Friday, November 27, 2009

In The Air Tonight

Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand
I've seen your face before my friend, but I don't know if you know who I am
Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you've been
It's all been a pack of lies

"In The Air Tonight" - Phil Collins

Well after months of griping about the hot and humid weather, I finally get what I've wanted this week. And tonight is the coldest yet with temps expected to drop down to a mere 41 degrees. I better enjoy it while I can. Cold snaps here are rarely enduring and this one'll be over by Monday with daytime highs back in the 80's and nighttime lows no less than 59. Ah well, I'll treat it like everything else lately...enjoy it while it's here...'cause we know it ain't gonna last.

I've been typing the past few posts with the new laptop (Mildred XII) but tonight I decided to use the desktop (Mildred XI) since I was browsing the net with her. I seem to alternate between the two pretty evenly. Well typing sucks on this one since the keyboard is awkwardly unbalanced on the retractable keyboard tray which has been stuck for a few months now and won't open beyond an inch or so. Plus the soft keys of the laptop are much more fun to type with. I don't know why.

I guess like Wayne, my sister is going to follow suit and ignore me after initiating a seemingly heartfelt reconnect plea to me in the first place. I mean, why did they bother? Just to make me feel like an idiot for being totally forgiving and nice to them after years of their isolation, not entirely perpetuated or even instigated by me. FEA, I say! FEA stands for Fuck 'Em All!

Ric is on my DNR (Do Not Resusitate) list too. No fault of his own, he's actually been cordial (for him that is) lately and he did invite me to spend T-Day with him as his mom and sis are down from Indy. I told him I had to work and was looking forward to the double time and a half (yeah, I still haven't told him). He's called me twice in two days and I've yet to answer. I guess he doesn't remember I despise "The Holidays" and tend to hermit away even more than usual during this time of year. I guess I'll eventually answer his calls. After all, our friendship has become little more than an occasional phone conversation consisting of 12 minutes of him talking about his mundane interests, 2 minutes of what's new with me, which is invariably not much, and then off phone "communication" by way of trying to annihilate each others armies in multi-hour sessions of "Civilization" played over the Internet.

The bug-a-boos of last winter are back. I guess they are products of the colder weather:

1. The fridge is noisy again. I can't understand why. Wouldn't you think a fridge would need to work harder in warmer weather?

2. Some small rodent(s) are scratching in the walls again. At least no big roaches. Maybe they're eating them? And there's at least one poor, starving gecko running around. I see him only every now and then and he looks thinner and thinner each time. I suspect he'll be a skeleton next time I spy him. Oh, let's not forget the ants. But at least they're Nature's Roomba. All this and I'm not supposed to have any pets.

3. The train whistle shrieks through the cool night air with more gusto and seems more "sinister" as if such a benign thing as a train whistle can actually be "evil."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Life On Lake Mary

Not only do I live in the city of Lake Mary, Florida, but I also live in a small house on the shore of Lake Mary, the lake the city was named for.

Our lake is not that impressive. It's pretty small, just a bit larger than the status of a pond. But it is geographically near the center of the city of Lake Mary so I can see where the name sprouted from.

I sit at my computer desk which faces the open windows revealing a pleasant sunset on the lake. I see a dock and to the left an old gazebo, no longer used, property of our neighbor who has just this past week demolished his house. Perhaps he's intent on building a new one. But the lonely gazebo still stands. I expect its time is limited.

Across the lake, I see several houses but they all seem a bit dated. Stuck in the 70's or 80's stylistically. I wonder how many of them will be "redone".

But it's very quiet here. During the summer we have the occasional speedboat usually towing a water skier, but now at the start of our "winter" life on the lake has gotten downright dead silent.

There's a radio tower, or something, way off to the south east, blinking its red light through the night. I imagine it broadcasts Lawrence Welk style music. Or perhaps AM talk radio discussing the economy and local politics. No doubt, whatever it is, it's dull and dreary.

Kinda like life sometimes is.

Here on Lake Mary.

