For I Have Become Fart Denizen: Destroyer Of Worlds.

26 Dec

There are many wonderful benefits to not having any friends or family and this is never more apparent than on December 25th, or as some people call it:  “Christmas.”


Christmas, oddly enough, has actually become my favorite day of the year.  I don’t have to work.  I don’t have to go anywhere.  I don’t have to do anything, and most importantly I don’t have to see or talk to anyone.  It’s the one day of the year I can truly be by myself all day long.  In fact, much of the world around me becomes a sort of ghost town allowing me to pretend I am the lone survivor of some sort of Apocalypse that wiped out everyone except me and left buildings, trees and animals alone.  (That’s my favorite type of Apocalypse fantasy.)


This is from a very underrated Charlton Heston movie entitled Omega Man

Not having anyone in my life to exchange gifts with, dine with or hang out with has freed me up to develop my own particular traditions on this annual day of extreme solitude. For quite some time I referred to the day simply as “Lord of the Rings Day” and would spend it watching all three extended edition Lord of the Rings movies.  (All 10 hours or so.)  I’d hunker down on the couch in my empty apartment, immerse myself in a cocoon of pillows and blankets, surround myself with food and other recreational substances, and spend the whole day in Middle Earth.


As it turned out I got kind of bored with that after five years or so.

Another favorite Christmas hobby I came up with was to find a popular grocery store of some kind,  closed for the so called holiday, and just sit across the street from it all day watching one moron after another pull into the completely empty parking lot, climb out of their car and waddle up to the door of the completely dark, OBVIOUSLY closed place of business.  Sometimes they smack right into the glass like a bird hitting a window.  Sometimes they stand there and peer through the door, thinking there just has to be someone inside to let them come in and purchase whatever idiotic item they forgot to buy yesterday.  (They never seem to notice the sign posted on the door informing them the store is closed for the holiday.)  Usually, after several minutes of peering through the windows, the frustrated shopper will stomp back to their vehicle, completely aghast at the realization that they aren’t as entitled as they thought they were.  Such entertaining antics never fail to get a laugh out of me, though it also takes what little faith I may have once had in humanity down a couple more notches.


Duuuuh…Are they open?

I thought it would be fun to set up a little judging station across the street, and I could rate people based on their performance.  The slow drive-by gawkers would just get a 1 or 2, but the  ones who actually park, get out of their cars and walk up to the door would get higher ratings based on their reactions.  I suppose I could probably even create my own reality show, but the truth is I loathe reality television and everything it stands for.


I assure you we are NOT open.

  Then,a couple months ago, I started playing this game called Ingress.  I was dead set against it for the longest time, mostly because I was dead set against ever getting a cell phone.  For purely philosophical reasons I was determined to be the last person on Earth without a mobile communication device.  For one thing I like being off the grid.  For another, I generally think people who walk around (or drive around) texting or talking or just staring at their phones are the worst type of scum on the planet.  These are the kind of people who believe Onion articles or Fox News, can’t wait to vote for Donald Trump, and smell their fingers after they wipe their butts.  (I call people who do this “Shit n’ Sniffs.”)


These half wits will no doubt be running our alleged “country” in a few more years.


Alas, some time ago my  employers gave me… you guessed it… a fucking cell phone, thus ruining my 40+ year streak of getting by just fine without one.

As it turns out, I really only use it for one purpose; to play a video game.  So now I myself have become that which I have always despised more than anything else:  “A Cell Phone Scum.”  This is why I selected a fitting moniker for my player profile:  “Fart Denizen.”

I must admit, however, there is something really cool about this particular game.  Unlike most video games one actually has to physically walk around to play it!  Using GPS technology the game takes place in real space, and players choose to be on either the green faction (aka: cool people) of the blue faction (aka: mindless tools) and these two factions battle to take over virtual portals located all over the world.   In some ways it works very much like an rpg, in that you have to level your player character up by performing various actions.  (Which is also why I so easily became addicted to it.)

Christmas, as it turned out, was the perfect time to go out, early in the morning (I left my apartment at 2:30 am) and take over the entire city.  Usually downtown Ann Arbor is almost all blue portals, but by noon I had it looking like this.


I also got to add to my collection of cool pictures of downtown Ann Arbor with no annoying people in them.









