Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Punked Out and Funked Out

Feeling punked out and funked out this morning. No brain no gain. The fog of reality? Dug my two day three day weekend, now back to the salt mine. Although I have tomorrow off. Not a bad deal.
Listening to Alicia Keyes as I write this. Angelic. Loaded up more heaven into my IPod yesterday. Dig this variety - Alicia Keyes, Tom Jones, Eric Clapton/JJ Cale, Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams Jr., Aerosmith, Doors, Allman Brothers. I am a musical genius. My ears are not prejudiced.
Music will get me through.
Get into your head today and ignore reality - just go through the motions at work. The only way to survive after a long weekend.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Please Read the Classics - RIGHT NOW

I am a reader. A voracious reader. I read 'till I bleed. Reading was my first escape from reality before I discovered booze and drugs. I read constantly and have been doing so since I can remember.
The range of stuff I read is wide. I don't limit myself. But I always get back to the classics. Man this is always good stuff. Food. I am reading Cannery Row right now. Steinbeck. Absolutely delicious. My favorite author is F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read him. Read Hemingway, Faulkner, Dickens. Dig into them all. It is meaty stuff, well written, descriptive, good stories that stand the test of time. The way these guys wrote is stunning to me. Rich, fulfilling, deliriously satisfying. Ain't nothing missing and ain't nothing thin about them.
Rip yourself away from reality TV and grab a book. Might improve your mind.
If you don't like reading please do not knock on my door.
Ciao, baby

P.S. - Before Cannery Row I read Steven Tyler's autobiography. You ain't gonna pigeonhole me, baby.


A strange and mysterious species. Men don't understand women because men are pig headed and single minded. Men have to strut around all the time, trying to show the world how tough they are, how they have all the answers, how they don't need directions (I'll find the damn place on my own). Testosterone. Racing through the system and clouding the mind.
You cannot think clearly when you are always putting on a show. You run around trying to project an image or fulfill an expectation and you are not being yourself. Cut off from the things you should be aware of, the things you should be feeling and learning from.
Women have to take part of the blame here. Women love the bad boys, the tough guys, the outlaws. It's a stereotype but it's true. And we all know it. So even though we are low wage earners working at small jobs, we try to pretend we are dangerous, that we have an evil side, that we are capable of anything. Strutting like a peacock.
Women fan the flames. They hold all the cards and they know it so they work it. They play on our inability to think logically around a certain walk or a certain look or a low cut, slinky and evil red dress. Men are helpless.
But once you get past the games, women truly are a superior species. Intuitive, emotional, intelligent. There is something so mysterious about the way a women thinks, about her relationship to her emotions. Sometimes a woman IS emotion and that is so very cool. Men suppress their emotions, bury them deep, which is roughly akin to suicide. Because experiencing emotion is being human. Men pretend to be robots.
My respect for women is not formed around the usual stereotypes. "They are superior because they can have kids." That is a biological accident. If men could have kids it wouldn't make us superior. Although maybe it would make us more emotional, more natural. And I do consider childbirth to be a holy event; it goes beyond natural. I was there for the birth of both of my sons and I can still close my eyes and visualize those moments with clarity. And feel the emotions. An overwhelming sense of awe, of magic, of life in it's purest, most raw form. I'll have to give this childbirth thing more thought.
"Women can stand more pain" (childbirth again). Bullshit. Try being an accountant for twenty years.
There is a sensitivity about women that is supernatural. They experience the world like animals do (that is meant as a compliment). Absorbing it naturally in an extrasensory way.
It's the emotion thing that most gets to me because if you ain't feeling nothing you is dead.
Steven Tyler says he is half man and half woman because he is so sensitive. I identify with that. I AM emotion. I cry a lot and everything I feel I feel passionately. Of course I try not to cry in public or in front of the wrong people; that would be unmanly. So because of my own sensitivity I study women with curiosity. I have been married to one for 33 years. She does not even fit the stereotype. When I hear other men complain about their wives in predictable ways and predictable language, I realize how unique Carol is. She is strong like bull and yet she is all about emotion and being natural. And common sense.
I have a big, bad college degree. I am educated. I cannot tell you how many times over the years Carol has made me look like a five year old by pointing out the obvious. The obvious is never obvious to me.
I worry about everything including things I can't do a damn thing about. Carol just takes care of business. She is herself at all times in every situation. I am like Cybil; I'm a million different people from one day to the next.
I'm probably not being coherent here. I get passionate when I write and then I'm all over the place.
The point is that men and women are two entirely different species. Women are more in tune with life, with existence, in a spiritual way. They get it. This is something I am striving for. To be in touch with the natural order of things, to flow along with the beauty of life instead of fighting against it. Men are perpetual five year olds pretending to be Steve McQueen or Kojak. Men keep falling down because they trip over the obvious.
OK I am prepared for the backlash. I'm probably way off base or have trivialized women in some way. Or maybe I'm going to take crap for the half man half woman thing. I can't worry about these things.
I gotta go wash the dishes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekend Musings and Cool Socks

