Undercover Haircut

haircut, life, absurd, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m proud to announce, Modern Philosophers, that my new haircut has successfully completed its spy training.

It arrived on the scene Saturday, has been out in the open for all the world to see for four days now, but has managed to mingle among us virtually undetected for that period.

Not every haircut can earn undercover status this quickly, so it was quite the achievement.  Who knew that there was an international head of hair of mystery just waiting to be recruited under that mop top I’d been sporting for weeks?

Don’t let the photo of Dr. Evil fool you.  This spy hair is working for the good guys.  I just chose the dome chrome pic because my new ‘do has been just as invisible as Dr Evil’s infamous locks.

Maybe I’m more observant than most, but I pride myself on noticing when someone gets a haircut.  Just this morning, I told a coworker that her hair looked different and we chatted about her new style.

Of course, she made absolutely no mention of my new haircut.

Mission accomplished!

Yes, a few people have commented on the cut and seem to like it.  Mrs. Fish complimented me on my new, shorter ‘do on our morning walk.

My attractive neighbor, who was turning heads this morning in her robe as she manhandled the garbage to the curb, told me she had noticed my new haircut the night before but had forgotten to mention it.  Obviously, tossing grapes is distracting!

Other than that, maybe one or two other people have said something.

Is there some sort of sexist double standard at work here?  I get the feeling men’s haircuts go unnoticed on a grand scale, while women always seem to garner attention for doing something different with their locks.

Perhaps it’s just because men tend to get the same cut over and over, while women put a little more thought and style into the process?

Or is sexist of me to even offer that as an explanation?

haircut, life, absurd, humor, Modern PhilosopherAll I know is that my undercover hair is currently on assignment, and I’m not at liberty to discuss it.

National security and all.

For the record, though, it looks great.

Maybe you’ll notice it after you’ve read this blog post…

Yes, Modern Philosophers, this is the sort of thing I think about when I’m not feeling well.  My Deep Thoughts tend to run to the absurd when the germs try to take over my body.

I just hope my hair doesn’t get sick.  The world should not be deprived of its newest hero.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Big Queasy

life, humor, being sick, summer cold, nightmares, Modern PhilosopherI’m going to be straight with you up front, Modern Philosophers…

I don’t know how long this post is going to be because I am not sure how long I can be away from the toilet.

There.  I said it.  Now you know.

I’m hideous.  Look away!

Who in the world gets sick during the summer?  It better be the start of the Zombie Apocalypse Virus because if this is just a common cold, I’m really going to be pissed!

Since we’re friends and have gotten to know each other so well, I’ve felt comfortable enough to share my recurring nightmare with you.

I wake up in the middle of the night to find a masked being standing over the bed and watching me sleep.  Sometimes, the figure has a knife.  Other times, it’s just dangerously close to me when I’m sleeping like a perfect little angel.

Often, I’ll try to punch the figure, throw a pillow at it, or chase it out of the room.  When that happens, I wake up throwing punches at the air, or to find my pillow on the other side of the bedroom, or to discover that I’ve wandered off down the hall.

Yes, it is a freaky nightmare.

It started right after my divorce, so I’m sure it’s rooted in my fear of being alone and abandoned.  I used to think that the figure was my ex-wife.

Now I think the uninvited stranger is just fate.  The unflattering future that awaits me if I cannot find someone to love me again, and more importantly, sleep next to me to keep the creepy creature away from me.

life, humor, being sick, summer cold, nightmares, Modern PhilosopherI’m sure its appearance has something to do with my love of old horror movies like Halloween and The Fog.

For all I know, the being under the mask is me.  Maybe I’m too afraid to find out, and that’s why I never try to unmask my guest.

But last night, I was visited by something far more evil and exponentially more frightening in the middle of the night.

I’d gone to bed early because I was exhausted and wanted to get a jump on the new week.  However, I woke up several hours later to discover I was not alone.

Something was inside my stomach.

It was wretched and painful and scared me wide awake in mere seconds.

I never throw up, but I felt like I was going to hurl, so I bolted for the bathroom.  I have seriously not been in that kind of pain in a very long time.

