please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

They Know They're Wrong

I have had the pleasure of attending both a junior high and high school that employed off-duty cops as English teachers. The one at my high school was a ring-tailed treat, though.
I'm imagining it's because his name was 'Gale'. Sure, it's a perfectly reasonable male name, resonant of storms at sea, and therefore not sissified in the least. However, that wouldn't stop someone like him from being teased, no doubt, all through his childhood for having a girl's name, and also (no doubt) carrying the resentment from this into his adulthood.
About cops in general: I love how people carry on about how they are so humstrung by society's little "laws" that they can't do their job. And furthermore, these same people will always be first to say that there is no need for citizen oversight as far as law enforcement goes, as the hiring processes there are as sound as any, say, private security company, and certainly don't hire a bunch of meth-heads, people who flunked out of military academy, incipient white supremacists, etc.
The main point these (excuse me) bedwetters are making is-you can't question the police, because they're the police. Now, as any of us who have seen them doing cocaine in their squad cars, accepting free blow jobs from hookers, beating up people for the crime of being homeless or going apeshit on a bunch of people excercising their constitutional right to assemble and yes, voice dissent know-this is a bunch of shit. The police need oversight because their power is unchecked. It's the kind of thing that right wingers would immediately suggest if the police levied taxes. But they don't, so they don't.
They need oversight because they have a gun, and I don't. Even if I did have a gun, I still couldn't legally use it to defend myself against the (excuse me) apes that generally make up the staff of the police department in any city or town. Even if they killed you for no clear or decent reason-shot you on a routine traffic stop, strapped you down to a board then pepper-sprayed you until you asphyxiated, beat you some on the way to the station, and then beat you some more until you died-the grand jury inevitably lets them walk. They're the police, you see.
And to those who propose 'an eye for an eye' type justice: okay, can I strap the fuck who did the abovementioned to an unarmed, developmentally disabled man to a board and spray him with CS gas until he croaks? Okay, why not? Cop or not, he's a citizen, and bound to the same laws as anyone.
Alright. Let's take it back to this evil fuck who worked at my high school. He was very fond of chasing us kids, when we'd leave school property. If you wanna go to McDonald's for lunch instead of the cafeteria, what's the harm in that, exactly? The school had the policy that you must not leave at all, but a lot of us viewed this as the kind of thing that they couldn't really enforce legally...Forgetting that teenagers have no rights under the law.
And again, it was typical hysteria vs. actual thought type stuff engaged in by school boards everywhere, especially in the suburbs. On one particular occasion, my pals and I were enjoying lunch at McDonald's-violating school policy, that is-and Gale bursts through the doors, looking for us. We actually crawled out the back door.
When we arrived back at school, we stopped, as was inevitable, at the smoking section (this was back when high schools had such things). We noticed Gale approaching across the courtyard, and somehow the crowd immediately sent up a wave of obfuscation. They all said, "You'd better run, Dean," and "Here comes Gale, Dean." A lot of things like that were said, despite the fact that none of us in the party were named 'Dean'.
He walked up, said to my friend Gary, "Okay Dean, you'd better come with me."
Gary got detention, under the name 'Dean Jones'. Strangely, he never showed up for it.
A couple weeks later, I violated another well-conceived school policy by trying to exit the cafeteria with a Ho-Ho snack cake. You could have food in the caf, and nowhere else, so if you wished to step outside, you either needed to finish that food there, or be stealthy about it.
As I attempted to exit the building, Gale walked up to me and said, "Dean, you need to learn your lesson."
I said, "Yeah, I really do."
"Gimme the Ho-Ho."
"No. I paid for this thing."
"GIMME," he said, "THE HO-HO!"
"No," I said, and was then escorted to the office. He made out another detention slip for Dean Jones.
Now, should I have felt sorry for his over-zealous, vindictive, inept ass? Hell no. Natural consequences being what you should reward slow children with for repeated dangerous stupidity, I felt that it was just fine that he was assigning detention to a fictional student, who he could have easily determined was fictional, had his simple ass checked.
The next time he saw me, he said, "Your name isn't Dean Jones."
I said, "Really?", or, "You sure?", or something. My two friends and I were on our way to talk with a favorite teacher of ours, and in this case were doing nothing wrong. My friend Gary said something to Gale along the lines of 'you got nothing, leave us alone'.
Gale spun around and faced him. He tried to be intimidating, but was mostly spluttering. He said that Gary was a 'big lip'.
"'Big lip'?", I said, "What's that?" I could tell that he was looking for the happy medium between 'don't give me any lip', and 'you're a big mouth', two favorites of sadists with unchecked power, speaking to the powerless.
He spun on me. "Yeah. He's a big lip! I said it! You got a problem with that?"
So now I had a middle-aged man leaning into me, threatening me, a minor. I could've sued his ass just for that alone. Instead, I stood and laughed. He knew how stupid he looked.
As my third friend Pete was asking if it was acceptable to refer to Gale as 'dirt shoe' or 'bad hair', I took account. This particular authority figure realized that he'd been barking up the wrong tree, had made an ass out of himself, but was too committed to his sacred mission to back down. His biggest problem in the main was that he had gone too deep into a mission that had no real validity in the first place. Then, when he had failed to make any quantifiable difference, he got angry and started violating laws.
He actually was sued, and lost his job, a few years after I left that place. Serves him right. The stupid should struggle, to quote a guy none of you have heard of.
I no longer talk to any of my right-wing blogger counterparts. Or, I should say, I no longer debate them. One of them I'll talk to about anything but politics, as he seems to be a decent guy who actually listens to people who disagree with him. Most of his blog is political, so I usually just read it, and move on.
Another one of them has gone so thoroughly around the corner that I get the shivers reading his hateful mewlings. He goes back and forth on a weekly basis about whether or not he will let people comment on his blog at all, since sometimes people are mean to him. Or, 'disrespectful', or something.
But I've noticed that all one needs to do to be judged as such by him is disagree with him, a lot of the time, and that's childish. No matter how you phrase it, he's still going to have a tantrum against those of us who dispute his well-meant comments, which grow increasingly dark and yes, hateful. He then follows this up with a great deal of twaddle about how liberals (only liberals) are always engaging in immature, ad hominem attacks.
Or, what I always call the I'm-not-a-mechanic excuse: You're trying to get your car up and running again, and you find yourself beset by a squad of men who say, "Well, I'm not a mechanic or anything, but lemme tell you..." and they waste your time for the next hour or so. Look-I'm gonna stop here, but let's just say in general; I don't argue with robots or fools anymore. Especially when they try to simultaneously paint themselves as both an embattled minority and the majority of citizens, in terms of their belief.
Great. You're a minority? Well, work hard, little one. Oh. Now you're a majority? Well, those are often wrong. Almost always. Have you met most people? They're not so bright, easily manipulated by the dumbest of parlor tricks, and given to all manner of tribal taboo, happily swallowed.
As Mistah Chomsky might say, were he here, The Trick is not to Speak Truth to Power. Power already knows what it is doing, and is doing wrong. No: the trick is to remind everybody else, and try to bring them back to their senses.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Scars and Signs

