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.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Nothing burns in the desert but you

You tell me - are terror, horror, and midnight fear things to which we adjust? They are the currently available options. These lives, our lives, here and now in Sonoma, fluctuate between the flat-headed, Robertson, and Phillip's brands of perpetual screw-driving. A driver can be used for screwing in any number of ways. When used correctly the exact same tool can likewise unscrew or drive the already screwed screw in a reverse direction. Or, fashion. Only the gentle, careful hand undoes the fucking, though the fucking was the stated goal of the screwing. 

Strict adherence was what the tools suggested and promised. They deliver a reliably coiled material progress - fiber draws to grain. So satisfying to screw. Though, no screwing is undone that does not leave a spiral hole of evidence in the would. 



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

1.2 Monkeys

What happened? I used to love films by Terry Gilliam. 

Perhaps, as a substitute for maybe, I have grown up. Certainly

Rather. Really. Quite.

Rather. Really. Quiete.

Nine Years Gone

I left NYC on this date, 2011. The boy turns nine years old in January, that's how I remember the past now. These two events are connected, though we need not explore that much today. In some ways that is all that this site has been: an exploration of how my life has changed in the last nine years.

I am reading a copyeditor's book on style and finding out all the things I've been doing wrong. There are words and phrases I regularly use that are to be avoided: 





In fact




Of course


That said


It is easy to understand why these are to be avoided, but I have enough relaxed and easy fun with them that it is hard to let the relationship end. It makes me sad that using them will push me into the depths of hell for all of eternity. 

There are other things to be avoided - split infinitives, ending a sentence in a preposition, starting one with "And" or "But" - all habits I embrace and always have. In fact, so surely do I engage in this type of writerly naughtiness that of course a book on style would just actually recommend that doing so is not quite pretty. That said, that's not really the version of pretty they meant for a writer to rather avoid, just so you know, and surely so.

We'll see. Whenever I read through a book on style I immediately recognize my many habitual faults, but then I keep reading instead of practicing the recommendations. I get so excited, because I feel as if the book was written about me. I find myself returning to bad habits as if they were an unhealthy love affair.

I generously abuse the privilege of commas, as well. 



Monday, August 17, 2020

Camping with a Pool

A thunderstorm moves towards us in the early pre-dawn this morning. It is growling and flashing up from the south. A somewhat unusual trajectory for a storm to hit the little valley of Sonoma. Raquel and I stood outside on the second floor balcony only in our underwear and watched the lightning and counted the seconds until the rolling thunder arrived. We estimated the storm was 12-15 miles away. I could not stop touching and looking at her, so naked and vulnerable and so near the coming tempest. The sound and the beauty of her naked breasts were quite erotic in the darkened skies, with the sun coming up and just beginning to break through with swirling bands of pink that stretched from one side of the sky across to the other. 

The boy is still sleeping, no doubt very tired after a weekend camping with the dads and his buddy.

Well, camping at a place that has a pool - the local KOA. We were running a maiden voyage on a newly purchased, but well used camper. A purchase made by my friend. I greatly prefer tent camping in a state or national park, but not everybody needs to embrace my way of thinking and feeling. The boys loved it. We went with another father and son - an early childhood friend of Rhys. 

The weekend was tiring, though a few good memories added to the pile for the kids. It was above 100 degrees both days. The thunderstorm started around 3am Sunday morning. I awoke to the sound of the rain falling all around us. I zippered up the camper on the side where the falling rain would be most felt and then watched and listened to the rain falling in the dark until I drifted back off to sleep, little Rhys snoring beside me, dreaming the dreams of a child, entirely bereft of the moody posturing on display above. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

No Country For Old Men

I do not have the mental energy to write a few pithy lines about this film, but it's what I am watching, and I have become a dutiful reporter of the films that occupy my evenings. 
Ok, fuck it. I'll write a few.

The film deals with circumstance, fate, conscience and consciencelessness. That's not really a word - doesn't stop me from liking it. It is a film that allows the viewer to believe in good and evil, and to even relish their existence. 

