Monday, February 27, 2017

Spinning like a Random Top...ic.....

I cannot bring myself to write anything about the industrial strength swamp that is the current political situation.  I just can't.  I'd like to say that it is just too easy; the fact of the matter is, there's just too much on the social networking sites that to add to it seems redundant.

And I'm not all that interested in Awards shows, so that topic is out; except to say this:

Nate Parker, writer, director and star of BIRTH OF A NATION, was accused, arrested and acquitted of a sexual assault that allegedly took place in 1999.  He and his movie were vilified in the press, and social media, and a fine film disappeared.

Casey Affleck settled a sexual harassment lawsuit, where he physically coerced a woman to sleep with him, and when he didn't, verbally assaulted her and generally behaved like a privileged asshole, and was given an Oscar.

I don't see much of a difference between the two; except that one got hosed. 

And I didn't see any of the films nominated; I did notice that most of the films nominated were released after October.  And mostly in LA and NY.

 Baseball started this week.

I think fondly of those vacations I took to visit my old man down in Sarasota; and the arguments we would have about who's turn it was to buy the tickets, and who was supposed to supply the dogs and suds.  I would like to thank the Tigers, the Pirates, the Orioles, the Twins, the Braves, the Red Sox  and the Rays for the enormous fun.

Also, both the Pirates and the Orioles have top-notch Grapefruit League facilities.

I'm not going this year.

Still no job.  And no prospects.  It's been 69 days.  The longest I've ever been unemployed.

It was easier to find a job when I was forty.

It's hard now.

Apparently, I'm overqualified to make coffee.

And, that's about it.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I wasn't meant for......

There's an old story about a man who goes to a doctor, claiming that he couldn't feel anything.

He found no joy in his life, his job was unfulfilling, and each day just plodded along.

The doctor said, "I've got just the thing for you!  The Greatest Show on Earth is in town, and they have this clown, Grimaldi...and Grimaldi could make a statue laugh!  If you're tired of Grimaldi, you are tired of life!

The man smiled a sad smile.

"You see doctor," he said, sadly, "I am Grimaldi."

I heard that story when I was fourteen.

And there have been, in my life, several quintessential moments that felt like the proverbial punch in the stomach.  Times when it seems like everything around you shifts suddenly to twelve inches left, and every single cell in your body screams.

I can actually remember the first time it happened.  The death of Charlotte, in E.B. White's terrific novel of friendship and acceptance.  My third grade teacher read it to the class through the winter into the spring.  That moment jarred me.  I felt it, keenly.

Standing in the middle of the Ripley's Museum, the world changed.  Or, more importantly, my perception of it changed.

And that's how my self-assessment as a Court Jester with a broken heart began.

I have served an important purpose, I think.  I learned from everything, I saw deeply, spoke passionately, cheered the world around me, tried to see all sides of a story, to get to the real story.

Became an alcoholic, became more introverted, and more often than not, went home alone.

Diogenes would be proud, I think.

Sun will come up in the morning, though, I bet.......

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sometimes, You Just Cannot.

A few months ago, a single three word sentence came across to me via a social media account.

Hello, (my name).

And it was kind of like that Hitchcockian special effect, where he pans the camera back, but zooms the camera in....everything is moving, but the focus is stationary.  I always thought that time travel would look like that.

I also thought that time travel would cause the traveler to spend the first five or ten minutes after completing the journey to throw up, and drink copious amounts of water....because it HAS to be like drinking a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (which is defined by the great Douglas Adams as: "having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.")

That's what it felt like....running full speed backwards to the Fall of 1984.

Things had gone horribly wrong about that time....and it really took me about eight years to right the ship.  I was drinking a lot.  I was ignoring responsibilities.  I was desperate for something to grasp on to; something to give me the focus I needed to find True North again.

Yeah.  I know what you're thinking, and you're right.  I know that.  NOW.

And everybody has to go through an idiot phase, and this was my time.

And the person who sent the three word message to me was something I tried to hold on to.