I am winging it today, Bubba. I keep a notebook next to my recliner, and as thoughts and or ideas pop into my head that I want to write about, I scribble something down in the notebook. My brain is on fire recently - I have a million ideas.
But today I am feeling loose and free. Probably a reflection of the independence inspired by my two day three day weekend. No notebook today. No previously conceived ideas.
I have figured out that it's not a good idea to have huge goals; you can only fail. And I have done this a million times in my attempts to rearrange my life. I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna have that, I'm gonna make this change. I think big because I ain't got a lot of time to diddle around. But anyway, in an attempt to scale things back I think I'll keep my memorial day weekend dreams modest. I think I'll just focus on changing my life completely. Two days ought to be enough for that.
Change of subject: The Bruins. Man I am psyched. Feels like Red Sox fever in 2004 and PATS fever in 2001. I almost feel like a fraud. Didn't watch a lot of hockey during the season. Every year I go through the same process. Tell Keith how I'm going to watch more Bruins. Then of course I don't. Of course it isn't easy. Carol hates hockey, so every time I try to crank it up she grabs a miniature Red Sox baseball bat and beats me viciously on the head. This has created some reticence on my part.
If I gave it a chance, hockey could possibly become my second favorite sport. Football is numero uno. I love football passionately. Since the age of ten. I see similarities between the two sports. A delicate balance between grace and violence. And I love both the grace and the violence. Hockey is a little less intense to me because the season is a lot longer. Football is INTENSE because the season is so damn short. I need intensity to combat boredom.
I watched a lot of Bruins in the 70's because the guys I hung around with in college were huge hockey fans. They played hockey and actually convinced me to play hockey with them one night. And I can't even skate. Liberal doses of beer and whiskey overcame my doubts and I joined them for one of those midnight on the ice sessions. I looked like a three year old. Knees wobbling, falling down. Hilarious. Amazing I didn't take a puck to the face.
Then I married Carol and she started beating me with the miniature Red Sox bat, which put an end to my hockey viewing.
Anyway I'll be keeping a close eye on the Stanley Cup playoffs. The fourth and final piece to the puzzle. It would be so cool to have all four franchises with a championship in a ten year span. Any other city ever do that before? When you think about it, the total right now is 6 championships since 2001. Boston should be designated as the sports capital of the world.
Change of subject: The job hunt. So I fell into this part time liquor store job. I figure it's my last chance to hold on to a squaresville job until my words make me rich and famous. Money is tight so I applied for a full time position within the liquor world hierarchy. Got a message the other day from HR. I am scheduled for a PRE- INTERVIEW QUALIFICATION MEETING. Corporate america, man. Cracks me up. Talked to my friend/boss about it and he told me they have a new process now where you have to take a written test to determine if you are qualified to interview for the job. So I have to endure the indignity of being tested to qualify for the indignity of being cross examined by a board of phony baloney pseudo execs. People who rose to their positions of power by kissing ass and back stabbing, instead of earning their promotions through hard work and intelligence. And these low lifes are going to evaluate me to determine if I have what it takes. And you wonder why I yearn for the independence of free lance writing.
OK this was pretty weak stuff today. My mind is relaxed and I am dreaming about endless days like today and tomorrow. Warm days of no work and total freedom. I have earned the right. I have been working since 1972. All my bills should be paid by now.
It's almost 1:30. I am going to try to change my life completely by 5:00. That way it's over and done with, out of the way and accomplished. Then I can move on to other things. Like washing my socks. My favorites. The ones with the skulls and crossbones on them.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friendship and Blood

I am feeling ebullient today.
You weren't expecting those words to roll off my fingertips were you? I have been told that I'm dark. On more than one occasion. Reading my blog might give you that impression. I don't consider myself dark. I consider myself a chronicler of the human race. And since the majority of us are depressed or at least disappointed, it's hard not to reflect that in my impressions.
However I do have my moments. This euphoria is actually a carryover from last night. Went to dinner with an old friend of mine. Not old as in age; old as in we have been friends for thirty four years. Dave. He is a magnificent human being. A very accomplished guy, intelligent, sense of humor. If you want to get something done, call Dave. He can do anything. He taught me how to ride a motorcycle. That proves he can do anything. He controls his own life and he lives well. I respect that.
I am lucky enough to have five people in my life that I call friend. Friend is a dangerous word, we misuse it and diminish it. Just look at facebook. Hero is another diminished word. Keith Richards is an inspiration to me but he is NOT my hero. Or a hero. Heroes do truly noble things.
True friends to me are truly magical. They are people who you meet in your life that are not blood related, yet you trust them implicitly. That's how I feel about my friends. I would trust any of them with my life. My friendships are rock solid and deep. My brother is on that list, which makes him unique because he is blood and he is a friend. A two for one deal. Very cool.
Anyway Dave and I had a burger and a beer and a real conversation. I had pictures of my sons and their women to flash around, we talked family, we talked life, we laughed. I can go years without seeing him and still pick up a conversation as if we talked yesterday. However I will not let years go by anymore. He is too valuable in my life.
Driving home on a beautiful faux summer night, windows down, Aerosmith blasting.
"Amazing -  It's amazing, with the blink of an eye you finally see the light. It's amazing, when the moment arrives that you know you'll be alright." The words smacked me in the face. Because that's where I am at right now. In 2011. I have shifted my thinking, just a little and I am seeing things differently. And it's blowing me away. If I could completely change my perspective I would have to wear a diaper.
It recently occurred to me how lucky I am to be married to Carol. Married for thirty three years and I am just figuring this out. She is the best woman ever invented and a goddamn saint to stick with me for all these years. And she doesn't even need booze and drugs to make it through life or to stay married to me. Incredible. I love her now more than I ever have and it is an amazing feeling. It is bone deep, soul deep and it makes my days shine.
My thoughts shifted to my sons. I worship my sons. Sometimes I think at this point in our lives that they are the father and I am the son. They are doing well, living their lives and I am still bouncing around like a teenager. We laugh together a lot and I consider that an amazing gift.
Of course my sons being the intelligent, sensitive souls that they are, they have brought two woman into my life who I also love. A daughter-in-law and perhaps a future daughter-in-law (sorry Karen - that's Carol's influence). Two women who's company I enjoy. Two intelligent, fun loving strong women.
Then I thought about my brother. The aforementioned two for one deal. We are very close and I am thankful for that. Feels like he is the big brother and I am the little brother but reality is exactly the opposite. He is one cool cat. We talk, we laugh, we are completely at ease in each other's company. And my wife, sons and their women all love him. Tells you every thing you need to know about my brother.
So that was my night. Enjoying the warmth of a deep friendship over a burger and a beer. Thinking about all of my friends with gratefulness. Thinking about my magnificent family with awe. Warm faux summer night cruising, rock 'n roll blasting. That was one hellaciously good night. And I am still feeling it today.
By the way. I had an avocado burger last night. Do you need any more proof than that to know I ain't lying about changing in 2011?
Ciao, baby.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day, baby

