Wednesday, February 28, 2018

... something left to lose

Not sure what I was thinking. I woke up very early, came out to my living room, sat down at my computer with half a pot of coffee in a single mug, then put on a Klaxons album. 

Poor choice. No idea why I did it. 

I bought the largest iPhone made - 256 GB - but it's not enough. I am forced to periodically go through and delete albums that I know I'll one day regret not having with me everywhere I go. There are rarely times in my life that I get to enjoy listening to music, much less full albums that are either obscure or less than what might be considered my favorites by artists like... I don't know, say: Neil Young. None of that matters to someone like me. I know how easily the mood can strike to become frustrated that I don't have with me an album that I've never heard before by an artist that I have. 

Like: The Monsanto Years. Do I need to hear Neil Young tell me that he thinks Monsanto is bad? Or worse, why he thinks they are bad, for a full album? Maybe, but probably not. Why do I need twenty-five Neil Young albums on my phone? I guess I don't. But neither do I need lots of things in my life. It would make sense for me to delete the fifteen Young albums that I've heard twenty thousand times or more and leave the ones I'm unfamiliar with. But am I ever going to be caught somewhere without Rust Never Sleeps

The sabbatical is starting to drive me a little bit nuts. I thought that I would have (almost) nothing but free leisure time stretched before me like a sultan's feast, tent curtains blowing lazily in the evening desert winds, music being played softly in the corner, belly dancers, hookahs, magic carpets, etc. But parents don't get to live as nomads. Or rather, parents with my income do not. Wandering the Arabian deserts with soon to be pregnant gypsies is a potential danger sign in men my age.

It's been a painful realization but I'm already at the point where I should probably just go back to work, though I don't want to. Freedom is for people well above or well below my current tax bracket. You have to have either nothing or nothing to worry about to feel free. Ask Janis Joplin, she'll tell you - nothing left to lose - all of that.

With expendable income then I would at least have a legitimate reason to feel robbed of my time. To feel that way from only co-parenting a single child makes it too easy for me to blame the presence of the child for my feelings. I'd much rather be able to blame a job than have to confront that. Loving a child is not the same as detesting the responsibilities of parenting, unless that's all you ever feel or outwardly express. Then those two things might merge and interact poorly, becoming indistinguishable. There should be some happiness in caring for others. I say that without needing to convince myself of the fact.

I have never been so exhausted since becoming a father, and exhaustion used to be my specialty. 

Before I went on sabbatical I was not unhappy. 

Having to live by anybody else's schedule, though, is complete and utter bullshit. Doesn't matter if it's a job, child, girlfriend, or wife, most of all if you have all of those things. They suck the time away from your life as sunlight evaporates moisture from the desert. It all just disappears upwards, invisibly, lost into the pure sunshine and warmth that is the joy of having a family. 

When people say that they enjoy sunshine they mean that they enjoy nice places on the earth where the sun is shining around them. The many fans of sunshine do not much care for the shadeless desert, you'll find. Few things can be crueler than the sun in life and death.

Rain. People enjoy listening to it outside when they are lounging comfortably in their houses, like cats napping by a window. Put the cat out in the yard during a thunderstorm if you wish to understand how I feel right now. 

When it comes to rain... I suppose there are also the people who were recently left by their lovers. Those people do seem to like to manically dance in the rain for about a week or so, barefoot, drunk, until they get hookworm and have to go to an ambulatory care clinic, wanting so badly to text that ex-lover and tell them how they ended up at this fresh new place in life: I'm so happy dancing in the rain now. Thought you'd want to know. xx

Smart phones have ruined two things for me: pushing people into swimming pools unexpectedly and walking in the rain. 

There was a time when walking in the rain might have started out as being uninvited but would end as somehow reassuringly pleasant, depending on temperature and what you're wearing. Since the advent of financed phones it's mostly a worrisome personal expense and a guaranteed set of errands that nobody really wants to have. Like, putting 256 GB of music back on your phone and having to decide on whether Monsanto makes the cut. 

I just dropped the boy off at school and tried to call Rachel to relay some of this wisdom to her, though in a very abbreviated form, spoken through the strained invective of mild frustration. I do not believe that I did a good job at being a communicator there. 

I've said it here before, but let me restate it once again: I love Rachel very much. We've had more bumps in our relationship than most would invite, care for, or allow, but we work together so much better now. We finally found a common cause we both believe in. She is a very good mother.

Mothers are the nearly indefatigable warriors of parenting. I don't see how she does it. I could not do most of this without her. I know that is among the most commonplace things that can possibly be said by a man in my position, but mothers are where so much of the magic of family happens. Sure, employed fathers are great to have around after work and on the weekends, but not all of the time. Among the worst combination of things that a reasonably normal father can be is unemployed and distant. Uselessness is exponential in the hearts of others. 

Am I entering sexist territory here? I hope so. After yesterday's post praising the mysterious folds of the velvety yoga delta I should be careful when assigning gender role preferences here today.

My mom didn't work and I preferred it that way. Don't worry, I'm careful not to say that to any young girls whose minds might become polluted with patriarchy. If I made enough money for us then I wouldn't mind it at all if Rachel chose to stay home and be a mom. Fuck, if I had enough money then I'd have a few women at home, or homes and condos, and all of them pregnant. Are we allowed to say that? I'm sure there is a way to improve my preference phrasing, but I don't have the time for researching the latest in behavioral updates this morning. I support extra-omni-social-equality. I want all of my wives to be equal. 

There should be a website where people can paste their sentences and an algorithm would tell them what they should have written. I mean, of course there is, but there's no single URL for it.

I think men should sit at home for four hundred years formulating a well thought out criticism of the matriarchy.

Now, I'm certain that we're not allowed to say that.

And you know what else, I take it back... I would want one wife to be my favorite. I'm a romantic. It would be the blonde.

Yesterday, I barely had time to go to the gym. Seriously. I had to take Rhys to school in the morning, rush home to take a nap because I had woken up the same time that I did today, walk the dog, feed myself, then make it to a dentist appointment. That was it. My day was over. I bought two salmon filets and asparagus for dinner but instead gave the boy reheated butter noodles and fell asleep on the couch while he watched a movie. Mom came over and I barely remember seeing her. She must have handled the logistics of the late evening, which began around 7pm. 

Today will be the same. I have to take the boy to school and I'll be picking him up this afternoon. Most people who look at that schedule would find seven to eight hours of freedom in there, but it's not real. It's a mirage in the shape of a furlough. It ends up only being about two hours of actual time to myself spent wandering the open prison yard. At least once you factor in not doing anything at all for the other six hours, because, you know: I have to pick the boy up later.

