09/05/08 To 11/03/08
Obama has been an incredibly effective salesman. That's why he'll almost certainly be elected tomorrow. He got an incredible boost by the collapse and lame duck status of Bush who was never able to get Americans back on his side. He just hung in there quietly like a poker player whose lost some dough in a bad beat and is afraid to get back in the game.
As good a salesman as Obama is, I don't think that he could've pulled it off without Bush's help. I've worked with some incredible salesmen over the years. One guy who sold encyclopedias earned six figures in the mid 70's when it meant something. He owned a beautiful hilltop pad, a sports car and his own airplane. He funded all this partly by hiring sales crews like the one Marla and I belonged to from which he took a cut but mostly by talking to about 20-30 people per night over the period of 3-4 hours. The rest of us knocked on doors for 5-10 hours sometimes and yakked with hundreds of folks and couldn't ever keep up with him. He had an aura about him. When he entered a room he had a similar effect as that of the most charming politicians.
Obama with all his messianic skills is even more effective. The enclopedia guy never used religious schtick. Obama has managed to tap-dance around specifics and get a chunk of the American voters to sing "kumbiyah" with him.
He managed to persuade a large chunk of the masses to forget every time in the past they've heard a salesman or politician or TV evangelist or infomercial spieler use empty phrases like "change" and "hope" and remain convinced long enough to get to the polls and vote.
We all knew back when I was a door to door salesman that the most difficult sale to pull off was to another salesman. Why they can see through your charm; they've been there and done it. Similarly, I was never fooled by Obama's pitch. EVER.
Another example. When I sold air conditioners, I avoided technical jargon and spent most of my time telling folks how nice and cool and relaxed they were gonna feel after we had a unit installed for them. This is a page right out of ol' Barrack's book. Many of my fellow salespeople spent a lot of time talking about measurements and voltage and tried to look killer in their fancy suits and in the end couldn't carry my damned jock.
When I sold binoculars, I NEVER, EVER used technical terms about lenses and crap like that; I always told the customers how much fun my Grandmother (the only ones I knew about were deceased at the time of course) had looking at birds with the model they held in their hands.
You see, Obama never conned me, but I have to hand it to him. He's one helluva salesman right down to the shoe salesman clothes he seems to often dress in.
The thing is though, it's really difficult to keep selling people over and over using these sort of tricks. They catch on. When we had a big day "promoting" the University Society Library" we'd hit the bloody road. We often didn't stay in the towns we worked deliberately. There was always a percentage of folks who wound up with buyers remorse. In fact, the slicker you are, the more likely that when that 20% of people with buyers remorse come out of the ether they're gonna be howling for your blood.
I hope Obama does a great job; why would I want otherwise?
The fact is though, even if he does a good job, he's NOT gonna turn out to be a messiah. The closest thing to political messiah's this nation has produced in the last few decades was the Kennedy clan. Ask old snortin' Ted...he kept his job in congress, but never managed to cash in on the family pseudo-messiah status enough to get it to pay off nationally.
He won't have to crash and burn to lose his "aura". All he has to do is be himself....a super powerful salesman and the clouds are gradually gonna lift for a lot of people. We'll probably have to suffer through a few nauseating months of "new Camelot" crap, but it'll start stinking pretty bad in about a couple years when folks start realizing they're simply taking their orders from another cold, calculating political machine.
What's that? You say he'll blame anything that goes wrong on Bush? Yes, he will..as long as he can get away with it. Eventually he'll have to stand on his own..minus the messiah schtick.
I'm finally ready for my college degree. Part of the challenge is overcoming the desire to have fun and blow off your studies. Old Phil (back at University of Oregon and Portland State university in the late 70's and early 80's) did pretty good in subjects he was interested in, but avoided shit classes he didn't like. He dropped classes at the first sign of trouble and was often swayed by Spring fever, causing him to chortle "what the fuck" and go drink in a park instead of suffering through classes. New Phil has suffered mightily through many humiliating class situations. He hasn't shrugged off his duties and headed for a bar even once. Furthermore, new Phil takes nothing for granted. If he earned "A's" in the first two of four scheduled tests, he didn't work any less hard on the next two.
When new Phil massively ripped his sweat pants on the way to an important German test, he trotted home and back to the bus stop and even though he showed up sweaty and got only a 55 out of 100 (his worst test on Texas soil) he used those 55 points and wound up making it through, whereas old Phil would have moaned "what the fuck" and headed to drink and piss and moan with one of his daydrinker buddies.
The new Phil enjoys a good time as much as old Phil, but realizes that if you're going to spend the time and money to go to college, FUCKING GO TO COLLEGE. DO IT RIGHT, and THEN GO DRINK.
New Phil began this term only needing to complete 1) a once a week Physics lab designed for liberal arts people with grade school level science aptitude and 2) a final upper division elective, which he chose to complete at home as a correspondence course with no human instructor. The class is "The European Novel". He needs to read 10 books and score a "60" average on four tasks: Paper #1, midterm, Paper #2 and a rigorous final.
