Monday, February 27, 2006
1: Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?
Color definitely, but I like to see good cinematography. Movies like White Sands, or The Black Stallion, or True Grit were great cinemagraphic movies. Black and white is really good for serious dramatic movies like On The Waterfront, or The Grapes of Wrath. Granted, they did not have color back then but those movies in color would just not have the bleak tone that made them great. Of course my choice for photography will always be black and white. 256 shades of gray between the two extremes.
2: What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?
Porn. There is nothing in my opinion more overrated than porn. I know guys who can turn on a porn channel and start naming a lot of the actors. I watch for about 5 seconds and then ask if anything else is on. Nobody in porn has any talent. In my opinion any fool can make or act in porn.
3: MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music?
CD's for the ability to take them anywhere on the planet and find a player for them.
4: You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going ...... ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?
No. I didn't even hesitate when I first read this. I would not abandon the very people who would forgive me any of my shortcomings. I will say this though. If I won the lottery very few people outside of my family would ever see me again. All they would know is that one day I just didn't show up and if they found out in the news what had happened fine. If they spent the rest of their lives wondering, that would be fine too. Of course I would still blog and travel around to maybe meet one or two or all of you.
5: Seriously, what do you consider the world's most pressing issue now?
The well being of my family. I care about my own world first and foremost. My youngest kids' academic performance worries me the most right now. You have to be a parent to know the disbelief your kids have that you have been there, done that. Some of you say that wasn't you. Think harder.
If I went out into the world thought it would be the homelessness of people in the so called wealthy countries of the world.
6: How would you rectify the world's most pressing issue?
No more war.
7: You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?
One night I was walking out of a KFC in Oceanside, California. I had a complete meal for my family in a couple of bags when I was approached by a man who looked down on his luck. He asked if I had any spare change so he could get his family something to eat. His family was in a run down stationwagon. I had enough money in my pocket to hand the entire meal to the man and go inside to get another one. I didn't. I left the man empty handed. I have been regretting that ever since and even though I contribute to the local food bank and other causes on a regular basis I feel that I will never be able to make up for that one failure to do good when I had the chance.
I would change that moment.
8: You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?
The Hitler assassination plotters would have been successful.
9: A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole' Opry. Which do you choose?
A Night at The Opera. That's my favorite Marx Brother's movie. I would have liked to seen Patsy Cline sing at the Grand Ole' Opry.
10: What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you'd like to solve?
Argentina's "dirty war". It's a given who did it but I want them imprisoned.
11: One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?
Mark Twain. Catfish of course.
12: You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky. What's the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?
After careful consultation with my lawyers I cannot answer this by being any more specific than saying it would involve high velocity, hollow point rounds.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
1. People picking up trash from the floor thinking I want it on my counter or think that I will grab it and throw it away.
2. People repeating my questions. "Where are you going?" "Where am I going?"
3. People who make dumb comments when the room is empty. "Wow, this room is empty!"
4. People who ask me where I live and then act miffed when I tell them that I don't answer that question. (I'm STILL waiting for somebody to ask why so I can tell them that it's none of their business where I live)
5. That Tim Horton's doesn't have a line for people who only want a hot drink and a donut and a separate line for people who want soup and sandwiches at 7 frikkin 30 or want the bagel with light cream cheese..."wait that's too much but don't take off that much..."
6. Parents who give their kids really dumb names.
7. Women my age who come up to me chewing gum with their mouths open. (It happens a LOT)
8. People who don't know what food is.
9. Everything about Air Canada.
10. People who tell me, "I cross all the time and I never bring that and they always let me in". or "the travel agent said I didn't need that" or "can't you tell by my accent?"
You will think my actions were those of a man 25 years my younger after you read this.
Friday morning I got up at my usual workday time of 3:30AM. I showered. I went to work. I was scheduled to work overtime so I blew out of work at 6:00PM. I arrived home. I ate. I relaxed. I left home at 7:30 and drove to Bellingham. I stopped at Fred Meyer's to get some things and fill up with gas. I arrived at the nightclub at about 8:30.
The gal found my name on the guest list so I was in. I stopped by the merch stand and bought two CD's and a t shirt. I told the guy I knew the band and we talked for a bit and he let me leave my jacket with him.
Fast forward past the skate film debut and the local scratchers who came on first.
At about eleven Sweatshop Union took the stage. Of course I have never heard of them but I was very impressed. I liked their tunes and the presentation was just great. Good hip hop and stage movement by an eight member group. I was dancin' and enjoying the show.
Just over half way through their set I spotted Prevail from The Swollen Members in the sound booth and said hello. He was happy to see me, introduced me to his girlfriend, and invited me out to the group's bus for a beverage. There I met the other two band members and got my CD's signed. We chatted and enjoyed our beverages until it was time for them to take the stage. After some tech problems were solved the Swollen Members hit the stage. The time was midnight.
The Swollen Member were awesome. I liked their tunes and their stage presence was really great. Most of the sold out crowd was in the front but I was back by the sound booth with a great view. They played just over an hour which was all they could do for two reasons. One was because the club wanted them off a 1:10AM at the latest so they could get the place cleared at a specific time and keep their liquor license. The second was that the air circulation was so poor that the guys were drenched in sweat and exhausted.
So we hung out backstage for a bit and got rehydrated. Then we headed back out to the bus for more beverages. I had a can of Cherry Squirt. We talked and I got the Sweatshop Union CD signed that I had bought after seeing them perform.
What was kinda nice is that when both groups found out that I had PAID for their merch they were upset. I guess the felt that since I was such a cool dude and had treated the guys so nice at the airport I should not have to pay. I explained that since I got into the show for free and that this is what they are doing to make a living I was happy to support the effort. They thought that was really cool. At the insistence of the road manager I got another t shirt.
So we chatted for a while in the bus until I decided that it was time for me to go. I got home at about 2:30 and relaxed and told the wife of my evening adventure. YES I had invited her to go but she declined. At 3:30 I jumped in the shower. I watched a bit of TV and then left for work. When I parked the car I reached down and grabbed the can of Cherry Squirt. It was half full, still cold, and had not gone flat yet.
