Thursday, November 24, 2016

Alice's Restaurant

So BA and I headed over to Brendan and Susan's place today for another annual Thanksgiving feast to beat all others ever celebrated in the known Universe.

The turkey was perfect.  The beer was plentiful and cold.  All the normal trimmings one could hope for were in attendance, with more dessert choices than this man could even hope to best.

A big fat doober before and one or two after our sumptious repast, and now at this moment I can barely move.  Just sitting up is painful. ........................ Lord, please put me out of my misery.

Breaking bread with folks from a few of the many New England corners has become a comfortable and expected high light of our holiday season.

No matter what madness exists in my recent past.  No matter what madness may lurk in my upcoming future.  No matter what might come down, go down, this night I sit here thankful for the company of fine folks from away.  Sharing polite conversation, everyone carefully avoiding the trap of politics and turkey.  A raunchy joke or two resulting in loud and  for some, guilty laughter.  Not me.

Today was for celebrating Life and the enjoyment of another person's company.

I sit here fat and happy ................ with refrains of Alice's Restaurant running through my brain.

Hope your Thanksgiving was everything you hoped for.

Later ..............................................

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stupid Cat

A purring cat looking for a good head rub is what Life should be about.  Savor these moments.

Eyeleen was born in the master bedroom closet, oh, I guess about 13 years ago.  Bony, puny, and sickly, she never achieved normal cat status, physically or mentally.  Only saw her at meals and for years would only tolerate my wife's hands on her, not mine.  She existed inside our home as a feral member of the Sam Page Road Feline Bar and Grill.

Her brother Gee Gee Snotflinger was the friendly one, the cat with the cool swagger.  We lost him a couple of years ago.  That's when Eyeleen began to warm up to both of us.   Suddenly I was able to pet her when she was next to her food dish.  Slowly she increased her tolerance levels to the here and now.

Now, she is a pain in the ass.  Always wants attention, won't leave me alone. ..........

"Stupid Cat.  Stupid Cat.  Who's the Stupid Cat?"  She loves it when I whisper this into her null and void brain cavity as she rubs her head in my beard.

Damn, cats are odd animals.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..................................

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


"Whenever I've had success, I never learn from it. Success usually breeds a degree of hubris. When you fail, that's when you learn. " - Moby

I admit now it was my arrogance, along with millions of others, that helped The Donald ascend to our most sacred seat of power.  I was overly confident that Americans would never sink as low as they did on November 8, 2016.

"Surely", I thought, "we can't have that many people who could push their moron button at the same time and vote in the man who will become President on Friday, January, 20, 2017."

I was wrong.  A majority of Americans were wrong.

I could whine as I did back in 2000 when Gore won the popular vote, but lost the election.  Until we actually decide to re-write our election laws to reflect a truer form of democracy other than the mutant system we have in place now, any whining I might partake in will be of no use to anyone, especially myself.

I could blame the Internet.  I could waste time blaming the Right.  And though I would be more on target blaming the Democrats, blame is just so useless.  I mean, blame is usually creating excuses for the failure of one's side to marshal enough support to push their agenda over the top.

The blame for this extraordinary Flame-out of the Left should be shouldered by them and no one else.  Certainly contributions from outside groups, situations, etc. did not help.  But we who voted so confidently for what we perceived to be the best candidate need to acknowledge that we let this happen.  We arrogantly underestimated the level of anger out there aimed at every politician in DC, Right and Left.

That I do not understand why so many people are unhappy is what might have set me up for this serious miscalculation.  I am in a much better position now than I was in 2007-2008.  For me, every year since has seen an upswing.  Yeah, it wasn't meteoric, but come on, the hole this country was in eight years ago was certainly worse than now.

That myself and the country are in better straits is a moot point.  For some reason, America has decided to chew on the fear of the unknown, rather than spitting it out and getting on with more important things.

So what to do?

First thing I guess is to never assume any group larger than three to have the aggregate IQ they exude as individuals.  The IQ of a mob appears to be geometric inverse of the positive one might hope would exist, but does in deed not exist.  Herds have no minds, just automatic reactions.

The Democrats I hope will take a serious lesson from this blow and redesign their ground game for the mid-terms coming up.

Later ...........................................

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Deplorable Double Wide - 99 Words

Flash Fiction site, "Carrot Ranch Communications" does a weekly 99 word challenge.  This week's challenge (11/9/16) is "write a story that pivots around an unexpected ending".  