Against his better judgment, he used a "sex and the city" analogy in a "Madame Bovary" paper that lead to a "75"..a low mark for him. He earned only a "75" on the midterm. New Phil didn't like the picky margin comments by his Professor; he thought it was possible she was a post-menopause crank using an unfair approach that contradicted all he had learned from other English Professors, who usually gave him "A's".
Old Phil might have bailed out of the class. New Phil suffered over a long weekend and busted his ass to write a better Paper #2. This time, no TV analogies. This time he wrote about a book "The Metamorphosis" that made him uncomfortable, but that included as a theme criticism of the work scene in Germany in the early 20th century complete with a son of a bitch boss. Having a pedigree of shitty jobs himself and having actually written a 346 page book on the subject, he forged on. He didn't fall back on what he knew after a cursory reading; he re-read the book and charted EVERY SINGLE REFERENCE HOWEVER VAGUE IT MIGHT BE towards work.
Old Phil would NEVER have devoted that much time after getting a couple disappointing grades. New Phil got PAPER #2 back in the mail today marked with a frigging "93" . He has 3 more points now than he needs to get a passing grade allowing him to graduate and even though old Phil might've just said considering it's his last days at the university "what the fuck" , new Phil will put in a reasonable amount of study time in and take the final next Tuesday not wanting to risk some sort of fine print last minute failure.
New Phil's wife says he is ready for his degree now. He told her that at his "simple" Physics lab he is academically clueless. The class is loaded with sexy female education majors all trying to wear as little as possible. He has to work in groups with them to complete the weekly labs. It is embarrassing for him to admit, but these broads know more about science than he does. Old Phil would have probably quit the class (after tripping over his tongue a few times) because it required group work. New Phil got a pat on the head from his wife when he told her that he USED HIS FELLOW STUDENTS in these group situations, being jovial in a way that reminds some of them perhaps of a grubby, misfit Uncle. He copies their answers down often, just like dozens of "team" partners have been copying answers of his throughout his college days.
Yes, new Phil's wife says he has finally figured out how to "play the game" and is ready to take on the world, sheepskin in hand.
I'm really fucking glad that the Phillies are now world champions. I hope they're boozing it up and running blind drunk in the streets in Philly all night long.
The playoffs were very enjoyable this season, particularly with the Yankees and Braves completely uninvolved.
I thought McCarver and Buck called a very biased series. I don't know what the hell they have against Philly. Why the love affair with the "Rays"?? I really admire their manager who seems like a real brainiac, but thought too many of their players looked like meek little squirrels. I know that Cliff Floyd was on the bench with an injury, but maybe they need a few veteran players to balance their team out. I couldn't work up much of a hate for 'em though.
McCarver was on the Cardinal teams I loved when I was a kid. My greatest heroes were Bob Gibson and Orlando Cepeda, but I always liked Tim too. Over the years we've created St. Louis teams for PS and PS2 baseball. Elvis and I have each batted as him probably 1,000 times, probably averaging .450 or so and this is the way he thanks us?
Maybe Buck and him ate a couple of bad center city hotel room service psuedo-cheesesteaks or got spooked by a scary crackhead. When the Yankees win, broadcasters double as cheerleaders; last night when the Phillies won they seemed about as excited as if they were calling that snotty dog show that pre-emps RAW once a year.
I caught an amusing blooper during the post-game festivities. Cole Hamels was awarded as series MVP a trophy and a new red Camaro. He declared to a huge nationwide TV audience it was going to his Wife, who was celebrating her 30th birthday !?!) OOPS.
The other great thing about the playoffs was the fact that Barry Bonds wasn't seen or heard from. What a great fucking year. Maybe he can be recruited for Chump Hogans laughably bad "CCW" celeb reality wrestling show. Shit, don't get me started on THAT aborted mess. It's about as thrilling as Yahtzee night down at the senior citizen home.
For a few days now I've been moping around trying to figure out the answer to some strange life and death shit I wrote about last week. After thinking I had things figured out a couple of times, I realize now that I don't have the answers in this situation. That's not bad though. BAD is when you submit to usual humanoid reasoning using bullshit notions like karma or faith or other such wild hunches that you are able to convince yourself and maybe others around you have some sort of validity.
I don't know the answers when it comes to my current dilemma...and what's so bad about that? I figure there's a chance I'll figure it all out sometime down the road when I have more data to work with.
I take comfort in knowing I haven't made some idiotic, wild emotional leap.
Having come to grips with things, I enjoyed watching the Phillies decimate the team formerly known as the Devil Rays. I ate a couple big slabs of red meat and am now getting slowly tanked with a clear head for the first time in days.
