Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Fellowed Sleep





I fellowed sleep who kissed me in the brain,
Let fall the tear of time; the sleeper’s eye,
Shifting to light, turned on me like a moon.
So, planing-heeled, I flew along my man
And dropped on dreaming and the upward sky.

I fled the earth and, naked, climbed the weather,
Reaching a second ground far from the stars;
And there we wept, I and a ghostly other,
My mothers-eyed, upon the tops of trees;
I fled that ground as lightly as a feather.

‘My fathers’ globe knocks on its nave and sings.’
‘This that we tread was, too, your fathers’ land.’
‘But we tread bears the angelic gangs,
Sweet are their fathered faces in their wings.
‘These are but dreaming men.  Breathe, and they fade.’

Faded my elbow ghost, the mothers-eyed,
As, blowing on the angels, I was lost
On that cloud coast to each grave-grabbing shade;
I blew the dreaming fellows to their bed
Where still they sleep unknowing of their ghost.

Then all the matter of the living air
Raised up a voice, and, climbing on the words,
I spelt my vision with a hand and hair,
How light the sleeping on this soily star,
How deep the waking in the worlded clouds.

There grows the hours’ ladder to the sun,
Each rung a love or losing to the last,
The inches monkeyed by the blood of man.
An old, mad man still climbing in his ghost,
My fathers’ ghost is climbing in the rain.

-Dylan Thomas



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Traci Lords, Bath Salts, etc.




(My biggest fan)


I want to try bath salts.  They must be pretty cool.  Where did all the time go?  

If I get about 100 more readers today then this month will be the best month ever for total pageviews.  So, tell all of your friends.... When I look at what pages are being viewed the one that I wrote that day only makes up about 10-20% of the total for the day.  It's fun for me to watch which pages people are reading and what Google searches they're doing to find my site.  I'm certain that it is only fascinating for me though.  I was going to launch into a description but then thought better of it.

I get the least readers on the weekend, about half of what a weekday brings.  Most of my readers seem to be reading from work, considering the servers that they're on to access my site and the times of the day when traffic is heaviest.

Ok, enough about my site. I doubt that's why anybody comes here to read, to hear me talk about the patterns of my readers and my lonely obsessions with their behavior.

I had thought that I would be famous by now.  What could I possibly be doing wrong?  I should have used the name "Traci Lords" in my subject heading and first line of the post yesterday, stuff like that.  Posting more links to articles on my own site.  There are little tricks that I've neglected to learn or to adequately employ.  We'll cite that as the reason for my lack of fame and fortune.  What other possible reason could there be?


I don't know what to write about today.  I make notes in my phone that, at the time of their making, are supposed to give me an idea to write about but then I go back and look and can't remember what it was that I was going to say, or what incident caused the note.  I often make them while I am driving so they are very abbreviated.   


These are people that assign themselves their own names, based on either momentary whim or conviction, but have no struggle doing yoga in unison. 


Marvin Gaye "What's Goin' On"

Baptists in Space

She was one sloppy disaster after another.

Voting has never felt quite as good as smoking cocaine. 

I was so drunk I went into the bathroom and had a flashback. 

A story about the wife of a torrenter, who only wanted to keep his seed alive. 

I prefer the morning and evening sun, it makes my shadow look thin. 

Bad Company: it's as if Led Zeppelin were Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

Why isn't there a standard steak and egg breakfast that includes bacon?

A vineyard on a cemetery. I read it in the carafe. 

The sunset teased wonderfully underneath the clouds, just above the mountains, like a delicious pussy in pinks, gone before I could safely look again.  Traffic, always the traffic. 

If I hated you then I would have lured you into conversation on Facebook by now. 

Sprinkle bunny dust from Easter Island on the decrepit beast and bid it final adieu.  It is the only natural and humane thing to do. 


There is something noticeably masculine about her. She walks as if her clitoris is swollen, engorged, and in the way; yet she remains quite proud of it, almost as if it is something she is riding.


Semi-├╝ber-anti-irregardless 

I can't imagine having a child and being into heavy metal, the combination must be maddening.

He felt sufficiently challenged by pinball machines.  


Ok, that's my wisdom for the day.  Can you imagine trying to sort through that stuff to create something sensible?  Impossible.



Friday, June 29, 2012

... essential to the storyline




(A still from Traci's first film) 


The Supreme Court declared that the republican party is unconstitutional, by a vote of 5-4.  I had thought that beating the conservatives on this issue would be much more fun.  Twitter has destroyed all of life's joys.  Events can no longer be discussed beyond the moment that they occur, and then only in 140 character bursts.  Oh well...  

I have no new stories to tell.  I don't really do much of anything.  Taking care of Rhys occupies all of my time, leaving very little room for adventure.  Oh, he and I have fun throughout the day.  But it is not the type of fun that most people want to read about.  I know not to opine too much here on this site, but the temptation is strong.  It is easy to do but makes for boring writing, and poor reading.

This month will be the most "viewed" month of my site ever, unless something changes by late tomorrow.  That is something.  It is because of Facebook, most of my traffic comes from there.  I could accept more friends.  I have a pending list that is about 450 strong.  But I acted like a drunk slut when I first got on Facebook and was sending out as many invitations to the world as possible, accepting all comers.  I thought it was fun, now it is difficult to weed through them and delete.  There are even a couple friends I have deleted or blocked that I had hoped to un-delete and un-block but can't figure out how.  I have taken them off the verboten list but still they do not appear anywhere.  Perhaps they have blocked me also.  That seems possible, if not likely.

