Daily Archives: February 27, 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 13, 2010

A SHORT’S TALE OR BURNT BRITCHES

I was not allowed to wear long pants until I was eight years old. That was a southern Italian custom imposed upon me by my Sicilian mom. So while other children romped in the playground in their jeans, I stood by watching them enviously, dressed in my pressed and starched short pants. As a result of that trauma, I have with few exceptions (e.g., bathing suit) avoided appearing in public bare-legged.

Here in Paradise by the Sea, a Mile from the Outskirts of Hell, the prevailing male attire consists of the much hated shorts, and a T-shirt, polo shirt or dress shirt hanging loose outside the shorts. I on the other hand am a fashion renegade, resplendent in my khaki trousers, flowered shirt and straw hat.

Last week when I opened the bag with my returned laundry, I found therein a pair of khaki shorts with cargo pockets that fit me perfectly but they were not mine. My attempts to return them failed when the clerk at the laundry angrily denied they could ever have made such a mistake.

Now the dreaded attire sits at the bottom of a drawer in my wardrobe calling to me daily with its siren’s song of sartorial conformity. The question I now wrestle with every day is will I or will I not appear in public with bare knees.

Ciao

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EXCERPTS FROM DIARY ENTRIES PRIOR TO POST:

SUNDAY MAY 9, 2010 7 PM

Stayed close to home today. Breakfast at Cafe Le Mar and return to apartment for a nap and to write some emails to those that I have fallen behind on. Tried to nap. Felt horny, did not want to pay to relieve myself so I did it myself in the shower. I am still resistant to being with a woman right now although I hope one will call me. That depresses me more because it reinforces the syndrome.

Went down to pool and swam and returned to apt. to work some more on the computer. Looked at the email, diary combination for January and began to see some possibilities. Wrote a long email to Irwin.

MONDAY MAY 10 2010 5:30 PM

Stayed close to home again today. Worked on Jessica’s birthday present. It is looking pretty good. Lek called, but I did not answer. I do not know what to do.

10:30 PM

Went to buy out Lek. Nervous because I fantasized, as usual, that there was something personal going on. Went to Central food court. Good buy only 160 baht for two. Then to Apt.. She watched TV. I showered. She jerked me off. Would not get totally naked. Finished and I paid 1000 baht.

THURSDAY MAY 13, 2010 2PM

I am almost certain that I wrote in here within the last three days. Could I mistakenly have erased it?

Anyway, Tuesday I think I spent almost the entire day in my room. Doing what? I think I completed draft of Jessica’s Birthday Dream.

Wednesday, I went to the BBQ. I had to call Gary a few times for directions and then walk around a bit to find it. Gary was busy and so I went alone.

Jade is a bar and a guest house with several open air sitting and eating spaces along the side and the back. The bar is a small enclosed space in the back, separate from the guest house. I went in there to get out of the heat. There were a lot of bar girls around and one showed me to my seat and hung around me until I ordered a coke and told her I wanted to be alone. There were about 5 or so customers in the bar. They appeared to be American they were all grossly overweight. More customers arrived (I had gotten there at 1:30 but the BBQ would not start until 2). A bar girl I had been observing because she seemed especially outgoing approached me and attached herself to me like glue, rubbing against me and grabbing my crotch. I asked her how much. She told me the short time room was 300 baht and she was 1000 baht. That she would take me into the room give me a massage and a blow job before the BBQ began. I said that I wanted to eat first and would consider her offer after. The BBQ was not too bad. Several large bowls of potato and other salads, BBQ pork and beef, sausages, chicken legs and ribs were set out on a table outside of the bar. I got my food, ate, found out that my drinks were included in my 200 baht entrance fee, gave the glue lady a 100 baht tip and left. Bought some fruit and peanut butter at the supermarket and came home.

Today after breakfast, I finished another KOS Diary, This and that.. email and emails to Anthony, Nikki, Ariane and others.

8 PM

Sent off Kos diary and other emails. email Kesorn. Email May tomorrow. Decide on writing project for tomorrow. Joe, Genesis, Biondi, T. Rhapsody, something else??? Sleep on it…

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 9, 2010

Last night I was awoken by the sound of loud music, laughter and singing. I left my apartment and went into the hall to see what was going on. I realized it was coming from a unit a few doors down from me. It appeared that some of the Russian women on vacation here were having a party and singing along to a stringed instrument of some kind. I stood there listening to their singing and laughter for a while. A man, a little younger than I, joined me at the balcony. He had an accent I could not place. He said to me, “They should not be making all that noise this late at night and keeping the rest of us up.”

