Category Archives: my own present

Just a few thoughts 8-17-12


“You are my sunshine” is playing. The original version. Meanwhile, as I check my email on Yahoo I see a man clutching his chest in pain having a heart attack. This sort of sums up my mood this morning. A nostalgic optimism plays in the back of my graying mind as I fear the worst. I often wonder if I might just collapse from a heart attack. I heard a story yesterday about a colorful character my coworker had known. The man died suddenly from a heart attack on his way home. The way he told it, it almost sounded sweet, kind of sentimental. He just quietly disappeared. One moment here, next moment gone. But death is not sweet nor sentimental, and heart attacks are horrific. I’ve had one, and hope to never have another, although I suspect that is a vain hope. Advertising and stupid, sentimental stories. That is what I am left with this morning. Grumpy once again. I am usually pretty optimistic, or at least optimistic. Not this morning. The crappy mood from last night has carried over into this morning.

Survival. We are so concerned with survival. and yet, we all know that death lies waiting in the wings. I am worried about whether my job will become permanent, I worry about….but I won’t bore you with my worries. I know how much I hate hearing about other people’s worries. It is hard to get excited about anything these days. The election?? Now there is a truly boring subject! I suspect you would rather hear about my worries than read about the stupid election. I think Romney and Ryan will win. Who can resist a little R n’R? Besides, the country is so disappointed in Barack Obama, and tired of the boneheaded way it has governed us. I will vote for him, though, because Romney is so so so much worse!! But I think the obese haters of this country are eager for revenge. They aren’t crazy about Romney, nobody is, but they really want to defeat Obama. All of this just makes me tired and grumpy. The situation overseas doesn’t brighten my spirits either. War is looming on the horizon. Israel and Iran are bound to clash, and we will be obligated to join in. Syria can prove to be the powder keg that ignites such a war, given that Iran and Hezbollah are busy propping up the Assad regime. Too large an Iranian presence in Syria, especially if it starts showing up in Lebanon as well, will provoke an Israel military action to take them out. This, I believe, is more likely than a strike to take out a nuclear reactor. But this is all tedious to think about.

In parting, we still need to have a paradigm change, but I am not as charged up about that as I was before. It is enough for me just to get through these days and generate the necessary energy to engage the customers at my job. Probably come Monday, I will find my optimism again and have more cheerful thoughts. I hope so. I am sure I am not alone in my pessimism, but we all need to regain our strength and help to turn this thing around. Because from my vantage point, it doesn’t look good. The whole world looks like that guy clutching his chest and having a heart attack.

It’s Past Midnight Aug. 4, 2012


It’s past midnight Aug. 4, 2012 and I don’t care

I need to sleep I need to dream of something better

or perhaps a resolution an invisible conversation

to somehow make it all heal and make our lives a little better

I don’t know

sometimes it is hard to carry on

but weep no tears for me for I am the one to blame

for all this shit that has hit the fan

if I hadn’t been so stupid

if I had only stopped to think

even for a moment

but enough about all that because it’s past midnight

on Aug. 4 2012 and I am sitting here typing like a million times before

I still have things to say and I’ll say them

I haven’t gone away although I really wished I could

after the fact, after the fact hurts like nothing else on earth

I feel engulfed in a sea of remorse and sadness rules my heart

Each day is a slow haul through a thick wall of regret

But the light will shine again and I am a new man

Much like the old but different

My heart is bruised and shaken but I am glad

For it was deserved

New Day New Chance


This is what I wrote about myself for my new blog, New Day New Chance. I am keeping this blog, russell5087 even though it was the home for what are now bitter memories. I gotta live with those memories instead of trying to push it out of my mind. I think I might keep the new blog going as an exclusively poetry site. I already got one ‘like’ and it just got started. russellpop is kind of on hold, and the other one nolongerexists. So there! I still feel awful and kind of shellshocked, but I don’t want to write any more than that about it.

Here’s my little blurb about myself for the new blog:

I am a precocious older man of 58. I love to write, and publish my thoughts. I love when what I write serves as an inspiration to others. I just like it when I am discovered. When people seem to like me I am thrilled. I hate when I upset people, and I lose sleep over it. Sometimes I deserve to lose sleep. All of my writing has the underlying motive of really getting into the nitty gritty of experience, and waking up to what things are really all about. These are the kinds of things that thrill me.

Then I also wrote this little intro which I want to repeat here.