I got off work at 1:00 and returned home to be greeted by the kids when I walked in the door and shouted "Mastuh D in the HOUSE YO!". Soon after telling the kids about my evening I plopped down on the sofa to let the adrenaline wear off. The next thing I know I was being shaken awake by the wife and told to go take a nap, which I did.
My wife told me that while I was on the sofa my snoring reminded her of a drunk angry bull walrus during mating season that she saw on a National Geographic TV special.
I thought that was odd because I usually only snore if I was really tired when I went to sleep.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Wanna win men's hockey gold again?
Toss Gretsky. Toss Quinn.
Put the Sutters in charge of your program.
I work overtime until 6. No problem.
I went to take a nap at 4 yesterday and didn't get up until this morning at 3:30.
I had a dream that I won TWO $10,000 slot machine jackpots which is strange because I never play slots. When I came out of the casino I discovered that somebody had mounted a wooden camper shell on my car. Security was walking me out because I had all this money and we found the idiot who had mounted the monstrosity on my car. Needless to say there was some profanity yelled. Then I realized that the sun was about to come up and my thought turned to how I was going to explain being out all night to my wife. I don't know why women get so uptight when husbands stay out all night.
So now I'm thinking if I should stop by the casino after the Swollen Members show.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
More tails of moronic achievement at the airport.
Consider the case of the woman with the figure of Humpty Dumpty sporting long fake flat black curls and traveling to Mexico..........in sweats.
Or the skinny freckled face white-bread-no-crust teenager with the blue bandana covered with the off centered white yankees hat all bad ass fity cent baggie pants wearin' going to Los Angeles. I love kids like that because they ALWAYS look up when I look at them and say, "your hat's on crooked".
So many people appear in what they think is serious mack gear to travel and I just look at them and ask, "did you lose a bet or something"?
And then there's the guys going home who walk up and I just gotta ask, "what, did you run out of clean clothes that matched?"
I see it all.
Sandals with socks
Button front shirt tucked into shorts
Capri pants with gramma's sofa floral prints
Enough sweatpants that it makes me think the whole world's in great physical shape
Girls over six traveling in pajamas
TWO hats on one head (I don't want it to get smashed)
Thirty year-old implants with sixty year-old bad rug
People wearing Hawaiian shirts......GOING to Hawaii
People wearing cheap Mazatlan straw hats.......GOING to Mazatlan
AMERICANS with "Canada" or maple leaves on every piece of clothing visible and hell no I aint asking.
The very cute full C cup girl with half a t shirt on going to Guatemala and she has a backpack with a big Canadian flag patch "so they won't think I'm American and leave me alone".
I got news for you sweetie, half drunk locals meet half dressed hot bod....well, YOU figure it out.
People talking on cell phones.......at 5 AM
Twenty year old girls going to Hawaii for six weeks with enough hotel money for two nights. hmmm
Cute eighteen year-olds going to meet an internet boyfriend for the first time. "because he says it's easier if I go there ".
I've had THIS conversation several times.
"Where are you going?"
"There's six of us going to Mazatlan. It's a girl's trip!"
"Ever been to Mexico?"
"No, it's our first time."
"What ever you do, DON'T take a drink directly from a guy you just met. Make the waitress bring it to you and the make sure that at least ONE of you watches the drinks at all times."
"Why do you say that?"
Then there was the girl who checked no to the fruit(s) question explaining that there's an "s" there meaning plural so she checked no because she only has ONE banana. "Not tssss, just ONE!" (I swear to god those were her exact words)
She's closely related to the "I thought you meant like, BOXES of fruit" people that I see on a daily basis.
Then there's this,
"Where are you going?"
"Why are you going to Denver."
"Because then I'm getting on a plane to Dallas."
"Why are you going to Dallas?"
"Because then I'm getting on a plane to Pwerta Veeyarta."
"Why didn't so say that the first time I asked WHERE you were going?"
"I thought you meant what AIRPORT was I going to."
Ya know, I JUST realized why we have no scissors in our office.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Boys and girls, I give you in no particular order, Zona Boy's top ten favorite deli meats!
1. Pimento Loaf
2. Bologna (pronounced bah LOH nee)
5. That generic substance in the yellow package
6. Corned Beef
7. Oscar Meyer's Ham and Cheese Loaf
8. Maple Leaf's Alcan Highway Smoked Meat Roll
9. Iraqi Gold Spiced Goat
10. Shaved Deli Worker Index Finger Tip.
The US hockey team was eliminated at the Olympics today by Finland.
Does anybody know how Canada did?
I'm bummed for the Canadians too because I actually know more of Team Canada's players than Team USA's.
I watched the men's parallel snowboard slalom races.
I discovered that the red course was giving the boarders trouble because the commentators pointed that out on EVERY race.
But those guys don't no anything because the two guys I actually saw fall were on the BLUE course when they fell.
The racers looked really old! No long hair. No iPods. Stubby facial hair growth to show that they weren't the prepubescent types that rule the half pipe and cross snowboard events.
And how about that Winnepegger Cindy Klassen?
Four medals, more than any other Canadian in one Winter Olympics, with one event to go.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Four jobs I've had:
Delivery man (meat)
Greyhound dog caretaker
Border Patrol Agent
Four movies I can watch over and over:
Four places I've lived:
La Paz, Bolivia
Charleston, South Carolina
Four TV shows I love:
Hill Street Blues
The Gong Show
That show that Seymore Butts is in (because of cousin Stevie)
Four places I've vacationed:
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Four of my favorite dishes:
Kung Pao Chicken
Four sites I visit daily:
Four places I would rather be right now:
And believe me. It aint even close to being for the reason you first thought.
The wind whips through the windows
The curtains are long gone
I watched them pass to the ages
Like I watched her dress
Her long brown hair
The tear down her cheek
A young bride and a soldier long gone
Still fighting the war
In the far off death filled trenches
Never any word
Of his ending
Or his resting place
She waits to see him crest the hill
To walk down the path
I thought she would go to him
But she waits here
And I wait too
She seems so sure
She slipped over to my world
On a sunny summer's day
She left the curtains drawn
But she can't leave
Lest he return
To lie with her
She gazes in my direction
Asking without speaking
I beckon her to come with me
She turns away
Lest he return
To lie with her
I was just downstairs eating lunch and my wife was eating with me in the living room so of course we were watching CBC's live coverage of the ladies figure skating short program. I was surprised to see a skater who was not as petite as the others. She was very pretty and she had a wonderful outfit on. She was graceful enough on the ice but nowhere near the caliber of the others.
