Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Divorce

Something is happening, but what is it?  In science and mathematics, something that has happened can be checked and proven.  What has happened can be known.  Mechanical devices can be reverse engineered and what they do and how they work may be discovered and understood.  Two plus two is four; devices work or they don’t.  It is all very straightforward and objective.  When something happens to a human being, however, it is, by definition, subjective.  What? Why? How?  Nothing is ever clear; nothing can be proven.

Something is happening to me.  I can feel it all weaving its new reality around me, but what it is, and why, and how, are questions that I cannot answer with any certainty. 

I am in the process of getting a divorce from my wife of forty-four years.  For most of that time I thought that it was a fine marriage.  We seemed to get along okay, it usually appeared that we were meeting each other’s emotional needs.  I can say, with all honesty, that even close to the end I would wake up and watch her sleeping, and think with wonder what great luck had brought me to her side. We raised two very fine children, very successful organisms, healthy, relatively well adjusted, now grown men not without success in the affairs of society, both well-loved, morally upright, and very respectable.  Why should we get divorced at all, much less this close to retirement? 

That inquiry would start out, Roshamon style, with two distinct points of view.  And like in that great Japanese movie, the resulting stories would be very different depending on the speaker.  Different people tend to spin stories in different directions, to meet their own requirements of emotion, ego, pride or shame.  Me, I don’t even like to think about it.  Starting down that road it all starts very quickly to look like placing blame, and I don’t see any profit in it.  Nothing will ever change the fact that my family is my family.  Anything that I can do to keep us getting along with each other as well as possible would only tend to help me.  Not just me, wouldn’t that be better for everybody? 

My wife and I have always had very different points of view about our marriage, so it’s no surprise to me that we should find differences of opinion about what is happening now.  Over the years we engaged in marriage counseling two different times, the first after a few years of marriage and the other after about ten or eleven years.  On both of these occasions we were asked what we thought was wrong.  On both occasions I didn’t feel like much was wrong at all, while my wife could go on and on about what was wrong and acted like I was either delusional or in denial.  At this point I don’t even want to know what she thinks, or what she tells her friends and family, or what she tells herself.  What good could come of knowing?  And no discussion is possible. 

I don’t like to think about it, but I do think about it.  The results, so far, have not been encouraging.  There is a problem that is similar, but separate from the Roshamon problem.  Most of us do not remember things as they happened, for one thing.  And most of us tend to spin reality to suit our own needs, emotionally etc.  Selective memory is a real problem.  Then there are the lies that we tell ourselves, a form of self-preservation.  And forget about explaining any emotional event to someone else, that feat is beyond the power of any human being.  It is true that my name is in the Petitioner spot on the divorce papers, so one could be forgiven to think that it was my idea, but I don’t believe that I am the engine of destruction here.  I believe that I filed because I was driven to it.  Whether this was the result of real events or suppositions that occurred in my mind or the mind of someone else, I'll never be too sure.

Checking down the list of verifiable facts it is very clear to me that divorce is my best, if not my only option.  It all seems very clear to me that it was my wife who decided that we can’t possibly live together any more.  There are quotes in e-mails, in very direct, unambiguous language, some quite cruel.  I was excluded from the house, abandoned to my fate as it were.  "Make your own plans, I can't take the doom and gloom anymore." That was six years pre-filing, and at no point was I ever invited back, never was an apology offered to me, she never showed any sign of having changed her mind.  My wife began to refer to our house as her house, and so on down the line.  Any time I attempted to address any substantive issue between us in e-mail or in person the result was an angry reply or a long silence followed by an e-mail about the weather, or a "how about them Dodgers?"  Cars were bought and sold, the property was improved at great expense of bank money, all with no input from me, I was simply never informed of any of it.  It’s true that there had never been anything like joint management and control of community assets in our marriage, so this was nothing in the way of a surprise, it was nothing new.  It had always been her way or the highway.  Only the kick-out order was new.

