Audi For Sale – Dude Not Included

This immaculately sculpted 2005 Audi Allroad Quattro is a meaty plate of majestic liger super-strength smothered in an orgy of Paul Walker inferno-infused man juice.

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A beast amongst boys: The 2005 Audi Allroad Quattro

 

An archetypal rhapsody of savory German panache, this 2.7 twin-turbo engine makes Nancy Reagan moist where it counts. With a maximum ground clearance of 8.2 inches and 258 ft-lbs of torque, this beast is ready to pound out the roughest terrain.

Underpinning this classically detailed all-leather lady-slayer is a Quattro IV all-wheel-drive system that features a unique electro hydraulically controlled torque-distribution system that redirects traction to where it’s needed most – aka. “positraction” which Marisa Tomei, the tagliatelle of saucy Sicilian succulence, agrees is undeniably hot…

With its metro-stylish walnut veneer dash and two-tone leather seating, this Starship inspired interior is sure to blow the curtains off every princess in the galaxy. Face it. You need this car the way Luke needed a handy from his sister.

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Yeah dog, interstellar incest never felt so good!

 

Details:

$11,000 Skywalker-Firm.

Excellent condition. All leather. 72,000 easy-going star-miles. Moonroof. Six disk CD changer with a free Steve Winwood mix thrown in. Six speaker Bose premium sound system. Super-tinted peak-a-boo drug-dealer windows. One set fancy Thule bars. One Soprano’s extra-long-dead-body-sized rocket box. Four new tires.

Call Morris today at Darkside Motors: 307.690.8120

PS  – Yeah, seriously. This shit’s for sale and posted on Craiglist: http://wyoming.craigslist.org/cto/4874336711.html

Black Cat Conundrum

Somewhere there’s a black cat I owe an expensive sushi dinner to.

I’m exhausted, trying to focus through two drooping eyelids with a giant coffee and a tiny girl resting motionless to my right.

I’m surrounded by an ominous abyss of darkness. The only thing keeping me awake is the fearful mirage of a thousand nefarious roadside eyeballs smoldering dimly in my mind.  I’m fading fast..

and then it happens.

A black cat bolts from the left, intersecting my path and missing my front tire by a tail at best.

Jolted awake I’m immediately consumed with irrational superstitious fear. “Fuck!” I think. “How long does a black cat curse last anyway?”

Headlights appear in the distance. I turn my brights off. I’m on a flat stretch now. It’s straight as can be…

and then it happens.

The oncoming truck crosses the center line, veering into my lane without warning. I yank the wheel hard right and pass safely into the night with my passenger still sleeping blissfully beside me, unaware of her near fatal encounter.

Heart pounding, I drive on contemplating how many other black cats have crossed my path…

I woke up in Intensive Care three years ago unsure of how I’d gotten there. I remembered the gigantic pot brownie sundae I’d eaten, but little else.

Apparently my best friends had come by, scooped my naked body from my urine soaked bed and delivered me to the hospital. I’d had multiple seizures and I was in rough shape.

Sedated, I laid unconscious for two days.

I felt uneasy about leaving the hospital the following day. Embarrassed, I shyly admitted to being afraid of sleeping alone that night. I’d grown up with seizures and they had always come in my sleep, so I felt I had reason to worry.

I slept on a friend’s couch for a few nights before mustering the courage to return home to sleep alone. It’s the first time I ever felt fragile, like a fractured glider struggling to hold steady in a gentle breeze…

and then it happened.

Grateful to be alive I began waking each morning to a thankful mental mantra filling the corridors of my mind.

I started partying less and living more, dreaming less and accomplishing more. My false sense of security had been shattered and I was now living life with urgency.

We are surrounded by blessings and curses everyday, never knowing friend from foe. The lover who dumps you, the teacher who fails you, the illness that plagues you, the decision that torments you, the airline that screws you, the buddy who turns on you…

could all be your black cat.

Epilepsy has turned out to be a blessing for me. By accepting my greatest weakness I’ve gained a far more powerful ally.

Perhaps there’s a black cat somewhere patiently awaiting your invitation to sushi…?

My oblivious co-pilot crushes pie just prior to being saved by a gallivanting pussy.

My sleepy co-pilot crushes pie at Mollie’s Diner just hours before being saved by a gallivanting pussy.

The Path

______________

Without purpose, you’ll never focus.

