Friday, October 28, 2005

Got me a new bitch

Listening to: Ludwig van Beethoven, Fidelio (Angel #67361, Otto Klemperer conducting)

The last few days you've heard nary a whisper from these parts though not due to the old (oh, so old) excuse that I'm weeping into my Wheaties over dreams dashed and discarded. No, my friends, I've moved on and I'm adjusting to a new love - yes, I do recover quickly - a girl who is sharing not only my bed but my tiny apartment as well as the hearts of my children. She is young (oh, very young) and can be very annoying at times but her capacity for love and affection far outweighs her character defects; anyway, she's young enough to be teachable.

Sure, she's a mutt but that only adds to her charm and since she's very good with the wee ones - loving, gentle, playful, affectionate - I am forced to keep her. Just out of a bad relationship ("catch em' on the rebound" is never a good strategy but sometimes you take what comes your way) but had I not intervened, her fate might have been much worse and who knows where she would have ended up? Yes, tell me I'm too much of a softie, I don't care, she's here with me and I love her.

Now, as I mention that she's had all her shots and her tubes are tied, most of you are clicking away from me, for good reason. For those of you (and you two or three know who you are) who are still with me, she's a collie/german shepard mix (mostly shepard looking) and she really is a sweetie, very mellow but I need to train her.

Since she's my first dog, I'm calling on my handful of readers who own dogs to enlighten me on some of the finer points of dog training. I took her for a nice long walk this morning and all she did was sniff everything. We went a half mile and she had to stop and smell every - EVERY - spot where a dog had left it's mark. Forty-five minutes to go a half mile and she didn't do her business. No, she waited until we got back here to get that done. Right in front of me. WTF is up with that?

Help me out with that and this: the previous owner named my dog "Robin". Yuck. A friend told me that the dog is young enough to get used to another name (and told me that two syllables for the name is optimal), that I should have no problem getting her to respond to commands with a new name. So contest time: whomever comes up with the coolest name for my doggy will get a copy of my 2-disk Holiday Mixmania! set for your incredible creativity. Multiple entries are allowed, if you repeat someone else's suggestion, the person who suggested it first wins out.

I'll keep the link on my sidebar, so get to naming my dog!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ups & downs

Listening to: Skinny Puppy, The 12" Singles

Rough start today with the wee ones in no mood to hurry to get to school. Not that I'm a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination, but rising and shining is a deed left up to dad, if not done gladly, indeed done with a great deal of shouting and pushing and pulling until all the clothes are on and everyone's snapped into their carseats and ready to roll. The morning aggression of "lock and load".

Growling at my need for coffee and the slug-a-bed attitude of my kids as we roll towards the city, the tone is nothing short of surly. Then, in an instant, I check the rearview and see big eyes glimmering in the morning sun, wide and alert to the passing landscape - my anger melts away. Who could stay mad at these babes?

We get to school and I hug-and-kiss, hug-and-kiss, hug-and-kiss, pat heads and wish a "good day" and then hie me back to the house while I consider how easy it is to forget the minor irritations brought on by small children when the immensity of my love washes away everything that got my day off to a rotten start.

Would it be so easy with the rest of the world.

By the time I had my DUI group together, I was in a fairly good mood: we'd opened up with the reports of our lives over the past week, laughed, taken tonight's topic into letting the little things pass us by, by cultivating awareness of the here-and-now. As we neared the cescendo, the door clicked, and clicked, "What the fuck is that noise?"

"There's some dud sitting out in the reception area."

And indeed there he was, with a toque and a bomber jacket, looking just as annoyed as I felt, annoyed that he'd sauntered into my office and disturbed the groove.

"I was told I could get my intake done tonight," he said, "that you'd be here until 9 o'clock."

"A," I responded, "I won't be here till 9 o'clock and 'B' no one told you that you could get your intake done here."

"Yeah, they did"


"I dunno, some guy. The judge told me I had seven days to get enrolled and I have to have that done by tomorrow and some guy told me you'd be here until 9 o'clock."

