Sunday, May 28, 2017

Why to be ashamed of your body

I found a folder of old 35mm pics. You'll be seeing them here for a while.

I'm lying in bed next to my sleeping, snoring son. He is sure to wake up soon with the energy that is generously afforded a five year old boy by a universe that has nothing but contempt for an aging father. Last night as I was making dinner and cleaning up - a whole chicken roast with gravy, potatoes, and greens -  the boy nearly drove me out of my mind. He's testing his boundaries, a perfectly normal activity for a curious mind, but one in which I am tempted to let him out to discover the natural boundaries, without my instruction or oversight. 

But I love the boy, so something prevents me.

Why can't he just wander out into the world and come back terrified just once, harboring a newfound love and respect for my parental edicts and affection. 

Few parents want to see their kids in the hospital or jail, but there must be a touch of satisfying, I told you so, wrapped up in there somewhere, safely hidden within the disappointment.  His mother and I are too lenient at times, perhaps a byproduct of being divorced. Who knows. At other times I seem to be an unreasonable dad, admonishing him for screaming Vagina Fart! at his swimming lessons. His instructor was a girl of maybe fifteen, understandably not quite used to this brand of youthful celebration, what may soon become a regular occurrence. I mean the hearing of the phrase, not that she will have to suffer the aural indignities of air unexpectedly leaving her vaginal cavity during or just after coitus. 

Isn't the body complex and shameful? It's a miracle of earthly guilt.

If men had something that could make that sound then you'd never hear the end of it. 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Looking at pictures

Nothing is timeless. 


Friday, May 26, 2017

How I yearned to stop wearying (and love the bombs)

Nothing to report. 

It occurred to me a few days ago that the evil that Trump has brought on me is that some of my natural and healthy cynicism crept up on me and became pessimism. I could hear it in my voice, that exasperated yet deflated tone of near-anger. If not anger, then too close in proximity for it to sit and stay. It's made me feel old, or at least middle-aged, neither of which are goals for anybody that isn't dying. 

My online friends seem universally upset that he has the launch codes, convinced that he's an admitted rapist - supported, of course, by Melania's recent hand slap - and yet titillated by the fact that he is a vainglorious and media obsessed blundering demagogue. Something about that equation, or series of observations, eats at me. He is a shit, no question about it, and deserving of all the pent up hatred that each generation can muster, certainly. Each demographic can't seem to get enough of hating him, unless they like him. It's clear that he is a confused old megalomaniac that is alone in the world and starting to realize it, through the external eyes of the television. He certainly has been good for his ratings. He almost seems encouraged by America's frustration towards him where he used to seem motivated by their hatred of others. 

This newest groundswell of division among the two peoples of America doesn't speak to me any more. It seems an ignoble result to an overly manipulated populace. Or, maybe that's just how one feels at this age. I'm not sure what any revolution that might come out of this mess would look like but I already oppose it for the obvious reason that the result will be neither enhancement nor improvement. 

I've often thought, Fuck Everybody. Now I can feel it, also. It's not the same when it comes from the vitals. It's sickening. 

Someone once told me, An angry young man becomes an angry old man - best not to become that. 

So, try to laugh it off, I tell myself. My son says, penis-butt-fart! 

That often makes me giggle. He says it with such youthful passion and conviction.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Deo Optimo Proximo

A day spent racing things real and imaginary. I slept in this morning - I knew I would during the last drifting off into the dark, too soon to the moment of need. Didn't care enough to set an alarm. When I snapped to wakeful attention at 5:45 I jumped from my pillow to the bucket seat, raced to Starbucks without driving gloves, the wheels of the car lightly screeching as I careened into the parking lot. The rest of the day resembled the rest of every other day.

I had the window down for the drive home from the city. A sidewalk proselytizer caught my eye and blurted it out as quickly as he could, God Loves You!

Tell him that he'll been in my thoughts.

He shot right back, He'll be there with you. You tell him!

Okay then, I'll let him know. Does he still speak Latin?


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What did anybody expect?

Some friends sent me the unfinished mix of an album project they are working on. I listened to it at the gym and then again in my car. My conclusion is that I wish that I had made those tracks. 

What happened? I used to make music, then I stopped. Now, I barely play an instrument. They just eat up space in my apartment, for display purposes only. There are museum stanchions set up to keep visitors from touching them. I've forgotten how to make a G chord, probably, my sensibilities have atrophied. I might still be able to play barre chord versions of Louie Louie, or Wild Thing. Everything else might as well be fucking King Crimson. It is all beyond me at this point. 

It's Time, there's none of it left. CS protests daily of its absence though there is perhaps more there, or more to tell. 

