Friday, December 18, 2015

Skid Row Diary 47

9    December       2003      Tuesday        day 150

   “Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.”  -Jules Winnfield

   The videos I had gotten from the library were due yesterday, so I took them back before it opened and dropped them in the overnight box, hoping I wouldn’t be fined.
   On the way back I stopped at the SRHT office to check out the status of my application.
   They had me wait for about an hour before I was able to inquire at the SRHT window what, as they say, was up.
   “Oh, we can’t seem to find your file, Mr. Joyce.”
   “Yes. I’m sorry. But we can make a new one for you. Here, let me give you some certification forms to fill out...”
   “But I just returned these to you last Thursday...”
   “You did!? Wait a minute.” The young lady looked through a pile of paperwork sitting in front of her.
   “Oh, here it is! It wasn’t put back.”
   “You found his file,” a fellow from a cubicle in the back office asked.
   “Yes. It wasn’t put back. Why did you have him waiting? Did you want to talk to him?”
   “I didn’t have him waiting.Tell him there are no openings today, and to check in later.”
   “There are no openings today...”
   “Yes, I heard. I’ll be back on Thursday, okay?”
   “Fine. Sorry about the wait.”
   “That’s alright.” I left and had lunch at the Weingart Cafe. Cheeseburger. I carefully took it up to my room and used some Kraft  Zesty Burger Sauce I had procured from the 99 Cent Store for just such an occasion.
   I was exercising in my room later when the maid came. Of all the times she had access to my room she chose the least auspicious. I was forced to end a concentrated and stern set of 49 count burpies, answer the door, ask her to wait while I changed out of my extensive exercise garb (flannel shorts), change, then go hunt her down before she started on another room. If she were to do that, who knew when she would come back... maybe never.
   I found her, and steered her back to my room.
   While waiting for her to finish Richard Cairns and my new case manager, Kenny Johnson, snuck up behind me.
   “Mr. Joyce,” Johnson exclaimed. “Did you see Mrs. Sandry yet?”
   “I’ll see her today, yes. At the Phase three meeting,” I told them. Richard had started down the stairway, fairly disinterested.
    “No,” Johnson continued. “Did you see her about housing? Not just her class.”
   “No. Not yet. I’ll see her today.”
   “You were supposed to see her about housing.”
   “She didn’t make an appointment! Her instructions to me were to see her to make an appointment. I’m seeing her today,” I said emphatically.
   He wasn’t satisfied with my answer, but followed his boss downstairs like a whipped dog.
   Apparently, he had expected me to break my neck to meet with Sandry ASAP. I noted his urgency. I also noted he likes to put his clients on the defensive and work from there. An approach used extensively in the military.
   He still thinks he’s in the Army, that’s his problem.
   Or else he was showing off for his boss.
   Or both.
   Probably both.
   He’s also a weaselly little asshole.
   I returned to my room, then left again, slightly agitated over the encounter with Cairns and Johnson. I knew this guy would be a problem. How can I use the situation to my best advantage? No more laissez-faire supervision by Weingart management, that was clear, which may be a good thing. Probably not though.
   I went to the library and checked my mail, then bought a VCR tape of “Chicago,” at the indoor mall.
   “Chicago,” was last year’s Best Picture, at the Academy Awards. I didn’t buy it for myself, but for Glenda at the front desk as a Christmas present, a token of my appreciation for all of the prompt service she provides.
   I attended the Phase 3 meeting, then did my laundry, and wrote. I listened to Phil Hendrie discuss the latest Michael Jackson fiasco.
   “He looks like an albino ferret,” Phil says. 
   I watched the last half of “The Ring,” and ate a turkey sandwich with a bowl of top ramen just before going to bed... which may explain the dream I had.
   Which involved the beautiful and talented actresses Renee Zellweger, from “Chicago,” Melissa Joan Hart from “Sabina, the Teenage Witch,” and Tawny Pearl, from “Taboo,” “Co-Ed Fever,” “Trouble Down Below,” and many other fine films.   
   The four of us were rowing a long boat in a flooded tidal basin toward the only thing that was visible, what looked like a large tree, or at least the top of a tree, the trunk being under water.
   “Row harder girls,” I directed as I steered the, well, what was a large canoe actually.
   We reached the tree and tied off the boat, then clambered into the branches. The tree was large enough that we could easily find places to lay down for the night to get some very needed rest, but it was very cold, so we huddled together to share body heat, then fell asleep and dreamt we were frolicking on the sandy beaches of Tahiti.
   I thought it odd that we were all having the same dream because we were all wearing yellow striped bikinis which of course are much more suited for the French Riviera. 
   In the morning the water had receded and the vast plain was now a sea of dry caked mud. We would have left if it were’n’t for all of the hungry wolves sitting patiently below us, looking up at us with obvious longing.
   “Maybe they want to be our friends,” Tawny offered.
   “I wouldn’t count on it,” Renee said.
   “I think I can help,” Melissa said, then conjured an eagle spell.
   “The eagles are coming! The eagles are coming,” we all cried as the eagles came.
   They picked us up out of the tree and flew us up into the sky where flying saucers from the planet Tralfamadore shot down the eagles before kidnaping us to take to their home planet so we could be placed in an interstellar zoo, never to be seen or heard from again.    

