September 2003 - Summer's Last Hurrah
RayzRealm (c) September, 2003


[Sep 05][Sep 07][Sep 11][Sep 19]
[Sep 25]

The Area51 Homeland Security alert level for September is...

Flaming Pink

Area51 homeland security has been monitoring credit card records, phone conversations and movements of known homosexual sleeper cells operating in major US cities. High volumes of purchases have been recently made from Bloomington, Newman Marcus, gourmet food stores and home design centers. There has also been a sharp increase in the sale of all books by Martha Stewart by these same groups. This leads us to believe that a mass attack is imminent, probably in the form of activated cells breaking into the apartments of God fearing heterosexual American males while they are at work. It is the belief of this office that they plan on redecorating the targeted living spaces, re stocking refrigerators and pantries, and worst of all replacing the entire wardrobes of their victims with stylish designer clothing against the occupant's will. The more agressive cells may even invade the homes of targeted males while they are there, styling their hair, giving facials and offering fashion tips.
 
All citizens are advised to be on the lookout for mostly younger males, who will likely be well dressed and groomed, in better than average physical shape, who are articulate and polite. They may be carrying shopping bags from high end departments stores and/or wearing leisure wear displaying the names of the better known training camps they attend Fire Island, Provincetown, Key West, Boy's Town, New Hope, PA, West Hollywood and San Francisco, to name a few. Their vehicles may also have rainbow flag or other stickers on bumpers or in windows.
 
Certain mannerisms may help you identify these threats to American Machismo; a lack of talk regarding sports, monster truck rallies, wives and families, beer, war and other red blooded male bonding topics. Approach any suspect with extreme caution, they will be unarmed, polite and non violent, therefore extremely dangerous. You may also notice that they tend to greet one another with a hug and/or kiss, just like those European, chocolate making, cheese eating surrender monkeys......End Transmission ....
 

Friday September 5

We sit on the cusp of another seasonal change. I feel more strongly than ever that we also sit on the cusp of a much larger seasonal change, the season of modern man. I have had this very strong gut feel since the late 70's that I would live to see an illusion (that we all grew up with as real) smashed. You can call it the end of the age of man, Western civilization, The American Dream or the second coming of Jesus, but I feel more than ever that we're all in for the ride of the millennium, perhaps sooner than we think. I hope that my gut feeling, that I seem to share with a lot of other seasonal sensitives is wrong. Close your windows, lock your doors, put all seats in the full upright position, extinguish all smoking materials and fasten your seat belts, a big storm is coming soon...their storm! I'm probably all wrong on this, perhaps my gut feelings are caused by something (I knew that pepperoni tasted a bit funny) I ate or the mind control sub-carrier signal that networks embed in their program material.

It's hard to believe that Fall will arrive in 3 weeks. The days are getting markedly shorter already. I had made a silent promise to myself during the depths of last Winter that I would cultivate some new friendships and do much more than I did last Summer. Neither happened; everyone was busy, it is very difficult in New England to make new friends, plus not having any sort of network to begin with doesn't help. Thank God that Noel and Ellen are still a constant in my life. I did get to visit with them every time I endured visiting mom in the nursing home this Summer. I've known Noel and Ellen for 30 years now.

Let's see, I'll review my exciting Summer. My new PC suffered a fatal hard disk crash, so I was out of commission there for over 2 weeks. In June I developed a urinary tract infection that settled in my prostate, so I spent most of the Summer in misery and after 4 different antibiotics, it subsides briefly, then returns with a vengeance. And best of all, an early warning rectal cancer screening turned up a couple of pre cancerous growths that will need to be removed before the current White House resident vacates the premises, or sooner, whichever comes first.

The weather this Summer left a lot to be desired; when it wasn't in the 90's with oppressive humidity, it rained with oppressive humidity. We did manage to squeak out (if memory serves me right) two splendid weekends, but I was feeling too much like crap to enjoy the weather.