I tried to figure out if I’d eaten something that disagreed with me, but I’d had a healthy menu all weekend.

life, humor, being sick, summer cold, nightmares, Modern PhilosopherAs I sat there, contemplating death because I was absolutely certain it was coming, I  wondered if this was the same level of pain felt by the characters in the Alien flicks when the newborn explodes out of their chests.

In space, no one can hear you scream.  In the bathroom, your screams echo.

My next thought, which I almost acted upon despite the hour, was to wonder if my neighbors would drive me to the hospital if I pounded on their door and begged.

So, Janine, if you’re reading this, please be aware that my visiting at an ungodly hour is a sign of distress, not an attempt to be quirky social.

Honest to Zeus, I was that freaked out by what was going on in my stomach.  Aside from the unrelenting pain, there was an unsettling gurgling noise that had me convinced an alien was about to enter the bathroom via my rib cage.

I really thought an ambulance ride was in my future because I couldn’t be trusted to drive in this condition.  Of course, the one time I do need to have a stranger standing over the bed watching me sleep, he isn’t there to ask for a ride.

It figures.

About a half hour after letting my thoughts lead me to the craziest places, the gurgling stopped and the pain subsided enough to make me think I’d live to see another sunrise.

Of course, I was not out of the woods yet.

life, humor, being sick, summer cold, nightmares, Modern PhilosopherI was lost deep in the forbidden forest, Hansel and Gretel had long since ditched me, and I was pretty sure there was a hungry wolf stalking me.

But I traipsed up to bed, figuring it was more dignified for Death to claim me there, rather than on the toilet.

I shivered beneath the covers on a warm, summer’s night.  I said prayers to any god that would listen.  I told whatever demon was gaining strength inside me that it had picked the wrong, reclusive host as no one would be around to see it take full possession of my body.

Finally, thankfully, mercifully, I fell asleep.

But not before setting my alarm later so I could try to get a little more rest before having to deal with Monday.

I made it to morning, which you know because I’d never allow my ghost to post anything on this blog.  But the evil inside me had not yet been vanquished.

I had no energy for a morning run or walk.  I couldn’t eat breakfast.  I got to work to discover my partner had called out sick.

Basically, it was a typical Monday just with the strong chance that I would have to sprint for the bathroom without warning.

Thank goodness I’ve been doing all that running.

life, humor, being sick, summer cold, nightmares, Modern PhilosopherI went out for a walk in the rain tonight to clear my head, get some fresh air, collect some steps, and give Mother Nature a chance to wash away the germs.

I was probably a little too delirious to be wandering the streets, but no one else was out.

It was raining far too hard for that.

I’ve got a pounding headache, my stomach still isn’t right, and I’m exhausted.  But thus far, no life form from another planet or a spiritual plain has entered the world via my weakened body.

I’m going to have to call that a moral victory, Modern Philosophers.  But before we throw any ticker tape parades, let’s see if I sleep through the night first…

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Vanity Is Hell

short story, The Devil, flash fiction, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, vanity, humor, Modern PhilosopherHave you ever felt like the Devil was watching every move you make?

As a Catholic School survivor, I know this feeling well.  The Nuns taught us all about it for eight years.  The Devil is always watching.  One slip up, and he’ll be after you to lay claim to your soul.  The Devil knows every time you commit a sin…

Yeah, yeah, whatever, Sister Mary Ignatius of the Tabernacle.  I’m asking if you know what it is like to literally have Lucifer watching your every move.

I was working on the rewrite of my new screenplay, but I could feel his eyes glaring at me from the other end of the couch.  It’s an unsettling and annoying feeling, so I finally caved, closed my laptop, and turned to face my tormentor.

“What is it that you want?” I growled.

The Prince of Darkness flashed his most charming smile.  As always, he was dressed in an impeccably tailored suit and looked like he had just stepped off the cover of a men’s fashion magazine.

“I was just reading your blog post from the other night,” he began to explain.  “Great title by the way (Mirror, Mirror…WTF? in case you want to read it) and it made me wonder why you’ve never shown me your magic mirror.”

I rolled my eyes.  More at my stupidity for ever mentioning the mirror on the blog, than for his request, but I was still annoyed by his asking.

short story, The Devil, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, vanity, humor, Modern Philosopher“I’m not a fan of the mirror, which is why I keep it covered and hidden in the attic, the one part of the house I rarely visit,” I explained with a little venom in my tone.

