Tuesday, October 31, 2006

They weren't saying "Boo!" They were saying "Youuuu.... SUCK!!!"

The mood I’m in is strange and orange and ghostly blue, black-lights and jack-o-lanterns; Until I sort this all out, go amuse yourselves, World O' Crap on Halloween and Mamacita's favorite abusive shriekers Gary and Lisa Ruby. Have fun.

See? Wasn't that fun?

Now go visit these people:
~d (tilde)
UPDATE: Also two angels who sent me mixes just cuz'... TYVM luvs!!! :-X
Draw Circles
Punchbuggy Blues
Duble, Duble, Toil & Mumble
Soiled Dove Inn
Evil Mommy
I Hate Cows
Tell It To Me Slowly

to see if they mixed your disk. Then try a bit a reading. Go for the mix but stay for the ambiance.

My own mix recipient knows I’m the one who slapped together the future coaster he got. He read the postmark apparently, clever lad. I’m half inclined to not even post my embarrassing list (so there) but figure what the fuck, I have almost a full bottle of Nyquil to kill.

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (Theme from The Exorcist)
Punchbuggy Blues has a chilling tale about his experiencing my disk for the first time. Graciously, he leaves out the part about the projectile vomiting.

Police – Every Breath You Take
Some people think stalkers are scary but I think they're great. Getting my tires slashed and having my cat ka-bobbed on a rake are almost as fun as the phonecalls at 4 AM, what with the screaching babble and threats of suicide. Let loose the monkeys.

Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
If the cool 80's beat doesn't scare you, Cohen's mortician voice will. Oh yeah, and the lyrics.

David Bowie – Ashes to Ashes
Since I figured someone would include "Scary Monsters" on their mix, I opted for the scarier cut from that album. Scarier still is the thought of Bowie and Lou Reed hanging out together in Berlin back then.

Garbage – Queer
More scary monsters.

Bauhaus – Stigmata Martyr
I don't even know what this song is about but it sounds scary.

Ministry – Stigmata
So does this. See, I told you I half-assed this thing.

Throbbing Gristle – Hamburger Lady
This really is scary. Almost everything by Throbbing Gristle is horrifying. Or sublimely silly.

Black Sabbath – Iron Man
Certainly silly.

Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl
Sillier still.

The Clovers – Love Potion #9
(the Sousa march theme for Monty Python)

Howlin’ Wolf – Goin’ Down Slow
Knowing you're dying and... wait. Don't we all know this? And hey, it sounds like he had some fun.

Portishead – Glory Box
Also sounds scary.

Massive Attack – Angel

Ok, two more shots of Nyquil and then, I'm going to bed.

Wall of Voodoo – Wall of Fire

The end of the song sounds like the aftermath of an attack by aliens. We've all been replaced by pods of slobbering goo. Which explains the election 2004.

June Carter & Johnny Cash – Jackson

Jackson sounds like a scary place. And I bet there's lots of pods there, too.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Miles Away

Boop a doop doop doop, doop doop doop, aw Christ, where'd I put the peanut butter?

Talking Heads – Swamp
It takes an incoherent cough medicine buzz to understand what this song is really about. Good thing I won't remember tomorrow.

Tom Waits – Filipino Box Spring Hog

This is the Halloween party I attended.

Ooooo K, children, now that you're all a-skeered, it's time for bed. Don't mind the scraping sound from behind the dresser.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Daddy says

Ever since my post on becoming acquainted with the daughter I knew of but never knew, I've been silent on how things have been unfolding. Chalk it up to my superstitious self: as Nicole and I have navigated uncertain waters, placid tropical sounds and some tempestuous passages, I've felt more comfortable keeping our relationship out of this tiny spotlight with the intention that I'd do well to spin my wheels and gain traction away from the prying eyes of the blogosphere. Several friends have asked through emails how things have been going and I've been friendly - and vague - in my replies. Despite those well-meaning concerns, some aspects of my life are best held outside the microscopic view I often present here.

Having said that and all things considered, everything is as it should be between my daughter and me. The distance thing (her in Florida, me here) has been an issue and I've restricted my role as "dad" accordingly. She is, after all, 16-going-on-17 and the standard issues of defiance and child becoming a woman are frankly, outside my purview and I am more a million miles away than some 2,000. At this point, the respect I give her matters more than the respect she holds for me.

Until recently, Nicole and her mom had been unconnected from the net. The few pix I have were the result of a friend who apparently had access. However, a few days back I got a call from Nicole's mom asking for my email address, my blog URL, etc., information I was happy to relinquish if only because it was another point of contact, another way to reveal myself to my daughter. Indeed, single-dad I am, I state on sites (OK Cupid and MySpace) that the best way to get to know me is to read this, here.

Which, um, seems counter-productive. At least in the dating scene. Reading through my archives I pretty much come across as an angry idiot. Which probably explains why I'm still single.