That's what I'm doing. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Enter The Void

(A film by Gaspar Noé)

One can not, after all, only watch old films. Every so often a film fan should explore the dark, sad underbelly of sustained heavy drug use. The film is a boring morality tale, but it is visually interesting.  The strobe effect is somehow shocking and mesmerizing. It correlates to some drug experiences. Ultimately, the film is an interesting drag, an increasingly dismal hallucination, too heavy-handed to achieve any lift. It demonstrates that drugs cause recurring miseries. I sort of already knew that. It must be fascinating for a naif, though. The film, like the drug experience it attempts to emulate, are ultimately a taxing indulgence.

I started watching Under The Skin with Scarlett Johansson today. It is also a darkly cerebral film. I may need to slow down on how much contemporary apocalyptic messaging I can endure. The black hole of the heart should only ingest so many solar systems at a time.

I gave up on the film after about 45 minutes and went to an even nicer baseball diamond again with the boy. The Sonoma Boy's and Girl's Club - it's where mom used to work. A proper baseball field with cage dugouts and a high arched fence above home plate. The boy has strong, positive associations here. Mom's water broke on the steps here while I was at work, almost nine years ago. She had just finished her interview. There are two flights of stairs to get to the parking lot. 

They didn't hire her, but then they changed their mind about a year later. There is something wholesome and inspiring about the circularity of the place in our story. Mom raised money for the organization, of which we are all very proud. Life was not any simpler then but it seems as if it should have been, looking back now just before I go to sleep. 



Monday, August 10, 2020


The boy and I went with mom tonight to the dog park, where she tried a new collar on the pup. The boy and I brought all of his baseball gear and had the clay baseball field next to the dog park to ourselves, at sundown. We did some batting practice, some catch, and some fielding practice. If the boy would connect with one while batting - a binger - he would gleefully run the bases. I would pretend to be guarding home base while functioning as the stadium announcer and the crowd as a ball was being thrown in from the outfield and he would giggle and try to evade being thrown out at home. 

We bought a bag of 12 practice balls to add to the 4 that we already had. He bought a catcher's mitt with mom that he has started to use almost exclusively. 

I arranged for the boy and I to go camping this weekend, with his buddy J and J's dad. We're going to a private campground, with a pool, and activities of some kind, I'm sure. Most of all we're going because the summer has almost gotten away from us and we had talked about doing it. We had talked about doing lots of things. 

Earlier today Rhys said, this summer has sucked. Well, he might not have said it exactly like that, but that's what I heard. It has sucked. 

We read from a Star Wars book before bed - all the heroes and villains of the original movie. 

This is just a dutiful report of the day, nothing more. I had hoped that I would convey the pleasure of the baseball field, the magic of the unexpected moment. The right sentence never arrived. Thrown out at 1st base.

Cato sent this suggestion over - ゆらゆら帝国 3 x 3 x 3. I had sent him John Fahey's Days Have Gone By. So far, I love it. It's the most energetic and vital thing I've heard in months. It is at least worth a solid skip-through. There is a wonderful garage-psychedelic diversity to the album. 


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Full House

I am posting this morning because Rachel and Rhys are on their way home. Writing will be less likely with a full house. I wonder if Akira, the husky puppy, will miss our twice daily walks. I could continue them, of course, but the house takes on a very different rhythm when it is full. There is less available time when surrounded by other people. It is an embarrassing outrage that Einstein did not address this in his General Theory of Relativity. It is obvious to anyone that has studied the subject - the presence and proximity of others correlates inversely with time.

That being said, I look forward to them returning. This full week of solitude has done good things for me. It is hard to state exactly what that goodness is, but a sense of centeredness and solitude have somewhat combined within me to create a semblance of peace. I have become better at being alone, and have greatly improved my relationship with the abyss.

I should get out of the house and do my (now) daily bike ride before the sun becomes unreasonable. A large portion of what has changed my feelings has nothing at all to do with the house being empty, but instead involves me emptying my body of excess energy. 

