Sunday, October 14, 2012


I went early to the YMCA to swim, too crowded as usual, but the worst thing, the lifeguard is playing CLUB MUSIC. First of all, I don't want to hear ANY music while I'm exercising (unless it's my own, via headphones, but you know, you can't do that in a pool!). But I ESPECIALLY don't want to hear club music, with it's thumping, over-prevalent, mechanical base and soulless doodling.

I didn't put on a gold chain and half a bottle of aftershave and slip the doorman $100, I'm at the YMCA! There are no topless dancers and strobe lights, this is a pool! I'm not snorting coke off some silicone tits and pounding double Four Horsemen, I just want to swim some healthy laps! I didn't start the morning with Ecstasy and I'm not slipping GHB into some 16-year-old's drink, I'm wearing a swim cap for god's sake! I'm not trying to snap pictures of wasted celebrities for my other blog, I'm just trying to swim some quiet fucking laps here!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sundy Brunch

So, I went to the gym this morning, the pool... a bit warm, crowded, a lot of people... but okay... but then I got a whole mouthful of water... and swallowed most of it! And I'm thinking, that was just like taking a mouthful of cold human soup. That's what it would taste like! And not too good. If this was a restaurant, I'd give it 5 starts for ambiance, probably 3 stars for service, but for the food... no stars. If you can imagine... kind of like a light cucumber soup more than a borscht, fortunately. But then as I swam more and the pool got more crowded, I got another mouthful, and I'm thinking, this time it's more like an under-spiced gazpacho. Which really kind of grossed me out, but I wanted to keep swimming. But then... another mouthful, and this time, I don't know about the flavor, really, but it had the texture and sensation of an under-chilled vichyssoise... and that was the last straw. I had to get out of the pool.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Fruit Flavored Candy at the Gym

Back to the gym, after a little rest. I like to work out hard, and then rest. Rest is important. Hard workout, then rest 33 days, repeat. So today I'm in the stretching room and there are other colors of exercise balls, so they no longer resemble lemon drops but rather big, ugly, rubber balls. Then I noticed a light blue object that looked like someone left behind... it was a rolled up yoga mat, a fairly thin one. I am constantly seeing women walking around with these things, but never men. I know men do yoga, too...  do they do it on the hard floor? Do they borrow yoga mats at the yoga place?

So... I thought I could easily take the yoga mat, to be my own, but then I figured someone probably left it and will be returning for it. So I was going to forget about it, but something was bothering me. What was it? This yoga mat reminded me of some kind of food... some kind of candy, specifically. Oh, right, it reminded me of those thin, fruity things, that are rolled up... what are those called?

When I got home, thanks to the Internet I was able to look up a search... so I wouldn't have to bother anyone with this. I typed: "really flat, fruity food rolled up," or something like that, and I was immediately rewarded with results: Fruit Roll-Ups! Of course. Kind of boring, I guess. At least in the UK they're called "Fruit Winders," which is a little more interesting. A similar product is "Fruit by the Foot" which kind of creeps me out because it makes me think that the fruit gets flattened by stepping on it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's All True

Too long since I've been at the gym, and I'm reaching Wellesian proportions, so it was back to the YMCA this morning. Everything was pretty much the same EXCEPT there was something odd about the big room where they hold classes, yoga, etc., and you can go to stretch when it's not being used. One wall is entirely covered with a mirror, and as I was doing jumping jacks and wondering if it was maybe a FUNHOUSE mirror-- I'm not THAT wide, yet, am I?-- I noticed what was odd. Behind me there was a huge rack holding those big exercise balls, kind of like the one that comes out of the water in THE PRISONER. Usually those things are various colors, but for some reason, now they were ALL YELLOW! And they looked to me like nothing if not GIANT LEMON DROP CANDY!

The weird thing about this, looking in the mirror as I jumped up and down in front of these giant lemon drops, I suddenly had the feeling that I had been SHRUNK... like The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)-- or smaller! Then I thought about how the YMCA has the PUNS working overtime ("We're Here For Good," "You Already Belong Here," "It's Personal") so maybe this was their new campaign to make people feel like they were "reducing,"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Novel

After spending the last 10 years writing a novel (under a pseudonym, of course!) I realized I might not have ten years for the next one. I cannot go through this process once again of outlining, designing, writing, digesting, and editing. And for what? So it sits here like a giant white dogturd no one wants to clean up, so they act like it doesn't exist. But I can't quit writing novels, because that is what I do. For me to quit could be considered triple murder suicide (me, myself, and I).