Suffice it to say, Ann Arbor would be a much cooler place to live if it looked like this all the time.


Mix and Mingle

6 Sep

This is a reblog from Be Free 2 Love, who is dedicating Sundays on her blog for meet and greets, which are always fun ways to find new blogs and new followers for your own blog!  Come by and check it out!

I’ve Decided To Take A Day Off From Blogging Tonight

2 Sep

It was bound to happen eventually.  Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing something, and when I don’t feel like doing something I usually don’t do it.

The oppressive misery of the never ending Michigan summer continues unabated.  Eventually it might cool down a little.  At some point we might even get that day or two of “winter” we sometimes get treated to, but I have little faith.  Every day my dream of moving to Antarctica seems more and more like a fabulous idea.  Very few people, absolutely NO hot days, and to top it all off, there may even be the possibility of having my body taken over and mimicked by an alien life form dead set on taking over the entire human race.  Sounds like a dream come true right now.


My crummy mood has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’ve had very little sleep lately.  Last night, for instance I was exhausted, and had to get up quite early the next morning, however not only did I have to endure the sensation that i was being baked in an oven, there was an annoying insect, bird or frog of some kind making an incessant noise over and over again, and it sounded like they were right outside my window.  (I know what you’re thinking but it wasn’t a cricket. I know what a cricket sounds like, and this wasn’t it.  I can actually sleep through cricket noise.  In fact I almost find it soothing.)  This, on the other hand, was a single, piercing, obnoxious repeating noise.  I’ve been racking my brain all day to find a way to describe the sound, but nothing quite captures it.  I suppose the closest I can come is a cross between a click and a chirp.  So I guess it was kind of like a “Clirp.”  It took place, almost without fail about every one and a half seconds.  Sometimes it would stop for a couple minutes, and as soon as I thought it was over, it would start again.



I laid in bed, wanting nothing more than to get at least five hours of sleep.  My eyes closed tight yet seemingly wide open at the same time.  The droning white noise of three fans surrounding my head did nothing to mask the insistent call of the mystery creature.


I tried putting on these great big sound cancelling headphones on (They look like Princess Leia’s hair) but alas, not only was it impossible to fall asleep while wearing them, I COULD STILL HEAR THAT DAMN NOISE!!!  (And all I wanted was to try to obtain 4 hours of sleep.)


I developed a real seething hatred for whatever living thing was making this noise.  It had to be doing it for no other reason than to torment me.  I fantasized about getting my hands on the creature, which I for some reason imagined to be some kind of giant locust, and slowly (yes slowly) crushing the life out of it.  A quick death would not do.  I longed to tighten my fingers around it’s body slowly while it’s eyeballs bulged and eventually it’s exoskeleton cracked, allowing its yellow guts to drizzle out in all directions as it writhed and withered helplessly to the ground.  (And all I wanted was 3 hours of sleep.)


CLIRP!   CLIRP!…………….


DId it finally stop?


Could it be?


So that’s how my night went.  Here and there I would manage to doze off, only to be awakened again to find that only a few minutes had passed.

Eventually I did fall asleep for a grand total of perhaps 2 and a half hours, yet for some reason, as I sit here not writing a blog, I’m not tired.  It may have something to so with the rum that I am consuming, or the fact that I’ve decided at long last to take a night off from contributing a post to my blog, or perhaps it’s the cruel irony that I most likely have to go through it all again tonight.

Also I had to take a drug test today for my promotion at work.  Tomorrow night I have absolutely no intention of writing about how awful that was.


Scary Movies

1 Sep

After a full month of daily blog posts for the entire month of August I almost took a day off today.  I was really going to do it.  But then a very good friend, who is sort of a new friend even though I’ve known her for about 20 years already came to the rescue and convinced me to keep going, so I’m going to try like hell to get something written that I actually feel is worthy of being posted in the next 32 minutes.   (So the thing is I would actually have an additional 4 hours to do this if my WordPress was set to the correct timezone, but at the moment I can’t figure out how to fix it, so I’ve decided to just carry on with a sort of stream of consciousness rant for a little while, and in that way I will be able to continue this daily blog posting one more day.)


