Saturday, October 31, 2015


Back in the day I worked all around in Europe.   
Hotels in those days worked seasonally.  December to March. May to September.  In between, we were on our own.  Picking grapes, doing maintenance in the chateau, hanging out.
In my case, in the year Patty Hearst was kidnapped….I am very old....I ran out of funds a few weeks before my new contract in Kitzbuhel.  
 I lived in my tent in fields in Austria in the snow. I would weep in the morning rolling up my tent and sleeping bag with my frozen Irish fingers.…And then found a crazy cheap room in an attic in Kirchberg on the other side of the mountain from Kitzbuhel with a rich .
No dollars for weeks works on you.  You know you will be good for it….and you know your rich buddy doesn’t really care….and the rent is actually only a dollar a day…but, still.  There was rent and warmth….and some booze…but not much food. And no peace or comfort.
And the pressure of being Sidewalk Monkey 24-7 to sing for your supper. No peace or comfort.
Finally we were hired in at Hotel Wiesses Rossl two days before Christmas.  First paycheck was on 30 Dec, just before New Year’s.  I got 1600 schillings in cash.  About $200.
I was so excited.  I grabbed my skiis and jumped on the cable car up to the top of the mountain and started skiing down to Kirchberg to pay my bills.
The slopes on Austrian mountains are mostly wide open….pastures in summertime….the farmers are paid by the town coop to take down their fences.  Skiing is smooth and almost balletic….nothing like Colorado mogul skiing. 
Still, some fat German idiot managed to ski out of control in the early season….get accidental air, land badly, and actually explode on landing  Blood and guts were spread all along the last slope I had to ski down to get the lift, to ski down the other slope to Kirchberg….to pay my bills and regain my honor.
There is no Ski Patrol in Austria.  The area workers are mostly local actual cow boys who dress in green jumpsuits and man the lifts and do grooming with tractors.  The Green Heroes.
The Green Heroes had not cleaned up the mess of the exploded German….why?  It will snow soon! 
I skied faster than normal down the slope, anxious to settle my bills……hit the mess, ate shit…flew through the air and landed in a heap.  Fuck.
I picked myself up, skied down, got in line for the lift, rode the lift up to the place I could ski down to Kirchberg to pay my bills……Got my shit together after the horrific crash.
And realized… money was gone!
Fuck!  I must have lost it in the crash!
I skied back down to the lift that would bring me back, rode to the top….and skied like a maniac down to the crash site.  I stomped around in my torn up snow….and the other bloody torn up snow…..Nothing.
God hates me. My shit was gone.
I skied down again to the lift.  In Austria the lift line is called a schwnanz…..a snake….which is also Yiddish for a prick.  Right on.
I was cursing and kicking and sobbing my way through the schwanz until I got to the Green Hero at the bottom of the lift.
Was machts-du, schtuck schiesse?  What’s up, yankee fuckhead?
Fuck….I wiped out by the dead German and lost all my first pay from the Wiesses Rossl in cash.  I can’t pay my back rent in Kirchberg.  I am fucked!
Lose anything else?
Well… comb……like it matters! Schtuck shiesse, yourself!
Green Hero reached into his pocket and handed me my cash, and my comb.
Picture this.  I wipe out, lose my cash in the horrific crash site.  Another local comes by, finds the cash….it is not his….so he turns it in to the Green Hero.
Who gives it back to me with no questions asked.
This is the kind of world I want to live in.
Which is why we have been trying to find the person who dropped cash on the floor of The Store on Monday Night.
I think we have figured it out……

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Christians With The Rainbow Shirt That Says "Jesus Hates The Sin But Loves The Sinner"

Re: Sunday and Walking The Christians.

Dear Christians:

We are probably the most open minded restaurant this side of Dharma’s on 41st in Santa Cruz.  You can wear a Southern Battle Flag T-shirt here (Tim’s great grandfather died fighting for the South in the same battle my great grandfather was wounded in.  They might have shot each other!).  You can wear IRA shirts, and British rugby shirts.  You can wear ManU jerseys, even though we are Liverpool and Barce folk (Real Madrid….not so much!) can’t wear a t-shirt with a rainbow and some bullshit words like: “Jesus hates the sin, but loves the sinner”.  Hashtag: GTFOH!

