Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mixmania! update

Those of you who signed up are patiently awaiting my emails... please be patient. It's been nuts here and I will send the emails out Thursday.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

If on a winter's night, a babbler

Listening to: The Modern Jazz Quartet, Django

Woo hoo, that last entry went over like an anthrax-filled drum skin. Even a Z-list blogger like myself has to wonder why it is a particular post gets zero comments; was it the content, the bad writing, or have I succeeded in finally alienating even the sorriest suckers who were willing to click here to decipher that I again have nothing to say? It's been awhile since I've posted something that garnered no comments and so it seems I've descended to the nadir I've always assumed I'd sink to, where what I write has absolutely no meaning to anyone. If this the equivalence of a tree falling and no one hearing it, that's hardly monumental, even if I've lost my faith in nihilism.

The angel Mamacita blessed me with an hour or so of vital and witty conversation in a yahoo IM, trying to reassure me that this blog has value and that I'm loved or something. For those of you who have the magnificent privilege of actually knowing Mamacita, you know she means what she says and so although I was incredulous about her claims, I appreciated that her heart is pure. I knew she wasn't blowing smoke up my ass looking for a bigger buzz.

Likewise, those of you who really know Mamacita know that the converstaion will inevitably turn towards books. In one of her many wonderful acts of love (I have still not figured out why she finds me worth the trouble), she sent me a copy of Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair and I had to confess I had not yet picked it up. Oh, I'm looking forward to it but I've had other things to digest and yes, I'll get to it if only because she recommends it and it's "meta-fiction" - fiction for people who read, um, fiction.

In my experience, the best "meta-fiction" novel is Italo Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, if only for this passage (and if only so I can trascribe this passage instead of actually having to blog - an issue Mamacita can explain for you - thanks, darlin'!!!):
In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop past thick barricades of Books You Haven't Read, which were frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you. But you know you must never allow yourself to be awed, that among them there extend for acres and acres the Books You Needn't Read, the Books Made For Puposes Other Than Reading, Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written. And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of the Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered. With a rapid maneuver you bypass them and move into the phalanxes of the Books You Mean To Read First, the Books Too Expensive Now And You'll Wait Till They're Remaindered, the Books ditto When They Come Out In Paperback, Books You Can Borrow From Somebody, Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You've Read Them, Too,. Elluding these assaults, you come up beneath the tower of the fortress, where the troops are holding out:
the Books You've Been Planning To Read For Ages,
the Books You've Been Hunting For Years Without Success,
the Books Dealing With Something You're Working On At The Moment,
the Books You Want To Own So They'll Be Handy Just In Case,
the Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer,
the Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves,
the Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easilly Justified.
Now you have been able to reduce the coutless embattled troops to an array that is, to be sure, very large but still calculable in a finite number; but this relative relief is then undetermined by the ambush of the Books Read Long Ago Which It's Time To Reread and the Books You've Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It's Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them.

If Mamcita's correct then I'm scott free, as far as my half-assed posting; you'll not only get the passage, you'll get my intent. She's overestimated me and in that, she rated my readers more than I do, suffice it to say. I figured anyone who read me was as dirt stupid as I am. Mea Cupla, you deserve her praise but it will continue to befuddle why the hell you're reading this, once, twice, or as is your habit.

UPDATE: I finally got a comment on my last post (thanks, Shari!), which says to me that I'm not merely as wothless as I say I am, just more stupid.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Big, dangerous words to boggle small minds

Listening to: Love & Rockets, Express

In my last post I overtly challenged the tiny-minded weasels at the NSA to come lock me up for "seditious" words, words those dimwitted fucks no doubt needed to consult a dictionary in order to decipher. Considering I'm now on their radar tighter than their deoderant (honestly, fellas, think about personal hygeine a bit, k?) and obviously in their pock-marked faces, I figured I'd attempt to expand their horizons a tad and continue with the "word power" exercise. Hey, we all need it. When I was reading Harold Bloom's Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, I discovered the following words and wrote them down on my bookmark (an unpaid parking ticket) so I might flesh out my vocabulary a bit.


