Posts Tagged With: Sicilian Mafia

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th.    32 Cold Tits 0007 (March 16, 2018)

“[I]nstinct was a word lazy people had come up with to make guessing sound like something more impressive.”
McDonnell, Caimh. Last Orders (The Dublin Trilogy Book 4) (p. 169). McFori Ink.  
TODAY FROM AMERICA:
A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:
It is Wednesday, March 7, HRM’s 13th birthday. On our drive to school this morning, he turned to me and said, “Yesterday I was a child and today I am a teenager. I liked being a child.”
The weather was mixed. I spent much of the morning trying to persuade myself not to exercise. I lost the argument and after a lot of grumbling, I managed to walk three miles around the lakes in Town Center. After that, I felt so good that I jumped into the pool for a 30-minute swim.
On my drive with HRM that morning, I sang and acted silly. I asked H whether he preferred me silly or grumpy. He answered, “It doesn’t matter. You’re silly whether you are grumpy or not.”
Before getting into the car this morning, H announced he wanted to put off his birthday party until Saturday when he was scheduled to go to the scooter camp in the Sierras. I learned then that I was to accompany H, several of his friends, and the other three fathers into the mountains to drop the new teenagers off at the camp until its was time to gather up birthday boy and his cohorts and retreat back down the mountain. Dick told me that later that evening, all four fathers were supposed to go to a western themed  Karaoke Bar. There we were expected to drink and sing.  I was told we would all dress in cowboy outfits also. I assumed they were joking.
IMG_4069.jpg
Hayden (in the hat) with his book if western poetry. Tall Jake holds the dancing chicken birthday card.
Days passed, things happened. When the weekend arrived, H and two of his friends had a campout in the redwood trees alongside the house. Dick was away at some earthquake preparedness conference and Nikki, Adrian and I spent time grumbling about life, but not too deeply.
IMG_4080_2
Tall long haired Jake in the top Hammock, Hayden in the middle and Graham in the bottom,
    My strategy to let things slide regarding travel plans for March and April worked. I still do not know what will happen but whatever I thought might occur will not and a few things actually resolved themselves. So, no lengthy travel plans are in the offing for the next few weeks. Hooray.
Yrrggh! —Everything from here on that I had written during the past four days suddenly disappeared from my computer for some reason. I am furious. How could that happen? I now have to recreate it from memory — something of which I am in short supply —
Let’s see — what happened next:
The weather cleared up for a day or so. Nikki and I went to the health club one morning. On Saturday or Sunday, we had dinner at Wanni’s restaurant, Thai Basil in Roseville.
IMG_4085_2
Adrian, Richard, Hayden, and Nikki in Thai Basil.
Nikki, Dick, and Wanni went on to the Western Karaoke Bar deep in the wilds of Loomis. I went home. Nikki had dressed in a leather jacket, a black cowboy shirt with elaborately embroidered designs in black thread and black buttons that sparkled like rhinestones in the light. I got it on good authority that at the Karaoke bar he performed a magnificent rendition of “That’s Amore.” Microphone in hand, he passed from the stage and into the audience. While crooning like Dean Martin, he stared into the eyes of several of the startled but appreciative aging matrons. No, he was not thrown out or beaten into sausage by the ex-hippies turned redneck husbands and boyfriends of the bemused ladies.
The next day, we went to Denio’s Auction (flea market) to play our usual game of “see who could buy the most useless object.” Often Nikki and I would compete over who would return with the most outrageous shirt. He preferred Mexican and I was more into Hawaiian. Unfortunately, I had to leave early to go to see “The Shape of Water” and thereby conceded the contests to the others.
As for Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” although I enjoyed it, I preferred the acting and directing in “Lady Bird” more. As typical in Del Toro’s movies, there was a short period of stomach-turning violence. Tarantino movies have a lot of violence also, blood and death everywhere but it is cartoonish with little regard to actual pain and suffering.  Del Toro’s violence on the other hand although briefer makes up for it by focussing in on the agony and anguish. I was surprised at how closely the story of this movie matched that of Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” — In a world of pain and despair, a damaged but innocent young woman enters into a complex relationship with an alien creature, dies violently but is resurrected into a far better universe — all very Catholic.