Anybody that worships time probably shouldn't have children. Having kids is like being held in a half nelson by the Star Gate scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Much is sacrificed on the altar of procreation. Time stops, in a sense, at the age that you have children. Or rather, it partially starts over again at an oddly accelerated pace, with you more of a witness than participant. The way that I've found to enjoy it is to try to adopt my son's frame of mind. Once done, everything makes more sense. I was born immature. What did anybody expect? I'm trying to dismantle patriarchy by being a bad dad. 

Time. I've been reading a biography on the life of Hector Berlioz. It has taken me about a month to get to page 140. He has just recently finished his Symphonie Fantastique and married the actress Harriet Smithson with Liszt as his best man. The myths are really heating up around old diabolical Berlioz. 

Averaging just under four pages a day - I can hardly stand the suspense. I'll be looking for early bird dinner specials by the end of this decade. 

Today would have been my father's birthday, my mother's would have fallen on Friday. They both would have both been old. My memory of mom has changed quite a bit over the years. Or rather, how I feel about those memories has. She ran a one woman campaign of suggestion and innuendo against my father my entire early life, a thing I grew to resent her for, though all is forgiven now. 

Implacable stone figures of father and mother, both gone to dust. If the passing of time ever bothered either of them they never mentioned it. 

What did clever old Bette Davis say? Just because they're dead doesn't mean they've changed. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Then this and then there

What should have been a day spent resting turned out to be half of that. The first half of the day was quiet and relaxed, spent mostly in bed. Then, I went to pick up Rhys... Whatever was left of a sick day turned into a trip to the grocery store, a ride home, watching the boy go swimming at the pool, a last minute text that there was a Cub Scouts introductory meeting at Sonoma Square, the drying off and getting dressed of the boy, a ride back to the square, the meeting itself where the boy would neither sit still, sit down, nor be quiet, then I was too tired to make dinner when we would have arrived home so I decided to stop at a pizza place called Mary's where he can make his own pizza and I could have some comfort lasagna, almost an hour spent there watching a barely post-pubescent kid try to manage the two tables he had to get water for and then give both of them a bill for the food and services provided, a nearly fifteen minute wait for that bill to arrive after having requested it, the drive home, a turnaround drive back to mom's to get the boy's medicine, home again, getting the boy dressed in pajamas, brushing teeth, getting him in bed, retiring to my own after he had gone to sleep, dreams of another sick day in the morning, prayers to nowhere that another day might unfold differently this time.

Speaking of dreams, I had a series of terrible ones last night. The last of them involved being kidnapped by Russian mobsters who were famous for cutting people's fingers off, leaving them with two bony nubs. Rachel somehow arrived late in the dream to help bring me back to America. The ransom had been paid but something went terribly wrong. I realized that we were both going to die after some unspeakably unpleasant things happened to us for the entertainment of our very sinister and humorless captors. I had no idea where our son was. Our kidnappers were of the worst kind. They would laugh at all the wrong times, at things that didn't seem at all funny. 

I woke in a panic that didn't entirely dissipate upon waking.

It was that kind of a night. I haven't had a nightmare in a while. Mine are not usually so dramatic. My custom made night tortures have slowly become about the debilitating effects of compound interest, not usually quite as cool as Russian mobsters, but now I'm ready to go back to floating APRs swooping and screeching at me in the dark. 


Monday, May 22, 2017

Many Must

Stayed home sick today. The boy has had an infection, and now me. 

I am having very conflicted and contradictory feelings lately. Riding my bike again - that's how I can tell. My head is filled with two competing sets of chaos, each with surprising reservoirs of resources. 

There's a tremendous bargain you must strike at times to just be civil, decent. You do it and you tell yourself it's for the best and that maybe you accrue some compound spiritual capital, but in time you act the other way and tell yourself a very similar thing and barely notice. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Exposure, Doubled

I was playing with the in-camera double-exposure feature. It's crap, but at least it looks like a double exposure, not softened or corrected the way a computer application might encourage with just a little click and tuck. I only took two images - or rather four that resulted in two - but I may start playing with that function more often. Does it qualify as juxtaposition if it's the same subject twice? I suppose that contrast is the key, not that the same subject differs in composition to create that contrast. It's fun and seems to be of another time - reminiscent the 60s and 70s, for me. 

Juxtaposition it is!

I'm writing out loud again, the result of being an aging daily chronicler; a beekeeper without bees, without hive to tend, protected by mesh netting, wandering a roadside dressed in white. I spend time mumbling out sentences here that convince no one, myself most of all. Neither the listener nor the speaker moves me much any more. I have become incurious about my own thoughts. They lack the engrossing verve of juvenile madness. Meaning seems to have gone the way of puberty, a thing remembered fondly, swept into its wildfire. My body and mind have settled on a separate peace. A sense of juvenescence is a thing recovered or lost with too much mature effort, the killer of much. It takes a lifetime to know when to be mature. Sooner or later you're bound to get it wrong all over again.  

