Month: December 2016

How I Became Silent In A World Of Noise

People always say silence is golden–personally, I have never seen one yellow spark come shining off that thing; but, hey, we all see life a little bit differently than the person sitting next to us. They say it is golden, methinks, because in a world of noise quiet is a sought after quality: whoever talks the most shows the most; whoever talks the least shows the least.

Think of it this way–those who choose silence are wearing a cape; these people are the tightlipped among us…for a reason. This reason could be embarrassment or anxiety or not feeling strong enough to show themselves…

But you know what else it could be…

Bullies. The kind of people who we should give pity; why? they have such a shitty life they want to hurt others to achieve a wholeness. They wander the world in these large spiked boots and stomp upon anyone who looks a tad–no, a lot–weaker than they are. No one stops it–barely anybody steps in to say, enough!

I am silent because I was bullied.

Middle school. Sixth grade–had a fresh way of looking at the next three years of my life; struggled with grades a bit, but who doesn’t; and there were so many new people I figured I could entertain with my rambunctiousness. Make them laugh. Find some new friends.

I tried to be nice to everybody–people tell me now they don’t think there is a mean bone in my body–and it turned out…not many wanted to be nice back. They called me weirdo; sixlet; and a whole bunch of other names that thankfully have not stayed with me–with the exception of weirdo.

Class started–initiate the teasing. One guy sat behind me in math class, made fun of my glasses, my ears; and guess what? I yelled at the dude. I yelled at him in class, a total of three times. And the teacher standing there, who knew exactly what was going down…he did not do a damn thing to stop this kid.

None of my teachers said anything.

None of my classmates said anything; in fact, I began to think most couldn’t stand me.

Alone and bullied I went into myself. Gone was the loud kid who liked being funny and hoped others thought so, as well; and in his place was a kid who kept his mouth shut and assumed the world was out to tease him. A role reversal, some may say; or a shedding of old skin.

I became silent. Throughout the rest of that year I did not try to be funny or loud.

Thankfully my parents were the SAVIORS OF THE DAY; and rode up to that school and talked to that principal and told them, you need to get your shit togetherthis boy is being bullied and no one is stepping in to stop it.

And they did–they called up those boys and handled them…no idea how; however shortly afterwards the bulling came to a halt. It was a blockade on their tyranny; and I was so relieved…even though…my bullies had changed me.

For a long time I thought it for the worst: I couldn’t be funny; I couldn’t talk; I couldn’t be me…

Then I started writing.

These short nine page stories in a notebook–at the moment it is atop my desk–ranging from Batman to Call of Duty; fan fiction, if you would. And, hey, don’t bash me! Everyone has to start somewhere! I just happened to…you know…go the route of least resistance?


I wrote them in frenzies, these small three story series; and once I had finished I read them aloud to my parents and relatives–because screw editing at eleven, right…eh? Parents told me they loved ’em; if they hadn’t I wouldn’t have cared–I loved them enough for three dozen people.

Kidding–I got serious self doubt in writing; anything helps…really.

Put simply, where I couldn’t be myself in real life…I could do so in my short stories. Kind of a bad ass science fiction plot, if you ask me; but Isaac Asimov has probably already beaten me to the punch. Besides the fiction–I was comfortable in my shoes in artificial reality…sounds a little depressing, I know; although it hasn’t been to me for the last, what, seven years!

In actual life, as the years passed–read that last bit as if you’re saying “once upon a time”–I battered at my shell with the help of Cross Country and Track; and swore whenever I saw bullying I would put a stop to it. I don’t play teasing…no way, pal.

My friends, even those who don’t know me, are always asking, why are you so nice to everyone? and why are you so quiet all the time? Well, to all those reading–you know who you are–I am nice because no one was nice to me; and I am silent because, I, too, have realized that silence is golden.

Want to know why? It is so hard to come by these days.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Cancer SUCKS–Obviously!

Cancer sucks.

Most of you probably already know that–maybe some of you have had loved ones suffer, or you yourself have suffered, through the disgusting disease known as Ca. N. Cer; he is not a nice guy–the complete opposite of kindness.

