Monday, January 11, 2010



Pour me a glass
save me a seat
make me a place in your heart

lend me your ear
and give me your hand
let me go back to the start

because i never kept score in the game that we played
and when luck gave me lemons i just made lemonade...

...for you...

think of my smile
whisper my name
remember me when you're alone

blow a kiss to the moon
cry a tear in the night
wonder where we might have gone

and when the time is your own
and the dues have been paid
if love still gives you lemons just make lemonade

...for me...

well love is a treat
that's sour and sweet
sip it as slow as you please

it was doub-ly nice
with your sugar and ice
remember when we gave it a squeeze

well I could carry your tune
and I could sing it all night
and some-times I get the feeling and I think I still might


...if love gives you lemons just make lemonade

if love gives you lemons just make lemonade

Leave me Now

"Leave Me Now"

I've only known you
in my dreams
but you're an angel, at least that's
what it seems
you turned and kissed me
to my surprise and
left my doorstep with my soul in your eyes

So leave me now...just walk away
don't let the world come in and ruin this day
leave me now...don't telephone
just let me love you and just leave me alone
...just leave me now...

its wrong to want you
like I do
its wrong to feel I need
to make love to you
and its not okay....
when you say..... "I should go" when I want you to stay

so leave me now! While I'm breathless
let me say it was just some other night
leave me now...while I'm strong enough
to lie and say it just wasn't right...
...just leave me now...

I can't explain you
I don't know
i think of you and it just
frightens me so
cause now I've found you should go...
cuz' I think I might be losing control

So leave me now...while its perfect
before I wake up and I open my eyes
leave me now...end it right here
before your stars fall out of my skies
...yeah leave me now...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mr. Leaver Outee

“Thanks for the help, Mr. Leaver-Outtee!” my wife bombed at me in a mixture of frustration, rage, bewilderment, and more rage. She calls me this, if you can’t guess, because I have a tendency to take things and leave them out on any one of the surfaces in our home, rather than put them away. These surfaces, covered either partially or totally with change, receipts, keys, tape measures, mugs, pens and other small pocket sized bits of life, are things that she spends considerable effort and time keeping smooth and clean. She’s right, of course. I am responsible for the vast majority of these things being placed on these surfaces. And honey, I’m sorry, but…

“Now see here, Mrs. Antique Canned Goods…” I usually begin my defense with an in-kind insult. You see, there are two kinds of people, those who can’t stand the sight of a mess and those who can’t stand the thought of a mess. My wife can’t stand the sight of a mess which is why she needs those surfaces to be clean. I can’t stand the thought of a mess, which is why I need to empty out my pockets. There is no point in my mind in taking the mess from my pockets and hiding it in some drawer, bowl, cabinet, or folder. I might as well leave it in my pockets, ready to transfer to tomorrow’s pockets, which I would do, were it not for the following rules of engagement regarding my pants.

The second my pants hit the floor, they contact a surface. This surface, before it was marred by my dropping pants, was clean and cleared of clutter, owing to the aforementioned efforts of my wife. Thus, my pants set off the equivalent of an air-raid siren. Rotating red lights come on and a calm but serious voice comes on over the loudspeaker, “Danger, surface has been compromised, floor breech, pants down on level 4, DEFCON 5, ladies and gentlemen, we are at war!” Being a loving parent, I dash to find my son. I scoop him up into my arms and dive under the nearest table. There I sit, either naked or in my underwear, cowering as the squadron that is my wife’s cleaning instinct flies overhead to neutralize the threatening armada of my pants. She seizes them, takes them prisoner, whisks them down to the interrogation room, tortures them briefly with some stain removing agent, and then drowns them in the wash. “Okay folks, it’s all over. You can go back to your homes.” the obviously relieved voice intones.

So, if I don’t remove the stuff from those pockets, its going into the wash, too. If you don’t believe me, just ask my wallet, or my paycheck, or that napkin on which I wrote that phone number. They know. The screws I need to put the door back on its hinges know too. Unfortunately, they are embedded in the lining of the dryer, accounting for its permanent clank, and because they are inaccessible, you can’t ask them anything.

