Motels Only Gonzo 7 -- The Mural Jackpot

My daughter was bushed.  She slept in the luxurious Golden Nugget bed like I remembered her sleeping years ago.  Peaceful and happy.  Slipped out at at 7am for coffee and wandering.  Left the shades shut, the room dark.  She dreamed.

Las Vegas in the early morning, when the daylight hits it.  Gamblers already gambling, some still gambling from the night before.  The depressing and annoying casino floor still smelled like cigarettes, the slothead faces were the same.  Workers already working the streets.  Everyone was up.  Dancers, even.  The palm leaf flower maker was still busy, his companion sitting on one bucket with face down on another bucket, sleeping.  The spray painter was painting.  Surely the fumes must have some effect.  He seemed calm, focused.  Clear-eyed, picking up cans and flipping them around like a black belt in something.  Eastern.  One painting was a wolf, howling in a dark blue, snowy, mountain scene.  It had stars in the black night.  One was shooting.  ATMs were all out of money.  I was hungry.

Breakfast is a rare indulgence, but what is eaten in Vegas, is eaten in Vegas.  As the saying goes.  The Cadillac Restaurant in the Golden Nugget does a fine Huevo Rancheros.  Damn fine.  Had a couch seat, planned to be there for awhile.  Got liquefied.  A good blood mary, coffee, and water.  Coffee after coffee.  For hours.  Some basketball highlights.  Silent observations.  Couldn't help but notice the advanced median age of the comers and goers.  Fair amount of limping, walking equipment, and wheel chairs.  Slick back silver haired man with a done up yellow blonde lady on his arm, obviously in love for a long, long time.  They were dressed sharply as they scooted with forced posture and chins held high.  His cane was marble tipped, she held his arm tight.  They were grand.  A feeble looking man being wheeled around by a middle aged man.  They looked alike.  They smoked and coughed, the older one with an oxygen tank hooked on his chair.  Only a few kicks left together, they were making the most of it.  Like father, like son.  A sweet, mature looking midwestern woman, dressed for a Lutheran potluck.  She was beaming around a large crowd of people.  Obviously, she was the matriarch, the crowd was her family, and their families.  Some of them looked like thugs, a few unruley brats ran around wild, no one was doing anything about it.  But who am I to judge.  She smelled of heavy make-up and cigarettes.  She likely  picked up the whole tab.  Had a final shot of coffee, then went up to the room.

My youngest daughter was up, showered, made up, and ready.  It was noon.  She wore torn jeans, white Addidas, and an authentic Bob Dylan concert shirt.

We had seen the Noble Prize winner blues out Las Colinas the previous month.  Charlie Sexton took a torch to the place.  Then to see Doyle Bramhall II at the Granda with my oldest daughter, felt Arc Angels were flying around.  Those two together?  Forget it.  

We walked through the casino floor.  Outlaws.  She noticed the sadness of the place.  The fazed looks.  Fun wasn't happening.  We quickly took the streets, the casino floor is a lame place.  A relic.  It was breezy with a perfect November desert temperature.  Unchilly, cool.  We saw the daytime version of what we saw the night before.  Bustling, perhaps an older crowd.  The musicians of Fremont were already jamming.  The tuition earning violinist, dressed like an Italian poet.  Her instrument was badly out of tune.  2 bucks.  The young autistic keyboard player with tiny fingers who taught himself to play.  (We knew this because of his sign.)  He batted his eyes and smiled at my daughter as he played beautifully and flawlessly.  "He's sooo cute!  Awwww!", as she turned to me with a tear falling down her cheek.  5 bucks.  Then a dude dressed in a tight, green, scaley, snake suit of some sort.  Put himself in a small box, closed the door, and got back out.  It was a really small metal box, his contortions blew our minds.  10 bucks.  In all, 17 bucks for a half hour of prime entertainment.  Slots are for suckers!  Taking a side road, we left the 'district' area and went looking around.  We needed a break.

The day was bright, the sky was blue, the sky seemed clean.  The streets were clean.  Everything seemed orderly.  Still twisted and outlandish, but orderly.  People seemed to be on their best behavior.  Like everyone knew they were getting away with something and no one wanted to mess it up.  The beggars just stood with signs, no verbal begging.  None.  This was the night and day difference in the vibe of the Lad Vegas night and day.  Clearly, the night was full of louder drunks and more whacked whacks, the daytime was peaceful. A serene asylum.

We walked a few blocks east, then a few north.  Then the murals!  Unexpected.  An urban grand canyon of sorts.  Not random graffiti, more like commissioned works of art.  Huge building walls, lining entire parking lots, all colors.  Street after street.  Phrases made us laugh over and over.  Impressive detail, scale, and thought.  A desert reptile creature stretching 4 car links.  Looked like a horned frog.  Linus from Peanuts, bemoaning his highth.  "Life as a shorty shouldn't be so rough!!"  He laid wearily on his back, consequences of a Vegas night.  It was 5 stories tall.  Another one proclaimed melting onto eternity slowly.  Eyes and wrestling tigers and a dancing woman holing up an ancient blue star.  A green man with a purple robe and flowing sleeves. Rings and bracelets, an owl looked on.  Murals were everywhere.  Robots, crazy characters, heartbreaks, pride, love. All over for six city blocks.  My daughter's portfolio grew.  Pictures were liberal, care was taken.  Angles, shade, shadows, all considered.  Our mural hunt went on all afternoon.  It was big game, high stakes, we hit the mural jackpot.  We were both tired, satisfied, and hungry.

After a quick rest and refresh in the room we decided on the Golden Nugget hibachi restaurant called Lillie.  We wanted a good dinner.  Compared to the local hibachi we were used to, this was several levels above.  Fresher vegetables, tastier soup, cleaner.  Prepared precisely in front of us, all the small details.  Stealth service.  The knife work, the fire, the choo choo train.  Clings and clangs.  It was delicious.  Her chicken, my jumbo scallops.  Steamed rice, fried rice, ginger sauce.  As always, I gave up on the chopsticks quickly.  My fortune told me to reject laziness, hers encouraged taking action.  We paid out, walked through the boring casino floor, and onto the night street.  Again, so much to see, to hear, to double take, to endure.  We both had our blades on us.  The free live bands were starting up.  Eventually, we checked the time, we were surprised it was so early.   It seemed late to us both.  We went to the room for a nap, but not before losing $5 in 5 seconds in a slot machine on the way back.  Like suckers.

The next day we would head back east, back to Texas.  Naps turned into deep sleeps.  The beds were prime, our senses were calmed.  It was only 8:30 pm.  Downstairs, in the streets, Las Vegas was raging.  We dreamed of murals.


Motels Only Gonzo 6 -- Slots Are For Suckers

The relatively short drive from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas is very geological.  The topography maps must be wild.  No trees cover the land, only sparse brush.  The interstate moves smoothly, towns are seen from far away.  The quick exit to visit the the Hoover Dam turned into an hour long wait in our car to pass through a security checkpoint.  One at a time, featuring two aloof security officers demanding open windows and assessing the risk based on visual clues.  I kept my suggestion to improve the pace of the mile long line by opening additional checkpoints to myself once we finally arrived at the interrogation point.  Pointless.  We were judged to be good to go, unlikely to destroy the iconic and important structure.  "Only suitcases", one said to the other.  I had stashed my buck knife in the console.  Suckers!

The hour gained as we crossed into the Pacific Time Zone was lost.  The Dam was fine.  We sped on to Vegas.  The importance of electrical wires is magnified in this area of the country.  They go in every direction atop massive towers, dipping down between each one, as far as the eyes can see.  Under them, weird compounds, rough roads, and desert dweller creatures shared the land.  Sin City appeared quickly and completely.  It was mid afternoon and the sun warmed the cool air to perfection.  Our 2 night reservation at The Golden Nugget awaited.

The famous hotel and casino is grand, with aquariums, multiple restaurants, luxurious rooms, and accommodating staff.  It sits in the Fremont district surrounded by other casinos, hotels, nightclubs, merchants and restaurants.  The gambling floor resmebles an irritating pinball arcade, only slot machines are the annoying offenders.  How the poor become poorer.  No doubt these machines largely finance and enable the Vegas schtick.  The lights, the noises, the booze, and the smell of cigarettes erode reason, but the need for hope is stronger and faith in "the pull" is very much alive. Suckers play slots.  I lost $40 bucks in 3 minutes.  Just like that, gone.  Suckered.  My daughter, excited for some gambling action, seemed surprised and unimpressed.  "That's it?" she asked.  I nodded.  "How lame!" she laughed.  Both my daughters are wiser than me.  The future of this town is not gambling.

The modern lure of Las Vegas is in the streets.  Performers of all types, one guy allowing crotch kicks for tips, another making roses from palm leaves, magicians, musicians, and famous viral phenomenons.  One such viral phenomenon, a gentleman named Deez Nutz, was recognized by my daughter and she quickly requested a selfie with him, quickly posted the selfie, and quickly received return validation via likes and comments.  She showed me his 12 second viral video from years ago.  Look it up.

Yes, slots are for suckers, the slothead faces displaying either hypnosis, dimness, or boredom.  Or all three.  Outside, at the Fremont Experience, there were bands taking the stages.  There were zipliners flying overhead, there were fantastic light shows.  Virtually everything was for sell.  Innduendo was absent.  And why not, this was Vegas.  Our two night stay was just beginning, we were wide-eyed, we were electrified, we were wired and tired.  The beds were premium, our souls were shocked, we slept like high rollers.


