Fascinatingly Horrible, a Painful and Awe-Inspiring Truth, and a Silent Witness

old car

I’ve often wondered when it comes to abandoned cars- why this particular dying place?

I find entropy fascinatingly horrible. Part of me doesn’t want to watch the process of death, decomposition and/or decay, but at times I am almost compelled to do so, because there’s also a strange and captivating beauty in it.

Perhaps my fascination with old and decomposing things lies in the knowledge that somewhere, in a better time, those things were once new and whole.

old attic

I could get lost in a place like this. Intentionally.

I don’t like what this world has turned into, at least culturally, and the turning began years-decades, actually- before I was born.  Not all change is bad of course, but the moral and cultural disintegration of society is definitely a negative change as far as I’m concerned. I’ve said it before: Orwell’s 1984 was meant to serve as a warning, not an instruction manual.  I think Orwell would be spinning in his grave if he could see just how eerily true his observations have become.

bbwatch

All the freaking time.  Just look up at all the traffic cameras.

I do appreciate many technological advancements- in fact I would probably been long dead without a fair number of mid-20th century medical advances.  Most likely I’d never lived beyond infancy, for good or for ill.  And being the third (unwanted female to boot) of three, they’d probably never even bothered spending the scratch on the post mortem pic.

dead baby

Once you’ve had three kids, don’t they all sort of look alike?

Anyone old enough to have ever had to mess with a broken cassette tape or who has been stranded miles away from a phone gets what I’m saying about technology.  If we could have the technology without the dumb shit, and without the social and moral atrophy that seems to come along with it, perhaps utopia could be achieved!

I am not nearly that naïve. (Back to Orwell and Animal Farm and the time honored truth that some pigs are more equal than others.)

Of course, we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect world. In fact, I honestly believe in the devolution of humanity.

old VW thing

If only people knew… the VW “Thing” was a thinly disguised Kübelwagen.

And the whole Volkswagen concept was brewed up by Adolf Hitler.

I’ve commented many times on the strange beauty of abandoned machinery, and also of the concept that there might really be literal deus ex machina or real “gods in the machines.”

I can only imagine the silent witness written in cold, dead steel, and what does it have to say?

old bus

Sort of like a post mortem for an old, old VW Transporter.

The reality of the Transporters was (and is) that these are pretty much only meant to be owned and operated by technicians capable of repairing them.

You Don’t Get Out of Life Alive, but, Choose Your Battles Wisely

 

Axl Rose

My son didn’t ask, but mothers are pretty good at unsolicited advice in life and love and all those things that are only somewhat discerned by merit of age and time.  If I were to try to explain to him why he should abandon the “friends with benefits” arrangement he’s got going on with the ex-stripper, it would go something like this:

The great theologian and philosopher Axl Rose (of Guns-N-Roses fame) once stated in his version of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” that, “You don’t get out of life alive.”  I  also understand his point about both the bank and the mortician- the two inevitabilities of this life are death and taxes.  Nobody escapes either of those.  Nobody escapes the common human dilemma of finding one’s way through life and surviving in the process, either, though some do a better job of it than others.

As far as the wisdom of the concepts of “not getting out of life alive,” and “you can’t take it with you,” go, both sort of go along with the Biblical admonition to give one’s life as an offering. You were created to have a purpose in this life, even if it’s simply one of being an example of what not to do,  or serving to expand others’ vocabularies.  We all came into the world naked and not having any stuff, and we all go out the same way, so what are you going to do with the time in-between?

coffin

We all know that our physical bodies are going to become worm food.  There are a few things worth sacrificing and fighting for, precisely because we cannot preserve youth and health and wholeness in these physical bodies, or for that matter, youth and health and wholeness in any aspect of our lives.  Entropy WILL win.  Systems all eventually break down, if you want to frame the inevitability of entropy in tech geek terms.  Life in this world is a finite proposition.

The question is, what do you do with the finite resources you have been given, that you can acquire, that you can pool with others?

gold-bars

It’s great if you can amass all kinds of wealth and get all the best stuff, and prepare for every possible contingency, but in the end, what do you do on that night when your life is required of you? (I’m referring to what Jesus said in Luke 12:13-21.)

If you don’t get what really matters, then who cares about money or power or prestige or stuff?

