Wednesday, October 31, 2007

DANCING A WALTZ ON ALL SOULS NIGHT

No time...no time...things are gettin' hairy around here for Halloween.
Fortune Cookies cannot solve all our problems.
I have bought a Magic Eight Ball.
The Celtic Festival of Samhaim calls for the Old God to die. This begins the New Year.
Samhain occurs after the last day of summer and before the first day of winter - when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest, when those souls who had passed could, if they wished, return to the land of the living, when the usual laws of time and space are suspended.
For six weeks, we are on our own, living godless on last years fruits.
Even now the leaves begin to fall and the trees go bare.
"Stars grow cold beneath the glass. " S.K.

And this, from the album "The Visit"on Quinlan Road Records.

ALL SOULS NIGHT
Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.
Somewhere in a hidden memory
Images float before my eyes
Of fragrant nights of straw and of bonfires
And dancing till the next sunrise.

I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing
A waltz on All Souls Night.


Figures of cornstalks bend in the shadows
Held up tall as the flames leap high
The green knight holds the holly bush
To mark where the old year passes by.
Standing on the bridge that crosses
The river that goes out to the sea
The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me.



I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing
A waltz on All Souls Night.

"This piece was inspired by the imagery of a Japanese tradition which celebrated the souls of the departed by sending candle-lit lanterns out on waterways leading to the ocean, sometimes in little boats; along with the imagery of the Celtic All Souls Night celebrations, at which time huge bonfires were lit not only to mark the new year, but to warm the souls of the departed." loreena mckinnet

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ARTS AND CRAFTS

A lady found a Masterpiece in the trash 4 years ago. She said "I knew it had Power"
It is now worth One Million Dollars.

When I was in the 5th Grade, Greg, Dave and I used to do a little trash pickin'.
Sometimes we would find old skates that could be turned into skateboards.
Sometimes we would find an old Baseball glove, or Basketball Hoop or even a Guitar with most of its strings.
But the real Trophy Trash was the Playboy Magazine.
And when you found one, you usually found about a dozen more right with it. Some of them would probably be worth a lot of money today.
We would drool over the pictures and giggle over the cartoons, pretending we knew what was so funny.
We knew they had power.

I had an Art Class at School and we did Pottery one week. I molded my clay and was just about to slide my creation into the Kiln when it caught Mrs. McGuilligotcha's eye.
"One moment Mr. Bulletholes, what is that you have there"
"Its a Rabbit"
"Let me see that" and she took my Rabbit.
She surveyed my Bas-Relief Rabbit with the Bow-Tie and Cocked Ear while I put on my most innocent face.


"That IS NOT a Rabbit" she said as she turned my little Playboy Logo into a lump of clay "Do something else."
I was dyin' to say
"What d'ya mean "not a Rabbit"?" but she was givin' me that look that says
"Thin Ice ahead, keep your trap shut!"


"Damn, that was beautiful " Dave whispered to me as I started to fashion my next little project...
"Wait'll ya get a load of this..." I whispered back, having forgotten all about the thin ice.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KILL WHO'S REPLACEMENT?

I have added a link today.
This guy cracks me up.
He's like some kinda hard candy that could rot your teeth, or chip them even, but deep down...
He is also very often right-on.
He reminds me of Rip when he was a boy and was so happy that he would screw up his face to keep from looking overjoyed.
He has a conversation going with someone named 'we" and posts as he goes through his torturous day.
You feel better about your own lot having read what he is up against, be it real or imagined.
Its kind of like Mr. Bean meets Jerry Springer.


He makes me want to go to Church.
He makes me want to sail a ship around the World and never come back.
He makes me want to quit my job and stop using soap.
He makes me want to pour some Hot tea on the Greenland Ice Cap.

I'd like to find a little guy and whip him.
I'd like to work at a soup kitchen.
I'd like to throw the switch for some child molesting scumbag.
I'll swanney, I could just about spit.

