Posted by: jamesotis | June 1, 2009


It’s no secret that things make more sense to me than do people. Every once in a while though I do have an epiphany.

I took a call from my ex-GF today. She was stuck across town and her car wouldn’t start due to an alarm malfunction. After she tried to start it with the alarm activated it shut down. No problem right? Just lock and unlock the door with the key and it should reset. Except that the key wouldn’t turn in the door lock. After trying everything under the sun I popped the door panel and started fiddling with the wiring and lock mechanism under the premise that the alarm is electric and therefore quite unintelligent. Feed it on/off in the right sequence and it will hear what it want’s to hear and do what I want it to do. After learning the hard way how to remove the interior door latch and window crank (both snapped – oh how I miss old metal cars) and tweaking things 4 a while I put the key in the ignition, turned it and was rewarded with the CD player screaming, “Everybody Dance Now!!!…”

It wasn’t until I was a mile or two nearer home that I realized something: People work the same way. Tell them what they want to hear (I’m sorry/you’re pretty/I like you/you’re right/etc) and they will usually do what you want them to. Maybe that sounds a little manipulative or, as a new acquaintance put it yesterday, motivational, yet it’s true. Most of don’t want to admit that we’re shallow enough to yield to a little ego fluffing, much less that we sit at the other end of the table and yet it’s true. The price is low and the effort for sincere flattery is equally simple. If one makes another feel good the other will likely do what is asked. It’s how most ppl I’ve met get laid, how info, unauthorized access, loans and other favors are accomplished with ease and have been since the dawn of communication. It’s also a human characteristic that I’ve resented as long as I can remember. I’ve always felt that we are more than simple machines that respond according to equally simple algorithms determined by basic laws. We have a much highercapacity for reason and self control and to imply otherwise is personally insulting to one so top-heavy as yours truly. But like all things top heavy I have to admit that I’m rather out of balance. As posted previously I’m barely cognisant of the moajority of emotions, can name fewer and thoroughly deny most. Far from a stable state of being.

So I came up with a little formula (think The Big Bang Theory Jenna ūüėČ ), with apologies to the Frizzy Professor:
Emotion equals motivation multiplied by circumstance squared

(Everybody dance now!…)

Posted by: jamesotis | May 27, 2009

Shaved, Um, Poochie

With new roommate comes new critters. In this case, a boxer/mastif cross (Juno), a triple-wide jack russel (Kipper) and a pekinese (sp?), Teddy. All of whom were abused terribly and are now spoiled to no end. Seriously, I don’t eat that much for my body weight and certainly not as well. (Roomie’s a former chef.) Hence the triple-wide Kipper and distinctly pudgy Juno. About the only skinny one is Teddy, and I never would have guessed.

Until last night. When I got tired of the stink (Peke’s tend to look and smell like sheep if not groomed frequently) and shaved his ass. With Patsy’s permission, but never the less it was a shock for all of us. Teddy has a rat tail, is decently skinny and determinedly ugly under that felted pelt. I left a lion’s mane and boots but he is otherwise bald. And even today I have a difficult time looking at the beast.

Pictures forthcoming.

Posted by: jamesotis | May 27, 2009

Of Gnomes and Loam

The Home Depot has a number of nicknames, Gnome Depot and Dom Depot to name a couple. I suppose it depends on one’s interests. Today it was christened yet again: Go Depot.

So last night Roomie and I set to thinking. It started with a porch light, then spare keys, a push broom and several other items. “Gee, it’s starting to sound like a list,” she said, “and I don’t have time to go tomorrow.” So with a perfectly good bicycle and a day off the chore fell to me.

I must have been in the right mood. In addition to the list and planning a garage shelves project nearly everything threre screamed emergency preparedness: large/heavy plastic bags, 6 mil plastic sheets, buckets, bins, rope, dayglo orange tool boxes, extension poles… even nifty adhesive zippers for tarps. Can you imagine the uses??!