To be honest I’m really having a hard time writing anything right now.  It’s HOT.  Sticky.  This sort of weather drains me of my energy, my ambition, and my inspiration and all I really want to do is lay down and go to sleep, but the problem with that is I can’t sleep when it’s like this.  It’s hard for me to come up with ideas.  It’s hard for me to be funny, or even to find amusement in much of anything.  I get depressed.  Irritable. Morose.  It’s hard for me to think. September has arrived at long last, which means there is some hope for the near future, but it still seems like a distant promise, somewhere lingering over the horizon like a shimmering mirage, that continually fades away as you approach it.


I’m not a huge fan of winter either, but I can adjust to it much better.  Another layer of clothes, some boots and a scarf.  Problem solved.  Big deal.  And the best part about winter is I never have any problem getting enough sleep.


October is by far my favorite month, and it’s only a little over 4 weeks away. I live for those glorious 31 days and I wish I could live in a place where it was October all the time.   (Admittedly, in my neck of the woods, even much of that month is a little warmer than I would like, but at least it is usually interspersed with a couple of cool spells here and there.)  There are other things about October that I like in addition to the slightly cooler temperatures. I love the fall colors.  I love the crisp cool air and the smell of burning leaves, and of course, the thing I look forward to most, the one and only holiday I actually celebrate.  The day I look forward to all year long. Halloween!  It has always been my favorite.  You can keep your Christmas presents and your Thanksgiving turkeys and your Fourth of July fireworks as I have very little use for any of that foolishness.  My whole year revolves around October 31st.  For real.


This may have something to do with my love for horror movies.  For as long as I can remember I have loved scary movies.  The interesting thing about that is I never really found them scary.  I just enjoyed them. I was literally obsessed with the idea that there was this dark supernatural hidden world lurking somewhere behind the boring hum drum perceived world that we live our day to day lives in.  The world I longed for was filled with monsters, ghouls, and nightmarish landscapes.  It was a world like the one created by Wes Craven.


As usual I was messing around on the internet before work yesterday which was when I learned of his recent death.  People will always remember him mostly as the guy who gave us Freddy Krueger.  I loved the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, (which were great in their own right)  but my own particular favorite of his came a little earlier than that, in 1977.


 In it a vacationing family of wide eyed simpletons get lost in the desert, and are stalked and killed off, one by one by an isolated family of cannibalistic mutants.  It’s great fun for the whole family and contains one of the most hilarious scenes in all of cinematic history, which involves an angry patriarch, a road map, and a rabbit on the road.  (It takes place about fifteen minutes into the film, and had me laughing so hard the first time I saw it I almost fell off the couch.)

If you want a good scare.  (And a good laugh)  Check it out sometime.  That’s all I got tonight.

August. I came. I saw. I kicked its ass!

31 Aug


With this blog post I have successfully completed my “Blog a Day for the Month of August” challenge. (I…Rule.)

I’ve had an excellent month, though it was one that began and ended with the tragic loss of two of my favorite icons of pop culture.  It all started late on a Friday night, as I sat in front of my computer, drinking and writing a blog, a manner in which I spend many a Friday night.  I began a blog that was meant to be a political rant, but discovered in the midst of it that Rowdy Roddy Piper had passed away, and quickly jumped track to eulogize the professional wrestling legend. By the time I posted it, it was Saturday morning, August 1st.


Another Friday Night and I Ain’t Got No Roddy

The next night I wrote a follow up post, explaining the title of the previous night’s blog.  It was then I realized I might have a chance at a blog a day for an entire month, as here it was only the second day of the month, and I had already posted TWO BLOGS IN A ROW!!!  (A heretofore unheard of effort.)

Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got Nobody

Next I added an excerpt from my journal, A blog about a boring walk across town, and a reblog of my very first blog, which I thought was ok since I had never in fact posted it to my own blog.  (They were all pretty much cop outs, but hey, they were still blog posts, and I know at least one person besides myself liked them.)  Then I crafted what I believe to be my finest fucking blog yet.

Just Another Fucking Blog Post


And followed it up the next evening with an explanatory blog for the previous day’s blogging efforts.  (Have I used the word “blog” enough times yet?  Didn’t think so.)

Profanity is Fucking Hilarious


I then regaled my dear readers with an exciting adventure from the land of the Dollar Store.

