Archive for February, 2012

28
Feb
12

Untold Truth of Hemingway’s Demise

(I’ve gotten away from Legal Disclaimers — see about author if you are insulted by anything I’ve written.)

Have you noticed the lack of postings on this site? Sure, there were all the Seattle posts, they were cool, and I was drunk then. Don’t forget the Hank post is a re-post from two years ago. Sobriety is a writer’s worst enemy.

This is how we party in Las Vegas

Sobriety has got to be the biggest dildo in the most uncomfortable of places when it comes to creative writing. Earnest Hemingway – drunk. James Joyce – Drunk. Truman Capote – Drunk!

Big J – Sober. Big J – Capital Fail!

I now understand why suicide is the #1 cause of death for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Earnest Hemingway was going to AA, he had two-weeks sober, couldn’t write, owned a shotgun, BANG! America’s greatest writer has left the planet. (This is not a true statement, please don’t sue me.)

Think I’m lying? Hunter S. Thompson, one of the greatest journalists ever, was so F-ed up on dope all the time that when he got clean, he died immediately! (That is also not true, that is just my alcoholic brain trying to trick me into drinking… again.)

Sobriety sucks, woe is me. My friends tell me I’m boring. C-Jane hasn’t left me, but only because I’m getting skinnier. Instead of having a cool fun party-buddy with a growing belly, she now gets a sourpuss-downer with washboard abs. I’m going to go curl up and cry.

If you are a drunk, don’t be vain. Vanity, well, it is just stupid. Be drunk, be ugly, be happy. I hope to survive one more month of this hell, and then I’m going back to drunken bliss. I have lost nearly ten pounds in this month of suffering. One more month of agonized uncreative horror and I’ll be eye-candy. C-Jane will need to use her karate to chase all the little hotties away. That will be something to write about.

21
Feb
12

Temple of the Dog

 

There are many people who just don’t get Hank.   All they see is this fat, little, attention-starved pug.  They are so wrong, you see, Hank is much, much more.

 

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

Here is a little sample; Hank’s genealogy begins in China around 600BC.  Not in the same capacity as today’s standard of Pug, but more like what a Velociraptor is to an eagle.   They were known early on as small-mouthed dogs, but by 950AD they were valued by Chinese royalty.  There is spiritual symbolism within their wrinkled faces, sometimes hidden is the Chinese symbol for ‘prince’.  I’m not making that up.  Wiki tells a different story of origin, but it is still very close. In fact, Wiki’s statement is even cooler by claiming that it was Confucius who had first given the Pug its identity.

 

In the old days, Pugs could turn into Dragons!  Again, I am not making that up; it is what the Chinese said.  It is possible to find sculptures of Chinese Dragon bodies with Pug heads.  The Buddhist Monks in Tibet also loved Pugs, and I can’t think of a better reason than the Pug ability to transmogrify into a Dragon.  Don’t think so?  Well, Jesus walked on water, what do you think of that?

 

The Dutch East India Company is who first introduced Hank’s relatives to Europe.  It was there in 1572AD when a long lost uncle named Pompey saved Prince of Orange’s life by barking at an assassin.  Pompey honored his entire bloodline and became the official dog of House of Orange.  Other Pugs had enamored great artists such as Goya and later William Hogarth.  In Italy, Pugs were commonly dressed in jackets and pantaloons that matched the coachmen of the rich, and they rode along aside the drivers in their fancy flair.

 

Wikipedia says, “They were used by the military to track animals and people, and were also employed as guard dogs.”   Yeah, right, and they turned into dragons while Jesus walked atop water.  Someone has got to be pulling a fast one on Wiki.  Pugs might turn into dragons, but their flat faces deny them the opportunity to track, and their tiny mouths make it difficult to bite anything bigger than a mouse.  Not to mention the fact that Pugs are almost never aggressive and are a very loving breed.  I read somewhere that Pugs were great with kids because they saw children as ‘Pug-sized people’.

 

Chick Magnet

So when you see Hank, give him the hug he deserves.  His family has earned him the right to be loved right back, even if his eyes bug out a bit and he needs to drag himself across the floor to scratch his own butt.  I promise you, Hank has never met a stranger he didn’t like.

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(This is a re-post from the deleted blog. Some of you remember this one, but I’ve added a couple pictures I stole from Hank’s Website. I’ll pass on that information once Hank gives me permission to do so. Hank and I go way back, I’m sure he won’t sue me for using his pics.)

