Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And These, Too . . .

Three More Images and an Incomplete Design

God's House?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Late, Great and Forty-Eight

Happy Birthday to Me
I've got to go pee
Hey, are those samples free?
I don't like Green Tea.

Okay, maybe I actually do like green tea, but you try power-writing a blog entry from your work computer when Herr Commisar could be returning at any second.

So, I'm forty-eight and not a second too late. This blog you may hate, but you'll still be my date and we'll bump it up with Kate cause she lives in New York State. Word.

I don't feel old. But I look old. Excuse me while I replace my face.

Ah - that's better.

The bad news is that my mother is dead and so, no one will wish me a happy birthday from my family, not my STBX or even my daughter. In fact, I overheard her distracting my daughter from considering making a cake for me. Isn't that special? I had three friends contact me and one business contact, who actually sent me two texts and called me, which was really nice. I was in celeb mode, so I didn't reveal how horribly depressed I was but glowingly thanked the Academy, et al, for their brave choice in my Nomination.

So, what will I do for my birthday? I will work until 1 AM, three hours past my quitting time, drive home, all the while fighting sleep and maybe, this time, losing - hey, I don't care as long as I don't wind up a cripple: let the crash kill me, I'm fine with that. Then I must crash into bed and try to power-sleep until 7 AM when I have to get up to take my kid to school because there seems to be no other way on the planet that this can be done. I will then return home and start cleaning and eventually, shower and then drive to work, where I will be exhausted from 5 hours of sleep. Oh, well: too bad for me.

There are no choices, only the outcomes that arise from serial events executed in parallel. I'm starting to think . . .

But my daughter did make me a cake . . . the one person I didn't want to be forgotten by did remember and that's good. Very good.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pizza, Pizza!

Villa Capri Pizza

5 star rating

Ames Plz
Newton, NJ 07860
(973) 383-1777

"As an ex-New Yorker, you better believe I know pizza. This joint is packed on the weekends for lunch, dinner and in-between and there's a good reason. The crust is uniquely crispy, with a nice semolina finish and the ingredients, especially the cheese components, are dazzlingly fresh. I strongly recommend you try their white pizza, why I had the good fortune of walking in to with my daughter one afternoon. Savory garlic aroma and flavour, rich but not oily cheeses, fresh mozza and a lovely crust all made for a great change-of-pace."

Cross-Post


While I've kept my blogs separate (there are five in total - yikes!), there is one that kinda compliments this one because it's so mundane. It's basically a laundry-list (heh-heh) of things I do on a daily basis around the house to keep things afloat - cleaning, bill-paying, disasters great and small. Check it out . . . sexy pics of piles of dirty laundry await you . . . You've heard of Thinspiration? This is Cleanspiration!!! Enjoy !!! There are less posts than I'd like but what do you want from me? I'm typing as fast as I can.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

But The Tard's Gotta Go

Look: I'm all for employing the unemployable but one thing I don't need is for my WalMart shopping "experience" to be marred by the outburst of an agitated Tard.

My local WalMart seems to have managed to scrape the very bottom of the barrel of Undesirables (see the link for proof from their very own website.) Maybe it's because it a rural area, I don't know, but there are more toothless, 400-pound behemoth sob-stories-in-shoes than you can shake a stick at here. "Welcome to Walmart," wheezes the 108 year-old guy that looks like he's about to crumble into a pile of noxious dust as I sail into the store. It actually frightened me. I think WalMart makes enough money to hire the guy and then, let him stay home. But my real complaint are the Tards.

Yes, I know it's not politically correct. They're Learning Disabled or Mentally Challenged, right? Wrong. They're Tards - short for Retards. They're tardy in the head, short on the uptake, right? "What are you, a retard?" was a popular schoolyard taunt when the catch was missed. I kind of like that it's been shortened to one syllable. 'Tard - has a nice, dulcet ring to it. (Image is glommed from Daily Pepper - read a column about WalMart there.)

I'm Mentally Challenged when I try to figure out why my boss is an a**hole and I need to think my way out of being on the firing line and when I'm desperately juggling bills. Now, that's challenging. I'm Learning Disabled when I enter into a drinking contest with myself, yet again, and lose, yet again. I have cable channels that come in scrambled - they're disabled, you see. Turned off. It is a state of being for Showtime on my set-top box. No amount of coddling will get that box to ever let me see the last season of The Wire. The only Challenge there is to my wallet.

Speaking of my wallet, I have it whipped out when I enter WalMart. I want to spend as little time there as is humanly possible. I don't even take a cart. It's a nasty, nasty place that reminds me how far we have fallen as a nation. Style-less clothes, plastic shoes, generic Salisbury Steak Meals for a dollar (okay, they're not that bad, maybe), and fat families wheeling around in a daze, with pock-marked children and Grandma trailing behind in the WalMart Electric Kool-Aid Shopping Cart, with plenty of space for the de rigour oxygen tank, looking for God-knows-what. For these Unfortunates, it truly is a Shopping Experience. I, on the other hand, am OJ, vaulting my way past them, keeping eyes averting lest they suck me into their despair. All I want is a cheap roll of packing tape and a large box. That's it. Really.

Then came the Tard. Again, I love it that the Village Idiot can have a meaningful career. I really do. But not at my expense, okay? WalMart is weird in the sense that one can saunter through the entire store and never encounter a Slave, er, Associate. They all seem to congregate at the front of the store, as if the building itself is tipped just a bit and they have all slid forward by virtue of the inexorable force of retail gravity. This also happens to be where the Tards live. They seem to mostly be Greeters, as agressive in completing their greeting task as a Jehovah's Witness is in "enabling" your soul. Yes, there is one Tard who is a checker, at this Tard is the worst of the bunch. He has risen to SlingBlade competence but actually knows it and, unlike the other humble Tards, defends his success. WalMart is, clearly, his life.

