Sunday, December 13, 2020

that, or anything

I have not felt very well, also. There's a sharp and considerable division within me, towards things that have long been just the way they are now. There is little hope of change or improvement without considerable effort from me, and not exactly in my chosen area of focus.   

Having manic-depression produces an interesting set of emotional perspectives on given issues, particularly the perennial ones. Or, it can. Things are no truer only as they can be seen otherwise. Some things disappear when viewed any other way, which is a way of knowing something about your relationship to it as anotherness. Some things are only true because their story would suffer too greatly from being false as to make the storytelling dismal. 

Mania and its welfare cousin results in witnessing events and communiqués from an enforced range of states, more disparate than most people would permit themselves, or might want to; beyond what some can achieve at their worst, and naturally. 

I've developed a sense of emotional certainty, even as my displayed emotions seem to track and truck with the temperature, climate, and urgency of the state itself. I am always somewhere far off, speaking truths to the snow and the sands that have not slept for yet a dozen seasons. What remains is this dumb underlying truth: my reactions to things are a measure of my given tolerance at a given time. My mistake was tolerating things, not the fluctuating in my doing so. Things were not so clear twenty years ago, you see. This isn't twenty years ago, though. So. The dumbness was also a muteness to the knowing that time had changed around me, and I had watched, thinking myself a chronicler. 

What this affliction does not assist with - generously providing as it can sometimes be as a source - is the knowing where to go next, when, when or, when not. Miasma, but at least it's mine. 

I wish... that I could say... I've done any something interesting to prompt my exhaustion - taken on an obsessive, photographic interest of questionable merit that results in me leaving my job to make sellable art, on the road, representing myself legally and as a commodity; famous for making the most played Spotify playlist of the second week of October for two years in a row; owns a legendary email address; cross-dressing to visit the neighbor's, shaving very carefully before, wishing them the Happiest of Thanksgivingtudess!... ; get mentioned in a speech about addressing crime in Gotham; be discovered in Italy with my first wife   where homes are reasonable.   .we will be disabling our internet soon     a nearly perfect crime    just the two of uss ;  escribiré en español de ahora en adelante  ; ;  joined an online clan of Gen X'ers>>two and maybe a third forms virtual punk band, write songs, forever Reagan  ; ; - ;  that, or anything, anything, anything lelse ... then the nothings and the nothing  //  one sound of heavy trunks, two boxes moving in the attic when I don't have one, no upstairs neighbors in almost a decade, ghosts of tenement pssst; three footsteps in the basement, ill-tempoed breathing in the ears; I beg for every pleasure - I sense them best as I awake; I spent twenty years await, ok-await. What four.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Glass Fire

The smoke is everywhere. There is no local escape from it. The road just north of us is closed. We drove around tonight to take a look. The sunset was hauntingly red as it dipped behind the mountains to the west. It is difficult for everybody to breathe. The campsite that I was recently at has reportedly suffered some loss. No word yet on the extent of the damage, only that Adobe Canyon Road - the road that leads up to the park - has lost several houses and that the fire has moved up the mountain from both the Sonoma and Napa side. 

I am tired of talking about it. There is no easy or reliable escape from the thoughts of doom. Raquel wishes to flee the region. Every year now it is the same - the recurring season of horror, fear, and restlessness.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

I envy the childless

My biggest regret is never having learned to play the fiddle. All those years wasted, now. No way to retrieve lost practice time. No amount of patience in the present can recover what is gone. 

Only children should be allowed to vote. 


Friday, September 25, 2020

Of the kind that I have grown tired

I tried to go camping last weekend. I succeeded one night. It was lovely. My car broke down that next day, leaving me stranded, with my camping gear and an expensive mountain bike high up in the mountains, unguarded. 

Rachel and the boy rescued me.  

I met a homeless teacher the night I was able to camp. This is the second time that I have met someone who is homeless and camping as a choice towards a semblance of normalcy in the last six months. Camping and boondocking are on the rise. He drove a yellow bug. He did not strike me as the camping type. He possessed the bare minimum to sleep outside and did not seem to relish it at all. He covered his tent with a tarp and kept it that way for the night.  

My car breaking down a poorly timed and expensive fact. 

He was not there when I returned to retrieve my stuff with Rachel and the boy. I rode my bike home; we have no bike rack for R's car.

My sparse interactions with random others are becoming increasingly strained, saddening. I wanted some solace while camping, perhaps needed it. Still do. Every direction I go, there is some quivering madness stirring.  

