Monday, June 30, 2014

Sun in the sky, you know how I feel

(The kite of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg)

The beach. Yesterday. We went with friends, kids.

For me, it was unfamiliar, not far from where Hitchcock shot The Birds, Bodega Bay. His last unflawed masterpiece, concerning the high costs of emotional chaos and its source in insincerity.

The only birds we saw were friendly enough, easily chased away down the beach by children bearing Rice Krispie Treats.

We set up blankets, umbrellas, flew kites, ate snacks, and rushed back and forth with the advancing and receding waves, giggling to be alive. There is no upper limit to how much sand, surf, and beach mud a child can enjoy. It has been tested.

That morning I had purchased two frisbees for the trip.

A very odd and mysterious thing occurred to me while we were there. Rachel stood up holding a classic orange and asked me to teach her how to throw a frisbee. Impossible, I thought. How could my girlfriend of 15 years, my wife of five years, and the mother of my child not know how to throw a frisbee. How could I not know this.

There was only one logical answer: thousands of dollars spent on relationship counselors had failed us in ways we did not yet know. The problem was floating there in front of us the whole time. Rachel and I had never thrown a frisbee together before.

Teaching her the basic throw was easy enough, done with a flick of the wrist rather than a swinging of the arm. She was an immediate convert. In short time, she couldn't get enough of it. It was adorable. Upwind or downwind she adopted the necessary throwing styles and was able to roughly predict its flight path. Watching the disc teaches what there is to know. It required very little additional input from me - only that to be a professional at it you must catch with one hand, as if you are barely trying.

Whenever I would try to stop she would convince me to throw some more; running, jumping, leaping to catch or grab at a near miss. Giggling. As the day got hotter her clothes started coming off. First the sweater, then the shirt. Her bikini top seemed a little bit too tight. It was not my imagination. It was a little bit too tight. Did she have her hair up earlier?

I imagined getting her pregnant the old fashioned way. I kept wanting to kiss her and to squeeze her, tell her things about the sun and the moon and the stars. Where we would go, together.

Though I was not quite sure what I would tell her.

Have I already told her all of this, I wondered.

Maybe it was the sun, it had softened me like a layer of wax protecting a later of fat. It must have an effect on the mind, the heat. My head was getting sunburned, no longer protected by hair or the atmosphere.

I kept staring at her, thinking beach thoughts.

I don't know if it was the World Cup, or if I'm actually Rocky Balboa, but I think I would have taken her right there on the beach towel if common sense, communal standards, her wishes, and a vague memory of dignity hadn't stopped me.

All of that, and the little blue-eyed boy running about, patterned after me, who kept cheering, Daddy, daddy, look!

I was.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

A wanting

(Josef and Jakob Hoflehner)

Going to the beach today. I had plans to write a post about the inaccessibility of life, how certain people will yearn for something even as they are experiencing it; like sex, or water, or autumn.

Drinking the water does not satisfy the desire, nor does swimming in it. One can stand on the beach and wish, and wonder, and then again. 

I long for autumn even when it is all around me.

As for sex... an orgasm will often fill me with want; there is always some sound in the distance, an image, a breathing that comes from the memory of a shape, a movement. It is a shadow which attaches itself to many articles.

I read recently that the longest lasting relationships depend heavily on kindness and generosity, to the surprise of no one.

There seems to always be a slight disconnect in life, for some. They can never be quite satiated, yet they are filled with the recurring desire to be so. To discover a nameless thing, and to not name it.

There is a yearning to find out what is on the other side of it all, knowing that nothing is ever what it is, or can be. 

Life is an unanswerable mystery, with no adequate way to stop the questioning, either. It is tiring and rejuvenating, all at once. 

Others suggest, perhaps out of love, concern, or fear: 

Have you tried not feeling that way? 


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Eternal Recurrence

(Josef and Jakob Hoflehner)

Nothing much to write today, I have been awake for hours. I survived yesterday. Had a quick chat with my boss and took half the day off. 

Seems odd to call him "my boss." He doesn't act like a "boss." He's a genuinely nice guy, I like him. I suppose he is the lead for my team, and he could fire me if I gave him a reason. He is a manager. 

Well, anyway...

While I was talking with him it occurred to me that I have allowed my personal life to bleed over into work. I was making simple, unneccesary mistakes which were causing me much frustration; rushing for no reason, abbreviating my answers to questions. Mostly just rushing without reason. It is a recent development. I know the moment it began, though of course I didn't know it at the time. I have a bookmark in time from which to reference, a postcard of a date.

It's time to regroup, rethink, take a step back before attempting any steps forward.

The future will simply require more strength and patience than the past, that's all.

It's not as if I did that great of a job with the past either, so I should be accumulating some additional strength and patience anyway, in the event that I become reincarnated, or locked in a state of eternal return, or if time travel becomes as easy as standing on a beach talking on a phone, with a plane suspended overhead.


Friday, June 27, 2014

The knot that holds the dam

(Josef and Jakob Hoflehner)

"Switch on your electric light, then we can get down to what is really wrong..."

