Monday, June 29, 2020

not yet met

I remember a time in which I did not question whether or not I would ever fall in love again, but only wondered how far away in time that might be, with whom, and whether it somebody I already knew or had not yet met.


Tundra Klaus

Santa's husky elf.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Plum Cherries

We went swimming again, almost as great as yesterday. I was mixing the fun in directly with being a dad this time, which is a drag for a kid. Of course it is. You can feel it in the air, happening as you speak. Some days you can not stop yourself from parenting. Another couple years of this and I will hate me, also.

We're watching E.T. now. He was just abandoned by his fellow midget lizards in their disco colander.

Plum cherries - picked from the tree, gleaned from the ground, washed in the sink. The boy encouraged me to spit the seeds back into the little pale and ricochet them off the wall, so that it sounds as if I was spitting chewing tobacco into a spittoon. Happy to oblige, it became comical and fun.

I am struggling with fatalistic feelings too much of my time. Just a newish grim acceptance of certainties - that life must give way to life for anything to emerge, that all things must pass and will. I had a dream about the friend who lost the child. There was a picture in the dream that reminded me of my mother, gone now almost thirty years. I only glanced at it for a second, but there I was in a lost and now foreign place. It was like no other dream I've had. I saw something that I may come to terms with over time. A thing I can not unsee, can not unmake to be less than a true vision and memory. It now exists.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Shah of Narnia

The next door neighbors went on vacation. They recently added a small, single-season pool to their back yard. I assume it is good for only a season. Perhaps it will outlast me. They asked us to look after it in their absence, which was lucky for them. The boy and I went over and pooled it up for about an hour - fake dives from a step ladder near the side, which led to jumping over the edge, then at a run, and onto the little paddle board, several whirlpools, fighting them backwards, drifting in the current, some tussling with the chlorine in the eyes, competing for the only floating donut that would hold either of us afloat, wrestling, lots of tickling, all of it, etc., etc. 

It was a good and fortuitous thing for both of us. I was being mildly unpleasant before that - in a bad mood and working, dismissive and distracted. Classic asshole dad moves. The pool changed everything. I took no pictures, had no camera with me, not even a phone. Didn't even text mom to tell her we were going over there. Wasn't even wearing swimming shorts. That's how prepared I was to do nothing. 

I miss the other life - the one we had.  


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Partners In Time

Raquel just left to get coffee. We have the new coffeemaker, of course, but we must have forgotten to trade the family cow for the magic beans. She is a very good woman who tolerates me, and even seems to understand parts of me for moments at a time. 

I'm not sure what I believed that love would be at this age, but I should relax and accept that this version of it is probably the best I'll ever have. Or, the most stable, at least. What did old Jack Nicholson's character say to Helen Hunt's character? What if this is as good as it gets? The subtext being that she should learn to accept the neuroses of the male lead. Not exactly the leitmotif of that movie, really. It is its main message: find a desperate woman who will endure you and save her child. Ah, the tender tickle of romance. 

I have been joking a bit about equality lately. That is the ideal that should be strived for and what all people deserve - equal opportunity and equal protection under the law. That is how I tend to vote: for the candidate or party that seems to offer the promise of that as the more significant part of their platform. Beyond that, there is very little that I can do. I have come to accept the fact that I am not an activist. My only cause is to be left alone. I've reached the age where I am just tired of being told what can and can not be said or thought, by people who seem to have spent very little time thinking and an enormous amount of time talking. 

I have an activist in my life now. They constantly interrupt every person that is talking, then will take long pauses after interrupting others to think about what they're going to say now that they have the floor. I desperately want to throttle this person. The opportunity has not yet presented itself. Social distancing, etc.  

As much patience as people have wasted on me, and still I have so very little in that regard to offer back. I am too similar to Jack Nicholson's character in that movie, except without the lifetime of success and the money. I have the acute disdain for others down pat.  

It has been some time, too long a time, since I have said or written anything beautiful. 


