Friday, September 09, 2005

Friday Night Fights

uncle...i whimper it with all the might of a squashed bug. this has been a bitch of a week. i've dealt with family, friend and work crises every night. during the days i worked long overtimes in order to make and test asphalt so that unreasonable contractors and spineless managers could leave their jobs at the normal time and go home to their families, eat a nice dinner and sleep well and long knowing that they are the reason the jobs are proceeding on schedule (and, yes, i will be in front of my 500+ degree furnaces tomorrow so said buttheads can come to work monday morning and see the finished tests in a "timely" manner and congratulate themselves on their wonderful management skills).
but tonight it's friday night. and that means drinking beer, watching baseball, playing loud music, perhaps visiting the garden gnome and forcing myself to feel 20 years younger. i had planned on going to the tower theater and watching whatshisname myazaki's newest film (he's the gent who made spirited away, kiki's delivery service, porco rosso and others) or check out romeo and juliet at woodward park. once i got home, though, neither was an option. i've checked in and checked out. put a "do not disturb" sign on the door. hung a green sock on the knob so everyone will know i am in flagrante derelicto.
so, uncle...which is a very weird looking word when i think about it. from the latin avunculus. we also have avuncular, a word i know but never understood. but i think of carbuncle and garfuncle and feel that uncle is not a word. it is an addendum to something. huh, carbuncle could be your fat relative. bob's your uncle. funcle was a word used to describe cool shit until the letter Y was invented and someone discovered that Y always proceeds K. "funcle town" would never have hit the charts.
weird is, also, a weird word. I before E except after C. weird defies the rules. poo-poos convention. spits into the wind. tugs on superman's cape. pulls the mask of the old lone ranger and messes around with jim. weird revels in being the bad boy of the dictionary. while all of the other words stand in line waiting for benediction from webster or some other wannabe writer (i mean, my goodness, his book was absolute plagiarism. all he did was steal the words others had written before him without adding anything original other than expounding upon the obvious), some say it's witchcraft (sinatra does). others just sing along to the musical stylings of the Weird Sisters.
but the weather is nice finally. it's getting back to being what passes for summer in seattle minus the humidity. warm days, cool but not yet crisp nights. i can't wait for the crisp. i'm a crispy lovin' critter. probably why i love bacon so much. and burnt toast. and eggs over hard. and peeling the skin off other people's sunburns.
but i love cold. i know that a lot of humans love cold, but for me it goes beyond that. i'm the ape who will eat nothing but bananas even though it's a stereotype his forebears have tried hard to steer their fellow primates away from. it's a relationship born in the womb. i will take the hottest, steamiest shower in the dead of winter, but open the window so that 30 degree wind can counterstream over my body. maybe it's a sweet and sour sauce. i want my pores open and my nipples hard. my muscles relaxed and my ball sack climbing mount everest. bondage, but the key's within reach. total lack of commitment. cake, a big fork and living somewhere other than france.
the other thing that's bothering me is that about three weeks ago i washed a bunch of laundry and forgot to put it in the dryer for four days. i finally did, but pulled it out only to find that everything smelled of mildew even after 90 minutes of hot. i wore a couple of workshirts despite the odor. then i threw everything back inot the washer, because i knew i couldn't live with it. tonight i got home, stripped out of my work clothes and pulled on comfy stuff. the shirt i chose was from the closet. it smells not of elderberries. it smells of a mild toe fungus. or that white stuff that squirts out of an ear piecing hole that's not been used in some time. i'm still wearing the shirt despite this, because it is a comfortable shirt (the top three buttons pop open when i breathe deeply even though it's still too large for me). but it has a stench that my nose picks at like a finger at a ripening scab.
i think tonight's musical entertainment will be comprised of an album by Bloodhound Gang, Sublime or Little Feat. by the way, can you think of anything stupider than buying 3 vinyl records by the Pogues online when you don't even have a record player?
so, today i pulled a joke. there's this guy at work who's very cool and funny, but likes to abuse and play pranks. not too long ago he had to get his two front teeth pulled and now wears a retainer with fakes built in. two nights ago i shaved my head for comfort. last night he shaved his head to mock me. this morning he came in wearing the same work shirt as me (we have many different ones) and said "hey! you weren't supposed to wear that shirt! now we look like twins!". i thought about it, then went and found some electrical tape, blacked out my teeth, found my boss and said "watch this". went over to this guy's work station, pulled my shirt over my belly and yelled out "heidie ho! i'm a Ditch Bank Oakie!"while smiling really big so he and everyone else could see the tape. then i found my aim and was able to throw things and hit him for the rest of the day. he is going to get me back in a big way and i can't wait. it's what makes working in a lab bearable.
oh, fuck uncle. as incestuous as that sounds i'm getting more beer. and i'm going to howl at the cat and the tv and the computer screen and hope that my neighbor needs to take a shower tonight (her curtain is a dress thrown across the window...doesn't work as well she thinks).
happy FNF. for the rules, go here... just fuckin' witcha. there ain't no rules.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

as much as i hate tagging unless it's done artfully and to the competition's shop window, i will acquiesce (but not silently) to lecram's.