Things to be thankful for this Summer! I'm still working, and pray this continues, in light of the continually declining economy. Resident Boosh and his apocalyptic posse haven't started Armageddon....yet! I hope if the Big One does happen, Washington will give me a courtesy call to let me know exactly where ground zero is in the Boston area, if it's targeted by an enemy. I'll grab a lawn chair, a book and a bucket of iced coffee, then park myself right where "X" marks the spot. I wrote a rather dark, humorous short story about this for a creative writing class in college, "The Last Perfect Day". It got me an A+, but made the other students a bit uneasy. As dark and sick as it is, I still think "Dr. Strangelove" was a brilliantly done movie.

My holiday weekend was quiet (what else is new). I headed into Boston early Saturday morning, just to relax and walk around. I also went into a rare buying frenzy (no big ticket items). I picked up "The Simpsons - Season 3" on DVD for $31.95. I spent a couple of hours in Barnes and Noble, looking for literary nuts to squirrel away for the upcoming long nuclear Winter I picked up "Weapons Of Mass Deception", by Sheldon Ramprton and John Stauber, "Who Moved My Soap - The CEO's Guide to Surviving in Prison", by Andy Borowitz, and "Thieves In High Places" by Jim Hightower.

It's strange, but me, who used to be Mr. Gotta have every electronic gadget 20 to 30 years ago, doesn't have a single radio at home. That's right, aside from the radio in my car, I don't own a radio. My stereo system doesn't even have a tuner. I purposely bought an integrated amplified, not a receiver way back, in 1986 to be exact.

I had been shopping around for a nice portable that runs on batteries or AC, that has reasonably good sound, and wanted one that also has shortwave bands. After much searching I found one that met all my specifications at of all places, that yuppie Disneyland of gadgetry, The Sharper Image. They had a Grundig that had all the features I wanted for under $100, AM/FM and shortwave through 28MHZ, separate bass and treble controls, filters, RF gain control, good sensitivity glorious monophonic sound but with FM stereo line outputs, etc for under $100, and a nice size to boot 10.5" x 8" x 3".

I was not looking for a boom box, the sort of abortion I see everywhere claiming 250 watts per channel x 5 channels, with cassette, CD, DVD, 12 speakers, rotating disco ball, built in laster light show, internet access, GPS, built in bottle rocket and grenade launchers and cell phone. All I wanted was a simple radio, which I got. It's funny, but when I was a lad, Grundig was one of those primo German makers who manufactured really nice multi band radios with all the bells and whistles, encased in beautiful wooden cabinets, hand rubbed in the Black Forrest by elves. "Manufactured in China" was printed on the box that my new purchase came in. Rack up another one for globalism. I'm probably on yet another "watch list" now because of the day's purchases, "hmmm, why does he need a shortwave radio? Agent Smith, monitor his listening habits and make sure he's not tuning in to an Iraqi Top 40 or Pakistani cooking radio show. And will you look at his choice of reading material!"

I proudly left Sharper Image, traveling under cover, appearing just like the thousands of yuppies wandering around in the Prudential Plaza, "Sharper Image" shopping bag in hand and cell phone strapped to my side (turned off of course, but none of the Biff and Buffy's had to know this).

I had a leisurely lunch on the sidewalk patio at "Dick's Last Resort". Their lunch portion of "Oodles of Noodles" is a great buy for $6.50; nice tasty grilled chicken breast, fresh broccoli, spinach and mushrooms mixed in a mountain of ziti in garlic oil and butter, with lots of parmesan.

I walked around for a while after lunch since the sun had decided to come out, then headed home to watch some Simpsons, read and listen to shortwave before bed time. By the way I listened to BBC London, some ham radio banter and classical music.

Sunday I caught an early morning bus into Harvard Square, and sat chatting with Doug in Chicago for an hour and a half in a deserted corner of a sidewalk cafe. After I got tired of walking around in the square I headed dover to Davis Square in Slumberville to have lunch at the "Rosebud Diner", a classic 50's diner, and tried the meat loaf dinner for $8.95 Every time I have walked by the Rosebud, there has always been a line waiting to get in, but on Sunday I was able to sit at the counter.

My urinary, or whatever it is problem began acting up again big time. I'm afraid that whatever it is has evaded the 4th antibiotic, which seemed to work for a few days. I felt like crap so headed home, watched some more Simpsons, read and was in bed by 8PM. Monday was a total write off, spending most of the day in bed, I felt like crap that had been warmed over one too many times.

