The Random Griffith

Butthurt singer-songwriter for hire

Looks like I fiddlesticksed up again. Gosh darn it; sometimes I should look down at that third rail and say, “You know, that’s a third rail. If I touch that third rail, I’m likely to get all shocked and all, so I’ll just note that thought and move away from that third rail without being stupid enough to touch it.”

But no. Instead of doing one of a hundred other things, like sit in meditative silence, or call that platonic galpal back who wanted to meet for a meal tonight, I had to do a stupid. I got an Facebook invite to a show at a local coffee room, and I clicked on the page for that show and typed a message about wanting to come, but I’m boycotting any shows by the person at the top of the ticket until he lets me play on one of his shows. The top of the ticket guy immediately wrote back: “That’ll never happen.” Fine, I wrote back. At least you’re finally communicating with me, instead of giving me a passive-aggressive cold shoulder every time I stupidly abase myself to you for asking to play on one of your shows. Then he said something like “Butthurt singer-songwriters aren’t my style.”

Now, I’m not sure that butthurt is the correct word; I think that in my case the word “frustrated” is closer to the mark. Hey, maybe I come across as butthurt, or unnecessarily entitled, to people, and I’m just a poor self-observer. But not being named Cayce, or Criswell, or Kreskin, or Mesmer, I have no idea unless you tell me, preferably before I make an annoying idiot out of myself. Psychic I am not, contrary to what those astrologers tell me about my Pisces Moon-Mercury combo in the sixth house trining my Neptune in the second or something like that.

Yes, I have a lot of songs that I want to play for people. I thought that this certain DIY straightedge punk legend and onetime local cafe owner might be open to my little ambition, perhaps. I figured wrong, of course, but I kept persisting even though I wasn’t getting any kind of straight answer. Perhaps I was, but it was telegraphed in that unspoken way that non-Asperger types communicate, and I was too cluelessly autistic to pick up the signals. Story of my life, there, really.

I could go off at this point and rip the guy a new sphincter with my precision-sharpened critic’s scalpel, but I won’t. I respect the guy’s work and like a lot of his songs, really, and in the past, we’ve enjoyed reasonably warm conversation to the point where I thought I could consider him a friend. I admire his tenacity to keep going even when the world is throwing him the middle finger, and I think he’s got a great work ethic. In fact, I’d spoken to his wife at one point about asking him to help me sequence a set’s worth of my songs, which is a service I would pay money to have done, and she seemed to voice that it might be a decent idea. Perhaps I misperceived. Anyway, I ran it past him, and got that cold shoulder, and didn’t press forward with that idea anymore. Asking for help in a way that I actually receive it doesn’t seem to be one of my strong suits, which is one reason I don’t seem to have many musician pals helping me to flesh out my songs.

My only caveat is that this person and his cohorts seem overly chummy and exclusionary, at least toward me. Perhaps they think that I, my music, or maybe both, “suck,” or aren’t up to their lofty standards, but they never got around to telling me to my face until now. Which is okay; I’ve spent large parts of my life casting what few pearls I have before swine, and I’m just getting around to stopping that behavior, or at least reining it in. The funny thing is, this person has rattled off many column inches in one of his blogs bitching about the local music scene, and to me, he and his little treehouse of friends are as much of the problem as anyone he rails about, and the idea of him calling anyone else “butthurt” is more than slightly risible.

But I’d rather not focus anymore on something I can’t control, which is what he or anyone else thinks about me. I’m more interested in getting at the root of the problem, which is why people react to me the way they do. It’s kinda like my dad used to tell me: “If you’re walking around town and all you keep running into is assholes, come home and look in the mirror.” And I really want to figure out why people perceive me as too “butthurt” to want to work with me, so I can address those negative qualities or try to get help working through them. I’m sincere about this; I don’t want to die and then have somebody say, wow, he wrote some pretty good tunes; too bad he’s not around to play them now.

So at some point, I’d really rather move past that which is holding me back. I’d like for people to want to play music with me, rather than talk behind my back about what a jerk they think I am, or laugh at me for trying. I’m not getting any younger, but mostly I’m getting incrementally wiser. I want to use the time I have left to communicate with others, and I really would like the privilege and opportunity to play my songs to people. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. But I’ll have to approach people who feel warmly toward me, rather than people who secretly harbor animosity toward me.

