Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mont Groulx

This editing is taking so long that I'm questioning my sanity. See, ordinarily, longer is better, but when dealing with computers then longer only means slower and probably not better. My computer is so old and all the footage must be on an external drive for backup and that slows the computer down even more and editing digital footage takes forever. IT's taking so long that I've taken up macrame belt making to occupy my time while footage renders into clips and my edited shorts render into wmv. But handmade belts do mean a nicer belt while digital movies that take a long time don't mean they will be better movies. I've seen the footage and it's unusual but limited. I hope to finish my hemp and bead belt before I finish the wolf quest video. Part of my new year's resolution was to attack projects like a normal person and not bang my head against a 256mb RAM wall. But I can't justify buying a new computer when the wolf documentary tries to highlight the insanity. So I bought a used camcorder (Turns out it's an $800 camcorder that I paid $50 for. It took the picture below and even has a flash and transferred the footage to my slow computer) and will look for a newer computer at a price my budget can afford. But I also want a bass guitar...and that music software isn't cheap either. That's like $2000 right there and I haven't done a thing with it. Does anyone want to buy a hemp/bead macrame belt for $2000?

The song is by Harry Chapin. On The Road to Kingdom Come. Used without permission. Do What You Do.

Ecosystems or Apocalypse

Another atrocious misuse of a word. Ecosystems are related to app makers and gaming platforms only because the rare earth metals used in computing demand the destruction of ecosystems. What can you expect from the motherfucking asshole reporters/propagandists at CNN?

"But there's a lot more riding on Facebook's paperwork than wealth creation. The social network has become an entire ecosystem, supporting independent app makers and gaming platforms like Zynga (ZNGA)."

FYI: Here's a bit of real news from CNN: "How Facebook makes money -- and could make more: The vast majority of Facebook's revenue comes from advertising: a combination of search and display ads. And the sales growth is incredibly robust."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Creepy Optura

A test video for my new camera using found footage on the tape that came with the camera. There was a minor scare with the aftermarket power adapter being 2 amp instead of OEM 1.5 amp* and possibly destroying the motherboard, but it was actually the tape falling apart and not playing because the head was dirty. Note to home techs: Don't use nail polish remover on mini dv camcorders. They require dry cleaning process that basically sands the dirt off the heads.

I really must be losing my mind if this makes me laugh. Speaking of things that make me laugh...Portlandia is a series that fits my quirk factor. Reminds me of Santa Cruz. Also, PBS had a good show about Phil Ochs. Poor man took his musical activism seriously (thought it would make a difference) and watched Nixon take a giant crap on America and then Phil hung himself. Woody Guthrie took himself seriously too but had the mind of a child. Being gravely serious is dangerous. I'm going to film myself editing the wolf video because it'll be a miracle if I finish it.

*Higher amps is fine. Unit will only draw 1.5 amp. The problem is using a .5 amp power supply with OEM 1.5 amp unit. Then the draw is higher than the maximum output...and I could break the internet.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Midwest Decay

 NO, a hurricane or tornado didn't blow through here recently. It's called neglect.

An old abandoned gas station gone the way of JJ Newberrys. Had jackalope antlers over the door. Closed forever.
Demolition and train tracks go together like Mud and water.
This air conditioner won't be doing anyone any good.
A black man in torn pants was stacking usable brick on a pallet. I think the romance of the bleak scene was not a high priority for him.
I think the Natural Gas refinery is further south so this is some kind of oil storage unit. Lonestar.*
That's literally a scrap metal yard... across the railroad tracks from the oil storage tanks... on the banks of the Mississippi River... near an abandoned gas station. The scene writes itself.
And then I find this incredible Cherry red Vette to throw my whole theory of urban decay into the trash.

* Actually, Lonestar is a natural gas operation.

I Bid The Project...You Do The Work

Here's a craigslist ad that I want to turn into a song..."I Bid the Project, You Do the Work..." it's a sign of the times that a person can say this with a straight face and then go on to have an attitude like he's doing me a favor by allowing me to work for him. I should lie to him and get hired and then show up drunk and stoned. Then he'll pass the buck and complain to the "investor" that he hired another craigslist junkie. Must be nice.
Good old fashioned workers? How about a good old fashioned cotton picking Uncle Tom to work fo yo Simon Legree motherfucker? "I bid the project...you do the work." Classic.

"I am a small company that does rehabs for many investors. We do small jobs that range from ten thousand dollars to jobs that are seventy thousand dollars.
I need guys that are experienced, have their own tools. Can do the job. And i dont have to worry. Basically i bid the project. You do the work.
And if your good and get things done on schedule, i will have alot more work for the right people. I dont want the craigslist junky. That painted
their moms house or their own. I need some people with more knowledge than that. I dont want the craigslist junky bringing thier six pack of beer to work
and smoke pot all day. I just need some good old fashion workers. If you cant do this then dont bother to reply. Must have you own tools, ladders etc.
I supply the materials. Any questions "

I got a question...who died and made you such an asshole?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1000 Posts

I like to think the quality and not the quantity of posts is what matters. It started as a joke to amuse myself or to regain my sanity after the Los Angeles silicone tit implant/hair extension/lip enlargement and penis enhancing low fat coffee experience I had in Venice. Thong wearing women rollerblading backwards on the beach boardwalk (walking their pure breed lapdog named Tsong (silent T) on a diamond leash) as drum circles full of LSD and medicinal marijuana junkies beat mad rhythms to the $2.5 million dollar homes of Eric Clapton who would yell at me to turn my amplifier down as I attempted to play Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb solo in G minor pentatonic with a nod to David Gilmore's demonic attack, basically begging for change from millionaires and starving to death. Now, 1000 posts later I must refer to my blog to remember those days in Santa Monica fixing bicycles and office furniture during the day and shoplifting my food out of Donald Sutherland's Whole Foods cart during the evening and in the night I would defend my van from the legions of drunk homeless seeking shelter. One day, I thought, this will all end up in the great Oggy Bleacher tragi-comedy saga.

Lately, I've been listening to Petula Clark on LP. Her delivery of the Tony Hatch songs is dated and "of an era" but it's very appealing to me in a Neil Diamond kind of way. Structure is basic, melody is paramount and subject matter is simple and the Key is G Major. It's when folk music was about to make a comeback, the Vietnam war was not only winnable but America was going to go to the moon first too, skirts were shortening, hair was getting longer and penicillin could cure any STDs. Long haired kids like Bob Dylan and John Lennon were making music that folks our age were certain would be forgotten about in 6 months and Big Bands would reclaim their seat in Music's throne. Talentless Elvis had other plans. "The fucking Rolling Stones can't even spell music! Every song they play is in the same minor key!!" I can hear my past self yelling as I cling to my Nat King Cole Trio records (Nat's guitarist was phenomenal and after a feud with Nat he ended up laying brick for racist and snobby movie stars.) Oh, the clock spins round and round but the numbers never change.

