Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Down Home Wisdom

All corporations must die
There's no need to even ask why
They stole all your money
And thought it was funny
Until the Devil waved hi

Life Is

Life is meeting your son at your brother's place to watch old home movies of you and your brother as kids. Realizing those days are long gone, realizing your sons' childhoods are long gone. Wondering what home movies are left to shoot.

Frying Instead of Lying

Politicians should not be allowed to lie. Fact checking should be an official part of the campaign process, and when a politician is caught in a lie they should be severely punished and even banished from running from office.
The American people are frozen with fear, and they are listening to these politicians to get a sense of who they are, what they will do, how they will restore dignity and hope to the middle class and hopelessly impoverished.
The problem is, it is impossible to know what these fools stand for because they take every available opportunity to lie. They lie about their opponents to hurt them, they lie about themselves to make themselves look better.
Gingrich went on a rant about college students having it too easy today. Said they should work part time jobs and attend less expensive colleges so they can graduate sooner with less debt. He neglected to mention that his college education was financed by family members because he refused to work.
But being the scumbag that he is, he knew the mindless would line up behind his college students should work comments without ever hearing the truth about his own education. The truth comes after the fact and often from sources that spineless followers would never consult.
The point is, we are all hunkered down and afraid. Afraid for our futures, afraid for our homes, afraid of having no retirement and we need to know exactly what these politicians stand for so we can make an intelligent decision, one that we know gives us the best shot at getting hope back. That is impossible in a political climate that not only allows lying but condones it.
Voters need to elect a President who will protect them from corporations and politicians and banks and power brokers who are hell bent on taking every penny and every shred of decency from the people who break their backs making this country run. But that decision is impossible because the truth is obscured.
Politicians' comments are challenged every day and shown to be lies or misrepresentations or sensationalism and yet they keep on doing it because they are not held accountable.
Even worse, is when a bum like Gingrich calls President Obama the food stamp president he plays right into racial and class stereotypes of the worst kind. The kind that divide this country and threaten to burn it down in violence. And he gets away with it. He should have been jailed and tortured for that comment.
The Amercian public is suffocating, and the politicians who are supposed to represent them are playing games. Playing games with no interest in or concern for the little man who grinds out a life in fear and worry that results in disease and premature death.
These politicians are despicable, no less than dictators and despots who practice genocide and assassination of their own populations.

Job Interviews Are Sure A Lot Of Fun

Got a job interview within the booze world next week. Had one once before that didn't go so well. Also had a couple lined up that vanished into thin air. Strange, no?
The only time I actually pierced the veil was just for the experience. The job was way over my head but I was advised by friends and co-workers to do it for the experience. It was good advice because the liquor commission is a strange entity and you need to know what you are dealing with.
It was the first interview I ever went on that was specifically designed to intimidate me, and that's saying a lot because I have been around for 158 years. Surrounded by THREE interviewers with no smiles and even less personality.
I had to suppress a smile when I walked into the room because it was so incredibly bizarre. The fact that I had no chance at the job probably played into the whole thing as well. My head was in a weird place and their heads were in the corporate clouds, which is a place of zero vision and a lot of gas.
I have a strategy this time. Gonna walk in with flowers for the HR maven and Cohiba cigars for the male intimidators. Then I'll drop to my knees and answer all their questions from that position.
I think that will give them what they need.

By The Way

What got me thinking about WILL was a Delaney and Bonnie song called "Where There's A Will, There's A Way." That was one that got me rocking Saturday morning.

Got a great line. "And you can believe, nearly every word I say." I love that line because it is so human. We are all full of shit in one way or another and in greater or lesser amounts.

And you can believe, nearly every word I say. Almost sounds like advice. Or a warning.

A Fresh And More Pleasing Perspective

In the midst of all this anger, I had a moment of sweet release. "Twas Saturday morning, Carol had run out to perform an errand, I was preparing a quick breakfast before heading off to work.
Had Delaney and Bonnie cranked on the Ipod machine. Started dancing in the kitchen. Gyrating my hips, sliding small shuffle steps of delight.
That, my friend, is the power of music.
Noticed Maka sitting up top on the back of the couch watching me. Up until that moment I always assumed the cats thought I was brain damaged any time I danced or sang. Or danced AND sang.
I suddenly realized that she was digging my spirit. Despite the unfair and life sucking hand Carol and I have recently been dealt, there I was just being myself, exposing my soul in celebration of exquisite music.
Maka was giving me a spiritual thumbs up. She was telling me that my soul is what she loves, free of anger, pain and fear. She was giving me advice on how to live my life.
What a cat.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Corporation America Smiles As They Kill 2.0

Yesterday I wrote a compelling account of getting royally screwed by corporate scum. It was factual and only somewhat emotional.
Today I am going to let my emotions rip.
2012 has sucked since before it began. It began to suck on December 24, 2011 and has not stopped. 2012 has sucked for 36 days. I don't understand it.
My life was the size of a pencil tip previously. Now, thanks to Sears/Citicorp, it is half that size. I wouldn't believe that to be possible.
I have never understood "life". I don't get it and I don't know how to operate within the rules as they have been laid out since the beginning of mankind. I don't believe in those rules. This whole going to work, earning tiny paychecks, barely paying your bills, affording pizza twice a year, suffering, sacrificing and struggling your way to the grave thing. This cannot be life, can it? What would be the point?
If there is an afterlife, a god, why would he want you to suffer through an earthly existence before being rewarded? Isn't that a perverse game for a god to play?
And if there is no god, the equation becomes even more bizarre. We evolved ourselves into existence. We evolved ourselves to this? This is the best we can do?
I go through life wide eyed looking at the lives of the people around me, like watching a movie, as opposed to experiencing reality. Small, constricted, pain and worry filled existences that defy logic. I see the same thing in the mirror.
Karma could be cool. I would take comfort in knowing that the soul-less scum who put the guideline into place that robbed me of a tiny measure of financial security was diagnosed with the most horrible, painful disease ever imagined. That would be karma. But karma is a slippery concept. You want to believe it is all about the bad getting their due. I believe it operates on another level as well. I believe I have created my own karma through a lifetime of underachieving. A karma of failure.
I struggled mightily in 2011 to buck that trend. Felt I was doing all the right things. I was in a rare place of confidence and determination. I believed I could CHANGE MY LIFE and make good things happen.
Karma took notice, reared it's ugly head and struck back. Struck me down with great vengeance and furious anger.
I am now farther behind financially and emotionally than I was when I started the quest.
Essentially there is no hope. Except for one thing.
Where there is a will there is a way. Apparently will is a muscle. You have to flex it, exercise it, use it to make it function, to make it stronger. I never had will before. Somehow will crept into my existence last year. Unbeknownst to me. It was a by product of TRYING.
I am furious right now. Beat down like a rodeo clown, cut and bleeding, bruised and disoriented, wondering how much more of this I can take. But I want to fight. With my fists, with a gun, a machete, with sarcasm and anger and determination. I want to kill, crush and destroy.
$ is my new GOD. I am committing myself to the worship and pursuit of $. Money is everything. Without it, you get castrated by credit card companies. Without it you have absolutely no power. No juice. Forget about spiritual fulfillment, forget about happiness. I cannot be fulfilled when I know my life is at the mercy of every goddamn piece of shit that controls a piece of my life.
My employer, finance companies, the Mortgage Vampire, they all own a piece of me and that does not leave enough behind for me to enjoy. I am pursuing a full time job in the world of booze because of the money. I am amping up my attempts at selling words for the money.
In one sense money is the root of all evil. The power brokers who have it will do anything to keep it and to keep you from getting more of it. They are immoral, petty, sleazy, soul-less and they are proud of it. They don't care if you die. They want you to die.
The lack of money is also the root of all evil. Without it you are made small, forced to live a lifeless life. That is as evil as it gets.
I have will now. Gonna whip that sucker up into a frenzy. May not get me anywhere, may not get me anything, but leaving a trail of corpses behind me, a river of blood, an infinity of pain inflicted, an ocean of tears and bewilderment, yeah baby, that has got to feel good.
Stay out of my fucking way. I got no patience for your mindless opposition.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Corporate America Smiles As They Kill

