April - Spring Has Sprung
RayzRealm (c) April ,2002
"George Dubya is our current president"
Only kidding, April Fool!
PARENTAL ADVISORY: Although the Area51 flight recorder is normally a place where any profanity is seldom used. The word Penis (or the P word) appears "again" in this month's journal.
Monday April 1
Sunday: My Easter visit with mama went ok. She doesn't have anything interesting to read laying around, but is always looking for something for me to look at. She handed me a mail order catalog from one of those health supplies for seniors mail order houses, "oooh this catalog has some good things in it." Maybe I don't have that long until I will look forward to getting the latest flier containing adult diapers, walkers, crutches, home diabetes testing kits, trusses and support hosiery.
As I thumbed through the pages (yawwwnn) noticed one item for men, that promised to restore bigger harder erections and right away recognized it as a penis pump kit. Now I have heard that a lot of younger men of certain persuasions buy these in hopes of proving Kinsey's averages way understated. You can purchase these on the wrong side of the tracks in many towns, where men and women can be seen leaning against lamp posts and buildings, flagging down passing cars. These are the same parts of town where you won't usually find a Starbucks, Pottery barn or Gap store, but will be able to locate such upscale establishments as "Zelda The Whip Lady's" massage parlor, Turkish baths for men, sexual toy stores, Madam Luna's psychic readings and video stores that carry titles you'll never find in any Blockbuster. This is where I would expect to find penis pumps for sale, not in a mail order catalog for seniors. And some insurance's may pay for these devices.
As I thumbed through the pages, there was also an ad showing a woman giving herself a relaxing facial massage with a device that looks a lot like a "pocket rocket" (oh all right, dildo). As if people buy these items to scratch their backs and other "hard to reach" places. Of course the personal massager comes with a tube of lubricant (for dry itchy skin of course).
"Yes I'd like to place an order. I'd like one of those penis pump kits, a 55 gallon drum of extra lube, a vibrating facial massager, a 6 month Viagra refill, a dozen of those rubber male genital rings, a box of amyl nitrate ampoules in case I have a heart attack. You'd better add a walker, wheelchair, crutches, six-pack of pacemaker batteries, and some adult diapers. I'll need this stuff also to recover from all the sex I'll be getting."
Well enough of that for now......
Today I was almost afraid to boot up my workstation when I got into work. Sigh! the missing database was still missing, like I was hoping the tooth fairy or Jesus would restore it while I slept. After a bit of digging through manuals, it struck me (duh!) that the database had become detached. After all the angst I put myself through, running one 15 second stored procedure brought Lazarus back from the dead. Despite the easy fix, we had numerous other problems that became temporary show stoppers. Our closing cycle usually runs smoothly and event free, but this month's is proving to be a rough bumpy ride all around. "Nyea Nyea, you thought production would run smoothly....APRIL FOOL!"
I found a couple of interesting articles over the weekend, plus a new zine link. Media Censorship comes from AlterNet. For all you Lone Gunmen conspiracy buffs David Icke archives has tons of stuff. I hardly see any articles lately that mention UFO's, Among believers came from AlterNet. And lastly for today I found a link to a nice online version of Yes Magazine I found this while sitting in my chiropractor's waiting room after work today.
Friday April 5
On the way to work today I heard about some a new technology on the news. Seems there's a new sensor that could very well find it's way into new cars in the not too distant future. It would be in the steering wheel and can tell with very few false positives if the driver has been drinking. It would then notify the nearest police car that a drunk driver was in the vicinity, sort of like Lojacking drunks. As uncomfortable as I feel about sharing the roads with drunk and drugged out drivers, this will be yet another invasion by Big Brother.
What might be next? With all the obsession over sex and sexual acts, perhaps a sensor that can tell if a male driver's fly is down, or that can sniff out semen in miniscule amounts. Call the highway patrol, call the morality police.
I pray I never live to see the day when they perfect a device that can read minds, the ultimate in thought police, "Jesus take me now!" I used to be a technology junkie, but today I have to admit that some new emerging technologies give me the woolies.
