Monday, June 30, 2014


we stayed at a perfect place near the lake
lived in the lap of luxury for a day
relaxed on lounge chairs after a long swim in a pool
still can't believe we could afford that million dollar view

suddenly i thought of an old apartment
from my sad lean and broke days
when my books and poetry couldn't protect me
from the walls that closed in so quickly

but that was like two lifetimes ago
it's been almost all good times since
we scored enough good memories on our getaway to last a lifetime
wonder how many i got left in me

author's note: just a first draft of a poem i wrote today. i'm sure i'll make some changes. my name is todd schoepflin. i am a sociology professor. sometimes i add stories and poetry to this blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jenny Lewis - "Just One of the Guys"

I like this song. A line that stands out is "When I look at myself, all I can see, I'm just another lady without a baby." She was asked about those lyrics in an interview she did for People. Her reply: "It's a very direct line, and I think it's speaking to a lot of women in their thirties. The song's only been out for a couple of weeks, but women have come up to me on the street with that line in mind. I think it really struck a nerve."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Adventures" at Age 41

For the most part, I lead an unexciting life. I don't see that as a bad thing. The waters are mostly calm. My life is a good one. Last week, I participated in a 5k race that turned into a 4+ mile race. Most of us in the race were led in the wrong direction by someone's mistake, and we ran extra. I can't handle much more than 3 miles, so every extra step was a little painful. Thinking about it a week later, I'm glad I was unintentionally pushed to run more than I expected. It turned out to be a good physical challenge. You can't put much stock in the results of the race, because some of us ran a different course than others, but for what it's worth I finished second place in the 40-44 age group. I was even awarded a medal. I'll take it.

A few days after the race, I was walking alongside my 6-year-old as he tried out skateboarding. I never learned to skateboard so I don't have much to offer in the way of instruction. I did my best to show him a few times how it might be done, but I was really just guessing. I don't belong on a skateboard, a fact that became more obvious when the skateboard flew out from under me. I fell hard on my back on a concrete surface. My first thought was "I'm not sure I can get up." I played rugby for seven years during college and grad school and for all the crushing hits I endured in that time I'm not sure the thought ever occurred to me that I couldn't get up from the ground. Well, I got up, and luckily wasn't injured. I then mumbled "Know your limits" which was just a message to myself. So that's the end of my skateboarding career.

Some friends came over last night, guys I've known for around 30 years of my life. We had some beers and tossed around memories, which works for me. I definitely enjoy drinking beers on a beautiful summer day in the comfort of old friends. Some of our stories went way back to high school. Meanwhile, all of our kids were running around my backyard playing together. It was awesome to see our kids having fun together. I threw dogs and burgers on the grill and was happy not to screw anything up. I'm not known for my grill skills.

On an adventure scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most adventurous, I probably score a 1.7 in this life. Like I've written before, I pretty much live an unfabulous life. All told, I am fortunate to live such a good life.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mack Schoepflin

I just love his face. Little Mack holding onto his Superhero teddy bear. Mismatched socks (his choice). Adidas velcro sneakers. Sporting a Yankees cap. Three-year-old style. Love.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Shredded Wheat Commercial: "You Are Bringing Sexy Back"

I'm one to think most commercials are lame. I lose concentration or fall asleep during many of them. On the other hand, this Shredded Wheat commercial caught my attention the other day when I first saw it.

I can't recall a cereal commercial (or advertisement for a similar product) that features an elderly couple and references sex drive. I'm obviously excluding products like Viagra for the purposes of this brief post. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a commercial for a product like Viagra. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Shredded Wheat commercial have some fun by commenting on sex drive and saying "Grannies, bless your heart, you are bringing sexy back." I actually find this funny. The woman looks at her partner and says "Eat up." He returns to his newspaper with a slight smirk on his face. Cheers to Shredded Wheat for having an elderly couple in the commercial and not portraying them as sexless.

Yo La Tengo - "Mr. Tough"

I like this song.

I like not being a tough guy.

