Saturday, August 31, 2013

Esperanto Underwear

(For Action-Cock)

A friend recommended San Francisco Days, the album by Chris Isaak. He was right. The critics either dismissed it or ignored it outright, but they were wrong. I am sitting here listening to it now, wearing two pair of performance underwear.

Another friend spoke yesterday of completely ignoring the wine critics, that he derives more valuable information concerning wines from regular fans or enthusiasts. He has begun writing wine reviews, here. I have been having fun reading his reviews and translating the French with Google, which always offers some humorous discrepancies. I can never be quite sure of the source, nor of the translation error, but one need not have to know the details of the error. It could not possibly be what my friend had written. 

Google translate teaches us something, use it often. I prefer Esperanto for all of my serious writing. Write something brief, translate it into one language, then from there into another, then from the third back into English (or its original language). Then, do the same with two entirely different languages. Then compare. It is brilliant.

Macedonian, Haitian Creole, they have it all.

Here is my morning Esperanto wisdom for you:

Amiko rekomendis Sankta Francisko Tagoj, la albumo de Chris Isaak. Li pravis. La kritikistoj ĉu eksigis lin aŭ ignoris ĝin kategorie, sed ili malpravas. Mi sidas ĉi tie aŭskultante ĝin nun, uzante du paro de agado subvestoj.

Alia amiko parolis hieraŭ de tute ignorante la vino kritikistoj, ke li derivas pli valoran informon pri vinoj de regula ŝatantoj aŭ entuziasmuloj. Li komencis skribi vino recenzoj, ĉi tie. Mi estis amuze legis liajn kritikojn kaj tradukante la franca per Google, kiu ĉiam proponas iujn humura discrepancias. Mi neniam povas esti sufiĉe certa pri la fonto, nek pri la traduko eraro, sed ne bezonas havi por koni la detalojn de la eraro. Ĝi ne povus esti tio, kion mia amiko estis skribinta.

Google traduki instruas al ni ion, uzu ĝin ofte. Mi preferas Esperanton pro ĉiuj miaj seriozaj skribo. Skribu ion mallonga, traduki ĝin unu lingvo, tiam el tie en alian, tiam el la tria denove en la angla (aŭ la origina lingvo). Tiam, faru la sama kun du tute malsamaj lingvoj. Tiam kompari. Ĝi estas brila.

Ĝi estas brila.

Haitian Creole (from Esperanto):

Yon zanmi rekòmande San Jou Francisco, album lan pa Chris Isaak. Li te dwat. Kritik yo ap rejte li oswa yo inyore l francheman, men yo sa ki mal. Mwen chita isit la koute li kounye a, lè l sèvi avèk de pè nan kilòt pèfòmans.

Yon lòt zanmi te pale yè nan konplètman inyore kritik yo diven, ke li te sòti plis enfòmasyon enpòtan sou ven soti nan fanatik regilye oswa amater. Li te kòmanse ekri kòmantè diven isit la. Mwen te gen plezi lekti revize yo epi yo tradui franse a pa Google, ki te toujou ofri kèk dezakò komik. Mwen pa janm kapab byen asire w nan sous la, pa sèlman sou erè a tradiksyon, men li pa bezwen gen konnen detay yo nan erè a. Li pa t 'kapab yo te sa ki te zanmi m' ekri a.

Google tradui anseye nou yon bagay, sèvi ak li souvan. Mwen ta pito Esperanto pou tout ekri grav mwen. Ekri yon bagay ti bout tan, li tradui l 'nan yon sèl lang, Lè sa a soti nan gen nan yon lòt, lè sa a soti nan twazyèm lan ankò nan lang angle a (oswa lang orijinal la). Lè sa a, fè menm bagay la ak de lang konplètman diferan. Lè sa a, konpare. Li se briyan.

Li se briyan.

Li se briyan.....


Friday, August 30, 2013

"It never got weird enough for me."*

(Maxfield Parrish)


I go in to Sausalito today. There is an educational opportunity, a team-building experience; Apps framework, then kayaking in the bay. People think I'm kidding when I tell them how "into" my job I am right now, but it's all true. I am learning in a way that I have not in many years previous. 

Normally, I read whatever I want to read, stop where I want to stop, take as long as I want to finish. It is nice, the way life should be, without rigid structure. But at work I am surrounded by those who have studied specific things formally. They know what they're talking about, and they know when someone doesn't. I want to be more like them, but there is much to catch up on, much to know, much that changes. It requires constant effort, something that I have taken some pride in not having much of. I made a character for myself, the shell fit and then hardened. Sometimes I still get a whiff of rubber cement near the creases, cracks.

It was wrong, but one's options are diminished when dedicated to consuming.

Almost everything I told myself through my 20's and 30's was all just a string of fucked up nonsense. I don't even have much of a frame of reference any longer to determine how fucked up it all was, but I'm sure it was. I was able to convince myself, and sometimes others, of the most egregious absurdities and improprieties.

It was fun, and wrong; many things are.

When people discuss how they might have done things differently "if they could just go back" I always think so also, but usually in the opposing direction, further into experimental error. I would have pushed those same limits, though in the less corrective direction, made more mountainous mistakes from which to survey the damage.

I only might have made more brief the time period for it all. I would have treated life more like the grand experiment, but with shorter chapters. I normalized only so that I could keep living that way. I settled down into moderate use, convincing myself that was preferable. I was wrong. 

