Archive for the Art of Man Category


Posted in Art of Man on May 5, 2014 by theerivs


by Christina Georgina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann'd:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.


The Brightest Star

Posted in Art of Man, General Life with tags , on November 22, 2013 by theerivs

They say that the bright star burns out faster. Jim was a bright star indeed. Whenever he came into a room it was lit up. His friends loved him, and he loved his friends. He would go above and beyond every single time. Jim passed away a few days ago, and he will be dearly missed.

So many stories to share about Jim. We had such great times together. I met Jim while working at Governors State University, and back in those days even though I had some great friends there wasn’t many back in those days. We had many adventures together, and I’m going to share some with you. First I want to tell you that Jim was there for me every single time. I remember I had a birthday and told a bunch of my friends from back then that I was going up to Bourbon to celebrate. The only one who showed was Jim. That day he earned my friendship, and I hope he realized I was his.

One of the stories with Jim put me in the legend category. He was having a party, and I brought my traditional bottle of whiskey. I didn’t know many people there, but as I put the bottle down on the table a party goer asks me, “You going to drink that whole bottle?” I reply, “Yep”  He goes, “I’ll give you a hundred dollars if you chug that bottle of whiskey, and not puke.” Being the whore I am I said of course I would do it, we hammered out some minor details like I couldn’t puke in an hour, and I had to actually chug it, no breaks.  Well without thinking any more about it, I chugged the whole thing like a champ. Ever see Animal House where John Belushi chugged that bottle of whiskey, same thing. I got very sick that night, but Jim looked over me. Making sure I got food in my belly, and just making sure I didn’t die. He didn’t have to do that, but he did.

Another tale of Jim is also legendary. One night he just purchased a new Nissan Xterra, and we were drinking at Dendrinos at 4am. He turns to me, and goes, “Lets go offroading”  Me being the person I am replies, “Fuck yes”. So we find a spot and we’re offroading in this brand new Truck. We are going up and down hills, conquering the terrain, then we go up for a jump….SPLASH! Right into this murky morass. We’re stuck. Though try as we might we’re stuck. We call one of our friends with a truck, and tow straps to get us out. He didn’t answer cause it was 5am at this point, so I  call my brother who I knew was up. My brother picked us up, and we got a few hours of sleep. Then we got his truck out of that swamp. That truck was never the same after that.

Then there was the time we took a class together, and we had all the answers to the tests, and homework. The teacher never changed anything so we cheated big time. We got the same grades on everything, and we had the same answers but we decided to bomb some stuff so the teacher didn’t get to suspicious. At the end I got an ‘A’, and he got a ‘B’. He was pissed. He would rant and rave about how we had the same grades, yet I got an A.  What can I say the teacher liked me more.

There are many, many more stories I could share but I would be here all day.  Jim was a good guy, and his death hit me hard. I always felt bad for him because his life started to go south, when his marriage failed, and his career faltered. He kind of shunned me when that started happening I think because he wasn’t happy, or maybe was ashamed, from a mutual friend I heard he changed, and turned to the bottle. No matter the case I wished he knew that I never stopped being his friend, and I don’t give a fuck where you are in life, my friendship is not based on how well you do in life. As long as I have a roof over my head, so do my friends.

Jimmy, I’ll miss you buddy…take care wherever you are.

Honor, and Respect

Posted in Art of Man with tags on June 4, 2013 by theerivs

Today is my Grandfather’s 90th birthday, technically is not of my blood. My Grandmother divorced before I was born, and remarried this man. Let me tell you of this man.

When I was 5 or 6, He would chase trains for miles, just because I loved seeing Cabooses. He taught me a great many things like how to rollerskate, and to have a good sense of humor. I remember at Halloween, I would stay by his house, and he would bang a wall to try to scare me, or do something goofy.

The man loved me like I was his own, and he was always there for me through thick or thin, never judging me.  So I will always be there for him.

Happy Birthday Grandpa, I love you.

September 11th, 2001

Posted in Art of Man, General Life, River with tags , on September 11, 2012 by theerivs

A day my generation will never forget, a day that changed America. I remember I was actually on a job interview at Moraine Valley Community College, talk about bad omen. I remember the interview was stopped by this commotion in the hall, me and the interviewer went  out there, and there on a TV we both watched America change, our security as a country crumbled. As some Memes say, Shit just got real.

Of course the rest of the interview was cancelled, and I was kind of in a dreamlike state when I went home. The footage, the aftermath, the stories. All had a surreal effect to them, but a very heartwarming side to it. To see Americans banding together for a cause, no matter who you are, or were that didn’t matter at the time. We were Americans.

The sad thing now is that feeling is lost, we are each others throats over this election, everyone has their own agenda. It’s sad that it takes a tragedy of that magnitude to realize we are one nation, under god.

September 11th, Never Forget…who we are, what we are, where we came from, and where we need to be. God Bless America.

