Thursday, August 31, 2006
OK, I moved across the state, sort of. I have a house, a bed, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 daughter and some frozen pizza and beer in the fridge. Hey sounds like a party. Not really, more like an extended excursion at the local Days Inn. Oh well I'm here and I know things will get better when the wife and furniture finally arrive.
So where is here?
You know they say you can't go home again, and maybe they're right, but I don't know the "they" that say those things...... so here I am again.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Where did the month of July go? Well it sure didn't go into this blog. So I guess I should apologize to the 3 faithful readers that have stuck with my sporadic ramblings.
I have come to realize over the past few years as I reflected on my life that I have lived a decade at a time. That may seem confusing to you but makes perfect sense to me. From about the age of 15 till now, my life has undergone dramatic change every 10 years. About 2 years ago I began to wonder if this cycle had forgotten me or maybe my Gypsy angel had just skipped town and didn't leave a forwarding address. Well she didn't leave after all but came knocking at the door or rather just barged in and said pack your bags boy it's time to go. I can't give all the details yet but will as soon as I can. I would just ask that if you can hang with me for a while I will be back and running or at least posting on a more regular basis as soon as I can.
But thinking back on my past lives, I just received a link to an old friend of mine who is still plugging away in the arts. You know I love art, dontcha? So I have to point you to her site. If you like clay, if you like drawing, then how about both wrapped into one tasty nugget? Don't forget to read what she writes about herself and her work. I love good words, too. Another one of my favorite Arizona artist friends sent me the info and I would link to her site...but...
Will my future life collide with a past one and create some new twist for the next decade? God only knows, but that's good enough for me. Now I must go and wipe the dust off of my well worn traveling shoes. See you soon.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I have been a music junkie my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are laying in my little attic room listening to the rain on the tin roof while being lulled to sleep by my nightstand radio. My addiction has only increased over the years as I spent every spare dime on vinyl (for you kids those are the big black disks that you may have seen during your last class trip to the natural history museum) then CD's and now MP3s. Music has been important to my art and to my life. Like many of you a song can spark memories of places and emotions and people that have drifted through my life. I still have boxes of vinyl in my basement that I havent played in years but can't seem to be rid of. Some weird emotional attachment, I guess. I have shelves of CD's and now I have thousands of songs on my iPod. And crap since I'm spilling my guts here I guess I should admit to the few 8 tracks that I have owned. Yes I really did...wide magnetic tape in a big plastic box...so there you have it, the whole ugly truth about my musical sickness.
So where am I going with all this? Well, I've also been acused of a YouTube fetish too. So I may be a little late to this party but I just discovered a new and great voice for the future of Rock. Terra Naomi is that voice. If you love intelligent heartfelt lyrics and great music then this super unknown is going to be the next big thing. But if big music is too stupid to do anything with this girl then you owe it to yourself to check her out on the internets.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I hadn't been to Ruidoso New Mexico since 1999. Since June of 1999 to be exact. The last time I was there I had to bury my brother in a hard scrabble piece of ground in the dry mountains near Mayhill. My mother lives near there and I haven't been back since. Not something I am proud of, just something that happened. I don't understand how we let things slip through our fingers and through our lives and through the years, but we do, and somehow it ends up just being the way it is.
But I went back and it was OK. Yet death was there again, and this time one of my hero's is the one that will spend time in that hard and dusty place. I had the honor of meeting this man several times when I was an artist. I had the privilege to sweat with him as we moved some of his pieces from a truck to the museum grounds. This man didn't care who you were or where you came from, but rather regarded you as a unique individual. He shook your hand as an old friend. I don't think he ever let things slip through his hands. Luis Jimenez, you will be missed, for your art and more importantly for your humanity. Your patch of hard scrabble, your El Jardin de los Angeles is just a little more beautiful now. Adios.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I like Apple. I really do. They have been the cool company for twenty years now. So what’s happened? I wonder if it was the rush of iPod mania? It seems like Steve’s head has expanded beyond the normal gargantuan proportions.
I know, I know, how could I say anything bad about Apple. The heresy, the outrage. Well it’s not so much about the products, they still rawk, but the way they are being fed to us is well, not cool. Remember all of those ad’s throughout the years, the groundbreaking 1984 theme, the Think Different stuff, then the iPod everyone’s a rock star spots...All brilliant. But then came the Stanley Kubric 2001 A Space Odyssey rip off which also stole directly from the band Postal Service. C’mon, a copy of a copy, and this from Apple the innovator. The talk on the Net was harsh, and maybe Steve’o listened cuz the spot aired like maybe 3 times before being pulled. But now…
Who came up with this PC vs Apple parody? Yeah, it’s pretty funny. You know, the cool hipster making fun of the poor Bill Gates look alike, ha, witty as hell. But what are you trying to do here Apple, sell computers or alienate a new segment of the market? Apple has all these new Intel machines coming out that can run Windows and MacOS, so instead of embracing these new potential customers Apple tells them they just aren’t cool enough to use a new MacBook. Duh, fire the ad agency and start again.
