Sunday, December 31, 2017

RESOLUTIONLESS

 Me in Texas, holding some leftover balloons from a New Year's Eve party.


New Year resolutions are well intended but highly unrealistic. I doubt if many people keep them. I usually break them within a few hours. Or minutes ("I'll never curse again").

This year my objectives are few:
Stay alive
and maintain what's left of my sanity. 
I suppose I could throw in:
more organization
and less procrastination.

And, while I'm at it:

Put the Robert E. Lee statue back on my front lawn.

Wear my "I Love Milo" t shirt to the next Antifa rally.
(you'll have fun Googling that)

Okay, okay - - I'm referring to Milo Yiannopoulos.
 
I'd better stop now before I suddenly have a resolution list. 

To be brutally honest, this is the first time that I'm dreading the prospect of a new year and seriously wondering if I'll be able to summon the motivation to successfully navigate through it.

It's no secret that I've been deeply depressed for a long time - over some very real issues that are disturbingly pressing. If I ever revealed the problems that I'm presently burdened with, even my detractors would have sympathy.

And I'll readily admit that my problems have quadrupled (at least) since I moved to this friggin place in the wilderness. Rural life ain't for sissies.

But no need to panic. It's not the first time I've been plagued with problems. Life is a bitch that kicks us in the ass when we least expect it - and then kicks us again when we're down. 

The only thing that really frightens me is in recent years I've become very bitter and emotionally bankrupt. I seem to have misplaced my heart and soul.

Enough said. 

On the bright side: 
I've actually been selling things in my online store (many thanks to some bloggers). I think I've sold about thirty items so far  - which is astonishing, since my initial expectations were low.

On the gloomy side:
Scruffy and Bosco have the "sniffles" again. I'm surprised that the cats don't have pneumonia from living in this damp, frigid house.

Scruffy sneezed so enthusiastically the other night that she knocked a brass antique  scale off a shelf and broke it. I couldn't believe it! Her powerful sneezes caused her to lurch forward and the scale went into orbit!

The scale belonged to my parents and I remember it when I was a kid in California. Well - on the bright side, it's one less thing I'll have to dust.

I'll supplement this heartwarming story with some exciting photos:


Busted! Half of the top broke off.


 An old California photo of my Mom having breakfast. The antique scale is on the hutch directly behind her, right above the coffee cup she's holding (this is a faded Polaroid and the colors are rather distorted).



I have no plans for New Year's Eve, except to keep warm. The temperature is supposed to drop to near zero tonight. Fortunately I have plenty of food and supplies for the upcoming frigid week.

I'll undoubtedly write another post late tonight (it's presently about 2:30 a.m. on the last day of the year).

I hope your New Year's Eve will be warm and wonderful!

Friday, December 29, 2017

MUSIC ALBUMS FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE

It's way after midnight and it is 9 degrees. I'm sitting here, freezing my tootsies off, and wondering what bank I'm going to rob to pay my next heating bill. The joyous news is that it's supposed to get much colder next week - near zero on New Year's Eve.

If my legs weren't frozen, I'd kick my own ass for ever leaving California.

Speaking of New Year's Eve, I dug around in the putrid bowels of my blog and found this "effort" that I originally posted two years ago. I think it's hilarious - (unfortunately, some of you will disagree).
By the way - these are all real record albums.

Be forewarned that some of my comments are caustic and cruel. Crudeness is one of my many charms.

By the way - if you don't know what a record album is, you're too darn young to be reading this blog. 


 The last time I heard that sentiment, it was from a male hustler on Santa Monica Blvd.


.....and when it leaves, some of your kids will be missing....



What's next??
Elephant shit and a terminated recording contract.



Dick has an extra long.....accordion...for the ladies (note: no sexual connotations are intended).



Don't sweat it - some of them are only pretending


...and flattened the top of my head


Call a tow truck!
Cajka crushed the car!

Look at the bright side - he'll never have to worry about getting old and losing his looks.

I did, too, until I saw your album cover



Only in your dreams, sister
OR
I smell a lawsuit


It's not from God - - it's from your parole officer 

...to kill my hairdresser

 The wardrobe malfunction is the least of his problems. There's a can of Campbell's Soup wedged in his crotch.

.....and in the closet 


Jesus loves me.....
Only when you're not singing, Marcy


 when hell freezes over


Woofy-Woof, sweetums!



 
Pssst, Gunther!

the sunshine girls just left through the back exit!

By the way, Gunt - you should lose the John Waters mustache.




Kinda makes Gunther look good, doesn't it?
 


...and you did - - shortly after the release of this album 

Honey, climax won't be shining anywhere near you......

trees talk.....
And we can only
 hope they will be silenced soon by a roving band of demented lumberjacks

 It's too late



A Trashy New Year's Eve
on my other blog:

Cabinet of Curious Treasures 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

IT'S FINALLY OVER




Okay, let's admit it - 
aren't you glad this Christmas crap is finally over? Don't you feel foolish for putting up all those tedious decorations and spending all your money on gifts, simply because Tradition dictates it?