My life feels like a knotted rope lately, one that has hardened and become entangled, beyond saving, beyond use.

Last night's post was written hastily and carelessly. It got an unusual number of page views. I was surprised when I saw the daily report this morning. I suppose there is always something that people will like about suffering and confusion.

Perhaps "like" is not the right word.

I am having a fairly awful time in life right now. The dams that held the waters apart have burst, everything is suddenly driving me crazy. I am not breathing. It is showing in everything that I do. Things that seemed easy have become impossible. There is a sudden sense of irreversible collapse. The knotted rope is sinking, but still attached.

Of course it will all pass. It always has.


Thursday, June 26, 2014


I've had nothing but awful days. Too many of them, really. Too many in a row.

It feels that way, anyway.

If I looked back through my blog I'm sure that I would find that I was something close to happy not all that long ago. 

It always surprises me, time; how elastic the past.

Last night I lost (almost) everything on my work computer, which contained most of the pictures I've taken of Rhys in the last eight months. A guy at work was able to save them, luckily, but that's all he saved. I was watching the World Cup while he was working on the computer and I didn't have enough foresight to name off four or five much smaller folders that I would have also liked to have had him save, because saving any of it seemed highly unlikely. 

So, I lose... apart from the pictures. It's all my fault, of course. It usually is. I have made some poor choices and what began as a summer puddle to jump in has now become a whirlpool that can not be waded safely across. 

I should know better, as I was reminded by every single person who has any idea what I've been doing for a living for the last two decades.

Life feels like Facebook right now, a few laughs but mostly a dull repetitive misery that you can't get away from; you're not quite sure why you're not trying; arguing uselessly with the various agendas of others, of self. 

Everybody that participates on Facebook is an unwiped asshole, especially those that use the platform as one for the projection of their idea of actionable morality. 

Those that wish to be kind to animals will generally act accordingly, others otherwise.

I mean, social media just might not have saved Michael Vick in time, even with all of its good will and intentions. The open prayers of the online world seem to accomplish much more for the one praying than for the object of said prayers. 

What little Jesus's, all of them, bunched in winter smittenses. 

It's only slightly better than pornography. Pornography is far too literal, so it tires the mind and the hand, eventually. 

The eyes, it tires the eyes, with no explanation as to why they return. 

It is a lonely, wanting vice of the heart. People come online to be satisfied with themselves, gripped in some strange fascination with the satisfaction of others, the semblance of mutuality. Barely a pretense of sharing.

Look how cool my links are, when I paste them there on the page, floating in front of you.... 

If you've encountered generosity of expression in another then what happens online will strike you as something akin to the closeup image of anal sex as compared to your first kiss, or the first one that you wished the first one to be.

There is something that always comes across as far too knowing in its naivety, lacking the charm of innocence, and its honesty.

Sometimes I just wish that I could have a talk with my eyes and find out what's really wrong, why all the staring.

Well, I should stop... I might be attracting attention with my nervous behavior.

Try this link below, instead of what I have had to screech here today: Try this: Try this:



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Status Epilepticus

I've waited too long to write this morning and now my head is filled with smtp error codes and email header evaluation.

I spent the night last night over at my friends' house. We stayed up late, for me, and chatted about our feelings, mostly mine. It has occurred to me that I run the risk of become an emotionally "needy" friend.

I have always been an obnoxious burden, but now there is this other quality; borderline weepy, at times. 

They were offering me Nembutal late last night, as a hypnotic, to help put me to sleep.

I am looking forward to a time when I don't feel the way that I do.

Maybe it's because I haven't been to the gym in a week, and have had to miss a few rooftop boxing matches.  My schedule has just been too hectic.

We could live for a thousand years, but if I hurt you I'll make wine from your tears...

Prague is a beautiful, wonderful place that I miss greatly.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

To get through, first you must...

(Before it went up)

I have hung some borrowed art up on the walls of my room, and a mobile hangs from the ceiling, paper pieces sit above the doorway, watercolors tacked up, reminding me to look at things, to look for things. The eyes must enjoy what they see, and the ears should be occasionally filled with music. Then, there should be some silence, also.

Rhys and I will paint the wall where his bed goes. It will be the first time I have ever engaged in a collaborative art project with a toddler. We shall see what we are able to do together.

I will move pieces in and out, to keep my eyes alive.

That is the trick, I think, a series of pleasant diversions.

Perhaps it is no trick at all.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Winners, losers, or drawers

NyQuil is wonderful and effective. Sleep is what is needed for the body to heal. That's precisely what I got, eight wonderful hours of it.

I am almost fully recovered, by tomorrow I'll be dangerous again.

Watching the draw in yesterday's USA / Portugal game was heartbreaking. It felt like a win, all the way up until those last few seconds when I knew that it would be a draw. Before the shot was even taken, I could feel it. But, it's why we watch the game. Studies have shown that people derive as much pleasure from close losses as they do wins, no matter what team you're for. 

