Usually, in the evening when my medication has fully kicked it, I like to kick back and let my mind wander with the hope that something blog-worthy might magically appear. Most of the time I have quite a fertile imagination (aka dirty mind), with no end to all the strange shit that floats through my mind. That was a big problem when I was into Buddhist meditation: Vipassana or Insight Meditation. The practice consisted of sitting quietly and focusing one’s attention on the in-breath and out-breath, noting the rising and falling of each breath in the body. Pretty easy. Problem was, after 15 to 20 seconds of that a thought would enter my mind like: I wonder what I’m gonna have for dinner tonight? Let’s see. What sounds good? Do I have it in the house or am I gonna have to go to the store (a real bummer); and while I’m there what else do I need? Might as well pickup some of this and some of that – sure hate to run out.And, hey whoa…I’m not following my breath. I’m planning out my whole evening with all the likes and dislikes attached to each option.
So, for another 30 or so seconds I manage to focus on my breath when sure as shit another thought comes to mind and we’re off to the races again. After a while I can see a pattern developing and become aware when I’m focused elsewhere. The Buddhists call it Monkey Mind The key to dealing with all this monkey business is to observe it, name it (thinking), let it go and gently return to the breath and the present moment.
Mindfulness is becoming a popular term these days, especially after enduring four years of mindlessness, and basically consists of staying in the present moment, not attaching any positive or negative value to anything that arises, and not reliving the past or anticipating the future.
The Buddhists also talk a lot about suffering, which makes me wonder if America is still (if it ever was) a christian nation cause we’ve been suffering a long long time and would like the present moment to quickly turn better. But this is enough of that. If you’ve gotten this far, surely you have suffered enough.
Well, The Wife and I got our first Covid 19 vaccination shots yesterday. It didn’t hurt, but The Wife has a sore arm. As soon as my Southern California County opened up vaccinations for those 65 and over, I jumped on it. I’m getting tired of fearing for my life every time I have to go grocery shopping; speaking of which, I never go during those special ‘seniors only’ hours – too many dazed and confused old guys wondering around totally oblivious to social distancing standing in the middle of the aisle looking for stuff Their Wife wrote on a shopping list. Anyway, for a county-run event, the vaccination process was very well organized. We just drove up in a mall parking lot, got out and walked into the vaccination tent, and after having our names checked off their list, were immediately give the shot. The only waiting around was for 15 minutes afterwords to make sure you were okay and not dizzy. Wham Bam thank you Sam, relatively painless, except for The Wife’s sore arm.
It seems like there’s always something new to worry about. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, or that we’re over a year into a worldwide pandemic that’s killing millions of people. But I often find myself worrying about everything. Maybe it’s post traumatic stress syndrome. Maybe too much cable news. The good news is The Wife and I have appointments (a true pain in the ass to get) for our first Covid 19 flu shots. In my California county they just lowered the age limit to 65 instead of 75 and older. I could’ve passed for a 75 year old but I don’t have the fake I.D. I had in High School anymore; tossed that sucker when I turned 21 and could legally buy beer. So the end is near. Not in an apocalyptic way, but as in running a log race and finally being able to see the finish line. Thank you Science.
I don’t have a cell phone and I don’t do Facebook. I’ve never texted anyone in my life let alone ‘tweeted’ on Twitter. I do use Skype, have a blog, and have downloaded a ton of music MP3’s on Napster-like P2P file sharing platforms which I’ve burned onto a disc and listen to on a DVD player. I don’t do Spotify or listen to music on an Apple I-Phone (those little cigarette butt looking earphones look stupid and imply to me that ya had a really great time last night but couldn’t remember a minute of it). I rarely use cash anymore except for paying my Mexican gardener who strangely prefers cash (guess he’s old fashioned too). I never go to the bank anymore; pay all my bills on-line, and all income is electronically deposited into my account (sweet). In fact, my recent $600 stimulus check came in the form of a debit-card!
