I'm addicted to making hollandaise sauce.

I started fooling around with it the other day, and the closer I get to perfecting it (it's close), the closer I presumably get to a heart attack.

It's impossible to make a little of, and at the times I make food, no one is around.

I should also point out that my hollandaise is geared towards hashbrowns, not benedicts or seafood.

So every time I make a batch, I end up consuming 3 large potatoes, 1 large onion, 4 egg yolks, a stick of butter, a blurt of lemon juice, a pinch of sugar and a shitload of pepper, cayenne and coarse black.

It would be easy to blame this on the number of cooking shows I caption, but it can't be direct; none of the shows have made a hollandaise and very few bother with potatoes or frying pans.

Oh well. At least premature death shall be tasty.



Pride and humility, but only for a little bit because there are many small things

A blog is a tough thing to take seriously.

Unless the writer puts the sort of effort involved to make it actually good enough to question why they're not doing something better, it's a bit of a crapshoot.

For years, I've overestimated my own importance in my entertaining and oft crap-smeared corner of the (vomit) blogosphere.

I've torpedoed two blog functions after throwing tantrums because no one was posting comments, and had contemplated torpedoing this venture as well for similar reasons, despite the fairly nice design I implemented during an odd bout of motivation months ago.

As someone who finds great pleasure in the artistic equivalent of mushrooms (delicious things that grow on shit), I enjoy plumbing the internal depths on spiritual booze cruises. While I'm realist enough to know that a lot of the stuff I was throwing up and out there for you folks to sift through was crap.

Again, I like crap-sifting.

But I'm also prideful enough to know that in all of those endless grafs of crap, there was probably something possessed of enough pith, wit, depth, or unflinching truth for everyone to cut and paste something they liked, if they made it deep enough to find it.

So yeah, it's tough to keep readers, let alone inspire them to post a comment, if your modus operandi is little more than get shitfaced and vent.

But, like any other business, no matter how seriously you take it, blogging is a two-way street,
especially if your friends are your customers.

Today, Blais gets a goddam cookie.

When a helluva a stand-up dude that I haven't seen in... hell, four years?-- anyhow, when that dude is still reading my crap, and because of my last tantrum, I haven't been reading many of anyone else's--let alone his, and his was damn good--my li'l bitch routine over readership goes out the goddam window.

Also, I just discovered that my cat, Henry, likes tomatoes. I just ate a grocery store-bought roast beef sandwich and teased him with the tomato slices as though they were meat or some other such cat-endorsed scraps. I then hung them from the bathroom doorknob to hopefully freak Wyatt out after I'd forgot I'd put them there.

So maybe Henry doesn't LIKE tomatoes. Maybe he only ate them because he didn't want me to think that I'd tricked him into showing interest in them. Well, if that's the case, the trick is still squarely on him.

I just watched my goddam cat eat goddam tomato slices. Better than watching my childhood dog Tuscon I (Tuscon II was the ma of Dags) eat watermelon. Goddam.

Anyhow. Blais is a stud and I have to start reading his blog again for many reasons, least alone is the reason mentioned. But it's a good one.



Yowsa fo' yo' schnauser?

Did Thanksgiving with Moe's fambly. Big time. Got called Tim once, which is odd, given her voluminous clan's familiarity with the name Jim.

All around good time, with the biggest downer coming on our final morning there. I had wandered outside to pair my coffee with a cigarette. Just sort of looking around at the fantastic emptiness of their corner of Tyndall, warm with a sort of familial connectivity that was entirely new to me.

And then I got whomped with guilt for abandoning my own family for someone else's and for feeling so damn good about. But in that guilt was something I'd almost forgotten how to feel.

I missed MY parents.

So many trips back home have been borne more out of a tedious sense of duty than out of actual desire. I always drove slowly there and quickly back.

I'll be leaving for Redfield Christmas morning and coming back the following Monday. This has been the plan for a week or so, but prior to that brisk morning moment, I'd been looking at that trip with something between dread and resignation.

In college, my cronies (can't remember whether it was Blais or Doschadis) called me "remote."
I think, overall, that was the best term for me. My dad was always a bit remote. Austin's dad called him an odd duck.

Anyhow, Dad's remote. Not a condemnation by any means. Just a descriptor. He's always been self-contained and compartmentalized. Imagine a brain as a fishing tackle box, organized by weights, lures, hooks, and tools, all for specific tasks. That's my dad, J.F. II. Sure, every now and again, something would get thrown in the wrong compartment and my mother and I would be amazed by his fleeting openness, and it was as special as it was rare.

That was really my sole male role model growing up. These are thoughts for me, and these are for Dad, and these are for Mom, and these are for my friends, and this one here's for a girl, if I could ever figure out how to talk to them.

