Thursday, December 24, 2009
This was overheard at a QuickChek near Dover, NJ. I sh*t you not. This Great Utterance was produced by a 300 pound man "of color" who was wearing uniform coat and associated gear of those that "Sever and Project."
That's the last time I take Route 46. FOR ANYTHING!
Monday, December 21, 2009
As humans, we have the unique ability to define reality. My definition of love, true love, no matter how juvenile it may seem, is the fairy-tale take. It's permanent and forever. That means it can never be put to rest, that it has a life of its own, once it takes hold, virus-like. And forever and never are the two defining temporal descriptions that mark the scope of love. It is God-like.
Humans are rarely God-like and so, as humans, we choose to discount our love. One may be worthy today but after a bout or five of disillusion, that love-distribution is in doubt. Therefore, that is not love, by my understanding, but is something else, something complex and grey and confined to the machinations of the human mind as shaped by both nature and nurture. It is drama.
Never is not now. Now is not forever. Forever is not tomorrow. Time continues to flow at its dependable pace. What have you done to set aside the drama surrounding the choice of who will be blessed with your God-like love? If nothing, then your love is a confection, a hobby, some expression of something else than grace. And, in the end, it is a lie.
True love forgives the lie and the fault and the failing and the sin. True love looks back but cherishes the distance unknown. It finds a way and it never, ever rests. It is forever.
Verbum Caro Factum Est
Friday, December 18, 2009
Girls like bad boys. In fact, a 2008 study by the New Mexico State University at Las Cruces (link to ABC news article)indicated that bad boys get the most girls through the exercise of what would otherwise be considered negative traits - "deceit, callousness and impulsive behavior." The why of it is interesting, but not where I'm going here.
I'm not a bad boy. Even my mother said that I was a good boy. I know, though, that I've done many "bad" things - not evil, mind you, but bad just the same. At the core of me, though, I don't see a cause for deception, diversion or politics in any kind of relationship. Needless to say, I never really did "get the girl" and I'm much better left to things technical instead of being out on the road selling myself. I'm not ashamed of this, particulary but, apparently, I a) should be and b) am a failure because of it.
What's worse, for some reason, women seem to think that they should punish me for my caring but sedate life choices. Um, no, that's not okay. For instance, and not pointing to any New Jersey resident in particular, a love relationship I had was terminated simply because I refused to be discarded (yet again, I should add.) Yes, now I'm complaining, but only because I have a point to make. Hold on for a minute.
This woman lured me into her web of romance thinking God only knows what and in the end, simply terminated our relationship. When I say "terminated," I mean as in that now-classic line from Apocalypse Now where the CIA agent say, "With extreme prejudice." One could take that phrase to mean what it seems to imply, that is, "kick his ass but good, chop off his dick and then dump his saggy-assed body in the Mekong" (or Raritan, to keep it all in the scope that Jerseyites can process.) Or, it can mean, "without recourse."
So, she terminated our relationship by simply being progressively more and more unavailable until I could never get her on the phone, she wouldn't respond to texts and e-mails were, well, impossible. Maybe it was a ploy. Maybe she thought I should feel how much I already felt for her by removing the source of my addiction and forcing me to go cold turkey so that, what? I could feel the "burn"? Maybe she had learned or was taught that men love the pursuit. Well, maybe most men, but then, I'm not most men.
Instead, I was frightened, hurt, insulted, angry and frustrated. I asked myself whether I should keep backing up until I found a new path or stand my ground and retain what little self-esteem I had left. And, she absolutely didn't listen to me on this. Why? Couldn't get her on the phone. Couldn't get her via text. And e-mail? Well, she knows what happened. She decided and I accepted her decision, as much as I did so out of anger and sadness. The sorriest thing is that, had she permitted it, I could have talked her away from the abyss. So, she didn't want it. So, she's gone.
Now, in all this, I gave up my soul. I loved her totally. She had me, completely. And that's a dangerous thing. It's dangerous to trust and count on another person especially when the commitment level, when it counts, is different. True, I may have over-reacted. True, I should have given her time, space and should have kept chasing. True, she made compromises for my nut-state. But I was never dishonest about where I was coming from. If she didn't want to know what other sordid thing was going on in the darker corners of my life, I didn't tell her. When she wanted to know, I told all as I sensed her eyes glazing over. Heck, my eyes glaze over by the shear repetition. But when does the bullcrap end? When? Seriously? It's not a game. Okay - it is a game, but I don't want to play it. This is all too goddamn important. No, really.
So, I'm down yet another woman. That makes the woman count zero now. None. Null. Christmas is a less than a week away and I doubt that I'll hear from her and I have no way of contacting her. I could write her a letter . . . stupid idea. I'm embarassed to contact her kids to touch base since they clearly know what went down before I did so I'm not in the mood to schmuckify myself further. So, yeah, as my kid says, that's it. Accept it, asshole. Love the pain.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Now, you have to understand that the other side of my "situation" is that I'm only human and battle does take its toll. I thought, "How much a release it would be if I could simply dump all of my experiences into a book in hysterical, historical form. And to marry that to a blog - that would be a kind of victory." Unfortunately, there is indeed nothing new under the sun.
Within that site is, it seems, a nearly identical pattern of bullsh*t, lies, manipulations and evidence of borderline personality disorder that I'm directly experienced. It's uncanny. It also means that my work is done.
Please quit reading this blog and go to that site now. I mean it!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
It's a wonderful time, where global warming is drowning the Mekong Delta and politicians hone their lying skills to spend a Yuletide weekend or two in Sptizbule or Vale with someone other than there respective spouses.
