June 2002 - Pride Goeth Before Destruction
RayzRealm (c) June ,2002

Pride goeth before destruction,
and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

Sunday June 2

Yesterday could not have been a more splendid day. Bob invited me up to he and his brother's place for the pool opening. The house his brother bought came with a large above ground pool. Bob, his father and I sat my the pool most of the afternoon, then a friend of his who is also in AA dropped by. It seems strange that 15-18 years ago Bob and I were raging party animals, best friends and drinking buddies. During the past two years Bob has also stopped drinking and is a friend of Bob and Bill.

After the sun began setting we had chicken cooked out on the grille, then sat until way past my normal bedtime getting eaten by mosquitoes, chatting in the back yard.Bob is one of the best and brightest people I know; it's too bad we only manage to get together occasionally now.

I overslept today, compared to my usual arising at 5AM; I woke up at 7:30 to the sound or thunder and rain beating against my bedroom window. BY 9AM the sun was trying to poke through the clouds and by 9:30 I was on my way into Boston.

I had totally forgotten that today was the annual AIDS walk, so the entire back bay was in gridlock due to traffic being diverted. I finally made it to my usual hidden cache of visitors free all weekend South End parking spaces, only to see the signs had been replaced by "Handicapped parking Only". I drove around to where I knew there was another patch of visitor spots. These had been replaced by "Residents Only" spaces. There was still one of the only affordable parking lots in the South End that I could use. When I got there, the entrance was barricaded off and the lot no longer existed. I just parked there 2 weeks ago, now it's the site of yet another yuppie condo development. The only other lot was on Dartmouth, and when I drove down the entrance ramp, saw that parking for anything over 3 hours was now $25.

It figured, I really wanted to spend the day in town. I turned on the radio to see if the Red Sox were playing at Fenway. Whenever there is a Red Sox game in town, there is not a single parking space to be found within 25 light years. Today they were busy getting their asses kicked in New York, so I claimed one metered spaces which are free (for now) on Sunday.

I sat by the war memorial watching an elderly Chinese woman doing Tai Chi exercises on the lawn. An old acquaintance was walking by and stopped to chat with me. I have known David for almost 20 years. I don't even know his last name but we always stop to have extended conversations whenever we run into one another on the street. We talked about the almost completed takeover of our fair city by the arrogant and rich. Dave is also happens to be gay, but dropped out of the scene a long time ago. As he said, "there is nothing to be proud about, there is no sense of community, playfulness or friendliness any more among urban gay males, "adding", "everyone is out for themselves, they value diversity, so long as everyone thinks, dresses and acts exactly like them. It's all about influence, money, power and narcissism."

Once again the pain and neuropathy in my legs was telling me to call it a day, but not before I stopped at Thornton's for a late lunch. As I walked in I saw David sitting alone at a table and asked if I could join him. We continued our earlier conversation until he had to leave and my Cobb salad arrived. The menu price for a Cobb salad was $9.99, but I always try to eat healthy and 10 bucks isn't too bad. The waitress came out with a huge salad, the returned 5 minutes later to inform me that my bill would actually be about 1/2 the menu price. She apologized for only placing an order for a half salad and not a full one. I told her no apology needed, if this is only a half order, I would never finish a full one, so a very nice big fresh Cobb salad and real fresh squeezed lemonade ran me about $7 in total; I'm not complaining at all!

When I left Thornton's it began raining again, making a 6 block hobbling trot to my car. As I entered Storrow Drive West on my way back home, the sun broke through and how it's brilliant sunshine again, with a pleasant cool breeze. Tomorrow is Monday already!!!

Thursday June 6

Once in a while I get a very nice personal mail message from a first time visitor. The following ranks right up there and made my day. Thank you, you know who you are.

----------- Begin mail excerpt -----------

I wanted to thank you for your "area 51" site, especially your reflections and fine writing about early sobriety.
. (personal info from visitor deleted)
I may end up reading every word on your site, and may use many of the links you have provided. More than anything, I wanted to thank you for what you have put together for visitors to your site. Today may be a pivotal day for me!

