Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday Pancakes and Sacramento Flights…

The flight this evening is particularly, to this point uneventful, I can see the Mississippi River out the left side of the plane, am aware that there are some pretty vicious storms up through Nebraska and Colorado, and have seen the movie about four times this month – probably a good reason to put in one of those conveniently hip Starbucks CD’s and listen to music that I would otherwise ignore – for the most part anyway. It was funny at the Sasquatch Festival, the music that I thought I would enjoy most was simply a few highlights off those collections – the rest of the music sounded absolutely different than I expected – but hell, that is sort of like that cap gun you got when you were eight and you realized that after you burned through the first three thousand paper caps, you had to find a way to get more caps – and so the gun went into the bin with the rest of those things that lost their shine when the moving parts needed a little maintenance.
I went for one reason, that was to see the Kings of Leon, and was not disappointed – I was tired, there is nothing comparable to sitting in the sun for 14 hours waiting for a band, ingesting bad things into the body at a pace similar to a redneck at a NASCAR event, and then staying up a few hours longer after the concert wound up from the excitement. Music that sounds exactly the same live as it does on the CD is impressive to me – there were several bands that came out and did that canned background crap, doubled with their own voice tracks, and had more technology than talent – that may be art, but it is not much like music. When you see a guy holding a guitar – you really should not hear Tuba – or when you see a lady holding a Tuba, you really should ask yourself why in the hell she is holding a Tuba. Jane’s Addiction played, and in usual Perry fashion, it was almost like a coming out party – that guitarist guy looked like he had been hosed down by tan in a can, had a few more temporary tattoos, and posed shirtless all night long, Perry fell out of a GQ clothing add as he sucked down bottles of white wine – and mumbled some incoherent wisdom that I am sure he found very important – and played a best of collective that could be reminiscent of the “Rock 107.9 – All of your favorite hits from the 80’s and 90’s all the time” – still it was a good show, and after suffering through NIN singing Animal over and over again (I say that because I can’t tell the difference between any of his stuff with the exception of Hurt – and I think Johnny Cash stole the “good version “ of that one) it was a little bit of welcome relief.
Concerts at the Gorge are an experience – and I would recommend anyone at least once in their life, go there, get a campsite, and go to a show. The amphitheatre overlooks the Columbia River, it is dry and dusty, and hot, but as the sun starts to set, it cools quickly, and there is enough room to be a part of the music or just be listening to the music. Hell, this year, there was enough room for a couple of kids to decide the mood was right, and they proceeded to have what we can call “intercourse” in front of 65,000 of their nearest and dearest friends whilst The Decemberists were playing (I was peacefully sleeping off the mornings twelve pack and cape cods) when I was awakened by those same 65,000 standing, applauding, pointing, and laughing – you should check it out, it’s on YouTube – hell, maybe I will throw that in as the link for this post. Well – that’s enough about Sasquatch – I will go again next year, no matter who plays, and am sure that it will be as exciting as this year and as last year –
Sacramento – I really have not seen much of Sacramento, even though I have spent a great deal of time there – it does not seem like much to see – it sort of reminds me of Kansas City or St. Louis, except the people wear Birkenstocks instead of cowboy boots and sneakers. It is dusty and dry, and has the constant California look to it – the image of mountains in the background, dirty highways, and In and Out Burgers and Carls Jr Joints in just about every strip mall. The Indian Casino is about thirty four minutes away from the hotel, and of course I have been there to get my ritualistic fill of shitty feelings and dumping my hard earned cash into a machine or throwing it at a few cards, but it is like everything else that I have run across out there – a little rough around the edges, a little removed – I mean you have to want to go to Sacramento to get there, or be on your way to a weekend bender in Reno, but then again, you could bypass the place and just fly direct. They say there is a River there, I have not seen it – maybe that will be my goal this year, to go see the river, and figure out what the hell it is called. Most towns, you can get a pretty good indication from the airport what you are going to run into, and Sacramento is no exception – a mini-California with an oddly Republican twist of farmers and folk – a retirement community and government supported city with traffic and tall buildings. Like I said earlier, that image of a California town – always mountains in the distance – at least a pretty backdrop to an otherwise normal place.
