Jun 8, 2019

It’s only make believe.

So much time can go by without being able or having the compulsion to write. Not so much that I haven’t had the compulsion just not that I’m forcing myself to sit down and do the work.

Yet, I’ve been trying to get so much other stuff done...


Starting in the fall of last year I began putting into the works addressing two big ‘issues’ that had been put off for far, far too long.

One was the maintenance on the house (which has deteriorated considerably) and the other was the teeth situation.

The house ordeal meant going and getting financing and nothing is easy. The bank I bank with spent about three months running me through hoops for no good reason other than to screw me and when they dropped the ball that opened up the opportunity to push forward and seek out other avenues and it actually proved I cut a better deal than I would have.

So Wells Fargo, FUCK YOU.

In the meantime once I had that in place it meant a whole new odyssey had to start and that was getting actual work done on my house which meant starting with the roof. I had three contractors come and give estimates one which was wildly amazing.

The other thing is loving the way some contractors feel that they are able to do business which is basically to come by, look at what you want them to do and then pull the magic number out of their ass.

This has led to some interesting discussions in my driveway like the one I had with one guy who came from a local contractor who advertises on all the cable  channels and whose truck one sees frequently but who also gave me an estimate that was one and a half times bigger than the other two I received and when I asked for specifics he replied that they weren’t in the habit of doing that.

So I asked him about his truck...

And I said to him that it was a nice truck and was it his? (yes) and when he purchased did the dealer just give him a number and he paid it? (I don’t see you point)

Yeah fuckhead, you do but I’m sure you won’t admit to it.

I had a contractor come to give me an estimate on fencing and I received from them (a day late) a very detailed contract they expected me to sign along with their estimate which was one line and a number. No breakdown of cost whatsoever.

I got a call from them this week, which was good because it saved me having to write them an email but the question was whether or not I received their estimate and I plainly told the woman I didn’t know how to respond because I thought it was something of a joke where I pointed out to her how detailed the contract they wanted me to sign was but how vague and lacking in detail their estimate was.

‘Well, that’s the way they do these.’

Bullshit, you can bet they don’t just pay their own bills that way. They wouldn’t be in business long.

Then I was talking to someone at work about it and she was saying how as a woman she has to deal with this all the time but it’s not a question of being a woman I think as much as being direct and forceful about what you want.

I’m paying for this shit and every penny that goes out is coming out of my pocket so I want to know where it’s going and if it means I have to be a prick about it... well fuck them.

On my roof, I decided to go with Lowes... they came in with the same price as the contractor up the block from me did and I figured big company better level of service.

WRONG.

Never again. One problem after another with these clowns. Tons of phone calls that I’ve had to make. The job still isn’t done even though I signed a contract with these bozos in April it’s amazing. Then again I looked on Yelp and the store that this is being jobbed out of (Yonkers) has something of a reputation but I can tell you right now that I’m putting on my mega prick outfit and this is going to be a painful experience for everyone because it’s been a huge pain for me.

Today I got delivery of materials so we’ll see when I get my roof, hopefully by next weekend this is done after starting it way back in March. And the roof is only ONE of the jobs I’m trying to get done in terms of renovation for the summer!

And the teeth?

That too is proceeding... after getting three teeth removed, having oral surgery and a tumor removed, having bone ground down and having had a temp bridge in the teeth are at a point now where we’ve got the shade and I go for a fitting of the perm in two weeks. Then it’s six crowns, already paid for but work should be completed by the end of summer.

Then it’s just bone graft and SIX implants. Yeah, it’s really THAT BAD!

So, it’s not as if I can’t say it’s been busy and this is with what’s going on at work as well and me trying to figure out about dating and other things too so... yes, I don’t feel like I’m getting things done but maybe they are moving forward.

May 15, 2019

Game of Thrones.

So, I've been watching Game of Thrones Season Eight (even though I don’t have HBO) and I have to say i didn’t realize there were only going to be six episodes.

Thing is, I’ve heard a lot of people carping about the latest episode (episode five) and the truth of it is I thought it was one of the better episodes of the season.

Somehow there is this idea that war is pretty and it isn’t. If you’ve read the books than nothing in the latest episode should come as any surprise. People are calling Danearys the Mad Queen but nothing in her actions really is far afield from the character’s path.

She’s a young women who had lost so very much, two dragons, her stars and sun (her Khal), Jon Snow apparently in a struggle to return to the seven kingdoms and reclaim her birthright and she recognizes at this point no one will give this to her and she is going to have to fight and make it clear that she is someone to be feared and that’s exactly what she does.