I have a new doctor. She is maybe 26. I want to tell her all about my life. 


Monday, September 21, 2020

"I can use my tears to bring you home"


Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Relationships are hard - take Rodney Dangerfield's, for example.

Does hyphenating the noun from what it purports to possess separate them in an irredeemable way? Or, is it that by adding take have I made it less than grammatical?

I have lost a few friends in the last few years, by never writing; by never writing them. I can feel it in the thoughts and memories of some of the people that used to write me. I can feel it in the distance from recollections. 

I remember one girl. I used to write her notes, stories. I would sign them ever cutely:


Her name was Jenn. One day I walked by her computer and the email she was writing, to the guy she was fucking, was signed:




Monday, September 14, 2020

That darkness

I can't tell if I am having a nervous breakdown or if this is just a series of expected psychic tremors, interacting honestly with the times. I could be having Adult Diaper Syndrome (ADS). It never ceases, making it difficult to gauge veracity.

Are we allowed to oppress our feelings with phrases like nervous breakdown any more? It seems there must be a "coalition of the nervous" out there somewhere that is rallying behind the idea of dignity and inclusion for our most agitated members. Perhaps there is a newfound honor given to the idea of having a breakdown, to counter-balance any previous shame felt from being in such a state. I don't know any more. 

I'm just sure that it's only a matter of time before I say the phrase "nervous breakdown" at Thanksgiving dinner. I'll be the old guy popping off imaginary or perceived insults at someone, anyone, everyone that isn't there. I'll be robbing the present of its future dignity.  

As part of the Thanksgiving holiday, I offer this traditional American delicacy: liberals eating their old, wrapped in bacon with dip chips and appetizer napkins. 

The hungriest always find a way of gorging themselves on poverty. Dark skin is the delicacy of the race buffet, and deservedly so. Sometimes it seems as if people can't find the sufficient Pantone to love. Race is the most important thing about humans that doesn't exist, behind God and money.

No politics. No economics. What am I thinking? Periods or prosperity are not aligned with periods of peace. That's what caused me to become so unhappy on this site a few years ago. I vowed to stop obsessing over events that I have no control over. How has that helped me? I am richer now than I was before I stopped writing about politics, but that seems coincidental now that I observe the facts and timeline.

I can not now remember why I would ever vow such a thing as the cessation of political talk. It seems unnecessarily limiting. 

But, ah well, promises are promises

If prmises do not act prohibitively then they would be only mises. It is the hibitive instincts that laws are there to protect against. 

Thou shalt not hibit.

Be less hibited, a chant that those dirty, stinking hippies rallied behind! 

Can we at least all agree, as a nation, that it is old people that did this to us? And wasn't it always the old people.... honestly?

I'm trying to find the right things to say, in the event they return the guillotines to the Place de La Concorde. So far all that I can come up with as something to scream at a rally is, Why kill the old? 

I worked through a few slogans:

Defund The Pubescent

Restore Your Operating Rooms

Don't trust anyone under 30 yards

And one that I thought would be perfect for the moment:

Black Death Matters!

Though, in truth, I have relinquished my revolutionary ways. I support the police and fire departments, and the post office. I see them doing more good than evil, though with the postal addendum... there is a hairy-lipped woman at the Broadway office that terrorizes the . 

This site should be about me documenting my life, mostly. What else is there? What else is there that really matters, to me?

Mama, just skilled a man....

Writing is a comical admission of something - a confession of imaginings, scant evidence of things passing through the shadows created by the light. 

Light leaves a blur of life that darkness otherwise obscures. 


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Access to Intimacy

I have been sending a lot of family pics to CS. He loves them, I think, though I taught him how to silence text threads on his phone and computer just in case. He worries about appearances, etc. Having a friend like him around can be very useful, especially in a cautionary capacity. Though he also teaches me about things that I've never bothered studying, and some that I have.

I send him family pictures, but he doesn't seem to enjoy their wholesomeness, their factual historical recording of privately held affections. 

Weird - all of my other friends on Instagram seem perfectly content with my familial photographic generosity. Perhaps CS really is spending too much time alone. I have given him a variety or recommendation s, though most were efforts to save his mortal soul from eternal torment through the loving redemption of my best buddy, Jesus Christ. 

Well, I don't understand why - if the democrats are funneling innocent children through a pizza shop for the purpose of sex trafficking, to steal the election - the law can't do something about it. Why is it that the person in charge lets these things happen? The Deep State must be far more powerful than anybody had ever dreamed, but not powerful enough to oust Trump from power. Those fuckers tried. We all saw what happened. 

