Thursday, December 30, 2010

GOOD HAPPY EYE

So I go to pick up my new Blood Pressure medicine. The Lab Tech rings up my bill.
$165 she says, bored and unimpressed.
The cost is 12x the price of the old medicine. It must have Gold dust in it.
No, we don't need Health Care Reform.
Just go ahead and shoot me before I have a stroke in line at the Pharmacy.
I left without the new medicine. Its Christmas Eve, and I'm too poor, even with the Tax cut and insurance, to have proper Blood Pressure Medicine. So I started taking my old stuff again, the stuff that wasn't working so well.
It was't working worth a crap at all. I called my Doctor and set up a consultation.
By the time I got there, my Hypertension was in a full-tilt boogie. I was feeling pretty jumpy.
Doctor Strznik, a big Polish man with one loppy-jawed eye like Jack Elam's, asked me series of questions, regarding my medications, my previous blood pressure readings, and what I could afford. His last question was:
"So how do you feel, Steve?"
I said:
"I feel like I'd like to find a little guy and whup him."

Doctor Strznik laughed. He couldn't stop laughin'. I don't think he ever heard that one before. I thought he might bust a blood vessel, and the offset eye rolled around really weird while the good happy eye kept looking right at me.
I hope he never tries to do surgery with an eye like that, and I told him so.
He laughed even harder, and I started laughin' and the next thing you know we had two PA's in there and we are all laughing and that crazy cock-eyed eye is rollin' around.
Laughter....its the best Medicine, and the best answer to all that is wrong with the world.

Friday, December 17, 2010

WILLIAM SAFIRE

"Composition is a discipline; it forces us to think. If you want to 'get in touch with your feelings,' fine — talk to yourself; we all do. But, if you want to communicate with another thinking human being, get in touch with your thoughts. Put them in order; give them a purpose; use them to persuade, to instruct, to discover, to seduce. The secret way to do this is to write it down and then cut out the confusing parts."

BUBBLES


My budget tells me that I have $200 to spend for Christmas. but even with the tax cuts, my confidence is at an all time low. Should I pump my $200 into the economy, creating more demand for goods and services, thereby more jobs, which eventually, (if eventually means "at the end of time") works its way back into my pocket duly increased by some number yet to be determined; or hang onto it for dear life for the emergency that will undoubtedly come up the day after I part with it?

I'm on the bubble here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RELATIVITY

STEVE: "I'll try to get this place cleaned up before you come to town so maybe you could come over next time."
SUSAN: "Its OK Steve, I've seen your place dirty before."
STEVE: "No, Susan, you've seen my place clean before."

Monday, December 13, 2010

GOOD TABLE MANNERS

Had a date Saturday with the same girl that I went to see "Burlesque" with, the girl that thinks I'm a Billionaire.
It was OK.
She is nice, everything seemed to work out well. By that I mean we got to the movie ("RED", with Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman and Mary Louise Parker, which I had already seen with another date a few weeks ago, but that's what they all seem to want to see these days) 10 minutes before it started, and the movie was as good as it was the first time I saw it and Mary Louise is really cute, and I didn't spill the popcorn, and then when the movie let out we got to Chili's 15 minutes before they closed so we didn't end up at Whataburger or IHop, and dinner was good, and I think for the most part I chewed my food with my mouth shut and practiced good table manners, and on the way to and from I didn't get into any road rage and during the conversation we managed to avoid politics and religion so I guess that is what a good date is all about.
Oh, and she paid this time.
Is that what a good date is all about?
Is that all there is to it?
Seems like there ought to be more, it seems like there used to BE more.
I feel old.
God, how I hate the 21st Century.

Friday, December 10, 2010

OLD CHEFS DREAMS AND KNEE SOCKS

As I was dreaming of making a nice Pate' one night...
I look up to see a “Chap”. He is wearing a red and green Tweed Jacket, checked Scarf and Riding Cap. He has on Driving gloves and carries a Riders whip. He is in his 60’s, has one of those Curly-Q Mustaches, a pipe and is wearing a Monocle. He is the mental picture I get when I say “Chap”.
“Can I help you?” I ask.
Foodservice people always help.
In his thick British accent he says ‘Right-O, thank you young man, quite possibly you can. I am looking for a pair of ‘Knee Socks’
”“Knee Socks?” asks I.
“Knee Socks” says he.
I glance around the Kitchen and clear my throat.
“ Does any one here have a pair of Knee Socks?” I announce.
All movement in the Kitchen and Waiters Station stops.
Out of the corner of my eye I detect some movement by the ice machine. There is a Cocktail Waitress there, she is looking right at me and I can tell that she is going to answer my request.
.“Knee Socks?” she asks.
“Knee Socks” I say.
Very daintily, she reaches down and with thumb and forefinger of one hand, and grasps the hem of her skirt. She slowly raises her skirt to reveal a black garter belt with a little red bow, and Fishnet Stockings. She raises her heel, and on pointed toe flexes her knee to the inside slightly to further advertise the Product.
Very nice. Very nice indeed.
“Like these?” she asks, demure, in almost a whisper.
I look to the Chap; he is rather shocked; his eyes widen, the pipe dangles from his lower lip, the monocle pops from his eye and he shakes his head very quickly.
"Clever that one, but no" He says.
I look back to the Waitress and give her a wink.
“I don’t think so honey” I say “But you are looking really good today”

Thursday, December 02, 2010

"LET THEM NOT STAMP THEIR FEET"


‎"Tell Believing women to avert their eyes, and safeguard their private parts, and not expose their attractions except what is visible. And let them wrap their shawls around their breast lines, and reveal their attractions only before their husbands or fathers, or fathers-in-law, or sons, or sons of their husbands, or brothers, or son...s of brothers, or sons of sisters, or their womenfolk, or slaves, or male attendants with no sexual desire, or children with no intimate knowledge of the private parts of women. And let them not stamp their feet to reveal what they hide of their ornaments. "

The Q'uaran, provided by my pal Dave.

Ornaments courtesy of This isn't Happiness

Monday, November 29, 2010

SHELLACKED AT BURLESQUE

I had a date Friday night.
We went to Red Lobster.
Over the Crab Claws I said "Do ya maybe wanna go to a movie after?"and she said "Sure" and as the waitress brought the check I realized that I should have said "Do ya maybe wanna GO DUTCH to a movie" but it was too late at this point to revise my invitation.
So I made sure that she saw the enormous tip I was leaving and the $60 check for dinner, in hopes that maybe when we got to the theater that she might say something like 'Hey, since you got dinner, I'll get my own ticket for the show" but she didn't even blink and now I'm in for another $20 and my only hope is that maybe she will spring for the popcorn, if for no other reason than the fact that I am about to sit down and watch a movie starring Christina Aguilera and Cher, and some guy named Stanley Tucci who I have no idea who he is but my date is more excited about seeing him than Christina or Cher so I know it can't be good. Besides, what kinda of man gets involved in a movie with Cher and Christina? I already know the answer to that and I still have no idea who this guy is.
So we are walking through the lobby and the smell of the popcorn is hitting me and I'm thinking "Maybe she will buy some popcorn and a soda" but she is completely oblivious. So we go in and sit down and its like 15 minutes till the show starts and I can smell the butter I can smell the corn and I'm getting thirsty like cattle at a salt lick and she's going on and on about Stanley Tucci and how great he was in "The Devil Wears Prada" and that's all the evidence I need; now I know everything I need to know about Stanley. Now its like a minute before the show starts and the popcorn smell is driving me mad and I look at her and say:
"Hey what do you think about some popcorn?" and she settles a little further back into her seat and says "Yeah, that'd be nice" and so up I jump and go get popcorn. This chick is really somethin'.
I'm getting shellacked.
The movie wasn't that great unless you really like Christina Aguilera, but she was right about one thing.
That Stanley Tucci, he's amazing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THE PHANTOM

They say true champions know when to quit and always go out as champions. Well, maybe they don't say that, and maybe it seldom happens, but that is the way it happened for me.
In the 9th Grade I was the smallest, slowest, and worst player on the football team. I didn't know the signals and had not a clue as to where to line up. Underneath my helmet I wore my black glasses, which had to be readjusted after each play.. It was for these distinctions that the coach nicknamed me "The Phantom".
"The Phantom". It was not a compliment.
I played on the "B" team, with other slow and ungifted athletes. We mainly served the purpose of being as cannon fodder for the "A" team during practice. We were "live" blocking and tackling dummies and 100% expendable.
We referred to ourselves as "The Guinea Pig Squad".
But we did get to play in games, against other Guinea Pig Squads from other schools. This story is about my last game.