Without focus, you’ll never achieve.

Without achieving, you’ll never be content.

Without being content, you’ll never be happy.

It all starts with purpose.

______________

My Father’s Day

I was twelve. It was Hanukkah and I was hiding in the men’s room of a dingy reform Synagogue near Mechanicsburg, PA.

My father had just informed me of the two prayers I’d need to learn to be Bar Mitzvahed and I was now doubled over on the toilet, stressing hard enough to shit blood diamonds. I was near tears, terrified of confronting my father. He had always scared me.

I exited the bathroom slowly, looked my father in the eye and told him I wasn’t going to be Bar Mitzvahed. “Why?” he asked. “Because it wouldn’t mean anything to me,” I said. He cracked a bad joke, said okay and never mentioned it again.

I’m pretty sure that was the moment my father started respecting me.

Eight years later my father sobered up and entered AA. Suddenly he was emotionally engaged and interested in my life. I found it highly annoying. I tried my best to dissuade him from flying west to accompany me on a road trip back east, but he insisted.

We were in the middle of Kansas when the lights went out. I was staring through the windshield, it was noon and yet it was dusk. The sky was the color of frozen coal and hail began pounding so heavy on the roof that we needed to yell to communicate.

Air raid sirens blared and windows shook as we entered the dimly lit lobby of a nearby motel. The second we got our room key I began insisting that I was going out to see a movie.

That’s how much I wanted to get the fuck away from my fucking father.

I lost the argument when the desk manager told us that there were three tornadoes in the area and the movie theater had been damaged. The next morning I awoke to my father doing yoga at the foot of my bed – sweaty and breathless wearing nothing but crusty, old-man, Fruit of the Loom, Tighty-Whities.

I hated him so much.

Hours later…

it’s sunny, I’m driving and I’m doing everything possible to make my father pay for twenty years of lost friendship. He asks me a simple question. I give a terse response. He shakes his head and says, “You’re a fucking asshole.”

I turn away, smirk and think, That’s awesome. I can definitely be friends with this guy.

That was the moment I started respecting my father – which was followed by ten wonderful years of friendship, love, trust and laughs.

Eleven years after his funeral my father’s actions continue to remind me that it’s never too late to script a new beginning – even if it means battling your asshole son to make it happen.

Two nearly identical assholes...

Two nearly identical assholes.

Universal Truth

There’s a perfectly manicured lawn in Southeastern Ohio. It runs flat and green toward the rolling hills of Appalachia.

There are no flowers or bushes on this lawn. No trees or toys. Nothing to distract you from the lone sign planted at its middle. The sign stands three feet tall, is white with black letters and reads:

Center Of The Universe

I burst out laughing and look around for someone, anyone to share this magnificent joke with.

The next day I’m sitting at my desk in the back of a small classroom. It’s the start of my second year of graduate school. One of my classmates, who I consider a best friend, sits down next to me. I ask her for help on my latest project, as I always do. She helps, as she always does. When we’re done I tell her my story about the sign and… silence.

She doesn’t laugh.

Instead she stares at me stone faced with the contempt of a righteous executioner and says, “That’s funny. I thought you considered yourself the center of the universe. You know the world doesn’t revolve around you Morris.”

I tried to argue, but the facts were in her favor. She was right. I was a self absorbed prick, readily taking from others rather than giving of myself.

I look back on that moment and think how unbelievably lucky I was to have a friend willing to speak her truth and set me straight. That one poignant observation forced me to reevaluate how I related to the world.

When I got home later that night I took out a blank flash card and wrote a single question on it:

Who Do You Want To Be?

I tacked that card up on my wall next to my bed and stared at it morning and night. When I moved, it moved with me. It became my principal guiding question, one which I continue to build my life around.

One essential lesson I took from that exchange is this: Just because you have lots of friends, doesn’t mean they respect you.

While being witty, talented, athletic, cool or entertaining will win you a popularity contest, it won’t win you any best friends.

To be considered a best friend you need to demonstrate a willingness to put the interests of others before your own. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has a best friend they consider selfish.

Just because a best friend of yours bails you out of jail, is there for you through your worst tragedy, speaks at your wedding or babysits your children, doesn’t mean they consider you a best friend of theirs.

I was wrong all those years ago to arrogantly assume Laura Jo DeCapua considered me a best friend – and today I thank her for teaching me that the only way to become someone’s best friend is to place them ahead of yourself and at the center of your universe.

