The Yacht Club Enters Early Adulthood

Yay! In April the Yacht Club turned 25. Man! I wish I were just turning 25 again! I would realize that I was in the prime of my life; that there was nothing I couldn’t do. How I lived through my early twenties, I’ll never fully understand, and it remains to be seen whether the Yacht Club will have the same luck I had.

Three things I had that the Yacht Club may have, metaphorically, were; wise, subtle parents, a younger sister who looked up to me, and a top-of-the-line guardian angel. (I actually have a very zealous guardian angel who sometimes tries to take the decision-making out of my hands, which I resent, albeit half-heartedly, and usually end up being more grudgingly grateful than anything.

Surviving into early adulthood is no small task. For one thing, you are no longer the cool, subversive, skateboard-rock-star that you were in your late teens-early twenties. Suddenly, trying to live that way comes off pathetic and weird. To pretend life doesn’t matter becomes hollow and false, on account of having put twenty-five years into it and all. After twenty-five years its time to start listening to those weekend radio shows that talk about planning your retirement. You know, the ones that start out, “ Even if you only have 50 thousand dollars, it’s still not too late to start saving toward a comfortable retirement.” And, you know, the first time you hear it you whisper “Please God, please let him have said fifteen thousand dollars.” He didn’t. Old 25-yr-old-business, you better start making some fucking money or we are in deep doo doo here.

You know, if one were to write a piece of speculative fiction in which a much-loved establishment, say the Yacht Club, were somehow supernaturally linked to a single human being in such a way that all the club’s fortunes and hardships actually manifested themselves in that person, than clearly the person who would be linked to the Yacht Club would be Hippy. But what if that was too obvious and predictable, and arguably not really fiction, as a club owner’s health and fortune really do reflect that of his business. What if it was just some random customer, or a bartender or a cook? That would make a much more interesting, suspenseful, and thought provoking story, as much of it could be spent on various characters piecing the phenomenon together.

Oh my God! On Thurs. June 28th the Supreme Court upheld Obama’s health care law. When I heard about it I literally dove across the room to turn on my radio and tune it to 640 AM. Thank the Gods I had only missed the first half of Glenn Beck, leaving me a solid hour to settle in and prepare to listen to Rush Limbaugh when he came on at noon. It reminded me of when I was a wee lad and my dad would turn the living room couch on its side and pile blankets and snacks around so my little sister and I could watch the Wizard of Oz or A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. Possibly the most entertaining hour and a half of talk radio I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. (Even Broccoli made an appearance.) If you missed it you have noone to blame but yourself.

Because I can’t find an angry, foaming-at-the-mouth liberal on the radio or on TV (I don’t have cable and neither should you) I have resorted to reading Hunter S. Thompson books. So I read during the commercial breaks (You can only hear “Looky looky looky here comes Cookie” so many times before you jam sharpened pencils into your ears. Wow! Finally I know what a foaming at the mouth liberal is! Yay for me! Slow learner. Dang, I wish he had a radio show I could listen to.

Do you want to return to a time when everything was wonderful? Pick your time. 1940’s, 1950s I seriously doubt he means anything later than that, but I don’t know! When was that time we want to get back to? The 1780s? Is he grossly oversimplifying, for the sake of the campaign, but really has an agenda of getting back to a time that didn’t actually exist, but is sort of a hodgepodge of good things from days gone by? Like the 1780’s without slavery, and the forties without WWII and the fifties without racial violence and rock n’ roll? It seems like it would be smarter to up the ante and try to move forward into the real times we actually live in, with the crystal meth and the sexual smorgasbord and the people banging on our borders and Iran building nuclear weapons and the polar ice caps melting and and and . . . .

I mean, I know I could be wrong. But it doesn’t seem feasible to try to go back, much as I’d love to! In fact since we’re on the subject, let me tell you what I would like to go back to, if I had my druthers. I would like to go back to when I was a little boy on Christmas morning and I was just about to start opening my presents! You promise me that, and I will vote for your ass so fast it will make MY head spin!

