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KIDS, SOCIETY (permalink) 11.13.2015
i used to hide my money in a band-aid box in an air vent.
while walking to school with anthony he asked, after a natural pause in our conversation, "so dad. what is something you really want, that cost less than 20 dollars?".

while i was reflecting on things i talked about how the best present for someone was something they really wanted but for whatever reason wouldn't buy themselves. after a few minutes i told anthony that something i've been intrigued by for a number of years were mounted insects. after explaining what they were he asked why i would want that. i told him that from my photography contest i've come to be amazed at some of the insect-photography, especially the up-close macro images that people have sent in of bugs and stuff and that they are really very extraordinary and if they could be enlarged to, say, the size of one of these houses we were walking by they would be the most extraordinary things we've ever seen, both in their beauty and detail.

a few days later i mentioned anthony's question to marty. she told me she was well aware of the conversation because anthony then went to her and said he needed her to help him buy me a mounted insect for my birthday. after looking a bit, anthony found one that was $30. when marty asked him if he had $30 he said sure, walked to and opened one of his bedroom windows, pulled a velcro wallet from the outer jamb and produced the requested $30.

yeah, what, like you don't keep your money hidden in a window jamb?

and for reasons i can't explain (in that marty has confessed ignorance) both of my boys have taken a great interest in getting me a birthday gift this year. i'm admittedly a little easier to shop for since i went on my spending fast (ref). also, i'm a little more eager for the goodies given i'm no longer buying myself each and every bauble that catches my eye. i have the sense it's all going to taste a bit sweeter this year.

KIDS (permalink) 11.12.2015
what nine year old uses the word "glum"?
anthony got a typewriter for his ninth birthday. occassionally you'll find a sheet of paper full of typed text laying about the house. i've learned to stop and read them as i find the open narratives of a young child fascinating. the one below i read to the end and found myself looking around, a bit more desperately than i should feel comfortable sharing, for the next page. i was riveted. granted i'm his dad and probably find it all more interesting than you will or think i should but dang, i could read this stuff all day.

click to enlarge

LIFE (permalink) 11.11.2015
when you want it as much as you want air, or sex
i've recently stopped spending money. i have my reasons and they are good ones. and because they are good ones, i may have a prayer at rocking this financial fast.

the first and best thing about making a serious declaration to stop spending money is the liberation that comes with it (remember this guy). it frees up like fifteen to forty percent of your mind as you get to simply dismiss all of those little nags that happen through the day in this world of shiny material and digital things, all of which are vying for your attention (and money). now i just get to say "nope, not an option" and move on. as i said, liberating.

marty fluctuates between jubilation and frustration over my new declaration. she's jubilant in that she's been trying to get me to stop mindlessly spending money for better than twenty years. she's frustrated that the answer was as simple as putting the right vision in front of me. i can't be to blame in that though. i've been a vision-centric person since my earliest memory. without an end goal in mind (an end goal i viscerally want), i can't marshall a single neuron to act. i have sixteen years of unimpressive school transcripts to support this trait. a piece of computer generated paper with an A on it held no appeal to me (granted, i lacked the vision of the potential enough of those As held for me and my future-self). but, give me a tantalizing goal on the horizon i would love to possess, and my record, to date, has been perfect.

i heard a talk by a life coach who acutely and succinctly addressed this specific foible. she talked about men who would come to her and say they wanted to get in shape. she would ask them why they wanted to get in shape. they would say so they could be healthy and live longer. she told each and every one of those men she couldn't help them. when they asked why she told them their vision was too soft and she couldn't work with it. she instead needed them to say i want to get healthy so i look hot and girls want to sleep with me. to that response she would say, that i can work with. now let's go get you laid.

it's all about that wanna-have-more-sex kinda drive that makes something happen. and i finally found mine in regard to money.

SOCIETY (permalink) 11.10.2015
i hate that shit!
marty, bella and i were walking home. as we were crossing a street bella yelled "SLUG BUG!" and gave me a hard shot in the arm. that side of my body sagged from the unexpected blow (she is not the small and defenseless girl she once was). as i began my whiny "what didya do that for?" the guy inside the vw beetle guffawed and yelled out his passenger window, "Man! I love that shit!". his comment got bella and marty laughing. the humor missed its mark on me and my sagging arm.

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