With years of experience with Dad, Mom was equipped to deal with me taking on these traits, but she had an inside edge too. I always took after her more, although they were both perplexed at how someone so bookish could care so little for school, but that's an entirely different can of worms.

I got most of my artistic inclinations from Ma, and she provided me with the technological fixes I find myself drawn to to this very moment. She approaches much of the world as relativistically and contextually as I do. Unsurprisingly, when I call home, she's the designated communicator. We email periodically.

In short, my relationship with my parents has been warm, but I wouldn't call it close.

Well, it's coming sort of full circle these days. Over the last four years or so, I've been trying to shed my remote label. Open up more. Be more genuinely human and less the Celebrated Artifice of Jim.

Sure, it's been bumpy, but that's to be expected. I've managed to pull enough trays out of the tackle box that plenty is mingling and that's good, but some things are surprising me. When I'm happy, I'm happier. That's cool.

Conversely, the lowest I was normally capable of feeling was more an absence of happy than unhappy, but now I am oddly capable of sadness. Disappointment is fleeting. Sadness can stick with you. Also, I am now more familiar with obsession, jealousy and a whole raft of Pandora's hooligans I'd kept locked up in the Spock box.

Two mornings ago, I was happy, then sad. But happy again, genuinely glad, knowing that I was going to be going home.



Not Liquor Lyle's, dammit!

Woot. Run At The Dog (shortform henceforth: R@TD) played Lee's Liquor Lounge last night, their second full-blown show with new drummer Jake.

Tuesday nights are rough for shows, as their were only 20-30 people present, most of which had been in bands with or have played with R@TD's members in some capacity. The rest of the onlookers were regular sops or other musicians on the bill, including a vaguely entertaining lecherous twit with a fake 'stache, chops, and stuffed trousers.

Downside: not enough people saw them.
Upside: everyone in attendance got a far bigger share of goodness.

I brought my neighbor, Doug, to observe the proceedings. He'd heard some of the stuff from the Song Fu sessions and was impressed enough to go to an 11:30 pm show despite work in the early am.

I've seen R@TD play enough to keep my jaw hinged properly, so when possible, I like to bring new people to their shows so I can observe how they react.

We set up a little further back, as I'd been charged with creating media documentation of the event, which really just means Jake (the new guy) handed me his videocam and Maureen handed me her camera.

Doug's reaction pleased me. He recorded about half the show on his phone. Of course, the the show's volume crisped his phone's mic, so it sounds about like any of the times I've called people from concerts to leave them voicemails of their favorite songs, but anyhow....

It means the boy was damn impressed, which makes me happy, as it was a damn impressive show.

I was too busy juggling cameras to get too specific a read, otherwise I'd be more inclusive, but a smidge of highlights will have to suffice...

Noon Moon live? There might have been a hiccup or two near the beginning, but this song blew everyone away. The lumbering tension of the first portions of the song was a little more straightforward than the Fu version, dropping a little of its faint menace. Whether that was planned or merely the result of being live and LOUD AS FUCK, I don't know. But when it turns to the shimmering finale, I wanted to engage in some epic pogoing, even though pogoing is one of the least appropriate dance steps for the occasion, especially if you're minding a DV cam that's lighter than the tripod it's on.

The closer, Two Days to Remember, typically has a gap in the middle of it where they'll improv something or medleyize another song in, but last night they opted to hand their instruments off to audience members (or invite to their rigs where applicable) and went outside and played in the snow for a bit. They came back in, finished the song, and there was much rejoicing.

I hauled Moe's keyboard out to her car so she could avoid the previously-mentioned mustachioed idjit a little bit longer, then left to drop Doug off.

It was a good night.

And now, I prep to go to work.

Oh, and a P.S., although I really don't think post scriptum applies in this situation.

I've built myself a little writing desk in my room. I'll be writing all those difficult, creepy and incriminating entries in notebooks again, as my two-year experiment in pseudo-emotional full-disclosure has either made people think I was depressed or not read my scribblings at all, so to hell with that. Also, journaling on paper provides opportunity for doodling, which, lacking classes to go to and be bored by, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed.


Loss, Acceptance, and Reality

This is going to be a short one, as I have work to do.

For the time being, I'm done fighting myself. I've put myself in this position, so I'm going to try working with it.

I bitch because I thought the job I took three months ago was going to solve all my problems.

Well, I did help some, but it created many new ones, the most monstrous of which is a tremendous sense of isolation.

I am a social bastard, which is to say I LIKE being around people. It's why I was a damn fine bartender or record store clerk. It's why I liked living in Vermillion under the circumstances I did. There were always people around to do things with, many of them agreeable.

