A Friendly Little Dystopia, Somewhere in a Solitary Bower, and Dead Presidents

I’m more comfortable in my own little world.  Aren’t we all, I guess, unless you’re one of those people who thrives on being surrounded by the company of others.  I feel positively smothered in the midst of large gatherings. I can only take so much, no matter who it is or what kind of conversation is going on.   Most of my family are incorrigible extroverts (I understand the mentality, but acting as though I’m an extrovert positively wears me out) so they wonder why I don’t always answer the phone immediately or text back the minute I get a text.  Sometimes I simply have to turn all that stuff off or just ignore it if I have any hope of remaining sane functional.

It’s all good here in my own little dystopia.  I have old Journey songs on the MP3 player, iced tea (with lemon only, NO sweetener of any type) and a cougar pool, capacity: 1 old cougar, namely me.  The dogs don’t give a rat’s ass if I wish to engage them in conversation or not as long as they get their meals of processed, crunchy mutton and whatever else is in their dog food, and they get to go out from time to time to perform their bodily functions and run around in the grass.  Jerry will probably be going to the campground this weekend, so I get at least one quiet solitary overnight.  I may utilize some of said solitary time to enjoy some of my live Journey DVDs (cranked up, because I know Jerry is not a Journey fan) and/or finish reading a couple of books.  The one I just started – FDR’s Deadly Secret is proving most fascinating so far. The theory in this book is that FDR died from melanoma that spread to his brain, although he had a laundry list of medical conditions going on that could have killed him too.

I just finished another book – Florence Harding: The First Lady, the Jazz Age, and the Death of America’s Most Scandalous President which picked over quite a bit of formerly obscure Marion County history as well as some rather seedy dirty laundry involving Warren G. Harding.  Yes, Harding was a tomcat.  Yes, Harding had friends in low places, but as far as scandal goes, from today’s perspective, I would have to say Clinton far exceeded Harding in the area of tomcatting, and both Clinton and Obama have far exceeded Harding in having friends in low places, and in flat out scandalous and illegal behavior.  Since this book was written in 1998, before many of the Clinton scandals came to light, and Obama was probably still a “community organizer” somewhere in Kenya, I can forgive the author that.  This book was well-researched and documented, and (though long for most people) to me, a fascinating read.

I feel for Florence Harding.  I know all too well how difficult it is to be an intelligent woman stuck with carrying a man with a lot of issues.

I don’t personally think Harding was the worst president ever.  Obama takes the prize on that dubious distinction as the worst president ever hands down as far as I’m concerned, even when compared with Dick Nixon, (in his instance I will venture to speak ill of a fellow Republican,) Jimmy Carter and even Bill Clinton.  Many past presidents (JFK, FDR and LBJ to name a few- in the 20th century) were tomcats.  Almost every past president, including my personal favorite, Ronald Reagan, was involved in something that someone might construe to be scandalous.  It’s a necessity of the office.  Perhaps the most squeaky-clean of the 20th century presidents was Harry Truman- but his sort of Democrat is extinct today, believe that.

Even Reagan had his moments, but IMHO he would do better from the grave than the current squatter occupying the Oval Office.

Come on, answer my poll, and comment, even if you do think I’m a right wing nut job.  I’m not politically correct, and I’m not very easily offended.

History is an endlessly fascinating subject for me, especially 20th century history.  I don’t know where the fascination came from but for the past several years most of my reading has been historical non-fiction.  Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and I tend to get more engrossed in a story if I know it’s at least somewhat derived from historical fact.

It’s not entirely that I dislike people. Dislike isn’t really the right word. Dealing with people in most circumstances wears me out and sucks up what little energy I have to begin with. I do have my misanthropic tendencies- and I think people get on my nerves more than I should allow- but there are people I do adore.  The main problem I have is I can only take most people in very small doses and I can only take so much of even those who are dearest to me.  I need a lot of time alone, and when for whatever reason I don’t get it, I get very crispy around the edges.