As I drove home today I noticed the rudeness and impatience levels have returned to (if not exceeded) their pre-911 levels. I was waiting in the supermarket checkout line and this young professional woman was giving the zit faced kid at the register a tongue lashing over a coupon for cat litter. He was trying to explain to her that the coupon was NOT for the brand of Kitty Litter she had in her basket. It was bad enough that she had a cart overflowing with groceries in the 15 items or less line. He went off to see the store manager, and while he stepped away I overheard Buffy mumbling, "oh shit, he was right". Do you think when he returned that she apologized? Of course not, she tossed the cat litter aside, accusing the store of not advertising specials clearly enough. After Buffy rushed off with her panties all in a knot, I whispered to the kid, "I can feel for the crap you have to put up with. I worked in supermarkets as a checkout cashier when I was in high school; got fired from three of them."
He looked back at me surprised, "fired from 3 stores?" I replied, "yep, one wench like the one that just left gave me such a bad time I finally got fed up and whipped her chocolate cream pie at her." That got a chuckle out of him.
Speaking of rudeness, I found Rudeness is Getting Worse on CNN online. Public Agenda Online also has an interesting article regarding rudeness Aggravating Circumstances a Status Report on Rudeness is worth a gander. On a lighter note, I found a great parody site dedicated to God's favorite Christian Jerry Falwell Parody on InternetParodies.org. Another weekend is here, and as usual, no plans and no place to go.
Saturday April 6
I called Bob last night, who also didn't have anything to do today, pending a potential date, so told me to come on up. When I got up to his place was informed that the date was on, so I'd have to bug out later in the day instead of the usual open ended invitation until whenever.
We headed over to Rockingham Mall. I still needed to pick up some Levi shorts for Summer and hopefully some 2xIst or Calvin Klein or Jockey Athletic briefs (preferably in black). Everywhere I go they have tons of boxers, longish briefs but seldom any string bikinis. We hit Filenes, Macys and Sears; no dice. As we entered J.C. Pennies, a woman at the entrance handed us each a candy bar that contained a coupon for 1-20-30 to 35% off all purchases, excluding sale items. I for a coupon for 35% off all purchases. I for 2 pair of Levi denim shorts and "yes" found black Jockey athletic briefs, so picked up a dozen pair (that should hold me along with the dozen or so pair I have). I could now throw out the underwear drawer full of six-pack for $10 briefs I used to get at K-Mart. I came close to buying Michael Moore's "The Awful Truth" season collection, plus "Roger and Me" on DVD, but decided to hold off. I'm really enjoying his latest book, "Stupid White Men".
After shopping we stopped for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's, then headed back to his place to chat about collaborating on creating a truly world class satiric, irreverent web site over tea. We've had this conversation a couple of times, and perhaps some day, it will bear fruit.
I just received an e-mail from Doug, my pen-pal from Chicago, who is now living somewhere in Thailand. It was short, just a note to let me know he made it, and that where he staying at the moment every living being drives some sort of motorized vehicle.Ahhh, the entire planet is getting more and more addicted to fossil fuels. When the supply really runs out, I wonder if 12 step recovery groups from petrol will spring up around the world, "I knew I was powerless against petroleum, and that a power greater than myself could restore me to walking, bicycling and taking mass transit."
Sunday April 7
I wound up reading more of "Stupid White Men" last night. As soon as I finish with this book will pick up a copy of Moore's other book, "Downsize This". There was not much on TV, but watched America's Most Wanted. There was one case where a woman is a chameleon, and has been conning other women and stealing their identities. As bored and lonely as I get at times, it would be a cold day in hell that I would share my social security or bank account numbers with an almost stranger or let them "borrow" my birth certificate, but this is what she managed to coax out of her victims. People are really getting weird, which was a major topic Bob and I discussed yesterday. He told me that he was reading the police blotter page in his local paper and some doctor got caught trading narcotics for blow jobs. On the surface, this seems almost humorous.
