Monday, March 31, 2014

... at the old London place

Rachel asked me yesterday, "Are you having sinuses?"

I hadn't noticed, but yes, I guess I am. As a wife, and mother, she notices things. Her senses are attuned to the barely perceptible sniffling, the sound of something laboring from deep within the cavern.

Last night I fell asleep before the boy, somewhere around 7pm, then tossed and turned this morning until I got out of bed at 5am. I'm not very good at math, but that's a long time, I'm certain of it. I can feel it in my bones, as they say.

I didn't spend enough time lying on one side to counter-balance the sinuses, so now I sit here with a heavy hemisphere, the right. A moveable mini-stroke, I can't hear much and my talking is lopsided.

As I get older I need more rest, but get less sleep. Last night was an anomaly, a recurring one.  I find myself wanting to sit down more than I used to. If not wanting to, yet, then just happier than I used to be once I do. There is a subtle recognition in it. Any relief from gravity is a welcome one.

Why don't we just sit here for a few minutes. It's nice here, isn't it?

Trying to convince myself that I have finally learned to appreciate what it is to just sit still and enjoy life, to relax. Though in truth there is another force at play. The earth pulls and claws at me. I can not remember the last time I leaped into the air. I step gently off the last of the stairs, always with a sense of relief. Not yet, not yet...

I am at the age where I am beginning to understand just how short life is. There are some that laugh at me when I write or say things like that. Those that are older than me. 

You have no idea, the reaction generally goes.

I'm sure that they are right, the elderly+. The sensation of life's passing must accelerate, even though to outward appearances old people are slowing down. The internal clock, the one that matters, spins wildly on like a cartoon of itself.

It is impossible not to think of the little boy, Rhys. 

I calculate distances from here to there; how old I hopefully will be when he graduates high school. It is best not to do that sort of thing. It brings no happiness to imagine two decades distant. I pretend that I am now working to maintain a sense of vitality.

I spoke candidly, perhaps too much so, with an acquaintance the other night. He has a son that is now 25 years old. It was encouraging to hear, that there exist possibilities beyond marriage. He has been apart from his wife since his son was only 4 years old. One need not be miserable for eternity, only because your love may have failed.

It is dangerous, to tell oneself that somehow love will save....this, or that, or you, or it, or anything else. Because, if it does not, then the opposite can be assumed: that love has failed, and you are doomed, it is doomed, that is doomed, doom-doom, out go the lights, etc.

I search for evidence, components of what I had thought had been me, pieces that are left, some that might retain some value. I grasp and pull at sharp, twisted parts that might be salvaged from the wreckage, though most all of them are connected, and not all mine to take, and this is no time for such liberties. The loose pieces are not made of copper, not gold. 

An old tinker, pushing along a lost shopping cart, rattling and empty, with a loose wheel.

Yesterday, Cato and I went for a few nice short hikes at the Jack London preserve, then a pleasant lunch at The Fig Cafe in Glen Ellen. 

I have become so familiar with some of the structures out at London's place that I will soon be working as a summer guide, teaching groups of high school kids what there is to know about the man, about his land, his progressive farming methods based on his ideas of socialism. 

It has been years since I've read him. He often did not take his own writing very seriously, so why should anyone else. Though there were parts that were very good, if I remember correctly. He was no Stephen Crane, nor was he a Hemingway. 

That observation is so dull that it could be said about every single writer that ever lived. I think that will be my new criticism of contemporary writers, "He's no Stephen Crane..." Or, even better: "Well, she's no Stephen Crane, is she?"

Now that the seed has been planted I will be too tempted not to use it.

It will work, because only a small handful of my friends know who Crane is, and a Wikipedia search will not, can not, fill the gaps.

A life like Jack London's can no longer be lived, not in that way. It will never again be possible to visit Tahiti at the turn of that century. There is something magical about it, the artifacts that were brought back to decorate their house, the house that burned, the stones still standing among the trees, the skeletal carcass of a dream. 

There are pictures that can never be taken again. The world has lost too much of its exoticism. There is too little mystery left; everybody has been to Bangkok online, a tour guide can take you to the peak of Everest where you can smile and wave for the webcam, and Richard Branson can sell you a one-time journey towards the moon.

It is no wonder that people flock to astrology in droves, wanting of mystery, bereft of awe; a portal to the wonders of the world sits in every pocket, draining our dreams of the faraway.


Sunday, March 30, 2014


Am going on a hike today, maybe Bald Mountain, possibly the Jack London State Preserve.

Will write until I have to go, when Cato gets here in his stolen car.

I went out last night, here in Sonoma, heard some live music, mostly old rock cover tunes, though one place was playing country, which I greatly preferred. This was at the local Moose Lodge, where I was encouraged to become a member. It is where all the hot ladies of Sonoma go, I was told, though I saw no evidence of this whatsoever.

Country musicians make me wish that I could play better. People who dismiss country music as unlistenable do not know what is worth loving in music. I hear the claim all of the time, how much somebody loves music, except country.

Ah well, what can you do? Some people claim to love literature but hate Hemingway, you know, because of the misogyny. 

Ay Caramba... there is no winning. Some people you just can't reach.

Okay, I just got the call that Cato is approaching. He'll slow down just long enough for me to hop in and we'll head for the southern border, following the coastline as nearly as we can, growing beards and burning our passports once we're across and in the foothills of the mountains...


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The site of an elusive fabrication

Again, I wrote most of the morning, only to change my mind.

There is nothing to write today; all of life is a fiction, of sorts.

It is what we tell ourselves. 

Almost all of it.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Dim Sum

The world's banking problems start at home, or near there.

When people watch the news and hear about some high level corruption on Wall St., then get really angry about it, I will usually ask if they've ever dealt with a local bank and does this news about Wall St. even really surprise them. 

On some level people feel doubly cheated when the people doing the cheating seem smarter than them. 

Make no mistake, in America, to be richer is to be smarter. What else could possibly explain the disparity?

