Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One episode bleeds into another

I don't understand what the fuck is going on on Mad Men any more. I fall asleep too often while watching, or I just listen instead of watching, imagining the action, blocking, editing, shot composition. The script tells only a part of the story, the reading tells much more than just another half. The voices get confusing, blurred, there are many new characters, etc. 

I pick up where I've left off and somehow Don Draper is fucking his previous wife, Betty, in some cabin motel. Then, Don's smoking hash in LA. Sally Draper has become a young woman.

They're lucky that I'm not the head writer for that show, very lucky. All of the principal characters would be killed off and a whole new cast would emerge, all of Sally's friends. Perhaps this is why they're ending it next season. Post-cherry there isn't a single reasonable place left to go. The last episode would just be a re-make of Moonrise Kingdom.

Maybe not all of the principal characters would need to die. I'd save a few, just to punish them, like Pete Campbell. They have all made a lot of poor decisions in life, all of them. It is comforting, to me. There are allegiances, some trust others, but few are worthy of trust. It doesn't matter where I pick up on an episode, somebody is often on the verge of ruining it all, for themselves or everybody else. I don't see how they do it, the writers. Ever since the office merger things have become confusing. 

Everyone on the show is, in their own way, unloveable. 

Holy Jesus... while writing this... Sally just walked in on her father, Don Draper, fucking the neighbor, Mrs. Rosen. 

What more can possibly be said about such a thing.

Maybe I should start watching Louis, instead. It might be easier to keep up with. 

Fewer surprises, when not all surprises are bad.


Monday, March 30, 2015

A River Runs Past It

My brother offered to buy me an airplane ticket to Florida. I want to take him up on the offer. The timing is bad, or poor, for me. Though, I have nephews there, recent acquisitions to the fledgling empire of family.

He is worried about me, I think. Mr. Brother. He is Abel to my Cain.

No, that makes too little sense. God is not displeased with my offering of fresh garden cucumbers to my brother's cooked, dead goats. In the end, all of us are keepers to brother and sister alike. 

Lambs led to laughter.

That would be a silly criteria for a loving God to invoke; to prefer lamb to land with such lasting significance. Who could openly believe such a thing. Certainly a just and modern God would never read, nor so gravely consider, the Old Testament as being serious. Vegetarians must begin to cringe shortly after the first chapter of Genesis. 

Post garden, post Eden, post under. It's no green wonder.

If we, my brother and I, were the two from A River Runs Through It then I would be Brad Pitt, the younger and dead one. Though that comparison is perhaps too Methodist for the purpose of this post.

We are both problematic fellows, he and I. Though, I have often had a special knack for getting noticed for my problems. In other years I might have been considered a shaman or a poet or a criminal, but instead I am trapped in waning and wanting times where my audience is increasingly comprised of official members of the local legal community. I have made myself a known nuisance, and yet somehow also acknowledged as a very good and decent man, worthy of much improvement.

The untangled struggle is that I am still in love with her. 

It was very difficult to detect, to feel, through all of the many disappointments, but now I recognize it for what it is. It is not only hope that departs; want is the heart's envoy.

It will not do me any good, will not help me in any way... this useless love. 

Yet, it is. The remains are all that are left to be swept.

People give much lip-service to the power and purpose of love. They speak of it as if it is thirteen months of a horoscope. Those same mumblers will discourage you from admitting to love when the timing is wrong for them, when it just doesn't fit any more in their ears.

Yet, I do still love the girl, and believe she needs it, and somehow I accept its overness

There is an essence to the death of love that is unmistakeable. Its stench is perhaps the most temporary and lasting thing there is; pressed blossoms that have stained a favorite book, too yellowed around the edges, too unbound to survive another single opening.

People say, express, and believe the most strange and contradictory things about love. It is as a flag that flies on any mast of many ships, it accepts each mission, each lost purpose or completed voyage in full, traded amongst nations, it proudly lies unflagged, and stands amidst its failures. It is most useful when hopeless. Love is the symbol of two-ism, under siege. It can always be heralded as a singular victory, yet functions well in defeat. It marches, conquers, vanquishes. Love has few permanent alliances, yet trades freely in most welcome ports. It is as gold, shiny and golden, though stolen just as much, and frequently just as often.

It is meaninglessness in a word, immense as a feeling, potent when spoken. No person is free from its abuses, none innocent of its eventual uses. Love is an action that is best unacted.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Mind-Forg'd Manacles

Nothing makes any sense. 

All of a sudden, I am filled with an enormously emptying sense of futility. Almost everything that I dedicated my life towards, gone; useless and pointless. All that seems left now is me and the boy, and part time at that. I don't know why this depresses me so much. There is much to be satisfied about, but somehow I can not seem to access any of it. 

Time, time, time says everybody, as if that is any less cruel and absurd.

I fear that I may put too much pressure on Rhys, that my fathering of him will become too important to me. That must sound silly to some, the idea that parenting can be too important. I am concerned that with him being the only thing left that matters out of all of this that it will unnaturally strain what was just becoming much more natural for me.

There is no way to go but forward, I'm told. What I would normally do when filled with an emotion that I could not conquer would be to just push up against it, and to just keep pushing. Slowly, it would move on. I mean depression, a state that I am much more accustomed to managing. With futility, there is nothing there to push against, just more of it in all directions. Futility is resistant to resistance. It is not a good feeling, and nothing very good can come of it.

I made the mistake of discussing it with my brother last night. He and I do not share many views. His answer is in giving things over to God, a response to life's struggles that does not work for me. I am sure that he is praying for me. Even though I am not a believer I still like it when people tell me that they will pray for me. It seems mystical, that a person would dedicate their quiet attention to invoking the assistance of the universe on another's behalf. I do it all of the time, though don't consider it praying.

I worry too much. Then, to justify all of my worrying I'll give myself something real to worry about. I don't want to feel as if I am just wasting my time, so every now and then some of my inner concerns must grow tentacles and take flight.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Far from the Madder Men

Mad Men just gets better and better, though I have heard that the sixth season is not as good as the fifth, which is what I am on now. That's okay, I will adjust. I am sure that it is still better than most things on television. Can it be considered as being "on television"?

I just saw the episode in which Lane hangs himself in the office after being caught embezzling. His suicide note was in the form of a resignation letter from the firm. It was the option that he was given, resignation, rather than face the legal consequences. He opted otherwise.

Cato is on his way here. He began a pre-sunrise photo day, crossed the bridge to Sausalito in the dark, early morning, high iso, etc. Now, he heads towards Sonoma looking to shoot. I suppose I should put a battery on the charger. Perhaps we will hike.