Who knows, without her I might still be living obliviously, wondering why my best friends are always so slow to return my calls.

ljd sm 3

Laura Jo DeCapua, center, beams proudly knowing that her work is done here.

 

 

Indecision, regret & a bottle of cheap champagne

Your biggest regret in life will be something you failed to commit to, not anything you did wrong.

Most of us are scared of making the wrong decision, when it’s indecision we should really fear. Indecision is paralyzing. It’s what keeps us from moving forward.

We’ve all found ourselves lost, sitting at a stop sign, scanning the road for clues to point us in the right direction – and we’ve all stepped on the gas. We are fearless on the road, knowing that we can always correct course and wind up at our chosen destination – even if it means running an innocent, slow-driving, QVC loving, Craftmatic Adjustable Bed using grandma off the road to get there on time.

 

Left, right, forwards, backwards, it doesn’t matter – we’ve made our mind up and grandma needs to get her sweet-ass outta the way!

But in life… in life, we’re often that same slow driving grandma who sits way too long at every stop sign, afraid to move, waving others on while trying to determine when it’s her time to go.

In contrast, my grandmother refused to yield to any of the stop signs she encountered in life. She was resolute in her decisiveness and became my mentor and personal hero long before I ever learned to drive.

I was raised by my mother and my Granda Jane. My father and sister lived a few hours north, but it seemed much further away than that.

My grandmother was part Annie Oakley, part Jackie Kennedy. She bought me my first knife. She taught me to chop wood and shoot guns. She introduced me to golf, tennis, travel, art, politics, cuisine and classical music. She was far more intelligent and capable than the man she married, and that isn’t a knock on my grandfather, it’s just the simple truth.

She let me use massive, razor-sharp cooking knives long before I could see what was on the counter. She supervised as I stood on a stool chopping vegetables. Years later, when I was in grade school, I remember sitting by her side with the newspaper spread before us, listening intently as she explained the stock page. Her trust in me was unfailing, because she knew I would never defy her.

My grandmother was still auditing college classes at age eighty when she informed my grandfather that she was leaving him for her high school sweetheart. It wasn’t a discussion. It was a directive. Move. Get out of my way. I’m making a left turn, right the fuck now.

Everyone was surprised, but no one except my grandfather was shocked. When he asked why, she unapologetically answered, “I’ve lived my whole life caring for you. It’s time I take care of myself.”

Wow, right? That’s one hard-ass woman! Yup. That’s why I loved my grandma. She never minced words. You always knew exactly where you stood with her because she was the most direct and decisive person I’ve ever known – and she never let the expectations of others drive her decisions.

She was sure in life, confidently choosing decision over indecision, knowing that even the worst decisions lead you somewhere new.

My only regret in regard to my grandmother is meaningless to everyone but me.

The entire family met for her 90th birthday on a sunny fall day in Tucson, AZ. I had plans to splurge and buy her a bottle of her favorite champagne. Dom Perignon, which she had tasted only once before.

I held it I my hands and before I made it to the register my aunt saw the bottle and began chastising me. It was a waste of money she said. She handed me a bottle of Freixenet, deeming it a perfectly suitable replacement.

I remember looking around as if I was sitting at a stop sign, unsure of which way to go. In a moment of true indecision I caved and bought the Freixenet. That night, I watched on helplessly as my grandmother took a single sip of champagne before dismissively setting her glass aside. She died a few days later.

I think about that a lot more than I should. I’m telling you, it’s the things you want to do, but fail to follow through on that you’ll regret the most in life.

Today, I find consolation is her favorite quote, which she jokingly suggested be placed on her tombstone:

“If this is the worst thing that ever happens to you, you’ll be lucky.”

True that grandma. True that.

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Left to right: Grandma Jane, my mother Martha and my aunt Michelle.

Make Isaac Hayden Audition for The Voice

Everyone has one voice that moves them more than any other – the voice left echoing in their soul long after the song has ended. It’s the voice of your favorite singer.

While you may be nameless and faceless to them, you are eternally bound, tethered by your connection to their music – which is what makes you a true fan.

I am a true fan of Isaac Hayden, which is why I’ve been sending him annoying text messages for the last two-weeks, trying to convince him to audition for NBC’s musical competition The Voice.