In lieu of watching the news, commenting on the news, and hating the news, I figured to give it a go.  Anything to take my mind off the nightmares that will haunt me for at least the next 4 years.

My effort this week:

The Deplorable Double Wide

Roscoe opened his eyes.  Disoriented, he took stock of his surroundings.  He was seated at a wooden table in the kitchen of a deplorable double wide.  

Where he was now was not the location of his last waking moment.  He was sure it was tipping shots and slapping backs with his Wall Street buds in lower Manhattan.  On the big screen, their guy was kicking ass. 

“Uh, Where am I?”

A pudgy hand with no wrist dropped a plate of Spam and eggs in front of him.

“Home, you dumass.  You got shitfaced last night cuz your man won.”
There you have it.  

Keep it 'tween the ditches
Also cross posted at BoZone - Too

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Day After

I sat in front of this computer before I turned it on and just stared at the dead screen.  I sat here for quite awhile trying to get my mind around what happened yesterday.  I decided to not post any response to the complete repudiation of everything I had stood for since, well, 1980 at least.  I did not turn on the computer.  I was sure I had nothing to say.

I stumbled through normal morning routines and wasted time staring out one window or another.  I sparked up some doob to commemorate the one small consolation prize I had taken home from this election.  Recreational Pot in Maine is now a done deal.

 Once I had become satisfactorily baked, I decided that maybe I should at the least try to get a grip on my overwhelming sense of disappointment in yesterday's election.  In times like this throughout my life, writing down how I feel can be cathartic.  Then again, it sometimes backfires, leaving me angrier than before I put pen to paper.  It is indeed a crap shoot.  The Doob has certainly helped to keep the ape-shit angry part of me at bay.

Donald Trump will be our next president. ............

Hmm ............ There I said it.  The reality is now right in front of me in black and white.

I don't have to like it, but I do have to accept it.  I have to accept it if I can expect to move past this dark day and face whatever days are coming at me.  Wallowing in angry despair will do nothing but make every day an angry day.  There is no point to being angry when there is absolutely nothing I can do about the outcome.  It is what it is.

I won't wax poetic or look for Pollyanna hiding in the shadows in my mind.  There is no positive twist on what happened.  There is no silver lining I can see at this point in time.  I will allow my anger to churn and burn awhile and wallow in my own self pity.

At some point though I will snap out of it.  I always have.  Because I know that all we can do in this Life is put one foot in front of the other and try not to stumble.

Later .................................................................

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

"A Cicatricial Reminder" - 100 Words

I was sure I had purged my belly full of anger a few weeks ago.  Apparently not.

I decided to once again try my hand at some Flash Fiction when I found a blog run by an old Flash Fiction friend that offered up a weekly 100 word challenge based on the prompts she came up with.

I also decided that writing an upbeat happy 100 words would put me in just the right mood to walk down to the Town Hall and step into a voting booth.

Try as I might, I could not fashion anything warm and fuzzy, wry or humorous.  All I had floating around inside the cranial void were serious negative waves dude.

I was actually surprised.  I thought that some of my recent rants, posted and unposted , would have set me straight.

So my re-entry into Flash Fiction is dark, ........ yeah, not a pleasant tale.

Be forewarned and remember it is only a story.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Tomorrow - Midnight

Beady eyes drop into slits, raising his lips into a crooked smile.  Pallid crooked fingers grasp one another as if desperate for each other's company.  He is sure he can smell it.  Smell the blood as it floats to the surface.  His eyes widen as he considers the impossible.  Could this dream actually be coming true?

Before his hopeful improbability morphs into a definite reality, he turns his head away, afraid to look.  Something inside tells him he will not like what he sees, even after assurances from others he is sure are smarter than he is.  His insecurities, all of them, flash through his mind as he attempts to muster up the strength to caste them aside and face his dream come true or his nightmare created in the bowels of Hell.

As he cowers with his back turned, he wonders why he has so much invested in something he has no control over or for that matter even understands completely.   His body begins to quiver and then shake as he purges the pent up emotions two years in the making.  Finally a deep guttural sigh escapes his lips and his shoulders slump in resignation.

He turns to face his destiny ..................................................

Meanwhile on the other side of the tracks.

Another set of beady eyes does not turn away.  These eyes have been here before.  They have witnessed 30 years of disappointments and triumphs.  Those eyes are used to this moment.  Her face hardens as she sees results trickle in.  Her face shows no emotion, her true feelings buried deep by years of practice.  Yet, behind her blank stare and calm demeanor, her insecurities, all of them, tumble through her mind.   She has the strength to caste them aside, but cannot at the moment find the key.  She closes her eyes and consciously slows her breathing.  She seeks that center where equilibrium will once again find a home.