Her name is Silvia Fontana and she is 29 years old. She came out of retirement because it was important to her to skate for her native Italy in Olympic games on her native Italian soil. She did so knowing that she has very little chance of medaling.
Competing on the world stage for such a passionate reason makes her a winner in my book and is the brave mark of a champion in life.
THAT'S why I love the Olympics.
For those of you who have not read all the comments, I am currently working on short stories of fictional past lives. Some are much shorter than others but I feel they are all complete. I'm the main character and one of the people on my links is the support player.
It's fun but hard sometimes. I try to get a feel of each of you from your blogs and then dream up a story of me and you in another life. Of course, as you have seen one is a song and one consists of petroglyphs.
I think I have like eight more to do. All of these stories were given titles except for the petroglyphs.
When I am done I may list the titles and who the story is about or who I am talking about. That depends on you guys. I am kind of nervous about doing that because of how I value all of you and certainly don't want my work interpreted wrongly.
Feel free to guess while I write away. At the end I will tell you if you were right.
All the works are my own creation and any similarity to any actual person(s) living or dead is purely coincidental.
Wow! Just like them movie fellas say!
I will tell you that Solo Act is part of a speech I gave to a group of military academy cadets in 1915. I was invited to speak because I had taken part in Pershing's incursion into Mexico and I was an alumni of that fine institution.
|Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate|
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.
You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!
A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.
Yeah, and I LOOK just like that too!
Every man accumulates a great deal of regret during his life so plan on grabbing your share. That being said you may now shake off the petty fear that would make you hesitate in words of actions. Decide that you are going to go through life unafraid of people and you will quickly learn how to size them up. Nurture the wheat that reaches for the sun and mow down the weed who's only purpose is to stop the achievement of the hesitant.
Strive to walk with firm steps because often those who do are people who many chose to follow. Not all can see as clear as others and need a clear path. That is what defines leadership. Some follow because they see clearly and some follow who are not sure. It is the latter who need the greatest talent of a true leader so strive to bring those people along and that is how you will measure your success.
Do not give blind devotion to those who lead you. Always challenge them to define their path and search for consistency of action. Their goals are not always your goals. Their journey's end is not necessarily yours. Do not be surprised to end up following one who followed you for a time. It is the greatest compliment to you that one strove to surpass your mark and it is good that somebody else carries the burden for a time. You will gain the satisfaction when that person pauses to seek your counsel.
Learn that sometimes if you get to the goal alone, you have failed.
Learn that sometimes if you do not get there first, you have not failed.
Learn that if you carried somebody to the goal it means that you are stronger than those who got there ahead of you.
Monday, February 20, 2006
I don't need more complication in my life
I don't need your confirmation of my strife
I don't want these misunderstandings
So I'm going to set you and I down
And walk away one last time
Time to put some highway miles between us
Time to let a two lane road seperate us
Time for me to throw in the towel
And put the boxing match we've become
In my rear view mirror
You're the majority
of my daily thoughts
You're the priority
of my action
I gave my heart and soul
yet you felt that lacking
I gave it all
but I aint giving
All the gauges of this plane are fine so now I can concentrate on the picture of my wife and son. I fly for them. To save them from the invaders. I know I owe my allegiance to the emperor but he's a god who should be able to take care of himself. My boy was asleep when I left and my wife was tearful. She will be tearful again but my son will live to honor his father as I honor mine. He will grow strong because of my sacrifice. Very soon they will move from Tokyo to the safety of my mother-in-law's house in Hiroshima.
I honor my wife as the mother that will raise a proud son as my mother raised me to be proud.
I can see ships below through the broken clouds that I and the others will use as cover before we descend like samurai to destroy the enemy. I left my boy while he was sleeping. I hope he is awake now. I hope his eyes are open. That way I will not come to him as a dream that startles him from slumber. I hope he is gazing at the sky so that he remembers his father as a hawk swooping down toward his prey.
4. Isley Brothers
5. Anita Baker
6. Billy Joel
7. Alicia Keys
8. Julio Iglesias
9. James Brown
10. Tina Turner
We rule over all that we can see
The world and you and me
Two spontaneous spirits so carefree
So me and my gal cruised the neighborhood from the park down to the shore looking at each other and laughing at the silliness of the people. Avoiding the capture and stealing from the have too much and keeping for us. Wrestling on the lawn while the sprinklers drenched us to contentment in the summer sun. Dodging traffic and spinning skirted ladies like dervishes and the swing and miss brooms of the fruit stand owner.
We cruise the back alley adventureland and scat the cats up the fire escapes to scream their disdain while we shouted back insults from below. In our hideaway backyard we bask in the early afternoon sun while the world continues racing through the void at breakneck speed.
My gal and I huddled under shelter when the thunderstorms clear the streets except for the odd newspaper umbrella running for the bus. Then to dinner at our favorite back door diner where the tattooed man tells us we have it good.
And we do.
Sorry if they're not elaborate answers but I just aint that kinda guy.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Abandonment by my family.
Where would you like to live?
Cocorit, Mexico. Oruro, Bolivia. Portal, Arizona.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Having the money to be able to travel the world with 3 or 4 cameras and shuttle between those three places.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Procrastination and lust.
Who are your favorite heroes/heroines of fiction?
John Clarke (a Tom Clancy character) Tuco (The Ugly) Rooster Cogburn.
Who are your favorite characters in history?
Wyatt Earp, Simon Bolivar, Pancho Villa.
Who are your favorite heroes/heroines in real life?
I have no heroes or heroines.
Who is your favorite painter?
Not a clue.
Your favorite musician?
Joni Mitchell, Prince, Pat Metheny.
The quality you most admire in a man?
Balls. (meaning leadership)
The quality you most admire in a woman?