If so, I commend you for taking the punch. It’s a rough patch of life to get stuck in; but, thankfully we have thousands of faces smiling down on us and saying, “Remember, we’re here for you…whenever you need us…give us a call…

Whenever I enter into a conversation now those phrases flush through my mind; I could be  chatting football with a close friend–not that I often talk sports–and, by some chance happening, find myself on the topic of cancer: Hey, they doing all right? You should remember, we’re here for you guys…

I know. I have known. And I really wish everyone could stop being so damn awkward about it. It happened. Maybe it is still happening; but you all should know we can power through the roughness.

Do I need to write a memo? A note–a sticky note; here, take one, take a hundred!

Got it yet? I hope so.

But bitterness is not my style; more so I am simply tired of having to wear a mask anywhere I go where people know about the cancer. It’s like a trending topic on Twitter or something–a caption runs above my head and reads, This man is in a family affected by the CANCER! And, yeah, it’s in huge uppercase letters, because it’s a big deal.

Anything’s a big deal when you put it in uppercase letters. Say I’m eating a bunch of green beans and the caption appears with, This man is eating GREEN BEANS; he is the prodigal son of the Green Giant! Or–this man is using TOILET PAPER; and when is that not a big deal?

Cancer is a big deal. I already said so. I promise to stop beating you over the head with it if you do one tiny thing for me–listen well, dearies, I want you to give anyone you know with cancer, or who knows someone else affected by cancer, some good amounts of SPACE; they will love you forever and buy you a fruitcake for the next Christmas.

Think daily,

A Southpaw


Christmas Is Here? Right Here?

Oh my gosh, I think I may have a Christmas induced heart attack; quickly someone grab the candy cane defibrillators and throw me on a snowflake stretcher–call my Uncle Rudolph, tell him I always hated that glaring nose of his; and, and—

Is he dead?

Nope. Alive and kicking, all thanks to you random emergency personnel! You got a name tag? I think I want to mail you a Christmas present: how do socks sound for a guy like you? You look like a sock guy. A Hanes guy–let me pen that on a sticky note.

Well, that was fun. But it was not nearly as fun as getting all my presents this morning. Let’s see, a couple of vinyl records–oh, do I hear cheers of joy?–some books of short stories–quite a catch–and a-a Nirvana t-shirt?

Holy Coal Elves! Nirvana! I love those guys!

Raise your hands, everyone–Nirvana fans? Eh? I got one…two…and there’s three.

You guys are great. I have to send you all fruitcakes now, you know; it’s a tradition with me. That said: I hope everyone loves fruitcake as much as I do; if not, then you’ll have to settle with these chocolate chip cookies I baked this morning. Tough choice…

Okay, now, open mic session. I want at least three of you to come up here and tell us what you found under the Christmas tree this morning–speak loud and proud; and let Santa Claus hear those festive words come spewing out of your gingerbread encrusted mouths.

Disregard that image, please, disregard it. I am in a ditzy mood today, what with all these sugary confections–love that word–to stuff inside my stomach, which; as a matter of fact, is also celebrating Christmas…well, as long as the lights aren’t eaten by the acid.

Anyone care to start? Oh, note this, if any of you are here for the Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting, it’s in the other auditorium. Yeah. I wanted to let you know…in case things started getting strange when we were talking about reindeer night clubs–and some of those can get seriously steamy; it’s a wonder the North Pole hasn’t melted yet.

I suppose I could begin–take the microphone here…brought a list of the stuff I got…

From the top: a one super radical Nirvana record; a one equally super radical Rolling Stones record; a one okay radical Van Halen record; a one okay radical–

Is no one else bored? I certainly am. Hell, originally, I was gonna sip some egg nog and watch Christmas Vacation; but apparently I had somewhere to be tonight. Understand, I was totally going to invite you guys, honest truth. I didn’t even write a speech.

Oh, you have notecards? No thanks. I-I’ll pass for now; but later…keep ’em in reach.

So…Christmas…fun times. I see some of you wore your sweaters; Snoopy, a badass as usual; and Santa– wait, is that a picture of him…no! Put that away! We have children here! Go on with your nasty self. Wearing a sweater of Santa riding a Harley Davidson; what is happening to the world these days?

Well, I think I might lie down, got a tummy of gingerbread and ham and soon to be fruitcake. You can let yourselves out. The doors were locked; but I decided that was too Die Hard…have to be original around here.