I spoke very briefly with Rhys this morning. He will attend the services for his great-grandfather. His first, the grandfather's last. That is the way of things. 

I remember being traumatized at the first funeral that I attended. It was not due to my understanding of what was happening, but rather my brother's reaction to his understanding. He was crying, inconsolable. It was a close friend of the family, of my father's. Joe Crow was his name. My brother's reaction affected me most of all, him being my big brother, me seeing the power that it held over him.

It left an impression of death. A strong one. Finality is restful, in a way. Once the shock passes, the newness subsides, then mostly only acceptance remains. It leaves few choices in how to react as time passes. There are only the choices in how to feel. It's the same as when people are alive, only with the imaginary arrogance of self involvement for another removed. You are no longer provided the luxury of the idea that you can do anything about it, or them, at all. It's like a marriage ending. Life and love are ever meddlesome, death restful. 

Everything becomes "if only..." for a time. Then, even that recedes, powerless against the present, past, and all else.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Less Than Zero


Nothing much to report. The last stages of separating, getting the final remnants of my stuff from Rachel's house is going swimmingly. Last night a meddlesome neighbor gave me grief for being there, even though I have a key and was invited to do so by Rachel. None of that seemed to matter, He called the police. The police never care very much for what I have to say, so they arrested me. I made the mistake of standing outside to talk to them. Or, rather I should say that that is where they found me, rolling up an extension cord in the backyard. It was 2am, but the neighbor knows exactly who I am. He just wanted to get the police involved in the conversation.

So, they called Rachel to verify with her that I had permission to be there, which she did. Imagine how stupid they must have felt when they found that out. They let me go after about four hours, though they did actually charge me with something, for my own good. The charges will be dropped, as they never bothered collecting any evidence and their reason for being there in the first place rather crumbled when Rachel reminded them that I have a key to the place and was invited to be there.

I would have preferred if they would have at least de-loused me. It's always nice to know that you have one less thing to worry about upon your release, etc. I have a court date that luckily falls in the middle of my trip to NYC. I'm sure they will be reasonable about changing it to accommodate my travel whims. The court system is managed by fair-minded people.

I am tiring of this whole divorce already. I had thought that it would be so much more fun. Turns out that it's just like everything else about our relationship, a struggle that hardly seems worth it.

I do find it interesting how your perspective of a person almost completely changes once you relinquish that last little dose of hope that your heart has held on to.

Hope is some dangerous, silly stuff, but without it...


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Go Happy!

One night I sleep eight hours, the next only four, broken up in 45 minute segments. I feel as if I was beaten up by a mattress and two pillows. My sleep has too many commas in it. 

I have become a late-night binge watcher of mostly older shows and series. Mad Men is my new favorite again. Last night there was an episode, coincidentally titled "Far Away Places." The writing in the show is enviable. There are episodes that I like as much as "Scenes from a Marriage" or anything else.

The show from last night charted the trajectory of two relationships both ending in tandem. Well, one of them ends, anyway. The other gets just to the precipice, the empty edge of darkness, but pulls back just enough into the shade, away from the light of self-scrutiny.

In the first, after a fun night of lsd-inspired revelations, Roger Sterling and his wife are lying on the floor together speaking their newly discovered truths. It was all part of the self-reflexive portion of "the trip," shot from high above.

The wife says, "You don't like me."

"I did."

The next morning he leaves her. She is confused, but he explains that he has seen his new truth and he must follow it. He seems quite happy about it all. Things suddenly became perfectly clear to him. He explains his revelation to his ex-wife, encourages her to try acid. 

The episode ends with Don Draper in intense anguish and concern. He had abandoned his wife, Megan, at a motel, a Howard Johnson. There was an unpleasant argument about her only being an accessory to his life. He takes off without her, leaving her there in the parking lot. 

In the car there are vignettes, memories of better times. Don whistling "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

He returns to look for her. She is nowhere to be found. Somebody saw her get in a car. He finds only her sunglasses in the parking lot. Phone calls are made to houses, offices, parents, all veiled so as not to reveal the real concern for her, for her safety, or for the loss of his sense of control. A cop wakes him up in the restaurant of the motel. He explains the situation. The cop promises to help. Friendlier times.

He finally drives home, to find her there with the house locked. She lets him in. They are both angry for different reasons. There is a chase and they end up on the floor, faces to the ceiling, just as Roger and his wife were.

"You just left me there. How could you do that to me?"

"I don't know. It was a fight, it's over."

'"Every time we fight it just diminishes this a little bit."

The final scene, Draper stands in the conference room, a giant glass cage, alone. The other characters walk back and forth in front of him on alternating paths, showing little or no awareness of him. He sits still and watches as if viewing a life-sized screen of lives passing by on two different paths. 

Roger Sterling breaks the moment, sticking his head through the door to the conference room, glowing with post-trip joy.

"I have an announcement to make. It's going to be a beautiful day."


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"In my own country, I am in a far-off land"

I had forgotten how much I like the show Mad Men. Other people's lives are imperfect also, marked by the mistakes of self and others. Reminders of such things help. I watched it last night, almost two full episodes. As I did, I drifted off to a full night of sleep. 

My dreams turned odd and terrible just before I awoke. Something about missing a train in a land of foreign languages, dark skies, and bent metal. Decay. The station was so overcrowded that the trains were loading and unloading well past the platform, to make room for other trains that were trying to do the same. Everywhere there were people crawling and climbing and scrambling to get onboard. There is no chaos like foreign chaos. 

I was unable to verify that the train was heading towards my destination, though I tried desperately to find a departure board, anything. I held its name on a piece of scrap paper. The place was one that I did not know, did not recognize. I was certain that I was mispronouncing it. The many passengers looked at me or looked away with the dull disinterest one has of a foreigner in need. The doors started to close. I couldn't tell if I should jump back and out of the way of the departing train or if I should risk it and end up in an even stranger, less hospitable place.

I awoke and thought, what next, what next...


Monday, March 23, 2015

Love is almost all you need

I already look forward to returning home from the city, to go to the gym. I exercise for the same reason that I now want the divorce, to feel better.

Another kick to the stomach, coming towards the end of a long series of kicks to the stomach. Things are more over now than I had guessed. I am told that it is for the best. That's what I tell the conflicted boy, also. He was crying out in his sleep the other night for "Mommy..." What can you do at such a moment? Love is and always has been an incomplete answer, even when it is the only possibility of a response. 

One of us eventually had to move on with our lives. In my own way, our "family" had become important to me. As the idea of reconciliation became increasingly remote I struggled to form and maintain a sense of cohesiveness in our lives. Now, it is all lost. The boy's mother won't be participating in my life any more, nor will I be involving myself in hers. The change was inevitable, I guess. I had exhausted my usefulness for the ongoing ambitions of her own life. Glad I could temporarily help, I guess.