For me, Christmas has become an especially significant season of ill-will, disappointment, loneliness and depression. And anxiety. Let's not forget the anxiety. Like Dickens' Ghost of Christmas Past, all my ill deeds of the past both distant and proximal come to haunt and then, to linger. Plus, there's the bonus of the suffering related to the malice of others I get to enjoy.
Had this been a surprise, suicide would have been the inevitable and just choice. But instead, Father Christmas has gifted me with a long and slow run-up to the season of Anti-Mirth. So, my treatment as a Dark Denizen has, on some level, become a holiday tradition, much like gingerbread cookies, except, without the frosting and instead of gingerbread, poo for dough.
Around Thanksgiving, I feel a glimmer of that Holiday Spirit, only to realize that I'm actually having a nicotine fit. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.
By the way, I'm sure there's at least one know-it-all out there with the strident belief that I made it this way. Well, you're right, but you don't bother calling, either, do you? No, you don't, and that's my point.
So, for Christmas this year, I'm taking it to the streets. I'm turning on my charm to glom all of the fruitcake I can and replace XMas morning stocking goodies with lumpy, greasy, toxic coal. Take that, Copehagen! I'm going to get little kids hooked on cigarettes and whisper to elderly grandmothers that their children never loved them. I'm going to be the one on line at Kohl's and Sears and Target on Christ Mass Eve that's paying for my twelve bucks worth of worthless crap with pennies and a personal check. I'm the one who'll be calling the cops to tow your brother-in-law's car for intruding three millimeters over my driveway-line, all after his six-hundred mile trip from Virginia Beach, two days after his wife's ovarian-cyst-removal surgery. Yes! I will represent the Ghost of Christmas Reality, by and with whom, no holiday delusion will be allowed.
Ho, ho, ho. Whatev. Hold on - I'm a-comin' . . .
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'm sorry, but I can't help but imagine myself as the illustrator, working out exactly how this should be laid out and then, executing it with painterly masterfulitude. On the other hand, I could also imagine being the editor, thinking, "God, how did it come to this? All I had to do was hold the paper until the morning. 'Dewey Defeats Truman' How could I have been so stupid?"
It happens, my friends. It happens.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Look: it's simple. "Your" is NOT the same word as "you're" and, yes, it does matter. I understand that UR is the texting abbreviation for "you're", so it's clear that this contraction is pretty common. So far, so good. "You're" is a squashed together, 'familiar' form of "you are" as in, "You're going to get your ass kicked by your third-grade teacher unless you stop texting and pay attention in class." See how craftily I've used BOTH sound-alike, but very different, forms, one of which means "the person, place or thing that belongs to YOU" and the other one which . . . which I've already explained a gazillion times. Gad.
Don't mess with My Beloved Language. Just don't.
"CDs" are many compact discs, like the box full your girlfriend threw out when she caught you cheating, just like you're doing now to your NEW girlfriend, you prick. "CD's" means something that is the property of the CD, like, "The CD's surface scratches are a result of your girlfriend rubbing its surface against her leg the day prior to her last waxing to clean off the hairy fingerprints you left on it the last time you used it."
See how simple English can be? See how you can understand how words work. See how you can make words work for you. See how you won't look like a babbling buffoon when you are able to follow the rules and use words correctly. See how people smarter, or at least, cleverer than you will welcome you into the Smart and Clever Club where you will be regaled with banter and chatter of all ilks.
In general, I see quite a bit of mangling in forums. The worst is Yahoo's Answers, which is an awful forum where logged-in users can post some burning question, like, "How do I break up with my boyfriend without telling him?" or some such twaddle and other users can then "answer", with their answers subsequently rated for "accuracy" by other users. So, in short, it's the blind leading the deaf and verified by the cognitively-challenged, resulting in answers rated based on popularity. Here's a question I'd like to post: "How do I repair a rupture to the inferior vena cava in a suppurating patient that's not a candidate for exchange therapy and I need the answer in the next ninety seconds as we're in surgery and the patient will die. (Actually, there was a recent episode on House with this element integral to the motif - ooooo, cultural currency! I like it!) The point is, if I ever get to it and I happen to be getting to it . . . right . . . now, is that if one excuses the foreign users of My Beloved Language who should be clapped heartily on their collective scapulas for their minimal mastery of a language other than the one taught to them by their mamas, the balance of the local mumbling constituency murderizes written speech to an AWESOME degree.
Let's attack that word for a moment. Yes, I know my generation used and uses "cool" in a similar way, but, c'mon, it's not the same. "Awesome" is utterly over the top while cool slides into home. A massive lightning storm is "awesome." The parting of the Red Sea, if God had done did it, would be truly "awesome." Finding a parking spot in time to make the next screening of Saw 23 on a busy summer night at the googleplex is NOT awesome; neither is the latest stuffed-crust monstrosity from Pizza Slut "awesome", unless it's delivered with its own bubbling volcano to keep it piping hot. That would be awesome. Got it? Cool, Daddy-o.
But, back to contractions and possessive forms, before your eyes totally glaze over. "It's" is short for "it is"; "its", without the little squiggly thing that goes between the t and the s, which is called an apostrophe, which is kinda pronounced like "catastrophe" only without the "c" at the beginning and with other letters in between, is a possessive form, meaning "the word that follows describes some property of this thing of ours that we're talking about over here." Would you say, "It puts the lotion on it's skin" - " . . . it is skin?" Does that make sense? Well? Does it?
So, I'm not so concerned about the pimply-faced bag-stuffers cruising the web on their Sidekicks, stoking anoymous forums with their fractured English as I am with on-line print, such as news pieces I've seen with increased frequency of glaring errors, and not errors solely of my opinion, mind you, but black-book, editor's red- and blue-pencil stuff. This worries me velly mucho because the readers will absorb and take with them these errors as a matter of course and can then always cite, "Well, that's how it was written in that Reuters article, so who do you think is right? You or a news service with international cred?" Me, because no amount of brand identity can make a wrong right.