Monday, November 23, 2009

FLASHBACK SPECIAL: What Goes Down Must Come Up

1971: "Root is sick!" I exclaimed to my parents and our party hosts Ma Tante Nuena (the old one) and Mon Oncle Francis. "She'll be fine, Michael," they assured me. But I went and nursed my aunt, stroked her shoulders and held back her hair as she barfed again into the bucket beside her bed. "Root..." I cried, "Don't be sick...get better!" Ruth groaned and assured me she'll be okay. Everyone was so sure she'd be okay, I thought, but she sure didn't look it. Could it be they knew this would happen from drinking those beers?

1977: Michael Drolet and I steal a few packs of Newport Menthols from the neighborhood convenience store. To celebrate we smoke as many as we can as fast as possible. I soon turn several shades of green and puke my guts out. I never touch another cigarette for the rest of my life.

1978: One Saturday while Mom and Dad are at work I sneak into the locked liquor cabinet by prying the fiberboard backing off. I empty half the bottle of vodka into a large glass and replace the missing fluid with water. An hour later, after I've drunk my vodka, I return to empty the half full bottle of JB scotch. I don't bother to "cover my tracks" by refilling the bottle with anything. I spend the next 2 hours in the bathroom hugging the toilet for dear life as I throw up what seems like every ounce of my insides.

1979: At a staff pool party for Bijou employees, I am offered, and accept, several Planter's Punches. I soon have to excuse myself to enter the basement bathroom and immediately puke up my drinks in the toilet. After flushing and composing myself, I get back out there and down some more. Damn, I'm not about to let a little nausea get in the way of my fun!

1981: After our usual "choir practice" at HoJo's, a couple of my waitress friends and I continue the party for a couple more hours. Our drink of choice that night: Taqueray and grapefruit juice. It's a school night so I bow out and ask for a ride home by 4:00am. A few hours later I'm walking to school and suddenly it hits me. I have to duck into the back yard of the nearest house. I puke a pile of gooey yellow-greenish slime and immediately realize I'm not going to make it into school today. I can't go home since my Mom is home so I decide to take the RIPTA bus to Providence and I hang out at the downtown Providence McDonald's 'till it's safe to go home.

1983: During a special visit along with Michael P. and his friend Marc Aubin at a premier gay club in Boston, I had "one too many" and I barfed all over the floor near the main bar as I was trying to hit on some guy. Not cool. We all left soon after and I think it was the last time I went out to the clubs with Michael.

1986: While out with my friend Linda, I quaff down 8 martinis in record time. After visiting the restroom to pee, I suddenly have no idea where I am or who I'm with. I find my car in the parking lot and manage to get in but as I back out of my parking space I smack lightly into the rear of another car. The occupants of that car demand compensation. I ignore their negativity and walk away. They call the police. I walk back to my car in order to escape this madness and find that I've locked myself out with the keys in the ignition and the car idling in park. I walk to the nearby train tracks, find a stray brick, put it in my overcoat pocket. I return to the lot and the police are there. By now, Linda has found me and as I tell the police officer that I didn't hit anything, she helps to defend me by providing an alibi. The party that called the cops cannot prove that the dent in their car was caused by me and the cop leaves. Though I'm totally plastered, I acted sober enough to fake out the cops. I use the brick to break the driver's side window to unlock the door and drive away. With Linda and her then BF Ed behind me. After getting to her house, I decide it's best to stay there for the night since my house is 10 more miles away. I silently vomit the contents of my stomach into her upstairs toilet late that night.

1991: New Year's Day. I had spent the night before playing cards, drinking champagne and eating shrimp cocktail with my parents at Ma Taunt Connie and Mon Oncle Emile's house. I was awoken by Emile screaming at me. I was sleeping in one of the guest beds upstairs and the twin bunk bed in the room had a sludgy pile of vomit all over it. I guess I puked in the bed I was sleeping in and made a quick, unconscious retreat to the other one. Emile rustled me out of bed and though I was suffering greatly with one of the worst hangovers ever, I dared not defy him. He was scary. He made me pull up the dirty bedding and hang it on the clothesline in the backyard. I then had to spray it all down with the hose. All in sub-freezing temperatures.

2004: Though I had puked many times over the course of the years, I'd by now gotten so used to it, that it was not worth mention. But now, one night in my little house in New Orleans, after fighting off the urge to buy alcohol, and it being too late to do so now, I decided to get fucked up with what I had. I drank a whole bottle of generic-brand Listerine-like mouthwash. I woke up the next morning and discovered that I had pissed in the oven and threw up on the stove top. I interpreted it as not a failed attempt to make it to the bathroom, but rather a sublime condemnation of my overeating which was making me fat.