Along the lines of realizing I was never going to win the lottery has come a much more sinister realization, although it is so heavily laden with philosophical trappings that I think I’ll go ahead and call it what it is. A fear of non-being. Trying to remember when this fear made its first mumbling, murmuring presence known, I am shocked to realize that it was shortly after I turned twenty-five. Damn it! If this keeps up people are going to think I have literary aspirations and start eschewing me like a brooding, overly sensitive twenty-five year old whose parents are getting a divorce. And, as you well know if you have ever spent any serious time brooding in a bona fide, non-medicated depression-funk, your thoughts inevitably gravitate toward beginnings and endings (or as Faylynn would say, “teleological ho hum”).

Which brings me, by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs from whence we shall peek out (from behind the bar, of course!) and purloin the juiciest gossip we can get our ears on. Initial, unconfirmed reports seem to indicate that everything is not fine, and thus the # 3 topic of discussion at the bar for the last few weeks is a tie, undoubtedly engendered by anxiety, between Death (finally bumped from #1 after four months) and “Where we came from/how it all got started” (probably due to the mounting tension over physicists reporting they have discovered the God Particle, known as the Higgs-Boson.

Inevitably, most of this “What’s going to happen after I die/Where was I before I was born” bar talk has been teleological ho hum. But there are some concerns that people have that are endearingly familiar and I want to convey to anyone reading this that you are not alone in your fears. So let’s start with that rascally fear of being forgotten; of being erased from the memory of the still living. In all fairness, do you go about your day with the memory of loved ones who have passed away at the forefront of your thoughts? Geez, I hope not. Maybe for a few weeks after their passing, but then, don’t you satisfy yourself that they would want you to get on with your life and let them rest in peace?

If being forgotten after you die is such a loathsome, terrifying prospect for you, then by all means create something, a poem, painting or piece of music that will enjoy relative immortality and with which you will always be associated. But if you really want to leave a worthwhile legacy, touch some lives in a positive way. Make people smile when they’re bummed out. Make people laugh under any circumstances. They won’t forget you. I still remember this fifth grader who turned my tears to laughter when I was eight years old. He didn’t have to do that, but he did, and now he’s immortal!

In another conversation I overheard, and wanted to participate in ( but pesky customers kept wanting to buy stuff, and, well you know how I am with my obsessive need to wait on people promptly) a youngish couple (mid thirties) was engaging an older, biker-type dude (maybe sixty). He impressed upon them the importance of having some sort of goal, or, as he put it, an ongoing project, something big you wanted to complete before you died. At first, due to his attire and gruff demeanor I thought that maybe he had something sinister in mind, like the Oklahoma bombing (and here’s how memorable that guy is to me; when I try to remember his name, all I can come up with is Jeffrey Dahmer!) but I couldn’t have been more of a simp. He was talking about setting the bar a little too high, aiming for a summit too lofty, a river a little too wide (I’m pretty sure he was quoting Rush). He wanted to be working toward something such that when he died people would say, “Oh! Wasn’t he doing this. Did he finish it before he died?”

The best thing, he advised this young couple, was to raise a child. This he felt was the most worthwhile thing one could do with one’s life, and alas, he regretted that he had never done it himself. I remember him saying something like, “That’s got to be the greatest thing in the world to get that little sucker self-sustaining.” I love it! Especially considering that my parents somehow made me (relatively) self-sustaining in spite of the crap raw materials they had to work with. Boy! Talk about damaged goods!

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t spin your wheels waiting to die.

TO BE CONTINUED. . . .

IS THIS AN ELECTION YEAR OR WHAT?

I knew that it would eventually pay off if I listened to Rush Limbaugh. He explained today that liberals, like Obama et. Al. wanted to use the mechanism of government, in his words the most powerful force on earth, to institute and enforce infringements on our freedoms. Silly, nilly willy things he called them, like not buying big drinks and not advertising sugary cereals during Saturday morning cartoons. He said these were just things that instigated and perpetuated an infinity of gridlock and petty bickering when the government should be doing things like protecting our borders and making sure that business could function unimpeded and competitively in world markets.

