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July 31, 2006

I've got me a complication and its an only child
Sean Bonniwell

Impala 00 Z
Click images for desktop size: "Chevy Impala Hood"
Spent most of the weekend being hot and messing around with music.
The music I did with my friend Patrick. He found a vintage Mesa Boogie tube amp and we messed around with TONE. Tone is what guitarists live for.
Patrick was blown away by the tube amp. We spent part of Saturday buying different replacements tubes. We even got a pair of 12AXA7's to mess around with the 12A7's in the preamp.
Thick, creamy sustain from tubes, a more human sound than the sometimes nasty cutoff and decay of transistors and digital effects.
Taking a break with the music we watched Alan Arkush's “The Temptations”. I worked with Arkush on “Get Crazy” and always felt warmly towards him.
We didn't watch the whole movie, just the musical numbers. Arkush got those dead on. It was exciting to watch.
One thing was I wasn't sure whether the band has no concept of the past or if they think I'm that old. They kept asking me if it was really like that! As this was the late 50's . . . Rains CameThe only answer was, “I hope so.”
It did get us into a discussion about music, about rhythm and the beat, the big beat. I've always held that its the beat that makes you tap your feet but its the rhythm that makes you swing your hips. (So do you want to see a room full of girls tapping their toes or shaking their ass? Its up to you.)
We did end up talking about somethings I hate in music. Mainly LOOOOOOONG songs, especially those that end up featuring formless “jams”.
Jazz and blues have a tradition for exploring musical boxes in those jams, and I don't like them there much, even when I can appreciate the musicality and musicianship. I like songs, loaded potent songs.
Bob Dylan bought long winded poetry into pop music. In places its effective. His “Tangled Up In Blue” and the Saint's “Swing For the Crime” show that the excess verbiage can be used to devastating effect.
But me, I still like verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus. I like songs under 3 minutes. I like a memorable hook and a great one off burst through line - Tom Petty's “Some where someone must have kicked you around some” is a full on image that brings a dozen women to mind in the time it takes to sing that line.
I dislike “concept” albums. I know that there is a certain mass hysteria proclaiming the “Genius” of writing 12 songs based around one theme . . . but I generally find most song writers might tell great stories within a song but are pretty rotten story tellers when presented with a BIG canvas.
None of them that I can think of tell a story well, and often the power of one great song gets diluted in what seems like rushed laziness. Rock operas may seem cute but I think they are a huge step backwards.
Recording artist used to be the way bands promoted themselves. It was a way of saying I got a record out! It wasn't a proclamation of genius. When the Beatles decided they weren't touring anymore (how rich do you have to be to decide that!) but they would focus on themselves as recording artists . . . that was a pretty dismal day.
Suddenly it wasn't enough to make cool discs. Compare that to the crazed rockabilly cat who drove his truck off a mountain because he was driving at fool speed while standing on the running board, steering with one hand while waving a stack of 45's over his head screaming, “I made a record! I made a record!”
I know which one I take more seriously, but then, I'm from Southern California where spending an hour listening to just one record seemed kind of . . . well, boring.
(The guy who had the bad accident called himself the Phantom. He performed wearing cat clothes and a Lone Ranger mask!! His record was “Love Me” 86 seconds of bone chilling fury that hasn't been topped yet in the drama and emotion stakes.)
Things To Come-1024Enough pontificating.
My puppy had to go for her annual check up on Thursday. I was so proud of the way she conducted herself. She's big now. I seldom realize how big. They bought in 2 techs to hold her while they drew blood. (I always want an annual blood panel. It provides a baseline if anything goes wrong as well as giving the ability to trace her body chemistry).
They didn't need anyone to hold her. She didn't like being stuck with needles but she tolerated it because she had to and she's a good little girl.
I'm fading in and out myself. Pain comes in spurts, but its been dealable so far. My hands cramping up, locking up from guitar playing concerns me without worrying me too much. Finding a new job is a greater worry!
One thing that bothers me is the way the bones in my face and my teeth seem to be shifting, so that when I relax my face feels different, alien to me.