Beyond that, it was violent and enjoyable, violent and brutal and it was juxtaposed against Jon Snow watching it all in horror which really was perfect.

Some people have been asking why all of a sudden a single dragon can be so formidable forgetting that the weapons used against the dragon were something of a surprise. When it became clear what she was up against, Danearys knew quite well what she would have to do.

Also, if you have looked into any of the backstory of Game of Thrones you come to realize that Aegon the Conqueror acted in EXACTLY the same way making it clear he was not to be trifiled with.

I loved it, a lot better than the episode against the White Walkers which was shot so things appeared too dark. It was really amazing.

I’m rewatching it now and it really holds up well. They’ve never made a dragon appear so fearsome it was just amazing!

May 12, 2019

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the reception...

So, my Saturday was spent out and about because I got a wedding invite and really couldn’t beg off even though I might have wanted to.

Thing is, I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion there is a lot to detest about people and really I can’t say I’m happy to spend precious minutes wasted on decorum anymore. As my life clock runs down, I’m becoming more selective about where and how I spend those precious moments.

It’s especially true when it comes to spending that resource on people who I know won’t do the same for me...

Yeah, it probably sounds a bit selfish but I’m not apologizing for it anymore.

A distant cousin’s daughter got married and really the couple looked great together. You know I realized afterward if I had only gone to the church service and not the reception I would have been much happier.

The ceremony itself was a beautiful thing, strangely enough... the groom is a recent immigrant and the ceremony was done in both English and Italian so that added a different dynamic to everything.

Now I’m not a big churchgoer in the slightest, I’m not particularly devout in any way if that’s how you measure piety but I did enjoy aspects of the ceremony. I realize there are some trappings of the church I could do without, the archaic symbolistic things  that have been tagged onto the faith through the years.

Like where did this cheesy singing come from? Where do this odd modernistic art (very seventies) come to adorn a church?

Anyway, the priest was actually great. He was older and spoke fluent Italian and what he touched upon was the things that make religion a relevant part of people’s lives in a way that most folks forget today and what he did during the ceremony and the things that he spoke about were a lot more relevant than one would think even with the trappings of religion draped around them.

I can say they were enough so that even though I detest a lot of this kind of thing I did find myself tearrng up.

I guess one of the things that’s important to people is that you show up. They’re having a party and if nobody comes it sucks so I did my duty on that front even though I can’t say it was much of a crowd I would mingle with and the folks I would mingle with probably looked upon me like the old fart I am now.

They all looked like babies really.

Thing is the crowd of the bride and groom’s circle are in their late twenties and early thirties and so they’re really not that young anymore but there is enough of an age gap that I can’t look at them more as babies really.

Anyway, the service was really beautiful... the reception. Well, the thing is the venue was astounding, it was and the food was really good but man everything was drawn out sooooooo long I left after a certain point.

I did my duty but I’m paying for it today because it was exhausting.

And then there’s the thing about being around certain people I just don’t want to be around anymore.

When people disappoint you in a big way, you never quite look at them the same way again even if they don’t know it. I can’t go into details but a spouse is something of a problem going forward even though they may not think it’s as apparent as they would like. There is nothing overt mind you but plenty of little ways you can tell.

And... I made a BIG contribution because I set a standard a few months back but ugghhh.

I am so very, very glad it’s over. People I haven’t seen in two years and aside from any kind of significant event I doubt I’ll see again until 2021, thank goodness!

May 5, 2019

When people off themselves.

This past week, I found out a friend that I had a falling out with killed himself.

It didn’t happen recently, it happened a few years back but that still doesn’t make it any better.

You know what life is like? You know what it’s like when you rack up a whole bunch of years? People are frozen in time.

See, we all age. We all get old (if we’re lucky that is) but that also means we all change.

I have this image of myself in my mind... me at 35 or thereabouts but that reality is shattered every time I look into a mirror and see and old, greying overweight guy staring back at me. In my headspace I’m not any different but out in the world? I’m plenty different now.

It’s the thing I want to tell some of the folks I work with... you know who I’m talking about. Those are the people who are invincible, the people who think the world is just stretched out before them and things will go on forever but they just don’t acknowledge the truth and really none of us do.

Somehow, I was at work and we were a little slow and I’m doing the roof thing and was looking at lawyers to look over the contract (and the roof thing took a turn of its own this week) but one thing led to another and I found myself looking up that old friend. A friend who had gotten his law license and who practiced law.

This was a guy I was close enough to as to actually take a trip to Tulsa more than once to hang with back in my early thirties.

I actually spent a pisser weekend in Topeka with said friend while he knocked up our host and then did a vanishing act. He was class all the way.

