Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Hell of a Party

I don't think I am delusional.

I hope to become the first 61 year old man to be drafted into the NFL.

It better be THE PATS. I expect to go 32nd in the first round.

When I do I am going to throw one hell of a party.

One Good Reason

I cannot think of one good reason to move to Bogota, Colombia.

May 21

Got a little nostalgic last night.

Watched a couple of Letterman shows that we had taped.

Sorry. Recorded. DVR'd.

Realized that his last show will air on Wednesday, May 20.

That is right around the goddamn corner.

We are not taping the shows because the end is near (although we have accelerated the pace), we have always taped the man.

Love his sense of humor. Love his relationship with the guests. Love his goofiness, his self deprecating attitude, even though the man resides at the top of the mountain.

Over the years, Carol would check to see who David's guests were (musical as well as interview), and if they interested us she would tape the show.

It was in our pocket and ready to dial up whenever we needed a laugh.

The man always delivered the laugh. That most easy going way to ignore the truth of your existence and just let go.

Letterman talked about the impending end on both shows we watched last night.

The reality slapped me in the face.

When Leno was around you were either a Letterman fan or a Leno fan.

In my humble opinion Leno was boring. If you preferred Leno I will take bets that you are a boring, predictable, by the rules, no sense of humor take yourself too seriously, well behaved, less intelligent individual.

That would explain why Leno beat Dave in the ratings. The American public.

I am not saying Leno is not funny. He made me laugh. But there was something missing.

Too clean, too polished, too easy to swallow.

Letterman is edgy. He is goofy. He is unpredictable. He is self effacing. He is intelligent and remarkably well informed.

Letterman is what life should be. Leno is what life is.

Letterman is 68. I am 61. Part of the hole I already feel at his leaving is that I cannot connect with today's late night hosts.

They are funny as hell. They make me laugh. They are irreverent (except for Fallon).

But they are young. Much younger than me.

They reference things and people that I know nothing about.

That forces me to confront the decades that have passed in my life.

Along with everything else he brought to the table, Dave brought me comfort.

I missed Carson's last shows. Carol did not. She is much tougher than me and could stay up until 12:30 or 1:00 on a school night.

To this day, she still talks about the last two shows. With awe and reverence in her voice.

Shows that I saw in replay, but not live.

I won't make the same mistake this time.

We are taping like crazy. I will probably stay up on Monday and Tuesday, May 18 and 19. I will definitely stay up on Wednesday, May 20.

When Carson stepped down everyone called it the end of an era. It was definitely the end of the career of the greatest talk show host ever. But it never felt like the end of an era to me.

When David Letterman steps down it will unmistakably bring about the end of an era.

The new shows have different formats (to some extent). The new hosts are completely different animals. Connected to social media and the young. Directly plugged into the very todayness of today.

We watched two shows last night. The interviewees were  Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Downey Jr. The music was provided by John Mellencamp and Elvis Costello.

And it will only get better from here.

The guests go out of their way to acknowledge Dave's impact on TV, his personality, his sense of humor and his genuineness.

It is obvious that they respect him and appreciate him.

Sarah Jessica Parker was on recently. She essentially stopped the show to take the time to talk about what Dave has meant to late night TV, to humor, and to the people who sat next to him on that stage.

It was cool.

David Letterman is an icon. A giant in the entertainment world. An exceptionally funny man. A connection to a time that means something to people my age.

May 21 is going to suck.

Think About It

"As one moves forward in one's life, one must not move backward."

Plato (maybe)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ten Minutes With My Soul

Sometimes I trip across small chunks of explosive joy that directly connect with my soul.

Things that happen to me that speak to exactly who I am.


The world I inhabit does not connect in any way with my truth.

The ridiculous job, the boring middle class existence, the forced socially acceptable and benign behavior, the inability to express honest thoughts and opinions due to incomprehensibility on the part of the people I am forced to associate with, the sugar-coated, insincere words that spew out of my mouth to my own shocked and unbelieving horror.

As much as I read what interests me, as much as I seek out my kind of movie, my kind of bar, my kind of experience, my kind of people, my life throws up enormous roadblocks between me and the true expression of my dark and delicious soul.

I am cuckolded by my own life.

I am reading the latest issue of Rolling Stone last night and I come across two pages, three short articles, that just floored me with delight.

Three articles that peeked my interest and stirred my soul from the hideous slumber the day had brought upon it.

The first blurb was about Jonathan Shaw. Son of big-band jazz star Artie Shaw. Never heard about the man before last night.

Forty years ago he was a teenage heroin addict and part time hustler. He was also writing for an offshoot of the Los Angeles Free Press. A publication that also featured a column by Charles Bukowski.

They drank together, and Bukowski, as was his way, went off on Shaw one night telling him he had no life and therefore wrote nothing of interest. Then they fought.

Shaw was affected by Bukowski's words and ended up kicking heroin and hitchhiking to South America, where he spent ten years working as a deckhand and a tattoo artist.