"And we'll forget about our problems
Ignore them for a little while
And leave our worries in the corner
Leave them in a big big pile."

Right on.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Perfect Life?????????????????

Saw this commercial a few minutes ago on TV. Let your hair down, lose the necklace, and cook chicken from a bag. Most peculiar. Guy in the commercial has a look to the effect of "Ok love, you can close the laptop so I can enjoy this warmed up chicken." This is the perfect life? I can't go for that.

Life is Short....

Never know what I'm going to see during a trip to the grocery store. Today it was something in the parking lot that caught my eye....

Well, that's one way of looking at the world.

What's your philosophy?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Obedient Bureaucrat?

While helping my dad clean out the attic in his house the other day, I came across a bunch of stuff that belonged to me. Turns out two of my report cards from high school were stored in the attic for the past few decades. Is there anything we can glean from my performance in high school? Perhaps not, but let's try anyway.

We can easily see I struggled in Social Studies, Earth Science, and Math. I was apparently working below ability. At least my English and Spanish teachers thought I was a pleasure to have in class.

Fortunately, I turned my act around in tenth grade (I wonder if this is why I hung onto these two reports).

By the end of tenth grade I was demonstrating "superior work habits." And check out my work in Keyboarding (listed as KEYBD BUS CM)--I still remember this as the class I learned to type with all my fingers. By the looks of things, it appears my old school was trying to turn me into an obedient bureaucrat.



*freaks out*

*takes stock of life*

Just kidding, all is well, and happy to be able to type with all my fingers. But thinking about that obedient bureaucrat thing........

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Bunch of Years Ago

I’m getting run over at work. I’m getting crushed. I can’t keep up. Here’s what I do: I try to move stuff off my desk as fast as I can and as competently as possible. But it doesn’t matter. The more I do, the more work finds me. I thought this was supposed to be a paperless society. But I seem to be doing everything twice: one electronic version, one hard copy.

I can’t sleep because my mind is on overtime. Sleep deprived and coffee dependent, I still try to go full speed to finish the tasks on my to-do list. The list never disappears, even for a minute. I’ve read a million self-help books and they all say the same thing: be more efficient, do more, practice makes perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Here’s what I’d like to do: do less carelessly.

Every meeting I attend is exactly the same. Too many people are present. Approximately fifteen minutes pass before the meeting strays from its main purpose. It is never clear who is totally in charge of the meeting. With each passing minute it becomes more difficult to return to the supposed task at hand. Attention spans wander, someone comes in late, someone else leaves early. The first item on the agenda is not resolved, but everyone pretends it has. I propose that all meetings be cancelled for a period of one year. I predict productivity will increase in that time.

My friend brought his three-year-old to work the other day. The kid hopped around in circles pointing at every object in sight. I was impressed with his ability to identify everything correctly: “Look Daddy, bus!” “Look Mister, bird!” Little kids bring a smile to my face. They are the picture of life before stress. They are carefree and authentic. No posture, no bullshit, no worries, they are innocent and real to the core.

Author's note: Dug up this old writing from my Creative Writing file.

I Stop For Rainbows

I was driving home last night when suddenly a rainbow appeared. I didn't know how long the rainbow would last, so I pulled over and made a one minute recording. Would be a lot cooler without the power lines. I wanted to keep driving to find open space, but was afraid I'd miss the rainbow. Something I like about this recording is the sound of tires swishing in the rain-soaked road. A nice tune by Real Estate Band is playing. Suppose this was a missed opportunity to play a song by Rainbow.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Beer and Gender

A few beer containers caught my eye at the store this morning....

Newcastle Bombshell, featuring a "blonde bombshell." The beer, I guess it should be noted, is a pale blonde ale. In Googling around with the search term "blonde bombshell," I came across a beer called Bombshell Blonde Ale.

Here we have a fella with blondish hair grinning as he mows a lawn. He is a muscular man, and presumably a master at leveraging technology to mow lawns. He rides with a beer in tow.

If you're wondering, I did not buy either of these. Just observations, no libations.

How would you analyze these containers? Care to offer a caption?