Wednesday, April 26, 2017
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Slade Ham Archive

Slade Ham

Silent Warrior

November 10th, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

It started at 3:00 am and it didn’t stop. It was relentless. It’s the second attack in as many weeks and my sanity may suffer for it. I am under siege from the most well trained, mosquito assassin on the planet.

I have forever been aware of the buzzing annoyance that describes most mosquitoes. This one though, this one is a special breed. With a regular attacker, you can isolate it by its sound. You listen to it as it gets closer and closer and then slap the last place you heard it. I’ve killed them by the thousands over my lifetime, and I’m afraid that’s why they’ve sent this demon warrior after me. The Uruk-Hai of the insect world.

(more…)


Slade Ham

I’m Taking a Drive

October 28th, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX

I didn’t even get to finish my slushee. If you haven’t had a Sonic slushee, particularly a grape one, it will totally fix even the worst day. If I misplace mine or drop it or otherwise don’t get to finish it, it can put me in a horrible mood. Normally I reserve them for road trips when I can keep it right next to me for the entire drive. It’s hard for me to be in a bad mood when I have one though.

I was sipping one yesterday when a silver SUV swerved in front of me, violently.

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Slade Ham

Dear James

September 29th, 2009
by Slade Ham

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -

Dear Jameson,

I know this going to be as hard for you to read as it is for me to write. You really are amazing. You were there for me right after I went through my break up without questioning anything. You said you loved me no matter what I had been through. Even though I didn’t want to jump right into another relationship, I thought it might be cool to hang out with you every once in a while. I mean, let’s admit it, I’ve liked you for a long time.

(more…)


Slade Ham

Free?

August 11th, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

A friend of mine called with a free ticket to see a sneak preview of District 9 the other night and I naturally took him up on the offer. Free? Of course. I had plenty of time to get there before the movie started. “By the way” he says, “they’re not allowing cell phones into the theater to make sure no one leaks footage, so unless you feel like sneaking it in just leave it in your car.”

No worries. Being without my cell isn’t a sensation I’m comfortable with, but I’d rather leave it in my car than with some minimum wage Edward’s employee. I pulled in, parked on the side of a strip center parking lot, and walked over to the theater. Even on the worst day, two hours of things blowing up never ceases to put me in a slightly happy mood, and a lot of people exploded in the movie. A LOT.

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Slade Ham

Equilibrium

July 31st, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

God, this is frustrating. I have something I would much rather be writing about right now, but can’t seem to focus on. In a cute little twist, the way life tends to always enjoy twisting things, my equilibrium is off both figuratively and physically.

The metaphor I will eventually get around to dealing with, but the fact that I am pretty much completely deaf right now deserves a little more immediate attention.

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Slade Ham

If I Had a Million Dollars

July 13th, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

I mentioned on some website recently that I had a little less than two years to make a million dollars… or at least the first million anyway. It’s a deadline I imposed on myself back in high school: a million bucks by thirty-five. In theory it shouldn’t be that hard. The reality is that there are a lot of ways to get there, some much easier than others. I’m sure that I am creative enough to pull it off, considering ideas occur to me faster than I can write them down sometimes.

I often turn to artists of different mediums for inspiration when I feel a lack of creativity. Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor. Prince’s Purple Rain. Banksy’s graffiti. Cirque du Soleil. Of course, those things used to inspire me, but not anymore. I don’t need neurotransmitters to fire through my frontal and temporal lobes to spark creative concepts. I no longer wish for a muse. I need nothing of the sort.

I just have to get hurt. (more…)


Slade Ham

Three Days

June 10th, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

I have been out of the loop for too long, I’m afraid.  I’ve posted nothing new except for my overseas updates and I am painfully aware that I have neglected my writing.  I have nothing to say.  Not a clever spin on the day’s news, no humorous little anecdote worth sharing, not one scathing attack on some misguided politician or celebrity.  It’s not a case of simply being blocked as a writer.  I literally have nothing to say.

It is even more maddening because I don’t care.  Even these words are the product of me doing what I think I am supposed to be doing.  My head is not in it right now.  It is the middle of the week and there is an army of things I should be attending to and I am defiantly refusing to do any of them.  I am Leonidas with a spear thumbing my nose, with Xerxes played by Responsibility.  It is valiant but self destructive.

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Slade Ham

I Don’t Think “Discount” Is the Right Word

April 16th, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

Customer service can make or break a business.  I’m used to businesses making some sort of attempt to keep me as a customer, not going particularly out of their way, but also not pushing me violently out the door.  Somehow, however, this week I managed to get both.

The bad wasn’t the part that got me.  It was minor. (more…)


Slade Ham

Something in Your Mouth

March 2nd, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

This is taking me a while to write, mainly because the research is so painful.  I was in my car a week or so ago without my iPod, which is rare.  I would have a better chance of driving off without my keys than my music.  Normally I would just switch the band over to talk radio, but something wouldn’t let me.  Something convinced me to flip it on the Buzz, the local modern rock station, and leave it there.  After all, I haven’t listened to the radio on purpose in years…

And Nickelback was on.

