Sunday, September 30, 2012

ROW 80 PRE SEASON POST 6 – BLOGGIESTA POST 3 – IF IT’S SUNDAY, IT MUST BE SUNDAE RYE


I have a friend. He's rolling his eyes right now, over my stupid title and my stupid opening; joke. I have started many posts with this cheesy opening and then go on to say, something really, REALLY stupid, like “yeah, I know hard to believe.” Yesterday, a good friend of mine who’s at least as cat-shit insane as I am said “I had a friend, but the rope broke and they got away.” I responded with, “I had a friend. I  ate mine.” Tee hee. We think we’re funny. Anyway, we do have people who at least tolerate us, or pretend to like us. That’s rather hard to do on any sort of on-going basis though, isn’t it? We may all rib one another, but let’s face it, we’ve all got some pretty awesome folks that populate our lives.

One of my pals is a gentleman who lives out in the open skies of Colorado, in a basement, but is in the moving process. How one live under the stars in a basement right there is unique upon unique, I think. Anyway, Mr. Sundae Rye is celebrating his second year living independently of “the man.” Creating artwork, writing, blogging, I first ran across his website sundaeryestudio.com from @SundaeRye on Twitter several months ago and spent hours looking at the beautiful and strange artwork, reading his hilarious and furious prose and thoroughly enjoying myself.

Sundae is like me, a cat lover. He has 2 kitties!. I’ve noticed there are certain tendencies and similarities that resonate with like minds on the internet. We may as well stop all of this bullshit "IRL" and "internet" and "Virtual this" and "online" and "Outside." This isn’t “Logan’s Run.” Last night I was on “Runescape” and one of my dippy friends pops up and says “did you miss me?” This is the same genius who wanted to know if anything besides green dragon monsters dropped green dragon skins. I said, “Yeah, ogres,” and kept on killing lava guys. So, he says, “did you miss me?”  I said. “Yeah, where were you?” He says, brightly, “In real life.” I said “Oh. No shit! I thought you died or were in the 5th dimension or haunting people.” He says, “Tee hee.” He knows I’m going to be a smart ass.

So, whether it’s on the internet or in real life, I’ve noticed that certain types of people gravitate towards one another. Not exactly startling news, I guess. Anyway, Sundae writes and writes very well, as well as photographing, painting and drawing. Truly a Renaissance Man, without Sir Thomas More's fate, I hope. His facility with writing and expressing ideas is matched only by his ability to uncap at the precisely needed moment, a fine anger towards an idea. He then unhorses that idea explaining why it’s a bad one, coming up with a solution, or countering the idea into neutrality.

This is something Harlan Ellison does so well, as does Stephen King. The two know each other; authors do seem to be a comradely group. I was shocked to find out that the humorist Dave Barry, Stephen King, Greg Iles, Amy  Tan and several others were in this horrible rock group called the “Rock Bottom Remainders.” They played together and I believe they still get together now and then for causes. My understanding is they weren’t all that horrible. I’ve never heard them. I was a professional violist for 35 years. I think the Vienna Philharmonic plays out of tune. I may get around to actually hearing the “Rock Bottom Remainders,” some day. If I’m drunk. Then again, maybe not. I'm a horrible music snob.

Anyway, I started reading Sundae’s prose. This is about the time I think the warranty ran out on my laugh. It was starting to get a bit rusty and screechy. Then I ran across “Jesus Was a Zombie,” and all Hell broke loose. I think I lost consciousness 2 or 3 times during that post, alone. JC had to pick me up out from under my computer. He kept shouting, “Are you okay? Are you okay?” I’d open my mouth to answer, and rusty springs would come out. That was one of the funniest things and most honest pieces I’d ever read. The interesting thing is, it in no way changes the way I view my relationship to God or Jesus Christ. It’s a very personal thing. What Sundae believes is his belief. I respect that and I’m no more saved than he is and he’s no more damned than I am. Anyone who doesn’t get that is wrong.

This world, this universe, this weltanschauung is infinite. If it cannot accommodate the beliefs of a finite amount of people on a single planet, there is something fundamentally wrong with the entire universe and ANY belief system is then flawed. Period.

Anyway, everyone needs to stampede on over to sundaeryestudios.com and give the man’s website a look. His artwork is stunning; you’ll see works in progress. Lots of it is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, but so much more is just Sundae. His books are wonderful as well. The man is also generous to a fault. Ask him a question, and you’ll get a conversation. He’s straight up and refreshing. Tell him Hello for me. 



Saturday, September 29, 2012

ROW 80 PRE SEASON POST 5 - BLOGGIESTA POST 2 – THE HISTORY OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION


I woke up kind late-ish today. I haven’t been sleeping well. Lay it at the door of my dear, undeparted friend, PAR-FUCK-KING-SON. Now, that I’ve gotten that if not off my chest, at least off my keyboard. Did I mention there are no tests for this bastard? None, whatsoever. They do it by “observation.” Or the quaint term, “bedside diagnosis.” My dear friend, YumaBev, who runs the hilarious blog Parkinson’s Humor and can be followed on Twitter @YumaBev, had to go through a 9 year duel (from her description) before she was able to (convince her doctor) be diagnosed.

I just went through a similar conversation, with my psychiatrist’s assistant. Then, I talked to the Psychiatrist, who knows I have Parkinson’s. My own Primary Care physicians and my Ophthalmologists know I have Parkinson’s. When people start disagreeing with me because I’m not a doctor, I get really pissed. I’ve lived in this body for 56 years. If he/she who is disagreeing want to take it for a test drive and tell me I’m wrong, be my guest, otherwise, shut up. I worked in a Teaching Hospital at the University of Michigan for 5 years while in school. Guess what they do best there? That’s right, teach and answer questions. And they don't care if you're not a med student. Ask away. Guess what I do a lot of, even to this day? That’s right, ask tons of questions. I had this little job to help pay for my schooling, basically all I did was run around and bother doctors. I was supposed to run medical records from one department to another. They got delivered, just not in a timely manner. But, I got one HELL of a medical education. I digress.

So, when you have something that is not necessarily so definitive, doctors like to sit on fences. All well and good for their malpractice rates, but hell for the patients. I’ve just had enough of the psychoses and all the other little treats that are not so slowly being unveiled. The fourth of October can’t get here fast enough. I’m sure I’ll have to play the kind of game you get to play when you go to the Optometrist.

You know the one where they put the combination Wheel-of-Fortune-Darth-Vader-helmet-minus-the-helm doo-dad in front of your eyes and start alternating lenses. Then ask, “Is number one better? Or…is number 2 better?” Frankly, every damned one of those things ever in my entire life was a smeared blur with a light in the distance. They could have painted butter on one lens, motor oil on another, and cheese cake on the rest for all the clarity I ever experienced. I would mumble some kind of response and half an hour later would walk out with a pair of glasses that would take residence under the front seat of my car for the next year, until I received my friendly reminder, telling me it was time for my next eye appointment. I’m so glad I had vision insurance.