Gather 'round, my friends, and I'll tell you a sad tale of Corporate America at it's sparkling best.
Pay close attention because you are the next victim.
Dropped my truck off to have it inspected. Turns out it required serious work that cost a lot of money. No choice but to whip out the credit card, but when I did the charge was rejected.  I knew there was plenty of room on the card so I asked Super Mechanic to run it again. Rejected. This was January 26.
Fortunately I have been going to this guy for 26 years; he let me take the truck without paying him. After humbly apologizing, Carol and I went home to figure out what the hell happened.
Took a look at our last credit card statement, received in early January and it showed available credit of $2,632. This is Sears/Citicorp, by the way, in case you want to know who to hate. We called them. They told us our credit history had been reviewed, which they do periodically, and because of increased debt, our credit line had been reduced by $2,550. We told them we had never been notified, the phone clerk told us a letter had been sent out on 1/18. After stressing repeatedly that we never received it, we went on to argue the merits of the situation with her to no avail. Moved on to her manager and got the same results. They refused to do anything to help us even though we were not even aware of the reduction. We have no idea how the hell we are going to pay the goddamn bill.
Ironically, because we exist south of the poverty line, we have had to use the credit card more than we wanted to, just to survive. What are we going to do know? Our heating oil payments are charged to that card monthly. WERE charged to that card. And that is just one example.
Fascinatingly enough, we received the notification letter yesterday; January 27. The letter was dated 1/23, not 1/18, which immediately raised suspicions in my mind. On top of that, some of the factors cited for the decision are questionable, and Carol and I are going to investigate.
By the way I am proud to report that at the end of our phone conversation Thursday night, Carol completely lost it. She used the F word, the S word, and any other word she could think of to express our frustration. Although the policy is not the clerk's fault, it's good a Sears/Citicorp representative got to hear that. They deserved it.
We got off the phone and looked at each other and said what the hell are we going to do? We felt completely helpless and intensely furious at the same time. As of that moment, we no longer had credit of any kind and no savings. We are naked and vulnerable. And Sears/Citicorp could not care less.
Let me make an important point. We have never missed a payment on this card. Never made a late payment on this card. And we have a long history with them. They chopped our available credit because they think there is a possibility we might become delinquent, regardless of our payment history.
I am filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General's office, and the Consumer Finance Agency. I don't expect to win, but I cannot in good conscience let these assheads off the hook without making them squirm.
The fine print in our contract might give them the right to do what they did, but when we called, they should have cut us some slack, given the situation. AND, on the day the limit was reduced we should have been called or a registered letter should have gone out that we had to sign for, so that we knew what was going on. The reduction should not have been active until we were notified.
This is the country we live in. It doesn't matter how hard you work and if you play by the rules, you will still be cut down by those in power. Why? Because they can.
There are millions in this country in the same boat and nobody on our side. And republican presidential candidates want to talk about abortion, gay marriage, don't ask don't tell, and religion. They toss around terms like job creators and job killers, and none of it means a goddamn thing. They don't know what we are going through, they don't care what we are going through. THEY DON'T CARE.
My mission in life is to bring down Sears/ Citicorp. We have to storm the castle, people. What these vipers do is not right, it is immoral, it is cold hearted and pointless. How much crap do we have to eat? How long can you squirm under the boot of greedy corporations until you rise up and fight back?
This is very serious stuff. You have no control. As difficult as your life is, a random act by a heartless corporation can make it worse.
Carol and I are going to fight back with everything we got. These scum are going to know we are around. They count on people rolling over.
They can go to hell. I am done rolling over.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Sunrise is stunning and brings with it hope.
Sunset;  beauty, finality and peace.
A bird’s song is delicate, exquisite.
A bird in flight is grace, a fluid expression of freedom.
Worry blinds, fear cripples and beauty is lost,
although it is vibrant around and through you.
Beauty is a choice.

Reason # 23,667 on Why I Love Reading

From The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke.

"But I had to remind myself that neither our own passing nor the passing of an era is a tragedy, no matter how much we would like to think it is. If there is any human tragedy, there is only one, and it occurs when we forget who we are and remain silent while a stranger takes up residence inside our skin."

Rolling With The Punches

When I took out a subscription to Rolling Stone many decades ago, I could not anticipate that one day I would see the name Young Jeezy on the cover.

Dig This

"Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men's reality. Weird heroes and mould- breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of "the rat race" is not yet final."

Hunter S. Thompson  1979

Clarity Can Kill Ya

I got a clear understanding of my life in the past month. Might be the source of the angst that has filled these pages.
I have cast my lot with the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission. Been humping and slinging booze for over a year now. Makes sense to just keep on keeping on. Too old, too tired to keep bouncing around. In the past six years I zipped from accounting to bar tending at the legion, from tending bar at the legion to tending bar at an inn and back to the legion. I zapped from the legion to working as a manager for a food distributor and back to the legion again. I zupped from the legion to The Booze Emporium, keeping a toe in the legion. Left the legion with finality and now I am a humble servant/employee exclusively of the NHSLC.
I began this searching at the age of 52. I am now 58. I am running out of time.
There is no security with the NHSLC. No dignity and no respect from upper management. But that would be true no matter where I went. Corporate america is what it is and there is no escaping it. So I have decided to ride this pony as far as it will take me. It's a paycheck and paychecks come in handy.
My brain is a strange bird and I am never happy where I am. I don't accept that this job is my destiny. While I am there I am thinking about how my life should be. How it could be. I have always been this way. This, of course, tortures me. The concepts of living in the Now and being grateful for what you have as opposed to mourning what you don't have, make sense to me. I understand that this is a recipe for happiness now. However, I have not been able to embrace these philosophies in my heart. Truthfully I believe these are dangerous points of view that allow you to accept mediocrity, to settle for your small life, to try to lessen your pain.
I prefer whiskey.
My endless unhappiness and discontent might be good for me. Motivators. I'm not sure. I have nothing to back this up with since I have achieved zero professional success and even less financial independence. But I recognize it for what it is and who I am and I will go with it.
I dragged a couple of cases of wine out to a woman yesterday and put them in the trunk of her Lincoln Continental. I wanted to knock her out and drive away in the car but I decided that strategy might not be fruitful. I am tired of humping booze out to Lincolns. I want the damn Lincoln.
The second and more important piece of my life's clarity is understanding that I am compelled to continue trying to earn money from writing. Hunter S. Thompson said that making a living from writing is a hard nut. He knew what he was talking about. The odds against me earning a little money from writing are astronomical. The odds against me earning a lot of money from writing are infinitely large. Deciding to be a writer is like deciding to be an actor or an athlete or a singer or an artist. A steep climb with huge rejection and little encouragement and only the faintest hope of reward. This piece of Joe-Life clarity is more painful than resigning myself to dancing with the liquor devil. All my efforts may end up in a box that my kids fill when I am but a memory. There is an excellent possibility that there will be no pay stubs in that box.
But it is what I love, I have a talent for it and I have to pursue this dream. Otherwise I have nothing.
So there you have it. My life reduced to simple clarity and harsh reality. Gambling on the liquor commission, and pursuing a dream that is almost guaranteed to fail and to break my heart. I have never viewed my life so clearly before and it is an odd feeling.
The two things I am pinning my future on are unreliable and likely to hurt me.
"Life should be fragrant. Rooftop to the basement." U2. The operative word there is Should. For the vast majority of people in the world, it is not.
Mine is not.
At this late stage, my life is bookended by the act of swallowing my pride and clinging to a dream.
"Nobody told me there'd be days like these. Strange days indeed." John Lennon

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Three Movies And A Goal

Just watched three great and wildly different movies in a row. Kind of on a roll.

Get Low - Robert Duvall. Great story about a guy who has suffered with a reality that has eaten him up for forty years. He organizes his own memorial service to be held while still alive so he can get this pain off his chest and out of his heart in front of everybody in town, who only know him as a quirky old recluse.

Out Of Season - Dennis Hopper. Twisted story featuring compelling, evil characters.

Another Year - ?   One year seen through the eyes of a happily married couple. They interact with friends and relatives and observe the pain and suffering that occurs from just being alive.

I love movies. It occurs to me that what I really want from life is to be addicted to narcotics. Home with my cats, on the nod, watching movies in moments of lucidity. Never leaving the house, never interacting with other humans.

'Cause you gotta have goals.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Given A Choice

Somehow, someway, we should all be given a choice at birth.
Or maybe as far back as conception.

An oracle, a soothsayer, a telepathic guru who can lay out your life for you before you are forced to endure it.

Had I been warned that I would spend my entire life earning less money than I needed to survive, never experiencing luxury, compromising enjoyment, referencing a dictionary that excludes the word dignity...................................................

I would have said "No thanks. Cancel my existence."

Life (Or A Cheap Imitation Thereof)

The alarm shrills you awake and you scream.
Please. No. Not again.
You go to work and swallow your pride.
It goes down hard and tastes like acid.
The paycheck comes around and you cry.
I'm so ashamed. I'm so ashamed.
You say "Let's eat at The Beacon Hill Bistro".
She says "How about McDonald's?"
And you burn with frustration.

This happens over and over and over again for fifty years.

You are 72, working part time as a supermarket bagger to supplement Social Security.
Young co-workers laugh at you and you drink secretly in despair.
Your mind cannot comprehend your reality.

You hear the dirt smother the coffin lid and you think
"What a waste."

Dangerous? 2.0

I connected Newt's "dangerous" comments to terrorism and the fear of poverty.
I gave him too much credit.
All he has to do is use the word dangerous in describing President Barack Obama and he has accomplished his objective.
The citizens of this country are deep down afraid. Of everything. Because every single thing they used to feel they could count on has been taken away, broken down, subverted and perverted.
Cretin Newt uses the word dangerous, and he immediately taps in to a nationwide insecurity, shaded with racism, fear and hatred.
He is scum. He knows compared to President Barack Obama his intelligence is on a par with a second grader, so he opts to incite uneducated, small minded and fear filled Americans as a campaign strategy.
He represents the worst in human nature and the worst in our political process.
If you vote for him, your future holds fire and pitchforks.

