Thursday, July 30, 2015

While Others Die

I was motoring my way to HELL a couple of days ago and listening to a discussion on addiction on NPR.

Heroin addiction.

Intellectuals discussing a down and dirty aspect of human nature, a gritty reality that few understand and fewer know how to treat.

It was irritating to me because it was so clinical. So removed.

The expert being interviewed had that educated, life in academia tone of voice.

I don't know how much contact she has with addicts but I cannot imagine her connecting with them in any way.

Addiction is not a subject to be studied or a thesis to be written. It is a disease or a weakness or a failing (society or the addict) that destroys lives and rips families apart.

It causes great pain and unanswerable confusion.

Addicts are vulnerable. They adopted drugs as a lifestyle to deal with emotional pain or physical pain or an inability to cope with this cold life we are forced to live.

Or maybe they got into the thing backwards. Maybe they liked the initial high as a kick, as an amazing physical sensation.

Until it took control and started kicking them around.

You want to get a feel for what addiction can do? Talk to my brother Ed. Talk to his ex-wife Kathy. A mother and father who have had to deal with the unpredictability and the suffering. People who lost their only son to heroin.

That is reality. That is not a classroom.

My brother recently met a guy who runs an organization that is boldly active in raising awareness of the addiction problem in this country and does what he can to raise money to deal with it.

He is a former addict.

These are the people who get things done. These are the people who know, who connect, who communicate and actively engage the community.

Part of the discussion centered around naloxone, a drug that can save the lives of people who are in the throes of OD'ing.

When a person OD's, the brain begins to shut down respiration. Naloxone blocks the opiate from the brain, removes it from the brain and people revive.

It is considered miraculous.

The NPR discussion informed me that naloxone is sold for pennies in other countries.

Not so in this country. In this country the cost of naloxone was just increased, making it harder for law enforcement and medical authorities to get a hold of it.

Supply and demand.

What the hell is wrong with the United States of America?

Part of the discussion revolved around the high cost of treatment programs and the long waiting lists for those trying to get in.

When pressed to suggest an answer to these problems the expert insisted on talking about the importance of getting people off drugs first, saying once you get to that point then you can figure out how to navigate the system.

In other words she had no answer.

The truth is many people have no way to navigate the system. They drown in bureaucracy and go back to what they know.


We talk too much in this country. We are happy to talk about every goddamn thing under the sun but we are not real good at doing anything about these issues.

People make a living at talking about this stuff, and studying these things.

They make a living in safety and comfort while others die.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Still, She Waits

It occurred to me today that I am as a delicate flower being nurtured and cared for by Carol.

I flounder around trying to make sense of my life, trying to re-direct my life down the road less traveled, which is dimly visible far off in some almost unattainable distance.

I get angry, I get depressed, happiness occasionally seeps in only to be immediately replaced by anxiety.

I rant, I rave, I ponder, I despair.

Above all I waste time. Waste life.

And then there's Carol.

Always attentive. Taking care of the big things, taking care of the little things. Making me feel loved and a little safer in this cruel, soul-crushing world.


Waiting for me to unmask my own reality so she can finally exhale.

Imagine what her world would be like if I achieved true Joe-ness.

She knows the real man inside the confused one. She knows that I could be happy if I made the right moves.

I am not saying she is dependent on me in any way. She is a strong, intelligent and focused individual who creates her own happiness.

But...................imagine how much smoother her life would be if she didn't have to wonder which Joe would come home at night.

Whiskey Joe or Determined Joe.

Imagine how her happiness could, maybe, multiply exponentially if it were met head on by my own.

At present, that is only a hypothesis.

My mother called me a late bloomer. I cannot even guess how many times I have mentioned that in these pages.

That is because those words sometimes piss me off. I sometimes despise thinking about those words. They insult me.

Sometimes they fire me up.

Maybe there is truth in those words. Maybe she knew me better than I know myself.

Now Carol waits. Maybe. I hope she hasn't given up on me.

Last Saturday, at lunch with my aunt Dina and my brother Eddie, the discussion got around to life or happiness or something.

Carol said: "My life has not turned out the way I thought it would, but I am still happy."

Those words were a sledgehammer to my face. Not because she intended it that way; because of the way I interpreted them.

I have to be, at least in part, on the disappointment side of her happiness ledger.

Not entirely. We enjoy a lot of happiness together.

But I certainly did not turn out to be the raging success she might have imagined me to be at the tender age of 24.

It is a heavy duty realization to think you might have reduced the happiness in the life of someone you love through your own weaknesses.

Happiness is precious. It is right up there with love.

Still, Carol takes care of me. She shows me her love in big ways, she shows me her love in small ways, she is always here and always attentive.

Still, she waits.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Diggin' On Sinatra

Came a cross a real deal a few weeks ago at the local market days event.

A steal, really.

Market Days is the typical small town out on the streets diggin' summer stroll fest that is one of life's little pleasures.

Carol and I go every year. Check out the funky clothes stands, cool jewelry (I am the King of Cheap Jewelry), listen to music, look at people, look at dogs (lots of dogs), maybe scarf some food.

Grab a beer if the beer tent is not too crowded, which it was this year so no beer for me.

Which is OK 'cause I still gotta lose 20 pounds so I can squeeze into that skimpy little bikini taunting me in the closet.


There is a cool independent movie theatre in town called Red River Theatres. They were selling movie posters, DVD's and CD's on the cheap.

Carol and I got in on the ground floor with this cinema. We were there for the ribbon cutting ceremony and we were there for the first showing.

Red River. 1948. Starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift and Walter Brennan.

Very cool and comfortable place. They serve beer and wine, the seats are ultra comfortable, they only have two real screens and one semi-screen. No big ass movies. Just independent and quirky stuff.

How the hell can you go wrong? It is small and it is personal. Important considerations in this 2,000 options for everything , moving fast and loud world.

Anyway.................I strolled in fully expecting to leave with a poster or two. Something ultra cool that I could decorate this room with.

Not to be. As many as they had to offer, nothing stirred me to life.

So we browsed CD's. Every CD was $2.

I came across a Sinatra retrospective from the Reprise years. 4 cd's. $8.

I have been exploring the man's music and diggin' the surprises. I cannot call myself a fan - not yet - I only know the songs you are supposed to know.

However I keep coming across nuggets I have never heard before that soothe me. Or swing me. Or surprise me. Or all of that at once.

I understand why women lost their minds over the man. He could croon.

