"" bshawise: August 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dr. Jackson

Have you met Miss Jackson? She's some dog. She grew up on the mean streets of Clifton biting rocks and splashing around in our slime-covered toilet. She christened my first post-college apartment by eating the vinyl kitchen floor. I remember coming home seeing the shredded floor and just staring at Miss J. dumbfounded. I wasn't even mad. Large portions of the vinyl were gone.
Not only did she destroy it she ate it. She's hardcore. What I didn't know then was this was her first display of her clairvoyance. A month after this incident the water hose on my washing machine broke. I got a call at work from the super saying my apartment had a flood. They found water pouring thru the ceiling of the recently-vacated apartment below me. My exposed, vinyl-less kitchen floor worked as a sponge sucking up the water and sending it downstairs instead of throughout my apartment. Miss must've seen the future. She swallowed all that faux tile to save my Value City furniture.

Early this morning we realized that she is also a psychic doctor. Don't let the staring-out-the-window video fool you.

I have the diabetes. This means that from time to time my blood sugar goes dangerously low. When this happens in the middle of the night weird things can happen because the confusion of hypoglycemia combines with a half-awake dream walk.
Kind of hard to explain. But for example, in college, I woke up low and stumbled into the kitchen. I pulled out milk and a box of HoneyComb but didn't know what to do after that. This sounds made up, but I fell to my knees and started crying because I didn't know how to make cereal. That same year I had a "dream" that I had to find a granola bar before leaving the house. I "dreamt" that I was digging thru a closet certain there was a bar of granola under the countless boxes. I never found it. At some point I woke up feeling like somebody punched me in the face. I was lying underneath an ironing board upstairs in the spare bedroom. Boxes were everywhere. So was the iron that fell onto my face. I grabbed my nose (the pain nucleus) to find it covered in blood. I still have the scar to prove it. That iron was centimeters from turning me into a pirate. All that to say, late night low blood sugar is a weird thing. Sometimes it ends in seizures and wild interactions with EMTs. That's a whole different post. I got some stories.

So today at 6am I woke up low. I went into the bathroom and stood there. I woke up because Miss Jackson pressed her nose into my face. Then, as I stood in the bathroom confused (classic sign of being low) she ran back and forth from the bathroom to Leah. Leah got up, brought me some juice and our hyperactive dog followed. As I sat on the toilet (pants up) drinking the juice Miss Jackson instantly calmed down and rested her head on my feet. When I "woke up" we realized/put it together that this has happened the past three times I've gone low in the middle of the night. Miss wakes me up and then runs around all hyper until I'm eating or drinking something. Then she goes back to sleep. Psychic endocrinologist.

It makes me wonder how many times she did this when I was living by myself. If I think back to those midnight cereal-eating and juice-guzzling adventures she was always standing two inches from me. And I think for more than just the spilled Fruity Pebbles and Oreos. She's seriously been saving my assets (double meaning intended) for years and I've never really given her credit. Maybe I should give her a bouquet of vinyl and rocks. Something that shows her I care. She's some dog.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Linked Lovelies

I'm guessing a sausage commercial? Here's my guess at the script...

"There's only one thing I hate more than sunshine. Unlinked sausage. Look at this lasso of meat. A naturally-encased, locomotion-shaped treat. Do the right thing. Buy these Linked Lovelies. With cash. Today."

I dare you to write a better script than that gemstone.

Moving Words

If RainMan were a designer...

It makes sense why this is such a classic doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Someone took a picture of my dream....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Family Affair

When Paul, Lee and Ben were growing up their dad sold pocket knives at the county fair. They spent their summers digging half-eaten elephant ears out of the trash and making fun of 4H kids for "loving" their sheep. Paul grew up much faster than his brother and sister. He left the fairgrounds for fashion design. Lee excelled at team sports and went on to captain her community college softball team. Ben never abandoned his thievery. He made friends with guys who borrowed things off the back of trucks and ships. He opened up a shoe store. Eventually his brother and sister joined him after their post-secondary exploits ended in expulsion. Paul for plagiarism. Lee for fist fighting. They're far from the county fair circuit, but only in geographical terms.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Scream