Happy New Year–and…what is it? Oh. Merry Egg Nog Drinking!

Think daily,

A Southpaw

The Cold Weather Blues

Got my guitar all strapped up? Good. And it’s tuned? Even better. It feels incredible to hold–the wood and the strings and the bunch of other guitar terms I don’t know because I don’t play it that often.

Is the microphone working? Hello? Anyone hear me?

I suppose you can all hear me fine because none of you are giving signs; mostly you’re drinking your wine and your beers and eating whatever the hell they served for dinner tonight. Is it tuna? Cod? Cod. Oh, yuck; they have worse taste here than they did two years ago when they served spam patties.

To not bother you with my horrible jokes tonight–what’s punch without the punch line, eh?–I am going to leave it to my favorite pianist, Blind Henry, to entertain you with his musical genius while I serenade you with words and ideas. Sound okay?

What’s that you’re saying, Blind Henry? Ha! He wants to play Clair de Lune! He says he played it all through his school years–how he got the name Grand Pianist. Well, pal, I was thinking something along the lines of White Christmas; but if you feel that song tonight, then play on. Boy, I love this guy; he’s been with me since childhood.

All right, I got my drink here and a bowl of, what is it, nachos, super cheesy nachos; and I am ready to start this event with a bang. And thank you, Blind Henry, for that well-placed crescendo; a real genius the guy is.

Okay, if I got my guitar strummed–ooh, hear that? horrible tuning on my part. Hang on…and…I got it; I have it. Look at all you now: you’re nothing but chuckleheads! Do I have to play or is my screwup enough laughing gas to sustain you for two hours?


Well, we are all gathered here tonight because one–your car broke down and you had nowhere else to go but the night bar on the side of the street; or two, you actually came here to listen to a mediocre singer belt his lungs out and hopefully do an average job on your favorite Christmas songs. Either way you get free beer.

I hope–I sincerely hope the lot of you are here for the latter; and if you happen to be I wish you a Merry Christmas because this tune might make you wish Scrooge came back from the dead and shot me with a candy cane rifle.

I thought it up one afternoon, just sitting and sunbathing on the lawn; it’s a doozy.

Blind Henry, my man, you ready? He’s giving the thumbs-up; I think we are good to go, folks. Please excuse my crappy guitar skills–they are a thirteen year work in progress.

This is from my new album: Christmas Bells and Elf Hairdos.  It’s something I like to call, The Cold Weather Blues.

Early morning, just out of bed

Got my coffee boiling, kids decorating…dread 

Outside the car is spoiling, at least it’s not wrecked

I died a little last Christmas when you did not appear

Sunshine, happy holidays, the daylight time is here

I died a little last Christmas when you did not appear

Sunshine, happy holidays, I should have had no fear

Real time scorning, I only tapped his head

Gave them a warning, should have toasted pastries instead 

I died a little last Christmas when you did not appear

Sunshine, happy holidays, the daylight time is here

I died a little last Christmas when you did not appear

Sunshine, happy holidays, I should have had no fear

Tuning out their whining,  please somebody get them a sled 

Work is calling, can’t they tell I’m overstressed? 

Next time caroling–throw the books away, Santa Claus is dead

I died a little last Christmas when you did not appear

Sunshine, happy holidays, the daylight time is here

I died a little Christmas when you did not appear

Sunshine, happy holidays, I should have no fear

Sunshine, happy holidays

Sunshine, happy holidays

Sunshine, happy holidays, I should have had no fear

Hope you liked it, guys. Took me hours on end.

And now, Blind Henry, is going to take you on a trip to A Winter Wonderland. 

Think daily, 

A Southpaw


Living High and Flying…High-Er?

I am in such a good mood. I’m serious. I think rainbows are going to shoot out of my eyes.

Finals are almost over; Senior year is almost over; and I just got some good news from a girl. What could–hold up, why would I say that? Never say that. It is a sure jinx.

Those darn jinxes.

Okay I’m doing a count; everyone raise their hands.

How many of you are in good moods?

Hey! That’s a great number–check it out, that’s, what, twenty of you? Should I recount?

Oh. There we go! Twenty one! Good on you!

