Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Safety, Thirst

I only have a few minutes to write, am forced to rush today if I would like to get a bike ride in. 

I went to visit an old friend the other night, almost a week ago now. He was back from India where he was traveling for 6 months, and Ireland, where he is originally from. We sat and chatted and ate dinner and drank good beers. We compared lives. He has no children, no partner, has never cohabited with a girlfriend. We are both getting older and I suppose we must sometimes have curiosity about the other's life. 

I spent my portion of the night vocalizing the noble protectiveness of being a father. 

It's great, to know what and how to love, and what must be done, and then maybe I said something else that was semi-noble.

When I gave him a ride to the place where he was staying, after three beers, I explained that the dog had eaten both the seatbelts - passenger and driver.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Lights of my Life

I am beginning to understand why some of the older people I know are not ever excited to see and talk to the other older people that they know - the talk turns to death, or suffering, or ailments, or strokes and heart attacks, and of course suicide. Every now and then an overdose. The infidelities have lost their power to tantalize, I guess. It seems to be the only reason some of my friends reach out to me any more, to make sure that I am aware that others my age are dying off, or suffering some horrible malady. It's really no wonder that there are others that only want to frame the image of their family's lives through social media as being healthy and happy and often traveling. 

I went for a bike ride today. I was up into the hills where there is no cell signal. I couldn't escape an uneasy feeling I had, wondering what would happen if I had a heart attack. A friend's older brother just had a massive one while cycling, was 10 miles into his journey, felt bad and turned around. He collapsed somewhere in the middle of what might as well have been the 18th century. He went to someone's front door in the middle of all of that nothing and begged for help, was airlifted out eventually. It took the ambulance an hour to arrive. They summoned the helicopter. 

All of that rattling through my head as I huffed up my own hill to nowhere. Well, to Jack London's Wolf House, to be more precise. 

When I die I don't care how my death will be described, as long as the most appropriate word for it isn't preventable. Though unavoidable and unstoppable don't have much appeal, either. The word that I most detest is slow. That means painful. I'm certain that my insurance company is working towards making it inexpensive and are entirely unconcerned with it being pleasant. I've outgrown any desire for it to be sudden or tragic. There is barely any of the raw material left for the latter category. I've never learned a very good way to talk about death and dying

arrive and depart talking of myself.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

"Enjoy Every Zenith"

No new pics. Just a folder of old ones.

Spring returned, just in time. We had a week of nearly 90+ degree weather after what seemed like one Spring day and years of Winter. Today we will take the dog to a regional park where there is a lake that we will swim. 

I bought a new computer - $3000. I hate myself for doing it but I have been spiritually hobbled by my last one suddenly failing on me. I can't say that its demise was entirely unexpected. It lasted 8 years, which is nearly miraculous for an Apple computer. I have included the details of the new one below, for my nerds. I could have upgraded to the faster processor and the improved graphics card also, but that would have been almost another thousand dollars. I won't be doing much video editing. Once it gets here and I have it up and running I will buy Lightroom and Ableton Live. The latter of the two will either make me feel cool or silly. 

My hope is to start scanning the thousands of 35mm film shots I have taken, or to hire an intern to do so. It has become absurd that I have let this effort back up on me like this. I see how people become risibly eccentric as they age. They hold on to their interests in a tangential fashion. One side slips away into the abyss, losing contact with the behavior that continues, which makes no sense without any follow through. One day I'll be a cyclist that buys bikes but never rides, also. 

What can I do? I like to shoot film, and I would like to have the shots I've taken. Mostly I like going through life framing what I see. Hearing the sound of the shutter click and manually winding the film. Maybe one day I will see those frames again. This morning I wondered if the new pup, Akira, would outlive me.

I have tried to convince CS to go on a photography road trip, but he is not quite up to it yet. Maybe I'll go to Berlin and do a road trip with Cato. He has dug his Sony camera out of the shipping box where it has been since he moved to Germany. He took a trip to Barcelona, which seems to have been the inspiration for finding it and charging the batteries and lifting it to his eye to press the shutter. Who knows, maybe he's one of those annoying millennials that uses the electronic viewfinder to compose his shots. 