My big cure job, which I do enjoy, by the way, keeps me at work while all of my social contacts here in Minneapolis are actually active. The job itself is very isolated by nature. I sit with headphones on for eight hours and smoke cigarettes to talk as an excuse more to interact with people more than actual desire to smoke.

How's that for a fucking realization? Cigarettes are no longer the main reason to smoke.

Anyhow, the whole point of what I'm blathering about is that for three months, I've been trying to go to bed because no one is up past when I get home from work. The harder I try to go to bed so maybe the morning can be productive, the more likely I am to waste my life on the internet till six or seven in the morning, sleep only till ten out of guilt, resume internet uselessness, go to work underslept and repeat.

Well, goddam, son. I'm rebuilding my half of the apartment tonight. Obvious, eh?

Get shit done after work, get a sense of accomplishment, sleep at least somewhat fulfilled, and go to work a little more lively.

That's the plan, chief.

That's the plan.



Tales of a hood...

Jumping up and down on that mother fucker felt GOOD. Then I reattached it. One busted hose fitting, but it's the coolant overflow, which isn't urgent until I need AC. Quite drivable.

All in all, I came out lucky, despite the massive bad luck that put me into the position to be lucky.

And now to work.

this is a life...

Ha Ha Sob

Less than 48 hours after I got the car running again, some guy on the interstate jammed his brakes on. Squishy brakes and rainslicked pavement formed a hazardous duo.

Since his jeep was completely okay, he hopped back in and drove off as I asked about insurance. His rear-mounted spare tire had mulched my grill and crumpled my hood.

I drove it home all right, although it hisses a little. I'm a little grumpy since the humor wore off.

I've had a little trouble caring, though not in the way I usually define as good. I've now wasted nearly an entire day in which I could have been sorting things out, looking for pinched hoses or radiator leaks. It would take 15 minutes to remove the hood, walk on it till it's flat, bolt it back on and tarp-strap it back down.

I'm not even interested in that.

Saying that made me feel better. I'm gonna go tear that sucker apart and see if I can get it to at least take me to work today.



Masculinity restored...

I shall now walk less, but with great swagger.

The beast it runneth, runneth now.

Car's running and insured and I did it myself.

My balls feel larger.

Almost back to normal.




Never too soon, always too late, and right on time is overrated

You know what's worse than the demons getting you?

Them not getting you. Teasing you. Revealing themselves to you but not sealing the goddam deal.

The funny thing about trying to impose order on chaos is that while some results may be desirable, on the whole it just gets more chaotic.

I'm off work by midnight and home by 20 to 1. The first two months working there I was actually climbing into bed around 3 or 4.

That was wreaking havoc on my mornings, so I've been trying to force myself to bed sooner.

So far, I've been in bed and asleep by 2 once, 3 twice and after 6 many times.

My life would like me to leave well enough alone, apparently.

This country is fucked. No Obama can save us. No McCain will make things worse (although Palin is providing unprecedented comedy).

This country is fucked. People intently watch and fervently analyze the debates with half the passion I put into my fantasy football teams. I'm coming out ahead.

This country is fucked. Two terms is not enough time to fix the economy, and any real attempt to do so will guarantee a single term. If party B's president tries to fix it in one term or two and party A wins the next election, party A will immediately distance themselves from what might have been sound policy simply because it was unpopular.

Don't kid yourself and think if party B wins again they'd do anything different.

To pass the time and to get ahead in life as well, I enjoy making games of mundane activities. It helps make the dreary a little more lively.

But fuck these parties for fucking everything up. Managing the country, which ought be the priority, has taken such a backseat to trendiness.

Hey, I used to blame the conservatives and Republicans for polarizing the fuck out of everything until I realized it was mutually beneficial to both sides.

Hey, with each passing year since the '8os, it's grown exponentially trendier to get involved in the Democratic party while in high school.

Of course, tit for tat, young Republicans stepped up to bat as well.

As the well we draw from gets more and more tainted, both parties grow stronger. Why? The other guys did it.

On the other hand, though, you know something?

You know how I keep saying this country is fucked?

It doesn't matter. It's not like gorgeous America's still bleeding.

Our nation is a self-absorbed zombie. It's dead, but ain't no one killing it.

Seriously. If nations were people, would you fuck with the well-armed dude who owed you 50 billion dollars?

It's why I kind of like the idea of a President Palin.

Evangelical twitwat or not, the over/under on her isn't much different than anyone else.

Which in a way, sort of takes us back to that beautifully inspiring misconception this country's people so naively held for almost 200 years: anyone could grow up to be president.

But to be practical for a moment, if McCain were to be elected president and died, she would be advised by the same people that were advising him, who are roughly equivalent to the same people who are advising Obama.