“Oh I don’t know,” I responded, “They’re here on vacation let them have some fun, I don’t expect that their life back home in Russia is all that good.”

“Yeah,” he said, “what if everyone who came here on vacation did that, what then”?

“Well,” I said moving off back to my apartment door, “I guess the world would be a little better place then.” I stopped and turned back to him and added, “I would however, have to move out.”

He laughed.

” Life is funny that way” I thought, “sometimes we just have to accept some inconvenience to make things better.”

Still, I could not get back to sleep.

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EXCERPTS FROM DIARY ENTRIES PRIOR TO POST:

SATURDAY MAY 8 2010 5 PM

Still troubled by yesterday’s realization. Unbidden my mind repeatedly focusses on Tai as a helpless victim of something, drugs, sexual slavery whatever and me heroically saving her. And again knowing that if she calls, I will go along with it again. Shit.

Spent most of the day working on my emails (Irwin and Re Thai r ment), Kos (You Must be a Republican) and personal finance. Wrote to Ann, Anthony, Terry, Irwin–who else ??? Need to write to Nikki. Why? To defend myself again. Decided not to go to dinner with Lek tonight. Sent phone msg. rescheduling for tomorrow. What about May. Do I feel like paying 1000 baht for what she has to offer. What do I want now that I know I cannot trust my own emotions or decisions. Ugh!!

8 PM

Went for a walk along the beach at sunset then long the beach road aways in to opposite direction to Pattaya, then back to Cafe Le Mar for pizza and home again.

I think based upon my insecurity in dealing with personal relationships especially with women, that I try to keep to myself near home a bit more and avoid new interpersonal relationships. I do not know if it will help, but I feel so helpless it is probably a good idea for the time being. But can I avoid depression. Writing helps.

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 7, 2010

I received a few emails from some of you commenting that my recent emails dwelled too much on the difficulties of my ex-pat life and were becoming a bit of a downer. Although I thought I was just providing a humorous take on the foibles of my current situation, I take the criticism seriously and I realize that I may have fallen into a rut. So this morning when I awoke I decided to do something different and declared today May 8, Punday.

I got the idea for this, as I usually get most of my ideas, from one of my favorite authors William Kotzwinkle. As with Henry David he is a favorite of mine not necessarily because of his literary output (Although he did write the screenplay for “ET the Extraterrestrial” and the stories for the “Walter the Farting Dog” series) but for the audacity of attempting a literary career with a name like Kotzwinkle.

Anyway, in his novel “The Fan Man,” about an archetypical New Yorker who, during the hot sticky days of the New York City summer, travelled about the City holding in front of him one of those little battery operated fans to cool himself off (Hence “The Fan Man” in case you have not already guessed). In one of the chapters of the book our Fan Man wakes up and declares that day to be “Dorkey Day” in which he would only speak the word Dorkey throughout the day [By the way for those with interest is such things Dork is a common and respected name for boys in Armenia]. The remainder of the chapter, for about 10 to 12 pages, consists exclusively of the word Dorkey repeated endlessly (Dorkey,Dorkey, Dorkey… for those who may need help visualizing) broken only by the variously perplexed or angry responses of the other citizens of the City whose paths may have crossed that of our hero that day.

Shakespeare must be eating his heart out. Can you imagine what the world of the theater would have been if Hamlet had instead of “The play’s the thing, in which we’ll catch the conscience of the King” our prince of Denmark announced, “Today is Dorkey day.”

Anyway, Punday comes also from one of my other literary mentors, cuzin Irwin (to whom I beg forgiveness) who sent me the following:

its Snow White’s birthday.
The dwarves buy her a camera as a present.
She is ecstatic and takes pictures of every thing she sees.

She takes the film in to be developed.
She goes back the next day to pick the pictures up.
The man behind the counter shakes his head as if to say, “No”.

Snow White cries.
the man behind the counter says
“Don’t worry Snow White, someday your prints will come”.

And for all you Snow Whites out there, may you prints come soon, but please always use protection or you may end up with a Kotzwinkle.

Have Pun.

Ciao…

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EXCERPTS FROM DIARY ENTRIES PRIOR TO POST:

THURSDAY MAY 6, 2010 1 PM

Yesterday after arriving back at my condo, I called Tai. She said she was back at her apt in BKK. We agreed that after she has a chance to shower she will come to JBPC. She did not and did not return phone calls.

yesterday’s return trip was almost as long as the trip out, more expensive, less comfortable and more boring.