When I was a kid there were many things that scared me; the devil, Jesus, the bogeyman, the shape shifting alien who hid in my bedroom closet, the invisible aliens who crouched outside my bedroom window with their nasal probes, the blob, the body snatchers, my grandmother's washing machine, the statue of a black jockey that stood grinning and holding a lantern at the bottom of the stairs at my grandparent's house, school bullies, nuns and jukeboxes. Yes you heard me right. When I was a small boy the sight of a jukebox scared me shitless. As I grew older all of that faded into childhood phobias. Today people are the true bogeymen; they lie, cheat, steal, forge, fuck, deal, rape, murder, torture, steal airplanes and crash them into crowded office buildings, etc, etc.We're one of the only species who kill it's own kind for the fun of it.
This morning took a ride into Boston, along with a million other people. It was cold but nice out today. After the obligatory bucket of iced coffee and pastry, walked around town, over to the Fenway, then doubled back, making a stop at Virgin Mega-store. It seems that every time I walk in the guy in the sound booth is playing something that catches my ear. As soon as he saw me approaching he came out holding a jewel case, "really great CD isn't it." I told him I have heard a few cuts from the CD when I've been out and about but nobody seemed to know who the artist was. He directed me to one of the listening stations where I could sample all the tracks, "ok sold".
The album is "Simple Things" by Zero 7, a very unusual and listenable CD. It's a bit of rock, lounge, acoustic, electronic. This latest addition will fit right in with other eclectic disks in my CD cabinet.
When I went to pick up a copy, it seems they were sold out "of course isn't this always the way." I stopped by Newbury Comics, who usually always has what I'm looking for, and voila! they had a few copies and for $3 less.
I didn't feel like staying in town today to had an early lunch at Clerys. While I was waiting thumbed through the Boston Tab (weekly handout paper) and read an article about Boston housing. There's a new "ultra-luxury" apartment building in the Back Bay with rents as high as $14,000 a month, and they have a long waiting list. Sure, I can afford $14,000 a month, if I can find 20 other people to pitch in and share it with.
It felt good to kick my shoes off when I got home and listen to my new CD. I should listen to music more. I used to have the stereo on a lot, back when I had people to share my life with on a regular basis. Well anyway, this was a pleasant break, dragging out some Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Van Morrison, my One AD and Moodswings CD's. Another Monday tomorrow....Already!
Friday April 12
Some weeks I move along like a hurricane at work, at other times I get stuck in a rut, where I take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. The past couple of weeks have been back stepping tribulations. I'm in one of those places where it would help to have "more" innate technical savvy. As the late great Doctor Carl Sagan might have said, "There are billions and billions of DLL's in the universe and unless today's programmer understands precisely the billions and billions of messages and relationships that transpire between the billions and billions of DLL's and other life forms that inhabit the cosmological hard drive, then he should reconsider his career path, perhaps pursuing a career as a fry cook or bag boy at one of the billions of supermarkets that dot the cosmos.
NOTE TO SELF:
Dear Inner Child,
You stupid little shit! What on Earth ever possessed you to think that you could survive as a viable software developer in the post-web twenty-first century. What were you doing 30 years ago, shooting up pot and smoking banana peels? You may have had them fooled back in your pre-windows VAX daze, but it's a meaner, more complicated world where everyone wants everything their way. Go bag some groceries, flip burgers, become a terrorist, talk show host, or self help guru, or move to a Third World country and become a dime store despot. You could even become a Catholic priest. There will probably be a lot of openings soon in the church at the rate things are going. Leave programming to people who have even less of a life than you do.
Hugs and kisses, Your Inner Parent
Anyway, I've been spending mega-time in online "expert" forums, thumbing through books, on the phone (listening to muzak) with product support people and beating on search engines for answers. I'm sure I'll struggle through this road block, as I usually do, but in the meantime, I need a small woodland creature to torture and harass to burn off some of this frustration, preferably one without fangs, claws or venom.
Today I had to make a quick stop at my bank, which is usually a 5 minute in and out stop. I had to park 2 blocks away since the bank's 2.3 reserved parking spaces were occupied with a line of SUV's and min-vans hovering around like vultures, and I was not about to take a chance on parking in the one handicapped spot, although I see a lot of people doing it. Parking in an handicapped space will probably get you 20 to life in Lexington.