I just heard an hour ago that my birth Mother died on 10-12-08. I'm a bit blown away as you might expect. I never met her, but I know all about her and have of course met and gotten very close to several family members.
She's been in care facilities for years and it would've been awkward and cruel to see her. I was the first of two babies she delivered out of wedlock. Although it's a common thing these days to accept kids born in these circumstances, this was a source of shame for folks way back when I was born. I know all about her life, and what she was like and loved her from a distance. Wouldn't you?
She had four more kids in the 60's. One of them was given legal custody a few years ago. She quietly moved our Mother 1,000 miles away from the other relatives and lodged her in a facility near her home and of course away from the family. This is one of the relations who chooses not to "recognize" me in spite of my birth certificate. It's her choice. I'm not going to force myself on anyone.
Why oh why did this particular Sister of mine feel the need to keep Mother's death secret for over a week, excluding most other family members?
How can anybody be so cold and conniving when there doesn't seem to be any money or property at stake? Wouldn't you be pissed off?
I don't think I could pull anything like that. When my other Mother who raised me passes, I intend to legally step aside and let her other relatives plan a funeral she would want. I don't consider myself a very nice person, but it seems like common courtesy and won't harm me a bit.
I'm done here, but don't know what to say in closing. I feel stunned and sticky and unable to figure out how to finally mourn her. No, I never met her..but she was my Mother. What would you do? How many shots do you hoist to a Mother who didn't drink? None..or 20?
I've never gotten along with people who are overly shocked by the use of profanity. The worst of the breed are the ones who flip out when their kids use a naughty fucking word.
I think that kids should be taught on a situational basis when they should avoid swearing, such as around touchy Grandparents or other sensitive old farts. If you have a complaint to make about a product or service and you want help, you're best off not cussing. Why? Savvy salespeople know that they have the "right" to end a conversation with somebody using profanity. I have a filthy mouth personally, but have used this tactic to my advantage over the years at my retail jobs.
Colorful cussing is an art form. I'm very thankful that my late old man Bob not only influenced me to read and play chess, I'm glad that he set a good example when it came to creative swearing. When he was pissed off or frustrated or even in an occasional devilish mood he would string together words that I appreciate more and more as I get older.
Bob's cuss words stemmed from his upbringing in Missouri and his years in the army. Even though he earned a Masters degree eventually and taught classes at Portland State University, he never changed his swearing habits. He could quote Shakespeare, Clemens and a raft of 19th century poets. He read the bible countless numbers of times and had a concordance the size of a set of encyclopedias that was loaded with handwritten notes in the margins. He was fascinated by men of wit such as Sam Johnson and Oscar Wilde. He was an incredible role model for the pursuit of self education and overall DIY mental activities.
This well read man, who picked up Latin and Norwegian and bits of other languages throughout his life never forgot his country roots. This was well exemplified by his daily, hourly, constant usage of profanity in front of squeamish Aunties, old farts and church folk even. It's not that he swore that I salute; it's the way he made it a personal form of expression.
Take for example testicles (a word I never heard him use).
If he was in a poor state he had several testicle words and expressions to convey his mood from a simple "oh balls" to "balls balls ba-balls balls!" to "my balls are on the chopping block" or "you've got me by the scrotum" or "my balls are hanging low". If he was elated he'd use phrases such as: "I've got you by the short hairs now!" or "got you by the scrotum!". If he was pissed off at somebody he'd frequently use another balls phrase: "I wouldn't give him the dew off of my balls, if he was dying of thirst in the desert!". He had other catch phrases involving "tools", "pecker", "peckerhead", "peckerwood", etc.
I could go on and on about his expressions concerning farts and shit houses and piss, but I don't have the energy tonight. I'll leave off with one of his more detailed and regular utterances: "That son of a bitch is so goddamned worthless, he couldn't pour piss out of a boot if there were instructions written in neon on the heel!!"
People who don't cuss really are missing out, aren't they?
Look, if you consider yourself a kind soul, a generous person who wants to share with the less fortunate, take the money you would spend to see Oliver Stone's "W" and give it to a needy person.
I can't think of a better way to waste money than to take this film in at a theater.
I researched the early reviews for this film and was disgusted to see how many reviewers making decent money writing for large newspapers and magazines stated or implied that one might see the TRUTH in this film....the true George W. Bush.
Once again for the record, I give him a big thumbs down overall as a President.
That doesn't mean I'm going to suck up to some known blowhard film makers "vision" of him as some sort of Jim Varney rube.
The liberals who will be stuffing the theaters chortling at Stone's creation are the same people who bitch and piss and moan over non-factual films over the years dealing with traditional hero's; I'm talking Republican directors such as Walt Disney or John Wayne.
Disney's Davy Crockett strays far from both reality and feasabilty. Wayne's Crockett is hardly any better. Lib's scream and howl about the nonsense paraded on the screen.
