Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It went "zip" when it moved and "bop" when it stopped and "whirr" when it stood still

I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will...*

Today the zipping and bopping and whirring is a bit out of synch, everything I aim at ends up untouched with the hit landing well off into the left-field bleachers. The synapses seem to be firing just fine but somewhere between the command center and where the actual grunt work gets done reveals the message was garbled such that “scratch nose” results in, “OW! My EYE! My Eye! OW! OW! OW!”

I click on the Mamacita link and end up at Outside/In; what was supposed to be shaving cream ends up as air-freshener; the coffee pot ends up not back on its burner but in the feed slot of my printer; I reach for the cereal box and end up with rat poison (apologies to Gary Larson for shamelessly ripping off his cartoon). Somewhere between intention and conclusion is a bank of cold gray chaos, the means mystify the ends. If I manage to make it back here without having set fire to something, backed over something, smoked a finger, stubbed a toe or had something blowed-up (blowed-up REAL good!), Eris be praised, I’ll tip my libation to the forces that secured the world from my toxic participation.

It’s not as though I’m lacking sleep (I slept like a baby last night) but maybe it was the dreams. My usual morning arrives with me not cognizant of a single dream but I woke up today with three dreams on my mind. Well, after several cups of coffee and some eye-gouging, I only remember one of them but I recall I had three.

The dream I do remember found me in some high-stakes trivia game emceed by none other than Regis Philbin. At the start of the game I was given $100,000 to wager and I could bet any or all on the question. What the question was I don’t recall but I remember that although I did not know the answer, the answer was obvious after some deductive reasoning. See, I’m the Trivia God and after opening a can of Whupass on other trivia unfortunates I’m invariably asked, “How in the world do you know all this stuff?” Thing is, I don’t really know all that stuff but I know enough to apply deductive reasoning to discern the answer. No matter the game: NTN or Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit, the clues in the question usually narrows down the possibilities to a single, correct answer. So when Regis read off the choices, deductively everything was sewn up tight. So I bet the whole enchilada and gave him the answer.

“I’m sorry but that’s not the correct an-sah,” he said, “You lost one hundred thousand doll-ahs and you’re out of the game!”

Astounded, dejected, I snatched the answer card out of his hand and walked away down a corridor, past a T.J. Maxx and an Orange Julius to the escalator that took me downstairs to Saks Fifth Avenue where I decided to spend $75 on shirts (2 for 1!) as a consolation prize. Unfortunately, all the shirts were ugly and I was having a difficult time deciding how I’d piss away my seventy-five bucks. Impatiently going through the racks for something pleasing, I took a look at the answer card I’d taken from Regis and saw – I was right! The bastard cheated! I should have been sitting on two-hundred grand and answering another question but the son of a bitch had gypped me!
Freud said that “Dreams are the royal road to the subconscious,” and maybe the dream had something to do with all the wrong buttons pushed, the forehead smacked into door jambs. It’s hard to say. What’s not hard to say is that if you travel in my sphere today, steer clear, you’re liable to end up with an injury.

You’ve been warned.

* and sincere apologies to Tom Paxton; with the spastic way my body disregards my mind, I assume I’ll offering a lot of apologies today.

Monday, August 28, 2006

No, no, no, hold your hand a little higher on your head and say "WAH!!!"

Jaded and tainted blogger that I am, I’ve learned to sit on a post when it garners a lot of love (relative to this puissant little place) and bleed the damn thing for all its refreshing comment-y goodness. Not my hard and fast policy but it seems that when I sit on something substantial, there’s a reasonable ratio of ranting-to-chatter to satisfy my need for feedback.

Yes, I’m a vain ass and although that’s not news to any of you, saying it creates an illusion of humility for me.

My last post seemed to have run its natural course until I got home a few nights back and discovered almost a half-dozen more well-wishers. Yet, tempted as I am to milk every drop for all the potential for titty-twisting tears, I guess I should pop out of my hidey-hole and say “hello”, screw the comment count.

I keed, I keed, I’m not that mercenary. Or am I? (sound of chin rubbing and the inevitable “shit, dammit” as ashes drop on the front of a perfectly serviceable Hawaiian shirt while little lightning bolts shoot out of my head and a flanged “whoo whoo” sound floods the room).

At the risk of slapping you darlings with a huge slab of The Obvious, I confess that my silence this past week has not been my meretricious gluttony for glad tidings but phone calls, oh so many calls. Playing catch-up for sixteen years of love lost is no small feat and aside from the wee ones here who demand my unconditional focus as well as the Jay Oh Bee, I’ve hardly had time to catch up on the ironing much less post tidbits from my pathetic life.

OK, that’s bullshit; not the time constraints but the suggestion that I actually touch an iron.

It’s been an interesting week, sharing details of my life with Nicole and her mom, Julie, so much to say and impossible to plan how those details will unfold. It’s been something akin to setting out into the wilderness without any map and only a few words to explain the landscape. The excitement of discovery tempered with a fear of the unknown. Now we’re settling down, settling in, and I’m finding myself checking my inclination to be too much father too soon. Despite my joy at having been blessed by this new-found daughter, I need to remind myself that as far as she’s concerned, my role as “father” is little more than titular at this point.

There’s only one thing I’m certain of regarding the future: I’ll be blogging more. I couldn’t say there’s a value system that instills some kind of principle in my permission to shout shit to everyone with access to the internet. Chuck a chunk of meat out and see who chews on the gristle, I say.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oh. My. God. Omigodomigodomigodo. My. God.

As if today couldn't get any better.

The wee ones and I had a marvelous time skipping school and making the most of our summer day, whizzing around a balmy August brew like love-mad beetles then huddling inside during our timely and tempestuous afternoon storm (skipped the movie but we didn't need it anyway). My suggestion of chili-mac vetoed by a 3-1 margin. "Order a pizza, daddy," pepperoni & black olive (munchkins loves em' some black olives) and a free box of brownie bits; my vegan earth-firster eldest daughter picked the meat off her slices. When the mountain shadows laid out our dark bedroll, the girls settled in for the twixty-dozenth viewing of The Princess Diaries while little man bashed characters on the screen with a Batman figurine.

Daddy poured himself a few drams of brandy and opened his book, kicked his feet up and waited for the inevitable wilting of the sprouts. Yes, this is my usual stream-of-consciousness nonsense (*international hand gesture signifying jerking off*) and no, it's not without direction.

This is a story I've never told, ever, not even once. Not for sense of shame or regret but because all stories need an ending and until tonight, this story was an amorphous mess. There was nothing to tell in a larger sense because it was essentially pointless.

Back in the day of my Mister Strummin' & Stompin' studman pose (jerkoff twit that I was), I went through women like guitar picks, used em' and losed em', tossing one down when it felt wrong and picking up another one as it suited me. It's not like I was dishonest about it but neither was I nice about it because hey, we all have a contract to sign and sometimes the rider is a bitch. I didn't write the rules, I sure as shit didn't enforce them (unless you owed me money, motherfucker), and I wasn't too concerned at how they were applied just as long as my dick didn't get nicked. Yes, I was a self-centered prick but I had the rationale to justify my prickiness.

In the midst of that, someone* got pregnant. Not that I cared one whit ("What do you expect ME to do about that?!?") but for basic CYA I cast aspersions, pointed fingers (not my own, of course), and indulged in my own meth-a-matics to prove it was not MY sperm that had split a zygote. When I got the call that previous conquest-n was in labor, my reaction was I wasn't there, I was insubsantial (and probably on the business end of a bong) so therefore - what was your point?

