Finding The Shining Moment Of Sanity

Finding The Shining Moment Of Sanity | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherThese last few days have been a little crazy around The House on the Hill, Modern Philosophers, as I deal with a personal issue that has me completely out of sorts.

When life shows signs of fitting me for a straitjacket, I’m lucky that I have five years of working in a mental hospital to fall back on when I need to cope.

Let me reiterate, Modern Philosophers, that I said five years of working in a mental hospital.

Something I took away from my experience is that no matter how bad my life might seem, someone else definitely has it worse.

I also realized that sometimes the least sane people at a psych hospital are the ones who had the keys to come and go as they pleased.

But that’s a story for another day.

Tonight, I’m focusing on another great take away from those five years: my friend Kori.

Affectionately known only by me as Killer, Kori was just a newbie psych tech who was very easy on the eyes when we first met one fateful afternoon on the adult ward.

Kori and MarloweWho knew that eight years later, she’d be one of my closest friends, and the person I turn to when things aren’t going well?

Sure, I convinced the former cheerleader to do a back flip in the hospital lobby the day we met, but I had no idea she’d figuratively bend over backwards to help me through some rough times years later.

I tend to bottle up my feelings on my darkest days, and it’s nice to know that I can let it all out because there’s someone willing to listen.

Of course, Kori gives me @#$% and tells it like it is, but that’s what real friends do.  She lets me wallow and feel sorry for myself at first, but then challenges me to man up and take a more honest look at the situation.

I don’t have many people I trust when I’m feeling vulnerable, stupid, and need a kick in the ass to keep me from getting lost in all the dark clouds.

When I need to find the shining moment of sanity in a very overwhelming situation, I take great comfort in knowing I have a Killer on speed dial to put me out of my misery.

We will be forever connected by our time at the mental hospital, and even tonight, Kori referenced those experiences to give me a different perspective on my situation.  It’s difficult to feel sorry for myself when I’ve seen the things I’ve seen, and been involved in situations far more frightening like codes in the middle of the night when staffing was thin and the patients were just as violent as they were during the day.

Amen, Brother!I always tend to say the wrong thing, make the incorrect decision, and doubt myself when I need to be my most confident.

That’s why it helps to have a friend like Kori to yank me back from the edge of Nothing Ever Goes My Way Ravine.

We really have no control over what life hurls at us, but what we can decide is how we react to every situation, and then cope with the aftermath.

I’m not sure if this post makes any sense at all.  I really just wanted to thank Kori for coming to The House on the Hill tonight to listen to me when I just needed to get it all out of my system.

You never know who you’re going to meet at a mental hospital, but if she’s willing to do a back flip for you on the night you meet, she’s probably a keeper!

You’d be crazy not to follow me on Pinterest after reading this post!

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Monday Morning Coffee Club: Mondays Are Trash

Monday Morning Coffee Club: Mondays are Trash!Sorry for yet another tardy Coffee Club post, Modern Philosophers, but I was up early and quickly out the door to work some more overtime.

It’s very important that I keep my mind occupied right now, and it’s ironic that my mindless job is perfect for that.

Plus, I’m in a mood for something much stronger than coffee, but the blog doesn’t have a liquor license since the interns forgot to renew it last month.

So we’re stuck with lukewarm coffee and whatever Deep Thoughts tumble out of my head after a long work day.

I’d like to apologize to those of you who are fans of the Sundays With Satan Short Story Series.  I know you look forward to those witty tales, and I kind of screwed up last night’s edition by allowing my personal demons to mingle with the Prince of All Demons.

As you know, my writing is greatly influenced by real life experiences, and I’d been subjected to quite the stressful phone call just prior to sitting down to write.  What was meant to be a quirky, upbeat story mocking the Pokemon Go craze turned into a woeful tale that ending with my breaking into tears.

Sorry.  At least you know the writing comes from my heart, right?

Needless to say, I had some crazy dreams last night.  In fact, two of the big three nightmares paid a visit.  The third one was probably on its way, but I woke up early for work before it could haunt me as well.

Do you have recurring nightmares, Modern Philosophers?  I can’t talk about one of the ones I had last night, but the other was about the restaurant where I worked to put myself through NYU.

