Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quick and Careless

Here I am again, with about a half hour before I positively must leave for work. I don't know how I expect to post anything worthy with only 30 minutes in which to compose something noteworthy...at least to me. I was all set to drive up to my ex-wife's house and borrow her lawn mower, but as soon as I was in my car the skies opened up and poured out a combination of rain, sleet, and hail. I drove up to the library to pick up a couple of CDs (Weird Al and a reggae collection,) and then decided to drive back home and creat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my lunch. My lunch was accompanied by Dorito's Cool Ranch chips (daily ration of toxins) and a Canada Dry ginger ale, which probably hasn't had anything to do with Canada in decades.

Well, the sun is back out. Just in time for me to go inside for 8 hours straight. The postage stamp of a lawn that surrounds this house is quickly turning into a jungle. I feel responsible for getting it shorn in some fashion. Once I pull the starter on the mower and start pushing it would probably take no more than a half hour to get the lawn cut, but I need the sun to stick around at least for a full day.

Last night I read the third straight story from Jim Krusoe's Blood Lake and Other Stories. I've loved his novels and his short stories seem to stray a little farther into bizzaro world, which is fine with me. I'm still craving a good novel to sink my teeth into, but these short stories work fine until I pick my next book to read.

I'm feeling a good bit of angst today. I lurch between wanting to shed a few tears, and wanting to drive very fast into the mountains. Anyway, it goes without saying that I'm in a Foo Fighters mood today, so I shall leave you with one of my favorites: "Monkey Wrench."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Moods

I have about twenty minutes before I have to leave for work. Like most other working Americans, I don't feel like my two day break was long enough, but I have bills to pay, and a roof to maintain over my head, so it's off to work I go. At least there are no author events tonight. I'm a little tired of "hand holding" for these local authors.

The next two discs of "Breaking Bad" will be here tomorrow, so I can continue feeding my addiction to this exceptional show. It's certainly one of the most original ideas I've seen on television in a long time. Last night my S.O. and I watched Mike Leigh's "Secrets and Lies," which I easily count as one of my all-time favorite movies. Leigh is the master of revealing the drama in everyday working class lives. His movies are a little short on laughs, but they make up for it with compassion and soul.

Actually, I feel like I'm a little short on laughs today. I cannot guess why, except that I could use a little more downtime. A little more time to lounge on my deck reading short stories. A little more time to search the horizon for a break in the clouds. Instead I'll put my needs on pause in order to serve the public.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Solitude Early Sunday

It's the two o'clock hour here in the Pacific Northwest. Lately I've been remiss when it comes to blogging on the weekend. Having too much fun I suppose. Not that blogging isn't fun. It's just that on the weekend there are other priorities, like father-son time; bonding time with my partner; and a few moments here and there just to relax. Today was a big father son day, with the highlight being a trip to "Pump it Up!" in Lynnwood to celebrate the birthday of a classmate from Justin's co-op class. I stood in the room filled with jumper rooms, large inflatable slides, and an inflatable obstacle course -- and wondered why cheesy 70's music was blasting from the house speakers. The choice must have come from some forty or fifty-something manager, because the staff would surely have chosen something more contemporary...and possibly more hideous. I label the music "cheesy 70's," but it's stuff I often listen to at home.

At the moment I'm listening to the Who's "Tommy" opera. This afternoon I stopped off at the library to pick up a couple of CDs, one of them being the Who's "Face Dances" -- Not their best album by any means. In the car with me was my four-year-old son, and my seventeen-year-old stepson(?) The 17-year-old opined that he thought Jimi Hendrix was better than the Who. I actually never thought to compare the two. They are certainly both essential to the rock and roll catalogue. He would naturally admire Jimi Hendrix more, because my S.O.'s son is guitar player himself. I think Pete Townshend belongs in the Guitar God category, but he has his own specialty being power chords. His slashing windmill chords express an aggressive prowess like no other guitarist, but he doesn't take fancy lead guitar solos under the spot light with dry ice fog billowing about.

