Saturday, October 25, 2014


"But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been."

Edgar Allan Poe

Hate The Goddamn Thing

Dick's Sporting Goods is running a commercial right now that I despise.

You see a bow hunter drawing back his arrow, see him sighting on something in the woods.

The scene cuts to a deer or elk or something - I don't really remember but it is a beautiful, majestic, innocent animal.

The camera stays on the animal for a few seconds. Presumably looking directly at the hunter.

The scene cuts back to the hunter. Stays on him for a few more seconds.

He lets the arrow fly.

I fucking hate that commercial.

Movie Update

Been digging on some movies lately. Thought I'd fill you in.

You want to be blown away? Go to YouTube - dial up "Intermission" with Colin Farrell - watch a clip of the first five minutes.

It will knock you down. Comes out of nowhere. Exactly what I am looking for in a movie. Socially unacceptable, violent, shocking and in complete contrast to the mood that is set immediately preceding the shocker.


Watched a movie titled "Wristcutters - A Love Story." The movie opens with a guy committing suicide.

The scene is interesting. First he cleans his apartment. It is a typical guy apartment. A goddamn mess.

A lot of time and attention is paid to him cleaning the place.

Then he kills himself and is transported to a world where everybody is dead and everybody has committed suicide.

The concept is fascinating and most of the movie is good but it has a goddamn happy ending, love related. That really pissed me off.

Then I began the 2014 journey through HorrorLand in honor of Halloween. Picked a foreign film for starters. Mientras Duermes (Sleep Tight). This one was creepy. Really tasty.

Most of the horror is psychological, which is what makes the movie rock. There is only one bloody, gory scene. I prefer mind horror to all out bloodletting unless I am in a nasty mood. Then I want blood, torture, death, taunting and suffering.

My go to movie in that genre is "The Devil's Rejects" by Rob Zombie. I own it. That brings me peace.

Mientres Duermes is about a concierge in an apartment building who is one miserable dude. He believes he was born without the capacity to feel happiness. So he makes it his mission in life to make everyone around him miserable.

As concierge he has keys to every apartment. He makes everyone around him believe that he is a good hearted, trustworthy guy, but he is anything but.

The height of creepiness is the way he stalks a beautiful woman who lives in the building. He sneaks into her apartment before she gets home from work every night and hides under her bed. He patiently waits for her to go to bed and fall asleep. Then he creeps out from under and gently places a cloth soaked in chloroform over her face, which renders her unconscious.

He then proceeds to rape her.

Another situation revolves around an elderly woman who lives alone with her two dogs. The dogs are the loves of her life.

One night she asks the concierge to feed her dogs while she is out. She explains that one of the dogs has dietary problems and cannot eat regular food. She tells him to use the special medicated food.

The concierge feeds the dogs and, as an afterthought, drops a piece of pie into the bowl of the delicate dog. The dog doesn't die but has a few bad days that greatly upset the old lady.

Another scene involves the same elderly woman. The scene involves only words and it is one of the most devastating scenes I have experienced.

She is talking to the concierge about her dogs and the happiness they bring her. At first he seems empathetic and understanding. But in an empathetic tone of voice, which makes it even more horrifying, he tells her that it is a shame that the dogs are the only loves she has in her life. That it is too bad she never married, that it must bother her to not have kids.

Tells her the dogs will probably die before she does, leaving her all alone in the world. He tells her that everybody in the building pretends to like her to her face but they laugh at her behind her back.

Tells her that she is getting older and soon she will be sick and unable to take care of herself. Tells her that soon she will be dead.

You watch the woman's face slowly change from a happy smile in the beginning of the scene, to a numb, shocked, hurt look in the end. She slowly backs into the elevator and does not even acknowledge the greeting of the young couple getting off the elevator.

That scene is wicked, it is evil, it is cruel, it is horror.

There's a lot more to the movie but I don't have time to get to it know. Suffice it to say it is one of the better horror flicks I have seen recently.

In the queue on the DVR: "Misery", some other horror movie I picked out of the blue, and........................... "Zombie Strippers."

I am also going to dive back into American Horror Story on FX between now and Halloween. I watched it when it first appeared on the scene and loved it. Then I got away from it.

You know, another reason that work sucks is that it takes up so much of your time. There is so much good stuff out there that I just don't have time to dig. I really loved "Boardwalk Empire" on HBO. Dug it for a couple of seasons. Got away from it and now it is coming to a close. "Suits" is another one.

I hope the hell I get fired soon so I can catch up on all good TV.

Friday, October 24, 2014


"The most frightening thing about life is that it can be wasted."


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


"The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means."

Oscar Wilde

More ABB (Christ, already?)

While I watched the videos from last night's Allman Brothers concert at the Beacon in NYC I was stunned to see Gregg wearing reading glasses down on his nose during one song.