The Suicide Hotline Is Busy, Please Call Back

The two most depressed men in the world right now are Kyle Williams and Billie Cundiff. Each should be on a suicide watch, and each should be kept away from their teammates for a minimum of six months.
I am a humanist. I FEEL for people.
Professional athletes are pampered and this disgusts me. Make a trade, the guy has a horrible year and the coach says "He needs time to adjust to the new environment." This is an athlete who will get paid more in one year than I will ever earn in my tiny, almost invisible, lifetime. And his organization makes excuses for him.
I earn 13 cents an hour and I am expected to perform. No excuses, no time to adjust, no empathy, no sensitivity. I screw up a little, I get my balls busted. I screw up a lot, I am gone.
Logic dictates to me that the more money you earn, the more should be expected from you. But then again, the only "more" expected of corporate executives is more corporate lunches, more expensive cars, more cold heartedness directed towards their "subordinates." But I digress.
When athletes fail on a huge scale on the big stage, they are reviled. Fans are merciless, evil, vicious and ignorant.
This is where I draw the line. They are human. I feel bad for Bill Buckner. Need I say more? They have nerves, they feel pressure even though they will lie and say they don't (except Adam Vinitieri, whose blood flow is restricted by ice cubes).
Kyle Williams fumbled twice and cost the 49'ers a trip to the Super Bowl. I am convinced if he handled the punt in OT, the 9'ers would have won.
Billie Cundiff missed a 32 yard field goal that would have sent the PATS/ravens game into OT. He cost the ravens the chance at a trip to the Super Bowl.
These are huge mistakes. Football is a brutal, vicious sport. You get beat hard every week, week after week, for a chance to make it to The Big Game. If you make the playoffs you do not want to beat yourself. You are in too much pain, you have worked too hard, your emotions are stretched too thin. If you lose in the playoffs you want to get beat giving your best effort.
Fans and sports analysts will rip these two apart. They will get cruel, they will make jokes. Cundiff and Williams will probably be 100% uncomfortable in their own home towns. They will probably feel that their safety and the safety of their families is threatened. This is so goddamn wrong.
Michael Strahan was asked "Athletes always say we live and die as a team, it is never one player's fault. How would you handle it if your kicker lost a playoff game?" He said "If he was still on my team next year, we would have a problem."  Case in point.
I have to be honest. I am glad Cundiff missed the field goal. The miss paved the road to the Super Bowl. But I do not want the man to suffer. I do not want his family to have to deal with viciousness, verbal or physical.
I am disappointed that Williams fumbled. Felt like the 9'ers deserved that win. But he does not deserve to be tortured for the mistake.
Tough call. We live small, angry, painful, disappointing lives. We pin our hopes and dreams on our teams. But you cannot castrate them when they fail.
How often do you fail? Pretty regularly, I'm guessing.
Try a little tenderness. It will catch your evil human nature by surprise, but it might just change you for the better.

Dig This

"I have a terrible need...................shall I say the word?....................of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars."

Vincent van Gogh                    

Monday, January 23, 2012

Depression Is OK

The prevailing wisdom is to put a good face on it. If you are down, really depressed, unhappy, completely lost, you are supposed to smile when you go to work, make jokes, pretend everything is OK.
I think this is bullshit.
I think it is unhealthy.
If your depression consumes you, go with it. It is natural. I'm not talking about snapping at people, being rude, attacking people. You have to find a way to function. Unfortunately there is no getting through the day without talking to people, which definitely sucks when you NEED to be left alone. Sometimes what your soul absolutely requires is that you make it through the day with no communication whatsoever. Because nobody can help you, nobody will understand you, and usually the best they can do is make ridiculously shallow attempts to cheer you up. Which only deepens the depression.
So be courteous, but do not waste your energy on pretending to be happy. Pretending to be happy creates conflict between your mind and your soul, confusing the whole situation and making you more miserable.
Our society is anti-honesty. You have to pretend to be tough, pretend to be happy, pretend that your life is good. Nobody wants honesty because nobody can handle it. For a huge majority of people, life is a grind and nothing more. Disappointment, dead dreams, financial embarrassment, a complete absence of fun.
If you get overwhelmed from time to time, get quiet. Stop pretending. Feel your depression, let it flow from your soul to your brain to your emotions. It is natural and you are human.
If somebody persists in trying to cheer you up, club them over the head and walk away in silent satisfaction.

PATS 23 ravens 20

When my father was incredibly angry, he would use the expression pig's eye. If he spoke those words you knew you were in the danger zone. He never hit me, but I think pig's eye was a warning that he was within a hair of doing so. If in 1972 I said "Dad someday there will be a black President of The United States" his response would have been "Pig's eye" and I would have backed off immediately.
I saw the pig's eye thing in Tom Brady yesterday after the game. On national TV he said that he sucked and his eyes flashed fire.
This is a good thing.
The man is a god, but he looked a tad fallible at times against the broncos and the ravens. Missed passes he wouldn't normally miss. Got rattled. Not sure what's going on there. I'm sure Gisele can't cook. Maybe intestinal disorders are catching up with him.
I think he has had enough. Going up against the giants on 02/05, concentrated anger will be a formidable weapon. The giants robbed us of a 19-0 season a few years ago. Robbed us of the chance to do something that has never been done before. And something we will never have the chance to do again.
I'm sure that has been burning in Brady's gut ever since.
And because he is a pro, I'm sure he doesn't see it as a robbery. I'm sure he takes the blame, admits THE PATS got beat and is dying for a chance to redeem himself. 02/05, baby - 02/05.
Eli has been getting attention for the elite quarterback thing. Bet that disturbs Brady as well. Please look at Eli's stats from last year.
He has had a better year this year and he is definitely a winner. I hate to admit that, but he does have a ring, and he has led the giants to successful seasons.
But he is a whiny little man, a Manning trait. I don't think Archie was like that; I don't remember seeing thirteen year old facial expressions on his mug. Peyton and Eli were brought up rich. Perhaps they were spoiled. Perhaps they learned to whine when they don't get their way.
In any event, Brady is a man, Manning is a boy.
I want XLVI to go one of two ways. I want THE PATS to win 334 to 2, OR I want THE PATS to score a touchdown with no time left, making the final score 24-21. In other words, I want THE PATS to humiliate the giants in front of the world OR I want them to crush their spirit at the last second.
Now, in the interests of preserving the vibe, I am not guaranteeing a PATS victory. I am cautiously optimistic. I know exactly what I need to wear to focus the positive vibe in a laser-like way. In fact, my buddy Bob Kraft called after the game and complimented me on my outfit and thanked me for contributing to the victory.
I have to survive the next two weeks. Not easy. Don't give a damn about anything else, and this could be a problem because I might have a job interview during that time period.
It could go like this. "Joe - from a manager's perspective, what is your most important function?" "Super Bowl XLVI". "Joe - if a subordinate is stealing money what is the appropriate response?" "Super Bowl XLVI."
You get the picture.
I am hobbled with expectations. I am as giddy as a schoolboy. I feel good, I feel confident, I feel alive.
This is our fifth trip to the Super Bowl since the beginning of the century. That is an amazing stat. This is an amazing organization and an amazing team.
I'm hungry for a fourth title, hungry like a rich man is hungry to keep his foot on the back of my neck.
I may be broke, no restaurants, no buying anything that is fun, strapped in, limited and constricted, but I got football, baby.
I got football.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


OK here we go. PATS/ravens at 3:00. If THE PATS win this game they are in the Super Bowl. I woke up thinking about this game. It is flowing through my veins, infecting my brain, churning my stomach and zinging my nerves.
Football playoffs are so big you don't even have to mention the teams specifically. "Will you be watching the game tomorrow? Where will you be watching the game? Who will you be watching the game with? What do you think about the game?" Heard these questions and similar comments all week at The Booze Emporium. Very cool.
But the past part was, as each contented booze consumer wrapped up their transaction they would say "Go PATS." Goosebumps.
I chose my wardrobe carefully this morning. I decided on a Super Bowl XXXVI T-shirt over a conference championship T-shirt because I feel it projects hopefulness. Not cockiness. Hopefulness. I am currently wearing a 2007 AFC championship sweatshirt, but that will change and I will explain shortly.
Popped in my PATS earring. Later I will put on my PATS watch.
Last week, precisely 1 hour and 45 minutes before the game, I put on my Tom Brady jersey. At 1:15 today, the conference championship sweatshirt comes off, the Brady jersey goes on. That will give it time to power up.
I am wearing pink socks. They express my quirkiness. THE PATS love my quirkiness; they want me to express myself honestly today. It helps the vibe.
Got a great cardboard poster with a picture of Gillette stadium lit up at night. Gonna put that right next to the TV.
I am excited beyond words. But I'll talk anyway. Excited beyond all common sense, almost beyond the limits of human endurance.
This game today means everything to me. It is all I care about. I want a PATS victory so bad I would watch the Ellen DeGeneres show if that contributed to the positive vibe. But I can't imagine that being helpful in any way under any circumstance. Thank god.
Football is larger than life. Baseball, basketball, hockey, best of seven. Football win and move on, lose and go home. Sudden death. Sudden life. It is very, very heavy.
I need something of this scope to give my life some majesty, some raw, true emotion. My life is so small I can't even see it. I try to pump it up but apparently there is a leak in there somewhere.
Today football is my life. Today my life is huge.
I am supporting THE PATS today with all my heart, all my soul, with everything I got. Even pink socks.
If they win I will be so alive I will be floating on the ceiling and writing like Hemingway. If they lose I will be severely depressed and completely mute.
I don't think they are going to lose. Since they lost to the giants in the whiny Eli Manning bowl, they have fought and struggled to get back there. And they have been amazingly successful for a team that has endured so much change, including losing Tom Brady for one full season.
This team has character. They have heart. They have talent.
GO PATS. And thank you so much for infusing me with life year after year after year.