I’m not going to go on a morality-chastity-clean living rant, because I am no poster child for any of the aforementioned.  I have never been a paragon of virtue.  I am a Christian, but that is only by the grace of God.  He left me to my rebellion and own devices for awhile (about seven years’ worth) so I could see just how much trouble I could get into out there in the pig pen. I got a rather nasty taste of how nasty and depraved I can be apart from a relationship with God.  Finally, I realized, again, by the grace of God, like C.S. Lewis did, that if I were going to be sane and worth anything to myself and others, that it was and is Christ or nothing.

That realization does not make me more virtuous or more moral or  more prudy. It does not make me less human or  less fallible.  It does make me all the more aware that anything good anyone sees in me is not my inherent goodness, but the goodness of God. I fail a lot, but apart from Him I fail and screw up a lot more.

hypocrisy

 

Yes, Christians are hypocrites. Get over it.  So is everyone else.  I can say that, but for the grace of God, I would be a LOT worse.  I need God precisely because I know how depraved and hopeless I am without Him.

All these theological and philosophical observations being said, and back to the assertion that one of my purposes in life is to serve as an example of what not to do, I will give you a heartfelt admonition.

If you are one of those people who are blessed enough to find true love in this life, don’t let it go.  I know that it can and does happen, even if it is too late for me.

true love

Part of the reason why I can be so cynical and snarky when I consider matters of the heart is because true love has always eluded me.  I’ve been used, abandoned, exploited and deeply damaged by people who claimed to “love” me.   My wiring is such that I don’t understand or communicate very well in the emotional realm.  To add insult to injury, most men are intimidated by intelligent women, and most men are not terribly thrilled with plain and frumpy looking women.   I blend in to the wall pretty well.  It’s a survival mechanism.  At no time in my life were dudes ever banging down my door.   If they did talk to me it was to get my phone number- so they could call my sisters.  I was even voted, “Least Likely to Get Laid” in my (unofficial) high school senior will.  So I felt like I had to take what I could get, even if it meant settling for minimum standards such as, “vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen.”

Minimum_Standards

Hair and teeth optional, especially at my age.

I hate to admit it, but all I can say about my own marriage is that at best it’s a symbiotic relationship, but a good deal of the time it’s more like a parasite vs. host relationship.  Maybe it’s harsh to call Jerry a parasite, but he can and does suck the life out of me with his incessant whining and infantile demands.  He didn’t need a wife, he needed a mommy.  And I’m not all that great at playing the mommy role, but it’s all I have to offer.  I haven’t gotten a better offer, and even if I did, I would be morally obligated to decline it.  In Jerry’s defense, he has put up with me for all of these years, as frumpy and plain looking as I am, and as eccentric as I am.  That says something- although in Jerry’s mind it’s probably, “there’s someone in this world who will fetch my beer and smokes for me.”

But if you find true love, that indescribable and blissful universe of two, understand what it is.  Hold it, cherish it, fight for it, and never let it go.  Otherwise you will find yourself in the same predicament I am- either completely alone, or bound by a sense of duty(?) pity (?) desperation (?) to someone who only cares about you as long as you’re useful to them.

unique-not-useful

I guess I’m good for as long as I can fetch beer and smokes.

I will tell you that expediency and usefulness are not the same as love.  Sex doesn’t necessarily equate to love either.  It’s easy to get caught up in hormones and horniness (been there done that) but when the excitement and lust die down, what do you have?  From my own experience I can say that following the hormones and horniness path has led to a lot of guilt, embarrassment and shattered dreams.  It’s not worth it.  I’m thankful that my past indiscretions didn’t wreak as much havoc as they could have.

Don’t follow in my path.  Don’t let a chance at true love go because of fear or because you need to hold on to perceived obligations.  It sounds trite, but love will find a way.  Unless you’re an eccentric old bat who’s proportioned like a mutant troll.

True Love Quotes and Pictures (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Wanna Talk About It (But I Will Anyway,) and I Love Lucy

Lucy

Lucy is clearly not a Belgian Malinois (most likely Bulldog and Beagle) but as Mick Jagger once sang: “You can’t always get what you want /But if you try sometimes /You just might find /You get what you need…”

Even considering the insight of the Rolling Stones, I didn’t really need a third dog.  Even so, I was surprised it took Jerry from May to September to end up with another dog.  I wanted another Malinois for Miss Clara to mentor, (and I still do) but when a stray dog (almost) got into it with one of the ankle biters at the campground over table scraps, Jerry had to intervene, and rightfully so.  I couldn’t say no to that face and those eyes.