I fed the meter 15 minutes worth of time and walked to the ATM, which of course was "temporarily out of service". I returned to my car in about 17 minutes to find a $10 parking ticket under the windshield wiper. Lexington probably has devices in their parking meters that sends out a "calling all cars" alert with the precise GPS coordinates of the expired meter. The only other place I ever got a parking ticket was in Boston on a couple of occasions. Getting a parking ticket in Boston at some point in your life is as certain as income taxes and death, but much more expensive than Lexington.
Here are a couple of articles I found while surfing during the week. From Shut Up I'm Talking Comes Bad Mojo an essay on suicide bombers. Earlier this month I mentioned the huge volume of e-mail spam I have been receiving promising me a penis of epoch proportions. Salon had an article, Size Matters. For all you yuppies out there, shhh, be careful your cell phone is listening. AlterNet had an article, Your Cell Phone Is Watching You. And lastly for today The Online Journal had a thought provoking piece about Dubya's Nuclear Holocaust Threat. "Duck and cover!"
Saturady April 13
The weather said that this weekend would be iffy at best, but when I got up this morning the sun was shining in my bedroom window. I took a ride into Boston, totally forgetting this was Marathon weekend. I did manage to claim a street legal free spot in the South End. I relaxed on the patio at Au Bon Pain, sipping my morning iced coffee with a scone, then headed over to the Fenway, where the gardeners were all at work, getting ready for Spring planting. I sat for a couple of hours and chatted with Arthur's garden mate about the New World Order, the Bush Family, Area51, Art Bell and other "I don't trust the gummint as far as I can throw'em" topics.
I browsed in Virgin for while, picking up a "best of 2001" dance mix CD, that was listed in Boston's Hot 100. Some cuts reminded me of the old days, but when I got it home I realized that every single vocalist and synthesizer background sounded identical. It's is getting scary (to me) every single pop group sounds like Destiny's Child, Brittany, In Sync or rap, and all rap sounds exactly the same to me. I cannot see how the Rap genre survived this long. it's not so much a musical form as a bunch of guys with Tourettes who forgot to take their medication.
I also glommed onto the first season of Michael Moore's "The Awful Truth" on DVD. After Virgin walked through Satan's theme park (Newbury Street), watching all the pretentious and self important strutting and cruising in their Benz's, Ferrari's, Infiniti's and other "I have arrived" personal conveyances. I had lunch at a very crowded Vinnys. The place was packed with the usual tourists as well as the Marathon crowd, who were probably carb loading for Monday's 26 mile jog. Before heading home I stopped by Club Cafe, where I ran into The other Bob I know, who was with his mom and business partner/partner in crime. They invited me to join them at a table for an early dinnerette, but I had just eaten, so headed home. I have not been feeling very well for the past two months; constant diarrhea, nausea, and aches. I see me doc in a week, and pray it's nothing to call Doctor Jack over.
I made one final stop at Trader Joe's in Cambridge for coffee, chocolate and some breakfast cereal. While I was there browsed in Micro Center, which sits at the opposite end of the parking lot. Ooooh, bbbrrr, get thee behind me Satan! It is getting tempting to spring for a new PC, and they had one of their Power Spec boxes, configured just to my liking. I purchased my current work horse there 4 years ago, which has never given me any trouble, an arthritic, antique (by today's standards) 300MHX PII. Hey, it gets the job done.
Sunday April 14
I watched 4 episodes of "The Awful Truth" last night, and so far really enjoy the DVD. I have enjoyed (and agreed with) just about all of Michael Moore's works. Moore is most definitely a man I would want to meet. If I had the chance to spend a day with Michael Moore, Stephen King or George W Bush Jr, I would have a hard time choosing Moore or King, but Dubya would not even come a close third; sorry George!
I took a ride up to visit Warren today. I wanted to pick up some sport shirts and Levi's/Docker's shorts to wear to work this Summer (yes we get to wear shorts to work all Summer, a small perk). Warren wanted to check out the new Kohl's that just opened in Nashua (just what we need, yet another department store up there). They did have very good opening sale prices and I found three really nice sport shirts in colors I wanted but nobody had; dark coffee, dark teal and a beautiful shade of purple. I also picked up two pair of Levi shorts for about $15 a pair less than anywhere else. So ends my clothing shopping spree for another year to 18 months.