I have a little more downtime before I really should be turning in. At dinner I tried to get my son to promise to sleep in until at least 9 a.m., but I might as well have been asking him to cook me breakfast and draw me a hot bath while he's at it. Not very likely. Instead the doorknob to our bedroom will start rattling at about 7 a.m., and then Justin will come bounding in, and up onto our beds, crushing ribs,and gouging kidneys in the process. He'll claim that he wants to lay in bed with us, but then he will begin to do the horizontal jitterbug. Tomorrow afternoon I'll be the one needing the nap, after Justin returns to his mom's house.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Thoughts

If ignorance is bliss, then why are the "tea-baggers" so angry? They should be blissfully enjoying the latest episode of DWTS and munching on some trans-fat free product, while sipping on their Big Gulp. Instead we have evidence of their ignorance through their clever use of misspelled signage, and the refusal to believe that Hawaii is one of the 50 states.

This is yet another of those gray rainy Seattle daze that fills me with a yearning for the coast, with maybe a cabin to surround me and a fiery blaze in the wood stove to keep me and my S.O. warm. One can dream. Even while standing behind the used book counter at work I can still manage to envision myself out on the peninsula with a pile of books to work through.

My son will be staying over tonight, a night earlier than usual. This means that I need to seriously consider getting to bed before four in the morning, otherwise I will be one of the walking dead tomorrow morning when I have to drive him to gymnastics class. I've also heard that he has a new pair of clip-on hamburger earrings that he is very proud of.

I have made the executive decision to put the book Homicide aside for a bit. I just don't find myself anxious to dive into the reportage, and I miss having a book to look forward to reading at the end of the night. David Simon is a brilliant writer (as evidenced by "The Wire"), and I'm intending to return to the true crime tome, but right now I need a breather. Maybe a book of short stories, but something fictional for sure.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let It Spew

For the betterment of all, I have been forgoing most of my news watching. I no longer watch Keith and Rachel religiously. Most of the news these days centers around the willful ignorance of those known collectively as the "Tea Party," and I find them to be an ugly spectacle. I still visit The Political Carnival blog every day, and that is usually my source for any political news. If anything really serious happens I can always investigate it further. That is 100% more than any tea-bagger would do. Most of them cannot even spell "fascist" correctly on their silly rally signs, never mind know how to research a topic that confuses them.

I'm not quite 49-years-old, but I'm already starting to feel like a cranky old man. I look around amazed at how ignorance is actually valued in our society. Young people imitate other dolts they see, walking around slack-jawed and oblivious. I try and tell myself to stay calm, they know not what they know not.

I was lucky enough to attend the Watergate hearings during the summer of my thirteenth year. I have learned not to relate that story to co-workers, and friends slightly younger than me. I still think of the Watergate cover-up as a significant event in history. President Nixon was sure to be impeached, but instead chose to resign in disgrace. His vice-president had already resigned for being a slimy tax cheat. But the Watergate break-in and cover-up seems to have disappeared into the dustbin of unknown historical events for our current generation.

I just don't have patience for anyone ignorant enough to have ignored just how the Bush administration basically raped our constitution. These foolish tea-baggers wave their phallic symbols about, and claim that President Obama is trying to take their guns away, but they are not even aware of the changes to their civil liberties thanks to a little document cleverly titled "The Patriot Act." Jim Bob doesn't even realize that while he is toting his empty Uzi at the all-white (just a coincidence...really!) anti-tax rally, his trailer — Oops! excuse me. I mean "mobile home." — can be searched warrant-free, and any evidence found against Jim Bob doesn't have to be revealed until he is in court. Sucker!

That's just one of the wonderful little clauses of this document entitled The Patriot Act. Isn't that name the cutest thing? You see, if you are against any of the tenets of the act you must not be a patriot. Bush and his cohorts were experts at cultivating blind patriotism, and they used the ashes of September 11th, 2001 from which to lunch their mad plans. All of a sudden it was cowboy politics with W. calling out the bad guys. He walked with a swagger and killed underbrush on his Texas ranch in his spare time (which was a lot!)

These fools on the right label Barack Obama a radical leftist and a socialist, but he is a true blue middle-of-the-road politician. Don't get me wrong. I voted for Obama, and I think he has already done some good things for this country. Let's face it, he inherited a genuine clusterfuck when he took office last year. He hasn't had any help from the criminals, who got us into this mess in the first place.