Thus my idea for a "living novel" which can be accessed live, online, right now. This is it. Let the historians worry about history, R Speen is interested in LIFE. Obviously, this "living novel" will only be live as long as I am (or I decide to end it [and no doubt start something else, when and if that becomes the case]). If and when I die physically, it would and will end abruptly, as well, unless I am able to contact you, the reader, from the world beyond this one. Last time I checked, there is a lot of disagreement about what happens after you die. If I can somehow continue this, and contact you, the reader, believe me, I will!

The title for this novel: K2

That may change, too. Everything may change. Everything will change.

But for right now, it's K2

Friday, September 23, 2011

Memo to Yahoo

I know I may be the last holdout still using lame Yahoo! email, but I have a good reason: it was my first ever email address, and it's simply my name (without a cryptic number attached to it) and I'm just sentimental and stubborn, okay?

But recently there is a SPRINT AD at the top of the Yahoo page that makes you wait while it loads, or else just freezes it altogether. It's insane. It's maddening. It's just plain terrible.  I am fed up. Maybe it's time for me to switch to Alta Vista.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Interpretation of Dylan at the Gym

So I was at the YMCA working out (been goin' here since the beginning of the year) and my new thing is using an actual POD to listen to music. I tried EARBUDS, but they freaked me out, so I switched to cheap headphones, which is great. I'm pretty much restricted to the Life Fitness Elliptical Trainer because of my arthritic knees, but that is great. In a half hour you get a good workout and sweat a lot.

Anyway, today I was on the machine, following my progress using a graphic of a little mountain which I was making my way up and across (you have the choice between a running track, a mountain, and some kind of landscape that looks like desert island-- this is on a screen in front of you that tells our heart rate and how many calories you've burned, etc.) In my weakass state, I can only climb the mountain like two and a half times in a half hour. So anyway, I'm going along while listening to Bob Dylan's "Idiot Wind," and it got to the part that says, "You'll find out when you reach the top, you're on the bottom." I always wondered what that meant, and TODAY, just as he said that line, my little graphic reached the top of the mountain and then started again at the bottom!

All these years, I've loved that song but wondered what it was about. Now I know it's referring to the Life Fitness Elliptical Trainer! Bob probably wrote the song while working out on one of these things! I may contact the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame about this. Very exciting!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

April Foolz

I always consider April Fools jokes one step below Surprise Parties, and this one was no exception. Imagine my surprise when I turned my calendar to April and it's essentially an advertisement for THIS blog—which I haven't written anything in since March—of LAST year. I was content to let this particular online journal die a quiet, undignified death, but now it's Miss April in some asshole's calendar. I mean, it was bad enough when this Russell guy told me he used my name for his calendar (Ray Speen's Online Empire, or something), but I didn't feel like I should be a hardon about it—especially because he didn't tell me until AFTER he had them printed. Fine. I don't mind helping a guy out who is obviously struggling. But now I feel like I have to write something here, just in case someone who has this calendar decides to look. Not that that's likely, but... whatever. I probably should write something every day this month, or so. No... forget that. I'll write something else though. It's not like I don't have anything to complain about. Though, life here in Mount Erie is generally pretty mellow, uneventful, and uninteresting. That last post I put up is surprisingly long, and I can't remember what possessed me to carry on so. I'll try to get-to-the-point from now on. Also, I noticed that there are no less than 34 comments after it! I glanced at them, and every last one of them is in Chinese—or at least I think it's Chinese—one of those languages that you can't even kind of figure out if you don't read it. Probably talking about how good looking I am, but I'll never know. Maybe I should delete them all. Not that I'm one of those "English only" fascists—but come on—if you can read the post, why not comment in the same language? Well, whatever. I guess that's why they call it the World Wide Web. Or maybe they don't call it that anymore.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I Just Wanted To Watch That Dumb Video You Sent

