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February 22, 2010

I'll be sorry but I don't care

Haiko On Hanami by April Joy E Jasmin
Click images for desktop size: "Haiku On Hanami" by April Joy E Jasmin
My mother used to be terrified that she, being only fifteen years older than me and divorced, was going to deprive me and traumatize me. The only book, the only resource for new mothers then was Delinquent Schoolgirls Doctor Spock. She couldn't go to her mother for advice. My grandmother hadn't talked to her since my mother's divorce. So my mother fumbled around and did the best she could figure out.
Sometimes this entailed taking me to work with her. When she was working at the concession counter at the drive-in movie theater going with her was very cool. I would sit at a picnic table on a concrete slab by the projection booth, right next to a blaring metal loud speaker and float into the movies while my mom's teen co-workers inundated me with sugar-y soda, popcorn and ice cream.
It was in that state that I first saw "Godzilla". A warm California night, the sea breeze and eucalyptus scenting the air and sixty feet of city munching reptile destroying everything adults hold dear. Perhaps my still holding love affair with Japanese jidai-geki movies has more to do with remembering a mother's love than it does my fondness for giant lizards and men in rubber suits. I wouldn't know. I'm more Adlerian than Freudian.
I liked monster movies. So did my mother but she worried so her next big plan to keep me from being deprived was a subscription to The Children's Book Club.
This was some weird thing, probably from an ad in "Teen Mom's Weekly". For fifty nine cents a copy your child, meaning me, got a hard cover classic of children's literature.
They were cheaply printed things. Thing I remember most were the super ragged edges of the pages. But I liked the books. I liked the stories in them. Classics is a pretty broad term. There were Hardy Boys stories, strange science fiction and "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland". I really liked that book at age 7. I liked the pictures and I liked the horrible things that happened to the little girl.
Purple Vectors
Click images for desktop size: "Purple Vectors" by Unknown
At that stage of my life torturing little girls was a major part of my entertainment. Not real torture but stuff like dropping snails down their backs, stealing the heads from their dolls. Typical stuff. The one girl who thought it was cool and fought back instead of shrieking and threatening to tell on me became a life long friend.
So I liked that all the animals yelled at Alice, picked on her and tormented her. It kept my interest up.
I read that book and re-read it then got on with surfing, torturing little girls etc. In high school someone gave me a copy of Martin Gardener's "The Annotated Alice". I don't remember who. It took me a long time before I started reading it. When I did start to get into it I was enthralled. It started my trek into Lewis Carroll fandom.
I recently got a copy of Jenny Woolf's new book, "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll". It's a bit dry but it attempts to debunk some of the more bizarre suppositions about Charles Dodgson like that he wasThe Deadly Mantis actually Jack the Ripper. It also attempts to tackle the issue of his being a pedophile. That has always driven me crazy. I've read some persuasive arguments for it being so and I've tried to accept that he was a pedophile who never actually improperly touched or harmed a child.
That goes against my knowledge of pedophiles. When I took my training to help abused kids part of it was attending group therapy sessions and listening to child abusers. I think the plan was to get us trainees to have some compassion and empathy for the offensive Audrey Hepburn
Click images for desktop size: "Audrey Hepburn"
offenders.
It didn't have any such effect. I have been alone with thrill killers, reputed Mafia hitmen, drug addicts, prostitutes and movie stars. At some level I've always felt a bond of humanity. Sometimes it was tenuous and difficult but it was always still there.
Prior to my meeting the child abusers the group I felt most distant from were the hard core crack addicts. They were so lizard brained that any cloudy memory they had of being human was only called on to try and manipulate.
Child abusers, the ultimate victimizers, didn't have even that. To me they were an alien insect race that would be best served with a claw hammer and a room draped in plastic.
They have no control over their actions. They must abuse. So sordid and ingrained is their delusion that they speak often and in agreement that children are sexual seducers who lure them into the abusers horrific attacks and fantasies.
The thing is that they were all like this, all out of control. Even chemical and physical castration has not deterred child molesters from attacking children.
No matter how convincing the arguments it was hard, nearly impossible for me to put Dodgson in Rise on an Angel by Titusboy
Click images for desktop size: "Rise on an Angel" by Titusboy
this category, this misshapen lump. I could not even accept that he was a pedophile who had somehow managed to NOT harm children.
Ms Woolf's book tries to address this issue while presenting an image of Carroll full and deep. She uses a few newly discovered letters, gets some interesting interpretations of available data from MD's and such and uses a unique and solid bit of hard evidence.
She uses forensic accounting. Recently discovered are the complete bank records for Dodgson. From the first penny he spent till the decimation of his estate at his death. Financial records.
It seems odd. But so did bringing down Al Capone's empire based on his financial records. It paints a picture of Carroll and Dodgson that I am much more in agreement with that any other previous. Meaning it jibes most closely to my own perceptions of a major part of my pantheontology.
Woolf's writing style is a bit dry and prosaic but her observations are keen, her conclusions are onlyDevil Girl From Mars pedantic when strongly supported by evidence. It makes a good read and provides at least for the fans, which I am, a nice amount of dream time considering Dodgson/Carroll. My only complaint is that a bit too many words are spent rejecting some of the more inane conclusions about Dodgson.