2009: Vomiting after drinking is just so natural now, I don't even keep track, even if I do remember it. But most times I don't. It's by the grace of this function that I'm not bigger than I am. My teeth are soiled and stained from this. I don't want to look at them in the mirror anymore. At least it's relatively easy to clean up. As long as you don't let it dry up. Then it's a bitch.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Staring Across The Abyss

And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Staring blankly across the vast, dark abyss...vainly looking for the path on the other side. For what reason? It's not like I could conjure up an enchanted bridge to traverse the chasm.

I look around me at the small Empire I've built over the past few years of quasi-stability. It is indeed small, to say the least, yet it is proudly mine.

Like many times before, most notably February of 2003, will it all be lost? And sadly, at my own hand?

A quick estimate of a yard sale potential profit from everything I own rendered a sum of not even $300 (not including items which I should be able to retain such as the two Mildreds). Throw in those things as well as a quick, barter-less sale of Nugget and we now have about $4000.

That'd last about six months if one were very careful. And very thrifty.

But at this juncture, the abyss still seems like something that can be overcome. Come a month or two from now, as I'm in the midst of a deep depression and in full-on freak out mode...well...that's another story.

By then I may no longer choose to stare across the abyss, but rather to peer directly into it. And allow myself to be enveloped by its hypnotic, vertigo-inducing magnetism.

And fall...

fall...

fall...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

EDM List: 1981

breakfast item: Dunkin' Donuts coffee roll, warmed, with small coffee and OJ
lunch item: school cafeteria pork cutlets in gravy
dinner item: Mom's spaghetti and meatballs
dessert item: HoJo's hot fudge sundae with Praline Pecan Crunch, made by me
snack item: Nacho Cheese Doritos
beer: Heineken
wine: Paul Masson Chablis
mixed drink: Tanqueray and grapefruit juice
coffee brand: Dunkin' Donuts
soda: Diet Coke
non-carbonated soft drink: Minute Maid lemonade
prime time tv show: Dallas
late night tv show: The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
late late night tv show: Tomorrow with Tom Snyder
cable tv show: MTV videos
comic: Andy Kaufman
actor: Dudley Moore
musician/group: DEVO
visual artist: Andy Warhol
film director: Steven Spielberg
favorite movie: Arthur
computer game: Battlezone (console game at Dream Machine)
aerobic exercise: walking
weight-training exercise: carrying 10 gallon drums of ice cream
active pasttime: walking
passive pasttime: reading SK novels
best friend: John N. (early)
worst enemy: the owner of that body shop who threatened to kill me at HoJo's
favorite current pop song: "Morning Train" - Sheena Easton
most time-consuming hobby: JA meetings
biggest cheap thrill: stolen Playgirl magazine under my mattress
biggest fear: rejection by John N.
most realistic dream: to graduate next year
biggest pet peave: having to ask parents for rides
quickest killjoy: Paul Mondor in a bad mood

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SCRAPBOOK: Here In My Car

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars
"Cars"-Gary Numan


Here's a photo timeline of the cars I've owned over the years*:



Owned: 1982
Model: 1974 Pontiac Astre wagon
I bought this, my first car, from Paul D. at HoJo's. After Larry P. messed it up I sold it back to Paul a few months later.



Owned: 1984-1985
Model: 1972 Oldmobile Delta 88 Royale
Good thing gas was only $1.25/gallon then, but it still was very expensive to run. Especially once it started needing a quart of oil per day! I sold this costly land yacht for $25 to just be rid of it!



Owned: 1985-1991
Model: 1981 Ford Escort ST (Think: The model pictured painted silver-grey with an orange racing stripe and fog lights)
Oh, I liked the looks of this car since it was my first "newer" car and looked great with its styling, including the really cool sunroof. But she had troubles from the start. A heater that refused to work, a thirst for oil and transmission issues galore. Eventually after an engine fire, and failure of a totally rebuilt engine, I let her troubled motor seize one frigid winter night, walked away, and never saw her again.



