Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Avett Brothers - Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise


There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what's wrong and what's right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I'm frightened by those who don't see it

When nothing is owed, deserved or expected
And your life doesn't change by the man that's elected
If you're loved by someone you're never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it.

There was a dream
One day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid, with a head full of doubt
So I scream til I die or the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

There's a darkness upon you that's flooded in light
In the fine print they tell you what's wrong and what's right
And it flies by day and it flies by night
And I'm frightened by those who don't see it

The Avett Brothers - The Ballad of Love and Hate


Love writes a letter and sends it to Hate.
"My vacation's ending. I'm coming home late.
The weather was fine and the ocean was great
and I can't wait to see you again."
Hate reads the letter and throws it away.
"No one here cares if you go or you stay.
I barely even noticed that you were away.
I'll see you or I won't, whatever."
Love sings a song as she sails through the sky.
The water looks bluer through her pretty eyes.
And everyone knows it whenever she flies,
and also when she comes down.
Hate keeps his head up and walks through the street.
Every stranger and drifter he greets.
And shakes hands with every loner he meets
with a serious look on his face.
Love arrives safely with suitcase in tow.
Carrying with her the good things we know.
A reason to live and a reason to grow.
To trust. To hope. To care.
Hate sits alone on the hood of his car.
Without much regard to the moon or the stars.
Lazily killing the last of a jar
of the strongest stuff you can drink.
Love takes a taxi, a young man drives.
As soon as he sees her, hope fills his eyes.
But tears follow after, at the end of the ride,
cause he might never see her again.
Hate gets home lucky to still be alive.
He screams o'er the sidewalk and into the drive.
The clock in the kitchen says 2:55,
And the clock in the kitchen is slow.
Love has been waiting, patient and kind.
Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign,
That the one that she cares for, who's out of his mind,
Will make it back safe to her arms.
Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door.
Weary head hung down, eyes to the floor.
He says "Love, I'm sorry", and she says, "What for?
I'm yours and that's it, Whatever.
I should not have been gone for so long.
I'm yours and that's it, forever.
You're mine and that's it, forever."


The Avett Brothers - Morning Song

I was just now lying on the couch channel-surfing, trying to go to sleep, when I stopped on "Austin City Limits" and thought, "Well, another boring jam band, whoever they are, will certainly do the trick." Instead, I first got goosebumps and then started bawling at this song! It's beautiful! I'd never even heard of these guys before...

Hurts so bad, you don't come around here anymore
Worse than that, nothing's really helping
I've been thinking about drinking again
It's all right if you've finally stopped caring
Just don't go and tell someone that does
'Cause even though I know there's hope in
every morning song,
I have to find that melody alone
Her name became the flame unto the fire
A magpie on a wire warned of those
dead unto the high, shamelessly alive unto the low
It's all right if you've finally stopped caring
Just don't go and tell someone that does
'Cause even though I know there's hope in
every morning song,
I have to find that melody alone
We can go ahead if no one notices,
what's the point of it? I have to ask
how you learn to see the hope eternally
when you're sure to be leaving last?
Hurts so bad, more than I expected that it would
Worse than that, it seems to be lasting
just a little longer than it should
It's all right if you've finally stopped caring
Just don't go and tell someone that does
'Cause even though I know there's hope in
every morning song,
I have to find that melody alone
I have to sing the melody alone

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

In Bed with Kris Jenner

A joke picture posted by Kris Jenner last week on Instagram with actress Jennifer Lawrence. (Joking aside, I find this picture really hot --- I'd actually love to be caught in exactly this position with Kris Jenner!)
(p.s. The books are Joan Didion's "Play It As It Lays" and Camus' "The Plague.")

Monday, August 24, 2015

Apartment, 2015


The Donald

OK, don't any lib'rals get all riled up and call me a racist! I bought this to be funny (hey, I don't have a car, so where am I going to put it, plus I'm old enough to remember the Ivana "The Donald" reference back in the '80s), but only partially funny: I actually WILL vote for the man if he comes up with some actual specifics on policy in months to come.