"There" for "their" for "they're" or "chosed" for "chose" or "sale" for "sell" as in "I am saleing my seester because my family hasn't eaten in two weeks and is really hungry." And on and on.
Kids, do your homework and learn your own damn language. Teachers, teach the damn fundamentals - a mastery of the basics is the doorway to the youngins to grow up to be just like me. Writers, publishers and anyone in a position of authority - CHECK YOUR WORK or I will.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Dang. Volcanic ash? Cool. Okay, let me do the check-in thing . . . what's this? I don't understand. Are we living in Reverso World? Check it, one time:
I'm SO CONFUSED. Affirm a positive response with a negative? Okay. That's enough. I'm going to get more coffee. Dammit. Where the hell is my limo?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I used to travel quite a lot, first for music and then, for business. I always made a point of collecting a little bit of sand or earth from wherever I stopped and when people bragged to me that they were going to Mongolia or Uruguay, I button-holed them until they solemnly promised to bring me back a sample from their destination. Surprisingly, and to their collective credit, I was always universally rewarded with not only a sample from their trip, but an explanation (" . . . this is sand from an Arroyo. They're formed by . . . .") and usually some additional souvenir. It's interesting how completely diverse people react exactly the same to this simple request. Huh. Head shaker. There was one (supasexy, hot mama of a) lady who brought me a small bucket of fine sand instead of the usual medicine-bottle-sized sample, of which quantity later flopped over in the trunk of my car when my ex stole same for a wild, drunken ride through Our Town. Along with what was more like an extraction by the Mars Rover, was a rectangular plastic key fob with a capsule inside in the shape of the sole of a bare foot, filled with a small quantity of sand, ostensibly from the U.S. Virgin Islands, that said, "I brought you a foot of sand!" Since the key chain was made in China, like most everything else these days, including, shortly, Hummers, I assume the sand, too, was Chinese, making it all the more mysterious and exotique.
All that for a run up to a link. Geesh.
Apparently, I'm not the only one collecting bits of the four corners. This young lady (link goes here to the blog - oh, you get it) has been travelling around, visiting nude bathing spots from down under to up top, combining two of my favorite travelling activities. I would offer to travel with here, but alas, my ass would resemble two (if I'm lucky) rain-soaked paper bags, only without the nice tan colour.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Dear Mr. Xxxx;
Although you're likely not the correct individual to contact regarding what follows, I thought I'd like to contact Mead regarding the following text in the description of PaxPro:
"We know that the over-reaching goal is . . . "
To over-reach means to attempt to grasp what's beyond one's likely grasp and to fail, just. I believe the copy would be more correct with the phrase "over-arching."
I hope this is helpful.
Your friend in grammar,
And yes, readers, I know my own writing is odd and stilted in this letter, but perhaps Mr. Xxxx in Sales will laugh this all the way up the ladder until someone says, "You know, he's right. That's wrong." And then they'll fix it, as a multi-billion dollar company should. Shameful. Shameful, indeed.
It's saying, "Tweet this, mofo!"
Mockingbirds copy the songs of other birds and even rusty gates or hinges. Wasn't Rusty Gates a NASCAR driver or a country singer or something? There is a Rusty Gates who's a famous fly fisherman and the proprietor of the Gate Au Sable Lodge in Michigan. Good news is that their lodge is Wi-Fi HOT!!! These birds are found in Michigan, too, it seems, so, maybe they know him.
If you're not right, that doesn't mean you're wrong.
Just because you're not wrong, it doesn't make you right.
I can be right while you are right.
You can be wrong at the same time I'm wrong.
It's all grey, anyway, just because.
I can impose logic to yield a finite result, but then, the set of information with which I choose to work is, by definition of such a process, finite. It's a subset of all reality. A matter of choice is a matter of opinion.
So . . .
Thursday, October 1, 2009
To clarify: the greasy stick of meat was not attached to anything other than a greasy flour tortilla. Mexican holiday it was not.
A phishing attack, for those out of the know, is an e-mail that purports to be legitimate, may appear to have been sent from a legitimate e-mail address and directs the recipient to click on a link contained within the e-mail in order to "re-enter" his "security information" or face "account suspension.
Sigh. People are actually stupid enough to sheepishly react, dutifully click on the link and enter every last bit of personal information requested. Which is why these things keep coming. For me, it's normally something from a bank or institution that's based out West or down South - I'm guessing that the Ukranian mobsters figure this part of our population to be most brain-dead based on their likely sundrenched-ness and overexposure to cranial UV. So, the "alerts" would be coming from scammers posing as Wells Fargo Bank (California), SunTrust (Florida), and even some bank that were shut down by the Fed near the beginning of the year. Odd - I thought they got CNN in Tiblisi.
Today, I received a phishing attack from "Bank or America." Here's what it said:
Dear Account Holder,
It has been reported to our online security team that there has been a false Bank of America message sent to all our customers. And we are now trying to rectify and protect all our online customers account from any unwanted transactions.
We have Programmed our Security and Database systems to alert us When any unauthorised transactions about to take place. We now require of you to register details to our upgraded security system to avoid Your account from being disabled by our security systems.
A confirmation of this will be sent to your residential address after 7 days of registring. We want to asure you that Your account will be safe guarded by our security new systems immidiately you register.
To do this you are required to click on the secure link below to be able to activate your online Security.:
[Bank of America Security Update]
Bank fo America Online Banking
Failure to update your account within 24hrs of notice might lead to account being suspended and online access will be restricted.