10    December      Wednesday        Day 151

   All  of the staff were asleep as I left the Weingart at 4:25. I had to wake one of the security guys to buzz me through to the front desk and exit. I didn’t wake the desk lady, so didn’t sign in for the day.
   It’s usually dark at 4:30 in Los Angeles, and this morning was no exception. It was a tad chilly, but I was dressed warmly, and even wore gloves to keep my little fingers from being frost bitten. I had my  9×19mm Walther P99 semi-automatic with me in case of attack, but no one bothered me, and I didn’t stray from 6th St, all the way to Broadway, and the Red Line Station.
   I met my former roommate from the Harbor Light at the Red Line, Raleigh Holmes, a black guy about my age, who perpetually owes me various small amounts of money. He was on his way to the VA hospital in Westwood, where he has a job in the CWT program, the same program I’d like to enter.
   He said he’d see me there.
   It was cold, dark, and misty in North Hollywood. I arrived at Trimar in Reseda at 6:00, and hour and a half before it opened. I bought coffee from the 7/11, and walked west on Vanowen to keep warm, looking at the houses on the side street, and wondering about the lives of the people and families that lived in them. I wondered if they were content.
   I made my way to the Del Taco on Corbin, then back to the plasma center, and read from “Life on the Mississippi,” until Trimar opened. I was 6th in line today, just behind a pretty blonde lady who spoke with a Polish accent.
   They were showing “Hulk” again on the television. Aurica stuck me, and told me all about her little granddaughter.
   “She like “Pig in the City,” she told me.
   “Who doesn’t.”
   I picked up oodles of luncheon meat at the 99 Cent Store on the way home. And I got back in time for lunch. Barbecue beef.
   As I was heating water for coffee, Mr. Johnson came to the door and surveyed the day room. He pointed at me and said, “I’ve got to see you before the end of the day.”
   I was mildly interested in what he wanted, so I canceled my plans to attend the 1:00 ASAP meeting, and waited around for Johnson to return from lunch.
   I was in the lobby waiting for him when he opened his office door precisely at 1:00.
   I’ve got to say this about him... he’s punctual.
   “You wanted to see me?”
   “Yes, I did.”
   He turned on his computer and looked me up.
   First off he wanted to bitch at me for not immediately seeing Mrs. Sandry to discuss housing possibilities. I told him that I had seen her yesterday, and that I had an appointment to see her again, individually, tomorrow. He didn’t believe me and called her  to verify.
   “Did you know you had an appointment with her today that you missed?”
   “No. I didn’t have one for today. It’s for tomorrow.” I showed him the appointment slip Sandry had written herself.
   He talked to her. “Oh, it’s for tomorrow!” He looked at me. “Mrs. Sandry apologizes... the appointment is for tomorrow.”
   “Yes, I know that.”
   With that cleared up he looked through my monetary status and employment record.
   “You’ve been here almost a year and only have nine hundred and ninety dollars saved, and haven’t found a job. GR would have paid out more than nine ninety...”
   I told him about how DPSS had shorted me for several months, and about the two months I didn’t get paid at all.
   “You have some kind of proof of this?”
   That surprised me. Still... “Why yes...I do.”
   “When was the last time you saw Mr. Densman, the employment counselor?”
   “Oh, a couple of months ago, I guess,” I said. “I’m waiting for the CWT...”
   “They were hiring at Fedco a couple of months ago.”
   “I’m getting into the CWT program.”
   “Yeah, but that hasn’t happened yet. Your housing is uncertain, you’ve basically done nothing over the last year. You could be working at Fedco.”
   “I don’t want to work at Fedco!” Now he was getting me mad. I was this close to losing my temper(), telling the fucker, “If you like freaking Fedco so much, you go fucking work for them!”    I felt like demanding my money and moving the hell out, which upon reflection was probably an inappropriate response to such a mild suggestion. But his inclination and tone tended to inflame.
   Up until he had become my case manger I had been in complete compliance with program expectations according to my last manager. Maybe he considered dealing with alcohol addiction and depression nothing, but I didn’t.
   An angry exchange did not occur because he softened his tone and suggested I apply for a non-service connected pension from the VA.
   “That would give you eight hundred and fifty dollars a month, which is a lot better than what you’re getting from GR. We could possibly extend your time here for six months, which would allow you to save more money, then find some decent housing for you...”
   I told him I hadn’t heard of that pension, and that I would apply for it tomorrow. This seemed to satisfy him. It satisfied me. We shook hands when I left.
   I seriously doubt that I’m eligible for any pension, but I’ll play this guy for awhile longer. I really don’t want to move out until the New Year, and I cursed myself for not being prepared for the meeting. “Curse you Rick,” I said repeatedly. I had been very stupid, and could have been on the street for that mistake.
   I had to pay one dollar for overdue videos. I don’t know how they figured one dollar. It should have been three.
   I paid my one dollar and borrowed more videos.
   Later I watched “Bandits,” starring Cate Blanchett, and “The House of Yes,” starring Tori Spelling and Posey Parker, a theatrical comedy/drama that din’t work for me at all.
   I read from “Tai-Pan” before going to sleep, and had a dream involving Betty Boop, 72 dry martinis, an Atlas launch vehicle, four and a half Komodo dragons, the magical neutron dancing Pointer Sisters, a lump of wet charcoal, a migrating herd of giant African snails, 8 dozen pâte à choux... partly consumed, Director of External Relations for the NASA Johnson Space Center Ellen Engleman, a lopsided owl, 52 toothpicks, 37 dice, 24 mouse traps, 25 mice, and a trampoline.

11   December     Thursday     Day 152

   I got up 30 minutes before my appointment with Delilah Sandry. I showered, drank some coffee, and signed in downstairs.
   “Could you leave the door open, Mr. Joyce?”
   She didn’t trust herself alone with me. I could tell by her smoldering gaze, and the way she pulled her dress up over her knees.
   “I don’t know why I thought your appointment was for yesterday,” she said as a come on.
   “I don’t either.” Snappy.
   She cleared her throat. “Have you made any plans on where you’d like to live after leaving here?”
   “I’m registered with Skid Row Housing Trust,” I told her.
   “How long have you been waiting?”
   “Oh, since June.”
   “That doesn’t sound right. Have you been checking in with them?”
   “Oh, yes.”
   She called Maria at the Trust. After conversing with her several minutes, she hung up.
   “She told me that you haven’t been checking in, that’s what she told me.”
   “I have been checking in.”
   “Well that’s what she told me. She told me that you have to come in and get some certification forms, and have them filed out...”
   “I just did that. I returned them to their office last Thursday. Are you absolutely positive Maria hasn’t been tipping back a few? Nose candy perhaps?”
   “Last Thursday? Let me call her again.” She called again.
   “Maria? Mr. Joyce states that he returned his certification papers last Thursday... em hum. Okay, I’ll wait.”
   She waited.
   “She wants you to come in and ask for Michael,” she told me after hanging up.
   I went and asked for Michael.
   He told me to come back next week to see if there were any openings. I’d been doing that exact thing since June.
   I returned to Delilah and told her of my encounter with Michael.
   “That’s strange,” she said. “It shouldn’t be taking this long. I think I’ll call them again after lunch.”
   “You do that. In the meantime could you let Mr. Johnson know I’ve been doing everything I’m supposed to be doing. He gets so excited. I worry about his blood pressure.”
   “Yes. I’ve already sent him an Email.”
   Back in my room I wrote, and took a tiny nap. I dreamt I was spelunking with the lovely and talented models Anna Ohura and Audree Jaymes, who are not known for their vast spelunking enthusiasm and capabilities.
   We were studying cave frescos when suddenly the cave lights extinguished, and we found ourselves in complete and utter darkness.
   “Hey! Watch were you put those hands, Buddy!” The delicate Audree purred girlishly.
   Then I woke up and went to the library.
   A letter from John Monzano was waiting for me upon my return. In it was an invitation to stay at his mom’s house for Christmas. He seemed eager to see me.
   I accidentally turned on the 6:30 broadcast of The Charlie Rose Show on channel 58. He happened to be interviewing Hugh and Christie Hefner, who are celebrating 50 years since the founding of Playboy magazine.
   I felt a certain nostalgia while listening to them, Hef being responsible for untold hours of sweet introspection in my life.
   I also watched a very interesting documentary of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which is a survey of the sky that utilizes digits. And I watched half of the first part of a Frontline program on how Jesus became the Christ, and the rise of Christianity, which Saint Paul and Peter were largely responsible for.
   I remember seeing the second part last year when it first aired, the prevailing theme being that each generation of adherents to the Christian faith wholly believe that the end time, the coming of the kingdom of Heaven, from the days of Paul to the present, were eminently at hand. At times, the dates were prophesied for “The Coming,” or “The Rapture,” but these always passed with nothing happening, with one excuse following the next, on and on.
   Scientifically, the repeated failure of a predicted outcome would tend to nullify, or discredit the theory. Religious fanatics, however, tend to ignore science.
   I watched the video “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” then some W.C. Fields short films before retiring and dreaming of singing “Smooth Operator,” with Sade and the lovely and talented Playboy Playmate and actress, Rosanne Katon at the Playboy jazz festival at the Hollywood Bowl.
   For some reason we were all wearing green and pink bikinis.

