Friday, March 22, 2019

Derek



(A recent pic)


Another friend passed away. I'm not sure but based on the posts mentioning depression - his - I have assumed the worst. Is it the worst thing to assume - suicide? I don't know, but it does provoke some very bad feelings. He was a nice guy. He gave me my job as a manager of a local record store in Orlando many years ago, a position I took with all of the seriousness that you can imagine. I was known for sleeping on the futon during the days. Like so many of us he had his own problems. He and I were always happy to see each other. There is that to remember. I could tell more stories here about him, but they are mainly illicit memories. We were younger and none of them, I do not think, would shed favorable light on his recent demise. 

Unlike some of the other deaths recently, I had not seen this one coming at all. What is to be said when you reach an age that you can nearly predict the unfortunate deaths. If not the specifics, there is a sense that tells before you know. Do other 50 year old people feel this way? 

Last week or the one before there was a death which appeared at first to be a suicide. All of the music that had been posted by them to social media before the person's death certainly seemed to suggest that there was some messaging going on beforehand. Then the news broke that it was not a drug-overdose and it was not a suicide, it was accidental. Ignoring that it could have very well been accidental while still being both of those other things, also. It was definitely an over-dose, just not the recreational kind. What sadness is spared by the clarifying claim?

If I was to die soon then my entire life might seem like one long suicide note. So, live every day like it's your last, write a suicide note today.


We mis-booked our condo here in Tahoe and we're supposed to check out in the next couple hours, and that's not even the worst thing that I have to deal with this morning. 






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Thursday, March 21, 2019

"90 miles an hour, girl, is the speed I drive"





We slept in late, now there is a rush to get out on the slopes. I have drank coffee, but it did not solve the issue of my lethargy. Now, I poured another cup but left it on the other side of the counter. I would rather type this sentence than get up and retrieve it. 

Well, I brought a camera out yesterday, and shot a few pics of the boy and mom. Shooting in snow requires some minor adjustments, which are easy enough to make, though getting a very well exposed image of snow is challenging. The computer's assessment can not be always trusted. 

I should be less of a twat and buy a good multi-purpose zoom lens, as that is what is needed in this environment. Carrying around even two primes, one on the camera and one in a lens pouch, becomes tedious and prohibitive. Add to that the other camera - 35mm black and white film - and you can imagine what a drag I was yesterday getting these two shots when I could have just been sliding my 200+ pounds down a snowy hill with my giggling son, as mom looks on, still worried that we're both going just a little too fast.






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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Day 3 in the Snow





Don't worry about that bit of psychedelia running along the side of my face. I had eaten a handful of candy edibles before we departed for snow stuff and it seems to have affected my phone's camera function. It's as if one of my acid flashbacks had a stroke. 

The boy and mom and I had a great day just getting up to speed on our new winter sport - snowboarding. Mom stayed on skis, but the boy and I have learned some basic maneuvering skills in two days. There are some motions that are counter-intuitive and it takes some getting used to to slice a curve while drifting backwards, but once the sound of your nervous system screaming subsides a bit it begins to all feel quite graceful and even... natural, when it is anything but. 

My friends are, of course, all proud of my parenting and courage and bravery for learning a new and dangerous sport at this age, but what the fuck... when I told them I like to wear women's underwear they told me to shut up! There were no renegade accusations of bravery and courage then. 


CS is right. The Dems are going to find a way of getting tangled up in conversations about Caitlyn Jenner and Ted Nugent next year. You can feel it all coming a million miles away. The Repubs are going to try to mostly keep their heads low and ignore their choice of president. Then they'll start minor arguments over which federal agencies should take on responsibility for funding sex reassignment surgery for non-active military. The Demmies can always be counted on to stick to their platform leading up to an election. 

They chose a poor enemy: other Americans. At least the GOP was smart enough to create a threat built on the idea of foreign enemies, LOTS of them, EVERYWHERE. My favorite part of purely partisan politics is that you'll never run out of idiots, no matter which side you vehemently oppose. 


Ok, day three in the snow. 

Don't worry about that bit of psychedelia running along the side of my face.