So maybe next time, I’ll do the smart thing and shut up before I make any more enemies. —Jackson Griffith


Happy December 24, or Santa is just Satan spelled sideways

Posted in embarrassing confessionals, laundromat posts by Jackson Griffith on 25/12/2011

Because I can’t locate any Mr. Magoo marathons anywhere on the cable, and even more because I don’t have cable so even if there was a Mr. Magoo marathon somewhere I wouldn’t know about it, I’m sitting here on Christmas eve, doing my laundry. Like you were surprised, right? I mean, me and this obsession with doing laundry, when I used to be that guy who would be schlepping plastic garbage bags of dirty clothes down to the laundromat every month or so, is kinda not in character. But really it is; I lead a tidy, reasonably organized, utterly boring and solitary life, with far less surprises than in the past.

I’m not going to post any Christmassy stuff, just because I’m not really a Christmassy guy. Didn’t get a whole lot of party invitations this holiday season, probably because I’ve been such a hermit. Hermitage is good, though. I can noodle around on the guitar and read books and go eat dinner by myself and walk around the neighborhood, and nobody gives me a hard time about it. Hell, most of the time I have such a difficult time making conversation with people that it’s kind of a relief being alone. I prefer to communicate with people via my fingers, as in typing or writing. My mouth, not so good, at least until I can work up the nerve to see a dentist.

I hope you aren’t getting the vibe that I’m wallowing in self-pity here, because I’m most decidedly not. My life is generally pretty good. Yeah, the holidays suck, especially when your family is fractured and you haven’t had anyone gaze at you lovingly and call you sweetie in a long time. But usually I can get through any rough patches or raw emotional moments, or days, by holding the realization that things change, and then they change again, and then they keep changing.

So here it is, almost Christmas. I’m kinda planning on working on this crazy song cycle I started, but I’m pretty open to whatever comes surging down the pike. Got some nice plans for tomorrow, and gonna fold my laundry today.

Like now, really. Till next time. —Jackson Griffith

It’s cold by Ramentown standards, and I dunno what I’m doing tonight

Posted in embarrassing confessionals by Jackson Griffith on 21/12/2011

Whatever it is I’m doing this evening, I have no idea what it is. Rather than get in some porcupine-rasslin’ match with Ron Paul enthusiasts on Facebook, for which I really don’t have the bandwidth tonight, and rather than fix some dinner at home, I elected to bundle up and walk down to the local twentysomthing cafe three blocks away. Figured I’d eat a salad, drink a root beer and bang out one of these little windows into my cranium.

I might have drived/driven/drove, but that would mean I’d have to give up my parking slot in the apartment complex first-come-first-serve lot, and I’d have to park on the street because the lot is full, and that’s because a lot of chumps from neighboring buildings are parking there, and our manager has other things more pressing than telling these nincompoops to vamoose or get towed, so it’s a sucky situation and I have a lingering resentment that makes me race home after work just so I can grab one of the slots before one of the other resident tools gets in first, like this one balding goatee’d troll in a VW GTI who grabs the front slot, I swear he lurks and watches until someone leaves and then he runs out and gets in his car and whips it into the empty space, so I have a stupid resentment about all that. Stupid, stupid resentment.

Anyway, I walked.

So then I got a table, which is nice because the usual crowd of college kids is on hiatus. Ordered a salad and a root beer. Tuned into the two couples at the next table because they were talking loud about nothing in particular, found myself getting judgmental, realized that all my judgments were in my head, so I went back to typing. Found a really dumb Croatian blond-wig band for your enjoyment. Ate a salad: The bleu cheese is surprisingly catboxesque, but not in a bad way; it’s just pungent in the way your dog’s breath is when he kisses you after snouting his way through the Fresh Step in search of kitty-sourced Tootsie Rolls.

And now they’re gone. This place stops serving beer around 10, even though it’s open until 11. Those kids wanted to drink. Doesn’t make sense, they complained. I told them I thought it might be because when the coffeehouse, a fixture in this part of town since before I arrived in the mid-1980s, got new owners, who were more foodie-inclined, they went for a beer and wine license and got a lot of pushback from the neighbors, many of whom are old hippies who bought victorians and other old houses when they were run-down piles in the 1970s, and they kicked in a lot of time, love and money into bringing them up to suff, and they they grew older and grumpier and turned into old-city preservationists. Nothing wrong with that, but you can’t stay fixed in a time when you packed your bong and cracked an Anchor Steam and blissed out to the willowy strains of your favorite Crosby, Stills & Nash record, because those days are long since passed, and this is a young person’s town now.