12     December      Friday         Day 153

   I was a little depressed when I woke. No big deal. People do get depressed occasionally. I got out of the bikini and had some coffee and wrote.
   Fried fish for lunch.
   I went to the VA clinic to see the benefits counselor, who turned out to be John Moore, and elderly black gentleman who worked for the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization.
   He was very nice and gave me the application for the non-service connected disability pension. He also told me how it should be filled out.
   I left him at 1:00, and went downstairs to the ASAP office and attended Kathy’s meeting. A blue eyed black guy named Murphy was there, who hijacked the meeting, making sure most of it was spent discussing himself.
   I tuned out, and inwardly computed Pi to the 78th decimal. As I began the 79th, it became 2:00, and the meeting broke up.
   I went up to the Mental Health Department on the fourth floor and made an appointment to see Dr. Shaw for the 19th at 11:00. I’m trying to have my case transfered from Downtown Mental Health to the VA.
   Then I moseyed over to the library and used their computers to register for spring classes at LACC. I plan to become an expert in immigration, property, bankruptcy, and family law.
   Then I’m going to either study to become an astronaut, or a stand up comedian.
   I returned to my room and looked over the forms John had given to me. I noticed almost immediately that one of the requirements to receive a non-service connected disability pension was to have served during a time of war. I had not been... farsighted enough, to have done that, opting to enlist during one of the few times the United States was not at war.
   What a dumb ass I was.
   So I definitely wasn’t eligible for a pension.
   As I had predicted.
   I meditated, and watched another installment of naughty TV bloopers from around the world.
   Later, I watched the first half of “Key Largo,” staring Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and some ancestor of Drew Barrymore.    
   The Rumanian/American actor Edward G Robinson was in it as well. Everyone knows him of course as Joe Keller, in Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons,” and Sol Roth in “Soylent Green,” his last film. But playing mobsters, like Key Largo’s  Johnny Rocco, is how he made a name for himself in Hollywood’s so-called Golden Era.
   But it was Claire Trevor who stole the show in an outstanding performance that won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
   I hadn’t realized that John Houston co-wrote and directed this film, and adaptation of the Maxwell Anderson play.
   Houston really did make a lot of good movies, didn’t he?
   I went to sleep soon after the movies and found myself in the ridiculous position of being in a dream wherein I was sharing a bubble bath with Drew Barrymore and her mom Jade.
   I was shocked... and appalled. 

13     December    Saturday      Day 154

   I was up at 6:35 to meet McCree for breakfast.
   He had left me a note in my key box yesterday, informing me of his deep desire to travel to Trimar today, incase you were wondering, which I don’t know why you would, but there it is.
   No one offered Ron their breakfast this time around, so he went pancakeless.
   Instead of pancakes Ron had a shiny new red blanket that had been given to him just outside the cafe, by some nice people who were giving away such things to those of us without homes to go to.
   Ron’s blanket was rolled up into a neat little bundle, and once again we had to go out of our way to drop it off at his house so he wouldn’t have to carry it around.
   We walked from his hotel to the 4th Street entrance to the Red Line (which in actuality is the north side of the Pershing Square station).
   There’s a big escalator at the 4th St. entrance.
   “This is a really long escalator,” I remarked, while we rode it down into the depths of the MTA’s subway platform.
   “It’s not that long,” Ron said.
   “It seems long to me,” I replied. It was a long escalator, there was no getting around that.
   “Have you seen the one at Wilshire and Vermont?” Ron asked.
   “Why yes, I believe I have.”
   “That’s a real long escalator. That ones a lot longer than this one.”
   “You may be right,” I said. “However, that does not mean that this is not a long escalator, all by itself.”
   “But the one at Wilshire and Vermont is a lot longer.”
   “How do you know?”
   “Anybody can tell, man!” He looked at me as if I were an alien freshly popped out of a saucer.
   “How many steps are on that escalator?” I asked him.
   “How many? One. What do you mean?”
   “Have you personally counted the steps on the escalator at Wilshire and Vermont to know in fact that it is the longest?”
   “Naw man! I don’t count steps. But I can tell that that one is a lot longer than this one is.”
   “How can you know for sure?”
   “Ah man. There’s no talking to you,” he said... all whipped.
   A large percentage of our conversations resemble the one above. Sometimes they’re tedious, sometimes arousing (in a non sexual way). Sometimes I deliberately tease him, like now, because I do it so well.
   But whatever the circumstances, the forgoing talk is a good example of believing in something to the point of exasperation while not knowing anything about what you’re talking about, or even having the desire to find out. It also demonstrates a certain “pigheadedness” or disinclination to evaluate new or possible evidence that contradicts our cherished beliefs. I’m not saying that Ron was being inflexible in his thinking... well yes, I guess I am, but I’m also saying that we pretty much all are.
   Except me.
   And the above is a trivial example, the subject that is. Imagine non trivial beliefs we hold dear, such as those involving religion and politics, and how closely some hold on to these without the slightest bit of evidence that support their ideas.
   The same guys who screwed up the latest Godzilla remake (by making her into a giant iguana, instead of the true Godzilla we all know and love), did a pretty good job, production wise, on Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot,” which was playing at Trimar when Ron and I arrived. Unfortunately the story is so riddled with melodrama and predictability, it’s quite a chore to get through the overly long film. It helps if you’re stuck on a couch with a big needle in your arm.
   I have to tell you I’m rather tired of the invincible, over-aged, reluctant hero who is trying to atone for the horrors they committed in the past. Kevin Costner is a good one for this kind of stuff as well.
   And no one in the film remotely sounded like they lived in the 1700's. I thought I was watching a costume ball held in present day Manhattan.
   Once again Ron and I were placed side by side as our respective blood was siphoned. We poked each other in the eyes and face whenever possible.
   Aurica nodded at me once, then went about her business.
   After leaving we each bought Super Lotto tickets, then purchased various items from the 99 Cent Store in Van Nuys.
   After making plans to meet at the cafe Monday morning, we went our different ways at the Pershing Square Red Line Station. We would continue our bickering at that time.
   I returned to the Weingart and heated a frozen Salisbury Steak I had procured from the 99 Cent Store.
   That was one tasty Salisbury Steak.
   I recorded the music from “The Prairie Home Companion” again, still broadcasting from New York. Mostly Christmas songs.
   These songs would rattle around in my head for weeks to come, making me more certifiable than I usually am.
   I wrote. I watched Sidney Lumet’s “A Dog Day Afternoon,” starring the beautiful and talented Carol Kane.
   I hadn’t seen it since it came out in theater’s back in 1975. Excellent movie, which also proves the point that the FBI can never be trusted.
   Then I watched the Coen brothers touching and unintentional tribute to David Lynch, “Barton Fink,” the story of a playwright gone bad. Starring the lovely and talented John Turturro, John Goodman,  and Judy Davis, an Aussie girl playing an abused Southern mistress.
   I ate some nice butter cream chocolate cake frosting while watching the movie. Spoon by delicious spoonful. This might explain the amazing dream I had after falling asleep half way through Fink which involved Carol Kane, a 5 pronged radish peeler, 2 redacted mountain zebras, the National Security Agency, 8 gallons of lemon “Whip’en Chill,” the water tower from “Petticoat Junction,” Billie Jo, Betty Jo, and Bobbie Jo Bradley (Meredith MacRae, Linda Henning, and Lori Saunders) from “Petticoat Junction,” the USS Nautilus, the Matterhorn, 71 quarter inch ball bearings, 12 Kodiak bears, a Nigerian Dwarf goat, Judy Davis, 3000 titanium slinkies, an ocean of cotton candy, the large asteroid Vesta, Liquiline Blast Eyeliner, the song “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” from Alice Cooper, 3 pots of Hungarian goulash, an elevator in the Empire State Building, 4 bags of Rotelle pasta, cooked, 4 Catalina Stair Loft Beds, 90 black lights, 741 cans of edible Silly String, the lovely and talented actress Jessie St James, star of “Extremes,” “Hotline,” “Vista Valley PTA,” and many other fine films, 1 Mongolian Maneater (plant of the Triffid family), Gort, from “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” Hill House, the Crescent Park Looff Carousel in Riverside, Rhode Island, Aquawoman, the dragon Smaug, and a trampoline.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Modest Proposal