Welcome to the Dollar Store, Where you Will Never Find A More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy


After another foray into anti Rescumlican Rantings, I finally got down to penning the tale of my alleged Michael Jackson Puppet Show, a momentous event from my 4th Grade, and one which peers have been pestering me to write for many thousands of centuries.

The Alleged Michael Jackson Puppet Show


After a couple more days of blogging I began a ten day paid vacation, at the beginning of which I announced my intentions to consume no less than 100 beers.  (I closed out at 112, though the chart only indicates 104, which is due to the fact that I drank 8 more after posting it.)  I also committed to writing the tale of the most hilarious game of baseball ever played, went to the dinosaur museum, and wrote an epic five part mini series about my experiences at Cedar Point. (In other news of my tumultuous vacation I added the 1000th CD to my collection, had my biggest day ever for Site views, and took part in a Stream of Consciousness Blog Post.)

Ten Cent Beer Night

Not Necessarily NOT About Dinosaurs Or Anything Else

The Cedar Point Chronicles Part One

The Cedar Point Chronicles Part Two

The Cedar Point Chronicles Part Three

The Cedar Point Chronicles Part 4

The Cedar Point Epilogue

beer count vertical

The sad return to work on Monday did not prevent me from continuing my daily blog posting.  I will admit, the “blog” I posted on the 30th, which was actually just a photo manipulation project, without much text, was sort of a cop out, but what you may not have noticed, even if you’ve been following along, is that I did actually post TWO blogs on August 28th, so I figure it kind of evens out.  I also showed you what my room looks like.

A Rare Glimpse Into the World Of An Aspiring Blogger.


And took part in another Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  This one dedicated to Salvador Dali.



And here at last is my final blog for August, thus completing my blog a day promise, a promise I myself thought I hadn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of accomplishing.  Of course, according to Dante, Hell is actually a very very cold place.  (So maybe he was right.)

And to end August on yet another note of sadness, I found out this morning that Wes Craven, master of horror has died.  The world of horror will never be the same.  Tomorrow night, I think I might write a whole blog post dedicated to him, and my love for his movies, which may very well start me off on the right foot towards the successful completion of a blog a day for the entire month of September, but I cannot and will not make any such lofty promises at this time.


Kim Kardashian To Star in Remake of Goonies

30 Aug




29 Aug


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS August 29/15

Tonight’s SocS theme is “Four Letter Words.”  I’ve chosen Dali.

I checked a book out of the library a couple weeks ago called The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali by Ian Gibson.  Since I generally only read while I’m in the bathroom ( a room I also refer to as “The Library”)  I haven’t got that far through it, but it served as the inspiration for tonight’s Stream of Consciousness post, and I have decided to run with it, literally. (DALI)


I suppose I’m kind of cheating a little already here, because is Dali really a word, or is it a name?  And can a name be a word?  I think it can, especially in a case in which an artist, personality macabre character such as Salvador Dali has turned his own life into a legacy very few have not been touched by?  Who hasn’t seen his haunting image of melting clocks, perhaps his most famous work?  (DALI)


Dali Parton

Long legged elephants, burning giraffes, bizarre twisted insect beings and images vaguely representative of naked women dominate his artwork, which was absolutely brilliant in every way.  Upon being drummed out of the “Surrealists” by other surrealists he responded by saying “I am Surrealism” and he was most likely correct.  Who has even heard of any of those other guys who has not heard of Salvador Dali? (DALI)

Dolly Madison

Dali Madison

He didn’t just paint in a surreal fashion he lived it as well.  And he created so many other things.  Statues, clothing jewelry, films. He built his own museum which eventually became his own mausoleum. He even starred in a couple of hilarious television advertisements and made a guest appearance on a game show called What’s My Line? (DALI)

Dali Llama

The Dali Llama

He was Spanish.  he had a crazy pointy mustache.  He loved Alice Cooper, and a woman named Gala, ten years his senior and they stayed married for 50 years.  He pissed on a painting Andy Warhol gave him as a gift, an act Warhol thought was great!  He did what he wanted.  He was the center of the universe while he was alive, which was from sometime in 1904 until sometime in 1989.   (DALI)

Mohammed Dali

Mohamed Dali

I vaguely remember a VHS tape a friend of mine had called DALI!  Which was a sort of weird combination of bizarre music videos and little bits of biography interspersed with a lot of footage of Dali behaving in the most eccentric manner.  I spent hour on the internet today, trying to find clips from it, but ended up somehow watching a ten minute segment of Bradley Cooper and Jimmy Fallon unable to stop cracking up while discussing a play about The Elephant Man.  That has nothing to do at all with Salvador Dali but I’m leaving it in here anyway because this is a Stream of Consciousness Blog and everything must stay.  (DALI)


In a final attempt to make this bizarre post seem somewhat relevant, I will add that Dali was influenced by many four letter things.  Dada.  Poop.  Butt.  Land.  Time.  Ants.  Gala.



