Wednesday, December 31, 2003

My son turned 18. And finally figured out what I've been trying to tell him for years.I think when I finally shut up about it is when he came he began to see the world for what it really was and decided to deal with it.He tells me he remembers things I said to him that shaped his development even though he was in the mess that is becoming oneself...I don't know if he's saying that for my benefit or not,I'm just glad he got his shit together. I'm very proud of him.

We paid off our house long before it was time to die in it. No small feat in these times.

Ann still has no job.How can this be a good thing?She has had time to focus on herself and our relationship without being fettered to a high stress bullshit job. As a result we have been poor,but rich in the sense that we appreciate what brought us together in the first has nothing to do with money or station,and we are better for that.
She hasn't turned into the model housewife (thank god) but rather has been able to invest more energy into us and that has had the reverse effect,allowing me to do the same.We are a lucky couple.

I still like my job and (most of) the people I work with.I continue to learn and grow in a area where I never imagined myself. I never imagined being able to transition from what I did (see full metal jackass for a glimpse) to what I do now. Thanks to the folks that gave me the opportunity to change the trajectory of my life some 6 years ago.It's nice to feel human.


War in Iraq...I will not repeat the never ending litany of multi-partisan reasons for why or why not we should be there. IT'S WRONG on the face of it...we were misled by an idiot from the get go. A war of lies...and we,america, are paying the price. We are hated because of this indulgence of the elite (and inept,and corrupt) of america. It's not possible for me to make a statement about how wrong we are without launching into a never ending I'll leave it at this, I predict we will be sorry...very sorry for what we have done in the middle east before it's over.

Afghanistan...remember them? A dangerous footnote in the war on terror...just ask Russia.

Saddam...We got what?He's a bad bad man...but not even in the park when it comes to the men in the bush administration...look at the record. He is the tool of the man,and was probably in that hole until it was deemed advantageous to bring him out by bush and his cronies.


Bush: Killer of man and woman...he's proved this as gov. of texas and as president.King of vacations.Corrupt...duplicitous...fake...coward...liar...a methodist axe (two faced) ; Especially where the military is concerned.
Look at our situation now and ask yourself what the world will be like if we don't vote him out and allow him and his another 4 years to reign?
If it wasn't especially dangerous to make a threat, I would...but it is,so I won't.
Instead I will remind you of what a dangerous man he is, substandard in so many ways that compromise our world reputation...he is the pinnacle of ugly in more ways than I can list.

John Ashcroft IS the anti-christ...and a threat to the civil liberties of all americans...even those who support him...that is until they realize they have no more rights and can simply go "huh"???"what happened"???"I thought he was protecting us"???

Sheep...See Bush and Ashcroft above.WAKE UP!!!!!

The good things that happened to me this year have very little to do with the current administration...even Ann losing her job can't be blamed on the bush reign,her inability to find another,however, can...and to this I say Fuck you George..thanks for nothing piece of shit.
Thanks to those who made my year family and my friends...and to you I wish a very merry and prosperous new year.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Pointless Quiz Time
Tip to Social Reject

Yep, I'd have to say that's a pretty good match for me.
My Christmas Vacation
A silly thing like not having a job isn't stopping me from taking a Christmas vacation. Actually, the fact that I have no job means that I can take a REAL vacation. Real as in a TWO WHOLE WEEKS AT ONE TIME vacation which is something I have only done once in the last 20 plus years (on my honeymoon with Rob almost 9-1/2 years ago. ) After all, a vacation is nothing more than a change in your normal routine and even without a job, it's fairly easy to change my routine.

Step one: no more job hunting every day or filling out applications and tweaking resumes to be forwarded to the black hole that exists in HR departments everywhere. I used to work in HR and the black hole for my department was located in the file cabinet where all applications were neatly filed and never looked at again because it was important to provide the local newspaper with advertising revenue by running the same ad every weekend for the two months it took the hiring supervisor to decide that maybe they wanted to actually LOOK at the applications we were receiving, but only those from the previous week (never mind the other seven weeks' worth.)

Step two: stay up as late as I want and sleep in as late as I want with no pangs of guilt about being an unemployed slacker because, hey, I'm no longer unemployed for these two weeks, I'm ON VACATION. Funny thing about this is that I'm still usually getting up at six o'clock in the morning and as a result I'm conking out before midnight. Oh well.

Step three: drink as much alcohol as I want. My vacations must include plenty of beer and I must spend at least one day where I start drinking beer the minute I wake up. I haven't quite gotten to that yet, but it's on the itinerary. And here's another funny thing. Having given myself permission to get totally sloshed each and every day if I want, I've spent quite a few of these vacation days completely alcohol free and most of them buzz-free.

Step four: do things I don't normally do or haven't done in a long time. Our little visit to the Megaplexxx store was one example. It wasn't until I read Rob's post that I discovered that I had seen a lot more porn movies in my lifetime than Rob. This is primarily due to the fact that I used to catch the midnight movies at the Dobie Mall Theater back in my late teens/early twenties. The films were usually either cult films like Eraserhead or porn flicks like The Opening of Misty Beethoven. It was the perfect cheap night of entertainment for folks on a budget since the midnight movies were only a buck or two and the popcorn and cokes were still inexpensive back in those days. If it turned out to be a porn film that was showing that night, no big deal. The difference this time is that I'm watching porn movies with my lover instead of with friends. That does tend to put a whole new twist on the experience ;>

Step five: cook less and eat out more. This one is a little harder to pull of when you're on a tight budget, but we've managed to throw in a few meals out at restaurants we haven't been to in a long time which made it feel much like visiting an old favorite restaurant at some regular vacation spot.

These little mind-game tricks have worked really well and I can honestly say that this Christmas holiday is one of the best ones I have ever had. And despite having no job and little money, I've had as much fun on this vacation as on any other.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

On a lark,after almost 10 years of marriage,Ann and I decided to go rent some adult DVD's a couple of weeks ago...this of course was after a few rounds at our hang out of choice.
We went to the "Adult MegapleXXX"...a cavernous building of the main interstate...a place we had both driven by many times in all our years in this city,but had never visited.
The place is set up like a top secret government complex...a metal detector on the only way in,another on the only way out.Parking is discreet...on the back side of the building.
Inside is a veritable treasure trove of all things "adult",and by adult I mean,well,you know what I mean.
I am no stranger to porn...the internet variety at least,but this place was something else...75,000 square feet of video,DVD, and print porn of every type you could imagine.
Toys of every shape and size,oils,lubes and some things I can't describe...they even had a bondage section...complete with the zippered mask "Machine" wore in 8mm.
It was a bit overwhelming but exciting at the same time.
We made our selections and it was time to set up our membership.Enter Mr.Moto...
This guy is your stereotypical japanese slicked back with gel ( could of been astroglide),heavy black horn rim glasses...the only thing missing was the conservative suit.But his voice and demeanor was what got me.
If I closed my eyes,I was talking to "master" from the TV series Kung Fu! No kidding!
He was polite and professional,but "master" non the less.
I kept expecting him to say something along the lines of "when you can snatch ass masters 5 in 3-D from my hands it's time for you to go"...but he didn't.
As uncomfortable as I was being there ( a giddy kind of discomfort,like I was doing something wrong) Mr. Moto put me at ease with his zen like countenance and sent us on our way with a pair of DVD's.
Getting back to the store itself...It was busy.There were people of every age and color and was like being at the grocery, name it.
I like to people watch (probably a vestige of my days as a social worker,but that's another story...not involving porn) and the thing I immediately noticed was people do not make eye contact...I tried.
You could best describe any contact as furtive wasn't like they were ashamed,it was more like they wished they were there alone,with no one else watching as they purchased the "Ragin' Hard-on" butt plug and the Jenna Jamison blow up doll...this is my business and my business alone kind of avoidance.
Sure,people were checkin' each other out,but on the was all very amusing to me.
So,we come home and watch our choices. I have seen very few porn movies in my for the 10 second free clips available online when I'm alone...Deep Throat at bachelor parties when I was very young,a couple of really bad VHS movies with an old girlfriend, and one by accident at the old varsity theater on the drag when I was in high school.
I wasn't sure what it would be like to watch them with Ann, after almost 10 years of porn free marriage...I wasn't sure what to expect.
I was pleasantly surprised.
It was fucking hysterical!Yes...hysterical...beyond the technological advances made in moviemaking since Deep Throat came out, nothing has changed...the plotlines were laughable,the acting was horrible and the sex was occaisionally exciting and erotic and passionate,but mostly it was uninspired and reminded me of that guy that puts on tires at NTB...he's been doing it for so long he doesn't remember the first time he mounted a low profile radial on a aluminum mag rim and he doesn't care. He just wants to mount,get it over with,go home and get paid when he's finished.
We watched these DVD's like we watch any our living room,and had the same kind of running dialog about any other movie we would watch.
But it's fun to critique this stuff,and it opens channels of communication in areas that people don't,as a rule,talk about.
Thank you Mr. Moto, for knocking down a barrier...and you were right...we didn't go blind:)

