Saturday, January 25, 2020

Fucking Trucking

Hi, long time no blog. Where have I been? Around. Why have I not been blogging? Well, I divorced Google awhile back when the "do no evil" corporation began doing evil. What evil? Glad you asked. Censorship, pure and simple. Google hates free speech and the first amendment. It wants complete control of the narrative and also wants to be the deciding factor of what results you see when you use its search engine. Any information that team Google deems unfit or not in accordance to their beliefs, they will use algorithms to sniff it out and shadow ban it or remove it completely. Google has an agenda to dominate and control the information flow all across the internet and I have felt the sting directly when several of my blogs and private messages and favorite YouTube channels were censored and removed. But that's not what I'm here to talk about because nobody gives a shit about it anyway. Humans are enslaved by everything around them and most are completely oblivious. I stopped preaching. I ain't trying to save nobody.

So why am I here writing this entry? Because I want to talk about a different form of slavery: the trucking industry. I've been trucking for three years now and even though I've gotten used to it and don't hate it as much as I did when I first started, there are still plenty of things that infuriate me and highest thing on the list is: the lack of freedom to live a normal life. Trucking isn't just a job, it is an enclosed ecosystem. A separate world within the regular world. I will try not to bore you as I attempt to explain what I mean. I live inside of my truck. It has a bed, a microwave, a refrigerator, electrical outlets, climate control, storage shelves, etc. It's bascially a tiny apartment that makes money. I have an electronic device mounted to my dash (called an electronic logbook) that records every movement the truck makes which the government has complete control over. I am allowed to be on duty and working 14 hours a day, but can only drive for 11. There's the first shackle of slavery. I'll give you one quick example of how this government mandated logbook can backfire in the name of safety. A week ago I was up near Chicago driving east and trying to outrun a major snow storm coming from the west. I ended up in Ohio, unloaded, and my next load was three hours south of me which would have placed me out of the storms path. But I could not move my truck. My drive time expired and I had to take ten hours off before driving again. I woke up around 3am and found myself surrounded by a winter white wonderland. I cleaned the snow off my truck and drove through treacherous road conditions to reach my next destination, cursing the government for forcing it's will upon me.

Another form of trucking slavery comes by way of truck stops. We drive big, noisy vehicles and we cannot park just anywhere. Truckers are limited to truck stops mostly, but can also park at rest areas and sometimes WalMarts, however many WalMarts are banning us due to engine idling, oil leaks, property damage, and garbage. Many states have banned us from parking on the shoulders of exit ramps. Shopping malls, even though they are closed at night, will call the cops if we try and park there. So basically, truck stops are our safe haven. And truck stops know this. Take for example, the place I'm currently parked. It's a Flying J north of Houston. It has 233 parking spots for trucks, which is considered a fairly large truck stop, but of those half are paid parking, the rest are free. If you don't get here before 6-7pm you can bet your ass you'll be paying 18 dollars just to park your rig for the night. And this brings me to my reason for writing. Allow me to explain what went down.

I arrived here in Houston on purpose. This was a planned trip. I was hauling freight all the way from that Ohio snow storm, down south into the Carolinas, and then across the south to Texas just so I could spend the next five days here in Houston. Am I on vacation? Sort of. Truckers don't really get to take vacations. When we have downtime we have to cram regular life stuff into that time slot. You have to remember, we are always on the road driving all around America delivering Chinese manufactured products to your favorite store. That cheap purse you bought off Amazon? We delivered it to the nearest warehouse. That cell phone you hold so near and dear to your silly little heart? We got it to you. The carbs you eat, the lufa and soap you use, the table you sit at, the car you drive to work, heck, even the bricks, sticks and mortar used to build your home... we got it there. Literally every aspect of modern day society hinges on the fact that trucks move products of all types to and from businesses that need it. 

I got sidetracked, apologies. Back to my point. somehwere along the way truck stops realized they have a captive consumer. We are forced to fuel up and park and spend every day of our lives at them. Back in the day, there was no such thing as "paid parking". Truck stops bent over backwards to please their customers with diners and home cooked meals, free coffee and parking, etc. But nowadays it's just a huge corporate money grab. The diners died and have been replaced with fast food. The coffee is not complimentary and the parking is no longer free. When I first got to this Flying J I fueled my truck up with 113 gallons of diesel for a total of $317 which earned me a free shower. Cool! I parked my truck in a free spot and then planned how I was to spend my time off. As I mentioned earlier, I'm in Houston for a reason. I will be visiting a chiropractic specialist here on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I am parked 6 miles away from their location. I arrived yesterday (Friday) which means I have this weekend to catch up on laundry and grocery shopping and anything else I might need to do. Laundry was high on my list of things I needed to do. I carry two weeks worth of clean clothes inside my truck and everything was dirty. Truck stops do have laundry rooms, but let me tell you about that. Typically they have three washing machines and six dryers. Why this many? I have no idea, but it is almost always 3 and six, which is fucking stupid when you think about it logically. I am one trucker and my laundry requires two washing machines. That leaves one. The next trucker will likely have two laods worth of dirty. And the trucker after him. You see the weirdness of their logic? Makes no sense to have an odd number of washing machines, but that's how almost all of them do it. Now, factor in the 233 parking spots and the fact that it's the weekend. Mnay truckers are on their mandatory 34 hour downtime, which means there's a parking lot full of truckers fighitng over 3 washing machines and 6 dryers. Do I even need to spell out how fucked up this is?

So I decided to locate a nearby laundromat. My plan was to unhook from my trailer and drive my truck to the laundromat, then go grocery shopping and hit up WalMart for supplies. When driving just a truck without the trailer, I can go anywhere a car can go. It's no big deal at all. Businesses and cops do not care when a big rig is parked in a parking lot without a trailer. So that was the plan. The laundromat opened at 7am and I had my alarm set for 6:30. I woke up, it was still dark and cold. I dressed and went outside, unhooked everything and separated truck from trailer and was fixing to leave and run my errands when suddenly.... security showed up. He literally screeched to a hault in front of my rig in his white pickup with a flashing yellow strobe light. He got out, angrily, and immediately confronted me in a manner that felt like a UFC fighter nosing down his opponent during the televised weigh in. I climbed down from my cab and asked what the heck his deal was, to which he replied, "You ain't leaving your trailer!" I calmly told him my plans, just as I explained them here to you in this blog, to which he aggressively replied by mouthing off the rules of his overlords. "Flying J does not allow dropped trailers under any circumstance! Hook back up NOW or get towed! Your choice."

