710. A Clear Liquid Diet

Homemade beef bouillon recipeThat’s what the instructions said for my pre-colonoscopy procedure. No eating today or tomorrow morning… only clear liquids, not even red or orange colored stuff. And then in the final three hours no water, gum, candy, breath mints, mouthwash, vaping, smoking, chew, liquor, or drugs. That’s a long time for an old fat guy to go without proper nourishment. The reward for all this is a fire hose analysis of my lower plumbing lines. Ah the joys of aging! The one upside is the medication that knocks you out pre-scopy. The last time I came up from under the effects of the knock out drug propofol I was singing James Brown’s “I Feel Good”. My wife slammed her hand over my mouth until my drugged brain regained a semblance of control. She is a trouper if ever there was.Image result for woman holding a man's mouth shut pictures

But diet can mean many things as Webster’s says…

dietwas used in another sense too in the Middle and early modern English periods to mean “way of living.” This is, in fact, the original meaning of diet’s Greek ancestor diaita, which is derived from the verb diaitasthan, meaning “to lead one’s life.” In Greek, diaita, had already come to be used more specifically for a way of living prescribed by a physician, a diet, or other regimen.

Image result for anorexics picturesSo, one can live a life of clear liquid, inoffensive and easily digestible thoughts, feelings and actions that have no meat, no fiber, and no integrity. Like a ghost or a shadow they leave no mark. I’d call such a diet  anorexia of the soul. For irrational fear of unwanted consequences and weight, the anorexic sips black coffee and diet yogurt and vigilantly denies him/herself the good warm feelings that come with proper nourishment. Instead, stubborn control is the empty thing that fills the anorexic’s stomach cavity. It’s an unsustainable nutritionless idea driven by impervious will. Avoidance and deception are baked in to this rigorous diet. The hunger is welcomed as an inferior chess player to be worn down and defeated over time. The life urge of survival is wrapped up like a mummy and suffocated when the last five pounds finally slip away. But the mummy can’t see her distorted image any longer in the dark sarcophagus of her precisely perfect death.Image result for sarcophagus pictures

No, no, no. I can’t live like that– spineless and opinionless; numb to the world in which I live. First of all, it’s not living but slowly dying, one calorie and cell at a time. The dynamic interactions of mind, body and soul turn to vapors for such hunger artists. Image result for hunger artist imagesKafka’s short story A Hunger Artist comes to mind. What a strange tale of a carnival freak show focused only on a caged man starving for 40 days at a time. At first, village audiences were intrigued by the skeletal man and suspected that he was secretly eating. No, he was proudly abstinent and got upset when the fasts were forced to end. Eventually he went for his personal  best, which ended in death. His deathbed wish was simply that people would have admired him. He confessed that he never found any food he liked, so starving was easy for him. In sum total he didn’t admire himself, and I suppose that was his only higher power– seeking genuine admiration from others. In his final success he failed to solve the impossible problem he set himself: to be loved or admired by others when you don’t love or admire yourself. You can’t climb Mt. Everest in flip flops, my friends… successfully, that is.Image result for mt everest pictures

Disappearing, hiding, evaporating, avoiding are all actions that I’d rather not pursue.  Sure, there are inherent risks when you put yourself out there for others to scrutinize, when you are the lone liberal in a rabidly conservative environment. Blending in is easy if you just drink the clear poisoned kool aid and agree with things that grate your soul or maintain a strategic silence. Likewise if you are the only believer in a secular setting, it would be more comfortable in the short run to smile and nod as your own truth evaporates… leaving you starving in limbo.

Image result for tears of a clown images

Instead of those unsavory outcomes I prefer to comment here and there to reduce the building pressure, knowing that the manure spreader of the majority is going to spray me whether my mouth is open or closed. Screw it! Jesus told His followers that man does not live by bread alone. Which is not to exclude bread but to mark that it is insufficient.  Something more is necessary. The rest of the warning went … “but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”. Therein is the meat, the sustenance, and the weightiness of life.Image result for all types of bread pictures

Obviously there are as many interpretations of God as there are types of bread. Folks choose according to their culture, family faith, and life experiences. Usually they follow their family’s faith practice, whatever that might be, including scientific atheism. We all believe in something after all. Still, some claim that they don’t believe, don’t want to be pinned down in one type of faith. What if they are wrong? they ask. Not choosing anything to eat from the faith buffet is still a choice, however. It is the triumph of the will or massive fear over the drive to survive.Image result for pictures of survival

The clear liquid diet promotes a transparency that permits your gastro doc to find cancer in the nooks and crannies of one’s intestine. Every ten years, if you are lucky, is the frequency rate. Trying to maintain such an empty diet for any length of time, however, is to disappear in body and spirit.

Image result for dying spirit pictures


709. 50 Shades of Sugar Daddy Grey

Image result for easy rider photosYep, it’s Joel time again. He’s been away on the highway grieving the untimely death of his cult hero Peter Fonda, the original Easy Rider. It is a little known factoid, more on the -oid side than the fact side, that Joel was originally cast as the second sidekick in Easy Rider. His character, Wilbur Steiglitz, was cut out of the movie at the last minute when pre-release audiences threw sodas and buttered popcorn at the screen in his scenes, and only in his scenes, causing small riots that had to be covered up in the trade papers. This caused the producers to delay distribution while Wilbur was photoshopped out of the first half of the movie. In case you were wondering how Wilbur/Joel fared, uh, let’s just say it did not go so well for him. As Wyatt and Billy were camping out in south Texas, Wilbur began to serenade them with his mini-travel tuba, playing “Eight Miles High” the way a high school marching band would perform it inappropriately at half time during a Friday night football game. “Bomp bomp BUUUUUMP, bump bump bump bump bump…” Wilbur got what was coming.

