Musee’ de Clumsy

Words of wisdom from a bumbling American tourist, if you’re looking to endear a group of foreign religious pilgrims, let your transition lenses adjust from the glaring sunlight before making your grand entrance into the dark mid-evil dungeon that is Musee’ de Cluney.
I thought, wow, what’s that? and made a beeline towards a 600 year old wall-sized French oak relief sculpture, very dark, but obviously very cool. I did have an inkling as to what it was all about, because this was the period where artists got with the program or found their heads on the end of a stick.
The first thing out of my mouth as I tripped over the highly effective, “don’t step beyond this rope you stupid moron” sign was, “Jesus H. Christ” book ended with a couple of giant American fucks. That’s French for ouch that really hurt.
The floor was also made from a mighty French Oak tree, and it didn’t give an inch. You’d think with all wine the French drink they could have at least made it out of cork. I bruised a hip, cracked a knee and punished my pride.
My glasses were now fully in focus so when Jesus came in to view he and his followers looked none too pleased with me. I realized the looks of disbelief from the other patrons weren’t associated with my knowledge of J.C.s middle name. Just then I knew how an ant felt when being burned under a magnifying glass. There’d been a collective gasp and a synchronized genuflect, as they could barely believe their eyes or ears. The sleepy eyed security guard, on the other hand, could have been a statue, obviously not in it for the long haul and would clock out in a couple of hours. Where was his concern for my wellbeing? The only muscles he moved was a wiggling eyebrow while sporting a “nice going dip-shit”, French smirk.
Ah, finally, my loving wife, my one true ally. Her “Oh honey” spoke volumes in any language. It’s true she can’t take me anywhere. I did a quick tally of my finances and concluded that I came about a half meter away from mortgaging my soul or working in the gift shop for all of eternity before I dusted my self off and slunk away from near disaster while singing, “Oh Canada.”

The Collateral Damage of Trump’s Spiritual Bankrutpcy

I’ve had a temporary power outage. It’s been all things Trump, all the time. A form of walking pneumonia. I see his ugly hateful face, even in my dreams, and I seethe. I see a glory thirsty monster that would knock off the Dalai lama if he thought he could steal that title too. Man baby Trump is spiritually bankrupt, and he’s a guy who know’s a thing or two about bankruptcy. Practice makes perfect. He also  knows how to take down plenty of innocent folks along the way.

What’s at stake is not just an outlandish hotel or a fancy gambling den going in to foreclosure, or even lowbrow Trump vodka,  but our very way of life as Americans.

This is gambling and there’s no future in that.

After hearing some of Trumps plans, the people of Kentucky, who voted him in 5 to 1, are now anxious and concerned about losing health care. Boo fucking hoo.

Should have done your homework.

The supporters of this vile self-centered, racist, homophobic, pedophile, womanizing con artist do not have a monopoly on patriotism. In fact, I would now argue that opposite is true. You are all traitors, so fuck you. A vote for treasonous Trump was a vote for the death of our democracy. We still have what’s called a constitution with amendments in this country. You might want to educate yourself and check it out, it’s free and there is no shame in education, it isn’t a liberal conspiracy.

I ran across a quote by Isaac Asimov, ”

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’

This is an idea that the radical right have been hammering on for quite some time. Trump doesn’t read, he pays people to do that for him, then doesn’t listen. This is not a smart man, this is a man born in a gilded palace surrounded by people who are so out of touch that they believe they are the only ones who matter.

The self proclaimed “blue collar billionaire”, sits on a throne for crying out loud.

The gloves have got to come off now, we must call it for what it is. Is there no one in Washington left with a set of balls besides Elizabeth Warren or Elijah Cummings? The house and senate are falling in line just like the Vichy government did for Hitler. The threat is crystal clear, and it has an orange glow. One of the differences between Hitler and Trump is that Hitler came out of nowhere in Germany in a time of deep depression. Trump, on the other hand, has made his run during a time of economic growth and recovery from the worse financial meltdown since the great depression. He’s been a verifiable shit heel for decades. He doesn’t hide it, and doesn’t deny it. To his staunch supporters, it doesn’t matter.

