Nap Well, Sweet Prince

writing, short story, The Devil, Hell, humor, Modern Philosopher, Sundays with Satan Short Story SeriesWould you like to hear a secret about your beloved leader, Modern Philosophers?

He looks ridiculously adorable when he’s sleeping.  I’d take a photo for you, but I worry that Austin would see it as a complete betrayal and ban me from The House on the Hill for life.

So you’ll just have to take my word on it.

The Prince of Darkness would never lie to you, would I?

Welcome, friends, to the Sundays With Satan Short Story Series.  My name is Satan and I’ll be your host today.

Because my co-host is sound asleep on his living room couch.  Drooling all over it, mind you.  Thank goodness I never sit on that end.  Could you imagine what drool might do to my impeccably tailored suits?

The mere thought of that is my personal Hell.

Still, he does look adorable.  So innocent.  So peaceful.

From the way Gary the Gargoyle tells it, this is pretty much the first time Austin has stopped to relax since Monday when he returned to work from “The Vacation About Which We Dare Not Speak”.

Apparently, he has worked a grand total of sixty-two hours since Monday and has not allowed himself a single day off from the job that he admits melts his brain.

He’s also gone running on four of those days, and has been working on his screenplay and writing daily posts for this blog.

short story, The Devil, Hell, Deep Thoughts, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhile it’s well known that idle hands are my personal playground, it appears that Austin believes an idle mind to be where thoughts of lost love fester and then paralyze him.

If he keeps working, focusing his mind on creative projects, and running his body into a sweaty, healthier mess, there is no time left for his thoughts to drift to the Emerald Isle, where his heart is already trapped.

With that kind of schedule, it was only a matter of time before sleep claimed him.

Our sweet, awkward, heart broken prince has somehow contorted his hulking 6’3″ frame to find comfort on a couch that is not quite that long.

Don’t ever let him tell you that he doesn’t snore, Modern Philosophers.  The windows in the living room are rattling from the vibrations caused by the sonic blasts being emitted from his mouth at the moment.

I’d be surprised if one of his neighbors doesn’t call in a noise complaint.

Even though he looks perfectly at peace right now, there have been moments so alarmingly frightening that I’ve been tempted to wake him.

There were fits of screaming, mostly in Irish slang terms, that didn’t quite make sense, but led me to believe he was dreaming about her.

Later, he actually sat up in his sleep, let loose with a mighty right hook, and then yelled at an unseen intruder to unmask himself and finally reveal his identity.

He immediately curled back up on the couch and commenced snoring.

writing, short story, fiction, The Devil, Sundays with Satan Short Story Series, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe poor, exhausted overachiever.  It’s obvious that his brain doesn’t shut down even when he is asleep.

I would wake him, but to do so would exchange one misery for another.  He needs his rest, even if that rest looks more eventful than his waking hours.

So I’ve pulled up a chair and kept an eye on my fatigued friend while reading the Sunday paper.

I wish there was more I could do for him, but something tells me that a Sunday free of spending time with me is the greatest gift I could supply right now.

Follow me on Pinterest, or I’ll send Satan to watch you while you sleep…

 

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He Keeps Going and Going

health, fitness, running, exercise, writing, life, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhat I love about you guys, Modern Philosophers, is the way you’ll check on me when you have a concern.

A few of you emailed because there hasn’t been a running post in a few days.  You were concerned that I’d dropped my new running program already, or that the dark clouds had rolled in and confined me to a life of isolation at The House on the Hill.

I’m happy to report that I am on week four of my new running program, and maintaining a schedule of lacing them up and hitting the road four times a week.

The last two mornings, I’ve gotten up far too early for the weekend, run four miles, and then gone to work to put in some overtime.

Since Monday, I’ve clocked 62 hours at work and four runs of at least three miles (I should clarify that those runs were not done at work!).   In addition, the new screenplay is now over 80 pages.

I’ve been very busy, hence the lack of a new running post.  I was particularly proud of myself for my runs this weekend as it would have been very easy to blow them off because I was working overtime.