That last word is what I've been accused of, for good reason, although I have nothing on Bloom in that regard. Still, considering the fact that I went to the trouble to write the words down and look them up gives you an idea how I got where I am and I yam what I... yeah, yeah.

However, this post is for the edification of those NSA ciphers who are taking a look-see at this spot on the blogosphere (and you know you are, asshole... btw, how's that male enhancement drug working?) and making little notes for their nazi stormtrooper colleagues; perhaps they'll use some of these big, dangerous words in their reports to confuse the hell out of the entire division.

Why am I so shitty with you sppoks? Because I assume you grew up learning about the same vision of the US and its principles that I was raised with but you were led astray, either by confusion or cupidity, and you've sold out.

If suckered, scared by swarthy men with bombs and scarves, you're more confused than you know. The terrorists don't win by body count, the terrorists win by having you listen in on phone calls, read emails, or send people up the river for no reason other than suspicion. You're allowing the terrorists to destroy much more than real estate, the confidence of shaky psyches and, God forbid, a few lives, you're allowing the terrorists to destroy 200-some years of freedom.

If, on the other hand, you're doing this for the jay-oh-bee, you're a whore. Although, I suspect I'm not telling you something you don't already know. Most likely your mother is/was a whore and this is part of a tragic legacy, whether you're here or walking the streets or working as a spammer. Whatever, hooker, you're used to taking it in the poop chute with or without lube and in some twisted way, you like it.

However you manifest justification for your meretricious little task, consider your place in history: a shit spot in the diaper of a president not fit to run a company much less a country. "Grampa, what did you do in the War on Global Terrorism?"

"Why, I spied on Americans."

What a fucking embarasment.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Listening to: Liars, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top

Some snow yesterday, some today, some tomorrow they say, just some and not a moment too soon. This season has been a skimpy one for Colorado's eastern slope, scant amounts at best. Although there's a couple of months left to make up for the shortfall (with March and April being the wettest months, too), the pittance we've received so far is hardly the start our water table needs.

In the midst of this, I've heard whispers of global warming. From this tiny corner of the earth, I'm not so sure that what's going on here is due to global warming, strictly speaking. This June I'll have been in Colorado 20 years and in that time I've seen some extremely whacky weather (or whacky extreme weather) and this Colorado winter hardly seems exceptional compared with other winters I've experienced the past two decades.

That's not to say I'm not concerned about global warming. Hearing the other day that
Greenland's glaciers melting at twice the rate previously suspected, has me more than just a little freaked out. Even though in the Global Warming debate there is little disagreement that there has been a substantial rise in average global temperatures (since the Industrial Revolution), the fatuous argument that we aren't 100% certain of the cause seems rather thick-headed. Strictly speaking, we can't make a causal connection between smoking and lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, etc., but damned if I hear the Cato Institute pooh-poohing the hazards of smoking because tobacco farmers would be economically disadvantaged due to uncertain science.

Considering that Polar Bears are drowning due to diminished arctic ice and they're expected to be extinct by the end of the century, concern for corporations seems a bit specious, at best. After all, who benefits when corporations pocket more profits - you? Get a goddamn clue, the big three auto makers in the US laid off almost 100,000 workers last year while Mercedes Benz (and other luxury car) sales went through the roof. A few people are getting by just fine and many people are sinking. Change the weather, in a big way, and many more people will sink, whatever the cause. Bring on global warming and the poor will get poorer at a much faster rate while the rich will - get tanned.

Despite the Christian Right's adoration of the mongrel murderous thug they elected,
some are beginning to see the madness - and unchristian-like destruction of the planet - enough to say, well, enough. Not only are they calling for christians to follow the mandate to be stewards of creation but recognize the economic and environmental desolation that will come with global warming. Renews my faith, it does.

Unfortunately, local hieratic hacks like Jim Dobson and Ted Haggarty oppose the call to action, they being bigger fans of Bush than Christ. Vermin like Haggerty and Dobson are more concerned with their Wal-Mart churches (and the mammon produced therein) and have little interest in Christ's real message. They're making a bundle off their theology of hate and remaining corporate shills serves their purpose more than actually practicing a Christian message. Besides, they're safe here in the Rockies and have little to worry about when the deluge hits the coastal lands.

