Saturday, October 31, 2009

The wonderful thing about tiggers...

There are many new parents who apparently were not sufficiently instructed on proper Halloween etiquette. As a public service we offer the following list.

1. Halloween does not begin until dark. Just because Halloween falls on Saturday does not change anything. We don't give shit what you had planned for your Saturday evening.

2. And no, your community may not take a vote to change the day of trick or treating if Halloween falls on a Sunday or some other inconvenient day. Your problem, not ours.

3. Parents, even though it has been less than 10 years since you enjoyed trick or treating you don't get to wear a costume and especially no masks. Try that in the wrong neighborhood and you might get shot.

4. Teenagers, we will overlook the fact that you are damn near grown but you need to hang back until the little kiddies get first shot at each house. And it would be nice if you find a pack of small kiddies to accompany under the pretense of "looking out for the little ones".

5. There is nothing wrong with going to a better neighborhood to trick or treat. But drive by trick or treating is a social faux pas of the highest order. Find a park, get out of the goddamn car and walk your kids to the door.

6. Bring a flashlight.

7. Only go to the houses with the porch light on. If the light is off it means I am either out of candy or too drunk to answer the door anymore. Keep moving.

8. Train your kids in advance on Momma's favorite type of candy. Once you ring the doorbell and see the selection its too late to put in your order.

9. Stay the hell off my lawn! We spent a lot of money on those sidewalks for a reason.

We will update the list as the evening progresses


10. Once it starts raining its over, go home.

11. Taking unused Halloween candy back to the store after Halloween is over is like taking milk back to the store after the expiration date. So very uncool! That's why God gave you an office, so you would have someplace to get rid of extra candy.

12. Those kids costumes are now officially pajamas. We don't need to see little vampires and pirates running around the store anymore. Put them away for next year. Better yet donate them to the surplus clothing store and let some other kid have it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trouble man, don't get in the way

There's only three things that's for sure

Taxes Death and Trouble

This I know

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oh me, Oh my

The stock market has crapped out once and is desperately seeking the H1N1 anti-venom before old snake eyes slithers into town again.

Real Estate sales, the last refuge of the over-motivated and under-qualified, is comatose and on home buyer credit life support. The only thing selling now are huts, hovels and lean-tos. Who can live off the commissions from that?

The banks, all having decided that they prefer the view from the inside of their own rectums when compared to the view of the real world, are universally committed to a tits on a bull strategic vision. Having yanked hundreds of billions of dollars in credit out of the economy, even for credit worthy borrowers, they are now forced to bonus themselves back to prosperity.

Hopped up on quaaludes and cheap wine, the IRS is making international booty calls and has the secret Swiss banking system's number on speed dial. Exactly where are the wealthy supposed to hide their unreported wealth while they complain bitterly about taxes being too high?

Realizing that they might now have to earn their money the old fashioned way, the 2 and 20 crowd is returning a lot more phone calls these days. But now faced with the prospect of perp walks and no longer being able to ply their trade openly, the super savvy are deciding that bailing on their hedge funds might be a better option than the long swim to the surface where they can once again gank their subscriber base.

And Bernie Madoff is still putting the smack down, only now he's doing it from the prison court yard.

Even the good news turned bad. Everybody was breathing a big sigh of relief that only those bailout whores still actively suckling at the federal teat had to deal with the Feinberg compensation caps. But then Ben Bernanke shows up at the party with individually labeled tubes of KY jelly. Rut ro! Hey Ben, is that a helicopter in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

And how long is it going to be before the tax bill comes due on all this medical reform crap for the unwashed heathens, with their hip replacements and expensive drug therapy plans. Who needs all that, their miserable lives can't be all that enjoyable anyway.

I tell ya it ain't easy being rich. Having to face the indignity of shopping at the mall and having to breath swine flu contaminated air. Dear God, is there no mercy? There isn't even any valet parking there. Oh the humanity.

Michael Jackson is dead, and I don't feel so good myself. I mean he had it all, fame, fortune, power, the love of family and friends. Yet he died a virtual prisoner of his own success. Unable to remain a god, yet unable to become a mere mortal. He ended up living and dying a Howard Hughes-ish night mare.

Is this what awaits the wealthy. Where is our compassion? Come on, the rest of us are used to the degradation and indignities of daily life. What kind of unholy beast expects the wealthy to go from personalized shopping at Hermes to the self check out line at the Wally World.

Even Bill Gates refused to bequeath his billions to his children because he didn't want to burden them with it. Really, I mean who wants to be known as the asshole that started off life as a cajillionaire and ended up turning tricks for milk money. The pressure must be enormous.

