Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tagged again

Listening to: Punk/New Wave mix I'm making for Kaleigh

You have until November 1 to sign up for the extended SUPER-DUPER Holiday Mixmania! - enough time to plan your stocking full of coal.

Listen: I'm making the *hsssshhhhhhh* sound bloggers make when they've been tagged for a meme, a breath of ether between "sheesh, what a hassle" and "Ain't I special?!?!"

Trusty shot this one my way and I'll shoot it out like a spit shot:

  1. Do you try to look hot when you go to the grocery store just in case someone recognizes you from your blog?

    I never try to look "hot" - I prefer to look COOL. However, the chances of anyone recognizing me from my blog are about as remote as me becoming the next FEMA Director. Oh wait a minute, my taking over FEMA isn't that far-fetched after all and as the father of three young children, I'm probably more qualified at handling disasters than that bozo whining before congress.

  2. Are the photos you post Photoshopped or otherwise altered?

    Not at all. My psychedelic aura was developed after years of Lysergic excess. When I die, I intend to be cremated... slowly, wrapped in huge sheets of rolling papers and passed around to be puffed on by all attendees of my wake.

  3. Do you like it when creeps or dorks email you?

    Being a creep and a dork, I find such emails redundant, really.

  4. Do you lie in your blog?

    Often. It's like a bed of clover, only with a more pungent aroma than the usual sheep shit scent.

  5. Are you passive-aggressive in your blog?

    Often. It's like a bed of clover...doo-dah.

    Hey, is this like that Chinese fortune-cookie game where you add "In bed" after the fortune? So the question is, "Are you passive-aggressive in your blog - in bed?" No? Well, that's how I'm playong it...

  6. Do you ever threaten to quit writing so people will tell you not to stop?

    Yeah and it's as effective as my threats to quit smoking.

  7. Are you in therapy? If not, should you be? If so, is it helping?

    Maybe I should be in therapy - ask my clients.

  8. Do you delete mean comments? Do you fake nice ones?

    I've only deleted stupid comments. I've never faked a nice one but I'm told my partners fake nice ones all the time :((

  9. Have you ever rubbed one out while reading a blog? How about after?

    Why rub out the comment when you can rub out the commenter?

  10. If your readers knew you in person, would they like you more or like you less?

    I'm pretty sure they'd like me, more or less. Mostly less.

  11. Do you have a job?

    If you mean, "Do I have to go somewhere everyday, do something that I get paid for and then give some of that money to the government," then no, I don't have a job. On the other hand, if you mean, "Do I have to go somewhere everyday, do something that I get paid for but don't give jack shit to the government," yeah, I have one of THOSE.

  12. If someone offered you a decent salary to blog full-time without restrictions, would you do it?

    "Without restrictions?" Meaning I could do it while sitting nude in a store front window? HELL YEAH!!!

  13. Which blogger do you want to meet in real life?

    All kidding aside (and assuming I met Trusty due to his passing this meme on to me), Mamacita, Grace, Vicki, and Sterfish.

  14. Which bloggers have you made out with?

    This Saucy Wench is all I'm admitting to...

  15. Do you usually act like you have more money or less money than you really have?

    On my blog, less. In a bar, much, much more.

  16. Does your family read your blog?

    I told my family that I call my blog "The Zero Boss" and they read that. When they ask about the details not exactly being congruent, I scream "It's just a goddamn blog!", storm out of the room and slam the door.

  17. How old is your blog?

    Old enough to be moldy and stale, eh?

  18. Do you get more than 1000 page views per day? Do you care?

    I'd care if I was getting 1000 page views because then I'd expect the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be immediately thundering through my living room.

  19. Do you have another secret blog in which you write about being depressed, slutty, or a liar?

    Maybe if I wasn't so busy sleeping all day - with multitudes of anonymous partners - I'd have time to write that "secret blog".

  20. Have you ever given another blogger money for his/her writing?

    If you think anyone is paying for this crap, email me. We have a proposition to discuss.

  21. Do you report the money you earn from your blog on your taxes?

    Just the money I get from writing erotic blog posts.