10 Years Ago: i was living in seattle, washington in the freelard neighborhood and working for a candle supply making shop called pourette. i was heavily involved with a woman named jennifer. i was taking in seattle mariner baseball games. and i was learning the very tough art of gardening in the pacific northwest. the summer season there is actually a defined season unlike here in the central valley of california. if i wanted tomatoes, peas, carrots, radishes, dope and the like i had to watch the extended forecasts closely (and i mean the national ones, not the stoopid local ones. by the way, if i were i local meteorologist up there i wouldn't even go to work some months. a simple placard that reads "rain expected with some clearing and a chance of afternoon sun" would suffice). however, it helped me to hone my green thumb. unfortunately, i brought that green thumb back to the san joaquin valley and killed quite a few vegetable plants through overzealousness. also, i was learning that i wasn't cut out for extended and daily relationships. my true joys of an evening were to go to a nearby pub, drink guinness beer, throw real darts, work the crossword, write a drivel of a poem or two, shoot a game or two of pool and wander home. all in all a very enjoyable evening (and if i had or found someone who had the KGB, even better). my girlfriend, while not too demanding of my sobriety, was a bit too demanding of my time. a well learned lesson, the outcome of which was that we agreed (mutually, i might add) that our lives just didn't mesh after 2 and a half years. we made better friends than...the cliche.

5 Years Ago: i moved back to Fresno. decided seattle was just too damn small and conservative for a man like me. so i packed up my 1969 VW bus and cruised over the mountains to klamath falls, oregon where my beloved sister lives with my beloved niece. it was to be a weekend stop, but events conspired to lengthen the stay. on the way over said mountains of no name i was stopped by a crew laying high speed phone lines. as i was in a line of cars i turned off my engine. when it was my turn to go forward i tried to start the bus and it wouldn't. facing uphill. long story short i ended up being the only obstacle between it and a deep ravine with a river at the bottom. in other words i got out of the bus, put a rock under the wheel, got back in, tried to start it in neutral and the rock shifted. i got back out to fix the rock and forgot to set the hand brake. for ten minutes i was back to back with the bus, because it was in neutral and i had already kicked the rock out of the way. i waved to people as my body groaned against the weight trying to push me over and my legs began to tremble. the one driver who made eye contact just sahook his head as i yelled to him to get out and set my handbrake. he got the seattle one finger salute. eventually, i got out of that jam all by myself, faced the bus downhill and jumpstarted it in second gear. got to the bottom of the "hill", turned a round, got back in line and didn't cut the motor until i got to my sis's. blown oil pump, gaskets, everything. the bus's oil pan was flooding when it faced uphil and couldn't breathe. got to fresno (sanger, really), moved in with my parents for a while, laid low and was found out by people like lecram.

1 Year Ago: i was swearing to never work the rogue festival again. i had been one of its founders. i had been running venues for it for too long and last year was a bugger of a venue. i was also looking at my job and wondering why i was still working for assholes.

Yesterday: after a very long day at work mixing asphalt and running tests on it and tests on other black goo that came from the visalia airport and highway 99, i sat out on my patio with a beer and looked at the albatross that is the empty two-story fouplex built acroos the street from this past june. empty, because the bay areas owners bought it sight unseen for a cool $750,000 only to view and realize they owned a pig in a poke that was D.O.A. no way to make their money back in any timely or untikely fashion. so they've decided to rent it for a price no one will touch (i'm smelling tax writeoff). then, lecram called. he's borrowed my second car for a bit (yes, i am a "monied" man), but he evidently can't read a gas gauge. i picked him up, he bought a gas can and filled it up, we replenished the bmw and he was on his way again after a very good conversation about friends, lovers and the heartbreak of psoriasis. then, writerboy shows up at my house. only met this guy once at a barbecue. he wanted to "buy a baggie". i had to tell him that i am now a blue moon smoker and had nothing on the shelves (i stopped short of telling him that hurricane katrina had swamped my crop). he was polite and obsequious, which did nothing for me. i like my folks blunt. a dry martini ain't bad either. i watched the USA soccer team tie guatamala, but it was okay because USA has already earned their way into next year's world cup in germany (and you know i will be up watching every damn game that i can when next summer rolls around). then, i went to bed, because i had to be at work at 5 this morning.