Perhaps it’s the old school Catholic upbringing, but I feel guilty when I actually do put myself first.

In the event an airplane loses cabin pressure in flight, the flight attendant always instructs the adults to put their own oxygen mask on before masking their rugrat.  It makes sense- you have to cover yourself before you can have the resources to cover anyone else- but sometimes I get so preoccupied with other people’s wants and needs that I forget to do the things that re-energize me.

One of those things is simply turning off all the electronics and locking the doors.

 

 

Matters of the Heart, Nostalgia, Jealousy, and Wishful Thinking

I seldom allow myself to get caught up in sappy romanticism, but I continue to watch the unfolding Neal Schon/Michaela Salahi affair in sort of the same attitude as Central Ohio drivers who can’t help but to slow down (or stop entirely) to gawk at the daily freeway carnage.  I don’t want to watch- and it makes me feel a bit dirty and voyeuristic doing so- but in a twisted sort of way I can’t help myself.

The fact that Neal Schon is one of my most favorite musicians doesn’t help here.  If he were just an aging, mousy little-big-man – who didn’t pretty much write the soundtrack behind most of my life, I wouldn’t care.  I normally don’t give a rat’s ass who celebrities are, let alone who celebrities are screwing.  I try not to remember that most other people actually get some from time to time.  But the story behind this dalliance strikes a chord.

It’s easy to step back and brand Michaela as a “groupie slut” but I identify with her storyline more than I would like to admit.  I know what it is to be a largely ignored, unloved wife.  I can’t claim to either be attractive or to have as attractive or interesting (or wealthy) past lovers as Neal Schon, but I do admit that if I were given the right offer, hell, if I were shown the least bit of affection, I could see myself doing the same thing.  Especially if the offer involved being backstage with Journey and getting warmed up in Neal Schon’s bed every night.

I don’t see the opportunity arising for me, as I have all the sex appeal of a mutant troll.   I gave up on all the fairy tale BS back when I was 13. My best friend swore I would die an old maid, and my sister informed me that I might as well resign myself to trolling for dates at the blind school if I ever wanted a man.   If I looked like Michaela, I would have more to choose from besides men with either deep appearance, hygiene and/or deep psychological abnormalities. I wouldn’t put up with any shit from a man either. I might actually stand a chance of believing in all that knight in shining armor business, but in order to go fishing you have to have bait, and I’ve already gotten as good as my pathetic bait will ever attract. Jerry does bathe, and he does have hair and teeth. Hygiene (at least personal hygiene) isn’t his major malfunction.  Bonus.  Now if he weren’t raised by wolves (and if he hadn’t done all those drugs back in the 70’s and 80’s) he might have turned out OK, but I can’t ask for mental or emotional stability and regular bathing.  That would be out of my league. Last night’s drunken tirade was regarding how he thought the new shampoo I got him resembled horse jizz and that he wasn’t going to shampoo his hair with jizz.   It was mildly funny, but now I have to go back to CVS and get him the two-in-one Pantene he’s used to instead of the “Hair Thickening Formula for Men By L’Oreal,” that apparently is a bit too jizzy for his majesty’s liking. Such is my fate.  Some women get Neal Schon playing a special lead solo for their birthday, while I get the horse jizz tirade.

If I did have appropriate bait, or even more humanoid proportions, I might still want to pick one taller than me.(easy enough when you’re only 5’4″,and even Jerry is 5’10”)  I think Michaela must be at least 6’6″, so for her, finding a taller man might not be terribly easy to do.  It is kind of funny that Neal is only about 5’7″- and her height makes his shortness painfully obvious.

However, I could get past a guy being extremely short if he’s 1. the finest living guitarist in the world, and 2. able to buy me lingerie on Rodeo Drive.  I might even tell a few people what I think about their opinions.

I could overlook a LOT if a guy were a non-smoker, non-drinker who could actually pick his own whitey tighties up off the floor, but I know I am asking way too much here.

