Saturday, May 26, 2007

Survived another work-week

Well I suppose it wasn't really that gnarly and disgusting, but all the same another work-week to get through. In our busy season where I work, you do go home feeling like you've had this done to you by about everybody in the building. Or at least by the system.

That's the fucking that really pisses you off, the institutional/bureaucratic reaming. You don't have one person to track it back to necessarily(and thus whose tires to slit or whatever manner of vendetta suits you)so your anger becomes diffused. At least mine does.

An oft-asked question in life, is or should be: is the fuckin' I'm getting worth the fucking I'm gettin'?

Sounds logical enough to me at any rate, at this particular point in time. So, another week gotten through, and without too much of my ass being chewed off(or otherwise abused) in the process. Speaking figuratively of course..

A joyous weekend to whoever reads this blogstuff. May the sun shine someplace--geographically speaking. It sure ain't shining here. Still, time away from work, problems, all that. Just me and the 2 four-legged inhabitants right now and we're fine. We'd be finer with some sunshine, but okay. Damn, how come I gotta wait all week for these two(in this case three)days?

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Name is Øl

Or cerveza, or pivo, or bier, or just plain beer. The many names of beer. Øl, pronounced "url", is what you'd call a cold one in Oslo or Copenhagen, and Öl over in Stockholm- same pronunciation.

But whatever you call it, there's still that great taste. Particularly cold. And the buzz that follows. So whatever you call it: cerveza, pivo, bier, øl, öl or beer, you'll be slurring your pronunciation of it after awhile..

"Get stoned and see God", a friend of mine used to say, "but get drunk and be the Master of the Universe". We were 19 at the time, and this great pronouncement came amid great smoking and drinking. The optimum state of mind, I'd guess, was a sort of pickled Sahaj Samadhi, a numbed-out pseudo-Omnipotence right before one passed out for the evening.

Well that's what you do when you're 19. It's what I did when I was 19 at any rate, joined by other 19-or-so-year-old's... Never did feel like Master of the Universe, nor did I see God. I did get pretty drunk and pretty stoned though. On one such occasion, stoned out of my gourd I had a dream Jesus was in. Well, yeah, that's another blog. Another time.

As far as this blog-- right now--, I also remember, around the same age or maybe a year older, playing a gig for a group of Doctors. The beer was flowing freely, and I observed them as they got drunk. Whatever education and culture they started out with at the beginning of the evening they apparently pissed out because after a couple hours they sounded more like stevedores!

I remember thinking, "wow, alcohol sure is a great equalizer!" Whatever our veneer of erudition and culture, we can piss it out of ourselves, to where we're right down to that crude center, our "drunken Child". Been there myself of course, and found myself either jubilant or maudlin, frequently both. And for many, a much darker side emerges.

Why didn't Hitler drink Tequila?
It made him mean.

But seriously folks. I like my Corona. Like any part of one's diet, it must be kept in check--after all, I'm not 19 anymore, and haven't been for almost 34 years--but still enjoyed. At this point in the game, it's more important how you feel the next morning, since on 5 of them every week I have a job I have to go to. So on occasion I'll have 4 or 5 beers in an evening, not enough to be dangerous but enough to cop a mild euphoria. I guess that's as close as I'll get to being Master of the Universe.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday stuff

This is the place where they make the brassieres. It's in or near Ogden Utah. I was there in 1985 or so, a road musician passing through. Very pretty in the Fall.
Brassiere sizes, as I understand it, start with AA(aka the Itty Bitty Titty Committee)and work their way gloriously up the alphabet, moving up roughly a letter per inch of kazoom-size. All the way to F and G(aka the over-the-shoulder boulder beholders).
Well theoretically all the way to Z. Actually I think that would be too much bosom even for me, who loves mammarily well-upholstered women. And what if she were even bigger than that? Would you start over at "A"? Would that be like someone who's so smart they're stupid: so stacked they're flat? Like drinking yourself sober?
Oxymorons aside, another question arises. If the bra size is figured on the alphabet, and this is, let's say, universal, does that mean women from countries with more characters in their alphabets(like, say, the Nordic countries with 29 characters, and the Russians with 33)have larger breasts?
Well I'm supposing the answers to these and many other such questions can be found right here at the Center in or around Ogden Utah. Or at least they can find out for you.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday, my Saturday

Ahhh. I wait all week for this day. And it hasn't disappointed me. A nice sunny Saturday afternoon, looks about like this picture. What you're looking at here is Alberta, Canada(en route to Calgary)in July of 1985. But, despite the fact that it's in a different country almost 22 years ago, a pretty similar day.

