Friday, April 29, 2016

Well before hunger, just after dinner





Arrived. Flights were delayed. Rain in Vegas. I was bouncing by the time my plane landed. I have become excitable for adventure, for difference. I skipped dinner, which somehow adds to behavior rather than what might be presumed to function as a subtraction. 

Food matters.

My excitability dimmed slowly, after midnight. I tossed and turned and then awoke in the morning desert light. Well, not desert but Vegas. Henderson, just next to Vegas.

Sleep, even less than desired, has been more than I needed. I think of how different a person I might have been had I only been able to sleep eight hours a night. The prisons and madhouses must be filled with those similarly afflicted, though I suspect there must be many lethargists as well. 








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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Stardust and Rave Lasers






I ordered a small lighting stand, an umbrella swivel, a reflective umbrella, a hot shoe trigger, all of it. When I get back from my sojourn in the desert I will start experimenting with off-camera flash. I'll need to defrost my memory of key lights, fill lights, spots, strobes, all of it.  I'll still be using only a flash or two for now, but I'll start looking for other cheap lights as well. I can, at the very least, start to see where all of my future monies will disappear. It's fun. I have a plan to start getting the boy and his buddy to dress up and act out adventures. I hope to make sets and shoot in a different way - fewer, if any, snapshots, but rather hopefully more fantastical images.

I'll need a tripod for my camera, though I'll try handheld for now. We'll see.

Once I re-familiarize myself with two-point lighting I'll brush up on some stage blocking and alternative composition. I mean, alternative to snapshots. It'll be nice to finally put my degree to some use, twenty years after the fact. I've felt new impulses and urges lately.

I don't even know why I bothered with the cable sync, I should have just gone wireless, though a starter set there is $200. I'm still waiting to sell my first print next week, at cost. A signed, numbered, named print was requested by a reader here, so I am feverishly working to produce. Well, the heavy lifting will be done by Photoworks in SF, but you get the idea.  I'm a get-things-done kinda' guy before this weekend. Let's check back in on progress next Wednesday. You might find me mumbling something about stardust and rave lasers. 

You know... lights, lights, action, action.





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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shirts vs. Blouses






It is not yet the last minute, but soon will be. I leave for the desert tomorrow evening. I washed clothes yesterday, haircut today, etc. I made a list. I will put off packing until the car is warming up. There is not much to do. I already know which camera I'll bring - the Fuji Hipster-Shot. It is a clothing optional event, so I'll bring a blouse and flip-flops, just in case I get chilly at night.

Speaking of blouses, I was thinking about Prince this morning on my bike ride, remembering him from the 80s and what it was like then, to have this unexplainable and somehow sexually ambiguous star appear. For all of his pro-sexual advocacy he also seemed to maintain some odd inner resistance to what might be referred to as immorality, though I do not believe he used the word. 

No other single person separated the conservatives and the liberals more completely at the time, the Reagan years. It wasn't until Cirque Du Soleil came along that republicans finally had a place to feel safe while being gay again. But oh man... did they really not like him at the time, the Purple One. Even his faux-name seems sexually threatening. He represented to them what they wish to keep out of the women's bathrooms now. 

  

To have been a fan of Prince at the time, I heard all of it. Little did they know. It should only be called sexual confusion when it happens with another person, otherwise it's just confusion, sort of. One could sense the palpable anger at difference. There seemed to be an insistence that the world would simply be a better place if everybody would just listen to the music of somebody who is sensibly heterosexual, like Bob Seger, but that's not how it all happened.

Bob Seger's name sounds like a pair of old bloodhound's balls. It's as if the font is even sagging when you look at the word. There is something sad and atrophied about him, like pubic hair once it turns white and becomes too sparse to be considered as the forest under-region that it once was.


I was offered something last night that has had me daydreaming about the past, a tour of Central America, to DJ. Now, some of you might remember that in a previous incarnation I was a debauched musical ne'er do well, but I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and moved on from that life. First, I bought my own crack mattress, then I had an entire room sometimes to myself, before long I rented a set of keys, and… well, you know the rest, I ended up with a job. 

Then, last night, a message arrived telling me of a future tour of Central America, driving from nation to nation, ciudad to ciudad, playing music and enjoying life with some old friends. It makes me want to get high. It really does. I don't mean pot either, I mean strong chemicals. Not some little snow flakes that grow on pot flowers, I mean some ball-shrinking pharmaceuticals.

That's right, if a drug does not reduce your cock to the size, texture, and usefulness of a male nipple then wave a loaded gun in your dealer's face and demand justice, atonement, and reparations. If you're a woman then the best way for you to test the strength of a drug is by guessing, and then doubling your current dosage. Do not get so ill though that you can not continue to function as a sex object. That's how real men will know you've done too much and that maybe it's time to take a break, a little nap, curl up like a kitten and wait for the tide of waves behind your eyeballs to ebb. 

Though, in an effort to be fair, this suggestion that dresses like a rule goes for men also.













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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

If you see something, say something





The other day, when I quoted Woodrow Wilson and his addressing of the inherent problems of any historian with adequately assessing the past, I was not referring to the piece pictured above. This is a work that answers some of its own questions, and accusations, while somehow also retaining an inner mystery. 

In art, most questions are best left unanswered.


Today, I make my final plans to re-enter the desert. It is a weekend festival that presumably celebrates drug addicts with jobs and money. That being said, it will finally be nice to be in a place where whom-uses-which bathroom is not as much of an open concern, mainly because port-o-potties are all same sexy. In fact, they have art tents out there in the desert dedicated to people evacuating themselves on one another. I would call it an "installation," but it serves as more of a performance piece. It's titled Mostly Water for Algernon.