 

 

 

16
Feb
12

Die Larry, Die!

I had great expectations with this post, but I’m afraid it is going to suck. You see, I quit drinking. The doctor said I’m going to die, and my wife said, “No Big J, you can’t die!” Sigh, so I stopped drinking.

Lady Liberty Stands beneath the sign promoting 'Alki-hol'

The point is I’m dull now. But, by not drinking for two weeks I’ve lost 3 pounds, my liver is happier and my heart is less stressed. But boy-oh-boy is my art boring. My friends don’t even like me.

Ready to roll

So I decided to exact my wrath on some poor animal that could not defend itself or call the police on me. C-Jane and I got in the car and went to the market, hooking up our security first.

Wait, WHAT? You thought I was going to hurt the dog? No way, that is the security system for the car. Who’s going to steal my ‘Whitney Houston-Bumping Hi-Def system’ with a snarling Doberman sitting in the back seat?

No no, we went to the ‘meat-market’ to find our victim. Look here –

Faceless Victims

We planned to abduct some poor unsuspecting sap from here. No one will ask questions, no one will care. As you can see by the picture, the market has already mangled most of its victims before we even got there; looks like they had their fun. We took some smoked mussels and salmon before we found Larry.

Say hello to my little friend.

Upon seeing Larry, I asked him if he ever saw Eli Roth’s Hostel. The lobster blinked twice, the universal quadriplegic signal for no. At least I took it as a no. “Well, Larry, how would you like to come home with this pretty lady and I for the evening… see what we can cook up?”

A bubble erupted from his mouth, fighting to the surface to burst – “Okay.”

Larry in a box

I don’t think Larry liked being in the box, so we put him in the refrigerator as soon as we got home so he’d relax a little after our trip. Sydney, our security system, had nuzzled the box a few times. She then growled at me, thinking she deserved a snack for protecting the car. I yelled, “No big dog! That’s my Scooby snack!”

Her teeth came out and the hair on her hind quarter rose up. C-Jane diffused the situation with a smoked mussel, Sydney was placated and sat down. So we bumped Whitney’s CD all the way home. The trunk of the car humming with a metalic rattle as — “boom –And Iiiiiyyyyeeee-Iiiyyee will alwaaaaaays love youuuuu – boom – boom.” I wonder now if Larry even liked Whitney Houston. Come to think of it, he looked more like a Bobby Brown fan.

Larry and I dancing together, he's doing the Mambo

Once home, we needed mood music. Al Greene’s ‘Let’s Get it On’ should be alright. Larry comes out of the fridge, and he’s calm like a bomb now. Next, we play some music reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs, “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right – here I am – Stuck in the middle with you.” And we danced, and we danced, and then when Larry least expected it –

bubble bubble

Slash! Into the boiling water. “Ah ha ha ha – didn’t see that coming, did you Larry?”

“Help me!” he screamed, but I pushed his ugly un-lovable face under the water with a wooden spoon, laughing maniacally- mwahahahaha! Within minutes, he looked like this –

Larry, you look a little tense

Larry now looks a lot like an old B-52’s song.

But then, the reality hit me – “Oh my God! What have I done! I’m sorry Larry! I’m sooo sorry.” It was Murder, with a capital M. Look everybody, I’m way too cute to go to prison! They’ll tattoo tits on my back and name me Nancy!

F-all that! No evidence, no crime. The cops’ll NEVER catch me! So I tore Larry into little pieces and set him on fire.

burn baby burn, disco inferno.

I looked over my shoulder, past C-Jane and saw my old friend. A tear dripped from my eye, “If you were still in my life, this never would have happened!”

C-Jane said, “Aw Big-J, I’m still here.”

With an exasperated, “No, not you,” I moved her to the side and pointed to the cupboard –

Hello my old friend.

Hey, that gives me an idea!

Larry Bisque

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(DISCLAIMER: this is a mock story, although the events in the pictures are true, the story is questionable and somewhat fabricated. It is a lot like your friends at FOX NEWS. IE – see the ‘Karate on the Beach’ post if you enjoyed this one. These events did happened in Seattle, it was Sister Calamity’s plan, and her Sydney who watched the car. I was elected to do the dirty deed of tossing Larry into the vat of boiling water, but he never begged for help. Not even a yelp.)

