Sunday, June 6, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ray Halliday Says Goodbye, and He Seems Okay!

Can # 12 (Something) by AUG 20

Well, it has come to this. We've been together for 12 cans of tuna. As you can see by my latest tuna-less posts, I have been trying to postpone this day for as long as I could. But I knew, at some point, it had to come.

I have a lot of things to get done, here. I want to say goodbye, report on my health, and thank everybody who's helped me so much during these last however long it's been. And also, I'm going to reveal the terrible secret I've been keeping from all my friends for over ten years. And, finally, I will end this blog with the word supercilious, which is something I've always wanted to do.

Okay, around noon it was reported that I went for a swim at the Mission Pool, and no one got hurt. When I came back I had myself a can of tuna...plain, out of the can.

Funny thing about this particular can, the last can of the sequence. Notice, the stamp is stamped backwards. In fact, in order to figure out what the stamp said, I had to look at it in the mirror. NONE of the other cans were like that. In fact, I do not know how a stamp can be stamped backwards. There is only one obvious conclusion and that is SATAN.

But, whatever. What have we learned? We learned that it's not about fixing things and surviving, it's about helping each other and moving on. What have we learned about food? We've learned that those stamps are silly. EAT ALL THE OLD FOOD YOU WANT. NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO YOU. LOOK AT RAY HALLIDAY! HE LOOKS GREAT!

In fact, I've never felt better. I had that tuna about a half hour ago and except for a very slight tremor in my fingers, I feel like a million bucks. Perhaps there is a slight, teeny headache, but that could be from the pool somehow. I have a slight tightnil;.,kj my chets,..;klj sgsadkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkag

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ray Halliday: His Socks and Underwear Are More Interesting Than Yours

A little old Asian guy was walking past my laundromat the other day, and when he looked in and saw my underwear and socks circling around in the dryer, the dryer right next to the window, he stopped. In fact, I would say that he stopped abruptly. I would say that my socks and underwear going around in the dryer stopped him in his tracks. I watched him as he looked through the window, fascinated. Not all crazy and wacked out watching, but thoughtful, interested, a zen-like study of my socks and underpants all going around in the dryer.
I tried to figure out what his fascination was all about, but couldn't get a handle on it. He didn't seem mesmerized or anything, didn't seem drunk or homeless, didn't seem to be looking at my drawers with longing to steal them, or take them home. He was just thoughtfully looking at them. He, by the way, seemed to take no notice of me, behind the folding table, whatsoever. I was the only one in there.
And, he was only interested in my stuff. There were plenty of other dryers going around in there. Plenty of much more interesting colors and textures tumbling around. He could have looked at any of these. But he did not.
A few minutes later he actually left the window outside, and came into the laundromat, sat down, pointed his eyes, his face, his chest, and the whole of his attention toward my dryer, my stuff, slowly changing from what we call wet, to what we call dry.
Finally, it saddened me to have to take my stuff out, but time was up, no more tumbling.
As I left, he looked up, knowingly at me, and I nodded at him, letting him know that, yes, there would be other dryers that would come along in his life, dryers as interesting as mine. He nodded back to me, his eyes, ever so hopeful.

Now, this, as awesome as it may seem, in no way tops the time about ten years ago, when I was loading a dryer in that very same laundromat, and felt someone behind me, close, looking over my shoulder, into my dryer. When I looked back at the guy, quizzically, he simply looked into my dryer, smiled and said, "Nice load."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

No Tuna, But How About a Piece of Mango in Action!

My friend Sherrie Flick has given me the take-pictures-of-your-beautiful-food bug!

I find myself making food for the colors at times, and I forget about the flavors sometimes. This was delicious, however, but there's no tuna in it.

It's this: Black rice and white beans! Spinach and cherry peppers and some tomatoes and wakame seaweed! And some mangoes on top!

It's nice! And I got to eat it, too.

I had to tip the plate in order to take the picture. My mango pieces kept falling off. In this one, you can see one go!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ray Halliday: Victim of a Mispour!

As most of you know, since April, uh, 22nd, I have not had any stuff like eggs, or bread or dairy or sugar or pasta or white rice or alcohol or caffeine. So, I was supposed to go for three weeks but I decided to let it go for three months because my buddy, Jim Kirk, quit drinking for three months and lost all sorts of weight. So I had to, you know, keep going.

The only caffeine I was having was some green tea every morning. After the three weeks was up, I switched, eventually back to my usual double espresso and two cups of coffee before my morning even began! But now they're DECAF espressos and cups of coffee. DECAF!

You see where this is going?

Today, through nobody's fault, I believe I was the victim of a mispour at Java Supreme, the coffeeshop that has treated me right for 18 years. That's right, I think someone slipped some caffeine in my cup.

Ooh, believe me, I could tell almost right away. My leg was going. And it was going and going. But that is not so unusual for me. I sometimes have a leg going. Then my hands started vibrating, and then my head buzzed. I see where the term comes from.

Luckily, there were people to talk me down. I ended up using this terrific story in my class today, teaching prefixes and suffixes and root words. You know, mispour has a prefix. And it's an unusual word, so it worked out fine. I danced around the class and I drummed on the desks. I jogged in place the whole three hours!

