Buy some boots and faded jeans and go away

I just returned from a place that has signs on the door telling you that you must have a permit to bring a gun inside.  And other places where it’s a felony to carry.   It’s unnerving to look around a room and know that some of these assholes have guns, and just wonder how stupid they are.  And hope they aren’t that stupid.  I hate being in Texas.

But I love Austin.  Once I break away from the beaten path I always meet super cool people and have amazing food and wine.  Austin is one of the few places I’ve found the Delille D2.  That is worth flying down there.  I think the D2 is perfection in a glass.  I didn’t have any on this trip although I did have a wonderful Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands 2011.  This is a delightful wine.  The restaurant had it on the menu for $40.  That was a screaming deal.  I think it was a matter of not everyone knows what it is.  I saw Santa Lucia Highlands and went right to the google.  KL Wines rated it highly so we were all in.  It had a wonderful earthiness that you would expect from a Pinot.  The front palette had that cherry cola thing going on that I just love in a Pinot with a back palette of leather, fresh tobacco and black tea.  It wasn’t too tight on the finish, just right.  A lovely wine.

While I was gone, apparently Rep. Jackie Speier got into some shit.  I am not a Jackie Speier fan and I always have to look up her name to figure out how to spell it.  However, she presented the most poignant indictment on this asinine Congress I have seen yet.  And it bears repeating and repeating and repeating.

Speier then outlined examples of what she said was lavish House spending, including one congressman’s tab for $3,558 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia.

“That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district,” Speier said. “One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.”

Speier also spotlighted a recent trip to Dublin, Ireland, by 20 members of Congress, who received $166 per day for individual meals. “Yet for them, the idea of helping fellow Americans spend less than $5 a day makes their skin crawl,” she said.

The thing about Jackie Speier is that she is a fighter.  She was a staffer in the party in Guyana when Rep. Ryan and five others were murdered by the People’s Temple whack jobs.  And she was shot five times.  She’s tough.  I hope she continues to care this torch.  And fight this fight.  Yes, there are people who pilfer the system.  Always will be.  They are the minority and these asshats want to punish the majority.  Fight on Jackie.  I’m with you on this one.

Speaking of whack jobs with a gun…Iowa is training blind people to use guns.  Has this country lost it’s mind?  Sorry ADA.  Blind people shouldn’t be shooting guns.  Interestingly enough this guy asks the same question.  I don’t think I can do a better job so go read what he said.  And Mr. Pitts, yes.  It does.

I do have a hero in the NFL after all.  It’s Brian Holloway.  This guy could have gone any one of a number of different directions on this one.  He used it as a learning opportunity.  As far as the asshole parents who are talking about suing him?  If your little snot was at that party, fine.  Next time you go on vacation, I’ll put your address up on craigslist and we’ll see how you feel about a party of that magnitude being held at your place.  Rock on Holloway.

 

I know killers in the streets

Syria.

I know y’all have been waiting for that shoe to drop.  Well, drop it like it’s hot.

I have no opinion on Syria.  It’s such a FUBAR mess that I can’t make a decision.  My Libra is in full effect.  And who knows who is telling the truth.

How I see it.

Assad used Weapons of Mass Destruction on his people.  Plain and simple.  He did it.  The evidence is there.

That act is despicable and outside the acceptable parameters for war.  Period.  It should not be tolerated on any level and there are repercussions for that behavior.  If we cannot defend the defenseless what good are we?

How would we feel if someone gassed Americans?  Hopefully outraged.  We were outraged at the death of the Kurds in 1988.  Why are we not outraged at the death of 1000 Syrians.

Alternatively, are we the world’s police?  Sometimes we are and sometimes we aren’t.  The same shit has been going on in Africa but we don’t want to intervene there.  Double standard?

Can we make a “surgical strike” and be done with it without killing and injuring innocents?  I would say from the air? No.  Send in a Navy Seal team?  Yes.  OK, now what is our target?

And how can we afford this shit when we can’t afford to lift up the needy in our own goddamn country?  And morally should we?

One of the big problems is that in 2003 we were told the Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and this country was duped into a war.  Why do we forgive this?  There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Here we are 10 years later and we’re being told that Assad has weapons of mass destruction.  This time we don’t want to go in.  But this time there are bodies stacked up like lumber.  But we don’t want to go.  For the most part the Republicans don’t want to go to Syria where there really are WMD’s but did want to go to Iraq where there weren’t any.  Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

This time I think there really was a chemical strike on the opposition by Assad.  Why are we letting politics get in the way of doing the right thing?  For once the right thing is right there in front of us.  Kind of like Bosnia.  And we are blinking.  Because if Obama said the sky was blue, all of the Red States would argue that it was purple.  And really, how stupid is that?

