Sunday, July 31, 2016


A fair warning before I begin. The subject matter of this post is going to be disgusting. I would  advise not to read it if you're eating......

Now that I have your attention, I'll begin.

Saturday night I was plagued with my usual insomnia. Ate some leftovers at midnight. Watched a few YouTube videos. Messed around with my computer. Brushed my eldest cat Scratch. Made sure the cats had clean water and fresh food.

As usual, I'm making a short story into a lengthy one. Please bear with me.

My habit lately has been to go to bed around 3:00 a.m. and read until dawn. I have a lot of new books to read. Blogger Ron from Retired in Delaware recently (and very generously) sent me a large collection of books about Hollywood that he no longer wants. I'm presently reading several of those books simultaneously.

Before I delved into Ron's books tonight, I grabbed an old history book of mine because I've been doing some research on ancient Babylon.

None of this has to do with my horror story, but it's a good buildup. Hang on....and whatever you do...don't eat....

Okay, here we go:
3:15 a.m.
I'm propped up in bed with my book. It's a warm, stuffy night. My bedroom window is wide open and the morning mountain fog is already obscuring the forest. An owl is whoo-hooing in the distance.

I have been transported to the great city of Babylon and am immersed in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. I can almost see the spectacular city and the hear the rush of the nearby Euphrates River.

I can almost smell the Euphrates river.
Well, hell, I have a good imagination.

Funny, the river doesn't smell very good. In fact it smells rotten. Really rotten.

Actually, when I first settled into bed and began reading I smelled something rotten but tried to ignore it. Soon the smell couldn't be ignored. 
Is it me? Do I smell rotten?
Is it the sheets on the bed?
Is it the book?
The Babylon book I'm reading had been in the garage for awhile. Maybe it's moldy.

I'm very reluctant to face the reality of what I really think. This smell isn't rotten - it's putrid. very putrid. Dead and decomposing putrid. And it's extremely nearby.

I try to ignore it one more time, but I can't. It's horrifyingly real. And it is definitely dead.

Perhaps there's a dead animal outside, nearby. I get up and go to the window. The air is damp and fresh. 
The putrid smell of death is coming from some place around my bed. I'm starting to slightly panic.

I thoroughly check the pillows and covers while I'm having a nasty flashback.
When I first moved here, the cats killed a mouse and put it in my bed. My apprehension of going to bed has been intense ever since.

My bed is situated about a foot away from the wall. That's where the stench is coming from. I force myself to look in the space between my bed and the wall.....

.....and there it is - a big dead decomposing mouse. Right by the head of the bed. To say I felt sick would be an understatement.

It's not easy to extract the rancid rodent from it's temporary tomb. I use a broom and a dustpan. I then put on my boots and take the odious thing outside and toss it far away from the house, somewhere in the forest. I'm not in the mood to prepare a fancy burial.

Back in the bedroom I use carpet cleaner, an ammonia spray, and a pesticide spray (just in case). The room no longer smells rancid, but it now smells like absolute hell from the cleansing mixtures. I'll do more cleaning tomorrow.

It's presently after 5:30 a.m. and daylight has arrived. I'm not exactly in the mood to go back to bed, even though I'm tired. 

I just checked the room again and there's no odor at might crawl into bed and try to get some shuteye.

I took a helluva long time to tell a short tale (tail?) of a dead mouse, but unnecessary mileage with extended detours is my specialty.

It's over. Now you can eat.


Monday, July 25, 2016


This post, I suppose, is an extension of my previous post Death Wish - - just an inane ramble of things nobody wants to hear.

There are times when I think my blog is boring and repetitive. The spark that I once had (or imagined I had) has diminished. Yet, I continue to write - out of habit and necessity. Necessity - because writing (for me) is an addiction.
I've thought about giving up blogging.
Probably impossible.
Or cutting down my posts to one a week. Some bloggers do this very successfully. I'm much more spontaneous than predictable. I write when the mood strikes me. Which is often. 

There's a danger in writing too much.  Readers grow weary of your unrelenting presence. Yet, there's even more danger in writing too infrequently. Readers will lose interest, assuming that you don't care.

I occasionally (often more than occasionally) repeat things that I've blogged about before. This is not the result of senility (hopefully). I deliberately do this for the benefit of my newer readers. 
And, hell, some good stories are worth repeating.

That's what I did in my previous post.