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July 28, 2006

Sweet sixteen turned 31
Bob Seger

Just Not Right Wallpaper By Wingless One-1
Click images for desktop size: "Just Not Right" by Wingless One
I had a dream last night. I haven't been able to shake it all day. In the dream I was making a low budget movie. Shooting it on DVR. I had a check for financing in my wallet, a check from a friend for $11,200. The check was old and I was debating whether I should call him and tell him I was depositing it.
I decided not to bother him. I knew the check would be good.
I went to another producers office and I saw the rugs. I liked the rugs. Nice without being ostentatious.

I woke up in a sweat.
The dream upset me while it seemed so innocuous. Part of it was that their were so many actors in my film, actors who were friends from the past. Friends who are dead now. They seemed as alive as they ever were.
Some of the people were friends I've lost. Not because of a fight or a disagreement but just because sometimes friends drift apart. Some of them you can see again years later and only events separate you, the friendship is still real. And some friends you just never see again.
Waistdeep(2006)-01And the rest were old friends who I still have contact with, even if I don't see them. I don't really see anyone anymore.
Everyone acted like they always did. We worked on making our movie.

Part of the reason it upset me was something that happened at work. A kid I'd never seen before had been looking for me. He had a hard cast on his right forearm and thumb.
He introduced himself. He was nervous. He explained that he was a freshman at the Div IA school here. An RB. He wanted to work with me and my High School kids for a couple of weeks before school starts.
He's a pure Class 1 athlete, it was obvious. When we talked I thought and told him what I thought. I could take a tenth off his 40. He'd help drive my kids. He had speed and talent. (His stats in High School were 2000 yards and 30 TD's!) He could drive my kids and let them see what commitment and talent could bring to them.

What bothered me was the tingle of pride I felt. I wasn't proud that I could help him and he could help my kids. I was proud that this young man had spent time to search me out and humbled himself to ask for help. I didn't like that in myself.
Didn't like that at all. Its not something from my past or anything I'd felt before.
I don't want that kind of feeling to be my future.
All my life I believed that I was no better than anyone else. I also believed that none was better than me. All those people who for whatever nonsensical reason have to believe that they are superior because of race, speed, arbitrary interpretations of IQ soon find that reality comes with straight edge razors and no pity.
We;re all here. We're all on one team. Its a privilege to hold out a hand to help. Its a privilege to be able to accept help.
Most of my friends, at least my close friends, know this too.
Hell Town Aka Born To The West  - John Wayne - Wallpaper - 1024
The job hunt continues. Nothing positive yet. I think it is harder finding a nothing brain dead job than it is to find something I'm qualified for. A job I might be qualified for but that would shorten my life.
I'm not worried yet.
They've asked me to reconsider my resignation, but offered no real inducements other than letting things continue.
The possibility doesn't please me. It sounds like an excuse to be lazy and not try to move to a slightly better life for my puppy and myself.

My puppy had her annual check up. She's better than good. She behaved impeccably even with all the getting poked and stabbed. She never lost her sense of humor or her sense of decorum.
I love her a lot.
I like that everyone else does to.

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July 24, 2006

The fine line

Che
Click images for desktop size: "Che" 60's Poster
Yesterday was the anniversary of my puppy coming to live with me.
I managed to miss a drug dosage so I was a bit messed up but I think we had a lot of fun doing some extra stuff, stuff that's only extra special to us.
One of the reasons for leaving my present job is that they banned my puppy from coming to work with me. Four people chose to take their custom elsewhere because they thought that was wrong headed.
I don't see it as support.
Today one of the kids who play with Shelby at the hospital came into my job to see her and share his news. He had just come back from playing in the Regionals of the Little League World Series. They got to the second round. He pitched and one their first round game.
He'd come in to show Shelby his trophy and was very adamant that I deliver his message:
Isolation(2006)-01 “Tell Doctor Shelby that her advice really helped!”
I was a bit chagrined.
I can understand being disappointed at seeing me instead of my puppy but I can't believe that she is giving baseball tips!
It is still nice to see that my timid little dog can affect people.