Never seen that before. Looked like he was reading lyrics or music. Kind of took away from that rough living look he typically has.

But...................anything Gregg does is cool.

Dig it, baby.

I also got a huge kick out of the video for "One Way Out."

There is a part in that great song where Gregg sings " 'Cause there's a man down there" and 99.9% of the audience follows that with "Might be your man, I don't know."

The song was taped on a smart phone. One voice dominated the crowd when they got to that part - it was obviously the voice of the guy holding the phone. You could hear the crowd, but this guy overshadowed them all as he belted out his part.

Fucking awesome, baby.

One Down....................

Historic night last night in NYC.

The Allman Brothers Band played the first of what is to be their last six concerts ever. At The Beacon Theatre on Broadway.

Since 1989 the Allman Brothers have played 232 sold out shows at the Beacon. They book a run every March that has at times extended up to 19 shows.

I trolled around looking for accounts of last night's show just to get the feel into my bones. Didn't find any but I did come across videos of three songs (more to come) from last night's show.

I watched and listened to them with goosebumps.

And tears.

Yeah, I am not ashamed to admit that. The music of The Allman Brothers Band, especially given the end of the road being in sight, travels directly to my soul and stirs up my emotions like a witch mixing potions in a cauldron.

It has always been that way and will always be that way.

These videos in particular, originating from The Beacon, really got to me. The Beacon Theatre takes every good thing about this band and focuses it into an intensity that fuses the music and the experience with your spirit. The theater seats only 2,894 people. Your senses almost cannot comprehend the magical beauty and intensity created by the relationship between 2,894 people and one band. Especially in an atmosphere as funky as this.

Anyway, I found no reviews, but I came across an interesting article that supports what I have said continuously about this band. About the community that is so loyal to them.

The article ran in The Wall Street Journal and is titled "A Hot Band's Last Gig Is A Sad Note For Bars."

Considering the journal and the title I became instantaneously angry at what I thought was being inferred.

I should have known better as a 45 year fan of this band and attendee of over 25 concerts, where the only thing I ever experienced anywhere was a sense of community that spanned generations.

And an intense love of music. Broad in scope but specifically inspired by the music of The Allman Brothers Band.

From the article: "Business owners through out the Upper West Side are dreading the band's demise even if they can't name a single Allman Brothers song. The performances have been an economic and atmospheric boom for the neighborhood, with bars, restaurants and hotels reporting that the band's extended stays generate not only their best business of the year, but also their most fun."

David Truscello - general manager of Citrus - "We get business for every show at the Beacon, but the Allman Brothers are in a league of their own."

Tal Lavi - partner at The Amsterdam Ale House - "The crowds are happy and excited. It's a party - not just a bite or drink before a show. It gets very crowded. Can't walk to the bathroom crowded. But it's good people in a good mood so it never gets obnoxious. And it's like that all over the Upper West Side."

The Ale House plays only Allman Brothers music throughout the runs.

Restaurants you would not expect to dig the events, do. 'Cesca is a high end interpretive Southern regional Italian restaurant (whatever the hell that means) on 75th street. During ABB runs the wait staff is dressed in Allman Brothers gear and the bar is stocked with Pabst Blue Ribbon, Jack Daniel's and shot and beer specials.

Geraldine Traino - director of Sales and Marketing for the Hotel Beacon (adjacent to the theater) - "October is our busiest month, so these shows do not have as much impact, but we will most definitely miss the Allman Brothers in March. Luckily, we've had time to prepare for their absence, which we are sad about."

I have been in some of those bars before and after ABB Beacon shows and it is an amazing experience. Elbow to elbow with people who are knowledgeable abut the band, who know the history, respect the members, have suffered through the meltdowns and rejoiced at the resurrections. People with whom you forge an instantaneous bond. Talking, drinking, laughing, reminiscing, speechifying excitedly about the show we just saw.

No bullshit, no anger, no fighting, no stupidity.

And The Allman Brothers Band on the jukebox. Playing endlessly.

I will have more to say about the Allman Brothers Band's final stand.

I just can't help myself.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dreamin' 'Bout Ben

Had this dream Saturday morning.

Me and Ben Affleck and some other dude broke into my friend Phil's house to get to some information on his computer.

Affleck was the computer expert; I don't know who the other guy was.

For some reason I had the code to Phil's security alarm. How we got past the locked door was not addressed in the dream.

Ben sat in front of the computer doing his thing while I watched out the window. I was so afraid that Phil would come home in the middle of it all. I didn't know how I would explain it but I did know I would be severely embarrassed.

Suddenly one of Phil's sons pulled up out front with a boatload of friends. Apparently they where planning a party because as I began to panic they began to unload stuff out of the car and carry it around to the back yard.

We slipped out the front door during one of their trips out back.

Got away undetected.

