Saturday, November 29, 2008

recommended holiday gifts

it's hard to comprehend that the holiday season is here.

it's harder to comprehend that christmas will be only three weeks and five weeks from today.

i plan to post some things about the holidays as the season progresses. this is the first one; it's about a few recommended holidays gifts.

i strongly believe every household should that these two things.

the first is a good dictionary, preferably clothbound (or hardback, if you prefer). i use merriam-webster's collegiate dictionary, 11th edition, and personally recommend it because i've used it and appreciated it since i was in college.

the second is an almanac. i recommend the world almanac to be used as a smaller and alternate encyclopedia and history book. i used to buy a new one every year, but this year i'll keep the 2008 edition that i have now.

the third is optional. it's the book junk english by ken smith. read it and use it to clean and clear your writing. i bought my copy in 2002 or 2003. i don't know if it's still in print; if it isn't, you can probably buy it through a bookselling service on the internet. if it is, then i bet you can get it at a nearby barnes and noble or borders.

a scene in southern california

a highway patrolman pulled over a car.

"is there a problem, officer?" the driver said.

"no, there isn't," the patrolman said. "but -- congratulations."

"what for?" the driver said.

"because you're wearing your seat belt as required by law, you've just won $1,000 in a statewide safety competition," the patrolman said.

"great!" the driver said.

"by the way, sir -- what do you plan to do with the money?" the patrolman asked.

"well, i guess i'm going to get a driver's license," the driver said.

then a woman in the passenger seat said, "oh, don't listen to him -- he's a smart ass when he's drunk."

this woke up a man who was in the back seat. he took one look at the patrolman and said, "i knew we wouldn't get far in a stolen car."

at that moment, there was a knock from the trunk. a voice said, "ey, senor -- como nosotos salto la frontera?"*
*in english: "uh, sir -- are we over the border yet?"

a new term for shoplifting

last night, i was thinking of the phrase five-finger discount, a slang term for shoplifting.

then i realized you can't truly call it that, because the thumb is not a finger. it's a digit.

so you ought to call shoplifting a five-digit discount. it's short and pithy -- five syllables -- and has some nice alliteration.

zionist foxes

i've discovered that israel has many websites that focus on ... let me say ... erotica.

according to news reports, 10 to 15 percent of the people who view those sites live in the middle east, where islam is the majority religion.

as we well know, israel and most countries in the middle east are NOT bff. there are too many issues on which they strongly agree.

with that in mind, i can see an militant islamicist, late at night, in front of his computer.

he truly hates those zionist pigs.

but he truly loves those zionist foxes.

taking it -- passively or actively

if you just take it
(usually in silence),
then you're getting fucked.
but if you move with it
and tell them you like it,
don't call it making love.
you lie. it's still an assault.

a matter of taste

i've been reading for about 48 years, and i've found that, after reading good literature, i can't read crap.

for example, one time i tried to read valley of the dolls by jacqueline susann. it was sopoorly written that it grated on my sensibilities. i couldn't get past, if i remember correctly, the first 30 pages. thankfully i bought it at a used book store; i took it back then with some other books there and got store credit.

that's not true for movies. i could sit through a bad one as well as i could sit through a good one. i wouldn't walk out of a bad movie if i was in a theater or turn it off if it was playing on my video player, but i probably wouldn't watch it again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

a big difference

this is the big difference between a dick and a prick.

a dick is a fool. when he does something harmful, he doesn't know that it is harmful.

a prick is a knave. he knows that an action he'll do will be harmful, but does it anyway.

toby cat

since it's the holiday season, i'll give everything on earth some brotherly love.

but there was one creature for which i never did. it was toby, my mother's cat. there was no lost love between he and me.

now if curiosity killed the cat, then stupidity definitely got toby stuck in a tree. at least one year, he was stuck in the same tree at three different times.

that was how he spent some of his nine lives. the other lives he spent either eating, sleeping, or giving off a bad attitude.

i was at my parents' house one december many years ago when i came across toby sleeping on a couch. he woke, saw me, and yawned widely. then he closed his eyes into slits and gave me a very dirty look.

he did that because i had interrupted a very important nap in his day. it was his fifth nap. that was the one where he got his beauty rest.

then he got up, hissed and arched his back. if i remember correctly, he started to scratch at the air with one of his front paws.

he was acting like he was some badass lion on the serenghetti plains of africa trying to scare me away. but i wasn't impressed with his pisspoor imitation.

"hey, toby," i said, "i want to find out of cats really land on their feet after a fall. you wanna go up on the roof and help me find out?"

he heard me. i know he did because he jumped off the couch and walked out of the room.

but before he left, he lifted his tail to show me what to kiss and where it was.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

some comments about thanksgiving

posting has been light yesterday and will be today because of the thanksgiving holiday.

earlier this week, i posted a thanksgiving prayer for the cynical at heart. if you want to read it, click here.

i'll be eating thanksgiving dinner this afternoon with four generations of my immediate family: my parents, my brothers, their children and two of their grandchildren -- my grandnieces. one of my sisters in law invited her sister, husband, and two children. and a nephew make bring along his girlfriend. that's anywhere from 14 to 17 people.

if i know my family, many kinds of carbohydrates will be served: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, noodles, and rolls, to name a few.

i'm not that great of a cook, so i'm not bringing macaroni and cheese from a box, fried chicken i bought from a store, or any other dish that was easy to make or easy to buy. i'm bringing relishes: sweet and dill pickles, green and black olives, celery sticks and carrots. you could call them side dishes to a salad.