Wait, that was written for a different site. I'll have my editors take it down. I am just riffing off of the things I've read or the conversations that I've had recently. I'm just trying to avoid writing about the horror that is living on the west coast right now. 

We have found a way to still get our kicks around the house, though. The boy made an encampment in the living room by re-arranging all of the furniture and then slept in it last night. We found a ten-pack of Fuji Instax, so we did some flashing and shuttering. 

The one of Akira the pup was taken from within the fort entrance. The one of the boy is him taking a fish-angle pic of me using his Lomography plastic camera. Then, there is Raquel and I.

In the bespoke tent there were secret signs and Christmas lights strung along the circumference and lighting stands buttressed by bags of steel-cut oats and dog food so that they would sustain the suspended sheets in a triangular formation and a skeleton from Halloween along with other assorted ghouls and goblins and pumpkins orange a discoball spider crawling one side and then there was also a sleeping eight year old boy, happy as a kid in the fort of his own making. 

Oh, Sunday... what will you do with me next? 

Show mercy.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Vomit, Beer, Viruses, Etc.

Raquel seemed unusually abbreviated with me this morning. Perhaps she still reads my posts here. Jesus, I hope not. Everybody needs somewhere in which they can think out loud without apprehension, or reprimands that arrive in silence. I suppose I could just ask her, but that would guarantee the result I'm hoping against.  

Ah well. What do I have to hide? Or, to hide behind?

There is nowhere to go and nothing to do in California except wait patiently for more horror and fear. The skies seems to have cleared up a bit, but there is still much smoke in the air. Inhabiting every little nook of my cameras, I'm sure. Everything costs so much money. It raises the question: why have interests at all? 

I don't have any answers. 

I would go to the pub and have a beer, to break up the monotony, but my instincts tell me to drink less today. We drank every day while we were in Vegas and Zion. We even bought two bottles of wine before coming home after the 12 hour drive - a white and a red. 

Maybe that's why Rachel is acting strange. She can get froggy after too many days of drinking. She is a non-verbal communicator at times. She alternates her methods of expression to help keep me on my toes. 

Fuck. the dog just vomited on the rug. I give up. I'll be at the pub before it opens, maybe masturbating in the parking lot to pass the time. I'll claim that it's a known side-effect of Covid-19.


Friday, September 11, 2020



This was my girlfriend 19 years ago. She was at home in the East Village when the planes started flying into the twin towers, and the Pentagon. I was in Manchester with my future wife, Raquel.

Her name is Camille. She is now a photographer in Berlin. Don't worry, she shoots Nikon. 

She has taken on a new interest and vocation in life: assisting others in accepting death. She told me this morning. We were chatting via text. She said that she is good at what she does; helping people find meaning in their lives. I believe her. She is very smart and talented. She aided greatly in assisting me to accept the death of our love. I can think of no one who might have improved on her process. 

The morning of 9/11 I was recording a dance track (posted below) with a few friends. Raquel was a partner in a successful record label at the time and she had started a sub-label to release the type of oddball music that I made. This track never made it on to that weirdo label. For reasons that I can not now recall it made its way onto another bizarre label owned by a different friend of mine. I can't remember all the minutiae. That's why they call it dope - it dissolves details into a miasmic whole.

From Manchester, after the terror, I called British Airways to change my flight. I did not want to go back to NYC right away. I made sure that Camille was okay. I made arrangements to fly to Florida. 

When I went to the airport to fly out British Airways lost my passport. They tried to blame me for this. In fact, the woman at the counter tried to claim that she had not even seen my passport yet. Her fatal flaw was that she had already given me my boarding pass. Her flimsy claim became sticky once her manager became involved. I held the boarding pass up and asked if it was British Airways custom to distribute boarding passes to unknown and unidentified travelers after the horror that what we had all recently seen unfold over the skies of New York. 

She implored me to search my bag again. I stared at her and explained flatly that looking where we knew the passport was not would never solve our problem. She had given it to another passenger who dropped it on the ground at Heathrow. I found all of this out many months later after spending a night in London and appealing desperately to the US embassy to please allow me a temporary permit to travel home, which they granted. The passport office in San Francisco mailed my lost passport to me a few weeks after my new one arrived, with holes punched through the personally identifying portion.