The challenge now is to find the right balance in my life.  Yes, there is a gaping void in my schedule now because of the relationship that has vanished, but I’ve quickly filled that time with other activities and I intend to keep myself busy.

running, health, exercise, fitness, mental health, balance, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe better to distract myself, Modern Philosophers, from Deep Thoughts that would attract the dark clouds and be very bad for my morale and self confidence.

So I choose to pack my days and seek out the proper balance.  At the moment, the plan is to run Saturday and Sunday mornings, and then Tuesday and Thursday after work.

I still intend to work overtime, which means getting up early on the weekend to run, and not working as late on Tuesday and Thursday so I still have the energy to get in three miles before exhaustion overpowers me.

How cool is that above picture from this morning’s run?  The sky was so awesome, and I had to capture it, even if it meant I was only in silhouette.

And don’t sweat it.  Those aren’t the dark clouds creeping in on me.

I also make sure to carve out ample time during the week for my new screenplay.  I’m pleased with the progress, and even if I don’t work on it every night, I am constantly scribbling down notes for upcoming scenes.

My mind never takes a break, and right now, it is totally in screenwriting mode.

Yes, my new schedule is exhausting, but this is intentional.  My mental health is just as important as my physical health, and it is essential for me to keep my mind occupied.

The running is doing wonders for my health and self confidence.  The overtime is really helping my bank account.  The new script has forced my Writer Boy persona to wrest control away from the Hopeless Romantic, which means more creativity and less weeping.

health, fitness, running, mental health, life, balance, humor, Modern PhilosopherI don’t think there’s an exact formula for the perfect balance in life.  It’s just something I’ll tinker with through trial and error.

What I know for sure, though, is that I’m smiling more, moping less, and my legs are pretty damn sexy from all this running.

Thanks again to those of you who were worried that I’d hung up my running toga.  My weary legs can attest that this is not at all the case.

I’m just going to keep going…

Why don’t you run over to Pinterest to follow me?  Be sure to stretch first!

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My Emails With Hillary

Hillary Clinton, politics, government, Secretary of State, Presidential Election, email scandal, humor, satire, Modern PhilosopherI promised her I would never tell, Modern Philosophers, and I’m usually a man of my word when it comes to affairs of the heart.

But the FBI is about to make it public anyway, so I want to come clean.  To ensure that the truth is revealed and that a special time in my life isn’t soiled by the media.

It all started as a stupid joke, to be honest.

I was reeling from the departure of The Girl Who Moved Away, and I might have had a glass of wine to help me deal with my broken heart.

I rarely drink, and I’m an incredible lightweight, so after half a glass of wine, I was ridiculously tipsy.

The news was on.  Some special report about the Secretary of State doing this, that, or the other thing.  To be honest, I don’t remember much.

Like I said, I had a drink and the woman I loved had just moved halfway across the country to chase her dream.  Without me.

So when the talking head on the nightly news kept rambling on about the Secretary of State, and I saw her familiar smiling face on my television, I thought I’d have a little fun to distract me from how sad I was.

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, emails, scandal, flirting, social media, politics, satire, Modern PhilosopherIt’s unbelievably easy to find the email address for the Secretary of State.

It’s even easier to send an immature email that read something like: “Since you’re the secretary for all states, could you fetch me a coffee and bring it to Maine?”

What I didn’t expect was an almost immediate response.  From the woman herself.

“Sure.  How could you like it?  Poured over your sexist head, or down your pants?”

Since I was tipsy, lonely, and took that second option to be a little flirtatious, I decided to write back.

Apparently, Secretary Clinton was having a really rough day and needed the mindless distraction, and we ended up exchanging emails ’til the wee hours of the morning.

And that’s how it all began.

It really was just a harmless flirtation.  Almost more of a pen pal situation with slightly naughty tidbits sprinkled in for spice.  My girlfriend was off in the Midwest pursuing a new life without me.  Madam Secretary was often off in the Middle East pursuing a new way of life and a lasting peace for total strangers.

Hillary Clinton, politics, email, scandal, flirtation, humor, satire, Modern PhilosopherHer work kept her away from her husband, who wasn’t always there even when he was physically present.  So she welcomed the distraction and attention

My work reminded me of The Girl Who Worked With Me Before She Moved Away, so I needed a distraction and was desperate for any female attention.

We just happened to be in the right place at the right time when we each needed someone to be there.