Just went on a bike cruise (sans camera, unfortunately) and saw a parking lot full of ice cream trucks. A treat fleet if you will. I bet there were over 30 yellow trucks. It completely wrecked my whole ice cream truck world view. All these years I thought normal people with extra big hearts tricked out their box trucks for the good of humanity. I imagined burnt out accountants who gave up their cubicles to chase their dream of becoming a summertime Kris Kringle. Men and women who cash in their 401k so they can refrigerate bomb pops and cruise down the road cranking "Do your ears hang low?" from broken speakers over and over and over and over and over. Nope. It's a giant machine controlled by the Man. The drivers might as well be delivering pizza or driving cab. They don't care about humanity eating ice cream-filled hope. They didn't even leave a cubicle. I don't know what to believe anymore.


This past weekend we had 460 candles on stage. Lit. I was amazed by how many people said things like, "What are you gonna do if the fire alarm goes off? Did you talk to the fire marshal, the fire marshal is going to arrest you and shut this place down. What if we all die?" People worry. They jump to the worst possible scenarios and give those fictional musings legit consideration. Which causes them to not try things. Maybe I'm naive or too wet behind the ears, but I don't relate to this kind of thinking. I can't tell you how many times I had to answer this week, "If the fire alarms go off we'll figure it out. If the fire marshal shows up I'll talk to him. It'll be fine, trust me." And it was. Nobody died. Except Mr. Worrywort. But he'll be back tomorrow. He's an invisible, invincible cockroach sneaking around whispering in people's ears. I hate him. Bad.

(in other news check out the 110words blog. new stories. fun times.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Deer Hunter

The other day a deer family strolled through our neighborhood. Single mom, two kids. The dad, missing, probably at the local salt lick reliving his latest run in (literally) with an El Camino. "So I go down, boom and the guy jumps out and tries hoisting me into his tiny car-truck. Can you believe that?" Lick. "He grabbed my horns. Nobody grabs my horns except the old lady, you know what I'm saying? So I kicked him in the moustache and ran back into French Park."

Seeing those deer tip toe down the middle of my street made me think of time travel. What if the flux capacitor teamed up with a foreign exchange student program and made it possible for ancient visitors to spend time with us here in the present future? Crazy right? If we had a pioneer named Caleb (circa 1860s) staying with us when those deer rolled up it might've looked like this....

Leah: "Brad, there's deer in our front yard!"

Brad: "By golly." (I'd be talking old fashioned to make Caleb feel welcome.)

Leah: "Oh my gosh!!!! Look at the little babies!"

Caleb: "KILL EM!"

Leah: "Caleb! Stop!"


Brad: "It doesn't...we're not allowed to just kill stuff, Caleb."

Caleb: (staring blankly) "A month's worth of food is playing hopscotch in your front lawn. Quit hornswaggling and get your gun."

Brad: "I uh...yeah, I don't have a gun...Caleb."

Leah: "We have all kinds of food in the fridge, Caleb. Are you hungry?"

Caleb: "If someone doesn't get me a gun in two seconds I'm gonna cuss."

Brad: "I seriously don't have a gun, Caleb. I'm sorry."

Caleb: "Suffering succotash."

(I couldn't think of any old fashioned cuss words)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Disco Biscuits

Have you heard this radio ad? Every time I hear it I am impressed by the comprehensive list of drug slang put together by these clever ad wizards. So impressed that I took two minutes over lunch today and wrote em all down. They are worth admiring as you listen to the ad.

Mexican speed balls
Wiffle dust
Lid poppers
Space cake
Shabu shabu
Disco biscuits
Zig zag
Courage pills
Hippy flips
The yayo dank
Jive poppers
Hawaiian sunrise
Nose nachos
The browns
Facockta drops
Racehorse charlie
Carnival barker bumper blips