But, it's not my life. Management there should understand that I don't share in their compassion. I want to find my item, pay for it and go far away. I don't want to smile. I don't want to nod my head at the Greeter. I don't want to be greeted, for that matter. It's claustrophobia-producing enough, already - don't use the leverage of nearly unhinged Tards to let me know that a) you claim to love me, which you don't and 2) suggest that you're furtively watching me and everything I do within your store. Don't believe me? Next time you're in a WalMart, look up. What did you see? Yes, a gazillion cameras in ominous-looking black orbs hung by posts from the cavernous ceiling, watching like the eyes of a hummingbird, soulless, unfeeling, without expression.

So, this Tard In Chief was on Greeter duty today, I guess, and I rushed by - or I tried. "Nelwcum du Wamaat," he fairly shouted at me as I passed. "Yeah, okay," I mumbled and continued forward. "What, sir. Whaja say?" Oh, no, I had his focus. "Thanks!," I smiled and waved over my shoulder and started to rush even more. "Sir, sir . . " he was actually waving me back. WTF? I stopped. Now, why did I do that? I was in the mood to tussle, I must admit, but, with a Tard? I walked back a few steps, "Yes?" "I was newlcummin you to WalMaat!" "Okay, um, thanks." I turned away. "Don't you wan a caat?" "No, no, thank you." "We have DVDs on sale in Electronics." OMFG - why me? I turned and walked back to him, all the way, this time. I said, slowly, in my best Tard accent, "Thank you. I appreciate your help. Now, I'm going to go spend some money in your store so that WalMart doesn't replace you with an H-1 from Mumbai, okay?" "Unkay. Tnank you! How about a basket?" Grrrr. I didn't answer. I had adhesive-coated polyethelene to acquire, pronto.

When I was about a half-block away, a great commotion rose up from the front of the store, where, thank God, there would be many witnesses. Why there isn't more crime in WalMart's sporting-goods section is beyond me. More proof that criminals are stoopid. I turned, and my six-foot-three (did I mention that his Tardness was quite tall?) mental midget was throwing a fit, as they say around her. "Where are my gloves? I can't work without my gloves." He was a-stompin' and a-stormin'. A line manager came by to corral him as the flow of Guests was being cut off at the door. I saw her approach him as a cowboy might warily size-up an Appaloosa with itchy testicles - the horse, not the cowboy. She touched his arm and that had his focus. She said something and gestured up toward the ceiling. He looked at the Orbs of Doom that had seen all. He hung his head and he went with her to the back of the store, perhaps for some restorative cunnilingus. To myself I said, "there but for the grace of Darwin goeth I . . ."

I know the Tardster was upset and not succeeding in properly greeting me. I don't have truck with gnarly brats, either, I don't care if you are my sister-in-law. Rope them in, dammit or you're going to make me bitch-slap them and I'll do it, too. I'm not obligated to figuratively pat them on the head, too, am I? I don't think so.

By the way, they were out of boxes. They were out of tape, too. And yes, I'll be back, because I'm broke and I need to save 26 cents on toilet paper as much as the next guy, Tards notwithstanding.

Here It Comes!

As I close in on my 84th, um, I mean, 48th birthday, I have to ask myself, what is the problem? Huh? What?

I've been fairly successful at a variety of avocations, done some pretty good art, made money in business. Like a kid bored of his toys, I've set each down in turn in favour of "people." People and the relationships that arise from interacting with them are a great source of drama, humour, trial and tribulation. The fact is, though, that they don't get me and, well, I don't really get them. I mean, I do get them, but I don't understand why it has to be so complicated. I blame the smaller brain - I guess being a Braniac is my ultimate downfall.

Spent the last year working past my singing problems (stopped singing for five years as I was getting sick after every rehearsal) and getting back not my old voice but a new one, with a little more power and control, actually, less range but more expressiveness and versatility. Unfortunately, I have no one to sing with, or for. My old band-mates are off doing their music thing - I got invited to "guest" but declined because I had a job, divorce, child . . . I heard this, "I warned you about that day job shit. Why do you bother?"

Performance was like a drug for me. I can't quite explain it, but those of you who have done it well, will understand. You step forward to the mic and the world disappears. You can be standing in front of god-knows-how-many people and they are simply not there. Everything that's in your soul pours out of you through your instrument. To me, it's more sexual than sex, with the intensity of a ten-year-old on Ritalin. There are certain tunes that I can't do because they break my heart every time I try to perform them and I have to stop mid-way. I know the lyrics and the music, but it's not a mechanical experience at all. The performer becomes the channel for the emotion behind those words and notes and that can be devastating. And it's an addictive experience. Even after I stopped, I could never set aside that base need to perform. And I recognize that my most successful periods came when I was not in a relationship or when I discounted a relationship in favour of art. It's as if all of my creative energy is emotional and when I use that for art, there's none for people and vice versa.

People can require a lot of energy. I mean, a lot. I used to have a different attitude, called destructive by some, in dealing with the vaccillations of the Others. There's a problem, set it out and resolve it. Yes, easier said that done, but, God, why all the drama? And then, I would lose my patience. Now, I'm more tolerant, in part because I realise that others are very tolerant of me. But, as you performers out there well know, there's the factor of the Groupie Syndrome. This is what that is: a person will adore you, think you are a god, as long as you're performing, but when the lights come down and you're busy picking your nose or you're not attentive or you're busy practicing, their illusion is disturbed and that's the end of that ticket, ain't it. Why can't you be this, why can't you be that? Because I'm not, okay - deal with it. Uh-oh, another one bites the dust. That's not what people want to hear. They want love songs, nothing but love songs.

Unfortunately, there has to be an Edmund Fitzgerald and All Along The Watchtower every so often and, in life, actually that's mostly what it is. There will always been some tension in a relationship, at least in a relationship that has life in it. Just like a good movie keeps the tension at a certain level through to the end, and sometimes after the credits rolls. Like an anticipation and the afterglow.