I could feel my blood begin to boil. I could feel the past three years of hell I endured in the name of trucking come rushing into my fists. I remembered all the DOT dickheads, the overweight tickets, the unwarrented roadside inspections, the government harrassment, the thieving brokers making my life hell, the idiots who cannot drive properly, the hours spent sitting in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic, the impossible places I've had to maneuver my tractor trailer into and out of, the snow storms I drove through, the fat increase of my belly due to lack of exercise, the pains in my shoulders and backs and legs, the time spent alone in isolation without a life and friends, the expensive break downs, the constant stress of getting somewhere on time, the lack of sleep and constant fatigue, the malnutrition, the far awayness of everything. I knew in this very moment that the man standing in front of me was not my enemy, but instead a slave just like me and you and everyone else. He was just doing his job.

And so I snapped. If "just doing your job" means you don't care about civility or a cordial encounter with your fellow man, then you have sorely lost your way. For all the daily bullshit I endure being a trucker, I still hold doors open, I still hurry when fueling up and get out of the way for the driver behind me, I still clean the truck stop sink when I shave, I still carry my piss jug all the way to the dumpster, I still smile and greet and am friendly with people I probably hate. I am constantly being nice and leave no trace of hate behind. But this guy. THIS FUCKING GUY. He was hell bent on posturing himself and proving his authority over me. Imposing his will. In that very moment, while I stood there struggling between the urge to strangle or restrain, I recalled the Milgram experiment of obedience to authority that took place in the 60's and all those fucking idiots who shocked their subjects to the point of cardiac unknowingness. I felt my rage swell. I stared deeply into this guy's eyes as his chest puffed inward and outward and his strobe light danced brightly in my eyes. I took two steps forward, erasing the small amount of space that existed between us, and exploded.

"You can take that false sense of entitlement and shove it right up your fat fucking ass, you parking lot princess piece of shit!"

That's what I said. Those were the stupid words that flowed from brain to mouth.. and he didn't like them. Didn't like them AT ALL. Honestly though, after the fact, I was extremely amused by it. But in the heat of the moment, it kind of sucked. And so there we were, two assholes squaring off with one another. More words were exchanged, more anger and ill will and slave induced emotion. I don't know how long the whole thing went on, but we eventually got to the point of communication like two grown men. He eventually informed me that if I went inside and paid for a parking spot, that I could then unhook from my trailer and go run my errands. OHHH, so THAT'S how this shit works?! Color me suprised! Needless to say this new fact did not shed a glorious light on the situation. One could say it was merely gas tossed on an already well lit flame. I did not, however, take my continued frustrations out on him. I thanked him for telling me what was what and gave him a solid middle finger as he drove away. Then I rolled a smoke and leaned back against the hood of my truck while hating everything that resembles trucking and pondered a new plan for my life.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Welcome To Planet Hills

     I had been driving across this staggeringly vast country for an uninterrupted length of time when suddenly, I felt I needed a break. The earthy red hue of Sedona's desert dirt still clung to my RV as I pulled off the interstate and into the truck stop of a new town a thousand miles away. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and the temperature was 80 degrees and the heat clung to me as I walked the length of the parking lot to the truck stop door. There to greet me, a kindly crew of misfits. Some sitting in broke down chairs, others leaning against the white brick wall, all smoking and beating the heat beneath a two foot overhang of awning. Degenerate gargoyles, the whole lot of them, all guarding the main entrance and begging for new lives while the tired, worn out look of their current ones hung haggardly on their face. I stopped when I reached the main entrance and looked down at the door greeter. She sat in a cracked plastic chair with her right leg crossed over her left. She wore what appeared to be an old prom dress, plum colored, two sizes too small and dirty white sneakers. Her black hair was messed and greasy and her black skin glistened, but did not sweat. Her left arm tucked about her waist while her body leaned forward resting upon the propped elbow of her smoking arm. She took a drag, blew smoke and returned my gaze.

     "Afternoon, mister."

I nodded and watched as she went back to her cigarette, uninterested in me.

     "Say, mister, you couldn't spare a buck or two, could ya?" came a raspy voice to my right. I turned and explained that I could, but not at this present moment. I assured the gentleman standing with his back to the wall wearing a stained and sweat-soaked shirt that I would eventually have the amount money he so kindly needed, but it was going to take some serious financial shifting on my part and that patience would be our greatest asset. The outline of his nipples and black, curled hairs shown clearly through his wet shirt and he stunk like a garbage can on fire.

     "Hey, thanks man. It will be appreciated," was all he replied. He went back to smoking his cigarette. I gave a general nod in everyone else' direction and entered the store. I had been on the road for several days and was in desperate need for a shower and a shave and feared I likely resembled most of this motley crew.

     After my clean-up I rejoined the post apocalyptic adventure club out front and claimed an open wall space between two men. I bummed a smoke from the guy who needed two bucks and I gave him a five in return. He became quite excited about it and I implored him to not make a scene, but he was just that type, so I relocated to the opposite side of the door and asked for second smoke. The first smoke is always the "get to know you" smoke, but the second smoke, now that one is something special. A second smoke opens doorways to deeper conversation and proves to people that you are willing to stick around. Granted, I couldn't stick around too long seeing how I didn't have any cigarettes of my own, but I did stay long enough to ask about the town I now found myself in.

     "Welcome to Planet Hills," the prom date door queen answered without even looking up. Her right foot bounced around anxiously while she continued smoking and looking off in the direction of the city skyline. "Over there's where you'll find what you're looking for, fella," she pointed with her cigarette. I joined her long distant stare and quietly watched as three lanes of traffic lazily made their way into the city that lay before me. I counted a dozen skyscraper tops shimmering in the heat haze and estimated this town to be somewhere in the ballpark of half a million people. I asked if my guess was accurate.

     "Seven hunnit mil, more like it," replied the statue to my left.

I whistled and bent over to snuff out my smoke.

     "Say, mister, can you lend me a dollar?" asked the statue to my right.