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Breville BDC400

Yes, yes, yes... of course. I am all for equality and opposed to anybody that ever tries to deprive another of equal opportunity or treatment (under the law). Women deserve to be treated equally to one another. Until you find one that you really, really like

I could not resist. I am like the Martin Luther of Love. This is my Ninety-Five Theses.

You see, I am not a corporation. I still enjoy the luxury of treating people as individuals, and most decidedly have no requirements or expectations for equal treatment or responses from me. I save all of that for work. After work I choose Raquel, then again in the mornings. 

I am an old liberal. I still believe that everyone should have equal rights under the law. But not for much longer. It's only a matter of time before I start prescribing how looters should be dealt with, probably at Thanksgiving without that even having been the subject of conversation, etc. I also tire at rioters chipping away at my privilege and prosperity. One day they'll be coming for my coffee maker.

I could have taken this morning to jab at all the men that have never had kids, but it seems that CS has covered that territory in its inverse well enough this morning. What's his problem? Do gay people even use the word "breeders" any more? He seems to be embarrassing himself in intersectional ways. Who am I to interfere?

He has, at times, been like a reluctant father to me. So, I wish him nothing but love. I get to act like an only child in this relationship. Something I apparently must have always wanted. 

When he comes to visit he will be treated to delicious coffee from our new brewer. It is a beauty. Mom wanted to buy me an  Apple Watch, but I encouraged her to stick with the theme I decreed on Mother's Day and buy something that enriches all of us. Something domestic and, to some degree, communally used. Rhys' life will be improved by any improvement in mom and dad's morning. It is trickle-down economics, in a sense. This Percolating Prosperity of Parenthood.

That would have been a better title for today's post. But, I'm hoping to get corporate sponsorship here soon. I've been trying to get Johnnie Walker's attention for years. But I am coy about it. It is part of my demure charm. 

The boy wrote me a very sweet card and gave me a Darth Vader balloon, and some chocolate that he seemed particularly eager about sharing. Now, we're going to watch The Simpson's Movie. What more could a simple man such as myself ask for? 

Oh, that didn't take very long. I thought of something right away: I wish that my dad was still here.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Sordid Sex

(My pregnant wife)

I have read The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. I found it to be an arduous and mostly awful read. Not because I disagreed with her premises - those were agreeable enough. I found her to be a poor thinker and writer. She makes so many meandering and repetitive solipsistic assertions. She does a poor job at establishing her premises as being shared experiences. She assumes so much truth in what she writes, which is mostly in obfuscating rhetoric, often working against her own points. She repeats herself as if doing so makes her more convincing. She seems more certain the second time she writes the same thought, but she makes her points less lucid by doing so. She posits her personal experience as universal emotional truths. Her premises remain presumed, yet universally praised. Her target readers never notice - that is her magic. 

Maybe I miss certain components of understanding. Or, I am not her intended audience. It must be very difficult to be the lover of Sartre, and Algren.

I finished her book, out of some odd and adopted sense of moral duty, but I am past the age of lying about it now. The book is nothing at all to rally behind. Though what else is there? The very best books on the value of equality and human rights, and the essential dignity of humanity, were written by men. Feminism, as an ideal, is an offspring of male ideas of what equality should be and mean - the fraternal principles, of which we are now expected to express regret and shame.

Simone is quoted now about as often as is the Magna Carta. 

Yes, I understand that men prevented women from having these ideas first. Subjugation, patriarchy, etc. Great untold female ideas, kept from the world by brute force.

Genesis told us all of that. As horrid a myth as could be devised at the time. No woman that I have ever spoken with on this specific theological concern has ever noticed that the symbol of the legless serpent means anything other than the initial reading would suggest - temptation. The willingness to yield to it for the purpose of gaining knowledge is read as being only a byproduct of infantile male sexuality and fear of feminine mystique. 

Sin is the resounding motif - why look any further. Snakes are an embodiment of the terror of the death of flesh. This universal consternation occurs, post-birth and pre-language, in every culture. Genesis is Hemingway-esque when viewed as a moral tale. The code hero, if you care to hear the story, is one of female courage and suffering. Told by men, for men. More honest than the current credit granted. Truths have a way of becoming surreptitious when not accepted. 

