Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: Rants (page 1 of 8)

The Wicker Chair of Death

Health, death, age, humor, Sopranos


James Gandolfini gone at 51.
My close friend PG gone at 57.
Another friend gone at my age, 54, less than a year after he was diagnosed with cancer.
I hate going to see my Grim Reaper doctor.
Just like I hate going to see my Tooth Pulling Bastard dentist.
It’s never good for a multitude of reasons.
I work 60+ hours a week (including my daily commute) sometimes more.
The gym?
A distant dream, although I love the elliptical machine.
But you have to exercise, you say.
And I agree.
But really?
I do walk at least 30-45 minutes a day and eat fried clams once a year.
At the constant urging (and rightly so) of my wife, I finally made an appointment with my doctor for mid-July.
At the ripe old age of 54, I’m starting to feel my oats.
12+ hour days for 9+ years are taking their toll, physically and emotionally.
I am tired.
I have tried to be somewhat reasonable about the food that I eat but sometimes life/time gets the better of me and
I am reduced to a Mickey D’s level of nutrition. (98% beef, of that I am sure)
I want to be healthy, I really do.
And now and then I want to bitch slap someone who has the time to be too healthy for their own benefit for my varying sense of mental stability.
Take ‘Headband Lady’ that runs 400 f*(&^%g miles a week through the neighborhood.
She is incredibly fit and probably has a colon strong enough to  pass a small wicker armchair with ease.
And maybe a slight grunt.
Grape nuts,high fiber horkin’ cheese, Supergrains, tofu pups, Whole Foods ‘Pass a Chair’ oil, who knows what the f*&k this woman eats.
And she soooooo looks like a biatch sometimes with her stupid white headband.
Who wears those anymore?
Not Olivia Newton John, I can tell you that much.
I was driving home last week eating/enjoying a Rodeo Cheeseburger from Kurger Bing (so good) when I drove by her house.
I saw her prancing around her lawn like f(*&^%g Superball on acid.
White headband and all.
Does she ever take the friggin’ thing off?
I found out she has one amazingly green front lawn as well.
It must have something to do with the multiple barrels of Grape Nuts stacked outside her backdoor.
Maybe I should ask my doctor about that.
I don’t want to pass a piece of wicker furniture through my lower intestine but passing a Growler or two
could seriously get me into the Guinness Book of World Records.
And it might make my lawn greener.
There’s always hope.
And maybe enough fiber/wicker to fulfill my wildest dreams . . .

6 ounces of aggravation @Teavana

Teavana, infinite aggravation, good tea

I really like Teavana, I really do but the over the top selling drives me over the edge.
These guys are worse than car salesmen, for cripes sake.

This is the conversation we have everytime we go to a Teavana store:

Me: Hi. I’d like 6 ounces of English Breakfast tea.

TeaHeads: Would you like to try our new Exotic Iced Tea Collection?
It’s only $69.95 and it’s wonderful for this time of the year!

Me: No, thanks. Just 6 ounces of English Breakfast.

TeaHeads: We have this wonderful Monkey Picked Oolong tea for $25.00. That’s for 2 ounces. Soooo good and good for you!

Me: Could I just get the 6 ounces of English Breakfast, please?

TeaHeads: (almost defeated) Yes, sir . . .  (30 seconds later) 9 ounces okay?

Me: No. I wanted 6. I could have the Monkey come back there and weigh it out, if you want.

TeaHeads: *grimace*  7 ounces okay?

Me: Let’s try this one more time to see if you’ve been listening, okay?
6 ounces of English Breakfast tea.
Not 8, not 6 1/2, not 5 but 6.
1,2,3,4,5,6 god damned ounces of tea!

I did employ some literary hyperbole on this but it’s pretty damn close to what happens every single f*&^%#g time.
One of these days I’m not going to say anything and just go behind the counter and weigh my own tea.
I’ll be the flying monkey holding the steaming cup of Oolong and a smoldering cigar . . .

ps. the .gif image in this post reminded me of my wife and her infinite love of tea


Strange days are these (updated)

As uncomfortable as this picture makes me feel
THIS makes me feel even more uncomfortable.
And it gets more uncomfortable as the days grow long reading about people
that think they deserve equality and justice.
Will we ever wake up and smell the coffee?
When will we finally call a spade a spade?
From the leviathan Gulf oil spill and Mexican border breaches to the ever-simmering clusterfuck in the Middle East,
I feel doomed somedays, for so many reasons.
Just like today.
Maybe we just haven’t found the answers . . .
Got testicles?