Haven't written a word in a couple of days. Torture for me because this is really the only way I communicate. Everything else is blurred by static and confusion and opinions and pettiness and people who don't listen, don't care, don't feel, don't live.
However I know this has been a wonderful breather for you. "Thank god Krazy Joe hasn't written anything. He vibrates my mind with insanity and passion and it is sometimes too much for me to bear."
Well strap in, Bubba. I'm back.
At a republican presidential candidate comedic performance/debate earlier this week, Gingrich said President Obama is the most dangerous president of our lifetime. These are not words born of intelligent analysis or critical insight. These are words meant to incite.
These words got applause.
He is playing a dangerous game and the American public is lapping it up like mindless dogs. Because there is an undercurrent which is really an overcurrent (if there really is such a thing) of viciousness, racism and stupidity directed at President Obama. Gingrich knows it, he knows how dangerous this situation is and he exploits it.
Comments like that should automatically disqualify him as a presidential candidate. And maybe they will, if the Amercian public gets their head out of their ass. I will contain my optimism on that point.
Gingrich won South Carolina. Sickening. Makes me consider boycotting ever visiting there BUT Gregg Allman lives there. What am I to do?
On Fox, Gingrich said President Obama is potentially the most dangerous president because he misunderstands reality, he bullies our allies, insults our enemies, and uses words as a substitute for reality.
Gingrich is knowledgeable, he is not a stupid man when it comes to keeping facts in his head, and he comes across as an expert on foreign policy. It's easy for him to project this image because the American public does not understand foreign policy. I know I don't. So many countries, so many types of leadership, so hard to understand who is on this side and who is on that side. He only has to know a little more than the rest of us to project authority. Doesn't matter if he speaks the truth or not.
Fear of terrorism has been overshadowed by fear of poverty, fear of job loss, fear of the loss of social security, medicare and medicaid, fear of the loss of dignity, fear of a hopeless life cut short by misery and suffering.
But fear of terrorism is still out there. Easily manipulated to rouse the mindless to wave flags and encourage the killing of all Muslims.
Gingrich is appealing to the basest elements of human nature. Dark hatred that used to hide just below the surface that now is openly accepted as political criticism.
Newt Gingrich is a despicable man. A cretin of morality. He is negative, combative and enjoys manipulating the minds of those whose only challenge is deciding every night whether or not to stare at the TV or stare at the wall.
This is indeed a dangerous time for America. Because of people like him. Racist, no concern for the working class backbone of this country, no concern for anything that doesn't line his pockets.
As he campaigns, he continues to enrich himself by plugging his books. He can't lose. But even if he doesn't consider losing the nomination a big deal, I do. People like him need to return to the swamps from which they arose and wallow privately in their own cold hearted stench.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

He Is One Cool Cat

All you have to do is watch a cat walk to understand where that expression came from.

Three's Company (?)

I was inspired to write a rant along the lines of how the hell could anybody vote for a candidate named Mitt. Or Newt.
Then I remembered that I voted for a guy named Barack.
The Mitt vs Newt show is fascinating. Mitt is a slimy, spineless, uncommitted weasel. Just watching him speak makes me squirm. There is nothing bold or inspirational or even manly about the guy. I have to take a shower every time I see him just to get the toad slime off my body.
He's so damn rich he is completely out of touch with us wee folk. Do you think he has even a clue how we live? How can he look out for our best interests when he doesn't even know what they are? He would protect only the interests of the rich if he slipped into the White House and you and I would be royally screwed.
You could make the argument that President Obama was not connected to the people because of his intelligence. We are a country of cretins. But intelligence can be used for good, it can be used for evil. The Prez is trying to change things, trying to take care of us wee folk. He may not make you want to hug him, but you should feel compelled to thank him.
Newt is frightening. He is evil and cold to the core. Just watch this lizard in action. he makes your skin crawl. What bothers me is that he taps into the hatred that is rampant in our society. Racism and an overwhelming need to defeat President Obama versus doing what is right for this country, trying to pull us out of the ditch. He knows that The Prez is hated for all the wrong reasons and that they are dangerous reasons, that there is no logic to the fierce opposition that is unprecedented in this country. He knows it and exploits it. That is because he has no conscience, no soul, no sense of morality and too much testosterone. The people who support him represent all that is dangerous and dark in this society. It is horrifying how many of them there are.
Please note: Voting for any of the current republican presidential candidates is an act of treason against the government of the United States.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life Is

Life is making a dump run on a cold eight degree Sunday, tired, following a night of watching THE PATS crush denver and crawling into bed at 1:35 a.m.

Gotta Love Blues Lyrics

I can't stand your cooking
and you ain't good looking
I'm gone

Absolutely fantastic

You Rock, Carl Baby

Cosmos ends with a bang. Pun intended. The last two chapters were exquisite. Sagan theorizing why there has been no contact with other life forms in the universe, Sagan contrasting our potential self destruction to the benefits of space exploration.
Sagan was an optimistic guy, a lover of humanity, passionate about all things human and interstellar. Pretty cool for a scientist.
One theory that fascinated me is that it is a natural arc for life to emerge and evolve on a planet until it gets to a technological place where it can destroy itself. Which it does.
Describes planet earth perfectly.
So if other life forms are more advanced than us they have already destroyed themselves. Hence no contact.
Of course he explores the possibility of other life forms being so advanced that they have survived their own evil nature and are so far ahead of us that they merely observe us.
I like the destruction theory better. It makes more sense, given what we know about this planet.
Talks about the history of civilizations destroying other civilizations because of their differences and how we are now at the point, and have been for quite some time, of being capable of destroying the planet completely. Talks about this being a critical time for humanity, standing at the crossroads of death and transcendence.
Sagan: "......we have accumulated dangerous evolutionary baggage, hereditary propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders and hostility to outsiders, which place our survival in some question. But we have also acquired compassion for others, love for our children, a desire to learn from history, and a great soaring, passionate intelligence." He admits to being unsure about which aspects of our nature will win out.
He believed in some ways space exploration would give us a broader perspective and help us to realize that we are all one. He was much more optimistic than I am.
"Hypnotized by mutual mistrust, almost never concerned for the species or the planet, the nations prepare for death." Right on, Carl. In 1980 the budget for the Department of Defense was 153 billion. The budget for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency was 18 million. I'm sure the gap is much wider today.
Trying to figure out what the hell is up with human nature, he sites a cross cultural study that suggests that cultures that lavish physical affection on infants tend to be less violent. Those that don't, dig violence.
This is directly in line with my theory of Transference of Stupidity. Stupid parents produce stupid children. You see this in abundance in this country. Parents who communicate by yelling, parents whose kids are always crying.  I think there is a LOT more of that than there are intelligent, sensitive parents. We revere stupidity in this country and we pass it from generation to generation.
The book was cool. I learned a lot and it has a lot of pretty pictures. The footnotes were kind of scary though. There were so many footnotes that if I read them all I would still be reading the book in 2015 (assuming we get past 12/21/12).
The surprising thing that came out of reading it was a feeling for how petty and evil and vicious we humans are. Going back to the beginning of civilization consistently right up to today, the history is one of jealousy and violence, war and destruction.
The quest for knowledge is in direct contrast to that, although Sagan points out that the same technology and science that is directed towards nuclear weapons is also used in the exploration of space. There is a choice there, and if history is any indicator we humans will most assuredly make the wrong one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It's dark and it's cold and it's late
I'm trying to re-direct fate
Momentum's a bitch
Just can't flip the switch
My spirit's becoming irate

January Birthdays

I was reminded of January birthdays today. Because Muhammad Ali is 70 today. I worship and have always worshipped Ali. He is at the top of my list of inspirational human beings. Bowie has a birthday this month. So do I.
Many of the people who inspired my youth are getting up in age. Because I too am getting up in age. Their demise will trigger a river of tears from me. Could be that Muhammad will be the most painful of all. The man captured my imagination and fired up my spirit and hijacked my admiration. I heard a comment today that I loved. "Muhammad Ali could say anything he wanted to say, speak up as he pleased, in a way most of us dream of. And he could back it up with his fists."
I started wondering who else of greatness I share a birthday month with.
Here is my edited list (because the list is long):
J.D Salinger (01/01), Isaac Asimov, Elvis, Joan Baez, Gene Krupa, Stephen Hawking, Janis Joplin, Al Capone, Edgar Allen Poe, Bill Maher, Edouard Manet, Warren Zevon, Etta James, Paul Newman, Jackson Pollock, W.C. Fields, Charlie Musselwhite, Norman Mailer, Jackie Robinson.
There are many more on the list that mean something to me but I didn't want to bore you. As if I haven't already.
It's comforting to associate your birthday, and by extension, yourself, with greatness. You definitely do not want to be just one more individual in the countless numbers of the great unwashed.
Most famous and successful people held strange jobs as they worked their way up. Soul sucking, mind crushing, spirit stealing jobs. For money. For food.
I am willing to bet nobody on the January birthday list was a part time clerk in a state run liquor store.
This gives me hope.
My path to greatness is unique. There is a different angle, a personal sparkle to my journey, that gives it soul.
A January 1 birthday is divine approval to achieve. Just knowing that J.D.Salinger shared my birthday is everything I need to know about that kind of start to a life. A January birthday is inspired by greatness, uniqueness, fight, fire and desire handed down by all the people on this list and many, many more.
I write these words because I am completely lost this month. Desperate to grab on to anything that can re-inspire me to conceive, believe and achieve.
Happy Birthday, Muhammed Ali. I love you, man. You shook up my life when I was young and impressionable, before responsibility fought hard to close my mind.
You are still there in my mind, my soul, my heart.
A toast to the month of January.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back Roads Inspiration

