Some hard-ass day drinking with the family yesterday. Often times when I come to town we meet at ‘The Hole in the Wall’. We did that yesterday. Larry, Terri, Ryan and me. We had lunch and a few drinks. Then Larry and Ryan left and Terri and I settled in. We drank and drank and laughed and listened to jukebox music. I was drinking Miller High Life in a bottle and Jameson neat. I had around 8 or 9 beers and at least 5 Jamesons. And these are country pours—basically a rocks glass filled to within an inch of the top. Not a record breaking day drinking binge, but a serious challenge. I spent over $100 on the jukebox–kept spinning those tunes and keeping everyone entertained. Fun times. We went back to mom and dad’s around 5:00 and had dinner and played cards until around 11:00 or so. I made a big breakfast while mom and dad were at church this morning and everyone came over to eat and then I headed out for the 3-hour drive home.
It’s wild how much I dream about rugby. At least 2 or 3 times a week, I will have some dream sequence about playing rugby. As dreams go, they are often full of twists and turns that are non-sensical. But sometimes they seem to be variations on a particular time or place where we played. Out of curiosity, I tried to calculate about how many rugby games I played. I played for around 22 years, give or take. At an average of 18 games per year, that’s 396 games. Probably half of those would have been full 80 minute, head-to-head matches against Missoula, Bozeman, Boise, Snake River, Haggis, Park City, University of Utah, Utah State, Skyline or one of the other Salt Lake City clubs. Others were shorter tournament matches, but we would often play 3 games in a day during tournaments. Plus I played for the Navy for a few seasons at various tournaments and then of course the times I would just show up at a tournament and pick-up matches playing with whoever needed an extra set of legs.
I fly to LA Thursday to meet 7 or 8 guys from our glory days to watch the International 7’s. Always great rugby and fun times.
I have some peculiar drinking habits. At the Hole, and sometimes other little dive bars, I drink Miller High Life in a bottle. When I’m skiing, I drink Reineer if it’s available. But last weekend it wasn’t, so I drank Blue Light. At rugby tournaments, it’s Olympia as that was our sponsor beer for years. I mostly drink scotch after a meal, but drink bourbon with a cigar. I drink micro-brews most other times if having beer. I always have wine with dinner and always start with a light crisp white before moving to whichever red seems right for the meal. If I eat at an Italian place, I often finish with a grappa or Amaro. Greek food, I get an Ouzo. Spanish I often get Sangria. Why not. I hardly ever drink beer at home, unless I have company, then I may have a couple on summer days.
Sleep has been elusive. Again. Good sleep comes and goes.
I’ve never really understand a line in Neil Young’s ‘Long May You Run’
Maybe The Beach Boys
have got you now
With those waves
singing “Caroline No”
that empty ocean road
Gettin’ to the surf on time.
It’s the ‘Caroline No‘ part that confused me. Turns out that is a song off for Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’ album. Who knew.
Also, I am curious to know the connection between Wallace Stegner and The song Big Rock Candy Mountain. There is a line in that song that goes
On the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
Big Rock Candy Mountain was the name of one of Stegner’s early novels—which I think sort of put him on the map. He later published a collection of stories called ‘Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs’. Both of those books are semi-autobiographical. Both superb, of course. Never understood why Stegner is not one more widely known. He was a brilliant writer.
Occasionally I grab a meal at the little bistro down the street. It’s inside a residential tower where lots of rich older folks live. There is a security gate and guardhouse that is manned by some rentacops. What’s funny is just how bad they are at security. When I pull up and roll my window down, they never say anything. So I don’t either–we just look at each other for a few seconds. After a pause, they finally ask ‘are you a resident’. I say ‘no‘. Then I laughingly spin a yarn about getting inside to write some graffiti on the walls, steal some jewelry and maybe rape someone’s dog and generally be a nuisance. The guards chuckle and laugh and ask my name and then they open the gate.
But what’s the end game? Is there a perception that these guys are stopping any crime? Or, is it just to know they have your name written down in case some shit does go down. I always say my name is “Gerabaldi – with a G’. I imagine the emphasis on ‘G’ makes them believe me because no one making up a fake name would take the time to add that touch.
There is also a little spa in the building and that’s where I get my hair cut. Taylor cuts my hair and everyone there knows her because she is cute and bubbly and has a wild mass of red curly hair. When I am going for a haircut, I tell the guards I am Taylor’s elderly gentleman lover and just paying her a romantic visit. Up comes the gate.
Large corporations. I have opined on this before, but it is just mesmerizing to me how poorly large organizations are managed. In my current situation, leadership is literally a slow death march to the top. One of the execs has been there since he got out of college. He has no intellectual curiosity, no management ability, no context for his role in the larger world. He represents the traits that most frustrate me in people. Petty, vindictive, insecure. Hard dude to work with. And there are plenty more like him. Anyway…..Not judging, but just don’t get it.
Health providers spend a lot of money and time pretending as if they are trying to keep health care costs down. But this is antithetical to their self interests. They are motivated to expand their roles and responsibilities so they can rationalize higher salaries. And they do. And the cost build up is the foundation of insurance payouts. You pay all the admin and facility cost basis on top of the direct care costs. So there is no inherent motivation to rein in these limp dicks who believe in their own brilliance but who really could not manage a 7-11.
Feature photo is from Namibia a few years ago. Contrast to the long fucking winter we are locked in to here. Also a photo of Sjoerd and Onah and I last year at The Grand. Onah’s sister is very sick and so they were on my mind today.
No other news of note from Cleveland OH.