Saturday, June 20, 2015

When Intellectuals Throw Down

I've been wanting to put this video up for a while now, because there has been a lot of hype about William F. Buckley as of late due to a memoir that has been written by his son, Christopher. Before I talk, maybe I should pick up one of his books. But my time is restricted to reading books I know are not written by possible antisemitics, so instead I am posting this so we can all have a good hearty laugh at his stuffy accent. Gore Vidal sued Buckley for public slander (he was called a homosexual by Buckley.) Vidal had affairs with Anais Nin, as well as some men. An interesting fact about the feud between Buckley and Vidal is that it never ended. When asked how he felt about Buckley Jr.'s death by a New York Times reporter, Vidal responded, ""I thought hell is bound to be a livelier place, as he joins forever those whom he served in life, applauding their prejudices and fanning their hatred"



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Hope...

Zev Rathe at seven weeks

Friday, February 27, 2015

Short and Sweet

I've always told my friends that the only qualification I have for a partner is that they can always beat me in speed chess. 
I'm not interested in playing Twister. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

One Answer to Cynicism

More often then not, I tend to fall back on what I learned in college as truth, not rhetoric. Especially a Ethics class I took at the community college level before I transfered to a University. We live alone, we die alone, we dance together.

At 25, I worked at a French Cafe outside of Annapolis, Maryland. In the five years, off and on working there, I only had three rude customers. A decade later, I still miss some of them. But there was a time in my personal life that interfered with my happiness.

An understatement.

I came to work on my scooter one day, with no hope that this day would be any different, and the stress and heartbreak at the time was unbearable. Walking into the main office to drop off my backpack, the owner pointed to a guitar standing up, and said it was mine. I was thoroughly confused. And overly excited. There was a letter taped to the guitar, in an envelope with one word written in a thick, black marker: Rose. After reading the letter, I called who the one person who I thought would have done this, and got no confirmation. Later it occurred to me who did this, which makes it all the more awesome. And yes, I cried from joy, and surprise, and the fact that someone could be so kind with nothing in return. So the concept of Egoism (the one that made me lose so much hope over the years) is bullshit. And this is why:

Dear Rose,

Word has gotten around about your desire to do some guitar playing.
Well, you will need a guitar, hence my little brown friend.

I found him for sale in a parking lot at a Grateful Dead show in Atlanta
around 1987. I had flown into Atlanta for the shows (there were two) and I
was desperate for a guitar so as to join in on the parking lot jamming that
was a trademark event at all Dead show parking lots.

I bought him from a New York Deadhead who needed money for gas to
get home. His history before then is a mystery, but being found in a Dead
show parking lot helps to give the guitar great MoJo.

He hasn't been doing much lately, so I cleaned him up and strung him
with very light strings. Still, your finger tips will get a little sore until you
build up some callouses.

He's not a particularly "great" guitar, but he's friendly and eager to be
used. I would move up to medium lights as soon as your fingers can take it
as he won't sound his best with the light set I put on him.

I'm sure he'll be a good guitar to learn on. He is modest and earnest.
(something we could never say about an electric guitar)

He will need to come back home one day, but only after you've tired of
him or have upgraded to a better axe. When you are done with him, just
leave him leaning up somewhere in the front of the shop and I'll see him
and bring him home.

You might want a tuning fork, the little music shop near your shop will
have one and they can show you how to tune with one.

Have fun and don't worry about bumps and scratches.

Enjoy!

Anonymous

P.S.His name is Harvey, like the big white rabbit. (I think he was a Pooka
before becoming a guitar or he may still be a Pooka pretending to be a
guitar. If you're not sure what a Pooka is, rent the old Jimmy Stewart movie,
"Harvey")

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm fairly positive I know who the person is behind the awesomeness. One day I was working and moody, and a musician asked me what was wrong. I wanted a guitar, but I told him I'd never be able to afford one. That was about five months before this generous deed. I knew his wife as well. Both very unpretentious, beautiful souls in an environment of snobbery and pretense (Annapolis is the Yacht capital of the country, if not the world.)