These two personality types are actually just manifestations of two different reactions to the same situation – what to do with stuff. You can immediately tell which type you’re dealing with by looking in a kitchen, a desk drawer, a car, a purse, almost any container. I have always been accused of being a slob. I leave stuff out. This stuff includes tools, clothes, dishes, toys, parts, things of all kinds. My wife has been forever on the other end, given to missing appointments, dinners, functions and anything with a schedule, because she was obsessively neat, clean and tidy. Neither of these characterizations are accurate. I am not a slob, and, though she is chronically late, she’s not chronically neat. The situation was most apparent before we were married. One look at my apartment would suggest “So, a coyote lives here, right?” A closer inspection, however, revealed the truth. Open a drawer. A model of organization. A closet. Shirts, slacks, blankets stored neatly and efficiently. The cabinets under the kitchen counter? Empty. I mean, completely empty. For years. It wasn’t as though I couldn’t see the mess. It was just that I couldn’t hide it. It would have been very easy to take the stuff from the surfaces and stow it underneath, but the thought of that stuff, under there, messy, made me panic. At work, I was the same way. My desk was always trashed, unless you looked in the drawers, which were either organized or empty.

On the other hand, my wife, before we were married would have a spotlessly clean floor, counter, bathroom, everything, but she was endlessly cleaning. Why, I thought? Because on the few occasions that I would clean my apartment, really clean it, it stayed clean for a long time. I thought she was obsessive. In truth, she had filled every drawer, closet, bin, cabinet, nook, cubby, and cranny to capacity with the mess she couldn’t stand the sight of. And there was the difference between us, the thought of mess versus the sight of it.

Neither one of these two methods of dealing with clutter, possessions, junk, valuables, whatever you like to call them is better than the other. In fact, neither is particularly good at all. A mess on the desk is just as messy as a mess in a drawer. A concealed catch-all is just as disorganized as a visible one. My wife isn’t obsessively neat and I’m not compulsively sloppy.

These people attract each other. I always admired her polished exterior (though I incorrectly assumed it extended below her countertops) and she looked at my hopeless unkemptness and said “here’s a guy who could really need me”, though she never realized how organized and well kept I am inside.

My sister’s like me, she’s a closet coyote. She’ll spend a whole day cleaning out a drawer or a closet. Her husband will come home and immediately, without thinking about it at all, grab the magazines and catalogs that came in the mail and wad them right back into that drawer. He’ll take some shoes, a broom, an umbrella, some kids toys, the dog’s leash and cram them into the empty closet. She’ll watch him for a while, getting angry and hurt, until she can’t take it anymore and accuses him of trying to hurt her feelings and he just says she’s obsessive and unreasonable. You’d think these two personality types would be better able to get along. After all, one of them could clean the counter, the other could clean the cabinet beneath. What a team! In reality, it ends up being more like “I’ll dig the dirt out of this hole and put it in that hole. You take the dirt out of that hole and put it in this one. With two of us digging, we should be finished in no time. Let’s get to work!” This relationship tension is particularly insidious because it seems that people – both kinds of people – often resort to cleaning and organizing as therapy when they’re particularly angry or frustrated. Watching the two of them after a hard day is like watching people play tennis with lightning bolts.

I remember before we were married, I took a day off and cleaned out the canned goods from underneath my wife’s counter. First of all there were things in there, in the back that hadn’t seen daylight in 15 years. There were things in there that I know she had just purchased anew, as though she needed them. There were brands and labels that were so old that you could have sold them on ebay as collectibles. There was enough tea to fill a clipper ship. I took garbage bags of duplicate stuff over to my apartment and had a whole new pantry full of stuff, so much in fact that I became highly uneasy until I chucked it or ate it. Needless to say, this gesture was not appreciated. This is probably because I wasn’t addressing her problem, I was addressing mine. She just viewed it as me picking on her.

It wasn’t my aim to do that, but she was right of course. If she had come in and cleaned my place I would have hated it. She would have taken all the junk that had been sititng on my counter because there was no good place for it and put it in my gloriously empty cabinets. I have things that have sat around my place for years. They move from surface to surface without ever finding a home. I had an old bolt that sat on various tables, windowsills, sofas, and tv tops for most of my adult life. The only reason it isn’t still on one is because I can’t remember what it was for. I know it was important though, so I have it neatly tucked away inside an otherwise empty box.

The only reason that my wife and I can cooperate in this activity is that we’ve both decided that we don’t want anything anymore. We’ve decided that both the stuff on top of the table and under it are equally complicating and we want it all gone. I like to look at things with detachment. It’s fun to go into a person’s home or office and instantly tell who they are. Open a drawer. Does it have tools, twist ties, pens, playing cards, and lasagna noodles all piled in a jumble. You’re in a squirrel's house. If the drawer is totally empty except for the sawdust from when it was built while the countertop above isn’t even visible, you’ve found a coyote.

Squirrels or Coyotes. Love 'em or leave 'em. The only other option is to live alone.