So…there’s a lot of technology I use, and a lot I don’t. Well, my son recently set me up with an amazon Fire-stick and hooked me up on Netflix as a Christmas present. And Wow…It’s blowing my mind, and nothing like Cable TV. I’m starting to really like television on demand a whole lot. Ya don’t have to wait till something you like comes on and then record it, commercials and all. Nope, it’s like having a library at you disposal (without all the homeless people sitting around and stinking-up the place. If I wanna watch a little Star Trek, I can pretty much choose any version and watch any episode in any season and get my fill of it. I guess that’s were they got “Bing-watching” from. Perfect for those of us who are a touch obsessive-compulsive in nature.
Another thing. I finally got rid of my landline and have now plugged my phone into my modem (which is fed via landline). It was easy to install. Just plug a phone jack into the back of my modem, call a number, and Bang, like magic I’m calling all my geezer buddies via the internet. [They of course are answering via cell tower powered I-Phones]. My gawd, I’m so far behind the times. An analogue type of guy stuck in a digital world.
Don’t cha just love it when some no-good evildoer is caught red-handed and held accountable for his miss-deeds? A lot of the Capitol Insurrectionists are being arrested and face prosecution ( love it that a lot of ex-wives and family menders are turning in these guys and ratting them out)). Who wold have ever thought that rampaging The Capitol in an attempt to overthrow an election was against the law? A Georgia Congresswoman (the snarky blond) got stripped of her cabinet post for saying crazy shit. T V networks are being sued for slander by voting machine companies regarding damaging false claims against their product. Lou Dobbs just got fired from Fox news, and now a Sandy Hook survivor is after The Pillow Guy for spewing nonsense about school violence. Makes me wonder what kind of skeletons the Flex-Seal guy has in his closet? My gawd, Ya can’t even trust anyone these days, even Safe-Shield auto repair insurance and Safe-Guard rain gutter protectors.
You know, these guys that push these wonder-products on TV seem a little over the edge to me. Maybe their products are good, but the hyper zeal with which they ooze enthusiasm is a bit too “Side Show Bob-ish” for me and tend to set off flashing red signals of SNAKE OIL in my mind. Do I really need a Safe-Guard or some other crap to keep my gutters clean? Well apparently I do, cause I’m reminded sometimes three times an hour that: all my problems are caused because I’m not sleeping well due to a crappy pillow; those rain gutters I’ve been ignoring for years are gonna cost a fortune in home repairs; my house leaks cause I don’t use enough Flexible-Shield; I’m under insured; missing out on a heck of a lot Medicare benefits I’m entitled to; and need a reverse mortgage.
I don’t wanna get conspiratorial, but it seems like everywhere ya look you got a lot of people lying to ya. Politicians lie to us all the time. It’s no secret, they just do. They get caught on tape in a lie, then lie their asses off denying they did it. My favorite term for that is Lying Sack of Shit. Hard to define, but ya know one when ya smell one.
There is a glimmer of hope out there. Folks are being prosecuted and penalized for acting bat-shit crazy and lyin’ their asses off. What’s really sort of funny (actually sadly pathetic) is Donald Trump and the Capitol Insurrectionists (they think themselves as patriots). For his impeachment defence Trump claims he had nothing to do with any overthrow, and his followers defense is: The President told us to do it. Smells like manure to me.
I hate dealing with problems! I hate having to fix something when it breaks down (as all shit eventually does); and I also hate doing things I really don’t wanna do! Maybe I shouldn’t use the word hate (there’s a lot of folks on the fringe-right that are giving hate a bad name), rather, I have a strong adversion to, and great dis-like of things that make me feel uncomfortable. I made a career out of dealing with ‘problems’ for over forty years: problem children at the state mental hospital, problem youth as a juvenile probation officer, and problem adults I supervised on adult formal probation (you wouldn’t believe the number of people I watched pee into little bottles).