I have read much better feminist works than The Second Sex, of course. A Room Of One's Own, for one. The Feminine Mystique, as another example.

The worst - and I am not even sure why this is considered a feminist work - would be: The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath is one of my favorite memoirists. I have CS to thank for that recommendation and insight. She knew so much more than she relayed in her fictive writing. Her overarching ideals and naivety, and even her femaleness, destroyed her freshman novel. Insistence on a theme robs it of its mystery.

But her poems, and mostly her memoirs, well... those were really something. Astonishing at how much she intuited and grasped and crafted about the specific nature of suffering.

I must be "at that age" where I'm just a very bad Thanksgiving dinner guest. If I praise female intellect it is somehow an insult, even if praising any other intellect (male) is disallowed by all respectable standards. If I praise what I value of femininity, it is an outright heresy. If I challenge the prevailing winds, I am gaseous. If I speak, it is from the voice of the privileged oppressor.

If I this, then of course that

What does a thinking creature do? Live my life like Sylvia Plath? 

While all of this may be true or false enough, I notice the nuanced aspects of the woman who most wishes me to notice such things about her - R. Somehow even the letter looks like her leaning forward, looking back, with legs spread towards me. Right hand on her hip, knowingly.

It is rare that Raquel moves without my eyes in concert with her. In this, she knows that she is among the most unequal creatures to have ever lived. No woman that I have ever whispered or listened to has ever expressed the wish to be equal to another. Women may wish to be treated as equal to men, but none have ever wished to be treated as equal to another. That is not at all what they are fighting for. I love this open secret about them.  

Come to me now thus, Goddess, and release me
From distress and pain; and all my distracted
Heart would seek, do thou, once again fulfilling,
             Still be me ally!

- Sappho

"You make me feel prettier every time you walk into the room." 



Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Few Good People

I should feel relatively good, but I don't. My life has not fallen apart since the onset of sheltering, which should offset any feelings of pity I might have for myself. But, I'm no longer in fighting shape. I have become achingly overweight. I stepped on the scale tonight. It maddened me with defeat - hit me all at once. I must do something about it immediately, or as soon as possible after this weekend. 

I was going to watch the beginning of Stalker again tonight. I will defer to some other night. A thing inside of me needs to do something different. It's me. I am fumbling with easy tasks. I should read some, try to center my imagination around the lives of others. 


Tuesday, June 16, 2020


No movie reviews tonight. I am only reporting on what I am doing - Stalking into the Zone. Tarkovsky is always good for a few laughs late at night. Cato watched this one recently and asked me about it. Just like old times.

Like most Tarkovsky films, they seem to be recalled as dreams from a faraway time. I remembered the beginning being very slow, but that's probably just because I was high on drugs, or coming down from them. I used to spend weeks in my apartment ingesting cinema, or classic boxing matches, when I could not summon the strength to go out and drink.

Is it healthy to watch such films during a time like this? I don't know. A film about experiencing your desires raises some questions about the value of desires, and as such, life itself. 

It is a long film. Perhaps I will not make it through all of it tonight. Breaking it up over two nights is no good, either. Its invitation to contemplation should be continuous to achieve the desired effect. The narrative can be returned by a connecting in the mind, by will and memory, but the mood is built across linear time. That is part of Tarkovsky's magic, few others came anywhere close. 

Writing this while I am reading the film presents yet another impediment to enjoyment. 

I should go.

I used to think that maybe this song was in part about Stalker, the references to the Zone, but now I tend to doubt it. 

Who knows.

I didn't make it to the Zone. I became tired and, at first, stopped reading along with the film. Soon, I wasn't watching it any more, either. There is no point in listening to a Tarkovsky film in Russian. I turned off the film, promising to return to it tomorrow, though I know that diminishes its purpose. Tarkovsky made it clear that he hated viewers such as myself. Who can blame him. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Need You Tonight

(Raquel - Dijon, France)

I have been sending out pics from the past a lot lately. Raquel likes some of them, others not as much. She has stopped nodding approvingly at her previous self, in some ways. Not me. I do more than just nod at our previous selves, I spasm with joy, but I do not dwell. I offer whatever smiles I have left. 