Introduced by the lovely Kissyface and vouchsafed by my own blood at Dave Mows Grass,
I give you...
UNREMITTING FAILURE

Monday, October 22, 2007

He only asked one thing...


The Rip has moved in with his Dad!
(me)
God help us.
Can you believe those eyes?
He wanted to know if the walls were as thin as they were at my other place...
What the hell kind of question is that?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

OFFICE SCHOOL

What they don't teach you when you have a spat going at work...

1) Go to the nearest Chinese Buffet.
2) Have the Spring Rolls with Mustard (or Hot and Sour, makes no difference), the steamed Dim-Sum with Hot Oil, Mongolian Beef with Lo-mein Noodle and Subgum Vegetable.
3) When they bring the check ask for an extra Fortune Cookie.
4) Leave at least a 25% Gratuity. (dont get cheap here...this may be key to the equation)
5) Give the extra Fortune Cookie to your workmate.
6) Open them together.
7) Let the Healing begin.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

BREAKFAST AT NOON

I call the Water Baby every now and then. Not really more than a couple o'few times a week; I don't want her to think that I am trying to be overly attentive, or that I am worried, or that she might not be able to take care of herself.
She has been gone for six weeks now.
The truth is I just want to hear her voice, her laugh, and give her the opportunity to listen to what ever I have to talk about.
Usually, after I have told her that I actually cleaned the kitchen this week, or that I had a flat tire yesterday, or that I saw a cloud that made me think of her, she will explain that she needs to go because they are watching a Movie, or everyone is going to the beach, or its time to go eat breakfast (at 12:30 P.M. in the afternoon! ) and while whatever I have been saying is fascinating...you get the picture.
"Gotta go Dad, bye!"

So I was very excited when the phone rang and it was her calling me!
She wanted to know how I was doing.
I told her that I was fine, but that the kitchen was dirty again.
Real dirty.

And I continued...
"I went to the Homecoming game last week at the High School so I could see your band play...but it wasn't the same without you there and remember how loud I used to be and excited to see you,no, all of ya'll out there and yelling and dancing and generally calling way too much attention to myself?
Well I got up in the stands and sat there and didn't yell or clap or cause any commotion and when they wanted all the old Alumni like me to stand up at halftime I nearly didn't even stand up but the band was good even though I didn't clap and you weren't in it so I left after they played.
I felt all out of sorts.

"Awww...poor Dad"

Now that I have her attention, I continue:
"The next day I saw the nice girl that walks her dogs out in the parking lot while I was gazing at an Annelisa type sunset and she passed by me and I said
"Check it out"
We usually just politely nod;
I pointed to the sunset and she stopped and took a breath and said
"That's gorgeous!"
and smiled at me so I said
"So...Would you like to hold hands"
and she laughed and said
"No one has ever said anything like that to me before!"
So what do you think I said?
Well baby, I could have said something like
"Someone sure ought to be sayin' that to you"
but instead I said
"Well, I guess I had better go clean my Kitchen" and just walked off.
Can you believe that?
How chicken is that?"

So the Water Baby just said "Hmmm..." but she didn't say she had to go somewhere so I continued...

"So I went to a Computer Class and now when I want to print something I won't come out with 100 pages of scrap paper and one page of what I wanted to print."
"Hmmmm..."

"Rip has been being good lately except his grades; and he missed his SAT test; and he says Mom is all over him all the time and that your bed is very comfortable and I said if he was going to move in here he was going to have to have better grades and get his stuff for college taken care of so that Mom can RELAX for a minute and other than all that he is doing pretty good"
"UmHmmm..."

"I'm thinkin' about maybe buying an Iron so I won't have to press my clothes with a skillet anymore...
"'That'd be good Dad"

"And I'm starting to do more Posts because I don't think I am trying to talk the way I blog, or try out a post while I am in line at the Grocery Store like I'm Drew Carey;
or use big words that I'm not too sure what they mean, and act like I'm some kind of George Will Jr. and quote Proust and stuff...