Different people show their support for causes in different ways.

Everyone keeps focusing on where people will be peeing, conveniently ignoring the fact that this issue occupies the #1 and #2 spots in the American mind. People are afraid that their sons and daughters will come in contact with human feces in the privacy of a public bathroom. I guess nobody told them what happens in bathrooms. 

We must protect our son's and daughter's pooh. They are after it. They covet the precious waste of our children for their demonic liberal rituals. 


I am still of the dedicated belief that anybody with an erect penis smaller than 6" should be using the women's bathroom. No exceptions. This will result in all the males entering the Men's bathroom with 6"+ erections, which should solve most of our problems.

I am still searching for my agenda-identity, give me time.


Okay, the world isn't going to fix itself, which I think is the real message that we can take from the piece shown above. The world simply is not going to correct itself any further. Enough is enough! 
Sometimes healing requires a quant ceramic curio in which a dog is shown to be happily sniffing a ginger child's dirty or recently misused anus-hole. 

Confusion, even more than suffering, produces spiritual growth. 




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Monday, April 25, 2016

To opine upon the opinions of others






Open Journal: April entry, 25th day of 2016, The Year of Our Lord. 


I was experimenting, all in-camera, to see how closely I could get a snapshot to look like 35mm b/w film. I walked around the town square yesterday, just before dinner. The unedited picture above works, I think, though not for the reasons that I had quite hoped for, or was "shooting" for. It is that I wasn't holding the camera quite level and intentionally did not "correct" the composition of the shot. The sunlight that is starting to wash out the left side of the image almost looks more like light leakage onto film. Though, perhaps a man should not give away all of his secrets.... After all, it is half of their charm: mystery.

I like it. The picture, I mean.

If photography is half-of-a-truth then I am satisfied with the contribution of my little lies to the other half. 


I've been asking people to shave my back, just as friends, but so far there are no takers. I've promised not to make eye contact while it's happening. This lone stipulation has not been adequate to find the right person for the job. I've also offered sustained eye-to-eye contact through the use of a mirror for the entire procedure. 

If only the boy was a little bit older and could handle a straight edge… I know that he would do it for me, though it does run the risk of traumatizing him. I can see him in some future therapist's chair, describing the horrific details of shaving Dad's back during the summer.

If I could speak to his future therapist I would explain the situation perhaps much better in advance than it can be done after the fact. It would be an awkward conversation, of course, illuminated by the expansive terrain of my back hair, lit only by an open bathroom bulb with me trying to impress upon this youngling that one day they will become a therapist and my son will seek their professional advice, in doing so it will come to light that my son used to shave my back hairs, and that's why they're looking there now. It is vital to the therapeutic effort that the therapist understand the depth of the trauma. 

The patient works their way out of a forest one memory at a time. 

I'm not quite sure how to get this future therapist to understand the importance of all the details, nor if my methods are entirely feasible. Therapists are just critics that have learned to hold their tongues. It's a way of saying, You're not okay and you probably never will be, but try this experiment anyway. 

Nobody likes critics, but even fewer will admit to loving everything just as it is.





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Sunday, April 24, 2016

To give a kite lift, you run






By chance, we went to the Marin headlands, then the Discovery museum. There was something wrong with mom's car. In the process of them borrowing mine I was convinced to go along for part of the day. We started to hike a trail along the headlands but mom turned out to be afraid of heights, a thing I remembered just after she did, or just after she announced it. 

So, we turned around.

I posted a reversal of the image above online. I doubt that anybody will notice the impossibility of the arrangement of the bridge to the location of the shot. Nobody outside of SF, anyway. I don't post many father-son portraits. I don't have many. I prefer individual portraits to group portraits, but he's my boy. I love him much. Mom wanted to take pictures today, so why not try to take advantage of that to sneak in a family picture. Why not.

With any luck the critics will give up on me.












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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Son of a nymph!




(Cow, #9)


Cycling clears the head, almost too much. There are a number of thoughts enjoyed on any given ride, then a recurring thought to myself, Oh, that would be a good subject to write about… By the time I get home it has vanished of course, along with the key phrase that I thought clever, all gone the way of the revolutions, the circular patterns of life, of love, the pumping along the road ahead. 

I think about sex often enough, though I'm told that is what men do. Some say it is all that they do, oddly by those who seek equality, though there is little evidence that they are trying to catch up in any meaningful way in this regard. Others say that they have already arrived, and have perhaps surpassed men in that way also, as if there is a competition among the most dangerous of the impulses. Baudelaire claimed to have sex because it gave him a chance to participate in evil.

The perpetual pumping motion and physicality of the act seems to invite specifics of reminiscing and projection. If only my daily rides ended in orgasm… or, even as a beginning. I'm getting to the age where I have begun to tell myself that sex does not matter as much as I had previously thought, but then the idea will waft through the curtains of my clothing and my body asserts a very different telling of events. 

I wonder if I will look back at my life and think to myself, All you really did was seek sex. Then, I wonder if that realization will sadden me at all, or if I will accept it, or if I will maybe perform the mystical hand-dance upon myself in honor of that memory. Yes, honor

One might think that once you have satisfied the ubiquitous genetic impulse by producing offspring that you can safely become a weathered satyr, just a horny old goat still wandering the pastures with the heart of two lions and the lone rusty eye of a tiger. But no, there are those that expect you to forego all of that once you have produced progeny, in defiance of all natural logic, those wonderful and oft contradictory carnal impulses.