I fixed my problems with this website. It required a deep cleansing of sorts. But it works now. If you don't know what cookies are and how to understand the scope of permissions they provide the site that plants them in your browser then you should give it some research. Or, just delete all of them every few days, or weeks. They are potentially dangerous, a threat to your safety and privacy, etc.

Okay, Raquel is making a salmon and veggies dinner. I am drinking Monday's wine. I should go be with them. They'll send me back in here soon enough, But still, I should make a showing, an effort.

I'll leave this for here for you:

How do feel?
I'm lonely
What do you think?
I can't take it all....


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Restore the Patriarchy!

CS tear gas has me wanting to buy new cameras, again. Sometimes I feel as if he is trying to squander all of my retirement funds. But I keep looking at cameras anyway, telling myself that retirement is many years away, if I am lucky enough for it to ever arrive. But then I look through my photo libraries and I realize that the quality and variety of styles noticeably improve over time, as I acquired more cameras. So, there is a corollary between the number of cameras I have and the quality of the images I make. This corollary must be a causality. That's how science works.

The boy and I went to breakfast this morning and as we were returning home there was one person - I'm not sure she could be called a protestor - standing on the corner near the McDonalds wearing a sandwich board that stated "Black Lives Matter" on the front. On the other side, where most people might not see the message she was displaying, she had written "White Lives Matter." This was a new and more specific take on "All Lives Matter" that I had never seen before. I wondered what the Asian and Latino population might think of her dichotomous one-person demonstration of values might feel.

Her work on the boards looked hastily done, shoddy even. Her choice of colors produced less contrast than what is often wanted for this type of messaging. There appeared to be only a single coat of paint used, spread unevenly and thin with perhaps a dried old brush, creating a series of questionable letters, though it was still readable. She may have chosen that corner for its proximity to the type sustenance that she most adores, as the angle of the boards on both sides had them pointing somewhat upwards as opposed to lying flat against the body. But other than that I was with her in spirit. Had the boy not been with me I might have yelled some support, Down with the Black Death! or Police Are The Pestilince! though I suspect neither of these things yelled from my window might have felt like support for the cause.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

I Can't Sleep

I did my first professional photo shoot this week. It was for a friend. The only thing that made it professional was that he handed me an envelope that I assume contains a check. I'm going to give it back. I don't like taking money from my friends the way that some others do. He does remodeling work. So, I went out to the house and took a few snapshots. I could have paid more attention to solar flare from the sunroof windows. What are those called? Square holes in the ceiling that let light through. I never use a lens hood. They are the camera equivalent of wearing a condom. Sometimes the images suffer from letting light in where it doesn't belong. 

I've had a very rough week. Have had a very difficult time sleeping each night. I am deeply envious of those who sleep easily and peacefully. To fall sleep you must pretend that you are already asleep. Your body convinces your mind, somehow, that it has already happened. But not mine. Mine is off and looting some strange landscape made of horrors and apparitions. 

Okay, before I devolve into a catalog of my physical complaints, I'll wrap this up. Or worse, before I start writing about the dreams I would have liked to have had if only I could sleep.

See, real pro-level work here:


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Images Abound!

The Google Blogger platform is still fucked up and won't let me use the photo upload tool from the toolbar, but I was able to drag and drop, then center align. So... fuck 'em. It's not the photo that I would have used for today, so fuck me, also. I initially wrote, but fuck me, also. Phonetically, it is funny. But admitting things now makes one a homophobe, which I think means that you are a machine that plays old gay records, probably early disco. Or, maybe that's the homophonograph. 

I can't remember anything any more, but I remember this: you must be gay or a female ally to gays to laugh at jokes about gay sex. Anything else is insensitive. And it's true. Imagine my rage if someone who didn't write made a joke about writing. I would be simply furious. 