“Wow Hansi – you sure got a good rant brewing, but tell me, what do all the accompanying pictures have to do with all the shit you hate, or should I say…strongly dislike and want to avoid like the current plague?”
Well, I don’t know. I just got done dealing with a dental problem – one of the last things on earth I wanted to deal with and right up there with never voting for a Republican ever again in my life. But I dealt with it and as soon as the aversion started to dissipate I started to think about floozies and some of my old figure drawings. So I figured I could be just like Kilgore Trout, the brilliant but obscure science fiction author who went undiscovered because all his work was published in Porno magazines as filler. So I decided to write my ‘rage on a page’, and illustrate it with totally unrelated subject matter. Drawing the female figure takes skill. Making them look trashy is a skill unto itself.
I don’t know about you, but I feel a whole lot less angry, pissed-off, and up-tight now that The Donald is no longer president. And another thing, I don’t feel like everything is gonna turn to shit anymore, and that maybe even things will be better. Maybe I’ve got my head in the sand, or worse yet up a bodily orifice: H U A – head up ass. My head’s been in both places over the years, but still I’m more positive than negative and have a lot less gloomy outlook on life. I’ve yet to achieve anal penetration with my head as have a whole lotta folks on the extreme Right (not to be confused with or taken as, Correct).
I’m sick of the ‘culture wars’ and just wanna live and let live. Sadly the honey-moon in Washington looks like it’s already over, and things will get back to normal. Like a silent but deadly fart, the influence of Donald is still fresh in the GOP, with there being no shortage of mad-dogs rushing to take his place [I especially like that cute blond one – she’s crazier than shit]. Oh well. Things are going back to normal. I don’t thing I wanna do a head-sphincter thing. I’ll just look for some sand and bury my head in it 🙂
Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus. And in case thrice is not enough. One mo time: ThankYou Jesus. Or as the Munchkins sang when Dorothy’s house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East in the Land of Oz: “Ding-Dong the Witch is dead, the Wicked Witch, the Wicked Witch, Ding-Dong the Wicked Witch is dead.” We all know the lord is long-suffering. But it’s been four long years and I think we’ve all suffered long enough. Donald Trump is no longer president. It’s been a rough four years, longer if ya count all the bullshit running up to his election in 2016, but it’s now over. Thank you sweet Jesus, the wicked Dong is gone.
This reminds me of the age old dilemma about suffering. If God is good and filled with love, why does He allow so much evil and suffering in the world? Beats me. The traditional answer has always been: Because God has given men (and a growing number of women) freedom of choice. [I said ‘ a growing number’ because a lot of women don’t have freedom of choice when it comes to their own bodies. It’s funny, but actually sadly pathetic, that the common refrain from the conservative right when it came to mandatory mask wearing during Covid was; “I can’t breath” ( a mockery of George Floyd?) “I want control over my body, not someone in the guvernment tellin’ me what I can and can’t do”. Phucking hypocrites!]
Regarding suffering. Maybe I’m not a deep thinker, but I’ve never found any benefit from dying in a war, premature death due to disease, or starvation, which holds no appeal to me whatsoever. All that shit does is make ya dead, not a better person. Freedom of choice is a myth anyway. I’d prefer to not pay taxes, but cough-up my fair share every April 15th to avoid a world of hurt. So I guess my free choice is to pay or hurt. Some choice.
“Hansi, you’ve had too much medication.” Well I don’t know about that. All I know is Trump is gone and everything is gonna be better and everybody is gonna be happy. “Like I said Hansi, You’ve had way too much medication”.
Sometimes when I’m not having profound thoughts which need to be expressed to the world without delay, my drawing gets ahead of me and I have more illustrations than I do witty narrative to go along with them. That’s when I review my handiwork and see if they inspire anything. Most of the time my stuff is ripe for fantasy, [You should see my stats, there’s tons of perverts out there Googling all manor of raunchy filth who are automatically directed to my website] but for the life of me, I can’t come up with anything for this one. I’m drawing a mental blank. And having learned from Blogging 101: When you have nothing to blog about, blog about having nothing to blog about. At least that way you’re still blogging, and blogging is the most important thing in the world, being connected via social media (does blogging count?). Gotta stay connected.
