Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Joe Holiday

I was playing some old Burt Bacharach songs at Joe Holidays Top of the Town lounge and restaurant in Laconia. http://www.topofthetownrestaurant.com/entertainment.shtml

Joe and me go way back. He used to do the old Akron, Ohio circuit and I was on the holiday inn starlight express circuit.
Anyway, if you're ever in Laconia around 5 pm and want to eat some prime rib then go to the Belmont Mall and go up the hill and get the early bird special. Ron (the chef, marine trained) will hook you up. Prime rib. PRIME! I had a long argument about the placement of Gouda Cheese in a quattro formaggio sauce and came out on the losing end. He said it is stringy. I insisted that if you cook it long enough then it will be creamy with the parmeggan and gouda and gorgonzola and fontina. those are the 4 winners. in myu opinioon anyway, Kathy is a nice gal and Joe Holiday played some Buffett songs and I danced with the ghost of all my ex girlfriends. god bless you all. It looks like Toshiba ordered some serious products so I can splurge and buy everyone a round of drinks. god bless toshiba and the dallas cowboys.

cuba libre

In a bar named Salsipuedes an old man ordered another drink, a Cuba Libre. The bartender, a handsome young man, mixed the drink and served it without hesitation, removing an empty glass from the bar with swift movements.
“I was once young like you,” said the old man. “How old are you?”
“I am twenty five years old,” said the bartender.
The old man shook his head.
“Ah! So young! I am seventy years old. Seventy!”
He slurred his words a little because he had been drinking for several hours.
“This is not very old. You look much younger,” said the bartender automatically as he moved down the bar.
“Yes, that is what people say to be nice. And maybe this is true. When you are old it is no consolation to be told you look much younger.”
The old man’s voice trailed off as he realized the bartender was not listening anymore. The old man was used to being ignored so was not insulted. Old people, he thought, have much wisdom but are also ignorant because they have forgotten what it feels like to be young. He searched his shirt pocket for a cigarette when he realized that, on the advice of his doctor, he had quit smoking many years earlier.
“Can someone please give me a cigarette?” he called out.
Only three or four people were in the bar. A young woman sitting nearby leaned over and handed the man a cigarette. He thanked her graciously.
“You are welcome,” said the young woman. “Do you need a light?”
“No. I will not smoke this cigarette.”
The woman paused.
“No? Then why do you want it?”
“I like the feel of a cigarette. When I was young I smoked many cigarettes a day. Then my doctor told me I should quit. But still I like the way a cigarette feels. It reminds me of a time when I was young.”
“Ah. Well, enjoy holding the cigarette,” said the woman as stood up.
The old man laughed gently.
“You are easy to like. Will you keep me company for a moment?”
“Well, I am waiting for a friend,” said the woman as she moved to another part of the bar.
“Yes, I understand,” said the man to himself. “You should to be with friends. But do you have a moment to keep me company?
No one answered.
“My doctor also told me to stop drinking but I told him this was impossible. I will always drink.”
The old man looked into his glass and drank the Cuba Libre. Then he stared out the window and no one talked to him.

hollywood moment addendum

Hollywood Moment #2:
I’ll just tell her it’s good. But I won’t read it.
I don't remember if I posted this yet. I think it is a good time to do so because it should be evident that my perspective on the world has nothing to do with my working in Cyberdyne. It makes no difference. The Talmud says "You see the world not as it is but as YOU are." I agree with this. The world just is. Whether the snow is a bother or a blessing is up to you. See? Check it out...

I should add that there have been some rare moments when things work, when I see the world as I am and it's not awful. Like playing piano on the boardwalk in Venice...or boogieboarding in Florida...or a campfire in Mexico on the beach...or a bluegrass jam in Mexico with a couple from Oregon. The lovely woman, an angelic lithe choreographer looked at me and said, "Your a Pisces. You swim in circles." She played the mandolin and knew all my favorite songs. Her husband is a potter and guitarist and plays at old age homes. I wanted to play a Hank Williams Sr. song, Jambalaya, and he says, "Let me get my accordion." My mouth just dropped. He asked, "do you want to sing high harmony or the melody?"
It's just incredibly rare I'm on the same page as people and when it happens I don't write about it because it isn't interesting. Conflict is interesting and these rare moments are like dreams without conflict. Maybe that's the problem. My desire to write makes me seek out problems because if I were content then I would have no topics to write about. I would just be content somewhere in an RV park with a dog and an accordion playing neighbor. Contentment is death to a writer. I'm not going to resurrect conflict if I'm content. So I avoid contentment and pay the price for conflict, which makes better writing. I can invent conflict but it never rings true. The books I read...I can see through them. I know who paid their dues and who is inventing it based on something they saw through their car window. You ever sit down with a crack addict in a rainy Frisco alley? If you haven't then don't bother writing about it. And even if you do you have to be attentive. It's my church, these wasted people with a story and I listen. There's a story behind the story and I hear that too. Then I combine them and try to tell the whole thing along with my story. Conflict makes good drama but it comes at a price.