Thursday, December 25, 2003

What did you get for christmas? Cool shit? Lame shit? No shit at all? I know of some people in Iraq that got death for christmas...a full metal merry christmas cap in their ass.
Death,dead,bleeding on the ground in some godforsaken place we have no business being in...can you imagine the water cooler banter after the holiday days off ? "What did you get for christmas"? " My son got his right cheek blown off and his left lower cranium was turned into a bloody boney brain tissue pulp courtesy of a "terrorist" in Tikrit with a AK-47,Thanks Santa". "Damn it!...I thought you were getting a new DVD player, gotta go check for faxes,see you later".
This may be a bit bleak for some of you...but come on.History tells us that in all previous wars,the killing took a break for is a well documented fact that protaganists in conflicts past took christmas day off,singing carols and making hot chocolate in thier helmets over sterno or burning C-4 and gathering around a christmas wreath made from the body parts of the enemy they had killed the day before.Only to resume the killing at the stroke of that santa in his sleigh?No...that's mortar fire!!!!Duck!!!
Not this reprieve for santa to fly unfettered across the land in conflict to deliver his gifts of love and peace and joy...these guys are firing on his ass at every opportunity.why?
One word...muslim,no,,wait...two words,single,,crazy...YES!!!That's it! Crazy...what sane person wouldn't have the decency to stop lobbing salvos of death into your area for christmas? A ceasefire honoring the glory of the holiday that represents peace on earth and goodwill toward man...even though they will do all in their power to seperate you from your vital organs on the 26th...the 25th is sacrosanct...can't shoot at you while your'e reading that mail from Ms. Carter's 2nd grade class telling you what a hero you are for fighting the war on "terra",but tomorrow?Look out are in the crosshairs...and it is my job to blow that memory out of the back of your head with a 7.62 mm slug.
And the administration behind this madness is spinning a that is pushing approval ratings up for the mongoloid in chief and feeding his already obscene war chest to levels approaching that of dear Mr.Creosote.
Which(kind of) brings me back to the point...the new year,an election year...where tradgedy has been spun to glorify what amounts to that redneck you hated in high school being elevated artificially to some kind of fucking god (I can't get through a post without using an f bomb no matter how I try:) ) with obscene amouts of money and fabricated press about how great he is because he's winning the war on terror....
No, he's not...there is no plan (except to make his rich cronies richer) to finish this, only more death...and heartbreak,overseas and here at home.
On a lighter note,I got a 50 dollar gift certificate to Best Buy for christmas and I have no family members in Iraq...I'm goin' DVD shopping!
With that attitude, it's no wonder they won't give up.
Would you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I've never been a big fan of christmas...well,not since the ever growing pool of groups and organizations have banded together to sanitize,polarize,convolute and otherwise fuck it up for everyone but themselves and thier own interests.
There's the commercial end of it, inundating us with ads that say,essentially,unless you can fork out the big bucks for everyone on your list,you suck.Case in point...the "I'm getting a lexus for christmas" commercial...please-anyone who can afford to give a lexus for christmas has way too much money and no fucking soul.It makes me sick.Anybody who wants a lexus for christmas is shallow beyond belief.
Throughout my life I have experienced christmas on the commercial level good and bad,some years I scored big time and some I didn't...depending on the money/job situation at the time...likewise,I have been able to give at christmas with the same variables at play.
I think we can all agree that christmas is a time of giving...the division comes when we try to define what giving actually means.Again,you are facing the two predominant faces of the season: "Jesus is the reason for the season" and "what did I get/give" (determined by your you base your worth on what people gave you or what you gave to them and how did it compare to what you gave/got?).
Now, while I'm not all about this Jesus guy,I'm also not about gift competition.
What does christmas mean to me? I'll tell you...fellowship...not in that churchy kind of fellowship,but the way you gather to be together with loved ones, share a meal and company and drinks(definately drinks :) ) and to exchange tokens of appreciation expressing your love of aformentioned people whether they be family or friends.But mostly to be together to remember and celebrate the fact that we are together because we are connected...and not because of a fucking lexus.
And with that I wish you all a merry christmas.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I met Ann at El Mercado after work today, a place we used to spend so much time we had our own booth and knew all the staff by name,socialized with them,went to the christmas party...blahblahblah.
We carried away some friendships from the place we continue to this day...they no longer work there and we haven't been in the place for probably 5 years.
After brief conversation of current events,we jumped into the way back machine and rehashed the events occuring during the time we frequented the place.
Memory is an interesting time goes by the stories remain essentially the same but the details are measured by time.The motives and conclusions are skewed to the experience and insight gained over almost ten years passing since it was our sanctuary.
It was fun to revisit those look at how it was then to how we see it now...and it all boils down to the passing of distance distorts the patina of events or adds a clarity you'd somehow overlooked when you were in the moment.
An opportunity to look back and TRY to remember what was important and why.
As I looked across the table at Ann and remembered the past, I was reminded of the decade I've spent with her...the ups and downs and mostly ups of our time together.
To look back at the tumult of past events and come to the present and see the same person sitting across from me is a source of great comfort...
A realization that we have built a life together...ten years in the making and it isn't over yet...we are still moving forward.
And that's all that share a past,present and future together without bullshit is a wonder.
A wonder I am happy to have.

Monday, December 15, 2003

So...they captured Saddam...woo-hoo.Big fucking deal.Does this change things?Maybe,nominally.His capture is greatly overrated in terms of what it means regarding the "war" and our people who are dying over there...but right on the money in terms of "pull the wool" factor for Bush II.
As a nation of sheep, undoubtedly millions of americans have renewed respect and admiriation for the Bush "administration"...bolstering his chances to win another four years to really break it off in our collective rectums.
Our people will continue to be killed...and I suspect it will get worse for awhile. Saddam became insignificant when we blew his country to shit and killed his kids...let me say that again...we KILLED HIS KIDS...granted they were assholes,but they were still his kids...and I imagine he loved them,and thier deaths finished him spiritually. This effectively ended any chance of regaining power.
So...who is the real enemy? I imagine there are people loyal to Saddam,but they are unable to act in any sustained, meaningful way.It's all those other crazy fucks from the surrounding countries that have a large american presence in close proximity to bomb,kill and maim.That's who the real enemy is...muslim extremists who have a vested interest in nothing more than killing us...forget about Iraq and Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?) it's all about "destroying the infidels".They haven't figured out how to hit us here at home (yet) again,but they take advantage of the fact that thousands of us are deployed in enemy territory like a duckhunt jihad.
Just like we would if the shoe was on the other foot.
Imagine what it would be like if it was them invading us here at home...there would be many pockets of resistance...loyalists to our standing government,militias sane and bent,racist extremists, and people already sick of being fucked around by our own government/economy just happy someone finally showed up they could shoot without fear of consequence. It would be an amalgam of variant national pride.
That's what were up against...a convoluted violent response with as many reasons and motives as there are groups to fire off rounds and blow shit up.
Saddam is the small plush toy you win at the carnival for hitting around the target,but missing the bullseye.
It's nice to feel like a winner,but it doesn't take long for the feeling to wear off.
This is not over by a long shot.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Ann's week in review
Nothing about the world/US/local news in this one since I don't watch it, listen to it or otherwise hold up my end of the democratic process by staying "informed" when it comes to the media. Why waste my time with that crap when I've got Rob to keep me up to date? He's far more engaging than Dan Rather and tailors my nightly "newscasts" to those topics he knows I'm interested in. And with Rob as my reporter, you certainly can't called me "sheltered" ;)

A chunk of my week was spent working on a website. *Insert plug:* I'm no graphic artist and haven't received any artwork or graphics for the site so it's pretty plain and utilitarian at this point (much like this blog.) I also didn't get anything in the way of content and quite frankly, I'm not the marketing type either, so I did the best I could with the limited amount of information I was given. It's not a paying job so I don't know why I'm so obsessed about it, but I've never been one to be happy about doing something half-assed. And this is definately half-assed at this point. I was also disappointed to discovered I'd forgotten exactly how to do all kinds of things with CSS, MySQL and PHP. Basic HTML and fancy layouts using tables I can code in my sleep, but I guess I didn't use this newer stuff long to burn it into my brain before I ventured off into network administration. It was nothing that a few cheat sheets didn't take care of since I knew the basics of how to, just couldn't remember the details. Stuff along the lines of do I use <> or !==? Is it IF, THEN or just IF? Is it SORT BY or ORDER BY? That kind of thing. Very annoying. *kicks brain for remembering dumb stuff like Loverboy song lyrics instead of more important things like this*

I did make time for blog reading this week, but didn't get around to commenting on much. Rest assured, if you are over there in my blogroll, I DO read your blog. Regularly. Otherwise, you wouldn't be listed. Ignore the sort order. I was trying to put the news/politics blogs at the bottom, the people I feel I must read daily at the top and the middle sorted by how often someone tends to post in their blog. It didn't work out. I tend to work my way through the entire list a couple of times a week anyway so it doesn't really matter.

Other than that, I can't think of much else that happened this week. Special K once said that she learned there was no such thing as a boring life, but I think I might be the exception.

...Twin baptist ministers get hard time (26 and 14 years) for beating the fuck out of a 12 year old with a tree branch for misbehaving in bible verse class. This Austin Texas case was interesting for a number of reasons,but what struck me was a couple of baptist zealots hired a jewish attorney and tried to put the blame on the parents...baptists hire a jew and lie...who'd of figured?...hey thompson twins...can you say "my ass hurts"? You will.....and you deserve it.

...Williamson county sheriff resigns before they go forward with a trial that would expose him to be the drunken buffoon he is...and a hypocrite.You DON'T want to get stopped for anything in wilco...they are the third reich of Texas,you do jail time for farting in think that the head of law enforcement is a slovenly drunk who allegedly bit a titty dancer while crawling around on all fours and barking like a dog was enforcing the law in such a hardcore super right fashion while at the same time shooting at and hitting all time lows of behavior is ,to say the least,ironic.He should beat his ownself with a nightstick...good riddance you piece of nazi shit...