Motels Only Gonzo 5 -- Veterans Of The Canyon

The trip from Tusayan to the Grand Canyon was short.  Our Sunday visit was highly anticipated and our imaginations ran wild as we bundled up for a cool day.  Cool weather, cool views, everything was cool.  Tusayan seemed like a tourist town without the trashiness, full of locals that seemed genuinely happy we were there.  From the folks at the 7 Mile Motel to the barristas at RP's Stage Shop, we felt welcomed.  We got an early start and headed north for the final few miles.  We rolled up to the park entrance, $35 bucks in hand, well worth the per car entry fee.  The attendant greeted us, handing us a map and attractions card and said, "No fees today, have a fantastic visit."  Evidently, Veterans Day was free for all.  Another reason for thankfulness and gratitude to those who have served.  Thanks Vets!  We drove on.

Queen was the agreed upon music for this scenic first.  The morning was bright, somehow the coolness making everything sparkle like new.  We decided to go at it on our own, without the Pink Jeep Tour or the guided hike to the bottom.  We had no use for the IMAX movie, no plans for bus shuttling.  We would see the 6 million years old Grand Canyon on our own.  It first appeared through the trees as we found a fairly remote parking lot, hinting at the enormity of what we were about to witness.  Quickly we parked.  As we exited the car, we were grateful for the gloves and beanies and extra layers.  The wind was whipping as we found the South Rim trail.  Then it was seen.  Speechless until I muttered "Whoa" and my daughter whispered "Wow".  We just stood there.  The vastness cannot be described, the true scale is unphotographable, no picture has ever done it justice.  Where colors were invented, where deepness has no bottom, where cliffs sat upon cliffs.  As far as we could see, to the left, right, down, and forward.  When our breath came back, we walked west along the rim.  Despite the futilness of capturing the beauty with a picture or video, we tried and tried.  Each turn produced unique, incredible sights.  Each perch was like a rebirth, inspiring words of magnificence.  Old loves didn't matter, they were tossed in the canyon.  We ran out of verbal descriptions.  Only cuss words were left and that just didn't seem appropriate.  God was around.

The geographical realities, the history of the Grand Canyon National Park, the first European explorers, even the Native American stake on this place, we did not care about any of it.  This was a feast of the eyes, this was beyond echoes, this was mother earth and father time together in holy matrimony.  God's rest was well earned.  Jesus!  We walked the Southern Rim, surprised at the easy access to death.  A slip, a stumble, a reckless risk to get the perfect picture.  There seemed no possibility of survival if one fell into the Grand Canyon.  In fact, it was kind of refreshing to not sign a waiver.  It is what it is, be careful.  We took a rock and a pine cone, we skipped the gift shop.

After 5 hours our senses were exhausted and we were hungry.  The unexpected complimentary entry freed up funds and we splurged on a steak dinner back in Tusayan.  Thanks Vets!  My daughter's Sirloin and my New York Strip were perfectly cooked medium well.  All the trimmings were included:  loaded baked potatoes, beer battered onion rings, al dente asparagus, wild rice pilaf, and a loaf of honey oat bread.  We declined dessert.  Big E Steakhouse and Saloon, 5 of 5 stars.  Back at the motel room we rested, searched our countless pictures, and tentatively planned a return trip at sunset.

The rest was relaxing, the meal was heavy, the urge to stay in for the night was strong.  The 7 Mile Motel was cozy.  But we were of one mind, we were down for sundown.  Again, we went through the gates for free. We found our out-of-the-way parking lot and headed back to the now familiar trail.  This time our awe was expected.  We were now veterans of the canyon.  The late afternoon shadows were spooky, people all around ooohed and ahhhed, the sky was the color of cotten candy.  Like jazz music, perfectly imperfect.  We saw the sun slip down until it was gone.  We were fortunate witnesses of that singular moment at that singular place on this singular planet.  We said goodbye to the canyon, knowing it would never leave, never vanish.

Sunday night football featured Cowboys vs Eagles.  We each laid in our own bed, reflecting, confessing, and counting our blessings.  We missed our family, we wished they could see what we saw, our reports of the Grand Canyon were merely cliches.  It must be seen by one's own eyes to understand.  We ate Sun Chips and Hersheys Kisses.  We laughed and got the giggles.  The Cowboys pulled off a close victory at Veterans Stadium in Philly.

We feel asleep, still astonished.


Motels Only Gonzo 4 -- Such Fine Sites To See

Hitchhiking is not dead in the west.  Several hitchers were seen on the wide open highways of New Mexico and Arizona, the familiar thumbs up as they walked along, headed to Califonia we figured.  We sped by all of them, primarily in the left lane of the interstate, where the pedal is put to the metal.  Surprisingly, two thumbs up to the vast majority of truckers out there in America.  The known ethic of letting speeders through the left lane is alive and well among them.  And we were speeders for sure.

Turned up the tunes for the long drive to the Grand Canyon.  Cosmic Chimp, Bob Schneider, Miguel, and Supersuckers, among others.  Some Dude Named Amos' version  of Jive Talkin' was a highlight, the wails at the end shook the car.  New Mexican town after New Mexican town, til Arizona.  Along the way passing exits for The Meteor Crater, The Petrified Forest, and Winslow, Arizona.  Such fine sites to see, but we were headed to Flagstaff, no time for stopping.  The late afternoon sun blazed our eyes as the entire western horizon faded on the left and right.  The Navajo Nation, where gas was $3.29 a gallon.

Rolled into Flagstaff around 5 pm, then headed north to get close to the Grand Canyon for the morning view.  Surprised by the mountain feel of the town, everything just changes quickly.  The late afternoon dusky drive to the Grand Canyon area was 75 miles on a curvy one lane road.  It was truly beautiful, the clear sky fading to night, a crescent moon hovering.  Darkness fell midway and we worried a bit about finding a motel.  We kept on to Tusayan, 7 miles from the Canyon, an unending stream of cars passing us, coming from the Canyon, probably after taking in the sunset view.  Like an evacuation of some sort, the line of headlights went on and on, all going south as we went north.  When we arrived, several motels seemed available and we decided on the 7 Mile Motel, advertised as friendly, clean, and cozy.  And so it was.  The front desk lady was inquisitive and helpful, offering Grand Canyon advice freely and unsolicited.  Room 10 was very clean, and our chills were cured by the coziness.  Outside, the air was 30 degrees and the wind was brisk.  We settled in.

A Pizza Hut Supreme Pan Pizza hit the spot, and we shared a few sips of wine.  Then a few more.  Lil' Wayne was on Saturday Night Live, featuring Halsey on backup vocals.  Kinda spare, honestly.  My daughter agreed.  Our calmness turned to sleep quickly and we dozed off, anticipating the next day's grand appointment.


Motels Only Gonzo 3 -- Memory Metal

My daughter assured me when the gas gauge says zip, we still had 25 miles left in the tank.  I hoped she was right as we drove west to Roswell, NM from the Texas line.  No gas for 90 miles and the range indicator on her Toyota indicated 70 miles left.  We rode in on fumes, gased up, and were about to begin the northern journey to Santa Fe when we saw the International UFO Muesem.  We stopped.  The town has embraced its notoriety, begun when a flying saucer crashed near the place in 1947.  As the story goes, a massive U.S. government cover-up cleaned up the debris field, including massive amounts of a "memory metal".  The mueseum is dedicated to the truth of the incident and does a complete job of making the case.  The alien in the flying saucer, along with all evidence, was taken to Area 51 in Nevada.  All witnesses were silenced, paid-off, or came up missing.  Perhaps, but it could have been a weather balloon.  Either way, stores and restaurants and even office buildings featured the familiar oval, green, big-eyed creature prominately.  Got a few guitar pics for my band, a sticker, and a key chain for my daughter.  Then we headed north, wondering aloud what it meant if it were all true.

The drive north was fast, averaging about 95 MPH, and hitting 110 for stretches.  Santa Fe awaited and we were looking forward to exploring the ancient city we had never visited.  As we got closer, we noticed the houses in the hills.  All over, big, little, nice, dumpy, tan.  Adobe.  Camouflaged.  The town sits on the edge of the Rockies and its twisting, small roads give the whole place an incredible charm.  With plenty of daylight left, we found the old district, parked our car, and went exploring on foot.

True to its reputation, Santa Fe is an artist haven, especially downtown.  Expensive shops, open markets, musicians, incredible beauty, incredible colors.  We walked all around:  Into the Lorrtto Chapel to see the Miraculous Staircase, through the open markets to consider rings and bracelets, and requested a blues tune from a couple of buskers at the 400 year old Santa Fe Plaza.  They were outstanding and I gave them all the cash and change I had on me.  $1.83.  Nearby were two guys set up with a sign, "Pick The Topic, Will Write Poem".  Interesting, never seen that before, but I write my own poetry:

Santa Fe, Santa Fe
Unknown yesterday.
Inspired to create.
Santa Fe, Santa Fe

And the poem, or song, could go on and on along that pattern, telling of the place, the people, the art.  Describing landscapes, explaining histories, acknowledging the native Pueblo, and tracing the Spanish Conquest of 1598.  The Conquistadors.  The Church.  The good, the bad, the ugly.