And I'm looking out the window Baby, and it looks like they mowed today and ....
WOW!!! There a really pretty bird in the Crepe Myrtle out there...with feathers..."

I started to describe this pretty bird when I suddenly realized that she had not told me yet she had to go somewhere so I stopped talking about the damn bird and said..
"Are you OK Baby?"
There were a few seconds of silence and then she broke into tears and said
"D-d-d-addy, I-I am s-so homesick!"
And she was sniffing and whimpering and I knew her nose was kind of running and she was going to run out of breath...

So I said:
"Thats Ok Baby because... we were all starting to think you... just didn't give a Shit!!!"
And I gave my little nervous laugh hoping that might help.
It did.
She laughed and I laughed and she's coming home for the weekend in two weeks.

And I told her to call her Mother right away because she would be so glad to know her girl is homesick too.
They talked for an hour.





Friday, October 12, 2007

McDougals Blues


There is a folk singer named Kevin Kinney that I have two CD's of from back in the early 1990's. I decided to add him to my Music list the other day and it was no surprise to me that I scored as the only person on the Planet that has him listed.
It made me feel sad for Kevin. He has this voice that I can only dewscribe as "What you hear is what you get" which I always like. He lays it out there with great expression.
His lyrics are great as well, although I am unable presently to post any from either of the two albums I have...the first being "McDougals Blues" and the other being 'Down Outlaw". There is a gentleness and deeply humanistic thread to his work.


But do not despair...as I began to surf through the 'Net, trying to find more info on Kevin, I discovered to my great delight that while I owned two of his folk albums he was so prolific that he had a band called "Drivin' and Cryin"" that
GAINED AN ALMOST CULT-LIKE FOLLOWING IN THE ATLANTA AREA!
Over the span of 15 years and at least a half dozen albums, his distinct voice and lyrics, along with a solid southern rockin band, had made quite a regional name for themselves.
If you follw the link there are several videos of what I can only describe as a bit of a "Hair Band" albeit a good one. Be sure to check out all the hair.
Try "Honeysuckle Blue", my favorite of the ones available.
Its so good to know that a guy like this is not starving.
"Drivin' and Cryin'" makes me want to smear myself up with blacklight paint and crash a Party somewhere.
It makes me wish Chavonne was still here and we could go see them at the Lake with a bonfire casting light and shadows all around.


His latest endeavor is called "Star Tangled Angel Review" which leans more towrds his folk roots, and there are some full length samples of this "outstanding songwriter with the distinctive voice' " work there as well.
If you will scroll down to the songs "Moutain Top" and "McDougal Blues", you will hear what attracted me to this mans music and then maybe understand why I am the only one on the Planet that has him on my list.
Of course, I am hoping you will add him to yours.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

REPORTS

I would like to run a Report that is based on a Report that was generated from a Report that was transferred to and analized by an EXCEL spreadsheet after having been lifted from an Oracle Program that was created with a 2/4 Time Signature and pasted to a Song and Dance Routine done with a 15/16 Time Signature.

I know that no one has any idea what I am talking about but thats not important.
Its only important that I don't know what I am talking about.
Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

GREAT IGNORANT LEAFY WAYS

I like this ...
It kinda says
"Get over yourself"
to me.
or maybe
"This ol' worlds not so bad if you give it a chance"
but who am
to put words in
William ButlerYeats
mouth?
The Two Trees
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with merry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Loves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways,
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care;
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.
Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile,
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For all things turn to barenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings: alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass
- - -
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
Remembering all that shaken hair,
And how the winged sandals dart.
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.
-- William Butler Yeats

Sunday, October 07, 2007

IF THE BANQUET MANAGER AINT HAPPY, AINT NOBODY HAPPY

“Mike, wake your black ass up”
“What time is it”
“Six A.M. brother man, time to rock the house
Mike was the CafĂ© Sous Chef and he came in every morning about 3;30 to start breakfast. Mike was a good guy, but when I would come in at 6:00, some days he would be on the bench in the dressing room, balanced somehow on a 6” wide wooden plank.
Sound asleep.
He would de snorin’ like a bigdog, with this huge smile on his face. He has gold tooth with a big "M" on it, and a gold earing. Of course his head was shaved right down to the ebony.
Mike liked to party.

