Saturday, February 29, 2020


(Wrigley and Akira)

I have this little sliver of freedom, in a sense. I am "on call," but I have the house to myself for a few hours. I just put the boy in a friend's car and watched him drive away for a Cub Scout hike. It is still sometimes a strange feeling seeing him go anywhere without mom or myself. Today is his third leap year. He was born in Jan. of 2012, so he lucked into one right away. I have 13, mom has 12, though she would probably not have me advertise any facts or clues.

I have been looking through old nudes of mom. Or, I was a few weeks ago.  Sally Mann talks about the standard of preserving a person's "essential dignity" in any portrait she makes. I believe that I have done that. Though I did not discard of all of the images that were not flattering, either. I kept all that I could, and find some of them to be nearly unspeakably beautiful. Or rather, speaking of the beauty would be superfluous. 

Okay, I am now going to read Atomised by Houellebecq for a few hours. CS suggested Whatever, which was great and dark and funny. So, now we have a book club. He's reading some other book by him right now. I should order a new one. I might finish this one today. Reading great writing used to encourage me to write, now the discouragement of it is exhausting. 



Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Willis, the cat

He passed away a couple months ago, to no one's surprise and everyone's loss. I was sending my buddy, Abraham Lohan, pics tonight and yesterday, so I had them at the ready here. It was his cat and he and his wife, Kat, loved him much. I had shot a few frames while drinking wine in their kitchen. It is Kat you can see sitting in the bokeh below. 

So, if you've ever tried to be a manual film photographer while drinking red wine or other kinds... you get poor at a faster rate, but the missed shots and the evidence of substandard shooting technique can still trickle in for years. 


I'm not drinking right now, so I am writing about it from the authority of emotional opinion. I can chuckle at my previous string of sillinesses. How few people ever learn to take life as cheerfully as I. How few could possibly stand it. At long last, I am an affront to ambition.

If one can not lift some magic from the black cat that has cut across your path then what were all those incantations, and all of that screaming, ever for?

I'm not sure what that sentence means. It has no relation to anything in my life, currently. Perhaps it is just some of the nonsense I regularly permit myself to write when drinking, of which I was thinking. It was a contact sentence. 

These images too are, in a sense, nudes with black mask. 


Monday, February 24, 2020


A friend asked me if I still write here. I lied and said yes. I qualified that I'm just writing notes at this point, not essays. Essays are too 20th century. Almost everything is, now. When I was a young man I thought that knowing as much as I casually could about the past would make me seem erudite. But now knowing anything just makes me sound aged.

To wit, I had a comparative discussion of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Rod Stewart's respective "standards" albums this morning, to give you a glimpse. The verdict: Morrison and Dylan can stay, Stewart has to go.

Who are those people, you ask? Oh, just some old crooners from the big band era. I mean, there were some really big bands back then. For a brief time the counter culture became the culture. We were led to believe that if we did enough drugs then we just might destroy capitalism. We simply never made it all the way around the killing of the ism, though the capital did not survive.

But I did not come here today to note the existence of rock and roll, nor the absence of my previous income. I didn't come in here for any reason at all. So, take note of that and go.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

Long live the strange

I found a 3x5" card in an old shoe box the other day. I had written a list of basic life tenets that seemed sound enough at the time. Little reminders like, The world doesn't owe you anything; Don't feel sorry for yourself; Don't shy away from change; Don't dwell on the past; Sleep with your hands above the covers; Wear two pair of underwear if you can't stop on your own; Etc.  I had not written these from my own thoughts and beliefs. They had been transcribed from somewhere else. When I came to the part about not shying away from change a strange feeling passed through me. On that point I asked myself, Why? I didn't have an answer, but I felt some inner frustration rising at the idea. Change is unavoidable, of course, but is that a reason to embrace it? Or rather, not shy away from it? 

I'm not so sure any more. 

My life is about to change. I happen to be embracing that expected change, for now, but that is mostly because I will be the one causing it to happen. I've just decided to move on from a few different things at once. Perhaps the point was for me to not shy away from change that is not the result of my own decisions, or my own doing

For many years I successfully resisted change. The only change I seemed to want was more seclusion. I enjoyed a world where that was possible and never quite recovered from it. It was my little one-bedroom Shangri-La. But people moved in and people moved out. 

How much should a parent change? - our wives and mothers ask. We talk about the usefulness of change but try employing any of it when you have a child. It will be roundly denounced as irresponsible unless it means making more money, of course. Or, somehow improving the life of your child in a pre-sanctioned manner. Any other change is regarded with deep suspicion. What is needed is stability.