I'm enduring a vacancy of purpose, awaiting the weekends for their emptiness of task. I acknowledge that I'm as needed now as I will likely ever be just by being a dad, something that will fade, felt mostly by others for reasons all their own. It's been a struggle, one in which I am often tempted to overreact. My foot injury has made me feel old, vulnerable in a way that is not of my own choosing, susceptible to too much self-doubt. A vulnerability that is anchored to diminished physicality, set apart from the emotional sphere. 

My foot has a swollen prostate, one that I'm forced to walk on tenderly.  

I went for the first bike ride in almost a month yesterday. I noted how different my inner-voice was when outside, cycling - heart rate elevated, earth gliding by, a rhythm in the body setting the tone of the mind. For most of my life I've struggled with feelings of loneliness and I don't quite know why.  I've been loved. I've done loving. It's as if I'm waiting for a life that is never going to happen, vaguely dissatisfied with the one in front of me for reasons that I dare not utter and do not make much sense to me when I do. Many must feel this way, but I'm a selfish asshole, so I don't care. The dull wretchedness of others never held much novelty or fascination for me. 

I'm barely suffering, yet sometimes overwhelmed with the shallow emptiness of my own making, a vacuum of disinterestedness that seems to surround the most insignificant of humorless complaints. I'll be back, of course, once I find the energy to rededicate myself again to my own petty grievances.

I skipped going to see The Jesus and Mary Chain last night. Old people are disgusting, and maturity holds all the dignity of death.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

A little sunshine in the trees

First bike ride in almost a month, this morning. I met the sun as it rose over the hills, just where Napa starts. I've missed riding. Working out at the gym is not the same. It is the feeling of the earth around me that seems to make me the most happy, and happiness is what is needed most of all.

Between last night and this morning I wrote three posts that I didn't publish, all terrible for slightly different reasons - complaints or explanations of complaints. After my ride I don't feel like complaining as much. Funny how that works. It's magical, that sun moving through the wind, that wind moving through that tree, the shafts of morning light dancing through the leaves.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Cookies and Cream

The weekend is here. 

What is worth writing about that would take one single second away from ice cream?


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Why to clean your perineum

Everything takes up all of my time, nothing used to. I'm not sure how it happens, though I am certain that as time passes freedom evaporates. Or rather, the feeling of freedom recedes. Entire oceans of it lifted into the sky to form clouds. It must be why some people really get into their jobs. People search for meaning and purpose in what they do. I've found more of that becomes available when I'm doing nothing at all. It requires long stretches of open, unimpeded time to figure things out for yourself. Nobody that relies on a paycheck can be consistently witty. It's not allowed. If you think that I'm wrong here then spend more time with an unemployed friend. They are fun. I like to introduce them to my republican friends and then see who is more clever. I could use another decade of doing nothing, to return to that time when I had things figured out just by lounging around.

How do people manage to keep their houses and apartments tidy? That would consume the entirety of what little time I have left remaining in the day, even though this place not being picked up causes me its fair amount of unhappiness. There are people who must absolutely look forward to the weekend, giddy with the idea of it, so they can really dig in to some of that deep cleaning they've been wanting to get to all week. It doesn't make any sense. I don't mean the desire to have your place be clean, but the willingness to somehow be the very thing that causes it. There must be a diagnosis and a series of drugs designed to combat adult onset cleanliness.

I have no idea why - I just thought of how nice it might be to get a lap dance. In an instant I could see it all. Well, the woman's naked butt rubbing on my lap and how the curve of it leads the eye up to the waist from behind. I could see only that. Everything else was darkness. It was like a beautiful butt from outer space. It vanished as soon as my hand entered the frame. I'm not what might be considered a fan of titty bars, though neither am I in opposition to them the way that my freedom loving liberal friends are. I am committed to not letting my ideals corner me into any argument in which I take up a position against naked titties. 

Just like that, your mind starts slipping.  You're sitting at your kitchen table in the morning, writing, cataloging your daily thoughts and experiences, when the intrusion of pre-matriarchal bipedal buttock flesh appears, shimmering in the morning light, undulating with its arched message of pleasure. 

It occurred to me that I must have thought of how much nicer my life has been when I had a woman, which can lend itself to working together to keep an apartment clean, then immediately my mind leaped to butt pie without my permission. Now I see the connection - it's sexist. This was a Freudian lap dance. 

