Friday, January 29, 2010

The broken judicial system

I'll post more on this later, but the prosecution of the guy who killed Jared doesn't sound promising. He's been out on his own recognizance, he has a really good lawyer, and it sounds like it won't go to trial. A number of people have expressed concern about sending another young, black man to jail. They say things like it won't bring Jared back and that they don't have any desire for revenge.

This system is broken. It was broken before Jared was killed and it's broken today. The disproportionate number of incarcerated 18-30 year old black men is a problem. The obscene number of people incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses is a problem. The lack of prosecution for crimes against women and children is a fucking problem. This system is broken and it can't be fixed. Just like everything else, I suspect we need to look for solutions that are smaller, more personal, and community based.

I am really, really unhappy today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Comes Next

I sat last night at my work talking with a rather anxious Jen current events. It is a strange thing seeing what usually plagues painted all over another person's face. That conversation was fresh on my mind when I read Kunstler's latest. Here are a couple of passages that really jumped out at me:
"The larger underlying reality is that the United States as an entire, integral organism, has got to contract, downscale, and reorganize. The mandates of energy resource reality demand it. We can't maintain our way of life at its current scale and we have to severely rearrange and rebuild the infrastructure of it if we expect to continue being civilized. We have to get the hell out of suburbia, shrink our hypertrophic metroplexes, re-activate our small towns and small cities, reorganize the way we grow our food, phase out the big box retail (and phase in the rehabilitated Main Streets), start making some of our own household goods, and hook up the far-flung reaches of this continental nation with a public transit system probably in the form of railroads. By the way, there are plenty of "jobs" in this process, only not the kind of work we've been used to... sitting in cubicles or assigning tanning booths.
No amount of wishing for techno rescue remedies, or techno-triumphal fantasies, will overcome this basic reality. This is change you have to believe in whether you like it or not. Most of America doesn't like it and doesn't want to think about it and is doing everything possible to prop up the old arrangements. Bailing out the banks is just a lame attempt to keep banking oversized. Bailing out the automobile companies was just a way to avoid the recognition that Happy Motoring will soon be over. Bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was just a way to avoid understanding that suburbia is finished. The "green economy" that so many people idly blather about -- imagining that it will just mean running WalMart by other means than oil -- is actually an economy of awesome stringency. It's nothing like they imagine. It's a world made by hand."

For those wondering what to do, you can start with learning new skills. Learn to mend clothing, cook/garden, fix bicycles, or perform first-aid. More importantly, do acquire these new skills with other people. We are a lazy generation whose inability to stay focused on a single topic for more than a moment has warranted the creation of new disorders. Working with other people will help with our gadfly-esque attention spans but our mutual accountability; additionally, these experiences will be good for community building/reinforcing. Not everyone is going to be good at everything, so don't be discouraged if you don't immediately find skills that resonate with you. Keep looking. As our world gets smaller, there will be plenty of necessary skills.

Two skills that we all need to work on are growing our own food and learning to use firearms. For those of you in apartments, look into container gardening or community gardens. For those of you living in underground bunkers, well...As for guns, we can't let possession and knowledge of firearms be the sole domain of the right. I would much rather know how to use a firearm and never have to than not know when I need to. Additionally, the world changes very quickly. We need to be prepared.

If none of these ideas work for you and you still find yourself tossing and turning at night, go work in a soup kitchen or be a CASA. There are many ways to assuage White Guilt. Don't complain, do something.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mea Culpa

I sleep next to women that I don't deserve
They like to hurt my pride, while I work their nerves


It's too late and the night's been too long for me to articulate what I want to. So, I will take a brief moment to be a bit emo about my old lady. Click away to avoid this nonsense...

The Sheriff, for all of her myriad and colorful flaws, is the most amazing woman I have ever met. Just when I start to take her for granted, I think about all of the small things. The camping trips, bringing me food at the bar, making dinner, playing in the dirt, comic books and bad movies, taking in stray friends...

At this point (well over 8 years later) it is easy to take for granted that I am sharing my life with a beautiful, talented, fun, obnoxious and bossy woman who is inspired to make the world a better place and filled with love and passion for the people around us (and even me after all of these stinky and sometimes heartbreaking years).