In 1966 the singer must deliver the goods and that's all there is to it. Pet Clark stood alone and belted these songs and that made them famous. (The Vogues did a good cover too)

I plan to make a nice tribute video to her now that I bought a new Canon Optura 30 mini dv video camera. Once the replacement battery comes I'll be in good shape to finish the wolf video. I figured out that the recording heads of my old camcorder are dirty (possibly ruining all my footage) but it might be good for something in the future if only as a vcr to transfer video to my computer or to get footage of throwing the camera off a bridge where it will smash into the ground or running it over with a car. In the meantime, here's a "Thank you" to my two or three fans. I couldn't live without your love...and your hate sometimes motivates me too. My top 5 songs lately are as follows:

Walker Brothers: The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore
Petula Clark: You're The One
Bruce Springsteen: Racing In The Streets
Percy Faith: Theme From Summer Place
Ronettes: Be My Baby

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cleanpro incident Part III Life imitates Art

So, I'm trying to finish this story and I'm going to be ruthless. I know that what I'm writing here is more than anyone but unemployed Eddie could ever take the time to read so it's almost pointless to write this much. I could just say that we went to the apartments. It sucked. Raining. Flooded. Dogs. Kids. Anger. Fights. Lifting carpet. I fell down some stairs. An old guy had a heart attack. I didn't get paid shit. Etc. But that's not how I tell stories. I only get one shot at these things because it isn't like I'll revisit this in ten years but one day I might publish this entire blog. So, here it goes.

We arrive at the apartments that were foolishly built where the water table is on top of a huge slab of granite. When the rain lasts a few days then that's the end of the carpet. It's not that the walls are leaking from above, it's that the water has risen in the ground above the floor. So the building is sinking. A horrible horrible mistake that the slumlords never tell the tenants until it is too late. This must happen once a year at this place although the rain this past month has been apocalyptic.

So, I want to say we divided into teams and attacked the problem with good direction from an attentive foreman, were given breaks and adequate equipment and merrily did our work. But that is just pure fantasy. I'll bet half the guys were stoned before we arrived and the other half were texting nude pictures back and forth. And the one foreman was a deeply unhappy guy who clearly hated us all for being such idiots. His one bit of advice was almost a moan, "You're getting paid by the hour."
Yeah, Seven fucking dollars! I don't care what Cleanpro is paying (probably $25 an hour) since I'm getting absolutely the lowest legal wage. So, forgive me if I take a minute to wipe the blood from my nose!

The first flooded apartment I walked into contained a freaked out dog and hulking man casually rescuing his Harry Potter paraphernalia from the water. The dog eyed me and I eyed the dog. Then I saw that we would have to move all the furniture to get to the carpet but these shitty apartments have absolutely no space. So how are we going to do it? Is Harry fucking Potter going to wave his magic wand and levitate all the furniture so we can remove the carpet? No, the foreman's method of training was to tell us what we were doing wrong five minutes after it was too late. We ended up basically moving all this guy's wet furniture to one side of the room, stacking it in towers of dripping debris while we pulled the carpet back to get at the saturated carpet padding. Then we would lay the carpet back down and move everything from one side to the other to get the other layer of carpet padding. This sucked but what I hated was that when the job description says "Water damage clean up" and I ended up being a fucking "crisis furniture mover"
So, the wet carpet padding gets tossed in a trash bag and dragged outside. I did this a few times before I learned you can hardly put any soaking wet carpet padding in a bag before it gets too heavy to lift. Only a monstrous bodybuilder was able to do it regularly. I staggered under the weight and lunged through the door and ended up dragging the bag until I saw the bag had torn and gallons of water were pouring out onto otherwise dry areas of the hallway. So, I was doing more damage!
Then, to make matters worse, the damn door kept swinging closed and no one could figure out how to prop it open. I was so frustrated and it was freezing and I didn't want to fight the door anymore so I took a huge knife and cut a chunk out of the folded over carpet to use as a wedge under the door. I was so proud and I looked around and the faces were horrified.
"How they gonna kick that carpet back in?" said the kickboxer.
"They're saving that carpet. Look what you did."
I had forgotten in the chaos that these cheap ass company men were going to save this saturated carpet because they'll probably charge the insurance to replace it and keep the money. I looked at the carpet and imagined the families who would be living with black mold and death beneath them.
"Naw. It's fucked. The fucking carpet is fucked." I said lamely to defend myself.
"I'm just saying," said the kickboxer.
He pointed to the carpet and I realized I had cut on a folded edge and thus when the carpet was folded back down there would be a jagged circle missing from THE MIDDLE OF THE CARPET.
I was at a loss for words.
"I don't know. Fuck. Just glue the piece back down. Fuck, man. It's soaked."
"I'm just saying," said the kickboxer. This is what temp laborers say to eachother when one of them fucks up but the other one is not in a supervisor position. No one wants to be a hero or a boss for $7 but no one wants to look bad either because that chunk missing from the carpet could easily be blamed on all of us. I shook my head and reached for another bag of carpet padding.

In retrospect, I don't care about that piece of carpet. They probably did use the piece again and just glue it down, those cheap motherfuckers. Or, hopefully, they replaced the carpet. But I doubt it. I've met those slumlords and they would make you drink reclaimed toilet water if it could save them a buck. But the fact that cleanpro had so rolled over bummed me out. What were we doing then, but making things worse?
A tale someone told me in confidence involved a similar clean up situation. The walls were soaked and instead of cutting the whole thing out they just sliced off the bottom of the drywall and pieced it in. And the guy was slapping mud on the seam and saw a dent in the wall and went to slap some mud on it so it would be patched.
"No," said the boss. "That's a preexisting hole."
"But I'm right here. Let me patch it."
"No. That's not covered by the policy. It's preexisting."
And if that doesn't make you quiver then you are a disgusting person. What is the opposite of integrity? What is the opposite of professional? That's what we're dealing with. And while I have no one to blame for my cutting a chunk of carpet out that rendered the carpet disfigured, who is to blame for the absurdity of saving a completely saturated carpet in a family apartment complex in a basement room that sees sun only on the summer equinox?

So we moved on. One room to the next, each worse than the last, no break, no water, no food.
The worst part was when I grabbed some carpet padding and didn't see a bag and I just wanted it outside so I walked out and there were these guys blabbing about prison and I couldn't get to the bags so I just took the shit outside.
"Hey, that goes in a bag."
"I know. I'll put it in a bag outside."
"What do you mean, "No."? Get back here."
"It goes in a bag."

An old lady opens her door a crack and looks at us. A dog runs free down the hallway chased by a girl in a bathrobe.

The way the one dude looked at me I think he thought I had stuffed some DVDs or computers in the padding and was looting the place, which is why I wanted to explain the backstory.
I went outside and put it in a bag. The shiftless tent dweller was smoking a cigarette and here was my chance to rehearse some lines from my Sons of Job play:

"I used to hunt deer in that field.," said the homeless man through a cloud.
"This is complete bullshit," I moaned.
"Bagged five or ten a season."
"They put their boot on your neck. Break a man down. Look at me. Soaking wet. Bleeding. Hungry."
"Bow and rifle."
"They want ten an hour work out of seven an hour men."
"Venison stew. Jerky. Smoke house."
"Look at me like I'm a criminal? What? They're the fucking criminals."
"Drinking on Saturday. Pussy all weekend long."
"I come to do a job and they...they got their fingers in my ass."
"Fat 'ol belly. Sleepin in, fuckin', drinkin'. Them were the days."
"Ah, this is a cunt of a job. What a bitch. Why the fuck I take this ticket?"
"You want a smoke?"