To wit, I went to lunch with a group of work buddies. We went to an Asian place at 5th and Market that was quite lovely. Lunch was reasonable and delicious. When we were paying everybody threw their cards in, as did I. 

I went to the bathroom to snort some cocaine and jack-off in the mirror, looking intently at a miniature iPhone screen, and then the mirror, then back again, focusing.

I really need to get a new phone, though we can discuss my needs in a later post.

When I came back out to the table 25 minutes later there was only one plastic plate with a receipt to be signed, mine. Everybody else had decided to pay cash. I verified with my coworkers that the tip was included in my total, signed and left.

The mistake that I made - being from New York where this happens occasionally - was in not taking my copy of the receipt.

Neither did they. All proof of payment remained in the hands of the kid with the cash.

When I got back to the office I went back to working, furiously, solving people's problems at an alarming rate. My customer interactions were going very well, almost too well.  I was feverish to assist others.

Desperate to help, I offered unrelated information freely, unceasingly.

I eventually calmed down after about 30-45 minutes. I don't like to get food-coma after lunch and coffee has ceased working for me. Crack is just too much, it's silly. You must know your limits. It is a cornerstone attribute of customer support, knowing what you don't know.

I took 17 or so deep breaths to calm down.

Because I am about to take a trip I check on my finances every twelve minutes or so.

The entire lunch had been charged to my card.

I, of course, called the manager. He said that he would speak with the server, that things would probably be fine after tonight when they balanced out their charges. He said that it was only a pending charge and that the real $20 charge might show up there also, but not to worry, the improper charge would be removed.

Okay, sure.

Next day, nothing. I called the manager again. He waffled on whether or not he had talked to the server. He mumbled something about having sent him a note. I thoughtfully nodded in silent agreement. 

NSA, we can't be too careful with dispatches of this sort.

He said that both charges appeared in POS and that there was nothing he could do about it until one or both cleared. I asked him to look in POS and see which charge went through first, the $20 or the full amount, $103.31.

He said that he didn't have access to the timestamps right at that moment.

That's when I decided to apply troubleshooting steps to the problem.

I explained that if we could see which charge went through first we might know if this was an honest mistake or an attempt by the server to over-charge me, so that he could keep the cash.

He did not want to pursue this line of thinking.

That's when I knew that he was full of egg rolls. 

He said, "Well, if you could just come by with your receipt showing a $20 charge then we'd know right away whether you should have been charged $20 or for the full meal. Because if the people you ate with didn't pay then you would be responsible for their meals...."

"Well, I think it's becoming clear to me that I should probably be dealing with my bank on this and not you, since you have no power to correct the situation. They'll want to see a signed receipt from you for the whole meal, and when you can't provide that they'll want to know why the only signed receipt you have is for $20." 

"Well, if your friends didn't pay then we have the right to charge you for their meals."

"Shut up!" I explained.

I called the bank.

Now, who else is more interested in protecting my money from wrong-doers than those who are tasked with the holding, protecting, and cherishing of all of it.


I described the situation to them and they transferred me over to the people who are qualified to handle this sort of debacle, the security team. Immediately they started asking me to fax my copy of the signed receipt in to them. I went on to explain that I didn't have either a signed or unsigned copy of this receipt, that I left my copy of the table.

"Oh no, oh no, no, no... you really shouldn't have done that. You should never do that. There's really not much we can do here."

For a brief moment I actually started to feel guilty about what I had done. Why can't I just live by the same plain rules that everybody else does. 

Again, I explained that a fraudulent charge was made on my card, for just over $100, which should be a felony if it's not already. I paid for my lunch with debit dollars and everybody else paid for their lunch with actual dollars, the color of bleached spinach. 

They asked if I had a receipt showing that the bill was paid mostly in cash.

I decided to change gears and learn a lesson from their methods.

I asked if a receipt for the full amount, signed by me, was necessary for this vendor to get paid. Because... if they couldn't provide a signed receipt by me, for that full amount, then what gives them the right to charge my card.

This was all before me making an actual claim became "official."

There seemed to be a heavy gravity around doing so, such that I was being subtly dissuaded from the act. There must be something very serious and irrevocable about disputing a charge on your card. This also must have been the first time that they had received a call like this, as the agent did not quite seem to know how to handle it. I was getting a very nervous vibe about what might happen if I claimed somebody was lying, like when a cop tries to talk you out of pressing charges in a traffic incident. You can smell the laziness and stupidity as they explain that a report isn't really necessary here....

We made things official. I was disputing the $103.31 charge. 

Why not, right?

Leap forward to this morning: when I awoke the money was back in my account. I had received an email from Chase stating that my account had been credited $20.

I looked, and yes, sure enough... the restaurant had reversed the $103.31 charge then added a $20 charge, which all seemed correct. 

Then, my high street bank also reversed that $20 charge and proudly sent me a letter telling me they had done so.

So, bankers are much like everybody else, like cops... they are incompetent when they're not too busy being corrupt.

Now, I get to call the restaurant again and offer to use their ATM a handful of times to pay them their money back. Whatever works, right?

This is getting to be the longest hour lunch I've ever taken. But, it will give me a good chance to walk back down to the restaurant and pay in cash, not wanting their untrusted hands to further befoul my little honey jar in the sky, etc.

I will, of course, forget to get a receipt for this. 

Though it'll be nice to preen a bit in the bathroom mirror, once again, before I go.


Thursday, March 27, 2014


No time to write today. 

I enjoyed nine glorious hours of sleep last night. 

I awoke at the precise minute the gym opened, 6am, rushed to get there, trading intelligence for manliness… 

… safety for anything, from anything!

… pain for youth, comfort for truth…

…omission from speech, context from clues.

… savings for dues

I have still not been asked to write an article for Esquire magazine, "Men: why can't we just have it all?"


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

more darkness, more rain

Shit, I've written two posts this morning, then saved them as drafts.

