Thursday, March 30, 2017

All I Can Do

Mad dogs are running about. Nipping at my heels. Tearing off small chunks of my flesh.

I am older now. Not quite as fast as in the past. More often than not, blood is shed.

But I keep moving.

Looking over my shoulder with less frequency now; I learned that what is behind me is meaningless.

All that matters is what is ahead - and there is not enough.

Heart pumping, lungs burning, dreams fading but still visible.

All I can do is try.

Monday, March 27, 2017

And Now...............

Now I am reading science fiction.

Science fucking fiction.

The last book I read was an espionage style book. "Kill Shot" by Vince Flynn. I hadn't read espionage in 107 years. But I loved it. Already have two more Vince Flynn books in my possession.

I haven't read science fiction in 207 years. Used to read it a lot. Burned out on it.

Randomly came across this book called "Red Mars". The cover caught my attention because on it is high praise from Arthur C. Clarke.

You gotta have your references, baby - people whose opinion you trust. I read a lot, and because of that I can't always make the right decision about what to read. I am only human.

But I can't stand the feeling of wasting my time as I read. It happens rarely because I know what I like, I understand what I need. But every once in a while I find myself reading a book that sucks. When I get to the breaking point, I stop. But it drives me crazy. I can't stand not finishing a book. It seems amoral to me; unnatural.

But if it sucks, it sucks. And I don't have time to waste. There are 33,000 more books I need to read before I die.

Anyway, sci-fi with a glowing recommendation from Arthur C. Clarke? It don't get no better than that.

The first three words in his description are: "A staggering book". That's all I needed.

And I am digging it. AND there is a sequel, of course. Called "Green Mars". So I'm gonna have to read that too.

And so it goes. So it goes.

I thought about how much I enjoyed "Kill Shot" and how much I am enjoying "Red Mars" and realized it all comes down to intelligence. Why the hell am I reading espionage and science fiction after all these years?

Both books are intelligently written. They keep me interested and they challenge my atrophying brain a bit.

Allow me to illustrate. One of the old bags I work with decided she and I have the same exact taste in books. She figured this out because she talks a lot. In fact she never shuts the fuck up. So I yes her to death. And she thinks we are simpatico. She forced one of her books on me and I read it.

Goddamn thing sucked. It was about a French detective. It was juvenile. I forced myself to read it but it was painful. I figured I would have to talk to her about it so I might as well know what the hell it was about.

Then she gave me five or six more just like it plus some stupid fucking movie. I gotta learn to say no.

I will not read any of those books. I will not watch the movie. In fact I am considering burning them and giving her the ashes.

Anyway, if the books were intelligently written I would have enjoyed them and I could have thanked her.

Instead I have to kill her.

Anyway, I guess the lesson here is that I shouldn't shut down any specific genres. I am open to being entertained. As long as the writing is intelligent.

Good thing my mind is still elastic.

Made It Through DC and Chicago

Wrapped up Sonic Highways.

Sort of. This series had such an impact on me that I must find a way to keep it in my life. Cannot live without it.

Jesus Christ. Holy Shit.

I set it up to tape on HBO, but being a dinosaur, I am not sure that is possible. The directives were confusing; might be one of those things you cannot tape. I suspect that is the case. If it does not pop up under "Recorded" in a day or two, I just might have to grab me a DVD.

As I predicted, the DC episode surprised me with the depth of interest it inspired in me. I mean, DC? What the fuck of consequence could have possibly happened in DC?

Lots. Go Go for one. Ever hear about that genre of music? Me neither. And I ain't talking about go go dancers.

It is a genre of music that is heavy on percussion; specifically a syncopated beat. Impossible for me to describe it; just do the research and shake your ass. Because this stuff is danceable. I loved it immediately.

I wrote it down for future reference on the magic envelope.

I had a Henniker Family Dentistry envelope kicking around; as I watched each episode I wrote down the stuff that I decided I had to have in my life. On the envelope.

