Sunday, February 28, 2016

Being Happy Pt. 3

Two, days ago, I used here on this site an image of a rainbow over Sonoma. Yesterday, the retelling of two gay friends that have made their carnal and psychic attractions to me known. Now today, I will attempt to avoid the subject of sexuality altogether. Though I just started reading a book, Far From The Tree, which was written by a gay man. So, who knows... perhaps I'll be elucidating on the sweet mystery of man-on-man oral-love by the time it's all over here today.

I am fascinated with the subject of identity, its inherent conflict with persona. I try out various personas here on this site from time to time, in search of a more complete identity, but they never quite fit as I might have wished at their inception, their moment of plausible animation. The exoskeleton of imaginary identity appears too small to always contain its creator, the actual skeletal frame of identity somehow remains too weak to hold up its artifice. I have always felt that I possessed some unknown illness, and while a few descriptions seem to define part of it - dipsomaniac-depressive, habitual to a fault, excessive in defeat, a functioning auto-mechanic - none of those descriptions, nor even all of them taken in total seem to satisfy in any complete way the inner sense of frustration and disappointment in the false promise I've found in the world around me.

This resulted in a near complete refusal to grow up, a tendency which still butts up against the expectations of others from time to time. There is at least one person that would likely blame it for our divorce, while I would probably look back even further and blame it for our marriage, or even our love. In fact, her attraction to me was apparently my own undoing. I probably should have known better.

Funny, how those things seem to work. If you wish to know why a person no longer loves you then ask yourself why they ever began. In too many of my relationships the love was a result of me temporarily being able to make something inside of the woman who loved me seem to disappear, often through laughter. Then, one day you realize that you're no longer funny to them, that nothing is.

I have been experimenting with medical marijuana lately, a sort of butter that dissolves into warm tea. It has filled my head with all sorts of good memories, and recurring feelings, some of those not all so good. I am not a regular pot smoker, or haven't been in many years, but the sense of inwardness in the experience has been very welcome. It almost doesn't even feel like the "high" one gets from marijuana, though the tell-tale voice of neurosis and second-guessing makes itself known well enough. I still walk around asking myself if anything that I'm doing or saying make any sense at all. I mean, not just to me, but to the people whose faces are pointed towards me, listening with concern. 

I've been sleeping much better than I had been, almost two hours more each night than what would be normal for me, which is of course rejuvenating. I wake up and I feel as if I am still wanted in my bed. There is more for me to accomplish there, and there is no reason at all for me to check my phone, or get on the computer. I just lie there with my eyes either opened or closed and float in the space and silence of my morning life.

Somehow, I have grown to feel okay about being alone. It doesn't bother me so much any more. I am starting to treasure again the time that I have all to myself; to read, to play the guitar, and piano. To listen to the music that I wish to without worrying whether someone else in the room might not like Joni Mitchell as much as I do, or the electric Miles.

Being alone is not so terrible, though nothing quite says I Love You as does a blow job in the morning. Becoming the recipient of one, I mean. I'm sure they are all fine and well to administer, if that becomes your cup of tea and sympathy.

There is something tremendously erotic about women, to me, though it seems clear enough that homosexuality is not the mere absence of that feeling, but its corollary perhaps directed elsewhere.

We are each only permitted to feel what we are capable of feeling, to prefer what we prefer. It is only in choice that we seem free.

I seem to prefer to choose the electric Miles.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Country Swain

("Hot Dad")

Well, my romantic life seems to be turning around. Perhaps a little too much turning, a little too far. Two men have expressed interest in the last few weeks. One of them has been a long-time fan of my daddy-bearness, the other must have been drunk one night and explained what a misfortune it is that I've never had sex with a man. An inquiry embedded in a compliment, wrapped in vague disappointment at what might have been. It is all very flattering, of course, but eventually they're going to want to fuck, or more, and that's when the flattery takes on a different shape and form. It gains thrust. 

Seems uncomfortable. I've always been fascinated at watching women during the act of sex. Though when, through the component of imagination, I place myself in their position then the vision turns silly. But, that is what a straight man's mind goes to almost immediately: the fear of unlikely penetration. Though, light male-on-male petting seems nearly just as strange. 

If you close your eyes and really think about it, a lot, it does. 

I have little interest in romance now - straight, gay, or otherwise. I have retreated back to the candlelit withdraw point where I don't seem to care much any more. That can all change quickly, as we know, but for now I am happy to be alone.

