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February 28, 2005

Hazel Adkins is my inspiration

The-Gates-2 Went to some job interviews this morning. Got weak and took a bus back. Hated spending the dollar but a 2 hour walk reduced to 35 minutes was nice. It also changed the perceptions of the areas I walked through (about 7 miles).

We all have people we think about who inspire us, for me, it's a crazed wild hillbilly cat named Hazel Adkins. Back in the 50's he caught the blood fuel of rockabilly, brought a guitar and learned how to play. Now this guy is in Virginia, lives in a tar paper shotgun shack that he's decorated with mannequin heads mounted on the walls.

Somehow he acquired a recording machine that made paper records (acetates). Armed with a limited supply of records he started to write songs. As his guitar neck would bow if he tuned the guitar properly he ended up with this wild gut bucket throbbing bass sound. He didn't have a drummer so he rigged up a contraption he could play with his foot. He made himself a one man rock & roll band. Then he took his little acetates and the one crappy mike that came with the machine and recorded his songs, all of them about 2:37 long, as that's the length of the acetates. He sent his “records" out and, by god, they got released. they got played. They weren't hits but they sold. I like them. “She looked at me like a rotting can of commodity meat", I mean, what's not to like?

Now if this dumb as hell hillbilly can do it why can't we all.

February 27, 2005

When the rain comes

Themorningsun I'm waiting for two very wet dogs to dry.

The rains came back today about 10 minutes after our training session started. Twenty five guys showed up. Next week spring ball starts and every kid out there is thinking of starting, wondering if they'll get to be on ESPN or maybe even ABC.

All I did was stretch them out and teach them the routine to follow before each of their real sessions. We finished with a paced three mile run. I've continued to be so depressed that I led the run: I was the pacer.
It's been a while since I pushed myself violently hard physically. I hoped it would push out the blackness. It didn't but the final half mile was a full on run and I didn't do badly.

Sunnyday I rain non-stop for the entire 2 hour workout. Which made the existing puddles that much bigger and muddier. While Chow found a dry spot sprawl out in Fat Yellow Dog and Ethel, my dog, played in the puddles. The players were enthralled watching Ethel do her leap & twist & dive & slide into the mud. Even Fat Yellow Dog tried to emulate her. Hence the bath and waiting to dry. If I took Fat Yellow Dog home looking like this LOL would have a real heart attack.

When the run finished (A DB won . . . figures) the guys celebrated by emulating Ethel and also dived and slid in the mud. This got the dogs and the guys excited as they turned themselves into muddy messes.
I saw the guys looking at me. They were torn. Part of them wanted me to join them in the mud while another part of them wanted me to remain aloof, an interested spectator sort of thing. It's a part of coaching: “I'm not your father, I'm not your brother, I'm not your friend. I'm something more than that. I'm your coach."
BronzedSo now Fat Yellow Dog is presentable enough to put his yellow slicker on and walk back home.

I'm still depressed. I still want to sleep and never wake up. When life becomes a nightmare why not?

When you work hard to just feel something it means you have to be braced to feel everything. Maybe I could just go back to rage and hate. It wasn't always comfortable but it bothered others more than it bothered me. I changed because of people who are no longer here. It all feels hopeless and light is fading away fast.

But who cares about any of that but me. I'm not a warrior anymore. I'm only this and I'm broke.

Just another day in another life

Day Breaker A neutral day, this Saturday. The rain stopped so we could go for our walk with Fat Yellow Dog and Chow. The LOL is staying with her son. It's good she's out of hospital. In some ways she seemed happier there than in her son's home.
Our walk was fun. Ethel my dog finally did something bad. I punished her by not giving her Frosty Paws. She was shocked.
Mail was annoying. Day stayed quiet and sleepless. In my solace the most notable event was having half an avocado and 6 olives on my salad.
In my social life I spoke to my friend on Skype. I keep feeling I'm lecturing. I talk more there in an evening than I usually say in a month.
Football practice today and I get to take all 3 dogs.

February 25, 2005

I washed my hands in bloody water

Once there was a Big Wednesday. I was 16 and I had this real old Plymouth with an amber indian head for a shift knob. I traded a bag of pot and a basket ball for it. I fixed the choke with baling twine . . . but you could fit 5 surfboards and five surfers in it.
Bigwave We started to drive PCH before dawn and we were freaking as we watched the lines in the darkness and haze. It was pumping and we were already looking at 12 footers in the starlight.
We passed on some tasty breaks becasue we were headed to Rincon. You know the crew: Tom, Sanford, John, Toni and me. We reached Rincon just as the sun started to dawn. It was 18 feet and golden with off shore winds holding the faces and rippling, tearing the wave crest back in feathery spray. The beach was crowded but only the local hodads were daring the sets; the locals and us.
We were stoked. The session was blistering. I was on my 5'8" twin Moon Piston and I was working it.
The sets started to close out and the wind turned on shore but when you got your hoot on you just don't care. You're always looking for that one last ride I decided this one hump would hold it's shape and took off. It TOADed on me and I got tumbled. It was a massive wall. It held me down a long time and twisted me around so much I had no sense of direction and nothing to see. I started to follow my leash to the surface because surf boards usually float on the top, when I hit bottom, the wave was holding my stick down.
Timber WolfI turned, swam up and finally broke the surface gasping for air. I got a nose and mouth full of salt water. I was in the break zone and there was like 3 feet of foam.
Another wave tumbled me nearly as badly as the TOAD. I managed to power up behind it and sprung up enough to get some air. I climbed onto my stick to recover and ride out the white water. I suddenly realized I couldn't see my buds. About then I realized I was bobbling on the humps. there weren't any breakers. I was caught in a rip tide and going out to sea.
I think the rip was about 50 yards wide. It was a bit of a cross rip. I was moving north and out faster than I could swim. Flower
Finally I managed to break the rip and paddle pretty weakly to shore. My legs and arms were noodles. My lungs felt corrugated.
I walked back to Rincon; it was about 3 miles away.
I wrote out this whole story because the way I felt when I was caught in that rip tide is the way I feel tonight.
There's not a lot to be done about it. Got a lousy 3 hours of work this evening, so I took along walk with Ethel, my dog, up into the black hills. It was clouded and hard to see much of anything. We had each other so we were alright.

If I were a master thief I would rob them~Bob Dylan

Weaving After going into the office earlier and asking if there was going to be work tonight; being assured that there would be I re-took the 2 mile walk in the cold and the rain (34 degrees is COLD! especially when it's wet). When I got to the office all my coworkers were milling about. Some guy I never saw before told me not to clock in. I did anyway. Then he said there was going to be a meeting. I sat down to wait but then he decided and announced that the meeting would be on Monday.
I shouted out, “I have a question, two questions.”
He said, “Yes?”
“Who are you?”
Unfortunately my coworkers laughed. They had no idea who he was either. Because they laughed he got sheepish and all I heard was that he was Bob something or other and was the something else or other.
“What is the meeting about - layoffs?”
He just said we'll talk about it Monday and started to leave. I followed him and asked my question again. I know I made him afraid. I didn't care.
Unfortuanately a half dozen of my football players came down the hall to see me.
Le-Psychedelic SplashEven I could see that this could give the appearance of, well, real intimidation. Especially as my aggression was obvious and the football players picked up on it right away. Like all team players they were on my side no matter what. Like all athletes in training they were primed for action, any action. I didn't interfere and I let Bob to his own devices as to how to get through the wall of flesh.
I'm still assuming the meeting will be about layoffs and firings etc, otherwise, why not simply say.
The guys came to see me because they are nervous about next week when they start spring ball. It's a Div 1A school and they have dreams that they want to see through and maybe make real. I admire people who dream so I clocked out and we stood in the lobby and talked for a while about what they needed to do to be ready. to get their chance.
When I got home Ethel, my dog, was overjoyed to see me and made me rub her tummy. We went out but first thing she did was jump in the puddles. Not the first thing - first she was greeted by two strangers who knew who she was even if I had no idea of who they were. To add to this mini-mystery the warmth of their greeting to Ethel was undercoated by their absolute indifference to me. How does Ethel know people I don't?
Celtic1 Then spent the rest of the evening giving Ethel a bath and a pig's ear while chatting to my Southern friend on Skype. (Yay Skype - OSX - No Spyware). I'm going to work tomorrow because I need the money. I half expect to hear that the meeting has been canceled.
Dana came out to see us - in the rain. We talked about my job. She offered to loan me some money. Normally that would offend me but because she lived in the same impoverished state that Ethel and I share I stopped my knee jerk flash of anger and decided it was meant kindly. Ethel took 3 more mud puddle dives before we came in. She got another bath. She didn't care. Puddle diving in ice cold muddy water must be worth it.
I fell asleep for 2 hours and awoke to find Ethel inspecting my computer. She must wonder how I can sit there at it for so long.