Kind of funny, kind of cool to look at. I am old school in that way - do not need a proper piece of paper to write down my stuff.

In the liquor store, when customers made special requests, I was famous for grabbing a brown quart size bag to write their info on. Even though there was paper handy.

Why? Because it just feels natural to me. It is the way I do things.

Anyway, I have this envelope right in front of me with the following notations: The Meters, Dr. John, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tony Joe White, Zac Brown, Tom Waits, Go Go, Steve Earle, 13th Floor Elevators.

I already got some Earle, got some Waits, so initially I am going to concentrate on the stuff I don't have. Gonna buy it through the Apple Store or on CD's or whatever avenue is available to me that is the cheapest.

Gonna load up my ipod machine and fucking satiate my musical soul.

Yeah, baby.

As I thought about the series I realized a lot of the appeal came from the unique personalities that make music meaningful. Musicians, producers, recording studio owners, record label owners. Every one of these people has a unique perspective and often one that "normal" people could never understand. Perspectives in most cases that fly in the face of conventional music industry norms.

They are creative people, surviving a brutal business and fiercely sticking to their guns; grafting their personality and point of view onto whatever musical style inspires them and creating something new in the process.

Often they were asked, "Why did you do this?" And the answer kept coming back "Because I had to. It is who I am. I had no choice." And they almost always said that if you are going to do something like this, you better be all in - there is no half way.

That really got to me. I write because I have to. If I couldn't write I would wither away.

But I don't often do it with conviction because I don't necessarily believe in myself. In the blog sometimes I wonder why I bother; it most likely will not get me anywhere. When I write to submit, I don't feel like I am accomplishing something.

I actually feel self-conscious doing it. Even though I know there is some talent there.

Not any more.

I have been evolving since I semi-retired. I created a comprehensive list, an approach, one summer morning last year, designed to be a blueprint for getting my life to where I want it to be.

I remember talking to my daughter-in-law Emily about it and she wisely commented that there is a big difference between creating a blueprint for change and actually achieving it.

I talked to my close friend Phil who was already semi-retired and he told me it took him a year to develop a routine that he could get comfortable with.

I thought that was excessive at the time but he was right. And so was Emily.

Here I sit, nine months after semi-retiring, still working on defining an approach to a new life.

But I am getting closer.

Sonic Highways gave me a big push in the right direction. Spending time with these enormously talented, respected, fiercely independent people, jazzed me up. I have been laying the groundwork for a while now. Writing a lot; submitting a lot.

But with the wrong attitude. Telling myself the odds of any of this leading anywhere are minimal.

So what? Fuck it. I am spending a lot of time doing what I love. Used to have a poster that said "Do what you love and the rest will follow".

That's where I am at. I am making sure from here on out that everything I write is done with conviction and the inspiration of my soul.

Dig it, baby.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I Have Rediscovered My Soul Again (and again and again and again.................)

Reliving Sonic Highways.

Actually I am not really reliving it because I never watched the whole thing first time around.

Sonic Highways is a musical experience put together by Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters in 2014. The band traveled to eight cities essential to the evolution of music in America. Primarily rock, blues, jazz and country. They dive into the musical and cultural history of the city, they interview musical icons as well as deeply influential people whose names you might not recognize (but I do, because music is my blood and that knowledge makes this series taste even better to me).

They get insights from all of these people, they develop a real feel for the city and its music, and then Grohl writes a song based on all these influences which the band performs at the end of every segment. Usually in an iconic hall or recording studio or some other really cool place.

This thing captured my attention in 2014, I started to watch the episodes but got away from it. This happens to me often. I am easily distracted by bright and shiny objects.

Recently rediscovered it and decided to immerse myself in all eight episodes; one every day before I take off for work.

This adds a little beef to my soul in an effort to help me survive one more fucking meaningless shift; one more waste of 5 hours of my  now exceptionally limited lifespan.

