If You Meet Your Father On The Road…(Hanky Alert)

There is an old Buddhist proverb that goes something like this: if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. If you meet your father on the road, kill him.  I’m sure I got that wrong.  It’s been a long time since my “Eastern Religions” course in college.  The first part of the proverb reads like some vague comment a prophet might have screamed on a street corner, but that second part…kill my father?  I think I know what it means, or at least it has meaning for me which may in no way relate to its intended meaning, but as it turns out, I didn’t kill my Dad. Cancer did. My sister reminded me on Facebook that yesterday, 8/25, was my father’s birthday, but it’s not a day I’ve had cause to celebrate since that date in 1992. I don’t recall the celebration that year. Either it was… Read More…

My Small Dose of Insanity

Here’s something you don’t know about me if we’ve never met, something that the little Mickey Spillane picture attached to my bio won’t tell you: I’m remarkably handsome. To the extent that girls have to look away, that heterosexual guys are uncomfortable around me. There is some fairness to this world, however: God or fate or whatever you believe in balanced the scales by providing me about 40 pounds more than would normally be desirable for a man of my height and frame. So, the weight makes me almost look like a normal person. Yet for some foolish reason, I rail against the concept of fairness and try to reduce that comfortable 40. To that end, I introduced “Insanity” to my daily regimen, and I’ve been working on it for almost two months. Ladies, behave. In case you haven’t seen the ads or heard it discussed at the water cooler,… Read More…

Life Epicenters: Where Are Your Memories Formed?

It’s not normal, I suppose, to think of Cher at one’s high school reunion.   One of my favorite seeming non-sequitors in movies is from Moonstruck, when her Oscar-winning Loretta informs her dad Cosmo that she’s got to tell him something important. “Let’s go to the kitchen,” says Cosmo. I’ve seen it dozens of times at household parties, the living room and dining room are empty, and the 12×18 kitchen has 24 people in it.  We had a joke growing up that the only room in the house that had no life to it was the living room.  I still remember sticking to plastic seat-covers all over our neighborhood. Frank Lloyd Wright saw no point in a front porch for seating.  When he was designing homes, the automobile had taken full reign of the streets and the porch intended for sitting while conversing with passers-by in carriages was obsolete.  He even… Read More…

Tales From the Michigan Diaspora

Listen to Kale discuss this very successful post on our Podcasts tab… Ever notice when you watch a Tigers game or a Red Wings game that is played on the road, there seems to be an especially loud “Let’s Go Red Wings” or “Let’s Go Tigers” roar at some point of the game? You don’t really hear that when other teams come and play here. And it doesn’t happen in just one place. You hear it in Cleveland, in Chicago, in Florida and Arizona, Los Angeles and Pennsylvania venues, too! As Detroit sports fans, we like to take this phenomena as an example to testify that we are, quite simply, the best sports fans in the world. That we care so much about our team, that you can hear a band of us rooting for it in every ballpark, in every stadium. Is that it, though? Or have we, as… Read More…

DWM – 41 Seeking Normal Woman for Normal Life

My married friends all make it seem so simple. Sitting over beers, they say “just sign up for eHarmony or Match and it will happen.” Just magically. Like that? Like dating in your 40’s in 2013 with the technology available to us is going to create a date as simple as downloading an app making reservations on Open Table. God, don’t I wish it was that easy. For those of you who are blessed with being single in your “later” stages of life, whether it’s because a divorce, or not finding the right person yet, or some tragedy, I’ll sum it up for everyone else – IT SUCKS! It absolutely sucks. I sometimes think that the married crowd has this envy like the grass is greener for them. They look at my alone time and crave for it. But they don’t realize that it’s not just a few hours away… Read More…

Ma Kai

I have been trying to find the right words to express what it felt like sitting on the beach last week in North Carolina last week on vacation.  It was a feeling on insignificance, but yet peace.  I was going to try to put my words around a blog, but decided to try my hand in poetry. Indulge me!  Ma Kai Your waves crash on the beach Your breeze blows across my face The sun beats on me, just me Decisions to be had, Deadlines to be made, Not today as I hide my feet in your sand The enormity of your being makes me feel insignificant… ….but strangely at peace The things you have seen, The years you have thrived make my years pale in comparison Is there someone just like me on your other side feeling the same way? Watching your waves? Feeling your breeze? Problems to be… Read More…

Save The Dates!