One reason I like these guys is because they are whatever the opposite of codependent is. Indifferent? But unlike an indifferent woman who will look through you at the man behind you, an indifferent man doesn't even recognize you as an entity. Where there was a mailbox, this guy was seeing a ten point buck. My voice was like the breeze in the wind. I like that. It's like being alone. A woman might try to pretend to care I was talking; a man makes no attempt to show he's listening.

And back into the apartments I plunged. The worst was a household of a mother and two kids under 3 years old...two inches of water and every damn toy imaginable. I mean, if there was ever proof that toys do not do shit for a kid's behavior or development it would be that apartment. These kids were bouncing off the walls as five smelly men moved all their toys and furniture and clothes around. The mother was hysterical. There was a picture of man on the wall so don't jump to the conclusion she was single. But definitely jump to the conclusion that raising two preschool kids all day alone is basically impossible. Televisions were blaring everywhere. Puzzle pieces everywhere. We had to move a gigantic entertainment center that still had all the electronics on it. Try doing that in three inches of water with one other guy helping you whose pants keep falling down around his ass. We were vacuuming the water up with a big shopvac and as I reached down to grab some long lost trinket or earring it got sucked into the hose. I said nothing.
It's a real shock Cleanpro doesn't have permanent helpers. It was in this apartment that an older temp worker started to have trouble breathing. He was sweating and lost focus in his eyes.
"I just gotta catch my breath," he huffed exactly like a guy in a play I wrote.
It was sad to watch a grown man trying to earn his $7 an hour lugging bags of water up stairs. But he got old before my eyes and he shuffled out the door and said, "I'm. Gonna. See. When. We. Get. A. Break."
I never saw him again.

That was the apartment where we had to clean out an already incredibly packed room with a crib full of Hannah Montana toys. There were five of us but no one wanted to take charge so finally a younger kid stepped up and tried to lead us but the other guys had a mini-mutiny because it is an unwritten law that no one takes orders from a work-a-day temp when you are yourself a work-a-day temp. That's why the kickboxer said, "I'm just saying." He wasn't giving orders. He was intentionally removing any authority from his statement that I had just destroyed the carpet. He was just saying...that I was a fuck up. Which was true.

But this kid was ordering,
"Get on the corners. Grab the frame. No. The other frame. Steady the clothes. No. OK. lift!"
That's when two of the guys just walked away.
"Get back here.," yelled Mr. Hero.
The others just kept walking. What was going to happen to them? Nothing. A temp worker can not order you to do shit. They were there to take orders from the man with the checkbook and no one else. My pants were falling down.
"Come back here!"
Nope. That left three guys on the bed and when we lifted it the frame collapsed and all the clothes that were piled on the bed fell into the water. And when I went to grab them quickly I whipped them around and all the water sprayed across the back of a television set.

Let me just slow down here and explain that this whole situation is as bad as it gets. This is a crisis company I was working for. If you go to Haiti then you'll find much worse shit going down. I've had plenty of jobs with work-a-day that involved moving a trash can from point A to point B. Easy money. For some reason the company can't do without you and so they hire you and probably regret it. But with cleanpro the only time they need help is when someone's worst nightmare has happened. Either someone took a loaded shotgun and put it in their mouth and splattered their brain all over a wall of family photos...or else someone took an axe and murdered a couple in their bedroom...or someone hung themselves from a chin up bar and shit all down the hallway...or a storm arrives that raises the water table to the point that your living room is a swimming pool. Face it, life is unpredictable and dirty. I didn't expect this to be a walk down pretty panty lane. My point is how this particular situation was bound to failure because of the underlying methods and character and everything. It's a crisis situation and they basically got a crew of people ALSO IN CRISIS SITUATIONS. See? I'm sick, starving, jobless and I ended up being the guy the others looked up to because they were completely homeless, broke, on parole, craving methadone. And we're the team that's going to save the day? What? When the earthquake happened in Haiti, did they recruit rescue teams from Ethiopia?? I mean, there is a point where you actually need well paid, motivated people to do a job and Cleanpro refuses to accept that.

The last few apartments were a blur. They kept promising us a break and never gave it to us. Finally, we had hundreds of bags full of water and carpet padding that we loaded into the truck. I thought that was the end but they forced us to go back to Dover and unload the truck. Bullshit!
So we drove through the rain and everyone was wet. The acne dude described his role in the university library affair and then fell asleep while the kickboxer and the tent dweller talked about the afflictions that make morphine part of their diet. Both had chronic injuries and, as a man with his fair share of scar tissue, I said, "You wake up in the morning and can't put your shoes on, but if you take some pills you can, then there isn't much choice."
We're all survivalists but some are just better at it than others.

Half the team showed up ten minutes after we'd finished unloading the truck. They told a bullshit story about a flat tire but the chances are very good they were smoking pot in the Burger King parking lot. I'll tell you that the trash we threw away filled a gigantic dumpster and made me feel pretty foolish for using cloth grocery bags. I know disasters create trash but really disasters destroy things. Men cause waste.

Then we got signed out and I drove acne boy and tent man back to Portsmouth. That's two round trips to Dover and a side trip to Hampton, plus the cost of the car. You literally couldn't pay me $40 to DO JUST THAT. Forget about the labor at the job. Just the driving was worth more than $40. So, work-a-day can pretty much kiss my ass. And cleanpro can also kiss my ass. Am I above this kind of job and pay? I'll address that in a minute.

We got back to Portsmouth too late to cash our checks so the acne kid and tent man had to starve for the rest of the day. I dropped them off on route one near the homeless shelter and they vanished into the night.

"Call me," said the tent man. "I'll get my truck out of impound and I'll get some work for us."
"OK." I said and drove to buy some salad at the store.

I hope I've been fair to my fellow workers. I'm sorry if I haven't been. I'm trying to tell it how it was. Obviously I hated it because I'm a playwright who has no agent and no idea how to get a play produced so I'm trapped with no money. That old guy who had a heart attack looked like an actor I've seen perform downtown. He's probably dead now. Death by carpet. Is there a moral to the story? That I'm an asshole? A fun-loving asshole according to some. I already wrote about one temp gig at Poco Diablos and I don't usually dwell on the temp gigs since I'm trying to write marketable stuff and not anecdotal exposes. Better writers like George Orwell and Kerouac and Steinbeck have addressed this topic. I'm merely a footnote.

The men and women who work temp gigs are a rare breed. They know they're being fucked over but they've already resigned themselves to a hand to mouth life. Every generation has them and I've done as much research on this generation's disenfranchised as anyone I know. There are a few books where journalists experiment with low wage work. Nickle and Dimed is one book. There was another more recently about a guy who worked in the lettuce fields. Working in the shadows. Now, writing a book like that is how to make some money. But the check was already in the bank before he did it so that helps. It's too new to be at the library but I'll check it out one of these days. There are lots of ways to make these essays into money. For some reason people like to read about a guy going undercover in a lettuce field to pick vegetables or a college educated biologist washing dishes and cleaning toilets. If I had to trade lives with that woman taking care of two kids alone in a flooded apartment I'd really think about it. I got $40 at the end of the day. What did she get?

I don't want to complain about the whole situation. America doesn't owe me anything except some economy and honesty. If you start cutting corners like saving soaked carpet to save a penny and you ask me to be your hatchet man then fuck you. I might rent that apartment one day and that's not how I do business. I'm not too good to move furniture but I object to moving it with guys you pulled from a shelter. They called it conscription back in the day.