Of course, that means Obama ought win. If the role of the president is to be a charming orator and functionally perform the wishes of the handlers, then he can call the landslide now.

Oops, but he's black

But wait. Does that matter?

No. There's just as many blacks that will vote for him because he's black, if not more, than whites who will vote for McCain, just because he'll look better in the parish scrapbook (just don't ask Carol).

Hell yeah, this country's racist. Don't deny it away, but don't deify it either. Deal with it.

That's another place where all the things that are supposed to help people have failed miserably.

Two things that have helped foster the most animosity down the racial divide are government and Christian churches.

A citizen should put the well-being of nation over his life and a Christian should dedicate his life to being Christ-like.

As for the latter, obviously I don't care. You can be a good person without magic tricks or generous reviews from Flavius Josephus.

With the former, while I hope it's obvious that I'm not anti-American, I can see how some people might get that idea.

I love America. But there's a difference between dying for America and dying for American interests, and that's why I keep my mouth shut around most veterans.

Actually, the modern modes of the military and the church are quite similar. All the eggs in one basket, and if anyone suggests a different basket or a diversification of baskets, it invalidates what they've done, so naturally they get touchy.

I mean, if someone suggested to me that fantasy football was not a pleasurable way to enjoy one's time, I would probably be quite irate. I may even seem like an irrational bully (who may or may not have had one too many).

The thing that gets me the most about all of this politicking in general is that I'm old enough where I'm not concerned about me. I'm strong enough and wily enough to survive whatever the next ten years brings, assuming the worst, and I'm impractical and foolish enough to enjoy the silliness it all will be, provided the best.

But now seems like a real shitty time to have kids. Every politician-cum-president from now until the day we die will be selling the future of the kids I don't have yet trying to stabilize right now.

Of course, not that I advocate this in the least, but America would be in better shape if they'd followed a little bit of the Koran's advice.

Credit BAD! Loans BAD!

Gambling is all fine and well when you can afford to do it for fun, but nobody whoever played poker because they had to ever came out ahead in the long run.

Really, how hard is it to figure out? Don't spend money you don't have, unless you have parents that can bail you out (thanks, Jim and Mavis, time and time again!) without bankrupting them.

I honestly believe this country would be a better place if everyone in this country who has never had/gotten to eat ramen ate it for the next year straight.

On that note, I'm going to wrap this up.

I'm going to watch some of the best television ever produced, which I bought today and shouldn't have, because I only had the funds to buy it because I sold a bunch of DVDs to buy enough ramen and bus passes and buy-one-get-one-free Marlboro 27s to last me to my next paycheck.

To me, I present the first season of Six Feet Under.

The rest of you, please, keep enjoying the juggling act that will theoretically affect the future.



Dream I had some time in the last few hours...

I met DEVO last night. Well, it wasn't actually DEVO, but it was too.

They were back to being in their early 30s and impossibly tall.

Mothersbaugh was like six foot six. He was also the father of NOFX's Fat Mike and MST3K's Joel Hodgson.

The band as a whole supported the idea of getting buffalo wings.

I am sad but relieved to have woken up.

Random thought...

The best news I've heard all week...

Apparently, the word misanthropy has been around for awhile.

They didn't make it up to describe us.

That just makes us normal.

Getting down to the guts...

Yes, son.
What does regret mean?
Well son, the funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret
something you have done than to regret something that you haven't done.
And by the way, If you see your mom this weekend, will you be sure and
tell her...

-Gibby Haynes
the Butthole Surfers

Regret is a funny thing indeed. It all comes down to the fear of the unknown.

There is what you did and what you've done. It's quantifiable. It is. Depending on possibly irrelevant criteria, everyone could know.

Ah, but then when you didn't do something, and nobody, least of all you knows, that bastardly guilt kicks in even worse,
because YOU DON'T KNOW.

That goddam mystery.

Moe's reading Vonnegut's Galapagos right now. She fucking loves it. I enjoyed it, but forgot almost all of it. I call it " the one where an asterisk means something other than butthole."

Anyhow, a minor character in the novel, a crazed man with an inoperable brain tumor, upon his lucid deathbed, explains that a soul, that soul which sets humanity apart from animals, is simply the awareness that you are aware of what you do, even if you are unable to prevent it.

I apologize for the previous sentence masquerading as a graf containing far more nonessential clauses than your average reader can handle.

Point resuming in 3...

I submit to you that what we call a soul, that mystic thing other than opposable thumbs and upright stature and all that crap that 70-year-old biology teachers foisted upon us in 7th grade to separate us from animals...

That sentence is crap also.

What we call a soul is nothing more than cognizance and a passing interest in that HOLY FUCK of a bastard question, WHAT IF?