...Bush shuts out countries from rebuilding contracts in Iraq...then he asks them the next day to forgive Iraq's debt...Even I have enough sense to know this was done in don't break up with someone and try to get in their pants after.How much more proof do we need that this bush guy is a dumbass?...

...People continued dying in Afghanistan and Iraq ... for no good reason...

...Al Sharpton is James Brown...

...I tried the "Queer eye for the straight guy" baseball cap brim in the coffee cup shaping trick and it worked...perfectly...thanks Carson!Hugs!!!...

...Ahnold decides he doesn't need to follow up on the claims he is groping sexist pig,like he "promised" he would,proving he is a lying piece of shit who could give a shit about anyone in khali-fornia but himself and his minions...

...Rush is still free and on the airwaves,proving the double standard that exists yet everyone ignores...(sidebar: I would like to kick his ass) further proof of how fucked we are when it comes to justice in this country...

...Gore endorses Dean and all the other democratic (lets all laugh together) "hopefuls" jump his shit...Lieberman especially...what a putz...hey...Gore can endorse who he wants, you bunch of losers...Two words:where's McCain?...

...Kerry drops the F-bomb...Good for him,and us...Bush has fucked it's the truth and the truth hurts,don't go all puritan on him for speaking about focusing on what a dillweed peckerwood we have running the country?...there's a concept...

...Our general manager is a "faux-cheese snob"...correcting me on the pronunciation of Gouda...he loves cheese,yes he does...

It goes on and on...for more go to harpers weekly review and god help us all....

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I sent this email to my credit union today:

Dear UHCU,
I recently applied for a home equity loan in the amount of 50,000.00 against a free and clear equity of almost 123,000.00 and was declined,because of a poor credit rating (we were short five points of meeting your 640 points required to quote us a rate).
Our damaged credit is the direct result of todays wife has been unemployed for over a year and prior to that, I was unemployed for nine months.Given the choice of paying our creditors or having food,lights and a roof over our heads,we made a choice.And while that choice damaged our credit,we were able to pay off our home mortgage and managed to not default on the car loan we have with you.
To clarify,I wanted the loan to pay off our car loan,some outstanding bills,medical and personal and do a bit of remodeling on our home,reduce my monthly payment and get a better interest rate.
Please understand that I accept full responsibility for our credit situation,but I'm confused on a couple of points here.
I'm finally in a position to satisfy my debts and begin moving forward,but I'm told by your loan department that you have strict requirements on loans so you can offer your members the best rates available.I can appreciate this but at the same time WE are members.
My family has had an account with you for many years,probably close to 30 (our account # is 410).My wife has had an account with you for close to 20 years.
I wonder how much in interest and fees that adds up to?
So,here I sit with 123,000.00 in equity,attempting to turn the corner financially and get back on track using the financial institution I've trusted and done business with for years and you can't help me.
UHCU has been there for us in the past and even this experience,though very disappointing,was handled by your personnel with professionalism and courtesy.My faith was damaged,but not my dignity.
We will continue to pay our car loan in good faith until we secure a loan,and when we do, we will pay it off,close all of our accounts and sever our relationship with you.
Please understand that we have valued our relationship with you over the years and regret that you couldn't do something to help us in our time of need.
Rob Clattenburg

I probably won't get a response...but I had to say it.I am reduced to shopping around and so far,all I'm finding are brokers who come across like Tom Cruise's character in rainman,predatory lenders whose reviews read like a nightmare that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.
I'm discouraged by this because I can remember a time when banks and credit unions were willing to take a chance on people,ordinary, middle class people Who would turn down a chance like this? If for some reason I default they stand to gain 73000.00 in property!
I'm trying to improve my station,and the Bush economy won't let me.


Tuesday, December 09, 2003

As usual, there are no presidential candidates that I want to vote for
Just tried the presidential candidate selector quiz mentioned over at Interrobang?!. I took it a couple of times, tweaking my priorities a bit trying to get at least one real candidate above the 70% mark. Dean eventually scored 71%. Meh.
New sign picture
Finally got a better picture of the "Diving is Dangerous" sign. If you've ever wondered what the fine print says, click on it (opens a new browser window.)

Monday, December 08, 2003

Ho Ho Ho
I haven't decorated my house yet, but I decorated my blog. Does that count?
email woes
The depthmarker email has been down for a while. This is one of those problems with outsourcing because if I'm not running the server then I don't think about checking to make sure things are working correctly. To make matters worse, I use a proxy filter between my email client and the servers so error messages from the servers are not always passed to the client correctly. "connection closed - 0 messages" should have read "hey dumbass, there's no mailserver for depthmarker here" (the mx record got changed to the same IP as the @ record.) So if you've tried to email me and got a delivery failure in the past, it should be fixed now. At least until the mystery glitch that hosed the DNS records occurs again.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

My trip to 7-11
Rob and I are sitting around thinking how nice it would be to have some beer to wind down our Sunday evening so I head up to the 7-11 because the local corner store prices don't fit our budget and I figure a big chain like 7-11 will be cheaper. Was I ever wrong about that. $12.99 for a twelve pack of Shiner Bock? Jeez, it's not like the stuff is imported from France or anything; it's made right down the street (actually about 80 miles down the road, but in global terms that's just down the street.) So I'm shaking my head and thinking no way when suddenly the store is full of people that seem to be of the Pentecostal faith. I'm not dissin' the Pentecosts here, rather, it struck me as odd that I immediately jumped to a conclusion about their religious persuasion just by looking at them. Plus I noticed one of the young women's long hair had obviously had a trim and questioned my judgment which made me decide that I definitely had too much time on my hands to be wondering about such things in the first place. Maybe they are from some new religion that requires the women to wear long polyester skirts, but lets them trim their hair. I don't know, and quite frankly I don't give a hill of beans what religion someone practices unless it's one that tells them to kill me (I don't think too highly of people who belong to such groups, religious or otherwise.) So why was I even thinking about such things in the first place? Is it just human nature to categorize? Do we have some built-in instinct or need to put things and people in little boxes based on our first impressions? I've watched my parents get more and more judgmental as they get older and I fear I'm walking down the same path. Maybe it's the price of experience and you eventually get to the point where you decide that since 80% of the people you've ever met that looked or acted a certain way means that ALL people who look or act that way must fit into the same little box. I hope not. I definitely don't want to turn into the kind of person that makes those kind of snap judgments about people.
Vision is a strange thing
My vision started going south again about the time I turned 40. I say "again" because I had such a lazy eye when I was a kid that I wore an eye patch for a while and then wore glasses from the age of four to age thirteen. I was able to enjoy glasses-free vision for almost 30 years so I'm not going to complain too loudly about have to reach for the magnifying glass to read a great many things these days. No, what I'd like to complain about is... well, I don't know how to describe the phenomenon, but let me give you an example that just occurred. I'm sitting at my computer reading someone's blog and movement catches my eye and draws it to the window that is behind my monitor. It's dark outside and the window are dirty, but I can see a blurry version of the giant tree of lights that the neighbors across the street have erected in their front yard. The movement that caught my eye turns out to be a very small moth fluttering it's wings on my window. I have to squint a bit to figure this out since the moth is a dark colored one. This happens all the time. Every time a car drives by I notice it even though I'm staring at the computer screen and not out the window. My eyes might be glued to the screen, but still I notice people walking by, dogs running loose, the wind blowing a page of newspaper over the lawn, the leaves falling off the trees. If a spider crawls across the wall to the right of me, somehow I'll see it. People used to tell me I had eyes in the back of my head, but of course I don't. However, if you are trying to sneak up on me and move into my peripheral vision just one smidgen, then you're bound to get busted. So my complaint is that this aspect of my vision hasn't changed at all. In fact, it's worse because now I tend to stop, look, squint and think about what that blurry moving shape might be instead of just dismissing it outright. I guess I need to either get some glasses or move my computer away from the window.
Budget cuts
We're ditching the cell-phones next week and I'm trying to remember what life was like before I had a cell phone. I'll just have to learn to use our landline for something beside the internet connection and remember to always have change for the payphone when I'm out and about. We're also making a pile of musical equipment that we plan to sell off. We've decided the drums can go as can the Sovtek 100 watt head, the Vox cabinet, one of the PAs, and some of the studio recording equipment though I think we'll keep the DAT recorder for now so we can still listen to our DAT tapes. The list goes on but does not include any of Rob's guitars so if any of you lefties out there have had your eye on his G&L, forget it. And left-handed bass guitars are too hard to come by so I don't think I'll sell any of mine either. After all, a miracle could happen where someone actually hires me for a job that comes with a paycheck, but I think the odds of that happening are about as good as my winning the lottery these days. Fortunately it doesn't cost as much to apply for jobs as it does to buy lotto tickets so I can continue to spend my time filling out job applications and sending resumes to the black hole that appears to exists in every HR department in this town. I hope billy has better luck now that he's officially a job seeker.

In addition, Ornata Originals' crappy bCentral website has got to go and Depthmarker's doing a little fund-raising drive with the inventory. Donate $15 and get a short-sleeve tiedyed t-shirt or donate $20 and get a long-sleeve. Free shipping to US and Canada. Possibly free shipping elsewhere if I can make sense of the customs regulations and the postage doesn't cost more than the shirt. Let me know your size/color preferences or pick a shirt from one of the pictures I hope to post later (got to find a spot on the web to put them first.)

