Thursday, May 25, 2006

Posted by Mark at 12:38 PM

Thanks, Buddy!

Among the Millions and Millions of My Fans...

One emailed me with some sharing and encouragement! Thanks, Gangsta! It means a lot....

God bless and thanks for reading.....

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Posted by Mark at 5:17 PM

Running Mark Down Over the Past Few Weeks

Things have been very hectic over the past few weeks, been getting subbing in as much as possible, in addition to job searching and continuing to work in political activites. However, there have been some relaxing times. Over the next few lines, I will relate some of what has been going on.

Congratulations, Tony and Justina!

My friend from one of my jobs, Justina, married her man, Tony, yesterday in Covington, KY. I have known Justina for almost 2-3 years now, as we both were brought in as temps at the job we work at. I hate weddings, but I gave my word to Justina that I would come for the nuptials. I don't like weddings because they in some cases remind me of what I don't have--a lover, someone special. Also, I hate getting all fancied up. And, I can't dance. And, since my knee injury, I have been afraid to cut loose, so to speak. Therefore, it was with great trepidation that I met up with another co-worker, Pam, and her family to find our way down to the ceremonies.

Pam's husband Terry drove down in the lead car, with me following behind. If I would have known it was going to be the Brickyard 400, I would have driven my Thunderbird instead of my Sable. Those six cylinders were screaming to keep up with the 8 in Pam's Taurus as Terry swerved in and out of traffic. We survived and made it to Covington, and found the place. Terry and Pam are a great couple, and their children are wonderful and respectful as well. Terry had a singular tie on that defies any explanation other than phallic. I will leave it at that.

Anyway, the entire Burke crew showed up. There was Debbie and her husband. Debbie is a real party girl, and she and her husband had driven to Covington all the way from Oxofrd Ohio to be with Justina. In Oxford, their daughter was competing in basketball tourneys. Anyway, with Debbie and Pam together, the PG rated highjinks are bound to ensue. There was Margaret, the colorful cabbie's wife, as well as Janice, the mild mannered friend to all, and Becky, the fiesty Fayetteville mother. We were a motley crew.

What a great ceremony. Justine was resplendent in her gown, and the music for the ceremony, as well as the early music at the reception, was very classy. The Bride wore a beautiful White gown, and the groom and his men wore tuxes with chucks. It was a lovely time, and it was neat to see coworkers in different ways than the usual time spent in the cubes at work. I love them all dearly, and to Justina and Tony, on their way to Vegas, I wish you all the best, and may your venture coming together be a Sure Thing! God bless you both!

I'm Charlie Freakin Brown

Well, a week or so ago, I was subbing at a school, and their drama dept. was putting on the play, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," based on Charles Schultz's characters in Peanuts. Well, I enjoyed the show, but I grew introspective. I have come to the conclusion that I am friggin Charlie Brown. Let's look at the relevant data:
1. Charlie Brown always lost. So do I. I played for several seasons on a baseball team that won two games in six years. Also, I seem constantly losing ground to others. No matter what I do, I always seem to fall back into last place.

2. Even Charlie Brown's friends belittle him. This is no knock on my friends, but even they are well aware of my losing status. While I do not share Charlie's round head or his choice in wardrobe, my station in life is eerily simliar to Charlie Brown's. I do my best at playing by the rules and being fair, but I still get crapped on. Even my dog laughs at me, much as Snoopy does to Charlie. My friends engage in witty banter about our issues.

3. Charlie Brown was afraid of voicing his feelings. Like Charlie, I am deeply introspective. I keep things to myself. I am also quite shy. There is a girl I have been wanting to say certain things to for some time, but I don't. I don't know why, but I have always been this way. Call it cowardice, cal it shyness. Me and Chuck are screwed up.

4. Through it all, we keep on going. Despite never getting ahead, despite feeling the urge to give up, Chuck and I keep on going. Even though it all seems futile, even as our dogs laugh and our friends do their thing, Chuck and I keep on going, hoping, praying that one day we will actually make that kick, or actually win that game. Why? Call us gluttons for punishment.