“But your favorite witches gave it to you,” Satan countered.  “You absolutely adore the three magic amigos, so why would you not love their gift?”

I shrugged.  My magic mirror was a touchy subject.  I knew Waltzing Matilda, Volcanica Ivy, and Ti-Diana had given it to me out of love, but something about it made me think there was an ulterior motive to the present.

“The reflection speaks to me in a Brooklyn accent, and I can’t help but think the witches did that on purpose to teach me a lesson,” I confessed.

Clearly, this intrigued the Devil because he raised one eyebrow, and then reached into the cooler for two bottles of Snapple.  He slid mine to me across the table.

“This ought to be good,” he finally spoke.  “I just wanted to have a delicious beverage in hand while you explain it.”

Lucifer made a big play out of taking a huge gulp of iced tea.  Once his little performance was done, I begrudgingly gave in to his wish for an explanation.

“I don’t like my Brooklyn accent, and I spent a long time learning how to hide it so well,” I admitted.  “Something about it makes me feel uneducated, and I always think people don’t take me seriously when they hear it.  So when I look in the magic mirror, and it answers me in that voice, I think the witches are trying to teach me a lesson about vanity.”

short story, The Devil, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, vanity, humor, Modern Philosopher“Ah,” The Prince of Darkness said mockingly after he had taken yet another huge gulp of Snapple.  “You think they whipped up a spell that would make you see the version of you that you least want to see.”

“Something like that,” I replied defensively.

“That’s a very subtle lesson,” he admitted.  “Much easier to swallow than what the movie Seven taught us about vanity…”

“These are good witches, not evil ones who channel the serial killer side of Kevin Spacey,” I quipped and reached for my Snapple.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, you drive me to drink if I recall…

“What if the Three Stooges of Witchcraft were merely playing a joke on you, Mr. Sensitive?” Satan tossed at me as a follow up question.

I was not prepared for that.  I took another hit of Snapple as I pondered the query.

“How do you mean?” I finally asked.

short story, The Devil, Sundays With Satan Short Story Series, vanity, humor, Modern Philosopher“We all get a good laugh when your Brooklyn accent slips out, and a bigger laugh at your appalled reaction to the sound of your own voice,” The Devil informed me.  “So maybe your buddies added that wrinkle to poke a little fun at you.  To make you realize that your Brooklyn accent makes you somewhat unique in these parts, and that hiding it means you are keeping a part of yourself hidden from your friends.”

“Wow.  That’s pretty deep coming from the dude in the expensive suit,” I teased.

“I do have my moments, Modern Philosopher,” Lucifer pointed out with a devilish grin.  “Did you know that I have an entire ring of Hell that’s a hall of mirrors?”

“I was not aware of that,” I replied.  “What’s the catch?”

“Rather than seeing their reflections, the Damned see their dearest loved ones,” The Prince of Darkness revealed.  “I came up with that during one of my truly evil periods.  I try not to send too many of my residents to that ring, because even I realize it’s unusually cruel.”

“I guess it could be worse,” I tried to comfort him.  “Their loved ones could speak to them in a ridiculous Brooklyn accent…”

We both had a good laugh at that one, and I somehow managed to get out of having to show him the mirror.

Posted in Humor, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Change of Style

life, observational humor, barbers, life in Maine, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe big excitement at The House on the Hill today, Modern Philosophers, is that I went for a haircut.

I didn’t really have much choice.  I took a bathroom break on Thursday, looked at my reflection as I was washing my hands, and was freaked out by what I saw.

It was as if I’d allowed Albert Einstein to be my stylist, and he had recently watched the film Eraserhead.  Not the look I’m going for if I’m looking to get into a relationship with anyone other than a mad scientist.

I immediately made an appointment to have my shock top tamed again.

Denise, who is in charge of hairscaping, asked me if I’d like to try something different this time.  I’ve never had much sense of style, but I knew I no longer wanted to look like a serial killer with a minor in quantum physics, so I told her to make it short.

After all, with all this running I’ve been doing, a little less up top would make me more aerodynamic in my quest to become The Flash.