We made a run on Costco, then had lunch at Lui Lui. I headed for home shortly after we ate, since I felt like hell again. It's getting where every time I eat get the trots, feel like puking for a few hours, then I'm ok.
Here's a fun geography lesson, "children open your dressers to draw 3 and read along with me". I never used to look at tags to see where my clothing was made, and it's interesting that none of it, no matter where you buy it or what brand is not made here. Here's a globe trotting tour of my recent clothing purchases, made in..."Costa Rica, Indonesia, Guatemala, Thailand, Mexico, China, El Salvador, Honduras, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Zeta Reticuli by Grays. It makes me wonder. Perhaps I'll become a nudist in protest to the poor working conditions these people have to live under. I'm limited to buying on sale mass produced merchandise. Where do the clothes of the filthy rich come from besides Italy and France, made in the Black Forest by Elves.
I have tomorrow off, Patriot's Day (local Mass holiday). I have to take my car in for a general checkup. I should take a bus from my mechanic's up to Lexington green to genuflect before the bronze statue of the Minutemen, then kiss his perfectly sculpted bubbly tush as prayer offering for a healing of politicians' souls.
In ending today's flight recorder, one final note: Doug! if for some reason you are dropping in on the flight recorder while you're over there, do try to get your hands on a copy of "Stupid White Men", I know you will enjoy it. I did get your last e-mail. Do keep in touch, and stay out of those seedy massage parlors where you can get an oil change, ring, rim and lube job for $20 Jesus is watching you, and if you don't behave yourself he will tattle to Santa, The Easter bunny, Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein.
Friday April 19
I've been watching the first and second season episodes of "The Awful Truth" and been enjoying every minute of it. I must be weird or something. Most people I have mentioned Moore to have never heard of him, or thought he was some athlete, pop music star or actor, other than they they didn't know who he was. He's an independent film maker and all around political shit stirrer, who's sharp wit caught my eye and ear when "TV Nation" first aired. I'm also one of the only people I know of who remembers and enjoyed Michael Nesmith's, "Elephant Parts", an extended music video and satire on television and pop culture. If you want to know about Michael Moore, visit his web site, MichaelMoore.com So Michael, if you ever happen to stumble into Bigboote's Area51, I gave you some free publicity; I for one am a big fan.
Here's another interesting and well written article from AlterNet, George Bush is Striking Back at the Empire of Evil.
Saturday April 20
I attribute my longevity (I was supposed to have an intake interview with my maker 17 years ago according to docs) to the Chinese herbal medicine I have been also taking for the last 9 years; thank you China! Western medicine attributes my ability to cheat death and remain a viable tax paying entity to their concoctions. Time will tell as another "yet unproven" side effect of these meds are some forms of cancer as they are mutagenic (cause cell mutations) Sooner or later the disease or meds will get me, unless they turn me into an alien-human hybrid first.
After walking back from Chinatown decided to have lunch at Au Bon Pain in Copley place. As I was crossing Dartmouth Street (pedestrian light was a go) I saw a young snooty nosed yuppie woman driving a Mercedes SUV, both hands off the wheel, madly gesturing with one hand, the other holding cell phone to her ear, bearing down on me. I yelled, she realized she was asleep at the wheel, but proceeded to bump me in the leg (my good one no less). She is still oblivious to the fact that she just bumped into a pedestrian when "we" had the light and proceeded on her way, but not until I gave the side of her Benz a hefty kick in the door panel yelling, "frigging, yuppie, c**t, wake the f*** up". A young black guy came up to me asking if I was ok. I told him "yeah thanks, no harm done" He looked toward where buffy was continuing along Dartmouth, "dumb bitch" he mumbled, me adding, "I'd love to cram that cell phone up her breeding hole." He patted me on the back, "you ok man, really?" I nodded, "yup, she and her kind will get theirs some day."