Which I actually like, even though I’m older now, too. It’s a really crummy place to be single, though, because most of the women in this ‘hood are closer to my daughter’s age, and I prefer women who are much closer to my own age, which is, um, like, well, I was born in the first year Chevrolet offered a V8 engine in its Bel Air model. Not to hard to figure out. Which is to say that it’s after 10, and I’d better start ambling back to my tiny apartment and hope the neighbor across the way isn’t having ring-shout sexytime. If I’m awake, I just improvise my own porno soundtrack via some ninth chords and R&B vamps on my guitar. But waking up from a dead sleep to hear some random woman having a theatrical orgasm can lead to some pretty jinky dreams, like animals getting tortured and things like that.

Cranked the heat before I left. I know my bed’s yummily toasty now. G’night! —Jackson Griffith

Don’t think anyone’s bothering to read this, sooooo …

Posted in Uncategorized by Jackson Griffith on 19/12/2011

Might as well run something up the flagpole here, just to seee who salutes it. I looked at the ticker, and no one’s reading this godforsaken blog, so I can pretty much say anything and no one will bother to respond. Anyhoo, so I’m about to enter into a hermit-like existence for the next few months, writing my masterpiece of Americana, titled “Let Us Now Praise Also-Rans.” Its subject matter will span over 200 years of American history, that subject matter being the losing vice-presidential candidates since 1796, which will cover at least 50 candidates, meaning at least 50 new songs. It will begin with Aaron Burr and will finish with Sarah Palin.

I figure that might make for an interesting narrative thread through American history, or pop culture and American history and other stuff. I’ve already written about half of the first three songs, the first one on Aaron Burr,” titled “How We Will Be Remembered”; the second, as yet untitled, on Samuel Adams; the third, on brothers Thomas Pinckney and Charles Cotesworth Pinkney, both of whom ran unsuccessfully for vice-president. That one doesn’t have a title, either. Partially written means that I have full melodic and chord structures, and some words. Next up, after that, is Rufus King, and then I’ll have to look at my list for what comes after that. I think it’s some Norwegian-sounding guy.

I figure that if I’m lucky, I can write the final 14 or more songs in February, in time for February is Album Writing Month. Working backward from Sarah Palin, the major-party candidates are John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Jack Kemp, Dan Quayle, Geraldine Ferraro, Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, Sargent Shriver, Thomas Eagleton, Edmund Muskie, William Miller and the guy who I wanted to write a song about that inspired this project, Henry Cabot Lodge. Oh, and before him, C. Estes Kefauver, who had a high school named after him in a National Lampoon high-school yearbook parody. I forget who’s before that, except that I think the losing candidate in 1920 was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Unlike the three guys who gave me the idea by doing a project on presidents, I don’t expect anything to come from this. But if I can get my act together, you can expect some pretty decent songs. I’ll be launching a new blog and posting rough mp3 versions sometime after the first of the year.

Wish me luck? —Jackson Griffith

Sorry, I only post from laundromats

Posted in laundromat posts by Jackson Griffith on 12/12/2011

Sorry. I’m such a skeez that I only post now on Sundays when I do my wawrshing. When the money gets to where I can invest in a new ‘puter and then get wi-fi at my apartment, then I’ll go back to posting every day.

This weekend I was going through stuff. I had to retrieve something out of my storage space for somebody, and I started pulling old items out, with the idea of systematically going through everything I have left from my past life and either cataloging and shelving it, or getting rid of it or, in a few cases, returning it to its rightful owner. I want to consolidate down to a smaller space, and then to no space at all. So, I’ve got some things to go through this week.

One thing I found on my counter at home, which I got last year as a Christmas party white elephant gift from a documentary filmmaker and judge who shall remain nameless, is a voodoo doll. Specifically an “ex-wife voodoo doll.” I received it right at the time that my love life went south, and 2011 has been a complete washout from me. Not even a kiss, or even mild flirtation.

Now, I don’t know if getting rid of this thing will change my life at all, but I’m feeling to do this in the least harmful way possible. I thought about leaving it on a certain doorstep at a house on a corner at Freeport Boulevard in Land Park, but decided that this guy’s wife and daughter don’t need to be dragged into it. I thought about looking up a certain lawyer in Placerville and sending it to his house, but decided to pass on that, too.