                                                              ++++++++++++++++++

     I decided to leave my RV parked where it was and walk into the city. No sense in wasting gas trying to locate a new spot and then having to pay for it, so I shoved my heat beater into the front windshield, set my fake surveillance cameras on the driver and passenger seats pointing outward, cracked a few windows and locked her up. I waved at my new friends still loitering beneath the truck stop awning and gave a a very white thumbs up as I began my walk across the mile long bridge that would guide me in. It was now rush hour and the traffic was unruly and loud. Hundreds of vehicles of all shapes, colors and sizes all piled up in lines and creeping forward at my walking pace. It was difficult to ignore their presence and their sense of urgency to clear this bridge and get to where they were going clearly matched my own, except I had no horn to prove it. To my right and looking down flowed a great river. It's murky brown current looked swift and strong as it splashed against and flowed around the concrete uprights of the train bridge next door. Directly below me, where the last of the land met water, was a tanker truck refueling station. I continued walking and watched as a trucker approached the electronic gate. He set his air brakes, jumped out of his rig and punched in the key code to which I clearly saw was 8297. To my surprise the entire gate lifted up and swung high overhead instead of sliding open horizontally, which I thought was comically ostentatious.

     The driver pulled forward to the refill tanks and began his walk around duties. I yelled down and asked him if he liked his job and if it was good pay. I yelled again, this time waving, when I saw him searching for the origin of the voice. He finally looked up.

     "It's okay... it's good pay!" he screamed while cupping his hands over his mouth. "They make me work weekends though and I don't like that!"

     I yelled down and asked him if he ever thought about giving it all up and moving to the Philipines.

     "Can't... got family here!" he replied and went on with his good paying chores.

     I continued my long walk and pondered what it would take to move an entire family to another country. Probably a lot. He was right in in feeling stuck. We are born into a certain madness to which only a few escape. As we grow older life grows more tentacles, and it's not until we decide to be free that we finally feel the inescapable squeeze. And that squeeze can last a lifetime.

     I reached the end of the bridge and stood for moment to stare at the belly of the beast. Buildings and busy streets and bustling sidewalks sprawled before me in every direction. I decided to follow the smell of food and the sound of music to my left and in doing so, I crossed over several major arteries and eventually landed on a sidewalk that lead straight downtown and was instantly transported into another world. The commercialized outer shell of the city quickly gave way to a frenetic, party-themed core and I found myself being swept along by a current of inebriation. Anyone with less exploratory credentials than myself could easily mistake this place for Mardis Gras or the Vegas Strip. Boat-shaped bicycle bars peddled by, one after another, each blasting dance music and supporting teams of drunk party-goers waving their arms happily above their heads and gyrating to the hip-hop beat. Pedestrians walking too closely would have the unfortunate experience of being doused by spilled beer, but awarded by a front row view of the free skin show created by all the booty shorts and side boob mini-tops.

     Dazzling horse and carriages fully aglow with colorful neon lights slowly clambered along amidst the busy traffic, carrying drunk lovers too new to know any better. Cars, bicycles, motorcycles, convertible city tour buses, all helped fill in the rest of what constituted as late night downtown traffic. Along both stretches of city sidewalk were dozens of open-air bars displaying live bands perched where the store front window would usually be. It was a choose your own adventure of music, alcohol and people and around every corner was a story waiting to be told. I walked past street corner performance artists who banged plastic drums for money, played harmonica and guitar, or rode a unicycle in circles while playing accordion and singing. Everyone who lived here had their purpose and those who didn't, were simply here for the fun. And my goodness was this town fun.

     I decided to enter my first bar of the evening and what lured me in was two-fold. The bouncer at the door sat atop a bar stool with his beefy arms crossed over a barreled chest and a romantic smile mistakenly placed on his hard-featured face. Attached to him via leash and collar was a scantily dressed female of a tiny size. She wore a plaid kilt of sorts with neon colored see through knee high socks and her top was nothing more than a decorative ribbon tied loosely about her breasts. She hopped cutely about the sidewalk touching people and blowing kisses as they passed by, encouraging everyone to enter the Dueling Dick's piano bar. In the wall-less bar front opening sat a baby grand piano positioned parallel with the sidewalk. The pianist resembled a character straight from a Victorian/Steampunk graphic novel and the intensity at which he played reminded me of Vietnam heavy machine gunner hopped up on jungle drugs and a mission to kill. I paid the ten dollar cover and the muscle-bound romantic rose from his stool, unhooked the red velvet rope from the stainless steel post and ushered me in. The grinder monkey girl bounced happily next to me, showering me with kisses and smacking my ass as I made my way into the bar.

     The inside of the Dueling Dick's piano bar was exactly as expected. An eclectic collection of paintings and sculptures adorned every wall, nook and cranny and the tables and chairs for the patrons were art in and of themselves. The whole place was drenched in a layer of artistic fat that if held to a fire would sizzle and pop a million Mona Lisa's all across the barroom floor. The second dueling pianist was situated directly across the room and was equally impressive as the first. The two Dicks were mad genius' and their style of piano ranged from calm and intoxicating to frenetic and other worldly. I found an empty chair at the far end of the bar and settled in. I ordered a local lager and a gin & tonic and before my first round was even downed, she showed up.

                                                       +++++++++++++++++

     "Hi," she said as she sat down at the bar stool to my right. I leaned over and returned a hello and mentioned that I was just getting started by nodding at my two drinks. She ordered something I never heard of before and smiled at me in a way that accented the pianos playing behind us. A melodic loop of sorts, both intimate and intimidating, my heart/brain connection felt as though it were clinking in rhythmic beat with the ice cubes in my drink. I scooted my chair closer to her.
     "These guys are phenomenal,"  she remarked and pivoted her chair towards the pianos. I agreed and pivoted too. We watched and listened to the dueling genius' play several songs while we pounded beers and mixed drinks and shots as though tomorrow was nothing more than a distant 'I don't give a fuck'. The night continued and I found myself being drawn into her. Our chairs became united and our legs and knees began to touch and our free hands explored the space beneath see level. I studied her features in between drinks. I laughed at her stories and marveled at her captivating eyes and could feel myself being drawn into her. I fell in love without realizing what red hair love could mean. I memorized her shoulders in the dress she wore. I imagined her neck and breasts clinging to me like water puppies. I felt myself being whisked away to another place and the laughter shared between bar stories was an adhesive I had never felt before. I think I was falling in love to an empirical beat.
     "Don't fall in love, okay" she blurted and grabbed a handful of my crotch. I jumped with surprise and lied that I wouldn't. "Just let this head do all the thinking and let this head," she said while poking my forehead, "take a vacation. I have to use the ladies room, watch my purse for me please?"