By Monday, Nikki and Adrian had left to return to wherever they go after they leave here. Following my morning exercises, I called the good/bad David. He lives in South Dakota now — in a little town called Andover. We commiserated about him sitting in his house staring at the snow while I sat on the porch in the golden hills enjoying the 70-degree sunshine. Later, I got on Google and David took me on a tour of the highlights of Andover — there were not many of them — the Lutheran church, the threshing barns, a post office, the railroad tracks and lots and lots of flat grassland with a few grazing cows.
I had an interesting dream last night. I seemed to be watching a movie and did not participate in the action. I recognized the main protagonist, a minor television actor whose name I could not remember. I seem to have come in during the middle of the story. The main protagonist was a pirate of sorts but had not always been so. He was preparing his band and some poorly equipped villagers to defend themselves from the expected attack. Although they were confident they could prevail in the conflict when their enemy showed up it became clear they would be overwhelmed. They agreed to a meeting with the opposition commander who proved to be an old friend of the hero (from an earlier scene in the movie that I had missed). The two friends agreed that the hero and his motley but competent crew would undertake a difficult and somewhat questionable assignment to lead a sneak attack on the commander’s enemy. I then woke up. It was raining again and after dropping HRM off at school and eating breakfast, I put myself back to bed and slept until the afternoon when it was time to pick up HRM again. And, so it goes in the waning years of my life.
The weather turned miserable again. I feel better, however.
News on the adolescent front: HRM’s march beyond childhood accelerates. He may have just graduated from the scooter gangs to the bicycle maniacs all in one day, putting him further removed from his past and mine. Our influence over his environment diminishes with each additional mile he can now place between us. I currently drive him to the skate park the outer limit of his universe.  In two weeks he will be riding his bike far beyond that.
The weekend approaches. Yesterday morning I listened to the heart-rending memories of a dear friend. Life has been described as a vale of sorrows. It is that for most of us — even living through the greatest Golden Age in the history of humankind and consider ourselves fortunate we have not had to experience sufferings like our predecessors in the past, most of us sooner or later experience unimaginable pain. Some handle it better than others and some worse. Some are able to smile through it all and some complain bitterly (I am of the latter group). Like it or not we are all riding together it the same Looney-Tunes cable car careening through the mountains, some cringing in fear, others filling themselves with hate over who they suspect caused them to be in this place, some laughing deliriously, some crying and some just stare at the sky, fist outstretched middle finger extended — but one thing cannot be denied, for most tomorrow  will be another day — And for me, the weekend begins and I intend to make it a happy one…
B. BOOK REPORT: STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT.
If you continue to read beyond this, you will notice (if I am able to reconstruct them from wherever this evil machine hid them) an excess of items of and about Sicily. The reason for this is because I have just completed reading a mystery novel entitled “Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions” by Mario Giordano. Surprisingly, the author is not Sicilian. He is German. A descendant of a Sicilian laborer who had left the Island seeking work and a better life in the Colossus of the North. The novel itself is no classic work of literature. In fact, it barely makes it as light summer reading. I liked it, however, because of the kind-hearted way it plunges into the history, landscape, and foibles of the people and places that I have grown to love.