i'm thankful for many things: that i have people i know with whom i can eat dinner today.

i have great empathy for many people who are away from home, whatever it may be, for thanksgiving. two groups come to mind:

  • the first is those who are on duty -- u.s. military overseas, especially in the middle east, along with police officers and firefighters. and i'm thankful for them doing their duties for the rest of the populace.
  • the second group is people who couldn't get back home because it was too far to travel or they're going through hard economic times or any other reason.

i'm thankful that i have my health. many people of my age, including a couple of friends, along with their parents, are dead and gone.

and i'm thankful that i have my sanity, although at times i'm not the most chipper and upbeat man you would know. but i'm working on that.

i know one man who's not thankful for today. he's a native american who's half iroquois. for him, i'm sure today is like january 27 -- the international day of rememberance for the holocaust -- for the jews. i bet he would agree with this quote from malcolm x:

"we didn't land on plymouth rock; plymouth rock landed on us!"

i don't want to end on a down note, so here's a slice of cheescake for dessert. go ahead -- it's thanksgiving -- gorge yourself with it along with pumpkin pie and other tasty desserts:

she is karolina kurkova, a czech supermodel who's one of victoria's secret angels.

by the way, at 10 p.m. wednesday, december 3, cbs will broadcast a special victoria's secret fashion show. so that's one thing, readers, you can be thankful for -- if you're a heterosexual male.

goodbye for now. posting will resume probably on friday and no later than sunday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the hundred in the warehouse

the hundred in the warehouse.
tuesday is duesday ... so pay up, motherfucker!
monday is a stern taskmaster and boss. get to work, he emphasizes, because he talks gruffly before he acts.

for some, action isn't needed. they go to work or feel guilty.
the smell of the place was in my nose. it smelled of decomposing garbage. i wish i could blow it out; it permeates my mucus. i want to blow it out but i can't.
"ah, you're from a small town. and many people leave them; that's one reason why they remain small."
we left behind only tombstones and graves.
b. always looked petulant, about ready to cry, now that i think of it.
whirley twirly through the air.
whirley twirly -- you don't care.
one difference between europeans and americans:
for a european, 100 miles is a long distance.
for an american, 100 years is a long time.
mudd and pudd -- twin brothers.
"if i want your shit, you goddamn redneck, i'll squeeze your head -- which is on top of your goddamn redneck."
love is blind.
but is hate blind, too?
they licked the asses that shat upon them and kissed the asscheeks that smothered them.
why are so many old fuckers around? because god doesn't want them and the devil won't take them.
you've heard of farfetched. is there such a thing as nearfetched?
it's a chicken coop and a rabbit hutch, but not the other way around.
vanity is woman. conceit is man.

(not original to me -- i read it somewhere but i didn't note where and don't remember now.)
when a man -- and it's usually a man -- says, "my friend" to you, he isn't your friend.
if he says that, ask him if can borrow, say, at least $100 for the weekend because you're going to be a little short for the weekend. watch his reaction.
things change.
friends leave.
life stops for no one.
time flies like an arrow.

fruit flies like a banana.

and every so often, blow flies like a good hand job.
i got up one morning and seized the day. but in the afternoon, i dropped it.
someone asked me if i believed in free will. i said that i did -- i had no choice but to do that.
you've heard of artists finding their voices. i wonder if the same thing happens with mimes.
you always hear of people dying from complications, but you never hear about people dying from simplifications.
when you pound the hell out of a man, you don't pound the heavens into him.
power is taken. control is given.
active vs. passive.
"that's the way the ball crumbles."
"that's the way the cookie bounces."
she said, "i don't know if you're evil or just wicked."
he said, "baby, i'm just naughty."
a restaurant's name -- the garden of eatin'.
the union of onions.
men who name their sons junior don't want sons. they want clones.
putting together the pieces of an invisible crossword puzzle.
free speech is NOT a godgiven right. it's a manmade right. so don't let other men take it away from you.
phileros -- a mix of philia and eros -- the best love between spouses.
the building was in the awkward middle phase. it was too new for people to consider it fresh and too old for people to consider it a landmark.
say you're in the doghouse. there are worse places to be -- like the outhouse behind it.
you will know me before i know the world.

some things we hate, and some we don't even like

once i was talking with one of my friends. one of the topics what things that we hated.

when i got back home, i thought more about it and wrote down some things that i did hate.

for me, hate is a strong word. it means die yesterday -- and painfully -- you motherfucking son of a bitch.

nevertheless, there are some actions that lead to some situations -- another way of saying you are what you do -- and these came quickly to us: willful and agressive ignorance; injustice; and most of all, cruelty.

when someone does those things, he or she makes an effort to be that way.

to me, then are the quivalent of felony crimes.

there are certain states of being that we dislike strongly. some of them are ineptitute and incompetence. they are like misdemeanors. they are mostly done by habit and not by will.

dianne, the sun worshiper

dianne turned down the sheets and blankets of her bed. the sun shone upon all of it.

she lay on the mattress and undressed. she was fully naked as the sunlight fell upon her.

she was ready to welcome her lover --

the sun

she lifted her knees up from the mattress and opened her legs. she opened her arms with the palms facing up.

she recited this poem to herself:

o come my lover come
into me sex me
love&sex mixed together
come my lover come

she lay that way for a few minutes. then she strummed herself to a climax.

