Sunday, January 31, 2016

Power, Corruption & Lies

(Gerhard Richter)

Nothing much to report today. I am itching to spend money online. Don't know why, just am; boredom, I guess. I began an ambitious apartment cleaning effort last weekend, but don't feel like seeing it through to completion now. That is the way of things. There is only effort without end. My new mantra will be: do not do, just be. Women will simply love me.

I plan to go into the city today with my buddy from Japan. The three sisters are arriving later, though my official plans with them do not begin until tomorrow. We will go to a museum, the SF Moma. It has been some time since I have been, since the boy was in a stroller and I was a married man, happy as a house.

I used to see exhibits in SF that had been in NYC as well, and I always preferred the curatorial arrangements in NY over SF. Gerhard Richter being one that stood out, how poorly it was curated in SF.

It is difficult to find much good writing about Richter. His work defies the easy categorization that other artists almost seem to strive towards. What glee some artists must feel when a favorable label is finally applied.

Theory has nothing to do with a work of art. Pictures which are interpretable, and contain a meaning, are bad pictures. A picture presents itself as the Unmanageable, the Illogical, the Meaningless. It demonstrates the endless multiplicity of aspects; it takes away our certainty, because it deprives a thing of its meaning and its name. It shows us the thing in all the manifold significance and infinite variety that precludes the emergence of any single meaning and view. 

- Richter


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Unpack Your Adjectives

(Team work project)

I don't know what to write. CS and I have had many petty disagreements over the years, mostly petty, but the news of his gear loss yesterday has me feeling like I've had the breath kicked out of me. I keep looking at the list of stolen bodies and lenses and my stomach sinks and feels empty. It is distressing. I like that he takes interesting pictures. It is a way of organizing the universe; a making of something smoother, that was once rough.

Last night, I showed the list to a friend who is visiting from Japan. I don't know what reaction I expected, as if somehow sharing the loss will lessen the magnitude of it. All the things I own somehow seem easily replaceable in comparison, though I would not wish to have to do so. I would not wish it on anyone.

Fucking filthy thieves.

Today, my buddy and I will visit some vineyards: St. Francis and Gundlach Bundschu. I mainly hate that shit, but he is visiting and does not know what else to do with himself. I have been brushing up on my adjectives.

Speaking of, I've been watching School House Rock with the boy. He was given a two cd set for Christmas. Not only has my memory been slaughtering the songs, but I had forgotten where I learned almost everything that I now know: the Saturday morning cartoons. I wish that I would have remembered it all a little bit more clearly, though. I've been wanting to argue with the cartoons, and I do not mean the not-so-subtle misandry of the above linked video.

But, of course, I am wrong, and the creators of School House Rock know much more than I do.

My favorite musically, when I was a kid, was always the one on the 19th Amendment.

… And, the original Classic: The Magic Number.

I am unable to make sense of any of it. Life is an absurd struggle, as are all the things in it. Then, it can be taken when you turn your back for an instant.

Life may not be fair, but at least nobody gets to skip its ending.

Time passes, love fades.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Thieves in the marketplaces

Jesus, nothing but bad news. A crazed man was kicking in the doors of some rather nice cars (Audis and Volvos) in the parking lot where I park my car when I arrived this morning. The police arrived shortly thereafter. Two of them tackled him in the corner though they couldn't seem to get cuffs on him. Then many more arrived, surrounding him with their batons out. He ceased resisting arrest after enough damage was done. He was chanting, "Kill me, kill me, kill me…"

I was one of the few that spoke English, so I was left with filling out the police report. 

I spoke with CS briefly. He has had a series of bad luck. First, the loss of the studio, now the loss of much gear that once occupied the studio. Such a thing is always heartbreaking and defeating. Looking at the list of stolen gear is wrenching. The punishment for such a crime is much harsher in some cultures. Though, if you grew up in a place where there were many that were missing hands then perhaps such a fate would not seem so horrific. I am not in support of the hand removal method of crime deterrence. I merely cite it as an alternative practice.

Consider the wisdom of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which allow girls to get married at 12 and 13, respectively. No word on why boys must be 14. 

So much for marriage equality.

I've been saying it for many years: that a 12 year old girl can do most everything that I like to do, so why not? Some of you might wince at this state-backed wisdom of mine, but if we're going to recoil at the cutting off of hands for thievery then let's not be squeamish about sex with a twelve year old, at least not in Massachusetts. 13 in New Hampshire. All within the beautiful institute of marriage. 

Who are we to question the delights of the law.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

we stopped making secrets

hiding behind trees,
counting to ten,
we forgot that,
and then: giggling

we stopped whispering
at bad words,
instead, we shouldered

dashing from parents,
as we could,
grabbed their hems, purses,
they understood

we stopped telling secrets
we stopped telling lies
we stopped nearly everything



"… what dreams may come"

I am exhausted and have very little left to say. I am hoping to transition to a new position at work, one which will leave me with even less free time than I have now, though it will offer me greater educational opportunities. I had considered enrolling back in school to get a master's degree, but I'm not even sure that I have the energy to spare from working and being a single dad. 

Other people do it, so I know that it can be done. There is simply a sacrifice of time, and an adjustment of life's point of focus. Rachel is working towards getting her master's degree, so I feel a mild obligation to do the same. I want our son to esteem education and perhaps falsely assume that he might do so through knowing that his parents are educated. 

Well that, and through talking to him. I ordered him several new books of poems after the disappointment of Shel Silverstein. Poetry is perfect for children. Some of it is nearly the literary equivalent of childhood. Useless and priceless all at once - eager to be shed off, impossible to recovered as it was

Except for that John Berryman fellow

I have been reading again lately, that helps. I recently finished a book and started at the beginning again, reading it through twice, just to verify that I was present during the first attempt. My experiment had mixed success. At middle life the mind sleeps too easily in the daytime, even as the body remains restless through the nights, hauling the mind along with it, as if being dragged through town by a rope attached at one end to a lazy horse.