I read that Paris Hilton is dj'ing now. That makes it official.  It's truly over.  Anybody that can look themselves in a mirror and know that they share a career with P. Hilton and continue on with it deserves whatever fate awaits them.

No, I kid of course.  If Paris learned to read that wouldn't invalidate literature.  Likewise with other endeavors.  She will actually change nothing about electronic dance music.  Traci Lords, the porn star, also tried to break into the electronic dance industry and failed, for the most part.  She imagined herself to be some sort of techno vixen.  She perhaps saw this role as being preferable to having men line up to penetrate her underage anus.  

Nope, I just did a search for Ms. Lords and found that she has moved on from making films like "Black Throat" and now has a lucrative career in Hollywood.  We are often told that nobody successfully manages to make that leap.  

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia: "While most of her pre-18 films were removed permanently from distribution in the United States, several were simply re-edited to remove Lords' scenes entirely (such as "Kinky Business" and "New Wave Hookers"), or in a few cases, had new footage shot with a different actress playing her part (as in "Talk Dirty to Me Part III", where her character was essential to the storyline)."

That last line's hilarious, essential to the storyline.  That phrase should have been the title of her autobiography.  

She legally changed her name to Traci Lords but continues to insist that she has been nothing but the victim of the porn industry, telling Oprah that, "I found that you can run, but you cannot hide."  That's one way to face the past, I suppose, legally change your name to the name you used for porn.  That'll show everybody what you're really made of, if they haven't already seen it in Traci Does Tokyo.

Again, I kid.  I have no objections to pornography, most of it is quite funny, if not outright fascinating, at first.



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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bad taste is timeless




(Isamu Noguchi with undine Nadja, 1925)


“But the addict is ultimately a bore; too immersed in himself, too tiring to be with, too reliant on the delusions and compliance of others around them. Most great art comes from a singular and obsessive attention to things, it is borne of an urgent desire. Yet great art also opens out from that point." -Unknown

I don't know who said this.  It was sent to me through email many years ago, in quotation marks.  I searched the internet but couldn't find the phrase in whole, or in part, anywhere.  Nothing matched my search criteria. I suspect that the person who sent it to me might have also been the author of the statement.  Perhaps they were trying to tell me something and did not want to be the one saying it, having to defend it, though I can't be sure.  It would be somewhat atypical of them to do so, I believe.  Though I still have much to learn about life.

Proust believed that the artistic impulse and sexual jealousy were nearly indistinguishable at the moment of onset.  He noted that the difference that almost immediately presents itself as being how the artistic impulse opens up from that moment and expands, somewhat metaphorically, whereas sexual jealousy spirals in upon itself and becomes self-convincing and repetitive, boring or worse to all around except the one experiencing it, much like addiction.

I have not had anything to write about for days.  I have been in a vulgar mood but have tried to keep the vulgarity away from this site.  I toyed with vulgarity a few posts back and decided I didn't like it nearly as much as I hoped I would.  No big surprise there, I guess.  I knew in advance the outcome.  I was only trying to make a point and vulgarity failed the task, it almost always does.  I suppose that vulgarity's primary use might be to identify philistines. Is there even such a thing any more?  Or, has the group gotten so large as to be unidentifiable by a single term, like christians that denounce one another as not truly qualifying.  

The indifferent to culture, and the hostile, have won.  The internet proves it.

Bad taste is timeless, as they say.  It is the alpha and the omega.


I have been struggling with the inertia of life.  Things just continue the way that they are, mostly, little can be done about it.  I've tired myself out trying.  People don't change, they adjust.  

Just ask Henry Higgins.



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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rosa Luxemburg






Another day.  Rachel left to work late and had already put Rhys back to sleep for his morning nap. The kid sure does sleep a lot.  I had hoped to take Rhys to the day-care woman today, wanting to get some things done, things that I did not get done yesterday.  We'll see, I guess.  

One of the things that I did get done.... I drove into Marin to pick up some processed black-and-white film.  Marin does not bother me as much now that I am no longer involved in the service industry there.  The entire SF bay area is beautiful if you can avoid the people.  Not all of the people, of course, just a fraction of them.  It is about 10%.


As I was driving home I was listening to KPFA 94.1, listener sponsored radio out of Berkeley.  Being interviewed was the editor of an upcoming 14 volume set on Rosa Luxemburg, her writings as well as discussion on her life and accomplishments.  The most interesting part of the program was when they were discussing her masterwork, "The Accumulation of Capital."  They briefly went into her criticisms of capitalism and what the effect of surplus labor value has on a system that is limited by national borders, the effect that the accumulation of capital has on others, both within and beyond those national borders.  Within just a few minutes the expansion of capitalism into third-world, or developing, nations suddenly became clearer.  Or, perhaps it only reminded me of things I've studied in the past.  I don't know, it sounded exciting and new to me at the time.  Marxism often does. 

I wondered how many involved in the Occupy movement were familiar with her writings.  To be honest, before yesterday, I only knew that she was a socialist, nothing more.  

The speaker told great stories about her philosophical involvement with Lenin, her imprisonment, her difficulties with Lenin trying to subsume her socialist organization while she was in prison, then her murder shortly following her release.  Pretty fascinating stuff, considering the outcome of the first World War and the effect of globalization and capitalism on the international marketplace.  The socialists seemed to be fighting against the very thing that is nearly hopeless to now, predicting beyond 100 years what the more damaging effects of the capitalist model would be, the ever-increasing conduits of power and capital.  The differences that she had with the the mainstream socialists came down in some ways to her belief that the masses need not necessarily be educated for a socialist revolution to occur.  She believed education to possibly even be an impediment.  She was considered far too radical by many for holding this view.

