Wednesday, January 22, 2020

PERHAPS IT'S WEDNESDAY




I think it's Wednesday. Lately I lose track of the days. Some people call it Hump Day. To me, that sounds pornographic. But then, I have a dirty mind...

All I can say for certain is that it sure feels good to have heat again. I'm glad I was able to fix the furnace.

BTW -
I always love your comments on my blog and feel guilty when I don't reply to them (I'm referring to previous post). Anyway, thanks for being there.

On the subject of fixing things, someone asked if my father taught me to do these things.

Short answer: my father criticized me mercilessly almost until the day he died. When I was a kid, he wouldn't let me do anything. Whatever I attempted to do was met with abject negativity and inevitable put-downs.
I was either called a stupid jackass or a crazy bastard.

In time, I finally said "F**k it!", and simply never did anything.

In all fairness - -
despite the fact that my father was a violent son-of-a-bitch, he was brilliant at fixing things. He could repair anything - and he could make anything.
And he did it perfectly. 

He always did things HIS way and NEVER wanted anyone else interfering. 
I definitely inherited this trait.

After my father died in 2005, I was suddenly forced into doing everything and it was a very rude awakening. My mother's health was deteriorating and there was absolutely no one else to help. 
  
I had to deal with funeral directors, attorneys, insurance agents, realtors, etc.- all in the first few days. I also suddenly had to deal with repairs and upkeep around their house - doing things I'd previously never heard of.
The day after he died, there was a major plumbing issue in the kitchen - and I managed to fix it.

 Me in front of my parent's Odessa home

At that time, my parents had a large, gorgeous house in Odessa, TX. After Mom and I sold it, the furniture had to be put in storage.

I rented several large storage facilities (only two miles away - thank God) and moved EVERYTHING in the house ALL BY MYSELF with my pickup truck!!
I usually took about twenty loads a day (or more) ...and it was exhausting!

The only things I couldn't move by myself were a few very heavy awkward items, like a piano, an extra large sofa, etc. There were about six items which I had moved by professionals.

(I even moved the beds, washer, dryer, and two refrigerators by myself).

After that little adventure, I had to drive 100 miles north to find another house to purchase (we didn't want to stay in Odessa).

But I'm starting to ramble and am probably telling too much. In conclusion, I'll merely say that I learned how to do a helluva lot of things after my father died.

Is it too late to post a few photos I took today?
Naw, it's never too late..... 


Bosco, this afternoon


This was taken around 11:00am
eerily Gothic

Just after dusk


 A glimpse of my back porch
in lower right corner


 

Monday, January 20, 2020

DEEP FREEZE

 morning fog

In all my (many) years of blogging, I don't think I ever began a post with good news. It's beyond the realms of my pessimistic character.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, hang onto your wigs and dentures. I'm going to begin with some good news.

Now - for those two unhappy Bozos who abandoned my blog because I'm "depressing" - - aren't you ashamed of yourselves??

I fixed my furnace today! I finally have heat during the biggest cold front of the season! 

So, why the hell didn't you have heat, Jon?

Settle down, Kemosabe, and I'll tell my excruciatingly long tale of woe.


Several weeks ago my water heater and furnace stopped working - almost on the same day. It happened during a very mild spell, when the weather was unseasonably warm.

It also happened when I was having extremely bad health problems (and other negative issues). I wasn't in the mood to fix things.
I always attempt to fix things myself before calling for professional help.

The water heater needs a new thermostat. I'll buy one next time I go to town.
The furnace was a much bigger problem. Without going into long details, I was (VERY) afraid that it might start a fire.
So, instead of attempting to fix it, I simply procrastinated......

.......until a BIG cold front suddenly blew in last weekend. Strong icy winds arrived, and with it came a Big Power Outage (capitalized for emphasis).
The temperature dropped quickly and drastically.

Let me interrupt this breathtaking tale to say that my furnace and kitchen stove are powered by electricity.
So, I couldn't fix the furnace. And I couldn't cook a meal.

For the sake of gratuitous atmosphere, let me also say how INCREDIBLY DARK it is here in the wilderness at night with no electricity.

And while I'm on a roll, I want to reiterate the fact that this is the COLDEST house I ever lived in. It's like being in an igloo with the air conditioner on full blast.