Speaking of driving, although who was, Andi-Roo over at TheWorld4Realz got me wound up last night with her story of traveling on the train. First off, why are people mean? Second off, why are they mean to my Andi-Roo? If I had been there, I would have socked that woman right on her stupid beezer! “Read. Go Read.” WTF? I mean, here are two bright-looking people asking which train to take to get to New York City and the Train Witch says, “Just Read. Go Read.” Or something akin and abrupt to that. Hey, no shit. We did “Go Read” Bitch. Maybe there’s a secret ritual or handshake or something and a City Fairy pops out and does mime indicating that you take train 8 ½ like you’re going to Hoo-Ville or Hogwarts. Aargh.

I thought that woman was just plain mean to Andi-Roo who looked like a sad thing at first but looked happy at the Elephant place. Andi-Roo, I didn’t know you have the most stunning color of blue eyes! Anyway, enough hero worship.

Driving. Ah, yes, driving. At the beginning of Andi-Roo’s train post, she talks about all of the wonderful construction and how it puts our nation's highway system in some kind of stasis. Yes, it has, for centuries. It has been going on for eternity. Dinosaurs were originally used for Highway Stasis back when the earth was first cooling and it was then that the first roads were laid. These roads were pronounced good and have remained pretty much the same to this day. Oh, there may be talk of road expansion and a bit of hot patch thrown down now and again, but the original roads that brontosaurus and his cousins, backhoesaurus and goldbrickodactyl built are the foundations for all the roads traveled today.

As governments and empires rose and fell, it became necessary to justify huge expenditures of money that had been wrested from the peasantry. The wealthy oligarchs couldn’t continually have festivals and high holy holidays with all their conspicuous consumption, so they came up with public works. If they weren’t building giant eyesores in the name of Whobius Frippus, they were busy paving and re-paving and re-re-paving roads, some of which actually went places. Cue the dawn of an era. One Roman Emperors, Flambius Corpeum Dirge in a confused attempt to meld form and function tried to pave the Apian Way using an entire Circus. This failed miserably when the elephants trampled the midgets and dancing poodles. The only up side was that an idea was born, and the putative Emperor tossed aside the midgets and elephants and had the road paved by the poodles. And people wondered why the Roman Empire died in 479 A.D.

The Dark Ages were really, really dark. I think roads were pretty much optional and were infested with outlaws anyway. You had to practically go to the Holy land or back down around Rome to get a decent road or at least a path during the Dark Ages so, we’ll skip ahead shall we?

Okay, here we are. It’s about 2003, so you know we’ve skipped. I’m still playing between Tampa, Orlando, Melbourne, all over Florida and the Southeast, the roads of which are ALL in some kind of state of construction. If it’s not the magical slowdown for 6 hours, it’s the driving on uneven lanes. There are cones, barrels, construction workers looming up at you, even at night; it's frightening. It’s a mess and it’s constant. It’s been like this since I’ve been touring since 1990.


Anyway, one night I’m between Tampa and the Mauseschwitz, driving home after a gig, tired, with so many cones, barrels, uneven lanes and so much odd shit going on. I’m following the cones, like the good driver I am. They keep veering right, veering right, veering right. The lanes are uneven. Then, clunk! I’m not on the road! I’m still following the cones, following the cones…WTF? I find myself with about 10 other bewildered drivers in the middle of some empty field, milling around, driving in confused circles, just milling in circles, kicking up dust, wondering how in the hell we'd all gotten there. It was the Bermuda Triangle on land. We somehow all staggered our way back out of the field and without benefit of an entrance ramp, climbed back up on I-4. WTF? Maybe we were in some kind of bastard Roman Games? Time warp? WTF?

Isn't this the 275 interchange to Nebraska Avenue? Wrong century, dude.




Friday, September 28, 2012

ROW 80 PRE SEASON POST 4 - BLOGGIESTA POST 1 – LET’S GET THIS FURBALL ON THE ROAD!


Alrighty then, I’m ready to start this here Siesta, I mean, Fiesta, er, uh, Bloggiesta! I had to miss my ROW 80 post yesterday on account of I had to take one of my famous 7 or 8 in-dog-year-all-of-3-miles bus rides to the psychiatrist’s to find out that, yup, I’m still, bat-shit crazy insane. I have to do this every 2 months, so they can give me meds for my bipolar condition. I’ve gone way beyond depression. One of these days, I expect someone to just throw me in a cage at the Lowery Park Zoo. Anyway, they took me off one anxiety medication, because it’s not working, the bipolar stuff is working. It’s supposedly keeping me calm. See if this sounds calm.

While trying to buy a small bottle of olive oil at the corner store on Sunday. 4 of the locals were hanging around the tiny cashier who has breasts the size of basketballs trying to talk to her about having kids, in a very inappropriate manner. They’re black, she’s Latina. She’s also rather dim, and is kind of being coy. I’m already short of temper. We’ve been trying to coax our rent-a-cat out so we can get her spayed through the auspices of the Humane Society and I’ve been out in the hot sun. This is not good for Parkies. One of these 4 locals has always been a problem and I always try to keep him in my line of “sight.” He’s a predator.

So, these assholes are up there at the counter, chatting up “mama” and I say, “excuse me, I’d like to make a purchase.” No response, and they keep up their “flirting.” I say louder, “You know, it takes a man to make a baby, I don’t see no man around here.” One of these guys looks at me and says, “you white bitch.” I step forward, raise my cane, and say, “Come on, you porch monkeys, you want some?” I need to add that I would NEVER play the race card, unless it were thrown at me, first. That dumbass had it coming. 

If that's the best any of them can do, that's what they get. I'm way over saying, "some of my best friends are (fill in the blank)." If you wanna get ugly and crazy, I'll outdo you. I live in the 'hood, fisticuffs both verbal and veritable are my fortế. Don't fuck with me, period. I would have done damage; they know that. Dead silence and they back up. I pay for my oil, turn and say, “Get the Fuck away from me!” and storm out. I ran into the owner who was just coming back in. He asked me what was wrong. I told him he needed to get those assholes out of his store and probably fire his clerk.

That’s what Parkinson’s does and the meds don’t really help all that much. Some can lower your impulse control even more. I was always in control and then I started just losing it. I worried about it, now, I don’t. Big change. Well, rent-a-kitty is now perm-a-kitty. It didn’t take her long to train us. JC talks to her and she pays attention to him. I talk to her and I may as well be talking to a sack of hammers. Kind of like all my other relationships with live things.

So, I kind of spiffed up my blog. I tried putting up some different layouts and stuff. My blog is always going to be rather bland to look at. I hope to garner badges and endorsements, but it will never be pretty. I have to look at it and I need the plainest thing possible to work with. My eye(s) and brain just will not play well together for any length of time. So, I’ll throw in a picture here and a picture there.

This is just an informational post; not a ha ha post, or a rant post, because this is rather a crossroads, but an intentional one. Bloggiesta, a new ROW80, which starts on October 1, and a friend and I are branching out into the wonderful world of computer repair. I am a software whiz and he worked for Intelligence in the Military and knows hardware. We’re keeping it local and it’s just for extra cash. We’re both on Disability and we don’t want to get so bogged down with all things computer that it takes us away from the things we love doing. We both did computers in former lives. I want to write. Plus, if you make too much money, the Feds get meany-pants and start wanting your money back. Assholes.


Do I look furious? 

