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Preview: Blind Camel

Blind Camel

"Because we'd rather have nothing than settle for less."

Updated: 2014-03-18T23:17:40.923-05:00




TINY POEMS: I mostly hang out here these days.



NEVER THOUGHT I'D TYPE THIS: As of today, the Cubs have the most potent offense in baseball (in terms of total runs scored, on the heels of their 19-5 pasting of the Brewers).



I WILL SAY THIS: Good for Obama.




PROGNOSTICATING AGAIN: I say this without any joy: I believe Reverend Wright has finished off Obama. I believe either Hillary will be the Dem nominee...or Barack will lose to McCain.






ANOTHER BAD MEANING GOOD: This Limbaugh is a brilliant idiot, he is.



WHEN I SAID DOLE IS BAD, I MEANT HE WAS GOOD: My mom likes this Romney fellow, but he sure has trouble keeping his foot out of his mouth.




NIGHT, KNIGHT: I agree with Pat Forde. Hypocritical jerk. (Not Forde, Knight, of course.)




SLIMED BY AN ENDORSEMENT? I don't have a lot of negative feelings about Barack Obama. In fact, I've been known to say that if the Republicans nominate Huckabee or Romney and the Dems nominate Barack, well, I just might vote for the senator from Illinois. Luckily, it looks like the Republicans are going to displease jerk-offs like Rush and Ann Coulter and actually nominate somebody I can support.

Anyway, my warm fuzzies about Barack have been ebbing of late, as we see him being embraced by big bullshit artist Teddy Kennedy. And today, watching footage of Teddy noisily introducing Barack in New York, I could almost see it dawning on the candidate that some endorsers might be better seen and not heard.

(Oh, and Dullary still nauseates me. And I have this sneaking suspicion that she's gonna have a big Super Tuesday tomorrow. Hillary/McCain was my prediction about two years ago. I stand by it.)




DOBBS BEING DESTROYED: I'm not sure why exactly, but I've thought Lou Dobbs was a gasbag for quite a while now. I find him more arrogant and annoying even than O'Reilly. Anyway, I just landed in L.A., and I was channel-surfing and happened across a heated debate between Dobbs and one Janet Murguia. Basically, Murguia was arguing that Dobbs has slandered illegal immigrants and has been irresponsible in the way he's characterized them on his program. I have no idea if the charge is true or not, but what I witnessed was Dobbs being eviscerated by this Murguia. He was absolutely incapable of keeping up with her intellectually or rhetorically. She's one of the most effective "live TV" debaters I've ever seen. Dobbs almost had a grabber on the air, he was so overwhelmed.

They've finally finished their argument, and now Dobbs is back from commercial and still flushed and seemingly winded. It was very, very compelling television, even without knowing what the hell they were on about. Watch out for this Janet Murguia.







MCCAIN RISING: Four or five months ago I sat at dinner with a table full of people who were, for the most part, more successful than me. They were big deals at brands, ad agencies, and so forth, and they all had titles like President or CEO. As part of dinner conversation, we all ventured guesses as to who the Dem and Republican presidential candidates would be. For the most part, we all agreed Hillary was likely to earn the Dem nod. On the Republican side of the fence, the conventional wisdom seemed to be that Romney was the frontrunner, with a few dissenting voices suggesting it was Giuliani's time.

"McCain," I said, when it was my turn. "Johh McCain not only will be the Republican nomineee, he'll also be our next president."

Few at the table made any effort to contain their derision. I distinctly recall one guy saying, "You're an idiot," or something similar. "He's done."

"All it will take is one big something," I said. "One big something that suggests that the war is going exceptionally well...or exceptionally badly."

After today's events, I almost feel like gloating...if that thought weren't so indecorous. After today's events, there seems to be only one candidate on either side of the aisle, so to speak, who has the gravity and experience to lead us through the difficult period ahead. Same guy I said that night at dinner.

Not so much an idiot.




DADDY'S LUCKY: "What did you do at school today?"

This is my typical query for kindergartener C.J. when I arrive at home each night. Mostly I get murky little answers, aimed at putting me off the scent: "Nothing." "We just played." "I can't remember."

The other night he turned the tables on me.

