Bishop Takes Night: Check!

July 4, 2017 at 11:59 am (Cosmic Encounters, Waxing Nostalgic)

Portland Waterfront Blues Festival

I am a Portlander through and through. Though I was raised in Sandy, Oregon I was born in Portland, and the minute I was allowed to ride the bus by myself I was all over the city, investigating, pretending to be a cop or a criminal or wherever my imagination (and TriMet) would take me. Much like these days, I’d rather be out walking around, soaking up atmosphere and enjoying my weird city.

Back then, there was a thing called Neighborfair. It was an end-of-summer day-long concert, and a good reason to load up on cheap wine and head for the park. When I heard there was going to be a blues festival?

I was down there waiting when the opening act took the stage.

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My Civic Doody

June 30, 2017 at 10:30 am (Cosmic Encounters, Cussed Dumbers)

Every two years, near Mizelle’s birthday, I get called for jury duty. It’s that time again.

I tried to get out of it in previous years, but they are tenacious. (“Okay, then when can you serve…?”) Jury duty fell on my days off, so might as well get it over with.

At the same time, Dizzy was leaving town, and needed a cat-sitter. Since Naomi and I get along famously, (and I get along with Dizzy okay) she asked if I would peek in on kitty, make sure she’s fed, didn’t poop in the sink, etc…

For my troubles? Use of a downtown loft…

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A Bucketful of Pleasantries

June 13, 2017 at 11:00 am (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, That's not funny...)

People often ask how I can tolerate dealing with the public. Sometimes I wonder myself.

Portland’s Rose Festival is coming to an end. It’s the store’s busiest time of the year. We get tons of business from the parades, festivals and conventions. We go out of our way to be accommodating, but we never seem to succeed.

Last night, my night off, I get a call from Voorhees. He’s mid-shift at the Mothership. Usually he texts me. A phone call provides a sense of urgency, so I answer. “Whazzup?”

“Dude, I just had a guy pull a knife on me because I told him to turn his radio down. He woulda cut me if I hadn’t locked him out. Fortunately I had my keys out. I’m waiting on Southie or Grinder to come open up. I am so done with this place.”

He had locked the door, and was pacing around inside. He’d achieved his threshold of madness.

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Sinking the Leader Ship

June 1, 2017 at 9:11 am (Cussed Dumbers)

I’m a pretty straight-up guy. I will tell you honestly what’s going on, sometimes painfully so. I understand discretion, and omitting details to spare feelings etc… But I’m not a big fan of deception, and really hate being lied to.

So when I have to play games with a supervisor, it gets on my nerves.

I’ve known Uncle Cliffy for fifteen years. We worked together at the store I worked at before Master P’s. I recommended him, vouched for him, even applauded as he passed me in the ranks to become my supervisor. He claims we are friends, so it’s nice to have friends at the top, right?

With friends like these…

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Out In The Country

May 31, 2017 at 11:17 am (Cosmic Encounters, On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

After a fifty-hour work week, lots of work drama, and a phone that won’t stop ringing, I needed a respite.

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Filthy Fake Lucre!

May 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Durability Issue

Okay, here’s your mystery question: What’s that in the ashtray?

It’s not a pile of crack, or any drug. (It may have been used in an attempt to procure drugs, though.) It used to be light green. It used to look like money, because it was.

Counterfeit money.

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Pillaged!

May 11, 2017 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, That's not funny...)

I’ve gone on about storing my stuff at work. I have a dressy shirt I wear while on shift, its pockets hold my phone and spare store key. (It’s nice to be able to lock up at a second’s notice, without my key being locked in the office, or having to go to my jacket pocket across the room.) A big enough shirt it takes up most of the room in my travel bag, plus a hoodie, reading material, and various other necessities to get through the night, and I’d be weighed down like a bag lady. So I find a non-obtrusive spot to hide my pile of work-junk.

I’ve told the story of how Grinder wanted to throw my stuff away. I’ve gone on about Eva Braun insisting I move my storage area to another store. I’ve been cooperative, done what asked, and complied with all their various requests. Uncle Cliffy, manager of the Waterfront Store, has no issue with me using a closet-sized spot in the very-back of the office. It’s like it was made for me. It was nicknamed the Wilson Water Closet, because a former employee used to leave Big Gulps of pee back there, instead of locking up and going to the bathroom. The peeing has stopped, (no evidence anyway 🙂 ) No more pee-cups, it’s a storage area for brown bags and cash register tape.

When I came in to drop off my work shirt, and found my area completely empty? As the kids say, I about lost my shit…

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The Devil’s Music

May 9, 2017 at 6:55 pm (Cosmic Encounters, Waxing Nostalgic)

My mother was a religious nut, to cut to the chase. She’d find the devil in the damnedest places.

Most frequently in my record albums.

There were a few records that scared me. Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Slayer all gave me varying stages of the willies, whether because of religious paranoia or because I was psychedelically impaired to the point of nonsense. (With Slayer, it wasn’t the devil but rowdy skinheads that I feared.) As to the devil, Black Sabbath was the closest to me actually believing they’d signed a contract with the Devil hisself. A lot of coincidental occurrences (and that I’d happened to be reading Anton Szandor LaVey) inspired me to give away all my Sabbath albums. I gave them to my ex-wife. Sorry Satan, she’s your problem now.

The theme to The Exorcist was not written for the movie, it was a piece created by a 19-year-old wunderkind named Mike Oldfield. It fit the movie so well, mixed with the hype of the day, that it scared my twelve-year-old ass shitless.

I would listen to it on an antique radio in the garage, watching the bats flying around the streetlight. Over time it became a piece of music, and once I realized Satan wasn’t coming for my soul, I bought the album and have had it in various forms since.

The above piece is the only time I’ve seen it attempted live. Enjoy…

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May Day Play Day

May 2, 2017 at 3:21 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, Sweet sticky things)

May Day and I go back.

Over the past two decades, I’ve encountered big romance, lost said romance, gotten jobs, but the one consistent has been the protests. Every year there are May Day protests, and I end up in the middle of them. Unintentionally, for the most part.

It was a Monday, and the news warned of mischief and mayhem. There are always respectable protesters, the ones who bring their kids to teach them about democracy in action, or older folk recapturing the glory days of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. “Power to the peepole!” Of course they aren’t the problem. It’s the 25-100 black-garbed goons with Molotov cocktails, spray paint and chunks of concrete for the windows that get all the attention.

You know, the assholes.

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Erectile Dysfunction

April 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm (Cosmic Encounters, Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things)

Lunch Buddy

I’ve been keeping a low profile, trying to work as much as possible without burning out, and trying to stay upbeat in dark times. Talk about easier said than done.

Eva Braun has been treating me well, schedulewise. I did a full week’s residency at the Nightclub Store, much to the chagrin of the thievin’ locals who come by, peek in the window, see it’s not someone who treats the job like they’re being paid to play games on their phone for eight hours, slump their shoulders and move on. I let them in if they behave, unless they are infamous or I have had specific issues with them. I am a motherfuckin’ elephant when it’s a personal transgression. “I can hold my breath for a long time.”

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