I watched her purse for what felt like an eternity. Several humans tried occupying her seat while she was absent, but I shoed them away like coons on a porch. Eventully she reappeared beside me carrying a brand new look on her face. I knew the look well and acknowledged, to which she smiled and nodded back towards the bathroom. She leaned in close as I stood and whispered into my ear, "light up the night, cutie" and slid a small something into my pocket.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Friday, December 15, 2017

It Rhymes With Trigger


The following blog will include adult topics and offensive words; read at your own emotional hazard. I will not censor my words because we are adults and you have the choice to stop reading if you feel offended. If you are a kid reading this, kindly fuck off and go back to your cell phone. Alright, enough said! On with it.

               +++++++++++++            

I pride myself on being attentive and courteous to people around me and also super respectful even though they are strangers. The way I look at it, we are all stuck here playing the same game, each in our own lives, but loosely connected to those we encounter daily. If I pass through your domain without causing you hardship or grief then I feel I did okay by you. Matter of fact, I consider it a personality flaw that I often times go out of my way to be extra nice or helpful to those I (or my actions) interact with. A recent example: when I was walking across the truck stop parking lot this evening I carried my shower bag and a trash bag all the way to the main building and tossed my trash into the huge container that a garbage truck will mechanically dump instead of tossing it into a regular garbage can a few feet away from where I was parked. Why? Because the garbage bag was super heavy due to a gallon sized jug of piss inside (yes, truckers piss into jugs, but unlike Amazon drivers we don't bitch and moan about it) So, instead of making a truck stop employee have to carry my piss weight, I carried and disposed of it myself. Didn't have to, but that's just the way I am. I've watched plenty of other truckers toss them into the cans or even worse, dump their piss jugs right there on the ground. The level of disgust and disregard I see is unreal.

Okay, I've laid the premise that I am respectful and polite and try to be a decent person as often as I can even with humans I don't even know, now let's talk about the police force that exists in America these days. Yep, we're going there people. If you're one of those people who blindingly support cops and become enraged when anyone talks bad of them, then this would be a great time for you to stop reading because I am about to piss you off.

I've been quiet for a long time. I don't blog much anymore and I deleted my Facebook account long ago because Facebook doesn't give a shit about privacy and exists solely as a means of distraction. It is also a massive breeding ground for contempt and debate over trivial bullshit, none of which I have time for or want in my life. If you don't believe me, just read the following statement by one of Facebook's main men, Sean Parker:

In a recent interview with Axios media, Sean Parker, who played a pivotal role in turning Facebook into a money-minting juggernaut, admits that he is now “something of a conscientious objector” to the social networking giant.
Facebook “literally changes your relationship with society, with each other, God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
The 38-year-old tech tycoon — whose hardball exploits as Facebook’s first president were depicted in Aaron Sorkin’s 2010 Hollywood flick “The Social Network” — said Facebook is designed to exploit “a vulnerability in human psychology” to get its users addicted.
“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously,” he said. “And we did it anyway.”
Parker, who is now founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, explained that Facebook uses likes and shares to create a “social-validation feedback loop” that keeps users coming back.
“We need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever,” Parker said. “And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.”
Parker said he never anticipated the consequences of what would happen when Facebook grew to have 2 billion monthly users.
In its first few years, Parker said, people would tell him they didn’t use social media, and he would assure them that they would join the fold sooner or later.
“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’” he said.

So yeah, fuck Facebook, I don't need it. Ever notice how nearly everything you do on the internet is linked to Facebook in some way? We've almost reached a point where Facebook has become a requirement as opposed to an elective... have you ever wondered why? Probably not. Most Americans don't even know what the war of 1812 was all about, even those with it plastered across their license plates (yes, I'm talking to you, Marylanders). Wait, did I just go on a Facebook rant instead of cops? Geez, I'm terribly out of tune. Alright, getting back on track.

One of my last memories before leaving Oregon is not a fond one. I was playing poker with my friends one last time before moving away. At some point during the evening a conversation about police popped up to which I began to rattle off all the reasons I am angry with them. Basically, I was completely alone in these opinions. Nobody was on my side or would even tip-toe near the thin blue line of trash-talking cops. But I was drinking and in a mood to ruffle feathers I guess, because next thing I knew I doubled down on my opinion and went as far as saying I hate cops. Not my proudest moment and I wish I could take that sentence back. For the record, I do not hate cops. Typically I reserve all hatred and dispel it on an individual basis, but I do, however, hate what cops have become in this country. Gone are the days of "to protect and to serve". Cops, for the most part, no longer belong to the community. They are separate from us. They are above us. They command authority, demand respect and absolute obedience. They are the authoritative and egotistical strong arm of the state and if you cross them for any reason or do not show them the proper level of subservience they require, good fucking luck with your outcome. My beef with police is based upon a decade of exposure to countless stories and evidence of injustice and abuse of power by police departments all across America, but three recent police encounters come to mind as I'm writing this. Here are the video links:

(Skip ahead to 5:25 in first video)
 https://youtu.be/hJPVglqR4yM

 https://youtu.be/M62Va6Ft2cw

 https://youtu.be/mT_RRqgf7m4

If you don't know the full background story on any of these incidents, I encourage you to investigate and learn, In all three of these videos you get to witness first hand the divide between police and citizens. Upon focusing on the words and phrases used by the officers, one can easily recognize the mindset of a type of human who does not respect others, but instead only cares about remaining in charge and being in total control. Something has changed in our police departments. They are training and producing cops who willingly disregard law and civility and will hurt or destroy you without qualm. And to those of you screaming at me right now saying, "yeah, but not all cops are bad!" I hear you. I used to think this way too. But in every single situation where one rogue "bad cop" performs a severe abuse of power, there are dozens of his/her coworkers who remain silent and an entire department that completely backs them up by saying "they were just doing their job". A dozen good 'quiet' cops are just as guilty as the bad one that commits the crime. And if the above three videos felt too personal and you want to research this issue on more of a macro level, just spend some time reading articles about how much money and assets police departments seize (steal) from non-criminal citizens every year via routine traffic stops and domestic invasions. That statistic alone will make you cringe.

