In Honor of my Grandpa Dave.

3 08 2016

This was the talk I gave about my Grandpa Dave on August 1st, 2016. And yes, the preacher did ask the crowd afterward if anyone had any ivory soap with them to wash my mouth out. If there’s one thing my grandpa taught me, it was to always tell it like it is, and I wrote this in honor of him and that passionate way to live life. 


Grandpa Dave and me when I was just a wee thing.

As many of you here know, my grandparents started dating in high school. One of my favorite stories is how, at the beginning of their courtship they would end up at the Dairy Queen; on the first date my grandma ordered a strawberry shortcake and because she was so bashful, she ended up having him order the same thing for her over and over, date after date, because she didn’t want him to know that she didn’t really like their strawberry shortcake all that much.

But. She liked him, and he was a good one to like.


Dave and Arlene May 1961

They were married the day after Christmas in 1960 and have been together ever since. For me, they were a shining example of love that endures, love that survives through the thick and thin, the good and bad; a love that was real, true, even if at times there were struggles, they were always there for each other and for their children. They had four lovely, generous, and outspoken kids, 2 even named after hollywood celebrities, Rick (after Ricky Nelson), Sandy, my mother (after Sandra Dee), and then Tom aka “Spook,” and Bob. They loved good music and my grandfather never shied away from belting a tune or two out loud at any random moment.

grandpagrillGrandpa Dave was at his best when he was at home, spending time outside on the patio, the long nights with the bug zapper and the laughing and chatting; grilling, drinking beer and bellowing out those old tunes.

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket/never let it fade away…

Blue moon/you saw me standing alone/without a dream in my heart/without a love of my own

Charlie Brown — Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?– you know Charlie Brown right?) he’d say.

I was to him, Krystal Leanie the Big Fat Green Beanie to which I would also yell back, “Grandpa! I’m NOT fat and I’m not a green bean!!”

All the grandchildren learned quickly to hide their knees when in his presence or he’d “show us how a crow lights,” by pressing on the pressure points that make the leg jump.

When we were really young we’d all climb up on top of him while he laid on the couch and try to take over his tv remote, which only worked for a short period of time before it was back on a baseball, or basketball, or football, or the worst of all, golf. He was an avid sports fan, dedicated to The Royals, The Chiefs and KU no matter if it was a winning or losing season. He himself played on a winning softball team. He also coached his kids on winning sports teams. And when my mom started coaching me, he’d come to all the games and cheer me on, very loudly, often expressing his opinions of the situation to the umpire.

He was a stickler for routine. Every morning he’d drink his Folgers and finish a crossword puzzle and we’d often find him listening to sports radio, many of us trying hard to turn that shit off.

He was at his worst on the road. Anyone who has everyone gotten into a vehicle with him knows what I’m talking about. To me, it was an adventure. I could tell other people were nervous, but I was always excited, ready to go fast, waiting for the next new cuss word I’d learn. “These damn farmers,” and “What? Are we in a fucking parade here?” were his top phrases, and to say that didn’t rub off on me would be a complete and total lie.

And that might be the most beautiful thing about grandpa Dave. He was not a bullshiter. He was bold and stubborn and always had an opinion to share even if it was sometimes a bit shall we say, off color, or about killing those worthless cats, though it was usually about politics or sports teams and certain players lack of skill.

It’s taken me years to admit that I am actually a less-than-average driver and when I sort of kind of ran into a menu sign at the Sonic while driving his truck to work one day, both my uncle Bob and my grandpa were the calmest I’ve ever seen them about someone in the family doing something really ridiculously stupid. I thought he’d kill me, but he was just glad I wasn’t hurt. And that’s the thing, deep down he was the sweetest, most loving, gentle soul, which is perhaps why sometimes he came across as the opposite–he didn’t want to give that secret away. Anyone close to him though, knew better. Not very many men baby-talk their dogs or let their grandchildren ride them like a horse through the house.


Yes, I have proof this really happened, that’s me and grandpa Dave back in the day. 