Now the day slips by without me.

I awoke in the rain, moved through more of it in darkness.

When I got into the city, near the office, I was blocked by a firetruck and a paramedic unit. They were picking a body up off of the sidewalk, talking it to the morgue, I guess. It was wrapped from head to toe and it sagged as they put it on the stretcher.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Three Words: Sex for Money

I have a very irrational impulse to spend money. Not lots of it, but some. Most all of the things that I want I already have, though… There are better versions of the things that I have that I also wish to own. There are always are.

I have a Fuji X100S, but I want the new all-black model.

I have an 85mm f1.8D, but I want the 85mm f1.4D.

I have a Nikon D700, but I want the Nikon D4S.

I'm going to NYC, but I want to go to Bangkok.

I have a child, but I want a family.

In that exact order.

I could use a dose of Buddhism right about now. I need to throw away all of my possessions, read books and drink teas. Shave my head, meditate my thoughts and feelings away, all of that.

Well, all of that, but without the white-power vibe and the forehead scars.

A friend asked an open question the other day, "Are there even any hate groups that are not religious-based?"

It caused me to stop and consider...

When I repeated the question another friend said right away, "Nazis."

Ah, yes, of course. I had forgotten about ze ol' Sniffen'de'boots.

I guess that's why the Nazi accusation is so popular online, or one reason anyway. It's not affiliated with a specific religion. It makes the insult a little bit more elastic, even though it is tired and has been stretched to the point of uselessness. 

Why do men like to be tied up and spanked by women with whips wearing black leather?

I don't have to understand it, but I get to ask the tough questions around here, not you.

I'll tell you why, it's no real secret: because each sting makes you feel more alive.

Zis one needs some more of ze punishment...

Okay, this was only meant to be a quick communique to update the front lines, to let them know that the Joy Division is coming quick fast in a hurry, don't worry. 

There is a phrase that brings me a gaping sigh every time I think it: the prostitution wing.

No wonder so many prostitutes have problems, you can't fly with only one wing. You would not be able to neutralize gravity, and you would continue to turn in on your own center as you descend, flapping.

When are conservatives going to finally leave women's bodies alone? 

Get your god-damned hands off of my uterus!!!

Fucking Nazis, right?

The logical extension of any political argument that advocates freedom also sensibly argues for legalized prostitution. 


That is the sort of morning I am having, a prostitution-wing morning.

Not lots of it, but some.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Fear of another heartbeat

(Blaine Transue)

I am up late, trying to get a head start on the future. It will start quite early tomorrow, long before the sun arrives. It has probably already begun in NYC. Tuesday March 25th is off to a nervous start in Brooklyn.

I am excited about my triumphant return to Manhattan. There is so much that I will wish to do there. The week will go by too quickly, I know that. I am saddened by the immediate future's passing, though only mildly. 

I am going to think my way into a new malady, an anxiety about what does not lie ahead - not what might happen - instead, a concern for all of the things that will not ever happen, destiny depression with a strong sense of confused loss and longing. Planned abandonment. The more unlikely the occurrence the darker the psychic chasm to fall into, the less likelihood of escape. 

Addictive, habitual, occurrence starvation. Causal collapse.

Ah, that is too much for tonight's rambling. I don't have the heart to pursue it. I should leave the post writing for the morning, and I know this, but I am antsy. 

My life is changing, I can not sleep.

I am losing the last person that I fell in love with. It has been happening for years, but the sense that the ground is moving under me now is enormous. I question whether I will ever have the energy to do it all over again. 

I hope not.

What condition would that be: future romance apathy, love exhaustion. I would become deeply depressed about my inability to love anybody in the distant future but I just don't care. 

I suffer pre-selfishness woes, crippled by prospective self-interest, incapable of masturbation as my love object is yet pre-formed. I become visibly agitated at lumps of play-doh that happen to be shaped like a woman's breasts, or ass crack, but can never achieve satisfaction in unreleased fantasy. 

Very tantric, that.

I can joke about it. It shows my strength.

I'd like to say that, "I will miss her" but it doesn't look like she's going anywhere. We have a child together, so, you know, she'll be around. 

That should prove to be quite fun, all I'll need now is mild amnesia, the condition commonly known as romance.

Small town. 

Miniature, even. 

The golf course here actually is a miniature golf course.

Maybe I should develop an immobilizing fear of small towns. 

Though, hadn't I just recovered from that.


Dead Batteries

Having a car is a dull burden, though preferable to not having one at all. 

I went to the gym this morning, afterwards I tried to go home to start my day. Something… the car wouldn't start. Seemed like a dead battery. The jumper cables I had bought were lost in a recent car exchange. So, a trip to the store for a new set, a quick jump when I got back, and now a mystery problem awaits me, parked out front.

I have no idea if the car will start when I go back outside at lunch. A lunch break that will be occupied with getting a new battery, I guess, unless they tell me it's the alternator, or something even more expensive. 

The flux capacitor.

The car stalled on the drive home from Yosemite. It was driving along normally and then it started stalling. That's the way it goes, I guess. Things work, then they don't.

It's starting to feel like a struggling relationship. I don't know if I can count on it, don't know if it will last - or if it does, how long. Once hope in the future is gone then affection becomes an effort, or it evaporates altogether, a subtle meanness emerges, a stuttering of sympathies, and then voila!… you are on your own... standing by the side of the road with a one ton obligation, feeling like a fool; pushing it uphill is not an option, and love is useless; wondering what next, good god, what next?


Sunday, March 23, 2014

We kissed and we kissed again

We had been driving for years. The sun was bearable only when directly overhead, when we were shaded by the merciful roof of the car. The heat inside was impossible, god-like. Its was an insufferable demand. No prayer could reach it, to beg was useless, to imagine it moving backwards from where it came. It required many prayers, many pleas, extinguishing them all in a single wave, commanding more to fill the emptiness that followed; all now vanished as mists of water from within a dream.