What a Man I Was

I shot off his left ear
then his right,
and then tore off his belt buckle
with hot lead,
and then
I shot off everything that counts
and when he bent over
to pick up his drawers
and his marbles
(poor critter)
I fixed it so he wouldn’t have
to straighten up
no more.

Ho Hum.
I went in for a fast snort
and one guy seemed
to be looking at me sideways,
and that’s how he died-
lookin’ at me
and clutchin’
for his marbles.

Sight o’ blood made me kinda
Had a ham sandwich.
Played a couple of sentimental songs …
Shot out all the lights
and strolled outside.
Didn’t seem to be no one around
So I shot my horse
(poor critter).

Then I saw the Sheerf
a standin’ at the end a’ the road
and he was shakin’
like he had the Saint Vitus dance;
it was a real sorrowful sight
so I slowed him to a quiver
with the first slug
and mercifully stiffened him
with the second.

Then I laid on my back awhile
and I shot out the stars one by one
and then
I shot out the moon
and then I walked around
and shot out every light
in town,
and pretty soon it began to get dark
real dark
the way I like it;
just can’t stand to sleep
with no light shinin’
on my face.

I laid down and dreamt
I was a little boy again
a playin’ with my toy six-shooter
and winnin’ all the marble games,
and when I woke up
my guns was gone
and I was all bound hand and foot
just like somebody
was scared a me
and they was slippin’
a noose around my ugly neck
just as if they
meant to hang me,
and some guy was pinnin’
a real pretty sign
on my shirt:
there’s a law for you
and a law for me
and a law that hangs
from the foot of a tree.

Well, pretty poetry always did
make my eyes water
and can you believe it
all the women was cryin’
and though they was moanin’
other men’s names
I just know they was cryin’
for me (poor critters)
and though I’d slept with all a them,
I’d forgotten
in all the big excitement
to tell ’em my name

and all the men looked angry
but I guess it was because the kids
was all being impolite
and a throwin’ tin cans at me,
but I told ’em not to worry
because their aim was bad anyhow
not a boy there looked like he’d turn
into a man
90% homosexuals, the lot of them,
and some guy shouted
“let’s send him to hell!”

and with a jerk I was dancin’
my last dance,
but I swung out wide
and spit in the bartender’s eye
and stared down
into Nellie Adam’s breasts,
and my mouth watered again.

- Charles Bukowski

For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lightning Strikes

The picture from yesterday's post was not mine. I was making a bit of a joke. The guy who sent it to me had told me that he doesn't post his pictures online because he's afraid of people stealing them. So, I had no choice.... I tried to state that in the post but I was being a bit obtuse. 

So be it.

You can always tell when a writer is lying. You know, because you are reading. The concept of truth is an artifice.

Well, I would write more, but I am pressed for time today. 

I return to my favorite photographic subject, a child in the wild:


Monday, January 25, 2016

"… for a love that I could not obey"

(Canon 5D)

My new camera is already paying off in striking dividends of light. I took a woozy midnight trip out to the coast. I climbed down from my thrown unto the shore, waded out past the rocks and then back again, set myself up on a beached raft, one that was not entirely dissimilar from Tom Hanks' sea-worthy bamboo vessel in the cinema masterpiece "Cast Away." 

Originally, I had thought this was a grand film about masturbation, this casting away stuff. Then, I went and saw it with friends and discovered that truth was one of the many components of projection that they had ignored. No true man that is left to his own devices does not furiously impose his seed upon the inches or feet or betwixt the legs before him. 

I shot as if life depended in it.

That's not what this post is about. It is about my dedication to making better use of my new camera. Many agree that my son is the most beautiful child to ever grace the face of the earth and oceans, there is a grassroots movement to rename the moon, but still, the camera was expensive and we did not after all name him Christ as we had once originally thought to, from the east side of the lost garden. 

A device does not need to justify its existence, but a creature should explain the purpose of its sacrifices, we do, unless we are to believe in the altruism of self, exposed as if. 

Expression does so much more for the expresser than the recipient.

The image above is not mine, but neither is it rightly the thief's who stole it. I asked him if I could use it. 

This lone vampire stood on shores unknown just to provide this scribed bilge with an adequate image to which attach itself; pure Lugosi.

Impure as blood, black as white as light.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dash, in flight

You have changed my mind about things. We were going to be kinder. Dedicated selves, more to the art of that. Present best virtues, functioning as reflections, understanding together the pleasures of light. Passion disrupts - afflicts with what seems to be believed as the incompatibility of needs. Futures are what we come from. All a running away, to exit statement. 

I say: much shall pass. Hasn't it, too 

It'll all; dissolving ever within it. 
At last, at last, this. Isn't it?

Love is sudden, too, in its departure if.

If only: you. 
If only you.


The Giving Lamb

(Two years ago)

The more that I get into cooking the more my grocery bills gradually creep up into the next tax bracket. When it comes to meat, herbs, vegetables, and fruit I want to shop at one of the two fancy stores here in town. One need only look at the color of the stripped carcasses and the gross malformations of the chicken breasts at the Safeway to know that they are not things you wish to feed a child. There is something wrong with the meat there. But, at the Whole Foods and even more so the Sonoma Market the meat counter is filled with wonders and delicacies of all sorts, the remains of truly delicious and noble creatures. I wish to honor their spirit today. Specifically, a lamb or two. I'll need four hind shanks to braise, which means at least two little innocent ones will have served the UFC (upper food chain) with the ultimate sacrifice. 

I'd feel less guilty about it if lambs were all just vicious little goat-like monsters, drinking their own urine and charging children at the petting zoo, but that's not the case at all. They have the misfortune to be both sweet and delicious. I feel like a monster of the dark ages when I first hear the sound of the meat searing over an open flame. Sometimes I'll buy veal just to let it rot, to pay tribute and honor to the rancid circle of life.

No, of course I try to give homage to all of these delicious animals by subsuming their spirits and portions of their bodies, by thanking them for sustaining me until my next meal of orphaned offspring, a bogle if ever there was one, I. This newfound love of cooking has really gripped me, the science of the lambs.

