The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Finally got around to reading a novel that inspired the authors I enjoy! Although James Ellroy is rather critical of Chandler (I’ve read in interviews) and I’m confident Walter Moseley would have some choice words for the racism of a century ago. Given that the new Marlowe flick with Liam Neeson in it came and went, I stumbled upon what was the first novel Chandler wrote starring his famous character. The edition I checked out also had a glossary for the slang which really helped. Never in a million years would I have guessed the phrase “skate off” would equate being executed via hanging at San Quentin.

Despite how the language was “too offensive” for the younger generations demanding a word police to protect their naive and ignorant brains from connotation (OMG! Marlowe used a mean term for several groups! We need to cancel Chandler with Twain!), it was a fantastic story which gave the world the tropes we know too well. Marlowe gets hired by an old guy who had children in his fifties and now he needs help getting rid of somebody wanting to extort one for gambling debts. He pokes around the Los Angeles of the Thirties, a time when getting around took less than two hours and housing wasn’t unaffordable. He uncovers the usual seedy underbelly of ugly deeds and acts involving the rich, the poor and the in-between. Does Marlowe solve the problem? More or less. I’ve never seen the two film adaptations; the first with Bogart and a weird Seventies remake with Robert Mitchum and they chose to set it in the UK; otherwise, I’d say watch those. Instead, I’d highly insist on reading the novel before it’s butchered as per the upcoming Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming editions on the horizon; as if reading a book always turns someone into a disciple of Ayn Rand or Adolf Hitler, on the former I couldn’t get back a few pages without wanting to vomit. Sleep was a pretty quick read. Chandler’s style is quick so despite Ellroy’s shit talk, I think I know who he really admires.

Next up the second adventure of Easy Eakins, I recently got a special library card to borrow from Austin’s branches since Pflugerville is part of the system. My beloved P-ville place is lacking some key Moseley novels and I prefer to read stuff in order.


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How Texas Republicans keep us safe

Plus the gun license is more valid for voting than a student ID or another state’s drivers’ license. They’re also the party spreading the myth of migrant workers sneaking into the country, renting houses in the ‘burbs and handing out fentanyl during Halloween!

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Finally vindicated on how treasonous the GOP is

I’m not bringing up their rather obvious involvement in trying to overthrow America’s legitimately elected government (they did succeed in 2000) but the illegal lengths they went to in 1980 to install a shitty B-movie actor. Ever since I read Bob Woodward’s Veil near the end of my college years, I always suspected William Casey engineered the US hostages to remain in Iran until the election ended. Now as Jimmy Carter is in hospice care and the end is near for the best ex-POTUS in recent History, a conspirator finally came forward to corroborate what Republicans dismissed as Leftist whackery and implausible silliness. They could only get away with such true accusations courtesy of shit bird Casey dying during the Iran-Contra investigations, ergo the dead guy can cover up everything and take the fall.

Adding insult to injury, I never knew the Republicans lied to the hostages about Carter’s failed rescue by saying, the ex-president did nothing to help them. Dick holes to the end.

Anyway, I will continue to my campaign to correct the record on how St. Reagan made the country worse by increasing inequality, bringing the world closer to nuclear armageddon, put the gears in motion for our crumbling infrastructure and helped make the Republican Party a home-grown Fascist/Terrorist organization. Now I can add treason to his long, long list of crimes against the country and humanity.

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The Three Stooges 2012

I’m not sure who thought making a reboot of these characters was a good idea. Choosing the Farrelly Brothers to direct was the only smart decision as those two are pretty solid with physical comedy as demonstrated in Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary. The three actors taking over as Larry Fine and the Howard Brothers did quite well with the originals’ mannerisms. But in the end, the movie doesn’t work and isn’t very funny. I wish I could put my finger on it too. Like many Gen Xers, I grew up with seeing the Stooges’ shorts from the Thirties and Forties on independent TV stations  alongside their cartoon/movie revivals in the Sixties; Hercules Meets the Three Stooges is actually a pretty funny and clever film. The only explanation I can find is that tastes have changed. Vulgarity and slapstick do remain, how else did Adam Sandler get a career. What shifted is the approach or how it’s delivered. Characters more often have the bad things happen to them versus Moe pulling their hair out. The other mistake made was throwing in the Jersey Shore cast in the story. It’s ten years later and they’re already semi-forgotten, good riddance to such trash. In another ten, they’ll be lucky to be on a Trivial Pursuit card.