When the sun approached the horizon from either direction we had to resist it in yet another way. Any shade used also brought a deadly blindness to the road, to the desert. The relief in temperature was slight, though welcome. It felt as if we were being welded to the sands, then reminded of the welding; drops of mercury on the run.

Only the twilight seemed kind. The secret of night was terror. We were a lit and moving curiosity, a target announcing itself. The relief was slight, barely worth a mention, the preference of dark misery to blinding.

This was no place to be with a woman, he thought. To be here alone was unthinkable.

We kissed and we kissed again. I motioned, pulling off her panties, she stumbled to help. The knees came up in unison. The cotton was wet and the spot of darkness was an impossible shock, one that could not last. As they came off her feet and revealed the miracle of her nudity I felt starved, spinning. They evaporated. Where would the energy for this possibly come?

I knew that it would hurt, that there was too much sand between she and I, though she was moist to the touch, to each of the senses. It was delicious. I knew the sand would be murderous, there was no way to stop.

In that moment, that first push that resulted in her breathiness, we both felt like eccentrics; awkward, fumbling, even unique until that moment, then working together as a single creature. We held on to one another as if the sweat might cause us to slip apart, each motion seemed dangerous and unstoppable. I thought back to how she looked, all those months ago, perfectly lit and glowing in that garden near the border, just as the sun was beginning its descent.

I could see her sundress hanging so lightly from her shoulders. Her naked breasts moving underneath, reminding. Who would think to do this thing, here, now. By what mutual madness must we have been gripped. Each thrust was desperate and tremendous, delightful to begin again. I would have loved her forever. I had thought that she just might let me.

The heat made everything seem so impossibly thin.



Third day in a row that I'm using my phone to write a post. Guerrilla blogging, etc. 

Perhaps it will keep me from writing too much. All thumb, etc. 

I wonder if I can also end this sentence in etc. 

Today we will go to the Peanuts museum in Santa Rosa. Charles Schultz was a local. Rhys is in love with Snoopy. He can not sleep without his stuffed puppy and his night-night, the blanket. 

Fun times, etc.  

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Few things will make you feel old as staying out at a nightclub.

I know that now. 

I have come back from the abyss, to warn others. 



Friday, March 21, 2014

Promises, promises

I promised myself
I would write this poem;
today ended,
but not before 

I promised myself
that I would write a poem;
not before this,
not for anyone


Life, another way of running out of time

I don't have it in me to take on Libertarianism today, as I had hinted that I might. I shudder in the face of their rightness, and can't see clearly enough their left, they keep it so well hidden. 

I only half kid. I'm all for classic liberalism, up to but not including deregulation. Oddly, I still trust the government more than most corporations. 

I might have to rethink that last part.

Anyway, that's my take on political naiveté today. 

I am not in the mood to write another "shock comedy" piece, which is what I had hoped yesterday's was. I was trying to tempt the self-righteous into creeping out before the mid-term elections. 

Facebook gives me a political life that I might not have otherwise. Who ever dreamed that I would have such a rich, non-paying job in politics? 

There are so many others out there like me...

It's too bad, about Libertarianism, because some valuable political philosophies have been adopted - or, should I say hijacked - by a bunch of middle-aged cranks, and re-packaged as somehow being "more American" than any other political philosophy available on the spectrum. 

One of my favorite things to do is remind them that Thomas Jefferson believed that every generation should write their own Constitution rather than stick with the one that he and his enemies crafted.

This will always draw their ultra-conservative minds out for a fight, and that's when the silly veil of "classic liberalism" falls away and you get to see them for the racist, closet-Christians that they actually are.

I navigated my way into a strange section of my phone yesterday, by accident, where it shows the people on Facebook that I message the most. It turned out to be this pugnacious bumpkin from Florida that I argue with often. I took a screenshot and sent it to him, describing my disappointment to discover such a hideous thing.

He didn't get it. 

I explained. 

He seemed honored, though not terribly so.

He is, I believe, a Libertarian, of the Tea Party variety, and proudly so. He has hailed Sarah Palin as a conservative intellectual heavyweight.

It occurred to me that we are just two middle-aged men yelling at different versions of the news.

Don't get me wrong... I like dreamers, though I do not always care for their dreams.

I am tempted to write about Libertarianism anyway, nothing else is occurring to me. Normally, I will write a sentence or two and something else will spring to mind. Sometimes I will delete the first few sentences, other times not. 

Many have accused me of having a sort of mania, a combination of obsessions and compulsions. 

If they only knew.

A catalog of my appetites would reveal a wealth of deviance, of the sort to frighten most. 

No. It does not make sense to write of that either, though it would be easy enough to tie that into politics, there is a path between them, the political and the personal. However, my unorthodox impulses occasionally involve other people and I have yet to get the necessary release forms signed.

There is an entire hemisphere that must remain reasonably secret.

It's too bad, really, as there are some funny and noteworthy stories there.

Some genuine juicers.


Thursday, March 20, 2014


(Cock and Ball)

Finally... I'm awake an hour before I have to do anything. It feels as if it's been weeks.

It has been, in truth, precisely one week.

I wish there were midgets for hire that would shave my face while I was sleeping. They don't have to be midgets, they could be dwarves, though I suspect that the smaller arms would make the task more difficult. If I woke up they might frighten me, being too close, with razors, their eyes staring in the dark, focused, etc. At least midgets would seem to be at a normal distance for such a task, relative to size.

I know that we are not supposed to say these things - because dwarves are not to be trusted - but still, the temptation is strong. Perhaps we are only meant to poke fun at dwarves in private. I have often heard that if you can get an elderly person to say "Those damned Orientals!" three times in succession that dwarves will appear and the room will be filled with the musty smell of boiling mutton.

I have never been able to test the science of this, but it is my faith.

I had a friend recently refer to both religion and science as "belief structures." 