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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hearthy



(Day One, Truckee)


There's nothing much to take pictures of here anyway. Just snow, lots of it in all directions, peppered with smiling white people here and there.  It is supposed to snow tonight. We will ski and snowboard again today. Then we will watch the snow fall tonight through the bay windows of our rental property, with the fire going. We will see what the result is tomorrow - either more skiing or none at all. The boy seems to have really attached to snowboarding, as I suspected he would. He had all-day instruction yesterday from a very patient expert in the emerging sport of snowboarding. They are everywhere here, the specialists. It is why some smart people hate things like this: the field of experts is already overpopulated with the worst kind of the intellectually incurious - the healthy and young. 

Yesterday, after swimming a bit in the heated outdoor pool we (I, mainly) decided that we could take a shortcut through the snow to get back to our clearly visible temporary home. It wasn't very far to go, but the snow was much deeper than it first looked, and was also a very uphill climb. I had to take my shows off for fear of losing them in the snow, which was a good example to teach my son when it comes to doing stupid stuff in the snow. The snow was weakened underneath, so every step that mom took in front of me she sunk up to her waist. I tried to step in her footsteps but dad is much heavier than mom. I was sinking to my chest, in wet swimming shorts and no shoes. You get the idea. The boy seemed to love it. Mom, not nearly as much.

We survived. The boy instinctively latched onto the joy of being in the snow without shoes, to make sure there was not any confusion about exactly how right mom was. We are different sorts of frontier people. 

I make it seem worse than it was. It was silly, borderline foolish. No one suffered more than myself, and that seemed fine with all of the witnesses.












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Monday, March 18, 2019

Don't tell, don't ask





We arrived in Tahoe - well, Truckee, which is north of the lake.  We went shopping for the week for food, we went by the ski shop and got kitted out with snowboard gear, we ate lobster rolls and had wine for lunch, we settled into our rental condo and couldn't figure out how the television worked. Vacation stuff. 

The pic above was sent in a group text among some old friends. I barely remember being asked to put the sweater on a few years back, to have my picture taken, but I did. Now, I have this  little memento to celebrate Spring Break with. Yesterday was Rachel's birthday. I am prohibited from discussing the details, but her age in relation to mine would have pleased the honorable Elijah Muhammad a decade ago.   


Don't tell.




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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Will there?




I don't know what I'm doing sitting here at this computer. I should be packing. I have put it off to the last moment, and the last moment has now passed. I will rush and forget things that will seem more important than they could be once I realize they have been forgotten. I will bring too much camera gear and strain to use all of it, making decisions that make no sense, setting out for hours with a speciality lens, shooting film when I should be shooting digital. 


Okay, I will ingest a significant amount of THC for the drive to Tahoe. It will help keep me happy and enthusiastic about the music that I am choosing to play, some heavy 70s dub, the deep cuts. It's what I've been into lately, and the last Cat Power and Warpaint albums.  Like any good feminist, I look down my nose at art made by men as stories that the world has already heard and that we have no further need in that regard, probably never did. Except, I did slip recently and read a novel by a man that wasn't transitioning. It was exciting to be such a toxic misogynist, feeding on the pastime of the enemy, like masturbating in the dark with chocolate smeared on my hands. It's not for everybody, starting with the skinny. 

Will there ever be an end to our many differences? 






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Saturday, March 16, 2019

A distance apart





We leave for Spring break tomorrow. Tahoe. Truckee. Northstar. It's a vacation place, for families. We are guaranteed to have the famliest of fun. I poke some sarcasm at it, but it is the type place that lives up to its modest promises of semi-expensive distraction, to the exclusion of fascination. I'm certain Tahoe features heavily on Stuff White People Like. I know this without needing to check, but if you don't know that site then browse it. It was from a more innocent racial time. 


My dilemma is the same as always - which cameras should I bring, all Nikon makes sense, but I love the Fuji so much and it is easier to travel with, but what of the instant, and but I love to shoot film, which requires Nikon lenses, so then why not bring the Nikon body... maybe I'll bring every camera and lens that I own, but I wanted to bring my guitar also, and was looking at new ones the other day, though mom, the trip sentinel, said there's no room in the car, and that maybe I could bring the ukulele, and I haven't tried to put the bike rack on the back of Rachel's new car yet, and part of me wants to stay home and have a week to myself, though I know I would regret doing that, because it would unnecessarily hurt the feelings of others whom I love; I need to buy some ski clothes though I'll be snowboarding this trip with the boy because teaching him to ski would be anachronistic, everything is expensive, the thought happened to me that if I brought my mountain bike I could just ride and ride and ride until I felt tired or hungry or both and alone enough that I wished to return and had reached a distance apart in which I couldn't possibly know where I was going any more.