Some people will read this and blame me for not spending my time more wisely, but that's the thing: free time can not be spent wisely for it to be free. If you're having to spend anything wisely then it has already been ruined by the limitations of its own constraints. There is no such thing as the freedom of frugality. There is only the freedom from it.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

An Elastic Flower

Okay, maybe I was wrong about those kids playing basketball the other day, or maybe I simply "read" them poorly. I saw a couple of them playing again yesterday along with a few others. They were all nice and friendly kids once they had met me and now recognize me. This leads me to believe that maybe they're just normal, shy boys. Or rather, young men. 

After yesterday's post - which I had initially intended to be about basketball in general - I felt a little bit bad after seeing them again and realizing that they're maybe just at that self-effacing age between adolescence and early manhood. Who knows, maybe one of them will stab me later today to celebrate their release from jail.

We sure do live in crazy times. 

I joined a real gym yesterday, sort of. I didn't sign a contract, but I did pay a $25 signup fee and began a month-to-month membership. The old days of working out at "Juan's place" are over. Another guy bought the gym and is hoping to re-open soon but I may already be in love with my posh new gym where there are women exercising in what might be described as vulvatastic yoga pants. It helps me focus on exercising to be able to see the contours of a woman's sexual organs. It reminds me why fitness is so important. The bifurcated fleshy portion of a woman's delta region is of lifelong personal fascination and yet less than scientific inquiry. 

Who knows, I just might miss the sights, sounds, and smells of my dirty old boxing gym. The machines were falling apart, some of them even dangerous, the paint on the floor and walls was never meant to be taken seriously, and even the lead dumbbells seemed bruised. But it was where I felt most comfortable. I liked that I could go early in the morning and have the place pretty much to myself. I had my own locker and the dues were cheap - $35. Now, I might actually need to do the paperwork to get my job to pay for my membership, as the fees have almost doubled. The new place is able to provide me with a billing statement, though, which is a novelty from paying cash directly to the owner every month. 

We'll see. 

Well, I wrote a few paragraphs about a local woman who I regularly see that wears daughter-sized yoga pants. When she removes them I imagine them to be about the width and length of a microfiber cloth folded in two, or maybe a tandem finger puppet. I should ask her one day if I can clean my glasses with them, to help me see more. The nearly phosphorescent outline of her vagina seems to be the main consideration in her buying choices. Well, it is the second most prominent feature in her stretchy pants, behind her thunder-butt. Well, it's technically in front of her butt if you're facing her, but you get the idea. 

A woman's labia is at the center of the yoga pants universe. A beautiful delta-shaped galaxy wrapped tightly in a cervical slingshot but always with a tremendous personality - friendly, outgoing, and most of all: healthy. Few articles of clothing seem to suggest a recent gynecological examination more completely or more magically. Women seem to love publicly advertising the "open for business" nature of their receiving departments, sometimes entirely irrespective of reservation availability. To me, every woman seems like a velvet-roped VIP area - all softness, luxury, and much begging for entrance. 

And why not, really?

Men are afraid that any talk of yoga pants runs a risk of them being frowned upon. Impossible to comprehend, I know, but the world is filled with all manner of misdirected confusion. Men well know what happens once any secret joy becomes a public discussion. For every pleasure there emerges a moral claim which attempts to erase its existence. So few people seem willing to assert the basic goodness of natural pleasures, while there is never any shortage in what we are expected to believe is the requirement of ethical outspokenness. 

Labia Liberté.

In any event, I invite no confusion today concerning the forthrightness of her Virginia O'Keefe, nor of my opinion on the manner of its distinguished messaging. I will always be pro-illustriousness in this matter. Let's just have a quick look and see what it is, precisely, that we're talking about here.

I deleted the previous passages because I realized that writing about a woman's ongoing vitality exhibition might become problematic for me, though I could not silence my fingers completely concerning the fascinating marvel that sits at the center of her unknown universe.

Sex is best - and made possible for me - when free of the troubles that accompany this stripe of observational analysis of another. It might not require very much amateur sleuthing to discover the object of my subject. Or, would that be the subject of her object?

The metaphor maternal.


Monday, February 26, 2018


Pickup basketball teaches you almost everything that's both right and wrong with many men in America. There is limited space at almost any court, so the territory associated with entering that space requires some assertiveness, and equal part manners. You must negotiate a balance between those qualities with anybody that already occupies the space near a hoop, whomever happens to be currently occupying the lane. Any man here that hasn't learned how to happily shoot hoops by themselves, or chat easily with other men that are and also share the court to do so, are the real American problem. Or, a good indication of it.

The ability to float easily between autonomous and casual team play is something that can best, and perhaps only, be learned by practice. Somewhere along the way I get the feeling that Americans only learned to value one or the other. So they're always in part wrong, and sometimes unnecessarily adamant about it.

There might not be an i in team, but there is a pistol in my glovebox.

It's a similar dynamic to how it can be challenging to strike up a casual conversation with another man in an American bar. The first few seconds can almost feel like a fight might break out. So many American men lack the ability to casually converse - to understand, detect, or discern differences in the signals that indicate either welcomeness or threat. For anyone that is curious about the problem with Americans then it can sometimes be best witnessed in bars with strangers. Bars differ from their European counterparts, the local pub, in the most obvious ways. Conversation is the expectation elsewhere, it's the exception here. 

I've been playing basketball for the last week. After somehow losing my basketball in the move from NYC I just never bought another one, because none of my friends here play. So that, with so many other things, just disappeared into the amorphous vortex of parenting. 

Yesterday, a group of kids, or rather young men, showed up and cautiously began shooting at the basket that I was at. I offered a Hello to each of them as they arrived. I could feel the lack of life experience in each of their shy and barely audible responses. They of course knew they were entering someone else's temporary space. There is a protocol to it, but they seemed just slightly incapable of hitting that balance between friendliness and being confident that they can do what they are in fact already doing. They just silently moved in and started shooting, as if that alone is all that's required to communicate their intentions. In a sense, it is, but there should be more.

These are the young men that young women are having sex with, I thought. 

They weren't bad kids at all, anybody could tell that. But they seemed to rely on a lack of eye contact and verbal communication to approximate consent. A thing that was not strictly required from me, but you could sense their inability to negotiate any shared understanding of it. No wonder there are so many problems. I imagined that there are young women out there now that have been fingered by these guys recently at the movies. Them each working their hands down the front of the pants patiently at first, knowing that some squirming and fidgeting is to be expected, trying to avoid the verbal No

Who knows if kids even finger any more. That might fore them to put their phones away. Maybe fingering was something that only happened quietly in the 50s and then ended sometime in the late 80s. Maybe the 90s at the latest.