What truly puzzles me is this: why do they go to all the trouble of formatting a very nice HTML e-mail and yet, not bother to recruit, or kidnap, as needs may dictate, an English foreign exchange student who just happened to drop in to Novosibirsk for the goat testicle festival (nice turn of phrase - get your tongue around that one) to check the grammar and spelling. Now, I'll grant you, corporate communications are not always correct - I see spelling and grammar errors often on official sites - but it's not all concentrated in a supposedly critical e-mail going out to millions of users. And such e-mails would be vetted by a dozen people in the marketing, management, IT and legal chain, many of whom I'm sure speaka d'Anglish.
Well, if the fact that you had received a odd e-mail with misspellings nad bad grammar didn't tip you off and you desparately clicked on the link to enter your information to "register details to our upgrade security systems", you'd find the massively long web page shown to the left, hosted under a .RU, or Russian, domain. Well, duh!
On the page, you would be prompted to enter every last detail not only of your banking information, but your social security number, phone number, driver's license number, next of kin, mother's maiden name, father's middle name, blood type, last sexual experience - okay, I exagerated on the last two items, but still. Might this not send up a flag or two? Hmm?? as Yoda would prompt. Fill it out not, you will.
As a good citizen and to satisfy my Inner Told-Ya-So Angst, I reported this to the bank. Too late for 71 year-old Millie Tonto of Meyerbrook, Illinois whose grandaughter just finished setting up Granny with a whole new Mac computer that's immune to viruses, so, It Must Be Safe. Yep, some Russian ho's spending poor Mildred's dough right now. As I type this. Now. Right now. Ca-CHING!
The bank immediately sent me two e-mails, one, and automated response and the other, from an actual human being, with contact information and everything. I bet newly-bearded Ken Lewis is gonna miss his team . . . I also looked at the e-mail header to see where the mail was coming from. Usually, it's an unknowing hosting reseller and I suspect that's the case this time, too, but I couldn't help myself. It was a golden opportunity to bitch at some guy in Mumbai. Ooo - more alliteration.
I clicked on the hoster's chat support (my hosting company has the same set-up, exactly - heck, might even be the same guy) and waited for a response from Vanaranapundu, also known as Nathan, in the Support Hosting biz.
I let Nathan know his company was in deep doo-doo. He was non-plussed. I goaded him - he told me it was a support issue. Mind you, I was chatting with Support. I told him he was comitting a crime by aiding and international fraud. Here's a view of the chat window as he made a hasty exit:
Your party has left this session! Hilarious!
So, I e-mailed support at this hhosting "company" who is, I suspect, a reseller. Poor guy. This is what their automated response said:
Thank you for submitting a support request. A summary of your request is below:
Details [Submitted 1-10-2009-07:24 ]
Viewing Key...: wSCTnsIanY
Subject.......: Fwd: 4th Quarter General Update
Registered users may login to track the status of their request : https://support.inmotionhosting.com/cgi-bin/pdesk.cgi?do=track_call&id=412772&key=wSCTnsIanY
Clicking on that link gets you this:
What cha think? Should I register? Share more information with folks that don't have control over their servers, apparently? Just a guess and just an opinion, but I woulld say . . . NOT!
To be fair, hosting services can't really control the accounts they host until AFTER something bad happens. Like imposing a quota on outbound mail to slow the bleed of such an attack. But what I'm really talking about here is PR. If you're going to pretend to be corporate, respond in a corporate way, otherwise, you are now and forevermore low-rent.
And to Mrs. Tonto and the rest of your trusting souls out there, Natasha is taking delivery of a new SL 600 next week and she wanted to say, "SPASIBA!"
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
One of the reasons I feel motivated is that I realize that I miss it. I wa heavily involved in contracts and intellectual property rights when I was in New York. After that went south, I thought that I'd be fine as a civilian for a while, but it just won't work out.
Another reason is my crazy ex-wife who is distressing because, unfortunately, she's a sociopath that's painted a target on my back in part because I choose to participate, to stand up for what's right.
I've gone through the mill with her and spent a bit of time studying civil practice and statute as it relates to divorce and child custody. I don't believe that she's studied, per se, as she's a sociopath and study is beneath her. Instead, as a sociopath, she believes that she's entitled to ask the questions and get the answers. She, too, was involved in contract law in New York. And her contracts were horrible. I fixed them for her boss and that's how we met. And that's how I got into trouble in New York, covering for her. She'll deny it because if indicted, she would have been convicted and would have been deported. What a player.
But that's away from what I started out getting at. I know a few lawyers here in the big NJ and from time to time, I ask questions about what's practical versus what's possible. In theory, anything is possible - I can sue you for anything and for any amount of money, right now. Even if I don't know you, I can find something - I promise. The question is, will the judge dismiss the suit outright? Judges don't like spurious suits and opposing counsel have the right, and often do, ask for sanctions. So, there has to be some basis to go forward but not necessarily to file. It's not so, so easy, but it's easy enough.
Another thing is this - people mistake the practice of law as a means to obtain justice. That's not what it's about at all, unfortunately. Justice is kinda absolute and the law is very finite. So, the results are very finite. Further, your particular problem is unlikely to make it into caselaw, so your attorney will try to press it into one category or the other, for which caselaw and statute already exists. That is, assuming you don't have millions of dollars to spend on representation.