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner. Actually I don't know if it's straight ahead or right around the corner. Why would it lurk around the corner? Although it would be cool if it could do that and then just jump up and surprise you.
Anyway it's Thursday morning, I'm sitting in front of my computer machine, the sun is in my face, cup of coffee by my right hand and I am feeling good.
Memorial Day weekend (MDW henceforth) is a legitimate excuse for delirious joy. First of all you have three days off from work. Unless you are a low wage earner like me. I have Sunday and Monday off. Two days in a row is rare, I will take it. Reminds me of Bob Cratchit talking about Christmas to his kids on Christmas Eve - "I'm to have the whole day off tomorrow." I'm sure there are many of you out there in the same boat; I shall not whine.
MDW does signal the beginning of summer, even though we all know summer does not start until July 1. In case you have not been paying attention, my theory is that we have only two seasons in New England. Winter and summer. Winter lasts for ten months, summer for two. Winter runs from September 1 through June 30. Summer is July and August. Don't argue with me, you know I'm right.
I have not checked the weather forecast but I am praying that gorgeous sunshine and healing warmth permeate the weekend. Of course the way things have been this winter we'll probably get 47 degrees and rain. However I am trying to remain positive.
MDW gives you a sense of freedom. R&R, insanity, sleeping late, reading, boating, hiking, barbecuing, smoking crack. Whatever turns you on do it and do it with passion.
I have always crawled into MDW with a sense of relief. Get home on Friday night and lay around for three days. Gain 18 pounds and reduce my liver function by another 5%.
I think it's better to be joyous about it. You are getting a chance to be human here without some lowlife boss critiquing your every move. You get to hug and kiss your spouse and pets for no particular reason at four twenty ( Hi Craig) on a Saturday afternoon.
We should all strive to inject some originality into the weekend. Barbecue something new, travel someplace you haven't been to before, wear some daring new clothes. If you are a drinker, try climbing a mountain. If you are a mountain climber, try polishing off three bottles of Crown Royal.
It's that Be Here Now mentality creeping into my perspective. We all look forward to MDW as something special but I think a lot of times it slips away and we are back to work on Tuesday bewildered. And trust me, when you get back to work, Ebenezer Scrooge is not going to give you a sack full of coins and a raise.
Summer is short. Many of us live for summer. It's a free and easy time. Don't need ten layers of clothes, no driving in ice storms. People are in better moods in the summer, sneaking out of work early, calling in sick a little more often, just trying to grab a bigger piece of life. I think it's ridiculous to live in a climate that forces you to live this way but I have not been able to convince the wife. New Orleans. Arizona. I could do it. But I am striving for positivity here so the deal is, if we are going to live in this frozen climate we might as well make the most of the two good months we get.
Please. I'm begging you. Get crazy this weekend. Dig down deep and tap into true emotion and a genuine sense of freedom. Peace of mind. Try a little of that. See how it feels.  Don't worry about the goddamn bills. Move slowly. Look around and drink everything in. Screw the budget; go to your favorite restaurant and devour a most excellent meal. Hopefully on an outdoor patio. Order an expensive bottle of wine and drink the whole damn thing. Sit in the sun (if there is any) and let the warmth seep right into your bones.
Dig it, baby. We don't get enough chances to just be humans. Life keeps grabbing at you like corpses reaching out from the grave. Burn the memories of this weekend into your brain. It will give you strength. And when your boss gives you crap about some tiny, little, insignificant detail on Tuesday morning you will be confidant enough to say "Buzz off, little man, you are harshing my mellow."
Pretty strong stuff.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fat Man in a Tie

He flipped off the mirror, the mirror just laughed.
Cheap clothes and beer belly,
pants sagged off the ass.

A body misshapen and awkward
and cruel,
a diet of burgers and beer
burned as fuel.

How did this happen to a man once so proud?
A man who wore clothes that screamed “style” right out loud.
The waist once so skinny and tastefully clothed,
Sharp suits, tailored shirts made a comment quite bold

But now it’s the discounts and surplus stores too,
until he gets skinny, used clothes will make do
He thinks about sit ups, the weights collect dust;
and starvation diets are always a bust.

A voice in the brain says “you’ll get it all back;
as soon as you’re ready, the fat you’ll attack.”
A second voice whispers “Please give me a break;
sit down with a pork chop, a beer and some cake.”

And so the dilemma, the ups and the downs;
he gets all dressed up, yet he looks like a clown.
His memory taunts him, reminiscence of flair;
the body betrayed him, it just isn’t fair.

But motivation is growing as pride makes him strong;
he’ll get back that body and sing a new song.
He pictures cool clothes with a grin ear to ear,
and celebrates change with a frosty cold beer.

Song Lyrics as Religion

I am addicted to music. If some idiot republican tried to outlaw music (which is not outside the realm of possibility) I would beat him viciously with the lyrics to Ballad of A Thin Man until he realized just how much he doesn't understand.
Music gets into my bones, it thrills me, it makes me come alive. I am dead most of the time because that is what it takes to survive in this silly, cold world. Slap on an Allman Brothers track - even one I have heard 137,355 times - and I get goose bumps. My emotions rise to the surface and remind me that I am human. That is powerful stuff.
My precious IPod has freed me. My family conspired to get me an IPod and a docking station (NASA?) at Christmas and I have been in heaven ever since. Crank it up in the morning when I am washing the dishes and I dance - at the sink, away from the sink, anywhere and everywhere. My cats nod in time to the music while simultaneously wondering just how much brain damage I have sustained over the years.
BUT I am a wordsmith, first and foremost. I worship words. Song lyrics and poetry knock me out because they pack so much emotion into such a small space. Lyrics, baby - it's all about the lyrics.
Dancing in the Dark - Springsteen.
"I ain't nothing but tired, man I'm just tired and bored with myself"
"Message keeps getting clearer, radios on and I'm moving 'round the place, I check my look in the mirror, want to change my clothes, my hair, my face"
He sings the clothes, hair, face part quite forcefully, essentially yelling it out.
He's describing me. I have been tired and bored with myself for decades because there is a little, crazy man inside me who has been held prisoner by responsibility, deadlines and commitments. The outside me is the one that bores me. The guy who puts on the act, is nice to everybody, goes to work like a good boy and sacrifices his soul to feed the mortgage vampire.
I'm all about freeing the little, crazy man in 2011. Trying real hard to dig down through the layers of suffocation that have been built up over a lifetime, trying to air out my soul, expose it to the light of day.
Want to change my clothes, my hair, my face. Not literally, because I am pretty and I love my hair (the clothes could use some work - I am a peacock). Talking about nuclear change. I want that. Major explosion and out of the smoke and rubble walks The Real Joe. Like a scene from an apocalyptic movie.
Bob Dylan and David Bowie. Two cats who changed their look, their very persona, whenever they felt the need for change. They have always fascinated me. Go back through both of their careers and check out all the different phases. Amazing. Completely different looks, even their music changed to reflect whatever was going through their heads at the time. What a very cool way to discover yourself or express yourself. Keep changing until you get to a comfortable place. Maybe never stop changing. Whatever it takes.
I'm not looking for twenty different looks between now and the time I check out; just trying to work backwards to the real me. I want everything about me to express exactly who I am. No compromise. I hate compromise. I have been compromising all my life and it has left a rancid taste in my mouth.
The trouble is, I am a real flamboyant  guy without the guts to display my flamboyance. I have always been wary of embarrassing my family, or drawing attention from the conservative, judgmental people who populate New Hampshire. They all own guns, you know.
I am caring less and less about that as this year progresses. Trying out little bits and pieces of me for public consumption. Kind of fun.
But it might take a nuclear explosion to get me over the hump. I might have to take a major step or make a radical change to get me where I want to go. As a result I am considering wearing a yellow print, knee length dress all summer long. I think this could change my perspective.
So when you come over for barbecues this summer, please don't be judgemental. I'll be that whiskey swilling, foul mouthed dude in a dress. I won't have time to shave my legs every day. Just deal with it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A pickle headed man