After this gift, I never saw either the musician or his wife again. He wanted nothing from me at all. Just to help make me a happier person. The following day I posted a handwritten thank you note on the cafe door with a rose. It stormed that day, and I found my gushing thanks you letter near a storm drain, soaked and illegible.

The timing of this anonymous guitar was divine. There are some things that are too personal (or controversial) even for this blog. But it gave me such hope, when I was in the ninth circle of hell. This man will never know how much that meant to me, and that is the only sad aspect to this story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Since I Very Rarely Pee My Pants-

Best of Craigslist:

You Farted During "Boyhood" - mw4m
There we were, just enjoying a nice quiet Saturday night at the movies. A slow mover, Linklater's "Boyhood." Some popcorn. A few sodas. Nothing really happens in the film, we found. For about 90 minutes or so we stare listlessly at the screen. It's a thinking man's film, I say. Beautifully shot. It's about life, and death and relationships and things of that nature. Just then, at a brief, carefully-timed cinematic pause in dialogue, an enormous fart from somewhere in the back pierces an otherwise silent movie theatre. It had the impact of a baseball bat hitting a leather couch, or George Foreman working the heavy bag. Whack. Loud, deep and masculine.The seat cushion heroically absorbed most of the blow, but not enough that each and every person in the movie theatre instantly burst into nervous laughter. The laughter continued for what felt like a good 5 minutes, until tears streamed down our faces. Even well after the blast, we quietly chuckled to ourselves with a 'remember the time that guy farted in the movie theatre' gleam in our eyes. And just like that, with a soft chuckle and a deep breath, we were back into the film. Things happened, people drove around Texas, relationships came and went, there was crying, there was hope. It was as if we had all forgotten about the fart that had brought us together that night. As the sun began to set on screen, the teenage boy, no longer a boy, transitions into an adult, before our very eyes, and looks, intently, lustfully into a young girls eyes, as if to lean in for a kiss, and braaaaaaap. Another fart from the back row, like two giant hands clapping together, and the screen goes dark, roll credits. We decided, after laughing our way out of the theatre, and all the way home, that this was the best movie that we had ever seen. I imagine the lone fartist sauntering off into the sunset. His work here done.
If only I could say thank you, kind sir. You are truly a master of your craft.
post id: 4601986978

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In Memory of Ronnie Launius

This blog is not about Ron Launius, but should focus on the exploitation of murder and the glamorization of criminal activity. I can not express how much my heart is not in this blog...But, I spelled Launius correctly so damn it, I chose to write!

About a week ago, before I drifted to sleep, I thought it would be a good idea to write about him, because I've been trying to get a sense of his personality, and you can't do that with very few provable actions and hearsay. I can make deductions though. By the way, after I thought about writing a blog about him I actually laughed to myself: That's the stupidest idea I've had in a while. But it ate at me and it's 2 am. I'm not sleeping tonight. I'm trying to understand things!

When my tiny, 98 pound aunt carried a 100 pound television from our living room, through our kitchen, and out the front door- which I did not know until I heard a spray of gun shots outside my bedroom window- I decided to take Ken Kesey's advice from the end of, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and help myself to the liquid codeine cough syrup in our home. From there, I realized it helps.

What I'm trying to say is that, about a decade ago, I took the fast spiral down into heroin use. For almost two years. I was also a damn good hustler. Every move becomes like a chess move. Or you could just do what Ron Launius did and grab a gun. Now that I'm older, I'd probably do the latter if I decided to flush my life down the toilet, because I was a young women then.