I am not new to blogging. I have had others, but only one was successful. But because I was not a responsible blogger, I was asked to take down a large part of that blog. I have learned my lesson, and this blog will be my attempt to clean up my act and be more responsible. I believe I can do this without losing my sense of humor or becoming hopelessly boring. I just need to take other people into consideration when I blog. I don’t want to hurt anybody, make anybody really angry, or embarrass anyone. That isn’t the sort of thing I enjoy. I have found that my poems are often quite popular so there will be plenty of them. I will also repost some of my favorite posts from my previous blog, but not anything that I believe anyone would object to. I am going to be much more careful this time around.

I still want to write in a way that challenges people to think, and to see things from a new and different perspective. I will still be outrageous but in a good way. I think you will enjoy my posts. The illustrations are going to be a bit more sparse because they will depend on my own original photos and artwork. I am no longer going to use any images without permission from the photographer and the model, if any. Nobody likes to see their picture showing up in strange places. This means I can’t just jump onto Google Image and find something to illustrate my post, but that’s alright. I will have to rely more on my imagination and leave the real world and real people out of it. Pure fiction. That is the best route to go for some of my creations. I also plan on writing commentary on real world events and people, and will do so responsibly.

Observing the degree that I had become an internet pirate, so to speak, alarmed me. It is very easy to slide down this particularly slippery slope. You watch as your stats rise and push the envelope a bit more each time, thinking that will attract more readers, failing to see that you have crossed a line. I don’t like to upset people, and being asked to take down posts is hard on my heart. I would rather post things that I know aren’t going to pose a problem for anyone. I think if I really work at it, that can be every bit as exciting as posts that push the envelope and risk blowback. I am so sickened by my last blog and some of the things I posted that I don’t even want to post under that blog anymore. It has become tainted. I want a new clean slate from which to start. Hence, New Day New Chance. Each day is like that, you can turn everything around each day if you truly want to.

Who am I? I am a 58 year old kid who never grew up, lives in a studio apartment in San Francisco with his cat, and works at a nice job where he greets tourists all day long. He loves writing and music, and art. He loves going into subjects and tackling things that sometimes get him into trouble. But he doesn’t want to go that route with this blog, because it isn’t worth the blowback. However, as before I do have a central purpose and theme, which is to help people, especially myself, to wake up. Waking up can be wonderful, and it can be very painful. Lately, it has been pretty painful indeed. I hope that the followers from my last blog will follow this one, because, you know what? there isn’t anything to follow on that old blog anymore. It is history. This is what is happening.

So that is what I wrote: TO BE CLEAR, I AM NOT GOING TO END THIS BLOG, BUT I HAVE CLEANED IT UP, TOOK OUT THE GARBAGE AND WILL LIKELY KEEP BOTH BLOGS GOING, BUT WILL LIKELY LET russellpop fade away into that place where blogs that don’t work out go. And that other blog I had? It nolongerexists.

Well, actually, I don’t think I am going to be quite as rigorous as I outlined above. There are some images that I just know are not going to pose a problem for anyone, they won’t be attached to objectionable content, and I wouldn’t be causing harm or embarrassment to anyone from posting them. But after what happened I am going to be a lot more careful.
So I have calmed down a little bit and have realized that perhaps the world isn’t coming to an end. I was running out of ideas for that project anyway, and it was consequently getting really weird. So it is just as well that it is over. I will start new projects that don’t cause problems for people anywhere, just my own private creations, using all my own sources. So stay tuned!!! I am not dead yet, although I do smell a little funny.

So so sad


So so sad

this summer morning

all that I would

seems faded

history closes in

why can’t I get it up again?

and challenge the world

to be more?

Instead I pretend

and write poems to the wind

so so sad it is

when I have lost that spark

no interest, no heart

a shell of a man

what remains are only parts

held together by a fierce will

and a determined heart

so sad though

that this has come to be

once I sang brightly

my destiny urged me forward

and whispered in my ear every day

today I feel lonely

so sad so so so sad today

my path seems cloudy, windy, and grey

such is my state

as my body slowly reaches it’s fate

leaving my soul in sadness

so so sad

A Foggy Day in San Francisco


I like fog. I like the way it makes me feel. I love San Francisco, and the city is given a sense of mystery when enshrouded in fog. When I arrived for work this morning the Golden Gate Bridge was completely covered in fog. The fog moved across the ground like an ephemeral animal seeking it’s prey. You can smell the fog and it has a unique flavor. A foggy day enhances my senses and makes me feel more alive. I don’t mind it at all. By contrast, although I love sunny warm days because it means beautiful women tend to wear less clothes, I don’t like the way it saps all of my energy causing me to just lie around and sweat. I am certain I would like Scotland and other foggy climates. Many of my ancestors were Scots, and I can easily imagine these hardy souls freezing their asses off just for the thrill of it, standing above some fog filled crevice.