FRIDAY MAY 7 2010 9 AM

Woke up early. Went down to lobby to work on internet at about 7 am. Tried to write a new KOs piece with little success. Tai called. Phone was disconnected several times.
Returned to apt. Tai called said she was leaving to BKK to come to see me. Asked if I was alone. I asked why did it matter. She said please do not give me more problems. I have a lot of problems. I said ok but I do not know which Tai to expect. She said please can she come. I said ok since you said please. I will see you later, I am not going anywhere. Asked how she planned to travel. She answered by taxi. Can you afford it I said. Yes she responded, I have enough money now.

11 AM

Finishing up breakfast. Lots of good ideas for KOS post, but having difficulty executing.

Too hot to work. Should return to condo, put on AC, shower and nap. Again…

9 PM

I have come to an awareness and it makes me feel dirty and ashamed. I have the male equivalent of the battered wife syndrome. Of course there is no direct physical violence, but I maintain the arrogant belief that it is somehow my fault how a woman treats me and so I give myself and others many excuses for not simply stopping it and withdraw. Most recently with Tai, that I just want to see how far she would go and that there might be a story in it. The shame is that I cannot seem to be able to stop it or even want to. I need help.

Tai called a few times today to tell me she was coming here today, first in the morning and then in the afternoon promising she will be here tonight. Then no answer to my calls.

I went out tonight. hoping she would come and not find me here and feel bad–ah the syndrome. Called Lek could not figure out how to hook up. A man answered and I hung up. Ate Falafel and the place I like. Then sat at a bar by good fellows and watched the working girls walk by. Many white girls. Are they working the street also. A few children. Good fellows a tranny bar?

Gary walked by. Called him over. Accompanied him to the Tables for dinner. Tables closed down. Went to P-72 Gary had dinner with the tall guy from San Jose. I had a chocolate sunday. Gary asked about my marriages.

They went catting, I went home.

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 6, 2010

I have just returned from a two-day stay on an island called Koh Samet located about half way between my current residence and the Cambodian border. I had been to Koh Samet a few years previously and that trip proved to be one of those life altering events, bringing with it a lot of pain and changing my expectations about the rest of my life. But that is another story for another time and place.

Anyway, I always liked Koh Samet. It is, to those who grew up on the East Coast of the US, often referred to as a working man’s resort. No amusement park style pools, no health spas, no starred restaurants, just jungle and small beaches with white sand the consistency of talcum and tiny bungalows adjacent to each beach and a nights stay costing about $25-50. There is no tearing down of structures as they grow old. They just build new structures nearby and let the jungle take back the buildings, or local artists and beach performers move into them as squatters.

I travelled to Koh Samet to visit with Choti Lambert the principal of the school in Chiang Mai that Hayden had attended until his mother took him away to travel with her in Italy. Choti, her husband Jerry and their son Leo were vacationing there during the hiatus between school semesters.

Being unsure about where you’re going and not knowing how to get there makes even a simple trip an adventure. After all, if you know where you’re going and how to get there, there are usually, unless you are unbelievably stupid, no decisions left that would impede your progress towards your goal. But an adventure by its very nature means most decisions you make, if wrong, could force abandonment of the voyage and require you to return home.

Anyway, I left the condo at about 8:30 AM and took a songtheuw to a breakfast place. After finishing breakfast I took another songtheuw to a stop not far from the spot on the map I had that identified a bus station for transportation to Rayong the largest city near the ferry terminal to the island. After walking for some time in the heat, I soon realized that there was no bus station at the location corresponding to that on the map. So with a certain amount of good grace, I took another songtheuw to the bus station that I departed from to Chiang Mai a week or so ago. I reasoned, a bus station is a bus station and someone there would know where the Rayong bus departed from. As I speak virtually no Thai and the bus station ticket people very little english, there was a lot of gesticulations and I was sent across the road to another bus station on that side. The people there sent me back to where I had started. So, exhausted, hot and covered with sweat, I decided to buy a bottle of water to quench my thirst, call the trip a failure and return home. It had been about two hours since I had left my apt. and I had still not gotten out of Pattaya.

So, I sat on the curb beside the road to drink my water before returning home and while sitting there a bus pulled up and the conductor jumped out and said, “Rayong?” I jumped up pleased at my good fortune and responded “Rayong? Koh Samet?” so that he knew my ultimate destination. “Yes, Yes, Rayong,” the conductor responded and ushered me on to the bus and collected $1.50 for the ticket. (In Thailand long distance busses have conductors as well as drivers.)