I went for my stress tests on Wednesday. Interesting stuff. They made the mistake of leaving me alone in a room too long. I found a remarkable plastic model of a heart. It was dumped behind some boxes in a cupboard. I coveted it and considered stealing it. I didn't. Not because of any high handed moral arguments or out of fear but because it occurred to me that it might only appear to be discarded and might be of service to some other poor slob stuck in my kind of hell.
The stress tests themselves were not all that difficult. The first one was on a treadmill. I was out fitted with all the ekg terminals and an x-ray machine was pointed at my chest.
Wally Wood
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Wally Wood
It was hard getting my pulse over 100. Not that I'm that fit but because the treadmill didn't offer up enough resistance and I was ordered to not bend over too much to accelerate so that the x-rays would hit the right spot.
After that we went to the stair masters. Due to my chemotherapy history they eschewed x-rays. Didn't want to blast me with too much radiation in case I turned into a super hero I bet. So this time I climbed the unending staircase and was monitored by electrodes and sound waves. I could see the sonogram as I worked out. It was so incredibly cool looking at my heart beat. In motion I was trying to control it and make it do interesting things. That got me yelled at.
Don't have all the results yet but what there is is good. My heart has healed. There are abnormalities but they have to be looked for rather than appearing as distorted lines and squibbles.
My vitals are all good. they doubled my blood pressure meds. Rah. My BP was 120 over 60, but they decided they want it even lower! Part of this is due to the congestive heart failure I had with theDouble Indemnity Lyrica. Then my BP was hovering around 190 over 80 due to all the fluid in my chest compressing everything. Getting my standard BP even lower will enable me to endure a real congestive heart attack (that's what killed my grandmother when she was 98 . . .) They said I was on an extremely minmal dosage anyway and this would still have me below average.
Now I just wait for the rest of the results and the fitness and fury.
Just wanted to mention my puppy. She's continued to be wonderful. She's crazy and calm by turns. When I'm feeling more under the weather than usual she's protective. When I'm feeling better she's bossy and obnoxious, demanding her way. She's my friend.
She's been on a diet. She hates it. But we went to the pet store yesterday and she has lost nearly TWO POUNDS! Bringing her weight down to 71! Only six more pounds to go till she is her ideal weight!
She could care less about ideal weight. She'd rather have ice cream at all of her meals.

