This is what my brain has been doing all day long.
I didn’t ask my brain to do this. I didn’t say hey. You can listen to that Bosstones song and sing the refrain of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” over it and it makes perfect sense, so brain, you should play that all day long while you’re trying to, you know, resolve the woeful woes of tech admins all over the world. Nope, there it was, all day long. WHERE DID YOU GO lay lady lay HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
It’s not easy being green.
(Today it was only two songs at once. That was lucky.)
So now I wear bifocals.
I’ve been meaning to take care of the glasses thing for a while now. Have been aware for some time that not only am I nearsighted now, but I’m farsighted, too. Got up this morning and decided to run over to Lenscrafters and get it all settled. Ran over, got my eyeballs looked at, picked out the frames, not to mention a pair of Ray-Bans. Came home to my new apartment and did a few things, then got the text that the glasses were ready. Drove over and got my oil changed. Walked to Bar Louie for a beer while that was being done. Then picked up the car and went and got my ears lowered. Then over to the farm for supper. Where my brother whipped up a perfect dish of greens and beans.
And he educated me about a musician named Paul Gilbert. A guitarist I had not encountered yet. A guitarist with the balls to cover Loverboy.
What perked my interest in Gilbert was to learn that he worked with Billy Sheehan in Mr. Big. Billy Sheehan, as in, the dude who did those amazing things on the bass guitar on Eat ’em an Smile.
I didn’t tell my brother that David Lee Roth is the only reason I know who Billy Sheehan is.
Brother made a mean greens and beans. In case you’re not familiar with the dish, which is an upstate NY staple, here’s how it goes. Dice some onions. Get some nice Italian sausage and roll it up into balls. Cook those things. Throw in a few cans of pinto beans with all the juice. Season. Then throw in a bunch of greens, such as spinach, cale, or chard. Allow the vegetables to wilt.
Serve with lots of bread and wine.
That’s what I had for supper and yes, you are jealous.
So then DOD and I retired to the TV room for a movie. Whiskey Foxtrot Tango starring Tina Fey.
Friends, I have not seen such an intelligent, funny, wonderful film in a while. I think I would put it next to Jenny Slate’s Obvious Child in terms of its sheer excellence. One of my favorite films recently. You should watch it watch it now.
It was better than Birdman.
So. That was my day. How are yoU?
This is a dead pickup truck.
Dead. Zilch. Not pining for the fiords. No va. A Ford Ranger that no longer, um, ranges.
There is nothing like having the truck you’re traveling in die on a busy interstate road. Yeah. Pretty terrifying.
Here’s what happened.
So, today was moving day. Out of the crappy shoebox, into the comfy one bedroom. The movers showed up promptly at 8 a.m. They had me out of my old place in two hours in into my new place by noon. Feeling confident having knocked that sucker out pretty quick, I joined my DOD for lunch at Bar Louie down the road. This is thanks to Sheridan Bros. Moving, by the way, they were excellent.
Bar Louie is pretty froo-froo. DOD had the booger. I had the salmon sliders. The girl who served us at the bar was not born. She was created in a laboratory. It is an utterly nice place, and I do not often feel comfortable in such places. I think the Bush twins would enjoy it very much, however.
So the movers didn’t take my R2-unit (my portable air conditioner) because it was full of water, and I had no idea how to get the water out. I didn’t want it anyways. My new place has a nice wall unit that I am enjoying as I write this entry. So, I offered it to my DOD in support of the family’s favorite cause, No One Left Behind, which in Rochester is basically my Rebel Girl Mom (we have always been uncomfortable with “stepmom” so I have just now decided to refer to her as my Rebel Girl Mom instead. She knows why.) and her husband, my DOD. Basically, NOLB provides assistance to fellas from Afghanistan (and their families) who helped the United States during the war by acting as translators. Said gentlemen are now targeted for death in that country and need whisked out of said country ASAP. Remember that when Donald Orangefartblossom craps all over immigrants. These are folks who helped us and who now need help landing gracefully in these Untied States.