The main indication that these were not enemy hostiles was that they would bounce my ball back to me when I missed a shot. This is pretty standard courtesy and requires very little effort in the way of civility, but also a lack of it is a very strong indicator. None of them were wearing brand new shiny shoes or Kevin Durant jerseys, so I knew they were okay guys. Nothing against Kevin Durant, I use him only as an example. I suppose Steph Curry would have been an equally appropriate name to use in this area. You get the idea.

There are a whole litany of other behavioral cues you look for, and are sometimes forced to notice them once playing a pickup game - people who try to play beyond their skill level, or believe themselves to be the team's coach, those that never really try at defense, take endless three point shots and outside fade aways or jumps but then miss most of them and then berate others for not passing, trash talkers, anybody that starts a conversation by citing an NBA player's stats, pickup players that think they're also officials, and pretty much worst of all: those nincompoops that call soft fouls... Those are the venial sins. The cardinal one is starting a fight, or trying to.  

But we never made it around to any of those sport misdemeanors, where I may have found that I liked these kids more, or also maybe disliked a few of them. It was going to be their pickup game, not mine.

The idea of getting a basketball injury now - a thing that is very easy to come by at my age - does not appeal much to me. I've been injuring myself lately only by riding a bike. When done correctly cycling is meant to be a relatively low impact sport. Weekend basketball against high schoolers is not. Just walking around the court with an occasional trot stresses my knees. An actual game might recognize my body as the home of any number of strained ligaments or a twisted ankle before I would simper off to my car and gobble pain killers. Yes, I keep pain killers in my car because traffic bores me witless and I like the way some Pink Floyd albums sounds when I am driving alone late at night in the rain.

Speaking of, there is the sound of the rain falling outside in the dark now. I have completed one full week of my sabbatical and have still yet to create a list of "things to do on my time away from work" but I am happy and relaxed and have been finding my strange, wayward spiritual center again. My intention writing here today was not to discuss the behavior of others so much, but only to relay how content and at ease I've been in my extended hours of leisure. So many things are lost in the maelstrom of attempted parenting - the orchestration of haphazard efforts to ghost write someone else's earliest years for them. 


Sunday, February 25, 2018

... the belt that does await you

After reading yesterday's post, Cato offered to buy us two full-body leather outfits, a costume counterpoint to our already matching pink bunny suits. He emphasized that our new leather getups did not need to be matching, but the ones that he had already picked out just happened to be sold as a pair, and more importantly that they were not on sale.... They were sold at a private place, an establishment that offers no discounts.

He has assured me that my place is in Berlin.

I know that I'm being juvenile, but what the fuck? If you can't joke about being a leather queen then what have we been fighting for?

It's unfortunate, that Cato and I have no two-shot image of us together in our bunny onesies. Because that is the image needed to flesh out today's post.

Well, it is not my intention today to further explore the possible effects of Berlin on Cato's fertile mind, only to relay that not only did he respond positively to yesterday's post but that clearly his mind constricted around those words with his own specific notions of pleasure. His is a participatory enthusiasm.

Cato identifies as a heterosexual hopeful.

Also, Ugh. He just sent me a thoroughly depressing text about his experiences in Berlin. I hate America now. I've fought against feeling that way most of my life, at least since the Reagan years. One text from him and I am prepared to go home now and burn my passport.

Moving on.

Well, not quite yet.

Is wearing a bunny outfit a form of genus or maybe species misappropriation? I'm asking for a liberal friend. If so, then my apologies go out to the people who protect and defend such matters and concepts. It has never been my intention to pilfer the essence of bunniness. I just think their fur feels so soft and good on my balls and asshole. It all feels lucky.

Now is likely not the time for me to talk about my extensive bunny colonies at home, but in the spirit of disclosure, there is also that to consider. My attempt was to assimilate with my bunnies, for the strict purpose of acculturation, not to merely be their fuzzy sexual overlord.

Okay, let's not belabor the issue. There were a lot of good animals on both sides of the bunny hutch.

Jesus, that's what's so fucked up about Trump. You can't even mock his sensibilities or lack of logic without somewhat confusing the listener, making it seems as if the mocking is in some ways equal to to the nonsense from which it derives. To mock him is to also seem like him. What a truly horrible villain he is, with the unconscious ability to annihilate all nuance.  Do you remember those people who claimed that Obama was the most divisive president we ever had? They were and still are the enemy.

If America isn't careful, Trump is going to make stupidity dangerous again.


Okay, it's a Sunday and I have the day off from my sabbatical so I am making light of things that I have no power to change. I'm being insensitive, which is of course hate speech disguised as free speech masquerading as callous stupidity.

I am against everything unfair that has ever happened in world history.  Specifically in America, Florida, New York, California, Somoma and here on our little street called Happy, and in that order.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Unicoin Bit

("The last thing I remember seeing")

Juan Z told me yesterday, the gym is no more. My little local gym, that I've been going to for six years as if it were my own, would shut its doors for good at closing last night. The fucker owes me $35 for my last month's membership fees, already paid, but I'll probably let him slide on it, as I've done with most of the wayward transactions that have occurred between us. When he moved locations he tried to tell me that the year I paid in advance of gym fees was no more. He said that they're starting over and all the old deals were over. I said, Sure, I understand. Just let me look at your new business license and we'll be good. He explained his license was the same as before, but he was a new man. I reminded him that my pre-paid membership was the same as before also, then. We negotiated. He's a good guy and I like him, so I let things go. 

A relationship is measured in what it's worth to you, not in what it costs you. We'll get around to that here in a minute. It's a paraphrasing of Nietzsche. 

Ah well, things do change, as we are always reminded at inconvenient times. Today I will go to one of the "fancy" gyms in town and try to negotiate a single month membership without paying a sign-up fee. I'll tell them earnestly that I promise to never use the showers for anything illegal, ever. 

Why do gyms have sign-up fees? Is it customary to pay someone to do business with them? I've never quite understood that type of charge, but I'm getting older, so I try to choose my battles more carefully. What would happen if they didn't charge the fee? More people might sign up for single month of use, not use it, then quit? So what? Is it a strain on the personnel or the limited resources? Or, is it like a cancellation fee charged in advance? If gyms had no signup fees but steep, hidden cancellation fees then they'd make more money with the same bullshit business model. They are one of the the most overpriced and least consumer friendly models in the market. It's why these "super gyms" emerge, beating the competition is relatively easy. Any spud can run a gym. In fact, I have a buddy hear who manages one. 

This is not a joke: he went directly from selling cars to managing a rather large gym over in American Canyon, where they make earthquakes, and he's doing well with it. So, if that fool can do it, then the sky is truly the limit.