Excuse the digression. My point here is that my daughter also has her own MySpace page and has also started to blog (no link, alas). She's been emailing me her posts for reasons that should be obvious to all of you - it's certainly obvious to me. Her first two posts escaped mention from me, standard stabs at adolescent angst, heartfelt and well, banal, all the things we all suffered when we were that age, the confusion of having all the parts and no clue what to do with them. Equal parts appalled at the content and the atrocious grammar/spelling, I felt as I do when Zeke proudly presents me with pen scribbles on the back of the phone bill: "Oh, how wonderful" and "Why did you do that there?," appreciating the uninhibited creativity while wishing it was done better, somewhere else.

As I'm sure all of you are thinking about me at this moment.

There's something about being a dad and that intuition, that sense that there's more (or less) to our children's aspirations and waiting for our hopes to become manifest, their shining voice floating above the chatter of the playground, the moment where we smile and appreciate with complete authenticity and say, yes, this is excellent.

Nicole's third post was essentially a book report on her first viewing of American Beauty but oh, so much more. She told her readers what she felt as she allowed the movie to sweep her into that singular reality, how she interpreted the images, how there are other teenagers apprehending how fucked up so-called grown-ups can be and maybe being a fucked-up teenager isn't incongruent with how everything really is.

All my friends with teenagers tell me how embarrassment is an essential quality of their adolescent. I guess I remember some of that from my own old days but as a parent I can attest that the ineffable urge to embarass is inate. And although I never held Nicole when she was sticking My Little Pony stickers on her dresser and headboard and though I don't know her nearly as much as I'd like to as she starts slamming into adulthood, I can say unequivocally that daddy is very proud of his little girl.

I won't put her post here (if I had the URL you know I'd post it) and I'll only email you a copy of her post if she says it's OK though I'd say she'd be OK with me showing her work. Instead, my response to her post suffices at this point:
I am so happy you're sharing your writing with me. This post was especially good. Yes, the other posts showed your raw emotional side but this post revealed you actually thinking about something and reporting on it from your own perspective. Art is not us representing the world but representing how we PERCEIVE the world, the point of view we bring that actually adds to the world. Consider how empty and boring our world would be without paintings or music or poetry or literature. All of those things (and so much more) are memorable and timeless because they add to everything under the sun. They are unique and universal and, until the artist brought them forth, unknown to our existence of things we know.

I'm not going to critique your grammar or spelling. I'm too old to remember what it was like to be 16 or 17 (in many respects) so I'm reluctant to put a red pencil to what you've done. For the moment, I want you to write and write and write - which you seem to be doing. It's only through doing that we refine our craft.

I don't know if you've been reading my blog at all and if you have, I don't expect you to fully understand many of the things I say. I write with the advantage of someone whose had years and years of a college education and many more years of someone who fell in love with books from an early age.

If there's any other advice I can offer than "write - ALL THE TIME" it's to read, read like there's not enough time to read all you want to know. If someone enters an art-study program, they study all kinds of other artist's work; if one decides to be an actor, they study how others have made a character their own. Reading allows to see how an artist has taken their view of the world and presented that view as their own.

I am so proud of you when you strive to become something more than you are right now, to do well in school, to be a great role-model for your sisters, to look into the future and realize there is nothing that you can't do. Please hold onto that and remember that everything you do that makes you a deeper, more realized person are the things that make me happy. More importantly, those very same things are what will make you more happy. Anything else is immediate gratification and as such, empty calories.

I love you so very much,

She is my daughter, indeed: dark and dramatic, flambouyant, searching for love because we've both been rejected - in profound ways. She'd love it if I posted her pretty piece of writing. The more embarassing thing for daddy to do is paste his letter to her and as you see, that's been done.

I'm a dad. That's what I do.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Grace says

Are we really heading to BlogHer next summer? Grace says she’s intent on Shanghai-ing my ass off the road to Chicago and I say “Do me, baby.” Well, “Do me” in a totally platonic blogger kind of way, y’know. Y’know, not actually pulling over to spark up a bowl and rut like dosed toads in the weeds, you dirty-minded swine. Good God, I can’t leave you people alone a few days and you’re making up dirty stories about Grace and me. Shame on you (and please, send me your dirty libel at any email you have for me), get a goddamn life and, um, excuse me…


There are a lot of women I hope to meet at BlogHer (again, gutter-mind be gone!), Mamacita primary amongst the hoard, Vicki, et al – a veritable feast of intelligent, articulate, fascinating women. Women far too smart for me, so it’s not like I’ll be getting lucky at all. I’m positive the extent of my participation there will be limited to reluctant stud, all kinds of drunk and poster of crap like this. Y’know, total bullshit.

I intend on playing multiple hands of strip-poker and I plan on winning.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I scream so that others may look into the dark, dusty corners beyond the Pepsi machine and desire that I might STFU.

Actually, the title is a play on my son's response to looking out the window and seeing everything obscured to a fat outline by a hefty snowfall. "No!" the inhibited, clipped, frozen nostril cadence of a Mini so Ton, the economy of air at the expense of syllables, dropping the 's' in favor of breathing or just being four.

Lots of no where I was at tonight. Sopping fat flakes of October thrown down immediately in a big whump of a storm. After I got home, I noticed my jeans were wet to mid-calf. I was lucky; my jeans could have been a lot more soaked.