Relax. I'm just trying to make you feel even worse than you already do. I meant no harm.

If I ever knew Tennessee has Siberian winters, I would have never moved here. I try to use the heat very sparingly - but I'm terrified to see my next heating bill. December has been a cold bitch. 

There was sleet and then light snow on Christmas Eve, and it got down to 16 degrees here on the mountain .

On Christmas Day I jokingly said (to myself and the cats) "I'll bet we're almost as cold as Donner Pass".
Just for the hell of it, I Googled the temperature for Donner Pass. It was 29 degrees there.......and 22 degrees here.
We were colder!

Deriving inspiration from the Donner Party, I've been secretly sizing up the cats - deciding which one I'll eat first if bad comes to worse. I've decided to start with Bosco. He's huge and meaty.



 Bosco
This is a rather old photo - he has grown since then. 

The photo of my hat in the snow was taken in Texas. Despite popular belief to the contrary, parts of Texas can get damn cold in the winter. I lived on the high plains of West Texas (with an altitude of over 3,400 feet). The winters could be frigid - with blizzards, ice, and brutally cold winds. Fortunately the snow usually melted quickly.

I used to send my weather-related photos to a TV station in Lubbock and they occasionally used them on the news. Here are a few Texas winter photos:

 By the side of my house

 "Frost" on the pumpkin

 In my back yard. I really loved this stone bench and birdbath (and paid a lot of money for them) but they were too heavy to take with me when I moved.

On the day that my mother died (in December, 2009) there was a blizzard and ice storm. I came home from the hospital and sat on this bench in the snow for over two hours, until long after dark.

Extremely painful memory, but I thought I'd mention it. 


Sunday, December 24, 2017

WHITE CHRISTMAS




Just a humble musical interlude, boys and girls, from my roving fingers to your eager ears.

The audio quality is rather poor, but if you drink enough spiked eggnog while listening you won't even notice.

Just sit back, close your eyes, and think of Bing Crosby.
On second thought - don't think of Bing. It might make you nauseous. 

Think of me, thinking of you.

If I'm in a good mood (which is rare) I might write another post late tonight.
Until then - may your holiday be bright, wonderful, cheery, momentous, gay (I just threw that in to scare you), and beautifully executed.

Perhaps "executed" was the wrong word. 

             Jon

Saturday, December 23, 2017

OUT OF THE FOG, INTO THE WIND

It's a few hours before dawn on Saturday morning. A very strong and unseasonably warm wind is blowing - rustling restlessly through the trees, making the wind chimes on my front porch sing.

Several packs (groups? gangs?) of coyotes were howling nearby awhile ago: a macabre chorus in the night. I ran out on the front porch to see them, but it was really too dark (moonless and/or cloudy) and they disbanded rather quickly.

The wind is really raging now as I write. Things are banging around outside and all my cats woke up. The warm temperature is eerie but it won't last (unfortunately). Frigid weather is expected by Christmas Eve.

Yesterday (Friday) the rain poured all day and it was foggy. I've never seen rain and fog at the same time until I moved to Tennessee. I actually like it - very atmospheric.

I snapped a few photos yesterday. Nothing particularly interesting.

 Oranges and apples, and two old nutcrackers that I found packed away.

This snowman used to play music when you pressed his hand, but it no longer works.





The front yard yesterday morning when the fog was starting to roll in (above).
 
.....and the back yard in the dreary afternoon. 
 
 A few autumn leaves are still clinging to trees.
 
 I took a picture of these candles without using the flash and captured my hands holding the camera in the mirror.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A RESOUNDING HUMBUG!




I planned to drive to town on Monday but got a very late start and the more I tried to embark the more I procrastinated and the more I procrastinated the less I wanted to go so eventually I said "To hell with it!"

So I went on Tuesday. Not because I wanted to, but because I had some important things to do. And I also had to get more groceries to last through the rest of this year. 

There are only three places to shop in this wretched town and all of them were packed to the rafters with Christmas shoppers (Walmart, the supermarket, and the Dollar Store). There's also a Walgreens - but who the heck ever goes there?

Did I ever mention that I think Christmas should be permanently banned - and anyone who dares to celebrate it should be publicly burned on a stake?

The holiday purists are telling us that we should put "Christ" back in Christmas.

When I saw the crowded Walmart parking lot I said
"Holy Christ! What the hell am I doing here?"


Did I ever mention that children and anyone over fifty should be permanently banned from shopping? They are always in the way. Always!!!

Well, on second thought, probably anyone over sixty....
(70 per cent of my blog readers are groaning)

Walmart employees are always in the way, too. They congregate in the aisles talking to friends. There was a massive congregation in the coffee and tea aisle, all talking and embracing like it was a 75th year class reunion. I had to rudely break it up in order to get my cappuccino and English breakfast tea.

Did I ever mention that the price of groceries is much higher here in Tennessee than it was in Texas? No matter how much I spend I only get half of what I need. And I don't have much to spend so I only get a fraction of half.