February 24, 2005

And they try to understand

Dogtile All my life women and girls have called me cute; not the “Hello Kitty", “My Pony" kind of cute, the other kind.
I went to work with Ethel to pick up my check. It's cloudy and cold so I wore my trench coat etc. I know I can intimidate people but I figured having a crazy little dog with me would cut some of the edge. Some of the women tried to pet Ethel, she wouldn't let them. Her choice as far as I'm concerned.

Waiting for the elevator I heard two of the women say, “Ooo, you're right. He is cute."  I said, smiling, that Ethel was female.

The first woman said, “Silly, she was talking about you!"

I felt uncomfortable because they weren't very attractive women and I was at least twice their age.

It was a long ride down the old elevator.

And here you are forgiving me

Geigermuseumjpg With the rain stopping and the temperate sunny air it felt like it was going to be a good day.

Ethel, my dog, is growing. She'll have to be spayed soon. She is such a fun loving dog but she remains so passive. She really was upset about me leaving her with someone she likes, but she did no acting out. I'd like to have her do something bad just so she would know the consequences would not be so terrible.

The two of us went to see the LOL at the hospital today. Ethel thinks getting into my pack and being smuggled is great fun. She is heavy now, heavier and much larger than Fat Yellow Dog. If people I know keep getting ill I'm going to have to get a larger pack. The LOL was ecstatic at seeing Ethel and Ethel was greatly pleased to see her too. I think they were talking about me. She thought my experience as a conductor applicant was hysterical. I'm pleased my life amuses people.

I spoke to her doctor as LOL asked me to. To my horror he walked with me back to her room. When he saw LOL playing peek-a-boo with Ethel he was shocked, but remained calm enough for me to not get a read on how much trouble we were in. Ethel helped by coming over and saying hi to him.

I spluttered my “Seeing Eye Dog in Training" lie. I'm pretty sure he didn't buy it but all he said was that we should check in with the nurse if Ethel ever came back.

GirlI went into work feeling pretty good and work was good until they told us we were finished after 3 hours. That means I've gotten in 12 hours in 3 days. This is not good. It's not as if there isn't plenty of make busy work that should be done but, well, they're lawyers, and even though they make a 3.5 times gross profit on each of our hours they have a crook mentality - “I stole it. It's mine! I'm not giving it back!" So they send us home. The 42 people are now down to 30. Maybe that pleases them too.

So came home and couldn't talk to some one I wanted too because of feline evilness. Ethel and I went out and saw “Dana". I asked her why she never corrected me while I was calling her by the wrong name. She said she thought it was cute. She told me her correct name and spelled it. It's like Dawniayadrhgy or something. Way to many letters and bizarreness for me. People who did drugs and were hippies should be banned from naming children.

Came home and passed out! Now I'm up. Going in at noon to pick up my paycheck early and maybe find out if there is work tonight.

February 23, 2005

I was sure at one time

Geography Came in and fell asleep for 3 hours. The sleep helped remove the pall I was in. You know, where you realize how fragile life is and you know this realization is accurate but forced into view by a lack of sleep, food and money.
Yesterday I went on the All Day Fiesta that was the Conductor Interview for BSNF Railroad. It was unique.
There were over 200 applicants. It started promptly at 7 am and lasted until 3 (for me - when I left there were most of the 200 still to be processed)
We got tested for brains. Not really brains but more an ability to read and do balanced equations. Basically they were looking for a reasonably bright 12 year old. I qualified for that. The scheduled the test for 3 hours but, even with double checking, I finished in less than 1.
Then we went and got drug tested. They take a little bit of hair because they say they can tell you drug intake from the past 6 months that way. Seemed worthless to me and I always resent being called a liar, even when their tests bear out that I'm telling the truth - they never apologize.
Then waiting around. Unemployed men competing for a job seem reluctant to talk to each other. it was stunningly quiet while we waited for the drug tests and brain tests to be processed and then our interview.
Go 1280I think I screwed up by telling them I have a grad degree. There was stiffening. other than that I guess it went well. I haven't done enough of these sort of interviews in my life. I think I have to not talk to them as though we were all equal.
I got out early so I came home to change clothes and see Ethel, my dog. I thought I'd be gone for 16 hours straight so I'd asked Dana to dog sit. they weren't home so I went to work (got my full shift -YAY!)
Dana did a good job but it was a mistake. When I got home Ethel was ecstatic at seeing me all butt wiggling and smelling me. But when we went out she was very reserved. She didn't like being abandoned. She wanted to be in her home home. Which makes sense. I don't like hurting things,
I did find out that Dana's name isn't Dana. I do this all the time. I meet too many people and trash their names and then they never correct me.

February 21, 2005

I smell the flowers breaking through the concrete

Themanwholaughs9 They let us out of work early. Of course with no pay. There is so much anger, fear and poverty in that office. For me I needed the money but my body is pretty stressed. Tomorrow I have my big 8 hour be a railroad conductor interview with BNSF Railroad Company, whoever they are. It will be interesting. So a short work day could mean more rest or sleep for me.
Saw the LOL today. She was sad I didn't sneak in Ethel to visit. We talked about things for a while. She's afraid of losing her freedom and afraid of losing her dogs. She doesn't want her children or grandchildren to take over her life. This I found very sad. If all continues as it has she'll be going to her son's on Friday. She wants to go home. I promised her to talk to her doctor tomorrow. She thinks that no one is listening to her because she is so old and a woman.
Ethel and I have gotten back into being each other's best friends. Dana said she liked us together like this. Ethel does her dumb circus dog impersonation and I talk to her.
RedskullSomeone finds that attractive?
My friend managed to save most of the important stuff from her feline mangled PowerBook, shunted it over to the iPod, which sounds so tech geek cool to me. I just hope she's feeling better too.
tomorrow I'll have fun. Worried about no work tomorrow. I have to have some money or I might not do at all well.

One of the reasons I can't sleep

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers When I sleep I dream. I was out for an hour and woke up. I know this wakening well. It's the kind where the dog looks at you as if you've just returned from someplace they couldn't follow.

In this dream I was given a choice. I could have my Amazon come back to life; the caveat being that she would have no memory of me. But she would be alive. So there was no other choice.

The trap was that my memory remained just as vivid and full as it ever was. I would catch her name in the paper as her career continued without pause. There was a sadness and a need in me.

After some time I went to her office. I made an appointment. As I sat in the familiar office waiting room the receptionist eyed me warily. I did not know who this receptionist was. Change I was not a part of bothered me.

Then My Amazon came out escorting another client, a woman who matched her in every way, except the client wore a baseball cap and a pony tail, while My Amazon was dressed for work. The client exited and My Amazon went back into her office without a glance at me. Seeing her froze me in an empty black ice sea.

Soon I was buzzed in. The receptionist said something, but the ice cracking in my ears prevented me from hearing anything.

I went in and sat across the desk from her. "What can I do for you?" she asked.

What could she do for me? A surge of emotions almost crackled through me, but I mumbled, "I need to make a will."

My poker face and the dark glasses must have made me convincing as she responded professionally, "Wills are not my specialty. I really don't think I can help you."

Untamed MistressAnd as I looked at her I noticed how gracefully all the years had aged her. How beautiful she was, even more beautiful than she had been. I stared as all the memories took over my mind, the laughing, the tears, the terror and the end. I looked at her and saw her as she was and how she used to be. The walks on the beach with the dogs, trying to make each other sick, our fierce competitiveness. There were no words, or else I probably would have blurted them out, there was only the succession of images, of memories, of holding hands, of holding each other.

I remembered her funeral.

I stood and said, "Thank you for your time."