Motherhood. (one word that means so much as you mothers know)
Your favorite virtue?
Patience. (something I have very little of)
Your favorite occupation?
Who would you have liked to be?
Wealthy enough to not have had to work but bored enough to go out and become a well known photographer who is much sought out for portraiture by famous people. That way since I don't need the money I could tell them to sod off.
Your most marked characteristic?
What do you most value in your friends?
Their ability to sense when it's time to leave me the hell alone.
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite flower?
What is your favorite bird?
The one I use while driving.
Who are your favorite prose writers?
Joyce. (but only because Sally Kellerman read Gibralter Was A Girl so sexy in Back to School)
Who are your favorite poets?
Me and all the staff down at Burma Shave.
What is it you most dislike?
The way my job is trying to turn me into a racist.
What historical figures do you most despise?
George W. Bush, Cortez, De Soto and all the Spanish butchers who invaded the new world.
What event in military history do you most admire?
The crossing of the Delaware by Washington's army.
What reform do you most admire?
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
The ability to hit a pitched baseball.
How would you like to die?
With the time to say goodbye.
What is your present state of mind?
What is your motto?
There's nothing like a woman, or two.
My woman died from winter sickness that took many in my village so when the spring came and ships sailed to Ireland I went along to find a new woman. I had not gone before but the plan was to be in Ireland for a long time and as a skilled shipmaker I was asked to go. I could also handle a sword and it was known that we would have to conquer the port again. The last time they had gone with six ships but this time we were taking fifty.
The Irish put up a decent fight but there were too many of us for them and the fight was soon finished. I soon picked out a woman. A spirited woman. I don't know if she just gave up the fight or maybe she liked the look of me but she settled down and wasn't a bad cook. Soon she was heavy with child and I started to learn about this god she prayed to. I pray to many gods so one more wouldn't be a bad thing.
A boy was born and she seemed happy. I was happy to because a son brings good luck. I just hoped that he would live to be a man.
I found a man who could tell me what she said when she spoke so I learned that her man had died in the same winter as my first woman. He also told me that she would stay with me if I promised to protect her from the others and provide for her. Since that is what I was doing anyway I promised.
We had another son and a daughter and the boys learned my craft and the girl learned house things. I learned to talk her language because our children could talk both. The day came that it was time for us to go back to my home because the Irish were becoming more successful with their raids and wars on the outer settlements of my people.
She told me she would go if I prayed to her god and the priest made us holy. I did because one more god was good to have and I liked having her around.
Miss Whitington brought her newborn Jessica to my Sara so she could nurse. Although she might not have meant it to be that way it was a comfort to Sara since we had lost our second son that same night he was born. Jessica didn't seem to mind that she was suckling a negro breast and she became quite attached to Sara and I as she grew up. Children, even in the south, didn't see negro slaves as property as much as they saw the different colored people as adventures and curiosity. But it was a naivete that went away when they got older.
Mister Whitington let me take Jessica with me when I went to different parts of the plantation because he could look in my eyes and know that I would protect that child with my own life. She was a restless child so I imagine it was nice to have the house quiet for a couple of hours so she went along with me. She would play with the other children around the slave's quarters and when she got older and started school she knew not to mention that there was a negro school of sorts on the plantation her daddy owned.
You see it was against the law for negroes to learn to read and write but everybody in town seemed to ignore that I could because I was a house negro not a field negro so I could drive the buggy into town and pick Jessica up from Miss Brown's dance school. Jessica rode in the back until we were out of town then she climbed up front with me.
Now her brother Jacob was a different story because he had been told as a boy by his daddy that one day he would own the plantation and would run the entire operation so of course he looked at me differently than Jessica who would grow up to marry a plantation owner and just run the household. He was cordial enough but distant when it came to personal interaction with us.
Jessica was about 13 when the war started because Jacob was 17 and I recall there being 4 years between them. Another child had been stillborn between them. Jacob went off to fight and when word came back six months later that he was killed the whole feeling of the house changed. I was sad that Jacob was killed because he was a good boy and war is just wrong. Of course the whites looked at us different because it was supposed to be our fault that this war was going on.
Jessica was inconsolable when Jacob died. It was only the two of them and the news came just as the family was packing to move closer to Atlanta for protection. Nobody thought what happened to Atlanta could ever happen and in fact the last time I saw Atlanta I couldn't see it through all the smoke from the fires. By then Jessica had changed so much and didn't want anything to do with me and Sara. She didn't know that we were getting ready to make our run from the place. I felt that the war was coming to a bad end for the south and the lynchings were happening more and more.
I went to talk to Jessica on the day before we left and by then she had changed so much that she wasn't the girl I saw grow up. Maybe that girl was still deep inside her and that's what I hoped because she was angry and actually called me a nigger. It was one of the sad days of my life.
Sara and me ran off and while most of the slaves were heading to what they thought was the freedom of the north we had decided to head west so we didn't have to go through the remnants of the war and the rag tag leftovers of a defeated army that had sunk to looting what the came across and lynching any negro they found.
That was so many years ago and I tell you because I ended up working for another plantation owner but in the hotel he bought in Texas. He was smart enough to sell and get out because he knew that war was starting. Me and Sara and our two children have a house just outside of town. They're not our born children but two that we found abandoned on the road two days from Atlanta. We took them and raised them as our own and now our boy Nate is in the Cavalry and rides in a unit along with white men. Cassie is in school and wants to be a school teacher.
But not two long ago a couple took a room at the hotel and I recognized the woman right off. It was Miss Brown, the woman who had the dance school Jessica went to back home. It turned out that she lives not too far from Jessica. They both ended up in Savannah after the war. She told me that Jessica married a man who has a dry goods store and does some shipping business too and that they have three sons. One named Jacob of course and one named Thomas which was Jessica's daddy's name and when she told me the youngest's name my heart stopped for a second. William was the youngest son's name. His daddy isn't named William and his grandpa's name isn't William. William is MY name.
