Wednesday, February 29, 2012

... the gods wish to giggle

There is some speculation about my cryptic post last night.   It was mostly a nonsense fiction.  I started writing about doing something that I shouldn't, then that sounded like masturbation, then I just wrote whatever I felt next, then it stopped at a point that made sense, to me.  It was not about Burning Man, I promise.  Though I do think that Rhys is ready for Burning Man.  We want to accustom him to the concepts of human sacrifice asap.  We believe that there is very little more important for him to experience than the burning of a massive wooden effigy. 

Well, not just yet.

I'm not sure if Burning Man is ready for another breast fed infant yet.  Though I have found little Rhys' crying to be almost psychedelic in the effect it has on me: fascinating, engaging and random.  It's almost beautiful at times, not quite lyrical, impossible not to notice, or respond to.  Unfiltered expression.  It has a very deeply fixed effect on me, even more so on Rachel.  Emotions are coursing through him so quickly now.  He will go from smiling to crying and back again in a matter of seconds.  I can only assume at both the depth and the range of any of his emotions, but as for their passing temporality I am certain.

I didn't see it but Rachel told me that he rolled over this morning.  He was in "tummy time" and apparently he worked himself over.  I think that's a record (...!!!, for Z).   I'll have him doing pushups in no time, if I can remember how they're done. The kid's already catching up on me.  Who knows, maybe this year he'll take me to Burning Man.  If I can ever stop pooping my pants.  

He has a very strict, "no turd in the trousers" policy.  


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Too many chiefs, not enough love gimps

(David Bellemere)

Well, I have tossed myself in towards ritual sacrifice.  We will see..  

Wait, that first sentence sounds suspicious.

Let me try again, give me a minute, don't look..  

I am doing something stupid, to see just what might happen.  

I am almost praying for disaster,  have sent it off.

My tragedy narrowly escapes me.

I am ever praying:  fur, pastors, always, often.

Repeat, bereft..

Whom the gods wish to punish... they last destroy, first comes madness.

Then, sales..

..then theft..


Elvis C.

I've decided, after many years of trying, that I don't like Elvis Costello.  It takes too much effort, more than it's usually worth.  He's a good songwriter but you have to really pay attention to him to ever grasp that.  Nothing is ever easy with him.  His songs are only self-explanatory in that they are dull.  Mostly his songs bore me by the time his best verses arrive, always towards the end of the song, once I've already stopped listening.  It's tiring to pay so much forced attention to something in the hope of deriving pleasure from it.  It's like listening to a medieval tapestry. 

At first I thought he was almost an English Bob Dylan, with his open contemptuousness towards sentiment. But then he just kept seeming to come across as nothing but a snotty little prick, with open contempt for everything that was not Elvis Costello.  You get the feeling that his closest friends must have slapped the shit out of him here and there, or wanted to from time to time anyway, to wipe that predictable sneer off of his face and remind him that his sense of danger is and always was make-believe.  Though, to be fair, that's probably exactly what gave him that phony posture, getting slapped around. Most of all I felt sorry for anybody foolish enough to fall in love with somebody like him.  I've only ever felt that way about Dylan here and there. 

Not liking Elvis Costello is difficult though, because I still do like some of his albums.  I found a hidden release of his that I've grown fond of after all these years of trying, The King of America.  I've dabbled here and there with his records - I've always loved his first, My Aim Is True - but he never seemed to quite hit that perfect snide again.  I own about ten Elvis Costello records and I feel more than a little bit cheated.  The ratio is almost exactly opposite with Dylan, for every ten I own there is one that I don't care for, maybe two.  There was one other album of Costello's along the way that I also sort of liked, Almost Blue. It was an album of country covers.  It almost worked.  It had a few stellar moments.  But you can't spend your entire musical career smirking at love and then expect anybody to believe that your heart's truly being broken.   

The King of America works though.  It was produced by T-Bone Burnett.  He didn't use The Attractions to record it, for the most part.  Burnett had a lot of jazz and country session players sit in for the recording, giving the album a sparseness and an unforced feel to many of the tracks.  But most of all he seems to hit a good balance between being honest about his disappointments and fascination with America, never letting his view devolve into disgust alone.  In this plaintive honesty he becomes redeemable, even likable at times.  His view remains vague, almost out of focus, never harping on a specific point, as if that one point unravels the subject.  Neither does he present any of his positions as being the final telling of the story.  In this he retains some charm and doesn't undo himself with the attempted undoing of the other.

That's it for today.  The album's worth getting, I think.  I was given the Rykodisc double, which has outtakes and live cuts, which I tend to like even more than the original album tracks.  

It's difficult to write every day.  It's nearly impossible with 20 hours of wakefulness in each one of those days. It's like trying to get to the meaning of some of Costello's over-produced tracks from his other earlier albums.  It just takes too long to get there and when you do you just don't care.

I need sleep.  I'm going to go back to bed and dream of tapestries from another time.