He lived in Greeley his entire life, and worked for 32 Years at GM, many of you know him best from the Greeley Quick Shop aka the liquor store where he’d greet everyone with a big “how you doing today?,” and shoot the shit with anyone who had the time.

He was far from perfect, but who isn’t? There were things he liked and things he didn’t like and he’d always tell you which one was which. Regardless of which side you were on in those discussion, they were always lively; and his honesty and sincerity were two of his most admirable traits.

He will be greatly missed in the community, by his friends, and within our family.

I will say, that to this day, whenever I hear someone loudly sneeze three times in a row, I wait for the echoing GOD Damn It!!! I know I will never hear it again, but that God Damn It spirit will live on forever.


Grandpa Dave, me, Grandma Arlene, Mindy and Judy, Christmas 2011.

9 Random Thoughts About the Million-Dollar Doomsday Condos

18 01 2015

9 Random Thoughts About the Million-Dollar Doomsday Condos

Somehow I stumbled across an article about these Luxury Survival Condos built in an former Atlas missile silo in the middle of nowhere Kansas—and since I’m from Kansas I felt like I needed to know more, but all I was left with after learning about them was more questions.


1. First the website claimed it was in a “secret” location; I kept digging and I’m pretty sure I figured out where it is; my main concern is that if I’m paying millions of dollars to have shelter after a nuclear attack, how am I going to get there in time? Am I going to take my helicopter there? And if everyone—all 70 or so people who can live there too—takes their helicopters, where are we all going to park?

2. There’s a community pool inside. How are they going to keep pool water clear for 5+ years. How do they have enough water for that? You know some bored people are going to bang it out in there at least a few times, is there enough chlorine to kill all of those tiny tiny swimmers that will escape?

3. Speaking swimmers, will there be a medical staff? How will people deal with pregnancy? One would think that IUDs would be a good addition, but if only 70 people are left in the world, they’d probably also want to start repopulating the planet and I don’t know if I’d really want to give birth in an underground bunker. What about formula, baby food, diapers?

4. Most importantly, what about death? Where do the dead bodies go?

5. And what if someone coming in has a weird contagious disease?

6. Plumbing is also a concern. I’m sure they’ve thought this through. I saw that they have the bidet style toilets to cut back on the use of toilet paper, but what if something goes wrong with the pipes?

7. I haven’t even gotten to the social aspects. Can you even imagine being stuck in a building with 70 other rich assholes? Like surviving a nuclear attack and then getting trapped in one space with a bunch of crazy doomsday people might actually be worse than dying.

8. Have they even thought about the life philosophies they’re going to instill? Like if you could start over from scratch basically, then you could get people to believe in anything. You could make up your own religion, your own customs, and relationship-structures. They’d really have a golden opportunity and I imagine that they’d just waste it on reformulating capitalism and monogamy—yawn.

9. They have security guards there. If there was an attack, wouldn’t the guys with the guns get dibs?

Do Not Let Your Wrinkles Ruin All of Our Lives.

26 11 2013


Meet Betty.

Day-Zero-Betty is in deep-thought and it is disgusting. I mean look at that furrowed brow. How gross that her face is making an expression. I can’t even handle it. Luckily for all of us there is a drug out there that can fix her. It’s called Botox and OMG does it work miracles. I mean, imagine what Betty would have to do if Botox wasn’t around to stop her face from moving? She would basically have to hide, like all alone, except for maybe a few cats that were clueless to how gross her wrinkly face actually is (or maybe those felines would be aware but they would put up with it because she feeds them tuna, who knows what cats really think).

In any case, Day-Zero-Betty is absolutely hideous.

Just look at her.

No! Don’t!

If Botox didn’t give her a makeover we would all be puking every time we ran into her on the street. Betty wouldn’t even be able to have a regular job because no one would be able to tolerate the grotesqueness, those deep rivers and crevasses of her facial features that make it look like she was more 3D map than woman.

“Is that the Nile?” People would ask, which would cause her to cry and those deep streams would fill with water.

Sometimes little fish were found swimming there.

Poor Betty.

