Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Virtue & Vice

It's just different.  
Just different.
Different.

Question & Answer

There are years that ask questions and years that answer ~ Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God

I guess I'm still trying to sort this one out.  It may end up being a year that fits the bill on both ends.  I might have thought all years were like that, asking questions and delivering answers, but that's clearly not the case.  I still lean towards it only being a matter of listening or not but I'm going to go with the above wisdom for now.  This year, 2016, seems to be a year that asks questions.  Perhaps there will be an answer key in that long week between Christmas and New Years, when perspective comes into focus for me.

Perhaps not.

Old heartbreak.

New love.

Closing doors.

Opening doors.

Poor again.

Alone again.

Not alone again.

Still poor.

Smarter than ever.

More questions than ever.

It is a humbling proposition to wake up in one's middle age when presumably there would have been more answers and things might have been more settled, but then nothing could be further from the truth.  I'm trying to see it all as a new freedom, having been liberated by constricting ideas and ideals, and misconceptions and half-truths.  It may yet be a question of being bound by fear so it's more like seeing open space before me, but not being entirely free to cut loose and run forward.  There are thousands of quotes on fear, and freeing oneself from fear.  There are mountains of inspirational messages and they amount to little until the ties are cut and you fall forward into space.

Well slept this morning, but still tired.  Where does the mind travel during sleep that you can wake up still exhausted.  There were vivid dreams and I can recall waking up at 4 am or I believe it was 4 am and that I was awake, and I said to myself that I should write something down that I had just experienced.  Then I didn't so it's gone now, back into whatever corner of my brain it came from.  Maybe it will return.  Maybe not.

Some years ask questions.

I have questions.

How did I get to be this age before I was ready?

Where will I be next year at this time?

Does it matter?

If not, what does matter?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Max Ernst


Not unlike the inside of my head, Ernst's "Enter, Exit" 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fired on Mars

Fired on Mars from Nick and Nate on Vimeo.

This resonates...

Curious Sunrise

Or maybe a satellite photo.  Some kind of major storm front. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

God is always watching...



Someone is going to have to explain to me why the hell God needs surveillance cameras.  We're not going to go down the irreverent anti-Christian rabbit hole today, but someone should be able to answer this question without too much trouble.  

There used to be a website (there may still be) called Jesus Needs New PR.  Truer words were never spoken.

Ol' 55, Part 4

I might just have to start a new blog, all re-branded (to use the popular catchphrase) and re-titled, but for now we're going to stick with this one.


This popped up several times today already on social media and it really rather resonated.  One thing that can be said for certain is that as time passes, things I am certain of have become fewer and farther between.  I don't even think people who are always certain of things can be trusted at all.  And certainly their gods are highly suspect.  

My concept of a god, or God, or gods has become less certain than ever.  It's not a question of atheism, or even agnosticism.  I'm more than open to the idea of supernatural forces existing, but the idea that they created us and are running the show is, to me, highly suspicious.  We're not going to return, at this point, to my crisis of faith but let's just say that the above Facebook meme rang my bell this morning.  It's not even about god, per se, but about man (any man) overestimating himself.  I've been as guilty of that as any other motherfucker, but not recently.  

We'll just leave this here for now, with no further comment.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Church Avenue & Stratford, Brooklyn

Ol' 55, Part 3

Freeways, cars and trucks...

Lots of distance between now and the past despite that there are times when it seems like I could just reach out and touch it.  I remember eavesdropping on a conversation between two old freaks sitting at a bar:

"I can remember when an ounce of gold was cheaper than an ounce of hashish."

"Yup."

"We could be rich right now."

"Yup."

"Aw hell, I'd probably still go for the hashish if I had it to do over again."

And they broke up into laughter.

Two quotes of note from a conversation I had on social media last night:

Me -- The only good thing about repeating the same mistakes is knowing when to cringe.

Me -- That thin line between pleasure and pain being such a magical place that so many of us want to spend all our time there... I've had some exquisite disaster and some rather mundane, pedestrian successes.  Not that I want to romanticize fucking up but there have been some comedic triumphs I probably wouldn't change one bit.

Liz -- Yea, I can remember a few classics.

But that's just it.  I've lived large and I've lived small and I've lived everything in between and ended up here, and despite all the shortcomings of here... well, the jury is still out on that so why make broad generalizations about the state of here just yet?  I'm in a pretty rough spot and didn't sleep much last night, tossing and turning and thinking about everything.  This is a rough spot.  Again.  I need to change something up right about now because this shit isn't working.

I may be riding with Lady Luck but she seems to have given me the cold shoulder lately, in some respects anyway.  Then again, I've often wondered if there was such thing as luck, good or bad.  I've been thinking an awful lot, bearing down on 55, about randomness.

Let's leave the rest alone for the moment.  We'll get back to this.

What's there to go back and change?  What would I change?  What would you change?  Is it even worth thinking about?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ol' 55 Redux: Fools rush in...

I wonder sometimes if I haven't traveled beyond love and let the fool have too much free rein.  I feel sometimes it's run roughshod over the rest and become somewhat of a tyrant in its own right.

You make excuses.  You can say you did what you needed to get by.

To get through.

Sometimes to get over.

Maybe too often to get over, but you can't go back and undo any of that.  You try to make amends and make peace with anyone you trampled or shambled over unawares.

But whatever now.  What's the point here?  The point is finding balance.  It's all about balance.  Not better living through chemistry, but that was fun while it lasted.  It was fun until it wasn't anymore.

Balance, right Theodore?

Balance...

Selah

Ol' 55


The song has been stuck in my head for days now.  Well, not the song really.  Just the song title.  I'm going to be 55 years old in a couple months.

Ol' 55...

The song has nothing at all to do with me, or even with turning 55 years old.  It's not about aging at all.  It is, however, kind of melancholic and nostalgic.  It's got that distant and lonesome thing that's always appealed so much to me.  Funny, it didn't really when the Eagles performed it.  It was just more of that annoying, cloying, saccharine sweet California Lite-Rock.  Then I heard the original though and that was a game changer in my relationship with the song.

It still has nothing to do with aging, or turning 55.  Pretty much everything else in my head does though so that seems to be where this space is going to be heading for the next few months, and maybe beyond.  Let's see where it goes.

Freeways, cars and trucks...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Opposite sides of the same coin


What is it the Buddhists say?  That there is no good and no bad?  Or just that good and bad are equal because neither is going to last?

I can't rightly remember.

You get both.  That's the point.  Two sides to every story.

Willie Deville Pitstop


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Charmed, I'm sure...

We're all stars now, in the dope show

And from the "I was just speaking of" desk...

It's just business, right?

Flatbush & Beverley, 6:30 am... It's all gray/green and muggy and The Weather Channel says morning showers but they're not here just yet.

Who's here, winding her hips all lazy or tired like, headed my way?

Little Miss Something.

She's a pretty little thing, blond and tanned and her hair looks clean.  Nice outfit and her smile shows good, straight, my parents had benefits teeth.  She looks like she's seen a shower in the last 12 hours.  It's cognitive dissonance though and I can check my racism on that (sadly) because my brain is still saying she's just coming up to ask directions, even though she's... She's what?  High?  Yah, probably.  The point is that you don't see too many pretty, young (maybe 25) white girls out on the street at 6:30 in the morning on Flatbush Avenue so the brain wants to say gentrification but she's not up and headed to school or work.

She's at work.
 
"Can you spare some money so I can get breakfast?"  She's rubbing her stomach and just a bit lower too, as if to illustrate... hunger?

"How much does breakfast cost, sweetheart?"  I'm still thinking of giving her the benefit of the doubt but what the fuck.  She's at work.

"That depends."  

I don't want to be rude.  She's just working.  It's just a job, so I tell her I'm broke and can't afford "breakfast" and she looks sad and frustrated and worried.  I see the guy coming from the corner of my eye.  He's a skinny little cunt in a tank top and shorts.  Dreadlocks and tattoos that you can barely see.  He's little and dark.  I'll be damned if he doesn't have a "Make America Great Again" baseball cap.  I swear to God, he does.  You can't make this shit up.

"Did you ask him?"  He's addressing her.

"He's got no money."

"Did you aaaask him?"  

I don't know what I'm hanging around for.  The little bastard looks pissed off.  Am I going to step in if he smacks the girl?  Ugh... decisions.

"Did she tell you she would suck your dick?"  He's addressing me now.

I stammer a bit.  Still the cognitive dissonance.  I already know what she does and who she is and I'm going to get all weird about talking about sucking dick?  I don't want to get her in trouble though.

"Yah, she did."

"She did what?"

"She told me she would suck my dick."

"So what's the problem?"

"No money."