I prefer to take the back roads, and am lucky enough to live in an area where the back roads are gorgeous.
I used to be a highway, fastest route there guy when I lived in Massachusetts. Maybe I am a product of my environment, but I can tell you I like the back roads me better. When you are zipping down the highway you are not experiencing anything except concrete and barriers and signs signs everywhere a sign, and meth heads screaming up on your bumper and then careening over into the left lane. The passing lane. The only thing passing in that lane is life. Or maybe gas. The interior environment of these white knuckled Neanderthals may be compromised and I'm not sure I would like the aroma.
When I decide to follow my road to its logical end and proceed through the heart of town and beyond, I end up driving through the cemetery. I say driving through because it is on both sides of the road just as you leave the heart of town. Maybe the cemetery is the heart of town. I don't know. Something to think about.
It always blows my mind because the natural beauty is suddenly interrupted by death. I can be looking at the trees or old New England houses exploding with character or digging the sunshine and suddenly I am surrounded by tombstones. I kind of like it because it is a brief and somber reminder of reality. Go ahead and dig nature's beauty and the town you so intelligently decided to call home 26 years ago, but don't forget that times is passing quickly and you need to make your life your own before you end up here.
It blows my mind even more because I know at least five people sleeping there. If I had a conversation with Carol I'm sure the tally would go up because my memory is faulty. But think about that. Five people who came into my life only in the last 26 years are dead. The closest to home being Chip. A friend of mine who died in 1999 at the age of forty four. A drinking partner, racing buddy and conversational confidant who died in his truck in his driveway after a day's work. That one should have taught me to dig every day but it didn't seep in. Not right away. But beginning last year and stumbling into 2012 my brain is starting to appreciate and enjoy. Could be delayed Chip-ness. Thanks for not giving up on me, man.
I want thirty more years. 88 is a ripe old age and that would give me plenty of time to wrestle my life into shape. But they have to be healthy, aware years. No torturous cancer, no Alzheimer's, no diapers, no assisted living. I do not ever want my sons to see me on the same level as cauliflower. And I do not want them soiling their hands on my diapers even though I did on theirs hundreds of times. It ain't about payback. I smiled as I applied wet wipes to their butts because I could look down on their faces and their bodies and sense their souls; my beautiful, precious sons. They won't be smiling if wet wipes become a means of communication between us in the future. Hopefully they would be crying. But I am not going to let that happen.
I want to be massively dead. I want my life to explode out of me and leave me massively dead. It's 2042, I just experienced Whipping Post on whatever unbelievable medium exists at the time, I jump (?) up excitedly out of my recliner because I still cannot contain myself when it comes to The Allman Brothers Band and BOOM, my heart explodes. There is actually an audible though muffled explosion, my eyes open wide in surprise, and I fall to the floor with a huge smile on my face. Gone.
Or maybe just go in my sleep. That would be less stressful for anybody around at the time. I do have a flair for the dramatic, though. The muffled explosion thing kind of appeals to me. I came into life on New Year's day with a pointed head. I might as well go out with a flair as well.
I don't know, but I have thirty years to think about it.

Life Is

Life is stopping to love your cat on the way back to bed, after getting up at 4:49 a.m. to go to the bathroom.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Heightened Sense of Smell

Sometimes you get home from work, walk into the house and the aroma of something magnificent greets you. Your stomach starts growling.You are tired, having been beaten down by the man all day, you feel like a walking corpse, but your hunger reminds you that you are alive, that you have the opportunity to rejuvenate yourself and start again.
"Baby let's eat", you say, "I'm starving and dinner smells so good." But she tells you that she is cooking Alaskan Cricklewood Stew and that it has to simmer for an hour. Reluctantly you hit the recliner and wait. You try to remain calm but your body begins twitching like a man strapped to the electric chair right after they throw the switch.
That's how I feel today. I smell the Super Bowl. It is one game away. If THE PATS beat Houston/Baltimore, they are heading to Indianapolis, and I will be there with them in spirit. I am twitching.
I want to put my life on hold for the next week. I don't want to work or cook or food shop or brush my teeth. I want to sit in my recliner and watch football highlights 24/7. Specifically PATRIOTS highlights. Three championships and countless division and conference championships in just the last ten years. I want to wallow in the excess of their success and prepare myself mentally and emotionally for the next two (hopefully) games. I am being cautious here. Previously I boldly predicted THE PATS to make the Super Bowl. After destroying Tebow last night, my superstitious nature is kicking in. I will not disturb the karmic flow. I will enhance it with concentrated, high intensity focus.
I wore a Brady jersey last night. I would not typically buy a Brady jersey, always seemed like kind of a girly thing to do. I was given this jersey as a gift from two people I love and I wore it proudly last night. Now I have to wear it next week as well. I am locked in.
And why not. Brady is a god. He is a supreme, Hall of Fame quarterback. THE PATS were up by 147 points last night and there was still fire in his eyes. Three championship rings and he wants more. I dig that enormously.
I am also considering buying a new PATS T-shirt. I haven't bought one in a long time and I'm thinking maybe that's why they haven't won a Super Bowl in a while. I'll have to clear this through Carol, The Supreme Budget Maven. We'll see.
Watched the game last night in football central. A playoff tradition has evolved here over the years that has grown in awesomeness to the point where it is almost inconceivable.
P&B's home. Carol and I were the last to arrive, having driven 2300 miles, which we do willingly and with complete abandon. With our arrival the number of attendees swelled to eleven. And the first thing you feel is the buzz. The vibration. Everybody loves football and everybody worships in The Church of The Holy PATS.
You could slice a chunk out of the air in that bar and it would taste like football.
Booze. Gotta have it, although P&B initiated some sort of strange cooler management program last night, forcing us to keep our coolers upstairs. Maybe it was a secret sobriety test; fall down the stairs, no more booze. I was granted special dispensation to keep my whiskey bottle downstairs; that was comforting.
A delightful, smoky haze hung in the room and occasionally someone would hand me a pipe. Respectful of American Indian traditions, I partook.
Enormous amounts of food. I ate 57 meatballs, 18 fat chicken wings, and every other goddamn thing I could get my hands on.
Carol made a football cake. How cool is that? Can your wife make a football cake? Would she even try?
I sat in the front row of chairs, no more than three feet from the TV, probably closer. I never do this, prefer to hang back. But my mental state was in perfect harmony with Hi-Def technology and the experience was huge. Felt like I was at the goddamn game. It was incredible.
And I sat next to Bill. Bill is quirky. I love quirky. There is lots of quirky in the world; Bill has his own unique brand of quirky that just makes things better.
We talked, we laughed, we got strange. I love strange too.
We watched THE PATS humiliate denver.
I will be on my knees every day this week praying that all roads lead to Keith's house. Insiders know what I am talking about.
'Nuff said.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Breaking News: Big Bang A Mystery

So I am hippity hopping and bippity bopping through Cosmos. Remarkable book. The man jumps from ancient philosophers and civilizations to the human brain and whales and the human body and ecology and TV and politics and much, much more, and somehow connects it all to the study of the cosmos.
I have to admit I just plowed through two heavy chapters. Chapters where I allowed my eyes to read the words and my brain to receive them, but most of it could not have been more confusing had it been written in Mandarin. But I am committed and I am nearing the end - I shall carry on.
When he references religious beliefs on the creation of the universe, he does it with reverence but also with a wink and a nod. The chapter I just finished discusses The Big Bang. Sagan explains in great detail how it happened, while also admitting why the Big Bang happened is one of life's great mysteries.
WHAT? That sounds like a religious comment to me. Blew my mind. There are a hell of a lot of assumptions built into the theory of The Big Bang - not facts - assumptions. Kind of like assuming that God always was and always will be.
Scientists will torture you with details about stuff like that, make it sound like there are no other options and that what they are proposing is incontrovertibly true. Religious zealots and republican presidential candidates do the same thing.
More proof of just how lost the human race is. When it comes to the really big stuff, our origin and our inevitable death, we are woefully ignorant. These are the things we really need to know, the things we have a right to know. The knowing would completely define who we are and where we are going. And we will never know until dirt hits the lid of the coffin. Imagine if there is no afterlife, no ethereal consciousness; then we are faced with an infinity of not knowing. I hate that idea.
No matter which side you choose, there is a large amount of faith involved in the believing. Scientists might dispute that, arguing that their assumptions are extremely well educated guesses, but the truth is ultimately they don't have the answers any more than a religious scholar does.
A lot of energy and arguing and discussion is devoted to the topic of our creation because we hunger to know. Millions goosestep mindlessly into churches praying for an answer; millions goosestep into labs mindlessly trying to work out solutions.
Makes me think of the Christmas music I listened to 24/7 for a few weeks at The Booze Emporium. So many words about peace on earth and goodwill to man. A baby being born who is going to save mankind and blanket the earth with love.
We humans are desperate to know, desperate for peace both of mind and of body, desperate for an end to war, desperate to find the meaning of life. We have created all these Christmas songs that reflect a hunger for a better world.
We pray passionately and clutch the bible to our chests in hope.
We conduct experiments endlessly and record data as "proof".
The Christmas song thing might have seemed like a stretch to you, but it all connects in my mind so you are going to have to live with it.
On a lighter note. Sagan talks about the possibility of intelligent life on other planets and in other galaxies evaluating us on the stuff we are beaming out into space. Noting that every television show ever broadcast is bouncing around the cosmos.
Can you imagine the impression that would make on an intelligent civilization?
Now I understand The Big Bang. It will be the earth exploding as aliens blast us out of existence after watching one episode of the Jerry Springer show.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Dangerous Place

I am in a very dangerous place. On Saturday I will be in the tenth day of ten days in a row at work with no days off. Working 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
On Saturday THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS play the denver broncos for the AFC Divisional title at 8:00 p.m..
On Saturday I will be watching the game at Paula and Bill's house.
This is a home where alcohol abuse and drug use are condoned.
My twin weaknesses. Along with my all consuming passion..............................FOOTBALL.
It is impossible to predict how my mind and my body will react to all this insanity and passion and over-tiredness, and chemical and grain inspired stimulation.
Suffice it to say I will not remember the ride home. It's even possible I may not remember the game. Thank god I have the NFL network to show me the replay of THE PATS victory 254 times during the week.
I am looking forward to this night more than a convict looks forward to release after serving 44 years in maximum security prison. More than that same prisoner looks forward to encountering his first woman in 44 years, after bunking with Bubba.
I hunger for Saturday night. Gotta get through three more days of work first.
Piece of cake.
I am a machine. I will grind it out. And on Saturday I will do what football fans do - LOSE MY MIND. Forget everything else in my life and focus on one football game.  One football game that means everything.
Until next week.
I NEED to get this out of my system. As THE PATS progress, I cannot be watching them covered in drool and sweat and blood, projecting vile whiskey breath and brain damage in front of the rest of my family.
Paula and Bill get it. They understand fanatic insanity and know how to make room for whiskey abuse, beer manipulation, and pot over-indulgence.
Pray for me.
Fervently wish that my head does not explode. Carol will not be inspired to scrape bits of my brain off of P&B's walls.
OK. That's it. It's only Wednesday, for Christ sake.
I gotta maintain.
It's a goddamn challenge.