   The Anglo-Irish (a term used primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a privileged social class in Ireland, whose members were mostly the descendants and successors of the Protestant Ascendancy) satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (one who creates or distributes pamphlets), poet and cleric, Jonathan Swift, would have been 348 years old today, if he hadn’t had the bad luck of dying in 1745, at the ripe old age of 77 (the average life expectancy at the time of his death being approximately 43.13 years), so old that at the time of his death he was suffering from tremendous physical agony, and was gripped in the throes of madness.
   His masterpiece, “Gulliver's Travels,” was a book I had the pleasure of reading when I was in my late teens, and has influenced me to this day.
   In honor of Swift’s person and talent I humbly submit the following, a modern rendition of one of his best known shorter works. I sincerely hope he would have approved.   

"You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield...” Exodus 23:10

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

                              A Modest Proposal

For Effecting a Strategy Allowing the Nation’s Infants and Domestic Beasts, to Cease Being Burdens on Their Country, Thereby Making them Beneficial to Society

   It is a very sorry state of affairs (one could almost say melancholy) indeed to recognize the magnitude of the poor and necessitous within the boarders of this great nation. I myself live in an area of one of the country’s largest cosmopolises, and am subject to look upon rows of makeshift dwellings fabricated of various grading of binder’s board, assorted apodemes of mackinaw, and semisynthetic aminoplastic praetoriums, as far as the eye can regard, and am constantly astonished at the brobdingnagian aggregate of children affixed to them. How is it possible for those who cannot seem to manage themselves to be expected to contend with their prodigious and helpless offspring.     

   It has been estimated that there are some twenty millions of urchins within the boarders of this magnificent country of ours that are younger than five years of age, whose upkeep utilizes a great amount of time and resource of their mothers, and quite often their fathers, which subtracts from the useful production parents can potentially provide toward the common good. Not only are these juvenile tots not contributing to the general economy, the tendency remains that they absorb as many resources as is possible for those so small.

However my intention is far from being restricted to just the children of the poor, it is of much greater issue, concerning all children of the working class who draw upon society without benefit of contribution to it, as there is no indication whatsoever that these supernumerary, inessential and wholly pathetic waifs  add to the entirety of our body politic.

For my own part, having considered the myriad complications involved in all aspects of this serious dilemma we find ourselves ensconced within, and having navigated the countless  tributaries of my conscious in regard to the moral imperative which guides my steady hand, I have found  the existing state of affairs severely wanting. It is true that the nestlings in the midst of our focus may subside with direct communion with their mothers for an indefinite period, perhaps longer, with little else required of the general surrounding environment, it is still of question as to the subsistence of the entire family unit itself! Hence my proposal be seen as a unique and novel solution that will place little burden on every imaginable party involved to ensure a successful resolution to elevate the leagues of piteous and demoralized parents that cannot seek considerable recourse otherwise.

If indeed my proposals are met with favor and adopted forthwith there will be other ancillary consequences of a beneficiary and precise nature, namely a stringent reduction in the need to terminate deduced pregnancies as the advantages to baring to term will become advantageous and wholly obvious, to the point wherein that detested practice be eliminated entirely and without regret.

The total assemblage of this commonwealth is calculated at three hundred and eighteen point nine millions as of the most recent reckoning. Of this, a goodly number, one hundred million, six hundred and fifteen thousand, or more or less thirty five per centum, above one third of the entire republic, depend upon the grace of the majority in the form of accommodations from the ruling authorities. Of the total I surmise the existence of thirty nine million and a half of reproductively active couples consisting of men and women, the later being of an age to bear progeny. Of that issue I subtract six millions who bear the resourcefulness to maintain their own nippers without benefit of public support, although that number may prove to be liberal in nature due to the general dysfunctionality of the nation as a whole, which is no doubt in direct proportion to the malfunctionality of the nincompoops occupying the legislative branches, which of course is a notable derivative of the nature of the occupant of the executive. If I follow directly, that leaves thirty three point five millions who actively breed. I once again subtract ten million, seven hundred and forty four thousand who will inevitably miscarry or lose their children by accident, forgetfulness, or disease within the year. Twenty two millions, seven hundred and fifty six thousand are left to us who are pathetically poor per annum. And of that almost four millions of infants come into the world that require subsistence. The question is this, how will these children be paid for?

I am assured by those who examine the economy that adolescents entering their second decade have amassed a considerable debt and therefore will be remanded to various forms of servitude on order for society as a whole to be reimbursed, entering vocations such as the dispersion of printed media on a daily basis, periodic siphoning of precious fluids, and military conscription being just a few of possible ventures.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been told by a knowledgeable Irishman, an acquaintance of long standing, that young infants of good health, who have been well fed and looked after, can produce prestigious amounts of organic plant food if left to themselves to wander or crawl about in specified environments, such as plantations, sowed fields,  or tilled paddies.

The above example being only one of many possible that may be suited and applied to those who would normally be a hindrance not only to their parental arbitrators but to the nation that supports both of these units of what in normal circumstances would be adjudicated as a nominal family, but in the larger percentage of modern instances does not exist in this time frame, and thereby providing some measure of relief to both structures. It is recognized that a certain small percentage of those put to this measure will be damaged to a miniscule degree due to certain circumstances contingent with the vocation. Therefore a breeding stock should be maintained that is pure and free from mischief. I suggest that out of the four million children already mentioned, that one fourth of the highest caliber of physical and mental purchase be excluded from sustenance duties and directed toward the goal of stock repletion, with a ratio of one male to three females, which should, in my estimation, be equal to the task.

Well fed newborns evacuate roughly six to ten times a day, therefore a well conditioned crop  should be able to fecundate a land parcel within an hour. 

There exists a strong possibility of controversy regarding this strategy as baby feces are not normally prized for their nutrient value as compared to other sources. Yet the availability and cost shall recompense.

In addition to the obvious benefits of additional nutrient value such a strategic employment would allow for, the natural momentum of said participants would address tilling requirements that would normally be provided for with a prestigious amount of uncalled for manual output. Infants allowed to plow  unhindered throughout daylight hours will not only furrow the nation’s one hundred and sixty plus hectares of fertile regions. Indeed, to facilitate this added employment simple mechanical devices could be devised that can be attached to each individual unit in order to maximize the fluid movement of the thousands of babies employed in such a noble endeavor. 

The cost of simple maintenence of said stock on a unit basis of indigent (in which I include the issue of day laborers,  pedagogues, diversion contestants, the arthritic, drug addled, infirm, and of course acutely feeble minded), otherwise useless offspring is approximately forty eight centimes per twelvemonth, rags included, which considering current market conditions could be charted out at two dollars and forty pennies, for a walloping advantage to the genitor of one dollar and ninety two cents! Since the annual output of each participant on average equals at as many as eight to ten movements a day, is approximately one hundred and two glorious pounds. The advantage of such a system is wholly obvious.