An old friend sent this quote many years ago. I do not know the source, do not need to:

"But the addict is ultimately a bore; too immersed in himself, too tiring to be with, too reliant on the delusion 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."

Proust points out that sexual jealousy and the artistic impulse are also the same at the moment of occurrence. It is where they lead that marks the difference. One transmutes into art the other spirals downward into obsession.

Try telling somebody that they enjoy the feelings of jealousy, watch what happens to them. Then watch them when they are experiencing it. Few things will help you understand the nature of addiction more, few as dangerous to witness.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Great Prince of the Forest

(Laurie Hatch)

The fire at Yosemite is very bad. 

People think I'm kidding when asked what my favorite film is: Bambi. Well, perhaps not my favorite, but when asked which film had the greatest impact on me I usually cite this one. No other film has ever again scared me the way that one did. The fire. 

I can watch it now, but back then it was pure horror. Who makes a children's film in which the young animal's mother is shot and killed by hunters. Brutal.

Well, it was released during World War II. Tough times. Buck up, kids.

In my memory it was Bambi and his mother that were caught in the fire, but that is not the case. The father needs to survive to complete the myth of the Fisher King and pass on dominion of the forest in an unbroken line.

That was one wise owl, to warn of twitterpation

Some portent, that.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Holy Shit. I forgot to write a post today.

Well, I forgot, and then I forgot that I had forgotten. I'm quite forgottful.

Here's your post for the day.

Take it to heart, memorize it, ameliorate it, etc.

A simple, little birthday poem for a friend (who was suppose' to call...):

oh, what can I say?
in this, or that way...

you are many wonders, 30.
the very purposeful pandemonium,

be both blunder, and truth,
many views adore you,
and me too.

through and through.

under, where?
edible, perhaps,
and orange-red ,
right there.

ebony, oui...
welcome to thirty,
    little girl,
and let the thirty-girl be...

you are loved, beloved.
be loved. and

be very loved,
be comely,
and never lost,

ever thee.

and ever thee
offer anew,
it is quietly yours,
and so quietly you.

ours, yours,
and cupkatie:
all, birthday true.

that's all i have...

my words,
are small ripples.

to hope, save,
perhaps preserve,
and catch one unfocused

words behave like

but all i have,
is sometimes numb,
these moments:
gentle, inarticulate,
and so often dumb,

mute, i am to this age,
and to that aging omen,
i am there,
also engaged,
though probably slowing,
and sometimes bored.

you are quite adored.

30... damn.
   whenever you can,
have fun...
and much,
but lend me your little ear:

as such, persimmon beats lavender.
tomorrow wears nothings.

yet, hear:
we all now stand,
lunging, leaning,
all thirty and more, somethings.

ceaselessly, and blessed,.
towards the past,
i confess,
  little meaning,

perhaps just jest....

but unto those unending,
and ageless shores,
always know this:

more is never less,
more is more, and more.

and ever yours...

you are loved, happy birthday,
sean , 1/10/07


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why am I talking?

(family feet)

I am too focused on work. It has left me with nothing to say in the mornings, or very little. Focusing on work does one thing for you, while depriving others. 

Why am I talking about work?

The gym opens in 20 minutes.

Summer is fading. Miniature signs of Autumn are appearing. Certain trees and bushes are giving hints.

Why am I talking about the seasons?

The gym opens in 15 minutes.

Life becomes so much more difficult after having a child. The complexities of your relationship increase. Certain looks and signs are giving hints.

Why am I talking about love?


Monday, August 26, 2013

"While I nodded, nearly napping..."

(one shoe shy)

Headlong back into another week. I'll try not to think too much about Burning Man. It should be easy enough. It takes a fair amount of energy and expense just to get there, which can be prohibitive. But once that's done it becomes an immersion experience. It is the regular life that begins to seem unreal. The idea of returning to it implausible, remote.

But there is always one's bed at home. It calls. I will try to remind myself of that each night when I go to sleep and all day when I work. Perhaps I'll take a nap today.

My computer screen just dimmed on me, also preparing to sleep. I had been sitting still here for too long, wondering.

Here is a cool video from NASA that a friend posted. If you pay careful attention you'll see some cool stuff in it (the exhaust contrail from the launch, etc.). 

I am still vexed with the idea that matter might disappear. That time-space could turn out to only be a convenient human concept formed by gravity is an idea that I'm okay with. Burning Man teaches us that. You'll have no idea how you arrived where you are, nor how long it took to get there, and there is little chance of ever getting back, Einstein.

Well, it's taken me 45 minutes just to write this. I concede defeat.


Sunday, August 25, 2013


Blackberry season will soon be over, to Rhys's displeasure. He has become quite the fruit hunter, easily able to recognize his berry of choice, even from a distance. It is a nearly perpetual effort to keep him from launching straight into the bushes, which are covered with thorns. There is a bramble which runs half the length of the back yard. He runs along the full length of it in unrestrained delight.

He has consumed each of the ripe ones, sometimes one at a time. He has even begun to recently tolerate the bitter unripened red ones, usually one at a time. Such is his passion for the little edibles, and barely edibles. He makes a sour face with each one, eyes squinted and mouth puckered, but always coming back for more. We have to lure him away from the scrambling vines with promise of something greater. 


Desert Forest

Nothing to write. I'm sitting here listening to "Sunday Morning" by The Velvet Underground, that's how idea-less I am.