Oliver Stone has never been any closer to my knowledge when dealing with historical figures. Yet, the same libs doubling over in laughter at the "real" Bush in Stone's film don't make the connection.
Just like any grown adult pledging allegience to one of the allowed political parties in the USA should (but don't) realize that car salesmen are with few excceptions liars, almost everybody is suckered by film directors.
Well, NOT ME. And if you have any fucking sense, NOT YOU. Take the money you'd spend watching this load of hippie generation exploitation hokum and give it to somebody who needs it.
Or, better yet..invest in a bottle for yourself.
A man I respected made an absolute ass of himself on a talkshow on which he should have been able to get his views across easily.
I mention this, because as I've stated before even though I prefer McCain to Obama and Palin to Mr. Green Jeans (my codeword for Biden) I'm not wild about either ticket. Palin is way the fuck too conservative for me, but I think she and her family are very normal folks and not dangerous in any way. When I hear Hollywood elitists bellyache about her I get just as pissed off as I did when I heard Ted Nugent make a fool out of himself on Hannity & Colmes. He contradicted several weeks of Hannity attacking the Dem's for their personal insults towards McCain & Palin by grinning and shucking and jiving about his reference in a new book he wrote to Obama as a "piece of you know what".
Nugent is supposed to be a christian? huh....HUH...you've got to be kidding me. I read an earlier book of his and enjoyed it as entertainment, but couldn't figure out just when and where his road to Damascus took place; during one of his tours in which he tread the boards of the stage in a loin cloth perhaps?
Christian my fucking ass. Oh yeah, Jesus instructed his flock to refer to their political enemies as "pieces of you know what".
He then topped himself by suggesting that fat people be sent to camps if they can't control their urges, or have respect for themselves enough to evidently assume his healthy lifestyle.
Colmes ate him alive, shaking his head and getting Ted to repeat his desire that fat people be sent to camps. He remarked "you know, you aren't doing McCain any good here".
Anybody that wants to have their lifestyle enforced by law as the gospel can just go piss up a yogi rope, as my old man Bob used to say.
Hunting? a great hobby.
Meat? I love it.
Guns? I dig 'em.
Ted's appearance on Hannity & Colmes? A pathetic, aborted mess.
As an advocate of speaking ones mind, I hope Ted would understand why people like me would take umbrage at his draconian remarks and call him out.
I'll defend all day his lifestyle, but can't tolerate him trying to cram it down other peoples throats.
You can expect frequent plugs here for the very soon to be in our mitts, expanded and revised 2nd edition of "JOBJUMPER". Man, what a helluva hit the book has been in many households (where folks know how to read that is) on Xmas morning. The first Xmas the 1st edition was out I actually received photos of satisfied readers posed with their Moms and Dads perched under their family tree holding their own copies of my book up. Hey, JOBJUMPER turned out to have a much broader appeal than I expected. I knew lots of scumbag musicians and janitors would read it, but was delighted that it was well received by normal, working-class people. I got letters and emails from not only a few distinguished Professors, but also a couple cops, several school teachers (both public and parochial), plenty of landscapers, retail employees tons of temps, a couple lawyers, grunts, clerks, administrative assistants, fast-food sad sacks and more former door to door salespeople than I could have imagined. I received a jolly email from a former Radio Shack employee (he didn't serve as long as I did..lucky bastard) who advised me that a few years ago a group of former Shack workers sued the bastards for pulling some of the same shit on them they pulled on me and actually got some sort of settlement. SEND ME SOME OF THAT.
For me to write the damned book, I had to relive in detail dozens and dozens of really bad experiences, the worst being job searches. Newspaper and on-line classifieds are still chock full of deceptive and manipulative advertisements that promise money and prestige working for ripoff, control freak jackasses with no scruples. It was more than a little humiliating knowing that relatives and people whom I respect and even enemies could see all my years of suffering close up. Yes, I had a few suicidal moments. What the hell, at least I also "enjoyed" a period of time as THE BOSS with my own offices and secretaries and 3 piece suits and the accompanying 60 to 90 hour work weeks.
I sold toilets for a living, was a frigging repo-man and bill collector, Fuller Brush man, malicious baby-sitter and warehouse laborer. Have you ever had a kid knock on your door to try to sell you a newspaper subscription? Uh huh...I managed a crack crew of 12-14 year olds and trained them to be topnotch salespeople. We road around in my Dodge van 6 days out of the week. It was like running my own greedy cult. It's all in the book.
I met my Wife Marla as fellow employees selling encyclopedias door to door across the Western States. The job was a total scam, but I made better money at it while it lasted than at most other jobs I've had.
The first bonus story (there are 50 more pages than in the first edition) "Diapers For Grandpa" covers my stint working in a warehouse for one of the slimiest bunch of two faced assholes I ever dealt with: AARP. Whenever I see their happy junk mail I still rip it to shreds. I don't know why I forgot about that disastrous gig when I wrote Jobjumper several years ago. Maybe the Muzak piped in for us to constantly listen to there destroyed some of what's left of my brain.