I am watching it in reverse sequence; I don't know why, it just seemed like the right thing to do. So far I have been to New York City, Seattle, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Austin. Today I experience Nashville, then I'm off to Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Here's my point. This series is me and I am it. This is one of those moments where I am experiencing something that is perfectly in sync with my soul. There is no space between me and what Grohl is doing; I am captivated by each and every episode. When I watch these episodes every piece of bullshit is stripped from my life; every worry, all self doubt, every unhappiness, every failure.

I am reduced to my essence and it thrills me; it feels so good and so right.

(Editor's note: I NEED to find a way to get more of this into my life, to make this feeling something a little more expected, rather than have it be some epiphany type occurrence that, once over, makes my life seem even more dismal.)

Even cities that I thought would not resonate as much with me, like Los Angeles, have captivated my attention and stimulated my emotions. I do not know what the hell to expect from Washington D.C, but experience tells me that I will dig it.

The series adds depth and perspective to my knowledge. For instance, Willie Nelson thumbed his nose at Nashville early in his career, relocated to Austin, Texas and started his own music scene, bringing together hippies and cowboys in the process. I knew this, everybody knows this. But I just did not realize that Willie almost single handedly created the music scene in Austin. I did not realize just how big his shadow is.

I also did not realize that he almost single handedly made Austin City Limits what it is.

Those are just two examples of knowledge that is seeping into my diseased brain and struggling soul courtesy of this series.

And I love it. I love the way it feels.

I am enjoying interviews with and about so many icons of mine, digging on the musical history in each city, digging on all the unique personalities inevitable within the heart and soul of the music world.

This thing makes me feel alive. It brings me to the surface of me, so I can take a look at my true essence and once again evaluate if I like who I truly am.

I do.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life In Its Extremes

Driving down to Massachusetts last Saturday to enjoy experiencing my brother perform with the magnificent symphony orchestra he is a part of.

Symphony Pro Musica, out of Hudson, MA, by the way.

Hour and a half drive, listening to the radio.


Some live performance - Mountain Stage, I believe.

Guy is introducing the song he and his band is about to play. He explains that the first verse is about a janitor who sweeps the floors of the Sistine Chapel.

I was so struck by that image. A janitor doing a thankless job in a place of unimaginable beauty, poetry and history.

I pictured him leaning on his broom, tired and unfulfilled, looking up at the magnificent beauty created by Michelangelo.

Life in its extremes.

Words That Hit Home

Watching a kind of musical documentary thing yesterday.

A guy is talking about the first time he visited Los Angeles, where he eventually decided to live.

He had been raised in a cold weather climate.

He said as he first discovered LA, walking around and digging it, he thought to himself:

"How could my parents have gotten it so wrong?"

It is all about perspective and opportunities.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jesus Christ I Am Fat

Weighed myself this morning. Came in at 189. Point 6. Fucking digital scale. 189.6

With a regular scale I could have interpreted my weight at 189. But at 189.6 I automatically have to round up to 190.

190 fucking pounds.

I am 5 feet 7 inches tall. Me weighing 190 pounds is like a newborn weighing 57 pounds.

Fucking ridiculous.

I have been here before. Twice. And lost the weight.

Epically, a couple of years ago I dropped from 190 to 169. Felt good about that but it took almost an entire year.

I no longer have that kind of patience. Or time.

Back story: I was sick as a dog for over a month. Got sick a few days before the Super Bowl, so around February 2nd or 3rd, and stayed sick through the first week of March. Epic fucking cold that filled my lungs up with crud and drained me of energy.

Prior to that I was on an exercise renaissance, man, I was kicking it hard. Devoted, regular, pushing myself. I decided that cancer might kill me but my heart would not.

Then, The Cold. I did not exercise for around five weeks. Couldn't do it. No energy, and the crud in my lungs had me coughing and choking like a rookie sucking on his first joint.

I gained weight. So there's a bit of excuse for my morbid obesity.

However, even if I assume I gained five pounds in February, that still means I weighed 185 pounds before that.