Of course animals can regret their actions. Anybody who has owned a dog for a decent amount of time knows this. Damn expressive eyes they have.

What if?

What a magnificent bugger-all of a thought.

Who hasn't been crippled a time or two, caught in its thrall?

The age I'm at, I'm supposed to be wondering about my legacy, which is precisely the sort of question that leads to...

What if?

Indifference is not immunity.

What have I done that will stand the test of time?

Most of my notable feats are in the field of drinking, but they're all overshadowed by legends who did it when they were younger than I was, who did it longer than I've lived, and who wrote about it with far more depth and insight than I have.

That's fine. Unless I get dramatically better (or worse) at drinking, my lifespan will be three times as long as my erstwhile peers.

Anybody really want to see me pull a Bukowski at 90?

Me neither.

Of course, there's an old wine drinker (presumed) and fable writer that comes in handy here.

The concept of 'sour grapes' is beautiful.

It's the only treatment for 'What if?'

Though, like so many 'cures,' it obscures the symptoms rather than fixing the problem, but that's for the best.

'What if?' is only a bastard when looking over your shoulder.

Yesterday sucked, but tomorrow's gonna be awesome.



Totally not worth reading.

I was going to write about several things.

But then I saw that Stien was awake via that Last.fm doodad, so I talked to him for an hour.

In the process, I drank Wyatt's last beer, which I was going to use as fuel for this.




I wore some pants to work today.

After I got there, I noticed that the crotch had split.

Now, at the end of my day, I'm going to tear them off.

A little bit of destruction so the day wasn't a total void.

Maybe THIS will do the trick...

So as it turns out, one of my coworkers has a film degree and has written, directed and produced two features. Investigating the net a bit deeper, I discovered he also has a band and a fledgling record label.

I'm going to watch his movies now and see what that does to me.

I may be inspired because they're good, and somebody who does what I do for a living made them.

I may be inspired because they're bad, and there's nothing I hate more than failure succeeding where I've failed (thusfar).

I may be inspired because they're somewhere in between and I am compelled by the noble calling of one-upsmanship.

Never underestimate one-upsmanship. There would be far less art in the world, good and bad, if it weren't for arbitrary and sudden rivalries.

I may also simply fall asleep on a couch or a chair because the part of me that's excitable is often sat upon by the part of me that simply doesn't care.

If I survive, I shall report.



Maureen told me of a dream she had recently. I remember it poorly but fondly.

We were out and about somewhere, and were being accosted by aggressive evangelical missionary types.

I had some sort of business card or something with some sort of foreign script on it. When approached by would-be conversionists, I would show it to them smugly and ask if they could read it.

Indeed, they could read it. Their eyes would get big and they would turn and flee.

Maureen told me that dream intuition allowed her to infer that the card announced to them, in some sort of crazygodpeople language, that I was Judas.

When I was confirmed as a yout', I chose the confirmation name Jude for two reasons.

First, the patron saint of lost causes. Ironic and fitting, I thought.

Second, my disenchantment with the Church had grown from a little pit of doubt into snarky disdain. Jude was as close as I could get to Judas.

But the dream sticks with me. If I'm Judas, who's the blowhard I have to screw over and I get paid up front, right?


Narcotic Candy

O frabjous day, calooh callay!

Here in my head, there is a ridiculous wealth of music knowledge. It's cataloged strangely, but well enough that I can unfurl a bizarre tapestry of side projects, B-sides, and assorted minutiae at the drop of an "I just wanted to know if he liked the Dismemberment Plan," hat.

The dark(er) side to this knowledge is that I'm also a bit of a bumbling fuck. I tend to forget things, and the more immediately pertinent they might be, the more likely I am to forget what the hell it is I was supposed to be about.

You know how, back in the day, you'd want a record or two, so you'd go to a store and the second you stepped over the threshold, you immediately had no idea who this white-gowned woman in your arms was?

Multiply that sensation by 25 and then divide by two for the overstretched threshold gag.

That's me.

Anyhow, this morning as I was puttering about on the nets, searching for any bits of data that could prove crucial to my fantasy football teams, some delightful old Mercury Rev popped up on ze randomizer.


I love Shady. I've spent most of the last 12 or so years with that knowledge forgotten.

It's pretty easy to see why, I mean, I only heard the album once or twice in high school.

But I found it on Amazon's mp3 site this morning after the aforementioned Mercury Rev incident.

The exposition: After the first two Rev albums, they had a bit of a falling out. David Baker, whose name I forgot while attempting to tell Austin about it this morning, left the band and recorded one album, World, under the name Shady in 1994.

Seriously, there's at least a dozen albums I would buy in a heartbeat if only I remembered what they were. There's probably a lot more.

