Plywood and Heartbreak: Year of the Mad Dog

February 10, 2021 at 12:45 pm (The Easy Chair)

The year of 2020; it was something, wasn’t it? I’ve been meaning to do a year in review, but I wanted to make sure I lived through it first.

So, how you doin’? At the risk of sounding smug, all things considered, I had a pretty good year.

I didn’t come out unscathed, though. My sister was walking past my open door, and looked in. “Are you okay? You look depressed, like it’s the end of the world…”

The woman knows me. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about both.

Before anyone gets too concerned, I’m not talking Taxi Driver stuff here. My usually chipper ass has been down in the dumps, for reasons shared by many. The pandemic, loss of loved ones, whether because of sickness or just plain life. I miss Rain. I miss Mizelle, who is still around but has been scarce since the airlines shut down.

I miss downtown. I’m still there, the last light on, but goddamn! It’s a never-ending maze of plywood and graffiti, with only drugged-out zombies and kiddie-bike-riding forty-year-old tweakers for company. On the rare night when the normal people come out? That’s when I remember why I’ve done what I’ve done for forty years. It’s fun!

That’s part of the depression. The sadness? The end of the world thingy? End of the world happens for people every day. When I was a young’un, I thought if I lived until sixty I’d have had a good life. (And I was right.) I’m in pretty good shape at 59, doing better than the sixty-year-olds my parents knew. My problem these days is… even in a best case scenario, I have twenty or thirty years left. Then it’s death, the one life event I’m not going to be able to squirm out of.

I’m not scared of dying, not that I’m in a hurry. I figure most likely the lights will go out some day and I won’t give a good goddamn when it does. My problem with it? I don’t want to miss out on all the fun!

I’ve been spending too much time what-iffing. I need to focus on the present, not the inevitable. Those first steps are the hardest, and my knee hurts. But once I get going…

Sounds like the bars are reopening this weekend. All my “drinking buddies” will be back, but I won’t recognize them at first, because masks, and they’ve all gained weight. (I’ve no room to talk, everything is tight these days.) I can flirt with girls who don’t have three personalities manifesting!

Time to get on the old sterile bus and roll toward the dirty sunset.

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Just Wear The F*cking Mask

September 3, 2020 at 12:12 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

“All right you motherstickers, this is a fuck up!”

“Mask on, please.”

“Gotta wear a mask.”

“Can you pull your mask up for me?”

“Mask. Mask. MASK. HEY! Ignore me and I REALLY WILL single you out.”

It’s the new “Welcome to WalMart.”

As you all know by now, we are in the brave new world, things have changed, and we all have to do our part if we want to survive. That includes wearing a face panty.

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A Case of the Mondays

June 1, 2020 at 6:51 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, That's not funny...)

Courtesy of The Oregonian

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May 31, 2020 at 4:20 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, That's not funny...)

Standing Up To Stupidity

Because This Helps

Defending Home

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The Hangover

May 30, 2020 at 9:27 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, That's not funny...)

The day before my birthday has always been a big party day. On my twentieth, I spent a day and a half getting ready by going to a Judas Priest concert and then drinking in the park. My 21st was a work night, a Saturday night, and I did work, but I was in a bar seven minutes past midnight, already drunk. I’d stay up way too long, then wake up wondering WWWWWTF I’d been doing?

It’s been years since I’ve had a hangover, which is why it seemed weird that I woke up in a mild panic, trying to remember what happened last night? I hate that sense of dread.

* * *

I’d planned a four-day weekend, taking a rare Saturday night off. I texted Dizzy at lunch, “Four days! If I can only make it until midnight.” Three hours to go.

She wrote back, “You can do it!” A cat meme reminded me to keep hanging in there.

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Crazy Bitch(es)

May 25, 2020 at 11:22 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Once upon a time at The Mothership, I was working a particularly busy shift about 10 AM. In those days, a radio was not only okay, it was mandatory for keeping ones sanity. If a customer starts to ramble, or I choose not to be interested in their topic of the day, I could drift off to my special place, nodding in agreement to whatever they’re saying. Other times, I’d get busy and forget the radio was on. One such time, manager Whitney hurried over and snapped the radio off while the above song was playing. After the crowd left, he turned the radio back on.