We knew it could never be more than an email exchange.  Her work never brought her to Maine, so there was no excuse for us to “innocently” run into each other at an event.  I never found myself at State Dinners or in the middle of an international crisis.

So we just emailed whenever we could.  We never even spoke on the phone.

It was all email.

Thousands of them over about a year and a half.

All of them now stored on a private server.

Emails to which the FBI now has access.

Hillary Clinton, politics, satire, humor, email, scandal, Modern PhilosopherThose emails were never meant for anyone but her, just as her emails were only meant for me.

Yet they are now about to become public.

Why do bad things happen to good people who innocently want to flirt via email?

I’m sorry, my dear, sweet SOS.  Just know that my words won’t lose their meaning simply because the entire world will now be able to read them.

Guess we should’ve thought this out a bit more, but who has time to think when it comes to matters of the heart?  Or state security?

Stay strong.  Be well.  You are in my thoughts.

You don’t need a private server to follow me on Pinterest…

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What’s Your Life’s Enchantment Under The Sea Dance?

philosophy, relationships, time travel, Back to the Future, humor, Modern PhilosopherHappy Friday, Modern Philosophers!

My Deep Thoughts lately have been focused on the events that led up to my horrible vacation and what I could have done to change things.  As a disciple of Doc Brown and a huge fan of Back to the Future, my obvious urge has been to borrow the DeLorean and head back in time to the exact moment when it all fell apart.

That would be the Fourth of July weekend where I would avoid the stupid fight that somehow became the straw that broke this relationship’s back.

By altering history, I would have ensured that that she got on the plane three weeks ago, and I’d be happily planning a winter wedding.

But Doc hasn’t stopped by The House on the Hill lately, so I haven’t been able to borrow his wheels.  Alas, I’m stuck with life as it unfolded, and the space/time continuum will remain as is for the time being.

Even though I can’t time travel at the moment and make life the way I’d prefer it to be, I can open the Think Tank and invite you to join me for a Back to the Future themed evening.  Doesn’t that sound like a great way to spend a Friday night?

This week’s topic:  What’s your life’s Enchantment Under the Sea Dance?  What moment, if you went back and altered it, would cause your life to unravel and make everything slowly fade from the photograph that you keep tucked away in your wallet?

philosophy, time travel, fate, relationships, Back to the Future, Modern PhilosopherThis is a fun one, Modern Philosophers, so feel free to be creative.  Remember, I’m talking about a moment that would change your life as you know it, not the moment that would keep you from ever being born.

I’ve given this one lots of Deep Thought over the years.  I’m a big believer that there is a moment in every life when an unfocused existence suddenly finds the path that guides it towards its destiny, and all that was meant to happen now unfolds as the Fates intended.

What do you think about that idea, Modern Philosophers?

For me, this magic moment, my personal Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, occurred during Thanksgiving break of my sophomore year at NYU.  I stayed at the dorm to attended my high school’s reunion (we got together every year over Thanksgiving break) and there were several other students who had remained at school instead of going home for the holiday.

One of those who didn’t go home for Turkey Day was the freshman who was seeing one of my best friends from high school.  My buddy had been at the reunion, too, but on this particular night, he was not down in the TV room watching Halloween.

In fact, the only two people who were awake in the middle of the night watching one of my all time favorite flicks were my pal’s girlfriend and me.

When the movie ended, and its chilling theme blasted out of the TV, we kissed for the first time.  From that point on, she was no longer my best friend’s girlfriend.  Fate had put me on a path that this pretty blonde haired freshman and I would walk together for the next sixteen years.

relationships, time travel, fate, philosophy, Back to the Future, humor, Modern PhilosopherYes, she eventually grew up to become my ex-wife, but if we had never kissed that night, I would not be writing to you from The House on the Hill with a broken heart.

I was a lost soul, wandering the world all alone until that moment.  I’d never had a serious girlfriend, I wasn’t really fitting in well at NYU, and I was still so awkward and shy.  Entering into this relationship drew me out of my shell, introduced me to a family that would bring some much needed stability to my life, and forced me to grow up very quickly.