It almost makes me want to endure a sex change operation so I can experience the full effect.

But I can't afford to replace my wardrobe in its entirety so I guess I'll pass.

81 songs. So many about love.

I was thinking about the hypocrisy of it all. Sounding so sincere singing to the ladies about love when in reality all he probably wanted to do was get in their pants.

This is not an indictment of Sinatra at all. It applies to every singer, every poet, every novelist, every artistic expression of love. It is a general comment about the complicated nature of love songs. And love poems. And love stories.

Just plain love.

And I could be wrong. Maybe the man was pining away to be loved.

Who am I to judge?

Love is all there is.

You have no career, you have no freedom, you have no fulfillment, your dream is unreachable and maybe unrealistic. If you even have one. Maybe you had one and it was beaten out of you.

All we really want is to love and be loved.

In purity and sweet release.

If Sinatra gets you there than consider yourself lucky.

Some songs bring a smile to my face, a couple have made me laugh.

Check out The Coffee Song.If you are not amused you are probably dead.

Some songs stir deep emotion in me.

I am discovering Sinatra.

Diggin' every minute of it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

That's Life

Took a walk down memory lane on Saturday.

Visited Winthrop, Massachusetts to enjoy lunch with my Aunt Dina, who is 85 years old, my brother Ed, who is chronologically 60 years old but physically 18 years old, and my lovely wife Carol who is a stunning 61 years old.

(Editor's note: I am chronologically 61 years old but physically 93 years old).

I was raised in Winthrop, Massachusetts. Spent my formative years there. Lived there from approximately the age of two straight through to the age of 24, when I fled to The Land of Responsibility.

Winthrop is a beautiful town. Nestled right up against the Atlantic ocean. A quiet, scenic, suburban peace-spot.

I don't get back there often. This trip affected me profoundly.

Carol and I made excellent time, arriving early, so we took a tour of the town.

Drove down Shore Drive, which parallels Winthrop beach.

I spent a lot of time on the beach. I put 137,450 miles on my cars cruising Winthrop beach. My mind engaged with the past as we drove up and down that road, kind of like me and my friends used to do.

Looking for babes, looking for parties, looking for fun.

Next Carol and I drove towards 120 Winthrop Street, which is where I "grew up."  Along the way we passed Thornton Park where my friend Ed Keough used to live.

Massive memories. At night I would drive around and pick up all my friends on our way to insanity. Inevitably, when we got to Ed's house and I honked my horn, the porch light would flash on and off.

That was Ed's sign - he was running late. He was always running late. We sat and waited and laughed about it.

Ed and I planned to travel cross country when we graduated high school. I chickened out at the last minute and have always considered that decision to be one of the worst of my life.

However........................ had I gone on that trip I would never have met Carol. Amazing how things work out. I treasure my wife, I treasure my sons, I treasure my sons' women.

Ed had a dog named Killy. An Irish Setter. A beautiful, loving dog.

Thornton Park was also where Gaff lived. Gaff's parents died young and he was left with the house. Gaff bought us beer and Gaff supplied us with pot.

Carol and I drove slowly past 120 Winthrop, and once again my mind buzzed. The house looks almost exactly the same, except the big tree out front is gone.

My eyes are always drawn to the second story porch. I spent countless and peaceful hours there, reading in the summer time. It was my favorite spot, my favorite thing to do.

Sitting on a lounge chair, book in hand, summer breeze, cars quietly cruising by, the big tree in my face.

It is one of my fondest memories.

Next stop was the cemetery to visit my parents' grave.


The date my father died was never etched on the headstone. Apparently Ed and I skipped a beat somewhere along the line.

It felt weird.

I touched the headstone. Why do we do that? Trying to connect?

My thoughts inevitably turned to my station in life, thinking it wouldn't be too long before some family member would be figuratively touching their hand to my headstone.

I say figuratively because I won't be buried. My ashes will be scattered.

But where?

An Allman Brothers concert would have been divine, but that is no longer in the cards. Maybe I'll have them mailed to Gregg Allman's house.

Then again what are the odds that Gregg, who is 67, will outlive me? Zero. I mean, I have seriously abused myself over the years but Gregg's got me beat by a googol miles.

We hooked up with Ed and Dina and ate in a divine, little Italian restaurant close up by the beach.

Superb food, great conversation. A very cool visit.

I was sitting at the table, looking out the window towards the street my friend Dave Selig lived on.

We spent a lot of time at Dave's house. His parents were the coolest, especially his dad. We could talk to them and they to us. We spent many hours sitting around that kitchen table feeling comfortably at home.They knew what we were up to and they were cool with it as long as we didn't get too stupid.

His father kept these tiny sausages in the fridge, which we used to dip in mustard and heartily chow.

Cool memory.

I came away from this visit with a finely tuned sense of finiteness.

I am getting older. This trip meant more to me. The memories were deep and alive.

My mind is scrambled, as are the minds of all my family members, considering our recent history.

This trip was one more ingredient added to the mix.

It is quite a stew. A stew I would prefer not to have to deal with.

But there you go.

That's life, baby.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Moving Backwards In Time Through Binge Watching

Carol and I recently wrapped up our enjoyment of Californication, a show that ran on Showtime from 2007 to 2014.

It starred David Duchovny as hard drinking, womanizing writer Hank Moody.

It was pretty tasty.

When you get to the end of a series like that you feel lost. The characters get into your head, they get into your life, you look forward to their exploits and then suddenly there ain't nuthin' left to watch.

Suddenly you are drinking excessively and beating the crap out of each other.

Happened to us with Breaking Bad which was the first series we obsessively gobbled up. That was kind of funny too because when we started watching it we were not streaming Netflix; we did it through the mail.

It took forever.

We floundered for a few days after finishing Californication and then decided to jump on the way back machine to dig West Wing.

Something like 156 episodes that ran from 1999 through 2006.


But what the hell, it is an intelligent, engaging show.

And we are feeling pretty hung over and I, for one, am sick of wearing makeup to hide the bruises.

After that maybe we'll dive in to The Dick Van Dyke show.

Rob Petrie needs us.

Rubio, You Moron

Marco Rubio is an idiot.

His quote: "We already have a president now that has no class. I mean we have a president now that does selfie-stick videos, that invites You-tube stars there, people who eat cereal out of a bathtub..........he goes on comedy shows to talk about something as serious as Iran. The list goes on and on."

He was attempting to lump the Prez in with Motor Mouth Trump.