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2003: Dubious & Darth Cheney start Gulf War II

It’s so sad that neither of these assholes and their enablers will ever face justice for the bullshit war they started; the US continues to not join the ICC. America lost over two trillion in blood and treasure along with millions of people’s lives in Iraq worsened. Regardless of my opposition to the invasion, I was never a fan of Saddam Hussein but I’m not stupid. Throughout the Eighties, he was our so-called ally against Iran via their pointless eight-year conflict. It’s not hard to find the photo of the dictator shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld during the St. Reagan administration; he was sent to let Hussein know the US was A-OK with using poisonous gas on the Kurds and the Iranians.

Then overnight, with the annexation of Kuwait, which Bush the Elder approved via his ambassador (“it’s an internal Arab matter”), the petty dictator of Iraq was transformed into the biggest threat since Hitler. Much like Noriega of Panama, Hussein had outlived his usefulness and Bush needed to eliminate all the loose ends threatening his legacy. As the UN’s blank check only covered liberating Kuwait, Western forces led by the US had to stop and not march on Baghdad (thankfully). Yet we all knew during the 2000 election, the GOP was going gin up another fight as Darth Cheney became veep. Many Americans forgot something rather telling. Cheney was Bush the Elder’s Sec’y of Defense and he was in the camp to keep going. All part of this NeoCon crap about establishing the American Century and foisting Jeffersonian Democracy on a place with no tradition of it. He even heckled Slick Willie for eight years from the sidelines, egging for an attack. Sadly, 3000 people in NYC were killed to create the perfect excuse.

Today, the big winner is Iran because we destabilized their closest rival. I highly doubt Israel’s security is stronger for it. Iraq continues to be a mess with its weak government, infighting between religious and ethnic factions and smuggling couldn’t be any easier. The US is an exhausted super power thanks to them and now China and Russia are stirring up shit knowing full well the US lacks the means to be 100%. Hell, Europe didn’t believe us when we had good intelligence (for a change) on Russia’s plans since Dubious cried wolf over 20 years ago.

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Marquette chokes in the second round, and that’s OK

Despite the Warriors being ranked number two in the East (not sure why not the Midwest which is where Milwaukee is), I was confident the number nine Michigan State Spartans had a solid chance of winning. This is the university that gave the world Magic Johnson plus they’re practically an NBA franchise given how many times their coach has succeeded in achieving the third round.

I did catch the first ten minutes on TV at this really cool bar called The Haymaker on Austin’s gradually-being-gentrified East Side. Based on how rattled Marquette was within the first minute, I figured it was pretty over, especially when they were stupidly making three-point shot attempts with little-to-no rebounding for second opportunities. Yeesh! I guess every college, high school and middle school player thinks they’re Stephen Curry! Pardon my armchair quarterbacking, but the smarter strategy is to work the play inside the paint, get the easier two points and pick up the foul off the other team’s defense. Makes a potential three or four-point play while you’re whittling away their bench.

There’s always next year and as I’m fond of saying…Marquette losing doesn’t negate the validity of my diploma.

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This cat must’ve been declawed

This little Golden Book isn’t helping dispel the stereotypes about orange cats.

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Shhh…nobody tell the snails!

Given LEGO’s newfound popularity, I hope these snails have saved up since they’ll be paying Austin real estate rates…if they’re lucky.

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Evil MoPac delivers the annual jokes!

Evil MoPac should update the free space though, Elijah moved away years ago. Several squares will sadly be true year round, especially the not funny Joe Rogan opening his comedy venue at the old Ritz Theater, where the best Alamo used to be until COVID-19. Any comedian choosing to perform there will be joining the dust bin for me and get this, for an asshole who whines about “freedom.” All ticket holders wanting to see a show there must submit to a facial recognition scan. I guess libertarian Rogan has outsourced his security to Chinese dictator Xi. Screw him. I’m looking forward to his shitty club failing in a couple years because he’s leasing some of the most expensive and dirty real estate in all of Central Texas. Opening night featured has been Blowzanne and her current look of Rainbow Brite just fresh from rehab.

