Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ducklings beware

I took the day off, because I wasn't feeling well, which was true. After an extended nap and then some reading on the couch I took the dog for a car ride, to cheer him up.

There are less and less leaves on the vines each day now.  The weather report says that there will be heavy winds for the week to come.  Today, they were right. The winds blew furiously, especially on the hillsides.

It is difficult to find entire vineyards that still have much color, though there are a few here and there, recognized most fully in the setting light of the sun.

I discovered some ducklings.  Barkley was as interested in them as it is possible for a puppy to be.  He stood on the shore twitching with excitement, wiggling at the shapes before him, groaning with glandular pleasure at their presence.  

Sensibly, they retired to the other side of the pond, leaving the reflection of the hills orange and behind them in their wake.

Barkley and I stood together on the shore and watched their adorable, persistent retreat.  Barkley pleading at my leg for me to do something, anything to change the course of foul wonderful nature, for his pleasure.  

I never intended to become a nature photographer, nor do I falsely believe myself to have arrived, but the world around me is picture-worthy and I get tired of lying around in my underwear reading Dostoevsky, at times.  I am still working on one that is called his masterpiece by many, "The Brothers Karamazov."  I am less than half way through.   Rachel complains that there has not yet been a murder in it.  I explained to her that all of this was written well before Freud, but my suggestive timeline did not seem to impress.  

We read the pre-existential thriller, "Crime and Punishment" two winters ago.  

I assure her that a murder, and a big one, is on the way.  

There is death and growth all around in this valley, one need only to look.  Earlier today a cluster of vultures circled the car in a remote part of the valley.  I assumed it was for the little guy, Barkley.  But who knows, perhaps taking the day off from work has sent them a celestial message and I should not have not been wandering in parts unknown, cut off from my supply of firearms, stinking of delicious death.  

Vultures and buzzards are only partially scavengers.  They will gladly kill and eat a cute little puppy.  They are recognized firstly as birds of prey, hunting in flocks, and known only secondly as scavengers, when necessary to be so.  Buzzards hunt alone, or in pairs, vultures are quite group-minded when it comes to food.

I committed to arranging the rest of our day-trip in such a way that nobody would eat, or be eaten. 

Well, not entirely true...  I had grilled steak and peppers with sautéed chard when I got home.  I am drinking a bottle of wine as I write this.  So somebody would certainly eat before the day was over, and somebody else, unknown, would be eaten.  My apologies, universe.  I only wish to live, firstly, and then to live well secondarily. 

The picture below is also a bird of prey, though not a vulture.  I couldn't tell what it was, though it flew quite close to me, and was much larger than this picture alone suggests. I assumed it was a hawk rather than a falcon, from the shape of the wings being less v-shaped in flight, though in truth I know very little about such things.  I will research this and get back with you.

We stood on top of a windy hill in south Napa and looked east out across San Pablo Bay.  For that moment I didn't feel like we were any percentage of anything, either known or unknown.  Not going to work can occasionally do that for the spirit.  Tomorrow I will begrudgingly return to whatever percentage I happen to be, slowly inching upwards, taking my place in line.  Perhaps the metric system would serve better for this example, I might only be millimetering up.  Or downwards, into a yet unknown number... who knows, really.  

Maybe there's a whole group of percenters out there that are working hard and making more and more money each year, ever scavenging, always attacking, prepared to strike from above, circling in the skies around us, searching for puppies to devour, growing stronger with each bite, and every nibble....

Ducklings beware.


Let's go out past the party lights

Well I stumbled in the darkness
I'm lost and alone
Though I said I'd go before us
And show the way back home
There's a light up ahead
And I can't hold onto her arm
Forgive me pretty baby but I always take the long way home

Money's just something you throw
Off the back of a train
Got a head full of lightning
A hat full of rain
And I know that I said
I never do it again
And I love you pretty baby but I always take the long way home

I put food on the table
And a roof over head
But I'd trade it all tomorrow
For the highway instead
Watch your back if I should tell you
Love's the only thing I've ever known
One thing for sure pretty baby I always take the long way home

You know I love you baby
More than the whole wide world
You are my woman
I know you are my pearl
Let's go out past the party lights 
Where we can finally be alone
Come with me and we can take the long way home
Come with me, together we can take the long way home
Come with me, together we can take the long way home

-Tom Waits


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Unlucky sustenance

We went for a walk this morning, as we did the fog seemed to move in rather than burn off.  There was a specific point in the walk where we stepped under the mantle cover of moistness.  As we transitioned one half of the sky was a cloudless blue, the other a skyless grey.  A lone bird here and there breaking the silence with its initial flapping of flight.  Walking under the cover of fog it was as if we were entering a dream, or perhaps a black and white movie being played back in slow motion, an almost still world of another time.

There have been birds in increasing numbers here, flocks migrating across the skies, performing the magic of seemingly unified flight.  The waves of group movement visible in the blue above, shimmering in ripples against the light, dancing across the sky if only for an extraordinary instant.