I got a son out of of it, anyway.

Ah well, CS reminds me to keep my sense of humor about it. He is, of course, right. It feels as if there is nothing left to laugh with, though, no air to form the sounds. A profound abdominal emptiness might be the source of existential humor, but not necessarily of laughter.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Kiwi Kid

Adventures we did have. 

There are things I am still learning, like what juices to not buy. We were at the gas station, getting the full carwash and interior of the car cleaned. I figured it would be very fatherly of me to buy the boy a juice. Strawberry-Kiwi. What boy doesn't like strawberry-kiwi?

Off we went on our adventures. On the road we video-Skyped with the boy's uncle and cousins, chatted amicably with a few others, etc. We were off, speeding towards the future. Just before the Golden Gate bridge I noticed the plastic juice container rolling around empty on the floorboard in front of Rhys. We had been talking almost non-stop the entire ride. I felt around everywhere trying to find the wet spot that would have been the result of this unfortunate spill. The cap was back on, but not evenly. I had placed it in the center console, a place that I had not realized the boy could now reach when he so wished. I never even saw him take a sip. Such is the power of sugar and water. He must not have drank it in sips.

As we got closer to our destination, Cato's apartment, it became clear what the outcome would be. He begged for me to help. We were less than one block from Cato's when it came up on the poor boy, all over his car-seat, his jeans and Adidas jacket; a gallon's worth.

My car is a 2004 VW Bug, I think. The electronic key works when it wants to, never when I want it to, ever. There were wet-wipes in the back, what would be the trunk. If you can't get the back to open with the electronic key then it either requires two people or something like a cassette tape to lodge underneath the lip and then a second door command for the evil thing to function. None of this was a possibility. The boy stood bawling as I helplessly tried to conduct this foul ceremony.

We were awkwardly parked near a curb on Fulton, traffic sped by as the boy bawled and bawled. I climbed through the back of the car, over the car seat, stretching into the back to recover the wet-wipes, setting my knees in a puddle of strawberry stomach acids. Upon my return the boy had still yet to compose himself. He didn't like the throw-up any more than I did, perhaps even less. I comforted him as best as I could while I worked away at the volume of the stuff across his front. Cato helped as best as he could, going back upstairs to get paper towels, to allow me to try to dry the most affected areas, the trail of greatest offense.

I hugged him and told him that I always feel better after I throw-up, that all the bad stuff is gone now, etc.

By the time we made it upstairs Cato had found some remnant from Burning Man, a rubbery wizard's ball, as he described it. It is meant to excite the minds of ravers. When bounced on the ground it lights up in festive colors, somehow through its inner bubble bath. The boy bounced it along and giggled as it went, chasing it across the floor. Its pulsating iridescence and wizard spells magically erasing the memory of vomit, its power over the day vanished, though the scent still lingered a bit.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

The reluctant

(single father of one)

Adventure. The boy and I will go and explore today, perhaps into the city.

The neighborhood kids are becoming tedious. It seemed quite fun at first, the boy having all these local kids to play with. Now they are a perpetual nuisance. None of them have parents, none visible anyway. I am greatly outnumbered. Last night, I wanted to make some dinner for the boy and he wanted pizza. All the kids were playing in or near the doorway, ever creeping deeper and deeper into the apartment. When they heard the word "pizza" some deeply planted flip was switched, or perhaps a trigger pulled. They swarmed the kitchen in unison. The scene possessed the chaos of a Mumbai soup kitchen. I was certain to contract malaria, or worse. I would have beaten them away with a spatula, but I am reasonably certain that such a thing is illegal if not frowned upon, even in California.

So, I ended up making two pizzas and distributing the wealth as evenly as I could among the hordes, encouraging them to go and sin no more. In this I am Christlike, sans anchovies. They all loved me, even though the older ones could detect my frustration and were wary. They were taking turns playing with a toy rocket of Rhys'. One boy looked at it in covetous envy and asked if we were rich. I explained that we were not, though he seemed incredulous concerning this plain statement of fact. This feeling will be compounded when I move in the grand piano next week. 

It is the last object that Rachel and I shared, sort of. The only one that both she and I seemed to want that could not be adequately split, nor a duplicate purchased. I do enjoy it being at her house, but that was not enough to prevent me from also wanting to play it at my leisure. Less and less will I have the impulse to sing songs there, nor blunder my way through newly learned chords and phrases. Increasingly, our mistakes are becoming past tense. Soon enough, they will all just disappear from the record, like old speeding tickets that once raised the cost of our insurance. We'll both be getting our new licenses, fresh pictures, different addresses. Same old tattoos. 

I rounded the corner on my way home yesterday morning and Rachel and Rhys were heading toward school. We both stopped and I hopped out of the car to say Hi! to Rhys. Later, Rachel asked if I was just getting home. It was nice to tell her that it's really none of her business, the same way that she would to me. Though that slight feeling of sassy freedom was very-short lived. Never compete when moving on. It is the guaranteed path to wretchedness and rather inhibits the desired outcome. I will arrive at torment soon enough without the express pass. Rachel has announced her future intentions and they include making me miserable, though only as a by-product, not necessarily as a goal.

I first wrote goal as gaol, for the many etymologists that linger and dawdle, or find themselves trapped, here.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

The revolution was over, the problems remained

(My father, his brother)

Death, everywhere and for all time.

Life, everywhere; only so far, only so much.

Now gone, the boy's great-grandfather, Rachel's grandfather, she adored him much. This morning just south of Mesa, Arizona. The affable fellow who was just here visiting. Departed a handful of months before his 90th birthday, which would have been on July 4th. 

He spoke to me - Rachel's grandfather did - of being away from home for so long; an extended month of unexpected travel. He seemed fatigued by it all in his description to me, though he expressed no desire to go home to Waukegan where there was too much fresh snow. Two feet!, was the claim. Now, he will return home and the snow will represent no problems.

Rachel will take the boy to the funeral, his first. It was not discussed at all when my father passed away. That is the way that mothers are; somehow always right, most of all in silence, omission. 

One day I will explain it to the youngster, or find a way of avoiding having to do so. I do not yet know what my relationship to death is. 

The lawyer's office wrote late last night and asked where my paperwork was. I asked if the divorce was still happening? I presume that it is based on their lack of response, and that nobody outside the office has informed me otherwise. I am becoming increasingly settled with the idea, though I neither invited it nor initiated it. I had hoped to maintain the semblance of a single family, in this post-separate world. The pattern that was in place long before Rachel and I met had more to say about it than I did, it seems. 