I don't want to be no pickle-headed man because a pickle headed man don't get no where in this world. Ain't I right? You know plenty of pickle headed men and they ain't got nothing. They don't do nothing, they don't be nothing, they don't dream nothing, they just is. No a pickle headed man is a fool and my daddy didn't raise me to be no fool. He raised me to be a late bloomer.
Don't want to fly to the moon neither. Everylittlebody wants to send me to the moon like a lonely, goofy goon. Get me out of this world and away from them because they don't like me. Tell me the moon is made of cream cheese. Or green cheese. What kind of cheese we talking about anywho? I don't pay attention, not into details. That's why I made a lousy accountant. But I ain't ashamed of that, you would have made a lousy accountant too. You ain't got no head for figures, you can't do math and you can't breathe in no cubicle. So don't laugh at me Mr. Loading Dock Supervisor. You would have made a piss poor accountant. And how can a planet be made of cheese? Might get kind of sweaty during the day, slippery to walk around. Suffering and starving people from other planets would have eaten it by now, wouldn't they? Like a free buffet? I ain't going to no moon.
I'm just trying to get along. Creeping and crawling through life, keeping my head and my spirits down so's I can survive. Ain't easy, this getting along thing. Boss man gives me money then all these other peoples, they come along and take it away. Mortgage vampire, he takes the biggest bite. He is a greedy bastard and he don't listen to me crying. He don't care about me crying. He laughs at me crying. Then he takes my money and scoops up his skinny, big boobed bimbo onto his yacht and motors to the south of France. But he always makes it back by the first of the month. Tanned and rested, while I look like I been run over by a truck. Tired, wasted and worried. But I ain't complaining. It's a good life.
I dream a lot. Dream about how it's gonna be. Dream about getting my piece of the pie, because I know I deserve better. Gonna grow some wings and fly into the arms of comfort and success. I talk to my buddies at the bar about this. We talk about it a lot. We drink a lot of whiskey. Whiskey helps dreams. At least that's what we agree; whiskey helps dreams. A lot of my buddies are older than me, 75 or so. They been sitting on the same bar stool for a very damn long time and their hands shake. A little. Gotta drink that first double through a straw. After that, everything smoothes out. I'm not sure why they're still sitting on that stool instead of living their dream. Maybe they ain't been dreaming hard enough. They'll get there, I know because they talk about it all the time. I dream pretty hard. Real hard and it gives me headaches. Headaches every morning from dreaming real hard. But I know I am real close to living my dream. Just gotta keep on dreaming.
My knees ache, so does my back. Fingers sometimes too. My heart aches too but I bury that way down because you ain't supposed to express your feelings. It's good to hide your feelings because a lot of times when they surface, if they surface, they come out in the form of tears. I don't know why that is. Tears don't do nothing except to embarrass you. People laugh at cryers. I'm not sure I understand that, it feels to me like the situation is twisted there. Not sure that laughing at cryers is the right thing to do. But I guess it must be. Everybody does it.
Sometimes when I have a little spare change I'll treat myself to a McDonald's hamburger. Happens once or twice a year. Other than that I live on Kraft macaroni and cheese. I love Kraft macaroni and cheese. The hamburger is a treat, though. A real honest to goodness treat. I like the crunchy pickle and the way the bread looks crinkly. Like it's been sitting around for a while. But I know that ain't true. A big company like McDonald's ain't serving no sitting around food. That wouldn't be right.
I ain't complaining about having no money. I know that's the way it's got to be. All the money goes to the fat cats, even though they already have a bundle. I know they are going to use that money to do what's right for me. Take care of things so I can be protected in my old age. They are helping me to get to my dream. Because they are so much smarter than me. Makes me feel good knowing that. So it's OK if I struggle for 55 years or so, because when I'm done I'll have a couple of years of peace and easy living, thanks to these fat cats looking out for me.
That's a fair equation. You can't expect more than that.
OK, gotta go. Brew up some Kraft macaroni and cheese, kiss my cat and head on down to the bar. Get back to dreaming my dream. Because it's coming. Right around the corner. I can feel it.

Death and a wonderful plastic rose

Carol gave me a black rose. I love it. Love the symbolism of it. Not a real black rose because Maka would eat it. An imitation black rose. Nicely done. Looks very cool.
Oh my god Paul is wearing a black rose in his lapel. All the other Beatles have red roses. Paul is dead. From the Magical Mystery Tour album.
Carol didn't give me the rose because she wants me dead. As far as I know. Strangely enough she appears to still love me after all these years of my confusion and stupidity and lack of direction and general insanity. She gave me the rose because she knows I like things that are different. You can have your red rose, your yellow rose, your pink rose; give me the black one. I wish it was small enough that I could wear it in my lapel every day. People would ask me "Joe - what's up with the black rose?" I would reply "Death."
I am obsessed with death. I don't know if obsessed is the right word but I do think about it a lot. In fact I doubt a day goes by when I don't think about death.
I have thought about it in different ways over the years. There was a time when I was OK with becoming a corpse. When our business went down the tubes it felt to me like my life was over. The business was an escape from corporate america for me. When it failed I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't care. I drank recklessly (I'm so much more responsible now). I expected to die and I didn't care.
Death was also appealing when I was an accountant. Why wouldn't it be? I was a creative person trapped in a harshly restrictive world of numbers, spiced with bullshit corporate rules and phony humans who said Yay! at childlike birthday parties in conference rooms. And just think - I was an accountant for decades.
A quick aside. The only accountants I worked with who even came close to being human, worked at Wang labs in the eighties. High pressure, fast paced, long hours we worked our asses off. But after work we drank like Charles Bukowski. And that's when happy hour was really happy hour. Two for one drinks, free food. The table was literally covered with glasses because they would bring you two drinks at a time. No bullshit rules in those days. So every happy accountant had two drinks in front of him at all times. I was pleased to join in the fun.
Anyway, right now death is serving as a kind of motivator for me. Seeds of hope were planted in my brain at the beginning of this year and I have been carefully watering them and nurturing them. I want my life. I want my independence. I have never had either of these.
I am 57 years old. Such a frightening number. Not old. Not young. But far enough along the road of life to make me think. The lifespan for men in america is somewhere around 75. Think about that. That gives me 18 years. christ. I have lived 57 years and I only have 18 left? That is sobering. And that's assuming I make it that far. The amount of booze and drugs I have consumed in my lifetime, in conjunction with the stress induced by endless self-loathing, anxiety and fear, make it seem more likely that I will drop dead before I get to the end of this sentence.
So every day right now I try to do good stuff that will get me what I want. And every day is another huge step towards the grave. They used to be small steps; now each day is so large it blocks out the sun. And when it's gone I twinge a little bit and pray for enough time to prove myself.
I am exercising (trying to fool my body). I have cut down on the booze (although Carol would say I'm full of shit). I am writing almost every day because therein lies my ticket to independence. My only ticket to independence. If I don't make it as a writer I will have wasted a life. But of course I am not getting anywhere either. Haven't made a dime from it, not even sure how to go about it. But I have hope and determination and an inkling of talent and a diseased brain. These are good ingredients.
Death hangs out there. If I was a good enough writer, I would write it away and live forever. Or maybe become a vampire. I love that concept. An eternal life of power and intelligence, elegance and dark. At least that's the way I see it. Not sure about the blood sucking part though. I am dainty; I don't like to get anything on my face.
So death is out there and it's not going away. It stares me in the face every morning and says goodnight every night. I'm trying to hold it off. I have so much to prove.
I like my black rose. I love my black rose. I'm going to install it in my writing room and look at it every day for inspiration. Maybe I'll kiss it from time to time. Experience the kiss of death up close and personal, and then walk away. To a glass of whiskey. And my dreams.