So, is this the real Viola Fury, or is it too meta- or is “Homeless” just a state of mind? (What a great seque) Yesterday, there were two new homeless people, a man and a woman, that JC kept wondering about. He just can’t conceive living on the streets the way the people do. His heart really goes out to them, but he can't fathom it. At first, he speculated it was the addictions, but he knows better. It’s the mental illness. We keep a careful eye on them, not because we’re afraid they’ll steal from us or hurt us. Quite the opposite. These people are so fragile and so reclusive. And there are so many truly evil people here, like Ray. Who has a warrant out for his arrest, not for Wade, which it turns out, I may have been right about. No, for felony Grand Theft and this time he's on Video. I digress. 

For the most part, the homeless stay to themselves. I ran into these 2 on my way home from the doctor’s office yesterday. I came barreling around the corner and there they were, perched on the corner with all of their bags and papers. They were wearing all their clothing, coats, long pants and all; it was 90 degrees. Every homeless person ever does that; they no dresser drawers. They were munching on sandwiches they had gotten from God knows where. Neither spoke to me. If they had asked for money, I would have given it, but they didn't.  They just sat there, stolidly munching, even as I almost plowed them under. It's because they don't want to draw attention to themselves; I may yell at them, or shame them. They're already ashamed. Dear God in heaven. I weep. I should wash their feet. I am no better than they.

The smell was unholy; living on the streets is a dirty business. There is exactly one place on Nebraska Avenue that provides showers and washers and dryers for the homeless. It is administered by MHC, Mental Health Care, Inc. of Tampa, who so kindly invited me to stay in their facilities awhile back in March. Without them, there would be no one for these folks. So, we watch out and make sure they are not bothered around here. They huddled across the street for the longest time, until just before dark. Lately, the Tampa Police have been more active at arresting people for drinking and drugging around business establishments; those people, believe it or not, are people who do receive some kind of assistance and usually have a place to lay their heads. It may be an aunt’s tool shed, or a group home, but they are not truly without any place to go. These two I am talking about have… an underpass to sleep under? A park bench to sleep on? What about when it’s raining or cold? The Salvation Army is full, and you can only stay so long. I really don’t know.

JC watched them for the longest time; just before sunset, they gathered their things and packed up their bindles and inspected one another. I guess to make sure they had all their stuff, or maybe to make sure they were both okay. They shrugged themselves back into their coats, picked up their littler bags and melted off into the trees. Another day on Nebraska Avenue survived.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ROW 80 4TH ROUND PRE-SEASON DAY 3 – THINGS I’M HAPPY ABOUT. CRACKED.COM AND I AGREE, AS USUAL


I was trolling around, er, reading some articles on Cracked.com yesterday. I do that frequently and occasionally get some good riffs to write from. Witness the 


Am I a Fearless Actor?  

“Nic Cage in Bear Suit,” from “Wicker Man.” In the awesome times awesome post “The 7 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Movies of the Decade,” written by RiffTrax. That bit about ol’ Nic caused me to damage my laugh. That was the start of the owie. 


Hmm, I Wonder If I Ate My Briefcase? 

“Executive Lion,” the riff that I went off on in my post, that damned lion looks so serious, like he's going to a business meeting. This is Robert Brockway’s wonderful article “15 Old Photographs That Prove the World Used to Be Insane,” was when I had my very first apoplexy and hernia. I’ve had several since then. Apoplexies, I mean. I haven’t had hernias, just a lot of pulled tummy muscles and sore cheeks from laughing. There may be some small danger when all my senses fire at once. I literally started to pass out during the “Lion Drome” thing when I read that shit, it was that funny. JC caught me just as I was starting to slide out of my chair; all the synapses had blown at the same time. My laughter had gone from ha-ha-ha to that shrill steam-kettle thing, that’s how he knew I was about to go under.

I’ve also decided that this is going to be the new name for my next string quartet: “Apoplexy and Hernias.” I once had a string quartet named “La Cord Fromage,” which translated from the French and meant, “The String Cheese,” and boy, did we play some cheese. Everything from “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” pizzicato all the way, to every stupid Disney tune. Ever. Written. The only "high art" we ever got a whiff of at the time was “Eine Kliene Nacht Musik,” by Mozart, where my soul died a little more, every time we played that bastard. It finally got to the point, where these idiots at quartet “do’s” would request this fucker, and I would take off out of the gate and play it as fast as I could to the finish line. I win! Now, don’t request that piece of shit again. I only play Mozart for money and I don’t play it happily; I try to play it as fast as I can, even the slow Mozart. My quartet members were well aware of my tendency to race through it all at a Presto-like pace. Mozart just plain sucks donkey dicks. Give me Beethoven or kill me.

Our black, gay cellist, who was very cultured, used to drawl in his best homie voice, “Mar' don’ be playin’ no Mozar’”, just before the downbeat, to make me snort in front of an audience. And off we’d go on a frantic race to the end. “Eine” loses again! People actually paid us money for this shit. Well, “La Cord Fromage” actually got good, and we tackled all the Beethoven quartets, opus 18 were my favorites, Debussy, Ravel, and Shostakovich. We played together for several years; I’m proud of the work we did; string quartet work is probably the hardest of the entire string literature to master. I can’t say we mastered it, but we sure did some fine stuff. So, we quit being cheesy and got good. We kept the name because no one in Florida speaks French. They all thought it was lovely and classy.

Anyway, my next quartet “Apoplexy and Hernias” will be more rock-oriented. But back to Cracked.com. I’ve been a rather sad thing, kind of lately. I could chalk it up to Parkinson’s Disease. It’s always here. Lately, it’s been more in my face than usual. It’s truly a pain in the ass and everywhere else. It’s like just about every cliché about any state with weird weather; i.e. “wait five minutes and it will change.” Yup, that sums up PD. It’s something different, it’s nothing, it’s pain, weird taste, weird feeling, weird sleeping, weird emotions, all in 3 seconds. It’s curled up toes, then stasis. It’s a stampede of thoughts, then complete vacuousness in your head; not even cobwebs. It’s DEFCON5 in your vision, then 1000-yard stare for hours.

The other night, I was sound asleep. Some joker took a stick and pushed my left big toe all the way up to make my knee hit my chin. What the fuck is that? About 5 minutes or 5 hours later, the same joker yanked my right wrist hard enough to make it hurt and startled me awake. What the fuck?

And PD fucks with time; I’ve always lived by the clock. My careers demanded it; now, I have no idea how much time has passed. If it’s 10 minutes, 10 hours, who the fuck knows. That’s okay. I’m not doing anything anyway, except giggling over Cracked.com. So, yesterday it was “7 Things You Won’t Believe Science Says Make You Happy,” by XJ Selman. I think he’s onto something. Sad movies, like “Braveheart.” Now, I always recuse myself from weighing in on “Braveheart” being as how Sir William is a member of the family and being as how the movie is to me, boring and there are lots of inaccuracies in the thing. But Selman is onto something. He writes of “Atonement,” best described as “every sad movie ever made, for two hours.” “Theater staff are required to keep water and salt tablets on hand to stem the dehydration death toll.”

Researchers found that participants had moods elevated after seeing their favorite sad movies; participants were happier “after getting taken in by the wailing opera of despair, because they had subconsciously compared their own close relationships with the horrible tragedies onscreen.