it was the most erotic and sexual thing she had ever done and thought and felt because she had fully opened herself physically and mentally to some one -- any one -- even a distant star.

fall-durr-all and fiddle-dee-dee

sunday night, off and on, i was watching the american music awards on abc when nbc was showing commercials during the colts-chargers game.

now a lot of the music they played isn't to my taste. i thought: it's pop for today's kids. let them listen to whatever they want; i'm not going to harsh on it.

but -- and there's always a but --

many of the acts had a lot of big lights flashing and moving around. it reminded me of rock and roll groups that have big light shows -- like, for two examples, motley crue and nickleback.

such light shows don't impress me. they distracts from the quality of the music.

then this thought came to me: maybe those light shows are substitutes for and masks overs the quality of the music. and it wasn't all that good.

then i thought of the book eats, shoots, and leaves by lynne truss, which was a strong criticism of the state of punctuation these days.

i picked up the book in a bookstore and glanced through it. i remember the sentences for which she tried to improve their punctuation. many of them were what's called complex sentences -- overly complex sentences. it would've been better if most of those sentences had just been rewritten.

or where those sentences written that way because the author wanted to impress the reader? whatever the intent, they didn't impress me.

big light shows at concerts and overtly complex sentences are signs of pretentiousness. as an elder relative, now gone, once said: "that's a case of fall-durr-all and fiddle-dee-dee."

the older i get, the more i agree.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

today's slice of cheescake

damn, it's noontime on a sunday.

it's also the start of a week with thanksgiving in the middle of it. because of that, a lot of people will be starting their mental vacation on tuesday at the earliest.

because it's near the start of a holiday, you ought to have a slice of cheesecake.

it's jessical biel. i've pictured her before. please click here if you want to see it.

now for your enjoyment is another picture of her.

the egoless i

i had earlier blogs on blogger before this one. in some of them i used the royal we to describe myself. i did that because i thought that using the word i would've sounded narcissistic; that was one thing i didn't want to do to further pollute the internet.

but i've gotten over that. now use i to describe myself. one way i got around it is what i call the egoless i.

for example, if you were going to write about your vacation on pike's peak, you might write:

since i was a little kid, i've always been fascinated with pike's peak. it's a mountain in colorado named after zebulon pike, the leader of the first expedition of white men to see it.

it's also the site of the annual pike's peak international hill climb, a motor race to its top that was dominated at one time by the unser racing family.

this summer, i went on vacation to pike's peak. i hiked up it and down it and had a great time.

if you substitute my name (harrison, by the way) or someone else's name for i, and the sentences make just as much sense, then it's a situation where the i -- you, that is -- is egoless.

the most important thing in the essay is not the subject, but the object -- not you, but the mountain and the potential to have a good time there.

for the opposite of that i give this example:

if you write an essay where you have a sentence like i suffered a great indignity, then it's a look-at-me sentence, close to narcissism and selfpity.

a new word for your vocabulary

ace: i have a new word for the world -- and especially for your -- because i know how much you like them.

deuce: oh, great. well then -- what is it?

ace: angzi.

deuce: what does that mean?

ace: anxious, a state of anxiousness, anxiety or angst. it's a noun that way. it also can be used as an adjective and as a verb.

deuce: please demonstrate.

ace: damn -- that wait for my medical report made me angzied.

deuce: it's better as a noun.

ac: you're right there. but that's one of the glories of the english language -- you can noun verbs and verb nouns.

deuce: HUHN???

ace: think about it.

deuce: okay.

(five seconds pass.)

deuce: okay, i've thought about it. can i think about something else now?

ace: if you want to.

deuce: i've heard of the word angsty. means about the same thing.

ace: right. but angzi -- i made that up myself.

deuce: keep it up. someday, you'll get one that everybody can use.

a prayer for the somewhat cynical

today is sunday. thursday will be thanksgiving day.

since they are usually days of religious reflection, also know as prayer, i have a special one for my readers and everyone else on the internet.

it's aimed at for the more cynical among you -- maybe even the more nihilistic.
lord, i have so much to be thankful for ...

i thank you for:

pain -- without it, i would've gone numb years ago.

hate -- it drove me this far, despite how many people said it would never happen.

love -- so we can have our hearts broken and our spirits shattered.

birth -- without it, we could never learn the good graces of death.

childhood -- so we could learn repression to help us with the rest of our lives.

television, movies and magazines -- so they can live our lives for us.

elementary school and high school -- it put us in our place and stripped away our identities.

college -- it 's the only way degenerates, lowlifes and idiots can buy respect and authority over the more talented and less fortunate social classes.

church -- so people too illerate to read the bible for themselves can be told what it says. also, they can be told there they will never ever be good enough.

perverts -- so we could have priests, teachers, roomates, various managers and endless failed relationships.

friends -- to help us lie to ourselves.

enemies -- to tell us who we really are.

youth -- to tell us how much we will need to learn.

adultdhood -- to remind us how little we truly know.

old age -- to forget all that we once knew.

family -- to making you fee like a failure every single day of every month and every year.
this is not mine. i found it in too much coffee man magazine. i tore out the page but didn't write the date of the publication on it. information about it can be found here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

a look back at jfk's assassination

today is the 45th anniversary of the assassinatin of john f. kennedy. that got me to thinking ...

in my post of november 5 about barack obama's election, i said that the great interest and excitement he brought to people reminded me of the great interest and excitement people felt about kennedy. i even noticed it at my young age -- i was a gradeschool student during his administration.