Years passed. I dropped the band gig and went back to college, cut my hair and became a Republican (juuuuuuust kidding!!!). As I was nearing the end of my second degree, I got a call from you-made-me-pregnant lady saying that "our daughter" was about to be adopted and I needed to sign over my parental rights in order to seal the deal. Considering mom was living in a meth den with toothless stooges and I was an oh-so-superior scientist with Stanford in my sites, I decided what the shit. I'll give a daddyless little girl a better life then move on with my own Platonic perfection.

There was a meeting of all involved parties in some DHS warren for everything to get stamped, notarized, and knuckled under. I met the adoptive parents and saw they were infinitely superior to me (at that point in my life); I met mom and she was as pretty as I'd remembered her; I met my dubious daughter and although she was completely apathetic to me (regarding me as if I was petrified gum under a table top), I saw myself.

As I watched Nicole dance and sing and put blocks together, I realized she was mine or at the very least, yes, I had sired her.

Later in the day, I took a trip up to see the spread the potential adoptive parents had, an estate in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the country. I was impressed. More than that, they struck me as good people who honestly wanted a child to love and nurture and pass on all the advantages that had blessed them. As soon as I got back, I signed. Even if she wasn't mine (as I continued to convince myself), the kid deserved that kind of life, a life that few of us can have.

In the years that followed, my certainty that what I saw in that beautiful little girl haunted me. At odd times, stoned to the gourd, I'd break out a picture of her and hand it to a friend and every time - EVERY TIME - they'd say, "Oh - is this your daughter?" I didn't even have to prompt them; they saw the resemblance right away. Whatever lies I told myself about her got shredded between the fine blades of my friend's perception and my own intuition that her mom had been telling the truth from the gitgo. The older I got, the more my heart made sense, that I indeed had a daughter out there despite what my shitpail head had been saying from ding one.

The louder my heart chattered, the more fantasies I had. A little girl walking back into my life, showing up at my door and announcing, "I'm pretty sure you're my dad." Me wondering how I'd react and what I'd say to justify my supreme ass holiness or how I'd weasel out of my intellectual fuck-you-all that had whitewashed my smarmy disregard for her and her mom.

I dreaded that moment, feared it hard. Yet, despite the fear, I continued to entertain that instance when she'd finally call me out and insist, "You are him, that man who made me."

Tonight was that moment, that moment when all I had imagined had become real. I had just turned out the lights when my mom called. "Do you remember your daughter from years ago? Well, she called me and asked me for your number. She's 16 now and a sweet girl, a level-headed girl. And she's about to call you." It felt as though the sleeping bag I had been walking around in had been suddenly unzipped. I was naked and cold.

Five minutes later, another call came. Not enough time for me to prepare my kids for "Hey! You have an older sister and this is how it works!"

No matter, my daughter got on the phone and blew me away. Told me all about the things she's into, what she's about, who she is, where she's going, what she's done, where she's come from, why she's calling now and how, all her life, she's wanted to talk to me. I wept. Talking about her, about me, about us, I held back the choking voice that comes with tears of joy. I'd played this moment over in my mind so many times and now, the dream comes true.

Here's my daughter:

I'm past words, beyond reason; there is nothing I can say. These pictures show me my folly, the girl I did not raise, the woman she is becoming, that knowing that she is incredible and special and brilliant and beautiful but also knowing that for whatever she is becoming, she only has my genes. My loving hand remains a mere footnote in the biography that is who she will be.

Nicole and I talked for a long time and then I passed the phone to her new-found brother and sister. Lilly assured her that yes, she was happy to learn she had an older, teenaged sister but the mother-hen-of-the-brood mantle was not being passed; Zeke assured her that he was glad that a new boss had walked into town.

This is a story that is just emerging. As I said earlier, I've never mentioned this because there was no story to tell. All of a sudden, the stories scream to be told. If there was ever an exciting time to be a reader on this blog, you just walked into the Citizen Kane moment. Rosebud is just a sled but there's so much more to be said.

*Julie - Nicole's mom - is an incredible woman. There's no intent to diminish her but the narrative, unfortunately, requires that I tell the story in a way that at worst minimizes her and at best, objectifies her. I could not find away around that without sacrificing the telling of this tale.

Julie has endured far worse than me and has risen far higher than me. If in the service of presenting this story I've diminished her at all, I apologize with all my heart. She is a much better person than I can ever hope to be.

The funnies of my Sunday

Today was supposed to be the second day of school for the kids but I was up late and the car wouldn't start and it's such a beautiful day. The rain has made the mountains mad with wildflowers, the best thing to do was to pick & play. Summer trumped school.

X has some sweet deal for daycare but it's a different district; the kids in Manitou Springs don't start until next week. As we sat in my non-starting car this morning, me streaming my most gutter French, I saw the pained look on my kid's faces as they watched friends and neighbors riding bikes and skating and picking blades of grass into massive heaps and laying a carpet on the sidewalk. The world was passing them by. Rather than beat my dashboard silly, I unbuckled joyful cherubs from carseats and set them free. A new itinerary, tea parties beneath a weeping willow and puddles screaming for little feet, a small brown ocean as big as an imagination can hold.

When our daily thunderstorm rolls in we'll go to the dollar movies and see Over the Hedge, eat pancakes at IHOP. Then come back here and make a drawing with 40 pages of Daddy's 'to recycle' printer paper, lip-synch Sugarloaf's "Green-Eyed Lady," bake and eat brownies.

Besides, today is my Sunday. My day to be full-on what do we do next dad. There's time enough for eat your peas ("at least FIVE") and brush your teeth dad, I'll be with you in 30 seconds can't you see I'm trying to do something at the moment dad. Today we dig for worms and put them into flowerpots because pet worms deserve decent homes. And it is not a home if there is no heart.

If summer trumps school, hearts trump everything.

Speaking of hearts, my fickle one found this earlier and light up the shadowed side of my daddy heart:

What I Learn Weeding

A dandelion root can grow two feet long.
You don't forget unearthing one—shocking
as a donkey in an old French postcard.

But mostly, love, we pull their heads off
to achieve our shallow vision of a garden.
The root cleaves to the darkness,

the same dark that sets our hips to rocking,
to burrowing into the other's body
or slapping it away. Briefly a stillness,

a long waiting to rise. Respiration. Sleep.
Until, without nurturing, a green shoot,
a thumb raked lightly across a thigh

and we succumb to this buried fury, this fever
to reseed. Oh, subterranean marriage
of root and soil! Oh, saw-blade leaf

and sunburst of maddened flower!

Copyright © 2006 Kathleen Flenniken All rights reserved
from Famous Bison Books
Reprinted by Patriside® without permission but with tons o' love

-- See you in the funny papers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another post in which I steal ideas from another blogger and slap stuff up thinking you'll find it interesting

Today I borrow shamelessly from Landismom at the wonderful Bumblebee Sweet Potato (who also has one of my favorite names for a blog) and answer the questions she answered regarding some questions raised at BlogHer:

1. Do your kids know about your blog? If they’re too young to know, do you plan to keep it open to them as they get older?

They sort of know; Lilly and Marni are more aware that I'm writing about them than Zeke is but they all notice the pics and they're all a little taken with themselves when they see their pictures posted. To them, it's like being on TV.

