Angry Swifties

Due to extraordinarily high demands on their ticketing system and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, Ticketmaster cancelled sales of tickets for the upcoming Taylor Swift concert tour.  Over 2 million tickets were sold on November 15 at Ticketmaster for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, which was the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day, however 14 million fans tried to order presale tickets, although some of them may have been bots.  The Eras Tour will kick off on March 17, 2023, and it will be her sixth headlining concert tour.  Dozens of Taylor Swift fans who are mostly lawyers, have joined forces to take down Ticketmaster after the pre-sale ticketing chaos and cancelation of Swift’s upcoming run of shows.  They reported Ticketmaster to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and they drafted a brief for politicians to take them down.  U.S. lawmakers are set to probe the ticketing industry after millions of Taylor Swift fans were shut out from buying concert tickets.  Swifties feel that high fees, site disruptions and cancelations show that Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means this company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve.  Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation is under investigation by the Department of Justice.

Taylor Swift was discovered in 2005 in the tiny iconic Bluebird Café in Nashville, and she got a record deal with Big Machine Records.  She released her self-titled debut album in 2006 and quickly rose to fame in the US and since then, her popularity has been growing at an exponential rate.  Swift’s first three albums were country where she played acoustic guitar.  Swift is a prolific songwriter famed for writing songs primarily based on her emotions and experiences which attract the young audience because they feel they can relate to most of the things she describes.  She shifted to pop music which made her lyrics more memorable and universal enough to reach teenagers.  Swift launched 5 headlining tours and has performed in more than 900 concerts.  Taylor has not been on the road in the last four years and her fans really want to see her perform.  She will turn 33 in a few weeks, as her birthday is on December 13.

Ticketmaster acquired Ticketron to give them market dominance and they opened online in 1996 but getting tickets for popular events can be a challenge.  I remember the days before electronic tickets were available and you had to stand in line to get tickets to a show.  I went with a three of my friends to Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ to get tickets for some upcoming Grateful Dead shows.  We wanted to make sure that we got tickets, so we got on the line the night before they went on sale.  It was like a party, where everyone was getting high and listening to Grateful Dead music and I finally fell asleep on the sidewalk.  I woke up the next morning because flies kept landing on my face.  Jersey City was known for having rats, cockroaches, flies and other pests and I was glad that it was flies and not rats.  These angry Swifties have no clue what it means to be a true fan.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – High.

Restoring Political Order in the UK

The Liz Truss saga ended this morning with her announcement that she would resign her position as the Prime Minister of the UK, as soon as a replacement is found.  I guess the UK will put an advertisement in the paper to see who wants to run the country, no just joking, as it is not clear yet how that is going to happen.  Liz Truss will become Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister ever, after announcing her intention to resign just six weeks into a disastrous term that pitched Britain deep into political and economic turmoil.  Her economic agenda sent markets into panic and led to a fall in the value of the pound.  It is difficult for people in the US to understand UK politics, but basically, she screwed up big time and if she didn’t resign, she may have been given the boot, because everyone lost confidence in her ability to lead.  Liz Truss faced a sordid investigation amid claims she failed to declare shady donations related to her leadership campaign in her first few weeks as the Prime Minister, while promising to deliver a higher-growth, more prosperous United Kingdom.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Sordid.

January Sixth Committee

The House select committee investigating the January 6th insurrection put forward cogent arguments that Trump knew that he lost the election and was willing to make up a Big Lie in order to try and stay in office.  Trump thought as early as May of 2020 that he could end up losing the election and that is when he started making plans to stay in office, despite the outcome.  Yesterday the committee voted to subpoena the former President to achieve some type of accountability for the American people.  I hate the bastard, but I don’t think he will end up being punished any more than getting some type of a slap on the wrist.  He is such a privileged a-hole, one that has survived two impeachments, numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, and an estimated four thousand lawsuits.  He is used to having his own way and doing whatever the F he wants.  If there is no punishment for his crimes, then this type of behavior will keep on being repeated and our whole system of voting is in jeopardy.  This malicious, manipulative SOB psychopath needs to be taken down a peg or two and it is unbelievable to me that he still has any supporters left.  I did feel really good watching Nancy Pelosi say, “I hope he comes.  I want to punch him out.”, after she was told that Trump might come to the Capitol.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Cogent.