Either we took Lucy with us, or she’d have ended up with an ass full of buck shot, as the owner of the ankle biter in question would not hesitate to do it.  It was a no-brainer.  We took Sheena, messed up as she was, because she needed a home and we had a space.  Lucy, even though I have little to no experience with either bully breeds or hounds, has a lot more going for her than poor Sheena did.

young female malinois

This is a young female Malinois- not Lucy!

Unlike Sheena, Lucy can hear. Lucy also has teeth. She has a bit of an underbite, (normal for Bulldogs) but she still has 42 sturdy, clean, white teeth.  She’s also young (about a year, according to the Vet) and to our shock, had already been spayed. I feel bad that she was put under anesthetic and cut on only to find out she’d already been spayed, but how were we to know?  In spite of undergoing what proved to be an unneeded surgery, she’s in impeccable health- aside from having to lose a pound or two from her incessant moochings at the campground. (Who can resist those eyes and that face?) She should get down to a proper weight now that she’s on Diet Plate with Lilo and eating pretty much just dog food.  She also has a microchip and tags now, should she manage to wander off from us.

I don’t know why anyone would bother to spay a dog and then not microchip her, or bother to put a collar and tags on her, but that’s not my call.  Against my first instincts, I love this weird looking little dog, even though she waddles when she walks and drools in her sleep.  Even the cats are chumming up to her and kissing on her, (Jezebel especially loves dogs) which makes me wonder if she really went off on the ankle biter, or that if the ankle biter’s owners were just paranoid that she was hanging around and mooching.  Then again, in our house the cats don’t compete with the dogs for food.  The cats eat in a dog-free area, otherwise the cats wouldn’t get to eat at all.  As far as competing with the other dogs, Clara and Lilo are both a lot bigger than Lucy, and she strikes me as being smart enough not to pick a fight with either one of them.

old boobs

I’m starting to think my tits have mistaken themselves for migratory birds, as they have moved so far south.  I know my grandmother warned me when I was 13 that I should always wear a sturdy bra, and for the most part I have heeded her advice, but the effects of gravity, like those of other forces associated with entropy, are inevitable.

Aging sucks, especially when it challenges your deeply held belief that it won’t happen to you.

I’ve been trying to avoid the political landscape as that whole scene is just plain depressing.  I knew what a piece of work our illegitimate president was before he cheated himself into office the first time.  I’m not at all surprised by what’s going on, even though it’s puzzling to me why the illegitimate fraud squatting in the White House hasn’t been impeached, removed and deported by now.

-Apparently playing the race card can still get you very far even with no experience, talent or ability to cooperate with others, and apparently not enough people care that you are illegitimate and lacking any sort of merit, if you can claim a favored minority status- and that makes my blood boil.

Anyway, I told myself I would avoid political tangents today so I am trying very hard not to.  The bad part about trying to avoid doing something is that if you avoid it too hard you step right into it, sort of like when I try to go out in the back yard and try not to step in dog shit.  Usually when I’m hell bent on avoiding dog shit is exactly when I step in it.

Oh, the parallels between stepping in dog shit and the illegitimate, destructive and dangerous Obama administration.  The only difference is that dog shit washes off.

dog-poop-obama

Inevitable Entropy: i.e. The Shithouse Rats Have Assumed Control

541

Anywhere but here!

I’m not the sort of person who tries to shove my faith down people’s throats, at least not in an overt manner.  My faith does inform my worldview, and it does influence what kind of an example I strive to be, (remembering that some of us are examples of what NOT to do) but I’m not going to be the one handing out Chick Tracts or scaring the holy bejezus out of people with threats of damnation and hellfire.  I believe there’s a real hell, but I can’t keep anyone out of it who really wants to go.  I can’t bring anyone to heaven either.  Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  If you want to inquire about heaven, then Jesus is the one you want to get to know, not a crusty old purveyor of automotive parts.

Anyway, I’ve made an observation that is not surprising.  I’ve known for years that the gene pool could use some more chlorine, but I think that the shithouse rat crazies have assumed control.  Mind you, I am no paragon of mental health, but today’s headlines (even as much as I try to avoid mainstream news) are positively insane.

chris christie

Chris Christie had LapBand.  Is this a surprise?

