Monthly Archives: December 2011

I’d Like a Refund

Part of the Phone Calls to Julie Series.

Ring, ring…

WP: Hello, WordPress technical support, this is Julie, how can I help you today?

ME: Hi Julie, thank you for taking my call, I’m terribly concerned… and I’d like a refund.

WP: Ummm… okay sir… what are you concerned about?

ME: Well, I’m concerned that I haven’t become famous yet.

WP: Excuse me?

ME: I’m concerned that I haven’t become famous yet… and I’d like a refund.

WP: What do you mean, you’d like a refund?

ME: I’d like a refund.

WP: Is this the guy from Brown Road Chronicles?

ME:  Yes, yes, do you remember me?

WP: Ummm… how could I forget?  Anyway, what do you mean you’d like a refund?  A refund on what? The WordPress service you’re using is free.

ME:  Oh…. ummm…. well… uhhh…

WP: SIR IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH? We are very busy today. Lots of people have time off this week so there are a lot of bloggers that are writing and need technical assistance… and the phones are ringing off the hook.  Now, what do you mean you haven’t become famous yet?

ME:  See, with 2011 coming to a close… well I’m reflecting…

WP: Reflecting?

ME: Yes… I’m reflecting… on the past year. See, I started my blog about a year ago… and I thought I’d be famous by now.

WP:  Sir, I’m pretty sure that the first time you called me, I told you that most bloggers have this delusion that they are going to be famous authors someday, when in reality the majority will just disappear eventually.

ME: Oh… you did? Well, I’m not just any blogger, I write Brown Road Chronicles.  Have you read my blog yet? It’s very good!

WP: Yes… you’ve mentioned that before… but, no sir, I have not read it… WordPress now has over 400,000 blogs, I can’t read them all.  Unfortunately… you haven’t disappeared yet… uhhh… I mean… uhhh… why don’t you just tell me what’s going on.

ME: Oh… okay… well, one of my first posts last December when I started actively writing was my New Year’s Resolution…

WP:  And what was your New Year’s Resolution?

ME: Well… to become a… Famous, Ripped, Best-Selling, Rock Star, Amish Furniture Maker.

WP: Uhhhh…. a famous… what?

ME: A Famous, Ripped, Best-Selling, Rock Star, Amish Furniture Maker.

WP: What does that mean?

ME: Uhhh… which part?

WP:  Oh… nevermind… so, how’d that go?

ME: Ummm… well, I didn’t really accomplish any of it…

WP:  And… so you’re concerned that you’re not famous yet?

ME: Yes… yes… I thought by writing this blog, I’d be famous by now.

WP: Sir, I… uhhh… noticed all those things in that New Year’s Resolution are kind of… ummm… well, they’re kind of… how do I say this nicely… ummm… VAIN!  Well, except for the… uhhh… what was it… the Amish… uhhh… wood worker…

ME: Amish Furniture Maker…

WP:  Woodworker… furniture maker… whatever… they’re all kind of vain… anyway, why do want to be famous?

ME: Uhhh…. I don’t know…

WP: And what do you want to be famous doing?

ME: Uhhh… I don’t know… I’d like to maybe write a kid’s book someday.

WP: Sir, perhaps in 2012 you should just focus on work and writing and your family and whatever else is important to you… and… well… you know… maybe stop trying to be famous… you know, if you work hard, good things will come… and frankly there’s probably more important things to worry about than being famous.

ME: Oh my… there is?

WP:  Well of course there is… your family and your friends and your career and your contentment and spirituality… basically just focusing on the things that make you happy. What’s that quote “Life is a journey, not a destination” or something like that? Well it’s true… and if you enjoy writing… well, then keep writing. Perhaps in 2012 amazing things will happen. Besides, I’m looking at your stats page and it looks like you have a bunch of subscribers that read and comment regularly on your posts. I’d say you’ve achieved some small level of fame right there!

ME: Oh my… I sure do love my subscribers… they’ve become such great blogging friends! So you’re saying I don’t need a refund?

WP:  SIR, PLEASE STOP IT WITH THE REFUND!

ME: Oh…  I’m terribly sorry… well, okay I guess, I’ll take your advice… you’ve always helped me out before.

WP: That’s my job sir… is there anything else I can help you with?

ME:  No… thank you so much for all your help… I look forward to speaking with you in 2012.  Happy New Year Julie!

WP: Happy New Year to you too Mr…. ummm… Brown Road Chronicles. Good luck in 2012!

Click

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the folks at BROWN ROAD CHRONICLES.  I asked my family to get together with me and make a little Christmas carol video. This is what we came up with… yes, there’s a few bloopers included! Please take a few minutes and watch the whole thing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed filming it… yes, we laughed A LOT!  To all of you subscribers and readers, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your loyal support and more importantly YOUR FRIENDSHIP! It is valued more than you understand.  I hope you have a wonderful and magical day with your family and friends.  Wishing you the Merriest Christmas and a  Joyous, Healthy and Happy New Year!!