But, not Poor Betty anymore! Thanks to Botox her face is no longer a breeding ground for perch and tilapia. No, now on Day 7 Betty can blend in with the rest of society and walk around with her blank canvas of a mug, which is a relief. People with wrinkles are evil really, walking around reminding everyone else of our impending doom.

It’s incredibly rude to make people think about death, their own death especially. We need to believe that we can live forever (even if it is a mirage caused by wonder drugs).

Botox is like immortality in a bottle.

Except that it only immortalizes a face. Or only immortalizes the (lack of) expression of one’s face (and like it only does that until the chemical fades out of the body and the face starts deteriorating again. So, technically, not immortal, but that’s just a small detail in the light of a faux youthful glow).

So, yeah, if you suspect there may be a wrinkle or two making its way to your face, stop it! Stop that wrinkle dead in its tracks. You’re only 20? 7? 14? Doesn’t matter. Wrinkles can pop up and ruin your life at ANY time. You cannot be too careful. Try Botox prevention. Just constantly inject your face with chemicals that make it look like you are a robot. There is nothing sexier and more charming than a robot, with their monotone voices and hard cold exteriors, oh yeah!

Do it today because if you don’t, you might look your age and there is nothing worse than that.


I too had wrinkles once, but thanks to taking a picture without my brow furrowed, I fixed it all up!

Having a Fling Doesn’t Have to End a Relationship.

18 11 2013

The other night I decided since I didn’t have a Netflix tv obsession at the moment that I was going to instead sit through an entire movie. The movie I chose was called Fling. I picked it because it was about a couple in an open relationship. I thought it would be interesting to see how they worked through these ideas via a mainstream outlet. It was pretty typical in that the monogamy-culture won in the end.

But what really struck me odd was the way in which they proceeded to carry out this open relationship. It was unrealistic to say the least. They had established no boundaries in their non-monogamy, choosing to flirt, go home with, make-out with other people within each other’s presence. Now, there are very few people in the world who could handle doing this at the rate in which this couple did. Like they would go out together and then each other’s flings would show up at the same space and they didn’t think there would be drama or tension or awkwardness. And if there was awkwardness it wasn’t something the main couple were capable of admitting was happening between the two of them.


What tore the couple apart was not the non-monogamy though. It was only after they started keeping secrets, lying, not communicating, that their relationship started to unravel. And they weren’t just lying to each other but to everyone close to them. The main guy started sleeping with his best friend’s sister and neglected to tell him. The best friend flipped and it was hard to determine if it was because he thought his sister deserved better or that he felt he was being deceived. In any case, it could have been not nearly dramatic if they were all just upfront from the beginning about everything–because if you love your sister and you love your best friend–why would it be a big deal if they loved each other too?

Some may say the main partnership always had problems and the two involved in the open-relationship were doing it because they didn’t want to be alone and were only with each other until something better came along. Because they blatantly loved each other I don’t think that’s a strong argument, but perhaps what happened is that they loved each other, but were no longer “in love” with each other.

It felt that they just threw themselves into an open-relationship without much thought as to how it should or could actually function properly. It initially worked when they were being truthful about everything and weren’t making any intense connections with other people. It was when other connections became stronger and they didn’t know how to balance all of the different emotions and issues within each coupling that it all seemed to fall apart.

I was left feeling torn because in a way it did show how an open-relationship doesn’t work and that could be just as beneficial for making sure that doesn’t happen within one’s own open-relationship, but at the same time it pushed monogamy, making their relationship seem perverted and not as serious or meaningful as it could be, which is bullshit.

The things that go wrong in relationships, whether monogamous or other, are generally the same. People fall out of love for whatever reasons and instead of ending it because they’re too scared or too comfortable they end up being dishonest, deceitful and they fail at communicating what’s going on with them.

In the end, I’d say it was an okay story, but it would be nice to see more movies or tv shows where non-monogamy (polyamory, open-relationships, etc.) works in a positive healthy way, but I suppose it takes people in them to start telling their stories and perhaps when it’s positive and healthy it’s actually pretty boring and no one really cares.