As I remember them, I shall purchase them (when possible) and proceed to blather.

If I do not find them, I shall blather nonetheless.


Bore w/ Teeth

not that but
we're more casual than that
but art in the world is worth more
than the contents of one head
casual disregard it is
remember doing things?
those times places
forever is only that
but behind

rusty spigot art-in-head
the bore baring his browns
and yellows
and wisdoms growling plain-old red
full of crossed-finger flag-waving white

article herald's slight
the smartass is in this crowd
articulate ever hollow sound
this forever is/was/is/was
un-things done
yet art not art yet not art yet
wicked-smart behind the eyes
and does it ever show
listen if he'll let you
on and on
some comic cosmic tide


What's in my pants...

Is a list of interesting phrases I wrote down at work:

#1. I don't know what inspired it completely, but I believe this is an absolute truth of humanity regardless. " A little less civility leads to a lot more honesty."

Dude. Duh. Being nice is the strategic art of lying tactically.

#2. RoboSpierre. Not such a good idea, but crossing Buckaroo Banzai with Terminator and the French Revolution made me giggle.

#3 Copulative verb. Who knew "be" could be so dirty? Oh, Hamlet...

And now a shot of cognac and bed, where I shall be by myself.


Yes, I am an asshole

I'm contemplating registering just to vote for John McCain in the upcoming election.

Wait... what?

Do I distrust him intensely?

Yes. What he's done since losing the Republican primary last time he ran is appalling.

Eh, fuck the pseudo-clever set-up. Let's get down to chewing the gristle.

The way this country is being run is comparable to a favored elderly relative, kept alive with needles and hoses.

Let it go.

What Washington's got now is terminal. Enough trying to jockey for a better will position.

Give it up.

This being a Christian nation, no matter how untenable it is to admit, we won't let ourselves pull the plug.

Kill it.

A new day nurse is not going to suddenly revive a patient who's been systematically abused by the rest of the hospital staff for the last forty years, the same abuse which engendered an atmosphere in which the critically flawed concept of compromise "for the good of all" being worthwhile.

Let it die with a shred of dignity.

Of course I prefer Obama by a landslide over McCain. But as powerful a thing that hope can be, it sometimes allows for years more suffering before the inevitable.

I'm no anarchist, but I sense the end of the Constitution, and it's for the best rather than the worse. It was a brilliant document in the sense that it protected the people from the public fear of a monarchy.

Well, it's been a couple of centuries since a king was dumb enough to seriously fuck with us.

Democracy's still where it's at, but we need a New Constitution. One designed to protect us from democracy and prevent bloodlines from being as important to politics as it is to horse racing.

As we practice it, democracy is an entertaining sham.

I saw a couple of kids (aka college age, which it still terrifies me that I am no longer) walking around with clipboards and pamphlets and local candidate teeshirts, and I can say beyond a doubt that my participation in a non-local fantasy football league will prove more important in the long- or short run than their campaigning.

Even if Obama hung out with hookers and lepers and made them all better, what good could he possibly do with a Congress hellbent for leather on spending more than it earns, regardless of having a credit rating that wouldn't qualify for a loan from itself?

Newsflash: nobody in politics above the local level is " a uniter, not a divider." You get above the local level, and most politicians are divisive within their own ranks.

Yes, while that is a nice reflection of society, that is only further proof that somewhere along some lines, we need to come up with a new Bill of Rights that is designed to protect us from the professional politician.


I'm going to vote for McCain. I think it's best for America, in the long run. Obama represents hope, and that's the last thing we need right now, if we want to truly move forward. A vote for McCain represents, I believe, a vote for an American sub-majority too large to ignore. McCain as president, acting in the manner he can be reasonably expected to act in, will encourage discontent and the development of a better system.

Even to give both candidates ultimate faith: reform in the face of drastically different situations and opportunities is not as safe or wise as reformatting and rebuilding.

I hate to sound like a Mac snob or a product placement, but the next president is going to be Windows Vista, and even though no one initially preferred XP, we're going to go ahead and call it an upgrade anyhow.

Me? I'm a firm middle-class cynical do-nothing. I spent the RNC drinking and working, laughing at the people who clearly deserved to be arrested and doing whatever it is I do in lieu of praying for those who happened to get lippy near an out-of-town cop who didn't care about image because he was on vacation from his day job.

This is America 2008. We live in a world where many countries that we inspired with our revolution have governments that are in many ways more modern than our own. Yeah, a lot of the world is shit, but then again, what's more powerful to a national consciousness: a smart asshole getting killed for being a smart asshole, or a smart asshole being drowned out by legions of legally protected smart assholes, each one thinking they're smarter than the asshole before or beside them?