I turned to leave and she said, "just a minute." She reached out and plucked my glasses from my face and she looked at me and I was so glad she was alive and so sad that we couldn't be what we once were. I hated that she had no memory of me because there was no question it was really her. I saw the near unendurable pain that somehow I had eased for her, it was still there. There were laugh lines she used to have that weren't there anymore.

She stared at me in silence then wrote something on one of those yellow sticky pads, then handed me the sheet, saying, "Maybe they can help you."

I took the sheet and walked out cursing myself for being weak but being so glad to see her again, and then I looked at the sticky yellow paper and the number written on it was hers.

I woke up then. Nothing is as deadly as hope when there is no hope. Not even when it's in a dream.

Hunter Thompson is dead and life is a bit less enjoyable

CybergirlBird Slept a little bit last night, but not enough. I did go to our first baseball practice. My teammates leave something to be desired as athletes. Too many beer bellies and too many pick up trucks with coolers loaded with beer. I'm surprised. This felt more like a softball thing than baseball.
They made me pitch. I have 3 pitches straight, straight & low, straight & wide. Previously I depended on having a 6'4" first baseman who could do the splits to give me pinpoint accuracy. I experimented with a Steve Carlton slider: I was at something where Carlton was and when asked how he threw the slider he said I hold the ball like "this" and then throw it as hard as I can. Maybe he just throws harder than I do. Mine sure didn't slide.
Throwing from the hill is weird. I have no leg kick and am throwing everything with my arm and hips.
CanoeThen we had BP and I realized why they wanted me to pitch. My swing is rusty and I was using a borrowed aluminum bat. After my 3 bunts I hit 7 ropes into the hills. Then I started to spray them into the gaps. Their regular pitcher was trying to show me up and trying to strike me out. . .
When it was my turn to throw BP (which I had done in the past) I was just whipping them up there and getting outs. There's no net so I had fun fielding a lot of balls hit through the box. That I was pretty good at.
Ethel, my dog, and I still miss our two buddies. We went and saw the LOL at the hospital. Ethel smuggles into my pack lot better than Paulie/ The LOL was pretty happy to see her and they talked. I think they were talking about me.
Then my Volunteer friend allowed her vicious cats to trash her powerbook. This was horrible. I felt helpless and I hate being helpless.

February 20, 2005

I've got the running blues, Running Away, Back to LA?
Jim Morrison

Deadlovers  My day started at the athletic field, Fourteen guys showed up - I was expecting fewer, than 2 new guys showed up late.

We ran my SAQ drills and just plain ran a lot. I still have a knee jerk reaction to being called "Coach". I've tried to get them to stop but it's the way they think of me. It's not a bad thing. Two of the guys show progress and really look like potential starters. The others have a way to go but have good heart and tenacity. I finished with a run till you drop - keep with the pack or get cut - last man standing race. Ethel points out the she actually one but we hit 4 miles before the first guy dropped. Three had to stop to vomit.
They all have heart even the wide bodies.

The dogs liked the running and the guys are competitive enough to point out when they beat the fat dog and the sleeping dog. Ethel never lost a race although I'm not sure she knew it was a race.

Women's Prison Massacre (1983)Then we went and prepared for our big smuggling operation.

We answered the age old question: Can a 6' 1" man smuggle a fat yellow dog into a hospital stuffed into a back pack (the fat dog not the man)

The answer is yes but only if the hospital staff are blind, deaf and not very bright.

But a certain little old lady patient was overjoyed to see her fat yellow dog. She was much happier to see him than to see me. Me, she was embarrassed seeing me and talked about how they wouldn't let her wash her hair. I like her enough to let her have her vanity.

They had an hour together and Paulie was just as happy to see her.

Death'songThe sad news was that, despite me saying how much I enjoyed having Chow and Fat Yellow Dog as house guests, her family took them home with them. This made us sadder.

We walked home alone.

I'm still not sleeping. Or eating. I got some noodles for 49 cents. I thought that was cool - 2 maybe 3 meals for like 50 cents is cool.

My long distance friend insisted I eat, so I cooked some noodles up, but I'm going to save them for later. I'm going to let them get cold and then sprinkle some sesame oil on them and pretend it is an exotic dish.
Like my friend.

February 19, 2005

Love won't rhyme without words
Arthur Lee

Wild Angels Such a long day. No sleep and dogs make it that way. We went and got all the things we needed and I still have $4.17 and 1/2 pint of non-fat milk. And dog food and Frosty Paws cat shaped dog cookies to spare!
I am working a lot on saying, "Say that looks interesting. May I have a bite?" Or "Sorry, you're just sitting down to dinner?"
That won't happen. I care about what I eat and most people no longer seem to. Hunger for an adult is just will power.
Twice we tried to see Fat Yellow Dog and Chow's owner. Stupid hospital won't allow dogs to go in. It seems when she had the hypoglycemic incident she suffered a small stroke. They say nothing serious but stroke is a scary word for an owl woman to hear, especially when her dogs aren't with her.
I'm going back tomorrow after I train the football players.
Work was dull. We all wanted to go home. We all were frightened because of the miniscule dollop of money we received. Eight people have quit. I'm glad. They stuck up for all of our humanities.
When I got home Fat Yellow Dog had shredded a roll of toilet paper. Ethel pretended she wasn't involved. Chow still sleeps on the bed but has agreed to compromise and let the bedding remain.
I'm trying hard to not lose touch with being human. I don't want to be the tough guy. It's hard.

February 18, 2005

Down these mean streets a man must go
Raymond Chandler

Burningsky ...who is himself, not mean or cross.
He is a man who is good enough for any world, but most importantly he is good enough for his world.

It was a day of trying to sleep. It was unsuccessful but in the most pleasant way. Ethel, my dog, got a valentine from my friend Turner's. Ethel was pleased to get a gift but thinks it is a very bad thing to make dog cookies shaped like CATS!

Work was a non-event, and that was pleasant.

Picking up the puppies for our nightly walk was pleasant.

What happened next wasn't. When I got to her house to return Fat Yellow Dog and CHow, Ethel was kvetching because I shared one of her cookies with her two friends. She is of the opinion that she is a very poor dog who does not have enough cookies to be sharing and giving things away. Fat Yellow Dog and Chow were kvetching because they got half a cat cookie and not a third of Frosty Paws.

BluesomethingI let them in the gate. Usually the little old lady waves to me and checks that the puppies are ok, but not all the time. Fat Yellow Dog ran into the dog door and before we'd gotten 10 yards came running out barking/yapping furiously. I went back to see Chow coming out of the dog door and he was running!

I went into the yard in the midst of all this imploring barking and woofing. Ethel was quiet and confused. No one answered my knock so I tried to squeeze through the dog door. I could only get my head and one shoulder through but it was far enough to see the lady's feet lying on the floor.

I used my mobile to dial 911, got scared so I kicked the door in.

The dogs circled us but didn't get in the way. I did my best, she seemed to be breathing ok, heartbeat wasn't strong but steady at 82 bpm. But she was cold and clammy. (I've had like 3 first aid courses because I'm afraid of situations like this. I am not comfortable about being helpless - it's the reason I stopped drinking and doing drugs, when my wife was pregnant the idea of being a le morte zombie in case of trouble terrified me).

It still seemed like forever before the ambulance got there.

Here's son's number was by the phone. While the paramedics prepped her I called him. He got there in less time than the ambulance. He went with his mom and I loaded the puppies into his car, dropped them all at my place and went to the hospital.

Bora BoraAfter a while -  along while -they came and talked to the son who asked me stay. She'd had a hypoglycemic attack. Those things can prove fatal. She's okay and going to be okay. Which made me happy.

His son was at the house taking care of the door I broke. It's embarrassing to break things. It was decided I'd keep the dogs overnight, she'd want to see them as soon as she could and everyone thinks we get along well. His family was drifting in so I wasn't worried about her son being alone. I gave him his car keys and walked home.

I walked into hell - canine hell. The box that Ethel's valentine had come in was shredded and two little dogs were rolling in the confetti they'd made. A big ol' chow dog had figured out how to lie on my bed and take up ALL the space. He also decided that all the things I kept on it were foolish so he removed them, rather indelicately, including the sheets.

