Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brings a Flush to the Young Girl's Cheeks


That was a scorcher, yesterday. Maybe you read about it. 113 F at City Hall in downtown LA and then the thermometer broke, no shit, so nobody really knows how hot it got. Hottest day on record, ever.

The Japanese current runs Southerly down the California coast and swirls around in the Great South Bay like a giant flushing toilet. This generally has a moderating effect on the coastal weather here and there's nothing between the bay and downtown but eight or ten miles of flood plain.

113 degrees is a lot closer to what you expect in the Valley of the Sun or Tucson, AZ, even Death Valley, for that matter, than in this blessed City of Angels.

Pretty nice today though.

Miracle Tattoos

I read some time ago that the tattoo industry was soon to be revolutionized. That micro encapsulated, water soluble dyes had been developed for use in tattooing. These dyes would have the advantage of never fading, so that a tattoo would remain as sharp and colorful forever as it was when it was new but additionally, the microscopic dye capsules could be ruptured by use of ultrasonics applied directly over the tattooed area and the then unprotected and highly soluble dyes carried away within a couple of weeks by the circulatory system as if the tattoo had never been there.

I thought, "Hey, that would be cool, maybe I'll get some tattoos!"

I never heard any more about it.

Do you think the story was incorrect or that the concept of easily removable tattoos has been universally rejected by the tattooed community because the whole point of tattoos is that they are forever, better or worse?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Little Long Legged Friends

There are these spiders in my house. I've never had spiders like these anywhere else I've ever lived. They have light brown bodies, not very hairy, fairly small in size but with impossibly log legs.

They like to spin webs in corners and at the junctures between wall and ceiling and then hang upside down in them. My house is full of them. There are at least hundreds at any given time, maybe thousands.

I used to kill them and wipe away the webs, not any more. I kind of like them. When things get slow, you can always watch the spiders.


I'm not much of a hand shaker. I'll do it if it's expected but try to avoid it if possible, especially on introduction.

I don't like to touch people at all unless I know them pretty well. I'm not germ phobic. I think it's just a personal space issue. It's probably one reason why I used to like to drink so much. Drinking heavy pretty much obliterates personal space issues.

I have always been a terrible salesman. That probably has something to do with it.

I remember going to church every Sunday when I was a boy. Everybody there shook hands a lot and a lot of the people that you were expected to shake hands with were creepy. I hated that.

I like working with women. They hardly ever shake hands or want you to touch them at all, until you're fairly friendly.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Slaid Cleaves. He'll be a Big Star Someday

A friend of my wife's had a birthday yesterday. She had been looking for something nice to take her to for a celebration. I suggested Slaid Cleaves, who was playing at the Folk Center in Claremont last night. I had been listening to his music for a few years and liked him. I suggested that, so about eight of us went up there to see him.

The guy was great. I have no idea why he's still playing little venues like that. They had maybe sixty chairs set up in the back of a music store, in the old downtown, next to the Claremont Colleges. He had one really good side man with him. Mostly sang his own songs.

He'll be at McCabe's in Santa Monica tonight. He tours constantly, all around the country, mostly in small clubs and dive bars. If you get a chance to see him, you shouldn't pass it up. Now's the time. This guy will be a big star someday. Then it will be big halls and big money tickets, not as good. We were in the front row, face to face, three feet away.

Check him out on Youtube, his website or maybe Pandora. Download a few of his songs, maybe buy a CD from Amazon. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Boardwalk Empire, The Coast Of Nod

Did anybody watch Boardwalk Empire? The American Gangster story has been done and overdone about as much as possible, so I don't think they're going to do anything ground breaking.

It's not bad though. I'll probably watch it.

I kind of like the idea that some of the characters are recently returned, disaffected Dough boys, possibly displaying PTSD symptoms. That's a nice twist.

I also like the idea that the main Steve Buscemi character is no criminal genius or violent psychopath, just a sad, venial dork, adrift on the sea of fate. Kind of like Candide, through a looking glass.

Is anybody else going to watch this?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stage Right

Ronald Reagan was an aging, Hollywood movie queen, desperate for recognition and approval. His recruitment, in the early 1960s, by old friend George Murphy into Republican politics was a stroke of genius and by itself, eventually rehabilitated the Republican brand, nationwide.