This is why I use the butterfly as a personal symbol and metaphor for my inner and outer self. 

I want some stability, also. Not too much, though. Not all the time. Mostly I want stability when I think about the future or when I recall the past. At other times I want life to feel like a perpetual Sunday morning, when it's raining.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

"Fail We May; Sail We Must"

(Andrew Weatherall 1963-2020)

The news hit yesterday, that one of the legends of electronic music had passed away suddenly. It seems impossible. He was always more pharaoh than man. He will likely be interred in the great pyramid at Giza. No need for mummification. His legacy will preserve him for eons among my people. His life as it was seemed so magical as to be from an afterlife, where the secrets of the universe were known only to those there. 

His death affected me more deeply than I might have guessed it would, had I been asked in advance. The most precious records I have remaining in my collection have his name on them. Records that I have not ever considered getting rid of. The ones that I told myself that I would hold on to for life, that those fifteen boxes were worth it and didn't weigh that much, nor cost too much to store

I listened back through so many of his remixes yesterday, either posted by myself or by other friends online. Some of them reaching back to the very late 80s, so many of the early 90s, but mixes all the way up until very recently. They are not tracks that people outside of the electronic world are likely to embrace, or possibly even understand. I will post only one here today, since I have no need to convert the unaware and uninitiated. It might not be the one, at this late age, that would work towards making any converts, either. But it was really something when I was a young man. 

One of the last tracks that I produced while still somewhat involved with electronic music was a sort of homage to him - When I'm 64 is the problematic working title. It is 64 beats per minute, so 128 bpm at half-time. It has yet to be released, but that conversation was re-started yesterday as a reaction to the news. It was my attempt at imitating his style of electronic/dance/dub, sort of. His collective recordings from the early 90s acted as a sort of launching point for the track I made. If it gets released then I will post it here. It is currently in a holding pattern at a friend's record label.

One of my proudest moments in being involved in the electronic music scene was when I found out that he liked one of the records that I made and with a friend, advocated for the track in his dj sets and even in interviews. It is a difficult feeling to explain, though of course it is just validation from one of your heroes. It seems simple when described that way. But having heroes is complicated and difficult. Even admitting to having heroes is complicated and difficult, for some.

Not me, not now.

I can imagine a day coming soon in which there will be no more heroes of mine left. Being reminded that I still have, and perhaps need, a few heroes was a shock.

His story can not possibly be told in just a couple track links.

Okay, I lied. Here's another:


Monday, February 17, 2020

The happiness I once felt as a child

The position of the planets in relation to the visible stars of the local group of our galaxy has never had any discernible correlation to events in my life or to the formative process of my basic temperament, but I'm probably just saying that because I'm a Scorpio. 

For some reason the video I posted yesterday did not actually post with my miniature personal essay.

Today we might go to the beach. Though, yesterday we went to the park to meet one of mine and Rachel's friends - more hers than mine. She is moving out, getting a divorce. It saddened me but for some reason it seemed to embolden Rachel, so she was being a bit of a bitch to me. It must be important for her to make sure she can still act that way for reasons that are invisible to me. If today looks like it will head the same direction I will not be going to the beach. We'll see. Long term relationships tend to allow, and even encourage, a level of unpleasantness that would not be permitted elsewhere. 

Family-ity breeds contempt. 

We are all merely guests in each other's lives. I haven't forgotten that. 

But I did have a camera with me, so I was able to ignore Rachel and walk around Sonoma Square taking pictures. I should have a few images to post here soon, something other than ~years old film pics. If photography of one kind - street shooting - has taught me anything it is the value of walking away. It's just not worth engaging with some people on some levels. For me, yesterday, it was Rachel that I wished to walk away from, and so I did. 

Yet she told me how nice Valentine's Day was. Or, she responded that way when I referred to our "date night" as "its usual clumsy romantic disaster."

So, the happiness I once felt as a child. I get more of that through my relationship with Rhys, understandably, than I do anywhere else. 

Well, that and drugs, and sometimes alcohol. Though that specific return to the whimsy of childhood has mostly evaporated and dissipated for me. It is contextual and environmental. Now, I have to go all the way to Burning Man to feel a little hint of what it used to be. And who wants a naked old man wandering out in the desert feeling the happiness he once felt as child, or searching for it?

Okay, that's my report this holiday Monday morning. And to think... I should be working. Working is no way to return to any of the feelings I once had as a child. I told myself then that I hated school and that certainly it was as bad as going to work. 

Here, read that. CS sent it. It is good. 

"... to connect the poetry with the prose and so nudge travel writing away from its current status as a consumer report onto the threshold of a literary genre."