Well, I still have a handful of bike rides before I really need to start thinking about all of this in earnest. There is a sense of landing at middle-age, though not with the landing gear down and at an unfamiliar airport in near total darkness. The feeling of the earth moving beneath the wheels is comforting until the plane comes to a halt, where morning must be waited on.  

What next, jungle, what next.


A friend recently told me that I am obsessed with my own age, though fascination describes it more completely than does the other term. I hope. I am just as repulsed by the aging of others. It is not all about me. I hate it for others, also. She keeps herself young by having sex with young people. I am all for that method, of course, and have told her as much. Perhaps we'll work together in finding me an appropriate portal back towards youth. This magical elixir of juvenescence is best found in close contact with the bodies of others, as an antidote to the inertia of withering. 

Narcissus became fixated with his reflection alone, as opposed to what had been absorbed by the water. Incapable of abandoning that misunderstood and partial apparition, he also lost his will to live. He became a circle, independent of motion, a still echo of self desire, a beautiful Onan also killed off by the gods. As almost anyone who has lingered looking into a mirror might already know, and have yet again forgotten… 

… to relearn, reflections best pass gracefully enough along those store windows in the dark, as the avenues go, lit by the city's unintended largesse, the softnesses of each passing moment in the mirror.  



"… when a memoirist sounds self-aggrandizing or whiny, it's usually not because he's a jerk but because he has failed to meet the technical requirements of the form. In a good essay or memoir, the author typically makes use of self-deprecation, self-doubt, or some sort of self-division that allows him to cast a skeptical eye on his own impulses, tastes, and certainties." - Elaine Blair



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Friday, April 22, 2016

"Don't sing this one to me, Daddy…"






It was "Take Me with U," this morning in the car. 

I was stunned and crushed, though proud. That he was able to detect Prince's singing as far superior to my own gave me some consolation amidst the heartache of being hushed by a four year old. It stung, but what can one do, really? He asked if we could listen to more of Prince's music this weekend. 

Of course we can, buddy, of course we can.

I explained to the boy that Prince had recently passed away, which he immediately converted into the more useful and honest phrase: He died.








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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Life is shortening






Well, fuck. I thought it was a hoax. It was not. 

I'm too busy with the concerns of the living to write today, and have not felt much like writing lately, so I've been forcing it. The effects have been quite literal. 

The more I write, the dumber I feel.





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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Run, Rabbit!







The inner voice becomes increasingly willing to accept the tiniest of distinctions - learns to rely on them, expects, insists, then lets them all go again as if that was the idea. 

The piñata principle: start out noble and containing great inner riches, festively colored, garbed for the party. By the time you realize you're not getting a piece of cake you've already been strung up in the backyard with fishing line, surrounded by blinded screaming kids with broom sticks, spinning in helpless circles, preparing you for the night when they arrive with the torches and pitchforks. 


Hard colored candies blossoming in the afternoon sunlight as they seem to rise then each trickle towards the ground, brought down by squeals and cheers, dancing amidst the latest shafts of light, falling at the stamping feet of laughing children.





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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Garbanzos!





Dinner last night was good. The spiced meatballs were unsurprisingly better than the chick pea salad, which was a little bit dry. Nobody seemed to mind much and we ate in peace. If I were to make it all again I would use more olive oil on the chick peas. I've decided that cooking with others is almost as much fun as cooking by myself. Monday nights are taking on a very different dimension. I used to arrive at my friends' house and proceed to drink a bottle of wine or more while they cooked, I talked, then we eventually ate. Now, we discuss recipes and home improvement. I was relaying a story about having found something I liked at Williams-Sonoma when I realized that my foot had crept out of the closet. I had taken a picture of the almost prepared meal, but it was before I added the wedges of tomato and avocado, so it is not enough to look at and wonder in delight concerning my culinary or presentation skills. A handful of people that I know from the clubbing scene have become chefs along the way and many of them are being helpful with recommendations and recipes. I have tried to keep it simple, but the temptation to use more spices and take on more challenging dishes is in line with so much of the rest of my personality, one that seems nearly incapable of doing anything to what can be considered a reasonable extent. I hung a spice rack recently, then filled it with spices that I thought I might need, not really knowing what those might be. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Mine does.





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Monday, April 18, 2016

A taking off of sorts





Working perverts the sensibilities. A day at the beach becomes a weekend event rather than just something you do when you please, as you feel the impulse to do so, as if. You return to work on Monday and consider the consolation of having had some free time, any at all, and the resources to do as you wish for a day. You can afford almost anything that can be done in a day, or perhaps a weekend. Beyond that, you might as well be homeless; at the beach every day until they force you away with uniformed authority.

An advantage of working, of course, is taking the occasional day off. There is the feeling of being naughty, playing hooky, of running into the ocean.

It is both restful and exhausting, the beach, one of the few places in which you do not feel increasingly puzzled by your surroundings. Nothing there has changed in millennia. There is the circling knowledge that you must return the following day to the world that is now changing faster than you are. It does not invite you to stay for long. In everything it does it reminds you of returning.

The waves appear as individuals, lost in the finality of that sole expression, returned meaninglessly to the water. Little evidence of sand collected or constructed lasts until the morning of the next day. Waves advance the impression of futility simply by vanishing tenderly. They can be chased, to a point, like most things. How absurd and comical it can all become, as if it must. In this, the beach is ideal.