In my world “news” should be unusual or enlightening information.  I’m glad that Governor Christie could afford to have LapBand, despite the fact I’m one of the poor suckers who has to decide which scripts I can afford when.  I am sort of reminded of the morbidly obese who ride around in the WalMart motorized scooters.  If they would get off their rumps and walk through WalMart, perhaps the scooter would not be necessary.  If not for the expensive (and calorie laden, no doubt) diet, perhaps he would not have needed the expensive surgery.   But I will be merciful, because I know poor metabolism is a bitch.

As far as being one challenged by weight management, I will say one thing about the correlation between being poor and fat (as opposed to being rich and fat.)  When you can’t afford healthy food, you will buy what will fill your belly, even if it is discount mac-n-cheese, or all kinds of corn-laden, sugar-filled, salty snacky food.  Fresh produce (especially in places like Ohio) is of poor quality and exorbitant high price in winter.  Granted, if you are observant you can get frozen fruits and vegetables- which are almost as good health-wise as fresh, at a reasonable price without preservatives, salt or grease, but you have to look.

This isn’t news.  If he loses weight and gets buff, and stays away from Obama, AKA: Beezelbub, that would be news.  Maybe.  I lost a lot of respect for Governor Christie when he sucked up to Obama after the hurricane.  One does not kiss up to evil just because it is expedient, but hell, if I could afford a medical procedure (if if existed) that would make me 6′ tall and 120# I’d be the first one to break out the MasterCard.

kim and kanye

 Kim and Kanye– How Dare She Wear My Curtains!

I understand that most conceptions are accidental.  The illustrious Steve-o wasn’t planned, and neither was his daughter.  However, I think she could have done a better job at picking a baby daddy as well as picking a dress that doesn’t make her look like someone wrapped the Titanic in my dining room curtains.  Then again, should the DNA verify the unfortunate child’s paternity, Kim will never have to eat cheap boxed mac-n-cheese or have Cream-of Wheat for every meal the first week of the month ever again, as if she ever did anyway.

Missing Women Found

Now You Can Leave Cleveland!

I would be bat shit crazy too if I had to spend ten years locked away in Cleveland.  Ten minutes in Cleveland is too much for me.  Just think: one of these women’s captors was a school bus driver for the Cleveland public schools.  Think of all the little girls who rode on his bus.  Creepy.  Granted, Cleveland is the hotbed of far-left nut jobs (think New York, west annex) in Ohio, but I have to wonder how nobody noticed three women (and the six-year old girl) hidden in a house for ten years.   In all seriousness, I really feel for these poor women, especially the little girl, who probably has never seen the light of day.

The shrinks are going to be plenty busy with these people, which is really sad.

obamastupid

This guy hasn’t been impeached and removed yet.

The devolution of humanity is on the the fast track and is incrementally gaining speed.

Cosmic Crap Shoot, Happenstance Cathedrals, Everywhere and Nowhere

If Asthma cigs are so great, why deny the kiddies?  Or do they just have to suffer from the paroxysms like the brats they are?

The more that I study the evolution of science, I am amazed regarding how much we don’t know, and how much of what we thought we knew that has been proven wrong.  Personally I would like to see if any of those three-pack-a-day Camel smokers from 1950-whatever are still alive, or if they all ended up dying from emphysema like Aunt Sam.  Aunt Sam (short for Samantha, no, she was not a former dude, even though her voice was so trashed and raspy she sounded like one) died back in the late ’70’s- thankfully she didn’t take anyone out with her.  She went out presumably the way she wanted to go: gagging on an unfiltered Pall Mall as she lifted up her oxygen mask to take another hit.

Sure, Sam, you keep on smoking these mo-fos and you’ll live forever!

Then again, not so much.  Aunt Sam was only 59 when she died.  She looked about 318.

Medical science has evolved quite a bit in the last century, but it’s too bad that a good deal of that crucial knowledge came too late for some people.   Jerry’s Dad still believes that kerosene is a hemorrhoid cure, and he’s also under the assumption that women have prostates.  I can only hope that he doesn’t think you have to buy boxes of Tampax to go swimming and horseback riding.