At my job they've changed the rules again. Originally I was supposed to move to another location and stay there till August 17th. That suited me to a point, as I had more time to find work and still have an income. Today they've decided I'm not moving (which is actually not a bad thing at all) but I'm hazy as to when I am leaving.
A part of me wants it to be ASAP, but the reasonable fearful person who is terrified of starving wants it to last as long as endurable. While the human being is resentful of being jerked around like this.
It just symptomatic and consistent with the attitude they have. They forget the employees are as human as they are.

Thursday my puppy is coming to work with me. Its time for her annual shots and check up.
I'm looking forward to it even if she might not be.
She is more afraid of being groomed. She likes Doctor K and the nurses but she hates baths!

My friend from Texas who own Fat Yellow Dog and Chow has mailed me pictures of them. She claims they have lost weight! I'm excited about seeing them, if only in a photograph. She makes clothes for them. I hope she hasn't ”dressed“ them for the pictures.

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July 20, 2006

Don't panic just because things are out of control

Fear Yourself By Spitblinker
Click images for desktop size: "Fear Yourself" by Spitblinker
I gave two weeks notice today.
That seems to have turned into 3, maybe 4 weeks notice.
I was surprised at the emotional response and at my own stubbornness in refusing to go into my reasons why.
I think that the reason my bosses got so emotional had more to do with me being the 5 resignation is as many weeks, or 1/3rd of the staff in the region. A part of it was that they really didn't expect me to quit. They kept saying that I seemed so calm, at ease, and that everyone loved me so much . . .
Those kind of statements can send me off on a whole tangent of thoughts, none of which had much to with the subject matter at hand.
For them the subject seemed to be how could someone who they thought had been whipped into his place could want to leave. For me the subject was the survival of my puppy and me.
Fearless[03] But all that matters really is that its done and I feel lighter and better for it.
I'll let myself feel that way through the weekend. On Monday I'll start to worry about what I'll do next, what job I'll get next.

I'm still having problems physically - annoying things like pain and my hands cramping up and locking into odd positions. Its rough when they both lock up at the same time. I can't unbend either of them! Makes me think that I must look like a Jerry Lewis or a Danny Kaye sketch.
My right eye keeps blurring and getting harder and harder to see out of.
And there's the heat. Ugly heat that leaves me slick as a toad and then feeling all crusty and nasty. Nasty with no memory of recent pleasure to stave off feeling of creepiness.

But my puppy remains a treasure. An island of joy in a world bent on destroying itself through ignorance and foolishness.
She's a therapy dog and truly enjoys going to see her patients. She looks at them google eyed and smiling. She plays until she has to take a quick nap.
Her games are so repetitive and dull but she, the children and even I never seem to stop playing them and laughing.
People say they can't believe how happy and calm she always seems.
Some have commented on being jealous because the two of us love each other so much.
We remake each other everyday, my puppy and me. That's what we do.

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July 16, 2006

You'd be better off trusting more and loving a little less

Flightplan-R
Click images for desktop size: "Flight Plan" by Scot Chitwood
I haven't been able to write much.
I'm still thinking but its those globule type thinking while doing the mundane. Its not productive and leaves too many things that would be clear under even casual analysis seem like big sneak up on you discoveries. The time spent organizing my thoughts to write this things avoids mere introspection and lets me see things clearly.
Like my job. It was always a bad job but at first glimpse it seemed to fill the bill - mindless and just show up. The wages reflected that. Then more and more responsibilities and duties started to crop up. Most of these because the owners are pretty unscrupulous and duplicitous, perhaps larcenous - there are indications but that's not my problem.
1932 Tarzan The Ape Man PosterWhat causes grief is that dishonest people always assume everyone else is dishonest too. Add that to a love of money that surpasses a basic understanding of humanity and you get the picture that caused Matewan and the Ford and GM riots.
That can't be my problem either. I've got more than enough to handle with my sweet little puppy.
Besides my coworkers are the lost and dissolute clinging on to a life thinner than my own, willing to sacrifice their own humanity. Who is anyone to criticize them for that. The only reason to note it is that you can't fight a one man revolution. I've tried before and a handful of supporters aren't going to bring anything down.
People knowing what's right and wrong but being afraid to stand up just keep everything the same, corporate America's dream.
So on Thursday or Friday I'll be giving notice. Tonight I have to pull together my resume. I have to make it more apropos for the type of job I'm looking for. I'd rather have a job lined up but I can't control the world.