Ah, that never occurred to me. There is a famous vineyard here called Bogle. I suppose it is a family name, but I wonder if any European visitors avoid it for the obvious reason of wanting to keep their children from being eaten by whatever monsters lurk and prowl deep in the cellar caves.

I've been reading Shel Silverstein's Where The Sidewalk Ends to the boy before bed and I've come to the conclusion that his poems are mostly shit, even at a children's comprehension level. I can do much better, and I say that with little arrogance, but rather as an assertion of fact. I have a notebook of sketches started. I'll have to dig it out. His poems are definitely of a slightly different time, as well. Some of the poems almost shock the contemporary sensibilities in their jejune darkness, at least when compared to similar attempts by other writers, like e e cummings.

Two little known fun facts about Shel Silverstein: one here and the other here

The boy told me yesterday in the car that he really likes The Giving Tree. I believe it was the result of me trying to get him to put his socks and shoes on so that we could go over to his friend's house to have dinner and he couldn't seem to focus on the task. And then it happened: I told him, I can't wait to one day see you with your own children, your own little boy, struggling to get him to listen to you or to do what you ask, and I'll just sit back and laugh and laugh and feed your son candy all day long. 

No sooner had the sentence left my mouth that I thought, Fuck, fuck, fuck… is there simply no way to avoid the perennial cliches of parenthood. They sneak up on you and you become some thing other than what you had planned. 

It is written.

Then, we got in the car a few minutes later, after I helped him get his socks and boots on, and that's when he cited his love for The Giving Tree. I told him that one day he would grow up, just like the boy in the story, and that one day he would have a son just like he is now, and that that little boy would look and be just like him, and that I was also just like him when I was a boy. He seemed pleased with this idea. And the tree was happy.

In the story, the apple tree is a female, but in truth apple trees are self-incompatible hermaphrodites, angiosperms that require cross pollination. Little know fact about the bullshit sexist nonsense that spewed from Shel Silverstein.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Bath Salts

I've been experimenting with bath salts again; magnesium sulfate dissolved in hot tub water, which I then generously inhale the fumes of, and also let seep into my skin, starting and darting and then wincing again at the submersion of the scrotum and its contents. So far, I have not been able to achieve any of the desperately desired effects that kids seem to have no problem incarcerating themselves with and for, and have instead experienced only most of the other effects: hyperphosphatemia, cutaneous flushing, transient hypotension, etc.

Etc. meaning diarrhea.

I haven't made a dash to the gun shed to blast off any of my Belizean neighbors yet, but I'm going to double my dosage soon, check for viruses, then dear friends there may be a real promise of trouble if I don't get a nap first.

My slight reluctance to begin the metabolic process at the zenith of my rectum-bubble is very likely the prohibitive factor and what might be preventing me from finally getting that runner's high.

I just need to relax a bit, it seems. That is what my technicians tell me. They show me pictures on Instagram of what it should look like. 

I will keep everyone here updated, of course. Part of the scientific method is documenting your process and then communicating your results to your peers for the purpose of open review. 

Scene: open on a purple anus-flower (the Prince album), from there we wrestle our way through a series of edits in which screaming Germans are organized in trying to steal my bath slats. 

So far, there have only been just the effects listed above. Those, and a slight euphoric sense of floating in hot water.

I have yet to secure an adequate control group.

Earlier in this post it occurred to me that the word thems'elves could use an apostrophe.


Utmost Unction


I was scolded for too much camera talk here. Take it to the camera forums! pleaded some. Others responded in silence, almost too much, and suspiciously so. This makes me surmise that they harbor a perverse curiosity about my new camera. They covet its preciousness.

I'll keep an eye on that, and them. Or, maybe an ear... as it is their silence that is most perplexing, baffling even, also that I do not yet know who they are.

This mystery expands with the senses.

My new Lodge Enamel Dutch Oven arrived yesterday, also…. With it I will make braised lamb shanks. If camera talk becomes boring then we could always trade recipes. 

Speaking of lamb:

I hope it rained on Jesus when he hung on the cross. If it did, and I have simply forgotten this part of the myth, then I hope that my readers will forgive this lapse in practice. What sort of message would the universe have been sending if it would have been sunny and mild for three days straight. All of the disciples might have been out kayaking along the river Jordan.

I have been sick for too long now. The rain is enervating, relentlessly so. Everything feels depressing and oppressive, unanointed as it is. There are some things I can not think of without falling asleep, or worse. There dance the witches in the winds. I worry too much, am paralyzed with it. Camping gear still sits on the back patio from Burning Man. I didn't re-pack it. Now it gets misty, probably moldy, all the new sleeping bags and tent. I am afraid to bring it inside. Who knows what evils lurk within now; what should have been secure from the wickedness of nature, safe from the rains of the world.

I am prepared to receive the extreme unction - ashes to ashes, gibberish to gibberish. That is the point to which the rains have reduced me, the anointment of erosion. Once a mighty desert sultan, now barely a stream of murky water whispering the promises of death.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sick Again

The boy is a reservoir for germs and viruses. He has been sick and because of my recent lack of sleep I fell prey to it, became a new host for something vile, invisible, and unexpectedly populous. I have spent the last two days inside the house with the blinds drawn, eating whatever food remained in the cabinets and refrigerator, spending many hours in bed, knowing that I would have to break the cycle at some point. There was a bag of garbage just outside the kitchen that had to go out and a new bag in the garbage can. It all became too much for me after two cups of coffee this morning, motivated with the artificial ambition. 

When I opened the back sliding glass door and stepped out into the parking lot to head to the dumpster the sunlight arrived on my skin and eyes as a miracle. I could nearly feel the vitamin D being generated from it, just seconds of open exposure. It inspired me, enough. I opened all the windows and instead of working from bed I now sit at my desk. It feels better, at least until I tire.

My Nikon D810 should arrive today. I worry about the size of files that it produces, though I believe that I have found the best workaround, for now. I'll set it up to use the two cards as backup rather than overflow and have the CF slot set to primary and the SD as secondary. This should maintain my shooting speed and incur the least amount of time for the buffer to write to the cards, saving the smaller jpegs to the SD card, which has a significantly slower write speed (95 mbps as compared to 160 for the CF). I guess I'll need to experiment. These files will be tremendously large compared to the D700. Three times the size, though I suppose it does give me many more options to edit in post, something I rarely do beyond cropping.