(more…)


Slade Ham

While I Nodded

January 29th, 2009
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

There is a bird, a little brown and yellow bird, that has been outside my window for the last four days.  It’s a yellow-throated warbler if you need some more information to complete the visual.  I know that because my grandmother used to watch the birds in her backyard all the time and I used to sit out there with her as a kid.  This bird though… this bird wakes up at six in the morning.

TAP.  TAP.  TAP.

Tapping on my window while I’m sleeping isn’t the wisest thing.  Growing up with four brothers and spending nearly eight years living with a girl with a propensity for violence tends to make you sleep a little lightly.  I can go from REM sleep to “who’s getting kicked in the face” pretty quickly.  (more…)


Slade Ham

The Devil Thumbs a Ride

December 30th, 2008
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

There’s no such thing as ghosts. I don’t remember where that quote is from, but it sums me up. I just don’t believe in the physical presence of any of the supernatural. I’m a hard one to convince. Don’t tell me a story, show me proof. Ghosts, demons, evil spirits… I am simply unafraid.

So when my brother, an incredibly logical, brilliant, well-grounded individual, told me that he was hearing demons… I was a little intrigued. Normal people don’t hear demons. Even crazy people don’t hear demons, they just think they do. He told me, however, that every time he crossed over a certain part of the road leaving his house he heard a deep, guttural voice telling whispering things to him. “I’ll figure it out“, he said. (more…)


Slade Ham

If You Could Ask Just One Question

November 28th, 2008
by Slade Ham
HOUSTON, TX -

It’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. While drones buzz up and down the roads looking for “unbelievable savings” on things they don’t need to begin with, I’ve been at my apartment packing. Maybe it’s the holidays, maybe it’s the music I’m listening to, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been rereading things I wrote a over a decade ago… I’m not sure what it is, but as I stand here by this balcony swirling my coffee around in circles and looking out across this parking lot, I keep wondering what I’m missing. What do I not know that I wish I did? If it was ever just me hanging out with God, what would I ask? Right now there’s only one question that keeps fighting itself to the front:

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Slade Ham

Inside the Wire (Part 2)

October 16th, 2008
by Slade Ham

BAGHDAD, IRAQ -

I’ve tried. Several times actually. I’ve tried to figure out a way to put the last week or so into words, and every time I do I end up deleting it. I’m not deleting this attempt I’ve decided. When I started this trip, my only concept of the war in Iraq and our soldiers fighting over there was the fuzzy image I had in my head created by television reports and conversations with a handful of friends that have served. I, like most people, was pretty ignorant of the actual realities of our involvement in the Middle East.

It’s such a pushbutton issue. “Iraq“. In the States, when you say that word, it immediately draws one of a handful of responses. “We never should have invaded Iraq“, or “bring our troops home“, or “I’m not for the war, but I support the troops.” Regular people on the street debating whether or not “the surge” worked, normally using regurgitated sound bites from Sean Hannity or Keith Olberman to defend their side. Even for me, and this was my eighth trip overseas, it was a total departure from what I expected. (more…)


Slade Ham

Inside the Wire (Part. 1)

October 14th, 2008
by Slade Ham

BAGHDAD, IRAQ -

Rarely do I know so little beforehand about what to expect from a trip.  I’ve left the States enough times now that I don’t even think about it the night before.  I know what to expect… a different country, different cultures, different languages… but at the end of the day I still get to deal predominantly with Americans and outside of the scenery, my regular life doesn’t change all that much.

Not this time.

To begin with, we have flown into the middle of history, happening right now.  (more…)


Slade Ham

Dude, Where’s My Tire?

September 10th, 2008
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

I have never professed to be the quintessential man’s man. I’m not the type of person that has a garage full of tools or a project car that I work on every other day. I’m not that guy. Still, I’m pretty good with my hands and I’m definitely not afraid to get them dirty. I’ve always thought most men sort of fell in that category.

Cut to 1:00 am outside a bar.

There are four guys standing around each other huddled in a frantic circle. Two of them have on pink shirts, one of them has a popped collar, one has a backwards hat with a chunk of hair sticking out of the front, none of them are gay. A typical pile of frat boy nothingness, standing there… are you ready for this?

…Calling Triple A to come change the tire on their BMW.

Come the fuck on. (more…)


Slade Ham

Problem Solved

September 2nd, 2008
by Slade Ham

HOUSTON, TX -

I’ve run into a lot of old friends over the past few weeks, and had more than a few really intense conversations over lunch and coffee… and one of the consistent things about any of us that are “artists” is the fact that we all have hopes that what we do will change the world. Artists always seem to view the world as categorically fucked.

My friend Kevin and I fell into one of these conversations the other night, trading food for an 18 year old bottle of Jameson, and we dug in. From Australia’s gun laws to the price of gas, from Obama to McCain to Bush and Clinton and back, world hunger and religion and the media and entertainment, death and taxes… we shuffled through topic after topic. One thing prompted a dialogue about something else, and as the bottle got emptier, our ideas got more brilliant.

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