In the brief interim - between the trembling of 9/11 and the lost passport - Raquel and I began to fall in love. We had maybe ten days alone together. One leisurely day we drove to the border between Cheshire and Wales. This is, in part, why our son has a Welsh name - Rhys.

A parenthetical aside: if an English city ends in the suffix "chester/caster/cester" then that means that it was conquered by the Romans and was significant enough for them to build a military base there. It was a linguistic-geographic device that was used, a convention that remains to this day. I have walked along Hadrian's wall in North England, west of Newcastle, where I discovered this same information. 

We went to the city of Chester, which very boringly translates to "camp," or castrum in Latin. However, it being a very well-preserved old Roman camp meant that the city is still almost entirely walled. As heretical as this may sound to an historian, Raquel and I walked atop the wall for a significant portion of the city perimeter the day that we were there. We had very little else to do. We inspected book stores. We wandered aimlessly and stopped into pubs for the occasional lager. We also had sex, in a Starbuck's bathroom. She invited me in with her. She had to pee. There was a mirror on the wall. It started with her mouth and it was all very sweet.

To this day I credit Osama Bin Laden with the lion's share of our happiness.

I told Camille. About a year later she broke my heart thoroughly and seemingly without remorse. We did not speak for a few years afterwards. Such were my heart-won principles. One day she unexpectedly called and we chatted for a few hours, almost as if nothing had happened, which coincided perfectly with her claims of sustained fidelity towards me. A silly and useless lie that has faded into the night skies in the intervening years since. There is no point in insisting on such a thing once it has been repeatedly disproven. 

I traveled back to Manchester a few times during the ensuing year that I was still with Camille. But I would not sleep with Raquel any more while I was there. In this simple act of unprovoked fidelity I earned something corresponding to Raquel's respect, I think. I could have slept with her. She offered. Something compelled and reminded me not to, which turned out to be a lucky thing. Rachel wanted a faithful man. How could she be sure of my principles had they not stood so strongly at the entrance to her affections, the foyer of her velvety delta, and after tempting and compromising beers at the pub every night. 

She would walk up to the bedroom door, which was visible from the downstairs couch where I slept, and wish me tender and inviting goodnight, then close the door on me only slightly lighter than a slam.  

Things fell apart then fell back together again between Raquel and I  many times since then. We are even now in a perpetual state of uncertainty. We have a child together. We are divorced. We live together. We know very little of each other's responsibilities. We have regular sex, which according to all that I have read is nearly miraculous at our respective ages. We sleep apart most nights. We laugh a lot. We rarely scream. We have recently started talking again about the future. We are slightly less successful at breaking up than we are at reconciling. 


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Never Apologize

This type of photography is not for everybody. A single image can not appeal universally - nothing can. Joy is a general emotion, its causes are personal. Nothing is universal.

Religious messages of fraternal love are disputed most of all. Romantic love is found and codified in some varying state of agreed-upon functional contention. To be wrong when in this kind of love is only to adjust the intensity slightly from this mutual state, before the same has yet occurred to your beloved another. 

Everywhere there is a lingering romantic contract, always in a state of renegotiation. No apparent end to the trifles, the tilting towards and away from an ever-elusive unhappiness. Until others' happiness and joy troubles you no more. Leaping is the word. 

You can sometimes discern what sort of person a photographer is by noticing what they look towards - what they frame, how they frame it, what they omit, whether they apologize for noticing lives other than their own, how much they confess of process, the dangers they have taken for you, the caution, the assumptions of eye, how overt the invitation to look, to what extent there is compulsion to explain, to verify the eye is drawn to what is most hoped to be seen, all an enactment and exercise, the desire to receive by giving. Wet cetera. 

There is danger and joy in saving the way that you look at others, rechanting prayers from the past, conducting spiritual favors for the spirits, accepting the blame for what makes you happy.

Fuck it all; at most a splash, 
outbursts writ in liquid, this

a bowyer, 
a fletcher, 
this arrowsmith 


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Narrows

Today we take a shuttle to the entrance of The Narrows at Zion. The temperature dropped 30 degrees here between yesterday and today. The high temperature will be 70 degrees today, it will get down to 34 tonight. We will be in the water for most of the day, and in the shade, if we are lucky enough to attempt this hike. There are only short sections of the canyon that offer any direct sunlight. Most of the up-river hike the sunlight falls on the walls of the slot canyon. Or, that is my memory of it from nearly 20 years ago. Raquel and I have hiked this once before. It is part of why we brought the boy back here. Now, it is uncertain whether we will be able to accomplish this as part of our trip or not.

