Thursday, October 31, 2019

Trigger Treat





The boy and mom went trick-or-treating. I opted to stay home with both neurotic dogs. They can not be left alone on a night like this. I may go out with the boy later - house to house. Halloween is my favorite holiday, but not because of the kids. I like the idea of them celebrating some dark mystery, without most of them even having any context as to why, or really how, yet they nail it. It is absurd, worth cherishing a bit. It doesn't go far enough for me, of course. I must have been Satanic in a previous city. 


I had so much that I felt I wanted to say, earlier. It is what work does to a person: shuts them up and down. 

It might be my own fault. I have been sitting here playing the guitar for about an hour, now I am listening to Prince Jammy's Kamikaze Dub. Dub seems a music designed to shut people up, since so much of what is going on in it requires attention to detail and subtle changes over time. You don't have to listen for that, but it barely makes sense to otherwise. Some would agree with me on both of those points, for different reasons. 

What can anyone do? Nobody seems able to see or hear what another does, even in shared love. Shared hatred seems to be more focused - all things about Donald Trump are worthy of hatred, is the accepted message. The obsessive and metaphorical are what turns love and drives hatred. 

That is your koan for the day. 
Memoize it, store it at the proxy.



Wild turkeys just ran across the back yard, a group of about six. We are seeing them more and more. Within a year someone will tell me it's because of climate change. That is the oft repeated foreboding here. I've been asking everyone if they're still worried about the San Andreas fault and sliding into the ocean, or do they think the hot winds will come and get us tropics first? 

Nobody gets to feel secure any more. Maybe they never did and we're just all just starting to really share our feelings. 

Thank you for attending my Ted Talk on Climate Change.



I just needed to get some noise out of my head for no other reason than that it had been asking me to be free. 



When we were in the hotel in SF, I still had to walk the pup, Barkley, and so I did so in the heart of the Tenderloin. We were at a nice hotel, I promise. SF is a strange place, it embraces contradictions that most cities have no access to. It's not always perfect.   

As I walked the little Shih Tzu, who was fascinated with the ground level aromas, I imagined me handing out little green poop bags to all the street junkies, giving them a little woke speech about the importance of reusability and sustainability. But I was afraid that I would buy some drugs from each of them and never get to the reusability portion of my speech.


 







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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I should do other things





I should be preparing for a meeting that I have in 20 minutes, needed a cigarette break. Don't smoke, just wanted one. Smokers are funny. They all have some curmudgeonly leanings. Or, perhaps in a woman I would frame it as charmed insouciance. You get the idea - aggressive or demure disregard. It squirms so well in youth. 


I have eaten terribly for two days now. Truly. Fast food, etc. My body is rioting as I write this. 

I am expected to present information in a meeting soon, I think, and I have prepared nothing. I can usually talk off the top of my head and make things up as I go, but today I am feeling despondent. The other day at work I became nervous while speaking and got a little bit choked up. That didn't stop me from speaking, as it should, but rather I tried to fight through it, and lost. 

I just realized my meeting is in another hour. I should spend that hour preparing. Like Batman, I feel as if I am about to retire also. Has he used the word retire yet? I'm not even sure. It sounds foreign. 

I really should brush up on terminology. Understanding the terms is critical to this thing.

Ok, fuck it. I have to go.



Batman knows that I am kidding. We are different people. That comes as an occasional shock to both of us. Neither of us has much of a secret identity left, after years of writing here and there. 

Speak for yourself, Batman might say, ironically or not.







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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Boom! Pow!





Batman is flatly full of shit, but I regularly forgive him that. Many times he has derided me for posting photos that he would not, or in a way that he would not, or when I have had the temerity to openly express anything that resembles happiness. And yes, gratitude. It is not foreign to him, though his struggles with it are apparent. Pay no attention to his silly protestations, they are not of actual substance. 

Though he is very perceptive and for that I like to keep him around, even though he greatly prefers and deserves solitude


Will he ever emerge undisguised from behind the walls of Wayne Manor....? 

Gotham may never know. 


He should know by now that I donate a generous percentage of all that I say and do to pure jest. I am a humble Joker at heart, only this way because I fell into a vat of chemical waste where I stewed for decades, leaving me horribly disfigured, which then led to my criminally sadistic insanity. 

Batman will tell you all about it.



Okay, I was going to write a regular daily update, but now the needs of the day have crept into the morning, where superheroes and their arch-nemeses refuse to depart. 
