So my DOD drove the Ford Ranger downtown with me to secure the AC. He helped me drain it, and we loaded it on the truck. We got as far as past the Pittsford exit when the truck stopped. Dude was able to pull to the side, but it’s a busy road.
We were both pretty terrified.
So here’s the amazing thing. For 17 years, my now departed Grandma G (I will be addressing that soon) has purchased me a membership in AAA. My DOD’s had lapsed, but I still had mine and had my card on me. I called. The agent was helpful as could be and in fact put a priority status on our ride since we were in a bit of an unsafe situation.
Our man J.R. was there in 20 minutes.
So, back to the farm. The agent on the phone was cute and trying to get us to take the truck to a garage. Very funny. Let’s take a 21-year-old pickup truck with a shot transmission to get repaired. Nope. We just carried her home. Said a few sacred words. Misted some smoke over her. Read the kaddish.
DOD drove me back to the new place. I set up the futon and moved some crap out of my way. I realized I didn’t have any food (one leftover salmon slider and some hot dogs weren’t cuttin’ it). So I went to get wine and frozen pizza (what else would I want after a move?) and came back, expecting to set up the TV and spend the evening chilling.
Except I couldn’t find my shoes.
I’m working tomorrow (dummy. should have gotten PTO tomorrow, too.), and they would not approve if I showed up in Crocks.
Sigh. Back to the previous residence. For shoes. Grabbed a few other things too, of course (there’s always a bit left behind after a move, a fact meant only to add to the annoyance level of one of the most annoying events a human being ever experiences).
So. I did that. Drove all the way back for shoes. And the croissants I’d bought. I got back in and moved a few other things around and
and now I am eating the most delicious pizza I have ever had off of a paper plate and that’s moving
In Other News
There’s this windows store (windows like that glass hole in the wall, not like the operating system) that advertises on TV here, and the guy says his windows are so great, and then he stands on a window, and then he goes, “I not only stand behind my windows, I can stand on them.” And then he stands on this window that’s elevated by two beams. Then he goes “Can you stand on THEIRS? Maybe. But it’ll cost ya.” And believe it or not, the guy is not Donald Trump.
I keep trying to fill in the blank with some really clever simile but just can’t finish it. “Answering #BlackLivesMatter with #AllLivesMatter is like…” I just can’t. Just can’t do it.
Because it is stupid.
“Black Lives Matter” is a response. It’s a response to a country that for centuries told black people, through its institutions, through its laws, through its culture, that their lives did not matter. That in fact at one point, they were not considered as humans, but as chattel. And after that, it was, you can’t sit there, you can’t drink from there, and you most certainly cannot swim there. We are a country that has spent quite a lot of effort creating a problem out of a segment of our population who for the most part did not even have their blood lines end up here of their own will. I don’t have to lecture you here further. You probably dig it. Comparing the experience of any other demographic to that of black people in the Untied States of America is a foolish errand. That experience is unique and incomparable, and to your average honkey like me, it is downright unfathomable.
Though I do try.
Having said all of that. I do find it troublesome that the issue of such extreme police misconduct is being tossed around so enthusiastically as an issue of race.
Because that ain’t the real problem, folks.
We got a stiff reminder of the real problem in, say, July 2013, when George Zimmerman was acquitted. And the reminders have been quite prolific since.
The real problem is that, at some point, and I don’t know when it happened, this crazy country decided that police officers and even jackass wannabes like Jorge Zimmerman, do not have to account for murder.
And that shouldn’t just scare black folks. It scares me. And it should scare you, and you, and you too, and U2, too.
Police officers, who in some circles might and should be referred to as “peace officers,” can kill you now and not even have to sit across from a judge. That’s a problem that should unwarm the cockles of all our hearts, not just those of my beautiful black brothers and sisters.
I think if you kill a person, you need to see a judge. You need to experience some level of legal proceeding. I don’t care if you are a cop, a wannabe cop, a black person, a white person, a Democrat, a Republican, a Freak, or Bruce Lee. If you kill someone, you need to go to court about it for some kind of lawful reckoning.