I told Sara and she told me I was foolish to think she named her son after a negro slave but I said I knew in my heart that it was so. I found out that I was right when the letter came. You see, the Browns were headed back to Savannah from visiting their boy in Arizona and they told Jessica where I was. I could read the happiness in her words on the three pages. It's still much too dangerous for a negro to travel through the south but I wished I could make the trip to see her face and look at those boys. She said that she was sad about what she had said to me and that the memory burdened her but I wrote back and tried to lift that burden and I think I did because now I get a letter from her about every month.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
I promised her that I would finish the journey for both of us. For all three of us and the next day I laid her and our unborn child to rest. The call of the wolves behind haunted me even as San Francisco came into sight. The city is so big that we saw the it's glow for two nights before reaching the city limits on the third day at dusk.
The streets smell of vomit and animal mess and the hotel smells of cigar and liquor. We left a family farm in Virginia to find a farm in the vastness of California. A place of our own where we could grow.
Instead I left her behind in the hell of cold and snow they call the rocky mountains.
Now I've come to the end of the trail that I curse. I have a revolver in my hand and one more journey to make.
I lose track of time because when I look out over the sea all I see is her face. I lose all point of reference until we round the southern tip of Africa and the sails are stretched drum tight with wind. The seas are capped white with the chop waves that make me feel as if there is no ship at all and I am lost adrift.
And in a sense I am lost because the Cape Of Good Hope has me wanting for my return voyage and my arrival to her arms again.
Madagascar awaits and my share of many months is a good one when we reach Spain again.
There is only the longing that carries a heavy price but I loved the sea before I loved the woman and I'm no good on land. The ox and the plow are not for me when there are the endless stars of the deep black sea and the coming and going of the sun on endless horizon.
Luck did not grant me a ship's captaincy but luck brought me the love that waits the mariner's return. Rounding the cape is half the journey done.
Well part of it is because Canadians boo American teams for the simple reason that they're American teams and friends of mine were harassed and insulted at the world juniors in Vancouver for supporting our team.
But most of it is because David beat Goliath again.
I was happy when the USA beat the Russians and then the Fins to take gold in 1980.
I was happy when Brazil beat the #1 ranked USA men's volleyball team to take gold.
I was happy when Sarah Hughes came out of nowhere to win gold in figure skating.
I was happy when the Italians beat both the Brazilians and the Argentines to take the World Cup in 1982.
You see, tomorrow is now a national holiday in Switzerland and guys who were nobodys are now very likely to have streets and schools and sports venues and babies in their home towns named after them.
Years from now Swiss will look back on this like Canadians look at 1972 and children will brag proudly about what their grandfathers did in Torino.
Meanwhile Goliath will shrug the loss off and regroup for another foe.
But for now, long live King David.
Friday, February 17, 2006
You grew up in the 60's and 70's listening to Jimi and Janis and Elton and Steely Dan.
And now the Swollen frikkin' Members, a hip hop group has put you on their guest list for the show in Bellingham???
Don't EVEN tell me that now you're contemplating buying one of their CD's.
Okay, I won't tell you.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Sorry it is that we meet this way
But I'm in a bad way
I just don't know this time
If they'll kill me
Or if I will get away
I know I can't ask you to hide me
Later you will deny me
I won't be caged again
Tonight's my end
Jesus what's become of me
Let me catch my breath
And I'll be gone
Out the back way
I'll lead them far away
But I'll leave this behind
I'll go down by the river
With the bags
And a few bills
And they'll never suspect
The real reason
You moved away
My life of crime ends when they find me
It ends when they corner me
I'll shoot over their heads
It'll pin them down
Until the gun goes empty on me
Let me catch my breath
And I'll be gone
Go far away
Lay in the sun for me
Don't bother with thoughts of me
And how I went so very wrong
Live the life
Find the quiet
Leave the city far behind
Like it left me
So long ago
Jump Jump Joanie and she called me Fast Freddie Five Fingers because I could always walk into the Dominican grocery without money and come out with a pack of juicy fruit when I wanted to. I gave her the name because she loved that crazy latin dance music that poured out of the row house dance clubs and we used to dance on the roof. She showed me what was what up in that roof but she was never my girlfriend and I was the only one who knew. When I graduated from gum to Lucky Strikes I'd stand lookout for her and Crazy Carola from up the street. They got along just fine but it was a secret that nobody knows.
Jump Jump used to push my chest real hard to get me to learn to take a blow and stand my ground and I pushed back until she started growing those reasons for me not to. Once Crazy was still ready to go and I was just standing there so I was convenient. I was old enough and had been around enough to realize that Crazy was into more than just girls.
Jump and Crazy and me used to take the 34 line down to the shore in the summer and find a place away from everybody so we could lie naked in the sun. Crazy brought some mary jane once and we smoked and got high like the black guys four blocks down from where we lived on the west side. I don't know why it's called the west side because there was much more further west of us that there was east.
Jump came downtown with me when I left and gave me a big kiss on the lips like we we the same as all the other lovers on the platform. She told me that her and Crazy were heading to California in a week or a month or two. I got a post card from St Louis when I was in basic. All it said was "keep your............head down". Somebody had scratched out the word, but knowing Jump it was "fucking".
I heeded her advice and made it off the beach into France and then Paris where some of the girls ranked right up there with Crazy. It was a time to rest before we started off for a place on the map called Bastone. The snow was just starting to fall.
Mr and Mrs Gallo,
The War Department regrets to inform you that your son.........
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The drive out west is always such a pain now that I'd made it so many times. I was looking to add some adventure to it and it was lunch time so I stopped at a roadside diner in Oklahoma. The place had caught my eye because of what looked like picnic tables out back under some large trees.
The place was about half full and I asked that gal at the counter if I could take my meal out to the tables outside and she looked puzzled for a second then looked back at the cook who shrugged his shoulders. She said that the tables were never used and that they were dirty but sure, I could go out there.
I went out to the car to get the newspaper I bought in Joplin to use as a sorta table cloth. The wind wasn't too bad so a couple of rocks held that paper down when I put my food down. About 100 yards away sat three small houses where I guess the owners of the diner lived. There was a woman hanging clothes on the line and she stopped when she saw me. I suppose she was curious as to why somebody was eating out there.