The ride to Rayong took 2 1/2 hours. Instead of napping, I stared out of the window the entire trip in anxiety that I may miss my stop or something. My nervousness was not helped by my seat mate an overly large Thai soldier in his jungle fatigues who was probably just returning home but that did not make me feel any better.

We arrived in due course at the Rayong bus terminal. I got off the bus and started asking for “Koh Samet” and the gesticulating began again. I followed the pointing that led me out of the terminal and hope began to ebb again. At the curb ,however, was a songtheuw and an old man pointing me into it saying the magic words, “Koh Samet.”

I was not home free yet because I still had to find the ferry terminal when I reached the shore. Upon arriving at the shore, we drove along it for a while until I spotted a sign, “Koh Samet Information” that looked familiar. It was the ferry terminal. I left the songtheuw , paid $2.50 for the ferry ride and was escorted to a small wooden, top-heavy, overloaded ferryboat standing a short way off the wharf. To get on to the ferry I had to climb onto the roof of another ferry that was tied directly to the wharf, climb part way down the other side and then leap about two or so feet onto the very overloaded ferry, no mean feat for an out of shape 70-year-old. But leap I did, and fortunately I was caught by a large australian man and two of his friends. They said, “Ere you go mate,” and “you aright mate,” and a lot of “mate” this and “mate” that. Actually, it sounded more like “might” this and “might” that, or it could have been “mite” which is what I felt like. Anyway, this “mite” was thankful for the “might” of my “mates.” I cannot believe I just wrote that. I shall sleep sounder this evening for it.

Anyway, the mates or mights cleared a seat for me. Actually it wasn’t a seat, it was more of a ledge on which several Thais were asleep on those colored plastic bags one sees throughout Asia in which the locals carry just about everything from place to place. I snuggled into my spot, cut off from any sea breezes and sweated my way across the bay.

I arrived on the island after an otherwise uneventful crossing and found my friends. That night we went to one of the restaurants on the beach where fire jugglers entertained us.

I have attached photographs of the beach where I stayed and the ferry terminal on the island.

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EXCERPTS FROM DIARY ENTRIES PRIOR TO POST:

MONDAY MAY 3 2010 10 AM.

Spent yesterday in my room in bed in the hope that a day of rest will clear up my cough. It does not appear to have done so. I have two more days of antibiotics to go before making a decision on whether to continue self-medication or check myself into a hospital.

No response to my latest KOS diary. That is disappointing.

Sent out a “This and that…” mostly a re hash of Thoreau.

Need to pick up passport today.

TUESDAY MAY 4 2010 7 PM

Traveled to Koh Samet to visit with Jerry, Choti and their son Leo where they were vacationing. I had been to Koh Samet a few years previously and that trip proved to be one of those life altering events, bringing a lot of pain and changing my expectations about what the rest of my life.

Anyway, I always liked Koh Samet. It is, to those who grew up on the east coast often referred to as a working man’s resort. No amusement park pools, no health spa’s no starred restaurants, just jungle and small beaches with sand the consistency of talcum and tiny bungalows adjacent to each beach costing about $25-50 per night. No tearing down of structures as they grow old just build new structures nearby and let the jungle take it back,or artist and beach performers move in the derelict buildings as squatters.

Got out of condo at about 8:30 AM. Being unsure about where your going and not knowing how to get there makes even a simple trip an adventure. After all if you know where your going and how no get there there are usually, unless you are unbelievably stupid, no decisions left that would impede your goal. But an adventure by its very nature means most decisions you make could force abandonment of the voyage and require you to return home.