I was not invited to the memorial services. I am often reminded by the soon-ex how much I am loved by her family. I suppose that one does not get an invitation to a funeral. You are informed, and then you act, or choose not to based on your ideas of discretionary spending and how it relates to pleasure, duty, purpose, guilt, otherwise.

I have been given notice. The rest is up to me. 

In fairness, the boy's mother did ask me if it was okay that she take him to the funeral services, to which I responded, of course, of course.

Do I sound bitter, or even worse? I am both, and even yet much worse than that, some nights.

Few things remind of love as does death.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

... a second hand emotion


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Please secure your own mask before assisting others

On the night when I need normalcy in sleep the most, before driving into the city, my mind races and I became anxious, turning and flipping underneath the covers. Sweating, then having my legs become chilled when they are out from underneath the covers. Five hours of sleep will have to do for a very long day.

Still, I awoke before my alarm clock.

A friend has invited me to stay in the city for dinner tonight. I am tempted but uncertain. Staying involves additional fatigue. Just the thought of not sleeping in my own bed makes me shudder a bit.

Things have progressed between Rachel and I, or should I say digressed? With either description, we are moving as fast as we can towards completing our separation. There is a sudden enthusiasm driving all of our actions. I preminisced no return to the salad days. We will move on with our lives in some form or another. Separated, yet bound.

I am now available on the open sex-trade market. My most recent profile pic can be found above and below. I merely need to photoshop some flowers in the left hand.

Tired of waiting, tired of uncertainty, tired of floating in the vacuum of love.... Try a canvas love mask. 

It's the best way to preserve whatever's left.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Dance like no one's filming

My buddy reminded me that my newly acquired racist friend and UFC aficionado was also homophobic. He loudly used a familiar invective on the phone when he won a bet on the fight. I should have included that in yesterday's post, also. 

Ah well, not every racist can be perfect.

Since writing the post there has been an unofficial consensus that the term "black guy" is still basically okay. Tone and context appear to be what matters most. 

That is important to know. No longer do I have to be the old guy, at least in that regard. The consensus was formed by an all white focus group. I'll reach out to a few of my black friends (Can I say "black friend"?). I have a specific friend in mind. He is involved in all manner of social awareness, and I expect that he will have a strong opinion on the matter, even if he has never held one on it before.

He's good like that. If you need a sudden opinion, he's your guy. 

Now, also, when watching porn, I won't think that there is a black guy in it. I'll simply think, the recently arrived fellow that is using up most of the frame. 

Moving on. 

CS is over on his site taking on the many murky complexities of Facebook pornography. He's just the guy to do it. He proposes "Revenge Art" for those embittered ex-lovers that wish to lash out against former affections.

People make themselves vulnerable in a loving relationship. Then, it ends, and all that is left is the poorly-lit handheld video of the mag flashlight going in and out of your little circular ham-flower. It seems wasteful to not use it on Facebook, right? It is part of why I have so many friends. The occasional public meltdowns are priceless.

That is the down side of writing here every day. It is a nearly perpetual meltdown of one sort or another. So, that when I am actually struggling it goes almost unnoticed. I practice a religious erraticism, so a real crisis is masked by my perpetual instability. It's the price to pay.

Working yesterday has somewhat robbed me of my Monday. It's not the worst thing in the world to lose, but it does already feel as if the week will be unnecessarily long. I want to go to the gym, but the boy is still sleeping. Even when he awakes I'm not sure that I'll want to go drop him off at his mother's house. Ah well, I'll figure something out. Working out on my lunch break usually makes me feel good. It seems as if I am utilizing the hours of my day better, even though there is no real difference between that and working out before my day starts. It is funny, what the mind tells itself.

Funny is one way of describing it.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The day I discovered racism

(Pic by Rachel)

I just spent an hour writing an email. In doing so I feel as if I've exhausted whatever impulses I had towards writing. We'll see.

Nobody writes emails any more. I've looked through my inbox, going backwards in time, and it seems that people stopped writing emails around 2007. I mean, you'll still get emails but they have the basic content and literary value of a text message. Everything is a "chat," discussion is dead. It has been more than a decade since the post box contained anything that resembled correspondence.

I'm getting old. Last night a guy sitting next to me said, Whoah, whoah, dude! You don't have to say that...

We were watching a UFC fight and I referred to one of the fighters as "the black guy." He explained that that phrase is "not okay."

Since when?

The guy that I went to the bar with told me that the phrase "black guy" isn't really used any more.

Again I asked, Since when?

I mean, I get it, that someone might take offense with the phrase, but nobody is rushing to cease the use of "white guy" in conversation.

So, I've become an old white guy that wonders why the word "negro" angers people. No, I kid, of course. But it's impossible not to see it in a somewhat personal / historical perspective. Words and phrases that were once okay no longer are. I get it.

I hear people say "black guy" all the time, though. Am I expected to wince now and express disapproval?

Later, the guy at the bar and I had a pretty good time "chatting" and he turned out to be a racist also. I forget what he said, but he dropped some old school descriptive racial terms here and there. We had a good time laughing about it.

He was half-black. That's not how he described it, but he explained that he had one black parent. I said, Yeah, I can tell. If someone saw us talking you would be the black guy and I'd be the white guy. Right?

He said, Would you describe me as a black guy? 

Yes, because you're a black guy.

I'm not all black. I'm just as white as I am black. 

No, you're not. You're a black guy.

Could you tell that my mother was white?

No, but I can tell that you have a black parent.

We laughed at the stupidity of such things. It all started, I think, because I called one fighter a "cracker." This set the tone for the rest of the conversation. I explained that I am from Florida, and these are my people. The term is a technical one, and not meant as a pejorative.

So that you'll better understand, here are the two fighters:

Can you tell which one is the black guy?

Well, he won the fight.

My newfound racist buddy said, You don't even know what you're talking about. He's not black, he's Dutch.

There are no black guys in The Netherlands? There have been every time that I've ever been there. 

So, now I have to stop saying "black guy," so as not to offend the tender hearted amongst us. It's not as if I'm a huge fan of the phrase anyway. My new phrase will be "the fellow with the discernibly African lineage."

I'm not sure that's an improvement.

I just did an internet search on the subject and there is no reasonable answer. The one thing that everybody online could agree upon was that it was the Irish guy that caused all of the problems.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wonder Wanker

(Photo by Rhys)

Again last night, I pulled the couch sideways, put on a movie, reclined with my phone and computer off, and prepared to forget. After adjusting the blanket that I had pulled off of the bed a bit I noticed something wet. I, of course, smelled it. 