After a few hours of taking in the crisp air, incredible fall colors, and sharing a small lunch of fried calimari at the San Francisco Street Grill, we got in our car and went looking for a motel.  Earlier, accommodations in the heart of the city were quickly abandoned when we inquired on room rates at a fairly nice place.  The kind with a spa and $15 dollar Margaritas Mainly, I was curious.  The polite lady at the front desk informed us of "packages that started at $450".  I didn't even let her finish.  After a wild and wandering search at dusk, we found The Cottonwood Motel.  The adobe structure was just what we wanted, two split rooms, authentic Santa Fe construction, old and clean.  This place had seen many days and were ready for more.  Like wine, the older the better in Santa Fe.  We rested, got a bite, then went to the Violet Crown Theater in old town to see Bohemian Rhapsody.

The movie was killer, likely the best movie soundtrack ever.  The actors became the band.  Freddie Mercury and his unique ways.  His destructive ways.  His voice.  The story of Queen.  Because we are the champions, another one bites the dust, and these are the days of our lives.


Motels Only Gonzo 2 -- Crystal Palace

The lobby of the Crystal Palace Motel in Brownfield, Texas was gleaming.  White with antique chandeliers, gold painted accents, and mirrors lining every wall.  The place had the feel of a pop up carnival maze, reflections everywhere, to confuse or mislead.  The $65 dollar a night price tag seemed reasonable, especially considering our mid evening prospects for lodging were dimming, as it will in far far west Texas after the sun sets.  My daughter was game, just the kind of place we had envisioned, off the main road, old and tidy.  The nearby Holiday Inn Express was never even discussed.  That would've amounted to complete failure, especially on our first night.  We were of one mind.

Earlier, as we concieved, we left the great suburbs of Collin County with adventure in our eyes, important destinations to arrive at, and a spirit of wander.  To Las Vegas and back via the Grand Canyon and beyond Hoover Dam.  The sprawl gradually lost its grasp on our minds the further west we drove.  The worries diminished, the daily routines disregarded.  This was familiar country and I showed her familiar places, Dickens Springs, The Green Frog Diner, my 9 month tweener age home in Lubbock.  And roadkill.  Lots of roadkill.

The room was pleasant, had an early 1970s look with a flat screen.  Hot shower, two big beds, at least 5 lamps, a small crystal chandelier over a small table, and it was very quiet.  Off the main road quiet.  Finally, some down time to reflect on the day, what we saw, what we talked about.  The absurdity of modern country music lyrics and topical standards, hard lessons about relationships learned early in life, our relative good fortune, things left done, and things left undone.  Thankfulness.  Already we altered the loose plan, skipped the Texas canyons in favor of the Lubbock Loop and a more southern route to Santa Fe, our next destination.  This will take us through Roswell, NM, near the flying saucer crash of 1947, into the great wide open, rebels without a clue.

The old Indian couple that ran the motel were very accommodating and made a fresh pot of coffee for me in the morning.  Passed on the Captain Crunch.  The couch in the lobby was majestic, comfortable, and seemed completely out of place.  Sat for awhile, letting my daughter slumber back in the room, listening to sounds of morning motel work.  The man was evidently dealing with with some sort of discomfort and made a "hmmpff" noise every 15 seconds as he did paperwork at the front desk.  Perhaps his back was whacked, maybe acid reflux, after 10 minutes it was very annoying.  I finally left that couch, made up two coffees to go, and thanked them for their hospitality.

Outside it was cold.  A beanie morning, oil field workers and other people in trucks took off early.  We took our time, we plotted, we were the aliens.


Leadership Theory And Practice 4

Once we get to actions, motivations, and execution, the egosystem loses to the ecosystem.  There should be a higher purpose to aspire, consisting of objectives understood completely.  Gender is gender, proportion is of secondary concern.  Identify as presented.  Go for behaviors, crave habits, appreciate style, keep the place light hearted, keep the profits rolling, keep the lips smiling.  For years and years.

These statistics are old, they reflect old values, old insights, old ways of thinking and acting.  The transition of generations is a shining light.  Old biases, based on superficial differences, fostered by ignorance.  Defended by the ignorant.  And the stupid.  And business is no place for stupid.  Stupid goes under.

Superstars can shoot to the moon, or opt out, or fail, but maybe not.  Some type of stereo break out, the effort is most important, the product will eventually and inevitably eventualize.  Rethinking, overthinking, underthinking, do it all.  Sideways, xrays, purple haze, for days and days.  Then decide.  The acting is over, the manifestations will come.  Predictably is a shrewd game.  Strategy never ends, keep it on the front of the oven, simmer it always.  Season it reasonably, it will not burn.  We are family.  Disco does have a future.

Mother nature and father time, constant renewal.  Imitation does exist, it is the heroes we immulate.  But originality comes from the originals, the authentic, the true.  They are the nice lights.  They light the way.  Beyond knowing, understand.  Collect the motivations.  Make the bottom line carry the song, harmonize all the voices, mix the levels, break out with some jazz, then bring it back.

It's like a mint around here.  Cool and fresh.  Clean and rich.  Pass the mints around.  A true mintership initiative.


Modern Styles


Don't owe too many too much.
Tried to give away all my trust.
Probably never make enough.
Got what I need.

Think I need more time to think.
Maybe drive to the canyon's brink.
Seems to me the peace that I seek.
Waiting for me.


No original thoughts, no understanding anymore, this world seems lost, this world is spinning out the door.  Open your minds, create the future wild, make your minds shine, decide the modern styles.

We all got down at the get down.
At the get down we all lost our frowns.
Jump up and down and round and round.
Til we was dizzy.

Lock your eyes with the eyes of their minds.
Try to find what makes em nice and kind.
Realize the things that makes em write.
And makes em crazy.


Motels Only Gonzo 1-- Ground Rules

Maps have been made, the destinations, the stops, the days, the loose plan of the motels only road trip.  Ground rules discussed.  No farting near each other, easy frequent stops, side roads, back roads, discussion topics, at least 1000 miles of driving for each of us, tolerance of occasional bouts of silence, music responsibilities, trash food inevitabilities, all chill, and the like.  Canyons, sites, places, spots, with a Vegas twist in the middle.  Motels only, must be in name of the stationary, the match boxes, the neon.  Motels, baby!  That's the way we rolling.  8 days, 2700 miles, 5 places to call home for the night:

1.  Texas Panhandle, check out Caprock and Palo Duro.  Away from Amarillo, away from Lubbock.  Those places have been seen, they are known.  Those places been forgot.  None of that.  One night.

2.  Sweet Santa Fe, in the mountains, the Rockies.  Oldest continuous civic area in America, or so its debated anyway.  Old, cultured, art destination.  Will hobo it through the city, then go see Bohemian Rapsody at the late show theater.  One night.

3.  Grand Canyon, the scar of the west.  Long heard of, long photographed, never seen, never felt, never smelt.  Full day, perhaps bikes, hope to see the sun go down, then come up.  The Canon camera will be focused in, the building of the photographer's never-ending portfolio.  Two nights.

4.  Las Vegas, hit the switch!  Blind our eyes, wake our senses, sleep when we can.  Old strip suggested for motels.  Rat pack smells, when cigarettes were cool.  Bugsy and his mobsters, roll the dice.  Make a cowboy bet.  The Zeke Army is alive.  See the Bellagio Water Show.  See the seedy, then scram.  Walk the Hoover Dam.  Two nights.

5.  Albuquerque, going back east, the long drive, washed out, tired.  Survival and joy.  The city colored in browns, the city of balloons, the city by the mountains, seen in its entirety, all at once.  Museums.  One night.

Then back to the home fires burning, missing our honey's, missing our homies, missing our life.  The desolation drive, the speeding, the speed traps, the smell of western Amarillo.  Much to remember, to now know.  Texas, with open arms, missed, but continuing.  We are 2 of 7.5 billion.  For now.  My youngest daughter and I.  That's the loose plan.


Veer West

Channeling some literary need.
For understanding and completeness.
So that it is done.
And recorded.
And saved.

An opponent with nothing to lose.
Everything being already lost.
The game is on.
For fun.

Music seems like math initially.
Then the soul gets involved somehow.
And it goes flying.
Like the air.

Visionaries line up and declare.
Begin with the end in mind always.
Make it a trip to remember.
Veer west.


The Quiz

'Sir?', the voice.
It was in the wind, floating through.
A thousand times it was heard before.

'Yes?', the mind.
Then the word, deliberate and slow.
Eyebrows raised for curiosity's sake.

'The song?', the ears.
One just played, the spacey one.
The meaning underneath is the question.

'That song?', the wit.
A layer of time to begin, like new thoughts.
Then a realization of future eventualities.

'Oh?', the shock.
That it could or would not happen, or not.
Beside and accepting all the currents.

'Why?', the quiz.
Meaning of songs is meaningless, empty.
They are the truth that gets out alive.


Like A Bike Gang

Not too slick.
Old trees overhead covering the blue.
Leaves turning and falling.
The lane game.
Double it up, serve it up, whoop it up.
Howling graves.
All down Bass Road.
The longest alleyway in town.
Near houses full of ghosts.
Past times at the high.
Dress up day at Bill's cafe.
Breakfast ribeyes.
And coffee.
Dodging traffic.
Popping steps.
The long hidden trail.
Behind the stadium.
To the cotton mill.
Riding the east streets.
Like a bike gang.