Monday, February 27, 2012


I awoke this morning and ate a Girl Scout Cookie, a thin mint.  They were left on the table from the night before.  It tasted nothing at all like a Girl Scout.  I wish the glass of wine next to it were not empty, but full. A glass of wine in the morning is a delicious thing, much better for you than orange juice.  It brings with it hope, promise and life eternal.  It was Jesus' first miracle and my personal favorite.  A glass of orange juice doesn't even deliver vitamin c any more.  I wonder what Jesus would do with a glass of orange juice were he to return.  Perhaps he might convert the lion's portion of it to vodka.  He's still very popular in Russia, you know. 

We watched "Beat The Devil" last night. The John Huston film that was co-written by Truman Capote. I have seen it before, though it has been many years.  It started out quite good, with quick-witted dialogue and memorable shots.  By the midway point through the film I was bored witless and had lost all concern for it, not even a phrase like "rum-swilling double-crosser" could make me smile any more.  Parody is mainly interesting when done with an acute shrewdness, and cleverness.  Once you lose the wit then it becomes worse than the thing being lampooned, a sexless burlesque, unlit tassels lacking a body to animate them.

I did a search and discovered that when they went into production it was only half written. Huston and Capote completed it on the set as they were working.  Rarely a way to get great performances out of the actors and actresses.  Is that a word in which we are meant to use only the former and politely discard the latter.  The term "actress" is considered an insult of some sort in this newer, more courteous, genderless world.  Perhaps the phrase-constabularies will grant me this special dispensation because I am writing about a film that was produced when the term was still happily in use.  

Or, let's believe for now that I wrote this post in Spanish and you are only reading the translation.  Yes, let's have the feminists take on Spain and then work their way back through Rome and Athens.  Or, is it too late... have the Honeys sacked Rome again already...?

I don't think one necessarily has to navigate their way through life with disdain, but there are few better lodestars than a healthy disbelief.

The boy, Rhys, makes these little sounds when he is sleeping.  They are charming to listen to when sleep is not an issue, but quite preventative otherwise.  I only slept for an hour or two last night. The rest was spent documenting the child's sleep noises in the most unofficial manner.  I have ear plugs but I don't like to wear them.  It makes me feel as if I have invited a bubble to sleep in my head with me.  Not a magic bubble, but just a dull one made of soft wax. 

Didn't Michael Jackson used to fuck a midget named Bubbles?  Nope, I just looked it up, he used to fuck a monkey, apparently Bubbles was the actor's name.  I would prefer if red wine, Jesus-juice, had played no part in it though.  It seems to somehow taint the miraculous. 


I found this poem in the comments section over at Selavy.  I liked it so I will leave you with it in an attempt to elevate the content of today's post.  The name of the poet was not included, so neither is it included here. There might have been one additional line at the end of the poem, though I suspect not.  If so, then I am quoting each line here except the last.

The Weight of Being Eden 

Ran into Ben Henry Howard, 
In the black of the hotel cellar a few hours back.
He had only a short time to spare and spoke
Full of confidence and consequence, 
With his dromedary bottom lip,
And that speck of know-it-all worn by cosmic gurus.
The moths swarmed the solitary condemned glow
Like constellations in motion; peering, swirling, 
Eyeballs gazing back from the mirrored walls
Smeared with interstellar dust 
Painted in pigments of love and lust.

He suggested I kill my imagination
And count my chickens before they hatch
And begin to scratch at their shells and beg for food.
To do this would unhook the clasp of mystery's cloak
And send it floating rumpled to the floor beneath the hat rack,
Until it climbs again to weave golden thread as it did before.

You can feel the Spice Islands' tradewinds 
Warm your face before they pale upon the backs of whales
Across the shorn spring lambs skin
Of the bleating North Atlantic toward a battered bowing inn on the shore.
The torches light the drooping tropic night
That sags beneath the weight of its own perfume
And the weight of being Eden in each extreme.

It is always day where it snows.
Always white with perpetual light and fleshful of pumping blood,
Adieu, Adieu.
The last kiss before boarding a train 
Lies frozen beneath the slow drifts 
That creep motionless across artifice of day.

Look, there, another plump thigh
In purple garters warbling the songbird's goodbye to night,
Adieu, Adieu.
And I simply wait and hope the telephone rings
For a conversation about the evening's mundane trials
With the inevitable farewell, awkward and sterile
As it always is across the lines, across the miles.  
And I simply wait and ventilate the balmy breath
That blows unseen between the wiry veins of all things.

See that wall there. It never whispers
Or cracks its toes or masks its intent
To become the universe in miniature.
Best as anyone knows it bears its load
And waits like a curious turtle in repose.

A thousand sermons dangle 
Condemned sprung jacks in their boxes
They bounce and cackle from the tree's unsteady arms.
Each one naked knowledge,
A singular original sin to pluck and bite 
And with delight begin another lapsarian lineage,
Rise, line of Cain, Rise, line of Eve
We are all fallen here,
Get up and breathe.