Some of the canyon offers dry land to walk on, where the Virgin river is low or where the banks did not erode at the same level as the river over the last few millions of years. Some of it is waist deep water. One portion, known as Wall Street, has no shore at all, just rock walls going almost straight up and where the river is very narrow. Extremely dangerous in the event of flash flooding. It is difficult to know what the conditions in the canyon are at any time as they are dependent upon a number of factors, only a few of which can be easily known, and only one that I can think of this morning before having coffee - has it rained recently in any of the areas that flow into the Virgin. 


Monday, September 7, 2020

Red Rock Canyon to The Narrows

Since CS loathes my pool action shots of children and dogs, here is the view from atop Red Rock Canyon loop. You will not see any architecture on display here, either. It is an inhospitable expanse of land that stretches for many miles in many directions. 

Because of the heat wave throughout the west this same expanse of land is probably on fire today. 

It was 114 degrees here yesterday. The boy and I went swimming early in the morning and stayed in the pool until mid-afternoon. Mom arrived around 10:30. we swan and chatted and applied sunscreen all day while drinking wine. The boy and I still became sunburned. My skin is no longer worth saving. Though my tropical tan has become leathery in the spots where it is not tender. I've been submerging my head in aloe gel, but so far no magical cure has been the result.

This morning we depart for Zion National Park. We may hike the entrance of The Narrows today, the world's largest slot canyon.

The image found online below is no exaggeration. There are miles and miles of canyon that look similarly if not even more impressive than this small hint. Depending on the previous week's weather the river can often be walked/hiked with relative ease. 

In the event that CS secretly loves my pool-and-pup series... this one was taken about an hour and a half after we dosed the dog, again.



Sunday, September 6, 2020

A nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma

The heat here is Satanic. The boy and I played in the pool for six hours today. I neglected to apply sunscreen in any meaningful way - not for the boy, but myself. I felt fine until I didn't feel fine any more. It was sudden, the plunge from one feeling to the next ... \\\


Saturday, September 5, 2020

A Hundred Dollar Steak

And a night out in Vegas is precisely what we did. I ate a $100 ribeye steak, with two Negronis. We watched the Bellagio water fountain show from the Eiffel Tower terrace restaurant, etc., etc. We drove the boy up and down The Strip, well past the portion of it that tourists still arrive here for, and into a strange territory that is slowly collapsing as it still tries to represent casual wealth and the Playboy lifestyle. As Trump might say, This section of Vegas is obviously governed by the democrats, we're sending in troops. 

It should surprise no one that Trump Tower is in the poorly managed section of town. Or, at its edge, anyway. Somehow the gold letters on the building seem gaudy and gauche, even in a place like this. I would say, How does he do it? But the effect is achieved at least somewhat subjectively. There are people from all over this nation who are likely keeping that tower afloat, even though he likely has nothing at all to do with the management or owning of the casino. It is Trump in name only, I would guess. 

There is one observation that there is difficult to navigate around, or even drive by: Trump is the most American person there is.  

Today we will drive to Red River Canyon. 

It looks like this:


Friday, September 4, 2020

The realest place on earth

(Swimming in Vegas)

We arrived and went swimming over at our friends' house, twice. It is that hot here. The boy and I went over during the heat of the day, which was about 110 degrees. It is supposed to get just as hot today, also. I have underwater pictures of the boy and I being fools, but they are still on the camera and I am in no mood for extra activity. 

(Okay - I caved and dug the camera out).

Tonight we will go into Vegas - the Strip. We may only drive in and show the boy all of the ostentatious structures, the other hotels that are all themed-to-succeed. 

Vegas is one of the few places I have been in which the architecture appears to be a perfect match to the intellect of the viewer. If you find yourself on the Las Vegas Strip you will be treated to the precise visual delights that you are most capable of consuming and understanding. This is the result of the commonest minds hardly being able to make the distinction between fascination and contemplation. Or the shorter version: most people seem perpetually unsure of what they are looking at, but they know when it exceeds their expectations. Never quite knowing what to expect plays an important role in this visual and intellectual process, etc. 

Having too many expectations might ruin experiences in Vegas, the French Quarter of New Orleans, and of course the red light district of Amsterdam. Or, that is what I have discovered in my research. 

I may have even more to say about Vegas tomorrow. I will be attempting to see it through the eyes of an eight year old, which seems just about ideal to the experience itself. A child's mind is precisely the right tool for the job. In the car on the ride home I will try to remember to ask him how he thinks Vegas compares with Disney World. That should be good for a useful understanding of what Vegas really means.