I need to get rid of the already enormous photo library on my work computer, 340GB. It is cramping everything. If I can only import the images that I wish to work with then I should be okay. I can use the jpeg library as a reference, something I used to do when I shot with the D7000.

Okay, camera talk is very boring. I take expensive snapshots, little more.

It has been some time since I've just gone out shooting, though. It is good practice to shoot something other than humans, and at an aperture other than the fastest that the lens allows.

I wandered into what used to be my back yard and took a few shots last week. It was raining and the ground was moist, puddles of muck in some spots. I walked to the back of the yard and looked down at the muddy river, but couldn't get the shot that I wanted without climbing down the bank, which I wasn't going to do with my new shoes, nor barefoot.

Uh-oh. I am doing a Time Machine backup of my computer and it has stalled, which is never comforting. One only wishes the progress bar to advance.

I should have a better relationship with my old data.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I don't know what I was thinking, or if I was. I barely remember waking, because it could hardly have been considered sleep. I heard the rain outside when I arose, still I left the house without a raincoat or jacket, without my rain boots. It was as I crossed the Petaluma river, watching the bright lights of a barge move upstream from the bay in the rain, as it navigated its way through the break in the old lift bridge to the east that it struck me, the raincoat draped across the chair near the door, the rain boots dry by the bed. All of it, lost in the mist of morning.

Pre-dawn is doubly dark in the rain under the clouds which can't be seen except when lit from underneath, near pockets of people, strip malls or a clutch of houses along the roadside. The littlest of passing lights are doubled as droplets in puddles, the oncoming reflections moving, dancing and disappearing as a dangerous drug made of only water and darkness. It is not a safe place for a still sleeping mind, careening across the thin surface of the water that should be road at eighty miles an hour or more, dreaming of or sliding away from sleep.


Monday, January 18, 2016

… as any dream would have her be

I had the strangest, best dream. Sex. It was as fine and good and well as anything else I've felt, like flying with only the gravity of one other person. Within the liquid language of vision things change fast, sometimes too fast, and sometimes make the impossible leap from some things to some things else, things impossible. Objects morph into anything they choose, few things hold meaning or form once you've left the stream of nepenthe, the carnival of abysm. 

There was a lovingly familiar women in the dream, as an amorphous girl again. She entered effortlessly; we transformed into the elastic duo-dream apparition, our eyes were one. She was very receptive, we slid along with the unconscious flow of neurons. We made love again, her and I. It did not seem to be a dream at all. It was the love again, trickling into my memory of us.

I woke up as the sex improved. It began to tickle my morning startup parts. It was not a nocturnal emission, though my body seemed prepared if that was the true intention of my psyche, working in conjunction with my physiology to land a surprise on my recline lap. 

I was close to the moment of loss. Had I touched the thing it very well might have spat seed back. 

I've never had a wet dream. Some have suggested that if I stop jacking off so much then it might happen for me. They must think such a program is worth it: deprive yourself of your conscious will and wishes, then wait for your unconscious to try to have sex with the sleeping version of you. People are crazy, and yet their advice is always perfect.

Some friends have relayed that wet-dreams can be emotionally painful and might only occur at times of intense heartbreak. This makes sense to me. If my mind is ever going to take midnight control of my cock and balls then the invasion must rightly come under the banner of pain and darkness.

You, dear readers, would never believe what I've done with my genitals. Some, might call it art, others maybe waves of mutilation. I've permanently destroyed certain functions but have retained the perfunctory set. Trauma.

I had a chat with a woman tonight. She and I were considering sex with one another. It was the most fun I've had in a while, flirting. Perhaps that is what brought the dream on. Who knows.

I guess I do have a "type" because my dream counterpart was perfect, the lily of the field, perfect in every unreachable detail; all of the sweet endearments that can let one swim or fly through the molasses of desire. 

For me, it drifted slowly through the unexpected story, but my god did it feel good to push myself into her and hear that little feminine whisper upon initial thrust  - uh, oh uh, ugh - once you become one and assert the fact of attraction, delivering it directly to the receiving department. 

My ear seemed right next to her mouth when it happened, her whispers and gasps at us becoming an intimate. I kissed her again and again, I pushed because the pushing was wonder and intention all at once. 

I woke up suddenly with an old arch friend between my legs, a tower that needed attending to. It demanded action and ideas. I spewed as if I was still half sleeping, or could return as a result.

She, was still there, of course, floating though I could barely feel her, yet could not bridle the thoughts of her. The sheets of my bed seemed as sails to some better place.

I relieved the ache again, just to be sure. I closed my eyes and tried to beckon her body.

What a curse it is, this kind of thought, a poor substitute for feeling wanted within, the imaginary lover that has vanished back into the crevices to which one only has ritual access. She was there, but it was not the she of the dream, where I could love her again without absence, distance, or delusion.

She often worries about her weight, now she's lost every bit of it. Her body has turned into a miracle, a reverie. I can still feel the echoes of her there within me, as open, inviting, and willing as any thought would have her be.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nikon D810

Well, I finally made the leap to a new camera body. I have been shooting on a hideously older model, though I have grown to love it and it is my primary camera. In fact, even when the camera shop offered to buy it back from me I politely declined. It is nice to have a backup, or one that you're willing to take to the beach, to roll around in the water with, to chuck into an active volcano when the gods require some appeasing.

A junker.

The new lens that I've been using has had me trying to frame my subjects entirely within their environment, fewer heads filling the frame with eyes ablaze in sharp focus and a bokeh background…. though in truth portrait shots are my favorite.

I will tire soon enough of the super wide angle shots that are borderline fish-eye and start using the 35mm portion of the zoom more as I go. Then, I'll wonder why I'm using my Nikon for such shots when I prefer the glass on the Fuji X100S. 