Only one street away from where I used to live in the East Village was the previous home of Emma Goldman.  I had thought that I had written about it on this site before but a search revealed nothing, somewhat appropriately, she was an anarchist.  No wait, those are the nihilists I'm thinking of... the anarchists believe in something, not nothing.  Eleanor Roosevelt lived just a few doors down from Emma Goldman, though at different times.  I wrote about it here, sort of.  Eleanor's place was a shit-hole compared to Emma's.

As I was listening to the discussion on the radio I wondered about the non-capitalist democratic systems, and the democratic systems that support vast socialist programs.  Have they proven to be preferable in any substantial ways, I wondered.  The actual condition or qualifications of any of those states is always hotly debatable.  It is difficult to even discuss such things with some people here.  We are told that any society that rejects American intervention is dangerous.  Then we are alternately told that socialist programs mostly function in Scandinavian countries because of the unanimity of the populations there.  But that can't always be right, the falseness of such a claim seems to be apparent. 

I will have to do some more research on the global state of socialism and socialist programs.  It seems there must be much more to the conversation that we simply aren't hearing in the public discourse.  Is that just me being naive?  I've mentioned the concept of totalitarian democracy before here on this site.  Perhaps that explains it all, that the suppression of dissent is not only vital to either system but instead is its hallmark.  If your vote no longer matters then dissent can mainly be expressed in capitalism by the reluctance to purchase, to participate.  Then all that would be required to remain in power is to keep the people poor.  Their dissent will never even be noticed as such.  It is a self-fulfilling system.  How can the voices of the poor truly matter when they aren't even able to buy?  Control the cost of all things, always with a shift away from accessibility, and power will continue to rise and accumulate exclusively at the top.  

The echoes of the Occupy movement ring through all of this, of course.  Their dissent was stifled openly by the media's attitude that they have little right to criticize a system that they're not participating in.   

This popular criticism perhaps proves to be even more telling than the movement.



"Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters." - Rosa Luxemburg (attributed on the internet) 



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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unequal to the task






Yesterday was a difficult day, the worst yet as far as taking care of Rhys goes.  There was a three hour stretch at the end of the day where I could do nearly nothing right.  All of the things I tell myself to do failed, one after the other, in recurrence.  I wonder how any of us can possibly be capable of raising a child.  The task seems too large, the resources too meager.  The boy was either disgruntled or crying for almost two hours.  Not quite continuously, but neither with much of a break between.  The experience demanded of me qualities that I do not have.  His little distressed cries went tearing through me.  Never before have I been such witness to the seeds of pain being planted in the human heart.  I, the useless sower, dumb as a stone, standing helpless, holding him, wishing any of the dissatisfaction of his tender little life to be relieved, or from mine, if even for a moment.

I would have apologized, but it would have meant nothing.  For him there is only pleasure and displeasure.  Apologies are as useless in infancy as they are in later life.  It is what we tell ourselves, the lies that make sleep sometimes possible. 

Finally, I put him in the stroller and I walked him the last hour before mom came home.  This, at the very least, served as enough of a distraction to keep him reasonably satisfied.  He even slept for five or ten minutes.  

He's sleeping now.


I am too exhausted to write any more today.  After all of this, last night, Rachel said something callous about our falling in love.  This was not her first callousness concerning the place where we fell in love.  It was too much for me.  I went to sleep alone in the downstairs bedroom after an hour or so of being angry at her.  All of you must know what good that does... anger is as useful as an apology.



For anybody that wants to read an excellent piece of writing go here.  Ignore the few typos that start the post, it is well worth reading through.








Monday, June 25, 2012

"Men just aren't the same today"






Time flies.  The weeks just keep cruising past.  I count time passing in weekends, in Saturdays and Sundays.  Two days spent cautiously with Rachel then back into another set of nameless weekdays.  I've stopped looking at my calendar.  My phone is mainly used to keep track of Rhys' feeding schedule.

During the weekdays there is a routine that repeats.  At first I had thought that time went past somewhat slowly.  Now, the days just disappear.  Time evaporates, falling upwards into the sun.  When Rachel asks me what I did during the day it is impossible to relay.  Lots.  Lots, I would say.  But the day is filled with mainly miniature details, events that do not qualify as events, impossible to catalog, or from which to draw narrative.  Pleasant enough in the doing but mundane in the re-telling, taking almost as long to tell as to do.  I feel like a post-war housewife, frustrated that nobody recognizes the struggles of my day, the minuscule victories, the minute difficulties bested. 


Well, we went for a stroller walk with Barkley and then I played Rhys some songs on the piano.  He pooped his pants and then took a nap.  I fed him when he woke up and we did all of those things again, but not in that order.  

Repeat.

Repeat.



What a drag it is getting old.

"Kids are different today,"
I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of her mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day.

"Things are different today,"
I hear ev'ry mother say
"Cooking fresh food for a husband's just a drag"
So she buys an instant cake and she finds a frozen steak
And goes running for the shelter of her mother's little helper
And to help her on her way, get her through her busy day.

Doctor, please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old.