I have never understood it - the allure of Vegas - though some have tried to explain it to me before. I used to be a performance artist - or rather: a DJ. I would travel quite a bit, so I have been to Vegas many times. I used to have a residency here, so I would play once a month. After one very long set - probably 4 hours or more - I stepped outside the nightclub to try to give me ears a break, they were ringing. A guy recognized me and desperately wanted to talk, to tell me how much he enjoyed my set and that he had seen me play before. As always, I expressed appreciation for his appreciation. We chatted. He then went on to offer me his insights about Vegas. He asserted that this is the realest place on earth, because you either have money or you don't. 

I pointed out that money is a symbolic system of currency, that it might not be the most sound basis for an understanding of human meaning. 

He then wanted to know if I thought the girl that had been standing near us for the time that we were talking was hot? I agreed, she was. She was dressed up to go out nightclubbing in Vegas. She looked fun. She could hear our conversation. He then asked me if wanted to hire her for a date and made sure I then understood that she was an eager and happy, working girl

She'll do everything. You want her for an hour or all night?

(Charlie, the playful pool sentinel)

(Charlie got dosed...)


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Henderson, NV

We left Sonoma in the late afternoon. We drove to Barstow and got a motel room for the night. Truly, a motel. This is atypical to how Raquel generally travels. There were addicts wandering the parking lot when we checked in. Barstow, et cetera. 

We awoke early and finished the drive into Vegas. Or, Henderson. It doesn't sound as much like the vacation CS described when I relay the plain facts. So, we'll keep it Vegas, for the purpose of this weekend narrative. The truth has become more suburban along with us. 

We left Barstow before sunrise and had fun finding where it would come up, precisely. Its presence made itself known in increments of color. It must have lasted more than an hour in the dark desert south of the city. You know as soon as you cross the state line into Nevada - miles before. There is a massive solar panel farm in the desert in California. Whiskey Pete's announces from some distance the change in state laws and attitudes. There is a roller coaster just across the border, also. Casinos. Everything about the construction of the place advertises a set of visual values. There are portions of the west that remain fascinating because they remain in existence. 

Raquel and I smiled at the idea of brothels advertised while the boy slept in the back seat. I pictured her getting it on with a chick, but then forgot to tell her about it.

Now, we have landed at what will be our shelterment for a few days. Raquel and the boy now start their day of work and school. I will try to nap. I must. Try.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020


We depart soon. The map says 9.5 hours of driving. I have snuck my guitar into the trunk of the car. I want to have it with me. It is meditative to just sit and play, even though there is pain in the hands where there did not used to be.

The pic was, again, the Kodachrome 64 film simulation. I like it. I put six more of these profiles into my Fuji X-Pro2 and had to use up one memory bank just to restore the camera to a normal state. I suppose shooting RAW would also accomplish that. I feel better having a quick way back to normalcy. Every device should have a parachute button that saves you from your own meddling. 

I'd pay extra. 


Monday, August 31, 2020


I like this. It was based on a film simulation schema that is meant to emulate Kodachrome 64. CS sent it. He is going to make my camera more interesting for me. I can tell. I will pilfer his knowledge and enthusiasm for his new camera. I am pleased with the above image. CS has work ahead of him. 

I had my camera out and was shooting Raquel and Rhys this weekend as if things were normal again. We drank margaritas in the park and played "War" with a new set of baseball-themed card sets we had purchased - Giants and Cubs - $26. The margaritas were top shelf and delicious. What do they do to that top shelf that makes tequila taste so good? Uncharacteristically, I let Rachel finish my second or third one. A number of things were going suddenly to my head. We still had a drive home from the park. It felt good just to go to the square and do normal things. To spend money for the pleasure it brings, for the temporary feeling of natural insouciance, to shoot them as if that's what we were there for. In truth, we were shopping. We bought little baby gifts for our friends that we are going to visit soon. Vegas, sort of. Henderson, - the suburb of The Strip. Then a couple days in Zion, also.

I see many images online that are stylized to look like various film stocks. I become envious at some of them, knowing that such things can be done with digital cameras with relative ease. Shooting film starts to seem like a lot of silly work, then a lot more work once you get the film processed. Top shelf in cost. There is a tedium to it that should not be lied about or lied away, also. I have so far avoided becoming a photographer that spends most of their time editing rather than shooting. I love the snapshot aesthetic. But then I'll use a preset filter in Apple's cheapest photo program and post it. It is shameful. The result of having too much esteem for what little self-education I forced upon myself. 