Today (Friday) marks the end of another week, busy as hell at work, but I always am which is good. I finally broke down and called the surgeon to book surgery in mid October. I've never had surgery performed (having my appendix out when I was 5 doesn't count), so the long list of doctors, anesthesiologist, janitor, parking attendant, etc I have to meet with with for pre surgery consultations and test has me a bit scared. Then there is the long list of "you should be aware of this" warnings I was given that has me thinking, perhaps I'll just skip town the week before surgery and move to Tibet leaving no forwarding address, and wait for the end from some mountain top. The Woody Alan in me keeps whispering, 'what if they find something else or something goes wrong?' I also have to make a number of long neglected legal decisions; Health Care Proxy, Directive to Physicians, Declaration as to remains, will, etc.

The surgeon "strongly" urged me to get this stuff out of the way before I have the procedure performed. She asked, "have you given any of this thought at all?" I replied, "If I should die, just put me in a large Hefty trash bag and leave me out on the curb on Monday. I don't have any close friends or relatives, so it doesn't matter." She gave me a strange look, "we cannot do that!" I replied, "OK then, I want to be cremated and have my ashes spread above the Bush compound in Kennebunkport by a registered Democrat." She gave me an even stranger look, "I doubt that would be possible." I sighed, "forgive my sick gallows humor, but it keeps me from going nuts. I have no clue what I want to do yet." She offered the dire warnings just in a remote case something does go wrong.

She once again told me that this procedure and the recovery will carry a lot of discomfort requiring happy drugs. Why don't they just come out and tell the patient that it will hurt like hell. I asked her why she didn't just say "very painful or agonizing". She replied, "I prefer to use the term dis-comfort." Today's language is sanitized for our protection.

I plan on taking another week vacation later this month, mostly to burn excess accrued vacation time, veg out and take care of some legal matters.

Here are a few crumbs I picked up over the past week. I have not felt much like news browsing lately for a number of reasons.


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Sunday September 7

The weather this weekend has been absolutely splendid, around 80 degrees with low humidity, light breeze and bright clear skies. The air has that certain feel to it that signals the last days of Summer are here. This weekend's weather has temporarilly lifted my spirits, but I've always been very sensitive to changes in the weather. It looks like "hopefully" the antibiotic that I'm on now, is beginning to clear up the never ending urinary infection that has bugged me since late June.

Early Saturday morning I headed into Boston, to bask in the sun on the patio at Au Bon Pain for my weekly bucket of coffee and a scone, then made my way across Copley Place to the Atrium in the Pru Plaza, where I took up a station on a park bench in a deserted corner with another large cup of coffee. I managed to get hold of Doug in Chicago. Unlike most of the cell phone zombies in town, I try to find a quiet unpopulated corner so as not to annoy any passers by with my idle phone banter. Doug has also been having the same escalating feelings as I have, that something big and nasty is lurking just out of the field of vision of the collective populace.

We talked for an hour until he had to leave to take a friend to the hospital. I headed over to the Living Center to have lunch, and ran into an acquaintance who had very similar surgery as the one I'm so eagerly looking forward to next month. The same surgeon operated on him, and he assured me I was in good hands. One thing I don't like about being put under general anesthesia is that you are placed in a state of suspended animation, or simulated death. I don't want to wake up in some parallel universe where republicans are the supreme rulers of the world and our lords and masters....uhhh, wait a minute, that sounds a lot like the universe I'm in now.

I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around in the sun, waltzing along Newbury Street (the Devil's favorite strip). The rich, and wanna be rich were out in force, seated in crowded cafe's and bistros with trendy names like Fud and Pk Bol. I walked by one that I had never noticed (packed to the rafters with A-Listers) before (trendy overpriced yuppie dives are sprouting up everywhere like warts) just to take a gander at the lunch and dinner menus in the window. One item read "Heirloom Pizza - Small 18, Large 26" I wonder what makes a pizza an heirloom pizza. Is it because it's that priceless, or like so much of food the "I have arrived kneel before me" set eats, it's tastes so terrible, it will get passed down from generation to generation until someone is hungry enough to eat the last slice. yeah sure, I've eaten yuppie food on a couple of occasions, and to be honest I overwhelmingly prefer, cheap, well prepared comfort food, whether it be European peasant, American blue collar, Asian, Indian, Mid Eastern, Spanish or North African, the sort you find in the center of the ethnic neighborhoods where locals eat and yuppies have not yet established colonies.