------------- End mail excerpt ------------

The daily news is getting more and more like Doctor Strangelove. It almost seems as if the gummint is preparing us for some sort of inevitable nuclear, biological or chemical warfare attack any day now. They can only lie and spin the truth for so long, so they may as well scare the crap out of the general population. You'll know we're in deep shit when you begin seeing the "Duck and Cover" public service announcements daily on TV with Bert the turtle. Bert will have to be given a facelift for a 21st century audience; perhaps a makeover as a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle, with a rap/hiphop beat. and voiceover.

While out making my daily online news kamikaze run, I found the following link. While I do not subscribe to the Kabalarians belief system, I was game and entered my name in their "Name meaning" search page. The results were kind of spooky, since the description fit my personality on a number of key points. I played with it a bit more, entering names like Connor, Abdula, Osama, Mohamed, Dubya, plus a few more generic names. Entering Dubya returned an empty result set, heh heh! Try it for yourself Your Name search. The result for Raymond is shown below.


Your first name of Raymond has given you a clever, deep mind and the talent to excel in highly inspirational lines of endeavour as a dramatist, musician, writer, or artist. You can be lifted by beauty in all forms and you are at the most creative when inspired. Your expressive, affectionate nature responds very quickly through your feelings, but you must guard against being possessive and jealous. You feel and sense much that you do not fully understand and cannot express. Your delight in mystery could draw you into occult studies or religions. Unfortunately, uncontrolled thoughts make it difficult for you to retain emotional stability, and prevent you from finding proper peace and relaxation. You tend to centre your interest too much on whatever means the most to you, and then you become over-possessive and suffer through disillusionment and fear of losses. Moods of depression, self-pity and a quick temper cause you much suffering. Inner turbulence can deplete your vitality and have a detrimental effect on your health causing you to suffer through heart, lung, or respiratory troubles, as well as breakdowns of the nervous system.

Whew! time to have my name legally changed.

The circus in in town this weekend. Lions and tigers and poodles and B-e-a-r-s! OH my!

Friday June 7

I have been fighting back against all the spam I've been receiving over the year. I found out most of it comes courtesy of Yahoo and a couple of other supposedly "free" sites I've signed up for, plus the chat rooms that I have repeatedly asked the web masters to delete my memberships from. So far, these memberships are still active. I stumbled upon links on a couple of the sites (buried deep within link upon link) where you can unsubscribe from spam lists. Of course the default setting is "Jam my mailbox with every type of spam imaginable" when you sign up. I Unsubscribed from all spam offers, then saved my changes. Now instead of getting 12 to 18 spams a day, I am getting 30 to 40 a day, including promises of fuller firmer breasts and buns in 30 days or less. Oh boy! not only can I have an ICBM size penis, non stop tom cat horniness on demand, a full head of hair but can also have beautiful voluptuous breasts and buns.

I don't feel so bad any more. I thought I was being singled out for targeting of all this obnoxious crap, but I have talked to a few women who do not belong to any groups, do not view adult content or have a web site and they are also getting similar spam in increasing volume. In the near future we can all look forward to becoming a society of well endowed hermaphrodites. Since the gummint is increasing eavesdropping on all net traffic, they can do the majority of us law abiding netizens a favor, hunt down and nuke all the spammers into oblivion.

I should start surfing men's underwear sites to see if they've begun carrying a line of lead lined designer underwear. Or how about men's casual clothing with built in radiation dosimeters. The embroidered animals on the chest change color when you've reached your daily maximum radiation exposure. And don't forget to pick up a stylish designer gas mask imported from Israel soon. All the A-List crowd will be wearing them at the chicest clubs and discos this Summer. New this Summer, personal CD and MP3 players featuring built in Geiger counters. I'm already bald, so will already be in style when all the other men begin losing their hair from radiation poisoning. Just a little black humor for a Friday.

