Posts tagged with #conversations

I posted this pretty picture on my instagram. Not much to it, I was just sitting there, and took a photo because it looked nice.


A photo posted by Jeff Keen (@jeffkeen) on

But then Bennett commented:

BANDITDAYLAR: so… what am I lookin at here? Got a tree… okay. Building… okay. Hmm 🤔

So I went deep, art-school-style, and wrote up this after-the-fact bullshit. I’m not sure if this comes close to my MC Hammer pumps and a bump analysis, but it exercised the same creative muscles, and I had the best time.

JEFFKEEN: Look deeper. The modern building storefront (built by businessmen to sell their wares for profit), juxtaposed next to the old beautiful tree (planted to provide shade and oxygen to anyone, free of charge) is symbolic of the natural tension between the future and the past. The tree leans into the building, symbolic of the old generation trying to push back the change that the next generation created. The building stands strong, though, using new tools (glass, concrete, stone) that the old generation doesn’t understand, only knowing its roots, history, and its memories of many other buildings over the years. While both new and old want a better, more peaceful world, they disagree on the means to achieve it. The new holds a mirror up for the old generation to try and show them how difficult they’ve become. But just like the tree, the old can not see.

Life. Time passes on, things change, and eventually the old gets replaced with the new. So while the tree may remain in the same place for more years to come, its branches will be trimmed back so as to not interfere with the building. And eventually if it causes too much trouble, it will be chopped down and perhaps turned into a very similar building it spent too many years trying to fight against.

For now, it can do little else but try to enjoy the beautifully sunny day, and feel thankful that today is not its last. Like all of us.

It’s always nice when you feel like you can really be you with the people you work with. Earlier, I got this message from the development manager at this company that I regularly work for.


Charles and I were discussing paintball this morning and it occurred to me that paintball could be a fun team event in October! Charles is an avid paintballer, so he would of course be on my team. Let me know if you have any particular reason why you think paintball is for the birds, otherwise, I’m going to see if we can reserve a field.


And in an ongoing effort to be honest and authentic, I replied:

Hard pass for me.

Don’t let that stop everyone else, but I don’t do paintball primarily for reasons of being a huge target/pussy.

The truth hurts. But a little less than getting hit with paintballs.

I recently bought a pretty bad-ass sit/stand desk, and as a result am selling my old glass desk on Craigslist. I have it listed for $60.

As is customary for selling things Craigslist, no matter what the item is priced at, there’s always a negotiation. You could be selling a $500 item for $20, and there’s a 90% chance that the buyer will ask “will you take $10 for it”. (Lack of punctuation is also customary Craigslist behavior.)

Them: Do you still have desk a you posted on Craigslist

Me: Yes, do you want to come and see it?

Them: Yes please when are you available

Me: I work from home so any time today would work for me

Them: OK it would have to be until around 7pm is that fine

Me: Sure, sounds good. I’m in South Austin, do you think you’ll be here at 7?

Them: Yes or perhaps closer to 730 also would you be willing to take 40

Me: I would take $50. Deal?

Them: Well I would be driving all the way from parmer lane which is why I can’t be there till 7 so with driving the distance can you do 40 and it’s a deal

Which brings us to our topic. I want to sell this desk, but I also really want to send back a tasty zinger, which I realize could cost me this sale. This is a risk I’m willing to take, as I have faith the desk will eventually sell. But currently, I’m trying to figure out the best possible zinger I could send.

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A friend of mine recently won a contest on Facebook by spotting a misidentified bird species in the March-April edition of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Magazine. He was able to correctly identify the bird as a Dickcissel, which up until yesterday was a word I had never heard before.

I admire this, because this sort of nature knowledge is completely foreign to me.

Despite my admiration, the bylaws of our friendship require me to make at least one wisecrack about any achievement in a subject in which we do not share knowledge.

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My friend Mark posted the following MC Hammer video on Facebook with the caption:

Good morning everyone. Your day is about to get better. You’re welcome.

What followed in the comments is some of the finest extemporaneous creative writing I’ve ever done.

Me: This is where Hammer peaked as a lyricist.

Mark: I’m not the Hammer historian you are, Jeff, so correct me if I’m wrong, but might this also be his speedo-wearing, schlong-slinging peak as well?

Me: It’s not that simple, Mark. With great work comes great struggle, and this Hammer masterpiece is no exception.

It’s widely believed among Hammer historians that this video is layered in metaphor with Hammer’s feelings on his celebrity. The remote controlled waterfall symbolizes the unhinged excess that piles of money can cause, and the stark change from his extra-baggy silk parachute pants to his fully-exposed banana hammock symbolize the complete loss of privacy Hammer experienced as he became more famous.

But he keeps up the facade of happiness for the public, and “goes through the motions” (symbolized by the choreographed dance moves in the second half), with his true emotions hidden by the dark black sunglasses he wears throughout the video.

So while the layman may view this video as his speedo-wearing peak (no offense), it actually marks the peak of Hammer’s sadness. And his genius.

Mark: Profound. Could it then be said that, in Hammer’s philosophical search for the true self, that his speedo, as juxtaposed with his harem of bikini clad ladies, is intended to symbolize the Anima Jungian archetype?

Me: I go into that in the seventh chapter of my book, When Parachute Pants Don’t Break Your Fall: The Untold MC Hammer Story, hitting bookshelves in October.

Me: I never buy Roses. Too cliché. Thoughts?

Andy: I have. My ex wife’s favorite color was blood red. But she was more of a “it’s the thought that counts” type.

I actually used to buy her flowers about once or twice a month, that fucking bitch.

Andy: Sorry. Got sidetracked.

Andy: Just found her last name and phone number. In an email from months ago with a list of teachers willing to babysit.

Me: Hitting the google?

Andy: Can’t find her

Me: Amateur

Andy: Oh, it’s easy. I’ll just hire a PI to find out if she’s single. That’s not weird, right?

Me: Maybe hire a PI to find your balls. And then use them to ask her.

Andy: I see what you did there.

Andy: It takes balls to hire a PI

Me: You need a plan. Maybe you can write her a funny note.

Andy: In blood.

Andy: To show my devotion

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Some girl: …although i did see Dr. Strangelove and Dr. Zhivago before i ever saw Disney

Me: I still haven’t seen Dr. Strangelove or Dr. Zhivago. I’m trying to see all the Disney movies before they put them back in the vault.

Some girl: It’s pretty confusing to have no frame of reference for the cold war when you’re 3

Me: I can relate. I watched Smokey and the Bandit when I was 5, and the references to Coors beer and bootlegging really threw me.

Although even at that age, I knew that driving 1800 miles in 28 hours would be tough. But you know what? The Snowman and the Bandit really worked together and pulled it off.

It taught me about teamwork. It really is an allegory, that movie.