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The Dashing Life and Exuberant Times of Brian Harrison....And Other Rare Anecdotes

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wind Chimes

Some unseen presence flits about the far end tunnels of my heart and mind. I lie on the bed and the clock ticks in the same tempo as the sense of my life being lived now and my life lived before and my life to be lived in the far off horizons…where my eyes grow dim with the hidden veil of time. It seems that the November melancholy has took my mind’s eye and, after squeezing and wrenching it in painful grappling, now hovers it, suspending it over my life like a benevolent cloud of hope and good wishes.

I do not know what to make of this great fire-wielding organ within my chest. I don’t know what to make of this heart. For it seems as though infused with the vibrant charges of life. Life unexhausted, life superb and sublime, unadulterated and unbound life….the heart knows its rhythm as it blends into the sounds around. The steady thud, the fulsome beat, they pant in some life-crazed, whirling beat. Life that beams its fitful thrust like the concentrated light on the seat of memory. Or in the open-windowed meadows of our hopes and dreams when the skies are ripped open to the blessed sunlight.

I just got off the phone with a friend and the stories that are told and the themes that are pronounced breaks upon the bitter, grey days of late autumn like a fresh wind tearing the dullness from the dismal setting…and I think upon the person I was and the person I am now…and the person to be…and the change in anything and everything….and how little we all are…and how big another One is….and all the while the wind-chimes outside my window this November midnight are being swept along by the fierce winds in some delicate harmony of serene joy. While I lie on my bed staring at the ceiling trying to make sense of it all…the theme of life quakes and rocks within my chest. I attempt to call it by name but it is too big, too unfathomable, much too untamable with words. It has something to do with the molding of rhythm of all that’s around and its source all trickling down, now, in melodious measures. The clock ticks on and on into the endless highways of the future. Its marching waltz flees from the present mistaking it for the past. How each tick should frighten me into action and deem one last breath breathed. I’ve tasted of this thought and it leaves one not caring to get up in the mornings.

-But I still hear the wind-chimes tingling their songs of solace against winter’s chilling roar and its chorus is one of simple sublimity in the fearsome brawl of storms. If only I could hold onto this song, this music and melody, and forget the darkening pinches that can fall on the mind in the midst of this gargantuan life. Then let the wolfish winds howl and the savage gusts unleash their flailing fury upon me….and may I, in a creative mirror-image, sing on of hope and light and love and joy and laughter….of peaceful day and the sublime night…of gold-traced memories uncapped and unkempt visions bright.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Story #2 in the Greatest Dating Stories Ever Told

I have already announced to certain people that on facebook, some friends and I are in the process of writing remarkable dating stories. This is the case for my entry of my travels in Nicaragua. So now I bring to you a story that was sent to me and in which I delivered a short commentary on...both of which were a smash hit in the facebook world. I thought that I was robbing my minor readership on this blog by not posting it and I couldn't resist but publish it here. Understand that this short, little anecdote is from an anonymous source. Actually, from a very good friend of mine. In fact, I actually pride myself in being close friends with this person; I feel as though I am boasting and I am, with good reason, as you shall see. It will not take the reader long to figure out why the author wishes to remain anonymous. I mean if this was my story, I would proudly bear this feat of unrivaled courtship slip-ups, but the author has his wife to protect and consider and therefore remains unknown. Warning: The content in this story is of a bathroom-humor style. I certainly don't want our story series to be all about that, but I certainly would not refrain from posting all-out classic tale, as this proves to be. Here it is in the orignal format:
"Once upon a time, I took the woman who is now my wife out on a date. The date started innocently enough with a Mexican dinner. Following the dinner were some thick shakes from Frozen Delight, and oh what a delight they were. The two of us got in the mood to stroll through Berryhill park because the night air was cool and crisp, ripe for romance. Eventually, we made our way to a small bridge across a small creek. I thought the timing was right so I went in for a kiss. I also thought the timing was right to let out a little flatulence. Unfortunately, a little more than gas seeped out as I dribbled my britches. The smog stank filled our nostrils and interrupted our kiss. Knowing that I was caught in my tracks, I confessed, "L___, I pooped my pants."To make a long story short, the romance that night was ended. I went to the dorm to shower, because a shower was necessary.Today, L___ is my wife. Love conquers all... even horribly timed, horribly placed defecations."
So that's that. Simple, yet profound. Both shocking and courageous; aptly delivered for an audience. In fact, if I were to have to redo my senior symposium, I believe I would do(do) it on these few paragraphs. My studies at the university taught me the tremendous ability to spend ludicrous amounts of time AND money analyzing concepts of style and meaning; let me give my education (and their trailing loans) their rightful recompense on this fecal subject.
The entire piece is summed up and given its climactic concentration in the phrase, "L____, I pooped my pants." Few other sentences in the broad range of modern literature carry such pervasive importance. For this sweeping phrase constitutes the enlightened realization not only of his state of poopdom to his beloved, but it is also the exact point of realization to his very self that he has, indeed, pooped in his pants. The speaker here, (let us call him 1st Person Mr. Poopy Pants) sort of comes to himself and grows through this rich experience into a much nobler self-actualization. Also, his test in character, he assuredly passes....for he could have kept silent. But no, he climbed the prodigious heights of integrity, and spoke thus: "L_____, I pooped my pants."
Now, notice the significant proponents of this powerful statement. 1st Person Mr. Poopy Pants does not just say, "I pooped IN my pants." No, he declares, "I pooped my pants." It is the magic of leaving out the preposition. For when one is pooping in their pants who has time for prepositions? I mean, our first Grammar teachers never taught us this trick because, in a classroom setting, it never seemed plausible that one was actually pooping in one's pants (Little did they know my classmates.) The point here is that the act of "pooping one's pants" is of a phenomenal magnificance that important parts of speech, verbs, nouns, pronouns, are all that really matter. They just sort of spill out like the very act the speaker is describing. In some cases, First Person Mr. Poopy Pants might have been bolder by leaving out even the pronouns as well by asserting, "L____,......pooped......pants." But this would have been altogether undecipherable to his beloved standing there in the darkness, on the bridge, wondering what interrupted their appointment of affection.
You can only imagine what type of elation the author must have felt after composing this little masterpiece. In fact, soon after, he wrote me again saying, "I sent a doozie of a dating story for your noteboard! WEEEE!!!!!"He could barely contain his joy at composition which I, sharing in his inspirational jubilation, wrote him back, " Yes, you did. You inspire me to want to go out with a girl and crap in my britches as well. Wouldn't it be cool also...if L___ pooped in her britches but never told you. That would mean the both of you are destined to be with each other." And so concludes my "thesis on feces" as my friend, the author of this work, termed it. I am frightfully sorry if this was of bad taste to any of my readers.
Blitheberry, Barnabus. "The Supplementary Analysis of Quantitative Bowel Movements in Contemporary Times." New York, NY. 1988.

