Chapter 42


Sat Apr 24, 2004 at 08:38:19 AM EST

Yesterday was 4-20. I was prepared.
A-9 was launched. wasn't prepared, Google it ain't.
And my main web site is still missing.




I had procured some killer, just for the occasion of yesterday's celebration.
It wasn't nearly as good as last year, but last year there was a complete and total alignment of everything. Easter was on the 21st, and Perfunctory was playing at Dempseys. And Shorty made sure everyone there that wanted got a hit or two.
But that was last year.
Monday night I'd gone downtown, and couldn't find a single soul that I knew. I went by Dempseys, where there were three fat kids at the bar and a fat kid behind the bar, none of whom I'd ever seen before. I liked it better when Rier hired beautiful women to tend bar. The only one still tending bar is Kristen, who used to own the place about three owners ago, and she only works Wednesday and Saturday nights.
So Monday I'd wound up at the Firehouse, a new bar. It's not really new, it just got new owners. It used to be called Jake and Elwood's and was actually a pretty crummy, overpriced, no-entertainment college kid and yuppie bar. The only thing that made it stand apart from any other bar was the plexiglass statues of Jake and Elwood Blues above the front door.
One night I noticed Jake and Elwood were missing, and went inside to find it had actually developed some character. Three local firefighters had bought it, and renamed it to The Firehouse . It's now decorated with firefighting equipment, much of it charred and/or melted. The door handles are fireaxes, there is a fireman's pole in the place that stops at the ceiling, where people have climbed up and written their names in magic marker.
The beer tap is a fire hydrant.
I was actually hunting for either Joe or Dave, both of who owes me a CD. Couldn't find either one. Joe had played at the Firehouse on my birthday, and they had recorded the gig. Joe sometimes hangs out in the bars he plays in, but no luck. I drank a beer and went home.
Since last night was 4/20, I figured I'd find somebody.
But first I had some groceries to buy, and a DVD to attempt to return to Walmart. There are some incredibly dumb people in Hollywood!
A week or so ago I'd picked up the DVD version of Kung Fu's first season. Playing the premier movie, it struck me that it was in wide screen format. Huh? This was a thirty year old TV show, why wide screen? I'd remembered something about all TV being shot in 35mm in the '60s and '70s, so perhaps this was in its native format with extra real estate that had been clipped for TV.
I had the shows on tape, so I stuck one in to compare.
The top of each frame was sliced off in the DVD version.
I can NOT understand people. My dad goes postal about wide screen DVDs; he hates them. He feels like he paid good money for that picture tube and wants picture on every inch. Personally, I want to see the whole picture whether it will fit on the screen or not; I want wide screen when I can get it, because you get the whole thing as it was played in the theater.
If he were a fan of that show, this DVD would be one we could agree on.
However, I'd lost my receipt, and there weren't any full screen copies there. In fact, there were no copies left at all. Drat!
When I returned The Long Riders, a very good, very violent, historically accurate portrayal of the James Gang, I had no problem. And what was wrong with it?
Well, despite the fact that there was no mention of censorship, the cover noted an R rating, and again before the movie started it had the R rating, it was, in fact, no longer an R movie. You could have shown it as it was on the DVD on prime time broadcast TV and nobody would have complained. The scene with the titties was cropped to excise the boobs. The scene where the farmer and his pigs are killed is toned way down. The explosion that kills the fifteen year old boy even had his screams removed. It was sanitized, made boring.
Yet these are the same people who leave Arnold cutting his eyeball out in the TV version of The Terminator .
I probably shouldn't even mention the brutal slashing that Spielberg is doing to the DVD version of Star Wars. You know, where the alien didn't shoot first, or even at all, in 1978 but now does, while Harrison Ford boredly ignores the alien's shot that hits four inches from his head. Nice of him to trash his own movie.
I'm glad I still have the tape of that western. It's a damned good movie. The watered down TV version is just boring. I'm glad they gave me my money back on that one, but I would surely like to have an uncut version, uncut as in exactly as it was shown in the theaters .
So I put the groceries away, roll up a fattie of the expensive greenery, and head downtown.
There are a couple of guys standing outside, playing guitar and mandolin. There is a fellow putzing around with the amps and stuff inside, and a couple of chicks with guitars. One of the fellows in the band looked familiar, and I at least knew the bartender.
Shorty showed up, and I told him that when he saw me heading for the alley to follow.
Then Dave and his girlfriend showed up. She is one of the 1 in 365 people whose birthday is on the famed 4/20. Lucky girl.
Having a birthday on Christmas would be cool, she stated. Nobody agreed. Having a birthday on Christmas negates your birthday. Plus, in Springfield you drink free on your birthday, and the bars are closed on Christmas. Well, the fourth of July then. That was agreeable.
My wedding anniversary was on the 4th of July, I mentioned.
Well, yeah, I'm not married any more.
Eventually the band decided to come inside and play. Not bad, and I'm glad they started at 8:00, because I have to work.
So, Shorty follows me to the alley when the band takes a break, and so does about a dozen other people. It turned into a pretty good party, as I wasn't the only one to come prepared.
Even if I no longer take Paxil. And speaking of which, I'm sure this isn't nearly as interesting as most of last years' diaries, but I have a ton of stuff on my mind, not the least of which is finding a place to live before the bank takes my house. I have another foreclosure hearing next Tuesday.
I'm really bummed about losing the house. Cross your fingers; maybe when the move is done I'll be able to write like I used to.


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

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