To wit. I awoke this morning, rolled over onto open bed and fell back asleep, a simple luxury that would not be available to me otherwise. I woke up and only made two cups of coffee. Again, it is wasteful to have a romantic partner, especially one that likes coffee in the mornings. There are only so many domestic resources. Who wants to have to buy toothpaste at twice the normal rate? Or, to have someone to make dinner and wash the dishes with, or go shopping for clothes with on the weekends. Or, to listen to music with, or while you're in the shower to have someone to talk to from the other room. To speak the private language of love, over the sound of a shower.





Friday, February 26, 2016

γυναίκα αρχηγός οικογένειας ή φυλής

(Somewhere… Sonoma)

Ah payday, it's only seven short days away now... will just need to move past the hump weekend and then I'm on the homestretch towards another beefy paycheck. I have had to become more aware of my spending habits. The tax bill arrived in concert with my desire to buy a house. I've paid off all of my credit cards, and then was reminded that is what I don't want to do, so I rushed out to put some balance back on them.

It is truly amazing, how quickly the gears of commerce start grinding when you let your intentions to buy a house be known. There must be something hideously corrupt lurking just within the housing industry for them to be so eager to put me in one as quickly as the law will allow.

Well, next weekend the boy and I will take our first multi-day trip together. I mean, just he and I. We will go to Los Angeles via VW Bug. Well, sort of. Venice. We go to visit the family of my estranged Greek sister; La Matriarca de la Canales; La Griega

Inspired by my own life, their family made the jump from NYC to the west coast a few months ago. I go soon to welcome them to the final tectonic IQ slide into the Pacific. If one stands out on the shore you can hear the plates ripping apart from one another, the tremendous tearing away from the mainland. The last speed-pipe ride towards oblivion, the abysm of freedom.

I decided only too late that I would consider joining the Oregon militiamen. Their revolution turned out to be short-lived and perhaps ill-conceived. One must wonder if any of them ever looked around the wildlife refuge that they conquered and privately counted the intellects amongst themselves. Many of those arrested and charged have unsurprisingly decided to fight their arrests in court. It will be interesting to see such a case, handled by a public defender, make it all the way to the Supreme Court. 

That'll be a real hoot. Perhaps they'll try to reclaim the federal courthouse as being unconstitutional, as one can only imagine how they feel about jail cells being free from governmental intrusion. I'm sure they'll all decline the public counsel that's available to them.

Maybe they dreamed that they'll just get house-arrest, or ranch-arrest, or a cow bell put around their necks, or whatever it is they thought to think about it all.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

April 15th

Well, the bad news finally arrived, in the form of an email from my CPA. I owe so much money in taxes that I have been contemplating sushi for lunch today. There is a "last-meal" sense of finality when I look at the figures. There are both federal and state taxes owed. I keep adding them up from both directions and verifying that the total is what it claims to be. My CPA wants me to sign off on the forms today and to write two checks. 

La Fin.

I have begun a loose open verbal inquiry as to how the government is spending my tax money. I have started mumbling things out loud while waiting to buy coffee at McDonalds: They've ruined this damned country, and we warned 'em too! Or, I will point around the room at any exceptional reporting from the television. As if... Fox really is the only channel that tries to show both sides. You won't hear any of the liberal outlets report on those same truths.

So, my taxes. Fuck, fuck, fuck. It's as if every person in America has an unseen probation officer, one whose job it is is to verify that you are paying your federal, state, local, and personal union dues. You don't know any of this until you get really far behind on your taxes, but by then you're fucked. I have the money, but that's the problem. It's in my possession, and once money stays in my possession for too long then I want it to be mine, not the gov's. I am looking into evasion techniques, but my CPA advises against it. He says that anything clever that we might be able to do would make me look less wealthy on paper, which is what I need right now, to look good on paper. 

Oh well. I go to look at a house today, with the intention of possibly purchasing it. Everywhere in Sonoma seems to be location, location, location. That is how they convince people to sign docs that agree to pay back a half a million dollars for a 2 bedroom / 1 bath cottage.  Ah well, I am tired of renting. I need more stability in my life, and I want the government to stop taxing me so much. 

Part of me does not want a house, nor the immense responsibility that it becomes. The disappointments of nearly perpetual repairs and maintenance. Then, there is the other side. I am tired of not feeling as if I have a home. It took me thirty years to leave Orlando for NYC. I lived there for almost fifteen years. Since leaving NYC I have moved six times, only twice by choice. I think that people reach a certain age and they have less enthusiasm for those types of changes, or the mood strikes less often. Wanderlust starts lusting for a nicer couch. 

