Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wide Awake at 2:30

 It cold in SoCal, in the 40’s, when the sun goes down it gets cold fast. I feel the cold more because of the damned warfarin I take every day, blood thinner makes you feel cold. Cold enough to build a fire in the wood stove then warm enough to fall asleep on the sofa a little past ten and wake up at 2 in the morning.

A few minutes ago I read about the big winter storm in the midwest and the northeast. In quick succession I thought about the night in Cambridge when the January wind was blowing so damn hard the hanging traffic signal over Memorial Drive was sticking straight out, the storm when I was a kid when the intersection of highway 2 and 81 was so deep in snow the traffic signal was laying on its side, the buried traffic signal in the Back Bay, it’s lights showing “Walk-Don’t Walk” through the snow bank. Not that anyone in Boston pays attention to traffic signals, buried in snow or not.

When I tell my SoCal friends about winter storms their eyes bug out and jaws go slack, just like mine do when they tell me about the Northridge Earthquake. We’ve all bumped up against some shit a time or two.

Coldest I’ve ever been was a night on a sailboat crossing from Florida to the Bahamas in a Northeast gale, 20-25 foot seas and winds gusting to 55 knots, I don’t know what the air temperature was during the crossing, but I had on fleece longies, a heavy fleece jacket and full foul weather gear and I was still freezing my ass of while driving the boat, it was a long night. It was 33 degrees in West End, coldest it had been in the Bahamas in almost 100 years. You haven't lived until you're served a drink at an out door bar in Freeport by a bartender in a red ski jacket and gloves.Two days later it was in the high 70’s and not a breath of wind. We motored back to Florida.

I went out with the dog a few minutes ago, we both peed up against a tree, usually he likes to sniff around, not tonight. Anze trotted right back to the door while I zipped up. It’s windy outside, maybe 10-15kts, the oaks are moving around pretty good.

I’m going to Topanga in the morning and get a load of stove wood, then I’m going to clear out the washes, move some pots around for Cakes. Moving pots sounds easy, not these, the pots are huge, cast concrete bastards. They were cast years ago for the grounds of the Beverley Hills Hotel and somehow they ended up in our yard. I also need to get a pin for the latch on the front gate and I just noticed we’re out of orange juice.

To hell with this, I’m going to grab my Kindle and try to finish Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout” hopefully I’ll fall back asleep…

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Observations from a Blue State

Two guys waiting to pick up their cars from service:

Guy 1: “If a cop arrests you, you’re guilty of something.”

Guy 2. “Shouldn’t waste money on trials, let the cops take care of it right there.”

Guy 1. “It’s the fucking lawyers.”

Guy 2. “When they go to trial they always get off.”

Guy 1. “Trump will take care of that.”

After Tuesday’s election it feels like just under half of Americans would be willing to toss the constitution to allay their perceived fears.

Trump has made it okay to go beyond the normal conservative dog whistles, check out what happened in schools the day after the elections. Jr. High kids taunting Latino kids telling them to go back to where they came from,

Football games now featuring racial chants

“Niggers get out” spray painted in school bathrooms.

Will we have open season on anyone who is perceived as not American and you can read that as white American.

I am sick and tired of hearing about how tough things are in parts of America, no jobs, no money. I get that it’s tough to have a factory move to a non-union state (that’s where most of the jobs have gone) or overseas. I understand that. What I don’t understand is why, the whiny little bitches, don’t do something about it.

Being a coal miner has always sucked, it has been a nasty, dangerous job since the first mine was dug. What I don’t get is why the miners blame the government for their plight. The mine operators are the culprits, google Don Blankenship when you get a moment, he’s a piece of work. If I was a miner in West Virginia I’d burn his hilltop mansion down. The government is trying to protect them from the mine owner who could care if you lived or died.

Coal is not coming back, no matter what Trump says. Do they believe we’ll have steam locomotives and coal burning furnaces again?

Michigan went for Trump, he got the union vote. Do they believe he’d have done the auto industry bailout that President Obama did? GM and Chrysler are alive and thriving today (and they paid back the money) because of the loans. He wouldn’t have.

Check out the great economic miracle in Kansas, slash taxes, slash the budgets on everything that makes life worthwhile…Kansas is a large pile of horseshit and Republicans still believe there is a pony in there somewhere. Sorry it’s just a pile of horseshit.

Compare Republican Wisconsin to Liberal Minnesota, they share a border. Minnesota is on fire economically, Wisconsin is on a downward spiral.

Why don’t these angry voters take a look at their state and compare it to the thriving “Blue” states and note the differences? Do you know what the difference is? The “Blue” states don’t have wingnuts running them. They don’t have politicians play the race card and turning the citizens into them and us adversaries.

Value voters in the south would be amazed at the difference in the divorce rate between Massachusetts and Mississippi. (Mass has the lowest in the nation) The difference in the teen pregnancy rates in states with solid, science based sex education compared to states with mumbo-jumbo sex ed is amazing.

I could go on, but I’m tired of conservatives, evangelicals, right to lifers, trickle-down economics, misogyny, racists and ignorance.

You have your country back for the next for years and whatever happens it’s all on you and we’ll have to fix it again. When we do, I’d like you to shut the fuck up and get to work on yourself.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

So little time…

I worked 205 hours in October When I get home and I’m completely burned out, I think about writing, I still have things to say, stories to tell. No time, I  can’t get it done.

My reading has gone to hell. I last 5 minutes with a book before I fall asleep, I nod off during the news, I pass out on the sofa watching a movie. I don’t feel like cooking anymore. I see bits and pieces of football. I almost fell asleep last night during the last inning of the World Series. How did that happen?

I don’t know how I feel about this change in my life? I miss my time with books and words. I miss my time to think and ponder.

Then again, I feel more alive now, I like the BS banter with my co-workers. I like my clients.  I like the transactional aspect of selling. I like choosing my words, I like moving a client towards the right purchase. I like the satisfaction of closing a deal, I like a happy client.

I like the diversity of our clientele, hell I like the diversity of California. One thing I’ve known n it all my life is, you can’t assume anything about anybody. You have to take the time to get to know them. Appearance, skin color, surnames mean nothing. I have black clients, white clients and Latin clients, Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern clients. They are interesting, they have their own stories and they all have unique wants, needs and desires. That said they are all more alike than different. They all want to be treated with respect and honesty. I do that every day.

Our little store is a microcosm of our country, a slice of America. So whenever I get tired, cranky. I reflect that on most days, long as they are, I see the best of us. I see the things we all have in common. Those things are much more important than the things we perceive as our differences.