He ran for President on family values, law and order and national pride and governed like a Depression era, Democratic Party, machine politician.  His presidency gave us a decisive military victory over a Grenada, huge federal budget deficits and the largest illegal immigrant amnesty in history.

The Republicans need another Ronald Reagan. They need to get him or her up and running soon if they want to win in 2012.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Don't Blow It, Christine

With Christine O'Donnell's ascension to the Republican nomination for US Senate in Delaware, the Tea Party once again has the opportunity to widen its base of support, I hope they don't blow it.

Christine is a 41 year old, unmarried woman, who has lived her life on the fringes of society. She has had the opportunity to use the freedom offered by America to explore her political, religious, and sexual identity and make choices about what she believes and how she will live and that is what she did.

She should talk about her life journey, the experiences she has had and the decisions she has made. She should also discuss whether or not she believes that young people coming after her should continue to enjoy the same freedom and equality to explore life that she did. She should talk about why she chose sexual promiscuity and abortion earlier in life and what she believes the choices should be for young people in the future.

 Many people who admire the fiscally responsible Tea Party agenda, including myself, are leery of Tea Party candidates, not because they choose to follow traditional mores themselves but believing they wish to usher in a new era of legally enforced, societal repression. This may or may not be true, we still don't really know.

Sarah Palin is another strong female figure to emerge from the Tea Party movement, whose strong personal values have been forged by an adventurous youth featuring rootless college hopping, indifferent scholarship, transient sexual liaisons and casual drug use. I had high hopes that she would more clearly articulate, in the public forum, how freedom of American society allowed her to develop into the woman that she is. I have been disappointed by her failure to do so.

In Christine O'Donnell, the forces that believe in the transcendence of traditional values in America have another chance to show how the freedoms we enjoy here are paramount in maintaining a healthy religious and moral grounding in society.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tourette's Elvis

This guy has a million Youtubes up. This one is uncannily like me singing in the shower on a real bad morning after.

New Balance 355---Best Ever

Maybe a decade ago, I bought a couple of pairs of these bottom of the line, New Balance walking shoes off the clearance table at The Sports Authority for under $10 a pair. I didn't need them right away and they sat in my closet for a few years. At first, I didn't like them because they required a break in period and I got sore spots on the back of my feet above the heel. After that, they were real good. These are the same shoes that I'm wearing in my picture on the right sidebar.

They have been virtually the only shoes I have worn now for six or seven years. They are starting to show some serious wear but they are still good. Some people believe that shoes like this should only be worn for a limited period of time and then discarded. Not me. As long as they are comfortable and hold together, I keep wearing them. I don't treat them special. Every six months or so, when they start to get scuffed up or the insides start to smell a little, I throw them into the washing machine with some detergent and bleach, then tumble them around in the dryer and they're good to go. Eventually, the soles delaminate from the rest of the shoe. Super glue won't fix that, I've tried with other shoes. I expect these shoes are about to go that route but so far, so good. These shoes have been the best and longest lasting, by far, that I have ever owned in my life.

I still have another identical pair, in new condition, sitting in my closet. If they are as good, my daily shoe needs will probably be met until I'm nearly seventy. After that, one more good pair of shoes will probably see me out.

Someone Far From Harbor You May Guide Across The Bar; Brighten The Corner Where You Are

I had no idea who Christine O'Donnell was until tonight when she gained the Republican Party nomination for the open United States Senate seat in Delaware.

From what I have learned so far, she is unlikely to win in the General election. She may be the woman who will save the U S Senate from Republican majority next year.

The Tea Party Express has big Ju-Ju within the Republican Party. Does this mean they can reconfigure voter demographics in formerly Blue North Eastern and West Coast States? We'll see.

Fidel Castro, now in his 80s, shut down big box people's socialism in Cuba this week, pretty much putting an end to the World wide threat of Godless communism. The Republicans have to make a hard choice now. Do they go after strict fiscal responsibility in government or lead a crackdown on adolescent masturbation? The future of the American nation hangs in the balance.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Pants Are Old Friends

The weather is pretty mild here all the time. Usually I just wear shorts. If it's too cool for shorts, a lot of the time I wear sweatpants. I like the kind of shorts and sweatpants that have drawstrings. I buy them cheap at thrift stores. A lot of times the reason people throw these kind of pants away is because the drawstring is badly frayed or broken. You can buy those ones really cheap.