But, I have a dark streak in me, one that is never very far from the surface. I walked past the house yesterday on foot and my first thought was, I wonder if I'll die there. A thirty year mortgage puts me at 77 years old. The boy in the pictures above and below will be 34. 

There is a growing likelihood that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the first president that he remembers. Can I count on Bernie Sanders to tell him about the polar ice caps? Even if Bernie did get voted into office he would only last one term. He's the Jimmy Carter of Santa Clauses. 

Who better to tell the kid about the North Pole?

These pictures are for regular reader and commenter here, Lisa N:


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Happy to Agree

I go today to sit and chat with a lender. These types of people are always amazed when I tell them that I have no idea what my credit history is, or who loaned me money to buy my first house, or how much the mortgage was, or even what the address was of the place I lived before that. I don't know  any of it, and mostly I don't care, but they do, too much so. When I did try to run a credit report on myself about a year ago, just to see, the credit reporting agency didn't believe that I was myself. I didn't know enough about my life to convince them to tell me what my credit score was.

I didn't know exactly when I had bought a house, what the closing date was, or how much it cost. I had a vague memory, but vagueness was not what they were looking for. I remember where the house is, and what the basic floor-plan was. They wanted specifics and I'm not a specific guy, not in that way. My guesses were far enough off that they wouldn't tell me my credit score. 

I offered to tell them the last date that I lived there in the house. I knew that.

So, today I go to sit and pretend to be a good citizen, a hard-working and reliable sort of guy. I can usually pass that test well enough, as long as I stop myself from saying every single thing that crosses my mind during the process. Just answer the questions, don't stare into anybody's eyes, breath silently. Etc.

All of the houses that I have looked at are about half a million dollars. Seems like a lot of money to me, but the sales agents keep telling me what a steal each of them are. It is indeed a type of theft, I am always so happy to agree. 


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The more things change

I fear that I am losing my mind. Little things, though too many of them. They each point towards a slipping. The details of my memory are becoming unattached from one another, drifting as dandelion florets. I would give details, but they are shameful. Even the general mistakes bring me unease: thinking that I never received something in the mail and then finding it in my desk drawer. 

I have been trying a new natural sleep aid, and it has been working, but it leaves me feeling confused and lethargic in the mornings. Last night, after seeing a circular bug bite on the back of the boy's neck and thinking that it was the result of a deer tick attack, and then of course of Lyme disease. I couldn't rest. I awoke in the middle of the night and could not calm my mind,; fears mingling unimpeded behind the eyes. 

In the morning, mom sent an updated picture and it did not reflect the dreaded circular welt that one might expect, though it certainly had that shape last night. I try not to worry, truly, but it is not easy. The world provides much to have caution towards. Too much.

In addition to losing my mind in one way, contending with lost or footloose memories, I have also been losing it in another way: listening to Billy Joel. For three days in a row from Sunday onwards I have put on Billy Joel albums. It makes no sense, at all, except that perhaps my writing here has been either mundane, resentful, or disappointed. I've had to take posts down because they exceeded the bitterness threshold. So, perhaps the Billy Joel stuff just makes sense, it speaks to my condition.

Feel as if I am operating on reserve fumes. It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate the dream realm from waking life; fluctuating back and forth between being perplexed and alarmed, worrying at how long such a thing can last.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sundays around the house

Another domestic day. The boy and I will go look for a bookshelf for his room. He has amassed quite the collection and it is growing all the time. We have measured the walls, his bed, his current clothes cubby, all of it. We might get him a bookshelf and a little desk. He likes to sit and concentrate on things: eating ice cream and the application of crayons to paper.

I have been getting cookbooks of all types. It is my new joy, cooking. Last night I grilled a whole chicken and some mixed vegetables. The basics of cooking are easier than I had guessed and should not have been such a lifelong impediment to entry into the art form.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. - Churchill



Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Great Dragon Doctor

(El barrio chicos y chicas)

I'm becoming much better at this cooking thing. Soon, this site will be dedicated to recipes and culinary portraiture. Last night, My buddy and the boy's buddy came over for dinner. Four dudes. Pork chops and asparagus on the grill, a pasta and creamy cheese sauce on the stove (mostly for the boys). A nice Claret from Donati, a sustainable farming vineyard somewhere between here and LA. Deliciousness, oh my sweet and juicy pork. 