He came back to the states and ended up on the Bowery, where in 1987 he opened Fun City, New York's first storefront tattoo parlor.

Customers and friends included Iggy Pop, Jim Jarmusch and Johnny Depp, with whom he still maintains a friendship. 

He wrote a book called Narcissa in 2008, about a man who is hooked on a beautiful, young crackhead.

This is the type of person I want to discover.

Article two - about James McMurtry. Son of Larry McMurtry. James is a songwriter known for his "deadpan, just the facts" singing voice and nonjudgmentally bleak world view. Never heard about the man before last night.

His new album, "Complicated Game", is (per Rolling Stone) "full of characters looking at the long haul and fending off despair. McMurtry says "I see them as enduring, not fading away. Standing against the current that wants to wash you away but can't yet."

This is the type of person I want to discover.

Third article - about Jimmy "Orion" Ellis. He was a talented singer in the 1970's who just happened to sound exactly like Elvis Presley. He linked up with Sun Records shortly after Elvis' death in 1977 and began recording uncredited songs. Never heard about the man before last night.

Elvis's fans bought these songs. Sun even released an album called "Reborn." Ellis played sold out shows throughout the south, wearing a mask to intensify the sense of mystery.

He was contractually obligated to wear the mask any time he appeared in public.

It got to be too much for him right at the height of his career. He said "They weren't clapping for me. They were clapping for a ghost."

This is the type of person I want to discover.

Ten minutes of reading. Three fascinating characters.

'Twas a good night last night.

Connecting the Thoughts

My brain is receptive and interpretive in different ways at different times.

Just like you, no doubt.

Sometimes things mean one thing to me, sometimes something else, sometimes nothing at all.

Sometimes the  thoughts connect like thunder.

The alarm clock went off this morning and the first thought - I am talking the very first, instantaneous thought that came out of nowhere while I was barely in the conscious world was - groundhog day.

I thought this is just like the movie groundhog day.

Another goddamn boringly, soul sucking repetitious day. Leading to nothing.

The immediacy of the thought and the fact that it was the first inhabitant of my skull today, left me unnerved.

But not necessarily consciously so.

The feeling just hung there.

Driving to The Asylum, radio on, and "Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors comes on.

I have heard the song 50,000 times. I worship The Doors. They are in the top five of groups that I love ever in my lifetime. Period.

So I own the goddamn song, plus it is played on classic rock radio endlessly.

50,000 times and counting.

"I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer. I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer. The future's uncertain and the end is always near."

The last line, so fatalistic, and the "who gives a shit" attitude of the lines before it, made a direct connection in my fevered brain with the groundhog day discomfort sparked by the goddamn alarm clock.

I heard those lines like I never heard them before.

Five minutes later, and I am not kidding, five minutes later, I got cut off in traffic by a hearse.

A bright, shiny, just been cleaned, fucking hearse.

The guy came out of a side street and apparently decided that his next passenger just could not wait, and that getting behind me would ruin their day.

I followed him for a minute or two until he pulled into the driveway of the funeral home, which is two minutes from The Asylum.

I was a bit spooked by this time.

Maybe I am being dramatic, maybe somebody (me?) is trying to tell me something.

Could have been a meaningful morning, could have been the loose, chemically altered thought process of a diseased brain.

Whatever it was, it was entertaining.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Something to Think About

"Artisan - worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. Food or drink made in a traditional or non mechanized way using high quality ingredients."

When joints like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Domino's, and.........................Taco Bell use the word artisan, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt the English language is being abused.

What You Should Know

"A genome is an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism. In humans, a copy of the entire genome - more than 3 billion base pairs - is contained in all cells that have a nucleus."

Definition provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Red blood cells and platelets do not have a nucleus. (On line research)

Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels (clotting). (On line research)

 Genes are segments of DNA considered to be the ingredients for the recipe of creating a living thing. (On line research)

"DNA - or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a human's body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a smaller amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA)."

Again - U.S. National Library of Medicine

Mitochondria are tiny compartments found within cells. The most crucial role they perform is to convert energy locked in food into energy the cell can use. The main reason we breathe oxygen is so this process of energy conversion can take place in mitochondria.

Source: Newcastle University wellcome trust centre for Mitochondrial Research

What is genome research good for?

The Human Genome Project was successfully completed in 2003. It was designed to generate a resource that could be used for a broad range of biomedical studies. It was completed under budget and more than two years ahead of schedule.

It was considered a major success.

Virtually every human ailment has some basis in our genes. The vast amount of data generated by the Human Genome Project and other genomic research, have given scientists more powerful tools to study the role that multiple genetic factors play in complex diseases.

Source: National Human Genome Institute

If you want to know what progress has been made in the genomic world since 2003, do your own research.

You see how one thing leads to another?

It's kind of exhausting plowing through it all, though.