I'm not sure how best to punish myself for having such thoughts. I guess that by publishing this post maybe one day in the future a woman will read it and instinctively know what to do to correct these errant impulses: she'll take my cameras away. There must be a book recommendation out there, one that I simply must read to help rid myself of these fleshy musings, to help get the patriarchy out of my pants. 

I do wonder what a female ruled-and-designed society might look like, what possible improvements there may be for all of us to enjoy, or whether we would still be getting lap dances in the trees.

Okay, we don't live in a joke-post world any more, we're post-joke all the way now. I should be more careful though, things sure have changed. To play lightly with the tools of sexual oppression one must be certain not to swing them too widely in the cave, and not to plug any of them in. Any woman can tell you that a vibrator sometimes has a mind of its own, evidence of artificial emotional intelligence. 

How many good men have been laid low by the soft mechanics of innocent sexual pleasure.

One day they might hang me from one of those trees for saying such things. Women wouldn't do it, of course. Men would, on behalf of any woman to any vague suggestion that she might make. They wouldn't have to give an order, everything will be accomplished through the law of the implicit. There will be a call to End Sexual Reproduction Now! A thing that I've been demanding the abolishment of since I discovered what it was the result of. The first thing I wanted when I discovered where I came from was for my parents to just stop it

Few things terrify beyond the beauty of life. 

Who knows though, a society formed and governed by women might still find some use for men. Somebody will need to conduct the beheadings. 

To live outside the law you must be honest.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pronounced: Reese

I'm on Instagram now - realq6. My nom du pleur has been taken on every social media platform. It gives me identity crises. 

A simple day with the boy - spent at the park playing, eating sushi on a bench, taking pictures in the rose garden with a toy camera, grocery shopping, a bike ride around the neighborhood, Rhys playing in the back of the car, making a sort of fort out of the trunk, happy as a boy. 

While I was changing out the cds in the car's six-disc changer Rhys asked me about the one with the guy who... then he makes a lightning bolt shape on his face with the sounds, chick,chick, chick! I say, a rainbow lightning bolt? And he says, Yeah!!! So, I pulled out Aladdin Sane. He became very excited in affirmation, that I knew what he was talking about.

I worried that I was inundating him with my tastes. 

We added that to the disc changer and put it in the car. He said he wanted to drive around the neighborhood and play it, so that's what we did.

He tells everybody his favorite is Talking Heads, Burning Down The House.  


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Peace Be With You

The newer, nicer version of me went to my neighbor's first communion yesterday. Or rather, his daughter's first. His name is Gabriel. He lives next door to me with his family, works at a winery and often generously gives me bottles of nice regional wines. It was his daughter's first communion and he asked me to please take pictures for him, so that's what I did. Previously, I had offered to take a portrait of his family as something to offer back to him for his kindnesses. He decided to take me up on the offer, but waited until a moment that was special enough for him. So be it. What would I have done otherwise?

I arrived midway through the mass dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt. I wanted to give myself the appearance of being a paid participant and not a reveler for the Catholic Christ. It worked, I think. Everybody else was dressed for mass, en Español. No one there other than me had learned English first. Many had not learned it second, either. There was lots of smiling and nodding on my part. 

I sat and kneeled and bowed my head, listened to the prayers and songs of the believers. Roomfuls of the faithful are interesting places to be. I like the warmth of it, the humanity. It's absurd ritual, but so is poetry, in a sense. Uselessness to one does not render that thing meaningless to another. Many people permit or suffer my absurdities and rituals. So be it.

When the moment of socius arrived and we were all meant to greet our neighbors in fellowship I became a 1970s politician. I was unshaven but smiling, beyond eager to greet new voters. I started shaking hands with the men around me first, then moved on to the women, then became so excited about the process I think I may have tried to kiss a baby. 

I became popular quickly and well-liked once I started taking people's babies out of their hands to put my lips on them. Who knows, maybe they thought I was an albino and they were hoping the infants' touch might heal me. It's never easy to know with religious folk, and I don't help anything. Every time I meet somebody's eyes in church I never know what to say. For some reason, I'll be praying for you... doesn't quite convey its intended message of love and friendship. I'm always trying to bridge the divide between us, them, and me, like any good liberal.

I came home feeling cleansed and free of sin, like fish on Friday. 

