Sunday, December 30, 2012


My 2012 has been okay. I might even say good. I'm afraid to jinx it, cause there is still one day left. So what happened.

Mine started out with a trip back overseas to the UK and France. My first time in Paris was quite nice and the weather held up and we were blessed to have friends staying in the downtown section where we were able to crash. Paris seemed a little more comfortable than London. At least on the surface. But London remains my favorite city in the world, so far, in my limited travel experience.

I found out the band could successfully move on despite the devastating loss of our friend/bass player who had to resign due to family obligations. Another local friend, also named Andrew, filled in, and the TQI machine keeps rollin on straight ahead, with more songs on the horizon. It's still great fun after almost eight years. Thank you guys.

Made it to Montreal for a few days in the summer which would prove to be the very last journey I'd be taking in my much loved Mazda3, which broke down about a few weeks after that. I, of course replaced it with my first manual transmission (don't laugh at me) Mazda3, and I'm enjoying driving that car, though I really need to clean the interior and exterior due to snow and salt.

Another improvement I've made is that I'm budgeting better and learning to not eat out as much. Cooking good things that will last long and not being afraid to crack open a canned good every now and again. I got conditioned to cheap rent where I could get away with always eating out, but a year at this new place, which I love, has taught me otherwise. I'm still trying to learn other things I like.

We, of course, had an election between two guys with similar platforms. Their constituents had to pretend differently in order to get enthusiastic and in line to vote. For foreign policy we probably ended up a little better, but economically it seems we're still headed towards a collapse of some sort. Who knows, it's rather amazing it's gone on this long. I guess when you have the greatest military might, you can force other countries to use our meaningless currency.

Overall though, they say things are getting better for everyone on earth. I hope that's true and I hope it was true for you. Be well and live healthy in light of current Health Care legislation.

I remain content in my humble little cozy third floor apartment overlooking Main St. I could see myself living here for a long time. Maybe even dying here. It offers just the right amount of space. The community remains good and like home. Thoughts of going to other places always pop up, but I'd be giving up a lot if I did. Have a good 2013.

((Do as thou wilt.))

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chili Recipe (a rough approximation)

This is a rough approximation of an awesome chili recipe I use. I don't believe in following recipes all that strictly. This is also a cheap hardy mean, spicy, can be served with bread, rice, or with an omelette...

olive oil
minced or chopped garlic
1 dried ancho
2 or 3 canned chipotle pepper
1 habanero or scotch bonnet
1 pablano or cubanelle
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 large of canned tomatoes
cumin, paprika, white pepper, salt, coriander, oregano, flour (or cornstarch)
3 cups of thinly sliced beef (chuck or skirt steak is even better)
2 cups of beef stock
1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of black beans

I like cooking everything in one big kettle so I don't have to wash as much.

1) Coat bottom of kettle with olive oil, crush up your dried ancho, add about a teaspoon of coriander, cumin, paprika, oregano to the mix before anything else, let it heat up awhile, but don't don't burn 'eem.

(SIDENOTE: Experiment with other dried chilies too, you may use as many as you wish, and it will add to the complexity of the flavour)

2) As it starts to warm, ad your onion and 2 or 3 chipotles, and habanero chop up/dice both...the seasonings will coat the onion as you're sauteing, then add the REST of your PEPPERS and your thinly sliced beef. Add a bit more oil if it starts get dry or burn to burn to fast.

3) Throw some salt and white pepper over this...(NOW!)

4) Add your LARGE can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes and let it cook for around 10 minutes or so. I'd suggest cutting them up into small pieces before you add them, but that's your choice.

5) Add about 2 cups of beef stock - Let this cook at least 30 minutes or so, don't cover the pot. Let 'eem simmer. If it starts to boil, then turn down your heat

6) Slowly put 2 teaspoons of flour in, stir as your adding it, this will thickin' it up, be careful, it could clump up on you.....(trust me)

(SIDENOTE: Cornstarch may work for gluten free people)

7) Add Kidney and Black beans, let it cook for about 30 more minutes if possible, or until it turns into the consistency of a should be perfect...if not, add more you see fit...warning, this will be hot, but also beefy and glorious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Greedy Pigs!

What's a greedy capitalistic pig?

Pretty much anyone who starts a business, wants more money, and hires people to work for him/her. Of course this pig doesn't just hire employees, he/she exploits them every time. That's what they get off on. Even though it's a voluntary agreement.

Public school teachers, professors, politicians (to name a few) of course aren't and can never be greedy. Even though salaries are forcefully taken from what others earn. When teachers strike or demonstrate, they of course, are never being greedy. They're just asking for their "fair share." If politicians, making a living off of bribing their constituents with goodies, need more of your money (to fund such goodies and stay in power) they of course are not being greedy. Government can never greedy as it always has our best interests in mind. Ask the Native Americans.

We all need to come together as one, and make sure such pigs...yes, the ones hiring people and creating jobs and livelihoods for others, get punished for their evil greed. Governments always manage funds far more effectively than the private sector and it's best we give them more, so maybe we can all get free health care like "thriving" Europe. We need to be more like (most of) Europe, completely emasculated and dependant on the public trough.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Motivational Blog

Most of us are dull, lazy and miserable. Some may have well paying jobs and nice cars and hair but they still suck and they're still miserable. I see it all the time. There's nothing interesting about them. The same can go for average and poor people - wealth has nothing to do with it, why did I bring it up? But everyone generally sucks. Most of us are on meds for mental health or chronic issues because of our poor diets and societies desire to put us in boxes and feminize the male (Like that whiney pussy Bob Costas). The "man" is kicking everybody's asses so much so that you have a flock of bleeding hearts supporting a war criminal president and supposedly small government factions backing the authoritarian sociopath. Things are flipped upside down in this world and country and that's the way they like it. Good natured, honest and upfront blokes like myself get painted as shady and weird while the creepers run wild. On a daily basis I get crucified for speaking truth to power. They don't want you to do that. Ever. If you ever call things for what they really are, expect to get shit flung at you.

((Let it be known, there was a never a perfect time and my goal was not to romanticize the past as they were full of injustices. Let's move forward.))

The next time I see you at least give me something interesting to talk about. I'm tired of this surface bullshit. But, maybe that's all you got. F#ck you then! Don't even look at me or do something noteworthy. Tell me about something new you learned how to cook. Let me know how that yoga course is helping out your vibe, or how that Remain in Light album changed your outlook on things. Maybe you finally got to nail that big breasted slut who's half your age that lives down street that you've always seen in the coffee shop. Or how you're starting a noise band that sounds like nothing you've ever heard before (sigh). Entertain me. Most importantly, entertain yourself.

The point is, stop being a pathetic douchebag that has nothing to share or contribute. Our existence in this realm is far too short for that kind of lifeless approach. Get the f#ck out of my goddamned way. There are more good times and moving moments to be had and I choose to either make them, or be apart of them. You can help me with this...or like I said, get the f#ck out of my way.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Going Down the Mouth of the Dragon (GDTMD).

A friend, after I mocked him for doing something risky, responded quite calmly and confidently, "hey, gotta down the mouth of the dragon."

This, of course, blew me away. The simplicity and wisdom of the phrase shut me up immediately. I had no comeback for this. I walked into the other room. No more words were ever discussed about it. I understood where he was coming from and I had complete and total respect for that approach.

Recently, I may have gone down the mouth of the dragon, and for now, dare I jinx myself, it seems as though I will be okay. I won't explain what I did, because this is a family blog, but I assure you wasn't very prudent. Generally, when we make decisions to go down the mouth of the dragon, we aren't in our right mind. We're either bored or stressed out. In most cases it's an "in the moment" decision. Might even be impulsive.

Sometimes one needs to GDTMD strictly to come out the other end. Some people don't come out the other and will stuck in the belly. The decision can ruin a life, or make it. Make no mistakes, it's not all glory, but when you make the decision, the consequences seem non existent.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Private Clubs ~ then & now.

There was lots of, what seemed to be, economic diversity where I came from regarding my neighborhood and private grade school. The differences seemed to be a lot more contrasting than they are now. Generally speaking, those who I associate with now, tend to be in my humble income bracket, though I think I'm at the lower end of the average. There are exceptions.

Everyone in my family seemed to be still influenced by the great depression. Cash always seemed tight, bedrooms were cold, as heat was turned down, and barely ever did we eat out as a family. No one really knew how tight things were, or even if they were, but you got the impression things could go under at any moment. This is probably more of a result of anxiety that was nicely passed down to me and one of many reasons why I'd never start a family.