There is so much great photography out in the world. It is overwhelming, yet people are still mostly insufferable. Age softens some of those feelings, while holding the body in an arc of pain. 


27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display
With the following configuration:
3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz
64 GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
3TB Fusion Drive storage
Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
Logic Pro X


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Public Hair

(Album Cover)

I thought of a name for the band. We need a drummer machine still, but things are really starting to come together now. Our first album will be comprised entirely of pensive jazz masterpieces. 

I have been playing a handful of folk songs lately. This weekend we are meant to go camping with a group of about 40 campers and hikers, parents and kids. The Cub Scouts. Because I am useless in most daily practical matters - and everybody else was offering to roast pigs or dig trenches and latrines - I offered to play some songs that people can sing along with around the fire. Cumbaya. The others jumped on this idea - loved it, have written me emails to confirm. 

I am using it more as a promotional opportunity for Public Hair's first local tour, so it's important that I shine.

Any time that we have ever had what might be considered a "musical" moment at any of these scouting events it has left me feeling less than patriotic. So, we'll maybe do Blowin' in the Wind, This Land is Your Land and On Top of Spaghetti. If those voracious folk fans demand an encore then I'll have Oh my Darling, Clementine up my sleeve. It is such a perverse and wicked song to sing to kids, but what the fuck... I've roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps. 

I meditated yesterday, only for a few minutes. It gave me some insight into what an absolute wreck my inner world is. 

I kept trying to talk myself into taking a short break from meditating to rub one out. As they say can happen at these times, my impediments became clear and presented themselves to me unobstructed. 

I spent my time in the upright darkness, chasing away the phosphene dance of my eyelids, repeating in hushes, my mantra-ray: .... Shhhhhhut the fuck up, Shhhhhhean.....

When I'm almost done I always whisper, Vietnamaste


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Storm Gods

Easter was nice. It was a Spring day, somewhere in the 70s and clear, the sky a robin's egg blue. Yesterday it was 90 degrees. The sky seemed more bright than soft. If I am robbed of my Spring by a lingering Winter then I will stop paying my daily tithings to Zeus. No more indulgences for lazy ol' lighting bolt. 

I realize now how important the two party political system is to America, and how vital. I've never wanted one side to just win every election in perpetuity. That doesn't seem as if it would result in anything preferable. As corrupt as so many of them are it is best to have some harsh critics of each side in positions of power on the other side. I almost feel better with how much they hate each other. When they worked together it made me nervous. You call it obstructionism, I call it the delicate balance between incompetence and criminality. A government should mistrust its members. What the fuck are they doing otherwise?

I started asking myself why I even care about politics. The answer became clear to me while on my 90 degree bike ride yesterday: it's because my life lacks most all other experiences. I rarely get to experience art or music. I do not seek enlightenment. So, I sit at home and browse newsfeeds.

What I have discovered by spending my days looking at newsfeeds:

- The Trump "Pee Tape" is very real and the only thing preventing us from seeing it is because it is actively being used as blackmail. Kompromat

That's the only thing that really matters. A bunch of hookers pissed on a bed that Barack and Michelle Obama slept on, because at that time neither of them had birth certificates, so that is the custom in Moscow when such a thing is discovered. If they find you with a fake birth certificate then bear prostitutes are brought in. 

It's true, this is really the world we live in. Never before has there been such a robust set of conspiracies to help get us through the otherwise boring work day.


Saturday, April 20, 2019


America has never really seemed to know what to do with itself. This last week has been extraordinary in that regard. I have viewed most of this through the carnival prism of Twitter, where what is already misshapen becomes further distorted and always with some spin, if not a very heavy dose of it.  

It has not been a week. It has only been two days.

