Friday, October 27, 2006


HBO needs to stop playing Walk the Line when I get home drunk at night, or else you'll keep getting posts like below. Goddamn that Reese, I love her.
Life is sad business. That's what my 22 years of experience has made me think...and I bet it just gets sadder as it goes on.....

Where is my June Carter?

Monday, October 23, 2006


Fall is a good time of year. My life has pretty much derailed in the last month, so I'm appreciating any good thing I can find. The cool weather is a part of that. Reminds me that no matter what happens, things keep moving and the world keeps turning. Time moves on, inevitable, lurching, fumbling. It is what it is, I guess.

Monday, October 16, 2006


“When are you free tomorrow?” he says.

“I’ve got shit to do all day.” I say.

“That’s not what I asked. I asked when you were free.”

“Class and shit. Lifting. Why?”

“My father’s dying. You should come with me tomorrow to see him.”

“I’ll go. I’m done with everything by around 6.”

“Good” he says.

“What’s wrong with him?”

“There’s a blood clot in his heart. It might be nothing. He might die.”


“They can do surgery as a last resort...but he’s 80 fucking years old”.

“Yea, that might kill’em alone.”

“Sheri is a mess. She’s drunk and crying, saying over and over, ‘What are we going to do if he dies? He just wants to go home’. I told her…we’re going to fucking go home and live.”
“That doesn’t surprise me.”

“She’s a fucking baby. I told her, do you really think that he wants to fucking be here? Of course he wants to go home. What would you want? He wants to be either fishing with Jesus, or in his house. He sure as shit doesn’t want anyone changing his diapers for him. It’s not that complicated.”

“No it isn’t.”

“He’s either going to fucking die, or he’s going home. He sure as shit isn’t staying there.”

“It’s understandable. I wouldn’t either. It’s not the way he is.”

“I told her a couple times. My mother was laughing…and she got into an accident on the way here, ripped the bumper off or something. They said ‘We’re not going to tell him yet.’ I told’em it’s probably pretty low on his list of things he’s worried about”.

“Well, there is that whole dying thing I guess.” I say

“Exactly. You think I’m being callous?”

“No. I think you’re being realistic.”

“I thought it was funny. They couldn’t sit there and eat dinner with him, but now they’re all upset about him dying. They couldn’t stand him when he was drunk and breaking shit on their backs, but now they’re all losing it. Fucking Sheri wouldn’t stop crying” he says.

“It’s different, you know, than when Ryer died. Your old man has lived. Ryer was 22. Your father is 81. He’s been every fucking place in the world, he doesn’t want for anything, and he fought in the greatest war that the world has ever seen. The man had a purpose. See, I never did that with Ryer. People make shit up, they say, “If Ryer was here, everything would be different. They idolize him now that he’s gone. I tell’em, I say, “He was a bastard. He was a selfish prick, and an asshole to everyone he didn’t know.’ But that’s why I liked him so much. You can’t forget who they really were through all the bullshit”, I say.

“I loved that kid. I would have had him fucking live with us, and it would have been fine with me.”



“I know,” I say.

“Some of the shit I saw that old man do. He broke a fucking hockey game over my brother’s back on Christmas Day once, one of those old ones with the players. I saw Joey take some beatings that were fucking terrible. He just sucked it up and took it all. Your mother doesn’t understand it. She says my father talks about him too much, how he’s the favorite. I told her I hope he wins the fucking lottery, because nothing is ever going to make up for all that shit.”

“Well, the old man has a lot to make up for. Talking about him a lot is the least he could do…and I’m sure he knows that”.

“Of course he does. I should have beat the shit out of you like he did to us. You think your life is fucking hard?”


“Through all that, though, he still put in a sense of family. His last words, if I go there and he’s gasping and dying, will be, “Take care of the family”. That’s all he wants. There’s nothing more that he cares about. It’s not that hard.”

“No it isn’t. It’s funny. Death is really simple. Really fucking simple.”

“They all complicate it too much. I know my father like I know me. He doesn’t care which one happens, as long as he gets out of that fucking hospital. He wants to be fishing with Jesus”.

“Good man to go with.”

“I always say it’s a simple thing. Not as bad as everyone says.”

“How do you think Tyler will handle it?”

“He’ll be alright”.

“Not as bad as when I was little?”

“No. You were a whole different ballgame. He’s got a scientific mind. He’ll be able to deal with it. He won’t get as fucked up as you did about that whole thing.”

“Life is sad business sometimes”.

“Most of the time. You just fucking take care of your family. That’s all there is to it.”

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Red Sox

I'm watching the show on HBO called "Reverse the Curse of the Bambino", which chronicles the Red Sox debacles over 86 years, and now it's the end and that part where Foulke flips the ball to Renteria for the last out of the World Series is on and I actually have tears coming out of my eyes when they show pictures of the graveyards in Boston decorated with Red Sox flags and balloons for all the grandfathers and ironworkers and union guys that never got to see Boston finally win.