On October 11, 19-something, I got a call from an old college buddy. October 11 is apparently National Coming Out Day, a significant day in the gay community when LGBT people come out to someone close to them who doesn’t know.  I was shocked–I had no idea.  We had talked about girls for hours over beers and “za.”  (transl. pizza).  To help process the information, I called another friend, who was apparently sitting next to his wife when the phone rang. Me: “Mike, does the date October 11 mean anything to you?” Mike: “October 11th? No, what’s special about that date…OUCH…yeah, it’s my wife’s birthday.”    Most of us have heard by now about Eugene Han and Kirstin Davis, a married couple who will not likely ever forget their wedding anniversary.  They were on a date in a movie theatre in Aurora Co on July 20th, 2012 when a crazed… Read More…

Blackouts & Cutting Utility Dependence: “Sir, We Would Never Get Anything Done if We Had E-Mail”

The first thing out of my mouth when my son called me at work and told me the power was out should not have been, “Oh my God! Unplug the new TV before it gets fried when it comes back on!” Perhaps I might have first considered, after verifying there were no downed lines on top of my kids, that our poor hairy dog was okay in the 94 degrees. But I didn’t. Or, based on terrible back-flooding of raw sewage in the basement of our first house, you’d think I would remember that without electricity, the sump pump won’t work. The insurance company didn’t come through for the sewage in’95. Flood insurance doesn’t apply if your basement is “flood-ed” apparently. It was a similar corporate shoulder-shrug last year when the power surge from DTE Energy’s faulty do-dad on the pole in our yard (which they acknowledged) was not their… Read More…

Brain Ruts: Phantom Pets, Facebook Anger & Geographical Literacy

I’ve been opening the wrong cupboard for 15 years now. After the first two weeks in our house, it became obvious that having the glasses right above the dishwasher made more sense.  (You can stack plates, so moving them all at once to the cupboard four feet behind us was more “logical” — to quote my Spock-fan son.) But it doesn’t matter.  When I’m thirsty, I swing open the wrong door, swear under my breath, and trudge across our eight foot kitchen floor and get a glass from the correct place.  15 years. I was recently going through a three-day training of a new software platform at work.  Part of the drill was for us to respond with insightful comments on our experience.  My comment one day was, “It’s taking me a little while for my geographical literacy to figure out where on the screen they moved everything.”  That started… Read More…

Reading Was Boring–Until I Met Matilda

I was one of those kids who was always performing in front of his/her parents on top of the laundry basket/stage. I never sang into a hairbrush. My thoughts – What’s the point? I need an actual microphone to amplify the sound. Yep. I was (and still kind of am) that kid. But there comes a time in every child’s life when you need to learn how to read. Being the tiny, perky, ball of energy I was, reading was boring. You have to sit down for long periods of time and be quiet. There was no involvement, no reaction from others. You were the audience. Boy, was it lonely to be stuck with a book for a mandatory 20 minutes of homework per night. Then, when I was around 8 years old, I was introduced to the movie Matilda starring Mara Wilson, Danny Devito, & Rhea Pearlman.   A… Read More…

Year 6: Outlasting the 100 Year Old Tree

I was out working in the yard today and looked at the massive maple tree that sits in my front yard that must be 100 years old. The poor fella..it’s rotting and falling apart. And since the Main Street in front of me is a state highway, I’m at the mercy of waiting for the State of CT to come cut it down. Later in the day, a massive branch fell and nearly hit someone walking. I sent my swat team of boys out to clean up the mess. But that damn tree…I wasn’t supposed to see it die and rot. I was supposed to be out here in Connecticut 3 years and then back to Detroit. That was the plan. That was 2007. As we all know life often throws curve balls at us. Fast and furious sometimes. On June 29, 2009 I had a huge curveball thrown at… Read More…