Good for them. When my children are dealing with refugees from the coasts, they'll know where to point their guns. Because, I can assure you, when global warming makes its full effect known, changes in climate won't be the only tide turning here and elsewhere.*

*That last paragraph written as a certain "Fuck You" to our Glorious Leader and his anti-American sack of shit snoops.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Post Valentine's Blues

Listening to: Brian Eno, Before & After Science

Oh, there were posts a-ramblin' round' my brain pan regarding love things and thangs but I just didn't have the heart to write about Valentine's Day.

Not that I was without on that most romantic of demi-holidays - indeed, my cup, though not runneth-ing over, seems steeped with a steaming brew - but I encountered a complication with the wee ones that was cause for pause.

In the almost three years since X and I went our separate ways, I have introduced one woman into their lives. I may not be much of a dad but to my credit I have minimized the confusion that comes with romantic entanglements, to the point where my oldest has set about suggesting potential matches. If that was the end of the story, I wouldn't be writing this, obviously; unfortunately, not all is well that ended well.

Driving home the other night after picking up the brood from the sitter's, the topic-that-will-not-die was again resurrected in the backseat peanut gallery. It began when my littlest one, the effervescent Zeke, asked with all earnestness, "Will Woo be dare when we get home?"

"Woo" is, of course, the one I allowed to get close to my kids, the one of my relationship that I documented somewhat last year (and was copiously documented elsewhere but now those posts have mostly disappeared). Don't get me wrong: I have no regrets and place no blame, it is better to have loved and lost and all that shit. Still, the nascent minds that inhabit my backseat cannot comprehend the concept of finality. Despite stating numerous times that Lu and I were done and that she has a new boyfriend, Lilly, Marni, and Zeke continue to ask when Lu will visit again, will Lu be here for a birthday, when will go camping with Lu and Kaylee again, etc.

Any parent who has been driven past insanity by yammering, howling children cooped up in a car can appreciate my desire at that moment to spin the steering wheel and speed off the side of the nearest bridge. In the back, "Lu, Woo, Lu...," like baby loons hopped up on lithium, anything that could be said was said in relation to what Lu would do. Months after Christmas, the chorus sang,
"Jingle Bells, Lu smells.... GOOD!
Daddy took a pee,
On a tree and broke his knee
In 1943... HEY!"

Over and over and over and over and over again, some kind of karmic hell I'm positive I had no part in accumulating.

As I said, I'm not here pointing fingers or assigning blame. If Lu was guilty of anything it was treating my children well, lovingly, being nurturing and attentive.

And there's the problem. As I navigate the single life and search for another significant other, I am naturally going to gravitate towards someone who will be just like Lu as far as how she treats my kids. A drunken, self-centered nymphomaniac might be fun but in the morning, she won't meet my children. So the search continues and as it does, the wee ones continue to cherish the brief moments when we were almost a complete family again.

Despite my liberal inclinations and feminist posturing, I have to confess that I'm not entirely thrilled with being a single parent and the thought of having a partner is infinitely more attractive that continuing on wearing both the mommy and daddy hats. More than that, having had some glimpse of how my children thrive in a two parent household, I have to concede that my kids appear to be happier when two adults share the blessings and burdens. That "complete" family unit, "nuclear family" (whatever you want to call it) allows for a tag-team type of strategy which, under optimal conditions, allows one stressed-out parent some downtime, some time to decompress and refresh before rushing back onto the battlefield.

Sometimes in life you take your chances, uncertain of the rewards, in the end usually astounded at how much farther the results have reached into the silent corners of our lives. As I said, I have no regrets and I'd do it again given the opportunity. Really, I will do it again, with someone new, hoping for the best and not thinking that it will end with three birds chirping her name as I sit alone in the driver's seat. I can't guard their little hearts anymore than I can guard my own heart.

