Sometimes it’s like that.
[better with the sound off]
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When I moved into my new place in March, the only person who sent me a housewarming
gift (and gave me some very nice congrats) was our bloggeress. A box
from Zingermans arrived, (how many times do I fantasize about that!) and it
was a traditional housewarming gift, bread and salt. The bread got inhaled
post haste, but let me talk about the salt. Why do I love it?
1.) It’s simple. It’s just salt.
2.) It’s practical without being boring or odd.
3.) It’s in a cool jar with a big cork topper.
4.) I keep it right by the stove and use it nearly every day. When
I do, guess who it reminds me of? Exactly!
5.) It adds flavor to anything and even a little texture as the crystals are
somewhat larger than normal. Does it raise my blood pressure? Maybe
a little, who cares? You think flavor comes for nothing? Guess who
it reminds me of? See #4.
6.) It has a “household saint” kind of feel that ancient Romans
would understand. Salarium, bringer of flavor.
7.) Although it won’t won’t happen anytime soon, eventually the salt will
be gone, leaving the cool jar….which will get another purpose, maybe
to hold coins or my keys. It will never not have a purpose. It’s more
than I can say for me.
It connects to the giver, to the joy of cooking, to a new home, it’s
elemental…and it fills me with love for all of those.
The cosmic whimsy of the universe has made you L’empereur of your fate. There is no way around it for any of us, as much as we would not wish it to be so.
And to be sure, Life is indeed the longest, hardest campaign even for those of us given gifts from the gods. How many times resources are strained at best and non-existent at most typical! How many grueling holding actions, forced retreats, barely avoided routs and even worse debacles are closer to you than kith and kin! Those of you somberly nodding your heads as you read this know whence I speak.
But Today, that most glorious of days, Austerlitz Day, allows for no such gloom!
Your careful preparations, your adroit maneuver, and, above all, your indomitable will have brought you here, sublimely ready to reap the harvest of past circumspections.
The artillery of your passion and courage shall smash the weak fixed formations of melancholy arrayed before you! The infantry of a wise and calm heart shall seize and retain the high ground of what is most precious to you, and the cavalry of your energetic joy shall overtake and capture all past doubts and misfortunes for you to ransom as you deem fit!
That day….is today. That day is your….Austerlitz Day.
I’m alone. There’s no family, friends, money, food (unlike what the title implies, no turkey either).
I’ve come to accept this around the holidays; that’s the way it’s been for a long time for me.
But things are better than they were at this time last year; long time readers of this blog are aware of that. Last year at this point, I had just left a terrible situation was about to spend the winter on a sofa with rabbits lurking about. Better than freezing to death! And now, today, I’m in front of my fireplace with a cup of tea!
I just had a sort of strategic setback, but my health is slowly improving with the help of PT. Just last week, the last batch of my CDs have returned; now I need to arrange to get their wooden storage cases back.
I know I haven’t posted here enough lately and I’ll try to fix that going forward.
I just wish I was. I’m tired of being despised. I’m tired of being deplorable. I’m tired of being blamed for all the shit that happened before I was born, and most of the shit that has happened since. I’m just fucking tired of it all. To top it off, this evening I got to see another nice story about the on-going saga of how my old company fucked a bunch of its own workers in the ass because the boss needed a SMIDGE more money. Below is what I wrote about it over on my own site. I share it here, even though I shouldn’t be here, because I’m just that goddamned angry over the whole thing and want to spread the bad feelings as widely as possible. An additional note that I didn’t mention in my post: the guy hired to screw over the Disney’s American workers and replace them with Indians is Indian himself, and one of the founders of ENRON. Yes, that ENRON. I don’t ever want to here any fucking asshole from the Democratic Party, who are supporting this kind of shit, ever again tell me about being for the little guy. (The Republican Party does too, but Trump and his supporters are finishing them off, and good riddance. One party down, one to go!) I’ll crawl back under the basket now with the other deplorables.
More today about the Disney IT workers who lost their jobs to foreign nationals imported by Disney to take their jobs. (See the previous two posts.) Today two of the workers had their day in court. The result was predictable.
Orlando judge tosses Disney IT outsourcing lawsuit
Walt Disney World and two outsourcing contractors have won dismissal of lawsuits filed by former IT workers.
The lawsuits, filed in January, alleged that the Disney employees were the victim of a racketeering scheme to terminate them and replace them with immigrant, outsourced workers through the federal H-1B Visa program. Adding insult to injury, the workers were also forced to train their replacements or they would lose severance benefits.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell ordered the suits dismissed Thursday.
