Thursday, January 3, 2013

Henry Phillips Gets The Fist/The Lighter Side of My Life

Well, I am "a(n) old piece of suet that hasn't quite forgotten how to breathe yet", as Stephen King said. Serious, find it in his book.

I've been in bed for the last two months with a heating pad. Apparently a right hemicolectomy due to cancer hasn't paid my dues yet. Now maybe they will cut out my left colon too. Oh well, it's been hurting for longer than the side they already took out. Hope there is still some structure to my stricture.
My gastroenterologist is the light at the end of my tunnel. Get it? Gastros put a light into your tunnel. And a rod. He is my light and my staff. Then it's a surgeon or a sturgeon I guess, or a walrus or a carpenter. A surgeon's like a carpenter right? My dad was a carpenter but died too young to fix me.
Enough about me. This is entertainment.

"Punching The Clown" (2009) with Henry Phillips is a great movie if you are irreverent. If you are (yes I remember all of these, didn't have to look them up) trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent you will hate it. Too bad for you. The best movie I have seen in a long time, it helped me see through the miasma of pain.I actually laughed and laughed. My wife laughed and laughed. Let me plagiarize the lyrics from one of the songs on the dvd. Not really, public domain you know.


You are the blossom,
I am the vine,
You are the blossom,
I am the vine,

Sweet Little Blossom of Mine,
Hanging on the vine,
Extracting all the nutrients from inside,
Sweet Little Blossom of mine,

You are the Oyster,
I am the Pearl,
You are the Oyster,
I am the Pearl

Sweet Little Oyster of mine,
Irritating you from inside,
Covering me with your mucus-like substance until I shine,
Sweet Little Oyster of mine.

I am the Host Organism,
You are the unicellular dinoflagellate algae,
I am the Host Organism,
You are the unicellular dinoflagellate algae,

Sweet Little unicellular dinoflagellate algae of mine,
Letting me use your chloroplasts to photosynthesize,
Providing me with carbon in exchange for the nutrients you obtain from my anabolic pathways,
Sweet Little unicellular dinoflagellate algae of mine,

You are the Commonwealth of Independent States,
I am the United States Department of International Development,
You are the Commonwealth of Independent States,
I am the United States Department of International Development,

Sweet Little Commonwealth of Independent States of mine,
Helping you to recover from your decline,
Spending 2.5 billion dollars in financial assistance to help invigorate your economy and help stabilize your ruble,
Sweet Little Commonwealth of Independent States of mine,

You are the Elvis
I am the Colonel Parker
You are the Elvis
I am the Colonel Parker

Sweet Little Elvis of mine,
Right there by your side,
Pulling your bloated 250 pound, cocaine and barbiturate saturated body out of the bathtub to keep it from drowning in a puddle of your own vomit,
Sweet Little Elvis of mine,
(In a mock Elvis voice) Sweet Little Elvis of mine,
Sweet Little Commonwealth of Independent States of mine,
Sweet Little unicellular dinoflagellate algae of mine,

Sweet Little Oyster of mine.
Sweet Little Blossom of mine 

Great tune, great time, great flick. Henry is fine example of a human bean and has 3 cds. This song is on his first one. So, even though I have been punched as pleased in life, I was pleased as punch with the flick.

Wish me luck without intestines. How would you like your person done, with or without large bowel?

Now why isn't Stephen King's line in "Sweet Little Blossom"? Because "life is like a beanstalk isn't it?" (Procul Harem, 1968, Wireman would have known that). Wireman is your clue as to which SK novel I refer to in the beginning here. 

Here is an easy one: "Makes you like you eggs on the Jersey (but I prefer juicy) side." You got it,  it's C. C.

Best I can do. I want to thank my wife publicly here. Well not exactly publicly. No one reads this. A few read my hiking blog though.  


Thursday, February 16, 2012


Maybe Michael Jordan's sorry he was a hard-line owner during the strike. (I was certainly surprised at his attitude, him being a retired player.) His players won't play a lick for him. Not trying to say they're any good. But if you're not winning 30% at home you're not trying to win.
I saw the graphic: 3-25, M. J.'s Bull's were 25-3.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bob Woodward's book is despairingly intriguing