The coach put me in during the 4th quarter. The lower your skill level, the later in the game you went in. There were two minutes left. I adjusted my glasses and settled into my defensive safety position. The quarterback barked the signals while I prayed they would not run a pass play. This was unlikely, as they were guinea pigs just like me and the odds that they could complete a pass were very low, even if the receiver were to be wide open, which he surely would be if I were to try to cover him.
They did not run a pass play. They ran the ball right up the middle. The back broke through the line, through the 'Backers and was headed straight towards me! I put my head down and moved forward. We collided and went down in a cloud of dust. We got up and went back to our huddles.
Second down.
Once again the quarterback barked the signals while I prayed, The running back came up the middle, I ran forward into him, and he and I went down in a cloud of dust.
We both got up and ran back to our huddles. I adjusted my glasses and tightened my jock.
It was third down.
Again, they ran the only play they seemed to be capable of running. The back came up the middle, broke through the line, it was just he and I and he was heading straight for me. I lowered my head and braced myself and BAM! we both went down in a cloud of dust!

I jumped up, dusted myself off and began adjusting my glasses. It was then that I noticed that my counterpart DID NOT GET UP!
The crowd went wild!
I ran to the sidelines where the coach was waiting. He grabbed my facemask the way coaches do, and slapped me on the butt with the clipboard, and for the first time all year he called me by my name:
"WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN ALL YEAR, RENFRO!"

And that is how my football career ended. I never played another down.

Friday, November 19, 2010

E PLURIBUS ASSHOLE


I have yet to see an E-Mail promoting patriotism, prayer, the flag, or religious agenda that checked out to be true. Three recently recieved were about Mr. Rogers being a Navy Seal, Captain Kangaroo being a War Hero, and another where George Carlin talks about the paradox of our age.
Bullshit.
None of these check out at all. They seldom do.
If I get it in an E-mail, I can almost guarantee its full of crap.
I won't even try to list all the bullshit I've received about Obama. Its nothing short of incredible, and even with my little imagination, I don't know where they come up with it all. 

And now I hear the US Mint has been removing the "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum" from "President Series" Dollar coins, the bigger plan being to eventually phase God out entirely from America's lexicon. In order to show my Patriotism, I should refuse any of these coins.
When I pointed out that this was blatantly false and any coins missing that text might even be worth a hell of a lot of money one day, the reply I got back was:
" Its better to be safe than sorry".
Better safe than sorry?
You scare the shit out of me.
Please, you assholes, take me off your mailing list.

Friday, November 12, 2010

“Dry Martini”


George: "I wish to God Jerry had put me out with the rest of ‘em. What’s the good of coming through for this sort of thing? What’ll you have?”
Wimsey: “Dry Martini” Cheer up. All this Remembrance-day business gets on your nerves, don’t it? It’s my belief most of us would only be too pleased to chuck these community hysterics if the beastly newspapers didn’t run it for all it’s worth. However, it won’t do to say so. . . .How are things going for you?
George: “Oh rotten as usual. Tummy all wrong and no money. What’s the damn good of it, Wimsey? A man goes and fights for his country, gets his inside gassed out, and loses his job, and all they give him is the privilege of marching past the Cenotaph once a year and paying four shillings in the pound income-tax.”

This Isn't Happiness

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day


Avignon France, September of 1944.
Staff Sargeant Jack Rippy Renfro; 79th Fighter Group Army Air Force; attached to Patton from Egypt to Italy; then on to France.
Hey Pop.

If I just knew what you thought of all this.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

COWBOYS


Monday, November 08, 2010

Letters from Jail


"My current lask of communication with the free world is devastating"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

SCARECROW


Since 1982 I have been Scarecrow every year for halloween. it completely suits me. Here is this years, the 28th incarnation of Scarecrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

VICTORIAN HYSTERIA

I can still remember my Health Class back at LD Bell. It was taught by Coach Downs, a strong Christian man perfectly suited for being a Coach, or maybe a History teacher, but for whatever reason he was relegated to teach Health.And I guess he was OK at it, and pleased to do it. We covered diet, nutrition, and exercise, (his forte), I suppose we probably talked about Diseases and First Aid. Coach Downs was extremely comfortable and eloquent on those subjects.But then came the day (or week) when we had to talk about sexual matters. Things like Gonorrhea, crab lice, the importance of abstaining from sex until marriage (which few of us saw as anything remotely close to being an option, in fact, the driving force behind most of my endeavors was to get laid, and failing that, at least to do a lot of making out, which Coach Downs seemed to be dead set against), what a condom was and how it was used, male and female "genaltia"....I'll never forget the big *GULP* that Coach Downs would make before he said words like genaltia, syphilis, and vagina. Normally a slow talker with a West Texas accent, every time he had to say "Vagina" he would look at the ceiling, clear his throat, fidget from one foot to the next and spit it out so quick it sounded like one syllable.

"VGYNA"....maybe he was part Russian. I think poor Coach Downs would rather go winless an entire season than to have to be up there, talking Sex to us kids, mumbling out the horrid words:
"The (cough) penis goes in the (fidget) vgyna and we call (turning away from the class) that intercourse."
If we really wanted to torture him, all we had to do was start asking questions.
"The penis goes in what, Coach?"
So, to my idiot homophobic Facebook friends, when you are so concerned about a Safe School Czar that is going to, as the articles you cite suggest, include fisting for teens, male to male blowjobs for fifth graders, the art of lesbian love and how to go down on your Den Mother for third graders, the upside of Pedophilia and the Man/Boy relationship as part of the curricula of our Public Schools, I think it’s a bit of a stretch, dude.
Who are you going to get to teach all that?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

THE LORDS TRUMP

The loudest place in the world...
Was the burned out trailer I lived in out in the middle of nowhere. You might think that out in the middle of nowhere would have been peaceful and quiet, but you might be wrong.
The one neighbor had three German Shepherds and a Chow, and all it took was a cat crossing the road 100 yards down the way to set them to barkin' and howlin' like it was the End of the World.
Then, right across the Railroad tracks there was a concrete plant. In the morning trucks would line up to get their fill and between the low rumble of the motors, you could hear the sledging slurping sound of concrete spilling down from a hopper and into the spinning back of the truck. Later that day the plant would go into production, and gravel would be crushed in some giant machine. It was like the sound of marbles being dropped on a tin roof and amplified enough to make you ears bleed.
So when the dogs got to barking, and the gravel got to crushing, you really couldn't quite hear the train that was coming down the tracks till it was almost on you. But as the burned out trailer began to shake from the vibration of 100 cars filled with coal gliding down the Double-E of the tracks, if I timed it just right I could holler out "There goes that son-of-a-Bitch" at the top of my lungs, only you wouldn't be able to hear the word "Bitch" because the engineer had commenced to blowing his whistle.
It was loud, but when timed right, it was beautiful!
But that's not all.
Since this place was "out in the middle of nowhere" it made it the perfect place for someone to put up a Dynamite plant a half mile away. And at various times of the day, starting at 6:00 in the morning, they would test the dynamite and there would be a big boom go off and the shock wave (which could snuff out a candle) would rattle your windows and of course, set three German Shepherds and a Chow to barking their fool heads off. A friend of mine, Demetrious, the only black person of Greek descent I have ever known, came to see me one day. We were standing by his car when someone torched off a stick off Dynamite. You could hear and even feel the shock wave, and poor Demetrious hit the dirt, just as he was trained to do 40 years ago in the 'Nam.
He never came back to see me.
But that's not all.
There was one thing that could drown out the dogs, the concrete, the train and the dynamite. On Friday and Saturday nights, one, or all three racetracks in Kennedale would start their engines. I was stuck right between all three and you couldn't hear a thing.
When those racetracks started up, I might have missed Gabriel blow the Lords Trump.