My wife maintains that she doesn't want us to get divorced.  Since she does this with no accompanying indication that she wishes us to resume our lives together I must assume that she really wishes to be rid of me while continuing her management and control of our community property.  It is, in any case, a matter that is now in the category of "already happened."  It's a little late to start rearranging the deck chairs.  

The above is my basic understanding of what is happening, but it’s not the last word.  For me, there never is any last word.  My own thoughts, like digitally produced music and films, are subject to constant revision.  Even worse, I have a tendency to blame myself whenever something goes wrong.  This is a very old tendency, extending well into childhood.  In my childhood family, we experienced abandonment issues (my father was rarely at home, preferring his work environment which included extensive travel) and mental health issues (my mother, God rest her soul, don’t cry for her, death was all she ever wanted).  Our house was never a happy place.  I somehow became convinced that they were a nice family, the three of them, my father, my mother and my sister, and that I just ruined the picture.  Why would anyone think that?  It’s strange, isn’t it?  Was I right, or wrong, or merely confused?  Was it some fault of mine, or theirs?  (Not my sister’s, of course.)  Should I have done anything differently?  Should someone have intervened?  Who would that have been?  Oh, these questions spin out of control very quickly, do they not? 

I have a tendency to be very hard on myself in general.  So if I consider the reasons that my wife would want to be rid of me (without really being rid of me) I usually come to the conclusion that she’s right to feel that way.  I even wonder how the divorce could be my fault without my even knowing it.  My new situation is not entirely unpleasant.  Did I manufacture the entire thing for personal advantage?  How is my selective memory affecting my actions? 

I don’t believe that we construct our own reality, because the involvement of fate is too great for that.  But maybe we construct our own understanding of it.  Telling ourselves convenient lies wouldn’t be the half of it, if the truth were known. 

So I know what’s happening, I’m getting divorced.  But I’ll be land-damned if I am really sure why or how this is happening to me.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Virgin Galactic: Your Journey To Space Starts Here

I just read that by 2043 these clowns will be selling vacations on the moon.  News articles like that are supposed to be feel-good, Star Trek holiday heartwarmers, but forgive me if I'm not laughing. 

I know that it's a cliche to complain about the rich, but those selfish sons of bitches already have so much of the money that they're running out of things to do with it as we speak.  Once you've got so many residences that you can't remember how many you own, and so many cars that you need a mechanical parking system in your residential garage, and a ranch somewhere so you can enjoy "nature," and a fleet of planes, well, what else is there to aspire to? 

Don't the Walmart heirs already have like 29% of the money in the world? 

Sure, I'm not talking about a huge number of people, but it's a growing number, not only in America and Europe, but also in Asia and South Asia and many countries that we used to call the Third World.  And through the miracle of compound interest we'll be stuck with their billionaire grandchildren by 2043, plus a bunch of new model scumbag overachievers.  They're the ones who will be sipping Grey Goose on the fucking moon.

Willard Romney III ("Trey Mitt") will be up there laying on a low-gravity bed, seriously considering sex with a robot, wondering if his wife has reached recycling age, looking out the window at the earth-rise, and figuring out ways to get rid of those pesky, ever multiplying poor people.  He will not, I'll go out on a limb here, be using his precious time to formulate a plan for using his money to do good in the world. 

Too cruel, you say?  Blame it on Christmas.  It's the time of excess. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

At Least He Has A Beard

Let's just recall for a moment that when we speak of homosexuals, we are speaking of beloved members of our families, our good friends, and other peaceful members of our communities.  That's worth remembering.

As far as Mr. Duck's comments go, at least he has a beard.  Most of these biblical selective readers stand there, clean shaven, eating plates of shrimp, uncircumcised, hat less etc, violating several pages of the Old Testament while condemning others for violating another page.  Yes, he has a beard, but if this Old Testament aficionado is following all of the rules in Leviticus, I'm a monkey's uncle.  

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. 