the day kennedy was shot, i was 10 years old and in the fourth grade. it happened on a friday; just before 3 p.m., when school was to be dismissed, the school's principal came to my classroom and told us the news.

rain was falling, and i imagined that the angels in heaven were crying about the sad news. (i was much more religious then, so please give me a break.)

then came the long weekend. lyndon johnson, the new president, declared monday, november 25 as a national day of mourning.

it seemed like nothing much happened. most of that time i was watching television, like most of the country. and i was shocked, like most of the country, when i saw jack ruby shoot lee harvey oswald.

when i wasn't inside i was riding my bicycle, especially in the neighborhood of a girl on whom i had a crush. i won't tell you her name, but the first letter of her first name was t. she and i were in third grade together, but she was transferred to a new school for fourth grade.

i especially remember riding my bike on sunday, november 24, 1963. the day was sunny in that way it sometimes is during the fall and winter; the light was white and bright but not warming in any way.

i stopped a couple eof houses from where t. lived, but i went no further. i was paralyzed -- from fear of rejection or of the unknown, i don't remember -- so i didn't go by her house, or even up to her door and ask for her.

yes, i'll admit it now -- i was a gradeschool stalker.

politically, you could say that november 22, 1963, was the day the music died. it was the first of several tramatic events -- such as the vietnam war and the protests against it, the assassinations of malcolm x and martin luther king (with its attendant riots) and robert kennedy -- which made it seem for many people that a lot of hopes and dreams went into the toilet and were flushed away.

also --
i have no way to prove this point, but it seemed that american society started to change in another way. it started scheduling holidays on mondays so people could take a threeday weekend. they weren't that prevalent in the 1960s, but became more so in the 1970s and beyond.
addenum, november 23: the website gawker has several pictures of the day and place of jfk's shooting. please click here to see them.
addenum, november 26: by coincidence, i came across some notes this weekend about the assassination. i was going through some old notebooks to find things i can use in this blog or elsewhere.

i wrote them on november 22, 1993 -- exactly 30 years after the shooting.

in the notes, i wondered how reckless he was and if the open air car he rode in dallas was an invitation for assault. i think kennedy might've had a death wish because he was suffering from addison's disease and under severe pressure from his father.

i also wondered how committed he was to the advancement of civil rights for blacks and for withdrawl from the vietnam conflict.

but i was thankful that he was elected in 1960, because that meant richard nixon didn't become president -- then. that had to wait until 1968.

nixon was a convenient symbol of the lowermiddleclass wing of the republican party -- vindictive, smallminded, angry and resentful. it's an attitude that has run through the party for as long as i've been watching it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

jesus is watching you!

once upon a night, a burglar broke into a house. he shined his flashlight around as he looked for valuables to steal,

just as he saw a cd player, a voice in the dark said:

"jesus is watching you!"

the burglar clicked off his flashlight and froze. but after he didn't hear a sound, he clicked it back on and walked toward the cd player.

just as he was going to disconnect it, he heard the same voice say:

"jesus is watching you!"

this freaked out the burglar. he shined his flashlight around the room, looking for the source of the voice. the beam of light fell on a bird cage. in it was a parrot.

he said, "did you say that?"

the parrot said, "yes. i'm just trying to warn you."

the burglar said, "warn me, huh? who the fuck are you?"

the parrot said, "moses."

the burglar said, "moses! what the fuck! what kind of idiots would give the name moses to a fucking parrot?"

the parrot said, "the kind of people who would give the name jesus to a rottweiler."

styles of pneumonia

while i was going through my notes, i found this. i post it here because it reminds me of my recent illness.
there's the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu. that phrase comes from a song of the same name. the version i know was sung by johnny rivers.

it's a play of words off this lyric by chuck berry from the song roll over beethoven: i got the rockin' pnenmonia/i need a shot of rhythm and blues

now, rockin' pneumonia and boogie-woogie flu go together like crabs and sexually transmitted diseases.

i've heard of walking pneumonia. a friend of mine who's a mailman once had it and struggled through it while he was walking his route.

some people call it the fucking pneumonia. but i find it hard to imagine two people having sex while they have pneumonia.

face it -- pneumonia is rarely fun. it's never, for example, the laughing pneumonia or the hitting-a-hole-in-one-in-golf pneumonia or hitting-the-last-second-shot-to-win-the-basketball-game pneumonia.

it's lousy, like the it's-april-14th-and-your-taxes-are-due-the-next-day pneumonia or the cleaning-out-the-raingutters-of-your-house pneumonia.

it often feels like the lying-there-and-feeling-like-hell pneumonia.

sometimes, pneumonia is just blah, like the shopping-at-the-grocery-store pneumonia. that's somewhat similiar to the shopping-at-the-mall pneumonia.

percentage of soul

last saturday, the movie the wedding crashers was on television. i watched parts of it off and on, especially for the scene where john beckworth, owen wilson's character in the movie, tells a woman:

"people say we only use 10 percent of our brains, but i believe we only use 10 percent of our hearts."

yeah, it's one cheesy pickup line. i got a chuckle out of it. but it got me to think:

what of our souls? what percentage of them do we use?

what of the people who have no souls, who would commit evil like coldblooded murder like i would take out the garbage?

and what of the people with small souls, like most materialists and conformists -- that is, many business people in the u.s.?

maybe people like mohandes gandhi or st. francis -- have great souls, or use more than 10 percent of theirs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

portrait of life

this is a piece of art i made earlier this year. it's supposed to be a picture of life.