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Why Austin can’t have nice things, March ’23

From the GOP, you know, the party of less government interference…unless you have a uterus. As expected, they’re going to destroy our light rail expansion since it will interfere with the lobbyists they take money from: car dealerships, Big Oil and contractors who work on roads. But Maggi, the State Lege wants to put this to a city-wide vote? Isn’t that more democratic? Not really. The airwaves will be flooded with misinformation and bullshit just like Uber/Lyft did in their failed campaign against Austin; which they then wrote a check to the GOP to have the state negate our requirements.

It’s the same playbook across Amerika. While the Chinese, the EU and Canada have good rail lines across their lands, we can’t thanks to bribes…sorry, campaign donations from the Airlines (Southwest especially in Texas), car dealerships, car manufacturers, highway construction contractors and all else intertwined with the unhealthy “ecosystem” keeping this country backwards. How could I forget the parking lot assholes! I love taking our little patch of light rail down to Sixth and/or Rainey Street. Paying seven bucks for a 24-hour pass is much cheaper than the current butt-reaming $25 parking fee now cropping up. Thanks Mayors Adler and Watson for creating “The New Austin,” aka another overpriced LA/NYC shit hole.

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President Camacho to the rescue!

Given the two horrible, crappy choices next year…same as every year…red bag of shit or blue bag of shit, I will be voting for Camacho since he traveled back in time to run! Not a bad cameo at this year’s SXSW for Thundercat. Camacho may not be very bright, but at least he doesn’t have one foot in the grave like Grampa’ Brunch and Girth Vader plus being a Black Man, he’s not a fan of Meatball Ron’s Fascism. In the 26th Century, they don’t have a hang up against LGBTQ+.

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How I wish I could participate

One of the assholes who has pushed Amerika in the wrong direction thanks to St. Reagan’s FCC allowing his right-wing hatred to be on the public airwaves as “entertainment.” Hitler and his lieutenants are proud. I need to ask my friend responsible for the photo about where the grave is. I know I will go out of my way to piss on it too. Knowing my luck, by the time I have a chance, a right-wing stink tank will surround it with paid guards.

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Blueberry milk is back!

No this is not the weird “blue” milk from Star Wars. What you see is a real product via HEB and some (relatively) local farms. I’ve been hooked on 1836 Farms stuff since last Fall, namely their chocolate and coffee offerings. Trust me, and I’m not alone on this, 1836 blows away even Promised Land for taste! Besides, the two I stated earlier, they also have strawberry as a standard.

When I first started buying, blueberry was offered. Little did I know, this was the flavor they switch out. Orange soon replaced it and after one bottle, I couldn’t stomach it. Sure the orange has the same taste as a creamsicle yet my guts responded with, ugh. Now it’s back and you know I’m stocking up! Blueberry is one of my favorite flavors of pie, shakes and now milk!

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Republicans demonstrating their lack of shame March 2023

I love the GOP’s chutzpah on how they want to make sure any areas where they won’t win are disenfranchised. This bullshit move is their latest since we know what they’re really thinking…college students won’t vote for us because educated non-Republicans and non-Whites are our enemies, they see through our horse crap! It all dates back to St. Reagan attacking higher education since those uppity non-Whites decided not to swallow the false narrative Ron Meatball is repackaging.

Should the Fascists/Republicans succeed, then their next move will be students being told it’s mandatory they return to where they live to vote…or repealing the 17th Amendment as the people keep electing the “wrong” senators in Georgia and Arizona.

Meanwhile, if they really cared about safety, they’d require proof of insurance on gun ownership. Being shot (and murdered) by complete strangers or disgruntled somebodies are the number one killer of the young in Amerika.

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To be fair, this isn’t behavior exclusive to male cats with orange-colored fur. At Jennifer’s place, the nuisance cat was Cody until she passed and in my old household, it was Nemo because he was at the bottom of the pecking order with the other cats.

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