Another advantage to this scheme is the allocation of labor by the lessing need for maternal assistance daily that would otherwise employ those who would better benefit society at large by seeking gainful employment.

Infant labor formalities can and should of course be circumnavigated altogether by simply reimbursing said parent rather than the literal entity which provides the actual output, if you will, of specialized labor, thereby negating the statutory issue of maintaining an instance of baby drudgery simply by not supporting direct defrayment.  

An acquaintance of high character, known to me through associates I have intertwined through business enterprises throughout the years, has suggested that due to the current hoopla regarding the exodus of huge amounts of cohorts from various realms to the south of our great republic, assorted impediments be established along said perimeters to impede their steady progression, in a bold and dramatic fashion, including the use of electrified barriers, fields of buried explosives, snares, stake pits, and similar devices, with the goal of arresting this nonsense once and for all, and in their place utilize the services of young lads and maidens, not exceeding fourteen years of age nor under twelve; so great a number of both sexes in every country being now ready to starve for want of work due to the generally low economic conditions we currently suffer; to  be offered by their remunerated parents, if available, or by guardians, the direct consequence being the freedom of these innumerable custodians to discover steadfast employment, while the adolescents be put to good use in diverse applications, not a few of them being the resupply of the commonwealth’s liquid bodily substances, urchins of the specified age quite capable of being harvested thrice or more weekly, or for use in any number of significant and valuable endeavors, such as markers in sporting venues, noxious fume indicators in mining activities, or as decoys in the relocations of assorted beasts, such as large aquatic reptiles, or land based carnivores.

However, in order to vindicate my friend’s posture, he did admit to me that this sentiment was introduced to him by Rafael Cruz, a native of the province of Alberta, a portion of the great out reaches of the north, who came from thence to our capital above forty years ago, and while earnestly chatting to my friend mentioned that in his country those who do not earn their keep, no matter of what persuasion, they were permanently cast out, and sent to the socially ubiquitous confines below, to be henceforth that nation’s burden of which they seem tolerant and disposed to coddle. This man informed my friend that it was his determination, and that of his fellow political allies, to undermine our countries apathy towards these useless vagabonds, and put them to good and productive use, as mentioned above. Furthermore, inclusive not only to necessitous infants and striplings, but all domestic creatures, of all varieties and classes, upon which there exist multitudes, that have historically been little but parasitical upon our general good nature. 

I know that is of great concern to some of a strict value that the vast numbers of the poor, indolent, antediluvian, and antiquated within our confines, who do not participate in substantial productivity due to their advanced and repellent qualities, need to be steadfastly administered in an efficient and thorough manner. I maintain that this position should be of piffling priority considering the naturally occurring demise of said individuals advances at a common and undeniable rate upwards of six thousand, seven hundred a day. Even in a nation as large and propitious as ours, it is only a small matter of patient continuance before this difficulty rids itself of bearing, our lands becoming whole and clean and prosperous to the utmost of it’s capabilities. Of course any and all resources that had been previously allocated to these creatures would be free to sustain the productive and fertile. 

I have strayed from the ardent signification, and must return to accentuate the many obvious rewards our social order will reap upon the implementation of the aforementioned proposal, which are of the utmost importance.

The first and most dramatic consequence of tactical implantation would be to lower the total amount of the offending party, which has been a thorn in the side of true patriots and God fearing loyalists since the great founding. Considering those of a like mind to the Pretender Hussein incline to be the heartiest breeders, the total lessening of their stock will be wholly beneficial to our beloved land as a whole, making the population of expanding blackamoors, Castilians, orientals, esquimau, and their ilk, within manageable boundaries.

Of second import will be the effect a steadfast revenue achieved, possibly as a matter of precedent, can be afforded the opportunity to recompense their debtors, to the satisfaction of all concerned, especially those who hold their daily accommodations.

Thirdly, of the four million tiddlers of a necessitous nature aged two or more which have been previously equated, whose maintenance toll cannot fairly be calculated at less than one thousand dollars per annum, excluding nutritional subsistence, the country’s inherent value will increase by four billion yearly, not discounting the noble and primary services provided by said infants, which benefit the nation and it’s rightful leaders and upper stratum directly insomuch as to alleviate what was once an intolerable burden.

Of the fourth advantage, those impoverished who reproduce readily, inclusive of the monetary rewards earned by the merchandising of their progeny, will likewise see their respective freedoms advanced due to non encumbrance.

Fifthly, services rendered to those conscripting aforementioned labor will naturally benefit greatly, in  personal and business terms, increasing the value of their own enterprises, and lessening the burden of their operating expenditures, savings that can be passed on to their own expenders, or not, according to their nature. The country itself will be to advantage, as to be expected, by both an aroused economic outlook, plus the reaping of elevated assessment.

Sixthly, the affect of the high state of eudaemonia due to the innate advantage put upon society as a whole function of said plan would be an inducement towards a holy union between close partners involved with the enterprise, as is their civic duty. Those sanctified couplings which bear fruit will be productive in bearing, and the maternal instinct abide with a huge incentive to care for and nourish their offspring, no matter what persuasion or bent, knowing full well their advancement will be favorable for all involved, a bonus rather than a burden. Indeed, matrons shall compete with each other to see who it is that can bring the youngsters of the most prodigious nature to market. Men will have interest in maintaining a glad household, rather than abandon it, as too often the case.

There are many other advantages to be harvested, not only to our glorious realm, but the entire biosphere of this world. Considering that humanity, in it’s wisdom, a magnanimous gift from our Lord, has decreased the total fauna aggregation by half from just four decenniums, the result attributing to ninety two percent less nutrients being deposited globally since the last Great Cold. Offerings of current livestock, which remain the greatest source of massive beasts, will not suffice, as they are penned, and do not roam. The contribution of millions of meandering babies cannot be understated.

It has been accorded the amount of wholly productive farms of said nature have degenerated from the times of the Great Communicator from two millions and forty eight thousands, to two million and eleven adduced just  three years  previously, derives a largely apparent decline in our nation’s ability to remain self sufficient, making the advantages of said proposal obvious.

If there be some form of critique inherent in this proposal, or any one expostulation towards hindrance, I can not fathom it, other than perhaps it currently is not in accordance with local or even national standard of law. However, history has proven time and time again that erstwhile jurisprudence has been formed at the behest of the timely circumstance that our great nation must face at any especial point of time, and is therefore more elastic in nature, as fits the particular need required, as it should in accordance with condition at hand, rather than a fixed and unending statute which may never be amended. And please, let’s not forget that the objective of this exercise to promote the utmost common good for the entire populace; to reduce the tendency of indolence, laziness, idleness, shiftlessness, and general inactivity in our young; and to instill the valid virtues of servitude, thraldom, industriousness, diligence, determination, assiduousness, concentration, and ardent work ethics that will no doubt be of great value to those participating for their entire existence on this planet. And please consider, dear hopeful adherents, the smashing advantage our single republic will own in comparison to those entities that are to timid to not make use of the populations in such a manner, particularly in this age of globalization in which we find ourselves. Bearing in mind the much less expensive disbursement of labor cost in most societies, this proposal shall give to us the advantage economically for once, while at  the same time advance a robust sense of purpose within the assemblage of the entire country, lasting as long as this scheme is put to use, a supreme benefit that can not be counted to it’s full measure.   

And so forth I reiterate, let no personage espouse or disconfirm to me, until at least they have endeavored in a favorable manner, to a great degree of substantial and sincere fortitude, a goodly effort to engage this notion.   