Furthermore, reflections like this change almost nothing. Actions are what matter and having a person expose Wal-mart's shady hiring practices just seems preachy and futile. Like, it's entertainment, but when you have a basement that's flooded then you have to call cleanpro. Or do it yourself. I think my motivation in reflecting on this isn't to throw dirt on cleanpro, but more to show that our society, the absolute bottom rung workers and the companies that rely on them, have some problems. I know that smart and pretty people who work at advertising companies and drink $6 coffees are doing their job. They passed the test and went to the source. Congratulations. They don't need my help and except for a total lack of ethics they're pretty capable humans. But the guys at the very bottom...I'm really curious what has happened here because they have been ignored for a lot longer than a few years. In fact, like I've said before, this is no accident. Yes, they are responsible for their diet of drugs and booze but what reason do they have to be sober? Is it the job of society to provide that reason? Not really. But, and this is my closing argument, is it the job of society to provide a reason to get fucked up? If you systematically corrupt a kid then, congratulations, you'll have a $7 slave when he's 20. And the drugs and booze will just give everyone an easy excuse to dismiss him. Hell, people are amazed that I don't do drugs. I don't dismiss these guys I work with. I listen to them and hear the story behind the story. I see the whole situation. Am I objective? No. Do I have my own demons? Yes. But that's why it's so rare to read stories about the inner workings of temp agencies, because no one in their right mind would do this work to learn something about humanity. But a person named Amy Goodman said, "Going to the silence. That is the responsibility of the journalist." If you want silence then look no further than work-a-day labor hall. As much as those guys hated their work they would not risk it to muckrake. In fact, I've changed the company names here because I'm a coward who will probably end up working for them again when the shelves are bare.
I do believe there is a lot to learn here and there's only one agonizing way to learn it. Almost everything John Steinbeck wrote was about the underclass and I like to think I'm carrying the torch for him as I carry a bag of soaking carpet pad.

The Cleanserve Incident Part II The Misfits Redux

It's raining hard, which means the apartments I cleaned out a few weeks ago are flooded again. I need to finish that story or else it will haunt me like a pimple that won't pop. Part One is Here

Where did I leave off? I...oh, yeah...I was describing how Cleanpro (I like that name better) called Work a day labor hall because they needed workers. And, since all the workers had been dispatched from the hall, work a day called the local homeless shelter. And thus a few parolees showed up at the hall and were sent to the state university library to rescue it. I could stop right there and you'd know this didn't turn out well. These guys didn't go to the labor hall looking for work. They were at the homeless shelter trying to avoid work and they saw an opportunity to make some hustle money. They have bills to pay, court fees, child support, medical bills. If you're poor it just means that you have exhausted your savings, but you still owe a ton of money just like everyone else...especially if your last act as a free man was to steal a car.

So, these fellas go to the library and start moving books and tearing up carpet and vacuuming the floor. Trash gets thrown out the door into a dumpster. And during this labor one of them saw some laptop computers and other possibly valuable items. When you are earning $7.25 an hour and your bills run around $25 an hour then you are always on the lookout for ways to make up the difference. Here was his opportunity. So, I figure he slipped some computers in a box of trash and dragged it out with the rest. Then he allegedly called his girlfriend to come around and he hid the loot in the bushes until she arrived. And piece by piece he started to make some real money. The way I see it the guy was so deep in debt that he was going back to jail if he didn't steal something. Right? It's not like he's supporting some luxurious lifestyle. He's at a homeless shelter and if he doesn't produce some cash at his next court appearance then he will get cuffed. Or maybe he's Robin Hood and he was going to donate the computers to an elementary school. Hey, it's possible!

So, the Cleanpro foreman sensed something was off and he followed the guy out and caught him with computers in the car. Allegedly, there were punches thrown, but who cares? The damage was done because in that moment every Work a Day employee in soggy pants became a suspect. See, the Cleanpro dude had no idea where these guys came from. He thought they were labor hall regulars like most of the guys who were hired. So, while he's kicking this homeless thief in the stomach for looting the library, the reputations of all honest but diseased laborers like myself is plummeting. I know what a catholic priest must feel like when he hears of a cardinal butt fucking little boys. It doesn't matter that he has no sexual feeling toward boys but he is now a suspect. And then he starts wondering if he should be a suspect. Does he like boys? Naw. Should he like boys? If every other priest is getting preteen boy ass on a regular basis then maybe...maybe there's something he's missing. Naw, it's just not his thing...but he knows he's half guilty in the eyes of his parishioners. All he needs to do is get caught helping a boy put his socks on and there will be an inquiry. He's fucked. When I heard the story of the computer theft I realized I would now be a suspect, guilty by association.

This is all to justify my trepidation when old Tiffany called with her offer of a gig with Cleanpro. We all know I need the work and the money but I'm walking into a situation with many thorns. Not only is the work best suited for strapping twenty year old kids but I'm going to have the boss looking at me like a thief. And, honestly, I do need to steal something to make some money on the gig. But I took it and showed up at the damn hall to pick up three guys who were fresh from the prison yard.

One fella was happily living in a tent in the woods near the old air force base. It had a wood stove and was near the brewery so that meant he could go raid the dumpster for bottles of beer that had the label on crooked. He had a feral cat for a pet and was nursing numerous ailments and drug dependencies while trading food stamps for money at seventy-five cents on the dollar. He went to the shelter because his tent had "completely fucking flooded."
(That description sounds fictional but I'm not making it up. For some reason I get along with these kinds of people. They are hunter gatherers, totally unfit for modern civilization and I despise modern civilization.)
The other guy was younger and had acne and a horrible disposition. He looked at everybody like they had just spit in his face. I asked him what his name was and he gave me a stare so filled with rage I didn't say much to him again. He was at the shelter because that's where the police dropped him off.
Another guy was with us (this sounds made up too) who was a former mixed martial artists. He had literally been kicked in the head so many times that one of his eyes wasn't straight anymore. He was bald and had bulging muscles. I think he actually had an apartment. He and the tent dweller traded recipes for morphine and prescription drugs while the acne dude would offer a groan or a non-sequitur like "Once my dad bought me a rifle."
All this while I drove to Dover. I should point out that the guy who lived in the tent smelled so fucking bad that I had to drive with the windows down for two days after he left. He was wearing ski pants that were incredibly greasy. I hate cigarette smoke but when he asked me if he could smoke I said, "I insist."

So, we were sent from Portsmouth to Dover. A 20 minute drive. Why? So we could pick up Cleanpro t-shirts and get directions to a place in Hampton.
"You're going to Portsmouth," said the lady who gave us directions.
The directions obviously said Hampton but I foolishly didn't ask for clarification. I should know that everything related to Work A Day is a cluster fuck. It's just not how business should be done, hiring homeless people through a fucking day labor hall staffed by half homeless people. I was asleep and sick when Tiffany called me. It's all a disaster. For instance, the simple act of getting about 7 guys the right size t-shirt proved to be a hysterical comedy of errors.
The acne faced dude could not grasp that we were getting a uniform and just threw the t-shirt on the ground. Two or three guys never got their shirt or lost them. Everyone complained they were too small. It was ludicrous to think we were going to do any fruitful labor. I immediately put my sweater over my shirt and as I looked around I thought, "These are the kids who didn't get in line when the bell rang at the end of recess. And I'm the kid who got in line but didn't really believe in it."