i call it the seeker, the maze, and the prize.

at the left is the seeker -- in this case, me. or maybe you. or anyone. the seeker has a lot of passion; that's why he has a big heart. he also has many ways to get the prize; that's represented by his many arms.

in the center is the maze -- what i or you or whoever has to go through to get through life and all of its complications.

at the right is the prize -- it's supposed to be a pile of gold.

suggestions about goodness

i have this to suggest for your readers:

don't do good for the sake of your own soul. that's selfish and selfcentered.

instead, do good for the sake of the other person or thing or whatever it is that is outside you.

and do good to make the world a better place.

second puberty

i'm middle aged, whether i like to admit it or not -- and for the record, i don't.

and i admit i'm going through what i call second puberty.

i'm growing hair in places where i didn't have it before -- my ears, my toes, my fingers, the tip of my nose, and elsewhere.

if i don't keep it trimmed up, i look like an overlooked potato that's been left in the cellar for a few months.

as for my eyebrows -- if i don't keep them trimmed, i can give andy rooney a run for his money.

i must keep this new and extra hair trimmed. women don't consider it an attractive look -- unless they're into werewolves.

now when i was going through my first puberty, i was glad -- because i was becoming a man.

now that i'm going through my second puberty, i'm sad -- because i'm becoming an old man.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

winterlike weather for now

snow fell late sunday night/early monday morning. it also fell late last night/early this morning.

not enough snow fell to cover the ground -- i don't expect that much to fall until december -- but it covered the tops of cars and buildings.

the temperatures aren't forecast to rise above 40 degrees this week. if i remember rightly, it's in the mid20s as i write this.

thanksgiving is a week and two days away. and christmas is exactly four weeks from thanksgiving.

folks, bundle up when you go outside. and get out the heavy blankets; i have.

addenum, november 19: thinking about the weather, for some reason, reminds me of what friedrich nietzsche said: "what does not destroy me makes me stronger."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

whims usually don't pay off

al once had a lover. her name, for the sake of this story, will be anna.

one time after they had swived, anna was walking around her place topless. that was all right with al, but some of the shades of her windows were up and he didn't want her to display her charms to the world.

(by the way, she wore a 34c bra.)

"sweetheart, do you like showing off the twins when the shades aren't down?" he said.

"i used to do it a lot more," she said as she got back into bed and snuggled against al. "let me tell you a story.

"one friday evening afterwork -- it was in late april or early may when i was in my 20s and had just gotten fulltime work -- as soon as i walked into my apartment, i took off my blouse. then i took off my bra. then i went onto the balcony of my apartment -- i was on the third floor of that apartment complex -- and stood there for a while before i waved my boobs for all the world to see.

"i did it because i could sense that life was returning. winter was gone for now. the grass was newly green and the air was fresh. and i was frustrated by things -- work, my weight, lack of a boyfriend -- i could go into more details but i won't -- now.

"i waved them freely and with no shame.

"now on saturday morning, the day after i shook my boobs, i was taking my laundry room to the laundromat at the apartment. while i was going there, my path crossed with an older man who lived in the same complex.

"as we passed, he gave me a steady look. he was definitely measuring me.

"then i thought -- he must've seen me waving my boobs! because i remembered that he usually walked his dog about the same time that i got home from work.

"damn -- was i embarassed!"

fallinter is here

ace: man, the weather's been nasty this week.

deuce: it's been overcast, cold winds've been blowing, and rain's been falling for the last two or three days. you had a cold lately; the last two days haven't helped you. in fact, i think your cold's come back.

ace: it did. but it's retreating now.

deuce: that's good to hear.

ace: you know what? in the fall and winter and spring, whenever it rains around here, the temperatures drop between 10 to 20 degrees.

deuce: right. the weather usually gets cold after halloween and lasts that way until ... hm ... usually around midmarch, or at the latest by saint patrick's day.

ace: we're supposed to get snow flurries tonight. it'll be the first snow of the season.

deuce: yeah. damn. i was watching college football highlights and big flakes were falling in michigan.

ace: hey -- it's fall going into winter. it's fallinter!

deuce: what?

ace: fallinter. i combined fall and winter.

deuce: well, ain't you creative!

ace: hey, people used to make up words all the time. i heard that william shakespeare did.

deuce: are you trying to be shakespeare?

ace: i'm trying to be creative. don't be pressin me with your oppression, suppression, and repression.

deuce: is pressin another word you made up?

ace: yep. i thought of it about two years ago, if i remember correctly. fallinter i just thought of now.

deuce: well, when i think about it ... it IS original.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

english versus latin

some folks in england want to use the english versions for some terms in latin that are in everyday speech and writing. a story with the details is here.

as for using some of those terms, i could take or leave them. but some i don't want to see again because i don't use them. they are e.g., i.e., and especially inter alia and nota bene. if someone uses them when he writes, and especially when he speaks, i consider them pretentious. if he's trying to impress me, he doesn't and he won't.

courage definitely above and beyond

first, i hope all you veterans had a good veterans' day. i've never been in the service, but i appreciate everything you've done.

i know a man in his early 40s, a little overweight and 5 feet 4 inches tall. he has done two -- yes, two -- tours of duty in iraq as a member of the army reserves.

second, i want to mention army major general david blacklidge, who showed courage definitely above and beyond the call of duty. please click here for the story.