A Claret with pork, you say? Yes, yes, deliciousness. 

Side note: A recent commenter took my article seriously and actually responded to a post I wrote about using nasal drops in my eyes. Here it is, for your holistic edification and entertainment. 

I think that I am just the right person to give medical advice, and my dermatologist agrees. Does everybody remember a few months back when I self-diagnosed skin cancer? My doctor said Oh no, no, no… WellI went back and got a second opinion, from him, and Oh yes, yes, yes…. I was quite right, and he acknowledged his initial misdiagnosis. He froze the spot and instructed me not to get it wet, but I forgot that it was there and scratched it, ripping the layer of dying cancer cells and revealing the new layer of skin that was trying to form underneath. I immediately claimed that the region was in intense pain and begged him for opioids, gibbering about existential discomfort.

So, once again, I am a cancer survivor. Suck it, Western Medicine… I defeated mine mostly with the memories of non-medical marijuana. 

The mind is still the great healer, the metaphysical physician.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Most of all

(Windows to Sonoma)

Well, I wanted to write about the encryption case with the FBI and Apple, but I just don't have it in me right now. The government is super creepy. It will become a showdown to see who really loves America. For all those on the right who are always squawking about the evils of political correctness this will give us a chance to watch them roll out their version of it: patriotic correctness. Apple is already self-associated with liberal values, so the media-ether will be filled with all sorts of baseless accusations and pressure.

Why can't we trust the government with decryption technology? Why not? They've proven over and over that they can be trusted.

A federal court held up a decision which states that police can force you to put your finger on your phone to unlock it. So, turn that feature off if you have reason to have it off, because they can not demand that you give them the code to do so. Your fingerprint, you see, is not private, what exists in your mind is, for now.

I just received my 1099-B. Ouch. I am going to have a lot of taxes to pay. I'll see what I can do to get out of them as best as I can. My CPA in LA is already working furiously on the problem. I'm sure that I'll need to dump money into a retirement account or something. I don't look forward to any of it, especially with the knowledge that some of the money that I pay in taxes will be used to fund governmental surveillance, and sometimes on me. The circle of logic is insidious. 

They should institute a death tax on soldiers, so that when they do get killed in battle the government can recoup some of its losses through any remaining paycheck funds that were waiting to be paid. Fuck, just transition to only paying them at the end of every year, who knows how much money they could save.

I was not comparing my paying of taxes with the death of a soldier, one thought simply produced another, etc. That is how it sometimes works. 

Well, I have a full weekend with the boy. I am looking forward to it. We might start the search for a new place to live. I am thinking of moving somewhere cheaper, perhaps Petaluma, perhaps a little further up the Sonoma Valley. My time living here on this street may be coming to a close soon. It was an experiment that had some successes and some failures, but it is not sustainable. They have raised my rent unreasonably, totally out of line with any cost of living wage increase that I might have earned. 

I just found out that apartment complexes in California, or at least this region, generally will only sign one year leases then they will go month-to-month, which gives them the ability to raise your rent pretty much anytime that they want to with a 30 or 60 day warning, depending on the % increase, which they have now done. 10% increase. Well, 9.75, so they only had to give me a 30 day warning.

It's unfortunate. I had hoped to create a greater sense of stability for myself and the boy. It was a difficult year at the end of three difficult years. All years populated with the move from NYC, the birth of a child, the changing of jobs, the separation, the divorce, my father's death, an operation, the throwing out of my record collection, three small moves in one year here and then finally settling on an apartment rental that I hoped would be good for a couple years, at least.

I suppose I could bite the bullet and just pay more, but it was already more than I wanted to pay. There is the ex-wife situation, also. How can either of us effectively move on with our lives living a hundred feet down the street from one another. It begins to corrode something after a while, a sense that the chapter has ended, the page has turned. 

Most of all for the boy. I wonder how important it is to let him know that it's over between his mother and I, and at what cost. Friends have described the drive between their divorced parents houses during adolescence as being among the most poignant and painful of all their childhood memories. I question how eager I am to get that ball rolling up the hill. 

There are no easy answers, only endless questions, under the bluest of skies.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Beef Stew, Vol. 2

I've decided that I am a great portrait photographer, perhaps the greatest. Everyone wants to know my many secrets, but it is all very simple, really: just take good pictures and then convert them to black and white to give them that "timeless" feel. If you can shoot young people as subjects then do so. There is less post that needs to be done to unblemished skin.