Rhys. Little Rhys. 

I remembered that in the morning, shortly after waking up, he had told me that his shorts were wet. I didn't quite complete the connection, I just helped him change his clothes. So, this morning I get to wash all my sheets and hopefully get the smell out.

I had to do laundry anyway. Perhaps I have not adopted all of the necessary "mom genes" just yet. My claims from yesterday might have been a bit premature.

In addition to love being quite a necessary thing, it is also a very lucky thing.

Yesterday, I went to the local meat market and stocked up for the weekend; steaks, and chicken, and marinate, and wine. I have to find something that makes me happy. I had hoped to go on an adventure this weekend, but I will be working on Sunday. Always there is need for more money, even when there is enough. 

More than ever, I will need it, money. Whatever structure I was trying to hold on to that resembled a family is coming to an end. It was inevitable, I guess, though just because something is inevitable doesn't mean that it is invited. For anything to work it requires willingness on everybody's part.

I was chatting with one of mine and Rachel's mutual friends last night. She was asking about the super-heroes that Rhys is into. Batman, of course, and Spider-Man. She asked which super-hero I would be. 

Wonder Wanker: red, white, and blue panties, etc.

I discuss wearing women's underwear an inordinate amount here. I dedicate much space and energy to the pursuit of it. 

I did an image search for "Wonder Wanker" and found this wandering runaway instead, had to use it:

That's right. That is an RV in the background. Nothing says jail-bait like a teen in shorts, positioned in front of a mobile crime scene.

I just ordered The Book of Dolores. Curiosity, a taste for pathos.  I tried to order his book, Imperial, but a used paperback copy is a hundred bucks. 

I was reading Camus last night, just random pages from The Rebel. By 46 he had won the Nobel Prize and was dead. Absurd.

"It is necessary to fall in love... if only to provide an alibi for the random despair you are going to feel anyway." - Camus


Friday, March 13, 2015

"... what 'ought to be the truth"

I must have somehow finally developed the "parent gene," the sleeping one. Rhys has been coughing most of the night. It kept me from sleeping, earlier last night. I could hear him hacking away in his bedroom, his little sporadic convulsions. I worried. Then, he eventually calmed down enough to go to sleep, as did I. At some point in the night, as he often does, he came to sleep in my bed. I pulled him up and in, covered him with comforter and went back to sleep. I awoke a few hours later to discover that he was still regularly coughing, but that's not what woke me up. I sit here listening to it now in wonder. 

I am a very light sleeper. Almost anything will wake me up. It seems impossible that he was lying next to me, coughing all night and I slept through it. 

It's what happens to men, I guess. They eventually become more like women. I don't actually "guess." I am certain of it. Men's estrogen levels increase as they age, just as women's testosterone levels do. It is part of the reason why women find men more attractive as they get older, but rarely is the opposite true. Women take on some of the qualities that they claim to dislike about men, and call it "strength." Men take on some of the qualities that women have claimed were superior to others. 

Nature is savage, calculated.

My point being that I am beginning to notice many little indicators of how I am becoming a more complete parent. I sleep like a mother watching her pup. I hadn't set out with that as a goal, but it has happened, little by little. By next year I'll be able to fetch a ball, maybe catch a frisbee in mid-air, poop in the backyard, etc.

I would be lying if I didn't include the obvious fact that Rhys has become much easier to parent. His first two years were very different than this one, though there were months in which I cared for him then, also. I have been told that it will all just get easier, for a little while. 

Read the comments section from yesterday's post for somebody else's take on the struggle. I imagine that some readers here must be bored witless to continue hearing of my experiences as a father. 

At least one pair of eyes within me is always exaggeratedly rolling. If you pretend to be something for long enough then you eventually might become it. It works for many things, love and happiness excluded. There are few convincing imitations of happiness, too many of love. Some delusions seem so much less cruel than others.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kickin' up Dust

(Learning the basics of baseball)

The boy still sleeps in the other room, so who knows how much time I will have to write. Not long, would be my guess. He will wake up and want to watch Batman, or something like it.

Last night, a friend came over for dinner with her boy, Jordan. They both played out in the courtyard again with el barrio niñas y niños. 

My friend, Lisa, and I were laughing at some of the absurd, oddly truthful things that kids sometimes say. It is poetical, at times, the unexpected combination of ideas, ones that they are just beginning to come to terms with.

Jordan approached Lisa the other day and very seriously said, "Well, the truth is not fun."

"It's monsters."

Rhys had to get a time-out at one point in the evening, for not being a good listener.

As his time-out was finishing I held his head in my hands, looked right at him, and told him that I loved him. He raised his hands and placed them on each side of my head and gently rocked my head back and forth, leaning forward he looked into my eyes while nodding, "I need you."

It was animated in such a way that is difficult to convey here. It would have been almost teasing if it hadn't been said so innocently and with such unforeseen sincerity.

Off he went, back to terrorizing the other kids.

Rhys has also assured me before that he would protect me from monsters. He has told me that he would say, "Rawrrr!, and make them all go away..."

Thanks kid, that is what I've been trying to do, also. Scream until the monsters go away.

Well, perhaps it is much more entertaining for the parent than for the reader. I've been having a pretty good time with it all, though. There are little payoffs to being a parent, nearly impossible to convey to others, their odd and unexpected magic. There is much more to it than just silly, surprise claims and questions.

The more I parent, the more it falls into place.

Today, Rachel and I go to see a lawyer, to again begin the process to finalize what remains between us. We will sit in his office and nod and agree, explaining that this is what we want, that this is what is best for everybody involved.

I'm sure that we will be filled with the absurd, oddly truthful things that parents sometimes say.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lust for Chaos

Don't take anything I say too seriously, or seriously at all, I don't. After a conversation with CS yesterday morning, I showed a lack of discretion in last night's post. I was only trying to get under one reader's skin. I don't even know if it worked. Just a little squirt of healthy sexism, to keep life interesting.

If your goal is to drink less coffee in the mornings, then do not buy larger coffee cups. That is my wisdom. It is Daoist. 

I need some time away. For whatever reason work is not offering me its usual sanctuary from the remainder of my superficially mild life. I should go to the gym. That helps. I took well over a month off from being there. After my father died I became sick with a lingering stomach virus. I think it was a virus. I can't tell. It is still affecting me, though not enough to keep me from going to the gym. This virus seems to love me and only me. I am past the age where I worry that each new malady will be the one that pulls me under. Eventually, I will be correct in my assumption. 

I'll feel so smart, and prepared to begin my new career as a doctor, a diagnostic soothsayer. A swimmer in the seas of assumption. 