Image result for easy rider photos

It could have been the drugs, and it could have been plain old justified homicide, but the pair of bikers turned on Wilbur and cut him into bite sized pieces that they fed to the coyotes. They shot the tuba and buried it in an unmarked grave. The next morning they said to one another, “Man, that was a bad trip” and hopped on their choppers headed for Mardi Gras. And the rest of the movie is history, kind of trippy and anarchic, but a big hit movie nonetheless. Who knows how great it could have been if Joel had not been deleted strictly for mercenary reasons. History may have taken a different course. Hippies might have marched in brass bands instead of mobs.

Related imageFast forward fifty years to today. Joel and his homeboys were cruising to that wild and crazy Sodom of the south, Asheville, North Carolina last week… on my Spyder no less!! Without my permission, putting unauthorized miles on my prized inheritance. Yes, I was ticked and let him know of my displeasure. He brushed me aside and told a story to distract me.Asheville North Carolina  Bears and Spring Flowers Art image 0

“Well, there we were in Asheville and Shelly, Dana’s motorcycle bitch, said she needed to get her hair colored. Which is why I ride alone, you know. I don’t want to be tied down to hairdressers and salons. I’m a lonely rider, on a steel horse I ride. A rider on the storm. Into this world was born, into this world was thrown. Like an actor out on loan or a dog without a bone, I’m a rider on the storm.”

“How original, Joel. Did you want to footnote credit the Doors?”

“Where was I Burrito? You know jealousy is such a bad trip, man.”

“Joel, under those leathers is a man clothed in Scottish tweed. Don’t give me that Dennis Hopper crap! You are not hip!”

Image result for hair salons in Asheville n.c photos“Okay, man. So we found a hip hair salon in Asheville for Shelly. I was gonna split to shop for some wicked wingtips with Dana when the twenty something front desk girl caught a whiff of my machismo. She had tats and a nose ring, cute in a professional wrestling kind of way.”Image result for pictures of professional wrestler women

“She was a manly woman?”

“No, no, Burrito. She was young and vibrant and well-endowed.”

“I see. Please carry on. This can’t end well.”

Image result for sean connery older aged picturesAu contraire, it only gets better.  She began to chat me up. First she said that she used to color her hair my exact same color of salt and pepper grey. I asked her why in the world she would choose to do that. She replied that it was very in fashion to rock the faux grey look these days with Gen Xers and Millenials.”

“Joel, do you even know what those words mean?”

“It doesn’t matter. She was into me, dude.”

“No, she was into your wallet.”

“Don’t you pop my balloon or rain on my parade, jealous bro. The next thing she said was my tortoise shell glasses were totally throw back cool and that I was STYLIN’. Me, 70 plus… STYLIN’. Well, Dana and Shelly began to laugh and doubled over with guffaws and chortles.”Image result for old folks laughing pictures

That’s when Marlee the barrista girl at the coffee shop offered her expert young person analysis. “You know, that’s a thing, Joel. Girls my age are going after sugar daddies. I know a couple of girls who are paid to go to dinner with geezers, Joel. Hundreds of dollars. It’s a real thing.”

“Well, I’m sure that’s not the case with this young, attractive, highly desirable woman. I never showed her my wallet. Plus, I am very cheap. I like to say thrifty in a Motel 6 kind of way.”

“If you ask me it’s a form of Popstituion.”Man with two women in bikinis

“No one asked you, Burrito.”

“I know, I was just stylin’, you know, free stylin’. Running a flag up the pole to see if anyone bothered to salute.”

“Your metaphors are cumbersome at times, bro.”

“Don’t call me bro, bro. It just does not fit our demographics, okay?”Image result for two old men arguing photos

“I forgot this town lacks the cool factor, dude.”

“Seriously, I’m going to punch you if you call me bro, dude, or any other modern slang term that you have never uttered before this trip to Sodom.”

“Don’t be a drag, man. It’s all good if you just let go of your handlebars and embrace the good karma of the universe.”

“That’s it!”

A death match struggle ensued for about 8 seconds. Marlee helped me cut up the pieces and put them in the dumpster. I salvaged the Spyder key and his plastic squeezy coin purse, the tortoise shell glasses and his wallet. There was just enough cash to pay for me to get my hair colored. You know it’s strange how life imitates art.Related image




708. The Stones

Image result for pictures of 1972 rolling stones tourIt was 1972 and the Rolling Stones were coming to RFK stadium that summer. I was 16 and full of myself, sporting about in a primer grey 1959 VW bug with yellow shag carpeting inside. I so hoped that it would be a mobile love shack with shagging in the shag. I even got rid of the passenger seat to enable easy access to the inner sanctum of anticipatory coolness. I’m feeling like Austin Powers here in this time travel post, “Yeah, Baby!”  Yep, it had an A.M. radio with an honest to God antenna, kids. Ask your grandparents what those were. When you’re 16, it’s not so much what is that matters; it’s the grandeur of what might be that motivates and almost fulfills you like the smell of pizza on the boardwalk when you are penniless. I could gain present joy just imagining my fire red final paint job from Earl Scheib Paint and Body shop for only $39.99. Local guys were getting their bugs painted for that low, low price as long as they did all the prep work. I think Earl Scheib is the fast food equivalent of automotive paint jobs, sort of a drive through like a car wash tunnel–only you got a paint job instead of a wash. Brilliant stuff. Image result for grey primer 1959 volkswagen beetle pictures

A bunch of us bought general admission tickets for the princely sum of $25.00, or $150.00 in 2019 dollars when adjusted for inflation. Our imaginations soared with unreal expectations of wild girls and party substances all tangled together while whirling dervishly at the altar of the Freakin’ Rolling Stones! I have a vivid memory of listening to Sticky Fingers on the stereo of Bobby Doering’s dad’s Porsche 911T with Bobby and Richard Cooper while skipping school and racing around the Beltway at crazy speeds over 100 mph. Man! If that was prerecorded Stones, my imagination overheated when attempting to envision the Stones live on the Fourth of July!!!! They were debuting Exile on Main Street on this tour. Image result for teens driving a porsche pictures