Let's say you did have millions of dollars to spend on representation, though, and Mike the Neighbour doesn't like the fact that you have wild sex parties on the front lawn of your mansion, but the only way he can know about those sex parties is either to have attended himself, assuming he was invited and if he wasn't invited, he was likely trepassing because common law provides basic principles of opertaion though he may have had a lawful purpose in walking on your sex-sweat-covered greenery as may have been permitted by local statute or custom . . . It's already starting to get sticky, and we're not even one sentence in. So, he complains to the homeowner's association and your legal team advises you that he surely does have a case and will likely win a civil suit. They propose an answer, which is filed. Six months pass. A preliminary injunction against your sex parties is appealed, lifted, reimposed and made permanent pending the outcome of the trial. A year passes. In the meantime, you have sued this neighbor for slander, considering your station in the community, that is, you are rich and not an importer of cocaine, citing that the parties were entirely to benefit charity, say Doughnuts for Dum Dums, or whatever and were, in fact, performance art. That reaches interrogatories and several hearings have come and gone on a number of sundry issues, the sundry-er, the better, since it costs Neighbour Mike more moola, time and certainly pressure.
Therein lies the key: pressure. Get the opposition to spend money. This equals pressure. Suggest through legally-effected action, like motions, pleadings, interrogatories and so forth, an uptick in activity. This also equals pressure. If PR or other psychological means are available, use them. Even more pressure. Ain't got nuthin to do with what's right or wrong. It has only to do with getting the other side to a disadvantageous position so that when negotiation begins, maximum leverage is further amplified by the concept that counsel will be walking away at any second along with the client, who, as been shared between us lawyers, is an asshole, anyway. Pressure.
So, in my personal situation, my crazy ex-wife knows how to apply pressure. She is a master at manipulation, insinuation and, of course, outright lying. If she wasn't a total sociopath, she might have made it through law school, might not have practiced without being admitted to the Bar and might have actually been a pretty ballsy attorney, but because sociopaths feel elevated and entitled, there was no real reason for her to finish school and get her license.
Unless you can afford to sustain a legal challenge, settle right from the beginning. Or run away. There are no legal resources for people who earn enough money to buy bread and beer on a weekly basis and for the truly poor, representation is being phoned in by newbie attorneys who are doing pro bono at their firm's requirement for new associates. Too bad, really, as most of these young folks actually still have an interest greater than simply building a practice or getting the partnership.
There are some websites, like LawGuru.com, that let people ask questions and get answers from attorneys who are looking to, you guessed it, build their practice. I developed and posted this question:
"My ex-wife is a sociopath and an alcoholic. She has failed to follow any aspect of the JOD. She constantly sends me annoying, disturbing and sometimes frightening e-mails which are filled with lies. I believe that she wants me to react and rack up big legal fees so that she can countersue for whatever she imagines she can get plus her legal fees. Her goal, she once said while beating me to a bloody pulp before the divorce, was to rip out my heart so that I could watch it beat in her hand while I died and, short of that, to support her every habit and whim even if it meant I had to work three jobs and live on the street. She's incredibly manipulative, so much so that she manipulated her own attorney into fronting 20 grand in fees which she hasn't paid and likely won't. Further, she's a resident alien and has no qualms about taking my kid and heading back to her mosquito-infested country if the going gets felony. Am I better served by getting intensive therapy for myself and just forget my kid ever existed or should I take her down like a pair of dirty knickers?"
I know the answers to these questions and they will be very generic. There is ALWAYS something one can do, but is it worth it? Is it? We'll see.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Fall is just a few days away. Very shortly, we'll be turning back the hands of time. For me, it will likely be the last time.* And so, my thoughts turn to soup.
I don't mean that my cognitive function is in such disarray that my thinking is "soupy." Nor am I referring to that edgy, pushy, angry dude of my youth, Soupy Sales. In actual fact, I herein refer to the wonders of tasty, warm, somewhat salty boiled meats and vegetables whose vital essence has joined together in a cacophonous romp of flavour. Easy to eat and universally wonderful with buttered pumpernickel or rye, soup is, in fact, manna.
I'm guessing that just about anything can go into a soup. When my kid was little, we went to a fall park event that attempted to explain through demonstration how it was exactly that early settlers lived day-to day. We we given local ingredients, like potatoes, apples, rhubard, turnips and cabbage, water, a large cauldron-like pot and an area in which to make a fire. Oh, and we had to cut the wood first. And it was chilly and dank. In other words, it sucked to be an early settler BUT there was soup to look forward to. It took about two hours to make it happen but the result was not too different from micro-zapping a Cambell's Soup For One, except it benefited the many, in this case. And it took two hours - did I mention that? But boy, was that a welcome reward. Warm, tasty, filigrees of flavour wafted over our palates as we downed what could have been our last meal. If we were those immigrant-type people. Which we weren't. So, we went to McDonald's afterwards. Just to round it out, you know?
My mother made some killer soups, my favourite being pickle soup. Please don't laugh. Didn't I just ask you not to laugh? Pickle soup is a Polish thing made with chicken broth, potatos, cream, dill and, obviously, pickles.
Hobo Soup is available on-line from The Vermont Country Store.
*(As I'm considering moving to Venezuela, where Hugo "I Got Yer Dic-tater Ovah Heah" Chavez is sending his country back in time by offsetting the clocks back, but by a half-hour.)
Friday, August 21, 2009
I can't say we were close. She lived in Poland, four thousand miles away from New Jersey. She had come to visit in the 90's and before that again, a bit. I met her first in 1970, when me and my mother trekked across Canada by rail to get to New York to take a plane to Warsaw to then get picked up by my mother's cousin, Mietek, in his blue Skoda 1102 coupe for the drive to Krakow. (Please note the CORRECT Polish spelling is used here for that town name.) I was an irritable little kid who was way overtired when we got to their house in what are now the suburbs of Krakow, but her husband was a gem of a guy and, now I realize, played with me outside while I'm sure the tears flowed between sisters who hadn't seen each other since the middle of World War Eye-Eye.