"Well, I'm sorry if someone told you that - if anyone DID tell you that - but I have a group here and after this is done, I'm picking up my kids and going home. Besides, the court's don't accept an intake until after you've attended your first class and that isn't going to happen tonight, pal."

It wouldn't have surprised me if someone had indeed told the idiot that he could come into my office and do an intake at ninefuckingpee em but I wasn't about to accept the blame for a moron who had waited seven days - until 9 at night - to keep his sorry ass out of jail. With that kind of irresponsibility (on top of driving drunk), he deserved to be locked up.

After group, I called the main office and left a curt little message relating the experience and, if someone had told the idiot he could come in to do an intake, don't do it ever again. I have kids that I need to get home and make too little money to cover for other people's fuck ups.

I don't expect the rest of the world to be as smart as me but I do expect a modicum of competence in every day life. Apparently, that's too much to ask for. If a Department of Slap-em'-upside-the-head-and-wake-em'-the-fuck-up is ever developed, sign me on, I'll be happy to do my patriotic duty. Too many Americans sleepwalk through life.

I sent the idiot packing, sent my group home, did my notes, picked up my kids and drove them home, to put them to sleep. Tomorrow we'll have another cranky morning but I can sleep well with the knowledge that when I get my kids up in the morning that they won't be sleepwalking.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Mixmania! clarification for those intimidated by the process

Listening to: Disk I of the two disks I'm mixing

If you're thinking of signing up, GO HERE and read the rules.

Things are looking a little pathetic participant-wise considering past mixmania! extravaganzas and I don't know the reason. All I'm asking is for you to give me your favorite holiday music on a disk, something you'd pop in at a holiday party at home or work, it's that simple. I don't see why it's so intimidating.

Folks, I have some awesome disks ready to go. You'll play the first disk while the egg nog goes around (heavy on the rum, yeah) and then play the second disk while everyone's shitfaced. Not even Halloween but I'm ready to get this going.

Speaking of Halloween, here's a disk I mixed a few years back:

  1. Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
    Sets the mood. If you haven't seen the movie before Halloween, SEE IT.

  2. Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels - Devil With the Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly
    If People aren't dancing to this at your party, they're dead, I assure you. You don't want dead people at your party.

  3. Rocky Horror - The Time Warp
    Every Halloween mix has this song on it for a reason. If you don't know the reason, you have no reason holding a Halloween party.

  4. The Clovers - Love Potion #9
    Do you have a Love Potion #9 mixed up at you party? No?!? Why are you having a party?

  5. Sheb Wooley - Purple People Eater
    Silly, simply silly. And redundant.

  6. Classics IV - Spooky
    Do we have your attention yet? Have FUN!!!

  7. Michael Jackson - Thriller
    If I have to explain this one, you really are clueless

  8. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Nightmare On My Street
    Before he went on to movies, Will Smith made disposable rap. This is an example but it fits the season.

  9. Redbone - The Witch Queen of New Orleans
    Man, they sound black but they're actually native american. Scary.

  10. The Buoys - Timothy
    My actual, single 'guilty pleasure' on this mix (OK, count the last cut), a tune about guys trapped in a mine and who resort to cannibalism. YUM!!!

  11. Crazy World of Arthur Brown - Fire
    I don't know why this guy wasn't bigger considering Alice Cooper stole all his chops. Must have been because Alice had Zappa and Lou Reed behind him and Arthur Lee had was a heroin addiction.

  12. Black Sabbath - Iron Man
    Yeah, so what, by this time everyone has had a few beers in them and you know what? They're singing along so shut up.

  13. Blue Oyster Cult - Godzilla
    The giant, irradiated and dangerous prick known as Norbizness would sway you away from this song (he really is a giant penis knocking down buildings - BEWARE!) and this group but I think they rock. If anyone disagrees, offer them drambui and vicodin.

  14. Van Halen - Runnin' With the Devil
    From their first, best album and if anyone at your party whines, toss them.

  15. Ramones - Gimmee Gimmee Shock Treatment
    Good thing you got rid of the asshats who pissed and moaned about the last song because, really, that's what they needed.