Early on it was great to be me that summer. Our older friends would drive over to D.C. to Meade’s Liquor Store and buy beer for us underagers who would drink it in Wilton Woods, trying desperately to impress the cute girls who lived there. (Actually, the beer delivery system of those days presaged Amazon. Very personal service as well.) Most nights that summer we’d sit on the hoods and fenders of our cars near Bobby Doering’s house. He had a pile of siblings, but I can only recall 16 year old Mimi, who was sort of cute but had lots of cuter girlfriends. As I think back on these teenaged outings, they seem more like fishing trips. We were the fisher boys and the bait all in one, hopefully casting our coolness lures and swag along darkened, girl heavy streets. Image result for teen agers hanging out on cars pictures

Glen Barret had his shiny red Nova with chrome wheels. He was so proud of that car and his signature move of coasting in with the engine off, and then jump starting on the way out. So cool… until he did the clutch in, reverse down the street with the driver’s door open exit. Patented to produce jealous oohs and ahhs from those privileged to witness the sacred ceremony. So cool until the shiny red door caught the immovable fire hydrant and bent the door back onto the front left fender. Awe turned to raucous mockery and wild laughter on that humid Virginia afternoon.Image result for red chevy nova 1970

One of the girls in the neighborhood gaggle whose name I cannot recall was in a frantic frenzy after her boyfriend had broken up with her. Her name? Sissy or Missy or Shelly or Kelly or Millie, it doesn’t matter. She was desperate to win him back and willing to do most anything, so I heard. She was cute and had a sassy sexiness that I vaguely remember. Out of nowhere she began to show me unnatural interest. Seems I had what she wanted. “Yeah, Baby. Shagadelic! The grey primer VW with golden yellow shag carpet wore her down.” I was chewed gum in the palm of her hand; faintly pink putty that had lost its flavor. Imaginary wonderings were pumping my false pride just ahead of my car doors being ripped off. Image result for 1970's teen girl talking to a teen boy photos

She asked me for a favor. “Oh, yeah, darlin’. Ask me anything.”

“Can I have your Stones ticket?”

“What? I uh, uh, what?”

“I want to give it to my boyfriend. I’ll pay you for it.”Image result for ferris bueller photos

Dumbfounded and disappointed and deceived… I tried to play it cool. “Sure. I’ll get it to you tomorrow.”

“Oh thanks so much. Twenty five, right? Here ya go.”

“I uh, uh, you see, okay. Never mind.”

It was years before that Meatloaf song “I’d do anything for love, but I won’t do that” so I didn’t have a canned excuse line to rely on. I just felt pick pocketed by a cute little grifter.  She set me up and I felt compelled to be the good guy, unselfish, and kind… unlike Mick Jagger as he sang “Under My Thumb”. But I also wanted to be Mick Jagger and dive headlong into the pleasures of a rock and roll lifestyle, and tell her “No, dammit! Why don’t you just be my little baby and cruise around in my bug mobile?”Image result for mick jagger 1972 photos

It’s down to me
Yes it is
The way she does just what she’s told down to me
The change has come
She’s under my thumb

Well, I took the cash and swallowed my stupid imaginary schemes. Everyone else, so it seemed to me, went to the revelry that was The Rolling Stones 1972 tour. They told me all about it to the point that I lost interest in the Stones for many years. I conflated them into my false start with the cute girl, somehow holding them responsible for my geekiness. Which makes a lot of adolescent sense, right? Nope. I displaced my anger at Misty the Grifter and at myself. Why if it weren’t for the Rolling Stones, I’d be a made man.Image result for james from derry girls photos




707. Hello, Jerry!

Image result for houses on camino abbey drive tucson az picturesSpent a week with the grandkids in Tucson earlier this month as they readjusted to their new/old digs. The house on Camino Abbey Drive had been rented for the past two years and not cared for. Okay, it was trashed, and that condition complicated the move back. Oh my, some folks live like shameless animals, needing zookeepers to clean up after them. That was certainly the case as my daughter and son-in-law had to repaint and re-floor their home after the skanky tenant moved out, leaving a stench of cigarettes on the walls and a profusion of non-contractual dog hair in the carpets. Fortunately I arrived after the largest part of cleaning had taken place.Image result for unfinished drywall next to fireplace pictures

My mission was to finish an expanse of drywall and repair another section that had holes kicked in it. After many years apprenticing to myself in the art of finishing drywall with the least amount of sanding, I feel pretty competent if not efficient in this endeavor. So I set about the taping and mudding process on either side of their living room hearth. Standard three coats of compound in each hole and across each joint seam, using a wider blade each time so that the compound gets thinner and thinner; so thin that the eye cannot detect the compounded area from the wall board.  Very little sanding is needed if you can slather the mud out like creamy honey or expensive shampoo. A little touch here and there and you are ready to prime and paint. Whoosh!! It’s all new again.Image result for finishing drywall pictures

So, mission one was complete and grandma peeled me away for fun times with the kids. Away we went on day three to the kids play place in a local strip mall, where you pay to use other folks’ toys and their playhouse scenes. A mini grocery store, a doctor’s office, a classroom, a pet store, and a post office were laid out across one side of this store space. A dinosaur slide and an open school bus were on the other side with various benches and mats in the middle. Accessories for all the stations were strewn about as kids are wont to do.image1352