Many have begun their journey to the Burning Man Festival. They will sacrifice by fire a wooden statue of a man at the climax of the jamboree. It is a thing to see. Many of my friends, those who have been attending for years, have begun to complain that the event has lost some of its initial purpose, and that many others who attend do not embody the spirit of the thing any longer. Such is life. Things do change.

Last night when I came home there was a recreational vehicle in our parking lot. People were preparing to depart, I stopped and said hello, briefly chatted with the soon to be revelers. 

It is a very expensive party to attend. The cost alone can be prohibitive. Yet when you get there you will marvel at the people who have arrived. It seems inexplicable that they have somehow made it, as if they just arose from the desert dust. 

I suppose there are vastly varying degrees of luxury to consider before arriving there. Some require very little.

A close friend went out to the playa last week. A carpenter, he has dedicated himself to assisting in the construction of an art project. "Desert Forest" is the theme (rendering above, images of last year's project below). As the wind blows through, people relax and enjoy the sensation of its passing, with fluctuating strips to look at and consider or enjoy, or enjoy considering. He will return with a glow about him and tales to tell. As will the others, the local SF fixtures.

It is really something, to participate that way in the purely temporary, to celebrate a thing's transience. To conduct easily what often requires great effort elsewhere. To be reminded grandly of a thing so simple.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Love is a delightful burden

(The Lantern Bearers)

Rhys likes to say no, mostly to me. It is a breakthrough, a heartbreak. It's a phase, I am told. Whenever I try to pick him up, or get him out of his crib, or push the grocery cart while he's in it, or play with him, or talk to him, etc.


It's almost exclusively when mom is nearby, though it's nothing that she's doing. It's not her fault, I mean. She's just being mom and Rhys is learning new things, like how to accept and how to reject. I suppose that all of these lessons are important lessons to learn. It's never easy being the latter of those two choices, no matter what the circumstance. But with the little boy, it is crushing. For me, I mean. It is crushing for me.

I try to take it in stride. Those of you who know me might chuckle at that. If there is one thing that my personality is rarely noted for it would be taking emotions in stride. I enjoy the full range of them, much more than most people care for, or could stand. It gives one a unique and ever-changing perspective. 

But many things don't require a wide range in emotional viewpoint. I get them anyway. 

Pandora with Sisyphus' burden. Well, perhaps that is a bit melodramatic. I'm not sure if I contain and release all of the evils of the world, nor is my punishment the result of incurable deceit. I use the myths very loosely. Life is full of recurring surprises.

Everybody exhibits some minor emotional eccentricities. It is part of what makes humans dynamic, or tedious. Some people possess amplified versions of those perfectly normal characteristics, or become possessed by them, which is not only a matter of subtle differences. In the same way that most can not change even minor attributes of themselves, others can not choose to simply feel a certain way about a thing, or at a time. Choice in disposition is a luxury that many do not recognize, they treat its inability likewise, as just a poor choice by another. 

As if it is just passionate non-conformity, by selection. You must have read the wrong books, liked all of the bad bands, emulated the trouble-makers, sat in the back of the class....

Sure. That must be it.

(Cadmus Sowing the Dragon's Teeth)


Friday, August 23, 2013

Don't ask, she'll tell

Crazy times for Chelsea. 

I do not know if they provide hormone therapy in a military prison. Somehow I find it hard to believe that military benefits include such a thing, particularly when you have been dishonorably discharged this way, well before retirement. I suppose that we'll have to wait and see on that one. 35 years is a long time, but we're assured that she could be out in 7. 

The extreme sentence is meant to deter other whistleblowers. It was his defense, the gender identity issue. But his motivation is claimed to have been heroic, to make known certain egregious wrongdoings. It's somehow easier for me to believe that Manning's motivations were well intentioned where Snowden's still seem off to me, somehow. I find it strange, the claim that he was acting heroically and as a true patriot but it was somehow the gender dysphoria that caused it. Are those things related?

Feminists should be outraged, the claim that he acted this way because he's actually a woman

But what do I know. Everything that I see has been filtered through the press, presented as being other than it actually is. What doesn't seem off when viewed through that strange prism?

Males are three time more likely to suffer gender identity disorder than women, I read this morning. About 1 in 500 experience this gender discontentment. That is easy to believe. I've known a few. One of the children that I grew up with, our student body class President, Nate, is now Natalie. I believe I've told that story here before. Ah well, I looked, I couldn't find it. Perhaps I've never told the story. 

In any event, we had long known that Nate was probably gay. Even in the barely formed understanding of such things in childhood we sensed that something seemed different about him. Children can be quite cruel about differences. We were. When I saw her many years later it was at a gay nightclub called The Parliament House, a legendary (for some, infamous for others) nightclub/hotel/restaurant complex on South Orange Blossom Trail - not the nicest part of Orlando, notorious for bad drug dealings, illicit behavior, crime and desperation. 

I did not recognize her. She had to remind me who she was. 

Ah well, I don't have time to tell that story in full today. The boy has woken up and the world is slowly spinning into the light. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

I believe I have a gift certificate.... let me look

Speeding tickets are fun, getting them. I got one the day of the company picnic. They mailed me information about it. It was a "Courtesy Notice" which arrived yesterday. The fine of $366 is due tomorrow, or a bench warrant for my arrest will be promptly issued. If I decide to fight it in court I must pay the fine by tomorrow anyway. Then, they will one day decide if they want to give me the money back, or fine me more for having tried in court to assert my blamelessness. So much for the presumption of innocence.