Anyway, I took a songtheuw to a breakfast place. After finishing breakfast I took another songtheuw to a stop not far from the spot on the map I had that identified a bus station for transportation to Rayong. After walking in the heat for some time I soon realized that there was no bus station at the location corresponding to that on the map. So with a certain amount of good grace I took another songtheuw to the bus station that I departed to Chiang Mai a week or so ago. I reasoned, a bus station is a bus station and someone there would know where the Rayong bus departed from. As I speak virtually no Thai and the bus station ticket people very little english there was a lot of gesticulations and I was sent across the road to another bus station on that side that sent me back to where I had started. So exhausted, hot and covered with sweat, I decided to buy a bottle of water to quench my thirst, call the trip a failure and return home since it had been about two hours since I had left my apt. and I had still not gotten out of Pattaya. So I sat on the curb beside the road to drink my water before returning home and while sitting there a bus pulled up and the conductor jumped out and said Rayong?. I jumped up pleased at my good fortune and Rayong? Koh Samet? so that he knew my ultimate destination. Yes, Yes, Rayong the responded and ushered me on to the bus and collected $1.50 for the ticket. The ride to Rayong took 2 and 1/2 hours. Instead of napping I stared out of the window the entire trip in anxiety that I may miss my stop or something. My nervousness was not helped by my seat mate an overly large Thai soldier in his jungle fatigues who was probably returning home but that did not make me feel any better. We arrived in due course at the Rayong bus terminal. I got off the bus and started asking for “Koh Samet” and the gesticulating began again. I followed the pointing that led me out of the terminal and hope began to ebb again. At the curb was a songtheuw and an old man pointing me into is with the magic words, “Koh Samet”. I was not home free yet because I still had to find the ferry terminal when I reached the shore. Upon arriving at the shore we drove along it for a while until I spotted a sign “Koh Samet Information that looked familiar. It was the ferry terminal. I left the songtheuw , paid 2.50 for the ferry ride and was escorted to a small wooden top heave, overloaded ferryboat standing a short way off the wharf. to get on to the ferry I had to climb onto the roof of another ferry tied to the wharf, climb part way down the other side and then leap about two of so feet onto the very overloaded ferry, no mead feat for a 70-year-old man. But leap I did and was caught by a large australian man. Who said “ere you go mate’, you aright mate’ and a lot of mate this and mate that. Actually act it sounded more like might this and might that, or it could have been mite which is what I felt light. Anyway I was thankful for the might of these mates for safety of this mite. I cannot believe I just wrote that. I shall sleep sounder this evening for that,

Anyway, the mates cleared a seat for me. Actually is wasn’t a seat, it was more of a ledge on which several we sleeping on those colored plastic bags one sees throughput asia in which the locals carry just about everything from place to place.

I arrived and found my friends. That night we went to one of the restaurants on the beach where fire jugglers entertained us.

WEDNESDAY MAY 5 2010 10 AM

Last night at dinner, I texted Tai that I was at Koh Samet. She called back. Said she was with mom, had lost phone and my number. Returning to BKK tomorrow and visiting me thereafter. This morning at breakfast, Lek texted me regarding my whereabouts. Coincidence?

Am sitting in cafe waiting for ferry. Cost Koh Samet-Pattaya 300 baht. Yesterday cost. Pattaya- Koh Samet: Bus 50 baht; songtheuw 20 baht; ferry 100 baht. Total 170 baht.
Time yesterday 3.5 hours. Today ??

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. May 2, 2010

It has been a few days since I wrote last and while a lot has happened (dinners and visits from new and old friends, nights on the outskirts of hell and things like that) but little that can be wrapped into a simple tale. As you know from my previous emails one of my favorite writers is Thoreau, not because of his insight or style, but because he was an amusingly truly strange dude (Remember he thought getting thrown in jail was…well..cool). He believed the minutia of life represent the archetypes for the big things in life and by paying close attention to those little things you will learn something about something. He once spent a better part of a week at Walden Pond observing and writing about two gangs of ants who had decided to fight over something in the dirt in front of the door to his cottage. Thoreau seemed to see in their tussle a metaphor and analogue of the larger conflicts between nations, people and within ones own spirit. I really couldn’t understand what he was talking about. If I were to choose a metaphor for life from his experiences I prefer the one I mentioned in an earlier email, Thoreau standing at the back of his boat traveling down the Connecticut River, spittle dripping off the end of his nose, passing under the bridge on which the spittee stands. Think about it. Put yourself in Henry David’s flip-flops. Do you, staring at the smirk on the face of your adversary, feel the spirit of unity and oneness with the universe well up inside you as Henry David claimed he did, or do you decide to head the boat into the bank, jump off and beat the SOB to within an inch of his life or continue on forever questioning the nature of your experience and of your response. Now, that’s life.

Anyway, although the monsoons have arrived, so has the heat of “mad dogs and Englishmen” and so after walking to the cafe for breakfast, I return to my apartment turn on the AC, take a cold shower and nap until the shadows of the building cover the pool and I go for a swim and then at night perhaps walk along the beach in hopes of catching some ocean breezes.

Tomorrow, or the next day, I plan to travel down the coast to the next Provence called Rayong where the principal of the pre-school Hayden recently attended in Chiang Mai is vacationing with her husband and family.