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Thursday, March 14, 2019

... an otherwise blameless life






I just found myself standing on the scale while eating a piece of chocolate. 








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Monday, March 11, 2019

I promise





Slight misreporting yesterday. The family reports that it was not a suicide, was not an overdose. 

Consolations never seem to equal the thing for which they are meant to bring comfort.



I am not in an unhappy mood, even though the rains are washing at me tremendously. I have a meeting, then a bike ride in the sun. I promise.





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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sundays with jazz in other rooms





I finally went for a bike ride. It has been about a month since I have been able to ride regularly, which is a big part of what keeps me happy. Without it I am suicidal just like everybody else. 


Well, I can say that, sure. An old friend from the prehistoric world of nightclubbing committed suicide last night. I wasn't that close with him but that specific news always tends to send shock ripples through the survivors, what's left of them, the remainders. Some thoughts become more difficult once you have children - like this one. You want everyone to be happy and safe. It's silly. You know it can't happen, but you tempt things so much less now. You understand life differently. The old things seem so foreign, far away, and yet dangerous. I used to romanticize decay as long as it wasn't sullied with any desperation. One lets their guard down every now and then, things begin to slip, the old standards become the augmented new. 

The first thing I always want to know whenever I hear the news of a suicide is: did they have children? As if that's the only thing that matters after something like that.

I could be wrong. You tell me. 

I am like an opioid crisis when waiting for clouds to clear. If you've ever wanted to die in your sleep then you might understand what I mean. I mean, when people say, How would you like to go?

You tell me. Have you ever, in your sleep, wanted that.




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Saturday, March 9, 2019

And do you have any?





Okay, I've come to accept it. The new pup is a very sweet burden. So be it. She, at least, affords me the opportunity to go to the dog park much more often now, where I can take pics of dogs. They are animated and fun. This will occupy me a few times before I grow tired of it. 

Yesterday, after taking a few pictures of dogs at the park a few people asked me to see the ones of their dogs, and I offered to send them the pics if they would write their email addresses in my phone. There was one mom that seemed quite skeptical of me. She was the best looking woman there and before she wrote her email address in my phone she felt compelled to ask me if I had any dogs at the park. I guess she wanted to verify that I belonged there and wasn't some creep taking pictures of young dogs for who knows what perverse pleasures. I should have sent her a nice, juicy dick pic.

It is not the woman in the picture above. I pissed her off trying to get into the parking lot. I was tailgating her a little bit, mostly because I had been drinking and felt a sense of urgency to get to the park where I would be safe from police officers, I told myself. Public parks are always a great place to hide from the cops, especially when there are moms at the gate checking IDs. Who would think to hide there?

People are crazed endlessly with excess of accusation.   





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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Being





Jesus, that dog is driving me a little bit crazy. I can't escape it's sweet, loving yowls of anxiety. I am, quite literally, hiding inside a restaurant right now and having a beer with lunch, where she can't see me. It'll only be fifteen minutes of sweet escape, but some much needed time. Maybe one day I'll be able to have two beers with lunch, then three, then who knows. 

I love the pup much, but Daddy needs a day off, soon.

There is more to write about, but fuck it. 


The boy loves her so much, and she loves him. To watch them together is a splendid thing for a man my age to do. What else is there? 


One of my lifelong friends is retiring soon. Maybe he'll move here and watch my dog and kid for me.

I would let him drink all day and complain all night. I'd encourage it. 

What else is there?





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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Want: More





I sit here with my first glass of red wine of the day. I went to the dentist earlier - a crown was needed. Not nearly as bad as a root canal but the sound and smell of a drill being used on one's teeth is not anything that easily extinguishes itself. The wash is only to spit, the unpleasantness of the mind remains. So, there is the wine and the memory of the smell. It will likely drip down the left side of my face and onto my white shirt, because I'm still a little but Sylvester Stallone'd from the local anesthesia. My lip droops Lidocaine. 

I often chat with my dentist about the various drugs that used to be used as compared to the ones that are now. Amazingly, they have generally less abuse potential and are more effective. He will tell me illicit stories of when his office used to get broken into by ravers desperate for tanks of nitrous oxide. 