American Schools Falling Behind in Football

Dateline: Washington D.C.

For the second straight year American high schools have scored fewer cumulative points than the previous year, prompting an outcry from parents and administrators across the country.
Press Secretary for the department of education, Marty Wilhelm said, “We are dismayed by this drop in cumulative points from our nation’s varsity football teams. After spending several million dollars more than the previous years in coaching, equipment, field maintenance, transportation, health insurance and training, we anticipated a 5% increase in points scored. By the end of the season we were disappointed.”
While the decrease in points could be attributed to better defensive coaching and execution Wilhelm was quick to point out, “There’s no excuse for scoring fewer points. This is simply not acceptable. An exploratory committee has been appointed to determine what went wrong so we can fix those problems before our kids fall further behind in the wildcat offense, the [pass/run] option, and the slant route.”
Jim Rollinsford [not his real name], a parent of a football player in Alabama leaned over a fence and picked a clump of grass from a quiet football field.
“I played varsity football here in 1983. We had cotton uniforms, outdated pads, maybe six footballs to go around. Hell, the head coach ran the local welding shop. We scored, on average, 42 points a game. Last season my son’s team scored an average of 35 points. And that’s including the blowout against those piss ants at Marston High!”
Rollinsford’s son who agreed to be interviewed if his identity was not disclosed nodded his head near his father.
“It’s true. We really let our parents down. If there’s such a thing as being over-prepared then that’s what we were. We practiced every day after school. We have playbooks four inches thick. I’ve got a personal trainer and start spring workouts in February. Still, the numbers don’t add up. They just don’t add up.”
His father started to say something but caught himself and put a hand on his son’s shoulder.
“Next year. You got one more year of eligibility. Just pray to God a college looks at the big picture.”
Sports Psychologist, Dan Rightman PhD of We Train Right in Seattle, Washington claims the cumulative point discrepancy is misleading.
“It’s in the interests of sports programs across the nation to appear to be slipping. That way they demonstrate a continued need for funding. As soon as the average points peaked in the steroid era of the Nineties, football programs across the nation saw a sharp decline in funding. Furthermore, the decline is merely relative to that abnormal bubble. I predict another year of decline before it finally returns to pre steroid averages.”
Jose Herndon of the Canton, Ohio based parents group H2nOw raises concerns about the amount of money spent on football compared to science based classroom content.
“I represent parents who don’t care how few points our football teams score. American students frequently score below developing nations in reading, science, math and…”
Herndon’s comment was cut short when a basketball hit him in the shoulder. A truck full of teenagers sped away with a banner reading “Science Sucks”
“This,” said Herndon, “This is what I’m talking about. Our priorities are upside down. If pass blocking and running downhill were categories for the Noble Peace Prize then I wouldn’t be here.”
Back in Alabama, Jim Rollinsford passed a football to his son.
“I don’t listen to that steroid talk. A football is a football and the field is still 100 yards long. The problem is commitment. Our country doesn’t want to put the extra effort in to keep scores high. But we’ll find a way to overcome it. We always have.”
He threw the football to his son ten yards away. His son caught it and pretended to dodge imaginary defenders.
“That’s right,” said his father, “Keep low and drive. Finish the play.”

Hollywood moment

Hollywood Moment #1: I’m in a luxurious top-of-a-hill mini estate wearing a leather coat and sandals. It’s 1 am. The temperature is 85 degrees. Out of the window I can see a glowing, digital billboard on a far away street advertising the latest films. Beyond that, the dark sea. Somewhere in between here and there is my house, where two hours earlier I had been browsing random part time jobs available in Mexico…and Costa Rica…anywhere but Los Angeles doing anything but making films.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.