Pay now, pay later. We prefer a little of both.

It took 5 days for the letter to travel 27 miles from the Marin County Superior Court to our home. Google Maps shows that it takes 38 minutes by car. I got the ticket on August 2nd, the notice was printed August 14th, it was stamped August 15th, it was mailed August 16th, it arrived 5 days later on the 21st.

That which is not being destroyed by corruption will be handled in time by incompetence. All that it takes to lose faith in the system is to brush up against it.

I'm sure nobody would be able to explain why it took 3 days to actually end up in the outgoing mail from the time that it was printed. This type of government functionality is a process. The arm of justice swings wide and slowly.

I'm tempted to not pay it just to see how long it takes for them to respond. But that way brings much unpleasantness in the form of bureaucratic withcraftery.

Also, I wouldn't want to deprive the state of California from some much needed revenue. I've been told that you can overpay by $2 and it's fun to watch the process by which they must legally return the excess money to you, but those options are closed to me now. I must call in tomorrow with a credit card rather than send in a potentially bad check. I'm going to ask if I can split it up between three or four different cards. 

"Do you take Sears, or JC Penney... Diner's Club?"

"I have this gift certificate that I haven't used..."

"Any chance I could work some of this off, maybe test driving cop cars for you?"

Ah well, best to quickly put it behind me. I will have to try to make up some lost time in the car getting there and back.

That's the thing: I like to drive fast. I always have. When I am a passenger I hear people ask rhetorically, "What's the hurry?" Or, "Oh, you'll get there soon enough..."

But I always think to myself, "I'd so much rather be in that other car, driving."

I see cars go fast and I want to drive fast, also. I want to drive faster than them. No car goes so fast that I do not want to go faster. It is a rush and a thrill to burst past others locked in a machine dream.

If I came into sudden wealth I would purchase a new car first. Many must dream of having a new car. It is where you can spend the most money with the least amount of thought. It is a guaranteed loss, we're told, just to drive a new car off the lot. That's what I want, to pull out of the dealership and mash the pedal to the floor, a detonation of sudden commerce. A volcano of fiscal waste.

Then, once a new car was in place underneath me, I would better be able to find ways to waste the rest of the money, perhaps by buying another car. If one enjoys driving fast, as I do, there should be additional options as to how to break the law. What form will it take...

The day that I got pulled over the cop asked me why I still had a New York Driver's License. I explained that we also had an apartment in NYC. He asked how much time I've spent in California this year. I said, "Just less than half."

"You'll need to get a California driver's license if you live here."

"Am I allowed to have two?"

"If you live in California you need a California Driver's license."

He did not like me very much. That exchange was the closest the event came to being anything of interest. He clocked me at 83 in a 65 zone, 3 mph past the point where the ticket becomes more serious, and expensive. His name was Fitzgerald, which I repeated to myself as Sgt. Shitzfitsimmons on the way to the picnic. It felt like torture to keep my speed under 80 the rest of the way there, and then on the way home. These speeding laws are stifling the natural rambunctiousness of the American working man, they are hobbling the horsepower that carries the precious cargo of the American dream. How is industry expected to ever bounce back at these overly-regulated speeds. 

Why couldn't there have been at least one founding father that was obsessed with racing his carriage through the streets of Philadelphia, crazed with that magic sense of forward, the feeling that only ever-increasing tempo and momentum can bring.

Perhaps some distant kinsfolk of the Andretti family.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Tuesday afternoon in Sonoma

Our friends adopted their boy yesterday. We went to the courthouse with them. They had been fostering with the intention to adopt, now it is legal. The documents were all signed and put in place. I've never seen a judge be so pleasant, or pleased to have people in his courtroom. Nor I. We were all quite giddy with it.

I almost felt like offering him an explanation for some wrongdoing out of inertia, pure habit.

The officer on duty allowed me to step behind the barrier to take pictures. We were like guests. All was wonderful. The ladies and gentlemen dressed up for the occasion and we went to eat sushi afterwards, then champagne at home. A bottle of 2000 Dom Pérignon, then another more recent one from Napa. 

It's official. 

There is a different entrance to most county complexes at which I am normally received. They boast more elaborate security systems and rather regimented teams of chaperons. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I might not ever see my dream of Mayor Weiner come to full fruition. He is sagging in the polls, we're told. Too bad, that. He is painting the portrait of himself being an "underdog" and nobody yet seems to quite get the joke. They will. It is important to have things in which to look forward.

Attempting to not end sentences in prepositions makes you sound preposterous. Not me, you. It is an unnecessary silliness, we're told.

The internet is boring this morning. 

Well, there is this one thing... David Miranda had his property seized at Heathrow airport without having broken any laws. This wouldn't matter much, except that he's the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the journalist that broke the Edward Snowden story. They held him for nine hours and seized all of his electronic devices. When governments start breaking their own laws in this way.... always for national defense, well, it puts the lie to the test.

We are currently doing things in the defense of our country that will render our country not worth defending. We have been for some time now. It started long before this. The Patriot Act is an adequate bookmark to refer back to.

I couldn't understand why most people weren't more angry about our second invasion of Iraq. I remember thinking at the time that something about it seemed off to me. It seemed that even the liberals were a little bit excited about it. There was some national flexing going on. We had been wronged on 9/11, and it just seemed that there was a little too much willingness on everybody's part to really show somebody that, to prove that you don't fuck with us.