What a piece of crap. He definitely has my vote.

I have to admit - when I see the Prez doing the selfie thing it makes me uncomfortable. Doesn't seem appropriate. I don't even know what the cereal in the bathtub thing is all about. That frightens me.

President Obama has appeared on a number of late night shows and other popular shows, most recently The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The Prez is media savvy. He knows that people no longer get their information from the news; they don't even get their news from the news.

The majority of the impressive intellectuals in this country get their news from reality TV and, even worse, Fox semi-news.

President Obama knows that to get his message across he needs to engage social media and to appear on TV shows that have strong followings.

If Rubio ever appeared on The Daily Show he would get shredded. He has the brain power of a pre-school kid. Stewart is a goddamn genius.

And taking it to the next level, it would be impossible to compare President Obama to Rubio. They don't even exist in the same universe.

Rubio has zero credibility when he says that President Obama has no class. The Prez has more class in one fingernail than Rubio will ever have in five lifetimes.

This is a perfect example of the sheer ignorance and stupidity of Rubio and, by extension, most of this fine republican field we have  clowning for nomination.

The Prez is done. He is not running for anything. And yet republicans feel they still have to try to humiliate him.

I hope President Obama is brutally honest when he writes his presidential memoirs a few years down the road.

It will be a laugh a minute riot to read his impressions of the idiots he had to deal with during his eight years in office.

Friday, July 24, 2015

So You Thought

So you thought Charles Bukowski was nothing but an insensitive, drunken, misguided lout.

You would have a point if you did not dig deep enough.

As far as the drunkenness and insanity goes, in a way I admire that in a human.

Talk about flaunting convention; causing tongues to cluck and heads to wag in disapproval.

Isn't that what we all want? As opposed to being the well behaved sheep that we are?

I have had enough of a run in with whiskey and song to know I really do not want to live my life that way. Waking up every day with a ravaged body and a foggy head.

It is enjoyable to erase it all with a bit of hair of the dog and start all over again, provides one with a measurable sense of accomplishment but, and maybe this is proof that I am getting older and wiser (?) here, it feels pretty good these days to wake up feeling healthy.

Or as healthy as a 61 year old body can feel.

I'm not sure an aching hip, a weak back (Stooges - How long have you had a weak back? Oh, about a week back), a throbbing hip, painful knees, and an uncomfortable neck/shoulder thing can be considered healthy, but sometimes you gotta take what you get.

Anyway, as proof that Mr. Bukowski had a sensitive nature, I present the following.

The poem is titled "My Cats."

I am just laying it out here long form and not following the structure that Bukowski conceived.

Don't you sometimes wonder how poets decide to break up their sentences? Why one line can be one word, or a phrase is split between two lines?

Is it pretentiousness or is it creativity?

How the hell do I know? I am just a liquor store hack.

Anyway, here it is:

"My Cats"

"I know, I know, they are limited, have different needs and concerns. But I watch and learn from them. I like the little they know, which is so much. They complain but never worry, they walk with a surprising dignity. They sleep with a direct simplicity that humans just can't understand. Their eyes are more beautiful than our eyes and they can sleep 20 hours a day without hesitation or remorse. When I am feeling low all I have to do is watch my cats and my courage returns.  I study these creatures. They are my teachers."

I love my cats.

I love Bukowski.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thoughts Coming Back Around

Carol cleaned up this room recently and it did my heart good.

I spend a lot of time in here dreaming in front of a computer screen and I hate clutter.

Unfortunately, after 37 years of marriage my entire life is about clutter.

You should see our home. Clutter everyfuckingwhere.

It is embarrassing.

You get lazy. Stuff keeps coming into your life that you have to sort and file and dispose of and eventually you become overwhelmed.

Stuff that means nothing, that could be disposed of without skipping a beat and yet it sits and collects dust.

Great, spiraling collections of dust.

If we made the effort and cleaned up a bit I'm convinced four more people could move in with us and we wouldn't even notice.

Anyway this room irked me the most. Paper piled everywhere including the desk.

Of course I did nothing about it because I am so busy trying to rescue my own life (code for laziness).

So Carol took the bull by the horns and I am now sitting at a neat, clean, pristine desk, inspired by the sheer crispness of it all.

I can actually look at the cool stuff we collect under the plastic protecting the desk.

Pictures of Keith and Emily, Craig and Karen, me and Sarge and Kevin, Sarge and Newman, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, me and my long lost buddy Alan back when I was unafraid to remove my shirt, Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, a great newspaper clip entitled "Don't Give Up On Yourself" which is actually quite good, a picture of a feisty old lady that Carol loves.

In fact the only thing missing is pictures of Carol. I will rectify that situation post haste because she is the love of my life and the one I have leaned on for decades in my weakness.

That is not why I came here today.

In the cleaning process Carol found one of my notebooks.

I have a million of them in various shapes and sizes all over the goddamn place. Notebooks with 6 trillion ideas on stuff to write about.  Quick thoughts, short phrases, designed to ignite creativity.

I am regularly accused of being dark.

Here are some of the things written in this notebook: already dead; brilliant idiots; as the days keep turning into night; chasing dreams with whiskey & old before my time, which are both lines from an Allman Brothers song; I must remain tough while surrounding myself with delicate things; we are born dying.

I maintain that I am a realist. Carol sees me as a pessimist.

I don't think I'm dark. I think I'm honest.

Anyway, stumbling across these notes years after I wrote them is exciting because I don't know what my original thoughts were or what the inspiration was.

I am tempted to use them now as inspiration, writing from the place my head now inhabits.

Could happen. You never know.

In the meantime I will dig on the incredible neatness of this desk and plug into the vibe to clear away the clutter in my mind.

I am so full of shit.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Who Needs Apple?

OK. I'm sitting on my screened in porch talking to you.

And I am excited.

I am typing on my brand new laptop.

In between yawns you ask What is the big goddamn deal? Everybody has a laptop today.

In fact everybody today is born with a laptop in one hand and a smart phone in the other,which makes it very hard on the birth mother.

At birth and before.

At birth because the female body has not yet evolved to the point of accommodating high tech in the birth canal .

Before birth because there is no Wi-Fi in the womb, which makes for a pissed off fetus.

All true.

I am still living in the 20th century. I did not even have a laptop until a few months ago and I still use a goddamn flip phone. I try to use it only at night so people will not notice.

 Craig came to my rescue and gave me an old laptop of his, for which I was grateful.