Well, not timeless, but somewhere in the twentieth century. Anybody can use a cell phone to create art. It takes a middle-aged man with expendable income to waste thousands of dollars on cameras to capture the life of a four year old child. I have done both. In fact, one of my favorite pictures of the boy was taken with an iPhone.

So, there is that.

I kid, of course. The girl in the pictures above and below is a local. Allison. I see her here and there, mostly at the pub. She stands out as she is one of the few young women that will brave the venture into such a place. She brings an air of buoyancy that is often lacking there otherwise. She has an interest in photography and so I have offered my erudition.

I am nerdin' it so hard around my house lately, since getting my server set up. It is shameful, truly, the things I allow to make me happy. I become tickled at accessing it remotely, even from my phone, and pretending to manage a database of importance. In the hallways of my mind I keep hearing,
Go to Defcon Two… 

Somebody should probably kick my ass.

A friend came over last night and we re-made the six qts. of beef stew. This time he carefully walked me through each step, making sure that I was grasping all of the concepts. He was once a chef at The Girl and The Fig here in beautiful Sonoma, so he has lots of tangential information to offer on cooking while actually doing so. The end-result was superb, even better this morning when I had another bowl. Nothing needed to be thrown away as it had last time in its failed entirety.

He encouraged me to make the dish again soon, though I question how much beef stew a man my age should consume. There is a sensible upper limit and I am already well past it. I am sure that if looked at closely anyone would see a delicious chunk of braised beef floating past the horizon of my eyeball.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016



I'm running out of energy for things; sick of things, and most everybody, too. It is becoming impossible to conceal this fact, at times. It's no good. I need to withdraw into myself for a while: watch films and read books, leave myself alone to the feeling of being alone.

The government wants to fuck us over more, and yet again. Silence from Google says much, almost too much. "Don't Be Evil…" Indeed. MS is being micro and soft on the issue. 

There exists within the government's request and Apple's response an incredibly dangerous situation, even more than Apple's CEO indicates. The government moving into the realm of personal property, and pressuring companies this way, is indicative of the continuation of the trend. We're all fucked. 

I hope the liberals are all so very happy now that Scalia is dead. He might have been a tremendously shameful bigot, but he did much to preserve the concept of privacy, more so than any other justice in our lifetimes.

The human nervous system, as a database system, has extended well beyond the human body and soon enough "probable cause" will be granted in advance long before the cops have a reason to arrive at your front door. 

They're already knocking at the back of your AES 256.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Blow Hard

Okay, I've spent a bit of yesterday morning reading about Scalia. I'm more certain than ever that he and I stand diametrically opposed on social issues. Not that I had much question about that, but it is nice to confirm beyond all doubt. I do find it funny, how people online actually seem to think that their opinions about a justice should matter, and that his inability to "progress" in lock step with them reveals some deep character flaw. There's no doubt that he had some flaws, but they allow and even seem to prefer denying any virtues that he might have had.

The amateur legal assessments of his tenure on the court have been hilarious. The professional ones have been even more entertaining.

And yes, CS, all laws should be federal. We should do away with local government altogether and use those resources to hire more police to enforce the federal standards. Let's go National. That seems sensible. Local differences and a region's ability to make any decisions on their own should be entirely obliterated, because the feds are doing it so well already, why should states even bother. To be American is to be of a single kind, a single mind and hopefully one day a single uniform.

No more sports teams from city to city, but rather a single squad that tours the country displaying national tendencies towards exceptional athleticism and desirable genetic traits. They could tear phone books in two and tell us about the love of the President.

Okay. So, this next part has nothing to do with CS:

The title of today's post was meant to be a joke about me.

I am growing tired of self-described liberals. I would consider myself a liberal, but fuck…. these people, they are beyond tedious. They're almost as bad as conservatives, or libertarians (conservatives that can't read, or don't). Then there is the Mr. T Party, which would be even worse if they weren't so fucking funny to watch. Interacting with liberals online one really gets the feelings of what closet fascists they all are. Talk about wanting to eradicate the democratic process. More and more I'm hearing the rattling of the sabers, the tyranny of the slight majority, or the alternate cries of victimhood when they do not wield that same power in other areas.  

I was trying to have a discussion with a few of them (liberals) yesterday and there was this odd feeling that kept crawling over me, some familiar and creeping sense of expected conversion. The feeling that at any moment they were going to ask me how I'd like to spend eternity, whether burning in hell, drowning in arctic water, or with the one true loving god. Every conversation, from both sides, seems to be privately informed with the fetish of pessimism. One side is always on the verge of pushing the other over the precipice of doom. The effects of social media on partisanship can not possibly be a positive one. 