Fat Yellow Dog was laughing but implied, in all seriousness, that my lace was very small and there was hardly any room in it at all for a dog. Ethel thought it was just right. Dogs: They're self centered; talk about nothing but food; they're greedy and they love us. And I love them.

I couldn't be mad at them. Fat Yellow Dog is a hero, to me. He doesn't know I've lost a wife, a son and then a fiancée. I can't bear the idea of losing anyone else, ever. All my friends have to live forever. That's the deal I made. Dogs are dogs and People are People. Yay.

February 17, 2005


Bangi'mdead today was like most days, surprises, aggravation, confrontation, disappointment and some fun.
I've had an offer to take the exam to become a train conductor. This sounds so weird to me but more than mildly interesting. They'll test 30 but with the admonition; "We take a drug test at the site. It's a hair test that tells whether you've done drugs in the last 6 months. If you can't pass it don't show up." Made me smile and then get resentful.
Last month I wrote a mini-bio of Lewis Carroll. Carroll is important in my life. In any event Blogcritics.org quoted heavily from it in their review of a definitive book. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about that. Not angry or flattered, then I realized I was embarrassed. If I knew anyone was going to read the thing I'd have spent some time on it.
Babe Comes Home2Xs A package from a friend didn't arrive, which was sad for me but Ethel, who it is really for, was only concerned that we had enough kibble and Frosty Paws to last until my next paycheck. She's looking for a job although I have no idea as to being what.
Then since there were no calls I went to work. I had to see the senior partner when I was there. He tried to lecture me but I wasn't interested until I realized I finished the week with seven whole dollars left. If I'd gotten this full paycheck I'd have started to get ahead a little bit, as it is I won't have enough money for food for myself. Then I thought about all the people working here with families and children. Like puppies children don't understand going hungry, and I got angry and spoke my mind.
Surprisingly he didn't fire me. He sputtered something about me being articulate and then asked why was I doing this sort of work.
CloudyriverI told him that any job was worthwhile so long as it was honest. What I did for money was not important nor was it a defining principal as to what a person is. I resisted, with difficulty, saying that I've known guys who slop out stables who I found more worthwhile than most, not all, attorneys.
He stood still for that too.
Got through work with no incidence except being sleepy. Got home and my dogs woke me up. Fat Yellow Dog told me he loved me, but in such a way that let me know that he would love anyone who carried Frosty Paws. Chow echoed his sentiments.
I also got email griping about me not answering my phone (no money, see?) but mainly bitching at me for not putting up a new section of Hachiko's story. I didn't think anyone was much interested in a kid's story about a Japanese White Akita.
Below is part 5 of Hachiko's life. And I put them all up on the Wiki.

February 16, 2005

Every thug needs a lady
~Alkaline Trio

Facialanime Today was long and maybe depressing. I may have shot my mouth off into unemployment.
I started off doing the employment agencies. Registered at 3 of them. They all had the same caveat: "Call later in the week, everything is really slow right now."
It reminded me of when you'd do a surf trek. You'd be staring at a flat ocean that looked more like a lake and at least 2 locals would tell you, "Yeah, but you should have seen it yesterday - Stand up tubes and 2 minute sets." And in these locales it is always yesterday.
I got some calls but didn't answer them - just people who didn't know that if I answer one call it will kill the little bit of credit on my phone. One call was from the baseball coach - I'm sure he wants to talk me into becoming a pitcher.
FlyleafThen while I was walking Ethel, my dog, I got a phone call from where I work - the lawyers who decided arbitrarily to give us our second unpaid 4 day vacation in less than 30 days. I went to a phone booth that only charges $0.25. I called and they wanted me to come into work today. I was cursing myself because I said yes. It was a whopping 30 minutes before I was expected to be there.
I worked and was angry but dealing with it by repressing it . . .It would have been fine except some poor woman made a comment to a friend that it was going to be really hard for her this week as she'd only get a $50 paycheck.
The supervisor over heard and said something I over heard: "You should consider yourself lucky to have a job!"
Which got me on my soapbox about responsibility being a two way street. Again I was angry but would have left it at that except suddenly one of my football players bellowed, "Shut up! Coach is talking!"
Georgereeves SupermanNormally that kind of thing would have made me laugh and diffused my rage, but this time I just kept going and explained that the lawyers were wrong and that we are human beings. I explained how we all have responsibilities to each other, to our families, our employers and the we, as employees were supposed to be able to rely on our employer following his responsibilities which toed into our responsibilities.
It wasn't very fiery but I talked about self esteem and that we are "not lucky" to have a job, that needing to work for a living does not mean we have to be subject to abuse.
I will be surprised if I'm not fired when I go in tomorrow. I'm still going to look for work but at least I made 1 day's pay.


Every thug needs a lady~Alkaline Trio

Facialanime Today was long and maybe depressing. I may have shot my mouth off into unemployment.
I started off doing the employment agencies. Registered at 3 of them. They all had the same caveat: "Call later in the week, everything is really slow right now."
It reminded me of when you'd do a surf trek. You'd be staring at a flat ocean that looked more like a lake and at least 2 locals would tell you, "Yeah, but you should have seen it yesterday - Stand up tubes and 2 minute sets." And in these locales it is always yesterday.
I got some calls but didn't answer them - just people who didn't know that if I answer one call it will kill the little bit of credit on my phone. One call was from the baseball coach - I'm sure he wants to talk me into becoming a pitcher.
FlyleafThen while I was walking Ethel, my dog, I got a phone call from where I work - the lawyers who decided arbitrarily to give us our second unpaid 4 day vacation in less than 30 days. I went to a phone booth that only charges $0.25. I called and they wanted me to come into work today. I was cursing myself because I said yes. It was a whopping 30 minutes before I was expected to be there.
I worked and was angry but dealing with it by repressing it . . .It would have been fine except some poor woman made a comment to a friend that it was going to be really hard for her this week as she'd only get a $50 paycheck.
The supervisor over heard and said something I over heard: "You should consider yourself lucky to have a job!"
Which got me on my soapbox about responsibility being a two way street. Again I was angry but would have left it at that except suddenly one of my football players bellowed, "Shut up! Coach is talking!"
Georgereeves SupermanNormally that kind of thing would have made me laugh and diffused my rage, but this time I just kept going and explained that the lawyers were wrong and that we are human beings. I explained how we all have responsibilities to each other, to our families, our employers and the we, as employees were supposed to be able to rely on our employer following his responsibilities which toed into our responsibilities.
It wasn't very fiery but I talked about self esteem and that we are "not lucky" to have a job, that needing to work for a living does not mean we have to be subject to abuse.
I will be surprised if I'm not fired when I go in tomorrow. I'm still going to look for work but at least I made 1 day's pay.

February 15, 2005

Give me some love
Give me some skin

Feltmorelikeachurch This seemed like it was going to be a good day, a good Valentine's Day, until I got a call as I was walking out the door telling me not to come into work. Three days work, 3 days money out of the last eight. Full time employment? Only a lawyer would do this - for sure it breaks laws but breaking the law is what lawyers are trained to do. They know that by the time anything really happens it will be at least 2 years down the line and you'll be dead or have lost interest. Lawyers, and they can't understand why people hate them.
I've decided I have to consider myself unemplyed and start looking all over again. I could kick myself for taking this job instead of one other I was offered. I didn't want the other job but I doubt if they'd have been screwing around like this - at least there'd have been the security I was expecting, that we have a right to expect when we enter into a work contract.
Flamed Mercury 1950 While out walking with Ethel, my dog, I ran into the manager of this old man baseball league I'm planning to play in this summer. Next month actually. He wants me to pitch. I'm not a pitcher but he pointed out that I throw in the low eighties. I said, "Sure, that's how I can get out base runners from the hole."
His arguement was that nobody else on the team throws that hard. The other pitcher throws about 60. We'll have to see. I've always been a short stop.
Then spent the evening chatting using Skype. I liked that - not so sure about Skype but much more fun walking around and doing things while you chat and listen. That almost made up for the fact that I'm unemployed. My website for my friend's son is popular - not becasue of the content or the hours of coding but because I had the sense to put Green Lantern and lots of comic book characters on it. I agree and wouldn't have it any other way.
FloweringbonsaiThen took the three dogs to our lot. That was great. They were all charged up because of the cool but mild weather and they cavorted. Yeah, cavorted.
Dana was there. It was good to have her back in our gang.
She went on and on about the art/theater thing. She was enamoured of the whole experience and chatted on and on about it. Chow actually stood up and wagged his tail when she got there. The other two, Ethel and Fat Yellow Dog, came over and said hi but they really wanted to make sure it was her and that she watched them so she could judge the winner.
Here's part 4 of Hachiko's history (in the read more link) and his encounter with The Wild Dogs Of Edo.