Leadership Theory And Practice 3

This is not personal, it is a business decision.  Accomplishing ends by the choice of means.  Ambiguity is the problem.  The journey is full of twists and turns, it's the destination that matters.  Like a road trip, arrival is survival.  Obviously, 2 dollars is better than nothing, math is math, and no one officially disagreed.  To do nothing would be worse.  All the bailed out, the leveraged, the acquired, the desperate, the dark clouds over Wall Street.

That's what the paycheck's for.  To know and seek to know, to decide and be able to decide, to do and to want to do.  To be trustworthy and to trust.  Concentrate the mind, mobilize the energy, and eliminate distractions.  Just under the panic point, on a shot of adrenaline.  Extreme outcomes.  Flames or glory.  First or nothing.  Game is most definately on. 

Somewhere between analysis and hypnosis.  Odds are always involved, but the dice must be thrown.  Good and fast.  Like a Boeing 787.  Or an International Business Machine.  Strategy met reality in the form of approvals and disapprovals, suggestions and collaborations, and management monitoring.  The board of directors aren't bored anymore.

The hot stove has been touched.  Burn marks are permanent reminders.  Lessons learned:  rationality, pragmatism, pain tolerance.  Account for the balance sheet, it should be heavy on the profit side.  Or clearly on the golden brick road.  These are selfless times, capitalists must mobilize and strategize.  Think, learning from the past, imagining the future, and deciding today.  Leave and go, outside the walls and virtual levels, this ain't no classroom.  The core of the circle, selected selectively.


Hundred Watts

Nothing about it is complicated.
Easy to understand, easy to explain.
For another day.

Now, the lights are lit.
This life of crossing paths, in-commons.
Just tell me your story.

The order is in my head.
Chaos is what others think, the judges.
To be inspired is divine.

Like a light year.
This traveling unit of time, continuous.
It's all relative.

Like or dislike.
Trust or not, your ultimate decision.
And mine.

To wake up and realize.
There is no illusion, the real is real.
It is what it seems.

Acknowledged and considered.
Spins and orbits, equilibriums too.
Repeated patterns.

The occupational lattice.
Broad understanding, clearly vauge.
Until the last shoe drops.

Actual research finds.
Those obsessed with it, like scientists.
Come to conclusions.

State as fact.
Indicate if needed, in some way.
Be absolutely promising.

The bright bulbs.
Hundred watts, wake and see.
Squint for awhile.


Leadership Theory And Practice 2

     All doors are open, you're invited in, the fun is only beginning.  The experiences are the thing.  It is the best, perhaps only, way to learn leadership lessons.  Hard way, easy way, either way, the lesson applies.  It is the responsible method.  To formalize assignments and internally nomadic leadership opportunities.  To strategically develop the leadership at an enterprise level, dispelling the myth that expertise will lead to wild success.  Expertise usually leads to mediocrity.  The know it all, the awed, the revered, with skins on the wall.  Success makes them too safe.  Too predictable.  Too steady.  For government work, this might fly.  Lack of competition limits the need for dynamics and constant innovation.  In the competitive world, including benevolent organizations, fluid leadership rotations will maximize the overall collective leadership effort.  The flops will flop, the stars will star.  They will all learn, conciously or otherwise.  Take control of the day, the people, the right curiosities, the culture.  Let the leadership developers develop leaders by putting them in positions to develop.  The company should control this action, it is too important to leave to winds, waves, and personal written development plans.


The Paper Guys And Gals

The miss me nots.
Ran away with it.
Hi, hello, how are ya.

Doing fine.

Seen a look like that once.
Saw it twice.
From the solar system.


Like unending and expanding space.
So is everlasting life.
Not gonna listen to that.

Just provide.

Gonna end up like all the others.
The paper guys and gals.
Good and gone.


Mind Occupiers

...a moment of complete awareness of this moment.  time is a'waiting.  always waiting.  and it will wait and wait, 'til one day when that moment is known.  when understanding is the thing.  and wanting to understand and know.  all about what you think and how you think and why thinking is important to you.  thinking together, seeking to understand above all.  empathize to a point, but never sympathize.  sympathy has no future anymore.  avoid delusional hopes, reality has its own rewards.  mind occupiers, unexpected and consuming.  reminders everywhere.  eyes to see.  ears to hear.  no need to speak.  just breathe...


Cloud Anomaly

...a cloud anomaly.
.as the sun diminished.

...wild, like a spiral.
.different than the rest.

...lone road of stars.
.night ride to freedom.

...leave it back east.
.the western direction.

...where time slows.
.if only for a little while.

...fundamental trust.
.intentional selections.

...the future beams.
.bright, like a solar baby.


Leadership Theory And Practice 1

Reading the text, the reflection and relation could not be ignored.  Through the pages, the sections, the words.  They explained irrationality.  They broke down narcissism, reactive and constructive.  At least a dose of it is required.  Then the derailers, the crashers:

*isolation from reality
*conflict avoidance
*abrasive behavior
*impostor syndrome
*hypomanic behavior
*generational envy
*Machiavellian followers

And faces appear while reading, the years of leadership.  Cringeworthy, shameful, cowardly, troubling, wishy, washy, toxic, inauthentic, and dumb.  Exhibiting all at some point, and certainly experiencing all at some point.  Some only faintly recognizable, some familiar, too familiar.  Judging.  But this reflection is awake, it moves and seeks, it understands the benefits of constant evolution.  And interventions of all types.  George Bernard Shaw was right, "We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing."  So, I shall absolutely, without doubt, home or away, day and night, in every season, through storms and drought, through tornadoes and hurricanes----keep on playing.  It is better that way.

Life is more like a cylinder than a circle, moving ahead as it moves around.    


Stealing Everything From The Blues

...incredible open spaces.  Up to the roof with acoustical waves.  Clear, like a crisp night.  The tuning went on.  Black ties and polished shoes.  Suede.  Carpets, tents, stuffed appetizers.  Wines and drinks, explanations of programs and exclusive reputations.  There's nine O'Clock Lab Bands total, and the One O'Clock Lab Band is on tonight. Translated Italian, the singers taking deep breaths, the twin bassists.  A good cry.  The long relationships, full of light, full of memories, full of forgiveness.  Let them know.  Ten Spurs and literary strategies.  Like the jingles of old, announcing a new vision, modern music, stealing everything from the blues.  The dream business school team.  The good PhD.  Minimizing errors, pushing relevant data, creating positive vision of the implications and ramifications.  An involved person.  Selective.  We know time...


Cell Invaders

Crashed near the islands.
Drowned in the sea.
Lost up in the highlands.
Tumbled off the peaks.

Loyal to a place, a time, people, and rhymes.
Courts of lines.
Lanes of float.
A honey pie.
For most of life.
Two miracles to follow around.
The band strikes up the sounds.
Words just can't be found.
To keep from going down.

The noise makers.
Soul takers, and fakers.
Like heart attack chasers.
Fix it all with lasers, and faders.
And cell invaders.


Automatic Actions

...these incredible days.
Each one.
...twisting in the wind.
...with automatic actions.
...considering all sides.
...pride and emotions.
...existence proves Love.
...singular and absolute.


Episode 1 & 2

An illusion with a twist.
A certain kind of injustice.
Distractions and delays.
Coordinated and arranged.

Leaks, grease, and definately no glue.
Hi-fi rhetorical righteousness audio.
And video.

A Coke for the lady!
The happening described.
Therapy must work.
Mined the mind.
For time and place, episode 1.

Doctors and judges and polygraph testers.
Questions and speeches and interruptions.

Little things.
Took none of the bait.
Wormy hooks.
Then the callout.


Dorothy's indignation and insight.
Messing with her friends.
Brain games.
Whirl up the fears and doubts.
Even the absurd.
And predictable, episode 2.

Stupidity leads to gullibility.


Noticing Gravity

Look up there for 5 minutes.
Blow your mind.
The approaching trip.

Set into a future crown like a jewel.
The way it reaches for you.

Hardly a day goes by.
Without noticing gravity.
The urge to jump to the moon.

Here and now we are here and it is now.
The world is a place love can be found.

Calling all people of insight.
Those that think and understand.
The uncelebrated.

Open the curtains from your windows.
Know that light will always destroy dark.
The answer is up there.


The Junkyard Court: Square And Fair

     Her look is utterly unique.  She could care less and she's about to kick your inferior tennis efforts off the court.  And then she speaks.  The sweetest, most gracious, articulation set to a perfectly pitched A minor.  Naomi Osaka, Japan's native gal, America's Open Champion.  Relentless and motivated purely.  Fearless and situationally elevated.  Tireless and constantly offensive.  Excellent first serve.  Her victory over Serena in the finals was established within the lines of Arthur Ashe court.  Clearly, the cause was Osaka's beat down, the effect was the aftermath.  An aftermath that included her apologizing to the crowd for defeating the greatest athlete to walk the earth.  Square and fair.  Twice as many aces.  1 double fault to 6 for Serena, and so very Vantaggio with 4 break points won, how Champions slam the door.  Serena won 1.