In order to relieve this needless suffering I propose we take matters into our own hands. We must lift an offering. Give whatever you can afford to give. The suffering of the elite must last not one minute longer. The more enterprising among you might set up fundraisers. Bake sales and car washes are good enough for local libraries and public schools but wholly insufficient for this major challenge. I propose that each of us take on a project. Personally I am going to visit the nearby bus stops during nap time and clandestinely relieve the local urban leisure technicians of their ill gotten beggar profits. They will only spend it on vices instead of properly stimulating the economy.

Each of us must resolve that it stops here and now with me. The whining and complaining of the privileged must not go unheeded. Each of us must give until it hurts so that others may live (a life of decadence)!

How can we call ourselves a great society if there are no elite to trickle down on the rest of us.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thin line between love and hate

A little clarification on the Thelonious Monk post

I don't mean to imply that all geniuses are crazy (yeah, that's a clinical term).

Nor do I think that crazy people are all geniuses (I got that one on good authority).

Genius is not simply being able to process large amounts information as compared to the average person. A savant can memorize and replicate the book quickly but not have a real understanding of the material. A true genius can effectively use this large quantity data to attain enlightenment.

Einstein was a genius not because he could manipulate complicated formulas but because he was able to use that ability to make great leaps of comprehension that lesser thinkers are only now able to prove and quantify.

Einstein was a seer. Able to discern the path even when not apparent to more normal perceptive ability.

Monk used his genius to create beautiful music that was at once complicated enough to challenge master musicians for generations to come yet supremely simple with its implied tones and in his own dimension that the rest of us could join if we wanted to but frequently could not muster the ability to do so. But it mattered not to him. He was there, that was enough. We couldn't always understand Monk's motivations but that was our problem.

I think seers are privileged to live in multiple worlds and dimensions of their own creation. Sometimes they lose track of which world and which rules they should be operating under. Everybody knows an absent minded professor type who could build a nuclear reactor out of the crap in your garage but you can't trust them to watch a pot of beans simmering on the stove.

Keep growing and understanding awaits you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Regarding Henry

He suddenly just showed up one night unannounced and uninvited in my daughter's dorm room and would not leave. Shortly thereafter the first of a series of late night panic stricken calls to me. All I could do was tell my daughter and her suite mates to report him to the college and let them take care of it. But being soft tender hearted girls they felt sorry for him. Where would he go, what would he do, what would happen to him. Against my wishes they adopted him. And so he stayed.

Henry they called him. An uneasy truce was established and he slept on the floor. His visit ultimately lasted a fortnight before he disappeared just as suddenly as he arrived. In letting him stay the girls all sincerely hoped he would behave himself. It wasn't long before it was clear he wouldn't.

The trouble started with little things. Making noise and keeping the girls up too late. Constantly rubbing himself all night long. He began provoking the hormone fueled agitation that is all too easily started when you are in close quarters with four post teen girls who squeal at the top of their lungs way more often than is absolutely necessary. But these young girls, who hadn't had a real job between them, lectured me on the necessity of compassion. Fine! They were all legally grown. Do as you please, I cannot stop you.

Finally we reached the final chapter of this episode. It occurred just before dawn one morning. My daughter's call woke me out of a sound sleep. Apparently, Henry just decided to wander into the bathroom while she was taking a shower. I was awakened just as little miss bossy was barking orders to Henry in the same tone she barks them to me when she is upset. The part of the exchange I heard was her telling him to get out of there now or she was going to "kill him dead"! The intensity in her voice made me believe she would do it. This from a child that stopped drinking milk because she thought it somehow hurt the cows. I think I talked her down but just barely.

She never talked to me about Henry after that. I assume that he found his way to his next destination shortly after that episode. I don't think she killed him. But I don't know that for sure and I never asked.

The last I heard about Henry was in an email from my child. I guess she needed to talk about it but didn't want to do it where I could say I told you so. To wit, I shall let you read for yourself:

*Male crickets rub their wings together to attract female crickets, and the result is the "chirping" noise we hear. Male crickets are equipped with their own built-in fiddle system, and both male and females have their "ears" in their front legs below the knee. Each of the male's wings has a rough surface on its underside — the file. In the same place on top of each wing is a scraper. The cricket rubs the scraper of either wing against the file of the other to make his music, or his mating call. This cricket music is called stridulation.

Crickets rest by day and become active at night. The warmer the weather, the more actively a cricket sings. But it won't sing on nights when the temperature is below 55°. *You can't always follow a cricket's sound; it can make its noise appear to be coming from somewhere else. For centuries, crickets have been kept as pets. Known as suzumishi in Japan, thousands are distributed in tiny bamboo cages each summer to help people forget the heat.