Never one to wince at a challenge, I spent the next several hours confirming one side of his statement. The thing that never occurred to me - or, maybe it did - was to call them both "knowledge structures," because that's also what they are. One deals with empirical knowledge and one deals with personal knowledge, so they are both Knowledge Structures. 

See how easy it is?

Revealed wisdom is the only wisdom for me. If it wasn't a vision given to an overwrought sectarian roaming the desert more than a thousand years ago, then of what possible interest could it be to me now? 

But enough of all that... if we can't make fun of dwarves and their invisible elf friends then we shouldn't be able to make fun of desert religions either. It seems only fair, and a small price to pay to finally get all of those magical gold coins. 

As for my friend... There are those that seem to believe that somehow assessing the similarities between science and religion places them above the silly squabbles of the struggle, that to be able to see the battle in a dispassionately reductive way keeps them well above the mindless fray. 

Perhaps it does, and it would be wrong to not teach creationism next to the other competing theories. If belief is a component of both then they should be given fair time to speak their truths in an educational environment. Why should one get to force the other out of child rearing? Education should offer equal opportunity of choice, and payment based on satisfaction. Teachers have their argument for more pay all backwards. It should be based solely on satisfaction scores.

American Idol-Style.

People take for granted the lessons of Enlightenment, I think, I hope.... They gladly embrace the individualism but forget the part about reason. There seems to be a sense among people I know who care to discuss such things that they might not know everything, but that shouldn't stop them from voicing an opinion....

But why?

Democracy has taught us that our voice matters, and that we should all participate. I want to be able to vote in the classroom most of all, where it matters.

I smoke crack, AND I VOTE!!!

I am, of course, against almost everything. Though… I am for silencing ignorance, even if it means educating people. Giving illiteracy a voice under the guise of opinion seems silly. We should be able to exploit ignorance through labor, not stand back and listen to it as if it deserves its chance to thrive.

If we can't stop people from talking - because that would be wrong also, like hiring dwarves to conduct your personal hygiene while you sleep - then we should at least teach them how to think, and also why it's important to do so.

I would start with the basics.

The three R's: Ruined, Redeemed, Regenerated.

That is all that ye need to know. Christ's blood, etc.

Where am I going with this, and how can I defeat my argument more fully…

Let's see:

Much of this started with equality in the workplace, I'm certain of it. I hope that everyone can now see how evil and dangerous such a thing can be. We have created a legion of people who actually believe that everybody's opinions should be respected and that we should treat all ideas as equal, even if they come from the diseased mind of one whom might accept the science of global flooding.

Once you start treating ignorance as a defensible point of view, on par with thought and evidence, then there is no logical end to it. The dwarves have won.

How the defense of ignorance came to be regarded as a civic responsibility is beyond me.

I dare you to go into your job and explain to everyone that you have a bias towards education.

But, state it like this:  I openly reject ignorance, I feel an obligation to discriminate against those who embrace it.

I almost want to go into a few practice job interviews just to test this.

I would find myself in a situation where I am being interviewed by a "team" and expound my concerns about inequality in the workplace. Then, carefully explain that I am a strong believer in "unconscious incomprehension," and I hope that this company respects my rights.

I wouldn't want to find out after the interview process that I had been rejected based on my beliefs. I hope that equality in all areas is promoted here and that discriminatory practices are not encouraged by the authorities who run this company. I would hate to find out that I had been singled out for non-hiring because I couldn't answer any of your questions. 

Also, I know that I was 20 minutes late to the interview, but I expect equality of time. I might have woken up a little later than you… What gives your clock precedence over mine?

All that is required is to claim that you were born into a Christian family, that you had no real choice over it, and voila…Magic! 

Fear of dwarves, shouldn't that be protected also, on equal footing at least with anything else.

I personally believe dwarves are dangerous, though useful. Who will protect me from them while also allowing me to enjoy their labors?

Libertarians... tomorrow I will tackle the problem with them and their close proximity to ogres, or is it trolls?

Which one got thrown over the bridge by a fat billy goat?

That one.

(Note: This is not a lie. The image used for today's post was taken during a job interview, from a room in which I was being interviewed, waiting between rounds of interviewers. The image has been partially erased, but it was used to question me, to determine my ability to think. The purpose of the test was to assess the flexibility of my thought processes and the acuity of my reasoning capacities. They did not offer me the job. It is the only time thus far in life that that has been the end result of a job interview. I consider myself a victim of a bent thermometer. It is an implied temperature threat.)


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Still Rocks under Water

(Still Rocks under Water…my finest moment)

I race into the city, then back again. My life is the pace of a video game. I used to wonder if the game "Asteroids" would trigger crack relapses for addicts in the 80's, or even the 90's, or ever… The dual danger of desperation and loneliness.

I don't know if I'll have time to conduct the necessary research.

Taking a weekend off and going to Yosemite has thrown my body-clock off. I wake up later than normal and I have no time left to write. My body is tired but does not stop moving long enough to collapse.

I rush here and then I rush there, as an Old Testament fool. King Solomon would have used me as a fine proverbial example. The wicked man runs when no one is chasing him...

That's me, Sol, wickedness apace.

This is how I spend my mornings, trapped between two-dimensional rocks floating in space, all meant to do me eventual harm.

Life moves faster and faster as they break into smaller and smaller pieces. I just keep the quarters coming; spinning and firing, receding, thrusting into darkness.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mirror Lake

I am not a nature photographer. 

I discovered that simple fact this last weekend, but it pisses me off. Because: to do it poorly, or to rely exclusively on the camera to make decisions, is not satisfying.

I took many pictures in the last few days but I don't care about any of them. Cato was taking snapshots that easily bested the pics I took in which I was actually trying.

I blame my camera, of course. It is not "pro" enough. Or, it is too "pro." Something.

I hiked 75 pounds of camera gear up 2000 feet in elevation and back again just to prove to the lifeless backpack full of stuff that I could do it. 

So, there.