Here are a few links I found while out news surfing. For those who are tired of the global elites, Fallout Shelter News might be what the doctor ordered. From a site on the other side of the pond comes, Newspeak Alert. And I found Bartcop's Political Humor and Rants. With all the hostile takeovers and mergers, has America been Held Hostile, another site filled with alternative political articles.

Terrorists are pussies compared to Massachusetts drivers. We can win the war on terrorism tomorrow if America air drops 10,000 Bay State soccer moms and young MBA's in the Mid-East equipped with cell phones and the biggest and most Titanic SUV's. Once they see how these home grown implements of road terror behave behind the wheel, they'll all run scurrying for the nearest cave. I found a shared blog site, Massholes, dedicated to rants regarding the rudest, angriest drivers on the planet. More to come.

Saturday June 8

As the procession wound past Tora Bora, a chant was heard, "Out of your caves and into the street".

"Mommy Mommy, look, the circus! Can we go an pet the fluffy lions. Mommy Mommy, lookit, that man is walking another man on a leash. Mommy Mommy, why does that woman have a beard? Mommy will you buy me one of those rainbow colored teddy bears?"

I called Warren this morning and he confirmed that he was going to drive into Boston to watch the Gay Pride Parade. We agreed to meet for breakfast, then walk down to the usual vantage point in front of the Arlington Street Church. The weather today was absolutely splendid, considering that Noah was in his garage building another this entire week. The rain finally let up during the night leaving a crystal clear blue sky, cool breeze and low humidity.

I had totally forgotten about the last reasonably priced place to park in Boston, the garage under the Boston Common, 8 bucks all day. Warren arrived shortly after I did, and after breakfast, we walked over to Copley Square, the parade's starting point. The crowd didn't seem nearly as large as usual, most if it was hidden for 8 to 10 blocks away due to street construction.

We walked over to the heart of the South End (ground zero of Boston's gay ghetto) just to see what sort of crowds were there. As the parade approached the South End was standing room only. After sitting for a spell, ran ahead to join up with two of his friends who were watching from the Arlington Street Church. There was one contingent after another of politicians, kissing up to the gay and lesbian voters. Boston's Mayor Menino (not gay himself) headed up the parade, which never seemed to end, one big homogenous mass of humanity. The parade has lost much of it's energy as the new generation has taken over. There were the row after row of perfectly shaved and buff men, sporting tribal tattoos and store bought muscles, in their tiny bikinis, all looking alike, like they had just rolled off some assembly line, a vast mass of muscled cabbage patch clones with thorazine eyes.

In more recent years religions of every belief have groups marching as do police and fire fighters, bar floats filled with more thorazine eyed tattooed men with store bought muscles, leather, drag queens, lesbian percussion bands, Texas two steppers, various businesses, health organizations, more politicians, more churches and more bars. There were also few large groups of Brazilian oiled and muscled men and female impersonators; half of Rio's population must have been on Boston today, wearing tiny bikinis and dyed hair. Toward the end I thought one group was interesting, a group of Indian and Pakistani gay men and lesbians, carrying a banner with a mushroom cloud, "Brothers should not nuke brothers." and holding hands. Now if only their gummints could get together on this level. I'm realizing more and more, the little people from most nations and cultures are ok, it's our leaders that need serious group psychiatric help.

After almost two hours, the parade finally petered out and we headed to a nice Italian cafe on Newbury Street for a late lunch/early dinner.

Since all of us were parked in the Common garage, we headed over to the Boston Common, where the post parade rally was being held. Trying to walk among the numerous booths and food stands was like driving on the Southeast Expressway at rush hour on a long holiday weekend; total gridlock. I did manage to run into and chat with a few people I had not seen in years. The crowd on the common finally began to thin out as many headed home, to parties or the giant block party in the South End.