The other day I was sitting in the city, watching people walk past. It struck me, how many of them there were. Too many, it seemed. It occurred to me... how odd that death doesn't interject itself more often into our day-to-day lives. Everywhere, there are people dying, though we rarely see it. Sure, death sometimes gives its warning signs, so that dignified people will crawl off to be alone. It is institutionalized, the privacy of dying. Only poor and deranged people insist upon their public deaths. Still, it seems odd that we don't see it more often, with numbers considered.

There are lots of poor people.

I looked around and thought that every person that I could see would one day die. I felt like I had smoked pot, with deep revelations of this kind just rising to the surface.

I took notice of how many older people there were waddling past. Fewer of them than the younger ones, to be sure, and moving much slower. Perhaps that is it, all of it, they move so slowly they just disappear from stillness. Death becomes invisible, an unending lack of motion.

Life is like a velociraptor, it can only see you if you're moving. At the point of your own death humans appear as a blur. The image of their motion increasing, comparatively, so that all that is available is a smear of color moving by you. Life is the portion of it that you can no longer catch up with.

Passing before your eyes, no longer yours.

I once read that the "fact" offered in Jurassic Park simply isn't true. The one concerning a T. Rex's inability to see you if you weren't moving. Who would have ever guessed that we can't replace science with blockbuster films.

Okay, death. It is a morbid thought. No small wonder why my readership here has suffered so greatly in the last few months.

The next time somebody wants to argue for Steven Spielberg's greatness as a director, then sit down with them and watch that film.

It is abysmal.

Okay, I am losing my mind. I can feel the intermittent slipping of consciousness. It is baffling.

A friend recently told me that he does not share my lust for chaos. The phrase resonated with me, the simple truth of it. I only wanted to go eat lunch at the downtown SF mall food court, the week before Christmas.

The phrase lingered though, its economy of purpose rang true within me. The implication of sin, the oft-presumed aversion to disorder. All of it. We forgive Iggy Pop any number of sins because he has claimed them as a mere Lust for Life.

... a lust for chaos, that is another matter, altogether. Life is more orderly, more mannered, than most would admit. 

I have learned my lesson: Do not sit up at night, drinking a bottle of wine, listening to Van Morrison, writing a post because you felt the previous one from the same day was insufficient.

There is tomorrow!, Rocky. There is so tomorrow...

I feel as if I have said all of this before, and I have. I somehow still manage to avoid the subject of my own life, what matters most to me; pursuit of hopes. Missing the target most of all, perhaps, when I address it directly.

The Daylight Savings Time has me completely fucked. My social interactions are becoming less and less social, more fucked up.

Earlier this morning I envisioned a health care option in which I could just go check myself into a hospital for a few days. I could lie there and watch tv, just to make sure that I was okay. A nurse at the end of a buzzer, morphine too, if the temperament of the malady demanded it. I'm not sure why a nurse in a hospital is so preferable to an apartment or hotel alone, but it requires no thought to know that it is. Truly. Someone to bathe over me.

Such a thing seems perfectly plausible, and perhaps enjoyable. I get an erection considering nurses, and that nursing. Yet, an objection abides, or alerts, drifts along its course. Art is just a complaint, of sorts.

Illness is. It takes. It pulls downstream.
It seems more than it seems.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Funny How Love Is

(Michael Manson)

I opted against a film tonight. I rushed home distractedly from the city, had two beers then quickly bored with local pub talk; went to the wine shop, the grocery store, the meat market.


I put most of the food away, ate a can of Dinty Moore stew.

Surviving that, I put on some Van Morrison.

Jesus, he was a trifling man.

In truth, I loved it. I have always found a way of getting my arms around the romantics, and have also handcuffed some realists along the way.

I sat back in my desk chair, sipping my wine, counting my many new dollars, wondering how somebody so fortunate could end up being a liberal like me, and not the online kind.

Speaking of.... online-liberals are all menopausal women, maybe even worse. They are just terrible. They are uninvited hot flashes, trying to save the earth. It's not so much that what they say is wrong, it is that they are just so unforgivingly intense concerning the expectation of accordance. It's like people that raise money at Elton John concerts, and insist that you recognize their efforts. 
These medusas did not reach me through the Van Morrison tonight, though. Do not worry, much. It is only something that has been on my mind; women of a certain kind. It need not worry you, also.
Men are capable of grander general gloom than women, they always have been. It is why their songs are more beautiful, men's. Women will always own specifics, but men have them beat on the averages of sadness.  
Don't kill the back massager.

All that being hieroglyphed above, I sat and gently studied the unmeasured sorrow of my good buddy, Van Morrison.

I calmed myself and thought poetical thoughts, then felt them, then leaned forward into the speakers, head in my hands. I nearly prayed aloud, muttering the rhythmic embrace of a thing that is akin to pain, beauty.

Some are dedicated to the description of the maladies. Van is triflingly among them.

The wine gripped and griped my mind, tore the sail from its mast, just as the stew stormed my stomach. Within a few tilts of the glass I had found my way far away from Van and stumbled into the sharp end of the sextant.

Below are the bubble-pop rooms of my youth.

INXS, etc.

This time will be the last time that we will fight like this.....

I'm standing here, on the ground.....

Resolution of happiness
Things have been dark for too long

Don't change a thing for me

I felt as if I were near a pool. 

Execution of bitterness
Message received loud and clear

Well, the wine calmed me, here and then there.

That, then, gave way to this:

I go to places we used to go
I still see people we used to know
Friends, they ask me, where is she now?
I have to tell them we're over now

When I questioned love, I thought I'd surely die
I couldn't see a future without you by my side
We're not together, but I'm still alive
I'd rather not see you for a really long time

Funny how love is...
Funny how love is...
Funny how love is...

I don't want your magazines, I don't want your clothes
Take them from my house, let me be alone
Ever try to catch me in, or call me on the phone
Don't send me letters, I don't want to know

When I questioned love, I thought I'd surely die
I couldn't see a future without you by my side
We're not together, but I'm still alive
I'd rather not see you for a really long time

Funny how love is...
Funny how love is...
Funny how love is...

Love is so funny, the joke is on me 
Funny how love is...

Gummo Marx

Last night, another evening spent on the couch, watching a film. "Stardust Memories" by Woody Allen, a personal favorite. I ate popcorn and fiddled with my phone, texting like a teenaged girl. My underwear had little pink strawberries dancing happily along.

There is a scene in the film in which Woody Allen defends himself against accusations of being inappropriately attracted to a teenage girl, a relative of some sort, a young cousin of his girlfriend, if I remember correctly. 

Allen denies that the film is autobiographical, at all.

