Sunday, April 25, 2021

El Jaleo


Sargent


It makes no sense. I keep fucking things in my life up.  Resembling the suicide impulse - it feels similar - though displaced outwards towards others. Too much personal chaos, too much fumbling. Little fouls that refuse to go undetected. I should disappear. I would, but there is nowhere left for that now. The world has become an infinitely visible place. No end to being detected. A life composed of the sound of sirens. The seasickness of disorder. 

Somewhat fanatically seems the only reasonable way left to be, to live. This sits on the young like an enticing shirt, on the old like a lost helmet, on the wall as a guitar unplayed. 










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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Run, run, run, run




I brought a gift over to my friend's house last night, a token of my appreciation for all that he has done for me, and sat on his back porch and had a beer with him. We talked of a number of things, mostly work-related, but also of the shifting interests of our own lives. He studied music extensively and has a doctoral degree in the subject. He relayed that he now questions the meaning and purpose of his previous involvement. He has begun to ask himself why he chose "that dream" and what that means to him now in a changing, later life. 

Several observations occurred to me on the drive home. Some where I felt lucky to feel the way that I do, others not as much. The ways and methods in which we give our lives meaning are mostly petty and far less significant that the meanings we ascribe to them. Yet if we never realize this then we are - at times, and only some among us - able to accomplish wonderful and nearly super-human things. People create art, help others, work towards improving their world, or even their own situations, quite admirably when not restrained by doubts. I recede and whine and wonder why. 

Some others go on killing sprees, presumably to assert an implacable statement about life and death in the hearts and minds of themselves and others. It strikes me as an interesting fact that cops never execute a spree killer at the moment of apprehending him, even "by accident." If we are to believe all that we are told of their nature - cops - then one would think that every now and then one might, quite literally, take "justice into their own hands." I wonder what the public opinion would be of the lone officer that might decide to do so. I imagine that their action would be regarded along almost strict political lines, as most all else. The "good guy with a gun" crowd, I imagine, would be elated and would decry that officer's arrest and likely conviction. Who, I wonder, would denounce the act.

The hyphenated phrase "extra-judicial" has always tickled me for reasons that I can't quite explain. Or, can not explain very well. It reminds me of an old phrase that I used to say all the time to people about drugs: "If a little bit of fertilizer is a good thing for your lawn, then a lot must be great."  

Sometimes I wish that I would have listened to myself more along the way. Other times, I wish that others would not have done so. 








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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Makin' Babies


Oona Dahl


Two friends are expecting their first baby any day now. I have sworn not to discuss details, so I won't, but they're having a baby girl soon. It is nearly impossible not to share a bit in their excitement and nervousness. Say what you will about the disappointments of life, of which there are many, creating a life has not been a disappointment for me. 


Some readers here hate honest admissions that they can not make, or those that they have not yet made. Statistics are wisdom, statistically speaking. Yet there is no such statistical category as personal wisdom. There is only the solace of the anti-crowd; amusing counterpoints to the stated mores and claims of the fierce individual. 

Uniqueness dissolves somewhat in the creating of life. It is everywhere ubiquitous, yet wholly unique. 

Ignore the voices that barely know the half of the half of it. Meaning does not derive from meaninglessness, conjecture, nor critique. 

Being counter does not mean what the word necessarily suggests. One must also add to contribute, to count. 



They both happen to be close friends of mine, these parents of tomorrow. 


The father is a partner in a musical project that includes examples of our proudest collective moments in dance music. 

Here is the slightly clubbier version, and here is the after-party, housier version, and here is the remake/remodel version. You can skip the first and last approximately 1:30 of all of those videos, as that is the portion where DJs are mixing into and out of the track. 

It is drug music, so act accordingly. 


Oona, Baby, and Three



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Monday, April 12, 2021

Another useless Monday




The boy returned to school this morning, no afternoon after-care, but a full four hour day of school, two days a week to start. Mom and Dad are hoping that we return to five days a week soon, with after-care until 4-5pm every day. It may come as a nasty shock or pleasant surprise to have a little bit of extra headspace and quiet in the house. Who knows. If mom returns to work in the city, even one or two days a week, it might save the relationship between us. Dad is over all of it and desperately wants some space and time and peace for himself. It is difficult to care about others when there is so much noise coming from every direction. Every nerve feels brittle, vibrating with an increasingly steeply pitched set of anxieties. 

Another useless Monday. 


 










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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Almost anything





I taught myself to play I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) on the acoustic guitar today. Yes, Hall & Oates. I know, but it is fun. What can I do? I am defenseless against pop music. 



Easy, ready, willing overtime
Where does it stop?
Where do you dare me 
to draw the line?...


Yeah, I'll do anything 
that you want me to do.
Yeah, I'll do almost anything 
that you want me to, yeah...


Then there are some other lyrics. The chords don't change. Just slight dynamic emphasis as the chorus repeats. 