February 14, 2005

I was just thinking about a girl - Happy Valentines Day

Florlinda-1 I fell asleep for 10 minutes or so while speaking to someone. It's the only sleep I've had for the past 36 hours or so. I've been feeling dippy.
This morning started out with me meeting up with the football players. They all want to be faster and stronger and Div 1A ball. Four of them were starters last year. They and two others showed potential. Out of the 19 who started 15 finished. Two couldn't survive the warm-up; too much beer. One pulled a groin muscle tripping on the grass and another twisted his ankle on a mirror drill. I still like working with them but figure next week I'll have the 6 and maybe 3 others. I work hard.
Forever Then we cleaned the house, or I cleaned and Ethel, my dog, had my back against the nefarious dust bunnies. She claims they have been known to kill so she had no compunction in showing them no mercy. We got yelled at in the laundromat. They didn't allow dogs in there. The old look cute and claim that she was a seeing eye dog in training actually worked but we went outside and played anyway. And I did the dishes . . .Yow!
Then I worked hard on the story of the magnificent dog (hidden behind the read more tag at the bottom of this post) and fought off falling asleep, in hopes I'll sleep tonight. I contribute to some other blogs, just remembered that the links are up top. Other people do most of the work but I write an occasional thing just in case they get rich and famous then I can claim all the credit. I actually went in and did all the creepy maintenance work so they'd all be fully compliant with the latest standards. After seeing my blog in Internet Explorer this seemed important too.
Dancing-1 I'm going to be setting up a super hero site for a kid who seems pretty nifty. I'm chuffed about that (chuffed is Brit slang - sometimes foreign slang just works better, it sums it up as something as good as but different then totally stoked). I am totally stoked that his mom, who is the person I fell asleep on, isn't mad at me for passing out like that.
If I get to work tomorrow then I will indeed have a magnificent Happy Valentines Day. I wish the same to everyone. May we all get to go out dancing.
Read about the Brave Hachiko here. Thanks for the feedback, even those who don't care for it. I'm putting these up on the wiki as well.

February 13, 2005

What the world needs is an affordable transportation device

Today was a new friends birthday. I had no money so I had to content myself with the old handmade gift and e-card . . . and then my cheapness was rewarded with a Valentine - a gift certificate for iTunes. Yow!
I went and got some Junkyard Dogs tune. It all pleased me so much. There is an admonition that I'm expected to reciprocate by preparing a playlist with the tracks . . . which sort of gave away what I was planning before I got the gift. . .
GospeedracerwEthel, my dog, thinks I have too much music and I should listen to her more anyway.
To further insure it was a better day - I use a dual monitor set up with my PowerBook and last night the extra monitor went out. Today I fixed it! It's working now.
Things are looking bad for the future (like next week) but I'm filled with confidence. I brought some food. I'm losing weight. On Thursday I discovered that I weigh now like what I weighed when I was 14, but I'm 5" taller now. So it made sense to try and keep some food in. I got some salads and the makings for my famous sesame and ginger salad dressing.
While I was shopping I noticed that poor people sure buy a lot of beer, and I wonder how they can afford it so often and in such large quantities.

Mp-The HoodlumOn the way back Ethel and I ran into Julio. He's someone we know who really isn't a friend. He'd gotten himself drunk and arrested. It's like the fourth time since I've known him. He has like a few big hours on Friday night, gets arrested for fighting and then spends the rest of his paycheck on the $150 fine. He has dreams of being an athlete. He wants me to train him. He's got the size, about 6' 2" but he's fat and worries a lot about having enough 40's to get through the night. He also walks splay footed and heavily. This is one of my methods for judging, at first glance, an athlete's potential, the way they move in composure. I tried to tell him about my Valentine but he wasn't interested.
Ended the day picking up Fat Yellow dog and Chow. I missed them yesterday but they got to go with their owner to a dinner party. Her son picked her up. I was astonished to discover she has a GREAT GREAT grandson. She's tough and independent.
My Friend The DevilThe only other thing of note was my mobile's running out of credit which will make it hard to get work (I'm charged for incoming calls).
I'm really very pleased with this new host and love not having that advertising banner on the top of the page. It just feels faster and better to me.
Oh, I wrote more of the story. Sorry it is so long. I thought it would be shorter. The drama is coming I promise. This next part is sad. Ethel thinks it is sad because there is no Frosty Paws in it. I know it seems simple minded but I wanted to explain things to children. Nuclear war is a scary thing to tell a kid about. I promise to get up a section a day. It's probably better in small doses because you'll cry a lot and stuff . . .

February 12, 2005

Moving right along

Abstract2 074
The entire blog has been moved to A Muchness Of Me Version 1A . . . Bandwidth should no longer be an issue . . . I hope but there is treble the bandwidth and more available for the asking. Here I expect to run out of bandwidth by Monday.

So far I'm very happy with the server. It feels rock solid, is very fast. I am also pleased because, thanks to Movable Type, I was able to move all the entries AND COMMENTS over in just a few minutes. I'm very pleased about the comments. They're important to me.
I hope the people who come here still come. In a few days I'll make a redirect page. I still have some things to finish. I've really cleaned things up in the code but the wiki is being abominable!
As Promised. Here's the first part of the little story:

This is a true story. In Tokyo there is a statue of this dog. He
stands in the same position he stood for most of his life. The parts of
the story that are not necessarily true are still true because it is the
way things must have been. When things are absolutely not true it is
because it is the way things should have been.

The old man was one of those Nipponese who managed to thrive during
the war. While many of his countrymen were starving he prospered in a
small way. He was able to keep his old lifestyle which in the face of
despair seemed much like luxury. You don’t have to think hard about it
to know that the old man was not a very nice man at all.

He would commute from his villa every day into Nagasaki, the city
destroyed by the A-Bomb, and he would profiteer in food, goods and
medical supplies. He befriended the American occupiers. He was not proud
except of his ability to survive and provide for his family.

There was an Akita who had given birth to a litter of 5 pups. The
mother and four of the pups were trapped and eaten. Hachiko was about 4
months old but had the sense to run from the city dwelling hunters and
his panicked flight brought him to the foot of the old man and some
American soldiers. A southern soldier, a captain from Tennessee, picked
up the puppy and nuzzled him wishing he could keep such a fine looking

The old man perked at hearing the officer express such an interest
and said he would take the puppy. He looked at the fuzz ball and noticed
it’s butt and that it had bowed legs so thatfrom the rear he looked like
the number 8. The old man said he would name the puppy Hachiko, which is
Japanese for 8. He found a piece of string and fashioned a collar and
leash from it and walked away, dragging his new friend along. The old
man walked even more proudly than he usually did. He wondered how a dog
that had just narrowly escaped being someone’s dinner could be so
jaunty. How could this dog be so happy when it had no idea what the
future would hold for him.

Thinking on such things the old man caught the old fashioned steam
engine to his home in the suburbs, a home that had escaped the tyranny
of the bomb. The place was as beautiful then as it is today, a green
little valley filled with white cherry blossoms and fragrant pines.

Thinking of the dog and it’s seeming sense of no purpose other than
to live filled the old man with pleasure and it was so much more
pleasant to think of the fuzz ball then it was to scrutinize the blasted
landscape aftermath of war. Even more so in that the pup actually seemed
to like the man, cavorting to get his attention and leaning it’s fuzzy
head against his leg.

When they got to the train station, all neatly painted at the old
man’s insistence and due to his influence, the old man spoke to the
station master. He’d known the station master all of his life but this
was the first time he’d spoken to him in 25 years.

“Gozu, you know animals. What kind of dog is this?” and Gozu, hiding
his surprise at being addressed in the familiar said, “Looks like an
Akita sir.”

“Ah,” the old man said, “A fighting dog.” Akita were used as guard
dogs by the Japanese army. They were known for their toughness and
ferocity. “Is it a good Akita?” Gozu inspected the pup who only wanted
to play.