The corporate toadies known as the Republican Party have consistently rewarded the highest bidder. Their ilk have officially made corporations citizens under U.S. law, so that they are accorded the same rights. Hell, the right leaning U.S. supreme court (remember Gore v. Bush) just changed the law to allow corporations to directly contribute to political campaigns, including foreign companies!

We have Republican congressmen and senators encouraging anti-government behavior. Fox TV, the propaganda wing of the Republican party, has helped organize and promote these so-called tea parties. They have actually broken FEC laws by helping to raise campaign funds for candidates. Intelligent people realize that we don't have a powerful left in this country, because the media is controlled by the corporations, and the corporations are concerned with one thing: profits. The Republicans only want to do one thing and that is to aid their corporate partners in their continued raping and pillaging of this once fine continent. It all started when some dirty pilgrims set their feet down on some rock in Plymouth, but that's another rant for another time.

I mean honestly, you've got nutcases like Glen Beck comparing the passing of health care reform to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. You've got Jabba the Hut (aka, Rush Limpdong), broadcasting from his mansion that the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland might have been God showing his displeasure with healthcare reform. Now these flaming hypocrites on the right are going to do their best to prevent the political party in power from passing financial reform. We nearly, or may have, had the worst economic disaster in our history under the last year of George W. Bush, and the fools left in office with an R after their name still want to protect their cronies on Wall Street.

I consider the Tea Party fools to be akin to a gnat on the ass of God...and I don't even believe in God. The problem is all these cameras and commentators surrounding this gnat, and giving it an inordinate amount of attention. I do my damndest to ignore the ugly spectacle, but it surrounds us in this media drenched society.

All of this ridiculous behavior on the part of Americans and the coverage by our media just makes me want to spew. But I cannot let the ignorant masses distract me from the inherent beauty of my own life. I have had some major transitions in my life over the past year, but I can confidently say that I have a grown a bit wiser from the process. I have a smart and funny four-year-old son, and just over a year ago — on tax day 2009 — I met the woman of all my dreams and desires.

In other words: If I had a giant flyswatter, I would knock those tea-partying, evolution-denying, bible-thumping, corporate ass-kissing right-wingers into the nethersphere.

Now let me share a rant I saw earlier this evening that inspired my own. This is Ed Schultz from The Ed Show, giving those gun-toting tea partiers what for.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Already?

I was just starting to get the hang of this "day off" thing. Actually, I took Friday evening off from work, and that fact made this past weekend that much more glorious. Nothing in particular was accomplished, but I was able to slow time down just a tad, and therefore was able to enjoy my time off a little more than usual. I took my son to the playground; I watched the Mariners win a game; and I spent some time on our deck, soaking up some precious Seattle sunshine.

While I was out of work on Friday I think that a couple of books may arrived for me. I went ahead and ordered those two precious film books that I was coveting, even though the cost of the two books is almost exactly what I had to pay to the IRS. I don't mind paying taxes though, because I like sidewalks, and I want to know that if my house catches fire that the fire department will show up. I like the fact that there are public schools and libraries. I also like the fact that President Obama actually cut taxes for working folks. He even cut taxes for ignorant sods like "tea-baggers," even though they are ungrateful gits.

I had lunch at the Ram today. I hadn't had lunch there in a few weeks, and I was hoping to see my favorite diminutive waitress, Jessica. I realized once I was seated though, that I wouldn't make a very good stalker, since I had completely forgotten that Jessica doesn't work on Mondays. Instead I had the curly haired, and hip bartender come out from behind his station to serve me. He was friendly and attentive, but he's no Jessica. Sorry bud.

Besides having Friday evening off from work, I also got out of attending a hip hop dance performance with my four-year-old. My always-thoughtful Significant Other suggested that she take my son and her 17-year-old to the performance, thereby giving me a few hours of solitude at home. I paid her back for that kindness the following day by taking her for a drive to our favorite parking spot, which provides a wonderful view west of Marie Callender's and just beyond that landmark is the rushing traffic on I-5. There is nothing like parking in an anonymous space in a large corporate parking lot on a sunny Sunday, while citizens walk obliviously by. They are oblivious to the fact that this happy forty-something couple have found a little bit of paradise in a parked car, under the shadow of buildings housing real estate and financial companies.