Sunday, February 16, 2020

A candid portrait of my son - 35mm black and white

I stopped posting portraits of the boy. They did not seem to please my readers the same way that they pleased me. Since I stopped posting these blogpost links on Facebook my readership has dwindled to almost none, and I am willing to risk losing my remaining two readers. Not even Raquel still reads here. She no longer has much interest in the tide of my daily and weekly moods. I can't blame her. I don't blame her.

This picture was taken September 2018, approximately. I am still more than a year behind in my scanning efforts, which decays any documentary effect or usefulness that these pics might otherwise have, at least in relation to them being posted here. If it were up to me then the boy would never wear t-shirts that advertised Spider Man or an inexplicably angry Yoda. They don't do well when photographed, though the kid seems to love them. But alas, life is not about my desires, or not exclusively.

Okay, today I might go buy a new car. I am tired of dumping money into repairs for my current one. Every few months there is something new that has gone wrong with the thing. It has worn me out. I'm going to go look for an SUV that will hopefully make me happier.  

Until then. 


Friday, February 14, 2020

H**** Valentine's Day

Because I wrote of my love for Raquel the other day I will desist that same sort of thing today. I will write about my other Valentine, the boy. 

He brought home all of his cards and candies, shared from the other class members. The schools avoid situations like CS described now, they require everyone to share equally. So even the semi-r***** would go home with sweet treats and cards adorned with hearts. And why not? It is dangerous to teach children to prefer some over others, we're told. 

I kid, I wish no one the pain of feelings of isolation. 

The boy and I bought mom some flowers, and champagne. She loves both of those things and we love her. We are shipping the boy off to the babysitter tonight. We have no plans. Maybe a movie, maybe dinner, maybe a night alone watching a movie from bed. We are so starved of time alone. 

For my part, I am playing to Roxy Music's Avalon. It is my romantic album, though few might think of it that way considering the anguish written and sung about therein. Still, it is glossy and well-produced. The music is sinuous and sexy, if you allow it to be heard uncritically. Or, if you do not destroy it with analytical thought. The best critics do not teach us to hate things, but augment our understanding with observations we might not have made. 

So many things are such, when I allow them to be.

The best song that the Talking Heads didn't ever do:


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Raquel and I and us

Bedtime. Made myself a tea, now sitting down to hopefully quiet any remaining voices of uncertainty. How does writing do that, you ask? It doesn't. It raises anxieties to eye level and then, with a thrust, gives them the flight of pigeons. It is in part why I play musical instruments. The activity provides some temporary relief. It occupies a part of the mind and keeps another part busy. Why does wasting time assuage the feeling that I have wasted too much time? Who knows, but it does. The lesson of time can be had again and again. 

I know the answer to the question - don't worry - I know that it is not time wasted. Life is not money. It can not be saved, beyond unlucky and faithless memory. It can not be bequeathed.

Don't worry. I plan on being dead for a very long time. 

I've loved her for twenty years now, off and on. Nearly half of that time we have had a child. It all seems so impossible were it not for the amassing of personal and public fact. Everything does, after a while, seem so unreal. Of my own life I have forgotten much, constructed some from what was left. It takes a great breaking of the heart for most of it to come back to me now, always desperately, in shards and tatters. I remember the laughing well, but not at what.

This is not glumness - I promise. I am smiling as I sit here, contented to be alone in a quiet, dark room contemplating the utter strangeness of self, the last best trick of consciousness.

One day we'll disappear 
Together in a dream 
However short or long 
Our lives are going to be 

I will live in you 
Or you will live in me 
Until we disappear  
Together in a dream



Monday, February 10, 2020

Frozen to death of her

I miss the feeling the everything might burn to the ground suddenly, at night. It was exhilarating, freeing, the unexpected thought of it. I'm not sure what I need to be freed from but wildfire is the fix. Maybe I'm a pyromaniac, or an arsonist. Or, I have gained weight and have few ways to express my frustration at the accretion of soft adipose tissue. Or, it is because my knees hurt. Tomorrow I will feel differently. I just struggled spelling tomorrow and a sip of my tea burned my lips. I have a headache. Everything seems to be falling apart. Not in the carefree, humorous, and reckless ways of youth, but without desire or consent or even much laughter. I need a break, but then I won't take one. It is all an insanity, that people just work and work and work until they die. Me, I mean me. It is insane that is what I will likely do. Most all of the other possibilities are somehow more horrible, yet the fear is endured. I am paralyzed by it. As a child I used to have a recurring nightmare. I would freeze and I knew that wherever I was turned next by the force of the mind's imagination the witch would be walking towards me, smiling her malevolence and curses. It was terrifying. I recognize the look in the eyes of the cruel, that it can be confused by some as being a version of comedy. It would end with me awakening, screaming. Her face comes back to me even now, all these years later. The awfulness of her roaming inside of me drove me wild with terror and panic when I was a child. She was a property of my mind, come to drive me mad. Even now, I am afraid that speaking of her, thinking of her, will awaken her where she may find me, sleeping again.