As a disenchanted dick, I ain't advocatin' nuthin'.

But that new America we all want? It's a phoenix.

A vote for Obama will put that process off for a bit.

A vote for McCain ought to start the proceedings quite toastily--

The America that soothed and anointed our ancestors worked for the time and technology it was born unto.

If I weren't so lazy, I'd feel inclined to influence what ought to come next.



The Way Things Are Where People Don't Care...

For roughly a month and a week, my immediate post-work routine has involved walking a half-mile from work, having a beer and a shot at a pizza joint, killing time until I got on the bus.

I've gotten to know most of the late-night drivers fairly well. There was a new guy tonight, which made sense, as one of the drivers I'd gotten to know gave me a lift to work early this afternoon. She'd mentioned she was up for a new shift cycle, so it stood to reason that when I saw her that afternoon, I would not see her that evening.

All of this having roughly no meaning whatsoever on my life was promptly forgotten; under-realized.

So I get on the bus tonight, and I swear to god, the bus driver looks like Weird Al or Ross's old roommate D'artagnan. I was excited. I said something along the lines of, "Hey, new driver on the route!"

This was intended to be a jovial greeting. Instead, it invited a view of soul-crushing burden.

"Not really. I've driven this bus for ten years."

It wasn't his hair or posture that was so pervasively depressing. Over the years, I've come to view those tell-tales as signs of interesting conversation.

But it was a damn burden for him to even speak to me, and I'm talking about a guy who wasn't yet forty.

Anyhow, in a combination of defiance and remorse, I plugged my earbuds in and listened to the UHF soundtrack for the remainder of the trip home.

At the Pizza Luce, I drink tallboys of Pabst and doubles of Jameson. Tonight, my home selection includes the equally prince-and-pauper selections of Black Label and Henessey.

Fire-wise, my options are curiously limited to cloves (Djarum Black Supersmooth, because I hadn't seen them before and I haven't had cloves in forever, although the way 'supersmooth' is written in lowercase and surrounded by a soft foil-embossed oval is really creepy because it seems like it would be far more natural on a condom package...) and mentholated Remington 'little cigars,' which were given to me in exchange for a single Camel.

Changing gears, I think I'm about to scrap my MySpace page. I check in and all I find are thirteen surveys from Jeremy and a new flyer for some concert at Rowland's joint back in Verm.

Since I enjoy wallowing in isolation while crowing about the virtue of my abilities, when I finally get back to making rackets again, I'll start a new page and be obtuse about it.

Yeah, it's what being passive-aggressive is all about. Sue me. It would only get my attention.

By the way, The Venture Brothers is the best program still on television.

Since I'm unfocused, I'm going to drink more and watch parts of season three again.

The Hennessy is too stuck up to say goodnight, but the Black Label would like you to know that I love you very dearly.


What to share...

The long legs of Maureen have finished the longest legs of her journey. She's between her parent's house and Sioux City and here the remaining bit of her journey.

Not that I was exceedingly worried about her safety for most of the trip, but I've been through some of the places she was going and I didn't feel safe.

To be fair, regardless of gender, a 6-foot 26-year-old is going to have more confidence in Theresnoescapeville, Montana than a ten year old aspiring urban slacker, which is what I was when I passed through. Anyhow, she's back on a path that we've all beaten the hell out of and I'll see her soon enough.

Which leads me to my next tricky management situation. She gets back the same day as professional football.

The Giants-Redskins game counted as much as talking to her on the phone. Nice, but no replacement for the real thing.

Scott rolled into town on Wednesday night. His sister's getting married tomorrow. I've been invited (by him) to the reception, but I'm not going to go unless I'm can remember his sister's name without coaching. It would be weird.

I've spent the last two days trying to think of it, fruitlessly.

Somehow typing out the once-removed graf made me remember, I think. Maybe. Is it Kari, or some phonetic variation thereof?

Regardless, I don't know if a reception (near my house though it may be) is what I need.

Anyhow. A recent work project may have made me re-evaluate my position on The Police.
The future will tell. Me right now, not so much.

Considering I promised that this blog would be more focused than my previous efforts, I'm going to pack it in. I don't have anything major rolling through my brain right now, and I don't want to ruin the ongoing housewarming party by overstaying my welcome.

Happy Friday night to those that are still enjoying it, none of whom are near me.



Muddville saw it coming--in their hearts, they knew...

Jesse Hazel once claimed that no car had ever bested him. I was more than willing to believe him. The first year I lived here, I watched him fix an unceasing queue of vehicles: imports, domestics, motorcycles - everything. He even helped me diagnose some car problems I'd been having and loaned me the tools to fix it myself.