February 21, 2010

I've seen the future; it looks like yesterday

Fairytale Land by Monica Corduneau
Click images for desktop size: "Fairy Tale Land" by Monica Corduneau
"I've never said this to a white man before. I love you."
I don't get nervous about things being said to me like that. It was a customer as I counted out herAlien vs Predator $3,200 winnings. She didn't give me a tip.
Nowadays most people don't understand the use or the power of words. Crack, meth, liquor and TV have minimized the impact of everything but mostly words have come to mean less and less.
The sounds of words get used to mesmerize and manipulate. The clarity and evocative power of words and sentences has been lost to soundbites, which tend to be meaningless emotion grabbers without depth.
Sarah Palin, who used to faqscinate me until she quit the job she insisted she craved so that she'd be free to be greedy. She uses soundbites. She doesn't even bother with words. She makes up sounds that sound like they have portent. It seems like the grunting of a caveman in a 10 thousand dollar suit.
Frank Capra made a movie. It was called "Meet John Doe". It was one of those great populist dramas. Gary Cooper was "John Doe" a baseball pitcher who blew his arm out. In the middle of the great depression that meant he was now a hobo, riding the rails, looking for a days work. Barbara Stanwyck is a newspaper columnist who just got fired. In an act of spite Stanwyck publishes a shaggy dog story about how John Doe was mad about the state of the world. John Doe is so mad that he plans to commit a Zen Bhuddist protest and throw himself off of City Hall on Christmas Eve.
Gary Cooper gives radio speeches that barbara Stanwyck writes for him. They're populist speeches that hold a pure clean vision for America. Mainly the populist themes of the times: employment, self esteem, distrust of the decadent rich, distrust of elected politicians who forget their constituency.
Hal 9000 by Maurico Fernandez Rosino
Click images for desktop size: "HAL 9000" by Maurico Fernandez Rosino
Gary Cooper's character becomes a national hero. Clubs, form up: "The John Doe Society". They agree with Cooper and the clubs form to collect signatures begging Cooper to not commit suicide.
The John Doe Clubs keep springing up all over America. Then Eddy Arnold comes forward. He's a rich guy and begins to bank roll The John Doe Society. He turns a grass roots organization into a powerful political third party. He spends depression millions creating the clubs, controlling the people. He plans to ride them into the White House, making himself a ruler. A ruler not with populist ideals but with fascist Stalinist principals that insure the success of white upper crust Americans while grinding the poor and the middle class into a bloody stew to grease the corporate wheels of his personal progress.
Eddy Arnold rests by building his own private army and by installing the movie world's best ever Christmas tree.
There's a lot more plot to the movie. Cooper finds out about Arnold's plans and plans to expose him. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arnold, rather than be exposed, destroys Cooper and the John Doe Society. If he can't use it. He writes it off as a loss.
It all reminds me too much of Sarah Palin and Roger Ailes. Except there's no Gary Cooper around to save us from them. And, like they say, there's a sucker born every minute.
Palin has no mystery. She's just a greed machine who couldn't even finish out her sworn term of office because she was too greedy and feared her flame flickering out before she struck true gold. She's the Marylin Monroe and Jane Russell
Click image: "Marlyn Monroe & Jane Russell"
Paris Hilton of politics.