Is "on line" one word or two?

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Remember that blues thing I missed last week in Peterborough?

I spoke to two guys who played in bands at the "Remembering the Rynborn" fundraiser.

They told me it was epic.



Despite the tone of the following posts, I am not really in a bad mood today.

For the Most Part

For the most part I hate TV commercials.

Most of them are stupid and insulting.

I do like the funny ones. The ones that make me laugh are great.

They are limited, though. Most of the humor is reduced to the level of the lowest common denominator.

Intelligent humor makes me smile. Most "humorous"commercials make me cringe in overwhelming pain.

OK. I guess it's not quite that bad. I may be engaging in hyperbole.

Kind of the way commercials do.

There is no end to the offensive commercials on TV, but it is possible the one I hate the most is for Subaru.

Their tag line is: "Love. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru."

Love? Are you serious?

They are connecting this graceful, hopeful, life affirming thing called love, to a car. A product. A sale.

There is too much hatred in the world to be trying to commercialize love.

Am I being too serious? Too heavy?

Yeah. I guess I am.

My brain, apparently, is tending to dark today.

I'll try to do better.

We Are Forced To Fool Ourselves

Self delusion creates survival.

I have admitted that I feel too much. Feel for myself and my family; feel for others.

There is a guy who comes into the liquor store to buy, buy, buy.

He works part time for a convenience store kind of place. He would come in once a week or so and stock up for the store.

Wander through the aisles, pick up a boat load of bottles and boxes, meander up front to get checked out.

I have a problem with this approach.

Some restaurants and businesses call an order in. We pack it and they come and pick it up.

Easy. Clean. Makes sense.

Others insist on coming in to shop. Some pile their carts HIGH, even get two carts on occasion, then bludgeon through the check out.

Takes forever to scan the bottles, forever to box them up, backs up other customers in line, and is truly a pain in the ass.

This guy was not guilty because he was the picker upper. He does not put the order together, as far as I know.

Quiet guy. Precise. Businesslike but likable.

Couple of months ago his boss comes in to pick up the order - she was annoying and annoyed - and she tells us this dude retired.

I felt good about that. I like the guy, and I am happy for anybody who can afford to throw off the chains of despicable employment to actually live a life.

Suddenly he shows up again.

I ask what's going on, I thought you were retired.

This is the story he gives me. The store needed help, he came back to the part time gig. Tells me he is actually glad to be back to work.

I heard him tell this story a couple of times because other customers in the store recognize the guy and ask him what is up.

The story is bullshit. In my humble opinion.

I think he tried retirement and found he couldn't afford it.

When he got tired of eating dog food he came back to work.

I bet he hates it.

This story applies to most of us. Either we cannot afford retirement at all or, when we give it a shot, we will discover poverty gets worse when your income is halved.

We all come up with some bullshit story to explain why we are still working at the age of 107, and pretending that we enjoy it.

Every time I hear stories like this it gets to me. I feel for  the human race that has been reduced to a subsistence level from birth to death.

I feel for people who are forced to create delusional stories to hide the hatred they have for their lives.

Other than that I believe life is good.

To Dwell and to Strive

Holy moly, baby it has been seven days since fingers last touched keyboard.

Bet you enjoyed the break.

Me, I feel hungry.

Two things truly float my soul on an individual and personal basis.

Cup of coffee and a book.


Those two releases existed in me as inevitable on January 1, 1954.

No matter what turn my life took from that day on, it was in my genes to read and to write.

How do you explain these things?

Doesn't matter.

I read today for the first time in a week also.

I have been so off balance this past week that I have been traveling in circles, listing to the left and coming back around.

Early shifts all week. Like them because I get home early, but I have a hard time managing them.

Get beat up for eight hours at work and then come home and beat myself up for the rest of the night.

How do you explain these things?

Does matter.

But I don't have the energy right now.

The week has gone invisible.

Today I can see.

Got some time today, got real life going on.

I'm still alive. Still supposedly healthy.

Not a bad place to dwell and to strive.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Current Thoughts, Lifelong Feelings

Pushing harder. Dreaming deeper. Wishing fervently.

Feeling desperate. Feeling fat. Feeling tired.

Bone tired.

Feeling put upon.

Feeling like the enemy.

Feeling judged.

Feeling furious.

Feeling like fighting back.


Blues Missed; Blues Worshipped

Listening to Sunday Morning Blues, ZLX,  as I compose this morning.

I got the blues. You got the blues. Most of us have the blues.

Blues music makes me feel better.

I have been tapping my foot, actually typing rhythmically at times in response to the beauty that is penetrating my ears.

The uninformed say "If you are feeling moody, why would you listen to the blues?"


I started watching a Ken Burns thing on the history of jazz and already learned a lot. Haven't even gotten through one full episode.

One thing I didn't learn but already knew was the large influence the blues had on the birth of jazz.