I hobbled over to Au Bon Pain and had a salad, bread and peach iced tea. As I opened the door a truly evil looking woman whacked me in the face with the door. I'm sort of an empath when it comes to reading people's karma's. I could tell she was from "old" money, perhaps about my age. She was toting Needless Markup, Gucci and Prada shopping bags, and was also on her cell phone barking angrily at whoever was on the other end. The shot me the filthiest glare that made me blood run cold, "of all the nerve, you peasant, how dare you get in my way",walking over to a waiting limo parked outside Needless Markup. There was something about her face, evil, angry, ruthless and gnarled. I'm not big on Disney films, but she looked a lot like that evil wench in 101 Dalmatians.
Shortly after 9-11, the nooze ran and re-ran footage of people who had unwittingly sat next to, or had dealings with some of the 19 men who helped change American history that day. In all accounts the witnesses said that these men appeared to have no souls and there was no light in their eyes. Hmmm, are the filthy rich, powerful and terrorists cut from the same cloth? In almost all of the encounters I have stumbled into with the privileged, filthy rich and powerful, I always got the same feeling, souls carved from Siberian tundra ice, with eyes that seem to say, "the lights are on but nobody's home" A couple of people have asked me over the years if I am jealous of the wealthy. In all honesty I can reply with a confident "NO".
Not every single rich person I have met was evil. The founder and CEO of my prior employer of 22 years was a very wealthy man, but one of the most decent human beings that walk the Earth. He didn't play by the ruthless greed and power rules of today.
I also met a guy and his wife at a church I attended in the early 90's. They were really sweet earthy people, who I hung out with off and on. After I had known them for a while I got curious as to why he didn't work (unemployment, disability?) since he was only in his early 40's. The three of us were having lunch one day in Boston at a cheap burger joint when I popped the question. They looked at each other, let out a sigh and he told me that he had made mega-millions in the stock market as a broker. His wife had done similar and was also an heiress to some big fortune; they were both retired. They were worth more millions that I have quarters in my coffee can, but almost acted embarrassed by their wealth. He told me that he was not proud of his past and that there was a lot of evil in the money world. I knew that they donated a lot to charity, plus did a lot of volunteer work. And what sort of car did they drive? They had one car, a second hand Honda when I knew them
The last I ever heard from them was an e-mail a few years ago. They had left New England and were living somewhere out in Nebraska, Wyoming or the Dakotas, I forget which. This brings to mind a conversation that Doug and I had one night on the phone, why are all the rich people buying land and moving out into the middle of nowhere?
Sunday April 21
We had an earthquake yesterday in the Northeast, and I slept through it.Warren called last night and asked if I felt the tremors Saturday morning. Hmmm, the weather has been all out of whack, increased seismic activity on the East coast. I've been having those troubling feelings that something big is going to happen soon. What will be next, a fleet of alien battle cruisers settling over all major world cities demanding our surrender?
I got an e-mail from Doug in Thailand last night. He's also a Michael Moore fan, which is probably one of the many reasons we got along so well. I'll have to formulate a thoughtful response when I log in next time. Right now my back is killing me, so it's stay close to the ranch today. Hopefully when I see my doctor tomorrow he'll have some answers. I have along laundry list of questions for him this visit.
I wasn't going to write any more today, but decided to take a ride into Boston this morning after uploading the above entry. After walking around waiting for stores to open I did manage to pick up a copy of Michael Moore's, "Downsize This" at a bookstore in the Prudential Plaza. I talked with a woman behind the counter for a while and she said that they can't get his new book, "Stupid White Men" restocked fast enough. She had not read it yet, but said she wanted to soon.
I walked back toward the patio at Au Bon Pain for a carrot muffin and bucket of iced coffee. I sat there thumbing through the book and laughing, as a couple of annoyed looking well to do types kept shooting me glances, "oh, sorry. I'm not supposed to laugh or enjoy myself. Perhaps I'm on drugs or having my last muffin before my suicide terrorist mission of driving a stolen Trendia Titanic SUV through the mall, killing numerous innocent cell phone toting professionals. Perhaps that's what the table full next to me thought."
The table on the other side was filled with a group of men who appeared to be in their 60's, a scruffy looking blue collar bunch. One looked over and said, "hey that's that Michael Moore guy. I used to watch his show, what was it, TV Nation. He was really on to the shenanigans of big business and government."