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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Kiran and Tessa





Batman will hate that I have posted this picture. He will have a personally held ideal that doing so violates, something about sentiment, or maybe the shame of something exhibited so vulgarly. I have heard about these unshared principles between he and I many times in the past. C├ęst la View.


The wedding was beautiful. Very. I did not bring my camera and only took iPhone pictures but that was okay with me. I didn't look like a twat carrying the cursed device around - a firearm that captures potential harms as it creates them. There isn't very much that I can do at a wedding that is any different than what anybody else can do. Access. We all have pretty much the same in that celebratory space.

I dj'd the reception. That was interesting and fun and went well, I think. Something so familiar returned to after an absence seems strange. I questioned how I could do such a thing for so long, and derive so much sense of self  or even self-value from the doing of it. But that's what I did. I noticed last night what a tough and yet easy way it is to forge your story about yourself. Life is hard, expression of any kind renders you vulnerable.

The bride and the groom were very happy and thankful that I did this for them. I was grateful for the opportunity and the honor of helping. It gave me reason to care about music again and to think about the tastes of someone other than myself. That will wear off quickly now, probably. But I felt it, and I'll ponder what that means. It gave me some interesting perspective on how I have changed. It is good to help your friends. That they think enough of me to have me do this special thing for them was flattering. It is nice to participate positively in someone else's memories.

And I love them - made happy by the proxy of theirs. 





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Friday, October 25, 2019

Hopes





Well, I guess I was wrong about the need for power outages. Or rather, PG&E wasn't right enough. They're off and destroying everything again, by fire. They say it's climate change. The citizens of the area are all quite skeptical of that explanation. We just came out of a drought not too many years ago, during which there were wind storms. Not sure the science is there on that explanation.


I had a crazy, hectic day before I departed the country for the city. I have a hotel in SF for tonight and tomorrow night. I am going out nightclubbing tonight. There is a Halloween party that will serve as my makeshift birthday party. I hope that I can still stay up until midnight. We'll see. Then, there is a wedding tomorrow and then of course a reception after that. I am dj'ing the reception. I hope that I can stay up until then. 

Okay, maybe a short nap in this fresh, new luxury hotel room. That'll help my hopes. 




Addendum: Oh yeah, I forgot to provide some physical context. I'm at a hotel that's across the street from the Hibernia Bank, where my beloved revolutionary sweetheart, Tania, had her famous Glamour Shots taken in glorious 15 second intervals.

Nope. I just looked it up, different branch over near Nob Hill. I've looked up Patty Hearst's Wikipedia page so many times the hyperlinked text is permanently purple.

I've mentioned my infatuation with her here many times before. I want to one day fly away with her previous self, all the way to Stockholm. If wishes were horses then she and I would be robbing banks.







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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

... a dream of growing up to ride





We don't know if we'll have power or not. It is a maddening solution to the problem of global warming. I am, of course, very opinionated on this matter, though without much fact informing those opinions. Any fact, really. I only know the fact of my opinion's existing. Takes too much of the fun out of it to be informed, so time consuming.


I took a few pics of the boy today. We were in a 7-11, buying powdered donuts, those little ones in the pack of 6. They were crap, but seemed to make the boy happy. I'm not shooting enough with my 35mm cameras. I'm losing my ability to shoot quickly. I fiddled with my aperture and missed focus. The boy had moved by the time I was ready to take the picture. We went to the dog park after the donuts, but my shooting didn't improve. It didn't help that I was using an 85mm lens and trying to capture fast moving targets with a wide aperture in a hostile environment. 


Nothing helps, nothing changes, nothing matters.



I had better change this attitude before the wedding. I still have a few days and a birthday between now and then. What could possibly go wrong?



She tried to raise me right but I refused.






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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Gone With The Grid



(From Manzanita Campground)


I survived Sedona (above), but California is killing me now. Well, not California, but P,G&E... I came home from Arizona and prepared to work on two playlists I am making for an upcoming wedding - on Saturday. Today, I found out that they're shutting the power off in this region again, probably tomorrow and through Thursday. This complicates everything about my life in unpleasant ways. I'm still struggling with this new realization that I live in a third world county.  

My brother sent me some very thoughtful presents, books, for my birthday. One on the art of Burning Man, one a visual history of bicycles, and one on Toltec spirituality. Lots to look at and think about. He is a better brother than I am. But what the fuck, it had to be one of us, why not him?


I should go to bed. There is nothing more that I can do tonight to prepare to lose power. I try to enjoy it when the power gets turned off, reminding myself to just enjoy the simple pleasures - reading, playing the guitar, riding my bike, even film photography - all the things I love - but there is much to do to prepare for the wedding. A haircut, and other things I have not yet thought of, but definitely a haircut.