This whole Cracked.com article is chock-a-block with these pithy observations. I hadn't read Mr. XJ Selman before, but intend to read more of his funny and informative articles. Number 7 on this list is a doozy. You can follow XJSelman on Twitter, too. Mr. Robert Brockway, who is always hilarious and one hell of a writer hangs out on Cracked.com. He has a book, a novel "Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity" available now at http://www.rxthebook.com, which I would dearly love to get my sweaty, PD-ridden, shaky mitts on and will, being that sort of stubborn asshole that I am. But, this isn’t about me. Robert Brockway’s hilarious!

Read more: Robert Brockway | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/members/Robert+Brockway/#ixzz27b3oMJvh






Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ROW 80 4TH ROUND PRE-SEASON DAY 2 – PD BLUES, THE FUN GUYS OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, CTU?, BIGGEST NEWS!


This is pretty ad-hoc, since I only thought of this whole pre-season mess a few days ago. Frustrated with my Parkinson’s, forever and anon now known as “PD,” or “that asshole disease” if I’m feeling puckish and I can type without 49 corrections. I’m just so fucking tired of the zinging pain, electricity running OUT of my skin, face, eyeballs, which I can’t see properly out of anyway. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING tastes right. I couldn’t eat my spinach salad last night. It was too “bright!” whatever in the fuck that means. It made my scalp hurt. Yeah, my scalp. I had to settle for beef stew, which I had to gulp down because the carrots hurt the bottoms of my eyes and my sinuses. I’m losing weight. Worse, I’m losing my strength.

I know I have pneumonia in my right lung and I can’t get doctor one to look at it without a major trip to her office. I have an appointment on Thursday, where I will address this ALL with my psychiatrist. Managed Health Care? More like Managed Funerary Care. I could take one of my fabulous trips to the ER, but I always wait until I’m at death’s door. I’m already going through this, via a letter from the Fun Guys at the State of Florida:

“We, the aforementioned Fun Guys at the State of Florida have sent you to a collection agency for 511.00 for the month of March, er, September. You were supposed to spend 960.00 a month for health care before we paid dime 1. You only spent 511.00 for March, er, September. We know you only get 1160.00 a month from SSDI, but you could have lived under the overpass during the month of March, er, September. It wasn’t cold out. Then you could have paid us. Since you chose to spend your money foolishly on housing, food, ‘cause we cut your food stamps from 26.00 to 25.00, electricity and prescriptions that are hideously expensive because Big Pharma CARES you know, you only had 79 cents left from your 1160.00. We think you are irresponsible and we are sending you to a collection agency for what we told you was originally an 1111.00 bill and that we would pay for March, er September. Ooops. Our error. You must pay. I hope we may serve you in the future.” – Fun Guys at the State of Florida.

Bite Me. First off, I was no where near a hospital in September. September is still going on by my reckoning and I was no where near a hospital last September. Last March, I spent MOST of March IN the hospital and if that stay was only 511.00, I want to see the bill. Where in the hell did they stash me, in the dumpster out back of St. Joe’s? It’s entirely possible, since I was out of my mind for most of that stay, however I have dimmy, flashy memories of people in white coats and JC sitting with me in an actual chair (no there was no empty chair, Clint) and I remember leaving, so I have no idea what in hell they are dunning me for. I suppose I should work up a fine head of give-a-shit and look into it, but you know what? Fuck it.

This is so far down on shit I chase around with the State and Federal governments, just Fuck it. At this point, as long as I get my own self and JC taken care of, I don’t give a shit if they say I went to the Urgent Care Center on the Moon. I get my SSDI. I’m 6 months from getting my Medicare, where all my medicines will be paid for and that’s great, because I’ve got some heavy-duty shit I’m supposed to take. Advair diskus which helps me greatly is 250.00 for a 30-day supply. I have not been able to get it since I won my SSDI, which I won in 5 months, from the 1st filing, I was that ill.

Anyway, enough of my organ recital. I am just fighting the big battles now. SoF and their confuse-a-what with months. Maybe I should go work there. The place would implode. My confusion on top of theirs. A black hole of confusion, hee.

Well, big-gish news here. I have a friend in real life. Stop laughing. We do manage to cultivate friends. There no more normal than us, believe me. JC and myself and Al, who worked for the Military in Computers (feel free to let your mind wander down “those DOD people” roads) got to talking. He’s a hardware whiz, something I was abysmal at in school and in practice. Al came bopping over here with a couple of laptops and he was having some trouble quite figuring out how to get around some software captures. So, he and I put our heads together; got them fixed. We’re going to start a little neighborhood fixer-upper for computers.

Nothing big. The ‘bangers and hos and ‘tat folks buy these junkers at the flea markets for 50.00. they’re full of viruses and Trojans and worms. I have an arsenal of hotfixes on CD and can get the latest. Al does hardware. We’re both aces in BIOS. So, for 10 or 20 buck, Homie can get his stuff fixed, or recycle it, and we can use the parts. Always a way to make a buck. We can meet these cats at the Honduran cafeteria across the street. Al is fluent in Spanish. I can pretend to be Chloe O’Brian. JC said he’d be Bill Buchanan. JC put together our ad; he’s bonzer! So, that’s our Tuesday.

This is the biggest news! We have a new addition to our little family. Butterscotch (goes by “Mama”.) She was the pregnant stray, who showed up so many months ago. JC was instantly smitten by her. He was not overly familiar with the ways of cats and thought originally when she would ignore him that she had spurned him and he was hurt. I explained that this was not so, that he must be patient and she would return. She did, over and over. She disappeared when she delivered her babies. One survived, and for a short time, Mama brought the baby up here and she was teaching baby to hunt. 

Mama has always been JC’s. She comes at the sound of his voice and listens and obeys (when she chooses to) only him. We had lots of fun watching Mama and baby play and cavort. Baby was hit and killed 2 weeks ago. JC was devastated and wept; he is that tender a soul. She would always come up to be fed and JC would feed her, sitting outside talking to her in a low murmur. When he was hospitalized, I didn't see her at all. She knew he wasn't there. The day he returned, here she came. I was so pleased, but I hadn't worried. Cats are like that.

By chance, Al has a friend who picks up stray cats and has them neutered. I had an extra 15.00, and instead of wasting it on the Fun Guys at the State of Florida, I spent it wisely on Mama. She’s sleeping behind the couch where JC is sitting right now. The Fun Guys at the State of Florida can bite me.


Butterscotch, better known as "Mama"

Monday, September 24, 2012

ROW 80 4TH ROUND PRE-SEASON DAY 1 – YEAH, I KNOW IT’S NOT FOOTBALL


Yeah, I know it’s not football, it’s a blogging thingy. A challenge as it were, but I’ve been knocking around here and some really weird shit has happened and I’m not down with it in the least. I may as well just blart it out and get it off my chest. I tried being stoic. Fuck it. I’m not and never will be. The last time I was, it earned me a time-out and that was almost a permanent deal. I guess that’s not how I roll. Instead of staying up for a month and having psychotic break and then getting packed off to the funny farm, courtesy of the State of Florida for almost another month. About the only part of that whole mess I do remember is St. Patrick’s day weekend, which is ironic as hell, because I don’t remember lots of St. Patty’s days. So, why the fuck did I start down that road again? Is it because I’m just so goddamned weary and in so much physical and psychic (not psychological pain, I’m not depressed) pain that there are days I just don’t want to get out of bed? Is it because I’m just so ragingly angry at the human race and what we’ve devolved into that I just don’t give a shit? Is this the cosmic opposite of what should be the divine? Is this a true decent into madness? Where one is very aware of the raging chaos that is out there. Of the horrendous insults and cruelties. The insane acts of barbarity we inflict on one another in the name of religion, further inflamed by the holy righteousness of the cause are staggering. And for what? To be perpetuated, that’s what; generation after generation.

