Random Thoughts on James Taylor, Heat Waves and Pizza Company Desserts

Random Thoughts

Once in a while I come up with a great idea for a new Top 5 List but simply cannot come up with the five ideas needed to round it out. It happens all the time. You can stop me at any given time and I will have four or five sheets of paper in my back pocket loaded with half filled out Top 5 Lists. I’ve been doing this for a long time and it is bordering on an obsession at this point.

So I figured I would take a few of those un-finished lists and put them together into one Random Thoughts piece. Just because I lack the creativity to round out the list of musicians who I wish would simply disappear into the next sunset and stop embarrassing themselves with new and horrible music is no reason to let James Taylor off the hook.

Musicians who need to go away –

You would be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t like at least one James Taylor song. Even a head banging metal freak knows the words to Fire and Rain but the time has come for James to bring this act to a close. He wrote a song about a hundred years ago called Walking Man, he needs to be that guy now and walk.

James Taylor has not had a decent song in over twenty years and that’s being kind. Truthfully he hasn’t recorded a listenable piece of music since like 1980. That’s going on forty years and yet he continues to churn out album after album without any sense of self-respect. He has single handedly made himself completely irrelevant and destroyed what would have been a Herculean legacy of music.

At this point in his career James Taylor reminds me of my dad when we have a party. Two hours after the party is over my dad is asleep in the chair with zero intention of leaving. He simply has no concept of people wanting to go to bed. He’s 80 and really doesn’t have anything better to do which I think might be afflicting JT. I love my dad but it’s agonizing much like how James is now agonizing,

In addition, this bullshit bucolic act he puts on with the denim shirts and the leather hat coupled with this never ending stream of idiotic songs about blacksmithing and black licorice has made him into a clown. Nicki Minaj is regaling us with songs about her “anus” and James is still singing about railroad cars and picnics. Now I’m not going so far as to say that I appreciate the musical musing about one’s anus but I am saying that the world has passed moved on from poor James.

Is he broke? Is his wife a bitch and he needs to get out of the house? What?

Indian heat wave –

This is more of a current event rather than a part of a Top 5 List but if I were to assign it to an actual list, I would file it under the Top 5 Things I Don’t Understand.

Currently there is a killer heat wave going on in India with daily temperatures hitting 47 degrees Celsius.

Writers note:

I wondered just what 47 degrees Celsius equates to in the Fahrenheit scale since this whole metric system thing never really caught on and was told to simply multiply it by 5/9 or 9/5 then divide by something or other. WTF? I don’t remember how to do any of that shit so I just looked it up and found it to be somewhere in the 120 degree range. That’s pretty effing hot.

Sadly, some 1400 people have died. This is sad, no doubt but what flummoxes me is an article in the India Times, which I assume is a paper in, no surprise, India. First of all, the India Times? There are like over a billion people in India and they have one paper covering everything? The obituary section alone has got to be the size of the Manhattan phone book! What poor bastard has to deliver this daily tome?  Anyway, the article said that the Indian government was mounting a crusade to inform the people suffering in this inhuman heat to stay in the shade and to wear light clothes.

Really? You have to tell people that it’s hotter in the sun and that they probably shouldn’t be wearing that wool overcoat when the thermometer bust into three digits? The weirdest part of the whole thing is that the death toll actually dropped the following week once this advice hit the streets further reinforcing my belief that at least half of the earth’s inhabitants IQ’s hover someplace near full blown idiot.

Shouldn’t the fact that you’re hot be enough to move into the shade? Profuse sweating is an indicator that maybe now isn’t the best time to be sporting that new North Face jacket no matter how awesome you may think you look in it. The need to maintain a non-lethal body temperature is innate in all of us, so I thought. I’m at a loss.

Pizza company desserts –

I was trying to assemble a Top 5 List of the companies who should have stuck with what made them good in the first place but was stymied at only one which kind of defeats the idea of a Top 5. Anywho, what is this obsession with stores like Papa John’s and Domino’s insisting on making desserts? I guess I know there is the never ending quest to find ways of increasing revenue but taking a pizza crust and coating it in cinnamon and icing does not constitute a dessert. Pizza crust is basically bread and when you add sugared toppings to bread, it’s called toast. I don’t want to pay to have toast delivered to my house and, frankly, I’m offended and pissed that he tried to slide this by me. Look blowhole, you have left over dough, suck it up and throw it away like everybody else does. Don’t dress up your garbage and sell it to us.