A historical aside: One winter day in 1976 I did NOT get in line when the recess bell rang. It was first grade and I remember watching everyone run across the playground toward the line and I thought, "No. Not me. Not this time." I turned the opposite direction and slipped over a snow bank until the whole class had gone inside. Then I ran away from school and took a walking tour of Portsmouth. I was 5 years old. Basically, I had released myself under my own recognizance. I intended to go back eventually.
As a former elementary school teacher, I can tell you that this is pretty much the worst thing a kid can do. When I was a teacher I was frantic with the kids all assembled right in front of me. If one of them simply vanished during recess, knowing the number of perverts and priests in the world, I would've had a complete breakdown. My teacher at the time, Mr. C., kept his cool and placed the class in the hands of another teacher and quickly borrowed a car to hunt me down. He found me in the cellar bulkhead of my house and he took me back to school. I didn't run away again.
I think this story is covered more in depth in Memorabilia.

So, the four of us, the kickboxer, the acne dude, the tent dweller and myself all left Dover for Hampton. I recently watched a John Huston flick with Marilyn Monroe called "The Misfits" It was written by Monroe's husband playwright Arthur Miller and had Clark Gable in one of his last roles. It's Marilyn's last role too and judging by the loopy performances I think they were all popping pills and boozing in the Nevada deserts. Gable died within a few days of the wrap. He said that working with Monroe damn near gave him a heart attack. Well, it DID give him a heart attack and killed him. But if a woman is going to kill you it might as well be Marilyn Monroe and not some crack whore you meet in the porn theater. OR does it matter?

Monroe died a year after it was released. Montgomery Clift died a few years later. I'm shocked to see that the nearly forgettable tow truck driver who is Gable's lovelorn friend is actually Eli Wallach from Sergio Leone's Good Bad & Ugly. He's shorter than Monroe and can dance and he talks with a Jersey accent. Amazing!

I saw it as a vanity flick...which is basically right since everyone concerned was vain as hell. One day there will be the same thing for Tom Cruise and Ewan McGregor and Demi Moore. Age catches us all.

It's not a spectacular movie but I think Monroe does show some skin in it and that's always nice. Anyway, the misfits in that movie, including a punch drunk bull rider (Clift), don't even compare to the clown car that rolled up to the wrong address in Hampton. It was absolutely pouring. The guys were bumming cigarettes from strangers, knocking on doors, chasing pets. It was like a field trip from a mental institution but there was no chaperon. Another car showed up driven by a guy with black teeth.
"We here. This is this address. Far as I'm concerned we on the job."
But we weren't and we were getting wet and wasting time. No one wanted to call the hall and no one wanted to call the customer. When the guys started comparing prison tattoos I finally dialed a number on the directions sheet and found out the right address. It took some work to get everyone assembled in the car again. I should've asked everyone to pick a safety partner. Insane.
"Motherfucker!" I yelled as I pounded the car roof. "Drive from fucking Portsmouth to Dover and back to Hampton to the wrong fucking address! God Damn it mother cunt!"
No one blinked or paused in their conversations. That probably wasn't even the worst outburst they'd seen that day. I was so pissed because frivolous driving is like my worst pet peeve. Like God put petroleum on earth so I could go get a fucking t-shirt that I hide with a sweater?? And then pointlessly tour North Hampton in the rain in a car that smelled like foot rot??? Oh, I was so pissed.
"I'm going to punch Tiffany in her fucking face," I screamed, even though I love Tiffany.
"She's nice," said the kickboxer. "Big old tits."
"On the heavy side but you see her ass?"
"Damn. Them sexy shoes."
"Real pretty face. How old is she?"
"You ever seen something like this," asked the tent dweller as he revealed a horrible rash on his arm.

So, we finally arrived at the apartment buildings in Portsmouth, hardly ten minutes from my house like two hours after I had left and I had not made one penny yet. This alone is enough to make me want to loot food from the refrigerators of these flooded families. Fuck them. They think they got it bad? I'm working for food money and I'm starving with a car full of lunatics and we're going all over God's green earth searching for their shitty basement apartments! And every one of them is on fucking welfare while I starve to death. You know...I have to stop now because my doctor told me not to do anything that gets my blood pressure up. I just wrote a whole paragraph about Jeffrey Dahmer that I had to delete because it was too insane. It scared me. This wasn't supposed to be an epic. So, stay tuned for the ending of this disastrous tale...the part where we misfits actually have to do some work. I'll give you a taste,

We're standing in 2 inches of water around a queen sized bed.
"Ok, everyone grab a corner. Hey! Hey! Come back here! Fuck it. Lift!"
A pile of kids clothes tumble into a milky puddle on the concrete
"Quick! Pick those clothes up! WATCH THE ELECTRONICS!"

P.S. I forgot to mention that the address of the real apartments was the exact same as the address on the directions except for the zip code. So we ended up in the wrong town but at the right number and street. Furthermore, two of the guys in the car knew exactly where the apartments were to begin with so we never needed the directions in the first place. Now, why would that piss me off?

The Cleanserve Incident Part I

The Cleanserve Incident

I’m not a troublemaker. Maybe that’s my problem. If I were more of a troublemaker then I’d spend more time getting myself out of trouble than seeing how much trouble I could get into. For example: The Cleanserve Incident. The Cleanserve incident makes for a good story, a modern fable on capitalism at its worst. When thieves and exploiters meet on opposite sides of a buck there is always drama and the Cleanserve Incident is no exception. Large scale flooding is the perfect setting for insurance fraud and it’s also where looters make their rent. If you want a story where human kindness prevails then I suggest buying something with Oprah on the cover.

This story begins before I even entered the picture. Around February 25th a violent wind and rainstorm lashed the Seacoast. Trees fell and basements flooded. In a bad coincidence, a pipe burst in the University library flooding a floor or two. So, as a popular flood response company called Cleanserve was busy pumping water from basement apartments and flooded warehouses, they were called upon for a large scale, immediate rescue of a State University library. Cleanserve doesn’t carry permanently hired employees because they can’t guarantee a permanent supply of messy suicides and floods and broken septic pumps to justify such a crew. Since the days of hiring Mexican laborers off the streets vanished with the arrival of injury lawsuits and worker’s compensation premiums, Cleanserve now relies on local temporary agencies to provide workers for the intermittent disasters. Most temporary agencies have pools of skilled workers like secretaries, welders, shipping clerks, janitors and drivers. Cleanserve needs someone who can carry a 60 pound plastic bag full of water soaked carpet all day long, for minimum wage, not ask questions, and not complain when they get short changed on the hours…and that type of worker can only be found at Work A Day whose motto “Work today, Paid today” attracts everyone from musicians looking for a quick paycheck to hippies on a road trip trying to fend off starvation to escaped convicts trying to get out of town. I’m sure there are some responsible, skilled individuals who are proud of their work and choose to labor intermittently, for the minimum wage, in unpredictable but mostly dangerous environments, with no training, under negligent supervision…but I haven’t met them yet. They must be in another hall. In my experience, the Work A Day office is home to all manner of society’s mutts, crippled, uneducated, undernourished, ugly, impersonal, violent, easily pissed off, misunderstood, diseased and lacking all long term planning ability. They need money because their parole officer will give them shit if they don’t show they are working or they need money to pay for child support or they just need money to survive. The Work A Day employee pool should be your last stop for reliable workers but it is the first stop for Cleanserve when several large-scale floods exhaust their normal pool of on call help.