I’m not saying anything new. I feel like I’m chasing my tail, AGAIN. I wanted to have some fun with “this here bloggy-blog” as Andi-Roo says, but I haven’t been seeing much of it lately. So, I’m going to take a deep breath, and focus on the positive, because this is the 3rd time I’ve gotten to practice something that has become a passion. I’ve hit the lottery in life. I was able to play music which I loved with a passion from before I was born, if you ever listened to my mother. I actually earned a living at it; that was a plus. Then I married the dolt who thought the Zither Fairy would come along; he wanted no other violists in the house but he. Yeah, that worked, so I went back to school, majored in computer science, and voilà, got divorced. I moved to Florida and worked for IBM. Boom! A second passion. I love computers, math, science, all things nerdy. I’m not a particular genius or brilliant; I’m just interested in it all. Sub-atomic as well as astronomical. Seen and unseen. Now, we’re delving into the philosophical. Of course. Everything that rises must converge.

With that in mind, this is kind of how I think everything is a big ball of everything, contiguous, endless and connected. But, as per usual, I digress. After Idiot Violist husband, I somehow managed to snare Evil Manipulative Shallow Straw Man husband, whom I walked out on. Seeing as how he got a girlfriend while I was busy dying of CHF, but didn’t and then he did his damnedest to try and kill passively until I walked out and took him for a ride, you’d think I would have learned my lesson. Nope, I had to go a round with Brainless Drunk and play Brainless Drunkette until I finally wound up in the hospital for 2 months. The irony is that I had been sober for several months by that time. It didn’t matter. I still had no home, no job, and no health. I really hit bottom; that shit worked and I finally got honest for the first time in my life. I was 54.

I blame myself for the Brainless dude, but there was no harm in him. Straw Man, or "Crapweasel" as he is known, is truly malevolent. I think the worst things a person can ever do short of murder, is to take someone’s trust and knowingly subvert it. There are certain people who are trusting as children. I don’t care if they live to be 100, they’re just like that and they need to have people in their lives who understand that and will guard that trust. It’s sacred to me. JC is very much like that. I’m like that and it’s something too few people understand. Actually, we should all just be like that. It’s a no-brainer. But there are a lot of evil assholes in this world who are just waiting to take, hurt and put themselves in that position of power. Well, Karma is a bitch, and someday, all of those people who hurt the ones who trusted them blindly will get it in the neck.

Anyway, off I go on another screed. After hanging out at the ol’ funny farm and coming home I was pretty aimless. I ran into Andi-Roo’s post “Depression is a Lying Bitch.” She’s heard me blart on about this a million times, and poor thing, she’ll have to listen to it a million more, I guess. It galvanized me. It still does and I read it back in May. I re-read it now and again; powerful post. I still feel that thrill that I felt when I first read it. I cried; howled, bawled and I got it. And I started to write as if my life depended on it, because, it does. Life is fragile. Yeah, that’s a chestnut and all. Having Parkinson’s Disease has a very weird effect on people. Some people become absolutely debilitated and granted there’s lots I can’t do, but I couldn’t anyway, because I’m blind. There’s also an opposite effect, and I guess that’s what I have; there’s not a damned thing I can’t do. That’s the up part of the bipolar part. The bipolarity is actually caused by the Parkinson’s. So, it’s all part of a fun ball of confuse-a-what.

So, basically, I don’t give a shit; of course life is fragile. I fall down, I get up. I go to the bus stop and get threatened by the stupid bangers. I go into batshit crazy routine, they back down. I out-crazied 4 of them yesterday, assholes. Every once in a while, we get knocked back, a bit. But we persevere. And always, always there is the writing. With this, I can create worlds. Okay, there not the greatest of worlds; I’m not much on the imagination part of things, but I haven’t really tried yet either. So, anyway, sit back and enjoy the Pre-Season ROW80. Remember this is the 3rd 
stringer writer. Hope the QB hasn’t pulled a hamstring.


Just Some Random Crap

Thursday, September 20, 2012

SEPTEMBER 20 PREP FOR BLOGGIESTA - COURTESY OF JESSELIBECAP & THEWORLD4REALZ, BUT FIRST! DRAMATIC SIGHTING OF CRAPWEASEL, THE EVIL EX-HUSBAND

Okay, this is just a quick posty-post to let you all know that come 9/28/12 to 9/30/12, I will be part of the BLOGGIESTA Mini-Challenge, where I will learn to do more bloggy-type stuff. Not so much writey-type stuff. I seem to be soaking that up as I go. All these kind folks are taking me under their wingy-wings, so this is very cool, and I'm kind of a sad thing, because I have nothing to rail at. Actually I do, but I'm kind of in shock. Although the reason I'm in shock has not one thing to do with ROW 80 being down for a few weeks. 

No, the reason I'm in shock is that yesterday, as I was waiting for the cab to come an pick me up and bring me and our groceries home, I could feel this... presence, to my right. You all know I don't see well. My vision forward is bad enough, but I have almost no peripheral vision, whatsoever. I could just sense something. There really is something to this. I maintain a HUGE distance between myself and other when in public. I barked at some guy in the store yesterday. He was within my comfort zone, which is probably a good 6 foot perimeter. He was going to say something in response, but when I cocked my head, he backed off. People stay away from me.

Anyway, I'm out front by the pole barriers and I feel this... creepy-crawly sensation to my right. I look down the walkway and.... God damn! You know that scene in "Alien" where Ripley first finds out the alien is in the shuttle craft? The violins start screeching and she draws her head down slowly. That's what this was like. I backed away. He had been looking at me for I don't know how long. He still has that same arrogant, evil look just dripping off him, only more so. This man has no honesty, no respect for himself, no joy. That son of a bitch was waiting for me to die. He wanted me to die so he wouldn't have to split the community property and he thought he'd move his little trollop, Andrea in after I croaked. Well, I know he didn't get to keep the 2 acres and the house. He was at the shopping center, still doing the same job. His dreams of grandeur have gone nowhere. How else to explain that he's still a Social Worker taking care of kids in at risk homes. What a laugh there. The man with the morals of a madam still working with at risk families on Nebraska Avenue, 8 years after he started the job. He used to tell me that he "re-invented" himself every decade or so. Karma, baby. It's a bitch. Here's what he looks like on the inside:




Oops, sorry. This is Rick Scott our fearless Leader, aka Governor Voldemort. Eh, close enough to Crapweasel.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ROW80 LAST DAY 64 – THE LIEBSTER AWARD



The Liebster Award is an actual award, for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. I have way fewer than that. I need to update my shout-out: instead of the usual “2”, I have “9” now! So, hey 9 followers! Yeah, glad you’re along for this here ride on my crazy coaster.