Less chasing

Neither of the two newer cameras that I have are very easy to use with any of my Mac computers. Either the RAW file format is not supported or the camera will inexplicably shoot some shots in JPEG and others in RAW. It is driving me crazy, but not enough to fix it, or to find out why it is happening. It leaves me with fewer images to work with.

Like, right now. I just tried mounting one of the little cameras to both of my computers, hoping to get it to mount as a drive, which it has done before. Nope. Restarted both computers. Still, nothing. Learning new camera systems and memorizing their quirks and limitations is taxing, and my life already deals with a fair amount of complexity. 

Ah well, fuck it. I just spent way too much time getting a little micro-sd card to mount but then all the images on there were video and I have spent too much time fucking with it already to now get sidetracked into editing a video for a single shot. And as I mentioned before, that camera sucks in low light. It is really only meant to be used in broad daylight. I should have waited to buy the new GoPro Hero8.

Again, ah well.

It took me over an hour to finally produce the image that you see above and I might have already used that one. I can't remember. I am experiencing technological exhaustion and it is only 7:41 on Monday morning. I must find a better way of fighting soon.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Tahoe, Again

We took another impulse vacation. Just for two nights, one day of snowboarding/skiing, which was yesterday. Now, we're in the Incline Village Hyatt, which is very nice. I am recovering from a series of wipeouts I had yesterday. My inexperience in snowboarding caused a sequence of events, all of which resulted in me taking some pretty hard spills. The short version of the story is that I need to learn to re-compose myself after a serious wipeout or collision. I tried to get back up and ride too quickly, after checking with the woman who collided into me that she was okay - she matched or bested me in weight, so it was quite a collision - not noticing that my left foot had come loose of its binding quite a bit, too much to maintain control of the board. This resulted in an end-over-end flip at a rather high speed and then some rolling, with the board still attached to one foot. If you know anything of the fortitude of the heels and knees of a 51 year old man then you can imagine my pain today. More soreness than pain, but pain also. 

Before this the day had been an unquestioned success. I did several runs without falling once. I have finally grasped the basic requirements for the sport, at about $10,000 so far. Though it is unlike anything else I've ever tried. There is a feeling of freedom inherent in the activity, if you can get to it, even though you are only like water with a choice, always taking the overarching path of least resistance, but with some say in the matter. Every 50 year old should take up a few new dangerous sports each year. Or 51.


Monday, February 3, 2020

If this, then this then after that

Fuck, I feel broken. It has been a while since anything has made me happy, or even since I have felt anything more than lid pleasure. I know why that is - I'm beginning to suspect that I have a serious issue with a pinched nerve in my back. It is a common ailment, but mine has grown to become both acute and chronic. I had a cortisone shot, but it seems to be wearing off. The numbness and the weakness and the tingling are returning from the darkness like a coven. I've stopped riding my bike, to find out if that is a contributing factor, to hopefully find out. Though there is no good knowledge that can come back from that line of self-inquiry. If the biking is the cause, then I may need to give it up. If it isn't, then I may need to start some sort of treatment, and then I still might need to give up cycling or reduce the frequency or severity in which I ride. No, that is, as of yet, an irrational fear. But my pleasures are in the obsessive, not the recreational. That part I am certain of. If I can not achieve excess in a thing that interests me then I seem to hold that thing in a separate category from those in which I can. It becomes a lesser endeavor. That is part of why I struggle elsewhere, it seems. I am not in love with my own life as much as I once was. I am merely enjoying the sense of calm. I am told. 


Sunday, February 2, 2020

2020 - Dance Like Everyone

Well, CS is finally retarded. He'll have plenty of free time now to sit and eat apples and watch ducks in the park. It has always been his dream to go to Disney World. Now he can go every day and eat ice cream while watching the fireworks. Maybe he'll start taking pictures of children. It's impossible to know what new adventures he'll set out on. He has been texting me with brochures about prison. I support his exploratory phase of becoming an alcoholic. There are few things better than morning drinking. It's always what's kept me happy.

I've decided that I am also going to retire soon. Working makes no sense for me any more. Everybody should have noticed by now.