You see, I don’t harbor any ill will for my ex-wife, or her special friends. That was then, in another lifetime. So this filmmaker giving me that gift last year, telling me, “When I saw this in the el-cheapo store, I thought of you,” was less than appropriate. I’m the wrong guy for that sort of gift. I may be fascinated by hoodoo and other forms of magic from a cultural point of view, but as a person who embraces Buddhist thought, I can’t practice it, because it involves exerting power over others and, ultimately, harming them.

So, I think I have just the place for it. —Jackson Griffith

Another Sunday, another trip to the laundry

Posted in gosh darn it, laundromat posts by Jackson Griffith on 05/12/2011

Let’s see, here’s your weekend update: I played a gig last night, which was cool. I guess the only caveat is that I keep wishing that people I know will come see me, but fuggit. I’m just gonna keep playing and working and one of these days, maybe that will change. After the show, and the fabulous Mondo Bizarro cafe in Midtown Sac, I went down to the Safeway on 19th for some cleaning supplies, and then I walked across the street to check out the new Bows & Arrows store where Retrofit Studios used to be. Yes, I am woefully slow to go anywhere, and the place has been open for only like a year or something. The coolest part was walking up to Dane and Rodney at the wine bar, saying hi to Rodney, and watching him squint at me before asking, “Who are you?” “Uh, It’s Jackson, Rodney. He’s grown a beard.”

To backtrack to my sojourn to Safeway, I can’t believe how many of the tabloids in the racks at the checkout counter either featured a Kardashian family member as the cover subject, or else the Kardashians were listed on the cover as one of the stories inside. Yeah, I know. Tabloids. But has everyone lost their minds? I know I go round and round on this, but let’s review:

Thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage breaks out with a leaked sex tape that porno enthusiasts describe in terms of what a phenomenally lousy lay she must be, if what’s on the tape is anywhere near true. Nevertheless, thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage parlays that putatively crummy sex tape into a show, produced by Merv Griffin-wannabe Ryan Seacrest, an alien life-form who hosts a foisting mechanism called American Idol that has all but completely ruined anything artful left in popular music, which airs on another network controlled by encrusted dingleberries cast off by a decompensating fuehrer in a bunker far, far away.

The Kardashian show, or now, more accurately, infestation of shows, airs on the E! Network, a horrendous cable-TV septic tank that is owned by Comcast, a huge corporation that is cable television and internet service provider, and now owns the majority of NBC Universal, a film studio and television network. The show inexplicably catches on, and like a raccoon who’s just gotten fed, the thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage crawls back to the house the next morning with her entire raccoon family, who all get either featured in Seacrest-produced shows or else they get their own breakout shows.

All of a sudden, this family of thoroughly unexceptional raccoons are stars, or what passes for them in our pre-apocalyptic society. They are everywhere. The thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage changes over time, via the marvels of plastic surgery, to an olive-skinned cross between a Barbie doll and the Venus of Willendorf, and there are accounts that her most noteworthy feature, her enlarged gluteus maximus, is surgically altered. Acolytes, who view the thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage as the fulfillment of a prophecy by Sir Mix-A-Lot 20 years earlier, are not shaken by these developments.

Then the thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage round-heels her way through a number of melanin-enhanced professional athletes, and she ultimately settles on an oaf of a boy-man who’s skill in the kitchen centers around his ability to braise raccoon meat in a Dutch oven, and the thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage and the oafish boy-man Dutch oven chef marry in a ceremony that is touted by the very, very stupid as some sort of American royal wedding. It lasts all of 72 days.

I’m really not sure about you, but I know I’ve had enough. I don’t want to see any more of them when I go to the store, and any supermarket chain that can set up a 100-percent Kardashian-free checkout line, or two, will earn my business. I don’t watch their show, and I do no business with Comcast, because that company has done so much to push this infestation of raccoons on the public, and I don’t want to subsidize it by getting overcharged on my cable bill. Since Comcast has acquired General Electric’s old interest in NBC Universal, the thoroughly unexceptional hanger-on in Paris Hilton’s entourage and her family of fellow raccoons have been turning up on shows on NBC, particularly that lantern-jawed Doritos pitchman who hosts the once decent show once hosted much better by Jack Paar and Johnny Carson.