Just remember this: unlike an actual free market company or business, the government does not create or produce anything of monetary value or worth, therefore it must generate revenue via other means, i.e. taxation, war and police departments. Oh, and one final note. That cop you have as a friend or family member... the one you were thinking of while reading this and getting angry with me... the one you enjoy knowing and living next to. Sure, you and your circle of people get a pass if you ever get caught speeding or not wearing your seat belt or driving home buzzed from the bar. And in your mind you think there's no way YOUR cop would ever do anything immoral while being protected by his uniform and badge, but if you're being honest with yourself you know in your heart that he likely would. He's part of a brotherhood that he will stand behind and support, even when one of them commits a crime. And if you're REALLY being honest with yourself you'd recognize the fact that him letting you off for ANY infraction due to being an acquaintance, is actually a crime in and of itself.

Alright, I'm done with cops. I could literally spend my entire evening presenting examples of how police have become an occupying force in America, but why bother? Most of you who have strong opinions to the contrary have already stopped reading and could never be enlightened anyway. If you ever wondered how the citizens of Germany allowed the Jews to be rounded up and taken away and murdered, THIS is how it happened. Regular people with regular jobs looked the other way while men with guns and badges who were just 'doing their jobs' treated their fellow humans like cattle while being protected by the state. Open your eyes, America, we live in a police state now.

                                                              ++++++++++++ 

If you ever wondered if racism still exists in America, hey guess what? I'm here to tell you it does. I think the overall theme of this blog entry is "people who suck". I've included myself on that list several times in the past. I just recently wrote how I was a shitty friend to some people and how I've been called a sociopath multiple times in my life. Well, here I am again about to explain why I'm not as great a person as I could be. I let myself down again and completely fumbled an opportunity to be a positive light. Allow me to explain.

I recently had to put my big rig in a repair shop to get a few things fixed. While there, I had the unfortunate experience of interacting with the mechanics who work there. It started off fine. I sat in a chair at the counter where the cash register was located and listened to a story of how the place had been burglarized not long ago. The gentleman (I mistakenly assumed) went on and on through every detail. He explained which door lock was jimmied, which tools were taken, what cabinets were opened, and showed me the scars on the register drawer. It looked as though it put up one hell of a fight. As time progressed and his story came to an end we found ourselves sitting in silence. It wasn't uncomfortable, per say, but rather remiss of anything interesting. Normally I would find things to discuss, but I've been trucking for a year now and I'm terribly out of people practice. As luck would have it though, he found more things to talk about.

A girl across the street caught his attention. I turned and watched her walk from her Jeep Wrangler to the front door of the tanning salon while he narrated her existence. According to him, she was a tight tease with tits who caused him to pine for the days before he was married, but all I saw was a young, pretty girl unlocking the front door to her work place. He went on for a little longer with the typical 'grab her by the pussy' talk and I sat there listening when suddenly he remembered the most important thing the burglar stole... his binoculars! He was so upset. He even reached under the counter and faked grabbed them and showed me what he looked like while spying on the girl across the street. I had to kind of laugh at that. I mean, he was actually creating imaginary binoculars by pressing two circled hands against his eyes. Men are like this, we just are. We see a pretty woman and our brains self lobotomize. It's just how we're wired.

Almost immediately after this occurred, the mechanic working on my truck comes in and realizes he missed out on the girl showing up for work and calls his coworker an asshole for "hogging all the snatch". They both talked a little while longer about pussy and what not, before finally explaining that my truck was finished. Phew! I started writing my out my check.

     "Hey, I noticed you're from Oregon?" the one guy asked to which I answered yes. He wanted know all about Oregon and living out west and how it compared to the east coast and I did my best to quickly fill him in. I talked about fewer roads, less traffic, less population, less chaos, more beauty, more mountains, more wildlife, more rain. They both were eating it up. They asked a few more questions, I answered, and then that's when it happened...

     "So what about niggers? Ya'll got niggers out there?" 

 ------------------
----------
-----
--

I stopped writing my check and looked up at the guy who just fixed my truck. I was caught completely off guard by what he just said and could actually feel my brain grinding against my skull in search of a response. And in that split second moment I decided to take the easy path and avoided confrontation.

     "Black people?" I replied. "Yes of course, but I'll be honest, the percentage of black people there is significantly lower than over here."

To which he replied, "Good God, I'm moving to Oregon! We hate niggers around here."

For about maybe two or three minutes longer, this racist continued letting me know just how racist he was and all I did was sit there quietly, listening. I did not speak up or rebuke him. I did not offer up any kind of blistering facts about the evil of one man hating another man based upon skin pigmentation. I sat there quietly and allowed it to happen, finished writing my check, thanked him for the work, and left. Afterwards, of course, I get to write a blog entry about it and that makes everything better. Now I can be a hero with my words. I can write about lessons that even I fail in real life. I can write about good cops sticking with the bad ones because they're on the same team even though I'm a hypocrite who did the exact same thing. You see? I am not a perfect person. I pride myself on my many good things, but when it comes down to it I'm no better than anyone else. These words I write... what good are they if the man who writes them is a weak-ass bitch?

I should've called that man out on his ugliness. I should've done a lot of things different in my life. I have regrets. I have things I wish I hadn't done or said; things I wish I could do over.  I think we all do, right? I guess we become better people through acknowledgement and saints through enactment. I need to work on the latter.

Thanks for reading me, be kind people.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I'm Trying To Become A Positive Light That Doesn't Fry Flying Insects (But It's Hard, So Hard)

I think I'll start this blog entry with an example of why I hate trucking. In the last one (or the one before, I can't recall) I mentioned I love trucking because of feeling free while driving all over America. No walls, no annoying coworkers or bosses nearby, take my breaks as often and as much as I want, great money, listen to music and podcasts all day, etc. Sure sure, those are sweet perks, but let me highlight some horrors. A trucker can do everything right and still have his/her day (and week even) completely messed up due to other peoples' negligence. I can drive my ass off for 1,000 miles being as perfect as I can be. Turn signals used every lane change. Mirrors checked every few seconds. Cushion of space between me and the next vehicle. Looking far ahead to anticipate situations. Using the left (passing lane) to pass and then getting over. Knowing which exits I need ahead of time and never cutting people off. Doing the speed limit or five over. Paying attention at all times. Being courteous to other vehicles. Allowing merging traffic to find a hole. Predicting stupidity.