On Sunday the daytime temperature outside was 18 degrees (Fahrenheit, for those of you in Uruguay). The thermometer inside the house read 20 degrees!

The power was finally restored around noon, but the furnace still wasn't working.

It was so cold that I could hardly function. I and my two cats went into my bedroom. I brought along two space heaters and an electric blanket - - and we hunkered down for the rest of the day...and night.

Sunday night the temperature dropped to 10 degrees F. and the back door was frozen shut. I had to keep getting up periodically to make sure the water pipes didn't freeze.
If it wasn't for the space heaters and electric blanket, I think my cats and I would have been dead (no lie).
Thank God there wasn't another power outage!! 

This post is getting too long.
I know you're riveted to your rockers with excitement and breathless anticipation......

.....but I'll be merciful and cut to the chase.

Late on Monday afternoon I finally fixed the furnace and heat was restored!!!
My intense jubilation knew no bounds.

Even my cats rejoiced - - once they started to thaw out.

I cooked a real meal on the stove and made a hot cup of tea. Then I (and the cats) crawled into bed and watched videos.

My problems aren't completely over, of course. I still have to fix the water heater, evict the wild animals that are nesting in the roof and under the house, cut the 15-foot-high brush that has completely overtaken my property, clean the endless piles of junk in the garage, work on my car to make sure it still runs, fix the broken latch on my mailbox, fix an improperly installed deadbolt on the front door (courtesy of the previous owners), and fix about a dozen things inside the house - -

- - - with my bad back, painful hip, injured knee, and irregular heart palpitations - - -

But hell, at least I've got heat.
I'm happy.

 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

THE LURE OF LONELY NIGHTS

         


        

Even now - so very far from the world I once knew - the nights have an intoxicating, irresistibly addictive lure for me.

In this desolate winter wilderness, in these midnight hours that echo with absolute isolation, I snuggle in the deceivingly safe comfort of my bed - accompanied by the nearby snoring of two cats and the distant ticking of a grandfather clock.

I listen to ever-watchful owls hooting in nearby trees, restless packs of shrieking coyotes roaming the sightless forest, and the incessant fingers of icy winds caressing the tops of naked trees.

And under the influence of this raw, cold, intriguingly untamed night, my rambling mind drifts back to the lure of other nights, a thousand long-ago nights - in a place so different and a time so distant that I can hardly comprehend that it really existed....

....yet I can vividly see it and feel it as though it were yesterday. 

I'm nineteen years old again, wandering the midnight streets of Hollywood, steeped in the exhilarating lure of the night - obtaining an indescribable high from the hardcore possibilities of unholy encounters and unexpected danger.

My main objective was escape:
escape from my father's unrelenting violence and the chaotic insanity of family problems at home, escape from the raw reality of glaring daylight, escape mostly from myself.

In the surrealistic underground realms of the night I could be the person that I never really was: tough, reckless, mysteriously alluring, desirable, invigoratingly free. 
I played the piano in sleazy, after-hours smoke-filled bars - - then wandered the post-midnight Hollywood streets in search for anonymous sex with more-than-willing strangers. 
It was a ritual, a charade,....eventually an addiction.

In the chilly, misty autumn nights, I walk along Hollywood Boulevard, or Selma, or Sunset, or notorious Santa Monica Boulevard.



 In my Billy Jack hat


  
Arrayed in my Billy Jack hat, corduroy coat, Levi jeans, and cowboy boots. A flask of whiskey in my coat - a stash of quaaludes and joints in my pockets, a pack of Cool cigarettes, and a switchblade secretly tucked down the side of my right boot.

Once, in downtown Los Angeles - miles from Hollywood - someone tried to mug me outside of the public library. I slashed his hand with my knife and ran like hell......

Tonight, in my remote wilderness abode, I shudder with astonishment and a smidgen of remorse at my sordid past. Nothing to be proud of, but I'm damn glad I experienced it. 
There are times when I secretly miss it.


Note:
I made the video Night Song several years ago. I'm posting here, because it perfectly captures the essence of my reckless Hollywood nights.

Best viewed full-screen. 
warning - some parts might be offensive