Steve

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Christmas Shopping

I spent this morning doing some Christmas shopping. Unlike many people I actually enjoy shopping on the last few days before Christmas because everyone is in a good mood… well, except maybe some of the sales clerks. I believe it’s a myth that everybody is bitchy and pissed off and crotchety on the last few shopping days before Christmas. Most people are just off from work for a little while so they’re able to be finally feel happy about the upcoming holiday… or maybe they’re just drunk… whatever…

Here are a few observations:

I was in a bookstore for about an hour. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I just thought it would be fun to look around. Some of you know, until this past November I worked in a family business… a bookstore… for the last eighteen years. It was a college bookstore, so we sold textbooks, rather than general reading books, but a bookstore nonetheless. Books became business to me. We made good incomes selling books, but I started hating books. The last thing I wanted to do was look at a book. Plus, as a retail store, we were always busy this time of year and didn’t get much time off. But today, I stood in a bookstore and looked through books and had a grand old time. I held them in my hands and stared at the covers and browsed the pages inside and even bought a few things. It was a renewed love affair.

I was in a store that sold wine today.  When I brought my purchase up to the cashier’s desk, she asked to see my ID.  I’m pretty sure that she didn’t think I was under twenty-one, this was just a store policy that they ask everyone to show an ID so they can enter their birth year into the cash register. I pulled out my wallet and flashed my driver’s license.  As I was closing my wallet back up, I noticed sticking out from behind my license was the appointment card for my upcoming, long overdue vasectomy surgery.  In big green letters on the top of the card, clearly visible to the cashier was the word UROLOGY.  Probably not too many guys under twenty-one spending time at the urologist’s office.

I’m a pretty friendly, people-person kind of guy… but have you ever seen someone who you don’t know, a complete stranger, and think “God, I hate that person.” I saw a woman today who was all scrunched up and angry-looking and that thought ran through my head… then I said to myself “thank God, I don’t have to spend the holidays with that woman.” Then I felt bad… because that scrunched up, angry woman is probably somebody’s wife, mother, sister, aunt… whatever. Oh well, hopefully she has a Merry Christmas and isn’t so fucking scrunched up when she’s with her family.

Hip stores play great Christmas music that really gets me in the holiday mood. Not that crap Christmas music you hear on the radio where they play “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” six hundred times a day, but funky, jazzy, cool Christmas tunes that you haven’t necessarily heard before. I like Christmas music like that… it’s fun and it makes me happy. By the way… whoever the hell wrote and sang “Grandma got runover…” should be locked up for torturing us all these years with that shitty, douche-bag song.

When you shop where I live, everybody says “Merry Christmas” to you. “What’s wrong with that” you ask? Well, nothing really… except… although I’ve lived in Michigan now for the past 18 years, I grew up on Long Island, New York where there is a large Jewish population. So you didn’t say Merry Christmas to everyone because there was a good possibility that they were not Christian and didn’t celebrate Christmas. Apparently I am still under the influence of that upbringing and I tend not to say Merry Christmas to people unless they say it first.

Even then I say it with a sense of… “I know you just said Merry Christmas to me… so I feel somewhat confident that I can say it back to you… perhaps… so… Merry Christmas to you too… ummmm… I think… you know… unless you happen to be Jewish… or Muslim… or Hindu… or Atheist… and you were just saying it to me because you figured I live in Michigan so the odds are pretty good that I celebrate Christmas… you know… so have a nice holiday, whatever you happen to be celebrating.”

Lastly on the subject of Christmas… man the freakin’ Christmas cards are pouring in. We get a shit-load of Christmas cards this time of year. I never get Christmas cards in February or May… or even September… but they roll in by the dozens this time of year. We are not good at reciprocating and sending out Christmas cards to all of our friends and family. If it were solely my responsibility… frankly it would never happen. My wife pulls it together some years and sends out “New Year’s” cards sometime in January.

I’ve always wondered why people send Christmas cards with only pictures of their kids on the card. Are you and your spouse that hideous that you can’t be on the card as well? If you’re my friend, I want to see a picture of you on the Christmas card, especially if I haven’t seen you in a while… you know… so I can see if you’ve gotten fat and bald. Then I can feel better about myself and everybody needs a little bit of that, especially around the holidays.

I’d love to see a Christmas card with me on it… you know… perhaps in a red Speedo with a Santa Clause hat on.  Hey, if that just made you throw up in your mouth a little… well, I hope you get coal in your stocking!

Merry Christmas… ummmm… I think… you know… whatever… just have a nice holiday, whatever you happen to be celebrating.

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When Goats Eat Remotes

If you’ve ever had goats, you know they will eat almost anything.

Well…

On Monday my goats ate ten Root Beer floats.
Now when they poop,
It looks like bean soup.

On Tuesday my goats ate all of my coats.
Now when they’re old,
They’ll never be cold.

On Wednesday my goats ate all of my boats.
Now when they pee,
It smells like the sea.

On Thursday my goats ate my anecdotes.
Now they tell stories,
And deep allegories.

On Friday my goats ate all of my votes.
Now one of their goals,
Is to go to the polls.

On Saturday my goats ate all of my quotes.
Now they both speak,
With lots of mystique.

On Sunday my goats ate all my remotes.
Now when they fart,
My TV shows start.

So we took them to the vet…

And at the vets suggestion…

So they don’t get indigestion…

On Monday my goats will only eat Oats…

Because that’s what goats are supposed to eat!

Listen to the Audio Version

Click here to read the mostly true story about my world-famous goats!

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