My scar is hurting, for some reason. If you look really close, you can see the faintest scar bisecting my left eyebrow. This was acquired through stupid ass behavior.
When I was seven years old or so, my buddy from next door and I were examining some gully, and we found a cache of old rusty things. Now, as those of you who know me can attest, I love old rusty things, and the fact that I chose a tailpipe as the item I should take with me now strikes me as making some kind of sense.
My mom stepped out on the front porch to call me in for dinner, across the valley. I responded, and we began running down the hill. The whole time I was running, I still had that damn tailpipe in my hand, pumping up and down as I ran. Finally, inevitably, on one of the upward swings of my fist, the edge of the damn thing made contact with my eyebrow.
It didn't really hurt; just felt like a bump. I made it across the park that bears my great-grandfather's name, went into my house. I was saying, "Mom, I think I...", when my sister comes down the hall, sees me, points her finger and screams.
I now realized that I had blood running down the side of my face, and it was decided that I should seek medical attention. We visited Dr. Chuck at the emergency room, and I was informed that I was a lucky little boy, since the damn thing had not gone in my eye. Eight stitches.
So that was twenty-seven years ago, and I wonder why the damn thing is choosing today to start aching again. I'm trying to ask myself what this is an omen of. Has this happened before in the intervening twenty-seven years? If so, what did it portend?
I get other things like this. If a coyote crosses my path, major life change is on the way. Combinations of the number eleven tend to have a salubrious effect. If...Well, there's others, but...
One could look at it in another light. What does the scar represent? Or the placement of the scar, since scar is a pretty clear metaphor. Something taking attention from what the eye maybe should (or should not) see? Vanity crumbling before the inevitable march o' time? Something we're not acknowledging yet, that we should be? Something old that hasn't been dealt with? The scar itself being much deeper than previously thought?
I have another old scar like that. I stepped on a piece of glass in a pool, a couple years before the abovementioned. Again, I didn't realize how severe it was at the time: it just felt like I stepped on something, and when I took my foot out of the water, it was stretched in such a way that I could see an inch or so inside my sole, right near the instep.
I don't think it ever really healed. To this day, if my foot stretches in a certain way, I can still feel it, and it still hurts.
The foot is a powerful metaphor, too. I once had a dream that I was slicing off the soles of my feet (I was happy where I was in real life, and had decided to stop roaming?) . For some reason, I was also covered in a soft, downy, blonde fur in this dream.
One time when my daughter and I were climbing the Hill Where The Deer Sleep, in the John Day Valley, I asked her (she was four, at the time), "You sure you don't want me to carry you? I mean, this is a pretty steep hill..."
She said, "My feet will carry me wherever I need to go." And I thought, You're all right, kid.
The foot is the possibility of travel, or escape. It's freedom, and they root us to the ground, as well. If you damage (or lose) them, you're pretty well fucked.
The eye? Well, sight-duh. Vision, however oriented toward The Future, or maybe just your surroundings...But it's not even my eye, it's my eyebrow, so...
Freedom of expression? The crooked eyebrow, expressing skepticism? The waggling eyebrow suggesting a vaudeville charicature of attraction? The vestigial hair no one is really able to explain on humans, since we don't really need it for warmth anymore?
I dunno. You got me.


Monday, November 21, 2005

The Middle One

It all got taken care of. Where there had only been one truck the day before, the next there were four (perhaps five) of the damn things, and with only four of us to load them all. The drivers are standing around, making bitter little jokes and talking about what their dispatcher told them, as opposed to what is actually happening. My boss is trying to keep everything civil, also while contrasting what their dispatcher had told her, contrasted with what was actually happening.
What this meant for us grunts on the supply end was that we didn't need to worry so much any more about packing as much shit as possible onto two trucks, but quickly filling up three of them (while I was there), and leaving the odds and ends up to the maybe six people that showed up around dark.
"Another miracle of human communication," I said to one of the drivers, as the fourth truck we didn't have enough people to fill in a reasonable time period showed up. Nonetheless, it all got taken care of.

** ** **
On our way out to the pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving, our three-vehicle caravan got separated somehow. My brother-in-law's vehicle was in sight, after a bit, but Dad's was long gone. I had recollection from last year as to how one gets out to the town of Lyons, along a beautiful stretch of the Santiam river, but not to Gale's (my step-uncle) place.
As we drove, a thick fog fell. Most of western Oregon was experiencing an exceptionally sunny day (based on what I heard later), but that particular part of the valley was socked in by a surreal fog, making this whole pressing-on-into-the-unknown thing even better. For my part, I was laughing.
We got there though, and a fine time was had by all. This is extended family here, mind you, and the most common comment heard was, "I have no idea who most of these people are..." That was kind of cool in and of itself though: we had community based on our relative lack of knowledge. Crammed into a cabin in the woods, we had to find out who each other was, and then get along. Everybody was friendly as hell.
Gale had decided to do this Not On Thanksgiving Thanksgiving since the actual day was inconvenient for a lot of his family. We still had all the fun associated with this sort of event, right up to learning the names of a bunch of strangers I'm only parenthetically related to, and their place in the chain of relation. The Civil War game was on, too, leading to some sort of U of O/OSU fan weirdness in this house. There was about fifty people.