The blues, baby. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Missed a key show last night. In the lovely town of Peterborough a concert happened called "Remembering the Rynborn."

It was a fund raiser - annual, which I did not know - in remembrance of Christine Patten who tended bar at The Rynborn and died too very young of a brain aneurysm.

The proceeds go to  the Grapevine Family and Community Resource Center in Antrim, NH.

It was a boffo lineup, it was organized by Doug Aborn who was one of the owners of The Rynborn, it was a peaceful April night and I should have been there.

Circumstances conspired to keep me away. One good circumstance, one bad one.

That's life.

I hope they had a ginormous turnout and I hope they raised a ton of money in Christine's memory for a very good cause.

In the meantime I will have to work that much harder to get my music fix over the next five months.

I intend to succeed.

Goddamn Dishes

I wash the dishes most of the time.

Two people live in this house. And two cats. The cats only dirty up two dishes a day when Carol treats them to their beloved wet food.

It is great fun to watch them chow this stuff down. They get so excited.

I hope it tastes good.

I worry about that. I give them dry treats at night just before I stumble up the stairs to bed in feared anticipation of the day to come.

I keep three or four bags of the stuff in the cabinet up above the counter next to the kitchen sink. I am alert to and make certain to rotate the various "flavors."

I suspect a scam. All the snacks look the same, all the snacks smell the same.

I haven't tasted them.

My experience with human nature tells me that there is a factory somewhere cranking out these treats - in only one flavor - and packaging them as eight different, cat taste bud stimulating flavors.

Some dude saying "They are only cats, for Christ's sake."

This saddens me but there is no way to protect against it.

Such is the world we live in.

But I digress.

Two people, two cats and enough dirty dishes to justify having fed the entire United States army.

I don't get it.

If I stay on top of it and wash the dishes the next day it is not too bad. Although I still marvel at the number of utensils we soil.

If I skip a day I am doomed.

Who the hell ate all this food?

When I skip a day I have to chug a vial of 5 Hour Energy just to get me through the process.

I pile the dishes so high it becomes a clean dish version of Jenga.

I refuse to stop and dry anything. So I balance everything precariously. The plastic containers and taking lunch to work vessels end up on top.

Sometimes, when I am done, I step back and admire my skill at erecting clean dish mountain.

I am convinced that dirty dishes procreate but, being the sneaky bastards that they are, I have never caught them at it.

Books in the Bank, Baby

I always feel safe and secure when I have books lined up to read.

Nestled on the bottom shelf of the end table that supports my magazines, my notebooks, the baseball that Eddie gave me, an occasional cup of coffee, occasional short whiskey, and other miscellany are a bunch of books.

Leonard Cohen's recent biography by Sylvie Simmons, "I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen." Pete Townshend's autobiography, "Who I Am". "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain. "Lords of Chaos:The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground", Michael Moynihan, Didrik Soderlind.

Most of the time I am forced to play it close to the belt because of budgetary restrictions. Cutting it close with only one or two books in the queue.

Very dangerous.

Got a little lucky recently and was able to ramp up dramatically.

I am not satisfied. Thinking about buying the next installment in the Jack Reacher series. I am reading them in the order they were released. I have read three; got 14 or 15 more to go.

Cannot get enough of the written word and the eclectic variety it offers me.

In addition, I am on page 432 of "Atlas Shrugged", by Ayn Rand. The book has 1,168 pages.

There is a lot of reading in front of me and I am feeling enthusiastic about that.

Gonna buy some cheap, well worn recliner that I can set on the screened-in porch so I will read out there this spring and summer (such as they exist). I don't know why I never thought of that before.

When I was a wee lad I used to read on the porch of my parents house in the summer. Second floor, looking down over Winthrop Street.

Those moments were the most sublime, peaceful, soul nourishing moments of my wickedly warped formative years.

The only reason I have never done it in this house - which the bank has owned and we have lived in since 1986 - 1986 - is because I never had a comfortable chair out there. There is a table and chairs but I despise reading at a table.

Took me 29 years to figure it out but, what the hell, I guess that means I am making progress.

That is the portion of my soul where I am residing this morning and it is a good feeling.

Since they are so rare and precious, I dig good feelings.

Ciao, baby.

Truth in Fiction

" His face had the expression which, these days, was the mark of an honest man: an expression of bewilderment."

From "Atlas Shrugged"   Ayn Rand

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Workaday World, Baby

"The hours ahead, like all her nights with him, would be added, she thought, to that savings account of one's life where moments of time are stored in the pride of having been lived. The only pride of her workday was not that it had been lived, but that it had been survived."

From "Atlas Shrugged".  Ayn Rand.

Trash & Introspection

Just took a trip to the dump.

Had some revelations.

I live in a college town. See a lot of youth.

Passed a couple walking down the street on this so far beautiful April day. Young girl/woman wearing shorts, young boy/man wearing a T-shirt and jeans. His arm draped over her shoulder.