Who knows, maybe people not using the gym they've paid for is the worse thing that can happen and they must punish people in the event they're thinking about it. I always make the mistake of asking when I'm paying it, what it's for. They think I'm being hostile. I think taking $25 just for the privilege of paying them more monthly to use their gym is hostile, but that's me.

Cato told me that yesterday's post was a rant, so who knows, maybe I've just become a bitter and estranged old man. Or just estranged, or old, or bitter, or any combination. The most preferable word that describes an aging man is dignified, and I have mainly disqualified myself from that classification.

Well, Cato told me that he liked the post. Then I offered that it was a bit of a rant, and he agreed. So, it's not fair to claim that he described it thusly - I did. But he is living in Berlin now, and so easy to confuse with such subtle differences as liking and loving. My prediction is that he'll be a leather queen within the year, demanding that the wall be put back up with governmentally regulated glory holes installed every 69 meters. 

Painted on both sides there will be the phrase: Ich möchte nur Freunde sein...

I was thinking about maybe visiting with Rhys and Rachel, but I don't want my sweet son to see Cato wearing a full black leather body outfit, red ball gag affixed in the mouth, unicorn dildo rising from the corona of the stitched head mask, eyes and ass mostly zippered up or concealed with well worn "privacy flaps." The entire thing held together with parachute pull cords. 

Why always the same enticing erotic visions of fine stained leather, you ask? 

You'll need to figure out for yourself why all of my peccadilloes include people wearing outfits that ultimately turn their ears into a type of lubricant-resistant handlebars. 

A little hint: it's to help control their mouth.

I think this is all healthy to talk about. That's how Oprah has helped, by encouraging me to discuss what consent means to me, to see where misunderstandings might happen. If we could just agree on the same language when discussing these issues then we may one day all finally understand what No really means.  

My safe words are and always will be: Palomino Thunderclap, used in tandem. They should be yours also, for safety reasons. This phrase will of course be included as part of your non-refundable $25 signup fee. You'll get a battery powered glow in the dark sticker that you can try to affix to your forehead, or where your forehead might have otherwise been. It comes with its own remote control. So easy to lose in the dark. Don't worry if you do, every five minutes it's programmed to playback an audio sample of my whispering voice: I just want to be friends


Friday, February 23, 2018


(Not sure)

Well, today concludes the first week of my sabbatical. This free time to lounge will not last, like watching sponge water evaporate from a chalkboard. I haven't even created a list of things that I'd like to get done yet. That must have been one of the things recently written in chalk, now wiped away. My fear is that making a list might only result in feelings of guilt, and who needs that?

I'll tell you this: waking up and having nothing specific to do is glorious. I'm lying around the house listening to music, smoking pot like I'm in my 20s. I got so high yesterday that I was struggling to maintain equilibrium when I would get up from sitting or lying down. I can hardly remember the subject of the paragraph that I thought I was reading but I'm happy and relatively stress free. I'm not entirely sure that I even did read anything yesterday.

I joke, a little, about the amount of pot I'm smoking. It doesn't take very much to make me feel free in this environment, and I do feel free. Other than my dual addictions to coffee and masturbation I am living the life of liberty. 

Fuck. That horrible Chris Rock / Netflix show is still haunting me. He took time out to detail his addiction to internet porn and the negative effects it had on his family life. It has nearly ruined all of my private joys. Must everything be sacrificed to the presumed cause and nobility of the nuclear family? 

No comedian has ever successfully separated heresy from laughter. But they get old, you know, so they try and try. Old people are hideous. There should be some way of stopping them. 

Speaking of family.

I just read an interview that explored how one artist's criticism of the LGBT community centered around the seeming desire to appeal to the hetero-community in their ability to emulate or create the healthy nuclear family. They have tried to demonstrate success in what they are also defining as a system that is and has been oppressive towards them. 

Why? the interviewee asked. 

That's it! I thought. Brilliant. I just needed to be reminded of the outsider's voice again. Everyone is claiming outsidership, mostly from a comfortable spot of advantage. That's why so many people just aren't buying it. It's bullshit to define yourself through negation. The fringes were never meant to be so crowded. 

It's a part of what I can't stand about the claims of so many groups. They wish to hold their oppressors responsible but then they also want their oppressors to supply the basic building materials for their liberation. It's like listening to a bunch of spoiled teenagers. Everything is owed to them by the very people they claim the most significant damage from. Why the fuck aren't all of these movements focused solely on the DIY spirit? Stop pretending that anything is owed to you. Do it yourself or shut the fuck up. 

How are we supposed to dismantle patriarchy without dad's help? The open question lingers. 

We've long known that women would offer a vastly improved and streamlined management of the patriarchy. They're currently working on assembling their transition team. 

I want to shoot a documentary on really fucked up non-traditional families. Where alternative families adopt kids and it turns out to be the worst decision they've ever made. It tears them apart and forces them to question their values anew, often from the bottom of a drug well in the shape of a broken vodka bottle. It would explore the struggles they have aligning their values with their newly accepted responsibilities, and how trying to fix your own family issues with a new one made of your own design is perhaps not best approached through the repetition of failure. How they now feel trapped in a life that was supposed to bring them joy, understanding, and love. 

What they really wanted, like almost everybody who has ever lived and breathed, is both independence and approval. Mine would be an exploitative exploration of the pain in realizing how nearly impossible it is to have a genuine version of both. 

It could be called, I Learned It From Watching You. 

Too many people seem to have forgotten that life is painful and hard for everybody. Smugness or disinterestedness as a response to claims of oppression is not validity of the oppression, but possibly only the inarticulate internal registering of one's own failed sense of life and living. When we discuss toxic masculinity, do you really think that struggling and failing at creating an adequate non-traditional family life is going to result in all smiles, sunshine, and rainbows? 

Oh look, our mommies get toxic too!

No, straight people can't be the only ones to fail at making families. They're just the ones that are famous for it. They have lent their legitimacy to the actualization of their problems. 

There seems to be a persistent belief that everybody else's life is either much easier - which obviously warrants derision - or is deserving only of our empathy and support, whatever that second word means. I love all the sensitive online peoples - their well meaning condescension and ever persistent reminders of what being a good person really is all about. They tickle me silly. 

Well, their hearts are certainly in the left place. 

Social media is in part the struggle to find or assert one's position in the hierarchy of perceived need and rewards. The result is, of course, just a miasmic cesspool of virtuous whining, or the odiousness of public indifference. Yes, people suffer and struggle. When did we collectively adopt the idea that your own is less merited than that of others, and oddly based on the very arbitrary distinctions that we have all agreed should never be a determining factor anyways?