"Men just aren't the same today,"
I hear ev'ry mother say
"They just don't appreciate that you get tired
They're so hard to satisfy. You can tranquilize your mind."
So go running for the shelter of her mother's little helper
And for help you through the night, help to minimize your plight.

Doctor, please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old.

"Life's just much too hard today,"
I hear ev'ry mother say,
"The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore."
And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
They just helped you on your way through your busy dying day.


- Jagger / Richards



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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The apocalypse will start in LA






Nothing much to report here, a lazy Sunday.  By lazy I mean sleepy.  I was up late last night, by our new family standards and timetables.  I must have been up until well after 11pm.  It was a crazy night re-watching old movies.  

I wonder if any of my old New York friends are still up and doing drugs.  I bet some of them are.  I wish I had a Google Raver-Cam where I could just log on and watch their sordid dealings on a Sunday morning, or Monday. Tawdry stuff, I'm sure.  No, I'm just kidding.  The real ravers are in LA this morning, everybody knows that.

Yesterday I was joking with Rachel about the differences in people from various areas and how they present travel to others.  There are those that never travel.  They make up a large portion of the population of the United States.  They do not own passports.  They approach the very idea of international travel with suspicion and vague derision.  The most exotic place that they believe it is safe to go is Honolulu.  They will get travelers checks to do so.

The people from LA discuss going to New York as an indication that they are the sort of person that is needed in NYC as well as at home on the west coast, practically one who possesses dual citizenship.  They will regale their friends with stories of New York restaurants, neighborhoods, bars and night clubs.  Taxi rides.  West coasters are thrilled to take taxis everywhere, quite a novelty for them I guess.  To pay to ride in somebody else's car... no matter how filthy, smelly and unpleasant it can be they will retell the story of "hopping in a taxi" to go here or there.  Notice it, it is always a component of their story telling.  Unless, of course, they were originally from New York.   The only type of person that is tolerable from LA is one who previously lived in NY and moved to the west coast for work.  For them I have pity, and they are invariably apologetic about LA in their own way, which helps curb some of the discomfort of chatting with them.  Be suspicious of anybody who wants to move to LA.

People from New York will discuss going anywhere else in the world as their badge of pride.  To not travel internationally every now and again means that you are some sort of slave to capitalism, a cog in the wheel, or worse: a republican.  When they do mention going to Los Angeles it is always qualified with "I had to" and "for work."  It is not a place to which they refer going in glowing terms, unless they've never been elsewhere, then they will subtly gush about getting sushi at Mori or Asanebo.  It is practically the only thing that a New Yorker will mention about LA, getting sushi.  As Woody Allen once famously said, "I don't want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to take a right turn on a red light."  Los Angeles is for people who believe that television shows are a modern form of art.  All of them have a concept for a script.  You can not rent an apartment in LA without having a treatment of a project you're currently working on and would also like to act in and direct.  It is the law.

No, I only kid.  LA has more art museums than any other city in the US.  Without them who would supply the great casinos in Vegas with their many treasures....



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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Where were you when George was reincarnated...?




(The famed incarnation)


November 29, 2001.  NYC.  I have probably told this story before here.  I can't remember any more.  I was relaying it to a friend last night in incoherent bits and slurred pieces, so I will re-tell it here again.  I will try to augment the story as best as I can to make it more interesting, or less believable.  We'll call it a reincarnation of its former self.

It might have been, and probably was, the night after the 29th, the Friday after George Harrison died, the 30th.  Let's go with Friday. It makes more sense considering how many people were in the park.


So, I have not always dated Rachel.  Our relationship has had other relationships variously interspersed with ours along the way.  One of mine lasted almost two years.  This is a story from that time period.  Well, in truth I have no real way of knowing when that relationship was ending.  Her sex life became more active than mine at some unknown time before the end.  It was heartbreaking, a betrayal from which I have never fully recovered.  That is perhaps a story for another time.  

All that being said, we went to see a play.  It was a remake of a Chekhov play.  Unkle Vanya.  But it was billed and told as "Aunt Vanya."  The main character's gender was reversed for reasons I never quite understood then, and don't care to examine or research further now.  I'm sure it was meant to have some pondering feminist significance.  

The play was quite enjoyable.  I remember liking it quite a lot and found it entertaining and reasonably well done.  It was on the Upper West Side.  Afterwards we walked along Broadway heading towards the subway, home.  We stopped at what looked like a nice wine shop and bought a couple bottles of wine, thinking ourselves sophisticated and enjoying a rare opportunity to shop outside of the East Village.  I was making pretty good tax-free money at the time as a performing artist.  

We walked with our bag of wine into the park, opting to walk through the park rather than rush straight to the subway to head home.  As we approached Strawberry Fields we noticed there were more and more "hippies", or many dressed as such, gradually accumulating.  Tie-dye t-shirts, jeans, jean patches, hats, flowers, guitars, notebooks filled with poems...  You get the idea.  Then it occurred to us, of course, George Harrison had passed away. Strawberry Fields.  Brilliant.  What luck.

There were people everywhere, milling about and sharing stories about their love for The Beatles.  It was genuinely touching and pleasant.  I remembered the news reports of this area after John Lennon had been killed. There were thousands and thousands of people sitting vigil for days after his death across the street in the park, long before it was known as Strawberry Fields.  Many of those people seemed to have returned.  My girlfriend and I were among the younger people there.  Well, she was young.  I was more than a decade older than her and was much closer to everybody else's age there, though still in my early 30's.  