I stopped in Newbury Comics and picked up a single DVD anthology of Simpsons, "Tree House of Horror" episodes for $9.95 with a Kang and Kodos featurette. One huge global chain wanted $19.95, while another was priced at $14.95. I hope Newbury Comics, a relatively local small chain, continues to do well among it's greedier global cousins. Their prices are almost always lower than the big name stores.

Newbury street was like a boiling sea of people today. The weather was just too perfect to be indoors. All along the street's length were parked the badges of success, Benz, Benz, Beemer, Beemer, Lexus, Lexus, Lexus, Beemer,. Maserati, Jaguar, Benz, Benz, Hummer, Hummer, Benz, Benz, Rolls, Beemer, Lamborgini, Cadillic (bzzzztt! reset, white trailer trash trying to act rich), Beemer, Vette, Benz, Spumoni Tortilla, Benz, Hummer, Trendia Titanic, Toyota Corolla (ahh one mere mortal), Benz, Lexus, Lexus, Ford Pinto (even more mere mortal), Ferrari, etc, etc, blah, blah. I know I'm way out of my league when I pass clothing stores with names I've never heard of that bear some designer's name, "Bumbiter and Cockworthy", "Luigi Spumoni", "Fartworth and Belchman".

After the neuropathy in my legs began acting up, I reluctantly headed back home, first stopping at the neighborhood Syrian/Lebanese corner market to pick up some fresh fruit and flat bread, then had an early dinner at the Greek diner around the corner from my apartment; a generous Greek salad and spinach pie for $5.95.

Today was just for mentally vegging out, a fog of depression set in

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Thursday September 11

First a moment of silence for those who died two years ago on this day and for their surviving families and friends, and for the many firemen, cops and EMT's who rushed in where wise men feared to tread on that day.....

It doesn't seem possible that two years have already passed since 9-11. Time can also fly when you're not having fun. I didn't watch King George's address to the sheeple last night, I wanted to get some sleep.

All this quibbling over the display of a 2 ton 10 Commandments slab being moved, is yet another bit of political media smoke. I look at it this way, people either have the 10 commandments, what they stand for, and the lessons Christ taught written in their hearts or they do not. Having a big stone monolith sitting in a gummint building won't magically bestow virtues on someone who doesn't have them to begin with. I'm no pillar of purity and virtue, sop cannot preach, nobody can. I've broken my share of the commandments on numerous occasions, but I'll bet the neocons who are squealing like pigs over the slab being jack hammered out of it's resting place, have broken just as many, if not more. They should feel relieved that it's gone, outta sight, outta mind. So here are a couple of my own uninspired observations regarding the "Thou Shalt's" and "Thou Shalt Not's" that are supposedly the cornerstone of American morals. Let's suppose for a minute that the Big Guy (not Bush) does exist. He laid down some ground rules to keep us from self destructing en masse.


"And God spoke all these words, saying: 'I am the LORD your God"

1) You shall have no other gods before me. I'll be back, behave yourselves!

Does money count as one of those other gods, and what about possessions, McMansions, Prestige, Power, Looks, Fame, etc. I've observed an awful lot of people, for whom these are the most high and mighty of gods, plus Elvis, rock and film stars and sports heros. Millions erect shrines to mere mortals, who happen to be richer and more popular than themselves.

2) You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

I wonder of the 10 Commandments slab counts here. To be on the safe side, we'd better tear down and blow up any and all statues, including the hallowed Minuteman's Butt in Lexington; no statues of any kind...period! And get rid of Mount Rushmore before Bush passes some legislation to have Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr and his own image carved on the rock face. To be on the safe side, let's tear down all the sky scrapers, monuments and landmarks that man has erected as signs of his own power and might, "no building shall be erected that is taller than 4 stories, so saith the Lord."

3) You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

Perhaps this can be expanded to not swear on his name, like swearing in a stack of Bibles that you are telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you G-o-d. Most of us will proably be on the hell bound train for the zillions of times we've said, "God Dammit!", "Jezzzzuuus H. Christ", "Oh my God!", "Jeeezus, Mary and Joseph", and other invocations used to express surprise, anger or when we can't think of anything better to say.