No, I told him that story, but he had stories of his own, as well. 

Nitrous oxide makes me feel like going better places than just the dentist, though I never arrive. The feeling wears off. Even when I was a kid I used to relish the atmospheric walks home, down the familiar streets that felt so suddenly unfamiliar, thinking of an album that I should listen to.


I want everything, life, and some more of it. 







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Monday, March 4, 2019

Skate Tough or Go Home





Never a Dull Moment, the curse sent to us in album form from English rocker Rod Stewart. It was the last of his listenable full-length efforts. But I meant the new pup - she's a real dynamo. There is still much adjusting to do. 

CS is right about it being a lot to undertake of course, though I feel as if he is enjoying the luxury of complaining about what taking on a pup means without having to do any of the work. 

We're dropping her off at discipline school and going to Tahoe for a week. It is the boy's Spring break. I suspect that we will miss her in equal proportion to how much we enjoy the relief from caring for her. She is trying very hard, you can see it in everything she does.

Yesterday, we went to the local skate park. I tied her to a tree outside. I'm from Florida, that sort of thing is still permitted. She whined and yowled for a little bit but then settled down and accepted her fate. After a while it occurred to me that she could run around with the kids in the park, no one else was there. So, I brought her in and closed the gate.

Rhys was standing at the bottom of a bowl. She had run around to the top side. When she saw him she just darted for him, I tried to yell no, but she had already launched from the upper rim into a full breasted dive into the bowl. She disappeared from my site and I expected to hear a snapping sound and her immediate howls of pain. But somehow she landed it. She tried to run up the sides to get out but kept sliding back towards the bottom. I showed her which side she could run up to get out of the bowl and then that's all the kids wanted to do with her after that, just to run and laugh and run. What a wonderful thing is youth. 

Everybody loves a puppy.









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Saturday, February 23, 2019

They do





Just the parts to fix the seatbelts in my car are a thousand dollars. You read that correctly - $1000 USD. For the parts. I'm trying to be stoic about the damage the pup has done in my car and elsewhere, because she has proven herself to be amenable to training, but the stoicism could give way any moment to panicked desperation. The dealership said that the parts are expensive because there is a small explosive device within them that goes off in the event of an accident, and they emphasized that the parts must come from Germany, as if that would help me better understand their true worth. I then requested the non-military option. They explained that there is none. There is only the explosions in your seat option or freedom from safety. 

So, there goes another grand.

She has also chewed the legs of one of the chairs in the living room, the front door, and the molding around the front door.

All chew damage aside, though, the little girl-pup is adjusting nicely and she is very sweet. Sweetness goes a long way. It's a mystery why anybody ever forgets that. But they do. 


(The eyes of destruction)







Thursday, February 21, 2019

The best thing ever



(Pic by Rhys)



Dad, what's the best thing that's ever happened to you?

Probably being your dad.

No, I mean, what's the best thing that happened at one time?

Oh, then maybe going to Disney with you and Mom for my 50th birthday.

Mine is getting Akira.





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Things To Be Hyperbolic About





There are always lists of things that I would like to do - one for work and one for personal matters - if they can be called that. It is more a catalog of nonsense that I need to do for Rhys, and now for Akira. Each week I scratch through a few of the items on the list, whether completed, partially done, or abandoned. There is never a week in which the lists are finished. They never get thrown away, only lost or rewritten. I am terrible at setting and maintaining goals. I didn't used to be, but something changed. I'm not sure when, or how, or why. I put myself through college, and graduated.


I just had to move into my bedroom because Rhys had his screen time revoked yesterday and now he's trying to punish me for it. So, the clock's ticking on this post. It's not on my list of things I need to do, but there is a pre-school morning with a 7 year old waiting to happen.



I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return 
W.H. Auden




Well, if you go in for either evil or that poetry stuff. 










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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Equality is an arithmetical concept





Where did I ever get the time to take a photograph of anything. Thousands of them, days apart, for years and years. The one above showed up as an online reminder. Of course I knew that such things would begin to feel creepy. They have. 


The day is a true beauty here, more so than the rains had previously let.  

As soon as can, am going to take the dogs for a nice, big, outdoor run.



Okay, I took a minute and snapped this with my phone. 

We were playing around with some new instant film last night.









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Saturday, February 16, 2019

What's the fun in that?



