03-03-14Dear diary, I have a confession to make; might as well make it a public thing. Take a nip off of your drinks readers and prepare for something twisted. It has to do with my listening habits in the car during my commute time this season. Last season I listened to Howard on my Sirius radio for 10 months straight. He started to kind of bother me with a sort of series of bitchy, prudish anti drinking hogwash spiels though. I found myself in January going from channel to channel in search of some sort of distracting dialogue.
Where did I find it? Holy shit friends and neighbors, I'm hooked to frigging Dr. Laura!! For real. Now as someone seeking refuge from a show that was getting too preachy about drinking, you may be asking why in the hell I'd wind up listening to that old prune-bag. First off, bear in mind I listen mostly for distraction and not entertainment. I listen to cd's and music channels on Sirius frequently, but it can get repetitive in its way, you can get in a rut listening to even the best music. Also, remember now I don't listen to or read things just to agree with the slant taken. When traveling we listen to just about any talkhost we can tune in. Those of you who are afraid that the hosts you hate might win you over are fucking wimps in our view. Pew!!! You partisan monkey see monkey do cowards would hate riding with with us.
We'll listen to the whole range, from NPR to Limbaugh, from Michael Savage to what have you. So, maybe you can dig why I wound up listening to Dr. Laura in the first place. Did you know there was a suit involving her and Howard many years ago? Go look it up, that's yer homework. Dr. Laura does 2 things that really amuse me. 1) Some callers get about 5 seconds into explaining their situation and she shouts them down, demanding that they do something drastic like file papers for divorce based only on that little preliminary data!? Huh. If they ask for further clarification she sometimes hangs up on them saying she's not going to repeat herself. It makes me laugh, whether she's just providing entertainment by being such a witch or whether she's really crackers. 2) She drives me ape, thus keeping me awake and engaged with some of her snap judgments concerning her phone in callers. Somebody will call in and start explaining their troubles in a way she doesn't like and she'll start badgering them to say something in a certain way, to assume some tone of voice that will please her, to repeat one of her clichés for example ("I am my kids Mom!").
It's easy for me to get a chuckle at some radio shrink, I am incapable of taking advice from any sort of therapist or psychologist or member of the clergy. I've never found any sort of human source of advice or religion or head-shrinking that could convince me for 2 minutes throughout my life. I'm immune from it. So, I can play with it and have fun and kill some time. I can only listen to so much goddamn music in a day or a week. Go ahead and give her show a try if you're sick of Howard; just don't start listening to her advice seriously, it's ok maybe half of the time and completely bonkers the rest of the hour. UUrrp.
This diary is going to receive an update in the near future, if that has any credibility anymore with any of you. The current problem is a snafu with our current server. We're going to maintain this address and switch to a more user friendly soft wear I can access from our pc's instead of a crusty old mac. It may not seem like it, but it kills me at times to see this diary neglected. We have a way around here of sparking back up things that have died down to dull embers. Bad junior high school level analogy, eh?
My work season has started again, at the job I can't write about, which you may contact me personally to discuss. I can relate that last year was my most prosperous as a wage earner, even though it is rather disappointing from the standpoint of the upper middle class, like most of your daily gigs as providers. I'm sure I draw mostly bad seeds and bad providers here, with some notable exceptions. It is a very, very brainy computer job which hopefully will keep my noggin humming to stave off dementia. When I'm at work I need to think nice thoughts to keep myself productive. I can't exactly do the Sunday NY Times crossword on my breaks. I sometimes do a few chess problems when a tournament is approaching. Mostly I focus on those twin demon subjects I restrict myself from dwelling on here, the cats and my cute, gifted Grandson. Either are very fun for me to relate about to others in detail, but are just too easy.
Yes, I am guilty of gazing at pictures of the cats and Hank at work, what a clod am I? What a soft, flabby wimp of a man, shouldn't I be planning an assault on our lawn like most folks my age of both sexes? I may be getting sort of normal in some ways with age, but in others you may relax and know my stubbornness and honest boredom keep me from slipping. I haven't the slightest interest in the most exotic shrub. I consider the $$$ we pay to a yard service to mow our grass one of our expenditures almost as necessary as things like bread, milk and television.
Yeah, I've read a few mainstream suspense books from the best seller list determined by normal humanoids, but you won't catch me doing anything in our backyard after work or before but swimming, drinking or loafing. You likewise won't catch me yakking over the fence with neighbors; I'm still proud to say I have avoided their polite waves on occasion. I'm good at pretending I don't see them, faking ignorance or obliviousness, but you all know I'm like a tiger when I walk out of doors, tuned in to vibrations and jungle jive. Yeah, house with a pool and a job commute, you'd think I'm finally morphing into Ward Cleaver, hah! I work nightshift and dress as casually as most of you when taking your trash to the city dump or doing the yardwork I despise. I listen to classical music sometimes on headphones while actually working, but it's stuff like Venom and Radio Birdman and the Stranglers and Sirius underground garage while commuting.
Yeah, I'm a proud Grandpa, but I'm nothing like yours! I might be your parents age, but that's where the resemblance ends. No, I don't consider myself superior to them, just one of the wackiest blends of political thoughts and social mores they will ever encounter. I'm a lone wolf most days of my life, even at chess events. I do come home to the guys, the cats. They are rarely too busy to wake up and follow me around the house. I really enjoy their wacky, demented relationship. Ass licking for affection, followed by fur ripping fights. I get along good with my Grandson. He's known who I am for a long time already. I don't seem to creep him out. When I visit his home he leads me by hand into his room to display his latest endeavor and kick, be it violent bowling with plastic pins or baseball gyrations, done with strength and promise. I love it when he starts dancing spontaneously to something he see's or hears. I can't write about it, it would kill this diary. Even cool thoughts such as how it would be dandy to survive to shoot pool with him and his Dad in a bar ( my goal as a Father which I attained ). It's not that far off, I think about it and have his picture posing with me at work in a prominent place, but need to focus on other stuff here. I've made that point here; I do so every couple years. Yes, I am guilty of a work ethic and a love of heavy history biography's that are difficult to hold up to read after an 8 hour tango with a computer and I love my kitty's and would vomit if forced to watch football or any college sport with your male relatives and they in turn would heave if they had to listen to the sick, vile music I commute to. There are a jillion Grandkid friendly blogs to be found. This won't be turning into one, although I don't mind revealing my sweet side occasionally.
I haven't had much of a chess tournament here at the North American Open in vegas. We've had a great time and all, but the chess games were fun and worthy but the results didn't swing my way much. I have to record for posterity the doings in the last round. I wound up paired with another 9 year old. No big deal anymore.
Over the years I've had to face the question of quitting the game or blotting the little trolls out of my mind at the board. My results have improved against the 8-14 year olds. The thing that burns me a bit still about them is the fact that whereas they always have supportive family folks with them and without exception a hired trainer chess wise, I've never been able to afford a lesson in my life. My Frau helps a great deal in many ways, but it's just different having a staff of people waiting on you and your lovable spouse. My opponent on this occasion was backed by a mother, father and indeed a chess coach.
Some of the kids barely talk to me, but this kid was extroverted as hell. After the taking of the usual exploitation "beauty vs. beast" pic, we got the game started. You don't need to know even the rules of chess to follow this, but be aware of the fact that you can either win, lose or draw a game. The kid kept bashing out his pieces with sound effects, superfast, imitating some silly jive from chess movies like searching for bobby fischer. In 99 percent of games between adults play is polite and quiet. Silence is mandatory in the playing hall; shit 700 people or so played at a time.
My troubles began when I sacrificed a little bitty pawn in the opening to circumvent any notions of his attacking my king. We went into an endgame with him that slight bit of material ahead, which is serious enough amongst players our level, but considering how he was clearly impatient and wanted to get it over fast I chose to slow things down and bore him to death. That's a common adult vs. kid strategy. It's worked for me sometimes in the past. Gradually material disappeared from the board. As the game progressed the boy kept trying to psych me with a routine of noises. Slamming pieces down, chattering to himself and slowly unscrewing the lid to a Gatoraide bottle and then gulping it loudly. This behavior is really pretty rare. I don't know who is responsible for the kid being so unsportsmanlike. If I had wanted to I could have talked to a tournament official about him, but shit. It would look like sour grapes a big boy like me a goddamn monster being so sensitive about an "innocent" little brat.
I took 3 significant breaks from the board to try to bore him, but still couldn't make up that dangerous pawn down difference. After my last little walk away from the board I resolved to just be a sportsman and try my best to provide dangerous opposition and lose if I must. You know, I may be a creep and hang out with the dregs of society, but I'm a real square Joe when it comes to chess, an ambassador for the goddamn game.
The kid kept acting as cocky as any player I've ever faced in my lengthy almost lifelong career. He was sure as shit he was gonna put me away. I kept thinking my moves over carefully, still poised for a mistake. He was frequently still making instant moves which is a bad move, even for damn strong masters. We arrived at the last phase of the game with just our kings and a few pawns left, he had 5 and I had 4. Finally, the little bastard cracked. 3 of his pawns faced 2 of mine and needed to over power them, but he arranged them in a moronic, cocky and thoughtless way, knotting up the board.
We were left with kings facing each other chasing each other back and forth unable to make any progress. Suddenly, the kids cockyness disappeared. He stared a the board for 10 minutes his expression one of shock and awe. We moved our kings back and forth a couple more times, but it was obvious to both of us that the game was going to be a draw. Falling etiquette norms I offered him a draw, which he fucking had the gall to refuse! I waited at the board gazing now and then at the games on either side of us. What the hell was he going to do? If he did anything other than accept the draw he would now lose thanks to my veteran savy and stubborn willingness to persevere.
Suddenly, he started goddamn crying!!! 30 seconds later, he was still sobbing. 3 minutes of crying and he was annoying the other players a bit, embarassing them, but still he kept at it. I timed him with our chess clock and he cried for a full 8 minutes!! Finally he stuck his hand out and we officially drew the game. His help squad stood near mutely. I called my son El about it later. This was a bizarre but very memorable game. I not only saved myself from a defeat, but I'm damn sure I'll save more over the coming years using this game as a mental prod. UUrrrppp. Fuck!! Crying for 8 minutes in the tournament hall?!?!? I cried as a kid over my first adult tournament losses, but outdoors a block away. Shit. Elvis thinks it's possible this might be a case where the kid might learn a lesson and come up to me at some event down the road in coming years to apologize. We'll see.
I have a real short fuse these days when it comes to those eager communications experts who think that their buzzword oriented lingo has some sort of actual value. Yunno, all the catch phrases that a minority of office workers actually in practice use. Remember "let's network" and "do the math" and my favorite "throwing somebody under the bus". Ok, I know there are at least a couple of my valued relations with communicatons degrees, but I can't hold back even out of respect to them. Ever had anybody walk up to you and just hock a wad of spit in yer face? That's what I feel like when some jackass "human resources" type at work ( not my current job ) sends a communication to a large group of workers loaded with phrases that harken me back to the ordeal I had to survive to get my degree, a Communications 101 class. It was all talk about talk; content mattered not..and the kids in the class sucked that shit up like it really matters.
The truth is, it does matter if you work for some trendy dot com employer or maybe a public relations firm or ad agency. Most jobs use traditional language, period. Why don't these fucks ever mention this? Offices are ruled by people many years out of school for the most part. The communicunts ( my new buzzword! ) assume that life imitates college..huh!! Balls to that. The trendy little pieces on Yahoo.com and other forums of mass idiocy would have you think that the key to having a great career is having some young and hip and cool job. Fact is, once you're past 30 or so you look ridiculous using juvenile, trendy buzzwords. What positive purposes has all this bullshit talk about talk been used for?
The only uses the chic words and phrases I have experienced have been words used to shut down somebody who is making some good solid demands of bosses. "Take a deep breath" they say as the employee pounds his fist harmlessly on the table to point out a way in which he (or she!) is getting screwed, or a way management has been fucking things up. If they have their way, you can be making brilliant points they should be paying heed to, but they will just shush you with jargon about "anger issues" or a need for multi-clusterfuck dialogue. Communicunts work as public relations experts for politicians; this is the breed of puke who conducts study's to see which words offend potential voters so they can purify some lying career politico's spiels. What a noble cause, eh? This is what we need less of.
One of the communications mantra's is a need for straight talk, plain language, but they spring on the unsuspecting a trendy system of baloney and buzzwords they've never heard to eliminate just that. When I hear of some well intentioned relative obtaining a degree in this b.s. I get a pain in my gut. They've been coached and brainwashed into thinking the world is like that out there, 20 somethings using college-speak. Well, it's no coincidence that some of the communicunts I have known over the years have wound up going to D.C. as "interns" (another bs term referred to young fools conned into working for free). Risk Management units for corporations will hire them and of course those super ethical lobbying groups.
Of course these kids won't listen to your horror story's if you try to wise them up. I don't meddle, only sniff around the situation. Incidentally, a close relative of mine teaches high school Comm 101 classes occasionally. Happily there is a world of difference. Plenty of the younger kids have trouble with even the very basic shit we all actually should know about communicating, looking a job interviewer in the eye, reading the nonverbal message you get from a date's father glaring at you with hands folded across his chest. The simple framework of the subject is ok, it's just been bastardized horribly by p.c. types since the 60's hippie generation came into power. As a master salesman and an attendee at evangelical sermons for most of my childhood I can guarantee you I know how to communicate effectively as they say. As a graduate myself in the field of History I can cite 2 groovy governments from the 20th century that likewise bent over backwards to develop new words and phrases "for the people"; 1) Nazi Germany and 2) the Soviet Union from Lenin and Trotsky right up to the end. Both regimes would attempt to deal with angry populaces by creating alleged programs with catchy titles to pretend to solve problems that caused millions to starve or rat out their neighbors. Communicunts can kiss thee Whiskey Rebel's ass!!!
First off, let me remind you all that I'm a serious capitalist. I'm critical of some of the obsessive behavior of humanoids out there in this entry, but I'm not suggesting we establish more laws to try to downplay the collective insanity of a percentage of fellow species members here in the USA. It's about midnight between Thanksgiving and black Friday and the ugly retail behavior is already being reported. My Frau and I both have retail experience dating back to the 70's.
We agree that even though the media is able to make it seem like crowds and deals are hitting some sort of new heights, honestly they warned me about morons in 1975 at my first retail "black Friday" at Sears. More people than usual gathered out in front of the doors of our mall store. The mood of the folks who were in to collect the big savings on advertised specials were of two mindsets. About half were giddy and happy; the other half seemed dragged there by spouses or cynical and crabby.
My last retail job was at Tower records in Philly. The hysteria was ramped up a notch or two, but not fundamentally different. I've given the question of "who the hell camps out or gets there early to stores for black Friday" a great deal of thought. I think the whole deal is cooked up by the stores to try to get attention, try to get the early $$$ early shoppers with little else to do in their lives have to spend. If you have the time on your hands to try to save a few bucks, more power to you.
If you're camping out in the parking lot, whoah! You've crossed the line. I'm not surprised if 1) you trample old farts in your path when the doors open 2) the deals and savings don't materialize and you freak out 3) you wind up getting bait and switched into buying other goods, which the retail pro's are convinced they can con most of you into doing. FINE!! I love capitalism. Don't pass laws to keep stores closed. Regardless of what you hear about labor laws and holidays and compensation for retail workers, it's probably wrong. Retail pay laws differ from State to State. If a retailer wants you to work a holiday, you're gonnna...or find a new job, or maybe not get it in the first place if you seem picky about working those days in your interview.
I don't think that's so bad. I've been there over the years working for many retailers and I can guaran-damn-tee you that poor beleagured walmart employees have it one helluva lot better than the huge number of folks working for mom and pop stores who have less rules to follow and nobody to put the spotlight on their slavedriver practices. The attention gets put on the "big box" stores by union advocates. What do they care about mom and pop screwing their handful of employees? They need to garner media attention and raise hell at large employers. Hey, I belong to a union and wear the T-shirts at work to advertise it, but I always feared the idea of the retailers I worked for going union. I was a really, really great retail salesman. I made bucketloads of commision sales. Unions would have just made my talents benefit the lazy fucks who couldn't sell shit. If I get a job at a coalmine or picking fruit, I'll hope there's a union to protect me and join it. Retail unions are for the weak.
Anywho, back to black Friday. I'm a better person for having worked retail jobs on hysterical days. All this stewing over evil retailers ruining holidays is just a load of spew. If your family's thanksgiving table was minus a couple of thrill seekers who think they have the time to kill in front of some store for days, or have more reasonable folks who leave the family day early to take position at the malldoors at 4:00 am, well so be it. It's probably not that much fucking fun being around most of y'alls relatives to be truthful. It just means there's more food for the rest of you and that the tongue waggers in your clan can start gossiping about the ones not there sooner!
It's a whole lot of hubbub and flim flam about nothing new in my book. The only things I'd consider doing on a bellyfull of turkey is seeing a great musical act (we've seen Wayne Hancock a couple times on T-giving night) or more likely attending a wrestling card. That I completely endorse! Since when does anybody really, truly give a flying fuck about the rights and comforts of retail workers? Nobody ever came to my rescue when I worked for the shittiest retailer in the world for 3 damn years! Yeah, the Shack. If you don't know about that, plug plug. It's time to order my book "Jobjumper" where 25 years of my shitty jobs are covered in depth. Hey! That's my own crass commercialism at work. Turning a free as air diary entry into a book plug. Urrpppp.
11-16-13You know, working in a cubicle isn't that different from the bittersweet way it's depicted in certain films and commercials. I make a habit of not watching shows that seem to have cheery, non realistic office workers as charachters. Speaking from experience I can attest to the fact that they are jolly on days where they bring food in for a potluck and before long weekends, but most of the time it's just people toiling.
I can't write about my current job, but I can point out that I have to deal with problems even Mike Judge isn't aware of. On a daily basis, I have to deal with normal gas emission from my ass. Now, I only eat a solid meal once per day during my work season and supplement that with cookie bars and juice and vitamins. I don't eat bean burritos from taco hell or pickled eggs. Still, even though I intake bland food and have very little gas I'm only human and as a species when we need need to fart, it backs up in us. Where in the hell are you supposed to break wind in a work area with no excess space?
The bathrooms are all a long walk away. If you've got real nerve I suppose you just let it fly sitting in your desk chair, but Damn; what if somebody chooses that moment to come to your cubicle for a talk about your performance or a fund to replace somebody's hail damaged trailer? In my sordid past as a wreckless youth I'd brazenly fart in my cubicle and in elevators, but the new mature and responsible me can't do it. I periodically go to the goddamn mens room or hold it in for a break outdoors, whereupon I fart like I'm in a Howard Stern contest.
I'm also aware of the potential humiliation I'd feel if I was caught seriously picking my nose by a manager or co-worker. I have no idea what others do, but my bougars just accumulate usually until I'm driving home. I'm lucky that traffic is light when I drive home past midnight. I can pick like mad and drive with one hand. My problems are greatly reduced as an office worker being employed where I can wear almost anything and I don't have to shave or have some trendy hair-do.
I just buy a shitload of black sweat pants at the fatguy store and usually buy plain black T-shirts. I never cut the sleeves off of these office job T's. I could, but don't. Just in case I rip the ass open in the middle of a shift and just in case somebody hurls on me or we're caught in a diarhea rain I have a bag in my trunk with a complete change of clothing and a traveler of Beam in case I wind up in a hotel due to inclement weather. These pre-cautions enable me to focus entirely on my damn work. UUrrppp. The end.
For a goddamn long time I've been annoyed by the litigation happy nature of humanoids here in our fair land. I've been in favor of serious tort reform. It sickens me that troubles in schoolyards and bars that used to be decided by a direct trip to fist-city must be dragged out in courtrooms and prevailed over by p.c. attorneys and sleazy, judges. It is what I call the alibi-syndrome. It has become automatic to have yer excuse ready at work, home and in public places. The most obvious place we see this enacted is in the white house press room. Doesn't it seem strange to anybody but me the fact that the president not only has a staff lead by a spokesperson to spew out excuses for him, but that we the taxpayers foot the bill?
The 2 party political game has already almost destroyed our country, this alibi crap where no one will accept the blame they deserve without a fucking fight is finishing us off. The humiliating national press agent excuse routine has trickled down to the State and local level.
It's considered by fans of politics and parties as legit; I saw bull fucking shit!! All of you peckerheads think it's some sort of game, nodding in acceptance when it's one of your sides jackasses having excuses expressed on his or her behalf and predictably working up a livid attiytude when it's the other side. Our country is in big, big fucking trouble. No amount of good intentions, good will, hugs and feel good drivel will fix it. No reference to the founding Fathers or quote from the bible will mend the damage. Unless they quit with the damn excuses and start facing up to failures as a party or office holder, we're going down the crapper.
It's spread to the point where alibi's are second nature after some son of a bitch pulls some stupid act that should get them tossed out of school or fired or jailed. All they need is some paid mouthpiece ambulance chaser whining about their sad childhood, or their lack of lunchmoney. When cause oriented creeps are caught bending laws or burning the othersides offices down or spreading exaggerations and truths deliberately, if you get caught trying to levy your opinion and cause on the rest of us, you'll have an excuse, acceptable to too many. If some boss is caught double dealing some employees or applicants, some excuse will be offered rather than the asshole stepping up and taking his goddamn medicine. Have you ever heard a boss apologize and take the blame, as being the one at the top and therefore responsible? It's an outmoded concept. It used to be common, but has become rare. Always being ready to "cover your ass" is a workplace mantra. Right? Nothing gets fixed anymore.
Fat people have excuses for their eating. Built-in. Employees who do a shitty job aren't terminated; they plead "nobody told me!" and are kept in positions they can't handle, causing businesses to suffer who provide things like air travel and food for us. On a recent trip, myself and 50 others were stranded in a strange city far, far from home by absolute bullshit procedures and red tape. They all were handy with their alibi's and therefore immune to any re-education and spared any responsibility or discipline or training. Nobody would fucking take responsibility and stand up or even meet our gazes when we needed help. Whether you love or hate Ayn Rand's work (I love and hate portions) you have to admit the society she envisioned was spot on. Everything falling apart in the transportation world. Government and private businesses free-falling service quality wise. Call up your cable company and ask for help, you'll get excuses. Call your local politician, alibi's. Presidents and senators are as bad as pizza delivery outfits. We're all fucked, unless something happens to turn this around. This is my new pet peeve. From here on, if you start telling me your excuse, I'll give you two upraised middle fingers, stonecold style and remind you that I want an answer, not an alibi. Fuck you; don't even think one up. Just fix things and keep your trap shut, fool.
I can't write about work, but I can make the observation that it's a hell of a lot more exhausting to work a seasonal job that runs most of the year than to work at some 9-5 forever, day office shift routine. Seasonal workers are hired to get a job done and then vanish for awhile until the next season. Seasonal workers tend to work harder and really throw themselves into the work on a daily basis. Drones who are facing daily work until they turn 65, er..67, well maybe 71, you know what I mean.
There's no sense busting your ass. No sense of urgency; pace yourself. I work with plenty of people who work much of the year and keep their spirits up and a spring in their step by focusing occasionally on what they're gonna do in the off-season. For hordes of them, this includes casino gambling and loafing somewhere. It's kind of funny to see seasonal workers and daily year round slaves with no hope chat. It becomes obvious that the lifers with little time off have often become so used to having a job to report to that they have no hobbies or interests, beyond the usual yard martyr idiocy.
I worked for a quarter century off and on with that breed. I don't have much use for people who can't find something to do in their spare time away from making money for somebody else. I make exceptions for people who own the businesses and employ the year round toilers. Many of them are able to golf or travel or gamble or do something artsy because they have grunts working year round for them. I understand them and salute them. Bravo.
What are you? A seasonal who likes to hustle for part of the year and use the rest? Or a boring type who prefers using a job as a security blanket? Or, are you one of those eternal teenagers who live in mom's basement?Urp? More power to ya. Work with what seems right until it seems like its time for a change of pace, if you haven't deadened your mind so much you don't recognize it.
Long term readers here know very well about my dislike and distrust of the Republican and Democratic parties. I can't think off hand of one single donkey or elephant I trust. During the last election season, I found myself growing steadily further from the Libertarian options. Sitting here tonight, pondering a potential government shutdown in less than 24 hours, I'm ready to declare to the world that I am a one-man political party. It's gone beyond my disagreements with the Pauls lending credence to wack-job conspiracy theorist.
John Stossel seems to be losing it, possibly as a delayed reaction to the bitch slap he got from David Schultz. I can't listen to the man whine about school vouchers five minutes more for the rest of my life. The Libertarians have decreased on an intellectual level, in a manner parallel to their growth and influence in American politics.
Remember how ECW came along and shook up the wrestling world? WWE and WCW were forced to retool as a result of their brilliance. Many political science theorist believe that there are crucial problems that are facing the US, that only some genius not beholden to the Republicans or Democrats can solve. Neither party will voluntarily deal with the looming Social Security crisis. Both parties would probably gladly welcome a benevolent dictator waving a magic riding crop and dealing with the situation. I am using that issue as an example. There are many other problems, that the two parties are afraid to touch.
They just plain don't want to risk their party's popularity, by making un popular decisions. I used to think, some wise Libertarian was gonna come along and straighten shit out. These days I think its a remote long shot that the savior who can come along and clean up American politics is going to be associated with the Libertarians. I'm afraid that as a party, they've jumped the shark like Fonzie. Hundreds of years from now, if History is still taught in American schools, the Libertarian party will be a blip, probably featured in a sentence about Ross Perot.
I can only hope that my one man party can display a greater measure of common sense and a sense of humor, than the terminal Libertarian party has shown. Rest in peace baby.
I'm truly enjoying my commute from our home in the north end of San Antonio to South Austin. I haven't gotten sick of Howard too many times. 2 hours a day of Phil Hendrie would work too for that matter. Sirius needs to sign him. I've really learned about modern day motorists and their predilictions. Since I want to drive fast, but I don't want speeding tickets I've planned my speed and strategy out just like a chess game, just like I plan out almost every fucking thing like a chess plan now, down to toilet rolls and planning weeks ahead on vitamins and cookie bars and having a weeks worth of beer handy when possible, just in case. I have a change of clothing in my car, along with a traveler flask.
Anyway, the shitheads who bug me the most these days drive those creepy little Clark Howard sanctioned little pieces of shit that look like spam cans on wheels. They're "mini coopers". I fucking hate those goddamn things. I hate small cars anyway, I wouldn't drive one of those for free gas and a couple extra hours pay. The bastards who drive those fucking things are the absolute worst tailgaters, just a bit ahead of the jacked up pickup trucks (always driven by spoiled male, jocko-homo students who don't have a goddamn thing to haul).
The cooper drivers, 2 or 3 times a day, get on my ass in the left lane and do everything to get my attention, flash their lights, weave back and forth, at least 2 or 3 of them every commute in. My nightly commute is on a blessed barren post midnight interstate. Their big problem is the fact I'm only going 4 or 5 miles over the limit; they seem to have some juvenile urban myth understanding that I'm supposed to get out of the way of snotty little fools who act childish and drive stupidly. I really, really don't want to hear their side of it; I'm above them. I'm better than them and my black Dodge charger with the tint job makes their clown-mobiles look stupid.
Fuck them. I have to drive 65 miles each way, I can't risk going faster. Most of the 20 something rubes driving the stoopers are on the freeway for maybe 15-20 miles. A conflict of interest? Ahh, fuck 'em. I don't dignify them as having interests and feelings akin to mine. I never, ever give them the satisfaction of acknowledging their tailgating and horn and gestures. Remember! There's no sweeter road revenge than to make some little spoiled mamas boy feel helpless, because he wasted his time trying to annoy me. I've gotten really good at ignoring them and staring in a cold fish deadpan manner as they pass me pissed off, trying to give me the double finger and scream obscenities to piss me off. Sorry college chucklehead, I didn't notice your tantrum. 2 or 3 cooper peckerwoods I get per drive in.
Their cars are always a color shade of piss or babypoo. What's with that? Ahh, I'm sure I have relatives somewhere who own the damn things, well they're excused. They are on my level and I recognize their existence. Not so the little pinpricks I enjoy frustrating everyday.
Yep, I can't write here about work. I can say my work season, which used to be short is now going to run most of the year. I have a damn challenging computer oriented job. I'm commuting 65 miles each way daily for the job. It hasn't been a bad thing considering how I work a night shift. It's tough sometimes to have a clear head with the wave of death and disease running through my family and circle of acquaintances.
If I was still in san mucous I would be feeling much worse. In San Antonio there is a cities worth of urban activities catering to adults, not know it all, spoiled college jerkoffs and ditzes. One of the greatest things we've done since living in a real city is go to real wrestling: Branded Outlaw Wrestling. It's a dandy little promotion. The hall is comfy, every seat is great and the concession stand is priced for blue collar folks. The wrestlers have tables they sell their merch at and you can actually get to the stuff and look it over. ECW arena was bigger, but much more crowded.
Don Owen's cards at the Portland sports arena were often hectic and jammed with people trampling over each other. B.O.W. features some guys from sports entertainment occasionally, but the emphasis is on original product from a crew of local guys from what I can tell. The strong suit as far as I can say after a couple cards is the way they book and blend matches the old proven way, big guys, agile guys, medium guys, all of them telling stories with their work in the ring.
Sometimes it really blows my mind how classic and old school it is. Let me point out how it's not a bunch of old guys trying to make a last buck in the ring. It exudes vigor and as Marla says, it's not just some guys going through the motions. We took grandson Henry for his first card, an Irwin tradition of magnitude. He's just a bit over 2. He was scared of the first few minutes of the first match, but he caught on within 5 minutes, thanks to the fact that the audience was hussing for a competitor; I've been hussing with him for a frigging year! He began to just blend in with the rest of our group, realizing no matter what he yelled nobody was going to shush him.
There were fans in front of him who were jostling us all a bit now and then, but it didn't bother Hank. By the time the last match started and a wrestler came to the ring to an ACDC tune (one of his Pa's favorite bands of course) he was headbanging all on his own, nobody was egging him on, as Marilyn pointed out later. Shit, he's got magnificent genes, not just our amateur pro-wrestling loving ways, but remember, one of my nephews was a world class Greco-Roman grappler representing the marine corp national team. Anyway, even though some non wrestling fan relations aren't too thrilled about all the hussing he's doing daily now, we'll be taking him again soon and before you know it, he'll be a regular. Go Hank. UUrrp.
Next time I'll fill y'all in on some of the specific guys on the B.O.W. roster.
I'm going to miss our friend Cosmo. He wasn't just an ex-band mate. Our relationship was much deeper than many mutual friends might figure, due to the fact that we wrote quite a few songs together. It was a very complicated relationship in ways, but we were on good terms up to the end of his time here on earth. I'd like to point out right off that quite a few people in Philly warned us to not get involved with Howard.
He, shall we say, lived large and left some ex-friends behind, here and there. It was sometimes hard to be his friend. He loved to bust balls. Marla and I saw quite a few times over the years people having their feelings hurt by one of his vicsous barbs. Some people he really hammered away at, while others were completely left alone. I have no idea what his rational was , but I quickly figured that surviving one of his barrages of insults was often the precursor to a friendship with Cosmo. Marla says it was his way of testing people; if you were thin skinned he didn't respect you. I guess Marla is qualified to have an opinion on the matter as a band member, she went back and forth with him, just as often as I.
Yes, it's true, they had a kick fight on stage. It was part for real, but also plain good theater as they both recognized at the time.Some people think that because Cosmo attacked me on the Internet in various parlors of gossip, that we were enemies. I'd like to clear the air and point out that much of that was also brandished as good theater. That's not to say we didn't get pissed off at each other once in a while. Howard was jolly and peachy with some folks away from the music scene.
He was a man of depth with many interest. Quite a few of which I wasn't privy to. I just spent some time on FB looking at pictures of Howard being happy around happy people. Our personal relationship began as a musical partnership. He didn't climb up on that stage to express cheer and good vibes, that's the realm I knew him best in. I look back very fondly at practice sessions that would begin with 15 minutes of scathing insults back and forth. It not only toughened the band up, it simply raised the energy and intensity levels. We deeply valued Cosmo's talent for taunting an audience. As a bona fide wrestling manager, he was a natural for a band that had been performing wrestling songs for ten years before he even joined us.
Our first shows with Cosmo his powers proved to be too strong. Club owners were pulling the plug in five minutes. We wouldn't even get to play more than two songs, so we developed a strategy, about waiting well into the set to incite a riot perhaps. Some of you might think "inciting a riot" is an exaggeration. Huh, that's exactly what happened at an all ages show in a Philly 'burb. Cosmo destroyed a table and a sea of kids responded by destroying a lodge hall. His mouth was very powerful, it not only could get us into trouble. He also was expert at sweet talking authorities.
The cops got called on us plenty of times. Sometimes I accompanied him to wrestling gigs he worked. He would piss people off there too of course. They'd be so mad they sometimes waited outside for him. Yes he had some human weaknesses, but he was good as what he did. That elevates him above most of you humanoids.