If you’d like to encourage Isaac and help convince him to audition, “like” this blog post on Facebook and share it with your friends. I am pledging $2 for every Facebook “like” this post gets (up to $2,500) in hopes of forcing Isaac to audition.

I’m not going to lie. This isn’t going to be easy. The only quality Isaac posses that rivals his voice, is his stubbornness. The more likes we get, the more support we show, the better chance we have of convincing him to compete, so “like” away!

What I’ve written below is something I should have told Isaac long ago. I’ve worded it as an open letter hoping that you might copy and send it to your favorite artist. I’m guessing they’d appreciate hearing from you.

Shine on people, shine on.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Dear {name your favorite singer here},

You have no idea how much your music means to me. You have no idea how often I listen to your music or how deeply your voice and lyrics affect me. Your gift, the one you deliver to me through thoughtful words and brilliantly executed tones, is a gift I truly cherish. You make me feel loved, understood and happy – like someone gives a shit about my sadness or success. Whether you realize it or not, you are a real friend to me.

Thank you for always being there for me, lifting me up from my despair and continually reminding me how beautiful life really is. Whether I’m feeling lonely on the road or worrying about {confess a fear here}, your music parts the clouds in my heart and brings light to my mind. You helped me through {reference a personal tragedy here} and I’ve danced my ass off to {enter your favorite song here} countless times.

I realize you don’t know me, but I want you to know that all your work, all the long nights you spent writing and practicing and early mornings you spent toiling away at a shitty job so you could continue making music – none of it was lost on me!

I appreciate your music more than you’ll ever know. You matter to me. What you do and who you are makes a difference in my life. So, thank you {enter artists’ name here} for being my only best friend I’ll never get to know.

Your friend forever,

{Your name here}

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Listen to Isaac Hayden here:

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What we think, we are

Question: How old are you?

Answer:

If I could count down from my end rather than up from my beginning, I’d tell you my true age – and still you’d learn far less about me than what you’ll glean from this page…  unless you’re smart enough that is, to close your mouth and open your mind and stop asking the one idiotic question from which you’ll never divine – who I am, what I believe or anything of any significance my brain could possibly conceive.

For time is relative and age is fucking fiction, a tale followed blindly by those searching for direction. Obliviously optimistic they cling to the illusion of longevity, worshiping anything and everything that offers them a modicum of false security.

Packed up tightly in their little box, fortified by imagined boundaries, they slide the lid shut rather than embracing life’s possibilities. Acting their age they engage in charades, taking on the personality of who and how they’re supposed to behave ––  all while passing judgement on those who refuses to bend, unwilling to subjugate themselves by attempting to fit in.

Everyday we wake up we’re each on the clock, never knowing how, when or where our gears will wind to an unsuspecting stop – so grow the fuck down and rise to your occasion, knowing that age and time are powerless against the gravity of youthful conviction.

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Me, sporting my custom, “Grownups Are Losers” t-shirt.

Vegas Baby!

Good decisions make for boring stories. Nowhere is this more evident than in the modern Walmart of human depravity:

Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

Hmmmm. This is way better than SkyMall!

Hmmmm, this is way better than SkyMall!

Partying in Vegas for five nights straight is a terrible idea. I came to this realization while standing motionless along the Vegas strip nine-years ago.

Frozen there on the sidewalk, in broad daylight, staring down at the freshly-birthed turd resting solemnly on my shoe as strangers whirled by me, it took me a moment to process what had happened. Yep, it was undeniable. The evidence was overwhelming. I had stepped off an escalator and shit myself.

I immediately began running through my options. Spotting a nearby casino entrance I started waddling toward it. Fearing detection I crept forward slowly at first, legs spread wide, trying not to rub my cheeks together, which proved to be a terrible idea.

I quickened my pace when snack-sized Snickers Bars began dropping conspicuously from my boxers. They dotted the sun soaked, bleach-white sidewalk like dollops of chocolate cookie dough waiting to be baked.

Halfway to the door I became keenly aware of the stench emanating from my sagging Banana Republic shorts. It was the smell of rotting, week-old animal carcass that’s been salvaged from a summer highway, pressed into homemade Hot Pockets and burned in the toaster oven.