But, I don't have much else to do with my weekends, and it is the international liberals that seem to know best what ails America. They are the confirmed experts on what has gone terribly wrong with the American experiment, especially this Gruber fellow. He really seems to understand how things get done in America.


Monday, February 15, 2016

"Hooray for our side"


I was going to use the phrase, Ding-dong, the witch is dead as a title for today's post but a familiar reader used it in the comments section from yesterday's post. Ah well. Yes, Scalia was a reprehensible bigot who fought against equality, but he was something else also. There were nine justices, for some reason he gets blamed for the entirety of the other four votes on social issues. Maybe because of the flair of his opinions. If nothing else that should mean something. It is a testament to somethingPerhaps only him being a lightning rod for liberal hatred. So be it. 

I wasn't defending his bigotry, only trying to point out that there was more to him than just that one quality. And yes, it is a significant one. He argued for the democratic process to play a greater role in these decisions and he is hated for it by many that I know. He was an outspoken, unapologetic conservative. Many of the issues that he is hated for he strongly believed should be handled by the states, however wrongfully, and that once it made it to the Supreme Court then their decision caused blanket law, or reversal. I'm not sure why people struggle seeing that the process can be just as corrupt at the summit as it can be regionally. 

We live in odd times. Democracy and equality are presented as equivalents. The majority rule of the supreme court should reflect the error in that. The same effect can be witnessed elsewhere, everywhere. Ah well, I do not wish to be perceived as a defender of a bigot, so I'll stop. I wonder who the villagers will burn in effigy next. 

It's nice to have somebody like Scalia around, someone that allows everyone to affirm and assert their own beliefs, like Bill Cosby. It's useful for people to be able to publicly announce their beliefs in the form of denouncement. It's as American as slavery. We're all still against animal abuse, right? Drinking and driving is bad, we know that. Domestic disturbances should always result in a man's arrest. Cops enjoy killing black kids more than eating donuts. Monsanto is evil, and they manufacture evil to cause evil to the world. Dildos are an instrument of the devil, and masturbation causes leprosy.

The next chapters in the culture war should be interesting.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

A $200 bowl of stew

Some will think that I exaggerate for the purpose of humor, overstatement. Two hundred dollars. Some of it will be recoverable. I still own the Dutch oven that was used to make it, though I did slightly chip the handle, and there is a bottle of wine left. But $130 worth of ingredients are lost to the process of learning. When I re-read the recipe I recognize it for the lie that it is. It says it makes 4 to 6 main course servings. I filled the entire 6 qt. Dutch oven and a sizable sauce pan (at least another 4 qts.) with my culinary failure.

I threw it all out, without even finishing the single bowl I prepared for myself. I walked both receptacles to the dumpster and in it all went. It was receptacled. Now, I have to clean up the kitchen. I don't feel like it. There is a tremendous mess. I am not what could be considered a tidy person when gripped with the passions of the kitchen.

Ah well, at least Antonin Scalia understood me

Too few seem to understand irony, particularly on social media. You have to announce that you're being ironic, which ruins the effect. I made this joke: Ruth Bader Ginsburg just lifted her leg and gently farted... which was liked by many, most of whom hated Scalia, likely not knowing that Ginsburg and Scalia were the closest of all the friendships on the court, even though they were opposed on many ideological issues, certainly social issues most of all. 

Scalia believed that those were issues that should be left to the democratic process and not decided by the court, though his politics pushed his decisions away from equal rights for homosexuals and women. It is an unfortunate aspect of his legacy, but if the people who seem to hate Scalia so much read more about him I think that they would find that he was not what they believe him to be, or that he was only that if you refused to look at him in any other way.

Then, I followed it up with, Somebody poured a bucket of water on him in his sleep. At that, a few started to realize that I was making fun of their demonizing partisan hatred as much as I was at anything else.

Of course I do think that Scalia was wrong-headed and evil. It is the obligatory liberal position.

"The judge who always likes the results he reaches is a bad judge." - Antonin Scalia


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Finding the pleasures...

… in domestic life. They are modest and sometimes hard to spot, though easy enough to repeat, a thing which perhaps prevents them from becoming joy, but they are what we have. The ritual of living, of learning how.