I have to admit that I have spent a sizable continuum in assorted endeavors of a wholly unique and yet visionary quality, or so I have considered it, yet regrettably as of this moment none have taken hold and prospered. As to why I cannot grasp it. Perhaps the deeper import is lost to those without the proper fortitude to apprise the, to me, obvious advantage and chance to profit in large range. Indeed, at various times I have been met with a certain degree of discourtesy and offense. To these fatuous individuals I invite them to haphazardly fornicate with their person with outstanding fortitude and vigor.    

Yet now that I have come upon this calculation, it is with great anticipation that it will bear no ill critique, and advance wholeheartedly once the idea has taken hold, it’s virtues multiplying after implementation to the point of exponential explosion culminating in a majestic benefit to our entire nation. Still, I am not so entrenched in my own estimations that if others offer dissimilar proposals that overshadow the rewards of mine, at the same or lesser cost to the common, then of course they must be fairly reviewed. But before other schemes are considered for effectuation, I humbly ask those who adjudicate to deliberate two essential points. Firstly, as things now stand we are hounded by the throes of millions of urchins who are altogether unavailing, who require constant care and nourishment, by those who can least afford to provide such. How will any alternative arrangement alleviate this sordid condition? Second, in what substantial manner will other mechanisms provide those it would influence the sense of pride, decency, independence, sustainability, and responsibility in those who at one time deemed themselves helpless and victims of happenstance, those who had no sense of cohesion, toward their own person, their biological collaborators, and community. Those who looked on as a burden, as indeed society at large in fact deemed them to be? These points must be addressed before serious regard be given upon any alternate course of action. And action, my friends, must be set in motion, for the occasion we presently find ourselves experiencing must be curtailed in some significant manner, through moral obligation, and economic necessity.     

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.

The End 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Skid Row Diary 46

4   December     2003      Thursday      Day 145

   I had an 8:30 appointment with Kenny Johnson, my new case manager. I got up at 8:00 to prepare myself to face the inevitable onslaught of his rapier like wit.
   He was talking to someone else when I arrived at his office exactly at 8:30. I made my presence known and waited patiently outside, where two other guys were waiting for him.  They were there first, but I had the appointment. After 10 minutes I stuck my rugged head inside and asked him if he wanted me to come back a little later. He asked me to wait 5 more minutes. I told him to go fuck himself and stormed off.
   Just kidding.
   I finally got in there. His office was certainly arranged for his own personal comfort... plenty of space on his side of the desk, very little for the one chair allowed for visitors.
   He looked me up on his computer and stated that his only concern was that my stay at the Weingart was to have ended November 30th. He asked me if I was looking for a place to stay, and I told him to fuck off and stormed out.
   Kidding again.
   I reminded him of the form I had given him to fill out.
   “Are you on some kind of waiting list?”
   He said he’d have Ms Sandry talk to me. I told him I’d be happy as hell to talk to her.
   He seemed pleased that I had applied for SSI. I let him know I hadn’t heard anything back from them yet, and that DPSS had shorted me again. I told him of my involvement at the VA, which also made him happy.
   I made his day.
   He said he’d see me next week, and that was that. Very good.
   I used the computers in the day room briefly, then cleaned my lonely room.
   I listened to Venus Hum, wrote, and cooked some eggs.
   Kathy was ill today, so the group was run by Dr Lo. I gave him the form I had gotten from SRHT. He filled it out and gave it back to me at the end of the meeting.
   During the meeting an interesting subject came up, one that Kathy had brought up several weeks ago, one which I found intriguing.    
   She had stated that addicts relapse frequently, or use again, despite having the certain knowledge that there would be dire consequences, because they are afraid of the unfamiliar. Using drugs and alcohol, despite the pain and havoc it creates within their lives, are familiar to the addict, so they keep running back to it, with the knowledge that life would be much easier, better, and worthwhile while clean and sober.
   This simple premise answers so much, not only for alcoholics and addicts (I’m loath to distinguish the two, alcohol being a drug, but do so in order to adhere to conventionality... which I’m also loath to do), but for everyone. The mentally ill that ramble on the streets of Skid Row and refuse any kind of help offered to them do so because a roof over their head and supervision would be unfamiliar to them and frightening. Nations wage war because historically war has been the key to solve diplomatic difficulties, or ambitions. To seek other solutions would be unprecedented, and politically disadvantageous. A housewife uses “Cheer” detergent for 30 years because she is afraid that others would not keep her families clothes clean, despite overwhelming  evidence from Consumer Reports that “Tide” is infinitely better. Christians believe in a God there has never been any empirical evidence for because they were instructed to as children, that belief being reinforced by all of their peers, and to entertain any notion to the contrary would be frightening for them beyond belief, even to the extreme point that the knowledge of other and different religions that existed could not be tolerated, at times causing destructive wars and massive loss of life. Peter Pan refused to grow up because he only knew how to be an obnoxious little boy that could wear tights and fly.
   Fear has much to answer for.
   Of course this is a very simplistic explanation, as most of mine are, as my education is inadequate, as the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation has so helpfully pointed out to me. However I sense the heart of the premise comes close to the truth. The happy point of this position is that fear can be dealt with if one has the will, knowledge, patience, and determination to do so. That is how some addicts do manage to stay sober. That’s why some wars have been avoided. That’s why there are so many, many different brands of detergent. And that is why there is freedom of religion in most parts of the world today.
   Peter’s screwed though.
   We’ve come a long way since the Spanish Inquisition, but there’s so much more to do. So much fear and ignorance... wrapped in a pretty convenient easy to carry package called the Republican Party.
   It’s so sad. I sat in the meeting and cried thinking about it.
   I dropped off the forms Dr. Lo had given to me to the Skid Row Housing Trust office, then walked to the library.
   I checked out the video of the movie “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” starring Barbara Eden, Walter Pidgeon, and Peter Lorre. I watched it in the evening.
   The film has a special significance for me because when it was first released in 1961, I saw a trailer of it on television, and forced my parents to take me to see it. We did it that very night, at a drive in, in the San Fernando Valley.
   It’s one of the two movies I remember seeing with my father, the other being “Thunderball,” which we saw at the famous Cinerama Dome, on Sunset Bl., which looks like half of a giant golf ball sticking out of the sidewalk.
   My dad was a big James Bond fan.    
   My mother and I saw many films together. It was a way of escaping our intolerable relationship. After my father’s death I dragged her to as many films as I could get away with.
   I watched the movie “Traffic,” after Voyage, which starred Erika Christensen, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Catherine’s husband was in it as well.
   Afterwards I read from “Tai-Pan," then went to sleep and dreamt I was receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the White House, from President Bush, along with the beautiful and talented actresses Erika Christensen, Olivia Hussey, and Jacquelyn Smith.
   The ladies were all wearing bikinis, and I was wearing kilts and holding a Great Highland Bagpipe, which at the time I thought rather odd as I’m Irish and not Scottish.
   Uilleann pipes would have been more appropriate.