Part of what has fascinated me about Twitter is watching the little self-confirming cliques that have formed there. There are a handful of liberal media figures who relentlessly congratulate and LOVE one another's take on everything. They vary in snark as well as wit and intellect but what they don't ever vary in is the unquestioned state of the collective narrative that they all seek to build and maintain. Some of it is absurd beyond comprehension, but yet somehow still fascinating. 

From the other side....

We are seeing what happens when a populace really digs in and gets behind a career criminal. Of course the claim of criminality is unjustified, because as so many have pointed out... there was no conspiracy. There was no attempt to stop or slow down hostile political and social interference, but it did not rise to the level of conspiracy. That last sentence was about Obama, of course. The Mueller report is damning for him, also. The excerpts that I read document his knowledge of hostile foreign election interference as well as his administration's lack of response to that threat. 

One side seems to completely ignore that fact because they are so hyper-focused on Trump's always borderline illegal behavior. Is negligence at that level also a form of obstruction? If not of justice then at the very least of a healthy democracy. Obstruction of Democracy. 

But my intention is not to bag on Obama here. But it is worth noting: he did nothing to stop, prevent or even slow Russian interference in our national election and seems to have put the sanction in place at least in part as a trap for Trump and his team to try to cover his inaction. It was a trap that they repeatedly tried to walk into but were not organized enough to pull of an actual crime or collection of them. But Obama blew it and nobody should give him or his administration a free pass here. 

Do I think they should be investigated? No. We already know what we know. 
Do I want to see a slew of Trump cronies in prison? Sure. 

Why the difference? Intent. 

Everyone that I get a glimpse of in the Trump administration is nakedly motivated first by criminal self-interest. Yes, I know, the Clintons and Obama make lots of money off of speeches and book deals. That is fundamentally different than lying to the American people about a business deal that you were trying to secure in Moscow while campaigning to become president, then using that power to leverage personal gain, all the while lying about your Russian connections to the very people whose votes you were seeking to secure. 

Was it illegal? Nope.
Should it be permitted in a president?

How are we even asking that last question? 

After a decade of hearing people talk about "the media giving _____ a free pass" now we have a voting populace that seems a little too eager to give their guy that same sort of deference, but with a legal and political vengeance. 

I remember when Clinton perjured himself and was caught. People - some of them - wanted to see him go to jail for it. My mom - a democrat - was one of them. Others asked if lying about a blow job was really the thing we were going to try and take a president out of office for. Now we're asking if working with Russia, even if not quite to the level of prosecutable criminality, is sufficient.

The dems have fucked themselves. I don't have enough faith in them to believe that they might do the right thing here, which would be to investigate a few of the unanswered questions that remain from the collusion portion of the Mueller report. And as hard as this might be for them: to ignore the obstruction portion.

Yes, I know it's not a popular opinion, but there is just way too much evidence that several of the key players lied to Congress and to Mueller. It's absolutely baffling to me that reasonable people are accepting some of the conclusions and some of the tremendous gaps we have in our understanding of what actually did happen. Right now we are in a place where the other lingering investigations might get shut down by an openly partisan-motivated AG, then of course the presidential pardons would come, and then the narrative that this really was all just one big witch hunt might remain the dominant narrative. 

Anyone that has not looked at some of the most troubling facts might accept that version of events. 

Mueller seems to have focused his report purely on the possibility of there having been a tacit agreement between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, when no one (at least as far as I know) ever made that claim. The collusion was always with a series of state-related players who are widely known to also be deeply involved in international organized crime and to no one's surprise: real estate. Perhaps a few of those other 12 or 14 investigations that we know so little about will prove fruitful enough to get something to stick there. 

My favorite takeaway from all of this was Mueller's analysis that Trump would have been more easily indictable for obstruction of justice if any of his underlings would have bothered listening to him or acting upon his many criminal wishes. I'm not sure why that brings me so much pleasure, other than the obvious prosecutorial acknowledgment that the man is an inept buffoon and most everyone around him knows it and responds to it by ignoring his orders. 

