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Showing posts from June, 2014

Unfinished Rooms

I have been in this apartment over a year. Sixteen Months, give or take. And for all appearances, my life has moved on. Job is going very well. Daughter is growing up in to an amazing young woman. I found a place Uptown that feels like home. I'm hanging out with friends.

Life is good.  Right?

Well...sure. Mostly. I mean a part of me is resisting.  I have a 2 bedroom apartment. The second bedroom was originally the creative area (my desk and studio stuff was in there). I had a wild hare to move my treadmill and exercise bike in there and move the desk out to the other room. It all made sense in my head.

Only that room really isn't still unpacked. I mean now it's in that transition of one purposed room to another purposed room. So that doesn't quite count. But before that even, it wasn't unpacked. Not completely.

And I'm not sure what that's about. If it's even about anything. Am I waiting for something drastic to happen? Or am I anxious about settling in…

Stormy Weather and Lightning Balls

I was talking to a friend of mine last week and she told me 'People miss you on, Facebook, dude.'

I told her I wasn't sure when I'd be back...if I'd be back.  To which she said "Take your time, or do your thing and keep it off. Whatever is good for your soul."

And that was one of the coolest things anyone has ever said to me.

Whatever is good for your soul. That's really what's it's all about, isn't it? I left facebook once before. Left it in May. Came back to it in August.

Again this year, it was May or so when I left.  I don't see a reason to go back. I don't know. I have spent large portions of my life feeling alone in a crowd. Very few people, I think, get me. I don't know if that's their fault, or my fault, or even something to consider a fault. It's pretty much just the way I feel. I have felt that way most of my life.  Maybe it's a defense mechanism. Like the blackouts.

Not drug or alcohol induced blackouts o…

Mean Girls

For the last friggin' time. No. I have not seen Mean Girls. I understand that it's a fan favorite to quote. But I haven't seen it and have no friggin' idea what you're talking about. By now the movie is what...10 years old?

OK. That would have been me yesterday. But, as I was partaking of adult beverages in a home setting...aka my home....and one of my neighbors found out I hadn't seen it...the situation has been rectified.

You call yourself a film guy? You can quote every Tarantino movie, but you haven't seen Mean Girls? I mean, you just got done saying Tina Fey was hot, how could you have not seen this movie??

To be fair...Mean Girls isn't in the same ballpark...but they had me dead to rights on the Tina Fey thing. She is, at the moment, my one celebrity freebie. you never played that game when you were married or in a relationship. You had one celebrity freebie that if it ever happened, you'd get a pass to be with that person for …

Driving Through Rainbows

I have said it before and I will quite likely say it many times hence--driving in commuter traffic is my enlightenment litmus test. Seriously. There's always something that gets under my skin. And then...usually, by the time I get to work or home, I'm done. It's that actual drive that's annoying in some tiny way.

People that the journey is more important than the destination. If the journey happens to be during rush hour, then I'm calling bullshit. In that instance, I'll take the destination.

This really hit home for me last week when I was covering night shifts at work (I think that was last week).  As I was going to work and coming home, it wasn't during the normal 'rush hour' times.

And I didn't hate the commute.

Not that I hate it other days. It just didn't bug me.

The flip side of that is the simple fact that I now know that I can be happy during my commute to and from work.

It's a lot of positive attitudinal shifting to take in rig…

Monday Morning Randomness

I'm not going to lie. There are times I miss the voyeuristic tendencies of Facebook. I don't feel the overwhelming urge to go back, but I certainly do understand the attraction. Overall, I think I'm still better off in the long run.  One thing I know, I could have too easily been sucked in this past week in the wee hours of the morning. So I was thankful I wasn't on it.


Went out to Brewstirs this past weekend. I was exhausted from the week and it was only supposed to be for a couple of beers. Turned in to a few more than than (and then a couple hours following, drinking water and sobering up--no way I was driving home hammered). one point we order pizza. I call Classics (Which was my go to every week when I was living over there and went to BrewStirs every weekend). The following is how the call went down (Classics/Me)

Classics Pizza on Sunbury, is this pickup or delivery?

Delivery, please.

To BrewStirs?


Is this Todd, at the bar?

Ummmmm.....yes? How …

Days Go By

I have to be honest...I'm hard pressed to tell you what day it is right now. I just woke up.