All I can do is make good choices and hope for the best. Obviously, my kids thought Lu was a good choice and they will remember her for quite some time. Until I make my next good choice and take the chance, introduce her to my children. Until then, I have my wee ones to remind me that I do not settle for anything less than the best.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sometimes we dance, sometimes we slip, sometimes we just stand still

Listening to: Super Furry Animals, Songbook: Singles, Vol. I

As I watched Lilly dancing with her first grade class, I was reminded that she's not the child with daddy's music gene. Amongst all the children on the gym floor, she was one of the kids spazzing out, not getting the vibe. She was going through the motions - an arm out here, a step there - but her movements were all mechanical, measured, doing what she was told to do. Lilly was merely being a good student, putting 'A' and 'B' together, step here, shuffle there, slide, slide, slide.

As I've progressed within daddyhood, I've come to realize my kids aren't perfect. All those Baby Einstein videos and Cds seemed to do was to help them become maestroes of the big fricken mess. Given some place and enough stuff, with markers and other implements of vandalism, my children will wreck a room, prodigeously.

With an eye on damage control, I'm thinking I should be proactive, nurture an interest in something other than screwing stuff up just for the sake of screwing stuff up. Obviously, I don't any of my children to grow up to be president.

Lilly loves animals and has a curiosity about the natural world beyond "Why is the sky blue?" If I'm carrying a spider outside (because she's insisted against me killing it), she insists on looking at it, seeing where I put it, asking if it will find food wherever I put it.

Last summer she watched as I caught a beetle and tossed it deep into a web built within the hood of a seat sitting on a derelict bicycle. At the periphery of the web hung the shrouded carcasses of previous prey, shells gray, black, and brown wrapped in tattered silk. Lilly watched in awe as the spider shot out of the shadow and attacked, "He's going to make it into a mummy like those other, dead bugs," she said, her arm crooked in mine, bouncing anxiously on the balls of her feet.

She says she wants to be a zoo keeper when she grows up. I can see that. A naturalist, a scientist, a seeker of truth. Or she could be a waitress at Denny's; she'd be no less the brilliant ray of light she is. I see no need to pressure her, to encumber her with my whacked-out ideas of what she should be, to try and deny her the right to be what she wants to be.

As most of the other children got their groove on, Lilly flailed around, timorous and reluctant, a full step and half off from the rest. That's fine, I thought, I don't have to watch the other kids, the presentation, I only have to watch her, capture that moment of her becoming in my mind. Not looking within, not even feeling pride because all there was at that moment was her and the space she inhabited. There in the reflection of the pristine gym floor she looked like a sunflower, whispy and elegant, swaying chaoticaly in a late summer's breeze.

To my daughter's credit, the kids had to be there, lessons of the first grade: line up, join the group, socialize, dance with one another. I don't know if I like the first two but I do like "dance with one another." Despite Lilly's failure as a dancer, her enthusiasm for holding hands and skipping and looking into another's eyes and saying, unsaid, "You're cool, I like you, let's do this," more than qualified her a place on the floor. Even if she stays out of step.

Feigned detachment; daddy's proud, proud she's out of step. Ecstatic to see daddy in the stands, she did her best, following the directions she'd been given. Unconcerned, she stayed out of step and stayed happy. And if there's anyting at all that I wish on Lilly is that she stays happy.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Like the dead-beat beat of the tom-tom

Listening to: Swans, Great Annihilator

In my intrepid pursuit of garnering nil traffic, I've decided that no updates are the best updates. Seems to have worked and thank God because I can't handle the comments, pain in the ass you all are, both of you. Considering both comments encouraged to me to keep not writing, I feel validated for doing nothing.

The blogosphere is something else, a place where a stale slice of intellectual Wonder Bread holds peanut butter and banality in the service of staying updated, rewarded with insipid tea ("Ha ha, I know what you're saying!") to wash down every inane syllable. Thus gingivitis, driving in Denver, Lilly's dance recital, a tenth planet and the ratio of anti-social assholes to single women over 30 who own dogs (and how that pisses off the religious right), means I've nothing to say and no inclination to say it, my dimwitted plan spinning like a floaty in the bowl towards oblivion.

I'm back, yo - live with it.