I think my clothes are dry. I will shut up now. —Jackson Griffith

You got to clean your clothes and wash your face

Posted in hipster gibberish, laundromat posts by Jackson Griffith on 28/11/2011

Another Sunday, another trip to the laundromat. I’m a pretty mundane guy, really. I like to go to bed on Sunday night knowing all my clothes are folded and put away or, for certain shirts, hanging in the closet. You know, enough to get me through the work week, to spare. There’s nothing like hitting Thursday and not having clean underwear or socks, or a clean shirt.

There are other things I’d rather be doing during the week than laundry. Not that I hate doing laundry; I’ve developed a bit of an obsession, that’s become a routine, and I tend to be a person of routines. Call it my Asperger geekiness: I often will eat the same thing at the same restaurants, and drive the same routes, and cook the same stuff at home over and over, and I have to force myself to make other choices.

Although it doesn’t really matter what I do, really. I mean, I’ve got no one really vying for my time, so I can get up and do what I want, and not have to plan it out, or argue better this than that, and I don’t have to answer to anybody. Not even a cat, or even a girlfriend. Wife? Forget it. I’ve pretty much figured out that this flying solo is my lot in life at this juncture, and I really can’t see things changing out of the blue, so what I can do is take good care of myself and enjoy life, one present moment at a time.

Lately, a lot of my present moments have been filled with this obsession I have to become a better guitarist. So I hunker down in my tiny apartment with books of tablature, translating the arcane symbols on the page into music via my fingers, the left-hand ones on the guitar fretboard, and the right-hand ones dangling over the sound hole, plucking the strings. Or trying to make music. It’s slow work, really, and the improvements seem glacial.

It’s taken me months to get even a few of Taylor’s songs down, because the arrangements are so deliciously intricate. I can do halting and tentative versions of “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” and “You Can Close Your Eyes,” and I’ve got about 12 of the 15 pages of tablature memorized for the first guitar (there’s a second guitar part, too) on his cover version of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” I’ll probably work to get those three as “mastered” as I can before I move on to other songs. I have some Beatles and Jobim and Joplin and Bach books I want to work out of, too.

Which is good that I’m such a loner. If I had a social life at all, I’d never learn these difficult tunes. It use to be that I wanted to play music because I thought that might be a keen way to meet women, but now I just do it because I’m in love with the process itself, and there aren’t any women to be found. I also write a lot of songs, some of which I think are pretty good, but the only way I will get people to listen is to be able to play them really well. And I am hoping that some of what I’m learning from sweet baby James will start turning up in my own repertoire as well.

So there’s your update. Hope you’re having a swell week. I am. —Jackson Griffith

I love my friends

Posted in apology for not posting for a while, laundromat posts by Jackson Griffith on 21/11/2011

Figure no one is bothering to read this thing anymore. It isn’t that I’ve lost the passion for writing. More like, until I can get enough money together for a new computer, I won’t be posting much. This wonderful old ‘puter has been quite good to me (well, except for a couple of buttmunched hard drives), but it’s a tad touchy these days, and the battery life is not nearly as robust as it once was.

I’m just not sure what to say these days. I’m surprised that it’s taken this long for people to get really pissed off in this country, but therein lies the power of shiny objects. We got so lulled into distraction by foist after foist after foist that we didn’t see the foundation and structure of the house we lived in getting taken apart underneath us while we were hypnotized by whatever distractions were being sent our way to keep from noticing how bad things were getting.

So why am I not out there standing with the 99 percent? I dunno. Maybe it’s because when my life fell apart a few years ago, I was relatively alone, while so many people I knew were fat and happy. I lost a wife, a family, a house, a car, a lot of other stuff, a job, and enough of what I once thought was my life that I was pretty sure what was left was going to end soon. And then things started getting better, around the time a lot of other people I know started going through hardships. And now, there’s a job I have to get to five mornings a week, and a lot of things to learn, so I honestly don’t have time, or maybe it’s the inclination, to sit with others in the park.

It isn’t that I’m not in accord. Hell, most politicians, by my observation, seem to spend the lion’s share of their time jerking off contributors to help fund the next election cycle, and most of those contributors seem to be corporations, banks or other vested interests. It doesn’t take a person of brilliance to figure how that’s all going to play out. But didn’t it once seem that banks and other instruments of greed would try to maintain a modicum of sustainability, and would make sure to keep their customers alive enough to pay their notes? These days, it’s like we’re all roaches being fed to assassin bugs, who stab their razor-sharp proboscises into our bodies and suck our insides out like we’re just tasty milkshakes, then leave our dried-out husks by the side of the road as they speed toward the next victims.