Saturday, December 06, 2003

My blogging absence
I just posted out of the blue after a long absence and it occurred to me that an explanation might be in order. Well, first Rob started his rock-n-roll star series and I didn't want to interrupt that. Then I had a bout of illness. Nothing major, just a allergy that progressed to an ear infection, then added a sore throat, then added a upper and lower respiratory infection, which then moved on to a oh-my-god-I-think-I'm-dying-and-I-don't-have-health-insurance panic that lasted for a few moments until I remembered that 99% of all my doctors visits over the years have resulted in things that I could have done myself with a little common sense (bed rest, aspirin, etc.) and old family remedies. This time I managed to heal myself without spending a dime, imagine that! Well, I must confess that I did spend $7 for some homeopathic eardrops that turned out to be no better than plain old olive oil for an earache. Live and learn, but if you've ever had a major earache as an adult you will understand why babies scream when they have one and why adults run to the doctor if they have the money. For a cough (and I had a nasty one), I'm a big fan of Robitussin cough syrup (generic is fine too), but I don't think it's really any more effective than the old whiskey, lemon and honey recipe that was a family standard when I was a kid. It's just easier to grab the Robitussin while you are at the grocery store than it is to make a special trip to the booze store for Jack Daniels. Although, I find that my Robitussin has usually expired by the time I need it again and the Jack Daniels just gets better with age if you can resist the temptation to drink it when you are not sick ;->
I hate it when this happens!
Someone called and left a message on our answering machine. They were looking for me, but since Rob's voice is on the message, they just said "if were or are married to Ann, call me at [some phone number]". Rob punched the number into the phone while listening to the message, but got a fax or computer. Maybe he punched in the wrong number or maybe the person gave us the wrong number, but we'll never know because Rob didn't promptly push the save message button on the answering machine so the message is now gone forever unless I pay some forensic recovery place to un-erase it... argh! Have I mentioned before how much I hate our answering machine? Or, rather, how much our answering machine hates us since this incident was actually a rare example of the machine operating as programmed; normally it exhibits rather bizarre behavior that might be explained by voltage surges on our power lines or who knows what else like solar flares or poltergeists, but all the same, please, someone, give me a job so I can afford CallNotes again where a momentary lack of action on our part results in the message being SAVED rather than being ERASED.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I went to probate court yesterday as planned, and although the outcome was good,I am not impressed with the judicial system anymore than I was before this experience.
Apparently probate court is either focused on A: details and verbage of documents or B: emotional impact in the event of a lack of details and verbage (paperwork generated by the lawyers involved or the lack of a will).
I was witness to both extremes involving other parties as well as my own case...and I must say-I was not impressed.
My sister and I were asked the same questions four times in different contexts by my lawyer and the ad litum lawyer based on the fact that there were two wills.While I appreciate the attention to detail in regards to protecting the estate,keep in mind that the estate involves a run down house, from some unknown person suddenly making a claim to was really kind of silly.
My sister and I were quizzed about declarations made by my parents of children they had without our knowledge, or persons unknown claiming to be children of my parents they had neglected to recognize,or I guess mention to us in passing..."oh,by the way...we had a baby in england that we forgot about and left at the airport and after 40 years in the Heathrow airport's lost and found, might want some payback".
These possible events were characterized as occurring at holidays, birthdays and other special events.(People really do watch too much television...specifically USA network, the WE,Oxygen and Court TV)
While it's funny now,when we were there in real time it was a stress exercise...There was the lawyers/judge conferences in the hall we were excluded from, my poor sister looking back at me when she couldn't remember details of our parents passing...come on!: were talking about almost 6 and 12 years since they passed and life goes on,but the reality here is your parents are gone,it doesn't matter when they died , they did,and that hole will stay with you forever regardless of your ability to recall the exact date your heart was broken.
The existance of the original will's that brought the procedings to a temporary grinding halt...we were litigating with copies,when I told the judge I had the originals at my house he demanded that I produce them but allowed the case to go forward pending reciept of the originals.I had almost screwed the pooch by telling the truth and shame on my lawyer for not knowing the originals vs. copies could be an issue.
The probate court clerks for being so anal retentive that when they fart,only dogs hear it...pretending they know more about the law than the lawyers (maybe they do) but,unable to work as a team (egos) the communication skills of the court are confused by this and while, obstensibly, these qualities should enhance the "smooth operation of the docket" they end up creating a situation I will refer to as "The docket is a clusterfuck,deal with it because we can't". This, they can enhance, and they do, in a manner that enhances violence in less controlled people and maybe crackheads.
But,in the end I got what I set out for...title to our home.
I believe it hinged on my "disinterested witnesses" responses of "yes" , "no" and "that's correct".:)
A bonus: the ad litum attorney only charged me 400.00 , leaving me with some cash that Ann and I spent on dinner and drinks at Maudie's and a 12 pack at the house where we listened to loud music,taking turns inflicting our favorite CD's on each other...
It was the most fun I've had in a long seemed easier too, a load has been lifted...(and,to quote the Band Cracker, the light at the end of the tunnel wasn't a train...ok....a paraphrase really - but you get the point).

Sunday, November 30, 2003

I had my birthday today...I'm 44 years old. Certainly not a landmark birthday,but a birthday nonetheless. It's occurrance gave me pause to look back on other birthday's I've my fortieth, where I had so much jagermiester I fell asleep in my chicken sandwich and cracked my head in the parking lot trying to wrestle a friend to the ground.
Or the many birthdays that I bought myself a tattoo to commerate the mark myself with the passing of another year that I could look at in the future and go "oh yeah...I got this tat when I was 35".
I used to gear up for a birthday...steadily more excited in the days leading up to the big one...a big party,drunken debauchery and fuzzy memories.
I just don't have that kind of energy anymore.
So what did I do?
Last night, I went out to dinner with Ann and this morning I went to the gun range with my son and a couple of my friends...we fired off a few hundred rounds and then went to eat wings at BW3...after which we sat on my friends porch and visited.
No fanfare.
Just another day,but not just another day.
It was a day that I did what I WANTED...hard to come by these days.
Funny how things change.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

No, not the house of the lord...the house of my son. His first apartment.Wow. His place that he's been talking about for a long time with his best friend and finally come to fruition.He called me yesterday with the news and invited me over to see the place today.
What I discovered on arriving was a place very much like my first place when I was his age.(or at least how I remember it) if you replace my Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath posters with Twizted and ICP posters...
My son spent some time going over fool's hill , and for awhile I worried that I would never get to see this day. He's on the descending side of that hill these days and things are going well for him...Job,going to school and enjoying it...and his own place.
Bonus points for having a cool ride ( a mid seventies El Camino) and a girlfriend.
At almost 19 standards, he is a rousing success, and I am proud of his success.
For me it was a moment where I remembered when my parents came to my first place, and here I am,in my kids first place...I've been on both ends of a significant event now.
Jeez! This is starting to sound like a letter to Dr.Phil!
Sign me-A proud Parent :)

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Witnesses told CNN the soldiers were shot and wounded while riding in a civilian vehicle. Men then cut the soldiers' throats while they were still in the vehicle and a crowd of Iraqis, including children, stripped their bodies of personal effects and weapons, the witnesses said.

Wow...I guess things really are going well in Iraq after all...can you say Somalia?Jeez.
At least were hearing about it.
Probably not for long.
I'm too old to join up in the regular army...not sure about the reserves or the guard...but if I could go over there I a medic and to document the insanity.
Thanks fucking murderer...I guess killing minorities and a woman in Texas didn't fill your needs you piece of shit.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

