Monday, November 30, 2009

And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.

The other day I went to work instead of going duck hunting. I made several hundred dollars for standing around for a few hours and then packing gear for a job in Panama. I left early and tried to drive out to do a little duck hunting in the afternoon. Simple really, just drive 80 miles and get in for an afternoon shoot. I failed miserably. For some reason it didn't occur to me that there would be holiday traffic on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It took me two and a half hours to get to the ranger station and I missed the deadline to get on a pond by 10 measly minutes. I was crushed. I ended up looking for rabbits in the Upland Game area of the refuge but really I just took a two hour walk to the top of the foothills and through the brush. It was nice but...

There are too many people here in Southern California. Too many people doing too many stupid things and getting in my way. More and more I find that I want to leave my beloved California for some place less cluttered. There are acres and acres of ugly cookie cutter houses covering the deserts. There are so many damn miles of pointless roads in pointless subdivisions and the system cannot maintain itself. This is a desert but people are treating it like we can support billions. There's no water here. There's no infrastucture to deal with all of these people. It's a mess. I dream of people leaving en masse and repopulating the rest of the country. Maybe the fact that the state is broke will make people leave. That would be nice.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The pathway to salvation is as narrow and as difficult to walk as a razor's edge.

Yesterday I awoke at 1am, petted my girlfriend and kissed my dog. The car was already loaded with decoys, blind bag, waders, heavy jacket, water, a thermos of mate, and Thumper. Time to drive through the cold, dark morning and into the fog that blanketed the Inland Empire.

One simple hour later a left turn led me up into a shallow valley and a dirt road at the end of which sat the ranger station. Several trucks and for once another Element, all of us waiting for the 5:45am shooting time. In the end, it's all a crap shoot even if you have a reservation for one of the fifty duck blinds. I end up with a semi-crappy draw and make my way out through the dark into Walker 1 blind. Not bad but definitely not good so I decide to leave the decoys in the truck. Sleep little decoys, sleep. After getting situated and as comfortable as you can get when it's thirty degrees out I hear ducks but as I've learned over time they will leave just before the sun comes up. Smart little ducks. There are widgeon, mallards, and shovelers out in the dark and they are talking and making plans. I am drinking mate and eating a Green Bar as I am a champion and this is what we eat for breakfast.

I hunt two different blinds and use the decoys. I shoot a Northern Shoveler in the morning and he goes down like a champ. Flaring to my right and doing what he can to make me miss but he goes down somewhere. I find him as I leave and scare a hawk away from his perfectly folded corpse. He's been split down the chest by the hawk but the meat is still intact. Damn fine duck. Later, after more mate and after I deploy the decoys, I shoot a hen Pintail. She pops up from the cover to my left and we look at each other in surprise for a moment. Thumper is leaning against the blind to my right and I have a book in my hand. The pintail has jumped out of her cover to land in my spread but she is now almost frozen in the air ten yards from the blind, the duck equivalent of a look of surprise on her face. Suddenly Thumper is in my hands and the duck is moving and I am shooting and the duck is falling and then it's quite again. Out into the pond past my decoys and I thank them as I wade out towards the Pintail. She is a fine looking duck, damn fine duck.

Sooner than I'd like it is quitting time. As I grab the last set of decoys a wave of Northern Shovelers flys low out of the setting sun and I freeze in both wonder and frustration, Thumper lying twenty yards away on the bank of the blind. I scramble back trailing decoys and throwing gloves to the side, desperately trying to get to cover and Thumper. As I get into the blind I start in on the calls and use every one I have hanging around my neck. Hails and feeding and contentment and teals and widgeon calls blare from the blind to no avail. I throw two rounds of steel into the air and watch the ducks give me the finger as they soar overhead. I smile. There will be more ducks next season and I will be here.

The next fifteen minutes look like a commercial for Ducks Unlimited. Wave after wave of ducks fill the sky and I sit back into the corner of the blind and pour myself some mate and enjoy the show. My depression melts away and I wonder what all the fuss was about.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I want more life, fucker!

I have no desire to get out of bed today. I want to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling all day while listening to Bauhaus's "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and "The Skies Gone Out" back to back on an endless loop. I am listless in a black sea of depression and the horizons look endless.

But I have to get up. I have to try to convince myself that something good will happen, if not today then soon enough for me to meet my many fiduciary responsibilities. There is also, as always, the matter of the midget in the front room who is my ward today as she has a "pupil free"day. There are also, as always, bills to be put in the mail although perhaps today I will mail the credit card bill to the gas company and vice versa just to stall them out.

What I'd like to do is to be able to say I shot some ducks yesterday but I'd be lying if I said that. I couldn't have hit the side of a barn if you'd placed the end of my gun barrel on the barn. My head wasn't in it even though Ghost and I stayed out all day, 3am to 5pm. We had some shots but... At least the sunrise and sunset were spectacular. I even replaced my leaking waders at lunch by convincing the Bass Pro staff the leak was a manufacturer defect. I think the fact that I was muddy, wearing camo face paint, and my left pant leg was soaked sold them on the idea. Or motivated them to get me the fuck out of there.