Still not enough coffee for a Monday!Twenty-five years later, I found myself back there, busing tables, and having no idea how to do the job efficiently on an incredibly busy night.  As always, I became aware in the dream that I should not still be working in the restaurant at this point in my life, and trying to figure out why I had returned only added to my stress as I struggled to set tables and clear dishes.

I was spared the third recurring nightmare, which is the one where the masked stranger with a butcher knife watches me sleep.  I always wake up trying to fight off the stranger, and once found myself halfway down the hallway throwing punches at someone who wasn’t really there.

Speaking of finding weird, unexpected things…check out that photo at the beginning of this post.  I arrived at The House on the Hill after work to discover that bag of garbage resting against my garage.

Isn’t is adorable how we have official city trash bags that cost us five dollars a pop?  That’s a whole other rant, though.

My first thought upon seeing the bag was “What are my neighbors trying to tell me?”.  Then I remembered that Janine had texted me earlier to tell me she had left it there and asked if I could put it out tomorrow for trash night.

Aren’t we such wonderful neighbors?

I’ve done enough rambling for one night.  Thanks for listening, Modern Philosophers.  What I really need right now is for someone to just listen as I vent about getting through a particularly hard time.

You guys really are the best!  Happy Monday!

I promise I’m usually much happier and more hilarious.  Will you take my word for it and follow me on Pinterest?  Thanks!

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Pokemon Go…To Hell!

Pokemon Go...To Hell! | The Return of the Modern Philosopher“Do you plan to join the Pokemon Go craze?” The Devil asked as we sat in the sun on the front porch.

“Are you out of your mind?” I snapped back before he had even put the question mark at the end of his query.  “You are reading the actual print version of the Sunday paper.  I am reading a hardcover book.  We’re not exactly on the cutting edge of modern technology, are we?”

“So we prefer reading off of paper rather than via an electronic device.  That doesn’t mean we still don’t want to catch ’em all,” Lucifer countered.

I rolled my eyes and pulled my phone out of my pocket.  “I’m lucky if I get decent reception on this thing.  I’ve got apps on here that [NAME REDACTED] begged me to download, but I still have no clue how to use.  I don’t know how to add Pokemon to the list, nor do I have the desire to find out.”

The Prince of Darkness put down his paper and gave me a dirty look.  “You don’t have to be such an old fart about it.  There’s an article about it in the paper, and it just looks like a great way to meet new people and have fun.”

“There’s your problem,” I informed him as I put my phone back in my pocket where it couldn’t cause any harm.  “I don’t want to meet new people, and fun is too much work.”

Satan shook his head in disagreement and brushed a mosquito away from his impeccably tailored suit.  “You really are hopeless.  You’re so afraid of dying alone and unloved, and yet you do nothing to alter that destiny.”

Gotta catch 'em all!“So now you’re saying that I’m going to find love and companionship in a group of total strangers chasing imaginary creatures with their cell phones?” I asked as I angrily snatched a Snapple out of the cooler.

“That’s no stranger a scenario than the one through which you met the current cause of heartbreak and sadness in your life,” The Devil reminded me.

“Let’s not go there right now,” I warned him.

For once, Lucifer actually took my feelings into account and agreed to let go of a topic that was far too painful for me to discuss.

After all, this was planned as a humorous take on the Pokemon Go craze, not a commentary on the sudden sad turn of my love life.

Gotta catch ’em all my ass.  I’d be happy to just find one and not have her leave me feeling like I’d been run over by a freight train.

Go poke yourself...“Look, The House on the Hill is already overrun by Otherworldly Beings,” I made my frequent house guest aware in a desperate attempt to regain my focus and not drag you guys into my chaos.  “The last thing I need is an army of Pokemon running around the place and acting like they live here.”

“That’s completely my bad,” The Prince of Darkness said apologetically.  “Having your home filled with little monsters is the last thing you want to think about right now.”

Of course, the irony of it all is that the plan was for there to be little monsters running around The House on the Hill in the very near future.  Now it looks like it’s back to just me, the kitties, and whatever Otherworldly Beings want to call this place home.

I thought I’d actually caught ’em all, Modern Philosophers…every last dream I ever had about my future was about to come true.

But now, it’s back to being the depressed, lonely guy who is crying out on his front porch for no apparent reason on a beautiful summer night.