“He seems healthy enough to me.”

“Good! His name is Hachiko.” said the old man and he lead the puppy
away on his piece of string.

Pleased to see you again

I'm glad you followed me over! This is the new site and cleaned up blog.
For coming over here your reward is Parts 1 and 2 of the little story. No comments on how second prize is only 1 part . . .

February 11, 2005

Don't they know

Green HornetOne thing I discovered today is that people afflicted with poverty should not go to employment agencies with their dog in tow. It affects many people's prejudices. Too much time in my life where I could do whatever I felt like.
Before I get involved in the day I need to tell everyone that by Sunday this blog will be moved! The new address will be warchild.iconrate,net/weblog/. This site was under a hundred megs of bandwidth left! The new site is free but I get 3 times as much space and bandwidth. It also doesn't have any banners. It might be done by Saturday.
So bright and early Ethel and I took off armed and dressed in the height of eager willing slave to the grind fashion. It was raining so I had my umbrella. Out first stop was at this agency where they put Ethel and I in a room by ourselves. They gave me a flake test - you know the kind that only an absolute flake can't complete perfectly in like 10 minutes, that is also loaded with all these “It's ok to be high at work as long as you do your job” True or False . . . Ethel slept. I was on this nice computer that ran Windows XP - what an ugly ugly OS. Anyway I got bored and discovered I had an internet connection. After exploring the intranet (dull) I went and looked at my blog. I was horrified to discover it was a total mess in Internet Explorer! So I went in and fixed it up and realized I'd been sitting there for nearly 2 hours! (Surely someone on Windows could have told me!) So I went looking for someone. They'd forgotten me.
MountainkingwSo it's now about noon so we went to the next one. I went in and they asked me to come back at Monday because things were so slow.
At the third one they asked me for a resume and asked me to call on Monday but everything was so slow right now.
By 2:00 our business day was over with no results.
We took a circuitous route home and then Ethel got very quiet. We were back in the area where the two of us first found each other. It must not have held very pleasant memories for her as she walked very fast with her tail between her legs. Far in contrast to the usual happy animal she is and was when we first met.
We walked past a house and someone called my name. It was one of the women from the lawyers office. We bitched about work some and then she got personal. She asked me if my coat was real leather! What an odd thing to wonder. She then decided to tell me how all the women gossiped about me and how the blonde, who I dislike, was telling everyone she had sex with me! She and I have not even had coffee together. I'm polite but I'm polite to most, I think.
So we said goodbye and I got into a funk thinking about poverty. I think about how people squeeze dollars when they pay for something praying that that five or ten is really two bills stuck together, how so many live in a constant state of fear and anxiety, of how so many more people today live on an edge of starvation that is sotted with food stamps and income tax credit. Little things that make me wonder why they take it, why they aren't rioting in the streets screaming for equality. Why are so many I see, more and more living on the brink and just accepting that this is the way life is. Bush and the TriLateral Commission are succeeding in reducing Americans to the level of the rest of the world.
Galaxym31Most people are surprised that I am right wing. Not as an excuse to be a nut job spewing smug hate with distorted facts and lies. I'm right wing because I believe in freedom and feel, regretfully that justice is an impossible thing. My justice is not your justice but to make it your justice I'll have to kill you. I believe in the freedom that enables you to establish your personal justice as long as you tolerate and love your community and appreciate all those that comprise it.
There's a name for it but we don't have a ballot or a candidate. It's a political agenda that started in the depression. It's called Humanistic populism and the extreme part of it is that it preaches that we are part of a community and we all have responsibilities to each other, that we will strive together to see that we all have enough to eat and can sleep securely and walk in safety. It's a real movement and still exists although we are a minority.
Ethel and I enjoyed our walk. Over 12 miles! I love Fat Yellow Dog and Chow but it was good for us to be out as just the two of us. We have fun as a man and his idiot dog should.
Went to the art installation last night. I got lots of carrot sticks . . . Ethel got lots of sausage rolls, little things but, she insisted, packed with the vitamins a dog needs. The installation was more of a play and it was terrible but, man, who ever did the lighting and sound must have been a genius . . . or at least competent.
Oh and to celebrate the new host on Sunday I'll be putting up a new little story. It's something I've been working on and I think you'll find it entertaining. It's about a dog and about a post nuclear war. It's a true story about love, fidelity and understanding and involves kings soldiers and destruction. Mainly it's about love that will not be destroyed.

February 10, 2005

You are all the woman I need and baby, you know it

Announcingthedawn Up and out at 7 AM, picked up the puppies and began the arduous slog. Going there we had a lot of fun. I got my check and started back. Had an offer of a ride from one of my co-workers, who was as upset as me, but having 3 dogs kaboshed that plan.

We kept having a good time but about 3 miles into the return trip Fat Yellow Dog started to complain a little: “I is a very little dog and it is a very very long walk. And I is very fat. I can't go no further sir." I hate it when anyone calls me sir.
So I put him into my back pack and slung him over my shoulder. That was no good as he didn't like to look backwards . . . so he twisted himself around, tearing up all my plastic “poop" bags, and rode with one paw on my shoulder and another on my head. I'm sure I looked totally insane.

Chow was upset because he thought that he, being the oldest, should get to ride on my head. Ethel and Fat Yellow Dog just kept yelling at each other.

Moon Riders1XI forgot to mention it was raining . . .
We got our check cashed and I went to a shop called Pa's Paws (these names) and they carried Frosty Paws! So I got a package. There was a small grocer next door so I got an apple. We sat on the bus bench and ate our treats. Fat Yellow Dog pointed out that now that he was powered by doggie ice cream he could walk again. "If I gets that tired again it is a good plan to give me more ice cream cause that's the only medicine that works."
Chow and Ethel thought that if Fat Yellow Dog got more ice cream so should they!
Marionette Wp Edition 1280We got home with no problems, unless you think having to stop and talk to every fenced in dog we encountered to be a problem.
We walked 14 miles today. Even with the constant stops and explorations we did the whole trip in just under 6 hours! That's like 2.3 miles an hour, which really isn't that impressive I guess, but it felt impressive.
Ethel's sleeping now. I realized how badly I'm feeling. Even with 3 dogs for company I felt terribly alone, like I was walking through a lunar landscape, out there in high relief. It's been a while since I felt this way. That's good. For a long time I always felt that way.

Working for lawyers

Lioncomingoutofcage I walked to work yesterday. About 5 minutes before I got there my mobile rang, it was them telling me they had to do something so I shouldn't come to work today or Thursday or Friday. . . and then I should call them on Monday to see if there's work.
This is becoming a pattern: One week of work and then a week with only 2 days of work, 2 days of pay. Only lawyers would pull this.
Today I have to walk 6 miles to pick up my paycheck - 6 miles there and 6 miles back. I don't have the buck for bus fare because of the short notice I couldn't borrow from anyone and I sure don't have it because . . . I'm hurt and angry about this.
On Friday I'm going back to the Employment agency and on Monday I'll go to the temporary agency again. Picking up garbage is cleaner than working with lawyers . . . sorry, for lawyers.
On the other side the dogs are wonderful. I love my dogs and my dog's friends.

February 9, 2005

So much Hope

Thejellomold It takes so little to give even the darkest person hope. A smile can pull them from someplace dark and lonely; a pretty girl laughing at their soft joke; a promise of better things to come. Yet most of the time we're too self absorbed to notice or care. A letter or a call lifts so many people up and brings them into the world. It's a shame we can't be bothered more often.
Still feeling tired and listless, even with a gooney dog to run me all over. I found out that the Little Old Lady dresses up the dogs so I won't be ashamed of them. She's really happy that Ethel and I take them out to play and exercise and she didn't want us to think that her dogs were neglected. I never thought any such thing. I think they're very good dogs.
Fields 2 1024Dana is very thrilled to be my friend. I guess they're impressed with the lighting and sound. Her professor wants to meet me. As I'm a heterosexual I asked if the prof was cute.
Mark, the head art guy, has told many that the FX and sound were his idea. He's impressed with the way I executed his vision. I'm an Irving Thalberg guy: Never put your name on anything. If it's good people will know who was responsible. (My addendum: And if it's bad you can deny any involvement.)
Bad Girls Go To Hell (1965)Work was work. They keep trying to be friendly. I don't know how to do that in this way. It confuses me.
The dogs were the dogs. Chow and Fat Yellow Dog went with us naked. They might not have liked being nude but I felt better about it. Ethel just thinks it makes Fat Yellow Dog easier to bite but harder to hold onto.
And oh, all 3 want everyone to know they like Vanilla Frosty Paws; all donations gladly accepted. They are very poor dogs who are unemployed and Fat Yellow Dog claims he is starving to death and only ice cream can save his life . . . (The dogs don't think I'm very funny either)

February 8, 2005

Forget about the danger just think of the fun

Kingoftherocketmen-1 I am very tired. I overslept today and instead of feeling rejuvenated I just feel fatigued, not sleepy but like I'd rather not move.