An empty urn black with tarnish
Greets the tongueless thirsty traveler
Beneath the neon's flinty flickers 
And the maypole's sundered wreath.
We are the spring sprung children
Spinning, spin, spin
Spin with your nectar-ripe ribbons
So that we all may be born again and again.

My head is full of numbers
Manipulated and constantly recogitated in an endless algebra
To push aside the regret and all that is lost with it.
This time I hear the drums
Pound and drum beneath the Banyan tree
And between the fixed wooden wings 
Of the samurai city's soaring gates.

All Hail a little sprig of jasmine, dazzling,
And placed in her hair, just behind the curve of the ear,
Or a wedge of lemon in the blue iris of her stare,
Come, Rise, Hail, Spin, Adieu- and again.
A deposed simple primeval emperor 
Marches across the cold vast silver 
Folds of the budding rose
As it sways in the infinite fileds
On an ordinary day,
And now it's best I be on my way.


Sunday, February 26, 2012


(Popeye, the fry-cook)

Z! asked me yesterday if I had ever really worked at Popeyes.  Yes, the semi-famous fast-food fried-chicken place from Louisiana.  I had. When I was between the ages of 15 - 18 I had a series of drive-thru McJobs.  York Steak House, Ponderosa, G.D. Ritzy's, Popeyes, etc.  I often like to tell people that where I work now is the first job I've ever had, which is a partial truth.  It's the first adult job, one that I'd prefer to lose only by my choosing. The others I didn't care about.  I got fired or quit on a very regular basis, almost on schedule.  It took slightly longer than it did for the managers to get to know me, then it was usually time to go.

When I was working at Popeyes I met this guy, he was the manager.  I want to say his name was John, but I can't remember.  In the short time that I worked there we had a few memorable experiences.  I'll try to relay some of them here, if I have the time.  He was extremely dedicated to The Marine Corps, he and his brother.  He had once made it through boot camp, earning some sort of commendation for excellence in doing so.  He told me the name of the minor honor, but now it escapes me.  Perhaps it was only that his mini-platoon was first in their group, or highest graded, when going through.  The night before graduation he got drunk on mouthwash with a few other guys, got found out, then got kicked out.  It was one of the crushing blows of his life.   In my naiveté I asked him if he would ever be able to go back through again. Was there any time limit on the mistake, could he re-enlist?  Nope.

He was going through life as if he was still in "The Corps" though.  He kept his clothes regulation, his head boot-camp shaved.  He walked everywhere as if the sergeant was watching, and he in formation with a legion of marching ghosts.  He seemed ready at any moment to do a hundred pushups, or more.  But he was nice and likable enough.  If you could break through his grim toltec exterior he actually had a great sense of humor, but it took some effort.  Semper Dry, I used to call him.

Once, I was giving him a ride home after work. He had also lost his car and his license.  He walked to and from work, our manager.  But it was late and I was tired. We were talking and I was barely paying attention to what he was saying, which is how I missed the first "Stop" that he slipped into a sentence. The next was unmistakable because he was screaming it at the top of his lungs.  I did.  I stopped.  I slammed on the brakes just in time.  There was a guy whose car had apparently broken down and he was pushing it in the driving lane directly in front of me.  I stopped about 5-7 feet behind him, another split second and I would have stopped about 5-7 feet on the other side of him, where his car was. We both hopped out and helped the guy push his car, my heart beating wildly with guilt and dread imaginings. 

Another time I had some sort of crazy pimple on the back of my arm.  I suspected it was a spider bite.  Bites were common, for me.  I had also already started and owned my own little landscaping operation, one that I wrongfully thought I was fazing out as I wanted a "real" job, one where there were girls, and where I got paid by somebody other than myself.  I was, of course, wrong and foolish. I went back to landscaping and stayed there until other independent operations took over, an import/export operation of sorts.  

In any event, this bite/boil/blister/pimple on the back of my arm was hideous, the biggest thing I had seen up to that time on anybody that had survived.  He and I decided we would "pop" it.  Looking back now I realize that it required more of a lancing or an actual surgical removal, but we were going to employ the "pull the skin away from the pimple" technique rather than the "squeeze" method.  One look at it determined that squeezing was useless against such a thing.  We sat down at the back table and he went to work on my arm, grimacing and contorting his face with effort.  Everybody else left the back area except those that were required to work.  Those making the biscuits and preparing the chicken batter.  

After several minutes of trying we both felt that we were right on the verge of success so we carried on. I was trying to keep the skin around the area dry so he could get a good grip on it and he was trying to avoid having it explode in his face.   The thing was much too large to explode in his face though. The skin eventually ripped, making a sort of wet tearing noise with it, and the mass of dead white blood cells emerged remaining pretty much where it had been before, but with the skin separating around it now like little bloody flesh curtains.  Ouch, ah, success.    

He fetched the first aid kit and then scraped the dead cells away from the living ones, leaving a scar that remains to this day, almost 30 years later.