No surprise, that the beach evokes thoughts of pleasant sex and certain death, the arching over of the waves as they break. What else is there - the sound of the surf, the impulses, the breeze and the warmth on your neck. In the end there really is very little, almost nothing at all, that doesn't disappear. The sun and the sky, the inability to fly.









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Sunday, April 17, 2016

The one man mutiny



("He's pretty big for a four year old.")


I tried to start weening myself from refined sugars. Instead of making my morning coffee with the crystalline stuff I've started using replacements, like half a stick of butter. It takes forever to melt, and cools the coffee considerably, the dishes are difficult to rinse, but the taste is exquisite. 

Another day ahead of us, perhaps the beach awaits. I was not able to determine if the boy's team won or lost yesterday, then I discovered that winning and losing are concepts that have gone the way of the dodo. I was told that we now celebrate participation.

Sure, I said, but did he participate as a winner or as a loser?

Nobody likes me for very long. Coaches have a special disdain for my skeptical approach to life.


I should have never used the word "replacements" above. I can't think of anything else now. I missed my chance recently to go see them in London with an old friend from the college years.

I've never been sure if Paul Westerberg sings "… and everything is a lie" or "… and liberty is a lie…"

You tell me.


Look me in the eye
Then, tell me I'm satisfied…





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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Team T-Rex






Another day being a dad. It was the first of the boy's t-ball games today. Pleasantly uneventful - the boy seemed to enjoy it.


I will spend the afternoon wrestling with a new recipe, sesame-spiced meatballs on a smashed chickpea salad.


That is the way it all goes, single days both good and bad that make up a life.







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Friday, April 15, 2016

Why Dogs Don't Fuck







I am in a weird mood, and do myself no favors with it. Boredom prompts all sorts of ill-mannered ideas, most of which are useless or worse. As long as the boredom is only fueling ideas and has not yet seeped over to the realm of behavior then I should be safe.

Safe. What a word, like freedom, the state that one attains when they are not aware of what truly threatens or controls them.

Well, I am in no place to assess, or opine, today. 


I don't know why dogs fuck. I don't know. I don't. 
Part of me doesn't even believe that they do. 
So, I must be wrong.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Bottom Line: Why Dogs Fuck




(Henri Cartier-Bresson)


I've never had sex with a 40 year old woman. I have with a 39 year old, however. So, I can nearly imagine it, but one can never be quite sure with these things. I suppose that I could try with a 41 year old woman and then with some basic addition and division... through the assumptive property that all averages share the same qualities… = Voila!  

I can nearly surmise the experience, though that might be mean of me, arithmetically, and perhaps my test subjects might constitute an atypical subset of society. It is difficult to know with such things. From my perspective those people seemed reasonably normal, comparatively speaking. 

More research is needed. Data, meta, etc.

Deductive reasoning tells us that sex would be better with a 40 year old woman than with a 41 year old woman, by at least one year, then likewise better with a 39 year old woman and so forth to its logical, moral, or legal conclusions, which can be drawn upon various differing lines of reasoning, need, and circumstance. 

Now, I'm no scientist. I don't even like science. Some days I hate it. I don't care for the way that the word is spelled or pronounced, but we must still give it its credence. Science tells us with the singular voice of unanimity that all male mammals will fight for the attention of the most middle-aged female in the group. Because mammals may be many things, but obsession with averages and the coveted bottom line will always consume them when in a group setting. 


In the picture above I am unable to determine the age, sex, or gender association of the receiving canine, so this image does not serve our purposes very well here, but it is still fascinating to look at. The term "alpha male" has its origins in these same mathematical practices. It marks the birth of the alpha-numeric system, you see.

The measures of central tendency run particularly strong among those mammals closest to man, or woman. Mankind is what I mean, etc. Or, do we say humankind now? Orangutans, for example, are simply wild about modes. These hairy beast spend their days averaging out columns of figures. They are the only other animal that knows and respects the differences between an average, a median, and a la mode. Even those sneaky dolphin are useless in the face of this basic statistical model.


Well, I'm just thinking out loud here. At almost 50 years of age it is what I do most. That, and sometimes farting out loud without any control or awareness of my own behavior. 

For those of you who might cry Sexist! to these open musings: I've never had sex with a 40 year old man either, though I presume the same reasoning holds. While writing this I was role-playing as a cross Sagi-Taurus, so just blame the planets, fucko. Now you've really done the math!






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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lil' Charlie Hustle






The boy is a natural. I took him to practice the other day and he hit the ball well, even chased after it, and was the first to get to it in the field, just past the pitcher's mound. With a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, yelling, and focused gesticulation from a few of the coaches he was finally able to make it to first base, then eventually around the bases to home.

If I could just get him to understand how gambling works then he might have a real shot. I'm gonna check with Mom and see if she's okay with him getting on the juice - possibly apple, maybe orange. 


As he and I drive around the valley he keeps asking me how we get to the underworld, and where exactly is it. At first I laughed his questions off, but he persisted, so I had to explain that the underworld is a mystery and that Hades is quite a fearsome fellow, to say nothing of Orcus. I babbled something to this poor kid about Orpheus, a lyre, and a tree. 

Liar, indeed. 

He was not impressed with Greek or Roman mythology. He said that they go to the underworld all the time in Legoland. I wanted to tell him that the underworld is where souls go after they die, but did not want to unnecessarily fill the boy's head with such an image, such useful nightmare nonsense.