I have a girlfriend who is, by my estimation, rather wonderful. I love her, I really do. But sometimes, I just want to use Jedi Mind Control on her. Yes, I know that there's this and that problem, that I hardly ever see you and I barely talk to you and you only rarely now talk to me through e-mail and we spend 99.99% of our time thinking and talking about our "relationship." Okay, so I don't agree with the facts exactly. In the past, I would have fought for those facts but now, I listen and try very hard to truly feel her "lyrics." Clearly, it's of critical importance to her, so I must make it critically important to me . . . or I will lose her. Nice - an in-built "basic" that I missed in Relationships 101. It actually does not matter whether I'm right, she's right or it's somewhere in-between. What matters is whether I want to accept who she is and what she's saying. After all, she has given me her heart as a gift, which is a big deal in of itself. It wouldn't matter if I didn't want it. I want to make her happy. At the same time, I know there's a limit to what I can do, given my f*cked-up life at the moment. That doesn't mean I will stop "selling" myself to her, trying to get her to hold on just a wee bit longer.

In turn, I know that she, like every other People, has limits. Those limits do not take into consideration my limits and are generally, I have found, not accepting of who I am. Simple as that. I find myself adapting and accepting and not seeing that in return. Why? Because there's a sense of entitlement and obligation that's mostly one way. I've given you my hear, why can't you be everything I want you to be? Because, Lady, I'm not and I never will be. I yam who I yam. You are who you are. Can you not accept me as I accept you? And if you can't, why do you keep torturing yourself and why do you keep me hangin' on?

I'm not angry. I'm not upset. I want to a) please you and b) be happy with you. That's all I want. You've explained yourself pretty well, I feel. I have told you, perhaps eight dozen times, that I (we) will get to where it's better (not perfect) eventually. When will that "eventually" be? I dunno. I've already known you for a year and what's happened in that time frame? Plenty. Plenty will happen in the next year to come. And sometimes, I think you've had enough.

Look - I'm no idiot. I know that my girlfriend wants what every Red-Blooded American Girl wants: Leif Garrett. In other words, hearts, flowers, sunsets, walks on the beach. Would I like to deliver that? Sure - it's an opportunity to express my caring in the way she wants to see, hear and feel it. And, no, it's not too much to ask. But that's hardly the point. She will likely not accept that my life events are part of who I am. She will likely find that increasingly distasteful, even when things begin to improve. Why? Because it can happen again. That's right, folks, the logic of history does not come into play here. And that's my fault because I started something during an abnormal time, sucked her in and now, by virtue of that malpractice, am obliged to "do the right thing." Which, I will, only, not today.

I've said to her that even I'm tired of my own drama. It's enough already. I just want to live. Just to go for a Sunday drive to nowhere or somewhere, to watch a friggin movie, for godsake, to go food shopping with her, like I see so many other couples do. I don't want to talk about "our relationship," I just want to have it already. I know she wants the same thing, hence, the endless laments and deep sadness, beseeching me to make it better. The callous, asshole-y side of me wants to point out that there's no Bactine for these kinds of issues. The sweet, warm and fuzz-loving side of me wants to hold her tight and tell her that it will work out. Neither is entirely true.

In the meantime, I see the gears whirring in that womanly skull of hers. Is this worth it? He's always late, he never manages to schedule time with me reliably, he is barely intimate with me and we never do anything because he's always showing up past the babysitter's bedtime. He's forever tired and stressed out, broke much of the time and moody. What I really want, she's thinking, is Leif Garrett. Or Tom Cruise. Or, heck, even Colin Powell. What do I love here?, she ponders. His potential as a good mate. But, what about now? Right f*cking now?

And she's right and I know she's right. And that's why I can't trust her completely. Just in the sense that if I allow myself 100% emotional invicititude that she will, in no short amount of time, simply decide that there must be someone else, someone better suited to her needs. Of this I am sure. So, I remain close, but not that close, because I already love her too much. More than she can understand. Because she gives me the "heroin" of performance, that very same feeling of the world falling away, of oneness with the moment. "I just want you," is what I hear as sound coming from her but what I also hear is "or someone like you who may have different features but is principally similar in at least a preponderance of points but who differs in affective aspect as well as base functions regarding libido, appetite, personal finances and general social skills." So, I get it. I'm working on it. But don't do me any favours, either. If you're going to break my heart, get it over with. I have enough tsouris as it is.

Friday, January 25, 2008

E Is For Empty

I don't know anymore. I just don't know.

Just when I think I'm picking myself up off the floor, some other stupid sh*t comes around and cums in my face. Now, so people like that sort of thing, but I don't. Yuck. And I really don't like to swallow . . .

It's a metaphor, you dolt.

In short, here's what happened: got all in line with lawyer to dirch the old lady, papers ready, tried to negotiate one last time as dropping the hammer will instantly cost me $2500 that I don't have and it's a waste, opened up a line of comms, no real response, I sensed the usual game, she's being TFN (too f-ing nice), earlier in the month, I discovered no bills paid since October and they were all late then, in the interim, I dished out $8200 to her to pay those bills and the mortgage, though I was unemployed for part of that time and I still don't know if the mort is paid though I did bring the other bills up to date, including my debt which arose out of me "holding on" and not paying things because we were short and the other bills were high . . . lies, all . . . and I buy the food, pay for my fuel, etc., beginning of the month, she said she was going to put in her resignation by the 31st, and now, lo and behold, she gets fired and I am reminded of all the times that she has threatened me this way, "I don't care if you have to work three jobs, you will pay me, take care of your child and pay the bills here or you will wind up in jail."

Now, this is not Central America and that's not the way things work here. But, as this is Amerika, anyone can sue anybody for anything at any time. What's worse, a woman can sue her man for the legal fees if she's suing because he is making her destitute and she will be automatically awarded those fees even if the payment of same impedes the defense by the Defendant, eg, me, since how many lawyers can one pay at a time and actually feed the household.

It's not reasonable - she wouldn't do that. That's the whole point, egghead - she is insane and she will do anything to express her rage and paranoia. Yay. What fun.

So, now she's out of work. In her head, she thinks I'm obligated to pay her money so that she can support herself. She believes that she is entitled to my paycheck, free and clear - she has said so. She is, let me repeat myself, insane. And the insanity is spreading.