However it was slow and hard to negotiate. It was an upgrade for me and I was happy but I am not a patient man and the laptop ground up a lot of patience.

I coveted an apple laptop but I am forced to pay my mortgage instead.

Keith turned me on to google chromebooks, which are infinitely affordable and I am.

Rescued by both of my sons. That, my friends, is a super cool deal.

So I am as a young school boy on the first day of summer vacation.

Just received this little beauty today.

Hopefully it will improve, streamline, inspire and inform my life. I do not plan to use it as just a toy.

That's all. I can see that you are bored.

Ciao, baby.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Jesus Christ Hunter I Miss You So Goddamn Much

Today is Hunter S. Thompson's birthday.

He would have been 78.

Hunter killed himself on February 20, 2005 at the age of 67.

I worshiped this man's writing, his lifestyle, his point of view, his ballsiness, his intelligence, his circle of friends, his outspoken no fear no holds barred approach to life.

He had a major influence on me as a human being.

The celebrities I hold dear in my heart are diverse.

Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, John Lennon, Keith Richards, George Harrison, Leonard Cohen, Charles Bukowski, Neil Young, Jerry Rice, Derek Sanderson, Lawrence Sanders. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dwight Evans, Jim Brown, Gregg Allman, Jim Morrison.............. I got a million of them.

As I list this list it appears I lean heavily towards sports, music and writing. In fact as I laid this list down I did not realize I had such a long list.

Anyway it is entirely possible that Hunter is at the top of the list.

He was into drugs, booze, fast cars, fast motorcycles, politics, football, writing, guns and insanity.

Despite the temptation to dig the man for his wacked out lifestyle, it is his writing that mesmerized me and still does. Insanely original, wildly creative and viciously entertaining.

I loved the way he lived his life. I followed him closely. I knew him well.

So much so that, when I was goofing off at work in 2005 and accidentally came across the notice of his suicide on line (which floored me) I turned to Bryce who was also goofing off in my cubicle at the time and said  "I bet he did it because of his physical problems."

Turned out I was right. Hunter had been experiencing many physical problems with his back, his knees and other ailments that I suspected he could not live with because they so limited his lifestyle.

His suicide note: "No more games. No more bombs. No more walking. No more fun. No more swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No fun - for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax - This won't hurt."

He was an informed and intelligent consumer of drugs. He kept the PDR handy - Physicians Desk Reference - and knew which drugs he could consume in combination with other drugs - and in what quantities - without killing himself. He did so liberally, as well as consuming enormous amounts of alcohol.

These things fueled him; somehow they worked for him and he was able to perform at a creative level that was truly impressive and original, and to live his life at a speed that dazzled.

He always had Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado. This was his fortress and his solace. The place he would retreat to to re-charge his batteries and entertain his friends and guests with intelligent political discussions, football viewing (which he loved - Colts fan) and pure insanity.

The man invented Shotgun Golf. A wonderful sport where one person hits the ball while the other guy tries to shoot the ball off course.

He drove his cars and his motorcycles fast and usually scared the shit out of whoever was with him. However he was always in control, no matter his condition. He respected the power of these things and learned how to control them precisely.

That's the kind of guy he was. As insane as he was, when it came to the things he loved, he studied them, understood them and did them right.

I miss the man.

I miss whatever new stuff he could have written in the last ten years, I miss whatever crazy stories would have surfaced about his life, I miss the amazing celebrity friendships that never surprised me but always satisfied me.

His influence on me has been incubating for decades.

If  it ever rises to the surface in its most honest and raw form, it will be like the alien bursting forth from Sigourney Weavers belly.

Happy Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson.

I miss you, man.

Magnificent Quote

"Billy Martin is the only guy who can hear someone give him the finger."

Mickey Mantle at a Billy Martin roast.

Subsequent Thoughts

It occurred to me as my mind marinated in its own neuroses that my commentary on Father's Day could be misconstrued.

My point of view is from a marketing perspective - the way Father's Day is sold versus the way Mother's Day is sold.

Like if you forget Mother's Day you might as well flee the country, whereas if you forget Father's Day clown-Dad will not even notice.

Speaking personally my Father's Days are magnificent. My sons and my wife take very good care of me and make me feel like maybe, just maybe, I was (am?) a good dad.

Father's Day 2015 was celebrated at Craig's place. He barbecued for us, we met Karen's mom for the first time and once again enjoyed the company of Karen's dad. Keith was there to fill my heart with pride and my brother Ed was there as well, which had to be very tough for him.

I missed Emily, who I in my own strange way will always consider as my daughter, but she is an exceptional person who works hard at what she loves and is consequently hard to pin down.

I had Carol at my side, the woman who is at the very center of all this Father's Day reality and whose version of Mother is the perfect yin to my unpredictable yang.

Father's Day in general does not carry the weight of Mother's Day but, in my family, I feel like it comes pretty close.

I am a very lucky man.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Brown Shoes, Sensible Shoes and People With No Sense of Humor

I think the worst thing you can say about a woman is that she wears sensible shoes.

That term - sensible shoes - carries with it an overwhelming burden of innuendo.

As I ponder this very serious topic it invades my reality that the same innuendo applies to men.

Sensible shoes.

Fuck sensible shoes.

Man, if you are wearing sensible shoes you must be working in retail or cooking in a kitchen or have a seriously warped sense of fashion.

Zappa, with the Mothers of Invention, wrote a song titled "Brown Shoes Don't Make it."

Same idea as sensible shoes, kind of, but quite darkly articulated.

Urban legend has it that the song was inspired by the fact that in 1966 a reporter for Time Magazine - Hugh Sidey - guessed that something was wrong when the fastidiously dressed President Lyndon Johnson appeared in public wearing brown shoes with a grey suit. Later that day Johnson flew to Viet Nam for a public relations visit.

Some lyrics (and I'm paraphrasing):

" Brown shoes don't make it, quit school, why fake it, TV dinner by the pool, watch your brother grow a beard, got another year of school, you're OK, he's too weird, be a plummer, he's a bummer, be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care, a world of secret hungers perverting the men who make your laws, every desire is hidden away in a drawer in a desk by a Naugahyde chair on a rug where they walk and drool past the girls in the office, we see in the back of the City Hall mind the dream of a girl about thirteen, off with her clothes and into a bed where she tickles his fancy all night long......................"

You get the point.