Admittedly I did feel a twinge of jealousy- not so much over Neal and Michaela – Neal Schon is way, way, way out of my pathetic league, but because no man will ever look at me in that way.  Granted, their relationship may be a tempest in a teapot, but it’s a hell of a ride while it lasts.  Might as well be happy and let them enjoy it.  Anyone who is fortunate to find love, if even for a moment, should be allowed to make the most of it.   Those of us who live in the world of, “Is he passed out on the john again?” can only envy you from afar. 

I can’t say that I could condemn either one of them.  If anything it proves that they’re only human, and nobody really knows the story under the surface.  Of course this affair may turn out to be shallow, temporary and sleazy, but whose business is that?  Perhaps some of my own jealousy is knowing that Other People have fantasies come true, when I come home only to wonder if Jerry will get drunk and stupid enough to wet the bathroom floor again.

Jerry is consistent though.  I know sort of what to expect, so he scores one for predictability.

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.

 

Trucker Bombs, Overwork and Music Reviews

I should always remember to have my camera ready whilst driving down Morse Rd.  I find the most hilarious and out of place things. For those unfamiliar with the term “trucker bomb,” Urban Dictionary defines it as:

Trucker Bomb (n):
A plastic container that a truck driver pisses into inside the cab of his truck during daylight hours to be later pitched out usually on the side of the road. This practice has come about by the increasingly strict laws about indecent exposure. Years ago if a truck driver got caught pissing on the side of the road by the Po Po, he was given a ticket, end of story. But now if convicted of indecent exposure, you must register as a sexual predator where you live. Much safer to piss in a wide mouth bottle and a whole lot legally less complicated.
 
Billy Bob Big Rigger builds a trucker bomb every day on his run though Ohio. After dark when the bottle is full, out the window it goes to be later detonated by the poor dick that has to mow the shoulder.
 
Given that most truckers dispose of these while driving along on the Interstate (though I do also see them deposited regularly along the exit ramp from Northbound I-270 to Morse Rd.,) it was odd to see one at the intersection of Morse and Sunbury Rd.s, just catty corner from the UDF/Mobil aka: the Armed Robber’s Late Night Wet Dream.
 
I also found it a bit odd that in lieu of the typical 2 liter Mt. Dew bottle it was a Sobe bottle.  Either it was a New Age trucker, or perhaps a young punk out partying who just couldn’t wait to make it to the UDF crapper.
I have to envy dudes on this point.  If they absolutely can’t make it to the nearest comfort station, it is relatively easy for them to take a tinkle in an empty plastic bottle.  This does NOT happen for chicks.  I find it exceedingly difficult to cop a squat out in the woods (usually because you end up pissing all over your pants) and most likely impossible to go in a drinky cup or anything else that isn’t a toilet. If a woman has to make time on a road trip, I think Depends might be the only way to bypass the gas station toilet without making an unholy mess.
 
This morning (yes, Memorial Day) when I would normally be visiting my grandfather’s grave (he was a WWII Veteran)  and then taking a trip to whatever party or BBQ was going on, I was actually at work getting the month-end stuff finished.  While it did bother me that I wasn’t able to make that road trip today,  I don’t mind too much because a.) I’m getting paid for it, b.) I was done relatively early, and c.) I have tomorrow off when everyone else has to be at work.  I don’t mind working alone.  In many ways I prefer it because I get more done when nobody is pestering me. Even when I am duly compensated (and especially when I am duly compensated!) I have to be careful of getting caught in the cycle of overwork.  Working into oblivion can become an addiction for me.   It’s too easy for me to get lost in the task at hand and forget things like eating, sleeping, maintaining contact with family and friends, etc. and so on.
 
Even for the last two weeks that I’ve been more or less living at work, I have had some time for guilty pleasures.  I am a huge Journey fan from way, way back, and I have currently been enjoying their latest release, EclipseWorking alone is especially nice for cranking up tunes on the MP3 player while I work -it might seem like multitasking in a weird kind of way, but I get more done when I am listening to good music.