I have been utilizing the new coffee maker, the Vitamix, and all manner of pots and pans. With a free day ahead of me, I am considering spending it cooking. That is what my life has become. I've had worse times, like the Tuesdays and Wednesday after.

I made fruit smoothies this morning. The locally raised strawberries were so fresh and red and sweet that I thought to take a picture, pulling out an old macro lens to take it. 

I will go to to the market soon, after having chosen a recipe, then spend part of the afternoon in the kitchen cooking, though for whom I could not possibly say. 

Me, I guess. Me.


Friday, February 12, 2016

"farther than the seas"

Already off to an off day. I should return to writing my posts first thing in the morning. My days are crowded with thoughts that do not lend themselves to much, but rather insist on very little.

I wrote those two sentences hours ago. Now, I go to pick up the boy. We will have some little event for us to conduct - go to the park, eat some dinner, talk about what matters most, either Batman or Star Wars, make as if the action figures that he so adores are animated with the stuff of heroes, the motions of life, the dreams of boy.

My heart of silk
Is filled with lights
with lost bells,
with lilies and bees
I will go very far
farther than those hills,
farther than the seas,
close to the stars,
to beg Christ the Lord
to give back the soul I had
of old, when I was a child,
ripened with legends,
with a feathered cap
and a wooden sword.

- Lorca


Thursday, February 11, 2016

The boy

Took a bunch of old rolls of film in to SF get developed. Photoworks. Many of the images were less than useless, but there was a roll of color slide that I had cross-processed. CS told me long ago that what would likely prove to be the most valuable thing to me about getting into photography would be the documenting of my life. He was right. Even many of the "bad" pictures of the boy still stir something inside of me. Every day becomes more precious.

I bought two new rolls of color slide - not the Ektachrome, which they no longer make - but some Agfa equivalent. Shooting real film is expensive. I should be more careful. I take poor pictures that did not need to be as bad as they are, and I take many of them. 

I do like to have familiar ways to throw my money away.

Watching the boy crawl around the back yard again with mom was an unexpected treat, though. You know, all that happiness stuff, it really gets inside of you. 

Hard to hold on; the salad days.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016


(Angelika Ejtel)

She walked past, barely an apparition, as if sleepwalking through someone else's dream, unguarded, uninterested. The urge of sex awoke me with a pull of guilt.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Happy Birthday


I had thought that there was more rain this year than last, but no... my barber told me that there were two inches fewer this than the previous, still well below average, and also that my hair is thinning dangerously. 

I suppose that mood affects the weather more than I had previously reckoned. 

Is that an actual word, reckoned?


I am old. I remember masturbating to still images. There were these paper goddesses lying betwixt magazine ads in perfect diptych - as if - mostly girls with big smooth butts and a full harvest of dark woman pussy hair. 

The only thing that gave the impression of their liveliness was involvement, one hand turning the pages as needed, naked sheets of flesh dancing in the tremors of the windows; me standing there as an arriving breath, a set of rushed exhales amidst the sighs of Zeus.


Monday, February 8, 2016

The periodic table, the elementals

On some level I must have remembered, acknowledged to some inner version of self that I had. Some dark tickle in the chest and throat, a feather along the back of the neck, near the ears or across the eyes slowly blinking, reminding as does the cousin of sleep, death. 

It was last Super Bowl Sunday that my father passed away. It was not a great time for me, and much has not improved much in the year that has followed. I've never been the most emotionally stable person. I do myself few favors, but I am growing tired of losing in that regard. My behavior yesterday was more motivated by emotion than is my usual custom, which many already consider extreme, by their standards of living. No one would question me if I were dying, yet so few notice this.

Death has its way of pushing postcards into time, placing pieces of two-sided blackness into the cardboard of life's passing. Quietus is nearly useless, except that it makes time easier to gauge. It asserts itself as an undeniable moment from which surrounding events can be better understood, never escaped. Memories are so easily placed on the shelves of the mind, arriving with sudden dust, never departing. 

It seems unfair, because it is unfair. 

It can, Death.

Dealt with in any number of ways, it is sanctioned as fact by fear and awe of the known, the felt, the past. Death offers few choices, few alternatives, maybe the occasional if only, or then again: right now

For a person who relies on various forms of denial to function, death serves as a great reminder, the greatest terrible.  The endless-ism.

At night the passing calendar of stars above whispers this open secret down to each of us, huddled together as a herd of the as yet unnoticed. 

Every morning arrives like the nearly unthanked miracle that it is, though I do sometimes try. 