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I saw it in the eyes of the two blue- eyed, red-haired little boys who were on their way to Fenway on the train with their big Irish father holding them by their shoulders and telling them to stay off of the ground while every single person in that packed train had on a Red Sox jersey or hat and were coming out because the Sox were in the playoff hunt and it was Fenway's 280th consecutive sellout....

This, this is why we live and die by our Red Sox. This is why whenever I see those last outs of the Series or Ortiz's homerun in Game 4 against the Yankees, I start tearing up. And this is why next year, when September rolls around and the Sox are in the playoff hunt, I'll stay up until 1 in the morning every night and watch them fight and claw.

For Boston. Forever.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I lay in the back of Frank's work truck and I'm hammered. Well, it's not so much a truck as a work van, the kind with two big doors in the back and shelves inside it, and it's loaded with tools and such.

I wasn't the only one who needed a ride, and I was by far the drunkest. So what does Frank do? Puts me in the back. Good fucking move, Frank, put the dumb drunk in the back of the van with a bunch of toys.

I lay quiet for a couple minutes. And then I got antsy.

I started playing with something that looked like a huge compass, and found the knob that turned it on and made a screeching beeping noise. Laughing at this like only a drunk could, I asked Frank what this thing did.

"Put that down you fucking drunk, that's worth more than your life."

"Nope. I wanna play with it."

I lost interest in that though, and evidently started looking for an aerosol can. I know how I think when I drink, and I'm positive I was thinking about making a torch out of it with my lighter. Frank heard me shaking the can from the front though, and started yelling at me again.

"Put that fucking spray paint down."

"What spray paint?" I said with a grin, all the while hearing that marble in the can bounce around as I shook it.

With that, Frank slammed on the breaks, and a torque wrench came barreling forward from the back of the truck and careened into my head.

"Ooooh FUCK! Ahh, right in the fucking ear man! Oh that fucking hurts!" I yelled as I lay squirming in pain on the floor of the van. With that I lost it.

Apparently screaming, "You motherfucker", I started spraying the paint all over the back of the truck, painting it a nice sky blue color. In retribution, Frank started whipping around turns...which started to make many large pieces of metal start falling off the shelves and onto my defenseless form. Another tool hit me in the knee, making me drop the spray paint and curl into the "I'm getting stomped" position, covering my head and neck and praying that no more seriously heavy shit fell onto me.

By the time we got to my house, I couldn't hear out of my left ear, my knee was swollen, and the inside of Frank's van was a hue of blue. After pulling me out of the truck and verbally reinforcing the fact that I was indeed "a fucking drunk", he let me stumble up to my house to have my whiskey induced drunken lullabies.

Ahhhh drinkin.

Monday, October 09, 2006

10 Reflections on the First Day of Training in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu

1. I am not in nearly as good shape as I thought I was.

2. I need to quit smoking because of my realization of #1.

3. I will never quit smoking because I love it too much, so #2 is bullshit.

4. I can punch harder than I thought I could, especially with my right hand (I'm a southpaw).

5. I am going to be hurting like a motherfucker tomorrow.

6. If Brazilian ju-jitsu wasn't so brutally violent, it would be the gayest looking thing in the world.

7. We powerlifters, bodybuilders, and strongmen are all strong in different ways. However, none of us compare in toughness to guys that are trained to break your limbs and leave you bloody on the ground.

9. Because of the above realization, I really want to learn BJJ.

10. Wondering where #8 went? Fuck you. It's my blog. I do what I want.

Friday, October 06, 2006

On Johnny Cash

I have been very big into Johnny Cash since I saw the movie Walk the Line. You can probably tell that I dig the rebel types like Cash, the ones who flout society and live their own way and blah blah blah. I am surprised it took me 22 years to find his music, and, more importantly, his attitude. Any man who plays in two prisons for his most famous albums is a man that I would share a drink with.

I love his older stuff, the things about prisons and cocaine and farms, and yet it is the song "Hurt", that is leaving the hardest impression on me.

This may be the most intense, murderous song I've ever heard. He didn't write it, of course- Trent Reznor did. There is something about the way Cash plays it, though, that makes this song a true musical landmark in my eyes. I don't know shit for shit about music as far as playing it, but I know quite a bit about soul and passion, and this song has it in spades.

I am drunk right now, and my eyes are tearing up because of these, the last hymn of a dying man. This was a man that knew his time was near, and that all his TV appearences and the days of idolatry were over. These were the words of a man who no longer wishes to live, and is hounding the devil to come and play.

So rare is this breed in all of history! Most famous, rich folks avoid death at every turn, and then give last whimpy utterances when they see the decil smiling in the doorway. There are a million quotes such as, from Pancho Villa's, "Don't tell them it ended like this. Tell them I said something" to some asshole king's, "All of my possessions for another moment of time". Everyone tries so hard to duck death... but Cash stared it in the eyes and smiled, as broken and dead a man as the framed yet shattered "Certified Gold Records" on the ground in his video.