The future making its way innocently down the road.

Those two embodied everything about hope and potential, wonder, anticipation and reality. The normal wreckage of an average life is off in the distance and hopefully is a nightmare they won't experience.

Let's face it - in another year they probably won't be together.

But for now, for now their reality is simple and suggests the reality most of us had at some point.

Love in whatever way, shape and form it takes for them at this moment. Attending college, planning for a future, enjoying the freedom that comes with higher education.

College life gives you a taste of life in a precise way. Suddenly there is no one telling you what to do, no one commanding and controlling you. You decide to be responsible or not, and deal with the consequences and rewards. You find out what you are made of; you find out if you have made the right choice and if not, hopefully, you change things before you are sweating out the last five years of your career praying to find a way to retire.

It is a cushy situation though; college life is not reality. It offers a glimpse of reality from a privileged perspective.

Reality is graduating high school and taking a job in a warehouse. Learning to hate your job and despise your boss. 

I went to college and drank and played pinball. It did not serve me well but I laughed a lot.

On the way to the dump, seeing this couple from behind, I assigned noble intentions to the lad. On the way back I noticed the girl/woman was wearing a low cut halter top type thing to complement her shorts.

Hopefully the lad has some willpower. Unless all they want is a torrid sexual relationship, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Not a bad idea to experience fiery passion before it is beaten and bored out of you.

Went to market after visiting the dump. Needed ingredients for the maximum hot dog casserole I am cooking tonight.

I am trying to eat healthier.

Popped into The Peace Mobile (Carol allowed me to borrow her vehicle) out of the market and heard "Another Brick In The Wall." Pink Floyd.

"Hey - teacher - leave those kids alone."

It occurred to me that those words are deeply meaningful on many levels.

Teachers ruining spontaneity, curiosity and love of life in children. Parents instilling hatred and prejudice and fear into their kids' souls.

There has to be a new way, some middle ground of dispensing knowledge that will free up children's minds to be open to tolerance and understanding and love.

No I did not just smoke a joint.

Finally as I pulled into my driveway I was listening to "Rosalita." Springsteen and the boys.

"Now, I know your mama, she don't like me 'cause I play in a rock 'n roll band, and I know your daddy, he don't dig me, but he never did understand.................................................
and your papa says he knows that I don't have any money, your papa says he knows that I don't have any money, oh your daddy says he knows that i don't have any money, well tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance, 'cause a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance."

That is the ultimate rock 'n roll screw you.

And youthful hope and dream and potential and good luck.

Took a ride to the dump. Saw some people, heard some music.

Got me thinking.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

And Yet Another Surprise

Chillin' last night, flappin' around the TV dial.

Landed on Palladia. The Rock "n Roll Hall of Fame Induction from 2014.


99% of the time when I randomly come across Palladia I find something I love.

And yet I don't seek it out. I don't understand that.

In my life, I don't understand the things that I focus on. I don't understand the things that I don't focus on.

Those two comments pretty much summarize my life.

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic gave their talks, and then the music began.

Kurt Cobain is dead. I don't know if you know that, but his being dead makes it tough for the remaining members of Nirvana to regroup meaningfully.

They cranked it up and out came Joan Jett to sing "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

A bit of a curve, no?

She knocked it out of the park. At first I thought she was a bit raw, over reaching a bit, but she settled into it and throated it out.

Raw and wild.

Next up was Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth singing "Aneursym."

She was really raw. Her emotion knocked her to the floor at one point, kind of old school, kind of dramatic but really cool.

Next up was Annie Clark from the group St. Vincent. If you want to enlarge your life, really shake it up and around, seek out a video on..................The Colbert Report believe it or not, from November of 2012 featuring David Byrne and St. Vincent performing "Who."

Goddamn it, this song is the funkiest, most interesting, multi levelled and multi-layered song I have heard in the last 150 years. There are many versions out there but in my humble opinion this performance is the funkiest by far.

I love it and it loves me.

I replayed it a thousand times after I first heard it.

But I digress.

Annie Clark came out at the HOF ceremony honoring Nirvana and sang "Lithium."

Rocked it.

Then Lorde shambled out to sing "All Apologies." Rocked it uniquely.

This amazing testosterone fueled band chose four women to come out and  ghost for Kurt Cobain.

I found that inspired and amazing.

It was like Nirvana was continuing their ground breaking approach to music into 2014. Staying true to their unique spirit. Flipping off the music industry and anyone who wants to stereotype them by expressing their music in whatever way they choose.

And the ladies delivered.

Lorde was the last to sing and she was backed by Pat Smear (look him up), Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Kim Gordon, Joan Jett and Annie Clark.

I tell you man, I was settled in my recliner, aging rapidly, exhaling contentedly, sucking these performances into my soul like the ultimate soul nourishment, and I ain't talking soul-lite here.

I have an intimate relationship with the remote. It surprises and pleases me at the most random and most needed moments.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What Are The Chances?