As much as I rave about Steve Perry in Spandex, that was then, and this is now.  I can’t go back to 1981, but I can appreciate something new if it’s good.  Eclipse is good, strikingly good, and that’s saying a lot from someone who really hasn’t kept in touch with the music scene since about 1985.  One of the things I like about Eclipse is that Neal Schon pretty much had his way and this is a beautiful thing.  Neal is probably one of the best, if not the best living rock guitarist today, and getting new stuff from him (even better yet, as part of Journey) is awesome. It warms my soul to know that not every new song coming out is boy-band tripe, cop-killer-sister-raping rap, or sappy-yucky songs about girls kissing on girls.
 
Arnel Pineda is not Steve Perry.  That’s OK.  Arnel has a great voice and a lot of fire and can stand on his own merit.  He has an extremely wide range that he uses well- which I enjoy (this is challenging vocal material- take it from a student of voice!)  I like listening to him.
Tomorrow’s adventure is getting the Cougar Pool up and running.  I have it, but now I have to figure out how to get it to stay up and hold the water in.

’80’s Nostalgia, Humor in Suffering, and Things I Never Thought I’d See in a Museum

I thought it was weird when I saw the 1981 Reagan Limousine on display four years ago.  It was on display when I took Steve-o and his woman du jour to the Henry Ford Museum, lined up along with the Kennedy Assassination Limo and a string of other Presidential limos dating back to Roosevelt.  I need to make it a point to take a trip up there again soon, even though I absolutely hate the crappy roads in Detroit, and the Dearborn area is rather frightening even in the daytime.

Granted, this is a historical car- and technically it does belong in a museum- but the fact that the props (ok, artifacts) from events I remember as if they were yesterday are in museums is a bit disquieting.  As far as I’m concerned (yes, I know he died in 2004) Reagan should still be President, riding around in that limo.  I bet Reagan is spinning in his grave at the antics of his successors (Bill Clinton was bad enough- and a tomcat- but even though as far as anyone knows, he keeps his pants on, Obama is far worse) and that’s sad.   We could really use someone like Reagan today.  To quote a bumper sticker that I would put on the HK Yaris if I had enough room:

In the 80’s we had Bob Hope, Johnny Cash and President Reagan. Today we have No Hope, No Cash and President Obama.

I also like this one:

Put the Constitution on His Teleprompter!

I’m sure Obama could use some fresh new reading. 

The statement comparing the 80’s to today almost makes me depressed.  It makes me want to vote for Donald Trump, even though he’s no Reagan.  I like him better than the same old tired milquetoasts that have been dominating the Republican mainstream the past few years. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are just plain too lame.  Like him, or hate him, The Donald has balls.  We need a President with balls. Obama has none.  I believe if he’s not directly in cahoots with terrorist nations and organizations, he’s not doing anything to stop them or even mitigate their actions.  He’s complicit with Black genocide in supporting abortion “rights” that are NOT the state’s to give and are clearly morally wrong.  Reagan was the last one who had the courage to call evil what it is and to do what was right even when it wasn’t popular.  I don’t know if Trump is in that league, but I think he is more aware of the right course for this country, at least in regard to economics and foreign policy, than Obama ever could be.  

The sad thing is back in the 90’s I didn’t think it could get any worse than Bill Clinton.  I was absolutely shocked at the dress-stain incident even though Clinton’s foreign policy (or the lack thereof) was even more devastating to the country than the shame he brought to the Oval Office.   Even so, if someone were to compare Clinton vs. Obama, I hate to say it, but I would take Bill Clinton in a heartbeat (which is disturbing clear down to my conservative Republican soul.)  If there is worse than Obama, and given human nature there is (even though we have not seen it in an American President, and I hope we never do) but- humanity gave us Stalin, Mao and Hitler after all.  I hope people aren’t dumb enough to vote for him/her.