I sat talking with them for quite a while, to learn that none of them trust big business, medicine or gummint these days." One told me that he was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and because his insurance would not pay for treatment the doctors have told him, he's going to kick the bucket in a couple of years, cancer or no cancer and to deal with it, touch!" He than said he know a guy who is able to afford paying for tons of extra insurance and is at death's door from cancer, but the doctors and hospitals cannot perform enough procedures on him. The guy knew it all boiled down to who had the money and who didn't.
The table full of probably once hard working men, all said that this country has gone to hell in a hand basket, and has been run by an evil, money hungry bunch of thugs. One added, "it's only a matter of time before this country explodes in riots, and I don't want to be around to see it." Before I left them, I threw my last 5 cents worth in, "I'm just glad I'm not 20 today. I pity these poor dumbed down young slobs who want to believe that everything is just fine." We all shook hands, then I moved on through Copley Place.
Among the stern faced and zoned out faces of the shopping masses, one person stood out, a young man, too pretty looking to exist in nature, with perfectly coifed and mousse'd hair. He was a bit light in the loafers, perfectly dressed and was probably wearing designer underwear that cost more than my entire wardrobe. But the item that really caught my eye (and maybe the eyes of fag bashing homophobes dressed in army fatigues, hiding in the fichus trees) was the billboard sized Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bag he was lugging. The entire bag carried a picture of another too pretty for words naked male. The complete look just screamed out, "I'm here, I'm queer, come kick my genetically perfect ass."
So ok, I had an Abercrombie and Fitch class mural body until I was about 47 years old. If I had a quarter for every time both males and females felt compelled to approach me saying, "God, you have a beautiful body" I could have retired at 50. God, in all his infinite wisdom, paired my body up with a face ugly enough to stop a charging bull. He probably didn't want me to become too egotistical. Through the miracle of modern medicine, health and plain old high mileage, the chiseled features have worn away, like some temple in the desert that wind, sand, the elements and time have eroded.
I made stops at Virgin, Newbury Comics, and by this time my back and feet were screaming at me to turn back. I stopped for a late lunch at Clearys, then sat on a park bench at a strip park that separates Copley Place from a mixed income housing development called, heh heh, "Tent City". As I sat there watched a guy and his girlfriend walk by holding hands, a husband and wife holding hands, a mom walked by holding hands with her two kids, two guys walked by holding hands, another young couple walked by holding hands, two more guys walked by holding hands. Ahhh, sigh! such a perfect Kodak moment. I'll have to check the paper for upcoming events calendar. I thought gay pride was in June.
For those planning vacations, here's a New England travel tip. For perfect weather almost every time, plan your vacation to start on or about the second Saturday in June. This is when Boston Gay Pride takes place, and with the exception of a couple of years, this time slot has always been one of the most perfect weather periods of the late Spring. I'm not making this up, I have kept running records.
Another Sunday night already! It will be the usual routine, curled up in my papasan chair (remote in lap like Al Bundy), watching Futurama, King of the Hill, Simpsons, Malcolm and The X-Files.
Friday April 26
I saw my doctor on Monday and he's pretty convinced I do not have a kidney stone. All my labs were normal, or close to it. I also got a couple of e-mails from Doug, and it seems he's getting settled in Thailand. The following is a verbatim extract from one of his letters, that shows some of the the good ole modern US of A's cultural viruses are infecting any place they enter.
extracted text from mail follows
So believe it or not, it's becoming more and more like the good old crap fest that is the US. There are 7/11's everywhere here also Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC,McDonald's etc. God, it's so frightening! Also a lot of the tourists act just like they do at home. i just look at them and tell them to Fuck Off and go Home! 20 something yuppie spawn. They come here, they all dress like they are on a runway and they are just plain nasty. Just like at home. The nice thing is that most of the locals just ignore them or laugh at them. It's kind of funny to watch. They fly all this way and they do everything that they do at home. "Where is the cheapest beer?" "Where can I get a Tribal Tattoo?' Or, "Where can I find a 12 year old?" It's really kind of sad. Most of them will not even eat in a place unless it has a menu in English. So besides the shitty tourist everything is going all right.