I might watch a Bergman film tonight, who knows. Watching Woody Allen films often makes me want to watch the films he is referencing, or stealing from. 

I am in the mood to go home and hide my head under the covers, to conceal myself. Life is complicated, sometimes best avoided. A quiet room, an engaging film, a few glasses of red wine, a planned escape. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

"Monkies" is misspelled

(Australians are Evil)

I want odd and greatly nasty things: monkeys that deliver me opium; dogs that dance with turtles; primates that ride greyhounds for sport or pleasure; monkey breeds to either post or play, and become popular. 

Monkey-faced animals that embrace the beauty of the Trifecta.

Most of all I need to harness others.  

50 shades of Greyhound. 

I'm not willing to put any energy, or time, into much of it. Most of all I do not wish to put in energy and time together at once. That is what drains the human spirit, traffic.

To be expected, to commit. 

I want opium to appear before me like an unpaid lottery from the east; delivered on the loud-squealing backs of crazed monkeys, as far as the eye can see. 

A sea of monkeys, a papacy of papaya.

I also have a plan to reasonably exploit lumberjacks in the local area, though they are a very tough people. 

No-nonsense sorts. Happy to gamble, bitter to lose

Their good eyes light up when I mention monkeys riding dogs, though. They have little time for frivolities, lots of patience for misery.

Monkeys on the backs of dogs, for gambling dashes, are three serious matters; not as raising one child to just be kind, negotiating ways through a forest that harbors surprises.

Lyin', Tired, and bear it.

Lumbering towards that. 
I race, and run.

Barefoot growls, dancin' in the moonlight.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Genesis E-330 Weber, in Green

By now, some of you might be asking yourselves, "What the fuck is so exciting about a gas barbecue grill, and why does he keep going on about it?" You would be right in asking that question. It is the correct response to my mania. That being written, it arrived yesterday and it is even far more exciting than I had expected. 

Last night, porterhouse steaks. 

We had another fiesta with the neighborhood kids. They all came over again and watched the rest of "Frozen." I do not see the fascination with that film. There are plenty of animated kids' films out there that are worth watching. That's not one of them. I distributed cookies, one each, which they ate outside. 

They love me, and soon they will raise my son.

I have decided to start hunting. I am going to a gun shop today to buy a rifle. Not sure what the laws are in California concerning a license, but I'm sure there will be an expert on all of that at the gun shop. There is no such thing as a gun shop that is closed on Sundays.

I need a sacred carcass to put on this grille. It's that big. I'm not sure if there are open range hunting options in California like there are in Africa, and now Canada, but I'll find out. I want to shoot a giraffe in the neck, just to watch it twitch. Like Johnny Cash, but with animals.

I am committed to only eating the meat from albino beasts. They must be hunted in the wild, and it is preferable that they die in fear.

No, no, no. This is all wrong. My online behavior has cost me some online friends. Let me start over.

I am a great lover of all things made of meat, and would harm none of them if I had to do so myself. I will be using this grille to make soups, exclusively. I just like the flavor of an open flame. 

I do wonder what impact it would have on the market if a picture of the slain animal was included as part of the packaging, like the warning on cigarettes. Maybe even two pictures. One of a cow grazing happily in a field, then the other a second or two after its demise in some dimly lit factory. The lifeless eyes fixed on some distant cosmic point of departure.

It is important to eat the weak, to gain their secrets. It is how the strong remain vital.

Ok, enough with my bad-acid meat-marketing plans.

Ignore all of this. My morning coffee hasn't gripped my head yet. 

I am a closet vegetarian. If I had more moral courage I would make the leap. I just don't care for the texture of vegetables. 

I do want a rifle or two, though. But that's only so that I can vote Tea Party in the next election without being hassled at the polls.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Stardust in my heart

(Cato, Friday night)

A weekend with the boy. I will try to keep him away from the hallucinogenic rabbits pictured above. They are demonic in nature and would burn at the stake in slightly different times. 

There are some who would re-invite those times. Many. I am involved with a conversation in which my adversary is espousing the benefits of across-the-board drug testing for welfare recipients. I have proposed that those with drug problems should get extra money, to assist with treatment. Welfare programs really seem to anger some people. They see the world like the picture above, problems reproducing like bunnies, asexual and somehow always in monochrome.

Last night we had a party at the apartment. Rhys and his buddy, Jordan, ran around outside in the courtyard with all the kids in the neighborhood, all mud-luscious and puddle wonderful. Then, they all came in (with their parents' permission) to watch "Frozen." The girls sang along with all the words, to all the songs. There were about 10 or 12 of them singing in blissful chorus. It was charming. 

Rhys and Jordan, the only two boys almost, didn't seem so interested, but the girls were having a great time. I chatted with the ones that spoke English, did my best with the exclusive speakers of Spanish. There were many that were willing to assist in translation. One of the girls offered to fold all of my clothes for me, sat down on the floor and began. I told her that was very sweet but that she didn't have to do that. She didn't mind. I'm waiting for her to turn 15, so that I can marry her. 

Quinceañera awaits.

They all wanted to know why I had so many books. I explained that I was a teacher, of sorts. They wanted to know where. I told them that it was not quite for a school, sort of. They all agreed that they liked to read a lot also. We were all great lovers of literature.

They asked for me to play my guitar. I strummed an E-G-A combination and then put it away. No songs would die today. I found a box of girl scout cookies and gave them all one each, verifying parental approval with each distribution. They all nodded in solemnity, without asking their parents, of course.

They asked if they could come over today. I explained maybe, that Rhys' grandfather (his bisabuelo) was visiting, and we would have to see. He is from a different time, and might not understand allowing Mexicans in the house. But he's a great old guy whom I like much. He helps me navigate the world by avoiding the Mexicans and the Indians and their reservations, and pretty much all others, too. He is of that time, but still quite lovable nonetheless, and I like him much.

Don't tell his mom he's out without shoes on in the picture below. She is no fan of such things.

The other day, Rhys and I were driving in the car. I had bought Rhys some fairy wings at the dollar store. He was holding them in his carseat. He loves dress-up, particularly pirates, anything from Peter Pan. 

He was explaining things to me as they are:

I have stardust in my heart, Daddy, so everybody flies.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Beyond the Clouds

I had forgotten how nice life can be.

Last night, I turned off all of my phones and computers (all except the one I was using as a movie screen), and watched an entire feature length film. I turned the couch sideways so that I could recline and watch and eat popcorn.

Beyond the Clouds by Michelangelo Antonioni (then finished by Wim Wenders). It wasn't very good. I watched it off of a Handbrake rip, but the cinematic quality is not what killed this film. It just wasn't one of his best. I napped through some of it. I should have drank wine, but I didn't.