As far as the second part of the question is concerned, I intend to keep up with this blog as long as I'm a parent, i.e. until the moment I shuffle off this mortal coil.

2a. If so - do you worry they may get embarrassed later? What would you do if they asked you to stop writing about them? What would you do if they wanted you to take it down all together?

I'm certain that they'll be a little embarrassed when they get older (pre-teen/teen years, embarrassed by a parent being a quality of that stage) and I intend to give them editorial prerogative at that point. My parenting style involves mutual respect and I'd certainly consider the concerns of a child who feels what I write might compromise their standing amongst peers, the world, etc. However, I'm convinced my kids think dad's a bit of a weirdo anyway.

2b. If not, what are you doing to make sure they never find it? What if they do find it?

3. Do you think our kids will appreciate the archive of their childhood? Do you wish your parents had done the same?

I started journals for each of my children soon after they were delivered. Unfortunately, my idiot brother and white-trash sister-in-law destroyed journals for two of the kids (background here when Zeke was mauled by my brother's dog) and only Lilly's journals survive. This blog takes the place of those journals to some degree (I still write personal notes to them as well as file away bits of artwork and other things) but a glimpse of their foreward footsteps is generalized here. I love that they'll be able to search archives for my chronicles of moments they may have forgotten.

Yes, I wish my parents had done the same but I don't resent them for not doing it.

4. Do you go back and re-read your past parenting milestones? Do you realize you forgot a lot?

Something I learned in school was that once I wrote something down, it was usually committed to memory. Plus, I tend to work very hard at attentiveness, to watch my children and engrave moments into my gray matter, as though an intangible etching tool moves silently through my hippocampus to tangibly implant that moment into eternity.

5. What about your children’s friends/teachers/moms-of-friends? What if they found your blog? Do you tell your child not to tell anyone about it or are they free to talk about it? Do you worry their teachers or other parents will think it’s weird?

If anything survives from my punk years it's my attitude that this is what you get, take it or leave it. I'd prefer that anyone who stumbles onto this tiny corner of the blogosphere appreciates how I obviously adore my children but I pretty much don't give a fuck what anyone thinks.

Back up The Pass - it's my Thursday - and I think I'll post again tonight. Maybe even about my kids...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sad t'day, Sumday, never on Mumday so a meme suffices

With this new job, Saturdays are the saddest day of the week. Because of the hours (i head up The Pass at 2 to be at work by 2:30), I leave my little ones with either X or my parents - depending on the week - then don't see them again until Thursday. If anything will cause me to quit this job (aside from an offer of much better money), it will be that it has taken my time away from the kids. Since my shift ends at 10:30 at night, picking the kids up from my parent's is out of the question and so the kidlets end up spending the night on Wednesday and every other Saturday, my 3 or 4 days reduced to 2 days.

I had all three in the tub yesterday morning as we prepared to get them to their mom. There's no fight to get them into the bath, it's like dessert-time for them. The buckets of toys come out and the towel I keep under the sink goes down on the floor to soak up each splash of exuberance, just as I sit in the next room looking in at them, soaking in every second of them before I again have to let them go.

Maybe more later but not now. I need to get ready for work. Read the rest if you want, a meme I picked up from the mysterious and uber-sweet Sarah of Got Cow? (who has linked me from here to the last Sunday in time) and has unintentionally given me something quick to post before I head back up The Pass.

  1. My roommate and I once: set fire to some t-shirts in a microwave as we tried to expedite a tie-dye process.
  2. Never in my life have I: voted Republican (have voted Green, LIbertarian, and Independent, though).
  3. The one person who can drive me nuts, but then can always manage to make me smile is: my mom.
  4. High school was: OK but I was a drama jock and mostly had older friends through the local Community Theatre scene.
  5. When I'm nervous: wish I had a Valium.
  6. The last time I cried was: a few weeks ago (look in the archives for a post in proximity to that time line to see what I'm talking about).
  7. If I were to get married right now, my bridesmaids/groomsmen would be: local artists and musicians.
  8. Would you rather run naked through a crowded place or have someone e-mail your deepest secret to all your friends? Naked. I have no problem being naked around people (I let Sarah answer this one for me, didn't change a word :-D ).
  9. My hair: is brown.
  10. When I was 5: I was really into James Bond. I wanted to be James Bond and even thought about changing my last name.
  11. Last Christmas: my kids got everything I wanted - which is just what I wanted.
  12. When I turn my head left: I see reference books for writing/blogging.
  13. I should be: getting ready for work.
  14. When I look down I see: my boxers.
  15. The craziest recent event was: a spontaneous "after-party" (see the Boonie blog for a bit on that).
  16. If I were a character on "Friends" I'd be: I have NO CLUE.
  17. By this time next year: I'll be wondering when I'll get around to finishing my novel.
  18. My favorite aunt is: Aunt Carol.
  19. I have a hard time understanding: why NASCAR is so huge - and I grew up going to Saturday night stock car races.
  20. One time at a family gathering: my left-wing politics pissed everyone off.
  21. You know I like you if: I don't make an excuse to gitgoin' if you suddenly call or show up at my door.
  22. If I won an award, the first person (people) I'd thank: my blog readers.
  23. Take my advice: Don't smoke pot if you're really drunk.
  24. My ideal breakfast is: Steak and Eggs.
  25. If you visit my home town: You'll think you stepped back in time to the 60s.
  26. Sometime soon I plan to visit: Grace said she's shang-hai'ing me for next year's BlogHer so Chicago
  27. If you spend the night at my house: help yourself to anything.
  28. I'd stop my wedding if: someone was having a heart attack.
  29. The world could do without: George W. Bush.
  30. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: work in sales.
  31. The most recent thing I've bought myself is: coffee.
  32. The most recent thing someone else bought for me is: a book (I love you Mamacita!).
  33. My favorite blonde is: Kirsten Dunst.
  34. My favorite brunette is: Catherine Zeta-Jones.
  35. My car must have a sign on it that reads: "Celebrate Diversity".
  36. The last time I was drunk: at the previously mentioned "after-party".
  37. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds: pigs - so much would come true then, wouldn't it?.
  38. I shouldn't have been: willing to bartend after I graduated college; I'd have a PhD by now.
  39. Have you ever shaved your pubic hair? Yes.
  40. Last night I: worked.
  41. There's this girl I know who: probably thinks I'm cool.
  42. I don't know: why people turn a God concept into an excuse to hate.
  43. A better name for me would be: Slim.
  44. If I ever go back to school I'll: probably pursue Clinical Psychology instead of Cognitive Science.
  45. How many days until my birthday?: 180 days (figured that out HERE).
  46. One dead celebrity I wish I'd met is: Jimi Hendrix.
  47. I've lived at my current address since: January 2004.
  48. I've been told I look like: Christopher Walken.
  49. If I could have any car, it would be: one of those sporty Audis.
  50. If I got a new cat tomorrow, I would name it: "Lucky" because it would be lucky to live here and have the wee ones jumping for joy over it.

Off to work, dammit.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The return of The Zero Boss and the excellent "Blogging For Books"

A little respite after that last post. In my experience, whenever a post goes up that's heavy on emotional content it A) wrings me out and B) it doesn't get many comments. The dearth of comments after I posted my Noble stories appalled me; I'd put so much of me into those posts and they elicited very few comments. I felt crushed. However, several readers assured me that it's usually the heavy posts that get the fewest comments because it's difficult to say anything meaningful on posts like that. Lesson learned, I no longer take it personally when no one posts on something that exhausted me on a deep emotional level.