  22. Is blogging narcissistic?

    Only if you do it well.

  23. Do you feel guilty when you don't post for a long time?

    No, because I do it so well (per above comment).

  24. Do you like John Mayer?

    Not as much as I like John Mayall. Not even close.

  25. Do you have enemies?

    Plenty but none that I'll dignify with mention here.

  26. Are you lonely?

    Yes, but only in a strict existentialist sense.

  27. Why bother?

    I don't.

If I pass this on, it's to those I'd like to meet.

OK, I feel guilty for not posting is so long....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep...

Listening to: Renata Tebaldi, Vol. 1

If you have yet not read my love's wonderful paean to Lilly, please go there and then return for my ceaseless babble. Go on, scoot, I'll be here... *sheesh!*

In the midst of the madness that is the autumnal equinox, My Bright, Shining Light missed out in a big way on which should have been her big day - her seventh birthday. Delivering children to school, facilitating a DUI therapy group, dropping my brood off at childcare while I worked and then picking them up to go home just in time to read them a story and put them to bed - there was no time to celebrate her, how much I love her, how much she means to me.

We had to wait until the weekend to break out the cake and the balloons and the midgets for pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and busting up the piñata and squirting silly string over the patio furniture. Even then, I could only stay a little while before I had to run off to stand in front of a dozen drunk drivers and tsk-tsk their sorry asses.

Daddy bought her a last minute gift from the Discovery store a Mellow Moodscapes Projector, which she apparently loves - she told me "It's my favorite-est gift!" I don't doubt her sincerity - she has, after all, gone to bed with it every night - and I know she relishes the thought of camping out on a rainforest floor, looking up through the canopy and listening to animals chattering away in the trees. Still, it seems so little to give her considering all that she has given me, all that she gives to her little brother and sister, all that she gives to everyone she touches.

Hours after she was born, I went and bought a journal to begin recording my thoughts for her, chronicling the world as it was that day and where we stood in relation to everything around us. I still make entries (I'm up to Vol. 3) but most of my writing for the kids ends up here (the other two also have journals... another story, that). One of these days I need to make copies (paper and disk) of my writing here to include in their journals. I want them to know my voice as a younger man, not the scold they will know when they are 18 when I hand them those journals, and my writing on this blog is as vital and immediate as anything I've put down in the diaries I keep for them.

To Lilly, my Bright, Shining Light, there is nothing I could write that could express the full breadth of how much I love you.
Today, Noble would have been 8-years old. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read this.
Trusty, answering your meme in my next post, I promise (and you'll know why I evoked Frost for this post).

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Listening to: Kathy's AWESOME mix

The post was originally going to be titled "Rewind" since I reconsidered how the next mixmania! would be organized - for a number of reasons. Then it was apparent I needed to rewind that and, well, it all got convoluted beyond decent conversation. This is, after all, a "daddy blog" and a certain sense of decorum is expected. At least amongst "decent" people; the rest of us just wink and pass the mota none-too-discretely beneath the table while we giggle hebephrenically (there's that word again, Mamacita).

It's been a full week, me pretties, since me last post and me prettiest knows that it was not all good and it was good as gold - all at once and none at all, if you can wrap your pretty minds around that. My love went through something truly scary (which I still believe was attributable to stress, especially since the doctors are still clueless), swore me to secrecy, then got better and scooped me on my other love's birthday (to which, to wit, I will respond in kind tomorrow). Methinks the best and the worst of all of that was missing "Talk Like a Pirate Day".

And methinks we need more unwinding than rewinding and that we're all wound way too tight. In that spirit, I submit that the concensus of comments from the last post say that a Holiday Mix is the way the wind blows. So, we'll forgo the vote and say that I'll take entrants until November 1, mixes are to be sent out December 15, and songlists are due December 24 - plenty of time.