     Of course, Osaka's emotional control was superior.  Until the podium, when she couldn't contain it any longer.  When the tennis playing was over.  When Serena's maternal instincts took over from the microphone and proper order returned to the ceremony.  Earlier, during the match, Serena needed an emotional rescue.  A knight in shining armour.  Ironically, the first slip started with her coach, paid to help her.  As he coached from the stands, which is not allowed and was witnessed by the umpire.  Video don't lie, Venus saw it too.  Serena defended herself, claiming the coaching the umpire saw was not received by her.  She didn't see it.  Does coaching need to be received to be called coaching?  A question for the next USTA board meeting. Maybe squeeze in a discussion between fee hikes and the subjective ratings calibration workshop.  Either way, the coach caused the first infraction, which didn't cost Serena a point, but left her emotionally vulnerable.

     Feeling disrespected is always challenging to overcome, but to a losing champion who destests losing, it becomes magnified.  Demanded apologies seem pointless and irrational, anyway.  Then the destroyed racquet soon after.  From experience, it is a rush of pure anger, uncontrollable and instinctive.  It is always self disgust.  It is completely irrational.  And it is against the rules.  And 2 infractions costs a point.  Then, still feeling like an apology from the umpire was needed, Serena spent an entire changeover arguing.  Eventually, another infraction for verbal abuse resulted in the loss of a game.  Osaka could've cared less.  She was cruising to victory regardless, despite, and for sure.  Serena got beat, got offended, got angry, and got the runner up trophy.  In that order.  She temporarily lost her cool.  But only temporarily.

**these are the observations of a male.


Space Trip

Completely activated, activated, activated.
My mind, my mind, my mind.

Throughout the day, into the night.
Only sleeping provides relief.

Going crazy on the vine.
Ready for good wine months ago.

The rolling and returning seasons.
Hanging on, going quick, hypnotized.

These people with these lives.
Billions of them facing a certain end.

It is merely a space trip we're on.
The world is a massive identified object.

Cast into the endless black.
Lit with exploding stars so all can see.

She seems like a supernova.
Cosmic, a shock wave, a molecular cloud.

All for the love of others.
Relations, associations, and creations.


Future Music

Arrived to the crooning.
The Balcony Club.
Rapping drums.
And keyboard smooth.
Led by the bassist.
Players in and out.
Guitarist from Wichita.
Berklee students.
A San Francisco cat.
In town for a visit.
Remembered the west coast scene.
Sweet singer came up for a standard.
Her voice was pure.
That backroom smell.
All the pictures on the wall.
A disorderly drunk kicked out quick.
This was an orderly place.
The chaos was in the music.
Within the confines.
Respect the structure.
Find the way back.
Clues and nods and taste.
Couples everywhere.
The Lakewood Theater looked sad.
Empty and still.
Future music will sound there.
We will hear it in the balcony.


Almost Friday

The low information people need us.
Distribution of righteousness must be orderly.
Our values, and all of our souls, are shook.
Shook to the core.
Crying that night, watching the returns.

No one knows the future.
It is all unknown and scary.
The time has come for us to explain.
Our brilliance is required.
Even in the mid lands.
Austin comes to mind.
Now more than ever, our work matters.
The new fiber strategy is critical and important.

We're the real business people.
Taxes can't get too low.
World education depends on our profits.
Capitalism should be set aside.
Canada awaits.
The northern border is open.
Could slip right through.

Don't wanna live like a refugee.
The pettiness.
We'll take that one about charity offline.
Dialogue is good.

Mums to words on the business question.
No answers.
Be assured, its ok to dig the don here.
No hostility at all.
Silicon it up in the valleys.
Thank God it's almost Friday.


Some Dude Named Amos Project Plan (2018)

Players committed, songs selected, here is the project plan for Some Dude Named Amos' unnamed debut.

1.  Into The Mystic--Van Morrison
2.  Jive Talkin'--BeeGees
3.  Sundown--Gordon Lightfoot
4.  Amie--Pure Prarie League
5.  Do It Again--Steely Dan

Session 1:  Initial Jam.

Players gather, the project plan is discussed and altered as appropriate so expectations are clear.  An initial jam of 20 minutes for each song.  Debrief, discussing arrangements, vocal assignments, instrumentation.  No recordings.

9.10.18 update:  

5 players showed.  Matt The Bassist, JD, Neme, Chad, and I.  Amie is out.  On the lookout for fifth song.  Warren Zevon has been mentioned.  Perhaps, but no Werewolves In London.  Maybe Ooh La La by the Faces.  The other songs are a go.  Will tighten arrangements, minimize space.  Crisp and out.  For the recordings.  Chad working out the Jive Talkin' guitar solo.  I'm on shaker.  JD will provide only vocals on Do It Again.  Sundown sounds great, mandolin needed.  Will shorten, maybe add our own lyrics towards the end.  Gordon Lightfoot would be honored.  Into The Mystic is a jewel.  Good vibe, confident the Some Dude Named Amos project will be successful.  Working title is now Covered Up.

9.22.18 update:  

Much has happened, the picture is starting to appear as desicions are made and music is internalized, alone, by all the players.  Ooh La La has been selected as the replacement for Amie, Matt The Bassist established as the lead vocalist.  The chorus should be a literal chorus, all of us wishing we knew what we know now when we were younger.  And stronger.  Sparse guitars, mandolin perhaps, shakers.  Into The Mystic vocals claimed by me, got a floating, slowed done, clean version.  Like way back in the days of old.  Jive Talkin' should be quick, with Chad's tight solo featured throughout.  JD with high harmony wails throughout.  Matt The Bassist hits the bassline big time.  Disco Punk.  Quick, and all in on guitars.  Do It Again will feature JD on lead lyrics and Neme will be counted on heavily to pull off the 'back jack' riff.   Sundown will be the highlight of the project in my estimation.  The E must be highlighted throughout and very important not to get behind on the lyrics.  Likely a sing along.  Logos being considered, FAYM has been invoked.  Draft recordings in two days.  Must finalize arrangements.  Will exercise producing duties.  

Session 2:  Draft Recordings.

Each song played and recorded 3 times.  Best versions sent to group for feedback, appropriate alterations, and further practice.

10.27.18 update:

The session went even better than expected, and it was expected to go very well.  Practice does payoff and Into The Mystic was proof.  It was the first song we draft recorded.  Drafts are recorded twice.  Roughly 80% of the time the 2nd recording will be superior.  Repetition begets confidence and confidence begets excellence.  Do it Again featured JD coming off the guitar and focusing on vocals.  My shaker work and Neme's important lead fit nicely as we went back Jack and did it again.  Jive Talkin' was taken over by Matt The Bassist.  Start, middle, and end.  Again, JD's vocal work gave it distinction.  High wails.  Still hoping for some Chad on this song, but my personal song choice indulgement is on track.  Sundown may be our best collective effort.  Neme's high harmony will come up in the final version, and as a general statement, his guitar work needs more volume throughout the final session. This is critical, his tasteful work is so tasteful.  Ooh La La, our bastard child, our 6th pick, Amie's replacement, is the enigma.  Two versions and arrangements being considered.  JD is being counted on heavily for rhythym guitar.  There is no bass.  Matt's incredible voice is not fully tamed, but almost.  Clear articulation and execution of the lyrics is a must.  Ditch the unneeded 'ands' in the verses and must be perfect on the chorus.  Likely, Matt will take the verses solo, and the chorus will feature our unique brand of intentional imperfect dueting.  Ooh La La!  The food was appreciated (cool that Luke left us 3 wings), Chad was missed, the drafts are encouraging, adjustments have been identified.  Sundown will be the 5th song.  Into The Mystic should open, just seems like the beginning of something, not the end.  Jive and Do It Again need to be split by Ooh La La.  It is all coming together.  Although, pre-release in Spur, Tx on track for October 12th, details of official Release Party TBA.  Just too early.

Session 3:  Final Recordings.

Each song played and recorded 3 times.
Best versions selected by Producer and Some Dude Named Amos.  Project released internationally on Soundcloud by Eldorado Suitcase Records.


A Hazy Afternoon

With connecting dots to lines.
Think ahead.

The possibilities.
With the end in mind.

Eyes in front for a reason.
Point that skull forward.

Navigation is usually about going.
Unless the storms cause a delay.

And there are always storms.
Wait them out.

A mindful person is rare.
Understanding the emotions involved.

The past is less connected.
It has merely led us here.

There are no dots or lines.
Just forgiveness and memories.

A hazy afternoon.
Time has gone, don't wish it back.


The Kicking Team

.all systems go, the ride at noon.
.send in the kicking team.
.put some points on the board.
.before we all lose heart.
.the easy way out is indifference.
.then the burden is light.
.like it should be.
.it is better that way.

.components have been upgraded.
.beyond specs, evidently.
.multiple gears only complicate.
.go all in and all out.
.til rest time.
.56 hours a week.
.easy sleep, tired and guiltless.
.even dreamless.
.save them for the waking hours.
.when something can be done.
.or, perhaps, undone.

.this building of knowledge.
.open at 10 am.
.books still got the looks.
.as our digital transformation continues.
.clouds, look to the clouds.
.they gather and build.
.they sneer.
.flash it some more.
.we are creatures of beauty.

.we like what we like.
.what I am is what I am.
.what we are is what we are.
.like the new bohemians.
.in that shallow water.
.way back.


Generation Of New Grooves

Mind creates and turns.
Anything to burn.
To yearn.

Like spirits will aspire.
On the live wire.
Our desires.

Rolled up in humanity.
And those realities.
Love feeds.

The seas we all navigate.
To another place.
That face.

Generation of new grooves.
Old ain't smooth.
Just used.

Expressions sang out loud.
Break from the crowd.
Do it now.