Life Is

Life is cardboard containers of leftover Chinese food in the fridge identified in magic marker. Sesame chicken. Pork fried rice. Crab rangoon. Peking ravioli.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Can't Stand This

Just watched the replay/hype of the Saints winning the Super Bowl against the Colts. Not because I have any special interest in that particular game. Although I do have a romantic, voodoo inflected relationship with New Orleans and what the Saints victory meant to that city. Because I am beginning to fire up my juices for THE PATS 2011 postseason run.
Sitting there in my recliner vibrating like a gong that T-Rex just banged, visualizing myself at Keith's house watching THE PATS compete in Super Bowl XLVI.
I already have them there. I'm gonna say this quietly so nobody really hears me. Don't want to jinx them. BUT I see us beating Denver, Houston beating Baltimore and us beating Houston. Bang we're in the Super Bowl. Packers beat the Giants, Saints beat San Fran, Packers beat the Saints.
Presto - The Revenge Bowl. January 26, 1997. Packers 35. PATS 21.
Even if I am wrong ( a trillion to one shot), I could deal with us facing The New York Football Giants. February 3, 2008. Giants 17. PATS 14. This one would be the It's Time For You To Die Bowl. (That game broke my goddamn heart).
The details are irrelevant. I am antsy, excited, anxious, anticipatory, impatient. Cannot wait for Saturday night. Can't think about anything else. Do not want to think about anything else.
Football consumes me. And THE PATS consume football.
Life is all about the NFL playoffs. The postseason.
Those numbers are tattooed on the inside wall of my aorta.
Still got room for XLVI.
If I could drink it or snort it or inject it into my veins, I would.

Perspective Re-Aligned

Today I am going to talk about fluffy kittens and playful puppy dogs, newborn infants and the baby Jesus, delicate flower arrangements, sugar, spice and everything nice, peace, love and understanding.
I have been a very angry man for a few weeks now. I think you may have noticed. Some of that anger was misplaced. Some of it misdirected.
First of all, I have been sick for a couple of weeks now. I think Carol thinks I'm a baby when I'm sick. She doesn't come out and say it because she is too considerate, but she told me I don't talk to her when I get sick. Apparently sitting silently and brooding. Part of my brain believes that all men are babies when they are sick. But I prefer to intellectualize my position.
I believe that I get angry when I am sick because I still have to work. I believe it is a basic human right to rest when you are sick. Dignity. Possibly a silly point of view. Everybody works sick. That's why everybody keeps getting sick.
I have been working my ass off for weeks now. So has everybody else in Store 072. I have been getting paid for those hours. I need that money. So in reality it is a good thing. The schedule has slowed down my convalescence but it has not slowed down my checking account. That's life, baby.
I don't like being a part timer because it does not allow you the dignity of choice. If work opportunities arise, you have to take advantage. If you are sick you cannot choose to stay home because you won't get paid.
It is my fault that I am a part timer and nobody else's. I interviewed for a position that was way over my head. Did it for the experience. And it was a good and entertaining experience. A Tribunal of Self Important Execs evaluating my capabilities. I'm sure they were as amused with me as I was with them. Applied for a couple of full time jobs that were mysteriously taken off the table. Never even got the chance to interview.
That's life in corporate America, baby. It's my responsibility to keep trying if I want to improve my lot in life. Ebenezer Scrooge is not going to double my salary for showing up late for work on the day after Christmas. Even if I was making quite merry.
I do not respect the liquor commission executives. But the truth is I don't respect most executives. The "skills" it takes to become an executive are in direct opposition to the skills it takes to be a genuine human being.
But that truth exists in every organization.
I do not want to leave the booze business. I am older and tired and I do not want to start again somewhere else. Besides I have done one hell of a lot of research in  the world of booze. It would be a shame to waste that knowledge.
I have to find a way to become a full timer. At least that way I am guaranteed a regular paycheck. Until they decide to replace me with a Capuchin monkey.
Maybe move up through the ranks to manage or assist in managing a store. I can cover my pride with designer, semi-sweet chocolate and swallow it quite efficiently.
I must also continue my quest for independence through the written word. That is where my soul lies. I can never give that up. If I did, I would shrivel up and die like the wicked witch of the west after being doused with a bucket of water.
I am feeling a little better today. Not as good as I think I should after all this time, but a little more me. So I'm seeing things a little more honestly.
Life is a cheese grater and we are all Pecorino. The object is to adapt your shape as life shreds bits and pieces of you away.
Today I am adapting.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Couldn't Be More Empty

Last Thursday I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being completely lost, totally alone and without direction. It was uncomfortable.
I visited Dr. Feelgood to have this hideous disease diagnosed. Then I bopped over to the Russel Animal Hospital to pick up a 2012 SPCA calender. Every year I pick up a calender that reflects some aspect of me quite specifically. This is the first one of this sort and I feel good about it.
Next to the gas station to inflate my woefully under inflated front left tire. Then to the coffee shop to pick up some K-cups (only strong coffee for me, baby). Still had half an hour to kill before work.
Unfortunately the disrespectful way I have been treated by my employers over the past few weeks has killed any possibility of ever going in early. Only a chump sacrifices his personal time for people who don't care if he lives or dies.
So off to McDonald's for two sausage burritos. $2.18.
I was sitting in the truck, munching, and suddenly I was overcome with this ache, this loneliness, this sense of nothingness. Chowing delightful health food in a McDonald's parking lot in the middle of winter. So I started to try to figure out what the hell was going on.
Since December 19 I have had four days off. Two of those days were Christmas and New Years. I am currently in the fifth day of a stretch of ten days in a row at work with no days off. I got screwed out of overtime pay on the days after Christmas and New Years. I have been sick since Christmas Eve.
I am stating facts here. Facts that apply to millions of people in this country. People whose holidays get ruined by employers, people who are overworked, underpaid and unappreciated (contrary to executive wisdom,a pat on the head does nothing to improve morale), people who are being used as tools rather than being seen as humans, people who are sick and have to go to work and cannot get any rest.
People who have to endure this lack of dignity because they need the job. People who know their employers are sitting back smirking about employee injustices, knowing full well that there are 250 unemployed people for every employee, people just dying to get their hands on a paycheck once again.
That is why I feel so empty. So alone. I am at the mercy of this system and very uncomfortable knowing that my job hangs by a thread. One E-mail and my hours get cut back. One pseudo-executive decision, and my job is gone. And the people with the power to make these decisions do not have a shred of decency or morality.
I am obsessed with finding a way to make some kind of money independently. Could be I'm dreaming and that I will die at Store 072. That would be the worst life I could imagine. Dancing on the end of a string pulled by liars, cheaters and crooks. Living on my knees.
This is where America is at. A nation of people who are completely unfulfilled, people who never will be fulfilled. People who will never feel dignified going to work and never get ahead financially. People to whom their job means nothing, completely disassociated from what they are forced to do every goddamn day.
Empty, lost souls. Desperate for anything that might make them feel human. It is extremely hard to maintain your perspective when for the majority of every day the message you get is that you are expendable, not human, a resource, being manipulated and exploited. You can read all the Positive Thinking books you want, but that kind of constant negativity pollutes your soul.
2012 is starting out with a hollowness in my gut. Not what I expected, but the unexpected can sometimes be good. I feel more motivated than ever to bring DIGNITY into my life.
Let you know how that goes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Northern Exposure, Baby