I sill have a wracking cough, if the medicines I am taking do not clear it up in a few days, I probably will have to check myself into hospital.

Ciao

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EXCERPTS FROM DIARY PRIOR TO POST:

FRIDAY APRIL 30 2010 11 AM

Went to immigration for retirement visa. Done by 10AM. Cost about 2200 baht. Need to get reentry permit next. Go to pick up passport on Monday. See this and that.. for discussion

SATURDAY MAY I 2010 11 AM

Received 2 mails for May. She must need money. No word from Tai. Money must not be an issue yet.

Checked KOS for reaction to my diary. Only one commenting on my typo in the title. I guess you cannot follow-up. Should I send them to my list???

Hot again. Got to be a high misery index. Finished IRS submittal. Need print out and envelope.

Cannot recall what internet research I need to do. Write it down.

Should I do a pseudo travelogue made up of a pastiche of my emails and diary etc?

1 PM

Just received a call from Jerry. They will be in Rayong tomorrow. I must call them and arrange to meet with them.

2 PM

Received a call from Nikki in Italy. He was with Hayden. Hayden got on the phone and told me about his new batman watch that Nikki bought him. Hr also asked me why I did not pay Pi Newan and the electricity. Nikki told me he had been brainwashed on that matter. Nikki was returning to Zürich today and his course will finish mid-month. Does not know if they will be coming back to Thailand, but Natalie said something about returning to Chiang Mai for Hayden’s school. We will see…

7:30

Preparing to leave to join Gates and friends for his last night in Thailand.
Finished a draft of a new diary for Kos. I think it may be too histrionic and inflammatory for most readers. Maybe after I sleep on it I will reconsider its publication.

I have renamed the diary, Trenz Pruca’s Journal. Catchy eh?

Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. ( 26 Mopey 0001) February 12, 2012

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN SAN FRANCISCO:

I begun to search the City for quiet cafe’s that offer free wi-fi connection, located two; Mama’s in the Excelsior district on Mission Street and; Cinqe Terre on Van Ness near Pine. Both are old style coffee houses, slightly run down and thankfully lacking the insistent Bohemianism of similar places or the efficient spanking industrialism of SB and its wannabes. Mama’s claims some connection to the arts and three or for evenings a month offers poetry readings and the like, while during the day it caters to a few latino locals who periodically drop in. Cinqe Terre, on the other hand, is owned by an Italian immigrant and offers a number of vaguely italian sandwiches and a few deserts imported from Italy.

My evening television fare at Jason’s house had been broadened from the usual diet of reality shows and movies with WWII sized body counts, to include something called Louis to which I am becoming addicted. Louis is a stand up comic who headlines at a basement comedy club in NY’s Greenwich Village. His claim to fame is that his brand of stand-up is even less funny than Jerry Seinfeld’s. It fact it is relentlessly unfunny. He produces short videos of his adventures for cable TV (sort of more interesting, amusing and visual version of “This and that…”) which are also unfunny but almost rise to poignant. It is sort of what we used to call humor (like the humor that used to appear in New Yorker magazine which was unfunny too).

My ex daughter-in-law and I went to dinner at my sister and her husband’s house in the Berkley Hills in order to discuss our planned family trip to Italy next spring. My sister, who works on education initiatives for a high-tech company described some of the innovations in social media being developed. Several posts ago, I mentioned the potential economic effects of our inevitable move from a physically mobile society to an electronically mobile one. What she described seemed likely to take us a long way closer. All in all we spent a pleasant evening, mostly discussing family history and swapping those stories one or another of us had not heard before and many that we had.

The day before yesterday, I moved from my son Jason’s apartment to my daughter-in-law’s home where I have use of the bedroom during her and her husband’s one week jaunt to Paris and then on to Venice to experience Carnavale and frozen body parts. Attending Carnavale being one of those things I imagine Anne envisions as an early start on her bucket list.

Today, I walked along Cortland Street the main drag of the slowly gentrifying Bernal Hights neighborhood to have lunch at the local overpriced sandwich shop. Along the way I purchased a discounted copy of Jonathan Franzen’s semi-autobiographical work “The Discomfort Zone”(2006) and began reading it as I wolfed down a hot pastrami sandwich and washed it down with a glass of ginger lemonade. Franzen is one of that new breed of writers (like Bolano) that believes modern fiction is essentially the author’s memoir.