 










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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sonoma to Sedona





That's right - 12.5 hours. It's a world land speed record. The proper authorities have been notified. 

It has been a long time since I've done an all day car drive by myself. Gives one time to clear the head a bit. Mine was absolutely empty when I arrived. I walked from the hotel to find a restaurant, but it was all super-vegan pizza places, or worse. I settled desperately on an Indian place, thinking lamb vindaloo would help me. Nope, neither that nor the large Taj Majal beer (they didn't have Kingfisher) helped at all. The tough cubes of lamb were deposited dry into a watered down mixture of ketchup and curry paste. Because Vindaloo is meant to be a very spicy dish I said, "medium" when asked how I would like it. That also was a mistake. They made it "medium spicy, for a white guy."

Horrible.


Sedona is beautiful. Do a Google Image search and you'll see. What you see on the screen above is all around me. That picture was taken in the daytime. It's just how the sky looks here, truly incredible. And yes, the image that you see above is exactly what I am seeing with my own eyes right now. Ansel Adams never came here to take pictures. Nobody knows why. But some have recently suggested that it was because he was a fucking dumb-ass. 


I needed an adventure. 


The drive here was desolate and long. There is much vast nothingness out in the Mojave. There is another nothing that stretches out past the end of the nothing that can be seen. You can feel the emptiness beyond the horizon in all directions. It does something strange to be alone and surrounded by so much empty space. You get used to it pretty quickly, but as with most thing I try to milk the sensation past its usefulness. I kept Space Oddity on repeat in the car for about 9 hours before I could hear it no more. I wore two pair of adult diapers, like that astronaut from Houston that wanted to kidnap her romantic competition in Orlando and had no time for potty breaks. Imagine stopping to get gas and stewing in your own urine, or worse, knowing that you saved a couple minutes. I was just like that, in a high speed trance to win back the object of my love. Then, I stopped at McDonald's and had the #2 with a Coke. 

It broke the twelve hour spell of tenderness. 




Few things say "eternal romantic love" as well as rock formations do, especially ones that are created by millennia of surface erosion. In all directions here the colorful sediment that you are seeing used to be at the bottom of the ocean, about 330 million years ago. 

I only know this because I asked Aquaman. 





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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Easy





Power returned. We were in the dark for two days and only at night. Beyond that it was only the blessed unexpected reprieve from the internet, and work. 


I've stopped taking as many pictures of the boy as I used to. He is showing signs that always being a photographic subject is not something that interests him. I've explained that I believe there is something fundamentally good, and wonderful, and beautiful, and true about most people, and that photography can sometimes reveal these things along with possibly capturing many other delicate aspects of being alive. He nods at me, says that he likes it more when we can see the pictures we took right away. 

He's not wrong. I spend more time with film. The results are likely delayed beyond his capacity to connect them in time. He recognizes the space from the picture above but doesn't remember us watching the many French New Wave cinema classic that led to us buying him a black turtleneck for this dramatic photo shoot, etc. 

I love the boy and love having good pictures of him. I'm like a Jewish mother when it comes to him.


I have agreed to do the music for two friends' wedding. It has been a much larger task than I assumed it might be at the onset, though a genuine labor of love and pleasantly engaging. I have been having fun putting the lists together. I wish that I was doing it with an audience. They are not done yet, but I have slimmed down my track selections to about 200% of what they need to be, which will make compiling an acceptable list of half that amount easy. Or, that is what I tell myself. Easy. I will begin the task or ordering the songs tomorrow morning. I leave for Sedona tomorrow night.


If wishes were horses then horseshoes are made of curved metal angel wings. 






Update: Shit. I used that picture (above) already.

Here, have this one.














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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Preemptive Blackouts





I had to drive in to the city today to work. California's infrastructure is collapsing but I still have a job. The above image was taken from PG&E's website. It shows where the problems are. Interacting with the power company is similar to most all other interactions - the person on the other end is either incompetent or corrupt. Or lying.








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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Power





Well, the power has not gone off yet and there are no winds. It is a strange thing, to be told that something is going to happen because something is going to happen, but then to see no evidence of the thing that is meant to happen but the result was promised and is on its way. Trump times are strange times. We live in the wealthiest third world nation ever. I barely hear people discussing infrastructural collapse, but it seems that the smart and good people might want to start thinking about it. Maybe it's just because I live in California, but it is already happening. They're shutting down the power grid here because the infrastructure can not survive the wind.

