Archive for May, 2011

Flip Em The Bird

Posted in Stories on May 19, 2011 by bigdaddygouda

Sometimes I leave my porch door open to let in the fresh air. Last Thursday, some of you may recall it was sunny and 70. The nicest day of the year I would suggest. Of course it turned in to a big headache for me.

Naturally, the first thing I did when I arrived home from work that night was open the porch door. Andy likes to go out there and sniff around while I tend to make frequent trips out to the porch to smoke and spy on the neighbors.

Friday morning around 7 a.m. I was awoken out of a sound sleep by a thump. Was I dreaming. I came out of my daze as I heard Andy’s slow belly growl. The thump had woken him up too. Looks like I wasn’t dreaming.

Andy then shot up like he was spring loaded. His growl turned to a whimper then a frantic run around the house. Something had his interest. I tried to ignore it.  Ususally if he smells an animal outside he goes a bit berserk, fearing the creature is peeing all over his daily marked territory.

Just as I was about to turn over I saw a gray blur jet across my bedroom, followed by another thump against the window. And right behind the gray blur, like a bull in a China shop, was Andy.

I instantly sat up like The Undertaker in the center of a wrestling ring. It was clear to me. There was a fucking bird in my house and Andy was chasing it.

The dog leaped at the window where the bird had crashed seconds before. The second Andy made contact with the blinds the bird flew from behind them, over my bed and out of the room. I’m not gonna lie, I momentarily ducked under the covers and shrieked like a school girl as the bird buzzed over head.

Andy followed, growling and whimpering. I got out of bed, worried that the bird was going to peck Andy’s eyes out.  The winged beast darted throughout my apartment, bouncing off the windows like a rubber ball. Andy gave chase in what I would call the most exciting adventure he’d ever had.

I stood in the doorway between my bedroom and kitchen, on the ready in case the bird came my way. I guess I get the broom I thought and shoo the thing outside. It was no surprise as I reached into the closet I noticed the porch door had been left open. Since the warm weather started last month birds have been attempting to build a nest on the roof and one must have made its way into the house through the open door.

By the time I had the broom in my clutches the bird had already made its way into the spare room, which is a good thing since that’s where the open porch door is. Trouble is the damn thing just kept crashing into the window trying to escape as Andy leapt and barked beneath it. It only had to make a left and it would be free.

I clutched the broom and as I was about to swat at the winged intruder I forget something. Andy HATES brooms. The second he saw me raise the sweeper he turned his attention from the bird and bit into the broom, growling and trying to rip it out of my hands. They say birds are dumb but it must have sensed its opening because the moment Andy and I were occupied the thing bounced off the window and zipped out the porch door and into the world. I dropped the broom as Andy continued to struggle with it and slammed the porch door shut and locked it….as if the bird was going to try to get back in, let alone open the door if it wasn’t locked.

I put the broom away and trudged back to my bedroom. Andy followed as if NOTHING had happened. The damn dog was asleep before I was. Me, I lay in bed, wide awake, staring at the ceiling, wondering….A bird, flying around my apartment at 7 a.m. Really? Really? I guess there could have been worse things to fly into my apartment….like a bee, or a bat…or a 747.


Existing vs Living

Posted in Stuff on May 13, 2011 by bigdaddygouda

About 10 years ago my father said something to me that I never forgot.

He came into my room to inquire why I had slept so late. It was obvious. I was hungover. Like most nights in my early 20s, I spent them drinking into the wee hours of the morning, then sleeping till noon. He told me I had to get my act together, which was nothing new. Then he said something that sorta stung.

“You’re not living,” he said. “You’re just existing.”

It was the deepest thing I’ve ever heard my father say. I brushed it off at the time but it stayed with me. In the years that followed I like to think I stopped “existing” and started living. Partying became less frequent. Aidan came into my life. Gram died. I got a job as a journalist. I bought a jeep. I moved out on my own. I inherited a dog. I sold my jeep. I became an Uncle. I’d say I’ve been living my life, not just existing.

But sometimes I can’t help but feel complacent.  When I was “existing”, granted, life was simple, but it was a hell of lot more fun. “Living” can be boring. Monday through Friday my routine has been the same for years. Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Walk dog. Watch Tv. Play on computer. Go to bed. Repeat.

Weekend used to be filled with endless possibilities. Now a great weekend is watching two good movies instead of one. Parties are far and few between and I honestly can’t remember the last time I was drunk. I almost want to say Road Race, TWO YEARS AGO.

I used to think that having a wife and kids was the missing element. The link between the mundane and exciting. The fuel that will restart a stagnant existence. Maybe it is. But I’m not so sure anymore. Many of my friends who are married with children often complain about the same things I do. Being bored. Being complacent. Existing instead of living. I bumped into an old friend a few weeks back who was holding his daughter while his other kid pestered him for candy. “This is my life now,” he said with a pained look on his face. I’m sure he was happy for the most part but there’s a lot of stress there too.

Half the problem is I had it really good, better than most I’d wager, for a really long time. Things didn’t really slow down until my late 20s and I suppose a life filled with zip and zazz takes more than a few years to get used to when things inevitably slow down.

The best part of the film Hot Tub Time Machine, besides the bear giving the black dude a blow job, was a quote from John Cusack’s character when he spoke so fondly of his past.

“We were young. We had momentum. We were winning,” he said.

Amen brother. Amen.

Well, it’s 11 p.m. Time to take the dog out then go to bed.