I could go back and confront him again...and the shit would fly,although I'm 98% sure I could beat him down...I'm not completely sure.
Not a good plan.
Why would I even revisit this?
I'm not sure...but I am offended, after almost 30 years, I am hated by someone I backed up back in the day when he was a shrimpy,lumpy piece of shit with a sign on him that said attention bullies:fuck with me. I doubt he remembers this...again,I'm cutting him slack...why should I care?
I think it all boils down to the time invested...30 years give or take...30 YEARS...that's a long time and then suddenly you're hated...have I been hated all along? Was there something I did long ago to earn a place on his list (you know the list...the one we all have) that I don't remember?
I don't understand why he hates me...maybe that's it,no...I have a clear memory of what happened and his ire is uncalled for.
I hope I can let this go in a day or so...but it has me pretty wound up today.
Back in the day...2 years ago to be and my friends used to frequent a bar in south Austin. The G&S Lounge,which was connected to a liquor store owned by the same family it was so close to my house, they got my business too. That and the fact that the bar and the store were run by two guys I had known since 7th grade. We were never big buddies in school, but I knew them and liked them and because of that they got my business.
The brother that ran the store is an easy going type...always friendly,the brother that ran the bar is a complete fucking nutcase who could (and would turn on you in a heartbeat),known for running customers off with a cattle prod without provocation...that is unless you count the crazy shit going on in his head.Even his brother acknowledged he is an asshole..."But what are you gonna do"?
There's an article at the Austin american statesman about the G&S lounge that further documents his craziness...look it up if you want.
Anyway,about two years ago we were in the bar having drinks and one of my friends made a joke about his ability to mix a particular drink...the next thing you know we're all kicked out with a blistering rant about what a bunch of assholes we all are,but especially focused on our friend that made the joke.That was the end of our patronage at the G&S...
I continued to do business at the liquor store and would on occasion see the bar owning brother who would snub me, and make snide remarks other times...I would look at the other brother for an explanation...What did I do?All I got was the he's an asshole,what else can I say?
So I blew it off and went about my business...until yesterday.
I got off work early and met Ann for lunch at Maudies, which ended up being margs and beers...when we left,Ann was gonna get beer and smokes and I was gonna go by the liquor store and get marg fixin's.
When I got to the store both brothers were there and I attempted to make small talk with the asshole (I should've known better but I had a buzz) he was,true to form,an asshole to me for no reason and stormed out of the store and went back to the bar.
The other brother and I shrugged our shoulders at each other and when I left the store I decided to go into the bar and call this asshole on his shit and hopefully resolve whatever issue there might be...BIG mistake.
He went from 0 to 60 in no time...went off on how me and asshole friends ripped him off(We tipped the balance...even when he gave us deals...if somebody walked a tab,I wasn't there or didn't know about it)...he was threatening,verbally abusive and basically backed me out of the bar entrance,asking me if I "wanted some shit".
So, here I am, with a guy I've known on and off since 1971 that I've never had a harsh word with about to throw down over an incident that happened some two years about holding a grudge.
As much as I wanted to drop his sorry ass right there on the sidewalk in front of his bar, I didn' was his bar and I had a was on his side.I walked away even though I wanted to beat his sorry ass to a pulp.
I'm not a violent man...I don't like to fight,never have...but I can,and my experience in psych hospitals affords me an advantage over your regular joe when it comes to subduing nutcases (and in this case...kicking ass on them).
I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around this's not over.This I know.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

LT (our other guitarist) was friends with this band Last Tango who had a recurring gig at this club called trophy's on South Congress...they liked to incorporate other musicians into the band and invited me and LT to do a couple of Wolve's songs during the set with them. We showed up at a practice and did 2 of our signature songs "Reststop" and "Artillary" with different drums and was amazing! So we did great response from the crowd .
For me, Playing at Trophy's was special,because I had seen Soul Asylum(when they were a hungry fucking new band...before the runaway/rider hemmorage of talent) there when it was called Blue Bayou and Thin White Rope when it was called Big Mamou's...I was on the same stage of some of my favorite musicians.
I did my best and felt my best on that stage, standing on hallowed ground.
We did the opening slot for Last Tango after that at Trophy's as a band...all four of us.
A friend said we sounded better than ever at Trophy's...he was a victim of our Boomerz shows...:)
The wolve's have been dormant for awhile now...sporadic practices goes on.
When you're 40 something you realize that if you aren't already a star, the chances of becoming one are nil.
And that's least I can say I was in a band....I'm still in a band...

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I was supposed to add another chapter in the history of my band that maybe 300 people have heard of and would be mildly amused by the story...
After five weeks in treatment ,he's back in the game...with an ad campaign that lauds him as the second coming;"The air feels fresher,the water purer...not because of the environmental whackos...because of ME-RUSH LIMBAUGH"I paraphrase,but you get the gist...El Pig Boy is getting a walk.
This is perhaps the biggest public double standard EVER.
He's on the air monday spouting AA 12 step philosophy it's doctrine...after 5 weeks in treatment????What a load of complete garbage...he jumps to step 9 (making amends) in an instance? He alludes to the truth but doesn't tell it (so NOT true AA cult member behavior) promising to "reveal more" as it is allowed.
I'll tell you what I think...when his high priced lawyers beat everyone down and reform the truth,that's what you'll hear...Limbaugh legal team truth...180 degree's from the reality.
He is a victim...LIE
He never recieved illegal scripts/and/or did parking lot buy's through his maid...LIE
Somehow,because of his status,he's afforded more slack,than say Courtney Love,who were busily shoving it up and breaking it off in a woman who is ...let's face it, a miserable bitch...but for a REASON ...she's never denied it...she's who she is and god love her for it. Here is the truth being played out before your eyes and the public condemns her for it.
But why not Rush? Why does he get a walk?Why is he immune from the condemnation of society (the media)? and Courtney is not?
DOUBLE STANDARD is the catch phrase.
Courtney might be strung out....GET HER!!!!
Rush IS strung out....embrace him like a diety.
A diety of what?
A diety to people so blind they can accept Rush for being a junky piece of garbage and welcome him back with accolades worthy of Jesus, and condemn Courtney for being the same thing, if it's even true(having an addiction ).
I realize the circumstances are different,but it all boils down to the addiction part of it.
They are one in the same...Junkies...lets help them both,equally.
They are the same...they are.
I am starting a call blitz on his show tomorrow,asking the hard questions...I won't get by the screener probably...but I want to know....
How does he get away with it?
Please join me...ask the question.
It's a blow against the empire.
Back to the rock and roll fun tomorrow,and then back to the politics of 2003.

Monday, November 17, 2003

The third and final gig at Boomerz should have been a see I had a penchant for screwdrivers(the liquid ones) and had consumed several over the course of the day starting at brunch...hey,it was sunday,ok?
After unloading at the club,there was the wait through the first set and more screwdrivers,only this time the bartender was trying to kill me with his mixing skills.
By the time we went on there was 2 of everything...two guitars,two mic stands,two drummers and the ceiling had an odd slant to it. I was toast and I knew it,I was also committed, so we launched (lurched?) into our first song and midway through the second I was fine and by some miracle we pulled it off.At the end of the night we were fired...too loud and not what the customers could relate too (more high praise).
So ended our first foray into clubs.
Getting a gig in this town used to be almost impossible unless you were connected,we knew some folks on the perifery of the scene and I was invited to host an open mic at a Jamaican restaurant called Shaggy's... by this time I had written a few decent songs (I quit trying so hard) and had worked up some acoustic versions of our band songs.
This was fun while it lasted (I only hosted once,but we returned several times just to play) but soon the roster filled up with working musicians who didn't have a gig that monday and half the time we couldn't get on the list,and when we did it was limited to 2 or 3 songs. It was a great experience for me personally...I got to share my "other side" with people and got some great advice and support from musicians much more experienced (and talented) than myself.
We abandoned the club thing and re focused our attention on our monthly jams, now held at our guitarists car shop in far east austin,away from any possible complainers,we could play as long and as loud as we was great fun and we got hooked up with a band called Last Tango.
Last Tango would lure us back into the club thing one more time.

Friday, November 14, 2003

We had a friend in a gigging band who liked our music who had a regular Sunday slot at a club called Boomerz...His band played covers...lot's of covers, from stevie ray to the cure.He offered us the first break slot,30 minutes to play in a front of an audience that was 25% our friends and the rest had never heard anything like us.
I had to buy a new amp for this gig because my current amps were too big for the club...I went to the local guitar shop and ended up with a Laney 30 watt tube amp and in the course of the sale learned the guys here referred to Boomerz as the "Iron Lung" and if you counted all the patrons you might end up with a full set of teeth.I was not encouraged.
The first time we played I would look up to see dumbfounded faces,like they kinda got it but didn't quite relate to songs about rest stop serial was like if we were on american bandstand and the rate a record kid would say..."It's got a good beat and you can dance to it, but the lyrics leave me disturbed and confused...".High praise.
We would decide on set list and practice incessantly initially,but as we got it down we relaxed a bit...partially due to our comfort level with the songs in the set.And because it was starting to be more job than fun.
The next time we showed up early and got to mill around for awhile before we played.There were 2 couples, not from around here,who engaged me in conversation about tattoos...mine and thiers.These guys were straight out of county lock up in louisiana...missing teeth and jail house tattoo's,each was equipped with a mildly obese girlfriend in way too tight ,sportin' a yo-yo denim cut-offs and shirts way too small creating a michelin man effect they were oblivious to.
A word about the "stage"...It was so small that we couldn't all fit and I was front and center on the the mix.We were playing a blues number with lots of lead guitar fills (my guitar).I almost always look down when I'm not singing,but especially during lead fills,which on this song are long.
So I finish one and look up to start the next verse and not 2 feet in front of me are the trailer girls...bumping and grinding away to the song, I temporarily lost it,turned around and looked at LT (the other guitarist),who was also cracking up...we gave the signal and wound up the song before we imploded on each other.Half the regulars decide they like us,the other half still has that look from our first time out.We don't know it yet, but Boomerz management wasn't impressed.
Next: Double Vision.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