I could only safely wear white after the hysterectomy- nice try guys!

A good number of astronomers, physicists and other scientists who have achieved notoriety or academic acclaim (because they could understand the math that I just am not wired to get) are atheist or agnostic in their belief systems.  Even Carl Sagan, who had so much insight on astronomy, was a self-described agnostic.   Cosmology (not to be confused with cosmetology or cosplay) is the science of the origin and the evolution of the universe.  I would have to attribute the origin of the universe to something other than random chance.  Maybe it’s just me, but whenever “random chance” is involved in my life it’s never a good thing, and is almost always indistinguishable from Murphy’s Law.

Perhaps to maintain my mental stability I have to trust that there is a higher power or a supreme being, because I could never get the math, but even I get enough math to understand that the odds of coming up with the universe, life, and Steve Perry in spandex are pretty much so astronomically high as to be statistically impossible.   I find it hard to believe that a cosmic crap shoot is all there is, even if the placement and timing of the universe and life could be proven to be random.  Tell me, Who is throwing the dice?  Perhaps it is my own human limitation to assume that if something is created, that it necessarily had to have a creator behind it in some way.

I don’t necessarily take the Garden allegory literally, (and I don’t believe the Genesis account was meant to be taken at face value,) but it would have been cool to wander about naked in a garden all day with wild animals.  Just sayin’.

I don’t necessarily take the Flood story at face value either.

Blaise Pascal (and I’ve outlived him by four years so far) was a mathematician and also somewhat of a theologian.  He put forth the notion (Pascal’s Wager) that even if you can’t prove that God exists that the odds that He does are strong enough that it’s worth your while to live as though He does.

The only problem with living like there is a God is that it’s impossible to do so aside from His grace.

This being said, I am definitely not the greatest example of piety and selflessness out there.  Mother Teresa, I ain’t.

I tend to connect more with things spiritual in happenstance cathedrals- places that seem unlikely and that are often temporary.  If it’s quiet, if it’s secluded, and if there’s a sort of chaotic beauty, those are the kinds of places where I feel closest to God.

I loved places like this abandoned railroad bridge.  It was destroyed in the early 1990’s for its scrap iron.

I’d have to say there is some kind of solace in the chaos of entropy, and in the patterns to be found in the disorder, as strange as that sounds.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to one of those convergence points that seems like everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  There are simply some places where time isn’t what it is everywhere else, and I find those places to be amazingly spiritual and amazingly renewing.  I don’t have an explanation for them just as I have no way to effectively convey how I know God not only exists but is present in and through everything.  That’s just about how metaphysical I can get, and then I simply have to say I don’t know.

The Cold Comforts of Cougardom, and a Kingdom for a Jug of Pennzoil

I love being “middle-aged,”  or as I put it, in my cougardom.  There.  I said it.  Why am I so excited about life, knowing that at least half of it is over? In a lot of things I am one of those people who see the glass as being half-empty, but as far as the rest of my life goes, the glass is half-full.  I’m not getting my ass kicked on a daily basis, I’m not driving a shitty car,  and nobody calls me to locate my sisters.  I can look at hot younger men with impunity, and without fear of having some uncouth redneck wench spit Skoal in my hair.  Cougar life is good.

The number one advantage of being in the cougar set is that no one really cares what you wear as long as you cover the important stuff.  I don’t have a problem with coverage, because we have laws in this country against cruel and unusual punishment (yes, I have actually read the Constitution, unlike some of those currently holding elected offices.)   It would be cruel and unusual punishment to make anyone observe me in: a bikini, a mini-skirt, the nude, or in any other state of not-so-decent dress.  So I make sure all the important (i.e. stuff nobody wants to see) stuff is well-covered.  I can accept my frumpiness and run with it, with the delicious knowledge that many of the “beautiful people” I went to school with are twice my weight, with tanning-bed leathery skin.  I don’t look good and never did, but I look better than some people who used to look good.  Why that appeals to my sorry sense of vanity I will never know, but it does.  Shame on me.  My mother would drag me to Confession- were I still Catholic- for such an egregious sin.