"Self Employed Saphead" is the other bonus tale. It covers bad experiences that still are fresh enough in my mind that I feel my fists clenching just typing these words. It's not completely devoted to Ebay; let's just say it's a LONG OVERDUE double middle fingered salute to the lying jerk wads who run non-stop infomercials about how easy it is to make big money in on-line marketing.
If you want to see my lovely Wife Marla foam at the mouth and get really, really pissed..just mention the Beanie baby loving twats who founded Ebay. In spite of some "troubles" shall we delicately say over the years, I'm still a part time seller and will be offering the new and improved "Jobjumper" in my WHISKEYREBEL store very, very soon. UUrrpp.
A bit of personal misfortunate took place at the chess tournament Saturday. I was playing my first round game against a guy rated very close to my own level.
I was a bit out of my normal mental state due to problems we had trying to set a chess clock before the game for a strange time control popular in Asia that Texans don't ordinarily use.
I'm not blaming what happened on that.
What happened in a nutshell, was that I completely came intellectually unglued at the board, unable to calculate a few moves ahead. At the 38 move point I felt like I couldn't go on, but of course you have to. There are no time outs in chess. I made a blunder and immediately lost a game in which I had an advantage (according to my chess computer).
You don't have to be a chess player to understand. I've seen the same thing happen to skilled musicians a zillion times. The best golfers in the world (including Tiger) can suddenly "forget" how to putt...a basketball player can lose his shot for awhile.
I actually withdrew from the tournament knowing it was pointless to continue until I figured out what happened. I hung around and watched other peoples games and went back to the sanctity of a motel room and drank on it. The answer came to me in a dream that night.
It all started back in the mid 70's. An allegedly chronic drunken Soviet Grandmaster wrote a book that became popular in the West titled "Think Like A Grandmaster". Due to the cold war, it was difficult for Americans to get Soviet books. They dominated the sport, so there was a real demand to know how they did it. "Think Like A Grandmaster" explained a system of calculating moves ahead of time utilizing a "tree of analysis" with branches. One of the premises was that you were supposed to only check each "branch" of possible play once and rely bravely on your mental abilities. For that reason, the book never appealed to me. I'm the kind of guy who wants to double check things. Quite a few great (and not so great) American players soaked up the book and its "tree of analysis" like woodland creatures thirstily drinking from a forest stream.
In recent years the book has been debunked by several writers. Plenty of strong masters and grandmasters still claim to think this way though. Since coming back to the royal game a few years ago, I use a method of planning learned from a couple books by a writer named Jeremy Silman who also has a large following of students. My best games have been due to learning his suggested way of doing things. It's more or less second nature now, but what with finishing school and learning a second language and writing a batch of new songs, I can get a bit mixed up at times over the chessboard. Hey, when baseball players or bowlers lose their form, they work their asses off and get back to where they should be.
Anyway, a couple weeks before the tournament I studied a book of deep chess problems written by a popular Euro GM who uses the "tree of knowledge" system to explain answers to the exercises. I studied the book for many hours, not thinking it was going to do me any harm to do so. During that horrible game Saturday, The GODDAMNED tree of analysis fell over and knocked me on my thick head. As I lay outstretched, a birdie that had been perched on a branch dropped a payload of poop on my noggin. It twittered at my misery. "Think like a grandmaster" my fanny.
That's why I found myself like a deer in the headlights wondering what to do.
I bring this up not only because I think in a way it's funny, but in hope that those of you who do something mental in your own lives be it play guitar or dick around like a pudpulling jackass with sudoku might benefit from it.
The moral is that when you fuck up, rather than making lame excuses, try to figure out what went wrong and get back to the basics of what you know is right. ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY. That's the only way you are going to get better or get back to what was once familiar and programmed in your head. Whether you shoot pool or toss dried buffalo turds, this is what you need to do.
Don't just shrug it off and mumble "Whiskey Rebel's writing about chess again..YAWN" Apply it to your stinking endeavors whatever they may be. UUurrrpppPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP... I should be charging money for this type of advice.....
I'm playing in a chess tournament down in San Antonio this weekend; the Octoberfest Open. I'll do what I can. I wish I had more time to study, but when it comes to chess there is never enough time. No excuses, I'll go there with the intention of fighting every goddamned game and see what happens.
I'm not sure when I mentioned the Phillies last here. Elvis and I (and Marla too) never have shifted our baseball allegiances to Texas teams. We're thrilled with Hostile city's finest. We really did tough it out for many years during the mid to late 90's never completely giving up on the team. We attended a damned load of games when they weren't anywhere near being able to contend. I take every Philly victory and loss from this point on in the post season personally. It looks like they will be advancing (knock on wood) to the next round to play the Dodgers whom we once also rooted for when we lived in L.A.