I've always had a fascination with rock music...from an early age I used to sing along with the radio to the popular hits of the day.In junior high and high school I fancied myself a singer and a bass player...well, I could approximate the vocal stylings of Geedy Lee and Robert Plant and Rob Halford,but I was left handed and besides those guys in that band from houston that opened for Robin Trower in San Antonio in 1976...I can't recall the name now...but they rocked...there weren't many left handed guitars around so when I played, I played upside more ways than one.
In 1985 me,my neighbor a coworker and a buddy from high school formed what would come to be known as "Left for Dead" we had our inauguration on new years eve 1985 and annoyed the neighbors with several hours of the same song...over and over...which came to be known as "Gary's Song" (the neighbor) until they called the cop's (something we would experience many times, in many incarnations of the band) when the cops arrived we had arrived...I greet them at the door replete in sleeveless T and blue bandanna,pirate style and charm them with promises of "were done officer...10:00 curfew?I didn't know...never again...blah...blah...yadayada." The cops shut us down! (sort of) man...we are rock and ROLL!!!!
Left for dead made it to late 1986 with a catalog of 3 songs and endless jams in the garages of 2 of my houses...but it was ultimately a reason to get together and abuse drugs and alchohol and piss off the entire block...except those houses who were also abusing drugs and alchohol and would occaisionally wander up and stand in the driveway while we played.
During this time I also wrote some really lame acoustic "dylanesque" solo songs that I only shared with family and bandmates who always looked to be on the verge of vomiting but saying "that's a good one man".
This pattern ran itself down through attrition and children and job changes until 1994.
I had been dating Ann for awhile and we had the rock band jones in common...I was still in touch with my high school buddy drummer,she had a high school buddy guitarist,I had moved on to guitar at this point and lefty guitars were readily available...Ann's friend was also left handed...and we had money to buy equipment and start a band.
Wolve's @ Th' Door was born.
We practiced every weekend...practicies were big affairs...with us playing and bbq-ing and socializing.Before we knew it, we had enough original songs to play parties and we did.Soon,we built a deck/stage in our back yard and began hosting monthly jams in our back yard affectionatley called "Club Spit"...basically giant versions of the Left for dead jams with multiple bands,singers and spoken word folks performing until the cops shut us down or 10:00pm came around...It was a glorious time. We were music to break furniture by...equal parts blues,heavy metal and ugly amalgom,but effective.
By the time we started playing clubs we had 23 or so original songs and a couple of unusual covers.
Next: By the time we started playing clubs....the story continues.
FLASH! That band I referenced from Houston: POINT BLANK....
Must be that chink in my hard drive......:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

It reads like a Stalinist manifest!Here's an excerpt: NOTE: Editorial submissions of any kind are not accepted. The Onion cannot guarantee their return, nor can The Onion guarantee a response to unsolicited submissions. Requests for articles/graphics from past issues are not accepted and The Onion cannot guarantee a response to such requests.
Can you believe this shit?! Not only are they comedy snobs...they won't even email back to rub it in...Bastards!!!!
After Comedy Central stole my idea for a show about straight guys "converting a homo"
ala' "Queer eye for the Straight Guy"...I figured my only outlet was to do a commentary in the tried and true "point-counterpoint" model.
If you read the above excerpt from The Onion...they don't care if they miss out on possibly the funniest bit of subversive online renegade writing theyv'e ever read and won't even write back to gloat...So here it is...tomorrow afternoon actually...but until then here's a snipet:
"I've always had a sense of color...the right colors" (point or counter-point?)

Monday, November 10, 2003

I finally got to see Road to Perdition, and while I enjoyed the bummed me out.There were so many overfolds from other movies I had a hard time staying morose. For example, when Tom Hank's character is bent over his plate of food at the diner and Jude Law's character is watching him I kept imagining Tom was talking to "Wilson" from "Cast Away", ( who was conviently out of camera range -on the table...where the PLATE should be!)asking for advice...Then there's the scene where Jude's character is photographing the stabbing victim...who's not dead,so jude kills him and then takes the picture ...I kept flashing on Jude's portrayal of the russian hero sniper...who kills the fuck out of alot of nazi assholes in a very hero like fashion in "enemy at the gate"....Then there's the part at the end that conjured up visions of Hanks ,mortally wounded,firing his side arm at that tank in "Saving Pvt.Ryan" like a retard...which reminded me of Hank's portrayal of the idiot savant retard country boy makes good in "Forrest Gump".
Thinking of Gump made me think of Gary Sinese who for some strange reason makes me think of Tom Sizemore,who was in "Saving Pvt. Ryan" with Hanks, but is now in Jail for abusing Hiedi Fleiss,an ignorant slut...which reminds me of Jane Curtain on Saturday Night Live,which Tom Hanks has hosted many times,frequently playing a retard of some sort which reminds me of that sitcom he was in way back in the day "Busom Buddies" and then he made the movie that launched him "Big".And that made me realize something more important...
WHY do I know ALL this useless shit?

Sunday, November 09, 2003

New discoveries
I was driving to the store tonight when I realized that our car with the automatic transmission came with a factory installed tachometer, but our truck with the standard transmission has no tach at all. I've been driving the car for four years and only now did my brain register there was a tach on the dashpanel. On the other hand, I'm completely aware that the truck has no tach because I always look for the tach and then remember it doesn't have one. This discovery of a tach that's been in front of my face for four years comes days after my discovery of an air conditioner vent under the steering wheel, also previously unnoticed during four years of driving the vehicle. I blamed that one on the fact that I'd probably never driven the car in a dress before, but now I think maybe I'm just damned good at ignoring things that are not of immediate interest or importance. What possible use is there for a tach in a car with an automatic transmission that will never see the drag strip? And that vent under the steering wheel? Well, maybe it provides the guys with some necessary ball cooling, but there better be a way to close it the next time I'm driving around in a dress.
The answer
Every year I dread the question of "What do you want for Christmas?" I should be hearing this soon from my mother who always has her shopping done by Thanksgiving. Well, thanks to Subversity I now have the answer. Anything from this place would be a soothing balm for the scars I have from biting my tongue while handing out the real thing.
My Bloginality is INTP
Interesting that such a short questionnaire would give the same results as from the real Myers-Briggs test which I have taken periodically over the last 20 plus years. Some people change categories over time, but I've always been an INTP. One therapist, after reviewing my assorted off and on therapy records from a period of about ten years or so, told me, "You seem to have a very stable personality." It was not meant as a compliment. Well, what can I say? I spent a great deal of energy as a child trying to change who I was to no avail. I didn't fit in and when I did manage to "fake it" for a while and be accepted by the other kids, I was completely disgusted with myself the whole time. It wasn't worth it and I went back to being the "weirdo". High school finally rescued me from that torture when I fell into the auto mechanics students/street racing crowd where I fit like a glove. Okay, not quite like a glove because they were all guys and I was this weirdo girl that liked to work on cars who wasn't allowed to actually take the auto mechanics class because I was a girl and girls weren't allowed to enroll. However, the auto mechanics teacher was cool and let me hang around and many of my teachers were also cool and wrote me passes to go down to the shop on days I didn't need to be in class (which was most of them) so it was a workable arrangement. Case in point: English Lit class consisted of reading X number of books off a list of 50 and writing book reports about them. I had already read every single one of the books on the list, most of them when I was in elementary school. The teacher, after a long question and answer session to determine that I had indeed actually read all of them, managed to come up with X number of books not on the list. I'll always be grateful to her for pointing me towards "Red Sky at Morning" by Richard Bradford which I liked so much that I "lost" the copy and had to buy it from the library. All the same, I read all the books and completed all the required reports after only two weeks of class so... well, there you have it - a permanent pass down to the auto mechanics shop for the rest of the quarter (a bit shorter than a semester for those of you unfamiliar with the stupid quarter system.) Rinse and repeat for several classes. So I managed to have a pretty good time in high school despite the fact that I was a pretty weird chick. Did I go to the prom? No way, I was probably out racing and winning $50 from some unsuspecting dude ;->

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Lost in the blogosphere
It's raining outside and the air is chilly. Our dogs have the right idea and have spent the entire day curled up and sleeping. I have spent the afternoon wandering around from blog to blog. I used to go down through my blogrolling list each day and check each site in alphabetical order, but the list got a bit too long to do that at one sitting and not everyone posts every day. So now I haphazardly jump around and of course someone will link to someone else who will link to someone else and before long I've wandered way off track. It goes something like this... I visit Snooze Button Dreams which leads me to Electric Venom which leads me to Suburban Blight which got me to admit that I was once a Pern-head and off I go to take some silly Quizilla test.

And so on and so forth for the entire afternoon. I've got windows and tabs open where I have no clue as to how I got there in the first place such as this white paper called The Blogging Iceberg which confirmed my suspicion that most of the bloggers in the world are under age 30.

I was planning on going out to a neighborhood coffeehouse/cafe/bar called The Green Muse tonight, but the weather is too crappy for me to be sitting outside on their back patio so I think I will just stay home, drink beer and wander about on the web.
Political Compass
This seems to be making the rounds this week as I found it mentioned by both Essay and Robert. Like Robert, I had taken it long ago when it first hit the net and all I remember was I ended up somewhere near the Dalai Lama. At that time I was completely taken by surprise when I fell on the left side of the economic scale. I've always considered myself to be a strong supporter of capitalism and free markets and back when I was in college (over 20 years ago) I once took a test that placed me firmly on the economic right. No communism for this gal. Obviously something had changed over the years and after a bit of thought about the matter I realized that I had simply spent too many years working for corrupt corporations who didn't give a damn about their employees. That was, after all, one of the reasons I walked away from a 15 year career in Human Resources. I got very tired of watching rank-and-file employees lose benefits and raises while upper level executives received huge annual pay increases and company provided Jaguars. With so much first hand knowledge about the ways that certain companies shit on their employees, my answers to the economic questions on this quiz definately fell towards the left. I decided to take the test again so I could add my numbers to Tim Lambert's chart of bloggers. Apparently a year of unemployment has pushed me even farther to the economic left and I blame the Patriot Act for the push closer towards the Libertarian end of the scale. I scored as follows:

Economic Left/Right: -6.25
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.41

I guess the next time someone tells me that I'm out in left field, I'll just have to agree with them.

Friday, November 07, 2003

A Few Random Thoughts
Rob gets the floor for discussing the entertaining (?) events of the evening so I'll just jot down some random things that I thought about today.

