This isn’t about a smart one…
I’ve been hating on fireworks for years. I guess it’s becoming my nature to be a cranky old man, due to time constraints and all, but I have good reasons for not liking 4th of July. I’m as patriotic as the next guy, I just don’t want to breathe chunks of air, or have my house burnt down.
So what did I do last night? Attend a fireworks display.
When a lovely lady asks me this, I’m usually tripping all over myself saying yes. And when the lovely lady is a relative, you try extra hard to say yes with as much enthusiasm as possible. (Authentic, of course.) But when “no” is a better answer, or “a qualified yes” perhaps, well… That’s when proper word usage is important.
You see, TJ called not only in the middle of bug extermination week; Saturday was the fifth anniversary of the day Rain and I first hooked up…
We all know how my will power held out on that decision.
Since then I have seen a who’s who (but not The Who) of heavy rock royalty. Marilyn Manson, Motorhead, Slayer, Rob Zombie, all have flitted across my field of vision the past few years. I saw The Wall performed as live as it’s gonna get, though will probably see the movie when it comes out. (In 1982, we thought a LIVE performance was coming, and got Alan Parker’s dream sequence instead.) I’ve seen Pink Floyd and Roger Waters, but not together. I’ve seen Page and Plant, but not Led Zeppelin. I have not seen the Rolling Stones, mostly for financial reasons. Any time they have been near me, tix have been $400. For that much money, if I want to see people dancing in adult diapers I will visit a nearby rest home.
There was a time I kept track of the alcohol I wanted to try when I fell off the wagon. Little by little I’ve run out of alcohol I am interested in trying. That’s right, The Man With The Iron Liver doesn’t give a damn about alcohol any more. (But if I did, I would try Dawn of the Red for its label alone.) I used to say I didn’t need to be drunk to have fun, until that became untrue. Maybe I need to be drunk to get into today’s music, because what I hear is whiny and a ripoff of previous generations who actually went to music school.
WASP is a good example of music you need to be drunk to appreciate. Van Halen is another. It just sounds better after six beers and half a dozen shots of Wild Turkey. (But then, what doesn’t?) The challenge is finding music extreme enough to scratch my itch, without having to destroy my life by getting drunk enough to enjoy it. I always thought Motorhead would be pointless listening when sober, but was pleasantly surprised to find I liked it better clear-headed. Some of this stuff translates!
One band has always eluded me. My first thought was, “Oh Christ, another exploitation of clowns for a cheap thrill.” (I’m such a clown philanthropist.) Much like The Grammys, I wasn’t sure if they were a parody band, like Spinal Tap. (Smell The Glove is a classic, parody or not.) When Slipknot were banned from the Roseland for setting themselves on fire with lighter fluid, I was intrigued, but not enough to pay to see. I witness jackassery on an hourly basis at work.
Over the years, I won tickets off the radio three different times. Traded Rockfest tickets (Slipknot headlining) because it was in a cow pasture in Scappoose and I had no ride. (Got a ghetto-blaster from a skinhead for that pair.) The others I traded, or just let stay at the station. Meh.
Then something happened. The dude from Slipknot quit drinking, and the music went from raging anger to thought-filled screams of anguish and hope. (Or the lack thereof. “ALL…HOPE…IS…GONE!”) I fell in love with, and to, that album. It reminds me of Raven, and then Clairissa. During a short, intense period of time this album soundtracked our friendship.
Some years back I decided I had to see Slipknot, so it became my “retirement” concert. Once I see them, I can quit going to shows. Will that be the case? I doubt it.
See, they are playing at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, which is tiny for a national-sized act. It’s like having a steak in a cereal bowl. So much goodness in the bowl there’s barely room to slip your fork in. They pile all that stuff in front of me, and turn it up to 11. And light it on fire.
I will not be drinking. And I may have to break down and wear a ponytail. I will be sitting close enough to singe off a few hairs…
“I love ’em! They take a bit of getting youthed to…”
For the last couple weeks I have sounded like everyone from Patrick Starfish to an inebriated Stephen Hawking with a cleft palate. Getting used to dentures seems more of a challenge than getting dentures, but I’m playing along and following the rules.
My biggest problem has been keeping the goddamned things in my mouth…
“I’m thinking about not smoking any weed today.”
“Why the hell would you do that?”
“Just to see where my brain takes me.”
“Shit. I’m outta here. You’re already crazy. You’re like ‘I can’t get into the shower!’ ‘Fireworks gonna burn the house down!’ and shit. I’m outta here.”
“Weellll… I guess, if it’ll keep you around, I’ll take a few puffs….”
So I made a valiant attempt to NOT smoke weed, but was vetoed. If this is what it takes to keep the girlfriend happy, I guess I can do my part.
Happy Revolutionary Days: June 26-July 5. In honor of Freedom AND Diversity.
I have been accused of flashing a fake smile at work. I no longer have a choice. Like the Nightclub Store, my fake smile is now 24/7.
After months of preparation, cleaning and extracting, the last of my upper teeth were removed and I received dentures. Walton Goggins I ain’t. They got the size right, as well as the shade. (I have a grayish tint to my teeth, the assistant said.) I’m smiling pretty big, but that’s due mostly to drugs. After a brief chat with the dentist, she upped my Vicodin dosage. (“Just take two. The extra-strength pills are out-of-pocket. Insurance covers what you’re taking.”) I was happy about this at first, and grateful by the time we were finished.
I wish Stephen King were here to ghost-write this for me. Horror is his genre, mine is ‘musings of a smartass grocery clerk’. I found Mr King’s horror stories inspirational as a teen and beyond, and loved how he could make me squirm. I hope you channel that feeling as you read this, because there will be squirming.
If by no one other than me, as I remember the tray of sharp objects and the masked women…
My hippie outlaw lifestyle has become obsolete.As of midnight, marijuana became legal in Oregon. I have mixed feelings about this. I’m glad that something so dear to me, that has helped me get through this thing called life, can be viewed without the stigma it had while I was growing up. I usually write something like this on or around December 10. That was my big day in history. Due to all the big things happening in our fair state and city, I’m jumping ahead.
Besides, this upcoming December 10 will be the 40th anniversary of the first time I smoked weed. I’m sure I’ll have something to say about all that when the time comes.
If I’m still smoking…
After visiting Angel, it was time for responsibility. I don’t avoid responsibility. I try to make it work for me. To make it fun. That’s pretty much my life’s mission, to make fun out of misery. So why should visiting a hospital be any different?
Rain had been in the hospital for a couple days. I hadn’t heard from her, but that’s not uncommon when she loses her phone. (Which also isn’t uncommon; she loses an average of two phones a month.) When she called and left a room number, I figured I should investigate. The hospital is in the swanky part of town, it’s a hot gorgeous day, girl-watching should be at a premium.
Plus, I can peek into my girlfriend’s medical chart and see what’s really going on…
Angel: “Sorry, thought I told you. Friday was my last day. I’ve been transferred to Southeast.”
Me: “I knew you were thinking about it. Sigh, guess the only sweet chocolate I taste is this fine blunt here. I’ll hold out as long as I can!”
Angel: “I miss you. We’ll meet up soon.”
I knew it was coming, but I’d hoped she’d procrastinate, be overridden by management, etc… Fact is, after nine years downtown she was tired of the faces and places, and wanted a new view. They moved her to Eastport Plaza, which is not the white trash capital of the world, but not as diverse as our fine downtown.
I would be reminded as I caught the MAX, on my way to say hello…