Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nurse the Hate: Hate December Wednesday

I woke up and immediately got into traffic.  Four lanes merge into one in a bottleneck devised by the Marquis de Sade.  No one would allow me to merge.  I believe this to be blowback for driving an obnoxious car.  I cut someone off finally.  A woman with a cigarette in her mouth and fried hair waved her arms at me angrily while clearly mouthing the word “motherfucker”.  I gave her a wide smile and wave.  This angered her further.  The drive slogged on.  She settled down behind me.  No one understands how to merge.  The idea is not to drive slower than all other traffic with your turn signal on hoping something wonderful happens.  Stop and go.  Stop and go.  I arrive.

The meeting was held for the same reason most meetings are held, because it was scheduled.  Words used in this meeting included “play”, “color”, and “activate”.  Examples:  “We took holiday gifts over there today.  That’s a good play.”  This falsely insinuated the speaker had command and great leadership over the events about to transpire like a Machiavellian puppet master.  “Denise is going to color that situation for us…”  This meant Denise would give us the details, but “color” sounded more hip.   “Dan is going to activate the initiative, but it’s a soft launch.”  This meant that Dan was starting some plan that the organization hadn’t fully committed to, thus being able to distance themselves from failure.  It was six minutes of content spread over 73 minutes.  I left.

The three women chatted excitedly waiting for their special coffee drinks.  I eavesdropped on their order.  I looked at the menu board.  The egg nog latte had 640 calories.  “We deserve to treat ourselves.”  It was unclear what they had accomplished to earn this treat, but treat themselves they did.  The two Middle Eastern kids also waited for their special drinks.  They cast sideways glances at the door when people walked in.  It’s not a good time to be a Middle Eastern stranger.  They left quietly with their drinks.  A man in a jester cap smiled at everyone while staring at everything and nothing.  He seemed very relaxed, like he knew something the rest of us didn't.  He probably did.

I tried to get club booking agents to answer my emails.  In the “good old days” (which sucked too, but for different reasons), booking agents took calls on specific dates and times like Wed 2-4.  So if you wanted to play the Empty Bottle in Chicago, you had to remember to call Bruce at the Bottle on Wednesday in this small time frame.  Now it is all emails which all booking agents ignore unless you are something like J.D. McPherson, who I assume has a booking agent which gets a prompt response.  For me, it’s emails like “Hey, I’m following up on that date you have with Rev Peyton three months from now that needs an opener, and we are popular there and will play on the cheap.  How about not putting a metal band on it and put us on instead.  People will probably like it.”  This email will also probably be ignored.  The process will repeat over and over and over until I fill some dates.

The headlines are made for 24 hours of anxiety.  There is danger at every corner.  Stay in your homes.  Live with fear.  Donald Trump has said more terrible things that indicate that he might want to become a Dictator in a Fourth Reich.  I answer some emails from friends in Europe that are trying to understand why a country that is intertwined with theirs is supporting someone so divisive and scary.  It’s not easy to type out in a few sentences.  “Don’t worry, it will all sort out.”  I sort of believe that.  I wonder if Trump will put his face on all of our currency if he wins the election.  That would be interesting to talk about before WWIII.  It’s all noise.

Mindless holiday chatter.  “Almost ready for the holidays?”  I learned that in Germany this can be called “flower talk”.  With luck it will snow next week, and we can say things like “Boy, they really got a lot of snow on the Eastside!” and “Maybe we will have a white Christmas!”.  No one really cares if you are “ready for the holidays”.  I know I don’t.  If you don’t get the garland up, it will be OK.  No one cares about the current status of your gift buying.  I think people like to verbalize it to others though as a quick State of the Union for their holiday tasks.  I listen on the phone to a woman that refers to “the kids being home”.  I didn’t know she had kids.  I grunt a positive assurance.

I look for a place to scuba dive with giant animals in the water.  I read about a dive with Humpback Whales.  That seems foolhardy.  I send an email to see if I can get on the boat.  There’s another one with schools of hammerhead sharks.  A review of it notes “you need to get to depth quickly or the drift will put you in an area that is not ideal”.  I take it to mean that by “not ideal” they mean you will drift into a school of 8-14 foot hammerhead sharks.  Hmm…  That’s attention getting.  Maybe I will try that.  I hope I can get to depth quickly.  I bookmark that for further inspection.  If I have to die this year it seems more heroic to be eaten by a shark than to waste away with cancer or slump over in a cubicle with a heart attack.  If I died on a stage it would probably get some hits on youtube.  This is the currency of our New Economy after all.   

I need to go to San Francisco in a few weeks.  I’m taking my first exam for the WSET Level 4 wine certification.  This is quite an endevour.  I am hopelessly overwhelmed by chemistry, viticulture, and very serious English people reprimanding me via email due to the snarky comments I keep posting on the class website.  This is one of the flaws of the world of wine, the strong desire by the insiders to suck the fun out of it and make it exclusionary.  I will pass this exam by sheer force of will.  It reminds me of trying to pass Spanish 4 in high school.  I went into the final exam with the inability to memorize any Spanish vocabulary beyond two sentences.  If you ever find yourself in a Spanish speaking country with me, feel confident in that I will be able to say to the locals “Where is my beer?’ and “Where are the red shoes?”.  I will not be able to understand their answer, and in the ensuing confusion I will ask “bano?” and scurry off to the bathroom.   I got an “A” on that Spanish 4 test though and slipped by the course.  I still suspect the teacher felt sorry for me and gave me an "A" so I could graduate without incident.

It has gotten late.  I let the hounds outside.  I hear crazy yelping type barks nearby.  I've never heard something like it before.  I get on the Google Machine.  Holy christ, I've got coyotes.  I live in a place where giant buck stroll by with attitude and coyotes howl about their plans to eat the neighbors toy poodle.  What's next, an eagle perching on the fire pit?  Nature is resilient.  Hopefully so am I.  I will go to sleep and do this again tomorrow.


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