My weakest point, the most vulnerable part of me, is the desire to trust.

I have a deep down longing to trust people. I want to think of them as good.

I fight this, making constant attitude adjustments assuming that almost anyone I am dealing with is the enemy.

I have been doing this a lot lately and I am getting good at it.

This has been primarily necessitated by the joyous climate where I work. I won't get into details but I have taken to wearing a bullet proof vest backwards to ward off the constant thrust of knives to my back.

The problem is, my fall back position is trust.

When I let my guard down, I trust.

Another cop has killed another black man. In South Carolina. This time there is a graphic video refuting the cop's story of self defense.

The cop is being held in the Charleston County jail. He is one of 366 white men in an overall population of 1,198.

This is a beautiful situation.

Unfortunately he is under maximum protection. When he leaves his cell he is surrounded on all sides by prison guards.

The more I become aware of stories like this, as well as kids being slaughtered in schools and people being massacred in malls and terrorists beheading people in the name of God and extremists exploding bombs and killing innocents - the more I ache.

As a human being, I just ache.

It sounds naive, maybe overly sensitive but it is true.

I cannot believe or grasp the violence and acid hatred that fills this world.

It bothers me.

A lot.

What are the chances that the human race will turn itself around? That it will stop for one long moment, take an honest look at the world we live in, recoil in horror, and adjust?


I don't think it is going to happen.

The decline of this country mirrors the decline of the world. We are starting from a higher point economically, so we have a much more precipitous fall in that arena.

Morally we are no better than anyone else.

We are all going down together.

What bothers me is that I cannot understand it.

Where does this hatred come from? Why don't we recognize it, learn from it and just fucking co-exist?

I want to trust people. I want to think there is good in the human heart.

The more I see, the more I am convinced that everybody else is the enemy.

My fallback position is becoming increasingly dangerous.

Incongruous & Amusing

Listen up, folk - I just walked out to my screened in porch and stood.

In the sun, in the warmth, in the slight breeze, with Maka in my arms for a few minutes.

Feels so good.

This is what hope feels like.

When she became distracted (easily done) and jumped down, I relocated to the landing. Stood in direct sunlight and exulted, quietly.

The breeze was rustling the dry, dead leaves still hanging on to branches, making a sound approximating one of those cool percussion instruments that I can't recall the name of.

The driveway is soaked and collapsing close to the house. A Spring ritual.

Birds are attacking the bird feeders lustily. Watching them fly and feed, listening to them sing, is beauty. Squirrels continue to annoy but they are part of the landscape.

There is still a foot and a half of snow in the front yard. Incongruous. Amusing.

I'm really digging this because of the harsh, evil winter we  survived and because I wasted my entire day yesterday (and part of today) taking inventory at The Asylum.

From 1:00 in the afternoon until 1:45 in the morning.

Pure torture.

The contrast, however, makes today that much more stunning.

Good weather is coming and with it - good times.

Easier living, more pure thoughts, family, friends, meaningful intentions hopefully rewarded with determined follow through.

I despise winter like I despise phony cheerfulness and faux positivity. The contrast between the sheer stupidity of winter and a day like this brings your senses and your soul alert.

This does not justify living in a climate like this.

It does shock you awake though, brings back a feeling of actually being alive as opposed to shuffling through days dead.

Tastes like chocolate, baby - tastes like chocolate.

Friday, April 10, 2015


The sun rose silently, throwing punches against the winter cold.

It was April, but spring had been unconvincing so far and he struggled to make sense of it.

Stepping onto the abbreviated porch, a landing really, he defiantly tipped his face towards the warmth.

It relaxed him for a few seconds, offering hints of comfort to come. It refused to spread from his face, however, as his body reminded him that it was only 33 degrees.

Shivering angrily, he stepped back inside and stood at the picture window gazing out over a yard still covered by snow, cruelly reflecting the sun back at him.

He had visions of his fist driving through that window, shattering it and the illusion of warmth it created by allowing the sunshine to mock him.

Winter had been harsh, long, and it was still hanging on. Still he knew that release was inevitable, that soon he would be able to leave this house without cringing in anticipation of the cold. Without experiencing the defensive tightening of the muscles that defied ease.

Winter was never an easy time, but this particular winter had beaten him down to a point of emotional and physical vulnerability.

He felt exposed; he felt want like a man who craves love that is just beyond his reach.

His perspective was radically different this year and waiting did not suit him.

There was no time.

Hanging on in anticipation was a passive approach to getting what he needed; getting to where he needed to be, and it made him restless.

Yet he had no plan, no solution, for bringing the warmth to him.

Exactly how much control did he really have?

The furnace fired up again, quietly manufacturing the heat that would soon blow up out of the vents and keep him warm, for now, inside.

A silly thought crossed his mind that he wished he controlled nature's thermostat. That he could turn up the heat to suit him.