***I changed the post picture for the mental stability of my wife

Suck Factor

I recently began teaching piano to someone that’s been asking me about some lessons for several years.
This ‘student’ of mine is currently working on many things but mainly pop tunes.
She takes on these artist tribute gigs like it’s her job and generally has 30-40 tunes on her plate.
She comes to me with the ones she’s having issues with and we go from there.
A bit avant-garde but it seems to work.
Although many things I say are met with that ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ stare,
there are moments when the light goes on and the aha moment presents itself.
This week we were going through several songs: I’m in you by Peter Frampton,
Yesterday Once More
by the Carpenters and
by Barry Manilow.
No cheap-shot Manilow comments, okay?
(and my student kind of gags when she plays these)
She generally goes to the web and finds a chord chart for a given song
and prints it out hoping to get a head start before she has her lesson.
I easily figured out why she’s been having so much trouble.
The chord charts suck.
Bad, appalling, ridiculous, shitty, WRONG are all adjectives that describe these
toilet paper-like charts that I wouldn’t even wipe a strangers ass with never mind my own keester.
These charts were written by someone that #1, has no ears (literally & figuratively),
#2, has little to no natural musical talent and #3, wouldn’t know what a minor seven flat five chord was unless it bit them is the ass.
I could not believe what I was seeing.
They should come with a *disclaimer:

“These chord charts are guaranteed to raise your suck factor
to levels beyond your wildest dreams.
They’re so poorly written you won’t even be able to play the song!”


“Musically illogical chord charts. Yeah, they do sound like shit, don’t they?
Hell, we don’t think we got one chord right!”

Jesus Krispies.

Figuring out chord changes to a song is not brain surgery
but for the bonehead that put some of this crap on the web I really have to wonder.
Bottom line?
It you’re trying to learn a song, stay the hell away from the web.
It will musically scare the hell out of you.
I am still shaking my head.

For your edification, THIS is one of the URL’s in question.

And not to totally diss this site (which I have done) this is a chord chart from someone
that doesn’t have their head up their ass.
Deacon Blues

Malarky Monday 25.3

Welcome to Malarky Monday!
I’m  hoping you get the idea by now.
After visiting here, click the links to the Malarky Monday gang and laugh your pants off!

This week is all about annoying things.
I’ve dealt with many lately so this post seemed natural in the overall scheme of things.

Yeah, fruit can be annoying.
And be annoyed . . .

There’s nothing more annoying than being chased by a 10-point buck loaded
with heat-seeking missiles.
I love .gif images . . .

Cell phones?
Especially when playing ‘You oughta know’
by Alanis Morissette.
God, she’s annoying . . .

Finally, there is nothing more annoying than
a woman that badly needs some mustache wax.
Her husband looks like he’s going to get his ass kicked when they get home.
Click on the picture to go to the website . . .

Now off you go!

& Happy Malarky Monday!


Maybe it’s a sign of survival, of anguish,
of the frightening realization that mortality does exist in the deepest recesses of the mind.
Maybe it’s a sign that everything is still changing,
still in that near frozen state of flux . . .
For him, for me, for the four walls that still imprison him,
for a world that looks to him as confusing today as it did several hundred yesterdays ago.

Maybe it’s not a sign at all but a palpable gesture that while he sleeps,
this ravenous disease does not; it always wants more.
It replaces what it takes with something barely recognizable, something dark and foggy,
something you never want to talk about around the coffee table but remains forever.
Sometimes this thing just takes.
And takes . . .

Maybe it’s a sign that he is tired, fed up with playing the host,
sick of food that looks like pureed shit put through a strainer that he has to try and swallow.
Banana Crème Pie should never look like soup.
But it does.
And that’s a crying goddamn shame.
His mother was a pastry chef, Christ in a sidecar.

Maybe someday I will look back at this point in time and have a moment of revelation
but I’m not betting on it.
If this disease has taught me anything it’s not to get caught up in any kind of emotional gambit.
It’s a losing proposition at best.
So maybe it is a sign.

For my father maybe it’s a sign that simply says ‘stop’ . . .

Douchebag Theory

I am quite sure that there are many people that live in a fantasy world
and know little to nothing about the real one.
They seem stuck in a time and place where common sense is about as real as the tooth fairy;
a really dumb tooth fairy.
I’m not telling you something you probably didn’t already know but when you run into these jamokes
(and I do, multiple times, daily)
you want to whack them in head with one of those huge Acme Co. (Wiley Coyote) hammers.
Then there are those that are in the real world but seem almost oblivious to the obvious.
I was working last Sunday when the phone rang.

This person asked, “Are you open?”

I said, “Hmmmm, hang on, let me check.” (5 second pause)
“Yeah, we are!” I said trying to sound almost surprised.

If a retail establishment answers the phone on a Sunday afternoon chances are pretty damn good that they’re open, capice?
And I’m pretty damn sure that when I hung up the person was thinking one of two things:

Wow. What an asshole.
Or . . .
Wow. I’m a ding-a-ling for asking such a dumbass question. Of course they’re open . . .

Now and then I have to blow out my retail pipes because if I don’t . . . well, let’s not go there just yet.
I sell tobacco and all things tobacco.
Here are some questions that I am just plain sick of answering:

Q. “You guys got Cubans?”
A. Obviously J.F.K and the Cuban Missile Crisis wasn’t covered in your American History class.
We haven’t traded with Cuba since February of 1962.
A huge mistake for the USA, as we continue the endless Cold War.
We’ve lost out on an incredible island and amazing people but a country governed by Communism will never be accepted here. Long story.