Christ I love my dreams.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Give Me A Goddamn Break

This morning Carol and I saw the first Christmas commercial.

Today is October 19.

The stupidity and greed of our society appalls, but does not surprise, me.

It's Simple, Really

All I gotta do is maneuver myself into a position with the wind in my favor and the sun at my back.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Feelin' a little funky today.

Gonna funk my junk in the trunk.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Where I Am At

WARNING - The following entry is long. Those with limited attention spans should go elsewhere.

I have crafted an approach with Mr. Emerson.

I have decided to read his essays here and there. Right after this, just before that, whenever the mood and opportunity strikes me.

Today I chose Self-Reliance.

Holy Christ do I have my hands full with this dude. And do I ever love him.

The central theme of this essay, if I may be so bold as to attempt to boil it down to one message (22 pages) is to trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Consider yourself as great as any genius and approach your life in that manner. Do not concern yourself with the past, do not lose the present with concerns over the future, do not sacrifice your soul to the whims of the mob.

Recognize your uniqueness and celebrate it regardless of the opposition you will inevitably run into.

"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men - that is genius."

He references eminent philosophers and says that they did not reflect the thought of the time. They had the courage to express their own thoughts.

"A man should learn to detect that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another."

We can learn from philosophers but do not adopt their thoughts as your own. Use them as fuel to fire up your own perspective.

"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string."

Do not bend to the will of society. "Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members." From society's perspective "the virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion."

"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind."

He talks about how mankind acts virtuously out of the need to create a perception; not out of the deeply held conviction of the heart. Think of all the pious, phony fools you know who attend church and preach boisterously, but live as liars and hypocrites.

If you give yourself over, blindly, to any institution or mode of thought, you lose yourself.

I love this one - "There is a mortifying experience in particular, which does not fail to wreak itself also in the general history; I mean 'the foolish face of praise,' the forced smile which we put on in company where we do not feel at ease, in answer to conversation which does not interest us. The muscles, not spontaneously moved but moved by a low usurping willfulness, grow tight about the outline of the face, with the most disagreeable sensation."

Don't be chained to your past. It is OK to contradict today what you said yesterday. Do not allow society's image of you formed by past actions to prevent you from changing.

"Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow think what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. ___'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' ___"Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."

You should not stand before great art and be humbled by it. Interpret it to your own liking. "The picture waits for my verdict; it is not to command me, but I am to settle its claims to praise."

You are only alive when you live. The past means nothing. "Life only avails, not the having lived."

"I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching." Pretty much self explanatory.

He says that at some point in your life you have to let those that you love know that you must live your life in your own way.

".........................I shall endeavor to nourish my parents, to support my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife - but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way.  ..........I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions."

"We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death and afraid of each other."

"Insist on yourself; never imitate."

He ends the essay with "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can you bring you peace but the triumph of principles."

Along with all the prescient philosophy, Emerson wallops you with boffo sentences. Like "Our reading is mendicant and sycophantic."

Wow. Truthfully I know what sycophantic means. I had to look up mendicant. It means "pertaining to or characteristic of a beggar."

I have done little but quote Ralph Waldo Emerson's text. What the hell did you expect? The man is a lot smarter than me.

Wait a minute - I don't think I learned a goddamn thing.

(Editor's note: I am running a great and terrible risk. The book I am actually "reading" right now is titled "Twilight of The Elites - America After Meritocracy", by Chris Hayes. By flipping back and forth between Twilight and Emerson it is quite possible my brain will melt down into a puddle of gelatinous goo. might grow some muscle.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Deadly Serious

It was a deadly serious revelation, but spot on accurate.

He couldn't believe it took so long for him to suss it out.

Square peg in a round hole. That was how he lived his life.

Up to now.

Strangely, given all that had been chipped off of him, splintered to the ground, and rounded out by the continuous pounding to make him fit, he retained his shape. More or less.

Had he not stood in the same place for so long he could have avoided some of the blows to the head.

It doesn't matter. He was moving now and that is what counts.

Moving in his mind to a place of limited choices. One choice, really.

The choice to not do as he had always done.

The charade was over because it could no longer be maintained. At least not without dire consequences.

He would continue, out of habit,  to pretend to consider well-meaning advice, knowing in his heart that the words were directed towards someone who does not exist.

The only advice that mattered now was his own.

It was time to step out into shocking new territory.

To counter the question "Where did that come from?" with the answer "It was there. It has always been there."

Looking Inward With The Dead (By A Lake)

Had a corporate meeting yesterday morning.

Didn't give a damn about the meeting except for the fact it effectively killed two hours of my day.


The ride back from the meeting to The Asylum is gorgeous. Winding back country road, broken down old New England homes with character, small towns, old tymey gas stations, woods, water, small convenience stores, town halls, tractors, toothless residents.

Came around a corner to an amazing spot where a graveyard sits directly across from a lake.