this is one thing that military men -- hell, a lot of men -- won't admit, because it goes against their sense of machismo. that is to their detriment. at least blackledge didn't do it and i thank him for that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

much better, thank you

i had posted earlier today about the cold that had bothered me since last thursday. i hoped to start feeling better on tuesday, but after nappping off and on this morning and early this afternoon, i'm back to my regular condition.

so to celebrate, i'll have a little slice of cheesecake. you can have one, too.

it's actress sandra bullock, with a comehither look and a falling bra strap. i believe the publicity picture was taken sometime before the movie speed was released in 1994. it featured her with keanu reeves, dennis hopper, and a speeding bus. and it made her a star.

the buffalo theory

a herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest one. when the herd is hunted, the slowest and weakest buffaloes in the back of the herd are killed first. this natural selection is good for the herd, because the speed and health of the group improves by the death of its weakest members.

in much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. as we know, an excesssive intake of alcohol kills brain cells, but it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. in this way, a regular regimen of drinking beer eliminates the weaker brain cells. that makes the brain faster and more efficient.

and that is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
attributed to cliff clavin, postal worker from boston and one of the main characters of the television sitcom cheers.

when i first read it on the net, i tried to find out who wrote it but i couldn't. maybe one of you readers can tell me.

limited action lately

postings have been limited the last few days because i've had a nasty cold. i was sneezing my lungs out last thursday. chills alternating with fevers, sweating, muscle aches, and a runny or stoppedup nose have bothered me since then.

i usually have a bad cold at least once between november 1 and march 17. this one came probably because i didn't get enough sleep a couple of nights last week and i didn't dress warmly enough when i was out and about.

this was the same time central indiana went through a few days of lousy weather. heavy (and cold) winds blew through here and temperatures were in the 40s and 30s. many days of overcast skies didn't help my attitude, either.

i'm up early today because i went to bed around 8:15 p.m. sunday; when i'm awake, it's hard for me to go right back to sleep.

i feel better this morning than i have during the last few days. i plan to take things easy today, then get back at life -- and blogging -- tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

orange juice love

the orange
is sweet.
the floor
is cold
my feet.
but soon
to bed
i will
with you
for love --
a morning
i wrote this poem, along with aces in the bank, during the middle 1980. i don't know if it's a song or poem or lyric. if you have any suggestions, then please leave them.

where babies come from

"mommy," said the little girl, "where do babies come from?"

"oh ... ah ..." her mother hemmed and hawed, until she thought of a good answer.

"well, honey," she replied, "a man and a woman fall in love and they get married. then one night, they go into their bedroom and hug and kiss and take off their clothes and, uh, make love. that's where the man puts his thingee into the woman's cooter. nine months later, a baby comes out of her cooter and they become a mommy and a daddy.

"and that's where babies come from, honey."

"oh, okay," the little girl said. "but the other night, i went into your bedroom and saw that daddy's thingee was in your mouth. when you do that, what do you get?"

the mother was silent for a few moments. then she said:


aces in the bank

aces in the bank,
and you have
the calm confidence
of a christian with
in hand.

at the table,
smoke hangs over,
darkness surrounds,
but with a light
over your head,

you show 'em.

no contest.

you win.

lucky dog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the day after obama's win

(this will be my only post for today. jokes, offbeat observations, poems, and other items can wait until later. if it seems disjointed, it's because i wanted to post many things about the election that i had kept aside until now.

(for the record, althought the time stamp on this post is 5:20 a.m., it took about eight hours, off and on between other projects, to put it into the form you see here.)

in the september 13, 2004 issue of the new yorker, hendrick hertzberg wrote:

when barack obama spoke at the democratic convention in boston, a lot of people thought -- and hoped -- that they were seeing the future. half kansan and half kenyan, half black and half white, yet all-american in a novel and exhilarating way that seemed to transcend the usual categories, obama, who on november 2nd will be elected to the united states senate from illinois, embodied and expressed a fresh synthesis of the american civic religion -- one that fused not only black and white, and immigrant and native-born, but also self-reliance and social solidarity. "he represents the future of the (democratic) party," stephanie cutter, the communications director for john kerry's campaign, said by way of explanation why obama had been chosen to deliver the keynote speech. and it is not hard to imagine circumstances under which, a decade or two hence, he might represent the future of the country as well.

well, that decade or two came yesterday, when obama was elected to become the fortyfourth president of the united states.

as of this afternoon, obama had 62,605,000plus votes, or 52 percent of the popular vote. more importantly, he had 349 electoral votes. john mccain, on the other hand, had 55,512,000plus votes, or 46 percent of the popular vote and 147 electoral votes.

the most amazing thing i saw yesterday was the the eyes of many black people. those eyes were wet with tears.

some of them were among the multitudes gathered at grant park in chicago, minutes after the announcement came that obama had been elected.

some of them had very good reasons to cry. i was reminded of some of them after i read this story on the web. they were things i never had to suffer because i'm white, so i plead ignorance -- with a willingness to learn. i knew the generalities, but not the specifics.

i also saw this quote attributed to richard belzer, the actor on law and order: special victims unit, and ascerbic and brilliant-at-times comic: every black kid in america has grown an inch taller.

at 11 p.m. tuesday, after the polls in the west coast had closed, i was watching wrtv, the abc affiliate for indianapolis, when charles gibson projected that obama would be the next president.

at that time, his electoral vote count was 207; california, oregon and washington state gave him 73 more. that put the total at 280 electoral votes -- and 270 were needed for a win.

but it was all over around 10:20 p.m., when it was announced that ohio had chosen obama. from then on, mccain would need a miracle to win.

during the evening, indiana was still too close to call. that was a big difference in past years, when the republican candidate was announced as the winner about an hour after the polls closed. but this time, obama got 50 percent of the vote in indiana to 49 percent for john mccain, and that victory was only by 23,000 votes.

yesterday, i wrote that mccain would take the state. that shows how much i know.

obama's election is one big change in direction-- the biggest since ronald reagan was elected in 1980.
don't take this as just my word. i cite this story.

i can't say specifically why people voted for him or against mccain. to do that, i would need the ability to read minds. that's one power i don't have.

but this is an educated guess: people wanted the united states to go in a different direction than the one it now travels.