Maybe I am furious. Maybe it took a "no-cop zone" in Seattle for me to realize just how much injustice I have become used to. I have always passionately argued for banging subsidized heroin in broad daylight. Anybody that knows me knows that this has been my rallying cry. Drugs are a uniting force. Entire distribution networks have emerged off the grid, as it were. Some are now worried about the supply chain and I can understand their concerns. The market can be fickle. 

Well, this is not how I thought I would write once I figured out how to use images here again. But fuck it

Some posts simply seem to write themselves. The effortlessness shows. 

There is nothing much new to report. I am back to work, where there is much work to get done. Each day arrives with a new set of tasks - some familiar, some foreign. That is about the best that someone like myself can hope for, to keep my mind engaged and the gears turning. The world has entered yet another surprising and uncertain time. One must learn to ride or play in these waves of revolution. 

What did one of the Greeks say? Poverty is the parent of revolution.


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Fuck It

I tried to upload an image but it wouldn't work.


Monday, June 8, 2020


Yes,  children dying from cancer is always a popular ending subject for posts - not exactly a cliffhanger. I haven't been able to write the last few days. We were in a cabin high up on the peaceful mountains in Santa Barbara, almost into the Los Padres forest where the single-lane road ends and the forest of fathers begins. 

I don't remember taking any pictures from high up there. If I did, I am too lazy now to get them off of the camera's memory card. Instead, you will get one from our first evening there, while we were still at the Hilton. 

Being at a hotel seemed novel, again. The pool was closed. This dried our expectations of fun a bit, rendered the underwater camera less useful. I refuse to use it in ocean water - or rather, under the ocean water - because I am unwilling to buy another once the sea water destroys the current one, which is also the new one. I've heard that's the case with underwater cameras.

There is a process to letting a camera soak in fresh water for hours after taking them in sea water. I am not that sort of person. I sleep on fresh hotel sheets after being in sea water.

It guarantees male orgasm. 

I like the picture of Raquel. It is entirely unrelated to this post, and if I had any sense of continuity in purpose then I'd find a different image to lead these words, or follow. 

When we arrived home we watched War Games with the boy, mostly because Mom remembered it fondly from her late adolescence. It is a relic of the nuclear age of terror, teen romance. I was amazed that she let the film play through some of its darker themes. The boy is, after all, only eight years old. And we are, finally, enduring a deadly global pandemic.

But, you know how that goes: mother knows best and all. Her memories are as Easter eggs: creamy with deathy redemption. 

I'm trying to be coolvid-19 in the time of terror: Is that what others are doing, also? 

Sorry, I've been scolded all day for doing things that would seem acceptable if anybody other than me did them. So, one grows so tired of the occasionally strict didacticism of being a family member. 

Cato told me not to reveal any dissatisfaction in love. He is, of course, right. It is not the thing to do. Anybody can do it. There is always one who can do it better than I.

See above.

Let me find a different note to end on.

Forgotten Jedis of the Resistance: Obi Ben-Wa Ken Doll Balls


Friday, June 5, 2020

A normal level of suffering

As promised, we went to the beach. The boy and I played in the surf for a few hours, and pretended that every dark object in the water was a shark, some of them circling, and us: castaways in a faraway land. Then we also played super-secret special-ops sneaking up on the governmental complex of the bad guys. It was fun. This was a beach that allowed dogs off-leash, which greatly added to the pleasure of the day. I took pictures with the waterproof camera but have not imported them yet. 

Raquel and I started getting along together better, which was very useful. Traveling together as a family is not like other types of travel, it requires an almost laissez-faire attitude, but that will not prevent you from having to make decisions anyway, and there are only ever glimpses of peace and quiet. I fell asleep in the room for maybe five minutes when they went to get coffee this morning, etc. 

Today we will depart from the hotel and head to a cottage where a friend is staying. It will cost less but the opportunities for solitude will likely be lessened further. I will take more pictures and find a way of distracting myself, perhaps with some reading of history, or a walk in the woods. 

You will likely find out what happens next. Reporting the mundane details of my life is all that I have. I got word this morning that a friend's four year old son passed away last night - cancer. Nothing seems important or even relevant after news such as that. It is easy to forget how lucky it is to only be expected to endure a relatively normal level of suffering. The usual quotidian misery seems paradisal by comparison. 