Also, bad calls elicit much more excitement and pleasure than do good ones. People watch games, in part, to feel cheated. 

America is still favored to advance. If we can draw (or win) against Germany then it's a guarantee. As long as we lose without conceding too many points we can also advance. Ghana can still knock us out if we lose and they win against Portugal with more than a two point differential. It would be the third World Cup in a row in which Ghana had knocked us out either directly or indirectly, I believe.

As many of you already know, this is not a sport's blog. I am writing this as a patriot and a nationalist, of course. Because nothing speaks of American supremacy more than defeating poorer countries at sports. It's what has me worried about the match with Germany...

Americans still struggle with the concept of ties. I watched it live yesterday. A tie seems un-American. 

There were a few people having to explain to a few others what a tie means when they asked, "Well, what happens now?" You could see that they still didn't quite grasp it. The only thing that seemed to put them at ease was the impending switch to match-by-match advancement, only winners and losers, none of this mathematical trickery where there emerges a sense of off-putting evenness, or equality, with others.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Two nights, now

I should have drank NyQuil last night. I was in bed, wishing the elixir upon myself, but then must have fallen asleep. 

Two nights in a row in which I have awoken at 2am and not been able to go back to sleep. I just tossed and turned and wished it out. It seemed too late/early to down a cupful in the dark, but I should have.

Now, on top of being sick I have an additional weakness in my body from being fatigued, and a headache. 

Oh, and I have to work today. It's rare that I ever work on the weekends but there is occasional need for such a thing. So, today is my day. I am not so sick that I can not work.

Close. I don't expect much out of myself today.

I'll end this there.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

I might have slept better

The cat doesn't know me well enough to sleep with me yet. He is a prowler, anyway. 

Mild misery, endured alone. It is the way.

I just took my virus filled body up to a notorious local restaurant, sat at the bar and had a NY Strip steak, 3 eggs over easy and a plateful of potatoes, dry wheat toast and four large glasses of ice water. By this time next year my doctor will want to put a cholesterol-triggered shock collar on me, and I'll probably let him.

Oh, mild misery.

Now, I sit alone in my room listening to country music, waiting for another moment to appear before me, a day that might deliver some newness of life. 

Oh, consecutive time.

Soon, I will take a dose of NyQuil and hope for the best. It is truly a wonder drug, for me. Different compounds affect people differently. 

Well, whatever they have done with NyQuil.... I sleep. 

The body must rest. 

In the darkness emotion turns to ghost.


A common cold

I am in bed, sick.

The boy has been sick for days, now me.

He doesn't yet understand how these things work, so he will offer to share his food with me. Crackers, sliced fruit, cheese, all of it handled and some of it slobbered on. It all gets shared. It would hurt his feelings not to divide our portions unequally together. We have an understanding about such things.

So, now I lie in bed and suffer, nothing left to share.


Friday, June 20, 2014



A friend reached out to me yesterday wanting to find out if Rachel and I had broken up. He was alarmed at my candidness on this site. I assured him that this is not all just free candy around here.

Weeks pass and paychecks arrive, then disappear, leaving only the empty shells, the cashed carcasses of uninhabited envelopes. 

It was hinted by some that there was a type of happiness in this life, in lone domesticity. I suppose if all the joy your imagination can conjure is to watch an infant become a toddler, then a child....  

Don't get me wrong, it is great to watch. I had just hoped that there would be more, and refuse to believe that it is a deficiency in my imagination that causes the additional wanting. This could easily be supported with either reason or emotion, or both, as each offer compelling and even supporting arguments.

I suppose it was not just the having of the child that was meant to make one happy in this scenario. There was the other part, also. 

It would be a lie of omission to claim otherwise.

But, enough of all that, again. The idea is to get out and have adventures, as I have been gently and oft reminded. 

If you want a dose of true and genuine wisdom, then click that link. It is a veritable font of fact.

And what, dear friends, could possibly outdo the veracity of that?


Thursday, June 19, 2014


(I will only eat two of these)

I start a new diet today, one based on calculated starvation. 

It goes like this: I eat as I normally would, but then eat almost nothing for two days a week. It is religious, I think. It will make me seem closer to God. 

Thin men are always halfway to heaven. It is because gravity has a looser hold on them. They are ready for the rapture.

Two days a week is 28% of a person's time. So, it is no wonder that one loses weight on such a regimen. I have modified the concept a little bit and have just started sleeping more. Also, instead of fasting two days a week I have decided to stop eating towards the end of the day, at approximately the 3/4ths point.

Because I am awake 18 hours a day I simply will not eat after 4pm any longer.  Or, I suppose I could not eat the first 4-5 hours of being awake, but that would mean no coffee, which would signal the end of this site.

I could just cut my caloric intake by a little more than 1/4th. But that would require constant effort and on-the-spot calculations. I could reduce every meal size, leaving a fair portion on the plate. That would probably be good practice. I am an emotional eater. Meaning, I get emotional when I eat. The main emotions are usually a farrago of greed, avarice and lust. 