The main conceit of the novel lies in the author’s alter ego, a young struggling writer recording, at the behest of his Auntie Poldi, her adventures, and misadventures in Sicily. Auntie Poldi a dipsomaniac, over-sexed, bi-polar, caftan-wearing, overweight, sixty year old widow from Bavaria who, after the death of her Sicilian born husband, buys a home in a small coastal village in Sicily in the shadow of Mt Etna where she intends to “drink herself to death with a view of the sea.” Unfortunately for everyone, Auntie Poldi is also loud, pushy, nosy and her father was chief of detectives in some city in Germany. As a result, when she discovers, on the beach, the dead body of her part-time handyman, the handsome young Valentino, she drafts her dead husband’s three sisters and goes on a hunt for the murderer. Along the way, she also shags the handsome but mature local detective with the improbable name of Vito Montana.
Pookie says, “Check it out”
[T]he worst thing that can happen to any Italian male, especially a Sicilian. Economic crises, volcanic eruptions, corrupt politicians, emigration, the Mafia, uncollected rubbish and overfishing of the Mediterranean—he can endure anything with fatalism and a bella figura. The main thing is never to present a brutta figura, a figuraccia. Bella figura is the Italian credo. The basic equipment for this includes a well-groomed, unostentatiously fashionable appearance, a pair of good shoes and the right make of sunglasses. Above all, though, bella figura means always looking good, never foolish. For an Italian this is a must, not an option, and quite indispensable. It also means you don’t embarrass your fellow men. Impatience is unacceptable and direct confrontations are taboo. You share restaurant bills with your friends, don’t put your foot in it, never receive guests in a dirty or untidy home, ask no intimate questions, address anyone with a university degree as dottore, bring some dessert with you when invited to dinner and—even at the risk of rupturing your abdomen—finish everything on your plate. You put your faith in beauty and proportionality and try to make the world a better place. Sometimes you even succeed.”
Giordano, Mario. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (An Auntie Poldi Adventure). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  
DAILY FACTOID:
The Sicilian language has no future tense.
(JP— It is scary to think about a culture that lacks the ability to express the future. It does have a special tense to express the remote past that has ended. Sicilians use it a lot in their conversations — Everything is in the present or the far past and there is no future.)
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:
A.  On Top —The Quotes of Steven Wright:
1 – I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 – Borrow money from pessimists-they don’t expect it back.
3 – Half the people you know are below average.
4 – 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5 – 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6 – A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7 – A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8 – If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.
9 – All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.
10 – The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
11 – I almost had a psychic girlfriend, ….. But she left me before we met.
12 – OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
13 – How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
14 – If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15 – Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16 – When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
17 – Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18 – Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
19 – I intend to live forever … So far, so good.
20 – If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
21 – Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
22 – What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23 – My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”
24 – Why do psychics have to ask you for your name
25 – If at first, you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26 – A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
27 – Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
28 – The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
29 – To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
30 – The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
31 – The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.
32 – The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
33 – Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.
34 – If at first, you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
35 – If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?
 