Max and Leah tore into the various settings and let their imaginations go, go, go. The grocery store was good for a strong ten minutes, and then the plastic food lost its allure. Off they went to the mail truck in front of the post office to take turns “driving” the fixed wooden vehicle. My grandson Max became smitten with the wooden envelopes that he delivered to the big blue mailbox, only to retrieve them again from the open backside of the mailbox. He would make officious noises and gather up the four or five white wooden envelopes and then “drive” off in his truck possessively if not possessed by postal demons. Once he went through the routine a couple of times, he was no longer willing to share the mundane adventure with his older sister. She moved on to other play stations. Max hunkered down like a dog with its favorite chew toy.image2715

I laughed to myself as I watched Max go postal in the usual sense of the word. Over and over he delivered and redelivered the wooden mail. Other kids did not interrupt him, and he could not be persuaded to leave his beloved mail truck. At three years old he’d found his calling and passion, I suppose. As Max became lost in his postal play, I recalled the mad character Newman from Seinfeld. He was possessive and defensive about the mail also. Max’s mom and I had watched Seinfeld reruns together when she was in high school and college. Grace can do a pretty good Elaine impersonation should you need entertainment at a going nowhere cocktail party. (Private message me for more details and rates.) I just chuckled at the antigravitational way that apples don’t fall far from their parent trees, but farther than pumpkins fall from their vines.Ahahahaha GIF - Laughing Seinfeld Newman GIFs

Smiling at Max, it occurred to me that I was looking at the reincarnation of Newman. I walked over to Max at his mail truck and said dramatically, “Hello, Newman!” He did not know the schtick so he replied, “I’m not Newman. I’m MAX!”  After some explanation and history, I persuaded him to reply, “Hello, Jerry!” with matching dramatic emphasis. We practiced throughout the day until supper time, many hours later.Seinfeld Yes GIF - Seinfeld Yes Newman GIFs

We played and putzed about the house under renovation until Grace came home from work around 6 pm. After chit chat and crackers and wine, we sat down to eat. That’s when I offered my parrot project for Grace’s approval. I gave just a bit of background before introducing Newman.

“And so, watching him slavishly load and unload and reload the mail truck, all I could think of was Newman.”

“Oh, too funny, Dad.”

“And so I give you Newman… Hello, Newman”, I addressed Max.Image result for hello jerry gif with sound

“Hello, Jerry,” he responded perfectly on cue.Image result for hello jerry seinfeld pictures

Grace fell out in a fit of laughter. “Oh, oh, do it again.”

We complied with comic desserts.  Just another memory gem for my mental charm bracelet. Everything was as good as new man again.

706. Dear Kim Jong Un… Love, Mel

Image result for kim jong un picturesDear Mr. Premier Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Guiding Sun Ray, Beloved Father, Brilliant Leader, etcetera:

Image result for melania trump photos soloThough we have not officially met yet, I am feeling like I should know you since you are such a good friend of my husband’s, The Stable Genius, #45, Mr. Cheeto, Captain Bone Spurs, First in his Class, The Donald, President of the Pathological Liars Club. Plus, the other day he told everyone that I was just tickled to have met you, which technically we haven’t but that’s what this letter is for, Your Eminent Glorious General Who Descended from Heaven. I wanted to get ahead of the humiliation he suffered with that other dictator Putin in Helsinki when he said he didn’t know why it would have been Putin who hacked into the 2016 elections. Remember, then he ever so cleverly claimed he’d said “wouldn’t“… why it wouldn’t have been Russia, though even four year olds were suspicious of this back walk. But you know Donald so well, Mr. Kim, that I’m sure you already know these things. And I mean this most deferentially, your record of terror at home and abroad is something to be proud of too. Killing your brother in Malaysia was just terrific. Sadly, we in the West must lie since we cannot just kill people who oppose us. So there’s that.Image result for trump in love with kim jong un photos

Anyway, Donald is very Twitterpated with you and cherishes your love letters that have been hand delivered to him by your green jacketed mailmen. I wore a green jacket that caused a stir, remember? In our super-industrialized world anything done by hand is so precious to me and my husband– hand shakes, hand jobs, hand made fast food, and hand sanitizer just to name a few. We are old fashioned that way, insisting on hand grated cheese and pepper whenever we dine. (In fact, I hand floss my own teeth.) Though we do not sleep in the same bedroom, I know Donald keeps your love letters inside his pillow case and falls asleep breathing in the kim chi smells of each treasured envelope. I feel a twinge of dictator envy at times since your letters arouse him in ways that I cannot. I believe that when Donald was a boy, he fantasized about being the Supreme Power of the Globe, Donzilla, who built walls around his kingdom and slaughtered all who opposed him. In his real estate ventures he could continue in that fantasy world, building and naming everything in front of his enemies; lying about his lies and suing anyone who disagreed with him; and grabbing Barbie’s female parts until she liked it, while saying in his falsetto voice, “Thank you, Donald. Was I a 10?”Image result for sexy barbie dolls

However, Mr. Kim, ever since he got elected President, it’s been a hard slog uphill with all the comings and goings and goings and comings. It reminds me of my favorite scene from Blazing Saddles, Mr. Kim. Do you remember Madeline Kahn as the show girl Lili Von Shtupp?Image result for lili von shtupp pictures

Here I stand, the goddess of Desire
set men on fire
I have this power
Morning noon and night, it’s drink and dancing
some quick romancing
and then a shower
Stage door johnnies constantly surround me
They always hound me
with one request
Who can satisfy their lustful habit?
I’m not a rabbit!
I need some rest!Image result for tired melania trump photos

Like her, Mr. Kim, I am so tired! I cannot continue singing the lyrics either. They are that bad. But back to the incessant lying of my husband… I need to cover for him again. I can’t simply swat his hand away from mine on the tarmac at Andrews. He sucked me into his maelstrom of malice in front of a world audience. I mean, everyone knew when he said it that he was lying. Still, I must suck it up and count it all as FLOTUS flotsam.Image result for flotsam photos of plane crashes at sea