So, after he goes to sleep tonight I will stay up late and do some investigation into this new chapter in the pantheon of the otherworld. 

Legoland sounds frightful, but they still might hold the vanishing ghost of Eurydice...







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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Same Horizon







The cure is becoming the affliction. I'm starting to question the continued use of medical marijuana. It makes me lethargic in the morning. I'm sleeping better, so perhaps feelings of indolence are perfectly natural and how many people must feel, but it bothers me that there is not some magical intoxicant that I can legitimately use for an actual ongoing medical condition.

Also, I don't trust potheads. They often talk about the benefits of marijuana. I'm always left quizzical because the speaker never seems to possess the improved qualities that are self-claimed by its use. I hear mild tales about productivity, ability to focus, and creativity, but when I look carefully at the subject I am left to wonder as to how these benefits have been able to somehow manifest themselves within a person without leaving any discernible record.


I've spent my life lying to doctors, hoping vainly that some inner twisted tickle would cause an unexpected outpouring of sympathy from them in the form of a series of dangerous narcotic prescriptions. 

Usually, this hope fails. My recourse becomes a few swigs of NyQuil that afternoon. Every now and then a doctor will shine a light down into the farm fountainhead that is the wellspring of my health and drop down a few benzodiazepines, which help offset the stresses and strains of conditional awareness.


Okay, less rain, more sky; same horizon.







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Monday, April 11, 2016

… no wonder




(Duane Michals)


A rushed Monday, forced upon me like a new tax. 

I pulled a number of books on photography from my shelves, and ordered several more. I have been sitting here at my kitchen table flipping through them. It never occurred to me, that so many of the photographers that I admire are women. Francesca Woodman, Sally Mann, and Diane Arbus being among my browsing favorites. Most all the photo-books that I have are by the fairer sort. 

So much for the male gaze. Lately, I greatly prefer the fem view. Less leering, more scrutiny. Or, is it discerning?


A recent reader here misunderstood what I meant in yesterday's post by the purchasing of a 10" albino cock on a line of credit. I meant that it was 10" wide. It is only about an inch and sometimes an inch and one-half long, and that's after it's been mashed around in a sweaty hand frenzy for a bit. Best not to get those albino fever juices stirring. 

That's a phrase that you just don't hear enough in polite conversation: hand job. 

Well anyway, she was quite curious about it, could hardly sit still at her day job, etc.


Speaking of things… I was all by myself early this morning at the gym listening to my new favorite album. In a race to the death with the Nordic Track torture device. A familiar older woman arrived without me noticing her. When I stepped off the machine she asked what was playing. Apologetically, I turned it down a little bit. She said she didn't mind the volume, but wanted to know what it was. I explained that it's by an artist named Flying Lotus, that it is a form of new experimental jazz. No sooner had I spoke that last word from the previous sentence did she respond:

Oh jazz, no wonder it's so bad.


(Duane Michals)





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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ω






More rain, oh mighty Omega, more rain.


The weather has effectively ruined my weekend. I bummed about yesterday, spent some time at the gym, then drove around trying to find anything to take a picture of.

I found a few things familiar to me, vistas that represent the sort of rustic agricultural charm that encourage some to visit. People come from all over the world of America to pretend that they are standing in a painting of the Sonoma countryside. 

There is something troubling about the utter wide-openness here. It is beautiful, of course, but there is something else. When your environment is physically reminiscent of the internal feeling of solitude then that is something that must be contended with, one method or another, though it provides few places to start. It's like telling a person that's depressed that they should just feel better.

Have you tried going for a walk? That always lifts my spirits a bit.

Um no, that hadn't occurred to me. I'll look into it. Have you considered suicide?

Well, no. Suicide is a personal decision and should not be encouraged, nor should it need to be. It becomes obvious at a point, often right after the fact of it. 

Solitude is perhaps a necessary component for spiritual growth, but it is torturous for an old hardened reprobate like me. I close my eyes and tilt my head back towards the heavens, peering up into the gray above, muttering my questions… nothing arrives, no message from the skies. It just makes me want to have a relapse of some sort, though I can never quite decide with what.


By mid-afternoon I wanted to go sit in a bar and watch the weather outside, but I didn't. I'm still trying to lose weight. It angers me that it does not all fall off on the mere promise of me now being a changed man, a fit and healthy member of society. I want body weight to function more like a line of credit: make it work and let me bring it home now with a 30 day return policy.

I also want to put a ten inch albino cock on credit, one that slaps against my leg with a dull thud as I walk around the place from room to room. If I wear just workout shorts and stand still with my feet spread apart then I would spontaneously become a Foucault's pendulum, marking the earth's revolving motion through space in wide slow circular patterns, knocking over blocks in some science gallery atrium that my midgets had lined up very carefully in a circle underneath me to represent the successive hours of the day.

For this to function it would require having no balls whatsoever, or very, very small ones, so that they could not interfere with the effect of the earth's motion. The whole enterprise of my genitals would be terrifying when freshly shorn. Just a pale cylindrical horror swinging from leg to leg and then out into the space in front of me. Kids dodging it, laughing along while their parents scream, plead, threaten and admonish. Some would be afraid to come near it, hiding the eyes of children, screaming in the malls, writing letters to their super delegates, etc.

I would of course employ the great white cock only for truly good and noble causes, never succumbing to the ever present temptations of misuse and perversion. I would allow people to set their sundials by it, or to post pictures of lost kitties on it. I would let the Irish hang upside down and kiss it for luck. Whatever. You get the idea. 