(Helena)


She is one of my favorite people to photograph. It's because she is young and beautiful and has a naturally pleasant demeanor. Those qualities do very well in photography, though they are not requirements. I have known her since she was a girl. The little sister of two close friends who became a close friend herself. She just reached out to me because she and her husband are celebrating their 10th anniversary and she wanted higher res images of some of the pics I've taken of them along the way. I sent her hundreds of candid shots. The one below was of special interest to her, pre-children, when their love was in its initial bloom. 

If my own life's trajectory had been entirely up to me then I would now be famous for photographing women I know and would have become rich and famous in the process. Not as rich and famous as the women I photograph, but you get the idea. 


I was chatting through text with a friend yesterday, one who works as a professional photographer in Orlando. He just got a repeat assignment to do the Daytona 500, so he had rented a telephoto lens and was sending me pics that he had taken from the previous year. I was envious of that life, though I suspect that along the way he has lost some of his passion for photography by working in the field. There is a trade-off for so many things. If you truly love music, then avoid its industry, etc. When other people are going to pay you to take images then you must discover what they wish to see. 

What's the fucking fun in that?




I coulda' been a sun flare....


I want to take a road trip in which the sole purpose would be photography. Everywhere I go it is always a secondary activity, and the results tend to capture that. I travel and happen to have cameras with me. I almost exclusively shoot Rachel, Rhys, and Barkley. Now, Akira also, I must assume. But it has been three decades since I have taken a trip with the intention of only taking photographs, and even then I was the driver. It was my friend that was doing all the photography. I want to see if I can develop a certain kind of eye for rural roads and landscapes. Looking at pictures is easy, making them is endless. You can look at these images for minutes or hours and many of them seem entirely unscripted, as if the photographer barely cared when he was pressing the shutter and with where the camera was pointed. Then, go out and try to imitate it. I have no idea why I would aspire to doing something that must seem to others as if it is evidently no special skill at all. But everybody gets to look at things, so there is always so much more to be seen that what can ever possibly be readily apparent to all. 
 
Instagram proves that same point much better than the above paragraph could ever hope to. 


Looks like Rhys and I will drive into the city today to meet up with a family of friends from NYC. Rachel will stay home with Akira the Destroyer. She has some things to do and the pup is nowhere close to being able to be left alone yet, certainly not for an entire day.

Today will be a long and exhausting one, but I will bring cameras with me. Now I feel obligated to bring my best one.



The best looking people I know, Ben and Helena:




Shit. I just realized that the lead image of Helena is one I've already used here. 

I'm slippin'.

 





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Friday, February 15, 2019

"She thinks crossin' her legs is funny"




Geezus Krinkles, my fucking head hurt this morning. I've become a lightweight. I had maybe 3-4 glasses of wine last night and then woke up this morning with a headache that didn't go away until I had drank two beers. Rachel and I went to a sushi thing. It was like a hundred bucks a ticket, for Valentine's Day. For fools. Meh. 


The new pup is slowly learning stuff and adjusting to not being around me at all times, but it is only happening slowly. I haven't been able to ride my bike since getting her because she can't be left alone for that long yet. I've only left her alone and in her crate for about 10-15 minutes when I'm not here. Her howls of anguish and loneliness are too much for me. I'm a pussy. See previous paragraph.











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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jettison





What is the sensation called when your undergo some sort of a life change and it distorts your sense of time, causes you to panic slightly most of the time, thinking that you might not ever return to a place of normalcy. That's what happens when you get a puppy. Especially a puppy that appears to be suffering from separation anxiety, one that leaves fur everywhere in its wake. 

There are other possible changes going on in my life, also. 


All day I have thought that it was Friday. I just looked up at my clock on my computer, waiting for the day to come to a close so the weekend would start, and noticed that it's Thursday. That's a shitty feeling. If the present isn't enough to cause me to stop living in the future then how will the past ever help anything.






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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

It's hard to be mad at her, but getting easier





She ate the driver's seatbelt this morning. You must think that I am joking - because no one would let a dog stay in the car after eating the first one - but I was only gone for less than 5 minutes, dropping the boy off at school. She had been fine with 5-10 minute car abandonments before. 

But now that she's had a taste for seatbelt....

I have no idea how much it will cost to have them replaced. We have a trip to Tahoe planned for the middle of March. I'm pretty sure mom will require them to be replaced before then. She's like a cop with these things. Like a cop that turns in other cops - internal affairs, special units detective. 