5          December         Friday        Day 146

   I woke early at 7:00. I don’t know why. I hadn’t gone to sleep until 3:00 reading. I also hadn’t signed in for 3 or 4 days, so went down to the front desk and got that done, then returned to bed and dreamed of having the lifeforce zapped out of me by Mathilda May, the genuine space vamp from the film “Lifeforce,” and many other fine French and American films.
   When I woke again near 11:00, I continued reading from “Tai-Pan,” James Clavell’s epic historical drama concerning the founding of Hong Kong in 1841. It’s my favorite of his novels, and is a prequel to his book “Noble House,” which also takes place in Hong Kong, but in the 1960's.
   I suppose one could rightly say “Noble House,” is a sequel to “Tai-Pan.” Which ever you prefer.
   He wrote the screenplay for “The Fly,” you know. The first one. And “The Great Escape.”
   I wrote in the afternoon. Ron McCree stopped by the lobby at around 4:00 to let me know he wanted to go back to Trimar tomorrow. I told him fine, as long as he stopped bitching about everything. He said he would.
   I don’t believe him.
   He asked me how my Thanksgiving was, and I told him. He told me his Thanksgiving consisted of watching 19 consecutive episodes of “The Cosby Show” on channel 56. You have to admire his endurance.
   I first got into “The X-Files,” during a 1998 Thanksgiving Day marathon, on the FX station, while withdrawing from alcohol poisoning.
   Those were the days!
   Even if I did have cable, FX wasn’t showing any “X-Files,” these days... the Fox bastards.
   I read from the Times Book Section of the murder of 13 year old Mary Phagan, and the lynching of  Leo Frank, the man convicted of murdering her. Apparently the lynching was carried out by some of the leading citizens of 1913 Marietta, Georgia, including a county judge and a former Governor. 
   Seven members of the lynching party were later selected to be on the grand jury investigating the lynching.
   Unfortunately for all involved, especially Leo Frank, it turns out they killed the wrong man.
   Southern justice. Quick, brutal, self-satisfying, and totally unjustified. Interestingly enough, Frank was white, and the suspected real murderer was black. I don’t know if that is ironic or not, but it is interesting.
   I watched “TV’s Naughtiest blunders from Around the World,” a blooper program. I’m never going to say anything against Australia, but most of the show segments were taken from down under.
   I love shows like this. I could watch them for hours and hours, especially while withdrawing from alcohol poisoning.
   “I saw your banana in the dressing room,” said the pretty TV news anchor.
   “It’s a big one, isn’t it?”
   “Yeah! That was the biggest banana I’ve ever seen.”
   Humongous fruit.
   Later on I watched the first half of “The Ring,” starring the lovely and talented Naomi Watts, a British transplant from Australia (no banana jokes please), who plays an American.
   She’s very good, and the movie is very good. I paid actual cash, U.S. dollars to see it twice last year, taking John Manzano with me the last time.
   It’s based on a  true story I’m told.
   I only watched half because I began to get tired and fell asleep.
   I dreamt I was about to be lynched by an angry mob, when the lovely and talented Dutch star of four of the seven “Emmanuelle,” films, Sylvia Kristel, rode up on a white horse and shot everybody with a big shotgun, except me. I got up on the horse and we rode to Miami, and were never seen or heard from again.

6         December          Saturday            Day 147

   I got up at 6:15 to meet Ron. I could feel the beginning of a cold coming on, or the flu everyone’s getting. The top rear of my mouth was all soft and hanging down, a sure sign of infection.
   Grilled cheese and bacon for breakfast. Ron arrived at 7:05
   “You’re late,” I told him.
   “Yeah, late.”
   A man nearby didn’t want his breakfast and gave it to Ron, who only ate the cold cereal. I gave him my bacon, and we dropped it off, our bacon and his grilled cheese, at his house before heading to Trimar.
   Ron was talking about past school assignments while we were on the Red Line to North Hollywood. He told me about a film he saw concerning an annual event held in a rural town in which one member of the local community was stoned to death after losing a drawing.
   “The Lottery,” I said.
   “The Lottery?”
   “Yeah. By Shirley Jackson. I had to read it in high school. It’s a short story. You saw it as a film?”
   “Yes. Anyway, I was saying...”
   He went on about how he wrote a paper on the film maintaining the point of the story was actually about population control.
   “Population control!?”
   “Yes. It sure is.”
   “Don’t you think blind faith to convention, and adherence to ancient and barbaric rituals is somewhere in there too?”
   “Population man. I’m telling ya.”
   “What grade did you get on your paper?”
   “An A plus.”
   “A plus, huh? Wow, that’s pretty good. Was it an English class?”
   “English one oh two.”
   Ron didn’t bitch about anything today. Empty pockets had humbled him. By chance we were placed on adjoining couches, and watched Ang Lee’s “Hulk,” starring the extraordinarily beautiful and talented Jennifer Connelly, and a computer which generated images.
   “Start any trouble buddy,” I told him, “and I’ll have you put out. I’ve got connections here.”
   Aurica stopped by to say hello. I introduced her to Ron, then she went away.
   My weight today was 185 pounds, blood pressure 110/70, pulse 80, penis length 30.48 centimeters. No sign of fever despite my oncoming cold.
   On the way back we stopped at the 99 Cent Store in Van Nuys. I bought some pre-popped corn to take to the movies, and some cake frosting, butter cream chocolate. I’ll eat that later. Very decadent.
   I left Ron at the Red Line Universal City Station, and took the tram up the hill to Citywalk.   
   I wanted to see “The Last Samurai,” Tom Cruise’s new film. By this time I was hungry, so I had a cool chile dog from Tommy’s before going into the theater.
   “The Last Samurai,” was okay, but just okay. I’ve been spoiled by Clavell in all things Japanese.
   There wasn’t much to the story really. Ex-Civil War Union officer down on his luck and paid to scout for Indians in the Wild West, is hired by the Japanese government to train it’s soldiers in western warfare to quash a rebellion. Said soldier is captured by said rebellion (fortunately for the soldier the leader of the rebellion, the last samurai, happened to speak very good English), is subsequently turned, and starts fighting for the rebellion, learning sword play, martial arts, and the native language along the way. It being a Tom Cruise movie, he is the only surviver of the final battle. And that’s it! One ninja battle, one big battle, one pretty Japanese girl. In the end, it looked like a bunch of Hollywood people making a film of what they thought 19th century Japan might be like. It displays approximately one fifteenth the action, intrigue, romance, and exposition that Clavell’s “Shogun,” does.
   I returned to my room and listened to the 6:00 broadcast of “The Prairie Home Companion,” this week emanating from New York City, where all of the salsa comes from. Randy Newman was on, and I taped him singing, “Drop the Big One and See What Happens.”
   “We’ll spare Australia, don’t want to hurt no kangaroo...”
   And a touching tribute to the late John Lennon.
   I get so misty every time I hear or sing “Imagine,” feeling influenced by a combination of the raw truth and beauty within the song itself, and an aching sadness remembering his life and tragic passing.
   Later, at about 8:00, I taped the 8:00 broadcast of “A Christmas Carol,” starring George C Scott. I love George, but he looked like he had OD’ed on valium throughout this performance.
   After that I taped “The Man Who Wasn't There,” written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, an almost perfect movie, starring Scarlett Johansson and Frances McDormand, and filmed in glorious black and white, just like real movies, none of that fake color stuff.
   A story of blackmail, adultery, and ambition. Billy Bob Thornton plays the title role, but he’s not there most of the time, and James Gandolfini provides one of the most compelling death scenes I’ve ever seen. Through his performance I now know what it must feel like to be stabbed in the throat, and what thoughts one must have while you feel your life flowing out of you.
   I fell asleep before the film ended though. I’d finish watching it tomorrow. It now ranks right up there with “Miller’s Crossing,” as my favorite Coen Brothers movie.
   I dreamt I was walking with Scarlett Johansson, the lovely and talented Kandi Barbour, star of “Pandora's Mirror,” “Bon Appétit,” “That Lucky Stiff,” and many other fine films, Frances McDormand, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono, on December 8th, 1980, and about to enter their apartment building, The Dakota. It was 10:50 pm, and John passed a young man standing in the shadows.