We live in such a beautiful world and don’t stop to appreciate it often enough. Ever since my eyes have been restored (actually better than just restored, my eyesight with my new glasses is 20/20 and close to that without glasses) I can see things that touch my soul in little ways. I can’t necessarily explain it, but it bares close resemblance to wasabi. I think that is the right word. This is a taoist concept of when something is perfect just as it is, in perfect balance and harmony. At times I can see wasabi in all kinds of unexpected places. But the tao puts on an especially lovely and intriguing coat on a foggy day.

There is a freshness in the air on a foggy day, and even though it isn’t comfortable I rejoice in my uncomfortableness. I am alive. I play a part in this beautiful play of existence. It seems that everyone and everything has it’s part. I still can see the squalor and sad urban decay both animate and inanimate, but I view it from a different perspective. I marveled at the sight of the little black birds picking their way through the tasty goodies hidden in the grass at Fort Mason while humans frolicked nearby. Each species absorbed in it’s own agenda, and beautiful in it’s own way.

This is why people sometimes seem unaccountably cheerful on foggy days. Even though it is chilly, the world has taken on an eerie, inexplicable quality which excites their imaginations. Or, at least, that is what it does to me. I am reminded of the tourist I saw. He was laughing and taking a picture of where the Golden Gate Bridge would have been if it were not for the fog. He was delighted with this trick played by nature, and decided to get even by snapping his photo anyway. I am often struck by the hardiness of tourists who come out to see the Golden Gate Bridge and are wearing shorts and no jacket expecting warm weather. They are tough, they enjoy themselves anyway. This says something about the human spirit, it’s tenacity in the face of adversity.

I feel like I am in the middle of a really good novel when I walk about on a foggy day. This is the cinematic backdrop to this drama called my life. I have always absorbed the texture and the mood of any place I have lived and San Francisco offers a rich antique, and yet very up to the minute contemporary texture and mood which is enhanced on a foggy day.

Signpost Up Ahead


There is a signpost up ahead

But I can’t see it yet

Adrift in my own fear

Clinging to that hope

Time races by like a runaway train

I thought I had something more to say

The fog collects as I reflect

On my way to already there

A signpost



An end that ushers in a beginning

Somewhere straight ahead

Can you see it?

I can, I can, I can only glimpse it

In my dreams

Thanks to Linda Plaisted. This is one of her exquisite photos which capture so much with so little. I lifted it from Flickr.

Check her out at

What Now?


Everything is turning in a counterclockwise motion

Tearing me apart at the seams

I need so much to get it together and recapture my dreams

But these things escape me in the vicious undertow

What now? Where may I turn?

Is there a way to rectify this thing

Beyond the tipping point?

I feel confused and nothing seems right

What now? More deadly news?

More shattered dreams?

I can’t read any more of this useless crap

It doesn’t do a thing to get us out of this trap

What Now? Please tell me.

We all need to know what now

But all we hear is sorely lacking

A Distant Shore


I stand upon a distant shore

too far away to see my face clearly

I gaze lovingly upon myself

sitting on a bench looking frightened

legs pressed together and looking very old and frail

Don’t worry so much I say to myself

you are not this thing which tires too soon

when I want to go out and play

I am here where no wind blows

and nothing can ever hurt me

a distant shore

far away, where all day long is play

never changing

always welcoming

more real than anything

I can feel it behind the pain

the doubt and the despair

I am there

Ducks and Kittens (A Spud’s Last Remarks)


Ducks and Kittens. I have nothing to say. Just ducks and kittens, aren’t they cute? This is the best I can come up with. I have received a lobotomy that I can’t recall.

Who cares about goes on in the world when you can have ducks and kittens all day long!!

This is how I feel sometimes, like tonight. I no longer feel all fired up and ready to go, full of ideas and inspiration and wanting to share myself with the world. I don’t suppose this makes any sense but I would like to die without going through the massive inconvenience of actually dying, or, better put, I would like to put everything on hold for a bit. That actually comes a lot closer to the truth (so all my friends and relatives are permitted a sigh of relief). I feel all tapped out. This is often the plight of those of us who work hard all day long. I love my work, but I often feel drained after I get home, just a sack of aches and pains. It makes it easy for me to let my creativity slide. I have quit at other times in my life and it was never satisfying. Nevertheless that aimless emptiness has it’s appeal. It almost makes me want to watch 30Rock along with every other empty headed hard working American. I may even vote for Mitt Romney. Barack Obama makes me think and I just want to take a break. Romney just wants me to trust him. But, no, I really don’t want to do anything, screw voting, screw mindless entertainment. I am in such a pitiful state that I don’t even find Margaret Cho funny anymore. I’m a spud, and all my eyes are closed.