You aren’t supposed to speak ill of the dead but he was about 5' 6", thin as a rail, with a square jaw and some thick frames with a clean shaven face... he would start drinking early in the day and go through an entire case of beer before the day was over even though he weighed 150 lbs at most.

I mean here was a guy with a hollow leg.

Now, I can remember some very brutal times with him... not for me mind you. Brutal times for him, times where there was a confluence of events that bought about drama in his personal life I had spent a lifetime trying to avoid.

Maybe it was friendship as a spectator sport, I don't know.

But his drinking got the better of him eventually... he got more than a few DWIs and ultimately even being a lawyer and knowing the law didn’t help him out of the jam and he wound up serving time in jail.

You know, it’s a waste.

And it’s sad too.

Now, I didn’t stop talking to him, he stopped talking to me and I understand why he did. After that weekend in Topeka where he left our host holding ‘the bag’ as it were while she was trying to finish law school herself, her being a single parent already, it really got me angry.

That and the fact that our host made it clear my friend made a point to arrive before me if only because he thought our host would take an interest in me and he couldn’t have that. So, he needed desperately to beat me to the punch. It’s a guy thing, really but still be a stand up guy no matter what.

So, I was left dealing with the fallout long distance after I returned and he did a vanishing act on the woman in question and I had to try and be the shoulder she cried on. It wasn’t fun and when I talked to him about it, he knew he had responsibility but he was just a shit.

This triggered something in me...

And so, a short time later I wound up going out with one of his old girlfriends.

It was a relationship that lasted for two years but the truth of it was I to this day believe she was Machiavellian enough to have done it only to hurt him. Her husband (who she was separated from at the time of our relationship although not so clearly) was the former brother in law of a woman my friend had cheated with while the two were living together.

Such drama.

Anyway... lots of twisted people. The fact that all this was going on in the backdrop of a crowd from a well known liberal arts college who were all in New York City at the time and one of whom would go on to be a notable author is a bit beside the point.

I went out with her and ultimately of course he found out because she told him (like we couldn’t see that coming) and of course he was upset with me (not her) because women don’t make their own choices don’t you know.

And this past week i was doing a search for lawyers and though to put his name in and then came across a headstone.

Weird.

So, I reached out to the aforementioned shared flame (and I know women rarely want to hear from men they once slept with) and asked if she knew whether or not he was alive and in this case she wrote back and said he had committed suicide.

I feel bad only for one reason...

When a person winds up taking their life it’s usually because they don’t see the benefit of pushing on. I can understand this better than most, I’ve been there. I suffer from depression... horrid, brutal depression. The kind of consuming emptiness that people who don’t know or who haven’t realized that pain can’t even imagine the ache, the hole in someone that manifests itself physically.

Now, at the same time... I’ve had dear friends of mine face death. I’ve had friends who have struggled clinging to life, doing their best to fight when their bodies have rebelled against them. I’ve even been in situations myself over the last few years where things looked somewhat bleak and what has struck me is that in those moments you realize what a value each day has!

After that happens even when you get depressed you have the balance of knowing how hard you will fight when the choice isn’t yours.

And it’s here now that I only wished I could have spoken to him before he arrived at this decision.

It’s not as if I believe in some arrogance that I would have changed his mind but I would have liked to at least voiced the opinion if only to give him pause because really when you get right down to it... EVERY SINGLE DAY IS A PRECIOUS GIFT AND IT’S SOMETHING NONE OF US SHOULD EVER FORGET.

Apr 29, 2019

Seriously?

I made it ten minutes into Game of Thrones and I already knew who killed the Night King. I mean all it took was one very long look by one character at another to telegraph the plot point. I wish they hadn’t done it, it was cheesy to say the least.

Now, I’ve refrained from putting in the first few lines but after one quick scene, all it took was for me just to head over to my browser and enter some quick words and of course I was right.

Couldn’t we have done something better?

Apr 26, 2019

We are OUTRAGED!

You know after 18 months the truth of it is, I’ve tuned out quite a few idiots.

I don’t know if they realize it or not but the constant hysteria becomes more than a little tiresome after awhile. I mean, when you overblow the smallest of things and try to create panic from them don’t be too surprised if people start taking you a lot less seriously.

I’m talking about the snowflake storm that continues every day over the President.

On one level, what the Left in this country apparently don’t get is that there is a whole swath of the nation that enjoys watching their hysteria. Honestly, I have to say that it hasn’t ever been Republicans who ended friendships over political choices I’ve made but it sure has been those ‘open minded,’ “super smart,’ and liberal people who consider themselves Democrats.