I just wanted to watch that dumb video you sent, you know, the funny one about the cat who is acting like Hitler? He doesn’t know he’s acting like Hitler, of course, because he’s a cat, and I didn’t think it was that funny because Nazis aren’t really that funny, or maybe they are, but I think it compromises the dignity of a cat to suggest he looks like Hitler because cats would never do something like commit genocide. Or maybe they would—I mean, eat humans, if they were big enough—maybe it’s just a question of scale—but I’m sure MY cat wouldn’t eat me. Maybe the cat that hangs out by the trash cans would eat me. But regardless, cats wouldn’t discriminate according to race or beliefs, though maybe they would discriminate according to taste, since as we all know, cats can be discriminating eaters. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about at all...

I couldn’t even PLAY the dumb video you sent where the cat is acting like Hitler because my WEB BROWSER no longer supported YOUTUBE, where the video was being HOSTED. It said I needed to download a new web browser (for free), so I attempted to, but then I found out that my OPERATING SYSTEM does not support the new web browser and I needed to download a new operating system (NOT free) which I tried, but was unable to because I didn’t have enough RAM or SCRAM, so I figured it was time to go to the computer store and take up this matter with someone at the Genius Bar. When I bought this computer, I complained, a few years ago, the sales guy said that “Those NASA boys sure wished they had this bad boy when they were working on the Moon launch, instead of slide rules and Texas Instrument calculators.” He promised it would be relevant at least until we colonize Mars. The guy at the Genus Bar told me that was just sales talk, and what I needed to do was add more DDR SDRAM, though that might be difficult because my DIMM was being occupied by a SPY MODULE and KEYSTROKE LOGGER that had most likely been installed by the men in trench coats I discovered in my apartment that day who claimed to be exterminators sent by the landlord and had to open up my computer because cockroaches liked to live in there because of the luxury of the heat generated, as well as a fan. Though I thought cockroaches liked food and water, I didn’t argue. They WERE carrying cans of RAID (as well as side arms), so I didn’t worry about it again, but now I’m thinking that maybe this explains why every screenplay I write seems to wind up in Hollywood in a slightly dumbed-down form before I even have a chance to polish it. The man at the Genius Bar said he couldn’t remove the Spy Module because it was like removing those tags from a mattress, and he wanted to “keep his job in this economy.” He said that I needed a faster PROCESSOR anyway and suggested that I buy a NEW COMPUTER, which would solve all my problems, and I could even get a new printer for free (with a mail-in rebate) which I’d need because the new operating system wouldn’t support my old printer that works great (the only printer I’ve ever had that works great). If I still had credit cards I would have bought a new computer, but I recently filed for bankruptcy and all my credit cards were cancelled. So I lugged my old eMac home, and I think I developed a hernia (on the other side from the one I just had surgery for). It was not a good day, but then someone on a random street corner was handing out cards about working for the Census. Maybe I could fit in another job with my current $9 an hour job and make enough for a new computer. The Census job wouldn’t be permanent, of course, since they just do it every ten years, but that’s what got me thinking about trying to get a job with the CIA, since keeping an eye on people like me is a fulltime, permanent job. In fact, I could just keep an eye on myself (who better, I even know what I’m thinking) which would increase efficiency. Along with a POLYGRAPH test, they asked where I saw myself in 20 years time, and I said still trying to watch this funny cat who acts like Hitler video, thinking some humor might serve me well in the interview. Then I said, “You know how when you have a vacation... and when it’s over—on the morning you are going back to work—you say, ‘Where did that vacation go?’ I saw myself in 20 years time—if I was lucky to be alive—sleeping in a doorway or on the stairs to the subway, saying, ‘Where did my youth go? Where did my health go? Where did my life go?’” They then told me they required a college degree to work for CIA—though I could have lied about that because they never check—but no matter, because I didn’t pass the polygraph test. It seems that they had determined—using the polygraph test—that I was UNABLE to lie. And being able to lie was something they required for the work they were doing. I nodded, having to agree (I mean, what could I do? Lie and say I was able to lie, and actually WAS lying, and in fact was so good at it that I fooled the polygraph test? These thoughts had brought on a vicious MIGRAINE). So I just said thanks for your time and left, still carrying my eMac, until I could find a discarded grocery cart in someone’s trash with a compromised wheel, and I limped on home on my arthritic knees, thinking about how my whole problem was how I BELIEVED all the lies I’d ever been told—from the computer salesman all the way back to childhood, and the lies of history, and the lies about George Washington and the cherry tree, and sayings like, “Honesty is the best policy.” If I would have only been able to say, “Thanks for the funny video about that cat who is acting like Hitler, I watched it and it brightened my day!”—instead of going through all this that I had gone through trying to actually WATCH the video—I would still have this day—which is now over—in front of me. Because, you know, it’s the first day of the rest of my life.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