That aspect of his character seems to be in plain sight for anyone with even baseline curiosity about him but it's nice for the assessment to become an official part of the record.

The rest of this post has been redacted.

Harm To Ongoing Matter


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

... and pungent

Social media is determined to rot my mind. I keep trying to pull away from it, have tried to remind myself of some prelapsarian joy, even, a glimpse of imagined happiness. 

Twitter, I thought. What could possibly go wrong there? It's just a curated personal newsfeed, I told myself. How can bits of news and partisan spin coming at my face and eyeballs at the speed of light possibly hurt me?

We tried drugging the dog but it didn't work. Doesn't surprise me that she didn't take to downers. She seems more of a speed freak to me. She's young, so I don't really know how to talk to her about it. I bought special treats so that I could hide pills in them, so that we could crate her without all of the emotional drama. But no. There will be some emotions and canine drama around crating and separation for her. That has become clear. I don't blame her at all. I'd react the same way if some 50 year old man was giving me drugs and locking me in a crate while he put on lycra underwear under his athletic shorts, then left the house for an hour, returning huffing, sweaty, and aromatic. I'd be out of my mind with terror at such a thing. 


Monday, April 15, 2019

All Is Taken

Today would have been mine and Rachel's ten year wedding anniversary had we remained married. Our relationship stretches another ten years before that; the decade before the decade before. 

We went to France for our honeymoon - Dijon, Beaune, Lyon, Saint Paul de Vence, Paris of course, a day spent at Notre Dame which now looks as if it is burning to the ground. Or rather, burning to the stone. Tragic and yet somehow sadly fitting for this day from a purely personal perspective. Tragic for everyone except the staunchest of atheists. 

I am neither sad nor nihilistic about the marriage but it failed and I would have preferred that it had not. Somewhere along the way our votes for the sustaining of the relationship lost their string of unanimous victories. There was an unexpected upset at the polls, booths, curtains, and levers. The romance forgot its democracy. The thread of consensus becomes misplaced. That's all it takes. 

We worked things out, in a sense. 

There are hundreds of pictures that I could pull out from our time together there, but it would take work. My computer has finally failed and I am trying to buy a new one. We'll see. It is a lot of money that I do not wish to spend. But what is a man like me - a collector of personal digital artifacts - to do?

The images of Notre Dame make me terribly sad, of course. So much loss there, wrapped up in a very symbolic place. A thousand years or more to build. One wonders how such a thing could happen, but these types of things happen often enough for all of us to know in advance: there is always some human negligence involved. Some poor French citizen working on the cathedral of his childhood imagination makes a mistake. Or, there is the negligence of human understanding, which so often results in hatred and terror. That's all it takes. 

It's only Monday. I am tired and want peace, respite from all the badness, all of the bad newness.

"One day you take a look at yourself and wonder how it happened. And you realize it just did. Sloth, perhaps, and a certain admixture of fear and desire. But mostly sloth and the slow, imperceptible movement toward safety. You are not who you thought to become though you are not unrecognizable to yourself. But you are a distorted version of your youth, the smile slightly twisted, the lines around your eyes speaking of compromise." - CS


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Photographic Vérité

Fancy Pet Portraits. That's the name that I would try to get a business license with, if I wasn't confident that someone had already applied for it. I have been practicing my "spiritual speak" lately, to prepare to interact with my clientele. I make sure to always talk about "capturing your cat's true animal essence." I explain to people that my role sits somewhere between artistry and the dark arts of being a psychic medium. They seem to love this. 

I have put into motion a plan to buy myself a new computer, an Apple iMac. They are tremendously overpriced but what is one to do? Familiarity and ease of use apparently win out. I reached out to an old friend that works at Apple for a discount, which helps greatly. It will be nice to have a computer that I can run Lighroom and Ableton Live on. I'll be dangerous again. 

I have never processed most of my images out of the camera. Or, if so then I have just used the "magic wand" specializer that is stock in Apple's Photo app. I realize how tremendously lame this is, to invest so much time, energy, and money into photography, but to ignore the apps that can allow for so much more. 