Needless to say I was in hog heaven. It wasn’t McGuckin’s nor the Big Red Tool Shed in Elizabeth but nevertheless I intend to return with a good budget. After price shopping of course. I need an excuse to head to Boulder and out to ‘Liz.

Posted by: jamesotis | May 22, 2009

Honor your own verdamt “C”

So the terrorist¬†sensationalist media that brought us the nationwide trauma and paranoia of 9/11/01 are at it again. This time it’s drawing the conclusion that since 4 or so homicidal idiots listened to a certain band that therefore the music influenced/inspired their acts of senseless violence.

Remember the panic about backmasking? The theory that Black Sabbath and other rock/metal bands were recording satanic and violent subliminal messages backwards in the background of certain songs. A theory since scientifically debunked and generally considered an embarrassing subject for anyone who got on that particular bandwagon. And then we have the still rampant trench coat paranoia following the Columbine Atrocity. Yes, I’m sure that everyone who wears one has a samurai sword down the back, knives in their boots, assasin spikes up their sleeves and a full auto AK74 at their side. (jamesotis rolls his eyes) Perhaps some of them have silver spikes and kill vampires like the Daywalker. I suppose that you also¬†believe that all hunters are in the activity to kill for pleasure, waste their prey’s meat and camp irresponsibly. If so you insult my Native American heritage, pastime and lifestyle. And you dare be horrified when I eat or use the entire animal’s body as a measure of respect for it’s life sacrifice, *(name deleted)* you miserable rat/sheep halfbreed! (Sorry, had to get that out)

If you’re not familiar with Alexander Solzenitsen’s (sp?) Rabbit principle, read up on it in his wonderfully depressing and highly educational book, The Gulag Archipelago (sp?). I take the author’s sentiment and theory one step further: the one thing worse than rabbits is a herd of rabbits. To quote Tommy Lee Jones on a similar subject, “People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.” ‘Nough said. I’ll now stop chasing Solzenitsen’s Rabbits with Ocam’s Razor, as my mother is fond of calling my soapbox sermons.

Whatever you, I or anyone else does it remains that person’s choice. No one is capable of taking that choice away. In case you missed it, that’s one of the best points to the movie BraveHeart. It’s what created the United States. I will go so far as to opine that not only is¬†it impossible to attempt to remove that choice from one’s self or any other human but that to attempt to do so is a sin against humanity and whatever being gave rise to our existance. It is theft in it’s barest form. Regardless of the consequences, circumstances,¬†whether potiential, possible, probable or real, the decision/election/choice belongs to the one who makes it. This is the freedom, the liberty of which the American founding fathers spoke in this country’s founding documents: “…life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.” Talk about god-given and inalienable.

I don’t know the first thing about the band Insane Clown Possey.¬†If indeed accurate (and given the media’s history I reserve judgement on that count) the images shown on tonight’s news were scary. But wait, they look familiar. Change the background, language and it might well be a PBS documentary on Dia De Los Muertos. A positive cultural happening that we are supposed to embrace and perhaps even emulate.

*Note: While JamesOtis has not authenticated the veracity of the following claim, his friend and death metal affincianado Jonesey (a psudonym)¬†asserts that ISK didn’t hit the music scene until approximately 3 years *after* the Columbine Massacre. Can anyone verify this?

Posted by: jamesotis | May 15, 2009

Oy! But vich vay?

Hmm. can’t remmeber what I was intending to post.

And no, I’m not drunk. Just brain fatiegued. Ha! My brain isn’t grey, it’s camo. ūüėÄ

What’s a TBI like @ the end of the day? Cross Alzheimer’s with getting really, really stoned and a chronic pain syndrome and you’ve got a good idea. My poor friend Tom. He just started down this road. It takes talent to be told the same thing by your wife, mother, 2 doctors *and* Uncle Nasty that you need to wear a helmet 24/7/365. All in the same day no less.

And did I mention ADD in that mix? So to quote New World Order, “And what was the question?”

I used to perseverate, to repeat the same questions over and over again. Now I forget the questions halfway through. And some say that I’m making progress! Seriously though, my cognitive therapist par excelence tells me that if I can become more self-aware I’m more likely to improve. It seems that I regress, but it’s typically¬†followed by even greater recovery. I question if it’s worth it when I get the severe headaches but afterwards I’m invariably better. Kinda like giving birth to new brain cells. The headaches scare my supervisor though. Poor woman. She’s had to scrape me off the deck 3 times in less than 18 months. No wonder she’s paranoid.

If run onsentences actually involved leg work this would qualify as at least a 10K couers.

Brown Out.

Posted by: jamesotis | May 14, 2009

…to sleep, perchance *not* to dream :(

I’m afraid to sleep again. I know, just when I’m getting the ammount of sleep I need. I can’t wait for my schedule to shift in 2 weeks. I’ll be on the lovely opening shift and won’t have to worry about nightmares that come after sleeping in past sunrise.

Anyone have some good ideas for sleeping soundly? Chamomille is out (screws wi/ my blood pressure). Even if it just gets me to sleep that’s enough. I’m out of my favourite wine and given the ulcer that I’m nursing a screwdriver may not be the best idea.

Posted by: jamesotis | May 12, 2009


I’ve posted on how my brother Duffy’s death changed my life. But sometimes one never really realizes when change becomes something else. That the trees and plants that sprouted along the pond’s edge have years later been the very causes of it’s drying up and ceasing to exist. If memory serves I’ve also posted on the child’s life that I was blessed to help resuscitate late last year. If so, ‘Nuff said. I’ve replayed that footage more than necessary.

One day early this year I was leaving work. As I walked out the back patio to my wheels ‘o the day something hit me. I realized that I had accomplished a goal that I never knew that I had set. Years ago when I took my Jr. Lifesaving class at the naive age of 14 I found a strange passion. Not only did my personality mesh well with enforcing rules and monitoring safety but something drove me to guard lives. In years to come I would work myself to the point of burnout time and again. Time and again I swore off being a lifeguard and later an EMT-Basic. And yet I always returned, much to my amazement and that of my friends and family. I never realized it until that Saturday evening last February but when Duffy died I wanted to keep some other family from feeling that same pain. To protect parents from making the horrible noises that mine did.

I could have¬†searched deep and find out why, I could compare the circumstances, but in the end, I just sat on the ground in the rain and cried. The words just came out unbidden: “I did what I came here to do.” Since then I’ve changed. I’m still passionate about excelent lifesaving. But The Drive is gone. I can do what I do and I do it well and with pride. But I can walk away if need be. I won’t be so conceited as to think that this was the sole purpose in my being, in my brother’s death or in anything else. Yes, I’m humbled at the very clear co-ordination of my life to this point but I certainly couldn’t see it coming and likewise if there’s more yet to come. But I’m certain of¬†something.¬†Had I been killed in that near head on collision last week I could have died knowing this: I may not be completely fulfilled, but my glass is more than half full.

Posted by: jamesotis | May 8, 2009

Drunken Abo

JamesOtis is drunk. On 5 oz of wine.

Not only is he drunk, but has made a number of important self discoveries.

  1. He does not have an inner child.
  2. His inner cave man is delighted to discover that he has more than 5 (counted on both hands) emotions.
  3. His inner caveman is presently dancing around a good medicine campfire wearing a ceremonial robe.

Tonight’s post is sponsored by ex-girlfriend Lori (aka Loir) and YellowTail’s Riesling.

Posted by: jamesotis | May 8, 2009

Headaches and other minutiae

Today I went and passed my EMT practical exam on my first try, some 12 months after I finished my class. I was a little nervous. Mostly that I would sleep in and therefore awoke promptly @ 0345, a good three hours early. Other than that I got to hang with a class of 20-very-odd funny and beautiful people. The jokes put crass to shame and I kick myself for not getting any phone  numbers.

And after the fun is over comes the crash I’ve been expecting ever since I signed up for the¬† test. I pushed my brain to near perfection for 3 weeks. I succeeded. I focused so intently on my memorization that I neglected little things like my laundry and where are my lifeguard shorts. But it was worth it. Not so sure about having to drink to shut up my mind @ night. Enjoyable, but not very healthy.

And now I’m feeling it. The waves of pain in between my cranial bones, the seconds long bouts of severe depression. It’s worth noting that my methods of memorization consist of parahypnotic trances and rhythmic meditation. When one thinks of meditation serenety and calm come to mind, a trip to that peaceful place. The meditations that I use are to serenity and inner peace what methamphetamine is to morphine. After I finish one I literally act like I’m stoked for 30 minutes or so. But in the end I come down and am O.K.

One must wonder, however, what effect this neural storm has on my brain and if it is really healthy to practice. I may not take in toxic chemicals but what exactly am I producing within my own cells?

Posted by: jamesotis | April 24, 2009

Grow Up

I just finished reading an article in the Guardian (no link, if u want there’s google) on so called “corrective rape” of lesbians in South Africa.

It’s worth noting that I’m very much in favor of equal rights for minorities and especially gay rights given that I’m bi. However it seems that if one idiot attacks someone and claims it to be about their minority status suddenly every attack on anyone else of that minority is suddenly a hate crime. Presses are made for new legislation and torches are burned.

You stupid fucking idiots! Use the intelligence that you were born with (I’m sure it’s still sitting in your attic somewhere). A crime, no matter why it’s committed or how heinous it is, is still a crime. Stop letting highly reactive chemicals rule your synapses!

Let me spell this out. In many places one can still get charged with manslaughter for defending one’s home, person and/or loved ones against life/limb threatening violence by using lethal force. Never mind that the deceased was an angel dust freak looking to get high or just had, he is still considered a human being who shouldn’t be harmed. And until the police can monitor everything you should expect him to politely accept your request to stop beating holes in your front door and not use the 12 guage on him. (Sorry, that’s a different soap box altogether.) So according to logic as I know and use it that means that if someone gets raped, repeatedly stabbed and tortured it means that the persons responsible go down for some serious time.

You want to stop such attacks? Let’s look @ history. The Jewish nation were slaves. The enslaving nation let a corrupt hater into power and the bastard decided that he couldn’t stand a little minority opposition. So he conned the king into issueing an irreversible decree ordering all the Jewish slaves to be slaughtered on a certain day. This happened to include the king’s favourite wife. So the king, knowing that he couldn’t reverse the law, made a new one: he allowed the Jews to defend themselves. Guess what? No massacre, and now that day is a major cultural holiday.

So if you have a problem with people chosing to comit horrible atrocities and coming up with bullshit to auto-justify their actions let’s remember what made nearly every free nation on the planet today: forceful resistance. I’m not preaching “an eye for an eye” here. I’m quoting my national heroes: “Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war let it begin here”¬†(Capt. Jonas Parker, Battle for Lexington).¬†Again, I’m not promoting castrating rapists or burning the next KKK member you encounter. I am however strongly encouraging responsible, educated self-armament, with knowledge if nothing else. Arm yourself with the will to fight back, not just talk back. If you’re mugged give as good as you get. If the mean to kill you take ’em with. A friend is fond of saying that an armed society is a polite society. Bullshit. Brig.Gen. Francis Marion of American Revolutionary fame converted saws into sabres because his soldiers couldn’t get so much as a blunderbuss. And won, I might add, against a well equipped foe that had been trained to check their I.Q.s at the door.

So a firearm may well be irresponsible defense in a densely populated area. Watch the Bourne series. Magazines, books, towels and pens become lethal weapons when used accordingly. Get some training for that weapon¬†that only surgery can take from you: your body. Most important of all, sharpen your finest weapon: your mind. Learn to fight back mentally, to rise to the challenge and not shrink away. Pray to Odin if you need to. But for fuck’s sake don’t just expect the playground police to come keep the bullies from hitting you.

Waiting for someone to come save you or legislate away evil is akin to leaving your valuables on the front porch each night to ward off burglaries.

Whatever you’ve got, grow ’em. And stop putting a target on my back just because misery loves company will ya? If you want comrades pick up your arms.

Older Posts »