Northern Exposure could have saved the world.
I have been indulging in an orgy of Northern Exposure watching since I have been sick. Spent 4 hours in my recliner on Wednesday, 3 more on Thursday, desperately trying to get some rest from a continuously insane work schedule.
The show is medicine. It gives me peace, smiles, laughter. It provokes thought and provides reading material. It actually physically makes me feel better as I absorb it into my cells.
It was a quirky and intelligent show, and I think that was it's downfall. You have to be intelligent to get past quirkiness and realize you are being challenged and informed and entertained at a high level of quality. Northern Exposure ran from 1990 to 1995. Survivor premiered in the year 2000, which suggests American stupidity was already on a rapid incline back in the mid-nineties. People hungering for an inane show that showcases the worst of humanity and comes up with ridiculous ideas like tribal councils. A uniquely beautiful show like NE was guaranteed to fail in a climate of such festering idiocy.
The characters on Northern Exposure were so cool, so human. Maurice, Maggie, Holling, Ed, Chris, Shelly, Marilyn, Ruth-Ann, Joel. All quirky, all unique, all fragile and real. Even the peripheral characters were amazing. Remember Adam?
I love the fact that this mix of personalities all live together in such a small town. They know each other intimately, interact daily and allow for each other's uniqueness. Surviving in a harsh, cold climate while some how bringing out the simple beauty of the place and showcasing the natural beauty of the place. Somebody gets out of line or a little wacky and he or she is gently brought back to earth by the other characters because there is love and respect there. Never viciousness or cruel pettiness.
The stories were tasty. Sometimes focusing on human frailty, sometimes way out there on the believability scale, but always shining a light on the beauty of being human and especially the beauty of being unique.
If the entire American public could have been strapped to chairs and forced to watch every episode of this show (except the last season or two which sucked because major characters left), there would be no Survivor and there would be no republican presidential candidates.
I am going to get radical here. Gonna make a bold statement. I think Holling and Chris were the two most special characters on that show. It's painful to put that in writing because I love every goddamn character in Cicely. It came to me as I watched this week and I recognized it as truth.
Holling was a man's man. He did not take any crap. When he got angry at somebody or something, you better stay the hell out of his way. And he spoke his mind. Not afraid to shut you up if you got stupid. One episode this week an idiot was sitting at the bar claiming he could have killed Jesse the bear. Holling got in his face and said "Do you even hear the words that come out of your mouth?" and went on from there to put the man in his place. I loved it. I would like to be that bold. There are so many people I want to say that to.
And yet there were many episodes where he was shown to be sensitive and thoughtful, philosophical and gentle. Maurice tried to be a man's man but he was not in Holling's league. Maurice had a little more evil and prejudice and greed in him.
Chris was a poet and a philosopher. Well read, well spoken, always making you think and see things differently. An artist at heart he saw the world differently and shared it with the community with his radio show and at The Brick (a bar I would kill to have a beer in). He learned from the mistakes he made in life and evolved into an intelligent, searching, inquisitive, poet and lover of the human race. From piano flinging, to running naked through the streets, to partying, to reading Walt Whitman to his listeners, he was always in the moment, embracing it with gusto.
I miss the show deeply. Wish there were 20 seasons. Carol and I have seasons 1,2, and 3 and we have decided to buy the rest of the good ones.
Another way to find peace, to incubate contentment, to laugh and think and feel good.
Medicine, baby, it's all medicine.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

For The Readers Among Us

Started reading Cosmos by Carl Sagan.
Amazing. Magical. Inspiring. Entertaining.
I think when I picked it up at the dump it was in the back of my mind that it would not be dry, boring scientific crap. Because I had seen Carl Sagan on TV and he was a quirky, passionate, emotional guy. Not your typical scientist.
I was right. He makes it interesting. In the 80 or so pages I have read, he talks about the cosmos, ancient astronomers and civilizations, the human body and more. Fascinating.
The most exciting thing I have learned is that Dr. Raymond Stanz knew exactly what he was talking about in Ghostbusters.  He was explaining Gozer's entry into the world and described it as "the biggest inter-dimensional crossrip since the Tunguska Blast of 1909."
The Tunguska Blast was a real occurrence. Carl Sagan talks about it in his book, although it happened one year earlier, in 1908. "On June 30, 1908 a giant fireball was seen moving rapidly across the sky over Siberia. Where it touched the horizon, an enormous explosion took place. It leveled some 2,000 kilometers of forest and burned thousands of trees in a flash fire near the impact site. It produced an atmospheric shock wave that twice circled the earth."
Impressive story, but I don't care about that. What I do care about is the new found respect I have for Dr. Raymond Stanz, all these years later.

What Have I Become

I heard Johnny Cash singing Hurt on the radio yesterday. Who the hell ever could have predicted that Johnny Cash would cover a Nine Inch Nails song? Talk about cross pollination. But when you listen to the words you realize it made perfect sense for Cash to record it. And it aches the way he sings it. Delicious.
What have I become? That is one of the lines in the song and it hit me hard. As long as you are alive, you are becoming.
I was born on January 1, 1954. On that day, I was a fresh new life with nothing but potential ahead of me. Unwritten, free to become, raw material with hope and promise. And a pointed head.
Then my parents got a hold of me. I do not fault them. They were the children of immigrants who had a rough upbringing and worshipped the value of education, hard work, money and practicality. My father was a great success against staggering odds and I respect him for that. But they forgot to factor in the truth of my personality. I think you have to recognize your child's nature and go with it; adapt your approach to allow them to breathe. Iron clad rules do not work. I think I remember stories that I was naturally left handed, but that I was "discouraged" from continuing in that way by my grandfather and parents. My memories are vague. But if that is truth I'm pretty sure it could screw me up. Anyway I do know that my personality was not in line with my parents' idea of who Joe Testa was, and they did not adapt their approach.
In school I was always uncomfortable. Didn't fit in with any of the stereotypical crowds. I got into music but even that got skewed. Loved music but ended up in the high school band, which will warp you for life. A friend once asked me to read with him for a drama project and I loved it. Didn't pursue it. Could have been Al Pacino.
Discovered alcohol and drugs at fifteen and that is the point where I pretty much stopped becoming. Somehow drifted into Northeastern University studying ACCOUNTING?????????????????? and stuck with it even though I hated it. I was originally enrolled as a Liberal Arts major studying psychology, something I could have loved. Switched to accounting, don't really know why.
For the next three decades the only thing that kept me alive was my family. I think if it wasn't for them, I would have stopped becoming permanently, like many people do. Jaded, cold, cynical; this is the way many people live their lives. What a supreme waste. But my family gave me life and love and laughter and apparently that kept the ember alive in my soul.
I do think I was becoming in a negative way though; slowly building and burning anger, a sense of hopelessness, disappointment, bewilderment.
2011 rolled around and somehow that ember got fanned. I became hopeful, I tried. I thought, plotted and planned. It's like bizarre horror movies where you see something crawling around underneath someone's skin. That's how I feel. Something is ripping to get out.
What have I become?
A strange mix of everything I just described. A tiny bit of fresh born potential, anger, disappointment, pain, misdirection, laughter and love, and hope. I am so far away from January 1, 1954, it might as well be January 7, 2305.
I am still becoming. That's what counts.
It's what keeps me going, baby and I aim to nourish this thing for as long as it will accept nourishment.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What I Know About Life

Life is absolutely designed to crush you down, torture you and defeat you. That's just the way it is. At least for the little guy. The big guys have divine permission to lie, cheat and steal their way to richness.
Please explain that Jesus.
And I am not talking about the fact that from birth we are inexorably crawling towards death. I'm talking about the other stuff. The trying to survive, the trying to become fulfilled, the trying to squeeze a little happiness out of your life as you crawl stuff
I set myself up to run roaring into 2012. Instead I am lying on my side gasping for air like a fish out of water. I am depressed. A little touchy. Actually deep down angry. Sick. Tired. Overworked. For the last two weeks.
That is harsh reality folks. You struggle mightily to set the train on the right track thinking that after breaking your back to get it there you will make progress. Life steps in laughing and slaps you down, forces you off course, bends your spine at an impossible angle so that the slightest turn in the wrong direction will snap it.
I wrote a blurb about loving as many things as you can. I love my new seat warmer that Carol gave me for my birthday. The heater in my truck is not impressive and I suffer horrifically in the cold. Suddenly my ass and back are warm. In fact my ass and back are currently the happiest parts of my anatomy. Strap the damn thing to the seat, plug it into the dashboard outlet and whammo, warmth seeps.
So I have that in 2012. It is the focus of all my happiness in 2012. Two minutes down the road and a smile creeps across my face. I haven't even used the high setting yet. Don't need it. Actually had to shut this magical beast off one day. TOO WARM.
So 6 days into 2012 I have a happy ass and a happy back. They are kindling in the fire of success. They will keep me afloat, getting me just enough oxygen to survive this rough patch.
Not a bad place to start. I can build a life from there.
Ciao, baby.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Duane's Words

Something to think about as we rock into 2012:

"This year I will be more thoughtful of my fellow man, exert more effort in each of my endeavors professionally as well as personally. Take love wherever I find it, and offer it to everyone who will take it. In this coming year I will seek knowledge from those wiser than me and try to teach those who wish to learn from me. I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can."

Written by Duane Allman in his diary on New Year's Day 1969.