Rewinding my own twisted spine, I realize that my own initial inclination was to make an anti-Christmas CD but as I've reviewed my own corpus of holiday tunes, I can't be that much of a curmudgeon (as much as I pose) and there's too much rockin' holiday music to disregard. Whomever gets matched to moi gets 2 disks this time - a party disk (to play at your bacchanalia) and a quiet, loving disk. I'm a sap for the holidays. So here's the drill, again:

If you agree to participate, your mix will be in the mail around December 1 -- got it? It's just not fair to the people who are mixing and mailing in good faith when they to have to wait and wonder for weeks to see if their honest efforts have been reciprocated. For fuck sake, you'll have a GODDAMN MONTH to get it together, fix your bullshit burner, bury your dog, turn your neighbor into the Department of Homeland Security, and get it done way before your holiday shopping is finished. And you'll give someone something to cool to listen to other than the dross we're forced to listen to while we're a-shopping and a-whopping the folks who cut in line upside the head.

  1. If you want to play, email me your postal address and the URL of the blog where your list will be posted. If you don't email me, you don't play. If you can't figure out how to email me, you're not smart enough to play. Sorry.

  2. Having emailed me your intent to play, you'll get the postal address of the recipient of your mix by November 27 along with my postal address (to use as a return address).

  3. Post your songlist December 15 - I thought that worked out pretty well. Quite a few people had their lists ready to post well before the last deadline; USE THEIR BRAIN. I'll email everybody December 14 with a reminder to post lists. Dec. 15 will be designated "songlist day".

  4. DO NOT include your songlist with the disk you mail, the idea is to get your recipient to surf around to figure out what the cuts are, who sent the disk. If you're stymied on how to erase ID3 information from the music files, I recommend you go download Musicmatch Jukebox to convert your files and then go here for a tutorial on how to erase the ID3 info (Mac users are on your own!).

  5. Burn a CD with wav files, not MP3s; if you can't fit all your lovelies on a single disk, burn 2 disks, burn 6 disks, I don't care. Just burn it with files that can be played on any old skool CD player.

That's it. If those rules are too much, don't play. It doesn't bother me to mail disks to the unfortunate folks who got burned - I *love* sharing music - but it's infuriating having to answer desperate emails sent from folks who've been left out in the cold because somebody couldn't be bothered to do what they promised to do.

And if you played last time and have STILL not received a disk, email me and I'll mail a disk to you. Those of you who have STILL NOT received a disk - email me. With Lu in the ER, I couldn't get her to fill me in on who owed what.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Looking back on this last mixmania! and wondering what the fuck we're doing

Listening to: Zandee's AWESOME mixes

Believe me, being the blogger who runs this little soiree we all call mixmania! has it's advantages. Some players are gracious enough to send me copies for the troops over in the sandbox which gives me the opportunity to send those CDs along so we can all say "it's a stupid war but we're behind you." That should be enough but a few even include a copy for lil' ol' me for organizing this thing. It's win-win, as far as I'm concerned.

The hassle is dealing with the emails of those who haven't received a mix. "Be patient," I tell them and hope that the emotional adolescent who was matched to them will finally get it together and do what they were supposed to do weeks earlier. When hope plays out, I end up sending the screwed a copy of one of my sorry-ass mixes. A half dozen trips to the post office gets old when I don't really have to go had folks fulfilled what they promised.

Another thing that pisses me off is the lack of graciousness of the few (very few, thankfully) of those who get a mix and get all snotty about the mix they've received, either by not saying shit one way or the other or saying, "well, it's not what *I* would listen to...".

Getting a mix of something you wouldn't normally listen to is THE FUCKING POINT - if you wanted to get a mix of something you would listen to, you'd already have it on your hard drive, right? Isn't this, after all, an intellectual exercise, an opportunity to expand horizons?

I point to Sterfish as a positive example. Ster's a hip-hop fan (although if you get his 3-CD set as I suggested in my previous post, you'll see he's so much beyond that) but when he got a mix composed largely composed of country, he kept an open mind. Sure, he said, it's not what I'd usually listen to but man, it opened my mind to some good music I would not have normally sought out.