Invading Afghanistan never seemed quite commensurate to the shock of 9/11. It lacked that victorious, nation-toppling feeling. We needed something more. It was important that we take out a personality as much as a country. A feared dictator must fall, in statue and in gallows.

(I've read compelling arguments both for and against our invading of Iraq. That's not really the point that I am making here.)

Now, the enemy is far more insidious. We are expected to trust that the government has our best interests in mind as they dismantle our rights. It is a necessary process that we all must endure, to ensure against the secret evildoing of others. They are now daily thwarting terrorist plots that they can't tell us about. There is no public record of any of this, of course. That also, sensibly, falls behind the fresh new iron curtain of national security.

More little Guantanamo gulags will start to appear here and there. Mark my words on this. In the next couple years we will hear about yet another secret prison where normal laws need not apply.

When water-boarding can be presented to the nation as something other than torture then we are already sliding over a lost edge of previous sensibilities. How is it even possible that we allowed our elected leaders to introduce that question into the national conversation. Those fuckers should have been run out of politics and flogged.

One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian society is that laws are put into place which can not be obeyed. It becomes impossible to somehow not break them. When journalists are regularly being hunted and imprisoned for revealing violations of some of our most basic principles then we are not far off from a place where it will be equally punishable to protect and defend said journalists. Once lawyers are afraid to represent certain clients then the circle of new justice will nearly be complete.

Another attribute of a regime-run society is a single ideology that justifies all changes. Something like "freedom," for example. The concept must be flexible and nebulous with the ability for its meaning to be stretched in several different directions at once, as needed. It must simultaneously mean two opposing things, having the power to inspire both fear and action. Likewise, dissent can be defined as almost anything and suppressed through overt and secret means, often with the use of public and private (secret) police forces.

As far as an exploited conceptual archetype goes it doesn't get much better than "freedom," particularly when being defended through secret means.

This eventually reduces life down to two alternating social/political demands in which everything that is not forbidden becomes required.

I feel that way even when I have to renew my driver's license. There is a sense that this can't possibly be right.... We were told about the horrendous bureaucracy involved in communist living, that they had to wait in line for hours just to get a license.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and even before that, the term totalitarianism has fallen from popular favor. But the term still best describes the tendencies present as a government seeks to assert and maintain increased control over its people.

This is why I was suspicious of the Snowden thing from the beginning. It appeared to me to be a little bit too staged. It seemed that it was just an effective way of letting everybody know that they are being watched. It seemed canned to me, too convenient as far as messaging goes. I have since changed my opinions on it, though I am still unsure. It almost seems as if Snowden could be an elaborate governmental hoax that has now filtered its way deep into the Wikileaks camp.

Who knows, really.

To be monitoring people is one thing. For it to be an effective means of intimidation then people must know that they're being monitored. It must put and keep them in perpetual unease, pitting suspicion against suspicion. It must become a known fear of the unknown.


Monday, August 19, 2013

If these records could talk....

Another weekend completed. We put up new record shelves. Now I must reduce my collection to what will fit on the two shelves in the downstairs bedroom, the guest suite, Chalet Q6.

There are 50 sections between the two shelves, each comfortably holding ~100 records. 

It occurred to me as we were assembling the Ikean monstrosity that it has been exactly two years to the day since I left New York, Sunday. I went to our friends' wedding in Brooklyn the day before leaving. 

We abandoned a similar Ikea shelf in the apartment when we left. It was too big to move to California, not worth the time, trouble, and space. Well, I didn't leave it in the apartment. Myself and a friend broke it into pieces and dragged it to the street in shattered pieces, a blast of final catharsis. 

It feels good to purge. Rachel says that I am a border-line hoarder. I believe myself to be a refined collector, with great and magical powers of discernment. 

This latest Ikea shelf will very likely be my last, for records. Hopefully the last I purchase for anything. Ikea is like Costco. One does not shop there because they want to. Even if it feels good to finally organize there is also that accompanying feeling: this, really?

There will be thousands of records to get rid of. Once I go through and make my final selections there will be the small matter of the remaining records. Many have offered to take them though that requires effort and expense. I'd like them to somehow survive together but I don't see how that will be possible. They will be given in boxfuls to the first, second and third takers, irrespective of merit. 

Now I must assemble at least one turntable and an amplification system of some sort. A thing that is easily done, by most. The parts are all here, somewhere. 

That will take another 10 years, somehow.

There was a time when it seemed improbable that I would ever live in a place in which there were not two turntables, a mixer, and an adequate amplification system. 

Now, such a thing seems almost as unlikely as watching the sun come up, high in the desert.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Autochrome (also)

Went to bed early, slept in late. That is what a weekend should be. The others are still sleeping.

I have been looking at autochromes all morning. They are really something. CS wrote about them and I have been doing searches, staring into the computer screen at another time, a lost process. 

I don't know anything about film. It's too bad, I have a B.S. in Motion Picture Technology (film). I should have learned something along the way. I vaguely remember studying it, a lifetime ago. 

Do a Google Image search for Autochrome. They are really something.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

I wonder what time Ikea opens

I want a new computer, a more powerful one. I don't know why I would want this. I don't need it. I just need a larger hard drive. I have too much music, double copies, triple copies. It takes too long to manage. It requires a dedication that I do not have. But, I like listening to new music.