Since the University crisis happened during a storm the Work A Day office was empty when Cleanserve called with their request for workers. You or I might be stymied by such a problem but Work A Day has learned that there are two places they can look for workers. The first is to call anyone who didn’t show up that day. They might corral one or two workers sober enough for work that way and if that isn’t enough they will call the transitional housing complex known as Crossroads to see if anyone wants to work. Crossroads, I should remind you, is where you go if you are released from prison or are living on the street. A man I’ll introduce later is homeless but chose to live in a wood stove heated tent by a bog on the old air force base because Crossroads “Is all fucked up.” Lets just say that Crossroads is where you are forced to go when a bear evicts you from your cave. That’s also where Work A Day hand picks their Team Rainy Day Rescue. Work A Day doesn’t feel any loyalty to Cleanserve, they don’t actually care if they get enough men to work. But they do care about the end of the month numbers. If they can gather more men to work then that will translate into a bigger net for the company and I’ll eat my hat if there isn’t a bonus to the dispatcher crew who breaks a certain number of hours worked. Who worked those hours makes no difference. The only thing that matters is the end of the month hours. So a call goes out to crossroads and maybe two or three guys aren’t doing anything and they’re bored so they get a ride to Work A Day sends a car to pick them up and the quota is met and the men are assigned to the job.
“You’re going to the University library. Meet your supervisor in the parking lot. He’ll give you uniforms. He says you’ll need rubber boots so take some now.”
Boots and gloves are provided by Work A Day.
“That’s right.”
“Will we have to whisper?”
“It’s closed.”
“Good. I hate libraries.”

Year of The Scorpion

In honor of the Chinese New Year, I give you a fable written during a dark lonely time. My apologies to the stereotype police.

Dragon ask one-eyed Pig, "What for breakfast?"
One-eyed Pig say, "Scorpion?"
Dragon say, "Breath foul? 180 proof in ceramic bowl with plastic cherry, pineapple rind, cool ice delivered with false smile.
"We make no love in bowl of plastic cherry."
Dragon ask, "One more?"
Pig say, "Yes. Not so much juice."
False smile with yellow lidded eyes and crooked teeth.
"Oh, more good stuff?"
"Yes, not so much juice and less ice," say One-eyed Pig.
Dragon pass out in puddle of hot mustard, face in greasy chicken elbow, fingers of chicken poke Dragon in eye.
"Scorpion fo four," say Rat, returning with straw up nose, placing bowl on table.
Dragon awake and pluck other eye of one-eyed Pig.
"Pig blind," say Dragon. "Pig Blind in both eye but still see scorpion!"
Scorpion dance 180 around yellow bowl with plastic cherries while Dragon and Pig poke each other with chicken fingers and spare rib with rat sauce. Fried rice with broken English names written in 180 proof blood, the menu calender spins faster as cat chases goat and Japan surrenders to the one-eyed crab rangoon. Broken promises go up in the sterno flames with egg roll and fake crab.
Old Mexican template ivy wraps bands around the Dragon's tail while Blind Pig drowns in deluded coconut.
"More Scorpion! Less Juice!" Demands the Pig.
"You want one mo scorpion?"
"Yes. Bring now. Dragon ok?"
Dragon sweat 170 proof pain through bleeding knuckle before making this prophecy:
"We return to empty well one too many times, like farmer who milks dry cow."
Dragon sags face to duck sauce.
Pig say, "Bring two mo scorpion. Revive Dragon!"
Dragon say, "We make movie to inflate ego. Watch me vomit."
Owner yawns and nods in sad gesture to defeated promises and betrayed trust.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scout the Undead Guitar Player

What has Oggy been doing during these days of vagabond misery? Reading up on my comic book stories including one dystopian series where an undead Apache musician travels a very similar route from Maine to Nevada hiding from the law and committing random acts of domestic/eco terrorism. My latest assault on the American Value system has been resurrecting this disco shirt from the dead. It's a tight fit so I'll be going on an all water diet until I can button it properly and begin to resemble Scout, including the red paint of the "War Shaman".

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oggy Goes West

Someone said, "You look like Fivel."
Maybe I do but I feel like a rat.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I have no internet access and am not overwhelmed with things to say. I have had some good ideas to video people reciting the MLK "I have a dream" speech in all regions of the country and then editing it into a montage with different accents and races and creeds and such but I ended up getting no footage. Every good idea either ends with a success or never starts. IT seems there's no in between. Either I take steps toward completing the project or else it withers and dies on the vine...or the seed never germinates...or some other metaphor that adequately describes an unfulfilled idea.
I've pondered the decisions that have me crisscrossing the continent. There has been the mentality that if I keep going then around the corner might be something that will illuminate and enrich my life that I would never have experienced had I not kept going around the corner. And that has been mostly true...which leads me to expect illumination. And there has been the challenge of coming full circle, like the Pisces that I am, swimming in circles if only to see if I can make it happen. I have mixed feeling about it. The research for my Kerouac inspired book is complete. There's nothing left to accomplish. I don't even get excited by wilderness because there's no way to top the Labrador back country. I'm more engaged when I speak with flea market owners of muffler shop mechanics. I don't really care what their opinions are but I've become like a connoisseur of humanity. The differences appeal to me and the quirks (in small doses) interest me. People's funny hats and men in the library writing stock names down to track and kids in jackets asking questions. Blogging has helped keep me writing during a time when I don't have a notebook. Like most things, you won't know your limits unless you push as hard as you can. I'm not sure I've reached my ceiling with the guitar because I haven't really spent the 8 hours a day playing and practicing. There was a piano, a nice spinet, at the thrift store today and I might buy it along with some car ramps so I can work on my friend's muffler. I'm not sure how that fits into the blogging world. It could go on indefinitely, this wandering and blogging, and it would result in a crazy tapestry of experiences that not even I could interpret, but when I first read The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse, I knew that I could interpret things, that I had a peculiar gift of perception and explanation that was fulfilling. Gathering the material to interpret has been engrossing but the bits of interpretation I have done in essays doesn't really get to the core of what I'm aiming for. It's all been tentative adventures on humanistic exploration...finger foods for the fast food junkie...but I want to write the main course that captures the savagery and delight I witness and challenges me to engage the reader for longer periods of time, to plot longer cons with slower burning wit. No more cheap jokes at the expense of my employers. It's been time to do this for a while but I was compelled to chase the Arctic wolf into the last region of North America that I'd never visited. Now there is no excuse. I don't want to be a stand up comic who gets away with one-liners anymore. If I want to push the boundaries of my own capabilities as a writer I will need to aim high. I don't know what this means except writing longer passages with slower developing morals. I had a whole essay about Whole Foods deli counter and how the abomination that is Flying J truck stop deli counter is fattening the calves for the slaughter that is the diabetic aisle at the supermarket. There is no plot to debilitate the truckers of America but that's what is happening with the chicken strips and potato wedges and 2 slices of pizza for $5 or 1 for $3.49. There is a magic number there, the number at which you will buy and eat an additional slice of pizza rather than simply buy the one slice you really want. I need a mathematics person to find the ration. The point at which getting the change back is more burdensome than merely eating another 700 calories of fat. These are not questions I want to pursue in the real world but they are definitely questions that characters I create will pursue long into the night. And in order for that to happen then I need to explore them a little...and tolerate the idiots who question my research because my coat is dirty from working IN A FUCKING PARKING LOT ON MY VAN IN THE WINTER WITH FREEZING HANDS. The snobbery of New England bothers me as New Hampshire grows 5% of the food eaten by people in NH. The rest comes from Tyson chicken lip factory in Indiana BUT YOU SHOULD RAISE AN EYEBROW BECAUSE MY FUCKING SHOES ARE DIRTY AND I LIVE IN A FUCKING VAN!! CALL THE FUCKING POLICE WHY DON'T YOU??? BUT KEEP EATING THOSE CHICKEN LIPS AND GOAT CUNTS WITH KETCHUP!! When priorities are prepackaged by Fox News and sold on Ebay then you run into some fucked up scenarios...that I want to further explore and interpret for the future pale poets of American's post apocalyptic destiny.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame

 This turned out to be a Patti Smith tribute tour as after reading her memoir I found her journals from 1968 in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And she is featured in a concert with U2 and Bruce Springsteen...and she rocks....which is important.
They sprung this picture on me before I could strike a proper pose but I managed to get my Van belt buckle on the cover of Rolling Stone. I don't think that's a coincidence. Was this worth $30 admission? You decide.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Main Street Tour

 My Tour of Main Street America (driving cross country only on secondary roads*) began with a long delayed and too short meeting of two Soldiers of The Free Spirit cut from the same cloth. David owns the 1970 E300 camper conversion and together we did some trips around the hood and were amazed that we had these dinosaurs running.

 We're both dealing with a lot of entropy with our respective 40 year old trucks and 40 year old bodies. There is no easy way to solve the galactic riddle except by interpreting our own dreams and ignoring the idle gossip that goes on in the background. We're crazy but we're our own crazy and not a prepackaged store bought version.

This is supposed to be my patriotic portrait but the lighting off Lake Erie was all sorts of messed up. That acrylic sweater is red white and blue, like the colors of the American Flag on David's van. My skin color is the same color as the sky. But I'll allow it for now.

Oggy's Main Street America Tour 2012 brought me to a flea market in a dusty town in New York. I asked the booth attendant: "Where am I?"
His shaggy gray eyebrows scanned my hippie attire.
"Do you know where East Bumfuck is?"
"Well, we're 5 miles east of there."
He let me have the Greek Fisherman's hat at a discount but absolutely refused to let me buy the '50s wool plaid ladies skirt I wanted for rug hooking. The sweater was pretty much a gift that I immediately stained with oil. The loot from another flea market in a snowy village was as follows:
1. Xanadu 78 rpm single "Magic" b/w "Cool Country"
2. 78 rpm "Sky Pilot" by Eric Burdon and The Animals

3. Fancy Parisian eyeglass frames.
4. Box of depression era sheet music including "Go Farther than your Father" and "Alcoholic Blues" One song says "Buy War Bonds"**
5. Beads for future crochet hemp belts

It was not a sad day to see this crappy tire fail. I hate this tire because it is the last reminder of the NTB experience and my wasted money putting new tires on a van with bad I-beams and having an $8/hr wrench monkey pull his pants up and drop my van off the lift and adjust his glasses better than he adjusted the alignment, fucking everything up completely and not fixing or even identifying the original problem, leading to lots of wasted time/money and an eventual front end job by an RV shop but left me with $200 worth of destroyed NTB tires that I decided I would use until they fell apart rather than replace immediately (The alignment issues wore 60,000 miles off of one side of the front tires in under 1000 miles of actual driving)
I didn't have my pitchfork but I had loosened the lug nuts a few days ago so this pit stop went smoothly.
The tire wear wasn't the cause of this fatal flat in rural Pennsylvania, there were 4 nails sticking in the tread at various places that I had picked up on Labrador dirt back roads and such. I'd been fighting the slow leak for a week. Now I find out if my 3 year old Mexican spare tire purchased in La Paz will last long enough to get me to Guatemala.

*Though this sounds insane, it has been a relief to drive the van at a safe speed (45) and see the countryside and the flea markets and hog pens of the country, camping wherever I want and shopping with locals at markets with people's names still on them. The interstates are faster speed wise but they don't take the most direct route so you still lose time on them. Only driving through cities does this method become a pain, unless you want to see the destitute of the city. In general taking a secondary road directly to your destination will not lose you much time compared to taking a high speed highway on some roundabout route.

** This gives me an idea. You know the movie "Julie & Julia" about the woman who cooked all Julia Childs' French recipes? It was also a book and here's my pitch: I will learn to play all the songs in this gigantic box of depression era songs. These are totally out of print songs ( I can't find a recording of "Go Farther than your Father") and I will basically write my experiences learning about the songs, annotating them, and playing them at rehabilitation homes for the infirm. Aging hippie makes good. That kind of story. It's the stuff publishers dream of. It all starts with my ability to sight read, which is improving but is not up to the task. OH, it's going to take serious sacrifices to learn to sight read these forgotten songs from 1937. Maybe I'll get that music software and write them all out and then simply sing along like karaoke from 1940.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Send You Flowers

New Song to learn for the Central American Tour

Dryer Installation was Easy Compared to Dog

It took some real determination to get this 29'' washer through a 27'' wide cement door frame. Thanks to whoever invented the smartphone so we could access the exploded diagram and disassembly instructions in the freezing cold.
This dog looks and sounds like it has been beaten and abused its whole life but the contrary has been true. However; it may be that like spoiled children who narcissistically look back at their parents, Buster thinks he has been abused and neglected. And if that's the truth then it does not matter what the parents think they have done for the dog. They have abused and neglected the dog in the eyes of the dog. This might correspond to the selfish 40 year old child regressing to his childhood and blaming his well meaning parents for abuse and neglect. Was he neglected? Maybe not in the eyes of the parents but in his own mind he was and that develops the shame-filled eyes, fearful and untrusting, whining about the chocolate cakes he never had and the fame and fortune that was never realized. If Buster had a blog it would be called "Dog in A Van".
 I should point out that the longer he whines and bitches (hours on end), the more I want to abuse and neglect him, which fulfills his own prophecy. Interesting...


This is how I feel sometimes.*
whine [ wīn ]   Audio player

  1. complain peevishly: to complain in an unreasonable, repeated, or irritating way
  2. make high sorrowful sound: to cry, moan, or plead with a long, plaintive, high-pitched sound
  3. utter something in whining voice: to say something in a plaintive high-pitched voice

*This dog is named Buster and whines no matter what you do. I just took him for a walk and fed him and gave him duck and cherry dog treats that are more than most Haitians eat in a year. I'm convinced Buster has mental problems, fear of abandonment issues, lacks trust, like me.  What do you think about buster?