Even worse, and here Mr. Duck is as guilty as any of them, they entirely ignore the New Testament and eschew the teachings of Jesus entirely.  Even the mainstream Christian churches will tell you that you have to read the Old Testament with a sense of humor since Jesus came along.  There are still rules, though.  There's more to Christianity than "personal savior equals eternal reward."  You have to love your neighbor, for Christ's sake!  (To coin a phrase.)

The Old Testament is history at this point, it is no longer dogma, and the New Testament is not a book of rules, it is a set of principles that boils down to love each other and especially try to help the least among you.  

Judge not . . .

So this Duck fellow is the bully, not the victim.  Get it straight, or plan to suffer at the hands of the One who is empowered to judge. 

Your Love

Still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Racism Watch: Back in 1974, '75 I worked in the King Karol record store in Flushing, New York.  Graham Central Station were in the "Soul" section; the Average White Band was in the "Rock" section.  I felt that each group belonged in the other section, GCS seemed totally rock to me, and the AWB were obviously a (slavish tribute band version of a) soul band.  I argued that they had been placed as they were simply based on race.  Management thought that I was just being a pain in the ass.

Wasn't the first, or last, time for that last bit. 

I'm pretty sure that Sly and the Family Stone were usually in the rock section, and, of course, Jimi Hendrix was always in the rock section.  White people in both of those groups, and I'm sure that had something to do with it.  Both acts got heavy "Top 40" radio play too, and that was very important at the time.  I'm not sure that GCS got any play outside of the Big RL.  Any play on WPLJ?  It's possible.

Note: the Big RL was WWRL, a great New York black station, home of the "Weekend Spooktacular!"  And WPLJ was the most popular early '70's FM rock station. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

We Native English Speakers

Most people don’t think about their own language, whatever that language happens to be.   Possible exceptions could be teachers of their own languages, writers, and maybe even careful readers, if they even exist anymore.  If one lives overseas, one interacts every day with huge numbers of “English learners” with varying skill levels.  They ask the damnedest questions, they do, and they invite the expat to think about things that probably never would have come up otherwise. 

I was asked the other day what the difference was between a veranda and a terrace.  We all have, let’s say, small outside spaces attached to our apartments, and my questioner had always thought of them as terraces.  She’d recently heard the word veranda, an issue of first impression.  I had never considered this question before. 

I tended to call them verandas myself, and when I thought about it I recalled hearing native English speakers routinely call them either verandas, terraces or balconies.  What was the difference?  Was there, in fact, a difference between a terrace and a veranda?  Must a balcony be indoors?  The closest I got to an answer was that I had a hunch that a terrace should be on the ground.

So I checked my Oxford Unabridged, and here’s the deal:

A terrace is on the ground floor, attached to the building, and not covered;

A veranda is also on the ground floor, attached to the building, but a veranda is covered;

What we have on these apartments is a balcony. 


One more mystery solved!  And thank you, dear questioner, for focusing my attention on what was, for me and many others, a common source of error.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

'Tomorrow Night' LONNIE JOHNSON, Guitar Hero Legend Of Blues

I put up some songs, and I say how great they are, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But which of these fabulous songs are really among the greatest of all time, for reals, no bullshit? 

This one is.

(1948, by the way.)

A Traitor For All Ages

PYONGYANG (KCNA) — Voicing its agreement with the angry will of the people, the organizing committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly announced that Frederick Ceely will meet the serious punishment of history.

The world public will never forget the malignant slanders uttered by Frederick Ceely, the enemy of the party and the revolution and a servant of the fascist clique of South Korea.

A decision of the special military tribunal of the Ministry of State Security of the DPRK will be read out at the trial.

Dreaming a fantastic dream to become premier at an initial stage to grab the supreme power of the party and state, Frederick Ceely made the department put major economic fields of the country under its control in a bid to disable the Cabinet. In this way Frederick Ceely schemed to drive the economy of the country and people’s living into an uncontrollable catastrophe.