My concern turned to full-blown panic as I entered the casino and spotted the bathroom, situated oh-so conveniently on the far side of an expansive, brightly carpeted room. Terrified of being spotted by a pit boss, I deftly made my way through the clamoring slot machines and slipped silently into the bathroom – only to find that ALL of the stalls were occupied.

My brain screamed FUUUUCK!!! so loud my ears considered dripping blood.

Minutes later, after scrubbing myself with the vigor of an amateur prostitute, I emerged from the bathroom and headed straight to the nearest roulette table, put all of my cash on black, figuring it was the color of the day, lost and walked back to my hotel to shower.

You may be wondering, why on earth would Morris share this story with me?

Fast forward to two nights ago. I was back in Vegas, sitting in a bar listening to a local explain why Vegas is so great. “Anything you want, it’s here,” he said.

An hour later I was at Vegas’ hottest night club, listening to one of the best DJ’s alive, standing amongst the world’s hottest women, watching the greatest Jersey Shore douchebags of our generation vie for their attention, as I casually sipped Budweiser from a stainless steel bottle and asked myself if he was right?

Surveying the crowd I found a lot to like, but it wasn’t enough.

More than snow-capped mountains, more than a true sense of community, more than exhilarating slow-motion landslides and shitty country-swing music, what Vegas lacks is authenticity.

Everyone there is looking to represent, rather than to present themselves for who they are. It’s as if they are all working tirelessly to create the perfect avatar in an effort to convince one another that they’re worthy.

In contrast, I believe in the power of authenticity. Sharing your faults can be scary, but it’s a great way to build trust – and allowing others to pull at the cracks of your imperfection is the only way you’ll ever build truly meaningful relationships.

But, let’s give credit where credit is due. While the residents of Sin City may not be gurus of introspection, they are a diverse community of hard-working posers who built an amazingly luxurious city forged from mobster urine and hedonistic escapism that I fully embrace, endorse and enjoy.

Judge it. Hate it. Vilify it if you want, but do so knowing that you’re already embracing Vegas in some way. Whether you watch reality television, read crappy magazines or play video games – that’s all Vegas baby. It’s escapism at its finest.

While we may choose to get on a plane or turn off the TV and return to our boring lives, rather than allowing ourselves to live lives dictated by our shallowest desires – we aren’t completely different from them.

Whether you realize it or not, we all shop at the Vegas Walmart of life from time to time – and without exception, we love every bit of useless, self-indulgent crap we load into our squeaky-wheeled shopping carts of superficial cravings and wanton misadventures.

If Vegas has one lesson to teach us, it’s that we’re only human after all.

Embracing Imbalance

Do you remember as a child sitting on the end of a teeter-totter, your feet dangling loosely below you, feeling weightless and perfectly still for one fleeting moment?

Here, you were balanced.

"The Matrix is like a bowl of cereal. I'm like the milk," explains Keanua Reeves.

“The Matrix is like a bowl of cereal. I’m like the milk.” – Keanu Reeves

 

Now… do you remember four seconds later? How, fueled with desperation you began kicking, bouncing, pushing and pulling to get moving again – longing to experience the exhilaration of extremes.

Here, giggling excitedly, pitching yourself to and fro, you were basking in the glory of imbalance.

Forget finding balance. Focus on embracing imbalance. Moving from high to low and back again is the essence of life. That is living. Sitting idle, although comfortable, is fucking boring.

I remember sitting on a beach one day with a beautiful girl, smelling the salt air, watching seagulls circle above and listening to some honest words I really, really didn’t want to hear. After stating my case there wasn’t anything left to say, so I slowly turned away, smiled the smile of a best friend attending an Irish wake and confessed, “Wow, this fucking hurts. I’m really living right now.”

We are all searching for ways to bring balance to our lives. To feel more content and less agitated. To think less and feel more. To widen our awareness, connect to others and become more grounded and whole.

But ultimately, there’s only one thing that’s guaranteed to bring you into balance and it isn’t your friends, family, job, passion, children, sex, money, love or therapist – it’s simply your ability to keep perspective. It’s perspective that serves as our counterweight to imbalance, returning our emotions to center when it feels as if everything is about to slide off one end of the table.

Just cus’ you get crushed doesn’t mean you’re ruined. And just cus’ your legs have grown too long to dangle freely beneath a teeter-totter doesn’t mean you should stop kicking, bouncing, pushing and pulling in hopes of soaring to new heights and delving to new lows, because that’s when you know you’re really living.