We went to Maine on our honeymoon, which planted the seed for the move that eventually brought me to The House on the Hill.  We moved to California, where my screenwriting career finally took off.  My divorce forced me to become independent again and made me realize I was stronger and more self-sufficient than I’d realized.

The only reason I’m handling this current heartbreak fairly well is because I survived the end of the relationship that began that night with a kiss in the dark as Michael Myers watched us from behind his creepy mask.

If I borrowed the DeLorean to time travel back to that night and avoid that first kiss, I can guarantee you that my life would be nothing like it is right now.

So what’s your life’s Enchantment Under the Sea Dance?

You don’t need to time travel to follow me on Pinterest!

 

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Where Do I Find The Energy?

running, fitness, health, mental health, writing, balance, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherThis might be a quick post, Modern Philosophers, because I don’t know how much energy I’ve got left.

I decided to commit to my running program and writing my new screenplay while also working overtime all week.

I wasn’t sure where I’d find the time or the energy, but I knew I definitely needed to push myself down a more positive life path.

That being said, running after work today was a must if I wanted to keep to my plan of a 4 day run week.

So I got up early, arrived at work at 6:30, and promised myself I would not stay past 5:00.  Yes, Modern Philosophers, I actually felt like I was doing something wrong when I clocked out at my regular time tonight.

My work schedule has been so crazy that working a 10 hour day felt like a reprieve.

Of course, once I was back at The House on the Hill, I still had to find the energy to get out and run.  Surprisingly, my body put up little resistance.

It’s a gorgeous Summer night, and there’s a nice breeze, so tricking myself into sweating for three miles didn’t take much arm twisting.

The run out was rough, but not nearly as bad as Tuesday night’s ridiculous misadventure.  That one was such a nightmare that I’m sure Freddy Krueger was just a few paces behind me the entire time.

The run home tonight was a revelation.  I went a little further down the road than on my previous run, and I seemed to find my second wind somewhere on the way back to The House on the Hill.

running, fitness, health, humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherSure, I wasn’t breaking any records (other than for most sweat produced), but when you factor in the 10 hour work day I’d already put in, I did a damn good job dragging my exhausted body down my route.

Even made it home in 1:15 faster than Tuesday night, which made me awfully proud.

Look at how soaked with sweat my shirt is, and then look at that handsome smile.  I’m either completely delirious or actually feeling good about the course my life is currently taking.

Before I go enjoy my dinner, I wanted to add that I found time last night to write two scenes in my screenplay before crashing.  I was about to go to bed and realized I was a screenwriter.  So I grabbed the laptop, parked my butt on the couch, and got all creative before allowing the Sandman to enter.

I’m not sure where I’m finding the energy, Modern Philosophers, but so far, I’m sticking to my new schedule and loving it!

Okay, I’m going to pass out now…

Just let me sleep.  Make sure to follow me on Pinterest before you go!

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The Voices In My Head Are Bickering

humor, sanity, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherThe voices in my head can be quite the blessing when the time comes to be creative, Modern Philosophers.

How do you think all these stories end up on the blog for you to enjoy?  The voices shout them at me until I type them into my laptop and send them out into the internet.

It’s a pretty decent arrangement.  Sure, it makes it difficult to sleep most nights, and it’s hard to focus at work, but overall, I enjoy the company.

Except for times like now when all the voices are bickering and no one voice is standing out as the dominant one.  It leaves me confused, dizzy, and desperate for aspirin.

The debates currently going on in my head are crazier and far more out of control than the Republican Presidential Debates.  Here are some topics being argued…

I love her with all my heart and miss her desperately vs. She broke my heart and abandoned me so I need to forget about her.  This is the loudest of all the debates and the voices in my head are really divided on this one.  While they all agree they miss the Sweet Irish Girl, they cannot figure out how to move forward.  Should we chase after her?  Beg forgiveness?  Make a grand romantic gesture?  Try to forget her?  Start to get angry?  You can imagine how rough all these opinions have been on my brain!