Anyway, I was nominated by my wonderful friend Aaron, over at dadblunders, for the Liebster Award. You can find him on Twitter,  @dadblunders, I met him through my dearest, dear friend, Andi-Roo, at theWorld4Realz, follow her on Twitter @theWorld4Realz, too. They are two of the very finest people I have ever been privileged to know, bar none. Way, way awesome writers; much better than I.  Generous to a fault. I love me some superlatives, man. Through them, I have met and expanded my online family and learned so much. The most important things I’ve been given are riches beyond price. Fun and insight right here. I worked from home for 3 years, and had to step over cats to go to my office. I've upgraded; I get to spread my own brand of whatever-this-is without leaving my bedroom. When I no longer have to get out of bed, I will have achieved true Churchillian splendor, without the language or knowledge, wit and brevity, or sourl of course. So, this is going to be long enough, with all of my usual digressions; let me digress no longer, at least for awhile.


11 Questions for my nomination chosen by dadblunders and my Answers

1. What is your favorite color?


Blue, and not just any blue, but it has to be one of those subtle, deep rich, almost teal blues. Kind of a sapphire-y color, but a bit deeper blue and not on the purple end, but more toward the green part of the spectrum. Oh beans, dark, dark blue-ish-greenish… blue.   

2. Your life is going to become a script for a movie. Who would you want to play you?

Woody Allen. He has the right piquancy and nervousness. He kind of needs to lose the glasses and do something about his nose, though. And his hair. My hair is still red after all these years, no gray. I’m rather alarmed because I gave my parents enough gray hair. Actually, Woody also needs to be a bit more edgy. When I’m outside, I am kind of on “high alert,” kind of like a ninja guy, so Woody needs to be more of that, plus the hair thing, glasses, nose, and voice. You know what? Let’s just do animé and draw this thing.

3. Coffee or tea?

Tea, definitely, green tea, with honey. It is very good for people who have Parkinson’s Disease. It helps ease my tremors. The tremors are the least of my symptoms; I have extremely strong hands from playing the viola for 46 years and I can out-muscle them, but in my reading, I’ve found out that for some reason there is either a curative property or something that help eases some of the other symptoms of PD. Plus it tastes delightful. Being the lazy thing I am, I buy it by the buckets-ful, Arizona hoo-ha or whatever. Yum.

4. Not counting family…what do you feel your greatest accomplishment is so far in life?

Great question and “I Have Led a Storied Life…” See those ellipses? It’s a work in progress and took a giant 90° left turn and is still running along like the “Little Engine That Could.” My engine just isn’t going at 130 miles an hour anymore. But, I digress.

This, right here, answering this question being here is the greatest accomplishment so far. I mean that with all my heart and with all sincerity, Aaron. This… whatever “this” is, was never supposed to happen. I’ve beaten the odds more times than I care to count. I’ve had 2 careers in two very competitive fields and blown both, in ways that were, to put it in the kindest of terms, careless. I’ve walked out on relationships and cut off my mother who wanted nothing but the best for me, but was so damaged herself. She in turn, damaged me with her causticity and violent outbursts, but until I understood that and took the first step, and forgave her, I couldn’t begin to forgive myself.

It wasn’t until she died and I realized that the one person who loved me unconditionally in this huge world had died off and I was married to a deceiver and a philanderer, but he just didn’t know it yet, that I began the slow slide to an ultimate end. It took almost 8 years, but I nearly destroyed myself. I had to go through several bouts of addiction, ill health, literally gambling with the devil. I doubled down and lost. I do believe I sought oblivion; what I won was total awareness. Two months in the hospital and a stint in the homeless shelter, psychotic break and committal brought me to my JC. Then, I met Olivia Propenza through Andi-roo. That moment crystallizes my life. Things were beginning to fall into place. I was dabbling around with writing, but just kind of la-di-da-ing along. I had started “Homeless Chronicles in Tampa,” when I was homeless and had sort of let it wither when I got a new home. (surprise!)

I played around with other blogs and just some humorous stuff; nothing earth-shaking. Just fun, but something was missing. After my committal, I realized that I just was lacking the passion I had always experienced with my music. Andi-Roo pointed out to me, the passion that is life. The final deal was struck, then. The House Lost that day. Not having children, not having any close living relatives, is hard. JC is my love; I love this man beyond reason and purely. He has had a horrible life and he is the most wondrous of men. I am so, so very fortunate to have him and I cherish him. I love him unconditionally. This is where I was meant to be, as I was meant to be here doing this right now, answering your question, Aaron, and meant to meet Andi-Roo and Amberr, and all my other online friends. I have a rich life. I would have it no other way.

5. Book or movie?

Video game – Runescape!! Me with a whip and Dragon shield Slaying Dragons, Gold-Trimmed Black Armor, or Zammy Armor, Torva Armor, Obby Cape, level 121, Att 91, Str 90, no Def n00b, ViolaFury at her finest! Give me all the shiny weapons, new-fangled armor and bunches of monsters to kill and beat and rob. Yay!

Actually Movie, I think it would be really great if I could be in a movie where I was an Action Hero. “Legally Blind PD Girl!” Endless fun! Of course about 40 Politically Correct Language groups will holler right there. But I could be at the bus stop with my glasses and cane, having a fit and some bad guys could rough up some kids. I’d be there, and all of a sudden I’d bust out some of my famous hai-karate moves and scream out “hiyeeee-yaaa!” and do a can of whup-ass on their beans with my cane, and then I’d fall over with the bad guys in a heap. Just then the bus would come and my identity would be safe. No one would believe the kids. Yeah, it sounds totally great!

6. What was your favorite childhood toy?

It alternated between my father’s B-29 headset from when he flew in the Korean War and a collection of rockets my Mad Scientist uncle who was a nuclear physicist out at Jack Ass Flats in Las Vegas Nevada gave us to play with. I think my aunt and mom drank heavily in those days. I didn’t have many dolls.

7. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? If you did, what was its name? If you didn’t, what
would you have named it?

Aaron, I love this question. I’ve never been asked this. I did have; I had 2 in fact. It may be because I was an only child. Now, I never was lonely, and my parents never chided me for an over-active imagination. Well, I had 2 imaginary friends and their names were “Gigard” and “Pourd.” They lived in the heat register that was in the floor of an old house we lived in Muskegon, Michigan. I ran across a picture of them I drew for my mother, when I was about 4. I found it in her belongings after she died. Of course, I still have it. It’s in storage. “Gigard” is vertical, “Pourd” is horizontal, unless it’s the other way, depending on what my mood was at the time. My mother loved this. Moms are special. Here’s a rendering from memory:




I Drew this yesterday; do I have a career as a Primitive Artist? I didn't think so either


8. Favorite season?

Whatever the season isn’t at the time. No, I was born in Michigan and grew up in California, which was pretty bland. I went back to Michigan for school and ended up staying 16 years, before moving to Florida. I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina for a year, before moving back to Tampa in 2000. I love Florida. I thought I would love being back in Michigan. I did for about a week after the first really big snow fall. Then I had to be an adult in it and I hated it. I hate even thinking about the snow.