He smiled at the vapidity of the notion.

Walked over to thermostat and dialed it up from 70 to 72. Cringed inwardly at his cowardly boldness.

Why not 85? Why not 90?

He settled in the recliner, slid a heavy blanket up over him, turned on the TV, and waited.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Had A Good Sports Day

Had a good sports day yesterday.

Had the day off. Puttered around trying to change my life but I accomplished nothing.

I am Sisyphus.

However, at 3:00 I dialed up the Red Sox. Game 1 of the 2015 season.

Maka curled up in my lap and the world looked prettier.

More hopeful. The beginning of any sports season inspires hope. Everyone is hopeful about their team's chances, everybody is talking positive. Except for the grounds keepers of the Cleveland Indians in "Major League."

It really is a warm and comforting feeling. Winter is close to being banished to Hell and life just might get a tiny bit easier.

Maybe we could have some fun. Actually live life. Actually enjoy it.

There is a mania surrounding the beginning of the football season and I love it. I live for it. It crowds the prospect of winter to the edges of my mind, temporarily. It is wild, it is uber-hype, it is insane passion.

Baseball begins with a sigh.

I love it. It feels so good.

The Sox opened in Philly yesterday. It was 68 degrees.


Fans sat in the stands in T-shirts.


The Sox kicked ass.

Are you kidding me? Five home runs. Two from Dustin Pedroia, two from Hanley Ramirez, including a grand slam that made it 8 zip Sox, and one by Mookie Betts.

Got a kick out of Joe Castiglione as we motored our way to an excellent dinner last night. Talking about the fire power, then he says "but they didn't do a very good job of moving the runners along."

You gotta love baseball fans.

Clay Buchholz looked great. Il Fabuloso.

Will he step up to become the Ace of the pitching staff? Interesting proposition because he is such a head case.

But he got the job done yesterday in grand style.

They won Game 1. Felt really good. Which is kind of insane because they got 161 (at least) games to go and that game means next to nothing.

Except for how they did it. Except for the fact that it was Game 1 of 2015, baby.

Wednesday night is the next game and you better believe Carol and I will sit down to a hot dog, chips and beer dinner while we dig on the new version of the Boston Red Sox.

Got home from dinner at 10:15 to half time of the Wisconsin/Duke extravaganza.

It was tied. How perfect was that?

I sat down with a dollop of Makers Mark and promptly announced that I would never see the end of the game.

Then I went right straight ahead and did. Watched the whole goddamn second half with eyes wide open.

Exciting stuff. March Madness is a high point for us wee folk seeking any kind of thrill we can find. The games are high energy and there is so much at stake.

All that youth with no real concept of what life is about, how it works, how it mostly disappoints.

The only thing in their lives at this time of year is the pursuit of the NCAA championship,

That is a beautiful thing.

The game was exciting but it had the wrong ending.

Wisconsin hung in there but blew it in the end.

I was rooting deeply for a continuation of hope.

The Sox got the ball rolling, Wisconsin had the opportunity to make hope huge. Large enough to obliterate deadlines and commitments for a couple of days.

They came up short and that is how life works. It giveth and it taketh away.

The Sox play again on Wednesday night. Carol and I are looking forward to that. We will enjoy our beginning of the season ritual in peace, together.

I am truly excited for baseball at this time of year. Especially when the Sox play like they did yesterday.

1 game down, 161 (at least) to go.

I can deal with that. I can hope with that.

In the meantime, I had a really good sports day yesterday.

Monday, April 6, 2015


"Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or they both die."

"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for president. One hopes it is the same half."

Gore Vidal


Easta is an odd holiday to me.

It creates a strange feeling within me. From Good Friday to Bunny Sunday.

This feeling may have originated from the fact that when I was a kid I always wanted something dramatic to happen at 3:00 p.m. on Good Friday.

Somehow I got it in my head that that was when Jesus died on the cross, and apparently there is enough info in the Bible to substantiate that.

A biblical, crucifixion time-line, if you will.

According to Matthew 27:51-52, when the man died: "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life."

That is what I wanted to happen at 3 on Good Friday. Still do.

So far my desire runs unrequited.

Watching TV last night, caught a news blurb which said that over a billion dollars was spent on Easter this year. It was something like $1.5 billion or something like that.


On Easter?

I get the food, the Easter finery, eggs, chocolate. I don't get the rest. It's not like Christmas. Most people don't show up at your house with armfuls of presents.

I am fascinated with our obsession to flip a religious occasion into child's play.

We take the birth of Christ and turn it into this shallow, stressful,  thing that is all about shopping and all about bling, making it difficult to at least enjoy family company, even if you want to skip the religious aspect of the day.

Some fat guy flying all over the world in one night in a reindeer powered sleigh, squeezing down chimneys, leaving gifts and enjoying cookies and the missus (if he is lucky) before wriggling back up to the roof.