Small movies

Sunday morning, baby. Woke up with Carol sleeping peacefully beside me, Maka sleeping at Carol's feet, Lakota curled up next to my fat belly. It hit me what a peaceful and beautiful moment this was. Small and beautiful moments. You have to mine them for every ounce of gold at every opportunity.
Sunday is cool for us because it's the one day we are guaranteed to have off together. I am a low wage earner, so my schedule is odd and I work every Friday and Saturday until 8:00. Sundays are sacred.
Of course the sun was not shining and it was only fifty something degrees. On May 22. Unacceptable. But it is still winter, what more can I expect.
After a cup of coffee and Steven Tyler, I whipped up a fabulous breakfast for us. Omelets, toast, sausage.
Dialed up a movie while we ate. How luxurious. Massive breakfast and a small movie at 11:30 on a sunless, unwarm, Sunday morning.
Jack Goes Boating. I call it a small movie because it is not an action flick, no goddamn Vin Diesel, definitely not an animated movie (ANIMATED MOVIES ARE FOR KIDS)). These are the movies Carol and I love. Movies about small humans trying to survive. Movies about emotion. Check out Nobody's Fool and Beautiful Girls, two other small movies about real humans.
Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gotta love him. He emotes. And does it well in Jack Goes Boating. There are so many scenes where the look on Hoffman's face can make you cry, or at least make you feel. And when you feel, you are alive.
There was more to the story than I expected but it revolves around two painfully shy people. This is what fascinates me and what I usually find in small movies. Honest looks at broken humans.
Because we are all broken. I know I always hammer this point home but I find it  fascinating. We all hurt, we all want love and acceptance, the safety of another's arms, the peace that can be found in total trust. But we become actors at some point in our lives and act ourselves right into the grave. We act tough, we act cool, we act like we know what we are doing, we act like we have no need for sensitivity. And we cry in the dark.
I cry a lot. I am a sensitive soul. Music, movies, news, books, the plight of other humans - you name it, it can make me cry. I don't apologize for this. Except for that one time at Sarge's Tailgate Grille ( go there - it is an awesome restaurant and bar)where I was asked to read a family story in celebration of my in-laws anniversary. I literally cried like a baby through the whole thing. Exceptionally embarrassing for everybody involved. You will never talk me into doing something like that again.
I dig these movies because you see people as they really are. Sensitive, lost souls who are struggling to figure things out. Struggling to connect in an honest way. Afraid, no self confidence, but openly so. People who are not putting up walls, not faking it, not acting (sorry to confuse you). You will never see this in life because we are all phonies, we are so afraid of honesty that we hide behind jokes and tough guy facades, so much so that the real human disappears.
I don't know what the world would be like if everybody was painfully honest. And I'm not talking about going up to people and telling them that they suck. I'm talking about just being yourself in a raw and truthful way. All the time.
In fact I'll take it one step further and envision a world where everybody has a job that they like (job hating - another human reality that fascinates me) and they are open and honest all the time. I actually cannot visualize this but I am pretty sure it would be a better world than the one we have now. Just call me John Lennon.
In Nobody's Fool there is a scene with Paul Newman (Sully) and a guy named Rub who has worked for him forever. Rub has nothing, he is not a smart guy, no money, a very small life. He is jealous because Sully's son has been working with them. Sully goes over to his house, Rub is sitting on his stone steps in the snow. He tells Sully how unhappy he is about the son thing. Sully puts it in perspective by telling him "Peter is my son. You are my best friend." And Rub cries. It means everything to him to know that he is Sully's best friend. That scene alone is more powerful than any goddamn action movie could ever be. I cry every time I see it and I have seen it 137 times. Because that is the life that we all hide, the life that we keep below the surface. Honest, raw emotion; the essence of what it means to be a human.
Go out and rent these movies or netflix them or redbox them or stream them to your computer machine or watch them on your damn phone. You have a hundred different ways to access them and no reason not to.
Try a little raw emotion, try a little honest humanity. It might blow your mind.