My reward was pictures that look like faded polaroids of once nicer pictures that had been scanned by a used scanner, one whose manufacturing company has long since gone out of business, along with its parent company. 

I might as well have been taking pictures with an original iPhone.

The one above wasn't even taken with my Nikon, it was with the Fuji, which did better under almost all shooting conditions and weighs much, much less.

Buying older digital equipment, even slightly older, is foolish and it brings little happiness. Or, what happiness it does bring is of a lower quality to what might have been. 

It lacks resolution. 

It is a grainier pseudo-joy that includes more noise. The skies lack depth and the greens are near-yellows, if at all.

I know that now. I have learned my lesson, and am prepared to spend much more money, as much as it takes to be happy

I will not rest until I am like Ansel Adams; bearded, white-haired, unable to reminisce, dead, or worse.


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Full Worm Moon

(pic by Cato)

I'm back.

No time to write this morning, hopefully tomorrow.

There are some fun stories to tell, mostly concerning the follies of being elderly.

If I ever hear anybody again say that age brings wisdom I will nod my head slowly, thoughtfully in agreement.

What else is there to do, except prove them wrong?

(also Cato)


Friday, March 14, 2014


(Daddy looks weird)

Books are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, used books more so. Not even the great can seem to procure one for me. It searches the globe wishing to take my money for what it considers to be an object of use, or value. Its mighty wings flapping, screeching into the darkness above, lit only by the red lava fires of volcanos….

… but nowhere can William H. Gass' On Being Blue be found.

Seems impossible, but it's true, every bit of it.

My Lil' Sis', Helena, once borrowed a book. In truth I forced the publication upon her. Paris Dreambook by Lawrence Osborne. Years later, sitting next to me at a bar, probably her first beer ever, she recounted how she handed it back to me one night while visiting New York

Don't you remember we were sitting next to each other on a bench and I gave it back to you… I handed it to you and you said "Thanks!" Don't you remember that? You must have forgotten. You must have...

I assured her - no, oh no - she had not. It was the only book among a stack that I gave her that I asked to get back, so she was doing her best to construct an idea within me about her having done so.

She decided that she would replace it, until she tried. The cost had soared to over $100, online, for a battered copy.

Years later, she found it in a box that she had forgotten about. We are left to wonder from where the memory of its return emerged. But she restored the book, as promised, and on my shelf it now sits.

I have grown to like the author much more, Osborne, and have two of his other books waiting to be read. Both have demon alcohol as their main subject - The Accidental Connoisseur and The Wet and The Dry. 

So, I will wait to read them

I am still suffering from the lingering effects of sobriety, waiting for this feeling to wear off. I have been told that the consequences of such a thing can be lasting, in some cases even permanent.

You would think that somebody would have warned me.

It should be printed on the package.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Give me some sugar!

Tomorrow, Cato and I depart for Yosemite. Today, I work. Tomorrow, I work. 


I just had to run upstairs to try to console Rhys. He had awoken from a bad dream. I invited evil into this place by meditating on work, by saying its name aloud, by writing it, by willing it into the world.

That's how it starts. Soon we will have Ouija boards lying around and we will be in touch with the "other side." We will seek the whispering wisdom of death. I know many that trust mystery as if it were supreme to fact. They regard mere suggestion as a magic of possibility and opportunity.

My response to the supernatural has backed itself into a cosmic corner: Sure, maybe. Why not, right?

I have been thinking about death a lot lately, too much. The certainty of it is a bitch. There is no maybe about it, there is only the assuredness. 

I have decided - I know that this is not an original thought - that life is short and can not be saved. Money can be saved, life can not. Life must be lived. That is what I will try to do more of, the living of it.

But I must work... five days a week, usually (I hope I am not again offering my dreams up to evil here). So, there is the weekend. I will try to do more with them than I have. Having the boy is difficult, but he is now getting to the age where it will become easier to have adventures and bring him along. Now unfold the years of reward. 

He loves me much and tells me often, and I him. We are becoming great buddies.

I wonder what he dreamed about, what fear crossed his mind in sleep. I ponder the possible complexity of it, the unformed shape of childish unease. 

Would it be something that I simply laughed off, even in sleep, I wonder?

I suppose that other's dreams might always seem laughable if you know that what you are experiencing is just that, a dream; the mind's forming of stories out of disconnected experiences and anxieties.

I am at the age in which I dream about accidentally ingesting refined sugars:

I am in a long hallway that seems to be twisting around me. It smells of jellybeans. It is dark, though somehow not unlit. I am being chased by a wicked carbohydrate-like monster. It stretches as taffy around me. Into the dark empty hollowness of the dream I run... 

I panic, No, no...!!! 

Then, suddenly, I am at a work party and there is chocolate cake being passed around. It is a birthday, everybody starts singing in a sober way, it's The Birthday Song. I feel queasy and afraid, the room is wobbling. I reach out and touch one of the candles and nothing happens. I look at my hand. Nothing. It turns into a doughnut. 

Then, the giggling from afar starts, near the corners like a Pink Floyd album. The room gets smaller. I hear somebody say that the cake is spiked with insulin. I imagine that insulin tastes like anti-chocolate, but I have no time for that, because shit is gettin' real... The lights turn a dark green and some sinister thing is wrapping itself around my legs. A molecular chain has gripped the entire lower half of my body. I see hypodermic needles coming out of it. I am being pulled towards the cake. The chocolate is growing and moving towards me. It's everywhere. I think it might be German chocolate. People are eating it, and laughing.

AAAHHHHHHH.........NO, NO, NO..... 

Then, I am back in the hallway again. There are three elements moving sickly along the carpeted floor. They look like alphabet vomit, a miasma trying to return from whence they came. I look closely. I recognize what I believe to be the stick figures of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They begin to move together in unison, to take shape, to crystallize. 

Die Saccharides, Die!!!

I awake in a panicked sweat, That was too close....

A whisper from the darkness repeats back, Sucrose.....