We lived close to housing projects, though I had many friends who were quite well off and had a different approach from our own. Many of these people joined clubs and I had a few friends that were members of such things. This was the 1980s and were, or I was, a wanna-be prep boy so these things seemed quite appealing and while I didn't lose sleep over this, at times I thought it'd be great if our family were members, even though we had no business setting foot into such places.

The first place I remember, I won't mention the name, was just a pool and tennis court club and a decent sized building to change, shower, get snacks, etc. No golf course. It was fenced in and in a decent neighborhood, though near train tracks. Looking back, it didn't seem very elitist, though I was surprised to find out they had a rule that you couldn't play tennis topless (for guys). Not that I ever wanted to play topless, the rule just seemed weird and authoritarian at that time. The fees weren't outrageous, I just checked the site, but maybe it lacked diversity. I have a hard time thinking that that was their policy, but who knows. People who belonged here seemed to all have a similar vibe, upper middle class and white, most probably listened to NPR and voted democrat.

Then there was another club. Others, from another part of town joined this one. One family would join than another would follow. This place was on the river and involved boating, or at least you would think so by the name (again, I won't mention the name). The few people I knew in this club didn't own boats but I guess they wanted to surround themselves around people that owned boats. I got invited once or twice and from what I remember, it had a big dirt parking lot, the tennis courts were on the other side of the property, and the swimming pool was just a swimming pool. There were boats docked in the water I think. I vaguely remember the boats. I remember it being sort of a hot spot for assholes to hang and get drunk and instill that type of faux elitism on their shallow children.

In truth and at the time, in my tiny adolescent brain, both of these places did seem cool. That is, from the outside, on the surface. And, there was a mild disappointment that we weren't apart of such things. But the disappointment didn't last very long and even then the whole scene seemed to be pretty transparent and even annoying and not my thing. Not our thing. It worked out alright to be unrefined, freezing in my bedroom, and eating tacos with hard shells involving seasoning packets on ground meat.

Our unspoken silent war against the excesses and exclusivity of private clubs came to an end in the early 90s when my parents decided to join the Jewish Community Center. While this establishment certainly wasn't on the same level (in regards to snobbishness) as those two places mentioned previously, the JCC did have nice facilities and a decent ping pong table. Think of it as an upscale YMCA if you're not familiar. I think we were members for a year. I used the ping pong tables a couple times then stopped going. It would've been a great resource for staying in shape and meeting people outside my limited circle but I was far too introverted back then to extend myself.

Currently, I'm a member of one private club and this is the Kutztown Fire Company (I've written about it before). This place is beautiful in that it's old school as hell,  cozy, and lacks any kind of "I'm better than you" attitude. It's a place my grandparents could've been members of. It's comfortable. It's true.

My critique of the first two clubs were done in a way to capture my mood about them as a child. It goes without saying people like to rub elbows with people they feel are like minded or on the same level. We need not waste time thinking about the morality of such endeavors or who's smaller minded than the next. That should be left behind with other youthful inclinations. Know where you're at and what you like apart from any titles, groups or status symbols and the blessings will flow.

!(<3 have a good toosdee <3)!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Budgeting/From the 3rd Floor Kitchen of Dainty Bones

Well, it took me 36 years of existence in this painful world to make serious economic decisions regarding my budget. I've been in this apartment for over a year now, and my rent has doubled. This has caused me some financial woes during the end of the month. When I say financial woes, I'm not comparing myself to people at the poverty level, I'm referring to 30-something professionals who are too undisciplined with their cash, leading to light starvation, and the selling off of various items to pawn shops every now and then to afford gas. I'm well aware my problems are small and I'm in no way making myself out to be a victim of this shitty shitty as it is. I'm really quite well. Dare I say content. For now.

What have I done?
Pretty much just one thing. Cutting out going out (Yeah, big surprise). I'm enjoying that cozy apartment I'm spending more on, and entertaining myself through Netflix, and other (clean) Internet sites, streaming channels and sports events, lectures on philosophy and economics, and what have you. If you will.

It's no secret I like going out. I like the local vibe in this town, there are good people here. Some bad. Mostly good. I like eating out a lot too. I like good food. More than anything, I like a good meal. Food, drink and socializing are what make me happy. Food, drink and socializing can also cost a lot.

So, I only drink if I'm at a bar with people. They call that social drinking. That's now gone (or reduced). I do miss the socializing, that's gone too (or reduced). But, I could substitute that desire to interact with the people with a desire to interact with various cooking ingredients and spices, and create some good food that is both cheap and healthy, but most importantly, tastes good. I'm very picky with food, let it be known.

What have I been eating that's both cheap and yummo ~ What I like?
1) Homemade Pizza-
A decent sized ball of dough may cost a dollar, if that, and I can get four or five awesome pizzas from it. I've been doing the Pesto thing a lot now, and I'm too lazy to make it. I can get a jar of that stuff for under 3 bucks which is good for 2 pizzas. My dough is top shelf (thanks to a recipe I stole from a friend). I'm eating just as good as those at an Italian restaurant, and clearly my pizza is better than that college shit they sell in this town.

2) Omelets
I eat a lot of eggs. I make omelets, usually with just mushrooms and/or peppers. Cheap and filling. Good protein. I usually add some cumin in there as well as other secret spices.

3) Beef Smoked Sausage (Hillshire Farms)
It's very similar to Kielbasa though made of all beef. Yeah, it's corporate highly processed beef but fry them up, till the skin is crispy (with a little grape seed oil), add a chipotle, a bit of a habenaro, half an onion (sauteed), and red bell pepper (sauteed), with a little Asian mustard powder ~ then put it all on a bun, and you'll be in a good place. No joke.

4) Ramen
Most people know about Ramen, but I think few push it to its limits. If you're not afraid of a little MSG, then start by frying up some mushrooms, bell pepper, shredded carrots, and meat if you got any. I usually put Sriracha and a little peanut oil in the mix. I then add the water and make the soup. When the soup and veggies and noodles are all cooked, I end with an egg and top it with a green onion at the very end. Quite cheap and filling.

5) Chili
Chili is making a comeback with me, and I can see this meal being a good friend during cold Pennsylvania nights. Have some fun with it though. Most decent grocery stores now have a decent array of dried chili peppers from the southwest. Buy a few, and grind them up, and put them in the mix along with the other standard ingredients. I prefer adding a beef stock and flour to make it all thick. A large pot of this stuff can go faster than you think. And it's economical.

These are just some of my food choices I make at home, and when these get perfected, you can move onto something else. I've been experimenting with Hot'n'Sour soup too, among other things, and if I get that down, I'll put it up. But you will become a better person, and cash won't be as tight, if you decide to eat out less and perfect a few dishes and make them irresistible. (Otherwise, why bother)

((Another big budgeting decision I made was to get a really cheap cell phone, which I wrote about almost two weeks ago, check that out if you care.))

So, gone are the days of fear and panic when I see my balance running low. Instead of being a time of worry, it's now an occasion for opportunity, creativity and adventure in the kitchen. This is to the benefit of the mind and body (and soul). Yeah, it's cliche, but there are really infinite possibilities, spice combinations, ingredients and approaches. Options and choices are always something to be valued and utilized to their furthest potential as you see fit for your own tastes. You're in charge of your own kitchen. Live it up and save some cash in the process, and maybe you'll have something to offer your friends and community.


(disclaimer: These blog posts are not intended or designed to pass on any hidden or secret or profound knowledge, just an honest discussion of where I'm at and what I'm doing. You may find this to be completely unoriginal and uninteresting and that's perfectly fine. Though, they are written with a heartfelt truth and honestly about the things I'm into at this stage. If they are of no use to you, please move on to the next blogger or feel free to comment in the comment section. To each his own.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Friday Afternoon ~ IPhones.Twinkies.Tits Up.

Got a late start to my Friday as usual (Hit it hard the night before). This would be a day to run errands. Started and ended at Radio Shack and scored an excellent cheap cell phone (and plan), since my Sprint plan is done, and I found the IPhone to be a complete waste of money for my lifestyle. From Radio Shack, I went to AT&T to cancel my IPhone plan, and that was quick and painless, really no questions asked. From there I crossed the street and ran into some heads at Wegman's but we'll get to that later.

First and foremost though, not to shit on anything, but the IPhone is completely overrated. My Sprint plan ran out and switched to AT&T because they could give me an IPhone for one dollar while locking me into a ridiculous plan. After tax and fees it came to $107 and some change.