What is love? Baby don't hurt me...“I really do love you,” I whispered through my tears to the green eyed woman who I had planned to marry before the end of the year.

Funny how your life can go to Hell in an instant…

I’m not usually this pathetic.  You should follow me on Pinterest!


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WWJD: What Would Jeb Do?

What Would Jeb Do? | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherI made an executive decision this morning, Modern Philosophers, that Sunday was going to be a day of rest.

I know I’m not the first to come up with this catchy slogan for Sunday, but I’m talking in a personal way, not in an overall Biblical sense.  I’ve gotten up early the past six days to put in 55 hours at work.

Today was going to be different.  No work.  Sleep in.  Have a very relaxing day.

After all, I’d earned it.

When I finally crawled out of bed after a much needed good night’s sleep, I made another great decision.  There’s a new cafe down the block that sells excellent breakfast sandwiches.  My leg still isn’t fully healed, so a run was out of the question, but a walk to the cafe on a beautiful Sunday morning sounded perfect.

I could practically taste the egg, cheese, and bacon on a homemade cheese bagel by the time I arrived at the place.  My stomach was rumbling as I pulled on the door to open it.

My jaw dropped when it didn’t yield and grant me entry.  Then my eyes found the “CLOSED” taped across the usual Sunday hours on the door.


This was how my perfect day of rest was going to begin?

I swallowed my bitter disappointment, but that didn’t provide anywhere close to enough calories to appease my empty tummy.

No perfect start to Sunday for you!I started back to The House on the Hill, working to stay positive, and trying to decide if I should hike into town to grab a sandwich at Dunkin Donuts or Hannaford.

It was hot, my leg was starting to ache, and worst of all, I was getting moody.  So that mile and a half round trip walk was out of the question.

I could’ve driven, but I had decided that this quest had ended and it was time to move on to something new.  There had to be something in the house for breakfast.

Suddenly, I had to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Am I the only one, Modern Philosophers, who craves a PBJ at the oddest times?

That sandwich, plus a viewing of last night’s special Summer edition of The Nite Show, sounded like a perfect replacement for my perfect start to my day of rest.

Unfortunately, the bread was moldy.  I hadn’t bought a loaf in a couple of weeks because I’ve been bringing salads for lunch and I’d obviously never thrown out the last one.


At this point, I was hungry, frustrated, and getting that old feeling that the world was plotting to keep me from ever being happy.

The dark clouds were rolling in.  I could just sense it.

Stay positive. Keep it together!My therapist has given me great advice on how to handle these sort of situations so that I don’t drift off into a dark place.

Remember, I’m all about staying positive now and that has been working so well for me lately.

The last time I followed her advice, however, things went horribly wrong, so I was one step from losing my cool.

That’s when I heard a little voice in my head that had been silent for far too long…

What would Jeb do?

Of course!  My old standby, before I started going to the therapist and after I realized that trusting my gut never worked out well at all, had been to ask myself what Jeb Bush would do in the same situation.

You guys remember Jeb, right?

He was going to be the Republican candidate for President in 2016.

You know, before things went catastrophically wrong and we realized that Orange might be the new President.

We Love Us Some Bush!I was so sad when Jeb dropped out of the race.  He was one of my favorite characters to write for on the blog, and losing him was like losing a close friend or family pet.

So I was thrilled when the voice returned this morning…

What would Jeb do?

I cleared my head of all thoughts, just like Jeb Bush would do, and put myself in Jeb’s expensive shoes.

As expected, the answer to my problem popped right into my head.

I come from money, I’m entitled, my Daddy and brother were President, I don’t do my own cooking or worry about what’s being served.

That’s why, Modern Philosophers, I still haven’t eaten and I’m out here on the front porch waiting for one of the servants to bring me my meal.

All is well.  The dark clouds have departed.  It’s going to be a relaxing day.

Of course, if my breakfast doesn’t arrive soon, I’m going to fire everyone on staff and then ask my parents to find me more dependable employees…

Follow me on Pinterest.  You know it’s what Jeb would do!

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Make America Gooder Again!

Make America Gooder Again! | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherOne of my favorite things about writing this blog, Modern Philosophers, is getting to interact with you.

Last night, I was grocery shopping and ran into my friend Trish, who immediately asked me when I was going to write about the RNC on my blog.

