Deeply flawed, but fundamentally decent, I approach life with an irreverent attitude toward certain modern social conventions, while harboring a profound nostalgia for bygone traditions of honor and decency. We each have our own code, and I succeed and fail by mine.
In light of my recent encounter with some idiots from the projects, this will be the send off Funny Friday for 2010. I usually don't like retreaded tires, however, this is just too good. Thank you, Antoine Dodson.
“Is that a pistol?” B asked in a concerned tone as his eyes darted away from the frenetic fun banter of our trio to the front of the Holland House. With my back to the door, my head pivoted to make sense of the question. It all unfolded quickly. At the threshold silently stood a stocky black man, dressed the part of an urban hood, his face obscured by pantyhose, with a blunt looking long-barreled revolver leveled at the head of several patrons seated at the bar. The front door swung open and a second, nastier, pantyhose helmed black hoodlum, taller, leaner, and meaner than his partner, burst in wielding a cruel looking short-barreled shotgun. It was clear that he was in charge. For a fraction of a split second, I wondered if this was not some fantastic theatrical act from a 1970s vigilante film being orchestrated for the amusement of the patrons. The thugs were perfect replicas of those immortalized by Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood films in the 70s and 80s. Only there was no Harry Callahan to dispense the much-needed swift justice with his famous .44 magnum. There merriment of our earlier discussion quickly dissolved as the gravity of a new and hostile situation quickly materialized. Was this really happening?
The taller hood worked his way around the room, waving his squat shotgun in the faces of patrons, while screaming at them to get on the floor. There was an inhumane edge in his cold ghetto voice. The expletive laced threats were no joke for this one. He was no specter from the darkest depths of my imagination. Having surrendered any shard of humanity long ago, this hoodlum represented a chaotic destructive soulless force that one hopes to never encounter. The cruelness and loads of crazy were evident. (What kind of reasonable criminals target an establishment that processes most transactions with credit/debit cards and is not a cash heavy operation, has between 30-35 patrons of unknown background –Tennessee has very favorable conceal and carry laws, plus, with an establishment that serves booze, how many heroes lurk in the crowd – there is also a bar, wait, and kitchen staff spread across three or four rooms in an oddly shaped building? Too many unknown variables in this equation as far as I am concerned for sound criminal decision making, but then again that’s not my bag.) All control and power over my destiny was briefly ceded to this sub-human criminal scum. The socially lubricating effect of the three stiff cocktails I consumed were quickly negated by the adrenaline that coursed through my system. Face down on the floor, listening the cacophony of footsteps, expletives, threats, and demands for all the money were drowned out by the violently shaking of my left-hand and the turbo thumping of my heart as it beat faster than a hummingbird flaps its wings. I could feel my jugular pulse against the collar of my shirt. As the threats became more extreme, I actually wondered if this was the end of line for me. Was my passport of life about to stamped for the last time as a blast from some remorseless hoods gun ended it all? So many ambitions to realize, hatchets to bury, scores to settle, friends to laugh with, girls to love, and challenges to conquer remained. Nascent memories from my earliest years, random life moments never before recalled in detail, to cherished events all flashed in rapid sequence like frames on a film reel across my mind. If a shot reported, was I to bolt up and hurl my highball at the nearest thug, grab a piece of silverware and do what I could? I began to calculate all outcomes as best I could.
Just as quickly as it unfolded, it all ended. These thuggish specters were gone. Frayed nerves and rattled sensibilities lingered, but no physical harm came to any patrons. My left hand still shook with an epileptic violence new to my body. We were all speechless. I had done my best to capture physical details to report to the police, but I began to question how I conducted myself and what this bizarre and unpleasant sequence meant. It sounds stupid, but you never think you are the one in the ugly situation. Those are only news stories and other people are victims, not you.
Rage, fear, and resentment on levels I did not know I possessed all surfaced. It is a crippling blend of emotion that leaves one shaken to some sort of untapped core. There is also a gratitude that you walk away drawing breath. Life is precious.
The genesis of the evening occurred at the gym earlier in the afternoon. Word of mouth reviews had raved about the Holland House as a hot new Nashville destination. Being in East Nashville (the wrong side of the tracks), the Holland House had an allure of the new and exotic to it, a bold venture to rival Nashville’s legendary artisan cocktail and drinking saloon, The Patterson House. It all started with the question posed to B, “How would you feel about an East Nashville adventure tonight?” I thought I was being funny. Words sometimes manifest in the strangest ways.
This memory is still fresh from last night. I registered just over an hour of sleep last night and my nerves are only now beginning to settle. It's good to be blogging today.
Select lyrics of note: She call me just to talk She's my lover she's a friend of mine She says hey mister you wanna take a walk In the wild west end sometime And I get trouble with my breathing She says boys don't know anything But I know what I want
I want everything
A cherished friend recently quipped that during one's lifetime a person is lucky to have one good spouse, two good horses, and four good dogs. That certainly leaves a generous margin for error on these things, but it resonated. The holidays ended on a sad note for the werewolf this year. His family's cherished and loyal standard poodle, Lily, was put-down after over ten years of loyal and resolute service. A combination of cancer, hip-dysplasia, and arthritis had wrecked unholy havoc on her in cruel ways. Ever the stoic, her last days were defined with a tail that wagged, a snout that kissed, and the sassy attitude that made her truly remarkable. She was neither exceptionally sweet, nor mean; rather she embodied a consistency and stability in her mannerisms that allowed for a large degree of comfort in observing her execute her routine. The bond between man and dog is sacred and pure in ways that can't be captured in a few mere sentences. Anyways, dear Lily's departure leaves a void and reminds the werewolf how lucky he was to have had such a fine beast in his life for the last decade.