What are you getting:

-A Map
What self respecting American male uses a map or GPS in the first place? WTF.
(sidenote: there are no self respecting American males anymore we've all been feminized and trained to suck off of the government's tit, and anyone actually trying to accomplish anything is seen as either greedy or aggressive...)
-Photo Filters
I get all that on Photoshop, I don't need to snap pictures every fucking second. WTF. Not everything is a goddamn moment.
Fuck the games using the Touchscreen, if you really need games to kill time with a gadget than you're an idiot, learn how to converse with people and enjoy your environs.
So what, I can probably check that on the cheap piece of shit phone if I upped the plan by $10/month
I have an IPod, I have a 1961 Victrola Tube Record Player, and I have a doesn't need to be on my phone.
-Facebook anytime!
The Facebook experience is drastically diminished on the IPhone, for optimal FB usage you need a padded deskchair, and a full size screen - with a jug of green jasmine tea and stuffed grape leaves at your side.
Aside from that, I hated the way the thing felt. I wanted to love this thing a lot, really, I did, and I love Mac computers, but this thing didn't do anything for me, in relation to the monthly payments. I was not blown away in the least. To AT&T's credit they give you 14 days to opt out of the plan, it took five hours to realize what I needed to do. The Radio Shack people hooked me up with Virgin LoPay and now I pay $30/month. And that's how I spent part of my Friday afternoon.
I quickly transitioned into one of my favorite Friday rituals, given it's a payday Friday, and staggered through the aisles of Wegmans looking and feeling like a warn out jackass. Two gentlemen from the Allentown Morning Call stopped me near the international foods section to ask me what I thought of Twinkies/Hostess going under. I was still pulling it together at this point and was caught off guard so I really didn't have any pearls of wisdom or deep memories of Twinkies. I mostly mumbled that I wasn't losing any sleep over this, and that it was business. They snapped about five photos which I'm sure are absolutely asinine. Since then I haven't seen anything on their site, and I don't know if I got into the paper. I'm not losing any sleep over this.
I was in the parking lot, loading my car, when a middle aged gentleman started complaining about how crowded Wegman's was, and I asked him if he ran into the Morning Call people. That provided a smooth change of topic into the Twinkie downfall. He went off on the unions, the election, and the country. He was unemployed, and told me I'd probably have to work until I was seventy because entitlements are going bankrupt (I didn't disagree on that). Like most Americans, he wasn't happy with the government, but unlike me, the direction of his anger was only focused on a small part of the problem, Barack Obama, of course. I feel sorry for those who don't quite have all the answers and political knowledge that I do. You know, those who stick to the same beliefs on which they were raised on, without honestly evaluated both sides. Lacking in principles, morality and logic. I'm so glad I'm not like that. I was polite, and tried to find agreement, instead of disagreement.
On my drive home, I had one more stop, a return trip to Radio Shack to activate my account. I like handling these things in person. That's an ole school approach. Things got activated and I was so delighted with my shit phone and fiscal responsibility for once. I ended up making myself a homemade pesto pizza and rested well, before the wild n crazy Lehigh Valley nightlife was to snatch me up again.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Over 3 Months with the Mazda3 5-door/Skyactive

I'll never be in a functioning relationship with any sort of woman, but I do have a car. And this car is now three months old, if you've been following my blog, as I know everyone does in a devout serious manner. Three months is a decent time period, I think, to give an honest critique of the situation, from a non car expert.

Driving this car is a pretty pleasant, but it's not perfect, and there are minor things that bug me, if I'm to give an honest assessment.

Let's start with the good.
First, the gearbox is great - not that I have much experience with a manual, but it does shift quite easily. It handles fine, like any Mazda should, and that was a main selling point for me. I enjoyed driving the last one I had, and felt good control of the road Unfortunately with this base model, it doesn't come with the more sporty tires and you can feel the difference. If I decide to pimp this thing out, wheels will be the first change. I do enjoy the looks of the newer models, but not sure if I prefer it to the older one that I had. Some people have a big problem with the huge Mazda smile but I'd say it has more of a badass look whereas the first Mazda3's were a little softer looking though with slight strong tank vibe.

It's super excellent on gas mileage, I'm spending much less/week than I did with the '04 model. It's a lighter car and has less power and this thing they call SkyActive which is supposed to help with all that. And it does.


Now some negatives.
The interior is comfortable, and maybe a bit better ergonomically designed, at least for my body, but the radio is cheap. This is because I got the low end model. I'm okay with cheapness though, and I've never really cared for the touch screen displays they have going on in many other cars - I like real buttons, even if they are cheap and plasticky.

I don't care for the slightly spaceship vibe it has going on in the interior, the previous models were more square-ish, though it does look lovely cruising around at night. It also displays your current MPG, which can be fun to look at if you're not eating food or sexting on your droid. The speedometer and tackometer are nice to look at, with a blue-ish feel. They're more calming than the old bright red lights thing they had going on, which slightly reminded me of the streets and alleyways of Amsterdam at night. Which isn't bad either.

The biggest problem I have with this car is that it appears to be sort of weak/sluggish when you pull out from a stop. Maybe that's related to the fuel economy thing, I do not know. The '04 model had more power and you can feel that difference - but that was also an automatic. Once it gets goin' it's great and fun, even for a lame pussy driver like me. I can pretend I'm a racecar driver, though this thing isn't gonna win any drag races - you'll enjoy throwing it around the bends.

((I think 0-60 is 8.5 seconds.))

Happy Ending.
Even before considering the rebates I did get with this car, it was/is ranked pretty high in it's class and I understand why. Other cars I were considering were the Scion xD, Ford Focus (hatch) and the Volkswagen Golf, but due to time, and the models they had in the lot, I wasn't able to try them out, and I'm okay with that. The Mazda came out cheaper after trade-in and rebates than the others. I'm pretty confident I made the correct choice considering all the variables involved.

Anyone looking for something with cargo space, good fuel economy, decent styling and great handling should at least test drive this thing. You might be moved by it in a special way.

Nike Air Trainer 1

I was in the mall, as I sometimes am during my afternoon and I always go into shoe stores and look at the various styles of tennis shoes, or sneakers as they call 'em out here. To my surprise, I spotted the old Nike Air Trainer 1. Not the first shoe I fell in love with, but one of the first, I waited literally 7 months, calling shoe stores in the greater Pittsburgh area to see if they had a kid's size (this was in the late 1980s). Then one dreary afternoon, in a Pittsburgh mall, I spotted them in kid's sizes at a foot locker, just when I was about to give up.

They were the coolest looking shoe at the time. So cool my one buddy went out and bought a pair for himself immediately, of course his were red, not as cool as the green I chose. I used these shoes for everything, and I felt more complete with them on. At the time, it was a pretty new style and approach to shoes. I think John McEnroe wore them as well.

Through the years, I've changed brands here and there, and sometime in mid to late 90s I told myself I'd never wear Nikes again, but these throwbacks have me thinking twice, however the price is outrageous, as is expected.

Are these ugly or cool?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Office Emotion

There's many characters in the workplace. You got your thespians, authoritarians, team players, slackers, and jackasses that remain annoyingly positive, uttering every meaningless word or phrase for the most disgusting kind of enthusiasm. These people make my skin crawl.

I've wondered a lot about these folks (the extremely positive ones), and I'm sure these people pass me off as a sloppy creep who is miserable most of the time. I have theories. I think a lot of them, and I'm generalizing (cause I enjoy generalizing) were through something really rough or tragic, and to keep moving and living life in a functional way, they've forced themselves into this happy face. Most people are oblivious to these masks that they wear, but I'm not. I sensitive to it. I see it and try to avoid it at mostly all costs. I don't understand it. I come from a long line of angry depressed miserable Germans with bone pain and problems. Don't bring that shit around me.

When I encounter these people, they can sense that I sense what's going on. There's an unspoken understanding between me and them. I leave them alone and they leave me alone. It's completely written on my face and how I carry myself that I shit on everything positive and that I have no time for your cliches. You ask me how I'm doing. I say, "One day at a time," and get on with it.

Their positivity is almost insulting to a chap like me. It doesn't come across as genuine. The only people I'm really interested in talking to ever, are those I can discuss my sordid past with, or make poop jokes with, otherwise, don't waste my energy. I understand that there is workplace protocol and I follow it to a "T" by mumbling my brief cliches and moving forward, limping ahead, most likely with my head down.

Fortunately for me, there are only a couple people around here that I can apply this too. Most people keep to themselves and don't degrade me with their "created" perpetual bliss.

((please feel free to comment if you've encountered such people in your own environs))

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Night with Dainty Bones.

I worked until 8pm lastnight, which was election night. Fortunately, I was already suffering from a serious cold and had no energy to go out and follow this year's coverage. I really had nobody in the race and cared little for who won. Instead of being  a positive soul and supportive of most of my friends who were quite happy with the Obama victory I decided to keep quiet and partially shit on their enthusiasm. If it weren't for my sickness, I probably would've been worse. But I wasn't at all disappointed that Romney lost, the guy is a creep. Sadly, his opponent is a creep too.