I don't buy the "cloud" concept for this, yet. All of these companies are eager for you to put all of your data in the cloud, for a price. It will only be a simple matter of time before they are charging you even more to give back to you what is already yours. It will be a form of renting your own property. People will line up to pay.

Their side business will be selling information about you to other companies. A perfect fiscal circle. 

Few seem as bothered as me by all of this. I'm not sure why. I guess people just don't care that companies regularly sell information about them. I've had some argue that it makes life more convenient. So be it. Who am I to question such things. The concept of privacy is becoming antiquated. 

Okay, today we go into the city, to see an old friend who has returned for the Burning Man holy pilgrimage week. On the way home we'll stop at Ikea and buy a shelf to house some more of my records. Whatever will not fit on the shelf we currently have and the new one will have to go. Somebody will become the lucky recipient of many, many boxes. Vinyl is on top again, I'm told.

A poem for your Saturday:

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' trade winds 
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 fields
On an ordinary day,
And now it's best I be on my way.

- Mushika

Friday, August 16, 2013

Elvis died a short lifetime ago

If my readers did not like talk of cosmology then they liked me whining about losing readers over it even less. My site is becoming a black hole of page views. Soon I won't even be able to see the words as I type them. 

Ah well... another Friday has appeared beneath us, like gravitational clockwork, or rather, as calendarwork, and we its humble workers, sucked towards.

I need beautiful things. I am too often reminded of one thing, not enough of the other. I amble, dwell. One's heart must not drift long without some useful breaking. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

spooky inaction, up close

(An attempt to win back my audience)

People from all over the universe, uniformly in all directions, refused to read my post yesterday. Man, do they stay away from the bad news of all creation. I had the lowest readership that I've had in some time. 

It's important to remember that even though the suggestions made are very disturbing they are not my fault. I caused none of that. I barely even described it.

In truth, it was written poorly and with quite a few typos. I re-read it this morning trying to determine if I had offended anyone. There must have been a few grammarians out there still.

I published quickly, while at work. 

Ah well, that's life, as they say.

People laugh at me, but I like my job. I don't know what happened. I hate to think that it was having a child. Have I become a smiling moron, a good neighbor, a model employee?

Well, I do smile sometimes without provocation, my neighbors seem to like me, and things are going well at work.

That's just math.

I was chatting with Rachel last night, about the article from The Times. I mentioned that I found it disturbing that matter might disappear forever, that I took some comfort in knowing that the atoms that comprise my body will continue on long after they cease giving me form. She said that she was "very pleased" to hear me saying anything like that, and then launched into a spiel about reincarnation and the cosmic connectedness of twins.

I said, wait, wait.... 

She said that I had some faith in the knowing of a thing, and that was nice

I proceeded to tell her that is not what I meant. But it was too late. The damage was done.

She'll be asking me to go to church this Sunday. Jesus can fix this. The universe was his dad's idea.

I do like singing the hymns, standing there, watching all of the other people, shaking their hands and reminding them of Christ's love. 

They'll smile, and nod, and say, "Praise Jesus." 

I'll nod back, smilingly, "You got that right, brother. Jesus even loves you in a black hole."


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"spooky action at a distance"

(globular cluster at the edge of the Milky Way)

I think I must have done something terrible to myself. If not terrible, at least wrong. It just doesn't feel right any more, my body.

I was reading the NY Times yesterday. There was an article there in the ScienceTimes section about black holes. A relatively simple observation led to a few questions, among experts. These questions had to do with what precisely happens to matter when it falls into a black hole. A question that some felt was already well understood, mathematically. There are three theories which come into play (there are more, of course, but these three present problems): Einstein's equivalence principle (a cornerstone of the General Theory of Relativity), quantum field theory, and entanglement. 

One of them can't be correct, as they are, yet all three seem quite correct and have tested extensively to seem so. The area and action that occurs just beyond the event horizon either represents smooth space in which nothing substantial occurs or there is an invisible firewall in which energy is also given off as matter is pulled in, and some sent back out.

This is where the previously connected atomic particles become entangled, with some particles on one side of the horizon, some on the other. We "know" that this must occur. This is the "spooky action at a distance" that Einstein (and others) predicted, and then Einstein mocked as improbable. He was wrong. The "spooky" phrase was his. It is an action/event that we are now familiar with, one that is tested regularly and describes a relational quantum state between particles that interact and then become separated. 

I've made it sound less important than it is, the actual question. It has to do with the exchange of energy in the transaction. The nature of that event might disprove that there even exists such things as space and time. They may only be convenient ways for us to understand the nature of matter, but as concepts they might also be as false as Newtonian physics. Though that is the more far-reaching suggestion of the suddenly opposing questions, but not entirely implausible.

Space and time might only be well known ghosts, ones on their way out.
Or rather, any outcome seems very improbable, but one of the competing theories will fail. What we thought we knew about the universe must be wrong, in a fundamental way.

Nobody had noticed this problem until very recently. The resolution of which will cause one of those well established disciplines to crumble and should help answer the question of whether information is "lost" or retained, not only in a black hole but possibly for the entire universe. If it can happen at the event horizon, then it can happen.

There are many that have been wanting to disprove Einstein for years. To do so, in any way, would ensure that your name survived in the world of cosmology and particle physics. 

These are high times for quantum mechanics with the recent discovery, and tentative confirmation, of the Higgs Boson. For the standard model to be brought into question this way potentially endangers our knowledge concerning matter at sub-microscopic scales.