Sync it up now and celebrate.
Atmosphere of this place.
Pure grace.


Instant Boom City Blues

The Crush Crash and its shrapnel.
Free rail rides forever.
Spectacles cure the boredom somehow.
Horse races have always been money.

Jack Johnson was a phenomenon.
Galveston's famous superior son.
All the white hope dopes.
And the Reno beating.

Before hurricanes were named.
Isaac Cline's most beautiful day.
And no high ground.
Ferocious surge in the darkness.

Oil gusher for nine days at Spindeltop.
The petroleum revolution.
Wildcatters striking everywhere.
Instant boom city blues.

Urbanization like a rapid virus.
Haphazardly constructed.
Systemless spaces of unsanitized insanity.
The cost of industry.




Intellect and emotion are inseparable.
Chemicals in the brain are altered.
A constant blending of colors and facts.
Memory is recalled, or not recalled.
Oxygen and its complete necessity.
       The sensory intakes.

Emotion without intellect is unrestrained.

Without emotion, intelligence is stale.
Think of having a map, but no urge to go.
Jokes that never lead to laughter.
Answers without curiosity or ambition.
Associations without affections.
       Tragedy without sadness.


Worry With Worry

Extreme helpfulness.
Completely listening.
Curiously understanding.
Doing nothing else.
It is a tremendous skill.
It can be made a habit.
Close your eyes.
Give it 3 long inhales.
Give it 3 long exhales.
Like Pink Floyd sang.
Run rabbit, run.
Let the others worry with worry.
If they want to.


Alabama Sugar

Jesus!  The ocean is dark at night.
God!  And loud as a rocket motorcycle gang.
Lord!  The stars.
Good God, the stars.
Like Alabama sugar.
Dotting the black space.


Hot Tamales

...only takes one observent person.
...to notice everything around.
...interesting and uninteresting alike.
...a thoughtful walk.
...the young have more choices.
...morning has come.
...with another picture in the gallery.
...the golden light hitting just right.

...money ain't nothing and chicks ain't free.
...hippies with birkenstocks.
...unattainable supermodels.
...political give-em-hells.
...mommies, God willing.
...all or none or something else or the other.
...whatever you wanna be.

...those were some hot tamales.
...that verde sauce had too much bite.

...my time is off.
...it tic tocs no longer.
...the rhythym of an eight count.
...always there.


The Junkyard Court: Vantaggio Side

     The professionally done sign in the lobby of Ariel Dunes 2 indicated a daily round robin at the Destin Tennis Club.  Named a Best Of in 2015.  9-11 am, $20 bucks.  To play on the green Florida clay was well worth it.  Perhaps some local players, similar to my tennis pals on Texas.  They would surely welcome me into the group for the 4 mornings I would play.  Monday through Thursday.  Unexpected, but had my gear and my annual month long tennis hiatus was done.  Back to it on the clay, work out the physical, the mental, and the anger.  Peaceful is the only way to play, it is true.  After a very beachy, boozy Sunday, followed by an outstanding Pontchartrain dish at Acme Oyster Bar, somehow awoke 30 minutes prior to the Monday morning event.  Got ready quick, out the door, and at the pro shop at 10 til.  Ready for these Florida dudes.  Ready to demonstrate Isner trained superiority, lone star grit, and Vantaggioian attitude.  It was going to be a smashing.

     The small  pro shop was tidy.  It fronted the community pool, which was full of about 15 mature ladies doing water aerobics.  They were in a circle, all seemed to know the routine.  How nice, I thought.  Palm Trees, Crape Myrtles, and other greenery was everywhere.  Oh, to be a 'resident', an actual 'resident'.  They probably had names for people who weren't 'residents'.  Out Of Towner Downers or Beach Buttholes or Yank Danks.  Signs were everywhere.  'Residents' this, 'residents' that.  I felt irritated as I walked in the shop.  Ready to take it to 'em.  Hopefully, I would play a 'resident'.  The nice assistant pro, Holly, greeted me with a fine simile and active demeanor.  Paid up for the round robin and she introduced me to Guido, who was making out a check.  A nice fella in his 70s, he had a wide smile and a fabulous Italian accent.  Holly sent us to the back courts where everyone would collect and warm up.  Behind the pool, the back courts were merely 100 feet away.

     The complex has 8 very well maintained clay courts, ice water jugs, rakes, and shaded benches.  Guido got in his car and drove to the back courts.  We met at the spectator benches on the outside of the fenced in double court.  The clay was smooth, soft, and perfect.  Let the sliding begin!  Chatted with Guido for awhile.  Got a new knee a year and a half ago, now the other one hurts.  He only plays doubles.  Kept watching his watch, bringing up how Bob was supposed to come, and a few others.  Spoke of this guy who was 85.  Rides his bike to play sometimes.  Always moving, never stopping.  Guido himself talked fast, with huge laughs in between and suspect listening.  He was a Steelers fan.  He said he didn't remember the bullshit Benny Barnes interference call in Super Bowl XIII, but he was lying.  Told him we owed them one more, reminding him of the Emmitt Cowboys revenge.  He laughed, even doubled over, before looking at his watch again in worry.  It was 10 after now, no one was coming.  Had this ever happened, I inquired.  He laughed again, this time with a melancholy tone.  Sometimes they have 5 or 6 he said, usually Mondays were good.  He didn't know.  He had just talked to Bob a couple of days prior and he told him he would see him Monday.  That meant that he should be here.  But he wasn't.  I offered to hit around with him, but he was insistent that he could only play doubles.  He pointed to his very tan left knee.  The vertical scar was a foot long.  He had to go prepare to go to the beach.  "No tennis, beach day.", he said in his Italian sound, "Maybe I see you Wednesday, eh?".  Absolutely.  Hope so, Guido.

     What was left was drills and serves.  Alone, on these perfect courts.  Towels, water, 2 fresh cans, white bandana, and the classic Australian Blue Vantaggio grey T-shirt.  Addidas Bounce fit just right, ready for the dirt.  Babalot raquet. the kind Nadal plays with . After two laps, 10 pushups, and 20 squats, set up the Isner drill.  3 balls, spaced equally on both sides of singles lines, 6 total.  One on the baseline, one on the service line, one by the net.  Starting from the middle of the base line, each ball is retrieved and returned to the starting point.  One at a time, from the baseline to the net, left, then right.  It is exhausting, and a very good footwork drill.  I slid, I dug.  Then some serves, then a drill, then some serves, drill, pushups, squats, then some serves.  Sweat was pouring, water was guzzled, shade was sought.  This went on for 2 hours.  The clay marks told the story.  My serve on the Vantaggio Side, the advantage side, needed to be over to the right and deeper.  In general, work your opponent's backhand, especially with the serve.

     It was a good workout.  Shed my soaked shirt and headband and, like Nadal would, put on a dry shirt before leaving the court.  Checked in at the pro shop and Holly assured me to show up the next day and my fee would be covered.  No one was around, the pool was now empty.  It was only 11 o'clock.  It's a beach day for me too, Guido.  Far from the Grand Slams, the Tennis Channel, the endorsement contracts, and the incredible Williams sisters, tennis is dying.  No-showed in Florida.  And it is sad. 

**word is Keck is meeting with Jimmy Connors to discuss an invitation to KOtC11.  Perhaps at TBar M in Dallas.  Negotiations are on-going...


These Cotton Beaches

Where the big bang slammed.
Making the Gulf Of Mexico.
With its deep waters.
Eliminating the age of giants.

This one yellow star shines down.
From the south.
Among the other more ivory stars.
Surrounding the Emerald Coast.

Clear space for now.
Thunder from the dark ocean.
Strikes far off.
Peripheral visions.

And airy, wavy sounds.
Salts and sands.
These cotton beaches.
Best at night.



Thought I should let you know.
Got a show in Morocco.
Gonna blast the past real fast.
With electric blues and class.

Set in another time.
Close the blinds with open minds.
This song won't take too long.
Little diddy, then I'll move along.

Travel around the world.
Have a swirl with all the girls.
Step to the edge of the ledge.
No need to plead or beg.

And when I meet their king.
Think Mohammed is his name.
Give him a five on the side.
The beat poets have arrived.



Twinkle And Smirk

Like a happening.
An event.
That time when it went down.
The opening action.
Cared for intensly.
Directed and shaped.
Chipped and smoothed.
Made happy.
From the Funderburgh Paulson crowd.
Loved up.
Then a twinkle and smirk.
Fell for it.
Still falling and falling.
Into the sea of life.
And miracles.
Two happenings of our own.
All together.
Til the twinkles and smirks.

Blessed by your birth.


Bravo, Bravo Max

Bravo, Bravo Max!  The Saturday night show in Dallas was blistering.  From sound check on.  The Foundry on Pittman.  Near Commerce Street, east of the Trinity.  Over the new bridge with winding cables and a big lone star flag on one side and old glory on the other.  Lucky to have each other, but Texas is the central jewel of America's crown.  More and more.

Trying not to say anything negative, which makes for ineffective food criticism, and always has.  Will not comment on the chicken place next door to the venue.  Supposed to be famous and good, but mopey works nowhere.  The basics.

