Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State and . . .

Just wanted to put up yet another “thank you” post for being so damn generous with your comments.
I wanted to make my way around the “bloghorn” but will never do it all tonight.
I’m only human.

A few notes of interest, if you look to my side bar you will see a little jpeg of Joe Jackson (musician).
If you click it, it will open Adobe Reader on your computer (assuming you have it installed), and download his essay as a .pdf file.
I don’t comment much about smoking on the blog but I feel Jackson’s essay should be read by smokers and non-smokers alike.
I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
You may feel differently.
I’m not going to address my stance on smoking right now.
Just know that I smoke.
And I enjoy it.
And I pay exorbitant and unscrupulous taxes because of my habit (which is absolute bullshit).
To the US government, tax something else for a change, for cripes sake.
Just imagine if the government started taxing Budweiser and Happy Meals the way they tax tobacco these days.
Would people be a bit angry?
Think about it.
Click on the philosopher above to visit Jackson’s website.
There’s some great stuff to be found there.

And now for something completely different;

Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night after falling asleep early and came downstairs to the sound of ‘beep-beep-beep-beep’.
My wife was laying on the couch pointing the cordless phone at the TV and pressing the “call button” on and off.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Trying to turn this friggin’ thing down,” she said.

“You can’t do that with the phone, dear, ” I said, as I took the phone out of her hand, turned off the TV and guided her upstairs to bed.
Ah, sleepyheads can be funny sometimes.
I think she may have called China a few times though.
Check out the Jackson video below.
Classic Joe.

~m

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Sunglasses at night

It seems improbable and physically impossible to feel alone on the streets of a city the magnitude of Boston but I’ve had such a day today.
I ate a meager lunch in a deserted food court, rode a ghost train with no passengers
(save for a lone and apathetic conductor that collected my money),
walked down an empty Boylston Street to an ‘I am Legend’-like South Station.
My mind doesn’t want to let anyone in today and I feel I’m struggling against a surreal and desolate landscape that is the city of Boston.
I loathe days these because I feel almost anonymous and somewhat disposable.
And nothing I can say or do seems to change anything.

I get a seat on the train and I put on my sunglasses even though it’s 5:30pm and the sun has set on the city.
UV protection for the soul, I think,
as I contemplate a jump into a vat of lukewarm self-pity.
No, that would be too damn easy.
The past several weeks have wreaked some serious emotional havoc on my sorry 49-year-old ass and this is the aftermath, an ardent and internal hangover; it’s temporary but so very intense.
I come to realize that I’m just really tired and can’t seem to catch up.
Exhausted, actually.
Sleep doesn’t help.
But writing it out has immense possibility.
And it does.

“How are ‘ya?”

{Oh, God . . . not that question again, ad nauseum}

{Me smiling}
“Just another day in paradise, buddy, just another day.”

And I carry on.

Still somewhat alone.

For the time being . . .

~m

Ps. happy birthday to Smoke &Mirrors (2.22.05) {you people are sick} :mrgreen:


Logic

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of the U.S. involvement in
Iraq , here’s a sobering statistic.
There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths.
That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers per month.

The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 persons for the same period. That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capital than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion:
The U.S. should pull out of Washington . . . or not

~m

ps. tnx to HM for the email

For here, or to go?

Alright, a guy comes into the store several months ago and asks,
“Hey, can I try some pipe tobacco?”
I say, “Yeah, help yourself.”

He proceeds to eat, yes, eat small handfuls of 4-5 of our blends.
I shit you not. Yeah, I’m dying and no one knows but me because it’s a Sunday and I’m working alone.
“Which blend has more latakia?” He asks, while munching away.
I show him and he asks for 2oz of said blend.
I ask (and I can’t help myself), “You want that for here or to go?”
God, he looks confused.
“To go,” he says.
I’m still laughing about it . . .

~m

What is the square root of eggnog?