Owned: 1987-1988
Model: 1979 Mercury Monarch
The first and to date last time I'd ever owned more than one car at a time. The idea was two bad cars are better than one. It really just meant more money for the State of Rhode Island with 2 registrations and 2 excise tax payments. Thankfully, this was during the age of optional car insurance...and you know I wasn't having any of that. This car was stolen sometime in the spring of '88 and I never saw it again.



Leased: 1989-1990
Model: 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier SS
Another car I liked for its styling, but it ran like shit. It was leased from a likely-Mafia-run dealership in North Attleboro for $88/week! And I still had to shell out my own ducats for the thousands in repair costs I endured over the course of the time I had it. After moving back to Woonsocket from EP in December '90, I dropped this off "after hours" near their lot, effectively breaking the lease (but without them breaking my kneecaps).



Owned: 1991-1993
Model: 1982 Subaru GL
For the first half of 1991 I had to borrow my father's car and deal with the baggage associated with that, so when a friend of my brother's had a car he was selling for a steal I couldn't pass it up. The catch? It was a manual transmission. I failed to learn how to drive stick years before when I tried to learn in prep for my Germany trip. But now it was sheer nessessity. So I bought it and learned on the fly. Once I got the hang of it though, I loved stick shifts and sought them out ever since.



"Owned": 1993-1994, Really Owned: 1994-1999
Model: 1993 Geo Metro
The Subaru was starting to need expensive maintainence so I decided to buy a new car. This time, a brand-new car. But since I had just declared bankruptcy a year ago, my credit was shit. So mom bought it and after a year of payments from my checking account, I was able to get the loan transfered to my name. I undoubtedly put more miles on this car than any other I've had...over 90,000 by the time I traded it in for $300 in December 1999.



Owned: 1999-2003
Model: 2000 Ford Focus ZX3
The first time I owned a car earlier than the model year and the first bought brand new under my own credit. It was also the first to be formally named. My friend Jesi at DM named her "Millie" as in Millennium. (Remember how we had to drop the word millennium into every sentence back then?)



Owned: 2007-2008
Model: 1999 Buick Century
How good it felt to be back "here in my car" after all these years. Even if it was 8 years old, had no A/C and its engine ran precariously hot. She served me well 'till that scary day on the way home from the Space Coast.



Owned: 2008-present
Model: 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt LS
Ah, Nugget! The Chevette of the new millennium. I kid her. She's a good car, never gives me any trouble and is great on gas. Hopefully I'll be able to keep her through this new crisis. Or maybe she'll be my new home? Whatever will be, will be.



*The pics are representative; not actual photos of the cars I've had.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FLASHFORWARD: January 2011

Yeah! I found one of those new plastic dollar coins in the gutter at the end of the alley this morning!

Who would have figured that after many failed attempts to get spoiled Americans to use a dollar coin the solution was to make it out of lightweight plastic? Turns out people didn't like the previous metal ones since they weighed down their pockets and purses and could scratch their phones. Good thing for me they're almost weightless...all the better for someone to drop one and be unaware of their loss. This is the second one I found this month!

So this buck, added to the $14 I collected earlier in the week, means I can finally buy a small 12oz box of beer. I've been jonesin' for it bad!

Don't get me wrong, the pills distributed by the Department of Citizen Safekeeping are a fair substitute but gettin' to sip an ice cold black-market Canadian brew every now and then is just so fine! Though I do miss American beers since they've all been bought up by foreign companies or banned by the Obama Politburo.

"Oh, don't get me started about Comrade Obama," I grumble to myself since no one else will listen to a fat grizzly bear of a dirty homeless man lying on a pile of cardboard in a dark alley. Except maybe for the 50 or so others in this same spot who call this "Barack Backwater" their "Home Sweet Home."

"We can't blame our fate on the Peoples' President," some old sot growls at me from his dumpster a few feet away, "at least he took care of the greedy corporations that put us in this mess in the first place!"

Yes, he did nationalize virtually all industries and left the rich high and dry in order to fund the Glorious Peoples' Fund, the vast coffers of which he was able to bring about so many new changes...free medicine, free healthcare, free food and free housing. The latter though, turned out to be short-lived as available units were immediately filled to capacity and we latecomers were left out in the cold...literally.