  16. The Cramps - Goo-Goo Muck
    God, I *LOVE* this song and God, why do all Cramps cuts sound like they were recorded under water?

  17. KMFDM - Go To Hell
    Yeah?!? Ok.

  18. Ministry - Everyday Is Halloween

Give me your mixes or STFU, children of the corn...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bow down, ye mortals

Listening to: Assorted Artists, Down With Dixon (A Tribute to Willie Dixon)

Having dodged the bullet thus far, I'll attribute my superhuman powers of steering wide of The Sick to the fact that I have been deified:
Indeed, you are 87% erudite, 87% sensual, 54% martial, and 62% saturnine.
Amun was a mysterious God indeed. His very name basically means "what is hidden", "what is not seen", "what cannot be seen", and though even his form was said to be “unknown”, he was depicted as a man with the head of a uraeus (cobra), or a man seated on a throne and holding in one hand the sceptre, and in the other the ankh.
All secrets aside, what we do know is that Amun was the Egyptian King of the Gods, not unlike his counterparts Zeus (Greek mythology) and Odin (Norse mythology). With his ruling might over the Gods, Amun soon became associated with the Pharaohs.

Being responsible for the creation of the world, it is not surprising that he was also the God of fertility, reproduction, and sexual power, and thus also the God of agriculture. With the combined powers of regeneration and royalty, Amun became linked to the sun and the great God Ra, becoming known as Amun-Ra, which pretty much consolidated his status as Supreme God.

In spite of Amun's political ascension, he also enjoyed popularity among the common people of Egypt, who came to call him the vizier of the poor, the protector of the weak, and an upholder of justice.

You can find out what deity you are by taking this test. Thanks to Skippy for pointing me there.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

Listening to: The Replacements, Let It Be

For those of you who have emailed me your intentions to join in on the Holiday mixmania! - I haven't forgotten you - just been, um, preoccupied. I promise to get on this by the end of the week. Natalie & Shari - I swear, your disks will get mailed soon and I'm sorry - life got ahead of me

Two down, two to go.

Lilly was laid out on the couch all day with a little blue waste basket next to her, vomiting into the bucket about once an hour. Poor little thing. The process was always the same, her starting to whine, then cry, then her wretching into a bucket, a plastic echo maginfying her misery.

Zeke started this off a few days back, low-grade fever, diarrhea and then lots of vomit. Lots of it.

The doctor said to restrict solid foods and keep the kids on clear liquids. I could have sworn I told my mom this but somehow, the message was lost and she plied the hungry little guy with toaster waffles and chocolate milk. Lots of it.

On the way home from my parent's, Zeke did the whining thing, then the crying, the vomit. Lots of it.

It's about a half-hour drive from my parent's to my place and, well, what can you do? Zeke had to sit there covered in his own puke until we could get home and I could carry him in the house like a tube full of enriched uranium, strip him down and get him in the tub.

After I got the kids to bed, I carried a bucket of hot, soapy water out to the minivan, removed his carseat and went to work on the damage. It was obvious that, after almost two days of not having solid food or choclate milk, the little guy gorged himself. There must have been a half gallon of emesis puddled up in the rear bench of the minivan. Yes, lots of it.

After I had that cleaned up, I went to work on the carseat, a freakin' chinese puzzle. The seat cover was intertwined with the belts and there was no directions on how to remove it. I tried running the entire carseat under the shower head but that got old with a quickness. The Evenflo website was no help and I was forced to go at the sopping, disgusting thing with a flat-head screwdriver.

Let me tell you folks, that works.

With a clean carseat and two kids with hit with this evil bug, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. One more kid and me. Who will get the pukes next?

Place your bets now.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Yesterday we played a little and I remembered what it was like to be alive

Listening to: Ken's excellent mixes

For those of you who have emailed me your intentions to join in on the Holiday mixmania! - I haven't forgotten you - just been, um, preoccupied. The following post (and previous posts) should explain why I've been so distant.