Reader feedback is crucial to my knowing what to right next, and I reminded Trish that I had just written a post about Scott Baio’s speech at the RNC (Charles in Charge of Homeland Security) and another about the possibility of Trump’s being that hairy orange monster that wanted to eat Bugs Bunny (Monster Trump).

The thing is, Modern Philosophers, my political posts are very hit and miss, so I try not to write too many of them.  They don’t seem to be popular with my loyal core of readers, but they have a tendency to get shared on other sites and read by total strangers.

Trish wanted more, though, and this blog is all about providing excellent customer service.

Of course, writing about the Republican National Convention is a bit of a challenge because I’m not sure I’m creative enough to come up with fake stories that are funnier and more ridiculous than the reality that the Republicans are providing…

Scott Baio as the big time celebrity speaker?  Trump’s wife possibly plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech?  Donald Trump receiving the Republican Party’s nomination?

Is Jason Wayward Pines' future version of Future President Trump?I was at a loss for what to write next, so I decided to check out what was on the DVR.  Do you watch Wayward Pines, Modern Philosophers?  I’m a big fan and read all the books after the first season ended.

In this week’s episode, Jason, the leader of the town, has to decide which citizens to save from an impending attack.  He orders the doc to make a list of people worthy of salvation, and mentions that the “defectives” should be left behind.

Doesn’t that sound like something Future President Trump could say the next time he stands in front of a microphone?  I shudder to think who would qualify as a defective in Trump’s mind, but something tells me it would be a very long list that might include the foreigners who are stealing our jobs, the Democrats, and anyone who doesn’t support his campaign with a blood lust.

While I know that Wayward Pines is fiction and set very far in the future, when I watch coverage of the Republican National Convention and listen to anything Trump has to say, it makes me wonder if our civilization is already spiraling into the decline that leads to the end of humans and the rise of the aberrations.

Would Trump's preisdency lead to the rise of the abbies?Is it that much of a stretch to think that after four years of President Trump, America would be crawling with abbies?

If the primary results are any indication, Americans are already evolving into mindless, bloodthirsty creatures who appear to want to destroy life as we know it.

Wayward Pines is surrounded by a giant electrified fence built to keep out unwanted immigrants.  I’m not sure if Pilcher made the abbies pay for the fence, but like Trump’s planned wall, it sends the message that if you’re different, you are not welcome.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump ordered episodes of Wayward Pines to be played on the giant screens at the RNC, made his people refer to foreigners as abbies,  and had his face digitally placed over Jason’s (while keeping Jason’s hair, of course!).

Don’t get me wrong, Modern Philosophers…I don’t actually believe that Donald Trump will set in motion a series of events the leads to the human race disappearing and evolving into a race of creatures with fangs and claws.

What keeps me awake at night, however, is the thought that Future President Trump would have the ability to launch a nuclear attack, and set in motion a series of events that wipes the human race from the planet.

Trump: The End of the World As We Know It?

Fireworks set off at the end of the Republican National Convention?

Trump could be the end of the world as we know it.

And I don’t feel fine.

I think I’d rather take my chances thousands of years in the future with the abbies than a few months from now with Future President Trump…

Even if you love Trump, you’re welcome to follow me on Pinterest!

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You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party On, Wayne!

Friday Night Think Tank:  Fight or Flight?It’s almost 90 degrees as I welcome you to the Friday Night Think Tank, Modern Philosophers.  I’ve worked over 50 hours this week, and I plan to head back to the office tomorrow morning for a few more hours of overtime fun.

Yes, I’m a dedicated worker bee and I need the extra money, but I’ve been practically living at work all week because there is air conditioning (unlike at The House on the Hill) and I’m trying to keep my mind distracted.

You see, Modern Philosophers, I’m dealing with a long, dark tea-time of the soul and I’m desperate to keep the dark clouds at bay.

I keep telling myself that if I work every waking hour of the day, my brain can’t drift off to the bad place where it’s repeatedly been told not to tread.

It’s a great plan, but as history has proven, no one puts Austin’s brain in the corner.

So, I thought I’d turn to you guys for a little advice and a lot of distractions.  Will you join me in the Think Tank for some Deep Thoughts and friendly chatter?