You know what I meant, though, not this sort of collapse but like McCarthy's parable, The Road


Well, I would invite an unexpected day off from work. I would pack a backpack and a camera and go for the type ride that I never do otherwise, or only very rarely - an adventure, anything but not another routine. Most everything I like to do can be done without power - cycling, playing the guitar, film photography-  and a break from a computer screen would be welcomed. 


When darkness, when?

And let Con Edison take the blame....





Our power will be shut off soon, possibly for days. They know now that the power company has been the cause of these recent deadly fires. Rather than improve the infrastructure they've decided to just shut down our region when the winds blow. Tonight, the winds blow.



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Monday, October 7, 2019

The "enormous condescension of posterity"




Once the physical pain has subsided then the lack of life adventure becomes the most self-apparent complaint I can muster. Reading about CS's trip to Paris has made me realize why I've stopped writing here the way that I used to - my life is nearly adventure-less. How many posts can I spend outlining the details of my banal love for cycling? Or, my love for banal cycling? How many candid portraits of the boy can be made? At least his maturation creates some sense of change, some vague narrative - time's passing.

I would post a Beckett quote here, as it applies, but it is too dark. I sent it to CS just now, to haunt him. He hates me. I'm sure of it. I disrupt the poetry of his sadness with bleakness. 

Those who love me the most discourage me from entertaining the imaginary darkness of writer's past. Lermontov, Baudelaire, the Marquis de Sade; Fuck, even Chuck Palahniuk; Dostoyevsky, Cormac McCarthy. All of them: troublemakers and triflers. I have become afraid to mention writers that lived and worked before the 70s or 80s. Knowing anything that occurred during a morally retrograde time is a sure sign of not being wokeful. Or, not woke enough. All of human history is there only to be denounced. Now that everybody is able to abort all conversation concerning the past with a pithy observation about how wrong things were then, we are left to assume that extinguishing your memory of the past is the responsible thing to do. 

Certainly.

Well, that's another thing that I have had to let go: getting worked up at how absurd the times are. Our times. The more of a loss their grip on sensibility becomes the more we will be expected to denounce the sensible.

It never stops.

Regard all contentedness with the greatest of suspicions.

It never stops, futility.



“Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It's abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.” - Beckett











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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Back in the Saddle





Sally Mann's book - Hold Still - is interesting, fascinating at times. She is a good writer and makes an interesting story of the making of her images. It makes me envious of her free time. I hear CS often bemoan the squandering of time and he is right, it is bemoanment worthy. 

It's not a word, don't look it up.


I reached out to an old friend today, it was her birthday - 36. We laughed that I will be 51 this month and that I was her age when we met. She was the bartender at what become my NY living room. It was where I entertained guests. Few that I knew had the resources to enjoy a place that could have guests. If you are a social person then bars are your easiest, if not only, option there. They were where I met everybody. Now, I can not imagine sitting in one of them for an afternoon, though I can remember doing so many times. Not any specific time, just the amalgam that becomes a single fading memory. Tricia is her name, perhaps I've mentioned her here before. She bought a yacht and was living on it for a while, trying to find herself. I suspect the burdens of parenting may have curbed that lifestyle, though I did not ask. I just wished her a happy birthday and acknowledged how hard life can be when that was how she responded. It can be. 

I am working on a wedding playlist for two friends. They will be married the day after my birthday this month. They have asked me to provide the music, which I have gladly agreed to do. It is more challenging than I would have first guessed.


This will give you a partial idea:




And this, a Lucinda Williams cover:




I have learned about a handful of new artists making this playlist, which is always fun.

Like Mayra Andrade's Afeto:



So far I like her ^^^ entire album, Manga.

Lots of musical ground to cover, quickly. It's a pleasant challenge. I am often tempted to use old familiar tracks - at least those familiar to me - but I am trying to make a playlist that I'll want to listen to, also.

Perhaps I will post it here. We'll see.


Almost my entire sense of personal freedom in life is wrapped up in cycling. I have discovered that when I push myself back in the seat of my new bike it becomes much more comfortable. It took me almost two weeks to discover the sweet spot where the seat-post really does absorb a significant bit of road shock. 

I am trying to find ways to continue riding in comfort. It was the main reason for me buying the new bike, the tradeoff between lowered resistance and comfort. The first roughly equates to speed, the second to possible distance. Yesterday I climbed 200 feet across 23 miles in an hour and 40 minutes.

See?

I have nothing to write about, really. Certainly that much can be seen. 








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