I haven't bought any pants for at least ten years. I have plenty. Probably a lifetime supply. They get a little ragged looking as the years pass. I don't mind. That's the look I'm going for.

I do have to put in new drawstrings occasionally in some of them though. I use small gauge polyester clothes line. That never breaks. I just run a safety pin through the cord, fasten it shut, then use the closed pin with the cord attached like a needle and thread and work it through the drawstring lumen in the waistband.

I did six pairs tonight. Took about an hour. Now they're good as new.

A Good Book Tells Us Something About Ourselves

I was speaking to a friend on the phone the other day. She was excited about a book she had just read. The title is "Cloud Atlas", written by an English author, David Mitchell. I decided I would read the book, so that I might discuss it with her when she comes for a visit, next week.

I started by reading some literary reviews of the book, which were universally positive, then started to read the book itself. It's an interweaving of several short stories and the short stories themselves are interwoven with references to the other stories. The stories are written in different voices, from different points of view, in different genres and in different times ranging from the historic past, present and speculative future. They are not, at least on the surface, related. The underlying theme seems to be that human society is neither in advance or decline but has always been fucked up and that virtue is not rewarded, enterprise is not gainful and any kind of attempt at personal fulfillment is vainglory. It's not particularly difficult reading but it's not real interesting, at least not to me and required from me a fair amount of application to the task.

I gave it a couple of hours and made it about a third of the way through, then went to bed.

This has caused me to realize something about myself. I'm lazy and undisciplined. Even though I'm capable of reading this book, have the time and I'd like to please my friend by being able to discuss it with her, I'm unwilling to do so. This has always been the case with me. It's no doubt the reason why I am not really an intellectual or considered by most to be a serious person. Dilettante would probably be the kindest description for me.

I should have worked on this condition when I was younger. I'm sure I would have reaped great benefits from it. I could probably still do it today.

Maybe some other time. I don't feel like it.

I like to read. I have even been known, sometimes, to read things that are considered literary. I am not averse to exploring profound themes or universal truth but I think these things can be expressed just as easily by authors willing to explore them using characters who are cowboys, detectives, space pirates or sexually precocious young women with glistening, lust swollen vulvas, in 325 pages or less, using vocabulary and construction a 4th grader would be comfortable with.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler, Lunatic Fringe

I don't think polls, if done by agencies that know what they're doing, lie. Most polls right now indicate that people are unhappy with Barry O and the Democrats. Polls also say that they don't like Republicans much better and Republican Party membership is at an all time low. The Tea Party Express may seem like it's chugging along but they don't have big favorables in the polls and their most visible leaders, while popular with certain segments of the demographic, are held in lower esteem than anyone else. I doubt Sarah Palin could get herself elected to anything, anywhere in the country, although she seems to be a damn fine endorser, go figger.

One of the positive developments that I'm seeing, is how far back the Wingnuts are having to back off on social issues to maintain even a weak minority base of support. The abortion debate is now no longer whether abortion should be recriminalized but whether it should be subsidized by tax dollars. Gay rights are not in question but whether or not religious organizations can continue to call homosexuality a sin. There is no mainstream or organizational support anywhere, for the idea that discrimination against anybody, for any reason, is acceptable. Wingnuts simply seek to remind us that they are also a minority and deserve some consideration and protection as well. Sounds fair to me. There is still strong support for the military as an institution and those who serve in it and virtually no organized anti war movement but nobody is saying that the current unilateral wars of  American aggression in the Middle East were a good idea in the first place or should be continued any longer than it takes to get out, while leaving these countries with at least a minimum level of political and social stability. These are all pretty profound changes from a few years ago.

Like I say, polls don't lie. If trends continue through to next November, the Democrats will at the very least lose their super majorities in the Federal and many State legislatures around the country and maybe that's a good thing but one other thing is for certain, it's not your father's Wingnut fringe out there anymore and will never be again.

Thank you, Sarah Palin. Thank you, Glen Beck. Thank you, Tea Party Express.