I could do some serious reflectin' there.

Sound Familiar?

"What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?"

From "Groundhog Day" - Phil (Bill Murray)

Of Course

Of course I continue to consider job/career opportunities.

I applied for employment with the Secret Service, but was disqualified on the basis that I am not incompetent enough.

Good luck, Barack.

My Heart Is Very Seriously Broken

October 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 28.

The last dates The Allman Brothers band will play. They are right around the corner.

All to be performed at The Beacon Theatre in NYC. The absolute perfect place to end this magnificent career.

The Beacon is high, holy church to ABB fans. I am lucky to have been there twice. The two greatest concert experiences of my life.

Bar none.

When the band announced the end of the road many months ago, my soul longed to see them in NYC one more time. I told myself, as I always do, yeah the tickets will be expensive and impossible to get, but I will somehow find a way.

The tickets went on sale and sold out in 1 and 1/2 seconds.

No surprise there.

Gradually over the past months, my thought process transitioned away from the belief that I could find a way to attend.

I knew I couldn't.

I held on to a grand scheme in my mind that would still bring me happiness.

Butch Trucks, drummer for and one of the founding fathers of The Allman Brothers Band, created a website called Moogis around five years ago.

The site was designed to broadcast concerts on line. Especially Allman Brothers concerts.

He has broadcast some Beacon Theatre ABB concerts in the past, and other stuff as well. I didn't pay much attention to it but I was aware of its existence.

When I finally swallowed the truth that I would never make it to NYC to see the band's last stand, I decided I would subscribe to Moogis and watch at least one of those concerts live on my computer.

Had a picture in my mind of me seated in front of this very computer, some beer and whiskey close by, a joint consumed prior to the start, thrilling goosebump-like to the music that I love and the band that I worship.

I finally got around this week to checking out the site. The way it works is you pay a subscription price and then you have access to the music.

Even if it cost $150 it would be worth it.

Except the site has gone out of business.

I was devastated.

I absolutely took for granted that I would have a chance to dig one of the last Beacon shows. I was counting on it. I was really looking forward to that night sitting alone in front of the computer as images and memories of my 45 year relationship with this band ran through my head even as I listened to them ROCK in 2014.

I planned on watching the final concert.

I now have no way that I know of to experience any of The Allman Brothers Band's final shows.

I honestly don't care if you understand how I feel about this. But I can tell you I am crushed.

I'll poke around to see if there is any conceivable way to make this happen.

If I cannot, you can know conclusively that I will be down, way down, on the nights of

October 21
October 22
October 24
October 25
October 27
October 28.

If you cannot understand or respect that, I suggest you keep your mouth shut.

Cool Dog

Walked out of Dunkin' Donuts the other day and noticed a dog standing at attention in a car.

Waiting for his "owner."

Who really owns who?

Anyway, he stood still with a focused look on his face, staring directly at DD.


He was a Golden Retriever looking type dog, very cool.

I didn't get to see the reunion. After all, I was on my way to work. Work takes precedence over everything.

Especially living and fun.

Punctuality, man. Punctuality is a big deal in corporate america. Gotta get there on time.

Efficiency doesn't matter. Punctuality does.

"Johnson, why are you late?"

"My wife collapsed to the floor just as I was readying to leave the house, sir. She was writhing in pain on the floor and I think I spotted a trickle of blood running out of the corner of her mouth. I spent 10 minutes debating whether to leave for work or call 911. Finally deciding that I could call 911 once I got here, sir."

"We are going to dock you one half hours' pay. Do NOT allow this to happen again. Your continued employment here hangs in the balance. You can call 911 on your first break."

So I skulked away.

But I had the image of the reunion in my mind. The way the dog would start wagging his tail when his owner emerged. Probably pacing around the car in excitement. Maybe barking.

The dog would be exuding happiness exponentially.

Pets. Owners. A cool deal, man.

Simple relationship. Maximum love. Unlimited happiness.

You can dig that, can't you?

Don't you yearn for it?

What The Hell Have I Done?

Bought "The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson."

841 pages of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Do you have any idea what this means?

Go online - read just a little of this man's writing. Get a taste.

It is intellectual. It inspires. It challenges one's beliefs and forces one to think.

My brain is beat down like a railroad spike, man. Barely functions.

I get by like Chauncey Gardner in "Being There."

Now, all of a sudden, this book is sitting next to my recliner waiting to be absorbed.

Exuding intelligence.

I am going to have to bite the bullet and chow it down. But I think it will have to be bit by bit. Essay by essay.

If I tried to read it sequentially, start to finish, my brain would burst.

Still I am cautiously excited at the opportunity.

The opportunity to learn and expand.

Who knows. Once I plow through this extravaganza, I might come out the other end a smart man.