I don’t even want to be writing this right now. I should go to bed, I need to get up early. But something compelled me to type out this desperate plea for inspiration, affirmation, and a reason to get up tomorrow morning. I don’t have anything to say anymore. It is as if I have taken stupid pills. (Yes, I know, that was a pretty lame sentence, but it is the best I can do, my wit has left me. I should write speeches for Mitt Romney.) I am no longer in love. Yes. And that is the worst of it. I am sick of Stock Photo Woman. There!! I have said it. Some of you may say ‘Who the hell is stock photo woman?’ and I haven’t the energy to clue you in. It’s just this thing I did, and now I just don’t care about it anymore.) Maintaining my blogs feels like a chore. I just want to be a spud. That fits my pay grade.

Perhaps all this will pass, or maybe I will pack it all in. Finis. That’s all folks! Nothing more to say.

Or maybe I’m just tired.

If you see more posts in the future you will know that somehow I managed to pull myself out of this rut. But I am worried. I feel pains in my chest and I worry, I feel dizzy at times and I worry. I worry a lot and I worry about that. I might not be around all that much longer. No, not suicide, just an old man taking his last walk. Cardiac arrest. These are my morbid thoughts on this night. Is this spud about to be peeled? Or am I just being dramatic? All of the thrill I felt after having my eyesight restored has left me. I take it for granted. Am I an ungrateful dolt? You bet. I don’t deserve this happiness that I refuse to recognize as happiness. I am already sick of this pity party that I have written. But I am sure many of you out there in cyberland share these feelings from time to time, many of you bloggers often feel like packing it in, and never blogging again. So know that you aren’t alone. If I can crank this shit out so can you! So….sad to say, I will probably soldier on and continue my stupid blog with my stupid observations about my stupid life in this stupid world. Because the alternative is worse. So now I will shut off my motor functions and my brain and become spudlike until another working day raises me from my self-made grave.

What’s Up With Muni?


This post is for my fellow San Franciscans. The one question all of us have in common here in SF is “What’s up with Muni?” Muni is our primary public transit, and everybody hates it. That is not an exaggeration. Even Muni employees hate Muni, but then most Muni employees hate pretty much everything. Which is much of the problem. I ride Muni to and from work and I am constantly reminded of how rude and hateful most of the Muni drivers are. This happens without provocation. I am perfectly cheerful and board the bus and slip in my two bucks, and the driver treats me like absolute shit. Because I exist. These people have no business dealing with the general public, they should be in the back of some warehouse where they can be as hateful as they want with only a few people having to deal with it. I used to cut these drivers some slack because I have seen some incredibly rude and obnoxious people on Muni buses, and so those drivers have to deal with a lot of nonsense every day which is enough to make anybody cranky. However, the rudeness I have seen lately has no rationale. No one treats them badly, and yet they act as if their patrons are the scum of the earth. They can’t stand to answer questions of any kind, and are especially rude to tourists. Language barriers can be frustrating but the Muni drivers only make a frustrating situation much worse. Many times I have helped people get to where they need to go because the Muni driver couldn’t be bothered. I do want to point out an exception to this however. The driver of the number 28 bus to Daly City, which stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, on Wednesday mornings, is a nice, considerate, friendly, enjoyable driver. I wish I knew her name. She is a rarity however. The other drivers tend to be very aloof, unfriendly, or down right rude and offensive.

Why has this problem persisted? Why can’t Muni get it’s act together? The Muni drivers are among the best paid workers in SF, and yet to listen to them you would think they were poverty stricken. Their culture is one of them against the public and even the company they work for. They are the poor maligned Muni drivers who don’t deserve to be hated by the people of San Francisco. Don’t believe it for a second. What they deserve is better training, and the loss of the job they seem to hate so much when they insist on being rude to their patrons. There is no excuse for the behavior I witness daily. I used to think the people that worked at the post office were bad, or the social workers that deal with the unemployed were rude, but Muni is the absolute worst. What causes some people to get to the point where they despise every human being they encounter? I can understand occasional grumpiness etc. but this is a disease. The Muni virus, and I don’t want to catch it!!!