Aztec Warrior

Monday I was out on a bike ride. I was cruising up and down Cincinnati's countless hills when I saw it. On the porch of a pretty typical, one-story brick home was one of those Aztec tiger demons. I'm sure you've seen them. Huge nostrils, forged in hell, sit on porches and protect families from..... sweeper salesmen? I'm not really sure. They're distant cousins to this screaming dragon. Anyways, what made spying the stoney hellprince so noteworthy (to me) was that it was in a relaxed position. It was sprawled out on its evil stomach with his head propped up on his paw. It looked like he was just out on the porch reading Archie, taking it all in. He was not standing at attention. His powerful talons were not gripping the ground waiting to deliver death. He wasn't guarding the house from anything. He was two minutes away from drifting off into a devilcat nap. I half expected to see a concrete goose waddle out with lemonades. Seems like if you're going to make the call to put Aztec dragonpets out on your front porch you can't have it both ways. Either they're the intimidation police warding off eviler spirits or they're not. Lounging nostril-tigers send mixed messages. Unless it's a trojan horse thing and the faux nap is all a big rouse to keep sweeper salesmen relaxed until it's too late. Well, then you're taking the neighborhood watch to a whole new level and I have to applaud you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here's a link to the video I spoke of last week. It was as intense as I hoped it would be. Old ladies were bobbing their heads.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bounce wit me wit me wit me

In heaven there are natatoriums full of elephants bouncing on trampolines.

In other news, Leah and I went to our first Bengals game last night. We sat in the Kimberly Clark suite. Ate free food. Drank free drinks. Urinated in private urinals. It was pretty great. I am always shocked when I attend sporting events by the number of grown ups wearing jerseys. I have issue with this for some reason. Puberty seems like the logical cut off for jersey-wearing. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles should hand you a driver's license as you hand them your oversized, overpriced mesh tshirt. They'll donate them to kids stuck in hospitals. Somebody pass a law.

In other other news, 110words posted its first featured stories. There are many of you who I expect to join this experiment. Check it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Love the Nati

Went for a bike ride last night (cardio) and brought my camera (art). So my cARTio excursion was healthy for the mind body and soul. (see what I did there?....eh?......eh?) Grrrr.

One of the numerous things I love about Cincinnati is that every neighborhood is different. In this particular 'hood you could grab a beer at Lefty's, buy a used car from a 40 ft. tall indian and admire the birthplace of high society's favorite spirit, Gilby's Gin, all within a couple blocks. Beat that, Disney World.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I want to invite you to join an experiment in short short fiction. I'm sure there will be numerous kinks to work out. But we'll figure those out as we go. The "how it works" section on the weblog should explain it all. You'll probably recognize the parameters of the experiment. It's a little of what I do on this weblog. Click here. I think it could be a lot of fun...

Together We Rise

So I found this song the other day.

My friend Craig and I are going to take said song and produce a video for this weekend at VCC that will be in the same style family as this Nike commercial. The idea (you'll need to listen to Rise in order for this sentence to make sense) is that if we believe in Redemption coming at us from another dimension then we'll rise together and fight injustice. The purpose of the video this weekend is to counteract the apathy that can result from the overwhelming injustice broadcast on the evening news which combines with a brand of inactive, blind faith that passes social responsibility to an omnipotent God. Ironic that faith in an all-powerful God can cause inaction when the all-power happens through our action.

If you have photos of people rising up send em my way. We'll toss em in the video.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Hosted my first creative writing workshop tonight. I think about 35 people came. I said that I felt like a tee-ball coach hosting at coaching workshop but that I had keys and the ability to turn the lights on at the field so we could all play. And that's exactly what they did. One of the exercises involved this photo of the Gert Johnnys. They wrote about these characters (names aren't actual). They laughed as they listed their likes, dislikes, fears, superstitions, ambitions, etc. I walked around and heard some pretty good ones. My new friend Isaac decided that Patrik has worked in the stock room at Sears for four years. Feel free to add your own observations. It's a pretty fun little exercise.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Look

My insecure friend made fun of me for being a designer who has a generic blog look. I'm sure he made some clever comparison like, "a designer having your blog look is like an irishman having pacifist leanings." Instead of giving him the much needed hug he's been aching for since childhood, I made a few changes. We'll see how it goes. I may turn into that flake who constantly changes from goth to prep to jock to guy who wears capri pants. Or wait....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

aug. 7

Leah and I were married four years ago today. I have many thoughts on this fact. I think I'm going to wait until dinner tonight and share them with my wife, however.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hound Doggery

Bassets are like the lazy cousins of hound dogs right? They probably close their eyes and waggle back and forth to this song. "This is my jam, man" they say at family reunions. Their hound dog cousins get all self-righteous and racist. "You AIN'T a hound dog." The bassets correct them, "You ain't NOTHING BUT a hound dog." They both think the other is dumb but for different reasons. Meanwhile the dachshunds are hogging all the potato salad and Canada Dry. I've seen it a thousand times...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bears On A Submarine