There were a few girls I went to school with who managed to remain “beautiful people,” such as the Hall Twins, who are painfully identical (with identical bleach-blonde hair and usually identical clothes too) and have not changed one bit in appearance since 1984.  I have to wonder if they are either wax models or if they have been freeze dried or something.   There were a few really fugly people who managed to either lose weight or get their teeth fixed or have plastic surgery who are now “beautiful people,” but most of us are at right about the same level of “definitely not beautiful, but not exactly fugly.”  Entropy eventually wins out.  Gravity does too, which I am reminded of every time I take off my bra.

Now I know why Grandma preferred the long-line bras.  Unfortunately, I am unable to breathe while wearing one of these.

The other advantage of cougardom is one I noted many years ago whilst observing my grandmother and great-grandmother.  Not only did they wear bright colors and bold patterns, they also spoke their minds- loudly, consistently, and with no regard for political correctness.  I loved taking them shopping if only to see just how mortified Mom was at their commentary.  I learned that descriptives such as, “whore,” “floozy,” and “lard ass” must have been around a long time- and that according to both my grandmother and great-grandmother, such individuals can be found everywhere. 

It’s shocking when a twenty something is caught drooling over some fine young stud, but it’s somehow charming- or at least funny- when some old bitty does the very same thing.  I’m not dead and I’m not blind- so I’m going to look.  I may not comment like they did (and both of them seemed to enjoy the 80’s trend in tight jeans for men, which I wish would come back in style) but I’m still looking.

Some things in life are constant, such as my disdain for the local Walmart. It’s not so much a dislike of the store itself but of its Team Members, who are anything but a team.  Any place that calls its employees team members, associates, etc. rather than employees, is almost always a shitty place to work.  It seems to me that when an organization has to come up with fancy titles for its employees that they are trying to make them feel good about working a shitty job in an abysmal place.  Any place that makes its employees wear name tags is also almost always a really shitty place to work.  Walmart- at least the one I’m talking about down the road- is either a really shitty place to work, and/or they just can’t seem to come up with the hazard pay that sentient humans would require to work amongst the unwashed, illiterate and uncivilized masses that frequent this place.   The Team Members I’ve encountered in this particular Walmart are surly, largely unable to speak or understand the English language, and seem to resent my very presence.  

I did, however, need to find myself a jug of Pennzoil so I can get my oil changed.  Yes, I know brand loyalty is largely folly, but there are two brands I don’t waver on- Toyota is one, and Pennzoil is the other.  I’ve used Pennzoil in all of my vehicles, and have never in over a million miles driven in them have I had engine failure of any kind in any of them.   So I continue to use it, whether it really makes a difference or not. I think in the grand scheme of things changing the oil regularly matters more than what kind you use, but I’m not taking any chances.

Target isn’t open at 6AM, and I didn’t want to have to go into any store after work, so I figured I’d venture in to the Walmart before the crackheads and serial killers wake up.  I forgot that the employees Team Members at Walmart are every bit as deranged as their usual clientele. 

All I can say is, if you’re going to have the doors open 24/7, you’d better have at least one farking register open, even if it is 6AM.  When someone finally did locate a cashier (once I located someone who could understand rudimentary English,) I had been wandering around the Walmart for 20 minutes.  The cashier seemed to be quite pissed off about having to get off her ass and deal with me, but I smiled and kept my commentary to myself.  The only mitigating factor in this transaction is I paid $15.99 for a five quart jug of Pennzoil 5W30 that I normally pay $22.99 for, so I guess I get the shitty service discount.

The pisser is it costs me more to buy 4 quarts in quart bottles than it does to buy 5 quarts in the 5 quart jug.  I only need 4 quarts.  It’s a freaking Yaris, OK?

Laugh if you must, but 40MPG on the highway (NOT a hybrid) is nothing to scoff at!

Entropy in Practical Application, All is Vanity, and Balance?

Castles made of sand slip to the sea, but ill-maintained redneck houses are reclaimed by the swamp.   Entropy in action!  I think these guys thought they were going to put in a pool right next to the house.  It’s hard to see from this angle, but they dug a giant hole right next to the house for some mysterious reason.  Then the whole house started caving in and they filled in the hole again.   I’ll bet there’s not a level floor in that place, no running water, and there’s a roach colony of millions, but the satellite and big screen are working just fine.  Until the house falls in on the plasma TV, that is.  Central Ohio is all one big drained swamp.  Compromise your foundation at your peril.