Once I’d given those instructions, Denise launched into a half hour monologue about pretty much anything.  Some highlights were today’s Rise Against Concert, the men who pissed on the sidewalk while in line for the recent Nickelback show, her son’s wisdom tooth extraction, the benefits of air conditioning, and where to get a decent lobster in the state that’s known for its lobsters.

Now all that chatter might upset another person, but for me, it was exactly what I needed.  I’d just returned from a 4 mile run, quickly showered, and then did my best to feed Luna and clear her stuffy nose before rushing off to my appointment.

life, observational humor, barbers, life in Maine, humor, Modern PhilosopherI was exhausted, it was a humid morning, and my brain did not have enough available voltage to form more than a few three or four word sentences.

As I sat there and allowed Denise to see how many words she could get in over the course of one haircut (my fingers were crossed that she’d break the World Record!), my thoughts drifted to a memory of Rachel aka The Girl Who Moved Away.

Rachel used to hate going for hair appointments because she wasn’t very good at making small talk with the stylists, to the point that it left her uncomfortable.  Whenever she’d have to get her hair done, I’d sit her down for a little pep talk and pepper her with conversation topics to help her survive the experience.

I also thought back to my previous barber, Fat Dave.  He never gave me an option as to what was going to happen once I’d gotten into the chair.  I guess they’d only taught one style of haircut at whatever barber school he’d attended, and Fat Dave proved that he must have graduated at the top of his class because my hair always looked exactly the same every time I left his barber shop.

Of course, the other major difference in styles was Fat Dave’s love of silence.  I had a theory that he’d actually wanted to be a mime, but had been forced into a career as a barber by parents who refused to let their son “do that crazy French crap with the white face make up and the pretending to be trapped inside a box nonsense”.

Where Denise is a perpetual speaking machine, Fat Dave was all about the sounds of silence.  He’d usually comment on the weather, and by comment, I mean he’d rip off bon mots like “It’s cold”, or “Looks like snow”, or “I see the town hasn’t plowed your street”.

life, observational humor, barbers, life in Maine, humor, Modern PhilosopherYeah, Fat Dave was a man of one haircut and very few words.  But he did have a cool old fashioned barber’s pole outside of his shop, which made up for a lot of it.

I did a lot of mental outlining of whatever screenplay or story I was working on when I sat in his chair.  That sort of thing isn’t possible when I listen to Denise.

And that’s not a bad thing.  I can write any time.  Listening to Denise’s stories gives me ideas for dialogue and inspires blog posts.  Like this one.

The difference in styles is quite obvious, but they both have their benefits.

All that really matters, though, is that I leave the place looking even more handsome than I did when I entered.

I know that was the case today as I’m quite happy with my haircut.  I’m sure you’re dying to see if Denise did a good job, so let me take a quick selfie to share…

life, observational humor, barbers, life in Maine, humor, Austin Powers, Modern PhilosopherYeah, baby!  What you do think of my new ‘do?  I think it goes really well with the sharp new suit I picked up last night.

Now if someone would please just point me in the direction of the single ladies, I’ve got some work to do…

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A Gargoyle Never Tells

short story, flash fiction, gargoyles, relationships, secret crush, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt was a perfect summer night to sit up on the roof of The House on the Hill, but my faithful Gargoyle was smart enough to know I had ulterior motives.

Gary turned on his perch at the edge of the roof, so that he could look me in the eye and get a better read on the story I was about to tell.  It was 85 degrees, and he graciously spread his mighty stone wings to offer me a shady spot in which to hide from the unrelenting sun.

“I finally saw her tonight,” I said excitedly as I sat down in the one section of the roof not exposed to the sun.

“Since it’s Friday night, I’m going to assume that you’re talking about your screenplay crush,” the Gargoyle surmised correctly.

“Obvious,” I replied impatiently because I was eager to tell my tale.  “I hadn’t seen her in over a month, so I was beginning to worry that she had quit.”

A smile slowly crossed Gary’s stone face.

“Would that have really mattered?” he challenged.  “It’s not like you’re ever going to act on your feelings.”

Her flapped his wings for emphasis, which forced me to squint when my eyes were momentarily exposed to the blazing sun.