It will change nothing about our lives or our deaths, but it will give us insight into whether our universe is what we think it is, and what shape it might take in places where we can not see or know.

 What it does change is how we approach the perennial question: does information (matter) last?

The hackneyed joke "matter matters" might be just that, a joke. Matter might do something else altogether: disappear.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In the offing


"I doubt sometimes whether a quiet and unagitated life would have suited me - yet I sometimes long for it." -Byron

People who live in NYC dream of living in the country, all of them, even the bums. And some of them do, also.

It is odd, what the mind speaks to itself, the happiness culled from private reverie; informing the sub rosa with the where and what and who and how that would make one happy, if only... Some people are happiest wherever they are not. There is always some other place that they long to be, a place that will finally, once and for all, make them happy. Those people rarely arrive, I've learned. Most of them, anyway. 

I dreamed of living in the country. To be more specific, I dreamed of, "living somewhere beautiful," when I was in NYC. I thought that I had lived in the best of all possible cities for more than a decade, had enjoyed much while there. Now, I thought, I would want to live in a place that was naturally beautiful and offered experience that was very different from what I had up until that point. 

Well, I got it. Though I have not become quite the "nature boy" that I had hoped. I have spent precisely zero nights camping since I've been here. Rachel, Rhys and I have yet to go to Yosemite, which is only four hours away. The furthest north we've drive from here is perhaps the Russian River Valley, etc.

Sonoma has stopped appearing bizarre to me. That scares me. Where did all the weirdness go? I have to really search for it now. It is under fingernails. It used to materialize everywhere, out of nowhere. How could this place seem so curious (even deeply suspicious) when we first arrived, and why not now? It is not the place that has changed. I know that. But how long am I expected to wait here and not stumble upon something truly bizarre, something I can stare at, something that I must stare at. How long?

Everybody has their limits. What is life - what should it be - if not surreal, extra? Reality does not await, but rather only tedium. 

We are told to enjoy the simple things in life. But look carefully at who is saying it, if you can. You should only heed their advice if you would seek to emulate them in some way. I like simple things also, but all simple things are the same.

"In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint..." 
- Joseph Conrad, 'Heart of Darkness'

None of what I've written here today, except for the quotes, was what I intended.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Leading the witness

(found image)

I just want the world to last in a semblance of its present form. Well, perhaps that is the curse that we seem to be stuck with, the semblance of form.

That's one way that I know I'm getting old: the future seems forbidding. 

I was in the past for a little while, it wasn't all that great, particularly the 80's. 

But the future is terrifying, right? It must be... we are told daily, from all directions. Everybody instructs us in the details of precisely how runaway civilization has become, though few agree on "the facts." Why should they? The clock is ticking in all directions. The world is an enormous terrorist act just waiting to happen. We are held hostage by this group this week, that group next; some foreign, some domestic. Radon creeps up through the floors. We all seem trapped in an unending b-movie version of what the future was supposed to be.

Don't have children, it will scare you witless. You find yourself fretting over things to which you were once blissfully indifferent. You will read the news with a more critical eye, one trained on the impending future. You will nod your head from left to right while staring at the ground. You find yourself saying comical things in your mind, a parody of a parody repeating itself.

Don't let parents fool you... they are all scared shitless and wearing diapers also. They only seem happy because they do not often read the news that you read. Why would they? 

You will want your children to be happy and healthy, naturally, even more than you may want it for yourself. You will want to magically create those very things out of life: health and happiness. But you will wake up one day and realize that it is all beyond you, you have no control over anything and you never did.

All that you can do is make it possible to possibly happen.

It is terrifying to realize that the only underlying truth there is in this world is that it will one day end. 

I try not to be an alarmist, but it is difficult. All of the experts are alarmed, so why not me? 

I have a friend that insists that global warming is merely a liberal hoax. He has access to other information, which he prefers. He scoffs at sources that disagree, no matter their number, nor origin. The immensity of agreement only confirms the conspiracy for him. His information states these types of climate changes are quite normal and there might not be much to worry about anyway, except maybe a democrat winning again in 2016, and Obamacare not getting repealed.

Ice ages come and go.

It is possible that the experts get paid to alarm us, to draw attention to their exclusive set of growing facts. It is how they get funded. Perhaps there is just a lot of competition within the scientific communities and they have become like commercials: somehow louder than the show.

I like thinking that. Just ignore them all, they are trying to sell me something that I do not want.

That way lies spirituality, to deny science and reason and fall back exclusively on belief, hope. Happiness is the ability to choose to be in fear.

Those fears of the future create a nearly perfect introduction to the spiritual realm. In court it is called leading the witness. Though in this case it is more of an example of leading the defendant.

Begging the question:

I am reminded by many that the supernatural begins where reason leaves off. I doubt that they grasp just how right they are. That mankind possesses an imaginative component is unarguable.

We are told two divergent stories: one, that all religions say basically the same thing, which they do not - and two, that there are spiritual reasons that nobody agrees past a certain point, you must tune your heart to your own truth. Seeking truth is the presumed basis of much of this thinking.

But when I seek truth... people often get angry with me, because I do not readily find their animal-spirit frolicking in the nearby meadows of my mind. Their truth seems silly to me, and not just in the improbable sense of the word. The shape of my imagination does not resemble theirs, at all, and does not rely on theirs for existence. That simple fact alone tells me much that I need to know about religion. Personal convictions and beliefs seem both necessary and dangerous. 