He was a fascinating guy who made his damn mark. I certainly can't do him justice here, I intend to write a good deal more about him in the future. He's truly traveling the space waves from planet to planet. Cosmo hated being around being around drunks, but he made an exception in my case. He would appreciate the way the current Rancid Vat band members were hoisting a few in his name, just last night.
Over the last few weeks I've had to deal with dental horse shit. The story deserves to be told, there is a happy ending, but it's too fresh a bad experience for me to lay down in this entry. I have a work day tomorrow and don't need to relive the trauma.
Sometimes it's convenient for writers and other artist to let their rage buoy a project. Not tonight thank you. A happy thought has been running through my brain. It struck me that even dullards are capable of having quirky passions and interest. I'd say near one hundred percent of humanoids who I actually like are really into something. It might be steadily holding down a barstool, never missing a day. It might be fly fishing or rolling tamales, I admire old grannies who keep canning preserves and pickles and other crap to eat like efficient machines.
Even disgusting hippies often have passionate hobbies you wouldn't expect such as bowling or restoring antiques. As a tournament chess player, I really respect, competitors. Sudoku doesn't count! Bridge, tavern softball, foosball, and of course golf are hobbies that will lead to my tipping my hat to you. Let's not forget folks with worthy boners for films and TV shows.
My daughter-in-law is really into Gone with the Wind. I once worked with a guy who had a super medal winning Batman collection. I'm tickled by obsessions for cute little animal figurines. Haven't we all met somebody who has to hoard every pig or cow figurine they see? What the hell, it's nice to see people declaring themself to be really be into something rather than being so dull, they can only sit around and whine.
Even though I think some obsessions are a bit tedious, I can't fault folks who see something in it. Crocheting, macramé, glass blowing or automotive crap.would all bore me to tears, but are respectable. I'm not so goddamned open minded about all human quirks. Star Wars crap should be confiscated and burned in bon fires. Soccer collectables should be seized from impressionable youths and similarly destroyed.
Beanie Baby's are not quite the most worthless thing to collect, The honor of the most worthless past time goes to a group of perves I heard about on the Stern show. These are the kooks wanking off to 'My Little Pony" bullshit. Recently, 4000 of them assembled in a well hidden venue to swap their wares with other bro's, calling it a "Broni-con." I've never heard of a more worthless religion or time wasting genre of music. Collecting milk bottle caps seems worthless to me but I applaud it, compared to the Broni jackasses.uuurrpp.
I'm not supposed to have any fresh observations at my age. Here comes a doozy. The media, both mainstream and alternate, reflect on the fabric of the USA and most of the other nations of the world. In a blatantly ignorant manner, most of my mt favorite writers don't have clue, when it comes to defining who Americans are.
Likewise, the hoard of writers I hate are just as clueless. I've had a belly full, of listening to New York City based communicators telling the world what its like "down south" and down here in Texas. Its no better when Southern populist get started pissing and moaning about New York City.
Speaking of Texas, Where I have lived for 11 years now, there is no such thing as a typical Texan. Either demographic wise or ethnically speaking, I listen to Stern 10 hours a week and consider him pretty informed on most topics. When it comes to him passing judgment over "fly over country," he 's as dumb as the tards on the show, he lampoons. When he picks up the liberal mantra about crackers down south, it must be either an intentional ploy, or he's a lot dumber than I've always thought.
But wait a minute! I'm not picking on Howard here. Virtually everybody I read or listen to is even more in the fog than him.*I make fun of Californians, but I'll be the first to tell you there are no typical Californians. I make fun of those pig farmers and food stamp lovers back in Boregon, but I generalize greatly. I'm admitting it here and now. At one point in this entry, I began to generalize about New Yorkers. See how hard it is to stay focused on the truth! I've never met a cab driver, bartender, or mill worker, who wasn't ready to generalize about their fellow Americans. Women do it, conservatives do it, liberals do it.
In fact you can learn a lesson by noting the similar way in which lefties and righties pass judgment. Their generalizing and simplifying things with buzz words such as "Fly over country," or Jew York City. Maybe amusing , but certainly shouldn't be taken seriously on an intellectual level.
Do you hate Rednecks?? Do you hate Paki's? Preppies? Tree huggers? Floridians? How much of your animosity is based on intelligent observation , and how much have you picked up from opinionated blowhards, posing as pundits? Concerned about Trevon? Are you likewise concerned about females not being able to walk down an overwhelming percentage of streets in our nation and not feel nervous?
Virtually every community in our fair land seems uncomfortable to other groups of people passing through. I'll give a personal example here, since I been conditioned to be a humanoid as well. I've lived in the South for eleven years, almost every where I've been I've felt comfortable. I love Dixie.
I gotta admit, driving though small towns in Alabama one time, I started feeling very unsettled. All the church steeples and locals glaring at me and my out of state license plate gave me the heebie-jeebies. This is before I moved to Texas. Now as a proud Texan, I display the spirit of the Republic openly and am ready for a negative reaction. They love us in some places but hate us in many more.
I play hundreds of internet chess games. Its customary to greet your opponent when the game begins. My favorite line to distract my my opponents is "greetings from Texas." I've found that Aussies dig us. Folks from the UK and Germany are often very friendly, So, how would you expect Iranians and Palestinians to respond to my Texas greeting?
A few of them don't respond at all. But most of them seem to admire my candidness. It would be unwise to generalize about how those folks are supposed to hate us. We are fools to generalize about people from other countries, even though they generalize about us. *What do you think of people from Boston? Mormons? Catholics?
The bottom line is there are no absolutes when it comes to regional populaces, ethnic groups or so-called "classes". Don't give me your bullcrap about the vile rich or the lazy poor. If you take the time to research these things and travel around your nation, you will learn how right I am. Hate feminist? Holy Rollers? Nebraskans? *Is everybody really boring in Iowa? Has anything good ever come from there? How about Montana? Go find out for yourself!! UUUUrrp. Dismissed.
I don't exactly know when facebook will come crashing down, I'd give it three years--maybe. I think it's vital even though, I'm not a fan of social media. To take advantage of it's good aspects, if you're in a band and you're doing land office business with merch and at the box office, you need to convert the customer data so you're band won't crash and burn that glorious day we all try to login at the beloved f.b. website and are directed to a big ad for something we don't want AGAIN.
This will mean that the social aspect of social media has been rendered obsolete. Don't say I didn't warn you. How about you folks who count on facebook to keep in touch with relatives and friends. Just like band people, you'd better make a good old fashioned paper copy of your contact info.
Now I'll admit that the best thing about F.B. is the way it has connected me people I've fallen out of touch with. Just today, I've been contacted by good ol' Eric Flawless. Conversely the worst aspect, well one of them, is the way this obnoxious site has become so intrusive. It wants to tell me, who to be friends with! The odoriferous side of F.B. lies there in. Several times my frau and I have been horrified to see enemies, coworkers and various blast from the god's ass, one click away, it's like a goddamn sci-fi nightmare. The bad 90% of social media far out weighs the oblivious 10%.
Now that I've given you all this advise, I'll back out of here; it's time to reconnect with ol' Eric Flawless. Urpppp.
Back when I was a kid in my early teens, I thought I was hot shit over the chess board. I won my share of prizes in local tournaments and still cherish a trophy declaring me the "top 14 year old" at the 1971 US Junior Open. If I hadn't been more interested in having some fun after leaving my parent's house for the last time at the age of 18, I more than the likely would have achieved the rank of Master, that is, providing I got ahold of some decent chess books or taken some lessons. I've never taken a lesson in my life, which is a severe handicap.
There were damn few quality chess books to be found in that little burg know as Snoreland Boregon. I read dozens of mediocre works by authors geared towards writing corny books for perennial loser chess geeks.
Looking back I can easily identify a small handful of top notch books from which I learned most of what I could about the game. The most valuable book without a doubt was My System by Aaron Nimzowitsch, it was recommended to me by my local chess hero, Mike Montchalin who indeed went on to become a powerful master and was the state champion more than once.
The book is still held in high esteem by today's top grand masters. As much as many of us loved My System, nobody knew much about the author, except for some wild stories. Nimzowitsch was said to have jumped up atop of a chess table when it was time to resign a game from where he bellowed: "why must I lose to this idiot." That is the story as I had been told back then.
Now come on that seems pretty cool to even you non-chess players doesn't it?! At the beginning of this year, I finally got a hold of a book about Nimzowitsch published in 2012. It won various "book of the year" awards around the chess world. It's official title: Aaron Nimzowitsch On the Road to Chess Mastery, 1886-1924, by Per Skjoldager and Jorn Erik Nielsen. The work is deeply researched, the authors have gone to great lengths to explore many rumors about Nimzo circulated over a hundred years. I was shocked personally to learn that Nimzo's personal creed in life was much like my own.
On our very first record lyric sheet, there is a slogan "inspired by enemies," Nimzowitsch came to realize that his brilliant book would never have been written if he was not trying to answer back to his enemies in the chess world. An old German chess author Dr. Tarrasch ridiculed the younger Aaron repeatedly. In other eras they might have actually settled it with a duel, instead Nimzo went on to write one of chess's best books. After this was accomplished he shrugged off the old doctor's criticisms. He actually realized the Old fart had done him a favor.
Nimzo was fond of crazy new chess ideas. You non-players should think of of creative football plays as being analogous. He refused to be restricted by stubborn jack asses. To quote Nimzo: "for the talented, however, no rules exist." What a cool guy. He also bravely stood up to the Bolsheviks, but that another story. Isn't it great when a childhood hero turns out to be even cooler than you thought. Fishcer was shitheel Nimzo rules!. urpppgh
What a full four day weekend I've had. On the fourth, son,daughter-in-law and grandson came over, there was swimming, and El and I filled and then drained my BodyGlove beer cooler.
I spent much of the other days, seeking out thrift and book stores here in our new home town. I even made it to the Bandera strip where the US honky tonk was first implemented. That stretch of road is akin to the streets that role through Harlem they seem just like streets today, but shit, scores of icons have graced those strips just a few decades ago.
Having unpacked about 4000 albums Saturday night, seemed to be perfect for our first night on the town as San Antonio residents. We wound up at a club on St.Mary's, The Mix, where we were told a veteran Iggy/60's psych band Sons of Hercules was booked to entertain.
We got a table by the "stage" and began inbibbing with Beer, Marilyn and seemingling a multitude of their aquaintences. The Sons bashed out a really good set, of course most bands, just bore the hell out of me right off. Not so with these guys.
Over the years living in Hollywood and all, we've seen our share of legendary bands that play that circuit, yunno, Brian Jones 'do's and Rickenbacker guitars. These guys really have it down, just a great energy level. I managed to get drunk, but not so drunk, I forgot anything. Lemme tell ya, LoneStar on tap is like nectar, I kept the Devil's Cut shots to a few.
Sitting there I realized the evening was symbolic, yes I truly I did survive San Marcos, we made our escape, we can go out and see classy infamous bands anytime we want, we don't have to hang around boring meat markets or settle for derivetive small town bands. As for a comparison the night life between Austin and San Antonio, our pal Beer summed it up well: he says in Austin people go out to see bands so they can say they saw the band and be seen, in San Antonio people go out to see a band and have a good time. This may seem like a picky diffrence, but actually, it means quite alot.
The clubs in Austin charge an arm and a leg for admission and for booze. The craftiest club owners know just like I do, that the Austin music scene is mostly a Texas myth, that they can cash in on, only until the word gets out. The over priced snotty shitholes of Austin will soon implode like a rotted Longhorn skull.
Here are a few of my least favorite popular terms: you will note, most were conceived of without exception to convey a positive warm fuzzy meaning, bottom line for me, most of these notions make me sick to my stomach.
"Americana" I read just tonight somewhere, that even Dale Watson hates it. I expose it for post hippie folk drivel in my country book. "Americana" is supposed to be some sort of smart genre, for clever listeners/NPR types. I agree with Dale, you can't take the 'neck attitude out of country.
"Green" Your president dragged the green hoax into the limelight this past week. I trust him and Al Gore and the UN finger wagging greens on a level with vacuum cleaner saleman, aluminum siding canvassers, and faith healer TV evangelist. It's not about the environment, its about some smarmy progressives cashing in at everyone else's expense.*
Lite Beer. An ancient rant here. Originally diet beer for fat ex-jocks, now it's mainstream meatmarket swill. My favorite term for beer I like is "corporate beer," which applies to my fave domestic and imports.
Starter Home equals cramped crackebox.
"Trending now." Short attention grabbing blurbs. If you're too stupid for other forms of media,, let yourself be enlightened on insipid water cooler bullshit.
Device. A bad term from an industry that could come up with a better one. **"Like us on facebook." Pure groveling whether it be from a band, a muffler service, or aluminum siding canvassers.**Secular Humanist. As an avid atheist/agnostic I wish I had the time to research who thought that one up. My guess would be Sean Hannity or one of his guest.
RIP James Gandolfini.
For so many goddamned years TV has been worthless or rather, it was stuck in a tedious, long dry spell. Up until cable original programs began to seemingly bust their asses trying to compete to provide classic shows. I'm not talking shows on a par with drivel-coms that make me heave. I'm talkin' shows that rank with the best golden age television, such as the Twilight Zone, Rifleman, Gunsmoke, The Fugintive, Perry Mason, Hawaii 5-O (the original) and Dragnet.
The Sopranos was a show that blew my fucking mind. I had hesitated before watching it, because TV shows had sucked for damn long time. Likewise, it took me awhile before caving in and watching Breaking Bad, which I simply figured had to be incredibley over touted.I figured how in this age, could a show be one of the best ever of all time. It just didn't' fucking compute. I watched Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men from their pilots on. I'm not sure why I was less hesitant about those two. Furthermore, even after years of watching SOA, I still had to be dragged by the ear to check out the Sheild. What was I thinking??? The Shield is as good a cop show as any from the 20th century.
Bottom line I've told most of my friends and family members abouut the above shows. I check back occasionally to see if they've watched them.
Most of the time, they simply doubt that thsese showe could be any good since they are wildly praised.They drag their feet. Oddly enough about 80% of the time, whenever anybody I direct towards watching the wave of the best cable network origninals gives them a shot, they become apostles themselves.
So what does this have to do with James Gandolfini. His brilliant performance pointed the way for the writers and show runners of the great shows of the 21st century. Ask Kurt Sutter, Bryan Cranston or John Hamm, if they think the Sopranos was a milestone. Uuuurrpp! Just quit being a stubborn jackass and give these cable-wave shows a try.
Welcome back to one diary that will not quit. As discussed here over the last few months, we moved 40 miles to San Antonio. Where our old internet provider doesn't show its maggot encrusted face. Centurytel is absolutely worthless. Their non-service is one area they excell in. Its great to be free from them, but unfortunately there was no way of posting new website info before we ditched them. Get on the horn and call your friends and neighbors, spread the word that the Whiskey Rebel Diary was only playin' possum.
Living in a real city, I'll have a hell of lot more to write here about. We're going to plug it on Facebook, which we have avoided for a few reasons. One of them I will confront here and now. The content here over the years would offend just about anybody at sometime or other. Most of my political ramblings are directly meant to piss off party loyalist and cause devoted extreemist.
For the longest time I never had to be concerned with relatives taking my crazy rants too seriously. Since locating my blood relatives, I haven't changed my opinions, unlike the rest of you riff raff, some of them will journey here from Facebook because they love me and want to get to know me better.
I must say, it really is ballsy for me to reveal so much of my life past and present. I'm not the least uninhibited, there are pleanty of things I rarely discuss. But quite a few of the Internet journal scribes reveal very little negative stuff about themselves. Bottom line, relatives: you have been warned!! **Ninety-nine-point-nine of the rest of you can go suck a sour egg.
One more things at this time in my life, I have a job, that I'm very happy at that I can't write about on the Internet. If you want to find out what I'm up to and why the mystery, email me: email@example.com.
This is being updated at a hotel in Vegas. I've just spent two long days banging away over the chess board. Unfortunately I'd like to write a damn long entry here to make up for a couple of blank weeks, but we're too exhausted. We're going to go eat at the Peckermill--errr that's Peppermill, on the strip. After that its going to be a long night of cocktailin' and wagering at the Circus Circus and Slots of Fun across LV Blvd. ** Meanwhile, there's well over 10 years of vaulted entries for you to wear your eyes out on. Don't forget, call your friends and neighbors and if it seems right, call your enemies and tell them to feast their eyes on the resusitated Whiskey Rebel Diary.
Having a great time in Vegas. Slots, chess, free booze. What more could anyone ask for. We were wondering if we were ever gonna make it though. We were lulled into thinking it would be an easy trip. The cab Marla ordered online arrived at 2pm on the dot. Got us to the airport from our new home in less than 15 minutes. Nice, we used to be 45 minutes from either airport (Austin or San Antonio).
First delay, flight was 15 minutes late taking off. I was sweating bullets, we only had an hour between plans in Dallas. Get to Dallas and make a bee-line for our gate, only to find out the flight had been delayed an hour. Great, all that worrying for nothing. Get settled in for our hour extra wait. We keep checking the reader board, and after the umpteenth time of checking on it, our flight shows CANCELLED.
What the fuck!! By this point a long line had formed at the desk of our gate. We waited in line for a couple of minutes before coming to our senses, and realized there was a desk one gate over with no line. Marla quickly went over to see if they could get us on another flight, while I held our place in line. She soon motioned for me to come to the desk. We were in luck, got booked on the next flight to Vegas, which was to leave in an hour.
Only one problem, the lady was quoting the original time, the modified time was an hour an half later. We were supposed to be leaving DFW at 6:20 pm, and now were looking at 9pm. I was doubting if we'd ever get out of Dallas. Time for a back up plan. Rent a car and drive to Winstar?
After much hand wringing and nashing of teeth, we got on the plan . Landed in Vegas at 10:30 only 3 hours late. Waited in a long line to get the shuttle bus. Waited in a long line to rent the car. Finally got to the Riviera. Got into the room. Decent room, especially considering it was comped. Was it worth it?? Well if we were going through all that to go to someplace else---like Portland the answer would be a resounding NO. But when you're going to Vegas.....Yeah.
We went up to Ass-town to see Antiseen and Hellstomper last night. It really did remind me of the feeling I had each time I've met with large numbers of new and old relatives, by blood. The cornball cliche about how you pick your friends but you're stuck with your relatives is mostly true. At the club, we met up with Jeff and Joe who I met for the first time in the late '80's. That's pretty damn long for a friendship.
We've known Allen and the other Antiseen guys for plenty long also. Kerry Clayton, whom I first saw wearing diapers, was there selling merch. She's got more ink than I do. It was Texas so I expected to see Jeff Skipski, but holy shit our old pal from Philly CJ Price was there. I had forgotten that before we were in person pals, he saw the early Hellstomper perform while stationed in Tennessee. A mind blowing miracle, was seeing Eric Perfect playing drums with Hellstomper. We spilled plenty of blood and sweat with him over the years for sure.
Every time I turned around, there was somebody I knew. Russ Ward I first met when he was a pink cheeked youth, now he's got college aged kids.As usual when I go out in public, I met some people in person whom I had only corresponded with. John Stewart turned out to have a helluva beard. I pumped hands with Colin from Colorado, and even Scott from Snoreland. These bands attract folks from all over the hemisphere.
I yakked with at least a dozen Texans. All in all, I was offered drugs four times (no thanks) and had my picture taken with my share of fans. It was a good night in spite of the fact that club was too cheap to provide real bathrooms. A couple FOUL sanolets were sticking up the merch area. We found ourselves sitting in the only two chairs in the club, just down wind of them. I felt bad when we left, because I don't have the social skills to work the room and say goodbye properly to everybody. I really do hate goodbuys. I'm not even very good at the hello's. I am glad that I have enough of a life left that even though I don't have many local friends, I have plenty of them all over the map. Uuurrrp.
I'm actually very lucky to have wound up with a batch of blood relatives that I met in adulthood; I would have truly chose them.
My latest source of misery; all night long at work I have to deal with multiple computer programs constantly in a state of timing themselves out, if I turn my back even for a short time. Note, there's nothing wrog with the computers I work with at the job, I don't write about.
It stems from common workplace security measures. Thet real big problem stems from about a year ago, I'v e had to come home and deal withe the same PC green enerygy trendy horshit, tortoure at home. My wife tells me that it is just how windows 8 is and there's nothing we can do about it. In making such a sweeping statement, she's probly tryiing to shut me up. She really doesn't know any better than I do the technical options avaialbe.So have we become slaves to the software we shell out so much money for?
Some nights Windows 8 will permit me a few hous of needed peace and maintain the power to the screen, holding in place my favorite chess website. Most nights it chooses to logoff on its own everytime I get up to take a leak or simply stretch. How can this be considered a technological advance over nineties computers, when most folks were puttering around with AOL. Are the Green Forces behind all of this power saving--feel good--baloney?
You're damn right, having your home PC screen blink off in the name of saving energy, warms the cockels of their psyches much likethem giving a cash handout to psuedo (phony) homeless guy, or making a cash donation to feed allegedy starving kids whom they never see. I am not green. My shit is brown and my heart is black. When my wife insist that there is nothing that can be done, to stop this computer from deciding when my computer session is over. I say bah humbug!! I've thought of a solution, I told her about it, but I'm afraid it didn't appeal to here/ I'll solve the problem easily, by yanking the laptop from werein the Window's 8 lives, off of its perch. I shall drag it outside , trailing computer entrails behind me. At the mouth of our driveay, I will turn to face Ranch Road 12 real back in a back swing and hurl the hippy infected lapton into the hippie infested Frisbee golf park across the street. I won't even have to call an IT team or helpline.
I'd like to just for this once write something not relating to our move, which should be in 30 days or a bit less. I've got to admit that this rant is inspired by one of our agents. He is a grade A Texas bullshitter. Thing is, I'm a proud Texan. I defend our republic when I travel and wear it on my internet lapel competing in chess. Many of my opponents are from about 50 countrys around the world. Iranians, Aussies, French, German, Malaysia, Khazakistan, Lithuania. They all know about 3 States, Florida, Cali and Texas. Most foreignors couldn't make out Ohio or Utah or Idaho on a map for a frigging million Euro's. What lingers in their minds is the Bush clan and the oil barons real and often exxagerated and imagined in leftie rhetoric often eminating from hollywood. When I greet them at the beginning of the game I write: "Greetings from Texas". Many are kind and friendly and ask about whiskey. Others never utter a response, period. Seriously, I have friendly communication with players from many nations from which we are told not to travel to or tarry long in. Anywho, our one agent is a grade "a" fucking Texas bullshitter. As a former salesman from way back, these guys often assume I've never been the sales type with my beard and hair and tattoo's. When they try to con us, especially with the old psuedo-hick "hey, we'll shoot ya straight" horseshit, I wanna puke. It's fine to fool non Texans, but hey...don't try to con one of your own. I want you all to make a great effort to share this message with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and even young adults up to the age of, oh say 45 or 50. UUrrrp. DON'T TRUST SALESMEN. DON'T..EVER!!! When they lay on the hokey rube-ism's see it for what it is. When they work their honesty into the conversation and try to say they are unique and forthright, it's all lies. FUCKING LIES. When they try to show you with a print or internet example how you're getting such a deal, barely over their cost....BULL FUCKING SHIT!!! I used the same and similar lies. If I took a sales job tomorrow (hunh!) I'd lie again, but with a level of shrewdness and depth that is worthy of a karate Quadruple blackbelt. A Grandmaster, a player. An icon. They all fucking lie. Their are a few honest mechanics, when you dig deep and shop around. Salesmen are always liars. Texas liars shouldn't work fellow Texans in the same manner they would some goddamn transplanted mark from Georgia or Montana. Warn your kids. Keep them from the forked tongues of sales jackasses like you would the tricks and snairs of a brainwash cult. Especially pull their coat about any of the aforementioned slithering sneaks who even bring up the subject of their own honest. The ones who claim to be the most honest, or not even a sales person are the fucking worst. Oh, by the way, if you could buy one of my books or cd's or records, the proceeds will NOT be directed to an ailing child or homeless victim.
I'd rather be paranoid and a winner in much of what I attempt than be layed back and a loser. There are one helluva lot of people from all walks of life who have benefited from their paranoia. Napoleon, Hitler, Marx, Stalin, Sinatra, Fischer, Cobb, Richard II, Howard Hughes. Many times in my life I've busted my ass at some job because I didn't feel secure enough to just relax and be comfortable. I've buckled down especially hard after being told by co-workers that the bosses l-o-v-e me, sit back and relax. I get to steppin' even faster and more cautiously when bosses tell me I have nothing to worry about. I'm not much of a provider, but i've developed my skills well at many places where I just couldn't lay back and enjoy the ride. As far as other paranoid attributes, hey I've never been arrested in my life. I probably would have benefited from a night or three in the hoosegow, but I've never even been tossed in the tank. Never 5 minutes of detention back in school, never fired from a job. I irk some acquantances who know me for being paranoid about traffic and road conditions and my obsession with studying chess losses certainly doesn't endeer me to fellow chess players and my distrust of doctors seems bizarre to many. I don't trust auto salesmen, mechanics or dealers, sales people in general, many public school teachers, hardly any politicians. Club owners, music label reps, band managers, sound men and especially writers for music rags. On the other hand, I do get along well with many folks who are uniformly suspected of all sorts of shit, such as members of minority groups and gays. Godless heathens are cuddly to me. I'm too paranoid to go to an NFL game, but I'm at home at rowdy music shows that would make jocks and their fans shit their pants. ECW arena was a comfy place to me, as are many dark and dirty dive bars where total drunks, true pro's come to get snockered. I don't like monday morning job interviews and malls where everybody is dressed in the latest, thoughtful trendwear. I get really, really paranoid about that sort of crap. I plan to be at an airport way the hell early before a flight. I know casual people who walk right up to the gate as the final boarding is being called. I never bought my Son expensive sneakers afraid that he wouldn't be popular. I'm not afraid of cops, as so many of you are. I'm related to some, but I wasn't even before I found out. How many of you layed-back suckers are afraid of them and soldiers and preachers and gay bars. Not me Jack. UUUrrrppppp.
Dear diary, thank you for being here to record all of my thoughts concerning our upcoming move. I started packing and hauling records a bit at a time last October or so. I wanted to avoid stressful weekends like the one we just had. With our house selling easily last Saturday for our full requested amount we planned to sign an offer for a house on sunday. After a fun Saturday with friends we met with our other realtor and viewed the best of a couple dozen properties we've been following. At the end we wound up having to substitute new houses on the market due to a terrific boom of sales the weekend before. Naturally, no matter how I try to plan ahead like chess, it often doesn't work out in life. The place we preferred was owned by a former music professor and his artist Wife. Every inch was filled with 35 years of vases, paintings, sculptures, books, momentos, masks, records, instruments, etc. For about 3 hours we were prepared to commit mayhem to get the house. It had a nice pool and spa and was in a great location. When we came out of the ether we realized the place was so loaded they had no idea what they were facing moving the beautiful stuff. We both felt that we were going to get stiffed in the long run. I called my blood Father who was in real estate big time for many years. He confirmed that in spite of "earnest money" we were fucked if they changed their minds. Homeless probably too. We made an offer on our second favorite, also from the 70's. Bigger house, bigger pool, 5 bedrooms,...shit...it was impossible to keep track during our visit. 3 baths. A huge office with a built in work desk about 15 feet long. It all needs a good damn cleaning from some righteous elderly ladies, but given that the yard is fine and the whole pad makes me think of Dino Crocetti and tiki torches. We made a full offer Monday morning and gave em a couple days to accept the inevitable. There had been no offers to that point. We had no backup to the backup, since the 3rd place we looked at had full-gaping neighbors. I got a text from Marla at work saying that....there was another competing offer...we were fucked if they had made a higher bid. We're very short on time this season of course. FUCKING VERY. I sweated out 4 hours of difficult work managing barely to keep my mind off of impending doom. At my lunch break I fired up my cell and glanced at the text screen. It read: "We're fucked..." I almost shit myself. I quickly called Marla. Joke was on me, the text was one I had sent earlier, haunting me. They accepted our damn bid; inspectors will check the place out Friday. Our financing is well approved. It's not the biggest house or the biggest pool, but the deep end is 9 feet and it's a neighborhood where you have to slow down to 20 mph...and it's enforced. Slow down for the pretty houses. I'm sure back when they were new Sunday drivers hauled their clans down the streets of our new neighborhood. It's not shiney new any more as a subdivision. But, the houses are mostly nicer than anything I've ever lived in. Hey, we're not rich; the real estate market in S.A. is great compared to the rest of the country. The house is costing us $185,000...not good by rural standards, but great for a huge city with an NBA team and racetrack and a zillion flea markets and museums and bars up the ass. Beers cheap too, it's a blue collar metropolis.
Day Shift can kiss my ass!
Wait! I'm not refering to the day shift where I work, because I don't write here about this job. If you know me or just want to know me better, email me for a personal rundown. I mean dayshift as a whole sucks. Not only is it a crappy cheap conformist schedule designed for yard martyrs and boring nidwads with nothing better to do at 8 pm than go to sleep. But I am not done!
What really has my dander up, is the notion held by a huge majority of impotent dayshift square heads, that any alternate shift be it swing, greaveyard, or 4x10, "isn't the real shift" I've witnessed this several places of employement over the years. It's true where I work now, dayshift squat-to-piss guys, and cubical queens. All are in lock step in the opinion other shift are there to serve them.
When desk are shared between shifts. You'll find almost without exceptionj, the dayshift creeps get possesive. Ofter push-pinning up elaborite displays ranging from crappy tastelss church-art, to a freqeent plethora of cheesy photos of their ugly misanthropic chidlren and grandchildren.Nightshift people who share desk, are often stuck having to work in a cramped area, contorting their work motions around dishes of stale candy and canisters of leftover holiday popcorn.
When a new catchphrase or water cooler cliche catches fire, its the day shift drone, being uncreative drips, who rush to get anj internet printout of the sage by the number quip hung among other tasteless moments of Americana backwash. These phrases are similar to the following overused colloquialisms: "Do the math," My bad," "No worries," "Man up," "you go girl,"
it's always something stale or tire, that winds up on a cubical wall, and it is proundly hung there by a day shifter. Its always the day shift airheards who accuse their night out counterparts of eaating their crappy candy or using up their paper clips. Over my entire lifetime of jobs blue collar to white,
I've always been blown away that the most desirable shifts in restaurants, offices, retail stores etc. its alway the 7 am to 4 pm. If you ask people why that's their dream shift. They will always tell you, they want to get off early and the rest of the day free, Over the years I've grown very fond, whne I'm informed of this factorid,,of asking them what they do for the rest of the day? What is so goddamsned important! Do they write books, take dance lessons, study Rosetta Stone.....Of course not, they are just wage slaves, losers, mules who have grown fond of the harnes. Night and Swing shift people very often do facinating thing on the side
.Pucker up Day Shift, leave a nice wet one on my day sleeping fanny.!
03/30/13. I'll be turning 56 in a little over a week. I certainly don't think or act like most 56 year old US males. I think young, really I'm just an overgrown teenager in many respects. My adolescent and teen years --- hell--- my whole childhood was pretty awful, so you can't blame me for wanting to live it out now.
In some ways though, it's very clear that I 've gained some wisdom, befitting a 56 year old. Case in point, my frau and I were discussing specific guidelines to be given to local real estate agents who will be showing our house to possible buyers. On work days, I get up at exactly 12:34 pm, drink coffee, groom, shit, and pull out of the driveway.
Ergo, our guideline is that the house can be shown from 3pm on. Being in recovery from a career case of agorophobia, I need to be 100% sure, that some soccer mom part-time (i.e. Peggy Hill) or some perma-smile, high octane energy (San Marcos style) isn't going to be trying to "country charm" their way into a showing that will conflict with my morning routine.
Thirty/Thirty-five years ago, I would have taken it as a matter of faith that "professional sales people" had homor at least a bit. About 15 years ago, or so, I would have had my doubts, and let Marla and Elvis persuade me I was being paranoid, hense, I would probably wind up in my underware chasing some sales buffoon off of my driveway.
Even though overall its better to be younger, you certainly can't beat the wisdom you gain in exchange. "We'll shoot ya straight" My ass!! Sales scumbugs are not to be trusted. Not your neighbor, a relative, and expecially not a fellow church member.
I know goddamn well I'm not being pararnoid. I will dictate a set of rules and they willl be non negotialble, no peaking in the wiindows to see if I'm up early, no slow drivebys. If I catch someone in violation, my wrath will be detonated, raining down cosmic fecal mater in the shape of hail.