OKC Broadcast Dating Story Disasters.

12 11 2013

So, OK Cupid added this thing where you can “set your broadcast,” which is basically like a facebook status for dates. People use it to make plans within a two-hour time span. As a person with an adventurous spontaneous mentality I have on occasion tested this, sometimes for fun, when I need a few good posts for Aimless, sometimes when I am actually looking for someone to hangout with because all my “friends” are too busy for me.

jack ass

Story 1: No Confirmation

The first time I ever met anyone from a broadcast I put exactly where I was going to be, which, by the way, is a big mistake. I ended up meeting this guy at a bar near me; he was visiting from out of town and we had great conversation about writing, technology, beer etc. This was not like a date or a sexual thing, just two people enjoying life. Eventually it was bar close and it started clearing out. I guess I had seen the guy from the corner of my eye earlier, but randomly this 40ish tall skinny beaten-down looking ginger came up and started talking to us. Like he wouldn’t stop talking to us. He was drunk. Eventually we got out of there; I looked at my phone and he had sent me multiple messages, messages to the point of them feeling stalker-ish. It was weird because generally, at least in my opinion, you wouldn’t go to a place to meet someone unless the other person confirmed that they were indeed in desire of meeting you.

Story 2: Wiped Out.

Another time I had an extra ticket to a movie and I didn’t want to go alone because it looked like it was going to be intense. The movie was indeed intense, there was a lot of murdering and blood and dungeons and overall weirdness, to the point where I felt like I was going to vomit. But I didn’t.

No, I didn’t.

I got this guy into the movie with me, a ticket that would normally cost $13. I bought us a round at the theater. We then ended up at a bar after where we proceeded to get into this ugly argument about gender. Trust that it’s very difficult to win an argument with me about gender, though it’s a subject I thoroughly enjoy engaging in with people regardless of their knowledge or lack there of. Even though we were arguing he’d slip in stuff about going back to my place and wanting to kiss me etc. which I deflected because I was in no way interested.

In any case, I was slightly buzzed and he seemed to have suddenly gotten drunk drunk out of nowhere. I was talking about something, he took a drink of his beer and then out of nowhere spit it up all over me, like the beer projectiled across the table spraying me all across the front of my body. I stared at him in shock for a moment. Then I stared at him in complete annoyance.

“Dude. Aren’t you going to try to, I don’t know, wipe this off of me?” I said.

He just keeps looking down at the table shaking his head, “I can’t.” he replied.

I grabbed napkins from the bar and cleaned myself off.

“Well, I think it’s time for me to go.” I said.

Then he looks at me confused. “Aren’t you going to pay for your beer?”

By this point I was appalled. “Dude. I watched you the entire time while you ordered and they ran your card.”

“Oh. Oh, I don’t remember that.” He said.

I couldn’t handle the situation anymore. So I told him to deal with it; I thanked him for spitting up all over me and I left.

Later I got an apology text from him for being “rude,” but, yeah, that did nothing to help the rudeness at the time.

So. I think perhaps, it’s time to retire the broadcast idea, it’s probably time to retire OKC in general, but that’s a different story.

9 Random Thoughts While Watching the News.

2 10 2013

1. So is the shutdown just a distraction from some other real story happening somewhere? Because it’s pretty boring news and I feel like they’re talking about it more than they’re talking about how Obamacare is actually going to feasibly work.

2. That feeling when you’re wearing super tight pants for too long and you take them off and put on less tight pants, amazing.

3. Though I am a professional drinker I would say that attempting to keep up with a sturdy 6’4” man who also, as it turns out, is a professional, may not have been the smartest move on my behalf.

4. This dude on the news just said that almonds will build your confidence. Sounds nuts to me.

5. I want to start making ridiculous youtube videos. I have ideas. Good ones. I’m just really bad about execution. Maybe with enough almonds I’ll eventually be able to get my shit together.