Metrosexual Term

Fandango picked an odd one today for his Word of the Day challenge and from what I read “Zhuzh” has an interesting meaning.  This word can also be spelled as zhuzh, or zhoosh, jeuje, or even tzhuj and its meaning is to improve your appearance by making a slight adjustment, or by adding that extra something to almost anything.  This word was invented by fashion expert Carson Kressley from the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which I admit that I never watched.  I have gone to the nail salon to bend and reach that far to get my toenails trimmed, mostly because it is easier for the ladies to cut them then for me trying to do it myself.  I have also done some manscaping at the request of my girlfriend, as grooming is vital for certain activities (I know, way too much information), but I don’t consider myself to be a metrosexual.  I don’t think that my girlfriend was trying to zhuzh me up, but I didn’t have a problem doing some light trimming and I guess this could be considered to be a slight improvement or adjustment.

A metrosexual can be a heterosexual, gay or a bisexual man, but this term is normally used for a straight male who possesses qualities of a gay male without being attracted to men.  This type of man would pay a lot of attention to his personal appearance and try to cultivate an upscale lifestyle and he would probably even be good at decorating and matching colors.  I like to be clean and neat, but I am not very interested in fashion.  I don’t have any jewelry, I don’t drink wine, and I don’t use any fancy cosmetics.  Heck, I don’t even comb my hair, what little I have left.  Zhuzh sounds a lot like an onomatopoetic word, like whoosh or zoom, suggesting movement, or perhaps the ruffling sound that is made by running fingers through your hair or a sound made on a fabric, like fluffing up a pillow, but it could be any number of things and I learned a new word today.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Zhuzh.

Chop Shop

You can work at my chop shop where we illicitly disassemble stolen motor vehicles and then sell their parts, but you have to start at the bottom.  The pay will be good, but the first thing I need you to do is watch that Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie 2000 action movie Gone in 60 Seconds, so you can get a good picture of what we are about.  We are after luxury cars that are owned by rich bastards, and it is perfectly moral to steal from those disgusting and greedy capitalist pigs who make up the 1%, especially since they are all insured.  You might think that stealing is wrong, because you are taking something that does not belong to you, but these miserable a-holes won’t share the wealth that they have accumulated, so it is our duty to take it.

The first thing I will teach you is how to hot wire a car and how to use a slim jim to gain access to a vehicle.  Later, you need to get familiar with the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port that is used by technicians to investigate the diagnostics of a car, so they can find the source of any warning lights displayed by the car’s dashboard.  Once you know your way around this, you can plug in an encryption device that will disable alarms, unlock doors and start engines by simulating a key entering the car’s ignition and you should be able to have the car rolling within just 15 seconds.  I will teach you other hacking methods that will intercept the frequency signal that is being sent by the owner of the car with their key fob to lock their car and then you will clone this key signal so that you can then walk up and drive away with the car.  Right now, I am hungry, and it is time for lunch, so I am thinking about Chinese food, and I am in the mood for some chop suey, so go out and get me some.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Chop.

Love Should be a Continuous Stream

Love should be steady, steadfast, resolute, determined and unwavering, as that is the only way it will keep on blossoming.  For some, love is not easy to find, and it is disheartening to see that many people will just throw it away at the drop of a hat.  I did that once and now I have been divorced for the past 15 years.  It takes effort from both partners in a relationship to make it work out, as love can be fitful and involve intermittent periods, with a succession of starts and stops where love grows and slips away, and these risings and fallings will happen to everyone who is in love long enough.  We all have our good days and our bad days as life tends to oscillate like a pendulum, creating choppy waters for us to try and navigate our way through.  There are bound to be intervals or gaps in how strong your love is on any given day, as living with another person can be irritating at times making your love more like a discontinuous stream.  I don’t know the secret for holding a relationship together, but I think that you should never underestimate the value of the partner that you selected, as it can be difficult to find the right person again.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Fitful.

Family History

In college, I took a Sociology course where we were given three choices to write about for a term project.  I selected the Three Generational Analysis, where I had to find out about my great grandparents, my grandparents and my parents.  I didn’t learn anything about my father’s grandparents, which were my great grandparents on his side, but I did have stories about his mom and dad and also him and his family.  The best story that I learned about came from my mother’s mother and it was about her father.  My great grandfather lived in Russia, actually it was Belarus, but back in the day that was considered to be Russia.  He worked as a court magistrate being a government official dealing with minor cases that were mostly lawsuits.  This story takes place back around 1880 and it involved a man that was awarded ten thousand rubles because he lost both of his legs while working on the railroad.  It is hard to find a reliable currency converter, but I guess that this would be around 3 years of pay today, so it was a substantial amount.

Things were different for handicapped people back then, as living conditions for persons with disabilities were harsh, as most of them were unable to fend for themselves, so they were left to wander the streets, becoming beggars.  After the guy who lost his legs was given the money, he approached my great grandfather and told him that there was no bank here in this town, but he did have a bank account in the next town over, but he had no way to get there.  My great grandfather traveled to most of the nearby towns, and he happened to be scheduled to go to this same town where this guy’s bank was the very next day.  He felt pity for this unfortunate man, and he told him that he would deposit the money in his account for him.  Empress Catherine II (the Great) decided to introduce the first paper money in Russia, which replaced silver rubles, and it took a long while to catch on because people didn’t trust it at first, but this made large sums easier to carry.