Here and there in the early morning we would happen upon what I believed to be a crane, or an occasional great blue in the distance, stalking the fields for unlucky sustenance.  

Everywhere there was the quiet activity of survival, the evidence of life consuming life, ever pursuing continuance; there were the preparations for the coming day, the hushed lifting of the mist, the gentle rising of the sky, and glowing remains of the overnight industry of spiders in tandem.


Monday, November 28, 2011


(A license of exquisite west-coast sophistication) 

Ok, I was going to try to use the word "blessed" in everything that I wrote for about a year, but I've already become bored with it.  I suppose I resist being told which words I should use and which ones I should not.  It's a verygood word, and evokes many things for me, few of which have any religious meaning at all, beyond the mild sacrosanct pleasure I get from its misuse.  I will let it go, for now.  Mostly I wanted to be able to express happiness without derision from others, that's all.  I realize that happiness has less literary merit.  It is a price I'm willing to pay, when I can.

I have one day to myself: today, sort of.  The apartment where we live left a single printed sheet on our front door two days ago stating that they would be replacing the roofing today, to beware.  So the dog is pacing back and forth now, clearly terrorized by the anomalous industrial noises above.  I had planned on either going into SF to visit a thief for his birthday or driving around the Sonoma area to take more pictures.  Now it looks like neither of those two things will happen.  I suppose I could take the dog with me, though that becomes limiting.  I wouldn't be able to leave the car locked and strike out on foot, as I had hoped to.  I suppose I could leave the dog here, treading in terror from wall to wall, but that doesn't seem right either.  

I could give him a Xanax but Mom would probably find out.

There is no escape.  My day to myself will be demolished, and never rebuilt, by the noisy laboring of others.  Labor... that's a word that lately keeps ending up in conversation.  

Oh, blessed labor, I hardly knew you....

Speaking of work...  I was recently walking through a grocery store near where I daily waste my life, crushed under the juggernaut of capitalism, in Marin County, looking for something to eat and/or people to pepper spray.   Something there in the soda aisle occurred to me... I have tried to describe the social temperature of these people but it is difficult to do, they are not all of a single "kind."  They seem to share certain characteristics, but many people do, it is something beyond that.  There is something that feels unique, and unpleasant, singularly to the communal climate of the region.  It's like they're Yankees fans that don't know they're Yankees fans.   They are overtly smug that they have picked the most winningest team, then fail to understand how anybody could choose otherwise.

Perhaps the example of "Raiders Fans" would better suit my locale.  Either way, here is my stab at the point.....

They are like sports fans, in conflict with other sports fans, who share identical codes of "fan hood," but sadly the others do so for an opposing team.  Seemingly unable to recognize the corollary in their counterparts, they vow and renew their seasonal hatred for one another... granting themselves only the ability to recognize the arrangement of fault in others.  This fault often runs along very strict team patterns, made easily identifiable by color and icon combinations.  The currents and myriad questions of allegiance run ever deeper, ever swifter, as the years progress around them.  No amount of dedication to a regional team can suffice the angry, gluttonous gods of leisure.  No display of maniacal fanaticism towards your city's stars is ever too much, no disgrace is too disgraceful.  It is the very life purpose of some fans.  

In the future we will all have 15 unedited frames of shame.

It is not necessarily a requirement that violence erupt between one team's fans and others, or even occasionally amongst those committed to the same team, but it always feels as if there is an air of mild aggression that serves to barely suppress the actual need for violence, most of the time.  The sporadic explosion of actual violence merely makes the axiom demonstrative.  It is enjoyed, then roundly renounced by all.

Ok, the dog is nervous and whining.  He's acting like a sissy at Oakland coliseum..... It's time that I take him on a photo adventure.

These were just a few pre-game bottle rockets I had committed to launch....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This post is an experiment.

(picking her nose, while pregnant)

I had a conversation with my very, very, very dear friend, Zoie, today.  

I told her I would create an experiment to see if these posts get emailed to her, upon my posting.

She said that she'd love to read my daily ramblings more often but she hardly thinks of it, on her own accord.  

She asked me what an RSS was, and which specific RSS I preferred (NetNewsWire)... though in all honesty I get my international-news-media either from anecdotal European socialist sources or from Echofon links alone (inflated Twitter feeds)... everything else is just Say:AllahVe'... blessed meditorial, and to that I now gently gather my sleep, as petite time tolerates, and as the lurid lexicon of life allows ......

I, blessed, bow.

It sits, this blessing.
it sits, and now

A Latin disease:  Isit blessed,
by whom, and how.

the pope knows best,
then and now.

It means:  ""

... for my NativeAmericanIndians readers,
and hillbillies-alike,
for now seem:


Running up that hill....