Have you ever been in a relationship that you thought was a Relationship, but it turns out it was not so much a ship as it was an inflatable boat, and you were alone in it and the person you thought was in it with you was actually removing the air from the inflatable boat, and chumming the water?

And I kept going back.  Time and again; through all the broken promises and half-hearted vows and hollow flattery.

I'm shaking my head just thinking about all of the wrong, wrong, wrong things I did to myself and others, based upon this, tunnel-visioned, self-destructive....mistake.

I have tried since the moment I woke up on my front porch in January of 1993 (temperature below freezing) with the last taste of vodka on my tongue and the first taste of "I actually DO want to live" running through the little gray cells, to be a better person.

I strive to look at all sides of an issue, reserving the right to knee-jerk first before settling into analysis.

I strive NOT to define people by the worst thing they ever did.

I try to forgive the real-or-perceived wrongs done to me.  And like an organ transplant, sometimes it doesn't take.

So.  The person who sent me that three word message, in a significant way, made me a better person.  Of course, not right away....I still went through nine years of self-destructive self-loathing, and I carry that with me as a reminder (in a little jar on my desk, marked: Ashes of My Former Self.)

And, as biology tells us, every cell in our body is basically renewed every seven years, so by the time my sobriety came along for good, I was a totally different person, physically, than the one I was when the damage was done.

So.  Person who sent me the three word message, I say thank you.

And don't ever contact me again.

I can forgive myself for the foolish things I have done; and I intend to do that, one of these days.

And I don't forget them.

And I'll never forget you.

And I will never forgive you.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I went down to the Crossroads, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

I often wondered, and often heard in my head (in the voice of Morgan Freeman), "Oh, Lord, when's gonna be our time?"

I don't really wonder about that so much anymore.

Because I've had my time; and I spent it the way it was to be spent, based upon circumstance, and need, and courage.

I was a teacher, and an actor, and an ice cream maker.  And for nine soul-sucking months, I was a retail guy at the Mart.  I was always running into Wal's.

I often wonder why I spent a certain amount of time (not an inordinate amount, mind, you, but the standard, average-human-being type amount) wonder if I had more courage, would I have gone to the Big City and thrown the dice?  If I had more forward thinking, would I have paid more attention to the things I did as a teacher, in order to write a better resume?  If I had the right words, would those that left stayed?

It's a nice bit of nostalgia, I guess.  A bit of time walking down Amnesia Avenue.

But in my youth, I took it very hard.  I blamed everybody and everything but myself.

I'm much better now.

The truth is, it hasn't been a failure, by any measurement.  I have a bank account, and retirement savings (as if), and a home and a family.  I've had a job, in one form or another, for my entire adult life, with the exception of the last.....let's see.....57 days.  I've kept the family fed and clothed and insured.

I don't do the acting thing anymore.

Not professionally, and not in the amateur, either.

It's interesting; when I worked professionally, it was tiring and I thought on occasion that it was a stupid f***ing way to make a living.  I loved the rehearsal process, putting it together and making it work...the collaboration....and, the performances were good, too; you sleep late, you show up, you work for several hours, you go home.  It's a pretty cool living.

But it's for the younger, apparently.  One day I turned around and I didn't know anybody in the world anymore; the phone wasn't ringing as much; and the callbacks that at one time took all evening into the early morning were done by the 10 O'clock news.

I found myself doing more and more coaching in the hallways outside of hotel rooms, for the youngers who were just starting out, flailing and full of life and energy. 

And I was running on empty.  Full of memories, but low on fuel.

Your talent level is always dependent upon other people's opinions, but I always considered myself on the high side of average.  Think of it as not being able to set the world on fire, but knowing where people keep the matches......

And I tried the community theatre thing, I did.  The timeline was short; I was on hiatus when my career ended in the fall of '03, and did not step onto a stage until about 2010.  I met a couple of like-minded souls and enjoyed both the process and the product.  So, I did a couple of things, until I could no longer sustain the attention, and I retired again in 2015.