What can I do? I love snapshots. 


Friday, April 12, 2019

The Carbitrary System of Measurement

While my son awaits his time as a rock guitar god he also sometimes pisses in streams along state park paths. It's among our favorite pastimes. That, and giving our new pup lots of Xanax. Yes, we have resorted to drugging the dog. It is the only thing that seems to make her happy. We know that she is a true Q6. The real deal. 

Other day: Mom asked if we should trick her and put the drugs in her butt when she's asleep.

That: not precisely what was said, verbatim, but you get the idea. 

Mom: knows how things work. 

Moms: do. 

I was either drinking heavily when I borrowed the camera that took the picture above or I have no conception of distance. Zone focusing may never quite "be my thing." I suppose that both claims could be true. I do so love to bifurcate. 

Perhaps I was using the metric system. 

It is only a concept. 

Did you know that America doesn't have a name for the system of measurement we use. 

Customary is what it is often called. 
That is perhaps the best word for it. 
Arbitrary is another word for it. 

Self-defeating when the time comes, the carbiner of death.

Customs - that is the agency that gets to search you if you're ever lucky enough to leave and then come back. 

An agent from that department celebrating a birthday now would be a Custom's Aries

There were so many Frisbees bikinis sun and and and ass the world turned when the day only ended by the sure pure volition of youth; accord this boorishness of sun. 

Things change. 

My life needs a child, a Julia Assange. 

... a real whistleblower.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Strat

I had an old Stratocaster lying around in its case for years, two decades. When I pulled the white pick guard off the other day to replace it with the newly purchased black one the date on the inside read May 22, 2001. So, almost two decades. It was bought new for a studio project I was doing with a few other people - electronic dance music - I kept it since I could play better than any of the other DJs. 

The boy has been interested in it lately. He wants to plug it in and make some noise - bang on the drums and call to the gods, the primeval susurrus or full-throated roar of rock-and-roll. I do not wish to overstate the importance of me swapping out the pick guard and changing the strings on this guitar but it's much bigger than The Clash's first album. 

Well, we'll see. I do like the look of it more than the white. Mom said this looks more "rock and roll," and the other looked more "country."

Here, you tell me:

I don't care that much either way, but I was bored and it gave the boy and I something to do for an afternoon. He seems to like the black better, so there is that. The guitar will be his in a handful of years here, so what the fuck... I haven't plugged a guitar in to an amp to play it in many years now. When I bought the official new black Fender pick guard I also bought strings and a bag of 60 picks. I'm so fucking ready to go on tour now. I'm ready to play Camden, Reno, or maybe Stockton. Work my way up towards San Bernardino or Shreveport. Maybe all of them. All original material, all made up entirely on the spot. I wouldn't have it any other way. Rock opera, it's a real tragedy. Buy a van, a new bong, and maybe a clean t-shirt. We'll see where it goes. 

Are we allowed to post music from our moral and spiritual inferiors?

If so, this still exists:

Being a fucked up rock star that tries to fuck young and possibly impressionable girls doesn't remove your recordings from the universe, but they're working on that.

It's out there in some new perfect tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wings of Wildfire

New film pics; why not? I liked this one and a similar one with mom doing a ballet lunge of some sort. She didn't like it but I did. She looked as if she was really flying. That is the occasional way of things between old lovers, they see with reliably different eyes, sometimes at a distance, other times up so close. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

All is forgiven

The clouds have let up and left me. An app on my phone tells me that the sun will stay around for a week, maybe more. I can't see beyond the next seven days with it. Happiness from above for the foreseeable calendar row. I have pardoned winter of all its federal crimes. 

I borrowed a camera from a friend, an Olympus XA2 I think. I left a half-shot roll of film in it when I gave it back, which he finally had processed and scanned. The images were all crap but there were a couple of the boy and I, a photographic rarity. If you'll notice I have a camera in my hands in the images, a manual Nikon, if you must know how intolerable my interests can be on those I go hiking and have lunches with. The pics were taken by mom. 