Q. “How much for these bad boys?”
A. You are a douchebag of magnificent proportions for calling them ‘bad boys’ to begin with.
They’re called cigars.
That’s one strike.

Q. “How come these ‘bad boys’ are so expensive?”
A. Ask the new administration, the change you can believe in thing.
Does the word“ ‘tax’ mean anything to you?
Do you ever read a newspaper or anything on the internet regarding tobacco/cigar regulation and the unfair taxes levied against this industry?
You, my friend, are a super douche for having no clue about the things the liberal wing has done to screw up this industry. I won’t even get into the debacle regarding the new  FDA’s regulation of tobacco.
Yes, we can!
No we can’t, my  brothers.
That’s two strikes.

Q. “Do you guys sell blunt wraps, digital scales, screens, glass pipes, Salvia, Black & Milds or Dutches (Dutch Masters)?”
A. Uh . . .  no.
Strike three, douchebag.

Innings over.

For today . . .

Lumbricus Terrestris

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, late night, morning people

I am not, I repeat, not a morning person.
Never have been, never will.
Ask my wife.
Ask my kids.
Hell, ask Bill the conductor on the 6:30am train I take into Boston.
He checks my ticket and says, “Have a nice nap, sir.”
Bill would honestly say, “Definitely NOT a morning person.”
(*should be, “Not a person at all. He’s more of a thing at this time of the morning.”)
Some of you are ‘morning people’, happy, cheerful and ready to greet the new day with vim and vigor.
Sorry, you people suck.
You probably do 800 sit ups before your first cup of coffee too, right?
“Good Morning!”
If this phrase is spoken to me and shouted from the fiddler on the rooftops with verve and effervescent happiness,
it makes me want to do one thing:
punch the face that’s brave and stupid enough to utter it.
My God, what are you thinking?
I’m still sleeping for Christ’s sake and you are seriously getting on my nerves.
I need about 4 hours to wake up.
Why the hell can’t you ‘roosters’ get that?
I need coffee, juice and a personal five-minute sitdown on the porcelain throne before someone thrusts the ‘happy’ shit on me, okay?
Ease the hell up, all you happy morning people.
You’re messing with my head.
I just choose to burn the candle at the other end (as I do a blog post at midnight).
You, on the other hand, have been sleeping for 3 hours.
But do I call you and say, How are Ya! Good Evening!
I don’t.
I may send a totally incoherent email or two but that’s another story.

We all have trolls inside of us that make us act as we do.
You morning people have Richard Simmons.
Us nighthawks?
We have Ed Asner (Lou Grant) from the Mary Tyler Moore show and he hasn’t taken a decent shit in 2 years.
(click on Lou up above for a classic MTM moment)
Take two steps back until my green light comes on, okay?
That’s all I’m saying.
This morning I poured orange juice into my coffee.
Mr. Grant was not real impressed.
I’ll try again tomorrow morning but it will probably be the same.
Epic Michael Fail.
My brain is chemically challenged in the morning is all.
As Huey Lewis once sang, “I want a new drug . . . “


Kinda hard for me to believe this guy did ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ in 77.
I didn’t listen to him then but I’m sure as hell listening to him now.
This blew me away.
Gun control for the masses.
Every single goddamned day another constitutional right gets thrown in the
shitter by these bureaucratic boneheads.
Republican & Democrat.
How do you spell bullshit?
I love Nugent in this interview.
Rock on, dude, rock on

I’m Thinking

*Am I the only one that finds it mildly ironic that Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy
gave the Obama’s a Portuguese Water Dog?
Kennedy supposedly owns three.
Where were they when he needed them?

*Here in the US of A we give free needles to junkies and
charge diabetes patients up the wazoo for the same damn needles.
Someone pinch me.
I must be dreaming.

*In Massachusetts, I saw a headline today that read –
Study: Tobacco funds not curbing smoking

Turns out that only $13.5 million of the annual $700 million the Baystate receives
was used for smoking cessation programs.
Well, yank my doodle, it’s a dandy.
You gotta be kidding me.
Where’s Nancy ‘MadDog’ Lugosi?

I mean Pelosi.
She’s gotta have a hand in this somehow.
What an ugly woman, inside and out.
And those choppers . . .
Nancy needs to be promoted to ‘Subterranean Truffle Inspector’ tomorrow.

*The groundbreaking and intellectually provocative Hannah Montana movie hit theaters over the Easter weekend grossing over 34 million dollars.
For your entertainment ‘bang for the buck’ wouldn’t staying home watching the grass grow be a bit more stimulating?
It’s probably me . . .

*Tiger Woods lost in the final round of the Masters yesterday due to a pair of late bogies.
Why does this not make me feel bad?
I must be a rotten human being.

*And lastly, I thought Gmail’s *new feature ‘Auto-Pilot’ sounded really cool.
But it was only available on April Fool’s Day. {sigh}

Just my mind at play folks . . .

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