With Friends Like Me You Don't Need Bill Collectors

I came across my former hideout on the "Big W" -- and to my shock and surprise... well, coming across it was my shock and surprise! I hadn't written anything since February? Could that be? It very well could be, and February 2008!!!

The fact that not a single person reminded me of my absence gives me a pretty good idea of how many loyal readers I have. Oh, well. At least I know I'm not personally responsible for the waste of time otherwise wasted elsewhere.

And how long has it been since I've been to the gym? Is that why when I lean over to put on my sandals something gets in the way, and it's not...

Enough of this. Like you need this. You've stayed away this long. Go back to your online Jenga.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Bally Total Ripoff

I have refrained from writing anymore about my gym because it just sounds like complaining. It sounds like complaining because it is. No one has patience for that, not even me. But apparently I was the only one who didn't know when you went in to a gym for one of those "free trial memberships" they turn you over to the car salesmen who manage to rope you into a two year contract you can't get out of without a lawyer. I knew I was being swindled, but I guess I didn’t care-- though I’m not sure why I didn't care. I guess that's why they’re car salesmen. Because they can sell you something you know you'll be paying for even after you don't have it anymore. In my case it was that swimming pool. I wanted to swim! He said, "No one's ever in the pool." I guess that was the truth if you didn't count all those swimmers, and the dozen or so Russian ladies who are ALWAYS in the pool, and the fraternity splash parties.

Still, I was optimistic. When I saw the guy eating the sandwich and loaf of bread in the shower, I was thinking things would go well. And if the pool was busy and the hot tub was being cleaned (and you were GLAD it was being cleaned) you could always go in the sauna. Except the sauna was colder than the room outside the sauna. That simple observation is usually a good sign that something is wrong. A sauna may be a lot of things, and come in a lot of varieties, but one constant is that it's supposed to be hot. If you can store meat in it, that's usually a bad sign.

Anyway, I've moved now. I'm still paying for the gym, but I have the option to chose one here in Mount Erie, where I've moved to. We'll see. I haven't found one with a pool yet, but seeing how the transit system here is good-- I mean it has to be-- up and down the mountain, endlessly-- I'll keep looking, when I'm not looking for a job that is.

Monday, February 04, 2008

What do I (heart) more than the geese?

I just have to say: I (heart) Pep-O's with all my love!

Monday, September 17, 2007

More Geese

I was riding my bike to the office in the semi-darkness by the lake and about five geese flew in and landed next to me, way less shy then usual, but also not honking aggressively. I went right by them, inches away, and they looked at me, and I said, "My friends, the geese!" They smiled, as geese will do when in a small group like that.

Just then, I saw a young man and women out running, and I nodded to them, smiled, and said "hi"-- a little embarrassed that they had just caught me talking to the geese. They didn't smile, however, or even change expressions, looking straight ahead, focused on whatever goal it was they were intent on. Overcoming pain perhaps? It seems like most runners are really into pain, and I get the idea that is has something to do with being able to steel themselves for bloodthirsty conquest in the corporate environment. I'm generalizing, of course, put I really feel like runners should at least try to LOOK like they're having more fun.

Of course this is Milwaukee, where strangers don't smile at strangers, and there is a clear delineation between work and fun. Work is what you do at the office and fun is what you do at the bar after work. Maybe I'm being too harsh-- maybe those people were just shocked to see a man riding a bike at six a.m. with Jesus hair and an Amish beard talking to the geese. (I'm just kidding! I don't have an Amish beard!)