I've been working nights this week. And the way nights work at our company is that you come in at about 8 in the evening and you're there until 830 the following morning. The Night Operator is responsible for doing all of the nightly processing that crunches the numbers for the day's sales and gets all of the reporting generated for the company. So, even though you've crossed midnight and you're technically in to the next day, you are still of that mindset that it's the same day that you came in.

You come in on Sunday at 830 PM....and when you leave to go home Monday morning, your Sunday just ended.

It's nothing revolutionary. It's how most nightly processing at most 24/7 shops goes.

I've been doing it this week since Sunday night and I've got 3 more nights to go.

Here's the funny thing. I can tell that by the end of this 6 day stint, my body wil…


Personal incentives are a funny thing. I've started the book (to be fair, it's actually started writing itself at this point). It'll be bumpy. But I have the beginning and I have the last few paragraphs.

I'm not going to get all J.K. Rowling with it and lock those bits in a safe somewhere. Although I can easily see that this may be more than one book and the ending I've penned would indeed be the end of the story of our two anti-heroes whether it were one novel or 5. But I'm getting WAYYYYYYY ahead of myself on that.

I just need to write.

But I also need to de-clutter my life.  So last night I gave myself an incentive--I'd work on the back bedroom (soon to be my exercise room) for a little while and then do some writing.

Clearly my brain wasn't in the mood to write last night. I spent nearly 4 hours in that room (still didn't finish). My initial assessment of it being an all-day project still stands. I took out 4 bags of shit to the dumpster and sti…

And So It Goes

I started writing last night. Or rather, the book inside started writing itself. I had finally seen enough of the book play out as a movie in my head that I needed to capture it somehow.

I posted a rough sketch of the beginning of the book here yesterday (last night) and this morning on the way in to work, I came up with the ending. I furiously typed out the 4 or 5 paragraph conclusion to the story.

Now all that's left is to come up with the bits in between. I like the story. I like the way it pans out in my brain as I'm watching the movie in my head.

See, I don't actually 'create' a story. Any story or fictional thing I write starts as a movie in my head. When it gets to the point that I don't want to stop watching that movie, I start to write. Documenting the movie as it plays out. Some parts of the movie I see often...those are easy to put to paper. Others happen when I least expect them (usually when I'm away from the manuscript file). Those I have to w…

Bumpy Beginnings

“What the shit is this?”
I barely had time to duck before the thick bunch of paper came whizzing past my head.
“Jesus Christ Bob!” I shouted.
“That, my friend, was NOT Jesus Christ,” Bob said smugly as he got up to get another Strongbow from the fridge.
“It’s my book.” I looked at the flurry of paper around my desk, “or rather, it was my book. You destroyed it.”

From behind the open refrigerator door I heard, “First edits, Skaggs. I did you a fucking favor. Your book was shit.”

And that was pretty much the moment I knew Bob was a complete dick. Well, no. Actually that’s not true. I’ve known for quite some time. But that was the first time I’d really seen his crassness turned toward me. You really have no idea how much fun it is to be staring at that bullshit aimed at someone else. A couple of cold ones..a nice pizza or hot wings...and Bob’s douchiness turned on the dickwad du jour.

Or as I liked to call it, Friday and Saturday nights.

“So what the fuck is wrong with is, Siskel?”


No Mas

Ugh. So I'm thoroughly convinced, based on the new menu selections being offered by Taco Bell that they have finally employed ex- or current hippies (or rather, habitual cannibis users) on their R&D staff. How else to you get a taco made with 3 different flavors of Dorito taco shells...a mini Crunchwrap 'slider' and a Quesarito (Burrito wrapped up in a cheese quesadilla)? There really is no other explanation (in my humble opinion). And that's not a bad thing. The choices are...well..innovative from the sense that they've taken something relatively 'standard' and gone off-book with it. My last Taco Bell (hereafter to be known as 'TB' in this post) experience (other than last week) was last year. It had been months prior and I tried one of their little wrappetizer things. It didn't end well. The lads at work had been extolling the awesomeness of the Crunchwrap Sliders for months. So I tried a couple last week. Expecting the worst in the colo…

Prepare For the Worst

There's a train of thought that maintains that you should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

To which I just have to call bullshit.

I think being aware of possible outcomes is useful, but preparing for them, at least for me, is a friggin' nightmare. For one simple prepare for the worst, I tend to obsess over the worst. And our brains, no matter how smart they might be, don't always know that it's a thought exercise.  So, the stress....the reactions....the thoughts, feelings, and emotions cause very real legitimate reactions as though the worst was, in fact, happening.