Of all of the crazy experiences we shared in the short time that I worked at Popeyes, possibly as much as 2-3 months, the most memorable by far was a night when he and I were the only two people to come into work.  A normal shift consisted of 7 or 8 people, maybe more, to manage the drive-thru, the dining room, the registers, the prep, the deep-frying of the chicken, all of it.  I was much more for just locking the place up and letting one evening go as a loss.  He was of the other mind and he got me convinced that he and I could run the place by ourselves.  He bolstered my confidence with a plan he had made up as to who would do what.  He would be running the registers and interacting with the customers and I would be doing all of the cooking and prep.  The cleaning we would both do when the night was over.  

Ok, I said.

Things were going along pretty well, we were both rushing around, jabbering wildly at one another, and he at the customers.  But there was a definite sense of camaraderie, one that I supposed he missed and gravitated to much more than me.  But the sense of teamwork was palpable.  It was like we were locked into a very close basketball game, one that didn't end at 21, but rather ended when the other team had died or left the courts for good. I was rushing from the back of the restaurant to the front, making sure that the chicken was being dropped and the timers were being set, then rushing back out front again when the timers went off, to dump the freshly deep-fried chicken under the heating lamps so he could fill the orders.  Simple. 

The dinner rush was on, our system was beginning to show signs of weakness.  He was sending customers out to their tables without their food, promising that he would bring it out to them.  The line kept growing longer and the cars in the drive-thru became increasingly impatient.  Then "it" happened.  I was throwing the chicken in the fryers so fast that one hit the far squared corner of the fryer, opposite of me, just right, so that a drop of boiling grease flew back up and hit me in the eye.  The effect was instantaneous.    My screams were such that all customer complaints stopped immediately.  John (I really do hope that was his name) ran back to find me holding my face, staggering around the fryers, wobbling in pain.  He directed me away from the vats of boiling oil and surveyed the damage.  

There was no other choice.  He screamed for everybody to get out of the restaurant, NOW!!!  One guy who had paid for his entire family and hadn't gotten their food yet was understandably not in accord with this new plan of operation.  John grabbed two $20's out of the register handed it to him and told him to get out, and to please hurry up, that he was sorry, there was no other choice.  He ran around the dining room locking all of the doors, then closed the drive-thru window, then led me out the back door where my car waited. He drove me to the emergency room as if my little Renault Alliance was an Apache helicopter.   We got there.  There was no permanent damage, the oil had burned a layer of the surface of the eye off. There would be some pain but my vision would be unaffected.  I had to wear a patch over my eye for a few days.

Now that Popeyes is a Miami Subs.  Progress...

When I was driving him home from the hospital he told me that he had only recently found out that his mother was a lesbian.  He had suspected but then he finally "caught" her being intimate with another woman.  He knew that he had to move out of her house soon, that he wouldn't want to stay there, and that his mom was probably just being nice in letting him live there after the Marine Corp boot-camp mouthwash debacle.  I pictured his mom getting it on with another woman.  My barely post-pubescent mind grasped the severity of such a thing.  It grasped it from several angles. I turned the issue over in my head, considering the subject carefully, repeatedly.

Later in life, when I would think back to the few jobs I had when I was too stupid and young to realize that they were hardly jobs even worth having, I would often think of the lesbian mom.  She must have still been in her late 30's.  She was an attractive woman, or so I thought.  To be honest, I found almost all women attractive at that age.  I mean my age, not theirs.  If a woman acknowledged me then she had my complete attention.  If a girl, even more so.

There are more stories to tell from that time.  Another day.


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Not much time today. One guest in last night, another in tonight.  There is never a shortage of visitors with a baby around. It has been a lot of fun though.  Having visitors is something we could only do with great difficulty in NYC. Here the apartment practically begs for it. With a barbecue grille on the back porch, an extra bedroom and bath, and a dining room table. We're practically ready to have another kid.

Yesterday I made a joke,  thinking myself quite clever, but I don't think anybody got it.  I intentionally spelled the word "innacurate" this way, with a link to the article about faulty wiring being the likely cause of the  error in timing neutrinos. Nobody seemed to notice or care, so I changed it back.  You see, I have a specially trained reader (Cato) who scours my posts for factual or grammatical errors.  His highly trained eye knows no greater pleasure than detecting a potential fault in my posts.  He will gleefully text me with his findings, oftentimes only seconds after I have posted.  But this one slipped by him.  So I changed it back to the correct spelling, not wanting any of my international enemies to think of me as excessively dim.

But old Cato is quite crafty, he keeps me on my grammatical toes, as it were. I have suggested that he start his own site which is dedicated exclusively to my spelling and usage corrections alone.  He'd never be out of work.  He could simply copy and paste each day's posts into his site and add his modifications, then publish them as a more "complete" version of my experiences.  A clearer, more understandable rendition of my life.  The project remains stalled in its conceptual state.  I have encouraged him to seek independent funding.

I should have never directed Cato to the wiki-site on weasel words.  He is now armed with more weaponry than he will ever need to unravel, and then make known, my rhetorical secrets. 