Their kitchen, oddly, was in the basement, but in a place where air-conditioning would have been a ridiculous luxury only available to Party higher-ups, if at all, it made sense - especially since they had a wood (!) stove. It was very cozy and my Aunt made noodles by hand along with a huge pot of chicken soup made with a recently beheaded pullet from the farm of another one of my Aunts. In fact, they all lived within a few miles of the three-room farmhouse they all grew up in, the house that my grandmother and grandfather, still alive then, occupied. I enjoyed the chicken soup by first exhausting the liquid protein portion, saving the savoried noodles for last. This amused the whole family to no end. It's also a technique I employ to this day.
My Aunt was a kind of seamstress. She had a special sewing machine that she would use to repair silk and nylon stockings. This was behind the Iron Curtain, you have to understand, and ladie's stockings were not only very hard to come by, frequently only available to those who knew somebody who knew somebody who smuggled them in somehow and who would only accept the Almighty Dollar as payment. In fact, for anything desirable or in short supply, dollars greased the wheels of blackmarket commerce.
So, she took in stockings from customers that passed them along to her via word of mouth. What couldn't be easily fixed on the tiny machine with a needle that came out of the top would be fixed by hand, color-matched form spools of silk and nylon thread. She did good work.
She also had a low blood pressure problem, the same as my cousin does now. For this, she drank, I believe what was a concoction which had as a primary ingredient fermented goose fat. This was kept in a jar under the sink. She would unscrew the lid, cigarette in one hand, take a big gulp and then sigh, "Ahhh. Delicious!" in her raspy voice, clearly not meaning it, but it seemed that she made her peace with the fact that Phizer wasn't going to be delivering a more suitable remedy anytime soon.
When she visited the States much later, she worked for a month or so. This was the thing to do besides sight-see and she got a gig cleaning houses. Then she went back. I was busy working in my business and saw very little of her, maybe one or three dinners.
As my older relatives disappear, one by one, I recollect that I've had to endure very little death in my lifetime. One cousing was killed by a drunk driver just on her graduation from law school, another died of cervical cancer, a very old great-aunt passed away when I was eight or so, and my grand-parents, again when I was young, in the case of the Canadian side or when I was in my teens for the Polish grandparents. My father, uncles and aunt on my father's side still live and breath and do three Aunts and an Uncle on my mother's side. But they're all very, very old and reside in the Death Zone of human lifespan. I get the sense that they will all die nearly at once.
And then, when these benevolent and largely transparent people have shuffled off their mortal coils, what's left? My brother is in his sixties and hates me because, I have been told, I was born after him. Yeah, I know - that's another story in of itself. My daughter will be marching off into the sunrise of adulthood, where I will occupy a smaller and smaller section of her rear-view. My cousins in Poland barely know my name and same here. I haven't spoken to my Canadian cousins in eons (except for one, recently, too. Ha! There is hope!)
Therefore, in light of the rapidly advancing and likely demise of all I am and all I know, I must renew myself and start again. I must take a wife, one who will till the land by my side, who will feed the young borne of her loins, one who will kept the hearth alight. Preferably someone who can make chicken soup and tasty noodles by hand. In honor of my Aunt and all Aunties across the globe, the ones who are just like Mom, only a tad bit closer to the wild side.
(Picture left: Mollie Jenson)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I'm a hundred and three years old today. I was the first official retoucher for the United States Armed Forces. I can confirm that this photograph was created from a single soldier who was dragged from the brig early one morning after having been scooped up on a drunk sweep by MPs the night before. Using Photoshop 0.00000001 on my steam-powered Appleseed computer, which was portable, by the way, brought in on a twenty-six car freight train to Fort Benning, I cloned the image of that single soldier into the fantastic "photo" you see here. Originally, Morris wanted to carve the "troops" out of soap and coal, but that didn't work out. There you have it. Sorry for the seven decades of deception.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
That's Falcor the Luck Dragon being ridden by, you guessed it, JFC. I happened upon this about a year ago whilst using StumbleUpon and couldn't find it again until just now. I do not know who the artist is, but I would love to find out. Have a blessed day.
I was a alt-punk rocker, mostly, so MJ was anathema mainstream and frankly, annoying. Farrah, though, had wonderful nipples. I'm listening to the Beeb at the moment and so far, all of the press is on the late Mr. Jackson. My recollection is that Mikey wanted to be Popsicle-ized a la Walt Disney, presumably to be unfreezed when face-transplant surgery is a perfected technique. There has been no coverage on the possible preservation of Ms. Fawcett's twin stiffies.
I supposed this is the way it will be. Pretty soon, Mick, Rick, Tim, Tom, Randy, Demi, Sally, heck, the whole darn crew, will be heading off to the Pearly Gates for inception into the Eternal Hall of Fame. And with any luck, I'll be at the end of the line, behind the celestial velvet rope. Allah, Buddha, Yaweh, et al, willing.
(Image credit: Del Monte, Splash News)
I know that if I croaked this coming Friday night, no one would miss me until at least Tuesday when my boss would tell someone that I didn't show up for work two days in a row and someone else would suggest that they call a hospital or two and getting no result, someone else would suggest calling the police, who wouldn't have cause to break the door down, unless it had been really warm over the weekend and they could smell my rotting corpse through the only open window in my apartment while noting that my cars were indeed in the driveway, so they would call the DA who would tell them to wait until tomorrow and try again at which point, after a hectic Wednesday calendar at the Sussex County Courthouse nailing petty thieves and speeders, he would ask the Judge to issue a warrant which he would grant and they would come back to the place and break down the door and find me seeping and bloated on the kitchen floor.
I have no cat, so my face would be intact.