I don't really feel welcome in the community here.  I don't think I ever did feel all that welcome; and it's understandable; for example, the last audition I walked into, I watched every man in the room literally deflate.  One actually made a sound that I interpreted as, "well, there goes THAT."  And it wasn't the first time I saw that happen.

On the flip side, I was told, flat out, after my 'debut' in 2010, that I could have any role I wanted.

I hated that.  If people know that, they won't want to work with you, they'll resent you.  And hell yes, I feel the resentment every time I walk into an audition space.

I'm halfway home.  There are more days behind me than there are in front of me.  I'm not going to spend the time dealing with anybody else's resentment.  I would rather be unemployed than under that particular vessel of crap.

Or, in the words of the Jive Lady in Airplane, "Chump don't want da hep, Chump don't git da hep."

If I work again, it'll be under my own flag.

Pretty sure it's a skull and crossbones.

Just as soon as my time comes.......  :)

Monday, February 13, 2017


This explains SO MUCH.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Random Thoughts.

Some things that I've been pondering.......

Steve Bannon is NOT the Anti-Christ.  I expect my Anti-Christ to look like Steve Valentine, not a badly-shorn Peter Griffin.

If the Secretary of Eddimacation (Newspeak spelling) is the head of the Department of Eddimacation, and the GOP is intent on eliminating the Department of Eddimacation, then how long does it take the 5:09 train from Scranton heading east to crash into the hopes and dream of all Americans, leaving Common Sense station at high speeds?

Nordstrom's made a business decision; I'm pretty sure that the Resident of the United States has robbed plenty of less-well-off people of their livelihood by making a business decision.  Does his core constituency know that he's a whiny cry-baby?

And, I think that attempting to make a buck off of the Residency is one of those, "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" that can lead to impeachment.

Some people would actually consider it worse that a blowjob.

I realize how that previous sentence read; I mean, THAT blowjob.  Not just a random blowjob.

I need to stop using the word "blowjob".  I have relatives that read this.

I really didn't need to write any of that out.

Still no word from the Court of Appeals; but it's going to the Supreme Court, anyway, so what the hell.

People have been posting art on their Facebook page.  I joined in.

Dogs Playing Poker won over Elvis On Black Velvet.  But it was close.

And now. Black Velvet is running through my head.

I'm going to stop now, before the Hamilton Soundtrack starts up again in my noggin'.....

Damn it.

(and I'm not throwin' away my...SHOT....)

Exit, pursued by a bear.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Pin for The Balloon.

I woke up this morning.  I didn't want to, but there is a certain young feline that requires the services of opposable thumbs at a time of morning she has deemed appropriate. 

And she's pointy on five ends.  So, I'm a butler, or I'm bloody.

She'll grow out of it.  OR ELSE.

My rituals haven't changed since I left my previous employment; I still rise early, make coffee, take a walk if I can (-15 this morning, so NFW), and read the various news feeds.  I used to read the paper, and I used to watch the news shows, but five years of being force-fed Faux News and I rely upon my devices to pick my choices.

CNN, REUTERS, and the Capital City Tribune.

And then on to the Facebook to read the reactions to the news.

Vicious.  Cycle.

There are two stories I take away today.....the fact that cronyism is alive and well in DC, and this isn't the first time a donor was given a job...and DeVos has decided to put her education background to good use.

Oh, wait.

Yes, all of my educationally-connected friends, and all the people I know that have children are upset, and rightly so.  Our education system is screwed up, and not because there are liberals at the universities.  And as one without children, and no axe to grind, it seems to me that in a country where we seem to want our teachers to serve as parents, as well.....maybe this is a wake up call that the parents actually have to take an active and positive hand in the education of their children.

I doubt this was the guiding factor in the Republican-leaning Congressional vote.  But wouldn't it be great if it happened?  That children actually learned their morality and social awareness and manners from home?

So, in one story, we get the horror show that education should become.

And in the other story...,.,.