12/25 is a birthday. Albeit, a birthday as a result of immaculate conception, which is pretty cool, but still it is only a birthday.

Easter is much more incomprehensible to me.

We take Christ's resurrection and twist it into the Easter Bunny, hopping and bopping around,with some kind of egg connection.

Does he visit every home? Does he leave presents wherever he goes? I don't know.

A guy rises from the dead and we turn him into the Easter Bunny. What the hell is that?

The guy was crucified, hung around in a cave dead for three days, and then comes back from the dead and ascends to heaven.

If that isn't heavy duty I don't know what is.

I wonder if we are so afraid of this thing called religion and life and death that we turn away from it and create comic book characters.

Or could the commercialization of these holidays illustrate the insidious, far reaching, logic warping reach of capitalism? Topic for another discussion.

If we are going to go this route, why not commercialize Good Friday?

We could set up temporary crucifixion centers in malls and town parks.

Strap people up on crosses to simulate the effect. $25 for 15 minutes, $40 for half an hour and, the real bargain for the discerning shopper, 1 hour for $45.

You could have photos transformed into masks so you could crucify your own boss. Pay a friend to wear the mask and strap in so you could pummel him with plastic rocks or torment him with vinyl spears.

Vendors could sell plastic thorny crowns, and nails with fake blood on them.

Mock earth shaking and rock splitting, and zombie types staggering out of graves. Zombies who fall to their knees expressing gratitude at a second chance, and cautioning people that it is not too late to move the needle from evil to good.

I enjoy living in quiet servitude and abject poverty and hold no plans to copyright and profit from these ideas.

Do with them what you will.

I Hope This Is Not True

From "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. In a conversation, one character says: "People are happy................sometimes..........aren't they?"

Balph Eubank responds: "That is a delusion of those whose emotions are superficial."

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Death Rattle

I continue to unbelieve.

I was ruminating on the death rattle tonight so I decided to do some research. Ended up at a website called LISTVERSE

They had a list titled "Top 10 Occurrences Before and After Death."

Not just occurrences, not just 10 occurrences, not things that happen, but top 10 occurrences.

The death rattle was number 10, which is how I ended up there.

The death rattle is a sound that people often make just before they die. It occurs after loss of the cough reflex and after loss of the ability to swallow. Apparently it is quite a chilling sound, especially given the circumstances.

We then move on to the remaining 9 of the top 10 death related occurrences.

#9 - Cheynes- Stokes respiration. An abnormal breathing pattern characterized by rapid breathing and then no breathing at all.

#8 - Defecation. I am not even going to address this.

#7 - Rigor Mortis. Self explanatory.

#6 - Livor Mortis. The purple-red coloration that appears when blood sinks to the dependent portions of the body.

#5 - Algor Mortis. The "death chill." The reduction in body temperature that occurs following death.

#4 - Tache Noir. Literally meaning the "black spot." A dark, reddish brown strip that will form horizontally across the eyeball.

#3 - Purge Fluid. A putrid, reddish brown fluid with a very foul smell that can emerge from the oral and the nasal passages.

#2 - Degloving. The actual removing of the body's skin post mortem. As explained in this website, degloving is an appropriate term because you can actually remove the skin of the hands like you would remove a glove from your own hand.

#1 - Maceration. Means "to soften by soaking." The description of this process is so disturbing that I will not repeat it here. It is nothing I can't handle but if I described it in these pages my blog would probably be taken down.

Here's my point. I trolled the web in search of information regarding the death rattle. I ended up at LISTVERSE.

Besides the above list they advertise: "10 Bizarre Snapshots From The World of Scientology." "10 Joyous Weddings That Ended Tragically." "10 Widely Hated Language Mistakes That Aren't Mistakes At All." "10 Real Scientific Experiments So Adorable You Will Cry Tears of Joy." "10 Meaningful Literary Moments That Were Lost in Translation." "10 Mishaps That Nearly Ended a President's Life." "10 Unexpected Scientific Reasons Why Old People Are Awesome."

I cannot grasp where we humans are headed. I cannot grasp how the web is used. I cannot grasp how and why we use a tool as powerful as the internet in the way that we do.

I can grasp the death rattle.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


OK, happy April 1 and all that.

It is yet another new beginning. Another new month in the year 2015.

Another chance to start fresh.

Gotta admit my batting average is not so hot in 2015. At least from my perspective.

January was a good month. Did stuff. Was inspired.

February sucked royally, March was equally as bad.

1 for 3 in the monthly average department. In baseball that is a pretty good average.

When you are trying to radically change your life it is not so hot.

Excuses: February was just a disgusting, horrific, spirit crushing winter month. March was Kevin.

Reality: There are no excuses.

April has arrived. Fools sell it as spring. It obviously does not feel or look like spring. It is a bogus month offering bogus hope.

Still, maybe I can make something out of this month. If I do I will be batting .500 in 2015.

I can work with .500.

We'll see.