Back in March, my timing belt snapped. I enlisted Jesse's aid. Some six months later, his work is done.

He was going to drop the car off if he could get a ride back, or swing by and leave the key with Wyatt.

Yesterday or the one before it, I found out he left the key inside the gas tank compartment.

I finally got to go look at it today.

By way of TKO, '95 Escort over Jesse Hazel in the 6th round.

Even if it was bullshit braggadocio, I take solace in the fact that my car handed him his first defeat and he opted not to show his face to drop the key off, which would have led to him being questioned about the car's status.

Nope, he left the key in the car and split for Fort Collins, Colorado.

The only evidence that he did anything to it all is a socket left on a head bolt, some unreplaced covers, and a thin bead of sealant on the head he replaced. Probably. I don't really feel like opening it up to see if he did the valvework he said it needed.

Most notably irritating is that he didn't leave the new timing belt, which represents the first chunk of money I gave him back in the day, something like $180 for a kit including a new water pump, belt and new tensioners.

All said, I gave him nearly $600, and while I might have a partially rebuilt engine, I also have an unmoveable car about a mile and a half away and no parts to fix what the original problem was.

This seals the fate of the Xbox, which I'd actually figured I was going to be able to keep, financially wise. There's only so big a bath you can take, even on technology and its depreciation, but--

After consulting my email, I may even be selling it tonight. I feel better about the purchaser, having just spoken to him on the phone. He has to see if he can get a ride from a friend because he has too many DUIs to drive. Now I feel like a charity, but in a good way. Here's what you should have been doing while drinking in the first place, buddy...

Wy and I took a break to play some Guitar Hero, the only video game he's ever gotten into, to my knowledge.

For nine games, most of which have value, two controllers, charge cables and the general kit'n'caboodle, I'm getting $350. Blech, but if selling it means I look at my bass and keys with something other than mystery and apprehension, then excellent. I just wish I hadn't spent the like $800 dollars on new stuff in the first place.

On the other hand, I find it best to not complain about beer already drank.


Maureen's Gone+Bus Chronicles #1 and friends

Moe went roadtrippin'. I miss her. I gave her one of my pillows to take along, reasoning that the male response to favored girl-scent on a pillow was reciprocal. I wasn't sold on the concept entirely, but the transaction was accompanied by sincere smiles, so I'm happy.

Yesterday on the bus, I saw a fat retarded man putting a sweater on. He wriggled it on like an ill-fitting condom-inch by inch until he was reasonably sure it wouldn't come off. He looked pleased afterwards.

Today, I saw a US Mail Service driver gawking out his window at the mestizo hooker I was sharing a bus stop with. He nearly ran over a bicyclist.

On the return bus trip, three confident girls got on from the light rail. Initially, they were accompanied by a middle-aged woman as unattractive as they were, but given that she sat by me and they sat across from me with small but prominently displayed Victoria's Secret bags informed me to the contrary.

They all looked like Heather Matarazzo. There was the vanilla one, the Asian one, the frightening red-haired amateur porn star one, and the one that I was next to.

Initially, I was consumed with curiosity. What could the male equivalent of homely girls promising lingerie be?

Fortunately, the Pizza Luce beer-and-a-shot took hold. I turned my iPod up until the McLusky hurt and settled in for a couple more blocks.

I got home and encountered something so joyous and thrilling, I had to walk to the bar with the off-sale. I thought about drinking there, but after considering the walk back home and the close proximity to many people I didn't know and would never like, I opted for portable potable provisions.

I arrived at home the same time as a couple who moved into my building within days of me starting the new job.

I offered them a couple beers to hang out and shoot the skeet (shit) with me instead of drinking it by myself, which they joked about as being my plan. The beers I gave them were considered hush money to the part of me that agreed with them.

As we were talking about the obscure fantasy novels we read as children, a tattooed red-haired woman appeared and hovered on the fringes. I said something about the 'Incarnations of Immortality' series of Piers Anthony to the couple and the stranger volunteered that her son was named after the protagonist of the series.

Then she asked for a beer.

While I have no love for the name 'Zane,' it beats Bilbo, so I continued to share with new people.

About the time we were wondering who she was (my apartment building is similar to a stair car; watch out for hop-ons), she announced that she did, by the way, live here.

I like the matter-of-factness this house attracts.

Monday will be the first Labor Day I've had off in years. I plan on drinking.


away from the senseless prattle of bulletin after bulletin...

This seems a fine place to set up an alternate camp.
Plus, it'll help me keep tabs on Egan.
The cigarettes are plentiful, but the beer is gone, and with it expression for this evening.
Sentences shall be flowery here, for better or worse, like the boulevard of the world's foremost dandelion fan.

But not all at once and certainly not now.