They're not that different from Steely Dan or Cat Stevens - Hall & Oates. It's an era of songwriting in which, after the melodies have been committed to memory, the emphatic subtleties are the only things worth noticing, which becomes tiring after those have been exhausted, also.



I can't go for being twice as nice
I can't go for just repeating the same old lines...
 


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Imagine disappearing





How much futility is one person expected to endure, I wonder. Everywhere there is much and in many directions. Life can be quite boring when you put your mind to it. I am reading a book now, I am almost ashamed to admit. It is wrong think, or posits itself as such against the current social backdrop. Well, I should finish reading it before I write about it. I might accidentally advocate for it before it has had its chance to adequately disappoint or lose me. I'm trying to give everybody a fair listen, you see. I have a renewed sense of commitment to being fair minded, or trying. This is a great practice if you're not drinking, impossible otherwise. 

I love getting drunk and espousing my opinions. Truly. Few things bring me as much satisfaction. I've noticed it often in others, too. 


At a friend's suggestion I watched a Netflix series on Formula One racing. Every now and then I like to surprise the algorithms that are watching me sleep. I devoured all three seasons, so far. My son started asking me why I was so suddenly into car racing, and what did it mean for our future. I told him that everybody should be briefly fascinated with whatever is possible.

I don't have an explanation for anything any more. The friend also relayed the final months and weeks and days of our mutual friend, how his body was found. There should be services that will help you administrate your own departure from the world. Imagine disappearing. The fantasy of vanishing. 
 
















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Always traveling




I took a few pictures of the same familial subjects. Don't worry, they will run out soon. There were only a small handful. We were outside, at the boy's baseball practice, so I briefly lifted the personal moratorium on photography. I took none that I like, only a couple that are passable here, where the rules of artistry have been lifted, an island of aesthetic limbo. 

This is the section of my life known as "personal interest stories."


I sit here, finished with work for the day and wanting to go get a beer, but not wanting to be or get any fatter. It is the perpetual conundrum. CS addressed it the other day. Why must so many of the things I love be bad for me? It's a mystery. I'm just relieved that I like vegetables as much as I do. Hopefully those will always make me happy, when they are free of salmonella, listeria, and E. coli.  I like soup, too.


Oh, what a world.



Still I think I'm doing fine.











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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This Be The Verse




Things move up and things move back. Everything starts to fall towards a semblance of a familiar place again. The baseball season is under way - AA Little League, which I found comical.  Dads have stern talking-tos with their kids learning to play baseball, upset that they didn't do well. Demands to toughen up. You can see the anxiety in the kids' bodies, the fear of not performing well as they go to bat. You wish that you could help them, to tell them anything that would change the feeling, though not entirely sure if the child on the mound would send you back to the dugout, either. It's a tough thing to watch. Then you see the parents, usually the fathers, and you know at least a part of where it all comes from. 

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.


I anxiously await to hear from my CPA. To see if there is any magic that he can pull that will prevent me from giving all of my money away to the government. The more he looks through my records the more he asks me why I don't have a financial advisor. I have mismanaged my money for no reason, and now much of it will need to be given to the government. They are very against the things that I have done, which was just put as much as I could in savings. He has hinted that there might be some good news, but then he went silent for several days. 

Ah well, I was only going to buy a new car or a used house. My life lacks direction from too much waiting. 


Raquel just now asked from the other room, would I like to go eat oysters? 

... my heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.








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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Rabbit is




My life is falling apart again, or so it feels. Everything is a race to something that is rarely ever done on time. Every day a struggle to find some peace and space of my own. I would take a week long vacation every other week, if it were possible. Though even the vacations take a week from which to recover. There must come a time in the lives of many as they age and age in which death becomes the only thing new or interesting left to do. 

Neither greedy nor satisfied. Here I am, there I run. There are books that I should rush to re-read. 











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Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Lords of Death Are Always Bilingual





The title of tonight's post was a personalized license plate idea, but of course the state of California has so many character limitations. 

I tried to negotiate and get a plate composed of Diabl*w but civil servants are hardly yet trained to recognize the unseen metaphorical value in wildcard vowels. No witness could ever mistake the getaway car, I explained. 

They have no stamps to represent the asterisk where the customizations are labored and honored. It is in the state prisons, you must understand, they possess no tilde, either

The manager insisted I substitute a - hand, heart, star or + -  I begged them, please ... use the + twice, 45 degrees at a time, with your most skilled prisoner overseeing the double heat-molding. No liberal would ever mind. We are friends. It is fine.

Yet, and always, there is bureaucracy to curb the most misunderstood and helpful ideas; freedom compress the rest; slime precedes shame. 


What have we done - eats coast, wets coats - freedom compress the rest; slime precedes shame. 

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Being smart is not good enough, so far. Not only is it not that, it's impediments, hindrances to the wagons, targets to lost arrows, fire near matches, in returning inwards, online obituaries, having no paper. 

Such the blessed curse - anti-venom that begs for cures. 
For this we love sores.

