Acid Heroes

February 20, 2018

Hate Camp

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:27 pm

A random shot of Hate Camp from around 2015.  (photo by Ted Friedman)

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The one time when I SERIOUSLY misjudged a winter rainstorm

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:37 pm

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Definitely chilly tonight, with this icy-cold wind-chill factor. It reminds me of one of the coldest nights I ever experienced.

I was hitchhiking through Humboldt County in the middle of the winter, and decided to spend the night in Arcata, camping in the Redwood Forest. So I set up my tent — this cheap-ass 30 dollar tent — about a quarter mile into the woods.

It wasn’t raining when I set up my tent. But it started coming down by the time I got into my sleeping bag. And it wouldn’t stop raining for the next 2 days. I had never seen a storm like this. Non-stop sheets of rain and wind. It was relentless.

Within a couple hours my tent was hopelessly battered. And water was pouring in from everywhere. Pretty soon there was several inches of water on the floor of my tent. And my sleeping bag was soaking it up like a sponge.

So I’m lying there, shivering, in this ice-cold puddle of water. For hours. It was like trying to sleep, naked, on a block of ice.

And there was nothing I could do about it. There was no way I could hike back to civilization in the pitch-dark in the middle of this raging storm. And nowhere to go even if I got there. So I was trapped. It felt like being in a little rowboat in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a torrential downpour, as your boat is buffeted back and forth by the wind and the tidal waves, and you got all these holes in your boat and you’re taking in more and more water, and its just a matter of time before you go down with the ship.

During the course of the night I would slip in and out of brief periods of sleep. And I’d slip into this weird dream state. Though it was more like being in a coma than a dream. It was that bad.

But then finally, after hours of enduring this weird torture, I caught a lucky break. It briefly stopped raining. So I dragged my ass out of my tent. And I had this plastic shower curtain that i had on top of my tent for another layer of protection. And the wind had instantly dried it out. So I wrapped myself in the shower curtail and climbed back into my sleeping bag. And the shower curtail insulated me from my wet sleeping bag. And I slept relatively peacefully for the rest of the night.

The next morning when it FINALLY got light, I packed up my stuff and got my ass out of there. My tent had been completely torn apart by the wind and the rain, so I tossed it in the garbage. And I never used a tent ever again after that.

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Another time when I ALMOST got completely soaked

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:19 pm
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On this date last year. True story.

I was drunk off my ass (who me?). Oblivious. Passed out at my campsite. And it starts pouring rain. I’m so out of it at this point, I’m the last to know.

Scaredy Cat (the feral cat) comes rushing up to my campsite and starts meowing loudly in my ear.

“MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!” meowed Scaredy Cat. Loudly.

Her incessant meowing managed to wake me up in the nick of time. I realized it was pouring rain. And i was lying there in my wet sleeping bag. And that I could have died from hypothermia (slight exaggeration) if Scaredy Cat hadn’t roused me from my drunken stupor.

In gratitude for saving my life I gave Scaredy Cat a bunch of delicious cat food, packed up my campsite, and got my ass to dry land. In the nick of time.

It was like an episode of Lassie the dog. Where Lassie heroically saves the day.

Except in truth. Scaredy Cat was mostly just waking me up because she was hungry and wanted to be fed before it started pouring rain on her. Ha ha. Cats.

But she DID save my ass that night. I would have gotten completely soaked if not for her.

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The one time I got really soaked during a winter rainstorm

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:12 pm

Image may contain: one or more people, basketball court and outdoor

 

Generally, as a homeless person who has survived 14 winters (and counting) I generally stay one step ahead of the rain and cold. I closely monitor all the weather reports. And I get in “battle mode” all winter: “Its Me against the Weather!! And I ain’t goin’ down!!”

But every now and then I’ll get soaked.

This one time, I had survived one of the biggest rainstorms of the season. Three days of non-stop rain. We got about 6 or 7 inches of rain. But I managed to stay virtually completely dry. Nary a drop landed on my head (I’m so cool).

Then the storm FINALLY ended. So I crawled out from under the awning where I had been taking shelter for the last several hours. And I walked to my stash spot where I had my sleeping bag stashed in the bushes on the Berkeley campus (triple-bagged in three garbage bags to ensure maximum dryness of my sleeping bag — I’m on top of it, baby!).

But just as I was grabbing my sleeping bag, the sprinkler system went off. They had them timed to water the lawn every evening at this time. So I was trapped within this barrage of exploding water. By the time I had run across the lawn to safety I was COMPLETELY drenched. From head to toe.

Sometimes life can be so ironic, its sickening.

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February 17, 2018

One of my favorite cart-before-the-horse stories

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:51 pm

Image result for "Nasrudin" searching under street light

 

One night this guy was on a street corner, searching for something under this street lamp. This other guy showed up and asked him: “What are you doing?”

The guy said: “I lost my keys. So I’m looking for them under this street lamp.”

“Where did you lose your keys?” said the other guy.

“Over there in the bushes in the darkness.”

“So how come you’re looking over here under the street lamp?”

“Because its light over here and I can see what I’m looking for ”

  •                                       *                                            *
  • One of my FB friends asked me: “And what is the lesson?”

    I suppose one of the lessons is: When it comes to searching for the truth, many people don’t want to travel very far from their comfort zone to find it. . .  And it’s sort of a metaphor for “thinking outside the box.”

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“The kids will have big time fun blowing up the earth over and over!!”

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:18 pm

 

“Say kids, see if you can find Hiroshima on the globe!!”