Or, Is it George Fn Bailey? If so, where is Clarence?

Who is George Bailey? George Bailey is the character played by James Stewart in the classic film, "It's a Wonderful Life." I feel tied to George Bailey as well. Like the character, I had/have big dreams of riches, adventure, glory and such. Like the character, I put those dreams on hold to stay in my neighborhood. As with George Bailey, things haven't turned out as I had hoped. Things I do don't work out. My family isn't the best shape it could be in. My civic ventures are mixed, and let's just say that the standard of living isn't that great.

Even as this goes on, others around me are doing great. Friends are moving along and progressing. They are moving up and doing well. They talk of me doing this or that, but I have commitments they don't. I have responsibilities. Things happen in my life where I ask the inevitable question: would things be better off without me? What would be so different if I weren't here.

So, I am left with feeling as George Bailey did on that bridge that night. Now, that is not to say that I am considering jumping off the bridge, so to speak. However, the questions he asked are there. And, quite frankly, the answers are not all that great. My impact on the lives of others is either minimal or possibly negative. Whether it be organizations or relationships, I don't see me being what I should be. Some tell me otherwise, but I don't see it. This leaves me asking: where the hell is my Clarence to show me the way? Where is the silver lining? With a crisis going on with my sister, I am left wanting. With my situation not being what it should be, I am left wanting. I keep working the best I can, praying as much as possible, and still my sis suffers, I am useless, and life is what it is.

Again, without me in the picture, what difference does it make? What is the good I have done? I really need Clarence. Someone ring some bells or something.....

Not to say that everything is negative. My friends are good to me overall, my sister is a light from God, but at this point in time, it just all seems like a big waste of time. Maybe I am still just smarting from the primary. I dunno. Things right now are just too much in flux for me. It is hard to explain. Clarence needs to come along, or the ghosts of Christmas, or whatever.....

Well, hate to leave things on that air of negativity, but life is hectic, things are going on, and I have to go. God bless you all and thanks for reading.....

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Posted by Mark at 6:33 PM

Good News, Bad News, and Some Fun Times

First, the Good News

I won reelection as a member of my county's GOP central committee, Ken Blackwell won the nomination for Governor...

The Bad News

A good man, a great candidate, and someone I have come to call friend, Bill Pierce, was defeated by Senator Mike DeWine in the GOP primary last night.

Some Fun Times and Thanks

Last week, I turned 30. Yes, my palm began blinking and it was time to risk the fiery ritual of Carousel (for those of you who don't get it, go out and rent two movies: Logan's Run, then Free Enterprise). I didn't do much celebrating, I am too busy. My friends, all of whom have met that number and advanced, and I had a nice dinner. I got some cards and money. Yippity do, right? No biggie, just another day.

Well, last Saturday I got hoodwinked. My sis and her friend (mine too) Sara engaged in subterfuge and staged a modest surprise party for me. A friend who lives a decent piece away showed up, there were some festivities, and a cake I will never forget.
To all of you--Mary-the first 12 years were great, but the last 18 have been amazing because I have had a chance to watch you grow up, lil Sis, just stay true to God and yourself and who gives a damn what some old farts think;

to Sara--thanks for being there, being my shrink and my sister's shrink, and being a good photographic gopher, and being a friend. Thanks for taking care of Mary and showing her all you have, and being there for her and me...

To Doug, thanks man, it was great having you there. The silver dollar eyes were priceless! I don't think I have seen a look like that since Judge Reinhold and Phoebe Cates in Fast Times. Now you are a member of the club, so to speak. Seriously though, You are a true, loyal friend, and the rest of the guys and I take you for granted and don't appreciate you near enough. You are the silent glue which holds us together, man....

And to Hayley, wherever you are, thanks for an amazing night! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!