Horror screams to those who can't speak but can scream and scream. 
Terror, silent, noisy, 
crowded with void

Credit willingly annoyed. 
Couples charges denied
it seems





I am the owner of this comic book shop. Fighting an animated partner. Bought and taught with arguments and insulting offers, disagreements in an unlit parking lot. Drive away with boxfuls of victorious colorful wounds. Many years beyond meeting, the strip mall is gone. Time is further and further away than me. 

I am not a curiosity. I am like most everybody's curiosities, fast and molasses. 

That is that and was just always there. Now it's here, now it's shown. 
Shame is Time's son. 
Easter's struggles are thus gospel.



Super: 

More loco than a powering motive. More ing than ive

I've much more verb than now. 
Tranquilo, at this quiet moment:
I am only noun.













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Saturday, April 3, 2021

The right person's ear




I was trying to get a new job, but not trying very hard at it. Or rather, I recognize that if I took life more seriously I would have done more to prepare for the interview process. I didn't, and I accept the results. I didn't get the job. The hiring manager was a friend. I felt bad for him, having to deliver the news. 

I'm not at all unhappy in my current job. It affords me the Swiss, German, and Japanese watches that I like. 

That's right, I like Japanese watches, also - Seiko, Casio, Vaer. There are many. Everything the Germans can do the Japanese can do less expensively. Or cheaply, if you possess that sort of anti-Asian sentiment that is so popular right now. 


We are living in a material world, and I am a material man.

Some girls romance
Some girls slow dance
That's alright with me
If they can't raise my interest then I
Have to let them be

Some girls try and some girls lie but
I don't let them play (no way)
Only girls who save their pennies 
Make my rainy day

We are living within a material plan, and I am the material man.



The third thing I notice in the picture above is the caution cone hiding in the vines, separating the figures. It's hiding because it has yet to move to the front and center where it belongs. Give it time. It can be used as a bullhorn, too, and it likely will one day. I know how bullhorns work. If you whisper an innuendo into one end, it will emerge as a fully formed truth from the other. The inverse works also, as long as the small side is held up to the right person's ear. Otherwise, the lies are all lost. 





 














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Friday, April 2, 2021

The Habit of Looking





Ah, yes. We're all sick, the whole house. Not Covid, thankfully. Seasonal allergies, but unpleasant nonetheless. I wonder how much longer I can write here without taking any new pictures. I am reading a book that suggests that I should take all of my cameras out of their boxes and bags if I wish to form a habit around regular shooting. It must be true, as I packed them all away the last "fire season" we had here in Sonoma and they have not been unpacked since. No pictures have resulted from the cameras being stored away. That's just the science of it. Those are my conclusions. 


I have read that more than half of the brain's cortex is occupied with processing visual information. This is one reason why people commonly close their eyes when they meditate. It offers a "freeing" sensation from visual activity in the present tense. Then, there are just the gentle breezy reminders for the mind to shut the fuck up and leave me alone, and then voila! 

Nirvana.

 









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Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Day Elon Musk Tried To Kill Me




Oh yeah, I got hit by a car. Enough time has passed now that I think I can talk about it. It happened in August, of the year before Covid. I wrote about it here, but CS very rightly encouraged me not to write any more than I did. I think I even took one post down, as I admitted some fault. When you watch the video above take note that the driver sped up to make the changing lights and at the last few seconds crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic. Then there is, of course, the collision. I walked out of the trauma center about three hours later. 

The hospital bill: just north of $50k. The only universal health care that I support is that some other entity covers the bill, comprehensively. I have this video because it was a Tesla, and the fool driving it submitted it to the police as "evidence." And sure it was. It showed that I was not entirely to blame. Teslas are very quiet, and low profile, and sneak up on unsuspecting cyclists as they are innocently trying to enjoy thiner day. The next time Elon tries to kill me, he had better use SpaceX. 


I knew I felt bad last night, unrelated to the video above. I was becoming ill. A sinus cold, I hope. All day I have suffered in different positions. My body sore, my mind besieged with minor miseries. It is a lucky thing that the sickness did not strike until Wednesday night. I had a challenging Mon-Wed, but it is now over. Tomorrow I die. You'll hear from me again on Sunday. That is the modern power of NyQuil, my cherry flavored savior. 









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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

So, I lurk like a spider.






I have been busy. Occupied, rather. Focused. It is engaging. Engagement is good. Right? Isn't it? 

I should find a picture before I write any more. There we go, a portrait of the boy. What could go wrong now?

I have gone easy on taking portraits of the boy and his mother, an effect of covid and sheltering. It suddenly feels somehow invasive. The boy is changing, too. I do not wish to make him unnecessarily self-conscious. I do like taking pictures of him, and of Raquel. 


I am writing this post out of a strange sense of guilt and dedication. I have not written in a while, and time starts to haunt. I have so little to say. The things of life have worn me down. 