She actually told me I had to give her $80 today because she owes the Taxi Driver (Travis, where are you when we need you?) and he can get nasty since he knows where she lives, which implies that I will have to deal with yet another mess she has made. Um, excuse, why would I want to do that? I know her. She's already promised it to him and if she had access to my bank account (she already calls and gets balance info but she doesn't has any other kind of access and if she can figure out the PIN, she deserves the money) she would have paid the guy and bounce my car insurance check. She is without regard - one, continuous alcoholic rage, destroying everything in her path and then, conveniently, blaming it on me. That's what drunks do.

Now I need to get out from under, the faster, the better.

Just this moment, I get a threatening call from her, "Either you loan me the money or I'll have to do something unpleasant." Click. Psycho f*ck. So, she's bombed again and violent and if I go home, it's call the police time and then we both go to jail because that's the way it works . . .

Oh, well. Guess I better go home and get it over with.

No, no, wait a minute. Isn't that buying into her craziness? Yes, it is, so I can't do that.

Release the hounds.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Zyzzyx Is Right!

RE: Change of Position

Dear Colleagues;

Our Illustrious Leader, Zyzzyx, has been roundly criticized for his management style and especially for his opinion of the "Earthlings" (please don't snicker) and how and even whether they should be dealt with. Though his concept of mass mind-freeze or extermination seems extreme, I'm beginning to see his point.

In intelligence-gathering efforts amongst the talking mammals of Target Gamma-4-a-Minor, what they call "Earth", and as we've all come to adopt this humorous moniker, I have, as is shown in my reports, found that they are almost universally confusing and confused. It's clear that malice is sometimes meant, but the inability to maintain a single, stable socio-face makes for a very rocky ride, so to speak.

They are, as a whole, inventive. This leads to an excellent set of survival skills as they are tenacious but when that inventiveness creeps into their very limited intellectual and emotional landscape, they are totally without reason. What may seem straightforward to you or I is the subject of much rumination, consideration and general blah-blah-blah, to use a colloquial term. This means that getting to the point is arduous at best and, at worst, a great consumptor of time.

Previously, I have said that it would be possible to integrate the humans into our plans for the reorganization of this world. Now, I must do an about-face (a military colloquialism meaning ordered retreat and offence in the reverse direction.) Despite their laws, teachings and Dr. Phil, humans seem to be hopelessly mired in the "experience" of existence, rather than getting to The Goal. I will grant that they are of limited understanding, but still . . . Even in my use of grammatik as shown in the last sentence, one can clearly see equivocation here even in the most stalwart.

An excellent example is the popular historical case of the soccer team stranded on an Andean mountainside with half of their number dead. It took near starvation and desperation for the survivors to decide that it would be acceptable to eat the meat of their "brothers." This kind of confused thinking leads many of their kind to disrupt the flow of progress. "I'll think about it," is a phrase endemic to daily life here and indicates that ugly cycle of pondering.

For our mission, it is clear that we are not meeting our short-term goals. He have been mired in an attempt to "understand" what probably cannot be adequately understood, as so much is hidden in what is unsaid, unseen and unheard. It has become inefficient to analyse and re-figure the Human Profile as the information gathered in the field is constantly changing.

I must now come out in support of Zyzzyx's position, though I would suggest a modification. Instead of wholesale extermination, though satisfying it would be, I must say, I think instead we should not disturb the nature of the food chain and the ecosystem here and simply proceed with DNA modification Plan 12.92.090 of last Ord Moon. All on the committee are in receipt of this memo - if not, I can re-transmit. In sum, the Plan calls for modifying the DNA of the humans so that they will function at not more that the level of their simian cousins. The current population will die off in about a hundred solar transits, or 56 Filps, and the reduced-lifespan, human-simians will self-regulate their population through SOTF results.

This scheme is not only "humane" but will also require the least resources on our part in terms of extermination (which would be environmentally messy), clean-up, food-chain and eco- restructuring and so forth. We can continue to build our infrastructure here in the meantime, in the interest of achieving The Goal. In the end, this will be a more efficient way of solving the Human Problem.

I ask that the committee consider my revised position and that we vote on going forward at our next Ord Moon meeting in 14 solar days. I want to apologise in advance to all for being so contrary but it is clear as is The Word, "Let your Loss be your Lesson."

I look forward to seeing you all. I will bring "doughnuts" for us to enjoy!

Sincerest regards,

Phllps Orgnamsi
Unit 1 Intelligence
Social Order Division
Terran Station Target Gamma-4-a-Minor

Monday, January 21, 2008

Say What?


This Yob is murdering me. To top it off, "R" just said to me, and I know he didn't mean a bad thing, since he is a rather warm-hearted UberFurher, in his highly imitable broken Englishchen,"Oh, Aht. You did a good job mit der Juicy, ya? Now your work has made you free!"

I display a photo here for your consideration. Over the entrances to most Nazi concentration camps (and I've visited two) was this inscription, Arbeit Macht Frei. It means, Work Makes Freedom. Needless to say, something like six million Jews, two million Gypsies and other undesirables, along with about a half-million political prisoners. give or take a mil, never reaped that benefit of their hard work, unless you consider getting bar-b-que'd after a long day of starvation, forced labour, torture, disease and murder a reward and a "freedom." Hmm. Maybe they had a point. Maybe my relatives just heard what they wanted to hear. Silly Jews, freedom ist fur der Masterrrrace!!

These people seriously need some serious sensitivity training. I suggested he have a beer on me. Hey, if things had worked out differently, he might very well have literally been able to have a beer on me. eh? Ja, Ja, ist gut!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Love In Vain

I lost you in a flash
paper afire aflame
the same wind
licking me
pushing me
with cold
thrusts

So, here I am to save the day, only the victims have left the building. The smoke has cleared. No heroes are needed. Too bad for me.

I think I have this nasty habit of making monumentally poor choices about monumental things. Rather than list my very poor track record, I am reminded of that great 1991 movie starring Albert Brooks called Defending Your Life. The premise of the story is that he is a stressed-out yuppie underachieving worrier that gets killed in a collision with a bus after picking up his new BMW and hunting around on the floor for a CD (then a new thing to have in a car.). He goes to a place that's a waiting room, in essence, where souls are reviewed and the decision is made for them to "go forward" or to be sent back for another go at it. If you haven't seen this movie, please rent it or download it (legally, for Cripes' Sake) and come back after you're finished.