I made the unfortunate decision to purchase one of these atrocities a few months back from Papa John’s. It’s no secret that I am known to make bad food decisions when I am even remotely hungry so I don’t fault myself but, my God, this thing was just awful. It makes me hate their pizza which is why I say, stick to what made you good in the first place. You don’t see the people who make those Easter egg dying kits branching off into making missiles and land mines so what makes Papa think that we will welcome his pathetic desserts?

I think this went well. I got to use up some material that would be otherwise lost to my lack of creativity.

“Are you Alice menstruating?”

“What has that got to do with anything?!?!”

“Hey, back off man. I’m a scientist.”

Top 5 Things I Don’t Want To Do When I’m Old

Top 5 Things I Don’t Want To Do When I’m Old

This is not intended to hammer on the seniors as much as it is a reminder to myself, as I will be 50 this fall, to not do certain things as I limp toward either senility or death. As my golden years approach, I’ve decided to set expectations of myself that maybe most people haven’t even considered yet. As always, I have narrowed these “things I don’t want to be when I’m old” down to a Top 5. I am resigned to the fact that, at 50, not much is going to get better. Like my knee that hurts now, when I turn 60, I’m not going to wake up and say, “wow, remember how bad my knee hurt when I was 50!?” No, more than likely, my knee will be, by then, similar to a petrified piece of drift wood and hurt even more. That’s life telling you that it has moved on from you. That you serve little purpose. That you are a taker now more than a giver.

I have no genetic guide stone to go by either. My doctor likes to ask me about my family history of illness and disease. Pretty sure that she and the other doctors in the medical group have a Death Pool going and she is just cheating in order to improve her odds. Everyone in my family with the exception of my father has died from something induced by things other than natural causes. My grandfather started smoking when he was nine and I’m pretty sure that had something to do with why he died in his early 70’s. Like who starts smoking when they’re nine?!?! Nine?! I smoke but didn’t start till I was 35 and I suppose the question should also be posed, “who starts smoking when they’re 35?!”

My mother died from complications from Lupus, I don’t have that. My grandmother fell on a wooden chair and the injury eventually caused fatal stomach cancer, I haven’t yet fallen so I think I’m good on that front. My other grandfather died from brain cancer but he was younger than I when he died so I think I beat that. My mother’s mom lived to be like 95 but called me David for most of my life so I don’t think that’s a good barometer of how I’ll go. BTW, my name is Jonathan not David. From the familial evidence, I guess, I’m either going to die from some crippling, freak injury or live until I’m one hundred when my mind is so full of holes that it causes me to call people by the wrong name. Not really sure which one is better.

There are always early warning signs that something is awry like when you get that excruciating sore throat right before an epic head cold sets in. Those alerts don’t have to always be of a physical nature either, sometimes you get a feeling that something mental is starting to break down. My mental warning came to me while I was watching this Daniel Tosh character on television with my daughter. His sarcastic remarks and his irreverent behavior had me seething and it dawned on me that I now understood the definition of the word “whippersnapper.” If I had a cane I would have been shaking it at the television screen. Tina Fey is a whippersnapper and so is Jack Black. I can’t stand the sight of any of them. Using the word “whippersnapper,” to me, is the epitome of the definition of “old.”

With that, I present the Top 5 Things I Don’t Want to do When I’m Old….

Top 5 Things I Don’t Want To Do When I’m Old

Buy medical supplies off TV

Wear bad sunglasses

Say “old” things

Let Wilfred Brimley speak for me

Drive during rush hour

Buy medical supplies off television –

I notice these kinds of commercials mostly when I watch re-runs of old MASH or Andy Griffith episodes and the fact that I am watching these types of shows in the first place is a pretty strong indicator that I am approaching the age of being in the demographic but the idea that I would buy a catheter off television let alone need a catheter is abhorrent to me.

Do people really install these things on their own at home? Like shove a plastic tube up their pee-hole? Seriously? When did this become a “do it yourselfer?” Who thought this was okay? Is this Obamacare in action or did the Republicans and their insurance provider cronies block an actual doctor from performing this procedure and pump the savings into another missile project? In either case, I think, I would rather piss myself than to have to sit on the edge of the tub and cram a tube up my junk hole. Surely no one wants the indignity of sporting a urine soaked diaper but isn’t technology supposed to get better with time? Is self-flagellating myself with a tube of plastic and toting around a bag of pee really supposed to count as advancement? “Good news old dude, no more diapers!” “Nope, now you can just shove this thing up your pecker in the comfort of your own home and walk around with a pee bag instead. Just don’t drink too much or this thing might explode allover you and everybody around you.”