It's appropriate I guess for me to record some thoughts about the moving process. I'm pretty sure I wrote about our move out here in this diary. San Antonio is only 38 or so miles away, at least the part we're moving to. We're selling this house at a good time. Our realtor says there are damn few houses in the city in this price range. Uhh.."city" is a stretch I guess. You know what I mean. We'll be working for the same employers. Our non-Irwin band members are all down there. As I pointed out before, I have less friends and acquaintances now than when we got here. We'll see Mark and his fine Frau around. Other than that, I doubt I'll be missed or noticed. Same for the Wife. I've hauled all but a couple boxes of albums to storage, 98% of the books, 95% of label stuff, 99% of the cassettes and master tapes from over the years. The magazines are just a shadow of what they once were, but they are heavy and they are mostly moved. The realtor recommended people to haul away the hot tub which hasn't been used in 8 years, We've got lawn people, the doghouse and many other eyesores are gone. It's clear that only college students will want to live here in this house. The street has lost most of the adult citizens while we've been here. The old guy next door is like a very, very old Hank Hill. I don't know his name. He don't know me from fucking adam. Ditto for the whole street. The Prof across the street and I know each other sort of, I had a class with him, but the friendship never kindled, even though he drinks beer like mad and is a big reader and scholar. I have a feeling that of the hundreds of friends Mark has here, I went wrong if I wanted to bend myself into a human pretzel to be a friend. Maybe, I dunno. Some of them have lived in big cities, but they just seem to take the rubes and underachievers around here too seriously. Seasoned city people want no part of this place and it's 10 bars and hokey, lame pool halls and a few "upscale-wannabe" clubs for frat morons that put on airs and pretend that a dresscode matters in a shithole like this. They've been damn nice to me at the library here. Many of Mark's friends have been nice, but shit. They often don't know anything about me, really. They often treat me like somebody's Father. Early on here a few were seen sneaking drugs in our house to snort up discreetly, like we're June and Ward fucking Cleaver. There was another dope who was throwing shots over his shoulder thinking nobody noticed, to avoid having to drink. I've had a touch of agoraphobia of course, which I've fought and mostly conquered. It's been sticky differentiating between "don't wanna go out" and "no fucking where to go out...where there are adults over 24 years of age. I have no one to blame but myself for not trying to be a more sociable friend to a few I guess. No grudges. Just too fucking few non-students and zero city things to do. I believe I was near death at one point, but I'm doing well now. Weight has been lost, sodium level whittled way back. Handsomer than ever, best job position of my life (where I sport sweat pants and t-shirts). A cd ready to mix, good relations with the Son's family, a Grandson who tries to eat my tattoo's, I'm back in touch with some friends I hadn't touched base with in several years. Dozens of relatives I enjoy, Back on good terms even with the Father-in-law. 2 books in progress, a fiction 100 pages along and a mystery book..huh. A swell wife, my highest chess rating ever. I'm not satisfied with the positive stuff though. I need to get back chunks of my old life that has gone away. I need to converse with people and hang out in bars, real adult bars. I have the coolest car in the damn world and I can't remember if anybody has ever even ridden in it besides the other earwig clan. Our moving day will feature professionals from S.A. and a truck. Don't worry yourself, we aren't moving the shit. UUrrp. Stay tuned.
The following is based on knowing people from 1,000 bands or so over the years. I've helped more than a few in my own amateur and petty way when the notion suited me, and it seemed like they were worthy people. Unfortunately, a large percentage of outfits who start out with level heads and reasonable aspirations turn into slimeballs as bad as anybody working on the "biz" side of things. In almost every case, they crossed the line when they made a decision mutually, probably in their humble practice space, or maybe a greasy spoon or club after a practice, to "make it no matter what!; they'll do ANYTHING to "get signed". This often starts out innocent enough and nobody plans to do any of the following, which most wind up doing eventually going to extremes to "make it". 1) lying about their age 2) lying about dealings to fellow band members who might need to be jettisoned 3) Going from having other healthy interests to spending their days schmoozing and hyping their band and begging for opening slots and posting lies on social media sites up to and including pretending band members do consume or don't consume in some cases certain drugs or booze. 4) Screwing and sucking to "make it". 5) I've heard of and am quite familiar with band individuals who once swore loyalty to one another who wallow in the muck and stab their bandmates in the back for publishing points, band bonuses, etc. 6) The ultimate "do anything to fucking make it!" is to weed out literally the entire rest of the band in a big sell-out. This happens all the time. When an offer is made by a label representative to "sign" one member they perceive as a building to block to something else (or in cases a puzzle piece to fit with some leftovers of other bandmembers whose time in functioning units ran out). You know, there's nothing wrong with seeking money or fortune; I take umbrage with two faced pukes who swore they'd be loyal to each other or some sort of sound and laughed at the idea of being interested in dumping their pals and quitting their job and becoming a 24/7 phony to "make it". I used to meet kids at the Tower records store I worked at who made no pretensions about being into promoting themselves as a career option. If that's your ploy, if you view it as another sort of job and nothing for anybody to get dewey eyed over, ok. I can't fault you really. New talents who come to me with their hats in hand and want my help for some honest reason, come on. I've never been successfull in any way, except for the fact I've appeared on a jillion releases, some of which have influenced highly successful bands of multiple era's now. Oh yeah, I know my share of people who make music for a living, for real. They cashed in at the right time and parlayed signing bonuses or royalties into a means of perpetuating a life in music at a reasonable level. I like to swap stories with these folks about some of the music biz road-kill, desperate to "get signed". Hey, not only is music biz success shorter lived than even NFL and NBA careers, when you "make it" you'll be dealing with vultures and vermin who pick you fucking clean while smiling to your face and being so ruthless it makes guys like Al Davis or greedy, tightwad GM's look like benevolent Uncles. The bottom line, you won't likely "make it" and if you do it won't be for long. Don't give me that line about the glory of being on the road...360 days out of the year. And don't give me that "hobby band" crap. I know I'm an amateur. My music hobby is similar to my chess hobby in tournaments around the nation or my writing hobby. Small time, but well adjusted. If somebody in your life starts up with this "get signed" wet-dream, GET AWAY from 'em before they start "ends justify's the means" reasoning on you and your hospitality and generosity. If they are about 20 and sexy and talented, maybe; see how it plays out at first. Unfortunately 98% of band-aholics are well in their 20's and 30's, damaged goods, too damn old, but unaware of that fact.
There are a couple of things, well a few things, that really bother me about today's software, TV viewing options, handheld "devises," reading "devices," and the ever popular social networking sites. Everybody seems to have their own favorites, often widely different. Some people only read on Kindle. Others don't read at all. Others still read cheap paperbacks. It scares me a bit, that I have no clue why someone would want to connect shopping for anything on Facebook, or one of their competing sites. I used to be afraid of the fact that Facebook not only wants you as a member, they are clearly driven towards making choices concerning customer's lives.
They suggest what new friends you might want to add, and have designated ways of prioritizing your existing family and friends. I use Facebook to an extent, but their nosiness and pushiness make my stomach feel queazy at times. My gut really gets hopping when I think of how few of you , ranging from mature aunts and uncles to flighty kids, non of you seem to be upset by pop-up "web security, " commercials continuously, depicting moronic youth, flopped prone, dragging their filthy fingers across their alleged iPod, Android or laptop device proud and oblivious of their addiction to technology and gadgets, that are clearly sapping the brain of way too many average Americans.If it all explodes in our face and we wind up device less, weak and enslaved.
We can say that worthless Twitter was the straw that broke the camel's back, that rendered the last few minds into jelly. I predicted the demise of AOL, MySpace and AOL's Instant Messanger--Twitter will be next. Urppp.
Some people have asked me why we wouldn't rather move to Austin as opposed to San Antonio (which is our plan for later this spring). Leaving aside the fact that a $125,000 house in San Antonio with pool, cost about three times that without the pool, Austin is not even a major city--it's a large town. Way too many bands and not even the culture you'd find in second tier cities like Baltimore, or Seattle.
My wife and I both work in Austin, and get along with our coworkers, and I have to admit every time I go up there for leisure purposes, without fail, I'm approached by fans who recognize me, which is flattering and nice.
Marla and I were discussing tonight a strange truth about Austinites, that is very telling in an abstract way. In the eleven years that we've lived in San Marcos (thirty minutes from Austin) we can't think of one Austinite ever visiting our home. We've had Texans from Waco, San Antonio, Houston, Beaumont, Lubbock, and Dallas, in our home, but with the exception of a couple of band members (they had to come to practice here), not one Austiner has made the "long" journey. We've entertained folks from the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, both Carolinas, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Florida to name several. But non of those weird Austiners. We also welcomed to our humble abode friends from Italy, Germany, England, and Australia, but why no A-Towners???
Oh the shame! I guess we're not cool enough to live there.
The folks that raised me contributed to my being so damn smart, even though they didn't provide the genes. I had access to the local library and lots of books. Ol' Bob Irwin was a smashing example as an intellectual in many ways. He always had a nice bright reading lamp situated by the chair he'd either watch along with our nightly television or just ignore it and focus on his study. He didn't even crack a book without having a highlighter of some sort and a pen to make remarks with in the margin. What's that you say? He marked up his books? Of course; maybe you don't need to in the crappy books you tackle, but he read a pile worthy of a guy with a masters degree. He didn't just read his bible, he had a concordance that was maybe 15 volumes. He didn't just read the classics ranging from Dos and Tolstoy to Twain and Sinclair Lewis. I'm not wild about most of the poetry he read, but hey, even in his cancer years he read Emily and the English guys who aren't so bad and was quite familiar with the beats. He was so familiar with Shakespeare he could quote lengthy passages. If he had survived he would be the most familiar in the family with the dramatic productions Elvis produces and sometimes is a player in. He was a well developed cusser, nopt afraid of vile words and very aware of guys like Tennessee Williams. Hell, as a young man Bob looked like a young Brando, just a bit. He always watched Brando on the tube whenever possible along with Richard Burton, Olivier, McQueen, Newman, Bogie, Niven, etc. He watched with approval whenever Orson Wells made the TV interview show circuit. He was a classical music listener of great experience. Just like Bukowski he tended to want to broaden his listening framework away from the pop classics that get beaten to death. Let's get back to his marking up his books, the margins. This is the real nugget he left me, he showed the damn way to understand books. So many of you think you're so open minded and up on things, but you suck up conspiracy crap he'd never sucker for. He knew you had to read books you didn't agree with on the surface to find the truth about lots of stuff. He wasn't a commie or a symp of any stripe, but he had a copy of Das Capital by Marx thickly annotated. Hey, that's how you find out about alternate philosophical ideas and political theory. You don't suck it up, you look for inconsistencies and flakey lines that can't be backed up. As this applies to conspiracy hucksterism you look at the footnotes; if it's just the authors other books or a load of biased crap by loons, you often don't even need to read much of the book itself. This of course is what I was taught in my Senior history seminar by the at the time official State of Texas Historian. Bob had lots of snappy comebacks and quotations and concordance thoughts to hurl at me when we argued religion. Just like 98% of arguments of that nature, it always started as if we were going to prove something to one another, but wounded up being a stalemate. He eventually realized that I could argue my way into getting him to admit he had made a faith decision, so that was it for that subject. If he hadn't wound up dying of cancer we would have had new shit to argue about over the years. I wonder still how he could stomach poets like James Whitcomb Riley and Emerson. He was a Whitman fan too, which I now get, sort of. His guy Frost seems too obvious to me, but hey...he was developing an interest in T.J. Elliot and that hard to read dude Pound. Quite a few of my friends read plenty of Faulkner and Poe, two of his steady regular reads. Happily, he could still laugh harder at a good fart contest than anybody; perhaps that's proof of his ultimate intellect. UUrrp. You've got to know when it's time to hop out of the ivory tower.
A couple quick but neccessary things. Only in the last few years have morons "halloweened" the catholic holiday "fat Tuesday" in non-catholic, non-appropriate cities. What the fuck? If you're not in New Orleans, what's the point? No dumbass, I'm not catholic, I just think it's about as stupid as removing the "place" from other celebrations. Hows about Saint Patty's day in South central, or Rosa Parks festivities in Minot North Dakota, or Cinco de mayo in a Long Island suburban sports bar. Chinese New Year here in San Marcos, or perhaps Casper Wyoming? MLK day in Bozeman Montana? Do you get the idea? I'm not impressed.
One more thing. We Irwins welcomed my Grandson to the world 19 months or so ago. Even though he was a little blob, none of us called him a blob. We hugged him and passed him around and remarked on whom he seemed to take after at the moment. Hank isn't grown up yet, but he looks increasingly like an adult male. He grew out of the blob phase long, long ago. He is very physical and scrappy and can throw stuff and will look you in the eye and tell you his latest deep thought or identify body parts with his fingers or amaze me by playing his keyboard and swinging his ass like Mick Jagger or James Brown, or tackling the drum kit with both sticks held properly when he visits our home. Elvis and I agree looking back now that he was indeed just a blob and that one of the facts of life is just accepting your own kin line and not being too brutely honest, but just gradually viewing 'em as a baby and then a toddler and then a frigging young genius stud like he is today. Nobody had to go around telling us what to do or say or how to be sensitive by the nunmbers. UURRRPPPPP. It's ash wednesday...a day quite like the "night of the living dead"film series. I'd rather watch it than go out amongst you fools. Oh well, paid holiday Monday, bear up Reb.
SOME THINGS I'VE BEEN UNABLE TO WRITE ABOUT OR TALK ABOUT FOR SEVERAL YEARS
.In a nutshell, my life has really become boring and remote compared to most other periods since my childhood. Marla and I were talking for a bit tonight about the transition from when we lived in Portland and knew so many goddamn pests, mooches to now days when we can 3 months or longer between visits of anybody but the exterminator guy. Yeah, we had some friends then too, some good ones, but more mooches than you could shake a flannel shirt at. These days, we see one lovely couple every now and then and that's it. No mooches and pests, but nobody else. We went to bars and tried to be friendly and get to know some folks for a few years here, but it has seemed silly for a damn long time. I've forgotten how to be much of a friend and was a bad one in some cases I guess. This town is just too small in terms of non-student populace, it was really clueless in retrospect to try to meet people here I have things in common with. Shit, we've always known lots of people from various sorts of artistic and musical and literary and blue-collar pursuits all at once. We've been used to dealing with a great number of successful, visible people in most places we've lived. I always expected to find some pocket of success's here, but it never happened. The nicest people we know are sort of underachievers shall we say in my opinion, hanging out at the same bars night in night out; NOTE! there's nothing wrong with that, if that's what you want. In Philly we knew people who aspired to live and succeed in NY. In Portland friends occasionally broke out of their molds and went on to pursue things in SF or LA or Seattle. In LA we knew people who were known on a national level for what they did. It's been good going to school here and raising up Elvis here and seeing him get hitched to a fine lady and produce a great Grandson, but it's not enough for me. I went from decades of conversing with people, bouncing ideas off of them, playing records for them they've never heard, getting drunk with folks to near isolation. I've had to eliminate from my joys in life thrift stores, record stores, book stores, ball games, race tracks, bars, clubs, wrestling events, bars, bars, bars. But again, the thing I miss the most is just sitting around talking with a few cold ones. It's gotten to the point that when I do finally get together with live people I talk their ears off. It's embarrassing at times, but at least I realize it. On the bright side, I've been able to write several books including a large piece of my first fiction piece. My getting back into chess is a good thing for my health and brain. It's clear now that I came fairly close to death a few years ago when I went deaf from an ear infection and had to change my sodium intake. I'm much healthier now and can do things mentally that I couldn't 10-20 years ago. I want to blossom baby, use my noggin and get back to some yakking and drinking in bars and doing all the other things I miss. The isolation took its toll on me several years ago, but I'm back and ready. Lots of writing in the can, songs recorded that are fresh and unheard, success at the job I can't write about and a body and mind rested up and disciplined, ready for action. Urrpp. Our house goes up for sale in March. The same realtor will help us buy one in the North central portion of San Antonio. We'll probably get more for this one than we spend down there, the market is great. We can likely get a house with 4 bedrooms or so with a pool for $120,000-$125,000. Our mortgage payment will be going down. This diary has really trailed off hit wise, but I know that when I finally cross pollinate it with FB (never have even once) it'll bring some people in. Shit, that's just what I need to do starting this week. No, I'm not ready to flick it in or get any more alone or secluded than I've been here in San Marcos. Hopefully, I can look back at this period of time and look at it as a nice rest-up in the long run. One things for sure, we're hiring goddamn movers for our small bit of furnishings. I've moved most of the records and cd's and books already to climate controlled storage, just like a frigging chess-player AHEAD of time. I'm ready to re-emerge in a city, not a perfect place I'm sure, but at least a big goddamned city, where I fucking belong.
We've been happy with our goddamn Keurig coffee maker for a few months now. You pop in a little pod of one of a zillion types of java and it spits your cup out prawn-toe. I wondered now and then if the German name meant it is made by the Krupps. A lady at work Friday stated that it is indeed a Krupp product and that she boycotts it for that reason. Hey, I work in Austin, a kind haven for boycotts. Curiously, other workers in earshot had no idea who the Krupp's even are, or shall we say were. I read a 900 page history of the family years ago and am quite familiar with the humble beginnings of their clan peddling armaments and ammo for several centuries. There have been Krupp's escalating wars by selling things like missles to competing combatants for a long time, there was even a Krupp in Hitler's inner circle who was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and served a couple years. About that time, they switched to manufacturing small kitchen appliances and grew back from a bad position to become a big player in that field. So, did I choose to join in the boycott? Well, you already know I didn't, Good thing I'm not easily conned by popular boycott info. I researched it all and learned that the Keurig company was founded in New England in 1990. These days there is such a rush to judge others, it's no wonder she probably picked it up from NPR or somebody at a lefty rally turned her on to the dirty Keurig's and she just went along with it. These days you're just supposed to assume that some dirty corporation is vile and evil if somebody claims it from "your side". Will I tell her about what I've learned Monday? Of course not. 10, 20 or 40 years ago I would have, but it's a solid possibility that she won't even believe me and will consider me some sort of jackbooted reactionary pawn of the corporations. Since my job assignment is still fairly new, there's no sense in that. It's a shame, she's not a dummy, you can't be to do this job. Some of the best educated individuals in our society not only fall into these baseless traps, they perpetuate them. There's a really insane blanket condemnation of "corporations" these days clearly cooked up as political fodder. Al Gore, a corporate profiteer of recent stature deflects attention by making speeches against vile corporations. This is par for the course. What amazes me a is not how deeply conned so many people are into blanket hatred of the other political side, but the fact that they seem so unable to see the same crud going on in their own camp. If you approach a big majority of righties or lefties one on one and say something like "isn't it a shame how the politicians want to inhibit our freedom", they will enthusiastically jump in with an example of the side they view as so dirty and corrupt; the only ones who connect the dots and wag a finger in the air and say "well, it's both sides" are Libertarians or people who are jaded and have given up and don't vote. I've tried this a few times on people in break areas at work. Once, I brought up a wacko new restriction, a new way of clamping down on peoples freedom in Portland and the individual I was confiding in started in on the moral-wacko wing of the Republican party. Jesus, there are no Repub's in that city, it's like Berkeley. But, they assumed if it's bad and challenges our right to do something, it must be the other side. Hey, righties do knee-jerk crazy shit too. They not only often preach about how atheists can't possibly have morals (remember? this was the quote that really made me hate Bush Sr.) they'd like you to believe that all democrats are abortion loving sinning scum, not church goers, when the truth is plenty of democrats attend churches just as often as them. It's become a media cliche how the country is divided, but you rarely hear sources criticizing the side they support, which is often obvious. Party people are the source of evil these days in my eyes, more than anytime I can recall in my life. What the hell can I do about it that? It's a sad state of affairs that pervades every corner of every branch of my family and likely yours too. Many relatives I love are just blind to the scum in their own party. This will probably pass in time. Meanwhile, don't despair, do like me and just try to focus on stuff you can actually effect a change in. It's hopeless to try to wise these partisans up. Give up. Get that hobby in full gear or start a couple new ones.
My return to work this last week drove one point home worth commenting on here: There is a direct relation to looking relatively younger or older in your middle age proportionate to your behaving like a crabby old fossil or a continuation of what you've been all of your life to that time. There's the formula. Some background now.
I work with many coworkers in a very wide age range. There are two broad camps many of them fit into, those who work to supplement their vacations in the off season in which they plan to have some fun, usually by gambling and stepping out. The other crew are folks who act stuffy, parental and wear their parent badges to work. They talk about their kids sinking into morasses of violent video games and bad friends and back talk. When phone calls come in for them, they always look hot and worked up while talking. The good attitude people take calls, but they usually are very positive about the arrangements they make. They look forward to spending time with their kids and grandchildren, even though they do naughty stuff too, clearly. My observations are clear. When it comes time for ages to be divulged, it seems to always turn out that the crab heads are younger than me, but are weather-beaten and jaded and look older than me. Alternately, the young of mind folks often turn out to be in their 60's, but fuck; they look younger or at least no older than the prudes 15-20 years younger than them. I asked my Frau about this, if her mind had been blown by how old some people look before their time and how good some of their opposites often look. This should be a lesson to most of you since my readership here is not an old one. There's nothing wrong with being responsible even if it means being a square most of the time. I think it's dangerous to your health both mental and physical to just drop anchor for good and act like an old coot. Quite a few of this breed seem to talk disproportionately about their evil imbibing past. I know plenty of folks who put themselves through hell for many years and swear off and still have as much fun if not more. You don't have to bear the burden of being a know-it-all about the vices of our society and quote or emulate dumbass mainstream radio psychologists or evangelical preachers in their finger wagging glory to bring up kids. If you have chosen to, look in the damn mirror and see what you've become. If you look like some cube from a 50's sitcom about to blow a blood vessel over kids walking in your flower beds, fucking STOP what you're doing to yourself. All the tight lipped experts and tough-love asshole experts you see and hear in the media have goddamn books to sell, rating figures to achieve. They move units by acting like hardasses and coaxing their audiences to crack down on their rebellious kids. Don't sucker for that shit. Look at the people you work with who enjoy life and look pretty good and aren't always blowing a gasket when a call comes from home. Ask some of them how old they are. It'll surprise the shit out of you, guaranteed. Age is a state of mind to a great degree. Even if you've had to swear off some stuff over the years, don't be a cornball grouch aping the "family" experts on the tube or in magazines, unless you want to morph into somebody akin to the dudes in the 50's who mowed their goddamn lawns with their ties cinched up. UUUrrppp
Work season begins again in a couple days. Of course I can't write about work, but I can say it's a nice cerebral job I'm heading for this time around. I interviewed for the team and met the bosses. They liked my tattoo's, which is a good sign. If they didn't maybe I wouldn't have been hired; in that case, I wouldn't have wanted to work with them anyway. After my experience and training from last season I'm in demand. I was offered a slew of positions I had to turn down after making a commitment to this one. Lots of training and eventually a great 4-12:30 swing shift, but I'm going to train for a couple weeks at first from 7:30 am-4:00 pm. It will suck, but what the hell. I did it for a week last year and found that it was a good way to make the rest of the season seem like a milk run. It sounds like wrestling schtick, but it's a fact that my brain has improved this decade. Perhaps my college classes and the intense regime of chess study have something to do with it, or maybe those are reflections of my improving brain. When I was young and trying to find a place in the work world, I got tons of pressure to pursue a business career. The work factor was ok, but traditional offices don't suit me best. Working for the government is great from the standpoint that the bosses aren't the old boy assholes you see in too many private workplaces. Just give me a computer and a task that is boring to others and you'll get results. I did well back in the title insurance biz processing files using maps and printouts and documents working with almost zero mistakes. I'm cut out for whatever they got to throw at me from now on, this I know. Yes, I have to focus and think hard, but that's my natural state writing books and solving master level chess problems. I'm not so cocky as to think I'm not going to screw up and forget some shit now and then. I know I will do some absent minded stuff on bad days and simply forget about certain things we're trained on and have to ask for help frequently at first. I know that one of my weaknesses is navigating on a pc, dragging boxes that children work with for instance. Many co-workers are very strong in that sort of stuff and weak elsewhere. I learned a valuable lesson last season about being very open about things I'm not certain of. That wasn't the case always in the private sector. Enough of that. We made a trip to the humongous Winstar casino about 4 hours drive from here for a last bit of fun before my work grind. My favorite moment was in an elevator leading to the casino floor. I was eager to gamble and stood with my nose practically to the doors. When they opened, I heard a couple of screaming voices; a male and female had stood waiting also very close to the doors and were terrified at seeing a bearded tattoo'd freak in their faces so close. Damn. I wish I could choose moments like that. It's sort of a reward for getting old and gnarled looking to frighten folks on sight. It's a nice change from the standard "where's your Harley"? bit...urrrp.
So, I was coming down with this allergy cedar crap flying out to Vegas for the tournament a week ago. Helpless, I hunkered down in my seat and just tried to rest. Directly behind me was what I soon figured out to be a girl in her late teens and a guy in his mid 20's. Their loud talking kept me amused during the flight. Why? They were talking about their individual "greek" experiences. Sorry, I just can't resist a look inside their brains. One of the most amazing and disappointing factoids in US life over the last quarter century is the fact that even though the frats and sororities were down for the count and a common joke when I was coming up in the late 70's, they've rebounded incredibly, especially down here. Shit, the rampant cult leaders from back then have receded into the background; atheism-agnosticism appeared to be taking hold back then, but the gains have been muffed by the original hippies deciding to sucker for huge arena-rock style churches. The one type of mind control I thought was doomed for sure was the greek wussies. Here's my problem with them. They claim to be a great way to meet other students, blah blah blah and have contacts from your college life in the real world. I say, maybe so..if you survive the hazing and funnel drinking games that is. I think that what the greek life really does is extend the sports-royalty hierarchy horseshit of high school to college level. It's really foreign to me, the mindset that students at that level are better off as clones, cookie cutter little children, always doing things in big groups. I think you wind up with conformists who aren't brave enough or savy enough to hone out lives as individuals. I'm all about individuality of course, remember? A look inside the heads of these two fellow passengers was quite entertaining. I was keen on hearing what the guys pickup line was going to be. He rapidly asked about her plans when she got off of the plane and it tirned out she was going skiing and was only 18 years old. He seemed to be a bit hesitant to go into score mode. He instead morphed into a big Brother mode. After perhaps foolishly admitting that he had only found a job that paid $30,000 per year, whilst his buddies in the same field made $105,000. I thought that might end the discussion, but she seemed so ditzy and unaware of what working is all about, it worked out ok. She confided to him how much she enjoyed beer drinking games (done as a group of course) and that it was awful that there are bad people in the world who make waves and don't appreciate their funnel drinking. She pointed out "it's such a long tradition...and they don't understand it". Frat dude um hmmed along in a sad voice. You might think I'm in favor of that shit; unh uuhh. I don't like crowds and group drinking. Alcohol consumption is an art. If me or one of my cohorts shotguns beers or chugs booze, we don't need sweat stuff to kill the taste, or funnels. They mis-use booze by implementing it as a punishment. When your early alcohol experiences are miserable and you heave like a dog as loving frat and sorority elders watch and chuckle, you're very likely going to one day be a prude about booze and drug laws, not a big consumer at all. If parents knew how that childish sort of game drinking drives young adults in the long run against booze, they'd turn their heads. Maybe a few do? After a bit the former frat blew my mind by actually doing one of the most juvenile things a supposed adult can do, by bragging that he had drank a lot many times and was some sort of drinking stud. I say HORSESHIT!! Guys that age all fucking lie about how much they drink; even I did a few times. REAL drinkers are savy to the first great truth about bacchanalia, the person who needs the least amount to get happy is the winner. You can't explain that to impressionable rubes who copy every fad and style they're told to and never buck the theories passed down to them by conventional wisdom philosophers from the senior class. You graduate to another level of adulthood when you quit counting your drinks and broadcasting the numbers. Eventually, when you are a veteran boozehound you are excused for counting beers in your frig so you can go load up properly. If those frat men drink so much, why do I always see them in the beer aisles at the store debating whether they need 1 or maybe 2 six packs for 3 or 4 guys?
A really funny damn thing happened one morning at Bally's casino on my way to a round of chess. The rule for casino's is of course, if you want to drink for free, fucking start playing. 9 times out of 10 if you plop your ass down at a seat at the bar and start playing video poker you'll have a cold one in yer damn mitt within 2 minutes, for which you need to tip a buck. It's not actually comped beer, you need to tip..no big deal. If you can't afford dollar tips, why are you even there. If you're really that break, bring your own beer in and make runs to your room. So, a well dressed player type guy about 40 attracted my attention by loudly demanding his "free beer" from a strolling waitress. It looked like she had already chatted with him; she responded "You've got to PLAY"! He snapped back "I am playing!" and proceeded to scoop a handful of mixed up filthy change from his pocket, whereupon he tried to stuff it into the nonexistent slot. Hey, man..they did away with coins quite a few years ago. After it dawned upon him that the coins weren't actually being consumed by the machine, he looked so embarrassed that in the long run he paid for a beer. HHmmm, if we was hustling in Vegas, why didn't he know that? Did he come from a time machine? That was perhaps the worlds worst hustle. It could be topped perhaps by a pimp fetching from the closet a hanger to whoopass a mouthy working girl and grabbing one of the wooden dry-cleaning ones with clamps and seriously leaving marks on her.
A really weird thing happened to me the now extinct Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon where I spent my first night. While delivering a comp drink (which I bloody tipped for) a voluptuos barmaid grabbed my right forearm and slowly turned it to look at my red devil tattoo (courtesy of Eric Perfect). She told me an interesting story: "Did you know? I actually saw the devil once. He was short, very short and had dark slicked back hair and a pencil thin mustache. He was sitting at a bar, wearing a burgundy and black suit and sweating like mad. He was very hot". What could I say or do? I nodded along and smiled and waited until she was back on her rounds.....and tucked back into my game. Quite a few guys I know would have taken it as a pickup line and I know a few real studs who would probably take her home after work or out for a drink using some smooth line. Guaran-damnteed none of them belonged to frats. UURRPP.
I only got back from the North American Open 2012 about 24 hours ago and have just had time to get caught up on some stuff..and wham, an email from a former foe on a chess play site telling me my picture is in an article on the event at the worlds biggest goddamned chess website "Chessbase" which is hosted by the most venerable chess computer company on earth. They have a caption running under my focused mug saying "biker guy". Why can't they ever get that right? I'm right underneath Ylon Schwartz the poker genius who played in a section above me. I never ask journalists to run my picture in chess publications or websites. I've detected a certain amount of animosity from chess club types who think that stronger players should be featured. What can I say? Women are featured in the bigger chess sites and mags way the hell out of proportion. In the US minority players used to also be rare when I was coming up, so to try to establish some role models a great deal of photo space is given to non-white's. That leaves a lot of white males, who used to dominate the game, steaming I guess because they'd rather show a mighty he-man like Phil Irwin than one of the jillion old male-pattern-baldness geeks with pocket protectors or any of the younger guys 99% of whom wear harmless plaids and the usual hair goop and calculated stubble, or even Bieber bangs. Anyway, I'll have to get Marla to run a link to that piece. In the tournament I finished 3 1/2 - 3 1/2 and wound up inching up to my highest USCF rating ever. Shit-fuck! That puts me in a rare group, those my age still improving. I've got some great yarns for the next entry, including one about a conversation I overheard from the seats behind me on one flight between a sorority girl and a graduated frat guy. I overheard his smooth pickup patter and insider info on funnel drinking and beer drinking games. The future leaders of our country, or perhaps the boss where you work who will book you to the curb in a few years. .