Akira is in her crate now, whining and lightly howling. I have been trying to get her acclimated to being crated - which mom has told me to stop calling a cage - but this is a new process for me and one that does not feel entirely natural. She seems to experience pretty severe separation anxiety when I am not very close to her. I am running out of ideas and things for her to destroy. I do not wish to treat a pup cruelly and a crate does feel that way to me a bit, but there must be some middle ground that can be struck between her happiness and mine, her jaws and my stuff.

I have read that when done properly the canine might not ever love the crate but that they will grow to feel safe and calm there. It's very true for Barkley. He seems to prefer his carrier at times of increased confusion or stress, and sleeps very well with the front portion zippered up. He will retreat into it and fall asleep fairly often, especially now that there is a roaming husky pup in the vicinity.

I believed that being here all day would make this a little bit easier. It's like having to satisfy the emotional needs of a super quick infant that has the jaws of a crocodile and the eyes of an Estonian. 


I've run out of any new pictures of her. I took several at the dog park the other day. 

I did not want you to think that everything had been eaten. Only the things that we can not keep from being in front of her face.











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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Akirazilla





She ate the front door frame and the front door and the passenger side seat belt in my car. There is fur everywhere. Our Dyson vacuum cleaner died yesterday. It is becoming challenging, taking on a puppy that suffers severe separation anxiety. I feel bad crating her, but that can't possibly stay that way much longer. I have no idea how much a seat belt costs to replace, or a front door. 

We love her and she is very sweet, but it's becoming a real challenge. 

The hour that I was at Rhys' school volunteering was the hour that she ate the seat belt. It was the first hour that I have had away from her since we adopted her last Sunday, pretty much. And by away, I mean that she was in the car. The crate is seeming more and more sensible each moment. I'm just trying to get her used to being in it without it seeming like punishment. This is possible, but it takes time. I don't know how much more time I have. I need the driver's side seat belt. I've even started to like wearing it.
  




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Monday, February 11, 2019

What else is there?





I am adopting a new disposition, again. My old one - non-intervening disinterestedness - is failing me slowly. We'll see how my new policy of strategic contractual retreat will pan out.


I have taken a sick day from work. I am in bed and this is where I'll likely stay.


It's true that I invited him CS to take a road trip. I neglected to tell him that it would have been in a stolen ambulance, where he could relax a bit. Take a load off with one morphine drip at a time. 

Perhaps I will drive up or down the California coast and look for things to point a camera at. Things that make me feel, or think, or provide me some glimpse into their solitary nature, into their trapped beauty. 







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Sunday, February 10, 2019

The business of being





What I meant is only that there is another truth inside of the one you may know, the one you have embraced especially. So many people that I have loved seem to have given up, recognizing that there also seems to be a lie mixed up deeply within the business of being. There are too many to count.









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The presentness of the past





Don't let the picture fool you much, she was having fun. The editor just liked that picture. Cameras capture all sorts of mysteries, lets you glimpse a portion of the innuendo and suggestion that occurs along the continuum of the visible. Shuttering the eye reveals some other, strange truth. The enigma of the evident. Several versions of everything, all the time, for every viewer, from a few different views. Always there is the presentness of the past.




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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Some of it





Disabused of the past by those who never bothered with it.


Life meteoric; laughter and suffering, some celestial.
Everything now suddenly effervescent.





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Chrysanthemum Struggles




Having a new pup that eats her own bed when left alone for fifteen minutes has magically solved all of my problems. It's an honest blue-eyed miracle, and just what I needed. I needed someone to feed.

Well, there is that sort of stuff going on but she is also an enormously sweet-hearted puppy, which goes a very long way with me. In fact, I insist that you can measure the approximate time of death of the human heart by noting how unswayed it is by innocent love, and how equally averse to communal laughter.

She looks at me like she's in love. I like that, a lot. I look at her the same way.

She loves everyone, but you'd never know it by staring at her. It's those steely Auschwitz eyes she has. She scares me a little bit with her seemingly calculated calmness. 


She is adjusting to being around all of us, and us her. She keeps putting her rather significant paw on Barkley's head in an apparent offer to play, to which he has not yet learned to respond in kind. As you can imagine, the older Shitzu is nonplused. The old Chinese palace dog still knows how to bark and growl when the intruders arrive at the temple.