Dusting my many issues aside and drowning them in Fat Tire, I prefer to announce glad tidings and enjoy the beer. As many of you know, Jay "The Zero Boss" Allen took an extended sabbatical from his site (too long if you ask me). Jay will always have a special place in my heart because it was his mention of this blog that drove my traffic up from 2 readers a week (literally) to 2 readers a day (I may be exaggerating that a bit) but more than that, his writing has always been topical and passionate, sometimes chock full-o'-snark and always well-done.

While The Zero Boss was off focusing on his paid-blogging gig, navel gazing, and shooting neighborhood dogs with a pellet gun, his lovechild "Blogging For Books" was taken over by various other bloggers but, y'know, it wasn't just the same. The good news is that Jay is back and ass-kicking in his inimitable way and back to running "Blogging For Books".

You think my little mixmania! poke-and-puke is a nifty notion? Believe me, "Blogging For Books" was around well before mixmania! and is the grandaddy of the "get your ass over to another blog and read them" um, whatever those things are.

Anyway, this month's B4B has a "pick one" theme,
  1. A disastrous work or personal project you sweared, Captain Ahab-style, to see to the end;
  2. A relationship you wouldn’t let die, even though everybody else around you knew how bad it was;
  3. An idea or philosophy you held for years, as friends and family prayed that you’d eventually regain your sanity.

and I encourage you to give it a shot. My own entry, kind of done as an afterthought, is my 'Goin' out west' post from a few days ago, which I think fits the first thematic choice but it was enough to just get into the fray and realize I need liposuction.

Welcome back Jay - the check's in the mail.

Not the "Blogging For Books" thing (as an acquired taste, I've learned not to take rejection too seriously) but my ability to get my Firefox to block the damn popups it allows. Believe me, Firefox is a Lamboughini compared to Internet Explorer's Ford Fiesta but it always annoyed me that a few popups managed to get through (always from the Merriam-Webster site and lyrics sites) and some of the more pernicious popup companies could actually crash the browser because the damn popups were Flash-heavy idiocy.

No more. "Tribalfusion", "Mediaclick" and the rest of that scum have been blocked for good. Any of you Firefox users who are annoyed by the same asshattery, go get the Firefox Image Load Block List and then do this:
  1. highlight/control-c the first item
  2. go to tools/options/web features
  3. make sure the 'load images' box is checked and click 'exceptions'
  4. control-v in the 'address of website' field, click 'block', click 'ok' and click 'ok'
  5. control-c the next item on the Firefox Image Load Block List and repeat until you finish the list.
You'll also want to manually add *.mediaclick.com, *.mediafastclick.com, media.liquidmedianetworks.com, a.tribalfusion.com, and b.casalemedia.com (I don't know how the 'a' and 'b' override the wildcard but somehow they do) since they're not on the list. Obviously you can add any fuckups popups that manage to slip through as they arise.

You can thank me in the comments :-D

More substance tomorrow, I promise.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's not what you know, it's what you don't want to know

I start this with some snark and turn dark - you've been warned

One of the tired chestnuts I toss my clients is that I’m probably the only therapist they’ll meet who is a confirmed misanthropist. A terrible joke that’s more a warning, “Run! Run as fast as you can!”

Like most things, my misanthropy is a complex construct and not just a simple reduction of “I hate people,” wherein I climb up on rooftops with a rifle to blast away at pedestrians. Anyone who has read me with any regularity (or irregularity, depending on the diet) knows I’m a liberal with a heart that bleeds like Mormons breed door-knockers. Conservatives hate humanity but love money; liberals love humanity but don’t have the money to matter. I love humanity, it’s just the member of its set that nauseate me.

As I said, it’s complex. Like most things in the universe. As a Science-head for 40-some years, my experience says that complexity increases both by nature and in our understanding of how it all works. With each answer we uncover, we discover a googolplex of questions posed by that answer, a door opening on a room with a thousand more doors. Knowledge (as we accept it) is The Red Queen’s advice, “If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

Simple solutions are for simple problems and unless you’re in the first grade, both of those are in short supply. Oh, there’s dominance and submission (and the tiny minded psychodrama of how that all plays out, a lot of fun if that’s the way you lean – I hear) but the belief that we can order around the pieces of the cosmos to suit this or that weltanschauung is pathological. I mean, we can build, strive, manipulate, and create but in the end there are forces – abstract and concrete – where everything gets gang aft a-gley (due to the odd batrachomyomachy, usually).

Some of you have asked what it is I do in my new job and I’ll begin my answer by saying that I’m not doing what I’m trained to do. Furthermore, I’ll admit that I’m not sure I’m doing what I’m meant to do but hey, it’s a job. Not enough to pay my bills (entirely) but it’s what has been placed on my plate at this moment and if I get really philosophical about it, it’s probably a learning experience I need right now.

I’m working with very damaged and disturbed adolescent boys, profound examples of families fucked up beyond description. Kids who, on average, have flunked out of five other programs and have been placed where I work as a last resort. Everyone else has given up on these kids (parents usually being the first) and the place I work attempts to make those kids whole again, human, show them love, give them worth, give them their first taste of being valued.

Which brings me back to the concept of ‘complexity’ and my misanthropy. I have witnessed too much pontification too many times on the net and TV and elsewhere, fucking finger-wagging and general disgust at “those people” that which just doesn’t suit someone’s sense of supercilious propriety. My misanthropy is a reaction to that simplistic (and simple-minded) tendency to think “Since I am privileged, everyone else must be that way - or else they're deficient in some way.” God Bless America and all that.

So let me tell you what I’ve seen so far and then ask you to decide for yourself.

Primarilly I work with kids who are sexual perpetrators. Really, you'd think they're regular kids, there's nothing to indicate that they are nothing but teenagers: demanding, certain that they're being persecuted and misunderstood at any given moment, surly at times but sweet for the most part. Everything on the surface says they're all-American kids. That is, until you read the case files.

There's a 13-year old who, raped from the time he was 7, he repeated what was done to him on his younger sister. He also witnessed his grandmother and four other people murdered execution-style, all because of his mother’s involvement in a gang. Unfortunately, mom's too strung out with meth and gang-banging to visit. Tell him his mother doesn't care and you'll have a fight on your hands. This is a child who first came to the facility claiming affiliation with a gang set and yet required a teddy-bear in order to go to sleep (and still does).

Then there's the 14-year old who, after being taken from his worthless (again, gang-affiliated) parents, was handed by the state to foster parents who chained him to a pipe in the basement (where he remained for 4 years) to be sexually assaulted, pimped out by the foster family to sick shits looking for sex with a young child*.

Bad kids? Out of control? Well, I think they have a goddamned reason.

The beauty of the place I work at is that they get the attention they need, the opportunity to learn a love that comes unconditionally. I suppose that should cure my misanthropy. Yet it disgusts me that certain segments of our dimwitted society says, “Oh, get over it, Tiny, and join the rest of us residing in gated communities!”

Back to complexity again. Another kid at our facility had a history of being sexually assaulted from age 3 (passed around amongst family members and friends), beaten to the point of hospitalization on many occaisions and then put out into the child-care system. As he matured, he sexually assaulted other children, violently, and so failed in over a dozen other child-care facilities. His last resort was our facility but it was clear after a few weeks that he was too out of control, too dangerous to maintain the safety of other residents. Sadly, the only recourse was the state correctional system, his world until he’s 21 which means he’ll be free to do whatever he wants once he's released

Released on all of us (as so many are every day) and all of ours and yet none of us can predict what he will do, how he'll react in a world where he has no social, economic or emotional skills. Prepare for a victim or victims. Tempting as it sounds in a (still free) society, we can't lock people up because of some professional's perception of what an offender's potential is. Chances are he’ll re-offend (19 to 1) and unfortunately he'll learn in jail that a dead witness can't testify.