So it’s a Sunday night, and my schmattes are in the dryer, and I figured it was time for an update, so hey. Off to work tomorrow with clean clothes. Gonna record some music tomorrow night, if it all works out. I’ll do the next week as well as I can, one day at a time and all that. Life is good, or at the very least okay. Yeah, I’m just your basic loner weirdo, who’s left his dreams by the side of the road with the dead bugs the bankers sucked dry. I’m not bummed to be in this involuntary monk mode anymore; I’ve just let go of all those movie scripts that were clogging up my waking and sleeping consciousness, so now I can just do life without expectation of dreams come true.

And that’s all right. Really, it is. —Jackson Griffith

Ant man bee two thousand yard stare

Posted in embarrassing confessionals, sports gibberish by Jackson Griffith on 07/11/2011

Heck whiz gosh darn hardy har har. I’m a one-eyed tomcat in a sushi bar. Honey, squinkle my dinkle, hinkle my binkle, crinkle my minkle till the cows come home. Um, went to a party last night, took my guitar, it was mostly couples except for me and this other guy whose sweetie is in New Zealand or somewhere. Thought we was gonna sing and play guitars and I brought mine, but then the vibe was all wrong and when I was trying to run through this original acoustic number entitled “I Am Almost Fixing to Get Ready to Rock and Roll,” one of the husbands, I’m sure reasonably well-lubricated on whatever it was they were quaffing, decided a little pianistic accompaniment might be in order. So his Cecil Taylor on PCP ivory tinklings completely overpowered my music, and I got the message and put my guitar away. Did not get to try out “Squinkle Mah Dinkle,” or more fluffy romantic fare like “Morning Glory,” or anything else. To hang with that crowd, I’d better bone up on classic rock fare that everyone can sing along to, rather than my own stanky repertoire of tuneage that nobody knows or gives a hoot’s patoot aboot.

So, over it, or what I was on about last time. Fuggit, really; life is not fair. Well, to be honest, I have had spells of plenty in the past, but as my middle age segues into slightly older, I’m increasingly getting the idea that I’d better get used to my own company, unshared with any fine ladies, and had better bone up on checkers, or chess, or bocce, or even horseshoes. Yes, there are prostitutes available, but if you know anything about the historical Griffith, you’d understand why I’m not really interested.

Anyway, here it is that turn-cold time when we go lurching into the holidays, and I’ll have to go into high gear on practicing the art of not giving a merde that I’m just one of those people who must be better off living a quiet little life on their own, or at least not suited for anything other than solitary. So, the gosh darned heck with it. Even if every little thing is gonna remind me that I’m one of those weird loner misanthropes. Hey, I love people. I love you. I love everybody. Well, most everybody. Just don’t invite me to one of your little parties where everybody’s coupled up except me, or I’ll get all wasted on ginger ale and start in with the ribald limericks and explicitly pornographic haikus. You do not want that, trust me.

Ergo, fuggit. Hey, how ’bout those Niners? What are they, seven and one? Kick arse. About time we got some decent football in this region. What’s that? Raiders? No, I’m talking about sporting events that can be enjoyed by humans. Nevertheless, do rest in peace, Al Davis. Loved your team back in the day, but whenever there’s a Raiders game on now, I try to stay off the road during it, and at least four or so hours after it’s over. No offense, but you’ve got some real hammerheads in that fan base.

Go Jints! And rest in peace, Bob Forsch, Sacramento pitcher who got to see his team win a series before he went off to that big sports bar in the sky. And while I’m no fan of the formerly Budweiser Cards, if you had a manager who was idiosyncratic enough to be a vegetarian and hang out with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, well, I guess better that team taking the trophy than one associated with George W. Bush.

Now, about that roundball. Still locked out. No season. Which means bye-bye Kings, so my friends and I are already discussing a renewed allegiance to the Golden State Warriors. And as much as I love the Kings, I know the Maloofs will either sell the team or move them to somewhere with more money on the table. I miss basketball, really. I wish these millionaires could come to an accord so those of us who love the game can have something to follow.