Speaking of the MacBook, who came up with that name? We have McNuggets, we have McMansions, we don’t need McLaptops. The name iPod is cool the name MacBook is not.
Remember the Sony Walkman? As great as the iPod is I think it’s destined to be the next Walkman. Oh no, heresy again. Naw, just the writing on the wall. Apple’s new venture with Japanese telecom giant Softbank just sealed the iPod’s fate. The golden era is over. Who will need a separate player when your new phone will have all of the newest music features that Apple has to offer?
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I hate being sick!
I’ve been stuffed up with a sore throat for over a week now. I know what it must be like to live in a submarine because that’s what my head feels like and every word I say seems to reverberate through some weird echo chamber. I wonder if most men are babies about illness? I think women are just tougher about things. Now I mean most real women not those French poodle women we see on TV. You know the mothers and wives and sisters of all us normal folk. Hell, they have to be tougher, they’ve had babies. I remember my wife carrying a Ziploc bag with her for 4 months during her pregnancy just so she wouldn’t have to pull over the car when a wave of nausea hit. Blech! Morning sickness…send me to the ER!
We want our women to be soft and cuddly and sexy and caring and kind, and they are those things. But I think deep down all of us men know they can still kick our ass when it comes to dealing with pain and suffering.
I hate being sick!
Happy Late Mothers Day
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I live in a small hick town in the middle of nowhere. How I became stranded here is a long story that I will probably tell sometime. I don’t fit here and never will because it is one of those places that you have to be born to. This whole part of the state is like that and that’s just the way it is.
I left friends and family to move out here, and at the time it seemed like a good idea. But now, years later it feels like being awash in a storm with no compass in sight. Life has really hurt here. My problems are no different than yours. I’ve lost several important people in the past couple of years and have the regrets we all have. I didn’t say I loved you enough. I didn’t spend the time I should have. I was selfish, and now I can’t repair what pain I may have caused. My wife and I endure the daily routine of tolerating intolerance and suffering fools. I never believed life was meant to be hand to mouth.
The one true friend we were given in this place is dying.
I just received this email:
Well I hate to be the one to pass along this update because it is not a good one.
Of the 17% or less function of Kenneth's heart - over 90% is completely blocked. Because of the low amount of functioning he is not a candidate for any kind of surgery except a heart transplant. Heart transplants are not without strings attached. He would have to live in
They feel without a transplant he has 1 to 2 years of life but with the extreme blockage he could have a massive heart attack at anytime.
They may send him home as early as today - they are concerned about the pain he is still having and I guess that is the factor keeping him in the hospital at this time.
Kenny is a black man, I’m not. Kenny is my friend and I am his. He is the most caring, compassionate and hardworking man I know. He has tolerated intolerance and endured struggles that I can never know. He always smiles. He has suffered and felt pain that is unimaginable to me. He always greets me with a handshake and hug.
I have been knocked on my ass for so long it is sometimes hard to see beyond my fingertips. But today I know my life is good and my problems are small. I can't type anymore...
I love you Kenny.
Friday, May 05, 2006
And the first thing I found?......
Sand is sand, right? Wrong. Check it out.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
I'm not a thief, or at least not a career criminal. I mean sure I've lifted the odd trinket from the Dollar General when I was 10, but I didn't have to do any time. My mother caught me and made me go back and apologize to the owner. Trust me, walking in there and saying sorry to this old ex-hippie with the wandering eye was worse than the slammer. Especially with a warm dampness in your pants. So I'm not a con, but I think I would still be better at it than these guys.........
3 of the 6 guys that stole one of the most famous paintings in existence have been found guilty. Well duh?
All three are Norwegian. I think they were just all tanked up on some stout ale trying to keep their asses from freezin' off when Bjorn comes up with this great idea for a heist. I'm also pretty sure they had just finished watching Oceans Twelve.
When you get out boys, I gotta couple more for ya.......
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Gimme a label. Gimme a name. Gimme an ethnicity. Gimme what you got. Gimme a place to belong.