I just listed on Ebay a super valuable 1959 record by Sun records discovery Bill Justis on the Sister label Phillips international. I wound up listing it for $74.99 and describing it in detail. Shit, if it was near mint according to the guide it would be worth $400. Oh well, I can't remember if I paid .50 cents or a full dollar for it. I've learned to be very cautious when dealing with high profile records because they attract scumbags, con-men and anal collectors by the dozen. I broke a long standing rule of mine and gave it a grade according to the record vultures system. I happened to crack it open and saw all sorts of blather about how to become a record collector that really made me laugh. I've known a great many record dealers over the years and of course lots of store owners and I'm friendly enough with a few of them that I won't reveal all of the dirty behind the scenes secrets (such as the scumbags who re-seal records...people in beloved bands who are supposed to be idealistic and upright) but it's ok to point out that many of my friends use the priceguides with a grain of salt as a sort of general source of information. I never befriended any dealer who it all seriously. Why do so few record hounds bitch over the fact that their hobby is infested with creeps who see nothing wrong with the head jackasses with the biggest inventory's write the damn books? Is that the way it works with antiques and those stupid ass beany-turds and baseball cards? Price guides should be a goddamned consumer helper, not a shill for the dealers who pen it and exaggerate the value of the stuff they have stocked in depth. Did you ever hear the tale about Lux and Ivy at a 78 rpm record sale in a midwest warehouse, catching a beloved guy from canned heat (a huge dealer) smashing copies while he thought no one was looking so he could cut the competition to his own items? Don't get me wrong, I miss not being near the big U.S. record shows and love searching in dollar bins as much as ever, but I wouldn't call myself a goddamned stinking "record collector" and more than I'd wear a T-shirt celebrating one of those sleezy, but sometimes fun sales channels. In other words, people who love music and records are often good, card-carrying "record collectors" are scum. Not only is their guide a screwjob, about 99.8% of them would rip off their granny's best friend, fellow church members, or a grieving widow, sucker them and later BRAG about it to their cronies. Have you ever seen one of them wear that fucking "T-shirt "I BUY RECORDS!" If you do, stay down wind from the dirty, lying pukes. Occasionally car salesmen make an honest transaction, but not the fuckface record predators, not to you, me or a dying or sick person who needs to liquidate their vinyl professionally, but wind up with those hounds pounding on their doors 2 hours before the estate or garage sale opens officially. UUUUrrprppp;p
Shit, a couple thousand non-label singles I have sorted over the last few nights. Most of them are safely in our climate controlled storage. I threw out a hundred or so badly scratched specimens that have lurked in my boxes for too long. Urp. I now have 40 boxes resting on 3 shelf units there. My job will begin in mid January this season and it's got to be done before the house can be finally prepared for showing in Feb. I'm very rational most of the time I suppose and get work done and study incredibly tough chess books and write and all, but fear not. The hatred I have for certain aspects of humanity is impressive these days. Since we got rid of cable and watch the uninterrupted Netflix and the fewer commercial Hulu shows I've come to hate the few add's I see to the point of almost losing it. Take commercials mostly away and the desensitization reverses itself. The ones that really have me howling and grappling for the remote and covering my eyes like a whipped bunny are part of a "Prius family" series by Toylota. It includes soft singing by what we can only determine is by a earth mama voice, squeaky and bubbly and vomit inducing. There are no humans in the commercials, just some sort of phony baloney non-animation....pixar or pixel or whatever the hell it's called. Happy little creatures go about their little lives...so happy to be driving a conformist auto approved of by hippies evidently. As I told you here recently Toylota commercials have driven me ape for decades and this keeps up the tradition. Their slogans are sappier than mcdonalds. What a farce, trying to mask the lures of the bloodthirsty sharks at their dealerships. Asserting that buying one of their shit-mobiles is somehow different, when as we all know the same games are played by the staffs there. All the bettyboop-gone-hippie blather in the world can't dislodge in my mind for 5 seconds the absolute treachery I recognize whenever I step on a car lot. You've got to be a real rube to think that the game is off just because you hear a commercial featuring a pitchman with a moronic drawl, or if the vehicle is some government supported hybrid few really want, or if this sort of insipid angle is used. It has amazed me for years how humanoids have been so brainwashed they keep up the chant about walmart and home depot and corporate ripoffs, but never seem to equate the chicanery and double-talk of the auto industry with a good reaming. Goddamn, how much money have you been burned for by mechanics and car lots over the years compared to corporate burger places or captains of industry? HHHHHMMMM?? What a fool you have been to perceive only the bad guys you've been conditioned to be pissed at. Not us. No fucking bloody way.
First off, I want to congratulate my Son Elvis. He produced a couple of nights of a play he wrote for his theater students at the high school he teaches at. They're doing it again next weekend too. We've seen many plays he's produced over the years there and at the University during his period of education. I won't go on the whole entry here, but I could. The topic is clearly appealing to me and probably most of y'all. It's about letting people run their own lives the way they see fit. That sagely includes even a stuffy broad character who does some finger wagging at the dozen young characters the play revolves around. I told his wife and Brother-in-law and him too for that matter tonight that if we could roll the clock back to when he was young Hank's age and predict he was going to be capable of pulling off a play in a tiny conservative Texas town with worldly lines about drinking and smoking and eating what you want to and electing to be a eunuch (!?) to simplify life, if we could have selected a theme for him to stand up for as an adult, I couldn't think of a much better one. He had to really walk on eggshells with some of the extreme parents there. The set was damn unique and the kids really seemed to be into it. Of course he's read the full range of plays out there from the ancients to the shit stirrers of the postwar era right up to stuff that'd make Lenny Bruce grin. It's nice to be able to keep your job and produce something not maudlin or lame as a theater director. Urp..
I bet that as usual quite a number of you got a good dose of "wisdom" and advice from some know-it-all relatives at Thanksgiving gatherings; there's still one annual holiday this year so many of us feel obligated to experience against our best wishes. The most familiar example I can think of along the lines of people who want to actually change the way people live their lives is the holiday ritual. So, what do we want to do with the nags and preachy males in our lives who want to change us? Is it enough to just get them to shut the fuck up...or to move far enough away from where they are, or to dive in and defend our rights with words and maybe balled up fists? If you could, would you change the way they live? Even though I've circumvented most family preaching by producing good offspring, 2 generations now, I'm just as likely to hear all the kvetching from saps who want me to change. Some want me not to hunt or wear leather, some want me not to eat meat and buy a new green toilet and use only 1 square of wipe for my bowel movements. Others want me not to drink or cuss or look at dirty pictures or go to strip clubs or be friendly with transsexual's and gays. This isn't a two sided battle. Others who drink and hunt and sneak looks at smut want me to worship THEIR football teams, both college and pro and to not put down John Wayne movies and to hate gays right along with them. There are a zillion around these days who are ok with me not going to church and accepting gays and watching movies with sex scenes as long as I respect their "amway church" that rarely mentions god, vote for special rights for gays and special funding for all people they consider downtrodden. These same ones though often are heavily in favor of some smart people (in the eyes of their party loyalists) telling us what to eat and what kids should consume and are determined to do away with gun rights. There are plenty who think because of my age and profile I'm a dumb racist cracker, period. They are determined to get me to pay up for all the slaves of their own race held by people purportedly of my race long ago. Ahh, ahh. All of my Richard Wright and Donald Goings and Iceberg Slim books won't get me off of the hook, neither will my stack of Blowfly albums, autographed in my own home. Likewise, my personal bonding with chess players from my late teens to this day from Iran, Syria, Palestinians, Paki's and Indians, none of it is good enough to swing around the extreme to believing I should live my life, my way..and not there's. A huge mass of folks on this planet think I'm flat-out rich and spoiled and should send a big chunk of my income to their sanctioned representatives to distribute. Shit, I don't recall ever feeling rich. Yet, the people advocating I live my life by their judgment possibly outnumber most of the other finger waggers I've mentioned here. I could write volumes along the same lines. How's about the Chess960 and Go players who want us traditional chessplayers to switch to their way? What about the millions of "makeover" fans who want me get rid of our venetian blinds and antiquated bathroom fixtures and get over preferring to eat at greasy, dark restaurants that are fossils in their view and drink in piss smelling bars with drunks passed out occasionally instead of some brightly lit MTV style south beach style joint? Humping jumping Jesus, how many fucking comedy bits making fun of white underpants must I see? Oh the shame of admitting publicly that I wear 'em. I will be at odds for the rest of my crude existence with large numbers of conformist water-cooler-hip clowns who want me to wear boxers or no skivvies at all and drink light or micro-spew beer and laugh at ironic commercials. UUrrp.
My longtime Wife and I compared notes earlier tonight on an uncomfortable experience we've both experienced at work. Neither one of us spends any more time than absolutely necessary in company break rooms at our respective places of employment. Breaks and lunches which are required by law aren't pleasant to either of us (or even really breaks at all) when we're around a mob of coworkers. To make matters worse, in both of our seats of toil the lunch/break facilities are dominated by televisions, blaring so-so programming, but commercials that make us not want to eat. I can't write about work, but I can reveal that such a high percentage of humanoids I work with guffaw like jackasses at the absolute bottom of the barrel commercials, it's shocking. There seems to be an eery connection between what I hate and what they are in stitches over. Isn't it just a bit strange that the employees at another large place of employment cackle the same way, over the same tedious crap that infuriates us and actually drove us to cancel cable? An example that has come to light. There's a Geico commercial where the action switches from a guy smashing watermelons to a couple of rubes standing on a board playing stringed instruments. They stop strumming to exchange a few words and then go back to whatever they were picking; it's not memorable music and they don't seem to be saying anything funny. So, why are they there? Why in the fuck would they make me want to buy insurance? Are we the viewers supposed to like them..or hate them..be blown away by their music..or, are we supposed to recognize them? I suspect that what is intended by the ad agency is some sort of "irony" which doesn't go over my head, I just choose to not recognize it. I don't WANT to really understand the angles of such an unpleasant sight, to whit, these 2 goofs talking in forced, stiff psuedo-hick-South accents. This commercial also irks my sweetheart. Sometimes when it is aired on Hulu as one of the "limited" commercials, we both instinctively leap for the remote with the mute button. Wouldn't you know, the break room crowd at her joint quiets down when this one airs, waiting for the hilarious catch phrases. One lady was heard exclaiming "this is my husbands favorite commercial...he just loves it!" To me, that's not only sickening for the moment, it reveals how alienated we two actually from the masses..and how great a matched pair we are for that matter. We should start an agency to serve as bellweathers for the agencies that trowel that slop out. If we both hate it it's gonna be a hit with folks and vice versa. Many of you may think that since we are the age of your parents that we are like them; HAH! We hated mass appeal ad's in the 80's and 90's too. At some point in the mid 80's, I had to watch a toyota commercial in which a typical family leaped up in the air clicking their heels together...so many time..that I vowed not only to never buy one of their disgusting pieces of shit on wheels, I've made sure not to rent one or even ride in one for that matter. The Geico commercial seems to be disappearing from Hulu, but it's being replaced by one that might drive me to hulk a frying pan into our TV screen. It's the one in which some ditty bimbo says "excuse me" in that tone used by pop dialogue wankers who really know that it's a code for saying: fuck you! I don't really mean what I'm saying..but feel compelled to pretend to apologize. I bet when I report back to the job in a month they'll be doubled over in glee over that one. Any way, I don't know who the amiable rubes are...and I don't want to know. If I ever do, somebody fucking shoot me. Oddly enough, a sidenote. We treasure a large collection of perhaps 30 hours of ancient toy and car and smoke and booze and cereal commercials. We watch them together now and then for hours. Urp. Pack that up yer ass and squeel.
I'm going in to the studio on Thursday, all by myself to nail down some finishing touches on our 6 new RV songs. Of course for many years I couldn't have considered doing anything like that without drinking, but booze will be my reward after the session. I like our studio guy Stewart a lot and know that the last time I was there I got pretty loaded after nailing some overdubs for guitar down. I might have sat in our car honking the horn for awhile while nobody seemed to be around. I was plastered, but what the hell. I got many parts recorded for posterity about as perfect as I need them to be. Thursday I'll be doing some minimalist synth parts and a top secret sample utilizing a wrestling Dvd. Now, in the first couple decades of our amateur music endeavors we had to rehearse over and over. We're tighter now, much tighter but don't rehearse nearly as often. I think after a point the gods or fate or some unseen force just lets you get things done easier. I haven't practiced keyboards in a long damn time, but I don't need to fucking play like Floyd Cramer or Liberace. All I have to do is some basic subtle parts for a few of the songs. It's nothing as heavy as when I really had fun playing tenor sax, guitar and Clavinet alternately during a lineup of Alcoholics Unanimous. Re-reading "Escape From Cookieland" a couple weeks ago reminded me of my squandered musical talent. I could've played bassoon to get myself through college and even for a living. Order the book if you don't know what I'm talking about. I've always been able to play songs through my brain adding and subtracting parts that actually do or do not exist in the recording. Can you? I'm not boasting, just in case everybody can do that. So, I can run the parts I need to do through my noggin' and edit down what I want to do. Yeah, I'm prone to crow about my part of what is a couple of very crude bands, but shit..I'll be the first to admit that I'd gladly switch abilities with many, many musicians. Our current bass player Marilyn for one. Anywho, a couple days of preparation and I'm ready to get the job done. Don't need booze, it's too long a drive even mildly buzzed. Plenty when I get home. Now, if it was basic parts of a song or tedious guitar overdubs...I'd need a few bottles and a driver. Urp.
Yes, we are moving to San Antonio. I could write here about housing markets and the original reasons we moved to this corner of Texas being fulfilled and all, but the bottom line comes down to 2 major themes of why we're moving: 1) I've failed at living in a small hick town. Commuting to the nearby cities looked easy on paper, but is impractical as fuck. 2) This is a small college town ideal for going to school, but our son is graduated, married with a son and in his late 20's. I got my degree a few years ago and there's no reason to stay. The college big wigs have new dorms going up all over the town; the shell game is to suck in students who aren't accepted elsewhere, blow 'em out in a couple few months with rigid rules about vice, keep their parents money, build more dorms and seek glory for the U with a higher body count every year. There is no benefit to being adults living in a college town without somebody in your life taking classes. The bars are full of students doing the lite-beer, hair-gel mating ritual. We realized a few years ago there simply are no bars where adults drink in darkness without horrid bands and open mic horseshit. Clearly the most popular road for musicians here is to be in imitation cover "pretend" bands. I am already me..and along with Marla we are us. Sometimes we've met some of the legends they imitate. It's not my cup of tea. If I was in my 30's I'd probably really get into it, but no. There are some pockets of talent around here a few good bands, just like there are some good souls in the bars on a good night, but 10 years of rube-town is enough. The only flea market burned down about the time we moved here, the only bookstore is half price, still only 1 thrift store, the library is jolly for a small town, but I've read out entire sections. They finally have enacted 2:00 am bar closing hours and there's some taxi cabs finally, but it's too late. I'm a classic house visit small-party drinker. I prefer small circles of elite company or even small groups of morons who aspire to learn from the eggheads, but this city is about college bars, calculated stubble, football, screechy rookie female college drinker vibes in bars, yunno. The grownups and professors and smart people have eluded our company. We've met a few, but nobody seems interested enough to bond with. When we move we will be refamiliarized with adult bars, flea markets, racetracks, radio stations, chess clubs, filthy minded bands doing original evil stuff (as opposed to 20-30 something injokes) more bars, some goddamned MORE grocery fucking stores where you can get ethnic foods..book stores...REAL city bookstores for well read people and most importantly adult company now and then. NOTE! I'm not bitching about the few we know here who have been nice and friendly and supportive, but you folks know it's not enough. I've always lived in cities like Philly and L.A. and Seattle or large towns like Snoreland. I have no hard feelings like I had about stumptown changing into something unrecognizable. College towns are a place where you're supposed to leave after your business there is done. On the bright side, 10 years of solitude and few distractions have provided me several books now both published and in the works. Another good thing is the fact that I'm in better shape now mentally and physically than when I got here. I still drink nightly but have it down to a low-hangover ratio science. I've gotten past the heart rate and clogged up wiring that drove me deaf for 10 days and forced me to learn to cook low sodium shit. With a horrid choice of only 3 grocery stores I've had to make do with few low sodium supplies. Things will be much easier with some real stores. Ditto for having gas to cook on our stove with where we go. I've been 10 years without a wok!
Since our Son's clan is here and her family is all in San Antonio all the indications are we need to be there. We already have band members there, it'll make that come together overnight, no more feet in sand.band syndrome. There are more than 2 formal chess clubs down there, Retama park, scores of grocery stores, flea markets, thrift stores, REAL book stores and plenty of bars for a mostly working class population. Plenty of people from out of town who dig Austin will wonder why we aren't moving there. Well, it's housing market is overpriced as fuck for openers. We'd have to sign up for 50-100 in mortgage payments AT LEAST to live there. Hovels go for 275,000 up there. We can get a bigger house than this one for 125,000-140,000. San Antonio is a good place for people who demand non-Cali practicality in real estate values. I don't want to pay a "hipness" factor. Austin is a large town, San Antonio...a huge metropolitan area CITY has 2 fucking wrestling promotions at least and was the leading honky tonk city from the 40-s through the 80's. The buzz you hear from Austin is about talent coming there to perform from other places. The alleged local talent pool is as dead as Stevie Ray, who is from Dallas actually. The most over-touted form of entertainment which is in huge supply there, is the singer-songwriter stuckups with their holyier than though odes to their frigging relationships and their sensitivity. All the blather has lead locals to be spoiled about all the people who go there. One thing I never understood is the apparent invisible curtain that prevents Austin people (with their recycled "weird austin" stickers) from venturing to places away from their hallowed berg. I've lost touch with enough people who moved there with the intention of getting together with us when they arrived. Are they afraid to leave their insular hippie haven? People from elsewhere in Texas have good attitudes about going to other places in the State, but to Austin-nites you see to need to go see them, much like the worst of the people we left back in Snoreland. Out of towners always seem to assume we have a great time every SXSW. Hah! Badges are $140 or so, there's no fucking parking to be had. It's an industry event. It's also all about "buzz" musical, which I loath. I'd rather get buzzed and hear bands in other places in Texas consisting of levelheaded blue collar amateurs rather than be sucked in anymore to a city in which they actually are renting out the last few parking spaces to vendors. Austin thinks it's so cool to bleed visitors for $250-$400 a night for hotels and motels when they can get it during one of their music fests. The same rooms go for $37.99 the rest of the year. I say BALLS!! I say it's nothing I want to be proud of associating with. I wouldn't be surprised if San Antonio takes the State music venue strap BACK again in a few years when people start realizing the illusion of "Austin talent". I feel glad for the bands we're friends with who do so well there, I can't complain about that, but don't expect it to last forever. It's usually a great bet to go with solid cities over breast-beating 3rd tier towns. Anyway, we rented a storage unit and I'm gradually already boxing stuff up. I estimate we'll probably have the house sold in about 6 months. Yes, I will commute for all of this season at least to my government job I can't write about.
Well, I can't write about work; but I can say that my fortunes seem to be turning in a very positive direction. Now, I thought that was the case about last March until it exploded in my face in a sense. My eventual work assignment was topnotch, but I had to grind it out to get paid due to a slothful manager in Feb until recently. I can say that we've submitted over 20 applications to posted jobs. You have to fight for good ones. This week was like the $116 kitty-glitter slot payoff I got near the Nevada / Arizona border. I've gotten a similar nice jackpot this time from the job. I interviewed for 2 jobs this week, one in person and one over the phone. I didn't figure out where I was going to be until into the work season last time, but damn if I didn't get picked for the 1st job I interviewed for. I'll be saying no thankyou to human resource people for months to come. I'm very happy with the situation I've been offered. If you know me or just want to know more, bloody email me for more info. The reason I compared it to a jackpot, this situation that is, seems proper. Just because you win a round or on a given day kick ass doesn't mean you should be snippy and paranoid and afraid of being a fool caught by more bad luck. Sometimes my best runs of luck at my slot and video poker smalltime play follow snotty, moody bad runs of luck. Lots of times I've been in the hole and went off to do something else and came back and evened the score 5 minutes back in the game later. When I was younger playing in Reno in my 20's and Atlantic City in my 30's I lost regularly partly because I didn't know how to set up a system of walking away at the right time, but mostly because I hadn't read up on the odds and how to play the games. Oddly, it was during this period "in the wilderness" shall we analogize when I was on hiatus from chess, this was the period in which I couldn't keep close to even at least most gambling trips. We didn't risk alot since the paybacks were so rare. We're cheapskates, my Frau and I. Studying chess has improved my playing of musical instruments and certainly raised my penny ante gambling endeavors. I'm brilliant at work too these days. With ordinary luck this could be a great season approaching. Now, since I know most of you don't like to read of me succeeding and prefer the suffering bastard, I'll try to be more negative next time.
Yes, I am going to vote tomorrow. I've withdrawn from FB political discussion since it seemed that I found more to quarrel about with people fairly close to my views than those clearly into something way different than my way of looking at things. Indeed, to me the most inaccurate cliche of the campaign season "I don't see any difference between the 2 candidates" has been uttered by several of the smartest people I know both personally and a few famous people too. To me it's a question between a failed idealist who promised too much with a real collectivist view and a good old fashioned capitalist who deserves a crack at turning things around, since there's not much they've found to bellyache about him except the usual rich-guy jealous bullshit. It's beyond me how Democrats who worship the Kennedy's and supported Kerry could knock him for being a successful businessman. Hey, social programs are fine and dandy, but humping jumping Jesus; we're something like 16 Trillion in the hole..and Obama doesn't seem very concerned at all. His whole approach with "forward"..remember? it's a venerable commie slogan. Axelrod and big O and their weather underground fuck friend know this damn well and likely have done a lot of thighslapping over it behind the scenes. You gonna tell me it's pure coincidence? I can't explain such brazen bologna in the face of such a disastrous economy. People who judge candidates by whether they'd want to hang out with them puzzle me. I don't want to hang with politicians, I want them to take care of business. I never liked Reagan nor saw the charm many seemed to think he had oozing from his pores. I feel the same about Obama. I don't believe a goddamn word he says, whereas I do believe several things Romney says. I've read and heard several very smart people assert Romney's faith is way crazy compared to other denominations. I've known Mormon's intimately for longer than most of you reading this have been alive. I've read the book of Mormon and the "Pearl of Great Price". It's b.s. to me, but no worse than what fundamentalists and Catholics spew. What's that? An example?? Well, how about the catholic churches communion "true" body and blood of Christ bit? Wanna take a whack at identifying the "holy ghost"? Joel Osteen is our country's leading holyman? Jesus, but for a few breaks that went his old mans way, he'd be selling aluminum siding. Marla and I have watched his sermons and are amazed how people are still sucking up that think positive crap they preached in the encyclopedia cult we worked for. Yes, I've behaved like Ralph Cramden to Mormon missionary's at time over the years and have written one of the most unholy songs about Brigham Young ever, but those folks don't worship and make sure they observe every tiny utterance of their leaders 24/7 any more than you do at what you practice. Mormon guys I've known over the years obviously preach and knock on doors during their mission, but they rarely have gotten in my face at other times.
Oh, enough of that. I don't expect him to get elected, since it seems like I curse candidates I publicly support. Of course what I really want is some "non-paul" Libertarians to come along and excite voters next time without totin' all of the conspiracy and wacko baggage. There have been so many wackjob Lib's from Perot to this years crew, it's gonna take some doing to overcome the publics perception of it as a party for kooks, not intellectuals as it might be. I hope it happens soon though. I hate having to choose between a cup of steaming hot poo and a serving of the cold mucky stuff.
Halloween and the black cat here, Dixie my official cat is very upset. Full moon, lots of noise outside as this is maybe the biggest holiday in this college town. As I uttered on FB a couple hours ago, I haven't had anything to do on Halloween for several years. No trick or treat stuff here on the cul de sac on which students and a Professor reside. We'll be moving to San Antonio next year and maybe I'll start observing it again. We have bandmates and other acquaintances down there. Gotta live in a city for bookstores, thrift stores, racetrack, bars not infested with mating ritual oriented students. A good week so far though. My print edition of "Escape From Cookieland" showed up early. We will have an official release in a week or so. It's up on Ebay, has been on Kindle for awhile. Get it on Amazon or from me direct for $11.99 + $2 shipping in the U.S., others get in touch. The people around me who have read it say it's probably even better than "Jobjumper". I started out to write a book about the bullying I went through during my childhood and explain how I went from being a little Sunday school wimp under the thumb of parents who belonged to the "one true church"...a horrid one...to turning the tables on the world and becoming an aggressor and independent thinking loner. Eventually the book began to look like it was written by a natural atheist to show how one can stand up to all the biblebanging horseshit and break free. I don't want to change the opinions of people I know with religious beliefs, I just want them to realize that my rights are equal to theres at least. They are the ones who have made a faith decision that can't be proven. Chess is worked into Cookieland here and there, since it saved my life really. I was suicidal in 7th grade, had zero friends, but was a respected member of the chess community and considered promising as a young player. I show how whereas the little bastards who tormented me thought chess was a game for eggheads and pussies, I finally developed access to booze and other fun things thanks to the game. A nice section of the book for diary readers who like boozey tales is the chapter devoted to a high school band trip in which I practiced and formulated drinking habits that I still uphold today. The first part of the book is a bit heavy with sadness and the belt and lawn martyr shit, but the last part is given to some fun yarns about petty vandalism and cruising and stuff that was fun, but ruined my aspirations to play music professionally (bassoon!) and get further in chess. 200 pages with a nice color cover with art by Ruby Rose Fabulous Moolah Malce. If you have any young parents or loners in your life, get it for them. Multiple copy discounts (including my other 3 print books) are available.
The other big thing this week, is the fact that after 8 months of agony and effort by myself and my lovely Frau, my backpay from February and March is safely in our bank account. I can't really write about work, but I can say that the 20 applications for work this season we've submitted shall not be in vain. Finally, I want to touch upon my chess tournament result from Reno. I had a sensational event in Vegas in June and kicked ass. The U.S. open in Vancouver was so-so. The Reno Western States Open was such a fantastic event for me, that coming on the heels of the one in June it's obvious I've improved and am playing the best chess of my life. Someone asked Marla if i had studied; HUH! She told them how I had studied way harder than ever before for hours every night. Hey, that's how it works. To my competitive friends, gamblers, let me tell you, you can have a good result without hard work and think it just comes naturally, but I know now damn well from studying Grandmaster level problems in the wee hours when you are drunk or sleeping it off, every night working until it physically hurts; that's how you get better. As they say, improvement begins at the end of your comfort zone. So, I played five experts and instead of just playing fighting games I played at their level repeatedly. First 2 rounds were draws against talented young players rated hundreds of points over me. I lost a game to a cagey veteran whom I had winning chances against late in the game. Then, I whipped 2 foes, the first with a wild attack, the likes of which I have rarely ventured into in my life..and the second in the fashion you can read about below. The icing on the cake is the fact that in this year of a chess breakthrough we've got 6 new RV songs almost done and a move planned, I met a slew of relatives including siblings for the first time, plus I not only have 100 pages of fiction that is mindblowing, there will be another surprise book I will devote my time to over the next weeks. Urpp....if that one doesn't make you either want to lynch me or bow to my greatness, you're a cold fish.
Some of my favorite people and multiple commentators and documentary sources have an attitude about Vegas that I'm bloody sick of. It's the tired old cliché about the casinos just being there to take your money, how the odds are in their favor. Yeah, fucking DUH. The shows and the free drinks and the glitz and the flashing neon and the half naked barladies and the entertainment and the shuttles and the parties at pools, etc etc. They wring their hands in anger about how it's all there for one purpose, to tantalize you into pissing away your money. A group of christians covered in one doc about a cardcheat team formed of members of their flock, they whined and cried like little pussies about Vegas being empty and only there for money. This justified their forming a massive gang to ripoff the casinos, in the name of the lord (uhh...they kept the money for themselves...in the lords interest..since he would want them too) What a load of sophomoric prattle. Vegas as a travel destination is a helluva better place for those of us who want a little SIN flavoring our vacation. We've gone to casinos on so many vacations over the last 10 years or so that it feels strange not to have allnight action just steps from your room. The thing is, you simply have to learn to KEEP it in your pants; your goddamn MONEY that is.
if you can't show the necessary restraint, you should go where gambling is forbidden. I'm fine with that. There's one thing I need to point out though, when you get there, you're gonna REALLY get suckered in other ways. Have you priced theme parks lately? Hey, tacked the family and pay $60-$90 for passes before you even enter the premises. Not only that, they don't want you bringing cheap water and food for yourself, you're gonna have to pay bigtime ripoff prices for drinks and other stuff. On a hot day shelling out $5-$6 for some soda and ice that costs 20 cents...that's extortion in my book. Look at the soaring prices at sports contests. See 'em market family pack bargains for baseball: 4 seats, dogs and sodas for $120-$140. Somebody told me a beer at a Raiders game is $9. Hunh. I can drink 3 in an hour at a casino, tip the waitresses a total of $3 while spending an hour playing video poker according to an easy to learn system that leaves the house a slight advantage. I can play for a long, long time on the price of an NFL ticket. Hey, I hear few people pitching a bitch about crooked, money sucking leech carnivals and State and county fairs which are run by the most crooked scumbags on the face of the earth. I'm fascinated by carney's as an ex encyclopedia salesman (yes, crooked). I wouldn't trust one with my property or money until I knew ;em for at least 6 months. And you, you get lured into thinking their cornball rube routine is serious..hah! Vegas gambling is a great value compared to overpriced hotels in your very hometown that charge $120 - $180 per night for average customers staying in the same rooms that corporate rate dickheads are paying $60 for. Hey, while you're at the local reputable, non-gambling clean-cut chain hotel, price the stuff in the gift shop. You'll see $7 toenail clippers, mini-tubes of Pringles for $5.29 and sodas for $2.50-$3.50. Need your morning juice? You can get it free at some bargain motels, but it's gonna run you $5 a small bottle at those chain hotels, plus $12.95 per night for wifi that might work, tips for the valets, bellhops and the dude who has the job of delivering the microwave or minifrig they were supposed to have in your room. If you're a business traveler who has an expense account, you can take this stuff in stride, but if you're some schmuck traveling for kicks, look out. If you depend on their room service booze, it'll be $65 for a bottle of Jack and $7-$9 for normal sized beers brought to your room. If you're not in Vegas, there's gonna be a nasty time of day/night factor. Don't have to worry about that in Nevada though. I think about half of the people who read this do well enough money wise that they don't have to worry about travel bargains or paying high prices for stuff. We're just middle class here. So, when we arrive for a vacation some where we get cases of water and beer at a reasonably priced store before we even pull into the hotel. I won't be caught without a plastic traveler bottle of whiskey. I refuse to get burned on booze. I think those ripoff snack and mini-bar setups in hotel rooms are absolute fucking great profitmakers that I don't even consider shelling out for. I'm too much a tightwad to pay for fast-food softdrinks at their inflated prices, so you know that stuff doesn't even get sniffed at by us. If you have the scratch though..and many of you do...more power to you. If you get ripped off or are stupid enough to travel with some boozehound who gets wiped and eats and drinks the stuff up, hey...let the buyer beware. I have no sympathy for crybaby consumers or gamblers who can't school themselves. That brings up one more thing. I hear lots of yucks about the bluehaired old broads playing slots in casinos as if they're some sort of subspecies. Lemme tell you, if you had smalltime gambling systems worked out like most of those old gals, you could and would go to places like Vegas and not whine and cry about it being about evil money. You'd be enjoying the values of that magnificent city 24/7 in an intelligent way. Don't bitch about it unless you're aware of the other ways you get fleeced in the name of entertainment in our fair land. UUrrpppp.
I wanted to write several entries on our 12 day trip that just ended, but our new laptop is incompatible with this site. I take Marla's word for this stuff of course. Maybe she's jacking me around. This was a journey where milestones were achieved in big ways and small for us repeatedly. I kicked ass over the chessboard, answering any query or inner doubt about whether I am capable of improving my chess game at my age, defying the age factor for at least now. You see good solid players way the hell older than me at these tournaments, but for every one of them there are a score of guys who retired from the game disappointed about their dropping ratings, relegated to sudoku and scrabble and boggle with the wife and senior groups. I'm only in my mid 50's and am rather immature for my age of course and rip up the bullshit aarp card I get every year in the mail. I see the old farts at the casinos and admire their zest for petty gambling and a love for smokey rooms and good old fashioned booze sucked down with prime rib specials in dark lounges as opposed to the legions of unoriginal, monkey see monkey do gel-fad pantywaists with their light beer and their spoiled little cunt "cosmo" flip-through ladies. I don't fit in at all with either group as usual. UURRRPPPPP. I'll make a decent senior eventually, I like RV's. It's gonna be awhile though, many years. Anyway, it's going to take a few pages here to discuss what we did. I want to start right off by describing my last round victory over one of the absolute most cocky, arrogant jackasses I've ever faced going back to my childhood even in the late 60's. You don't have to know about chess to enjoy this story...so there. But if you're gonna bitch about "oh shit whiskey rebel..not another chess story", there's the door! So, I was already having a great event at the tournament in Reno at the Sands Regency. I was paired to play my last game against an older Filipino dude. As you would know if you've read my work in depth, I've had good experiences with many Filipino guys over the years. Their homeland is poor for the most part, but many of them have a real knack for chess, as opposed to wealthier nations such as Japan with few strong players surprisingly. I got my ass whupped a couple years back at this very event by another Filipino guy in the same last round. When I sat down with him we were sort of cordial. He had a sort of Miles Davis spacey air about him, but he was friendly enough. Then, the game began and he leaned back very cocky like and made his moves in a stupidly fast manner, banging the clock to end his move time in a clearly rude way. Shit, if he was a smartass kid, somebody would school him, but he was a very strong rated expert probably in his late 60's. I didn't have time to implement a psychological exam; I simply forged ahead using the normal thinking time I would, thinking he wanted to get that last game over quick and ride back to L.A. with his chess buddies, I wasn't going to swallow the bait and start answering his moves back fast and with an equally loud banging on the timer. Usually it's 10 year olds who try to blitz out their moves quickly to get the game over. By move 25 or so, he had used less time than any opponent I've ever had and he had an attack going that might finish me off. I didn't want to focus on his rudeness until after the game. Why? Well, have you seen big mouthed poker players on TV? The ones who try to piss people off to ruin their concentration? Yeah, it's best to ignore them unless you've perfected a style like that yourself. It occurred to me during the game that the kids who usually bash out fast moves and smack the clock usually come to ruin in our game. I had a slightly worse position at the 25 move point but thought hard and found a way to end his attack and enter a phase of the game with few pieces and no attacking threats. Perhaps I could bore him to death in an endgame or at least force him to spend some time thinking and end the charade of having to insult me every fucking move with his arrogant gamesmanship. He had a couple of buddies watching the game now, waiting for the old master to slit my throat. They managed to mostly conceal the mirth they felt. I noticed a 2 move trap that could result from him making a couple of routine captures too quickly without checking the repercussions. I made the move that baited the trap; he snapped one of my pieces off the board with a high and mighty, super confident swoop of his hand; finally I made my next move that was the actual equivalent of a bear swinging it's mitt in a stream to try to catch a goddamn fish for lunch. In other words, it wasn't a very deep trap, but he fell for it! I managed to contain my joy as he swung his hand and arm like a prizefighter. I gently picked up my Queen and forked his King and a rook that had been left hanging. He was screwed. He finally hunkered down and had to have a think of a few moves. Gone was his attempt to blitz me. I consolidated my advantage gradually as his buddies looked like they had swallowed their gum or entered an elevator and detected a fouled stench. My opponent still tried to fake a swagger for several moves, but he was convincing no one. Sadly, the man who actually used to be a master (I looked it up) walked into a 1 move mate. I didn't announce mate, but rather sat there with a sad look on my own face, a fair actor myself over the board. There were other games going on, so we couldn't talk about the game. He was pissed off that he lost due to such a cheap blunder. As his pals and him walked out of the hall I could hear him use the phrase "son of a bitch" either describing me or generically cussing. No matter, I won. We ran into each other and the cocky bastard sealed his performance as the most arrogant jackass I've faced by saying "you can go back to Texas and tell your friends you beat a former master!". I think I would've been playing into his hands by pointing out that I've beaten some current masters here and there on my own. In the end, I like him in the way that I am forced to admire heel four-flushers and blustering braggart card slicks in general, good ones at least. I can't wait to see this guy at another tournament. I want to watch him in action against somebody else.