I got dressed and headed upstairs. I was the Garde-Manger and the 1000 room hotel had been insanely busy the last 6 months. Chef kept sayin’ stuff like “After this week the bottom falls out”.
Not today, hell, not this week.
I was starting to think the Chef was just stringin’ us along and we were, in fact, confined to being busy as snot for the rest of our sorry lives. When I would tell people that I worked 85 hours last week, and that I would be having a 14 hour day today, they would nod and say something like
‘Yeah, me too” and expect that I didn’t believe them just like they didn’t believe me.
But hey, that’s Foodservice man, and right now there was a deadline to meet.

At 7:30 there was a Breakfast for 300 people and I had fruit mirrors to be placed on the Buffet.
Chief Steward would bring a Queen Mary, we’d load it up and upstairs we would go, along with Granola and bowls of Yogurt, Jelly’s and butter and we’d take Danish from Pastry as well.
Me and my four ladies of the cold food were finishing up the mirrors when I heard the ruckus. It was Bill, the Banquet Manager and he was over by the Cafeteria line.

“Where are my fruit trays?” Bill was asking a Busboy.
‘Where are my Fruit Trays” Bill was asking a Line Cook.
‘Where are my Fruit Trays” Bill was asking the Potwasher.

Bill Bobbers was always dressed to the tens. He had a handkerchief that matched his tie, and just the right amount of cuff showing out of the sleeves of his Gucci. Hell, I wouldn’t know a Gucci from a Mens Wearhouse, but Bill always looked like his momma dressed him. He had two Banquet WaIters with him, and he wore them like bodyguards
Bill had not been with us long, just several months, and he had seemed fairly capable. He had transferred from Jersey, or Boston, or Buffalo or somewhere.
I had not had to deal with him much, but I could sense he and I were about to go ‘round.

“Over here, Billbo, I’ve got em” and motioned to him. I had taken to calling him Billbo, but I don’t think I‘d let him in on it yet
“What did you call me?” He asked.
“Umm, Billbo” and I gave him my best smile.
He frowned.
‘I need those trays now” he barked.
“Well, I’m almost ready to send ‘em up, Tony (The Steward) should be here in a minute”
“ But I need em now” and he turned to the Main kitchen and announced “I need a Sous-Chef over here”

I could tell Bill was stressed and that probably I hadn’t helped with my pet name, but now I was pissed.
“Goddam you Billy Bobbers, what do I look like …Chopped Liver?”
I pointed to my embroidered "Garde Manger/Sous Chef" insignia that I had given Blood, Sweat and Tears for.

He turned and glared at me. We shouted, we cursed, we were two real idiots in the cold food area and we were about to get nose to nose when Tony pulled up with his Queen Mary.

“See Billbo, just chill out, its all happen’ just like Jaheezus the Christ planned” I said.
And you know that didn’t help any.
From what I recall, this set the tone for everyone in the hotel that day.
At about 2;00 P.M., the memo came from the F&B Director that there was to be a meeting at 3:00 and it listed about 12 people to be there, including Mike, Billbo and I.

Seated in a circle, we were going to clear the air as directed by the F&B Director, Kurt, who sat two seats down from me.
‘I want us to go around the circle, and everyone just go ahead and say who they have a problem with and why.
Now, I had worked with Kurt for two years and it did not surprise me when he said..
‘Bulletholes, you go first”
…because he knew that I will speak right up.

I glanced around the room. I knew that I had to try to play this right or risk looking like as big a jerk as I can sometimes truly be.
Or worse.

As this was going through my mind, I noticed Mike, my Sous Chef buddy, was just about to fall asleep. Then it hit me.