An homage to Maka, Lakota, Cooper and Jack

Let's talk about pets. First of all, if you tell me you love dogs and hate cats, or love cats and hate dogs, you are not to be trusted. Either you are an animal lover or you're not. If you love some and hate others I fear you are a dangerous person with psychoses hidden deep down that could erupt at any time. A portion of your brain must be damaged for you to be so selective when it comes to life forms that are precious and innocent.
I have two cats and I love them deeply. To me they are not animals, they are not beneath me in stature, they are alternative life forms. They fascinate the hell out of me. They have emotions. You can tell when they are happy or sad or afraid or nervous. You can tell when they are tired or full of energy or mischief. You know when they want love and attention and you know when they want to be left alone. Just like human beings. They are animals but they experience the same feelings we do. That must be the common thread that defines what life is. Whether it is supposedly highly evolved or just an animal.
The coolest thing is that they are completely natural. They don't play games, they don't manipulate you, they don't try to hurt you or take advantage of you. They don't have hangups. They are exactly who they are at all times. When you dig your pet you are digging a soul that is completely exposed. Right out in the open for you to experience. Their souls are not buried deep under layers of self defense and denial. Amazing.
And they definitely have personalities. Lakota is the queen. Slow moving, cool, doing only what she wants, when she wants. Not much disturbs her and she loves everyvody. I worry because she trusts all humans. Very dangerous approach to life. Gorgeous colors. Tortoise shell? She is the super model.She is the senior pet. Been around for years, dealt with other pets and the comings and goings of various human inhabitants.
Maka is the stereotypical definition of a cat. Endlessly inquisitive and deeply insane. She is small and in shape so she can go anywhere in the house. On top of, underneath, behind, around and through. She is the athlete. And a great jumper. An incessant talker. She is also achingly cute when she wants to be. Loves to be held. Calico markings. Not beautiful like Lakata but quirkily adorable.
They hear things before we do, see things, smell things, sense things. If my senses were that sharp I would be in the NH Home for Morons, Psychopaths and Mental Defectives. It would be too much. Makes you wonder. If we didn't have so many hangups maybe we would be as tuned in as they are.
I believe they experience our feelings intuitively. Somehow they read our moods. I think our emotions envelop them like a force field or like humidity. I feel bad for my cats because I am an endless emotion machine. I can sit in my recliner, alone in the house before going to work, and run through hope, despair, happiness, depression, insanity and fear in the space of fifteen minutes as I ponder my miserable existence. Must be like a ping pong ball of emotion bouncing around the room. But the cats handle it well. They take me with a grain of salt. As does my wife.
Had a dog once. Onyx. The greatest dog who ever lived. Part Irish setter, part Black Lab. Did I need to capitalize black? The only dog I ever had. He was a great friend to my sons. My parents did not allow pets. Suggests some defect in their makeup, but that's a story for another place and time.
I would stand in depression or fear or anxiety in my kitchen. Leaning against the sink under the little butterfly thing that Craig made in kindergarten. Deep in thought. Onyx would walk up to me and nudge my hand with his nose. I would be overcome with love for him in those moments. Many times my tears woul drip onto him as I bent down to kiss his head. I stood in that position many times and more often than not Onyx would come over to ease my pain. He knew. He felt it. And he knew he could help.
Here's my point. Your pets are not just animals, they are not there only as a diversion. They are love. They are natural spirits, their souls can illuminate your soul. And they are not afraid to expose their soul to you. You can learn from watching them. They are there to try to help you strip away some of your defenses. They want you to FEEL. They want to snuggle up to the real you. Not the you who crawls to work every day. They want you to live and love.
Dig your pets. Pay attention to them and give them all your love at every opportunity. They are more spiritual than you will ever be and a lot smarter.

Practically lost my mind

Couldn't get in. Couldn't post. I write therefore I am. Therefore I wasn't. I'll have to find a better outlet for my words. Blogger appears to be unreliable. Until then I shall wring every ounce of useability out of this joint.
I'm back.
Please proceed with caution.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just Another Day in the Life

I'm just trying to get some words down on the page, man. It's been a struggle this month. I have missed a lot of days. Don't know why. Do know why. Been a strange month. Off balance, off kilter, arrhythmic. Starting of course with the weather. Winter continues. Of course what can we expect. It's only May 19. We have another month and a half of winter to endure before summer bursts upon us on July 1.
New England is so unfair to heat lovers like myself. Winter completely destroys your spirit. Then things begin to change somewhere around April and you begin to bloom. Just a little. Feel yourself opening up but not all the way. Then you get stuck in that condition waiting for the warmth, the heat, the life. But it doesn't come and it doesn't come and it doesn't come. Meanwhile your anticipation is screaming agony, your bones ache, your nerves twitch and you wait. And watch the days tick by on the calender, knowing full well how short the summer is. You are painfully aware that every cold, rainy day is robbing you of your joy and that winter is already gearing up again, getting ready to slap you around and torture and insult you. Four seasons my ass. New England weather was designed by the devil to give us a taste of hell before we get there.
Toilet problems too. Had toilet problems this month. Had to deal with them but it wasn't smooth. Nothing ever is for a tool allergic like myself. And I even had a friend to help me.
I don't know. Been a weird month. Gotta regroup. I'm trying to get rich and famous and I ain't got no time to waste. Gotta get independent. Tired of being everybody's servant.
Hit the recliner with a cup of coffee and Steven Tyler for half an hour yesterday morning. That was it for personal a.m. time. Then wash the dishes, clean the kitty litter box, exercise, shower, shave and fly out of the house. Drop off a job application in corporate hell for a job I don't even want, then report for duty at the Booze Emporium. Worked like a pig donkey. Humping booze around for four straight hours. Exhausted. Food shopping after work (forgot the damn heavy cream), pick up a pizza and crawl home. Exhausted. No sympathy from the wife. She works an eight hour day every day. She's an adult. She handles it. I drink whiskey.
Anyway I don't think life is supposed to be this way. I don't think you are supposed to run around like a little gerbil every day for the privilege of enjoying eight minutes of peace. I exaggerate of course. I slumped in my recliner for 5 and 1/2 hours last night. Could have done a lot with that time but it slipped away. Wasn't my fault though. Lakota jumped up into my lap before I had a chance to get up and change my life. I couldn't disturb her. She has to fight for lap time because Maka is a lot more aggressive about it. And as anybody with a shred of common sense knows, lap time in my lap is as valuable as solid gold bars.
Anyway, watched The Sox, it was a good game and they won. Got to spend quiet time with my wife, who is a special and a loving woman. I snoozed a little, we talked a little, we watched the game together. Side by side. Kind of. She on the couch, me in the recliner. The recliner, by the way, that she talked me into buying. A fat friend of mine busted my father's recliner just by sitting in it. A recliner I inherited upon my father's death. My friend replaced it with a used job and when that died me and the wife went shopping. I was resigned to buying a cheapy, even though it would hurt my back. I never believe I deserve anything good. But the wife talked me into buying this big, beautiful leather recliner. It is the single most awesome, loving, comforting and meaningful piece of furniture I have ever owned in the entire history of my life.
So it was a good night. A quiet, safe, peaceful loving night. I didn't do anything to break me free of the chains that strangle me every waking minute of the day. But I guess it was a pretty good trade off. Simple stuff. Gotta dig the simple, good stuff, the small moments that make up a life.
So I'm going to try to pick up the pieces for the rest of the week. Do the things that can set me free and make me feel good about myself. Been a weird month but I gotta forge onward. Life will beat you down and distract you at every opportunity. You are not supposed to succeed. You are supposed to suffer.
Me and my liver are tired of suffering. We are going to keep on keeping on, keep on trying to change things until whammo blammo momma I awake to a new day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On a more postive note......................