I guess I could increase my waste output by 28%, though I do not know how to safely do such a thing. I always feel better when I am lighter, like Kate Moss but with a duller wardrobe. 

Something must be done, however. I am aging and swelling. It's disgusting. Young people ignore me unless they can't see around me and old people try to tell me that it's not as bad as I make it out to be, not realizing that they are disgusting to me also. All I see is fat wrinkled faces trying to console me. It is terrifying, like having retired harlequins inhabit your dreams.

The last group of people I want any solace from are those whom are worse off than me. It's like going to a retirement home and doing pushups, hoping to impress. 

Those days are over.

Now, even when I go to prostitutes I don't expect them to tell me how big it is. Instead, I insist that they tell me how young I am. I will have them check my license before they conduct their strange, magical business, to make sure that all is as it should be. 

I'm the victim.

That is my new leitmotif, or perhaps my fatmotif.

No, I only kid, I don't go to prostitutes. 

Something about it always seems too expensive.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

End of an Era

My buddy finally sold his old run-down Jeep.  I am just like him, unable to sell things. Instead, the remnants of my life accumulate around me and become increasingly burdensome.

He has not yet offered to split the money with me. He claims to have already lost it.

First he cut his hippy hair, now this. My lit teacher is finally growing up.

He bought the Jeep right about the time that we met, in 1984. It has sat nearly dormant in front of his house for the last 10 years or more. He claims that it runs but I used it once when I was in town. It runs as long as you don't come to a stop, then it stalls unless you gun the engine rather than trying to let it idle. 

It was like driving a failed nation. The infrastructure had begun its irreversible collapse. It felt like the future and the past all at once.

I went and looked for a new car briefly this last week. There was a used Jeep that caught my eye. It was black and in pretty good shape. I could afford it but it seemed like it offered an even less pleasant process for getting Rhys into and out of it than my current car, a Volkswagen Bug.

California requires that you keep children in car seats until they are 25 years old and at least 215 pounds. 

Where will the strength for such a thing come from? The future?


Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I went and watched the World Cup match between Ghana and the US yesterday, at a local pub that has wifi, so I could still work a bit. It was really something. I was surrounded by Americans that knew little to nothing about the sport and Mexicans who were proud to be cheering for their new country, and knew the game well. It was odd and inspiring all at once.

Why is it embarrassing to watch Americans be patriotic during the World Cup? Is it because they don't care about the sport at all otherwise. Or, is it something even deeper. Perhaps a recognition of what that sort of jingoist nationalist sentiment causes. It makes me uneasy to watch the American version of patriotism come to life in a small room with no escape.

I had planned to write a more complete piece about it, but now I must make some quick notes and nothing more. I am already at our new office, the penthouse, enjoying my lovely seventh floor view of the capital of earthquake paradise. 

But for the game... Here are a few things I heard yelled out, or said sincerely, during the match:

These are all real, I swear to it.

The problem with the US team is that we don't take dives.

You can't hurt steel!

C'mon Boys!

Support the Troops!

I shit you not. Support the Troops.


Monday, June 16, 2014


I forgot to write a post this morning.

I skipped the gym, also.

Monday's are the cruelest...

I'll relay this little incident: 

Rhys and I were in the car the other day. I might have been mumbling to myself.

There were a few seconds of silence. 

"Why did you say 'Fuck', Daddy?"

"What did you ask me, Rhys?

"Why did you say 'Fetch'?"

"It's okay Rhys, what word are you saying?"


"I'm not sure why I said that Rhys. But I'll try not to say it again, okay?"

Oh, it was Fuck. I heard it the first time, then he got shy about asking.

I've never been great at watching what I say around kids. I try.

Two and a half years old, a little milestone has been passed.

He can count to ten, also.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Wish...

("Daddy" Kafka)

Okay, I had to take down the secondary post. It was too vile, also.

Now, I have no time to write a third.

So, here:

The Wish to Be a Red Indian

If one were only an Indian, instantly alert, and on a racing horse, leaning against the wind, kept on quivering jerkily over the quivering ground, until one shed one's spurs, for there needed no spurs, threw away the reins, for there needed no reins, and hardly saw that the land before one was smoothly shorn heath when horse's neck and head would already be gone.

- Kafka


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Trust me, anyway


Shit, shit, shit... I wake up in darkness and get up to piss. Coming back to bed I convince myself that I can go back to sleep. 

If only...

I lie there for a few minutes before the curiosity to check my email overtakes me. It is all just work stuff. Email, much like actual mail, no longer functions as a form of personal correspondence. It is all passé. Email exists mostly on a functional level, and I work where I can see how people are trying to stretch the form to suit newer needs. It is my job to catch them, and gently correct them. Sort of.

Older forms become increasingly less elastic, seemingly. Newer forms, we are told, are more flexible yet safe, though those two things seem impossibly incongruous. They require some faith to function, like SSL.

Email is an old form now. Sounds absurd, but it is quite true.

Trust me, it's what I do.

Trust me, anyway. Why not? Who could possibly get hurt in a simple one-way exchange of trust?