It’s not racial harmony we should be buying the world a Coke for, kids. It’s simple accountability. Cops are not made to account for things like this, and that, my friends, is what’s so incredibly horrifying and should be horrifying to me and you and a dog named Boo.
(By the way, I’m Verbal Kint at the beginning of The Usual Suspects, not at the end. I like cops and think most of them are just dandy people. But this legal system needs to hold them accountable as they would you or me. That’s the outrage.)
Today is Independence Day in the United States, and it should be a day of great celebration among those of us who are restrictively secular in world view.
Um, that means, “atheists.”
Two years ago, I posted an oration made by Robert Ingersoll on July 4, 1876, that simply begins:
One hundred years ago, our fathers retired the gods from politics.
Later in the speech, Ingersoll further encapsulates the miracle of the grand Declaration of Independence and what it accomplished:
Our fathers founded the first secular government that was ever founded in this world. Recollect that. The first secular government; the first government that said every church has exactly the same rights and no more; every religion has the same rights, and no more. In other words, our fathers were the first men who had the sense, had the genius, to know that no church should be allowed to have a sword; thai it should be allowed only to exert its moral influence.
Before our great experiment, kings ruled, and kings claimed their powers over the people derived from on high. With the Declaration, with the Revolution, the Colonies declared war on that concept. Law, they said, comes from people. And they fought and died for that.
We are not, nor have we ever been, a society based on “Judeo-Christian” values, as many would have it settled in fact. We are the result of a fierce revolution against theocractic rule.
I like to reflect on that on Independence Day. And then, you know. Go light a sparkler and stuff.
Happy Independence Day, for the People, baby.
In 2012, I moved into a small studio apartment on East Avenue in Rochester, N.Y.
Rent was $495 a month and it was worth every penny. There was a family of rodents living there before I moved in. There was a window that could also double as a guillotine. There was the noise of the garbage trucks just under my window.
Then, they renovated, and I managed to live with that, though not often gracefully. But the facilities were much nicer once they were through. I had to move down the hall. And my rent went up. Considerably.
The pull to living here was supposed to be the proximity to downtown. It’ll be really cool, I thought. I’m live right on top of two pubs and across from a gastrobpub. And I will have the best proximity evar to the annual Jazz Festival: It will be right in front of my house! How cool will it be?
Not very cool, it turns out.
Not very cool, when you come home from work at 8 p.m. Friday and can’t find a place to park in the garage you pay for due to interest in said Jazz Festival, and so you have to drive out of town to crash for the night. Not very cool, as you discover that your enthusiasm for the Jazz Festival is just waning, and you realize you’re paying to live in a shoebox for a convenience that just ain’t that convenient.
That is changing. Soon.
In a week, I will move into my new digs, a one bedroom apartment with a terrace and a bunch more room than my studio downtown.
This here is me, yesterday, in my new kitchen. Which, you know, actually has counter space. Luxurious. Place has a terrace where one could sit outside and enjoy fresh air, has a dining area, has a bedroom. It’s like living in a civilized manner, in other words.
Rent is the same.
One week from Independence Day, kids. Can’t wait.
Speaking of working in the kitchen, here is a recipe for you:
How to make a quesadilla at home to use up that brie cheese and those two tortillas you have left over. By Aaron.
1. Heat up a skilet. Mush the brie onto one of the tortillas.
2. Shred some cheddar onto it as well.
3. Add some salsa.
4. Put the other tortilla on there. Smoosh it down a little.
5. Put it onto the skillet. Wait a few minutes.
6. Attempt to flip the quesadilla. Have half of the tortilla fold down so that the filling starts to fall out and onto the hot skillet.
7. Attempt to fix the problem by refolding the tortilla, making the same problem occur from the other side.
8. Curse loudly.
9. Dump the whole mess onto a cutting board and lean over the counter, eating with a fork and feeling like an utter failure.