I kind of like the idea of government trying to tell me what to do, so I can have something to argue about. I don’t like the thought of them doing huge, sweeping, incomprehensible things that give big businesses more power and let them pay less taxes and allow them to fuck up the environment to their hearts content. I mean, I don’t want to be cynical, but are the movers and shakers in this country really worried that the government is going to take away our guns and big sodas, or is the government the only thing standing between our freedoms and the crushing jackboot of big business? Seriously, who put the little bookstores and coffee shops out of business, the government or Starbucks and Barnes & Noble?

Sorry, normally I’m not a political enthusiast, but it is an election year and everybody else is putting their two cents in, and I am going to strive to be as absolutely neutral as possible. Right now I’m probably coming off as anti conservative, but I’m NOT! I have serious questions about their basic philosophy that I want answered. If the government isn’t going to meddle in our lives, does that seriously mean noone will? Is that the hope? The goal, whatever? Because it seems like someone is bound to swoop into that vacuum, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be me.

For instance, I heard a contractor call in to Rush and tell all the horrors of government regulation when trying to get anything accomplished. Tree surveys, owl surveys, etc etc, and it did sound ridiculous. So my question is, if a conservative president was elected, would that all go away? Everyone seems to argue in these gross generalizations and lofty philosophical clichés, but what about specific things that would change? Is there really something better that would happen if Romney were elected? And if so, what is it? And if, by any miracle, someone attempts to honestly answer my question, please don’t sputter at me angrily or act incredulous that anyone could possibly not understand the difference between what would happen if Romney got elected and if Obama got reelected. For the past year I have listened to Rush and Rusty and Neil and Beck and Savage, and I have had enough angry sputtering and incredulity and hilarity about how ignorant I am (without answering my specific questions), and I am starving for specifics.

I like Romney. I love Mormons. My high school sweetheart was a Mormon.

On Wednesday, June 6th at 5:14pm, I was writing this log entry and listening to Rusty Humphries interviewing Saxby Chambliss, and they discussed how Liberals were calling SWAT teams and having them raid the homes of Conservatives. I am going to see if I can get a transcript of the show. It’s still on. I’m listening to it and typing at the same time. Sort of a dumb person’s multitasking.

It’s a good thing that enriching uranium is so hard. Can you imagine if it was a piece of cake, how completely fucked we’d be?
But I’m going to start trying to enrich some myself if I have to hear about the stupid economy and unemployment rate much longer. I know it’s an election year thing and they have to do it, but what about all the other election-year things: the fun ones. Like elicit sexual affairs and skeletons in the closet and digging up dirt and stuff? I’ve been looking forward to some over-the-top mud-slinging for around a year now, funded by the Super-PACs and I’m getting nuthin’! Surely it can’t be too early to start ramping it up and move from headshots to something a little bit south of the belt. Come on! Politics is my favorite contact sport! I don’t want to see it pussified like hockey and football! Where’s Karl Rove? Where’s James Carville? Who’s running these wuswad campaigns?!

Luckily, I am here to save the day with media-savvy campaign ideas. First, Mitt Romney’s campaign. If I haven’t said this already, than you probably haven’t mentioned the economy.
YOU ARE BORING!!!! You are also a dupe of the mainstream media if you think that talking about the economy is going to win you this election. There are a few talk radio goons sniffing around for Obama dirt and you need to start taking a page from their book. Unfortunately, they are on the right train, but the wrong track, and here’s where I justify that tidal wave of lousy cliché’s by giving you the highly original solution to the “Obama problem”. The best the thugs are coming up with is trying to stake Obama to terrorism via his name, but that Obama/Osama thing is not getting it. Granted there are some really dumb people who think Obama has something to do with Islam and terrorism, and you shouldn’t let them get away. There just aren’t enough of them to make any difference, and when they speak it mostly provides the masses with entertainment at the expense of the dumb yokels.

What you need to do is tie Obama to Tiger Woods! Not the infidel, but the infidelity! If he’s not cheating on his wife, who cares? Just say he is! At least 3 million people in this country will believe you right off the bat, and they will all start flapping their gums incessantly. Never mention Obama without mentioning Tiger Woods again, because make no mistake about it, Tiger Woods is a tremendous disappointment, who blew his chance at greatness, and he wears the black hat now. Do you hear what I am seeing? Get on this right away! Implement PLAN: Tiger Woods!