Such is the hobbyist, satiation is ever temporary. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Another deluge

I tried to go back to a hard fought sleep, but the boy was ready this morning to watch a dvd he had been given for Christmas. Looney Tunes. The classic soundtrack marching in from the living room to the bedroom was sleep preventative. 

Then, his mother started texting, in Spanish. 

As a result of my delirium late last night I decided upon a camera purchase. B and H photo was closed for Shabbat, which was also preventative. I have plans to call as soon as they are open for business, which I guess will be tomorrow. I want to try to bargain with them. They love this and are very good and generous at it. It is the place where I have bought all of my lenses and most of my cameras. It is always fun to get them to give in a little bit from their published price and to negotiate with them to commit to two-day shipping. They have my purchase records right in front of them so they know my habits and history, and they love the bargaining process that I offer.

It's fun. They must find my goy-ish ways charmingly naive. After any impasse I tell them to think about it and give me a call back. They always do, though they do not always give me what I wish for, but they always concede something.

There are days that I feel we could resolve the settlement and statehood crises. I am sure that they would agree, though for now we have limited our relationship to camera sales.

I sit here now listening to Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver. The rainy night has given way to a rainy morning. A mist hangs below the hemisphere of diffused grey. That and the music makes me wish to walk out amidst it and then disappear. I have grown weary of the drizzle. I am tussling with sentiments as clothes that no longer fit, or perhaps never did.

I don't know why I can't seem to cloister myself against the deluge, safe from the showers of indifference or worse. I scrap with meanings that do not matter, covered by a coat that traps as much rains as it resists.


Don't be old, on a given night

Now, I sit here unable to sleep on what is often the good side of an evening. It must be the rain. Last year, the drought was noticeable. It was talked about and agreed upon. This year, the rains have been persistent without opposition; the ground receives, the skies give. Precipitation is written within the stone commandment of gravity. The sound of it outside my window is comforting only in that it is familiar, but it is suggestive, reminiscent of some pre-lapsarian life that I had wished to live. 

Thinking of people from the past is a pastime of aging. Blame it on Bowie, I suppose, at least this week. I have been revisiting his uncertain musical decisions with new ears and perhaps an unfairly weighted trunkful of ghosts.

Lately, I have been more saddened than I have divulged here. I have tried to keep my posts perfunctory, concerning things other than myself, have tried to have them be only bullet points of my day, updates on my diversions, nothing, or very little.

I am at a polite impasse, or so it would seem. My life requires something new, though I don't know how to generate it internally, so I am shopping amongst the clothes hanging in my own closets, wondering what identity wears, and why. 

I became excited about a new Korg keyboard tonight, while I have unused keyboards stacked up in places that guests can not see. I desire a new camera, yet hardly use creatively the on that I do possess. I envisioned myself setting up a studio around my grand piano tomorrow; all this, while trying to spiral into sleep tonight. Xanax is the name of the mermaid myth to which I have subscribed.  There are littler mermaids than Disney will ever know. 

My son's memory of me might be something like this: a fattened apparition wielding device (sic):

("...nice blouse, Dad.")

He'll wonder one day what my eyes looked like. 

He accepts that I am going to take pictures of him, though through his responses I have learned much about what it means to wish to capture a moment from an innocent. It is all personal knowledge, but what else is there. 

Some are spiders, some are flies, others butterflies. 

Others not.

So, let's not knock the love of a thing, ol' chap. It chaps much too much, and in that muching there is great muchlessness.

Aging is the awfullest thing there is, if you survive youth. It is death with very poor room service, and an expected tip already added as a service courtesy for you ever having existed. Aging and death seems well deserved when looking backwards, and sensible when having lunch, it is only when one stops to consider its market share and final closing price valuation when one starts to shiver. Any one of us could have sold, at any time, but the market promised to rise. And then it did.  

A house does not resemble its owner as much as it does the ground into which it will sink. A single glance at almost any one-hundred-year-old picture tells a portion of the entire story of mankind, at  a single glance. The wisdom of Solomon at the bat of a lash. 

Perhaps I waited too long to have a child. My son's energy towards life only reminds me how much of mine has already been given accidentally to the winds, or taken by them. Once you start throwing sheets there is precious little time around to count grains gone.

To wit, the boy and I were taking a bath tonight, in his joviality he kept placing both of his hands downwards on my knees, only to lean forward to relay some newly discovered joie de vivre hidden among the same rubber bath toys with which we have been bathing for many months now. There was some new transactional situation his mind had leapt towards. I had to keep telling him that he couldn't use my knees to make his points. I could not be his bath lectern.

All that I can do is grab him and hug him and hold him in the air to let him giggle his way through the rest of what is important, his love for me, and mine for him. I wish that I could bottle and keep all of it. That is the curse of parenthood, to find within a dream a granule of sand that is somehow unique to the beach. 

The kid is pretty big for a newly turned four year old, and weighty. All of his excited heft pushing down on what amounts to the bent wheels of a used and dodgy rickshaw, well beyond its warrantee,  can't take it anymore. It doesn't help much that I'm losing my hearing, so his natural instinct is to animate and amplify his stories as close to my ears and eyes as possible, whenever I'm not trying to take pictures of him. The shrieks of happiness that he seems to derive from having my attention are fantastic, yet I am privately wondering why bathrooms must be made of tile. 

Tile is a constant, uniformed, and well-regulated reminder of hospitals, death, a cleanliness that pierces past blood. Nobody without knowledge wants them in their home. They are not the victory of science as much as they are the result of disease. It is the curse of education which draws us to the comfort of the morgues. We eat and cook and bathe in a similar place to where dead bodies rot. 

In my sultanhood my many bathrooms are made entirely of fine multi-colored shag carpets - the sinks, the walls, the floors, even the baths. My toilet paper is long-haired Kashmir carpet; all colors known to the desert nomad and infused with ketamine. We, each of us, would swim alone with the furry fingers of the sea, yet not for a very long or dangerously. My tub would be 20' by 20', at best, to keep my subjects living and wondering about their new surroundings. My bondsmen and bondswomen would dutifully wash and rinse my carpet bath walls each and every moonrise, and then again throughout the heat of the day as needed, because it pleases me to see them be happy in their work, and it pleases them to take pride in their modest duties.