This is not economic angst, we all know those high paying manufacturing jobs are gone. Maybe he’ll bring back the steam engine. Tell the truth, this is about racism pure and simple. How dare Obama for being born black in this country. This is a vendetta. Mr. Vendetta has spread his sickness like a plague and is hell bent on getting even, democracy be damned. He is one sorry ass excuse of a human being with no decency or admirable qualities visible through even the milkiest of eyes.

 

Name one thing Trump has done for someone else in his lifetime.

Me neither.

There are over 62 million people who don’t accept this nonsense and never will. I am one of them. I will attend rallies. I will give money to the A.C.L.U. I will be vocal. I will say something if I see something. I will call my Senator and Congress, everyday, if need be. And I will write.

 

How he has managed to co-opt American democracy with the help of a handful of angry neutered frightened white men in positions of power is beyond belief. All the so called educated public servants in congress fall in line as they watch him flush 200 plus years of “We the people”, down one of his 24carat toilets.
His, “look how rich I am”, shuck and jive is actually hitting it’s mark. I look out my window, I don’t see anyone coming for all the guns I don’t possess. I don’t see terrorists lurking in the dark, ready to maim and destroy me, but I do see Trump supporters and I am baffled.

Truth is the minor inconvenience that gets in the way of his murky vision of making America white again. Hence the push to shut down legitimate journalism. I’m worried that these folk are never going away, even after he gets his sorry thieving ass kicked out.

Gone Fishin’

Outdoorsy Pacific North Westerners, may remember fishing with uncle Henry or aunt Henrietta as a kid. Good times.  Fishing is also a junkies term for a heart stopping cocaine, or meth overdose, not so good times. I think about them every day.

Etched on my mind is John, brother of Michael, whom I spent plenty of time in state prison with and considered a home boy. “Put in a little more”, John said. In the spoon, he meant. Cocaine is like Russian roulette, you never know which chamber is holding the bullet.

John was persuasive, like most every junkie I ever met, so I complied. This was the umpteenth shot of dope in succession that night, so no big deal.

As soon as it hit his blood stream he started foaming at the mouth and crashing in to the walls. First the shelf of books nobody read hit the ground. Then the coffee table was upended and obliterated. That’s when the other three nameless junkies beat feet never to be seen again.

John was like that big Halibut that landed on the deck panicked for lack of water. It was truly remarkable and instantly sobered me up. He was literally bouncing off of the floor about three feet in to the air. I had taken C.P.R. in another life, I looked around and it was only me.

I couldn’t remember if it was three pumps to the chest with five seconds in between or the other way around. Fuck it, I launched in, cleared the foam out  and gave him mouth to mouth, yuck. I pounded on his chest, probably a little too hard, he had a bruise.

He came to.

“Get the fuck off of me, who the fuck are you?”

He didn’t know who either of us were for a time. I calmed him down to the best of my ability and recounted the story. He was happy to be alive before demanding another hit.

That’s what I’ve got to look forward to if I ever go back.

Grateful to be sober today.

My new manuscript, first public viewing

Here is a snippet of my new manuscript, working title, The Book of Ample.

Ample is the protagonist in this generational family saga. I don’t exactly know what she’ll be up to at all times yet, but I do care about her and want her to be around for a while. Now, I’d like to introduce you to her grandfather and promise she’ll show up in a later installment. I would love your feedback, please comment on my site. Hell, have your friends comment too, I’ll surely take them all seriously.

I spent 50 plus years researching my memoir, Fixed. As a 56 year old, I just don’t have that kind of time. I’ve got to make shit up, and fast.

 

Grandpa Dag

Dagmar Snorklson, suffered from impulse control disorder. His mind always seemed to be out of step with his mouth and body. He had zero comprehension of what the consequences would be after he acted out. As far as bad guys went, he was a good one, quite sensitive and always sincerely sorry for what he’d done.

A prison psychologist once noted, “trying to follow Snorklson’s thought patterns would be like chasing beads of mercury.”