What a beast.

It hit me on Saturday night when Carol and I traveled down to see my brother play in the magnificent symphony orchestra he performs with. I felt like getting pretty, so I wore a nice pair of pants, black shirt with black and gold cuff links, a nice silk tie I recently bought, and a black vest.

I thought I was stylin', baby.

Hour and a half drive to get there, I am 63 years old, so naturally I had to visit the bathroom before the performance.

Approach the sink to wash my hands, take a peak in the mirror and was horrified.

Holy shit. The vest and the tucked in shirt (I usually wear my shirts untucked, for obvious reasons) made my belly look like a mound of jello. A huge fucking mound of jello.

I thought I looked pretty when I got dressed. In reality, I looked ridiculous. A caricature of my real self.

So here I go again.

I started exercising again last week just to fire a warning shot across my body, let it know what was coming. I eased into it.

Ramped it up today and gonna stay there. Also getting back to the cereal diet. Yogurt for breakfast, cereal for lunch.

This works for me.

But I am not waiting for December to go out and buy that thong.

I am going to lose as much weight as quickly as possible with ferocious determination and granite discipline.

And then I am moving to Hollywood.

I Am Not Worthy

When I experience pure love and trust from Maka and Lakota I sometimes feel unworthy.

The level of trust is so fiercely deep that it overwhelms. When Maka is sitting upright on the floor and I lean down to pat her little head, she closes her eyes and raises her head up to meet my hand.

That is a level of trust - and love - that carries a hell of a lot of weight, that has so much depth to it that it eclipses human emotions by light years.

Lakota and I head butt a lot. This is not quite as extraordinary because Lakota will butt her head into anybody to get attention. She is a love junkie, big time. However, I lean down and put my head next to hers, she literally head butts me and then I kiss the top of her head.

It is our thing.

When I say I feel unworthy it is not because I am a flaming asshole or a cruel and cold hearted son of a bitch. It is because I am a human.

I believe the spirit of an animal is more highly evolved than the human spirit.

I had to earn the trust of our cats. And I have done so swimmingly. I am intimately involved with our cats. I spend a lot of time with them and they get a lot of attention from me.

I talk to them constantly and I do it conversationally. I don't use stupid pet talk. Carol and I showed the same respect to our sons by never talking down to them, and they turned out all right. Except they moved out, which was pretty fucking ungrateful on their part.

I talk to the cats conversationally, I pet (or pat) them a lot; I kiss them on the head, a lot.

I am a loving and sensitive guy; I need a target for my love. Carol keeps a baseball bat next to her on the couch and wields it ferociously anytime I get near her. The cats are the beneficiaries of her cold hearted rebuffs.

I get a great deal of happiness from Maka and Lakota and I think I make them happy as well. I treasure our relationship; it feeds my heart and my soul.

Even though I have earned the love and trust of my cats, it still stops me short every time Maka closes her eyes and lifts up her head.

She thinks more highly of me than I do of myself.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Vince Flynn Is Dead

Started reading a book written by Vince Flynn titled "Kill Shot".

The joint I work for is picky about the stuff they put out to sell, which is a good thing. The store has a reputation for quality stuff at good prices.

The store receives a ton of donated books. If they are a bit raggedy they get dumped into the recycling pile.

First of all I have an intimate relation with the book section - paperbacks are $1, hardcover are $2. Even though I recently made the decision to do the kindle thing on my tablet for "throwaway" books, you know, books I would not be inspired to hold onto, I cannot stop myself from bringing book after book after book home from the store. The walls of the house are bursting with bookage; leaning out at precarious angles.

Only a matter of time before Carol and I are living outdoors.

In addition, I go through the recycled books pile. I get these for free, for Christ sake. I came across "Kill Shot", never read the guy before, so I thumbed through it, liked the feel, and took it home.