No, I'd rather buy the farm with someone in attendance, thank you, and not just anyone, but someone who would make sure that they toast me up rather than set me down in a dirt tomb for all eternity or until the sun exploded. I'd rather know that there was someone waiting for me, someone who would miss me when I was missing, someone who would make sure that the right things happened when I couldn't make sure for myself, someone I would kill for, someone I would die for. That's all I want. Maybe it's too much to ask.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I had high hopes for this week. I pledged to take one day away from my Bloomberg terminal to just lie on a beach. I really need to reorganize my perceptions. It occurred to me this morning that I could have flown somewhere else, but, in truth, I don't feel like it. I just want to hang around here. Sigh.
It would be nice to have someone keep me company. There's the gardener outside right now - maybe I'll ask him in. No, wait, that's gay. It's the middle of the day, so everybody else is working. I could go to the VFW and hang out with the old guys, but then I'd feel old. I can't shop anymore - I only want another pair of shoes, but I don't feel motivated to go get them. Hmph.
Maybe I'll go get a bicycle and take a ride. It's been a long time since I did that and I always like the feeling of the wind against my face with the world sliding past my periphery in a green and gray blur.
Or maybe I'll just sit here, watch a movie. play on my Playstation or get drunk.
No - too sad. I got it! A hooker! I've never had a hooker! No, that's disgusting plus there's no reason to spoil a perfect record. I've never been to a strip joint, er, excuse me, gentlemen's club, either.
It's all busywork. And that's because I'm doing it without you. Baby, come back to me . . .
There's no one so clever as you, so adept at making me laugh, especially when you laugh. Your eyes pierce to the center of my soul like the owl in the Tootsie Pop ad from god-knows-how-many-years ago. The way you command your domain triggers admiration. Your nurturing soul always set to surprise.
So, are you coming over? No? Oh, well. Can't have everything.
"Here's a fictional news story we'd all like to see:
"The top business story of the day is Citigroup's astounding comeback
from near-bankruptcy last year with single-share prices topping a record-
breaking $71.80 a share, even after the eightfold stock split in late
2009. Citigroup's Pandit said in an interview, "I had told Congress
that I 'got the new reality' and it's apparent that this clarity has
helped me guide the company to its current global finance dominance."
In fact, after Citigroup's surprise acquisition of the-then Bank of
America, now known as CitiAmerica, along with the Wells Fargo and JP
Morgan mergers, it was thought the bank was treading in dangerous
waters. Instead, through the revolutionary move to purchase China
early this year so that Citigroup could be its own country, Citigroup
has become widely respected as history's most stable banking firm and now,
country, ChinaGroup. "Needless to say," said Pandit, "our next move
will be total domination of all world markets and then, all I can say
is, we'll see. We're still interested in acquiring the Unified Korea and Japan,
of course. We don't expect much resistance as they will be
assimilated" Prices for the equity, stock symbol C, are up 26% in after-hours
and the subsequent post, likelier than not, in this forum:
"Hey - any of you guys think it's going to break $80 already? Geez."
That's all I got. Come see me if you're in the neighborhood. That is, if security lets you in.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Unfortunately, I have been given to the wide-eyed innocence of my age and upbringing by peasant parents who knew that the details I should possess were betond my schoolyard training. I don't blame them. Finally, though, I think I have an inkling.
My long-standing interaction with a particular person who shall remain unnamed is the proof of my first experiment with not believing all that I read, so to speak. Instead, I had finally, painfully accepted that I had lost the battle but might still be able to gain some experience with returning the same manipulation the like of which I had been subjected.
I still believe it's wrong and it hurts to play the game because it's not really me, but it doesn't matter. One MUST play the game, even when the opponent claims her own brand of purported innocence.
We have all heard, and I learned in school, that ignorance of the law is no excuse. So, here, the rules are the same. Played or be played. It's disgusting, but one must embrace that disgust to arrive victorious.
I yearn for a simple set of truths but apparently, such tablets are not descending into my arms from the mount. Again, I regret it and loathe it on every level, but such is the game.
I will play it. I have played it with you. But not any more. Any hint, and I will use my excessive IQ to plan you into emotional oblivion.
That's life. ANd yes, it pisses me off, but you don't care. You have an agenda and you will follow it because you must, because you know nothing else.
I could tell you it's wrong, that you're wrong, but you're hard-wired to mistrust everyone, including yourself. I can't help you. Sorry.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
The microcosm is more grim, depending on your flava. It might include chronic disease, doubt and that old standby, death. Money and the things it buys may be dwindling or absent, if you lost your job, your spouse or your reason. Hopefully, no matter how bad things get, you may be in denial.
It's a powerful protective feature. Deny that your body really isn't ready to run that marathon and you might make it to the finish line. Heck, you might even win. Of course, you might die on the last hill, too. You can't know anything but that you want to reach the goal and denial of possibilities and probabilities will help make that happen.
If you're a Mother, you are clearly posessed of this skill. Without it, you will go insane. So, your child or children will be healthy, grow up, learn and be successful in life and love, and all will be well with the world. The reality of untimely mortality, car crashes and myriad bad choices is not an option. You, as a mother, lack the sober objectivity needed to effectively build scenarios.
To be continued . . .
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
If you trade on volatility alone, then the fundamentals don't matter as much but the technical indicators do and you have to understand them in order to make your moves. Otherwise, if you buy at $4 and sell at $4.20, that's a 5% gain. If you're gaining that each week, that's pretty darn good at many multiples of what you'd otherwise get in a "safe" investment like a bank CD.
I generally trade on volatility and average 10% a month profit on my pot. That's pretty fantastic, I think. I surely don't plan to quit my day job, but this "crashed" market has been a real boon for me. There are certain issues that trade within a very specific range and allow seemingly endless turnover. Those are my daily trades. There are some very speculative issues where two have paid off hugely (NCX is one of them.) C is the ONLY issue that I'm long in because I don't think it has reached its sell point for the near-term, which I would make around $5.20. And yes, I've taken profit and bought back in. And, no, I won't hold it for a year simply because a one penny dividend and a rise from $5 to $10 is ridiculous compared to what I can make churning that cash value during the same period.