I don’t mean to be talkin’ about booze so much of late, but a few nights ago my nightly ‘Hi-ball’ started in early afternoon and with a double shot. Can you believe what happened in America January 6th when the two Houses of Congress met to certify the electoral college vote, and lo and behold, we had a failed coup attempt first. This is some serious shit, and usually reserved for Latin America or Eastern European countries. But as I watched this ‘chaos in the capital’, shocked as I was (for someone heavily sedated), I couldn’t help but think: “How pathetic! Is the best you can do Donald?” The whole scene reminded me of when the villagers were chasing down Frankenstein with pitch-forks and torches. He can’t even pull-off a coup, if ya call it a coup. He’s been totally incompetent in dealing with Covid, and inept at even becoming a dictator. Looked more like a bunch of fat white people wearing army surplus clothes taking ‘selfies’ of themselves in the Rotunda, and hanging their bellies over the capital balconies. All they did was hang around and trash the place before they either got bored, hungry and needed another beer, or couldn’t find a place to piss. They were marched off the premises, and the civil war didn’t start. Everybody knows Biden will be the next president and Trump’s star has crashed and is burning, with the rats just beginning to jump that sinking ship.
So….what’s he gonna do next? We got about two weeks before he’s escorted out of the White House. Is he gonna do something really stupid? or is he going to just meekly fade away? When it comes to The Donald, I’ll put my money on stupid every-time.
Wow! It’s 2021. Doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Nothing has changed except the date on the calendar. The big date I’m waiting for is January 20th. Trump’ll be history and that’s when I’m counting the start of a new year.
Donald Trump has left the building folks. Kinda like when Elvis Presley fans were cryin’ for more and wouldn’t quit until it was announced that ‘Elvis has left the building’. Ain’t gonna happen folks; time to get back to reality. It was a great show these past four years. We got to watch nightly as the iconic showman turned himself into a raving lunatic trying to beat a dead horse to death. He’s checked out as far as Covid goes, and appears only interested into portraying himself as a victim of some elaborate conspiracy to keep him from what he rightly deserves: the chance to screw someone before they can screw him. And that’s exactly what the majority of Americans said in November: “Screw you”!
Yep…I’ve come out of the technology stone age and have entered into the bronze age of little gadgets that cost a lot of money. I got an Amazon Fire Stick for Xmas! So now my TV is hooked up to my computer (what will they think of next?), and that means: not only do I have a remote for my television, DVD/CD player and Direct TV box, I’ve now got one for Fire Sticking on Netflix and I can talk to it and tell “Alexa” what to do like search for movies. The table next to my recliner (If ya got four remotes a recliner comes along with the territory, making it a ‘perfect storm’ of never having to get up off your ass) is piled high with them [sure wish I had remotes for my record turn-table and ancient Pioneer tuner-amp]. My son hooked me up with Netflix, so now we have so much of the same ‘ol shit I’ll never get around to watching it all.
The thing of it is: When ya have so many remotes for so may devices, there’s no one universal supreme being remote to control everything. No doubt there will be Hell to pay for that. “Alexa” is nice, but sadly only a lesser god in the pantheon of artificial intelligence.
Boy am I ever glad the winter solstice of 2020 came off okay December 21st. I was worrying there for a while. Most of 2020 has sucked and been a series of botched-jobs by those in charge. But that old sun came through like an American election – without a hitch, rather than crash n burn like a Trump lawsuit alleging voter fraud. Can you imagine what it would’ve been like if the Sun didn’t comeback from its recent descent? Yeah…there’d be a lot less sunburns and skin cancers, but your electric bills would’ve gone through the roof if it was dark all the time; not to mention the cost of all that fossil fuel we’d need to keep warm. Sure glad there’s some things ya can still count on in this life.