Some people's religion seems to be just accepting the acceptance of other people's religion. But even they have their limits, sensibly. Nobody takes my gods seriously, when we discuss such things.

It always requires so much solemnity, yet they will insist that their gods also have a sense of humor.  As for those gods, the ability to choose among many is a relatively recent addition to the process. Some are still finding their way among the countless options. It is easy to get distracted with so much wisdom floating about.

Perhaps I just got dealt a set of very cynical gods, they neither seek my approval nor praise. The only torment they offer is - quite thankfully - to non-believers, infidels.

I take books off the shelf and read single pages every now and then. It is better than watching the news and it keeps me on my feet. The existentialists make some sense. It is all absurd, we share in it though always by ourselves, there is little that can be done to change any of it, we must somehow give our lives meaning, even though the effort and results may be meaningless themselves, we will all die. It is absurd.

That sounds about right.

Albert Camus said it, "Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable."

Somehow, you are expected to prevent this knowledge from depriving you of happiness... rather, this knowledge is meant to be a reason for it; the catalyst to freedom, its own predicament.

Once understood, something is both gained and lost.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Another Weiner Joke

(John Cuneo)

Just when you thought no more "C. Danger, it's A. Weiner!" jokes could possibly be made.... 

This is just one reason that I love The New Yorker, and New York. 

That is a fucking funny cover. Look at it carefully. It is a work of genius.

As I said, I could care less about Anthony Weiner's online or personal behavior. I don't even find it all that shocking. But the immense, arrogant defensiveness of his own actions is something worth considering, and John Cuneo has.

Here's the simple version: I'd like to be in politics, I'll present myself as a sound candidate for Congress, a stable decision maker... Ooops, I get involved in a sex scandal, step down from politics, create elaborate articles discussing my family's role in my recovery, attempt to get back into politics... it then comes to light that I was lying all along, even while doing my exposé articles, it's none of your business, this is a personal matter between my wife and myself, I'd still like to be the mayor of New York, I'm not leaving the race. Vote Weiner!

This is somebody that appears to be a glutton for both power and punishment, possibly at the same time, and has a tremendous incapacity for decision making as a recorded process. That's why he has my unequivocal support for the mayoral candidacy, and the office. I only wish that I were still able to vote in the city. New York needs this. I am almost amazed that France hasn't offered him a position in their government yet. 

Those are people that can recognize that this guy has what it takes. The right stuff.

You want, perhaps even need, people like this in politics. Fuck, I'd like to see him beat Clinton in 2016. Why not? His problem would be getting people to volunteer to assist in his campaign. He's made it difficult to stand up for him, publicly. If it were a purely anonymous process, this guy would be a shoe-in. 

The cover, evoking the victim-ness of King Kong trapped in a brutal city, an uncontrollable and misunderstood savage, ill-adapted to the confining restrictions of urban life, forced by hostile combatants to climb, to flee to a place of hoped for safety... wielding the antenna of the structure (brilliantly resembling a hypodermic needle), all while sexting the broken head of the hubristic symbol, grim-faced and determined ... oh my....

If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.....

I mean, fuck... this brings the bullshit claim of sex-addict into clear focus. The era of self-proclaimed victimhood has gotten so out of control that we actually seem to have taken a collective step back and considered it... Well, you know, it's not really his fault, what he did. He has a disease. He's a sex-addict. I once dated one.

What...? We really have reached a point where nobody ever need take responsibility for their behavior again. Sex addiction is what made me do it, too. 


Interestingly, I am a sex addict. All of my decisions in life have been centered around, and informed by, this initial problem. I mean, there might have been a touch of various abuses here and there in my past, perhaps problems acclimating to certain social settings, but all of these issues just speak to the larger problem: sex addiction. Do not let this affliction fool you, it may have only seemed as if I was enjoying it. That is part of its insidious nature. The only choice I had in the matter was finally reaching out for help. I was powerless against it. God alone took my hand and removed it from the offending organ from which I was playing my cursed melody.

Do not be angry with me, I was suffering from a damned disorder. Some have even seen it up close, sadly, and they will attest... when it rears its ugly, demonic head.... you can recognize it for the scourge that it is, oh dear dreaded malady. 

But: in no way should this prevent me from winning the lottery, or being awarded the presidency, or running a major company (maybe just being the treasurer). In fact, it should be part of my qualifications, my pedigree, if you will. To show that I can overcome even the most terrible hand that life has dealt me (over and over) I should be rewarded with public office, power, and wealth. I can be trusted to keep everybody's best interest in mind, because I know what it's like to truly suffer. I am a survivor.

Fucking brilliant. What a story. It is the triumph of talk-show democracy. 

Twitter is just a filthy enabler. 

Headline: Weiner wins, sues! Works to rid internet of debilitating dirt. 

Why doesn't Lance Armstrong claim sex addiction? He only feels powerful and sexy when winning the Tour De France. What choice did he have, really? 

From now on, I'm going to be suspicious of anybody that even admits to wanting to have sex. Those are the first signs, the symptoms. This should shift the Creationism / Intelligent Design non-debate. Did God make us all sex addicts, or was it Darwin that did it?

Nature vs. Nurture vs. Twitter

But... if those jinxed with the frailty admit they have a problem, publicly, then they get a free McDonald's Happy Meal, and maybe a chance at the cover, or the center-fold...