High School Football

Posted in Art of Man, General Life, River on August 8, 2012 by theerivs

One of the things I truly miss are my High School Football days, even though I hated school with a passion. The practices were rough, and at the time I hated it alot. There are things about it I loved, and still love to this day.

1. The Camaraderie – It was like a brotherhood, which some bonds still remain today. When you bleed, sweat, and cry together it creates these bonds, and whenever I see a fellow player it’s like we never stopped being friends. I remember it was 2-a-day practices in the boiling late summer sun, and we were running an ungodly amount. I was the last of the team to finish, and i thought I was going to die, but there’s my whole team cheering me on, there is no other feeling that I could compare to it…but just awesome.

2. The Recognition – Now I’m not saying I lack in friends these days, but back then I was known for something I did well, instead of being just a guy you see in the bar all the time. Also being in the paper a few times helped feed my internal attention whore. Nothing compares to walking on the field at night, with the lights on, and a crowd cheering you, and screaming your name.

3. The Purpose – I am not really the leader of men, I am a damn good follower. The Coached gave us goals, and I endeavored to reach those goals. Every child I think needs this sort of structure, alas when the structure was gone and I was left to my own devices….let’s just say I went a little nuts.  My Coach wanted me to lose weight to become faster, and stronger, In sophmore year I was pushing 380lbs, by the time senior year hit I was 275 of lean, mean monster. Couldn’t of done that without  purpose that the coaches inspired in me. I ended up winning an award senior year as most improved player.

4. The Aggression – I got to release all my problems and woes on my opponent. The brutality of the game channeled my aggression in a way that was safe. My team was called the Titans, and I felt like one when I entered the battle. Hitting other players with full for force, or taking the blows defending the other players from harm. No matter how angry I was at the world, by the time practice, or a game was over, I didn’t have any of it. I remember at practice though, me and the other biggest guy of the team would square off, and just the crack of us colliding together was deafening, like two monsters of old going against each other…truly epic.

5. The Fun Times – Wasn’t all hard work, and brutality. Had some great times, like when me and fellow football players would goof on each other, or hang out. I remember a bunch of us going to a teen club, and just having a great time, or having one of the players toss a party. I remember a couple of african american teammates invited me to a party, and I was the only white guy there. That was a different experience for sure.

To this day, when I hear someones son is going into football, or is in football, I smile and envy them a little, cause I know it’s going to be one of the best time of their lifes.

This to shall pass

Posted in Art of Man, General Life, My demons, Philosophy, River with tags on July 5, 2012 by theerivs

So they say. My dad will need dialysis, though it sucks and it will be hard for him. It’s better then his other option….dead. I was watching him sleep, breathing hard yesterday. It strengthen my resolve to get the gastric bypass, I do not want to end up like him. So the pain of gastric bypass, and the trials and tribulations will be well worth it, if in the end I don’t end up having to do dialysis…or worse.

As for my mother, she looks better then she did, but she is still grossly underweight, and her hands are still shaking, and she is still not 100% mentally there. I gave her a birthday card yesterday, she looked at it for about 10 minutes not understanding what it said, in the end I read it.  Ginny brought her a card with a buff guy on the front, My Mom said it looked like me. I told her she keeps talking like that, she’ll never get out of the hospital.

As for Ginny, it was really nice of her to bring my Mom a flower, and a card. I don’t hate Ginny, I really don’t, and perhaps I am being a little harsher then I should be. I feel I must. I want her to be happy, she says she was happy with me. If she was happy I don’t think she would of acted out the way she did, and said the hurtful things she did.  I know she loves me, and cares about me. She accused me of not feeling about it. There are nights I cry thinking over it, and this decision will haunt me for a long time.

Am I making a mistake? Most likely. Will I regret my actions? Most assuredly.  Then why don’t I suck up my pride, and just forgive her, and take her back. Yet again it goes back to my father. Ginny reminds me alot about my mother, a kind gentle woman but there is a streak of selfishness there. My mother left my father over money. After years he spent trying his best to please her, and give her whatever she wanted…she left.  It nearly destroyed my father.  For 8 months I worked to make Ginny happy, but it was never enough. If she truly loved me she wouldn’t of done some of the things she did, not just the exploding at me. The hanging out with all dudes, or going on that bike run. There are certain things a woman in a committed relationship should not do, if she didn’t realize that, then she is selfish.  I WILL NOT end up like my father. So I have to bid her farewell, if she for one moment treated me with a little more compassion, and understanding. Instead of flying off the handle saying some hurtful things, or done things that gave me grief, then we would still be together.

Will I find love again? Will my parents be ok? Will I have the strength for the Gastric Bypass?

I don’t know. I am a slave to fate….but all these troubles will pass. and a new set of problems will arise. it’s the way of things.  I don’t have a Chaos tattoo on me for nothing.