Was Ron Launius a desperate heroin addict or did the war turn him into a criminal? Probably both. Did he rob a bank to get his wife back safely from bad men who held her hostage? Then exact revenge in the name of his wife? Probably not. Did he kill 27 people? Ah, no. Serial killers don't get that far. I think the police would have bagged him a long time ago with 27 cases, "open at the time of [Ron's] death." Finally, the question that intrigues me most. Was Ron Launius really one of the coldest men a California police officer had ever known? This is where I begin what I believe to be true in his case.

His face was like a sucker punch, because he was beautiful. He was beautiful to me; also my height (5'7), not very heavy, and blonde with blue eyes. As a friend of mine commented when we looked up his photo: He is not at all intimidating. Ah, some of the most dangerous people are the one's you never see coming.

Any heroin addict now knows someone who knows someone who has at least heard of someone connected to them that did something potentially violent to get the drug without paying up. The more the heroin controls you; and this is sheer, raw, and screaming pain- the shorter the chain is in knowing someone who knows someone who has robbed for drugs. In many fashions. Which is what Ronnie did creatively: Robbed smaller time drug dealers.

The pain makes your legs just walk to find help. But I've still known people with integrity, even if it means to take the pain. I wrote a blog about a heroin dealer who looked a lot like Launius (probably why I'm writing this, it now occurs to me) who anyone but me would have described as, "The coldest person I have ever met." When a group of people not connected say, "This guy has anger issues. I won't let you meet him," and the people saying that don't know each other, well, it's probably true.

The fact that at his death at 37, Launius had cirrhosis of the liver, as well as hepatitis, tells me a lot. He was into hard drugs for a long time and was probably a moody person. One who wives estrange themselves from. When you are into drugs that long, you start to know very dangerous people. He was one of them. Yet, people have blogs about his, "character" when all we know is his military history, that he was married (apparently twice), and he helped a murderer cover up a dead body. He may have murdered a narcotics officer. Also that he punched John Holmes in the stomach once, which is baffling to me.

People seem to glamorize him because he was a blond haired, blue eyed enigma, and he was called 'The Leader of the Most Feared Gang in all of Los Angeles.' His life is not to be glamorized or ignored. I can assure you that that man has been through a lot of pain. He chose a bad road; but maybe he had little choice.

To rob someone with the professional ferociousness that he did to Eddie Nash speaks volumes about his history of break-ins. 20 minutes is all it took to reduce someone to beg for their life. Ron Launius cared more about the heroin then humanity. I have no doubt he has the propensity to be a horrendous person.

Now exploiting his death makes me equally irate. Today I saw a photo of John Holmes' post pubescent girlfriend walking with a smile for the cameras and a t-shirt with the words, "Wonderland" across her chest; Okay, she did not know anyone who died. She did not meet anyone who died. Yet she's made it to the big leagues by advising in a Hollywood movie about a fuck face, accessory to four murders, whose dick she sucked. Great fucking life achievement Dawn! She's SELLING MURDER. Period. A whore in every sense of the word.

Finally, if anyone wants to shoot me up with White China heroin, then nearly instantly kill me by putting a lead pipe in a 300 pound man's angry hand, just contact me. They died; at least he died, in bed, on China White heroin, and probably did not have time to think before he was killed.

Epilogue-
Perhaps it's my insomnia, or my distrust of police information in a Wikipedia article, or being paranoid about what the media does to glamorize tragedy, but I was wrong about his character. It also shows my anger and my innocents. You can't be labeled a feared gang leader without earning the title. Apparently there is a very well written blog where the guy is not lazy like me and does a lot of extremely developed research. I believe that he was a contract killer and yeah, he probably did kill 27 people. I stand by everything but those facts. I wanted to hurt myself as a heroin addict. I was just so sick of having that drug dependency. Not all people are a like though. He wanted to hurt other people because of his addiction, and maybe he was a sociopath.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lawsuits 101

This blog is my 1st in over a year.

Last May 31st, 2013 (a Friday), I had to stop writing blogs due to being severely injured in an accident.