Isn't that always the case? The tunnel closes, we look for something to blame. 


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Jean de Florette

An ugly story, told beautifully. Human greed makes for good French cinema. Perhaps tomorrow I will watch Manon of the Spring, also adapted and directed by Berri, as this movie only tells the first part of the tale as originally written by Pagnol. 

The Covid months, as they drag on and on, are good for epic films and series. I will try to focus on these for a while. Anything to distract me from the constricting limitations. Anything to pass the time. 

Rachel and Rhys return home tomorrow. It is difficult to tell if their vacation was a success. There was a phone call earlier today that left me feeling uncertain. I have enjoyed their time away, perhaps more than I will admit to them. It has been an exercise in space and it worked! I feel relieved of something. 

A friend texted earlier tonight to tell me that he had cried and that I was somehow involved in his crying. He is gay; I am not. I am not sure what to make of it. I didn't ask for any details or context, because he might have willingly provided it. It may have been a difficult drug comedown. Seemed like a possibility. Drugs engender tears. The burden of others can be so much - too much, sometimes. I wish sadness on no one. 

Tomorrow morning I will reach out to friends in Europe. It has been a long time since I have talked to most of them. I must stop drunkenly calling my friends on the East coast. We have each grown out of everything. 

"But the addict is ultimately a bore, too immersed in himself, too tiring to be with, too reliant on the delusions and compliance of others around them. Most great art comes from a singular and obsessive attention to things, it is borne of an urgent desire. Yet great art also opens out from that point." - Unknown

Being John Malkovich

(Catherine Keener)

Have seen this one many times, but I enjoyed it again. So much clever dialogue, so many clever situations and predicaments. I didn't finish Blue Velvet. It was getting too heavy. The present is pressing and pressing again.

Catherine Keener's character is very, very funny. The movie relays some interesting perspectives. You can tell something about a person by what they find humorous. I'm not quite sure what can be understood by it, but differences tend to emerge in what people find funny, and why they find those particular things funny. This film does a good job at making those moments salient, even if they are not always clear to the viewer. There are many bifurcating scenes and moments.  

I read that Woody Allen's favorite film of 1986 was Blue Velvet. Mine was probably Top Gun, if that helps you make any distinctions between Woody Allen and myself. I am the patriot here. Allen is.... still not in prison!
I saw somebody post that last part about Allen on social media. I was dumb enough to ask what crime he had been convicted of, or even charged with. The answer to both questions is: none. But there is a lot of information available that allows a person to feel as if he is guilty. There is other evidence that allows you to feel other ways, too. 

The film Being John Malkovich touches briefly on child sexuality, also, and offers a fantastical possibility into how it emerges and why it exists. All absurd, of course, but it is a subject that is open to interpretation, or it was then, when the film was made. 

Now, there are only two ways to think and feel, or two types of people in the world: the right and the wrong; the charming and tedious; miserable and horrible; those who complicate and those who simplify; ketchup on a hot dog and the righteous; you and everyone else. Etc. It's fun because there are no men and women any more. Everything is on a spectrum except good and evil. 

I've been trying to find ways to donate to Kanye. I'm not going to donate, don't worry. I'm just curious about my options. I don't mean his ill-begotten presidential campaign. I just want him to have some of my money. I want to feel as if I am participating in the dialogue of hip-hop.

Okay, today there will be dog walks and a bike ride. I have not been drinking, so I have extra time and energy for other things. I'll try to report how I use those things. 

That should result in a riveting report. 



Friday, August 7, 2020

Mulholland Drive

I never surrounded myself with film snobs or even film geeks, but I like this film anyway. I had access to a gaggle of film geeks at one point, but they were all into films that I was forced into explaining were mostly stupid. But every now and then their picks would sneak up on me and I would end up liking them. There were only maybe three other people there that liked Lynch.