The wind moved her long hair when it gusted and the hanging sheets made me think of the sailing ships of Columbus I read about as a kid. I moved my sandwich off the newspaper and lifted the rocks allowing the wind to send the paper flying toward the houses, and the woman.
We ended up looking into each other's faces as we picked up the last of the sports section.
"I've never seen anybody eat at those tables".
"That's funny because after a few hours in a car you would think that people wouldn't want to sit inside smelling other people eat".
She laughed and said that she never thought of it that way. She told me that she had been working at this place for about eight months and that her cousin's husband owned the place. She split from her husband and needed to get away and they needed somebody to help out so it fit everybody's needs.
Then a young boy, about 5 or 6 I would have guessed came running out of one of the houses to grab onto her leg and look at me as if he was here to protect his mother from the stranger. I struck me to the core.
"Is this your brave knight sent to protect you from the strange and the unknown"?
"Yes, he is very protective" she said as she reached down to stroke his hair.
"You are very brave sir knight".
I returned to the table to grab the lunch that I would now finish in the car as I drove on to Los Angeles. The return trip would take me far north of the diner and I would not make the trip again until the next spring. The diner was shut down and the house had been abandoned. The clothes line stood bare as I approached the spot where I had talked to the woman and her child.
I looked at the small knight on horseback toy that I had brought with me. I walked over to the picnic table where I had sat before and set the figurine down so that he would be forever charging the sunrise.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
If you've watched slalom ski racing you've seen those blue and red "gates" that the athletes weave in and out of and many times hit with their legs. I've held those poles in my hands because at Calgary the local Canadian club ski teams would come through with them all bundled up on their way to compete in Colorado or Utah.
Trust me when I tell you boys and girls,
when skiers hit those polls,
Gold medal winning speed skater Joey Cheek has donated his $25,000 bonus given to him by the U.S. Olympic Committee to a charity that aids the children of the Darfur region. Cheek also challanged his sponsors to match the donation.
Cheek quoted his mother.
"Not to have good intentions, but to do good things".
Cheek plans to visit the Darfur region.
Monday, February 13, 2006
You call me selfish because you forget what I've given
It's got Teflon because I love you
I swear I put her in my rear view mirror this time
Don't get mad, "bitch" means I love you in Kentucky
I was looking at the ass because I wanted to buy you that brand of pants
Judge Judy calls that hearsay so it aint true
Your cousin did ME, not the other way around
Put the knife down and I'll give you the last beer
I was mad, she don't mean nothin to me
Does half of everything mean the TV too?
I said I was sorry, now take your clothes off
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
Ladies and gents. I give you the American hope for a bushel of gold medals.
The Flying Tomato.
The tomato won gold. Kids these days. Who can figure?
I LOVE the Olympics. I just watched the opening ceremony live on the CBC. (Canadian Broadcast) I love CBC's coverage, for the most part, because it just craps over the coverage of whichever US network has'em.
I love that they showed ALL the countries walk in to the stadium. Congrats go to the Mongolian team for having the best hats.
Now on with the games.
Of course I cheer for the Americans but I LOVE to see the underdogs win. I love to see any athlete win their country's first ever medal. I love to see any medal winner get emotional on the stand because that's true heart and soul. I love that they show the performance of an athlete from a country that has no real winter sports and see that the crowd gives them the biggest ovation because that's true love for your fellow man.
Toss the politics, toss the commentary, toss the fashion, toss the ratings games.
Show us the games!
Show us the new heroes!
Zona Boy blog post. June 2036
My daughter said that I seemed lonely and that maybe I should consider remarrying. I told her that there WAS this woman I met at the nursing home that I kinda liked. She was so happy to hear that until I introduced Colette after we eloped to France to get married.
She was SHOCKED.
I said, "what, you thought I was talking about a woman who LIVED at the nursing home"?
photo by Sacha Dean Biyan
Thursday, February 09, 2006
CNN reports that Ireland is in a state of panic as sporadic flooding due to heavy rains is reported throughout the country.
In a long line of people waiting for a bank teller, one guy suddenly started massaging the back of the person in front of him.
Surprised, the man in front turned and snarled, "Just what the hell are you doing? "Well," said the guy, "you see, I'm a Chiropractor and I could see that you were tense, so I had to massage your back."
"Sometimes I just can't help practicing my art!"
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" the guy replied.
"I work for Revenue Canada. Do you see me fucking the guy in front of me?"
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Just some screwing around shots at work today. The top was the view I had from my assigned work space for about 12 hours.
I can't even BEGIN to tell you how angry this makes me.
It's my political statement of the week.
February 07, 2006
Soldier pays for armor
Army demanded $700 from city man who was wounded
By Eric EyreStaff writer
The last time 1st Lt. William “Eddie” Rebrook IV saw his body armor, he was lying on a stretcher in Iraq, his arm shattered and covered in blood.
A field medic tied a tourniquet around Rebrook’s right arm to stanch the bleeding from shrapnel wounds. Soldiers yanked off his blood-soaked body armor. He never saw it again.
But last week, Rebrook was forced to pay $700 for that body armor, blown up by a roadside bomb more than a year ago.
He was leaving the Army for good because of his injuries. He turned in his gear at his base in Fort Hood, Texas. He was informed there was no record that the body armor had been stripped from him in battle.
He was told to pay nearly $700 or face not being discharged for weeks, perhaps months.
Rebrook, 25, scrounged up the cash from his Army buddies and returned home to Charleston last Friday.
“I last saw the [body armor] when it was pulled off my bleeding body while I was being evacuated in a helicopter,” Rebrook said. “They took it off me and burned it.”
But no one documented that he lost his Kevlar body armor during battle, he said. No one wrote down that armor had apparently been incinerated as a biohazard.
Rebrook’s mother, Beckie Drumheler, said she was saddened — and angry — when she learned that the Army discharged her son with a $700 bill. Soldiers who serve their country, those who put their lives on the line, deserve better, she said.
“It’s outrageous, ridiculous and unconscionable,” Drumheler said. “I wanted to stand on a street corner and yell through a megaphone about this.”
Rebrook was standing in the turret of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle when the roadside bomb exploded Jan. 11, 2005. The explosion fractured his arm and severed an artery. A Black Hawk helicopter airlifted him to a combat support hospital in Baghdad.