B. Tuckahoe Joe’s Blog of the Week:
While doing some research on things Sicilian, I came across the blog, “The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife,” (https://siciliangodmother.com/2013/02/12/sicilian-women-are-scrubbers/) It contains some amusing stories about the life of a foreigner (in this case a British woman married to a Sicilian man) in Sicily, especially regarding her relationship with her Mother-in-law whom she refers to as “The Godmother.”
One day, The Godmother came round to my house when I had just swept and mopped all the floors. She was wearing her black skirt and black blouse, which is what Sicilian housewives put on when they really mean business. She gave me a pitying, or perhaps critical, look and said,
“Oh, you poor thing! You must be so worn out with all this unpacking and organizing that you haven’t had time to clean the floor.”
“Erm, yes,” I said.
“Don’t worry,” she said, her nose already in the cleaning products cupboard she had given me as a housewarming present. “I’ll take care of it.”
She extracted a thing which looked like a broom with no bristles and then wrapped it in a cloth which she dipped in something that smelled pungent enough to make my nose run and proceeded to rub it all over the floor with so much verve I thought she might actually erode the glaze off the tiles. “That’s just given it a quick removal of the main dirt,” she said, as she got on her knees and proceeded to pull the plinth away from the fitted cupboards under and around the kitchen sink.
She put the steel strips on the balcony and then proceeded to remove the entire underside of the island unit as well. Not satisfied with this, she then prised all the knobs off the hob, did something that looked downright painful to remove the oven door and then turned the extractor fan over the cooker into no less than eighteen separate, yet almost identical-looking, pieces of plastic grille.
Whilst I was profoundly shocked to see her calmly pull my kitchen to pieces, I was also flabbergasted that she was actually able to. For my whole life, up to that point, I had believed you needed men with exposed bum cleavages to do that type of thing.
While I was still searching for appropriate words, she filled the sink with several potent products, which foamed and gave off a greenish hallucinogenic vapour, and put all the small components of my ex-kitchen in it. While I sat down to regain some breath, she filled a bucket with whatever the Mafia use to dissolve dead bodies away to nothing except a few gold fillings, and started rubbing it into the pieces of stainless steel plinth she had yanked off the cupboards. I had chosen a matt finish but she kept working away at each piece of metal until she had made it look like a mirror.
C. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:
I Heard It Through The Grapevine:
During 2016 Presidential nominating campaign there were two candidates who:
Declined to support sensible gun control regulation;
Received support from the Russians and;
Refused to release their tax returns.
D. Today’s Poem:
ISULA
Isula nascivu, isula vogghiu moriri.
Isula comu mi fici lu Signuri
cu li turmenti e li dulura
ma sempri abbrazzata a lu mari
e figghia pridiletta di lu suli.
Bedda tra li beddi sugnu
‘nghirlannata stati e mmernu di ciuri.
Curtigghiara, baggiana, ciaurusa
mi vestu di milli culura
e cu sta peddi di meli e di rosi
attiru lapuna d’ogni razza e paisi.
ISLAND
Born an island, I want to die an island.
An island, the way the Lord made me
with all its torments and pains
but always embraced by the sea
a favored daughter of the sun.
I’m a beauty among beauties
garlanded in summer and winter.
Plebeian, proud, fragrant
I dress in thousands of colors
and with this blanket of honey and roses
I attract drones from every race and place.
–by Lina La Mattina –translated by Arthur Dieli
E. Charlie Stross on Bureaucracy II:
The iron law of bureaucracy dictates that most of the people in any large organization will, after a time, be more preoccupied with preserving their own jobs than with fulfilling the mission statement of the agency.”
Stross, Charles. Empire Games: A Tale of the Merchant Princes Universe (p. 322). Tom Doherty Associates.
TODAY’S QUOTE:
Sicilian men (of which I am one) prefer to discuss the minutia of history and almost anything else rather than answer a personal question and risk making a brute figura of himself. Here is an example taken from a novel I am reading:
“Uncle Martino talked at me without a break. He pontificated on Sicilian history, the source of the best pistachio nuts, Lord Nelson and the Brontë siblings, life in the Middle Ages, Frederick II, Palermo’s Vucciria market, tuna shoals, overfishing by Japanese trawlers and the mosaics of Monreale. He commented on Radio Radicale’s live broadcasts of debates in the Italian parliament. He lectured me on the Cyclops, the Greeks, the Normans, General Patton, Lucky Luciano and yellow silk scarves. On the only acceptable way of making a granita. On angels, demons, the trinacria, the truth about Kafka and communism and the relationship between physical stature and criminality in the male population of Sicily. His rule of thumb: the shorter the man, the more threatening and the more likely to be a Mafioso. That I scarcely understood a word didn’t bother him. My Italian was appalling—in fact it was practically nonexistent apart from one or two helpful swear words and che schifo, allucinante, birra, con panna, boh, beh and mah, which constituted an adolescent’s vocabulary on the beach.”
Giordano, Mario.Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (An Auntie Poldi Adventure). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
(JP- For those interested:
Che Schifo — how disgusting.
Allucinante — hallucinating, stoned
Birra — beer
Con panna — with whipped cream
Boh — I don’t know
Beh — I don’t care
Mah — maybe yes, maybe no
Facility with these few words will allow you to communicate adequately anywhere in Southern Italy and Sicily, but only if you also know how to gesture properly with your hands [see below]).
TODAY’S CHART:
Pasted Graphic
These are only a few of the gestures used in Southern Italy and Sicily. As with any language, it takes a while and a lot of repetition to learn. Failure to learn a language properly can lead to confusion and embarrassment. For example, after examining the chart, I realized that during my sojourns in Sicily I never quite understood the difference between What, where, why and you shitted your pants eh — much to my embarrassment in the cases where I have misused them and much to my annoyance is now realizing that I had failed to recognize when someone who I thought was asking a question was, in fact, commenting on my ignorance or worse.
Categories: January through March 2018, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. July 21, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Poster to urge Salvatore Cuffaro to resign aft...