For Christ sake do not wear sensible shoes ever in public. When you finish cooking or lying to retail customers, change your shoes. Before you walk through the doors of hell into whatever your reality is.

And do not, ever, under any circumstances, wear brown shoes with a grey suit.

People are judging you, baby and negative reviews may be something you never recover from.


A couple of things that bother me about the month of June.

"Congratulations grads." Youth are graduating from high school, graduating from college, signs are up all over the place wishing them well in full knowledge that the truth will be quite different.

I wish them well. I honestly do. What a great spot to be in your life. A high school diploma and hopes of advanced education. A college diploma and hopes of a professional career. Or a high school diploma and hopes a of a solid blue collar career.

Brief aside: My brother in law - Danny - nailed it 100 hundred years ago. We were sitting out on my porch enjoying alcoholic beverages and he said: "You are not really a blue collar guy, and you are not really a white collar guy. I don't know who you are." Or something quite similar.

I don't consider him a genius, but then again I do not look into the mirror to see a genius either.

He was dead on goddamn accurate.

And the harsh irony is that in 2015 I still do not really know who I am.

Anyway..............every June for 16 million years youth have graduated and then go on to alcoholism and broken lives and divorce and broken dreams and dead end soul sucking jobs and underachievement and money troubles.

That is the way life works for most of us.

How is it that we cannot learn?

How is it that generation after generation gets spit out into the jaws of reality and end up self medicating for fifty years until shovel fulls of dirt cover up their embarrassment?

I don't get it.

I am one of them.

It frustrates me that the human race cannot advance and/or adapt.

What is learning? Why does it not occur genetically? Why is it that the lessons learned from the pain and sorrow and frustration of broken lives is not passed along to succeeding youth?

Or is it the awful truth that the lessons are never learned?

Are we that blind? That stupid?

Another problem with June is that Dads are teamed up with Grads.

Nobody else is teamed up with Mothers on Mother's Day.

Mother's Day is a high holy day. It is sacred. More sacred than the birth of Jesus or the death of Jesus.

Dads share road signs with Grads.

Mothers get taken out to dinner at fancy restaurants or served high quality burritos at home, prepared by Dad.

Dads get Faberge.

One more June thing.


I love strawberries. I adore them. They are my favorite fruit.

I am convinced that my friends questioned my sexual preferences as a child because when we got ice cream and everybody else was ordering hot fudge sundaes, I was ordering strawberry sundaes.

With marshmallow. Not whipped cream.

Every June I get all ramped up to buy fresh strawberries and I never do.

I'm not talking strawberries at Shaw's.

I'm talking strawberries at road side stands where they grow their own locally.

I did not buy one container of fresh, local strawberries this year once again.

Anyway, that is what June represents to me.

It is over now. It is so last month.

I am wrestling with July and trying to make it stick.

We shall see.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Excellent Advice

I'm reading Pete Townshend's autobiography.

At one point in his life he wrote letters that he never sent - they were never meant to be sent. He wrote them for himself.

On his son's first birthday he wrote to him: "Be a pessimist. It is the safest, most pragmatic way to be. Being an optimist may enrich the lives of others ( with good cheer and smiling), but it leads you unaware to danger."

Does It Feel This Way To You?

"When something goes right, it's likely to lose me, it's apt to confuse me, it's such an unusual sight."

From "Something So Right" by Paul Simon

Monday, July 13, 2015

When We Got Home

Carol and I drove 5 and 1/2 hours to New York on Saturday and five and 1/2 hours home yesterday (See following post).

Actually, I should clarify - Carol did all the driving. She is a rock.

We got home at 3:00 on a beautiful Summer Sunday afternoon, loved our cats, unpacked and settled down to watch the rest of the Sox game.

We were exhausted. Emotionally and physically.

We watched The Sox lose to the goddamn yankees, we watched Jordan Spieth cruelly defeat Tom Gillis as the about to turn 47 year old Gilllis came within a breath of winning his first PGA tournament.

Carol read The Concord Monitor, I read Time and Rolling Stone magazines.

We talked, we didn't talk.

I microwaved some White Castle burgers when we first sat down which we augmented with delightful kettle chips; later we ate leftovers.

We watched four episodes of Californication.

In other words, we resumed our life together.

Simply, warmly and meaningfully.

This is what I keep coming back to when I think about Jonathan, Kevin and Sarge.

I am a guy who wants it all.

I want to travel, I want expensive cars and immaculately tailored clothes, I want to dine out with impunity whenever the urge strikes us, I want to spoil Carol in whatever way would make her happiest.

I will probably never have these things.

 My life is these small moments and I have become acutely aware of this.

I dig them. More than ever before.

These are moments Sarge and Jonathan and Kevin will never again have. These are moments those who love them will never again be able to share.

I have been a classic fool for sacrificing these moments in anguished desire for a future I cannot even accurately define.

I am, however, getting better at appreciating those I love and those who love me.

Carol and I buried her brother Sarge on Saturday.

We cried, and then we relaxed and laughed and reminisced in the company of family and friends.

We arrived home with freshly re-opened wounds, and subtle (maybe not so subtle) changes to our psyches and our hearts.

We settled down to the simplicity of a warm summer afternoon complemented by the depth of a lifetime spent together.

It was a beautiful ending to a difficult weekend.

I am grateful.

And The Band Played On

We drove to New York this weekend to bury Carol's brother Sarge's ashes.

I am beginning to think closure does not exist. I am beginning to think that healing doesn't happen.

I think we humans, out of desperation, overuse these words and cling to them in a desperate attempt to make sense out of life.

The first image at the cemetery that staggered me was seeing Wayne carrying Sarge's ashes under his arm in the burial vault.

Carrying his brother to his burial plot.

Profoundly sad.

There was a short service and then the small plot was uncovered, Sarge's ashes were placed down in it and we were invited to drop shovelfuls of earth into his grave.

Watching Cori, Carol and Wayne wield that shovel was overwhelming. I cannot know what was going through their minds but I can imagine the suffocating emotion that consumed them.

When it was handed to me it became surreal. I looked down into the grave trying to burn the image of his partially covered vault into my head but it was like being on acid. My head and my emotions were spinning.

As hard as it was to do and to witness, it made Sarge's burial more intimate and more real.

When we were done, Pat - Cori's bother - went to his truck and came back with a PBR, which he placed in the grave as well.


The headstone was perfectly personalized with a race car sporting the number 86, which Sarge had on the side of his demo derby cars, as well as the letters PBR on the hood.