It's not that my head has not been with this (if you made any sense of my last post, pass what you're smoking on to me) but that I've not had the heart to put anything here. With no heart for this (or much of anything, for that matter), it's felt futile to sit here and just bang out something to show this has been updated. Reminded of a passage by Carlos Castaneda,
Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.


A little bit of my heart returned yesterday, warmed in the autumnal sun and nurtured by my children. We attended Lilly's school carnival. "Balmy" afternoon is appropriate if by "balm" I mean "salve" or "succor" and an unseasonably warm breeze pushing gold leaves down the street, pushed me outside of myself, where I've needed to be, with my children and not stuck inside myself.

Children have a way of taking your pain and popping it away, like a tetherball; ready to come back and smack you back, jack.

We walked onto the playground and met Lilly's teacher at the first booth, the place where you tossed beanbags at wooden bottles and if you knocked them all over, you got a fake gold coin. Marni was instantly enamored by the gold-coin concept, apparent as it was that the currency bought things from the prize table: stuffed lime-green ducks, princess gear, touchable bubble blow-things, a gazillion goodies to be had for doing what the games demanded. Zeke just wanted to hang onto my pant-leg while Lilly was eager to indulge her teacher’s pet status.

Ms. Ferran met me and said, “Daddy, you have such a good daughter, there,” No doubt of that. Lilly spent most of the day at Ms. Ferran’s booth, setting the bottles back up, collecting bean bags, collecting trash from the playground and presenting it to her like a cat bringing the carcass of a newly killed bird and although the teacher’s pet spent a little time accumulating prizes (mostly modest trinkets, she seemed to have no interest in the larger prizes), when I looked up for her at any given moment, Ms. Ferran’s booth was the first place I checked.

In so many ways, the carnival was a long, deep breath of clear mountain air, not just because it forced me out of my head, took my focus away from the rent in my heart, but it allowed me to let my kids run free with no worries that they’d get snatched or hurt. In the confines of that playground, among other families and under the watchful eye of the faculty, I’d momentarily walked away from everything harsh and ugly and painful.

About a dozen booths were arranged mid-way fashion beyond Ms. Ferran’s pivot point, the fishing game, a penny-toss, ring-toss, Frisbee-toss, everything requiring a little dexterity, nothing so demanding that the wee ones couldn’t win a little something. The booth workers gave dispensation to the smallest children, holding them right over a target to drop the ring or beanbag then awarding a prize even when nothing was hit. Truly, a kid’s paradise.

The penny-toss involved miniature flamingo float-rings holding beer cups in a big tub of water. This was Marni’s bailiwick and her aim was exquisite, whether dropping a cold whoosh into the cup or taking a rebound off the forehead of the kid working the concession. Having found her game, Marni returned again and again, stashing her prize tokens with penurious glee. She’d been by the prize table and had decided on several stuffed animals, two or three princess ensembles, and a large velvet rose. She had her game, she was in the zone, and when the requisite prize tokens had been accumulated, she pushed her way to the front of the prize table to claim her spoils.

Zeke just wanted to fish. Unconcerned with results, unencumbered by any desire other than the desire to wave the plastic rod and reel sacerdotally over the tub of water, an ascetic’s detachment, process, ritual. Every time the magnetized hook latched into the mouth of the robotic fish and he was offered a prize token for the catch, Zeke ignored the prize, preferring to drop the toy hook back into the tub with no other intent than to wave the rod around again.

The old man watching the concession was amused. As children lined up impatiently for their turn, the old man leaned his ancient shoulders towards me, “That boy’s a natural born fisherman!”

“I guess,” me, kind of mumbling, “I only fish to read and smoke a cigar.”

My sarcasm was lost on him and his frame snapped back towards my son, the serious angler. Having no patience for a dilettante like me, not appreciative of my son’s inborn inclination to fish.

Not appreciative? I relished the entire day.

Friday, October 14, 2005

OK, I'm over this, I swear, test me, if you can and put a cigarette out on my scrotum

Listenig to: Brian Wilson, Smile^

So over this.