One thing I also noted on our trip to the Henry Ford Museum was an exhibit on 80’s ephemera in which there was a Marlboro Lights 100’s pack, (now I don’t see that as historically worthy, but I smoked my share back then, so maybe so) and a collection of old vinyl records to die for by- Boston, Foreigner, The Police, Iron Maiden, Journey, and many other good ones.  The album art was so much better back then.  Someone actually had to draw them instead of just getting into some computer program and playing with it to make some funky design.   I still say the Journey Departure cover is one of the best:

We thought Defender was a “futuristic” video game.  Then again, we actually took quarters and went to the arcade to play video games and pinball. 

I still think it would be a much better world if Reagan were in the White House, and Neal Schon still had his fro.

Makes me wish it were 1981 again…only not as a geeky 12 year old who got beat up every day.  If it were 1981 and I knew what I do now it would be interesting.  I could have a lot of fun with that.

Speaking of Journey, I decided to go ahead and get my ticket for the show on August 5, even though it is at Crew Stadium (outside.)  I don’t generally like to go to outside shows because of the lack of A/C, but it starts at 7PM, so at least it’s not in the heat of the day.  Journey only makes it to Columbus every couple of years or so, and they aren’t getting any younger.  Neal Schon is pushing 60, Jonathan and Ross are over 60, and Arnel and Deen are both over 40, and given the lifespans of rock musicians, that’s not a comforting thought.  I should take any opportunity to see them that I can get. Foreigner and Night Ranger (also very good bands live) are opening for them, so this is a show worth having to contend with stygian heat and/or the prospect of torrential rain. The nice thing about this show is that it will be an older crowd.  Usually the over 40 set is not into throwing things, fighting or stealing stuff- and it’s reserved seats- so barring weather extremes, it should be a pleasant evening. 

Jerry has been on yet another trip on the self-pity express.  I don’t feel sorry for him.  He brings his own misery upon himself.  I do try to find the humor in it, otherwise I’d have to throttle him. 

Last night he decided to go to the hell hole again.  He staggered in around 10PM which was nice.  I had a quiet evening until he came home.  The best thing for me to do is to pretend I’m asleep.  He knows better than to try to wake me up- even when he’s shitfaced, usually- because I am rather nasty when I’m disturbed late at night.  If he sees that I’m awake he will torment me, and I’ll never get to bed, but if I stay under the radar he will usually prattle on to the walls (or Isabel if she is in view) about various unintelligible nonsense for an hour or so until he passes out.  I got lucky last night.  He was sprawled across the bed, pants down, snoring and near comatose before 11. 

Jerry has had many shitfaced conversations with poor Isabel.  According to him, she’s the only one who understands him when he’s shitfaced.  I never knew that cats could understand the ramblings of the insanely drunk. 

I should put a collar on Isabel with a speaker in it.  When Jerry’s shitfaced and talks to her, I could have her reply through her collar speaker.  It would be a hoot.

Jerry: “Whaats aff? Gotta pith…”  (falling over something)

Isabel: “Go to bed, shit head!”

Jerry: “Where’s foooooooooood?”

Isabel: “Shut up, or it’s gonna be up your ass.” 

That could be funny.  Isabel can out run him, and she always has the option of disappearing down the cat hole (there’s a cat-sized hole in the basement door for cat access so they can use the litter box, but the dogs can’t get to the litter box and use it as a snack bar) when she’s had enough of his “conversation.”

Things to Add to the Bucket List, 30 Years Ago Today, and Simplicity is Complicated

On with the February funk, including the whole death theme, because it just plain fits.

I’ll put it this way.  At the end of this month I will be 42.  I have no illusions.  At least half of my life is most likely over, because I honestly don’t anticipate being able to make it to 84, barring extreme advances in medical science and some pretty serious Acts of God.  I know that if God wants to keep some poor sucker lingering about far beyond what we perceive to be his/her useful life He can and does, but I hope and pray I don’t outlive my purpose.  This being said, I still have no clue why I’m taking up valuable oxygen, other than (maybe?) to keep a few people entertained.  It’s not my place to know and I understand that.  I also understand that there have been at least three instances in my life where I narrowly escaped the Reaper:

1. I spent the first week of my life in the hospital with pneumonia and my entire childhood battling various respiratory ailments (as well as getting regular beatings from my sisters, their friends, and kids at school.)