Email. Twenty years is old (for the overwhelming majority of people). It is fossilized. I have a hard drive that contains emails of mine that are almost 20 years old. I had an electronic pen-pal, until we fell in love. It ended in romantic disaster, of course. What relationship built on email, or worse, was possibly meant to last.

But it's still the human language that is being used to communicate.

Bullshit. The human language occurs in the body. I know, because when I read back through my posts I begin to feel nauseated. 

Oh, I don't want to write about technology. It is almost as bad as sports writing.

I did watch Spain get their asses handed to them by the Dutch yesterday. 5-1. That is a world class ass-whooping. Robin van Persie had a tremendously graceful header for a goal. It is for things such as that that I watch sports at all. I have several Dutch friends who were all quite pleased with the game. None of them are actually Dutch, they have all secretly confided in me. They are German, English, Scottish, the grandchildren of Jewish immigrants from the war. Only one or two of them are actually the descendants of people who have lived in The Netherlands.

That is the extent of my sports-writing today.

Soon I will need to emerge from my bed and go conduct my day. I would tell you what is involved but the life of a middling man surely holds little interest for those in such an accelerated world.

It would be like reading a desperate, twenty year old email. 


Friday, June 13, 2014

The old prodigious sun

(Note: I wrote this piece before going to the gym. While there, it occurred to me that perhaps no other Judeo-Christian myth informs the mind of the American spree killer more than Samson and Delilah. With its spurned by love and take everybody out in one final suicidal blast of god-derived strength message it might speak to the destruction of the philistines - the sudden freedom from societal enslavement, obtained only in death - in the mind of any would be Samson.) 

(Do not confuse my attempt at artfulness with intention.)

The Honey Moon rises and falls, passing in darkness. I stepped outside to watch it seem still, to disappear slowly.

When I was a child I could not grasp why the moon seemed to move at all. If its orbit matched its rotation then I reasoned that it should appear to always be in the same spot in the sky. It took me some time, years perhaps, to realize that I was confusing its rotational ratio with the earth's, which would have the effect I imagined, if it were so.

Ah, childhood... 

How lucky it would be, if it were that way, to live where the moon was just hung in a perfect place in the sky, somewhere between the zenith and the azimuth, I thought. I imagined. I gladly reasoned in a way that would now cause me shame; the flawed beauty of juvenescence.

But I was wrong, as with so many things. Such was the limited scope of my youthful rationale. How one ever develops any faith in the stuff I will never know.

But I did. 

Now, I can hardly imagine going back to the other way of being, though I must. Imagination is the sphere that will take anybody back, it is the friendliest to the imaginer. It's an open door policy, going in.

I will be muttering prayers to the passions before the year is out. I already know the myths. They are committed to the dormant heart. 

I might soon wish to grow a beard, for authenticities sake. 

There was also the concept that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In childhood, I created all manner of fallacious theory around Newton's principles, and then tested them.

One summer, - it must have been '72, or '73 - I spent it pushing against a front column of our house. I was too small to reach both columns at once, to fulfill the prophecies. Not every day was wasted this way, but hours at a time it seemed, far too many of them. I envisioned myself to be a young reasonable Samson, one who had not yet gone to the whores.

"You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied." -Delilah

I did tell the dandelions. Batteries never last; temples fall. I told.

Love fades, to the point of blindness.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Strawberry Moon

Finally, I got out of the house, out of my skin, out of my head, out on the road. I repaired my old and ailing bike with some new tires and adjustments and went for a familiar ride to the top of the Gundlach Bundschu winery. I pumped and pumped and panted and struggled, but I made it. 

I want to win my heart back. I want to feel it alive and beating in my chest, to remind myself that nothing is half over, but that life is only more complete. I wish to re-ignite the spark of it.

I have begun reading a collection of short stories by Sam Shepard. It will be time to travel again soon.

This time I'm going to get it right.

The full Strawberry Moon rises tonight. 

I will be waiting.


A crash course for the raver

Another beautiful day in paradise. The morning fog is burning off and the birds are chirping their little cries of distress.

There are crows that taunt the smaller birds. The sound is beautiful if you tune your ear to only hear it as a pleasant chirping in the distance.

I recently tried to explain this to a woman who immediately hated me. 

Let me explain:

She felt sorry for a dog that was barking. I clarified that dogs are territorial, so that when you fence them they will sometimes bark more often, and that it isn't necessarily a sign of unhappiness in the dog, though certainly my explanation does not preclude that possibility, either. 

Dogs employ a wider variety of mechanisms for marking their territory when unfenced.

She had very little use for my knowledge, other than something to dismiss, and greatly preferred to believe the dog was being abused somehow, tortured by its captors, and she alone recognized the great tragedy in this... though nothing in its barking sounded the least bit anguished. 

By suggesting the dog was not entirely displeased, and even sounded happy to my ears, I took from her the opportunity to express her empathetic largesse towards all creatures great and small, though not including the swarming gnats that were my words, etc.