The assumption here is that you've either seen the movie or you did as I commanded and are ready for the rest of this entry. Let's continue.

I strongly identify with Brook's character Daniel. At one point, his life is being reviewed in his "trial" and a scene is played back from his past where he's in his twenties, having lunch with friends, talking about investments. One friend talks about Casio, a Japanese watch company as an exciting investment and Daniel responds that it's ridiculous. People buy Swiss watches - who's going to buy watches made in Japan? When the clip finishes, Daniel turns around from the screen with a dour look to face the tribunal. The Prosecutor points out that Casio is now a multi-billion dollar company and that his investment then of a few thousand dollars would have made him a multi-millionaire many times over.

Being that you've seen the movie now, you know how it works out. But the key for me is that Daniel existed on the edge, in a way, between life and a safe life. Life for his romantic interest, played by Meryl Streep, by the way (who was more than perfect for the role,) was open, daring and easy. Daniel was in wonder of her demeanor as if it couldn't possibly be so. She shrugged it all off and just lived. Just lived.

I'm at a major crossroads today, right now, at this moment. I feel as if the decisions I make in the near term will have major impact of the short balance of my life. In the past, this would have resulted in endless worry without resolution and finally, paralysis. Now, I have a different view. The question is - which path to take? I can go the "safe" way, where I can control not the outcome, but the level of pain I'll inevitably have to endure or . . .

. . . or I can take that chance, that chance that's an opportunity, that I know is dangerous, that I know might put me out at the side of the road with both thumbs cut off, because that is the better choice, the bigger risk not with the better return, but the more "right" possibilities.

So, this is about you, really. Well, not about you but about me and you. And though I say the words, I can't describe in words how I feel about you, no matter how I try. Funny thing for a "writer" to say, or write, I guess. Yup, even now I draw a blank. And I want you, to be with you, to laugh endlessly with you, to follow you around like a love-struck puppy, to say to people, "This woman is mine and I am her man, for now and for always, no f*cking matter what, so you best not mess with either of us. Get it?" So, you make me so happy. And worried. And happy about being worried. And, in the end, if we could be together, I just feel in my gut that it would be good, decent and fine.

How would it play? What's the frequency, Kenneth? I know: we'd start out the furthest thing from newly-weds. I'd be working excruciatingly long hours and struggle in my free time to spend time with my kid and with you and yours. Somehow, it would work out - not perfectly, but sort of okay, with no one either too impressed nor too miffed. We'd start getting our money situations together, solve some immediate problems and then, begin to cast a path for the near future. A year of so down the line, we'll have had some bad fights, but not that bad and they'll have always ended up with us, no, not making love, but with a clearer understanding of each other, with acceptance and an even stronger bond, as soul-mates are wont to do.

In the summer of '09, we'll have stabilsed our household and families and we'll decide to go away as a kind of mutual reward. Oh, money will be tight, but we can swing it and I did okay in the prior few months with my investing stuff, so, we book it together. We'll dwell on a tropical beach for a week, guzzling strawberry daiquiris and simply admitting that we've done okay so far, or, at least, good enough for government work. I turn to you on that beach and I say, "It's settled, then. I want to be married to you. I want to make it official. I can't love anyone else like I love you and I've never loved anyone else like this, either. Would you be kind enough to agree to meet with my lawyers and then promptly consent to marrying me?" You would laugh, and say, "I'll think about it." I would settle back in my lounger and continue to be broasted by the Costa Rican sun, satisfied inside and out that a good thing happened there that day. I would reach for your hand and your fingers would dance teasingly in my palm. And there would be silence, except for the tentative water, and it would be quite good.

When we returned, it would be right back to work and house schedules and paying bills and rushing around to do this thing and that and you would visit with your mother for a bit and your kids would continue to love you as much as they do and you would look at me across the kitchen and I would look back over the rims of my glasses so that you would be a mild, red blur and your smile would glow and you would glow, ever so slightly. We would have that moment and then others, and our lives would be bound up by the glue of those moments. We will have got to a better place, together, and no man could tear what was in our very souls asunder.

Our kids would grow up. They would have kids. We would work and jump in our eco-friendly Explorer (my idea) and hit the road in Friday evening, pointing ourselves in whatever direction - it simply wouldn't matter. Maybe we'd have a little cabin upstate on Golden Pond . . .

After a few years, my knees would give out and my long-standing heart problem would catch up with me. Oh, I'd exercise and eat better, thanks to your persistence and annoying-ness, but I'd start to slow way down. Your health would decline insipidly. Diabetes, a heart scare and high blood pressure that would finally convince you to eat Rabbit Food exclusively and take many, many supplements. In fact, you'd become obsessed with your Juicer, which would make you all the Juicier, I might add. But that's just a dirty old man talking . . .

So, our money and kid struggles would be replaced by health struggles BUT, we'd keep on keepin' on. And, in the twilight of our time, we'd be together, in that cabin, and I'd still be peering at you over my rims and thinking, how fortunate was I to have leaped onto that freight before it made its last trip across the Plains . . .

That's a fantasy, though. It's not going to happen. Just look at my track record.

So, you'll be gone soon enough, in a flash, practically. The right guy will come along presently, hopefully with some of my extraordinary qualities, but without all of the luggage. He'll love you, in his way, sure, and take care of you and be a good friend to your kids. He'll be passionate at the right times, buy you flowers and he'll be on time. He won't keep you waiting and he'll be your regular Friday night date. He'll come over and stay over, when you're ready, able and willing, and he'll make you feel like you're floating. He'll laugh with you and enjoy you and you, him. Oh, he won't get you and you'll only be a woman capable and useful for womanly duties, but, you can't have everything. You'll feel normal and whole once again, glad to be away from the craziness, glad to be on track, glad to know you can call him and make actual plans, like normal people do. And I'll be a bittersweet memory, fading, fading over time, much more quickly than you thought, left behind at the station, where I belong.