Schreinenburger, Lawrence. "Searching for Dr. Doodie: His Life and Times."London: Newarker Press. 1974.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Most Embarrassing Moment; The Ruin of My Life

I never will be able to escape it. One mistake, one tiny little mishap and everyone, I mean everyone has to view it. And then it lives on…and haunts me to this day. I don’t know what I was thinking that day. I just happened to wear the wrong, shiny slippery shoes at the wrong time. Ha! And my life will never be the same. I’m sure everyone here as seen it and knows of the embarrassment I suffer. At times, I wish to live in a barn or a cave to hide from the society that has seen the greatest catastrophe of my life. Recently I got wind of yet another website that an anonymous hacker has submitted yours truly toppling off stage and so now, the whole world knows it and my reputation is utterly ruined. Whatever important positions I may take in the future, whether…an eldership, a professor, a CEO, or the Senate (anything political for that matter) are entirely dashed to the rocks because of this little video and because I got so nervous during the ceremony that kicked my equilibrium all out of whack. Future possibilities in dating are gone. If the girl thinks this is cute, her parents will surely warn her against the reputation of ending up with an ignoramus that can’t walk straight. If I ever want to be president of the PTO…nope, again…the parents and their kids will take me for a stooge. And I can assuredly kiss my dream of becoming ambassador to Greenland goodbye. So please I beg for your sympathies. The website http://www.metacafe.com/watch/282905/gra... has completely ruined me. And supposedly they’re making money from this. The more people that view it, the more money they get. Capitalistic pigs that rip off the clumsy! I will never outlive this incident....it will always pester me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Communication Breakdown