People were playing Beatles songs in unison, happily expressing their love for the group, and George, with an outpouring of shared love and affection.  We opened our bottles of wine and drank and shared and chatted and watched.  There were those who could not contain their grief, of course. There are always those who do not understand that another's death is not directed at them.  Those that will always answer the question of "How you doing?" with a dramatically detailed answer cataloging a malady of theirs, either real or imagined.  At those we privately giggled, unable to contain our cynicism and budding New York snarkiness.   

In time we moved on.  We enjoyed a further walk into and through the park.  We happened upon a guy who had set up quite a telescope rig.  I don't know enough about these things to pretend that I could estimate this thing's cost, but it was clearly a lot.  It had a computer associated with it so that it could track the objects as they moved through the cosmos and he could enter a different location so that the telescope would mechanically move to that point in the sky and those gathered there could then enjoy an entirely different celestial event.  

Keep in mind this was from the interior of Central Park.  When you looked up with the naked eye you could maybe see about 25 stars in the sky, a small handful of which were planets.  It defied the senses that this device could penetrate through the murk so well as to plainly and clearly see things such as the moons of Saturn and Jupiter.  But that's what we got to see, and much more.  All of that, and of course, George Harrison's soul as it ascended into and across the universe, we told ourselves.


We stood there waiting or next turn to peer into the eyepiece, one at a time, wine warming our bellies and granting us each the gentle swoon of wonder.  We looked and we looked, marveling at all there was to marvel at.  The night quieted and chilled around us, the park began to empty.  The wine was wearing off, taking The Beatles with it.  We tightened our jackets and scarves and stepped from foot to foot.  Finally, we bored of the solar system, without ever knowing it, we wandered off into an unshared future. 


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Friday, June 22, 2012

Rhys, update




(...the happiest baby on the block)


I haven't provided an adequate update on Rhys lately.  I've only used his pictures to lure people into the maelstrom of my confused and misguided impulses.

So, he is changing, and quickly.  The lessons I learned only a few weeks ago hardly even seem to apply any more.  Each day I notice something new; some new awareness he has developed, or a change in his behavior as he adapts to mine.  The things that work for Rachel don't always work for me.  I have had to figure out much on my own.  Some of it is obvious, some of it feels instinctual, and the remainder is almost predictively counter-intuitive.  The easy thing is that what I am doing either works or it doesn't.  It becomes relatively simple to isolate what is wrong with him and then act accordingly.  Most days.

An infant is half octopus, its hands and feet are grasping and kicking everywhere, for everything.  It's like a quadropus, a four-tentacled creature intent on disrupting whatever I'm doing, intent on doing damage.  Try holding an infant with one arm while feeding it by bottle with the hand from that same arm.  It's difficult to believe an infant child is even the same species as the adult male.  I think we get worse at most things rather than better.  He's already a pro at disrupting everything I'm trying to do.  The kid will be beating me at thumb wrestling within the year. 

I have learned to predict his sleep patterns.  I can know that he will be getting tired soon based on when he has slept last, and for how long.  His moans and unhappy gurglings build into a crescendo of dissatisfaction just before he drifts off to sleep.  If he's in the baby seat in the car I can usually just let him work his way through the fighting of it and then I'll see his head start to dip, within a few minutes he's completely out.  It's not entirely dissimilar from watching somebody drop out at an after party.  They'll stop talking, or drift away from the conversation, then you can see them slouching towards the nether, eyes drooping, and then they're off, frolicking in slumberland.  

It's different when I have to rock him to sleep before putting him in his crib.  Because he's having more face to face time with me he'll fight sleep even more.  He wants to stay up and hang out.  Being awake is where all the action is.  A swaddle still works with him but not nearly as well as it used to.  For one, he's getting too big and he can easily break out, something he relishes.  For two, it's getting hot and the discomfort of summer is starting to reduce the swaddle's effectiveness.  I'll have to sway with him in my arms after I've wrapped him for some time.  Rachel sings to him in any number of a wide range of fluctuating keys.  I will often put on a local numbers station and let him try to figure it out.

I can usually tell when his head starts to fall towards me that my magic swaddle powers are taking hold over him.  Then, I'll ever so gently lay him in his crib.  This will either be his cue to fight out of it or to make eye contact with me in a last grasping moment of wakeful desperation.  So, I've learned to do most of this with my eyes closed.  If he sees my eyes then the game's over, he will try to use his infant powers of persuasion to plead with me not to make him go to sleep.  Even after placing him in the crib swaddled I'll kneel next to the contraption with my hand on his chest to calm him and wait for him to drift off.  I keep my eyes closed and my face turned away from him as best as I can.  Every now and then I'll open my eyes just enough to see if he's dipping and he'll be staring right at me, waiting for his chance to deliver his sleepy-eyed plea for wakefulness.  Pure agony.

Other times it's as easy as putting him in the crib with only his "binky" in his mouth to help him float away to his proto-dreams.  I often wonder what he has to dream about.  There must be a reasonably limited set of subjects and their interactions must follow a completely arbitrary order.  I'm assuming here.  But it would seem that until the mind has a collection of stories from which to draw the unconscious must be somewhat amorphous in its relaying of latent ideas and abbreviated events.  Titties, titties and more titties...  Bring me the titties says my sleeping mind.