I'm not sure how much there is for me to say about this film - the unresolved interlocking enigmas demonstrate how conspiracy theories provide a type of pleasure to the mind, and connecting them adds to the verisimilitude in equal part with the assurances of belief. As you increase the aesthetic pleasures of the mystery it persuades the mind into accepting it as something increasingly sublime. Yet that is also how it becomes so to the viewer. Funny how that works.

Ok, I started to write that last night. It adds nothing to the universe. Tonight, I'm watching Blue Velvet, sort of. I have it on in the background and I am trying to watch random shots or scenes without having to commit to actually watching it. I used to do that with quite a few great films. Lynch's soundtracks are often apprehensively interesting. Quirk, before the hippest among us co-opted the idea. 

Man, I like Heineken. You like Heineken?

Great moment. I should watch every Lynch film from the beginning. 

I need a new Covid hobby.

I hate the new Blogger user interface, also. But for tonight's pic I liked being able to shrink the picture down to a size that doesn't make much sense. It felt right. Maybe CS and I should take an online html class. 

Rachel and Rhys are coming home early - Sunday. It's Akira the pup and I until then. I've been playing Styx albums for her, and telling her that KISS was another band she should check out sometime. I wanted to make sure she understood that dad has a less than sophisticated side. 

Well, I thought about it. 

This part is real: The boy discovered some of his grand-dad's cds and has decided that he likes Foreigner. The first song I remember attaching to a bit as a child was Cold As Ice. Funny, that. 

I really should talk to people again. It has been a week, except at work. 


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Go-Go, Margot

To me, this is nothing short of mind-boggling, but I have been friends with the original bass player for The Go-Gos for years. She is on the far left of the picture above. I just found out this morning. A mutual friend posted something about her on Twitter and referenced her history with the band, so I looked into it. Sure enough, she was the original bass player for the biggest all-girl band of all time. I only knew her as Margot.

She and I used to often drink together at the same local bar in the East Village - Bar On A. Or, B.O.A. I have written about it here before a handful of times, though that was back when I lived in NYC. I have been writing here for ten years now, non-stop. If I were Jack Kerouac I would have just now finished On The Road. 

I always thought she was more a Chilean dissident. She spoke much of South American politics and the brutality of the Pinochet regime. She was Chilean and knew much more about the politics of the region than I would have otherwise, so I listened a lot. I remember her excitement and enthusiasm when the demented old thug finally bit it. I was happy for her, and also reveled a bit in his death. Fuck the humorless. 

She had been squatting in a building in the East Village for who knows how many decades. It was either next door or very close to Eddie Adams' bath house studio on 11th St. between Ave A and B. I went to her place once and the floors were, quite literally, sheets of untreated plywood. There were holes here and there that she warned me not to step near. The innards of the building could be glimpsed in some of them. Dark places that were inhospitable to human life. She had detritus scattered everywhere and a fair number of books. There was no heat. Because she was squatting the building's owner had disabled the radiators, or that's what she suspected he had done. I was envious of the amount she paid for her place. I don't remember the amount, but it equated to free in my mind. I immediately adopted the squatting mentality, I only lacked the appropriate situation to enact my faith in the process.  

I was not there for sex. Or rather, she and I never had sex. I'm not sure why I was at her place. Drugs would have been the more likely reason, though I do not remember doing drugs with her, but that means nothing. I was doing a sufficient amount of them at that time that there are no documents that might piece together my story in any meaningful or coherent way. My days in NYC were like an enormous jigsaw puzzle whose pieces were set on fire one at a time. 

Margot was kicked out of the band before they "made it big." She was missing a lot of practice because she wanted to remain true to their LA punk roots, then she contracted hepatitis, also. They wanted to wear dresses and makeup and make pop music, which they did. She sued, they settled. That money was long gone by the time I knew her. What fascinates me almost more is that she went on to work with Martin Atkins, who also worked with Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Killing Joke. She worked with him on a musical project called Brian Brain, but it went nowhere. I would have hardly stopped bothering her if I knew who she was. Her secrecy was perhaps calculated. 