When sorting through the pics I had taken there were an unusual number of girls, but that's why cameras were invented. I had to really do some editing to balance this out in the ones I presented to Gabriel. I did not want him to think that I was only interested in how pretty the girls looked in their white dresses with their hair held up with little flowers, each composed of newly stirring oceans, but it's true. It's all true. If there is anything prettier than girls then I don't know what that is, or what that could possibly be.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

... walk it off

Two days without coffee. I don't feel any better or worse. I guess it takes a few days before the effects become evident. Who knows. The foot is slowly improving. There will be some sort of return to cycling soon, I hope. The weathers whisper for it. It has not been ideal - being almost immobile as the spring is preparing to mount its transition into summer. I have been good with caring for the foot, or as good as I can hope to be. I've tried to stay off of it to let it heal, but the healing makes me want to walk, and the walking prevents the healing. 

Yesterday, I ambled anyway, more than I have in the last three weeks combined, probably. The boy and I went on little adventures, one of which was to the hardware store. For whatever reason, I kept marching him back and forth in this warehouse of concrete, trying to find the few things that we needed. The truth is that I had not worn my glasses. I was being very male about it. It's very easy to do, some would say that it's even natural, but it should be stopped. It's very toxic, we're oft reminded.

One quick political note:

Some of the best writers have hinted that our leader is upsetting so many democratic norms that it's not that we can't know what to expect next, but rather there are only two possible outcomes for him - success or failure. I of course always assume that he can be more mediocre than people have given him credit for. He's trying to destabilize democratic institutions to prevent them from interfering with his clumsy attempts to amass power. That he has been too erratic to do so thus far says everything about him and nothing at all about his ambitions. He's still a dangerous man, even if he is the most publicly graceless fool that we have seen in a very long time. He is famously vain, and dangerous in part because of that. 

When I look at the people criticizing him with the most venom, like myself, I'm not sure that any of those people would handle power, wealth, and fame any better. Everywhere I look I see petty, humorless, frustrated would-be tyrants. They universally believe their sensibilities to be the correct ones. Everybody seems to know how to fix things. Or, if they don't, they'll check with Bernie. 

I would misuse political power, also, just as I would squander lottery winnings. I'd like to believe that I would make it fun for everybody watching, though history would likely be comparing me to Caligula as well. I look at the way that I've acted when I had very marginal and mostly imaginary power... I, of course, misused it and never quite understood at the time why it vanished from me. Why would that change if I had any real power? And I'd like to think that I'm a pretty good guy, for a male-man. 

We know that he was not prepared to be president, but when I look around at all of my deeply incensed friends I'm not exactly seeing any qualified replacements. That could just be me. But, that's not the point. I have something almost close to pity for him now, the more I watch him. He's just an old confused racist wandering around, looking to be liked and not finding many takers. 

I'm not trying to normalize him. I don't have to. On one level he is what we should expect him to be, just an old white man acting as you would expect any other old white man might. Just picture him at Thanksgiving dinner chatting with your grandma and you'll get the idea. She probably gladly agrees with everything he says. 

So, let your grandma be president.

Don't get me wrong, if I saw Trump limping around a hardware store, not knowing where he was or where what he was looking for was, then I'd make fun of him also. Of course, of course. Without derision it becomes difficult to tell how much finer your superiority is to all else's. It's how we know. Without the power to dismiss then we're fucked. 

For a quick glimpse into what I mean, read this first paragraph. It is written poorly enough as to be more comedic than informative. He is the archetypal businessman - a dealmaker without peer

This must have been approved by somebody that speaks English, right?

Wouldn't that be anti-archetype? 

I have the best hyperbole. Everybody says this about me.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Photography Has Changed

I wrote something hideous - Cato said it was my worst work - but I couldn't publish it. I have no stomach for myself any more. 

I want simple and innocent joys.

(Correction: Cato said that I have done both worse and better.)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Delirium Lemons

(Ilford HP5, iso 400, 50mm, f1.4)

I'm going to try to give up coffee for a bit. I'm not sure when I started drinking it every day, but I started drinking it regularly when I worked the overnight shift at Apple, near Central Park. I would walk out into the cold darkness and wander off to one of the local 24 hour delis. It was just coffee in a styrofoam cup with cream and sugar, but it was always warm and often good. Then, I transitioned to the Soho store. I started drinking Italian coffee at Alessi, then branched out from there to some of the smaller, independently owned places, where exotic coffee beans were sold at even higher prices. 

The neighborhood coffee shops in the winter were all very inviting, warm places to go sit and read in relative peace while on my lunch break. There were familiar people in coffee shops at night, locals. Soho has many charms, a few coffee shops among them. There are a handful of bars that are similar, like the Fanelli Cafe, where one can sit pleasantly and enjoy a pint of beer, solace from the streets.

One of my main shocks when moving to California was that people here don't seem to know not to interrupt you when you're reading a book. In fact, it must seem like an invitation to talk to you, the novelty of it all: an actual book made of paper pages by an author whose name I should recognize. It's maddening, they don't seem to understand that reading is what one chooses to do instead of talking. 