You remaining two–the ones who didn’t raise their hands–please open your hands. I feel the need to boost your spirit; and so as a delightful token of my affection I am handing each of you an early Christmas present. No need to thank me. It’s socks and underwear.

The rest of you…will have to wait until Christmas morning. I know, I know; why give them their presents so early? Well, to put it frankly: maybe all you should have some bad days; and then you can expect an early box of assorted fruitcakes. Eh? Sound fair?

No. There is no time for recounts. Put your hand down.

But the point here is to bring out your happiness. Geez, I sound like one of those exercise training videos from the 80s: And now stretch your arms to the sky and bring out your inner strength…let it lift you higher than a sweat band flung into the air. 

Yeah. Exercise, which as a matter of fact is a proven way to boost happiness. Look at that–you learn something new every minute–dang, I screwed it up; I mean every day. Ignore me for a second. I’ll step back here…in the dark…and the shadows…and whisper…

[Ten hours later]

All right! I’ve had my nap and I am read-ay to part-ay! Oh…are you guys still here?

Put a smile on those faces. This isn’t the ending of Marley and Me; even though I did happen to drive home and pick up my dog…he had a flea infestation. It was baaad.

Do I seem more jittery than usual today? Is that a self conscious thing? Boy, maybe it’s the six pack of root beer I drank before sitting down at the chair; that, or the excitement of my mind!

How do you like ‘dem apples?  Good Will Hunting reference…eh?

Are you really leaving? I was only gone–I don’t know–ten minutes? Twenty minutes? Maybe an hour or two?

Well, before you go I want to pass out these small gifts. Yes, a toothbrush; I’m so thoughtful. And I wish you all a good rest of your day, or night…or midnight; hell, if you’re reading this in space you don’t even have a time.

And be happy! We need more smiles than frowns.

Think daily,

A Southpaw



That Asshole Krampus

Everyone loves Santa Claus–you know? That should be the next Everyone Loves Raymond; can we get someone on that? Production team? Anyone? I can cast Rino Romano as an angry elf…


Right. Back to work now.

Everyone loves Santa Claus.

Everyone loves Rudolph.

Everyone loves Frosty.

But everyone hates that asshole Krampus.

Seriously. In the lore of Yuletide it is written down: and so forth that asshole Krampus crashed our kicking crib with all his whip and chain shit…he totally killed the radical Daddy Claus vibe we had going on… It drags on for a bit: when those Yule folks had something to say they said it; you should see this book, it’s 1000 pages of Christmas rap songs and Yuletide bash songs.

But we are not here to waste time. Krampus wastes time. He’s an asshole.

The guy whips naughty kids. What, did the lists not work for him? He draws up these mountainous scrolls of names as he sits at his throne and eats the limbs of bad children; but does he actually read them? Does he go through and say: “Here’s a no good brat. There’s another. What to do? I know! I’ll whip ’em all and stuff coal in their shoes.”

Psychologists, pay attention. That is the mind of a deranged goat monster.

And does Santa Claus–the father of joy and bellies stuffed with chocolate chip cookies– operate against Krampus? I don’t think so. He stays at the North Pole with his elves and his  reindeers and his wives–excuse me, wife; I was still reading about Daddy Claus in the lore–and, guess what, he checks his lists twice and goes to bed.

Mindset of Santa Claus: Oh…so many unpleasant children this year. There’s Little Timmy Peterson–the little tike peed in the school parking lot on the…ah, the principal’s car; and Susie Geraldine tied her sister’s hair in a ceiling fan. Well. Pity. I suppose Krampus is going to whip them all. I could call and argue him out of it; but…right now I think I would prefer to fall asleep and dream up Christmas rap lyrics–MTV did promise me that music video…

Yeah; gee, you’re a real fun guy, Santa. All that warm milk is going to your fat head.

But, hey, he’s better than Krampus; although in recent years the horned demon has gotten the better end of the Hollywood treatment…while Santa has to cope with Bad Santa and that Tim Allen trilogy.

What to take away from this?

Krampus may be that asshole and it may suck when he whips all those naughty children; but, during this festive holiday season, we all should try to remember the most important lesson of the Christmas tradition:

Being a snot nosed brat will only ever get you coal…and a super sore butt.