The band was having drinks at The Foundry's bar when we arrived.  Matt The Bassist and I.  Having met a couple of times previously, felt fine going right up and thanking them in advance for the groovy smashing about to be delivered from the shaded, enclosed, breezy outdoor stage.  Recognizing me from a couple of Jack Kerowax shows, and aware of the Men From Nantucket spacefolk sound and occasional field trips, they were completely cool and talkative.  Unnervous, calm.  Expressed our excitement for the Bullfighter Blues numbers and MI-5.  Halfway through another Bravo Max project (unnamed for now), they promised some of the new tunes and a few covers.  So they did.  Harlem, Misfits, The Kinks, and James Gang.  The Walk Away closer was like a smooth engine going all out, finding its destination as everything was steaming and smoking, just shy of liquidation.  Passengers arriving safe, weary, and in need of quiet, desolate solitude.  It is true that without Joe Walsh the Eagles would have been another Poco.  He saved them, and them, him.

The crowd stuck, the riffs were too perfectly spazzed, the drums were too boomingly hypnotic, the bass was too precisely hammered, the lead guitar travels were just too far and wide.  The got down was got down.  No one dared leave at the break, the band had much more to create for us.  All were gyrating wildly, Garret was convulsing and electrocution seemed possible.  Green aesteroid rains were seen.  Stars.  He was plugged in.  The dials were mixed and maxed.  The pedals were clicking all night, each click announcing another trip.  We were clocked, knocked, and rocked by the best psychorock band from Dallas, Texas.  Bravo, Bravo Max!



There's a bubble somewhere.
And it's waitin' to pop.
Got some trouble declared.
We'll all be shocked.
Don't fall for this nonsense.
Avoid the hooks.
Don't know where this bubble is.
Why even look?

There's people won't eat today.
Not protesting.
Just no food around for awhile.
No ingesting.
The brunches are advertising.
The weekend rush.
Looks so very appetizing.
Just too much.

And your skin's real thin.
Like a little baby.
Sticks and stones ain't alone.
Words can't hurt me.
The microglowphone is open to all.
Audio and video.
Declare a truce or sing a song.
Be a wacko.



Alright Nights

And once the delusions clear, really clear, through the range of emotions.  Decisions are made.  Or realizations are realized, finally.  A mechanism of practicality, sacrifice, and denial.  The drifting of affection, physical and intellectual.  Respect is hard to earn anymore.  Must say what you must say, but with discretion and good timing.  And never to fools.  There is no reason for it.  Observations only, the commentary can wait, added to the overall narrative, a story to tell another day.  To people that are strangers now.  The faces of the public are dazed, their minds are working to please themselves.  But there are still things to learn and know and experience.  The ride is not over.  Relations and alright nights.   

Being Mooned

Funny writer was pissed off tonight.
Adolf jokes and a celebration of abortion.
Opinions amplified and unorganized.
Reading of notes was confusing.
Verbal punctuations, nerves, and guts.
Chicken was savory, and more charming.
All read to us before the answer session.
Described as a political speech.
It was most definately not that.
More of a puking, a barfing, a vomiting.
The audience was very attentive.
Sympathetic of a horrible condition.
To know someone is experiencing nausea.
We've all been there to some degree.
A side effect to offensive medical efforts.
To be endured, worked out, recovered.
You of privledge and entitlement listen up.
A lecture you really need to hear.
The storytelling can wait for now, spew.
Non-Fiction of the illuminated kind.
1st Amendment is a favored Amendment.
Among many favored.
This was not fake and it was no joke.
Funny, yes funny, in a peculiar way.
Like being mooned or something.
It was wise to close the bar.


Money Illusions

Gold is overrated.
We are in success mode.

Mine to hold.
Mine to sell.
Mine to hedge.

S curves don't lie.
All the money in the world.


Proof of work utilization is near.
Money illusions of 192 currencies.
A crypto macro-cosmic reality.
The allocation evolution.


The Restricted Area

The marina was open and active.
Hookups and fill ups.
Took a ride to the flag pole.
Old glory whipping like a slapper.

The restricted area was off limits.
No trespassing or entry.
Violators faced sure prosecution.
The canyon was closed off.

Lush greens were layered.
Showers fluttered weakly.
From the west.
Busting from the edge of the clouds.

Reached for a Bloody Mary.
The Germans just keep coming.
Got the Serena Blues.
There are no gazing starlets.

We have been ignored.
The Joker, the Queen, and the drone.
Our future is closer than ever.
Closer than it's ever been.


Galaxy Explosion

...that west Texas rained on air.

The kind that rarely produces rain...

...when it does it gushes down.

With a galaxy explosion far away...

...the ground drinks it fast.

The dust and dirt becomes mud...

...in the suburbs it flows smooth.

The city planners did fine work...

...cement will divert the floods.

Trails all up through there...

...everything connected in the end.

La Cerveza del Pacifico on ice...

...limes cut big and juicy.

Fought the truth of middle age...

...crossed my heart and made words.

Shook the life out of my mind...

...made mistakes but nothing too bad.

Know its always gonna be me and you...

...walking the beats of each other's tune.


The Junkyard Court: Strawberry Cream

At the 2018 Wimbledon Men's Quarters the bracket rings true.  All the hustle, all the troubles, all the smashes, all the clashes.  Left is Fed and Nadal, of course.  Easy like.  Fed will demolish the lanky South African Anderson on his way to the title.  Like mowing, his grass always smells cut.  Nadal gets washed out by Del Po, the red dirt still sweating out of his system.  Novak looks good, but stressed.  He plays Kei Nishikori, the Japanese serve return master coming back from injury.  Hungry, very hungry.   

The token American is Isner.  He should be celebrated wildly, his career is the lone notable male American tennis career of an entire generation.  Many records, that serve, Miami.  He's tall.  Maybe Querry, maybe his career is notable.  Stevie The Grit will always be beloved.  Sock stinks.  Lets move on.com, please.

(Sorry Wayne, referring only to singles.  Your boy's accomplishments are incredible, especially Bob, who teamed with an almost 50 year old Martina Navratilova and won the 2006 U.S. Open Mixed Doubles title.  So much hardware.)

First time Wimbledon Quarterfinalist Isner plays Canadien Milos Raonic.  Isner will be destroyed.  He is happy and satisfied with what he's done.  It is his nature.  After Miami, he flopped.  After 70-68, he flopped.  Raonic has too much game and John McEnroe still echos in his ear from his time as his coach.  Definately has more swagger than Big John, whose shoulders must be worn completely out.  His trademark between the legs bounce prior to his serve is classic.  And very cool.  Of course, Fed will strawberry cream either of these North Americans quick in the Semis.

With Fed in the final, and the eventual winner, the runner up will be the Argentine Del Po, who made it there by forehanding Kei off the court.  Kei, who steadily battled a crazed Novak to get to the Semis, could only look over to his coach, Michael Chang, and shrug.  That forehand of Del Po is an all timer.  Maybe the US Open for Novak, but whose gonna beat a rested Nadal in New York?

Then the alarm went off and I woke up on a Tuesday.  Maniacal Monday was over.  Sweet Jesus, Serena's gonna win another title!  That moon was just a sliver this morning.  Looked like a spaceship coming through the sky.  Wonder if Del Po won his suspended quarterfinal with Gilles Simon.  He was up 2 sets to 1.  Think it's about to come on.  Can't quite remember that dream, but it was weird.  All the Wild Boars get out of that cave?  Fed might win this.


Electric Element

Please keep it to yourself.
The outrage and opinions.
This is the Social Outcast System.
Welcome back for a return engagement.
They got numbers, they got taste.
Miles is using the silence.
Like a sillouette, the outline decides.
Love is love.
Affections and passions and obsessions.
However it evolves.

The end is already confirmed.
This fleeting space of time is free willing.
And free wheeling!
The tracks can be popped at any time.
We are speeding along, rushing.
Mechanically, breakdowns will occur.
Even with regular maintenance they occur.
The engineers are worthless.
They can only operate.
The mechanics must be summoned.
Wake them, whatever it takes.
Bring the light over, it is dark.
The sky is space all over.
Very clear, due to early rains.

Tomorrow might arrive.
It would be another miracle.
Like every breath taken.
Like everything seen.
Or heard, or felt.
The big bang is not a sufficient explanation.
Evolution alone indicates intelligence.

The dumb remain the same.
Static, airless, stale.
The evil become monsters.
Imposers and imposters.
The chicken live in caves.
Nomads, always running away.
The sad have given up.
Frowns and moans and wasting time.

It is a chemical condition.
An imbalance in the brain.
The leveling begins with water.
Pure as possible.
The most electric element of all.



Made many words that were deleted.  
Gone, every letter and all the lines.
Too true, too sad, just too much.
Shout to the happy and feel.
See their smiles shine.
Caught a big mess.
Know my rights.
And my lies.


Those Old Ways (American Fans)

Was nothing 'round here.
There was no shops or lots.
But we got nothing to fear.
New thoughts and robots.

Back roads still the same.
Lord knows I'm still to blame.
Those old days, those old ways.
Toss them all in the flames.

Cause its all gonna change.
Boats will dive, cars will fly.
And its all pre-arranged.
Our tribal vibe of light.

Oh, the days of the Walkman.
We were all American fans.
Those old days, those old ways.
This land is our land.



Splash Art

Story of life.
No win situations and refusals.
Back ain't got.
Manipulations of later accounts.
Less and less.
Respectable and free as possible.
Ghost writers.
Flying high with speeding words.
Perfectly sane.
Loving the crazy and the normal.
Unattended to.
Only conditional conditions exist.
Truth or dare.
Twist and shout for the get down.
Disco is real.
Outrageous myth of the good life.
Hippie eyes.
Occupying thoughts with activity.
Watch the glow.
Those mustangs have held up nice.
Splash art.
The roads are old and broken here.
Orange zones.
Lake Carolyn is surrounded by lives.


