the lists


Looking through my pictures for something else and I stumbled upon some vultures that were looking at me through some glass like they knew something I didn’t. This was from the Texas Motor Speedway trip and I was on my phone facing that direction when I happened to look up. They are a lot bigger than they appear in that picture. Big enough to freak someone not used to the sight out a bit. That photo kind of sums up my mood today.

I got an email to the old stupidtom inbox about yesterday’s post that got me thinking. The author who wished to remain nameless asked if I got along with anyone I used to work with and my answer is YES. There are some wonderful folks out there in the world that I dearly love and worked with. The problem is I never get to run in to any of them out of the blue. It’s always the assholes that show up like a pebble in my shoe.

I start out sort of liking everyone but it doesn’t take much for me to slide a name into the other column. I should explain. It’s basically a 4 column internal system. The first one is labeled Friend. That one is the hardest to attain and it usually means that we have battled together and you have shown yourself to be loyal in some way. Something as complex as having my back in a tough situation or as easy as listening to me and my crazy and not blabbing whatever you heard all over the office. Friends are few but its a high quality list.

Next up is Just Met and as you can tell by the title it is self-explanatory. Everyone lives here until I get a peek at what I determine is the real you. From here you can move one of two places. The first is Other. Other is where most people exist. You are my coworker, I neither like nor dislike you, and you are in a constant state of evaluation which is not necessarily a bad thing. Once you burn me in any way you shift to the final column labeled Enemy.

Some enemies know they are there and others don’t. An enemy has crossed me more than once or proven themselves loyal to only themselves. I don’t even have to be the injured party. If you screw with one of my friends you are now my enemy. This can mean everything from me smiling at you but never trusting you to actively campaigning for your demise. Its a complex knot of snakes up in my skull and I try to bring some order whenever possible.

This brings me back to the buzzards. I had definately crossed them in some way and I could see in their eyes there was no coming back. I can only home that they die before I head back some day. Anyway, to answer the asked question I have like and even loved past coworkers but for some reason the ass hats always seem to seek my attention. I know that didnt really answer it very well but it is allowing me to cross it off my equally screwed up mental To Do list not for nothing.

off the road


Last week in St. Paul signalled a brief rest and as I ran in to an old friend over the weekend the topic of that city came up. This dude was always a bit of a tool and has no idea that this nonsense exists so I don’t risk offending him anymore by writing. We hadn’t seen each other in more than ten years when we worked together and it turns out that we both ended up in jobs with a bunch of travel.

He asked where I had been so I mentioned the scenic but obviously challenged sibling half of the Twin Cities. He had been there once so we went back and forth about no one seeming to live downtown after dark and the human habitrails only selling things in the morning and afternoon. When I mentioned that my company was based there the conversation took a turn.

His is based in New York and this moron thought he was delivering a shot by comparing the two metropolitan areas. My mind began to wander because I could not comprehend anyone talking about these two parts of the country in a comparison situation. The look on my face must have given away my internal consternation because he immediately became defensive. “What, I suppose you’ve got something smartassed to say about St. Paul being better?”

It turned out that he had some different memories of our time working together and apparently I was not one of his favorite coworkers. Once the yoke of pretending to be nice was taken off of my shoulders I felt free to be me again. Oh, I should also mention that me and this fella were not the best of friends. I was being tolerant and friendly as to acknowledge a previous relationship willing to forget old feelings in a spirit of water under the bridge. His words instantly burned the bridge so I felt it was my job to blow up the pilings.

“What flavor of fucking asshole would compare St. Paul Minnesota to New York New York? You are the exact same douche just ten years older and the chip on your shoulder is turning into a Dowager’s hump. Holy Horseshit could you tell me about your super cool car next?”

He didn’t even say goodbye.

I do so love running in to old acquaintances.

Weather god

It’s hard for me to have a bad day that begins with a big and tall weatherman.

There’s just something about seeing one of your people breaking through the sizeist barrier on local media.

And don’t you dare think that single industrial strength button fastened is a mistake. That my friends is a power move that screams MY BELLY IS A MIGHTY AND UNCONTAINABLE FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.

I’m never around long enough to see if this specimen is allowed to interact with the rest of the news team but I would bet it’s nothing short of majestic.

Figure it out

I do a lot of people watching as I make my way through airports and today was no different. I figure if you take the time to put on a pithy saying then I for one will read it. I always try to smile even if I don’t like or get the joke. Everyone wants audience appreciation.

Today was no different and as I was on the Terminal 1 people mover I noticed an odd one coming toward me on the opposite belt. As everyone walks this decreasing my overall read time I needed to concentrate and this one looked like it would be a puzzler. (Please take a deep mental breath after that horrendous run on sentence)

A middle aged woman with bolt on enhancements covered in a tight white T-shirt that appeared to have a stop sign over each asset. When she got close I read “STOP STARING AT MY TITS!” As soon as I read it my eyes shot up to the face above and I wasn’t even faking a smile.