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February 14, 2018

Ace goes underwear shopping

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:09 pm

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Today I had to buy some underwear (I’m sure you’ve been wondering about that).

So I go to the clothes store. But all the underwear was WAY too expensive for my blood. Except for the packages of Fruit of the Loom, but only in the Xlarge size. 7 underwears for $10.99. And according to my math that comes out to . . . something or other . . . a good deal of a dollar and change per pair. And I’m told that Fruit of the Loom is a reputable brand.

But I’m pretty damn sure the Xlarge size is gonna be WAY too big for me. I mean, I drink a lot of beer. But it says on the label “waist size 44-48.” And that’s big. And these damn clothes stores don’t have dressing rooms where you can try on your underwear first before you purchase them, to see if it fits. So theres no way of knowing if it’ll fit.

But I’m a cheap bastard and i can’t resist a deal. So I buy it anyway and hope for the best.

The good news is: it fits.
The bad news is: it fits.

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February 13, 2018

Mating rituals of the modern feral cat

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 6:55 pm
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The one and only Mini Scaredy.

 

The other night these cats, off in the distance, where howling and shrieking all night long at the top of their lungs. I had never heard anything like it. You probably could hear them from a mile away. At first I thought somebody was torturing a cat to death. But then I figured it was more likely you-know-what.

Then they were at again last night, howling and shrieking for hours, right up until the morning light. . . And then Mini Scaredy came galloping up the trail at top speed towards my campsite. I figured she was just coming for her breakfast. But then I noticed two gray toms, right behind her, chasing after her in a line — one of them big and burly, the other a bit smaller.

Mini Scaredy ran past the food dish, ran past me, and then sort of hid behind me. The two toms stopped about 10 yards from me, they weren’t bold enough to get any closer to me, even as obviously they wanted to get at Mini Scaredy. So they both darted off into the bushes, no doubt to sneak around my flank so they could get at Mini Scaredy from the other direction.

Mini Scaredy trotted to the food dish and started gobbling down her breakfast. That was pretty crafty of her to use me as a human shield, so she could briefly ditch her suitors and gobble down a quick breakfast before she continued her tryst.

After eating she sauntered over to me, purring loudly, and started clawing back and forth on the legs of my bluejeans as a show of affection. She’s obviously enjoying herself. Course, she’s not the one that’s going to have to come up with the child support payments 4 months from now.

I’m kind of feeling overwhelmed by the whole situation. But I guess I’m going to have to deal with it at some point.

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These are my people

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 6:48 pm

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When I moved from San Francisco to Berkeley back in 1978 I rented out a room for a month at this place. It was called the UC Hotel back then, it was on University Ave. just below San Pablo. Rent was 100 bucks a month, something like that.

When I went up to check out my room on the fourth floor, I noticed the door next to mine was covered with all this red police tape, DO NOT ENTER, sealing off the room. When I asked the manager what that was all about he said: “Oh, yesterday the guy who was living in that room jumped out the window and committed suicide. The police are still investigating it.”

I remember thinking: “I should fit right in at this place.”

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Further misadventures cutting class with the high school stoners

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 12:36 am
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 When I was 16, a junior in high school, me and the crew of friends I was hanging out with liked to regularly cut school when the weather started getting nice. We’d sneak out to the parking lot behind the high school and we’d all pile into my friends car, usually 2 or 3 guys and 2 or 3 girls. Most of the crew that I hung with at that time were all part of the high school cool crowd, with me being sort of a border-line cool crowder. So I felt a little pressure to always try and act cool, lest the others found out I wasn’t really cool and they’d kicked me out of the cool crowd.

Anyways, we’d often drive to up-state New York, to Harriman Park, this huge state park. Harriman Park was incredibly beautiful, very lush and green. And there were a bunch of rivers and streams, some of which had really nice swimming holes. It felt great to swim in those streams and laze around in the sun. And we would smoke a lot of pot and drink a lot of beer, and we really felt like teenage rebels who were being sneaky and getting away with breaking all the rules. It was a lot more fun then sitting in a classroom staring at a Geometry text book, that’s for sure.

My memory is a little sketchy, so I can’t remember if we went skinny-dipping or not. I think we wore our underwear in the water. All the girls we were hanging with were very pretty. So I think I would have remembered if we were skinny-dipping, because that would have been a big big moment in my life at age 16.

One of our favorite swimming holes was this place that had a rope swing. The pool of water (which was pretty deep) was surrounded by all these rocks and boulders. And you had to climb up the rocks to get to the rope swing, which was about 20 feet above the water. You’d swing out in the air like Tarzan and then “GERONIMO!” into the water. You had to be a little careful about your release-time, though, when you let go of the rope and plummeted downwards, because you wanted to make sure you landed in the water and not on the rocks.

The first time I attempted the rope swing I was more than a little scared. That 20 feet drop looked a LONG ways down. But, considering everybody else was doing it (even all of the girls) I sure wasn’t going to go down as The Guy Too Chicken To Jump Off The Rope Swing. So i held my breath and let ‘er rip. And it was a lot of fun. Pretty soon we started doing wilder and wilder stunts, doing backflips and somersaults in mid-air. Trying to top each other with our moves.

Then one day we got the news that one of the guys in our class who we all knew had gone up to the rope swing with his crew, and apparently he had mis-timed his jump and landed on the rocks. And he was now in the hospital, and was paralyzed from the neck down and would very likely be in that condition for the rest of his life.

Considering all the crazy stuff I did when I was a teenager, it’s a miracle I made it to 20.

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