I grew up as the bishop’s altar boy in Reno.  My tree is stacked with Jesuits and Sacred Heart nuns as far as the eye can see.  I am cool with Jesus and God and their Whole Crew.  I can still say the Our Father in Latin…so back off.

My memory of the Jesus I met in the scriptures was a revolutionary guy who lived at home with his mom until he was 33, hung around with a dozen dudes, and whose best female friend was a hooker.  Where do you get “homosexuality is a sin” from that?  The only time he actually got his ire up was when he laid the lash to the bankers and moneylenders in the Temple.  

 What was it you do for a living again?

My Amanda just spent a month overseeing the passage of my mom from this side to the next side.  The last ten days she spent 24-7 by her bedside, praying her soul out, trying to connect Pat (and herself, and us) to the Whatever Comes Next.  In Amanda’s world you don’t pray to one guy or one thing… just fucking pray.  Somebody will hear, and that Something is probably beyond our feeble tries at definition. The experience itself is transformative.

Amanda had in the Jews.  She had in the Buddhists.  She had in the Unitarians.  She had in the kindest, sweetest spiritual lady with crystals.  She had in Father Emil for Last Rites…..not to mention the daily visits from the Shamanae nurses from the Hospice.  The vibe was intensely spiritual, peaceful and supportive.  One day I arrived for a visit from trying to keep all our balls in good juggling mode, and Amanda made me sit in the yard for an hour with a glass of bubbly until my energy matched the house’s.

At no time were any of these devotedly spiritual people anything but positive and generous.  Zero judgment  or condescension…..even from the Catholics.  Against the enormity of transformation and death….petty Earthly squabbles vanish.

You think Jesus gives a shit who has sex with who?  Jesus is fucking Jesus, you morons!

Just because you are a hypocritical, judgmental asshole…don’t flatter yourself that God made you in his image.  Production-line errors are common.  Consider yourself a spiritual Pinto, and believe me, The Factory is anxious to recall your model before you do further damage to The Brand.

I worked in Swiss and French kitchens long enough to become toxically allergic to arrogance and condescension.  It puts me off my feed.

 So…..please move your pure, virginal buttholes on to the next restaurant. 

 Perhaps they will be silly enough to believe that the customer is always right.

Yours in Christ,


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Religious "Free"dom.....

Re: these goofy “Religious Freedom laws:

In 1974 I had a job as the roadie for the Dubrovnik City Orchaestra.   
Loading and unloading the bus, basically.   

We traveled all over Yugoslavia doing shows.  It was then one country….now it is at least six: Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzigovnia, Yomamayaia, etc.  It was Yugo….the perfect, non-sectarian state devoted to the people.

Our musicians, drivers, and hangers-on were all over the map when it came to religion: Jews (duh…musicians), Catholics (Croatians), weird Protestants (Serbia), Muslims (Bosnia), atheists (Yugo was communist)….and probably Satanists, aka the alcoholics.

Our religious differences were on display each weekend: Catholics ate steak on Friday; Jews chowed on sausage on Saturday. Serbians were too hung over for church on Sunday, Muslims did all of the above, and the Communists were perfectly fine with playing in churches and temples (and we had a pet dog).

Picturing conflict between these groups:Sherman: Set the Wayback Machine for 1994.

Jews are being slaughtered everywhere.  Serbs are slaughtering Croats and Muslims….and of course, the Jews.  Croats are slaughtering Muslims and Serbs…and of course, the Jews.  The Muslims were slaughtering Croats and Serbians, and different flavors of fellow Muslims….and of course, the Jews. 

To picture conflict between these groups in 1974 would be like picturing future slaughter in Carmel amongst Volvo-driving All Saints School parents who own Golden Retrievers, Santa Catalina  Mercedes parents with Labradors, and RLS parents with Subarus and Labradoodles.

It still happened.Hundreds of thousands died.

Everyone on the bus is dead, save five Jews.

Hatred is like a lit cigarette in a gas factory…..

These Indiana and Arkansas fucks….in the words of Hunter Thompson….”Need to be stuffed in a goddam bottle, tossed in the ocean…….and floated out on the Japanese Current”.