I drank champagne after work. A mood took me, now the sugar has. Then what?










Saturday, March 27, 2021

Denver to Sacramento




I am still out of pictures, and out of time this morning. I must pack my stuff and get ready to go to the Denver airport. Then, the drive home from Sacramento. It took me a few years to discover this, but the Sacramento airport is the same amount of driving time from our house in Sonoma as the San Francisco airport, and the drive is much more pleasant. You don't get to see the city, or the Golden Gate Bridge, but the drive is more pleasant, fewer stop lights, simpler on the mind. 

I will eat a late breakfast in the airport since my buddy will be dropping me off about an hour and a half before my flight. He has an errand to run that has a clock ticking on it. So be it. I don't hate being in airports and on planes the way that I used to. I have come to peaceful terms with the experience. 

Some of the most comical experiences of my life have happened on planes. People are crazy, and I am very much at one with them on this. They make up stories that don't hold together, and I struggle to match them. I'll drink and tell them that I am flying to perform an exorcism, or that I used to be responsible for cutting off the hands of child shoplifters in Morocco. 

When I'm in a more benevolent mood I'll say that I am a lawyer who fights unjust evictions - pro bono. Or, that I am traveling with the ice-packed heart of a boy that just died in a car accident. The team is trying to save a little girl in Tulsa. 

Anything, really. You can be anything at all, if you just set your mind to the lie. 








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Friday, March 26, 2021

Delight In Evil


Birthday Boy Q6, and buddy


The boy's birthday was almost three months ago, but I have run out of pictures to use, and who doesn't love birthday cakes? 

Only the evil among us, that's who. 


Everywhere there is the danger of people discussing race. It seems that if you subscribe to any belief at all that people of color are and have been oppressed then you are "the woke" and must the resisted at all costs. Little matter that there is enormous objective evidence of this oppression... If you mention it then you are wrapped up a Critical Race Theory, a thing that you must be too stupid to understand. It's a bizarre world. Apparently the only way to not be a racist is to denounce anybody that cites the existence racial bias or oppression. It's called neo-racism, and the smart kids simply love it. 

There is much moral and intellectual hysteria on social media. Now, I love moral hysteria as much as anybody, and simply relish the intellectual kind. That's how God occasionally speaks to us, through his messengers and prophets when they are in their spiritual delerium. When they come stumbling out, they speak the truth. I've done that a few times at Burning Man, to much imaginary adoration and applause until they turned on me with the stones.

It is only through spiritual and moral certainty that documentaries such as this one can be made: 






Okay, that's all for me today. I am preparing to go for a bike ride with my buddy. A nice, long wholesome bike ride through the country. Maybe we will stop and get a beer or two with lunch. It is my last day here. 




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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Blue Sky Basin - Vail


Super Shredder Event




Well, I know how much the fans of this page have been clamoring for some action leisure sport shots. So, today is your day. That's me, looking stylish and athletic, at Vail - Blue Sky Basin, to be exact. Yes, I know that there are many who find the very existence of this newly opened set of runs a contentious matter, but when you're paying good American money to enjoy the artifice of freedom you can't let yourself get wrapped up in all that noise. I am eager to bring Raquel and the boy back here, now that I have explored the region and verified that it is safe. 

In truth, I'm glad that I came back. The last visit here was strained and I spent much of it distracted, self-involved. This visit was mostly more fun. As I improve at snowboarding it means less of a daily strain on my body and more enjoyment. It's still a physically demanding sport, but it helps when you learn how to fight it from happening less. Proficiency at the sport helps conserve leg strength. We rode about sixty miles in three days. 

Today, I plan on only resting and eating, maybe a little afternoon wine drinking. Possibly a bike ride this afternoon. Last night my friend made braised short ribs, asparagus, and salad. I paired it with a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Decoy winery. Not quite within my new "no red meat" diet regimen, but who can say no to such deliciousness? I am on vacation. I slept for many hours and awoke feeling that I had done the right thing. Now, I must fight off the calories. 


This trip has not been all laughs. Yesterday, we were driving home from the mountains and we just so happened to drive by the supermarket in Boulder where that kid just killed ten people, including a cop. There was a big vigil outside the supermarket. We kept driving on, the road was lined with hundreds of emergency vehicles, many with their lights on. We realized that it was a procession of some sort for the cop that was killed during the shooting. As we sat there in traffic all the cop cars with their lights on drove by, then eventually the hearse that carried the officer’s body, covered in a flag. It was all very surreal, an unexpectedly powerful thing to witness. 

What can be said about those things by me that has not already been said. It seems that almost everybody is against spree killings, but nothing can be done. Nobody is ever truly safe from anything. My joke above about exploring the region to verify that it is safe confirms that. 

When I try to imagine the thoughts and feelings that go through a person's mind leading up to and then conducting a spree killing, all that I can usually come up with is that the killer wishes to see people in helpless terror. To know that he is the cause of that helplessness and terror. There must be much more to it than that. Because if that's all that it is then it would probably happen even much more often. 