Instead, a bead of sweat runs down the middle of her strong time tested spine.  It finds the small of her back, causing a shiver of sorts.  She knows she has to face her new reality.  There are no nightmares in her life, just another disappointment or triumph.  She is sure she will go on.

She opens her cold calculating eyes .........................................

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Stench of a People's Fear

Harsh unreasonable winds drive the stench of a people’s fear, turning their terror into anger as it sweeps through the land.  It poisons everything it touches.  Soap box heroes use vitriolic bellows to keep the nation's bad temper racing towards a feverish and ill conceived conclusion.

No one cares what affect being angry for anger's sake will have on society once the winds of discontent have subsided.  No one seems to care that being afraid is the fertile ground where failure is sown.  And no longer is there any interest in pragmatic solutions, just irresponsible blame.

The once vigorous and thriving pockets of common sense and sanity scattered here and there, have seen their bulwarks worn down into apathetic resignation.  Fighting the good fight has turned into an exercise in futility.

"What use is there to fight the tide?", some ask.

"Go with the flow", others mumble.   And everyone gives in to the hate and discontent that swirls around them.

Meanwhile the malcontents of all sides blindly feed their own fires, dragging the rest of the great land down into their self inflicted miseries.  Nobody will win.  Everyone loses.

When a citizenry begins feeding off their fears instead of their courage, the first casualties are their greatness, followed soon by their pride.  It is indeed a sad thing when a great and proud people hate themselves so much, they are willing to allow fear to take over their lives.

Later ...........................................

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

In a Week

In a week, we will finally be able to take a vacation from probably the most contentious and ugly election any of us have ever seen.  The process was made even tougher by the nomination of two sad excuses for nominees.  The offerings are nothing new.  We have had many years of bad choices on both sides.  But none are saddled with as much baggage as the two we have to decide between this time.

Both candidates have had deeper than the run of the mill skeletons to deal with.  Whipped into a frenzy by campaign goons, crazed fans of both sides insist the other candidate should at the least, not be elected, with many crying to throw the bum in jail.

None of us are perfect, especially what constitutes the "cream of the crop" of either party.  By the time any politician/business man has risen to the level of these two in the political and business arena, many expedient choices, back room deals, and out and out sleaze have been left in their wake.  Anyone trying use ethics, morals, or other high ideals to choose which one to vote for is living in Pollyana land.  That is they are deluding themselves that either one place ideals over their own interests.

I had made my mind up months ago.  Neither emails nor groping was going to affect me.  Filtering out the noise, I considered each one and how they had responded to accusations and attacks from the other side.  I took into account who actually had the kind of experience I would like to see in a President of our country.  And I also tried to evaluate the skill set each had based on the national political and geopolitical arenas they would be operating in.

I decided I did not like Donald Trump back in the 1980s.  I decided he was a greasy snake oil salesman who was more impressed with the legend he built in his mind, than any good his actions may or may not result in.  While I did not even entertain whether I would like to see him president, my early decision on his character ensured he would never find room in any choice I made in the future.

My initial impression of Donald Trump was spot on.  He is indeed a sleazy snake oil salesman.  And by his response to softball attacks at the beginning and then heavier hits as the election loomed large, I knew this was not a man I wanted batting for me in the political big leagues.  He was and will always be, all hat and no cattle.  The thought of him going toe to toe with the other big leaguers from across the oceans, well, they would eat him for breakfast.  Blowhards and bullies like Donald Trump are usually cowards from my experience.  It would be a mistake to allow him to be one as our representative.

Many years ago, I decided Hillary was a fighter and not above using the tools at hand to improve her position.  That she was practicing her selfish climb to the top in the arena she is now hoping to reign supreme, is actually a plus in my mind.  She has been under a steady barrage of attacks for 30 years or so.   She has weathered every one.  She has shown she can play with the big dogs.  She has spine.

My first choice, Bernie, has spine also.  Unfortunately he had more than a few decks stacked against him.  His insistence on not publicly embracing either party and going his own way ensured his run would fail.  Though, he did make them nervous.  I wish he had done this years ago.

Regardless, I will stand in the voting booth on Tues, Nov 8 and cast my vote for Hillary Clinton.  Definitely the best choice considering the alternative.

Later ...........................................