The werewolf wants to wish you all a very merry belated Christmas, where ever you all are. I hope Santa and the snow elves were generous and everyone came out ahead, however that is measured. The werewolf spent the Christmas holiday without regular internet access and rather enjoyed being detethered. 2011 looms fast on the horizon.
Plaid has been on the mind of late. The werewolf has been invited to a coveted local Scottish themed party in late January, where the requisite attire is plaid heavy. There are incetntives to being particularly devoted to plaid outfits, etc, and the werewolf always makes it a point tot rise to the occassion when needed. Although I am told I am of partial Scottish extraction, my family is so divorced from its roots, that tracking down a particular clan plaid would involve engaging family members best avoided. Also, from a stylistic perspecitve, my few articles of plaid attire, two ties, and a casual shirt, are treated as accents and not anchors in my wardrobe. A kilt is being heavily considered, along with various assortments of plaid themed attire. Are there any recomendations on doing plaid to nines without breaching levels of gaudiness? Just wondering...
Being morose around the holidays goes beyond being acceptable; it is a righteous and just disposition. Facing the ritualistic façade that still governs my immediate family is dreadful. Acting the loyal house-slave to empty traditions with forgotten meaning, struggling to find a common conversation point beyond the family pets, and straining every muscle of emotional discipline not to lash out at the intrinsic phoniness of the whole exercise is all very tiring. Yet, the hierarchy of loyalties and obligations that govern WASPdom demand that we willingly walk into a good old-fashioned nightmare and play our parts with every shroud of dignity and decency that can be mustered. For all of the pain felt in other places, executing my duty with samurai like precision almost negates the massive emotional downside. Almost. Years ago, I grew disillusioned with the pomp and circumstance of the holidays when all of the aforementioned became clear. While the myth of “happy holidays” was shattered like crowbar striking cheap china, I will acknowledge all of the hard work that certain adults put into place shielding younglings from the obvious void. As I grow older, the days become a “daze,” and I look forward to searching for a shroud of optimism that the next year will usher in a revelation that could potentially liberate me from the tired and drained holiday routine that came with adult life. Perhaps the werewolf is just channeling something that Scrooge knew only too well. Bah-Humbug!
Electronica is best avoided with extreme prejudice. It is usually the providence of culturally deplorable Europeans, their vacant American imitators, and ignorant children. The playing of electronica at any venue signals it is time to seek greener social pastures. True to the laws of nature, freakish outliers can occasionally be born of the most damaged and predictable wombs. "Kelly Watch the Stars" is that freak.
This music video is hypnotic, soothing, and intriguing. The cascading effect of layered universes in the guise of retro-pop culture platforms makes for cheap coffee house banter. Most importantly, Kelly represents a superb, if not perfect, example of the fairer sex. Stunning on all fronts.
Arrogant pseudo street-philosophers often steal John Donne's quip that "no man is an island." Ignorant poseurs. Man is at his finest when he voluntarily withdraws from the hollow routine that governs modern life. Give the werewolf a stout hold-fast with a moat and assuming it is well provisioned, they'll be resolutely rebuffed.
The werewolf's inner nerd has been behaving as if the moon was full with HBO releasing so many promotions for A Game of Thrones. This is by far the most in-depth release to date. Given that I have thrice read through the series, several of the scenes and images portrayed are my first glimpse at Hollywood's manifestation of what my mind monopolized for so long. It is far too soon to be disappointed by anything, and being completely overrun with eager anticipation, I keep thinking to myself "awesome," "interesting," or "weird." Given that I was generally very pleased with most of Peter Jackson's cinematic execution of the Lord of the Rings (I maintain the right to gripe about Denethor, Saruman, and the ending) but otherwise, it was all rock solid from what I could tell. It's unrealistic to expect all the details from the text to be perfectly translated onto the screen, so here's to taking a risk and looking forward to something this spring.
Sunday was subtle, yet rewarding. The werewolf had the privilege of watching this week's Tennessee Titans game from the sky-box of a good friend. While the Titans themselves made pee-wee footballers look like pros, it was an excellent way to share a professional sporting event with dear friends, consume multiple Budweiser red-coats mid-day, and briefly pretend to an avid NFL fan. Immediately post-game, the werewolf stumbled to a friend's house to help with miscellaneous chores and try and make himself useful. After demolishing a case of Bud Lite Lime - don't knock it till you try it! - watching a schlocky comedy seemed in order. The movie Music and Lyrics from 2007 was marginal at best. However, this cheese-dick interpretation of chart topping 80s music, which the film hinges on, has been in the frontal lob of this lobo for the last 24 hours. I caught myself humming it at the office today. Not unlike Bud Lite Lime, it gets better with each viewing. I promise!
I made the classic mistake of going grocery shopping immediately post workout this evening. So much for any benefit gleaned from tonight's jaunt to the gym. The holiday's are such a decadent and indulgent time when it comes to tempting one's palate. Alas, the force is not strong with this werewolf. You better believe I am savoring some carton based egg nog with a generous infusion of Woodford Reserve bourbon. It sounds ghetto because it is ghetto. One must work with the resources at hand. Still, life is too bloody short not to indulge on occasion.
Truth be told, I intend to try my hand at making some real egg or spiced muled wine before the holiday season ends. Any suggestions?