Whatever happens, from my perspective he's a lost child, someone without the benefit of any chance, ever. Excuse the horrific pun but he was fucked from the start.

So what about lost children, you might ask? So he had a really bad childhood but what about the child with cancer who dies at age 7 or the child who gets run over by a car – aren’t they fucked as well (in that sad way the universe works)?

Hardly - at least not in his way. Tragic as those other circumstances are, those children weren’t subjected to trauma over and over and over again, violated and terrorized on a nightly basis. Those other children were at least loved and given some idea that the universe acts in an altruistic way. Not just told that but shown that and although they died, they died thinking the ruling principle of the world was Love. The lost child had none of that; to him, the world is nothing more where the strong exploit the weak and life has no value.

If you don’t see the difference, if you don’t see the complexity of any of this – you’re one of those persons I despise and as far as I’m concerned, no better than the scumbags who threw these kids on a course of self-destruction.

By no means am I excusing the acts of the person who, as a child or an adult, hurts another child. If it was my child who was assaulted, I’d kill em’, bare hands, if it was my neighbor’s child I’d do the same thing.

Simplistically, maybe putting em’ out of their misery is all we need to do, huh? Problem solved.

Yeah, put me out of my misery. And that’s why I’m a misanthropist. I hate myself for my own black and white thinking. If my child was raped and murdered by one of the kids I mentioned earlier, I’d be frothing at the mouth to have the vermin disposed of with a quickness (despite my opposition to capital punishment). Yet, in retrospect, I’d have to ask, who had the better life – and compare the deaths.

I hope I never have to make that comparison. It’s too complex for me.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Goin' out west

Welcome Skippy, Raw Story, and LiberalsOnly readers.
I know you’re visiting to check out the 9/11 mix-thingy but I’d love it if you also hit the archives to get a sense of what really goes on here. Most of all, I hope a few of you decide to stick around and play.

During the weekend Poputonian (over at Digby’s blog) asked an interesting question,
If you could get your hands on any ticket, who would you see? What music defines you?

My answer is over there but I thought I’d elaborate here by reaching deep into the memory sack (carefully – never know what’s lurking within) and whip out a soiled page from my own version of On the Road. It’s scene from the early 80s

In that sordid chapter, I landed in Missoula, Montana and though didn’t raise a crop of dental floss, I ended up helping my uncle move the yield of a much more lucrative (and fun) product. Though my mohawk, studded leather jacket, and multiple piercings identified me as “that punk guy” for several hundred miles around (thus, with necessary discretion lacking, prevented me from making stacks of cash), I was able to make enough to pay rent, shoot pool, and stay drunk most of the time.

The thing about being a penny-ante dealer is that it’s feast or famine and it was an unfortunate twist of fate that I’d hit a long dry spell when word got to me that The Clash would be opening up for The Who in Seattle. Damn, I thought, I’d spent all my cash on rent like some super responsible yuppie shit; stiffing my roommate for rent would have made sense if it meant seeing The Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World opening for the band that had once held that title. If I’d acted more like a punk and less like a pimp I’d have been able to pop for tickets but the cards had been dealt and it looked like I’d be sitting out the hand. By the time I was back in business (half a Hefty Bag full of shrooms), the show was sold out.

Seattle’s a straight shot west on I-90 from Missoula, a six-hour drive (less if you’re really hauling ass) and I figured fuck it, I’d find a way and see if I could score some scalped tickets. Just after dawn on the morning of the show I got my roommate to drive me out to the interstate, my backpack stuffed with extra clothes (mostly to hide an ounce of magic caps) and enough cash in my pocket to pay double-price for a ticket, a tour shirt, and a few beers. I stuck my thumb out as I held out the cardboard sign I’d drawn up the night before in bold block letters, “Seattle – THE CLASH!”

It was holy crap cold out on the road, Canadian wind wet with sleet brutally slashing my face and freezing my fingers. Although I’d dropped my punk gear for clothes more suited for the weather (an army surplus cold weather field jacket I’d picked up for $5) my nads were still tiny, tinkling ice-cubes. Four years in Hawaii hardly prepared me for my first autumn in the Pacific Northwest.

It took about a half hour to finally score a ride (some old guy who took me as far as Couer D’Alene and kind of creeped me out) but as the day turned nicer, my spirits rose. My next ride got me to Spokane and there I hooked up with some hippies who took me all the way to the Kingdome, sharing their dope while we argued about the merits of punk and the Grateful Dead.

I was there almost three hours before showtime, plenty of time to score a ticket. Fishing my second piece of cardboard out of my backpack (“NEED A TICKET!!!”), I stationed myself strategically in the parking lot and waited for that magic spare, waving madly as cars full of fans blazed by, found a space and took their happy asses inside. Car after car passed by with no luck, no extra tickets, no scalpers looking to take my ill-gotten gains.

As showtime neared (T-Bone Burnette opened, I think), I edged closer to the arena doors. Too close to cops for scalpers but the lots were too full of empty cars to hope I’d snag a Lucy and so the steps into the stadium seemed like the obvious place to stand. The older fans (there for The Who) walked past and looked at me like I was pathetic while The Clash fans (younger, many wearing jackets like my own) showed a power-fist or flashed a peace sign, “Hang in there, brother!”

Faint strains of the opening band’s performance rolled across the front steps as I paced furiously, dejected, clenching hard on the cardboard, curling the sign’s edges with my fingers. Drum and bass vibrations prodded me, adding to my annoyance, a soft mist falling from the Seattle night sky and giving my jacket a slight metallic gleam. Steamed and shivering, I lit a cigarette and walked to the bottom of the steps considering what my next move should be before my long trek back to Missoula darkened with dashed hopes.

Not ready to give up, not yet, not after hitching 600 miles, I decided to circumvent the arena thinking maybe I’d find some passed out partier with a ticket conspicuously dangling from his pocket. Scuffing my boots across the wet pavement, hands stuffed hard into my pockets (I’d ditched my sign back at the steps), I made my way past the sides of the arena, service entrances and tour buses, meandering clear and wide of the security contingent (considering I had an ounce of shrooms in my backpack) checking every shadow for any hint that I might get inside.

Shrouded in the mist ahead, black and huddled against the arena walls, appeared to be a crowd of people sheltered against the light rain beneath an egress walkway. As I drew closer I could hear the band inside as clear as if the music had been piped outside. It was a sizable crowd, more than 50 but less than 100, gathered at an air vent that apparently sat just off stage left (and several swore, the best sound to be had inside and out of the notoriously acoustically-deficient Kingdome). A sweet cloud of superior BC bud smoke billowed out into the cold Pacific air, a buffer against the chill and a bond that helped us forget that there was only one place we’d rather be.

Most of the people I met were like myself, dedicated to seeing The Clash but shitty at scoring a ticket, settling for second best but as things settled, not too worried about losing out. A few were just there for the party, no pretense of seeing the show at all but familiar with this little nook and what it could happen as the dedicated gathered. Not surprisingly, the few had brought the beer and were doing well at a buck a bottle.