I write about my violent father and dysfunctional childhood mainly because it so severely affected the rest of my life. I can't ignore or escape the detrimental repercussions.

I don't want sympathy. I don't consider myself to be a noble survivor. My story is nothing special. We're all survivors in one way or another. Life sadistically kicks everyone in the ass and we all have our own private bloody crosses to bear.

I could easily write a book about my father. To say that he was complex would be a vast understatement. In many ways, he and I were alike - except that (thank God) I didn't inherit the insane violence. I am alarmingly complex and infuriatingly complicated, which sometimes frightens me.

It would be an impossibility to analyze my father in a blog post, but I'll mention a few things. He was definitely psychotic, paranoid, and probably quasi-sociopathic. When he went into a rage, the level of violence was beyond extreme and all sense of reason was abandoned. 

What caused his insanity? Inheritance. His type of behavior was prevalent among many Hungarians. I have my own definite opinions, which I won't go into here.

In "normal" times he could be kind, extremely generous, humorous. I hated those times most of all because they didn't last.

He never handled any situation in a mature manner, but rather reacted with  childlike tantrums. He had a terrifyingly intense desire to get even. Nothing was ever his fault. His mantra was "You made me do it" or "It's entirely your fault".
He never, ever said "I'm sorry".

The violent rages were inevitable yet unpredictable. He'd explode in an instant. The anger was never brief. His rampages could last for days, even weeks. And when he finally returned to "normal" it was as though nothing had ever happened. He chose to remember nothing.

What would spark my father's rage? The smallest things imaginable would set him off. When I was fourteen, I got in his way while he was working in the yard. He grabbed me and stomped on my bare feet until they bled (he was wearing heavy work boots). Then he pummeled me with his fists and squeezed me so tightly in a vicious bear hug that two of my ribs were fractured.

Only one small example of hundreds. Many incidents were far worse.
I think the hate that I harbored is understandable - - a hate that nearly consumed me.

I'll regret posting this. I've said far too much. All of it is past history. My father died in 2005. He mellowed slightly in his old age, and I think he had remorse.
I've forgiven him. I no longer have hate. Yet, it's impossible to forget.....

Sunday, July 24, 2016


One time, after an extremely violent confrontation with my father (and believe me there were many), he handed me a loaded gun and told me to kill myself.

He didn't actually tell me. He begged me. Said he wanted to see me dead, wished with his whole heart that I would do it.

Our horrifyingly turbulent history was filled with similar scenes (and scenes far worse), but somehow this one managed to penetrate my coat of self-defensive armor. I was very used to his cutting verbal abuse - - and even more used to his vicious physical attacks, but this was a new ambush. The words stung hard.

I still have that gun. And the bullets. 
I never want to grow old. I never want to be sick, feeble, and helpless. The glory days of my youth are far past. Someday.....perhaps someday.....the gun will serve a noble purpose.....

I had a serious death wish in my youth. In retrospect, I don't think I ever really wanted to die. My true goal was to expunge the abject pain and misery in my life - - to end the eternal chaotic nightmare in which I was ensnared - - the direct result of my father's insane abuse.

I had stayed under his suffocating shadow for too long, mainly to protect my mother - who was as emotionally wounded and physically immobilized as myself. Two emotional cripples, clinging desperately to the nothingness that was our existence.

I never wanted to die, but I wanted to kill the emotional agony that was devouring me.
One impossible night, after a terrifying scene, I locked myself in the bathroom. Grabbed a pair of scissors, viciously hacked at my wrists until the alarming amount of flowing blood brought me to my senses.
In truth - I was hacking at my father's evil soul.... 

I've written about that final night many times before, but I'm mentioning it again in a pitiful bout of beer drinking and remembrance.

That final physical scene with my father, when he tried to break my neck, choked me into unconsciousness, knocked me through the plate glass back door. I landed outside on hard concrete, amid sharp and bloody pieces of glass.
That night I got his gun, planned to kill him when he was sleeping, but lost my feeble courage....

And what, you might ask, caused my father to inflict such violence? We were having dinner. He was drinking too much beer. He started an argument about the cost of electricity. Warned me not to turn on any lights. I foolishly defied him. I got up and turned on the dining room light.

You don't dare defy my father. Ever. 

It took weeks for my physical wounds to heal. After that I took off for Hollywood and embarked on a long, slow death of self-destruction. It was my method of escape. Escape from the ugly bitch of reality.
Escape was always my main objective.