Next night at work was the night of the crack heads. There's an armed security guard who works with me. Most of the time he just sits and plays the games, he gambles almost 8 hours straight. I don't know if he was absorbed in gambling or intimidated by the crack heads. Either's possible. There were 14 of them in 3 cars: an Escalade and two Cadillac coupes. They were the sort of scum who couldn't afford Caddies but sold enough crack to make a big enough down payment.
It didn't mean anything to me. I kept them in line. They'd get aggro but aggro and bragging don't impress me. I know tough. Been around plenty of scary people in my life. These jerks were just loud and used to scaring little old ladies. After each confrontation they'd come up to me and wanting to make friends. Like I'd want a coward for a friend.
No head cracking ensued. Mainly because taking even one of them out probably would have killed me. And mainly because I'd look at them and just feel pity. I hate the drugs. I hate the lizard brained monsters crack turns people into but I feel saddened that crack was all they have and turning them into lizard brains was the best choice for them, as they see it. Because creeps like Sarah Palin want to take away any dream of a future and leave all but their select few as despairing multitudes begging for just a little more.
Marek Okon
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Marek Okon
The next night was worse, worse than crack heads. There seems to be a type of woman who hangs around these places. Usually they seem pretty harmless to me. They beg for gambling money.
They scam and hustle but its pretty harmless stuff to my mind. Its more their gambling addiction than purer forms of poverty. Usually they "borrow" a couple bucks in exchange for bringing the fatties money to me. As in, "Eighteen bucks on Miss Ambrose's account and two on mine," while they hand me a crumpled twenty. For many of these women the effort of standing up and walking 6 feet is worth 2 bucks. Or "loan me five and we'll be partners and split anything I win."
I don't like that stuff but it's better than robbery. I've talked to a few women about it but it doesn't seem to have any impact. It annoys most of my co-workers, these people. I don't see why. They only bug me when they get rude but most of the time they are only obnoxious to me.
There's one of this group who fairly attractive i.e. not fat. She's pretty low life. One of the securityApocalypse Now guards was hitting on her as was one of my co--workers. In the introductory conversation she always swings it around to her time in prison and how proud she is of her mother who is like Queen of the Yard.
Depressing stuff.
The girl talks but she comes off as just a tease. She's just playing things out for the money and the attention.
So Thursday she's working this dude, Ronnell. He's a tall guy, a wanna be pimp sort. Wears tiny braids and a derby hat! In 2010 a derby hat looks pretty stupid to my eyes.
So the girl hustled him for a whole five bucks. It made me nervous because I dislike this guy Ronnell and get the idea that he thinks he's suave and dangerous, in a way a guy who's never set foot out of a small town can think he's suave and dangerous. Too many movies, too much TV and very little life other than street corners.
Ronnell decided to collect on his "investment". Fortunately caught him when he led the girl outside and slammed her against a wall and pressed hard against her. Fortunately stopped him before it My House
Click images for desktop size: "My Home" by Unknown
went any further than that. Sexual assault is slightly less disgusting than rape.
I asked the girl about calling the cops. She was startled. She was upset but nowhere near as upset as I'd expect. She hung around a couple of more hours.
The next morning my boss didn't fight me about banning the guy permanently.

I was supposed to see the neurologist on Friday. I got an email canceling the appointment and rescheduling it for April 21!!
I think I'd rather have a slightly worse doctor who was a little it more available.
I called the office and found out the guy was sick. Occupational hazard style sickness.
This Wednesday I get to see the cardiologist. I have some high hopes here. It's the stress test. I'm hoping to find out that the heat attacks have healed. I'm also hoping that the damage done by the Lyrica was only transitory.
So the weekend is nearly over and all I've done is recover physically enough to go into work tomorrow night.
It's going to be a short week. I'm taking off the night of the stress test and then the next night as well. I want to pass the stress test and be deemed healthy.