Sunday mornings, of course, you know all about my Sunday mornings – I think they are a pretty recurring theme in these blogs, (by the way, the pilot is now over that nasty weather and is flying this 737-800 like a kid at a go cart track – unless the autopilot just likes to see at what angle it can fly to spill my diet coke on my computer) – I had the kids this weekend, and Saturday I felt like pigeon shit on frogs ass crackers (I arrived home Friday night at seven from the West Coast, was jet lagged, could not sleep, and woke up around 10:00 AM – with my daughter smiling at me saying “we had oatmeal cookies for breakfast”) – it was almost cheating them of their time, but I made up for it as best I could with the busy afternoon and the trip to the Grandparents (for them, not much fun, but they ended up with five bucks and a stomach full of fried chicken) and then a promise of Sunday morning pancakes. And I kept that promise – amazing how fulfilling one promise makes up for a world of mistakes – their smiling faces and syrup shiny lips eating bite after bite, happy that Dad kept his promise, happy to wake up at the same time, and happy to have a morning eating breakfast together. I did not even go through the Sunday morning chores routine – I figured after they had been patient with my inability to wake up and spend Saturday morning with them, that they did not deserve any vacuum duties or laundry assignments or emptying the dishwasher. They deserved pancakes and butter and syrup smiles, and that is what they got.
The travel has been harder lately, you know, when you don’t take 48 hours off on the weekends, and you shuffle all of your belongings in and out of a carry on, and you spend you resting time just catching up on laundry and bills, it gets a little demeaning to try and have a relationship with anything that may require more than a glance and a smile. You don’t give everything to it – particularly on the East Coast to West Coast travel – you go 9 hours – at least I do, from one ocean to the other, and then back 9 hours to the other ocean – to do it again in 38 hours – that’s what you live. When you are in one place or the other, you spend 24 hours as a zombie, and then the rest, well that is yours. With the help of a good family practitioner, you can take something to ease the flight, and perhaps something to ease the guilt of being an absent parent, husband, and friend, but you really can’t do much about the reality that the road becomes your veins, and it is what keeps you moving. It becomes all that you know. Sure, it does not have to; there are a million books out there about breaking free from the mold of Corporate America and pushing the envelope, and getting life coach, and etc, etc, etc…and unless you are writing those books, odds are, you are not the one who broke through to the other side – odds are, I will see you in Hartsfield one day, just passing through.
What is the incentive to break that mold – and what decisions do you have to make to get out of that place? I am not the one to ask – and I probably read more about it than I should (if you ever want to feel like your accomplishments pale in the face of others – than read just about every business book out there that touts self-realization as the key to reality and the doors of success) I would like to know that answer. The probability of finding a good idea, at the right place, at the right time, with the right backing – well that’s slim – and if you measure yourself in swimming pools , cars, and vacations – you need all of those things to fall into place. I believe as much as the next person that there is opportunity to work hard – I just don’t believe in Horatio Algiers anymore –
Maybe the book thing will help – maybe that is what I was meant to do – so when you see this book, make sure to tell a friend, I need the money, and to stop over sleeping on Saturday mornings….