I almost forgot...
THE OTHER NEIGHBORS

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEKEEPERS

For three years running, every morning in the Main Kitchen at the Hyatt, Maybelline the Employee Cafeteria lady would limp up to Panola, the Salad lady and say
'Could you get me some lettuce, please, Panola?"
and Panola would say
"Cain't you get it yo'self?"
and Maybelline would say
"My back is kinda hurtin' me this mo'nin' and I cain't bend over"
and Panola, exasperated, would go in the Walk-in and fill Maybelline's little Lexan with some cut lettuce and hand it back to her.
And as Maybelline limped back down to the Employee's Cafeteria, Panola would announce to the entire Kitchen staff:
"I CAIN"T STANDS NO-BODY THAT'S SORRRRRRY"
Every day.
Three years.
But never once did Panola refuse Maybelline.
And never once did Maybelline fire back in any manner at all.
I don't know which of those ladies I loved the most.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

SECRETS, MOSTLY

It might interest and disgust you to know that I had a bout with bedbugs last year. I woke one morning to find my left leg had been almost chewed to the bone. I think I got them from my ex-wife, who was so appalled that she had them that she made me swear an oath for no one to know, and oath I've kept till just now, mostly.
It reminds me of the year of my own separation and the morning I went to jail for driving with a suspended license. I had been cruising my estranged soon-to-be-ex-wife's house in the middle of the night, looking for signs that my soon-to-be-ex-best friend might have been there. The cops pulled me over and took me to jail.
They had impounded my car, and informed me that since I had no money, I would be in jail for at least two weeks. That would add up to a considerable sum in storage fees for my piece of shit van.
So I called the ex from jail to see if she could get my van out for me. I did not expect she might post my bail. In fact, I was certain she would not.
Bear with me here....
In jail they will not let me keep my glasses for fear that I may make a shiv out of them or something. So as I looked out the little window later that day, I see the desk sergeant booking some gal wearing a bright purple blouse with an international Orange skirt and white fishnets. She looked like she might be a redhead, but it was all just a purplish orange bozo dreamsickle lookin' blob so I turned to my celly (That's what you call your room-mate in jail) and said
"THAT LOOKS LIKE MY DAMN WIFE!"
And then the desk Sergeant led her into the cell right across from mine and slammed the door shut. She was looking out her little window right at me, but I still couldn't tell for sure that it was her because I can't see shit without my glasses.
But when a blurry little hand came into her window and appeared to be waving at me while she looked at me, well, I turned to my celly and said
'THAT IS MY DAMN WIFE"
They threw her in jail for warrants when she came up to get the release for my van. Of course, my soon to be ex-best friend came and bailed her out PDQ.
She made me swear an oath to never tell anybody about that either.
I guess the cats are out of the bag now.
And those Bedbugs?
Things got better.
All I have are roaches now, mostly.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tobasco


Sunday, September 19, 2010

COWBOY BUTTON

I went Cowboy dancin' last night. I was leavin' out the door, puttin' on my one shirt that might qualify as a cowboy shirt based on the fact that it was long sleeved, checked, and had too much starch, when I noticed it had a button missing.
I looked down at the missing spot and thought to myself that since it was in the very center, no one might notice. But as I locked the door I decided that it wouldn't hurt to take a look in the mirror and see how stupid it might look, especially since I was supposed to be picking up a girl, and it was going to be like our first date.
And there really was no time to spare, if I was going to be on time.
So I unlock the door and run into the bathroom and look in the mirror...
Crap!
Dead center. And not only do I look like some kind of huckleberry hobo, every time I inhale you can see my belly!
Not attractive.
My mind is racing. I look in a drawer and its my lucky day! A needle and thread!
And down at the bottom of the shirt there is a spare button. Standing in front of the bathroom sink with a pair of scissors I clip the spare button free.
But damn the luck, the button flies away, hits the mirror, bounces off a bottle of Hai Karate after shave, clatters into the sink, rolls around twice like a ball on a Gamblin' Wheel and disappears in slow motion down the drain.
Aaargh!
Now I'm down under the sink, taking the drain apart in order to rescue my fuckin’ button. I have four minutes to sew it on or face the stigma of being late for my first date with a girl I have been infatuated with since the early days of the world . There was not even time to remove my shirt; I would have to do this with my shirt still on.
I bring all my tailoring skills to bear. I jab the needle through the cloth, and sink it a full quarter inch into my thumb. It hurts like hell, but I repeat the process enough times to secure the button to my Cowboy Shirt.
What a man won’t do for love, won’t get done.
It was then that I noticed I had managed to stitch my shirt to my belly. I’ been pricking my thumb so hard, I never felt a thing.
I was on time for my date, but it looked like I'd had a C-Section!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"GOT MY ATTENTION WHEN SHE COMES TO TOWN"



"She's laughing at birds
'Cause birds are funny
She's got her daddy
Calling her honey pie


Her smile could stop a train
She could be standin' in the rain
Or sliding down the hill in her kimono gown
But there ain't no doubt, she's got
My attention when she comes to town"
subdudes

Friday, September 10, 2010

PICTURES

I went for about 10 years without many pictures taken of me. Here are some from my daughters Wedding last month, and some of her as well; you may know her as Water Baby....



I caught the Bouquet. Both of them.



Water Baby and Ex Mrs. Bulletholes


Champagne Toast and Kids Too Young To Get Married



Sobbing. Not as bad as at the Rehearsal, where we had to stop for five minutes while I came completely unstrung.




"Everything is already OK"





Me and Dave, CEO of Gibberish Solutions



The Groomscake, a Croquembouche', assembled by Davy and I.




She is my hearts delight.
















Friday, September 03, 2010

YES, I'M HAPPY


"We’ve got ninety-nine per cent the same genes as any other person. We’ve got ninety per cent the same as a chimpanzee. We’ve got thirty percent the same as a lettuce. Does that cheer you up at all? I love about the lettuce. It makes me feel I belong.” — CARYL CHURCHILL

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mark Twain

“Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.”

Friday, August 20, 2010

TWO MINUTES OF INFAMY

AUGUST HEAT

DRAWING BY MY PAL LARRY ALLEN, ca 1978

two nights before my 72nd birthday
by Charles Bukowski

sitting here on a boiling hot night while
drinking a bottle of cabernet sauvignon
after winning $232 at the track
there's not much I can tell you except
if it weren't for my bad right leg
I don't feel much different than I did
30 or 40 years ago
(except that now I have more money and should be able
to afford a decentburial).
also, I drive better automobiles and have
stopped carrying a switchblade.
I am still looking for a hero, a role model,
but can't find one.
I am no more tolerant of Humanity
than I ever was.
I am not bored with myself and find
that I am the only one I can
turn to in time of
crisis.
I've been ready to die for decades and
I've been practicing, polishing up
for that end
but it's very
hot tonight
and I can think of little but
this fine cabernet,
that's gift enough for me.
sometimes I can't
believe I've come this far,
this has to be some kind of goddamned
miracle!
just another old guy
blinking at the forces,
smiling a little,
as the cities tremble and the left
hand rises,
clutching
something
real.

I have a variation of Larry's drawing on my wall. It had always reminded me of a story I read in the Seventh Grade called "August Heat", written by William Harvey. This I have told Larry for almost as many years as his drawing has been in existence.
But I saw this poem today and I matched it to Larry's portrait. I think it fits quite well.
Now, I am going to provide you with a link to Harveys story.
CLICK HERE
I don't expect you to read it all, though it is a great short story, but I would love for you to take note of the date on the letterhead that begins the story and tell yourself that synchronicity does not abound today.
This August Heat.
Man.
Its givin' me chills

Monday, August 09, 2010

TRY NOT TO CRY


WEDDING SCHEDULE
Thursday pick up Tux @ 5:00, go to store to buy Exotic Fruits from Faraway Lands and Special Imported Cheeses like you never heard of to use for the Reception. Buy every Cream Puff in the county to make Groomscake. Try not to cry.
Friday morning @8:00 set up tables with fancy frilly ribbons and bows and elegant centerpieces. Slice cheeses into unusual shapes and carve fruits into interesting bite sized pieces that look like they would be fun to eat and in order to create stunning, one of a kind display. Try not to cry.
Get ready for Rehearsal, learn to dance, prepare and memorize speech, practice walking down the aisle, we're walking, we're walking, walkin' the aisle. Go to Rehearsal Dinner, forget speech, toasting, toasting, toasting, Cannolis! Try not to cry.
Saturday morning, get up get dressed get blessed try to be a success, go to Church, coffee, coffee,sweat shake, praying to Jesus, dipping Cream Puffs in carmelized sugar and making huge pyramid called a Croquembouche for the Grooms cake. Set up Fantastik display of Fruits and Cheeses, breads and table-water crackers, more style than Lady Gaga. Try not to cry.
Leaving Church, hungry, no can eat, go home coldshower, dry hair, hairspray, hairspray, hairspray. Praying to Jesus again, faith and gas in truck back to church for Wedding photos. She's beautiful, yes,yes, yes, click, snap, flash, smiling and praying to Jesus.
Holding her hand, walkin' the aisle, try not to cry, walkin' the aisle, praying to Jesus,walkin' the aisle. Try not to cry.
Givin' away the Bride.
Cry. Cry Cry.
Reception, whirling dizzy, shaking the hands, huggin' the mother, pattin' the back, shakin' the hands, forgot how to dance. Try not to cry.
Cry.