As much as I love broadcaster Vin Scully, a true gentleman of the game, if he leaves the safety of the press box in Philly I hope the Philly fanatic kicks him in the scrotum..ruining those luscious pipes for good. They need to get down and dirty and slug their way into another world series.
Speaking of Philly, when I hung out with thee Cosmic Commander at the Antiseen 25th Anti-versary folks lined up to have their pictures taken with us.
No, we've no heat with him down here in Texas. I was impressed to see that he's sporting a complete set of gold teeth now. He's a nazi deathcamp commandants dream. We won't allow his death and de-toothing however. He's been voted into the hall of fame for our band and we'll back him up. UUrrppppp.......
Marla thoughtfully worked on updating the web site a bit today. You can click on the NEW cover of "JOBJUMPER" and read an excerpt.
I would say pardon the grammar and typos (since I know a bit better now) but the truth of the book is that it was written by a guy (me) in the wee hours of the morning when he should have been sleeping and resting for his crappy 40 hour job.
Who will most likely enjoy "Jobjumper"? Judging by the feedback from the first edition, certainly people who have worked crappy jobs who also like to read. I was honored to learn over the years that many folks who don't ordinarily like to read really got into the book.
Who will be most likely to hate "Jobjumper"?
Folks who really know how to "play the game" in the workplace.
Also, people with large emotional and financial support systems from upper middle-class families tend to think it's all a pack of lies that grunts like me would be screwed over by bosses (whom are in many cases their relatives).
Example: I presented a cleaned up version of the Radio Shack segment Marla has posted for folks to read to my College upper division level creative writing class. Out of about 25 students half of 'em thought it was extremely accurate and three or four thought it was a complete fabrication; impossible in our society. It was very helpful watching them all pass judgment on it in the usual writers circle jerk fashion originated in Iowa in the 60's.
The working masses don't seem to disagree with the book. Incredibly, the first edition of the book never got a bad review that I saw. Personally, I think I was cut some slack because I'm a long term musician and beer monster. They didn't expect much and I delivered quite a bit if I do say so myself.
I had THE TRUTH on my side..I know it. When you read it, you (as an average working-class schmuck) will recognize the truth and also the fact that I had a series of crazy ass jobs over the years. I was a traveling door to door encyclopedia salesman, a repo man, a toilet salesman for Sears and as a kid the baby sitter from hell. I tried for a few weeks to be a blue collar grunt, I spent almost three years with Radio Shack, worked for 7-11 for a stint and was stationed at the ancient city hall in Philadelphia where I read the wills of dead people. I worked for small businesses, huge corporations and many in betweens. I worked jobs from Hollywood to Seattle to Philly. I managed a run for almost two years in management, sporting three piece suits daily. I also worked in warehouses where nobody shaved very often and we took turns swabbing the piss and shit off of the floor and toilet seats.
If you enjoyed my pal Ben Hamper's auto manufacturer workplace expose "Riveted" or my other pal Ian Levison's "Working Class Manifesto" (damn, now he had some REALLY shitty jobs) you will probably dig "Jobjumper".
If you're a member of the Jane Austen society and are offended by profanity, you'll HATE IT.
All right, enough for now. I'll post subsequent infomercials over the next few weeks.
It's been almost a week now and "Animals Eat 'Em" is still running through my head. That's provided a nice distraction from a lot of horse shit people want to fill my head with.
The phones ringing off the hook with political adds and calls from pollsters. This campaign, which has lurched along for way too fucking long still has several weeks to go.
The dominant parties have said little of substance the whole long drawn out election period. It's the same old canned drivel with the emphasis being on preventing errors which can be converted by the enemy to sound bites with a 50 hour shelf life.
Hey, I'll vote for whomever promotes a law that shortens drastically the campaign period. After a year and a half (or has it been two or ten?) plus of the same old, same old slogans and gotcha's it's starting to sound as plastic and meaningless as Toyoto commercials.
The even more disappointing than usual array of third party candidates this time around hasn't helped matters. What a load of tired retreads and loons.
This extended campaign reminds me of a way too big box of doughnuts shared with others; I've had three and frankly, I'm going to HEAVE if I eat more, yet I see a few knuckleheads still stuffing them non stop into their maws because they are free and available and taste sugar sweet going down. They're TOO GODDAMNED DUMB to stop. Better have a frigging mop handy.
I arrived home from the Antiseen extravaganza ("Animals Eat 'em" is still running through my head) and limped up to the front door. Suddenly my heart raced; what had been going on here in my absence?
There it was..even visible in the dark.
A goddamned "Welcome" mat.
I grilled Marla good. She insisted repeatedly that she bought it at work to deal with the slew of tiny leaves from our driveway that have been getting tracked into our house and are all over our carpeting.
I've decided to take her at her word, pending a very soon spray paint job to customize it.
"Welcome" can kiss my ass.
First off, Happy Birthday Elvis!