“Mike!”
Like most Kitchen people I have a big voice, that is too say, I talk too loud.
Mike jumped and I continued as per instructions.
“Mike, I know you come in at 3;00 in the morning and the odds are good you didn’t get to bed last night, but when I find you asleep in the Locker Room it just pisses me off. Try to stay F’n awake at work will ya?”
Mike just grinned at me.

And I continued around the room. If I didn’t have a problem with a particular person I just made one up because there was no way in hell anyone was going to claim I was cryin’ about Bill “Bilbo” Bobbers.
And when I got to Billbo I said:.
“Bill, I don’t know what you’re problem is …maybe its just that you are a Yankee…all I know is when you open your mouth, you could say "Good Mornin” and it would still sound ugly. It would still piss me off. But I’ve never once heard you say “good anything” to anybody. "

I looked at Kurt and he seemed to give me a nod of approval.

Well everyone else went around said whatever, including Mike who slammed me pretty good on…
who knows what, probably dinkin' around too much…
but by the end we were all ready to get the hell out of that room.

You know, sometimes us Southern folks, we can get away with saying some ugly things without sounding too ugly. I never gave anyone a nickname without clearing it with them again.

But the Moral of this story, if there is one I would say is
“If you are going to have a problem with someone, you may as well have a problem with everyone”

But there’s an even better version of that, and it fits for lot of stuff…Kurt taught me this:
‘If you think you are not part of the problem, you are part of the problem”

Friday, October 05, 2007

BITING THE BULLET

"I think most well-meaning people understand it for what it was. It was a weapon to destroy me, clear and simple"
clarence thomas

My friend Grizzbabe did a post a while back called 'A Little Too Racially Sensitive" which was about some young fellows in her community that had been fired from a job in a Theatre where they had stored ropes my fashioning nooses and hanging them from the rigging onstage. Something like that. Grizz wanted to know what her readers thought of that and had some pretty good comments.
This country is still very Racialy sensitive; and it should be. Clarence Thomas has been back in the news recently, we have the "Jena 6" and here in Dallas the City Council has been looking at banning the "baggy pants" that are worn by an awful lot of young people, but seems to be a fashion set by young black men.
Me? I can only speak for my own self, and generally find myself saying too much.
And that is what this post is about.
I didn't comment on the Grizzbabes post; partly because I have too much to say about it. You see, I have actually been fired for making a racialy insensitive remark.
Back in the 80's as a young Supervisor in the Kitchen, I pulled a fine batch of BBQ ribs out of the Oven and began to chomp on one. They were so good that I declared to the entire kitchen thet
'These ribs be good like a Mo'fo'!"
Everybody laughed and I might have gotten away with it except that I did it again the next day. Now my ladies in the Salad Area that had known me for years...Panola, Pearl and Geraldine (I had actually given blood to Geraldine before and should do a post just about her) they just shook their heads and said
"That boy is Crazy"
and sure enough not much more than an hour had passed before I found myself down in Personell.
I had offended somebody.
But this little episode would not cost me my job....that would come a few years later.

I was woking as Executive Sous Chef for a small hotel in the early 90's. There was a young black cook named Tony that I did not get along with very well. He was never prepared for business and I was usually on his ass.
One night the Restaurant was "in the Weeds", very busy and the Cooks were behind. I came onto the line to give assist and get them out of the weeds. I found that Tony did not have a scoop or a spoon for putting the Potato Salad onto plates and was using his bare hands.
"Whats the deal here Tony, is our food untouched by the Human Hand?" says I.
'Are you calling me a Monkey?" he asks.
"Yeah, Tony, a Monkey...a big floppy eared Monkey, and as soon as we get out of the Weeds, we will have us a couple of Banana Splits".