Monday, August 02, 2010

HAIRY


I had a dream last night. In the dream I met an old friend I had not seen in a long time. I said:"I'm so glad to see you! Its been so long!" and she said:"No, it hasn't been that long at all. I saw you in your previuos dream as well"And I thought about it for a minute and yes, she was right! So I said:'Yes, but you've changed your hair."
It was a very strange, hairy dream indeed.

FORMULA 4 LOVE




"You sat in front of me and one row over in my Reading class in the Seventh Grade. You were a smart girl, I could tell that right away. So in my notebook , I scrawled a very scientific looking formula down, with numbers and integers, some in parenthesis, some to the power of ten ; others with multiplication symbols, interspersed throughout with letters from the Periodic Chart of the Elements ; the symbols for Square Roots, Pi, Ohms, Infinity and Beyond. I did my best to make it look very scientific and completely valid.
At the very bottom of the page I would write, in very large dramatic letters, these words:"

"EQUALS ONE HELL OF AN EXPLOSION"

"Then, as stealthily as possible, I would let this piece of notebook paper fall off my desk and float towards yours, hopefully landing at your feet, where you would notice it, pick it up and see all the Mathematical Equations I had generated and think that I was a Scientist and Scholar of the highest degree, worthy of your consideration.
I thought if you could see how smart I was, you might like me.
It didn't work.
You never once looked at my formula , but just politely handed my paper back to me.
The great and wonderful part of this whole story is how we got to be such good friends anyway."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SEND IN THE CLOWNS




SUCKIN' IT UP FOR TWISTED VINTAGE

CLOSE ONE DUDE!


On Sunday the 18th of July I picked up 2 years Clean and Sober down at my local NA Group. In the last two years I haven’t had so much as a sip of beer or wine. I haven’t smoked no mind altering drug, or snorted or ingested any chemicals designed to change the way I feel.
That, friends, is why I feel so damn good.
So it was quite ironic to be at my High School Reunion that weekend and have a $19 glass of Red Wine spilled on me Friday night. I posed for pictures, wine glass in hand, staggering a bit as though I was three sheets to the wind, because I really didn’t know what else I was supposed to do. I hope the pictures do not mess with anybody's serenity.

God, did that wine smell good! I hadn’t even smelled Red Wine in two years and here I was, marinating in it! I smelt like a London Broil.
I took a loaf of bread, stuck it in my pocket and went looking for a nice Catholic girl, hoping we might have Communion. Instead, on my way home, I got pulled over by the Southlake cops whose sensitive cop noses immediately smelled the woody floral bouquet of a nice 1969 Montrachet and wanted to book me for a DWI.
"But Officer" I pleaded "I pick up my Two Years Clean and Sober pin in less than 36 hours"
“Sure kid” Deputy Fife said “You are soaked”
‘Yessir” I says ”See where it spilled on my pants? I haven’t had a sip!”
‘Do you think I just fell off the Ice Cream Truck? Out of the car, longhair!”

The second Police car arrived and I thought "Holy Crap, I'm in it now!".
It was the Captain of the watch with his assistant.
They haul me out of the car, they shined the light in my eyes, they made me touch my nose (which I can hardly do stone cold sober), they had me walk the line, but you know me...I'm so goofy I couldn't keep from crackin' up that this ironic shit was happenin’ to me.

So I started talking about NA, recited the Twelve Steps, talked about the Third Tradition, and how the only requirement for membership was a desire to stop using.
Then I started talking about what the program had done for me, and how I never knew I could stay clean, how I didn't even know I would want to, and how all my friends and family that I had alienated and isolated from were back in my life and all...and that I had kept coming back and given myself a break and found a new way to live and a God of my own understanding...
And I started to recite the Third Step Prayer:
"Many of us have said: Take my will and my life, guide me in my recovery, show me how to live, clean."
And I looked up and all three of those cops were in tears.
They let me go, and didn't even write me a ticket for the headlight that is out.
It was a close one, dude!

By the way, having the wine spilled on me had no real effect on my sobriety, or my desire to stay clean. The message we carry is that:
“Anyone can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MY HIGH SCHOOL REUNION


Some people might try to hang on to the idea that Bob Dylan or James Taylor are the spokesmen for our generation. But after watching 20 ladies and John Angell, the old Chief Wrangler of the Rodeo Club, at the 35th Reunion joyously take the dance floor, it leaves little doubt that The Village People and their smash hit "YMCA" may be the one true voice of the Class of 1975.
I have suffered through this song innumerable times, at Spencers Corner in the 70's, The Run Down Comfort and Grand Central Station in the 80's, then Spencers Palace in the 90's. Where ever my class flocks, this song is played and the dancing begins.
All the dancers do the same basic move, but some have perfected it over the years. Saturday nights winner had to be Nancy Smith, with her right arm outstretched and a pointed finger flicking perfectly in unison with the thumpa-thumpa of the music and moved her arm in a slow wide arc while mouthing the words:

Young man, there's no need to feel down.
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy.


For the next verse, Nancy went back the other way, using her left hand and finger. It was donme while gracefully swinging and swaying to the music. She was a machine!
Then, of course at the chorus, everybody throws their hands in the air, then down to shoulders, then with hands on hips; the big finish comes as they spell out "YMCA" .

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
They have everything for you men to enjoy,
You can hang out with all the boys

So as I stood there watching them dance, my mind began to wander, the way I'm sure yours must be now. I began to see into the future at the 50th Reunion in 2025, where I'm sure this song will be played, and danced to as well. I could see the ladies, just slightly less spry, but giving it their all just the same, and John Angell hopping right along with a very stylish cane, most likely Onyx, with an Ivory handle as everybody sings out:

Young man, are you listening to me?
I said, young man, what do you want to be?
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
But you got to know this one thing!

No man does it all by himself.
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,
And just go there, to the y.m.c.a.
I'm sure they can help you today.


Then again I see in my minds eye, as I'm sure you are doing now as well, the 75th Reunion, our ranks very much thinned, probably down at the La Dora Lodge Old Folks Home on Bedford Road, and the DJ puts on YMCA and six ladies and John Angell take the floor in wheelchairs and walkers. I gotta tell ya, I'm tearing up a little as I write about it. Some things are immortal, and surely YMCA and John Angell will be.

Anyway, as I was leaving Saturday night, I saw two of the YMCA dancers outside. It was two girls that I didn't know in High School and they did not know me. As far as they knew, I might have gone to Odessa-Permian Basin. I'm certain they have never seen one of my Facebook or Bulletholes stories. I stopped and said hello, and told them that I had calculated that if I lived to be 100, that I would have gone to 9 more Reunions, therefore I would have watched the YMCA dance 9 more times.
"Don't you like to dance?' one asked.
"Oh yes, I love to dance!" I said.
"Well, why didn't you dance to YMCA tonight"
"Because" I explained "I flunked spelling. I cain't spell no good."

They didn't laugh. They just kinda sat there with their mouths open.