Having hammered my self-esteem into tiny, unrecognizable pieces and then ground those pieces with a morter & pestal, I've tum-tummed everything into a fine powder, fine enough to snort in such a way that pain of bringing it into me is ten times less than the effect. Woot,


do it again.

In the aftermath, why not? Repeat that whack in the face, expect different results, and whistle loud, whoo-hoo, tweeeeeet. Do it again. Whoo-hoo, tweeeeeet.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ground Zero minus me and square one equals too tired

Listening to: Lost's SUPERB Mix

How does one start when one has nothing to say other than, frankly, one has nothing to say?

This blog has remained a big blank space for the past week for no other reason than the well's been dry, devoid of original thought or anything even passably interesting.

In the spirit of the season, I submit my hobgoblins to you, for your consideration, and trust such beasties scare up something more than the small-minded foolish consistency that my readers have come to expect. Not meaning to creep up on ya' and go "boo" but it's about all I have at the moment.

Arise zombie: speak and eat some brains.

This past week passed in a pissed off blast of Indian Summer. Cold in the morning, hot as catshit in a pan in the afternoon. "Fall, fall, for fuck's sake FALL," I kept chanting.

Fall arrived today. Finally. Even some snow tonight. As, I said, the Zombie speaks.

Hollow as I am, a husk of what I was, bone dry and crypt cold, I welcome the turn of the planet towards chill. Blow away the wisp of what I was, I'm so over that.

Delapsus Resurgam, When I fall, I shall rise. Everything that falls is renewed as something else, different, maybe better.

Maybe. It's nice to believe that, anyway. At Ground Zero it feels good to believe in something.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Semi-domesticity in the shadow of St. Louis, a previous love, and shit-stain spammers

Listening to: The Smiths, Louder Than Bombs

As the magically hip are aware, I'm visiting with my love, swamped with humidity I'm not accustomed to, a pilgrim shot back eastward into the arms of someone greater than the sum of me and certainly better than anything I deserve.

Those who know say that I have "better things to do" and aren't expecting me to post, at least not this weekend ask why, WHY would I be here, here, chatting this thing up? Why not entwined amongst my fair lady's thighs and rutting like a rabid ferret, shredding the mattress into little clouds to pass through the room with precipitation promised, mmmmmm yes, why indeed? Except that she has things to read and write and fill out for this her third year of college, there's no other reason but that I'm bored.

Hearing old poetry and journal entries of hers, CDs that mean something, trying to figure out what she'll write next, I'm in the shadow of something that I that I can't just blow away with a puff from my lips. Sitting here in Illinois, figuring out something to do now while she figures out her future a few weeks down the road, I realize there's a bigger legacy to contend with than I'd considered. A legacy so big, I wonder if I will ever overcome the shadow that seems to darken every inch of continent I try and inhabit.

In the meantime, I'm checking my email to see if anyone has commented on my previous posts and find that I'm finally a victim of comment spamming. There's bigger things to turn in my sphere and I also have to deal with fly shit who have nothing better to do than shill their worthless product on my blog? If I had a gun and a target to plug, these spammers would have gray-matter spread across the mounds of garbage that spawned them.

Lu's neighbors saw me smoking on the porch and invited us over to celebrate another human brought into this mess. Not something Lu was up for but I went ahead and crossed the street to shoot the shit and drink with them, no matter how inconsequential my presence would be, excused Lu with her mass of homework (which, indeed, she had to do). They were good folks, loud, drunk, fun, welcoming of a Colorado alien in their midst and generous with their food and booze.

Still, I wonder if, given the chance to transcend their circumstances, they'd take the opportunity to spam blog accounts, emails, shoot shit into people's private lives for the sake of a few more bucks. In the hour or so I spent with them, I got the sense that every single one of them would have taken the opportunity to spread that shadow a bit further, for a few more shekels, for another trip to Mazatlan.

Listening to The Smiths, I get the sense that shadow is part of the landscape, here. It's up to me to see something else, make something else and if I can, I will. If not here, than somewhere else, I guess. But she's here and this is the place where I need to get it done. Now. Tonight.

If not now, then never.