Part of the misery of hell must also be the feeling that you are somehow wasting your time there, that you were actually destined for something much greater, that you had missed your calling.  Perhaps in time that's all that hell is: a massive repository of people who simply have jobs.  Unable to stop thinking about the misery of those jobs they wail and wail in well-formed and awkwardly timed sentences, forever kept at close visible distance from a land of milk and honey, and wine.  There is perhaps only a green wasteland that keeps them separated from the endlessness of possibilities, from the richness of the earth, from the skies, from the flight of a waking dream.

Perhaps hell is just standing there, day after day, attached to a spot, doing what you are merely capable of doing. 

Standing there like this unblessed tree, mute and dumb as the day is long... yearning to be elsewhere.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

34 Weeks

Rachel and I went to a birth-preparedness yoga class. The room was peppered with couples, all in a similar stage of pregnancy as us, all loosely arranged in a circle, a semi-mandala.  We practiced a thing called "shadowing."  I was quite ready for this experience as I have been putting on layers of "belly shadow" for Rachel's contentedness and pleasure for some time now.  

We stood and knelt and arched and trusted each other to get in various positions with our arms locked or held around one another. It was very affectionate and invited tender looks into each other's eyes.  I imagined that pregnant women would normally avoid these positions, on their own.  I hoped that they would.  It was a little bit alarming but also very exhilarating.  There was a quiet novelty to the exercises that when done this way was both touching and exciting.  

All of the pregnant women got on all-four's and then were told to put their arms way out in front of them with their faces touching the mat and their bottoms up in the air. You could see their pregnant bellies hanging below them where their shirts could no longer cover. The men were behind them and were told to massage the areas that might become sore during labor.  I did.  It was really something.  

I closed my eyes and imagined that I was massaging her shadow also.

It was really something.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Emails without a home...

So, I've made my pre-emptive holiday assertion.  This blog was created with the intention to function mostly as open emails to friends.  It does not always function that way but that was my original design and one that I still often fall back on.  In the next 3-6 weeks, and then perhaps well beyond that, it will very likely operate in its original capacity to an even greater degree.  Always remember that it is not required reading, if you find it getting to be too personal, or grateful... then you have my most blessed and sincere apologies....

Moving on,

I had a friend question that any American could possibly go faster than 60 mph.  I question how he even knew what a "mile per hour" was.  I thought that the American system of measurements was a closely guarded arcane secret and not easily revealed to the roving bands of godless socialists of the world.  He claims to be Scottish, living in Holland, just outside of Amsterdam, after an extended stay in relative proximity to Hong Kong, a few clicks up the Shiziyang River.  Clearly not a person to be trusted nor trifled with.  Though if you ever need a yacht sanded, then painted with multiple layers of glossy finish, then he's your guy.  But he has made his soulless political allegiances clear, he has tossed his hat in with the legions of those who have made the term "un-American" almost seem fashionable.  In truth, I have always known this about him, but it was one of those qualities I gracefully ignored, having my pick among many...

Ok, nothing much more to write about here today. The second holiday of the season has come and gone, now we wait the long undertow-like pull towards the big day: JC's birthdaymas.  

Have I taken any time at all to discuss my feelings about Jesus with all of you...?  

Stare directly into your computer screen at the image below, until instructed to do otherwise, you will feel the gentle pull of Christ's love wash your freshly blessed soul anew....


Thursday, November 24, 2011

"When will I see you again..." - Neil Young

I am sitting at home listening to Neil Young's "Harvest" album, then "Harvest Moon," then "Live Rust," then "Unplugged," then "On The Beach," then "Live At Massey Hall, 1971."

I am very content here at home with the preggy-wife, though I promise not to unnecessarily elaborate further.  I had the temerity to do so last year and Selavy made sure that I understood that it is never acceptable to be, or to feign, happinessfulness in his overly assumptive presence, or worse... thankful for the friendship of others.  It is worse than wealth in the starving face of poverty, he claims.  Expressing thankfulness is a cruel effrontery that speaks its own evil and functions as an implied threat, of melancholic aggression, against both him and his blog, against his very words, his artistry in fact.

It was this sentence alone that seemed to send him into an angry-anti-spiral of misplaced age:  "I do feel very, very blessed to have the people around me that I do."

But I am thankful most days for him also, so I'll just leave today at that.  

He is a true friend.  Is it so wrong to say so?

Well, we all wander, and some wonder along... at what to do, or not to do.  That is the current, and the contemporary question.

intertubie or knot, Tubby....


"Gone, gone, the damage done..." - Neil Young

If you are at all interested in the difference in feeling that Slavy and I have then read the following days responses on MY ::: site...

Your faithful faith-filled fateless correspondent,
You're you, I am,
Sean, etc.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Ninety miles an hour, girl, is the speed I drive...."