I read most of this on Wikipedia today. Such was my fascination with having known her. I texted everybody that I knew from that circle and (almost) nobody knew that she had this storied past. There was no hint of any of this left. She was soft spoken. Also, an activist of some sort - environmental, I think. I remember her giving a speech somewhere that I wasn't able to make, but had wanted to. 

She and I stayed in touch for a while on social media after I moved to California, but I noticed that she's no longer on any of the platforms. 

Who can blame her, really?

Go-Go music really makes us dance
Do the pony, puts us in a trance
Do what you see just give us a chance
That's when we fall in line

'Cause we got the beat...


Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Bill Murray's character in this film is eternal. Every generation needs one, every generation creates one. I hope. All of my heroes have been fucked up, some terribly so, eccentrics to the point of self-damage. 

I had never thought of this before, but now I am wondering how many of Anderson's films deal with the subject of pubescent sexuality - at least two: this one and Moonrise Kingdom. There are probably more. 

The Royal Tenenbaums touches on the theme, surely. Gwyneth Paltrow's character, probably - Margot. I believe that Gwyneth Paltrow, as she is now known to the public, should disappear into the dysfunctional character of Margot Tenenbaum and never return to her former self. It feels as if every detail I know about her life has been somehow forced upon me against my will.  

Gene Hackman is the perfect substitute for Bill Murray in that film, though Murray appears in it also. 

I'll take punctuality....

Life feels as if it is moving in a very pleasant slow motion since R-n-R have been gone. The house is quiet, the pup needs me, and loves me. I do as I wish, in seclusion and peace and privacy and quiet. A part of me wishes that this could last, exactly as it is, but nothing does. 

If this lasts much longer then maybe I will end up being an eccentric, too. 


Tuesday, August 4, 2020


The long, slow poisoned walk down the stairwell at the end of the film is cinematic and narrative brilliance. Then, Claude Rains' character turns and walks into the house, the door closes. Fin. So much romance, so much suspense. The hero just walks away with the girl. Nothing left to fight about in Rio. 

Hitchcock never made another film quite like this one, though he made plenty of great ones. It has an elegance that his others do not quite match, and not all of that can be attributed to Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, though certainly they must be credited with much of it. I mean... just look at them.

Clifford Odets worked on the screenplay, focusing primarily on the dialogue of the love scenes. They may seem dated now, almost 75 years on, but they must have really melted a few girls' butter back then.  

Vertigo remains one of my favorites. The psychological themes of identity, as expressed visually, speak something deeply to me. They remind me of a truth I had to learn. Difficult to verbalize, yet evident in the film, through how they can be felt but hardly touched or described. Vertigo is a disorienting sense that you are moving when you are not. I have felt it, and I agree with Hitchcock's take on how it relates to the identity and identification of love. 

How much is person, and how much is persona, when madly in love? To the point of obsession, then past that into something even more chthonic, something even deadly. What a dangerous thing it is to see and desire a person within another. 

I have felt it. 



Monday, August 3, 2020

Because I hope to forget

So strange, this life - how quickly things can change after periods of monotony. I am enjoying Raquel and the boy being gone. I had thought that perhaps I would experience some anxiety about being alone. Nope. It is ideal, seemingly the precise thing that was needed. It is pleasant to get some much needed space. I hope a similar thing feels true for them. 

It was just a normal Monday - work, food, music, a bike ride, walking the dog twice. There is pain and suffering and worry everywhere except here and within me tonight. It is quiet. In every direction I listen I hear only the quiet gurgling of nature. I will make a note, to remind myself of the pleasures of solitude. The many pleasures of seclusion. 


Sunday, August 2, 2020


One of the things that I find most intriguing about photography is that you can regularly use the image of something other than yourself to very accurately relay some of the complexities of your own internal state. What could be more human, beyond physical interaction and possibly even words? This effect is more pronounced if you were the one to take the picture, as your connections with it are naturally more complex and in that way function in a descriptive, or perhaps illustrative, way. Though there are thousands of pictures that have this same effect for me that I did not take. The relationship is complex, but certain. I know it right away, and I know when it is wrong, regardless of what the images I post here at times might otherwise suggest. 