11
Feb
12

Alpha Dog Rocks the EMP

 

I’d promised more about the EMP museum in Seattle, but thinking about it, there’s only a couple cool things left unsaid. Who here loves Battlestar Galactica! Okay, don’t all of you raise your hands at once, it is hard to count all of you. The exhibit is in the museum’s attic.

 

As a little kid, I thought the Loren Greene Battlestar was cool, but I was eight. Then on SciFi Channel they did soap-opera Battlestar that I watched when Netflix-streaming was free. I saw three episodes and said, “Wait Big-J, your being duped into a drama, not an adventure.” So I stopped watching. The exhibit in the EMP is at the top of many stairs. (It felt like it was a lot of stairs, but I’m kinda-fat now. If you are also kinda-fat, or really fat, or if you’re skinny but smoke two packs of cigarettes per day, you better love Battlestar Galactica, otherwise it isn’t worth the effort.)

 

 

Late 1970's television spaceship.

 

 

There was also an Avatar exhibit. Many many many people were into this exhibit. I walked through only half-aware, but then a video caught my eye. I stood mesmerized for about ten minutes. It was the official How to Make James Cameron’s Avatar movie.

 

When the movie had come out, I thought it was visually stunning, but didn’t see the story as much more than a re-mashing of all of James Cameron’s earlier flics. I realize this isn’t a very popular opinion, but it is mine. As I viewed the presented video, I watched with horror what the actors had to endure. Even with as much as they got paid to be abused, I found a new respect for the talent of the actors who were behind the computer generated graphics.

 

Imagine needing to go to your workplace wearing a bulky suit that has sensors attached to record your every movement. There are computer sensors attached to every muscle on your face to capture the most subtle of expression. Your ‘office’ is a giant white box with a thousand cameras aimed at you from every conceivable angle. Your perfectionist boss then says, “Alright, act like you are being attacked by a pack of dogs.” Then points to your work-buddy and says, “And you – pretend like you are saving him – and it better be convincing, or your fired.”

 

I couldn’t take any pictures in this exhibit since they were all very light sensitive and we were not allowed to use the flash on our camera. But, that didn’t stop me from taking pictures of Freddy Krugger’s glove at the modern horror film exhibit. I took the pic without flash as the exhibit curators had asked of us.

 

 

Before Johnny Depp was Ed Scissor-hands, he was murdered by Freddy Kruger.

 

 

In the basement, the EMP featured an awesome exhibit of horror movies. It was fantastic. Video screens at the enterance showed an interview with director Eli Roth who made the movie, Hostel. I hated that movie. It was disgusting, but he said it was art. Whatever.

 

Speaking of hated artists, but one I happen to love, there was also a video about Sam Rami’s ‘Evil Dead’ series. I did not know until going to the EMP that he was sued for the movie “Evil Dead” but alas – he was. So, as a big gob of spit in the eye of those who sued him, he made “Evil Dead 2” which was an over-the-top-ultra-bloody remake of “Evil Dead.” But, “Evil Dead 2” was a comedy, and that is just awesome. Sam said, “Hey look, it’s my middle finger.”

 

 

 

 

More stairs! I should be skinny by now! Back upstairs, our two final events go hand in hand at the EMP. K-Dog and I share a common interest, we both love music. Only he has taken it a step further than pure affection and has begun learning how to perform it. Again, I found awesome informative videos to watch while K-Dog and Sister Calamity jammed in their own private studio. C-Jane and I watched interviews with famous musicians telling how they began the adventure of music. Geoff Tate from Queensryche, Little Steven, and Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedy’s to name just a few of the musicians telling their tales.

 

Meanwhile, back in the studio, K-Dog is shredding on the guitar, and Sister Calamity’s knocking out some tribal rhythms on the drums. It didn’t end well for them. I thought divorce papers were ready to be served. It seems K-Dog was working on a tribute to Joe Satriani while Sister Calamity was attempting to emulate Slayer. Cohesive is not the first word that comes to mind.

 

 

Suck Face

 

 

But like a great white hope, just outside is a “be-your-own-band” exhibit. It is an event, more than an exhibit. Whether your band size is The White Stripes or The Osmonds, it is not a problem. You too can do a mock jam with zero-talent and mucho-expression. We formed our band quickly, Alpha-Dog, and we were to perform ‘Purple Haze’ by Jimi Hendrix, a local hero.