Well, like I said, at least I'll be gettin' some beer in my belly...maybe tomorrow there'll even be work? It's like that song from "Annie", you know, "The sun'll come out, tomorrow...bet your plastic dollar that...."

"Arrrgh," I gurgle as the old sot comes over and slits my throat with his grimy knife.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All Hail The New Co-Queen!

All the stars lined up in a row the night before last:

The sale price was fantastic, almost too good to believe...

I had the available funds, including $100 in free gift cards...

I'd thought about it for a while now, so I felt the time was right (despite other events)...

I knew that having a new toy to play with would help relax me and keep me focused in the trying times ahead...

So I took the leap and for the first time since the mid-90s, I bought a new computer to accompany my existing one. That is, it's not a replacement due to failure or obsolescence of the previous model, it's simply just another computer.

What's more, it's my first laptop.

Yes, dearies, Mildred XII has arrived!

She's a super-slick looking Toshiba Satellite, totally brand-new and loaded with Windows 7. Though she's superior in power, speed and capabilities to Mildred XI, she'll reign side-by-side with her predecessor...at least for now.

I still have a few things to get to make my desk a total command center, like a wireless router since as it is now I have to unplug the network cable from the desktop and plug it into the laptop for Internet access. I'm picking up occasional wi-fi signals but I was told that I should be wary to access those unless I know the source since they might be dangerous as they expose me to threats, but then I think, "In my neighborhood?". That'd be like reverse Robin Hood. The rich stealing from the poor. (Now thinking about Chase policies towards its customers...) Oh that's right, I better stay off those feeds!

And speaking of Chase, did I happen to mention that I got fired yesterday?

Yup. Here we go again kiddies!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The 6:45 Paradox

When I think about it further, I realize that 6:45 is quite a unique time in one's day. It's probably the most similar in appearance to its counterpart taking place in 12 hours.

You see, right now, with the recent time change and all and given the season of the year, if you take a look around you at 6:45, it looks, feels, and sounds just like the other 6:45 of any given day, whether it's AM or PM.

For instance, I just woke up from a sound sleep a few minutes ago...at 6:45. I looked at the clock but it was too far away to tell if it indicated 6:45 AM or 6:45 PM...and just looking around, I really couldn't tell.

This wouldn't happen in too many other time periods after all. If it were just 15 minutes earlier or later, the look around would have given better hints as to whether it was morning or evening...6:30 AM would still be dark but 6:30 PM would still be light enough...7:00 AM would be too light to confuse it with the darker 7:00 PM. But right now, during mid-November in our latitude, 6:45's sunshine, or lack thereof, seems to be almost exactly the same be it night or day. It was fairly dark, but with a hint of sunshine. The question was, waining sunshine or the onset?

I couldn't tell by the way I felt since I thought I felt I'd slept for a full night and felt very refreshed. But that can happen with a good nap as well, no?

Being on a quiet lake on a dead end road didn't help. Dead silence is the same in the morning as it is in the evening.

The temperature during our current cold snap is 60 degrees, be it crack o' dawn or twilight.

It was a surreal feeling, not only unsure of the time but not even knowing if the day were beginning or ending, and not really sure what day it was at all, for that matter.

So I sat up in bed, rubbing my eyes and thought to make it a Schrodinger's Cat experiment in quantum mechanics.

I asked myself: "So what do you WANT it to be?"

I thought for a bit and decided that I'd like it to be PM since it seems I would have at least 12 more hours than the alternate choice to add to the accumulation of time I'll have alive on the Earth.

So, by the mysterious powers of cognitive restructuring and quantum phenomena I can claim emphatically to have discovered the secrets of time travel and quasi-immortality.

If it WAS actually tomorrow at 6:45 AM, I guess I moved everyone in the Universe back half a day in time. Sorry if you just completed that great symphony, having the best sex ever or you finally beat Jenga, I guess I robbed that from you. Oopsie.

Yeah...well I think I deserve a freakin' Nobel Prize.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What A Conundrum

Oh, brother!

Getting fired from this company is like undertaking the Sisyphean task of repeatedly pushing a boulder up a steep hill only to have it kicked back down again before you can reach the top.

