Random Thought of the Week: Deer Knuckle

Random Thought of the Week:  I should open a men’s underwear and “sexy-time” store named Deer Knuckle.

Follow the train of thought:

I was out biking and went past the store Moose Jaw.  That started with the thought I should start a store to go head-to-head with them.  I could call it “Deer Hoof”…but then I thought hoof was too benign…how about knuckle.

But damn, I don’t know anything about camping gear.  How about…men’s underwear? And sex gear?

Yeah…and I’ll call it Deer Knuckle.  Yeah.  That’d be hot.

And this is a testament to how my mind works.


Taking The Next Step!

Hello friends,

So life is trudging along, as it always does for me.  I suppose I shouldn’t use the word trudge. It actually moves along swiftly, and somewhat erratically at times as well.  I take it all in stride, and enjoy the fact that I live a life that isn’t “common”…that I can’t say with any certainty what my life will look like in 12 months…either good or bad.  I like that.  It can cause some stress and trepidation, but it’s the life that I’ve lived for so long, I really wouldn’t know how to do anything differently.

And with that in mind, I must announce that I am taking the next step in my blogging journey.  I am beginning a new blog. The title of this new blog is “Reflections of a Chicago Life” and it will be a part of the ChicagoNow blogging community.  ChicagoNow is the subsidiary, if you will, of a major newspaper here in Chicago.  Furthermore, it is the next natural step in my quest to eventually be a “professional blogger.” I don’t mean professional as making a living off of blogging, but if anyone was willing to pay me $10 a month to blog, I would feel like John Grisham!

Have no fear my friends, if you’ve enjoyed “Off The Beaten Path”, you will enjoy Reflections of a Chicago Life.  I can assure you you’ll find all the same things, and wide range of topics, that you found here.  I encourage you all to hop on over there, and subscribe immediately.

In addition, my Instagram and Twitter accounts will not change, and will be the same that are accessible from this site here.  I also have a Reflections of a Chicago Life Facebook Page.

I hope you all will embark on this new leg of my journey with me.  I promise you that you won’t regret it.  I may update here from time to time, if a topic goes far outside the scope of what I feel comfortable posting at ChicagoNow, but 99% of my blogging for the foreseeable future will be done there.  Thank you all so much for your continued support, and friendship.  We’re making big moves friends.

Indiana. A Defense.

This is an awesome article written by the brother of a friend of mine. Definitely worth the read if the ongoing issues in Indiana have caught your attention.

artful fund raiser


Of course this whole hot mess is President Obama’s fault.

2008 was the first time since Lyndon Johnson that a Democrat took Indiana. By running here, by showing up, by playing the ground game county by county, the President won this state comfortably in 2008. It was a beautiful thing.

The President chose not to run an Indiana campaign in 2012, perhaps to save money, perhaps because he had already the election won on the day Brother Romney prattled on about the Taker 47%, perhaps he wanted instead to coach his daughter’s basketball team. Had the President mobilized the troops, it would have mattered. Our State Director of Education Glenda Ritz got more votes than Mike Pence in 2012, as a proper fire-breathing liberal, and the Democrat John Gregg rallied late and didn’t lose by much. It wouldn’t have taken much to swing it the other direction.

For whatever reason…

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So You Want to Be a Storyteller?

Doing a Moth Story Slam is on my bucket list. So glad I came across this post! Awesome!!!! Hoping I’m able to put some of these suggestions to good use in the future.

Sam S. Mullins: a blog about anything

Really? Even if people won’t want to date you ever again for fear that you’ll one day talk about them on stage? You’re sure?

Okay. Welcome aboard.

Here’s a cheap glass of wine. Where we’re going, you’ll need it.

I’ve got to tell you – I think you’ve picked a great time to get into the story game. I mean, with the success of storytelling podcasts like The Moth, RISK!, Definitely Not the Opera, Snap Judgement and This American Life millions of people are now aware of the phenomenon of modern storytelling. Just about every city in North America now has a regular storytelling event, and there seems to be more opportunities for storytellers than ever before. For raconteurs like us, the getting has never been good-er.

But before you start speaking your heart into the crackly microphone at the local roti place’s storytelling event (at which no one is there to actually hear stories [they’re just there…

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I craved you!