Smart is what I need.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What I See Ahead Of Me

"These scraggy relics of equine wretchedness came forward with their trembling legs and tortured flanks, presenting a living picture of the tragedy of old age and decrepitude, and of human ingratitude and forgetfulness of past services."

From "Blood And Sand" by Vicente Blasco Ibanez

The Glasses

I adjusted quickly to the glasses last year.

After making my way through the bi-focal debacle and ending up in tri-focal world, it was a quick adjustment from reading glasses to glasses all the time.


Every once in a while I feel trapped behind them.

Even now. One year later.

Can't really explain it.

Sometimes I just feel


The First Thing

Had a magnificent vacation way back in September.

Way back when the weather was still civilized.

The first thing that irritated me on the first day back, was commercials.

Not just because I was watching THE PATS' first game of the season.

Commercials just irritated me like burlap on a freshly shaven face.

I don't know why.

Half Heard

Half heard a commercial on the radio in The Big Ride recently.

Opened with the line "What's the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?"

Beyond that, I don't know what the commercial was about.

Probably coffee.

Or toilet paper.

"What's the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?"

If it's "I wish I was dead", you should probably skip work.

You wouldn't be able to take it very seriously.

Tuesday Night Thoughts

Been 5 days.

That's a long time for me. Multiple eternities.

My brain is curvaceous right now. Thoughts are sliding off it, sluicing around inside of it.

Difficult to concentrate.

Maybe some kind of change going on.

Don't really know.

Feeling dull. Feeling inspired.

Recent news about death disease and employment fractured "normal" thought processes.

Coming around the bend to go off the deep end.

Feeling a preternatural calm tonight. Have no idea of the significance of it.

Sipping water.


Thursday, October 9, 2014


" I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other."

Mary Shelley, "Frankenstein."

Got Them Evil Stirrin's

Every other year, or every once in a while, I get in a serious Halloween mood.

Really want to dive into Halloween, dig it up and munch on it with precision.

Wallow in the horror.

I am in just such a mood this year.

Between now and Halloween I dedicate myself to watching as many horrific movies as possible.

My goal, as always, is to watch movies that turn my stomach. Not in grossness but in concept.

Movies that make me squirm in my seat. Which is not easy to do because I don't give a damn about anything.

But every once in a while I find a movie that makes me uncomfortable.

That' what I am looking for.

I'll wade through all the predictable ones because there is precious little originality in this world.

If I am lucky I will find one that disturbs me.

At the very least I want to wallow in fear and death and torture for a couple of weeks.

Just so I can get a feel for the emotions I will experience when I improve my life. 

Could Be True (I Really Don't Know)

Joe Bonamassa has a song on his new CD called "Heartache Follows Wherever I Go".

Got a couple of concepts in there in two different verses that summarize how life works.

"Maybe some karma just gettin' me back."

"I paid those dues and I'm due some money back."

Karma swings back around and kicks us in the ass for the evil things we have done. All the bad choices, the stupid mistakes, the uninformed decisions.

Actually for most of us karma is just one lifelong kick in the ass.

We all pay dues, heavy, soul crushing dues, and we all deserve at least a partial refund.

That never seems to happen.

The karma thing is a given. We start out as new born babes, then we become confused and eventually, eternally, trapped.

But the dues payback never seems to happen.

Who the hell wrote this script?


"Everyday nothing seems to change, everywhere I go I keep seeing the same old things, I can't take it no more, I would leave this town, but I ain't got nowhere else to go."

"Wake up in the mornin' to more bad news, sometimes I feel like I was born to lose, it's driving me out of my mind."

"Walkin' down the streets you might run across a smiling face, but they'll stab you in the back as soon as you turn and walk away, oh Lord it's bringing me down, if things don't change around here ain't no use in my hanging around."

"Ill be ready, I'll be ready when my train pulls in, I'll be ready, I'll be ready when my train pulls in. I know my time ain't long, I can't live this life again."

"When My Train Pulls In",  Gary Clark Jr.

Corporate Bullfighting

After my recent flippant comments on bullfighting I decided to do some research.

Did you know that bullfighting is a brutal sport?

OK, just kidding (for those with absolutely no sense of humor.) I knew it was brutal but I really did not know just how brutal it is until I read an article written by a guy on teaching assignment in Spain.

He dug into the specifics of the sport because his apartment happened to be across the street from a bullfighting ring.

Amazingly brutal stuff. I may opine about it at some point later within these four walls but that will come with a warning to place a vomit bucket next to your chair.

I was impressed with one particular sentence that described corporate America as well as it did bullfighting.

"Once the bull is in the ring the torture is scientifically intensified to break his spirit and disable his body."

Monday, October 6, 2014


"The spread of computers and the internet will put jobs into two categories. People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do."

Marc Andreessen

Meet The Press

Watching "Meet The Press" yesterday morning.