God help me that I don't have to get a temp office job in Milwaukee! It was bad enough in Portland-- where they seem to have invented the phrase, "Have at it." But here, I can only imagine the horrors! The humorless office managers named Pat (woman) and Chad (man), starting work at 7 am! (It's a lot different writing this at 7 am then going to an office where everyone has arrived punctually with Starbucks cups, and someone has been assigned to bring in two dozen donuts from Pic'n'Sav.)

Oh my god, I'm having a nightmare and I'm not even sleeping! I said GOD twice, and I'm not even a religious man (despite the Jesus-hair). Will they make me wear a Green Bay Packers jersey on casual Friday, with a the number "4" on it? How can everyone be #4? What if I was to wear a Mark Chmura jersey and ask my co-workers how old their daughters are? Would any of them think that was funny?

To end on a positive note, it's a beautiful morning, and I got out before most of the Monday traffic. A crazy old guy who was fishing by the art museum said hi to me!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I (heart) the Geeses!

First of all, that "heart" in those things ( ) means LOVE. Written in this way (heart) it represents a heart symbol. I don't know how to make the symbol, or if it's possible on this program, so I'm writing it this way. If it were to be a heart symbol, however, it would mean LOVE, and not "heart" as some people seem to think (as with that kind of recent crap movie, what was it called, "I (heart) Wackabees" or something. They used a heart symbol, which was nice, but everyone VERBALLY said "heart" instead of "love." You don't see one of those bumper stickers with the dogs and say "I HEART Springer Spaniels" do you? You say "love!" So I don't know why, with this movie, they started saying "heart" when it was supposed to be "love."

That said, I also have to add, it gets me really angry when people complain about the Canadian Geese shitting everywhere. (I'm assuming these are Canadian geese, I'm no expert.) They do leave rather large turds about, but they are big birds, look at them! And it's not like WE (humans) don't shit. We've got this big, beautiful lake on our shore, here in Milwaukee, and we can't swim in it! Why? Because WE SHIT IN IT!

That said, I just want to say how much I love the geese! There are like a million of them hanging out in Veteran's Park right now... this huge expanse of green grass, and great hoards of these HUGE, crazy looking geese everywhere! It's like, if you can imagine this, a giant field populated with hundreds of cats!

Friday, August 31, 2007

My Life is a Roast!

I recently made extra keys to my apartment for a couple of people who were to feed my fish and water my PLANTS while I was away at Burning Man. I have a simple lock that uses those most common of all keys, the K keys with the three holes, you know. No trouble EVER getting keys made. So I went to Brady Street Hardware, got two made, it's 50 percent more expensive than it used to be, but everything goes up right? --except pay. I kept the receipt, just because ONCE, long ago, I got a key made and it didn't work. So I got home-- and the keys didn't work. The next day I went back and told them... they asked if I wanted my money back. If they had asked if I wanted my TIME back I would have said yes! Indeed! But no, I still needed keys that worked. So they made two more—AND… they still didn't work!

Meanwhile, I bought a TAPE GUN at OfficeMax-- the brand was DUCK (as in duck/t tape, get it?)-- which I know is a huge luxury, but I tape up a box now and then, and I hate using clear mailing tape without a tape gun, okay? So I took that home, put tape on it-- it didn’t work. It just folded the tape on itself, jammed-- completely worthless. So I thought, maybe it's the tape, so I got a different kind. It still didn't work.

SO then I went to a lock shop and had THEM make the keys. More keys than I needed, but what could I do. I needed them. I asked the lock guy why BSH keys might not work. He said there is a different kind of key maker-- perhaps newer?-- that is like a cartridge or something-- and those keys sometimes don't work. I guess that's why the price went up. Anyway, I went home and these keys worked.

Then I took the tape gun back to OfficeMax and said, It doesn't work. A guy working there pointed to one he had been using, or trying to, and said, I know! I hate those things! He gave me a refund. That was easy. But I still have no tape gun.

And I still had two faulty house keys. I took them back to BSH. I figured-- third time-- three strikes and you’re out? Or third time's a charm. Which would it be? I got the keys made again, took them home, and... they worked! So now I have two extra keys, about fifty thousand dollars in credit card debt, imaginary fish, no friends, an ulcer, and several hours less to live on planet Earth.