I might just start posting pictures with every blog-well, until I run out of pictures anyway. Not much to impart on this here blog, just enjoying a nice peaceful afternoon. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and otherwise it's nice and quiet, a sonic landscape unsullied by the sound of lawn mowers and/or boomboxes. Well actually the boomboxes don't last long here, as someone will say something sooner or later. But the lawnmowers are a condoned sound and one I usually hear on Saturdays. Man, even the dogs are quiet today.

Hmm, maybe they're all at a meeting. I can see them all in a room over at the high-rise near my house, right where we vote, all the dogs sitting on the floor and the people with their lawnmowers. Since I'm not hearing them this afternoon it would stand to reason(wouldn't it?!)that they're all congregated someplace.

Wow, that's almost like a bodysnatchers theme. The dogs are transmitting an interplanetary code in their 'communal barking', and the lawnmowers are infiltrating our atmosphere with the fumes.

Well, for whatever reason, it's quiet this afternoon. Actually the only noise going on is my chattering here, so for now I'll adjourn. Hope you're having a nice afternoon or whenever-you're-reading-this, whether you're from central Illinois USA or Alberta Canada or any points between.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

cheezsnack time=throne time

I must remember this simple truth, this simple formula for gastric happiness.

Saturday is a day I wait for all week, from Monday on(actually I'm kinda jonesing for next Saturday already!), because it's my one totally unstructured day. I get up when I please and go to bed when I please, and basically do as I please for all points in between.

Sometimes these Sacred Saturdays are spent practicing guitar, always a healthy pursuit. Other times they're spent doing home recording, an even healthier pursuit--or at least more cathartic. Many times they're spent between the computer and the TV, with often a fair junk-food consumption in the latter setting.

One thing I've always had a weakness for in this world, besides buxom women, is cheese-flavored snacks. When I was on the road, some 20-odd years ago I used to like to have some sort of cheese cracker affair--referred to by our bandleader as "cheese plugs", as I suppose what the stuff does to your arteries.

Cheezits, particularly the Cheddar Jack and White Cheddar varieties, have long been a staple of the TV viewing experience, likewise Cheez Balls(which I think was the very snack to inspire the "plug" sobriquet). Of late it's been Cheetos.

On a particularly indolent Saturday, amid the sounds of everybody else's lawn mower or other equipment, when I'm catching lotsa DVDs, I'll put away a whole bag of Cheetos without much fuss. The more viewing, the more junkfood consumption.

I suppose it's not unlike binging on anything else, be it drink or smoke or any other substance one may ingest into himself. At this point in life, I'm pretty moderate with drinking, having a few beers throughout the week, but the junkfood can get away from me.

Well I don't get hangovers anymore since I don't drink that much--not for a LONG time actually, more years than I can remember. But I do get junkfood-hangovers if you can call them that: an hour or two sitting on the throne the following morning moaning and groaning until everything passes. Had one just this morning. Not fun. And, like after a booze hangover, you say to yourself 'never again'.

So after this, the umpteenth cheez-snack hangover, I've resolved to watch my eating. Just like I watch my drinking. Damn, as you get older, seems like you gotta watch all kinds of stuff. At this point in life, working 5 days a week, it's more important how you feel the next morning.

Sunday phun

Liv er en lort smørrebrød, og hver dag er en anden mundfuld. Men mere brød har du, mindre lort smager du.

Okay, translated: life is a shit sandwich and every day is another bite. But the more bread you have, the less shit you taste. Not sure who made this statement in the first place. Maybe it was Søren Kierkegaard.