Nancy doing her flawless YMCA routine.
The judges gave her....ALL TENS!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BIG SURPRISE

Camping at Toledo Bend one year, I was cutting the grass for Aunt Glesnal who lived right on the lake and I decided I needed a new muffler for her Lawnmower.
Glesnal lived way out in the boonies, 20 miles into town. She told me the nearest Hardware store was "Smileys" but it had no identification on the outside of the building, just a dilapidated weatherbeaten ol' wooden shack on a certain intersection of a dirt road and a one lane blacktop.
""Bout 8 miles down, can't miss it; don't let Smiley scare ya" she says.
I also needed some bolts and other stuff so I made a list and took off down the road to Smileys. Sure as heck, its right where she says it will be, in the middle of nowhere, couldn’t miss it. No cars in the driveway but through the trees you can see back to what is probably Smileys house. I go to the door and peer into a very dark room thru a screen door. I open the door and step inside. Behind me is the summery slap of the screen door. Even though it is the middle of the afternoon it is eerily dark in this room.
Peering through the darkness I clear my throat and say "Hello". It is more a question than a greeting. Out from the darkness comes the reply "Can I help you?" and a light comes on.
Its Smiley; he is 6'6" tall, completely bald and looks like that lead singer for Midnight Oil. There is a single bare bulb bouncing by his head, hanging from a wire, his hand in the air as he holds the pull chain for the light.
"I need some bolts" I say
"Follow me" he says. The light goes out and I follow Smiley through the dark, mostly by sound and shadow. At last he stops, reaches up and "click", a light comes on, revealing an assortment of bolts. Into a paper bag we put the ones I need.
"What else?" he asks.
"Garden hose" says I.
Light goes out and we proceed in the dark to my next item. He stops, light goes on, he produces from a shelf a garden hose, pulls the string,lites out!
We repeat the process through my entire list. Every item I need, we go to in the dark, and there is always a bulb hanging within a foot of my selection. I have never seen lighting so strategically placed anywhere, and Smiley has not said another word since the initial "Follow Me" It was quite surreal.
Last thing on my list is the muffler. I can remember the make of the Mower but not the Engine so I take a guess. Smiley knows better and tells me "NO, for that make of mower it is this engine and the muffler you will need is this one."
I'm not too sure and decide on the muffler he is warning me against.
We proceed to the register, lite goes on , I pay , lites out and as I am leaving I speak again, into the darkness of Smileys Hardware Store:
"If this muffler is the wrong one I can bring it back, Right?"
A moment of silence...then from the darkness Smileys slightly irritated voice:
"Sure, son, if its not the right one."
I get back to the house and check the muffler.
Damn! Wrong one! Back to Smileys I go .
Thru the screen door,slap!
Into the darkness once again I speak:
"Looks like it’s the wrong muffler, sir."
A long moment of silence.
Again I say, "Looks like it’s the wrong muffler, sir."
Finally out of the darkness comes the voice of Smiley:
"BIG SURPRISE!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

THE CAUSE OF RELIGION

"A man who wishes to serve the cause of religion ought to hesitate long before he stakes the truth of religion on the event of a controversy respecting events in the physical world. For a time he may succeed in making a theory which he dislikes unpopularby persuading the public that it contradicts the Scriptures and is inconsistent with the attributes of the Deity. But, if at last an overwhelming force of evidence proves this maligned theory to betrue, what is the effect of the arguments by which the objector has attempted to prove that it is irreconciliable with natural and revealed religion? Merely this, to make men infidels. Like the Israelites, in their battle with the Philistines, he has presumptuously and without warrant brought down the ark of God into the camp as a means of ensuring victory :-- and the consequence of this profanation is that, when the battle is lost, the ark is taken."
Thomas Babington Macaulay

Friday, July 02, 2010

CONVERSATION WITH SUSAN II

I called my friend Susan out in Mobile. She gives me advice on romance and relationships and always listens intently to my stories concerning whatever I may have gotten myself into. She always has, ever since High School, when Sophie and Lisa took me ‘Trick-or-Treating” and it wasn’t even Halloween, ever since Jeri broke up with me in the 11th Grade because I managed to be wearing a bag over my head with nothing on but my underwear in her living room at her Sweet 16 Party, ever since that funny looking middle aged Maitre' d named Dick tried to harass me SEXUALLY when I was a busboy in 1974.
She has always been there for me, and if I call her at 3AM in the morning from Las Vegas before I tie the knot with some cross-dressing Showgirl at the Elvis Church, she is delighted to take the call and has saved me more than once. She was there for me last fall when I confessed that:
“If a girl happens to smile at me, all I can think is “Uh-oh, she wants me”.

So when my latest romantic pursuit sent me a very cryptic message yesterday, I called Susan right away. She answered the phone:
“Hello?”
“Hi Susan!”
“Hi Steve! Whats goin’ on?”
"I think my new girlfriend is two-timin' me!" My tone indicates I'm a bit hysterical. Thats probably an understatement.
There is a bit of a pause, then in a kind, patient, soothing voice Susan asks:
'Why do you think that Steve?"
"Because of the text she sent me"
'What did the text say, Steve?"
"It said "I'm tired and not doing anything tonight and I'm turning my phone off". So you know what that means Susan?"
"What do you think that means Steve?"
"That means she's doing SOMETHING tonight."
Susan laughed at me. Laughed at me and said:
"Steve did you stop to think that maybe she might just have had a long day, and just wants to go home and get some rest?"
"No, no,no" I'm even more hysterical now "Thats not what she does. Thats not what ANYBODY does. I've played this game before. And even if she did, why would she bother telling me about it? There is something going on over there, I guarantee it."
"Well, Steve, what are you going to do?"
"What am I going to do? I'm going over there, thats what I'm going to do."

I really crack Susan up sometimes.

SOMEWHERE, ACROSS THE SEA


Here's my friend Susan's piece of the beach down at Fort Pickens on the National Seashore in Florida. I've never seen anything looked so clean as this sand and water.
Thats her umbrella there, and I imagine Susan with her toes in the sand while she relaxes with a tasty cool beverage in her hand, and her little beverage even has its own little umbrella. She's probably listening to her little portable radio, with Frank Sinatra singing that song "The Way You Look Tonight".
This is the before picture. The news last week was it don't look like this no more. And the way it looks tonight will just about break your heart.
Who is to say how long before it looks this way again?


So James Mcmurtry did this song a couple years ago called "God Bless America".

It expresses how important that nasty ol' oil is to all us Merkins.

More important than a beach, a Dolphin, a bait-shop.

Its insane to think we are going to keep drilling without failsafes even as this one gushes out of control. All those drilling jobs that are being lost should be charged off to BP, Haliburton, Andarko and whoever else was involved in this disaster.

The best case scenario if we keep drilling is that we are involved in a clean-up for the next decade while a whole a way of life and culture disappears.

Who is to say if it shall ever return?

The worst case scenario is that we continue to drill without every failsafe available to us in place and it happens agian. Then instead of one leaking well we have two.

Or four and throw in a Cat 5 Hurricane.

I have read an article that says this well is so damaged down below that it will never be contained. That soon there will just be a gaping hole in the ocean floor while we turn the Gulf into a giant oil leak.

There, thats my rant.

Maybe MacMurtry does it better.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BULLETHOLES IN THE MAILBOX



BUT WAIT-HE HAS ANOTHER SIDE...

Friday, June 18, 2010

GOOD GRAVY

A friend suggested I write about a five minute Kite flying session. This makes me happy, makes me laugh. How can you fly a kite for only five minutes?

Reminds me of the downstairs neighbor lady a few years ago. She asked me to come down and fry a chicken for her, and make some gravy to go with it.
While I'm makin' the gravy she comes in and looks over my shoulder and says:
"Man, you really know what you are doing, don't you?"
I say 'Yes Ma'am, I sure do" and she runs back into the living room.
I continue stirring my roux, adding the milk and some black pepper as it comes to a simmer. She appears back in the doorway, and says:
"I bet you can make love like you can make that gravy, can't you?"
To which I say:
"Are you askin' for a demonstration?" and she giggles and goes running back to the living room.
A minute goes by, and she appears back in the doorway, throws her hair back and leans suggestively against the wall and whispers:
"Well, maybe just a little one..."

I know this might sound good to ya'll right now, but the thing is she is the only woman I've ever known completely missing her two front teeth. She was nice enough, and built like a burlap bag full of bobcats too, wearin' that halter and those skin-tight Capris, but I don't think could make love to a woman with no front teeth.

