Sunday, May 30, 2010

Additional Refrences Available

Son. Nephew. Brother.
Plaything. Playmate. Friend.
Babe. Boy. Man.
Dishwasher. Fry cook. DJ.
Liar. Liar. Writer.
Bookseller. Barista. Prankster.
And writer-writer.
Student. Teacher. Taskmaster.
Agnostic. Christian. Buddhist.
Father. Stepfather. Uncle.
Lover. Boyfriend. Fiance.
Second husband. Ex-husband. Second Husband.
Non-smoker. Smoker. Non-smoker.
Sober. Drunk. Not drunk (not high either).
Broke. Broke. Broke.
Loved. Hated. Missed.
Aware. Awake. Alive.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The woman had to be in her early 20s and was getting chatted up by a geezer old enough to be her grandfather. They stood in the shade of the building, talking. His mottled, yellowing hand grasped an I.V. stand, clutched it for balance, while he distractedly fought with the back of his gown.

It just wouldn't stay closed, though the old man had remembered to wear shorts. The hospital probably has a policy: Patients can't go out to smoke unless they wear their underwear.

He was all smiles, but all the woman ever did was frown and flick ashes from a cigarette in one hand while the other cradled her very pregnant belly. She looked bored. Maybe there was a line in delivery.

Down the street, a man with only one out of three appendages zipped by in the fasted wheelchair I've ever seen. I remember him from my bookstore days. He used to steal porn and books about UFOs --wishful thinking on his part tempered with grim acceptance of his lot, perhaps.

Everybody wants to feel good some of the time, but it's better if you don't think too much about what it takes to get you through the day. It's easier to think about what other people do.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Winding Down to 40

Just one more spin on this subject.

I pretty much hate my birthday and have since I was a kid. I've mentioned it before. Awful things happen. People die. I wind up overdrawn at the bank or get stuck working a triple shift (sometimes, both on the same day). I get into fights with whoever I'm married to. Nobody calls.

Most of my birthdays have the feeling of a mafia funded karmic hit. I feel lousy for being miserable and disappointed. The worst is the guilt of expectation. I want it to be great, know it can be --every once in a great while, it even is, which completely throws me, but usually it isn't. Usually, it's just shy of a nervous breakdown.

I've tried forgetting about the day. I've tried working through it and also taking the day off. I've tried mocking it and making fun of it. I've tried raising the bar and lowering it to the point you couldn't even trip over it. I've even tried to celebrate on my own.

Results are typically pretty depressing. Most of the time, by the end of the day, I end up staring into the dark, hoping for sleep untroubled by disappointment, guilt or anger.

I now have three weeks to figure something out, to come up with a plan to mark the occasion. The clock is ticking. I turn 40 in three weeks. I just want it to mean something.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I totally get the end of of Lost, though sweet pogo stick hopping Moses, I'm not sure I can fully explain it without sounding like I'm insane.

Anyway, I had a good time with the show. I hadn't had a show I wanted to keep up with as much since the first few seasons of the X-Files (sadly, the ending of that show blew). Lost ran its course, gave me a story to enjoy and still found a way to give me hope that somehow they might revisit the island some day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

AJ and me

Somehow, some way, I managed to score an interview with Alan Jackson.

I don't always get knocked out by these people I sometimes talk to. Jackson, well, yeah... It was sort of a big deal.

What has now become several years ago, I used to work part-time as a country DJ. Actually, I did the country radio stuff so I could do the rock oldies station in the same building, which we all hoped would become a classic rock station. This was where I thought my talents as a gigantic smart ass would be put to their best use thus leading me to fame, fortune and a buffet of available women impressed by my brain and voice.

Yeah, that worked out real good.

I was never very much at the country (not so talented am I) and tended to get in trouble over at the oldies station for suggesting things like it was a good idea to drop your kids off at vacation bible school while you went off for a drink or two. This prompted my station manager to suggest I just stick with reading the cards or just go back to writing commercials.

Anyway, I didn't care much for the music on either station, but I liked mainstream country the least --except for a handful of artists, among them Alan Jackson (also George Strait). In my head, it sounded like it was supposed to. Even when he was being goofy, there was a certain kind of honesty in his voice and in the way the songs were written. He wasn't trying to sell you a lot of bullshit dressed up to look genuine.