One vain California driver in a white Nissan Murano SUV hit me off my brand new Veno Classic (it's the Japanese version of a Vespa) and instantly branded me with the first few digits of her license plate. At that exact instant, she turned me into an Austin resident. The bitch branded me. Austinites drive poorly.

Here is a play by play of the accident, which is tattooed in my brain. This bad driver was coming out of a huge Chase bank and waiting to merge into Austin's busy, Jetson-like highway: The Mopac. Her front windows were tinted and rolled up. For some reason her boyfriend was in the back seat, and she was talking to him by looking up at the mirror while simultaneously checking herself out.


Now, here is where my case gets...murky in the legal sense. Yeah, I was driving on the sidewalk. Yep, that's me. It's not as bad as it sounds. The road to get the grocery store is about four miles one way. You can take the same road on the other side back, but there is a moment where one must cut through the Chase Bank parking lot (small and most accidents happen in parking lots, my aunt always told me) OR you can slowly take the L shape of the sidewalk length of the Chase parking lot back. It's about 30 meters, as opposed to going the "correct way" which is a good twenty minutes of road merging, danger Will Robinson scream your Rosary-type scary. I chose the sidewalk. Actually, I've been using that sidewalk every day for over a year. So I've successfully communicated with the person/people driving out of the Chase parking lot about 365 times without getting into an accident.

Now I measured it: After you pass the outlet for the bank, there is two yards of sidewalk before a "path" takes you directly to my home. The word "path" is important. Unfortunately, there is a huge red sign that says, "WRONG WAY" directly were that woman hit me. But its's directed at cars on the road. Not Vespa's on a sidewalk. My apartment complex was so close. Let me add that I saw a huge Harley driver riding on this sidewalk.

No motorized two wheel vehicle can go fast on this sidewalk. You will die. The reason is that a pole holding up a light post is at the end of the L. If you go over five miles an hour, you'll slip out into traffic. Simple physics. You have to go slow.

Back to the memory before the accident. It was an automatic look I now know, but impossible not to know at the time. Many times people do not give me permission to pass. Many times they do. Many times they don't see me and I notice so I stop. But since she did her automatic glance at me while I was slowly wrapping my Vespa around the pole and on the sidewalk parallel to her and yards away, her brown bob shifted left and right. She was smiling. She gave me the necessary room to pass her.

My helmet is DMV certified, and ugly as hell. Expensive too. I look as though I should be slowly bouncing off a ladder in space onto a unknown planet.

The epic thought that went through my mind when her bumper hit my thigh- not my Vespa (appropriately named, "The Love Generator")-was:

"WOW. SHE HIT ME."

No curse words. No James Joyce like conclusion that, "Will no one understand?" Nope. Simply that I could not believe she hit me.
That accident was one of the greatest mishaps to happen to me. First, it gave me a nasty concussion. Even with my space ship helmet, which dented after my head bounced off Austin's fastest highway (The Mopac), I still thought it was pretty cool that I had my first concussion.

The accident was double the pain. Now, over a year later, I can laugh at the screaming message I left in my California doctor's general mailbox: I was in an accident and it tore the skin off my arms, knees, my stomach! All because I'm fat! I could not wear jeans because I'm too fat for anything but shorts! Go to hell, please.

That's true. My insomnia in California is treated with this stupidity pill with a side effect of sleep. I literally gain a pound a day, until I flat line at 150 pounds. Usually, I'm not even close to that heavy.

Side Note: That stupid pill is also dangerous. I took one more then I should have in California, and I had to go to the emergency room. That particular hospital saved my sorry ass more then once. Here is the trick which you should only use if you have real insomnia! I kept yelling, "I have classes to go to tomorrow. Let me out of here!" The doctor on call was from Kansas. He said he is from a state that gives medication to people who need medication, and not weird drugs with extreme side effects. He immediately released me with a prescription of Ambien.

Later a friend saw the same doctor in the same emergency room asking for Valium. He was given nothing more then a lecture, and security escorted him out.