The small group I was chatting with were headed back home, and by 6:30PM my feet and legs were absolutely barking. My own estimate is that from 100,000 to 150,000 people were in town for the parade. Each year it gets bigger and bigger, while having less and less a reason to continue. While I was driving back home, one radio report estimated the crowd at 350,000 or more. What percent of the crowd is homosexual? How many are families in town for the day, curiosity seekers such as yours truly, innocent bystanders and non gay city residents? Parades, especially big noisy ones with some degree of freak factor always attract large crowds.

Today was also the day I have decided to seriously look into getting my own domain name. From talking with Warren and the others, they liked my idea for a new site. Like the Gay Pride parade, Bigboote's Area51 has long outlived it's original theme after 6 plus years, and it's time for a change.

Sunday June 9

Many homosexuals would like to believe that 10-20-30% of the population is gay. I have read statistics that sound more realistic that state it's more like 2-4%. Since the head counts are probably estimated from the air, who's to say who is who or what. So in keeping with more down to Earth statistics, yesterday's parade was made up of the following mix.

25,000 Unemployed Hollywood film extras.

75,000 Yuppies in town for day to be seen.

75,000 Townies and innocent bystanders.

50,000 Crash test dummies and department store mannequins

75,000 Computer generated special effects.

48,250 Studio audience

1,000 gay men

750 lesbians

350,000 Real life gays and lesbians probably stayed home, ran errands, had cookouts, worked in their gardens, went to the beach, went shopping, walked the dog, etc, etc.

Yesterday was most definitely the better of the two days. There were showers off and on most of today, plus it was humid as hell. My day was the typical mundane day of an invisible entity; went into Boston, had no problem finding a parking spot, had coffee, had lunch, observed local flora and fauna, returned home.

Wednesday June 12

I've begun looking over all the pages in my site to see what needs to be changed when and if Bigboote's Area51 mutates into a different theme and web address. I want to keep most of the content as is, but there will still be a lot of work to be done. I could ship it all off to Mexico, India or China to have the coding done for a nickel a page....hmmmm.

As Washington spreads out it's dragnet in search of additional terrorist suspects, Bigboote's Area51 would like to do it's patriotic duty by suggesting additional citizens of questionable repute to be added to the round up list. America probably has millions of it's own home grown Taliban.

I know I've missed a number of groups that could very well be terrorists, but this list is a good start for keeping prisons filled and everyone in the judicial system gainfully employed and busy for a while.

I guess in ending today's entry that I get confused when I hear about someone who was born in America or has lived here most of their life, goes off to become a terrorist.

Friday June 14

I have decided to put the "Ray gets his own domain" project on hold for a bit. Bigboote's Area51 is beginning to sound a bit silly to me as my site name now; whatever was I thinking 7 years ago.

Now on to the more important issues for this week, places and articles of interest I have visited. Here's a Buzzflash Commentary, When "Speak No Evil" Means "Tell A Lie". From AlterNet, The Sky is Falling. From Michael Moore's site, Mike's Office of Homeland Security. Mike gets my vote for Attorney General. From Buzzflash, Assault On America Southern Style. AlterNet had an interesting article, Gay Shame, about how a growing number of gays are getting pissed off at Pride day becoming dominated by commercialism and corporate sponsorships.

I've also added some new links on the Area51 Library page under the Politics section, dated June 13. Visit the Area51 Library page for these and a buttload more. A lot of visitors who send mail ask where I find all this stuff. A black ops government double agent sends them to me late at night through a radio receiver in one of my tooth fillings. Heh heh, actually I find these through a couple of hour long web kamikaze runs during the week; there's no rocket science involved. One of the web's greatest beauties is the almost limitless volume of crap that is out there for the clicking, but I have a deep dark gut feeling that the current gummint will have a lot of web content erased from the collective consciousness, time will tell.

Sunday June 16

It has rained most of the week and yesterday was not exception. it has also been unseasonably cool for June; my heat has come on a few times in the past 2 weeks. I drove up to visit Bob yesterday, which is always an enjoyable experience. As always we talked technology over coffee then drove over to Nashua to shop at Costco, having lunch at the Firehouse afterward.