On the other side of the grammatical universe, my friend Zo!e has encouraged me to start using more strings of exclamation marks, for emphasis.  I do this quite often to her in private emails and texts and I suppose she wonders about their absence here.  I already use the ellipsis regularly, which in some ways suggests that sort of emphasis; a grammatical horror to some, I know.  The ellipsis is merely a lazy writer's vice.  

But Zo!e is a woman of few written words, and even fewer grammatical crutches.  I can not remember a time when one of her emails contained a follow up sentence, in addition to, or building upon, the first.  She is a poet of conciseness and exactitude, eternally eschewing the unnecessary in language.  In fact, it is not uncommon for her to omit facts altogether in a communique, relying exclusively on her innate ability to convey the essence of the needed information.  Quite often we would plan on meeting at a bar or restaurant and her text would simply read, "Meet me at that place where we had that talk that day, near the shop with the produce, on the corner."

My response is almost always predictable in these interchanges, "What...!!!???"


Friday, February 24, 2012

Overlook Path

(Sonoma Valley)

Lisa called me early this morning, wanting to know if I wanted to go on a short hike.  I hadn't thought about it before her call, but sure, why not, I thought.  We went to a local trailhead here in Sonoma, one that leads up into the closest set of hills, just behind the city square, with a view of almost the entire valley once at the summit.  

The morning was clear and we could see all the way across the bay to San Francisco from the peak.  San Pablo Bay rested level and blue between here and there.  One could clearly perceive the shape of the valley as it leads up around and out towards the North Bay, Petaluma River and the Marin Peninsula.  It's a beautiful, wide-open, wonderful place.  

We have been struggling with the enormity of adjustment involved in making the leap here, and all that has changed along with it.  A good walk helps clear the head a little bit.  Sometimes that's all that's needed, just a little clearing.  Emotions can be like sinuses, horrendously immovable and lopsided when lying down, but somehow manageable with a little walking and some sense of clarity and purpose.  Very little balance in life often allows for some breathing; and breathing is sometimes an act to be practiced.  An object in motion, etc.

I discussed in detail with Lisa the effects of rattlesnake bites and my fascination with neurotoxins.  We discussed other things also, but whenever entering a woodlands hike I always like to use the opportunity to discuss the horrendous possibilities of acute dropsy, limb loss and heart failure.  Envenomation being a race between the last two, if left untreated long enough, which is always how I prefer to discuss it.  Once treated with antivenin the likelihood is only that the patient's limb will temporarily lose some dexterous ability, numbness, the limb might possibly turn black, and they could lose a layer of skin.  Still fascinating, though not nearly as much as its effects on the mature nervous tissue of a vital organ, like heart muscle.

A poison's effect on the heart is the most fascinating aspect of it.  The onset of heart failure is often indicated by the patient's seeming inability to breathe.  But the likelihood of the poison affecting the lungs before the heart is actually quite minimal.  It's usually only the effect of anxiety being experienced at having been bitten.   It's important that the victim remain calm.  It is not entirely uncommon for a victim to have a heart attack from a severe sense of panic alone.  Such is the power of fear, once internalized.



(Laurenzo Lodi)

The CERN experiment has been found to be inaccurate, as any dedicated reader of this site already knew it to be.  Neutrinos do not travel faster than the speed of light, they can not.  Apparently a cable was malfunctioning in the experiment and it was giving faulty results.   This comes as no surprise to any casual student of post-classical physics and the standard model.  We knew something was amiss when Europe was asking America for help.  It just didn't feel right....

One thing that I found to be interesting in the articles I read about the supposed phenomenon were how few of them mentioned an already observed effect of quantum physics that transmits "spin" information many thousands of times faster than the speed of light.  It is known as entanglement, and though it was suggested in theoretical quantum mechanics, a result of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and even derided by Einstein as being "spooky action at a distance", it has come to be verifiably observed repeatedly through independent experiment.  

Particles are affected even when separated by great distances, beyond what any known field force can explain.  Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen formulated the EPR Paradox as an argument against quantum mechanics as being an incomplete theory.  Their assertions were quite wrong and were proved to be so 30 years later, though they did raise important questions, ones which led to the verification of the theoretical effect.

Einstein won his Nobel prize in physics for his contributions to quantum mechanics, specifically for the "quanta" effect of photoelectric light, that it functions as both waves and particles, giving the world immense insight into the properties of light.  He was never awarded the prize for his theories of relativity, and was asked to not speak of relativity during his acceptance speech. A request which he ignored.    

An article I read last night asserts that entanglement does not actually violate Einstein's theory of relativity.  It is a .pdf link within this article, suggesting as much.  It is worth the read, if you are at all interested in such things.

As for me, I am going on a short morning hike, where the observable world will disagree with each and all of these phenomena.  

..."spooky action at a distance" indeed.