I take no credit for having the intelligence to do this. Carol is a devoted follower of the show, she is the intelligent one. I occasionally take a break from whining and pretending to pursue a writing career, to indulge in a little acquisition of knowledge.

Chuck Todd is doing a great job. Tough interviewer. Relentless. Intelligent. Informed.

Cool set. Major changes. TV sets are a point of pride for the "talent." He has taken a venerable institution and made it his own.

Here's the point. One segment of the show dealt with the reduction in unemployment numbers, the increase in jobs.

First of all, statistics are subject to manipulation and interpretation. You would think they are black and white, objective rather than subjective.

Come on, in today's world? Are you serious? Statistics are more like Play-Doh; shaped in the hands of the interpreter to be anything they want them to be.

In The Asylum I am still talking to people who are being laid off right now, and people who have been unemployed for years.

This has been going on since I started this phony baloney job in 2010.

Believe me, nobody comes skipping into The Asylum saying "I just landed the greatest job of my life. I have no more worries. I'm going to Disneyland."

Interestingly enough, the despair exists in harsh contrast to the privileged few, the landed gentry, the Peterborough aristocracy, who waltz into The Asylum and spend $700 on wine as if they were buying a Snickers bar.

It happens with all too much frequency.

Anyway, let's assume that jobs are being created. What goes ignored is the quality, or lack of, of those jobs.

Service industry jobs. Customer service. The most heinous of the heinous. Jobs that up end peoples' lives and turn them into corporate automatons.

Jobs that grant no weekends. Jobs that do not schedule two days off in a row. My God, what a concept. Who could possibly want two days off in a row?

Jobs that force people to work on Sundays. Even God did not work on Sunday, for Christ sake.

Quality of life has been taken away. The job becomes your life and your life becomes this unpredictable, segmented thing that allows you no peace, no rest, no chance to revitalize.

Victims stagger into The Asylum on Friday night, someone will reference the fact that it is Friday and, more often than not, the person in front of me will say "Big deal. I'm working Saturday and Sunday."

Weekends exist only as a historical reference for a great majority of the working poor.

Employers are fine with this. They love it. They want their employees tired and disoriented and desperate. It is easier to exploit them that way.

Bleeding hearts are lining up right now to attack me. "A job is a job. Anyone should be grateful to have any job. Times are tough. Suck it up."

Kiss my ass.

I'm talking about the slow and painful erosion of what life is all about. The concerted effort by employers to ignore the value of rest and family time and leisure.

These are the things that make up a life.

Not some soul sucking job that forces you to dance like a puppet.

Wow, Baby

"Such is the power of education, which can infuse even the worst sins with respectability."

From "Blood And Sand".   Vicente Blasco Ibanez

This sentence from this book refers to a specific situation in the story. But the specificity does not matter.

Hell of a sentence, no?

Knocked me for a loop. Sometimes I wish I had the dedication, the power, the intelligence and the cojones to put together a comprehensive notebook including all the sentences that have knocked me down in my reading life (which is longer than my life on earth).

I actually began reading in my mother's womb. She hated it. Found the books quite uncomfortable.

As for me I could not be bothered with all the people poking at my mother's stomach, trying to get my attention, talking gibberish, embarrassing themselves with baby talk.

I would ignore them as long as I could until finally, exasperated, I would roll my eyes and shout "Can't you see I'm concentrating here? For Christ sake, leave me alone."

These were the beginnings of misanthropy.

Education is a sweet and beautiful thing. An informed mind is an interesting mind.

Dumb brutes are rarely interesting (until they point a gun at your head).

Knowledge is a commodity, a thing, a great and wonderful feeling. I am not speaking from experience; I have no knowledge. I read about it somewhere in a book.

Education voraciously attained and judiciously used distinguishes the human from the beast.

When you taint education with unrelated concerns, you trivialize it.

The way corporate America does. Gotta have a piece of paper. Need that degree if you want to get to this level and make this kind of money.

In many situations that is an artificial condition. Working your way up through an organization(however diseased) provides knowledge. A piece of paper does not make a person superior.

However, the climate today pigeon holes people into soul sucking jobs and then traps them there because they don't have a degree.

The worst scum sucking fools own the managerial positions because they have a piece of paper.

How many managers have you dealt with who were complete idiots? Intellectually and morally repulsive. People making a lot more money than you, having power over you, yet lower on the food chain of life than a cock-a-roach. (OK - guilty as charged - Tony Montana in "Scarface" used the term cock-a-roach deliciously and I have never been able to hear it any other way since).

It is a point of pride for us humans that we take something pure, like education, and poison it.

I am not going to continue to preach; your eyes are glazed over already and I need to use today to completely change my life, top to bottom, inside out, 100%. I am already running out of time.

Point of reference: The above point of view is only one interpretation that can be derived from that beautiful sentence I opened with. The opinion expressed in those words can be applied to unlimited situations in life, all of them negative.