** ** **
When I went to see a movie in the part of Portland known as Hollywood recently, Bobby, James and I had occasion to stop into The Pagoda, a Chinese restaurant of no acclaim for its food, and old person's bar supreme.
I've been in that bar before where they basically didn't want to serve us since we weren't old. This particular evening it wasn't like that; but then Larry Hershberger started in.
He began by yelling, "How dare you make fun of a man who's legally blind?" The lady behind the bar immediately started warning him that he'd better take it down a notch, and he responded by yelling, "My name is Larry Hershberger, and I'm gonna sue everybody in this bar!"
He quickly followed up with, "I wonnnn't! " But he wasn't so easily pacified. We weren't up for a suing (even though he threatened to do so on several other occasions, with the usual rejoinder: "I wonnn't!"), but he kept threatening "this asshole", an unlucky person sitting near him, and kept on responding to something the bartender lady had said earlier in the evening.
She must have said something about being in labor for eighteen hours with one of her kids, because Larry kept saying, "You were in labor for eighteen hours! I'm in labor five days a week!" Perhaps he missed the point.
The lady at the bar was easily in her sixties, and shouldn't really have had to put up with this. At one point, when Mr. Hershberger was getting personally insulting to her, Bobby and I both stood up. She gave us the 'just sit down, I've got this one' gesture. Nonetheless, maybe we redeemed ourselves as people who were good folks, despite not being old as the hills.
He went through his cycle a few more times, until finally he realized that not only had the cops been called, but he really wasn't going to be receiving any more drinks that particular evening.
When we went outside later, the 911 call that had been placed by the bar lady had been responded to not by cops, but an ambulance with the fire truck that is legally mandated to show up, any time an ambulance is called. They were trying to talk him into the truck.

** ** **
I've been blogrolled by KOM, over at Lascivious Polyphony, easily the funniest blog I know. My problem is with the word "blogrolled".
His blog is linked to some other well-named blogs, like God, People Piss Me Off, and If Swallowed, Induce Vomiting. "Please Stop Tickling Me" fits right in, in terms of the listings. Again, it's the word "blogrolled".
For one thing, it's just clumsy, but that's the way of the American version of English. We're changing too fast; it's kooky. Ugly, awkward words like "blogrolled" are okay now (as are emoticons and three-letter-acronyms, eesh), as is the horrific use of that font I've seen described as 'hacker', popular among the teenaged set of bloggers, especially from Asia.
An example? Well, the above last three words rendered in Hacker font would read like, "eSpessHuLYY frm aSIa", or something, suggesting that each of the letters contains a hyperlink, leading the savvy web-crawler to seek for portals to newer and better things.
But "blogrolled"? It sounds like something you virtually do a virtual drunk on a virtual subway. The compliment is well taken, however. It means that I sit beside Blog Jesus.

** ** **
I got around to talking a bit this evening with the lady, about a very important topic: the sheer volume of us menfolk who are pee-shy.
Or have "blushing kidneys", as I've also heard it called. The inability of some of us menfolk who don't feel comfortable standing next to some other guy, cock in hand, attempting to urinate. I pointed out that there is an anthropological study in the making here.
In eastern Oregon, where I attended grade school, the middle urinal was said to be cursed. There was even a little rhyming formula "explaining" why. Pointing out the one on the left, someone would say, "Army..." The one on the right was indicated as being, "Navy..." And the middle one had "Superbaby" as its designation.
That wasn't good enough for me, so I asked one of the older kids what any of that meant. He pointed out that the middle one was where the guy who had kissed the ugliest girl in school went and pissed, directly afterwards.
This at least sort of made sense, and the girl being referenced actually existed, so okay. I didn't really think about it until high school, where The Baron and I got on the topic. He said that in Canby, where he grew up, the same formula applied for the urinals at his grade school, but that it ran as, "King, Queen, Kissing Machine."
That's when I realized that it wasn't indigenous to my school or even eastern Oregon. That's also when I realized that we had taken a bit of basic, garden variety embarassment and ritualized it. Then we made up a rationalization for the ritual. Great stuff. I'd like to know if everyone had something like this.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What the Market Will Bear

Ah, I'm delusional. Today I braved rush hour traffic out to the warehouse the Oregon Ballet Theater has out in Beaverton, not all that far from Nike World Headquarters, to unload, inventory and reload a truck, just to be told that we needed to re-unload the damn thing, since the trucking company wanted to come pick up their trailer, which they expected to be empty. Turns out the truck we're actually supposed to load comes tomorrow.
When my boss asked where the communication had broken down, causing her to hire all these extra people (like me) to come load the truck, the reply was, "We thought it was understood."
If a certain truck driving buddy of mine from Florida reads this: if you receive a shipment of theatrical goods from some entity that writes "OBT" on its crates, I packed it, and we have something in common. We have sold one of our sets for "The Nutcracker" to some place in Florida, and have made well and sure that all the pieces (with extras) are there.
I could give you a blow-by-blow on this one, but I won't. It's all in a day's work for a warehouseman. Nonetheless, it is a matter of historical record that when the order came down to unpack the truck, I said, "Well, I think we really have our flakiness to thank here today...", since we hadn't fully loaded the damn thing yet.
And this: the New Boss has been sold. Yup; so shortly after converting form a music venue ("We were losing our souls," one of the bartenders told me) to a pool hall/salsa dancing instruction concern, they decided to become a cowboy-themed bar.
I say cowboy "themed" because let's face it; this is Portland. The only cowboys here are pathetic, frat-boy wannabes who just don't fucking get it, or gay men dressed as cowboys (or actual gay cowboys: they exist).
When The Tulsa Kid told me this one about our favorite pool establishment, I pointed out first that there is a cowgirl themed joint happening about five blocks north and another three west. Just too much for one neighborhood, I averrred.
"But doncha see?", he asked, "It's just warehouse space for frat boys! We largely have them contained to downtown, and when they come to this side of the river, they'll go to the cowboy bar."
I took the conversation in a somewhat unrelated track when I said, "Well, it might be nice. I can't remember the last time I was in a cowboy bar that had more than four people in it." Then we discussed the difference between cowboy-themed bar and real cowboy bar.
We discussed what the fate of the excellently-maintained pool tables in this joint might be-I pointed out that all types like pool-and at that point, The Only Ms. S got in on the conversation. She pointed out that she could think of not one of her friends who could outlast her on the mechanical bull. I said, "Well, I've never been on a mechanical bull. Has she?"
It turned out that no, no she hadn't. I said, "Well, that's just pure pissedness. Cussedness." I feel some sort of showdown coming on. She's an ex-stripper, and I'm from a town internationally famous (when not for its fine woolen shirts and blankets) for its rodeo. Shit's on. Gonna be a rumble.
But I did say, "Well, it might be kinda nice..." trying to make myself feel better about what is sure to be a waste of everyone's time: I've been dressing in a manner, these last few years, that could easily be described as '1970's Redneck', but that wasn't my point. My point was that maybe just maybe this would bring a bit of realness into this, perhaps the most insulated bubble of art-school goin', not really paying attention to the rest of America neighborhood. Tulsa's response was quick.
"Oh yeah? And while yer tryin' to shoot pool? Your favorite patriotic New Country songs?"
"Great Christ," I said. "Fetch me my thirty ought." Yup. If I gotta listen to that Toby Keith faggot doing his level best to make each and every fat motherfucker from East Dinklefuck wanna kill everyone who has a Funny Name, I'm gonna go beyond postal. There will be a throat-stomping each and every evening. Though I myself will sometimes karaoke his song, "I Love This Bar."
"'What the market will bear', indeed." I said.
So, I gotta go back out there, tomorrow. Details to follow.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This is not a Post