Don't ponder that for too long. You'll hurt yourself.

I couldn't get any holiday "goodies". Fancy Christmas cookies were seven dollars a dozen. The "Reduced Price" shelf (my favorite haunt) didn't have any pies or cakes this time. Only bread. So I stocked up on bread.

Did I ever mention that you can no longer get candy canes? I'm talking good old fashioned peppermint red and white striped candy canes.

They have cherry candy canes, and fruit-flavored candy canes, bubble gum candy canes, Skittle candy canes (God help us), sour apple candy canes (no I'm not kidding).
But where the hell are the peppermint ones??

Admittedly, there were so many fat asses blocking the candy aisle that it was nearly impossible to look. I left empty-handed.


In the supermarket I bought six navel oranges for five dollars. Six!
I suppose they're shipped to Tennessee by wagon train from California.

Which reminds me that I had initially planned to write a post about all the good holiday winter food I used to get in California. Every other place pales in comparison.

So here I am on a rainy night, sipping tea, and vowing that I won't go out again until after the holidays.

It's supposed to get very cold again by Christmas. Snow, perhaps?


Sunday, December 17, 2017

THE CHRISTMAS SONG




This has been an unusually cold December - - or perhaps it only feels that way because the house is so frigid and drafty. I don't need a new heater. I need an exorcist.

When I crawl into my icy bed, Bosco and Scruffy (the cats) leap on me like leaches and never leave. Thank goodness Scratch doesn't join them. Three cats would completely suffocate me. Scratch would join me, but she's not particularly fond of her two feline counterparts. She regards them merely with polite toleration.

Tonight is extremely quiet. I heard the howls of distant coyotes awhile ago and a few hooting owls, but that's it. 

Instead of writing a tedious and lengthy blog post (which is my uncontrollable habit), I'll provide one of my musical interludes. I posted this last year, but doubt if anybody remembers.

It's also available on my YouTube channel Jayveesonata (I don't know the link).

 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ON THIS DAY

There's an old adage that says "The only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys".
It might very well be true.


The only problem is that big boy's toys tend to be fraught with complications. There are many times that I yearn for the simple days when I had the Jeep.


 When I was six years old I was diagnosed with leukemia by two doctors. One of them predicted that I would never live to be twelve.
To make a long story short (which has never been one of my assets), I outlived both doctors....by an enormous amount of time. 

To be brutally honest (which is one of my few assets), life would have been much more sweet if my existence had been extinguished before I was twelve. 

Anyone who says that life gets better with age - or that you're only as old as you feel - is.....

sensitive people, please hold your ears

........full of shit.

But another birthday has arrived like a runaway train and I couldn't find a way to derail it. 
As for my age - the less said about it the better. In the past, I used to lie about my age so outrageously that there were times when even I couldn't recall the genuine number.

Finally I gave up lying about my age and simply ignored it. I suppose that's the most painless ploy.

As my life tumbles towards the inevitable reward of oblivion, the years seem to pass more and more quickly - and my astonishment is replaced by frustration....and fury.

One day I'm a sweet, innocent, adorable babe in the woods - -


- - - and the next day I'm a grotesque, disgruntled, decrepit hermit in the woods - trying desperately to hang on to past bouquets, despite the growing influx of weeds.




Don't put too much analysis into this post. It's merely a jumble of fleeting thoughts.

Oh, by the way -
Happy Birthday to Susan, who shares my birthday...
....and to Geo. - who was born sometime in December...



 

Monday, December 11, 2017

SILENT NIGHT

Incredibly silent. Deceptively peaceful. A soft wind blowing through the haphazard clutter of shivering treetops. It's nearly 2:00 a.m. on a cold, sightless night. I just stepped out on the back porch. Everything is pitch black. The moon is rising - a faint translucent glimmer nestled in the forest. By dawn it will be high above the trees.

Last night was bitterly cold. The temperature dropped to 12 degrees Fahrenheit and I stayed up until way after dawn to make sure the water pipes didn't freeze (they froze and burst the first winter that I lived here, so I've been nervous about it ever since).

Tonight - thankfully - it isn't nearly as frigid, but it's still cold enough to chill my bones in this damp and drafty house. I have a pot of homemade potato soup on the stove and plan to eat some shortly.

Until then, I'll share some photos that were taken very recently. 

 Yesterday morning I stepped outside  at dawn and took these photos.


 The moon way up above the trees.

 Forest in the back yard

Scruffy on the back porch about three days ago. After being sick for awhile, she has finally gained weight and her fur looks much better. She's a sweetheart.

 I very seldom take photos of myself. I took this last Friday (the 8th) after I got home from my excursion to town. My El Cheapo camera only has a ten-second timer. I have to set the timer, then run like hell and try to assume a pleasing position before the camera snaps. It ain't easy.

I wiped the frost off my bedroom window yesterday morning and took this pic of the nearby mountain illuminated by the rising sun.

 I was on the floor in the sunshine the other day, studying some music scores, when Scratch (Kitzee) came to join me. She soon fell asleep.