*Count the number of cricket chirps in 14 seconds. Add 40. The answer gives the exact temperature in degrees Fahrenheit! */[i just did it and it gave me 75. accurate!]/

That's my child, if you can't do anything about it analyze the hell out of it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Round about midnight

Point of personal privilege.

Admittedly this blog has been a little light on the jazz and heavy on the jacked up. Well, its time we corrected that imbalance.

The New York Times has a rather glowing review of a new book about Thelonious Monk. Apparently the family assisted the author, Robin D. G. Kelley, in collecting the necessary material to get the story straight (no chaser?).

Frequently, we hear the term genius or musical genius bandied about with far too little regard for reality. But Monk was a musical genius in the truest sense of the word. He had the signs, childhood precociousness, eccentric and erratic behavior (both personally and musically), mental health instability, encyclopedic knowledge of his craft and a deep and reverential respect of his internationally acknowledged so called peers. Yet, for much of his life he was not treated as a genius. We cannot change the past but we certainly can revere him now.

There also was another feature of note regarding a benefit to purchase a headstone for the grave of one of Monk's idols James P. Johnson.

Both Monk and Johnson were practitioners of what is commonly referred to as stride piano. Now the the definition of stride piano is somewhat complex, technical and a bit nuanced. But basically a stride pianist is one who walks up to a piano and causes most other pianist to get the hell up and as far away as possible lest they become embarrassed by what is about to happen.

As with many people, it took me a very long time to get Monk. He was one strange cat (which is what kept me on the case). But once I learned he was the composer of the jazz classic Round Midnight, it all fell into place and made sense. Of course you could read the book to learn everything you need to know about Monk or you can just watch the first 30 seconds of this video.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

On the nature of power

It comes and it goes regardless of the cravings of its would be possessors. It can flow from the barrel of a weapon, the tip of a silver tongue or the depth of a fat bankroll. It is quickly diminished the instant that you attempt to use it, paradoxically most effective when hoarded. It is a very strange thing, not unlike the antimatter of Scotty's warp drive engines. It makes unbelievable things possible, yet if uncontrolled it ravages indiscriminately with no regard for target or trigger. Power is a jealous bitch, willing to destroy as well as defend the object of its affection. Be not lured by the siren of the oysters of the world before you on a silver platter. The invoice is yet to come, and oyster platters are never cheap. Remember the universe is circular if you can get halfway there, you are halfway home.

Use it, don't let it use you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brazil sux!!!

Big fat diseased ones!

David Goldman has been struggling to regain custody and control of his son since the child was kidnapped by the now deceased mother of the child and taken out of the country to Brazil. Now the Brazilians won't give him back. Mr. Goldman is the sole surviving parent of his son and by all accounts he is a fit and proper parent for his child. At this point the discussion should be over. But it isn't. The Brazilians have declined to return the child for what appears to be no other reason than they don't want to. He has taken his pleas to court and to the media all to no avail.

Not since Elian Gonzalez has there been such an international display of custodial arrogance and outright hostility towards the concept of parenthood.

Now Brazil expects the world to traipse down there with buckets of money to spend on their little ignoring the rule of law Olympics. Hell, we might as well conduct the Olympics in North Korea.

I hear they put on quite the party down there. But now that they've "got the bid" to put up the Olympics, Brazil needs to decide just how much of the world's good will is needed to have a successful event. Perhaps they can trample on international conventions and no one will notice. Maybe in a backwards third world banana republic with wide disparity between rich and poor you can take people's children with impunity. But in a civilized world you don't condone that sort of thing. And surely you don't reward it with millions of tourist dollars.

Maybe they don't need any help converting their third world city to the standards required of a modern Olympiad. Possibly they couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks of their legal system. Can the Olympics be successful if participants are concerned about taking their children there lest some Brazilian take a liking to them and decide to keep a few of them.

I for one do not intend to excuse taking children hostage and holding them against their parents wishes for no identifiable reason. If they do not return Mr. Goldman's child (and any other child similarly held) I will not watch one single event of the 2016 Olympiad. I will not eat brazil nuts. I will not support any of the advertisers. I will actively work to encourage everyone I know to boycott all products advertised during the Olympics. I will pray for two solid weeks of rain during the event. And I will not forget.

Unless those wacky Brazilians do the right thing and give Mr. Goldman his son back, and with a quickness, I encourage the rest of the world to consider just how complicit participating in this Olympics makes them in the kidnapping of children.

Pick up the phone Rio, the world is calling.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Who? Where? ;+)

Time for a little outhouse humor