Once he's asleep then I can come try to write an entry for this site.  That's what I'm doing now.  I'll try to navigate my way back downstairs through an obstacle course of children and dog toys.  I, like Godzilla, wreaking intentional and unintentional disaster below, prepared at any moment to encounter Mothra from above.  I march towards my desk like I'm fighting my way out of Tokyo Bay, bowling over every unlucky object in my path with atomic breath. 

Sometimes I'll try to coax him towards sleep by walking him in the stroller.  This produces intermittent results at best.  Pushing the stroller through our barrio is like trying to run an obstacle course with eggs, the idea being to keep the eggs unbroken and heading towards sleep.  There are garbage trucks and barking dogs and lawn maintenance crews and alarms going off when the trucks back up, chainsaws at the neighbor's house.  Every morning I must protect Barkley and Rhys's life from cars pulling out of driveways, commuters rushing off to work, pre-coffeed and ready to kill.  Then, when I finally get home and get the baby to sleep it is finally my chance to eat but there's rarely anything here that's easily available.   Meaning, something that I can eat exactly as is, with little or no preparation.  Yesterday morning I seriously considered mixing up a baby formula milkshake for myself.  

Any disturbance will wake the child up.  

How is it possible that they're cutting down a fresh tree every morning at 9am in our neighborhood?  I live in the Amazon.  I swear to it.  Each day, for a handful of weeks now, there has been a chainsaw running, with the vigorous sound of it tearing through a tree, though nothing ever seems to be coming down.  I wonder if they're just bored, or smoking speed, re-enacting their favorite scenes from films. Who knows.

Also, there is a group of music that I can no longer listen to when the boy is sleeping.  The Orb, for one.  They are a psychedelic group that uses a lot of familiar samples in their recordings.  I never noticed how often they use the sound of a baby crying in the distance.  It is maddening.  The baby will be completely asleep but I'll have all of my attention focused on the sounds of infant wakefulness.  

Rachel is Wonder Woman in that regard, a blonde Lindsay Wagner.  I swear it.  She can hear the child crying before he's even woken up.  It is spooky.  I'll see her attention snap-to and then she's off up the stairs, just before she hits the top then I'll finally hear the waking noises, the soft gurgling of consciousness  returning.  She could hear it in his sleep.  I swear, I've seen it.  The next time I wonder what the boy dreams about I'll know that somewhere floating through his dreams is the ever present scan of mommy radar, searching for any signs of the discomfort of impending consciousness, waiting to respond.  


Oh, here come the warm titties to save me..... S.O.S.

S.O.S. mommy... S.O.S.... 

Now, get over here and gimme some titty...



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Costa Rica






Yesterday a welcomed message came in, it just popped up on my computer screen as part of the international angelic messaging service.  I was being asked to dj in Costa Rica in two weeks.  My pedigree as a super-cool guy was still out there floating around in the aether somewhere, holding its own and waiting to strike.  I accepted the gig, flights were booked, all was well with the universe again, all was as it should be.  I was being rewarded for being me.  Others would be punished.  This is how god has ordered the cosmos.  He works in cruel and mysterious ways.

Then, late last night I remembered that my passport had expired.  The last time I had to get a passport was when British Airways lost mine when I was returning from Manchester after 9/11, where Rachel and I spent some time together arranging ourselves towards one another, eventually falling in love in Costa Rica some time afterwards.  The passport has been expired since September of last year but I had no upcoming international travels so I treated it as I do most things, I forgot about it.  Now there is a necessary scramble to put things in order.  God also works in a timely and ordered fashion, at least when doing government work.

I worry that the passport agency will want to keep my old passport. It is something I want Rhys to be able to see.  I have traveled many places in the world and I want him to see that, to wonder at the world.  My father was in the Navy and I used to go through his coins from all over, from different times.  They would spark my imagination.  I would search for the various coins original locations on maps and globes, then wonder about those places and what they must have been like.  I would scour the encyclopedia trying to discover anything I could about those various faraway places.  


Now there only remains the issue of me actually becoming cool again, thinner and with a tan.  In short, younger.  Also, I must remember or re-learn how to dj.  I think I remember.  You play one record, then you play another, then another... on and on like that for the whole evening, flawlessly matching tempo, mood and interest level - giving the night a sense of topography, creating a listening experience where there was previously none before.  Something out of nothing.   

I am so pale that I'm certain I will be received as a returning albino god, having consumed the previous incarnations of me, doubling in size and power, tripling even.  

At least fat floats much better than muscle.  There is always that.








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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 5th Beatle




(photo by Lisa Murray)


Speaking of limps...  I have some damage in my lower back.  The vertebrae are pinching the nerves in my spinal column as they fan out to my lower extremities.  The S1 and the L5 and then the L5 and the L4 are pressed together creating a bad scenario for me, pain and tingling all down the left side from the back.  There is about 50% nerve damage so far.  My neurologist said that I need an operation, two years ago.  If something is not done to change the situation then eventually the nerves will not be able to repair themselves.  They will be past the point of no return.  My left leg will go the way of the dinosaurs, taking me with it. 

I must have forgotten about this when I left Apple, the nagging pain and discomfort.  My insurance there would have paid for it, as well as being paid for time lost while out from work.  Leaving the job only resolved some of my problems, I guess.

It should come as no surprise that my affliction is known as radiculopathy.  Pronounced: Ridiculous and Patheticy.

Ah, glowing pain, the sweet reminder.

I made a list recently of the many things that have begun to go wrong from aging.  I was going to post it but as I read across my various complaints I realized that it's too depressing, even for this site.  It ends in death, as Hemingway would remind us.  ...and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.