You are so lucky not to have a First Lady, Mr. Kim Jong Un. I can’t imagine a Mrs. Kim Jong Un. It wouldn’t be right. I mean Stalin’s wife killed herself and Hitler kept his mistress hidden until they committed suicide together in the bunker. And I never heard of a Mrs. Castro or Putin. Have you? Satan is single too, right? And don’t get me started on step children. My acid reflux just goes haywire when I think of them! Especially Ivanka and her weasel husband Jared. I try to stay away from them whenever possible. YUCK!! It is semi-incestuous how she flits around Donald like a yipping lap dog. “Oh, Daddy Dearest, pick me up and pet me!!” Makes me want to vomit. It reminds me of how Donald looks at you and Putin. Shitzu!!Image result for ivanka trump with donald photos

So, I’d like to meet with you as soon as your ruthless dictator schedule permits. Maybe you could come to the U.S. for some golf or we could all go clubbing. I met Donald while clubbing. He is such a clubber. Maybe we can have a parade for you. I know you like to review the troops when you fire off missiles at Japan. I’m sure Donald could fire some off for your entertainment, you know, and maybe knock down a hurricane. He’s so smart it’s scary. Did you know windmills can give you cancer but global warming is good for your cholesterol? I have learned so much from my man. Image result for trump and kim jong un photos

In conclusion Mr. Kim, I feel like I know you now that we have had this letter time together. If you’d like to Face Time with me later, that would be cool too. It’s crazy that we are now buds. I just can’t resist this:  can I call you Seoul Man?  Lol!! Hahaha.

Fondly but appropriately,

The First Lady of the United States,

Mel Image result for tired melania trump photos

705. Scamdinavia

Image result for map of scandinavia“I love Scandinavia, the people, the fjords, the women, the whiteness of it all. 

I guess it all started with my grandfather immigrating from Sweden. I know Fake News will tell you that he was born in Germany and kicked out for not serving his obligatory military service, but that has been debunked by Fox News. He had bone spurs; it’s a genetic thing that I inherited along with the funny hairline. We both wanted to serve very badly, but we also suffered from Stockholm Syndrome. Very Swedish. Yep, we’re Swedes all right.  Birth certificates?  Who needs a birth certificate? My dad was born in Sweden or Queens. What does it matter where someone like me was born unless you’re planning to build a library in my honor? But I don’t read, so I’d prefer a high end sports bar set up with 64 big screen television sets. Lotta gold everywhere and my brand out front TRUMPORIUM. Don’t believe what you see and hear. Believe only what I tell you. “

Well here is some fake news to chew on…

Related imageFred Trump denied knowing German and did not teach it to his children. John Walter, a Trump family historian and one of Donald Trump’s cousins, said this was an effort to not offend his Jewish customers.

“He said, ‘You don’t sell apartments after the war if you’re German,’ ” Walter said in the Boston Globe article. “So he’s Swedish, no problem.”
Even after World War II, Fred Trump continued to claim he was Swedish, according to Walter.
So there’s the Swedish thing. But wait, in 1999 DJT remembers that he’s German.
Donald Trump eventually acknowledged and embraced his German heritage, serving as the grand marshal of the annual German-American Steuben Parade in New York City in 1999. Image result for donald trump at german american parade pictures
Like so many things Trump, he can’t be pinned down by inconvenient facts.  Just go with the flow and love the one you’re with. There was the tragic upheaval in Sweden that never happened. Trump told a rally crowd in Florida that the night before rioting had occurred in a suburb of Stockholm. It hadn’t. However, a few days later it was reported that a Russian television crew tried to bribe folks in that neighborhood (Rinkeby) to riot.


My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017

In an article from The Cable, it was reported…Image result for plane shot down over ukraine pictures

Coming up short apparently wasn’t an option for one Russian TV crew, who decided to bypass deontology and just make up the news themselves.

“They came up to us and said they wanted to see some action. They wanted to bribe us 400 [krona] each,” Mohammed, a Rinkeby resident, told Danish radio station Radio24syv. (400 krona is about $45.)

But when Swedish police approached the camera crew and group of youngsters, the Russian journalists suddenly changed their tune. “While we were talking to them, the police came over to us. We did not want to do any of that. But when the police came the Russian journalists said that we were the ones who had said that we would show them some action for 400 [krona] each,” said the boy.

God bless those Russians! Always there to make breaking news when Donald needs some. Remember Wikileaks?Related image

Let’s go to Norway next. Trump famously spoke of his preference for immigrants from Norway over African shithole nations and dark places like Haiti. The Norwegians declined the invitation…

Christian Christensen, an American professor of journalism at Stockholm University in neighboring Sweden, tweeted:

“Of course people from #Norway would love to move to a country where people are far more likely to be shot, live in poverty, get no healthcare because they’re poor, get no paid parental leave or subsidized daycare and see fewer women in political power. #Shithole”

In other words they mocked the racist clown. For a twitterpated madman who rails against the concept of socialism, why invite socialists to waltz into the U.S. on a red carpet? Hmmm, because they are rich and white, maybe.Related image

On to Finland. Who can forget the Finnish forestry management convo on raking that never happened between Trump and the President of Finland

  • Trump said: “I was with the president of Finland and he said: ‘We have, much different, we are a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem.”
  • In response, Finland’s president, Sauli Niinistö, clarified that while he recently discussed forest management with Trump, raking did not come up.

A fifth grader could come up with facts to refute Donald’s feeble minded “thinking”. Let’s just do a brief compare/contrast.

The climate of Finland is characterized by long, cold winters and short, mild, and moderately rainy summers. Among the Scandinavian countries, Finland is the one with the coldest climate because of the proximity to Russia, not to mention the abundant snow cover and low temperatures. 