I give up. Getting older makes you more aware of things that you wish you weren't. "Tone Deaf" is still the phrase for it. It means: the unsightly ghost of wrinkled opinions past. Being a good liberal used to require some basic study or understanding of the history of liberal ideas. The only requirement now is an ability to denounce all of them as being flawed and insufficient. Most seem proud of this historical cannibalization, measuring their value by distance from so much well-meaning folly. It's the only way to become even "more right" on any given issue. 

The past has got to fucking go....

I give up.

There's no valid argument for the persistence of humanity. None, that I know of anyway. The entire thing is self-reflexively predicated on what a tragedy it would be if it was all lost. This, strung loosely around collected notions of the beauty or fragility of life, or maybe that children are our future, or something equally inane. Our place in the universe should render our understanding of ourselves as insignificant, but it doesn't. Quite the opposite. They just make the claim as self-evident, against all self-evidence. So, maybe the sun is running out of hydrogen and will start gobbling up helium any second now. I don't know. I've given up.

I stare at the sun and it just stares back. 

Maybe this is just how one views the mess of life's carnage from the modest hill of middle age - the increased vision that accompanies loss of hearing through tone deafness. Is it just an observation that arrives naturally over the decades: that everybody seems pissed off that life isn't any easier for them. I really feel like a dad now. I want to scream at people, that nobody owes them anything and nobody gives a shit that they feel differently about that fact. Nobody's stopping you from doing something that you need to do. Most of those near you would help if you only showed some little hint of effort. Nobody is actually holding you down. If so, then answer one question specifically: What's their name? If there isn't one then you just might be a slave to the bogeyman. 

I guess I could be wrong, also. I avoid screaming whenever possible. 

Those that do self-separate from those that don't. That's true regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation, penis size, vagina droop, anal warts, or whether or not you loved your mommy and daddy and finding out if they ever felt the same about you. 

The social currency we exchange has shifted from the conversation of love and understanding to claims of authenticity concerning suffering. To show concern for another's torment is a tricky business - too much is condescension, not enough is persecution. So difficult to strike that elusive balance that will magically validate the lives and histories of others, to provide their pain with its pedigree. 


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sugarloaf Lives

Yesterday, I lolled and lounged most of the day, breaking up my stretches reclining on the couch with trips to the gym, riding my bike, and reading. I have avoided the internet and my work computer almost entirely. By early afternoon I was already wanting to go get the boy out of school and check on the campgrounds near there, to see how much the fire had damaged. To tickle again to life my sense of the morbid, to reincarnate my fascination with destruction. As with elsewhere in the valley the damage was extensive but the camping areas still stood, the little observatory survived. Many of the upper trails had been destroyed. Most everything upwards was gone, many volunteers were now needed.

We stopped and chatted with the ranger, who told us that the campsite was used by several fire teams as a sort of emergency makeshift base, so they were reasonably well protected. The road leading up to the campsites was, like others in the area, scarred by the flames on both sides running up into what now are open hills. Most of the houses survived. Yet the ugliest one, the one that has always stood out as being repulsive to the eye, was burned to the ground while the neighbors on both sides were unchanged by the flames. It seemed both suspicious and intentional. The lot was no more or less unattractive now. The charred debris competing with the memory of the previous structure in chaos, displeasure. Its aesthetic misfortune now complete. 

Here is a map with the closed trails in red, for anybody who may have mild interest in the region. 

There is a short path to a waterfall on the drive up to the campsites. I pulled over on the way down the mountain afterwards with the boy and encouraged him to go for a quick hike. He left his jacket in the car and I didn't notice right away, so we made it a very quick hike, along the path near the creek that leads up to and away from the modest falls. 

I brought my heaviest camera and lenses, for reasons I'll never quite know, though doing so did allow us to take two-man, father-son selfies with me holding up the camera and the boy happily working the shutter release. I wasn't wearing a belt, as my formulated weight loss program has shown no signs of success, my midsection still keeping my pants snugly where they belong, held aloft by belly pressure. I had one of those dorky soft lens pouches with a belt strap, but it was near useless without the belt, which was fine by me. I still like to imagine that I look cool and not like a dad/photographer. An idea that somehow survives in cutthroat conflict with the actual. 

So, I held the extra lens in my hand as we hiked, leaving me useless in an emergency. Well, not useless, but I'd be forced to decide between watching my son do something dangerous or dropping at least one expensive lens to be able to do anything to help, possibly delayed by my momentary indecision. 

How else will he learn? - I wondered. All that I had at his age to help me along was an Aerosmith album whose main subjects were high-school pussy and blowjobs. Well, almost... He's currently living my 1974, if such things can be dealt with so approximately. Hard to believe - 1974 - because somehow it is impossible in addition to it being difficult. 

Well, if he does hurt himself at least I captured this one last portrait before the accident, I thought. It's only my job to document, not to interfere. These are the legitimate ethical concerns of a parental documentarian. I reminded myself that if I were not there to film then nature would simply take its course. If there were a mishap, then how can I be sure that I had the right lens on to capture it. 

You spend your life dreading the arrival of one unlucky moment, in either of you. And that's to speak nothing of mom's health, which triples the concerns. Please nature, so lovely and true; be dear, be sweet; let us live awhile free from pain, hidden from death.

My life seems like anybody else's. Or more specifically, those that don't have kids - with all my fears, joys, and expenses doubled or trebled. Everything is increased twofold or more except time, which is halved and then halved again and again until the end arrives as less of a surprise but rather only the moment that insists on a final end to all procrastination. This fact I've tried to remain aware of. Wanting to be beloved without desire to hurt. Life sounds so easy when you reduce it to descriptions matched with proscriptions. Love and pain arrive and depart in vague ways, at least when they haven't singled you out to handle more severely. To say that few things surprise me at this uncertain age is not a concession of defeat as much as it is an acceptance that ultimately everybody acts selfishly. Parents that wish only to be left alone perhaps most of all. 

I remember once hearing human life compared to the laws of thermodynamics - you can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game. May as well laugh along a bit, spend all your money, travel at night on trains through mysterious lands, wake up and drink the best or only wine in the house. Howl, before your howl becomes a wheeze. Nothing matters. It's fine to scream that as a truth into darkness, also. Living is the only preparation for death that is permitted.

When the fires displaced us I remember the feeling well, of wanting everything to burn, to be lifted into the skies in cinders, smoke, and ash, leaving only the absence of the previous. Or rather, I wanted everything that is mine to go; to be freed from the stuff of my life. I don't pretend to understand in full that flirtation with personal annihilation, its vague hint of sacrificial flame, but neither do I pretend that I didn't feel it. I've felt it all along, something about it is very familiar: the impulse towards sudden escape, even if through destruction, the final release from things. All of this because I don't own a single lamb to offer to the fire. 