Flynn had a series of books he wrote about Mitch Rapp, a rogue CIA agent. Decades ago I read a ton of espionage novels. So much so that I burned out on them. I have stayed away from them ever since. But I liked the style of his writing, the feel of the book; the vibe was right and I am all about the vibe when I pick up a new book or new author.

I love the book. Fucking love it. Have been devouring it this week.

The book was published in 2012. Under acknowledgements in the front of the book, Flynn devoted a few pages to the fact that he had been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. He thanked a lot of people for their help and support along the way. Friends, his wife, people in the literary world, his doctors.

It was a positive thing. He thanked a friend who was told he was going to die from cancer 10 years prior and was, obviously, still alive. Flynn said: "Thank you for showing me what can happen when a stubborn Irishman refuses to quit".

I decided to check in and see how Vince Flynn was doing.

Vince Flynn died on June 19, 2013 from prostate cancer. He was 47 years old.

This really bummed me out. I mean fucking floored me. I had just discovered this guy's writing and decided that I love it; just discovered that he had written a whole series of these books in a genre I had ignored for decades but now had renewed interest in.

It is a weird thing and difficult to explain. I guess going from the excitement of discovering a new author, new to me, going from being allowed intimately into his life through the acknowledgments section, to finding out that he died - recently - from the disease that attacked him - I guess it knocked me off balance.

From one extreme to another, emotionally.

Of course, that nasty fucking cancer word has been introduced into my own life and it hangs over my head like the Sword of Damocles in the Three Stooges episode titled "Half-Wits Holiday".

I don't care what anybody says, I don't care how relatively minor the diagnosis was, I don't care how many people I know who have survived a loooooooong time with cancer - that word is permanently lodged in my mind. I come back to it a lot.

And wonder.....................

So there is that.

Anyway, I have been reading this book with a touch of somberness in my soul.

Glad I found you, Vince Flynn. You are making and will continue to make my life more endurable, and that is no small feat. Thank You.

I wish for your family's sake and for my own selfish sake that you were still around.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Food Shopping Sucks (Then Again It Doesn't)

I see food shopping as a socio-economic experience.

It definitely sucks - no one wants to go food shopping. Especially if you are on a budget. In my humble opinion, being forced to adhere to a budget when buying food is the ultimate in self degradation. The ultimate proof of failure to succeed in life.

Eating is one of the few pleasures you are allowed in life as a low wage earner. You can't afford to go out to eat, can't go to the movies, to the theater, to concerts; can't travel, can't buy nice clothes or Italian shoes. You got nothing - no release, no way to escape the truth that life has beaten you down and robbed you of all dignity (except for alcohol and drugs - thank fucking Christ for alcohol and drugs).

Your life sucks. It constricts you, it bores you. So you should eat whatever the fuck you want to. Whatever food makes you happy, whatever it is that creates satisfaction for you to chow as you destroy your brain watching mindless TV - you should be allowed to eat that.

Period. No budgets, no fucking coupons, no restrictions, no guilt.

Life doesn't work that way. We all have food budgets. We all eat shit instead of eating Porterhouse steaks.

But I digress.

So food shopping sucks. But it is also an interesting commentary on humanity and on marriage/relationships.

Carol and I shop every two or three weeks - we got it down to a fucking science. Load up a couple of carts, pile 'em high so we can avoid repeating the experience for as long as possible. I handle the mundane stuff that takes up room - water, kitty litter, cat snacks, toilet paper, kleenex, stuff for me - like beer, munchies and mini packages of Fig Newtons, baby - gotta have the Fig Newtons.

I breeze through the register, run all that shit out to the car and head back in to the store. I search the aisles for Carol; we complete our mission together.

Conversing, questioning each other, making decisions, discussing inventory.

I have noticed that everyone around us is having the same conversations. It fascinates me because I believe the human experience is a shared one, which is why I will never understand the maximum violence and deep seated hatred in the world.

Food shopping is one proof - a quite reliable and accurate one - that we are all the same.

I eaves drop. When I am around a couple having a shopping related conversation, I tune right in. Because they are having the same exact conversation Carol and I just had or will have at some point during the drill.