Now, I just need a handful of more profiles to work with, as they suit my mood. I could just wander around and shoot the objects of my immediate world, as one does. 

Oh yeah, a fancy digital guitar amp arrived from the great and mighty Amazon today. I haven't played the electric guitar through an amp with any sense of effort in a very long time. It is very different from acoustic. The settings matter greatly to how you play and what successes some types of playing will deliver. The opposite is often also true. It was fun to sit and dial through the settings on the top. It has various effects that can be dialed up and back. I was having fun with barre chords. There is an app that I will need to put on my phone to get the most out of it. There are, I'm sure, a variety of "classic amp" profiles that can be dialed up, not dissimilar to the camera's film profiles. What a world.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Live, Love, Laugh, Fuck, Suck

(Fuji X100S)

CS will have me draining my savings soon. He keeps sending me to Facebook user groups whose members specialize in adjusting the settings of Fuji cameras, of which I own two, to accomplish varying degrees of film stock simulation, and to varying success. The catch is, of course, that the newer cameras offer more options and capabilities. This is always the case. There is no way to defeat the capitalist impulse to purchase. It is more innate than procreation. In point of very scientific fact, procreation can be most easily understood as an extension of the impulse to possess. Researchers have recently isolated the newly named Amazon Prime Gene Sequence. It is not considered an aberration or a disorder. There are some quasi-religious treatments and conversion camps, though these rely on strictly negative reinforcement and produce results that can not be considered entirely therapeutic. People born with, or who have later purchased, this specific gene sequence can sometimes live perfectly normal lives. They are walking everywhere undetected among us with their shameful natural flesh-tone secrets.

You can see it in their eyes, once you know what to look for. It is that faraway focus on what can best be described as a broken set of determinations. 


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Hide Under Morphings

I accidentally hit the shutter button. I like the image, nonetheless. Most images mean nothing - say nothing. Yet they may convey some odd arrangement of colors, blurred aspects and objects of the life around us. That seems to be enough - they fetch a feeling. 

At their best, good images do more. But this is not an example. It is something that anybody might discard or delete from their life without a second thought. That aspect alone is reason enough to follow the image, to see where it wanders, where it arrives, to find out if it has any drugs and when is the next restroom.


Friday, August 28, 2020


Being drunk is not worth being so fat about it


Thursday, August 27, 2020


I discover things about myself, where I can sense with some proof that I am aging. 

After teaching myself that Dire Straits song I started listening to a few great finger picking guitar players. See below - that's not the best among them, but he has some interesting playing techniques. These videos caused me to put my guitar pick down and finger pick at the thing a bit, leading again to a realization about age. It's as if I can feel my nervous system putting parts of me to sleep. If I'm not running back to every little nook and cranny of my life, as it exists in my body, and rehearsing my capabilities, practicing being who I once was, then the lights are getting dim in places where they were not always. Where they never were - or, not since I became whatever it was that I became. I've had relative access to myself just as I've been.  

It's not as if I have ever had a great or refined or even modest talent for finger-picking, but I could do so in rhythm while changing chords reasonably well and had even rehearsed a few pieces that displayed some melodic intricacies and some basic rhythms. I could alternate between strumming and picking without being too oafish. All gone now.

I was playing an acoustic in the living room and Rachel came over and asked me to raise both hands and then stand up and stick my tongue out to see if only one side could curl, the speech test, all of it. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2020


I've grown so sick and utterly tired of these days - fires in the surrounding distance, threats of power outages, coronavirus, civil unrest, riots, murder, perpetual claims of pervasive racism without hope for improvement or redemption, herpes, bunions, warts. What in the everloving fuck has happened to the world we all knew would eventually collapse in on itself as it was burning? 


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Autumn Ash

I taught myself to play the rhythm guitar parts of Sultans of Swing today. I know you may think this is a cheesy aspirational personal goal. You wouldn't be wrong. But if you've ever tried to play along with the thing there are a lot of little touches that make it fun and challenging. He is a clever player. Yes, the guy that wore tennis sweat-bands to play his own concerts in the 80s. Dire, indeed. 

My playing has improved, again. I'm not saying that Khruangbin has invited me to the recording sessions for their new album, but I concede my own obvious technical improvement. 

It's fun to feel like you're somehow playing along with life. That's all I wanted. 