I said something sort of strange on Jacq's blog yesterday: "There is no such thing as love, and it is the most important thing in the world."
Do I really think that? Yup. I maintain that this whole love enterprise is really just us as humans idealizing and romanticizing our biological drives. Has it run my life (often into the ditch) for most of it? You betcha.
It's hardly the only thing in the world that gains strength from the sheer amount of belief in it. Like George Santayana said, "There is no God, and Mary is his mother." Kinda like that Sufi poet I quoted who said, "There is no God, and Mohammed is his messenger." They keep on making the same joke: that's at least part of the problem.
As I said before, the poet met his end via a blade held by a staunch believer in Islam, and Santayana ended his days as a guest of the Blue Nuns, the only man living in their convent. I've always thought that Sufism predates Islam, and they became a branch of it largely to prevent themselves from getting killed.
Or how about this: the question 'What is the meaning of life?' It's always struck me as one of the least important questions of them all, and the answer to it is-"I have no idea, but you're living it right now." What is the nature of the Buddha? "FIVE POUNDS OF FLAX!" is the answer, followed up by a sharp rap on the head.
Serves ya' right, acolyte.
In any case, despite the fact that I have a sharp deterministic view of what this love stuff really is, that has never prevented me from feeling tons of it. In any case, it just needed a name. It has been said that the idea of romantic love was invented as recently as the Troubadours anyway. Before that-what? Well, there's plenty of love poetry that predates those guys, but to hear some historians tell it, humanity was wandering around pairing off for life without a hell of a lot of questions as to why they might want to do that.
Maybe the way I shoulda put it is: "Love fucks up lives left and right. People die for it, kill for it, start wars over it, lie for it, make awful choices because of it...And you got anything better?"
Not me. The best art is made because of it. Communities that don't have it tend to fail. Children born into unions where there is no love tend to Not Thrive (in the metaphorical and medical sense). The sense of aspiring-up, up, up-toward the more perfect thing, something better at least: that's in there, too.
It's why there's religion, too, and I know that. I just keep on being offered bad incentives to be religious. More like threats, really. At least with love, I know where I stand: delusional, but with a nice warm feeling.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Because I'm a Smartass

And let's all make sure to go to:


Canucks, Redux!

Caro, over at The Love Rhombus, has the following to say about a certain treasured sitcom of ours:

"But I hate the show, because despite it's occasionally funny moments, it boasts the most irritating cast of characters in the history of situation comedies. His wife, his mother, his father, his brother, even the character Romano plays - they're all fucking douchebags. The whole lot of em. The show should be called Everybody Loves This Buncha Douchebags."

She's right. When the hell did someone say, "Hey, let's do another show exactly like every comedy on television since The Honeymooners!"...Actually, they rarely say anything else. It's the endless slobbering from critics that accompanied this show that made it such a hard swallow. Man ain't a genius. Just a douchebag.
In any case, last time I was slobbering about the greatness of all things Canadian, Caro (under her former nom-de-keyboard, Unity) echoed my great love of the band Broken Social Scene. Well, they were here last night, and I gotta tell ya': my moratorium on live music still stands.
Problem One: I know most of the soundpeople in this town, and they're all drunks. Last night this manifested as barely being able to hear the vocals at all, while the bass drum might has well have been in my ear drum, and the worst guitarist of the four (!) made most of the audible noise.

Problem Two: The bands themselves are often a problem. B.S.S. phoned it in last night, if you ask me. They looked like they were on junk (or very tired, or drunk), and sounded like it. Feist's vocals were lackluster at best, and as I said, if your first name ain't Lynyrd and your last name ain't Skynyrd, you do not need four fucking guitarists and two drummers. And the beauty of a lot of their stuff is in its subtlety, which does not translate well to a crowd of people who will scream like banshees over the observation that it is Friday Night. Which brings us to...

Problem Three: The crowds at enterprises such as this are nothing but a headache. When they're not screaming at each other that they love this song and have been waiting to hear it all night, and how wonderful that it is being played right now while we're standing here talking about it, God we're lucky, they're trying to act clever in the choice of things that they are screaming at the band, or spilling their overpriced cocktails on you. And since you don't have a choice in the matter...

Problem Four: Your beverage will indeed be overpriced. Matter of fact, considering how annoying the entire scene is, the price of admission is, too. I blame TicketBastard for this. What other industry has such colossal balls as to allow their sales to be adopted by this hellish entity that exists largely to make us all despise the concept of "value added fee" just a little more?
"Hey, what is it that your company does?"
"Well, we co-opt the ticket sales of every venue available. Then we charge more for the tickets, since you're lucky to have us here, selling you tickets."
"But couldn't they just be sold by the local venues themselves?"
"They are: we just profit from it, for some reason."
"I see. Do you coat the tickets in cocaine or something? Why are you able to charge more for them?"
"Because we're TicketMaster, and folks gotta make a living. Administrative costs don't get paid by money that fails to grow on trees, you know."
"Oh. Can I shoot you now?"
It's infuriating. And if the band isn't even making it worth your while, why do it?
I'm also cynical because I've worked in rock n' roll too long. I once swore that I would never again go to an outdoor festival in particular if I wasn't working there. Why subject yourself to long waits for the porta-potty, extortionate rates on necessities like water, shitty food if any, and the sad sight of all your favorite stars melting in the sun, doing flaccid takes on their music?