Besides hanging out in parked cars, I watched three more episodes of "Breaking Bad," and I hope to receive the next two discs in the series on Wednesday. I was actually able to reist buying the complete sets from Best Buy, so that we could watch them in one long marathon session. No Netflix discs to watch tonight, so maybe I'll get a little more of Homicide read. Now I'm off to sell books to the bookless.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just Another Tax Reject

Well, my tax returns were rejected, as I thought they might be. I thought I had answered every question correctly, so that my son wouldn't be considered my dependent, but in the end he gave me a great deduction...that the government saw fit to take away. Now I'm back to owing them $61, which isn't too bad when one looks at the big picture. Of course, I already ordered my two special film books yesterday. They are going to cost nearly $61 too. Ah well. I'm sure I can find another rationalization for their purchase.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunshine and Tax Returns

Well, I finished e-filing my taxes just a short while ago. It seems that I'll be getting $1,306 deposited into my checking account in 8 to 14 days. I think that I might actually order those two film books that I've been coveting today. It will take probably a week for the books to arrive anyway. My Significant Other just mentioned that it was too bad that she's not needy and high maintenance, because then she would be expecting me to lavish her with gifts. There will most likely be an extra book or two in her future. The best gift that I can give her is priceless anyway, and you cannot find it in any store. I'd tell you where you could find it, but that would be giving away secrets.

I watched the first two episodes of "Breaking Bad" last night and I'm hooked. It's one of the most inventive and original shows I've seen in a while. I hope to watch the third episode tonight, so that I can rush the disc back in order to get disc 2.

Time to end the post, and begin the short drive to work.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Death and Taxes

I'm nearly done with my taxes. I was initially excited to find out that I would be getting back $341, but once I added in the income of my alimony payments I ended up owing the federal government $61. It could be a lot worse I suppose, but I was going to use the return to buy two expensive film books. I suppose I could come up with a different rationalization that would enable me to purchase the two books, and I probably will. I don't see how I can do without the two books: one on director Hal Ashby ("Being There," "Shampoo," and "Bound for Glory") and the other on the great character actor Warren Oates. I consider them both to be film icons, and I would love to know more about them. Both books are on a university press imprint, so the price is a little higher, and there is no discount for out store (which translates to meaning no discount for me either.)

I know have the first disc of "Breaking Bad" from Netflix at home to watch. I've heard many good things about this show, and I'm looking forward to checking it out. I guess it's about a high school teacher, who finds out that he has terminal cancer, and decides to start manufacturing meth in order to leave some money behind for his family. There might even be some "meth mouth" on display from time to time.

So, my taxes are nearly done, and I've decided to put Old Man Death on hold for a while. Too much good to be experienced in the world before checking out.

Friday, April 9, 2010

America the Stupid

Our news outlets in this country are a constant source of embarrassment. What "journalist" could have possibly thought that asking President Obama to respond to Sarah Palin the Quitter, after she leveled a schoolyard taunt at him for his reason nuclear arms treaty with Russia, was anywhere near an intelligent question? Obama was graceful in his immediate dismissal of any legitimacy Palin might have on the issues, but the fact remains that the news media in this country continue to put Palin up there like she is some political authority. It's mind-boggling. She quit being governor of Alaska, so that she could whore herself out for money. The fact that her followers refuse to see her as anything but a quitter, looking for the next rolled up dollar bill to slip in her g-string just goes to prove the utter stupidity of a great many Americans. The fact that people could still have any confidence in John McCain after his recent reunion with the quitter from Alaska only further goes on to prove the point.

If you are a fan of Sarah Palin, could you possibly tell me her qualifications without lapsing into perverted backhanded compliments à la Pat Buchanan? We are witnessing a growing population of people in this country who actually disdain intelligence. They refuse to read up on the important issues (like health care reform, and nuclear proliferation) before opening up their gaping maws to spew out nonsense.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday Music Break

I have mere minutes before I have to leave for work, but I felt the urge to post a music video first. Here is Shivaree doing "Goodnight Moon." I've been listening to this band lately, especially their album of covers, "Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs."