For the time being, I like Trump because he is the only candidate, left or right, that I've heard describe the Iraq/Iran situation accurately: We shouldn't have gone in to unseat Hussein because before we interfered, Hussein's Iraq and the revolutionary Iran were pretty equally counterbalanced and spent their time fighting each other, while simultaneously keeping the radical elements within their countries in check. George W's unseating of Hussein as payback to his daddy has led to utter chaos in the region, the strengthening of Iran, and the strengthening of radical Muslim terrorists. (Neither Jeb Bush nor Hillary Clinton -- who stupidly voted to support the Iraq war to secure her "mainstream-at-the-time" credentials -- will EVER admit that.)

I also like Trump because he's the only one pointing out the incredible weakness of U.S. global trade policies. Countries like China, Japan, and Mexico really ARE getting the better of us economically. (Trump, of German heritage, also points out the ridiculousness of U.S. bases in places like Germany -- an economic powerhouse that can surely afford to pay its own military way.) Trump actually has been making deals with global leaders for decades now -- and, yes, I do trust him more than any other candidate to make intelligent, hard-headed economic deals with other countries.

Trivially, I like Trump for little things like, oh, not backing down from using the phrase "anchor babies." At the New Hampshire town hall last week, a reporter asked him if he was aware that the term was offensive. Trump said, "I didn't know that. What am I supposed to say?" The reporter said something like, "Babies born to undocumented workers who have crossed the border..." Trump: "OK. No. I'm going to say 'anchor babies.'" Now, immediately the social-media response from Hillary, et al., was "They're BABIES." Usually, that would be the case. But NOT when their MOTHERS are INTENTIONALLY crossing the U.S. border to have their babies, to take advantage of the kindly 14th Amendment -- it's these mothers, not Donald Trump, who turned their own babies into political pawns.

Similarly, I refuse to be called a "racist" because I support control of our own borders. As Trump said to Chuck Todd, "Do we have a country or don't we?" (1) If white Canadians were overrunning our border to the north for whatever reason, I'd feel exactly the same way. (2) Mexico, and most other countries, don't have such a policy of allowing anyone born in the country to have automatic citizenship. Why is anyone in the U.S. asking for some similar control of the situation considered to be a "racist"?

I'm not all-in with Trump yet. Like I said, I'm waiting for some actual policy statements on issues other than immigration before I can relax a little -- I'm a bourgeois-wannabe, after all; I need a little order. In the meantime, I deeply resent the current media insinuation that all of those who support Trump are "blue-collar, uneducated males." I'm thinking of having a bumpersticker printed up that says: "Bisexual Women with Masters' Degrees in English for Trump." Catchy, huh?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I used to dance...

And tonight, via "Billie Jean," I found out that I still do. This YouTube clip doesn't do the loudness of my stereo (for 4 minutes) or of my unleashed dance-machine or of the invisible camera filming me justice. Sorry, neighbors. Thanks, though, Michael Jackson and Donald Trump, for the pump-up; I needed it.

Joan Crawford, 1932


Joan Crawford, 1934

"Ridiculously beautiful."

Fridays with Bernie and Donald

I'm a political geek -- shallowly, not so much the nitty-gritty tedium of policy-making, but rather the process that entails getting someone elected and the policies that these candidates publicly espouse and how people react to them.

Friday, watched Donald Trump's 30,000-people to-do in the Mobile, Alabama, stadium; then later on C-SPAN saw Bernie Sanders' speech (not sure where).

Right now, I would vote for Trump in a second. But I'm also supportive of some of Sanders' stances. Where the two intersect:

Our country's trade policies have been/are disastrous. (Trump and Sanders agree that American companies should not be shipping jobs overseas and that the companies should be penalized for doing so.)