It's not a sensation that has left me quickly or with much comfort. To summon it requires only its thought. Its appearance, seemingly out of nowhere, resembles that of love or any of the other tempests of heart. It arrives spiritually amazed, all enveloping - a mystery that answers itself, and may depart without you. What feels more true, more alluring, than such magic.  

The boy just woke up. After making him breakfast I went and laid down on the couch with him. He laid on top of me, pushed my face together with both of his hands and laughed. Then said, I wish your face wrinkles were ticklish right now. You wouldn't be able to get away. 


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Under Normal Circumstances

^^^ That is what a weekday off feels like.

Yesterday. After dropping Rhys off at school, my sabbatical finally began in full. I was on my own with no responsibilities. To do with the day only as I wished. I opened all the windows and reclined on the couch. I put on the new David Letterman show (with George Clooney), providing Dave with ample time to suck Clooney's butt about his being such a good liberal. Sometimes I wonder where we'd all be without the guiding light of celebrity. I watched this journalistic catastrophe patiently, only to honor the many good moments that Letterman has delivered so well on in the distant past. 

He has become a horrible shell of his former self. The sardonic spirit has finally released him, abandoned him to courteous and bumbling old age. His dry humor seems to have finally dehydrated him. I couldn't help but think back to the guy that regularly interviewed Bill Murray and Captain Beefheart and wondered how his younger self might have responded to the empty corn husk that he's become now. He has become the liberal beard. 


To make matters worse, I tried to follow that disaster up with Chris Rock's latest Netflix confessional - he cheated, got a divorce, had to fight for custody of his kids. You know, all of the comedic good stuff that helps me giggle along with life. After those two I felt like I had a boulder growing in my stomach. 

Well, we all wanted it, so it's finally here: the Age of Apologies. 

Netflix provides patchy content, at best.

So, I took a nap on the couch after those consecutive misfires. When I awoke only minutes later I decided that a bike ride and a good gym session would, at the very least, make me feel as if I had done something positive and useful with my time for the day. I am only ever bored when my body is inactive. There must be something to that. 

I self-medicated with a dollop of the anti-anxiety magic that is now perfectly legal in California but somehow not in America and then wandered around the house getting ready and bumping into things until mild nervousness pushed me out the door to sunshine and freedom. 

I made it to the base of the hills on the eastern side of the valley before my back tire went quickly flat. I cursed my luck but also reminded myself that such a thing might have happened on my lunch break on a day that I was working, where it would have caused me some stress and lost time. But losing a thing like time matters so much less when the clock is not acting solely as a constrictor.  

I began the long walk back towards the bike shop, somewhere between two and three miles away. The walk adopted the familiar arc of a spiritual awakening, of course. I had only made it through denial and anger before I leaped straight to acceptance, where my epiphany waited to embrace and absorb me in its warm glow. 

It was during this walk that I realized: I never take walks any more. 

That was it. My spiritual awakening consisted of an observation about how limited my time is. 

Disappointing? Sure. Imagine how I felt. The summation of my enlightenment could be described as: recreational pot reminds old man he has legs. 

I called Rachel, of course, to relay the particulars of my newly born inner spirit self. Knowing not to just recount my epiphany to her in straightforward terms where it might seem flat, I tried to describe it through the use of a narrative device, an animal embodiment. I mumbled some nonsense about the tempestuous cauldron of freedom and the joys of sunshine , and about how we never really go on walks any more.... I think I might have thrown the phrase capriciously cruel in there, somehow tying that into a presumably larger idea about freedom. I mixed up a few metaphors about working like a dog, running like a horse, maybe even flying like a bird. 

Yes, a free bird, like a hungry jobless horse with wings.

Impressed as she was with how I was spending my time, she got off the phone.

Ah well, the working class will never understand until they rise up against something and do something differently, or embrace something that involves being angry about voting, soon. It was not for me to figure out, not today. I can put my "Disco Resist" shirt back on when all of this is over. For right now I need capitalism to stay healthy and the market bullish for just six more short weeks. I don't give a shit what that electrified corpse Bernie Sanders says. I look to the Dow Jones Industrial Average for all of my new truths and beauties. 

I want to trot with the leisure class - frightening local kids with a polo mallet, relaxing a little with the ol' Sport of Kings: taxation, hiring the poor for pennies to fetch my wayward polo balls on dogback - for just a few short minutes. How much should it cost to feel wealthy? How much money does it take, I wonder, to feel superior, to be smiled upon by the divine, to treat people based only on the misfortune of their financial circumstances. I want to feel the power of economic centralization. And I want to wear a black cape or robe in my secret chambers.

I want to wake up and dress for the job I've forgotten ever having had. I want to sip cocktails and look out over calm bodies of water in the afternoons and early evenings, half eaten plates of appetizers taken away as being only adequate, reminding everyone that can hear me: cash is for poor people

I want to laugh out loud at my own mentions or suggestions of equality, stating loudly that, If the democrats have their way then we'll all be shopping at Walmart! To say all the things that I imagine wealthy people say. To remind beggars everywhere, Smile, it won't hurt.

I want to feel opportunities of recreation and leisure wafting through my body like winds through off-shore curtains. I want to live on the side of the sky as gods, to bathe in the ambit of the sun, to gift Sisyphus a golden boulder. 

I want heavy matte black credit cards with my name silver stenciled on them in raised all-capitals courier font, and I want to leave a trail of them at every restaurant along the coast in this county.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Abstraction Auroras

Yesterday, there was some ice skating up in Santa Rosa at the Charles M. Schultz skating rink. The one that was spared in the October fires. Though its being spared was not among the first rumors that we heard or freely distributed. There was so much speculation and so many reports of little local landmarks being engulfed in the wild hysteria of hearsay. 

A few days ago I was riding my bike and smelled a wood fire burning. Before I had time to think about its effects it had already gripped me with a quick bolt of fear. Irrational as it is - the mind an attic crowded with ghosts. 

The pics from the rink were as you would expect, pretty much. Shooting under such comically mixed lights will generally either produce accidental images of interest, or none at all. My day was more of the none-at-all variety.

There were young skaters conducting their fledgling pirouettes in the center of the rink. As expected, most any possible photographic view was obstructed by graceless traffic, moving in ovals. 

I brought a lens that was not entirely conducive to that type of shot, at least from that distance - a lone 50mm prime. 

There was one girl there dressed in figure skater blue, born without a waist:

I tried to use the flash to wash out some of the mixed multi-color carnivalesque lights of such a place, never bothering to change my white balance to Fluorescent Warm, so the images were mostly crap. 

My favorite was the out of focus one above of my little buddy, J, but there were a couple others than I liked, if only because they were mistakes of one kind or another.