And I feel okay now, people.

But, weird, from such a lifetime coffee guy like me, I do not want to feel like that again anytime soon.

I'm serious.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What is Going to Happen to Ray Halliday?

Anyone know anything about bulgur wheat? Because I ate some last night.

What is going to happen to me?

I notice the Wikipedia page starts out, "Bulgur for human consumption..."

Let me know if you know anything!

I have one more can of tuna left, so let's see if we can get our tearful goodbyes out of the way this week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Smell of Ray Halliday

Dear Tom’s of Maine,

I am a forty-six year old male. I am a schoolteacher, and when I was out of work for awhile, my father called me personable, and said I should be able to get back to work soon, and I did.

So you might figure there is no reason for me to be alone and living a bachelor’s existence with a cat.

Tom’s of Maine, I am doing what I can. I recently started eating radically right and exercising. I quit drinking and I am trying to keep a positive attitude. I am getting more work done and I am budgeting my time wisely, more wisely than I ever have. I keep my apartment nice, and, in general, my sink clear of dirty dishes.

In this spirit, I turned to you, Tom’s of Maine, for my toothpaste and deodorant needs. I want to be more “natural” and your products say that right on the cover. Plus your deodorant is aluminum free, and who wouldn’t want that? I bought a stick of your unscented Natural Original Care Aluminum-Free Deodorant Stick, and couldn’t hardly wait to get home and rub it on. I also bought your Natural Whole Care Anticavity & Tartar Control Plus Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste.
I brushed my teeth, rubbed my armpits and waited for my new, natural life to begin. I sat at the kitchen table and read my deodorant label. I noticed you use hops extract to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. I looked forward to my hop-killing-bacteria life.

Now, weeks later, my teeth couldn’t be happier. But, Tom’s of Maine, I believe we have reached a chemical impasse here, because I’m pretty sure that your hops formula is growing bacteria on me, maybe at a rate as fast as bacteria has ever grown.

Anyway, Tom’s of Maine, I am trying to change my life for the better. And while, in general, I do not mind smelling bad, there are certain obligations I have where I should, out of respect for other people, smell, at least neutral. This has not been the case.

Please accept the return of one unscented Natural Original Care Aluminum-Free Deodorant Stick. If you have any secret formulas that use something else to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, I would be happy to try it. I trust you Tom’s of Maine, things just didn’t work out this time.


Ray Halliday

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Few Things About Jeff Dembowski

A few weeks, or months ago, this blog reached out and touched a long lost stranger, Jeff Dembowski. I knew him, I don't know, maybe as early as kindergarten, and we were friends until he moved away to, uh, Philadelphia sometime in junior high. He could do art stuff really good.
He shows up in one of my very first stories. Here's the line: "Jeff Dembowski draws good, but he threw up in the hallway and had to go home before art. He likes the art teacher because they are both Polish."
To be honest, I can't remember if he threw up in the hallway or not, but somebody did.
Now, you won't believe this, and neither will he. I haven't seen or heard from him since he moved, and that was a long time ago. But I think of him kind of often. I think of everybody kind of often. I've got a lot of time to think.
But, he sent me this teeny message in the comments section, "Hart's Hill?" which was the name of the elementary school we went to.
I am telling you, I thought of Jeff as I was writing that very post. And here's why. As I've been writing this blog, I've tried to think of sophisticated ways to talk about food, and haven't been having much luck. And I remembered that one day, at lunch, Jeff asked me what kind of sandwich I had, and I said peanut butter. And he said peanut butter and what? And I said, nothing, just peanut butter.
And he went, what? just plain old, dry peanut butter!
I thought that dry was a rather sophisticated term for someone so young to be using.
And then I get that comment in the bloggy comment section!
Small, weird world. Even smaller.
This week, I have some of my "art" in an art show. Wait. Some of my art. I only have two things, and they are shoebox dioramas. They can be seen at the Sonny Smith, 100 records thing at Gallery 16, 3rd and Bryant, San Francisco.
I guess I am sort of excited, but I did not go to the opening. And it happens to be because of Jeff Dembowski.
Maybe in the fourth, or fifth, or sixth grade, there was this art contest. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with Halloween. And I entered it, because I had a great idea. And I made my thing, and oh my god I was proud. I was so excited! But when we went, and I saw all the other stuff that was there, I realized how ridiculous, and awful my thing was. You think I'm just having some psychological self-esteem thing, but believe me, if you could see it, as I do, often, in my mind, you would agree.
Jeff Dembowski, if I remember, won that art contest. He made, I think, a castle, and it had pine cones and sparkles. It was beautiful.
I've had this theme occur many times in my life. You're doing your thing, and you think it's great. Your small group of friends think it's great, and they think you're great for doing it, whatever your thing is.
And then, you get out in the real world, around everybody else, and you realize that your stuff is just not on the same level, and you go home.

Today, at home, I had me a nice salad with spinach, fennel, sunflower seeds, some flax seed, and to make it not dry, Jeff Dembowski, lemon juice and olive oil.