"So what you still here for, motherfucker?"

What am I still here for?  Good fucking question.  I'm not the genepool lifeguard.  I keep forgetting that shit.  I can't help her.  I can't protect her from this world or whatever it is she's beholding to this fuck for.  She's probably not been doing it for too long, the job or whatever addiction or misfortune she's in it for.  Still, who am I?  Nobody.

Nobody.

It's just a job.  Time to move on and get mine.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tired

How does one go about expressing "tired?"  It isn't really a question of physical exhaustion, like maybe from working hard for many days on end.  That's different.  That's a feeling pretty much everyone can identify with.  If they can't, well, not much you can do to help them.

This other "tired" though, is another story.  Maybe sometimes it's best to just leave it alone then, if you can't describe it.  Don't dignify it by giving it shape, or a voice.  Just move through it.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Prospect Park June 10, 2016

Casual Racism in the Workplace

I'm still amazed, though I know I shouldn't be by this time... and maybe it's because I thought people would be over it by now... but I'm amazed by how freely people uncork their racism for a large, white man in the workplace.  Perhaps it's assumed automatically that I will be more than happy to share some mutual prejudice, hatred and bigotry.

It's not always an obvious source either, that being another melanin-challenged individual like myself.  Most recently it came directly from the CEO of the organization I worked for, a dark-skinned woman of Cuban descent whom I'm sure has confronted no small amount of racism in her time here on Earth.  She sat one day and openly lamented working with Puerto Ricans, who in her words have a cultural predisposition to trying to get over rather than doing an honest day's work.  Another time it was about Dominicans and another it was about American Blacks versus Blacks from The Islands.  And of course she suggested "chinks" for lunch one day.

You'll listen to an awful lot when you need a job, but sometimes it's hard to sit silently and not get a dig in here or there.  I was mostly good but there was one exchange:

"MacGregor, they are trying to Jew me down!"

"Pardon?"

"They're trying to Jew me down!"

"What do you mean?"

"Well if he thinks he's getting all that for $50,000!"

"Oh"

"They must think I'm crazy!  Am I crazy?  They're trying to Jew me down!"

"I'm Jewish."

"Really?  No you're not.  MacGregor isn't a Jew name!"

"Sure it is.  All the Scottish are Jewish... Lost Tribe of Israel.  Everyone knows that."

"Really?  Come on!"

"No, I'm not really Jewish but I could be."

And the fact is, I could... CLICK HERE for a chuckle.  Now, I'm not trying to stir shit up.  I'm just saying, really.  It's not even really funny.  Not 'haha' funny anyway.  You can't get away from this shit.  I'm not assuming some moral high ground either.  I have my own issues that I'm working on.  The difference is that I'm mostly smart enough not to air my shit out in public, and certainly not in the workplace.

I don't know... that's been on my mind these last couple months.  I don't know what to do with this stuff.  Leaving the house can be an assault on the sensibilities and maybe I'm just too sensitive.  Perhaps the bullshit meter redlines too easily.  Who knows?




Indeed... Cue the Royal Side Eye

Nothing against Indeed. Nothing at all really because they have truly streamlined the process of job hunting for the New Millennium (I think this must be the first time I've ever typed the word 'millennium' because I had to spellcheck it and realized I was missing a second 'n.' ).

There is a certain irony though that I have applied to work for them many times and always get the same response:

Hi MacGregor,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider you for our Account Executive - Staffing position. While your skillset and experience are impressive, at this time we have elected to move forward with other candidates whose experience is more in line with the role.

A number of factors went into this decision, namely the size and quality of the candidate pool. We’ll stay in touch and would welcome a chance to connect if another role opens that would be a fit for our group.

We genuinely appreciate your interest in Indeed and wish you success in your job search!

Best Regards,

Indeed Talent Attraction Team

Interesting...

They are certainly not talking about experience when they consider what is or isn't in line with their requirements. That is unless of course they are talking about no experience at all. There can't be too many people in New York City who actually have more applicable experience and are still willing to work for them. I'm considering writing and demanding an explanation. It might start something like this:

Dear Daft Cunts... 
What the fuck are you on about?

That sounds bitter and I'm not, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious.

Pretty much...



Thursday, June 09, 2016

Omar

“Bird triflin', basically. Kill an everyday workin' man and all. I mean, I do some dirt, too, but I ain't never put my gun on nobody that wasn't in the game.” – Omar