Thursday, February 23, 2012


(artist unknown)

A dull day, one without poetry or poison.  In bed all day, watching things not cared about, falling in and out of sleep, only moving from necessity.  The volume of the things I might have wanted was too low, all the rest was too loud; one putting me to sleep, the other waking me up.  Television, they will probably never get it right.  I remember a time when it was at least civil, now it is just dull and aggressive abruptness.  It only takes watching it to want to stop watching it.  Then, sometimes, the room just feels too lonely.  The quiet makes me wish for noise.  

I get up to piss, and then try the tv again.  The sound of the toilet flushing makes me wonder why some people don't drink.  Life must be unbearable, to cause such a thing.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's ride and ride and ride and ride....

(Artist unpaid,Selavy)

I look through my window so bright
I see the stars come out tonight
I see the bright and hollow sky
Over the city's ripped backsides
And everything looks good tonight
Singing la la la la la.. lala la la, la la la la.. lala la la etc

Get into the car
We'll be the passenger
We'll ride through the city tonight
We'll see the city's ripped backsides
We'll see the bright and hollow sky
We'll see the stars that shine so bright
Stars made for us tonight

Oh, the passenger
How, how he rides
Oh, the passenger
He rides and he rides
He looks through his window
What does he see?
He sees the sign and hollow sky
He sees the stars come out tonight
He sees the city's ripped backsides
He sees the winding ocean drive
And everything was made for you and me
All of it was made for you and me
'Cause it just belongs to you and me
So let's take a ride and see what's mine
Singing la la la la.. lala la la [x3]

Oh the passenger
He rides and he rides
He sees things from under glass
He looks through his window side
He sees the things that he knows are his
He sees the bright and hollow sky
He sees the city sleep at night
He sees the stars are out tonight
And all of it is yours and mine
And all of it is yours and mine
So let's ride and ride and ride and ride
Oh, oh, Singing la la la la lalalala

-Iggy Pop, The Passenger


Big Day

I have a whole new set of things to learn, buffered by yet another new set of things to learn.  In a different field on one side, and then an altogether different field on the other.  I have bookend, athletic ambitions.  It is a time of great learning, I hope.  My partial desire is to learn more about flash photography.  I bought a book exploring Nikon's CLS lighting system. It sits unopened on my desk, underneath some papers about how to set up Mac's new Lion Server.  Underneath that is a book about California's indigenous wildlife.  

I still can't believe that I ever bought, and have yet to throw out, the Cliff's notes on Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov."  What a waste of paper that was.  I suppose I had forgotten how useless Cliff's notes are.  I thought those things were written for students, not by students.  Useless.   Somewhere around here is the manual for the new baby, too....  I made a joke the other day about Dr. Spock and nobody, I don't believe, got it.

There is a calendar in which my intention was to place a big red X each day when I had exercised for at least 30 minutes.  It currently rests on my desk, underneath a pile of paper failures, unmarked.

There is a printer that can be set up through wi-fi.  It sits on the table that we are meant to eat at.  Another unchallenged challenge.  

My toenails are nightly getting caught by the sheets, shredding the nether.

On a much lighter note... I wrote a little bit of children's verse today.  

I was happy with it, it made me smile.

James Thurber, watch out....


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The new moon

Life is changing.  We had a friend come out from SF last night to have some dinner.  Some other friends arrive today.  Soon I will be going out to drink wine with them.  It is exhausting.   It's only a matter of time before I'll be going to sleep when the sun goes down.  I'm already not too far off.  If I want to get sleep then I almost have to go when the little boy, Rhys, goes to sleep, sometime around 8-9 pm.  Otherwise 3 or 4 am will come around and there is much less chance for consistent sleep after that.  It keeps me too fatigued to be of much use at anything else.  

I tried to read a book today on the couch. I never even remember opening it.  I laid down and about an hour later I woke up, having no memory of even setting the book down.  Rachel said I was snoring before she even realized that I had laid down.  People tell me that it will get even worse, the lack of sleep.  Teething is terrible, I'm told.  I've been wearing ear plugs, which help a little bit, but I wouldn't call it a  solution, most of all for him.

Ok, perhaps I'll have more to report tomorrow morning, I hope.

The picture above is of the little guy, probably making some noise.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Soy, by candlelight

(Albert Watson)

A late one last night.  Up sipping glasses of wine, then right from the bottle, staring into the internet.  I was beaten and defeated by a particularly hard day at work yesterday.  Now I'm back at my same desk, surveying the damage.  Each night I'm like a vandal, each morning a contractor giving myself repair estimates, tapping my clipboard, looking around and nodding.

One time, long ago, I awoke at sunset, having fallen asleep around noon. I was still so high and dehydrated and thirsty that I took a big swig of soy sauce.  It was the only bottled, safe liquid I could find.  Everything else was moving, or seemed to be.  I was in a trailer with no power, far out in a field in east Florida. Later that night I smelled like salt, it was coming out of my pours, along with whatever accumulated toxins were trying to escape. The next morning a girl whom I'd known for some time told me that my skin smelled strange. When she kissed me she said I reminded her of rice, of chinese food.  Ah, soy sauce by candlelight...