MacBeth and I went downstairs to the bar last evening, after B.S.S. did two painful versions of my two favorite songs, "Shoreline" and "Almost Crimes". We got talking about the big event for World Aids Day, December First.
It sounds to me like the sound guy isn't even someone who has done a live show before, mostly a studio engineer. I'm not really qualified to run the board, but I've promised to be on his ass at all times, if he's ruining the sound quality.
He actually said, "Well, it's not like it's a concert or anything..."
MacBeth quickly replied, "But it is a concert."
I'm also not certain whether or not the light guys are going to drop off gear and leave, or set it up, too. So I might be back in my old Lighting Director role: me, knowing what I'm doing, marshalling a bunch of volunteers, who don't.
And they need people to load in and out, which I'll help with. And I might be doing the underwriting announcements:
"We'd like to thank the good people at Glaxo-Wellcome-Kline-Beelzebub for their generous tax-credit-producing donation, which will no doubt assuage their conscience about Aids medication being too damn expensive for most Africans, who make up the bulk of the world population that has it. Kudos, guys."
It's true: if they didn't make the profit they make off of tremendous markups, they wouldn't then have the money to do the research to discover new drugs...Which no one can afford, but they do exist, which is good. I think it's karma though, that these same drugs are so often sold by Canadian firms for so much less. They didn't create the drugs, but they also have no less right to profit from them. Damn social types; I thought they didn't like profit!
Or maybe everything will go off without a hitch, my lady and I will get all dressed up, dance the night away. Who knows? And this episode of Stream of Consciousness Theater will return after these brief messages...


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bank Shot

Interestingly, I was nearly dis-invited to Thanksgiving this year for allegedly referring to a relative as being a redneck.
To get the full picture, we need to go back a year. My stepmom's brother Gale had just built himself a gorgeous place out in Lyons, along the Santiam river. He had the whole fam-damnly over; all these people I was related to by marriage, but had never met. I had a great damn time.
The older generation was rather solidly conservative, the younger, rather solidly liberal. They got on well, as people from the same family and same society should. They listened to each other, rather than trying to shout each other down, as one might suspect they would, listening to "talk" radio.
At one point, the patriarch (Gale) said something along the lines of, "Remember what Dad always told us: never forget you're a Holfert." This being the family's last name.
After a brief silence, I said, "Well yeah; if you forget your own last name, then you really look stupid." They all laughed.
What I apparently did happened on my birthday, a month or less later. My stepmom, my dad and I were getting some lunch at Jake's Famous Crawfish, and I (allegedly) referred to her brother as a "redneck".
Now, I don't remember doing this, but if I did, it certainly wouldn't be an insult.
As a small town punk rocker, rednecks were the enemy. They were the people who wanted to beat me up because I looked funny, and as all true cowards do, this was never man to man; it was always seven of them, or so. I spent a lot of my time running in those days; only an asshole sticks around with odds like that.
But I am no longer a teenager, nor a punk, to put it lightly. So to hear this was weird. Even weirder; Gale is a redneck. Had I called him one, he would have taken it as a badge of honor. He moved up to Alaska because he preferred the company of the land to the company of people: the true definition of redneck, if you ask me. And Alaska is where true rednecks go, if you ask me also. After his wife died, he moved back down here.
Later, when I was a hippie to most people's eyes (well, I had hair down to my ass, anyway), I was camping on my step-uncle's (other side of the family, the Jewish Redneck side...More on that later) property with my girlfriend and daughter, put to sleep each night by the coyotes.
One night, someone had a runny nose, so I came inside to get some Kleenex. I took a couple, and my step-uncle said, "Take the whole box."
I said that I only needed a couple tissues, and he got all pissy. "Take the whole damn box!"
I pointed out again that I didn't need the whole damn box, a couple tissues were all I needed, really, and he chooses to deal with this inflammatory statement by saying, "You just don't like rednecks, do you?"
At that point I started laughing. I said, "Sam, I don't know what the hell you're talking about. I'm gonna take this here box, go back to the tent now. You have a good night, okay?"
Hell, I don't have a problem with rednecks: I like them better than yer average hipster around here, certainly. I have a problem with anyone when they're being childish, rural or urban, but I don't engage in categorical dismissals. I think there's a lot of people-some of them being rednecks-who wouldn't think of giving me the benefit of the doubt the way I do them, but that's because I'm a goddamn saint, as we all know. Liberal, conservative, urban, rural, I love 'em all. I hate assholes.
So my stepmom and I talked this morning. After reiterating that I had no recollection of having done so, I apologized if my calling her brother a redneck had caused any bad feelings. She started off her professional life as a teacher, and went into Teacher Voice right after this.
"I think there's a lot of things that we can say about our own families that we get defensive about if other people say them," she said.
"The same is true of nationalities," I said.
My friend who went to France for a while talked of being cornered at dinner parties and being pressured to explain U.S. foreign policy, which he definitely had no role in crafting. Then, there's what happened to David Sedaris:
"Like me, my American friends are sometimes called upon to defend their country, usually at dinner parties where everyone's had a bit too much to drink. The United States will have done something the French don't like, and people will behave as though it's all my fault. I'm always taken off guard when a hostess accuses me of unfairly taxing her beef. Wait a minute, I think, Did I do that? Whenever my government refuses to sign a treaty or decides to throw its weight around in NATO, I become not an American citizen but, rather, America itself, all fifty states and Puerto Rico sitting at the table with gravy on my chin."
And I realized that if I ever go anywhere other than North America, this might happen to me, too. With my crap language skills, I might not be able to say, "But in my homeland, people like me are decidedly the minority...And Mr. Bush didn't call me to ask about invading Iraq anyway. Neither did Mr. Clinton." The irony would be rich.
This sort of happened to me when I went to Bermuda. A fifteen year old, I wasn't terribly concerned with politics, but I watched the news, and knew that we were bombing Libya that particular week. Wherever I went, nothing but hard looks. Surely they knew, right? But no.
And note the 'we' in that above sentence. I wasn't bombing a damn thing, but 'we' were...This opens up nothing but possibility for more discussion. When an Iranian living in the U.S. gets a brick through their window for being Iranian, doesn't even the most childish of jingo stop to ask themselves: "Well, if they actually liked Iran, why are they living in Fort Worth?"
But you know what happens next-"If they live here, they want to bring down this, the greatest nation what ever was," and feel fine in their racism.
No; chances are if they're here, they had to flee Iran when the religious nuts took over, and are no doubt shaking their heads bitterly at the fact that the religious nuts are more and more in charge here, too.
In any case, I'm invited to Thanksgiving again. Last year, I taught a young boy there to shoot pool. There was a pool table out in the garage, and I felt like shootin' stick. The kid was just tired of being ignored by the adults. I showed him a few tricks.
His mom came in at some point and told me that I didn't need to spend all that time putting up with her son if I didn't want to. I didn't bother saying that her kid provided better conversation than a lot of the adults at the party; "He's fine," I said. Then I drank some more whiskey and attempted to teach him how to do a bank shot.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Memories of Doug