6. Wait. Colorado kids don’t have to go to gym? I’m confused. I still don’t understand campaign 66. I thought it was decided when they passed the legalization of marijuana that the taxes from the sales would go to education. Why do we need another tax on top of that? Can’t they just kind of combine the two together? I’m all for having more educated healthy people in the country, but if it costs the average family $133 per year, that $133 could go to a month of my professional drinking expenses, just saying, I’m kind of broke and I hate children.

7. I’m just kidding. I don’t hate them. I only find them excruciatingly annoying. Perhaps I would be willing to pay for the annoyingness to stop.

8. I’ve been running through all the parks and the leaves aren’t necessarily changing, they’re just dying and falling onto the ground. WTF is that all about? They just said on the news that a cold front is coming through so today may be the LAST day of fall… at least in regards to the colors of fall. I do not approve. It has not been nearly colorful enough.

9. The Great American Beer Festival is next weekend and I’m sort of curious if the entire city of Denver is just going to be completely wasted the entire time.

Of course it is, it doesn’t really take a festival for that to happen.


10 Randoms: Strange Love Sandwich.

27 09 2013

1. This is my response to the 300 Sandwiches situation:


Seriously, this seems like an abusive relationship, at least mental abuse. Because marriage shouldn’t be the prize at the end of a stamp-card; on your 300th sandwich get a wedding ring! What a bunch of manipulative desperate bullshit.

2. Sometimes I leave my apartment and sometimes when I leave my apartment it’s afternoon. Usually I try to time it so this doesn’t happen, but more often than not I’m caught running into herds of high school students. High school kids are scary and it took me a while to figure out why. They’re scary because they’re mean. They’re mean and they’re always in groups. So it’s like walking through a pack of meanness. They don’t mean to be mean they just haven’t emotionally matured yet and they do what they need to do to fit in. But let me tell you, I hold my head high and I do not make eye contact when I come across a cluster of them.

3. Speaking of high school kids. They have revealed to me that romance is dead. I stepped outside in the afternoon one day and saw a couple making out in the parking lot of 7-11. Their high school is less than a block from city park, where birds chirp and it smells like wet grass. But no, these kids picked asphalt and the smell of wafting trash. I guess when you’re “in love” it doesn’t matter where you “love?”


4. The other day I accidentally bought mustard greens instead of kale. And I realized that was the most white-privileged thing I have ever thought/did/said.

5. So, while watching Jeopardy they had this question come up that said if you were 5’7” at 160 pounds your BMI would be 25, and thus you would be a tad overweight. As a person who is 5’7” and 160 pounds I would have to say that they don’t actually know how to calculate body fat based off of that formula. Particularly if the whole “muscle weighs more than fat” thing is accurate. Maybe you have or haven’t met me, but I’m fucking buff, I can open my own pickle jars buff, I am not overweight. Fuck that system.

6. Speaking of overweight. I’ve been eating really strangely lately. Like I won’t really be hungry until about 2 in the afternoon and then I’m like HUNGRY for four hours straight. So I eat. And eat. Then I’m full until about 10 and at that point I’m like oh, hell no, I’m not eating right now. So I try to go to bed instead and it’s hard to go to bed when you want to eat, but it’s stupid because I don’t need calories to sleep. At that point I read a book to distract myself and it almost always works.

7. Here’s the big one. As I said the other day on facebook, I realized that I can only sleep with books I love, all the others get the floor.

And that this should also probably be my approach to men.

Because when I’m reading a good book I don’t want it to stop, but sometimes I get tired and so I fall asleep holding it close to my chest, excited to open it the next day, excited for all the adventures it’s going to take me on and all the new ideas it will give me. And if a guy doesn’t give me that same feeling I should probably just get rid of him and find another book.

marilyn reading 2

8. Also, in that same vein, I wish that I felt the same way about people as I feel about dogs. Like when I see a dog I’m like, “oh my goddess what a cute creature,” and when I see a human I’m like, “please don’t look at me I don’t want to buy anything.”

9. What’s the last book I spooned with you’re wondering? Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad. I won’t be hurt if you spoon with it too.

10. Want to read something of mine that isn’t random? Here’s a link to my elephant journal author page.