The freedom that I craved wasn't possible without becoming an entirely different person than I really was. Booze and drugs helped me abandon  my timidity, self-consciousness, fears and inhibitions, and aided me in becoming street-wise tough. I wasn't tough, but could admirably fake it.

Booze, drugs, one-night stands. Casual sex and back alley quickies. Serious "relationships" that never lasted. Lots of them. Copious amounts of malt liquor, washed down with whiskey or vodka. 

Soon the potency of booze worn thin. I started pouring whiskey or vodka into my malt liquor. Then, in an extended dimension to the lethal cocktail, I'd add pills - sleeping pills, tranquilizers. Anything available. 

I marvel that I didn't die. In fact, these many years later, I look back at my toxic youth in absolute jaw-dropping astonishment.
I played rough games with dangerous people. I thoroughly enjoyed endangering myself. The wild, shameless, unconventional, colorful, lurid, fantasy backdrop of Hollywood only served to enhance my unholy journey.....

.....and I learned how incredibly easy it is to lose one's dignity and abandon one's soul.

These were a few tiny glimpses of my turbulent past. It's a modified version. The expanded version would be too scary.
Most of my readers have heard this before (there are occasional yawns). I repeat things for the newer readers. 

Friday, July 22, 2016


When I write I'm merely talking to myself, very often completely oblivious to the prospect of eavesdroppers. My words should probably best be ignored rather than absorbed. Private thoughts are not always easily interpreted or appreciated.

Tonight I'm under the influence of the full moon - which has a habit of disturbing the solace of a lonely night with the resurrection of slumbering memories. 

I toss and turn in a tangle of damp sheets and the stifling embrace of a humid room. Then I get up, sit by the open window and inhale a pallid breath of midnight air. The night is a gentle infusion of thickly clustered trees, silvery patches of moonglow, and the random neon-blink of fireflies.

In this deceptive hour of sacred solitude, long-closed chapters of my life unwittingly open and serve to haunt me with the tattered pages of distant things.

This rhapsodic night is not intended for those whose souls are devoid of poetry, nor those whose hearts are immuned to the poignant rapture of love. 

The ethereal moonlight of these midnight hours is reserved for the secret song of remembrance.

(for W.G.H.)

When I think of you now
five years dead
it is impossible to perceive
the long burden of time that has spilled
beyond the threshold of our love.
It is too fresh in my memory:
that first autumn night
when a crisp November wind
wiped the stars clean
along with the slate of our future.

Those sacred hours after midnight
held the ripe secrets of our youth,
soaring with the sweet discovery
of each other,
singing with the eager prospect
of endless possibilities.

I tried to believe that eternal love
doesn't come this easily,
but the depth of our first kisses
forever expelled the thought
from my shadowed doubts
and united the scattered pieces
of our separate lives.

Where are you tonight,
when old memories resurrect
the timeless multitude of windswept stars
and lonely hours are filled
with echoes of our depthless devotion?

 Jon V.
from Love Letters to Ghosts

if you don't like poetry, you might like the fake photos on my other blog, at this link:
Cabinet of Curious Treasures  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


I've been drinking beer all afternoon which has seriously modified my usual astoundingly acute senses. That's not an excuse, it's merely an admission.

I had planned on driving to town today. I've been procrastinating this excursion for two weeks, using every excuse possible to validate my intense trepidation. Today was supposed to be cloudy and rainy. I had no doubt about the validity of the forecast, since it's cloudy here 350 days a year and it rains 360 days a year.

Well, surprise, surprise. Today was sunny, not a cloud in the sky. It was 96 degrees (Fahrenheit, for those of you in the Hebrides) with 100 percent humidity.

My car - the air conditioner of which isn't working properly - was at least 450 degrees inside. I could have easily used it to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. Or nuke a Democrat.

I just threw that in to piss you off.

The thought of piloting treacherous mountain roads in the heat accompanied by five large bags of putrid trash (to be taken to the city dump) was more than I could tolerate. I opted to stay home.
And drink beer. 

I'm low on cat litter. I'm out of milk and bread. My cell phone is dead and my 80-year-old digital camera needs batteries. I don't give a crap. I'll go tomorrow. Maybe.

Take a breath, Jon  - a change of subject is in order.

Did you ever notice that the title of your blog post is a great indication of how many readers it will attract? It's true. If your post is called Sunday Afternoon, your grandmother will read it. And maybe a member of the Crumpet Committee in Yorkshire.