Earlier this summer, there was a hullabaloo. I could hear live and recorded music, plus what sounded like an emcee. It sounded like a bunch of people had decided to have an impromptu gathering in the parking lot, two blocks adjacent. General crowd noise, etc.
Later, I ran into Posey up at the Hole. She said that she'd just been down to the Doug, and for some reason, Dennis Rodman was there, promoting his new line of cologne (or clothes, I forget which). Aside from how absurd this was anyway (does he really think people still care?), she and her friend were standing in line, trying to get into the bar they wanted to get into, and a security guy asks friend if she'd like to dance on stage.
A stripper anyway, friend says that sure, she'd love to, but only if her friends get into this pointless event for free. After much disappointed sighing, the security staff decided that this was meet and good.
This is the insanity that is the Doug Fir. The Doug (and the adjacent motel, the Jupiter) opened with high hopes, feeling that Portland really needed some sort of rock star housing, ala Seattle's OK Hotel. Then they spent lots of money refinishing what had been a cockroach motel, with attendant bad Chinese restaurant.
What they came up with was a really beautifully appointed space, but one that all of us around here felt was just trying too hard, a major crime in the hip world. The bar is made of large timbers, an illuminated floor, lots of mirrors for checking one's fine self out in...In short, the kind of '60's-70's bar I dream of, though built in the 'Aughts.
Like a lot of things that feel they are doing well in P-Funk, it was nowhere near as cool as it thought it was. It was destined to bring in the bridge and tunnel, suburban, from Washington or Washington County crowd. Intel employees trying to get a bit of stink on them. Draggin' their bellies. As far as I can tell, this is the case.
I looked around one late Saturday night. Me, Bobby Massage and his boy were walking in there at bar close. After getting stamped, and having it suggested that we needed to pay, we just realized that it was close enough that we were never going to see a damn drink outta the joint, so we took a step back.
All around us, the human commerce: the courtyards of the Jupiter filled with wanna-be's drunkenly encouraging each other to come back to their rooms, a buncha confused-looking suburbanites standing around with uncomfortable smiles on their faces, and actual black people; an anomaly in this fairly segregated city. "High ballers and shot callers," observes the boy.
I observed that I figured that this monstrosity would lead to more rape, random violence and automobile-on-bike accidents. So far, it hasn't, as far as I know.
In April of this year, when I was sort of living the hip dissolute life and following around Keisheimer , she got herself a room at the Jupiter, for free. How did she achieve this, I wondered?
"I'm a media whore, remember?", she immediately responded.
True. The weekly she works for largely distinguishes itself by lavishing praise on the mediocre endeavors of their friends, and people who give them free things. So when she ditched her deadbeat boyfriend, she all of a sudden had herself a free hotel room, about five blocks from my place, as the crow flies.
Nights came and went, us laying there in the Euro-spare room, cool beds, cable, but still just a fucking motel room no matter how you slice it. I discovered that the two joints, the Doug and the Jupiter, considered themselves seperate enough entities that room service wasn't happening, so I'd march over there to pay too much money for their mediocre food. This is what Portland always does, I'd think. It wants to think that we'll forgive its half-assedness in light of how charming it is, and then it fails to charm.
The same is true of the staff there, which is studiedly unfriendly. They do this, I think, because a certain type of consumer wants some sass with their sauce, and won't truly feel cool unless they are insulted. This is ridiculous, and entirely at odds with my own theory of customer service which holds that people would like to feel comfortable. For this reason too, I can't support the place.
It should be noted that she and I came to an end on an evening in which I was too tired to have sex. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what that was. I'd come on strong and dirty at the beginning, and then had mellowed out into my basically calm self in the weeks following. No loss: she's a danger to herself and all who cross her path.
Later, when I was seeing Geech, we went there to see the Mountain Goats perform. The bar was full, she was at her claustrophobic worst, and John Darnielle sang the line that got everyone cheering, as we all felt it, however much or little we truly did:
"I'm gonna get through this year if it kills me!"
I looked around the bar, saw few faces I recognized; strange in this little city where everybody knows everybody. I was on my way to becoming one of those old hipsters who bore everyone around them with tales of how wonderful it used to be.
On the night I met Keisheimer, she and I were sitting backstage at the Show. She was relating to me that she'd been interviewed by a writer for a travel magazine who noted that the neighborhood I live in is the new, hip, up 'n coming one, and what did we call it?
See, Portland is largely a collection of clearly indentifiable neighborhoods, each with its own flavor and name. This is the Buckman Neighborhood, or the Central Eastside Industrial District. But all that shit around the Doug?
"Lower Burnside?" I attempted. "The Low Burn? Lo-Bu? The Neighborhood I Live In?"
Now they're probably gonna put in a Home Depot over there, and all the local flavor that makes this city truly unique, and causes people to want to move here will go away. It's painful and boring, progress. Expensive, too.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dialin' For Dollars