Ok, sorry about that… back to the bathtub story (I watch too many children's animated films. They are ripe with suggestions as to how to cruelly subject a pre-defined group to your needs. It is why all mothers approve of them).

Who knew that life would be on a faulty dimmer switch. 

I suppose if anybody should have known then it might as well have been me. I hinted that I had my suspicions, all along. I've been fighting life through living it from an early age, with intermittent successes and popular failures. If it is all just a series of little victories and defeats, then consider yourself lucky against the stars if you have enough time away from work to even notice, or can afford a camera to centralize your version of it. Some quick squeaking among a million shutters.


A local acquaintance at the pub the other night convinced the bartender while I was away that I had offered to buy him a beer. When I came back, already prepared to leave to go to a sushi dinner, after already having paid my tab, he excitedly persuaded me to get on board with what he had partly convinced the bartender of. While not entirely happy about it, I agreed and even had another beer myself, thinking that we would have a quick chat, though I was more ready for dinner than chatting this way.

He took his beer and went and sat out under the concrete umbrella outside. 

Then, later on that evening and into today, I grew angry about it. I couldn't let it go, the feeling that I had been duped. It wasn't something that a younger version of myself would have allowed. The thing that started niggling at me was the conversation I had in my own head that convinced me to just buy him the beer and stay for one more.

I didn't used to talk to myself this way. Or, at least, when I did, I listened. 

That is what memory speaks, that somehow one is finally learning how to live as the knees go grey.

Part of me wants to tell him to fuck off, and very soon. Another part of me recognizes that it doesn't matter, that he had me buy him a beer and it means very little. The last part of me wonders why I am angrily disagreeing with my blog posts as if I were an old man merely watching the evening news.

Screaming at some thing that has arrived here in the darkness, arriving in pieces, flown in from above upon the back of rain droplets, whispering some truth that neither requires nor demands acceptance.

The rain does not hear you.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Comcast Blast!

Okay, after wrestling a little bit with Comcast, an Arris Surfboard modem, the TP-Link Archer C7 wireless router, and then my own expectations... I am finally able to enjoy my new internet speeds, which are more than twice what they were before. 175 Mbps down and 12 up. Not bad. No streaming problems yet.

Now, I must go to the Comcast office and return their old dodgy modem and wireless router. I was really being lazy this first year, using theirs.

The entire problem arose from then telling me that what they had been providing me they no longer do and that I was on an "introductory offer." They were doing me a favor, you see. After much back and forth negotiation and one up-sell into a television package I was finally able to get things settled into a plan that is as cheap as the one I have had for a year and performs twice as well.

Some favor.

The boy and I will stop and get some lunch at In-N-Out Burger. It'll be an adventure.

Okay, we did do all that, burgers and all, and came back and took a two and a half hour nap. Now, the boy stirs next to me as I tap out these words. 

There is nothing to report on. Once internet speeds hit 200 Mbps down then nobody will ever need to write again.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

The look of innocence

I don't know what I was thinking. The boy was not feeling well and I let him sleep in my bed last night anyway. This is the time when he should be sleeping in his own bed, though it is difficult to tell him that when he's already being kicked around by a virus. So, I had no sleep at all. All night he was kicking me in my side and repositioning his feet, specifically his heels, unexpectedly onto my abdomen or worse. Combine that with the fact that I already did not feel well at all, and voila. 

I eventually set up a system of pillows and repositioned on my side with my back facing him so that I had some modicum of defense against his siesta-krieg. A night without rest helps nothing at all. Tonight he will need to sleep in his own bed and I will narcoticize myself into a deep slumber where no four year old karate boy can reach me. Well no, perhaps not quite that lost to the world, but as close as over the counter elixirs can bring me.

I have self-diagnosed again. This time it is an ulcer. My abdomen, the one that was being kicked all night, has a very bad feeling in it. It has lasted for days and is exacerbated by nearly everything I do. I can neither eat, drink, nor be merry. The lack of sleep has produced a gargantuan headache and the stomach prevents me from taking anything to help it. 

I need a witch. Nothing else can reach the demons at this point, a temptress. Only the voice of wickedness can negotiate with my infirmities now.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Station to Stationary

I went from feeling bad to worse. I don't do myself very many favors. Instead of resting yesterday I just had a normal day. 

I was asked to do a radio special last night on KSVY 91.3 Sonoma on David Bowie's life and music. It was fine, though there were a few little errors here and there. Nothing too terrible, a fader not being pulled down in time, etc. A few people asked me to post the links, so here they are, broken up into hour one and hour two. If you pay careful attention you can hear the sickness overtaking me even as the interview progressed. So, don't expect too much. I went in unprepared. 

Ah, local Sonoma radio. I'm a freakin' star again. 

Ugh, well, maybe you might not want to listen to those links. My mind was clearly slipping into illness. Am listening to them now and they are pretty bad. Ignore the fact that I couldn't remember that John Lennon's first album coming out of seclusion was Double Fantasy…. and that it was Nile Rodgers who played rhythm guitar on the single "Let's Dance." Both facts I knew very well, or so I had thought. 

My mind was already being gripped by a fever of sorts.

Jesus, listening to these is terrible. One must practice being on the radio, like anything else. I repeat almost everything that I say. Abysmal. Oh well, that's what they get for pulling me off of my death bed to discuss death and music.

It didn't help much that in the middle of the show they asked me to lighten it up a bit, etc.

You're on your own.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Perfect Consumer

Well, I was going to title this post "Get some pussy now!" after chatting with a friend of mine yesterday about the line that Bowie snuck in to the end of Lady Stardust, but I've burned myself out on all things Bowie after gorging myself on it yesterday. Besides, I've already written a post with that title, and even used the same image as I did yesterday, and told the same story, though I believe I flubbed on which music store it was in the mall. I'm pretty sure it was Camelot.

My friend argued that the essence of rock and roll for hetero males is encapsulated best and most succinctly in those four words: Get some pussy now! I was unable to produce another four words that summated rock any better. Victory Pussy!