Will there be catheters available in the “As Seen on TV” section at Walmart?

Wear my leftover cataract surgery glasses like a new pair of Oakleys –

Okay, this one frustrates me to no end. Apparently when you get old, a crusty film can develop over your eyeball resulting in having to have the doctor peel that shit off so you can see right again. Once the procedure is done your eyes are very sensitive to light and they give you these “temporary” giant black glasses to wear until you heal.

Problem being that you see people months later still using these ridiculously huge things as regular, everyday sunglasses. Lord knows that a good pair of shades can get rather pricey and no one is expecting somebody on a fixed income to go out and pick up a pair of Revo’s but, damn, any gas station has a rack of sunglasses that go for like $3.99, get some! Not only do you look like an idiot but you also look cheap as fuck.

At what age does one just not care anymore and forgo plunking down a few extra dollars on a pair of shades to at least pretend to still be sort of cool? Maybe if they came with a month’s worth of free pee-hole tubes?

Say things that define just how old and surly I really am –

Ever notice how old people describe the unfortunate amputation of someone’s body part(s)? It’s never, “once the doctor got in there he found he had to remove the spleen.” No it goes something like this, “the diabetes was so bad that they had to TAKE her leg.” Take? Took it where? They make it sound like the doctor needed the leg elsewhere or had a vendetta against the patient and crippled them.  Another example is, “he LOST his arm to the arthritis.” I guess the losing or the taking of a limb sounds better that saying that this poor fat bastard spent his life eating himself into oblivion to the point where his body couldn’t keep up anymore so they had to start dissecting him.

When did the doctor become the enemy? I propose it occurred right about the same time that one had to start self-cramming plastic up their genitals.

Old people also like to add the word “the” in front of any disease that one might have contracted. “Did you hear about Mort? Looks like he’s got THE cancer.” Maybe the severity of the disorder justifies the need for a “the?” Like you don’t see people saying that he had THE cold or THE strep throat.  Those are both rather benign and easily cured but when you get to your headliner kinds of diseases maybe those merit a “the.” Maybe using a “the” takes away the potential of associating it with themselves? I don’t have an answer but it’s annoying and I will try not to do it.

Appoint Wilfred Brimley as my spokesperson –

I’m not really sure who decided that this old, grizzled bastard was the poster child for the aged. What’s his fucking problem? What is he so pissed off about?

Drive during rush hour –

There is no reason in the world that a retired person needs to be out driving during rush hour. Where are they going? Why now? Can’t it wait? If I were to run for some kind of political office, which, by the way, will never happen because I think politics is stupid, I would run on one thing and one thing only, if you’re retired, you can’t leave the house in a car between the hours of 7AM- 9AM and 5PM- 7PM. I don’t care about abortion, gay rights, war, whatever, just leave the roads alone for four hours a day. Of course I would never get elected as old people are the only ones who vote but, really, unless it’s an emergency, and I can tell by the speed that you are proceeding with that it isn’t, stay off the road. I and everyone else out driving at 7AM are on our way to work. You can sleep in for God’s sake! You and your crotchety old buddies can wait to park it at McDonalds for the free coffee an hour later than normal.

My father doesn’t drive during rush hour. He has fully acquiesced to the fact that he has nowhere to be during those hours. What he does do, instead, is call me and regale me with his stories of yore. It’s cool though. I’ve heard his stories a thousand times and they never get old.

How many of these people should legitimately have a driver’s license anyway? 25 years ago I took my grandfather to renew his license and that requires a re-take of the eye test. Well, he had just had a stroke and was partially blind in his left eye and I knew he couldn’t pass but we figured it was better if they told him instead of us. I watched as he let five or six people cut in front of him and soon realized that he was memorizing the test. He passed! Crafty? Yes. Dangerous? Without question. The left side of his car already looked like he bought it at a war surplus auction and surely it was a matter of time before one of those dents had the impression of somebody’s face. Worse still, was his insistence that all of the other drivers on the road were the real problem. It was like riding with Mr. Magoo or Lindsay Lohan! No doubt, at least, the aged are devious.