Speaking of anguish, we tried to have Rhys spend the night with me last night.


He normally winds down around 7:30 for bed. At 10, we gave up. Rachel took him home, where he was still insisting that he was not tired. We tried everything: lying down with him, consoling him, we drove him around in the car (which usually works), jellybeans, bribes, ultimatums, offerings, alms.... 


Sleeplessness acts upon the little child's mind as a fascinating drug, one that rejuvenates itself through use and practice. He reminded me of what it was like to be in LA on a Tuesday after having missed a flight.

Exhausting. The kid was hysterical. 

At one point, when he was in the car, clearly fatigued, he started repeating the line, "Orange means slow and Green means go-go-go..."

He just kept repeating the line to himself.

I'm sure that I've heard my raver friend, Z, say the exact same thing before, and probably even in LA.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mr. Slinky

I was told that my previous post was unacceptable as it was not personal grist from the maelstrom that is my life. 

So, here goes....

I have decided that I am a man trapped in a man's body.

This mortal coil seems coiled a little too tightly. Occasionally when I am sleeping I can feel the spring becoming unsprung. I awake and my lower body has slinkied on the the floor.

I have no choice but to follow, once the friction that holds me to the bed is overtaken by the weight of the portion of my slinkiness that has already slid to the floor.

The sound is that of an increased musical metallic cadence. 

Working with the aid of gravity and my own momentum this helical pre-compression sometimes allows me to "walk" down entire flights of stairs. The primary phenomenon of my character has to do with equilibrium and simple harmonic motion.

I can stretch to astonishing and unexpected lengths, though it is likely that one day I will become accidentally crimped at the hand of an exuberantly playful child; still recognizable, though never to regain the springiness of my former just out-of-the-box days.


Counting the Mad

This one was put in a jacket,
This one was sent home,
This one was given bread and meat
But would eat none,
And this one cried No No No No
All day long.

This one looked at the window
As though it were a wall,
This one saw things that were not there,
This one things that were,
And this one cried No No No No
All day long.

This one thought himself a bird,
This one a dog,
And this one thought himself a man,
And ordinary man,
And cried and cried No No No No
All day long.

- Donald Justice


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Morning, etc.

Driving alone.

The clouds in Marin were wrapped cleanly along the mountainside, and moving. If a morning could be a season then this was it; popcorn hung on a Christmas tree in Summer. 

The view across the bay was filled by glowing clouds far below the highway, the early light breaking through just underneath, giving what visible water there was a silverish glow. The boats, effortlessly still. I wanted to dive into that different life but my car door was locked, and moving.

Then, down towards the bay the drifting fog was everything. Crossing the bridge, morning was lost. Impossible to see the approaching tower. It emerged slowly from the fog without ending, upwards like a feeling, a feeling for a religion; immediately recognizable, immutable; part relic, part myth.

Once in the city all of the mystery of morning disappeared, of course.

There is a dinner party tonight. 

More tales tomorrow.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Problem Solved!

I rode my old Marin Nail Trail up to the shop and had new tires put on. Instead of the off-road trail tires that I had worn down smooth by riding mostly on roads, I had them put on some hybrid tires, ones that can go off-road when needed but will function much better for street riding, which is what I mostly do. The difference was immediately recognizable. 

They also lubed the chain, which was new not so long ago but has sat outside in the humidity and occasional rain and developed a layer of surface rust. The spiders and their webs scattered with all the new activity. They will have to find another home.

So, now I don't have to buy a new bike at $1500+, I can start riding my familiar old bike and see where that takes me.

For those who tired of me writing about the gym... they will have bike adventures to look forward to now.

I do worry about my asshole, much more than most. It has a terrible tear of some sort inside it, one that is deadly painful. I can't see it, but I have paid people to inspect it and report back to me.

My general physician asked how it happened and I swore - perhaps more often than necessary to convince - that I really had no idea. None. It's a mystery that just appeared.

Or, it didn't appear to me, but it developed unexpectedly. I emphasized that it was through no intentional act, no sudden shift in behavioral impulse, etc.

He said: Well, these things can also happen naturally through age, though that is much, much less likely.

He asked again how old I was. I recited the number, trying to emphasize its weight in years. He shook his head and took his glasses of and looked intently at me again.

And you say there were no witnesses there when it happened? None that might have had a better perspective on the incident than you?

I swear it. I just woke up one day and it was like that.

He asked me which was my favorite of all the Richard Gere movies.

"Days of Heaven"

You sure you're not more of an "American Gigolo" fan? Or, are you "An Officer and a Gentleman" type?

I swear it, Doc. This thing just happened to me. Well, I don't mean it happened "to me" but it just happened, through not fault of my own.

Okay, it seems awfully strange that such a significant tear would just appear there one day. We have to depend on the owner's version of the story in a situation like this. If assholes could only talk....

He gave me a pamphlet on how to take care of it. It was titled "The Only One You'll Ever Have..."

I read it carefully.