(A seemingly innocuous car, by daylight)

Last night as I was driving home, eager to arrive, my speedometer crept steadily up and up.  Stopped from breaking the law further by somebody in front of me who was idiotically going the speed limit.  I eventually found a passing zone and acted accordingly.  I dashed.  Once I was out in the open, with a collection of early Clash singles blaring out of the speakers, my speed resumed its steady climb.  85 - 90 - 95, and up. Over hill and through miniature dips in the valley, along the roadway I hugged.  It felt great.  I knew I shouldn't be doing it but the road was wide open in front of me, practically begging for it.  

100. That's a good goal and I probably should have stopped there. But "Complete Control" was on and the midsection of the track was directing my foot on the gas pedal, ever downwards, ever forward.

105.  Once you've passed 100 anything beyond that is really just gravy.

The roads into Sonoma Valley were winding but slowly enough that all was good. I was being quite safe, all things considered.  I had my headlights on "bright" and my hands at "10 and 2."  What could go wrong?  If the car functions well at 55 then it should do fine at 110, which quickly came next.  In fact, it should perform twice as good at 110, I giggled.

The windows were down so the music had to be really loud for me to appreciate it, to scream along with it through the night.

I began to imagine what it looked like from a distance, from a farm on the hill. Being very accustomed to what a car moving through the valley at 55 must look like, a yellow VW Bug topping 110 with a crazed Clash fan screaming out the window must have really been something, a momentary treat, or shotgun target, or both.  At the very least, the desire to shoot or laugh at should be exactly twice what one might expect.

The world was a dark blur at 115, except what was directly in front of me and coming on supersonically.  I had no idea this car could even go that fast.  I was merely trying to burn off some of the carbon deposits that might have developed in the engine over time. 

I began justifying this experiment in high speed car maintenance to myself.

But best to not let daydreams and supposition take over.  At 117 miles per hour one should really be focused on the task at hand. We'll get to engine maintenance later, I told myself.

But wow... what a great feeling.  It was like flying, only very, very close to the ground.  A really fantastic feeling... other than the thought I kept having that I have a pregnant wife at home, and I had been drinking pretty heavily at lunch, and then again on a break after lunch, but that was easily two hours ago now.  Certainly it can't take that long for the body to metabolize alcohol....  What's the ratio again?  One drink for every 100 pounds, then each additional 100 pounds cuts the needed time to drive in half, or less at higher speeds.  At 220 lbs. I could have probably even had another shot or two, perhaps a shot and half and I'd still have been just under the recommended limit. 

What the hell am I thinking?  If now is a bad time to ponder engine maintenance then it most definitely is not the time to be trying to do algebra.  Like alcohol, algebra is also a word we get from the Islamic language, al-right.... let's let the guiding hand of Allah steer us home.

There was a red light somewhere in the approaching distance.  I knew that, by heart, as they say.  I begged to get lucky and have it glowing green in the night, for old go-go Gatsby, the flying Jay...  I could see it approaching across the fields and around a few long bends in the road.  If it could stay green for just a few more seconds then there would be no way for me to even stop in time for a red.  It is science.  

Also, I didn't want to use up all that brake pad just for one silly stop in the night.  I could probably time a miss, not even a near miss, even if a car did decide to try and cross a clearly dangerous intersection in the night without looking first.  

I thought to myself... The light that burns twice as green turns faster red.

Yes, Blade Runner.  That's it.... Nexus 117 am I, and counting....  

I thought of the hot, sexy, replicant... Rachel, of course. 

"May I ask you a personal question?" "Sure." "Have you ever retired a human by mistake?"

"Are you testing whether I'm a replicant or a lesbian, Mr. Deckard?"

"Shakes? Me too. I get 'em bad, it's part of the business."

"I'm not in the business.... I am the business."

The haunting voice of Rachel's song filtered into my inner ear. The blaring noise of The Clash seemed to fade into distant silence.  The road blurred by me in the night, unseen. The ethereal voice of the music guiding my hand, guiding the road beneath me.  I closed my eyes and trusted the resonances all around me, the whirring sounds reverberating inside me.  


Monday, November 21, 2011

Sonoma Market

I keep forgetting what I want to write about.  I'll have an idea late at night, unable to sleep, but by the time I finally get out of bed in the morning it is gone.  Autumn injustice.

Well, I did hold on to one minor remembrance... 

I was standing in the grocery store a few days ago, buying just enough food to eat as a meal as soon as I got home. I was in the express lane. The sign said "10 items or less."  The guy in front of me had an odd collection of items: single cans of beer, along with single cans of other types of beer, a 12-pack of beer, pre-cooked food, vegetables, chips, a few other assorted items... all totaling about 20 things.  I glanced around and there were two other registers open designed for higher item purchases, both of which only had one person in line, already being rung out.  There were about 5 of us in the express lane.  I must have assumed some false solidarity with them.  As the person behind the register started ringing the items up, with each beep of laser recognition of the item's upc symbol crossing the threshold I counted off.... 1, 2, 3...

The guy turned and looked at me as if to say, What the fuck do you think you're doing?  I responded with a continued count of items. We were already up to 7.  I wanted to see what we could all accomplish if we worked together. The guy ringing up the items stopped ringing them up and somebody else came running over saying, I can take you over here, gesticulating towards a different register.  