Like most modern fiction deemed “serious” ever since the 1950s, it deals with resigned acceptance of alienation. That is why I stopped reading serious fiction in favor of genre, like mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I hate reading about resigned acceptance of alienation. To me alienation should be approached with a sense of the absurdity of the mental derangement that so often prompts it or with pure fury at the injustice that may have engendered it.

Anyway, he does come up with a few quotes worth repeating. As you know I am obsessed with collecting quotes. Sort of like Don Neuwirth who used to carry a notebook everywhere with him in which he copied things he heard or read that appealed to him; much like collecting stamps. I, on the other hand, always feel an unstoppable compulsion to move those quotes immediately from my possession and, welcome or not, into the consciousness of others.

In writing about his flight from his childhood home in St. Louis close to the nations geographic and demographic center to its fringes on its coasts Franzen observes:

“…so the country as a whole has fled the center economically, ending up in a system in which the wealthiest one percent of the population takes in sixteen percent of total income [up from eight percent in 1975]. This is a great time to be an American CEO, a tough time to be the CEO’s lowest paid worker. A great time to be Wal-Mart, a tough time to be in Wal-Mart’s way, a great time to be an incumbent extremist, a tough time to be a moderate challenger. Fabulous to be a defense contractor, shitty to be a reservist, excellent to have tenure at Princeton, grueling to be an adjunct at Queens College; outstanding to manage a pension fund, lousy to rely on one; better than ever to be bestselling, harder than ever to be mid-list; phenomenal to win a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, a drag to be a video-poker addict.”

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

1. In the Beginning: an oft told story

Off to join the Crusade (continued).

Now the question Bodovitz addressed to me could be interpreted in two ways; was I an accomplished writer or was I literate. Choosing the later so as not to begin the relationship with a flat-out lie, I responded, “Quite well actually.”

Two days later I found myself sitting in one of the empty and not quite fully constructed offices, drafting the Commission’s interim regulations, agenda for its initial meeting and appeal forms. I had been hired as a graduate legal assistant, a classification that fell outside the normal civil service hiring procedures and for which I qualified by having spent at least two years in law school.

I no longer recall if the first appeals of projects approved by the regional commissions set up by the initiative were heard at the initial State Commission meeting or at a later one. I will assume that it was later because I cannot see how it could have been the first meeting since we had not adopted the interim regulations containing appeal procedures yet. Also, although I drafted the appeal form, I do not recall involvement in development of the coastal development permit application forms and so will assume they had been developed by the regional commission staff.

My theory of writing regulations was based upon the reality that since everyone games whatever they perceive limits their objectives anyway, simplicity and directness were best. It later became obvious to me that most entities, public or private, adopt procedures and regulations primarily to benefit the staff that administers them. That is, to use the regulations to shield them from making specific difficult decisions or to design them to reduce workload responsibilities (e.g., research).

The initial regulations were only few pages long and directed at how to simply get the project application into the Commissions hands, basic time lines and the few special rules for the conduct of hearings required by the governing law and not included in Robert’s Rules of Order.

There also had been no forms drafted yet for appeals of approval of those claiming to be exempt from the Commissions jurisdiction. I tried to keep them to one page or two, limiting, in the case of appeals, the information required to basic items, such as the identity of the appellant and the project, trusting the regional commissions file to provide the starting point for any staff analysis. In other words I wanted to make it as easy as possible to get the things into our hot hands. I did not want things going away because someone, applicant or concerned citizen believed the process appeared to be too daunting. To me this approach was not just an exercise in governmental simplification and responsiveness but was also a means of control.

As so, we began, as did I and moved inevitably toward the first meeting of the State Commission.

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles:

To the citizen’s of Barrow Burrow, perception of their world differed substantially from that of those species that relied upon the dictatorship of sight; on unobstructed straight line transmission of information through lenticular organizers into the neural apparatus governing the essential awareness necessary for the survival of most living things. Those living in Barrow Burrow and those in other burrows “saw” instead, a web of impressions unaffected by those mere physical impediments that obstruct one’s line of sight; much like those Polynesians “saw” the islands beyond the horizon.

Everyone in Barrow Burrow, “saw” almost everything, the rushing of the soldiers through the tunnels, the workers already digging cross tunnels so that the breached area could be cordoned off and filled without interruption to the burrow network, and the creature lying there barely moving.

Arriving at the breech, the first soldier nosed toward the intruder sniffing and poking it.

“Help me to your queen it pleaded weakly. I have a message from the northern burrow runs. You are in danger.”