After a couple bowls, I set my pack down, snatched out my shrooms, crammed a handful into my mouth and then stuffed the rest of the bag into a deep pocket T-Bone (I think) had finished and crowd sounds inside mixed with the sounds of the crowd keeping warm in the concrete cave outside. As I made my way to one of the beer guys, I reached into the bag and cupped a handful delicately, as if I carried a baby bird. The coolers were full of schwag, Miller and Olympia, but there was no shortage of buyers. Yeah, I had cash but I wanted to save it for the trip home, every dollar. Holding out my hand, I offered the beer man a trade. He asked how many beers I wanted for trade.

If they’re any good, I told him, I won’t want many, will I?

I made my way back into the crowd and tilted the beer up, down, into me, the cold draft on my throat mediating the psilocybin sizzling beneath my skin. Eyes blazing, I scoped out my next mark, a chick with blue hair and a nose ring who had earlier packed me a bowl of fat, sticky bud. And another taker. By the time the unmistakable lights-out roar filtered outside, I was down to about an eighth.

Suddenly the opening chords of “London Calling” blasted above and then through, percussively, the shock propelling everyone skyward and back like droplets in a pool pierced by the biggest damn rock ever. At that moment nothing else mattered in the world but being there, that music then, the shared feeling that at that moment, nothing else mattered. Bobbing heads shot into the air sending shockwaves into the atmosphere, neon colored waves that ebbed into themselves and their instantiations of “green” or “yellow” or “orange” or… who knew?

The universe was shifting, becoming something altogether different than what anyone else anywhere else perceived it to be. Some of us stopped jumping during “Should I Stay or Should I Go” to stand still, look around and see each other thinking the same thing then laugh hysterically, laugh until we cried. Laughing in the knowledge that this was love and because of that the ground would not give way into some void, that we would not fall laughing like idiots into the emptiness of space.

The set was too short (an estimate made in retrospect by counting back the songs – it could have been five hours long for all I knew) and we settled back into being just us, talking, tripping, looking into the mist and smiling till it hurt. Bodies rubbed together, a bubbling mass of fun bathed in light and wonder. And though The Who’s (wisely picked) opening - “My Generation” - got everyone going again, we soon settled back into our diffuse and synchronistic groove that had evolved during the break. It’s not that The Who sucked (from what I recall, it was an excellent show) but by that time most of us were enraptured by what was going on around us. I don’t think we were so much apathetic as but just way too stoned to really appreciate everything The Who had to offer. I don’t even remember the encore or the end of the show or even the masses of people making their way to their cars. Eventually the cops came and told us it was time to move on and that was that.

Somehow I managed to finagle a ride all the way back to Missoula, cuddled up with some girl in the back seat, blissfully asleep the entire ride. She kissed me goodbye when I got dropped back at my place and I never saw her again. I went inside and made myself breakfast. I remember thinking, stirring eggs in a pan, I’d just returned from the best time I’d ever had at the best show I never saw.

And what music defines you? What's the best show you never saw?

Friday, August 04, 2006

A little gloom to groom a room, the voice of doom, and boom, boom, boom

Surfing around to bloggy friends, I see that almost everyone else is sweltering miserably in a nationwide heatwave. High temp records shattered in the US and Europe with all the resulting brownouts, rolling-blackouts and old folks croaking over their cans of rancid catfood seem to indicate this summer's the shit when it comes to baking brains. Smarter folks than me say the ungodly temperatures are linked to global warming and although I have the luxury of cool, wet weather to play devil's advocate, I think handing the explanation of the ya'll's beastly heat over to global warming is a bit premature. Oh, I am convinced the planet is heating up and humanity is the agent of that change but I reserve judgement until next summer. Ask me then, since I'm a big adherant of "twice is a coincidence, thrice is a trend."

A meandering and prolix path to say that, mm-hmmm, the clouds bared down on the mountains hereabouts and pelted us with cold, Colorado rain. Not meaning to rub it in your collective faces but this is paradise to an extent (an extent it gets fuggin-fuggin cold in the wintertime) and maybe God will throw a glacier down on my grinning skull. I don't think it works that way but hey, the Apocalypse is heading our way for like the 5,614th time anyway, right?

Well, God has other ways to punish me.

We'd planned to head up the pass and feed ducks but the thunderheads had other plans for us. Considering the circumstances, a reverse Cat in the Hat seemed in order to succor the effects of our last shared rainy day. Girls were set to the task of eliminating the knee-deep detritus carpeting their room while dad had dirty laundry, dirty floors and a pungent commode to clean (two males - one a mere three-years old - leads to... well, you know the reek). The boy was set in front of a Star Wars marathon being still too young to comprehend the extent of the "get that crap put away" concept. Not a great plan (there are no "great plans" devised by a dad) but servicable enough to keep the chaos from claiming victims outside our little house.

While yours truly duly provided a good role-model, the girls ostensibly cleaned their room while blasting The Dixie Cups "Iko-Iko" (from a mixed disk I made for Marni's 3rd birthday) over and over again. Mostly they lined up dolls and stuffed animals in such a way that only added to the destruction while
Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now ! Hey now ! I-KO, I-KO, un-day, Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né. - Jock-a-mo fee na-né,
taunted me endlessly, "Daddy, we got MARDI GRAS goin' up in here!"

What is it about young children and their penchant for perseveration? Yes, as someone trained in Psychology I know it's some security issue (i.e. a 'blankie' or a stained stuffed toy tattered beyond recognition) but at the 27th repeat of The Dixie Cups, dad had to stick his head in the room and scream, "Enough!"

X says I have "the voice of doom" (she even calls to get that effect when the kids won't listen to her) and it must have worked because the young ckicks went back to work but more impotantly, no more chk-a-chk-a-chk-chk-chk chugging from their cheap boom-box. Not that much else got done but Good God it was nice to hear something besides Iko-frikkin-Iko.

No, the doomvoice only really worked after I walked in the room and used it with the effect of the rolling thunder in the background, as if God was backing me up, bass and drums booming behind my resonant, growling threats. Hell, I didn't even need to rely on the old Jack Handy chestnut:
If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."

In the end, the girls got busy (with dad's glad hand) and there's even carpet visible in their room. Enough carpet visible to lower the doom level in my voice and give the princesses a little love, to read them a story and even allow them some mors Iko-Iko.

I've learned to choose my battles carefully. The boy's abed and the girls chatting madly while having voted to listen to La Traviata (instead of Yhe Dixie Cups) in a half-cleaned room. Having given kisses and a night-night story, I have this time - my time - to tell you all about this.

Not that you care two shits about my report but the internet is forever and one day and one day, my kids can read about this even if their room isn't clean and I'm not around to read it at bedtime.

That and they'll always have thunder.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Shit I think up late at night when I'm alone

...and I'm alone a lot, lately. Don't know what happened to The Babe but she apparently fell off the face of the Earth and isn't answering voice mails, text messages, or any other form of communication. Call me whacky-obsessive-stalker dude but one would think someone who claims to love you would walk a long way to let you know they're at least alive. It's been since Saturday since I last heard from her (my call, it's always my call) and almost two months since we've been together. The hiss of whatever-it-was deflating has long since sputtered off into the void.

*Sigh* I feel like my heart is the tire on an old used car that no one wants, kicked and kicked and kicked and always with an "eh" as the prospective owner walks away to see what's better on the lot. Eventually, I'll end up in a demolition derby as someone's tax write-off. By all means, feel free to spit on the seats and spill beer in the console, no one's driving this old clunker.