Roll the words around in your mouth a bit. Repeat them.

Even if you give them no more than superficial thought, it at least feels good to say them.

"Such is the power of education, which can infuse even the worst sins with respectability."

I'm thinking politics now.

Screw it.

I gotta get the hell out of here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

No Bull

Of course I am keeping all of my options open. Still seeking a career direction.

Currently I am reading a fictional book on bullfighting and the culture that surrounds it. The book was written in 1919, so it captures the romance surrounding the sport without having to deal with the cultural backlash that exists today.

Even with the sport under attack, I am considering a career as a matador.

I really like the clothes.

No Surprise

He climbed the stairs wearily, moved slowly into the bedroom and began the procedure. The procedure that would transform him into that which he was not.

The flannel pants he wore around the house were the first to go. So comfortable, so warm in the unforgiving climate he was trapped in. Flannel pants, a sweatshirt, a blanket, a book and a cup of coffee.

That's all he really wanted from this life.

Reluctantly he removed the flannels and reached for the cargo pants. Had to be cargo pants to carry the box cutter, the pens and markers, the ancient cell phone, the keys to the car, the key to his prison.

Box cutter. Weapon of the truly successful.

Remove the Bruins championship T-shirt. A very cool shirt purchased from a shady friend who sold cool shirts cheap. On with a long sleeve T. Had to be long sleeve because his idiot boss thought she was running a butcher shop. Customers complained when they walked into the artificially chilled climate.

Of course the climate would be artificially chilled no matter the temperature. His boss was a cold hearted, selfish bitch.

The purple shirt was the killer. The purple shirt with the logo over the left breast, the marketing on the right shoulder. He pulled the despised shirt over his head and invariably felt a sense of defeat.

More than a sense of defeat really. All vitality, all sense of self, all pride literally drained out of his body. The shirt was like the anti-leech.

Leeches suck blood and promote health. The purple shirt sucked pride and promoted conformity.

In a juvenile, condescending way.

The final nail in the coffin was the name tag. Five minutes after walking through the gates of hell and being assaulted with questions, problems, meaningless bullshit and updates, the name tag was pinned above the logo.

A box cutter. A name tag. A purple shirt.

He had not dreamed of these as a child.

Still, he knew there were millions like him. Millions who were forced into ridiculous uniforms and commanded to smile.

Millions who numbed the self to play a role in a costume.

Millions suffering silently under the crushing weight of the conflict between who they really were and who they were forced to be.

This brought a strange and twisted smile to his lips as he asked for the first of what would be hundreds of times that day "Can I help you?"

The customer looked into his eyes and quickly away, saying "No thank you." The customer moved to a far corner of the store as if seeking refuge.

This did not surprise him at all.

Friday, October 3, 2014


"Because what's worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?"

James Patterson from "The Angel Experiment".

" a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."


"The whole thing is quite hopeless, so it's no good worrying about tomorrow. It probably won't come."

J.R.R. Tolkien from "The Return of the King".

"A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future."

Albert Camus

Bruschi Balls

Even retired football players rarely speak out about the commish.

The NFL is run like a kindergarten. Or a prison. Or a kindergarten prison.

If you speak out you get fined. You are told what not to say, what to say, how to say it, when to say it, what to tweet, what not to tweet YOU GET THE POINT.

Tedy Bruschi recently said that commissioner Roger Goodell should step down. Honest to God. I saw it with my own eyes. I heard it with my own ears.

Made me feel even better about what kind of man Tedy Bruschi is.

A real man.

There is not one active player who would dare suggest that Goodell be fired. Maybe only one or two other retired players who have the balls.

Bruschi was an imposing player for THE PATS and sports three rings to prove it. He survived a stroke at age 31 caused by a small hole complicated by blood clot complications and came back to play four more seasons of football.

Bruschi balls.

Goodell will just keep rolling along because he is a rich man supported by even richer men - much richer men. That is just how the world works.

At least Bruschi's words are out there creating a ripple in a very closed and very strange world. The world of the NFL.

That's better than nothing.

Other football related musings: Have you noticed the disrespect shown sports talk show hosts by former football players? There are a million ex players who now get paid to voice their opinions on the game. Informed, inside opinions that are valuable.

All of these shows are hosted by guys who are not ex athletes, especially not ex football players. The former players are subtle (most of the time), but their responses to observations by and questions from these hosts is supremely condescending.

I don't know if the same attitude applies to ex baseball players. Honestly I don't watch a lot of baseball coverage. Hockey players? I would guess yes. Basketball? Don't know. Those guys live in their own goddamn world anyway.

Maybe the intensity of the sport and the survivalist mentality of football players is the key. Who the hell knows? I'm just trying to pad my word count.