When you think about can be a pretty dumb thing to do.

Case in point, my former neighbors had a graduation party. A few weeks ago (maybe a month), they told me that my ex wife had also RSVP'd to show at this shing ding. being...well me... started running through all the scenarios of what would happen....what she would say...what I would say. Would we be civil...wo…

Sometimes You Just Need a Malt

Had a crazy day at work. Came home. Felt good to be home. It was just a great evening. Had a homemade pizza...some multigrain chips and salsa.

Practiced guitar for about an hour or so and decided that I really wanted a malt.

I know the difference between want and need. I don't need a malt. Almost no one on the planet needs a malt. Unless there is some weird organ devouring disease somewhere that can only be staved off by a deliciously creamy malted frozen dairy beverage, malts are squarely ensconced in the nice to have bucket.

But I wanted one. So I slipped on my shoes and drove down to the DQ. I was in my lounge shorts (you may or may not call them pajama bottoms), so I decided a drive to the Dairy Queen was a little less conspicuous than a walk to Graeter's. Although, the walk would have done better by me, I'm sure.

In any event...there's a car in front of me that pulls in, but doesn't order. And the whole time, I'm just getting more douchey in my attitude to…


My head is all over the place tonight.'s the kind of evening where at my last job I would have taken a mental health day.
Only this time I can't.

A) Because I really do like my job and feel that I'm making a difference there.


B) Because I need to be there tomorrow to cover another team member who has the day off.

And that's really one of the things that has me swimming. My team is short staffed. I'm not going to air any dirty laundry about work here, but it's weighing on my mind with this job more than any other for the simple reason that I care about this job more. This company really takes care of its people. I know that may be somewhat naive. And that eventually decisions come down to dollars, but for now, it still feels like they care--so I'm rolling with that.

So..yeah...funny thing is, I haven't really called in sick as a mental health day with this job. I've told my boss that I need to take a day or two off to decompress. I…

Change In The Weather

According to my phone, it's going to start raining in about 30 minutes. Or there's at least a 70% chance that it will. Which...these days pretty much means it will.

I don't quite smell the rain in the air, but the wind is shifting. My guess is that it will be closer to 11:30 or midnight. And that's fine by me. I'm sitting in my big boy chair on what passes for my patio. It's not really covered. But I'm outside. In the air. And that feeling....that wonderful feeling of openness is really what it's all about to me. It reminds me of being on the front porch down at the farm and just letting my mind go where it wanted to while my fingers kept up.

All I have to say is...thank goodness for typing class in High School. Since I was about 18, I've been able to touch type. And I haven't looked back. And I have to say that's one thing I'm thankful for. My fingers can, for the most part, keep up with the thoughts that I want to put down.

And to me, …

The Life We Chose

Happiness is a funny thing.
Some people think that stuff will make you happy...or bring happiness. Others think that it will be money. Or the perfect job. Or the perfect wife. Or the perfect life.

But life isn't perfect. Not even by a long shot.

Except that it is.

Life is perfect in its imperfections.

Meaning that nothing is ever going to go 100% smoothly. And its not supposed to.

What is happening now, has happened, will happen. Is all as it is.

I'm not saying that it's meant to be. Because that implies some force guiding it.

Life is a series of infinite choices and results all being played out simultaneously...

Time is the illusion. Time exists so that the brain can actually process the choice and result of the particular thread we are following in the tapestry this time.

 I firmly believe that each of us plays out the entire spectrum. There is a universe at this moment where I was the high school football star who now sells insurance because I blew out my knee in the bi…

Band Practice

JDR came over today and we jammed. Now...I'm not going to lie. I know he's an encyclopedia when it comes to jamming. Classic Rock...Alternarock...Country...whatevs. He plays it.

I threw on the 'T-Bone' ring and assumed my rock persona (T-Bone Skagglerock) and we got the equipment all plugged in and tuned and ready to go.

I think David (JDR as I sometimes call him in my head) was thinking that I might not be up to snuff. And to be fair...I'm not up to his level of playing. But what I lacked in skill and rote memory from years of playing, I made up for in heart.

And it was a good 4 hour jam session.

There were shots. And beers. And learning songs. And playing songs I knew.

And it was friggin' awesome (I'm sorry Jack...I really needed to use the f-bomb there, because it was that fucking good of a session).

In a nutshell, the afternoon looked like this:

I didn't exclusively do vocals. In fact, I actually played the slash for a good chunk of the day when we …