All I could think to say was "Ain't no such thing as a 'little one'...gravy's ready, lets eat!".
I didn't stay to help with the dishes.
God, if she only had teeth!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

“Man, you got to breathe!”

In the summer of 1980, the summer that we had 70 days in a row of 100+ degree heat, the summer that saw bugs fry in midair, the summer people ran out to their cars in the morning to start the A/C then ran back in the house waiting for the car to cool down, my girlfriend left me. Rita took the Washer and Drier with her to live in Atlanta
She left me with a car payment, a book of T.S. Elliot poems and the set of weights I got her for Christmas..
I was heartbroke, and it was hot as hell, and the only thing I had to get me through was a copy of the Air Supply album “Lost in Love”. This album contained 3 of the Top five hits going at one point that summer, and you could not turn your radio on for five minutes without hearing the title cut “Lost in Love”, or ‘Every Woman in the World” or ‘All Out of Love”.
And I couldn’t hear any one of those songs without bursting into tears.
So my boss takes me to try to cheer me up and to help with that he invites 4 gorgeous women.
But every where we go, one of those damn Air Supply songs is playing and I had to bite my lip to keep from losin’ it in front of all these gorgeous women.
I took to taking deep breaths and holding it till I turned purple to help keep my emotions in check.
And that’s what finally gave me away, when ‘All Out of love” started playing and I took a big breath and started biting my lip and began to "gulp" as my body began to starve for Oxygen. One of the girls looked at me and said “Man, you got to breathe!” I exhaled and fell into a lump in the middle of the table, bawling uncontrollably.
The next day, I took that album to the dumpster.
I stopped holding my breath for Rita to come home long ago, but I still hold my breath for Air Supply and that’s why I hate them.

Friday, June 11, 2010

MY LAST DAY AT SCHOOL, 1975

First, in my Journalism class, Mr. Washmon informed me that I had a 69 average, and that I would not pass, and therefore, would not Graduate. He said the reason (besides the fact I did not deserve to graduate) was because I never attended class, seldom turned in my work, and what I did turn in was failing as well.
So I said "Well then, doesn't 69 seem a little high to you?"
I thought I had him there.
But he just looked at me, quite pleased and said:
"I grade on a curve."
That would explain it.
So then I had to go to clean out my locker and turn in my books....except it had been so long since I had been to my locker (where my books were, I hoped) that I had to go to the office and find out my locker number and the combination. When I explained my predicament to the attendance clerk, Mrs. Ray, she just grinned and shook her head.
I bet they get one like me every year.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

THE ALMIGHTY'S HAND

"As far as writing, yeah, its a blast. I will always tell people I'd write even if I didn't get paid for it. It's healthy and cathartic to express oneself, ecpecially in the arts because God created us to be creative, since his very essence is that of...Creator"

This is what a dude I went to high School with wrote me 3 years ago, back before I started this blog. Greg was always at the top of the food chain in School; Star Fullback, voted "Mr. Handsome" 3 years straight, Homecoming King and always being chased by the Cheerleading Squad. He went on to college and is now some kind of writer out in California, childrens books and such I think. I find this amazing because back in High School I wasn't sure he could spell "cat".

But he is right about one thing- this writing stuff is a blast, even if he may overestimate the Almighty's hand in it.

Friday, June 04, 2010

THE NEXT LEVEL

Susan came to town last weekend. We went drivin' around and she spotted a Winery and wanted to check it out. I'd never been in one before.
We went in and there was a dude behind a bar, handsome in a George Peppard kind of way, silver chest hairs emanating from a shirt unbuttoned at least 4 buttons down, gold chains, pinkie ring, the works. Looked like a real swinger.
Total Californication.
He's handing out Wine samples, which I can have none of. I have 693 days clean and sober.
I’m feeling wary as a canary in a cat house.
Whats going through my mind is the fact that I haven’t had so much as a sip of ANYTHING for two years, and that whatever he is serving probably is really marvelous and tasty and good and if I even take a sip for a second I’m going to remember how much I LOVE a dry red wine and how it makes me feel all ooshy-gooshy and then there won’t be much stopping me from having a glass and then a bottle and then just like they talk about down at NA, it will release my addiction all over again and the next thing I know I’ll be checkin’ into some No-Tell Motel with some young freak and a big fat sack of diddly-squiggly.
The Freak Centers of my brain are activly engaged and my specials are lit.

Anyway, be that as it may, Susan looks at me, sees the look on my face and then she gets this horrified look on her face, remembers that I am an addict and a “12 Stepper” and that I should not be in a Winery with a swingin’ Bartender presenting magnificent wines for me to have a sample of.. Its just not a good place for me to be.
She whispers “Oh my God Steve….I forgot…. I’m so sorry…we better leave!”
But I’m feeling a little stronger now, especially since Mr. Californication says it will cost 20 bucks to participate in his little Wine Tasting Chemistry Experiment.
“Its OK, I’m good” I whisper back to Susan
He takes up the glasses from the 4 people that were already there. He asks a lady if she liked that last wine, a dry Red.
“Yes” she says “It was delicious!”
“So” he says “would you like to take it up to the next level?”
The next level?
I lean to Susan and whisper ‘I’m OK, but if he pulls out a mirror and a straw I’m afraid I may have to leave.”
I know all about the next level.

Friday, May 28, 2010

SO YOU THINK YOU WANT TO START A BLOG

My friend UF Mike says that writing a blog is like digging a grave.
So I helped my friend Robin set herself up a blog this weekend. We got to the part where you name your blog and after much consideration she came up with a line from an Emily Dickinson poem:
“Dreaming in the Amber Rain”
and just to be a bit stylish, she decided to spell “Rain” as “Rayne”.
Then we worked on her profile for a bit and it got to be time to write a post.
As she thought about what her first post should be, I reflected a bit on her Blog Title, and after a few moments had to say to her:
“You know what Robin? I think maybe “Amber Rayne" sounds like a Porn Star name” to which she replied very indignantly “It does not”.
Then she accused me of being rude.

But I could see the wheels spinning in her mind, and as kindly as I could, I said “Maybe we better google it, just to make sure” and…”spit-spot”…the next thing we knew we were looking at a picture of Amber Rayne with a big ol' dick in her mouth.
As UF Mike says:
“You've got to build yourself a hole, then put something in it.”Oh, yeah.

THOSE POOR GIRLS

I made the mistake of stopping by the house I grew up in back at Christmas, just for kicks.
Two little girls answered the door. I asked to speak to their dad. He came to the door, a humorless, mean, stout looking man with no expression on his face at all. He dfidn't exactly refuse to shake my hand, he just left me hanging.
Told him my story, how I'd grown up in this house.
"I planted that Redbud tree there" as I tuned to point to a huge tree in the center of his yard "It was a foot tall back in 71, had only one leaf!"
All I got was a blank stare.
"I love what you have done with the flower beds here, really nice!" I said, and gave him my best smile.
His frown deepened and he looked past me as if searching for my accomplice or perhaps a police officer he might flag down.
I mentioned how the front doorway looked great, there were new doors...
Admired the brick mailbox, asked had he done it himself.
He shook his head no and continued to stare me down.
Finally as I turned to leave, I asked if his girls went to Shady Oaks Elementary where I had gone to school so many years ago...
"No, we home school them" he says.
That explained everything.
Those poor girls.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BREAKING NEWS! CATS SET TO SAVE GULF

Dick Cheney has announced a new plan to clean up the massive oil spill threatening the gulf Coast and vulnerable wetlands.
“We are rounding up cats” Cheney said “Housecats, farm cats, feral cats, kitty cats, and we intend to load them on shrimp boats and deploy them directly to the spill, then scoop them back up in the nets and take them to cat-cleanup centers”
Cheney explained that hair is the best absorbent available for cleaning up oil, and that “pound for pound, there is nothing hairier than a cat”.
PETA has yet to respond,


ONE CAT = ONE QUART

Saturday, May 08, 2010

MOM


Thanks Mom....
... for waiting the six hours for me to apologize for spitting in your face. I was three.
... for playing “Tarzan” with me and keeping a straight face, staying in character as I wrestled the giant snake to protect you, even though it was just a Vacuum cleaner hose.
...for the way you looked at me when I asked for that extra candy bar to share with Donna
...for yanking me out of the street while I played "Chicken" with the Hoodlum down the street in his '55 Chevy.
...for always calling me ‘Stephen” when I was in trouble, giving me a little time to brace myself.
...for the watch you gave me after I got home from sneaking out all night, saying 'Stevie, I want you to always know what time it is".
...for taking such good care of me after I moved back home to take care of you after your stroke.
...for laughing harder than I while Shila tickled me to tears on the couch.
...for “hanging on” long enough for me to get back home. Did you hear the wild geese?