I said, No thanks we shouldn't be too terribly long here in the Express lane.

But like an idiot I gave in and walked over to the register that seemed to be exclusively for the purchase of lottery tickets and cigarettes. I was certain that this register was rigged to charge me more tax, but what the hell, I must be in the top 60 or 70% of earners in this country.  I can pay up.  My country needs me, etc...  

I glanced around as if to say: Right, comrades?  But nobody would look me in the eye.

As if I was the bad guy, somehow.  

I am doomed. I'm well on my way to being a crazy old man, getting in unspoken arguments in the grocery store over proper procedure and protocol.  I remember being a much younger guy and going into the grocery store on acid, laughing for what seemed like hours at every item in the odd, vast place.  I thought that it was an inexhaustible warehouse of comedic value. Now it's just some place to make everyone feel uncomfortable by acknowledging their own set of rules and standards.  

In another 20 years I'll probably be shitting myself trying to make it up and down the aisles, looking for adult diapers, still pissed off that somebody's in line in front of me, breaking the rules. 

I'll call it the Occupy My Diaper movement.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

perpendicular to the sea

I became tired of trying to describe the region.

These are, of course, just post card pictures.  But they reflect what is all around us now.

I'll be working for the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau by spring.  

Just need to fatten up my portfolio.  Perhaps beer will help.

It was a perfect day.  

I took the dog, Barkley, for a ride.  

He liked the smell of the vineyards, and cows... his nose lifted and twitching with new sensations.

The cows stood together, perpendicular to the sea.  

The hill had its own plans, arching elsewhere, everywhere, all day long.


Friday, November 18, 2011

The Bridges of Marin County

Another morning.  I started to write a response to yesterday's post but I gave up.  I only wanted to relay that I do not hate rich people, nor do I think them guilty of anything necessarily.  I was speaking only of certain rich people who ARE guilty of certain behavioral tendencies, those that I am forced to interact with.  I do not count myself among the 99% in regard to the fact that the 1% should be on guard, or watching out, or anything else.  I also don't believe in progressive taxation, which seems to be one of the Occupy movement's main selling points.  I do agree, however, that many of the tax loopholes created for the wealthy should be done away with.

Well, I won't go on any more about that.  Let's see if I can veer towards a different subject today.

Nothing seems quite as exciting as talking about wealth inequality.

Still waiting.....

Nope, I guess I don't have anything to say today.

Oh yea, there was one thing.... When I was driving home from work the other night, as I came around a bend between two hills, just before going across the Petaluma River, where Marin is separated from Sonoma County, I saw a man getting arrested. One lane of the bridge was blocked with the police car.  The brief image that I got of him was of some bewildered old descendent of hippies that had wandered too far from SF's Tenderloin region.  As I passed the car with its red lights blinking I saw him, already handcuffed, babbling something to the arresting officer. He seemed to be trotting out his story, some pre-arranged set of facts that is there to ostensibly persuade the listener to aid him on his journey.  I've heard it many times before.  It is a sort of "pursuit talk" in which the speaker is constructing a series of poor fortune events that ends in needing $6, for gas.

Either that or it is a rambling set of assertions that results in the observation that the stars are actually diamond boogers. Though somehow the teller still needs $6 for gas.

Everybody knows that the stars are merely distant crack rocks.

I must be getting old, or have lived in cities too long.  My immediate reaction to seeing this guy get arrested was , Well good, I'd rather have him taken back to his hairy hippie haven than to let him wander into the hills of Sonoma where he could potentially fester and become dangerous...

Right away I was struck with this aged reaction of mine.  Most of the time in the past I would normally have thought, That fucking cop is probably just hassling that poor guy.  

Something has changed.

I did admit to myself that the bridge did not seem to be designed for foot traffic.  I've never seen any signs that state that it is not allowed, however.  After all, shouldn't a person on foot be able to cross a bridge?  Maybe not.  I just don't know.  It was probably one of the lost children of Charles Manson, finally found after emerging from a sand hole out in the desert, gestating for decades in the womb of Death Valley.

No, that also seems unlikely.  Most of Manson's children are already accounted for, I think.

Maybe he was part of the Occupy This Bridge movement.

Perhaps the cop only wanted him to participate in the Occupy This Jail Cell protest.

I only wondered if he happened to have $6, for gas..


Thursday, November 17, 2011

I also want a hummer

(a car named after the act of "humming")

I was in bed last night and had thought of something to write about today.  I fell asleep instead, in the morning it was gone. I intended to write about the Occupy movement again but don't have it in me to do so this morning.  I have to work again today, of course.  It is a thing that I increasingly struggle with, the work I do.  