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ann Coulter Sucks...

I just had to title one of my 11th grade level writings this way, I could have titled it Rush Limbaugh loves his Man Boobs Massaged by Ann Coulter's Penis - but that was too many words, and probably would take up too much space - and it would essentially give away the real emotion behind how I am feeling these days about the political scene - I am not as educated as those two are, no where near as successful, but last time I checked, my addiction to prescription pain killers was in check, I was not a walking heart attack, and odds are I could get laid with someone if I tried (okay, the last one may be pushing it a bit)...

It has been a month since I actually sat down and tried to write anything - a complete and total thirty days of blurs - Sacramento, Jacksonville, Sea World, Atlanta, back to Sacramento, Washington State, the Yakima River, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 sky miles and several beers later, here I am back in the travel saddle and feeling perky enough to write (perky as in Rush's Breasts - not Ann Coulters mind you, the only thing I find perky about her are the thin lips waxed heavy with hot pink hooker style lip stick - and of course the hair - it reminds me of the Brady Bunch episode where Marsha brushes her hair 100 times to make it straight.) None the less, I, as usual digress, and have nothing really important to say, other than to try and get the spinal fluid moving from my tail bone (there is a medical name for it) back to my brain - which has been swimming in a pool of alimony agreements, vacation plans, mindless banter and the occassional twelve pack of coors light whilst being serenaded by the Avett Brothers over my ipod. My motivation has been so bad that the gym in the hotel seems like climbing Everest- and I find that I need to rest on the second bed in the hotel room as I move towards the microwave to eat another ham and cheese Hot Pocket. (Note to all of the health conscious people - I am not a scientist, but after eating one of those, I wake up feeling like I drank 40 gallons of water - swollen like a melon - that can't be good for you).

There are a couple of fair skinned red heads sitting across from me, they obviously went somewhere with sun - they resemble burn victims, and although I find it mildly erotic as they apply aloe to each of their shoulders, I wonder why they did not go over to the Costco and pick up the 40 gallon jug of 300 SPF sun lotion - to each his own, I am just happy that they continue to assist each other with aloe application.

It is funny to see the people in and out of this place - they all give the casual glance, sometimes you get a smile, sometimes you get a short conversation about coming and going, sometimes a business card for someone you will never use (the last one that was given to me was by an acoustic engineer who flies on planes for a living testing vibration - man - I hate doing this four times a week - I can only imagine how fucking crazy that guy must be).You get the stressed out moms, and the tired dads, and the stressed out dads, and the tired moms - you occassionally get those enlightened special children that were reared to stare at you and ask questions like "Mommy, this man has hair on his face. Mommy why does this man have hair on his face. Mommy, his face should be more normal with no hair on his face. Mommy that man is eating and has food in the hair on his face. I am not allowed to put food in my hair." and so on, and then you get those little angels that are obedient, and well behaved and their tired droopy eyes just say to you - "I want to go home and sleep in my own bed and have my own blanket". You get those teenagers who think it is cool to wear their hats sideways and show off their unique boxer shorts or the girls who have "JUICY" emblazoned across their ass in skin tight cotton sweat pants, then you get the guys like me - we do this too much to really give a shit, we smile, we nod, we mostly walk like we have somewhere to go, and we all seem to hang out in the same quiet spots where you can watch CNN Airport, or enjoy a beer without all of the above hanging around. We know the Hartsfield Terminals as well as the designers, and know that we can walk from T to A and get our fill of culture of African Sculpture, or head over to the E Terminal and get a good prescription of Southern History, and if needed, we can buy flip flops, shoes, a shirt, and book in about thirty minutes in one terminal. We also know where to plug in our phones, sleep, and the cleanest bathrooms.

It is sort of an unspoken membership, you know the other members, the folks who actually dress to fly are not members, on a Sunday afternoon, there are no slacks, there are flip flops and Tevas and sport shirts and ball caps for the club members - but we all have our man-purses, and a phone. If you wear a blue tooth, we look upon you suspectingly as nearly a member, but if you do this as much as the rest of club, you know that blue tooth is way to close for comfort. We all have Bose noise headsets, and swear by them religiously, we no longer stare up at the upgrade screen, we have surrendered to the fact that it happens and it does not happen - and are happy when the plane makes it to where we are going, and that the rental car lot is not filled with mini-vans or PT Cruisers. That's us...

Well, time to head to the gate - I was just starting to enjoy the fish bowl - at times, it goes so quiet in here, like the chapel at a hospital, but the plane leaves, and I have to go buy some book, by some author, about some topic, and pretend that Ann Coulter really has something important to say...