So far, the damage was minimal, only having put the hurt upon himself. His malady would become a cycle of life and cost him years of his freedom. He would always have a room reserved at McNeil Island penitentiary. Alcatraz junior.

Dag had no criminal intent, nor did he lack money. He had been the recent recipient of his Dad, Olaf’s life insurance policy, lost at sea, sort of. Bested by an angry Halibut before Dag’s very eyes. As a coping mechanism, Dag had become obsessed with film noir and escaped in to play-acting. Once he got in to character, the lines of reality blurred, the shadows appeared on the wall and the jazz played loud inside his head. Kind of like yelling, “bomb” on an airplane, there would be no turning back.

The first time his spontaneous behavior cost him, he was 18. He and his sidekick, Mildly Intoxicated Danny, were on a shopping expedition at the Piggly Wiggly. Sent out by aunt Helga to get the ingredients for aebleskivers, a dough like, Danish donut desert, his absolute favorite. When Dag approached the counter with a basket full of the coveted Nordic ingredients, he morphed in to Little Cesar, a small time hood played by Edward G. Robinson, also one of his favorites. He un-holstered his fingers, and for shit’s and giggles said to Peggy the cashier, “Stick-em-up see, put the money on the counter and nobody gets hurt see, and make it snappy.” Peggy’s immediate shrill reaction was not lost on Dag. She was a big gal with big lungs and screamed the scream of all bloody screams. Dag sensed that things were going south in a hurry and turned a whiter shade of pale. Her reaction was not lost on the stock boy either. This was no, “I just saw a cockroach”, scream.

Dag, flummoxed from what he had set in motion, had yet to holster his yet to be fired forefingers. Still pointing and feeling a little sick, he moved his lips before he finally managed to get out a, “how much do I owe you for the groceries”, between Peggy’s shrieks. What Peggy heard was, any one of a thousand lines from one of her favorite slasher movies. What she saw through her +/-40 or so coke bottle glasses was either a Glock 9mm, A Walther ppk 380, a cudgel or any number of maiming, bludgeoning, garroting, stabbing sticking or killing instruments. She had a vivid imagination and more in common with Dag than she realized. She was exhilarated.

Gordy wanted to pitch on the high school baseball team more than anything, but was so wild he often threw clean over the backstop. He dreamed of the day he would get put into the game but hitherto had only ridden the pines. When he perceived a robbery in progress, he seized the moment, went into his windup and served up some serious canned heat, launching an angry 13.7 Oz. can of King Oskar’s flying Fish Balls swimming in water for a strike right between Dag’s Danish eye sockets right on the bridge of his nose. Fuck that hurt. He dropped him like a 150 lb. bag of famous potatoes, putting him on the disabled list. Felled by the King of Norway. Mildly Intoxicated Danny had locked himself in the toilet and was making love to his stolen bottle of Annie Green Springs and missed all the fun. Aebleskivers would not be on the menu for a while.

 

Help me write a kick ass book. More to come in the following weeks.

Thanks for checking me out.

Donald ‘Tang’ has me feeling awful

I feel awful. Not high winds, heavy rain, Pacific Northwest awful. This is far worse. This is “Dude, where the fuck is my country?” awful. It feels a little like a heroin hangover, like something is terribly wrong, and I don’t know how I got here. I’ve restrained myself from chiming in this election season for the sake of my diminishing sanity, plus I don’t want to go back to prison. If I did have a gun, I would shoot my T.V.

I wrote a piece a year ago during the primaries entitle, My stump speech. This was before Donald Trump, aka “Tang,” emerged as the sole clown left in the clown car full of Elephants. I wrote it with the idea that there no fucking way, yet, here we are. Rosie dubbed him the Orange Anus, I call him Tang because he’s completely orange. Not sun shine orange, but toxic chemical burn orange. Plus, the drink is meant to be consumed in outer space and he lives in outer space. I had to drink Tang as a kid and it too made me ill and full of resentment. All that’s missing for him is the orange jumpsuit.