For myself, I was fortunate enough to have Zandee matched to me (although she's always been one of the gracious to send me disks), so I get to hear what rock/pop/altenative/hip-hop sounds like south of the border. Some of the selections on her DISKS (yes, she had to do two CDs like Mamacita, Hank, among others...) was stuff I'd heard before but oh, so much, stuff I've never heard - wouldn't seek out, normally - but so glad I have it now. How the fuck is that a problem?

My only problem with Zandee's disks are that they are not as they are as she lists them on her site... grrrrrr. AS far as I can tell with Disk 1, anyway. The entire Second disk is all in Spanish and rocks my balls off. Those of us up El Norte think that the music from south of the border is the cartoon music blasting from cherry-red pick-ups with Our Lady of Guadelupe stickers etched onto the rear window.

The tunes Zandee beats the shit out of all the stuff I usually listen to. THEY OPEN MY MIND AND MY EARS, which, IMHO, this country needs a lot more of because, after Katrina, it should be obvious we, as a country, do not have it going on in the way we figured. Time to give the rest of the rest of the world, third or not, some credit, eh?

Having given Zandee her props, and all other snark aside, I'm taking requests for the next mixmania! (including those that suggest I'm too much of an asshole to run this thing), which I will entertain until October 10 - and then, all bets are off. I'll put up another polling thing and then by October 15, we'll have our theme and then I'll keep the entries open until November 15. Lists will be due a month later. Fuck, everyone should be able to do that.

I'm going to extend the participation into November because I'm thinking we ought to go with a Holiday theme. Not "Ho ho ho" bullshit but what "the holidays" mean to you. As Bonnie would tell you - Charles Ives' "Holidays Symphony" is not about stupid nostalgia but about experience, feeling, memory - something real. Sure, I may include The Crystals version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" but I may be more inclined to put on some Skinny Puppy. This next mixmania! will have a holdiay-extended deadline to allow all of you to come up with a theme and righteous mixes. And give me a damn rest.

My idea is a "Twisted Holiday Mix" but you can weigh in with your own idea... until October 10. One idea per day, please, don't fucking overwhelm me. This shit really is a lot of work.

And if you still haven't made a disk or posted your songlist from THIS mixmania, then please, grow the fuck up. Everyone else has played like an adult - why can't you?

Don't make me add you to the "List of Shame", you don't want that...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Late night driving mix

Listening to: Sterish's AWESOME mix (part I)†

This is an "atmosphere mix" and meant to express the experience of driving late at night (preferably in a 1961 Chevy Bel-Air) alone, along Blue Highways* where the only lights are from the dim indicators on the dash, headlights ahead, and the sinister glow of a cigarette. Left and right, in the distance, the hills are absolutely black, as if the horizon was torn to empty into a void, the stars and moon above creating a kind of vertigo, as if you're driving upside-down in defiance of gravity and that, at any moment, your grip on the road could be lost and you would fall into the ocean above you. Occasionally, a road sign or a mile-marker reflector blinks at you, just to remind you they're there before they pass back into the night like nocturnal beasts that caught your scent and, having satisfied their curiosity, went silently about their business.

Sometimes a distant farmhouse snags your attention, makes you wistfully imagine what it's like living in that kind of solitude; more infrequently, a sleepy town demands deceleration while you pass through, more indifferent to your passing through than you are to its passing by.

It is an atmosphere that is not really of this age, not anymore. Although the Blue Highways are still there, alive for those who live along them, they rarely exist on MapQuest searches and when they do, they are red or gray, beyond that which is highlighted in purple and devoid of any meandering urge for discovery.

It is an atmosphere that predates most of the music in my mix, an age when driving out on Blue Highways demanded AM radio (because the signals skipped off the ionosphere, going places where FM was reduced to a soft hiss), songs drifting in and out of recpetion and consciousness like spectral voices. A time when AM radio was where all popular music resided and FM was for "beatiful music". A time when, late at night, you knew the DJ was spinning disks alone in a studio because he knew you were out there, alone. A psychic thread that was immediate and ephemeral and then cut and let loose to drift in the breeze as you sped on into the night and fiddled with the dial to seek another connection.