Ah, right... Of course. 

Thanks, Nightmare!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I booked my flights. 

I feel as if I am up late, reading comic books under the covers - Mad Magazine, Playboy, Cracked, Penthouse, Hustler.

That, but without the girls. The night feels illicit, but without blot. It is somehow free, a break from custom. 

Something about me is naked now, untarnished.

It's a feeling that I have not had in a very long time, I like it. 

It is nobody's fault, nor is the feeling to spite anybody, but it feels very good, and mine. The idea is to learn from whatever feelings one has, right? To step outside the place that has become your life, to verify, to know in the way that only living can allow, to edify the self by choice, by choice of choice.

Another way to feel will arise soon enough, and I will wish to return. I am not that sort of traveler, and never really have been, though I have traveled briefly among them. I have endured the wish and wishes, have dreamed among the lost dreamers. I have drank with the young nearly to the point of dying dead.

I once found several pearls spread on a marble floor in Spain, south along the coast from Tarragona. Nobody knew from where they had come. I was convinced a Japanese pearl diver had snuck in and left them, scattered them as an open mystery. Not a single pearl survived the weekend, when there were so many. 

It is an as yet unsolved case.

I am already curious about how I will feel upon returning, knowing in advance that sense will be a truth about itself.

Why do I feel ashamed at how modest my life has become. Why am I so ashamed at the meagerness of middle life, what lesson does that teach me about the remainder. 

Yet, nowhere there, or elsewhere, ignites the impulse to rage, rage… against, or for.

I want simple pleasures, the warmth of love.

We can believe we are speaking to ourselves - at our current age, about our current age. 

I want life to be better than masturbation, though we all must feel that way, often when it's over.

Yet, the proof. It is the proof, nothing more. 

Perhaps time feels all wounds.


Part way to Half-Dome

(The large glacial rock on the right)

This weekend Cato and I will go to Yosemite. We will hike Half-Dome. I have done it twice before, once to the peak. It is an all day hike, one that the body does not quickly forget. I wish that my cameras were lighter and that I had more appropriate lenses for this type of thing, but ah well... 

We go to hike with the cameras we have, as ol' Donny Rumsfeld was so fond of saying. What's a little torture, here and there.

I am already cursing the very idea of the Nikon D700, and singing the praises of my Fuji X100S. There is a 600g difference between them before I even put a lens on the Nikon, of which I would sensibly bring two or three, one of which is rather heavy, at two pounds all by itself. I have begun to question how much such a lens would even be used on a hike like this.

I know that I am mixing the metric system with whatever it is we use here in the States, but I'm an American god-damn it.... leave the metric converting to the god-forsaken Belgians. 

What a great phrase, god-forsaken... Says it all, like an Amex black card.

We will stop by the Ahwahnee Lodge, but we will not stay there. At $500 a night we will find another place to sleep, though it is too bad that we are simple working folk, the lodge is great and I have stayed there before with another friend. It is nice to complete your hike and be at the entrance to your hotel, rather than having to drive out of the park to get to your shower and bed.

I have begun an emergency weight loss regimen. I am not depriving myself of vital nutrients and minerals, of course, but every pound I can lose before that hike is less weight I have to heave up the side of that boulder. There is an elevation differential of 4800 feet. To give you an idea, this is approx. 50 feet more difference than it is from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River on the Bright Angel trail, the most popular among them. The one that Rachel and I did all those years ago.

The wonderful thing about Half-Dome is that it is mainly up on the way there and down on the way home. There is a wonderful sense of victory and accomplishment upon returning. 

The Grand Canyon is arranged otherwise. One feels that they have narrowly escaped death when it is over, when they have finally taken that last step up and out of the world's largest mass grave, though both hikes are phenomenal and well worth undertaking. 

The picture below was snapped by Rachel, with an actual little film camera when we were about 1/3rd of the way back up from the edge that overlooks the Colorado River. This must have been more than 10 years ago now. The patch of green that you see is about a mile or more away and offered the only temperatures below 100 degrees the entire hike (the thermostat leading into that oasis from the other side read 115 degrees). It is where all the water from this portion of the canyon comes to find its center and then disappear, leaving only a patch of green to signify its recent presence.

I'll be honest, Half-Dome scares me a little bit. I am in the heart attack zone for men my age. If there is a weakness in my chest than that rock will find it. 

I once conquered many, many double-domes but that is perhaps a story for another time. I was part of an informal study designed to determine the efficacy of group love upon the individual.

Well, I have reached my 30 minute writing limit here. Now I must dart off into the city like a retired, retarded, early-morning albino Batman.

Pray for my webbed, mammalian flight.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Nighttime Saving Time

DST is a dangerous drug unleashed on all of us by the western world, designed to destroy the circadian rhythms. 

Everything is all fucked up. I am trapped in a funhouse mirror. 

I thought that I slept really well last night. I awoke with only a few minutes to get to the gym, when I was leaving the gym afterwards it was still dark, the sun hadn't even started to break the horizon, that's when I realized…. 

Those fuckers are trying to make me more productive, against my will. How did they ever get the power to change my clock?

I've got a good mind to take the day off from work, though it's not as if it's their fault. I should, at the very least, be exempt from taxes today.

One of my friends spent the weekend having rigorous unprotected sex and now he is worried about getting an STD, or possibly that the young woman is pregnant. I explained to him that those two things are not mutually exclusive, and there's no reason whatsoever to believe that he hasn't done both.

You'll know about one soon, the other not soon enough.

Happy DST, Buddy!


Sunday, March 9, 2014


Rhys has started to put himself in preemptive time-outs, when he suspects he's about to do something he knows he shouldn't. Like most other things with him, for me, it's adorable. If only I were so smart.

No point in writing today, it would only be a catalogue of minor disappointments, and I'm in no mood to try to make any of it funny.