Lastnight and today even people were rejoicing. Some were even still posting things like pro-choice memes as if Romney was going to reverse Roe vs. Wade and that Obama was the ultimate protector of women's bodies and rights (God forbid you're an Afghan woman in the way bombing attack though - but that doesn't matter - lesser of 2 evils, right?). I'd probably better understand this if it were the 80s or 90s but these things have been well decided and any hyperfocusing/obsession over this topic is irrational and a distraction from far greater crimes and injustices going on around the world in the name of the this president and the one before him. Whatever makes people feel good I guess. Somehow other liberties get pushed to the wayside.

The lesser of two evils seems to be the thinking behind everything political these days. Turn out was lower, I believe, and I'd like to think it was because of Ron Paul's people sitting it out. That's what I did. It will be interesting to see what happens if things really get worse, as they have been, which is what I'm fully expecting barring a miracle of some sort. I'm curious to see if the approach will be more QE's and intervention, which will equal inflation. Look at your food prices already.

As we continue to go on this same path of irresponsibilty we might ask. Who will be the successor to the Peace/Anti-Fed/Free Market movement that Dr. Paul started, and will the GOP finally scrap the Wall Street/Neo-con/Religious Right coalition that is largely responsible for our current problems and their last two crushing defeats to a poor opponent with a lame agenda.

For now, the ACLU and the anti-war left will take another four year break (I stole that from a friends FB status).

F### the idealists.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jazz Guitarists

The few jazz guitarists that I know tend to be arrogant f###s with sociopathic problems. There are exceptions, yes, but my general experience hasn't been good. Don't get me wrong, you could hand them a guitar and they could do quite wonderful, almost mind blowing things with it, musically, but as human beings they struggle, and as dressers, they're mediocre at best.

I'm not quite sure what it is that makes them this way. Maybe it's the shelling out of large amounts of money for a music education. Though I have friends who aren't jazz guitarists who went to school for music who aren't like this. Maybe they're just wired this way. Maybe it's part of the vibe. Understand, they'll get paid far more than our entire band gets for a gig, but most of time it's just soft background music for wanna-be elitist f###s eating at a restaurant or winery. Honestly, no jealousy here, I'm an attention whore, money means little to me. I don't even consider myself a musician, or anything for that matter.

I don't write this in a spiteful way of any sort, I'm rather saddened. I wish they could come down to our level and realize that their waste smells like everybody else's waste.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Haven't Posted in a While.

I haven't posted in a while. Not sure why. Probably because of lack of interest and nothing seems to be inspiring me to rant in a meaningless whiny way. I could talk about the silliness of our current election, but most, wouldn't want to hear that, and I'm not very good at articulating political subjects in an effective manner. I could write about the new car, but I already put up like two or three blogs on that already. I guess I'll stick to what I'm good at. Blogging about myself.

Since my last post I had a couple medical situations. In early September I got food stuck down my esauphagus. For like eight hours. I had to drive myself to the emergency room at 12 midnight. I didn't leave until 7am. I forgot to bring my cell phone so I had to call a taxi cause they had to knock me out for fifteen minutes and push the food down. Turns out I have a hiatal hernia. My insides were sore a couple days after though the procedure was quick and routine. I have had no repeat occurrences since then.

Two weeks ago I saw an orthopedic doctor about getting the screws removed from my hip. Prior to that, I saw another orthopedic doctor, at the same establishment, that said I should probably get them out. I was planning on getting them out. However, since they really weren't bothering this other doctor said he'd probably keep them in. This is good news, for now, I guess. I wasn't looking forward to the recovery process and was hoping to do something more than just lay around on my long vacation.

I've got two gigs lined up on October 20th, and the 26th. The one on the 20th is at the Funhouse (on 4th st) in Bethlehem, with Brother JT, and the 26th gig is at the Kutztown Fire Company, with Remarkable Stims and Dawnchasers. Both should be fun and fulfill my need for attention getting. We plan to play at least two new songs. One of the songs is called "Canada," based on the trips I used to make up there with my friend from Rochester. It's turning into a great upbeat song with a lovely breakdown. We're very happy with it.

Other than that, there isn't much to report. I'm doin fine, doin okay. I just thought I'd post this in case anyone thought I was dead.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Losing it.

I'm not sure where this one will go, or if it'll even be published, but this is I'm thinking about this morning. Obviously there are varying degrees of losing it and I would contend that I've never lost it in the most serious way. Though I will say I've had some pretty interesting experiences where I felt like I would snap. And, maybe I have snapped. I think much of the pressure comes from keeping things inside and maybe it's the reason I say so much either in here or at the bar. I've always felt relieved and much better letting things out. And you probably thought I did such things because I was still a child looking for attention. The truth is, there is a therapeutic and freeing feeling when you just come out with everything.

Losing it is always an anxiety issue. There's pressure, real or imagined. Could be work or school, I've had them both, and have responded differently and drastically in both situations. You'll probably have a crippling obsession about something you did wrong, or ignored to do. It's so paralyzing that you can't bring yourself to confront or correct the mistake. All that your brain can do is focus on the negative and how f#cked everything will be when it comes to light. It's a pretty ugly cycle.

Drinking and drugs will temporarily ease that pain for a short while. Completely putting it in the back of your mind might work for awhile too. But these things never cure anything and it will get worse and build up when you get back to it. You'll either decide to confront the issue or do exactly the opposite and take a "who the fuck cares" attitude. This can be liberating but it can also lead to problems, if that pressure you're under is real and will have very serious consequences.

In my situations, I'd say most of the time, and this probably goes for a lot of people, that the pressure that I was under was built up in my head far greater than reality. Sometimes stresses and worries about one thing can spill over to another aspect. For instance blowing something off at work can lead to stress about unpaid bills which may have you worrying about the cops showing up at your door or that you have cancer. It all builds and I've been there.

I guess can you can remain fucked up (which sick people can't help) or you can see life for what it is, a short meaningless endeavor, where few things really matter. You can work to eliminate as much responsible in your life as is possible and that's what I've chosen to do.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Random Annoyances.

A list of things that are currently bugging the hell out of me. I sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe I am.

Anyone voting for either major party candidate for President. It's the same guy running, in both parties. Really. Don't kid yourself and think you're making an important meaningful decision. That's pure foolishness. Grow the f### up. Look at their f##### records on things. Same Old Scene.

2)Food Photos.
I used to really enjoy food photos from friends on occasion, in fact, I used to post pictures of my pizzas. There seems to be a lot more of this shit going on and I'm getting tired of it. It's f#ckn food, stop worshipping a god damned squash, it's really no big deal. I'd rather see tits than this stuff...put tits up there...

3)Stops on hills.
Who puts stop signs or traffic lights on hills?

4)The NFL
It's not what it used to be. As with anything that gets huge, it also grows in corruption. I hate how it's tied into patriotism and the Army. It's turned into a league of violent criminals, and right now it's trying to separate itself from all the brain trauma/depression/and even suicides of past players as it pretends to be this pure American institution. It's still by far, the best sport to watch on television, just don't push America down my throat, and don't claim to be something you're not. I've cut my viewing down to 3 hours/week, if that.

5)College Students
I've now decided college students are the lowest form of human being, and especially those from Jersey. They come into our town with this entitlement attitude making lots of noise and maybe there are good college bands in this town, but I haven't seen any. Instead of creating an interesting scene, the masses of college students in this town flock to a shitty basement bar and listen to horrible dance music, then walk home and we get to hear it. I really don't think any of their lives have value. Was that harsh?

6)My Weight
I don't care for the fact that metabolism is slowing a bit. Life was easier before.

7)My Hip
The god damned thing aches everyday. I walk like I'm 80. Somebody put me out to pasture, take me out of my misery.

***feel free to ad yours in the comment section, as long as they don't include this blog. Go to hell everyone.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Global Dainty Bones.

Below is a list of the top 10 nations that currently read this blog. If your country isn't up here, than you have catching up to do. Please don't mock me for the lack of hits, it's not like I'm Farty Girl or anything. I really want to see the UK hit the 1000's, and I'd like also to see Slovakia make a run for it. Keep reading, these hits boost my self esteem. (and no, I didn't cook the books)

United States
United Kingdom

Hip Update . Bad Bones . Avascular Necrosis

Yeah, I'm an attention whore and yeah, I write about my own "meaningless" problems, but sometimes discussing such things can also be helpful to those who have similar problems. When I first had my "serious" fracture, of the femoral head, there were lots of worries and I found myself google-ing around to find as much info as I good and personal stories from people who had similar situations. I ended up chatting with a fellow from Great Britain who fractured his hip and developed the AVN (which leads to the death of the ball of your hip joint - due to lack of blood flow). At that time, I wasn't diagnosed with AVN, but about a year later, mild signs of it did show up in an X-ray, as the doctor's assistant let me know with a painful smile on his face.