Love In Vain
by Robert Johnson
And I followed her to the station
with a suitcase in my hand
And I followed her to the station
with a suitcase in my hand
Well, it's hard to tell, it's hard to tell
when all your love's in vain
All my love's in vain

When the train rolled up to the station
I looked her in the eye
When the train rolled up to the station
and I looked her in the eye
Well, I was lonesome, I felt so lonesome
and I could not help but cry
All my love's in vain

When the train, it left the station
with two lights on behind
When the train, it left the station
it had two lights on behind
Well, the blue light was my blues
and the red light was my mind

All my love's in vain

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Meowsville, Daddy-O!

The one on the right is the now notorious White Cat, probably preggers. The one on the left, with the big mouth, is the Latest Addition AKA Spork since she has a club paw (never seen that before.) She's about six months old and her most endearing feature is that she has the lungs of Pavarotti. What the heck, he's not using 'em? I wonder if there's a La Scala for Pussy Cats.

So cuuuuuuuuute!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Believe Me When I Tell You

The title of this blog is the first line from an absolutely brilliant, heartbreaking song called, "Through The Morning, Through The Night." The first verse goes like this, if I remember right:
Believe me when I tell you that I'll try to understand
Believe me when I tell you that I'd never kill a man
But the thought of another man holding you tight
Hurts me little darling
through the morning, through the night
Now, I'm all for sappy sentiment in songs, but this particular song strikes me right in the face because the singer is begging, angry, hurt, sad, frightened, lonely, all at once. This is love, for sure. The doubt, fear, happiness and loss all at once, amalgamated into a single idea, which is why love is so hard to describe.

It's not "butterflies in your stomach" nor is it a migraine headache and sweaty palms. That is, not just those features. And when it goes away, the void that's produced tears little bits of emotional dendrite from a thousand different places. Further, it's one thing if someone does it to you and it's entirely different if you do it to yourself. It's sort of like suicide but instead of dying, one continues to be tortured with regret, doubt, sadness, loss and loathing for the rest of one's days.

Isn't that a cheery thought for this sunny Tuesday? Not.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

All I Gotta Say Is

46!

It's a magical, whimsical number. It means:

  • you are more than halfway to fifty
  • you have been alive about 16,790 days or about 402,960 hours
  • most people in this country live to about 80 nowadays so, barring a fiery crash or horrible withering disease, you have only about 1768 weeks to go.
  • peak? what peak? I don't remember any peak?
  • where are my keys, dammit.

Happy Birthday! If it's any consolation, I'm three years older than you. Uh-oh.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Peace At Chaos Manor

Good news! My ex has regained her senses, apologised for years of mental and physical abuse, infidelity, lying, cheating and stealing and has begged me to take her back. More good news - ain't gonna happen. "Don't let the dagger-covered door stab you in the ass on your way out, byotch!"

Gone, gone, gone. Really gone. Cause yuh done me wrong.

Image Credit: A CAT, A DAGGER AND AN OPEN DOOR
Oil on Canvas over Panel, 10 x 12"


Of course, this could never actually happen. Thankfully, in respect for my own sanity, I reached the point that the possibility of this happening generates revulsion and pity in me for her mental illness (see prior post on Paranoid Personality Disorder.) And, I have to say one thing about my therapist - she's the chiropractor of the mind, I must say. Two hours with her has put me back on track to f*ck-you-dom . . . a psychiatric slap upside the head. And she gave me homework!!!

The last two weeks here have been utterly brutal, to the point of my breaking down and turning into mental Jello. "Why do you keep buying into the insanity?", Doc L asked me, owl-faced. (Didn't I mention that she resembles a featherless owl? It's true.) Good f*cking question. So I thought about it . . . got depressed . . . and thought about it some more. I now have the answer - another epiphany on the Feast of the Epiphany, no less.

Some time ago, my alcoholic, rapidly aging brother posed this question to me: "What are you contributing to a relationship?" This single question has ghosted me for quite some time. I had to think carefully about what that really meant. I concluded that I can or course, do good and fine things to benefit my counterpart OR I can contribute negatively through inaction. I can contribute stress and disappointment, sadness and despair to my own "soul" OR I can step away like the motherf*cker is on fire. I allowed someone else to press the buttons on my reality, just when I thought they were all broke. Because, deep down, I'm am a good person.

But, like a LIGHTBULB GOING OFF in my head, I became a believer of the following things:
This moment, whatever the moment is, absolutely IS as good as it gets. Better learn to like it.
One can't please all of the people all of the time. So, f#ck 'em.
I refuse to inflict myself on those I love when I'm not up to my own standards, especially if I think that they don't know what's good for them.
Peri-f*cking-od.

So, going forward . . . how does this generate peace at Chaos Manor? First of all, my stress has gone *poof* and I have clarity that I did not have before. I am at Lexapro levels with my daughter, emotionally, without the dope. I do not have to adopt someone else's insanity. And then there was peace.

Will it "be like this tomorrow? Who cares. I know I can control my own exposure and if I can't have it the way I need it to be, f*ck it. I've got a whole tableau of future ahead and even if I'm picking my meals out of garbage cans, I'll still be alive and FREE! Wait, wait, back up a sec - - picking through trash? Let's think about this for a minute . . .

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin'

I used to be a media mogul. Shucks - I usta be a lodda things. Now, I've getting rid of my past, lock, stock and barrel. I'm only going to keep what I can use to create and if those tools are not good enough, I'm going to get rid of them, too. Here's a description for something that's on eBay right now - hot damn!:

Complete cassette duplication system, including:

High-speed (16:1) Otari DP-1010 1/2" bin-loop master
3 pancake slaves
Stand for bin
- $25,000 in 1980's dollars
King automatic cassette loader
- $12,000 new
2 King 680 semi-auto loaders
AVA super-high speed loader (may need work)
- $55,000 new and can make 5000+ cassettes per shift
2 Otari DP-2700 table-top semi-auto loaders, one needs cutter work
- $8,000 each, new
- That's SIX loaders
Gast vacuum pump
- diaphram type, $1200 new
Fostex E-2 1/2 master-maker, converted by professional technician
- worth over $6 grand new !
APEX CA-5 cassette printer
- cost $3K new!
Nakamichi MR-2 deck for quality control
- cost $800 new
cables for duplicator
- priceless!