We ran into some people we knew on this hike and I shot a few frames of them with the Nikon. I remember it well because they both looked uneasy posing for the picture. A few months later we heard the rumor of divorce in the winds, a mention that has been swept under the ol' proverbial family rug since. 

The pics are now part of an ever growing stack in my closet. 


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Noob: I

Pics from the dog park - the family Q6. I have become known as the local pet portrait guy - a man that brings nice cameras to the dog park and shoots the playing pups without asking permission. I'm okay with that. I'm still shooting mostly nudes, only of the wrong species. The idea that you have to ask anybody to shoot pictures in public only ever seems to apply now to those with a real interest in photography, anybody can hold their phone up and that is somehow, magically, beyond question. But dare to raise a telephoto lens to the world....

I just wrote a paragraph about the inherent oppression of the family structure, but my conclusions were arrived at much too quickly. The summation was both false and ugly, a venting, false dichotomies trapped in circular arguments. I am happy with my family but there is some sacrifice to make it work for the others involved in the way that it works for me. I guess I just needed to get some of those thoughts out of my system to see them for what they are, or were. 

That process of expressive open discovery is maligned now as evidence of the very thing that the process reveals to be untrue, and just as easily dismissible. The spirit of inquiry is no longer a valid enough reason to publicly think or convey. The questions have been answered. Now is the time to advance conclusions. Or, are you new to Twitter? 

I have tried to wean myself from social media. I jumped platforms, from Facebook to Twitter. At first it seemed to me that Twitter is just a newsfeed with personal commentary interspersed. There are some very bright people using that platform, seemingly able to produce perpetual mixtures of pithy wit and factual revelation. Though what at first appears succinct so often turns out to be incomplete or dishonest or flat wrong. There is no solution to the humans. 

We have no plans for the day. I hope it disappears slowly in that same way. I want hours of nothing unfolding slowly out of this Sunday. It is all that I ask of the turning earth. 


Saturday, April 6, 2019


I'm not emotionally stable enough to go to movies like Dumbo. I found that out today. I've always known it, I guess, but I was reminded again today. It has become my most identifiable characteristic - the unsteadiness of mind. Being troubled, depressed, or anxious has overshadowed everything else that was once me. 

Nothing happened at the film. I just cry a lot, concerning almost anything. I've never been able to stop it. The people who go see films with me must be strong. I don't see how they keep it together so well and so easily about me. The perfect customer for the film industry: a quiet madman that will buy the tickets and eat the bags of popcorn. 

The film wasn't great. Tim Burton productions rarely are. Disney, etc. 


Friday, April 5, 2019

Old pictures of the boy, again

Winter hasn't moved. It arrived and sat on the sky months ago. I've stopped looking at the weather. It can not be wished nor willed away. I want to scream or escape. It is all that I've ever wanted. It is mostly all I've ever done.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Few and fading thoughts

I struggled saving a bunch of old pictures from a dying computer. Did I already write about that yesterday? Probably. I can't remember anything any more. My life is becoming strictly attuned to just one thing: being a dad.

There was once a time when my memory shined like a chrome bumper. Or, that's how I remember it now, looking back.


Monday, April 1, 2019

In-Network Coverage

That's not a response to any question that I asked.

I had to repeat that three or four times today on a phone call today with a doctor's phone answering person. No less than three times. Each person that I spoke with told me to verify this doctor or office was in-network, including my insurance company. They told me not to trust the list of doctors on their own website. It is best to verify with the doctor's office, to be sure, always. Culpability, etc. Doc's office said the same about the insurance company. By the end, it was fun because the thing is so broken that it has become something else. Have some fun with it. So what. It's only time. I was asking for lottery numbers from one insurance agent because I felt so lucky, and we were discussing numbers, and she started to give some to me but then must have thought differently about it a bit before providing any more mystical numerical truths.

Her name was Vivian. The image above is entirely unrelated, but now I'm out of writing time.