I don't blame the players. I kind of like it. Football is a brutal, punishing sport that virtually guarantees short careers and less money than other sports. Except hockey.

Hmmmmmmmm, what is the connection between the violence of the sport and the generosity of the team owners? (Topic of future expose).

Anyway, these sports talk show hosts exist to get beat up by former player experts. The hosts lay out questions, often lame, that the players twist back to reality. Having multiple ex players on the same show is a joy because there is a strong bond of understanding between them that creates a show within a show.

The best example of this is the show NFL AM on the NFL Network. Featuring LaVar Arrington and Eric Davis. Both former players. Davis is the diplomat. Valiantly answering innocuous questions, albeit with a sly look and an amused demeanor. Arrington is the wise guy. Brash, loud and verbally combative. He used to irritate me and I was prepared to beat him physically if I ever came face to face. But I dig him now. Arrington and Davis make a good team. Check it out.

More musings: I was wondering why there is so much football on my TV. Then it hit me. My thumb is numb on the remote at this time of year. Mindlessly thumbing up the NFL Network at every opportunity. (I wasn't really wondering).

Anyway....................Bruschi Balls.

We all need 'em.

Something to shoot for anyway.

And He Thought To Himself

"Winter is here. Endless cold days of inconvenience and discomfort. Why try to change anything now? All attempts at evolving are frozen in blocks of ice. Better to pour another glass of wine and sing with reckless abandon.

In the dark. Alone."


Wonder How Often This Is True

"After the death of Senor Juan Gallardo, a respectable cobbler with a shop under an archway in the suburb of La Feria, his wife Senora Angustias mourned his loss with suitable grief; but at the same time in her heart of hearts she felt the relief of someone who rests after a long march, or lays down an overwhelming burden."

From "Blood And Sand", by Vicente Blasco Ibanez.

Editor's note: Did you know this same author wrote "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?" I didn't.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Worry

"We can only be happy now, and there will never be a time when it is not now."

Gerald G. Jampolsky

"There is no external source of happiness, therefore stop effort and release from anxiety. We are searching for happiness rather than expressing happiness because of our core belief that "I am not enough."

John Ruskan

A Doctoral Thesis On Anger

New studies indicate that anger results in:

Increases in heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone.
Decreases in cortisol (the stress hormone).
Stimulation of the left brain hemisphere, which is involved in experiencing emotions related to closeness. (?????????????????????)

Anger may actually help you make better choices, even if you are not typically adept at making rational decisions, because anger can make you focus on what is important and ignore that which is irrelevant.

In the long run, anger can weaken your immune system and lead to health problems like:

Headaches, problems with digestion, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, skin problems such as eczema, heart attack, stroke.

Anger leads to other negative emotions like bitterness, hopelessness, futility, and overall sadness.

People over 50 who lash out in anger are more likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries.

People who hold their anger in, triple their risk of having a heart attack.

Emotional factors are one of the most important contributing factors for all diseases, including cancer.

Emotions can actually trigger genes to either express health or disease. Chronic anger could be inadvertently sabotaging health.

Proposed thesis of this paper: Given the myriad effects of anger, it is proposed that a lifetime lived in anger actually creates a Super Being. A Super Being that mutates to handle the effects of anger. A Super Being who becomes immune to the disastrous effects of anger and is therefore doomed to live a long and unfruitful life.

Studies will attempt to demonstrate that an entire race of Super Beings exists within this race we call human.

The goal of this study is to create a definitive list of characteristics that can be used to identify these Super Beings who hide amongst us. The ultimate goal, since their anger cannot be treated, is to exterminate them.

Funding for this study provided by the Koch brothers.

What If

Who in their right mind could possibly think that way?

Who could even survive a life thinking that way? All that stress piled up higher than the highest, pushing down, crushing down relentlessly until breath cannot be drawn.

A bad day, a really bad day, experienced as an indication of a life wasted and no choices ahead. Mind reeling, intense feeling, off balance and teetering on the verge of an explosion so large and dangerous that someone must be destroyed.

Could anyone live that way day after day after day? Should anyone?

A bad day should be a bad day, don't you know. Gotta live in the moment. No past, no future, no worries.

Posit - What if every day is a bad day? What if every single day no matter the situation or permutation is a ragingly bad, overwhelming day?

What if adjustments can't be made?

Stress so large , with a force of might so strong, that a mind cannot function. Cannot think its way from out under.

Trapped in a room. A room with a floor built of razor blades. Blade up.

Walls coated with thick poison offering instantaneous death at the slightest contact with flesh.

Ceiling dripping fluoroantimonic acid.

No doors. No windows.

What does one do?

Think positive thoughts?

Ruby slippers.

That is the answer.

Ruby slippers.

Click, click, click.

"There's no place like home. No place like home. No place like home.................."

Editor's note: Fluoroantimonic acid is the most corrosive acid known to man.