It is difficult.  I like some of the people there.  But a job, being what it is, is inevitably filled with people that seek to express, or assume, little imaginary powers over one another.  If you're not up to struggling with it, or resisting it, then it wears you down. It would be easy to say that one should just "ignore" it but they have instituted procedures that prevent such a thing.  Such is the joy of working on a happy team, etc.   Many of the people involved in management there are quite capable of performing the menial and mindless task that they are asked to, and sufficiently enough.  Beyond that they are incompetent in the things that really matter: generating feelings of communal productivity.  

But nobody can blame them, really.  There is no end goal in site, and no product to take pride in that is actually produced there, beyond ever-increasing daily digits that represent wealth, always for somebody else.

I guess I do want to write about the Occupy movement today... sort of.

I have mixed feelings about the people I work with as well as the people I work for, a community just north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge.  A large portion of the people that I interact with are genuinely nice people, appreciative of whatever I can do for them, and pleasant to interact with.  But then there are the others... they somehow seem to outweigh, and sometimes even to outnumber, the thankful ones.

They are drunk with the intoxication of cruelty, hungover from a lifetime of it. They are as aging inebriates with shrunken devoured souls, ravaged from patronizing suspicions. Their heads seem to be filled with aching morning mercilessness, squinting in the misery of daylight, producing a face that has nearly the same hallmarks as one with laugh-lines, though no one could possibly mistake that tell-tale deformation as the result of past joy.  Their only remaining sensuousness is in their perceived monetary power and the orgasmic misuse of it.  But, like any other addict they must return to their vice with the ever increasing ferocity of consumption.  They will lie and cheat, only to steal, only for the thrill of obtaining the thing they desire, which somehow always seems to elude them.  They will insist on their lies as being accepted without question, their immediate approach, always in anger, is the dead giveaway...  One day I will have the liberty to relay all of this in greater detail.  

Sharing tales at lunch with one another, they are easily overheard, broadcasting their various encounters with "the help"... their shocked and gasped tones of disbelief at the behavior of their fiscal subordinates..... There at lunch they prepare one another for future encounters with brave tales of dominance and deceit, bolstering support for their continued capital callousness. In this way they educate one another on the finesse of bargaining brutality, the sophistication of asset condescension, their barely visible investments in funds and torments.

What's theirs is theirs, and soon yours will be too, god willing.

Hell is a place where one is incapable of love, or being loved. Times passes with excruciating slowness there.  I know.  It is why the state institutes mandatory timed breaks from work.  

I work in the mall of eternal fire.....

One of the most misquoted phrases of all time, I should know, I take great pleasure in doing so, is: "Money is the root of all evil."  The biblical passage actually reads something much closer to: "The love of money is the root of all evil."

If money is the root of all evil then what might best describe the plant that grows from it.... poison ivy?

The other day I posted a line that stated, "Money isn't the root of all evil, poverty is."  A friend quickly corrected the line, and I was encouraged that anybody had done so.  But I was, in this instance, reacting to the seemingly universally accepted idea that money, in and of itself, is evil - not the original biblical verse.  

Some people do seem to believe that money is evil, just don't ever try to rid anybody of their evils.  Money becomes even much more evil when you stop giving it to them.

Ok, the dog has peed on the rug again. That's twice in three days.  Something is disturbing the little guy and I must attend to it, impoverished little loving beast that he is....


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

That, and the flies.

(pre-autumn hillside)

Well, everybody must go crazy at times.  That's what happened to me yesterday, and also the night before.

Sonoma is becoming an increasingly strange place to experience, to live.  As autumn continues the hills that were once golden brown have become a deeply lush green.  The trees found here and there have remained the same color but the morning and sunset light that hits the hills makes them appear to be very different than they were just two months ago.  The shapes are the same but the effect of the light has changed drastically.  I've been told that it doesn't last long and that a considerable portion of the valley floor will soon bloom yellow, overtaking the recent greens.

Many of the grape vines have likewise turned anywhere from yellow-to-red-to-already-brown, most of them having made their yearly transition.  A fair portion of the leaves are still on the vines.  Though with each passing day one gets the feeling that the next big wind storm will nearly complete the task. 

The ground seems to be getting continuously prepared for planting, the industry of farming is at all times afoot.  There is an ever-present activity of cultivation in the region and currently the newly tilled soils smell of an earthy richness wherever you go. To augment the smell they lay down a seemingly endless supply of cow manure which enriches the area in undeniably seld-evident ways. To make use of the muck they water it down with similarly reclaimed sewer fluid in the hopes of it also releasing its natural goodness... acre upon acre of wet, smelly, evenly distributed cow dung....  as far as the eye can see and nose can smell.  

There go I, along with regional lords, and all of their flies.

With all of this it is still an overwhelmingly attractive place to be.

There are things here that are of a uniquely collected allure.  The mind only pieces them together. They can not often be seen all at once, that's why a camera can never quite capture the full scope of it.  The mind can sense and know that there is something just out of immediate view that connects somehow to the thing seen, creating a sort of inner mosaic which completes the whole.  Pictures tend to end up just being the individual pieces without the unifying effect that the mind grants the experience.   There is much beauty in the individual parts, but a greater beauty in how the mind unifies them into an overall sense of the place.  