(nice legacy there, george w. bush. and you too, dick cheney. it would be nice to think those two men won't sleep soundly for the rest of their lives because of the ills, intended or not, they and their associates in this administration put on this country. but i bet those two will sleep soundly, although there are no reasons why they should do so.

according to reports, 64.1 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the race. that's the highest percentage since 1908, when 65.7 percent of the eligible voters chose william howard taft over william jennings bryan. and remember: back then, women and most blacks in this country, especially those living in the south, couldn't vote.

the percentage was also higher than the 63.8 percent who voted in 1960, when john f. kennedy defeated richard nixon.

for the record, about 136.6 million people voted. that's out of a population of about 300 million, give or take 10 million illegal aliens.

i believe the big turnout happened because,
as i said before, people wanted a change in direction for this country.

also, since the results of the last two presidential elections were close and stained with allegations of voter fraud, people wanted to make sure that the candidates they wanted to be president would be elected without question.

and it could have been a possible rejection of the last two presidents, who were baby boomers, and their failures in office: bill clinton because he wasn't as good as president as he could've been; and bush, who probably did the best that he could. and that's a freightening thought.

last saturday, i spent two and a half hours in line to vote. if you want to read the details, click here.

some of my relatives are in their 80s older ones and not in the best of health. but they didn't have to wait long on tuesday. they went right in and voted, and i'm thankful for that.

i watched obama's victory speech. oh, that man is one smooth speaker -- comforting the audience and rallying it at the same time with a great baritone voice. he's not like bush, who comes across as a braindamanged fool -- another reason why i'm thankful i didn't do the heavy drugs or drinking when i was younger.

as for his wife, michelle -- well, this will be the most stylish president and first lady in the white house since jack and jackie kennedy. i was a mere gradeschool student when it was camelot time and vaguely remember his administration, although i remember the glamor around them.

and, when you think of it, obama is a black yuppie -- or buppie, if you will. change his race to white and his name to barry banner and you have the same man.

so many people have put their hopes and desires for change upon obama. so -- good luck, mr. president. i wish you the best and hope like hell you don't fuck up like jimmy carter or bush.

i also hope you accomplish a lot more than kennedy, who didn't push that much for civil rights and was a little too much of a warmonger for my taste. accomplishments were left to lyndon johnson, who i respect much more than jfk. he pushed the civil rights act of 1964 through congress.

(note: some historians say that kennedy didn't get a lot done through congress because many of the senators who served with him thought he was a lightweight and didn't apply himself seriously to his duties in the senate, concentrating more on running for president. johnson, who was senate majority leader before he became vice president, was very influential in getting the civil rights act passed.)

i also think that kennedy, although he was assassinated, was lucky. if he had been saddled with vietnam and all its controversities, would all the hopes projected upon him have turned into anger and a sense of betrayal over his conduct of the war?

one wag emailed this comment to me after last night's results:

just imagine -- there'll be a black man in the white house -- and he won't be a valet.

just imagine -- there'll be a black man in the oval office -- and he won't be a custodian.

yeah, imagine that.

you may say i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one. i hope some day you join us, and the world will be as one.

one last word, though -- this is the first time in my life that the president is younger that i am. for that, i paraphrase j. alfred prufrock:

i feel old. i feel old. shall i wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

the election and some cheesecake

the polls close at 6 p.m. today in indiana. therefore, the watch starts on who this state will choose as the next president.

and surprisingly, it's been close, although i believe indiana will chose john mccain, but barely.

as of this afternoon, reports said barack obama had a 52.1 percent to 44.5 percent lead nationally over mccain. obama has 318 electoral votes, more than enough to win the presidency, to mccain's 196.

i won't be live blogging the election. i'm going to watch the results, then write about them tomorrow.

so in the meantime, here's a slice of cheescake as a reward for a long and hard election campaign. she is kyla cole, a model from slovakia.

stunningly bright blue eyes, yes? the rest of her is just as beautiful, too. in many pictures of her, she usually wears fewer clothes and her poses are less coy.

put her name in your search engine and check out her pictures on the net. but i warn you; most of them are DEFINITELY not safe for work or to view with your girlfriend or wife around.

please enjoy.