The pain is there. This rebel without a cause, the man who gave the finger to the world and took all the consequences....a dying genius' manifesto. Few have either the guts or the talent to do something like this.

It is probably not a good thing that I feel that I have such a kinship with a man like Johnny Cash. I don't like it because I know people like me and him don't measure success by the books we've published or the albums we've's by how happy we are.

And we are never, ever happy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I've seen two movies in the last two days that everyone in America needs to see if they haven't. One is Casablanca, the other is Walk the Line.

If you don't see these, you must be an anti-American, God hating, islamofascistcommunistic gringo. And I don't take kindly to them types.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Brendan Behan Quotes

Quotes from my newest hero, the Irish dramatist Brendan Behan.

There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.

I am a drinker with writing problems.

Ah, bless you, Sister, may all your sons be bishops.

New York is my Lourdes, where I go for spiritual refreshment... a place where you're least likely to be bitten by a wild goat.

I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.

The Bible was a consolation to a fellow alone in the old cell. The lovely thin paper with a bit of matress stuffing in it, if you could get a match, was as good a smoke as I ever tasted.

If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks.

The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.

The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.

To get enough to eat was regarded as an achievement. To get drunk was a victory.

What the hell difference does it make, left or right? There were good men lost on both sides.

When I came back to Dublin I was courtmartialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.

Shakespeare said pretty well everything and what he left out, James Joyce, with a judge from meself, put in.

Ninety-seven saint days a year wouldn't affect the theater, but two Yom Kippurs would ruin it.

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.

Monday, October 02, 2006

There's No Place Like Showplace

"You havin' fun?" he asks, a folded dollar in his hand.

She doesn't speak English, but she just shakes her head, "No". Her eyes are pathetically sad.

The sign is alone in the boonies of Dover, a bright neon beacon saying, “Showplace- A Gentlemen’s Club”. The building looks like an old Elk’s Lodge, and to say it’s in a state of disrepair is being nice.

The bar inside is big and square and sits in the center of the room. The counters haven't been cleaned since 1966, and the place smells like piss. There are a couple of stages behind the bar, and a couple pool tables in the back. I had been drunk when we left for this place, but it takes an hour to get here and I'd sobered up by then. I needed to be drunk again. Immediately. Really drunk.

I order a couple shots of whiskey, but the crook-toothed bartender makes us wait a half hour before she brings them. I try to bribe a couple strippers to get her over here quicker, but they shrug and say in their broken English, "She a bitch." No shit.

There's a ton of guys here, (although my buddies claim that this is a slow night)- white trash from the mountains, migrant Mexican workers who sit quietly and never make a fuss, a few blacks from some of the uglier towns out here.

A black stripper comes up behind me, dressed in what may or may not qualify as a "dress" and white fishnets.

"So when are we going in the back?"

"Not me, hon."

She looks dissapointed. I'm glad when she gets the fuck off me.

There's sadness in the air here. It's not like the strip clubs back east where the girls are making lots of money, so they're more or less happy. These broads aren't making shit, and whatever they do make is because they're giving forty dollar blowjobs in the back.

They keep coming over, doing crappy dances on the other side of the bar, then pulling the straps of their bras out for my dollar bill. At one point I tell one of them that she's not getting any more dollars until I see her snatch. She looks confused, so I make the triangle with my fingers in the universal sign for "pussy". She gets pissed, and takes a dollar from her bra and throws it at me. Who knew strippers would have self respect all of a sudden...

I'm drinking my triple whiskey, trying to finish it in two sips so I get insta-drunk when I hear one of blondes whisper to a man next to me, “You see that one? She sixteen”. I close my eyes hard and open them up again, far drunker than I was a second ago and wondering if I really heard what I think I did.

I go out for a cigarette, and the "bouncer" starts talking to me. I assume he's the bouncer because he's sitting at the door, but he looks like a pimply faced kid who would get roughed up by nearly anyone sitting inside. He's talking about the history of Dover and Randolph, and I really couldn't care less. He conspicuously forgets the part about how this place is run by the fucking Russian Mob, and all of these girls were probably stolen off of little towns along the Volga and shipped here to be whores.

I'm getting drunker and more disgusted.

My buddy gets back from his hand-job in the bathroom, given by the aforementioned black stripper. It's what he wanted all night, and so now he's happy. We keep drinking until about 1:00, when we take off from this shithole of West Jersey.

I mentioned the venture to my boss the next day.

"I was out by you last night. Showplace."

He looks at me.

"You know, you gotta watch your ass there. That's a dangerous place. Lot of bikers...guys get killed in there."

"Don't I know it, Ed."

But after all... there's no place like Showplace.