Perhaps what I did enjoy most about it, though, was that it had been so long since I felt contemplative, at all. Few things in my life invite contemplation, and I don't demand it enough for and of myself, not even here on this site. When it happens, it feels nice. There is the requirement of external stimuli for me to magically realize that I don't have to do anything. I don't have to interact with the screen in front of me. I've nearly forgotten how to be a passive recipient of a visual experience. 

The film itself was a boring disappointment. I had seen it before and remembered it being much better than it was. There are a handful of other Antonioni works that I love more; L'Avventura and The Passenger

The soundtrack was only part of what killed it. Bono and Van Morrison doing instrumental standards. Abysmal. I tried to ignore the music, hoping that it would somehow help, but it was impossible.

Antonioni had a stroke while making the film, which showed. It felt as if one would have to have endured a stroke to enjoy it fully, on the level that he made it. It was fragmented, split down the middle, twice. It seemed lost, though that did suit its subject well enough on the surface. The disillusionment of love. A theme that I was ready to embrace.

But no. No.

Four loosely intertwined vignettes, told from the perspective of a wandering director. The opening sequence showed some promise, though the dialogue seemed to almost be an SNL parody, particularly as it was overdubbed by John Malkovich (pronounced Mal-Kovv-itch, with the stressed syllable in the middle, at least for this film). He dawdled through the film, playing the part of a director, ruminating on the act of making films, which is what the film felt like also: somebody trying to determine how to make a film.

Not even the lovely, fully nude women could save it. Had it been made by a lesser-known, younger director then it would have been dismissed outright as being both pompous and puerile. It exploited the subject that it pretended to explore. It was a film about being a film.

As Peter Griffin said well enough, "It insists upon itself."

Well, I'm out of time now... That's my first-draft film review for Monday's show-and-tell. I'm going to bring in a handful of actual pubic hair from the 1970s, just like the fully grown growlers on display in this week's feature film....

Love all.

I'll probably watch the film again in another few years and have a complete reversal, claiming wildly that Bono is just the genius that he has always believed himself to be.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Land Sushi

The government reverses its stance on cholesterol. What next? If we can't trust them with nutritional science then who knows, maybe they've made mistakes in other areas also. I have yet to see Citizenfour, the movie about Edward Snowden. I'd rather read articles.

I just don't know who we can trust any more. The government is spying on us, and then telling us that cholesterol is no longer a danger.... It seems like a trick. My whole life it is all that I've ever heard: cholesterol is the heart killer.

My barbecue grill has arrived. Well, it has arrived at the Home Depot in Napa. I was not able to confirm that it had been assembled yet. There is delivery to consider, too. Then, the purchase of a propane tank, or two, and a cable and lock to prevent it from being permanently borrowed by an anonymous borrower. I don't want to have to cable the thing up, but it's too expensive to risk a heartbreaking tragedy.

After all those precautions, I get to eat as much cholesterol as I choose. Well no, not really, high fat foods still represent a problem, of course.

To celebrate, I donated some money to a school fundraising effort and my reward for having done so was a tri-tip dinner for four. Rhys ate a few very small pieces and I have committed to the task of taking care of the rest.

This is what the thing looked like after I had eaten as much as was possible in a single sitting:

The good news now is that eggs will no longer make me feel guilty. I can eat more of them without feeling guilty. Eggs are a nearly perfect food. They are like land sushi.

The boy is asleep in the other room, and I have to question what I am doing awake in here posting pictures of the remains of my dinner. 

The good news is that the moral high ground upon which vegans have placed themselves has been brought into question by the proper authorities. It turns out that plants want to live, as well. So, sentience should prevent some from eating at all now, hopefully.

No, I kid. I have a few ongoing feuds out there in the world right now, veganism is just one of them. Defense spending is one of the others, though luckily not conducted with the same persons.

I only fall in love with vegetarians. It seems to be an unwritten policy in my heart.

As for the defense spending argument... I really should stay off of Facebook. I get engaged in protracted  military arguments with humorless people, and I clearly want to win, but then don't put in enough energy to do so. Not that ideological disagreements can be won anyway, but that's not the point. I just try to argue in the background while I'm doing other things, and that is not the best approach when you're facing the enemy's front line.

I want to crack open a bottle of wine right now, but that will mean that I definitely won't go back to sleep. At least not until I'm done with it. As I said, the boy is sleeping in the other room. I went through a rather sizable series of expenses and much time was consumed with providing the boy with his own bedroom, but he wants to sleep with me most of the time. I don't mind, but I don't sleep quite as well when being kicked in the face. He's a very active sleeper. I've always felt that the word somnambulist sounded like an advanced gymnast of sleep. Each time I wake up he's in a different position, in a completely different part of the bed. I'm convinced that he did a back-flip to get there. 

The good thing about the wine that I might open is that it is relatively low in alcohol. The wines that were gifted to me, many of them are of that nature, and I have found that I greatly prefer them to the excessively high alcohol content wines of California. When I have tried to go back and enjoy California wines they seem to assault with heavy forward flavors, to mask the levels of alcohol. 

Give me a few minutes and I'll have the rest of that steak out, and be cooking up some vegetables. Kale, etc.

No, I went and looked at the stack of bottles, nothing quite appealed to me. The hope of going back to sleep still hangs over me. 

Well, my investment genius turned out to be missing some crucial information. I didn't quite understand what stock options are. I have the "option" to buy them, but the only value that exists within them that is mine is the profit above what I have the option to buy them at. I hadn't quite grasped that. It means that I might not be getting my Nikon D4S any time soon. It affects the spending money I'll have for my upcoming trips also. 

I lost my sheikdom rather quickly. The market is particularly volatile for somebody who has no idea what they're doing.

I don't know why I feel like I need to say this, but the five pillars of Islam do not interest me much. Maybe the pilgrimage, I do like to travel. Though Arabia is a place of great intolerance to alcohol, and I would feel silly circumambulating the great Rubik's Cube that fell from Allah's hand.

In Mecca, on the eastern corner of the Kaaba, there is a black stone placed there by Muhammad that muslims peacefully jostle to touch as they circle and re-circle the ancient building seven times chanting. It has been made smooth by the many millions who have touched it. They would rather do this than drink wine, which settles things once and for all, for me.

The stone is believed to go back to the time of Adam and Eve, though I have been trying to tell anybody that will listen that it might be even older than that. The House of God  flooded in the 17th century and some of the walls collapsed. It needed to be rebuilt, this holiest of holies. 

Okay, Fajr quickly approaches. I must prepare to prostrate myself towards Mecca, and to stone the devil in my heart while he sleeps.