Truth told. I've only purchased a couple of country CDs in my life (Of course, I have a bunch, but those were sent to me by publicists and record companies or were given in lieu of real pay, along with pizzas, t-shirts and movie tickets, when I worked in commercial radio). I purchased a couple of Alan Jackson CDs, which is a big deal for a guy who tends to like Thom York's anguished mumbling and still gets off on the Nine Inch Nails "Happiness in Slavery."

Anyway, I got him on the phone and didn't go all fan boy. I also resisted the temptation to ask him clearly antagonistic questions about the wide array of merchandise he's got selling at Cracker Barrel.

This kind of annoys me. I'm okay with albums, posters and t-shirts, but I don't care if George Jones is a legend, he shouldn't be hawking his own brand of bottled water or making sausage.

It's wrong, I tell you. It's wrong.

But I didn't have the heart to ask about the Alan Jackson leather wallet or his breath mints. It was just cool to talk to him about the show at the Charleston Civic Center he's turned into a benefit for the families of the miners killed in the Upper Big Branch.

It's a class act. Hell, it made me kind of want to buy a tin of Alan Jackson breath mints or get the salt and pepper shakers.

Friday, May 14, 2010

No plans

I'm working on some kind of list for things to do this summer other than endlessly remove fallen tree limbs and pick up dog shit in my yard. I turn 40 in a little over a month --and yes, every year I get sort of bent out of shape about my birthday whether I mean to or not.

Still, it seems like I ought to have some sort of plan besides work, more work and a little more work. I could look at my list of goals and tasks. Most of them are coming along more or less. I could do more at the gym and work harder on my book, but I guess I'm just looking for a few more laughs and something unexpected.

Suggestions are welcome, I suppose. God knows I don't have any ideas.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Because I'm a big shot journalist, people and their pet robots write to me. I look forward to it, even if I don't always like what I get. The world has a lot of tough love for me. I take what I can get.

Dear Mr. Lynch,

Today I came upon your raving review of Ringling Brothers Circus performing in Hartford Connecticut. I was disappointed to see that you endorsed their show. Perhaps you are unaware as many are of the methods that Ringling Brothers uses to train their animals. The elephants and tigers are beaten daily and electrocuted until they perform tricks that are humiliating and degrading to them. They are confined in small spaces for up to sixty hours, spaces that would be the equal to us being confined to a telephone booth. Even if they weren't tortured and abused, a circus is no place for wild animals. I am not affiliated with any extreme animal rights organization such as PETA, I am simply a concerned citizen that has taken interest in the way these animals are treated.

Thank you for your time, and I hope in the future a journalist of your stature and education will take the time to be informed.

(Name withheld because I believe it's a bullshit-made-up-name)

Obviously, a journalist of "my stature and education" would know better because you know, guys who cover the circus are pretty God damned important.

Anyway, an hour or so later, just in case I was interested, a second e-mail from a different e-mail account complained again, but included some helpful links.

Have you actually taken 5 minutes to watch the graphic and extemely disturbing videos on or ????? This circus should be forced to release the animals that are subjected to daily beatings by these monsters at Ringling Brothers. How can you support something like this? I will never support a circus that uses animals.

Only one of the links actually works, which is kind of a half-assed way to protest my going to the circus. Frankly, I think I deserve better service from my haters.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reports from the trenches.

One of the great things about what I do is how my writing touches lives, how it changes people, brings hope and even encourages them to reach out --because, after all, we're all just part of one big tribe.

Last week, I wrote a story about Free Comic Book Day, which may eventually become a state holiday. There aren't enough in May. If you look at the calendar, you can see May's holidays are a little sparse.

I was glad to do it because I'm trendy. I believe in Free Comic Book Day and the opportunity to get a bunch of anything free. I am ever hopeful the booze community will come up with free bourbon day --preferably June 18. Someone should start a petition. I will sign it.

Anyway, I wrote the story, explained what it was about and we sent a photographer to shoot a picture. To keep the story's human side intact, we shot a picture of Jess wearing a FCBD shirt and posing with comics or something (I dunno. I wasn't paying attention). We ran the story and the results were fantastic.