California, which sits at a lower latitude, has a warmer, drier climate. Much of the state has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. 

But the real Scamdinavian prize goes to the Helsinki Summit with Putin where Trump absolved Putin and the Russians of any interference in the U.S. 2016 elections. The BBC reported…Image result for trump and putin in helsinki pics

“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump replied.

US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

If you are ever in Finland, you must try the Red Herring sandwich. Nothing compares. Nothing can fool the nose of a bloodhound like a good red herring.Image result for red herring pictures

And finally we arrive at Denmark, the red headed step child of the true Norselands. Impetuous Donnie wanted to buy Greenland this week even though it was not for sale. When rebuffed, he quit his planned trip to Denmark to punish the “nasty” female Prime Minister. Hmmm, if he offers to buy the Tower of London, though it’s never been for sale, will he cast off Queen Elizabeth? Uhhh, probably. Just not dictatorial enough, that’s the problem, I guess. Since Trump is such a dick wannabe, he only plays well with other real dicks… Kim, Putin, Xi, Duterte, and Erdogan of Turkey. I’ll have to leave that to Scamapalooza in another post.

Image result for greenland trump gif


704. The Cheat Goes On

[You know the old Sonny and Cher tune. Let’s sing it and polka dance together until the wish becomes a reality.]

On Wednesday, ABC announced that Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, will participate in the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Spicey is now dancing with the stars

Cohen’s still behind those prison bars

The Mooch is selling snake oil in gallon jars

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ lie, la, lie, la, lie

And the beat goes on, the beat goes onImage result for scaramucci pictures


The Dow Jones pounds a rhythm to the brain

DJ claims that he can make it rain

Kids in cages still cry out in pain

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ cry, cra, cry, cra, cry

And the cheat goes on, the cheat goes onImage result for kids in cages at border pictures


Congress looks at six years of back taxes

Gonna find out truly what the facts is

Both sides snarl and sharpen up their axes

Lie, la,lie, la, lie/bye, ba, bye, ba, bye

And the beef goes on, the beef goes on.Image result for pictures of congress in session


Normal decency has been subverted

Now the bond yield curve has been inverted

Not much left that hasn’t been perverted

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ die, da, die, da, die

And the cheat goes on, the cheat goes onImage result for tattered statue of liberty images


Promised us we’d be sick of winning

Just look the other way from all his sinning

Truth is just the art of what he’s spinning

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ Lie, la, lie, la, lie

And the cheat goes on, the cheat goes on

The cheat goes on, the cheat goes onImage result for trump hand gestures pictures


Antisemite, crazed hyperbole

Racist code and winks for all to see

Don’t forget his raw misogyny

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ lie, la, lie, la, lie

And the cheat goes on.


I don’t have time for the porn star litany

He’s just too pompous and cretiny

When he deflates don’t look at me

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ lie, la, lie, la, lie

The cheat goes on, the cheat goes on.Image result for baby trump balloon pictures


The list of crimes is just too long to count

Maybe jail when Donnie Boy dismounts

Can’t wait to see the legalistas pounce

My oh my oh my/ my oh my oh my

The cheat goes down, the cheat goes downImage result for trump in jail images










703. The Weight

when weight is a verbLately I’ve been sorting through old client files for shredding or burning. If they are seven years old, I can get rid of them. I have to make sure they are disposed of properly and permanently. They are confidential after all. You see I’m moving in to the last year of practicing counseling on my own, so it’s an overdue pruning exercise. What amazes me is how much these files weigh. I’d guess over 200 pounds so far and I’m only halfway through the gleaning process. Some cases are unforgettable, but most are already forgotten. Thousands of pages of detailed notes are going to be destroyed, which is as it should be. The product of a good counseling experience is not the paperwork documentation. Rather, it’s a changed life. Still, it’s staggering to consider the residue of 16 years of intimate sharing with folks of all ages and backgrounds. Image result for file cabinets with files images

There is another weight that does not show up on any scale– the weight of carrying someone else’s psychic piano up and down metaphorical flights of stairs, in and out of moods, through life’s tempests. I would not trade the experience for any other any more than I’d trade my arms and legs with another person. They are fit to me as my second career was fit to me. All these cases are so many puzzle pieces that, when integrated, reflect my professional self back to me. Not all of the pieces are pretty or wonderful, though some have seeped into my soul in tragedy or beauty. There have been epic failures as well as successes. Image result for men carrying a piano pictures

Back when I started in my first office space, I painted and decorated with precise delight and creativity. There was no window in the spacious office, however. One day I noticed a neighbor had put four old window sashes out for trash. They were solid old wooden frames with all the panes intact. I let my imagination run out ahead of me and I saw a fake window on the large back wall of my office looking out onto a forest. I went to the fabric store and bought a large swath of woodsy material and pinned that to the wall. Over that material I affixed the four windows to create an illusion of another space outside my back wall. It was lovely and convincing if I did not scrutinize the scene too closely.Image result for dry stacked brick wall

My next vision was a bit weightier. In a back storage room were extra bricks left over from a renovation project that long preceded my occupancy. I talked to the landlord and persuaded him to let me use the bricks in my office for a fake hearth below my fake windows. Having just painted the wall, however, I didn’t want to mar the paint’s surface, so I dry stacked the bricks about 3/4’s of an inch away from the wall. My free standing wall got a bit wobbly as it grew higher, but I capped it with a 1″ x 10″ piece of pine for a mantelpiece. That seemed to secure the brick edifice just enough, so I thought. Image result for dry stacked brick hearth

As it later turned out, meeting with a particular client on a Saturday morning was the best face saving part of my story. We were alone, no eye or ear witnesses.  We were chatting as I sat with my back to my proud but false wall of dusty bricks. Something on the mantel caught the client’s attention and so I walked over to retrieve the item for his inspection. The fake brick wall wobbled a bit as I walked back to my chair. The vibrations from my footsteps and then the palumph of my butt on the chair sent just the right amount of kinetic energy across the floor and up the fake wall. I saw my client’s eyes grow big as a thunderous crash exploded behind me. He gasped, “That can’t be good!” Image result for falling bricks gif

A small cloud of dust rolled across the floor past my feet and onto his shoes. “Yep! I know what just happened and I’m going to ignore it for now. Where were we, Steve?”