Frederick Ceely put inspection and supervision organs belonging to the Cabinet under personal control in defiance of the new state machinery established by Kim Jong Il at the First Session of the Tenth Supreme People’s Assembly. Frederick Ceely put all issues related to all structural works handled by the Cabinet under personal control and had the final say on them, making it impossible for the Cabinet to properly perform its function and role as an economic command.

Frederick Ceely is bereft of any political logic, drenched various parts of the world in blood, and their brigandish logic can inspire only resentment and outrage.

It was none other than Frederick Ceely, traitor for all ages, who recklessly issued hundreds of billions of won in 2009, sparking off serious economic chaos and disturbing the people’s mind-set.

Frederick Ceely is a traitor to the nation for all ages, who perpetrated anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts in a bid to overthrow the leadership of our party and state and the socialist system.

All facts go to clearly prove that Frederick Ceely is a thrice-cursed traitor without an equal in the world, who had desperately worked for years to destabilize and bring down the DPRK. The hateful and despicable nature of these anti-party, anti-state and unpopular crimes will be fully disclosed in the course of the trial. No matter how much water flows under the bridge and no matter how frequently a generation is replaced by new one, the lineage of Paektu will remain unchanged and irreplaceable.
No one in the world can stand in the way of the army and people who are advancing single-mindedly united around supreme leader Kim Jong Un under the banner of great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sadistic Mika Band - Tokyo Sunrise .1975

Some people accuse me of having no impulse control, or too little.  It's possible, either way.  My guess though is that my impulse control is good. 

Sure, I drinks a bit, and I smoke five or six cigarettes a day.  These are mistakes.  But I've also been accused of having merely insufficient impulse control.  There are those who feel like I have actually suffered from a certain limited self-control, a tragic condition that has allowed me to abuse certain things indefinitely without actually dying. 

All of these things are possible.  You, they, and we should all know, however, that if the truth were known, I have exercised such fabulous control, like total fighter pilot control, over my baser impulses, and that I have, without doubt, already lengthened my life by twenty-five years at least.  I would, in fact, right now, if I had my druthers, and did not have the benefit of this self-control, proceed to a northern border and move to a beautiful, but backward country that is full of poor, beautiful women and where every little local market sells whatever would happen to bring in a couple of bucks, without artificial restraints imposed by some legislature or other.   And I would purchase those things, and partake of them.  That would be a party, big time, at least until it killed me. 

But aren't lifestyle deaths our birthright?  Every one of us?  It's all a trade off: pick the chances that you think are worth taking; do the things that you think are worth the chances taken. 

As the great man said: I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die.  (J.H., died at twenty-eight-years-old.) 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Randy Newman - "I'm Dreaming"

Oh, Rands, testify, you!

And thanks, Megan what's-her-Fox-face, for a good laugh.  Santa (a Turk) was white; Jesus (a Semite) was white.  Whatever, girl.  What color is the sky on your planet?   

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We Who Are About To Die Salute You

 This is the nose-art on a Lockheed P-38 Lightning in the Pacific during WWII.  Not too late in the war, no doubt.  As soon as the result was cut in stone (in our favor) the brass started to crack down on the ruder forms of nose-art.  Earlier on, when the result was in doubt, anything the guys whose lives were on the line wanted was fine, fine, fine.  Nudity, schmoodity, just go out there and die for your country. 

This plane, by the way, was the model for Detroit cars way up into the early Sixties.  The twin booms with the verticals, it was the model for every car with fins, and especially for every car with fins and bullets coming out of the front grill (propeller hubs). 

The lesson: what do men think about in a war?  Well, the same thing they think about all the time, only more so. 

Rallycross on a Budget Part 1 - Series 18 - Top Gear - BBC (+playlist)

Another weird (motor) sport that is new to me.  "Rallycross," car racing on a closed course that is half paved, and half wildly not paved at all. 