2.Heterocephalus G awards: Awarded to those who most contribute to paving the way for the rise of The Naked Mole Rat.

To Rick Santorum for having said on the Rush Limbaugh Show, on June 8, 2011:

“There’s a variety of factors that contribute to the earth warming and cooling, and to me this is an opportunity for the left to create — it’s a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm.”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Vince gets a surprise (continued).

Offended at her rejection, Vince blurted out, “What don’t I understand? The weird little war, you and Russell have me involved in?”

“No, not that, although you involved yourself. It’s just… our relationship… you do not understand,” she said her eyes though maintaining the implacable level almost expressionless gaze seemed to soften along with her voice.

The hormonal, intellectual and emotional tripartite war that fogs rational sense compelled him to persist in his assault. “What do you mean,” his voice rising? “This body-guard thing, is that it? Another man, maybe? Whats going on?”

She stood for a moment her face tightened, than softened as if she were debating with herself and reached a decision. She turned, put down the drinks, walked to the dimmer switch on the wall, turned down the lights to what Vince interpreted as a romantic glow and returned to stand, expressionless a few feet away from him.

He started to move toward her, stopped as she held out her hand palm out vertical to the ground.

Without taking her eyes off of his she removed her robe and let it slip to the ground. She slowly, mechanically unbuttoned her pajama top and dropped that to the ground also.

He could see her almost too perfect breasts partly shadowed in the diminished light.

Not moving her head or her eyes, she loosened her pajama bottoms allowing them to fall and lie bunched at her feet.

Vince had been virtually mesmerized by her stare. He now removed his eyes from hers and allowed them to begin their descent taking in her body. He was hard as he passed his gaze over her breast and nipples. He could feel his breathing quicken as he continued down, then stopped, froze. His breath stopped, the blood rushed away and he shrunk. There was something else.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

2012: February.

CHEERS to February! For the shortest month, it sure packs a lot of goodies in it. Highlights: More daylight, Super Bowl Sunday (Patriots by 3. Hundred.), Waitangi Day in New Zealand, Heritage Day in Canada, Valentine’s Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day, Mardi Gras, blessed comic relief at the CPAC convention, George & Abe’s awesome mattress sale, Black History Month, Charles Dickens Day, the Oscars, and tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Plus there’s only one Republican debate this month. And best of all, if you make it through the first 28 days you get the 29th FREE! Now that’s what I call FAB-uary!

–From Bill in Portland Maine.

13th Century AD:

Rabbits first introduced into Ireland.

1969-2009 wage decline:

According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-snyder-economic-collapse-2012-1#ixzz1lGGTZuaJ

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

1. You may not like paying taxes, but shouldn’t those with the greatest share of income and wealth pay their fair share.

2. This is not change we should live with:

The United States has the fourth-highest inequality level in the OECD, after Chile, Mexico and Turkey. Inequality among working-age people has risen steadily since 1980, in total by 25%. In 2008, the average income of the top 10% of Americans was 114 000 USD, nearly 15 times higher than that of the bottom 10%, who had an average income of 7 800 USD. This is up from 12 to 1 in the mid 1990s, and 10 to 1 in the mid 1980s.

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

And so it continues:

The Conservative Political Action Conference at which all the major Republican presidential contenders will speak, as well and prominent Republican members of Congress is co-sponsored by several organizations including “Youth for Western Civilization” whose founder, Marcus Epstein, was arrested and pled guilty to a hate crime after karate chopping a black woman on a street while calling her a “nigger,” and who is reputed to have strong ties to European Neo-Fascist organizations (according to People for the American Way).

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Brain Candy:

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“There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.”

(Phil T Duck)

“Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”
Terry Pratchett

“There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
–Leonard Cohen

“By evening’s end, they had melted into an indistinguishable mass of privatizing, tax-cutting opponents of Sharia law. ”
–NYT on 2nd Republican debate

“If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.”
(Onomastic)

“Newt’s not a conservative. It’s just that conservatives assume that someone so mean and hateful has to be one of their true believers and not just an awful person.”
(Inland)

“Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat! ”
(Fury)

“Dear Congressman West: Check your watch — it’s been 15 minutes.”
(here4tehbeer)

“On the Internet, nobody knows if you’re a dog… but everybody knows if you’re a jackass.”
(stevemb)

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

My mom at 94 in Mendocino taken by my sister. When after posing mom and taking the picture, my sister showed her the resulting photograph and inquired if she liked it, our mom responded, “My sandwich got cold.”

On the subject of moms, this was sent to me by Phillip:

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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