Most of our mouthfuls of words, sentences, and verbal constructions are a necessary indication of life and its experiences. Check the facebook and blogging community, all of us have some sort of commentary to share, whether in staunch protest or in gentle appraisal. –But take our natural inclination towards the spoken and written word, and further it into an unknown series of bumbling consonants colliding into foreign vowels sounds, and any appraisal that our lips find natural, they will rally up and rebel against this far off language in more numerous protests that we could ever pronounce.That is why whenever I’m in the murky throes of a foreign language the only vocabulary I chance to master is the vocabulary of cursing well. For every foreign word that is being pounding into this stubborn noggin of mine, I learn fluency in entire sentences composed completely of cuss words. It’s a remarkable phenomenon, this irony. Whereas I cannot communicate very effectively down in Mexico or Italy, I have reached the pinnacle of proficiency to chat hours upon hours with truck drivers and sailors. The school system never expected this educational experience from their stern curriculum of 2 years of foreign language studies. They have gone above and beyond their call of global literacy. In fact, at times, I’m in such dramatic excitement over these courses that I’m being forced to take, that if I could, as a commencement, I would line the faculties of these universities up and show off the unexpected ability that their language courses have taught me with full gusto and apparent fluency. Ha! Sometimes, in some enthusiastic moments of passionate zeal, I wish these faculty members could bring their mothers and even their grandmothers, so even THEY could witness the unleashing of my incredible proficiency which these schools have made possible. But enough of that. What my point is…is to reveal my frustration with foreign languages, not to encouraging #*&@!ing.Perhaps, the only time I’ve ever felt truly competent in the area of foreign languages is the time in 11th grade when a Brazilian exchange student friend of mine, Ciao Bertti’s father was coming to the U.S. to visit. They hadn’t seen each other for an entire year. And the father didn’t speak a lick of English, but he could ramble off Portuguese without stopping. There was great expectation in the air. Arrangements were being made for his father’s visit. I took it upon myself to learn some Portuguese to greet his father in all warmth and dignity. So I used Ciao to translate the phrase that would give his father a hearty welcome.His father arrived and we all stood in the parking lot watching the father and son embrace after their long furlough from each other. Then Ciao began to introduce the crowd, his host family and friends. When he got to me, I stood in supreme confidence in my linguistic endeavor as I pronounced in rhythmic sway, “Vamos vicar pelatos etomar un banyo juntos.” My tone was cheerful, hospitable, and embracing. For a brief second I was the ideal ambassador, a lamp, a torch, for our great nation to another nation as I issued forth these welcoming words. It was as though I was saying, “Welcome to America! We love your son and we love Brazilians. Make yourself at home, Pops.” –But in fact what I really was saying was “Let’s take off our clothes and take a bath together!” The beauty in saying this is the whole concept of being the typical ignorant American saying what I thought was correct. As though the English-Portuguese dictionary was faulty. These words cut through the air of sentimentality of the moment…Mr. Bertti, with tears on the brink of his eyes from seeing his son, takes a pause of reflection, and then busts out in laughing convulsions, as he points to me and repeats the phrase over and over again. Knowing Brazilians, there isn’t much that’s too racy for them. Knowing Brazilians, he probably stopped to entertain the idea. After that friendly acquaintance, that jovial old man, liked me more than all the other Americans. So ever since then, that phrase has stuck in my brain, and I don’t know why. Perhaps, I’m saving it for my wedding night to that busty Brazilian salsa dancer that I’m gonna meet one of these days when I finally go down to Rio for Carnival. But until then, this phrase is always on the tip of my tongue wanting to spill out whenever I run into native Portuguese speakers. It’s almost as though, like most knowledge is, I’m really saying, “Hey, look at what I can say.” But the bare fact is that that’s not at all what they would be hearing. So I keep my mouth shut unless I’ve met them before a time or two.Probably one of the worst moments I’ve had in my adventures with foreign languages (except all ridiculous exams, quizzes, workbooks, just plain workloads in a classroom) would be some of the times that I’ve had in Russia. I recall this one kiosk nearest to my apartment in Moscow, where sometimes I would buy bread and Coca-Cola. There was this girl in there that was the rudest, meanest, Russian harpy. I would come in there with my unpolished shreds of Russian, saying “Ya hatchoo Koka-Kola tam, paschalsta”(I want that Coca-Cola bottle there, please). Well, everytime I went in there, and she must have had this vendetta against foreigners. She would pretend to not understand a word I said. It was very apparent what I wanted, even if I wasn’t saying the words correctly. Everyone understands “the point and grunt technique”. And I am the master of “the point and grunt technique.” But she would stand there, shrugging her shoulders, pretending not to understand me at all, and looking at me like I was stupid. At times, she would glance over at her co-worker, another extremely rude lady, and start to laugh and sneer at me as though I was this Vodka-drunk circus freak asking her out on a date. Eventually, it would “dawn” on her what I wanted and she would give the item to me. I would march out of there fuming. Well, one time, she really got to me, so I thought to myself, “Alright dyedushka (girl) you are really gonna get it now.” In my apartment, I had tons and tons of these little kopecks. If you can imagine our pennies being divided up into smaller units of coins…than that would be the equivalent of the Russian kopeck. I take a huge heap of them and then strut into that kiosk. In my heated imagination I remember envisioning it where I would, after she brought me my item, drop all these kopecks onto the counter letting them roll all onto the floor everywhere. But my temper had cooled by the time I got there. So I just placed them in her hand and said, “Speciba Bolshoi” (a big thanks) and grabbed my item and headed out the door, as she stood there trying to count them all with the long line filing up to the counter. That was probably the meanest thing I ever did in my life in Russia. (or close to it.) and I confess it to you…so feel special.I write all that to illustrate my complete frustration at the study of foreign languages. I had a hard time last year when I, crazily, took Spanish and Italian at the same time (that’s why I failed Spanish) and now, I have a hard time taking Italian. I am just sick of it all. And the funny thing is that I love to travel and will probably live in foreign countries in the future. It’s the entire language thing. I love the ideas, sounds, feelings, pictures, the spirit of words…but, I cannot stand their dull mechanics of formation. It’s nothing but one heart-breaking, head-splitting, nerve-racking experience and all I want to do is find one language and communicate effectively, passionately, and vividly….and I shall be happy. So Goodbye, Adios, Auf Wedersehn, Das Vedanya, Adieu, Sianara, Arrivederci, Ching-Wong Chu Feng, Hubba-Jubba Toyu Manluwiyu, Click-Click-Click.