Title your post Naked Gay Porno Hunks in Hollywood, and you'll get more hits than a Saturday night hooker at a Plumber's Convention in Reno.

Nobody cracked a smile. Try another subject.

My recent Hate List post got an impressive number of hits, undoubtedly because Ron kindly pimped it on his blog.

I just suddenly thought of three more things that I hate. 
Commercials. Spell Check. And Twitter.

I cannot comprehend the popularity and appeal of Twitter. I had a Twitter account a few years ago. I sat there for two weeks trying to figure out what the hell to Twitter about. Couldn't think of a thing. I'm definitely not a three-word type person. It's below the realms of my vast creative repertoire to twitter.....or tweet. I'll leave tweeting to the twits.

As unbelievable as it sounds, I heard through the proverbial grapevine that at least two people were afraid to read my Hate List for fear of what I might say.


 I ask (with absolute astonishment):
Who the hell do you think I am - - Mengele? Vlad the Impaler? Leona Helmsley??

Are my opinions really that frightening?
Don't answer that. It was a rhetorical question.

Perhaps you don't really know me.

I was the sissified wimp you picked on in school.
I'm the guy who was afraid of my violent father until I was forty. 
I'm the sap who panicked when my kitty was missing and went out to look for her in a torrential downpour.
(as dramatically described in a recent blog post).

So what's to fear?

Why don't we end this post on a positive note - -
and not a moment too soon.
I'll list some of the things that I love!
My "hate" list was incredibly long.This list should be quick.

 I love kissing on a first date. Especially if it's with a lumberjack or a linebacker.

I just threw that in to knock the timid off their seats. 

1. Reading.
2. Writing.
I don't mean writing checks. I mean foolishly and shamelessly revealing the depths of my soul via the written word.
3. Playing the piano.
4. Opera
5. Tea
I'm a tea addict - hot or iced
6. Art
7. Antiques and nostalgia
8. Old movies
9. The wonders of nature
10. The magical hours between dusk and dawn

So far, this is so incredibly boring that even I'm squirming in embarrassment.

Should I add purring kitties, walks on the beach, romantic candlelight, and beautiful sunsets?

Holy shit, Jon. You've turned into a Miss America contestant. Why don't you add "world peace" ?

All right, damn it. How about vampirism, true crime murder mysteries, demolition derby, cold beer, hot sex, anything chocolate (I'm talking food), and....

.....rainbows with pots of gold at the end of them.

Jonathan, that's disgustingly tacky and trite.

Fear not. I'll probably regain my faculties when I'm sober.
Ya know what I really hate? Endlessly long blog posts.....  

Sunday, July 17, 2016


All of my relatives were of Hungarian heritage (both my mother and father's families) and all of them settled on the East Coast. 

My maternal grandmother had eleven siblings. Several of them left the family at an early age and ventured out west to the "bad lands" of New Mexico, to find adventure and a new way of life.

My grandmother's youngest brother George had a ranch near Clovis. One of her sisters, Mary, had ranch in Tucumcari. Another relative owned a resort in Red River.

The following photos are of my New Mexico relatives. I posted these several years ago on my old blog Lone Star Concerto. I'm posting them again for those who haven't seen them - or have forgotten.

Hopefully this won't be too boring.....

 My great aunt Mary Gordon Forsthoffer was a flamboyant character. She was known as Tucumcari Mary and could shoot the heads off rattlesnakes without flinching. Pictured here with her favorite horse.

 This photo is pasted in an album and was difficult to scan.

Mary in New Jersey, wearing a traditional Hungarian outfit.

 Another photo of my great aunt Mary (holding a book). I have no clue when or where this was taken.

My grandmother's youngest brother George Gordon, at his ranch near Clovis, New Mexico.

Cattle at the Clovis ranch.

Chickens at the Clovis ranch
(hens? What do I know......) 

My great uncle George Gordon on horseback

On the Clovis ranch (above and below)

The driver of this contraption was probably my great uncle George's wife Mary (not to be confused with Tucumcari Mary)

George Gordon (left), and his friends Mary Glahn, and her husband Gary Glahn (right). Gary Glahn died of pneumonia and later his widow Mary married my great uncle George.
Mary Glahn Gordon lived to be 90 and she used to tell me fascinating stories about life on the Clovis ranch. She died when I was sixteen.