Some of my favorite useless pieces of advice include:
"When vandals kidnap you, look for fingerprints on or around your person. That's a crime stopper!"-Daws Butler, as Dick Tracy, from the old Stan Freberg show
"Never ride down a load on your Holly guitar."-anonymous contributor to Creem magazine
"In the cold places where Spanish is spoken, most wars end in the fall."-The Silver Jews, 'Pet Politics'
Last one's not really advice as such, just an entirely meaningless observation, but you get the point.
And here's mine: polls lie, as do studies. I speak as one who toiled in the market/political research game for long enough.
I worked for an organization owned by the head of the Oregon Republican Party, back in the late '80's. Oddly, almost everyone who worked there was a liberal. I spent my first night calling everybody in Washington state, telling them to vote for Slade Gorton. The next night we got down to real polling.
Except that it wasn't. Without paraphrasing too much, one of the questions went like this:
"Would you rather vote for (the Republican), or the guy whose best friend is the lawyer who got off the killer who made the retarded boy dig his own grave first before killing him?"
("Hmm...Well, I tend to vote GOP, but I do hate the retarded boys...")
My buddy Fil (yep, that's how he spelled it) actually mailed that one to the local paper. This was deeply illegal, as that survey was the property of the client, no matter how poorly intended or worded. There was a minor flap about it, and then the firm went right back to what it did best, whatever that was.
It could best be described as putting out the most damaging dirt to see how the voters reacted, and use that information to craft attack ads during campaigns. So maybe there the client could be said to be getting their money's worth, but with so many people like me working there, actively trying to thwart the process, I doubt it. Would their money be better spent doing impartial research? Perhaps.
Or perhaps not. Once it left the hands of people like myself, it went back to the folks in coding, who would then perform a statistical analysis on it, and as we all know, it ain't hard to manipulate statistics, either.
So if the results seemed to favor what the client already believed, no surprise: they had, after all, paid for it. Just like any study, really. Science is marred by this sort of thing, too. Every few years, some new nutritional data is unearthed, and by the time it gets to the press, it's along the lines of-"You must only consume oat bran!"
Give it a month, and another study will announce that you must never eat oat bran: only eat protein.
Another place I worked was a little better. They had better people writing their surveys, and seemed to want to find out what people really thought. But one of their biggest clients was a political pollster who primarily works with Democrats, so who knows?
We also did market research at that place. I quickly found out that even if one has no respondents whatsoever who have heard of your product, you are still required as a dialer to ask all three hundred questions or whatever, since doing less would skew the results of the survey. Case in point:
Fred Meyer supermarkets were moving into Utah. This is to say that there weren't any there at the time of the survey. The chain wanted to get a feel for the market, so they crafted this incredibly long survey filled with questions for the people of Utah to answer about how much they like various aspects of this store they'd never heard of, shopped in or seen advertising for. I'm amazed as many people stayed on the line with me as did so.
So did the client get their money's worth? No, and it's their own damn fault. That survey could easily have been one question long: "Have you heard of Fred Meyer supermarkets?", and if they had, ask additional probing questions about where they'd heard of them, and what they thought.
I saw my first fax machine at this job, and I also first heard of Ross Perot, from my respondents. The management had no idea who the guy was (by that time, I was back at the Republican joint). I heard many a wife ask hubby; "Who are we voting for?", and noticed that a lot of the time voters only wanted to vote for the guy they had heard of, regardless of their own views. I once had a man with the archetypal Dirty Old Bastard voice growl "Ain't Got No 'pinions," right before he slammed down the phone. I noticed that the phrase "Head of Household" and "Fuckin' Asshole" sound roughly the same, if repeated often enough.
I once had to screen only for respondents who had either had cancer, or had had a family member who had it/died from it. This was tough. How do you start a conversation that way?
I chose to phrase it as, "Have you or someone in your family been touched by cancer?", which unfortunately clanged resoundingly in my brain after a while. I came damn close, a couple times, to asking if they or anyone in their family had been touched by the magic of Elvis.
Voting records provide most of the raw data for call lists; apparently they're really easy to get if you claim you're doing research. Problem is, a lot of things can happen in between election cycles, including voters dying. I once was on the phone with a woman for ten minutes before she made it clear to me that no, she couldn't go get her husband because he'd been dead for three years.
"Oh ma'am!" I said, "I'm so sorry..."
"Well, me too." she said, stoically.
I worked for what I like to refer to as a Beer Money Scam for a while, too. Let's name names here, since we're talking about Crooks. The GEHL Group had set up this dummy entity in Olympia called the Washington Bureau of Fire Fighters, which was in no way connected to any fire department, anywhere.
The scam was selling tickets to a Waylon Jennings concert at the Tacoma Dome. How much did the tickets cost? Eighteen dollars. And if the respondent wanted to know how much two tickets cost, the script demanded that we said the insulting line, "That's the great part. Thirty-six dollars."
The guy who did the best with it was the fat, bearded, coffee-guzzling dude, Gary. He had the perfect deejay voice because he'd been one. He'd say things like, "Over fifty-thousand fire fighters died in America alone just last year and ma'am...(dramatic pause) We think that's a few too many." He was trying to make as much money as he could before going to prison for delivery of cocaine.
There was this other smart ass malcontent of my age working there, and on smoke breaks, he'd say things like, "I'm trying to work the phrase 'like shooting fish in a bucket' into the pitch."
I'd come back with "'Over fifty-thousand fire fighters died last year, and we think that's a few too many. Ma'am, it's just like shooting fish in a bucket.'" I'm not sure he ever tried that one.
I got more than a few angry actual fire fighters who wanted-and rightfully so-to know why they'd never heard of us. Abort. Or lie: "Well sir, I'm a regular at Humptulips (yes, there really is a Humptulips, Washington) Volunteer Fire and Emergency Response, and let me tell you..."
These days, you don't just pick a number out of the phone book and dial, as it was back then. Now, there is a centralized computer that dials for you, and sends the call to individual dialers. So you sit in a cubicle at this job, and all of a sudden, your screen lights up, and you're faced with someone who, due to electronic delay, has already said hello, and is on "Hel-lo?" by the time you get to them. This is why when you receive a call from a strange number, and when you pick up, all there is is silence at first, hang the fuck up, now.
My last job in dialing was like this. This wasn't even surveys anymore, or bullshit oppos like the GEHL Group. This was a nationwide company called TeleMark that engaged in scams as well, but was far better at covering their ass, legally. Basically, it was scamming the elderly into getting another credit card they didn't really need.
It depressed me so damn much, I discovered a little trick: if you didn't entirely hang up after a call, you'd sit in this null electronic space of peace and quiet, surrounded by mad chatter all around, from yer fellow dialers. It was nice in there.
Ultimately though, I'd return to duty, and there'd be a message on my screen: "Rich: you aren't dialing. Come see Me. Attila."
Then I'd go to the office of the smily, affable strawboss, Attila. He knew I didn't really like the job, and god knows what he thought of his chosen career path, but we got along well, and he was always in what seemed like a good mood.
When I met him, I couldn't help it. "Attila the Supervisor?", I said.
"Well, lots of people from Armenia are named that," he said, and smiled some more.
During the 2000 elections cycle, I answered a poll from a place much like that Republican joint (Moore Information, in case you're curious) I used to work at. The woman was no good with the script, was nervous, had no public relations savvy whatsoever. I suspect that the outfit she was whoring for had taken on some church-going volunteers, as Moore often did.
She gave me the same battery of questions, with hypothetical candidates (they didn't even just come out and say Bush and Gore) who represented various things. The questions were worded in such a way as to make it clear that one stood for Good, and one for Evil And Worse. There was no choice given really, unless you already knew the game.
"Well, so you've given me a choice between a Liar and a Zealot, here." I said. "I'll take the Liar."
This flustered her more than a little, but li'l trooper, she just keeps on into the questions, and I keep on piercing through the shit screen she's setting up by saying things like, "The hypothetical candidate you're talking about there is Bush, and I've already pointed out that I don't intend to vote for him."
Eventually, she just got personal, especially after another one where I'd been presented with a choice between a liar and a zealot. I chose the liar again, and she broke script: "But why?"
"Because the Liar will, occasionally, help someone out. The Zealot is a danger to us all."
"But then nothing gets done!" she said, sounding desperate.
"Nothing does anyway."
Needless to say, the Zealot ended up President.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