I told you that I wasn’t liberal and I told you I wasn’t conservative. Labels have never united people. So am I poor white trash? Am I European American? Am I Irish or am I Scotch? I don’t have a clue.
My father was adopted as a baby and never had any desire to learn his biological heritage. So my history stops with him. I admire and envy all of the immigrants to this country that can trace their heritage back to Montezuma or the Prince of Prussia or Uncle Bert in Poland. These are things that give us a foundation and add to who we are.
I have always wanted to know where I came from or as my father’s adoptive mother used to say “who my people were”. It has been a ripple under the surface of my whole life. An itch I just couldn’t scratch. I will never really know the answer to this question, but I do know where I am now. I am here in the United States of America and I am an American. I am proud and disgusted with that knowledge, simultaneously, and to differing degrees each and every day.
We are a nation of mutts. Pound puppies that some how got pardoned. All of my dogs have come from the Humane Society, because maybe I did too. They all have little quirks that they haven’t been able to overcome. One is timid and un-trusting of strangers. One will still hoard and gobble down every scrap of food in sight. And the third barks all the time, just to show all the neighbor dogs how tough he is. I gave them all a second chance at life and love and acceptance. And if I could ask them, I doubt any one of them would choose their old life over their new one.
Are we so much different? This whole immigration thing has spiraled into a them against us thing, once again. What the hell is wrong with this country?
This debate is not about immigration, it is about illegal immigration. I don’t know where my ancestors came from, but I’m sure it was from somewhere much worse than here. And I also know that I am a citizen now. So whatever hardships they had to endure, I owe an un-payable debt of gratitude to those anonymous family members for giving me that honor.We have immigration laws. Enforce them or change them. If you want to live here, become a citizen, speak the language and abide by the law. Pay your taxes. Send your kids to school. Raise them with love and respect for others. Don’t ask for things that you haven’t earned. Be an American and not just a hyphen. I find it offensive that our government and our work forms always have an area to state our ethnicity. Go crazy and mark other, and in that blank space write American. We are the only place that is made from every place.
Or maybe I'm just simple minded?
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The courts said he had to do it and by golly Governor Goodhair is gonna do it.
If you haven't heard Texas schools are in a mess. Under funded, under staffed, and dare I say it, the Texas leadership is under motivated to make the necessary changes. But, alas, the Texas Supreme Court said changes had to be made. So here we are with our backs against the wall, and there's nothing like a court order and impending elections to motivate a politician.
Mr. Perry has said time and time again that he is going to lower property taxes. He's dug that hole so deep there's no getting out of it now. Property taxes fund schools in Texas, so where's he going to find the offset? Ahh, search and ye shall find. I heard it said that his plan is similar to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I like that. I like that analogy alot.
"You can say one thing for the governor and legislative leadership – once they latch onto a bad idea, they stick with it." – Texas Federation of Teachers President Linda Bridges
Remember that scene in the Titanic where the band was playing as the ship was going down? I think Rick Perry was playing lead bagpipe. He's made promises that he can't keep, and now he has to find the money somewhere. Where 'o where will it come from?
or maybe here?
The Governor says we will raise money for education by making sure we get the "real" taxes owed from the sale of used cars and also by tacking on a dollar per pack of cigarettes. Well we all know that used car buyers and sellers are sleazeballs so that's a slamdunk in the legislature. But maybe there are a bunch of puffers in Austin because it looks like a harder sell with the smokers tax. But then again it might be that the tobacco lobby is just more powerful than the used car guys? I get this mental picture of the lobbyists on the capital steps handing out smokes and bald tires. Which would you take?
All you ex-smokers we need your help! Think of the kids. Go to the Mini Mart today, grab a carton and smoke like there's no tommorrow. Because really there isn't. Our children deserve better. Bump that two pack a day habit up to three. Please. We need the money now.
"Nobody's happy with gasoline prices being where they are," said Representative Joe L. Barton, Republican of Texas and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who last year championed scores of new tax breaks for the industry.
Well, duh, Joe. Thanks for giving those poor, helpless folks at Exxon Mobil a tax break. Without it they may not have been able to acheive record breaking profits.
And if restricting your freedom to move about the country by auto wasn't enough, well Joe has a plan to bog down the Net highway as well. Who's the sponsor of the COPE act? Our friend Joe.
Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act.
Sounds benign enough, right?
Only if you're the type that likes your information filtered by the ones that can make the most profit. My pals over at MyDD have some good thoughts on this issue. So why should Net Neutrality matter? Check out this video.
Well, how are your elected officials doing? I know mine suck.
And once again, thanks Joe, for being our friend.