The insurance company called later also, with more questions of their own. They threatened to drop me if anything like this ever happened again, muttering about the evils of Obamacare and the good old days....


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Marin Bikes

I went and looked at new bikes yesterday. The local shop that I went to only had Cannondales and Treks, neither of which appeal to me as much as Marins. Treks generally feel better, but Cannondales are made more in the US, which matters to me a little bit, I guess. 

They had Bianchis and other street bikes, but I want another mountain bike. I've had three Marins in a row, a Kona before that.

The shop was having a 15% off sale, but that still put the bike that I vaguely wanted in the $1500 range. 

They are all expensive, the things I want.

I ended up just buying a new pair of grips for the bike I do have, a Marin Nail Trail, a much older model. 

This post is too boring for me to go on with it.

I'll check into sponsorships and see if I can get Marin to give me the bike I want if I promise to wear their branded t-shirts and underwear. They'll say "Nail Trail" across the front with an arrow pointing down. On the back they'll say "Exit Also..."

I need an agent.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

The swing, the pool, the gardens

A friend is taking off, has written me about it. A family trip to France. 

I wish to be in his family, now. 

I am, though perhaps only he knows. He and me.

He describes taking his daughters and wife to Paris, letting them run loose on the Louvre, and Versailles.

He, shopping for wines in the daytime, peacefully resting in the gardens, napping. 

Traveling South along romantic paths in the land.

... hope swings wild, backyard
above the trees 

the mistral winds still find, 
never let me be


Armpit Farts

(We are the Champions)

People don't arm wrestle enough. That's what I've discovered. It is the civilized way to conduct your affairs. If anyone, at any time, says anything at all to you, then you can always respond with, "You wanna arm wrestle about it?" 

And they will.

People in the near and far vicinity will immediately understand and appreciate what is happening, and will usually come to the defense of the underdog. 

I found that out last night when I triumphed over a girl about six or seven matches in a row. I gave her every conceivable advantage. But no.... she lost.

Their booing cheered me on. 

At one point I was offering to let people feel my arm muscles, to get a sense of where my victory emanated from. There were few takers. Such is the fear and confusion that often surrounds masculinity. 

It was her birthday and I guess she felt that the stars were in her favor. But no, no... Arm wrestling is something that you don't win by losing, you win by winning.

So, it was not her lucky evening.

She's my new roommate, so I figured the only sensible thing to do was to just absolutely dog her in a public physical competition, then leave her with her date, let them try to figure what just happened, and why.

Everywhere I looked people were shaking their heads at me, as if I had done something wrong by being a winner.

Some people will never taste that sort of sweet, unexpected victory. 

I felt like a triumphant Napoleon, strolling into Moscow... though perhaps a little taller, and fatter.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Unhinge My Heart

I had a concerned friend reach out to me yesterday, to verify that I still loved techno. Yesterday's post must have frightened him a bit. So, he sent me a two hour non-stop dance mix he did recently, filled with all his latest virtual record-box gems. It was good listening, and matched the tempo of of my job. Always faster than the human heartbeat, etc.

I might even listen to it again today, such was my workhorse efficiency.

How funny, though... the activities I used to conduct to that music. Now I use it to pass the time at work, and of course, the gym. 

Or, sometimes in the car, when no one is looking, like the boy above. Is it silly of me to miss his binky a little bit? It was adorable and sweet, its comforting power. Now, we have begun to reason with him. It simply is not the same.

For some (not my friend mentioned above), to even mention that you like another genre of music is tantamount to betrayal, particularly country. It is the antithesis of all that is cool and new.

But country fills me with something similar to nostalgia. There is a wistfulness in the music, the best of it, that soothes and reminds. A melancholia set to dance, and swing. There is the sense of a slow pirouetting in the best of country music that makes me want to move and go with it. 

I'm still undecided on nostalgia. I give in to it too often to speak of it honestly. It is perhaps just another failed relationship of mine. The past and I are co-dependent. Well, one version of it, and I.

I believe it is nostalgia, though, that prevents many suicides. There is a reluctance to let go. There is also, of course, the gruesomeness of the act that functions in a preventative manner.

So, between the saccharine pleasures of longing remembrance and the knowledge of what happens to a human body on or just after its self-departure, there is the momentum of life.

This isn't where I wanted to go with this post, at all.

Ask what country can do for you....


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mt. Selfie

(Nikon F100, 85mm f1.8)

A personal blog should be the only place where selfies are allowed. What could be more self-involved than writing publicly about your feelings and experiences, for years. I'm rapidly approaching 1500 posts; close to a million words now.

That which doesn't kill you, will.

I stopped drinking eight months ago, then started again four months ago. I'm still not entirely sure which I prefer more. Each pursuit has its charms and struggles. Drinking is only good if you give yourself a break from it, and abstaining seems about the same. Either one in excess ceases to appeal to me after a while, becomes tedious, though it might not seem that way to an observer. 

But whether or not it appeals to me is not the complete question. There is something else, in the asking. I think I'm going to live a life of tempered oscillation, see how I like that. I'll let you know how it goes, dear friends. You will share my morning regrets, or suffer my buoyant clarity.