Okay, on to the legal part:

In a nutshell, this is how our country's legal system in accident claims works:
You call the insurance company who was responsible for the accident. They ask for photos. Red flag!

Also, imagine me taking a picture of the actual scene of the accident. WRONG WAY!

Can I add that the woman also had three inch stiletto heels on? Tinted windows rolled up while looking in the mirror, talking to her boyfriend (who was allowed to be included as a witness on her behalf) and spikes for shoes.

Sending in your own photos of your vehicle injuries and your injuries means that the other insurance company will give you nothing. They know you know nothing if you take on a big bad insurance company like Rambo. This is why we have lawyers.

If you go all Rambo, they will string you along until your superficial injuries heal, then deny your claim like a cold heart gangster. Now once your claim has been denied (and they will) they will use severe fear tactics to scare you from getting a lawyer. They deny your claim and the bastard who tells you so on the phone while your mouth has dropped to the floor will hang up and accept their new promotion.

The person who does the stringing along and calling and denying has two years of college training on this subject. My nightmare's name was Diane Grace. When my jaw hit the floor after she said in the sweetest voice possible (not joking), "We decided to give you n-o-t-h-i-n-g." I responded in shock that I am going to have to sue her company. Her response, "Go ahead and get a lawyer. I'll explain the law to him too."

Know this: A lawyer is not allowed to practice law until after they pass a three day long bar. A former neighbor's son had a stroke while taking the bar. My ten year, on and off relationship with a law graduate with a high IQ does not help me get ninja-like revenge on all who hurt me, because he has not passed the bar yet. It's been six years too. You can not take the bar at your leisure. Once you fail, you have to wait a year or more.

My point is that it is very hard to be a lawyer. So when the claims agent tells you on the phone, just as she told me, "Get a lawyer. Go ahead honey. I'll explain the law to him too." Keep your cool. Actually, you should have never gotten to this step anyway. If you are in an accident, get a lawyer as soon as possible. Also, go to the emergency room as soon as possible. The more hurt you are, the more work a lawyer will put into your case. They get a percent.

The claims agent putting the fear of God into you is part of their formula. Get a lawyer to escape this trap. Otherwise, regardless of how win-able your case is in the eyes of the law, the insurance company at fault will always reference that your first claim was denied.

My lawyer was probably the best in Austin. Certain a very moral, handsome, young, family man. During our first meeting, he had to excuse himself to join his pregnant wife for a Lamaze class. I liked him almost instantly. Remember, your lawyer works for you. They are paid to worry about this stuff for you. I kept thinking he would assume that my personality is repugnant and drop me. I stopped writing blogs. Writing is my favorite therapy.

My lawyer only spoke to me in person three times. I worried that my case was not worth a lot to him and in reality it was not. He took a pay cut to give me more spending cash. He negotiated deals with my physical therapist. Everyone reading this needs to get at least one back adjustment. They are about $43. They feel amazing! Essentially, I went from one orthopedic surgeon to a physical therapist to MRI techs, getting muscle relaxers, pain killers, back rubs, and words of compassion. Every other day in physical therapy I listened to good music (it's true that Austin has the best music in America- at least the best in the most unlikely of places) got the pain rubbed out of my back, and talked to my chiropractor about what my essay will be for my Master's to come. Like the L. Cohen song, "The Sisters of Mercy," these people worked together to tackle my pain.

I took my insurance money and put some in stocks. Actually a new topical pain medication that came out when I was hit by that damn bad driver looking in her mirror as she accelerated with three inch heels. My angels where there to protect me. Other then some cool looking scars, I'm a more careful driver (though it was never my fault) and I appreciate life more.

As for these blogs. My greatest blogs are the words of others: William Blake notes. I'm still rusty from a year. The January 7th Nativity blog marked the point when I was allowed to write something. I used one finger on a tiny smartphone to type that blog. Yes, I am rusty. But I'm getting back to writing again.