I am growing weary of the life that has become encrusted around me, the curl-footed barnacles of love.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Poor Edward Mordrake

When you work, life is always too rushed. Particularly if you works as I do, too much. Yesterday was a big day at work for me, and it went well. There is some satisfaction in learning things and doing things well. It is not joy, but is it satisfying. It rests somewhere between satisfaction and joy. 

That is likely the most that one can hope for from that situation, working.

Now today is mine to do with as I please.

A friend sent this link about a young girl's first experiences with falling in love, and how Lou Reed played a part in it. It describes my youth pretty well also. I was going to relay my similar experiences as a pubescent boy but I am tired and don't know where to start. I see now that the time was wonderfully awkward, and not nearly as painful as I thought it was. Though this is not to say that it was painless, or that those experiences hold no significance, but only that they were not nearly as significant as they felt at the time. At that age it is what we have, the feeling.

At any age.

A friend just sent a link and I foolishly clicked on it. There on the screen in front of me appeared a young woman's middle anatomy. Fuck! I thought, and closed the window. I'm on a VPN, a work computer.

Now, it is only a matter of time before I get called in to the Human Resources office to explain the existence of a woman's innards on the work servers. 

Having a job sure was nice.

I saw this guy get fired at Apple once. Well, I didn't see him get fired, but I saw him sitting in the area where we worked just before he got called in to the office to be fired. He didn't look like he was enjoying it very much. He had dome something harmless and silly, but management did not see it the same way. 

He replaced the desktop image on a co-worker's phone with an image of Goatse. I would link that here but that would only mean more awkward explaining on Monday. It would compound my problems rather than loosen them. You'll see.

Anyway, the "victim" of this joke went and told management. So, you know how that goes, something had to be done. My buddy, like an idiot, fessed up to it, thinking that it would blow over. 


"The human anus is almost nightmarishly elastic." - Patton Oswalt

So, the victim got to keep his job and was protected by this odd anti-retaliatory policy. He could pretty much get away with murder for a while and if anybody did anything to him then they would get fired right away. 

He was a little smug snot.

Finally, enough time passed that I decided to make people a little bit more comfortable with making open assessments of this guy. He is what people hate about hipsters. He was an artist, of some sort.

Here is a sampling of his performance prowess.

The guy that I knew is the fat, useless turd lying on the ground at the start. It's unfortunate that he didn't stay there.

So, one early morning before everybody arrived I wrote on the collective chalkboard: 

"Avant-garde dance is neither"

It was subtle enough, and it made the point. 

I always thought of him a a sort of Edward Mordrake:

"One of the weirdest as well as most melancholy stories of human deformity is that of Edward Mordake, said to have been heir to one of the noblest peerages in England. He never claimed the title, however, and committed suicide in his twenty-third year. He lived in complete seclusion, refusing the visits even of the members of his own family. He was a young man of fine attainments, a profound scholar, and a musician of rare ability. His figure was remarkable for its grace, and his face — that is to say, his natural face — was that of an Antinous. But upon the back of his head was another face, that of a beautiful girl, 'lovely as a dream, hideous as a devil'. The female face was a mere mask, 'occupying only a small portion of the posterior part of the skull, yet exhibiting every sign of intelligence, of a malignant sort, however'. It would be been seen to smile and sneer while Mordake was weeping. The eyes would follow the movements of the spectator, and the lips 'would gibber without ceasing'. No voice was audible, but Mordake avers that he was kept from his rest at night by the hateful whispers of his 'devil twin', as he called it, 'which never sleeps, but talks to me forever of such things as they only speak of in Hell. No imagination can conceive the dreadful temptations it sets before me. For some unforgiven wickedness of my forefathers I am knit to this fiend — for a fiend it surely is. I beg and beseech you to crush it out of human semblance, even if I die for it.' Such were the words of the hapless Mordake to Manvers and Treadwell, his physicians. In spite of careful watching, he managed to procure poison, whereof he died, leaving a letter requesting that the 'demon face' might be destroyed before his burial, 'lest it continues its dreadful whisperings in my grave.' At his own request he was interred in a waste place, without stone or legend to mark his grave."


Friday, March 7, 2014

The terminal and the fleeting

The pain was bearable, I was told. What does that mean but that there are no killers to be found, at any price. In a land of nothing exists pain in plenty. How can such a thing be? Perhaps that is the way the cosmos intended, from what mud the world was formed. The relief from torment is freely available where suffering does not stalk and roam.

Cities seemed impossible to me now, a thing of the past. I could not close my eyes and think of a single one. When I did, I was alone. In the darkness I became convinced that all cities were made by Napoleon, or Khan, but then that was it. Nothing more. I could not think past them here. Who can possibly judge another's threshold for misery, for success, for love.

We drove on, she took the wheel. I was lying in the back, curled up and pretending, using a rough and rolled up army surplus jacket as a pillow, praying to this land's god that it would soon subside, or ever. It started at a single spot and then spread everywhere backwards from there. Iblis held on just to the point of escape before inflicting himself upon the host, me, casting his evil demands where they would do the most harm. 

How many types of pain are there, I wondered. I could think of several. There was the sharp and the dull; the terminal and fleeting; the incurable; the unexpected and haunting; and then this.

That's all of them. 

Well, memory. You can sense it when returning to the surface from a morphine nap. The recollection of pain is the first indicator that it is over. Suffering is the heart's timekeeper. It starts and ends, that's it, a counting of the years; advancing for us, returning for others. We watch the clock on the wall, mumbling invocations that it not stop, counting on our rapport with the deities, the welcoming beyond.

Somebody in the waiting room always must go. Ask not for whom the clock stops.

I smoked one of her cigarettes, propping myself up on my elbow. 

Are you okay?

Sure, I like to drive.

So do I, though normally with some sense of getting somewhere.

I like the desert, it feels safe. I'll probably never hit anything.


Well, there was a signpost back about a hundred miles.

What did it say?

Nothing. It was just the post.

Which way was it pointing?