Because I still don’t get hockey. Maybe if I can go to a game with some hardcore fans and they can explain a few things to me, I can catch the fever. I still don’t have it, yet.

Other than that, there’s work. Bugs, more bugs, and maybe some rats. Get up in the morning, go to work, enjoy that, come home, play some guitar or go to an AA meeting, eat, meditate, read a little, set the alarm and go to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. On weekends, do some stuff like laundry and shopping, so I can have a less stressful work week.

Life isn’t bad, but it’s boring without the ladies. But because somewhere in there I guess I lost the ability to attract them into my life. So now I’ll just get used to being a big ol’ stinky guy, or something like that.

Go figure. I sure can’t. —Jackson Griffith

Saudade Coronet 500 Super Bee Thousand

Posted in apology for uh um, embarrassing confessionals by Jackson Griffith on 01/11/2011

Another few weeks, another apology. I guess I shouldn’t have to apologize when the muse goes south, though. So I won’t. Maybe if I can get my high-functioning autistic shit together for like five minutes, I could get some wi-fi in my crummy apartment and then I’d me writing way more. I’d never leave the apartment, even.

So, to paraphrase the late great Elvis Presley back when mama Gladys’ little pink hearts were still a novelty, I’m all shook up. You see, last night I went to dinner with my first serious love from when we were both just stumbling out of our teens, and we’ve developed a nice warm friendship via Facebook and she’s in a nice relationship back in Canadasota or wherever it is she lives, something about lutefisk and hotdish and conniving Oldsmobile salesmen getting fed into woodchippers, so it was just a very golden-burnished evening in an tandoor joint in Davis, talking about old times and all that. Really, it was the first date-like experience I’ve had in at least a year.

It’s just that I woke up today with a massive saudade hangover, because it reminded me of a time in my life when time when I could have relationships with beautiful women, but even moreso because I realized that I’d let a lot of that part of me go to sleep, or even most or nearly all of that formerly irrepressibly romantic and warm part of me that used to bring me such joy. And heartbreak, too.

I don’t know where I went wrong, really. Oftentimes I feel like a ghost walking around the Midtown district of the city where I live, and much of that may arise from the fact that I’m a middle-aged guy in a district that’s now overrun by people a lot younger than me, people who I seem to have a pretty nice rapport with as friends, but as dating material, there’s just that cultural disconnect. Plus my daughter is 23, but most importantly, I prefer the company of women a lot closer to me in age.

But the women I know close to me in age, around here, I just don’t seem to click with them. Maybe it’s because I still haven’t quite recovered from the big washout of a divorce followed by a major crash and burn, and I’ve got an invisible metaphysical “X” carved in my forehead like the door of a 1930s house to signify easy stew for hobos. Or maybe it’s something else. The reality is that, in their company, I feel like that kid who had to wear a helmet until well into his teen years to prevent impromptu head injuries, lurking around the pretty and popular girls on the senior quad at high school who laugh at him the moment he turns his back.

That, of course, is all feeling, and feelings aren’t facts. But there is some kind of major disconnect going on, or at least it seems like it, and I’ve begun to get worse lately. Basically, I’ve been poring over my life with a fine-toothed comb in recent months, and that cursory diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism that I got when I had health insurance before my big two-year wipeout seems to be hitting home pretty hard.

I think that everyone wants to be understood, and validated. It isn’t that I’m craving the sweetness and sensuality of a warm relationship, although that would be nice. It’s just that I need to have intimate friends around me I feel close to that I can talk about this stuff with, just so another human being or two knows what it’s like to feel like when cognition and emotional response with other folks suddenly segues from the familiarity of conversational English to trying to make way in one of those countries where the written tongue is either all vowels or all consonants.

Perhaps I’ve said too much, and I should shut up now. This is like three years to the day when the last woman I really loved, my muse I figured wrongly, said hasta la bye-bye loser boy, and I’ve had a few chances since, but mostly it was me running away for trumped-up reasons like they couldn’t handle my thirst for squigglicous free-jazz saxophone yammering, or I got the feeling I wasn’t in a safe zone to talk about my boundless fascination for eusocial insects or oddball prewar Czech dreamcars like the Tatra T-87, or something. Anyway, I ramble.

And so I will shut up, and let that flowering romantic in me slip back into the safety of slumber. —Jackson Griffith