My Earl Grey tea has not gripped me this morning as my coffee once did. I wonder if it ever will. It tastes like methadone feels. I would have to drink more than it's worth to render it worthwhile. It won't last, though. I'm only shifting to tea for three days before I really go nuts and give up everything I love. It's a cleanse. Every so often I embrace health desperately, clinging to it like a frightened retiree trapped in a tempest.

Fuck. I just looked up the phrase "cold turkey" and started reading about the dangers therein. I had no idea that all of this alcohol and the many barbiturates and my favorite benzodiazepines were bad for me. Stopping them abruptly is apparently an absolute horror, a genuine threat to my health and well-being. Good thing I found out about that, first. The internet warns against the cessation of all the good things in life. 

No. I live a reasonably modest and simple life, now. Soon, riding in a taxi will seem cosmopolitan to me again. I'll go into a city and marvel at all the tall buildings, wander around confused and eating an apple at subway stations, smiling and nodding at people, always looking up in wonder, stopping every so often to strike up a chat.

Hey, whatcha readin' there? Looks like a real classic.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Death by Misincompetence

Investigate this, mi federales: grab 'em by the prosecutor.

We're being date-raped by our president, I think, without the Cosby-courtesy of a nice strong horse tranquilizer. Every morning I wake up somewhere less familiar than the day before, wondering what happened, why everything's been doused in sticky.  

But, as you know, I've had to get out of politics. You saw what it did to me. It reduced me to the level of vulgarity where I wallowed and floundered and found much happiness.

Can you believe we erected Donald Milhous Trump to the orifice of the precedent?

Man, that was fucking stupid, what we did. 

This was the result, we're told, of superterranean out-of-work coal miners tired of things not being to their advantage. It must be fun for them to watch so much golf now, while it lasts. I bet it really takes their mind off of things. That should come as quite a relief.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dragons of Pleasure

This is the boy's new portrait look. I asked him to look right in the camera lens because I wanted to capture the moment that I told him he had to clean his room. He is becoming a nearly un-coachable model. His talents are exceeding my instructions. He's developing a wry sense of humor concerning my expectations of him having his picture taken. The kid is really learning how to communicate complex emotions simply. He looks like he's just woken up and realized that it's Monday.

Cato said that he doesn't like the image. He said that the boy looks like he's on drugs. But, Cato sent me the picture below while he was on some new designer butt-fungus fur and asked me if I didn't think that picture was just as super-trippy as he did.

No, I didn't. I looked at it and only saw what was there. It is impossible to say what dragons of pleasure glide freely amidst the open skies of the minds of others.




Monday, May 8, 2017

Do anything your heart desires

I wonder if I would be happier doing something else. It often seems that I might. Though, when things were handed to me, as they somewhat were when I was involved in music - being disproportionately rewarded for half efforts - I feigned superiority to the experience. I mocked those that "tried" because I developed the most perverse of beliefs: that I was special and deserved to be treated accordingly. I projected a belief to myself and those who cared to notice around me that I was above the things that mattered to them. That attitude was the likely cause for me leaving that world prematurely. Recognizing a lack of enthusiasm, they stayed away in droves.

I listened to an old "dj mix" of mine this morning, and then another one before that of far lesser quality. It has me a little rattled, that time continues to betray me. Time has no sense propriety, or decorum. 

With a real job - both challenging and engaging - I tell myself that I have missed a calling, though with no real speculation as to what that calling might have been - a journalist perhaps, or a photographer. One of the liberal photo-jornalists from the early 1960s that lived the crazy life but got their work done and had the benefit of being in the right place at the right time, all of the time. Perhaps I missed much more than just a calling. Maybe I have lived in the wrong time, or too anachronistically, something that I can slowly reverse, though not for good. 

The truth is likely closer to being content, writing and photographing passively. Part of my happiness arrives from experiences being unsullied with unstated expectations or demands. 

I'm not sure how I became so spoiled, I did not come from wealthy parents, at all. It must have emerged from my reading of the lives of artists, writers, poets, and rock stars. They always seemed to believe that they were destined for a life of creative rewards, or at the very least they write about the moment that it happened as being "life changing." It becomes difficult to determine if success was the result of that belief, or if that is just a common belief for people of a certain stripe to maintain. 

Or, maybe people that use hackneyed phrases like people of a certain stripe aren't the ones who eventually become writers. 

I should fix this.

I thought that I would somehow do more than document the days' passing, that there would be time to... one day... There isn't though, there is the pleasure and pain of living life only, and we struggle to align more pleasure than the other. None of it has the least obligation to make any sense, or to become something else. I can see that now. It's just time passing, and you try not to fight it.