Think daily,

A Southpaw 






Crushing Cherries

Allow me to introduce you all to a new phenomenon; and just so you know it is quite shy–what with it being shown off barely a minute after its initial creation.

With great pride I present: Crushing Cherries.

Yay. Toot those horns. Blow those trumpets. Wave those flags…but not in my face.

Ahem. Well. I suppose I should explain what Crushing Cherries signifies…

There has been, over some time–maybe a couple millennia, not too long–a separation between factions. What factions? Any factions. Nerds vs. Jocks; Dogs vs. Cats; Mice vs. Cats; Students vs. School Lunch; Sprinters vs. Milers; Humans vs. Other Humans…what? seriously?

These factions, I am sure, are familiar to most of you; but if you lived under a rock your whole life…perhaps this will be an education in, however unfortunate, humanity itself.

Eeek, sounds dramatic–bolts of red lightning and all that apocalypse shit.

But nothing is too dramatic for these courageous bloggers! Look at that one in the Wolverine sweatshirt–bad ass, my friend, bad ass; or the chick drinking three energy drinks at once! Insane!

Back to Crushing Cherries.

I cannot tell if any of you guys like cherries–personally I savor the chocolate covered ones; but, hey, my preference. All of you; however should know their appearance: a squishy dwarf apple with a red, or black, exterior; they are extremely fragile–with about the strength of a grape–and so crushing these cherries is easily done.

All right. I’m getting symbolic on your asses now.

For me the cherries represent barriers in our world. Everyone can think of at least one barrier they either wish would cease to be or love it and wish it a long and prosperous life; but of those two descriptions how many choose the former rather than the latter position?

I got no polls; but it does not take a scientist to figure this brainteaser.

With that in mind I tell myself I am the former–what a loser, he tells himself?

Hear me out.

Cherries are scattered across the world: in any building or park or restaurant; and for the most part their locations remain invisible. At the moment, exactly as you read this post, new cherries–larger and juicier cherries–are forming wherever groups of diverse people form.

What? Are there goggles for seeing them? No–who thought of that?

You have to look to see. Boy…could be a little more wise…Captain Obvious.

You have to search for the cherries; and once you have found one take your shoe–size does not matter here–and plant it smack dap on its bouncy top…and then?

Initiate the crushing.

Crushing Cherries is crushing barriers, of which we have many to squish and slide off our shoes like it’s a pile of dog crap or something. Yeah….I could not have put it more poetically. Robert Frost would be impressed.

So get busy searching. Crush cherries. And if people ask what the hell you’re doing kicking your foot in the air in the paint aisle at Wal-Mart, tell them you are making the world a cleaner place.

Of course–someone will have to mop up those juice puddles.

Think daily,

A Southpaw




Romancing The…Stone is a Cliche.

Anyone in the mood to talk romance? Light up those scented candles and eat a red velvet cake on a satin couch…Whooh, boy–

Me neither. Anyhow, that was getting too hot for Thoughts of a Southpaw–geez, shouldn’t I remember how many innocent minds are reading these posts? Not enough is what I say, am I right? Innocence for the win!

Pardon me; however, we were, I believe, discussing a serious topic; and everyone knows all we cover here at Southpaw International is serious stuff. Spend a day in these rooms…you will have an evening filled with the most terrifying nightmares: kindergarteners picking their noses; dogs pissing on fire hydrants! It’s horrible. It’s downright scary.

But romance is not scary.

At least I hope, for your sake, it is not scary. Hey, if you want to hook up with the Axe Murderer on Gallows Street, please, be my dead guest; and be sure to call at your curfew–never o’ clock.

The sane minded among you, excluding those in flip flops–it is Winter, people–will not chase after the killers in your midst, however dark and handsome they may appear to be; and to tell the truth the darkness is from the shadows.

No, the sane minded will hopefully–this is a leap of faith–go hunting the equally sane minded; obviously they will be attracted to these sane souls, and perhaps some day find a common ground on which both sane minds can frolic…like puppies on a giant ass rainbow.

That a good picture?

There are plenty more portraits where that came from if you will kindly hand over your credit card…or write a check to Romancing the Bloggers Ind.. I hope your duration working with us has been delightf–

Wow. I apologize. That usually doesn’t switch on unless I hit a button.