I've just read Penn's "God No!" book and go along with quite a bit of what he has to say. As is usual these days when confronted with cheer leading for not doing away with bits of "our freedom" I'm not bowled over by his philosophy of doing away with the government forces who are designated to keep us safe from anarchists, murderers and terrorists. A lot of the rhetoric by the sort of guests booked on George Noory's wacky late night "Coast to Coast" concerns ominous secret conspiracy's being enacted on us by the usual sort of rich heathens from ancient family's who are a world government pulling the strings behind the official government of our nation and others. These are the folks who are enraged and terrified equally about possibly having their phones tapped, their internet surf's "traced" and their bodies trampled under the jackboot of the TSA. These are the people who always cite a founding Father or two who spoke of it being better for us to sacrifice our safety for even a tiny reduction of our freedom.
To all this I say...uhhh, hey maybe. I think quite a bit of the Noory stuff is cooked up by individuals looking to make a living at scaring the shit out of old Grannies in the middle of the night. I also suspect that many vocal advocates against behind the scenes forces checking people out are smalltime village radicals who like to fancy themselves as cutting edge iconoclasts, but are simply rubes that will never, ever attract the attention of a government agency. Then we have the element of people who actually are considering some sort of self-righteous act or plot in the name of "kill the pigs" "down with the rich" "down with the abortionists" "down with____" fill in the blank yourself. I'm not sure, but it sounds like Penn wants to resort to a sort of fly at your own peril plan. I suppose it's a fair assumption that like minded Noory's army folks want to dump government agencies who "watch over" us in the name of turning the clock back to the days of the wild West.
Here's my take. I'm actually all in favor of frontier justice, but we have to have laws put in place to protect the prospective hero's who see an anarchist or terrorist or just plain vicious and deadly son of a bitch in action and put them down. Unfortunately in many vicinities of our fair land you can't even kick the crap out of somebody or shoot some berserk crackhead threatening you on your property or trying to carry off your TV or computer. Look at all the violence in our schools and the campus shootings and gangs of teenagers kicking the crap out of somebody so they can post a video of the beatdown on youtube. In parts of the South and the plains States and of course other communities here and there you can protect yourself and others and feel safe the "suspect" won't sue you, or the local or federal law won't prosecute you. Hey, if you're gonna take away the people scanning our balls at the airports, 1) make it plain that while in the sky's all passengers are deputized to the extent that they will not be persecuted and dragged through the courts by second guessing law enforcement do-gooders for slapping down or even choking out people who start scaring the shit out of everybody. 2) Let passengers pack weapons (this was Penn's idea and it's a good one). 3) There should be a "court of conflict" where people who stand up to protect themselves, their families or others can explain why it was necessary to use lethal force or simply put the boots to somebody and hold them until the plane lands. I do truly believe that when it is clear that many people on a plane could be packing, hijackers and bombers looking for attention will start planning other sorts of shenanigans elsewhere.
I can just hear some of you more pacifistic readers howling about giving license to vigilante justice. Now, as the odd kid out on the playground and the workplace weirdo that I've been much of my life, I'm not wild about groups of average humanoids being actually coaxed into enforcing justice, but what else are we going to do if you want to do away with covert law enforcement? You're either going to have to continue to lose a tiny portion of your "freedom" or allow a return to frontier justice, or let people swing their souls on airplanes, on campuses, in nightclubs and elsewhere unimpeded. A lawsuit happy environment has replaced our old system of letting people take care of business where it goes down. When I see some local drunk asshole starting shit in a bar or other public place, I often turn to whom I'm with and point out how 100 years ago that individual would likely be dead. Sometimes that drunk s.o.b. is a part-time friend who I wouldn't want to see smacked or whacked, but the fact remains. If citizens are allowed to take care of business they will, but not if you tie their hands. The absolute most insane theory of a possible answer to people preying upon one another is the naive notion that somehow everybody will just start loving one another; yeah. suuurreeee. If you believe that's a possibility, go play with yer smurfs.
Very soon we will have print copies of my book "Escape From Cookieland" available. It's been up on Kindle for a year, but that doesn't make a book feel very real to me. Kindle is like a peepshow where you get to check out dancers rubbing their privates and shakin' their stuff for a brief window of time. Who would disagree that it's just better to have a nice belly warmer at home of your very own? Same thing goes for books..and music for that matter. I've had a few people ask if it's being published through a "vanity press". Huh, for many years that sort of arrangement seemed flakey and a route for people with inflated opinions of themselves to pretend to be writers. The production of these copies actually is no different than the way bands and labels post their product at a pressing outfit and direct people to buy copies one at a time while having a small batch made up for themselves. I know quite a few strong amateur bands and labels that do this. There may not be a lot of glamor in having a conservative press run of DVD's, CD's, records or books, but one thing is for sure there's a decent profit margin. The old conformist approach used by aspiring bands and labels who are really trying to "make it" is to have a label pay for your recording costs and give you a stipend and send you on the road to support your glamorous release. A few break well, but most bands conned into chasing after the dream fail, resulting in some bandmembers quitting and getting a job and the rest joining other new bands with other people who have failed in other bands. Most musicians that go this route exaggerate their drawing abilities to folks back home. It's almost sad to see these people humbled, back working shitty jobs again. Damn few make a buck or even have copies of their releases. Is there anybody out there reading this who couldn't think of a few dozen bands they've known over the years who live out this great ruse? HHMM? Writers of serious egghead lit and poetry for the most part see very, very few copies of their works sold. If you think the musical dream pursuit is a sad road, it's even bleaker for people who want to share their writing with the world. Whereas the music biz is chock-a-block with scumbags who are cynical and manipulative, the book scene is run by the most self-important geezers and pompous know-it-alls imaginable. I've scouted the big, medium and tiny presses over the last several years and even sent out a few proposals. What a shark tank; what a parade of arrogant editors and their lordly posing. Most of them are too mighty to accept unsolicited manuscripts. Those who lower themselves to only want to see you grovel, leap through format hoops like their old professors used to hold up for them in the name of ritualized creativity. "Escape From Cookieland" received the nicest rejection from the press at that university in Iowa that invented the creative writers circle-jerk I had to participate in at the University I graduated from a few years ago. Anyway, it's nice to have other professional or semi-pro people release your stuff, let's not forget I'm on approaching one hundred records and cd's. I've done a few book readings; I appear at our local Texas authors day at the library proudly. I will profit more by selling books and CD's we've had made up in the long run even though the glamor may seem to be missing by some. You get a helluva lot more feedback from folks that way. Our old RV single from the legendary Sympathy for the record industry label got us in a few record guides and there's a marvy website featuring it, but I bet I didn't get 4 pieces of mail over it. "Escape From Cookieland" is a bad childhood memoir that tackles the issue of blaming parents for our adult lives, schoolyard bullying and being raised by members of a strict psycho church. The setting is a couple of suburban "cookielands", dream burbs where life was supposed to be better than in those crowded urban areas with all types of minorities running rampant. Hah! I hate the cliché "I laughed..I cried"...but even you thugs out there probably will. Urpp
It sure as hell seems like this year in particular bad shit that happens to me comes in waves. Maybe it's always been like that, but I've been so numb from one of life's salvo's of misery I've been too weakened to fully conceptualize other bad shit. One day/night many moons ago that I experienced a ridiculous amount of bad luck in the form of flat tires. We were making a trip from Portland to Centralia Washington and back. I think the round trip was and likely still is 160 miles. I hadn't had any flat tires in a good while, but this swell day on earth as a humanoid we enjoyed 3.....count 'em...all unrelated. No, for you sabotage experts out there, it wasn't the old wood screws in the tires bit; it was just 3 fucking flats in one trip during reasonable weather. Each time I had to grovel on the ground with cars whizzing by on Interstate 5 to change the flat. It was no picnic having the flats fixed as I recall, but then..I don't try to obsess on those sort of days. Like many other of life's bad hands of cards it's often best to put it out of your mind. Did you ever get into an argument with your significant other over the details of a really horrid experience? If we remember the worst days in a bit of a haze, that might be a blessing of sorts.
I have frequent "feet in sand syndrome" nightmares. I can't bitch too much about what happens in my sleep because much of what I write comes from inspired moments when I'm supposed to be sleeping. This was the case when I was writing papers for college courses a few years ago. I also often write music and have ideas about my ongoing chess games online whilst in my slumber. Back to the feet in sand bit. An extended form of torture the gods play upon me stems from ny video golf games. In years past, my Son and I used to play games most nights. We had golf characters that lasted for frigging years. As a matter of fact, I'm sure if we blew the dust off of the old Supernintendo and the memory units there'd still be some old favorite characters there. Surely some exist on old PS2 disks. The last few years it's been one bit of extraordinary bad luck after another. Every 6 months something upsets my golf play. I had one long term doofus golfer patterned roughly after me who wound up in some sort of PS2 twilight zone. There was a sort of penalty mode I had to complete before progressing, I believe I had to hit a successful drive but my skills had been reduced by some sort of confidence factoid in the game and even though I tried for hours and hours on numerous occasions the poor character was just fucked My only option was to restart the game as a rookie duffer. If this sounds impossible, I can tell you that just 2 weeks ago in a PS3 baseball game something bizarre happened that I'd never seen in 20 years of baseball gameplay. The ball was hit in the air....a pop up..that never, ever came down. What the hell? I had to restart the game. There was no power outage, just probably a programming hitch from those lovable weed smoking EA sports people. Might never happen again, could happen tomorrow. After my guy was stuck, I searched for a few months for a deal and played baseball and finally lucked into a PS2 game for a fucking $1 at halfprice. It was a slightly older but much better game. But, after 6 months or so...we got a PS3. I got a baseball game and haven't thought about golf until a couple weeks ago when I got a hankering to play a round. I've always been told you can play PS2 games in a PS3 and I've seen it done at Elvis's, but I'll be damned if it didn't turn out that SOME PS3's were made that way but many aren't. Guess what kind we have? So, 10 days or so ago I was at halfprice and saw a goddamn PS3 deal..Tiger woods 2008 for $5.99!! Bought it, bragged on it to El. Played it through those first insulting rounds...started liking it a lot and getting the hang of it. Then tonight, after a baseball game I switched discs....and the damn player started making clicking sounds so long and loud that Nutty the cat came running suspecting rodents or bugs. I pulled it out...and for the first time in 20 years saw a cracked disc right along the center hole. We are anal.....REALLY ANAL about handling our discs like they're diamonds around here, even though most of you huck 'em around and let them touch yer filthy rug facedown. Don't know how or why it happened on a day with already some bad patches. Did I overlook the damage at halfwit...er, halfprice?? I'm not bargain shopping at this stage. I logged onto Ebay and ordered a buy it now copy of the same game sealed as fuck for $19 including shipping. There's a time to be a witty consumer and all that and a time to just throw in the bloody towel.
Picture the irony; you've been on the verge of flipping, blowing your goddamn wig for 6 months over screwed up back wages long, long overdue now due to an incompetent moron supervisor you transferred to another building away from luckily, but still are suffering from his error. Picture yourself at times of doubt wondering how you're ever going to be able to trust an employer again; then, like a plot thickener in a brutal black comedy film you receive hundreds of dollars in your bank account, nearly half of what you've been owed for so long, for no explained reason it just pops up there. You have your kind and helpful and long suffering wife contact payroll officials for this mighty monolithic employer since you can't count on maintaining a professional tone of voice, being promised over and over and apologized to over and over for so much back pay for so long, so goddamn many times you're ready to fucking heave; anyway, they tell her without any argument or delay or excessive red tape or confusion that indeed the money which has appeared without explanation is simply a bonus for having an excellent evaluation as an employee. Just suppose, this weird possible storyboard for a sci-fi screenplay; pretty twisted, eh?? Is the story scaring you just a little bit? Are beads of perspiration forming on your upper lip? I see it as the first of a 3 or possibly 8 part horror film series perhaps titled "Red Tape I" about a beaurocratic doomsday where the protagonist of said knight-mare endures repeated sadistic and ironic payroll booboo abuse from an employer and winds up in an asylum or perhaps a repetitive seasonal job assignment with colorful special people and wacky manic depressives. AAAhhh......forget it...it's all too far fetched. UUrrppp....could never happen.
Quite a few of my interests and hobbies fell by the wayside..or rather ranchroad side when we moved here to San Marcos. It isn't the fault of Texas, but rather us living in this tiny burg twixt Austin and San Antonio that meant the end of Elvis and I going to wrestling cards after living less than a mile from Philly's mighty ECW arena. When we weren't going down two street to the arena, we'd drive all over the area even as far as Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania and Queens N.Y. Somewhere about 30 miles West of West Chester Pa. in a little goddamn mushroom growing town that employed many migrant workers we stumbled into a historic ECW card that featured many mega-stars in transition including Steve Austin, Sabu, Cactus Jack, Conan (sp?) from Mexico, the Harris Brothers, etc. We lucked also into a card in Memphis at the coliseum with the Rock 'n Roll's, PG13, of course Lawler and his Son, Undertaker and the mighty Billy Jack Haynes at the peak of his heel period! Elvis wore his goddamn BJH T-shirt...I swear, we lucked into it. As I might have mentioned before here, next year we will be tapping out and leaving this hick town in favor of a real goddamn city..San Antonio. This weekend Elvis and I are scheduled to see wrestling down there for the first time on Texas soil. The promotion is BOW, Branded Outlaw Wrestling. I'm told the historic gym by a lake the card is being held in is a real nice place; we'll attend anyway. Elvis is in his late 20's now of course. He's got a kid of his own. My double-tough Grandson with the monkey grip. In a few years it'll be time to show him the ropes, so there will be no more putting it off..putting it off..going to see some promotion in Austin. Yeah, we gotta do that...sometime soon. Shit, it's a foul habit of native Boregonians (ugh, we both are) to spend your life or much of it saying, "well...if we don't do it this weekend..then sometime..maybe next year". San Antonio is blessed with multiple wrestling promotions. Not only that, there are scores of honkytonks, flea markets, a horse track and many other sources of excitement I've been missing deeply. Oh yeah, there are no books stores to speak of here either. Urp. Aw...BOW baby. I hope I can buy lots of Tshirts.
This is the first election year I've ever been a regular follower of FB. What I've seen over the last several months in particular is really making me question not only the American political tradition of the masses as I have understood it, but also the veracity of folks I like and am in touch with on the great social media kingpin. Conventional wisdom as far as I've understood it for most of my adult life, is that the partisan attacks by the two major sides are some sort of healthy forum on our situation. I've always had for instance friends who love Limbaugh or detest him. I've always had friends who will protest in the streets or walk a picket line for a union or lecture people from the other side at work or at a boozefest even. Since my late 20's or so I've gotten used to the real assertive ones out there we all know from various ends of the spectrum out there stirring it up, proselytizing like park soapbox preachers, particularly in election years. I've always seen it as a habit of a small percentage of humanoids. With the minute by minute exposure to both relatives and people I know closely or casually from the rhealms of music, chess and books, I have a whole new perspective....I think. This political season I've seen attachments posted with slanderous content, partisan exaggeration of the worst type posted over and over and over daily by people whose views I haven't even really been that familiar with. I don't like it one fucking bit. Without naming names, I'm rather disappointed in a helluva lot of people I had never pigeonholed as ignorant suckers for complete bullshit who can't see through the malarky they are fed and asked to send on to their "friends". Hey, if you send out a partisan message that is childish slander and nonsense and you see through it but feel that lying to your "friends" is justified due to some higher wisdom you are privy to, well...enlighten us. Occasionally I see on FB a little blurb qualifying part of a dehumanizing attack on a politician or advocates of a side of an issue. Most of the time it seems clear the poster is either ignorant or oblivious of the fact they are way out there with the extremists. Whats that? I sense someone is asking whether I can "take a joke"; that some folks have a better developed sense of humor than me. I doubt that. I know when a bit of rhetoric is meant as humor. It's a familiar context to associate character attacks, real hatchet jobs and consistent campaigns to repeat the same hooey over and over and over to Stalinist's and Nazi's. Actually, I hate to say it but it's been around a lot longer. Sometimes the attacks start getting physical, really brutal. Example: the various extremists from both sides of the civil war and the divisions before the armies started duking it out. You had vigilantes cruising around in packs burning towns, lynching and butchering whilst uttering similar rhetoric to what I hear today...or rather see on FB. Same sort of crap went on in Europe and Asia long before this continent was "developed". Look at the way the Catholic church and it's early various offshoots roamed about slaughtering in the name of the assholes and blasphemers they were told to hate. What was going on in Persia at the same time? Yeah, you guessed. The question stands, are we any different here in this nation? Any more enlightened, any more able to judge a pack of lies and adhominem attacks from factual criticism? I'm beginning to think I've over estimated the common sense of my friends and relatives. Do they realize when they suggest some partisan enemy is a villain and rogue due to some special knowledge or conspiracy theory they are in tune with, that those of us who disagree are too "blind" to see or understand, do they fucking know that 1) they are insulting everyone they send that hokum to and 2) they sound like kooks in the park they laugh at? Thanks to the daily socializing of FB I have become pretty well convinced that rather than it being a minority of extroverts who spew the hardcore rhetoric, a sadly large percentage of my relatives and "friends" are so naive they pass along the time worn lies of the manipulators. Shit, it's infectious and the rewards are warm and agreeable. All you got to do is look around and see which network or politicians those around you love and hate. If they agree some candidate or public figure is a commie or a Nazi or a vicious bloodthirsty liar with corrupt cronies drooling over corporate profit percentages or one of those lazy welfare cheats or refuse from other nations who chortle over U.S. tax dollars they've collected illegally, if those around you demonize a side, there's only one comfortable thing to do, ehh? So it seems. I take comfort in feeling pretty confident that the old FB will be as dead as that musty old MS by the time the next election comes around. `
During my midnight nap I dreamt about one of my favorite ancient figures: Hercules. Half god-half mortal. He was tricked by Juno into killing his own children and was sentenced to accomplish 12 great labors, awesome feats of strength, endurance and might. He slew a 3 headed giant and cleansed stables of a hundred years of horse poo..to name just 2 labors. At times throughout my life I've really identified with Hercules performing such warped, twisted and seemingly impossible tasks. At this stage of my life certain pursuits and situations in my life that once seemed near pleasant and measured have taken up a harsh edge. I've reached my 50's for Apollo's sake. I've been enduring playing music in shit-hole club dives where the facilities have almost always been trashed for 4 years short of 2 score. In the early years I'd just hold in my fecal matter. Over the last 10 or so it's been a matter of starving myself so there is no need for a bathroom stall. Oddly enough, the rare times over the last few years in which there are suitable facilities, I no longer need them. I'm not sure why it's evidently going to be a lifetime of playing shitholes like CBGB's in NYC (now closed of course) the Shityricon in Snoreland, Upstairs at Nicks in Philly, etc. Any of those places bathrooms would've made Herc "hurl". Another Labor didn't seem so bad until the last decade or so, dealing with the Mother who raised me. She's morphed from preaching to everybody and going to a crazy church to...preaching just TO ME and skipping church. She's over 90 now and it would be a blessing from the gods to have maybe a few years on this planet to restore the sanity and self confidence she's tried to rob me of my entire life. She must have been created by Loki or some wicked trickster god to resemble Hydra, particularly in voice. Possibly one of the most annoying aspects of my life is the fact that I was born AFTER the baby boom in a much smaller generation of humanoids that has had to exist in the shadow of the creepy hippie generation. Hey, you newer readers, have you wondered why I always rant about hippies? I've felt tugged along in their orbit without any desire to go their way my whole life. Even if I live to be 85, there'll be a horde of hippie healthnuts just managing to stay alive to torment me with their existence. A bad aspect of my life span that runs sort of alongside the generational disaster I stumbled into is the general slowdown of Western culture I'm in a unique position to have witnessed and suffer through to this day. When I was a kid in the 60's culture and music and art and fashion changed yearly, drastically. I wasn't old enough to be part of it, but it seemed I'd have my turn. Well, the late 70's and early 80's were crazy, explosive times, but shortly thereafter, humanity stomped on the brake pedal. Rap hasn't budged an inch, faux hawks and hair gel have been around way the hell too long. Musical innovation is pushed into the corner in favor of mass oriented, awful reality musical shows. This cultural engine stalled several years ago leaving the same tedious crap from fashion to boybands and sappy pop girl singers and the same twofaced b.s. from soccer moms younger than me who lie about their pasts and seem like prudes. When young males switched to drinking diet beer, I thought it was a passing fad; nope! It's like the dude who had to roll the heavy boulder up the cliff over and over or the fox and the damnable grapes. Over and over and over. I've had to explain to a huge number of people over the years why I drink normal corporate beer; what a fate! I'm right and the world is mostly wrong in many ways, but it only makes it worse if you try to change people. So, I enter chess tournaments, national ones, where I endure what I could consider to be a horrid torture, I'm sentenced for eternity or as long as I can sit in a chair and shuffle the pieces to play with mostly children aged 8-13. Hey, this is one labor I've thrown in the towel over. Just can't change my cursed life. I can play in an event with 800 players in which there are maybe about 50-60 talented kids, but I will face them in 80% of my games. I'm old enough that shit I see that I don't like aint gonna change in my lifetime. It's just torture from those sneaky gods who laugh at us from Olympus. We suffering bastards may as well be glad they've left us our mouths...for now. Hoist a few...uuuuuuuuuurrrrrppppppppp...ahhh that still always makes things seem almost worth it.
The whole damn family reunion meeting so many relatives for the first time which I've been describing the last 10 days or so hasn't really been digested by my brain yet. I have very little human contact these days in San Marcos. Yakking about the details to my limited circle of acquaintances hasn't processed things much. It has helped, but only started what will be a damn long cycle of thought. The 3 days we were seeing all these folks was a good time, we had lots of fun, but shit; you are braindead if you walk away from a situation like that after a lifetime of feeling alienated as I have. Hey, remain that favorite Uncle who bought you booze and took you fishing? I never had Uncles to do squat for me. My adoptive Aunts were dominant, demanding, picky, gossipy and not very bright. Favorite Cousin? I had one out of the dozen or so, but it was over when he married the Daughter of the wacko preacher at the cult-church I was dragged to. The Irwin side back in Saint Joseph Missouri was small in numbers and full of the most slothful bigots I've ever met. My adoptive Father had his failings ( such as he didn't like to camp or hunt or fish ) but he was ashamed of the illiterate boobs in his family. During those 3 days, even though we were perched on the ocean, a place I used to regularly drive to even when I was a teenager trying to survive my upbringing, I warned Marla that for once I'd take in the beach from a distance. Why? Because it would make me even more introspective..and I was getting enough of that each day. The slots and video poker in the hotel casino provided much needed therapy. Let me tell you, I wallowed in the constant din and smoke and chaos. I didn't find many faults with people in this tribe. I realized though, that if I had grown up with them things could be a bit different. I was glad to be burying the hatchet with the admiral a few days after this reunion partially because I knew that if I were meeting him fresh for the first time I'd cut him all sorts of slack. I still haven't figured that all out either, but it seems right. After the reunion it would be an incredibly busy week of seeing people from way back. No week in lovely casino's to just soak it all in. There was 500 people playing the U.S. open in Vancouver. I had to get my game back really fast. My first 4 games I pulled it off well, but the next 2 I found myself mentally weakened. Mind you, I didn't unfocused much, but just by a hair and it through me off those last couple games. I played yet another "scholastic" event shall we say. 4 of my opponents were average age 13. I've decided that I'll go on playing and ruining their tournament when I can. It's either that, or join the senior circuit (yes, there is one) or hang it up and use one of many familiar excuses. My first opponent had a very, very low rating ( hell, he was 10) but he gave me the fight of my life. That night I barely pulled the fat out of the fire and won. I offered him a draw at a confusing moment in the game hoping he'd figure he must be winning if I offered it. He fell for the bait. Right before I checkmated him he set a one move trap in which he could stalemate me. I considered the blunder move....but looked over the board and saw him with his eyes closed doing a sort of cartoon prayer; ahh. Thanks kid. I looked closer and won easily. My second foe was a damn good 15 year old a frigging star of the Washington chess scene. He was a very strong expert, just approaching the master level. It was obvious he and his friends and fans thought I was just a big dummy. No serious threat. I played very aggressively though and played a solid game. He blundered in time pressure and I had him. That was the high water mark. My 3rd game was against a 12 year old genius of the game. A full fledged master who has represented our nation internationally in his age group. He was escorted by a talkative guy who reminded me of Byron Coley. The dude took our picture; I told him to go ahead and put it on FB with a beauty and the beast caption. He told me the next day it was a real hit (yunno..where did they dig up that guy?). I got no respect from the kid. He looked bored and wishing he had a handwipe for the pre-game handshake. By about move 35 I had gotten past some initial second best moves and split the game open. I went after him. His expression was very serious for the rest of the game, like he had eaten a sticky bug. I had a reasonable advantage and should not have lost, but hey. The hardest game to win is a won position as they say. I blew it. No shame there. I wonder if the pic is still getting "likes"?
We did a fair amount of stuff in Boregon/Washington aside from the family reunion and chess. There wasn't enough time to look up everybody we once knew, not that we wanted to of course. We arranged a couple visits way ahead of time and planned to sort of wing it on our 35th anniversary. We combined business of sorts with pleasure by returning to the scene of many audio crimes with a visit to Mike Lastra's studio. How time changes everything; we saw no raccoons or cats, but rather a huge dog. Mike showed us his world beard championship trophy, which was shown to be authentic, since it hails from Texas. His associate Anton was there and we were brought to date on deaths, disasters, successes and changes of life for about everybody we knew from the music side of things way back when. We answered questions in his video documentary hotseat, 2 productions. Since we weren't able to have our say in his excellent "Northwest Passage" (due to our failure to make it out there) it felt important to have our say. We didn't drive past all our old homes for once, but we couldn't help driving past the pad that got torched by the now deceased arsonist. Oddly enough it didn't look much different. The street used to be named "North Portland Blvd". It now is "Rosa Parks Blvd" which caused us to chuckle since back in the early 80's the neighbors would have raised hell for sure over that. I stopped in the little store at Denver and Rosa that I used to always hit for beer heading to the studio. It was a real walk back into the wayback machine. They've revamped all the old dark bars into brightly lit hippie brewpubs, hell that much was achieved by the time we moved in 1994. That store took me back. There was an assortment of cheap 40's and all my preferred imports. In the end I opted for a 6 pack of Coors talls. We has Sirius radio in our Republican sized rental car and blasted little Stevens Underground Garage which provided at times a sort of soundtrack for this blast from my ass. We drove the road that winds up looking over the shipyard that I now know Hank Sr. worked at for awhile. I reminded Marla about the dangerous idiotic drunk shit I pulled sometimes with cronies right there; we'd get sauced and drive there to frisbee bad 45's over the cliff. Hey, I bought 'em by the shopping cart for $5 or so. The authorities wouldn't stand for such an environmental assault these days. You can parade around in the buff in Portland, but just try using more than 1 sheet of tissue when you wipe. Airport toilets have two flush options..there are written instructions! It's a sanctuary city, but you can't deviate from committee rule on what you put on your porch. I'm sure they issue strict rulings on what kids eat at school, but they pride themselves and being free and uninhibited. Candy bars in the vending machine at work? Are you fucking crazy? But they boast about their unique craft beers which are if you check high sodium disasters without exception. In Portland they have the best of everything, it's clear. They tell you so at every turn. Best parks, best zoo, best beer, best sandwiches, best Asian food, best face painting at hippie fests, best furniture, best sports teams, best nail parlors, best hats, best pants, best city planning, best politicians, best tires, best dogs, best water, best weather, best mountains, best ocean, best desert, best pretentious names for city districts, best shoelaces, best flowers, best tax system, best forced gas pumping by sluggish losers at the best gas stations, best slow speed limits, best river, best shoeleather, best air, best sky, best complexions, blah blah blah blah. It's either all the best...or it's just a load of horseshit from a 3rd tier burg with a Napoleon complex. Just once, I'd like to see while flipping through a Snoreland breast-beating bragsheet local entertainment mag a reference to say, the 3rd best Omelet in the US, or perhaps the 4th best housepaint or only the 2nd best burger. You decide if I'm full of it or they are. Anyway, we took pictures with Mike that will appear soon on FB. The day before our anniversary family history was again made, this time Marla's tribe. We met and drank with and ate with her Father, whom I hadn't seen in 27 years and his Wife of about a dozen years. What a mighty long grudge to bury. I've buried enough friends and enemies to hold many grudges. What the hell. There was no lecturing or insulting behavior on his part and if there had been I would've walked. This was arranged by our Wives and neither one of us wanted a load of apology horsecrap. As a result of this I'm not saying don't hold grudges or boycott relatives who treat you bad. Go ahead; tell 'em to shove it, or mend fences as you see fit. After a quarter of a century it felt a bit cumbersome. We wound up lucking out and hitting an old favorite Vietnamese restaurant on Sandy Blvd for our 35th. We also had a place in Philly we loved that happened to simply be named "Vietnam". For some reason we were under the impression that the place in stumptown was also "Vietnam". Marla was doing some searches on our laptop and somehow we got the idea to search "best vietnamese food in portland" since that's how everything is billed out there. Yee haw! or rather "Yen Ha". We found it. That's the name of the place. Marla has been trying to duplicate recipes from that place by memories from the 90's. Surprisingly and unfortunately there were no nude parades of hipsters on Sandy Blvd that night. There was a heat wave being endured; temperatures in the high 80's! It felt to all around us like the thermometer's were gonna pop like in cartoons. We had a couple old favorites, cold spring rolls with peanut sauce and spicy beef stew, followed by a new to us large, flat noodle (the best of course) with vegetables and little scraps of seafood and meat. The final dish was the best goddamn for real calamari dish I've ever had. They were fried in a sort of Japanese light batter and seasoned sweetly. It was all really great. As we barreled down I-84 back to I-5 and safety in Vancouver it felt a little weird, like being in a live sort of Kurt Russell-ish escape from Portland.
Back from thee big trip for a full 24 hours. Yes, I met in person for the first time 3 siblings and the promised assortment of Cousins, Nieces and Nephews. When it comes to fodder for this diary it's a bit confusing to write about it all. Back when this journal began I wasn't much better off than an orphan with a lone adoptive Sister and a cranky Mother both far away and rarely heard of. Now I have to think clearly and soberly so as not to mix up names or those of significant others and kids. My current box score of siblings (will more pop up?) including those deceased, blood and adoptive is: 2 Brothers, 7 Sisters. Now, I was as happy as ye olde 2 tailed dog gazing in the window of a meat market to be at this reunion and meet all these folks, but leave it to me to find a difficulty in writing about it. It's a feast of riches as we say in chess. It's like the pie situation at a family event. If there are say 3 pies, each baked by someone else how can you eat just one of them without risking hurting somebody or stuffing yourself? Many of you are probably thinking, shit...it's just goddamn pie. It has nothing to do with loving them or even your critical opinion of deserts. It's just pie, damnit. Be yourself, relax and eat what you want. That's the common sense answer, right? Well, I haven't gotten to the stage of common sense when it comes to dealing with all these people lucky/unlucky enough to be related to me. Should I have worked the room like a politician at the get-together? I chose at first to mostly sit in one spot and wait for relatives I didn't know well yet to approach me. I drank slowly the first night so that anybody interested in seeing me sober would have that chance. I didn't think that was a big compromise. When you first meet relatives in person, for the first hour at least there's a great deal of silent appraisal, does he have Grandma's chin? Is his ass really that big? Does he always drink like that? Can't tell if his eyes are green, they're so bloodshot. I'll say this, the vast majority of that tribe seem to like to belt 'em down. Both of my present Sisters were troopers. They didn't seem to be out that weekend to get as sauced as my Brother and I, but they surely know the ropes. My Bro as it turns out shares many of my drinking preferences and habits. Everyday I'm asked at least 2 or 3 times in public "where's yer Harley?" Well, my Brother owns one. Is that what I should say from now on? Many of us wound up at a casino on the last night we were together. At one point I greeted a Sister and two adult Nieces as they seated themselves at video poker machines on the other side of the row I was at. The responsibility of being a Brother and Uncle was not lost on me. I was aware of the fact that the place was filled with a Saturday night crowd which likely included a share of Boregon's finest drunk jackasses. If I perceived any threat or truculent behavior to the 3 of them I would have lept into action. As it was, nobody got out of hand. Lucky for them.