Oh yeah, and a can of tuna. Can #11: best by aug 20 2009 VAL2E 1ZSWG 09:56. One can left.

I will let you know, as always, dear readers, how things go.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Am Still Here!

I had a bad couple of months or something. Now, I am going to try and make some changes, again. My habits are going to change or something. And you are all invited to come along.

Still, still, I have two cans of tuna left. Luckily, the changes I am making are not going to bar me from eating them. And nothing will stop me from telling you all about my experience in (or with?) eating them. We will be together, you and I.

But, remember, two cans, and this blog is at an end. We will have to meet again, at a different place. It will be okay. You can hold my hand.

More soon, dear one.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Letter From Joe Rut

This is just to show how far-reaching a blog can be. Joe Rut is a famous and great musician who works hard and makes his community a better place to live in. I'm not saying that to be cute, either.

By the way, I suggest that anyone who will be in the Bay Area, the state of California, the west coast, or anywhere in this particular hemisphere, go to the Great American Music Hall on Friday April 30th to see him through the release of his 5th cd.

I am a fan, fan, fan. And it just adds to my argument that I am great that Joe Rut himself wrote me a letter, and it happens to be about tuna.

from Joe:

Just had a tuna sandwich and thought of you, my friend. Chunk light in water (trying to save $ you know ...98 cents a can), mayo, sweet relish, red onion and that wrong? On 12 grain bread. I can only name about 8 grains, so I'm wondering what the fuck all these other grains are in my bread. sooo good. although slightly metallic tasting. If you don't here from me for weeks, inquire as to my health.

I am telling you, if you don't know Joe you should go. If you know him, you're already going. I will personally guarantee: you will be thoroughly entertained. And yes, I'll back up the thoroughly as well.

Joe Rut w/ special guest Will Franken
Friday April 30
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco
Doors 8/show 9
Tickets on sale begining Sunday, Feb 28th.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When Luther Monday Says Samich: You Say How High!

can #10: VAL2E 1ZSWG 09:52
best by Aug 20 2009

When you picture me, picture me like this. A lonely sandwich man with a lonely tuna sandwich on a wicked rainy Tuesday.

Look at me, looking out the window. All my friends have families and responsibilities. Or jobs that keep them busy. But not me, I am all lonely and alone, no one to play with, plus it's raining. And, I'm still smarting from going to work last night, only to realize that it was MLK Day. MLK! Some of my students showed up, too. They followed their fearless leader.

Nothing but a lonely, lonely tuna sandwich to look forward to.

But, wait! This is no ordinary tuna sandwich. It's a samich! This is according to Luther Monday, great songwriter, singer and musician. Plus, the harmonica! If Luther says to put pineapple in your risky tuna sandwich and call it samich. You do it! You do it if you've heard him sing or play, or if you've met him in any sort of way. You do it.

And then, of course, Luther's right. Listen to your friends, my friends, and eat whatever kind of tuna sandwich they say.

Your day, however rainy it is, will be better. Better. Better. You'll still be old, and alone, with nary a future in sight. But, the samich....the samich...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye 2009

Can #9 (this may be a miscount) VAL2E 1ZSWG 09:59 best by Aug 2009

I ran, like, in running, and in that I conquered. I ate better, and also worse. I stopped drinking. I also started. I stopped drinking. I also drank consistently.

I put my musical albatross behind me.

I put myself on the line a little, musically, and put together a super-group. I thought every one of the individual members would say no but they all said yes. They are now waiting for me to write some *ahem* songs.

I got several jobs, none of which I am very good at. None of which have any way to be promoted, or to make more money. I cannot see, or figure out, my future. I was introduced, at 46, to the grind.

I borrowed thousands and thousands of dollars and paid almost all of it back. If you do the math, I think, the numbers come out even, but I am several months behind myself.

I got my teeth and feet fixed, and least good enough to chew and run. I found that I was, in general, healthy. I had eleven years of anxiety about it. I was, all in all, okay with being healthy.

I realized that I'd like to be a writer or a songwriter, but barring that, all I'm really interested in, is knowing all about, and listening to all kinds of music. It is the only real education I want. And thanks to the San Francisco Public Library, I was able to listen to all sorts of stuff, week after week, in 2009.

Some people gave me a chance. Some people rolled the dice on this kid. I have not thrilled them. But so far, they seem to still be backing me. It has been awesome and nerve-racking.

I became friends with little kids. I "sat" them. This means that people trust me more than I trust myself. Same with some cats.

I got mature enough where a could grow a beard pretty quick, but by now it comes out almost all white. *Sigh* It is always something.

I tried to become a better person. I listened to, and took peoples' advice, but, as it turns out, I was too slow to learn.

I was told not to live in hope and I didn't, but I still got totally accused of it.

I wrote a couple of things, and ate some tuna (please see picture of sandwich above).

I watched every football game I could this year. I do not know much about it. Except that almost every game is depressing at the end, because there is some amount of time where you are just playing the game, even though there is no hope of coming out ahead.

Goodbye 2009. We are through.

There is still tuna left, and so I turn to you, 2010.