An Update (or Uptick)

Around here at Bachelor Pad One, we pride ourselves on our tremendous tech-savvy. That's why when, 'bout two days ago, The Demon Sa'kul's computer stopped working, we responded with heavy sighs and a whole bunch of shoulder shrugging.
But it's back up again, so here we go. Ah-I've had a request for dream updates from Cats Dig Me. Here goes.
-My spirit guide in dreams has long been a large black man, occasionally wearing a turban, sometimes in drag (see Jairus, from the archives). Well, recently there has appeared another one. In this particular scenario, I am cooking in a fine restaurant up Oneonta Gorge, right past Horsetail Falls (which is federally protected land, and will never have a resort on it). I like the food I'm making, and the people I work with are pretty damn cool. At some point, I'm joined by an older Italian man.
Perhaps a 'silent partner' of the restaurant, he strikes me as clearly being mobbed-up. He takes me for a walk in the garden, imparts some friendly advice, which I don't remember any of. Interesting stuff.
Last night I fell asleep pondering something: there's been a few too many characters in classic Western movies with the last name 'Valance'. It's an odd name; I've never met anyone who sports it, but there it is in "Red River" ('Cherry Valance'), and of course "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance".
I started thinking of a side plot for the increasingly surreal soap opera parody I'm to be acting in/working on. I was thinking that (like actual soaps do) we could, for no really good reason, inject a shootout sequence into the story, taking place on location elsewhere. The episode would be named 'The man who shot White Valance'.
See, since one of the first things you do with a teevee camera is point it at a white piece of paper or cloth, and set the 'white balance' (because once you've got white down, the rest of the colors will be proper, as well), I figger, well, lets assume that the only audience for this show will be other tech-geeks.
White Valance will be the name of an evil man in a small town, modelled roughly on Biggs, Oregon. Biggs is a spot along the Interstate 84 where until recently, there was one side of town where every business bore the name of 'Jack' (Jack's Fine Food, Jack's Truck Stop, etc.), and the other side bore the name of 'Dinty'. Well, I always thought there should be a shootout, but as always, the marketplace ruled otherwise.
Not only does the side of town historically given to Dinty currently sport a restaurant owned by 'Linda', but Jack's side of town has been eviscerated by a large truck stop owned by Shell that has a McDonald's in it...The mini mart is owned by some heartless conglomerate, I'm pretty sure that the motel went along with this awful trend...Even the giant 'EAT' sign I used to demand my friends have their picture taken under, every time we passed it, is gone. Sigh.
The local newspaper has gone up at the newsstand from thirty-five to fifty cents. This is fine: I believe any other major city in the country's daily would cost at least that, but I'm still waiting for there to be a conversant fifteen cents worth of uptick in quality of reportage. Hasn't happened, just yet.
And the editorial page remains the same depressing cluster of bad syndicated journalists (why hasn't someone told Kathleen Parker to go home yet?), and our two managing editors, both named 'Dave', one of which calls himself a Conservative but is really a Reactionary, the other who is described as a Liberal, but is really a Moderate. Such is the state of public discourse.
In the first episode of the soap opera, the wealthy garbage fly Rich Bachelor is breaking up with his girlfriend, Caffeine. I intend to say her name really fast, so you can't tell if that's really what her name is. Caffeine is marked by her propensity for saying weird, random, embarrassing things, then shouting, "I ALWAYS SAY THE WRONG THING!", and laughing maniacally. In this first scene, Senor Bachelor says the tag line that many of the characters use:"End it!"
In our research for the scripts, Bobby Massage and I watched a lot of soaps, asking always, 'why doesn't this work? Why is this so embarrassing?', aside from the bad acting and poor lighting, crap set design...We'll incorporate those elements, too, but a lot of it is the cliched nature of the lines.
You know? Very rarely (unless they've watched too much teevee and movies) do you hear actual people making the whole "I've been here, being a good/strong/noble person all these years, and watched all these lesser/weak/ugly people Get Theirs, and I'm sick of it! It's MY turn!" speech, in real life. Here, we've turned that sort of thing on its ear. Also, the propensity of the characters to speak in Plot Updates: "Well, you'd better just remember what happened to Carrie in Las Vegas two years ago, when she found out that she really wasn't the doctor's daughter at all, but a semi-intelligent variety of sea slug..."
Other elements include the clumsy use of black slang by white characters, people who don't look even remotely similar being passed off as family members, people who are clearly in their twenties being passed off as teenagers, the fact that there's one family in town from whom all evil springs, but no one ever questions it...Oh, I could go on.
Oh yes: last night, after that whole 'White Valance' thing, I fell asleep, and dreamed that I was writing a book about dreams. It happened in a city that was equal parts my home town, and the town where I went to college. I kept on dreaming within the dream, and waking up, trying to record the dream imagery.
At least one was some sort of virus/plague of bugs thing that was running up the Statue of Liberty. On one hand, it seemed to be indicative of bad things a-comin', but on the other hand, maybe that wasn't a plague of bugs at all. Maybe it was people, racing forward to reclaim the virtue of Lady Liberty, and make us a functioning society again. I recall that both interpretations in the dream were equally plausible.
Coach Nate and The Lovely Nina, mentioned in the last post, had a baby about four days ago. A girl, named Sara. When I saw Nate last night, we talked about the difficulty of ceasing to refer to someone no longer in utero as 'it'. She's a 'she' now.
That's all I got. Gonna go get dinner with the lady. I continue to be in hot, sticky love.
Bachelor Out.