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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Tao














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I just love flying in helicopters




I know how cherished my vacation pics are. That is what I will bestow on my fan base today. Followed by a lengthy opinion piece, an exploration of which watches are the best to wear snowboarding. Give the people what they want! That's what I always like to say. 
 
I feel truly terrible this morning. My buddy and I stayed up and drank last night. Today we are supposed to do the Blue Sky Basin trails. They can be seen just underneath the word "Legendary" in the above picture. These trails are not for beginners, a group in which I like to still count myself. There are only Blue and Black Diamonds there. I have been assured that I have really advanced in the sport, and that I am now squarely in the "intermediate" category, but I know better. I can feel how little control I have over the speed and direction of the board and myself upon it at any given time. I am never very far from tragedy or an airlift off of the mountain. 

But, it all makes me feel younger. Death or disfigurement seems a small price to pay. 


We stayed up arguing politics, which went really well. We are both lifelong liberals, whatever that means anymore. Don't let the Tom Brady, Buccaneers' jersey fool you. Some mutual friends bought that for him as a gift. It is not a political statement. It is the only time that I have ever seen him wear a sport's jersey of any kind. I tried to point out that both liberals and conservatives engage in a lot of bad faith arguments and that contemporary "liberal politicians" have basically become the GOP-lite. This discussion was very thin on facts and detail but heavy on emotion, opinion, even a little harmless conspiracy. 

This is how aging liberals get their kicks, I guess

Liberals annoy me so much that, at times, I have resorted to defending Trump. It brings me a perverse pleasure, specifically when it's an area that is so easy to prove your point. Like the claim of white nationalism in his remarks after Charlottesville. The "very fine people on both sides" claim that many major media agencies reported then and now refer to as a settled truth, confirming Trump's support of white nationalism. Joe Biden, that battery-operated corpse, even cited it as his reason for deciding to run for the presidency. Most people are either shocked or dismissive when they read the entire clip. 

Some are smart enough to realize they've been duped, some others must enjoy it. 

This is not to try and say that Trump deserves defending, at all. He doesn't. I just think it's worth establishing precisely how duplicitous our cherished media outlets can be, and how much politicians knowingly take advantage of this dishonesty. If I can do this at the expense of an old friendship then the taste is even that much sweeter. 

I hope you can hear my sarcasm and perhaps even mild remorse in that last sentence. It is no fun to argue politics with anybody, but definitely not an old friend. They're just not making any new old friends any more. It's only the old, broken-down ones that I should learn to get along with. 

I may need to practice holding my tongue more when Nancy Pelosi is presented as one of the great defenders of liberalism, and the levee that held back the Trump abuses of power.

Uh-huh. I'll just keep nodding my head. Uh-huh.

 


 


 








Tuesday, March 23, 2021

"I wish that I knew what I know now"




I told you.... that's us at the Ritz Carlton in Beaver Creek. My face looks about twice as big as my buddy's because it is. Everybody has their cross to bear, mine's my skull. I should know better by now and always have my friends take the selfie, so that I can arrange my face compositionally behind the other face or faces. This will help make it seem more normal. It's not normal, but there are tricks that can be employed in photography to make things seem other than they are.

Yesterday was really something. A full day snowboarding. We did about 13-14 runs and 25 miles. I have started to ride glades. Those are patches of trees that can be reasonably maneuvered around, often separated by runs on either side. My skill levels are not quite up to where they need to be to do such a thing, but that is often how one learns. 

I'm still a little bit surprised at myself for taking up the hobby of snowboarding at this age. I wonder how long before I simply can not get myself locked into my bindings. You will see older people still skiing, often together as cute retired couples, but there are no older snowboarders. I am the oldest that I've ever met. So, I begin to ask myself if snowboarding is simply something that becomes too difficult to do as you age, or if the relative newness of the sport has created a population of mostly younger - or at least younger than me - snowboarders. That, as I get older I will also see others like me.

Perhaps there is just that one injury that takes them out of the sport for life. Every day that I ride it occurs to me that what I am doing is in fact a rather dangerous thing to do. If I stop and think about the risk vs. reward it does raise some questions. But, what did I end yesterday's post with? Something about my high willingness to purchase the cosmetic feelings of freedom. Could anything be more indicative of such a thing as a privately owned ski resort where my buddy and I happily bought $10 draft beers. Perhaps only Disney World offers a similar superficiality of feeling and experience.  

Today: Vail. 








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Monday, March 22, 2021

Beaver Creek


Beaver Creek Lift/Runs Map


This is what I'll be doing today - women will love me, price will be no object, my feats of athleticism and skill will wow the many onlookers and fans. 