"Daddy, what did you do at work today?"


"Daddy, tell me what you did."

"Okay...I did a lot of work."


"Uh...well...I talked to ESPN for a while, the sports TV station. Then I talked to Nintendo for a while, the folks that make your Wii. Then I got a call from NBC, the TV station that me and Mommy like to watch sometimes. And then when I was getting ready to leave I talked to a college guy who wants me to come there and give a talk to some people."

"Did you have fun, Daddy?"

A great question. And as I sat there and contemplated the contents of my day, I was pretty proud of the answer I was able to give him.

"I really did," I said. "Daddy's lucky."




GO CUBS GO: I'm pretty excited my Cubs are in the playoffs. Still, I think I better take it down a notch.

I'm staying at a smallish lodge in the middle of nowhere, and after Big Z just struck out Tony Clark to end the first inning I heard myself yell, "Now go sit down, fucker!"

It was involuntary, and it was loud.

I'm fearful of what might happen in a close game, late. It's already 10:25PM here.




POKE-NOSE: I have a neighbor, an older guy, who doesn't get out much. He's not in very good health. Once a week or so, if he's able, he makes a constitutional around the block. Over the years, we've built up a fun relationship, swapping a kind word or two when our paths cross. He likes me, and I like him, although our life experiences are quite different. He thinks my old Mercedes is a "Rolls Royce," and I don't correct him. He seems to like to think I'm a big deal.

"You off on another trip?" he asked this morning.

"I am," I say. "The Poconos."

"The who?"

"The Poconos. Mountains in Pennsylvania. A resort."

"Uh huh," he says, smiling. "Poke-nose!"

"There's a conference there," I tell him. "I'm speaking."

"They got good pizza there," he says, not asking. "In the Poke-nose."

"They do?" I ask.

"Oh, yeah," he says, his eyes narrowing as he imagines it. "You'll see."

"I'll try it," I tell him. "Thanks."

"Okay, then," he says, smiling. "You try it."




FLIPPING: There's supposedly hell construction starting today on my usual route to work, so I took the train out this morning. I got to the platform kind of early, and so I had to watch quite a few trains pass by on their way downtown.

Me on a bench. Trains passing on the other side. Tons of human cattle wedged inside, staring out.

And I had the overpowering urge to flip the bird to all the passers-by. It wasn't an "f you" bird, really. I wasn't mad at them, felt no malice, etc. It just seemed really funny to me. What could they do but sit there and take it? And frankly, if I was them I'd think it was funny, too. Just some dumb guy on a bench mass-birding all these people...

Reminds me of when I used to have to go to church, way back, and when the service would start to drone on -- like five minutes in -- I was always struck by the powerful desire to stand up and walk across the top of the pews to the front of the church. I never knew what I would do when I got there, but I always wanted to just do that, to balance my way through the folks across the tops of the benches...

Also reminds me of sitting in class, going stir-crazy, and working like hell to come up with some kind of subversive thing to do, like when me and my crowd used to make these little noises in our throats without moving our mouths at all, and we'd alternate doing it, looking straight ahead. Or when I was on a conference call the other day and I started pawing at the glass outside my office, trying to amuse my colleague but really just going nutso in my head at feeling so confined and slowed down...




BLAH BLAH FROM A NEIGHBOR: Nice day in Chicago. Something like 80 degrees, sunny, etc. Still, it's a Sunday in football season, and my wife is nice enough to let me do what I want to do: watch the Bears. And so, I'm doing that when one of my neighbors sticks his head in our door, downstairs, and yells up for the score. I tell him the Bears are losing, they suck, etc. "You wasted a great day indoors," he taunts. Idiot. Win or lose, I just did exactly what I wanted to do for the past three-plus hours. I watched the Bears, and I made an investment in being a fan. I don't regret a second of it.

Plus...well, the Bears might still win. There's a minute left, they're down 10 and threatening...

Miss Teen USA 2007 - South Carolina answers a question


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This rules.



HEY, AL GORE, LAY OFF THE CHEESEBURGERS: Apparently I can feel a little less guilty 'bout driving my big car, given that I haven't eaten any beef in about eight years or so.




ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF DEATH: I was musing on procrastination and deadline anxiety and the like this morning...when this little poem occurred to me:

One thing I do not have
to worry about





AND ANOTHER: I think I keep writing the same poem over and over again, just with different words.


Somewhere shortly after
my grave moments
when I crawl out from under
the blues I see
the lows do rise
just like the highs




WHEN IN DOUBT, WRITE POETRY: Nothing like a one-off, shrunken poem to jumpstart posting here again. So...


I am
most happy
in the company of souls
who are heart-

broken all
the time, their lips
pulled back so
you can't tell
the difference between
a wince and a grin.




THE NEW SEROTONIN? Band that overstayed its welcome to join forces with presidential candidate who overstayed his welcome. Convergence of mediocrity to be bottled as a sleep aid. Read all about it.




THE SHAME OF IT: I travel quite a bit, and often when I'm on the road I have time in the hotel room in the morning before I set out to do whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing...

...and so I do what probably no other straight male does: I turn on THE VIEW as my background companion. I find it totally compelling. Issues. Banter. Real passionate arguments. Human interest. Etcetera. (I don't know why there's not a guy version of THE VIEW, altho' I suppose that's more or less THE BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW.)

As I've seen the show here and there, I keep arriving at the same thought: I like this Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Granted, she's not as clever as Joy Behar, not as funny as Rosie (was), or as studied as Babs Walters. But I do find her principled, strong, and sane, attributes that aren't shared by any of the other chicks on the show. (Today's guest VIEWer is that money chick, Suze Orman, who is almost as annoying as Rosie.)

Elizabeth generates all kinds ire in the blogosphere, where she gets labeled as Elizabitch and is constantly getting slammed for her supposedly "right wing" views. Bottom line: She's a traditional gal with somewhat conservative values, and she refuses to toe the Hollywood line. Plus she's hot.

Oh, sweet Jesus, now they're talking to the creator of Spanx undergarments for women. Time to find SportsCenter.



I DO HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR MAKING LISTS: I have two sisters-in-law, and both of 'em blog. One is here. The other is here. Both are kind of nutso in their own way, which is to say well worth checking out and knowing and whatnot. (It's my contention that it's a Hess male tradition to marry nutjob chicks we can't live without. You could also make the case that only a nutjob chick would marry one of us. One thing is for certain: Hess men don't marry milquetoasts. We marry the fiery ones. God help us.)Anyhoo, one of my in-law sis types posted one of those list things, where you have to make a list of three things across a bunch of categories, and then she said she wanted me to do it, too. She tapped me, or tagged me, or whatever the hip web lingo is. And so...three things that scare me:1. death2. lightning3. death by lightningthree people who make me laugh:1. chrissy cramer mulligan2. rob gorrell3. brad schrepfermanthree things i love:1. my entire extended nutjob family2. seeing raw joy on my sons' faces3. my multifaceted wifethree things i hate/severely dislike:1. negativity2. 3. three things i don’t understand:1. tools and building stuff2. directions and maps3. girlsthree things on my desk:1. in-room dining menu2. the Austin-American Statesman3. My Cingular 8125 phonethree things i’m doing right now:1. getting ready to eat my room-service oatmeal2. trying to decide whether to wear the white shirt today or the loud one3. perching on the precipice of flatulencethree things i want to do before i die:1. see my kids happy and healthy and established2. write a novel3. find peace with my mortalitythree things i can do:1. present in front of a group2. write3. find or make funthree things i can’t do:1. build stuff2. use good penmanship3. watch ER or other bloody medical dramasthree things i think you should listen to:1. The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU2. The Aluminum Group, WONDER BOY PLUS3. Spandau Ballet, "True"three things you should never listen to:1. that Blake guy from American Idol2. forwarded emails3. Barbara Streisandthree things i’d like to learn:1. how to write a novel2. how to really play guitar3. how to golfthree favourite foods:1. sushi2. a loaded veggie burger from George's or Little Louie's3. french friesthree shows i watched as a kid:1. mary tyler moore2. happy days3. emergencythree things i regret:1. being such a tough kid to parent2. not going to my wife's grandmother's funeral3. meandering through college in a haze of booze and girlsthree people i tag:1. laurel 2. stevie3. casey[...]