When we returned to Bob's place, sat around over coffee, talking 12 step recovery issues, web site design and reminiscing about a kinder, gentler era (before Reagan/Bush). I returned home past my normal bedtime, which is usually the case when I visit Bob, watched MAD TV, part of Saturday Night Live, nodding out during SNL.

The heat came on again last night, and around 2AM woke up shivering, fumbled around in the closet to drag the blanket out "again" then returned to the matrix.

When I woke up today, the weather was equally dismal but I had decided not to stay in all day. I have not attended an in town AA meeting for quite a while, so drove into town at 8:30AM and had coffee at Designs For Living, ordering a large house blend to go for the meeting.

When I first quit drinking 13 years ago, I went to a lot of meetings. More recently I attend one when I want to just sit and listen to others tell my life story. I decided to attend the Sunday morning "K-Street" meeting (as it's affectionately referred to). K-Street used to me one of my favorite groups. I don;t hit nearly as many meetings as I once did, but whenever I visit Bob, we'll usually try to squeeze in a meeting. I have always found a lot of "real" people in AA.

After the meeting I walked over to the War Memorial to sit and just let my mind free wheel (umbrella by my side and at the ready). When began raining again, it was time to eat anyway, so walked over to Thornton's Grille for a late lunch. I ran into David, who I mentioned earlier in this journal and discussed world/local events and the decline of the Western Empire over lunch.

We also discussed the subtle pressure for total conformity to some invisible corporate norm, and hoe a lot of people both young and old are getting fed up with the brave new world that seems to be doing a good job at destroying, diversity and long established communities. It was funny, but brought up the Scientific American Frontiers program that tore apart alternative medicine, which Bob and I were discussing yesterday.

The same goes for AA and it's 12 step cousins. I have been reading a growing number of articles that vilify 12 step groups as mind control cults. I will be first to defend 12 steppers as "NOT" cult members or groupies. I have a finely honed sixth sense about cults, mind control and the like, and never found AA to be like that. In reality it has helped rescue countless people from death, jail or worse. To me it was a vital tool and sounding board, that helped me break my fall (thankfully) long before I hit rock bottom. Am I one of those "temperance" A Nazi's; certainly not at all. If anyone wants to get drunk, be a general nuisance or kill themselves, I won't stop them or preach the hellfire and damnation. If they hit the ground hard face first, will I sneer, "nyea, nyea, told ya so!", not at all. I'll sit and listen, not tell them what to do, but will answer their questions and share my own twisted and broken past.

There is a real, simple beauty about a group of people who gather of their own accord to share common hopes, fears, experiences and advice, whether they be dealing with addictions, HIV/AIDS, cancer or other ills. There's no rocket science involved, you don't need PHD's and an army of MBA's to administer the programs. All it takes is honesty and a sincere desire to rise above whatever ails the people in the group.

It just seems that the established order is in a feeding frenzy of vilifying anything veering from protocols of the corporate reality server.

The sun made a feeble attempt to break through the clouds but the sky has returned to a shade of battleship gray and it's raining again. Three months ago the local news was predicting horrendous drought conditions this Summer, last night on the news we are now within an inch of normal precipitation year to date; it never rains, it pours. Tonight will be a good night to curl up with a book before turning in.

Wednesday June 19

Since last weekend I have been thinking a lot about sobriety and how much I have grown since July 4, 1989. It has given me a new set of eyes and has actually sharpened my spooky "pre-cognitive" side. Considering about 5% of people with alcohol or drug problems ever find their way back to sobriety and sanity (according to a few statistics I have read), I feel blessed in this respect, thanks to God and my own desire to dig my way out of a deepening sink hole.