At some point we must collectively reverse the fallacious notion advanced mostly by armchair feminists that the penis is and should always be an object of horror and fear. Penises should only be ridiculed when they are soft or submerged in cold water. When they are hardened they should command respect, like a vagina but without all the hokey earth-cult stuff. We must collectively move back to a place where only the murky inner workings of womanhood are reviled, returning the miasmic back to its rightful place among the stars. The tremendous white cock can be raised as a pillar of beauty and solitude, a hallmark of man's many achievements, a testament to his sublimely driven nature.


More rain, dear Alpha, much more, wherever you may roam.






Few things are more benighting than the condescension of one age for another… The historian needs something more than sympathy, for sympathy may be… pitying, contemptuous… it must be the sympathy of the man who stands in the midst and sees like one within, not like one without, like a native, not like an alien. He must not sit like a judge exercising extra-terrestrial jurisdiction. - Woodrow Wilson, 1904



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Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Vex






The rain seems to suspend everything. It doesn't, which is only the more vexing. It would have some alternative use if it did, existential, if it could.


Bored witless. Yes, it's only possible for a boring person; so, here I am. 

Drove around the valley taking pictures of the green and the gray. Came home, pulled the green out.


There is much to see now, much that I see differently. It is a struggle not to feel as if it is all some less than elaborate fraud, some blatant trick in which the enthusiasm of youth gives way blinkingly to the useless understanding of age. It's not as if the scheme is even very well planned. It can fail in any number of ways, and does. Thinking back today to some of the attitudes and postures I held when I was younger, I am confronted with a piteous sense of hypocrisy. The false virtue of time. 

If I had only not done the things I told myself that I shouldn't do.









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"Liberal Loans"




(Vivian Maier)


The title of the post was from a photo of NYC, also taken by Vivian Maier. I finally purchased the book, or one of them. I had seen the documentary some time back. Her pictures are compelling, not least of all because what they reveal can no longer be touched. They have that delicate charm of what is already gone, a thing that can not be returned to. It invites a longing for them, like falling for the ghost that just happens to haunt your house.

Looking through this book, and a newly purchased book (title: Guide) of a William Eggleston exhibit, it has made me realize how much more energy is needed to take good candid pictures. A tremendous amount of patience and perseverance are required. No detail can be considered as inconsequential, and the past is not a place to which we can return. Few art forms do as much to the concept of time as does photography. This relationship need not be entirely conceptual. In some images it is a visceral sensation alone. There is something that is very inward about the enterprise, even as it documents nothing but the external world, however manipulated.

One of the striking qualities of Maier's images is that not a single person is wearing branded clothing, as far as I can tell. There are ads everywhere along the streets, of course, but individuals are simply wearing the solids and patterns of what very well might be bespoke clothing. Few visual arguments are as strong an indictment against capitalism as this. 

The effect seems to have been to muddle the conversation of identity, as if it is exclusively something that can be chosen, or purchased. Someone who can choose to wear a Sean John shirt to display their identity might very well struggle with another person referring to their gender-identity, making the assumption that it is choice alone that produces the mystery of persona. Identity is not always the thing to which an individual might identify. 

It's a genuine issue. The national conversation concerns the struggle between self-identity and the right of others to reject that identity. The problem is that within each identification there is a spectrum of possible meaning for any given individual. We should simply start telling Christians that they only identify as Christians. The best way to deal with supposed religious thought is to treat it just as they wish to treat others: refer to them as having an illness or for it to be a sin. At the mildest, just refer to it as their "Christian identity," removing the reality of it, as well as their ownership of the term, by a single step.


Recently, the boy and I went out to a field to fly a kite together. I took a small handful of images of him. They were all ruined because of his t-shirt: Spider Man. What would have otherwise been a few nice little animated pictures of the boy as he's growing turned into a super-hero branding opportunity. Perhaps ruined is too strong a word, but the detail of his shirt is troubling and, for me, distracts greatly from the image.

Don't tell the boy. He still quite adores the arachnidial creep. 

He identifies as a super-hero, so I identify as a super-hero's dad.






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Friday, April 8, 2016

Waiting





The boy and I made it into the city and back again. A very short trip. We sat with an old friend and had lunch.

The boy's mother has since picked him up and is taking him to have pizza at a friend's house. 


Having a weekday off is a little bit odd, for me. I never quite know what to do with myself. By the time I figure it out the day is long gone.


Now, I sit here as the sunlight softens and stretches into my bedroom at an angle that climbs the far wall. There are the sounds of the kids playing outside the window. 

Another day off tomorrow, much like the one today. Rain is expected. Tonight, reading in bed until my eyes tire, waiting for the sound of it outside, for the sounds of the rain.





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Duck, Duck, Goose






No time to write today. I scrambled this morning just to get a bike ride and some time at the gym in. 

Now, I go to pick up the boy and we will head into the city to meet an old friend.

We will rush into the city and then back again, for some exotic lunch, perhaps some Thai at my new favorite place.

There is supposed to be rain today, on a Friday leaving the city.... I dread it before I have encountered it, which is the best kind of dread: that of confirmed recurrence.





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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Just lower the third interval by one half step






I fell sleep on the couch last night, just as you see the boy here in this picture but with my eyes closed, in the dark. I had stayed up reading. He woke me up in the middle of the night and told me to go to bed. It might have been mildly perplexing for him to see me wrapped in sleeping bags and unconscious in the living room.