“You know I could never do that,” I immediately went into excuse mode.  “She is a fantasy crush.  A complete stranger, who is way out of my league, and probably has customers flirting with her all the time.  Plus, there is no way someone that beautiful and sweet does not have a boyfriend.”

“That hasn’t stopped you in the past,” the Gargoyle went for the jugular, clearly not about to just stand there and let me fast talk my way out of that one.

short story, flash fiction, gargoyles, relationships, secret crush, humor, Modern Philosopher“Come on, Gary,” I implored the mighty stone creature who glared at me from the edge of the roof.  “You know I made a vow to never again get mixed up with someone who was taken.”

“Says the man who didn’t learn after he married his best friend’s girlfriend.”

Wow.  The Gargoyle wasn’t pulling his punches tonight, and those stone fists really left a mark.

Gary stared and just let his words hang in the air between us.  If you’ve ever been involved in a stare down with a Gargoyle, you have some idea of how uncomfortable I felt during those few, tense moments.

“So you saw her?” he finally asked, apparently having decided not to dwell on my past mistakes because we both knew I’d probably never learn.

“Yeah, and my heart almost jumped out of my chest,” I gushed.  “I guess I’d forgotten the effect she has on me after not having seen her for so long.”

“Did you just watch her from afar like a creeper, or did you talk to her?” Gary demanded.

“Believe it or not, I not only spoke to her, but she initiated it,” I boasted.

short story, flash fiction, gargoyles, relationships, secret crush, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt had taken me months to get up the courage to speak to my screenplay crush, as Gary liked to call her, but it should not have been that difficult.  By the nature of how we were acquainted, it was basically her job to speak to me should I have a question.

But I was so intimidated by her All-American girl beauty, that I could never find the words whenever I stood face to face with her for about five minutes every week.  Plus, my self-confidence is extremely low when it comes to gorgeous members of the opposite sex who make my heart beat faster than I could ever hope to run.

Then one day, she noticed I was buying cat food, and asked me how many cats I had.  She  told me about her cat, and we chatted away until it was time for me to no longer be naturally in her presence.

“She came up to you and said hi?” Gary asked with a reserved excitement that one would come to expect from a Gargoyle.

“Not quite,” I started to explain.  “She backed into me and apologized with that killer smile.  I asked if she was okay and then joked that she should feign injury and never have to work again.  She laughed, pretended to mull it over, smiled more, which almost made my knees give out, and then quipped that my idea had potential.”

“So then you finally introduced yourself because she is an intelligent young lady and has to remember that you make small talk every week, right?” he asked hopefully.

“Are you kidding me?” I asked as my eyes almost exploded out of my skull.  “I couldn’t believe I had managed to get out that many words the first time I’d seen her in a month.  I got the hell out of there before I did something stupid.”

short story, flash fiction, gargoyles, relationships, secret crush, humor, Modern Philosopher“Stupider than walking away from the perfect chance to have a meaningful conversation with your secret crush?” Gary admonished as he shook his head in disbelief.  “This is why you’re alone, pining over someone you barely know, and happy to get a glimpse of her once a week if her work schedule is willing to accommodate.  Talk to her and get to know her.”

“She’s out of my league, probably too young for me…”

Gary flapped his wings in anger to stop me from finishing my endless list of excuses.

“When’s the last time you dated a woman out of her twenties?” he demanded coldly.  “Hell, the first time you ever thought you were in love, you were sixteen and she was twenty.  I think that forever locked you into this Miss Havisham kind of time warp where you cannot date someone who’s walked this Earth for more than two decades.”

Did he really just made a reference to Great Expectations?  Major points for old stone face.

“You’re being ridiculous!” I shouted at my Gargoyle.

Notice, however, that I did not dispute his claim.

“You should have told her about the screenplay,” he advised.

“Ha!”  I laughed so hard that I almost fell backwards.  “How creepy would that be?  We barely know each other, but my crush on you and the paralyzing effect it’s had on me, inspired me to write a screenplay.  Oh, did I happen to mention it’s a dark thriller and the character that’s loosely based on you has a shady, secret past?”