I guess I am not surprised why so many natives of foreign countries dislike our culture and behaviors. I was talking with a woman who told me, "but Ray a lot of foreigners act like assholes and are rude when they visit America." Of course some might act arrogant and rude, they're just trying to fit in with our culture.
Whenever I traveled to other countries while in the Navy (18 to be exact), I always tried my best to be polite, thankful and enjoy their local culture and sights. It was refreshing to see something totally different from the never-ending malls, MacDonalds, Starbucks, Radio Shack, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc. Now we're becoming one bland shade of sameness, no matter where you travel. Don't get me wrong, I am glad to be an American and love this country. I just don't like what runaway greed, materialism, waste and arrogance are doing to our culture.
This reminds me of the sketch about death from Monty Python's, "The Meaning of Life". Some Americans are visiting British friends at a dinner party. Nobody knows that the salmon mousse was bad and they have all died from food poisoning. Death walks in and the guests are taking turns asking him questions. One American speaks up and death replies, "You Americans, all you do is talk talk talk. It always, I just want to say, or let me tell you something. Well you're all dead now, so shut up!"
Here are a few articles I found this week during my daily zine browsing. From AlterNet, Industry Attacks on dissent. Selling Sex Positive America . First Falwell and Robertson blamed gays and liberals for 9-11, The Right now blames God and Bush for 9-11. Lastly for today, Is Taking Psychedelics an act of sedition, or trying to cope after 9-11.
Sunday April 28
Yesterday morning I took a ride up to see Bob. It was partly pleasure and partly potential work. He has talked to me about collaborating on a web zine project; something totally irreverent and eye catching. With our total combined 15 working brain cells we should come up with something. We both agreed on a site along the lines of The Onion or Betty Bowers web sites, with political, religious and social satire. Whether this ever survives to the point of an actual live rollout remains to be seen. Bob's a very accomplished software engineer who is well versed in all the drug induced programming languages like Java, XML and C++. I'm a lowly financial systems analyst who is not worthy to carry his laptop, with such 17th century skills as Visual Basic, ASP, HTML, SQL Server. I won't talk about my even more archaic expertise programming on the VAX platform.
You may ask, "how old is COBOL?" A little know fact, long suppressed by the early church was that there was a 13th apostle, Irving Goldblat. He joined Jesus' merry band of misfits after leaving the Romans, where he had been employed as a COBOL programmer for Caesar's department of taxation. After he joined the other 12 apostles, he developed a database program to keep track of what was to be rendered unto Caesar and what was to be spent on the early church. After Christ's death and resurrection, he wrote up a functional spec for an online confessional booth, and sin tracking database. He wanted to include COBOL source code for church management software as an appendix to the Bible,which was voted down by his brethren. Her moved on to become a freelance contractor. The church denied any evidence that he ever existed. COBOL and FORTRAN source code was also uncovered by archaeologists in great Egyptian tomb of Tutemcomon. So now you know the true history of the COBOL language.
After we had coffee and Bob gave me a brief demo of his Java code, we went out shopping, stopping for lunch at The Fire House in Tyngsboro.
I brought along the first season of "The Awful Truth". Bob got a big bang out of it (as I figured he would) but after 5 episodes we had both become Michael Moore'd out.
I got home at around 10PM and watched an interesting show on PBS about the current class wars. "People Like US" I'm glad that I'm far from the only person who is fed up with the current yuppie culture of greed. I loved one of the ending comments about Starbucks and having to par $2-4 bucks for a cup of coffee. He added, "at least they could give you a little Plutonium of something with your coffee to justify the cost." I hope WGBH runs this program again as I missed the first 20 minutes, "send your enormous check, or shares of AAA rated stock to Public Broadcasting today so that we may continue to bring you wicked awesome television, plus be able to re-run such fabulous show for deadbeats like Ray from Area51, who didn't care enough to get home in time to see the entire program. And if you act now, as a token of our appreciation you will receive an autographed picture of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohamed, Moses or Bill Gates. Please state your religious affiliation with your donation of Biblical proportions, do it today!"
Today looks totally abysmal. The sky is grayer than a battle ship. Another month gone and another dead soldier. Barring any Earth shattering events, this concludes the April 2002 flight log.