Hardly. I stayed up last night and drank a bottle of red wine and had a baked whitefish dinner with my buddy, Tim. We talked about old times and recent times. We talked of the suicide. Apparently the friend who ended it had become obsessed with conspiracy theories recently and had somewhat even fallen from the grasp of the deep end with them. He had not emerged recently from the proverbial online basement and was given over to increasingly wild speculations and claims. He went Q-Maganon.

Their romantic relationship had suffered greatly from the increasingly detached and angry political stances. He and his wife had been separated for over a year because of it. Or, that was at least a part of the cause of separation. Or, that is what I was told. 


Okay, I must wake my buddy up soon, so that we can start our long and exhausting day. This resort has very long runs. If one wishes you can pretty much snowboard the entire mountain, then take a series of lifts back to the top and do it all over again. Doesn't sound like so much fin when described that way, but for a person that has always been happy to purchase or barter for the temporary feelings of freedom, it is something. 


Ritz Carlton





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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Limantour redux




The boy and I went to Limantour beach today, with the husky puppy, Akira. Then, we went to Nick's Cove for seafood. The boy ate fifteen oysters. I only know because I noticed that neither of the two dozen we bought were shared quite equally. I can be quite understanding about such things, and love nothing more than to see the boy happy and hungry.  

Raquel and the boy depart for Arizona tomorrow, from the same Sacramento airport that I'll be flying to Denver from, though two hours earlier. A week in the desert, for them, with grandma. The same week spent funboarding in the snow, for me - Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge - listed only to drive CS dippy with the opulent sin their resort names must evoke in imaginary costs, prestige, and of course privilege. 

We will have cocktails at the Ritz-Carlton, again, my buddy and I. Etc.


My life is not so enviable, though. CS' impression is a distorted one, but how could it possibly be otherwise? What was it the old Allman Brothers said about such things?


That video is well worth watching. It's a time capsule, of sorts. It documents the true and genuine pride with which some women of a certain region and era used to display their receiving departments, particularly how such behavior is directly related to cars and music, though the connection is rarely ever made explicitly. 

Of course, my impressions have perhaps always been distorted.









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Friday, March 19, 2021

The heretics






Identity is the inward sense of being that one projects outwardly. Or, I think that's what identity is now. It can consist of other attributes and phantasms, also. A shared sense of self, particularly as it conforms to a recognizable heritage, though that sense can become delimited by an array of ambiguous cultural and racial superstitions. 

To note another's unshared heritage is heresy. 
Only we can assert me. 







I got the news this morning that a friend committed suicide. He was one of my favorite old people, from back before the war. His mother killed his father, then herself, many years ago. I remember when he told me, one afternoon when we were listening to records. I was shocked by the truth of it, the complete and violent supremacy of the act. There can be no murder trial in such cases, except in absentia, when there is money to be fought over. 

His children found his body on Tuesday. 


















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Thursday, March 18, 2021

We'll call it even






I have been looking at watches again - Swatches, even. They are as fine a thing as most all else - finer, even. I suspect that I have discovered why I love watches - they need no one, ever. 


I see now why, and how, life spirals into its funnels, eddies of strong downstream currents; fun without escape, ever and ever; even Eden, Eve.


Look! A mechanical moon, sun.











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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Short-Term Capital Gains


Vacheron Constantin, ref. 57260


The watch would not only be for the storing of little souls. The science is still undecided on whether or not midgets even have souls. I've read that they're using albinos as a control group for testing, though I'm not sure how that would possibly settle the question. It is impossible to say what truths mankind has missed out on by ignoring some of its most cherished rituals. The science of cat-burning is no more. It fell out of favor as an area of serious intellectual inquiry hundreds of years ago. I suspect there may be fringe scientists along the coasts of Mississippi and Louisiana, doing God's work. 


The watch pictured above is considered the most complicated mechanical watch ever built, with 57 complications. That is, 57 functions that go beyond the simple relaying of hours, minutes, and seconds. The watch I bought recently has a single complication, to give you an idea - it mechanically relays the date. 

Cost for the Vacheron Constantin: somewhere near $8 million. It is not a watch that is meant to be touched very much. 


Why the fascination with mechanical watches? I do not know and can not quite express it, but I feel it. I tend to doubt that I will buy another. They are not quite like cameras, for me, where each one does something slightly different, and where lenses can be used on multiple bodies. Or, even if each one does do something slightly different, I believe that I only wished to satiate my desire to own a mechanical watch once. I have no interest in becoming a collector, though there are a number of beautiful watches out there. People who collect watches are an interesting and odd group. There are many websites dedicated to the pursuit. Here is one that I find to be better than most of the others, also for reasons that I can't quite put my finger on.

The deep divisions within that group that the word "Rolex" evokes is a fascination unto itself. CS is against the chronograph behemoth. I will admit that they make fine watches, though they have never entered the truly haut de gamme market.  CS says they are for douche-bags and there is evidence aplenty to suggest this is the case. Tag Hauer is not far off from Rolex, either. I'm thinking about going to a watch show just to see if I can get somebody to take a swing at me. My Casio is probably the best watch to be wearing for a fist fight, and jail. 