The mind uses more of its resources to process images than any other function, or so I've read. 

The immediacy of the connections are fascinating. It is rare that a photograph will demand prolonged contemplation from me. They are usually understood in some essential way upon initial glance. Yet there are images that I have spent months meditating over, in a sense. I have a strong inclination to try to memorize the images that I cherish most. This can be with adoration of the object, or through the image portraying a particular event, a postcard-moment in time, a composition that seems to speak some secret truth, or conveys a specific frenetic or calming energy, or that you develop a private relationship with, and on and on, in varying values. 

It need not be a photograph, many visual arts possess this same function. 


If the first day alone is any sign, this break was badly needed. I felt more relaxed and in my skin today than I have felt in a long while. I even took the dog for a long walk in the regional park and rode my bike, to celebrate my new freedom. 

On the way back from riding, I was just starting to clear my head of the interminable noise that can be my inner monologue, had sang a warming song in my head (something I rarely do, for reasons I am not sure of), and was enjoying the heat of the day and the feeling of demanding oxygen from my lungs and heart, and I moved over to the right of the bike path as there was a mother managing her one walking kid and what appeared to be another in the baby stroller. I caught the smiling eyes of the little boy before I was passing them and I saw that he put on a bit of a march over to where he predicted I was going to be, and his math was pretty much dead on, he marched to within less than 12" of my very suddenly stopped front tire as I pulled my foot out of the pedal clips on the right side so that I could get my foot down and not fall towards him if anything went wrong. My foot went down just in time for me to say, "Well, hi there - look at you!" He was already waving and clapping his hands and laughing and doing that sort of jumping motion that young children do when they are happy. The mother turned and of course immediately thanked me for the obvious care I had been putting into this simple act with a more abundant happiness and gratitude than I have seen displayed in public in what feels like several years.  

The previous ride I had felt uncertain, out of practice, a body fragile with nerve damage and the memory of sudden impact not so very long ago. 


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Constance Nay

Raquel and the boy leave tomorrow for ten days. Phoenix, to visit grandma and maybe a stop in LA and then Santa Barbara on the way home. All the Covid hotspots. All 19 of them. It is as hot as the hood of hell in Arizona right now. 

Yes, it is purely 70s singer-songwriter stuff, but I taught myself to play Wild World by Cat Stevens on the guitar today. I can't claim that I have the singing down perfectly but it's not horrible, either, I don't think. I sound at least as good as Chris Cornell. Well, to me that is how my voice sounds. It's in the key of C, which is a half-step beyond where I usually venture. I suppose that I could sing it in a different key, but what the fuck.... I'd probably only confuse myself trying to transpose the chords. I have always loved music much more than I have studied it. 

I am a little bit nervous about having ten days entirely to myself. At some recent times, I have envied CS' seclusion. Though it may not always be peaceful for him, it is not constant noise, distraction, and having to navigate the anxiety of others here for me. That is what we have had too much of here. 

Raquel and I spent a day together today without the boy. We lounged about and watched stupid comedies in our underwear, ordered the best Mexican food Sonoma has to offer, which I assure you is as good as what you can get anywhere in the world. It helped. Those scant hours alone together seemed to mend something a bit. We are falling apart from all the constancy. Hahaha, no, that is not it, though constancy is a great word to misuse when you have clever friends that might get the joke.  

It has been a very long time since I have been entirely alone for ten days. If I lost a pound each day that they were gone then I would be within ten pounds of where I'd like to be. It is tempting, to think of some overarching plan to engage in while they are gone. I did nothing with my seven week sabbatical a few years back. I read books all day until my back hurt from all the lying around. 

Fuck, I just looked it up. That was two and a half years ago, the sabbatical. I'm not sure what it was that I hoped to accomplish in life, other than avoiding doing work that I didn't like, but I'm starting to worry that when all is done I will have done nothing. It is a lucky thing for me that nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters, spare us some life from our monstrosities.