Maybe one in a hundred who read this will understand what I'm saying. It is the cost of survival, of passing out of one generation and standing outside the next. I chose this particular meta-theme ("Driving" being the theme, "Late at Night, Alone, on Blue Highways, etc." being... see?) because it is a metaphor. Not looking back and yet, remembrance. Letting the headlights illuminate the next step but still having some thought lodged firmly where I came from, living, close enough to grasp and as distant as the stars below.

Here is the mix:

Marc Broussard, Home

One of my favorite finds of this past year, a quintessential evocation of everything I just wrote (above), "You don't know nothing about this... Take me home... Said take me home,". Added to the mix well before Katrina but now, with the disaster in the Gulf, the cut seems a bit more compelling because of the restrained rage of the song. Bluesy and, well, if you're out on Blue Highways not listening to the Blues, you might as well be snug in your Motel 6 bed and looking out for only your Continental Breakfast ("free from 6 to 9 every morning!"). The "looking behind" song that presses your toes forward on the accelerator.

Liz Phair
, Baby Got Going

Press the accelerator down some more because Liz promises us um, something extremely hot and wet and hungry, definitely a reason to get there soon. And the rhythm is all about movin' on....

Underworld, Trim

Man, this song chugs and chugs and chugs, like hammering pistons, not in the "whomp, whomp, whomp" of a rave kind of way (yeah, it's Underworld but a different groove, here) but after the Liz Phair, it's as if you've just taken your foot off the pedal and let the wind brush through your hair, riding the momentum, downhill, listening to the hills whoosh around you.

That's how it sounds to me. What it "means" to me is anyone's guess.

Wilco, Muzzle of Bees

Looking out at those hills, you wonder what the people in them are doing, saying, what they're thinking, too, and what they sound like. When something is universal, what we all think, what we all sound like, we write it down and it becomes art. We all hear the same thing but in an infinite variety of ways, interpretations, colors and when someone explains that to us, we call it art. Among the many excellent bands I've heard in the past 44 years, Wilco is one of the few that brings art to me. And always at night...

Sigür Rôs, Unknown

Finding a fellow Sigür Rôs fan is like finding a Firesign Theatre fan, one of those "either you get it or you don't" kind of propositions. To me, this haunting tune of incredible beauty (and oh, sonically such a perfect follow-up to the Wilco song) seems to run well short of the 9 and some minutes it clocks in at. At least I get that; those who don't "get" Sigür Rôs may find it too damn long.

Steely Dan, Rikki, Don't Lose That Number

Our family had just moved to Taiwan and I remember loving this song on the radio, endlessly, late at night, in a hotel room that smelled of mildewed bamboo, thinking about how much promise was pleaded for in this song and how much I wanted to see Ricki and give her my number.

Neko Case, Look For Me (I'll Be Around)

This spot would have also gone to Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, or Timi Yuro but Neko won out. Nothing else would have fit with the Steely Dan. Too haunting because I'm hoping this is what Rikki was thinking, with that number in her hand.

Chris Isaak, Wicked Game

I expect this song will be on a few mixes we see and I had no compunction including it on mine. Sure, too obvious, quintessential, rip the shrink rap off that cheap-o cassette you bought at the truck stop and it's on it, yup. Still, I had to include it lest I'd feel like a target for the Ministrry of Obvious Late Night Driving Mixes. Flush my Qaran but keep your jumper cables off my nutsack.

Doves, Snowden

Maybe it's cheating that I was driving in the mountains the first time I heard this and the radio began to fade - I had to pull over to hear the rest and then wait for the DJ to back-track on what she'd just played so I could find out what the song was. But I pulled over because it was a "Driving Late At Night" song. Not Dove-ish at all and although I love Doves, I was surprised when I heard the cut listed.

, Planet Claire

Remember that scene in Pulp Fiction where Vincent is driving after he's just shot up? This song is what we would have heard if he'd shot up ketamine instead of heroin.

