Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Darkness and light......

Puppy did it again.

Monday Night was glorious.....from a food standpoint. Brendan was back. In tribute, our crew rallied behind him and knocked it out of the park....

And then the guests failed us.

As they had all weekend.

The Rich Surgeon left 12% after being a whiny dick....and grabbing the microphone and subjecting everyone to old frat boy rock-and-roll before leaving. Meanwhile, his cool, beautiful wife slipped me a C-note for the Cachagua Volunteers.

Moral dilemma: stiff the Volunteers to take care of the girls?

No.....a douche bag is a douche bag. Gotta pity the poor wife, and we love the Volunteers. They get the C-note.

A guy who owns a winery up the Road and three restaurants in Carmel left exactly 14% on a table of ten. Everyone else at the table was cooler than he.....and tips way better. Every restaurant in the world adds a fixed gratuity to tables of more than six...including his...but we decided to trust him as a fellow restaurant guy. The bill for his table in his own restaurant would have been approximately triple our fees......and anything less than 20% on the triple would have him hamstrung on the way out by his crew. We love his family.....actually everyone BUT him......so fuck him, anyway. I feel more sorry for his poor family than I do our girls. They only had to deal with the douche bag for one night. How do you say "douche bag" in Belgian, anyway?

This all led to a nice late night dinner with our bunch.....some nice wines......a big wind down with a lot of soul searching.......

And a long discussion of Mickey Finn's.

In New York in the old days there were basically two styles of mickeys: the Italians and the French.

The Italians, at the Copacabana on 60th Street around the corner from us at The Colony on Madison and 61st went in for chloral hydrate. Chloral hydrate would drop you in your tracks....the douche bag would take a sip or two of his mickeyed drink and drop like the sack of shit that he had proved himself to be.

The bouncers would be waiting and grab the guy after his face-plant, drag him out the front door, and toss him out onto 60th Street. Fuck you.

Meanwhile, these bouncers/doormen were large enforcement types, and obviously packing serious heat, despite the expensive tailoring. The Copa clientele got both a little rush from their attentions, and a sense of security.

The French style was different. We preferred to avoid confrontation......so you got a dose of extremely strong veterinary laxative. French tailoring...and smaller automatics.

The douche bag would have a few sips of his mickeyed drink, and continue to embarrass himself.....until he felt the overwhelming urge, and would sprint for the gent's. At which point, a gauntlet of pissed off workers would be waiting for him just outside the men's room. The maitre d'hotel would stop the guy, brush his lapels, button the buttons of his jacket, pat him on the shoulder in passing......and then jerk the jacket down over his shoulders, imprisoning his arms.

The crew would then take over. Smack, smack. Bundle the guy up and out the back door into the dumpster. Fuck you.

The nice part about the French method was that it was out of sight of the guests, did not involve actual weaponry.....and by the time the mook dragged himself out of the dumpster he had usually shit himself so there was no more confrontation.

I gotta talk to our mobile vet about some medication.

It would be perfect for the Surgeon Guy from last night......since he now runs a weight loss clinic.

Physician heal thyself.

Anyway, the after-work buzz took us until 2:30 am. Wakeup is at 6:30.....and Tuesday means trash, re-cycle and compost duty. On four hours' sleep.

I was so looking forward to a nap this afternoon.....but there was Puppy. He was already wearing a collar, but he went and found his backup collar and brought it to me. He pulled my compost jeans out of the wash and brought them to me. He ran down to the garage and got my compost boots and brought them up. Then he started barking and biting.....and dragging my office chair towards the door. Puppy wanted to go for a hike.

So, dammit.....I went. After 90 hours in five days on my feet....let's go for a hike. What could be better?

In protest, I went in my pyjamas and a pair of Croc's.

It takes about five minutes to climb a couple of hundred feet out our back door....even in pyjamas and Croc's.

The Old Dog and I climbed slowly....in protest. Morgana is still on point, though....despite her age. She is famous for once having brought home a human hand from a hike. She had found a plane crash that had escaped Search and Rescue......and was very proud of her trophy. When we do our Tuesday afternoon protest hikes with Puppy, she drags her old bones up the hill....always staying uphill and upwind of me, to protect me from lions. So far it is working.

Puppy meanwhile was ripping through the woods like a ghost. He moved so fast that Morgana and I were fully amused. A feeling like "joy" hit me......like I felt on Carmel Beach on Saturday when I simultaneously nailed seven last minute dishes for fifty people for an old friend.....with only a broken Weber and a broken propane stove for help. This joy required no effort......just watching a free spirit ripping unrestrained through the woods at high speed......just for the pure joy of being able to rip through the woods at high speed.

Morgana and I poked along, pretending to hike. Despite our weak efforts, we came to a place where a big oak had fallen last year and left a hole in the oak envelope. A glimpse off to the north changed my whole week.

Our property is on the shady side of Carmel Valley. The sun goes away at 3pm, even in the summer. The north facing side is sun-blasted until late. The Valley walls are steep, and in a very few feet of climbing your whole perspective changes radically.

Once again, the difference in perspective of our cool, dark, sheltered cove in the oaks vs. the sunblasted northside hills was stunning.