Just kidding, even though it's written in his language--and hopefully rigtig as far as the grammar and all that. Where I work we have several multi-lingual folks. One speaks Czech, Spanish and German, another Italian,and several others have some Spanish under their belts.

I had two years of French in college, from which I barely squeaked by, and of which I remember un peu at best, and a year of German which I flunked out of. A few years ago there were a series of weird-ass movies on the Independent Film Channel from Denmark and Sweden, and I ended up copping some from their respective languages. Somehow it goes better when it's not required(as were French and German), this business of learning different tongues.

Personally I find foreign language cooler n'shit. I love the diversity of sounds and rhythms and accents you find in the world's tongues. Some fall right under one's one tongue and others seem more like Martian--and you kinda wonder how the hell they understand each other!

I do wish now that I'd buckled down more as far as learning French and/or German when I had the opportunity. It would be nice to be fluent in another language, to be able to communicate in a whole other tongue. But at least I do know a few things, and thanks to a couple of my co-workers(particularly the one who can speak Czech, German and Spanish)I keep what little I know alive.

Plus I've learned a few words & phrases in Czech. Maybe I'll even get enough under my belt to translate the phrase at the top of this blog into Czech. I remember just enough French to get it started, but would have to use a dictionary for most of it.

Life is a shit sandwich and every day is another bite. But the more bread you have, the less shit you taste. Hmm, wonder who did come up with this one, if it wasn't Kierkegaard. Maybe it was Jean-Paul Sartre.

La Vie et un merde croissante,...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Get Me Outa Here!

Always glad to see the work-week over and done with. The people I work with are, by and large, a good bunch of mixed nuts, a diverse and incongruous group of folk, and I get paid okay--well, it still seems like a lot to a musician-who-had-to-finally-get-a-daygig-at-some-point-in-his-life. And our duties aren't really that awful.

But it's still- work. It's something I'd just as soon not do if I didn't need the money. Well okay, let's get real here. Something I'd stop doing the minute I didn't need the money. But, like most folks out there, I need that mo-nay. So there I sit, 37.5 hours a week, every week. Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5pm.

Friday afternoon is probably the thorniest patch o'time to get through because it's the final stretch. It's 2 in the afternoon, with 3 more hours left . "Let's get this day over with", the person who works next to me keeps saying. She's fidgeting a bit, getting antsy. I'm fidgeting and getting antsy. And the fidgeting antsiness just spreads from there, like a clerical flea circus, to where you have several rows of people just exuding antsiness. And fidgeting to boot. I'm afraid surgery is out of the question, it's spread throughout the whole body. Stage 4 Fidgeting Antsiness Syndrome.

Normally food helps combat this Friday affliction or whatever the pathology du jour. We have a "food shelf", centrally located, which is usually replete with candy and mixed nuts but was barren today , save for the candy nobody wants. The crummier sweets that don't get picked to be on anybody's 'junk food team", just left on the bench to rot. So people just had to tough it out this afternoon, without the sugar(or salt) high to carry them through. Oh well.

Anyway! All that shit is over and done with for the time being. The end of one cycle and the beginning of another one(albeit, alas a much smaller cycle). I do like being at the top of the weekend cycle, Friday night, with 2 days ahead. I wish it could always be Friday night, with 2 days ahead. Always at the top of this particular cycle anyway.

Well at least for now it's Friday. As one guy who worked in our office used to say every Friday as he signed out on our time sheet, "another week closer to retirement". As far as daygigs, I had one for 3 months, another for 4 and a half years, and my present one for 16 years. My targeted retirement date is September of 2014, 7 years and 3 months away. We'll see. Could be on the near side, probably the far side but not by much if at all.

It's in the distance but I am looking forward to retirement. With no more Monday mornings to deal with, all the days will run together. Sorta like moving someplace where there's no Winter, no real contrast in the Seasons. Probably a strange feeling at first, but I'm sure there are worse sensations.

On that note it's time to pack it in for the evening. Damn, guess I'm a bit further down in my weekend cycle.