2. I had rheumatic fever when I was 10 years old.  Save for a  two week long series of painful penicillin shots in the butt, and a year-long course of penicillin pills, I’d been worm chow over 30 years ago.

3. I understand first hand why at the turn of the 20th century 1 in 4 women died in childbirth.  In spite of an eleventh-hour c-section, (the whole Murphy’s Law as it applies to childbirth thing, believe that) I was almost one of them.  That was the closest I’ve ever gotten to the Dirt Nap, and at that time I was ready to go ahead and take it.  Some days I’m still very open to the possibility, though I believe the length of my time here is God’s decision not mine.

Again, somehow, I am still remaining vertical almost 20 years later, so there must be some reason why I continue to display vital signs- though said reason continues to elude me.

Before I go take the Final Trip, there are a few things I’d like to do.  Of course the Cougar Cruise is one of them, but I’d be happy just to go on a regular cruise with all the other geezers and so forth.

I’d like to do some international travel.  Granted, I’ve been to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls which was pretty cool, and I was in Windsor, Ontario for an afternoon as a little kid. Windsor is more or less Detroit’s French speaking quarter, and not much to write home about.  I did learn that Dad does not speak French.  I would caution that one does not go to Canada for the cuisine.  Everything we ate in Niagara Falls tasted like greasy Clorox.  It might simply have been the establishments we had the bad luck to choose, but from what I experienced it seems Canadians use grease like Cajuns use spice- and apparently Clorox is the spice.  Acck.  Then again, I believe the national entree of Canada consists of French fries smothered in gravy.  I don’t think I’ll be going for the gravy covered fries any time soon.   I still remember those nasty bland Cloroxy, greasy, slimy, luke-warm chicken wings we had for dinner one night, but even in the States, Hooters’ is not renowned for their culinary acumen.  There wasn’t even any hot sauce on the side to give them a hint of flavor.  It was as if they had never heard of Tabasco or habanero sauce.  Leave it to Jerry.  We had to eat there because Hooters’ was just across the street from the hotel, and they had American beer.  I hope it tasted like Clorox too, but even that would have been an improvement over Natty Lite.

I’d like to go to Europe, even though Grandpa said he didn’t lose anything there and there was no way in hell he would want to go back there.  When he went there, it was during the war.  It makes sense not wanting to go back to that. 

Australia sounds interesting too.  Aussies speak English so that’s a plus already.  The only thing that might not be so fun about Australia is all the venomous critters that seem to live there.  Perhaps I watch Animal Planet and Discovery Channel too much, but I might have to take a pass on the deadly spiders and the box jellyfish.

In a way I’d like to go to the Holy Land, but with all the foreigners fighting over there, I think I’ll have to settle for the shows on History Channel and so forth.  I’m not afraid to die, but I am afraid of torture and rape.

30 years ago, one could get a coveted ticket to see Journey on the Escape tour, which would be the one and only reason why I would like to see time travel made a reality.  I never got to see Steve Perry with Journey, live and in the painted-on jeans.  I’ve seen video with Steve Perry, which is sweet, but it’s not quite the same as being there live.   I’ve gotten to see Journey-which was awesome- once with Steve Augeri, and once with Arnel Pineda, but I never got to see them with Steve Perry, and barring a miracle, I probably never will.  I can’t blame him.  If I were 62 years old and had the life he did, I’d be happy to be retired with my memories and cats.

Today we get a lame-ass half-time show by the Black Eyed Peas, who never really impressed me to begin with.  New music absolutely sucks and no it’s not just because I’m old.  They’re trying to substitute sleaze and special effects for no-talent losers.  Give me a band who can actually play, and singers who can actually sing, and screw the costumes, the sleazy dancing and the light shows.

I’d love to get my life down to being more simple, but that would mean in some ways it would have to be more complicated, which doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface. 