I feel terrible today. I think I may have contracted a stomach virus from one of the kids at Rhys' birthday party. Not sure yet, hard to tell, but I don't even feel good enough to get out of bed and get something to eat, and coffee is a definite no.

Maybe some food would help. It could go either way. Perhaps a nice vomit session would help.

Well, I took a break and just had some sushi, so if I do vomit it will make the experience more interesting, if not more colorful. Perhaps it is not a stomach virus. Last night I ate a bowl of potatoes that had first been baked in light oil, refrigerated overnight, then re-heated in a pan with more oil, They seemed flat without some sort of sauce. All that I had was blue cheese dressing. That can't be good for my stomach.

When I was done I still wasn't full, so I made some more popcorn. More oil, salt. Ugh.

I know that I should not admit such disgusting things concerning what my occasional meals consist of. I need to go grocery shopping. I put it off for far too long and then I need to spend $500 when I go. Everything is empty or spoiled. I go the the grocery store starving and buy the largest containers of things that they have and then can't eat them fast enough, or get bored of them, so they go bad. Then, I'll repeat that cycle and just buy more of what I don't need.

I have molded myself and my refrigerator into the perfect consumer.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Strung Out On Lasers

I won't bore the world with my continued thoughts on David Bowie as an artist. His legend is secure without my needing to add to the volumes of pages and fan sites. Though, do not let this fool you. You likely will not find a bigger, nor more well-informed, Bowie fan amidst your group of friends.

I will, however, relay a story about how I came to be a fan of his.

I lived in Orlando, where there was a richness of all types of southern rock that would get played on the radio stations of the time, WDIZ 100.3 and ZETA 107.7, some of which I liked then, some of which I still do. There was not very much that could be considered "alternative" on the airwaves then, though that did change marginally in the 80s as a few college radio stations started to dare playing things like The Cure and Echo and The Bunnymen, two bands that Bowie invented, along with Japan.

When I once asked for "alternative" at a record store in the early 80's the guy at the counter said, "What, like alternative to good music?" though he was half kidding and he directed me to a section where I could find Bauhaus records.

Every now and then a Bowie song would get played on the radio, and no matter the song I noticed a sort of lack of male bravado and assertion, an absence of traditional rock themes like love. Even among his early work he never wrote a convincing love song, in my opinion. But these themes of spacemen drifting off into the unknown nether, these spoke to me.

Then, there was one that really stood out among all of the rest. It was a song that seemed to speak to the other lost spaceman song. It said things that did not make much traditional sense to me at that time. The shrieking of nothing is killing me… I'm stuck with a valuable friend, "I'm happy, hope you're happy too…" There was an ambivalence, an ambiguity, and a deeply rooted ennui that gripped me and never let go.

I knew by this time that the artist's name was David Bowie as I would pay close attention and was buying all of my own records by this time. Then, there was even another song which added to the Major Tom myth. It seemed as if there was an ongoing airwave conspiracy to birth, develop, and then kill off a character. I couldn't quite determine who were the actors, who were the singers, who were the spacemen, and how could I possibly get in on the drama as soon as possible.

And that was it: Bowie acted his songs out. He was not just singing. He was a character in a song that was singing about a character in a song. He took a single page out of Dylan's book and created a complete other set of myths in which to subscribe.

Around this time I wanted to be a dancer, a ballet dancer. It was a nearly pre-pubescent ambition, and one that I think back to fondly, the innocence of it. In this state of near complete absence of sexuality I was expected to somehow form some of my own, and that is precisely where it did emerge as I was entirely alone in my perpetual efforts. Ballet was a hardly announced initiative as I was already having enough struggle with my brother who claimed that my mauve shorts were pink, as if. All summer long he told me that I had pink shorts and I insisted that they were mauve, which they were. It is still a wonder that I was not gay. I mean, that people still do wonder, not that it was a miracle that I was not.

The term faggot was used openly, and was not one of endearment but rather of derision, acute derision. It was something that one knew not to be and every gay friend that I have now from that period was closeted until well after high school, at least insofar as their straight friends knew, though we all suspected, and all of us were right. Puberty made some things clearer, though not at its onset. Puberty takes time for its arrows to fly in the direction that they are meant to, and it is never as precise as one might expect up to that point. Puberty is a shocking surprise and it has informed and misinformed my senses ever since.

I went to the Altamonte Mall to buy a David Bowie album. There was a chain record store named Camelot Music, and that's where I took the money I made from mowing yards in my neighborhood. I would go there on the weekends and ride my bike home with the thing that would occupy my evenings, and weekends, and the thing that I would daydream about in school. There are few adherents to rock and roll more committed than I was at that young age, and few since. We tend to find each other in a bar or social setting as magnets let loose on a plate of iron ore.

I knew the alphabet well enough and I looked everywhere for Bowie, sensibly under both D and B, but also places where it might not make sense, like Major Tom. I scanned back and forth, but there was nothing. I walked to the counter, quite luckily out of auditory range from my brother, and asked for Bowie. They responded simply that it was in the Gay Rock section.

I make none of this up. I swear to you. I walked by the end of one of the rows of records where they had pointed and there was a section that I had never noticed before, and yes, it was Gay Rock. I walked away, fearful of what the result would be if I were to combine pink shorts, a fledgling interest in ballet, and Gay Rock.

Now, my brother was no tyrant, nor a bigot, nor anything else that I may have implied above. He was simply an older brother that one did not allow to occupy Corsica, or Carthage. A younger brother must keep all of the ammunition possible away from the one who knew best how to use it.

Ah, Big BrotherHe'll build a better whirlpool.

I didn't own many Bowie albums for many years after that, though I became more and more aware of his career through the radio. It wasn't until I was perhaps fifteen or sixteen that I finally bought, at a garage sale, one of his albums, The Man Who Sold The World. Perhaps an unfortunate first choice, as this is an album where he exhibits what might be considered his most open and explicit affections and admissions towards the act of sex with men. While I liked the album very much I was troubled by admissions of homosexuality, or at the very least, such uncertainty in matters of sexuality.