The weekend was spent in a soft spring and suburban glow. There were pool parties one day, a free day at the local warm springs the other. 

I spent Sunday playing in a pool with two kids (one other than the one pictured here). Not once did I try to accelerate the day's passing, to see where it would go next, or to force it elsewhere the way that I might have the first forty-five years or so of my life. It's as if the clock's hand is being wound by someone else now, someone much calmer, someone that seems to be on my side. 

Maybe it's old Mick Jagger, looking out. 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunny Afternoon

Oakland, last night, Fox Theater, Old Crow Medicine Show performing Dylan's Blonde on Blonde in its entirety and in their Nashville style. Some tracks stood out, more delicate and beautiful, even more flexible, than the original recordings. Others, not as much. It was a good night, celebrating a friend's birthday. 

Today there will be short-distance adventures of some kind - swimming at a local spring, trip into Novato, lunch, a nap, who knows.

A lazy Sunday, a sunny afternoon.

What else would you do?


Saturday, May 6, 2017

... hands of two spiders and maybe one scorpion fucking

(17mm f2.8 - a thinning scourge, seen in bony retreat)

Sony is going to put Nikon out of business. They are, at the least, going to destroy the portion of the market that Nikon still barely holds (and Canon, also): the semi-pro market. This is the market in which I sit. I've known that this was coming, but I was invested too heavily in Nikon lenses. I do love the D810, but the mirrorless cameras are catching up in every metric that matters. The cameras are smaller, lighter, and have tremendous overall image quality. The Zeiss and Sony prime lenses are enviable. The DSLR is quickly going the way of the digital past. Decreased sales will result in decreased expectations in feature sets. R-n-D resources will dry up. The semi-pro market is in the mid stages of disruption, it seems. 

I might have to look into the Sony/Nikon adapter rings. That would save me the trouble of getting rid of my Nikon lenses, though I question how happy they would make me. I haven't done any research into what effect moving the lens elements away from the focal plane has on the resulting image. 

The aesthetics of a system matter, because I think and act like a spoiled child with a credit card, and Nikon is making me feel fat and old. Sony has somehow out-Asian'd Nikon, at least in the American market, where these things can still be discussed openly...  Parse Allah©

Definition of trump

  1. 1a :  a card of a suit any of whose cards will win over a card that is not of this suit —called also trump cardb :  the suit whose cards are trumps for a particular hand —often used in plural
  2. 2:  a decisive overriding factor or final resource —called also trump card
  3. 3:  a dependable and exemplary person

Consider those.

Nikon is set to release a newer version of the D810, so we'll see, but they'll likely just pursue the pixel count wars as that seems to be working out for them as much or more than anything else they're doing, which is fine by me, I do like the resolution, but I'm not a landscape photographer. I get all of my landscape pictures from Cato(dot)com. He just returned from a Patagonian excursionbition with many vistas to consider. 

My eyes have always lingered a second or two more on portraits than on landscapes. So, I do not trust my judgement in this regard. The earth has never been as appealing to me as has the story told in the darting and direct eyes of the captured, unexpectedly caught. Landscapes do not do for me what people do, though I see the charm in removing people from one's idea of nature. I have just never found it and claimed it as 

If the Fuji X-Pro1 had been full frame then I already would have completely jumped ship, and I'm sure that I'm not alone in feeling that way. If I was a wedding photographer then I would already be using Sony cameras exclusively, though such a claim is easy to make, and perhaps even stupid, but that has never stopped me before and I see little reason for my own standards to interfere in our discussion here.

I want, I want, I want... a woman named Veruca Salt... 

There is no end to the wanting. Fuck the Buddhists!

I don't mind rounding out my bad manners a bit with a little dose of stupidity every now and then. It can help keep my arrogance in check and is often more effective than being checked by a well meaning external contributor, which is usually easy enough to ignore. For some reason people seem preternaturally able to hoist their neuroses upon me, where they all seem to fit and find their center, as if they had been there all along. 

Who knows. Everybody's trying to heal everybody.

Photography is a strange hobby. It can make you feel contented for short periods of time, then again over longer periods of time, looking back. I always want something new - my wants are expensive - but then I look back at images I've captured on cheap cameras and they all seem worth it, also, or more so. 

So, what, then?

Not everybody should feel the same about the pictures that I take, but I do. CS always once said that what I would enjoy most about photography is documenting my life. He was right. I've done that, through the lives of the people around me.

I found this picture yesterday:

That boy, Jordan, will one day be a young man. I suspect he might enjoy having this image as much as I will enjoy having taken it.

Who knows. 

Time changes everything - me and then me, most of all. 