 George and his wife Mary in the 1920's. She was considerably older than him but they were very devoted to each other and had a happy marriage.

Summer picnic somewhere near Clovis, New Mexico. George is in the foreground of photo, holding a bottle (soda? beer?). From what I heard, he never drank alcohol.

My great uncle George Gordon in his Sunday best (BTW, George was a cat lover, like myself. Must run in the family....)

Thursday, July 14, 2016


I'm drinking beer and thinking "Hell, this should be a cinch - since I hate just about everything."
(that's a trait which I inherited from my father).

Then I reconsidered. "Hate" is an unbecomingly strong word. Perhaps "dislike" would be better.

I'm too intensely sweet to hate.
Anyway, here's my list. Hang onto your wigs and armchairs. It's going to get rough.

Listed in no particular order

1. Incessantly barking dogs.
I have a gun and know how to use it.

2. Children.
Yea, I know your kids and grandkids are adorable. Just keep them the hell away from my property.

3. Tailgaters.
Follow too closely and I'll break quickly.

4. Screaming babies.
Makes me think abortionists have the right idea.

5. Marriage.
Straight, gay, whatever. I've always been adamantly opposed.

6. Cell phones.
Who the hell are these obnoxious people constantly talking to?

7. Sugar-Free
If it doesn't decay your teeth and make you fat, I don't want it.

8. Taxes
Enough said.

9. "Awesome!"
The most annoyingly over-used word in the English language.

10. Weddings.
A complete waste of time and money. They'll be divorced in three years.

11. Couples who proudly announce "We are pregnant."
You're not pregnant, you emasculated wimp. The cow is pregnant.

12. Women who proudly proclaim "I'm a single mother."
What happened to the man, babe? Suicide? Or did you drive him away? Was it immaculate conception? I think there were a couple shots of sperm somewhere along the way.

13. Stay-at-home dad.
It sounds far too sissy.

14. Birthdays.
Save your damn cake and candles. I want to age  discreetly.

15. Algebra.
I still have horror flashbacks from the 11th grade.

16. Rap music.
Take it back to Uganda where it belongs.

17. Shaving.
Continuous facial nicks and razor burn since I was seventeen. 

18. Getting up early.
If God wanted me to rise at dawn I'd be a rooster.

19. Contests.
Rigged. Phony. Look at me! I'm the best!

20. Surveys.
You don't really want my opinion....

21. Audio Books and eBooks.
If it's not made of paper and I can't turn the pages, I don't want it.

22. Passwords.
Holy shit, I have at least fifty of them.

23. Instant Messaging.
I rank that with instant coffee. The only instant thing I want is sex.

24. Windows Updates.
Why do they have twenty updates a week?

25. Facebook. 
A Communist organization.

26. Stravinsky.
Ear torture.

27. NASA
Biggest waste of money in the history of the United States.

28. Greenpeace and PETA.
I chop down trees, barbecue beef, and wear real fur.
Wanna rumble??

29. Political Correctness.
Trotskyism at its worst.

30. Affirmative Action. 
I just scrapped my opinion on this. I didn't want to scare you.

32. Doctors and Scientists.
I detest anyone who likes to play God.

33. NY Times Bestseller List.
Consistently some of the most incredibly bad books I've ever read.

34. Football.
America's biggest waste of time.

35. Spam.
I'm talking computer spam. Not canned Spam.

36. Fine Cuisine.
I don't want bean sprouts and quail beaks. I want a side of beef and 5 lbs. of potatoes. With gravy.

37. Lima Beans.
Dry, repulsive, tasteless.

38. Okra
Slimy. Thoroughly disgusting.

39. Spiders, scorpions, ticks.

40. Washing Dishes.
Don't tell me to get a dishwasher. I hate them. Washing dishes by hand is a piss, but at least it keeps my fingernails clean.

This list is getting extremely long and I can sense your restlessness.  I'll speed it up.

41. Caustic criticism.
There's no such thing as innocuous criticism. It's always intended to hurt. And it's often inspired by jealousy. 

42. Cleaning the cat's litter box.
I have three cats and they shit more than an elephant herd.

What's this? Only 42 things on my list of dislikes??
Hey, I haven't even warmed up yet.
But I'll spare you the rest.

When I'm tossing and turning sleepless in bed tonight I'll think of 42 more. 

Did I offend anyone?
If I did, lighten up. I was extremely polite and didn't mention Hillary or Obama.