Bring some ice cream.  We’re gonna need it to beat the heat!

This week’s topic: How do you know when you’re supposed to fight for what you want, and when it’s time to just accept that you cannot win?

When something bothers me, I have a tendency to bottle up my feelings rather than risk rocking the boat.  The reason I do this is because when I finally stand up for myself, things never seem to go well.

Friday Night Think Tank: Fight For Your RightSure, when I was young and foolish, I had a tendency to lose my cool and use my words to lash out against whoever had wronged me.

Now, however, I make sure to keep my anger under control, select words that are direct but not hurtful, and I ask someone I trust to listen to what I plan to say so I can make sure I’m not out of line.

Even with all the precautions, Modern Philosophers, it still seems like whenever I stand up for myself, I end up the loser.    So I tend to keep my mouth shut.

Recently, however, I found myself in a situation where I had no choice but to put my foot down, take a stand, and risk losing someone very important to me.  This was not a fight I wanted, but I needed to stand up for myself in order to ensure that the future would be so bright I’d have to wear shades.

Now, of course, everything has gone to @#$%.  Just as it always does whenever I draw a line in the sand and pray that the other party will back down for once.

I don’t know what to do now.  The other person will not talk to me.

This is not someone I can lose, but what do I do when the other party refuses to engage?  Do I keep trying to make contact and hope that the walls finally come down, or do I just accept that the silence means I need to give up?

My instinct is to keep fighting, but following my instincts is how I got into this situation.

It’s so hot, this post isn’t making any sense, and I just need someone to sit me down and help me think clearly.  Who’s got some words of wisdom for a confused and exhausted Modern Philosopher?

Sorry for the rambling.  Want to follow me on Pinterest anyway?

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Charles in Charge of Homeland Security?

Charles in Charge of Homeland Security? | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherAre you among the countless Americans wondering what Scott Baio’s reward will be for boosting Donald Trump’s Presidential chances by appearing at the Republican National Convention, Modern Philosophers?

Count me in that group for sure.  I didn’t think Trump really had a chance to turn the White House into Trump Plaza D.C. until Baio blew me away with his speech on Monday night.

So unless Hillary can round up both Laverne and Shirley to speak on her behalf, I’d say that the Billionaire Buffoon will be building his border wall come Inauguration Day.

All I can say is: “Chachi, Chachi, Chachi…”

But if you can manage to stop being starstruck for just a few minutes, how do you think that Trump will pay back this enormous favor to one of the biggest television stars from a time well before I was eligible to vote?

Before you answer, Modern Philosophers, keep in mind that Baio, who is a fellow Brooklyn boy, was more than just Chachi on Happy Days…

Happier Days before Trump

Happier Days in America…well before Future President Trump!

Baio, who attended the same high school as my stepbrother and grew up not far from my childhood home, was also the star of Charles in Charles.

If you recall the theme song of that classic sitcom, Charles was not only in charge of our days and our nights, but he was also in charge of our wrongs and our rights.

Who knew that this awesome tune was boldly predicting the future of its leading man?

I believe that Future President Trump will look at the former live in manny and see a man who is responsible enough to watch over the entire American family.

That’s why my guess is that Scott Baio will be Trump’s choice to head up The Department of Homeland Security.

Charles in Charge of our borders and flights...Charles in charge of our days and our nights, Charles in charge of our borders and flights…

I hope, for nostalgia’s sake, that Baio brings along his former TV sidekick Willie Aames to run the show.

And I say that because I know that Henry Winkler is far too cool for the gig.

So if we do have to be stuck with President Trump for four years, the least he can do is make our lives more entertaining by surrounding himself with a celebrity Cabinet and by naming stars to high profile government positions.

In a previous post, I suggested that Trump name The Walking Dead’s Negan as his Secretary of State (Secretary of State Negan) so why not continue that thrilling concept by putting Baio in charge of Homeland Security?

It might be the only way we can survive the next four years…

So what do you think, Modern Philosophers?  What will Scott Baio’s reward be for boosting Trump’s Presidential bid?  What other celebrities should Future President Trump post to high profile positions?  What stars should Hillary have stump for her at the Democratic National Convention?

Future Head of the Department of Homeland Security, Scott Baio, definitely wants you to follow me on Pinterest!

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