August 6, 2012
We've been out here in the Northwest for a few days already. The first portion of the trip was devoted to a large gathering of blood relatives as I mentioned in an earlier entry. Hell Yeah, I met a bushel of 'em for the first time including siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews etc. I am not quite ready to sum up here just how mind blowing the "Oprah Weekend" was.
So instead, I'll give my long time readers here, a Portland Boregon update which is quite easy to tap out here in this hotel room, even with one hand holding a drink.Newer readers had best email me a question, or spend a few hours sifting through the Diary Archives, if they are curious about my attitude toward Portland. In a nutshell, I grew up there, and enjoyed the city.
But by 1994, when we moved away, Portland wasn't recognizable. I've written many times over the years, how I loathe the constant civic breast beating. As of August of 2012, after not having visited the city in over a decade, nothing's changed. Every newspaper, entertainment guide, website and local TV production screams the same old "we're so unique" mantra like Tarzan with his balls caught in a vine.
They think they are the center of the country. With their craft beer, face painting at world music fest, and always the best food or drink in any catagory, known to man. I've tried to explain gently to Portlander's over the years; how in real cities with world class consumables and events, the world does talk about them. Its like when people from real first tiered cities hear or read their constant blather, they aren't impressed, but rather embarrased. Ever see one of those Mary Kay sales ladies in their extroverted pink Cadillac with an absurd perm, three inch nails, and more make up than a circus clown.
That's a good analogy for what I think of Portlanders--they have a deep need to be recognized.But today I thought of an even better one. Perhaps the best abbreviated summary of Portland that I will ever conceive. Portland has a classic Napoleon complex; a fucking Napoleon complex. Just like the runty jealouse bosses I've had over the years, who felt threatened by my full stature, Portlanders, cannot stand being tiny and insignificant. By the way we're, we're not stayijng actually in Portland, but in its underated cross the neighboring cty, Vancouver Washington. I quizzed Marla playfully today; asking her why do people live in Vancouver? She correctly answered: because its NOT Portland!
Since we canceled our cable at the first of the year I've only had a few moments in which I could make use of the pathetic little local channels we pick up. As reported here I saw Tiger win his first tournament in awhile on a channel that kept freezing up. We've excitedly tried to see if the Spurs and Rangers were available with no luck. The Austin news stations just suck; it's 24/7 civic breast beating like back in Portland. Stations in San Antonio seem ok news wise, it's a well adjusted city with no Napoleon complex like Austin and Portland, but I get my quota of news discussion these days from Penn's Sunday school, weirdo freaks discussing the week's news shit irreverently for village atheists like myself. I had about a half hour available tonight while eating. I saw the olympic games blurbs on the internet everywhere and I decided to see if it could hold my interest. Yes, I loved it when I was a kid. I've been busy as an adult but usually watched rerun coverage in the middle of the night up until about 10 years ago. I've just grown too cynical over the years to settle in and watch it for what it is without throwing the remote in disgust. If it had been beach volleyball or shot put competition or even foot races I might have watched for a couple hours. If it turned out that I was going to wind up watching that pointless water ballet, just fucking forget it! Why? Why..WHY???? Tiddlywinks or bougar flicking or saliva bubbling would be more appealing. It seems pointless. I wound up with the traditional main rating event for the summer games: gymnastics. I had to physically go into the bathroom and look in the mirror and check my body functions out to see if I was suffering some sort of delusion, subjecting myself to that. Why in the hell does so much attention go towards little 12 year old snotty-diva's? If any of them saw me in an elevator arriving at their floor in a hotel, they'd turn on their heel and book. Ditto for their coaches for that matter. I don't mind parallel bar routines or those monkey rings. My attention span is famously long, but the floor routines start souring on me in about 10 minutes. I just start hating the little darlings, knowing after a lifetime of being shunned by their type that being a Grandfather hasn't softened me in that respect. Getting to know a couple nieces at my advanced age hasn't melted my heart when it comes to those little stickup, conceited little fluffs. At first I hated the smarmy, snotty and heartless commentary, so like today's popular talent shows (which I also don't watch ). 10 years ago the catty "experts" really bugged me, wallowing in the grief of the girls who step out of bounds or fall on their faces..but hey! I discovered I was enjoying that aspect of the production. Not enough to keep me from delaying my post meal nap though. After an hour I yakked with my wife who had returned home while some vigorous kayaking was screened. We kept the sound muted and it wasn't so bad as background for dialogue. Hey, no worries about divas floating down an artificial white water rapid. I doubt they'll show fencing, but if they do I'll watch that with the sound down. Urrpp.
I've been studying one of the most difficult new chess books in print, meant for masters or "ambitious players". It's solid complex calculation problems. Hundreds of them. At the same time betwixt working on my fiction book at the library I have the most ominous series of things upcoming that it makes my mind hurt even more than the chess problems which leave me in a heap most nights. What does it all mean? The mind blowing week will begin in my birth State with a get together planned by one of my swell Aunties bringing in a traincar load of relations, many of whom I've never met. There'll be first time meetings with 1st Cousins, Nieces and Nephews, 2nd Cousins and between 1-3 siblings as yet unmet in person. A couple days later it'll be a sitdown for the first time in 27 years with my Father-in-law and his Wife of several years, burying the hatchet. A couple days after that, I'll be returning to a place safely across a border from Portland to play in the U.S. open chess tournament. I've never played in that region since 1981 or so. Remember, I retired from the game for 23 years. Whats so strange about that? As I expected a horde of players are already registered for the tournament I competed with from the age of 11 up until my early 20's. I've played and yakked with and simply observed a handful of ancient acquaintances at other national events. That was strange, this is an exponential mindwarp. It's gonna be odd to enter a room and see all these half dead graybeards that I knew as children. I was a real jackass back then; I was sort of confronted about stuff I had forgotten along those lines back in Anaheim at another U.S. Open. Of course, I'm not some shrinking violet. I declare a statute of limitations for things I did as a squirrley arrogant teenager. Some tell me that they will have forgotten me, but shit...they don't know chessplayers memories. A strong International master and honored chess historian and author approached me a few years back at a tournament and not only remembered my name, he started reciting the moves (which of course included some nasty blunders on my part) of our meeting over the board. Those of you who have read my book "Escape From Cookieland" (for a few more months a Kindle only read) will be charmed to know people I wrote about will be there. It's not unlikely a character in "Jobjumper" we knew back in the old encyclopedia sales days will be there; furthermore an ex co-worker and member of a band I was in for 3 weeks who plays chess actively on-line these days could pop in. So, do I make a big deal out of it? Bring it to folks attention? What a bizarre human interest story. Luckily I've got eyes in the back of my head from other hobbies. No one will get a suckerpunch in unless they get really lucky. Hell, maybe they'll all either welcome me or keep their yaps shut. Perhaps I wasn't such a jerk as I remember. UUrrp. Suurre. All this takes place over a fairly brief period. For each occasion I will be representing Texas with special apparel that will play games with northwesterners expectations.
This isn't a book review. I haven't even completely finished the book I'm going to write about. If I was being paid or submitting this to a magazine I'd do things differently, but of course I rule here. I only mention this really out of habits drilled into me back in classes a few years ago. I am capable of writing a scholarly review and indeed have of course a peck of times over the years. Ever write something serious like that, where you need to give solid examples and maybe footnotes? Urp. In the case of this book it's good enough for me to use personal criteria in this forum. Ok, finally getting to the point, the book is a biography of Kurt Vonnegut "And So It goes Kurt Vonnegut: A Life" by Charles Shields. I've read one helluva lot of biographies and autobiographies ranging from Presidents and philosophers to film producers and wrestlers, Generals and drunks. I've tackled the Soviet leaders within the last year but also have a warm fondness for street dudes like Ice Berg Slim and Sonny Barger. I read one about baseball's creative but wacky Bill Veeck recently which I thoroughly enjoyed. I came away with a great deal of respect for the man and a keener hatred for his baseball enemies. That was in fact the last book of record for me before tackling this full length work on Vonnegut. I've only read one full novel of KV's: "Slaughterhouse 5". It was assigned reading for a class. I hadn't read him before probably assuming it would be Vietnam era hippie crud I find so often two faced. It's hard for me to take finger wagging about the evils of war from a generation that created utter chaos themselves. Don't wallow in the mud doped out of your head at some festival and call random, quickie sex "free love". Don't confront cops hurling flaming bags of shit and rocks chanting "pig" and even chunking the occasional Molotov cocktail and call yourself a pacifist. I respect professional hellraisers who are openly out to tear shit down who don't try to preach peace and love. Dalton Trumbo wrote one of the classic pacifist books "Johnny Got His Gun". He was blacklisted for many years, which certainly is contrary to my vision of literary and social freedom. Hey, blame it on political partisan bullcrap in a nasty paranoid era. "Slaughterhouse 5" is a fantasy book of sorts based on Vonnegut's experiences as a P.O.W. in WWII near Dresden Germany a city that was firebombed back to the stoneage. It's a good back and a strong anti-war book. We need books like KV's and Trumbo's as well as works on brutal (but sort of lovable at the same time to me) warmongers like Patton and Napoleon. In a time of war I vehemently prefer having a Patton or a Lee or a Caesar in charge, whereas in times of extended peace I'm not into stirring up wars for some investment group. Young people should learn that since humanity began, those who really do smile and flash peace signs and throw flowers gently wind up enslaved. Having the best weapons and a willingness to kick ass is a tremendous means of avoiding armed encounters with other tribes. Unfortunately, Vonnegut didn't practice what he preached according to even family members cited. After starving for his art for many years he was latched onto by the hippie movement and eventually became a bigmouthed partisan politico for hire at speaking engagements across the country and around the world. His books continuously preached peace and civility towards one another, yet he clearly joined the ranks of vitriolic spewers. Once he was wealthy, he lost any gracefulness towards negative reviews blaming it on rightwing reactionaries. His work took a preachy turn that even some of his longterm fans were disgusted with. Bukowski never changed once he was living in a nice house. His philosophy was very different from KV's of course, but he wrote for the loners and ordinary drunks and workingmen and freaks up to the end. He fought plenty in the bars over the course of his life but wasn't eager to serve in KV's war. Unlike the big time book touring Vonnegut, he quit giving readings and didn't give a flying fuck about the black tie NYC artists scene. I frankly should have seen this coming, when you lay down in the mud with the hippies and become dependent on them you lose your soul. Buk wrote about the flower children and budding revolutionaries at the underground sheet he wrote for. He lambasted them with words often. I disagree with him about plenty and recognize the fact that he has an army of critics who loathe him even in death. But, bottom line I've learned plenty from him and always feel fresh and clean after reading his stuff. Plenty of KV fans will read this well documented and measured book and be shocked. I'm glad he's not my hero. And so it goes...urrppp.
Won't somebody be my chess buddy? Please!! I'll pay you well over minimum wage and give you some used chess books and text you from tournaments in places like Vegas and Reno and occasionally Philly or Los Angeles or Dallas or Chicago. All you have to do is stay awake through my descriptions of my daily chess studies and training calendar, hear about and eventually see played over the analysis board my completed games won, lost and drawn..and of course partake in internet and text chess gossip covering current events nationally and internationally. Marla tries valiantly, but starts snoozing after 5 or 10 minutes. Elvis is there for advice, but too busy for much else most of the year. Our ex-bandmember friend Mark switched to poker years ago. Won't somebody be my chess buddy? Please? The guy I really miss, who was rapidly becoming my chess buddy is the late great Julio. He'd send me his games and ask for my input. He wanted to improve his game. I'm just a bit beneath the expert level over the board and reign on the correspondence internet boards as a solid expert. When I was young and full of promise, everybody wanted to be my chess buddy. Old guys wanted to either mentor me, or soak up some of my knowledge depending on their strength level. I was recruited to play on club teams all the time. Since I was underage and in need, they'd buy me beer and smokes and transport me around the pacific northwest. I'm a better player now and can buy my own booze, but there are no invites. Nobody wants to be my chess buddy. Maybe I need to up the ante. Would it be worth it if I flew you and a couple of your friends to Vegas for a week, paid for your hotel and meals and kicked in some dough for a gambling nut? Would you be my chess buddy? I inherited a nice ring..it's a real family heirloom. Probably worth several thousand bucks, would you...if I also tossed in my beautiful Dodge Charger...be my chess buddy for even just a year? Howzabout if I grant you full power of attorney to all my assets, would you at least watch as I play over my games from my last tournament, my best event in years??? HHHmm? I've noticed for years now, wherever I enter events all across the country, fucking everybody...even the ugliest zitfaced nerds have chess buddies in droves. What the hell; do I need to hire a goddamn hooker, maybe a crack-whore whose never touched a board in her life to nod along, as I explain subtle nuances of the Caro-Kann defense? I betcha the lass would flee screaming within ten minutes, before I even got to the crucial lines in the Panov-Botvinnik attack. Hey, I got an idea!?! This oughta work. I know how to finally get a chess buddy! There's this truck stop about 10 miles down the road that has some ambitious glory-holes cut into the stalls in the mens room. Perhaps, if I waggle a Franklin nestled in some of my game score's through the hole I can buy some of those guys attention for a few minutes after giving myself over if necessary to their sexual needs. Yunno, that's the sort of exchange in services I evidently need to provide to finally find a good chess buddy. Hey, suits me...uurrp. 07/01/2012
I'm not anti-sports. I'm almost always interested in baseball and my interest over the years has included some periods in which I'm really into pro football and basketball. I wish I could see the hockey puck on the TV screen. Yep, I'm one of the many who never seriously got into the game. I love watching golf on TV, especially hungover. I'm fairly picky about what I watch. Rugby for instance is a true pleasure in every respect, but to see it around here at least you need to subscribe to a soccer channel; yeah, soccer...pretty crazy. Soccer's not even a sport. I'd rather watch opera or Formula 1. Urp.
There's been some sort of change of roommates across the street. What we've wound up with is what I described to Marla as some genuine "fag" hating goons. Not that I'm over here mouth kissing any dudes in the driveway. These guys clearly seem to be the breed that consider a "fag" to be anybody who fits the juvenile highschool "fag" syndrome. I'm sure they see me in the front window studying chess in the wee hours and think it's faggy. These guys haven't made the psychological shift from high school to college. I had a Philosophy class with a couple junior level or so football players. They participated and took the prof ladies teasing with good humor. Unlike the guys across the street they had figured out that not everybody worships athletics in the adult world. Damn few of them go on to play in the pros and the smart ones and even some of the marginal morons start making a plan for when it's all too soon over. The biggest one, whom they all seem to kowtow to had his girlfriend over the other day; yep she's either a cheerleader or I'll sniff yer jock. Blond, formulaic, petulant, boring. Him and another guy (who has his shoulders pretentiously hung "barndoor" style most of the time) were playing a yard game of some sort involving wooden platforms and some sort of fucking beanbags. The women had drinks in their hands, fine...loosen their legs up..but the dumbasses looked like they were trying to win?!? How fucking tacky. It seemed almost on a par with the dance goof by the pool in Vegas who was cutting little moves and gazing around for approval. I know, baseball players are jocks, but look into the dugout at a game. Those guys have a cerebral side. These neighbors are just small-time rube college football players still trying to keep the high school glow alive, where you pound fags and weirdos. I watched 'em pile out of somebody's expensive truck today on the way home from a beer run. What were the big studs toting? Hah! Keystone light...a 12 pack for 4 of them. What a joke. I'm on jock watch alert these days for a reason. My grandson will be likely attending school here in Texas which is a great place to be, but the populace seems to worship high school football in a manner far beyond anything I grew up around. Even though they've been cutting school staffs and budgets they keep building these huge football stadiums. Nobody seems to put up any fuss over that, even the so-called tea party watchdogs. It's down here where saintly football coaches are referred to in a hushed tone holy priest like jive. It's exactly as presented on old "King of the Hill" episodes. Will young Hank feel the need to conform to jock rule? Will he be recruited due to his likely size and studliness to his school team? Will he be a big dumb fag ass kicker...until we straighten his ass out? Or will he skip over the childish high school jock phase entirely? Baseball team? fine and dandy. Basketball, sure. Wrestling? Damn, it's in his blood big time. I'd be proud to see it. It's football and the threat of injuries and going through a jackass phase where he thinks the football players are superior that I dread. Well, we'll just have to stay close to him and deal with it. His parents are really good so far. He just likes to have fun and eat adult enchiladas and read and pull my beard. Even if he did decide to go out for the football team, at least he'd be playing a sport, as opposed to the guys who give up on sports and play soccer.
Well, I said goodbye to Granny. I had a good falling down drunk in her honor and here I am back to recall some more of my trip to Vegas. After beating a couple of experts who out rated me I was paired with one of the highest rated guys in the section. He wasn't a bad sort, but he seemed a bit like he thought he was getting an easy pairing. Who am I to argue except over the chessboard. I went after him. Both of our kings were exposed and a hair raising position developed. This is the sort of style I've been embracing in my training, but it's not the way I've played over the years. After a good deal of scrapping he opened up the other side of the board and found a way to pick off a pawn. As my website lecture Grandmaster advises, we don't count points in chess..we play squares. I found a way to make him pay for the pawn and drew his king out into the middle of the board. My initiative was worth a pawn I figured. Next thing you know, he was in big trouble. I considered it all pretty mind-blowing and kept my cool the best I could. He came up with a way to force a draw by if I wanted to repeat the moves 3 times. I had to choose between taking it or forging forward with a bit of a material advantage. In the past over the years I've let these stronger opponents off the hook with draws too often. In this case I felt I had done well to fight back from a pawn down and force him to force a draw. In poker terms it would be like not going all in to force things in a situation where I could simply qualify for a good payday by pulling back. Most importantly, as I told him after the game, I didn't see a quick forced win at all. I used time to look for it and submitted to drawing a man who has been rated master before and is right on the cusp. He tried to not make me feel too shitty, but he shook his head some and said I did have a forced win. I called Elvis after the game and he advised me to not think I had been cowardly. A guy outside the tournament hall heard me talking about it and spoke words that really got me to snap to attention and not dwell on it. I don't know who he is, but he really helped. Urp. Thanks man. So, there I was at 2 1/2 - 1/2, one of the guys right behind 4 leaders with perfect scores way over my head. If I had cowered to the tourney desk and withdrew from the tournament I would have gone home with my highest rating in about 32 years. I never really considered that though. It was hard to register the fact that I was kicking ass and having such a tournament that if I won another game they'd likely start monitoring me for cheating. Some on-lines sites would possibly boot me off for a string of victories like that playing a section over my own rating level, suspecting computer help. I had excellent chances in round 4 against a guy rated as high as the round 3 sometimes master. I lost a really goddamn hard fought game. To beat me he had to create an incredibly complex situation in which every fucking piece on the board seems to be hanging in danger of capture. When I got home I of course fed all the games to one of my high class chess software programs. I never saw over the board the "forced" win the guy in round 3 said I walked away with a draw from. It was there, I didn't see it and I'm working on a calculation exercise book for masters that will help me next time. I made a 2nd best move in the insane position against the round 4 guy and went on to lose. He was very encouraging and admitted he had tossed a long pass to win. To get that close to beating him is pretty exciting. I had pre arranged a round 5 early Sunday morning half point "bye" which anybody can opt for before the tournament. If I had beaten that guy, my 1/2 point would have left me 4 - 1 going into the last round, assured of at least a few hundred bucks and possibly a share of several thousand if I won or drew. I came that close. Coach Elvis told me not to doubt my skills that I could beat anybody there. I believe him more now. In the last round I played another strong expert, on a par with the first 2 guys I beat. I got off to a good aggressive start, but frittered it away and lost my shortest game. Oh well. I got back a buttload of rating points as it was. The next time I'm in that situation I'll have more confidence, although I can hardly beat up on myself over what I did. It was proof that sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks..shitty cliché, ok. The night after the tournament ended we had row 2 Penn & Teller tickets. Goddamn, I'm a huge fan of their show "Bullshit" and have seen other shows of theirs over the years and of course am a fan of Penn's politics. I even am a frigging member of his "Sunday School" a live internet show that I suggest for the heathen among y'all. Go to the site, join, listen and drag a few others in. We rented a car the last couple days so we didn't have to take cabs to and from the Rio where their show is. We drove there in plenty of time, weaved through the Rio facility and even walked by the official room for the World Series of Poker. A good time was expected, what could go wrong? We just had to pick up our internet tickets at the box office, easy. Then, I saw the line for the box office and felt minor anguish in my gut. The line didn't fucking move. Moron's, blonde ditzes were being allowed to slowly gaze at seating charts. There was only 1 ticket lass working. I stewed and fretted and cussed, getting more worked up by the minute. By the time our turn eventually came around I was having a damn fullblown panic attack. I begged the ticket broad for a refund on the spot for medical reasons due to their snail line. I wasn't ready to blame P&T over the situation. It seemed like classic buffet queue "keeping a line in place to add prestige to the hotel attractions" sorta shit to me. It reminded Marla of that stupid ass disco club hogwash to try to create an event. I was too worked up to go into the show, but the counter broad said she needed to get approval from her boss, who wasn't around. I pointed to a second line, way longer even that was forming for people WITH their goddamned tickets. I howled in agony and I'm sure some of the people behind us in line were having a good yukk at my expense. Marla took control. She got our tickets and dragged me back into the casino. She perched me in front of a video poker machine saying we'd wait until about 15 minutes til showtime and the line should be gone. I pissed and moaned and fretted and stewed, but eventually started slowly playing the video poker system, thee right way to play and gradually I calmed down. I NEVER wait in son of a bitching lines. You should know that if you read this regularly. I don't go to arena concerts anymore, I'm too bloody sick of being herded around like a damn cow. I hadn't freaked out like that in line in many years, because I just don't stand there. I am NOT a herd animal...ggrrrr. Years ago when I took Elvis to the ECW arena, we'd wait until about 15 minutes before show time and try our luck and stand if we needed to, but NO damn standing in line. Luckily (thanks dear) we walked right into the theater with very little wait. Our seats were amazing and the show superb. It was very intimate and theatrical and it all reminded me of seeing productions at my son the drama teacher's school. I won't reveal any of the tricks or stunts here; hey, buy your own ticket tight-wad. Our's were over $100 each, but well worth it. Marla was won over by them and she's hard to please. I knew about the meet-and-greet photo op's after the show. Could I deal with another line? Hell no. We walked down past a couple of mobs surrounding each guy to a pair of restrooms by the WSP arena. After piddling I felt brave and suggested we backtrack just in case the lines were worked down. Eureka! Teller's spot was around a corner, but we could see Penn Jillette surrounded by the last couple dozen folks waiting for photo's. After a few brisk minutes my turn came and he turned to me. Marla waggled her camera at us. In some instances like this I'd have brought a book or some cd's. In this case I kept it simple. In a low voice I advised him that I'm a member of his Sunday school...and our village atheist. He absorbed that for a few seconds and began thanking me. "Ok boss...thank YOU". Most of the people attending were rubes from around the country who like the magic but aren't too hip on his politics or religious views. As an author and cultband personality I know how it works and tried to play it cool. I worked plenty of in-store signings at Tower back in the day. Give 'em respect and keep the damn LINE MOVING. I guess it all worked out ok. Thanks again Marla. My energy and stamina for bouncing back from surprises and adversity had been used up at the chess tourney. That's a good excuse; I'm still just a damn hothead though. OK. Dismissed.
Farewell to Granny. When I discovered the first batch of what has become dozens of blood relatives, I promised them I wouldn't write about my adoption to exploit them. Yes, shows reminiscent of Oprah's are still on the lookout for long lost adoptive relative cases. You can turn up scores of recent books written by folks who have shared similar experiences. Its just not my way to turn my new relationships into a tabloid piece. Of course if you meet me in person its another story. Once I get started it's hard to shut me up in fact.
I now have met and know the stories about several aunts and uncles, nearly ten siblings, my birth parents, and a score of cousins and their offspring. By the time I got around to locating these folks, there was only one blood grandparent left. She introduced herself to me by playfully saying: "I'm your hillbilly granny," and that's how I greeted her from then on; no extra name needed, just "Grannny." Marla and I got the news of Granny's passing at a bad moment. We were in a crowded horrible airport terminal. That's how life is. Maybe you'd prefer to get bad news in a pastoral setting, or looking out over the ocean, but that's not the way it works. Granny lived to be 92, well past the point at which we would consider her life cut far too short.
Just a few years ago, Marla's grandmother passed at the age of 96. In her case when someone would say "oh you're going to make it to a hundred", she didn't look entirely sold on the idea. We learned from that situation that it's possibly a bit selfish to keep a beloved relative around for merely our own comfort. My hillbilly Granny was still in pretty good shape, but had recently lost her independence.
Granny had a sweet disposition on the day Elvis and I met her in person for the first time. She was surrounded by other newly met relatives, who were doting on her and guarding her in a loving manner. I would have been content at hugging her and eating some of her legendary pie, but she was a woman of depth who lead a fascinating life. The historian in me was immediately impressed at the living history lesson she taught on subsequent visits. She hailed from a mountain community in Kentucky. Along with family members, she made the trek, in primitive automobiles across the country many times.
Relatives showed us a couple of ancient pictures taken on Granny and my Grandpa's wedding day. We were driven past the still standing cabin they lived it. They didn't live in the city, but rather the Southern Oregon mountains, where my Grandpa hunted and fished to put food on the table. I remember thinking on the day we were given a tour of my kinfolks stomping grounds that quite a few of my friends would love to live in such a beautiful setting. I never heard Granny complain about having to clean fish or dress game back in those days.
When her husband died in a logging accident in the mid-fifties, she showed her strength, by moving her children into town, where she raised them on her own. Granny was tough as nails. I'm sure it was no picnic for a widowed Mom to raise four kids in the 1950's. I've heard accounts from folks outside of her family, who remember that Granny's home was a sort of magnet for friends of her kids, some of whom still say she made a mean maple bar. Granny told me herself, she figured that by making other kids welcome in her home, she would know where her own were. After her kids grew up and moved out, she didn't set root. There's no room here unfortunately to share any of her other adventures, some of which you could base a movie script on. Suffice it to say she lived a full life. Granny had a sweet disposition, but again she was also tough as shoe leather. Since meeting her, I feel ashamed when I'm whining about some ache or pain. She thrived not only in the hillbilly outdoors, but also in cities.Out here in Texas in this branch of the family we will remember from this day forth the miracle woman Granny. We're happy that she got to see some pictures of her great-great-grandson Henry Aron Irwin. Around here we raise our glasses to salute the departed, go ahead and join me, but make sure your glass is filled to the brim.
Damnit, I pledged this vacation I'd post entries here from the road. What happened? I can blaim it on the fast start I had in the chess tournament. Instead of making excuses after the first rounds, I was blown away and not wanting to jinx it by being flippant perhaps. The trip started with a flight that we thought at the time was bad (more about the actual worst flight of my life later). My nightmares have been tinted with the old "feet in sand syndrome" the last few years at least. Rather than fly in the afternoon as usual, we left home at about 3:00 am in the morning at the time I usually start sucking down frosties. We had a deal worked out that we had a room at the Riviera no matter how early we got there. Our shuttle was prearranged. We actually got to Vegas damn weary but feeling like it had been a good plan. The flights themself no longer bother me, it's the idiocy of flying with morons in this "check-in charge by the bag" era of flying. There are signs everywhere, but the fools just can't seem to figure out how big a bag they can put in the overhead. I've written about this several times of course. The whole takeoff procedure is as tedious now as having your flesh ripped by a potato peeler....slowly..very slowly. That radio jackass Clark Howard and his ilk who cry about how only a fool would pay to check a bag have contributed to the mess. They stand in the aisles (blocking them of course) trying to fit 40 pounds of taters in a 30 pound sack. Crying babies are amusing in comparison. Our 50 minute flight to our connection was a 2 1/2 hour ordeal adding in the slow on and off of the boobs. Just pay the fee, chuckleheads! These are the same fools who think nothing of buying $7 miniature bottles of booze and$15 for tiny healthy mini meals on the plane and $25 - $40 buffet meals and $6 watered drinks at the bars in Vegas for their entire stay. Not to mention renting a "cabana" by the pool for you to change into your swimsuit for $40 for an hour or two and a $12 valet parking charge (plus tip). Urp. We napped and I went with a clear head to change to a tougher section of the tournament. There are usually 700+ players at the National Open divided into a half dozen strength levels competing for $9,000 to $12,000 in prizes in each section competing with a hundred or so others. My normal section is right below the expert level and I always go back and forth a few times over whether to compete with the slobs at my strength or go up a section to play tougher expert level players most of whom are supposed to on paper destroy me. Hey, I get no kick out of beating players at my level. I was told many years ago as a boy that if you want to improve you need to play up and be challenged. Yeah, you're not going to win money in all likelihood, but the sections are frequently loaded with sandbaggers who have deliberately lost some games and held back in other ways to have preferential pairings in the sections and an advantage. Even if they lose their first games, they can re-enter by paying a second entry fee in a fast and cheap playing schedule starting the 2nd day that feeds into the normal section. What the fuck; why don't they just go play poker or shoot craps if money is all they're after? I'm there to play the best chess I can. I wannna beat some of the expert level dudes (they are below the master section). I got off to a grand start chess wise. My first opponent played a tough game, but at the end I was able to put him away. This is supposed to happen once or so in a tournament in which you're playing a section up. It felt good, but I knew I'd be playing somebody even tougher that night. Indeed, I had the black pieces and faced a mid 20's guy who seemed not so impressed by me. I played a crazy attacking line and wound up putting him away. My entire chess approach since even the latter half of my boyhood was never been oriented towards an attacking game. I've now spent a couple years studying an incredibly deep pair of attack manuals well into the night most nights. There were no books like those when I was young in our country. What the shit, I had my pieces staring down his Kingside by move 15. He clearly thought it was a cheap attack, misguided and presumptuous, but shit. It worked. Holy shit! There I was at 2-0. What a goddamn start. I was already guaranteed a passel of rating points (like batting average points or golf tour points) in my long quest to become an expert rated player, which of course is considered asinine for most of those my age. I should be sinking into befuddlement. There lies the rub as the bard put it. This time around, instead of starting the chess Summer after a work season with the tards letting my brain be rendered into mush, I was consorting at an extreme intellectual degree for 4 months with some of the smartest people in the agency. Everything seemed very clear at the board. My calculations of future proceedings on the board were damn sharp...for me that is. Of course a master level player would still laugh at my limited calculations, but it worked well this time around at the expert level. I will keep the diary in wonder of the happenings in my 3rd game against one of the top experts..a man who has crossed over into the master realm in the past. Meanwhile, Marla helped me out by attending a super rare autograph section with former world champeen Anatoly Karpov, the man whom Fischer was so afraid of, he made absurd demands, so they wouldn't be met..and retired from the game. I was playing my second round and quite focused. She got him to sign a collection of some of his games and thus had a moment of greatness I thought should have overwhelmed her. I asked her if she went weak in the knees, but evidently that wasn't the case. I would have shaken and stammered meeting the great one, Karpov. During that afternoon between rounds I began seeing a strange poolside phenomena. Like half the guests we had a pool view of the refurbished Riviera pool. Yeah, there were dozens of nubile broads in skimpy bikini's parading about. There was a dj and horrid music which is a big change from the sort of Wayne Newton era decor of the past. I saw a guy, yes..a man..of sorts...with the mandatory calculated stubble and the usual moussed conformist-do standing by the pool on a towel making one of the most pitiful attempts for attention I've ever seen. He would shoot his hands into the air in a swishy manner and hop on one foot. Every time he did it, he'd look back and forth to see if anybody had seen him bust the move, in hope. What hath the Britney generation wrought? I don't use the word "gay" as a causal adjective, but in this case..what the fuck, there is no other appropriate word. How fucking gay? Jesus goddamn christ. He obviously was making his pitch to Women and not an actual gay, which would have made it all seem ok. Over the period of our stay, anytime I'd focus on the pool for 15 minutes during the blistering days I'd fucking see some forlorn product of too many contemporary dating shows and MTV springbreak weekends and childish mousse-era frat-buddy movies doing the same little dance moves in search of such a lame, supposed Vegas "spotlight". The little bimbo's never seemed to even look up from their poolside bikini texting.