It also references the date that Sarge and Cori were married. A very meaningful and emotional touch.

Sarge died on December 16, 2014. We buried him on July 11, 2015.

Kevin died on  March 14, 2015. We buried him in June.

Jonathan died on December 17, 2014. I spent the night with my brother a couple of weeks ago and he took me by the grave-site where the headstone had recently been placed.

Each of these occasions was like re-opening a fresh wound. All of the pain and sadness came back; all of it.

I don't think we heal when profound sadness invades our lives. I think we adjust.

I don't know what that adjustment is. I suppose it is different for each individual involved.

Dropping earth into Sarge's burial plot rocked me. It was so intimate. My mind is still reeling in a way that feels like when it settles down my perspective will have been immeasurably altered.

I am speaking from a point of view that is somewhat removed. For the fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers who have been touched by these deaths I can only imagine that their grief and disbelief is ten times my own.

They don't deserve it.

Life goes on.

The best we can hope for is to learn from these premature deaths and adjust our lives and perspectives in a way that allows us to treasure life and family and love with the magnitude they deserve.

The strange thing about being human is that even with all this pain and loss it is easier to settle back into pettiness than it is to value life.

This is a time for rising above.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Is Kenny Stabler Dead or Isn't He, For Christ Sake

Driving home from HELL, listening to sports talk radio rag on David Ortiz for not wanting to play much at first base even though the resulting line-up changes would be and have been beneficial to The Sox when................they took a break, came back with headlines and announced (confirmed) that Kenny  "The Snake" Stabler had died.

Got home, enjoyed a brief cocktail hour and then came up here to the land of the written word to read about Stabler's passing.

The first Google truth I stumbled upon was "Report of Raiders legend Ken Stabler's death retracted."

I sighed and thought, yeah, baby - "The Snake" is still around and simultaneously wondered what the hell was going on.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that Stabler had died at the age of 69, and then quickly released a statement that while investigating unconfirmed rumors of Stabler's passing it "inadvertently and briefly published an incomplete story that we were preparing in the event that the story was confirmed."

I scrolled down to the next two Google truths which read "Legendary Alabama quarterback Ken Stabler passes away" and "Ken Stabler, star Raiders quarterback in the 70's, has died."

He is indeed dead.

What an emotional roller coaster. For me.

I liked the guy. He was insane. I have read many anecdotes about his on the field and off the field craziness. He led the 1977 psychopath Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl championship.

This was one sick and twisted team, supported by criminally insane fans.

How could you not love that?

I had to wonder - has somebody somewhere prepared my obituary?

I am not a celebrity; in fact I have accomplished nothing of note. Still, there has to be somebody somewhere who cares about me. And in today's world, a pre-prepared obituary seems coldly efficient and absolutely necessary.

Anyway.....................I am too tired and it is too late to get in to Stabler details. I haven't even eaten supper, for Christ sake.

Suffice it to say that Stabler was a link to a free spirited time in the NFL when players partied all week and played on Sunday with hangovers.

A time when characters were allowed to flourish and were not handcuffed by the likes of Roger Goodell and his corporate henchmen.

So I guess Kenny Stabler is dead.

Another blow for individuality.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Please Live This Way

"To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think - spend some time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that's a heck of a day."

Jim Valvano

Don't Get Me Wrong

I love Steven Tyler.

Love his voice, love his over the top insanity, love the flamboyant way he dresses, love his loosey-goosey approach to life.


I was bluesing my way to HELL this morning with "Lightning in a Bottle" in the CD player.

Lightning in a Bottle was a benefit concert recorded at radio City Music Hall in 2003. It was the kickoff event in a year-long celebration of the blues. The money that was raised went to the Blues Music Foundation - an organization that gives back to blues musicians and their heirs, many of whom have been screwed out of the money and recognition they deserve.

Here are some of the people who performed:Mavis Staples, Keb Mo, Buddy Guy, Ruth Brown, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, The Neville Brothers, Solomon Burke, and B.B. King.

That is a partial list.

I rediscovered the CD this morning and it saved my life. I assume I will die at work because of the sheer stupidity of what I do and the cold-hearted, selfish,  back stabbing personality and agenda of my idiot boss.

Lightning gave me the nourishment to counteract the shit I had to eat all day.

So, anyway, Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes performed "The Sky is Crying."

Rocked it. Re-interpreted it in their own distinctive styles and just squeezed every possible ounce of blues out of the song.


Right after that came Steven Tyler and Joe Perry performing "I'm a King Bee."


But Gregg has blues cred. Do you know what I mean?

His voice has evolved from something pretty early on to - and I hesitate to reference the cliche but it is perfect - the ultimate, whiskey-soaked blues voice.

The transaction parallels what Tom Waits went through. If you listen to his early albums you can barely recognize it compared to the voice he growls today.

Gregg and Waits have depth.

Tyler rocks "I'm a King Bee", he blues it beautifully - but I believe in every situation Gregg Allman will out blues him every single time.

That's it. It was a cool ride to work. Hot and humid first thing in the morning, windows down and this CD playing very loud in The Big Ride.

It was a moment. A summer moment. A blues moment. With Gregg Allman as the frosting on the cake.

I am quite happy that I didn't die.

Think About This

"It is so hard to understand something that is impossible to understand especially when you don't understand it."

Giuseppe Testalini (Ancient Italian philosopher)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Don't Like What I See

This weekend Carol and I will attend the spreading of Sarge's ashes.

Sarge, her brother, her brother that she was so close to and loved and appreciated so much.

We have known about this weekend for a bit and I vowed silently to myself that I would be sensitive and attentive to Carol.

It will turn into a party, and I do like to party, but my barely functioning brain recognized that this is not about me.

It is about Sarge. It is about Carol.

Today is Tuesday and I blew it already.

Carol spoke to Cori, they made plans and Carol and I discussed them afterwards.

Somehow I turned this into a selfish moment and made a comment that hurt Carol.

This moment knocked me down. It shined a light on my twisted brain and its ability to interpret every situation in terms of me.

I am deep in introspection right now, trying to see my truth for what it is and to twist it into a better truth.

At the first challenge, I stumble. I stumble in a situation that demands sensitivity. I stumble in a situation that demands that I put Carol's needs ahead of my own.

I am looking hard at myself and I don't like what I see.

I expect that Carol doesn't like what she sees either.

Happy Birthday Ringo Starr. And Thank You.

Today is Ringo Starr's birthday.

