie. I should do that more often.

I'm happy in general but I think I'd be happier if I was in my mid 20's. I think I'd do it better a second time around. I'd avoid younger people since they just thought I was dumb.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

No "Ask Graham" this week. The only manly things I did were mow the lawn and grab my wife's ass. I mow the lawn every Wednesday so there's not really anything exciting about it except for the fact that I love it more than anything except maybe my wife.

It's a bit of an illness. I typically look out the upstairs window at my front and back lawn before going downstairs each morning. I usually do the same thing before going to bed at night. I don't come out and say "Good night lawn." but I think it. My favorite part about walking the dog is coming back and admiring it from up the street. I scoff at the crappy lawns my neighbors have. The jack hole next door mows about once a month. He usually waits for it to look like shit for two weeks before he considers doing anything. It gets so damned long that he has to bag it. He has to stop every 5 minutes, kill the engine, loosen up the clippings in the bag, fire it back up and do another 5 minutes. It's annoying.

That's not to say people look at me when I do my lawn. I do two sweeps at opposite angles to make it look awesome from any angle. I switch my pattern every other month so each pattern is done four times. After that I go at a different angle so as to not impact the soil. If it's raining I can take it easy on the watering. This year it's been flipping dry so I have to give the front and back 30 minutes of water every morning if temps hit the 90's otherwise I go every other day.

I also build bird feeders and bird houses.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Motivated but not inspired

I work in the basement (I call it my office) Monday through Friday. I keep my guitars nearby in case I want to grab one after quitting time and write some songs. I don't really have any inexpensive projects to do around the house that don't involve being outside during my least favorite season. I can't for the life of me figure out why people enjoy sweating their asses off. I don't have a body to show off. In fact I really only get wardrobe compliments when I'm almost completely covered up. Thanks everybody.

At the end of the day I really want to write some music. I'm very motivated to to an LP since I have yet to do one even though I've written enough songs for several. I lack the inspiration to put together something. The most obnoxious part is that I can build crap out of wood like I'm putting together something out of Legos. I just start cutting and eventually I have a bird feeder or a work bench yet I can't write a damn song. I can do everything but the hook.

For those of you that don't know (the four people that read this do) the hook the part of the song that makes you want to listen to it. The singer in my last band could come up with a hook like my dog farts. I'm like a typical bachelor's refrigerator. All condiments. I can finish your song if you don't know what to do with it using my side dishes.

I swear I'm just going to start working on it. I know how to do it so I just need to do it. I've decided to start with an album cover.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Friday men and aspiring men! I wasn't able to post a letter last week because I was at a manly conference. It was a good time. I learned how to not cry and belch my favorite drinking songs all while mowing the lawn and winning a bar fight. I am now even better equipped to help you.

Anonymous wrote:

Dear Graham,
I was looking for an outfit for
my dog the other day. My wife insisted on a little dog that yaps like you wouldn't believe. I'd like to get it some outfit or accessory to make it appear more manly so I don't feel so self conscious while walking it. I was thinking a studded collar or a vest with a skull on it. Something like that.

Respectfully yours,

Woodrow Teagan
Tampa, FL

Thanks for writing Woo... I'm going to call you Steve because there is no way Woodrow is your real name. If it is I suggest changing it to something less strange. Also, don't you or anybody ever start a letter with "Dear Graham" again. Let's talk about that dog.

There is nothing less manly than a yappy dog. I feel your pain. I don't quite understand why you would think that dressing it up like a teenage girl that reads those Twilight books while drooling over guys wearing lipstick would be a good idea. Honestly people. At what point did the quintessential accessory for a gay man at an S&M club become considered a way to "butch" up an otherwise effeminate dog? Don't put that on your dog unless you plan on taking him to the Blue Oyster Bar for dancing.

What about the vest you say? Apparently you didn't see the picture above. Take another look at Woodrow doing the tango with that large man. Now look to the left. See that cue ball watching them? What's he wearing?

Get your dog a normal collar or harness. The less conspicuous the better. Forget the leash. All you need is a good length of rope to hook to the collar or harness. There is nothing manlier than a length of rope. Say it with me. "Length of rope." Feels good doesn't it?

Now go fourth and walk your damn dog.

Applesauce bitch.