It is becoming clear that my only real goal of late is to sink myself in debt. I was looking at guitars this morning, a butterscotch blonde Fender Telecaster with a maple neck: $1500. I didn't buy it. I rarely ever play the sunburst Stratocaster that sits in its case underneath the piano, without an accompanying amp or pedals. I keep telling myself that one day soon I'll get back into playing music. I sit at the piano and the same old tired chords arrive, just a handful of majors and minors, a few notes thrown in here and there that I don't really understand, but are pleasant enough to listen to.





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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sylvan Charms






There seems to be no upper limit to how much my sleep habits can improve with the assistance of blessed medicinals. I'm not exaggerating. I went to bed last night around 8pm, though not with the explicit intention of sleeping right away. I watched a few things online, girls dancing in their underwear, and then started to feel dopey around 9pm, finally succumbing to sweet slumber. I awoke briefly around 11pm to make water and eat an ice cream cone without washing my hands. My next sensation arrived at 6am in the form of sunlight illuminating the backside of my blinds. 

Even if we disregard the first two hours as not being genuine sleep, there is still the seven solid hours to consider, if considering my sleep is your cup of tea, or its steward: sympathy.

Do not worry about me eating ice cream in the dark of the night. It is official now. I have lost ten pounds. This puts me back at the weight that I was about three months ago when I was as heavy as I've ever been before. 225 pounds. 

It was a combination of a few things: I bought two new pair of jeans and I saw a picture of myself in Venice Beach in which the need to lose weight was all that I could see. It was as if I was peering right into the eye of the great white whale. I came home and told myself all manner of nonsense, Ahab I, but when I didn't stick to the nonsense that I had presented myself then I committed to being much less nonsensical about things. 

The problem with having lost ten pounds is that it is all gone from the lower part of just one leg. It is uncanny, and unpleasant. I have been very good about exercising both halves of my body equally, and have been sleeping much better, and watching my diet, but my other extremities almost seem to be getting larger, softer, more complete, buoyant and perhaps capable of flight. 

The lower left leg just keeps shrinking and has lost any color that it previously had other than the patchy dark hairs that protrude from it at unexpected angles. I'm afraid to pull it out at the beach to get any sun. It's hideous. I walk mostly in circles. I get so tired of that, sometimes I'll turn and walk the other direction, producing a series of circles in the sand that do not look dissimilar from many famous crop formations, which does beg the question as to why aliens are only interested in our grains. 

No matter how many shaky squat thrusts I do all the weight keeps dropping off of that one vulnerable leg. It's getting dangerous, or will be soon. It's simply gruesome at the beach, like something dead washed up onto the shore and attached itself to a lopsided fat man in one last desperate moment of shame. I tell everyone that it's my cock and offer to let them put sunscreen on it, but the presence of an unkempt foot at the end of it ruins my ruse. I offer that I'm not circumcised, my parents didn't wish to mutilate me, etc.

If it were a cock then it would be the ugliest member ever to have attached itself to a femur, rather than being where it belongs south of the waistline and just north of the testes. Most cocks do not have bald kneecaps at their base, also. Any hardened lump like that found in the scrotum sack should be looked at right away by a professional. If Lance Armstrong taught us anything, then it is that.

There is also the problem of occasional erections. My lower left leg hasn't had one in weeks. I used to wake up and it was rising under the sheets like a terrible tower of desire and probable fetish. I could sense its spooky ascendance near the foot of the bed, almost uncomfortably distant from my tender groping hands trying to get at the thing to physically appease it in the hopes that it would return back to the dream world from where it came. 



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I see outside of myself, standing in the waters of a vast dream, the waves arriving softly and receding around me. The image of the leg beneath the clear shore break, where the water reflects and refracts the light from above, sending the image of the scrawny appendage out at a obtuse angle, one that would be impossible to sustain my full weight. Somehow, it magically does. 

In this shared delirium where ocean and sky meets mind, my leg juts out from the water line towards the shifting sands underneath, monstrous in its impossibility, the ugliness of persistence, that of nature. The skin of the leg is the color of the surface of a bleached moon, riddled with the detritus of hair drifting like seaweed. The waves arrive and depart, bringing their cascading foam along with them even as they escape me, a malformed reef. The error of the sleep universe becoming momentarily suspended and clear as the water tugs its way back towards the seeming infiniteness of the sea, the arrival of yet another obscuring wave, bubbles in a hurry, pulling to and from. 


And I, standing above it with trident drawn, prepared to harpoon its wretchedness, to watch it twitch and squirm under the waves as it goes, a paroxysm of silent splashing gasps, caught through the body by one of the prongs, flailing slowly and wildly amidst the surf, trying to escape the obscurity of ocean, of the endless dark of the many water witches.










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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Oh, Mighty Titans




(Abraham Lohan)


Okay, I figured out what happened, and why, though it is all very boring. Apple does have support for RAW files out of the X-Pro1 but not the X-Pro2, yet. So, in my excitement and enthusiasm I neglected to systematically test, and went on what I believed were to be the facts. I was certain that I had verified a few RAW shots out of the new camera.

I was wrong. A thing which resulted in me keeping the new camera. 

My friends at dinner last night were suspicious of it. Abraham, pictured above and below, was particularly specific in his questioning. He wanted to know why this camera did not look as "technical" as my other one. I tried to explain that different cameras do different things, and they make you feel differently when shooting with them. I pointed out that the picture below was an atypical image, for me. None of that mattered. He asked what this camera could do that my other one couldn't. 