He is 75. A very young 75. Check out the footage of his birthday deal and you will see a young moving, young minded, young at heart former Beatle.

Ringo was born on July 7, 1940. I was negative fourteen years old.

However, when Ringo and the lads made their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, I was 10.

I have told you before and I will tell you again. I can close my eyes and picture in my diseased mind that explosive February night.

As I remember it my parents had a house full of people. This is not reliable testimony. Call my brother Ed - he will better remember it.

But, my recollection is of a house full of people SHOCKED at this disreputable spectacle on stage.

I was smugly satisfied and enormously excited.

I did not envision on that night that in 2015 Ringo would be 75 and I would be 61.

I did not envision that both John and George would be dead.

I had no conscious thought of rebellion but I do remember an emotion that was rebellious.

I accepted that my life would be entirely different than my parents and I was excited about that.

Then I went out and became an accountant.

I will not wallow in thoughts of potential debased.

Ringo ended up being the best ambassador The Eternal Beatles could ever have.

John was too caustic, George too deep and Paul is too superficial.

Ringo wears the mantle of drummer for the world's greatest band lightly, but exudes the regal magnificence of a band that will never be eclipsed. Not in any genre, not in any generation, not in any situation.

Ringo has an excellent sense of humor and a deeply grounded sense of self.

Exactly at noon in LA, Ringo encouraged the crowd to shout his motto: Peace & Love.

These words are not dated, they are not laughable - they are a blueprint for life. We are just too stupid or selfish or greedy to recognize that simple truth.

And that is why the world is the way it is.

Thank you, Ringo, for being 25% of a band that gave me so much joy and stimulated so much thought and created hope from the ashes of a previous generation's misconceptions.

Thank you, Ringo, for being the happy go lucky guy that you are, to recognize your enormously influential place in history while living your life and connecting with people in the honest, down to earth way that you do.

Goddamn it - I love you, man.

Twenty five more.


Monday, July 6, 2015

How To Improve Your Cribbage Game

Joe considered himself to be a reasonably intelligent individual.

Actually, that's a lie. A lie fueled by mock humility. Joe actually considered himself to be above average in intelligence.

It just didn't show.

It didn't show because the scenario of his life did not allow for his kind of intelligence to shine. In fact the scenario of his life made him look stupid.

This was because he had a specific version of intelligence and a narrowly defined talent that did not lend itself well to predictable every day routines and soul sucking jobs.

That was his life, for what it was worth, and he struggled to make sense of it and to be understood.

Still, Joe knew he was smart and took some comfort in that knowledge.

Except when it came to cribbage.

When it came to cribbage, Joe was a Cribbage Idiot.

His wife, Carol, introduced him to the game through friends, good friends, who played regularly. They drew Joe and Carol into the cribbage circle, explained the game and cut them loose.

During the summer, they met once a week as best they could, in the spectacular setting of Jason's cottage by the creek.

Warm summer nights, the soothing gurgle of the creek, light suppers before play, and then.............cribbage.

There were five participants. Joe, Carol, Jason and then a Karen and a Stacey.

Psychopaths and mental defectives all.

It did not take long for competition to reveal Joe as the weakest link.

By far.

Carol, who had been introduced to the game at the same time, picked it up immediately. The other three had been playing since before birth, so it came naturally.

They had cribbage conversations, counted and played quickly.

Joe's contribution to the cribbage conversations was typically a dull witted "Wha?", and he counted and played so slowly the others nicknamed him Cribbage Sloth.

According to National Geographic, the sloth is the world's slowest mammal.

No matter how hard he tried, no matter how hard he studied and practiced, Joe always came out looking like the fool.

His inability to learn the game flew in the face of his belief in himself as intelligent, which infuriated him.

Until he couldn't take it any more.

On July 6th, after a peaceful July 4th weekend and still enjoying a day off, Joe played a few practice hands on the computer and got his ass kicked.

He picked up a gun, held it to his head and fired.

Carol came home that night to Joe's body on the floor amidst one hell of a bloody mess.

 Apparently the cats did not find him particularly appetizing, as the pool of blood and bits of skull appeared to be largely undisturbed.

He was still alive.

She cursed him for the mess and maybe even for being alive. Her exact reaction has never been confirmed, documented or admitted to.

One month later Joe woke up in the hospital, his head wrapped like a mummy, allowing openings for his eyes, his mouth and his enormous Italian nose.

Dr. Funkenstein declared Joe's survival a miracle. The bullet had traveled clean through his skull, taking with it only a small portion of brain.

Somehow, someway, Joe was completely functional.

Carol being the persistent, single minded individual that she is had decided that, no matter what, Joe should give cribbage one more shot.

She worked on him throughout his long convalescence, preaching and harping and pushing until, in a moment of exhaustion, Joe agreed to play.

Just to shut her up.

So it was that on July 6th, 2016, Carol and Joe walked back into Jason's creek-side cottage, love nest and booze emporium for the first time in over a year.

Joe's was nervous as hell, depressed in advance and prepared to get his ass kicked as usual. He wanted to get the goddamn night over with so he could go home and cozy up to a bottle of whiskey.

In the first game of the night Joe double skunked Jason and everybody was stunned. Jason loudly and bitterly proclaimed that it was pure luck, and Joe was inclined to agree.

Until the next game when Joe double skunked Carol. In fact they played five games that night and Joe double skunked every opponent. Every single one of them.

Incredible as it sounds Joe double skunked every opponent all summer long and took home the winner's pot of $250, accumulating 40 more wins than his closest competitor.

 Joe loved the way it felt. Absolutely fucking loved it.

He quit his job, toured the professional cribbage circuit and got rich. Unfortunately he was banned from competition after winning five national championships in a row.

It didn't matter, though. By that time he had formed a self-improvement company that had already gone global.

He called it "Drastic Solutions."

Shakespeare Understood

"The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

Shakespeare - "Julius Caesar"

A Severe Summer Warning

Please be exceptionally careful.

Two of the three major summer weekends have gone by.

Memorial Day.

July 4th.

All we have left is Labor Day weekend and you don't want that bastard to come around too soon.

This is the way summer works, isn't it?

You wait for it, pray for it, anticipate it with all its slow moving sweet warmth and outdoor fun.

Shorts and T-shirts.

Suddenly you look up and it is racing away from you. You reach out desperately to grab a hold of it to slow it down but it cannot be done.

You fall down with the effort as summer shows you its back.