I go in yesterday (my Monday) and even dressed for the "big event"...my termination, that is. I thought Laura would be there awaiting me, pretending nonchalance until I read in ESP (the almighty schedule software) that I was scheduled for a meeting with her, probably around 9:30ish (so she could gather some HR-required co-management "witnesses" (oh, I know the drill...) and reserve the "bubble chamber".

I even wore my contacts instead of my usual Armani eyeglasses so I could look her straight in the eyes, watching glibly as she shakily tried to seem at ease with what couldn't amount to more than one of her first dozen terminations, I would think. She's only been in management for a couple years. Well, in this field with its notorious turnover, who knows?

But she wasn't in.

After opening Outlook and reading through last Friday's email, I found out that she was on a motivational seminar all day today. Having psyched myself up for what I thought was the inevitable, I was now tasked to just go about my day, business as usual. Well, screw that, I thought. I made it to 2:00, then sneakily logged out and slickly walked out. On the drive away from the building, I called the "callout" line and left my message stating I'd left work early due to illness.

So now it came to this morning and when the alarm clock rang, I just didn't feel up to it. I'd spent the night squirming in bed fitfully and barely got an uninterrupted hour of sleep all night. I called out again.

Around 10:00am, a call came in. I recognized it as a Chase number. I didn't pick it up. After a voicemail message was left I listened to it. Of course, it was Laura stating she was concerned and that it was "imperative I call her back to discuss my employment with the company". When I called her an hour later and told her I felt bad that I was out sick due to my chronic diseases but expected to be back the next morning. She said she'd see me then and we'd have a chat.

A chat! WTF! Why not just do it right there and then?

So now I have to wake up early in the morning tomorrow and actually go into my job for what will surely be my last day there...right? I mean this "chat" should be an acronym for a Conversation Highlighted by Abrupt Termination...right? Arrrgh!

I swear, if they don't do it, then I'll really get back at them, the bastards...

I'll stay, dammit!

And we all know what a great asset I am to any organization.

Monday, November 09, 2009

FLASHBACK: February 1997

I was due for a vacation. A real one. One where I actually went someplace different with fun things to do.

So I made the arrangements and soon I was packed up and headed down to Florida in my car.

The drive would be the longest distance I'd ever attempted. I'm not sure if I thought I could make it from Rhode Island to Florida non-stop but I found out that once I reached southern Virginia after 12 hours of driving, I was pooped. I chose a small town just over the border into North Carolina on Rt. 95 called Weldon as an overnight stop. This town would turn out to be a frequent midway overnight stop on 4 more pan-eastcoast car trips within the next 12 months or so.

I made it to my sister's mobile home in Vero Beach in the early evening of the second day of my trip. Cindy had made some spaghetti with Hunt's sauce. Jan came home from work a bit later and we stayed up and chatted for a while. I was tired from the drive so I went to the spare bedroom they prepped for me and fell fast asleep.

I woke up in the morning amazed at the sunshine, green grass, palm trees and warm breeze coming in through the open window. Just a day before, I was in cold, snowy and grey Rhode Island.

Unfortunately my pleasure was interrupted by a little tickle against my skin from under the covers. I pulled back the blanket to reveal my first discovery of a wayward, and enormous, palmetto bug. I jumped up and screamed. My sister and Jan chuckled at me after they saw it. "Welcome to Florida!", they laughed. Yes, as I would find out in the coming years, these encounters are not that uncommon.

With Cindy and Jan working, I drove up to Orlando and went on my first visit to Universal Studios. In these days it was just one park but I found it still daunting to do in one day.

Saturday was Cindy's birthday and we celebrated by picking up Bobby, Jan's son, going out to eat and later setting off fireworks in a vacant lot near the house. Later, after Bobby was returned to his father's, we three sat around and drank...diet sodas. Yes we were all recovering alcoholics but my sister confided in me that she and Jan sometimes took the edge off by doing a little coke here and there. I didn't say as much but I thought that was like trying to escape the frying pan by falling onto the fire.

The next day both Cindy and Jan had to work so I went out to find entertainment on my own. I went to the beach but it was dead being now only early March, and it was a bit cool for laying out, even for a northern boy like me.