I can't do that. I have a goofy dog (who I believe is using my computer in some canine plot to secure all the Frosty Paws and bacon in the world). We took our walks but I had to push myself.
I went to work and, probably as I knew I was tired somehow coded 18,500 documents which astonished everyone as the previous best was me again but at 9,200. As I don't get money for this I thought they should at least give me some food or something instead of looking at me like I was a freak. (The documents were dull. Most of the people go slow because they like to read and discuss the sexual harassment cases. I think either: Why Not? or Good for them! (my coworkers, not the victims or the perpetrators)
The Casualty(1280X1024)My listlessness wasn't alleviated by the constant stream of phone calls from Mark, the art installation guy. He called me with every possible silly question. I stopped answering the phone. Tonight was their opening night. As I work evenings I don't have to see it until Saturday.
There's already a negative. Dana couldn't meet the dogs and me because she had to be there. Even Chow kept glancing towards her home, expecting her. Ethel was a little frantic, as was Fat Yellow Dog. They'd stop their play fighting and stare intently at any person who walked past Dana's. They were obviously crabby about this. Dogs have no conception of art.

February 6, 2005

New England Patriots 24 Philadelphia Eagles 21 - USC Still National Champions

S4W-Nfl-Bestshots-085-Fashionplate So I got home from watching the SuperBowl and from herding my pack dogs and I got an email telling me that as of February 6th I had used 50% of my bandwidth. I'm going to have to do something.
This morning I finished up my part of the installation. It's okay. I didn't fall from the pipes so it went well. Then Ethel and I came home, cleaned up and got our two buddies; Fat Yellow Dog and Chow. Today the rain has stopped so they were wearing vests . . . with their names embroidered around the collars . . . the vests were that sort of purple pastel patchwork color that you often see on homeless people but you never expect to see on someone you know, and never brand new. The little old lady said they were their party clothes. I invited her along but she said she's 96 and demured.
S4W-Nfl-Bestshots-087-Frozentundra At the coffee shop there were a lot of people and even more dogs. The canines played out on the patio, sort of on the patio, actually anywhere they felt like. I think that any weight loss Fat Yellow dog had achieved got wiped out today. In his ridiculous vest they thought he looked cute. Everyone was giving him something. He got so much food that Chow thought about moving over to see about getting some too but thought better of it in the end. Ethel terrorized the owner, who seemed to enjoy being terrorized, and got a plate of meatballs!
I'm flat broke but Dana brought me a cafe au lait so i was happy.
As to the game. I thought it was a nice showcase for the new football. I like modern speed football. I like that it is so fast that people don't understand how smash mouth it is. Some little guy thought that the Patriots aren't very good because they've only won 3 championships by 3 points a game . . . The point is to win, not to embarrass. I guess entertainment is part of it and this game, though beautiful, lacked the drama and inner glow that makes for the classic matches.
S4W-Nfl-Bestshots-092-AirdefenseI thought everyone played well, except McNabb who looked like it was his first big game.
Terrell Owens was impressive. Teddy Bruschi was remarkable. Tom Brady - all he does is win. The NE Defense was proud. Philadelphia played over their heads to a championship level. I was glad to witness it, even if it was on TV.

There's a little bit of Godzilla in all of us
Godzilla 2000

Thisgenerationofours It was a very tiring day. Some of it was fun and some of it was tense. The tension started when I went to pick up Fat Yellow Dog and Chow. They had on new raincoats of shiny red and blue vinyl - shiny. Shiny became my bane.
Then when walking to the theater we found a little boy of about 4 or 5 crying at the stop light. A man with 3 dogs has privileges, plus I had an umbrella (it rained all day) so I asked him what was wrong. He spluttered but I gather he'd wandered form some nameless shop and lost his mother. I was a little afraid of being arrested for being a pedophile, but he had latched on with a death grip to Chow's mane and how can anyone walk away from a lost kid. (Chow didn't seem to mind and kept his same steady gait) I talked to the boy for a few minutes, enough to realize he hadn't crossed the street so his mother or the shop had to be nearbyy.
Before we got too far a woman came running up to us, also in tears (a very crying family this) and scooped the kid up. He spoke to her in Spanish while the 4 of us stared, then she petted Chow and gave me a hug, which I thought was forward but okay.
With that little bit of drama we still got to the theater in time but while we walked we were all thinking about it.
Flyingspaceman Mark, the artist, was at the theater and he does prattle on. He was lecturing everyone when we came in. The content of the lecture seemed to be more promoting himself and his theory of something vague - although I don't know if you can call it a theory when it's about nothing.
Dana was there and she broke ranks to say hi to us and to pet the dogs, who were appreciative. Chow was mystified by the size of the indoors and I think Ethel was lying to him about how she always lived in places this big and how this place was nothing compared to the places she'd seen.
Astro Zombies Mark has no plans for me; just babbling. I saw the set design. It is cardboard boxes covered with colored mylar, shiny shiny mylar, reflective mylar. . . Also he has no marks or cues. The installation is 6 TV's showing videos while 8 people on stage watch him and the TV's and react to his wisdom and/or ape the audiences reaction. (Stop thinking what audience) While this moribund soundtrack drones/whines away. When did it become art school hip to play random noise as music - didn't they explore this and exhaust it in the 50's and 60's? At least there was some imagination at work there with Cage and that German guy who did the anthem radio things, and Subotnik. Anyway he wanted a follow spot!!!! I explained that without cues or marks a follow spot would look foolish and with shiny reflective backdrops the random colors shimmering would make him look weird. I figured he wouldn't want to look weird.
Don T Cry 1280 So I watched the blocking, which was easy. It was a snap to light but a bit of a pain as everyone else was afraid to crawl around the pipes. Dana hung around and acted as a stand-in but I had to do all the lugging myself while Ethel tried to knock over my ladder.
It looks good, very 2D in the back like a postcard and very dense and dramatic front stage. It will work. Tomorrow the sound.
Then came home and Ethel crashed out while I used iChat to talk to a new friend. I usually don't like iChat things because I type badly and type so much MORE than the other person. And I use a lot of exclamation points . . . but it was fun.

February 4, 2005

I don't have it now but I can get it
Gene Vincent

Kickoff2004 Spring football workouts start February 22nd so today the 3 players I agreed to work with next week showed up with 6 of their buddies. I now have nine and possibly 12 jocks . . . they were driving me crazy with questions about vitamins, supplements, carotene based supplements, drugs, pot . . . but it's a good crazy. They have dreams and hopes. Above all I think we have to respect dreams. Without dreams we're nothing.
After work I went to get the dogs. It's raining here and to my shock, dismay and horror when I went to pick up Fat Yellow Dog and Chow. . . they were wearing raincoats . . . not just raincoats, plaid vinyl coated raincoats, so that they looked like furniture your grandmother was keeping clean for good company. And the raincoats had hood that went over their heads with little pockets for their ears. And that's not all, the hoods went over their eyes so there is a strip of clear plastic for the dogs to peer through . . . the ignominy and Chow kept lifting his head up so he could grin at me from underneath that terrifying hood.
We went to the lot through unlit alleys. Fat Yellow Dog's raincoat was red with yellow plaid and Chow's was blue with yellow plaid. When we got to the lot Dana thought that the raincoats were cute . . .
Lastexilecaharac The dogs romped even if Ethel was disappointed that a) she didn't have a beautiful raincoat and b) that it wasn't raining hard enough to make some really good puddles for diving into. She still needed a bath and did her best to get herself coated in a fine mud sheen. During her bath she did protest that smelling bad and being coated in mud were very healthy and good for a dog . . .
To his credit Fat Yellow Dog got his raincoat twisted on himself so terribly that it was a big effort getting it on him in something approaching the right way. Chow and he are both excited about going with Ethel and I tomorrow to do the light hanging . . . if somebody has a sketch or plan for me.
Dana wanted to talk about the art installation and the SuperBowl. She is so excited about this weekend that it made me feel a touch of fondness for her.