No pearls of wisdom to leave you with today. I'm barely awake and I need a road trip, I probably shouldn't attempt any long distance driving until I'm awake, but I can certainly hold my own at work without being fully conscious.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Day Full of the Blahs

Oh, what I wouldn't give to stay home today, and lay on the couch reading through the afternoon. This week is not a good week for it though, with at least two people out on vacation days at work. It's not raining...yet, but the wind is still blowing through the trees without a thought for the fact that it is Spring.

I need to leave for work in about ten minutes, but first I wanted to post a whine online. I feel impelled to post even when life is dull and trivial. The only activities ahead of me today is receiving books, shelving books, and buying used books from various customers, who have nothing better to do today. Me? I have better things to do today. Unfortunately, I must earn a paycheck to continue to enjoy this lavish lifestyle.

Oh, I saw a news blurb stating that John McCain was supporting his old campaign booster, Carly Fiorina, in her bid for a senate seat in California. He's also been whoring with Sarah Palin in his home state, hoping to drum up enough votes from the crazies that can't see through his hypocritical behavior. And while we're on the subject of the American zero John McCain: He also stated in an interview with Newsweek over the weekend that he never considered himself a "Maverick." Insane old crank with two much money and a trophy wife? I think so.

A heroic hypocrite, or a hypocritical hero? I seem to remember that a hero ain't nothing but a sandwich.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Realization

I mentioned in my previous blog that it had been over a week since my last post, but that's not true. The reality is that I blogged just last Friday. Now I feel much better. I'd hate to think that I was ignoring my ego outlet for so long. I'm still lagging behind when it comes to my intentions, but it's not like I don't mean well.

Say What?

What to say...what to say. I haven't posted a blog post in over a week, but it's not that I haven't sat in front of the monitor trying to think of pearls of wisdom to write down. I've even jotted down notes and ideas of items to expound upon here on my blog. I'd love some time to critically tear down empty shells like Deepak Chopra and Sarah Palin (what an easy target! Oops! Gun jargon.) The stupidity being exhibited by the right-wing wackos in this country has made me speechless lately. I wonder in amazement how human beings, who are allowed to drive and raise children, can also be allowed to be so willingly and woefully ignorant.

How many times to we have to witness the racial slurs and the bricks being thrown through windows before we call the right-wing wackos what they are: Terrorists. They are exactly in the mold of Timothy McVeigh. They are small minded people, who -- with the blessings of our backward governmental gun laws -- who are allowed to own large caliber weapons.

On the home front, I still need to file my taxes, but April 15th is still a week and a half away. I still have boxes to unpack in my office. The Mariners started their season last night with a win at home. And I'm thinking about taking a random vacation day in the next week or so. Some day with no agenda. A day to spend entwined with my Significant Other, preferably without children in the house. Life goes on, with its attendant ups and downs, sunshine and rain. I'm just paddling along, keeping an eye open for rough water.

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Offhand Remark

The clouds are parting slightly, giving the impression for the moment that the deluge has passed. It's a perfect day for getting comfortable on the couch with a big fat novel, or taking in an afternoon matinee. I requested from my Significant Others daughter that she take my four-year-old son to a matinee. He's been going a little stir crazy all day, and an Imax 3D showing of "How to Train a Dragon," should be just what the weatherman ordered for staying sane.

I'll be leaving for my shift at the bookstore in about a half hour. It's Friday, and the weather will either keep the customers away, or pull them in for lack of anything better to do. Last night I watched the last two episodes of the British series "Life on Mars" rather than reading. It's been an exciting and innovative series, but the summing up garnered a review of "eh" from me. It sort of left the possibilities open a bit, which isn't a bad thing. The problem was more that they tried to tie it all up in the last hour episode, and I think it would have been more effective to build to the ending over the last few episodes. Oh well. I'm still quite sure that it's better than the U.S. remake, starring Harvey Keitel.

I recevied a copy of the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" that I had ordered last week from Amazon. I'll probably watch that tomorrow night. Nothing rocks out a Saturday night more than animated talking foxes. Other than that I have no special plans for the weekend.