Presnell ruled that the former Disney employees, Leo Perrero and Dena Moore, were off-base in their accusations that Disney and outsourcing firms HCL Inc. and Cognizant Technologies made false statements on certifications for the Visa program.
The H-1B program requires employers to state whether current employees would be “adversely affected” when a company hires foreign workers through the program. Perrero and Moore argued in court that their working conditions at Disney were adversely affected, because they were forced to train people who would take their jobs, for lower pay.
According to the court record, however, HCL stated that none [of] its own employees would be adversely affected.
In the judge’s dismissal of the cases, he states that HCL’s statements weren’t false, and would only have been false if HCL’s own workers were adversely affected by the Visa program.
A few things to point out. First, note what I highlighted. What Disney did is TECHNICALLY legal because they didn’t do this themselves, they hired outsourcing firms. Of course, the logic is similar to the person who hires a hitman to kill someone and then claims they had nothing to do with it, but whatevs, right?
Second, the outsourcing firms, as well as Disney, are utter scumbags, of the type that use human trafficking for personal gain. They’re ruined those IT workers (Disney will have put a flag on them, making it very hard to get hired by any company in Orlando), all so that people like Iger can get another point on their goddamned stock options. They’re no better than the people the OPD are currently looking for for the trafficking and murder of a 14 year-old girl here in town.
Third, the judge is a Bill Clinton appointee, so the “the meaning of ‘is’ is” reasoning is perfectly understandable. He’s no better than the people at Disney, HCL & Cognizant. He’s not worried about HIS job getting outsourced!
Fourth, Bill’s wife is running for President. Rather than ask her about this kind of thing, which is the only reason Trump has gotten this far, the media is going after Trump for calling some rapper most of us have never heard of a “racial slur” that every Democrat in the country has used publicly to describe Clarence Thomas for decades.
But we can infer a few things. Hillary has stated that she wants a borderless world, and wants the free movement of people into the United States, with no restrictions. She hasn’t said this publicly, but thanks to Wikileaks we know she has told it to various muckity-mucks who have paid her $250,000 and more for 20 minute speeches. We can believe she means it, because she’s made a shit-ton of money off of the idea. Hillary has also stated that she thinks one quarter of the US population belongs in a “basket of deplorables” – a much nastier turn of phrase than any she would apply to any terrorist who ever killed an American. Any Islamic terrorist, I mean. Between the “basket of deplorables” comment and her “why aren’t I winning by 50 points” comment, we can work out who she means, and it’s basically white men who aren’t gay, trannies, or government workers who do NOT carry guns. (She hates the military and police just as much as any Black Lives Matter fan. No, that’s not fair. She doesn’t hate them so much as she despises them.)
She hates straight white men, probably because her husband is a straight white man and has treated her worse than toilet paper for decades. (Toilet paper only gets used once and then gets disposed of. Hillary gets used over and over again, and worse than any piece of toilet paper.) At a guess she hates her dad, too. Her dad either didn’t warn her about Bill, or worse, he did warn her about Bill and was right, so she’ll blame him for her lack of judgement either way. The rest of us get to bear that burden, though.
So Hillary hates the straight white male American worker, and wants to fuck us in the ass as much as possible. Another four years of Barry is what we’re going to get, and another four years of W., and another four years of Bubba. Hillary, though, stands to get richer. Bill will get a million dollars to speak five minutes to people like Bob Iger, and who knows how much Chelsea and her toady little husband will rake in. No one in the media will care, because the media hates American workers too, especially if they’re straight white men. And they didn’t raise a ruckus when the Clintons did it while she was Secretary of State, either, or after it was revealed that she had done so.
Our days appear to be numbered. But I’m guessing before it’s all over there will be Hell to pay. And the people that voted for this will be held accountable in blood. The time for a National Razor Party fast approaches.
Just because I’m drunk on self-inflicted sleep deprivation, I’m going to inflict a journal entry on you. But I’m putting it here, not on Facebook, so only the true masochists will make the effort to see it.
Went to see a film about John Berger. He’s still alive! A hearty 90, smoking and shoveling snow. But he just lost his wife. I went to see it because his short story about a farmer and a calf so haunts me. He went native in a French peasant village 40 years ago. I was a little disappointed to see he is still something of a cultural sophisticate after 40 years of helping with milking and haying. When young he was beautiful and self-dramatizing, with a mop of wavy black hair, high cheekbones and a prominent nose, a sort of Leonard Cohen or Leonard Bernstein of radical art criticism. He’s a beautiful old man, rugged and luminous, with beseeching eyes,
and his dialectics are at least simplified and more enigmatic, the fancy edges worn off. . . . The film, much of it, was annoyingly hip and formless. As if form were a form of capitalist colonial oppression. But I could look at Tilda Swinton forever. She looks like a 6- or 7-month fetus, when they are fully formed but haven’t yet put on any fat.