I recall that our Commander in thi....I mean Chief is also a recovering alcoholic. I wonder if George finds time to attend any meetings, or if he did it by brute force on his own. I pray (yes I actually do) for President Bush daily, that God will whack him off the side of the head with some good solid wisdom, humility, honesty and sound judgement. Pray that God keeps George sober. Being the president these days is enough to make the most stout hearted man go out on a 4 year bender. If I had to put up with a gang is piss elegant, arrogant, amoralist global business goons poking me with sharp pointy sticks every day to do their bidding, I'd be mixing 55 gallon oil drums of Long Island iced tea every day, and that would be just the morning eye opener. Mister President open your Big Book and spend a lot of time on steps 4 through 11.

I wonder if the president ever thinks to himself in private about telling all of the big business and gummint special interests groups to go cram it where the sun doesn't shine, the American people come first. Anyone who becomes president today, no matter how altruistic and selfless he/she is (none currently fit this profile), has to either bow down to the power elite, or face some sort of accident, "oops the president fell into the Grand Canyon while tying his shoe."

And now for a special mid-week collection of articles I rounded up during my morning news surf.

From Alternet comes Bikini Watch, go ahead and just try stuffing yourself into that tiny bikini. Also from AlterNet Let 'Em Drown in the Dark, go ahead and drive that Trendia Titanic down the interstate on your way to the mega-mall, while your inhale a 2 pound "double dare" burger smothered in bacon, cheese and French fries. I just discovered the UpperLeftEdge web site, which has a lot of thought provoking content, so here's another It's the Oil, Stupid! article. Big Brother's Every Dial You Take ever expanding web of snooping. Note to Department of Homeland Security: Can you guys please nuke all the telemarketers that call between 6 and 9PM. Since I have been thinking about addictions and recovery, Addicted to Oil ,Confronting America's Worst Habit seems fitting. Everyone's getting in on the fear factor, even fat cat investment speculators, Warrin' Buffett By Erin Arvedlund comes from Slate. I still have a gut level feeling that something big and evil is heading our way soon. What bothers me is the feeling is getting even more intense than the one that gnawed at me for 6 to 9 months prior to September 11, and I have been tuning out the news as best as I can. Since last weekend I have chatted with a half dozen people who have been feeling the same way, and 3 of them do not own TV sets and avoid news papers.

The other thing we discussed was the similarity today, to the McCarthy era and J. Edgar Hoover. For those of you too young to remember all the Commie hunting, duck and cover drills and paranoia of the 50's, ask your parents or grand parents to tell you about all the fun we had back then, "ssshhh! be careful Comrade, secret police are listening."

So put your seats in the full upright position, fasten your seat belts, put on your gas masks and hold on to your shoes, I have the sneaky feeling it's going to be a long bumpy ride.

Saturday June 22

I'll try to refrain from commenting on our current perilous state of affairs in the US of A. I have already been called Un-American by a few people for not liking George W as our commander in chief and great exhalted Poobah. Enough people know or suspect that the foxes have been put in charge of the chicken farm.

It was warm, muggy and very gray today with promises of showers and scattered downpours. It figures since all week the weather was absolutely marvelous. I drove into Boston early this morning and managed to land one of the few remaining visitor spots in the South End (soon to be gone) and had coffee at a foofy yuppie/guppie bistro.

I was thumbing through a few of the newspapers that were in the reading rack and noticed something that troubled me, a bunch of different ads that explicitly said, "please nobody over 50 years old". Three were for apartments, four for roommates, two were for volunteer opportunities, a couple were for social groups and a couple for job openings. I guess that under the Shrub administration people feel free to blatantly discriminate in any way they wish. Lets be quite honest, our society screams about valuing diversity, so long as it aligns with the mindsets of the screamers, and so long as you are under 30 or 40, have the proper tribal markings and act just like them.

Back in the 70's, the South End was the sort of place you would not even let your dog wander without a leash; poor, ethnic/racial neighborhood, high crime, run down, etc.