I thought I'd lay that down here, even though he rarely reads this.
He's 24 today.
I've been trying to think of a way to write here about my trip with Mark to see Antiseen's 25th anniversary show over the weekend.
I don't want to go down a list of bands that played; frankly, I was too busy to see some of them at all for reasons I'll go into. I was lucky enough to be invited to croon a Merle Haggard song with Hammerlock. They played great and dazzled the crowd. I saw all of Antiseen's set, much of it from close up front. I asked Mark and he said it was the best set by them he had ever seen. I told him I thought if it wasn't, it sure as hell was right up there. I asked him if we could specify actual reasons for it being better than the other performances we've seen by them. He said yes..and lead off with "perfect stage".."best audience"..I chipped in with "best sound" and we kept going back and forth mentioning enough aspects of the show that it must be true.
Of course, we've only seen a fraction of their shows since they play all over the half of the world that will put up with them. As far as Mark and I are concerned this show was the best.
I couldn't see much of many of the bands, because I kept seeing people I hadn't seen in 6-10 or even 15 years.
Believe it or not, by my calculations I believe I ran into about 80 people over the 2 nights whom I pumped hands with and hugged sometimes and posed for pictures with. Two things I want to make clear.
1) A lot of these people are worried at first they're bothering me; Hey, if you folks out there reading this see me in public at a musical show, come on up. It made my year. I can see bands play any night of the week. I can play cd's at home by most of these particular bands, who were hand picked and worthy. Seeing people in groups whom I actually like however is a very rare occurance. Yes, seeing so many at once was mind blowing.
2) I kept declaring out loud at the club that if I drank everything all the nice people layed out on the bar for me, I'd be taking a rescue vehicle to Charlotte hospital. KEEP ON BRINGING THEM UP THOUGH! Let me be the judge. I passed up quite a few whiskey shots and all offers of vodka, jager, etc. I DID manage though to drink up EVERY (!) beer offered me at the club.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU. UURRRPppppppPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP.
BRAVO ANTISEEN...I'll be there for #30.
I'll lay down more here soon on the vicious, suffering bastard aspects of the travel days so you can all have a few laughs at my expense.
I'm really looking forward to hitting North Carolina soil for Antiseen's 25th Anti-versary. Mark and I are flying out there on Friday and will arrive just in time to head straight to the Tremont music hall for the night before festivities.
I'm expecting to see one helluva lot of old friends there. I haven't seen my good friends the Gavin's in something like 6 years. I yakked a bit with Geoff tonight. Their family just moved to Charlotte. Even though they had a horrible disaster by renting a Uhaul vehicle against my advice, I told him I wasn't going to say I told you so. I sure as fuck will if they ever do again. Let their experience be a reminder to what I layed down in "Hostile City Or Bust": FUCK Uhaul. Their equipment is the joke of the rental industry.
I hope there are some Germans at the show (there has to be) so I can try out my German on 'em.
Ich trinke gern Bier.
Ich trinke gern viel Biere
Before I leave town I have to take my Euro lit correspondance course midterm at some oddball building on campus on Wednesday and then get through another Physics lab on Thursday (Donnerstag). The lady who grades the stuff seems to be a cranky old piece of work. I'd better do good or I might fuck up my December graduation. I spent a few hours studying at the San Marcos public library today and am going back tomorrow for more. Cross your fingers if you can manage to remove them from your ass crack for long enough. Uurrppp.
Ich muss deine Prufung machen.
The Physics lesson will concern vectors. I feel better about vectors or for that matter American lit than I do about spouting off about Euro lit horsecrap. The bastards simply whine too much about the wretched fact they must live with we crass, insensitive types.
Whoops....on that happy note I just spilled my beer (aka Bier) Enough....FUCKKKKKKKKK
Since the hurricane path drifted to the East, we'll only get rain and medium-heavy winds here in our town. I saw a TV report that said that about a million people are fleeing coastal communities and Houston. Our towns shelters and motels are filling up rapidly. You've got to feel sorry for these poor bastards being run out of their homes.
I pounded my fist on the padded arm of my chair and jumped to my feet. Maybe it's ok for you folks in other States to just sit by passively while your town is full of thirsty refugees.
I headed to the local HEB grocery store and pushed my cart to the beer aisle. I selected 3 suitcases of corporate beer in cans and a couple of 12 packs of bottles of a couple other brands. Pushing my cart through the parking lot I noticed a sign that directed my fellow Texans to a local community center that is serving as a shelter.
Loading the beer in my trunk I realized what I had to do.
I gunned my Mercury "cop" style car up the hill to our home.
I filled a couple coolers up with beers and ice in case there's a power outage; without power, the contents of your refrigerator gets warm much faster if you keep opening it.