Oh well, when one door shuts, another one opens - on a deep precipice with some jerk standing at the bottom screaming, "Jump already!"

Why is it that every time I pass the mortgage company's "First Funding" sign, I think it says, "Fist Fucking"?

Whenever traffic up the pass is at a standstill it's because some geriatric swinger's cult in a massive RV is flashing sagging tits/dicks at the next -5 MPG behemoth and sporting "Texasshole" or "Kansasshole" plates. Tell me to take off my tinfoil hat but it's no coincidence.

BTW, it's not "tinfoil" but aluminum foil; us psychotics know our Reynold's Wrap.

Does anyone else hold spammers just a tick above child molesters and think they should be cut off at the knees with a rusty axe to be beat with a bag of broken vodka bottles? My email addy on this blog is a graphic - not text - and yet someone lacking a real life or any real gray matter went to the trouble to add it to a list so that I get a few emails every day advertising bogus investment advice and crappy Hoodia come-ons. Get a clue you robotic shitheads: I'm flat fucking broke and at six-one and 145 pounds (with change in my pockets), do you really think your daily idiocy gets anything other than a smile as I send your emails into oblivion?

I've been posting the flyers I make for my friends Boondoggle on the bottom left but no one seems to notice. I figured I had mad skillz as an amatuer graphic artist but I guess I suck. Really, I'm not indulging in self-pity (OK, maybe I am, this whole damned post is a freaking bore) but would it hurt you to click the link and visit their site? BTW, I'm the "Bipolar Boonie" and it's another place I blog when I'm in the mood. If you're so inclined, leave a comment at their "bitching board" - you can see my flyer designs by scrolling down.

There will be never be another Beatles or Bach or Coltrane or Keats or Joyce or Picasso, so move on. Technology is rapidly changing the paradigm of aeshetics and there's no reason to look to the past to wonder what will happen with the future. Will "Toccata in D" last as long as "Johnny B. Goode"? Most likely. Get over it.

I've added ~d to my blogroll for pimping the latest mixmania! just for her effort; if I haven't added you to my blogroll (and you have me on yours), by all means, slap me around and get me to add you. In the pantheon of dumbasses, I hold "the gilded turd" award. Whatever, if anyone else pimps this next mixmania! I would appreciate it because I think it's important, vital. If you'll indulge a little hubris, I think this bit of writing from that post is spot on:
Use this mix as a therapeutic exercise. As a country I think the US suffered from collective PTSD (vivid memory being a feature of that) and maybe a little group therapy is needed to put things in perspective and help us move foreward. Whatever it is we're doing as country isn't working. If the highjacker's intent was to put us Americans at each other's throats, they've succeeded.
So please, mention this mixmania! endeavor to get a few more on board with this bit of group therapy. If you do, I'll be forever grateful, as grateful as I am with the opportunity to iron out all the demons.

Wow - having read this I realize what self-indulgent dreck it is. Maybe that's why you read me, looking for the train wreck. If that's the case, enjoy the carnage.

A sad & scary mixmania! in the long shadow of death

“Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.” - Shakespeare

Or at least put it to music...

Even now it is the most vivid memory of my life, the entire day, a memory that stands out clearer than even the birth of my children. The quiet of that day, the deep blue sky and warm early-September sun, the shocked zombie faces of drivers as we all moved inexorably home, everything moving a half-step slower than usual. All of it firmly imprinted in my mind so deeply that if (God forbid) I should ever slip into dementia and confuse my children with high-school pals, I'll still recall the slow, calm realization of the horror that day.

As I look back on that day, music is not a part of that moment. However, what I now feel about that moment is ineffable without music; if my kids asked me what happened that day, I'd put on a disk and set them down and still feel lost, hopefully my music expressing what the still zombie-like heart cannot say. How do you instill in someone else the essence of that locked singularity, time and space immediately permanent when it registered to you that people were leaping, live on TV, to inevitable deaths meant to escape inevitable death by being burned alive? How can you transmit that totality when it's one of a thousand other attrocities sterilized (and sensationalized) by cable channel chatter? My children will never truly know what goes on in my heart, they will never see the movie that replays again and again in my mind.

If you remember those stills and still watch the movie in your mind, that moment and those moments, see if you can gleen a soundtrack from your ruminations. Music that reflects your fear, your sadness, your rage, your confusion, your sympathy for the victims and their families, your sense of what the fuck or what the fuck is it now? Maybe it's Barber's "Adagio for Strings" or Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On?" or Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog"; maybe you recall songs that were big for you and you were dying to hear but every radio was full of dark, ugly news; maybe certain songs spoke to you then but other songs speak louder to you now. Things you might have not been able to express at the time but seem clear through the big glass of whiskey called Time.

For myself, my mix will no doubt express a number of emotions, many contradictory, some arising from my love of being American while others angry at the direction my country has taken since that horrible, fateful day. Some of you will no doubt mix disks of outrage (at the attackers or our government), some of you will mix disks screaming for some sanity (everywhere, everywhere), some of you will throw music down saying "THIS is the answer, motherfuckers!" and some of you will mix disks that defy sense or sensibility. We're not here to judge, we're here to accept each other's expression of survival or doom or disgust that there's still a ton of duct tape in the basement.

Use this mix as a therapeutic exercise. As a country I think the US suffered from collective PTSD (vivid memory being a feature of that) and maybe a little group therapy is needed to put things in perspective and help us move foreward. Whatever it is we're doing as country isn't working. If the highjacker's intent was to put us Americans at each other's throats, they've succeeded.

The Rules:
  1. Burn your disk in a format that can be played on any OLD SKOOL CD player. Meaning no MP3s or whacky-ass IPod format.

  2. You have until August 23rd to sign up; express your intentions in comments AND email (send me your information: your URL and postal address - that includes you folks who have played before). You have to do BOTH, OK?!? Just commenting or just emailing me won't do it. I need you in the comments to let everyone know you're in and mixing, I need you to email me so I don't have to hunt down your info. My email is over on the left; if you can't find it, you're not smart enough to play, sorry.

  3. On September 1st, I'll email you the postal address of the person you're to send your mix to; you'll use a postal address I provide to mask your identity.

  4. On September 4th, mail your disk WITHOUT THE SONG LIST: leave your recipient guessing what the songs are on your mix. Better yet, if you know how to do it, erase the track information before you burn your disk.

  5. On September 10th, I'll post the URLs of everyone participating.

  6. Post your song list on your blog on September 11th.

  7. If you're going to comment on the mix you received, don't be a prick - focus on the fact that someone went to the trouble to send you a mix, be polite with your thanks and don't try to impress us with how much of an insufferable music snob you think you are. Play nice - no one likes an inconsiderate asshole, asshole, and no one cares how your delicate tastes were violated. Be gracious, for God's sake, and give us the impression that you weren't raised by feral dogs.

  8. For those of you who don't have a blog but would still like to play,
    you may still participate; I or one of my friends will post your list, so just let me know (see #2 above).

I know this isn't the happiest theme for a mix but I think it's an act of courage to put your feelings on disk (though fair enough if those feelings are to mixed to.. well, you get the point). Courage is what was called for after 9/11/2001 - let's hear yours.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hot Mixxxssssssssssssssss

OK, got all the links fixed - sorry bout' that. I usually check the links before I post but I was strapped for time and well - OOPS!!!