As it stands today you have 60 days to fill with life, love and fun before Labor Day wrestles you to the ground.

If you do not do so you are a fool.

If you do not do so, before you know it, you will be standing by the side of the road where your car skidded off when you hit a patch of black ice.

Your car will be on its side, you will be a little shaken and a lot pissed as you try to call for help and realize your cell phone battery is dead.

You are standing knee deep in wet snow as a snowstorm rages around you.

You are cursing yourself for not making the most of that brief, tiny little thing called summer.

You are wondering who the hell invented New England.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

We Reval Ourselves Through Our Sarcasm

"How you doin'?"

"Livin' the dream."

"How you doin'?"

"Oh I'm doin'".

And so on and so forth.

These are the phrases we say and hear every day.

Especially when you work in retail. In retail you hear this stuff over and over and over again every day.

On the surface they are designed to put a positive spin on things in their weak attempt at humor.

Below the surface they reveal the sad truth of our lives, which is that we will never have what we want or live the way we want to live.

Hey Moe!

I felt hollow all week long.

Thin, transparent, hollowed out and practically non-existent.

Back to work syndrome.

I took ten days off from HELL at the end of June. June 19 - June 28. Didn't tell you about it.

Apparently it was a closely held secret.

I spent that time beautifully. Read a lot, exercised a lot, researched job opportunities a lot, applied for jobs, listened to music, cooked, visited my brother, enjoyed a magnificent Father's Day, spent a day with Carol.

The vacation was designed to re-shape my mind and habits and attitudes so I can get on with my life.

Nothing takes when you are consumed with hate.

Monday, June 29 I was back on the job and deeply back into the juvenile, meaningless shit I have to deal with as a result of who I work with and what I do.

The vacation didn't take.

I presume that if you are living your life in accordance with your soul, a vacation is a delightful interlude. Something that nurtures and heals you, allowing you to breathe. So that when you return to the workplace you are rested and positive.

I doubt that is true of most people. I think my experience is probably more honest.

A vacation serves as more of an escape, so it is tinged with negativity. I tried hard to turn my time off into something positive and to avoid experiencing it as an escape.

My emotions upon returning to The Asylum exposed the truth.

Maybe I expect too much. Ten days of introspection and mind altering are not enough to explode into a new reality. At least not for me.

I staggered through the week. I have not exercised once this week and that is the first time that has happened since May 1.

My mindset was negative and horrified.

Change must happen from within. I know that, and that is what I am trying to achieve.

Wasting ten work related hours a day is not conducive to internal change.

Not without superhuman effort.

Thank God I have three days off. Sat, Sun and Mon.

Three more days to try to re-set my mind and therefore my reality.

I'm under a lot of pressure.

Feels like I have to move forward in 2015 or I will slide backwards in 2016.

I have no room for backwards.

I have a friend who used to claim that odd numbered years were good for him, even numbered years were bad.

I used to think that was stupid.

I am beginning to think there is wisdom in that.

In addition I have the added pressure of weather.

Warm weather is good for me, cold weather is anathema.

Not much of 2015 left. Precious little "warm" weather left.

As verbalized by a character in a Three Stooges short, and paraphrased by me - I feel like the Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head. 

Random Delights

As detailed in the previous post, I was feeling quite thin this week.

Like a ghost.

Driving to work yesterday, I pop "Blood and Candle Smoke" into the magical CD player. Tom Russell.

This CD is so rich in music, lyrics, cultural references and just plain "feel" that I love it deeply.

It filled me up.

Once again I was grateful and amazed at the way music can sweep all the bullshit aside and make you feel like a human being.

My mind was engaged, my emotions were true and I brushed close up against a feeling of self worth.

Tom Russell was introduced into my life in the way I enjoy the most.


I devour music, read about it, hear about it, watch and listen to it being performed. I am somewhat knowledgeable.

However not everything can be known.

Tom Russell performed on Letterman years ago. Didn't know the man, never heard of him, never heard from him.

He sang "East of Woodstock, West of Viet Nam" and I was stunned. Hooked.

Purchased "Blood and Candle Smoke", which contains that song, and was overwhelmed by the depth of all of the music on the CD.

My earliest random discovery was Billy Joel.

My mother used to watch The Mike Douglas show in the afternoon. I came home from school one day and there was Billy Joel singing "New York State of Mind."

I loved it. So soulful. Making New York feel like a small town. I own pounds of Billy Joel music today.

My favorite random discovery is Leonard Cohen.

We went to see "Natural Born Killers" in 1994. Leonard Cohen had a couple of songs on the soundtrack.

I was blown away. Absolutely in love with the lyrics and his style. Who is this guy?

Bear in mind Mr. Cohen was already 60 years old at the time and had already achieved fame and fortune as a poet, writer, lyricist and performer.

I was too closed in to be aware of him.

I fell in love with everything about the man and he is now one of my all time favorite artists and human beings.

Not bad for random, eh?

By the way, my son Craig was 11 years old when we took him to see "Natural Born Killers." It caused quite a stir in the movie theater.

That was great fun.

 Again, in keeping with the theme of the previous post, "Blood and Candle Smoke" did not take.

I walked through the gates of HELL and had a miserable day at work. Could not call up Tom Russell's magic to save me.

However it is there for me whenever I need it, and thank Christ for that.

Along with Billy Joel and Leonard Cohen and....................................................

Friday, July 3, 2015

On a Mission From God

Carol and I went food shopping Wednesday night.

We got a new thing. We shop once a month.

It works. We got it down.

And the fridge looks magnificent on that first night of food.

Crammed, stuffed and jammed.

The end of the month looks scarce. Scuttling by on yogurt and cat food.

A fun experiment.

It rained while we were shopping and when we came out of The Infamous Market Basket we spied a rainbow.

A glorious, bright, specific, crystal clear rainbow.

It is a sign.

In July I will lose 15 pounds.

In July I will get a new job.

In July I will hit Power Ball and quit my new job.

In July I will publish my first novel.

In July I will achieve supreme happiness and hold it close to my heart for the remainder of my days in this life.

(Editor's note: May was a glorious month and it gave me hope. June was a pain in the ass. Up and down and generally not summer-like. Today is July 3. When I crawled out of bed it was fifty degrees.
I was cold. COLD. In July. It should be 90 degrees every day of July. Summer is slipping away; it is running away and I am disgusted. I despair of ever experiencing the consistent inside-out warmth I need to function at maximum capability.)