It’s always around this time of the year (December 20th, to be exact) that my brain goes into this bizarre auto-hibernation cycle.
I can’t hear “Jingle Bells” or “Merry Christmas, Darling” by the Carpenters simply because my brain refuses to latch on, refuses to release the adequate amount of acetylcholine needed to make my synapses “see” the connection.
Maybe it sounds Grinch-like, but it’s not.

Around every corner lurks some crazy bastard that thinks I should be incredibly happy, that I should embrace the “wassail ‘n eggnog” mentality of a holiday I’m still trying desperately to understand.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t understand it, maybe I’d enjoy it more but sadly I cannot.
I don’t watch much TV but when I do I inevitably see a Kay’s Jewelers commercial and I’m pretty sure that ‘every kiss begins with Kay’s’.
Ughhhh.
Hey Kay’s! I’m holding some wicked mistletoe over my yuletide ass.
You guys can start there with a big, wet smooch.
Gag me with an unrealistic, smarmy and overtly utopian commercial.

Avaricious companies like this prey on the materialistic and compulsive nature of nincompoops foolish enough to believe that some diamond-studded placebo will make all their holiday dreams come true.
My God, what unadulterated bullshit.

There is a major reason for my somewhat apathetic attitude towards the holidays and maybe it’s because I’m just beginning to understand that it has little to do with shiny and expensive things.

But there will always be another commercial, another misguided Christmas song and another 100 reasons for me to hate the things that society thinks will make my holiday grand.

I’m thinking that maybe that’s okay.
And I might just make it through another Christmas without the help of Kay’s . . .
As far as the answer to the square root of eggnog, maybe it’s 42
Though I may have to ask Sarah’s roomate, Kat . . .
I hear she’s pretty good with math.

~m

My name is June

My dear friend Annie left a writing prompt (idea) for me on her blog.
Your turn, kiddo. {{{{grin}}}}}

” You wake up to discover that all your daughters are sons & your wife is your husband – what happens?”

Here’s what transpired . . . I don’t really know if I even like this but here we go . . .

************************************************************************

You stare into the bathroom mirror and scream – OH! MY! GOD!
June Cleaver continues to stare back at you in horror. You watch your chest heaving up and down and think “Christ in a sidecar, I have breasts and wide hips and then no, no, dear God, no . . . yup, they’re gone.”
Your precious jewels are gone.
You scratch where they should be and look around the bathroom stunned by the realization that your world has turned to black and white and that you’re June Cleaver.

You pray that the kids have gone to school and Ward is at work before making your way to the kitchen when you see a handwritten note on the kitchen table;

June,

I decided to let you sleep in this morning and have taken the boys to school myself.

Don’t worry, I made them oatmeal and toast for breakfast.

Wally asked if you could get him some pimple cream. His acne is acting up again.

And Beaver is, well, the Beaver. You know how much I love the Beaver.
I’ll see you tonight for dinner, my dearest

Love,

Ward

Your world begins caving in when you realize and understand the sheer magnitude of the situation you’re currently in.
Boys?!
You think, “What Would June Do?” and laugh thinking the initials of the phrase would look great on a bracelet.
You desperately need some booze but it’s only 8:30 in the morning and you’ve no idea where Ward hides the hootch.

You think that 24 hours ago the world was a vastly different place, as was your gender.

The phone rings and you automatically answer it like a subservient Stepford wife.

“Hello?”

“Hi June! It’s Agnes Haskell. Have you seen my Eddie? He never showed up to school this morning and I think he’s up to no good and goshdarnit, I’m a bit worried.”

“Oh, Agnes! No, I haven’t seen Eddie. Ward let me sleep in this morning and he took Wally and Beaver to school. Boys will be boys! I’m sure it’s nothing serious, Agnes. If I see him I’ll be sure to tell him to call you, okay?”

“Are you okay, June? You sound . . . I don’t know, different.”

“Oh, if you only knew, Agnes. No, I’m fine. Gotta run, the milkman is here! Bye!”

