Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Does this man live in Independence?

Does this man live in Independence?

Lets go down the checklist:
• Shirt off? Check.
• White, dad New Balance shoes? Check.
• Smoking a cigar? Check.
• Beautiful long hair? Check.
• Chest tat? Check.
• Gold chain? Check.
• Hanging out outside a ghetto daycare? Check.

Yes, this man lives in Independence.

Hot Rods and Flatbeds.

Last week, I went to Steak and Shake to get some lunch. As I was sitting in my booth, I heard the faintest, most grizzly voice I've ever heard. It sounded as if its owner ate lit cigarettes all day while smoking cigarettes and then ate those cigarettes too. It was as if a bulldozer was outside dragging a car that was chained to a Harley that was getting hailed on by gravel.

I looked over, and the image did not disappoint.

 This guy was in "Burt Reynolds mode." A true flashback of Americana, he played the part incredibly. Slicked back hair, Rhett Butler 'stache, blurred-out name tat on his hand, and drinking a sweet tea.

I couldn't make out all of the words that he was saying, but I didn't need to know them all. I heard the best ones. Here's a list of the words I caught:

  • Tars (tires), which he said like 4 times.
  • '55. I'm assuming he was talking about a car.
  • Whiskey. 'Nuff said.
  • Kentucky. Yep.
  • Shrimp. Hmm... interesting...
  • Football field.
  • Flatbed. This one's probably my favorite.
I loved seeing this guy. He's a dying breed.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Walking Man Walks

Every day I see this man. Walking. Up and down the sidewalk. I've seen him walking at almost every point on my route to work at any given time of the day.

At first, I wondered... "Is this a man, or a woman?" The hair suggests a woman, but a rugged flannel shirt says "This is a manly-man shirt." 

And then, there's the shorts... Volleyball teams wouldn't be seen in such short shorts.

I guess if I had leg muscles like these, I'd probably wear less than shorts too. Nice shave job.

I've adopted the name "Chris" for him when talking in the workplace with co-workers who also pass by this man day by day. I call him Chris, because he's always Walken. (Christopher Walken). Yeah, it's lame, but I don't really know his name. 

Every day, same wardrobe. Short-shorts, hair pulled back high, trainers, a tank top and flannel over it. Oh, and water and sometimes a yoga mat or something. Then one day, he wore a KC Chiefs shirt. 

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store, and Chris was there. Like a child seeing Michael Jackson's moonwalk for the first time, I was in awe as I ran up to him. "Hey man... (hey) I always see you walking... (yeah) Um, where are you going?" With a very controlled stare, he said "I walk to the gym. Miles and miles. If you see me walking, I'm either walking to or from the gym. One to two times a day. (Woah...)" "So, like, what do you do there at the gym, like yoga or swim?" 

He took a deep breath and exhaled very slowly. With metered blinks he calmly said "I'm trying to get back into bodybuilding. It's what I do."

Woah. In my head all of the weirdest questions were circling. Like why does he walk? Why a flannel shirt on a 95 degree day? Do you have a job? But all I could think to say was "Cool. Keep it up, man."

He nodded politely and walked away. 

I really do think I've seen him somewhere before. Oh yeah! Here:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hot to Trot

Does this man live in Independence?

Let's go down the checklist:

• Ponytail? check.
• Shirt off? check.
• Camo shorts? check.
• Gold chain? check.
• Shirt tucked in waistband? check.
• Upper-back tattoo? check.
• More than 2 rings on one hand? check.
• Flip flops? (not pictured, but believe me on this one) check.

Yes, this man lives in Independence.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Abandoned House in the Woods

A few years ago, I was walking through the woods, searching for morel mushrooms. These are the kind of mushrooms that kinda look like a small, brown tree made out of a sponge. I walked and walked until I came to an abandoned house.

The house itself was in a drastic state of disrepair, but I cautiously entered through the back porch. As I looked around, I realized that the house had not been touched in over 40 years, assuming to the 1968 calendar in one of the bedrooms was current at the time of abandonment. There was really nothing of value in the house, but the artifacts were incredible.

There were boxes of clothes-mending materials, magazines, books, and newspapers laid on the dining room table, and the air smelled of musty carpet as a broken window brought in the elements. Clothes were still in closets and dishes were still in the sink.