Q Lazarus, Goodbye Horses

Even those of you who are powdered pasty-white and have mascara applied with a paint-gun probably only know this as "Buffalo Bill's Song". Yes, it's the song Buffalo Bill was dancing to in Silence of the Lambs as he admired himself in the mirror, tucked his cock between his legs and and hissed creepily, "Do you want to fuck me?" Friends listen to this song and ask what it is only for me to tell them and for them to then reply, "ewwww, ewwww, EWWWWWWW!!!"

Indeed. "All things pass into the night..."

World Party, All Come True

If this song doesn't sound like being out on a lonely road, no matter the time of day, you've missed the point.

Rolling Stones, Time Waits for No One

Paint It Black. Sympathy For the Devil. Angie. The Girl With the Faraway Eyes. Hell, the Stones are all about going somewhere late at night (even if it means an ambulance) because so much of their music is a soundtrack for a lonely voyage. However, this cut stands out for me, capturing the essence of what this disk is supposed to evoke.

Guided By Voices, The Enemy

Thumping your palms on the steering wheel, whether to stay awake or just remind yourself that you are still in this universe, you need a song like this to drive the rhythm as you're hurled further into the night.

Besides, how could I resist including a song by Guided By Voices, hmmmm?

Badly Drawn Boy, Everbody's Stalking

Like the Doves cut, this is very un-characteristic of the band - and perfect for this mix. With the flanged-out guitars and echo-effect vocals, the whirling tempo like a fly caught on a hubcap, this song feels as though you've taken your hands off the wheel after you've crested a hill and let the car steer itself, to see if it will keep the wheels on the road. It doesn't get more "Driving Late At Night" than that.

Boards of Canada, Julie & Candy

Like so much music by Boards of Canada, this is like the soundtrack to a lucid dream, as if you've nodded-out on someone's couch during a party and the voices in the kitchen weave themselves in and out of your subconsciousness. Julie & Candy in the next room, talking about... something. The stars become flashlight beams and try as you might to run to find out where everyone's going, your legs are frozen, stone.

Carole King, It's Too Late

With the lead-guitar line snaking ghost-like through the melody and the the chorus calling from just below the horizon, I could not leave this song off the mix. A reminder that there's many more hours before dawn.

So there you have it, my prolix explanation of how this mix creates, for me, an ambience, a sense of being somewhere at sometime but none of it specific to anything other than an atmosphere and a journey that we're all on. Hearing this mix, you'll get a sense of my own journey.
* Taken from the book by William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways are "the rural back roads that are colored blue on old maps," off the interstate highways and where, I think, the best travelling is done.

† Sterling's mix is infuckingcredible - and in three parts (three disks!). More than that, he's challenged me to figure out the "mystery" of the disk which, I admit, I'm stumped. Still, I hope he doesn't reveal the secret because I love puzzles and I'm going to spend this weekend trying to break the code. I highly recommend that you hie thee over to Ster's place and plead with him to send you copies. The mixes are that awesome.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Zeke's little Big Day

Listening to: Sarah's AWESOME mix

There should have been more but then, no matter how much he had, it would have seemed insufficient. Not in his estimation, in mine.

Yes, there were presents (several from My Love) which he opened with savage enthusiasm. He awoke to a birthday kiss which he greeted with his full-body grin and a warm "Thank you, Daddy!"

Other than that, this balmy mid-September day was spent close to home and with little celebration.

Had there been more, it still would have been dwarfed by his indomitable spirit. He would outshine any candle lit for him; no party could outdo the celebration of life that is his daily rite. While the rest of the world frets and second guesses itself, while we all awake to the uncertainty of our fortune, Zeke rises with the sun, blazing, unconcerned with clouds or shadows or crisis. Each day for him is to be simply relished. Pleased as he was today that he is now three, this day was no more - nor less - to him.

Almost from the time he was bornm I've called him My Little Laughing Buddha because of his insistence at being incorrigibly happy. His is a persistent elation, an absolute satisfaction with his "suchness", never desiring, never lacking, and almost always ecstatic with each moment as it happens.