This is sold as-is and requires some knowledge to operate. I will provide whatever manuals I can find. This equipment was working when taken out of service and has been in storage for a few years. You might have to align the system and replace some rubber belts. Otari built this stuff very heavy duty. This is all you need to make cassettes quickly and cheaply. You can also load blanks and print them with ink.

The duplicator and slaves can run Chrome-compatible (high-quality music) or Ferric (voice) tape with the flick of a switch since this system allows for two bias presets.

The process is very simple. A master is made on 1/2" mastering tape (I like BASF, but the Fostex E2 will run well with BASF bin-loop master tape or Ampex 456 or 499), the master is loaded into the bin, cassette tape in up 12,500 foot reels or "pancakes" as they're called, is threaded onto the three slaves and the system is set to go. There's a Pass Counter, so you know how many loops have run.

This is a high-speed system which means that you're recording 2 tracks of stereo in each direction all at once, at a time ratio of 16 to 1. That means that you can record a 32 minute-long cassette (16 minutes on each side), one per minute, times three slaves or 180 pieces PER HOUR!!!

The recorded pancakes are then put on a loader. In this auction, there are 2 auto and 4 semi-auto loaders. The auto loader winds tape into an empty C-0, or cassette shell with leader already in it, until it "hears" the end of the program by listening for a "cue tone" - a very low frequency tone placed on the recorded pancakes by the bin master player. It then cuts the tape, splices it to the leader in the shell, winds up the leader and spits out the tape, ready to load the next piece. The King auto loader in this auction can do about 150 pieces an hour of C-45 program.

Then, the cassette are printed with white, black or colored ink on the CA-5 flexographic cassette printed, one side at a time, using plates that are easily made by a "rubber stamp" maker from a negative. The CA-5 is crank operated but can but fitted with a motor, if you want. We've printed plenty of cassettes this way and they look pretty good, I think.

The cassettes then get packaged and, hopefully, you get paid. The "beauty part" of all of this is that you get to be a player that's small and flexible in a highly specialized market. There's lots of religious, voice and promo work out there, but you'll have to go get in. On the other hand, if you're a preacher with a ministry and can reach out to other preachers, heck, there's a business right there that will benefit everyone, especially your flock!

This is definitely a pick-up only, truck-load lot. It's all stored in a garage which means no loading dock and I won't arrange shipping. I will help you load but you must have your own insurance!!! Sold strictly as-is. I want it out of my life and my garage, so, your gain is my gain! PayPal or cash on pick-up only. New, this stuff cost well over $75K. Installation is available for a fee but transport is your responsibility.

This was our first, then second, then third, then short-run system. It worked real good. We made probably on the order of 5 or 6 million cassettes on this tiny system. I love making stuff, but Feng Shui tells me, it gotta go, round eyes (oops - just got fired AGAIN!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I'm A Genius

I'm a genius and, well, that's pretty much all there is to it.

Have a nice day, beta.

Stop Whinin', You Cow

If I hear one more person complain about something inane like how their Quik Chek coffee isn't cinnamon-y enough, I will scream.

My lurvley STBX has harassed me with 185 crazy-ass e-mails the month of December alone, over 200 text messages, physical intimidation, including the brandishing of a pointy bread knife, diversion of funds, credit card fraud, has changed my bank account information and CLOSED an account (this is a crime, you betcha, but in the meantime, the account is closed,) contacted my insurance company in a bid to delete me from my own health insurance, called my doctor requesting (and not getting) personal medical information, telling my kid that I'm a jerk and verbal harassing me each and every day, from sun-up to sun-down, including waking me up via telephone so that when I'm working, I'm lucky if I get four hours sleep for my 12 hour days.

On the blood-simple front, my brother is outright lying to me about my mother's estate. I knew that it could be true and this morning, thanks to my own research and my lawyer's involvement, it's been confirmed. So, now I have to call him on it. Smart guy - has he never heard of a credit report and asset search? Do I really look that stupid? My mother would be horrified at this behaviour. And this Sunday, I have to face him at a memorial mass for my mother and keep a poker face. That's just not right.

My car is starting to wobble apart, my cat is pregnant and my dog's an idiot. To top it off, I just don't get women in general and they're starting to piss me off, too.

So, the next time you're miffed at having to wait in line at the bank since there's one customer ahead of you, or the next time gas goes from $2.87 to $2.91, or the next time your kid doesn't manage to sell every candy bar in the cheerleading fundraising kit and you have to fund the diff, grow up! Goddarnit, grow up already. Geez.

Oh, and one more thing: if you're fat, you're fat, okay? Eat less and exercise more. That's all there is to it. Stop with the excuses. You know full well that you're fat and the only thing that will change it is eating less and eating less crap and shaking that junk in your trunk. God. How hard do you think it is, you lazy lard-ass? Turn off the TV and take a few walks. Put away the Little Debbie's. Forget the sugary drinks - drink friggin' water or diet soda. Oh, I see: you'd rather shoot pig insulin into your thigh than skip the 24 ounces of Coca Cola every day that adds 6 teaspoons of pure sugar to your diet with a sum total of about 700 calories . . . good for you. Listen: if you're within ten percent of your target weight, just keep doing what you're doing but make sure you're eating stuff that will get you the vitamins you need. If you're tipping the scales at more than that, stop f*cking stuffing yer gob. Period. "Oh, my jeans don't fit. I have to go to Marshall's" No, you don't. You have to skip the Dutch Apple Pie. Don't scarf down a twelve-inch when a six inch will do fine - and you know I've talking about a sandwich, don't you? Slut.

Thanks for you time, you over-fed, whiny, rich-ass, Democrat-pretendin', Republican-allowin', two-faced, SUV-drivin', world-hatin' hoo-hah.

You Stole My Lighter!