“She would be blown away by that!” the Gargoyle insisted as he shot up into the air and did a quick lap around the roof before landing again.  “This is Maine, she would think it was awesome that a handsome, older guy, who’s had two screenplays produced and writes for a popular late night talk show, chose her to be his muse.”

“She’d think it was weird and have me banned from the store,” I disagreed.  “Then where would I shop?”

short story, flash fiction, gargoyles, relationships, secret crush, humor, Modern Philosopher“You need to stop seeing yourself as a weirdo outsider, and accept that you’re cool and unique,” my loyal Gargoyle pleaded.  “I bet you’re the only customer she talks to who writes movies, has met Dr. Dre, and could turn your weekly exchanges into a Hollywood thriller.  Be bold, Austin.  Talk to her about more than cat food and I bet she will surprise you.”

I so badly wanted to buy into his pep talk.  But that little voice in my head that has kept me single for far too long, constantly whispered that she would never see me as more than just another customer with a crush on someone far too beautiful for him.

Why can’t the voice inside my head be a mighty Gargoyle, rather than a nerdy teenager who never learned how to speak to the opposite sex?

At least it was a gorgeous night to be up on the roof, and I knew I didn’t have to worry about my Gargoyle ever telling anyone about the secret of my screenplay crush…

Posted in Dating, Humor, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lost In My Thoughts On A Walk

Thoughts on a Walk, life, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherHow’s it going, Modern Philosophers?

This is one of those nights when I absolutely need to write, but I’m mentally exhausted and physically drained, so I’m not in the most creative mood.  Plus, I think I sweated out all my creative juices when my body ran out perspiration about an hour ago.

Since my desire to write is so overwhelming, I was happy to remember the Thoughts On A Walk feature that the blog’s business managers twisted my arm to create a few weeks ago.  It’s exactly what I need tonight, but let’s not let the bean counters think I liked their idea.

As always, I’m just going to let you go all Being John Malkovich on me, as I grant you access to the inner workings of my mind while I’m out on a walk…

Thoughts on a Walk, life, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe first thought to pop into my head on tonight’s walk was “Why the hell is Pandora picking now of all moments to go on the fritz?

I conjured up this Deep Thought because the station had just started to allow The Boss to serenade me with my all time favorite of his songs, but it kept cutting out during the opening verse of Thunder Road.

Not to get all nerdy on you with Greek Mythologyl, but I do wear a toga, so this is going to happen.  According to the myth of Pandora’s Box, once that box is opened, you can’t stop what gets out.

Pandora opened up Thunder Road, and I wanted to hear Bruce belt it out on it entirety.  Ancient mythology requires that this request be granted.

Lucky for the chuckleheads behind the station, they corrected the problem before I had to pull some strings and get my close personal friend Zeus to hurl some lightning bolts at them for failing me.

Zeus and I are tight, and if you don’t remember why, run a search on his name over in he right column and read some of the posts you find in the results.

Thoughts on a Walk, life, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt’s been a very draining week.  I can handle to work stress, the fatigue from all the running, and the general vibe of loneliness that pulsates through The House on the Hill, but when one of the cats gets sick, it hobbles me.

Luna’s sniffles have never gone away, but this week they’ve gotten worse and she can’t smell her food, so she’s not eating.

This has me stressed beyond belief.  The kitties are my life and they mean everything to me.  To see one of them in distress makes me break down and weep.  Never in front of them, but when I’m alone in bed or driving to work.

The vet could never figure out what was causing her nose to be stuffed, and the situation had improved to a point where she was sniffling all the time, but still eating normally.

As things got worse this week, I turned to the internet for ideas.

Several websites mentioned holding her over a cup of hot water to allow the steam to clear  her nose.  Luna and I take regular steams now, and I think she actually likes it.

Another site suggested closing her in the bathroom with me while I took a shower so that the steam could work its magic that way.  We tried that this morning, and she sat there like a good girl next to the shower probably wondering what in the world was happening.

I’ve been grateful that she is actually allowing me the clean her nose.  She had been putting up quite a fight, but maybe she’s took weak now to fight back.  I’m choosing to believe it’s because she knows it’s good for her.

And if she lets me clean her little nose, she can breathe easier.  Good kitty.