It was just starting out, very early stages, and there was barely any pain. And any pain I've had was being masked by the anti-inflammatory I'm on, Feldene, so life was pretty normal. What I could expect was an eventual degeneration of that ball in the hip, arthritis, and eventually a hip replacement. Life has been pretty normal (aside from no sports-which I miss) for awhile but for some reason, now the pain seems to be getting worse and I'm not walking as well. I've also been more conservative with dance moves on stage during live performances, which has probably led to tighter playing for me (which would be a good thing)....

It was February of last year when I found out. Today I scheduled an appointment. I will see the doctor on September 5th. Depending on what shows up on the X-ray, I could be due for a total hip replacement quite soon. I kind of want to get it out of the way. I've been asking various people that I know about their hip replacements and I will be preparing for a week of hell, with Morphine, in between, as they quite literally hack off the top end of my femur and then drive a stake down the bone. I have a masochistic side to me, so I'll try to enjoy it and convince myself I deserve the pain, as well as the oh so sweet sweet Morphine injections that will no doubt block up my biles as I start on a diet of bananas and blood thinners.

Aside from the size of the incision, I can't see this being any worse than what I went through with the hip fracture. That was 6-weeks of inactivity and watching Grease 1 and 2, along with the Golden Girls as I'd pee in a jug on the couch, relying on my always helpful old housemate to empty certain things and take care of me in my pathetic doped up helpless state.

I've heard they get you up and walking (with a walker) in like two days. That's seriously good news, but those will be up there with most excruciating steps I've ever taking. I'm almost used to taking painful steps after my legs and bones sliced and diced. I'm also not looking forward to dropping the first deuce after the procedure.

A friend I just spoke to today said that they put no restrictions on her. That would be exciting if I get the okay to do that to. If I don't die, or get seriously sick, I'm planning a return to wiffle ball afterwards in the spirit of Bo Jackson. Maybe even light basketball. It'd be amazing to do a lay up again, or take a jump shot without any pain.

Whatever happens, it's all for the best. But, the idea that the quality of my life could be improved greatly is a very appealing thing. Maybe I'll write an update on September 5th, after my appointment.

Take care of your daintyBones. Embrace the future pain!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Don Lapre

I think I was a senior in high school. I didn't go out much and hung around only one friend. I slept a lot. I'd be home late nights on the weekend watching bad TV and infomercials. I was probably depressed as I had nothing to really take pride in. By this time, I'd seen many of grade school friends (most of which were assholes) fade away and become better athletes than me, as I was still suffering with chronic bone pain issues. College was on the horizon and I had no strong passion towards anything, except maybe art related stuff, but that was discouraged in the house. I was doomed to a life of mediocrity, living pay check to pay check, most likely doing something I hated. There seemed to be no way out of this hell.

Then came Don Lapre.

An enthusiastic, probably 30-something, if not younger, entrepreneur, selling his plans for success. There were many of these guys floating around on late night 90s television. Some of them dealt with profiting from classified ads and others with real estate or auction sales. I was oblivious to all of them, but Don's energy and charisma was quite contagious. He really connected with my down and out, go nowhere, ready to die, heart. He offered something. It was a plan leading to financial independence. It all seemed so easy to the pathetic soul as I was.

We all know, when times are tough, and in your head you feel desperate, you can cling to anything that offers a positive plan. Whether it's religion, a political leader, or a slimy salesman selling bullshit business plans promising riches. Watching Don became an almost weekly occurrence. It was the same infomercial with the same testimonials and the same sales pitch that never got boring. There was an entertainment value to it too. But it was hopeful.

Don's plan revolved around placing classified ads for selling a service and/or a product, like shitty books and whatnot. He also had a plan for purchasing 900 numbers. Back then 900 numbers seemed way more popular than they are today as I can remember all the ads for adult and gambling hot lines. I think there was also a plan for buying things really cheap and selling them for a higher price. Don's popularity grew so big, that SNL did a bit on him. It was David Spade who played his part.

Let it be known, I never purchased any of his materials, though I did briefly romanticize and dream about the prospects of being successful at it. In this case, being lazy paid off for me. I took no action on any of it. I'd moved on to something else.

Eventually the law came down on him, along with the Better Business Bureau. Inside Edition or one of those tabloid news shows did a story on his legal issues years ago. The video clips of him in court were far different than that bright-eyed, hustling, passionate businessman we'd seen years prior.

I briefly wikipedia'd Lapre, before writing this blog, and found out he ended his life back in 2011, while in custody of authorities. God bless.

For more detailed background info:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

7 Trends n Things I'm happy I never got into.

Here are a few things...or more, that I've seen and come and go, in popularity. Things I could've easily got caught up in, but didn't. I started writing something like this last year, but I didn't like where it was going, so here is another try. I'm hoping I can finish this one up and post it so all can see.

1) Tattoos -
While I do have a strong attraction to women in tattoos, I'm pretty happy I never got one. I could be wrong in my historical analysis, I seemed to start noticing them in the 90s. My forearms are really skinny anyway and it would've looked silly, and the last thing I should ever try to pull off is the tough guy look. I like my skin as it is. There is really no symbol or artwork that I'd wanna defile my most sacred body with. The body is a temple. Right?

2) Piercings -
I recently saw a couple with with huge holes in their ears and I thought it looked dumb. These were white kids and it wasn't part of their culture. I'm okay with it, and I'd probably have huge holes in my ears if I grew up in a tribe or something like that. Why would I want to mutilate my body again, circumcision was enough. (I'm okay with circumcision)

3) Acid Washed Jeans -
I was kind of prep when acid washed jeans came out. Back then I thought they looked silly. I never had any desire to purchase a pair. I don't wear any kind of jeans any more. Dickies or Cords are more comfortable to me. I think they look better to, and send a better message than blue jeans.

4) Goatees -
They seemed to be more popular in the 90s from what I remember. In the 90s my facial hair was pretty bad (not like it's great now) - I couldn't have grown one if I wanted. Some people look really good with them, and I'm sure I would too, it's just not my thing. Beards and even moustaches seem more friendly. Goatees strike me as evil. That's just me.

5) Crocs -
(no explanation needed here)

6) Pearl Jam -
I have, and always will, fVckn hate Pearl Jam.

7) Rings -
On a woman I prefer naked hands/fingers. Same would go for guys if I were into them. Rings/jewelry, even from an early age, have always seemed frivolous/unnecessary. I don't understand the point of rings. The naked hand looks way better. We weren't born with rings on our fingers. Take 'em off. Sell 'em. They're serving no purpose. Watches, on the other hand, are okay.

These are just a few things I've stayed away from. Who's to say I won't change my mind? It could happen. It's happened before. Please comment and list some things/styles that you never got into, and are/were happy about it.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crazy Mary

Her real name was Lois. This goes back to the early to mid 1980s. We were kids growing up in Catholic School and church. It was a different era then. As we were evolving into preppy 80s kids, watching some bad, post-Bradshaw Steeler football, selling my father's produce in the inner-city Pittsburgh, and cruisin around in the 1980 VW Diesel Rabbit, there stood one character that frightened the f### out of most of us school children. We called her Crazy Mary.

I don't have much information on crazy Mary other than, she was scary as hell, and probably my first experience/encounter with the certified nuts. I even had scary dreams about her. She had long gray hair and rotting teeth. As school children, we would attend Mass (church services to those uninitiated) a lot, and many times she would be there, in the back. She'd be praying the Rosary, or mumbling some other prayers in the most psychotic fashion. I had blocked her out for many years but for some reason, today, I am thinking about her.

The story that went around, and I'm not sure if this was ever confirmed, was that her house had burnt down, and she had witnessed her family dying. This was the point, supposedly, that pushed her to the edge. Again, I'm not sure if it's true. It's just what I was told by older siblings.

One day she approached my younger brother after a half day of school. My mom was with us. For an instance I thought she was going to kill him. Instead she mumbled a blessing to him. It was quick, and my mother moved us along, politely, not spending anymore time. I think even my mom was a bit creeped out by Lois.

If you weren't scared, then you made jokes about her. The older kids were the ones with the wisecracks, but some of my bolder friends would make jokes of her, behind her back, at least. Nobody has ever come remotely close to putting the fear of the Lord in me like Crazy Mary. Her whole vibe was off. It was as if she wasn't there, and she just struck me as someone who would be capable of anything.