Keep in mind that my other examples of rock sexuality might have been derived from Molly Hatchet and/or Aerosmith. I partially recovered from this inculcation into manhood, though it required a substantial amount of reading, particularly French literature. Then, I emerged as a reasonably balanced adult, I'd like to think. In many ways, Bowie was the sickness and the cure.

I do not mean mine, I mean the sickness of societal bigotry and hatred as expressed by those whose music affected others with repulsion rather than attraction, and by my acceptance of his music as the inciting experience that allowed me to develop a different set of sensibilities towards those whose sexuality differed from mine. It led to my interest in lots of other different types of music, and club culture, and working for years in clubs, gay and otherwise. Though none that could be considered somehow in opposition to a particular sexuality, choice or orientation.

(Last paragraph was written by my lawyer, etc)

In short time, I collected and devoured every album he did, with particular interest in the years between 68'-80'. I ranked him amongst the artists that I considered the greatest - the Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards, Page/Plant, Strummer/Jones, and Dylan, et al. It was around this time that my brother bought me the "Sound and Vision" boxset as a birthday present, a thing that I will eternally thank him for. As if his albums weren't already great enough, this guy had outtakes that deserved their own three cd collection, and much more.

I'd like to sum this post up with something meaningful, somehow. I see that I've opined here, as well as attempting to have written rhetorically and didactically, failing in one and stumbling to a crash course in the other.

My point was only to relay a story about the thwarting environment in which I became a Bowie fan. Today, one would get the idea that many others experienced similar things, though it is difficult to tell.

I'm certain there were many who endured much more, and much worse.

Some are bound to fail
Some are winter sun…


Sunday, January 10, 2016


(Nikkor 17mm f2.8 ISO 3200, D700)

I am itching to buy a new camera and, once again, Nikon has produced one that is almost right. They have announced the successor to the D300S, the D500, though like the previous camera it has a crop-frame sensor. Everything about it would pretty much be perfect otherwise. 

They have yet to create a true successor to the D700. The D750 is only a slightly souped up D600, neither of which is truly a pro-level camera, and the D810's megapixel  count has simply gone way too high for my purposes, though most would consider the 800/810 the camera of choice. The newly announced D5 seems like the best option for me if I'm going to stick with Nikon, though the price is preventative, $6500. It does not make sense for an unpaid amateur, but what of my life makes any sense as it is. If I abandon Nikon and jump ship to Sony then I have a lot of Nikon lenses to sell, some of which I do not wish to get rid of. The 85mm f1.4 D and the 135mm f2 DC most of all, though I have grown to like my 17-35mm f2.8 D. 

Well, today is the boy's birthday party at Rebounderz, the place is filled with trampolines and pits of foam cubes to jump into. The boy loves it, and I would as well if I were anywhere near his age. They serve pizza and hot dogs and all things designed to create healthy young children with a lust for fitness.

I should go and prepare for the day, check my camera batteries and decide which lenses will be best for action and candid portraits. I'll take hundreds of shots and only be happy with one or two.

You, dear and faithful readers, participants in the captured fragments of my life, will almost be the first to know.

(Nikkor 50mm f2 ISO 800, D700) 


Friday, January 8, 2016

Comcast Sucks / Don't Be Evil

I had no problems with them until their "introductory offer" expired. I paid $55 a month for what they called their "Blast" internet service, which was fair for the price and adequate for my needs. I regularly had 35 Mbps downloads and 10 uploads, with occasionally being able to hit 75Mbps down. For the extensive illicit operations that I run out of my home this was sufficient. I was able to sometimes watch 45 porn sequences at once. My computer would get alarmingly hot and nice to the touch, but the system worked.

Then, the new year came. My bill was suddenly $95. I called with no luck. I started two different online chats and was told the same thing, this was my price. No matter how much I tried to explain this this was not the price that I pay they insisted that it was. I was under a 12 month introductory offer and now I would receive television as part of my package.

It was useless telling them that I did not want television and that I don't even own a tv. They encouraged me to buy one, considering all the new savings that I was getting. I explained that having my bill raised on me was not a savings of any kind. Nothing worked.

So, after yet another online chat today I finally crumbled (after looking at what AT&T offers in my area, not wanting to do business with a company that still has the word "telegraph" in its name) and agreed to a new monthly fee of $70, though it does come with basic cable and HBO for 12 months. I just added a reminder mid-December 2016 to cancel the deal, as it is also a "special" consideration that will expire and then I will be subject to the actual prices, which are like explaining to the prisoners at Gitmo that they have a lovely view of the Gulf of Mexico.

Well, not really, but if you try to interact with these companies they will fuck you every chance they get. You can no longer just get high speed internet. So, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, and now Comcast are all charging me monthly fees for similar services, except Comcast is charging me to spite the others, not because they're actually bringing me anything that I want or care about.

Now I need to buy a tv, I guess. 

I hope that Google takes over the ISP market soon. Once that happens I'm sure that I will hate them also. They'll make us all join Google Plus and then we'll have to agree to never shop anywhere else again. 

I just looked online and found that Comcast has a lower customer satisfaction rating than the IRS. The name of the service could mean a multiplication of determinate restrictions: xfinity. It just needs an e in there, as usual: xfinitey.

So, this is all old news. Who cares.

We had a birthday dinner for the boy here last night. He was quite pleased with all of his new toys and had a good time opening them, it seemed. I would have liked to have watched, but I was making dinner when his mother decided it was a good time to let him celebrate his birthday by opening all of his presents without me. I could hear him and her agreeing gleefully at how much fun the toys all were while I was racing between the kitchen where I was cooking the veggies and the back patio where I was barbecuing the chicken. She offered to help set the table, which consisted of pulling three plates out. I did the rest.

There should be a limit to how many companies and/or ex-wives anybody should have to deal with in any given 24 hour period. It's just so perpetually beleaguering to feel that you're being cheated by every single business deal you enter, or ones that you have already left.

For this special wisdom I'll defer to the acumen of my personal business hero: 

"Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make." - Donald Trump