A voice spoke to me and it slowly started saying

Where to start?

We’ll start with my friend John.  I met John in the title business.  He’s a deal through a deal guy, always looking for the next big thing.  He works hard.  Very hard.  He’s a tall man around 6’4″, very well put together with the biggest smile of anyone I know.  He loves Jesus, his wife and his family.  And me.  And likewise.  When he calls he starts with “VEEE CEEE!”  And I respond with JAY BEE!  We never talk about it but as a relatively dark skinned black man, I know he fights fights that I will never have to.  I know the cops regularly shake him down over his sleek 7-series BMW.  What was a black man doing driving a 7-series BMW in Danville?  That really pisses me off.  And I’m certain he can’t hail a cab on his own.

John didn’t see the mortgage thing coming.  He lost the home that he had built especially for his family.  He lost his job.  He lost everything.  And then he dusted himself off and rebuilt his family’s life, because John hustles.  He never lost his big beautiful smile through any of it and when he called it started with “VEE CEE!”

Last Saturday night John suffered the most devastating of losses.  His eldest son was murdered at a club in Oakland.  Naturally nobody know nuthin’.  He was shot.  That they know.  I know John and I know how he raised his sons.  Once the police are done figuring out what happened it will be a wrong time wrong place situation.  It was a private party at a more upscale club.  He wasn’t hanging at Dorsey’s Locker.  He was at decent club in Jack London Square.  And now he’s gone.  Just like that.  And my friend John is dealing with an unimaginable loss.

Sadly my friend John is not the first one of my friends to lose a child.  My friends have lost sons over drugs, suicide and car wrecks.  And God only knows what else.  One friend who had the means to give her son everything couldn’t give him the cure for addiction.  He ended up dead in some flea-bag motel in Oakland just when they thought his addiction was finally beaten.  She suffered from lung cancer and once he was dead she started smoking again and essentially killed herself too.  From that I learned that once someone loses a child their life is never the same.  And no one will understand.  I also learned that you lean into your friends when they lose a child.

No one knows what to say and they abandon their friends.  They don’t mean to, but what do you say to someone who just lost their adult child?  I don’t freaking know but I do know it’s worth it to sit and drink coffee or wine or whatever with your friends.  You don’t have to talk about the loss, you just have to listen.  That’s what friends do.  I know the loss in unimaginable.  And I know all you have to do is be there.

I don’t think I’m going to be able to deal with the funeral next week.  I do know that when that part’s over and everyone has gone home, I’ll call John.  And I’ll keep calling John.  Because that’s what friends do.

Dig my grave with the Ace of Spades

Kind of feeling like putting together a freak show today…so let’s start…here.  That’s what’s wrong with backyard breeders.  Amazingly the little dog has lived for three years.  And God bless the woman who saved her and helps her live.

And I’m my very own freak show.

photo (5)

 

That’s what happens when you’re on antibiotics that cause sun sensitivity and you drive your car in the sun.  It’s called phototoxicity and it hurts like a mofo.

Yesterday I heard, amongst other things, this band on Devil’s night radio.

This isn’t the exact song I heard yesterday but it’s a great representation of this gal’s voice.  We’ll come back to her in a few.  In the meantime, there has been this great jazz revival happening down there with some young singers taking up the torch.  My favorite is Mecshiya Lake and the Little Big Horn band.  I got to see them at the Sweetwater Thursday night.  Holy crap.  I haven’t heard an act this tight since Steely Dan when they did their reunion tour in the 90’s.  If you read up on them she’s a tough businesswoman having produced their album.  Yeah.  Produced.

I might be living in the wrong town.  Check out Tuba Skinny

When I hear about these wonderful bands I google them and check them out and if they’re still together, where they play etc.  I suppose it could be said that it all started with the Squirrel Nut Zippers who were out of Chapel Hill NC.  More likely it started with my father playing this stuff.

But back to the freak show.  So I googled Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos to see what they were up to and if they were still together and I found that not only were they still together but they had a rich history.  And a pretty interesting patriarch.  He floated a raft across the Atlantic.  That scares the crap out of me.  That Atlantic is a fierce ocean that has swallowed many a sailor.  I don’t think I’d cross that ocean in a real boat much less a raft constructed out of bit and pieces of, well, shit they found.  But makes for a damned interesting bio.  And I’m thinking I need to spend a little more time in the Big Easy listening to some of these up and comers.

And when I die, book Mecschiya Lake and the LIttle Big Horn Band for the procession.  And then walk my dead ass out into the sea.