You place the receiver into the cradle of the black rotary phone and catch a glimpse of yourself in the living room mirror and think: I’m going have to do something with this hair! It will never do!

You’ve never been ogled before in your life until you go out on the front steps to get your bottles of milk.

“Morning Mrs. Cleaver!”

“Good morning, Dan.”

“Hey, did I show you my new tattoo?”

“You have a tattoo, Dan?”

“Did I say tattoo? I meant to say my thick enormous tongue!” {laughing}

“Oh, Dan, you’re such a cut up!” {you’re laughing, and shaking your head because he’s such a freak}

You pinch yourself and repeatedly head butt the fireplace mantle hoping to wake yourself or ultimately pass out.
You somehow make it to 5PM when a bulb goes on above your nicely coiffed head.
You find a piece of paper and write:

Dearest Ward,

I must have come down with the flu because I’ve been sneezing all day.
(I must be contagious!)

I did manage to do some of the boy’s laundry. Please tell Beaver he needs to start wiping himself better or I may start calling him “General Beaver”!
Please take the boys for dinner. I just couldn’t cook in this condition.
I’ve taken two aspirin and plan on sleeping until my color returns.

I hope you understand, dear.

Love,

J

You lie down and close your eyes while praying for a Medjudgore miracle.
Your breasts are nice and quite perky but BIG DEAL.
You just want your junk back. {and rightly so – *authors note}

You accept the fact that you’d never make it in this world as a June . . . April or May could be a distant possibility though.
And though the hormone thing is just a killer . . . the nasty shaving business ain’t quite that bad.

~m

Rock on

Michel Camilo last night, Michael McDonald tomorrow night.
Guess who’s not going to be blogging this weekend?
I’ll catch everyone up on Sunday night.
I will tell you that Camilo was more than incredible.
And he smiles more than any musician I’ve ever seen in my life.
More on Michel later.
Have a great weekend folks.
Catch you on the rebound . . .

~m

ps. a very special birthday is coming up next week. Stay tuned.

Norm Abrams, I’m not

I’ve been promising my wife that I’d put together a cabinet for the kitchen.
She bought it several weeks ago and everytime I’d walk through the kitchen I swear I could hear “baaaawk, baaaawk . . . “coming from inside the box.
Its purpose was supposedly going to reduce some of the cabinet clutter and organize the pot and “pandemonium” wreaking havoc in the heart of our home.

How hard could it be to put together a small and innocent antique cabinet?

I’m no Norm Abrams, alright? Building things just isn’t my thing (stop laughing, Laho).

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent man but when an inanimate object begins making a monkey out of me, I have a problem.
I should have known better when I spied the little gold oval sticker proudly proclaiming “made in China” on all 76 pieces.

Assembling this hunk of shit (from the directions given) was worse than trying to comprehend quantum physics.
I seriously think the Chinese are out to get us, all of us.

Said directions were a series of “exploded” pictures; no words or explanations, just pictures . . . all 14 of them. Bastards.

Does the term 3-D puzzle of wood mean anything to you?

The cabinet was mainly black and I almost went frickin’ blind trying to screw this thing together. The phone starts ringing, I spill my coffee, I gotta take a crap and one of the cats starts throwing up a hunk of the Styrofoam packing this thing came in and I’m only Step #1.
I only have 13 more to go.
Please shoot me.
Point the gun at my brain stem and mercifully pull the trigger.
End my pain.

I think about throwing the damn directions away but err on the side of caution and instead start talking dirty to the sad looking unassembled pieces still littering the kitchen table. Things start clicking and I’m beginning to enjoy the dirty talk.

By the time I was finished (2 hours later) I look Chinese, well, my eyes do anyway.

Some people really have a talent for this building shit.
Not me.
I say pay another 20 bucks and let some other choad go Oriental.
I’m an artist, damn it, not Norm Abrams.

~m