Every day he leaps and springs and tumbles through life and doesn't care who sees him. It's as if he intuits that the many who would despise him do not matter nearly as much as the few who, swept up in his revel, would join him, as though he was born singing the line from e.e. cummings, "I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach 10,000 stars how not to dance."

His lack of self-consciousness and his refusal to be miserable is enviable. Too many people pay me too much money to achieve a remote glimpse of what apparently comes naturally to him. If I could tap his spirit and sell it as an elixer, I would be shamefully rich - and the world would be a much better place.

Zeke's Big Big Day will come a couple of weeks from now. He shares a September birthday with his sister and so, kind of like a Christmas baby, gets gyped out of a day that should be entirely his. Not that he will notice - or care. As far as he's concerned, each day is a Big Day.
UPDATE: My Love has pictures posted of Zeke and adds her two cents regarding my little man - go check it out!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A week and still weak

Listening to: Kimberly's AWESOME mix

It was a little over a week ago that I wrote about a client going through more shit than anyone should have to endure. We gave him most of the group's time this week but he was more interested in how his government had sold him out this past week.

If you want to read how your govenment sold you out, check out the political arm of this blog - I won't go into it here. All I have to say is God help us if another disaster rolls around.

Since last Thursday (when it became evident how fucked up things really were), I've asked my groups to talk about what they felt. If you're guessing, the majority feel betrayed and angry by the inadequate response by our government. The client dealing with the murdered daughter asked, "If my government can't answer this problem, what happens if a nuke hit us or a bunch of germs were released on us?"

I guess all you Bush supporters can answer that. Shit. As a facilitator, I had to bite my tongue. All I can say is that, of my 60 or so clients over the past week, only two felt like our Federal government adequately answered the disaster.

Let me know what you think. Please. You know where I stand but I promise I won't go after you the same way I went after Jimmie over at Grace's site (but I assume my readers will bother to be honest).

OK, enough of me me being non-political... heh.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

If you've just landed here, forgive the shape of the place, I've been too busy to straighten up

Listening to: Bill Evans, Live at the Lighthouse

Caught a little unawares by Trusty playing guest blogger for Michele and her "say hello" (or whatever it is) game, I realize my latest post SUCKED (not this one but the one before this one but now that I mention it, this one as well). Therefore, if you're going to poke around, read this post, it's more "me" than this post or my half-assed attempt at a post previous to this.

Trust me, trusty, no good deed goes unpunished.

If you want to know about my love of music (and how it affects this blog), go here and find out how my friends and I exchange music. If you want to know about my romantic love, go here and she'll fill you in about our glorious synchronicity. Finally, if you want to know about the loves that brought me here to begin with, go here, here, and here (although there's much more).

Brushing aside shameless promotion, I'll relate this incident from yesterday, notable because I'm such a skeptic and the experience totally weirded me out; notable because I chose it so.

At the park, the girls dipping their feet into into the creek, I was pushing Zeke in the swing, "Higher, daddy, higher!" he kept exhorting. Although I love pushing my kids on the swing (and keep reminding myself that these moments are ephemeral, a drop in the ocean), I was anxious to have him grow tired of swing and ask to get out, go to the slide, the monkey bars, join his sisters at the creek. I had a book to read and the idea of going to the park is to a) let them run themselves insane so that they'll pass out upon hitting the pillow and b) they'll by-and-large get this done with little participation on my part, therefore, allowing me to get some reading done.

I should add that 'b' is a fallacy that recommends my certification as clinically insane (if we define 'insanity' as "repeating the same mistakes, expecting different results").

Pushing Zeke on the swing, higher and higher, he asked, "How do we get over there, daddy?"

"Over there?" I wondered, looking past the lilacs, the wrought-iron fence, the stream, the sidewalk, the road, towards the Mexican restaurant, "There," I asked, "Over there? Over the fence? Across the street?"

"Yeah, there," he emphasized, "How do we get over there?"

I thought about his question, why he was asking, what kind of an answer he was seeking. In my mind, I forged my answer, "We fly," I thought, "We swing and we fly over there."