Getting back to the romance chat, by the way.

Here are some dos and do nots:

DO eat dinner at a fancy restaurant–this is not McDonalds, you cheapskates.

DO NOT eat breakfast at a fancy restaurant–this should go unsaid…

DO get to be friendly with brothers and sisters–ever heard of browning points?

DO NOT get to be friendly with the drunk uncle–though it may seem fun, the reality equals hangovers and hangovers and more hangovers.

DO buy him or her a dog–name it Fido and enter it in the Thanksgiving talent show. You all know what I’m talking about…some of you did not switch the channel after the parade ended…

DO NOT buy him or her a parakeet–a bird that repeats whatever you say in your free time?  Bad idea.

Oh. Looks like I reached the end of the list. Note to self: add more do nots…

Are you still there? What the hell? Leave this computer, or phone, and run after that dame or duke–I mean, don’t go all stalker on their ass, but…you get the point.

Observe at a distance. Scratch that–sounds worse than before. I am genuinely picturing someone dressed up in a black ninja costume jumping behind trees and those pissed on fire hydrants as their crush runs through the park with headphones blaring rock and roll.

Last time. Observe them as you would a wonder of the world.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Silverish Bells–It’s Christmastime?

All right, people, let’s get it out of the way–Santa Claus. You believe in the tubby man wholeheartedly, or, say, you happen to be descended from Ebenezer Scrooge, you think Santa can shove his cookie gobbling ass down the chimney; yet some of you do not have chimneys…

No smoking out the intruder this year. Put away those marshmallows.

This year, unlike other years–not calling out 2010 or anything; I mean, the milk was untouched when I woke up in the morning and the carrots were…moldy, not sure how that happens in nine hours either–Santa Claus will be believed.

Yes, throw away those horrid conspiracy pamphlets written by the same people who believe the moon landing was directed by Stanley Kubrick, as well the shameful Christmas horror movies–for kicks toss in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the one with Jim Carrey; it is for the best.

Open the box, go on, you know which box, you sly dog; it’s the one containing the cookie plate and the milk mug. Why? You think Santa won’t want an appetizer in New York before he flies to Hong Kong–this ain’t the Red Eye, folks; this be Sleigh Express, taking American Airlines out of business since the dawn of time.

And the presents–

Whoah! Don’t show them! It’s like you’re flashing around a pair of dirty underpants: no wants to see them until Christmas, in this case, Christmas dinner, and it ruins the season for all who gaze upon them. Yuck. Skid marks. Quit rubbing chocolate bars on the underpants!

There. Set them down easy underneath the tree–on second thought, tie up your dog before he pisses on the wrapping. Okay…all is in place, and all is hidden; save for the bicycle.

After setting out decorations the best thing to do is counsel your children…if you have children. Please don’t go steal a Tiny Tim from off a doorstep so someone can eat your fruitcake.

Tell them:

Santa Claus is…

Oh, I almost forgot the best part–the Christmas carols! Personally I can do a little ditty on Silent Night; but, see, that was when I was eleven years old…hard to sing in heavenly peace at seventeen. What you want to do is–

Not sing any Christmas carols whatsoever.

Hello?  Who is this?

I am the Santa Advisor. 

The Santa Advi–I thought the elves gave Santa advice?

I do not give Santa Claus advice, you fruitcake. It is rather to the families in doubt.

Doubt about…

Whether or not Santa Claus is real. I advise a certain answer for each family. 

You can’t do that. A family should decide on their belief of Santa themselves.

Not according to the rulebook…

Rulebook, schmulebook! Santa Claus is an individual opinion for everyone!

Santa Claus is a definite figure in the world and no one can–

Enough! Get out of my studio!

What studio? This is a broom closet. I see a mop and bucket for the janitor. 

Then get out of my closet! And take your elitist Santa views with you!

Bah, humbug.

Is he gone? Thank Rudolph…Oh, man, he totally spilled my soap bucket! Hang on, have to rip out some paper towels and sop this up. Doo doo do. And it is–Oh. The soap is leaking through the paper towels. Right.

At least it’s Christmastime.

Think daily,

A Southpaw