It was after skating, after dinner, on the ride home, that I started to have more fun shooting. There were scenes of mild action and industry on the roadside. Framed by the dashboard, the frame within a frame.

There is an absurd expectation of privacy that roadside workers sometimes have when it comes to pointing cameras at them from within your car. They have adopted the imaginary legal position of so many cops, that taking their picture is somehow a criminal consideration, or should be, one always left to their discretionary mood. 

There is no such thing as a reasonable expectation of privacy in public, and personal photography on public property requires no consent. Being in public makes you public. 

Always photograph cops. They simply love the attention. They'll sometimes go out of their way to single you out and tell you so.

I tried to capture familiar objects on the side of the road. Well, familiar to wine country anyway. Things like old wooden water towers, peppered here and there in the vineyards and old family estate homes. 

I did the obligatory motion-blur images that nighttime driving in the car demands. Every so often an apparition of light appears and almost takes on the characteristics of something living. Ghosts of the Machine Witch variety.

With light and motion being the main subjects, everything lucky takes on a kind of mythic quality. The subject of a given photograph exists in a quanta state in which you can vaguely tell what something is but never fully explain what it is doing other than moving through time - extraterrestrial  lights dancing in the road, signs riding some imaginary wave of time's passing, a truck insisting on its speed and direction. All of them lose some of their assurance of certainty. 

Once you forego the notion of there being discernible things of any kind then you are free to roam the near total but familiar abstraction of dancing roadside lights, framed by the perspective lines of the road, all leading to a vanishing point while seeming to vibrate away from that same point. 

I tried to lose the vantage point of the road, but all lights either remain ahead of you or pass by on each side, forcing the familiar pattern of lights dancing. Reminiscent of the last thing that you remember seeing as a teenager before you slunk down in the back seat and began to contend with the newfound fear of the drug that you had taken.

Any attempt to remove the road from the image results only in further illumination of the chaos. 

One last turn before home, rounding past where the ice cream place waits on the corner, the one with delicious flavors, so many kinds, where the colors of the well-lit sign invites the attention of parent, pedestrian, puppy, and progeny alike.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Repetition Juxtaposed

(When he could be lifted)

I'm ready for the weekend to be over, for my own free time to start. Starting my time away from work with a three day stretch of parenting was unavoidable I suppose, but has reminded me that for all of its joys parenting is primarily a task. None of the synonyms for "task" have positive connotations except maybe "mission" and then only in the imagination of my younger-boyish self.  Chore, duty, and job all carry the weight of burden with them. They are heavy words that beg to be met with procrastination. 

Strange - I just tried to find a word that basically means a "happy task" but it doesn't seem that there is one. The websites I humored quickly devolved into talk of the joy of religious duty. My less than thorough research produced no word that would indicate joy in a responsibility embraced or completed. It seems that a word like pleasure or satisfaction must be combined with one like work to give a sense of what the speaker might mean. Having to use two words when there should be one is extra work, so it does capture the spirit of parenting. 

Only two things matter about being a parent - doing it well or poorly. Everything else is tedium to the minds of others. Good parenting gets a gesture of approval concealed in mock condescension or even genuine delight, depending. Bad parenting will always be the subject of perennial discussion. Everyone, it seems, is an expert on the paths to ruination.  

I'm convinced that social media is little more than the symptom and residue of unresolved familial neuroses. When I was involved in the whirlpool of underground dance circles I realized that I was surrounded by people with complicated or challenging family situations, or worse.  I was like them. I've never been quite sure why. It comes as either a relief or disappointment, depending mostly on whether I have writer's block or not when I stop to consider it. 

Family is the institution that most first seek to escape, and deeply involves their initial feelings of liberation from oppression. A child's first bicycle represents the untethered magic of independence. For me, it still does. Few that I know think back to their first bike with anything other than fondness. Even those that rode, remaining forever prodigal. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Makin' Bacon

The sabbatical has begun but I wouldn't quite know it yet. My body and spirit have not quite caught up to the idea. It seems just like any other weekend. Work takes so much out of you that you slide into a weekend as a short landing strip of recovery, not really coming to a stop until Sunday, if you're lucky, where you must prepare to return to the maelstrom of employment. Licking wounds and paying taxes.  

It feels almost like being surrounded in a fight by the weekdays, whenever you get too close to surrender you are pushed back into the circle where victory is impossible and defeat is always delayed. We are all a bit like Cool Hand Luke, or so we wish to believe. Rebels Within A  Clause. 

Well, that's a bit dramatic. It is a three day weekend, so maybe I'll feel as I expected to, or more so, tomorrow. For today there is still just the regular sensation of time that slips by too quickly, much more so than a weekday, over as soon as you have thought of it. If you do not have a plan for the day before noon then the gods and goddesses of time revoke your feeling of freedom. Also, as much as I love my son, having him this weekend has added to the feeling that I am still somehow "on duty." When I wake up Tuesday and the boy is not here, there will be nothing to do. Then I'll have to produce some sort of response for my existential predicament. 

One of my vague goals of this time off was to lose some weight. I believed that a more regimented diet might be possible if I just focused strictly on the limited time and and numeric weight loss goal. A modest target - 15 pounds in six weeks. That should be easy enough, and would have put me just about at 200 pounds by the time it's over. Except that I got sick the week before it started and I ate comfort food to heal myself, lots of it and chocolate, and ended up fatter that I had hoped going into this period by about 5 pounds. So, now I'll need to lose 3 pounds each week, for 6 weeks consecutively. Or, 3.point something... 

I'm currently baking a rasher of bacon, to see if that helps. I didn't sprinkle brown sugar on it, as I love to do, so I'm doing my part. Nobody has yet to include candied bacon in any of the diet suggestions that I listen to. 

Okay, I have spent the night arguing with an assault rifle advocate, one who seems to believe that he might one day need to lead an insurrection against the government, and that is somehow more important than the other - kids living through another day at school. He has correctly pointed out that knives can also be used to kill, so you know, where does the madness stop? He was unable to list the mass killings done with a fully automatic rifle, because you know, the ban on them must have worked. But if you listen then you'll hear the repeated claim: gun bans do not work. That's why mass shooters always choose semi-automatic weapons, because they like to show some modesty in their ambitions.

I guess everybody derives their concept of power from different sources. Some people like to imagine the joy of killing kids, others like to envisage killing American soldiers patriotically when the time comes, the way the nation's founders wanted. I like to read.