On the plus side had a weird but ultimately good day yesterday. I ended up having to spend 35 bucks for a cab because the bus never showed up. I used the cab to bring my puppy to work.
She was happy and that makes me happy. It made me so happy I forgot the worthless aggravation of standing on an empty corner at a bus stop for an hour.
Then my friend Patrick picked me up after work and we worked with some new musicians. A much better drummer who can sing and a female keyboardist who is okay for a keyboardist.
Playing the guitar has totally wrecked my hands and, for some reason, my feet. Just cramps and that weird locking up they do. It was nearly worth all that. Pain for fun is a good trade for me.
Patrick has rehearsal and recording space in this old barn in the middle of a field. Lots of people, which I like, and another dog. My puppy liked that. The two dogs spent the time hunting dangerous bugs and lizards. Had to call them in to make sure they drank water in all this blistering heat.
Some people cooked some food. They tried hard to cook to fit my whacko diet. They didn't succeed but the effort always touches me.
On the other side my puppy loves spaghetti. She enjoys eating it and making everyone laugh at here as she slurps up the long noodles dripping sauce on her chest hairs.
It was fun being around people with dreams. People with aspirations. I always like and approve of that, mainly because my approval is not needed.


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July 11, 2006

A dog is the only thing on this planet that loves us more than we love ourselves
Josh Billings

Eddieciccotti-Shineballking
Click images for desktop size: "Eddie Ciccotti - The Shine Ball King" by Unknown
I have the All Star game on.
Everybody seems to say it so I might as well. I don't care for the “This Time It Means Something!” campaign.
I have always liked the All Star game. Baseball is the sport most suited for this. Its a pure pick up game and it should be nothing but fun.
That's all the meaning I've ever wanted or needed.

The job hunt is a tedious thing. When mixed in with the house hunting and the growing distaste for my present job life seems filled with noxious tedium.
Its better than starving, let me tell you.
It is still hard to ignore the feeling of being overwhelmed by the mundane. Harder still to resist doing something life and me affirming. I can't surf anymore and I haven't been sky diving in years. I've got the need for that sort of adrenaline rush.
I almost bought an HDTV on credit. Yeah, I can get credit again.
As much as I'd like a big HDTV for big time movie watching the real reason I considered it seriously was to lash out and somehow prove that I'm not being controlled by all these petty things.
Elvgren 02I've been missing my puppy at work. I think I'm getting even less done. Part is the lethargy and silly pressure and abuse they want to extend, the other part is that she and I always had fun. We do always have fun. She makes me laugh. Even when she is taking her “job” seriously I find her good and pleasant company, perhaps the best company.
I've been riding my eBike to work. It may have been a slight mistake. he terrain here is way too hilly and I'm just not fit enough. It's great for trips of 5 miles or so but harsh on the 15 mile plus treks.
I didn't want a push and go scooter or moped. I need exercise, don't we all. But the biggest problem is I like my dog with me.
She's even sadder about not being with me than I am.

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July 4, 2006

Truths held self evident

Captain America
Click images for desktop size: "Captain America" by Vic
The heat nearly overwhelmed me today. The heat, the humidity, left me soaked with sweat from just standing.
Still sore from the over indulgent bike riding. Old rules of thumb apply here: Two days and its just the muscles learning 3 days and its an injury.
I took the bike out today to run to the store. A trip that took me nearly 2 hours walking took less than 45 minutes. I felt exhilarated accomplishing this small thing.
The pain was always there but not debilitating at all.
Tomorrow is my normal day off. I have one job interview/fill out an application things. I plan to take my bike.
3DaysofthecondorThe buses here all have front mounted bike racks. My eBike weighs about 65 pounds (30 kilos). I spent a part of today practicing hoisting the bike so the wheels were four feet off the ground, high enough to fit on the bus's bike rack.
If I can make this happen I can still get around and get myself into shape for the 15 mile treks.