What a fucked up life I used to live.  I've been thinking about it a lot lately.  Trying to piece together the years, the places, the times.  It is all like a single three dimensional rotating blur.  Some things seem out of focus when up close, others more distant.  Writing and reminiscing do strange things to the memory of self.  It forces the amorphous fiction of memory to become stricter, more narrative.  Re-telling the story in prose often makes it all become more rigid but also more absurd, more fantastic.  Memories then become something else, tales that only partly reflect the remembrances, forcing the impressions to answer to the fiction, to be told through it.   Suddenly the past is wearing a belt, and shoes.

Ok, today we go into the city, SF.  It will be our first full day out with the boy, a big leap for us, requiring some boldness and even more patience.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll fictionalize it, leaving out the soy sauce, and the unpowered trailers left nearly abandoned out in fields for reasons I'd rather barely not recall. 


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nude peep show, cotton panties, blondes


I thought that I had posted this late last night, must have fallen asleep before I got around to it.

I got off late from work, have to go back early tomorrow.  So, tonight I write. There will be no time for it in the morning.  

Everyone seemed to like this morning's musically reminiscent post.   My readership has bounced back.  It is an evil thing to be able to track the amount of readers I have.  It is masturbation without orgasm, without arms, with just swollen feline balls that yearn only to be shaved.  It's worse than choosing to listen to Sting's music.  It is a sin.  It's like Tab, Tang or Nair.    

When I first started the blog I would occasionally run into people who would tell me how often they read it. Then they'd back it up by citing a few of their favorite posts, or buying me a drink if I was lucky.  It was very nice, it confirmed a thing that I liked to believe about myself.  Then, I found out how to see the daily pageviews, and then after that I found Google Analytics, my true undoing.

Now I am obsessed.  I'm like a tantric cocaine addict yoga sex fiend, talking about Sting.  

I had a reader from Nepal last week who stayed on the site for 5 hours and read almost 100 posts.  Within one week my readership in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bhutan has quadrupled 4 times over, each.  Nepal is now in my top 10 countries for readership this month.  When you have information access of this type the world becomes a fresh new mystery once again,  I pray for all of us.

I wonder what they're fascinated with, what they must be thinking.  I hope they are not chanting, "You must die, you little grape satan, the one who makes us suffer so..."  I hope.  Even I, readers, pray for that, especially if they are new women readers.  When Google Analytics is able to tell what gender the person browsing is then they will have really ended the "equality" contention once and for all.  I have never heard a cry for equality that actually seeks equality.  Nobody wants to be equal.  People want power.

The Google evidence will be data of the evil empirical kind...  There will be endless studies into the future showing how Google modified the message, massaged the data, to please the readers, to never shock the shoppers.  The data of the future will always appease.  Only the past will transgress, in whatever way you choose.  In the future all things will sell well.

To wit, the title of this post and the image used above are tricks to attract more readers.  It is unsurprising how many people will click on a link that uses the words that I have in the title of this post.  Or, others similarly related.  They'll only stay on the site for 10 seconds or less but it'll cause a rush of quick visitors as soon as I post.  I've watched it happen. Then they'll realize that it's not actually a blonde-panty-fetish-site and they'll move on, presumably to more reputable fixation sites that suit their particular needs of consumption.  

I sometimes wish that I could follow them.  Oh, that I magically had that power, that info., as if I were Google, not in all places at one time.... but following all interests, at one time.... Soiling unsold panties, for science.   

If "ogle" were a "d" then Google would be God.

Out of curiosity I did a search for the title of my post today, "Nude peep show, cotton panties, blondes" and found this site as the top hit...

Do not copy and paste that link into another window or tab unless you actually do want to see girls' underwear, in all manner of indecency, disrespect and occasional nicety.  

The internet is a crazy place with much power and people act accordingly towards it.  It is a uni-inverse. People appease the unknown, for reasons of even greater unknown. They will reveal themselves to the great unseen, merely hoping to be seen by the maelstrom of anything.  Each computer screen functions as a two-way mirror.

Holy Crap!  I just clicked on that link again, in the hopes of formulating a more descriptive word for women's online under-naughties, and all of the images had changed to others, some not even blondes.  

The lovelies were gone.

I was briefly amazed at how many of the thumbnails I had memorized.  The new images were not quite as alluring as the first ones, but then I looked more closely and I realized my error.  There is much merit in else, just have a close look.  Ignore what I said earlier about equality.  Seeking equality is as useful as it sounds.  It is a way of praising nothing, believing less.