4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Well another one broken here over and over. I remember when "all" stores were closed on Sunday; the world basically came to a screeching halt except for essential services. Having Wall Mart or Starbucks stay open on Sunday was not considered an essential service, Even God took a day off, and perhaps he designed us to require a day of downtime to pray, relax, contemplate and be away from the office. Today the god of money requires 24 x 7 devotion to the almighty bottom line, hallelujah!

5) Honor your father and your mother.

Mea culpa, I have sinned. If Hitler were my father, am I obliged to honor him? If Lizzie Borden were my mother should I pour out my undying love?

6) You shall not murder.

We may as well delete this one, it gets broken so many times as it is. Americans murder one another because they look at someone funny in traffic, murder over tennis sneakers, murder over stashes of drugs, murder over border disputes, murder over getting the bird flipped at us, murder over, murder over love, money and for the pure adrenalin rush of killing. Yahoo, lock and load! And remember what Jesus said, "even if you think about killing someone, you have already committed murder in your heart." On some level, we're all a bunch of mass murdering lunatics.

7) You shall not commit adultery.

Republikans point fingers at Democrats for doing this, when they do it as often. They just have more money and better spin doctors to cover up the fact. Adultery is like masturbation today, seems like the majority do it. The American advertising industry and entertainment media are dedicated to keeping the collective hormone levels elevated, a perpetual state of horniness. Don't bend over to pick up the soap.

8) You shall not steal.

Stealing is one of today's key virtues, stealing votes, elections, oil, land, money, railroads, corporations, properties of every sort, cars, stereos, TV's, VCR's, jewelry, spouses, drugs, guns, food, booze, natural resources, and anything else that isn't nailed down.

9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

So much for political campaigning. I would assume that mud slinging is a form of false witness, as is anything else uttered to make someone else look bad to make yourself look much better.

10) You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.

I give up, we're all on an express train to hell, from the loftiest of world leaders on down. This probably includes his or her penis, boobs, pecs, butt, hair, looks, in ground pool, SUV, boat, stock portfolio, designer duds, competing business's customer base and sales, etc, etc, yadda, yadda.


Today everything is turned upside down, what was "Shalt Not" is now "Shalt" and vice versa. The Big Guy did say that toward the end of the age of human lunacy and illusion, darkness would be light and light darkness, sour sweet and sweet sour, everything would be turned on it's ear, and nobody will seem to notice.

I visited a web site Global Rich List where you can estimate your standing on the world's financial food chain. Enter your annual income and the site spits back your rank among the masses. I came out about the 60,000,000'th richest person on the planet. I think I'll run right out this weekend and buy a Lear Jet, a 50 room Summer mansion in the Hamptons, and a pair of matching Hummer H1's. The site does state that the majority of the world's population in developing countries gets by on a couple of dollars a day, which skews the statistic toward the low end (bunch of slackers), but those of us who make $20,000 a year or more are right up there with the Trump's, Rockefeller's, Rothchild's and the rest of the polo playing horsey pants set. I can be proud of my all American blue collar pedegree.

Here's this week's roundup of all the nooze articles that I've book marked during the past few days.

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Friday September 19

I'm on vacation next week, not because I have any plans or places to go, but because I have to get my accrued vacation time down to a minimum before my employer's fiscal year ends on September 30. Here's a clowder of catty news items and journals I found during my weekly web wanderings.

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Thursday September 25

All that I have to say today is that due to health/medical issues, I probably won't have much, if anything to say at all until some of the issues/conditions have been resolved. Needless to say my current state of emotional wellness has gone to the dogs. My primary care doc has pretty much given up on the chronic prostate, or whatever problem I've been having, so I've been referred to a specialist who cannot see me for a few weeks. All I know is that it keeps getting worse and now the lymph nodes on both sides of my groin are swollen as are the ones running down both legs and it feels like I'm pissing napalm. There's also the lower back pain and general nauseous feeling like I'd been kicked in the jewels. Then there's the cancer surgery scheduled for next month, which I feel like canceling, then skipping town for some remote back woods area. My ability to concentrate and focus right now is like a crack baby's.

Today, life is not good.....

 

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Shalom, Ray