 








 









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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Now, some people





I've decided that I am going to use my new watch to house people's little ephemeral souls. This perfect miniature mechanical world seems the place for it. Or, even better, the one pictured above, from Milan. It has more of the look and feel of a reaper, a storer of spirits. Between Italian and German watches I suspect I'd have all of my soul repository issues pretty much sorted. 

Now, some people, when the location of souls is discussed, find it demonic to suggest that one person should be the housing for another's soul. Others incorporate the idea into their religious practices. I'm neither kind. I just want to know and feel that the spirits of the tortured and joyous are held alike and forced together inside my wristwatch, where I can hold it to my ear and discern their frittering. Not forced together in the standard sexual manner, for visual pleasures, but rather forced to coexist in this timekeeper's idea of chronological harmony.


Using the watch above as an example: On the 6th of every month, when the date field reflects both the correct numeric for the representation of time of day as well as the day of the month, then we will celebrate Satan - whether this likely imaginary entity either is or isn't, whether Beelzebub exists or otherwise. The 6th is his day. The 5th is reserved to celebrate man, in accordance with the scripture of The Pixies. We know what the 7th represents. That will be the day that no underwear is allowed to be worn or spoken of in all of paradise. 












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Monday, March 15, 2021

How you wait





I don't take pictures any more. I am just going to write longingly about my deep and abiding love for expensive vacation locales. I might write a slim volume of poetry about Tahoe, employing the pathetic fallacy in every stanza. That is what seems to keep my fans happy. That, and the stock pictures I can pull from the internet and use without permission. 

I go back to Colorado on Sunday. More snowboarding. I'm going to ride as much as I can until the inevitable lifelong injury. 

There is only waiting and death. It is how you wait that seems to matter most. 







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Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Big Pond in the Sky


I did not take this pic, and do not like it


Yes, it's true, in some ways I have a charmed life. I am CS' Paris Hilton, without the chihuahuas. I keep reminding him to stop being poor, but some messages just can't ever seem to land. He is resistant to the finer things in life. I do what I can, but he may be beyond reach or repair.

I sit here again this morning at the big A-frame window watching the sun come up over Lake Tahoe. It is even more beautiful than it was yesterday with the rich pinks lining the horizon. I know that color functions as a possible warning for our drive home, but who cares, we will have a full day of skiing and snowboarding. The drive home will take care of itself. My Audi is all-wheel-drive, so what could we possibly have to worry about. 

I have started calling the place Tahoe Lake just to piss people off. It grates against their expectations and people do not care for that. Comfortable people should have their sensibilities disrupted from time to time, if not entirely upended. That's what the IRS has just done to me. For the first time in my life I have money set aside for an emergency, or perhaps to buy a house. But I made the mistake of saving too much of it too quickly, through the sale of stocks. The mathematicians that work for the government decided that I was their kind of citizen and generously bumped me up into the next tax bracket, which allows them to take enough money from me to knock me down into the next tax bracket. Instead of calling this a wash, they just keep a lot more of my money than I expected. This resulted in. me making less money than I did the year before, by making more money in 2020. That's not a joke, they literally took all of my raises, post-tax bonuses, and even some of my stock sales away from me. I kept much less only because I made some more. 

Complaining about it is not patriotic, I know. What I've learned from the experience is to never just barely enter the next tax bracket. You should always make enough to leap to the center or higher of it. Anything less really does feel as if you're being punished for your ambition and success. 

It is only a matter of time before I start decrying the wastes of social welfare programs, advocating for a flat tax for all. 









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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Incline Village





I know that CS will lose a little bit more of his mind at this post, as he is just on the verge of traveling and I have hardly stopped, but we are at Lake Tahoe again for the weekend. Two friends were in town and they had a spare bedroom at the place they're staying, so away we went. Next Sunday I depart for Colorado. When it comes to winter sports one must strike while the iron is hot.  Metaphors don't always work for me, sometimes it feels that I am only a contract worker for them. 

Watching the sun rise over the lake here this morning is beautiful. The house my friend rented for a few months sits slightly up the hill at Incline Village. The waters of the lake can be glimpsed generously through the trees. The morning sun placing in spotlight the tall trees that surround the house like sentinels. It truly is a lovely place for white people to contemplate the meaning of things. It's going to be fun when whites are no longer the majority in America. It will open many comedic opportunities for me in conversation. What a privilege that will be. Perhaps my irreverence will finally receive its just rewards. 

Okay, we have planned to be at the lifts early. I must go manage my body's expectations for the day. 

Hate me all that you wish to. I am ready to travel, also. 



From CS's post yesterday (it made me giggle):

 It is my fretting and worry that holds the world together.  My world, I should say, for the rest of you seem to enjoy life trouble-free, or so it would seem.  It must be nice, for instance, to have the Life of Q, with its hundred vacation days in Aspen or other haunts of the rich and famous each year.  New cameras and expensive wines and boogie watches and the natural beauty of California's Wine Country--the boy never tires of reminding me that he has it made.  He rides me like a cheap mule.  