I realized that I am something of a radical, in terms of despising the worship of money, the loving of it more than life. (There’s a desperation about it, the flight from death that it is, that only makes things worse, gives you more to flee from.) But I see it almost the way an old Catholic would, not as a flaw in “the system” but in human nature, the way we cleverly hot-wire and short-circuit our own brains. And in that way I’m more of a conservative . . . except I don’t think returning to tradition is the answer, because tradition isn’t adapted to the modern world. [Which leaves me feeling] we’re fucked.
“So, Dick, this Trump guy…what an asshat! I think I had Chrysler with a hood ornament like that hair!”
“Dick, is it true that Bill is running his side piece, Monica, for POTUS? The stones on that guy!”
“No, Ike he’s running the other one.” “The one with a voice like Nosferatu’s fingernails on the blackboard? The one who looks like a potato stuffed with straw? You’re kidding me!” [Nixon shrugs]
[Ike looks through the photograph…at us]
“Well, we fought The Great Depression and World War II, but I feel sorry for you guys…you can’t seem to find your ass with both hands.”
“Dick and I are probably gone by your time –”
“Speak for yourself, Ike, I’m probably still hanging around…and even if I’m not, Henry is, you can bet your ass he is, and I’ve already told him what to do about now.”
[Ike gives Nixon the side eye]
“Look, don’t pay these fools at the top too much mind. You’ve screwed the pooch this time around and you’re going to give a con man or a criminal the job we used to have. But cheer up, you’re Americans, you know which end is up. Have the faith in yourselves I’ve always known you should have because you ARE Americans, right Dick?”
“I apologize for the failures of the guys who came after me,” [Gives Nixon more side eye] but do what you feel you need to do to get the ship of state righted, kick some ass, and you’ll be fine!”
“We’ll still be here, laughing it up….join us, fellow Yanks!”
I know, I know….an engine rebuilding video? But I just love how the work of 6 days is shown to you in 6 minutes.
You start with an old hulk of an engine….and wow, look at that thing at the end! Those glowing pistons! The amazing covers with tons of old fashioned bolts holding in place….It’s surprising what comes at you and makes you love what people do.
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So….it’s that time of year to dance!
This is a colorized lobby card from Top Hat (colorized back then, not now)
The Walnut Room was the upstairs room of Drake’s a long-gone, long time Ann Arbor institution. I got a chance to buy this and another sign from the place when they closed.
This post is long overdue. My housing crisis is over, and I now have a place to live. Now the point of my writing this is not to talk about how I did this and that to acquire this place. Rather, what I want to talk about here is you. All of you. You are who I have in the world. I am not a man of wealth, or family. What family I did have gave up on me years – decades – ago. My remaining living sister did not bother to tell me my other sister died 5 years ago. Is there a term stronger than estrangement? I need that term.
But why am I writing now? It’s simple….I’m grateful. That’s more than just a thank you; it’s not a single moment, but a feeling that carries forward into the future. What do I have to give you in gratitude? The best I can for each of you, and the best I can be for myself . I’ve failed at this in the past, primarily because I didn’t know I really valued in myself.
I have such a long list of people to thank, but no Oscar speeches, and no Hallmark card prose either.
I spent a lot of time thinking how to do this thanking, but I’ll break it to two parts: feeling and doing. Obviously, I’m a bit overwhelmed with feeling these days; relief, joy, surreality. If I could walk up and hug each and every one of you I would, with delight. But I simply can’t do that! Rats!
But the best way isn’t with feeling, it’s with doing. Fortunately, I have a lot to do! Health, wealth…a real home. That would have a lot of meaning to me. Ideally, I would love to have a large enough home to throw a large enough party to invite you all to!
For my friends who live in a different locale than I, what I want most is a visit where I see you in your own setting!
Those of you who know me for some time…I have a novel to deliver and I promise that will get finished.
I will be going back to the Y and working out every day. A car will be needed!
For now….let me just thank you all again for everything from emotional, to financial, to spiritual support.
In front of the new fireplace and my Maxfield Parrish print of “Enchantment”
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