A note on how I did this.  I came up with the idea while reading my library book this morning.  I spent my day perusing videos about Dali, reading internet articles about Dali, poring through my library book about Dali, and doctoring up my own images of Dali.  So I suppose that means I put a little more thought into this than I was supposed to.  But then I just sat down and wrote it in one continuous stream of blathering, and afterwards went through and fixed only the typos. so I at least did that right.  I’m going to tell you that there are some phrases in this writing that I would really like to edit, but I won’t, because that would most certainly be cheating!  (I added the images afterward as well.)


De Ja Vu

28 Aug

My work day today was a different sort of trip all together.  Melancholy, fun, exciting, sad.  It was all of those things.  It was my last full day at the Maple Rd. Plum Market, a place I have worked for 6 and a half years.  It may not sound like much to some people, but it is, by far, the longest I have worked anywhere in my life, and I have absolutely LOVED working there. Mostly it’s because I love the people I work with, but I also really sincerely enjoy doing my job.   For the entire time I’ve been at Plum, and most of the time I was at my previous job (A place called Bello Vino) I have been a buyer, which is, in many ways, the perfect job for me.  Being a buyer involves a lot of different things, such as talking to vendors, using bizarre electronic ordering devices, talking to people on the phone, throwing stock, merchandising product (which is not the same as stocking, by the way) ,messing around on computers, and of course a certain amount of goofing off (which is, of course, a requirement of every job, otherwise what’s the point?)  Basically it all boils down to this:  I get to spend a bunch of someone else’s money!   (And that’s awesome.)


Wait a minute, I think I already said all that.  Oh that’s RIGHT!  I already had my “last day” at Plum Market (Maple Road Edition).  It was two weeks ago today.  Then I had over a week off, during which time (On Wednesday I believe) I was called and informed they weren’t going to be ready for me yet at the new location for another week.  Therefore all my teary eyed heartfelt good byes had been a lie.  “Just kidding!”


But seriously folks, my second last day was pretty awesome.  First and most importantly I got another round of “Good Bye Hugs” from all the cute girls that I work with, and let’s face it.  there’s never anything wrong with that.  I spent most of my 8 hour shift “training my replacement” and since my job really wasn’t ever that hard to begin with, that meant shooting the shit about my favorite movies and music throughout my entire shift, while casually pointing out various methods with which to make the “work” even easier.

I got to leave Plum Market for awhile to go pick up the company van (with which I will be driving myself to and from training for the next couple of weeks)  Ever the conniver, I used this golden opportunity to pick up pizzas and crazy bread at Little Caesars to bring back and share with my co workers, and stopped by a local Kroger where I had noticed several of our shopping carts hanging out a few days earlier.  (I stopped to pick them up with the company van.)  The unruly carts bounced back and forth in the back of the van the whole way, and at one point, when I pulled up to a stop light with motherfuckers tailing my ass the whole way, I became convinced I hadn’t actually closed the back door tight enough, and for sure somebody was going to get a shopping cart surprise through their windshield.  (Unfortunately this did not happen. I was actually kind of disappointed, as it would have been hilarious and well deserved.)


So I had to make do with showing back up to my last hour of work with a shit ton of free pizza for everybody.  (Well it wasn’t actually “free.”  I mean I had to pay for it after all.  But nobody else did.  One person gave me a dollar.   That was awesome.  I used it to buy a candy bar later.)

I did the same thing two weeks ago on my other “Last Day.”  People asked if we were going to have a pizza party on all my “last days.”  I said “Of course we are!”  Alas, I’m pretty sure this was, in fact the last day, as I was officially given the keys to the company van, with which I am to begin driving myself to and from the training sessions for my position in the new store in a couple weeks. (So I guess it’s official.)