Paper Route Days & The Creepy Underwear-Man Under the Stairs

Kids with paper routes didn’t make it past the eighties.  And probably odd guys like The Grouch didn’t help matters… *** I don’t have high hopes for my first encounter at the Pearly Gates… “Let’s see…Walsh…Walsh…” as  St. Pete examines his pearl-handled clipboard.  ”You’re not Kevin Walsh, are you?” “Yeah.” “Not the one from Clawson?” “Um…yeah.” He shakes his head and grabs the lever.  ”You had to go there, didn’t you?” Knowing exactly what he’s referring to, I feel the floor suddenly give way. *** This evening, at the age of 48, I was a little nervous looking down these stairs, through the apartment lobby window, snapping a quick photo with my phone. That’s where The Grouch lay in wait every morning for four years of my life, just under the stairs on the left, like a troll–365 days a year. ** On warm muggy nights like this evening, I… Read More…

Are Fire Hydrants Too Socialist?

There were bodies everywhere. I’d never seen anything like it before–especially on a dog-walk… It was a dream of mine since I’d first read the <em>How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs</em> to work on a dig. I dreamed of buried treasure–triceratops horns, a mummy (without a curse), a Neanderthal skull or my sister’s bracelet that I buried in the mud under a neighbors’ swing-set. I checked on it periodically for the mud to turn to stone with the intention of cracking it open and impressing my friends. (I’m still waiting on that one–sorry Colleen. The next time I’m in Cincinnati I’ll see if it’s ready yet.) Nothing quite as glamorous on that dog-walk, but I did have that chill run down my spine when I heard, then saw, the bulldozer.  My dad used to take me on rides in Detroit on Saturday mornings looking for steam-shovels, probably started by… Read More…

So, Just Where is the Elbow Grease?

     As I am a favored guest as my friend’s home, her grandchildren wanted to make sure everything was spit-polished and in order as they eagerly awaited my arrival. The 7 year old, Fiona, was the task master making sure her 5 year old brother, Liam, closely followed her directions as dictated. Fiona,displeased with her brothers efforts and progress at his given task, declared ” you’d better put some elbow grease into this or we will never get done”. Liam, eager to comply, went searching throughout the kitchen opening one cupboard after the other and began to get frustrated. He pleaded for his sister’s help, “just where do I find this elbow grease anyway, I’ve searched everywhere for it?”  Fiona just shook her head and called for her Grandmother as the interpreter of all things foreign and near to explain the non-literal meaning of “elbow grease”. What could have been a slippery… Read More…

The Netflix Workout

It’s like a dream-come-true.  For $7.99 per month I can catch up on the 47 TV series I’ve missed and “not-ready-for-HBO” movies–the films that didn’t make a ton of money but they’re what I might have seen at the theater at a matinee or if someone else offered to pay. I was a typical Netflix customer when it arrived on the scene.  I was too lazy to get in the car to drive to Blockbuster so I’d order a DVD, wait three days for it to arrive and then promptly set the little white sleeve on my TV for two or three weeks, hoping to get around to it.  When Netflix introduced streaming-video to my computer I avoided it since the last thing I wanted to look at for recreation was the same computer screen that stared at me at work all day. Then the magic day arrived a few… Read More…

Nuisance Becomes Nostalgia

When you’re painting an entire living room while attempting to also live in that space things can get a little messy. I’d ignored that little voice in my head that I’ve been ignoring for so many years that told me to cover the paint tray. I wasn’t going to be painting the second coat of blue on the wall for at least two hours. Instead, I just pulled the tarp over the tray and forgot about it. There are certain genetic traits that cats have that draws them to paper bags and confined areas. Maybe it’s the perfect cover from their hunting days millions of years ago. Regardless, Dude, my son’s 9 year-old cat, apparently found the tunnel I’d made a perfect scouting location. We were convinced that Dude was actually a dog trapped in a cat’s body. Guests would arrive and he’d run to meet them faster than our… Read More…