Slight intoxication is a precondition for almost all aesthetic appreciation. No true aesthete has ever lived a life entirely free from it. Romantics can do it, but not the Good ones.

I have been enjoying a new wine I discovered in Orlando, of all places. A friend owns a wine shop there, he made the recommendation while I was visiting. So, I had the local wine shop order some for me here. It has lightened a few of my evenings and darkened a handful of mornings.

I spent the evening last night listening through the list of country songs that I sent to CS the night before, or the night before that. If some of those don't make you want to drink then you are a monster. Almost everything that you'd ever want to experience is wrapped up in those tunes. If I could make a living at playing any type of music it would be country. But, much like alcohol, I lack the requisite discipline, and am only blessed with the naive impulse.

People that openly discuss not liking country music are abhorrent, too stupid to ever be desperate, and there's lots of them. To not like country music at all is to be a talking carcass with face herpes. 

Well, enough of that. 

I should make a country music playlist. I have meant to do so for years. People used to seem to like my playlists. At least that is what they told me. Who else would they trust to introduce them to such an immense genre. It's only that upper 1% that is really worth listening to, like with most musical styles, but oh my... what greatness haunts the top.

And what's the harm in believing in a few ghosts?


Wednesday, June 4, 2014


(A map of the human heart, to scale)

Woke up on an old, familiar couch. I'm getting used to it. Some mornings I even like it. There is a sense of adventure to it all, however humble. Questions like, where's the coffee... become minor adventures, obstacles to be bested.

There are other things... It would be nice if there was some place to buy brand-new underwear in the early morning hours of San Francisco. Sofas and morning showers are nice, but re-enetering the previous day's bacteria, or worse, is, well... fungal

It's that.

I feel as if everyone at work must already notice. It's not polite to lean in and ask, Do you smell that too?

It's funky, right?

Walking down Haight St. at 6am is an adventure of another kind. Nobody, I do not believe, questioned my bacteria levels there. I must have seemed like a freshly bathed prince, clothed in rose petals and hundred dollar bills.

They are all a kind and understanding sort, real morning types.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sketches of Dust

Well, my day has already gained far too much momentum for me to write sensibly. 

I have been having an interesting (to me) exchange with my previous landlord/roommate.

Perhaps some day I'll relay the interaction, it has its comical moments. 

Or, maybe I can extract some from it.

I am too often surprised at people's expectations. I shouldn't be, I know. Somewhere along the way this woman started to depend on me, and once she did then her expectations of the dependence began to slowly increase and increase, until the point where my leaving has become an affront to her. There is no way to adequately pay the debt that I seem to owe to her and she is incapable of defining it in any other terms other than there being dust on the baseboards behind the bed... 

I lived in this room for one month, etc. 

Ah well... I should not start a story to which I am not willing to commit.

She must feel that way, also.


Monday, June 2, 2014


(My sincere look)

I dreamed of being nearer to things, last night. Nearer to the past. So much so that I was giving all of my records away, en masse, to people that I had known.

Everyone was quite happy in the dream.

When I woke up I realized that, no, the records were still here. It would require far too much effort to dispense with them.

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking and dreaming about those records. They represent something that my books never could. I never celebrated the publishing of a book the way that I did the release of a record. I rarely shared in the act of reading a book. In that way, the records are far more literal. Perhaps that is what troubles my dreams. The records do not fit in well to that imaginary world. They burden the elasticity of dream-time.

I went to the doctor last week, a yearly physical. 

Several years ago when I got my first physical ever I was told that whatever it was I was doing to double-down, I was magic. My lifestyle was working wonders on me. I was the vision of health and the strength of my physique was unquestioned by both experimental science and clinical practice.

Hard to believe, I know. But it's true.

I told the doctor that it was just whiskey and steaks, the occasional glass or two of wine. He said that he had never seen such tremendous results from that combination, but he was in no position to question such things.

This time, the doctor - a different one - told me a different version of the same story. He said that I was at the tipping point in life. He pointed at some red lines on my blood work results and he asked if I saw them also? I confirmed that I did indeed see there were some lines in red, but I would need my glasses to investigate further.

Not necessary, he explained.

He asked if I knew what cholesterol was.

That's what they make potato chips out of, right?

He said, Yep.

Ok, doc, I promise: fewer potato chips. 

It'll have to be a lot less.

Only at fancy weddings, I promise, and always in moderation. No handfuls, even when they're free.

He nodded solemnly.

I nodded in return, with as much sincerity as I could summon.

So, low density lipids are what must be reduced, he explained. He also said my Triceratops were coming to life lately, on the verge of going wild.

They were highlighted in red, also.

This is the first bad news I've ever received from a doctor. When I left the office I began to pretend that it was different news altogether. I envisioned my friends coming to visit me, weepy, wishing me their final farewells. We could all watch Steel Magnolias together one last time.

I would be strong, of course. I'd offer to sell them liquid morphine by the dixie cupful.