(1) I apparently run less risk of running afoul of city ordinances if I just beg for money on the street corners of Austin rather than attempt to sell an actual product. Perhaps I should take up begging as a full time profession instead.

(2) The stereotype of the Asian tourist with cameras is not just an exaggerated generality. I actually witnessed a tour bus disgorge approximately 20 Asians males who promptly proceeded to take pictures of the Whole Foods Grocery on Lamar. Maybe I need to take stereotypes a bit more seriously in the future.

(3) The job that "fits you to a tee" will *require* a college degree, which you don't have. I'm from a generation where you didn't need a degree unless you were going to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. These days, even some of the clerk positions require a friggin' college degree. The job pays $10/hour and requires a degree? Unfortunately for me, in this town, they'll have plenty of "qualified" applicants.

(4) A 20 degree drop in temperature in Austin, TX will result in everyone wearing jackets even though it's only down to 50 degrees. Including myself. It's was only 50 degrees this morning and I was running my underdesk heater. What a wimp!

(5) Duct tape has been an essential item for me long before the Homeland Security Department ever stated we should all possess a roll of it. We used to refer to it as "hundred mile an hour tape" back when I was a street racer and I can testify that it actually holds up quite well to 150 MPH if needed. It comes in handy for so many things and one use that many of you may not have thought about (or ever needed) is those times when you need to leave the light on in a room, yet you have a compulsive light turner-offer like me living in the house. Just stick a piece of duct tape over the light switch and that's enough to remind the compulsive light turner-offer to leave the damn light on. In this case it 's because there's a turtle soaking in the bathtub, but I seriously doubt that's something that would occur on a regular basis in most households. I'm sure there must be other equally valid reasons to leave a light on in a room because otherwise my habit of turning the lights off wouldn't have rendered so many screams of protest over the years....
Ann and I met at our favorite place after work today (it's payday after all) and it was cool at first , but then a group came in with a demon child who immediately began screaming BEFORE the high chair torture device was introduced...not a good sign.
Let me describe this group of people...we have of course the screaming toddler,her mother,a dreadlocked twentysomething know nothing, the father... a "i cut off my mangy dreads and now wear a watchmans cap to cover it up but still have the mangy beard with shit living in it you don't want to catch...the parents,a scary barfly looking woman paired with a guy that has probably seen more prison than free time.An added bonus was the asexual looking aunt who looked like a retard.
So the kid is screaming and they put it in "time out" audibly so the offended (us) will know they are dealing with the you can imagine...the kid just screams louder what with being pushed face in to the wall of the patio...we see and hear these lame ass attempts with contempt,this is no place for a child...this is not burger king's playscape (damn them and McDonalds for fostering the "a restaurant is an ok place to let our feral children run wild" to the american public) this is an adult facility,and the adults don't like your snotty nosed rug rats running roughshod over our attempt to have a peaceful time of drinks and tex-mex...get a fucking babysitter ok???
So...the satan child leaves...they bus the tables and pull three of them together...oh's an office party.
Here's a description of an office party (8 or more people,who work together,getting together for drinks and food) set to the lyrics of that song by rick nelson's "Garden party"
Well I fell into an office party and the women were all so loud
that they couldn't hear each other above the din
and the laughter was fake and loud
with each round of margaritas they got increasingly shill and loud
cackling like like a bunch of fucking hens
and I couldn't hear myself think at all
Because they are so fucking self centered...they didn't notice the disapproving looks
That I threw at them like I wished they were claymore mines... the analogy only works minimally but you get the point.
There are kids and fucked up kids...don't bring a fucked up kid out in public unless you are sure you can control said fucked up kid...don't ruin my time just because your fucked up kid has ruined's you're kid not, mine...don't share the trauma with me.
And you loud asshole office groups...chill the fuck out or do it at home.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

When I came home from work today I greeted the "top dog" (Sullivan) first,and was met met by a limping, bloodied, somewhat less than enthusiastic victor with a couple of nasty gashes over his eye and a mean rip on his shoulder.He was a much subdued version of his usual loud, boisterous self.
Then I greeted Theo "the loser", minimal superficial wounds,no limping and seemingly none the worse for wear...Sully was more interested in sleeping on the couch (unusual for him)...Theo was like he always is... and Irene is still queen of the roost.
there's something wrong with this picture.
Is the winner actually the loser? I look back and don't remember having dogs being such a class struggle...we have dogs,we love our dogs,they love each other and us, and we all get along swimmingly. Something's changed.
It got me to thinking...Have we somehow complicated the pack mentality by invading the realm of the dog and infecting it with our uniquely human form of petty bullshit?
Was who gets fed first,who gets greeted first,who gets the fancy collar not an issue for dogs before we made it an issue?
Before we domesticated them dogs fought over things like who gets to mate with who? and who gets the good parts of the kill? Dominance was born out of survival , not who gets greeted first at the end of the day.
Dogs didn't kill each other over a space on the bed or couch until we complicated thier lives.
I looked at Theo and Sully this afternoon and was reminded of Rodney King's plaintive cry "why can't we all just get along?"
As far as dogs are concerned,I think we fucked up the balance by imposing our petty bullshit on them...they were fine when they they were just dogs...and somehow,over the years,we have altered thier essence.
I love my dogs, and to promote harmony in the pack I have to redouble my efforts to be more like be a working pack.
The pack mentality.
We could learn something from a nation I mean,but that's another story.
The Dog Fight
Our two male dogs got in a fight this morning in the doorway of the office. I'm not sure how I got out of the office and into the hallway since they were between me and the door, but I wasn't about to try and pull them apart or pull them away from the guitars cases or the printer. Last time I tried to save a piece of furniture I got a nasty bite on my stomach. All I could do was watch while the guitar cases came crashing down on top of them as they apparently tried to rip each other's ears off. I remembered Theo's complete fear of the "can of air", those cans of compressed air that I use to blow the dust out of my keyboards, and I tried that, but it didn't work. Most likely because Sullivan doesn't give a damn about the can of air and Sullivan was definitely winning the fight. I decided to throw the water out of their water dish on them which I know never actually works to stop a dog fight, but it was a way to express my frustration, fear and anger about the battle before me. Naturally the water didn't phase them, but when I waved the empty water dish above Sullivan's head it distracted him just long enough for me to get the office door closed with Theo on one side and Sullivan on the other. I'm sure the water dish had nothing to do with it other than perhaps Sullivan had decided he had "won" and was now thirsty.

There are no major injuries that I can see. There are plenty of shallow cuts, both of them are rather stiff and sore and there's a bit more ear shaking than I'd like to see so I'll be checking the ears again tonight, but I think we can skip a trip to the vet this time. The first fight was much, much uglier than this one and this time I'll place the blame squarely on myself and Rob. The first fight was Sullivan's adolescent move to topple Theo out of the top dog spot. Since Sullivan was clearly the winner, we modified our behavior accordingly, but I think we've been slipping and occasionally favoring Theo again. Well, here's our wake up call because not paying attention to pack hierarchy is a dumb thing to do when you have two large male dogs living in the same house. When it comes to dog training, it's usually the owners that need the training, not the dogs and apparently we're no exception, sigh.
I haven't drank enough coffee yet but...
Frustrated by my early bedtime these days, I've decided to start blogging straight out of bed. This is probably a mistake, but I've got a spell checker handy so I'll give it a go even though it will likely take me hours to compose a few coherent paragraphs.