Oh yeah, I was doing all of this on the acoustic guitar. If I can be happy with my playing there then it usually makes me that much more happy to finally play the same song on the electric guitar, where many of the subtleties that require some hand strength on the acoustic feel much more effortless on the electric. 

So as to not overstate my victory of virtuosity over 70s rock-and-roll: this was all done with a pick, no fingerpicking at all. 

That's all that I have to say about the Straits. Oh wait, one more thing: CS responded that the below clip reminded him of Mark Knopfler. I felt the same. 

I'm going to try to retreat into useless things that entertained me as a child - playing the guitar, calling girls up late at night and hoping their dads don't answer the phone, eating acid, etc. 

I played this song around the house yesterday for Raquel. We drank wine and swooned a little together, kissing in the kitchen where the boy could not see us. 

We seem to have come to a new understanding - a mutual concession that neither one of us knows exactly what is going on between us. That seems to suit our current relationship needs better than the state in which neither one of us knows exactly what is going on between us, but we become occasionally and mutually frustrated about it. 

See how simple things can be? 

Life gets easier as you get older. It's bizarre that is is also becomes more troubling. 


Friday, August 21, 2020

Imprecations - Uttered Aloud

Hell is not what comes after the end, hell is waiting for it. The fires have yet to consume us. The skies were a reddish-orange all day from the smoke. Ash is falling everywhere. Our immediate futures are once again uncertain. Sheltering in place seems bad until you consider sheltering out of place. Foreign sheltering thrusts uncertainties into realms of other uncertainties. One need not believe in the multiverse theory to experience pleasure, pain, comfort, and safety in all the places where you are not. 

In the past, whenever I would think about what it might be like to get the news that my days were strictly numbered, I would envision taking whatever money I had and heading towards the place where I might want to die, however ill-defined a place that might be. Those fantasies are not nearly as entertaining as they gradually cease being speculative. I fall asleep now practicing the acceptance of something other than sleep. 

We are all okay here - we are fine. Family, this. 

We have cars and insurance and cash and a vague plan in place, but without a single firearm or any ammunition. We will take off to some other part of the world when the fires get too close, again. People, friends, will take us in and protect us from the horror that we fled. We will eat festive dinners together and discuss our luck and intelligence at having made the decisions that any reasonable person would have. We will drink the nicest wines to celebrate being refugees in troubling times. That is what we have always done. Who can blame us? 

I have my assisters all packed neatly in a bag and ready to go. Everything not in that bag might one day soon burn to the ground, again. I envy those who can rest their minds by submitting the request then lying still, awaiting the peace the mind can bring by excusing itself from the nightly conversation with itself.

To whom is it that I cry and beg, Shut Up! each night? 

If the power of silence is within me, what makes me torment the listener?

I have been whispering threats of imminent death to everything around me when nobody can hear and nobody is looking. I lean down on bad knees, towards open boxes with old dvds, dusty books, and domestic detritus. I have expensive storage units that seem to be about my life. I whisper my private maledictions to the very specific facts of my past. I lack the courage to set them ablaze. They know my loathing, my wishes to see them become smoke rising into the skies, to hear my laughter at their fatal faults for having entered my orbit. I want to free them now, before the real screaming starts. 

I wish to erase the fear and the dust and the memory of the smoke and the memories of the dust that seem to rise from the sunset and then forever blot the evidence of the erasing and then to delete the shame of having admitted there was ever anything to efface. Scrape the mistakes and the victories, and expunge this last paragraph, too. I want to delete the reader, eradicate the writer, expunge the platform. I want the power of death over my life. The right to be forgotten. The right to disappear. 

Nothing lasts, even loss. Despite significance, time softens the mislaying of forgetfulness, then there is only death. Unless time inserts terror in the slivers and shards that land or explode in moments between. I'll remember those too, until or unless, I can not remember them any more. 

Nobody, I do not believe, can claim otherwise. They can state it differently, and they have. Are there heroes, stoic in their pain, that escape private desperation? Name them. We are each and all of us, right now, dying as we smile. That is somehow not enough to change one jot or tittle about how we live, or love. Or, perhaps that is precisely why we are as we are. 

Who gets to say. Who gets to speak. Who gets to hear. Who gets to breath. Who corresponds. Dinner invitations never sent to the poor. Finenesses lacking, of course. The luck of life is the precedent by which we endure.

I tire with burdens; cling to needs. 
A tire burdened; swinging towards trees. 
Attire, with curtains; binging under uncertain

You see.
Your needs.