February 6, 2010

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers
James Thurber

Hollywood
Click images for desktop size: "Hollywood" by Unknown
Rain and snow here. They're not used to it. It locks the whole town into a deep panic. Strange. Two plow trucks with salt spreaders would make the whole thing pretty much a non-issue in a few hours.Blood Cult They do nothing despite dozens of accidents and fatalities. They do nothing and people keep driving. Except me. I keep walking.
The nasty weather makes being ordered to stay at home a bit easier to take. I saw the doc on Wednesday and got ordered to take it easy, to take off two days of work, to let my body heal.
My blood pressure is still high 144 over 80. Doc says it's because of all the fluid in my chest. She was going to give me a lecture about walking out of the hospital but stopped when I said it was mainly because of the money. the hospital said I left because I wanted to go home and feed my puppy . . . that's true but not all that's true.
She also said, "The emergency doctor doesn't understand how tough you are. Your previous doctor made notes all over the place but its hard to believe. I've been seeing you for six months and I barely believe it myself."
There's not much there for me so I let it lie. I don't much like people thinking I'm so tough I can endure all the pain.
She sent me off to get more x-rays. I'm probably going to have to go to a Pulmonary doc. The Lyrica damaged my lungs some but there seems to be some calcification already present. The doc was under the impression I'd tested positive for TB!! I told her I thought I'd remember if I had.
I was worried, In London I had to get tested for TB every six months. I worked with a group called Blue Cross. I'd go out at night with a veterinarian to the homeless enclaves and we'd treat the dogs many of the homeless men and women kept for protection and companionship. Tuberculosis runs rampant in the homeless communities of Europe so I had to get the little skin pop test and chest x-rays far too often.
It was noted in my file that I had tested positive in one of those skin pop tests. The doc checked the computer records pretty quickly and found the positive for TB notation. A few years ago I needed a chest x-ray for Canadian immigration. It seems that the radiologist couldn't think of any other reason that I would need an x-ray other than having tuberculosis so she checked a box on some Ferrari
Click images for desktop size: "Ferrari"
form or other.
I don't have TB. I'm pretty glad about that but resentful about spending time having to think about it.
I got my chest x-ray and picked up my prescription drug refills. I'm going to hold off on any more neuropathic medicines and just deal with the pain with ibuprofen.
I'm supposed to see the neurologist on the 19th of this month. I decided I could survive the hurt until then. I don't care for my neurologist much but he's got a pretty fantastic world class rep. He'll have to deal with the sudden breaking down of my bodies electrical system.
I have to say though, that other than taking one longish walk to the bank I've been pretty docile and being docile has gotten my leg under control. I haven't taken any ibuprofen today at all.
I've gotten to listen to a lot of music. I like that. There's four pretty special albums I've liked. All new but two are brand new and two are new collections of old stuff.
Alkaline Trios "This Addiction" is fine. So good it almost makes me forget how they are the worst The Bird With Crystal Plumage group I've ever had to endure live. Nearly forget but not quite. Every song is tinged with the memory of that horrific performance.
I'm also surprised by the Rob Zombie "Hellbilly Deluxe II". Parts of it are savage and totally deluxe, like "The Devil's Rejects" and "Halloween" were brutal savage celluloid dreams of evil. The other parts are like . . . Well, there's a track, "The Cyd Charisse
Click image for desktop size: "Cyd Charisse"
Man Who Laughs" which starts out great then suddenly devolves into a totally inept 5 minute drum solo! Still, what's great is very cool and what sucks can be ignored. Think "Halloween II" enacted on disc and you'd be pretty close to what the album is.
The release of The Blasters "Testament" is a surprise. Their complete Slash recordings. Slash was a music mag in LA that evolved into a record label pushing out 45's and the occasional LP. I had a lot of contact with Phil and Dave Alvin for some reason or other. I thought the Blasters were a great band and that Dave was more into Buck Owens (which was are main point of camaraderie) than Little Richard. It was Dave who wrote the songs and Phil who promoted the band.
Getting bands to work is a miserable job. It can turn you into a miserable person. But Phil could sing and front a band for sure. And there's plenty of evidence in these two CD's that The Blasters should have been the saviours of music. Maybe they were.
Finally there's the six CD collection from Buddy Holly. "Not Fade Away-The Complete Studio Recordings". Someone pointed out that Holly's "From the Original Master Tapes" was the first CD that showed what CD's were sonically capable of. Prior to that disk most CD's stuck to that insulting Japanese Art
Click images for desktop size: "Ancient Japanese Art" by Unknown
format of just using the old RIAA eq'ed for phono cartridge or cassette master tapes. They were pretty offensive sounding. Holly has never offended my ears.
The complete recordings has all the hits, some weird little tid bits, like Holly recording different versions of "That'll Be The Day" inserting a different DJ's name. I'd heard them before but never in what I guess you'd call a prestige collection. All the hits are there and they all rock like we're all going to be young forever. There's a lot of weird country stuff, complete with Texas fiddle stylings that are only of interest because Holly's playing guitar.
My enforced vacation ends on Super Sunday. Coolness.
I've lost the picking games contest to my friend. Even if she picks the evil mechanized Colts I can'tAbsurd overtake her. Small victory for her which only proves she's a cheater.
I'm picking the Saints for no other reason than the beauty of it. Little Dru Brees vs the evil Payton Manning. Hey, don't believe those sweet and funny commercials. Payton Manning is evil. Would a nice guy ruthlessly carve up a defense like he has?
The Colts are boring and will probably win. That's a shame. I like the wild uncontrollable offense the Brees directs. I like the flying by the seat off their pants defense the Saints throw out there. All the Colts offer is perfection. Perfection is boring.
Who dat think they gonna beat them Saints! I'll be saying it and watching the game and hoping.
The Who for a halftime show?? Maybe 20 years ago . . .