Eventually, she either died (well, she must be dead now) or she went into a home, and we never heard or saw her ever again. She never occupied a huge part of our lives, in fact I probably only saw her four or five times as a kid, and this was in kindergarten. This shows you what kind of impression she made on me. I'm hoping this will bring back memories to those who knew of the wacky, scary and crazy lady, the one we called, Crazy Mary.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

F#ckn with Peeps/Offensive Shirt

I had forgotten about this situation that occurred back in 2003. My friend and brother were in town and we out to see some live music in the town. This was before I had a band. When folks from the past come to visit you tend to get energized and maybe a little crazier than usual. Add alcohol to all of this and it can get a little weird.

So we're standing at the bar and I see this kid who is a little younger than us. Kind of looks like your average hippy, or at least the vibe he was putting out. There were many cliches going on here. Fucked up saggy pants, a book in his back pocket (yeah, notice me, I can read, I'm an intellectual), and a communist shirt, with the hammer and sickle, which was bigger, as to hide the apparent weight problem. He was apparently all about sharing, except when it came to his food.

At this time I'm getting drunk and goofy as usual at the bar, but slightly bored and I feel I need to do something to get a silly story out of the night, with my western PA peeps in town. These stereotypical things and his approach was beginning to grade on me, not unlike how I grade on people sometimes at the bar. I'm not unaware of what I do.

I have no idea what inspired me to come up with this exact angle but I felt the need to create an extremely awkward situation and make this dude a part of it. I decided which role to take and walked towards him. I asked him about his shirt. I forget exactly what I said at first or what he even said but I began to change the tone.

I started to tell him, fictitiously, that Soviet symbolism was very painful for me to see. I went on about non existent relatives living in eastern Europe and how horribly they were treated by the Communist regime. I played the part well, I pretended I was speaking truth. I questioned how he could support such violence and thuggery. This was all going on as the bands were playing so there wasn't really a scene, but the awkwardness on his face was priceless. I got the necessary response. He was awkward and almost apologetic. It was really just asinine.

I walked back to my brother and friend and told them the whole thing. They weren't really impressed, though they would never have the guts to do anything of that sort. We continued the drinking and carrying on and I left the fella alone. The whole thing probably lasted just five minutes, but it was a heavy/entertaining five minutes. I guess I should be thankful the dude wasn't as violent as what his symbols represent. It could've been ugly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We Used to Set Pins.

You get various odd jobs when you're a kid. Yes, even I worked on occasion. Some might find that hard to believe that, but I did. I started out working on a farm (read my first of second blog), of course there were house chores, mainly washing dishes, cutting grass, I had a brief job with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a door to door salesman, I was an alter boy (no jokes please), and during 7th and 8th grade I was a pin setter.

The alleys were in the basement of our gymnasium. BTW, we had the best gym in the city, probably still do. Jay-Z and Kanye West rented it out when they were in Pittsburgh, my friend's kid got their autograph, but that's beside the point. The league was a church league, I believe they bowled on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Despite being a church league, many of the bowlers were very foul mouthed and rude pricks. There was about six lanes.

Me, my buddy, and my brother all set pins. My dad encouraged us to get the job cause he used to set pins. We worked with a couple kids that went to the local public high school, Ken, and I think, Ralph. Ken was kind of a creepy pale skinned kid that talked weird. Ralph was cool, he'd play soul and reggae music. Ken would debate with Ralph about certain wrestlers and we would be entertained by the discussion. This was late 80's and early 90's.

It was hard work. I was still recovering from a surgery I had about a year before. They really sliced me open good and scraped about 50% of my tibia. Behind the pins is kind of like a pit, and the pins are sort of above, on a wooden platform at the end of the lane. There's a pedal you press with your foot, that will drive up spikes. The pins had little holes on the bottom and you'd set them on spikes. If it was their first ball, you'd just clear away the pins. If it was their second, you'd reset them. You'd always set the ball in the ball return first, before you did any clearing or resetting of pins.

The work was repetitive and draining. You'd always leave sore, or with a sweat. Most of the time I just wanted to work one lane, the high school kids worked 2 lanes at a time, my buddy could do 2 at a time. That was always intimidating.

The bowlers could be obnoxious and I'm sure they made jokes about the pinsetters. I'm unclear what happened one night, I don't know what was said, but I think one of the bowlers made an ethnic slur at Ralph. There was almost a confrontation. Ralph should've beat the shit out of the bowler. The bowlers were assholes, most of them. Most of them weren't very good either.

One night I was working two lanes and was feeling a bit stressed out. Hustling back and forth between lanes, not thinking very clearly. I entered a lane as ball was coming down. I heard screams from the bowlers for me to get out. I was in the pit, behind the pins. I shielded my bad leg and took most of the pins to thigh and waist, on the my right side (the good side). I was kind of rattled. My pride was hurt. I was embarrassed.

Other than being emotionally shaken, it really didn't hurt, though I was bracing for the worst. I continued to work that night, it was no big deal.

I think we got like 9$ for 2.5/3 hours of work, we may have had to split it. That's not a lot of money, for the effort we put into it. I should try to stop down there sometime next time I'm in town during the week. I wonder if the league is still in effect.

As high school came around, I came to my senses and quit the job, realizing it wasn't worth the effort. I can't say I regret the experience. It probably saved me from watching TV or playing video games.  It also kept me in shape and allowed me to buy tennis accessories. (Tennis was also very big back then).

Set 'eem up.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cars in a lifetime.

As I continue to mourn the loss of my car, I'm reminded of other cars that have come and gone in my life. This blog is a brief summary of all the cars that have been in our family since I can remember. I was born in '76, and I believe my old man had a sweet jeep of some sort up in Connecticut, but I am too young to remember that.
So, let's begin, to the best of my knowledge, these are all the cars I've had close ties to. Please note that these are not the REAL photos of the ACTUAL cars I've experienced, but they are as close as I could get, some look pretty much exactly the same, even to the color of paint of on the car.

1980 VW Rabbit / Diesel / 4 speed.
This was the first car I remember well. The old man bought it new. I think it was $7k, but I could be wrong. I was so small at the time, me and my older could both sit in the front seat at the same time. It was loud and not to comfortable. It made it's way to Connecticut and back a few times. Interior was black. It was loud. We, I, I didn't appreciate how cool this car was at the time. I was embarrased to pick up friends in wealthier neighborhoods because it made so much noise.

Memorable moments include, the drive to the hospital, in second grade, after was knocked out from a sled riding accident. I woke in the backseat and asked my old man what day it was. Also, my older brother teaching me how to drive stick in a parking lot. I was like in third grade! I got it up to second. Should've paid more attention. My older brother got his license in this car and we took it over, he drove that machine as it was meant to be driven. My first brief moments of independence, cruisin with friends and my bro with my no parents around, acting like assholes.

Probably the coolest car we ever had in the family. Only lasted about 100k miles. My dad beat the shit out of it and it got hit once, while parked.

1980? Volore Wagon (was actually tan) / Automatic This was probably the worst car in the family. My mom drove this one a lot. There was a horn problem in it once, where the horn kept beeping. It was driven a lot on Sundays to visit my ailing grandma who I never really got to know cause she had a severe stroke, I think. There aren't really any good vibes connected with this car. I think this turned my father off to buying used cars as this one was pre-owned. That's just a guess.

1967 Chevy S-10 / (baby blue, with white top, rusted) / Manual transmission.
This was purchased in the early 80's to assist my father with farming for a while. Made lots of noise, smelled like gas, but was always cool to ride in. Back in the days when you had a little freedom, me and my brothers were allowed to sit in the back during trips. No one got hurt, no one got arrested. I think my dad drove me and all my buds to the park, in the pick up truck for one of my birthday parties. It was also driven to farmer's markets. It always felt like an adventure in that thing.
This was another vehicle I really didn't appreciate or respect as much as I should have. Very cool ride. It ended up sitting in our back parking area for many years. Ivy was beginning to grow around it.

1980 Cutlass Supreme (the real color was Maroon) / Auto
We inherited this from my grandma, around the same time my grandfather had past away. This was smooth luxury back then. My older sister drove this car around a lot. It didn't have a tape plaer, so, she put her boom box in the car and we would drive around town cranking out def Leopard and Aerosmith (Ragdoll) - that's the closet I ever came to enjoying that genre of music. Looking at it's shape now, it seems completely frivalous and even strange, but at the time, it represented class. There were a lot of these around.