The evolution of an urban neighborhood:

  1. White settlers tamed the land, built communities.
  2. Poor immigrants move in, white settlers say "ewww" feel threatened and move to suburbs to build strip malls, industrial parks and vast housing developments.
  3. Lesbians move in, looking for affordable housing, plant herb gardens and sit on front stoop drinking herbal tea and strumming on 12 string guitars. Adds a homey touch, fit in with existing neighbors. Lesbians establish a beach head, working to make neighborhoods safer, open free clinic, coffee house and drop in center
  4. Counter culture, bohemians, and artists move in, small galleries and performance center opens.
  5. Gay men gradually move in, buy burned out dumps of buildings, pretty them up, put in track lighting and sky lights.
  6. More gay men move in, along with artists and performers, bistros, trendy little gay boutiques, bars, restaurants, gyms and more galleries begin to sprout up.
  7. Property values begin to rise, poor ethnic/racial minorities gradually pushed out.
  8. Lesbians become disillusioned, feel that gay men are taking over their neighborhood and are offended by all the shirtless men wandering the streets showing off their muscles and tattoos. Lesbian exodus begins in search of a less expensive and earthy place to live.
  9. Greedy land grabbing land developers and yuppies see there is MONEY to be made here. Yuppies having no soul of their own see that there is a diverse and energetic mix of humanity here with a soul; they want to be a part of the action
  10. Titanic size SUV's and luxury cars begin making reconnaissance runs of the area. Yuppies and other outsiders begin cruising the hood after seeing the gay neighborhood featured in TV news magazine, and in an article in the Sunday newspaper magazine.
  11. Rents and real estate prices begin reaching critical mass, yuppies and greedy developers descend on the area with truckloads of money; begin buying gay men and artists out.
  12. Increasing numbers of expensive baby strollers are seen being pushed along the gay main drag by cell phone toting young professionals.
  13. Non wealthy gay men begin moving away from the gay ghetto due to unaffordable housing; those who stay behind are either living 12 to a one bedroom apartment or are investment brokers.
  14. Very expensive, overpriced restaurants and boutiques begin replacing the once gritty and interesting haunts that the gay men opened.
  15. Starbucks and Pottery Barns begin sprouting in the hood. Within a short span of time, the neighborhood loses a lot of it's funkiness and diversity. The area becomes one large homogenous sterile wasteland of the entitled.
  16. Any remaining mere mortals who remembered the neighborhood when it was so alive and vibrant evacuate like rats leaving a sinking ship.
  17. Biff and Buffy look at each other, "gee this neighborhood used to be so interesting, what happened? It could not have been anything we did, after all we helped improve the quality of life here.
  18. Market crashes, no one can afford rents, yuppies whine that it's not fair and sell of holdings to cut losses.
  19. Neighborhood falls into serious state of decay, crime rate sky rockets, poor ethnic/racial masses move back in.
  20. The Karma wheel spins again

As I walked the back streets of the South End, I noticed more and more overpriced shops and bistros selling all sorts or chatzkah. With all the talk of pride and since this was Gay Pride month (or so I was told), even gay businesses have pride in their name, "Pride Dry Cleaners, "Pride Savings and Loan", "Pride Realty", "Pride, Tire and Muffler". I saw pride soap, pride candles, and the one that gets me the most "Pride Water". I always thought water was water, unless Pride water has some secret ingredient that keeps it's drinker looking under 30 years old, with perfect skin, face and body. And what if a heterosexual drinks Pride water: will it be toxic to them, will they turn gay? I even saw a small package of 12 pastel colored rainbow marshmallows for $9.95. I suppose because the candy was arranged in a rainbow of colors, that it designates gay pride and is worth almost 10 bucks. The bottom line is that the South End, like every other "once" interesting and offbeat area, is becoming a wasteland of bland pretentiousness.

Enough of that! What lit my fuse this morning was reading the numerous, obviously ageist ads. To those of you who smugly say at 23-30, that you will never get older, 40 will hit you faster than a hijacked jet slamming into a sky scraper, 50 will be on you faster than a squadron of F15's scrambled to pursue the hijackers and 60 will slam into you harder than an asteroid. I'm in an excellent physical state for a man who is 55. What I have been noticing more and more is a definite difference in the way I am treated when people find out how old I am, and it's not for the better.