Lainy Fredrickson of Norman OK made a free throw in a basketball game, and the crowd chants her name and the game ends.

I encourage you to look it up.

I will tell you this:  You can have all the stories in the world about how this country is going to hell in a handcart, and I won't argue with you.

But I will take all of the stories like the ones about Lainy Fredrickson; because this is where our hope lies.  This is where you'll find our joy, and our compassion.

And they cannot legislate Joy.  Or Compassion.

And I will take that smile.  Anytime.  Twice on Election Day.

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Weekend to Exhale. A Little. NOT TOO MUCH.

I don't watch Saturday Night Live anymore.

It used to be because of what I felt was the quality; but then it became about it being too freakin' long a day to stay up and watch.

I catch the clips now.  And I notice that with the current administration, it gave them a brand new breath of air; oh, the fodder for comedy our current President provides.

It would be funnier if it weren't so.......unnerving.

I am not scared; as long as we have the jesters, we'll be okay.

I think the Presidential sketches are becoming what SNL was originally; a loosely structured satirical look at the country.  Back then, there was also a ton of political fodder for the jesters to feed upon.  Ford, Carter......the remains of Watergate.....

I did notice in last Saturday's sketch, an almost Trudeau-ian, Doonesbury-like quality; largely because of the personification of the "Key Advisor" to the President, Lord Voldemort.  Reminded me of what Trudeau does with Presidents......Bush one was invisible; Bush 2 wore a Centurion Helmet or was an asterisk (get it?).  And Bannon is Death.

And of course, Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer......isn't wasn't just the impersonation.  It was the writing.  Spot on, classic.  Straight from the comedy factories of Chicago.

The real world has been a bit.....hiccup-y as of late; it is gratifying that the Judicial has risen up to deal with it; I wish that the Legislative Branch would be less Boot-licky and more of a check and balance to the fellow in the Oval Office, who bounces checks and is unbalanced.

I do suppose that if you allow coal mines to pollute the streams that are people's drinking water, you don't have to worry about finding jobs for the downriver people; although they are going to need long-term health care.

But they're GOP.  They don't care if they make you sick, and they're not going to make you well.  Unless you're in utero.  Then you're pretty safe.

The Super Bowl was fun to watch, until the last three minutes of the third quarter.

Apparently, Mr. Applegate has moved on to Football.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Saturday Morning Coffee......

I have had a few.....unfortunate.....moments of weakness, as of late, in regards to commenting and sharing things on certain social media sites.

Although, I did enjoy all of the interesting tributes to those we lost during the Bowling Green Massacre.

I think, in future, we need to jerk our knees a little less quickly, and do some research in order to be accurate.  I am finding that accuracy is the key; too many times, those that seek to disagree tend to use one tried-and-true method of refutation; that being, "'re guy did it FIRST!"

Case in point......when caught in what only can be deemed an out and out lie, the bottle-blonde Satan stated, "well.....Hillary claimed to have landed in a warn zone during a sniper attack, and that wasn't true....soooooo....."

(if you imagine her talking in a voice like the pothole in an old insurance commercial, it's much funnier..)

And you can be accurate; you just need to find two sources that say the same thing:  I prefer
CNN and REUTERS.  One domestic and one international.  Covers all bases.....

The most inaccurate thing that bothered me yesterday was a post stating that the Quebecois who attacked a mosque did not shoot six people.  He KILLED six people.  He SHOT fourteen people.  And 59 people were PRAYING at the time of his attack.

By the way, the winner of 'most clever' posting was the crowd funding link for the survivors of the Bowling Green Massacre; it was a link directly to the donation page of the ACLU.

Also by the way, if you add the Countable app to your phone, it will save you a LOT of time.  It tells you what's being voted on, how your representatives are voting, and gives you the phone numbers of said representatives.

Where was I?  Oh yes.....I was a bit....angry, several times in responding to some social media messages.  I believe I told one person that he was desperately in need of a tall, frosty mug of SHUTTHEFUCKUP.