My most indelible image of Mom is when she would ask me:
"When are you and Shila going to have a baby"
“Oh, Mom, I don’t know, sometime in a while, I guess...”
In her little girl singsong voice she would reply...
“Oh, Stevie, you just have to hurry...”
Then holding her arms as though she were cradling a baby she would say:
“...It would be so terrible if I didn’t get to hold her”
She missed it by a year and this is my most regrettable regret. How she knew our first would be a girl...well...mommas know everything!
All you youngsters out there, don’t let this happen.
And be nice to your mommas and ask them lotsa questions...one day you won't be able to ask 'em no more.

Mom died on December 1st, 1986. Dad was in a VA hospital with Alzheimers.
If there is someone responsible for letting Mom die first, thank you.
Very kind.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

BEAUTY

"He never used the word “beauty” except in reference to a setter dog—beauty of words or music, of faith or rebellion, did not exist for him. He rather fancied large, ambitious, banal, red-and-gold sunsets, but he merely glanced at them as he straggled home, and remarked that they were “nice.” He believed that all Parisians, artists, millionaires, and socialists were immoral. His entire system of theology was comprised in the Bible, which he never read, and the Methodist Church, which he rarely attended; and he desired no system of economics beyond the current platform of the Republican party."
- Sinclair Lewis, The Job: An American Novel (1917)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

FOUR DEAD


Dad had served in the Air Force in WWII as a Mechanic and was attached to Patton in North Africa. He went on to Italy after Sicily fell and later to France.
"Available Jones" was the name of the plane that my Dads crew worked on. Beneath the lettering was the obligatory busty gal. This one was a Brunette, and she poses with her hair thrown back, one hand behind her head
The plane was a B-26, a medium range bomber.

In the Spring of 1970 Dad took me to see the movie "PATTON". He was so proud to take me and I was proud to see it with him.
To this day I enjoy the movie because it brings back memories of Dad and how he and his fellows truly saved the world. George C. Scott is outstanding as the General known as "Ol Blood and Guts". One of my favorite scenes is while he is in charge of Occupying Forces in Berlin immediately after Germany surrenders. He is on the phone with Eisenhauer I suppose, talking about the Russians and he tells him, regarding the Russians
"Up till now we have been fighting the wrong people; you say the word and I'll start a fight with those Communist Bastards and make it look like their fault"
Eisenhaeur hung up on him.
The solution was to build a wall through the middle of Berlin that would later, much later, be torn down.

After the Movie, Dad and I sat in the theater and he told me a few War stories before we left.
In the Parking lot of the theatre there was a car with an "America: Love it or Leave it" bumper sticker.
Right next to it was another car with a bumper sticker that read "Richard Nixon is a War Criminal".
Dad and I didn't know it as we walked out of the Theatre but the country was about to sink right out from under us.
Donovan had that song "Atlantis" that was #1 for so long. It was about a country that had sunk
"way down below the Ocean"
and took all these great people with it.
"Hail Atlantis"

America was well into "Incense and Peppermints", Nehru jackets and Earth Shoes, Paisley and Pot and “Sock-It -To -Me-Baby”.
We had Goldie Hawn and Tiny Tim and Hunter Thompson.
We also had Archie Bunker.
The Anti-War Movement by Students was well under way and on the horizon loomed an event so great that many of those that had been unsure about the War, and the protest, would become fanatics against the War. Up to and including Businessmen, housewives, and former members of the Establishment.
And for the kids in my class who would miss the draft, it was evidence enough not to trust anyone over 30.

I can think of few more ghastly images than the ones that came out of Kent State University on May 4, 1970. I thought of posting the heart-wrenching photo 0f the girl on her knees with that confused and pleading posture, but I won't.
CSN&Y sang the headlines..."Four Dead in Ohio"

The shootings became a defining event of the Vietnam War era.
Vietnam was right here, in the classroom, across the nation, up your street. It was no longer waiting at the curb in the form of a draft notice, it was knockin on your door.
It wasn't some disturbed and darkened mind with a gun on Campus doing the killing as we see these days.
It was our very own National Guard sent there to "Restore Order" .


It is said that the Kings of Atlantis became the Gods of Greek mythology whose goal was the peaceful existence of all the nations and that Atlantis was the region where man first rose from a state of barbarism to civilization.
Stephen King has a book called "Hearts in Atlantis". He likens the students back then to the Antlanteans from the Myth. I recommend it highly.... Mr. King is known for horror, which this book is not. Its more about kids trying to grow up and in doing so losing their belief in a place called Atlantis, where everything is Saturday Morning Groovy, to find that there are still little pieces of dreams and hopes and hearts 40 years later.
Hail Atlantis.


What did I learn from Kent State when I was only 13 years old? I learned that I could change because, quite frankly, like a lot of people after Kent State, I thought maybe those kids deserved it, deserved getting shot. It took a few weeks for it to sink in, and for me to decide that NO! it wasn’t OK for armed troops to come to Kent State or Central Junior High or L.D. Bell and start firing their weapons into the crowd no matter what.
I learned that WE COULD change the world, that it ‘s dying to get better.
I had a teacher that year, she was a mod lookin' hippie teacher with posters of Jimi and Janis on her classroom wall, along with a poster that said ‘War is not healthy for children and other living things” and I imagine she had a lot of friends in the ‘Nam, and that maybe she even went on protests and that maybe she even went to Kent State and I couldn’t hardly imagine her, with that long blonde hair, getting shot for speaking out. Miss Cantrell, she was an Atlantian.
As much as that day sticks to me, I can't imagine how it must stick to Miss Cantrell.
Like her brothers that spent time in the 'Nam, I hope she has found a way to "get over".
The hippies were definitely Atlantians.
I think Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy were Atlantians.
I think in a way, even ol LBJ, who said he didn’t want to be President anymore, grew his hair out and became Atlantian.

Dad hated to think we had been fighting a useless War, and like a lot of patriots, it took years for him to become an Atlantian.
I like to think that maybe he did.
"When your continent starts to sink underneath your feet it really does a number on your head." Hail, Atlantis.

Monday, May 03, 2010

LIFE IN THE BIG CITY

"Where could I live better? Below, the brothel caters to the flesh. And there is the church which forgives sin. And there is the hospital where we die."
C.V. Cavafy

Friday, April 23, 2010

BREAKING NEWS! OBAMA SECURITY TIGHTENED; LEVEL RED

The CIA has tightened security around Obama due the increased number of prayers that have been sent asking for his early demise. The text of the prayer, which has gone viral, reads:

"DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN"
“Its not just Swayze, Fawcett and Jackson Fans anymore” said Leon Panneta “It seems to have crossed over into anyone that has a beef with the President on issues ranging from Health Care to his Nobel peace Prize Award. Even people who have never prayed before are down on their knees.”

Obama has been portrayed as The Anti-Christ, a Socialist of the order of Joseph Stalin, a Muslim Extremist Covert Operative that has infiltrated the highest office of our land with an agenda to slowly remove Christmas Trees, Easter Bunnies, Girl Scouts and Deep-Dish Apple pie from our way of life.

ABC analyst and Ex-CIA consultant Richard Clarke surmises that Obamas latest plan to cancel the National Day of Prayer may have aggravated the hostility towards him.
“I’m not sure what can be done to thwart a prayer attack, as the results of prayers can be difficult to predict, but for those in charge of protecting the President, the dangers cannot be taken too lightly” Clarke was reported to have said.

Joyce Meyers downplays the threat, saying only that ‘It isn’t a very good prayer. It is not a good prayer at all. Somebody say “Amen”.”

HERE OBAMA DELIVERS A NUCLEAR SHOE-BOMB TO IRAN

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

GREAT LINES FROM PRISON LETTERS

"When I got here I thout about her and sis and Mom a lot I gess because thay razed me and no matter what people think they done a good job!"