At first, he was a curiosity, then an oddity before slithering his way into the Republican driver’s seat. Now it’s a national 50 state pile up. We can’t look away from the carnage.

I saw a quote by 19th century Chinese poet Lin Yutang today that read, “When small men begin to cast long shadows, the sun is about to set.” Didn’t really like the sound of that, but it made me think about ole’ Candidate Tang again.

I plan to vote with my vote, early and often and pray the sun will rise again on Nov. 9. There’s much work to be done. I fear there will be no gracious concession speech from the maw of this despicable creature. He can always appear on an episode of The Biggest Loser. Maybe he can win that. This is a guy with an eternal hard-on. Hell-bent on destroying anyone who doesn’t agree with his half sentences, nonexistent attention span and vitriolic bile. Unfortunately, Tang is just a placeholder for the insanity effecting the country. After he gets knocked out in the first round another Tang will emerge and pick up his hateful mantle. Where do we go from here, political whack-a-mole?

 

H.C. talks about affordable education for all. Tang supporters view it as a bad thing. A government conspiracy to make them smarter? How disrespectful is that. I got my education courtesy of the Bureau of Prison, a good one too. It helped me become interested in other people, and a little less self-obsessed. Helped me start reading labels. I found out what’s in that jar of Tang: secret shit that’s bad for you.

Buyer beware on Election Day. Read the label.

Forbidden Words and Phrases

The difference between gym socks and truffles is they don’t cost $300 per ounce, and any dog can easily find them. In my opinion, they smell the same. But not all words and phrases smell the same. I know what sound reasonable enough to use in everyday conversation when rolling off my tongue without the taste of socks, at least where I come from. As a perspiring writer I want to sound write. I also want to feel right, so I’ve put together a list of words and phrases that produce a visceral reaction, like the one I have with truffles.

Words and phrases that make my skin crawl

Vittles –n- Fixins, a combination of any or all unidentifiable animal parts cooked in hot grease, can only be used south of the Mason Dixon line.
Truth be told, except if you’re a habitual liar which covers about 30% of us.
Any word followed by N-stuff.
Know what I’m sayin’, yes, because you just said it.
No for the love of God, except if you’re an atheist, then, it would just be, for the love of.
In a perfect world could only be used by those living inside of a Leave it to Beaver rerun.
Not in my back yard could only be used by those who live in houses with actual back yards. For those who live in cars, Not in my back seat would be sufficient.
The word Fashionista equals 50 lashes.
The long and the short of it is a phrase that has confused linguists for decades. Glad I’m not alone.
The word genre would only be used when in France but would require a permit.
Maybe yes, maybe no, should only be used when asked, “do you want to die?”
After saying, all in a days work, one must have dirt under their fingernails.
No bumper stickers saying, My dog is smarter than your honor student, unless it can be proven that licking ass is part of the curriculum.

Fixed earns entry into running for $50,000 Kirkus Prize

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release

Kirkus Reviews, one of the nation’s most prestigious reviewers of books for the last 80 years awarded Fixed: Dope Sacks, Dye Packs and the Long Welcome Back it’s prestigious star award, annually given to about 10 percent of the thousands of books reviewed each year.

As a Star winner, the book is now entered into the competition for the Kirkus Prize, one of the richest literary awards in the world. “The award is $50,000 in each of three categories: the Kirkus Prize for Fiction, the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction and the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature,” its website states.

The Kirkus Review wrote, “The pathos here is all the more moving for being spare, understated, and well-earned from hard experience. A smart, occasionally wise, and always entertaining recollection of addiction, crime, punishment, and recovery.”

The Kirkus Prize winner will be named at the end of 2016.

The Kirkus Star is the latest in a series of awards bestowed on Fixed in 2016. This includes:

  • Finalist Beverly Hills Book Award“Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate.”
  • First Place, 22nd annual Colorado Independent Publishers Association and CIPA Education and Literary Foundation, Self Help.
  • Finalist, National Indie Excellence Award in the Addiction- Recovery category
  • Finalist, Reader’s Favorite Award- Humor category