Health vs. Wealth.  Should I keep pushing myself to work insane amounts of overtime and basically have no time in my life for anything but work?  Or do I need to calm the hell down and make time to keep up my running program?  Money can’t buy me love, but running isn’t going to pay for heating oil this winter, either.

writing, philosopher, inner turmoil, debate, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherCreating vs. Surviving.  I got a lot of writing done over my vacation, and continue to work on the new screenplay.  Progress has been stymied because I’m at work all day, but new pages are being written.  Having all that time to just write reminded me how badly I want to write full time.  The fact that I wrote so much over my vacation only fueled the artistic fires and the belief that I could make this dream a reality.  Then the voice of reason rants and raves about how I need a steady paycheck to keep a roof over my head and food on the table.

Isolationism vs. Socializing.  Some of the voices believe I’m better off keeping to myself and staying safe at The House on the Hill.  I can’t get hurt again if I don’t put myself out there where people can let me down and hurt my heart.  Other voices think I’m too lonely and that if I surrounded myself with people, I would be happier and not have to worry about being all alone.  Love isn’t just going to knock on the door, is it?

Thinking all the time vs. Turning off my brain.  It seems impossible that the voices would want me to turn them off, but some of them truly believe that this would be the best thing for my health and sanity.  It’s been so long since I stopped overthinking everything and just let instinct take over.  Maybe it’s time to quiet my mind and see what happens.  Perhaps I should be making conversation with other people, or just enjoying the silence.

humor, philosophy, Deep Thoughts, Modern PhilosopherOf course, the silence won’t be coming anytime soon.  The voices in my head are nowhere near resolving their conflicts, and they’re only growing louder.

What really drives me crazy, though, is when they start doing accents.  I could use some sleep tonight, so I hope and pray that they can settle down for a few hours.

Of course, without the voices in my head, life would be extremely dull…

Listen to the voices in your head telling you to follow me on Pinterest!

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Am I Superman?

running, health, fitness, exercise, Superman, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m not faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Modern Philosophers.

But I still think I’m Superman!

I’m making this claim because after a ten and a half hour work day, this mild mannered Modern Philosopher put on his running toga and flew out of The House on the Hill for a three mile run!

Okay, so maybe flying is stretching it.  I might also be using the word “run” loosely.

The fact still remains, however, that even though I was exhausted from a long day of working overtime, I still found the superhuman strength to cover a very sweaty three miles in 32:45.

Sure, there was some walking, crawling, crying, begging, and hallucinating involved, but on a night when I had absolutely nothing left in my tank, my inner Superhero took over and found away to get me to exercise.

I had actually planned all day to try to run after work.  I’d gotten in ten runs during my vacation and didn’t want to ditch my new running routine simply because I had to be chained to my desk all day again.

The problem was, I couldn’t pass up on the overtime.  That extra money is going to come in very handy someday, and my inner Lex Luthor wanted as much of it as possible.

The Flash, Superman, running, exercise, fitness, health, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhen I run during the week, I get up early to do it before work.  Because of the overtime, though, I’m already getting up early, so there’s no time to unleash my inner Flash before I head into the office.

So my only option is to go after work, when I’m worn out after a super long day.

To be honest, I’d made up my mind not to run tonight even before I left work.  On the drive home, I was sleepy and just looking forward to vegging in front of the TV once I made it back to The House on the Hill.

However, as I was about to pull into my driveway, a very attractive young lady ran past the house in the middle of her own fitness routine.

I took that as a sign.

Not only that some higher power wanted me to run, but also that if I ever wanted a woman like that to give me the time of day, I needed to get my butt back into shape.

That was all it took.  Just that little nudge.  Because down deep, I really wanted to go for a run.  I simply needed some inspiration.

Yes, I struggled.  I really was drained after getting up early and working ten and a half hours.  I’ve been too mopey lately, too caught up in my own pity party, and too lost in thoughts that aren’t particularly good for my self confidence.

health, running, fitness, self confidence, Superman, humor, Modern PhilosopherSo I ran.  I unleashed my inner Superman, ignored the Kryptonite of self doubt, and got all heroic in a sweaty kind of way.

Of course, the day I unleash my inner Flash, I’ll be extremely thrilled.  I’m just happy, for the time being, with being able to push myself at a much more mild mannered Modern Philosopher type of pace.

I wanted to give up several times on tonight’s run, but there was no way the Man of Sweat was going to quit.

My name is Austin, and I am Superman!

Be a Superhero by following me on Pinterest…

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