Gonna try an experiment this week. Try to be positive and try to give 100%. 2011 is all about me shaking up my life. Grabbing a hold of my mind and re-shaping it in a way that will allow my soul to radiate through the multiple layers of hangups and perversions and delusions and pain that suffocate my essence. They are there, Bubba. Always have been. Why do you think I work so hard to keep Seagram's in business?
I'm not a positive guy. I am a realist. My amazing wife says I am negative. I think I see life for what it is, for most people. A grind and a bitter disappointment. You keep your head down and endure the blows and hope to find three or four moments of true joy before you find yourself at the wrong end of The Grim Reaper's bony finger.
I'm going to try to be more positive. More confident. As an experiment. See what and where it gets me. I got nothing to lose. I am a part time bartender in a low life bar and a part time liquor store clerk. Not much to brag about. The mortgage vampire dictates my life.
I never give 100%. Don't know what that feels like. I get distracted, depressed, unconfident, I give up and grab the bottle. Curious what it will feel like to give myself up 100% to whatever I am doing at the time. Really try. Really focus. See what and where that gets me.
I think I am reasonably intelligent ( considering how many dead brain cells are floating around in my skull). I think I am reasonably talented. Maybe I can accomplish something. Improve my life to a place where I can flip off the mortgage vampire.
I live for that.

Don't Make Me Sick

Just came in contact with the medical community. I hate the medical community.
Had to give blood. Have my cholesterol checked. For which I take Crestor. A prescription drug. That makes a lot of money for a lot of people.
When I say I hate the medical community I mean at my level. The level of a 98 per-center. A small human, just scraping by, with basic health care insurance. I take Crestor, I go in like a good boy and get my blood checked, I endure lectures about lifestyle and eating habits and I feel that my life is no more protected than if I did absolutely nothing. If I died from a massive heart attack right now it wouldn't surprise me. Even though I am being regulated. Even though I am being monitored.
At the level of care I get, the doctors might as well be throwing darts at a Will He Live or Die dart board. If I had the Cadillac of health insurance, if I was rich, I'm sure I could get CAT scans and MRI's and stress tests and every other goddamn test that would yield actual useful information about my health. I am poor so my healthcare is a crap shoot. I want to slap the medical buffoons who I come in contact with for pretending that they are my health guardians. They insult me and waste my time and gamble with my health.
At a high level, at the brain surgery, organ transplant, tumor removing level, I am amazed at what the medical community can do. At the most basic level, the level where health monitoring is supposed to prevent you from getting to the transplant level, I am disgusted. They pretend to know because they feel they should know. The body is too complex; too many variables; they don't know how you get to heart transplant levels, they only know what to do when you get there.
I got there early today so I drove around a bit. Drove around the hospital parking lot. It hit me how bizarre it is, how depressing, that this entire village of buildings is devoted to the sick and dying. Disease is such a horrible thing to endure as a human. You are only alive for a brief second; to spend any of that time suffering in a hospital, praying to live or praying to die, is soul suffocating. But we are all headed there. Not many of us will die peacefully in our sleep with a smile on our lips. We will suffer both pain and indignity as our bodies fail and we cry silently in horror and disbelief. And you will spend that time in the care of people who talk to you like a kindergarten child, and people who do not know what they should know to save or extend your life.
I also thought about all the employees in this medical world. I am willing to bet that a large per centage of them did not choose medical careers out of a desire to help humanity, or out of empathy or caring about others. I was an accountant for over twenty years and I hated every second of it. Despised it. I did the job at the most basic level, did what it took to get it done. I would have done a much better job had I loved accounting.
How many people do you know who love their jobs? Who made a rational decision about what kind of work to do based on their talents and interests? Very, very few. We all fall into our jobs because we have to do something. You have to feed the mortgage vampire. A large per centage of these medical employees you come into contact with, including doctors, are not passionate about it. They do not love their jobs. They look at the clock  just like you and I do and they think about what they will do over the weekend and dream about their upcoming vacation. They try to shake off their hangovers and focus. These are the people you are entrusting your health care to. Very frightening, and a symptom of how warped life is, how lost people are, just trying to survive and doing whatever it takes. Even if it jeopardizes your health.
The medical technician, or whatever her title is, drew my blood. Placed a piece of gauze over the wound, and before she secured it, asked me if I am allergic to tape. I was not awake, fasting, no coffee and I blurted out "You have to be kidding me. People are allergic to tape?"
This is what American society has come to. People like imaginary illnesses and allergies. They like pretending to be sick. It is the new form of cool. Ever hear people talking about "their meds"? Sounds cool to them, they like saying it and they like groveling for sympathy from whoever is within ear shot. And the medical community indulges them. If someone told me they were allergic to tape after I drew their blood, I would secure the gauze with thumb tacks.
This weak, wimpy society promotes sickness, much of it imagined, instead of promoting health. We coddle people instead of kicking them in the ass and telling them to just live their lives. However you want to do it. Drink two bottles of whiskey a day, jog five miles a day, eat healthy, live on cheeseteak subs, whatever the hell makes you happy. Just goddamn do it. Instead of expecting people to cater to your every imaginary ailment just so you can have an excuse, just so you can have a babysitter, just so you can say "my doctor says................"
Your mommy's dead. Grow up.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Life, your soul, and pain