I can do all these things while I'm driving every single day for thousands of miles while controlling an 80,000lb vehicle, but all it takes is one impatient asshole in a 5,000lb car texting while driving to cause an accident that creates a three hour traffic jam on a major interstate to completely ruin everything I've done up to that moment. Now I'm behind schedule and the cargo I'm carrying still needs to get to it's destination at its scheduled time. In order to make this happen, I sacrifice what little free time I have. I forgo my truck stop shower. I forgo the Netflix show that night. I drive longer than I want to drive. I drive a little faster than I would normally. I eat in a hurry and skip my breaks. I get irritated and curse and become less courteous while driving. And then, after everything I go through to make my delivery on time, I finally reach my destination only to find out there are five trucks ahead of me and I get to sit and wait for four hours to be unloaded (or loaded, whichever). And then I get to hurry some more and get to my next stop or race to a truck stop and hope to find a parking spot for the night because if truckers park anywhere other than a truck stop we run the risk of having gov't henchmen show up and beat on our door to happily issue a couple hundred dollar ticket for illegally parking which forces us to sacrifice sleep for more driving in order to hunt a different place to park.

An entire work week can be completely fucked up by one single mistake and several other shitty things. Not a single day goes by where something doesn't happen that derails everything I've done to make everything happen perfectly on my end. I can be a perfect trucker every day, but it doesn't really matter in the end. There's no such thing as perfect if everyone else isn't perfect too.

Speaking of imperfection, I recently broke the bumper off one of my boss's flatbed trailers. In my entire driving career, from having a regular license at 16 to being CDL holder for the past 15 years, I've had a perfect driving history, minus a dead dog and a broken mirror and an accident on my record that was no fault of my own. I pride myself on being extremely attentive and professional, but I guess shit can catch up to everyone at some point. I was making a delivery at the top of a landfill in West Virginia. It was 6:30am, still pitch dark, pouring down rain. Where I needed to offload looked treacherous. I got out and used my fleshlight to inspect and assess. With the direction my truck was facing I realized I would have to make a 45 degree turn to get up to the area, so I decided to search for a place to turn around and make things easier. Bad idea. I ended up putting myself into a situation that no tractor trailer should ever be in. Mud, rain, darkness, steep incline, zero space to maneuver. In trying to turn myself around I managed to back right into a concrete barrier that was partially submerged and hidden by earth stuff. It broke the bumper right off the trailer. I then proceeded to put my truck through hell trying to get out and not get stuck or jackknifed. Basically, I did everything wrong to put myself into a situation which I then had to do everything more wrong to get myself out of. Everything about that morning sucked and it bled into the days that followed. My morale shot down to zero and I've been beating myself up pretty hard ever since. I came very close to quitting everything and looking for something else to do for money.

Okay what next? Recently one of my best friends on this crusty planet asked me which Modest Mouse songs were my favorite. She said, "Mick, what are your top five Modest Mouse songs?" to which I replied by giving her my favorite fifteen. Basically, Modest Mouse is one of those bands that became super awesome by creating about twenty super awesome songs. Mind you, they have something like 14 albums spanning a decade and a half, but they seem to have created a bunch of unlistenable nonsense in that period of time. This is me speaking as a Modest Mouse fan. I'm pretty sure they are aware of this. I mean, they have to be, right? When I write a blog or a story or a poem that doesn't hit, I instantly recognize it and strive to do better next time. I might not do better next time, but at least I recognize my efforts and my shortcomings. Okay, so my point in saying all this is to share the list with you, in case any of you were interested in wondering if you might like this band. I do like them, despite their many misses. Matter of fact, they recently dropped a brand new album in 2015 and none of the songs on my favorites list is from that album, if that tells you anything. Okay, without further adieu, here's my list of best Modest Mouse songs:

1. Baby Blue Sedan ("and it's hard to be a human being, and it's harder than anything else")

2. Never Ending Math Equation (Constantly searching for the meaning of life and a purpose for existence... and also how parents respond if asked: they said they said they said they said blah blah blah)

3. Here It Comes (Kind of how I feel about everything and everyone I encounter in life... "Oh, well here it comes. Let's see where this shit goes")

4. Night On The Sun (Feels like a difficult-to-decipher poem that escaped the page it was written on and transformed itself into a more easily appreciated form of art)

5. So Much Beauty (This song nails it perfectly... what I love about being alive)

6. Ocean Breathes Salty (Deep lyrics here. Highlights the pull between life and death; the necessity of taking a time out and a step back; the importance of discovering your purpose, otherwise you waste life and you waste death.)

7. One Chance (Just a great song)

8. Gravity Rides Everything (Just another great song)

9. Float On (the very first Modest Mouse song I ever heard. The interesting and clever lyrics coupled with the melodic and catchy music... I was instantly hooked. I love how they tied this song into World At Large)

10. 3rd Planet (This is the second song I listened to upon first discovering MM and to this day it remains one of my favorites. Love the melody and how the trippy, hard to understand lyrics cause my brain to spiral away from the moment and live off planet and off script for 4 minutes)

11. Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset (The summary of my depressed life and almost every poem I ever wrote)

12. Fire It Up (This could also be titled 'The Seinfeld Song' because it's just a good goddamn song about nothing)

13. Missed The Boat (My number one favorite MM song. Perfect melody, perfect lyrics, perfect everything)

14. Little Motel (My second most favorite song by them for exact same reasons)

15. Steam Engenius (Some people might equate these lyrics to gibberish nonsense, but I think they ring like bells above a school yard filled with missing children who found better ways to inflate themselves on a daily basis)

Honerable Mentions:

*Trailer Trash (an example of when instruments far outshine the straightforward and simple lyrics. I love this musical melody; never want it to end)

*Bury Me With It (a song about a pessimist/cynical outlook on life? hah, count me in)

Drugs Mmmkay!