1992 Oldsmobile 88 - Royale (Same color - but no spoked wheels)
As horrible as the 90s were, 'specially the early 90s, this was kind of a bright spot, as the Cutless was getting old and run down, and borderline ghetto. Things seemed to lighten up, my father was beginning to mellow out, and we had this nice new car. My very first trip into Canada was made in this vehicle with me, my dad, and my younger brother. We crossed over near Calais, Maine into New Brunswick. Me and my younger brother would laugh at anything and my father was ready to kill us by the end of the trip. At one point we had to separated when we ate out. God bless the old man for putting up that shit, I would've left us in Canada.

This car also made it down to Dallas to visit my sister in 1994. That was a memorable trip. My father hit an armadillo as we were leaving Dallas. I have no desire to ever go back to Texas. This car didn't last very long.

The 1994 Chevy Cavalier was the car that I got my driver's license in. This was initially a car for my sister to drive around, but she then moved to Texas so it was just waiting for me. My parents bought this thing completely bare bones, there wasn't even a radio in it. I had this car for my senior year of college and my first internship. I ended buying a tape player and radio for it at Bestbuy. Yes, I was listening to tapes in early 2000. It once broke down on the Turnpike during bumper to bumper traffic, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I was pulled over in the middle section of the road. Kind of a scary time. It was noisy and you could feel everything, but it was reliable until about 2003.

We had Oldsmobile loyalty rebates so this was the first new car I ever owned. It had a CD player and a Radio in it. It wasn't too bad. This thing was as fun to drive as the Mazda but it's reliability was decent for the first few years. It eventually got handed back to my mom and dad as I got another car in October of 2007. It has been to Maine, Montreal, Hilton Head, and Detroit and DC, among other places.

This was the first vehicle that I really that I got. I was looking into the Scion xD, even testdrove one. There was a used Mazda3 at another dealership that I tried out. That's when I made the decision. It's been to Quebec City, Montreal, the Catskills and has made numerous trips back and forth to Pittsburgh. Probably the funnest car I've ever driven. No surprise if you check out my list of cars. Two weeks ago the tranny went.

This is the 2012 Mazda 3 I will be picking up today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rise and Fall

This is what's on my mind this morning.

Just observations, nothing new or revealing, but just my awareness of what's going on in relation to the affects of prosperity. How the mindset and ethics degenerate. At least in relation to what and how I'm seeing things.

Probably a lot of grandparents/fore bearers if you will came from really shitty exploitative backgrounds where work really really sucked and they weren't living in anything close to the luxury that we have. The cliches are all true about those people. You know, they worked hard, didn't bitch, and hoarded their money. At least that's what I've seen in my older relatives that aren't here anymore. There was nothing of an entitlement mentality that I know I have, and many others do. They were bbuilding and saving for future generations. It was sustainable. They saw things were improving here and knew it could be better.

(We got fat and rich and then this happened to our heads)

To me, and I think many others too, more so than ever here, most of that's gone. The idea of reproducing is scary to me, let alone saving up and acquiring wealth for people I won't even see. I'm trying to think why that is, other than I'm a selfish bastard only interested in my own bullshit.

Values have changed I think, and I think we're all a product of that. But it does make me sad and I don't think it's something I can change. It's like most of us have dropped out and most of the people trying to be prudent end up messed up, though I personally know those who are doing it well and to see it in action is rather fascinating to say the least.

Government/Monetary policy certainly encourages this to some extent, if not a great extent. It's really not wise to save money anymore due to it's loss of value. Spending and credit is pushed. Most people are in debt. The job market is f###ed. If I ever lost my job I'd be screwed in so many ways with little options out there.

You can't depend on it. You can't depend on anything really. This why I'm intrigued and both admire those who can pull it off and haven't turned into lame assholes and are enjoying things. I can't see much enjoyment in being tied down to something or being responsible for people.

As it stands, I'm not living a sustainable lifestyle. I'm not expecting to make it much further than fifty, if that. This is how I'm living.
Though, it's still early yet, I'm sure I'll be a little more positive when I get some food in me' belly.

((ALL my blogs are the same))

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RIP - Mazda3

I know it's shallow to be connected to a piece of machinery and even write about it in blog format, but right now this is on my mind. Discussing this most tragic situation will act as therapy and enable me to get over this major crisis. If this is the first time you're reading this blog and if you are an idiot, please understand I over exaggerate about my own small meaningless problems because I am a self absorbed shallow f###. Objectively speaking, I am well aware that this, in the scheme of the world, and it's disease, violence, poverty, and meaningless deaths, this is really nothing at all. But for the sake of entertainment purposes, I will nonetheless, gratify my needs to discuss and over dramatize my own stupid shit. Sorry for wasting your time explaining this, but I feel there are some, either ignorant, or overly sensitive souls that might find this post, like many of my other posts, to be just about a man whining about inconsequential nonsense. That's what it is. But I want you to realize that I realize that's what is.

Shall we move on.

Almost five years ago I purchased a car, via This was the first time I've ever driven and owned a vehicle that I had picked out, and that I wanted. The others were usually hand me downs, and all were American made (GM) pieces of shit, in my opinion. The car I chose was 2004, 5-door Mazda3. Driving this thing was a dream and felt like nothing I've ever drove before. I've lived a sheltered automotive life. The handling, the power, the interior, and everything felt so perfect. I bought it in King of Prussia off of an Indian couple who took great care of it. It might as well have been brand new. It was silver. I wrote a song about it.

I remember the stress of buying it. My housemate at the time drove me down to pick it up. I never had that much cash on me at a given time. I remember going into a bank and getting all these bills. It felt as though I was robbing a bank. I told the woman I bought it off of that too. She didn't get the joke, and by the look on my face, the nervousness of it all, she probably thought I really did rob a bank.

There was some minor issue transferring the title as I recall and the process took longer than I had thought. But, eventually we got it taken car of and the thing was mine. Initially, I felt unworthy to drive the it. It seemed too good for me. I was thinking I belonged in a Chevy or an olds instead. It just seemed too good. That night I drove it around to various Berks county bars feeling like a bad ass. I ended up at the Krumsville Hotel (scummy crummy) that night, and that's when I met a current good friend of mine. And of course I told her all about my day and the purchase of the car and the drama surrounding that whole deal.

Months passed and the thing grew on me. It started to fit pretty well on me, like an article of clothing or a glove. I'd walk towards it, sitting there in the parking lot, and was always just amazed at it's humble beauty. It stood there like a little tank, or a maybe even like a fat little beetle or bug of some sort. The body on it was strong and perfect, it handled well, looked good, sounded good, and got me to wherever I needed to be in five years with no complaints or problems. It was like a strong and faithful horse...well, 175 horses to be exact. It protected us, and aside from it's mediocre snow performances, it made us all pretty safe.

The Mazda drove me to the hospital, with my housemate, to find out our dear friend and other housemate had passed away. Probably the weirdest car ride I was ever involved in. I never want to have a drive like that again. That being said, the Mazda got us there and remained quiet and understanding during that horrible night.

The "3" drove us, and other band members to lots of gigs. Again, making us safe while we carried on about our music or just made childish jokes about various shit. The Mazda was all a part of that. The car provided the venue and comfort for such good times. The smoothness of the ride contributed, I think, to the banter and the vibes of the situations.

It was also there the night of a public drunkenness citation and other things I won't mention. The car never judged anyone or anything. It accepted all passengers regardless of anything. And how could it not, with me as it's driver.

One September day after my serious hip fracture, I needed a little road trip on the weekend. I remember being on my own again, with just me and the Mazda, exploring uncharted territories (in my simple head). I was using a cane at the time. The two of us drove to the Catskills and I remember pulling over at a look out, realizing my life was coming back to normal again. I was less dependent and doing things on my own as I was enjoying the beauty of New York State. We returned down the Hudson, just me and the Mazda, stopping off at West Point, at a bar. I was still thin from the injury and I remember getting dirty looks from the locals. As uncomfortable as that was, the safety and piece of mind returned after I limped back to the car to come home through New York City and eventually hit Rt 78 West.

Two years ago, on a whim, with some time off, we darted up to Canada, eventually Quebec City. The Canadian border guard made me pull the car over after I made some wise cracks at the border. After the background check, which cleared, we were well on our way. Just me and the silver car, through remote stretches of Quebec wilderness, driving though obscure towns, and even stopping at a redneck Quebec (yes they exist) strip club. I wasn't well received so we left. Me and a friend returned to Quebec just a few weeks ago, and again, the car performed beautifully.

The car gave me a huge sense of freedom to explore.That can be empowering.

