TODAY FROM THAILAND AMERICA:
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND FLORIDA – A TRAVELOGUE:
On Friday I travelled by train from Sacramento to Berkeley where I was met by my brother-in-law George. We went to visit my mom at St. Ann seniors’ home where we ate lunch. After lunch we drove my mom through Golden Gate Park and discovered a road in the park that I had never seen before. George explained that he knew of this road because as an ambulance driver he had to learn all the back roads in and through the park in case the main roads were blocked during an emergency. They then dropped me off downtown so that I could attend a meeting with URB.im an organization considering hiring me as their bureau chief in BKK. On the way back to my sisters home in Berkeley after the meeting I convinced myself that if I could write as well as I could bullshit, I may have a possible new career.
The next morning, my sister and her husband headed off into the Sierra’s for some tent camping to celebrate their anniversary. I trundled into SF to buy a new computer and spend some time with Peter before leaving for the airport. That afternoon Peter was appearing with The Jug Band at the International Cafe coffee-house on lower Haight. After the gig, he drove me to the airport where I caught the red-eye to Florida.
Before I left, I spoke with Hayden. He and I had watched a television show called Animal Planet about a team of wildlife specialists whose job was to find and trap pythons and similar snakes that had been pets and had escaped into the Everglades where they now flourish and have begun devouring much of the native wildlife and a few domestic pets. I told him I was leaving for Florida and would be staying near the Everglades. He started to cry and urged me to be very careful to avoid the pythons and the alligators.
Frank met me at the airport in his newest Jaguar, a silver two-seater convertible sports car (smaller than Gates Ferrari racing red Jag sedan). For those who do not know Frank, he was a charter member of my Millionaires Who have Gone Broke and Now are Virtually Homeless or Live Off their Girlfriends Club (MGBC for short). Monty and I also are members along with several other men that I frequently visit. Most of them are clinically depressed. There are no woman in the club because as far as I know it is unheard of for a wealthy woman to be so stupid as to squander her financial assets once she’s acquired them.
Frank has managed finally to restart his construction business. He lives with a woman who personifies the description, “The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Him.” She was, I understand, an ex miss Peru and has three of the nicest and most polite young boys I have ever met. Frank and Katherine start every discussion with each other with “my love” and end it with “I love you.” I was extremely jealous. Never in my life has a woman begun a sentence calling me her love and ending it telling me she loves me. They have called me many things but never “my love.”
Frank, Katherine and the boys along with Katherine’s grandmother live in large home in an elegant subdivision in a town called Parkland. Frank appears deliriously happy, as well he should be.
Frank and Katherine
That afternoon we visited the sites of two of his projects; homes in the posh neighborhood constructed with dry-wall from China because American made dry wall often was unavailable during the past housing boom. It seems, the Chinese stuff began weeping sulfuric acid that started eating up the houses from the inside out. Eventually after a couple of years of litigation, everyone agreed that the entire interiors of about 6000 or so homes would be ripped out and replaced.
Later a local attorney friend of Frank’s and I watched football (Niners won, Miami lost in overtime) while Frank prepared an elegant dinner focused on his special briciole (Italian rolled steak, pronounced in Italian-American argot as bris(z)ol.)
Frank and his briciole
After dinner I talked with the boys awhile about life in Thailand. They were curious about whether there were cities in Thailand or if Thais all lived in the jungle. I tried to explain that everything in life is a jungle and failed.
The following day Frank was busy at work and Katherine was off somewhere so I spent the day playing with my computer and trying to talk to Katherine’s grandmother who speaks no english but who as Frank explained has accompanied Katherine everywhere since birth and works around the house like a slave.
I spent most of the day when not lying in bed hugging my computer or sitting in the back portico staring at a hyacinth choked lake and keeping an eye out for pythons while trying to decide if I were content or depressed. Unable to resolve the conundrum and not spotting any pythons I went back to bed and took a nap.
That evening we went for drinks at a posh restaurant that Frank’s construction company had built. It was owned by a man originally from France who could be a member of MGBC but had retained enough money to blow on the restaurant in Florida. Given the number of customers I saw that night, I figure we can induct him into the club in about six months.
We drank strange cocktails (Apple martini with caramel caviar and without gin) and talked about how much money Frank had lost on the job while I ogled the bevy of aging tanned overdressed wealthy divorcees belly up to the bar in search of some tall dark and alas, handsome young men with which to end the evening. I could not help but be amused at the mirror-like symmetry it all had with many of my evenings in BKK where aging, poorly dressed, divorced men with cadaver-like white skins heaved their enormous belles up to the bar in search of dark small but beautiful and much younger woman with whom to spend the evening.