What a PITA! (Pain In The Ass) No other season requires you to spend 45 minutes putting on Haz-Mat gear just to take out the damned garbage. You have to put all this gear on to keep from getting frost bite. I had these stupid mittens that zipped up to the middle of my upper arms that were plastic. They only had a thumb, one finger, and the other 3 fingers were fused together, like some kind of mutant opera glove-crab claw. I looked like a carny from Hell going to Opening Night. Add the snow suit and try picking up the garbage in the house wearing that shit. Then, I get half way across the driveway, and WHOOAAAHHH!!! Down she goes!!!!! And lay there until freaking April with a messed up back; think “Christmas Story.” So, I guess you can tell winter isn’t my favorite season.

In Florida, any season is okay. Perversely enough, I love the violent weather. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve never evacuated from any hurricane, or any natural disaster, for that matter. Perversely, I’d prefer something with no sun, being susceptible to skin cancer, that’s why I opted into the new State of Florida Medicaid Bat-Plan*, starting this Fall, only eleventy-jillion dollars.
  
*I'm planning another post about the State of Florida public assistance. This has been prompted by a completely asinine letter I received yesterday and will tie in with my last "MAXIMUM INEFFICIENCY" Post. Originally, it was going to be post 65 of ROW80, but this is the last day of ROW80 until sometime in October, so I have to find another batch of writers to leech off of, er, join for a brief while, until this cranks up in October. I plan on joining again. Quel sad, but not overly so. "Homeless Chronicles" is still kicking.

9. Did you play sports in school? What were they? If not, do you regret not playing sports?

I did not play sports and I don’t regret it. I played in so many different orchestras and ensembles, I’ve never had any cause to regret that part. Besides, sometimes playing with musicians gets to be like contact sports. One afternoon in rehearsal, we had a fist-fight break out in the viola section. True story; $100,000.00 violas and $10,000.00 bows were flying around. I ducked when my stand partner threw a left cross. So, I guess I got the best of both worlds.

10. Dvd or Blu-ray?

They’re both nice(?) If it’s moving, I see it. I can’t really tell the difference. As long as it stays IN the screen, I’m cool. My brain has a truce with it; move and don’t hit, okay. Move and hit, I hit back. Actually, we watch everything on HD on my 20” computer monitor.

11. You get to become a villain for a day from a Disney movie. Which villain are you?

I am not much of a Disney fan, I must confess. I worked for Disney for a bit; Disney is a villain all by itself. The couple of times I played for them, we ended up calling them “Mauseschwitz,” where “Arbeit Macht Frei,” which is absolutely tasteless, but musicians are NOT classy people at all! Still, we would play like 9 shows in 9 hours with 15 minute breaks between each show for a few weeks. Union rate, but killing pace.

So, villains… hmm, yes… I think either “Scar” from “Lion King” or “Cruella de Ville.” From the 1962 version of “101 Dalmations.” Scar is way awesome. Being a lion and all. But Cruella swaggering around with that cigarette and the holder and that giant coat that was some batch of animal pelts. I remember feeling all shivery thinking that she was going to make all those puppies into another coat from their skins. As a kid, I was just fascinated with that. I was probably all down with it and thought it was cool. We were barbaric in my family. I’m the last of my generation and I still have a veneer of barbarity, hee.
  
I want to thank Aaron for this opportunity to participate in the Awards process for Liebster Prize. These are my nominations for Liebster Award. Be aware that these Blogs may have over 200 followers and I obviously can’t nominate blogs that have been nominated before. Frankly, “liebe” meaning “love” I can come up with a whole bunch more than 11 blogs, but this post is too long already.

Before I put down my eleven nominations, this is a good time to mention that this is the last post for this batch of ROW80. This has been a hell of a ride. I've learned enormous amounts about writing and writerly type stuff and have actually become a much clearer, better thinker, although you can't always tell from stuff like what I just wrote. I would be remiss, if I didn't thank Kait Nolan for hosting letting me jump in mid-stream and post my gibberish and then have the patience to try and pry out of me, just what I was asking, when I wasn't even sure I knew. I'm like that a lot. I also want to thank Wayne Borean for giving my writing my writing such credibility and publishing my postings in #ROW80. Never before has reinforcement felt so wonderful.

My prior writing experience has not been a constant, but it is something I return to again and again. I could say I was forced to due to other things being taken from me. A less grateful person would say that. I prefer to think of it as winning a third chance. That's 3 for 3. .1000 for you baseball fans.

11 Questions for my nomination chosen by dadblunders and my Answers



My Questions for My Nominations


1.  What is your favorite flavor?

2.  Which do you prefer, 2 pm or 2 am and why?

3.  Have you done the things you set out to do, or are you “editing your script?”

4.  Did you pursue your “passion,” from childhood to adulthood, or has your “passion” changed?    If it has, what has it become?

5.  Coca-cola or Pepsi?

6.  If you were in a video game, what character or game would you be?

7.  Who would play you in a fictionalized treatment of your life and what final form would that take? (I love this question, feel free to expand all hellaz, here)

8.  What has been the defining event, or period in your life, if such a thing has happened? Do you feel you may be approaching a culmination, or is the process of learning with your children all of a piece? (I know I’m meshing 2 different audiences here, but hey, we’re all bi-peds; it’ll work.)

9.) What would you have for a Super Power? For Good or Evil?

10.)  Did you have a favorite sock or “binkie” or item that could not pried from your little paws, awake or asleep? Is this item still around?

11.) Did you ever play the same record/song/VCR tape over and over and over until your parents went mad with frustration and hollered and bawled and tore their hair? What was that masterpiece? Barney? 101 Dalmations? Teletubbies?  

**If nominees answered the questions and posted BEFORE 9/22, those were the questions dadblunders had asked, and will stand. The above were the ones I FORGOT to cut and paste to my post because my eyes were waging WWIII with Blogger and had lost. They were off sulking and forgot all about the business of trying to SEE images and send the info to my BRAIN. Sorry. My Part of the Liebster will just be schizo; how apt. This in no way changes anything. Carry on. <3

NOMINEES






Checked in: MBOK Answers (09/22/2012)







*I'm planning another post about the State of Florida public assistance. This has been prompted by a completely asinine letter I received yesterday and will tie in with my last "MAXIMUM INEFFICIENCY" Post. Originally, it was going to be post 65 of ROW80, but this is the last day of ROW80 until sometime in October, so I have to find another batch of writers to leech off of, er, join for a brief while, until this cranks up in October. I plan on joining again. Quel sad, but not overly so. "Homeless Chronicles" is still kicking.

Monday, September 17, 2012

ROW 80 DAY 63 – HISTORY REDUX AND REDUX; AD NAUSEUM AND AD INFINITUM


I don’t know if this is a startling notion to you, but I do believe history repeats itself. We’re going through another of our tumultuous times, with respect to the Middle East. When is this not so? The Arab Spring may have sprung. Sprung into what, depends on which set of babbleheads you listen to and are able to ‘cipher. Like Jethro, my ‘cipherin’ has gotten a hell of a workout. Also, my bullshit meter broke yesterday.