She just looked at me with a disgusted disapproving scowl. I looked away as we passed but then I got pissed. I consider myself relatively enlightened and I in fact work with a lot of women who feel less than in the workplace. But it’s hard doing battle with human nature.

The trap was set as soon as she squeezed herself into that shirt I was just one in a long line of stupid men to step in it. These are confusing times for someone trying to do the right thing. My brain is in a pretzel.

And while I’m voicing my confusion, what in the hell am I supposed to do about an obviously expensive necklace with diamonds refracting light deep in a cleavage canyon? The people who wear those outfits have to know how low the shirts are cut and where the focal point of the jewelry lines up.

If I were to sew a diamond encrusted broach to the fly of my jeans I would be pretty pissed if eyes weren’t landing on my junk. I need to ask the pound sign me too people for a list of guidelines because I have things that need mental sorting.


A midlife crisis is a thing not just an excuse for questionable behavior. My own is a little odd which makes it just about perfect for yours truly. I don’t want a sports car or vehicle of any kind. In fact if I had throwaway money I think I would buy a pickup truck and one of those Can Am Spyder reverse tricycle things which would fit nicely into the back of my luxury 5th wheel toy hauler not that I’ve put any thought into it…

Nope, my current conundrum revolves around simplifying my life. Boiling it down to bare essentials and seeking out a little more living. The rut in which I find myself is getting deep and I fear it might become inescapable in just a few short years. What in the hell is a boy to do?

This is brough to you buy a gentleman I met in the United lounge as I traveled home this weekend. We were both flying on a Saturday which is never a treat and then you add in the extra spring break traffic and it equals lots-o-asspain. I had almost five hours of flight time to endure and he was going for a six-hour ride so seats at the bar were in order as to cut down on unnecessary refill steps. We were both more than two hours early for our flights. I tell you all this to explain that we got a lot closer than the average airport alcohol related encounter.

We began with what situations found us traveling alone on the weekend and it ended with me learning he was premier 1K which means he flies a little more than 100,000 miles per year. This is more than double my average so he is essentially a weekly traveler. He is a monster earner (Googled job title at his company) and lives in a huge house (his description) in New Jersey and he hates every aspect of his life.

I spent the majority of our talk trying to find something he might like but he had a salty retort for every point I brought up and I was having conflicting waves of good and bad feelings about the whole situation. It boiled down to the fact that he was great at his job to the detriment of all else. That one hit a little close to home. Plus the more I drank the higher I held the hand mirror of self-reflection and I didn’t like what was coming in to view.

We parted ways with him telling me to get the hell off the road and me advising that he make a list of all the good in his life and carry it around in his wallet for occasions such as these. Aside from getting inside my head and scrambling my eggs this new friend had me rethinking my airport drinking. For every beer I enjoyed he put down a double vodka rocks, three olives on the side. The only reason I noticed is when on a mission of any kind as I was then, I tend to drink at a robust pace. That dude must hate his liver.

So it has been an existential couple of days and I’m getting ready to hit the road once again. I’ve started a rough plan but there are so many variables that I need to get all thoughts on paper first. I am writing this in fact as a way to disconnect my brain for a couple of minutes so I can continue on with that exercise. I am currently overthinking everything right now which is a volitile state of being.


The craft

There is a mentalist performing at the front of our meeting and it’s taking everything I’ve got to not scream BURN THE WITCH. His name is Lior Suchard and I watched a couple of his videos on YouTube. There’s something about witnessing his voodoo up close and on people you know that ads an element of amazement with a side order of fear.

I’m serious here this stuff is freaky. I’m sure it’s a little like magic meaning if you knew exactly how it was done it wouldn’t seem so special. Except I can’t shake the feeling that even if he told me I couldn’t pull it off unless he also revealed how I might hook up with the dark forces that could grant me that power in exchange for my eternal soul.

Putting a pin into the become a mentalist idea.


Dude next to me was a complete tool the entire flight and even managed to piss me off in his sleep. When the captain announced that we were descending he pointed at my closed window shade as if to order me to open it.

I complied and then promptly proceeded to put my phone to the plastic and turning my upper torso blotting out the entire view. Even as we hit the tarmac I was looking out the window as if I were watching the most compelling thing on earth.

He and I are never going to be friends.

I’m on the 40th floor of a brand new hotel so sometimes this travel thing is not so bad. Seattle is a pretty city and it is easily in my top 25.

The herd of homeless is one of the largest I’ve ever seen. I think it’s a bunch of outdoors folks because they all reside in tents grouped together in camps. Makes sense for this part of the country but it’s stuck in my head and I’ve got questions:

  • Are there more tents here than the rest of the country?
  • Do people donate more tents out here due to the sheer amount of tents and overall tent usage?
  • If you live in a tent are you homeless or camping?