Selavy has gone into radio-silence mode.  I don't blame him.  Perhaps his readers will look here for evidence as to why.  So here's what I know.... All I am certain of is that it's because of the Belgian retard.  He just couldn't take it any more.  He said that he hates America as much as she does, and he wants out.  He wants to provide "material support" to terrorists, aid and comfort, etc.  He wants to trade slaves, all of it.  Industrial evils are his new passion.

No, he didn't say any of this, but it is what I would have him say if I could, sort of.  I would turn the battle into a Constitutional one, somehow.  A televised debate about the emergence of nation states and the supremacy of Coca-capitalism.

Go read the comments section from his last post, the daily coven there is understandably distraught.  They're already hissing and clawing at one another, blaming each other like wet rats on a sinking ship.  It's like The Maltese Falcon, or was it Beat The Devil ?  One of those two old noir films where there is a group of fiendish criminals trying to work together but being far too filled with their own delusions, faults and greed to do so.  No, it is not like that.  They are not working together.  They would not.

Well, maybe it's not like that at all.  It's just the retard.  I blame her for America's ills.  She doesn't seem to understand that getting a new camera doesn't make a person happy.  I can see why she hates America so much... And now... we've even lost Selavy because of her.  Oh well, C'est la Vie, as they used to say.


No, I am just kidding along here.  Life is short and painful.  I do not seek to add to the pain.  I am still young enough to want to argue with others though.  But that impulse is leaving me, slowly.  The contempt has ravaged my body and left an empty shell in its wake, a husk of a human, corn that has been popped, the dried skeletons of better times.

I should be just about dehydrated of quarrel by the time I finally whither.   I am trying to be frugal with my meanness to the very end, to make sure there is enough to last into my waning years; the final close to my cruelty, the sunset of my savagery.

Who knows.  Perhaps god, in his infinite wisdom, will find a way of preserving some little kernel of barbarity within me.  Like a seed it will hold its potent magical powers until properly germinated, from whence it will spring forth -  a new era in personal wickedness, carnage and mayhem will emerge - and I riding the tempest like an inebriated immigrant crossing the border over into Arizona....



Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 

Luke 12:24-28






Wow, my morning tea really began to take hold towards the end there...

Dismiss this post.  It is only the product of usual pain.


(Addendum:  Apparently all is peachy over at Selavy. I went back to check and they have all made up and are in perfect accord with one another again. Oh well.... next time... For now they're as happy as a bunch of nuns.)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Calistoga




(Bacchus)


Yesterday we went to Calistoga.  Rachel had some sort of reconnaissance work: information gathering, experience inspection, etc.  We visited a few wineries.  Now we know of yet another place in the region to go when we are feeling the need to go somewhere, to drive.  

There are, of course, wineries up there.  One, the Clos Pegase, had an extensive art collection.   We will go back and take the tour. There was a Henry Moore sculpture, a Richard Serra, an Odilon Redon painting, a Jean Dubuffet, among many others.  

We sipped wines and gave our humble assessments, "A fiery fruit-forward combination of precocious ferociousness..."

"The earth's seed burst forth into my mouth like the nectar of Olympus."

"Why do wine pourers in tasting rooms always have a limp?"



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Monday, June 18, 2012

"I came across a child of god..."




(flora from the garden)


A quick post today, rushed while Rachel prepares to leave and I take over responsibility for Rhys for the whole day.  11 hours of bonding time, the whole day.  It's too bad that he and I don't share similar interests yet.  We could go on a photography hike.  It has been very hot here lately, probably too hot for the little guy.  What am I talking about?  Too hot for me, easily.

Nope, I just checked, it should be nice today.  72 degrees.  Perfect.

I have learned a few new songs on the piano since the other day,"Let It Be" and another.  I will marvel the boy with that at least once or twice today.  I need to learn some more children's songs, then some christian songs, just like "Let It Be."  Then I just need a place to start a church, a donated building would be a fine place for such a thing, with Branch Davidian-style architecture, gun towers,etc.  It's only a matter of time before I'm a republican blathering on about christ's love and eternal salvation, damnation, and gun rights.    

Why ward off evil spirits when you can shoot to kill....


We'll see.  Hold on, let me try to drink my entire morning tea in one sip.  Nope, not even close, still too hot.

Maybe I will take the boy on a hike today. We do have all day together.  I have been getting more bold on my outings with him, as my confidence builds.  It is difficult to prepare for everything.  The boy often finds awkward times to poop his pants.  I am still developing my diaper-changing skills.  Patience and speed are needed in equal parts, working in tandem, mixed in with the occasional expediency.  It is only a matter of time before I am changing his diaper at restaurants, not even in the bathroom, just anywhere I can find on the floor near the dining room, etc.


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Sunday, June 17, 2012

101 degrees






Yesterday we put a blanket out on the grass in the back yard and drank a bottle of chilled white wine in the heat.  I was told that it was "easily" 101 degrees yesterday.  It was hot, to be sure.  The wine was nice and I put on a few old Beatles albums.  The boy sure does like to be naked.  I would have gotten naked too but we share the backyard with a few other people who also own townhouses here.  The sight of Rhys and I naked on the back lawn, me drinking white wine from the bottle, might have been too much for them.  

No, I used a glass.  But it was so hot I could have easily done otherwise, and was tempted to do so.