Poster to urge Salvatore Cuffaro to resign after his conviction to five years for aiding and abetting Mafiosi using an image of Cuffaro serving cannoli after the sentence which did not convict him for collusion with the mafia, but only for aiding and abetting individual Mafiosi. The Italian text reads “Convicted to five years. Resign.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2006, May 28Rita Borsellino, anti-mafia politician and sister of late anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino who had been murdered by the mafia, loses to Salvatore Cuffaro, incumbent president and alleged mafia associate, in the 2006 Regional Election of Sicily.

2008, January 18Sicilian president Salvatore Cuffaro is found guilty of several mafia-related charges.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Since the recent Thai elections, there has been a drastic fall off of political news. Yingluck’s election has been confirmed by the Elections Commission and it is expected that she will soon be chosen Prime Minister and begin assembling her cabinet. Unlike her exiled brother Thaksin, she has been notably and admirably reticent to make any comments at all about either her appointments or her policies.

2. The International Court has ordered the military of both countries to vacate the disputed temple area on the border between Thailand and Cambodia and allow the residents therein to get on with their lives. The military of both countries are relieved, otherwise they would have continued to expend ammunition and material in the senseless shelling of each other. Nevertheless each side has announced that it would not begin to remove its troops until there is independent verification that the other side is removing theirs.

3. The members of Thailand’s military general staff, who had been instrumental on the coup that overthrew the democratically elected (although perhaps personally corrupt) Prime Minister Taksin, violently put down the Red Shirt protests and to all extents and purposes ran (although neither efficiently nor effectively) the country, when queried by reporters on whether they would be replaced by the new administration responded that they should not be replaced because they were only doing their jobs; that they and the military were the servants of the people and they (the Generals and the Military) instead of being removed deserve to be honored for doing their duty.

4. For those of you who recall opening AVA PUB in the then seedy Sukhumvit Soi 11, a recent travel article about Bangkok states, ‘…Soi 11 is gaining a reputation as a cuisine hall of fame.”

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

It is that time of the year in Thailand when overcast skies and the daily afternoon and evening downpours makes the heat nearly tolerable for westerners in Bangkok. I have just begun to shrug off the sluggishness and fatigue of jet lag and lack of exercise that have been dogging me since I arrived.

Yesterday, I suffered a serious economic calamity due exclusively to my favorite vice, Sloth (see TODAY’S QUOTE, below). Realizing that such a serious event could lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and in some cases despair and in order avoid those consequences, I am considering either temporarily upping my dosage of “happy pills” or having a three hour happy face massage.

To add to my melancholy it has been raining all day, but I suppose except for the end of times or the end of your time sooner or later the grey skies will part and the sun, if even briefly will shine. In a life filled with silliness and embarrassment, I cannot recall doing anything as embarrassing, silly and rediculess as writing that last line, unless it is writing this one.

I think I will try the massage first, then if that doesn’t work the happy pills.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Damon Morley, was Big Flo’s neighbor, sometime golfing partner and occasional investor in his development projects. He owned a large trucking company and was a close confident of the leadership of the area’s Teamsters Union local. McWerter had met several of these large beefy taciturn men at Damon’s house or on the golf course. The local had become a fairly large investor in several of Bog Flo’s projects also. He had heard the stories about the local’s organized crime connections, but their money was good and surprisingly easy to raise. Where it came from was their problem not his he reasoned.

After Big Flo indicated an interest in looking into the military procurement business that Damon seemed so high on, Damon began to bring him along to what he described as “prayer meetings.” Big Flo, although raised Catholic, was anything but devout. When Damon mentioned “prayer meeting” Big Flo scrunched up his face like he had just gotten a whiff of something that smelled bad. Damon quickly assured him that it was more like the Mason’s, sure there was some religion in it but it was more like a club set up for business men to assist one another.

The “prayer meetings” usually took place in the spacious home of a member located in one or another of the luxury subdivisions that dot the San Francisco Bay area. In addition to the host who inevitably was a CEO of a company doing business with the US military, or an executive with a New York based financial institution were four of five others in the same businesses. Big Flo liked that and preened in their presence.

There would also usually be one or two elected officials sometimes from as far away as the mid-west who were especially noted for their strong conservative views. Sometimes there was someone from the military present, resplendent in his dress uniform. There were never any woman who attended.

The meeting, if it could be called that, always began with a prayer led by Reverend Michael. Reverend Michael, did not have a church per se, that is a building to which worshippers came to pray. His flock seemed to be the men in the bay area who attended these meetings . Big Flo was later to learn that there were counterparts to Reverend Michael throughout the country, leading “prayer meetings” like these. They all seemed to report to a man named Robert Millicum who they mentioned in only the most respectful and reverential tones.