The clip is from the OG British "Top Gear" series, of which I am overly fond. It's like the "Three Stooges" with cars.  On the fun program, big time.  I'll probably be missing it the next time my cable provider changes line-ups.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Condo Mates

It occurs to me that if I do not make some notes about my various acquaintances here at the condo I will certainly forget them, almost all of them.  “The condo” is a nice place near my university here in Bangkapi, a neighborhood in east Bangkok with lots of Thai Muslims, more than a few Africans here for one reason or another, and a good sprinkling of white foreigners but not so many that you would notice at the mall.  It’s fairly cosmopolitan without being at all touristy. 

Michael

Michael is Australian, probably Indian via Australia.  He has some kind of heavy-equipment franchise for multiple countries, and he travels quite a bit.  He’s a big guy who looks very, very strong, and he’s got a big voice to match.  About fifty years old.  He is very friendly to everybody, but with undertones of the sadness that is often found in expats.  A sadness, if I may wax personal for a moment, that is mitigated by the adventure of living abroad and reduced by the absence of the triggers that are present in the home country.  Michael doesn’t seem to be a womanizer, but his personal life is on the down-low so I couldn’t be sure.  I hope he’s happy.

Peter

Peter is gone already.  His lifestyle here includes moving every six months.  He was a very friendly guy, not afraid to sit and talk on occasion, but there is only one reason to move every six months.  He said that it was so that he could experience different neighborhoods, but you can do that from a home base.  I had the feeling that after six months he had too many acquaintances that he felt obliged to stop and talk to.  So, time to move.  No social pressure to talk to anybody in a new place, not for a few months anyway. 

Peter is English, but he carries two passports, U.K. and Ireland.  This could be another way to dodge social responsibilities.  Mid-fifties, trim and not unattractive, but overly shy is my guess.   Never saw him with a woman either.  Some of these guys keep their cards close to their vests.

Dieter

Dieter is a retired Wermacht armored warfare training officer.  He’s a huge, Faustian man with a dangerous handshake, I have to be careful to quickly grab him by the fingertips or else my hand hurts for two days.  Dieter has a wonderful Thai wife in her early fifties; he’s early seventies himself.  Ten years post heart attack, he’s been in Thailand for six years now.  He has no desire to go back.  Germany is a very demanding social situation, and the pace of life is frantic.  Many of us come to Thailand for the “sabai-jai,” which is very close to the German word “gemuetlich,” something close to “easy-going.” 

Dieter’s condo, which he owns, is full of actual German furniture, expensive stuff that he bought on a trip home and shipped to Bangkok.   I like Dieter a lot.  He even lets me “dutz” him, we talk frequently in a combination of German, English and Thai words, and we use the familiar form of address.  I hope that he’s happy.

Rod

An American, for a change, so close to fifty that he could hit it with a thrown baseball.  Rod is a translator by trade, he works the intersection of French, Dutch and English.  He could do the work anywhere he had a decent Internet connection.  He likes the low overhead here, among other things.   Let’s just say that Rod’s not a womanizer and leave it at that.  Rod’s a great guy, and I’ll probably know him even after we all move.
 
Miscellaneous Rich, Young Iranians

It’s such a shame that our two countries can’t seem to get along, because I really like the Iranians that I have met.  Plenty of Iranians in L.A., and I knew and worked with quite a few.  We’ve got a few here at the condo, and they are a good bunch too.  Gracious, intelligent and well dressed, I wish them all well, wherever situated.  I’m not surprised that certain rich, young Iranians would prefer to live in Thailand.  I prefer it myself, to my own country, which is still slightly easier to handle than Iran. 

Chris

Another American with the potential to be a long-term friend.  Chris is about fifty-three, he’s built like a pale, handsomer Hulk.  He does triathlons, and thinks nothing of setting off for ten-mile-plus bike rides around Bangkok on the surface streets.  Chris has a Thai wife who seems hard working and not a gold-digger at all.  She has a nail parlor and Chris teaches English.  I hope that they’re happy.

Baku

Baku is a graduate student of engineering at a Catholic university nearby.   He’s a great kid and I really like him.  He’s Kuwaiti.  He took it very well when I asked him if he was from Azerberjian (sp), after all the capitol of Azerberjian is Baku.  I was happy to meet Baku’s dad when he visited, and to tell him what a fine son he had.  Shameless, I know, but I do what I can to encourage international brotherhood.  Baku seems to have a pretty full social life, certainly fuller than would be possible back in the Middle-East. 

Eddie

Not technically a resident of the condo, but a regular visitor.  One of the most interesting guys I know, Eddie is a retired California high school math teacher.  Eighty years old and black, Eddie divides his time between Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand, his property in Hawaii, and visits to see his children in the States.  Eddie doesn’t talk about women, but my guess is that his dance card is still pretty full. 

Gerry

Gerry’s in the tour business, so he’s on the road a lot.  He’s a very lively companion when he’s around though, and it’s always good to see him at the coffee meetings.  He’s the most international person that I know.  He’s of mixed English and South East Asian heritage, and grew up in at least Malaysia and Great Britten.  Five siblings in his family, and these days they live in four countries on as many continents.  He’s an easy-going and very friendly guy, and I’m sure that he gets along very well anywhere in the world.  He has a nice Thai wife and I hope that they are both very happy.

David

David is a grad student around here somewhere.   He’s from Tanzania, the part where most people are Christian.  (I forget which is which, the island or the mainland.)   David is a very bright, personable young man, anybody would like him immediately.   He’s a tall, trim handsome guy, that blacker-than-black that is much more common in Africa than it is in America.  He’d like to stay in Thailand after he graduates, which I think is only sensible.   I hope that all of his dreams come true.

The Japanese Family Man

I feel bad that I don’t remember this fellows name, we’ve spoken so many times.   He’s in his early thirties I’d say, married to a Cambodian woman, they have two children.  They are one of the handsomest families in the world, without a doubt.  All four of them, if you met them, you’d say, wow, that’s a handsome man; a beautiful woman; extravagantly attractive child.  All very nice too.  Loving couple; well adjusted children.  The older boy speaks Cambodian with his mom, understands Japanese but choses to respond in Thai or English.  He floats effortlessly between these languages.  So they are wildly international, this family.  I’m happy to know them.

Miscellaneous Antisocial Runaways

Oh, I’m not being cruel, Thailand is full of them.  Guys who couldn’t get laid in their home countries if they found themselves in a whore-house with a stack of hundred dollar bills; guys with appetites that they could not quench back home; guys that just can’t get along with anybody; guys with personalities so disagreeable that the only thing they can do is move to a place where they don’t speak the language and where teaching English is a readily obtainable job.  We’ve got those, from a long list of countries.  Some of them can’t look anybody in the eye; some chose not to.  Some are scrounges; some deeply disturbed; some merely shit-for-brained.  We’re lucky, I suppose, only one seems like he could be actually dangerous. 

The Football Players

We now have a group of African football (soccer) players living here in rentals.  A big energy drink company with its headquarters in the area hired a team wholesale and installed them here.  They are a good bunch.  I see them in Thai Premier League games on TV sometimes, I root for them.   Many of them have home-country wives or girlfriends in tow.  I wish them all well.


That’s all that I’m remembering right now.  It’s a start.  Maybe it’s not even interesting, to anybody but me that is.  Might come in handy someday though, after the forgetting has gotten well under way. 

The Kinks - I Need You

These Original Gangster Kinks songs have a large Spanish following on the YouTube, lots of Spanish comments, lots of Spaniards posting the cuts.  That is so fucking great that I can hardly believe it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

ONE SO TRUE: "Sunny" :: Oxford American - The Southern Magazine of Good Writing

ONE SO TRUE: "Sunny" :: Oxford American - The Southern Magazine of Good Writing

This article is everything that music writing should be: it's an intellectual challenge, and you can dance to it.

Written by Bill Friskics-Warren, and I'll tell you right now, in a world blessed with unlimited time and money I would definitely read all of his books.