Next, Barrack Obama’s campaign. Hello?! Mormons are notorious polygamists! “Discover” Romney’s other family living in a futuristic compound in the middle of the great salt flats. People will believe it! Hell, I practically believe it, and I am sitting here making this shit up! The possibilities with this storyline are endless! Get in there and quote his children on how they are waiting for God’s spirit children to come. Warp and distort the precepts of Mormonism! This is a PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! Use the Super-PACS to make videos with lots of special effects. Come On! I only have three, maybe four elections left in me before I pass into the great wide open!

I am down to buying the newspaper once a week, watching the news once a week, and listening to talk radio once a week and it’s still too repetitive and boring to endure. What if you did any of those things every day? You would go insane!

I heard an interesting theory while I was tending bar last week which put forth that the world was literally too complicated to even attempt to put it on the nightly news, and the more I think about it, the more I think there might be literal truth in it. Imagine Peter Jennings, or Diane Sawyer trying to report this real life world development.

>The United States, China, and several other world powers are trying to negotiate with Iran to get them to stop enriching uranium.

>One of the United States negotiating tools is to sanction any country that buys more than X amount of oil from Iran.

>China buys more than X amount of oil from Iran.

>The United States has exempted 17 countries from the sanctions, but not China.

>The United States exempted India, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and practically all of Europe.

>The United States buys more than X amount of oil from Iran.

“And that’ll do it for the Evening News. Join us tomorrow when we go back to making flaccid, nebulous, sweeping generalizations such as the economy is bad and, of course, unemployment is too high!”

Well, that was no fun getting swept by the Yankees at Turner Field. But at least I got to see A-Rod break Lou Gehrig’s all-time record by hitting his 23rd grand-slam homerun. History in he making!

Recently my mom sent me an article about an Olympic kayaker who developed Crohn’s disease a couple years ago.

Well, good news and bad news on the astrophysics front. Yes, yes, of course I’ll give you the bad news first, so we can end on a positive note (More Mom wisdom). It looks like man will be going back to asking priests and philosophers why we’re here, how we got here, where it all began, and what’s our role in this ginormous universe. After a couple of centuries of building cool stuff to investigate the cosmos it seems that Bush and Obama have so completely ruined the world economy that we have to take all the money from fun, useful projects and use it to pay billionaire’s yearly bonuses (Are you proud of me for my bi-partisanship?). The Hat Creek Observatory and the Allen Array have basically been turned off because noone can pay the bill. You know, that crazy SETI thing, where they’re trying to pick up messages from outer space; the one we all like to mock but secretly hope it will find something? Turned off. If it’s still not registering, think Jody Foster in Contact, or James Bond in that movie where he’s in the super-gigantic radar dish on railroad tracks. That’s SETI. Turned off. Oh well, remember, there’s good news too! Thanks to my mom. Wouldn’t that have been a bummer of a note to end on?

As our chance of escaping this planet in our lifetime approaches zero, I find that I am fielding more and more questions at the bar about the meaning of life, the universe, and man’s place in it.

What do you mean “I’m out of time?” You can’t let me leave this on a downbeat! NOOOOOOO!

Real life examples of why my friends and family are wary of me

As I begin typing this log entry it is May 1st . Happy May Day! I just got back from a little errand-running jaunt in L5P, and on the way I saw a terrible automobile accident at Glenwood and I-20. It had just happened, maybe five minutes ago. A little car t-boned a big pickup truck. The airbags deployed. There were kids in the car. Plenty of people had their cell phones out and others were offering aid, so I didn’t stop. But I sure couldn’t stop thinking about it as I continued on to L5P. Continue reading

Writing while eating Mush (Or, Post-Anniversary toothlessness)

To demonstrate how much I actually enjoy writing these log entries, I am taking time out from watching the FOX network’s 25-year anniversary to finish this one up. That’s interesting that they are one week younger than the Yacht Club. I wonder if there was a TV in the Yacht yet? (Yeah, yeah, probably the same one that’s in there now.)

I’m going to run through a few non-sequitars very quickly, and than surprise you at the end by tying them all together, so don’t skip any or the puzzle won’t seem complete to you. Continue reading