The mind sure is a silly organ, it gets played like an accordion at every carnival.  Life can only be amplified or telescoped or made melodious for so long.  The strangeness and wonder of the weird always seems to pack up and leave for another town, no matter how festive and meant-for-you it might have seemed just at or just after sunset, mixed with the dawn's cotton candies.  In the morning you are left with the fading image of what you thought the festival was when it was really only being a fair. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Beacham

(A side-view from the balcony, Sasha)

Since moving to Sonoma I have had to own a car, as well as having a 45 minute drive to work, each way.  In the car is a stereo with a cd player and cassette deck.  For the first few months I dug out boxes of old cd's and have been blasting rock and roll, and country, and soul and various electronic stuff.  But I've had this case of old cassette tapes from the years of 1989-1994, approx.  These were explosive years for me and helped shape the next 20 years of my life in almost every way.  They are tapes of old house music.  Much of it that was centered around a very popular underground club that I used to go to, The Beacham Theater in Orlando, Florida.  Aahz.

So, my car has been like a careening time capsule for the last few weeks, darting from here to there and back again.  I've only made it about halfway through the tapes in the case but each time I get in the car I feel transported back into time, sometimes vaguely, sometimes sharply.  The memories that attach themselves to music being of all kinds.  I can still see the flashing lights, the colored beams cutting across the mechanically induced fog, the columns of lights executing their orchestrated chandelles.  I can remember the pulsating energy, the absurd and unexpected sounds and sudden stops of the music, the joyous returns, the darkness, the inexplicably beautiful, and the strange.

There was a core of energy at this club, on the main dance floor, directly in front of the stage.  It was where the speakers were often the most focused, and in closest proximity.  It's where the ones who were there to dance were, giving the body's energy expression in the most concentrated, and yet open and free ways.  The tiered platforms moving up and away from the dance floor towards the back of the theater were populated with listeners and observers, with all of the energy of the room centered around, and focused upon, the sounds emanating from the speakers. Sometimes you would walk towards the back of the theater and everybody would be staring forward, as if into nothing, as if into something.  Perched upon the balcony, overlooking it all, was the dj,  Kimball Collins.  Well, he ended up there once dj culture had started to really take flight, and him along with it.  Regrettably, the only picture I have of the inside of the club is of a guest dj that played there.  It seems unfair to Kimball, and to Stace Bass on lights.

1989, it was as if something exploded.  The dance scene in Orlando had been evident, but in a different way - often morose and dark - either gothic, alternative or industrial.  There was little sign that something so vibrantly thrilling, and of collective elation, would suddenly emerge.  Out of something relatively typical came something extraordinary.  I felt at the time, and sometimes I still do, that it was going to change the world.  In some ways it has.  Of course, in retrospect it is easier to see that the elements were there all along. The history can be traced and more easily understood now.  But at the time it seemed to just magically emerge out of fog machines and speakers, out of the sweeping lights of the night.  It seemed to simply happen, almost fully formed, in a single summer, in a single place.  

Others might disagree and say that it wasn't until 1990 or 91' that it really erupted, and that there were other places involved.  But that's their story, mine was here.  At various times the theater was called Pure Energy, Aahz, Egypt, and World War III.  Perhaps there really were several euphoric explosions...  The name Aahz eventually stuck.  Now, when people refer to it they use that term or simply "The Beacham." 

The experience was many things.  It was both openly communal and intensely personal, and everything between.  My previous friends thought that perhaps I was involved in a cult.  Some of them couldn't understand how dedicated I became to it.  Almost everything else in life faded into the background and a line emerged between my life there and the prior life I had.  Most of my inter-personal interests were centered around that place, that music, those people.  

The drugs.  I would be neglectful to not mention them.  Looking back they probably became a bigger part of the experience than they needed to be, though none of it would have ever happened the way that it did without them.  There was much excitement to be had, but the drug "ecstasy" accelerated those euphoric moments of elation in indescribable ways.  Never before has a drug been so appropriately named.  My only regret is that I did too much, for too long.  Nothing more needs to be said here, perhaps another time.   I only mention it because it would be a lie to deny, or ignore.

Well, it's nearly impossible to try and relay such a powerful internal experience.  So much of it just seems silly when put into words.  It's like explaining to somebody that you still cherish the memory of a recurring dream from the distant past, then trying to describe the dream.  I only wanted to reflect that I have been having a great time listening to those old cassette tapes by dj's like Kimball Collins, Dave Cannalte, Chris Fortier, Icee, Sasha, Robby Clark, Jimmy Van M, Rich Rosario, Andy Hughes, Jerry Boaze, even myself...!!! There's no better way to remind oneself to not get too nostalgic than to re-live one's own recorded errors.  I can feel them coming minutes in advance, back from the past to haunt me some more.  

But it has been a lot of fun and each day I look forward to it.  It helps pass the time on the drive.  It will, of course, also pass and I will put the tapes away again soon.  I wouldn't try to inflict any of it on anybody else.  Rachel says the older electronic stuff is too "dated" for her, and not very "musical," most of it.  That is its primary charm for me now, that it's tainted by neither too much sophistication nor technique.  It occurred before there was even much of an "industry" for it.  It is unashamed at being expressive and filled at once with vibrancy and error and love.  It sounds how being young feels.

"And time won't take my love away..." - Black Box, Ride on Time