I hadn't read any of this guy's stuff since the Nixon Debacle years. I'm sure that he is no Republican, being from the newspaper establishment. HOWEVER:
"State of Denial" shows clearly that no one was in charge as we tried to change the world in the Mid East (Iraq) post-9/11. Infighting at the highest level would have undermined any plan anyway, had there been one. Condi's and Rummy's departments had their tiffs.
"We're gonna have a plan" seemed to be "Rummy's" refrain. He got to "run" the thing (via NSPD-24) thank you, not Condi, per the insulated Bush's directive. I'm-In-Charge Rumsfeld ran the thing from his desk with a capacity resembling senility. He was never saying anything, he was just saying. Well, he meant well we might say. No, he was a complete and blinded egotist. Military men were driven nuts.
Pie-in-the-sky attitude at the highest level transformed the Iraq war into a reelection ploy with no regard for people on the ground, on any side. It's clear The Rummy Dummies really thought that we would be in and out in 6 months (liberate a welcoming population, set up a democracy and infrastructure-easy stuff), lacking adequate personnel. I'm not the smartest duck in the pond but I don't think so. I don't think so even with adequate personnel.
Obviously we can say that this book is a reporter's slanted viewpoint on paper. In retrospect however, we all knew something was wrong in the Iraq war. The prevailing wind said things will work out, don't worry. "We have chain of command chart's and wish lists, by golly". Iraqis can't read American charts! And our guys on the ground didn't need no stinking charts. They needed a plan that could work!
In all fairness, I haven't finished the book. So far is is a frighteningly disturbing view of incompetence on the part of trusted administrators.

As my own note on the Iraq debacle: I never could understand why we could not grasp in this country that we were fighting a religious war on Muslim soil. Most damaging, no one at the highest level knew it. Believe me, we will always be "Christian Devils". The war which we devised after 9/11 has not negated that opinion at all in the eyes of a suffering Middle East commoner.

Oh, there were no WMD's. You guys on the ground can take off your chemical suits now. It's 180 degrees in there you fools.

I'd like to read Woodward's piece on John Belushi. Most of his stuff is political, so that would be interesting.

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Prefaced by my opinion that if even half of this book is true it is very frightening, while I understand that a newspaper man's perspective might be skewed. Skewed, while trying to sell a book, and just maybe honest. Anyway I was sold and scared. I think my leaders should be smarter than me. Sorry. I don't think that they should tell fart jokes around serious issues.

The second half of the book finds the lousy gift of the Iraqi situation given to the State Department. So Condi's on the hook now, not Teflon Don. I have no concerns for Rice at all, but what's Rumsfeld got on the Bush clan?
Rummy actually compared IED complications in Iraq to a bowl of fruit. To paraphrase, "Some take out no one, some take out 1 of our people, some take out 50 people. It's like apples, bananas and oranges in a bowl. Whatever." What? Not appropriate Don from your desk. DISTURBING BEHAVIOR.
The competent military man Powell was replaced by Rice at State.
The public continued to receive good old positive sayings and yarns, otherwise known as lies.
Oh yeah, finally with about 20 pages left to read, I noticed Jim Jeffrey refer to the fact that we just could wind up looking like Christian Devils. I want to know how anyone finally saw the obvious in this admin.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"On Writing" admonitions or SK don no nuttin

I don't really have a problem with the body of "On Writing". It's better than "Danse Macabre". I just got hold of a nice first edition cheap. I never wanted to be a writer anyway so I really don't care. It was pretty good and Stephen is a drunk and diseased like me, whatever. He's funny too.
What I have a huge problem with is his list of great books at the end of the memoir. Granted, this is only a (opinion) list of the best that he read around the turn of the century. No excuse. At first I looked at THE AUTHOR'S LIST and I thought "I didn't like many of these!". To Stephen's credit "Tortilla Curtain" is on the list-good one there. And I know that he loves "Grapes of Wrath"-one of the best books ever written.
So I decided to try Bowles "The Sheltering Sky" because of SK's recommendation. Not only is this book a best but it is also mentioned in the text of King's newest Oswaldian, JFKish novel.
"The Sheltering Sky" is the biggest bunch of egotistical, existential, rambling, pretentious garbage ever I read. Shouldn't it be "Skye"? This is a book that is short without being short enough. A Harlequin novel for us literati I guess. Oh, and Stephen, it's loaded with stinking adverbs.
It is a given that the Paul Bowles is much better than the reader, trying to teach. Well I didn't learn. I get much more out of Eminem singing me cock-a-Doc. At least it's not in French and I know who Doc is. No, I'm not 20, I'm 60ish. Paul, some people don't understand that great French dialogue throughout. "When I'm reading English are they talking French?" he asked angstly.
In fairness, there is a great passage in this book: "How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless." Prefaced by: "...precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well." There was one other good phrase somewhere but I can't find it right now. I'll bet that there are plenty of great things in frigging French too.
Here's one not so swell: "And although he was aware that the very silence and emptiness that touched his soul terrified her, he could not bear to be reminded of that." My problem could be that I have never had that exact profound thought. I'm an imbecile.
Or how about: "Nor did it occur to her how she once had thought that if Port should die before she did, she would not really believe he was dead, but rather that he had in some way gone back inside himself to stay there, and that he never would be conscious of her again; so that in reality it would be she who would have ceased to exist, at least to a great degree." Well, that goes without saying. Would that be the nth degree then?
And Paul, there are better words for "inimical" we thinx say. Ich habe Weltshmerz!
C'mon, be a book! My Constant Reader wife couldn't even finish it.
Good old Paul even explains what the death experience is really like as if he were a Death scholar. I have not read what he wrote as he actually died 50 years later in 1999. In the "autobiographical novel" vision or version there is a mixture of blood and excrement, as though "Port"er sees his physicality unfold and turn inside out at end game (maybe?). How nice. Though fluids may be a fundamentally physical death response, for my mind's eye I might prefer the "white light" theory.
Thank you so much for allowing me to read this book, whoever is responsible. Thankfully I was sick in bed when I read it or I might have given up and missed some of it. Garbage! A visionary indeed.
Sorry Gore V. GV loved it.