I am sitting here at my sacred desk. The sun is directly in my face and I am loving it. It's May 12 and winter is almost over. You can almost feel the warmth. I am where I am supposed to be. When my ancient ass hits this chair, when I fire up the computer machine, when the sun caresses me and the words flow - I connect with the pure spirit that was born on January 1, 1954. The spirit that was, before life and everything that comes with it twisted, beat and tortured me into the helpless mass of pain I now am.
When you connect with your own essence you know it. There is a sense of peace, an ease, a beauty and spirituality that soothes you, calms you down and opens you up. Doesn't happen often, doesn't come easy and some people never experience it. The knowing comes from the inside. I know that this is what I am supposed to do. I am supposed to write. And I am supposed to get paid for it. This is how I was meant to make a living and live a life. Instead I am a part time liquor store clerk and a part time bartender in a low life bar.
The problem here is that life, parents, teachers, enemies grab a hold of you when you are helpless. When you are that pure spirit you are at the mercy of your parents. Most parents are unqualified. In fact most parents are so screwed up they damage their children irreversibly. The most shameful crime anyone can commit. To take a pure life form, an innocent spirit, and corrupt it, twist it, damage it and hurt it before it can even defend itself. Before it even has a chance to assume it's rightful and unique place in this world.
After the parents have squeezed the life and spontaneity and originality out of your spirit they send you to school. Where teachers and disciplinarians structure you and control you and punish any shred of uniqueness while encouraging and rewarding conformity. And you have to deal with all the other twisted little children who have been warped by their parents.
This beautiful, pure, unique spirit comes into the world with infinite promise and infinite potential, and it gets destroyed. Humans should grow like flowers; naturally in the sun and warmth, showering the world with their beauty. Delicately developing into precious forces of nature. Instead we get trampled on, pushed under the soil, under-watered and under-fed, neglected and abused. That is why there are so few pure humans around, people who are themselves in all their precious uniqueness. People who just are, people who don't hurt or abuse or take advantage of anyone else. People who contribute beauty to life and the world in their own special way. If you meet someone like that you are meeting one in a billion.
If you are lucky enough to get a glimpse, a feel into your true nature, if you can regress backwards to your pure spirit, like I can by sitting in this chair and touching this keyboard, you are experiencing holiness. But you have to do something with it if you are to survive. You have to fight through all the pain and misconceptions that your parents and all the others embedded in you. Like trying to suck air through two feet of molasses. You have to deal with your horrible job, your very small life, limits that suffocate you and steal your ambition and your energy and your hope.
I touch this keyboard and I soar. Then I get up and go to work and I die. Then I come home and drink whiskey and die some more. But I do soar when I sit here and that breathes enough life into my soul to get me through another day. I can see my essence; more importantly I can feel it. The real me. It is intimidating to face the truth and it is torturous because it is fleeting. "Life" throws a veil over it.
When I see a desert scene on TV, in a movie, in a documentary, when I see pictures of the desert in a book, my heart knows that that is where I am meant to be. I have an album cover hanging on the wall - Delaney and Bonnie and Friends with Eric Clapton. The picture is of a Rolls Royce parked in the middle of the desert. Someone is lying across the front seat, you see their boots hanging out the open window. I have loved this picture since the day I bought the album. Probably thirty or forty years ago. I have looked at it a million times and felt peace in my heart, the peace of connecting with that image. The peace of allowing your mind to believe that you are there. That is where I want to be; that is who I want to be.
My life as it is now will probably never allow me to get there. A piece of my very soul denied by life's circumstances. But I can touch this keyboard. I can sit in this chair. If I do the right things with this keyboard I can change my life. Change my life. Very powerful words. I am one of the very few lucky ones who has a chance to re-connect with my soul. To unbury my essence from all the garbage shoveled over it by my parents and every other ill intentioned human.
This keyboard is all I need. It sits here every day offering me the opportunity to bring peace into my life and heart and soul and spirit and essence. Such a simple thing. So intimidating. So promising.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Me, Abe and some fine whiskey

I was just thinking about drinking with Abraham Lincoln. It would be a helluva experience and a great conversation. I have never been splashed with blood or bits of brain before but they say you gotta experience everything in life, no?
Besides I have never seen Our American Cousin.
Gotta run. That was just a thought, a musing. I'll try to do better next time. Until then get yourself a pile of cash and buy yourself some dignity.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dr. John and The Human Body

The human body is an amazing thing. What you can do with it, what you can do to it, what can be done to it.
I just had a tooth yanked out of my skull. Not a big deal, everybody does it these days, we all have rotting teeth from the sickly sweet bullshit we have to swallow every day from those who manipulate our lives. The tooth wasn't loose so Dr. John (his real name, I always want to break into some Cajun rock when I visit him) shot me up good with novocaine and went to work. Twisting, loosening, freeing and yanking. It went quicker than I thought and was effortless. Dr. John rocks. Here I sit with a wad of cotton in my mouth and a sheet of post-extraction home-care instructions.
So there is a hole in my head where a tooth once resided. Not a natural thing, but as the body decays, adjustments have to be made. The ease and non-chalance of the whole deal got me thinking about what a body is and what we do to it.
What you can do with it. Run a marathon. Isn't that incredible? 26 torturous miles. You can take your body and exercise it and train it and feed it right and work your way up to a 26 mile run. Amazing. Climbing Mt. Everest, working out at the gym, triathlons, sports, playing musical instruments, working your ass off on a construction site, working all day and chasing your kids around at night. You can take your body and pretty much train yourself to do whatever it is you want to do. It is flexible, it responds to what you put into it and how you treat it.
What you can do to it. You can drink a quart of whiskey a day for twenty years and still function. Get one hour sleep and go to work and make it through the day. Gain 200 pounds and waddle around for a lifetime. Crawl through every single day completely stressed out, worried and afraid and just keep on going. Heroin, cocaine, marriage, homelessness, smoking cigarettes, any kind of abuse you can think of and your body just keeps on going.
What can be done to it. Heart transplants. You ate too many cheeseburgers, get a new heart. Liver transplant (saved Gregg's life, thank christ). Drink too much whiskey do you? Get a new liver and start all over again. Donate a kidney, receive a kidney, amputation, re-attachment, brain surgery. The human body can be repaired in miraculous ways and it bounces back and gives you new chances to look honestly into the mirror.
Of course, as with anything meaningful and real in our lives, we take all this for granted. Pay attention to your body. It's cool and it's yours. Experiment with it to get out of it whatever it is that vibrates within your brain.
The human body is holy and it is tough. It gives you chance after chance to hang around a little longer so you can DO something worthwhile with your life. No matter whether you abuse it, take care of it, push it or get it repaired. Or any combination thereof. It's there for you, baby. Within limits.
Don't smoke for 24 hours. Not a problem. I have never smoked cigarettes in my life and I don't have the urge for a joint right now.
Nothing too hot for 24 hours. Not an easy one. My wife's pretty hot.
No carbonated or alcoholic drinks for 48 hours. Carbonated; no problem.  Alcohol; what are you kidding me? I am a 98%-er. I need booze to survive. I'll lay off for a while but if I don't get some booze in me today the world will take advantage of me. I'm vulnerable.
No heavy lifting. My wife does all the heavy lifting in this family anyway; I'm the dreamer.
No bending over. Bummer. I usually do 350,000 toe touches a day. I'll skip them today. But if you think I am not bending over to kiss my cats you got another thing coming, buster.
No drinking with a straw for 48 hours. What am I, three years old?
Pain control. Dr. John is a purist. He's not the type to prescribe drugs. His only drawback that I can see. I like drugs. His advice is to take 3 Advil and alternate it with extra-strength Tylenol. Give me a break. Percocets would be nice. Oxycontin. Morphine. I'm probably better off with the goody two shoes approach anyway. I would just wash the drugs down with alcohol, and when my wife got home from work she would find me giggling in my recliner watching Gilligan's Island.

Why whiskey wisdom?

Because I have gained a lot of wisdom from whiskey. One important lesson is not to drink so much of it. But I do love it so and the way it communicates so directly. No bullshit with whiskey. It cuts right to the heart of the matter every time. And it goes with anything. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Good times and bad times. It is especially effective at work.
I will reveal here the inner workings of my mind. Sometimes whiskey soaked, sometimes straight, clean and sober.
My goal is to attract 200 million followers and get rich. If not, at the very least I will have indulged in cheap therapy, and maybe turned a couple of people on to the beauty, essence, spirituality and sheer joy of the slightly masochistic but always rewarding whiskey burn.