Some of you that have been following this blog, or have accidentally browsed my Archives may have wondered: “Hansi, Do you smoke pot?” And I’d have to truthfully say, rarely…. I prefer to use a vaporizer when I inhale cannabis, but what I really like is drinking it. “Drink it?” You may be thinking, “now we know you’re a stoner; ya can’t Drink marijuana”. Oh yes you can! All ya have to do is grind-up about three grams of your favorite herb (‘White Widow’ is mine and, something The Wife claims I’m turning her into by enjoying weed) place it into a double boiler with a 32 ounce box of Coconut beverage heat it up to 180 degrees for an hour and Wowie Zowie you have your own homemade “edible”, or should I say drinkable. In India it’s a wedding day favorite, they call it Bhang.
Using cannabis in old age is great. Ya feel good, all those aches and pain are gone (or forgotten) and ya don’t wake-up the next day feelin’ like shit with a red wine headache – just a good nights sleep. “Hey Hansi…That sounds pretty good but aren’t you afraid you’ll get addicted and have your life go down the tubes?” HELL NO! It’s not a ‘gateway drug’ which leads to harder drug use. That’s like saying pizza is a gateway food to obesity. Hmm. It’s pretty hard to have just ‘one slice’: usually it’s so good I end up polishing off the whole box (wonder if that’s why I’m getting fat?). But that’s totally different and a ridiculous comparison.
I’m not advocating drug use for seniors, although feeling mellow, relatively pain-free and happy is not a bad thing when you’re in your 70’s. I do add a disclaimer: If you have an addictive personality or are working a recovery program, Don’t use mind altering substances. Everything in this country is going straight down the shitter and you don’t need to spiral down with it.
So…What’s it like drinking pot? Well, there’s no coughing and sore irritated throat. It usually takes about an hour for your system to digest it and your liver (versus lungs) to get it into your blood stream. Then it just creeps up on ya. One might find themselves in their recliner listening to oldies then find yourself singing along and tapping your feet euphorically. There’s a wave of relaxation that travels down your body topped-off with a general feeling of well-being. Some times I wander into the computer room where The Wife is playing Spider Solitaire, and comment on something outta the blue. She often asks, “Have you been smoking pot?” Whereupon I respond, “Why no Sweetheart”. “I drank it,” I say to myself as I leave the room and put the headphones back on.
I’m not talking about miniature clamps, but rather indulgences of a questionable nature, which brings you pleasure. Nothing heinous, out-right perverse or illegal, but something to lighten your load (I’m not talking about having your adult diapers changed for ya). For me it’s having a mixed drink every night. Yeah,,,hard liquor, and not the cheap stuff, I’m talking about drinking the good shit: aged Bourbon, Irish Whiskey and hand-crafted Tequila and Vodkas. Okay, you may be thinkin’ right about now, “Damn…Ol Hansi’s an alcoholic”. But in truth, I’m not an alcoholic (“sure Hansi, that’s what all alcoholics say”). Really I’m not. I just have one drink a night (“another thing all alcoholics say”‘). Really I do, and I’ll tell ya why. Ya gotta control your vices or they’ll control you. I know (and boy do I know) that if I have two drinks or more, I’m gonna feel like shit the next morning. Ain’t Gods punishment. Just and old body that takes longer to recover. Plus, as a probation officer for 30 years, I’ve seen the down-side of Addiction and want no part of it!
The thing is, a little “hi-ball” before dinner sure seems to mellow me out and make everything that follows tolerable; even Cable ‘News’ (I’ve been watchin’ way too much of that shit lately). Watching the news nightly is really depressing, that’s why I enjoy a drink. Takes the edge off. [I bet a lot of my “Senior” brothers and sisters are surviving this Covid thing by becoming half-drunk every night]. The thing with alcohol is: used in moderation it can be beneficial, used in excess…devastating. Sure blows a hole through the theory that “If a little is good, a lot has got to be better”.