As I looked around in the kitchen, my eyes fell to a chalkboard near the back door.

I didn't want to enter the kitchen, as it was a mess, and I was afraid the floor might give way, so I squinted and leaned through the doorway to read what it said. Sounding out the words, I came up with "Wait Right (here) Be Back." 

Chills ran down my arms, and I felt as though the secret eyes of the house just opened to see its intruder. Slowly, I walked backwards, but quickly made my way out the back. I'll never forget the way I felt when I read those words. The warm, inviting empty house full of artifacts became cold and I needed to get out of there before I was closed up in a time envelope.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hiking Viking

Does this man live in Independence?

Let's go down the checklist:

• Talking on the phone? Check.
• Shirt off? Check.
• Gold chain? Check.
• Visible underwear? Check.
• Walking ridiculous dog in 98 degree heat? Check.
• Jersey for a shirt? Check.
• Flip-flops? Check.
• Armband tattoo? Check.
• Hanging around an Elementary School? Check.

Yes, this man lives in Independence.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is There Room in Your Soul?

I found these pics on my phone. I took them last fall through the cracked windshield of my old car, but never posted them. Just a random sight in Independence. 

Brace Yourself

Does this man live in Independence?

• Tank top: check
• Knee brace: check
• Giant drink in hand: check
• Du-rag: check
• Muscles: check
• Backpack: check
• Smoking: No, but ponytail is of equal value: check

Yes. This man lives in Independence.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Feel Pretty... Good. Pretty Good.

Two nights ago, I played a kickball game in my AAF-KC league. It's a bunch of ad agencies and such who play kickball together in a league. Anyhoo, I've been rather down about my performance this year, but Wednesday night, I made up for it. I kicked a homerun and had 5 RBIs on the night. We won 8-3 and advanced to the semi-finals. I'm still riding my high, and my body is creaking along, reminding me that I'm not 23 anymore. That was 10 years ago. I'm getting old, and it feels great.

Also, I freakin' booted that sucker.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gettin' His Swerve On.

Today, on the way back from lunch, a guy on a moped pulled a U-turn into oncoming traffic. He was swerving and nearly ran off the road as I approached his slow bike.

The man then swerved into the left lane, and as I passed, I glanced at him to find his face and hands covered in blood. He resembled a scraggly John Oates with some grunge band hair.

We reached a stoplight, and I soon got excited as I felt an opportunity to take pics. For a split-second, the man was standing there on the moped, but quickly leaned over and fell in front of my car. 

I looked over, and his legs and feet were covered in blood too. I yelled to him "Are you okay?" "Nooooooo-ow! Ow!," he replied. "Do you want me to call and ambulance?" "No, don't worry about it. Ow. Oh noooo..." I called 9-1-1. An off-duty police officer pulled up and started assessing the 'sitch. Then another off-duty officer, and an on-duty officer, a fire truck, and an ambulance until my car was completely surrounded by emergency vehicles.

A cop walked over and said "I could probably pull my car back and let you back out... Independence, man..." I looked over, and he was shaking his head, so I shot him a chummy grin as I knew exactly what he meant. "I have to carry around a camera to take photos of this kind of thing, or no one will believe me," I said. "Did you get any good ones?" asked the cop as he was kinda giggling at the mess in front of us. 
Thanks Independence.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

These Boots are Made for Jogging.

What are some of the things needed for a good jog? 
Short shorts, a thin shirt with ventilation holes, a hat with vents cut into the top and logging boots? Perhaps Nike needs to take notes because this guy wearing this exact outfit every morning. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Taking the American Dream Off Some Sweet Jumps.

Who saw a grown man with shoulder-length hair wearing a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, American flag shirt and riding a child's bike down the highway? Me. Jealous? Thanks, Independence.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

On the Brinks of Insanity

I just saw an armored car driver pulling some bags of cash out of his truck. As this was happening, a guy walked by and said "Can I have some money?" with his hands making a bowl like an Oliver Twist character. The driver looked him up and down and hesitantly said "Um, not today..." Just then, Oliver's pose morphed into an overhand air swat to prove that he was only joking.

I immediately mind-punched the guy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Beautiful Hair Guy and the Child Crash

Every day I drive to work, then drive home for lunch, back to work and then home at the end of the day. That's four passes down a fairly straight stretch of road per day, every day of my life. I know all of the details of this trip; when people get new cars, mow their lawns or even paint their houses.