I try up towards the stars. 

I look and wonder about the now, the then.


Sunday, February 7, 2016


The city was an adventure. Everyone warned of traffic because of the Super Bowl, but it did not seem to affect things in the Castro much, just as I had suspected.  The Football revelers would be at San Francisco’s versions of Times Square: Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square, mostly. It's too bad we can't store them all at Alcatraz island, somehow. Today, they will all be heading south to the 49ers stadium (Levi), which is about 49 miles south of San Francisco, and the boy and I will be heading north, so traffic should not be an issue, for those of you that are interested by travel, weather, and traffic issues.

For foodies: my friend, the boy, and I all went to get pizza last night. I wore a brand new white t-shirt, which guarantees that I’ll end up with tomato sauce or oil on it somehow, and I was right. The boy was excited and I held my hand out for something, in his excitement he thought I was asking for a high five. I pulled my hand away and he connected with the flat top of the pizza, sending pizza sauce everywhere, including my new white shirt. It is some odd law of the universe. I cannot wear a white t-shirt more than once, unblemished.

The restaurant was quaint and delightful and we enjoyed meatballs and pizza and wine. 

This morning we will go to some sort of brunch and maybe have a little adventure at a nearby park. Who knows. The boy and I will return to the hills of Sonoma to watch the Super Bowl sometime around noon. He will go one way, with his mother, and I will go another.

That is the pattern that we have chosen, it seems. 


Saturday, February 6, 2016


I think I'm losing my mind. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I am, or have. I have lucid moments. Those become the most terrifying. The recognition of ephemeral clarity. I've stopped caring about many things, or have begun caring disproportionately about minutiae. 

I've returned to sleeping in the nude after many years of sleeping in boxers. There is something slight but oddly liberating about it. Even under most emergencies I would need to put on pants anyway, so it's still a sensible thing to do. It reminds me of being young again. It was Rachel that encouraged me to ever wear underwear in the first place. Something about going renegade seemed to go against her sense of propriety. 

Jesus, that was such a very long time ago. Maybe it was before Rachel. I don't wish to unfairly tarnish her legacy, her tenure. I can't remember any more.

I'm considering buying a used D4S and returning my D810. The price is right, and it is much closer to being the camera that I wanted. Though, I do like the images that come out of the D810 (above and below).

Later today, the boy and I will have an adventure. We will go into the city and spend the night with a friend. Something easy, to get away. It is all that I used to wish to do. Well that, and to never wear underwear.


Bark's don't bite


(I must really be getting old. I wrote this post yesterday but never published it…)

Wow, nobody liked my nerd post, but *almost* everyone I know sure likes it when I stop by their house when they're having a technical problem. There is always a glass of wine waiting and an empty chair in front of the computer, eagerly expecting my arrival, the drifting waft of warm cooking chicken in the kitchen. 

Not always, that's unfair, often. 


Ah well. I expected at least one nerd to come crawling out from the crevices to tell me I had chosen a poor case for my system, or something.

Better luck next time, nerd.

The weekend is mine and the boy's. We were going to have a big adventure and go "to the Kingdom of Far Far away" but circumstances have hobbled us, so we might just spend a night in the city with a friend, watching kids' shows and eating popcorn. We'll see. Nothing is written.

The boy has been asking about death lately. he wants to know if I'll die, and more importantly, will Mommy? Never an easy conversation, as difficult, perhaps, for me as for him. I'm never satisfied with my answers, and never convinced when I say that it won't happen for a long, long time.

And then, not to worry.

My response always seems to have a bit of the why are you asking? tone in it. What do you know that I don't? When he asked if we could go away somewhere for the weekend he added that we should go to a place where no one dies. The boy has endured an unfair amount of it at such an early age. He seems to understand the concept a little bit too well for my comfort. 

Well, enough about death, for now. I'll be rewarded similarly with this talk as I was with my shiny new RAID setup. I'm not sure what it is that I'm preserving, or trying to. I question whether I'll listen to MC5 bootlegs at the age of… well, at any age on the other side of right here.

Maybe. maybe. maybe. maybe.

Aw, just shoot
but then shoot it to kill it.

Is not death, what is shot towards us.

An office of the law does not discharge its weapon withwash reasonable certainty.
You see, there are things that happen out in the field that you poor honkeys might never glimpse.
Just call.
A bullet unshot is a life unwasted.
To see something is to sure shoot something.
Say, say, say.