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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

And are you satisfied with the life you're living?





Even bad sex can keep you in a relationship. Ask your priest. Imagine how bad some of the sex must be between the fathers of the church and one or more of those flirty kids that lure them away from Christ and into sexual relationships. That more priests don't strangle kids to death during sex is a testament of their dedication to Christ and his principles. Though, sometimes I suppose it must feel as if they are floating, freer than they have ever felt before, liberated even from the prying eyes of their beloved savior, when a child parishioner seems receptive to their kindnesses and coquetry, to their touch. 

That said, initial penetration must be a real shocking nuisance for the child. The human anus only becomes elastic with practice. 


Fuck, this is not at all what I thought I was going to write about. This should stop, it is hideous. I mean them, not me. 

The only time that I ever considered fucking a priest, I stopped myself, I was merely using him to get to God, and the sacrament of wine. Nuns are useless in this capacity. Worse. They are oftenest the tattling teetotalers of the sacristy. God humors the weaker sex. It's called punishment. You can read about it in the expository biblical chapters. My favorite is Exodus. How did the Jews know about Bob Marley then? All credit must go to Jah, on high. Prophecy, it is written.


Do you see what happens when I don't write in the mornings? Ugly and misshapen things spring up from my mind like a fount of holy water. 



I'm getting into identity as a focal point for my entire moral and ethical framework. I am a middle-aged white cis-gendered male living a privileged life. I like the sound of that. No commas, just descriptors without separation. Who would not wish to live the privileged life? I'm absolutely all for justice under the law and equality of opportunities, but those are very easy principles to support in speech. Anybody can do it, even the Trump children. What sort of monster doesn't want those things for everybody? Well, there are some. But, what sort of person can rest until their full fruition has come to be? Those who are not sufficiently anti-racist, and willing to make public displays of their allegiance with their allies. The kind that I described earlier in this paragraph. 

That is whom: Them.


I wonder when or if American society at large will return to the idea that they are free to choose their own identities. Things were not always as they are now, they have been better and worse. We heralded rappers for their assertion of identity. Or, I did, from '88-'92. We herald serial killers with binge-worthy passion on Netflix for their unique pathological dispositions, and its expression in crime. We share a national heritage of fierce individualism, which includes Billy the Kid as much as it does Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln and Lee Harvey Oswald, Kurt Cobain and his wife. Etc. The lists of individuals go on and on and on. Yet, we all seem willing enough now to accept a type as a possible shield against the very things we had hoped to enshrine: the burden of defining yourself. Identity is much easier to adopt or claim than personality is to develop. 


Soon, I hope, we can mostly all just agree that the strict identitarians whose voices have become loud and amplified by others are at once boring, loathsome, and wrong about what it means to be human and free. 

No group has ever been all that fascinating. Name one identifiable social group and I'll demonstrate that there are thousands or millions of forgettable and insignificant people deeply attached to it. 

Glory is fleeting, but identity is for never. 



Like this: I am a middle-aged white cis-gendered male living a privileged life.











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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Raquel Garterbelt




Similar to CS, I wrote a post but then deleted it, now I have nothing left to whine out loud about. I took Raquel and the boy out in the back yard yesterday and subjected them both to a few candid portraits, to better document our time in isolation. In truth, we have not suffered very much. Learning to become a teacher has been the most difficult part. I leave for Colorado again in two weeks, to go snowboarding. We go to Tahoe next weekend, for the same. It is not as if we are being punished much by the pandemic. I should feel bad about it, but I don't. 


Many years ago - when Rachel and I were dating off and on, breaking up as much as we got back together - her maiden name was Rachel Gartley, which I converted to Raquel Garterbelt whenever I would write her postcards from wherever I was in the world, which she seemed get tickled by. It seems another lifetime ago now, and it is, one in which there is no possible return. Twenty years have come and gone. I remember one postcard that I wrote from Barcelona that read only: To see you naked is to recall the earth. It is a quote from Lorca, I believe, and I do believe it. 

Oh, those wonderful early years when our love was fresh and new and volatile. I wish now that I would have written it all down, to give myself a trail of crumbs to climb my way back towards it. All of it. There should be pictures which bring to life the desperation of our love. 

 










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Saturday, March 6, 2021

After Time




I am happily back to my series of underwater pictures. I received a new work computer and also fixed my old work computer, which granted me access to the beloved submerged family portraits. There are so many things I should do today. So many things. 

Ha!... submerged family.


Last night's post provides ample evidence of why one should not write after drinking a bottle and a half of wine. It seemed to make sense as I was blathering it all to myself. I even went back and edited it a few times. To endure another's drunkenness, or the after-effects of your own just as you recorded them, is horrid. If I had less capacity for shame I would probably censor myself. But I seem able to absorb all of it, time after time.













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