Here I Go Again On My Own

Posted in Art of Man, My demons, River, Stupidity with tags on June 26, 2012 by theerivs

I had to break up with the one I love. It was very hard because I love her to death. I won’t go into details, but when I needed her love and compassion the most, she only gave me pain, and heartache. I thought she was the one. I thought she was my last. She proved me wrong. I bare her no ill will. I wish her the best, and I hope she finds happiness. Does it hurt? Yes more than you can imagine, but then again pain and misery I felt so much in my life at some point you just become numb to it.

My mother is in the hospital again, and this time it isn’t good. It’s hard to visit her because she is delirous, so much so she is in restraints, and to see someone you love in restraints is enough to drive you to anger. When I get angry, bad things happen. I swear I’m on a knives edge, and about to toss someone out the fucking window at the hospital, but my Mom is only on the second floor, that person won’t get hurt.  I found out Friday that they found Cancer in her colon when they did the operation to repair her messed up colon. They have to run more tests to see how bad it is, they can’t right now because she has to heal from her operation.

Meanwhile I have to spend nights at my mothers, because my stepdad is in such bad shape, he can’t be left alone. I am having a rough time sleeping there, and thank God I can run World of Warcraft off my Mom’s computer, only thing that is keeping me somewhat sane. I have a little resentment towards the fact that the duty falls on my head, but my nephew stepped up one day, let me recharge my battery. I used that day to visit friends, and thank god for my friends. I had so many laughs Sunday, it really did do me good. What will happen to him if something happens to my mother, I don’t know. I really don’t.

Well as bleak as things may seem. I know that this too shall pass, and I’m quite stocked up on whiskey at the house so that’s a good thing


One of the Saddest Things in Life

Posted in Art of Man, General Life with tags , , on April 26, 2012 by theerivs

One of the saddest things in life is finding out how many lives someone touches after they pass. You don’t know yourself, but when you pass you see all these people come forward to say they miss you, and how you touched their lives.

Dave was a bouncer at Teehans, almost same time I was a bouncer at Blue Iguana, when I did visit Teehans, Dave always had a handshake, and a smile waiting for me. Over the years we became friends, sure I wasn’t a close friend, but when I saw him we would talk, and share some time for awhile.

My best friends mother passed, and I went to the funeral. There was Dave sitting on the couch of the funeral home. I was like what you doing here, he knew one of the nieces to my best friends mom. I was shocked another moment when I realized the earth really wasn’t that big after all.

I knew Dave wasn’t feeling well, he had problems with his liver. I didn’t know the severity of it, hell I just seen the guy at Teehans a few weeks ago. He passed of liver failure, and to see the outpouring from his friends, and family is a testement of what a nice guy he was.

I hope he can see Facebook Statuses in heaven, cause there were some real touching ones. Take Care Dave, I’ll miss ya.

Strange Dream

Posted in Art of Man, General Life, Religon with tags on April 11, 2012 by theerivs

I usually don’t remember my dreams, but I had a wierd one last night and the strange thing is I remembered it.

Ok this is what I remember…I was sitting in a kitchen. It was the kitchen of the house I grew up in. I hear a doorbell. I answer the door, at first I don’t see anyone there, then I look off to the side a bit. There is my old friend Tony. Tony is one of my oldest friends, but alas he past away a long time ago. He looks the same as he always did, wierd thing is in the dream I kind of knew he was dead, but it didn’t phase me.

So I invite him in, we start talking about our fathers. I mention how I worry about my father now that’s he’s growing older. Tony is worried to, and says he looks in on his father from time to time. We sit in the kitchen, and I ask Tony why he was here. He goes, ” I got something for you” . He hand me two little signs saying something I couldn’t make out what they said. I looked at him, and said, “I don’t know what these mean”  He goes you will when the time comes”

Then that’s the end of the dream, but it’s killing me to find out what the signs said. Were they some warning of doom from the other side, or did I eat something that didn’t agrree with me.  I guess I’ll never know.

There is no normal life, just life

Posted in Art of Man, General Life, My demons, Pure Insanity, River, Stupidity with tags on January 12, 2012 by theerivs

“There is no normal life, just life” – Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday from the movie Tombstone.

One of my favorite lines from a movie. I would love for once my life was normal though. To be married, a good job, kids….that isn’t my lot in life. My life has been anything but normal…jail…mental institute, college, every job known to man, love, hate, death, and pain. I seen it all.  Any man who says he doesn’t have regrets is either a simpleton, or a fool.  I have legions of them.

There are times I curse God, Destiny, or whatever power that has been guiding my life. I haved begged those same powers for release of these chains of whatever fate they have condemned me to. I have fought, and rattled these chains to the bursting point. The sad thing is at every greatest tragedy of my life, at the heart of every regret, there is no God to blame, fate had nothing to do with it. In the dark hours of the night as I lay in bed, or I look myself in the mirror I know who the enemy is, I know who, and what to blame for my failings.

That person is me.