*Alone Down There (Feels like a shared drug trip between two friends or lovers that slides dangerously close to an over dose. Hard to create that in a song, but they did it here)

*Stars Are Projectors (More drug music. This is the acid trip. Psychadelics are not an easy experience, much like this song. If one decides to try them, expect a long tumultuous ride of thoughts and emotion. Your brain will pulse and swell and your conscious will expand all while you uncover truths about your deeper self and experience feelings of overwhelming fright and disorder)

*Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes (More drug music)

*The Cold Part  (More drug music. Reminds me of the first time I tried salvia... the feeling I had under the influence and the moments that followed upon being released from its effects)

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Earth Is Your Oyster

My last post was terrible. I hate it and I apologize for being such a shit, but I'm going to leave it up because that's what this blog is all about. For those of you who read me, you know I don't really hide behind anything (i.e. my domain name). I am sometimes harshly opinionated, often drunk, and always as honest as I can be with the stuff I write, even if it's brutal. That last entry was no exception. Lately I've felt upset with myself and bored and confused and feel like I'm letting go of huge part of who I am. It takes a lot to excite me and I lashed out at internet strangers in general because I was reading blog pages and it felt to me that people don't really have anything to say anymore. I bet I spent nearly an hour perusing various blog sites, reading everything from food related to online dating to cultural events. Honestly, not a single page sucked me in. Everything felt fluffy and I certainly wasn't in a fluffy mood, so I lashed out and pitched a fit and two of you answered back (which surprised the hell out of me). I appreciate those comments and it strikes me funny how for the past year it's been dead quiet, not a peep, but as soon as I write a lambasting entry and "call you fuckers out" (that's how I worded it before editing) I receive two comments. Haha, that fascinates me. Maybe you are bored too? Maybe something I said made a little sense? After re-reading I do realize my logic was indeed flawed, but the overall point of humans being bored and trapped and surrounded by situations and people that further disenfranchise their spirits, still seems solid to me. I don't know, maybe I'm way off. Maybe the majority of people are extremely happy in life and everything is awesome and my own personal experiences and issues have completely tainted my assessment. I concede this could very well be true. I hope so, anyway.

Now that I'm trucking, I witness a lot of people make very poor decisions while I'm out here driving around the USA every day. For example, on my drive over to the hotel where I'm staying tonight, I watched a tractor trailer traveling in the right lane pop over into the left lane quickly and unexpectedly, cutting off a whole row of other cars which caused everyone to brake hard to avoid crashing. The trucker did this because he was met by a group of three cars all merging onto the highway where he was. Two of the cars merged perfectly, but one of them freaked out and just kept driving right alongside the big rig all the way to where the merge lane disappeared and then found herself driving on the shoulder kicking up dust and debris. I think she expected the big truck to move out of her way and when it didn't, she didn't know what to do. The trucker finally did move over, but he shouldn't have. By doing so he created an even more dangerous situation. As it stood, the only person in harms way was that idiot who didn't understand the rules of merging, but when that trucker swerved over into the left lane like that, he created a danger zone for all the rest of us in his vicinity. The whole thing was fucked up and could've been avoided if people simply understood the rules of the road, and actually it's very simple because there are only three things that can be done when merging:

1) get up to highway speed quickly
2) yield to highway traffic (they are not required to yield to you!)
3) slide into a hole ahead or behind any vehicles already in that lane

That's it; those are the only things that can be done when merging onto a highway, and yet I see it dozens of times every day, people who have no clue what to do and it creates an extremely dangerous situation every time. The vehicles traveling in the right side lane do not have to yield to those who are merging. If the left side lane is open and it's safe to move over, then it's courteous to move over and help those merging cars out, but it's not required so don't expect it! I see so much dumb shit out here that I could literally turn this blog into a Driving Tutorial explaining how to operate motor vehicles safely and correctly, but I'll be (brutally) honest, I kind of don't care. Maybe vehicular deaths are just one way of keeping the human population in check? We breed a lot and we live a lot longer and we don't get killed by wild animals anymore. In nature, a grizzly bear wouldn't care if it ate a newborn human baby or a full grown adult. It's just a random act of hunger that ends one way or the other. Same thing with car accidents.

So, what uplifting topic should I cover next? Wait, let me mix another vodka drink. Hey, did I ever tell ya'll why I prefer vodka over anything else? It's because my grandfather was Russian! So it makes sense that I love vodka so much. Trickle down theory right there, bitches. Oh wait, am I allowed to say 'bitches' in America? Will Google flag my blog for being insensitive? Hmm, I wonder.
Yeah, please don't get me started on the whole Antifa/Feminist/Leftist anti-free speech thing that's happening in this country. The one thing I care about more than anything is the ability for me (and anyone else, even a despicable Nazi) to be able to say or express thoughts out loud and not be aggressed against. If I am not hurting you financially or physically, then nothing else matters. Your feelings can kindly go fuck themselves, they are not protected by the Bill of Rights. The definition of tolerance is NOT forcing people to like or accept you, but quite the opposite actually. True tolerance is: even though I don't like or accept you, I still tolerate you as a human being possessing the same inalienable rights as me, regardless of your idiotic gender identity pronoun. As long as you don't force your way of thinking on me, I will tolerate you being you, as long as you tolerate me not liking you. It's really that simple, people. Being a dick or being insensitive or being ignorant is not a criminal act. It is part of being free and having liberty over our own self. But the second you start forcing people to bend to your idea of what's correct via rules and laws and legislation, that's when I have a huge problem. If this country ends up going down this twisted path of social justice warrior bullshit and we wind up living in version of life where everything we say (or write) is monitored and censored and adjusted to protect the feelings of the masses, that's when I call it quits. I'm serious. If that day ever comes I will do one of three things:

1) start and become part of a new civil war and die fighting for liberty and freedom
2) leave America and become an ex-pat
3) commit suicide via a Rube Golberg machine that I create and upload the vid to the internet