I want to go deer hunting this weekend. It's the last chance before the season ends. Is it irresponsible to go and spend three days and about $100 in gas pursuing a deer I probably won't even see when I'm broke and have no jobs on the horizon? This is part of why I'm so fucking depressed right now, that I have to even think about stuff like this. Ah, it's just as well, those deer were probably rotten anyway.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy, or they become legends.

Legend? Doesn't feel like that'll ever happen. No work. Lots of bills. Depression started in right around my birthday this year. Ho hum. I don't mind getting older I just don't like where I'm at right now with myself. Thirty-eight and not too terribly successful and starting to feel the weight of it all, nahmean? I'm moping around and acting stupid, I guess, but I figure I might as well let it wash over me and not repress it all. That's what my therapist told me once a long time ago. It's been ten years now and you'd think I'd have a handle on this stupid business but every now and then... It'll work out. Or I'll have to figure out an entirely new career to start up at 38. Joy.

In more interesting news I just watched a surf video title The Drifter and it made my weepy. It stars one of my surf heros, Rob Machado. I met him after I got divorced and he got divorced and our mutual friend got divorced. He was in a ton of pain and I guess he started working on this movie a short time after I met him. The film is a recreation of his time in the Wilderness (In this case, Indonesia. In my case it was Atwater. I wish I were a pro surfer.) He was drowning in pain and came out of it by going solo in the Wilderness for a spell. I'm happy for him and the film is quirky and wonderfully shot and made me happy. Buy a copy and enjoy.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Being bad feels pretty good, huh?

On Saturday I awoke at 1am and made some tea and left my house. I drove out to the San Jacinto Wilderness Area and stood in line with a bunch of duck hunters for a few hours. I didn't get picked for a good blind so I took a nap in the car. As the sun rose over the hills "Appalachian Spring" came on the radio. The beauty of that composition, the glory of the morning sun, and the sounds of distant shotgun blasts made me so happy to be here, right now. As much as is wrong with this country and as bad as it's been during the craziness of the Bush junta I love this place. Where else can you hunt ducks and not have to be rich? Go deer hunting on millions of acres of publicly owned land? Hopefully there are real changes coming soon. Hope? Either way, I'm proud to be a mixed race, leftist American who hunts.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is Sparta!

Scenes from my birthday hunt. One guy, one gun, one duck- my first freakin' mallard! I am now a duck hunter for real!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and joy. I'll post some photos of tonight's idiocy at various joints 'round town.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'll teach you to laugh at something that's funny!

Yesterday was watch old white assholes run Hollywood day and it fucking sucked. James L. Brooks of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets, Spanglish, The Simpsons, and a host of TV shows is directing some movie with Reese Witherspoon in it and we did glorified B-roll for the movie- a highlight reel of Reese's character's softball career. It should have been so simple but it wasn't as there was no plan, no support, and no money despite Brooks and a couple of heavy hitter producers hanging around the baseball diamond. What a bunch of wrinkled, bitter, loud mouthed jackasses. The DP was Janus Kaminski and until I met him yesterday he was one of my favorite DPs. In real life he's a fucking racist, neurotic, self-absorbed old bastard. My guys and I ran around  like complete lunatics trying to keep up with the capricious whims and bs of both Brooks and Kaminski. Both of them spent the day stressing out, talking shit, and yelling as if something important were going on. My God, so rich and successful and still so fucking petty and annoying. What gives? What does Brooks have to prove, what's he so worried about that he needs to run around acting like a spoiled child? So typical of Hollywood. Anyway, the old man babies all freaked out and we shot two days of inserts in one day and we're all still getting paid for today so hey, that's a W for the freakin' worker drones.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You are fighting for the biggest nothing in history.

Republican governors win in two states. White "independents" are drifting back towards the Republican neocon fascists. Change? No, not really. It's the same thing day in and day out. Peace prize for bringing America back in line with European ideals of geopolitical cooperation and then what? More young people blown to pieces physically and mentally so that we don't loose face in Afghanistan. Afghanistan? Seriously? Who cares! They're land locked, medieval, and fully capable of fucking up their country on their own. Sigh. The backlash begins against the first black president but why bother? He's running the same plays the white president would have.

Work tomorrow on inserts for a movie. As the prep tech said of the job, Less than B-roll. What has become of my love? My love for film has gone the way of the dodo.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I love this place at night. The stars... there's no right or wrong in them. They're just there.

The house is clean. I'm listening to XM Pops and a lovely chamber piece is playing. The dog is quietly lying at my feet. The stillness in the house is wonderful.

Shhh. The universe is at rest right now inside my house and I'd like to keep it that way for a bit longer.

Peace out, bitches!