I think the thing I need to remember is that there is a whole, big world out there.  And they are watching.  And they are friends not of our Government, but of our people.  And I believe that there is some crap up with which they will not put.

In other news.....

I finally watched the reboot of GHOSTBUSTERS last night.

I love Kristen Wiig. 

And there was SO much wrong with the movie; even without the inevitable comparison with the original.

And I loved the original; I can tell you exactly when I saw it, who I was with, and how I fell into the aisle laughing when the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man came lumbering around the corner.....

I liked the cameos of everybody, and especially loved what HAD TO HAVE BEEN Bill Murray's suggestion that his character get brutally murdered by a ghost.  And yes, I even admired that they brought John Belushi back for a cameo as Slimer.

But there was just so many.......holes.  The backstory on the villain, Rowan North, is so weak as to be invisible; you can only pick up on some things as they go along, and it's only after they open the book and see the various drawings do we get any idea as to the wherefores.....jeepers, even Vigo in GBII got a backstory.

I wasn't sure why the battle against the ghosts had to take place in an amalgam of Times Square from many decades.....but I did have some grudging admiration of the battle itself; so many new ways to dispatch the spirits......

When you see SO MUCH material during the credits, you know that the film has been badly this case, there was an entire dance sequence led by Rowan, making the various military figures do what looks a bit like the sequence from THRILLER.  Which, in the film itself, was reduced to all the military figures doing the Saturday Night Fever gesture.


I think they relied too much on the connections to the old film; and not enough time creating a new legend, in an apparently new universe.

They should take a lesson from DC Comics; they re-do their universe every decade or so, and it seems to work.....well, except Supergirl......she's alive, she's dead, she's alive, she's somebody else, she's an escapee from Kandor.........and she's dead again....and now she's on the CW.

I stopped watching when they made the Red Tornado a villain.

Well......I seem to have strayed, YET AGAIN.  But I'm going to leave it unedited.

Because I'm free of Governmental regulations!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


A friend of mine, whom I have never actually met face-to-face, asked me recently about why I stopped writing regularly.

I tend to answer written questions quickly and honestly; when I'm face-to-face, I think, I ponder, I reflect, and I obfuscate. 

I answered:  "I found that the sound of my own voice to be tedious to mine own ears."

Still true; and combine it with the fact that, as one of the temporarily unemployed, I have nothing but household chores, re-runs of BURN NOTICE, and the sound of my own voice.

I have been writing; working on a couple of projects, but those are limited to the OneDrive on my computer and my Surface...and let me tell's been like slogging through molasses.  In January.  Uphill.  Both ways.

Some of it may see the light of day; I make jokes that I have about 70 pages, and I haven't begun to make my point yet.  The truth is, I've made my point, and am now beating it to death with a garden hose filled with sand.

I was in Minneapolis recently; I decided to attend a study group that the scion society I belong to runs every month; they are called The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota, and they follow the career of a fellow formerly known as Sigerson, whose former address is now a museum in Baker Street in London.

It was interesting to sit in a room full of strangers, discussing a short story written over a century ago; a few fully aware of Conan Doyle's contribution to detective fiction, a few smirking at the thought of a 'literary agent' taking credit for Dr. John Watson's genius.  The conversation was lively and they didn't stare at me when I offered my two cents.

Okay, they DID stare.  Apparently, it was a very closed circle, and I was from way, far away.  But after a while, they softened, and invited me back.

It's six hours from the Capitol City of the Northern State to Minneapolis.  I'm not going to make it a regular jaunt.

But I did get to spend an hour or so at the Mall of America.  Which was fun.  I hadn't been in a mall that big since I spent two days at the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, back in the mid-80's.

I spent two days because, quite frankly, it was easy to lose your car.

The Mall of America has everything.

They had a place called, simply, "SUGAR!"  Guess what they sold?

I looked at other places as I walked around the multiple levels, but frankly, they had me at SUGAR.

And...well.....I got nothing else going on right now.

Except for breakfast.