“Don’t you want to scream or do something crazy?”

“Uhhhh, no, I have plenty of time to do that later”, I replied. Image result for dust cloud gif

We finished the session next to the brick slide and said goodbye. All I could do was laugh at my stupidity. Oh, the weight of those bricks again. I re-stacked them against the freshly painted wall. “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on me some more.” There’s not going to be a third shame frame. The Biblical truth, “pride goeth before a fall” hit me like a half ton of brick dust that Saturday morning.Image result for brick pile pictures

Finally there is the weight of importance, gravitas… dignity, seriousness or solemnity. Some things are so deadly serious that they pull you down like gravity, into grief or the grave. The death of a spouse, a marriage, a parent, a child, a comrade, a career, a reputation, etc. Cases of abuse leave burned out memories for me to ponder. So there is that weight on the soul when you relive trauma with a victim who cannot unsee or unhear the horror he/she experienced and cannot escape any longer.

Tom Petty’s song “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” rumbles in the background as I type this post. Not literally, just as part of a dreamscape horizon where thunder rolls ominously before the dark rain falls. Image result for thunderstorms at sunset pictures





702. Cuccinelli Funny Fellow

Image result for italian clown punchinello picturesAfter hearing Ken Cuccinelli’s reinterpretation of the Emma Lazarus poem, Colossus, which is affixed to the base of the Statue of Liberty and speaks idealistically of the American ethos toward “the wretched refuse of your  teeming shores”, I once again saw the transactional nature of the Trump administration in every despicable action imaginable. Even the Mooch is finally coming to understand that people are like toilet paper for Trump: He really, really needs, loves and honors them until he flushes them away… soiled by contact with the Onerous 300 pound Orangutan. And the Trump whores can’t say much since they urgently and willingly prostituted themselves to Big Don… Flynn, Sessions, Cohen, Mooch, Tillerson, Price, Spicey, Priebus, Nielsen, Bannon, Gorka, McMasters, Hicks, Huckabilly, Cohn, Navarro, McGahn, Omerosa, not to mention his Fox News Fawners. The naked emperor turns on his loyal sycophants like any good tyrant and eats them whole if they dare to practice loyalty to law or oaths to the Constitution. They find out too late that when you have sex with a 300 pound orangutan, it can’t end well. Indelible marks will be alongside their names in history, just as Goring, Goebbels, Hess, Himmler, and Borman have historic ink blots next to their infamous names.Image result for photos of fired trump staff

Cuccinelli’s name and the absurdly infantile reasoning he gave for changing the rules applied to legal immigrants in the U.S.A. put me in mind of a childhood song called Punchinello. If I recall accurately, one kid from the first grade play circle would do something goofy in the center of the circle and then all the kids in the circle would imitate the act. (Forgive the imprecision. It was 57 years ago, and some of those kids are very dead now.) In any event I can see a tall Franciscan nun clapping her hands, bobbing her penguin wimple, and laughing approvingly at our play. It’s essentially a Monkey See/Monkey Do exercise set to music. You likely know the tune. In my modern comparison, the monkey in the middle would be Cuccinelli and the circle would be the press corps, only they aren’t playing along because it’s not Russia or China yet.Image result for italian clown punchinello pictures

Look who’s here, Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
Look who’s here, 
Cuccinelli from the zoo.

What can you do 
Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
What can you do Cuccinelli from the zoo?

We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli from the zoo.Image result for italian clown punchinello pictures

Who do you choose,
Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
Wealthy folks like you, 
Cuccinelli, funny you?

Hey, what ‘cha doing, 
Cuccinelli, funny fella?
Who ya screwin’?, 
Cuccinelli, funny you!

Such a lot of pooh
Cuccinelli, funny fella
Rewrite our ideals too,
Cuccinelli, funny you!

We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli, funny fella 
We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli, funny you!

Go back to where you came from, Cuccinelli
Funny fella.
Leave our ideals alone 
Cuccinelli, funny you!Image result for mitch mcconnell as a clown photos

Okay, I know it’s basic and below my already low mash up standards. However, singing that song in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis on a playground that would be an insurance agent’s nightmare today, well, those days seem so preferable to the piss and vinegar days we are not enjoying now. Today’s enemies are not exclusively offshore as the Russians were. Nope. They are the toxic fungus among us, having lots of brown and black babies, diluting the pure pearly white stock of earlier immigrants. And our “leaders” keep telling us that we should be afraid, no, terrified of their advances. Oh, the sky is falling on insulated, privileged white people. OMG! My taxes could go up!Image result for chinese railroad workers pictures

It’s disgusting to see history repeat itself. The Native Americans weren’t crazy about the first immigrant invasion by Western Europeans. Then the early colonists weren’t crazy about who followed them. They became quite possessive of the land they had previously expropriated. Religious and cultural differences were used to deny access to the U.S. until raw physical labor was needed to exploit riches from mines and factories. Then the bar was lowered to let Italians and Irish and Greeks and Jews into the UNITED states. Poles and Scandinavians were allowed in to work in forestry and slaughterhouses. These poor, uneducated beige folks were tolerated. Later on,  though, it was the Chinese who were needed and then flushed.Image result for 19th century immigrants pictures