After stopping for ice-cream we returned home.
The next day Frank and I went to a place in Boca Raton called the Royal Pig (owned appropriately by the original promoters of Hooters) where we met up with a friend of his named Dorian. We ate a lot of bar foods including a tasty fried sweet potato snack. I drank a lot of different fruit juice based cocktails and got a bit drunk.
I remember we talked a lot to the bartenders; one a short young woman originally from Cambodia and the other a tall blond girl from Columbus Ohio. Being three Italian-American males of a certain age we inevitable got around to discussing our ethnic cultural icons, in this case Dean Martin. The bartender from Columbus who is of Italian-German heritage and who’s father pitched for the Mets, shockingly (to us at least) acknowledged she had no idea who Dean Martin was.
Marlena, the director of a local cultural center of some sort, then arrived. She is an old friend of Dorian and Frank. Dorian mentioned that one of her current boyfriends recently had bought her an expensive house, cash. When I enquired how she had managed to accomplish that remarkable feat, she responded, “I owe it all to my golden vagina.”
I also learned that Chuck the Banker who I had met once in San Francisco on some deal or another but who disappeared after scoring some coke, was sitting in his car outside of the bar but refused to come in. We discussed his peculiar behavior patterns for a while.
After that I do not think that anything we talked about was particularly memorable. On the other hand, if it was unfortunately I do not remember. Eventually we left and went home where I immediately fell asleep.
On Thursday after breakfast, Frank and Katherine drove me to the airport where I boarded the plane to DC to visit my daughter.
“35 years +/-. From Shakespeare to Louis XIV +/-. From the French and Indian War to the Louisiana Purchase +/-. From “Et tu, Brute” to the kid in the manger +/-. From Fred Allen to Laugh-In +/-.”
Peter Grenell describing change in history, small though it may be.
A. From THE URBAN DICTIONARY:
fuck you, pay me
Reply to a dispute of debt. Common gangsta mantra. Meant to express the non-negotiability of debt.
“The place burned down? Fuck you, pay me. Lightning struck? Fuck you, pay me. Slow business? Fuck you, pay me.”
-Ray Liotta, Goodfellas
B. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
C. What Republicans say about the modern Republican Party:
“Want to know just how crazy all sides — including mine — in this “hell debate” are? Watch the movie “Hellbound?” and take a peek into the asylum that is housing the people who are destroying the world. They now own a major political party and are running a Mormon opportunist who believes in nothing and his Ayn Rand/Jesus/God-nut sidekick who believes in way too much and who wants to take what little the poor have away in the name of opportunity.”
Frank Schaeffer. His father was one of the founders of what we now know as the Religious Right in this country, and he writes about his experience growing up in that family in Crazy for God.
1. JOAN WALSH ON THE POLITICAL VIEWS OF THE WHITE WORKING CLASS
“Beyond guns and God: [T]he Public Religion Research Institute… ‘non-Hispanic white Americans without a four-year college degree who hold non-salaried jobs.’… Romney led Obama by a staggering 40 points in the South (62-22) while Obama actually led Romney 44-38 in the Midwest (hello, auto industry rescue?), and the two candidates were nearly tied in the West and Northeast. White working-class Protestants favor Romney 2-1, while Catholics are evenly split. Likewise, Romney clobbers Obama with men, but the candidates are tied for the votes of women. And younger white working-class voters support Obama….”
2. FORMER OHIO GOV. TED STRICKLAND:
“Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
E. Testosterone Chronicles (Penis edition):
From Huffington Post:
For whatever reason, Rush Limbaugh decided to discuss a study about male genitalia on his Friday radio show.
According to Rush, the study, completed by researchers in Italy, found that the size of male genitalia has decreased over the past fifty years.
“The study’s leaders claim to have bonafide research that says the average size of a penis is roughly 10 percent smaller than it was 50 years ago. And the researchers say air pollution is why,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said that he did not believe that air pollution and global warming could have such an impact. “I don’t buy this. I think it’s feminism. I think if it’s tied to the last fifty years, the average size of a member is ten percent smaller…it has to be the feminazis,” Limbaugh said.
Speak for yourself Rush.
Does this mean the more you reject science the richer you become? Or, is the positive relationship between stupidity and great wealth restricted to the USA?
TODAY’S CARTOON TWO: