Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Excuse me, but could someone please tell me what the hell I’m missing when it comes to all this talk about China in Vermont lately? Suddenly, out of nowhere it seems, the business relations between China and Vermont seem to be about the most important thing facing this state. Oh well, I guess that’s what happens when Governor Howdy Doody Douglas decides to gather his throng of faithful journalists, wave his magic wand in front of them, hike his pants up midway to his chest and then repeat these lines until they have no choice but to believe it: “China is important now. Watch me travel to China. Watch me be important in China.”

And the media obliged – again. Leading the way was the embedded Mark Johnson of WDEV fame, who tagged along on the Guv’s China trip thanks to the largesse of the Republican business interests who footed the bill. And then Johnson seemed to don the rosy glasses the Douglas team strapped onto him and issue one rather breathless report after another about the importance of the trip.

But, again, I’m not getting it. And I’m not buying it either, especially when Douglas’ main theme while over there was all about “exporting Vermont’s environmental ethic.” Oh sure, you mean that ethic that seems to be all about his veto of the global warming legislation? Who’s kidding whom here, Guv?

Frankly, this whole China hoopla just feels like one big political charade. Douglas doesn’t have a clue about how to make policy sense out of his “affordability” mantra so the more dopey trips like this with the fawning media pretending that it matters the better. See, Douglas will tell us, I’m on the worldwide cutting edge of…of…oh yeah…affordability. Yeah, that’s it. And he’s right too, especially since the trip didn’t cost him a penny. You go, Guv.

Of course, a trip to China will also make Douglas feel a whole lot better about Vermont’s standard of living, too. I mean, come on, what are all us Vermont workers complaining about? We are, after all, making a hell of a lot more than the Chinese. Ah, affordability issues conquered. Congrats, Guv.

Finally, would it have been too much to ask for Johnson or any other members of the media who regurgitated the Douglas line on China to bring in a few human rights or social justice experts to challenge the rather rosy scenario being painted by the business hawks? Or are we just going to pretend that the exploitation and injustice doesn’t exist just so a few of Douglas’ favorite little business pals can reap millions? Oh yeah, baby, Vermont is sooooo different. Feel the ethic…

I guess I’m just wondering where Mark Johnson is off to next? First it was Chicago. Then it was China. Hmm, it sure looks like he’s got some kind of alphabet thing going on here. Columbia? Costa Rica? Cuba with Brian Dubie?

Nah, I’m betting his next trip is to Shore Acres Inn – gratis once again. Smart guy, for sure.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Cowardly Lion Dems Strike (Out) Again

You now, sometimes you just have to give a big “thank you” to the so-called leaders of the Democratic Party. Because, as a blogger in a haze of newness – job, home and all – there’s nothing like the crisp wake-up slap of a Dem leader doing something as stupid as only Dem leaders can do. Ah, thank you Dem leaders – you’re truly the blogger gift that keeps giving.

Of course, my snarky readers will already know what I’m hinting at here: The Dem leaders of the Vermont legislature, Senator Peter “Look at Me” Shumlin and House Speaker Gaye “Don’t Notice Me” Symington, announced today that they’d like everyone who believed their tough-talking rhetoric about taxing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to fund future renewable energy efforts to…well…forgetaboutit. Yep. They issued yet another in a long line of shameless about-faces, thus pulling the rug out from under their increasingly hapless (and dwindling) followers.

Oh boy, ain’t this “veto-proof” Dem majority great! Just feel the power. Not.

Frankly, it’s better to be a little kitten or puppy than a Dem follower these days. I mean, at least the kitties and the puppies have the PETA folks to cry foul when they’re tortured or otherwise mistreated. The Dem followers, on the other hand, continue to get one policy stick after another in the eye and no one seems to give two shits. Hell, it’s actually entertaining at this point. Until, that is, you realize they’re fucking up issues like the war and global warming.

Once again, the guy coming out smelling like a Bush-supporting rose is Governor Jim Douglas. Let’s face it, Douglas has got this game of scaring the wits out of the Dems down pat. All he does is pull his pants up a bit higher, adjust his aw-shucks grin, and say something rather incoherent about “affordability” and – viola! – the Dems cower like sheep in the presence of a wily fox.

What’s really hysterical about this latest Dem cave-in to Douglas’ mere whisper of “boo” is that he’s been in fucking China of late. Usually, when the cat’s away, the mice play. Not with the Dems, though. Surprise, surprise. In this case, the Douglas-cat was away and the little Dem mice busily worked on perfecting their ever-growing legislative coffin. And so it goes, yet another Dem dream lowered into the ground.

And please, dear readers, don’t be fooled by the hype that will be spinning furiously out of the Dem headquarters in the next several days. This is NOT an attempt to put the pressure on Douglas, as they’re already saying. This is NOT some kind of sly strategy to force the governor to do something he doesn’t really want to do. Nope. Instead, it is one thing and only one thing: One big and final cave-in by the Dems in what should be remembered as a most pathetic legislative session. They had the power and they did little but dither, panic, pander and piss it away. Shame on them (again).

Anyone out there ready to launch the first chapter of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Dems? Not me. I’m enjoying the show, just like a snarky boy should.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Head Up My Ass

Holy shit. Who knew? Not me.

Of course, you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Nope. And, frankly, my week was so goddamn boring that I’m not even sure I’m going to even venture into the new adventures that dominate the new and not-so-improved life of Snarky Boy.

Let’s just say that I’m in an office now. And the office is co-owned by my brother-in-law. And that same brother-in-law is well aware of my Snarky blog (hello, Bro!). In other words, all I really have to say here now about the new job is that it is great, he is great, and everyone there is just fucking great. Yeah right.

Imagine Snarky in his own little cubbyhole. Or, better yet, imagine Snarky in a meeting with a bunch of yuppies – oops, make that, wonderful people – making decisions that basically avoid what the decisions are really about: Getting filthy fucking rich at the expense of others who are already filthy fucking rich. Of course, as a guy who’s spent much of his adult life on a ladder and in a bar, having a savings account seems filthy rich to me – not matter what’s in it.

But I’m in no position to let you in on any more of it right now. Let’s just say that I haven’t made myself indispensable quite yet. In fact, I think I’m already skating on thin ice. Imagine that. But, thanks to my oh-so-sweet Bro, I think I’m being given a few more wrong turns than the average “new hire.”

I will say this: These bastards sure know how to play after work. But instead of heading to Charlie O’s, they put on hundreds of dollars worth of biking clothing and then take frantic rides on bikes that cost more than I used to charge for painting an entire house. Yeah, you’ve seen these fellas on all the roads in and around Montpelier. You can’t miss them – they look like billboards on bicycles, with their shirts, pants and bikes full of logos and the like. Aside from the dopey gear, I really can’t blame these fellas for wanting to go for a screaming bike ride after a day of being totally fucking cooped up in an office and kissing more ass than a group of Vermont reporters kisses at a political press conference. I think the more they sweat the more they forget about the unspeakable boredom of their days.

Oops, but that’s not to say that I’m bored. No way (hey, Bro!). I love it (wink).

The best part of my week was actually getting on a borrowed bike and riding with these clowns. Yep, on Tuesday night Snarky Boy mounted…ahem…a mountain bike and headed to Morse Farm to join the throngs of testosterone-filled boys (and a couple girls) to race. Yeah race. As in, three goddamn times around a 3-mile-plus loop through the woods.

They were all fueled with all kinds of special little (high-priced) concoctions they carry in little plastic flasks. Yours truly was fueled on the pent-up energy from being a newly hired office boy and a rather primitive yearning to force at least one of these “very nice” fellas who told me to do stupid shit all day to taste the mud splattered from my back wheel.

Let me tell you, I missed Charlie O’s. Bad. Real bad. And if it weren’t for my real secret weapon – an iPod with the new White Stripes on continuous play – I would have never made it to the end in front of the one person I really wanted to end in front of. And then I went to Charlie O’s. Whew. There’s nothing like home. But my legs were fucking sore and I couldn’t let the little yups know it.

So I guess this is all just a lame attempt at an apology and an explanation for my wayward ways this week. Again, I appreciate the emails that keep coming in. I will, as always, respond to them as soon as I can.

But I will say this: It sure seems like I’m not alone in my absolute hatred of all things mowing. Perhaps it’s time for a little coalition? My favorite anti-mowing email came from an ever-so-gleeful fella who told me to check out one of those dopey lawns in what we always called the “Cody-ville” section of Elm Street, just north of Montpelier. Ha! It turns out the old bastard got a little overly gleeful with his spring fling with lawn toxins and fried the shit out of one long trip around the outer edge of his lawn. Go check it out for yourselves. It’s on the right as you head out of town. And, while you’re looking at it, imagine how much goddamn therapy the guy needs to get over it. I mean, that lawn is his fucking life.

Speaking of Cody-ville, one of the little brat children who were raised in that section of town, Richard Cody, is now the big-wig in the U.S. Army, assistant chief of staff, to be precise. And it turns out that Montpelier’s own high-powered military man played a key role in getting the general who investigated Abu Ghraib shit-canned. Yep. You can read all about it here, including the not-so-subtle mention of Montpelier’s own General Cody.

Hmm, I wonder why the local media won’t delve into this? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, they’re too busy stuffing their noses up the asses of those in power. Don’t believe me? Just pick up a paper or turn on the radio. Here, for example, is the headline from last week’s Time Argus regarding Governor Douglas: “Study: Douglas Wields Real Power.” The article was penned by Louis Porter, one of the few remaining warm bodies in the news gathering business in the Capital City. Great work, Louis. Now why don’t you write something that will confirm the fact that Leahy, Sanders and Welch are allowed to vote in Congress. You dope.

Let me tell you, you media and political types are lucky the Snarkmaster has been distracted by this new job of mine. But the distraction’s almost over. I’m learning the ropes, gaining some freedom, and seeing the light at the end of that hideous tunnel of learning. You’ve been warned. Because it sure seems like this state needs someone – anyone! – to light the stinkbomb of truth from time to time.

Hang tight. And keep the comments coming to me at:

Friday, June 15, 2007

TGIF Blogging -- And Not A Moment Too Soon

Job procured. Future secured – at least the next month of it. And life carries forward. Whatever. I knew if I got really fucking pathetic here someone would step forward to end the whining and put the meandering snarky one back to work. So, without further hesitation or trepidation, let me say this to all those who sent me tips on how to continue to put one foot another on the sometimes-bizarre trail of life: Thanks.

The best advice I got was this: Just keep doing, no matter what the “doing” is. Yep. I read that book, too: Constructive Living, that is. Fine advice for the times when you find yourself spending too much time doing little but telling the world how little you’re doing. Yawn.

And since I’m not in the mood to write about my next professional adventure that begins on Monday, let’s play the game of “Where in the hell are they now?” The games goes like this: I name someone and you try to quickly tell me – or, rather, anyone who can hear you talking to the computer screen – where they are and what they’ve done for you lately.

So, here we go. Ready? Good. Here’s the first name: Peter Welch.

Holy shit. Did Welch just fall off the face of the planet or what? I’m betting his inner-advisor has advised him to just lay low for a while because the public is really, really sick of him saying the same old shit and doing next to nothing to back up his droning verbiage.

I mean, come on, admit that you feel a bit more at ease with your political life now that you don’t hear Welch’s whining little voice saying: “What we’re doing in Iraq is refereeing a civil war.” He loves that line. But, unfortunately, when it came to doing something about ending the war now, Welch’s high-pitched nothingness just got more high-pitched and more full of nothingness as Nancy Pelosi squeezed a bit harder and forced him to get in line or suffer the committee assignment consequences. And so it went.

And Peter Welch isn’t the only one hiding right now. It appears the whole Democratic Party is in hiding, unfortunately following the internal advice that it’s now best to let the House of Politics just keep burning until the 2008 elections. Solve the problems? Fuck it, they’re telling us, we’re focusing on getting even more power in 2008. For what? Well, of course, to be in a great position to build even more power in 2010. And then? Oh boy, imagine what we could do in 2012 with all that power we garnered in 2010? And so they go, right over the political cliff while those of us with the boot of injustice suffocating us just keep gasping for some semblance of sense. Good luck with that.

Howard Dean let the cat out of the bag earlier this month during his obnoxiously evasive response to President Bush’s weekly radio address. Instead of putting forward an exciting plan to address the issues the people of this nation so obviously want addressed – you know, things like that not-so-little war, the environment, energy policy, jobs, etc. – Dean counseled those clamoring for action to just focus on the 2008 presidential race, without a word about a true and inspired Democratic agenda from now until then.

Did I just put the words “inspired” and “Democratic agenda” together? Sorry about that, it must be the delusional fog one encounters while preparing for a new job. You know the feeling, you pretend you were actually who you were for the interview and then paint everything in that dreamy rose colored hue that says: false, false and false. Whatever.

And while we’re talking about Democrats and the games they play, how about the news that Gaye & (the other) Peter’s big veto override adventure may now last all….summer….long. Yep. Instead of coming back in mid-July to get their asses handed to them, they’ve now apparently decided to keep everything in limbo until September. Hey, what the hell, it’s only the planet burning up, right? Take your time, you dopes. Besides, it’s not as if you’ve got a fallback plan. Or an agenda. Or passion.

Burn baby, burn – the planet, that is.

It’s Friday, damn it. I need a drink. I’ll be seeing you in all the familiar places tonight.

Vic Chesnutt - Robot

I like when he finally fixes his hat -- sort of. Chesnutt is a genius. I wanted to find him performing "I'll See You Around," but couldn't find it. Look it up at your favorite Web music outlet. Consider it my gift to you. Yet another one. You cheap bastards.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

Well, the bad news is that the phone is still not ringing. The good news is that my frantic mind has decided that a little more blogging might help.

I thought I was going to take some time to listen to Anthony Pollina’s “Equal Time” radio show on WDEV but I just got really fucking sleepy after only three minutes of hearing him somnambulantly explain the current milk pricing woes of dairy farmers. Holy shit, he’s boring. I think all that dairy consumption is only making him slower, too. Imagine how bad he’s going to get when he’s wolfing down all those “natural creemies” he’s starting to market. Which reminds me, what in the hell is a “natural creemie”? I mean, Pollina’s already admitted the diary for the creemies isn’t organic. Worse, Pollina’s creemies are “single-shot” creemies that come “individually-packed” in plastic. How’s that for “natural”? Personally, I think the only way you’re going to get a natural creemie is to put a lactating organic cow on ice and start sucking. Of course, there’s a very good chance the PETA crowd will object but, what the fuck, they bitch about everything.

Wow. Now THAT was a tangent. Sorry about that. But, while we’re on tangent highway, let’s keep looking around.

I’ve decided that I’m going to immediately amend my living will as soon as I figure out how to create a living will in the first place. The amendment is going to read like this: To anyone who knows or comes into contact with me and sees that I own more than one lawn mowing machine and/or use that machine more than once every ten days, you hereby have my permission to take me out of my misery by immediately killing me.

I mean, come on, you’ve seen those old fuckers who are seemingly living for one thing only: mowing the goddamn lawn. And mowing. And mowing. And trimming. And edging. And mowing. And blowing. And fertilizing. And mowing. And de-thatching. And mowing.

The house I’m currently calling home – my sister’s – is surrounded by old maniac mowers. While technically she still lives in town, she’s just outside of town enough for the people to adequately pretend they live in the country. In other words, they’ve all got a few acres and, for some fucked up reason, they’ve not only turned the entire acreage into lawn but they’ve decided the lawn should be cut every…single…day so that it looks like the felt on a pool table rather than anything close to natural. Uh-oh, there’s that word again.

I’m not kidding when I tell you that her most immediate neighbor has been on, pushed or carried about six different grass-killing devices in the week that I’ve been here. Worse, other than when it’s raining, he’s at it EVERY DAY. In other words, there is no peace here because this whacked out old bastard is in one constant Sisyphean battle with the grass. And what’s really pissing me off is that I’ve become obsessed with watching him do little more than mow his way through life, meaning that, in the scheme of things, I’m a bigger loser for watching him mow than he is for mowing. And that just sucks. I mean, I’ve been watching him so much that I can see he’s going over the same places two and three times. And I just don’t want to be worrying about that kind of thing right now.

I’ve never really had much to mow. But, whenever I do mow, I hate it. In fact, this is usually what goes through my mind while I’m mowing: “This is stupid.” Let’s face it, it’s loud, it’s smelly, and it’s all about killing nature and looking like a dog chasing its tail around in circles. Worse, it’s a losing battle because the grass always wins.

But these old fuckers seem to get one hell of a kick out of going around and around as loudly and as often as they can. I guess they all retired from some rote job that they gave 30-plus of their lives to and now mowing just seems like a natural extension to the nothingness of it all. And their wives certainly don’t seem to object – they enjoyed all those years of having them out of the house, damn it. So go mow, you fool! And mow some more! And more! How sad.

So, please, do NOT let me enter this stage of my life. You have my full permission to shoot me if some latent mowing gene starts to kick in during my lifetime.

Fuck, I wish the phone would ring. I’ve got way too much time on my hands. Please, someone help me.

LCD Soundsystem - Movement

For your listening pleasure -- and turn it up, for crying out loud. Or, better yet, take a stroll through town with it blaring through your earbuds. I did.

Waiting for the Phone to Ring Blogging

Well, here I sit. Waiting for the phone to ring on two job leads and one apartment lead. So I might as leap into some random blogging to pretend that I’m getting something done. Oh yeah, feel the accomplishment, baby.

In last night’s post I made a quip about the new surly Montpelier cops being much different than they were during my juvenile delinquent days. And this morning I wake up to this headline from the Times Argus: “Shocking Plan: Montpelier Police Want Tasers.” Yikes. I told you they were a new surly bunch. Now, what in the hell do the Montpelier police need tasers for? Those kids on skateboards hanging at the City Center? This is just ridiculous.

But we really know what this is all about: Munitions envy. Yep. The Montpelier cops have heard that other departments have the tasers – big tasers! – and now they want one in their pants, too.

The City Council will be addressing the issue tonight at 7:40 if anyone else with a modicum of sense would like to stand up against random electric shock therapy dispensed by the police at will.

And if you’re lacking that modicum of sense, take note of Amnesty International’s call for a moratorium on the use of the Tasers. Here’s what AI’s Josh Rubenstein told the TA: “Too often it simply becomes used like it’s a toy and it’s a serious weapon.”

If the Montpelier police want something bigger in their pants, opt for the penis enlargements. I hear the Hardwick cops are all doing it…

Speaking of the Times Argus, I was shocked – I mean shocked! – to wake up this morning and not see a single word about Jackson Browne or Barre’s LACE. Certainly they could have come up with a follow-up to the four other follow-ups to the hoopla, no? You know, something like: Zevon family still tired and happy. Oh yeah, they already did that – twice.

Oh sure, it’s great to see what they’re doing in Barre. But being the snarky bastard that I am, I was waiting to read or hear one tiny mention of the fact that the hero of the event – Browne – was a girlfriend beater. Yeah, you remember that sordid little beating episode he had with his lover at the time, Darryl Hannah, don’t you? But that was all yesterday’s news. Today – well, last week -- the get-tough-on-crime Mayor of Barre, Little Thommy Lauzon, is power-washing the Opera House to welcome the man who whacked the hottie. Go figure.

That should be enough snark to hold you over for a while. And, by the way, thanks for all the emails. I’ll respond to them as soon as I can. In the meantime, keep ‘em coming at:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Playing Hooky with the Family

What a day. A dream, actually. Instead of pounding the pavement and tending to life’s little necessities – jobs and such – I got to play Mr. Uncle with my nine-year old niece all day. And while, in theory, I was playing the “adult” figure, it’s pretty clear my emotional IQ is a good several dozen or so points below hers. Surprise, surprise.

The idea for this rather random day was hatched at bedtime in my sister’s home last night. As you’ll recall, it’s the same place I’m calling home while I’m still putting the pieces of my life back together after my random and haphazard trip to the coast last month. I know, I know, I promised to fill you in on the details but, frankly, it’s all still a little bit raw to delve into. Give me time. It’ll come.

At bedtime last night, my niece was lamenting the thought of another day of school on a beautiful June day. And I didn’t help matters by proclaiming that when I was her age we never went to school in June – or August, for that matter. Or at least I don’t think we did. But when I told her about the camp on Curtis Pond that I worked at yesterday and how I was planning to sneak back up there for some solitude and a swim before the owners arrive in the evening, the little lobbyist in her kicked in.

“Can I go with you?” began the first rather innocent lob in what would eventually snowball into a campaign that would put the Kimball, Sherman & Ellis clan to shame. I swear, if any of us really want something done in the legislature, all we have to do is hire about a dozen nine-year olds, put an idea in their heads – you know, something like: shut down the Vermont Yankee – and then just let them run free in the State House until they get what they want. And, trust me, they’ll get what they want.

I was hip to her joining me from the get-go. And her father didn’t seem to be putting up much of roadblock, either. But, then again, being the distracted business-guy-dad, he pretty much rolls with anything that allows him time to focus on making even more money. The biggest obstacle was the Mommy/Sister. And we had one big thing in our favor: Wine. Oh yeah, Sis had a couple glasses of wine after dinner – probably to deal with my lovely presence. Lucky for us, the flip of her mood coin during this particular encounter with wine landed on the carefree side. Whew.

And so it was approved: Uncle Snarky and the darling little one would join forces to become – for “one day only,” according to Sis – Team Trouble. Cool.

We biked. Swam. Pretended to be the King and Princess of our Camp Trouble. And talked. And talked. And talked. She especially loves the stories about the trouble her mother and I got into as kids in the same town she’s now growing up in.

Her all-time favorite is the time we were coming home from a high school party and decided to steal one of those orange blinking lights that’s attached to the saw-horse-like contraptions. You know, the things they place near holes in the road. Well, the problem with putting one of those in the backseat of your car and riding through town with it at 1:00 am is that the orange blinking light really gives you away. And while we were nearly pissing our pants from the fun of it all, the cop who pulled us over didn’t find it so funny. But, Montpelier being what Montpelier was then – before the really surly cops who are apparently pretending they’re in a bigger city took over – we got little more than a half-stern lecture, a trip back to where we got it, and an escort home.

Like I said, it was a great day. And she’s a great kid – with some good snarky potential. But the best part was that I kept my head out of the news, thus unencumbered by the ninniness of the day. How refreshing. You don’t even need to read the news anymore to know exactly what’s happing in the political world. It’s the same thing every day: The Dems bark, the Republicans bite back, and the rest of us get the fucking bill for the entire charade. Ho-hum.

Perhaps the biggest lesson of the day for me was this: Nine-year olds have a hell of a lot of energy. I’m wiped.

We’ll talk some more tomorrow. Thanks for playing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Late Night with Snarky: On Rock, Flag-Flyers, and Leahy & Freyne (In other words: More Than You Deserve)

Okay, okay, the contest is over. The Dinosaur Jr. contest, that is. Who knew that so many of you dear readers knew that the fella in the previously posted Dinosaur video was Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth fame. In fact, at least three of you went further, informing the snarky one that the video was filmed in Moore’s home and the young girl in the video is the twelve-year old daughter of Moore and his bandmate/wife Kim Gordon. I guess the kid’s got some mighty fine rockin’ genes there. Moore’s obviously a huge Dinosaur fan, accurately describing the band as “a wash of music that makes your teeth hurt.” Yep.

And if you think I’m just some kind of washed up, ex-rocker, painter guy who can’t take the decibels any longer, well, you’re right. But that’s not where I was going with that. Nope. Instead, I was aiming to let you know that the Higher Ground management had this message taped to the entrance of the show last night: “Warning: Tonight’s show is extremely loud. Ear plugs are for sale at the ticket counter for $1.”

Now how cool is that? At the same time you plunk down $20 to see some aging rockers, you slip them another dollar for the earplugs. Go figure.

And they weren’t kidding about the noise level either. My ears are still ringing – and I was wearing the ear condoms. While it was great to turn my back on life’s little distractions – you know, things like where to live and where to work – the best part of the show for me was the Spinal Tap-like moments. First of all, J Mascis, the lead singer and guitarist, is about 3,743 bong hits over what was needed for his lifetime of self-medication. And then throw in 25 years of absolute ear-piercing rock and you get a guy who mumbles, continues to turn it up louder, and slowly bobs from side to side even though the music is going at about 20 times his bobbing rate. Better yet, you get this kind of dialogue with J during the show: “Alright.” Oh yeah, and then there was this long discourse before the last song: “We’ve got time for one more.” Time? It was fucking 11:30 in rock land, my friend. What, did he have a meeting to get to?

During the second song of the set a small line of smoke began to appear on stage. At first, I thought it was just some lame stage theatrics. Until, that is, the roadies began scrambling to the amp and yanking all the cords out of it. The thing was on fire. Worse, everyone in the place except J – the guy playing through it – noticed it. He took notice – still in the middle of the song – when the roadie hoisted a new amp up on the ridiculously large collection. Seeing the new amp, J promptly moved over to it and rather vigorously cranked the volume to its peak. Rock on. Spinal Tap lives!

For most of the day, in fact, I think my ears were about the only part of me that was alert. No bother, though, because this painter boy has still not found a painting gig. Instead, it appears I’m in the pity zone by getting offers like I did today: Getting a camp on Curtis Pond ready for the soon-to-be-arriving owners. Easy work. Seasonal, as they say. And, of course, it’s an absolute hoot to see how the other side lives from time to time.

The camp owners who employed Snarky for an afternoon actually own three homes. Or so I’m told by the middleman who lined the gig up for me. In addition to the Curtis Pond digs, these tony folks also own a home in Bar Harbor, Maine and Fairfield, Connecticut. And, according to their neighbors, they still complain about the taxes. That’s called balls.

But I got it done – even hanging the fucking flag up on the porch for them. Oh, how the rich love America! Well, as long as the poor bastards are fighting their wars and prepping their second and third homes. Whatever.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this country, too. In fact, I love it so much I think it’s essential to keep making it better. Too many of these flag flyers, however, seem to think we’ve reached our pinnacle of greatness – not to mention justice. In other words, they’ve got what they need and fuck the rest of us. They were the same kind of people who got all bitchy and itchy with their trigger fingers when the slaves said “fuck off,” the suffrage movement said “bug off,” and the civil rights folks said “move over.”

Besides, what’s the big deal about flying the flag? Is it to remind them where they live? Senile old bastards. I’d be impressed if these oh-so-proud Americans took their flag-flying SUVs and RVs to Baghdad for a little patriotic parade. Go ahead, it’s the least you could do if you really believe in the bullshit going on over there. I dare you.

Speaking of the bullshit going on over there, have you been seeing how far Peter Freyne is willing to shove his bulbous head up Pat Leahy’s ass? Fuckin’ A, the guy has no shame. I really hope the Leahy staff is counting Freyne’s fawning publicity as a campaign contribution.

This time, Freyne’s toting the Leahy line that it’s not fair that anti-war activists are targeting Vermont’s federally elected officials – and not Governor Douglas -- in their efforts to stop the war. And, as usual, Douglas has the best retort:

Well, I expect that the protesters are interested in the congressional offices because they [the congressional delegation] have something to say about it, whereas I don’t. They’re the ones who authorize military action, authorize the expenditures for that action. I think their concern is directed appropriately.

Yep. And I guess someone should tell that to Leahy and Freyne. Actually, just tell Leahy and then Freyne will certainly just absorb the news through his perch in Leahy’s sphincter.

Sure, Douglas should be getting shit for being a Bush-loving Republican – that’s a no-brainer. And it’s been done at Vermont sites like this. But Freyne always seems to think that if he didn’t say it or make a stupid pun out of it then it doesn’t exist. What do they call that? Oh yeah: Narcissism.

Earth to Leahy (and those occupying his ass): The anti-war protesters are targeting you, Sanders and Welch because – as Douglas said – you have the power to cut off the funding for this war. Duh. And it was your political party that ran on a platform in 2006 that promised to END THE WAR. Remember that? We do. Just as we also know that any one of you could launch a mighty fine filibuster of any more war funding whenever you find the courage to match your rhetoric. Doulgas can’t do that – you can. And we’re waiting.

Enough already. I’ve got to get some sleep. Are the peepers still out or are my ears still ringing?

And, by the way, keep those quips, tips and comments coming my way via email at:

Thanks for playing.

Snarky Boy's NIght Out with Dinosaur Jr.

Yep. Last night. At Higher Ground. Me and the others who wanted to remember the Dinosaur Jr. we knew in 1988. Poor fellas. Ten bonus Snarky points to anyone who can name the fella in the video who tells the kids to play Dinosaur Jr.

Turn it up. They did. Ouch.

Friday, June 08, 2007

TGIF Blogging (And Making No Friends)

Wow. You WERE still reading. Now I really feel shitty for abandoning you for all those days. Yeah right. After trudging through a couple of posts I got an email box full of “welcome back” notes. And the absolute worst part of it all was that many of them were actually sincere. Ew. But, thankfully, I got the ample servings of vindictive jabs that truly make the Snarky heart go pitter-patter. I’ll tell you what, you people can be pretty damn creative when telling me where to stick certain things. But, be warned, one of my all-time favorite books is Henry Miller’s “Under the Roofs of Paris,” thus I’m already very well versed in where and how to stick those certain things.

Speaking of where to stick things, it looks like its that time of year when my fellow narcissistic bloggers stick themselves in front of the mirror, gush and glow over what they see, and then beg you to vote for them as the 7 Daze blog of the year. It’s actually kind of gross. Don’t believe me? Click here and here for a sampling. And in case you didn’t catch all the self-love going on, click back to those sites and consider the photos. Yes, those photos of THEMSELVES. Fuck, who needs a mirror when you’ve got a blog? Like I said earlier, ew.

Sorry, but we’re going to stick with the local blog scene here for just a few more moments. Since I’ve been back from my computer-less trip, I broke my rule about not visiting the ninnies in the Vermont blogosphere. I guess I was actually thinking that I might have missed something – I’m blaming the ocean air for that one. Well, unless you consider Odum over at GMD dreaming about Pat Leahy as missing something, I didn’t miss anything.

I was actually informed of the Odum (wet) dream by a reader who was inquiring about my whereabouts. Let’s just say that breakfast wasn’t a part of this reader’s morning after reading about Odum in his jammies. Only Odum would be excited to have a dream about being in his nightclothes and have Pat Leahy come to the door. Well, and maybe Baruth. And Freyne. But definitely not Resmer.

If these boys with their hard-ons for Leahy and anything with a pulse that carries a Democratic membership card would introduce themselves to a notion known as critical thinking from time to time, they might do what the New York Times did this morning. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Times’ editorial board told the man in Odum’s dreams to basically shit or get off the pot when it comes to his subpoena threats. And it’s about time someone called Leahy’s bluff on this one.

Leahy, as we all should know since he’s been telling us every time there’s a camera or microphone in front of him, is trying to put the brakes on the runaway train known as the Bush Administration. But, like the Democrats’ efforts to stop the war (how’s that going?), Leahy is more bark than bite. He seems to think, for example, that just by inconveniencing these felons with polite invitations to sit before his Judiciary Committee that they’ll somehow cower into liberal submission. Good luck with that.

Instead of submitting to Pat’s whims, they either ignore him or appear before his committee and make complete asses of themselves like Alberto Gonzales did and then get a “big thumbs up” from the Prez. And around and around we go. Like so much of what the Dems have been doing for decades, it’s just nibbling around the edges – just enough for a huffing and puffing photo-op and nothing more.

And the Times -- like most of us -- has had enough. Better late than never. Here’s the money quote from this morning’s editorial:

It is time for Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to deliver subpoenas that have been approved for Karl Rove, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and their top aides, and to make them testify in public and under oath.

Well, yeah. But don’t expect to hear much about this in Vermont – especially in the blogosphere. It just wouldn’t fit into Odum’s dreams, Baruth’s too busy preening for another photo-op and campaigning for meaningless awards and Freyne hasn’t said a negative word about Leahy since one of his staff members took the glass of Wild Turkey out of his hand in 1989.

Oh fuck it, I’ve got to go look for a job. Not to mention an apartment.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

When The President Talks To God

And around and around we go...

Did you ever fall off the merry-go-round as a kid? If so, you’ll know – like I do – how fucking hard it is to get back on while the thing is whizzing by you. At first, you immediately try to grab on to anything – anything! – to get back into the fun. But then – for me, at least – the outer body experience started to kick in and then I became fixated on merely witnessing the others trying to have fun. Or, should I say, as fun as going around and around and getting nowhere can be. Perhaps that’s why they’re screaming. Whatever.

I didn’t fall off the blogosphere as much as I got pushed. Well, that’s not quite right, either. Truth be told, I jumped. With one big gleeful yell to the stars, I jumped into the never-never land of walking away from everything and everyone I knew.

I’ve done it before. Too frequently, in fact. But it never seems to bother me as much as it bothers those around me. I’m used to it. And I know when I’m jumping ship – even if I rarely know where I’m landing.

We’ll call this jump number 137 for those keeping track at home. And what a fucking jump it was. I felt the odd urge coming on in the early spring. If you’ve ever felt it, you know it. You know what it means. You know that it’s about to take over. And you know that the character that is just “you” is changing. Or perhaps just yearning for a change. Most of the time we fight it. We shake it off with the routine of just being you – a cup of coffee or beer in a familiar place, a run-in with an old friend, a phone call from someone counting on you being you, or the alarm clock telling you it’s time to be you by getting your ass to work.

Every once in a while, if you’re me, at least, you take the jump, walk away from just being you and seeing what it is like not being you. And the euphoria of not being you takes over at first. How delightful it is to shed your old skin, to ignore the pile of to-do’s gathering in your mind, to pretend all your calls and messages are simply wrong numbers or mistaken identities, and to simply start over.

And so went my mood several weeks ago as I sat at my favorite watering hole. The character that was me felt worn out. Worse, it felt heavy. Like the merry-go-round, around and around I went: painting, drinking, writing, wondering and wandering. It was all so predictable and rote.

But that was all about to change. In fact, everything was about to change. I had no idea I was moments away from meeting someone who would entice me to walk away from everything, take one hell of a frenetic trip to the coast, and then return with little more than the stories of the jump and the adventures that followed.

Oh sure, we’ll get to that part – soon enough. But those stories will have to wait a bit. Because I’m now in that rather messy zone of trying to put things back together. In the week that I’ve been back, I’ve already worn out my welcome at my friend’s place, getting that all-too-familiar “you’ve got to move on, man” talk. Worse, what I thought at the time to be a rather cool farewell to two clients counting on my painting prowess turned out to be not so cool after all. So not cool, in fact, that I not only lost those clients but several more who got wind of my disappearance and, as they said, “went in other directions.” Read: Anyone but Snarky.

But I have no regrets. I needed a break. And a change. And I got all that and one hell of an adventure, too. So what if I’m now calling my sister’s guestroom home for the time being. It was all worth it.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Shhh…be quiet. Real fucking quiet. We don’t want to wake the ninnies. You see, I’ve spent several weeks trying to get them off my trail. Let’s face it, they’re a drag to have around. They send me little emails that say things like, “why don’t you be someone other than who you are?” Whatever. But then they start to multiply like rabbits. Worse, they start to let their ninny rabbit offspring know about you and your email address. Then, the next thing you know, you’re being overwhelmed by the conspiracy theories of the tiny-brained ninny rabbit fucks. Trust me, it’s ugly. But the good news is that they have very short attention spans. Their ideas rarely reach the ripe age of ten minutes, especially in the Internet age when a simple Google inquiry can send them off in a million directions at any given moment. And so they sit, Googling, giving birth to very bad notions, and accumulating the email addresses of those they think are their audience. And on and on it goes. To be trapped in the nexus of the ninnies is daunting, with only one real solution: disappear long enough for them to forget about you.

Let’s hope they’ve forgotten about all of this. Because I just want to start over. It’s been a really weird Spring. I’ve been on a long journey in a huge and calamitous mission to flee the skin that identifies me as me. But, as usual, it didn’t work and I’m still me – but now without a job, without my old apartment, and with little but the memories of one hell of a journey that took me from a night at my favorite watering hole to Maine with a new found friend. I kissed everything goodbye for the sake of a journey. I disappeared. I threw it all to the wind. And now I’m back. Sort of.

I’ve got a lot to tell you about. But we’ll have to go slow. I’ll slip in the stories when I can. But my priorities for the moment are finding a place other than my friend’s sofa to call “home,” to beg for forgiveness from my painting clients on Liberty Street, and to ponder the imponderables of a strange journey.

I appreciate all the non-ninny emails I got over the last several weeks. And I apologize for responding to none of them. Patience, my friends, patience. I’ll get to it sooner or later.

Welcome back.