Tonight will be a busy one for me. When I fixed the links I saw some people posted their lists and I'll be checking in to say hello and comment on the lists. The naughty few who are tardy will be getting my tsk-tsk and whatnot, though I'm in no position to be a scold (I'm pretty sure my match won't get her mixes until tomorrow).

When she does get the disks, she'll notice a righteous pair. Not the first time I've done two disks but hey, I could have done six or more. In fact, music that doesn't get me hot gets put into my lame bin. That's kinda' how my motor screams. Disk one is definitely a drink-a-lot disk, heh, the more you drink, the more you'll appreciate it. My suggestion is wine but you may decide on Everclear at some point (for God's sake the alcohol, not the band).

Disk 1

Soft Cell - Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?
Just shake your shoulders loose and then stare into the distance, huff a huge breath of air and prepare to get nekkid' (in the long run), their version of "Where Did Our Love Go?" gets you started moving-wise, I mean really moving.

Martha & the Vandellas - Heatwave
No wonder - Global Warming? Hmmmmmmm...

Clifton Chenier - Baby, Please
Anything NOLA is hot. Trust me, there's an election coming up and if Dems don't show images of what happened (or didn't happen) with Katrina, they're idiots. Besides, New Iberia was also destroyed, the folks who make Tobasco Sauce. Anyway, when I lived in DC there was a Zydeco bar (The Little Red Rooster) on the Northwest side that sizzled like a fajita plate every weekend. Though I was way into punk at the time, The Little Red Rooster was the hottest bar around.

Muddy Waters - Got My Mojo Workin'
See above and when you see how right I am.

Prince - Erotic City
Some people are born to hotness and some have it thrust upon them; Prince has it both ways. Well, except him as a Jehova's Witness now. But he had it, oh man did he.... one could make several "Hot" disks composed of nothing but Prince cuts.

Art of Noise (w/ Tom Jones) - Kiss
A total goof on this song and interestingly enough, hotter than the original (probably because Tom Jones gives it 110%);

Tu Pac Shakur - California Love
Not since the Beach Boys has anyone made Cali so hot.

Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing
If Marvin Gaye isn't on every mix submitted, what's wrong with our country is clear. The Temptations fired him because he was too hot. Do you see the connection? Yeah, neither do I.

Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Globe of Frogs
Robyn Hitchcock's weird lyrics turn me on - in so many ways.

Liz Phair - Flower
and your question was?

Lucious Jackson - With My Naked Eye
It's HER - *HER* fergodssake and her eyes is nekkid' damn damn damn damn;

TLC - Waterfalls
Um, I'm sure the waterfalls in the song don't resemble those in my mind; must be her tired, knowing voice.

Shirley & Company - Shame, Shame, Shame
Not much disco on these mixes because I've never associated disco with being "hot" but more cool and impersonal. Sure, you get hot on the dance floor and hot if you go home with someone but the music that gets you there is a bit robotic, most of it anyway. The stray disco hit like this one (engineered by Hamilton Bohannon, the hottest disco producer EVAH) has enough soul, funk, and R&B to be tres hot.

Maxine Nightingale - Right Back Where We Started From
When Sarah Jessica Parker started dancing to this in The Family Stone, I remembered why this song is so hot. Not SJP (I don't find her hot at all) but the way she started dancing to this song which is really, the only way anybody should dance to this song.

Miles Davis - So What?
The 1st song of the best "let's fuck" album ever made - if not the best album (Kind of Blue) ever made. Light some candles, open some wine, put on this CD and if you're not getting busy by the end of this song, get the chemistry in the room checked.

Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde (Overture)
If you're not slammin' the mattress by this time, you haven't been listening. So this song is about between the covers, one of two songs (you'll have to email me for the second) that is, to me, simply orgasmic. It's overt how Wagner lays it on and covers the room in sweat and stickiness, building climax on climax until the tension is explosive. The best aural equivalent of sex I've ever heard.

Disk 2
A much more groove oriented disk, a little silly at times but that's what pillow talk is all about, right?

Bobby Darin - Beyond the Sea
Although this song will always evoke the opening of "Godfather II" for me, the great glaring light of sand and sea it conjures is enough to get this second disk started.

Toadies - I Come From the Water
Animalistic, pure and simple; blinded by the light above, some evolving blob of desire crawls forth from the deep and gets freaky.

The Killers - Somebody Told Me
I saw these guys a few years ago and was surprised that instead of them swaggering with a too-cool-for-you pose, they played with heart, they were tight, fun, and HOT.

The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes
The hottest song on the radio right now.

Roxy Music - Love Is the Drug
A song that quivers with desperation, an "oh I so wanna do it AGAIN" song,

10cc - Dreadlock Holiday
Silly song but oh man when he gets to "Don't like Jamaica - I love her," yeah, you're with em' mon.

Finley Quaye - Your Love Gets Sweeter Every Day
Someone I will always remember introduced me to this song, this song doing what I assumed she intended it to do.

Bob Marley - Trenchtown Rock
"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel okay," OK, if you're just feeling OK when it hits, you need to get your wiring looked at, friend,

Toots & the Maytalls - Monkey Girl
Be my monkey girl, I'll be your...

Rolling Stones - Monkey Man
Another gangster movie, I can't think of this song without thinking of the scene in Goodfellas where Henry's bagging coke and looking up at the sky scoping cops (it's not on the Goodfellas soundtrack) and worried about his hot/nasty brunette girlfriend. At this point in that movie, you can smell the sweat.

En Vogue - Free Your Mind
Another silly song hotter than hell, a George Clinton joint, y'know...

Al Green - Here I Am
Describing why an Al Green song is hot is like explaining why ice is cold.

Steely Dan - Babylon Sisters
"This is not a one night stand but a real occasion," an unusually hot cut by an icy cold band.

Django Rheihardt - My Serenade
This song reminds me of the glow shared in the morning after, sipping mimosas, staring deep into each other's eyes.

Buddy Holly & the Crickets - Well, Alright
MMMmmmm-hmmmmm, this song moves me in a way that I can't explain. If you are wondering what I mean, you haven't been paying attention.

Violent Femmes - Add It Up
Every woman I've known who's known this song has howled, "add it up" like it means something - hmmmm. Still don't know what them girls mean, fellas, haven't added it up I guess. But I loves to hear them girls howl.

The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker
A woman with a mohawk, heavy black eye-liner, piercings, leather? RRRRrrrroooowwwwrrrr....

Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels - Devil With a Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly
The ladies love to dance and OMFG, this is one of the ultimate dance songs of all time.

Dee-Lite - Groove is in the Heart
Another uber-dance tune, kind of a "hot meta-tune" for this disk, what?

Ohio Players - Rollercoaster of Love
From the funky, jangling intro to the harmonies fading out with a knowing nod, few songs have ever generated this kind of heat.

Wolfmother - Love Train
Simply silly - and sexy. My favorite hot new band.

I had an after-gig gathering at my place a couple weeks back and these disks went over HUGE so I hope my recipient has as much fun listening to them as my house guests did. Mea culpa on the late arrival, circumstances (if you've been reading this blog) have not been the most favorable in my little sphere.

Tomorrow you get the new theme and from the comments, it appears a few of you have already divined what that theme will be. Good for you because you're also not getting the usual month or so to mix your disk and I'll only be collecting participants for two weeks; this will be a quick and intense mixmania! (due to the theme). Check back here tomorrow for the theme and thank you all for playing so nicely this time around.