I happened to see a sign advertising a rodeo so I made my way to the fairgrounds they were holding it and sure enough, it was a real live rodeo with bull riding cowboys and stands full of rednecks. What's more the beers were only a dollar each for a good 16 oz. cup! And I found they were lax to collect the $1 much of the time!

I had promised myself that I wouldn't drink while I was visiting with Jan and Cindy since I thought it would be disrespectful. They didn't know I was occasionally drinking again. They assumed I had, as I told them, been dry since '92. Well, for the most part that was true. It was just this past year I'd been slipping. Since shortly after my previous trip to Florida visiting the folks...and Sea World.

After a long, sunburned afternoon, and 12 beers, I was headed out of the rodeo but my buzzed head wanted more so I made my way to a TGI Fridays or something like that, had a few Sam Adams at the bar and then later found myself driving north on a dark, winding road near the seashore.

A car slowed quickly in front of me unexpectedly. Well, perhaps I was incorrectly speeding forward in a turn lane. No matter. I rammed into the back of a Camaro, causing some minor damage to its back bumper. But my little Metro suffered a big huge front-end dent and a buckled up hood. I got out and approached the other car but once they saw that I was undoubtedly drunk they starting shaking me down for money. I promised to give them a few hundred dollars, went back to my car saying it was in there but instead got in the driver's seat, quickly backed up, turned around and sped away. As I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see them shaking their fists at me.

But as the adrenaline rush of my great escape wore off, the alcohol was taking hold once again. I started passing out at the wheel. I was totally lost but kept thinking that if I could just go a bit further I'd see a recognisable landmark and find my way back to my sister's house. It turned out that instead, a local cop found me.

When I saw the lights and heard the siren behind me, I knew I was fucked. I knew I was very drunk and wouldn't likely be able to talk my way out of this. I only hoped he didn't find out about the hit and run I'd just committed.

Not to my surprise, I failed the field sobriety test and was arrested for DUI. I blew over a 2.0 at the station and was turned over to the county sheriffs. They took me to the Indian River County Jail.

I was printed, photographed, strip searched, showered, deloused and placed in an orange jumpsuit with matching orange plastic sandals. I was given my scratchy wool blanket, single white sheet, pillowcase, small toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap, plastic comb and jail rulebook. The C.O. escorted me to a cramped cell which already had four guys in it.

They grumbled loudly at having been woken in the wee hours of the morning and having to squeeze another inmate in. I slept on a plastic mattress laid out on the concrete floor near the toilet so as I tried to sleep off my hangover I had to endure guys pissing and shitting within inches of my head.

Oh what a joyous vacation!

The next morning after the plain grits and fatty sausages that passed for breakfast, I tried to reach my sister but only got her answering machine. I left the message that I was in jail and needed to be bailed out.

As the day wore on and I heard nothing I got more and more anxious. I called many other times but still only got the answering machine. (Unlike the movies, you don't have just one call, you can use the phone whenever you want, provided it's available. Otherwise you wait in line.)

I also called local bail bondsmen but being from out-of-state and having no collateral, they didn't want to touch me. One guy agreed to help me when I told him my sister owned a mobile home here in town. He finally got a hold of my sister when she came home from work and around 9:00pm after what seemed like an eternity, I was free.

After picking up my car from the impound lot the next morning I stayed with them for one more overnight but I left early the day after that since now my vacation budget was ruined as I was looking forward to the fines.

So with the sun just rising, I bid my goodbyes and arranged with them plans for a ride back here from Orlando airport in just four weeks for my court appearance.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bridge Burning 101

First off, let me just begin with a little disclaimer about my previous post so you won't think I'm a total ghoul. My little horror fiction fantasy sequence described in it was written before the recent goings on in Texas and here in Orlando. It's a total coincidence that those horrible incidents of workplace violence occurred right around the same time as my little story. It's kinda spooky weird, actually.

That said, now on to this post, which has some connection to the prior one in that today I have to report that I've decided how to deal with the work stresses I've been dealing with.

Yes, that's right, I'm basically "embarqing" again.

Only twist is, I'm gonna make them pull the trigger. (Or string up the noose as in the picture above. Whichever metaphor floats your boat.)

Despite my discussion with Laura on Thursday regarding that supposedly "bad call" and my poor attendance, I called out yet again. Not just one day but two days in a row.