My great grandfather locked the money in his hotel room and went out to have dinner, but when he came back to his room, he found that he was robbed, and this guy’s money was gone.  He felt awful for the handicapped man, so he fenagled some money out of another government account and placed that in the handicapped man’s bank.  He was doing some fancy work with the books, but he finally realized that they were on to him and that is when he absconded the country.  If it weren’t for this incident, I probably wouldn’t be here today.  I don’t look at my great grandfather as being some type of criminal, I see him as a compassionate man that cared about heling the handicapped.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Abscond.

When Things Go Missing

Did you ever notice that items which are temporarily lost always turn up in the last place that you look?  Is it possible that nothing is ever actually lost, and that people just get tired of looking for their misplaced items?  If people would just put things back into their proper place to begin with, then they would never have to worry about not being able to find what they are looking for?  Once an item is placed in its proper position, then you won’t have to speculate on where it would be.  People that are struggling with dementia, or Alzheimer’s Disease, or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) probably lose more stuff than others, but some people have a unique ability to lose anything that isn’t nailed down or physically attached to them.

Almost everyone has lost or misplaced something in their life.  It is estimated that an average person loses 3,000 items in their lifetime and spend about one year of their life searching for them.  Statistics also show that about two-thirds of Americans spend about $50 annually replacing lost items.  One survey reported that the average person misplaces nine things a day and spends an average of 15 minutes every day looking for a lost item.  Some people have a propensity for misplacing stuff, and they forget their keys, can’t find their wallet, or they are so bad that they would still look for their glasses while they are on their forehead not having the slightest idea where it might be, or they could even forget their heads if they weren’t attached to their body.

Losing things can lead to disagreements, as once a person becomes fixated on finding an item. It will often lead to rumination.  This will cause you to have constant and repetitive thoughts about something which leads to your brain shutting off.  You might suspect someone of taking or stealing the object, yet the person has no clue where the item is.  Without proof, it can be challenging to tell where your stuff went.  Worse, your continued accusations may cause deep rifts between friends due to distrust.  One of the most common misplaced items is a cellphone, even though they have apps that can find your phone.  Losing a mobile phone has become so common that is has been given its own name, nomophobia.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Disagreement.

What is Too Old

I have written an abundant number of posts about Jerry Garcia, but I just wanted to mention that today is his birthday and that if he didn’t die in 1995, that he would be 80 years old today.  In 2020, 25 years after Jerry died, he made it to the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine for the seventh time.  People are still celebrating Garcia’s legacy, as Jerry Day/Nights at the Ballpark will be taking place at Yankee Stadium (8/1) in New York and Fenway Park in Boston (8/9).  The July/August 2022 Issue of Relix magazine has him on the cover and it contains some newly discovered photos of him.  Jerry was in a bluegrass group called Old & In the Way along with Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, David Grisman, and John Kahn.  They had a song with the same name which they recorded on their first album.  Many old people end up becoming a burden as ageing is not easy and that is why I write every day, so I keep from losing it as I get old.

Old and in the way, that’s what I heard them say
They used to heed the words he said, but that was yesterday
Gold will turn to gray and youth will fade away
They’ll never care about you, call you old and in the way

Once I hear tell, he was happy
He had his share of friends and good times
Now, those friends have all passed on
He don’t have a place called home
Looking back to a better day, feeling old and in the way

When just a boy, he left his home
Thought he’d have the world on a string
Now the years have come and gone
Through the streets he walks alone
Like the old dog gone astray, he’s just old and in the way

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Abundant.

Hip or Popular

Right now, we are experiencing a trend toward warmer temperatures and 2022 is expected to be a hot summer.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been around for 230 years, and it claims to have an 80% accuracy rate for its weather predictions, which is pretty good and its prediction for the Summer of 2022 in Florida is that our weather is going to be sizzling hot here in the Sunshine State.  Along with the blistering temperatures, Floridians are hit with humid conditions coupled with big thunderstorms, so I stay inside in the air-conditioning.  I heard that Europe is experiencing a heat wave and Spain, France and the UK are really hot now.  I feel sorry for the people in the UK, because the report that I heard said that many of them do not have air conditioners.  I am thankful that I am not living in the city of Jacobabad, Pakistan as that is supposedly the hottest place on Earth and just two months ago, on May 14, 2022, temperatures there hit 51 degrees Celsius (124 Fahrenheit), which is much too hot for me.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Trend.