One needs to know where one stands. When I started trading actively by my lonesome, I picked issues that I really couldn't afford, like Apple and Heinz. The numbers one has to hold to benefit from the fluctuations are not for the sub-$100K investor where is what I was when I started. But I did some studying, learned what I needed to, and developed a strategy for each issue I bought. Eventually, I had my own little system in place that was unsophisticated and it works. To date, I have not lost money on a trade. Oh, I may have broke even, but I have yet to lose money. And I've made what I think is a lot of money.
No, I'm not related to Bernie Madoff. What I do follow religiously is the rules of the marketplace as a contrarian. And I don't react, ever. Markets go up and down - that's what's supposed to happen. So, when C first tanked this year, I waited and waited and waited until it started sliding sideways and stepped in and out from around $1.50 on up, like paddling a canoe. I figured the valuation, discounted, would have me stop at around $3.00, which is what I did. With the recent bump-ups, I was tempted, but I had a rule to follow, and I kept to it, selling when the pendulum swung above a certain range and buying back when it went the other way.
In my gut, I felt that C was the "worst" of the bunch and that okay news on a Friday, of all days, would do nothing for it. Still, I had my range. The bottom was never reached and neither was the top, so what's a ten percent downswing in one day compared to the gains of the last month? A correction? Isn't the risk of commercial and retail credit defaults and a fer-sure recession putting downward pressure on Citi? Of course it is. But good times are being had by all. Maybe it's time for a reality check.
It's frustrating to not wake up with an extra fifty grand in your account, but that's life. So, if you bought at $3.50 or whatever, you might not be a millionaire, but you made money, and that's a good thing. Will C reach my target of $5.20? Sure, it will. Will it reach it in the time frame I want it to? Maybe, maybe not. Heck, I would have wanted it to reach $5.20 ten minutes after I bought my first shares at $1.50 - didn't happen. The super-fat, genie-inspired, pot-o-gold happened to me just once and is not likely to happen again.
Why? Because that event was sheer, dumb luck. There's actual work involved in making smart trades. Reading, research, thinking, being attuned to events and having a fundamental understanding of business and economics are all important factors. But it sure beats digging ditches. Or scheduling freight.
People ask me for tips after I tell them why I'm quizzing them about their feelings on the job market, cost of living and other such general stuff-of-life. I smile and break out this old chestnut, "Don't bet on the horses."
Investing in an equity that's not doing anything for you and then griping about it is like being in a bad job and gripping about it. Make a change. Are you in profit? No? wait till you are and sell out. Doesn't matter if it's ten bucks. Maybe leave some in so that you don't feel like an ass when it shoots up to a gazillion, Because the time you waste peering at 30 cent swings costs you money. It's time better spent ferreting out worthwhile issues. They're out there - go get 'em.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Reality-Me say, "You're a moron. People don't stop doing stuff because you 'show them the light.' They're inherently bad and what's more, they like f*cking with you, which is why they keep doing it. Are you truly stupid?" Whole-Me shuffles my feet, thrusts my hands in my pockets and mumbles, "I no know . . . " Weakness-Me tells me to give them another shot, because it's Whole-Me's fault, after all and that we owe it to them.
But F*ck-You-Me steps in to save the day, to wit: "What you on about? Thems bitches f*cked up yo sh*t and you goin' back fo' mo'? I kick yo' crazy-ass cracka-ass ass, you stupid m8therhumpa!"
Gotta keep that pimp-hand strong. Thank you, Daddy: may I have another?
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I don't think I can live without you
And I know that I never will
Oh my baby, baby . . . I want you so it scares me to death
I can't say anymore than I love you
Everything else is a waste of breath . . .
I want you
You've had your fun, you don't get well no more
I want you
Your fingernails go dragging down the wall
Be careful darling, you might fall . . .
I want you
I woke up and one of us was crying
I want you
You said, "Young man, I do believe you're dying . . ."
I want you
If you need a second opinion, as you seem to do these days
You can look in my eyes and you can count the ways
I want you
Did you mean to tell me but seem to forget
I want you
Since when were you so generous and inarticulate
I want you
It's the stupid details that my heart is breaking for
It's the way your shoulders shake and what they re shaking for
It's knowing that he knows you now after only guessing
I want you
It's the thought of him undressing you or you undressing
I want you
He tossed some tatty compliment your way
I want you
And you were fool enough to love it when he said
I want you
I want you
The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark
It scares you witless
But in time you see things clear and stark
I want you
Go on and hurt me then we'll let it drop
I want you
I'm afraid I wont know where to stop
I want you
I'm not ashamed to say I cried for you
I want you
I want to know the things you did that we do too
I want you
I want to hear he pleases you more than I do
I want you
I might as well be useless for all it means to you
I want you
Did you call his name out as he held you down
I want you
Oh, no, my darling, not with that clown . . .
I want you
You've had your fun you don't get, well, no more
I want you
No-one who wants you could want you more
I want you
Every night when I go off to bed and when I wake up
I want you
I want you
I'm going to say it once again 'til I instill it
I know I'm going to feel this way until you kill it
I want you
I want you
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tomorrow, I will be fifty. I am not pregnant. I am not in menopause. I am in man-o-pause, though.
My daughter says to her "boyfriend," as I overhear it, "I don't want to totally gyp you of my awesomeness, but I kinda want to hang out with my Dad a little bit more."
I echo that sentiment. I don't want to be deleted. Get more space on your memory card if you need to, but please don't delete me. I know I won't be deleting you.