How do you respond to a person like that? 

So strange, all those who do not share my obsessions. 


We had a turkey meatloaf for dinner, with asparagus and mashed potatoes. I drank sparkling water in place of my usual wine. I am currently in a duel to the death with the scale at the gym. The cumulative stress started not only affecting my sleeping patterns but also my weight. 

Cortisol, I blame cortisol. I was taking on blubber like the Titanic in North Atlantic waters. The inverted cone of my olympiad shape had shifted to a more pyramidal form, a sort of resting cone shape that had softened or lost its defining corners, no longer used for nautical nor maritime purpose. 

My waistline had become an enormous river that encircled the globe of abdomen. Gaia, rising and falling with the seasons, navigated now by Oceanus, marking her voyage slowly in cubits gained and cubits surrendered, hands and digits won, those same hands and digits lost.



(Mount Moses)




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Monday, April 4, 2016

DAMN IT!




("Toy Camera" setting)


Okay, so there's nothing wrong with my new camera. Apple doesn't fully support it yet, that's all. So, it seems to import RAW images, but there is no RAW support for it. I'll need to use Fuji's conversion app. It's all a pain in the ass and results with me not having any easy excuse to return it. Well, I mean... I could still return it. I just wouldn't feel as justified in doing so. 

So, I'm going to keep the thing.

It's the economy, stupid. 


I do love shooting with it. It feels great, shoots great, performs well. Even under what I would consider situations that called for a DSLR it still did pretty well.

It's a sexy camera, the Nikon D810 is not. 

So, now I am stuck with it, in a sense. It is more money than I had wanted to spend, and I must buy at least one more lens (35mm, possibly 23mm), but it makes me happy when I am using it.


If Mount Fuji will not come to Mohammad, then Mohammad will move to the mountain…. 







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Tough to say






I started to write a mini-screed about the horrors of working and the perennial indignity of Mondays, but it's all useless. I like my job, most of the time.

The weekend came and went. It was already ending upon its inception.  

I had little adventures with the boy and his mom. If it were not for the lack of romantic love between her and I then most people would look at us and see a family - we look like a family, we act like a family, we talk like a family, but we're all just waiting for better options to come along, or newer ones at any rate. 

Well, I suppose we have one team member that's still not a free agent. He is contractually bound to stick with this team. He was a first round draft pick with an eighteen year contract, etc.

Perhaps that lack of romantic love makes us indistinguishable from most other families. We accomplished by splitting up what most families have to stay together to achieve: a mild escalation over time towards mutual acrimony, a pervasive sense of despair that somehow one's love isn't good enough or strong enough, a lingering disappointment that not only did you choose the wrong partner but that also so did your partner…  … yet that you are somehow still functioning together as what might pass as a family. A dynasty for one.


Tough to say, so easy to mumble. 








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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bounce Boys!






A day at Rebounderz, yesterday. The place of which I have been warned by my personal radiologist. He says that all trampolines are bad. He sees nothing but the results, the lingering terror of diagnosis. He says that trampolines are what destroy kids and ladders are mostly what undo dads. All day long he looks at lifelong injuries, or worse. Ex post facto stuff. 

He points to the roof of his house and says, I would never climb up there. Never.


When I fixed computers at Apple I felt that Apple never made a single computer that functioned as expected. It seemed that every one of them was somehow broken.




I have this ongoing fear in which I am diagnosed with something heinously malignant and I send him the scans to see what he thinks. There in his office, peering at the x-rays or CAT scans or MRIs he sees the marks of death. My death. He must call me and tell me that the opinions that I have already been given are correct. The stains which hover in the image are those of the dark harvester. 

This vision, of my old friend from the age of seven onwards…  It is a terrible one. It is inoperable and he knows this. He tells me that I must try to spend the best time that I can with those that I love, the time that is left, which isn't much. Not knowing what else to say he asks if I need anything. 

A different diagnosis.




Then, a week or so later, I would explain to him that I knew all along that I shouldn't have done it, to have lived life this way. What did I expect. It's all my fault

Then, I ask him to check his email. There he'll my actual CAT scans. I have a twisted ankle. It could take weeks to recover.




Cruel? Perhaps. Unnecessary? Definitely. Hardest part? Scoring some CAT Scans and forging my identity onto them. 

To accomplish anything worthwhile one needs a few friends in the records office. Any rise to power from this point forward will be marked by increasing corruption at all levels of government. The main difference will be in a candidate's ability to flaunt the corruption rather than deny it.




Rhys asked me on the way home what I was like when I was his age. I told him that I was just like him: that I loved to run around and jump on things and giggle and have fun with my friends. I also told him that I was immune from ever taking anything seriously, that I had a special gift for avoiding those that did. I had a cloaking device that I could use to hide from the bad guys. 

As for ice cream, I was the King of Casselberry and the Archduke of Altamonte. 


He fell asleep in the car on the ride home. I cut through the hills on back roads from Rohnert Park to Kenwood, a turn towards Glen Ellen and then home to Sonoma as he slept. The sun across the hills, the shadows across the road from the trees swaying in the last of the winter breezes. It is rare that I ever get to feel at peace with the task of caring for another human life. The boy sleeping in the car is about the closest I can approach to what might be called tranquil contentment.

I quietly put on the album Sea Change, by Beck.




Parents wish first that the earth sustain one more lifetime's worth of happiness. 

In that way, I have finally become a conservative.





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