More Lobster Blues

2012 is here. I started 2011 in St. Louis and heard the call of the wild from Central America and also Labrador. Labrador won, as  I lurched north in May to save the Arctic Wolf. The footage I gathered for my documentary is trapped on the tapes because my camera broke but one of my goals for 2012 is to get a new camera to complete the wolf video or at least get the footage onto a computer so I can watch myself fix the van in the middle of the wilderness. I also want to start composing backing tracks for my jazz studies. And that involves buying some cool software and also upgrading my guitar to a J. Carruthers custom axe I've been dreaming about for 3 years. I'm ready for it. Or even if I'm not ready, I don't care. Actually, I've got my eye on a bass guitar too because I always liked playing bass and want to explore solo bass folk music. I want to read poetry while playing funky bass guitar and wear berets and talk out of the side of my mouth. I want to say, "Don't touch my bass guitar, Jack!" You carry a bass guitar and you get work. Every asshole can play electric guitar. But the bassist gets the pussy.

Monday, January 2, 2012


It's really upsetting when my blog comments end up looking like the CNN blog comments. I'm depressed enough thinking about the status quo of the world but when my blog becomes a mirror of the status quo except on an even smaller and meaningless scale, then it's grotesque to me; disgusting; an abomination. This is the place where we're witty and funny but we know that it's all performance art. Don't drag me into an argument that is totally meaningless and fruitless. The holidays are over.

Less than a minute ago
Tell me I didn't just make you laugh.
Less than a minute ago
1:00 PM DrG0nzo71 services Jon Kest in an alley. Refreshments to follow.
1 minute ago
"I think it would be awesome if you could get Morgan Freeman's voice on a GPS. It would be like he's narrating your travels."
1 minute ago
Unfortunately, DrG0nzo71, you're a moron. It doesn't matter what we write, you don't understand it because you're a moron. You're smug and you're misinformed and you're wrong and you're dangerous, because you're a moron. As a schizoid loner, you don't have real insight because you're a moron. OWS needs a martyr. You'll do nicely.
3 minutes ago
Pek: Hangover cure: Drink plenty of water (as much as you can stomach), eat some bananas for glucose, starch, and electrolytes, wait 30 minutes to an hour, then go for a run and sweat it out. Trust me, it works wonders.
4 minutes ago
JohnG: As much as I wish the same, what's the alternative? Obama just betrayed the American people and the guiding principles of our republic by signing the National Defense Authorization Act.
5 minutes ago
I hope your Human Centipede meets in a circle.
6 minutes ago
Still can't formulate a logical argument? Seriously, go write it on the men's room wall. More people will read it, and your audience will be more receptive.
7 minutes ago
I hope 2012 will be a very bad year for the 1% and their cronies - the conservatives and republicans.

7 minutes ago
Perhaps I've been worng in suggesting that anti-OWS is employed by the tea party or fox news.  I would assume that, in their own twisted, delusional way, these guys really do believe they're acting in the best interest of America. But when lilsquirrel comes on and makes a comment that is completely indefensible and so contrary to American legal and ethical principles, then I feel led to believe that he/she represents the interests of an enemy of the state.
8 minutes ago
You are some of the stupidest, most incompetent mfs to ever pretend a role in politics.
10 minutes ago
8:00 AM dispensing of the weed
8:30 AM hand jobs
9:00 AM preliminary bongo studies
9:30 AM debate between anarchists and socialists
10:00 AM pouting
10:30 AM second dispending of the weed
11:00 AM stupid altercation with a cop
11:30 AM arrests
12:00 AM lunch time
10 minutes ago
Re-read the constitution, lilsquirrel. Perhaps you don't have a copy on hand because you're 50 cent army. Go back to studying your Little Red Book, lilsquirrel.
12 minutes ago
At least I'm doing it free of charge because it's what I believe in. Look at me, and unpaid volunteer going up against paid professionals. And not one of them can make a logical argument in their defense!
13 minutes ago
(DrG0nzo71 said:
Obama's treasonous signing of the National Defense Authorization Act)

sorry, what s treasonous about defense. And how does this violate those ammendment or the declaration of human rights. What you say sound like chinese propaganda to me.

It wasn t signed quietly at all ! There was broad coverage. Now I hope you re not one of those tea party madmen who just want to close the government no matter how ... so that big corporations take over. I m sure the chinese would like that, as would Putin. Autocrats are of one mind.

(RandMPS said:
Generation gimmie gimmie gimme, all grown up. )
sorry to break your buble. profits are rising. cost decreasing. monetary consolidation increasing. Last time it was seen to that extent was the medieval era. A 1000 years mess. Is that what you wish for. They had no idea back then what they were missing on and how pitifull those castles were. 1000 years running in circles and hurting peoples

Capitalism is about free trade. The most critical trade good is money. Pile it all on a few greedy hands and the world stop turning. Simple economic fact.

The OWS peoples don t know what the solution is, but they have a point. they do want education, jobs and the ability to contribute. they are not asking for roman era free bread and bloody games. they are asking for the right to work

The world has become complex and is spinning out of control. The information age has made possible to replicate data and share information faster than before. It also bring up the need for new law regarding publishing because there is no longer a cost to manufacture digital goods, making it senseless to give 90% to the publisher since they take no risk (each download imply a sale).

billybobxyz ,
communism is a myth. there never was a communist nation on earth. all those who pretended to be were autocracies. wake up and read up.
14 minutes ago
You can't be any brighter, but you can be quiet.
14 minutes ago
Tentative Schedule for Day of Action:(December 3rd)

7:30AM (All Day) - OWS solidarity with the New York State Nurses Association Strike at St. Lukes (1111 Amsterdam Ave and 112th Street) and Roosevelt Hospital (1000 10th Ave and 59th Street.)
12PM - Press Conference at NYPL (Bryant Park)
2PM - Office Demonstration at Senator...
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14 minutes ago
Precious needs to take his meds. OWS has him in a whirlpool of emotion.
15 minutes ago
Good for you pek. So you read a book.
16 minutes ago
Go adbusters! Go George Soros! Now there's a hero the 1% should look up too. If only every American entrepreneur has the strength of character and ethical fortitude of George Soros, then then perhaps the 1% would actually be benefactors of society, rather than the squealing, welfare-and-bailout collecting crybabies they are today.
17 minutes ago
Here's a book for you, DrG: "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt. Most of the delusions that OWS shares can be removed with a simple reading.
18 minutes ago
Tentative Schedule for Day of Action: JANUARY 3rd.
Go to work.
Watch the few train wrecks of humans (OWS)
Laugh about OWS.
Go to bed glad Im not one of the 99% of idiots, also known as OWS.
19 minutes ago
Angry? Confused? Leaning over that bridge?
19 minutes ago
January 3rd will be a spontaneous show of people power in reaction to Obama's treasonous signing of the National Defense Authorization Act. Not only does this act violate our first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth amendments, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but this Act was signed quietly this past New Years Eve violating what...
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19 minutes ago
Tentative Schedule for Day of Action:

7:30AM (All Day) – OWS solidarity with the New York State Nurses Association Strike at St. Lukes (1111 Amsterdam Ave and 112th Street) and Roosevelt Hospital (1000 10th Ave and 59th Street.)
12PM – Press Conference at NYPL (Bryant Park)
2PM – Office Demonstration at Senator Gillibrand’s office (780 3rd Ave.)
3PM – Office Demonstration at Senator Schumer’s office (757 3rd Ave.)
4PM – Rally at Rockefeller Plaza
5PM – Flash check about NDAA in Grand Central for commuters.
After, we plan to march up 5th ave to do a demo tour of 1 percent homes.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.