But I did come away with some truths and a whole new batch of ugly; crystallized and clarified. It hit me initially as I was reading the always-wonderful “Eat the Press,” live-blogged by the marvelous Jason Linkins on HuffPost. I really look forward to his Herculean efforts each week. I always find something gut-bustingly funny, a lá the “Air Force and the freaking Hittites,” a laff riot, fer shure, and new perspectives. He’s a breath of fresh air, but Jason is pointedly objective and doesn’t pander, nor is he impressed by pedigree or “experience.”

Nope, he’s just trying to make sense out of the whole furball that is Washington D.C. and now, the geo-political egg-beater that is the fertile, or non-fertile crescent. I highly recommend anyone reading this post who has not read yesterday’s "Eat the Press"  post to do so; it’s a winner. Shameless plug for Mr. A. Linkins over, let’s move this here post along.

History, the Middle East and Civilizations; ooh, what fun! What got me going down “memory lane,” which by the way is strewn with IEDs, is this quote, on a picture of recently-slain Christopher Stevens “In 1979 Muslim terrorists took American hostages and our President appeased them. Since then they have murdered Americans:” then, there is a list of incidents where Americans were in fact, murdered in the Middle East. The tagline at the bottom reads “Yes, the problem is clearly a film on YouTube,” as you can see.



This picture is one that is currently posted on a FB page created by: I Pledge Allegiance To My Country Not MyPresident (54,035 likes - 181.729 talking about this)  Apparently, a page that hates Everything Obama. The lies just start right off the bat. Jimmy Carter was President and he did not appease the terrorists to get the hostages released. He tried negotiating right up until he left office, for 444 days, to get them released from the American Embassy in Tehran. President Carter even attempted a rescue mission that failed and left 8 U.S. servicemen and 1 Iranian dead. This culminated in the Algiers Accords in Algeria, signed on January 19, 1981. The hostages were released the next day on January 20, 1981, minutes after Ronald Reagan took office.  

There was NEVER any appeasement. The U.S. does not appease terrorists. Asynchronous warfare doesn’t work via appeasement. The idea is to dampen it, not feed the beast. If you pay attention to it, it will grow, spread. If you spew hate, it will spew back. All of those incidents in the picture happened, but it is completely disingenuous to say “AMERICANS” were killed WITHOUT saying “JEWS,” “MUSLIMS,” “SOMALIANS,” “KENYANS,” “AFGHANS,” “LIBYANS,” were killed. If you are going to sloganeer, try adding in a few more nationalities that were also present during the catastrophes. It tends to lend verisimilitude to your slant.

People who make these kinds of sites have no idea the scope and depth of what they’re really tampering with. This part of the world is old beyond old. It’s nearer the cradle of civilization and has seen conflict from the beginning. Afghanistan has been fought over for so long, it barely knows another way to live. The only other place on earth that is probably as inhospitable as regards invaders is western Russian. Well, shit, they were only invaded like 5 or 6 times in the first half of the 20th century. People say they’re paranoid. They’re just alert.

Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. Rightly so. The British Empire came to grief there as did Russia, in a spectacular way in the early 80s with our help. But, just think on this. Go and think of ancient Rome. When a Roman General came home after he conquered new territory, he was granted a Triumph. He would ride in his chariot up the Triumph Port. His slave, or a slave granted for use during the Triumph would stand behind him whispering Respice te, hominem te memento" ("Look behind you, remember you are only a man") and "Memento mori"  ("Remember (that you are) mortal").  

So too, should countries remember this. We are man- or woman-stuff. We can be killed, collectively-speaking, or at least changed to something that is no longer recognizable. We can’t just pop on down via the Apian Way to the Coliseum to watch the Chariot Races, anymore. We have similar Bread and Circuses, and that is the point. It’s all familiar isn’t it. It was to Bin Laden.
It is a reflection of what we have sown; dragon’s teeth, complete with flames. Think of the fires in Benghazi, last week; kinda dragon-ish. Well. Back to our friend, Mr. Jason Linkins; here Mr. Linkins in “HuffPo’s Eat the Press, yesterday, refers back to an interview in 2001:

Let me just print this whole section from a 2001 interview with Robert Fisk (hat tip:Gawker):

Q: At the beginning of the war, you said the U.S. might be falling into a trap. What did you mean?
Fisk: If it is bin Laden, he's a very intelligent guy. He's been planning his war for a long time. I remember the last time I met him in 1997 in Afghanistan. It was so cold. When I awoke in the morning in the tent, I had frost in my hair. We were in a twenty-five-foot-wide and twenty-five-foot-high air raid shelter built into the solid rock of the mountain by bin Laden during the war against the Russians. And bin Laden said to me (he was being very careful, watching me writing it down), "From this mountain, Mr. Robert, upon which you are sitting, we beat the Russian army and helped break the Soviet Union. And I pray to God that he allows us to turn America into a shadow of itself." When I saw the pictures of New York without the World Trade Center, New York looked like a shadow of itself.
Bin Laden is not well read and he's not sophisticated, but he will have worked out very coldly what America would do in response to this. I'm sure he wanted America to attack Afghanistan. Once you do what your enemy wants, you are walking into a trap, whether you think it's the right thing to do or not.
Q: And what is that trap?
Fisk: To bring the Americans in, to strike so brutally and with so much blood at an innocent Muslim people that an explosion comes throughout the Middle East. Bin Laden was constantly revolving in his mind the fact that he had got rid of the Russians; therefore, the Americans can be got rid of, too. And where better than in the country where he knows how to fight?
As things continue, it will be more and more difficult for the dictators, kings, and princes in the Middle East to go on justifying this. They are going to have to start saying, "No, stop." When they do that, the United States is going to have to ignore them. Once they are ignored, they lose the last element of respect. The longer this war goes on, the better for bin Laden.
We put bin Laden on the bottom of the ocean. Hume seems to want us to join him there. Because: RESPECT, BLARGLE.

Back to my prose. So, to sum up, let’s NOT talk about this. Let’s NOT choose sides and fight about this on FB. Let’s NOT rant at one another about Muslims and anti-Muslims. Terry Jones did a reprehensible thing in promoting his whole Burn the Koran day on 9/11 when he started it in 2010. Terry Jones is always and will forever be an asshole for his stupidity. This is one of many acts of infamy and indecency he has committed. Whether or not he promoted a really stupid, amateurish film and people raised hell over it, is something else. If anyone should have started firing rockets, it should have been people who make good films. But by hitting back, by answering the inflammatory rhetoric, new little dragon teeth get planted.

Florida is full of assholes. So. What. Yesterday, the assholes were at the news studios of NBC, ABC and FOX News. I don’t have to add to this discourse. I don’t have to add to the dialogue that gets any more Americans or Middle Easterners killed, as much as I love the region and the people. They’ll do better without my attention. America would do better than to pay them attention as well. Back in the early 20th century, there was a surge in isolationism. After WWI, the Senate did not ratify Woodrow Wilson’s Treaty of Versaille and the U.S. did not become a member or the League of Nations. We’ve always had this duality in our nature, partly because we’re still at heart a nation of immigrants, who, big surprise, have put down roots. It’s hard to argue for or against. This time, we need to stay home, or come home; we don’t understand the mindset. I will continue to watch and listen and learn and bother Jason Linkins on Twitter, but I'll be damned if I'll blog about it again. A very special thanks to a very, very special lady.