That, of course, and the flies.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Gold Bonds, 24 hours

I was right, of course. Today was finitely unbearable.  I felt like I was leaking blood from my eyes and asshole all day long, sometimes dripping, sometimes squirting; the smell of iron suspiciously filling the air around me.  At work I piss only vinegar, mostly for my health, it burns with everlasting lakes of damage, but they tell me it is quite good for the soul, screaming in solitude.

It is what they call a detox around here, purging the lemons, the demons; plucking apples from what was once knowledge.

I actually had a daydream today while I was talking to somebody about pouring the thousand angels of Gold Bond Medicated Powder directly into my penis-hole.  To remind myself what it feels like to truly sensate a deed other than the one that I daily endure, grimacing with paralytic twitches.  

I imagined my prolapsed penile mucous membrane, under bright bathroom lights, friends gathered in funereal accord... and me furiously pouring Gold Bond onto amplified it while laying the poor exposed tender pink thing out on a table and smacking it-out-of-it repeatedly in full slow motion, with unexpected malice and glee, with a wooden spoon, with fevered ambition, with bathroom task lighting - enduring smack after smack after smack, for what many might even call pleasure, possessed by fury, by me. 

accompany, accompany, acrimony, acrimony

The pink thing jumping slowly there in well-lit revolt, under the lights, filled with mystery and glandular possibility.

No, I just made that up, even the absence of discharge.
Though there are a few careful readers that might not believe me. 

They heard me once give the story seemingly genuine credence.  

Only an imagination in flight works as well and as worsefully as dreams.


Sometimes I worry that in truth I really do just have the cheap aluminum soul of a dirty back-door capitalist.  That in fact I really only loved The Clash because they "made it," having discarded so many other bands from the same era, shamefully eschewing The Minutemen and Husker Du, gravitating towards bands that played reggae then... even disco... then came electronics, and ecstasy, and all of my friends....  It is an awful thing to confront... I've got Sell-Labia' over there bemoaning the cost of looking at naked girls, I've got an hour drive through paradise to work ever and ever and very days, I'm surrounded by nincompoops that truly believe technology is delivering a vastly preferable world, I've got both piles and plums that no thousand angels can ever hope to kiss,  I've got a seedless apple core left over from the last late-night at the garden of eden, tossed upon the night's plutonian shores.

...never, hung ever more.


The tears of a noun

(evidence of orbital rules)

Back to work. The dog is sick, throwing up on the rug.  I want to do the same.  My three days off went by far too fast. They always do, though there are rarely three of them in a row.  One day I will explain.  It is a hideous arrangement.  One that allows little room for negotiation or dissent, barely subsistence.  The people in power fall back on a stock excuse to generalize their failings.  They become hostile when anybody points out that it needn't be as poorly executed as it is.  

That person is oftentimes me.  

Superiors do not like to be corrected. That is their sole domain, they believe.  There is supposed to be a no-fault system in place that encourages dialogue about process.  Ha!  It is a laugh... a quiet one, practically hidden.  A hushed laugh with sidelong checks for secrecy and complicit discretion from your peers.

One day perhaps I will explain in detail.  Currently I am encouraged not to by a single word: dismissal.  It would be an extremely "career limiting" activity.  But the environment is what is known as being very "content rich."  So I am stuck, and quiet for now.

Is using the word "and" after a comma redundant?  It seems that it is.

So, I am both stuck and quiet for now. 


We are in the home-stretch to have the baby, the third trimester.  Exciting times, for sure. We have rehearsed the drive to the hospital a couple times.  We have begun to put together the various plans that will take effect upon sudden demand.  We know where my driving glasses are at all times.  There is a bag with specific contents that will be constructed.  We have discussed what to do if the moment comes while I am at work, far enough away to be of concern.  I have committed to only having a couple of beers when I get home, never so much that I couldn't drive.  So, less than six, right?  No, I kid.  Less than four.  Perhaps even more... We will test out our disparate theories and see.  Only young people should not drink and drive, it is simple, it is science.


It is very exciting though, baby-making, a strange set of feelings.  Watching another human that you've known and loved grow with what is allegedly your baby inside is a magical and marvelous feeling.  I genuinely like it.  I'm told that what comes next is even better.  When I am out in public now and hear a baby laughing, or crying, it has a strange effect on me.  I have never been that bothered by babies crying, though admittedly I prefer to not be sitting directly in front of them on a long flight, after no sleep, heading home after days of beleaguered travel and all-night dance electronic parties, etc.  But in general it doesn't bother me much.  But that's because it is temporary and does not require any action on my part.  

A baby laughing needs no explanation, no qualifiers.