Finally, there were always one or two muscular young men present referred to as Guardians. Big Flo was informed that they lived in dormitories that were called “Academies” where they were trained to eventually take employment in the companies controlled or managed by the membership after a stint as an aid to one of the elected official members.

After the prayer there really was no meeting. For about an hour or so, they would drift off in small groups where they would speak to each other in hushed tones until signaled for a brief meeting with Reverend Michael and the host.

Although, unlike Big Flo, many of the attendees had had experience as high ranking military officers, almost none had been an entrepreneur growing his own business from scratch. Most seemed to have worked their way through the bureaucracy chosen more for consistency and loyalty than imagination. “But hell” thought Big Flo, “however they got there, they were on top.”

The Reverend Michael was a slight man, with a long narrow nose and a bloodless complexion that allowed his blue veins to show through like highways on a road map. His eyes were grey and hard but with a touch of moisture glistening in a way that made the pupils appear to float. He spoke is a soft voice and only inquired about simple things like family or business and the like.

Although everyone claimed they had “found Jesus” it sounded more like a ritual, than the falling on the floor and frothing at the mouth that he expected. So soon he found he could also say it also, without thought or embarrassment.

Following each of the meetings, of course there was the expected requests for donations, for the Brotherhood, the politicians who attended the meeting and various conservative and religious political causes. Damon recommended that Big Flo give generously and he did so.

Now and then, the gathering would include an attorney. He was introduced to Big Flo as Sam Coign managing partner of the firm McKenzie Reed. That, in retrospect, he thought, could have been the worst moment in his life maybe even worse than meeting Damon Morley.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Reilly’s law of retail gravitation — People generally patronize the largest mall in the area.

(I knew that.)

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apophthegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“The goal of every business enterprise is not to maximize profit but to separate risk from reward.”

c. Testosterone Chronicles:

John Coates, a former trader turned student of neuroscience, performed an experiment on the trading floor and found out that if a trader’s testosterone levels reach a little higher than the peak, their brain goes haywire.
According to Coates, “During the dot-com bubble, people who were working with me displayed all the classic symptoms of mania: They were euphoric, delusional, and overconfident; they couldn’t put a coherent sentence together; and they were unusually horny, judging from the number of lewd comments and the amount of porn that was showing up on their computer screens.”


(And these were the self styled Masters of the Universe, admired by many and models of success who obviously should and did receive thousands of times more in compensation than the teacher of your children or for that matter, you [not me however; at that time I was as crazy as they were and although I was making not nearly as much money as they did, it still was a hell of a lot and oh you should have seen what was on my computer].)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“As to the Seven Deadly Sins, I deplore Pride, Wrath, Lust, Envy and Greed. Gluttony and Sloth I pretty much plan my day around.”
~Robert Brault, http://www.robertbrault.com

TODAY’S CHART:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 29, 2010

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1828. E. Leslie uses the word cupcake for the first time.

Obviously not too much of note happened that year. Other contenders for news story of the year 1828 were Brazil and Argentina recognized the independence of Uruguay and Kaspar Hauser the feral wolf-boy was found roaming the woods of Nuremberg, Germany.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

J.M. Coetzee - De Langzame man

J.M. Coetzee – De Langzame man (Photo credit: Fabio Bruna)

Today at breakfast while reading the Bangkok Post, I came across a review of the Nobel Prize in literature winning, South African author J.M.Coetzee‘s latest novel. It seems to be another of his semi-autobiographical novels; a format appears  the current rage among serious writers. Bolanno and Vollman among others have made careers out of it. I call this the double lie format. First the author makes up the story of his own life that he wants you to believe. Then he makes up the people and their stories about observing the made up life of the author.

In his novel Coetzee invents a series of interviews with people (mostly women) asking them to give their recollections of Coetzee during that period in his life just before he began to become famous.