I thought today about some people. I've known a lot of people who, it felt to me, needed to bring themselves as close to death as possible to remind themselves they're alive.
Some people thought I was like that with the extreme sports thing. No. I used to be an adrenaline junkie for sure.
I'm talking about the guys who gamble and are always betting more than they can ever afford to lose.
They'll tell you its because they want to win but when they do they throw it all back.
I've known cool people who became junkies. They did it to see how far it was for them to hit bottom, but they lost their way there and maybe bottom was a lot farther away than you can imagine when all you've got is a lizard brain.
I've known people who've ignored the sunshine and wrapped themselves in side a silicon cocoon, ignoring the world and spent most of their brain power wondering why the person of their dream didn't jump naked through their window on a cold lonely night.
I've watched people with every reason to be at least content, contort themselves and distort the world around them so that they could remain separate and filled with hate. A hate so profound that their vision of love is only a diluted hate.
Jesse James Women-1024 The minor league umpire strike is over. You know I won't cross a picket line.
I love thinking about baseball, all the numbers to mull over, all the stats to calculate and figure on every pitch. The way the plays replay themselves in your head reenforcing the beauty and miracle of muscles, eyes and hands combining to do an impractical wonderful thing.
As much as I miss playing this game I can't avoid it forever. Its like trying to ignore your first love when they walk by you on the beach.
Yeah, exactly like that.

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July 2, 2006

So here you are, forgiving me
The Paupers

Violin
Click images for desktop size: "Violin" by Spumante
I got an eBike - an electric bicycle. I think the e might really stand for evil.
I'm in a lot of pain!
Not really the eBikes problem. Its a bike, not a scooter. The electric motor is just to assist on climbing hills and that dreaded dead start at the stop light in traffic.
I'm happy with it but I over did it big time.
I took it to work - about 15 or 16 miles each way and hilly terrain. I need to break into gradually.
I need to realize I'm no longer the stud who can do anything, anytime, anywhere and never have to pay a price.
I've put together a break in scheme for myself that should see me doing 30 miles a day inside 6 weeks and using the electric motor only for convenience in 3 months.
I like the bike plenty even if I am in bad pain right now. Just heavy legs, lower back, coccyx, and bad tension in the traps from bad bike posture.
Blue ChipsI did do the 15 miles in an hour. That's 30 minutes faster than the bus.

I'll need the bike for job interviews.
My job is soon going to be history. Its become abusive. I'm clinging to it out of fear.
Yeah, I'm afraid. Not of going hungry but of seeing my puppy unhappy, of not having treats and toys.
I'm clinging to it as long as I can until the silent explosion happens or until I find another job.
The abuse is in the form of that boiler room tactic that the type of company (that's a limited partnership that prefers to call it self a corporation). Its a tactic of theirs to ignore humanity and get lower management to beat the hell out of, no not the hell, but the money out of tired, underpaid and underpaid staff.
I'm sure we've all been through it. If you have a job where your weekly check is signed by anybody but you, you've heard the song and dance, always from guys with 6 car garages.
You can never tell for some people what is enough. For me its an eBike, for somebody else it is a Bentley, a Rolls, a Ferrari and a Diablo Contach, all next to each other with the pink slips on the wind shield.
I understand that and whether I approve or disapprove its not going to change. Governments have toppled trying to change that part of human nature.
What they're doing is skirting on the edge of legality. I don't much care about that.
I care when they think the solution is to squash people's spirit. They keep the staff down with threats and fears. I've seen it all the time in Nueve America. Pay people enough to keep them poor and never secure.
Keep survival and glimpses of happiness as the ultimate carrot.
Its worked for wife beaters, child abusers and and dictators for eternity. Keep people smaller than they really are and then beat them some more.
Pimps understand the art.
I work for pimps and its about time or it to end.
Despite fear.
Getting old I don't have it in me to fight for everyone else anymore. That's been coming for a while.
Its new, this fighting for myself.

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