Every person that talks to me about what it will be like after the baby is born adopts a strangely intense look on their face and then uniformly says, "Get as much sleep as you can now, you won't get any afterwards."   Each time that they say this, whether it be a man or a woman speaking, the faint sound of a distant baby crying announces itself somewhere deep in my mind.  Maybe it is the sound of my inner-child hoping to awaken me, or needing to be fed.  Even the term inner-child has taken on whole different meanings to me recently.  We know it's in there, we can feel it moving.  Soon it will be an outer-child, we know this.

The universe also sometimes seems to be run by local managers, unified under comprehensive codes. Unfair and without adequate explanation but spectacular and mysterious (even heavenly) at great distances... bearing many gifts but plagued with deadly radioactivity or a coldness from which no living thing returns... a darkness that presumably holds answers, separated by extraordinary intervals but held together by agreed upon regulations, omnipresent guides of activity.

The rules of the universe do not even bother with a silly no-fault response system for its inhabitants, though those who regularly pray might take issue with this, believing their prayers to be heard by the vastly indifferent ambit, a sort of open ended cup-and-string line to the gods.  The universe has been enacting rules much longer than my managers and has perhaps recognized the futility of such a response system long ago.  It merely frustrates both sides.  The rules remain the rules, it seems.  So why listen, or pretend to?

The universe has made atoms to be incredibly durable but makes no guarantees that they will stay collected together in a pleasing form just for us.  It merely hasn't found a way to get us to stop crying about it.

The tear of a pronoun.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Makin' babies...

Today is the baby shower.  Many people have come in from out of town.  There is an excitement in the air.  I will smile a lot today and nod with approval, spending my time taking pictures of others.  Such gatherings often make me nervous for some reason.  I've never understood why.  I've somewhat learned to cope by distracting myself.  It is much better than the alternative.  It will be good practice for Thanksgiving.

A few easy rules to remember today:  It is difficult to get drunk from beer, much easier with wine, impossible not to with whiskey.  That about covers it.  When I am nervous I tend to over-drink.  I will focus on taking pictures today, keeping my hands occupied.  They are the devil's playthings when idle, I have learned...

Oh yes, I have learned.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Full Beaver Moon

(Moonrise over San Quentin Palace)

My mother-in-law (that's a strange phrase) came into town bearing gifts.  She had some things for me, for my birthday. A Nikon F-801, a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens, and a Nikkor 24-200mm f3.5 - 5.6 lens.  I have been shooting actual film all day, cellulose, silver-halide....  I will be a film snob in a matter of weeks.  I will be correcting Selavy soon on technique, among other things. You'll see...

I have always wanted some "in" to become a snob but I was far too lazy to pursue anything on my own. Now it has landed in my lap. The gods are favoring me again, if only for a flash. In the future when somebody hands me their digital camera I will hold it only by its strap, contemptuously, as if it is a baby's diaper that needs to be disposed of, handing it back to them with a nonplussed look of dismissal on my face, not commenting at all on what I think about it, not needing to.  Or merely stating, "Oh wow, that weighs  much less than it looks like it would. Does it also take light little pictures?"

I might even move back to New York and wear black sweaters.

I tried to escape my fate for a brief moment last night. On a 15 minute break from work I went out to the edge of the parking lot, which is bordered by marshland on the east. Between San Francisco Bay and San Rafael Bay I stood looking across San Quentin Prison to where the moon would rise.  I waited there with my camera and a rickety tripod, far too low in elevation to get a good picture. The moonrise would be blocked by many things, a power line and a dune covered with marsh grass most of all. 

At least I wasn't working, I thought.  Or, in the prison across the bay.  

An older gentleman walking by bemoaned the power lines. It startled me when he spoke.  I didn't hear him coming.  I was beginning to worry that I had been out there too long, that somebody would notice, that I would have to answer for something.  I would make an excuse, or lie.  I'm far too transparent when it comes to guilt.  

He apologized for having startled me.  I said that I was just a little bit nervous, trying to help break my brother out of prison, across the bay.  He didn't seem to think that was funny.  He walked on.  Fuck him, I thought.  No, not that.  He's probably a football coach at Penn State.  

I thought of yelling after him that, "Scott Peterson was framed!!!" or "Leonard Peltier...!!!"  or "Free Jerry Sandusky!!!"  Something, anything...

But I didn't.  I have softened in my retirement years. That twisted old carcass is probably sniffing some boy's underwear somewhere right now.  I might have to start carrying mace with me again soon.

No.  I just don't have anything else to say...  My good friend, Angie Varona, was talking to me the other day about various photo sites. She really likes them.  She says that they are really "artsy" and "neat."  She wants to model for a friend of mine but she's worried that she's getting too old for it.  I'll check with him and see what he says about it all.




The new moon will be on Thanksgiving this year.  It tends to have odd coincidental significance for Rachel and myself.  It is all just a silly noticing of the coincidence, I know.  But it is comforting to have silly things to take note of.  I try to explain conjunction to her and she nods and smiles at me, kissing me when I take a break from talking, quieting my mind, if only for a moment.