Wouldn't it be funny if an "original" draft of the constitution was found and the second amendment called for a well-educated militia? Or, if there was a requirement in one of the articles to update the language built into the document. The last time it was reviewed we transitioned to a well-regulated paint ball squad. Or better yet, a well-pregnated militia, so that only pregnant women were allowed to have guns. It will be left to their discretion as to how to avenge all allegations and to dispense final justice as part of the "Weinstein Clause."  They'll roam Hollywood, packin' heat, in black maternity sweats and full face masks with night vision goggles - the well-funded militia.  

Or, maybe if there was a simple constitutional requirement for gun owners to spell: well-flagellated munitions. Or, even better: well-repudiated minutiae.  

It'll be nice though, one day, for my son to see a time when we can all look back and agree that Americans, when really put to the task, at the very least knew how to be civilized. 

Oh yeah, Barkley turns 10 years old today... !!! 


Thursday, February 15, 2018


Yes, we went to Valentine's Day dinner with our boy. We weren't alone. The restaurant that we chose, one acceptably close to us, was filled with other families who thought similarly and brought their own kids. Who knows why, beyond the obvious. Babysitters are expensive and everybody wants their own love on the day set aside for it. Their special squeeze, young girls of babysitting age maybe most of all.

Who knows, we might not be allowed to notice the blossoming of sexuality in youth any more. We are reminded that the old natural is the new affront. It is the new natural that must be embraced. Always there are new morals to adjust to, an ethical hearkening to more civil times, advanced by those who must know. We have people openly walking into schools with semi-automatic rifles and shooting down scores of scared children, but to mention that those same kids are experiencing their sexual awakening is an egregious insult to the contemporary mind. 

We've heard it all before. America doesn't have a gun problem. It must be something else unique to the American character. The guns are incidental and could not possibly explain the numbers. There must be an invisible variable involved that we have yet to discover. This, in plain sight of what might otherwise be considered rational people. If only we could demonstrate that these killings were contagious, which they clearly are. They jump from host meme to host meme to infection, spread by direct and incidental contact. 

There is something more powerful than the NRA: voting elected representatives out of office. Don't tell, it's America's littlest secret: the democratic vote.

It's not a subject that is worth tackling any more and probably never will be. It's barely a problem worth shooting at from a highway overpass. As a nation, we've done nothing. If I could piss on the faces of the people talking, then I would for you

It's been a long time, too long really, since I've pissed one someone's face. Let's revisit that issue when I tell the story of the ex-girlfriend from yesterday's post. As long as I don't use names or provide chronological hints then I should get away with retelling stories that I find of adequate interest and merit. At 49 years of age it would be impossible for most readers to know if what I describe happened in the 80s or last year. It is one of the few joys of aging, concealing facets and facts within the folds of the decades.

I've had people try to tell me before that I have no right to relay the details of my own life here. There are things that are private, I've been told. To a degree, sure. Everything is so tender, exceptional, and personal until it's time to fill out the police report. 

Can you imagine R. Kelly's surprise when an allegedly intimate moment between himself and a consensual child became public. That girl, or her bitter caretakers, violated the sacred bond that exists between a grown man's urine and someone's face. In some cultures it is thought to have magical recuperative powers. He might have been in a shamanic trance and was trying to christen her, to cleanse her of evil, but without need of leeches. There are a lot of things that we still don't understand about urine and the role that it plays in magic. 

He was found not guilty on all 14 charges, yet people still treat him like he's Woody Allen. Not guilty is similar to being innocent, except you are of course stripped of some reasonable doubt in the process. In America we have the presumption of innocence until proven video.

Listening to people discuss Woody Allen can somehow be both interesting and tedious. They say all of the wrong things, proving that they don't know how to think. For some reason it is important for people to dispense their opinions of him as a person, which keeps his films mostly safe, secluded from the blinding lights of their wit. Morality is the enemy of thought. Virtue is the vague idea that there exists invisible behavioral doctrines that can not be politely questioned. They can only be overthrown with rudeness and repeated transgressions. Luckily the Many Moms of Facebook are out there acting as flying buttresses to the ever crumbling cathedrals of rectitude. 

Some of the most unpleasant people I have ever met tirelessly advocate for the ornaments of etiquette. Manners. Always their manners, which are superior to yours, otherwise they wouldn't have been forced to bring it up at all. 

What did Emerson say: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Well, he wasn't discussing manners there, but I often dawdle in the territory of the implicit.

Why can't people study the films of Ron Howard instead of that nasty little reprobate, Allen? Howard's a nice enough fellow, no scandals that we know of. Instead of R. Kelly maybe people could enjoy the later albums of Elton John. Sure, EJ had his problems back in the flying Donald Duck days, but that's all behind him now. He was trying to find himself. 

I don't get it. People seem drawn to complications like moths to a light, spree shooters to children, and parched tourists to Italian fountains.

Ralph goes on to say more, of course:
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. 
- Emerson, Self-Reliance

I do not believe, however, that he was proposing erraticism here as a guiding principle, either. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Always on a Sunday

Happy Valentine's Day. I posted these here for you. Will you be mine?

Jesus, that sounded creepy, even by my standards.  I once had a girlfriend. No, wait, that is perhaps a story for another day. She said something so crazy to me one time that I wanted to document it, for the inevitable investigation into my death. 

Nope, still too dark. She probably won't kill me. 

Also, I have a girlfriend now. I think that's what she is. Perhaps partners is a better term for what we are. Romantic-Parent-Partners - several breakups, outnumbered by one reconciliation, one divorce, and one child deep... now one of us is well into their 40s, soon to depart the last decade that might still be considered part of an extension of a person's youth.  

There is of course more to that, and her, and I. We are going on a Valentine's dinner with our son. My idea, but I thought it was thoughtful and inclusive. He's a sweet little six year old lover boy, so why not. We armed him with adorableness today to give out to his equally delightful classmates. 

So sweet it is, youth - glacé.

I had hoped that I would glide into my sabbatical on the oily back hair of angel wings, but life will not let me. I've had an unusually difficult week at work, which was about half my own fault. It didn't help at all that I have come down with some sort of allergy cold. I've felt terrible all day, useless - body aches, headache, and sinuses. I slept less than four hours last night on a cup and a half of cherry NyQuil. So, I've been corralling my sensibilities for most of the day with very patchy success. 

I should be a conversational joy at dinner tonight.

I had modest dreams concerning the things I had hoped to get done today. None of which have yet been accomplished. I am supposed to go into the office tomorrow, but I feel terrible. I have Girl Scout cookies for everybody. I want to see people before I'm absentia, become persona mysterioso, abero opus.

I never wanted to be the type of kid that would grow up and run away on a Friday. I had an almost devout religious bent to my formal rebellions, making sure that when I did run away it was always on a Sunday afternoon, so that I could be brought back into the family fold before things became too serious, disgruntled and slightly ruffled, but ready for school in the morning.