It hasn’t happened just once either I can tell you that.

That’s okay though in a way because I think it puts relationships with people in perspective. It also tells you volumes about a person’s maturity level.

Anyway, there is a part of me that is enjoying the mock panic.

Also, I can’t help but notice the double standard so often embraced by our friends on the Left.

So this week we have Paul Manafort getting hammered as well as Michael Cohen.

In Manafort’s case he was nailed for things he did long, long before he had any relationship with President Trump. Mind you Manafort was only involved in the Trump campaign from March of 2016 to August of 2016. He was chairman of the campaign for three months of that time. However, what the story is, is that Manafort and the President were fast friends, intimate allies with a long standing relationship.

Not really.

Oh, and by the way... the thing that is apparently glossed over in much of the discussion of Manafort is this:
The Podesta Group had worked with Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, on lobbying the US government to legitimize former Russian-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
In case you don’t recognize the name, the Podesta Group is also the company run by Hillary’s campaign manager and his brother. That’s right Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Tony Podesta and his brother John formed the company that was working with and for Paul Manafort.

Awww... but that has NOTHING to do with the Clinton’s, right?

And while we’re at it, you know there’s a big deal being made about a meeting at Trump Tower.

Let’s look at that in greater detail as well as some other things...

You know there’s this company Fusion GPS that funded the Steele Dossier. We always hear how the Steele Dossier rwas funded by Republicans but, that’s a lie:
The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele. Nor did we have any knowledge of the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie, and the Clinton campaign.
Let’s roll this whole thing over for a second. The Democratic National Committee went to a Foreign Spy who obtained Russian propaganda to smear the reputation of their opponent.

If you really that’s okay, let’s switch it up and say the Republican National Committed went to a Foreign Spy who obtained Russian propaganda to smear the reputation of their opponent.

Well, we know BOTH things happened but it appears that only one side is liable while the other side (the loser) is blameless.

And what of that meeting in Trump Tower?

It appears the person in that meeting was meeting with the folks from Fusion GPS before AND AFTER the meeting:
On Monday, Mark Corallo, alleged that the meeting had been set up under false pretenses and implied that Veselnitskaya’s association with Fusion GPS was relevant to the alleged deception.

“Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier.”


Fusion GPS told me its work on the Prevezon case had nothing to do with the 2016 presidential election and they were not involved in the outreach to the Trump campaign.

Okay.

I guess we should just take them at THEIR word, right?
 You know the Mueller report was released and I started this long before that and of course even when it was released people STILL weren’t happy because they didn’t get what they want which was having the President removed from office.

Be honest for Christsakes! You folks won’t be happy until the guy is out.

Thing is, you’re so preoccupied with that you don’t appear to notice that things aren’t really all that bad and if anything they’re better than they’ve been in a long, long time and boy do you folks hate it.

Remember when people were talking about College graduates not being able to find jobs?

I do.

Remember all this fretting about trade and stuff and how we couldn’t change the dynamic with China?

I do.

It just seems time and time again for all the fretting, hysteria and worry much of what the people are hysterical about really isn’t manifesting anywhere near the way they’re predicting. You want to win in 2020, you better work on that.

Oh, and let’s take a good long look at some of those folks you were saying would sink the President and were so tough and how they were truth tellers... Michael Cohen anyone? The future Democratic candidate Michael Avenatti? Do you want to keep going?

I see lots of fact checks on the President but surprisingly little when it comes to the folks at CNN and MSNBC and believe me if there was anything near the level of scrutiny going both ways you’d be looking at these folks askance.

Think I’m making it up? Take a look at this jewel in retrospect and tell me that again:



Apr 25, 2019

A mighty wind.

I’ve gotten back into reading fiction lately. Usually it takes the place of me destroying more brain cells playing solitaire on the morning or evening commute.

I just finished another book in the Dark Tower series... the Wind Through the Keyhole and it was a good and quick read. I actually snagged a large print version and maybe that helped but it logged in a little under 500 pages and that made it easy to digest.

I have to admit I’ve become quite the fan of the series since I started reading it and I highly recommend it. It’s different from King’s other works in that he builds his own mythos here and it’s fun!
Yeah, so I managed to get through the Dark Tower series...

This past year, I managed to get through that, all the Game of Thrones books and the entire Expanse series of books among other things.I’ve rediscovered reading.

I like it, it‘s nice to come back to something you enjoyed once before. There are even times on the weekend now when I don’t plop myself down in front of the stupid computer but wind up on the couch reading myself to a nap.

I think Doug Adams will be next when I finish what I’m currently on.