They mainly express the distress of the author’s friends and family at his indolent and unproductive lifestyle as an unlicensed tutor and lay about. The women often describe affairs that they had with the budding author or affairs that they knew about. As with love affairs in general, they usually proved unsatisfactory for everyone, those involved as well as for those merely observing. ( As Prince Humperdinck in the Princess Bride observes,”You truly love each other and so you might have been truly happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the story books say. And so I think no man in a century will suffer as greatly as you will.”)

After achieving his first success, Coetzee gets a job as a temporary lecturer at a local university and promptly begins another unhappy affair with one of his students or another lecturer (I do not recall which and it really doesn’t matter since one way or the other it was inevitable).

Unlike his fictional character, Coetzee himself has been described as:

“… a man of almost monkish self-discipline and dedication. He does not drink, smoke or eat meat. He cycles vast distances to keep fit and spends at least an hour at his writing-desk each morning, seven days a week. A colleague who has worked with him for more than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once. An acquaintance has attended several dinner parties where Coetzee has uttered not a single word.”

What this all brings to my mind is not that artists tend to be incorrigibly self-indulgent and ego-maniacal, but only that what is written, sung, photographed or constructed is just the story, the truth is usually what has been left out.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Yesterday Bill arrived in Thailand. I met him and Gary in The Outskirts of Hell (known locally as Pattaya) and had dinner at a Sizzler Steak House in the local shopping mall. The dinner was actually quite good. After dinner we went to visit the famous Walking Street of Pattaya where I saw things that one does not normally see in one’s day. This led me to surmise that the difference between heaven and hell is the difference between ignorance and knowledge and between boredom and experience.

PAPA JOE’S TALES AND FABLES:

Sometimes poetry can bubble up from the depths of despair. This from Irwin:

“Friday i came out of the bank. there was a man who came into the lobby and then went outside. i don’t know how to describe him except to say he looked scruffily dressed and reminded me of a former city councilperson who was one of the last white faces in Santa Ana government; outside of the long-time city manager who lives in Coto de Caza as does the former mayor who now is the right hand man at the irvine Company. i got the distinct feeling this fellow was either going to rob Citibank or was waiting for me so when i got into the oyonemobile i locked the doors started the car and drove away.

Yesterday morning i went to the market and was waiting at the fish counter (dover sole $9.99 a pound) when the guy came in and peered into the red meat display. When he left, i breathed a sigh of relief. When i checked out of the market and got to my car i could see him at the end of the parking lot next to the small free-standing building which houses “drs. r us.” Who is this guy and am i really seeing him again and again? i quickly drove away.

Today i thought about it a lot. i was thinking that maybe it was “death” following me around and checking me out. What i had to keep death away i don’t know but i suspect it was those adolescent tendencies of mine that when confronted i have just a few choices, to whine, freeze and/or make it to the closest door. What kept death at arms reach? Surely death could appreciate and have a real taste for a coward. Did he just decide that it wasn’t my time or that I was the wrong person?

At 2:30 am, i couldn’t sleep so i checked my email. i received an email from a former county CEO. In it he explained that he didn’t know what day or time it was; that his three year old romance ended when the woman died in their bed at the age of 37. i guess Mr. Death found somebody; hopefully it wasn’t in place of me by mistake. i have enough bad karma on my conscience.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

Map of Florin and Guilder.

Map of Florin and Guilder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a. Wisdom from The Princess Bride:

Inigo Montoya: ” Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.” 
Westley: “Have you ever considered piracy?”

b. From God’s mouth to your ears:

“And so humankind became abundant on the earth.
And daughters were born to them.
The sons of God saw that the daughters of humankind were good.
And they took for themselves any women they chose.
The sons of God had sex with the daughters of humankind.
Yahweh saw that the wrongdoing of humankind was abundant on the earth, and their thoughts were only toward wrongdoing at all times.
And he regretted having made humankind on earth, and it pained his heart.
And Yahweh said, ‘I will wipe out humankind from the face of the earth. Humans, animals, creatures, and birds. For I regret having made them.'”
Genesis 6

From this I deduce that God is Sicilian. See below.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I don’t want any woman other than my Ninetta, and if they [her family] don’t let me marry her, I’ll have to kill some people.”
Sicilian Mafia Boss Salvatore Riina’s statement on love Sicilian style.

Note: in most other cultures frustrated love often ends in suicide. See Romeo and Juliet.

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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