Georgia O'Keefe was back. The hills marching above Rancho Chupinos defy comprehension in my little world. Are they folding....or unfolding? Standing there in the midst of the poison oak and looking north I get the same feeling I get gazing upwards in a great cathedral in Italy or Spain. I can't quite absorb the perspective.....I can't quite make the distance of time an space ....and the effort required to create this thing of beauty into something I can grasp.

Both Amanda and I have made the rookie error of trying to climb Mt. Toro and the hills above Rancho Chupinos on foot. It seems so close, and so accessible. Right. Hours later, after the moon has risen and fallen, and you are out of water and completely exhausted.....and you have not even managed the first wrinkle in the Georgia O'Keefe serape....and a different kind of respect dawns. "You mere mortals cannot walk this land."

Each year Amanda and I scrimp and save to desperately escape California and spend a month in Spain in the mountains by the Northern Coast. We don't go to movies, we don't eat out....we don't even rent movies. I realize that we are not seeking to escape the Country....we are getting away from the country.

Today I was trying to figure out why. People from Spain should fly here to hike my mountain and experience the view of Rancho Chupinos in Summer....or Spring.....or dead Winter, for that matter.

Plus, there is something about looking from shade into sunlight......experiencing beauty at a distance.

It is not coincidental that we came back down the mountain from our hike in time to listen and watch Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic Convention.

I have not been of fan of Hillary.....but for me she brought all the chickens home to roost. For eight years.....actually more like 28 years.....we have all been standing in the shade, admiring that golden vision of beauty from afar. And, believe me....we are all at least a couple of days hike with no water from experiencing any of it.

America used to be a vision of joy and possibilities, and limitless potential....that real people could actually grasp in real time.

America has become a venal, crude, wasteful, cynical caricature of a failed state in the last eight years.

Listening to Hillary speak I had the exact same emotions that I had looking out at Rancho Chupinos.......I can barely appreciate the beauty of her vision, because it is so far away.......

And right in front of us......is something we can almost grasp.


Vote Obama.

Or I will sic my dog on you for a play-date.


Blogger kathy said...

It was a pretty damn phenomenal speech. Why wasn't she talking that talk during the primaries? It's the first time her speeching was on par with Bill's.

9:27 AM  
Blogger mrduncan2k said...

I have a question for you since you are encouraging me to vote for B. O. exactly what are his qualifications? What particular piece of major or minor legislation has he prepared? What is his background that qualifies him for the Presidency?

I admit he can give a speech, that is, as long as there is a teleprompter, I saw him without it and he looked pathetic.

I have been told and have heard on the radio and read in the newspapers that we should bring our troops home, abandon their positions, after all what business does the United States have sticking its nose everywhere in the world, stay out of it, it’s not our business. Or is it? Is the shadow of a specter looming on the horizon?

There are threats everywhere, un-thought of evil encroaching closer and closer, the realization of car bombs, suicide killings, kidnappings and beheadings about to splash over our daily front pages. We have troops tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can’t just turn tail and run like a cowardly lion. When we bring our men and women home it must be in victory. We owe that to those who have served, many, more then one tour. We owe it to those who have paid the ultimate price. Nothing short of victory will bring honor to them.

We have no choice but to be pro-active in world events, our national security is at stake. Look at what’s happening with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is increasing his nuclear capacity, thumbing his nose at America, he proclaims disbelief of the holocaust and vows to wipe Israel of the face of the earth through his own holocaust, then he wants to annihilate us.

Israel, like the rest, is waiting to see the results of our Presidential election, God help us, we have the last choice picks to choose from. On one hand we have a long term senator who never saw a democrat initiative he didn’t shoulder up to, but will give us, we hope, good conservative judges like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, and he is a senator familiar with war. The other, a novice, a short term senator, a community organizer, a good speaker as long as there is a teleprompter, not a single thing he can point to as a qualifier, he has zero experience, zero commonsense, zero good judgment, and zero interaction with world leaders who would eat his lunch 24/7 at our expense, whose mantra is change, God help us.
Israel will not just lie down and be murdered, Israel will fight tooth and nail especially if Benjamin Netanyahu becomes Prime Minister, he is no milk toast weakling like Ehud Olmert.Then there is Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden; the Mujahedin; the Kurds; Hamas; Hezbollah and not to be forgotten, that stumpy, dog eating, pot bellied dictator in North Korea, Kim Jong-il.

Vladimir Putin is busy checking America’s resolve, will we stand up or not, that’s the big question for him, he is also watching to see who becomes our next President; I wonder who he is pushing for? He is also pursuing a goal of setting up missiles in Cuba; do you remember the Cuban missile crisis? Of course that happened back when Democrats were a different breed then they are now.

Then, also not to be forgotten, on the world stage is China’s intention to take back Taiwan.

Within our own boarders is the constant problem of illegal immigration, it is driving us into the poor house and the diseases being brought into our country were, up to recently, conquered. Thanks to our cullender like boarders our children are being infected, thanks to NAFTA our vegetables now have to be irradiated, at one time we had the safest, cleanest, best produce in the world, look at what we have now.

With all do respect, Obama is a Marxist, if you think you are paying taxes now watch out, grab your wallet and take a good look at your money, because any administration he brings in will try to take as much as they can.

6:29 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home