I left work at noon, with as little fanfare as possible.  (I’d had enough of that already)  I came home and took a nap on the couch, during which time I had two cats sleeping on me, which I have no complaints about.  (They make good pets, and they make even better blankets)

A few hours later I was called back to have a beer with a good friend I have worked with there for a few years now.  (It’s sort of a tradition.)  I had one of these and it was amazing.


And now i’m back in my apartment drinking White Russians, the drink of choice for the evening.  I plan to continue doing so until I puke, pass out, or die.  (Most likely somewhere in between all those options.)

A Rare Glimpse Into The Private World Of An Aspiring Blogger

28 Aug

I’m getting into the home stretch of my proposed “One Blog A Day For the Month of August” goal, and surprisingly it looks like I may have a chance of actually accomplishing it!  Once tonight’s blog is written and posted I’ve only got three more to go, and here’s a dirty little secret, one of those posts is already mostly written.  (Is that cheating?  Yes… you say?  Oh, good thing your opinion doesn’t matter to me!)


I wouldn’t label myself as an anti social person but for the most part I do prefer to be alone as much as possible.  It’s not that I don’t like people but to be honest it’s very hard to get anything productive done when you have folks hanging around all day, wanting you to “entertain” them. Thankfully this doesn’t happen too much. Sometimes it’s nice to be more or less repulsive in physical nature and almost entirely abrasive personality wise.  In fact, it’s always nice!


So I thought I would share with you the environment in which my silly little blog postings are constructed.  I’m granting you a rare tour of my innermost inner sanctum.  The Sanctum Sanctorium, The Fortress of Solitude, MY ROOM, where I spend the vast majority of my free time. Welcome to “Club Domingosaurus Rex.” (Where the party never ends.)


First of all there is a two drink minimum for any “blogging night.” My 31 day blog challenge may have an unexpected bonus of finally allowing me to achieve my life long goal of becoming a full fledged alcoholic!  (Hooray!)  Many times during my existence I have made valiant efforts at getting drunk every day but have long theorized I just don’t have the willpower.  I mean sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking.  (That’s a heavy cross to bear after all.) Yet for some reason (possibly due in part with my fascination with gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson)  I simply prefer to drink while I write. (And to write while I drink.)  As the booze flows, so do the words, it seems.  Perhaps it is a sort of handicap, but if so it’s one I enjoy immensely.


I almost always turn on all my “party lights” when I am writing.  They help me focus.  I have all kinds of cool shit in my room.  (Some of which don’t photograph too well with my shitty little digital camera, so I’ll just describe them to you.)  I have two lava lamps of differing styles and colors.  I have two spinning police car style lights.  One string of Christmas lights (or as I like to call them “party lights”) long enough to nearly traverse the entire perimeter of my room, two red light bulbs a blue light bulb and a green light bulb, a police scanner, which I like simply because it has a little red light that goes back and forth along the front of it like KITT.  (If you don’t get this reference to a popular 80’s action show starring David Hasselhoff I have very little, if any, use for you. Go back to listening to your Justin Bieber music and stop reading my blog immediately)  To top it all off, the creme de la creme of my collection of party lights: no less than seven black lights.




And as if I needed any more added inspiration, over in the corner are something like 12 THOUSAND comic books.  (And yet, believe it or not, I still kind of wonder why I’m still a virgin. You’ve heard of the 40 Year Old Virgin?  I got that beat.  I’m 41; going on 42!)


All right I’m almost out of booze.  Guess it’s time to call it a wrap and go to bed.  Cheers!

Wanna Go To Cedar Point Today? (Naaaah…Let’s Go Explore Grand Rapids, I Said! It Will Be Fun, I Said!)

27 Aug

Remember when I wrote about the amazing summer my good friend Linnea and I bought season passes to Cedar Point?  (AKA The “Amazement Park?”)   Well here’s another amusing anecdote about that summer.