Wondering how much of this we have at home, how does the store brand price compare to the name brand price and what about quality, is it cheaper to buy two boxes of 20 trash bags each on sale than one box of 40 trash bags not on sale? What do you want for supper tonight? Do you want fruit? You never eat it anyway - it always goes bad. How many yogurts do you need to get through the next couple of weeks? You haven't been eating the string cheese regularly, maybe we should hold off on that this week. What kind of bread do you want? Do we need hot dog rolls? How many hot dogs are left in the freezer?

The discussions are the same, the thought processes are the same, the lives being lived are the same.

Mannerisms too. Men hang back more, or wander around checking stuff out; and they have less patience.
Definitely less patience.

Women are more pragmatic - digging right in and doing what needs to be done, crossing items off the list, eternally aware of the budget.

I am always amused when it comes to the purchase of toilet paper. You have two couples standing close by each other debating the merits. Do we want ultra strong or super soft? A six pack of mega rolls or 24 pack of regular rolls? Do the mega rolls fit on the toilet paper dispenser? Do we need any for the downstairs bathroom? How about no name - do you think that will be good enough?

It amuses me because this is a deeply personal area of our lives, one we do not make a big deal out of or generally discuss in public. Yet in a supermarket we engage in open debate about which toilet paper will best service our ass.

We are all equal in the supermarket. We are all equal in more ways than we will ever fucking admit.

Pay attention the next time you go food shopping. Maybe it will soften up your intolerance a bit.

If not, at least treat yourself to a fucking Porterhouse steak.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Oh No - Not Again

You are not going to believe what happened.

Just the other day.

'Member those arrogant assholes I told you about? The financial elite who congregate at O's?

There is a sign in the window that says "If you earn less than $250,000 a year, you do NOT belong here."

No word of a lie.

These fucking people pay $15 for macaroni and cheese. (Editor's note: If I had the cash I would gladly pay $15 for macaroni and cheese. I want so badly to be admitted into O's society. I want to be one of them. I want to earn $251,000. I want to pop in for overpriced drinks and foods on a whim. Any old whim. Without regard to the word budget).

Oops, sorry; I slipped there. Where the hell did that come from?

O's Fucking Steaks and Seafood. Steaks and seafood, steaks and seafood, steaks and seafood.

Yeah, yeah, yeah I get it - I fucking get it. Stay away thrift shop boy; stay away.

Sometimes at work I get relegated to shoe duty. Gotta go downstairs and sift through hundreds of pairs of shoes to separate those that should be discarded from those that will be sold.

You would not believe the disgusting condition of shoes some people donate. Some covered in mold and excrement. (I may be exaggerating a bit).

In truth I don't mind this duty. Downstairs I am entirely alone and out of view. No ancient co-workers; no asswipe customers, no cameras. And I take advantage of the situation.

If I am down there for three hours I probably put in one hour's worth of work. I spend the rest of the time daydreaming, plotting and planning for the day (very soon) when I burst upon the scene, rich and rewarded, as the next pretentious literary lion.

You would think that working for an organization that does such meaningful work, an organization that provides assistance to homeless families, you would think that working for these people would inspire a commitment that precludes goofing off. That goofing off would feel like an irredeemable crime.

Not in my mind. As I sift through shoes, I contemplate the words "wasted potential". This provides the fuel to disconnect myself from the situation and allows me to goof off, like I would at any other demeaning job (of which there have been many).

But I digress.

The room is below ground. There is a picture window at ground level just about even with my head.

Just the other day I was down there, gazing out the window, when I noticed a crowd of people converging on the lawn that stretches out in front of the window. As they got closer I recognized them as O's patrons.

It wasn't hard. They were all well dressed, at least by Concord, NH standards - they were all holding overpriced cocktails. One carried a plate of apps. Very expensive apps.

And they were all laughing. At me. And calling out "Hey thrift shop boy, how's it going? Makin' any money?"