Jess got a letter from a nearby prison from 37 year-old Donnie. Donnie was wrongfully convicted of assault and robbery, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and likes to cook. He enjoys riding his bike (which, evidently he will have to replace since he apparently no longer owns the bike he had before he was wrongfully arrested for stealing and beating on someone), getting his body pierced and writing to anonymous females whose picture gets in the paper.

Kinda sweet. He wanted to know if she was married, had been married, etc, etc, etc... He said he was going to write again.

So... the upside. My writing is reaching readers I never dreamed we had. The downside, women's prisons probably get the Daily Mail.

I should talk to circulation.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I haven't seen the old bozo across the road in months. In the neighborhood, there was no one more reviled than the slouching, graying man and his vast collection of road hogging landscaping equipment.

Parking is at a premium on the dead end street where I live. People get bitchy about it. They discuss it endlessly. At times, it has seemed like the arguments might simmer over into a fistfight.

For my part, the curb in front of your house is just a place to put something that probably belongs to a bank.

I was probably the only man on the block who missed the old bozo when he and his sprawling brood of vaguely criminal children moved out after the weather turned bitterly cold. From others I heard their furnace had died. For whatever reason, they didn't get it fixed, decided instead to stop paying all of their utilities and move out.

I missed the old bozo because he was the resident supervillain, the guy everyone talked about behind his back, and while he filled the position, no one in my house could even apply. Truthfully, this is less of a concern than it used to be, but I still worry a little about the neighbors gathering up the pitchforks and having the landlord drive us from our shabby home just because we're a bit weird.

I didn't know what to make of the cop cars parked outside --I just recognized the police themselves were not at my door. They were across the road, trying to open the front door to the bozo's derelict house.

The lady with the big dogs tried to explain. Evidently, one of the bozo's vaguely criminal children and a couple of friends had broken into the place, which as it turned out, was not his actual property. The police were called. The owner was called and at some point, a substantial number of firearms were discovered and declared "abandoned."

How many firearms?

"Enough to start a small war," said the cop.

And while a few of us watched, a policeman handed rifles through the front window to a partner who then hauled them up the cement steps and stacked them in the backseat of two patrol cars. He carried two at a time, a dizzying assortment of shotguns, hunting rifles and assault-style pseudo-military guns. There were sawed-off shotguns, riot guns and the kind of double-barrelled beauties popular with Jed Clampett and company. Some of the guns came with scopes. Others had tripods and scopes. A few were fitted with flashlights.

It was a lot of God damned guns.

The one cop made maybe fifteen or sixteen trips up and down the steps before his tubby partner came out with a sagging cardboard box crammed full of handguns. Standing around, we estimated, there might be as many as fifty weapons.

Some of the guns, it was said, had had their serial numbers filed off.

The cops loaded up their cars, while a call was made to the bozo, who was not specifically claiming the guns as his own. It was suggested the bozo might not be legally eligible to have such a collection, owing to some trouble in his distant past.

One of the kids showed up, a friend of the bozo's vaguely criminal brood, smiling and introduced himself to the police.

"Hi, you were the guy who arrested me last fall."

"Really?" The cop said, sounding slightly amused. "What for?"

"Oh, battery," the kid said, sheepishly.

He chatted the cops up while one of the former inhabitants of the house arrived. It was a bad idea for him to come. He came to argue, to fight, to confront, but the old bozo had sent him unarmed.

"This is our house," he said.

The owner said otherwise.

"My dad bought this house," he said. "He paid for it."

"He didn't buy anything," she told him. "He didn't pay for anything."

With the cops looking on, she called the old bozo and gave the phone to the kid. The war was over. The guns were going with the cops and the cops would probably be coming to talk to the old bozo real soon.

It was a bad scene, a sad scene, particularly for the kid.

Everybody went their separate ways. The kid and his friends drove off. The cops took the haul back to headquarters while the neighbors gathered in a yard and took turns condemning the bozo.

I didn't. Guns or not, he never did more than hog some space next to the curb in front of my house --hardly a damning offense in my book. Of course, I didn't defend him either. Hell, with that many guns, he could defend himself.