“What was that about?” I asked.

He smiled and tipped his fedora. “That old lady you sold a coke to is the head of Metro. She was probably in here looking for something to complain about. While the song was apropos, do you really want to lose the radio over Buckcherry?”

Point taken.

But there are a lot of crazy bitches downtown…

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Welcome To My World

May 12, 2020 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again..., That's not funny...)

H/T to Jonathan Maus

“How are YOU doing?”

Are you tired of reading/hearing about the Cornhole Virus? Me too. Jeezus I am sick of it.

But I’m not sick. Thank you, powers that be.

So how am *I* doing?

It’s business as usual, mostly…

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Old Man Problems Part III

January 31, 2020 at 11:40 am (The Easy Chair)

And then there’s the technology problem with video…

Once upon a time, I had a snazzy video/audio setup with DVD/VHS capabilities, patched together with big screen TV, wired through the stereo and huge homemade speakers. I learned how to copy films for later viewing, creating a hefty personal library, including many, many concert videos. I got to where I preferred sitting alone in my room, rocking the house while smoking and drinking to my quivering heart’s content. That ain’t happening no more.

My Blu-Ray setup is great for watching movies, even if you end up seeing stuff like Django’s pancake makeup, or The Dollarhyde cleft-palate that’s actually a wad of flesh-colored gum. But I hardly use it. I have all this other shit to watch on cable…

Except I don’t. I’d subscribed to a bunch of movie channels, because at one time I could always find something interesting. I sat down one night, went through all 3,409 choices, and found three I might want to watch again. Again. I’d already seen what I want.

So I called up cable, and culled about $70 off the bill. I kept HBO, only because of Bill Maher. (I have to get real news somewhere.) I had not watched any of the channels I’d removed. I should do this thinning of the herd thing more often.

But now what? Where will I find uncut, subversive R-Rated fare to watch at 2 AM?

Netflix, of course.

I’d wanted to see The Irishman, but missed the one Saturday showing at the Hollywood Theater. Just as well. I can barely sit through a ninety-minute film any more, thanks to the low attention spans set by smartphones and such. At four hours, I’d have given up at some point. Watching at home? I can pause, make a sandwich. And… I can burn as many joints as necessary to get through this cinematic ordeal.

Except it wasn’t an ordeal. It was like hanging out with friends you’ve known and loved for forty years. (It reminded me of road trips with my cousin.) Robert DeNiro wasn’t mugging for the camera. (I hate his screwball comedies. Please…) Al Pacino was so good I forgot I was watching Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci? They must have had him on Thorazine, because he was a gentleman through the whole movie. Albeit a very dangerous gentleman. Four hours flew by.

Netflix was good for a few other things, too. I saw The Highwaymen, with Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as Texas Rangers hunting Bonnie and Clyde. I’d love to see this as a double feature with the late-’60s Arthur Penn film. I also saw the original Shaft, Superfly and a couple other movies from My Era. I had pretty good taste in cinema for a teenager.

But Netflix only had about a month’s worth of programming that excited me. I’d click through all the options three times, and end up watching Law and Order anyway. In fact, while watching Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans I couldn’t help noticing how Nic Cage looked and acted like a young Lennie Briscoe. (Before he got sober.) Fine. If I need variety, I can watch Law and Order: Panty Police.

So I cancelled Netflix, and immediately got half-price offers to rejoin. maybe in a month or so, when I can’t help but revisit my mobster buddies back east.

I’d better hurry. We’re all getting up in years…

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Old Man Problems Part II

January 29, 2020 at 12:50 pm (Cosmic Encounters)

I’ve always tried to keep up with the times. Maybe not jump onto every bandwagon, or follow every fad, but enough to keep current with the state of affairs. I’m not a technology nut, but I have a smartphone and know how to turn a CD into an MP3.

At least I did, back in the day.

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Old Man Problems Part I

January 29, 2020 at 11:30 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

“Long in tooth and soul
Longing for another win
Lurch into the fray
Weapon out and belly in…”

“You’re…OLD! You make me laugh…”

I toed the line of the store’s door, quietly giving him the stink-eye as he picked himself up off the ground, adjusting his coat.

“C’mon, man. He ain’t worth it.” The friends led him away.

I had a customer.

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