(by the way, cole was pet of the month in march 2000 for penthouse magazine.)

original sins?

i once saw a minister on television. he was talking about original sin.

i thought: let's see ... there's lying, cheating, stealing and killing ... they've been around for thousands of years ... they really aren't that original, now are they?

what frank's been thinking lately

recently, i asked my friend frank, "hey -- what have you been thinking about lately?"

he said, "i'll get back with you on that."

a week later, i received an audio cassette in the mail. when i played it, i heard frank say these words in a very desperate tone:

you want me to tell you what's been on my mind ... good god, man, if i did that, they'd send me to prison possibly forever if they wouldn't execute me for crimes against society ... the things on my mind recently involve assault and often murder ... not against you, i want you to know that ... you're one of my better friends ... at least you don't give me any grief ... or at least you give an amount of grief that i can't handle ... well, those thoughts also involve many illegal acts sexual and otherwise ... if i ever did any of them, i should be shot like a dog in the street ... my god, not even sleep brings me any peace ... i lie in bed and i can't sleep ... i walk the streets late at night to try to become tired enough to go to sleep but i just can't ... i live with these thoughts as burdens that life or fate or whatever has given me and i'll go to my grave with them pressing on my mind and making me sad ... but i've kept these thoughts and details of them to myself so far ... since you asked me about them i tell you them but only in general terms ... at least if i don't act on those thoughts, then i know i'll be assured of peace of mind after my death and a place in heaven with a little white cloud i can call my own ... and a nice view of earth so i can watch what people are doing down there ... and i'll also get unlimited supplies of hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and definitely steak too, because i love to eat beef ...

a round round

this is the first of several poems that i wrote about 20 years ago. a few friends have read them. this is the first time i present them to the world.

...a round round
billiard ball
that would if it
marvel at its
smoothness and
as it rolls across
the billard

if it isn't ivory,
it should be made
from that --
plastics don't have
that much

that's what i thought
as i watched the
roll across the
and come back my
after i hit it
with my

no balls in any
this time
but i'll do it
next time
the other guy
get on a
that would clear
the table.

Monday, November 3, 2008

pets and peeves

you might have some pet peeves about some people. but what do you call the peeves that you have with your pets?

for example, you might say to them, "fido -- your breath smells terrible. kitteh -- you had a bad attitude. and listen, both of you -- when i have company over, PLEASE don't lick yourselves down there in front of them."

then your pets might have peeves with you:

"gee, boss, flush the toilet after you use it. PLEASE. i drink out of it sometimes."

"boss, i wish you wouldn't scratch your ass and pet me with the same hand."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

comments about voting and the election

two and a half hours.

that's how long i stood in line to vote yesterday.

yesterday morning, i had to go to the county seat for business. while i was there, i decided to vote because:

  • i had read about people who had decided to vote early; some had to stand in line for more than an hour -- not just in indiana but all across the nation.
  • i had nothing better to do except go home and listen to the indiana university football game. (the hoosiers, by the way, lost to central michigan 37-34.)

i got in line at 12:25 p.m. and cast my vote at 2:55 p.m. -- five minutes before the doors closed. and it was busy before i got there; i overheard an election official say conditions at the poll had been squirley since 7 a.m. , a hour before the polls opened.

yesterday, i thought it was because people wanted to make sure their votes counted for barack obama. but this morning, this thought hit me: they might want to make sure their votes for mccain and palin -- and against obama -- are counted and will matter.

as for me, i voted FOR obama -- and against mccain, the heir to the cheney/bush misadministration (and yes, you read that correctly).

i believe that the election will be a landslide win for obama. reports on the internet today predict that he will get at least 50.4 percent of the popular vote and 333 electoral votes. mccain, on the other hand, is predicted to get at least 43.6 percent of the vote and 181 electorial votes. the number of electoral votes needed to win is 270.

and indiana, surprisingly at this late date, is a tossup state. this is very strange, since the last time this state voted for a democrat for president was in 1964, choosing lyndon johnson over barry goldwater.

it will be very, very strange if indiana elects a black man to be president. okay, he's half black. but for many people in this state, one-sixteenth black is totally black.

and things will become very, very interesting tuesday and afterwards.

twisting some old cliches

is a bear catholic?

does the pope shit in the woods?

a broken clock can find at least one truffle.

and a blind pig is right at least twice a day.

the number of issues

we all have psychological issues -- just like we all have copies of national geographic magazine stored away at home.

the point is this: are there just a few issues? or does it seem we have every issue that's been published since 1949?

and where are they stored? in a bookshelf nearby? or deep in the basement?

gas prices

i was out yesterday morning when i noticed the price of gas at a local service station.

it was $2.089 a gallon.

damn! i thought. that's a hell of a lot lower than it was earlier this year.

it was. gas prices in late may and early june, i found as i checked on the internet, were between $3.989 and $4.039 a gallon.

and the $2.089 a gallon isn't the cheapest price. some gas stations on the west side of indy, according to reports i read on the internet, are selling gas for $1.879 a gallon.

addenum, later today: i was out early this morning and noticed that the same service station is selling gas now at $1.989 a gallon -- 10 cents cheaper than yesterday.

addenum, november 19: the price of gas is now down to $1.849 a gallon, as it was on november 15.

two short poems

he took a cactus
and then he wacked us
smacked us and thracked us
then drove the big old bus
over all of us ...
and the masochists among us --
hell, they wanted more!
when it comes to pain,
they're greedyassed whores!
you mean,
"shut up and obey
they i don't.
and i won't.


bill told me this:

"some of those goddamn christians who say jesus suffers on the cross because of our sins -- well, damn it, i've suffered enough through boring sermons, hot and stuffy churches, and the times when i was surrounded by hypocrites. is that my punishment? my payback?"

a true curse

when you say fuck or shit a lot, and very often, and with agitation if not anger in your voice -- some people call that cursing.

it isn't. it's profanity.

now this is cursing:

you cannot die soon enough.
you cannot go to hell quickly enough.
and the fires of hell cannot be hot enough.