I don't know why, but I decided to stop by a drop in center for people with AIDS that I once volunteered at for a while. Needless to say, all but one of the people I knew to talk with have all long since passed away. After all these years they still had my name on the books as a past volunteer. I talked with the guy behind the desk for a while and learned most of their funding had been cut. In a republican world, things like health, social services and education are considered frivolous and non essential.

I had not seen this man for...ohhh about 12 years and after we sat talking over lunch, walked around the city for a bit until the sky began to look threatening. He was going to catch the back home, until I found out he only lives a few blocks from me, so offered him a ride home since I had to drive right by his apartment building anyway. We stopped in Davis Square at Some Day, a funky coffee house, on the way home. It's funny, we are almost neighbors, but I highly doubt I'll hear from him anytime in the near future.

In closing for today, the high point of this week was that Earth was spared by another near miss from a soccer field size asteroid, which I suppose is better than a Texas size one.

"And God's winding up for the pitch. He throws"

"Ladies and gentlemen, he lobbed a fast ball right over the batter's head, the batter never saw it coming..........ssstttrrriiikkkeee one!"

Sunday June 23

It poured last night, and today didn't look much better. The sky was a solid shade of dark gray, with humidity around 95% I drove into Boston early, picked up a coffee and attended a morning AA meeting at K-Street. I just felt like listening to other people talk. A small group invited me to join them for lunch at Thorntons after the meeting so I tagged along. After lunch sat by the war memorial, but didn't feel like staying in town. On the way home stopped to visit Paul's folks as I have seen them for about 6 weeks. I've always enjoyed his family, but since his passing, don't see them nearly as much as I used to. I chatted with 3 of his sisters in the kitchen for quite a while, all three asked if I had been going to the gym a lot lately as I really look pumped up. A couple of people yesterday asked the same thing, hmmm. I have not set foot in a gym for over a year, but what little body fat I had has disappeared due to my eating habits, plus side effects from meds I'm on, which can play some very weird tricks with body composition. Overall this was a very low energy weekend.

Friday June 28

June draws to a close, at least I'm not shoveling snow. It sure appears as if "everything" is broken. The world is like a British sports car today, fix one thing and 6 more break. The witch hunt continues on the Catholic church, which saddens me deeply. Maybe I was just lucky, but I never encountered any predatory pederast priests. Perhaps I was so ugly, that not even the most sexually desperate padre would think about groping my bum. But honestly the Catholic priests I encountered throughout life were supportive and helped me grow without any "nudge nudge wink wink" or hidden agendas.

First there was Enron, now Worldcom, which the news people are saying could be an even bigger scandal. In all honesty I cannot say I feel at all sorry for any of these big executives, who's only goal in life is more money. I "do" feel for the thousands of people who are losing jobs and life savings. I pray that God has an especially unpleasant place reserved for the predatory MBA types that the Reagan "Greed is good!" era spawned, and who have been working overtime at destroying everything in their paths for their own glory.

As far as removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance goes, I say leave it in. If some PC left coast yuppie doesn't like the phase, then he might like to move to Afghanistan. I have never interpreted that part of the pledge as endorsing any religion. And yeah, I'm one of those wackos who still believes in a God, for me the one represented by Jesus Christ, your mileage may vary. As I've gotten older Jesus has become much more of a personal God for me, and not one like the religious far right claims. The supreme court should ask God, if he wants his name removed from the pledge as well as our money. maybe God will say, "hey remove my name from all your pledges, oaths and currency or I'll make things even hotter for your down there than they already are."

In ending the June flight log, I've been seriously thinking of getting rid of it as well as my site again. I think the only visitors I get any more are spam-bots and ads. Here are a handful of links to the usual off the wall stuff I read from various sources. Some are quite funny, others are straight out of the X-Files. Enjoy! This concludes the June 2002 log.

Cheers, Ray