They came up close and pressed their noses up against the window; some flipped me off. A couple of the bold ones dropped their pants and smooshed their asses up against the window.

I was impressed with the creamy smooth complexion of their ass cheeks, obviously well tended.

I shouted angrily, I flipped them off but that only made them laugh harder. I tried tears, angling for empathy - they laughed even harder, pointing at me and shouting "Look at the wussy boy cry. Are you crying because you make $9.50 an hour? Are you crying because you wish you could afford to eat at O's? Are you crying because you are not us?"

That's when I started shouting "I am not done yet. I am just beginning my second act. I will make a name for myself. I will make good money. I will buy Italian leather shoes."

They did not hear most of what I said. I heard one of them say "How fucking delusional"; they turned away and walked back towards their fucking pretentious restaurant before I even got to the "yet".

These people torment me. You say, "Thrift shop boy - do not let them into your head". Too late; too fucking late. They are always there.

Whipping me, beating me, holding me back and keeping me down.

I will have my revenge. I will get famous. They will want to buy me drinks. They will want to buy me dinner.

I will let them; I will order only the most expensive drinks, the most expensive food.

Unless fish is the highest price.

I hate seafood.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Shitty Fucking Day

Had a shitty fucking day yesterday.

I mean a real piece of shit. Working the retail job in old fartville. The ironic thing is a woman that I typically work with on Wednesdays and Fridays - a woman I fucking despise - called in sick. So my first reaction was to jump up and down like Richard Simmons in my short shorts and yahoo my way to heaven.

Figured it would be a good day.

Nope. Fridays are lean on volunteers and yesterday in the afternoon there were none. So the day devolved to me and one other woman manning the store. This meant I had to spend maximum time dealing with customers.

Customers suck.

My workmate left at 5:30, which left me alone with customers for 30 minutes. Hell could be no worse.

I noticed a family shopping with their kids - they had been in the store since 4:30 - four fucking thirty - picking out clothes and piling them on a piece of furniture.

Apparently this is a thing in thrift stores. It happens all the time. People spend hours shopping and then report to the register with 75 articles of clothing. And some dishes. And some toys. And some electronics.

We have one register. As our motto says: "One register - lots of waiting".

Anyway at 5:55 - five minutes before closing time - I hear the dad saying "OK, let's get moving - it's almost closing time". Like he's doing me a fucking favor.

Their shit filled four large bags. In a thrift store, at a couple of bucks a pop - it takes 73,000 articles of clothing to fill four large bags. That's bad enough, but on top of that the mom had to ask questions and pick and choose through the shit. "How much is that? How much have we spent so far? Oh no, I don't want that - I changed my mind. You know what - go ahead and ring it up - I have decided to take it."

Are you fucking kidding me?

I was checking these lowlifes out until 6:20.

I was so agitated it took two nips to get me home.

As I was driving home I come around a bend on 202 and see police lights in the distance. The traffic slows to 30 mph and thank god for that. As I approach the cop car I see a car off the road on its side.

Black ice, baby.

When I drew parallel to the car my rear end kicked out but I held it. I was only going thirty. If I hit that patch going 60, which I was previously, I would have been off the road.

Another mile or two down the road, another police car, another car off the road.

Again, my rear end kicked out but not too bad; I held on.

Finally got home and cancelled our plans to go out for subs.

I tell you this not in an attempt to evoke sympathy - you probably had a shitty day too. We all have shitty days.

Shitty days are the fabric out of which our lives are woven.

I tell you this to get it on the record. To establish facts.

Today I am having a good day. Got the day off. Spent a couple of hours searching for a better paying, more satisfying part time job. Nothing yet.

Now I am indulging my need to write.

Later I am going to check out a bottle of Irish whiskey I bought last night. A brand I've never had before. It was on sale and I had a coupon so I saved $10.

I've been drinking cheap whiskey for months now. Because of the snafu with social security I didn't feel right spending money on Crown Royal. So I have been drinking rot gut. Old Crow. Old Fucking Crow.