An interesting thing we discovered after going to Cedar Point several weeks in a row was, it was actually possible to get kind of bored with it! So one morning when I showed up to collect her, it was somehow concluded neither of us felt much like riding coasters that day, so why not go check out Grand Rapids instead?  (Why not indeed!)  Grand Rapids. Michigan is a sizable urban sprawl on the western side of Southern Michigan and was a city neither of us really knew much about, other than it was enormous, (the second most in the whole state of Michigan in fact) and therefore was sure to be littered with all kinds of cool stores in which for us to spend our hard earned dollars.  Ballet supply stores were Linnea’s primary objective, comic book stores were mine, and both of us were interested in thrift stores, used music stores and book stores.   We were quite certain we would find a plethora of such establishments in such a wide spread metropolis as Grand Rapids.


The drive there was uneventful, and actually took just a little longer than it would have taken to drive to Sandusky!  I stopped at a gas station just outside town to get a street map. I was hoping to score a phone book, but struck out on that endeavor. I figured with those two simple tools I would be able to locate all of our targeted shopping locations and navigate an easy route to them. (That was what I thought.) So without knowing a damned thing about Grand Rapids we exited into the business district and from there just started driving around. Our search got off to an excellent start. First we found a cool looking used book store and entered. It was just what a used book store should be: cluttered, dusty and full of books. The store had hard wood floors, few windows, and shelves and shelves of books reaching almost all the way up to the ceiling.  Behind the counter was a friendly looking elderly female clerk who asked if we needed help. (We didn’t.)


 After visiting every portion of the store I walked up to the counter with a large Foxtrot comic strip book. As I was paying I asked if by any chance she had any old phone books she would be willing to sell me. I explained our objectives and she gave me a brand new phone book free of charge!  Just up the street from there we discovered a little used video game store. It, much like the previous establishment, was nothing more than a two story house with a sign in the front window and a little dirt parking lot in front of it. The place had cheap wood paneled walls, like you would find inside a trailer home, and many shelves of old Nintendo and Sega games.  I actually had a working first generation Nintendo and purchased, under Linnea’s advisement, a game called Burger Time.  (I recognized it as having been advertised on the backs of comic books in my youth.)  It turned out to be a pretty fun game, but neither of us could get very far past the third level.


When we left that place we did so with the feeling that we had discovered the Treasure of the Sierra Madre, (whatever the hell that means) and both vowed to return many times. (We never did.) It seemed our Grand Rapids adventure was going well. At this point it was decided that the time had come to consume various foodstuffs. I of course, required a cheeseburger and fries and we drove around for hours discussing and dismissing several options.  (We did that a lot) Eventually we found a place that served Coke and didn’t look too awkward or busy.  (All of which we required)  This appeared in the form of a little family diner in an extremely narrow and elongated wooden building. We walked in and found that there were very few other patrons, which was the way we liked it so we selected a booth and sat down.  (There were little individual jukeboxes at each booth, but they did not work.)  We ordered food and while we waited for it I spread the GR map out on the table between us and began to peruse the phone book. In this manner I found several comic book stores, dance supply stores, record stores and thrift stores and marked their locations out on the map. (The excitement built) We consumed food, paid our bill, and walked out the door… into…HELL.  (Vergil did not accompany us.)

Hot Desert Sun preview image

Up until this point there had been a light cloud coverage which had offered protection from the relentless July weather but when we emerged from the diner all such cloud cover had completely dissipated, and the sun was now beating directly down on us in all its radioactive glory. It may in fact have been one of the hottest days on record in Michigan. The temperature was probably close to 135 degrees, the humidity close to 99.99%, and still our moods were unfazed. We had pocketfuls of money, full bellies, a whole day ahead of us and were absolutely 100 percent certain that somewhere out there, in the sprawling labyrinthine bustle of this place called “Grand Rapids,” there just had to be innumerable shops of varying degrees of awesomeness that had been designed just for us.  (And WHY hadn’t we thought of this before?)


We first headed towards Division Street, which wasn’t hard at all to find. It’s sort of like the North/South Main Street of Grand Rapids.  After investigating (and dismissing) a sort of dingy thrift store near downtown, we soon came across a veritable Mecca of used retail: The Downtown Grand Rapids Salvation Army.  It is three stories tall and has a basement,meaning there were in fact FOUR levels of thrift store shopping enjoyment.  Now what we should have done, in retrospect, was loaded my car up with tons of cool shit, drove back to Jackson, bought a pizza, and spent the rest of our day hanging out in comfort digging through all our new stuff and eating delicious pizza.  We didn’t.  We bought a couple things but figured, now that we knew about this place, we could go back there any time.  (We never dd.)