 

Our band gets into the studio, I, Mister Fatty Big-J took lead vocals since I knew the lyrics to purple haze. K-Dog was on the rock-and-roll keyboards, (shhh, don’t tell him there aren’t any keyboards in Purple Haze.) C-Jane made Ace Frehley look like an amateur on lead guitar and Sister Calamity continued with ‘an introduction to Slayer’ on the drums.

 

After we were done rocking out, we had the option to buy a CD of the performance. C-Jane and I bought the rock-poster since it captured the band in an awesome pose. “Party-on Bill and Ted!” K-Dog bought the video. We left the EMP, satisfied by the cultural experience of music and film, better educated and a little smarter than what we were when we’d arrived.

 

 

05
Feb
12

In the Land of Pearl Jam (A real Sound-Garden)

(I’ve gotten away from Legal Disclaimers — see about author if you are insulted by anything I’ve written.)

I love music – loud, rebellious, in-your face rock-and-roll. Sadly, as Marilyn Manson has sung, “Rock – is deader than dead!” True that. No pulse= dead.

It might be why I hate everything and live reclusively. These new kids, with their rap and electronica, well it just isn’t music. It is noise. But in Seattle, well, look here…

Kurt Cobain’s Guitar

That is the bumper sticker on Kurt Cobain’s old guitar! I never really liked Nirvana, but so what? Here in Seattle is a shrine to a man who blew his own brains out with a shotgun because he couldn’t handle success! Amazing!! Here is a picture of some clothes once worn by dead man!

Self-made rocker-clothing. I hate Nazi’s too.

Sister Calamity and her husband K-Dog took us to the EMP Museum over by the Space Needle. The EMP is a pop-culture museum and had a great exhibit about Nirvana, but also a shrine to the great-late Jimi Hendrix, another dead local. I loved hanging out reading up on Jimi a lot more than Nirvana. I have far more respect for experimental and accidental over-dose than self-inflicted martyrdom.

I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of Jimi-swag, but I didn’t. I was a little annoyed that my camera took shoddy pics without the flash. The exhibit featured some of Jimi’s smashed up guitars and a couple groovy outfits and a lot of pictures. In one room was a giant screen where watched Jimi jam at Woodstock.

The EMP Museum in Seattle. In the Shadow of the Space Needle.

There was also a wall dedicated to the evolution of Punk Rock. There was a map showing where Punk made its debut and how it spread. Best in this exhibit was a video telling why the punk movement was so successful. As an author, it always interests me how to be successful outside the corporate art facsimile. Remember, it was corporate-control that killed rock-and-roll, just like it is doing to democracy and liberty. But you don’t care, so why should I?

There is a lot more to the EMP than just music, but I’ll get to that in a future post. This post is about the Seattle Music scene. As some of you may know, Seattle was the home of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Perl Jam, and Jimi Hendrix, but what many folks don’t know is bands like Modest Mouse, The Melvins, Corrosion of Conformity, Queensryche, Metal Church, Candlebox, and Sir-Mix-a-Lot all came from Seattle.

Why is the Rock-and-Roll hall of fame in Ohio?

Where tan people go to get whiter. The Opposite of Las Vegas Tan.

For your safety, if you ever get to West Seattle, speak no ills of Eddie Vedder. The once talented singer for Pearl Jam was raised up on the streets of West Seattle and is viewed as a local hero. We were warned repetitively by Sister Calamity that to even hint Eddie Vedder wasn’t God’s Gift to Seattle, getting beat up was a strong possibility.

I had to say something to see if it was true. we were at a rock-and-roll bar with giant murals of Jerry Cantrell and Chris Cornell along the walls. Every time I started to say something to test the waters, Sister Calamity would loudly over-ride my inquiries. “Shhh! Sush-shush, they’re going to kill you!” People would look around at each other and say, “What?” And I just wanted to ask something like, “Have you heard Eddie Vedder’s solo stuff?” I call it stuff because it isn’t music. Well, Hobbits and Leprechauns might like it, but those of us who are not wee-people think it sucks. But Sister Calamity was oppressing my thirst for knowledge. Of course, my question may have gotten us all killed.

Before I go, I offer to you the new sound of Seattle. Please listen, it is worth it, I promise. K-Dog turned me onto this upcoming local talent. This was my favorite song – rock is ready for a resurrection.

http://www.philipmariconda.com/BigGuyOnTheBike_sample.mp3




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