I failed to mention the countless routine trips to Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, either to Wegman's or other good restaurants, or evenings out on the town, with friends, trying to run game on the local scenester chicks. It was there for all of that, and if I did ever have game, enough to lure a broad back to my car, I had nothing to be embarrassed about when it came to my wheels, accept maybe the mess, including the empty Tea's Tea bottles often sitting in the back. But I have the feeling the slick display in the car would soon distract any would be conquest from the horrendous disorder in the backseat. Fortunately for the ladies, I have little game, and 98% of my passengers on weekend nights were my male friends, who most likely left the drinking establishments just as disappointed as me. However, our chats, on the way home would always be interesting, discussing what we, or I perceived, as blown opportunities or potential vibes. The Mazda, again would keep quiet during this type of typical male bullshit which I still gladly partake in today.

Last Thursday, on my way home from morning classes, I was approaching a hill. This was a hill the Mazda always crushed with no problems or struggles. I noticed a surging power as I was in fourth gear. Things didn't feel right. As I got down to the bottom of the hill, there were issues with it changing gear. Something definitely wasn't right. The "AT" light came on.

I did some minimal research with my minimal car knowledge and tried to convince myself that it was just an electrical issue. I contacted my local mechanic, which then took it to the local transmission fixer-upper. They ran a diagnostic test on it. As the results came in, the mechanic gave me a look as though someone ran over my puppy. I wasn't feeling good. It'd be a 2,000$ job.

I called my parents, specifically my old man for advice, I still do that 'cause I don't have a mind of my own. He suggested I get a new car. I didn't want to, but I figured I'd look around.

Yesterday, I got in a new Mazda3, 5-door. I was told there was rebates. I had to make a decision. I made a decision.

I will be saying good bye to an old reliable, but run down friend. This is it. I'm saying goodbye. This won't be easy me, or any of us. This machine brought me so much joy, and even pride (if that's possible). Yes, a machine can bring joy to a life, don't kid yourself.

The era of the 2004 Mazda3 is over.

I will miss it. But life moves on.

Thank you Mazda3. I <3 u.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

disturbing thought patterns.

Years ago, not so much anymore, if I was in some formal and/or awkward uncomfortable social situation, thoughts would come to me about how to make the communication even weirder. Whether it was a job interview or just meeting new people, crazy things would fall into my brain. Does this happen to you?

For instance someone was showing me around their lovely house once, and being completely polite and friendly. These were people I didn't know all that well. Then I would think, what would happen if I just kicked them in the back unprovoked. What would they do? How would they respond?

During a job interview, how would the interviewer react if I just started slobbering all over myself and speaking in gibberish. I guess they have reality TV shows that do this sort of thing now.

It's as my brain was trying to find the weirdest thing to do in the given scenario. That's kind of stressful when you're in your teens. Sometimes you even entertain/obsess over these thoughts. I've never acted on any them.

I guess it's a good distraction if the conversation is boring and going no where. I guess it'd be really bad if I ever did any of this stuff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Today was a floaty day

Only got a couple hours of sleep. No, I felt good, just couldn't sleep.

Tried to take an afternoon nap but my own snoring woke me up. Eventually I got up and did some productive things. Then walked to CVS for water and coconut water. The one clerk might be in her twenties and wears lots of rings. I'm not sure how I feel about her.

Ended up going to Chipotle again. That's a great place to go for quick food and if you don't feel like thinking much. Ran into three female co-workers. I tried to get gossip out of them. I did a little.

The weather remains hot and I remained drained and warn out. I really need to take vitamins and pull myself out of this rut.

Everything felt floaty and detached.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another Average Day

Woke up about 5:30AM with the fan running. I'm still congested from allergies I think. the night before I had a couple beers and another thing to help me relax and that always makes me more tired the next day. I don't sleep well to begin with. I've been told I have horrible sleep apnea. So stop calling me lazy!

Drove to work drowsy again, but had enough time to grab one of those cold Starbucks drinks. Yeah, I know Starbucks is evil but I like the product they produce, plus it gives me a mini bump in the morning. I downed that on the way to work. I had enough time to grab another coffee at the Subway, within the cafeteria of the institute. The coffee here is okay. I drop a couple hazelnut cream things in it, and put in a couple ice cubes so its the perfect temperature. It's a routine.

On the first hour's break, I made a deposit in the restroom, this always helps the day along and gives me another little bump. I'm going to be re-designing the menus for the local fire company here in town, so I started thinking of some concepts/approaches. It's not a high paying or glamorous job, but I have a lot of freedom to do what I want and it keeps my mind busy. If it turns out great, it'll be a portfolio piece.

As noontime came closer I started thinking of what I'm going to do on the weekends. Staying in my apartment, loading up on green tea, big pharma, netflix, and this menu project, listening to Murray Rothbard or Milton Friedman lectures on Youtube, while walking around in my undies could be quite bless-ed and inspirational. A guy has to relax, right. I've grown used to relaxing alone and entertaining myself. As depressing as it sounds, it's really not that bad. In light of recent drama it appears to be a great option. The downside is you feel empty when Sunday night and afternoon come along.

Maybe I'll see if the GREAT rhythm section of TQI wants to practice as our ALL-STAR lead guitarist is out west for awhile. I actually enjoy the stripped down band practices. Not sure if the other guys do. We're in the midst of putting together some new steamy pop hits and it looks like more gigs are on the way. I know I always say this, but, if it weren't for band practices and gigs I'd be a very sad person.

It's early evening now, I'm on a work break, got about 2.5 hours left tonight, then probably off to the fire company. This is what I do, this is the cycle. I'm a social creature. I like small talk, I like bullshit, I like poop and sodomy jokes and I'm sorry if that's disappointing. Those things never get old, though I'm getting old and I've always been predictable if you've known me for more than a month. I'm sorry about that too. No, I can't reinvent myself like Bowie. The closest I ever came to that was getting a perm last year. I'm getting off track.

Tomorrow I'm out at noon and the glorious weekend starts. We'll see what happens.

<<<This blog and the last blog have turned into sort of diary posts....sorry if this bores you...I'm finding them easy to write because I like talking about myself.>>>

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An Average Day.

Got up to take on the new term (quarter if you will). A new batch of students of coming my way. Rise and shine at 7am. There is something so cozy about sleeping and rising on Main Street, in my big warm comfy bed, stretched out at a 45 degree angle, listening to a Texas (AM) radio station (they're an hour behind us) with their local news as the cars drive by as I'm snapping out of a mediocre sleep.

I have no AC, I'm getting allergies now, my filthy bedsheets are almost off the bed and I have clothes sprawled out everywhere in my room. Hanging on the closet door is the red striped button down shirt I'll wear to work and I will look good in it. The night before I "cleaned" the kitchen but there are still some salt granules on the floor to be swept up.

Drove to work, almost falling back to sleep on the way. Got there fifteen minutes early. Enough time to grab a coffee and limp quickly to my first class with my ailing hip. It wasn't that bad. I have the routine down to where I look like I know my stuff, yet it's still awkward cause I'm conducting it. Work went from 8am to noon.

Headed back home immediately. Almost dosed off on the ride home. I'm far more dangerous as a tired driver than I am an intoxicated one. Somehow sleepers get a free pass while the drunks really get screwed by the law. The Eurythmics, Dire Straits (Twistin by the Pool), and that somewhat new Gotye tune came on the FM dial so that sort of gave me a bump. I imagined how that (Gotye) song could be covered by our band, TQI. I do that quite often with songs I really love. You know, you think about how you could pull it off.

The pharmacy is behind my house in a strip mall so I stopped off to pick up my anti-inflammatory medication that enables me to lead a pretty normal life, probably at the expense of my digestive system. Got to take the good with bad as they say. The short but fat lady at the pharmacy shares the same name as my mom, but this woman looked like a blond groundhog. She was nice though.

As I got back to my apartment for my afternoon, desperately needed snooze, my landlord came out to let me know he fixed the water heater. My landlord is actually a really cool dude, I believe he may have been a state congressman at one time, but don't quote me on that. I thought he might complain about how messy my kitchen was, but he didn't. I've been blessed with a lot of great people in my life really. I have little to complain about.

I checked my facebook account, then napped for like 2 solid hours. My initial plan was to make another fresh batch of pizza dough but my energy levels were just to low. I'll probably do that tonight. Pizza is good cheap eating, and I make my crust rather light and thin, so my dough intake isn't that bad. Once you get your system down, it's a rather quick process and is way better than ordering out. At least in this town.

After the nap, I put on my dress shirt and tie again, along with my lovely tan loafers and headed back to work. Grabbed a fat burrito at Chipotle (probably the best chain out there) then drove to the Institute (not the Total Quality one). About two more hours to go until my day is done.

I will probably not go to the Fire Company tonight. Probably.