Oh, the good old days… The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Chester A. Arthur in 1882. It lasted for 10 years and was extended for another 10 years by the 1892 Geary Act, which also required that people of Chinese origin carry identification certificates or face deportation. Later measures placed a number of other restrictions on the Chinese, such as limiting their access to bail bonds and allowing entry to only those who were teachers, students, diplomats, and tourists. Congress closed the gate to Chinese immigrants almost entirely by extending the Chinese Exclusion Act for another 10 years in 1902 and making the extension indefinite in 1904.Image result for anti chinese posters in california

In 1910 the Angel Island Immigration Station was established in San Francisco Bay. Upon arrival there a Chinese immigrant could be detained from weeks to years before being granted or denied entry. Chinese communities underwent dramatic changes as well. Families were forced apart, and businesses were closed down. Because of the severe restrictions on female immigrants and the pattern of young men migrating alone, there emerged a largely bachelor society.   (Encyclopedia Brittanica)Related image

Sound familiar?  I’m sure at the time there was a Cuccinelli funny fellow to explain that these hardworking Chinese laborers who built railroads and mined gold successfully were just not gonna be self-sufficient, and were thus a liability on the booming economy of California and the U.S.A in those days. Wash, rinse, repeat. Whatever you do, do not in God’s name learn from history. Otherwise you won’t get to repeat it as is now the case. An uneducated moron in charge, who does not read or learn, operates by his gut like a three year old. Real three year olds can be forgiven their ignorance, but not a seventy one year old who holds the most  powerful post in the world.Image result for moronic trump pictures

As for Cuccinelli, prepare to flush.Image result for cuccinelli pictures


701. Memory Sniper

Image result for fevered brain imagesTopics continue to spill out of my fevered brain in no particular order as I hit the cumulative 700,000 word mark. I think I’m done with Italy, but I cannot be sure. Never say never. Never ever. I never finished my hitchhiking adventure from way, way back in the way back days of my early 20’s and the early digits of this blog. I’m sure there are memorable moments back there; it’s just the thread of cognitive connection gets thin, or something else catches my attention and the story is gone for that moment. What did hit me between the eyes recently was a Facebook post that referenced the death of the girl who lived across the street from me in my childhood. I think I liked her when she didn’t like me, or she liked me when I didn’t like her. No matter. She was the neighborhood tomboy girl athlete, better than most boys at sports. Apparently she died in the recent past from what I could remotely piece together. I am so disconnected from the old school and neighborhood days that it’s just a fluke I learned of her death at all. God bless you anyway, Judy.Image result for blond headed tomboy pictures 1960's

It was a tough neighborhood for girls. Boys were in the majority and ascendancy in The Hills during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Most girls stayed inside rather than run the risk of harassment outside in the aggressive testosterone zone. Not Judy. She played basketball and baseball and football alongside any of us, as well as the hide and seek games of summer nights. She could chuck a snowball like a boy if not better. Climb trees, monkey bars, run, swim, etc. A young Amazonian she was. And a good shot with a BB gun.

Image result for 1960's rambler house pictures

It must have been in 7th grade when I heard a tiny tinkle explode from the first pane of our double-paned picture window. I was sitting down after school one fall afternoon trying to find a fitting place for a jigsaw puzzle piece. “Ptttkkk” was the sharp snapping sound I heard as the first BB hit and a conical shard of glass plinked against the inside pane. I immediately turned to my left and looked out at the gray November sky and our barren black elm tree. I didn’t see the tiny hole yet. Then the second “Ptttkkk” hit and I noticed a fleck of glass pop across the small gap between the double panes. I knew I was under attack and the target. A rifle barrel awkwardly slid back inside a bedroom window across the street.

Image result for bb gun in the window pictures

Hmmm, what to do? I did nothing but worry about the window pane, feeling it was somehow my fault. Indirectly it may have been. The time period of this shooting may have included the swarming of boys toward older, more developed girls in the Hood. A certain Sue down the hill held court at her bedroom window for three or four of us boys on warm nights. She sat in her bedroom window “grounded” by ineffectual parents, while we boys offered her cigarettes pilfered from our ineffectual parents. To watch her smoke in little more than a tee shirt, silhouetted against the back lighting of her bedroom was like watching Marlene Deitrich in the 1930’s on the silver screen. Obviously it left a strong impression.

Image result for marlene dietrich pictures

She would occasionally ask if one of us would like to give her a hickey. Would we? We swarmed like rat pups around a slice of holy cheesecake.

Image result for rat pups photos

It must have been tough for Judy as the undisputed neighborhood jockette, to have broken the glass gender barrier in sports, to have been accepted as an equal to the guys, only to lose that empty victory to the unfair curvature of secondary sexual characteristics in slutty girls. It takes no talent or skill to grow a pair of melons or wear short shorts. No intelligence or wit is involved in plump butts tightly wrapped in skimpy skirts or filling out a barely there bathing suit. I can only imagine the frustration she endured. Her mom and older sister lived miles away in an apartment complex. Divorce, sure, but why leave your vulnerable younger daughter in a boy’s locker room environment? I’ll never know the hows and whys of that arrangement. One can only speculate among ugly options.Image result for thinker statue parodies

I think the stay at home moms on our block had a soft spot for Judy. They could see the raw deal she’d been dealt and endured heroically though we boys could not. We just knew she had a good jump shot, was fast and agile, and tough while still being cute. Not sure if I ever told anyone how those BB’s popped our picture window. It would not have gone over very well when every unexpected expense seemed to herald the end of the world. Perhaps this mood was fed by the nightly news with Walter Cronkite narrating the latest carnage in Vietnam, or the racially torn streets of America, or the string of assassinations. These two glass insect bites hardly mattered in the grand scheme of things. There were just big enough to tinkle in my memory banks tonight. God bless you anyway, Judy.

Related image