I need another drink already because I'm mixing them in these tiny, plastic hotel cups. Don't judge me! Oh hey, I've got one last neat thing to talk about then I'll stop writing this blog and move on to poetry or short story or novel editing (yawn). Recently I ran out of my Dr Bronners hemp almond soap and went to the store to buy more. Low and behold, Dr Bronners seems to have been replaced with a competitor: Dr Jacobs. (free market capitalism in full effect). Not wanting to go without shower soap, I reluctantly purchased the bottle of Dr Jacobs hoping that it would be equivalent to what I'm used to using. Check it, so I tossed all my shower stuff into my backpack and walked from my truck all the way into the truck stop and rented a shower room. I go in and start setting everything up. I get in the shower and reach for my new bottle of soap but as I try to squeeze some out, nothing happens. I unscrew the lid and see a protective seal. Duh. I try ripping it off with my fingers, but can't seem to get a grip, so I try with my teeth. No whammo. I try and try removing this stupid little seal with my fingers and teeth, but to no avail. Apparently the manufacturer has used some sort of super astronaut glue (the kind not used to keep the Challenger shuttle together) and I am powerless against it. So there I am, naked in the shower, wondering how in the hell I'm going to open this damn bottle. I start listing off in my head all the things I have with me in my backpack that could puncture and open it. My set of keys are the only thing I can think that would work, but that requires me to leave the shower and go grab them, so I pause and look around at my immediate surroundings: a loofah, a bottle of unopened Dr Jacobs, a shower curtain, and... metal shower rings! I smile as I reach up and unhook one of the rings, removing it from its former purpose. I then proceed to rip through that goddamn amazingly thick and strong soap bottle seal with the open end of the circular hook. Works like a charm! I never had to leave the shower.

That little story brings me to my current situation. As I mentioned earlier, I'm renting a hotel room for the night. Overall the room is fine, but one huge negative is the location of the AC unit. The retards who designed the layout of the room decided to install the AC directly next to the desk/work station area, which means while I'm sitting here typing up this blog, the AC blows cold air right into the side of my body. This is almost as aggravating to me as people who can't merge properly. So here I am again, faced with a situation that requires me to use critical thinking. My choices again are few. I can leave it turned off and sit and write in the stuffy heat. Or I can move my laptop to the bed and do my writing from there (grrrrrrrr). Or I can freeze myself while I write. Those are my only options right? Wrong. Here's the solution I came up with:

Upon inspecting the AC unit I realized the plastic air flow vent was not directional, meaning I could not tilt it upward and away. When it's turned on it only blows one way... right at me. However, while inspecting it I noticed two separate removable filter screens. I pulled them out and wrapped a pillow case around them and stuffed them back into their slots just a bit, creating a deflective shield that forced the cold air up to the ceiling instead right at me. Viola! Problem solved. You might be wondering why I just shared these two stories. Well, it kind of ties into the stuff I already talked about. I wish more people would take a quick moment to simply think things through before acting (or reacting). It doesn't take much. Sometimes the answer is right there in front of your face, but if you allow emotion to trump logic, you may end up walking wet and naked to grab a set of keys or end up typing stories while freezing your face off or driving alongside a semi truck on the shoulder of a highway. The earth is your oyster, bitches, eat it. Bye.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

To Those Alive And Reading

I thought writing would always be a part of who I am. It has always been there, ever since that first shitty poem and story I wrote back in high school. I knew way back then that I had found something I loved, but I didn't quite understand what kind of driving force it would be throughout my entire life. Those of you who don't write will never understand the charge a writer gets when he/she first sits down at the keyboard and places the pinkie fingers on the A and semicolon keys and slowly rolls the other fingers inward onto S,L,D,K,J,F and then looks up at the empty screen glowing in front of you and realize you can create anything you want. And if what you create is good enough, or clever enough, or exciting or inspirational or heartbreaking enough... people will read you. And not just people, but history too. If you write something so exceptional, history may remember you forever, your words etched into the fabric of time.

That's pretty powerful shit, right there. I don't expect a Biblical level of remembrance for anything I write, but I did expect to continue writing all the way to the grave, which brings me to this blog entry. Ever since I left Oregon and started trucking all over the goddamn country, I've lost my inspiration to write. I picture my muse out there somewhere trying desperately to keep up with me, but she can't. I drive across too many roads, stopping only for a quick shower and bite to eat, then sleep. Up again way before the sun. There's no time for creativity, you see? The writer in me is dying. Asphyxiating. The vine that once grew my wine no longer grapes. In just ten quick months of life change, it feels as though my roots are buried in sand and I will never produce fruit again. And for those of you who know me, you know this crushes me flat. My fingertips have always been my best voice. I convey my thoughts via writing with a clarity that the spoken moment will never understand, and yet here I am struggling with it. I cannot seem to find the time to sit and write like I used to do. Being a truck driver is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I literally have no free time anymore. When I am awake I am dedicated to The Job and let me tell you what, The Job is extremely demanding and exhausting and stressful. I do not enjoy this level of adulting. It goes against the wildling side of me, but ironically it also accentuates and excites the very same nomadic part of me.When I am driving across the United States in my truck I feel alone and free and part of something not many other people get to be part of. Think about it... you regular nine to five'ers are stuck in buildings surrounded by people you barely tolerate, every day of your life. You clock in the morning and immediately start counting the hours leading up to you clocking out, trapped within walls of restriction. Your coworkers annoy you and your boss is the biggest pain your ass has ever seen, yet you still keep going in. Your paycheck doesn't come close to what you feel would be worth the bullshit you endure everyday, yet you still go in. We are all slaves to something, am I right?

I've allowed myself to become a slave to money. Trucking is good money; more than my nitwit ass has ever made before. I never allowed myself to pursue a career in writing, mainly because I lack the faith in myself that it would take to get my creative ass into gear like that, but here I am now making a lot of money doing this trucking thing and it's all I can think about. For the first time in my life, I've become a small business owner and DOLLARS IN are all I can compute. The old me from ten months ago would give zero shits about this stuff. I hate nearly everything about modern day, normal society. I hate paying regular taxes, let alone small business ones. I hate every republican and democrat President that promises to make things better. I hate Antifa and I hate Nazis. I hate people who have no clue how to merge onto an interstate and I hate the stupid beach scene pad my mouse sits stationary on. No really, it's hella dumb, trust me. I am the most cynical person you'll ever meet in life, I realize this, but it's not due to lack of faith... it's due to lack of interest. Nothing excites me. Seriously. LIFE bores me. Is everything purposeless? Maybe it's not me after-all. Maybe everyone and everything is dying and I have neglected to see the situation clearly.