OK, it's National open (chess) time in Vegas. I've been busting my ass so hard studying that Marla finally told me I had studied enough..it was time to stop. I've been studying attack and tactics manuals which has added a new dimension to my game. To test the patterns I've learned speed-wise I've been doing timed and rated mini-tests on a great chess site. I've focused on strategy and slow chess for a long time. With my brain in uber-mode from the work season it's to try to ruin somebody's tournament. Yes, there's about 9 grand up for grabs in my rating section, but it's best for me to focus on upsetting players weekends. We'll be seeing Penn & Teller while we are there, the seats are right up front, not close to the front, UP fucking front. I joined Penn's internet Sunday school a couple weeks ago and I suggest you fellow heathens join up with me. In the past this diary went dead when I went away, but now I can keep y'all up to date with our laptop. The tournament is returning to the Riviera, which has been alledgedly refurbished. Unless they're conning us with fake pictures the rooms and bars must be very different. I hope it still has a schlocky edge. The event had moved to the slick Southgate (Southpark,,, South something) casino and I never made it out to one of them there. The place was just too far from the strip. Goddamnit I want to have a good tournament. When you get past your teens you really need to have your stamina in place. No joke, guys in their 20's condition seriously for chess. The work season was an excellant preperation for this Summer's chess. I wore my brain out for 6 hours taking just a 15 minute break before stopping for "lunch" in which I talked chess and analyzed current master games with a co-worker. That simulates the maximum length of a round a 5-6 1/2 hour game. I usually have a couple games that end in 3-4 hours, which I consider a nice bonus break. You never really know though when that's gonna happen out of the 6 rounds though. Record shows are way longer to work as a dealer, but you're dealing with comparitive simpletons. Chess players in these national events are a mixed bag of maybe 80% egghead rubes with a smaller number of actual soulmates to an extent who even drink and have women (or dudes as the case may be) to screw between rounds. What will the Penn and Teller crowd be like? Will they have the meet and greet I was informed about? Will I get to have my picture taken with Anatoly Karpov..the special guest and former world champion for 15 years or so, the man who Bobby Fischer was afraid to face, the man who took the strap from him. Karpov is to chess what Harley Race or Dory Jr. were to the NWA title. Will I get starstruck and slackjawed and go..humma-hummma---hummma--- in the prescence of King Karpov or Penn and Teller or both? UUrrpp...
I don't drink often around rum-rookies. I went through that phase many years ago and after watching a lot of drunks with poor tolerance die, quit or grow-up I've sunk into my ordinary way of solitary drinking for the most part with some occasional band related boozing or ye olde once every 3 month occurance of someone coming by to visit. I'm mostly around noisy amateur drinkers in casinos. They don't make much racket for very long there! Ahhh...blessed security guards. Just like magic, when some mouthy bar cunt is mid-sentence trying to blather something about my tattoo's....boom-boom..there's security with flashlights and mace. Dudes usually pester me about wanting a "loan". Hah! They get the boot even quicker. The pissant renter jocks across the street don't hold their liquor well and neither do their lady friends, who either seem identical or actually are the same little sorority dears. Can't tell and like I've pointed out before, doesn't matter. If they wanted to develope their own identity they'd quit the sorority. Anyway, a few minutes ago there was a good damn deal of hub-bub out there across the street. It's 2:40 am or so and they probably are just getting home from the bars. I was engaged in a deep chess tactic training excercise and they briefly distracted me. It reminded me of days of yesteryear when I'd be running around some street after hours blathering like an idiot. I can recall not only not giving a shit about what neighbors thought, I was too drunk to have a "fuck-you" attytude. We'd just be drunk and oblivious. We weren't trying to wake anybody or create a scene with cops. Yes, like the rest of you and your brood, me and the people I drank with had our moments of police contact. We got chased by civilians a few times, there were fights and much shit-talk. I don't like this crew, but I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna be like some sour old "you kids stay off of my lawn!" type. They don't mean to distract me in my chess tactic study, they are too drunk to be directing anything to anybody at this point. No sense taking it personally. Now, if they knock on the door, all bets are off. Somebody might have to get reported or whacked with the 5 iron settin' by the door. Urp. What's that? I can hear some of you with guns saying you'd confront them if they came onto your property. Well, jocks rarely pack heat themselves; if you flash your piece you're gonna lose out. Hey, it's a college town and they have extra rights to be imbeciles, plus their Fathers all have money and are judges or lawyers or Captains of industry. Urp.
Back to work at my preferred job; finishing my fiction work at the library. I asked Elvis my teacher Son if he thought I should consider other ideas to start or dive back into the one that I'm very far along on. Now, remember as well as being a teacher and director he is a writer and a good amateur, natural chessplayer. He stated quickly that unless I have an advanced idea of something else I want to tackle I'd best get back to work on the fiction piece. Now, if you want a clear example of something smart you've read here, that's a good one. It's not wise to "change horses in mid-stream" as they say in chess. The layoff didn't hurt my ability to focus and produce at all. I had at least one inspired idea that felt so natural I knew it had to be right. Shit fuck, there are a jillion ways you could write a single paragraph. If you can't comfortably narrow things down in a focused direction, it's probably gonna suck. I took only a couple 5 minute breaks today in 4 1/2 hours. I hadn't really been at the library for awhile. Most of the folks I used to see there everyday have been replaced by others. They almost all hunker over books or laptops, some newspapers and others over their knees, sleeping, the deliberate homeless spoiled little shits who choose to wallow in poverty with big dogs for a summer before going back home to the burbs when they get bored. Every now and then I actually wonder what the fuck they're writing or studying? I spent a total of maybe 6 minutes wondering today. Eventually I flutter back down to earth and the realization that I'm in rubes-ville. Whatever it is they're creating, whether they are young or old or in-between it's almost certain to be really dated (which might not be a bad thing..if they realized it) , derived from pop culture or something they see on the net or besmirched by conspiracy fads or knee-jerk naive political generalizations. UUUrrrppp.....My Grandson's first birthday is in a couple days. He'll be turning out better work in his field of choice than any of these library jerkoffs. Happy Birthday kid.
Well, I'm finally fucking home from the work wars..for the time being. I worked long enough that it is for certain I shall seek unemployment compensation during my sorry layoff. Hhmmm..tempting, since it's gonna be notched onto Obamas watch..that is, if they don't have a way to ignore it with one of their deceptive counting methods. In a nutshell, I spent a week with the special people in my old unit en route to a clerk job in another unit a couple grades up. After 6 weeks my application for a Tax Examiner gig finally was processed leading me to another bump up for the last 2 and 1/2 months of the season. I had the hardest training period of my life, crash coursing the TE duties and being mustered into the quality review unit. I progressed from being on the absolute bottom of the agency to a position reviewing the work of temps and veterans alike doing TE work. All the extra promised dough made it seem great, until a pay snafu threatened to flip over the document cart. It took weeks and mucho effort to solve the problem to about 2/3rds of our satisfaction. Enough about all that; I will add that it was the most serious mental work I've done. I succeeded believe it or not, I was the star pupil eventually after the smoke cleared. An on the job mentor with the same name of my blood Father (whom we see regularly these days) declared me a frigging genius. He admitted they were impressed anybody figured it all out in such a short period of time. These QR people are fucking smart...even more so than the title insurance examiners I worked with long ago. Of course the job wasn't any more formal than what I've been used to. I wear the same shit I'd wear to a thrift store or a bar. I've learned that even though I'm already not modest, I have to publically admit I'm much smarter than even I ever thought. The thing is, I was disciplined and drank only a shot and maybe 6 beers on week nights and got proper, though not excessive rest. In the old days at my cerebral jobs I stayed up all night and had hangovers most days that'd flatten a mule. I've never tested my brain in such a fashion. It's time to figure out what book to write during my sad period of furlough. Back to the fiction piece? We have a band session to mix and overdub. We're going to Vegas for chess in a couple weeks. Our Grandson Hank is now jabbering away in a semi human language on the verge of talking. I'll get to see him more now. He's huge...just fucking tall and strong looking. His muscles are coming in and he has a shock of dark hair and sexy eyes the gals will adore. All that at age one coming up next week. UUrrrpp....gotta make this the last look back at the season. Must look forward. With better boozing sessions to guide me..onward. I'm going to tackle the big interview from Son of Foghat tonight.
Furlough day today as promised? Perhaps. I know quite a few c0-workers who would lick the parking lot of butts for an extra week. These are the ones with nothing to go home to. Nowhere to go but the mall. My place to go is anywhere but FUCKING THERE until I heal up a bit. The tantalizing near furlough a week ago is still fresh in my mind. Please, please now boss...a jokes a joke. Once with that last minute sweeping the freedom rug from under my feet is enough. I've got Black Flag once again for the ride home...18 glass bottles of Heini...a half bottle of special Frontier whiseky...a 24 pack of Bud in bottles...cats to pet whom I've been neglecting...urpppp..and then there's what's her name...I might see her around. You know...uhh...Mary..Martha? Darla..Starla..What was it again..shit, this will be embarassing.
Shit. Today was announced as my furlough day for the season. I slept extra last night since I'm worn out. I loaded a specially purchased 12 pack of Fosters into the fridge and nodded in approval at how good they were gonna taste; it's been 4 months of grueling work and ups and downs. I wanted to pick just the right CD to listen to in my black Charger on the way home. I settled on Black Flag. I kept making mental note of all the "final" work actions of the season..the final drive down the freeway, the final Tshirt, etc. I don't choose to wear a bandana at work, but I ceremoniously brought one and draped it over the passenger seat. I got to work and texted Elvis back and forth with some jolly words between Father and Son. After the last period of waiting in the break room before work, I walked into our units area and sat at my cubicle. A couple minutes later my boss called me into her office. Great, I thought...maybe I'll get to go home early. Nupp. She told me cheerfully my tour of duty has been extended a full week. Oh well. The CD and beer will keep. I popped a 999 disc into the player and listened to
"Homicide" on the way home. I'm about to tackle a slew of Coors banquet beer. The bandana can stay in the car too for a week. Urrpp..money's money. What the fuck...I get paid for the holiday Monday now..05/19/12
Work furlough in a few days still unless they hold us over at the last minute for another week. Fine and dandy. I'm really worn out. I've used 80% of my brain in this final position I've been employed at. I've been working with the really fucking smart people and have held my own well enough I've been complemented by some wise hands. I've never had to produce at such a high intellectual capacity and know I've been under estimating my brain. I've got to try down the road to figure out where the really smart people work on a seasonal basis besides where I am employed. I have no idea but am convinced they aren't very formal dressers and aren't slaves to the 52 week per year 8-5 grind. We'll probably hire somebody to tell me where they are if my blood Father doesn't know...but he very likely does. Next time we get together (he's still working at a contract job in San Antonio) we'll pick his brain. The egghead work doesn't tamper with my blue collar brain. I've had some sizzler dreams including last nights which featured a contender in this weeks U.S. chess championship I remember from back in the day and played once in a tournament in 1981 (Marla took a picture). His name is Yasser and he's been making a comeback against the younger guys. Today he played the final round against the new and now 3 time champ Hikaru Nakamura (I'm a big fan of his too) and got mowed down. In my dream an unfortunate lady from work was flashing her crotch at him to distract his play. I couldn't stomach this even in my sleep. I chose to alter the dream so it was an attractive wench and a snazzy beaver he would enjoy. What does it all mean? That I've been working about long enough at a job that wears me out mentally in a good way. Also, I'm not Fred Flintstone; I prefer night work and hate daylight and jobs in which you're a slave to the company like a goddamn coal miner with never a break of length. When I've had mental jobs in which I've worked 50 weeks per year, I've gotten so bored I've never been able to do my best work. I discipline myself alcohol wise when it's a seasonal job and look down the road to a long stint of other things. The 50 week work year leads to me hitting it hard every night and sleeping 4 and 1/2 hours or so before a work day. Hikaru Nakamura and Yasser Seirawan work a seasonal gig across the 64 squares. The musicians I know who do it for a living slave for several months and then sit at home and play with the dog for an equal period. I hope Naka is celebrating his vaunted championship of the U.S.A. with a few choice St. Louis gals taking turns sitting on his face as he cackles drunkenly and tosses handfuls of chess cash in the air like a seasonal working criminal shacked up with some floozy. uUUprrp.
I started watching both "Miami vice" and "Movin' On" on Hulu recently. I expected "Movin' On" to be perfect, Kenilworth quality entertainment and "vice" to be a guilty pleasure enjoyed in the middle of the night. Shit, was I wrong. Movin' on is rarely shown..its been a damn long period since I've watched what was alledgedly President Ford's favorite show. It seems really goody goody by todays standards. On Vice Crockett blows peoples heads off at close range; in Movin' on the strapping truckers rarely cruise the whiteline as knights of the road and all, since they're always commited to helping some pussyass loser. I mean fuck! They even helped some Quakers in one episode...by "not fighting back". Claude Akins charachter still rules, but the other dude is starting to seem phoney and cause oriented, just like the smurfass 70's. His side of the show seems like "Mash on wheels"...contrived, over rated, limp wristed and putrid. I expected little from Vice and I'm being pleasantly surprised. Remember, I hated it when it was a new show and so hip. It's really palatable now that people sneer at the fashions and music and architecture and all. UUrrppppp. Hey??? I'm to be interviewed by the son of lonesome Dave of Foghat...for an entertainment blog.
As my work season wears on, I need the extra kick in the ass that music gets to block out the pain of driving the same half hour route back and forth everyday for fucking months. A couple weeks ago I hit a batch of thrift stores on a Sunday and got a few good ones. Iggy "Nude and Rude" a greatest hits kept me entertained for most of a week. The first Toy Dolls lp cd (my old copy is now with Elvis) was good to re-find. I re-played the first tune "dig that groove baby" 3 times on the way in on a Monday. For such a sissy band name, they've got one of the best Les Paul / Marshall stack guys on the planet. I had a change of pace with the 2nd or third maybe Kraftwerk album. The songs were about robots and such shite. It soothed me just enough, although Marla feared the kraut synth legends would put me to sleep. With more music on the way in the mail I made-do with a sizzling collection of early Amboy Dukes material which featured "journey to the center of your mind" and lots of Ted Nugent 6 string pyro. I could have kept playing these over and over for another couple weeks, but finally my big order of the work season arrived via Ebay: a 3 disc Stranglers collection of singles. I've been looking for a comprehensive (uurrppp) collection by these boys for years. The problem is, their stuff between 1977-1981 or so is worldclass, rocking..a table thumping smash every time. Post 81 or 82 (right after "Shah Shah a go-go) they started stinking it up with dancey no-fun-wave. They charted for years, lame stuff...but their Pistols era material is smoking. Some anthologies focused on fairness to the band as if anybody would equally love their ass blistering garagey early stuff and the later putrid swill. I'm not sure, but I believe somebody from the band went to prison leading to the wussie-fucation of the band. It's exactly what happened to Bowie and the Stones in terms of listenability. They were pretty good answering the wakeup call of the late 70's but couldn't maintain it. Since its arrival I've been playing only disc 1 over and over. Old favorites like "go buddy go", Nice and Sleazy" and "peaches" sounded as good as ever. I'd never heard new favorites that just yank my doodle..there's the short fast "Shut up" the snappy workout of "mean to me" and the best version ever of "Walk on by" with one of thebest keyboard solo's of all time, including Jerry Lee. The dope from the Doors is boring compared to the Stranglers piano demon. Their bass player has a very crunchy Lemmy sound, their drummer Jet Black a heavy pounding wallop. If you're bored and looking for something from the past you missed, look no further. Just focus on the late 70's with yer purchases.
One TV show I absolutely loathed back in the day was "Miami Vice". When I saw the title card display on Netflix the other night it brought horrid memories of wavos, co-workers with sweaty mustaches and crap music ranging from hip Thomas Dolby ditties to that of the shrieking over-wrought shrew Tina Turner and awful FM rockers like Joe Walsh mainstream morons thought was so great back then. .And the jacket the dude wore with the rolled up sleeves...hey, you gotta be kidding me. I laughed at the show back then, but everybody else worshipped it. Nowdays, everywhere I turn and have turned for 15 years I've seen the same tired fauxhawk's and calculated stubble (oops...that was popularized by Don Johnson) and mous slicked hairdo's on guys and broads emulating the same handful of bimbo's for year after year. Rap soundtracks are prevalent even in Cough drop and Cheerio add's. Guys have been sporting gold pants and blue shirts so long I've driven my loved ones nuts by bellying aching about it. Miami Vice is totally irrelevent now...the masses who thought it was so cutting edge moved on 30 years ago. So, naturally...I began watching it a few nights ago. I'm having fun re-living all the intricate fine details of 80's fashion. In case you think i'm making some sort of admission that the masses were right 30 years ago;..UHN UHN..UURRPPP. They are always wrong and petty and easy to expose for their sheep-like humanoid nature. People snicker at old fashions...that in many cases of course they were admiring or sporting. I never wore a stitch of Miami Vice wear, although I enjoyed leisure suits from the 70's and Nehru jackets as a kid in the 60's. The fickle morons who were loyal for a period to Don Johnson & co. who are alive today are 99% fans of the latest horseshit they're being peddeled, probably American idol (or the worthless Kardashians who don't even sing). I can't stomach screechy, over-wrought, hiphop background trendy shit like that; maybe 30 years from now it'll be stomachable. Maybe the pretentious shows they cite as being "witty" will seem so in a few decades to me while I'm in a frigging rest home. Meanwhile, I got about 3,000 Miami Vice episodes to catch up on. Dismissed.
Fat guys should be jolly, but the dude who I see waiting for a cab outside of work who is about 150 pounds beyond me is anything but. He seems miserable, aloof and snotty. A few nights ago he got something to justify his mood..a special moment. A pile of pigeon poo as big as a fried egg has graced an outdoor bench for a couple weeks. Neither rain nor janitorial staff has cleaned it off the cement surface. The haughty obese fellow plopped his ass right into the muck. He rose up a few minutes later completely oblivious. I felt compelled to share this with several folks in text messages. Here, thoughtfully is an update for the rest of you.
Another tender moment spent with fatigued overtime working people took place a couple weeks ago. We've all seen a drunk leaning across the bar after a good nights bout with the bottle, many slugs belted down. Gassed, the guzzler drapes a protective arm in front of his face instinctively to protect his features I suppose. The fellow at work wasn't drunk when I happened upon him at working, not leaning across a bar but rather across the top portion of a government urinal. I don't like even touching the flush lever with my pinkie and here this breadwinner, way too many OT hours in I suppose, had his hand, arm and face in contact with the porcelain and chrome. I was stunned and looked for an explanation; he wasn't heaving or having an attack. I could hear urine trickling into the business end of the pisser. Hhmm. I refocused on my own business. While I'm on the subject of bathrooms at work, isn't it weird to be taking a dump in one of the stalls and hear straining or brappping sounds depicting a good deal of stool disturbance and then to exit your stall at the same time a close co-worker is exiting the source of the sounds. Maybe this doesn't bother you guys who served our country whom I am told have to share a few lonely exposed crappers with a line of recruits rushing you. That would blow my fucking mind. I never view a co-worker quite the same after becoming involuntarily intimate with their toilet habits. UUUUUrrrp.
My work season will be longer this year. Great. I can't write about my job, but I can make a few observations. This time of year after everybody has been slaving away often working tedious overtime hours away from their families, they start to show their true colors a bit. Whereas they all look alike to me at the beginning of the season, very human...they start falling into categories by this time of year. I've been yakking for weeks with a rare few who love to travel to casinos in the off-season. We're going to fulfill our duties but have real lives to go back to. That puts us as diametrically opposed to a tribe of folks who are starting to get nervous about the season coming to an end; they dont travel, often have loved ones who annoy them and are beginning to realize that the payments they've made to the collectors will probably only cover interest. They are ready to take any bone the bosses throw them, work humiliating, repetitive assignments for a few weeks after the season...anything...I mean do ANYTHING to stay on the job a few more hours or days. The bosses know this and talk to them in voices reserved for children, telling them to keep up hope they can work a few more days. Many of the clodhopper men and women with no sex partner at home are looking slackjawed and in need of some turtle-doving. There should be government whorehouses on the grounds for them. There only resort is trips to meatmarkets where greasy-mustache dudes can 2 step with paunchy, eager lasses horny as Texas Longhorn heifers and bulls. You can hear them braying in groups about mens fannies and womens titracks. They're organizing post-tour of duty ventures out to get laid daily during lunchbreaks. They're eyeballing even us old fat guys these days; uhhh...sorry gals..I'll hold out for hitting Vegas with my Frau. Uurrppp....
I've been trying to post regularly here. The problems we had with our "server" which caused us to be unable to post here for a few weeks deservedly drove a lot of readers away. I could quit like so many other diarists of the net. I think there are times in a supposed "creative" persons life where they need to put up or shut up; fold their tents or do something. I think quite a few, maybe 90% of people who are in bands do so not to create music but to have something to talk about with their friends; like participating in a goddamn dart league. There are way too many bands as a result and it's sometimes tough in some cities for real bands with original ideas to earn any money since so many short term imitative bands with are willing to play for free. The writers circlejerks are heavily populated with supposed "writers" and "poets" who need to be propped up by others to maintain the facade of productivity. Bands supported by their friends and writers supported by their mutual admiration society workshop pals aren't going anywhere. It's like trying to drive a car with no engine as the saying goes...or as Jesse Ventura once said "Bony Tony Atlas...you're a house with no furniture!!" I had a stretch where I was withdrawing from chess tournaments half completed for various reasons...too many fucking various reasons. I finally had to enter a big long one and pledge to play every round. I played a few more events like that and am back to normal. It's been way too long since RV has churned out recordings and shows; there are reasons involving lineup changes. Tomorrow we go back to the studio, back to the woodshop to grind out basic tracks for 6 original songs. We've got to get our credibility back..or we're like the writers workshop wannabe's...or the bands who imitate other bands (my apologies to those who do it well...you know who you are). We've earned our band Tshirt credibility..once again. The florescent green 2 headed mutant baby shirt is finally in! You clowns who have asked for shirts..I know who you are. It's time to order. We have limited numbers of proud fatso 2X and 3X and petite (yunno...Medium and Large) shirts but a hefty supply of XL. We're selling them according to the Antiseen price model...$20 ppd US...$30 world. I will only tell you how we found a 2 headed mutant baby if you order a shirt...just one.
A story made the rounds yesterday I simply hadn't the time to explore to dig up some truths. It involved 2 "pet" (pardon the pun) subjects that people clearly lie about and have been lying about for my lifetime. I'm sure many of you heard about the Austin police department killing some innocent guys dog; that was probably the way you heard the story. I dunno...perhaps an officer made a mistake and shot a guys dog, but it wasn't like a police department can collectively commit a deed good or bad. When you heard this story, did you jump to a conclusion either way, that some vile stormtroopers invaded some guys yard and shot a dog out of sheer evilness or that a tree-hugger in that hippie haven Austin wrecklessly accused some brave men in blue? Yeah, the same police force under fire for brazenly shooting a human last week....who was bravely scuffling with them and running from their nazi-like clutches. Uh, or was it he was a dude who fled on foot from a traffic stop..a "victim" of his own choice to not take a traffic bust....who forced the officers to eventually shoot him? Folks have been telling the dog lie "he dosn't bite" my entire lifetime. To many extremist dog-owners my simply pointing out this fact though means I "hate dogs". Dog owners are not reliable when it comes to being able to tell whether their pup will bite..I mean, who really knows? My Sister had a doberman who didn't bite...until he was 10. Why should the general public submit themselves to a possible maiming injury for themself or their child based on dog "guardians" whims? Dogs bite unexpectedly...frequently. That is the logical truth. Howz about cops? People lie and exxagerate about 'em so frequently it really makes me wonder. In fact, many, many, many humanoids I am even personally friendly with have no ability to be evenhanded about them, period. This running from the cops bit is about 10% based on intelligently perceived truths and 90% pop-culture horseshit. Am I so naive to have the audacity to think all cops are good and honest and kind? FUCK YOU. Just logoff out of here. Most boobs who lead the cops in high speed pursuits don't have a noble cause of their own, they simply don't want to get busted. I have acquantances and acquantances with family members who have done it and boast about it. Bully for them. They usually embellish their tales with descriptions of "pigs" smacking them absolutely out of the blue for no reason. Some people just hate cops, some hate dogs, but most don't. They just don't want to get bit. Some cops are sadistic but most follow procedures even against their will. UUrrppp.04/14/2012
Baseball moves? Here's my take on several. My favorite is "Cobb". Some think it's over the top, but shit..Tommy Jones really pulled off a great performance in my book. "Fear strikes out" the Jimmy Piersall story is right up there. For those of you who are ignorant but want schooling, Piersall was a guy with an intimidating Father who wound up in the nuthouse. It's a real classic featuring Karl Malden as the Uber-papa and Jimmy played by the lead dude from "Psycho". "Eight men out" is a 90's take on the Blacksox that's loaded with good actors. It's accurate enough to shame plenty of hokey films with no guts. "61" is the story of the Maris-Mantle homerun battle of that year. Maris is the last Yankee in history besides Jim Bouton I really give a shit about (he wound up with my 60's beloved Card's). It's right up there with "Madmen" for accurately depicting the 60's. "4192" is a Pete Rose documentary of sorts featuring plenty of talk from the master of hustle himself. I'm very impressed. Of course I really dig the Ken Burns baseball documentary which is so long it cant really be judged against the rest. It's in a league of it's own shall we say. "The Babe Ruth story" featuring William Bendix doesn't thrill me even though Bendix actually smacked a homerun during the filming. Ruth is along with Tiger Woods and Bob Gibson one of my absolute top sports heroes. It was a schmaltzy bit of hokum. "Pride of the Yankees" the Lou Gherig story was much better and actually featured brief segments with the real Babe. "The Babe" starring John Goodman is way better than the Bendix film but not the ultimate story about the bambino. There is no argument logically about who the greatest player of all time career-wise was. Ruth was a topnotch lefty pitcher as well as being a titan at the plate. Could that steroid jackass Bonds last an inning on the mound? I think not. Cobb? couldn't pitch. Mays, Aaron, nimrod, couldn't and can't pitch. Rose, Honus, etc...same principle. Sorry....why arguments continue I'm not sure. "Field of Dreams" I watched once when I was too sick to change the channel. It wasn't as bad as I expected, but the earth mama Wife and the dorky "Iowan's" ruin the potential that a few good characters provided the project. If you're stuck babysitting young relative kids who enjoy sundayschool, it'll be compelling viewing. The Robert Redford film makes me want to pluck out my eyes. "Bad news Bears"...watch it and the sequel with kids. I don't know why "Ball Four" hasn't been made into a film. Mr. Bouton made a huge impact on my writing which you can see in all the *****'s in between chunks of "Jobjumper". I didn't realize it until I was a few years into the book. There is a great deal of quality baseball fiction out there. I devoured a few short story collections a few years back that were really fucking good. Even Bukowski wrote here and there about baseball, remember? You really can see some bizarre pieces of humanity at ballparks to this day. My talented son Elvis wrote a baseball screenplay that came close to being filmed and may still of course. UUrp.
We had an unexpected "drop in" knock on the door the other day; I don't like it a fucking bit. This notion of "this is the south...the doors always open to my friends" doesn't jibe with me. We told the drop-in it was a bad time...which it really was. Most drop-ins are mooches by nature, people with plenty of time on their hands and a yearn to be entertained. There are exceptions..I suppose..although I can't be sure based on my experiences. Sitcom writers going back decades have penned numerous episodes depicting the raw, disgusting nerve of drop-ins and their penchant for making noise, eating folks out of house and home and worst of all never knowing when to leave. Marla has some great tales about a family of 6 who used to drop in on her folks and siblings when she was a child. They expected dinner! Humping jumping Jesus. Call first, even if it's past dinner time...ok?
So, I'm almost done with the Trotsky book of a 3 huge book series on the commies, Lenin, Stalin and the Trotster. 1500 pages of unbiased historical analysis and what conclusions have I reached? Politically I can't fathom any of these dudes, I just have a short attention span for politics since I know its a foregone conclusion that the thought processes are going to be too idealistic and illogical for me. Humanoids have developed their politics and deserve to be stuck with the results. Stalin was clearly the most murderous of the three. He whacked millions and got off on it. He was the gamest drinker of the trio, but he developed a passion for assembling groups for booze fueled gatherings that his guests (all terrified of him of course) would be cajoled into getting incredibly smashed whereupon Stalin would force them to answer embarrassing questions and gauge their loyalty. He'd often hear some drunk talk from a party official or maybe just a wife that would lead to them being shipped off to the gulag for rehabilitation, sometimes accusing the innocent spouse or underling of being in league with the Western powers. The party was brought into power by dreamers who whipped workers and peasants and other dreamers into a frenzy to seize others property. It's the so called do-gooders of Russia whom you can blame for Stalins deeds along with Lenins programs of confiscating homes and crops and slaughtering kulaks (prosperous farmers ) priests and even enemies from within the party at large who strayed from the bolshevik minority section of the party at large. Nobody ever whacked more communists than others of their kind. Trotsky was passive compared to the other two, but he was roasted by party members for party cardholders he killed as deserters during the revolution while he served as a military commander. Trotsky was the lamest guy to drink with of the triumvirate. I'd like some modern day communist to get in touch with me and explain how the hippie radicals of the 60's idolized Trotsky, while he was such a partypooper that his Sons and advisers tried repeatedly to get him to let his hair down. He tolerated "free love" folks and advocated rights for females, but he would've hated the hippies drug use and sloppiness. I've come to realize through much thought that the reason I wear a goatee can be traced to the commie hero's via heel wrestlers who almost always sported them when trying to pass themselves off as Russky's. Trotsky did one very cool thing I must point out; he was the very face of world atheism during his time. The books are by Robert Service if you'd care to check 'em out. UUrrpp.
There's excitement in the air; new RANCID VAT T-shirts are being printed this week. The design is really great..a 2 headed mutant baby design. We'll try to stick a pic up either here or at the unofficial RV facebook page..and hey what the hell I'm gonna have it up on Ebay before my birthday..which is Monday the 9th of course. For those of you who haven't settled on a lavish gift for me, just buy a T-shirt or a book. Urp. My irritation of the day? Rick Santorums existence has bothered me for a couple months. His prudish stances would force me to vote for Obama over him (believe it or not). Thankfully Romney has about sent him packing his Michael J. Fox looking ass back to the Penn state. I hate the chubby chipmunk sweater vests and his evangelical fervor..which is strange considering he's a frigging catholic. Outlaw porn my fucking ass. His holymen have one of the worst child sex abuse records in world history. Take away porn and watch the sexcrime rate soar. A few people I respect say that Rick is not really more extreme on social issues than the other candidates and that the liberal press has smeared him HAH!! This is the guy who said a few weeks ago that when he read a speech by JFK advocating separation of church and state he felt physically ill. He said that...really. It's not a liberal smear. Look it up. There's something dreadfully wrong with that statement. He sounds just like that whacko in Iran and all the other leaders who want to run their nations according to a notoriously divisive holy book. Bible..Koran..what's the diff? BRraapp.