All I can say at this point is that if I have 40 years or four seconds left, I can only pray for the strength to get through it- and to make something worthwhile of the time. 

God Gave Us Neal Schon, Sanity is Relative, and We the Unwilling Doing the Impossible for the Ungrateful (Again)

No, I did not mean my commentary on Neal Schon being God’s gift in a blaspheming sort of way.  The guy has an incredible gift, OK, and for some reason I mellow out pretty good when I’m listening to old Journey stuff.  I needed a LOT of mellowing out this week- so I’ve been zoning out to old faves such as “Now You’re On Your Own,” “Of a Lifetime,” “Karma,” and so on.  There is something way therapeutic about that grandiose funky fusion rock of the 70’s.  It’s one of those clandestine pleasures that rates up right there with showering in the middle of the day when you can- for no logical reason, but just because you can.

I am trying not to succumb to the yearly holiday depression that coincides with Jerry’s bleak holiday despair.  It hasn’t been easy this year, especially with money being so stinking tight.  That is depressing even without drunk and stupid meanderings, but add that into the mix and even I get lonely and truly start wondering why I am still being permitted to suck up valuable oxygen.  It’s been so long since I’ve had a meaningful conversation with another adult that it’s almost pitiful.  To make things even worse, now that it’s winter, Jerry doesn’t go to the campground on the weekends, so he gets drunk and stupid at home and I have to deal with him.  One would think that in my loneliness I would appreciate the company, but there are few things more dreary and lonely than catering to a drunk all weekend.  The only conversation that comes from Jerry most of the time is his whining about what I’ve done wrong,  what I haven’t done, or what I can’t afford to do.  I don’t want to fix him breakfast and serve it to him in bed only to hear his dissatisfaction with normal breakfast fare and his lingering desire for Porterhouse steak.  I might be able to get the Porterhouse from time to time if you cut back on the beer and smokes and quit blowing your money on bullshit, but I dare not bring that up.   Logic does not generally compute with Jerry unless he can conform it to his point of view.  In his mind I should (somehow??) make more money to pay for him.

Perhaps I have vestiges of normal female desires to feel cherished and wanted by a member of the opposite gender, even though I know that for me that doesn’t happen save in my own imagination.  I don’t have any illusions regarding my awkwardness and plainness and just plain lack of any sort of carnal appeal. I’m thankful to have three hots and a cot as it were, and to expect anything more than bare necessity and survival is asking too much.  I was taught from my earliest memory that I am only as loved as I am useful, and here lately I haven’t felt terribly useful. Even so there are times when I would so enjoy an evening with a friend, conversation that doesn’t focus on everything I’ve done wrong, or everything someone else expects me to do for him.  When Jerry does speak coherently, I usually can’t wait for him to shut up and stop whining.

This morning he was whining about Sheena.  Sheena knows when the girls are supposed to go out in the morning.  She gets excited and starts woofing and whining to be let out.  I’m grateful that she is good about letting us know when she needs out.  So Jerry starts in with, “Spray that dog so she shuts her mouth,” and so on, but I have to admit I ignored him after that.  I’m getting good at tuning out the whining.  After I let the dogs out, I wandered back in with the spray bottle, pointed it at him, and replied, “I want to see.  Maybe if I spray you, you’ll stop your whining.”

I can handle canine vocalizations, but Jerry’s incessant whining- mostly regarding things I have no ability to change or improve- has already gotten on my last nerve.  Sheena is a headstrong dog, but she’s infinitely more trainable than Jerry. Sheena also whines a lot less.  Sort of on the same subject are some old 70’s movies for “trainables.”  This one is long, but from today’s point of view horribly politically incorrect, and therefore, hilarious.  I almost forgot there were so many different slang terms for the male member.

We the unwilling, doing the impossible, for the ungrateful.  This is my life in synopsis, the extreme Cliff’s Notes version. If I were to opt for traditional burial I would insist this be inscribed on my tombstone, but since I am going to be cremated I guess it doesn’t matter. 

I am thankful for the Prozac, believe that.