I'm trying to have a sense of hack humor about this stuff.









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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Akira





She is very sweet, and makes me smile. We're so happy when we're together. You should see us. We love to walk, and look into each other's eyes, and touch noses, and kiss. 

She seems to love listening to my singing and is tolerant of most of the guitar stuff. 







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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Snow Day





The car was covered in ice this morning. I had already walked the new puppy in just a t-shirt, and didn't think it was that cold, but it was. I had to scrape the windshield and defrost the other windows. Out of pure chance we all decided to give the boy a ride to school this morning. On the way, we saw something we had never seen: all of the mountain tops in the valley above a certain altitude were covered in snow, lots of it. Well, lots of it for Sonoma, California.




We decided to not take the boy right to class, and instead to drive up to Sugarloaf Park and have a look around. Of course the husky pup loved it, as did Barkley and the boy. They all ran into it and rolled down it and frolicked. That seems like a legitimate reason to use that word.




Akira - which has been our working name for her - broke loose of her harness and ran off up the hill into the snow with another pup. We were able to retrieve her but there were a few minutes in which it was an open question.

Everyone seemed to share the same idea.




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Monday, February 4, 2019

Akira - puppies have a right to children





Well, we did it and have expanded our numbers by one. Pets Lifeline finally deemed us worthy. We adopted her yesterday. I learned to play Love Rescue Me on the guitar to celebrate. Leave me alone about U2... Dylan co-wrote that one with them, so I feel like I get a free pass, or a co-pass. I was going to learn Emotional Rescue, but it just doesn't sound right on an acoustic guitar, and me singing. 

Any fool can ape Bono. 

What? Don't look at me like that. I've been playing the guitar a lot lately, am looking for song themes. 

So, rescue it is.


Out tentative name for her is Akira, but we're discussing a few options. She's a sweetheart. Barkley seems mildly traumatized by her presence, we're all making adjustments as needed. She is recovering from being spayed still, so we can not quite play with her as we would normally, but hopefully y this upcoming weekend we'll be able to at least let her run and hopefully chase a few catapulted tennis balls. The boy is ready.

We have been warned that she is an "escape artist" and I believe it. I just walked Barkley for maybe 5-7 minutes and she freaked out, destroyed some of the front door and the trim. She had eaten the wood trim away from the door frame and scratched some of the wood off the door. I could hear her howling as I approached.

So, new things to learn, a few modifications needed in lifestyle. 

All of that.

But also all of this:






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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Two things in life are certain






Super Bowl Sunday. My dad passed away four years ago. I was in a bad place when it happened. Rachel and I were apart. She was dating somebody. Her call to me consisted of two sentences: I'm very sorry and I have to go. After the call at least one of those sentences seemed true. It is not a slight against her, only the recognition that at that time I no longer mattered to her. That was clear. I was in Colorado at the time. That's where he lived, though about four hours away, in Grand Junction. I did not see him before he went. After, there was only the urn.


I do not need to re-live either of those feelings. I was trying to remember something from long ago, and thought that maybe this site would help me. I stumbled across an old post about my mother, Stella. Rachel reminds me of my mother, sometimes. They are both only-children, and they share some of their demeanor and mannerisms. There has never been a time in which I have consciously confused or interchanged the two, believing one to be a substitute for the other. 


That is perhaps sufficient reminiscing for the day. 

So much more than two things in life are certain.





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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Snapped Shots





I should stop buying books on photography. They are depressing; how good they can be. Saul Leiter has been the most recent long-deceased photographer to vex me. His images are really something. They seem like very lucky accidents, except that he is able to produce them at will. I'm still stuck at the interesting accident phase, or so I hope to be. Harnessing accidents will require more time and patience. 

In some ways it is like writing. It requires some tolerance and restraint, a recognition that you only have so much control over a given thing, over how the light will hit the film. Some attributes of the result occur only because you are there and you allow them to be. Then there are some that will never quite be yours. Trying too hard will make it yours, of course, but not in the manner that you may have hoped.

Then there are others that seem to only require composure. Still, I can feel them struggling to settle, to be something else. The below image is one I found that seems to evoke Sergio Larraine, though I would not have known that when I took the image. At the time I was openly struggling with the enigma of what is evident. 









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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Day Cart





I think, therefore i'mpossible.












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