Friday, April 16, 2010

LIVE AT THE FILMORE

We spilled out of the VW Microbus and into the parking lot of the Filmore West, kidneys bursting and filled with excitement to see Ten Years After, hoping to rock out to a 45 minute version of "Skoobly-Oobley-Doobob" or “Choo-Choo Mama”. I had never been to San Francisco before, but Buckman claimed to have been to Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love in 1967.

“I know this city like the back of my hand” he had said, and true to his word, Buckman had successfully navigated us admirably 1700 miles from Fort Worth, past the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, through Los Alamos and the radioactive White Sands Atomic Testing Grounds, from Tuscon to Tucumcari as the weed, whites, and wine kicked in, past the Grand Canyon of the Rockies and up through the Sierra Nevadas and Yosemite before dropping down into the San Francisco Bay area.
Funny thing was, the Parking Lot at the Filmore West was empty but for our VW Microbus and an old toothless woman with a shopping cart.
Buckman says“Where are all the people?”
“Maybe we are a day early”
“I don’t think so” and Buckman pulls out his ticket. “Yeah it’s the right date man, but we are supposed to be at the Filmore East. Maybe that’s over in Oakland.
“No dipshit, the Filmore East is in Manhattan!”
And we both just cracked up laughin’.
Stoned again.


MISSED IT BY 3000 MILES

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


"Packin' my bags movin' to misty mountain"

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union."

J.STALIN
"Who's going to remember all this riff-raff in ten or twenty years time? No one. Who remembers the names now of the boyars Ivan The Terrible got rid of? No one."

I was dreaming that I was the Chief Architect of Joseph Stalin's efforts to rewrite history by casting him in a more favorable light. In the dream, he always kept his back to me, looking out his window towards Gorky Park. He tasked me with reducing the number of deaths attributed to his policies from 60 million down to a mere 2 million.
I told Stalin that it would be impossible to get the number below 4 million, and that there was no way we could blame Trotsky for the demise of Russian Orthodox Church and the Godless state we were now in.
At last he turned around to order me off to some frozen Gulag and there he was...
My friend Bobby!
Bobby! You killer!
I woke up, laughin' my Bolshevic ass off!


Here's my friend Bobby in his Stalin uniform barely able to contain his gaeity.

FORGIVENESS


"Sometimes its easier to get forgiveness than permission"

Saturday, April 03, 2010

SEPARATION, SIN AND ATONEMENT

SEPARATION, 1961
We were lined up at the starting line when the man fired the pistol.
I took off clean, then fell and scuffed my knee in my little Easter shorts, ripping my jacket as well. I thought my chances were slim, but I recovered and ran like a deer, scooping up candy and eggs into my basket like Deon Sanders on a loose ball.
Before long I was way out in front of everybody.
There was a line of trees in front of me.
Then I found it! The Grand Prize of the Easter Egg Hunt! The worlds biggest Chocolate Bunny! It must have been 2 feet tall.
It came with $20 and I got my picture made with the Governor and Miss Texas, 1961. I looked out over the crowd from on the stage, all those kids out there with their little Easter Baskets and sad envious looks on their faces. They were all looking at me.
I’d have gladly given that Chocolate Bunny away.
It seemed like all the kids hated me forever after that.

SIN, 1962
That Easter of 1961 was the first time I truly felt separated from other people.
And it was all because I found that damned Grand Prize Bunny.
I can still see the pouty little envious faces of all the kids there that day.
I can still feel the anger and resentment of all those little child hearts as I stood between the Governor and Miss Texas, holding 4 pounds of Chocolate Rabbit, getting my picture taken.

Make no mistake about it, us humans learn to hate and resent and despise at a very early age.
We also learn to feel separated, isolated and alone.

Anyway, over the years Easter did not get much better for me.

The next year, in 1962, my little sister got a little baby chick that the Easter Bunny brought for her. It was dyed pink and I do not know what future it may have had if me and the big kid from across the street had not got a hold of it. His name was Dan, and he and I took an Axe and cut the little birds head off and buried it in the front yard. Later that evening, when the chick came up missing, I lied and said I knew nothing about the whereabouts of my sisters little pink chicky.
It was a mystery, but mystery’s never last too long in my life.
The very next day my dad pulled out a Rototillerto prepare the yard for sod found that little chick , headless and buried in the front yard.
Busted.
I got a whuppin’ all right, even though it had not been my idea, nor had I held the axe, or dug the hole or placed the little chicky in its grave.
No, I had not done any of that, but I understood fully that I had been a most willing and delighted accomplice to this macabre little episode.

What I did not understand at the time was that I would never really ever get away with anything my whole life long.

ATONEMENT, THE WORSE DAY OF MY LIFE, EASTER 1966
Yes, Easter has been a tough holiday for me.
The year after Dan and I murdered my sisters little Easter Chick, my family moved to Detroit. In 1966 we flew to Texas for vacation at Easter time. Our return flight back to Detroit was late in the day on Easter Sunday.
My little sister, who 4 years prior had lost that poor little chick, was about to pay me back for the vile deed.
Early Easter morning she went to the little nest that our mom and dad always had us make to find what the Easter Bunny had left.
There was a huge yellow Easter Basket, about 4 feet tall, with all that fake green grass spilling out, and all those marshmallow Rabbits, and Candy Eggs, Stuffed Bunnies, with little feathered bird-toys going all around the handle, all wrapped in clear-green cellophane.
It was enormous, totally cute and bigger than she was.


It could not be checked as baggage, and it was way too big for my sister to carry.
Do you know what that meant?
It was time to atone for the murder of that Baby Chick 4 years earlier.
I had to carry that Basket through the Dallas Love Feild and onto the plane!
I was 10 years old, all boy, and I’d rather have died a thousand deaths than to carry that very gay and bright pastel pink and yellow nightmare.
I was embarrassed, I was pissed, and what I found was that if I tilted that basket the wrong way music would play right out of one of those stuffed bunnies arses.

“Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail
Hippity-Hoppity
Easters on its way”

I was daggers!
Daggers!
DAGGERS!

Women and little girls in line to board would compliment me on what a nice Easter Basket I had.
It seemd like the whole Airport was smiling and pointing at me.
I would scowl. I was almost in tears. I wanted to kill somebody.
DAGGERS!
And when I looked to my Mother, she would just give me that look like I better not say a thing.
I could not wait for this plane to hippity-hoppity off the ground and land in Detroit.
But that would prove to be too good to be true.
What I found, as part of my atonement for the sins of Easter Past, was that we had a three-hour layover in the lobby at Chicago O’Hare!
DAGGERS!

It was the worse day of my life.


HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"PRACTICING BEING"

I learned this weekend that there is a difference between "Practicing Open-mindedness" and 'Being Open-minded".

In the spirit of prcticing being open minded, I went to church this weekend. Friends had invited me, and I figured it couldn't do any harm to practice a little open-mindedness. After all, being open minded that maybe I never have to do any drugs again has brought me a long ways, and being open minded about a higher power and God of my misunderstanding has been a right and good thing in my life and given me a new way of looking at some things., like paying my bills on time, and having Inspection Stickers, and not stealing batteries from the Walgrens.

But once I got there and they started talkin' about Jesus I remembered how much I hate talking about Jesus, and hearing about Jesus, and how closed-minded I really am about making Jesus the most important thing in my life, but I didn't get up and walk out, not so much because I was practicing being open minded, but more because I was practicing being polite, and I stayed through the benediction and everything. And I couldn't wait to get somewhere else, to crawl back into a simple place without all the agricultural metaphors and holidays celebrating events that may not have actually taken place, a place where all that I have to really be is open-minded about not using any drugs today, express some desire to not use, and find some new ways to live and think about things.
And I’ll probably go back to that Church again next week, as a way to practice all this new found good-mannered open-mindedness, and because even though I don't believe THE STORY, its still a GOOD STORY, this story about the son of god who was a real cool dude but they killed him, and you come to find out that was sent to die for everyone's sins like its really going to change anything except as an opportunity for me to be Open minded, but I really don’t expect I’ll get saved or start believing in Jesus no matter how cool a dude he may have been.
That would take a miracle, and I’m a bit close-minded about those kind of miracles.
Its all I can handle just to practice being.