I've been out and about the last two afternoons running a variety of ill-fated errands. Ill-fated in the sense that most errands were not completed. I needed to make copies of something before I mailed it, but the copy machine at the post office was broken. I went to another post office, but it had no copy machine at all. A trip to a nearby store with a copy machine found me scrambling in my purse for change to pay for the copies and returning my other items to the shelves because their credit card machine went down. Not a big deal, I had time to get to the next place by 4:00 pm, but then my car was trapped in the parking lot by a delivery truck for 20 minutes. I still had minutes to spare as I pulled into the lot of the next location only to lose those minutes looking for parking. No parking, the clock ticked down and I decided fate was against me and went to Maudies for a beer instead of running any more errands. Much better to be sipping a cold beer at Maudies than driving around in rush hour traffic anyway. Yesterday was a rinse and repeat experience of traffic delays, parking problems and stores without the expected items on their shelves. I have decided that the best thing about not having a job is that I don't have to drive to some place and back every day and deal with the mess that is Austin traffic. I will, however, have to face this again should I ever get that elusive job. It seems these days that all the jobs are either in Round Rock or some other place that is an hour's commute away and pay about what it would cost me in gas and therapy bills to drive that far. Rob's increasingly frustrated with being poor so I suppose I will start sending applications in that direction as well. As far as I'm concerned, no amount of salary could ever adequately compensate for a drive to Round Rock, but if it means keeping the lights on... well... okay.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I look around our world today with dismay and a creeping sense of dread. As our government keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper here and abroad what you see and hear on the news becomes an increasingly transparent attempt to distract us from how deep the hole has gotten.
If anyone is foolish enough to still think our involvement in Iraq/Afghanistan is legitimate,I want some of whatever it is they are smoking/snorting/shooting (which probably came from one of the aforementioned countries).
There are rumblings about reinstating the draft for crissakes...if that isn't one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse I don't know what is. My son could end up dying in one of these countries for a man who clearly is in it for profit...I don't like him(my son) much some of the time,but I wouldn't wish that on anyone...not the 173 dead since that asshole in the white house said "bring 'em on" (where, by the way , is the outrage over this statement? why isn't somebody, somewhere beating this shit like the proverbial dead horse???)...but especially not my son,or anybody else's son or daughter for that matter. The white house poo-poo's the comparisons to Viet Nam, but we didn't lose almost 58000 in the Nam in 8 was years in the taking...they ticked up slowly,just like now. When Rummy says long,hard ,slog what the fuck do you think he's talking about? He was there,he knows...he's talking about bodies,bottom line. Our enemies are taking a page from the bible of Ho Chi Minh and applying it in Iraq. What killed us in the Nam ,and everybody before us back to the 16th century spanish missionaries was nationalism...if you think the radical people of Iraq don't have that same tenacity, think again...they hate us and our ideologies with every fiber of thier being.If we want a swift end to this we should bomb Saudi Arabia into the stone age...but we won't because the bush administration is chugging saudi dick 24-7 (just my opinion). Imagine that...from the 1500's NOBODY could impose thier will on a little country full of fucking rice paddies...what are we doing in the middle east? one word: oil.One name:Bush. We, as a nation are taking it up the ass,and we're so full of the narcotic of the white house controlled media we hardly notice the intrusion...we're more focused on the shit they cram down our throats (go to for many examples of this shit...this useless "friends provides sex education for our children") to notice the complete rape of our credibility in the world arena...many countries hate us..and they should...we deserve it...the U S of A is fast becoming a piece of S H I and T.
Internally we aren't doing much better....a jobless recovery my may have heard the in india et al...big corporations in thier rush for the buck are dooming this country...championed by that retard in the whitehouse...amazing isn't it? Big AMERICAN companies are rapid firing nails into the coffin of america by outsourcing.
We're killing ourselves out of greed,and when the end finally comes these companies will throw thier hands in the air and claim they had no clue...FUCK them.
I used to think that if I worked hard I could have a good life in I'm reduced to my chances at the lottery.And you know how that goes.
What's that sucking sound?It's us,going down the drain.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Food allergies suck
I have a few food allergies. These are true allergies, the kind that make me break out in hives or make my throat and tongue swell up or make my digestive system react as if I have food poisoning. I've yet to need the adrenalin shot, but I've come pretty damn close before. I thought I'd pretty much figured out everything I'm allergic to, but I was quite surprised to wake up on Monday morning feeling extremely ill. Was the pork from that previous night bad? Why can I barely open my eyes? Why does it feel like I have something stuck in my throat? Why does this remind me of the lobster experience? Because it's a allergy response, you idiot - grab the Benadryl!

Turns out I didn't need to go get an adrenalin shot, but I did need to figure out what was I allergic to this time. And the only thing "new" that I ate was sauerkraut. I've always avoided it before, but my memory was that I just didn't like the smell as a kid (my mom was a big sauerkraut fan.) Well, I really enjoyed the pork cooked with sauerkraut late Sunday evening, but I definitely did not enjoy what happened in the early hours of Monday morning. So I add yet another thing to my list of foods that I can't eat. Sauerkraut seems a really strange thing to be allergic to, but there's no denying the reaction that my body had to it nor the effectiveness of Benadryl on the symptoms. I suspect that I've either never actually eaten it before or it made me sick at the time I did eat it because I can say with certainty that I've not eaten it in at least the last 30 years or so. I did find it tasty this time, but it wasn't so good that I'll be craving it again anytime soon. Unlike oranges, which I pine for regularly and occasionally break down and eat one and end up with a nice case of hives as a result. Oranges and shrimp - two things I shouldn't eat, but do and one or the other will probably be the death of me someday when I have a much more severe reaction than just hives. Some people live dangerously by jumping motorcycles over canyons and I live dangerously by just eating food. Ah well, I guess we all need some element of risk in our lives, eh?
For them to leave. Tomorrow morning, the GM, the cleaning and renovations managers and several senior techs are leaving for NOLA and won't be back until monday.This leaves me with 2 techs to do the work that gets called in,a cleaning department that essentially takes care of itself,all the retail traffic(my usual job) and the phones (which I answer or end up dealing with anyway more than anyone else with the exception of the GM...MAYBE).
I will be in charge.
I can't wait! I am baptised in management by crisis...this will be no problem for me without these "key" staff members around to help (complicate matters). I was invited to go but opted out because we are "broke ass poor" and can't afford it.Knowing my love of the big NO,everyone was surprised I opted out...I played it down,but really I would have loved to go...but since I can't,I'll hold down the fort and somebody better bring me a fucking t-shirt from Marie Levous(sp?) house of voodoo.
Enough horn tooting.
Good news on the dog vet (he fucking ROCKS) diagnosed the problem with the GM's dog that his previous vet missed...some antibiotics and some fluids and she should be fine...that's my vet...he KNOWS his animal ailments,better than the average vet...I was relieved to hear that Pepper could be helped.
Anyway...the next few days should be interesting.

Monday, November 03, 2003

When I got to work this morning there was no Shadow waiting for me at the door. "Oh...they haven't let her out of her yard yet..." . The GM was getting out of his car as I was and we commenced our tradition of "having a smoke" (he quit...I haven't...but he still gets to have a smoke) on the sidewalk in front of the store with the usual what's up and such.There was no barking..." she must be upstairs with the AP clerk who brings her SIX pork tenderloin steaks to hide strategically around the shop" I thought to myself.(what self respecting street dog wouldn't love this clerk?).
When I finally went Shadow.I headed to the back to let her out and was in the cleaning dept. when the admin. assist informed me she was of the cleaners had taken her home!
She gets to sleep inside at night and has one constant companion instead of 30...hooray!As good as good news gets, I missed her today...the shop felt empty.
Back to the morning smoke...The GM's Dog is old...10 plus years and a large breed...she'd had some problems breathing in the recent past and went off her food...improved some but had recently fallen back to illness,not eating,listless...etc..
The GM fears his dog is dying and will ultimately have to be put down.
This guy loves his dog...he knows I have had my share of loss with dogs,having to put down the one and only Buddy(lived a remarkable 14 yrs.,despite being a large breed mix) and our Boxer Diamond,and he asked me what it was like...
How do you describe what it's like to kill something you love?
Even if you know it's the only thing to do?
I tried to explain it to him...I think I managed "it's really hard dude" before the memories came crashing in and after reciting some mecahnics of the procedure ended with "it's hard dude,I don't like thinking about this day". I referred him to my vet.
This was all before 8am.
The day went by with my thoughts on Shadow and our time together and I went further Diamond and Skeeter (another boxer who died suddenly of an aortic anuerism) to Buddy the wonder dog, to parents Irish Setter.
I was engulfed in the memories of dogs...they touched me then...they touch me now.
I did my 4 miles after work and came home to the usual...Irene racks me 2 steps into the door,Theo sticks his nose in the grocery bags, and Sully barks until you put the toy in his mouth...then he rumbles while you scratch his back and tell him you love him.
And he loves doubt about it.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

My exciting life - NOT
Laundry, dishes, picking up dog poop. Oh yeah, I'm living "The life of Riley". That idiom is probably meaningless to anyone younger than me and probably meaningless to a lot of people my age as well, but I had older parents so it was common use in the household when I was a kid. For those of you not familiar with the phrase, it means something along the lines of living the easy life. Well, unemployment has it's perks in that I have no outside job to go to every morning, but struggling to pay the bills and feeling the need to play housewife since I'm not earning an income has left me a bit unfulfilled. I wish I had inherited my mom's housework genes, but I didn't. I'm the kind of person that will not notice the dust bunnies in the hallway until they are so big that they actually attach to your pants leg as you are walking by them. Only then do I look in amazement at the mess in the hall and grab the broom. I have made great progress in keeping up with the dishes and the laundry since I've been unemployed, but I'm nowhere near my mom's super housework woman status. That woman worked a full-time job and kept a spotless house with absolutely no help from my dad. I can't figure out how she did it because I can't do it with NO job. Maybe housework was a "hobby" for my mom because she's mentioned that she actually LIKES it. I can't imagine such a thing. What possible thrill could one get from cleaning something that's only going to be dirty again in a few days? I think in my former lives I must have been a nomad...make a mess... leave it behind and move on...
Who goes to the fabric store? Soccer moms in need of some batting to give that gingham goose by the front entry...nay..."foyer" some chubbiness befitting a goose. Or maybe the mother and daughter team trying desperately to bond via the patterns of Simplicity,with mom thinking of the manhattans to come and daughter thinking of the boyfriends to places mom wouldn't like. Or maybe the fat couple, dressed in jungle patterns and loud hawiian shirts like people would mistake the girth for a seductive, tropical's not're tropical but still fat...give up and start exercising.
They were all there, and all staring at me...looking at the buttons.I was shopping for buttons for a shirt recently ressurrected from the grave sans it's buttons.I thought dice buttons would look cool and went in search of said buttons.
I landed at the fabric store nearest my house and found my buttons...very cool buttons by the way...but the stares...They were staring at me like I was from another planet.
To them I am outwardly a freak...a heavily tattooed,00 plugged ears freak.
They don't know who I visage frightens and confuses them...they wonder why I am in the fabric store...I will be the topic of conversation at dinners and pentecostal prayer meetings for days to come...that pathetic soul covered in sin. I just needed some buttons.
And that's the problem...
They see me as who they think I am...I see them for what they are.