Came across this, this morning. Encapsulates many of the thoughts I had while writing “Flower of Beauty”. Get out my head man.


I dreamt of a smile,
A lingering laughter in those lips,
An edge with wetness in your teeth,
A joy infectiously calm in your heart,
I dreamt of your smile.
I dreamt of the quietude,
The ease of each breath in my lungs,
The giant steps my heart leaped into,
The memory of your sweat in my pores,
The certainty in the strides of your thighs.
I dreamt a place so new yet familiar,
Of fleshes, emotions and ecstasy being one,
I dreamt of you.

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Jackie Robinson West

I’m composing this as I stand in the blazing Chicago summer (finally) sun. I’m standing in the grass of Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the centerpiece of Chicago’s famed Millennium Park. I’ve come here this morning to enjoy in the parade and second rally of the day of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team.

Don’t know about JRW? Go pick up today’s copy of the Chicago Sun Times…they are promintly featured. They are the Little League United States Champions, losing in a good game to the Korean team. I watched about 20 mins. of it.

Now everyone wants to say they knew the champ when he was nothing, that they saw the streaks of greatness even before the season started. Well, I’m not one of those guys. I don’t follow Major League Baseball, let alone little league. I don’t even think I noticed their story until 1 or 2 games prior to their championship game.

So why am I here?

Because this is history in the making. If my understandings are correct, JRW is only the 3rd Chicago team ever to win the Little League U.S. Championship, and the first all African American team to do so.

More importantly, they are a success story for Chicago. In a day and age when Chicago gets more bad press than Charles Manson, this is a chance for Chicago to be spoken about in a pleasant light. And frankly, they are doing way better than most of the Chicago sports teams.

…and everyone is here. Black, White, Northside, Southside…it’s amazing seeing Chicago come together…and these kids have to be buggin’ out!












Naked with BikeRackTO

Saturday June 14, 2014 is the Eleventh Annual Naked Bike Ride Chicago. What better way to remind you as to share the photos from this beautiful young lady. I encourage you to check out her blog, To be a slut (http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/19255285/)…and get ready to come on out for the ride. This will be my third year.

The other day I went and did a naked bike shoot with the awesome folks who started BikeRackTO! (I’d Tap That did an interview with them which you can read here)  and yes, it was a tid bit nipply out, but so much fun! Get in touch with them through their twitter to get involved with this incredible project!



bike8Photo credit: Ren Bostelaar


Bike Disclaimer: Had gone to visit the guys who run this awesome project just to say ‘hi’. We got to talking about how I loved biking but due to the recent move back to the T-Dot hadn’t yet had a chance to get a bike amongst all other things to get. The Bike folks had an old spare in the back they let me use after I ensured them that even though I didn’t currently have access to a bike, I frequently walked everywhere.

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Under Pressure

:: cue copy written baseline ::

Throughout my life, I’ve usually been able to rise to the challenge set out in front of me. That often meant taking the rougher of multiple roads, but I’ve never been much on living just to live. I want to rise up to a higher plateau.

Now, not to offer the perception that I’ve had an extremely trying or storied life, but when I needed to, I put in the time, work, elbow grease, desire, perseverance, or plains old cajones…whatever was needed to get where I wanted to go.
When I joined the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, I was the worst player in the ensemble. But I told them I would work the hardest, and I did. 2 years later we were world champions.

When I joined the Army, my ass was made of cookie dough. I rose to the challenge and did 9 years…well.

When I deployed to Afghanistan, I didn’t let the place get the best of me. I smiled every day, and I did my job well, and I made it home.

Today, is the first time I can recall that I feel like I can’t rise to the challenge ahead of me. Work is wearing me down. I feel like it’s an uphill battle that I ‘m losing a day at a time.

I love teaching. I really do. My first 3 years were fine. Far from perfect, but I enjoyed them. I can’t recall the last day of enjoyment I had in my classroom this year.

One of my bosses told me recently that I was an extremely engaging teacher, etc etc. I don’t feel it though.

I shouldn’t dread going to work.

Today I looked into rejoining the military. I’m gonna talk to the recruiter in a week or two. I’m trying to look at all my options and keep an open mind. Perhaps I need a change in scenery.

I’m starting to fear that CPS is a slowly capsizing ship.

:: sigh ::

Hoping tomorrow is a brighter day.