I am slowly getting better at the piano, teaching myself the various chord inversions so that I can more easily strike the needed chord without having to always go to the first inversion.  It is difficult and I am not always being systematic.  Instead I am just trying to learn a few songs using what is known as the "inelegant" technique.  But in doing so the chords are slowly starting to come.  The piano really helps remind me how similar in nature some chords are with others.  Things that I learned long ago on the guitar but am now re-learning.  I don't know how to do suspensions or augmentations or anything fancy, or useful.  The coolest chord I know is probably an F#minor or an Fmajor7.  The latter is the only chord I know yet that uses 4 notes.  I needed it for one of the songs I've learned.  I'm much better at the 3 note chords, for now.  My left hand just fumbles along playing individual bass notes, usually much too soft or far too loud.  I do best with the index finger or its neighbor when I am playing only one octave lower then the chords, all towards the center of the keyboard.

I have taught myself to play "Dirty Work" by Steely Dan, "Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure, "Hey,Hey, My, My (Into the Black) by Neil Young, "Helpless" also by Neil Young,"Swingin' Party" by The Replacements, "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" by Dolly Parton, "James Alley Blues" Trad., but I've learned it the way Wilco does it, "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" by Credence Clearwater Revival, "The Moon" by Cat Power, "Take A Chance On Me" by Abba, "Creep" by Radiohead, "Breakdown" by Tom Petty, "Running To Stand Still" by U2, "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak, and J.J. Cale's "After Midnight."  Pretty standard stuff for a guy my age, I guess.  I just ape my way through them, skipping over chords I don't know yet or holding the previous chord until I get to one that I can play, hoping that the singing will suggest the change enough to make it work.  Sometimes this technique gives a song an unexpected caesura that works, other times it does not.

Rhy seems to like it a lot.  I put him in a little swing next to me while I play and he rocks back and forth smiling at me, seeming to really enjoy my song choices.  

I'm currently taking requests.  The song must be easy to play, easy to sing, and memorable. That's currently where my talent level lies.  I'm not very good at any song that is in the keys of F#, G#, A#, C#, D#, etc.  Anybody that knows the piano will understand.  I know all of the easy chords, the majors and minors whose root are the white keys, the naturals.  That'll be the name of my ensemble, "The White Kilos"...

It is fun though.  I keep finding individual keys that I believe to be out of tune, based on my perfect-pitch singing, only to find out upon inspection that the key is precisely in tune.  I have been checking them with a guitar tuner and most of them appear to be fine, which is perplexing once I begin singing again, because they sound so far off.  I can't figure it out.  There's no obvious explanation for it.



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Saturday, June 16, 2012

... like the gentle bending






The hills create puddles of frequencies, cycles repeating.  The road flickers through them.  Radio stations drift in and away.  They wander out in static, jumping together in unexpected ways, with unannounced urgency and chance inconsistency, or serendipity.  Returning again to the place they left, seconds later.  Portions of seconds lost across the hills to frequencies bouncing, not stopped by.  Rock and Roll becomes Spanish evangelism, if only for a moment.  Late night jazz gives its soft way to talk radio streaming across the bay from Berkeley or beyond.  Serious conversation had in abbreviated pieces with serious people, riding on rates of occurrence.  Advertisements toppling them all, capital concerns oscillating, chopping across the valley with routine regularity; onward transmissions.  Local affairs, or larger considerations.  Leftists announcing their strategies of resistance.  Murmuring their intentions towards the better society, murmuring their fears, hushing us into the future.  One can imagine the signals bouncing off the rocks as they meet in moonlight, can almost feel the radio traps approaching in the dark.  With closed eyes the waves are so easily seen.  Between two hills I imagine that I am traveling through fields of fuzzy sound, passing through the static of time; of course I am, just like the gentle bending of roads.



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Friday, June 15, 2012

Giving up




(The evidence of my defeat)


Not much time to write today.  I woke up late, meaning after 5am.  I will have to try to finish this post when the boy takes a nap.  If I can get him to take a nap.  Yesterday I had to drive him to the In-N-Out Burger in Petaluma to get him to sleep.  The car almost always puts him to sleep.  Still, he only slept for just over half an hour, and driving the car is not like sitting at my desk writing.  But those burgers sure were good.  And the milkshake, chocolate, was delicious.  It all helped the hot dogs make their way through my system, I hope.  It has been an assembly line of digestive carnage down there for days.

Something left over from last night, notes from my phone as I was drifting off to sleep.  I had gotten yet another vague electronic hint that I've somehow "given up"...



I cheated on my wife.  I feel really, really bad about it.  That I did this in the baby's room does not help.  That I performed this evil inside the baby's crib, with his pacifier as a clitoral/anal stimulator, only heightens my shame.  But I can't wait to do it again.  I remember the mobile scratching my back from above, and the wood from the crib creaking madly with our illicit joy.  There was a childhood melody floating past, as the soundtrack to our wickedness. 


Honestly, I can't take it any more.  I have gotten so many texts and emails suggesting that I am no longer who I said I was.  I've simply decided to lie about everything from here on out.  All because I've had a child... sort of.  



Being happy is not perfect, but neither is it necessarily a retreat from character.  I still make mistakes. They're just new ones, ones that might not interest my old friends quite as much.  Ones that don't involve me making as much of a public fool out of myself, but instead mistakes that just leave me feeling foolish at the newness of life. 


The paragraph above is another fiction, by the way.  Cheating hasn't been one of my traditionally recurring mistakes.  


I simply got tired of being tired of who I was.  





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