I dont want to dwell on work. The thought of the horrid dayshift I trained in a few weeks ago is still fresh in my mind. I'm past that though and worked a full "make or break" sort of week in which I succeeded quite well, even though I feared the worst. A chess buddy, the guy who told me about the job years ago works a similar shift on the other side of the building. Talks of chess now and then clear my mind well. It's a goddamn intellectual job. The last couple hours on Friday I started losing my focus due to being mentally worn out. It was a healthy sort of mental fatugue though. I've been able to come home and play ps3 baseball or study chess even which hasn't been the case the other seasons I've worked. The last couple weeks I've felt a great deal of nostalgia concerning Saturdays up until the early 90's. The whole day and night had an air of excitement in those days thanks to the wrestling promotions. I really miss the Portland wrestling shows that gave the week an anchor. Even if things sucked in other ways, we had that. Even if other social events or things to amuse us weren't happening, it was there like a faithfull pup waiting for you. Being stuck here in band Siberia, I rarely see shows in clubs. Saturdays are often boring and disappointing. Elvis remembers what Saturdays used to be, but I'm worried that little Hank will never know the joys of REAL wrestling on a weekly basis. Monday nights picked up the slack in the late 90's and early 2000's, but it's hardly anything to define your week by these days. ROH is broadcasting a show in San Antonio on occasion. I know that James Cornette's rule is to always have televison to support your promotion and that it's almost certainly a sign they'll start booking down there. We'll probably windup living down there sooner than most of you might think, so that's a good sign. I've fought nostalgia concerning most other things. I think that a lot of things suck compared to back in the day, but that new inventions have sort of balanced things out. I do get nostalgic about how we could entertain ourselves by simply getting good and loaded and driving around in somebodys car for kicks. From my teens well into my 30's that was a favorite source of entertainment. Based in Snortland I'd drive to every corner of the city, up into neighboring Vancouver, even to the Oregon coast. The madd bitches have legislated pleasurable drives like that off my menu of regular things to do. When we lived in Philly I'd drive visitors like Jello around when they came calling, but that was a city full of jolly scofflaws. I've lived here 10 years and still haven't found a quiet spot to meditate and drink in the open air. Let's see; what else do I get nostalgic about.....hhmm. Here's one. I fucking hate drinking soda out of plastic recycle containers. You hit a conveniance store for a cold Sundrop or a Big Red and it goes warm on you in 15 minutes. They keep the coolers just barely chilly enough so you're suckered into buying it. The way to enjoy soda is from an ice cold glass container, which you could smash on a rural road if you were in the mood without facing a prison sentence if you got caught. I'm sure there are folks driving around having fun getting smashed, but not like there used to be. Sissies like me who are afraid to get busted are in the majority in this burg. Maybe when I move to a real city again I can enjoy getting lost in the crowd amongst crazy fucks who still know how to have fun. Not that many years back it was legal for passengers to drink in Texas; man, what bliss. LBJ's ranch is about 25 miles from here. He used to drive his Lincolns (never a Caddy) at high speeds all over the property. He'd regularly haul heads of state and captains of industry in high speed booze fueled car parties. In just a few decades we've swerved from that pleasant end of the spectrum to the opposite extreme. I bet LBJ would tune in Saturday wrestling back at the ranch for the visiting dignitaries too. Ahhh....those were the days. 03/29/12
My pet peeve right now? All the idgits in line buying lottery tickets. For those of you who shut the world out for the most part, there's some sort of lottery with an accumulated $500 million buck payoff. Masses of humanoids who don't usually buy tickets clog up the convenience store register lines, nostril mining...going uunnnhhhhhhh......trying to figure out how to order tickets. It's not like I think I could order tickets any quicker, but if I couldn't I'd feel embarrassed holding up a line of dopes wanting to load up on malt liquor and Ho Ho's. Tell me why...WHY so many more people want to play for a $500 million prize than say 30 or 50?? Why? Why do so many rubes turn up their noses at mere 1-3 million dollar pots? I'd be bloody set if I won a goddamn half million. Urp. I can't wait for somebody to win and ease the pressure. Of course it'll be a group of rich doctors who don't even need it. I heard an earload from the breakroom conspiracy blowhard tonight. Did you know...by 2050 there will be no jobs left in the world, everybody who works will be replaced by a computer...GUARANTEED. As a result, people won't have anything to do...therefore, the illuminati (my 2nd pet peeve is radio twats who swagger that phrase around) will have to reduce the population. As myself and most of the folks in the room fled the jackass raised his voice to add that they've already STARTED thinning out the population. Shit, this guy was dead serious. Somebody report him to the bosses. We could stand to thin the herd of gullible, bigmouthed need-to-tell jokers like him. ` `
DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES this diary has been down for weeks. When we canceled our cable TV service a while back they wiped out our internet service. Fucking twats.
Is there anybody left out there? Probably not. The down time has coincided with my training for my 3rd job of this work season. Yeah, I can't write about the job, but I can say they're making me work and even squirm a bit for my extra few bucks an hour. I had to participate in an early day (7:30-4:00) training session for a week that almost finished me off. Last week was better due to my training during a sane time period (5:00 pm to 1:30 am . Enough of that. We learned this afternoon that my hero Tiger Woods was on the back 9 headed towards his first significant tour victory in a good while. The most significant comeback in sports history and us without cable TV since we told 'em to stick it a month or so ago. Netfix, Hulu and MLB.com have been most amusing and I'm getting the hang of MLB 2011 on our new PS3 but FUCK; it's Tiger, the modern day Babe Ruth. The only "local" channels we get without cable are pathetic. Marla toyed with the cheesy budget antenna we have been using until we tracked Tiger to the 14th hole on a local channel that froze constantly, rendering viewing a nightmare. With him ahead by 4 strokes with 4 holes to go she bounded into her car and headed to Best Buy to get the better antenna. She was back by the time he was on the 16th according to a horrid internet site with no camera at all. After a tedious channel loading process we managed to watch his second shot on the 18th hole. When he avoided plopping it into the lake at Bay Hill it was clear he was going to win. We just managed to watch it live, certainly a nice upraised double-finger to the Santorum like prudes who judge him. Tiger is not a christian, but rather a Buddhist officially who likely spends more time enjoying physical pleasures than chanting. Undoubtedly you'll hear a lot of watercooler blather tomorrow if you work where there is one about his comeback; folks will try to tell you they've pulled for him all along. Of course we know this is hogwash, but maybe we should let them come back to his camp of admirers gracefully? Then again, maybe all this job training has softened my attytude and wussiefied me to an extent; hell yeah, let's call every one of the bastards on their supposed long-term positive Tigermania. The action figure that has remained on our mantel since well before his marriage break-up is a beacon akin to a dashboard saint figure the chuckleheads sucker for. It proves our love for (in case you need further reminding) the MODERN DAY BABE RUTH. Get behind Tiger, before he gets behind you......UUrP. Welcome back.
I can't write about work, but surely there's no harm in relating the fact that I got yet another promotion. I finally accepted the position I was sleeping with the phone in order to get from the first of December until late January. I've spent the last few days in my second situation this season of working out a week with people who know you are moving onward and upward and away from the work unit. I don't believe in karma, but I still think its not a good idea to gloat or be smug in situations like that. It's not that big a deal to be a pay grade or even 3 or 4 over somebody else. There is a downside to each new raise that may not be evident at first. I pointed out to a co-worker not long ago that whereas the janitors may have been poorly payed in the 70's, they could and should be hauling down more than us. Even though this is a "real" job, it's still as casual as ever, for which I give thanks to whomever swung that deal years ago. We're supposed to be spoiled and bathing in riches and benefits according to certain politicos, but that's sure as hell not the case. There's been a pay freeze for years and the office supplies and fixtures seem a quarter century old. I don't give a shit about using any of it. Here's the big news: I'll be training for 2 weeks during the day..most likely from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm..until starting the new job during my beloved night shift. Holy shit! What do people do to get to sleep at 9:00 pm? Does happy hour still exist? How can I adjust from eating at 2:00 am to 6:00 pm? For years I worked in offices during day shift with folks who wanted to start early so they could get home in time to mow their fucking lawns?!?! It's a bad, mad species..isn't it? Go figure. Good thing I like naps and sleeping in increments. Perhaps in the 2 week period I'll morph into a pipe, slippers and smoking jacket routine. I draw the line at mowing the damn lawn. Elvis pointed out that we can actually meet on the way home from our jobs at the driving range to suck down brews and pound balls to relieve the strains of the day. OK. That's one good point to chalk up for day shift..any more? The training for this level scares many folks I am told, but not this chessplaying, cum laude graduate. Numbers, concepts, rules, bring it on. Urrpp...........
Sorry to hear about the death of the Monkees Davy Jones. All of us go through childhood, even alienated misfits like me and perhaps you. I began writing years ago short bursts about wrestling, music, stuff that pisses me off such as co-workers and cause oriented pests. If you've read much of my stuff over the years, you probably already know that the idea of me writing about the Monkees is a bit about me writing about walking my Son and Daughter in laws wiener dog with a pink leash. Big hairy guys are supposed to walk Doberman's and coon dogs. I'm supposed to focus on the Sex Pistols and Dave Dudley and Motorhead. Shit, I do most of the time, so bear with me here or fucking leave and go listen to your own childhood pop icons, such as MJ or Madonna or boy band horseshit..none of which I have any use for. You don't choose what music you grow up around, if I could go back and do so it would always be between 1950-1954. I was born in 1957 and adopted by total squares. My source of exposure to rock and roll was the Sister I grew up with who loved sappy sweet stuff most other girls did, but wound up listening to ZZ Top often enough in her adult years I feel she's done all right. She introduced me first to the Beatles, but during a terrible storm Mother forced us to destroy our Beatle trading cards and stuff , which she scolded us were a sign that the lord was punishing us with the storm because we had them. We never actually owned a Beatles album at that stage. The Monkees came along in a few years and my Sister managed to bring home their first 3 albums, our first RNR albums allowed into the house. We played them on a wretched childs phonograph that destroyed the grooves of the vinyl gradually with every play. We listened to every song over and over for the most part. She particularly seemed to love the Davy Jones ballads whilst I preferred the rock stylings of Mickey Dolenz and also the bizarre numbers like "Zilch" and
Randy Scouse git". Now, those of you who have heard our early music, you may wonder how in the fuck I drew inspiration for our shitstorm from the Monkees. Yet, the evidence is there on a CD bonus track from "Stampeding Cattle" titled "Sad as a Turd" which is a musical round, like "Row row row your boat" and the Monkees "Zilch". One of the things I still admire about the Monkees is the fact that they decided to learn to play rock instruments enough to play their own concerts on stage, as opposed to the slick studio musicians on many of their earliest recordings. Although prone to bickering, they bonded together long enough to tell the record company to stick it if they didn't like it. Eventually came the soundtrack lp "Head" which was so bizarre and psych drenched it's worthy of Zappa and Captain B. You may consider yourselves lucky to have seen the film and should you choose buy a CD of "Head", they weren't to be found easily back in the day. Indeed, I didn't hear it until well into the 80's. My favorite Monkees tunes to this day include the organ driven "Stepping Stone" (covered by the Pistols!), "I'm a Believer" "Last Train to Clarksville" "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Zilch", "Randy Scouse git" "I wanna buy me a dog" and "Auntie Grizelda". I don't get loaded enough to like Davy's "I wanna be Free", but after 20 beers and shots I'll waggle my finger in your Beatles loving maw and tell you that Mr. Jones (who drove the mighty Bowie to a name change!) saccharine crooning on "Daydream Believer" topped Sir Paul at his own game. The Monkees TV show was a nice Marx Brothers send up with a couple song videos included. Davy and the boys are more watchable now than dated stuff like "Rowan and Martins Laugh-in". I read Davy's book a few years ago and concluded he was much more like Brit working-class guys like Mick Ronson and Tom Jones and the guys from Slade than he has been given credit for. He would have been fun to share a few pints with, but it wasn't to be. He definitely deserves Whiskey Rebel Texas Beam tripleshot treatment here and now..uurrppp!!! A postscript; I just was reminded that the utterly worthless rock and roll hall of shame has never inducted the Monkeees. One more reason to never venture there. I shall induct the Monkees here and now into my own WR "worthy pop fluff" hall of fame....SALUTE!!
A new work unit usually brings with it new circumstances. I'm not as fatigued mentally or physically after a week or a night at this new one. We did indeed return our cable box to TW cable even though we haven't sent a reason why letter yet. I need some mindless entertainment when I get home this early in the season. I will develop the ability to write and study chess seriously after a shift in a month or two, but for now I'd be torturing myself. To replace cable with other stuff has involved one helluva lot of rejection of assumptions. I assumed netflix was an outfit that mailed you DVD's; that sounded shitty. They do mail some people some sort of shitm, but we enrolled painlessly and inexpensively ($9.00) and have access to a shitload of stuff, part of which are old favorites (149 "Rawhide" episodes, original Hawaii 5-0) shows I've meant to see such as all the "Breaking Bad" episodes I missed ( due to another assumption) and precious new "so bad it's good" experiences which include a film named "Bobby Fischer Live" which reminds me of a contemporary 50's B-film. The Netflix production of "Lillehammer" starring Steven Van Zandt of Sopranos and sirius garage radio show fame, is really irresistible. I couldn't stop watching episodes one after another. It's about a wiseguy who chooses to enjoy his new witness protection life in Lillehammer Norway. If you assume it's going to "not be as good as the Sopranos" or if you assume it's going to be politically correct garbage wherein the character learns sensitivity, well..Jack, you're fucking wrong on all counts. The mobster has a noble streak and the body count is low, but the plot explores many of the bad aspects of trendy Euro nanny-State life. I assumed the wrestling offerings would be stuff I've seen. Wrong again. I stumbled onto a Road Warriors bio I'd never seen, followed by a Ric Flair film I wept during. I assumed I'd be missing news about the primary election which I had been following for months. HAH! That was the silliest assumption of all. I won't waste anymore of this election year by all the daily hoo-haa which was putting me in a foul mood anyway. For fucks sake, we already know all we need to about the candidates views; if they start changing answers after a buttload of debates, that's for fans of politics to savor. I'll be watching Netflix, some series on Hulu, listening to Sirius radio when I have the urge in the middle of the night in a week or two and best of all I got of course a new PS3 to enjoy the 39" screen that graces our livingroom. I got MLB11 which I've played at Elvis's pad. The game came with a controller with a head like a pingpong ball on it besides the joystick. I can get the new Tiger Woods the Masters" PS3 game in a month or so and have a go at the venerable course swinging the damn thing like a Wii controller. I can tell what kind of people should keep their $100-$150 per month cable service. The breed of humanoid (and I know quite a few) who get high and watch the same Simpsons and Family Guy episodes over and over and over while they admire the Star Wars collectables on their shelf. They hate the long commercial breaks we former cable customers aren't exposed to, but haven't the balls to take the thumb out of their mouth and try something different. If you have a limited batch of tastes, such as purists for one narrow sub-genre of music...period, keep your cable. One more thing, even though I've replaced cable TV with other forms of escapism at this stage of my life with 90+ appearances on records and CD's in the record guides and 4 completed books and one more halfway near done, philosophically I still believe that the best way to get things done you've been procrastinating the dogshit out of year after year is to leave your boobtube off for a year at a time like we did long ago.
We've been getting more and more pissed off with TW cable; their fucked up service (average response time for us about 1 hour 15 minutes waiting on hold) the unwanted daytime solicitation wakeup calls I've received in spite of staging a formal complaint, the frequency of mysterious downtime for on-demand features and the skyrocketing prices. The final straw was related to the earsplitting emergency foghorn blasts they wail through your TV. It used to be they did this rarely, usually Sunday mornings. They've begun doing it for storms in counties so far away I've never heard of them., missing children in all parts of the State and when you try to mute the volume to escape the blood curdling sound the volume on our TV gets frozen out. Twice in just the last week I watched 90% of an on demand show and was interupted by the now almost nightly din. In both cases the on demand feature froze up when I restarted the TV. The "emergency" racket was scheduled to last for 50 minutes that time according to the message scrolling its foul message on top of the screen. I sat Marla down in front of the boobtube the next night a few hours earlier than when I'd been having trouble to talk to her about it..and lo and behold..it started up as if by some sort of curse cast upon me. ANGH ANGH ANGH ANGH ANGH ANGH,. she got pissed off and we worked up a plan to rid our home of this worthless cable service. She figured we pay $1200 per year for service, so she went out and bought a 39" TV and a PS3 that brings up the internet. There are cheap services which will bring us the rash of new shows I like, albeit a few days late. I can sit in my easy chair and watch video chess lessons from a couple world class sites I belong to; when I'm done I can watch Grandmasters from all over the world play endless blitz games on the leading chess server in Europe. We can sign up for baseball games nationwide in a month or so with MLB.com and even subscribe to a news source. Hey, we can even bring indoors Marla's Sirius service for a few bucks...Stern, music, etc. We'll probably sign on with a minimal service with the cable competitor eventually. I've been crafting in my head the letter I'm gonna send to a public relations guy the cable outfit has assigned to answer our major complaint to date. I'll begin by pointing out how one of the happiest days of my life was one of my birthdays and we were getting cable for the first time. The sky was blue..birdies chirped. How sad all these years later with so many supposed technological improvements the service is a goddamned farce...900 channels can't equal what we got in the early empty-TV era. Those were the days..ahhh. Video channels showed...VIDEOS. Nostalgic networks showed black and white classics, not pukey 90's crap that sucks ass. In spite of what you think of yesterdays programming compared to todays, we never were subject back in the day to sonic blasts that send even our satanic black cat Dixie into a frenzy. Ever consider how when your cable service is out for a spell or features don't work and they show a "try later" message, you never get a partial refund in the mail in spite of the fact you didn't receive a complete quantity of service. We're supposed to just cut them some slack...yet, if you were to deduct a bit from your payment, they would never, EVER consider cutting you some slack in return without you having to endure hours of waiting listening to their horseshit advirtisements on their customer non-service lines. I've studied the legacy of the impact on the U.S. people of the railroad octopus in the late 1800's, the gilded age titans of industry and finance that make todays wall street guys look like sweet Sunday school superintendants. I'm aware of the evils of the tobacco industry. You can bitch about Halliburton until your blue in the face; TWC is my Halliburton from this day forth. They have finally ruined one of the greatest simple lazy pleasures in our society. I dare you to tune your set to one of the channels that blare their ad's continously for a mere half hour...and try to maintain your sanity through the vapid, dumbed down pitches, always spiced with green references. I dare you...I fucking dare you!02/07/2012
I can't write about my job, but I can tell you Marla commented on how relaxed I seem to be, even though I'm supposed to be stressed over learning a new job. Actually, the new job (which is 2 paygrades over the last) uses the same sort of office filing and organization systems I've always worked with. I should have it down for the most part by the end of the week. Can I mention the fact that my work season will be significantly longer? Enough. It's time to select the Grandson photos that will grace my new desk. Anybody that has worked in an office can tell you how overboard some folks go, plastering pics of their families everywhere, even if their Daughters look like dogs and their sons like bucktoothed rubes with cash-register-jaw. The question is, why do so many of them do this? I suspect in the case of many they need to remind themselves of the mouths they need to feed to persuade them not to tell the bosses to suck it and bail out. In my case, I simply feel good looking at pictures of little Hank. He's a fashionplate and extremely pleasant to look at. His parents have taught him already how to pose; I'm impressed. The proof is in the pics. He simply is superior to everybody elses screeching brats. I am told that just today he was showing signs of being ambi-dextrous like a few of us (well, ok....ME). Since he will be forbidden by the unanimous agreement on all sides of the family to play soccer, he'll possibly grow up into a switch hitter on the baseball diamond, or be able to play musical instruments easier, or simply be able to drink with either hand. As I write this I'm gazing at a Henry calendar his folks made us that features a lovely photo of him decked out as a two-headed baby for his first Halloween last year. I feel really good looking at that picture, no deep thoughts or expectations that he do anything in particular but what he wants to (except for soccer of course). Urp. I'm also hesitant to bring his pictures to work, my co-workers feelings will be hurt since their brood are spudheads. Oh well, they've got to learn the truth sooner or later. 02/03/2012
Oh my fucking god; I'm going to be working at a normal job in a different unit down the hall at work. One of my many applications panned out. Thanks to the wisdom of the selecting officials at work, which I of course can't write about. I'm being bumped up two pay grades and will be actually working in front of a computer I am told. Does persistance pay off? Is being patient a virtue? One co-worker from another unit shook his head in dismay at the situation in the unit I've worked in for 3 seasons saying "I can't believe you could stand it for so goddamn long". Working there has surely not been my worst work gig at all, but the lunacy and drama can't be matched. I will give my all for my new unit which is in a different division shall we say. It sounds like the work I'll be doing is quite similar to what I did at title insuranced plants years ago. Urrppp. I'll celebrate this weekend.......
We just baby-sat the Grandson for 3 nights. Marla did 90% of the work, while I provided comic interludes akin to 3 Stooges routines. The kid just loves a laugh and never doubles over and cackles harder than when he pulls my beard and I yelp in pain. Over the year I hope to maintain my value in his eyes as a source of humor and not be some old sourpuss. I'll be reporting back to work tomorrow in some sort of capacity. I can't write about the job..but I can reveal that I'm still in contention for what has swelled up to 12 jobs. Of course there are thousands of employees there and the hiring process is the sort that I could criticize if I had a mind too, but no. I'm gonna be reporting back to the old job which I vowed a few times I wouldn't do. I was advised to apply apply apply and I have. What the shit, some of my applications date back to September, how can I just blow them off? To maintain my status I need to report back to the job equivalent of Devil's island, which used to bear a sign "abandon all hope ye who enter here. The money is fine and the attire and grooming standards as casual as my living room, so what the hell. I'll tough it out and see what happens. Over the last year I've hung out with my blood Father of course several times. He was down here a week ago again and I told him about the situation. He didn't weigh in and give advice, but I know what he would say. I've advised my Son to hang in there during situations I stormed out of (written up in "Jobjumper" which you may order from numerous sources to read about in depth) over the early portion of my life. I see a course unfolding if I am forced to work at the "leper colony" position another season. Don't worry about me too much. I know I've had a goddamned bellyful of sitting on the couch watching others work on "Axe Men" and "Goldrush" and the new "Bering Sea Gold". I wrote and edited a helluva lot last year. At any moment at the job I could be called away and promoted to several different jobs some of which are day shift, which would suck but what the fuck. Until that happens I'll be back to an early graveyard shift, burning up the road back and forth in my jolly black Dodge Charger which still hasn't accumulated 30,000 miles. I have a lot of rather new CD's to blast. My greatest "fear" is that I'll have to repeat the 2 hour whiteknuckle, black-ice hellride I was forced to endure last season due to imbecilecal weather reporting by the Austin media that our management took faith in. I rarely bother to go to the local taverns anymore during my work furlough. For some reason I feel compelled, shit DRIVEN to suck 'em down on Saturday nights during my work seasons, just like everybody else who answers to a boss. UUrrrppppp.01/23/12
I can't write about work; good thing this last 10 days or so. The ranting I would engage in would lead to no good. I have 13 goddamned applications in for better positions, the website says I've made it to the desk of 7 selection officials. I've slept with the phone, showered with the phone and kept it near me like a house arrest bracelet until 9:00 pm every night since early December. I've checked the email every damn half hour and monitored the mailbox ridiculously. When are they gonna get off their asses? My loved ones are sick of hearing about it. At least I've had great reading material.
After a 550 page Lenin book and now 300 pages into a Stalin work by the same author (Robert Service) I'm impressed at the brutality of the revolutionary founding Fathers shall we say of the Soviet union. The author goes out of his way to maintain the unemotional stance of the historian, but there's really no way to soft-soap these gulag-loving, genocidal bastards. I know that many lefties who want to give Marxism a perhaps modified shot here in the U.S.A. will agree that Lenin and Stalin and other bolsheviks that worked their way into power got a bit out of hand, but will assert in their next breath the "fact" that our Presidents from Polk and Jackson to the Bushes were just as bad. They'd likely then equate our terrorist mini-prison on Cuban soil, TSA patdowns and waterboarding with the USSR's huge gulag system.
Some of you might think they'd never be able to fool Americans into believing what our leaders have done is comparable with the slaughter committed by Joe Stalin, but shit..as I have pointed out here, the occupy movement demands were right out of the Marx biography I'm about half through with. It was he and his partner Engels who inspired Lenin and other bolshevik theorists whose work Stalin carried on. If any commies or anarchists out there read this and want to correct me, get in touch. As a competitive chessplayer since I was a child (chess was the national sport in the USSR and many Eastern Europe nations..I have many Soviet era chess heroes) I've been around plenty of extremists and am not frightened by them. I just don't agree with collectivist principles..why?
To start with, I think most people are essentially bad. When they get into groups I get very nervous. I've always identified with the lonewolf geniuses and strong producers in our country whose efforts would eventually tail off if they perceived the fruits of their labors are going to lazy unionized collectivists. The enforced atheism in the USSR does sound a bit tempting to me and on the surface the idea of government subsidized chess sounds nice, but unfortunately many of their best Grandmasters were held back from competing everywhere they wanted to. Once you fell out of favor, you were screwed. Years ago we released a 7" record "Hitler and Stalin the Dreamteam". Trying to be as open-minded as possible, I really can't think of two of our Presidents who could be considered even by the most ardent lefties as even in the same league with those two when it came to many flavors of atrocity. Polk and Jackson are pikers when you calculate the bodycount. We never really slaughtered very many Mexicans. Our most clear acts of genocide have involved our much lied to and abused Indian nations of course, but they were popular crusades as opposed to something a tiny group of leaders dreamt up. Blame the common religious people. Marx and his peers loathed the perpetuation of slavery in our country. They thought it would lead to our downfall. One of Lenin's favorite books was "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Sounds like a noble bunch, until you take into account the gulag system in the 20th century USSR that meted out "rehabilitation" for millions of dissidents, priests and undesirable ethnic types. How does it stack up with Jim Crow America? You decide...my brain is worn out for now.
I just listed my five favorite films on an old pals facebook page. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing since I have a very limited social life and rarely get asked in person stuff like this anymore. I dive into discussions on FB with good intentions, but I know I'm a goddamned threadkiller. Sometimes it's probably due to the fact that I enter discussions late, but I've seen my top or bottom lists fall flat without comment most of the time. My arguements occasionally lure somebody to fight back, but most of the time what appeared to be a lively exchange of banter into a forgotten, dead issue. My amiable exchanges fare better, but graphic thumbsup and horseshit symbols and smiley doodads are things I endure for "normal" relatives. The folks who converse cyber-wise with me in a relaxed manner know who they are and I appreciate them. Most of them have figured out that even though I've written opinonated columns and stuff for many years, I don't want people to agree with everything I utter in print or on FB and neither do I feel you're a wuss if you don't bust my balls. I suspect most writers and musicians and artists would hang it up if they didn't receive some gushing praise once in awhile. I'm no different. I often change my mind myself about political horseshit and film fave lists and clearly my hatred of certain sub-genres of humanoids shifts often. I don't want to seem paranoid, but I sometimes wonder whether some large number of FB users bear grudges against me for gossipy reasons not based in reality. I often criticize "bands" or followers of some fad or human foible in a general rant, here or there NOT THINKING of their band or Wife or opinion at all. Certainly to some degree people take things personally without reason. It's fucking arrogant, for sure to assume I'm expending brain matter on you. Furthermore, if I rant about Star Wars geeks (which I do every couple years) and I see a picture of your new Barf Vader pajamas on FB and make a remark, don't assume I suddenly hate you or look down on you or for that matter even REMEMBER to associate you with it. I know damn well I'm out numbered when it comes to Star Trek or Metallica or Tebow or treating phones like they're your second cock. I presume many, many of you date the "MBC's" I criticize; so what, that's to be expected. I loathe the worthless Kardashians, 99% of rap and collegiate sports, all of which most of you are into to some extent..right? I'm used to being the lone nut who hates "march madness" and soccer. I can amiably discuss it though, there's no need for me to be a threadkiller, unless it's only a figment of my imagination, which it may all be.
I'm ready to fucking boil over at the moment from the stupidity of those two overbearing cable network Catholics O'Reilly and Hannity. It's all come to a head over the last few weeks with that attention seeking exhibitionist quarterback dickhead from Denver who insists on hoisting his own religious views over those of anybody else on the field by repeatedly through out the season assuming a prayer position you only see performed by extroverts of the most nauseating stripe.
I've had a bellyful of O'Reilly declaring anybody with any complaint is a pinhead. His post-preppie compatriot Hannity declares over and over that few Americans have any problem with this guys prayer ritual. Yunno, I might have just shrugged it all off as being the same old same old fundamentalist shit although these guys aren't even fundamentalists; they're Catholics ) but I've just finished off a masterful, thoughtful book on the civil war era "America Aflame!" by David Gold field that specially focuses on the responsibility of evangelicals on both sides inflaming matters with their rhetoric to the point that the war could not be avoided. Holy men for both North and South alike were so confident in the fact that god was surely on their side that preachers week after week, month after month declared it from the pulpits.
Meanwhile, there was a side issue up North mostly in the decades preceding the war; many of the same evangelicals became convinced that the Catholics were coming here in too large numbers and that they were a sick, satanic horde equally as dangerous as slavery. Take that O'Reilly and Hannity; it wasn't that long ago you'd both be slapped down for your demonic, pageantry filled take on Christianity. Both sides expected the lord to step in and slam-dunk one for their side; when that didn't happen and casualties mounted reasonable voices from both sides began to distance themselves from the earlier notion of god being involved in human wars. By the time of Lincoln's second inaugural address he had come around to believing that god hadn't helped either side in the war and that the Union should be generous in victory since they too had allowed slavery to become established in our nation. Southern sermons in the final phase of the war were often interpretive of the extent of god's involvement in man's affairs.
Now, I know damn well what goes on before, during and after football games. Players, coaches, owners, gamblers and fans pray their ass off. I have no objection to that! I haven't heard the magpies for manufactured morality O'Reilly and Hannity point out how damn many silent prayer circles, organized and visible social prayer groups and silent individuals plead to their god or gods. In Texas there are still high school teams bullied into coach lead prayer. I don't like it, but I'm confident enough in my antisocial religious views to not even bust a sweat over it all until this SELFISH CLOD acts out, stealing the limelight from his RELIGIOUS TEAM MATES, making them look like schmucks as if it's all a big contest over who can draw the most attention to their slant on god. Haven't you Christians figured it out yet?
This dumbass's actions remind me of the extremists who were so confident that they knew better than everybody else they flew airplanes into skyscrapers on 9/11. The mentality of exhibiting your faith loud and proud has not only been the attitude behind most terrorist acts over the millennia perpetrated by many different religious groups, it was also behind the PERSECUTION of big mouth know-it-alls like O'Reilly and Hannnity who might've been tarred and feathered in the mid 19th century for their wicked Catholic faith by equally confident, smug protestants.
One more thing! I'm hoping and "praying" that next season or maybe at the "big game" the ultimate result of all this "pinhead and patriot" "immoral atheist" horseshit: I want to see a prominent player score a touchdown or make a key tackle and drop to his hands and knees and pray to Allah. O'Reilly, Hannity and Palin will flip and send their producers into spin mode. I'd lob off a finger to see this happen in the "big game". BBrraappp.
I've been waiting to hear about the results of a dozen applications I've submitted to advance at work, which I can't write about. The jobs are still open until you're notified by computer generated email that you didn't get it. I've slept with my phone for about a month so as to not miss my call about the biggest promotion I've applied for. I've gradually felt more and more stress through all this and have thrown some objects around the house and ranted at the top of my lungs to the cats, my Frau and even just myself. First thing out of bed this afternoon I was sitting preparing to take the first hit of hot coffee of the day when all of a sudden...AAAAAWWWWWWWWWW...WWwwaagghhhhhhhhhhhH; I emitted a combination of a cough and a sneeze through my half filled mouth and nostrils alike spewing coffee in a 2 foot radius, messing the keyboard, monitor, printer, paper stock, etc.
I've never, ever experienced this in the past. It seems now after the annoying cleanup is over and the day has past like it was the additive inverse of a wet, shorts-destroying fart. Such a rump eruption would befit my attitude towards the gotcha atmosphere of the primary election this time around. It's amazing what little dirt needs to be thrown to destroy a campaign. As a history guy I'm well versed in the legacy of adultery amongst our brave leaders from over the years, from the founding Fathers and their supposed purity and piety to the 20th century Presidents of both parties a huge proportion of whom have cheated. Why do they nail Herman Cains ass to the wall with little evidence, when it's no secret what FDR, Ike, LBJ, Clinton, JFK, etc., etc., did in their day?
I personally say that I prefer our chief executive to be satisfied and not walking around with a woodie when that red phone rings. I have a massive tattoo of Ben Franklin on my leg that has been used for a record sleeve, depicting a dagger running through old Ben's noggin. When rubes ask me if I hate Franklin, I always respond by saying I LIKE him, but if he were around today, the prudes and the press would lambast him for his personal life. And Thomas Jefferson? Oh my...just imagine. How about our military heroes? Even old blood and guts, General Patton had a repeated affair with his wife's niece and singer Dinah Shore just to name a couple of dalliances. Personally, I've lead a square life and never cheated, but of course am considered a vile, atheist pig by most holy folks supposed standards.
People keep sending millions to preachers who get busted screwing around; by "people" of course I'm referring to evangelical goody goodies who seem easily upset by past affairs and "sins of the flesh" by prospective candidates. Humping jumping jesus. And media commentators wonder why there aren't more "strong" candidates running. I bet theirs not a person reading this that doesn't have 6-10 square head relatives who bitch and piss and moan about the lack of quality leaders who would get upset if you tried to tell them about the legacy of bedroom go-round activity by our holy iconic founders, Presidents, astronauts, clergymen, etc. Let me qualify that. They'd love to hear about the deeds of creeps from the other side, but they'll simply shake their head and snort if you mention any of them from their own party. So, here we are, Santorum and Romney just won Iowa. One wears "magic underwear" (as Penn Jillette calls it) and the other eats the actual body of christ at communion every Sunday; not a wafer representing our lord, but the ACTUAL body. Our current Presidents long-term house of worship certainly is no more appealing to me. When I look back on my life I have a major regret, that humanoids in the US haven't wised up and gotten past the token religion farce that our political leaders must act out. I expected from the age of 9 at which I shaped my personal philosophy that adults surely would wise up before too long. Now I know it's never gonna happen in my son or grandsons time. forget it. I'm gonna let one rip in my shorts, to signify my disgust...bbbbrrrrAAAAaaapppPPPPPPPP.
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