And so it was that we ended up spending the rest of our precious day just aimlessly driving from one end of Grand Rapids to the other, through blistering heat, infuriating traffic and a seemingly endless array of confusing detours and one way streets, none of which were indicated on the map.  In spite of the difficulty, I did manage to locate almost all of the places I’d marked out, but here’s the thing: they had all gone out of business. Every…Single…One.  And recently, it seemed, as we found, in each location, faded posters of Spiderman, dancing ballerinas, or Led Zeppelin concert posters lingering in the mostly boarded up windows, mocking us.  (…Mocking…Us.) It was like some massive city wide conspiracy set up just to frustrate us.


 At long last I had the presence of mind to pull into a gas station where I had spotted numerous payphones lining the parking lot.  (Remember those?)  I went into the store to buy a coke, so I would have change for the phone.  (As usual, I didn’t want to be That Guy That Just Came in to Ask For Change.)  There were still a couple possibilities left on the list. The plan was for me to call the numbers to see if any of the businesses still existed before continuing to waste our time and gas. I collected my change and headed back to my car, which had no idea that it was about to experience the worst moment of its existence. I pulled up to the first payphone and inserted the requisite 35 cents.  I poised my finger to begin pressing buttons. I said “OK gimme a number.”

L: “What?”

D: “A phone number!”

L: “A phone number for what?”

D: “A phone number for anything! A Dance Store, a Comic Book Store! Whatever!” (Hadn’t we discussed this?)

L: “All right all right. Don’t get violent!” (Apparently I get violent.)

As the number was being recited it was then that I realized the phone had no dial tone.  I was also unable to retrieve my 35 cents.  I kept my cool, however.  I pulled up to the next payphone, which was apparently meant for people to pull up to in large trucks, which meant I had to open my car door, and kind of stand up between my car and the phone. I put in 35 cents and prepared to dial.

D: “Ok give me a number.”

L:  “Huh?”

D: “A phone number!”

L:  “For what?”

D: “…”

A phone number was produced. I punched it in. A voice said, “Please deposit 35 cents” (Even though I had already done so.) I foolishly deposited 35 more cents, The dial tone continued until eventually a voice said “Please deposit 35 Cents.”

And this, my friends was the precise moment when I lost my cool. The first thing I did was send whatever change I had remaining in my hand scattering all across the parking lot in every direction. (Didn’t need it!  Fucking payphones weren’t working!)

I then plopped back into my seat and proceeded to slam the door closed with every ounce of strength in my body.  The door did not open again for several weeks.  At some point (weeks later) I did finally manage to force it open, at which point it would not latch.  (Ever again, in fact.)

Did you know I once had a really nice car?  It was one of these.


From that moment on I looked real stylish driving around in my almost brand new Chrysler Sebring Convertible with the driver’s side door bungee corded shut!

Thus ended our Grand Rapids adventure. We headed towards home. We did find one really scummy mall, where I purchased a couple of For Better or Worse Comic Strip Books, and a stereo cord of some kind that I wanted from Radio Shack. (there were only like five stores open in the whole place. out of what had once been about a hundred.  It was one of the most depressing places I’ve ever been in my life.)

Other than that not much happened. I seem to recall us arguing about a roadside Denny’s on the way back, as in whether or not to go in. (That might have been some other day.)

The End.

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AlyZen Moonshadow

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TBN Media

I like to write about stuff. I usually try to be funny. Take it or leave it.

Michael Rios

Sherlock unlocking the past


This site is about everything from my philosophy on life to the little things that make me laugh. IIt is about living, and breathing, and pausing long enough to take it all in. I hope it makes you laugh, sometimes makes you cry, but always makes you want to come back for another visit. It is your words, and your likes that inspire me to keep writing. And it is through my writing that you have a very large window to my soul. Relax awhile, read, and enjoy!

Be Free 2 Love

Be Encouraged. Discover Happiness. Love Freely.


That's right! I write!

Forty, c'est Fantastique !

La vie est belle !

Mr Tookles

tee hee

The Dependent Independent

TV, movies, books…rants… just trying to put skills to use.


". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Elizabeth Conrad

True stories from a recovering asshole.

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life