I’ve caught her eating several time now, which makes me feel a little better.  I’ve been leaving out tuna for her during the day in addition to her usual wet food, and I plan to look for stinkier canned fish at the supermarket tomorrow night.

I’ve also taken to feeding her chicken broth and water through an eyedropper.  It’s a messy process, which she doesn’t like much, but it’s what I need to do to make sure she is getting enough food into her tummy.

If anyone has any further tips and suggestions, please share them in the comments.  And if you don’t mind, please keep Miss Luna in your thoughts until she feels better.

Thoughts on a Walk, life, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherI planned to work up the courage to ask my crush if she wanted to go with me to the free screening of Jaws in the park tomorrow night, but I just haven’t been able to do it.

For one thing, I’m a mess right now because I’m worried about Luna.  The main thing, though, is I still can’t get a read on this mystery woman.  I’ve been much better at approaching her to start a conversation.  She almost always laughs at my jokes and engages, but she never does anything to initiate contact.

Of course, this got the Deep Thoughts flowing.  Looking back at the major relationships in my life, my significant other always made a bold move to make it clear she was interested in taking things beyond “just friends”.

I guess my ability to read a situation sucks, because in every one of those cases, the women fell in love with me.  However, had they not made the first move, I never would have done anything and I would have missed out on a great relationship.

Give me some advice, Modern Philosophers.  How do I get that sign from her that she’s interested?  Or do you just never know until you ask and take the chance?

I will add here that the woman in question is very shy, so what I’m taking as a lack of interest could merely be her shyness.

Someone give me the pep talk I need to stop pining over her, and just find out once and for all how she feels!

Thoughts on a Walk, life, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m not sleeping well.  No matter what time I go to bed, it takes me forever to fall asleep.  Now I’ve got the Fitbit wrapped around my wrist calculating exactly how much sleep I’m not getting every night, and it disturbs me.

I tried to rectify the situation about a month ago by buying a mattress topper and a new pillow.  I think the first one worked, but the second made things worse.

I’ve had the world’s flattest pillow forever.  Melissa would keep buying me puffy, fluffy pillows and insisting they were better for me, but they always hurt my neck.

But I went out a few weeks ago and bought some ergonomic, memory foam, comfy as all @#$%, super expensive pillow that was supposed to change the way I experienced sleep.

Well it did.

I just experience much less sleep than I did with the flat pillow.

So I switched back to my old pillow two nights ago.  It feels better on my neck and back, but now it’s been hot as Hell, so I can’t fall asleep anyway.

Of course, tossing and turning in bed all night worrying about Luna doesn’t help the situation, either.

I need a lovely young lady to volunteer to sleep next to me and rub my tummy and sing me a lullaby until I drift off toe Dreamland.  Any volunteers?

Thoughts on a Walk, life, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherFinally, I was very happy with the reception for Saturday’s post on introverts.  If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the link: How To Party Like An Introvert

I have received a lot of feedback on the post, which makes me as giddy as a schoolgirl at a One Direction concert, and it’s all been very positive.

Except, of course, for that one guy who had to ask why I couldn’t just leave the introverts alone and stop trying to force them to be social.


It’s not like this is a government run blog, and all readers must comply with every word written.  Lighten up, buddy, it’s a comedy blog.  I just want to make you laugh and think.  I’m not trying to force anyone to be the life of the (Communist) party.

Well, the sound of thunder in the distance tells me it’s time to wrap this up so I can enjoy the storm.  Plus, I need to head inside soon to give Luna another steam.

Thanks for joining me on my walk, and I hope you didn’t stray off the trail and wander into parts of my mind that no one should ever visit…


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Mirror, Mirror…WTF?

ghosts, magic, talking mirror, humor, life, Modern PhilosopherI very rarely go up into the attic of The House on the Hill, Modern Philosophers, because that’s where the ghosts are.

The Woodburys were the original owners of my home.  The clan was wiped out when a mysterious illness swept through Maine over a century ago, and they chose to spend eternity together haunting the house they love so much.

I worked out a deal with my ghosts when I bought The House on the Hill.  They could have the attic, and I would disturb them as little as possible.

This week, however, the Woodburys are off at a house haunting, so I have the place all to myself.  The timing of their vacation couldn’t have been better because I really have to get up into the attic.