February 3, 2005

A Hole In My Heart and the Love Leaked Out

Mona Lisa Today I met Mark (or Marco, not really sure) who is the guiding light behind the co-op art installation. Sadly he was one of those wannabe art stars with dreams. Dana seems very impressed with him so I was very polite. I have a lot of artist friends, actually artists, musicians, actors and athletes are about the only people who seem not to notice my blatant weirdness, and the artists I know who are successful always seem to be very involved in the “nuts and bolts" ends of things.
I asked Mark some pretty simple questions, like: Do you need sound for this? How many set-ups do you need? Instead of Yes, or 6 I got a 10 minute dissertation of the cause and effect of Man's relationship with God. It might have been interesting in some other juncture but it didn't answer my question. Actually it did - I should do whatever I feel like - he won't approve unless it's a success in which case he'll take all the credit. I've been here before and that's the way it goes.
Puppy About this time Ethel either found a mouse or went quite insane. She was jumping around and running back and forth. I found it endearing but Mark was frightened. So I asked him about sound and he, with a 5 minute dissertation showed me his tape deck/ ghetto blaster . . . as this is a pretty big room, roughly 60 by 50, with a 40 foot wide stage I told him I didn't think that would do the trick unless Man was communicating with God via silent prayer. He didn't get the joke. I'm sort of used to that.
I got the equipment info I needed from one of the university employees. They have an impressive stock and none of the lamps have over 30 hours on them. Decent board with computer inputs if we need anything complex. Plenty of mikes and amps too.
Mark had no sketches for me, no blocking. I was peeved that Dana said she'd get them together for me. Peeved as she did it in a defensive way, like I was attacking her hero sort of way. Dana didn't try to restrain Ethel, and laughed at her too, so I forgive her.

ManinthemiddleAt work the football player and two of his teammates corralled me. They start spring practice in March and they all have serious good dreams. Some how I got roped into holding speed sessions with them next weekend to help them get into shape. It might be fun and at the very least I do it well.
CrazeThen after work I was shocked! The LOL who takes care of Fat Yellow Dog and Chow noticed how dirty there sweaters had gotten and changed them! I don't think I know what to say to a dog who has a wardrobe. Fat Yellow Dog now has a BRIGHT YELLOW sweater that has arms/legs!! Chow now sports a striped royal blue sweater.
Chow woofed at me when he heard us coming.
We met Dana and had more fun than usual. Ethel told Fat Yellow Dog about the 9 foot mouse she had at the theater and how badly she beat it up (puppies are notorious liars) so they spent the whole time hunting and imagining what they would catch. Chow stared at me so I would know that Frosty Paws come when we leave not when we arrive home. Dana talked about Mark - the evil side of me kept quiet because I hoped that if she had anything resembling a crush on me that it would get transferred to Mark - the good side listened because I like her and don't want her dreams splattered too soon.

February 2, 2005

Look, we're going round and round

Patriots2004 1024 1 My pick for the SuperBowl. Some one wrote to me and asked why I didn't print larger graphics up here. If you click on the graphic they ARE larger. It's the main reason I have bandwidth problems. I like them.
Frenetic day: I went to see the installation place expecting the worst. It's actually not bad. The pipes are in and there are plenty of Rat's Nests so I really just have to re-hang the lights. There's nothing in place for sound but I'm not sure what they have in mind. I haven't hung small theater lights in . . . since some big show whose name I can't remember.
Ethel decided she is a theater dog. I don't think she realized that they could make indoors this big.
Work was slow tonight. We've been there long enough to start getting familiar. At least they think they can get familiar with me. I still don't know anyone's name and just call them quiet girl, tall guy etc. Too much talking about nothing that interested me made the night seem longer than it was.
Then my street gang pack o' dogs. We're working on an appropriate demoniacal sounding tough guy nick name. Fat yellow dogs suggestion of Frosty Paws Lickers really misses the whole point, at least I think it does.
S4W-Asianimages061-LionThey romped, Dana gave me way too much information I don't need about the installation, and had almost no information that I will need. (How many lights have they got, lightboard, computer board, sound req's the usual stuff that creative types somehow never seem to know about - just means I have to listen and do what I think she wants - oh and her partners who I'm supposed to meet Sunday before the SuperBowl)
I tried more on my Frosty Paws Experiment: I started to leave and all 3 dogs got sort of panicky - Chow actually stepped aside nearly briskly instead of getting leashed up right away. Fat yellow dog was horrified and Ethel kept bumping me with her head. They were not a jubilant bunch and all three kept looking at me wondering if I was just mean or stupid or some incomprehensible combination of the two.
When We got Chow and fat yellow dog home I broke out the 3 pieces of Frosty Paws and passed them out. They devoured them with much lip smacking and many looks of, “That is a very bad joke David, a very bad joke.”
In case we forget tomorrow is the day the music died, February 3 1953.

Of cabbages and kings and Frosty Paws

Fractal AxesAt work today they announced about 20 layoffs in the next month. Then they told me not to worry. I guess normal is to worry about your security and feel nothing for the 20 people out of work. They're lawyers.
Then one of the cute girls told me I was fuckable . . . I have no idea what that means or implies. Silliness, really.
Fortunately for me I have Ethel, my dog. She was excited beyond believe this evening. We went and got fat yellow dog and Chow.
I'm confused about the lot we go to. There was no work done on the misshapen hole which suited the dogs fine. They played King Of The Mountain while Dana told me of this big multimedia project she's involved in. I think, just think, I'm volunteered to do some of the work - the wiring and blow yourself up if you do it wrong stuff. Might be fun.
Wormhole2 When the dogs finally got tired they came to me. Fat yellow dog is only calf height but he gets my attention by scratching on my shoe with his paw. I've learned that when he wants his Frosty Paws, he scratches while he looks at the ground, the sky, almost anywhere but at me. Chow just inspects himself to see if he has any injuries that require a cool creamy treat to heal. Ethel, just says, “Gimme my Frosty Paws or I will have to bite you and that would make me sad cause I love you I love you cause you give me Frosty Paws Gimme Frosty Paws” ad infinitum till I comply.
As my supply is running short I had split one into 3 parts. Fortunately it was cold enough outside that they were too sodden. Anyway Ethel ate the napkin they were wrapped in before I could stop her. The result is I've discovered that quantity of Frosty Paws is not important. What's important is that they HAVE Frosty Paws. A lesson to remember and apply. (Not just to puppies either.)

February 1, 2005

I'm not who I used to be but I am who I am

Fraxdesk-No2 1024X768When I played sports one of the things that the coaches loved was my ability to play through pain. They didn't understand that pain was the one thing I could shut out. When you're raised with an alcholic father and an enabling mom it's a skill you acquire early on in life. (It's an old story and one I know I have in common with a lot of other current and former atheletes)
Problem is that when you get good at shutting out physical pain you soon find that unconsciously you use that “skill" to start shutting out all the pain in your life. I've had my share, probably more than some and less than others. My problem is that I kept shutting down parts of myself - son dies, synapses shut down, - you're a warrior you can survive this you can survive anything - wife dies, friends die, woman lies, until all that's left is a shell, a zombie, the living dead.
Angel OrchidsBecause I still did some good things no one noticed. My closest friends did but they brushed it off with, “He's been through so much and he's still a nice guy." But eventually even I saw that I had no emotions. I got angry out of habit. I cared about people because that is what I always did, but there was nothing there. Nothing but blackness and dead.
That's why I'm here now. I wanted to live in a small town, a place where some one moving in would be noticed. Where I could learn to be a human being again instead of a warrior who burned through life looking normal.
I can't tell if it's working totally. I know I'm feeling and staying alert, trying not to shut down. Pain is something to be welcomed.
Time to go for our walk. And drink water no matter how much it hurts.