This would be the shortest, bloodiest film in the history of motion pictures. It would fade up with Samuel L. sitting on a submarine chair, smoking. P.W. Herman would walk in say, "Hey! You can't smoke in here!" Samuel L. would say, "Oh yeah, Turkey? You got something else you'd like to do?" Then he'd slowly look to the right. Quick cut to the snarling mouth of a blood thirsty bear. Screams of death. The end. Text would fade up-

"On October 21, 2007, Barnabus (the bear) tragically broke loose and actually ate everyone. His trainer was shocked. For two minutes. Then he also got mauled. The footage you just saw was actual. The blood....actual. We lost a lot of great men and women that day. And Paul Reubens."

Then for the next 120 minutes the credits, or more appropriately, the memorial for the cast and crew would roll. Bob Dylan would sing some garbled, depressing folk poem that would sound like he recorded it from the stomach of Barnabus. They'd show black and white behind the scenes footage of the cast reading their lines. It would end with Samuel L. reading, "Take that, Turkey......(long pause)... Bear" and the cast, in their sweatpants and baseball caps would just laugh and laugh and laugh. Oh the ironic horror.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mr. One Eye

Mr. One Eye sits in Bruno's office staring at black and white photos of former welterweights. He listens to the punching bags slap against their plywood ceiling. Grown boys with mouths full of rubber are hurling garbled insults. Bruno is yelling. Intelligibly. He calls the young fighters names like Poinsettia and Tinkerbell. He encourages them with phrases like, "Go back to secretary school, Poinsettia" and "Float back to Neverland, Tink. Peter Pan needs his nails done." Mr. One Eye thinks Bruno is pretty clever despite never meeting him.

Bruno stomps into his office. He wipes his forehead with a thick terrycloth towel and sees Mr. One Eye. "What the hell do you want, Cyclops?" Mr. One Eye pulls his notepad and pen out from his spandex pocket. Bruno pours a seltzer water, no ice, and says, "You deaf, kid?"

Mr. One Eye finishes writing and holds his pad up. "I WANT TO FIGHT FOR YOU." Mr. One Eye writes in all caps.

"Sorry, Telescope. I don't train the handicapped. Didn't you see the sign outside?" Bruno unabashedly refuses to be around people in wheelchairs. They depress him.

"I'M NOT HANDICAPPED." Mr. One Eye stands up and lifts each knee up past his waist. He leans over to write on his thigh. "SEE."

"Yeah, lovely knee bends Mary Lou. How about you somersault out of my office. My seltzer's getting warm."

"I CAN FIGHT." Bruno just stares at him. Feverishly he writes again, "JUST GIVE ME A SHOT."

"You have an eyeball for a head, kid. Do you own a mirror? You're very strange looking"


"Well..... both of my eyes find you very frightening."


"Exactly, exactly. What the hell you mean, Monocle?"


"Hell yes they do! You have a giant eye where there should be hair and ears and a mouth! And you wear spandex. I mean....I'm sure you're a nice kid, but c'mon....you're a freak."


"When they call you a freak?"

"WHEN THEY STARE." Bruno considers this while Mr. One Eye writes again. "I HAVE A NASTY LEFT HOOK THEY NEVER SEE COMING."

Bruno takes large gulp of seltzer, sets his cup down and shouts past Mr. One Eye, "Get your gloves on Tinkerbell. We're gonna have an old fashioned fairy fight."

Friday, August 1, 2008

Few of My Favorite Things

My first favorite thing: Making her laugh.

My second favorite: Her making me laugh. (just this morning she told me I'm like a 16 year old girl just starting to drink coffee. I guess putting chocolate syrup in your morning jolt makes you Miley Montana)

My third favorite thing: Getting a rise out of her. (She hates those Solar Shields. I love that she hates them. It makes me want to buy even bigger, more ridiculous sun slayers. I spend a good chunk of nearly every day saying and doing things that get her fired up. Secretly, she loves it. It may not make her short list of favorite things. But I know it's on there somewhere.... probably #49 right after #48- repetitive reminders to pick up my shoes and newspapers)

How great is her smile though? Every day I take that in.