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Market 101


Last night, a small town joy, the farmer's market on the square. Some local participants were proud to be part of making America Sonoma again. I saw a hat worn proudly advertising the fact, with a flag pin and all. Nobody seemed to be harassing this old man. It was as if it didn't even matter. 

We sat and listened to the music, drank rosé, had ahi tuna bowls of varying degrees of spiciness. I hobbled there and back - limping, lurching, and faltering, gasping for occasional air.

First Tuesday Market of the summer. There was no wind, but plenty of early evening sun. The rains left an unusual amount of bugs in the grass, populations that were eager to participate and happy to have us near. 

When I was handing the boy a corn dog, I told him that it was a bit hot and that maybe I should take a bite off to let some of the heat out. He was against this. Son, sharing makes us happy, most of all when it's painful.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Power Panties

(Portrait - me in the sun, building castles on the beach)

Ok, I don't handle being injured very well. I see that now, I get it: I'm a pussy. Are we discouraged from using that word, or have we been empowered and emboldened concerning its oblique power and meaning from our friends at the resistance movement?

Who knows. Pussy, pussy, pussy..... I mean, me, of course. 

You say infantilize, I say vagina.

Well, I wrote a whole post that argued for a better understanding of the word let, and how the media have let us down again, but fuck it. What's the point? People will believe whatever they wish to believe. They're just against letting you believe what you wish to believe. They can't let that.

I am sunken in a bit - depression.  The foot has fucked me up. If I can just wake up with such a debilitating and mysterious injury then I start to ask the questions, What if other bad things can happen to Scorpios while they're sleeping? 


Monday, May 1, 2017

Curl-Footed Crustacea

The heel had started to mend, the pain was easing. I was able to walk on it a bit without the crutches. Two more days along and it very much seemed as if I was heading towards recovery, and that recovery might arrive much sooner than I could have guessed only a few days before. Then I decided to sleep without the foot support wraps and contoured gels designed for this purpose. I woke up this morning and there's no question left concerning that choice: It was bad. I guess the slight strain of the blanket holding the foot downwards is enough to aggravate it. Actually, that's not a guess, it's what I've read and know to be true. 

I don't know why I expect to heal faster than others around me, but I do. Have that expectation, I mean. 

I checked my phone this morning and a friend had texted last night after I was already heading toward sleep. He has gout. There are no questions left - I am a middle aged man. My friends are getting arthritis and, for some reason, it is appearing as a surprise to them. 

I saw a closeup picture of another friend's face yesterday, on social media, they were happily announcing their 40th birthday. I looked carefully at the lines, the wear marks around the eyes. Time accumulates in the folds of skin, gathering itself along the ridges that have lost their elasticity. This person was smiling and they looked happy. 

How, I wondered, how?

I haven't seen my own back in years. My guess is that there are barnacles growing there now, sprouting up where there had been stray black hairs that seemed entirely new ten years ago. I'll find out about back barnacles next. I'll write about them here and a handful of my friends will confess to having had to deal with them for years, also. They'll offer advice on how best to manage spine mushrooms and butt fungus, which will be my next horrors to awake to. Something will hurt in my ass crack, like there's a seashell stuck there, an unexpected conch wedged in a place where it was neither invited nor welcomed. I'm told that if you put your lips to it then you can hear the ocean. 

The internet is useful for aging people that have a grasp on how to do a Google search. There are all of these common mysteries awaiting discovery. The hideous afflictions, the indignities of time. My life has become a carnivalesque telling of the jack-in-the-box sort. There's the mad music, like being stuck at a Dutch carnival on unpleasantly strong acid, Father Time cranking up some boxed weasel that's struggling with substance issues, ambitiously waiting to pop into my life. Me, knowing that at any moment this hideous spring-loaded harlequin will come to a caricatured life and then I'll have to introduce him to all of my friends as if he is somehow interesting. 

It's hard to say, a strained ligament can take months to heal... 

Fascinating stuff. It serves as a barnacle for both the mind and foot, an encrustation with communication centers at both ends of my body. The fucking thing has me flanked. 

First, there is the surprise of pain. 

I would probably never do anything about anything if it were not for the pain. Pain is the body's system for encouraging your DNA to survive, pleasure is there for it to flourish. It's the most bizarre thing to recognize: if it were not for my son then there are days when I might just lie down in the dirt and die like a clumsy one-eyed dog. 

I can't tell which would be worse, dying alone or having witnesses, in the light or in the dark, suddenly or with some warning. The atheist in me says that dying alone might be less unpleasant, but the romantic in me wants to believe that there might be one final quip worth being around for. 

I want to be remembered by my inability to take anything seriously. It's the only way to love, and any fool can die that way.