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:
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:
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
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).
“There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.”
(Phil T Duck)
“Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”
“There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat! ”
“Dear Congressman West: Check your watch — it’s been 15 minutes.”
“On the Internet, nobody knows if you’re a dog… but everybody knows if you’re a jackass.”
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.”