My taste buds are burned out. Can't take it anymore. So I upgraded a little last night.

Next week, on 03/08, I am supposed to get my first ss payment in four months.

On that day I will buy myself a bottle of Crown Royal.

On that day I will have an orgasm.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A History Lesson (One For The Ages)

There were two types of trump voters.

Fanatical trump supporters who would have voted for trump even if he raped and killed the pope one week before the election.

These people are unreachable. They should have howled when trump admitted that we are paying for the wall - not Mexico - but they didn't. Because not only are they willing to accept him, they are willing to accept any policy reversal that proves he lied during the campaign to dupe gullible voters.

(Editor's note - I don't believe there will ever be a wall. It is a ridiculous idea and one that is destined to die. At which point trump will lie about the reversal and blame somebody else).

There were people who knew in their gut they were making a mistake but pulled the lever anyway; and then could not eat for a week afterwards.

These people should already be horrified by this clown. If not, they will be soon. Then they need to start speaking out against him and taking positive action to make sure an ass-clown like him will never again be elected.

I took the position during the campaign that anybody who voted third party was voting for trump; that anybody not voting was voting for trump.

That is a cold, hard truth.

I took a lot of shit for that.

I was not campaigning for Hillary Clinton's sainthood (I was a passionate Bernie guy), I merely understood that this was the wrong time - a dangerous time - to make a stand.

I understand that people who hated Hillary believe that she and Bill killed 100 people and buried them under the White House. In fact I have breaking news for you - they didn't bury the bodies - they ate them. I know for a fact that every time they murdered someone they hosted a lavish barbecue in which the entree was human corpse.

Still, she should have been forgiven and elected to the presidency. Cannibalism is no where near as bad as a trump presidency.

trump's administration is falling apart. He will be impeached because he is too stupid and uninformed and damaged psychologically for this not to happen.

His impeachment will not help us. He surrounded himself with cold-hearted people, idiots, and vicious corporate killers who do not have one compassionate bone in their bodies for American workers; the people who live paycheck to paycheck and depend on elected officials to keep them safe and make reasonable economic decisions that provide opportunity.

His entire administration would have to be wiped out for working Americans to have a chance at survival.

Who would replace them? Perhaps The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. Couldn't do any more damage and they are about to become unemployed anyway.

So that's where we are people. Unfortunately. A deep hole has been dug. We need to start climbing out of it if The United States of America is to remain The United States of America.

As monkey man would so eloquently say - sad.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Last night I was listening to the ass-clown of a president that currently occupies the white house and was amused at his god-like opinion of himself.

He makes these over the top, completely unrealistic promises that he will never fulfill. In fact I believe he has no intention of fulfilling many of them.

trump has seized on the disappointing truth that most people have little interest in politics, that most people pay zero attention to how politicians fuck their constituents. He knows he can say anything he wants and certain people will lap it up and then go away and continue to struggle to survive.

Unfortunately, because of Americans' apathy and desperation, a hell of a lot of people actually believe that trump will fight for working people. Or at least they are on their knees praying that trump will fight for working people.

As monkey man would say - so sad.

Millions of Americans have been set up to be brutally disappointed. I believe that not only are their lives not going to get better - they are going to get worse.

As I listened I was thinking that if I took a trump approach to explaining my plans for 2017 to Carol, it would go something like this:

"Baby, I am going to earn $250 million dollars by the end of the year. I am going to have my first novel published and it will sell 6 trillion copies. I am going to start practicing my guitar again and The Stones are going to invite me out on tour. I am going to discover a cure for cancer; in fact I am going to discover a cure for death. Believe me, nobody hates death more than me."

As I ponder this, it is possible that I actually made or implied promises like this 40 years ago; why the hell else would Carol marry me?

But I digress - Warning, Will Robinson - do not take trump at his word. He says only what you want to hear, not what he is actually going to do.