Oh, I have a good companion book for Steinbeck's masterpiece. It's called "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan. Like "On Writing" it is non-fiction. The best complement I can give a book like Timothy's is that it read like a novel. It is a great companion to "Grapes of Wrath" because it is about the people who stayed, unlike the Joads. Many of the families highlighted in the book still live in this impossible environment. There are quotes from descendents of the "Dust Bowl" survivors. A few survivors are still alive as of the book's writing. Pickled tumbleweed anyone? I mean 3 meals a day and seven days a week. What could compel these way-past-logical stubborn Scandinavians to live like they did? It's compelling. Read it instead of Paul Bowles.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


I was in the little town of Hurricane, Utah today and had some great wood-fired pizza at a roadside stand. Amazing, but it stood up against the goods in N.Y.C. I don't know the name of it (Pizza Wagon?-don't know if that's official) but it's on Hwy. 9 in the Cineplex parking lot. Opened hours are noon-8 W-Sa. I will definitely be checking out more of their flavors. We just hopped in there on our way back to Kanab from the Barrel Roll (named for the cacti) biking trail in the Santa Clara River Reserve. You just never know where one might find good food so don't be afraid. It's right on your way to Zion Park.
Look, if you don't believe me see about it.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Against Cancer

Yes, I am against cancer.
As we know, I have touted the book "Anticancer-A New Way of Life" by David Servan-Schreiber. Alas, David died last year. But I still believe.
So my wife and I have reviewed the book again. We feel that these are the most important points in the book:
Me (the patient): NK cells, pg. 36. Wounds that don't heal, pg. 42. NF-kappa B, pg. 47. Blocking angiogenesis, pg. 54. Detoxing, pg. 94. EGCG in green tea, pg. 110. Circumin in turmeric, pg. 114. Ellagic acid in berries, pg. 117. Spices & herbs, pg. 119. Synergy of food, pg. 120. Recommended food, pg. 132. Measuring vitamin D3 & calcium, pg. 141. The breath, pg. 164. The Mantra (6 breaths per minute), pg. 166. From somewhere, 3 times weekly one should eat Brussels sprouts, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower. Parsley, mint, thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil, and/or rosemary consume daily.
I agree with David, I will never be sorry that I changed my diet.
Her (the patience): Blood tests to measure inflammation, pg. 45. Table 4 inflammatories on pg. 70. Omega 6, pg. 73. Conjugated linoleic acid, pg. 75. Phosphate additives in food, pg. 86-87. Cosmetics etc. (avoid parabens & phthalates), pg. 98. Olives, pg. 112 & 134. Soy, pg. 113. BEST turmeric, pg. 114. Mix turmeric with olive oil, pg. 134.
But you too will still die.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Get in Touch With Your Bad Self Jarhead

No, this book by Anthony Swofford is not about Archie's comics buddy. That would be Jughead. Swofford is USMC budd (and a sniper at that). This book is about the "Suck" and it ain't mostly comical. (I'm only about a decade behind per usual, but finally got 'er read.) Let me warn that it's a crudie and rudie. If one can handle the language it's a goodie just like the New York Times bestseller list suggests.
I tore through this one in a few days. As I read the book, I felt that I got in touch a little bit with my dad who died when I was young. Even as a youngster though I understood that he was hard-core Marine and screwed up because of WWII and his DIs.
Swofford was too smart to be a Marine but he was too late to realize it.
Very compelling and very disturbing is his writing. It's the best that I could find as my father didn't leave me any war discussion.

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