Today she still makes me a better person and, frankly, I'm not sure I deserve her. Kathleen, I love you like nobody's business.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Shifter

People ask me all the time, what do I drink? The honest answer is everything. As much as I like not serving Bud Lite, I enjoy a cold Rainier, Oly, PBR, or High Life. And as much as I nudge and wink at people who scoff at shots, I do them. With probably alarming regularity. Probably more than I drink anything artisanal.
So, here's what I'm drinking tonight: starting with Liquore Strega and a luke-warm, half-full Henry Weinhard's private reserve. Why am I drinking a crappy beer in such a condition? Because I paid for it and it's the last one. One of my roommates, ahem: K, drank the rest. And also, frankly, because I don't care. I'm not squeamish about beer and I spend enough time in "flavor country" that I don't need my beer to be a taste explosion in my mouth. Besides pop-rocks, I probably need few things exploding in my mouth...
I'm drinking the Strega straight because it's tasty. And I'm tired. Yeah, I could break out the bar gear and whip up a tasty cocktail, but then I get to do dishes. And my shoulder is already sore from whipping up tasty cocktails for 6 hours. And I'm tired. And, finally, I like to taste, feel, experience, whatever I am drinking. For instance, up next is a glass of Wild Turkey 101. I want to feel that. The burn, the lurch, the physicality of it. Not always, but at 3 am when I am just off after negotiating screaming, shuffling, intoxicated masses and life's rich pageantry that constantly presents itself in Hilltop, I want a shot and a beer and I want to feel it.
To circuitously get the meat of the question, here's what I drink: sidecars, sazeracs, and negronis. I seriously love these cocktails when done right. They all help me get a lay of the land. I never order any of the aforementioned cocktails in bars that don't stock the ingredients. Once I've established that the bar has the necessary ingredients, I'll order the appropriate cocktail, each of which is a fantastic measure of the kind of bar you are in. Sidecars, sazeracs, and negronis are all classic cocktails with origins that tickle the tongue of any raconteur. In my humble opinion, these are the types of drinks that bartenders love to make. Simple recipes that need to be executed with care to create cocktails that stop conversations. Cocktails that dance across the palette and challenge bartenders to come up with something better. These are the drinks that are personal classics. You could throw in Old Fashions or martinis, but really, why? Only to be disappointed...?
Anyway, here's me after a long night. I don't actually have black eyes, but I might as well. I'm dog-tired and not wanting to mix much of anything at this point. That's why it's shots and beers...

ED. This is reposted as I'm taking down the more personal items from the 1022 South blog.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dear Hearts

With a big sigh I must write that I'm moving my more "personal" aspects of the 1022 blog here. With that said, holy shit here we go (I don't speak for 1022 or any organization or persons otherwise associated with me, btw), so I cut my barback loose early tonight(around midnight). Of course a total shit-show made a grande appearance. It was kind of awesome in its douchey-ness; a group of 6 mas o menos middle aged women who were getting housed at Tempest came in just before last call. Now, I have to say (again) that I don't want to run that place. I don't want to be people's last stop on their way home when they've already had too much. It's not good for the community and it's not good for me. I can't live with that.

So. We take inebriation seriously. Back to the lecture at hand, these women ( I originally wrote something else...)rolled in with that air of privilege that I've come to expect from the Gig Harbor/UP set. The bar filled up in a matter of minutes and I ended up cutting off one of their party because, well, she seemed really drunk. I half-believed they all were, but for the most part they were holding their shit together. As it turns out, the one with two lazy eyes and a wobble while she sits had only two drinks (I'm a bit...skeptical), and the entire table worked themselves into a fit because I would not serve her. Then, one of he "sober" women returned her cocktail because it apparently wasn't enough like a "lavender martini" that one of my other bartenders had made at some indeterminate point. At this point she conveyed how offended she was that I cut-off one of her party. She expressed something about understanding because she was a small business owner but...whatever. I made it clear that I was just doing my job; an explanation that didn't satisfied her.

To step back for a moment, when she returned her drink and groused about her friend that I wouldn't serve, it was close to 1:30 in the morning. Just so this context is crystal-fucking-clear.

Long story short, I had my ass handed to me tonight and what was an otherwise fun night was kinda, no really, pissed on by some really dumb, old white women. Their expectations when they came in were...discouraging.

Ugh, of course a great week and weekend had to go this way. Again, ugh.