There is sometimes a lot of foot traffic down this stretch, including a middle-eastern man who I started waving at 3 years ago, and ever since then, we've been "waving pals." It always brings a mutual smile to our faces to see each other and wave. I don't know the guy, but this story is not about that man. It's about a new walker, with a new made-up true story. He wears fairly beat-up clothes: slip-on shoes, a tie dye shirt and some cargo pants. He always carries a grocery bag over his shoulder and walks with a palsy-beat. One of his arms is tucked and looks as if he's carrying an imaginary football. However, none of these things measure up to the amount of what caught my eye the first time I saw him lugging groceries down the sidewalk. This man has the most beautiful hair I've ever seen on anyone in my life. 

As I drove up on this man the first time, I thought he was a woman. The flaxen ripply flow went down to the middle of his back, believe it or not. It was like Kenny G or Weird Al's hair, if they would've grown theirs out for another year. It was like vintage Michael Bolton's hair, but way more majestic.

Nearly every day, I saw "Beautiful Hair Guy," and every time, I'd stare in awe. The questions rushed to my brain: How far does he walk every day? Why doesn't he stock-up on groceries? What shampoo does he use? His clothes were fairly bland, but his hair shone like God's horse's mane. A true gift. I went to work and asked co-workers if they'd taken notice of this man and his beautiful hair, but they just laughed as I drew a quick sketch.

One day, as I was driving home from work, I was approaching an intersection, and a man turned in front of me - we collided. Quietly freaking out, I wrestled out of my airbag to see that my car was smoking. I threw open my door, jumped out, and immediately ran away from my hissing, totaled car. I had my hands on my knees bent over trying to stop my panic attack, when I looked up and saw the BHG hobbling over to me as fast as he could. He said "Are you okay?" I paused, gave a quick giggle and said "I am now." Seeing that everyone was fine, he carried on out of the road and down the sidewalk. I couldn't believe it. Was this man my guardian angel in Birkenstocks? Perhaps.

Several days after the incident, I went to the police station to get a copy of my police report. As I read the accounts, I stopped, re-read, opened my mouth and with a fixed gaze, started laughing hysterically. The other driver told the police that he was distracted by a child on the median. 

A child?! He obviously wasn't looking at the person's face! He was looking at the BHG's hair! He turned in front of me because he was in awe of the man's beautiful hair!

Do other people see my guardian angel as a child? I'm not sure. I snapped a picture of him once and this is all I got. A blurry vision of the BHG, but I'm okay with that.

Monday, July 29, 2013

This past weekend

Today is Monday, and I am sore. My weekend was jam-packed with nothing, so I created things to do. On Friday, I took off the second-half of the day to watch my kid. I went to the mall and bought some khakis (navy, light blue and orange). Saturday, my wife had a photoshoot to do, so I made breakfast, and watched the Lion King with Maximilian. We played pretty hard on his indoor slide, inspiring a midday nap. I went to Home Depot for random house supplies. Later on that day, I took Max on a 7-mile run, while I pushed his 33.7 lbs in the jogging stroller. That night, I got Max into bed while my wife enjoyed "ladies' night" with some friends.
Sunday, I got up and made breakfast, and just hung out. I went and hit 70 golf balls at the driving range. It was exhilarating. I came back home, ran to Panera for sandwiches, then we went to a winery in town, drank wine and then went to the in-laws' house for steaks and longhorn cattle burgers.
Today is Monday, and I am sore.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bryan Adams' album Waking Up The Neighbours is incredible. That is all.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hearse post.

Barbie-Hearse by mrkugler
Barbie-Hearse, a photo by mrkugler on Flickr.

Today, I was driving next to a hearse on my way home from work. Hearses are weird. First of all, they're like a mega station wagon, and they're always like light blue or creme-colored. They've also got curtains in the windows. The curtains don't really cover up anything in particular. Just there, neat and pressed. If I were a curtain-maker, I'd buy a hearse to display my expertise. Also, there's usually a big, metal thing on the back of the hearse. It looks like a big shoehorn or something, just pasted on the side for no apparent reason. I wanted to pull up to the stop light and ask the driver if the carpet matched the curtains. That's all of the ideas I have about hearses.