Of course, none of this was funny, or Professional, and I found the next day that I was out of a job.
I thought then that they were right to fire me. I still think they were. Hell, I didn't like it there anyway.
My point?
Maybe its that you can start out speaking of BBQ Ribs, but you wind up talking about race.
Or you might think you are speaking of proper food handling techniques, or Banana Splits, but find you are talking about race.
And you might suppose you are speaking of High Heeled Shoes, and how your neighbor is funny as Hell, but you just might be talking about Race.

I try to be sensitive but still have a hard time keeping my big Mailbox shut.
If I have offended anybody, please accept this apology and explanation.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

THE POWER OF HEELS

My buddy Soubriquet has issued an alarm concerning "The Sisterhood of the Pointy Heels"...up till now I have been unconcerned.

My upstairs neighbor, Kelly, took me to the grocery store..
'Where dya wanna go" she says
"Walmart I guess" says I.
Halfway there...I glance in her direction and clear my throat
"No I changed my mind ...lets go to Albertsons"
"Why Albertsons?" she asks.
"Cuz all my friends are there and I want em to see me shopping with a BLACK CHICK!"
And she just laughed and laughed and then she did a U-Turn.

"Where are you goin'?" I ask.
I feared I may have offended her even though she was laughin'....but she says....
"We gotta go back so I can put some heels on"
We just had a blast in that that store.

THE DOG HOUSE

The first time I got put into the Dog House, you know, when either the Mrs. kicks you out,or things have got so out of hand that she leaves herself, I saw a most amazing thing.
I was in my backyard, about 4A.M., doing what she told me to do, just thinkin' things over.
Orion was rising, along with the sparkling dancing Sirius, and it was an especially clear night. I had tired of looking up and was now studying the last of the green grass of summer.
Suddenly, I could see my shadow on the ground, and it seemed that the Pine tree lit up with some Celestial Illumination.
I quickly looked up and saw the most magnificient Meteor I had ever seen! It was directly overhead and it seemed as though it was in slow motion as it burned a trail all the way to the horizon, the great ball leaving a trail of sparks behind. As I mouthed silently "WOW" I discovered the event was not over yet....in the next ten seconds I actually heard it crackle!

Anyway, I told the Mrs. the next day that I wasn't going anywhere....but if she felt like she needed to she could leave.
She stayed.

About a year later I was back in the Doghouse and it was 4A.M. This time I was at a friends house in his backyard.
A sudden glow, a look up and another spectacular trail followed by a crackle, like an egg frying, or the sound on the 4th of July of very distant fireworks.
Two times in my life I have seen a Meteor large enough to even be able to hear it and both times I was in a lotta trouble.
Anyway, the next day I told the Mrs. that if she wanted to leave she could if thats what she thought she should do, but she already had my bags packed.
Thats when you are all the way out of the Doghouse.
I knew I wouldn't be coming back; that is to say, she wouldn't be asking me back. I knew that when I saw that Meteor.

American Indians say that a Meteor is a sign of bad times to come.
We all have our Meteors I suppose.

Monday, October 01, 2007

THE DOG STAR

I walk out at night to take a leak
underneath the stars -
oh yeah that's the life for me.
There's Orion and the Pleiades
and I guess that must be Mars -
all as clear as we long to be.

greg brown, from "The poet game"



There are a lot of reasons to like this time of year. The Winter sky is one of them. It is during the winter nights that we are looking in toward the center of our Galaxy and its abundance of Stars. If you will go outside at 5:00 A.M. you will see Orion on the rise and just below him, to the South and East, one of my favorites, Sirius, the Dog Star.



As the Winter passes, they rise earlier until next spring, when you can see them at a more amiable hour in the early evening. By earlier, I mean that at mid-winter they rise around mid-nite.


I especially love to watch Sirius. On a cool crisp morning or evening, when the atmoshere has been cleared by a passing cold front, its light dances from Blue to Purple to Green and Red. No Diamond could begin to match it. Its name comes from the Greek word for "searing" or "scorching"
It is 20 times brighter than our sun and twice the size. It IS NOT the closest Star to us, it just looks that way.