I'm planning on showing up Tuesday morning and hopefully, finally, I'll be fired on the spot. I mean they gotta, right? I'm over all this "all talk and no action" bull.

I'm told I'd qualify for unemployment that way rather than doing what I usually do and just never showing up again. We know from earlier this spring that won't get me some State supplied tit milk.

Contemplating the nomad life again, too.

I look around this place, and since it's so small it takes just a second to do so, and I wonder, "Why pay for this each month?" I sized it up and my hideaway pull-down bunk bed is no bigger than the backseat of my car. I'm gonna try it tonight to see if it actually might even be more comfortable in my car.

I can sell Mildred and the remnant parts of her predecessor sitting in the closet and replace her with a nice, new laptop.

There are tons of blogs that tell how to live a boondocking lifestyle, and do it comfortably and safely. Even in a car.

I mean, why shouldn't I? I figure when you've burned as many bridges as I have, you may as well keep on the move. Otherwise you're likely to burn that last bridge and trap yourself on some lost island and never be heard from again.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Another Bloody Workday Daydream

Laura peers towards me as I'm sitting quietly at my desk on break.

"When you're off break, could you meet with me?" she asks so politely as she smiles so innocently.

I cut my break short by a few minutes in order to meet with her since I'm concerned over what this meeting might be about.

"Am I in trouble yet again?" I wonder.

I approach her desk on the floor and she motions for me to follow her to "the bubble", a private room where managers discuss issues with employees which may require more privacy. Like if they need to fire you.

"Oh boy." I think to myself, "What's up now!?"

Laura asks me to close the door and she brings up a recording of one of my calls on the computer. It's yet another in the endless series of whiny bitches trying to get a reprieve from the company induced butt fuck called a CIT. Change In Terms. Basically, it's a Dear John Letter from Chase to it's card members who are deemed less than profitable. In essence, it says to the customer that they should pay what's remaining on their account and look elsewhere for a future credit card 'cause they aren't making the bank enough profit and they pose a potential risk.

Should we expose this truth to them? Not quite so concisely.

There in lies the problem with this newest call. I was way too honest with the devalued card member and the bitch took offence. Both of them. The idiot card member and Laura.

*So as Laura is admonishing me about the call, I ensure that indeed the door is locked. I move within inches of her and pick up the computer flat panel monitor. Using the sharp plastic corner of the monitor as a piercing bludgeon, I strike the smarmy cunt hard, squarely in her left temple.

The rigid plastic of the monitor corner digs deep into her head, smashing through thin skull bone and pierces her idiot malfunctioning brain matter. Blood spurts throughout the room and as she slumps to the Berber-carpeted floor of the private conference room, twitching in her death throes, I drop the now broken monitor to her side and cooly spit on her face as I see her eyes roll back and her mouth gasp its last feeble breath.

I wipe as much of the blood off of my shirt and pants as possible, take a minute to compose myself and walk out to the hall. I take the elevator down and quickly, but quietly, exit the building.

As I pass along the hall featuring a museum-like display of JP Morgan Chase historical images embedded in pretty niches in the wall, I look over at the 19th century sepia-toned photograph of JP Morgan. I sneer at him as I walk by and it seems that his eyes follow me as I move down the hall. It looks as if he is watching me.

I don't know if he seems to approve or disapprove of my actions, but with a wink and a nod, I leave his ghostly portrait to come to that conclusion on it's own.

(NOTE: The above story becomes fiction after the asterisk.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

They're Here!

In about half an hour, ABC will air the revisited story of the mother of all alien encounters in sci-fi-dom. I'm referring to none other than "V".

I loved the early 80's. And one of the iconic (albeit a bit cheesy, but that was part of the fun) sci-fi TV events was the miniseries (followed by the weekly series) of "V".

I'm not going to write about the plot or storyline since it may now be different since this new series is a re-imagining of the original. But promos look promising.

I'll report in subsequent posts about my pilot debut impressions, but I hope it won't be in disappointment.

Very little meets with my standards on network TV these days so hopefully I'll be able to look forward to Tuesdays as "V" night with salivating expectation.

Yes, salivating in the same way an alien in "V" would if presented with a nice, juicy mouse.

Yummy!