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Santa Barbara

I wrote something terribly honest last night but decided not to publish it. That was for the best. I copied and pasted some of the text to CS and he commiserated a bit, but also reminded me that we all live in the hells that we create and accept for ourselves.

Also, things did not seem quite so bad this morning. My main issue right now, I believe, is that I probably needed some time and space to myself more than I needed a beach trip to Santa Barbara with my fellow shelterers. It was a long drive, which resulted in an affection-less landing. We did make it out ot the beach and the boy seemed to enjoy running into the water.

We will go to the beach and set up a tent today and bring snacks and wine and whatever else is legal or barely illegal to do where the dirt of the earth meets the waters of the Pacific. If I get bored I'll walk up and down the coast asking if everybody saw the shark, speculating that it was either a bull shark or maybe a great white. Then I'll remind them not to worry, that the flu kills more people every year than sharks and riots combined.


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Santa Barbara - Antifa hotspot

Okay, away we go. A full day in the car in which we get to exercise the daily tolerance towards each other that we have been practicing at home for almost three months now.

I will bring a lot of different types of music on my iPhone - 200 GB worth, or so. We'll start with Van Morrison and maybe some Bob Dylan or Neil Young, then dig deeper and deeper towards some soul. 

Who knows. 


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The road calls

Well, jokes about sodomy seems so much less fun when they're not reciprocal. I don't blame CS, though. I was troubled by the behavior out of the White House, also. Though, I have been troubled by the behavior, and reasoning, that I see most everywhere. Even my most reasonable friends seem bent, emotionally and ideologically. Who can blame them, really? Though I do not think a strong leaning into this situation will necessarily prevail, though that is one thing that everyone I disagree seems to believe.

We leave for Santa Barbara in the morning. There is a hotel on the beach, though we may be persuaded to stay with a friend instead. I know how much mom prefers to stay in hotels but tough times call for austere travel measures. I am more flexible in my willingness to travel on the cheap than mom is, much more. Yet if you asked her she would probably tell you the opposite. We can stay at $500 a night hotels, but she will questions the $80 we spent at the bar as being the thing that cost us so much. That is a true story, and from a recent trip. It requires constant energy to negotiate with a partner, no matter how much I am spending.

But, isn't it nice that we can just sit here together quietly? 

We have been trying to house trade with anybody that will listen. We can affirm that ours is currently Covid-free, and we ask only the same, as much as it is possible to know. We would prefer to trade somewhere near the beach, but are open to other regions. We were shooting for a one month trade, but will do as little as two weeks at a time. 

Raquel and I have been getting along unusually well again. Don't let the above paragraph fool you. This sheltering-in-place has not increased our capacity for affection, though there seems to be a break in the clouds recently. We are having and seemingly enjoying an active sex life again. I'm not sure what happened. My sustained efforts to thumb her butthole must have finally paid off. 

Well, there was that and the kissing, too. 

We leave in the morning. We will look for foreign pools of cool water, and champagne, and oysters at a place where the sun can be seen to disappear. 

Right in front of our eyes. 



Monday, June 1, 2020

My little puppy-maker

(Where puppies come from)

The famous Christian blogger, C.S. Lewis, doesn't seem to understand that sex from behind need not be sodomy. Though it most certainly would in his case, probably consensually. There are a few factors that go into the equation when interacting with a woman, but penis size - specifically length - is the most important. Plumpness of ass being another. Willingness and capacity of the recipient party to be flexible being yet a third and forth. I've explained all of this to him before, but the message never seems to quite penetrate. Let me see if I can find a picture of Joe Biden's index finger to use as a courtroom example.

I should not have written about sex with Raquel from behind in the bathroom. I see that now. But it is all that I could think about. The absence of almost any type of affection can overwhelm a person when it does arrive in the form of sexuality. Especially the delicious, fun kind. But it is a form of gloating.

That I can still get an erection at all is seemingly regarded as a miracle by everyone that I've shown it to. The looks of astonishment are self-explanatory.

Now, go into all the world and teach the good news to all creation.