I kept pushing him in the swing, his silhouette a speck against the gray clouds that sagged low against the crest of the mountains, threatening rain.

"We fly," he said as he soared towards the clouds, "We swing and we fly over there."

A chill ran through me at the recognition of his words, his mirroring my thoughts exactly, verbatim, as if he'd read my mind.

These are the things I write about. In case I get too old and forget moments like these.

These are my fireflies in a jar.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Listening to: Not listening to anything - watching CNN

I don't know if it was just me but the scope of the disaster in the gulf didn't hit me until today. Now I'm appalled, numb, angry. My government has betrayed me. More than that, it has betrayed the lives of countless thousands.

I can't speak of this. So I'll just pass on what was said in mcolley's diary on Daily Kos:
The Right, as embodied by Limbaugh, Frist, Bush, Hastert, DeLay. They would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.

And they would sit on their ass and watch as tens of thousands of poor men, women, children, babies, and elderly bake in the New Orleans heat surrounded by water, sewage, gasoline and an abandoned city, now devoid of anyone with the means to have escaped ahead of the storm.

This is the culture of life. The culture of life wants to save brain dead white women and unborn children. The culture of life wants you to watch endless non-news about the disappearance of one white teenager in Aruba. The culture of life wants you to support your nation as it kills tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in its Quixotic quest against a non-threat. The culture of life wants a zero-tolerance for looters policy to sound authoritative as babies die of dehydration. The culture of life expects you to take care of yourself, and if you can't, then it is your own fault for getting into that situation in the first place. Fuck off. You had your shot. Station in life, where you hang your hat, and whether you have the $40 at the end of the month to pay for the overpriced gasoline to get out of that home in time is all up to you.

Always I have argued with Republican friends--the reasonable ones--that not everyone was dealt the same cards on their original Birth Day. Not everyone has been given the same gifts by God, friends, family, or luck. Always those Republican friends believe that they deserve where they have gotten in life, and that no one, including the government, should be asking for their hard-earned cash to help the less affluent. It is always the fault of the lesser-affluent themselves. Circumstances are irrelevant in all cases and constitute class warfare if the question is raised.


But that's their thing. That's how they see the world. They earned everything they got. Their parents might have given them a nudge, but nothing more. Get a fucking clue.

Bush came away from his mega vacation one day early...Wednesday. Hastert doesn't know why we should rebuild. Condie Rice went to the show on Broadway.

All of these people support the Culter of Life. But none seem to support American Culture. New Orleans, as much as any city, represents distinctly American Culture. A melting-pot of language, music and revelry unlike any other. But it is desperately poor. Over 50% of the children in the state live below the poverty level. But no matter. Mostly black folk down there. They shouldn't have lived there in the first place. They should have gotten out while they had the chance. It's their own fault.

Michael Chertoff was interviewed on NPR this afternoon. He was asked if he had heard of thousands of people at the Convention Center in New Orleans, without water or food or sanitation. Elderly dying. Little girls being raped. Mr. Chertoff was eloquent in his cluelessness. Completely unaware of what had been on the television all day long on both MSNBC and CNN. Unaware that he, at the top of the agency charged with bringing relief to the affected areas, had not been informed of something every American with a remote already knew. That the situation there was desperate. That people needed help. And that noone seemed to be providing it. The man in charge was not in charge at all, folks. It took the Bush Administration 4 years since 9/11... 4 years of chasing ghosts and old demons in Iraq to not do a fucking thing about stateside preparedness. To gut the national guard's responsiveness by sending so many of them overseas. To cut funding for the levee system that allowed Lake Ponchartrain to roll into the city. To put someone in charge of Homeland Security and FEMA that is eloquent, but so impossibly incompetent that he is incapable of establishing a staff capable of letting him know the worst of a situation so large.

Mr. Chertoff said, that he had not heard of such things. That you couldn't believe every rumor from the streets of the area. That he wasn't in a position to argue about what the NPR Reporters had witnessed.

Get the people to our staging areas, he stated, and they can get water there.

Thanks, asshole.