He was later flown to a hospital in Germany for surgery, then on to Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital in Washington, D.C., for more surgeries. Doctors operated on his arm seven times in all.
But Rebrook’s right arm never recovered completely. He still has range of motion problems. He still has pain when he turns over to sleep at night.
Even with the injury, Rebrook said he didn’t want to leave the Army. He said the “medical separation” discharge was the Army’s decision, not his.
So after eight months at Fort Hood, he gathered up his gear and started the “long process” to leave the Army for good.
Things went smoothly until officers asked him for his “OTV,” his “outer tactical vest,” or body armor, which was missing. A battalion supply officer had failed to document the loss of the vest in Iraq.
“They said that I owed them $700,” Rebrook said. “It was like ‘thank you for your service, now here’s the bill for $700.’ I had to pay for it if I wanted to get on with my life.”
In the past, the Army allowed to soldiers to write memos, explaining the loss and destruction of gear, Rebrook said.
But a new policy required a “report of survey” from the field that documented the loss.
Rebrook said he knows other soldiers who also have been forced to pay for equipment destroyed in battle.
“It’s a combat loss,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a cost passed on to the soldier. If a soldier’s stuff is hit by enemy fire, he shouldn’t have to pay for it.”
Rebrook said he tried to get a battalion commander to sign a waiver on the battle armor, but the officer declined. Rebrook was told he’d have to supply statements from witnesses to verify the body armor was taken from him and burned.
“There’s a complete lack of empathy from senior officers who don’t know what it’s like to be a combat soldier on the ground,” Rebrook said. “There’s a whole lot of people who don’t want to help you. They’re more concerned with process than product.”
Rebrook, who graduated with honors from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., spent more than four years on active duty. He served six months in Iraq.
Now, Rebrook is sending out résumés, trying to find a job. He plans to return to college to take a couple of pre-med classes and apply to medical school. He wants to be a doctor someday.
“From being an infantryman, I know what it’s like to hurt people,” Rebrook said. “But now I’d like to help people.”
That was very enjoyable.
I've met Jerome Iginla and every time I see him we talk for about five or ten minutes. Rarely about hockey, mostly about our families. I will tell you that Jerome is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. When he sees that kids have spotted him he usually goes over to talk to them because he knows that most are too nervous to come talk to him.
This next story happened in Salt Lake City during the 2004 Olympics.
Jerome had just finished dinner at the restaurant in his hotel when he was approached by four avid Canadian hockey fans from Calgary. Of course they were excited to see him and told him that they had gotten tickets to the gold medal hockey game. The game was a few days off so Jerome asked where the guys were staying. One guy replied that they had spent all their money on the tickets (which had to be at least $500 a piece) so they were just sleeping in the car they had driven down from Calgary.
Jerome told the four guys to wait for him and that he would be right back. When Jerome appeared again he handed the guys keys to a room in the hotel. Jerome had gone and gotten these guys a room and had paid for it. A room in Salt Lake during the Olympics which we all know was not cheap for guys he had never met, but guys who were Canadian hockey fans from Calgary.
So next time that Jerome scores on your team you can accept it just a little better OR when you see him get in a fight you can listen close and hear me yelling, "kick his ass Iggy"!!
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
|You Are 4% Abnormal|
You are at low risk for having a borderline personality. It is unlikely that you are a chaotic mess.
You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.
You are at low risk for having a social phobia. It is unlikely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.
You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.
It is hard to believe that Salt Lake was 4 years ago. I was in Calgary at the time and since Calgary is in the same time zone, and is situated at about the same altitude, and still has world class facilities because the winter games were there in '88, just about ALL of the athletes were there tuning up for the games. So of course we saw them all come through us on their way to Salt Lake City and let me tell you it was a BLAST.
Air Canada sent a plane down chuck full of the Canadian team members and what was hysterical was that somebody decided that the women's hockey team's equipment would go on this flight even though the women's hockey team wasn't on board. So what happened was that about half the luggage was left off the flight. That luggage was then put on a truck for the 14 hour drive down to Salt Lake. So a lot of those people, mainly the figure skating team, the speed skating team, and all the officials arrived in Salt Lake to find out that their luggage did not make it on to the flight.
The women's hockey team went down on a flight a couple of days later and yours truly happened to have a white team Canada hat and now has the autograghs of the entire gold medal winning team on the hat. I told them to go win gold and they asked why I wanted them to win and I said "because I met you girls and you were so nice and you're in it to win it now go do it" and they were so touched by my remarks that I'm sure it carried them to victory.
All of the athletes were issued their credentials prior to traveling and we were supposed to check to make sure that they had them. Well here comes the entire Russian bobsled and luge contingent and NOBODY speaks English and we don't speak Russian and I was in secondary with them and we were making hand signals and we were chanting "GO U.S.A." and they were chanting what probably translated to "you guys are sons of motherless goats" but we were ALL laughing and then here comes the ENTIRE Russian speed and figure skating contingent and THEY have the credentials for the bobsled and lugers and hands were shaken and good lucks were wished and they all made the flight.
And then the Canadian ski team came through and I got some pins from one of the guys and I told him to go win gold.
And then the German curlers came through, and the Chinese speed and figure skaters gave me a pin, and the American women's curling team gave me a pin which I gave to a friend who works for United Airlines because his dad collects curling pins. You see, with me it was the experience of meeting all these people and then the pin would get tossed in a drawer instead of being a part of somebody's display of pins that has the really cool story of unexpected kindness.
Then the Irish bobsled team came through and gave me a t shirt that was way too small because there aren't too many 260 pound bobsleders so I gave that to a friend I work with who's Irish to give to his sister and EVERYBODY in the pub in Chicago went nuts when she walked in wearing it.
Then the German ski team came through and gave me a patch that I sent to a friend of German descent.
What a week that was. In total I would guess that 90% of the athletes came through the airport at Calgary.
That was my Olympic experience.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Monday's weather forecast for the lower mainland is rain. It's a certainty boys and girls. How can I be so sure? Easy, I have a tee time for 11:20 at Point Roberts.