I need the advice of the one person who knows me better than anyone else in the world, and the only way to speak to him is by going up to where only ghosts dare tread.

That person, of course, would be me.

A few years ago, my favorite witches, who were worried that I would die single and alone, decided to conjure up a little company for me.  They presented me with a magic mirror, so I could talk to my reflection whenever I needed human contact, but didn’t want to leave the safety of The House on the Hill.

Quite frankly, the mirror freaked me out.  But I couldn’t tell that to Waltzing Matilda, Volcanica Ivy, and Ti-Diana, so I just hid it up in the attic, where I knew I’d rarely have an opportunity to interact with it.

Until recently, I wasn’t a real fan of how I looked, so I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to chat up my reflection on a regular basis.

Plus, something must have gone haywire when the witches whipped up the spell to make the mirror, because my reflection speaks to me in the heavy Brooklyn accent that I have spent decades trying to conceal.

ghosts, magic, talking mirror, humor, life, Modern PhilosopherTonight, though, I needed the keen insights of my magic mirror, so I climbed the stairs to the attic, whipped off the sheet that protects the Woodburys from my peculiar gift, and finally addressed my long, lost reflection.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, what the @#$%, dude?” I demanded angrily.  “Why the hell am I still so miserable after I’ve worked so hard to get back into shape and be more positive.  Seriously, what the @#$%?”

“Dude,” replied the very handsome reflection in a grating Brooklyn accent, “you’re pushing yourself way too hard, expecting too much too quickly, and not just enjoying life.”

Easy for him to say.  He gets to hang out in a mirror all day and doesn’t have to deal with the stressors that haunt me on a daily basis.

“You look awesome,” my reflection informed me.  “Do a little spin so I can see it all.”

I complied because I knew the accent would only get worse if I didn’t keep the man in the mirror amused.

“I know I look better, but I’m still single,” I grumbled.

“And when’s the last time you asked someone out, genius?” my reflection shot back like the know it all it totally was.  “Besides, you ain’t gonna find love overnight, you know?  You gotta take your time, let it find you, give the ladies a chance to get used to the new and improved Austin.  You should wear shorts more, for sure, to show of those runner’s legs.”

I conceded that my reflection was probably right.  I did need to slow it down a little.  My desire to be in a relationship was putting way too much pressure on me.  Dating should be fun, not like I’m desperately trying to hire someone to fill a lifetime partner position.

“You look exhausted,” my identical twin said rather bluntly.  “No more walking tonight…”

I giggled and that stopped him mid-sentence.

“Did I say something funny?” he demanded.

“Everything you say is funny with that ridiculous accent, but words like ‘walking’ are just damn hilarious,” I made him aware.

“Go @#$% yourself, @$$%^&*.  You came to me for advice, so just shut up and listen, and then you can throw that sheet over me again and vanish for another coupla years.”

The truth can be harsh, but there is no harsher truth than the one you tell yourself.

ghosts, magic, talking mirror, humor, life, Modern Philosopher“No more walking tonight,” the guy from Brooklyn ordered.  “You’re gonna get that diet ice cream out of the fridge, plop that runner’s ass down on the couch, and watch the Yankee game.  Don’t stay up too late, but watch enough to remember why New York is so @#$%^& awesome!  Don’t set the clock to get up early to run.  You’re gonna sleep in, give your skinnier body some much needed and deserved rest, and take it easy tomorrow.  Your body and your brain need to chill.  Don’t even think about running or trying to get 20,000 steps.  You hearing me?  You think you can follow these simple instructions?”

I had to smile.  This was exactly what I needed to hear, and since it came from someone I trusted so much, I was gonna…I mean…going to listen.

“You know me so well,” I admitted.

“Get the hell outta here,” my reflection barked.  “I need my beauty sleep.”

ghosts, magic, talking mirror, humor, life, Modern PhilosopherI nodded and grabbed the sheet to throw it back over the magic mirror.  Before I could do so, however, that annoying accent filled the attic one last time.

“Don’t be such a goddamn stranger, alright?”

I nodded my agreement, put the sheet back in place, and headed for the stairs intent on following my instructions to the letter.

I’m so damn smart.  I really ought to take my own advice more often…


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