I slipped a special webbed grip holder over a liter of whiskey and placed it on the small table by my overstuffed chair. I arranged everything just right so I can snag cans from a cooler with my left hand and work the whiskey bottle with my right. I added a can of mixed nuts to my table and then went about the house pulling candles and holders from their storage places. I set the best and thickest candle in our master bathroom. Maybe you can shit in the dark..I need to see what I'm doing. I placed another half dozen candles about the living room and finally plopped down in my chair and switched the TV back on.
I watched the hurricane approach land, realizing that like a true Texan I had gotten off of my ass and done something.
I was sick for a couple days and only drank a few beers each night. As usual when I get better I'm making up for lost time.
I'm listening to a 2 cd set titled "post war country" that I found for $5.98. Dozens of great, great songs. I just heard the Bill Haley and the Saddlemen version of "Rocket 88". Now I'm listening to Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon Of Kentuckey".
I set a personal record in front of the science building today. I talked to a guy for 10 full minutes who knew me by name, knows Elvis but I couldn't place him at all. This is common at bars, but not within the hallowed halls of Texas State.
Who was he? Fuck.
Maybe somebody Mark introduced me to? He's very popular and has a lot of friends. I bet he doesn't have this sort of problem too often though. Not yet at least..give him time.
Shit, I had all this stuff to write about; I'm drawing a blank. My mind is turning into goo. There's not much to post here, but I hope I can remember how to....
It had been a pretty dull week up until today.
I'm used to deaths in the family, but not to what took place.
The significance of what happened hasn't really settled in, but it got my mind running at full speed. It spoiled 2 attempts at my usual beloved nap. I'm glad I had a chess club up in Austin to drive up to. It distracted me for several hours to watch some tournament games and bullshit with club members about the royal game.
Here's what happened.
I got an email from my blood Father declaring that he accepts that I am his Son.
Long term readers of this diary might know that my life became a soap opera like existance when the State of Boregon changed its laws enabling adopted kids like me to see the names on their birth certificate.
Several years ago I tracked down my blood relatives on coincidentally the same day I interviewed Merle Haggard over the telephone.
I talked with my blood Father a couple times; they were long phone calls. We were going to meet. Then, his responsibilities to his existing family (particularly his Wife of many years) took over. He sent several pages of family photos in the mail that visually convinced us he was my Father, but sadly contained a note declaring that he wasn't.
I refused to intrude on his life. A few months later when I ventured to Oregon with Elvis to visit some relatives of my blood Mother, a Sister and Aunt from Fathers side asked to come meet me. Their moral code wouldn't accept me being not recognized.
They visited with us for a few hours and walked away convinced. No need for DNA tests.
We've always hoped that my blood Father would come around and he has apparently. That is good. Unfortunately, he lost his Wife of 47 years in the aftermath of Katrina and his other Son (a Brother whom I never met, but mourned more than you might expect when I heard of his death) too.
I always understood why he didn't just drop everything going on in his life and invite me to be part of it. I'm not sure I would have done differently.
Part of my sense of understanding came from the reaction of some of my relations on the other side; a sibling and an Aunt didn't "recognize" me...and still don't to this day.
My blood Father stepped up to the plate today and did what I hope they all do eventually. It took a lot of guts for him to do so. He must be less stubborn than I am. He's been through hell over the last few years. Hopefully he will feel comfortable yakking on the phone occasionally and eventually meeting in person perhaps.
I'm not out to get anything from him other than his story.
I'm pretty sure that he already is well aware that I'm not exactly John Q. Public.
That won't prevent me from being nervous as hell if and when we get to talk again.
What a soap opera, huh? It wasn't that long ago when I had only a Mother, one Sister, a Son and a Wife.
Now I have 2 Mothers, another Father after burying one long ago, 7 (one deceased) Sisters, 2 Brothers (one deceased), a Daughter in-law and her extended family and a countless slew of Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, Nieces and Nephews some of whom I am very close to and others whom ignore me. Besides them I have a Grandmother now from one side and the first Grandfather I've ever had in my life from the other side.
I have to carry flash cards to family gatherings to get the names right of sibling and Cousins kids.
I've had a fucking bellyfull of partisan politics.
Whatever I've written here on the subject, please ignore it. Forgive me. Go have a nice tall drink, or spend some quality time in the sack with your significant other or find a nice vantage point overlooking things and smoke a few bowls and blow your mind; do something else but think about politics.
I want to find a nice dark bar with no bands playing to bother me that I can hide in until this fucking election is over.
People who really get off on politics are warped bastards and bitches. FUCK ALL OF YOU. We've heard your recommendations, now will you kindly shove your urgent causes UP YOUR BLOODY ASS??
ENOUGH!!.. TOO MUCH!!
This election season has gone on for too damned long. All the pertinent points were made a year ago. It's beginning to seem like endless torture; like the fox and the motherfucking grapes..or the dumb bastard back in Greek times trying to roll a boulder up a cliff for all eternity. ENOUGH.
Now where is that quiet bar?