The war in Iraq was disastrous. (As a Senator, Sanders has always voted against this war. Trump has said for years, and just reiterated, that in the past, Iran/Iraq were counterbalanced and that when the US deposed Hussein, we then tilted the balance toward Iran--and, with our recent arms deal, just strengthened Iran's hand even further.)

Where I support Trump in addition to trade policy/Iraq:

Yes, illegal immigration. First, I am sick of preceding any statement on the topic with, "I am not a racist." Were white Canadians flooding our country's border from the north, I would be equally adamant: Don't come here illegally and then expect social services for the next 50 years and other 50 relatives of your life! Were poor Mexicans coming here only for the field-work and then leaving post-season, there wouldn't be an issue. Other countries (such as Germany) have "guest worker" programs that function just fine. But US illegals often stay --- and start draining our country's social services.

Where I support Sanders in addition to trade policy/Iraq:

A living wage. Anyone working 40 hours a week should not be living in poverty. Our country's current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. That's $290 per week, $1160 per month. Unless you live in a cave or hovel, you can't pay for rent/food/utilities on that. Many people aren't so-called "skilled" workers and must work in low-paying industries. They shouldn't have to suffer for that or ask for welfare for that. Ironically, because "Industry" won't pay higher wages, low-wage workers must then apply for Government aid to survive.

I also agree with Sanders that our country needs a single-payer health-care system via Medicare. Currently, workers are reliant on their specific employers for health-care. I currently work for my state and so have good health-care coverage. Years ago, though, I moved to New York City and tried my luck there, temping for years, and temping for years more once I moved back to Texas. A period of 7 years when I was completely uncovered by any health-care plan. Luckily, I did not break a leg or get cancer. Had the former happened, I'd have had thousands added to my debt; had the latter happened, I'd be dead. Those "penalties" for things beyond one's control -- as opposed to one's laziness -- seem harsh. And the current practice of being absolutely beholden to one's job for health-care services seems predatory and ridiculous.

Being beholden to one's job for anything other than a weekly/monthly paycheck, including health-care, also brings to mind a larger question: WHY is "the system" set up for citizens to be beholden to a COMPANY for anything other than the paycheck? A company's practices are so utterly capricious and random... Why shouldn't the government of a society provide a BASIC safety net funded by the taxes that we all pay? We're not cave people, after all, forced individually to hunt for basic sustenance and crawl off to die when injured like an animal. We have, since then, allegedly developed a process for governance and such a concept as "society."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Paul McCartney - Beautiful Night (1997)

I'm grateful for any human interaction.
Today, a researcher where I work, who grew up with the Beatles, said he preferred George. Because he was laid-back and non-dramatic. Because he went about his business while creating. (My argument to my co-worker: Yes, but George blew his wad with "All Things Must Pass" and didn't do much of anything after. I appreciate the fact that he wasn't sufficiently appreciated while with the Beatles --- but when he was free to do whatever... he didn't do much else after "All Things Must Pass." )

When I first discovered the Beatles in 1980 as a 15-year-old, I preferred the intense-and-meaningful John. I posted his lyrics to "Working Class Hero" and "Woman Is the Nigger of the World" on my walls.

As I've grown older, I like Paul-the-hard-core-CREATOR much better.
The man at work admired George Harrison for being a "balanced" man... I, on the other hand, present Paul McCartney as the ultimate "balanced man" --- constantly mocked by John et al for being "un-cool," while simultaneously raising a family and releasing wildly better records than John Lennon (who creepily sniped at McCartney for being overly prolific with both kids and records while he himself produced nothing).

I'm going to lend the George-man at work, who says he hasn't kept up with Paul, a 1997 Paul biography plus the 1997 Paul "Flaming Pie" CD.

As for John: "They've got castles in Versailles"... Don't know that you ever came up with a segue like that. You should have been there for this.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Happiness is...

...24 hours of Joan Crawford on TCM--and no work today or tomorrow!!