5 Songs I Know All The Words To: Mojo Nixon's "She's Vibrator Dependent" (don't want me in it); Bloodhound Gang's "You're Pretty When I'm Drunk"; Kinky Friedman's "Waitress, Please Waitress"; the Roches' "The Boat Family" (although the harmonies kill me); Southern Culture On The Skids' "House of Bamboo".

5 Snacks: baby ruth, peanuts in the shell, microwave popcorn sans butter, celery and peanutbutter, beer.

5 Things I'd do w/ $100 million dollars: wait outside my house for the bottle and can pickers i know to be honest and hardworking and set them up right; buy a small nightclub/bar and hire musical acts that i actually like (like the Roches, Bloodhound Gang, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones, Joan Osbourne, Jonathon Richman, Michelle Shocked, U2, REM, Sleater/Kinney, Eyes Like Mars, the Moldy Peaches, Fiona Apple); run naked down wishon boulevard from shields avenue to belmont shouting "i have the littlest dick in the world" and then pay the cops to turn their flashers on for me; disappear for the rest of my life (with sporadic emails to certain friends and family about where they can meet me all expenses paid); pay the drycleaning bill for lecram's pants.

5 places I would run away to: AAA (when AA isn't enough just keep aaadding); Madagascar, because it was always the darker appendix to the dark continent when i was growing up and, evidently, it has an ecosystem unlike anything else; Nepal (and i'd even quit smoking in order to be able to breathe the rarified air); Molokai (has a huge telescope that i could commandeer if this was tied into the $100 million question); seattle, but only if i could afford to live on a union lake houseboat without working (the july 4 fireworks are amazing).

5 things I would never wear: a toupee, a muscle shirt, a pushup bra, mickey's mantle, lederhosen (sorry, theraminman).

5 favorite TV shows: West Wing, Xena: Princess Warrior, Arrested Development, Reno 911, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.

5 greatest joys: candlemaking, poetry writing, telescope viewing, beer drinking, masturbating.

5 favorite toys: weed whacker, pruning shears, computer, the cat, t.v.

5 people I'm tagging: probably none, because the gentleman who tagged ME knows all of my blogger friends.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ass-Fault (Half Nekkid Thursday)

so, i work in an engineering lab. i've been doing this for 5 years now and have become way too proficient in the knowledge of soils and concrete (what it is, does, doesn't want to and shouldn't under any circumstances). if you land safely on an airport runway or arrive safely after a long or short road trip; if you survive an earthquake, because your building didn't can thank me in part).
but it wasn't until i came to my current employer that i began to really learn about the black stuff your wheels grip. with that in mind, i present to you this pictorial tribute to my current passion. the stuff that keeps you safe. the road of happy returns: Ass-Fault. because no man should drive there alone.
HNT is a good thing. visit all of them. now, dammit!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

a polaroid generation

my good friend generik found this letter from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which says it all. we can pretend that shit happens and no one is perfect, but this is pure 100% administration fuck-up. this is the result of 5 years of cuts in FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Wetlands Protection Act. this is the result of turning FEMA into a subdivision of Homeland Security, where beurocracy (spelling on that, judges?) reigns and execution of law seems like a distant wet dream. rightwingers are trying to confuse us by saying that clinton started all of the cuts when, in fact, he didn't. but they tried that with iraq, gas prices, the recession (which may be coming around again). why can't we find a politician who is willing to say "wow. i fucked up. that started and got out of control on my watch. i will make this right even though i voted to fuck it up in the first place"? leftwingers are tying themselves to the mast of a ship that blames all republicans when some republicans are not to blame. when are the "liberals" going to accept the fact that when they refuse to budge on important issues that affect all americans they, in effect, do harm to many of them? however, this letter hits the coffin nail right on the fucking head. bush and his "employees" have fucked up in grand manner.

An open letter to the President
Dear Mr. President:
We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to make it right."Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don’t know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city’s death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren’t they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn’t suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job."That’s unbelievable.There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn’t be reached.Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.When you do, we will be the first to applaud.

Monday, September 05, 2005

happy non-HNT night. i just wanna show a tattoo.

wow. weird what a night at lecram's can do to one's head. especially when mustang is there. and "J". trust me when i say that these are three individuals who should never be in the same vicinity as me. drunk, drunk, stoned and drunk. and i speak of just me. them i don't know about. i hope "them" are sufficiently dizzy enough to not fall asleep until they've puked.
a nice barbecue. lots of burned meat, lots and lots of beer, tequila and devil's brew. eclectic mix of folks. good conversation that would turn dirty and/or silly at the twist of a word. jaded stopped by and starsadie (neither of whom write very much) hung out. some guy named "writerboy" was there. not a clue about that. we named him, but we want a paternity test. man, there was a lot of booze there. and no dope. nope. nada. nichts. niente. zilch. nein. nyet. null set. zippo. well, at least it was fun. otherwise i would have told them all to fuck off. so, lucky for them that they're really cool.