Thinkin' 'Bout The Craig

Crawl home last night at 8:00 to an empty house. Sick. Tired. COLD. Just me and the cats. Scarf delightful pizza, a beer, settle in with some whiskey and Northern Exposure on DVD.
One of the coolest shows ever.
Theme song ends with a drum riff that ends precisely. My mind flashes back to Craig. He used to lie across my lap and I would  drum the beat on his back, try to time it to end perfectly with the the TV. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't, but it was a cool ritual we had. Yeah, Dad you nailed it. Dad, you blew it. Very fond memory.
Craig was born on October 23, 1983 and immediately started messing with our heads. He was quite premature with complications and they took him away right off the bat to tend to him properly. He was in the hospital for quite a while and we were worried sick. Tough time for us. But he survived it and so did we.
If he didn't feel the intensity of his mother's love naturally upon birth, she demonstrated it to him the day we took him home. It had been pre-arranged, but when we called they said Dr. Feelgood was off that day and we would have to wait. Carol said BULLSHIT, we are coming right now and my baby better be ready. And we did exactly that. I cowered behind her skirt hoping not to get arrested as we bombed into that hospital and took our kid home. Awesome.
Since then we have watched him grow up. He always had a great sense of humor, always laughing and making others laugh, always easy going, except for his socks. Had to be put on precisely or he would go nuts. Carol would have to plan three hours in advance to get him out of the house. Wonder if that's Karen's job now.
As a teen he followed in his Daddy's footsteps; liked to party. Which ironically caused me a lot of worry. I was exactly the same way as a kid (still am now) and yet knowing he was doing it worried me. But he survived it and and so did we.
He still parties, but I suspect he is a lot smarter than I ever was. No drinking and driving. Drinking and driving was a sport to me. Sometimes I think the best things he has learned from me are the things NOT to do. That's OK.
First year of college we gave him a checking account and checkbook and he promptly demonstrated an inability to differentiate between a positive balance and a negative balance. Got a little crazy but he figured it out. Now he pays his bills promptly and actually has a savings account. Amazing. By the way, he graduated with a dual major. I am very proud of that. The only thing I graduated with was a hangover.
He got into the restaurant/bar business and has had jobs that he hated and jobs that he liked but he always worked his ass off and is now in a cool place where he is happy. He is now strictly a bartender, no bar-backing, no cooking. This is a job that fits him perfectly. He has the perfect personality to tend bar, people love to laugh with him and enjoy his unique insanity. He may become the greatest bartender that ever lived. No bias there.
But he ain't done. There is a restlessness there. Because he wants to improve his life. And he will. He has plenty of time to figure things out.
He and I used to drive the same car. Sort of. Pontiac Sunfire. Except his had a sunroof and a CD player, mine had the Fred Flinstone propulsive hole in the floor. Craig has recently moved on to a Dodge Charger. A big, black beautiful beast. I love it and so does he. The day he registered it, he had backed it into the yard. When I pulled into the driveway to check out his new baby I almost backed out. The damn thing was intimidating. Maybe some day he will pass it down to me when he moves up to his tricked out Mercedes two seater.
He took up golf this year and in typical "Craig the athlete" style attacked it vigorously. My spies tell me he kicks ass already.
And there is Karen. A magnificent lady with whom he is sharing his life and who is sharing her life with him. In Rocky, when Paulie asks Rocky what the attraction is to Adrian, Rocky says she fills gaps. "She's got gaps, I got gaps, we fill gaps." That probably describes lots of relationships, but I don't see that with C&K. They seem to be complimentary personalities that mesh beautifully. They were meant to be together, and that is a rare and beautiful thing.
I collapsed into my recliner to get some peace with Northern Exposure and ended up reflecting upon my son. I love him deeply. I am grateful to be able to laugh with him, talk with him and learn from him.
Just know that he is a funny, easy going, hard working, insane, loving guy who is preparing to conquer the world.
But don't take my word for it. Go to The Lab 'N Lager in Keene. Order a drink from him. Talk to him, soak up his personality, talk to his friends. You will dig him.
And make sure you tip him well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Was Robbed

Robbed of a chance to dance and romance,
I flew to France in my underpants

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Day After

I am proud to say a new tradition has been initiated in 2012. The Annual Joe Testa Open House Birthday Bash.
The inaugural was held yesterday and the participants were Paula and Bill, Eddie and Rich. And of course me and Carol. Participating in spirit and by phone were Keith, Emily, Craig, Karen, Dina and Eric.
I feel compelled to note the attendees because they will be immortalized as this thing grows into a gala extravaganza. In five years I expect a crowd of 20 to 25 people including Keith Richards, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp and David Letterman, and a host of luminaries. The four physical attendees will be proud to reveal that they were in on the ground floor.
Had a great day. Had a great birthday.

Today is January 2, 2012 and I hope you are doing OK. 01/02 can be a bitch because it is all over, baby. Holidays gone, nothing ahead but cold and snow. It is a shock and it sucks. Many of you may have today off because the holiday is generally recognized today. I hope you have a beautiful day.
 I had one day off for Thanksgiving, one day for Christmas, one day for New Year. Gotta work today. Even though state employees have the day off as a paid holiday. And I will not be paid time and a half. That royally sucks. No dignity at all. That's because I work for the liquor commission, an organization that cares only about business and nothing at all about their employees. The stores were open on New Year's day. How incredibly greedy and inconsiderate is that?
I know I speak for millions of people who are in the same boat as me. Low Wage Earners. People to whom holidays mean nothing because their employers don't allow them to mean anything.
It is a sad commentary on this country when business sucks the life out of the holidays. The holidays used to be sacred. No more.
Anyway, to Low Wage Earners everywhere, grit your teeth and grind through this day as many of your friends and relatives sit back in comfort and get paid for it. Gget home, have a drink and flip your middle finger to greedy, inconsiderate employers everywhere, especially The New Hampshire State Liquor Commission.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012 Version 3.0

It is 01/01/12.
I weigh 169 pounds.

I don't understand this. I have been sick and working hard. Only exercised twice in 14 days. Been eating delicacies fit for royalty. And yet................
I shall not question it. I needed SOMETHING to feel like an accomplishment and this is it.
There are those cynical few who think I am lying. Kiss my ass.
I did it, baby - I did it.

January 1, 2012 Version 2.0

And let me tell you something else on January 1, 2012. I will keep fighting to change my life this year. Hard. There is no turning back now. I am consumed, it is my driving force. I really want to permanently shut the mouths of those my age who think I am wasting my time. But way more importantly than that, I want to burn that cheap suit and glory in the sheer magnificence of a life lived in sync with my soul.

(Editor's Note - This is the original last paragraph of my birthday homage. For some strange and unfathomable reason, the blog wouldn't allow me to post the thing in it's entirety. Too wordy, perhaps? Ah yes, you know me well. But dig it, baby - it is who I am.)

January 1, 2012. My 58th birthday.

And so it's my birthday. And what have I done.
Spent the last two weeks staggering, tripping, lurching and crawling just to get here. Six days at The Booze Emporium, one day on Christmas to breathe in love. Three more days, then one very sick one on the recliner, then New Year's Eve Eve and finally, New Year's Eve at TBE. Been very sick, it has been very rugged.
And here I am. January 1, 2012. I have always loved that my birthday is on New Year's Day. It adds a touch of magic and awe, makes it a little more special.
I'm not sure my parents felt the same magic. I screwed them out of a tax deduction for 1953 and I wasn't even the first kid born in the new year. On top of that my birth was a difficult one and I was dragged out with a pointed head. My father thought there was something wrong with me. He may have been right.
I was born on January 1, 1954. My father, Tony, was born on June 15, 1920. That always sounded so ancient to me when I was a kid. Until I got older and had heard all the stories and appreciated what a different and very cool time that was. My father was born in Isernia, Italy. That alone is very cool and what he overcame to make it in this country as a kid, not even speaking the language when the family first came over, is strong stuff.
1954 never sounded ancient to me but I bet it does to my kids. That is one of those weird things about life. We all live the same life and think that we don't. My grandfather was born in 1890 and I bet my Dad thought that sounded ancient.
I think about the changes my grandfather and father witnessed in their lives and it is mind blowing. I think about the world changing in my 58 years. When I was born there were no eight tracks, cassettes, Cd's, boom boxes, desk top computers, cell phones, microwaves, remote controls, automatic car starters and lock and unlock thingys, and a million other things I don't have the energy to remember right now. Carol and I were making quite merry last night.
And now I hold this tiny device in my hand that holds all of the music I have loved and collected in my lifetime, literally at my fingertips.
I can dig it. I like it. Change is good. I became all about change in 2011.
I did a very dangerous thing last year. I created hope. I convinced myself that I could change my life. And I dedicated myself to doing that. After decades of hiding and avoiding hope, I gave birth to it, put it out there in the open and used it to get me moving. I may have set myself up for the ultimate heartbreak. But I don't think so.
My life has always fit me like a cheap suit. You put the damn thing on trying to look good, but its tight across the back, the sleeves are a little too short, it bunches up at the waist when you button it. You know it doesn't fit, everybody who knows you understands that it is a cheap suit, but you keep putting the damn thing on day after day after decade after half a life.
I am not going to wear that suit anymore. I am going to fit myself with a buttery soft, tailored suit that fits me like my own skin. When I walk out of the house wearing that suit people will stop and stare, thinking "my god that suit must have cost $3500." I am the only one who knows that suit cost me 43 years of my life.
I have a taste for it because the personal part of my life has always fit me like a tailored suit. I met Carol Sargent in 1972, she became my wife in 1978, Keith was born in 1980, Craig in 1983. Keith married Emily and Craig is a-courting Karen. These people define my life. They make it beautiful. They are my warmth, my light, my peace, my love. My brother is amazing. I need to create a new word to describe him other than brother because he transcends that. I love him, I respect him, he is intelligent and funny and sensitive. He is a genuine human being in all the best characteristics possible. I have made close, amazing friends along the way and I am grateful. My man Patrick called me last night to wish me a happy birthday and I thought that was so cool. He's a goddamn jets fan, you wouldn't think he would have the sensitivity to think about a friend on his birthday.
I'm creating a new tradition this year. Joe Testa's Open House Birthday Bash. I never forced my family to celebrate my birthday because January 1 is a tough day for everyone. Unfortunately what began to happen is that it just didn't get celebrated. I let it go because I thought less of myself then.
No more.
Might only have four people over here today. They are people I care about. And we will have a good time. Nothing formal. Easy flowing and easy going. I want to have a good time on my birthday. What I envision is this thing evolving over the years to the point where maybe I have 15 or 20 people over here. Once people realize that I will not give in, and this is the way I want my birthday celebrated, they will plan for it.
Today marks the beginning of a new way to celebrate the birth of Joseph Richard Testa.