7       December         Sunday            Day 148

   I stayed in bed until 11:00 reading from “Tai-Pan.” I was feeling a little under the weather I guess.
   I got pissed at myself for wasting away the day, so finally got up.
   Today is my sister’s birthday. She’s 45 years old today, if she’s still alive. She was still smoking like a chimney when I last saw her three years ago, and showed no inclination to stop. 
   Happy birthday Cheryl. I wish you well. Sorry we didn’t get along.
   I had lunch with John and told him I might place an entry in the writing contest the Levi Ctr was having. Submissions are limited to 3 pages in length (but 4 in width, and 7 in depth, and 12 in the fourth dimension of time), which places a sort of Haiku structure on it, which I find appealing.
   I told John the idea I had for the subject. He thought about it a minute, laughed, and said he wanted to steal it from me. That’s encouraging.   
   I bought a paper at the 5th st. market. Clyde Foster was hanging out at the corner and borrowed a dollar from me. That’s pretty sad as he’s got a job and I don’t.
   I could see where he spends all of his money, as he’s been chasing some girl... sorry bastard.
   I spent the rest of the day writing, cleaning my room, and reading the paper. I finished watching “The Man Who wasn’t There,” and watched a 4:00 broadcast of “No Way Out,” because Sean Young is in it... until that fucking Gene Hackman killed her... sorry bastard.
   National lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation,” aired at 8:00. I taped it. Now it’s mine, forever and ever.
   I’ve noticed there certainly are a lot of Christmas themed films on lately.
   I put in a video intending to watch John Houston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” starring Humphrey Bogart at his grimacing best, but there was a long documentary inserted before the film about how Warner Bros. publicized the movie when it first opened in 1941, with trailers that showed a great deal of Humphrey from “The Petrified Forest,” and “To Have, and Have Not.”
   One day I’ll have to see “Return of Dr X,” Bogart’s science fiction movie.
   “He’s returned from the dead to seek revenge!”
   I got tired after watching the trailers and went to sleep, having a dream concerning the lovely and talented actresses Beverly D'Angelo, Mandy Moore, and Lisa De Leeuw, star of      “Springtime in the Rockies,” “Sorority Sweethearts,” “Too Naughty to Say No,” and many other fine films, and with four and a half pounds of rich, creamy, soft butter, a B83 nuclear bomb, six bananas (big ones), 8 twelve pound bags of goose feathers, a cheese grater, 8 skipjack tunas, a battering ram, 6 bowling balls, 6 Clambroth marbles, a jackrabbit, 5 gallons of Whip’en Chill, 1 copy of “The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe,” 1 ice cream scoop, a Batman costume, a white rhinoceros, and a trampoline.

8     December        Mon         Day 149

   “What does it look like to you, eh?! Five marbles, that’s what!” I’ve got another one in my pocket. That’s six marbles! I’m looking for marbles all day!”   -Ensign Pulver

   I got up at 6:00 to meet McCree, but he never showed. Since I was downstairs and dressed and all, I had breakfast. Scrambled eggs and a slice of pressed turkey. Very good.
   I walked  up to 5th St. and bought a paper, returned to my room, drank some coffee, and listened to Mark and Brian.
   Mark had been ill last week, taking three days off. Brian took the same days off in sympathy.
   Siamese Twins.
   Did Kelly, Frank, Priva, and Sky Lord get a day off? Oh no. Did I get a day off? I’m sick too.
   My life is a day off.
   It’s unusual for me to get sick twice in one year. Is this what I have to look forward to in old age?
   I better do more yoga, and strive toward being able to pull a tub boat in San Pedro Harbor like Jack Lalanne.
   I was watching Despierta America while listening to M & B. It’s always good to multi-task, if possible. Life is so short
   My ex-wife wanted to play the trombone and piano at the same time.
   Giselle Blondet, at one point put her beautiful, lustrous, raven colored hair into pig tails, and and sat on Santa’s lap.
   I got jealous. 
   And aroused.
   This would be the high point of my day.   
   I don’t know if it was the real Santa she was sitting on. There’s so many fakes around.
   Probably not.
   Lucky Santa bastard.
   At 10:00, when M & B, and Despierta left me, I read from “Tai-Pan.” Then got tired from reading so hard and took a little nap. I dreamt I was Santa, and Barbi Benton, the beautiful and talented actress and Playboy Playmate, was sitting on my lap and telling me what she wanted for Christmas. She had her hair in pig tails. I woke up after she asked me why my lap was so lumpy.
   I read the last two chapters of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle," where Bokonon turns into Ice-9 while flipping off God. I listened to Venus Hum while reading.
   Then I watched “The Maltese Falcon.”
   Dashiell Hammett’s book is staring at me from my bookshelf as I write this. It wants me to read it.
   John Houston’s was the third screen adaptation of the book, which is a tribute to Hammett’s popularity turning the 1940's.
   The plot is fairly simple, though the story is extremely complex, and Houston uses dialogue to bring the audience up to speed on what’s taking place, something unheard of in this day and age. Today, the less story and more explosions the better. I wonder though at the audience’s reaction to the film when it first came out. Were they able to keep up? Or were they just intoxicated by the snappy lines, like:
   “You’s always got a smooth explanation for everything, eh?”
   “What do you want me to do? Learn how to stutter?”
   It was difficult even for me to keep up, and I’ve got an 8th grade education.
   Whatever, the Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Humphrey Bogart combination seemed to work as they were in several films together... until  Lauren Bacall came along and messed everything up that is.
   I had two hot dogs and one bun for dinner. I checked the oncoming weather with Jackie Guerrido, then watched “The Simpsons,” “That 70‘s Show,” a guy eating a cod eye sack with ants on it on “Fear Factor.” That was certainly worthwhile.
   I meditated.
   Before the evening was up I watched “Mr. Roberts,” Starring Betsy Palmer, Nick Adams, and Granny Goose.
   For my younger readers, the reference to the goose above refers to a potato chip commercial one of the actors in the film later appeared in, wherein he declared that his name was Granny Goose.
   “You may not believe this, but my name is Granny Goose.”
   I doubt strenuously that his real name was Granny Goose.
   I think James Cagney, Henry Fonda, and Jack Lemmon were also in the movie. The quote at the beginning of this entry was from Jack’s character, as he attempts to prove that he is indeed capable of and trying to prove his intention of one day performing a great dead of meaning, courage, stamina, and heroism to Fonda   
   I hope to one day be able to do that to.
   I went to sleep and dreamt of rowing in a canoe with Betsy Palmer and Cheri Taylor, the lovely and talented star of “Taylor Made,” “Tales by Taylor,” “Cheri Taylor Is Tasty and Tight,” and many other fine films.
   We rowed through glistening Polynesian waters, past coral reefs, toward the huge setting sun.
   “Ever hear of Bananafish?” I asked them
   “That’s the worst line I’ve ever heard,” Betsy said.
   “No, really, there is one,” I said. Then I told them all about a man named Seymour Glass, and Sybil Carpenter, his last friend.