I am one of those people who is all about practical application.  I seldom read fiction for that reason. I like a good story, but is it true?  Is there a practical lesson in it, or is there at least something funny, gross or macabre in it?  When I was much younger and had a lot more time on my hands, I read almost everything I could get my hands on- bodice rippers, porn-without-the-pictures, mystery-especially Agatha Christie, most of Stephen King’s novels, most of Tolkien’s works, but even then the bulk of my reading material consisted of my usual standards- scientific and historical non-fiction.

Sadly I’ve not read a fictional novel in years.  I really should broaden my horizons, and I would if I had more time for recreational reading.

I do read the Bible.  I really understand what the Teacher of Ecclesiastes was talking about.  Sometimes life seems futile and pointless and I feel like Sisyphus – I have to roll the boulder up the mountain every day only to wake up the next day and do the same pointless tasks over and over.  There truly is no satisfaction under the sun.  I get frustrated, lonely, tired and broke- and for what?  The only hope that there is purpose in life lies in the realization that it’s God’s plan and that there is a deeper meaning to life than just endless repetition and monotonous drudgery.  Sometimes it’s just really hard to see.

I couldn’t resist taking a pic of this bumper sticker, even though I managed to get my own reflection in the pic.  I have to amuse myself somehow.

On a much brighter note, the Journey show last Friday was beyond awesome.  I am a huge Journey fan and would love nothing more than to send myself back 30 years to be backstage with Steve Perry- believe that- but I am also a realist.  It’s not 1981.  Steve Perry is of the over 60 crowd, hip replacement and all.  As much as I would love to see him, and hear The Voice live, I don’t think he is physically able to tour and endure all that.  Arnel Pineda is worth seeing and hearing in his own right, and I don’t think I have ever heard Neal Schon or Jonathan Cain play better.  Journey 2011 is still very, very good.  I absolutely loved “Edge of the Moment,” which is one of the new songs from Eclipse.  I only wish they would have had time to play “Resonate” from Eclipse also, but if they would have played everything I would have wanted to hear they’d been playing all night and that’s simply not feasible- especially considering these guys are getting up in years.  Pity.

I only encountered two people who understood the t-shirt I wore to the show that says, “Neal Schon Afro Society” and has a pic of Neal from about 1977 with that ridiculous poofy ‘fro he had back then. (see the cover of Next to see what I mean- Neal is the one on the left)   But today I understand very well that a 56 year old guy with black hair is going to be coloring his hair, and the less hair one has the easier it is to keep it all one color.   Besides, a 23 year old guy looks dorky with a ‘fro like that.  A guy more than twice that age would look like Flippo the Clown with a ‘fro like that.  The ’70’s- I must say the hair and clothes were bad- but the music (grandiose, funky, fusion based rock, anyway) was good.

The nice part about this show was that everything was worth watching.  At no time did I feel compelled to make a run for snackies or to go to the john out of boredom!  Night Ranger was excellent- I particularly enjoyed Deen Castronuevo coming out to play drums during “Sister Christian.”  They also did a most wonderful rendition of Damn Yankees’ “High Enough”- even without Ted Nugent.  Foreigner was impressive as well- especially “Dirty White Boy” and “Jukebox Hero.”

You can’t turn back time, but you can learn to enjoy the moment for what it is.  I know some people might have been disappointed because they expected to see everything exactly as it was in the Big 80’s.  In some ways it was all that and more- perhaps with some different faces or arrangements or a few new twists, but who or what can remain the same forever?  Entropy, my friends- everything is moving ever closer to disorder and chaos. My boobs are heading a bit further south every day.  That’s a lovely thought.  Pink Floyd- in rather macabre Brit fashion- in the song “Time,”  put it as,  “one day closer to death.”  Might as well tell it like it is.  As for me, it was most therapeutic for once to simply sit back and enjoy the show.  Next time- if there is a next time- I really want to spring for the VIP tickets and perhaps get seats close enough to take reasonably visible pics.  You can almost see Neal in the big screen in this one.

The common wisdom about aging is that everything gets bigger, hairier and closer to the ground.  Except the tops of men’s heads, that is.  The tops of their heads might get bigger and closer to the ground, but the hair migrates to their ears.  No wonder I wondered for a moment what my Dad’s friends were doing at my class reunion, until I realized they were the guys I graduated with, and not the geezers Dad hangs out with.  Creepy.