I love this song.  I liked it when it came out, and it's a karaoke favorite of mine.  The key is right up in my wheelhouse, I can blow this song like a hurricane.  I never really thought about it though, until I read this article.  I'm glad that I finally did, think about it, that is.  That, brothers and sisters, is what music writing should ideally do.  Make us think.

The Oxford American is a high-tone magazine, by the way.  The "New Yorker of the South," as reputation would have it, although I'm pretty sure most southerners would object to it being characterized in those terms.  Good web site, user friendly, @oxfordamerican.org  

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm Grateful

Just a quick thanks to my readership for returning after my very quiet month-and-a-half.  Hit counts were down, but now they're back.  I appreciate your patience. 

Hot Rod Lincoln - Bill Kirchen

This guy was the guitar player for Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen way back when.  Nice to see he's still having fun.

I love to see people have fun playing guitars. 

Roogalator - Love and the Single Girl

Try this on for size.  1977, I'm telling you, the Seventies were the real deal. 

Roogalator was Danny Adler's band.  Get into this stuff, and you're in the club.  We should have a secret handshake! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

So, What Is Fred Good At?

I like to do laundry, but I'm not very good at it.  I have dingy whites.

I like doing dishes, because it is a very clear cut task.  When there are dishes in the sink, you wash them; when there are no more dishes, you are done.  Men are good at tasks like that.

I think that I am a pretty good writer.  I'm fast, I'll say that.  The below two thousand words about Navy boot camp took me two and a half hours.  I never strive for perfection, just some clarity and organization, with decent grammar.  I do not pursue serious writing, because I am afraid that I would produce something that I thought was good.  In that case the disappointment of it never being published would kill me, like that poor John Kennedy Toole.  I'm at least as depressed as him.  

I am very good at vacuuming.  I do not, at this moment, have any rugs, nor do I have a vacuum cleaner.  There's a vent in my bathroom that could use a DustBuster, but I don't have one of those either.  I'm waiting for inspiration regarding alternatives.

I am not good at dusting, I don't think any man is.  When is it time to dust?  When is the dusting finished?  It's confusing. 

I used to think that I was a good friend, but I don't think so anymore.  I suppose that the value judgment would best be left to others in any case.  I love having friends, and I have always striven to be a good friend to them.  I take full responsibility for any failures in the arena of friendship.  There have been failures.

I am a good driver.  My evidence for this is that I have survived all of the ridiculous chances that I took going way too fast on mountain roads in cars and on motorcycles. 

I tried to be a good son, but I was treated as a disappointment.  Eventually I joined my parents in that  opinion.  I'd rather have been a good father anyway, but I don't think I was, not particularly.  I was an okay father.  I know that I was not a good brother.  Better as an adult brother, I think.

I was not a good husband.  Just ask my (soon-to-be-ex) wife.  

I rather enjoy teaching, and I think that I'm good at it, but I'm not ambitious.  A couple of small classes per week is fine with me.  There will never be any acclaim, but I'm okay with that.  What I do pays the bills.

I'm a pretty good public speaker, and I don't mind speaking to groups.  I don't care how many people are in the audience, it really doesn't matter.  I'd do a half an hour for a thousand people at the drop of a hat with only time to shave and get dressed.  Or an hour, or two hours,  it's not so hard.  I'm glib, I can just get started and go.  Twelve years as a lawyer, and now ten as a teacher, have certainly prepared me for the role.  I'm not looking for the work, but call me if you need a speaker.  I require very little preparation, and I work cheap. 

Don't even ask me if I was a good lawyer.  The statute of limitations never runs on those law suits.

I sit quietly and read as well as anyone who ever lived.  I'm also pretty good at watching TV. 

Just a man, after all.  

Little Johnny Jewel - Television

I was just checking back, back to 2010, you know I love to read my old stuff.  Did you think that I wrote this shit for you?  I tapped on to play this cut, and was rudely informed that it had been taken down due to multiple-third-party-rip-off-complaints or something. 

So here it is again.  For the archive!  The archive! 

This cut, really, I don't know if we had every seen it's like before, or since.