Float The Blue

The Mandalay babes were tucked in the dark luxurious room, beauty rest is at it's most powerful on Saturday mornings.  After a night of being somewhere else, after a night of long talks about things only sisters and mothers should talk about.  Combined, they know it all, everything there is to know.

The controlled emotions of competition, finding the weak spots, climbing out of holes, gasping for calm, a faint vulgarity.  Caught up and hung around like a straggler, went deuce juice to get back in it.  Made my mark with the service shot, snapped and curving.  To have victory, to compete successfully, even barely.  It is the shit.

Float the blue, let it carry you away.  Sad eyed woman turned happy eyed, regal posture, dignified and accomplished.  Portugal will need to score early.  The Uraguans will panic.  The cost of losing is practically a death of sorts.  Failure hasn't been considered, they have been told of their own greatness.  To lose is to be surprised, devastated.  Portugal must score early.

At the end of the road, looping tunes of real scenarios.  Lonely horn solos.  Tossed away to the Goodwill, heart a mess, wondering what happened to the dinosaurs.  Just blood and bones, the late night show in Oak Cliff.  Might be the last we see of him, but probably not.  Lake Michigan is too cold in the winter.  More to dig around here.  Good thing the law will be around.


Superiority Complex

...the sturdy and nervous Germans were everywhere...surely the Sweeeeds felt their insistence...the rights of the European thugs...with their superiority complex...

...the Benz and the Beemer...master mechanics, evidently...my affinities, and loyalties, are with Japanese...this Mockingbird Station scene...


...to Trinity Hall...the flowing flags, the striking colors, the corridors...obstructed sight lines and standers...they used to make telephones near here...

...during the wars...that gal never missed a day...Nila, the great matriarch...walked over from Highland Park...


...across the North to South highway...penalties are killers...shoulda played it clean...the hooking kick to the far upper corner of the net and the crowd errupts...

...hugs and fives and bumps and wows...the 2 o'clock beers were wearing thin...some fish and chips...water does the trick...


...a delay to acclimate...the Texicans would have a team in this thing...the Texicans would probably win it all...the cup of the world, baby...



Like a skeleton or a frame, built upon.
Decorated with colors and jewels and jazz.

Notice existence, it is all around.
Here to be discovered.

Relationships form from curiosity.
Maintained by considerations and love.

And love is kind.
And patient.
And many other things, humble and gentle.
Soft, without edges, smoothed over time.
Until it becomes constant and eternal.

From some cosmic place.
Floats around between all of us, ready.

The get down is our obsession.
Quick pops that move and describe.
Images of nirvana.
Knowingly unattainable and unreal.

The mind gets involved.
Its rationality deciding or not deciding.
The body can be tamed.

Complications and woe are karmatical.



Let the exploiting begin.
Fresh meat on the border.
For the idiot winders.

An orderly process.
Enforcement can be ugly.
The irresponsibility of it all.

Flee, flee like the migrants.
Those thieves run the place.
Busting the seams.

The shamelessness and hypocrisy.
Those 80 million were separated.
Violently, willingly, mercilessly.

The rejected miracles.
Literal creation.


Rebel Yell

Take your rebel yell.
Take it somewhere else.
Go on a protest march.
Like when they burned all their draft cards.

Fighting over the news.
Its a silly thing to do.
They just pulling your chain.
For the money, for the story, for the fame.

At the end of the night.
When the sun shows its light.
Everything seems fair.
Low clouds early, by noon they'll clear.

Even if we pout about.
If our love ends up in shouts.
Our time is ticking away.
The seconds, minutes, hours, and days.

Yes, let the rebels yell.
Just yell somewhere else.
No more noise pollution.
No more self righteous illusions.


Red Light


Red light's been on.
Been on for years.
Stop what you're doing.
Do it more, my dear.

Wanna go go.
Wanna wanna go green.
Need to ride a little while.
Need to hit the sheets.


Been sitting at this red light.
Wasting my appetites.
Watching lovers go by.
Trying to stay dignified.

At the yellow caution light.
Try not to brake.
Accelerate, move along.
Avoid this static state.

Like its never gonna change.
Time just idling by.
Stranded on this city street.
Lord it just ain't right.


Tangles Of Vines And Brush

     The drift of the aged, unwilling to battle the currents anymore.  Go on along for the ride.  Float that water, stay alert.  Scream laughs maniacally.  Hollar.  Only the banks can save our lives.  The east bank is peaceful, a beach leading up to rolling hills.  Green and lush.  The west is full of tangles of vines and brush.  Right up to the water line.  Massively tall trees.  Dark, like a jungle.

     Scavenger birds circled, knowing another's death was near.  The scavengers die too, eventually.  An ocean will be found.  Washed out with the mud.  Worn and weary, exhuasted and spent.  The afternoon is not full of romance, the best is yet to come.  The sweet evening, the mad night, then the dreams.  Daily, every hour.  The things done, never assured, never imagined.  Experienced is all.  Felt.

     Turn the lights up.  Get the cameras in place.  No talking on the set.  Actors, take your spots.  Actresses too!  Your lines have been memorized, need your best delivery.  3, 2, 1, go.


Coin Bits

A second level ledger and utilization.

Selling power for coin bits.

The transactions always run.

No inconvienience will be allowed.

No time, no trust, no inflation.

But, the stashers!  What of the stashers?

All us mortals.

The off blocks and off chains too.

Decentralization of the decentralized.

Each central to its own culture.

None identical.

Generations of evolution.

To give up the bucks.

No bills, no green, no bread.

Completely fraudless and true.

These are only the escavators.

Demolition is underway.

Next, the foundations, pipes, lines, terminals.

Then, the framing is done.

Measured and attached together.

Ready for the skin and final touches.

Make it all work under one roof.

Give up controls and manipulations.


Absolute scarcity.

If we solve for this 51%.


I Like Ike

Mostly, we were quiet.
No one could fully understand another.

They could only imagine their emotions, they could only guess at their thoughts.

Speculations of motivations.
The sunken treasure is still there.
For the taking, for the effort.
Whatever it takes.

Nobody is on standby.
It is only us.
We must determine our own fate.

Wash out the washouts.
They will never storm the beach again.
D-Day is remembered tomorrow.
Europe had to be taken back.
And was.

I like Ike.


Two Number Twos

Got two number twos.
Now you know just what to do.
Drain your brain.
Let your mind do its thing.

Always been smart.
IQ seems off the charts.
Nerves are normal, babe.
Breath it out, let em fade.


We just sat around.
Sat waitin' for the testing to go down.
We just sat around.

Was early Saturday.
Made sure we weren't late.
Original photo ID.
And a certified receipt.

Guess the colleges wanna know.
If you ready for the show.
Got nothing to lose.
With your two number two's.





The Freeze Brain

++Came in low and early, before the wave, before the simmer, before the sizzle.

++They will burn off quick, those north moving clouds.

××Then the clicks everywhere, the freeze brain, fans and mists.

××Watch it blue up, like the gulf waters of Galveston, out of nowhere.

÷÷The inland life, let the sweat shake out in the swamps, let the mud creatures get muddy, let them have it.

÷÷Build on the hills.

--The floods will come back one day.

--For now, extreme degrees and ozone colors.

==Acclimate like the birds do.

==Sing when the sun rises, eat late, play the wind.


Bicycle Kick

As usual, the ride was smooth.  Shaded trails with curves and dips.  Cutting through the thick woods, full of lowlands and wetlands.  Along Wilson Creek, then up the hill, to the cotton mill.  Watching out for poisonous water moccasins.  They are all around here.  For now.  Arrived thirsty, a bike race was under way.  We wheeled through the crowd and the marked off track without stopping.  Through to the brewery.  The black, the wheat, the make-it-a-double.

The operation, ever changing, ever growing.  Organically, and from without.  The iron art foundation, layered with modern creations, music always.  The PA plugin is all.  No DJ, no spinning, no talking, some heavy metal.  The back patio, covered with tin.  Fountain.  Cool corner, outside lounge.  The wino bottle tree, the monikers.  Organized the parts yard, spruced up just enough.  Fermenting more and more, innovating processes, ambitious, real.  Games.  People of all sizes and hair color.  Young and old.  Smoke coming from smokers, the 10 dollar plate.  Some even witnessed the legendary Gareth Bale goal that won the Champions Leauge for Real Madrid.  Appropriately, on a bicycle kick.  God bless the American soccer nerds and their European punk idols.

Moderation and its challenges, a ride back.  An easy cruise initially, lingered at the old bridge, wheelies and figure eights.  Navigation of intersections and automobiles, back through the trees.  A turn off, a tip of the hat, then back south. Up Sorrell Hill to Hardin.  Parched, burnt, out of water, miles from home.  Exhausted legs, shoulders tensed, sweat still pouring, the beer of 2 hours ago drank, tasted, swallowed, absorbed, affected, and cleared.  Extreme rehydration measures performed immediately at home.  50 ounces of water, 3 cold fruit cups with heavy syrup, brisket and sausage, followed by a cold pool soak.  Followed by a hot tub soak, followed by another cold pool soak.  Followed by 10 hours of sleep.