Yes, I'm a self-hating smoker. Last year, my doctor pushed me over the edge into smoking sobriety by encouraging me to take Wellbutrin. Notice the two Ells in the trade name. Wonderful drug, just great. That's a lie, by the way, for me, anyway. It pushed me into insanity which is not so good because I'm already half-barking mad as it is. It made me quit smoking, alright, but I also almost wanted to quit living. Not exactly an acceptable trade-off.

After that debacle, I started on Lexapro, which, in my doctor's view, is among the "purest" of anti-depressants. It worked well except for making me a eunuch. The folks at Glaxo SmithKline, the makers of Wellbutrin, apparently know this as they have the following questionnaire for use in asking questions about intimacy and your current use of an anti-depressant:

Do you have any of the following concerns?
1. Difficulty/inability to reach orgasm


Yes
No
2. Decreased sexual interest or pleasure


Yes
No
3. Decreased genital sensation


Yes
No
4. Partner's concern about changes in our sex life


Yes
No
5. Decreased frequency of sexual activity


Yes
No
6. Decreased frequency of sexual thoughts, urges, or fantasies


Yes
No
7. Men only: Soft or absent erections


Yes
No
8. Women only: Dryness or pain during sexual activity


Yes
No


Can you say YES YES YES!!! I know I could. So, now, no Lexapro. It's not even a matter of whether I have a place to put it. It's a matter of having something more substantial than a veggie hot dog (they're, cold, soft and mushy, generally) tucked away in my bikinis, okay? It's the potential for the ritual to commence with the appropriate totem, or, at my age, relic at hand. Ahem.

So, back to the smoking. As soon as I was off the Wellbutrin, I could swallow a pack a day, twice as much as what I would normally smoke. It didn't matter what brand, either. I became a smoking slut. Sip water, my ass. I'll kill you if I don't get my oral intake of nicotine, tar, CO2 and god knows what else comes through the "filter" of what my daughter sue to call, until she, too, gave up, death sticks.

Part of the fun of smoking is the ritual of it. The tantalizing package, alternatively gently unwrapped or torn open to reveal its juicy innards, waiting to be touched, stroked. The feel of the rigid tube slowly sliding from the package and into one's mouth, grasping its firm end between one's lips, salivating slightly. Touching and patting oneself, at first slowly and soon in panic because SOMEONE STOLE MY GATDAN LIGHTER! The mood is shattered like a rose dropped on a marble table-top after undergoing instant freezing with Nitrogen. What's worse, one has smoker's blue balls as a result of the unrequited desire to farking smoke!

See, smokers are addicts. Take away the object of their addiction and they become a sad lot. An angry mob. The force of black revolution. Madness unhinged. And a big part of smoking as with every addiction is the ritual itself. For heroin addicts, it's the buy, the works, the rush. Gamblers prep, pray and lament their (ultimate) loss. Relationship addicts court, love then self-destruct themselves and their relationship. And in all rituals, there are the symbols of the ritual. If you're a Roman Catholic and go to Mass, there's the silvery-ball-thing with smoke coming out of it, the cracker/biscuit thing with matching chalice and those white robes (KKK, watch out! these dudes have a millennium plus on ya) and lots of pew aerobics. For the professional Pimp, there is the Caddy, jewel-encrusted cane with blade expertly concealed in the hilt, also known as a Pimp Stick and, or course, hos. Not the gardening implement - get yer mind out the garden, aight? For smokers, the symbol of catharsis and change is the lighter.

Fire, oh glorious saviour of Man, you keepeth the cold at bay and the saber-toothed tigers away from our cave. You light the furnaces in which we forged bronze. Oh mighty Destroyer and Resurrector, you are why I Flick My Bic (TM). For with Fire, I can erase this deepest of needs, that which is the desire to deeply inhale the carcinogens in your son, the Cigarette (or Cigar or Pipe, but who have you seen smoking a pipe lately, anyhow?)

Ever go out for a quick smoke at work during the Union-mandated 10 minute morning break only to discover that you didn't have so much as a flint to light your fire? Argh. Will . . . not . . . make . . . it . . . to . . . lunch . . .. You might look around on the ground for a discarded book of matches, even if there's only the slight chance that it'll be dry or not empty. Ever wait for the last minutes of that Sacred Break of Smoking, hoping that someone will pass by with a match. This is why most smokers will carry at least an extra book of matches, a cheapo exploding Chinese lighter AND a min-BIC as back-up, perhaps tucked into a sock cuff.

Some have a little more class than that and might very well have a thousand dollar lighter, gold-covered and jewel-encrusted. (The one shown at left is a ST Dupont model that costs four grand, source elighters.com) Others will have novelty cases for their BICs depicting their disdain for the world or a mini-tryptych devoted to a NASCAR hero. Some, like me, will have a little Lighter Leash attached the the bottom of their disposable (ha) light so that the loanee will not be able to pocket this essential tool of yours, later being mysteriously hard-to-find, both person and lighter. Don't laugh - I happen to have this thing and guess what? I've had the same lighter for at about six months. Pretty clever, Mr. Bond.

What then, should the punishment be for the malcontent who takes it upon himself to thieve the very symbol of your nicotinic existence? Death by Oogooboogoo? Entombment in the cement pilings of a new shopping mall? Chopping off of otherwise perfectly good limbs and/or digits? Probably not. But it just ain't right.

The lighter is most assuredly a symbol. My brother had a Zippo from his time in Nam, man, with his unit insignia and scratching that was the initials of his best jungle-mate and fellow traveler, killed there shortly afterward in the assault in '68 otherwise known as the Tet Offensive. So, this lighter, though it carries the potential for death, says that one can survive, both at the moment and when pondering the memory. In fact, he recently made a particular trip to the sea where he tossed said lighter into the froth atop Davy Jones' locker.

So, teachers, leave my fire alone. Get your grubby mits offa my sh*t, y'all or I might have to Tyson ya!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Empty Stomach + Red Wine = Bad Plan

Oy, do I have a headache. For some reason, I decided to toast my lonely New Year with some Argentinian red wine. I should say that I try not to drink red wine since it has a delitirious effect on my system. My heart jiggles like jello, my scalp sweats, my feet start talkin' trash - it's an all around bad scene. I even almost made a drunk-dial, but, yay, I didn't.