For those of you not living in the Vancouver area this picture looks a lot like the course at Point Roberts.
Where do I go from here?
Today I met the other two Hansen brothers. I had met one in Calgary some years ago when his son was playing in a hockey tournament. Slap Shot is part of Canadian lore. I know guys who can recite the whole movie. So now my mission in Canada is about complete. I have met most of the most famous Canadians around.
Don Cherry, David Suzuki, Jann Arden, Matthew Good, Bret Hart, Ralph Klein, Ron MacLean, Pitt, Jerome Iginla, Mario Lemieux, Lanny McDonald, Five of the six Sutter brothers.
Granted the Hansen brothers are Americans but if all Canadian males took a vote to decide which three Americans would be the only Americans allowed into Canada it would probably be them.
All I have left is Gretsky, Sue Johansen, and Red Green and my quest will be over.
Today for whatever reason there was a surplus of women donning pants printed with designs that gave me the impression that they were going to play golf.................................on Jupiter.
A kid puked in my line today. Poor guy. But it reminded me of the time one of my kids puked without warning. My daughter sat up in bed one time and puked. I asked her if she knew it was coming and when she replied yes I told her that the next time she puked in bed (and she pretty much coated the bed with vomit) she could just lay back down and go to sleep in the mess. The alternative I explained, was to get up and make it to the bathroom. She never puked in bed again. Anywho I gave this kid's mother a bunch of kleenex and she cleaned the kid up. THEN she stretches her puke soaked klennex holding hand to me and asks if I have a garbage in my booth. Yeah, I wanna smell that all day. I pointed to the trash can across the room.
I saw a guy named Drave today. I mention this because it amazes me how Canadians come up with names for their kids. This guy was American so I tell you this to kind of balance things out. I wonder how many times this guy has had to say "no, DRave" in his life.
One of our security guards told me I look younger with my hair short. I've decided to shave my head and hit the meat market in downtown Vancouver next weekend. Now if I could only shave this gut.
Two Earl's girls came by. I LOVE Earl's girls. Almost as much as I love Earl's chowder.
I'd been mulling over what to get the wife for Valentine's Day when she mentioned that the oil in her car needs to be changed. Problem solved!
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Moron: Am I going to make my flight?
Me: I don't know.
Moron: Is it raining in.....?
Me: I don't know.
Moron: Is my luggage in here somewhere?
Me: I don't know.
And some more questions I get proving that they are indeed, MORONS.
Moron: I wasn't sure how to answer this question about food. I have some sandwiches. Do you consider that food?
Me: Are you going to EAT the sandwiches?
Moron: (at 5AM) So you're working the early shift?
Moron: Are you Canadian?
Moron: Is a horse considered livestock?
Me: Is it a LIVE horse?
Moron: Can my wife come too? (he doesn't know if I want them to come up together)
Me: It'll cost extra. (I don't use that much but it always soars right by'em)
Lady: Are you available? (meaning she wasn't sure if she could come to my booth to be processed)
Me: Are you discreet?
She got that one right away and we then had a really good conversation for about ten minutes. You see, I'll talk to people who interest me but the majority I just want to get out of my face.
Here's the most common exchange between me and travelers.
Me: Put it all on the counter. (because they have all of the paperwork I need to see in their hands)
Moron: What do you want of this?
Me: I want all of it.
Moron: Do you want the boarding passes?
Me: I want ALL of it.
Moron: Do you need this too? (a form they must fill out)
Me: All means EVERYTHING.
By then 9 out of 10 of them have figured it out. The other moron still thinks I'm kidding.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Vancouver, BC 51
Tucson, AZ 0
And in the valley of shadowless things
They pray for thunderclouds and rain
But to the multitudes who stand in the rain
Heaven is where the sun shines
Genesis (the band, not the book)
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Season one of the greatest TV show ever made was released on DVD yesterday.
My copy is at the post office in Point Roberts waiting for me.
I used to enjoy watching them when they were unaware that I was watching them. No, I wasn't spying on my kids. I might be in the same room watching TV and they would be playing or drawing or coloring and I would watch. I always wanted to see what they did and how they acted when they didn't think they had an audience.
Tonight and last night I attended a festival of one act plays that my daughter's high school drama classes presented.
Last night my daughter played the role of Nanny in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds. Nanny has no lines. She just sits at a table in a wheelchair doing things like drink tea as the action goes on around her. That was fun to watch because my daughter played the part of an old senile woman who had movements to perform. Subtle, but believable movements.
Tonight she played the main character role of Paul in The Rocking Horse Winner. Paul is a 13 year old boy in the play and it is a role much too complicated to explain here. When it was all over I was so amazed that this girl who I argue with and laugh with and have tried to raise the best I can could become this character and do such a fine job of something she likes to do.
When the actors came out to take their curtain call my daughter was missing. Later she came out into the lobby where we were and I asked. She told me that she was so embarrassed that she couldn't come out to take a bow. It wasn't that she thought she was bad in the play. She's just that way.
Just like when she'ld catch me watching her play when she was much younger.
Ah to be young again.
My son the drummer has moved back home for the time being. He and a friend drove across the frikkin ROCKY frikkin MOUNTAINS in the frikkin WINTERTIME in a 1966 Plymouth. The friend has a truck too but he told me that the last time he drove the truck over from Calgary he burned as much oil as gasoline.
I'm just glad we didn't see pictures of this sled BEFORE they set out across the snow and mud covered mountain range. For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of the region allow me to tell you that it is an 11 hour drive to Vancouver from Calgary on a GOOD day and that at least 8 of those hours you are in mountains and a good portion of that time you are on two lane, traffic each way, roads because Canada has yet to grasp the idea of highways.
The boys wisely completed the trek in two days.
I have a 2004 Buick and it would take a hot tub full of friendly ladies in the presidential suite at the Palisier Hotel in Calgary to convince ME to make that drive during the winter.
I was in the parking lot of Target in Bellingham when I saw one of those ridiculous car ribbon magnets. It said.
I was in the turlet at the grocery store and somebody had used a black marker to write "Janet Jackson" on the wall. Janet Jackson what?
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