The pass I drive down every night is a deep canyon cleaved by a small stream, deeply graded towards the negative, almost impenetrable by light even on nights with a full moon at its apex, all headlights and curves and tree trunks and hoping there’s no suicidal deer eager to stick its head through a windshield. Tonight the added attraction included mounds of wet snow thrown up by tires ahead all night, turned to ice.

Oh, but wait. Not only did I get mounds and pools of death but Colorado also offers this: twits who view inclement weather and dangerous conditions as a good reason to drive badly at twice the speed. Not only do these drivers find themselves in a spin directly in front of me but they ALSO give me a stupid look as you pass them by while they sit stuck in a ditch! In other worlds, you’d make $90k, $100k, $125 - $300k – to deal with this shit but in this special “real world” offer, it’s done for eight-fifty an hour. EIGHT FUCKING FIFTY AN HOUR.

Yet, my jeans were not that wet. Usually, the wreck in the ditch was some big dumbfuck in a big dumb truck, a smashed out grill grinning imbecilicaly into the chill, steam rising like a thought balloon saying “Doh!” Driving my beater down the pass with care (because the slightest ding would be catastrophic at eight fucking – yeah, you SEE), I passed some obscenely large pickups that had moments earlier gone barreling by like some drunken, rolling turd looking for a place to sink. Yee haw motherfucker, you may have had a good car but I’ll always have good karma. Laugh, laugh laugh, laugh, laugh laugh laugh laugh.

My grandmother used to say that laughter dried up tears but she was crazier than a shithouse rat. Not that I’d shed any tears for the chumps in the ditch and their crumpled lumps of tin on which they’d botched their credit. Nor had I laughed at their misfortune. Indeed, I hadn’t even considered that the morons stuck miserably in the snow probably made much more money than me. Any tee-hee from me was purely my sense that I’d soon be home in fresh, warm jeans and writing this wickedly, grill still intact, grinning like a chump at home while some dumbass stands freezing in the no, explaining to some state trooper how this, uh, came down.

Sitting here, looking out my window, I could say no. Nancy Reagan wanted me to. But, no, it’s been said, right at this window, by sweeter lips than mine.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Excuse me, hmmm, hey, gimmee some room goddammit!!!

Normally I celebrate the birth of a baby, any baby (except those unfortunate celebrity mutants) is the source of joyous celebration, mylar helium balloons, cheesy floral arrangements, bouquets of bottles that will go unused, the unwanted relations milling around and pigging the relish tray. A new life is a wonderous addition to our experience, an equivocation of our own existential despair.

But I'm a little reluctant to break out the confetti for Baby 300 Million, the newborn who just pushed the US population into "where are we going to put all these people?" territory. I know the little bundle of joy had no choice in the matter and I hate to think of the legacy the kid will have to live with but I confess I resent the landmark the baby represents. And yes, if not her/him it would have been another child (and 300 Million is "just a number") but really, this "go forth and multiply" imperitive has gotten too far out of hand.

Your own gripes will be appreciated.
Mea culpa to the mixmania! participants. The angel Mamacita will be mailing out the matches tonight (I do love her so!) and the mail-by date will be adjusted accordingly.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wait is why we hate

Neil would look at the paperwork and then look at his computer screen. Then look at the paperwork and then look at his computer screen, scratch his head then look at his paperwork. Then look at his computer screen. Then look at his paperwork and maybe, get up and walk in a circle, look at his shoes, look at the fat ass of the Samoan manning the next booth, circle around like a lost moth but s - l - o - w, almost backwards. Then look at his paperwork.


All I needed was Motor Vehicle Record. The people consigned to the "renew your license" circle camped in the torture seats, starved and hollow-eyed, had a zombie stare saying "Movement... brains... eat...yummmmm."

Watching him work was like standing and waiting for my house to sink another inch into the ground; knowing it's going to happen and knowing I'd never see it happen yet having to be there to document something. Instead of doing something enriching like watching a penny jar grow into a decent weekend in Juarez.

When I was a kid, I'd capture tadpoles and put them in a big bowl out on the patio, just to watch them do tadpole things and turn into frogs. Some wouldn't make it and man, they'd stink up the entire patio. I never knew when they’d jump out and run away but for the longest time they’d just swim around and eat the flies I fed them.

The next time a Jehova’s Witness or Mormon pops up on your doorstep, you can scream at them and declare, truthfully, “I’ve been to hell and it stinks like dead tadpoles! It’s the DMV!!!”

He’d stop and try to count the change in his pockets with his fingertips and then sit back down to look at the paperwork then look at his computer screen. Then look at the paperwork, look at his computer screen, scratch his head then look at his paperwork again. Touch his computer screen and mumble, “Wait.”

“What’s that?”




Look at his paperwork and then look back at the screen.


Then pause,

“Your driver’s license says you’re ‘Wilford Smith’ but the computer says you’re ‘Wil, then something that looks Daffy Duck wearing a World War One German helmet and then Ford and then Smith.”


Touch the screen and then look like he was really concentrating. Then rise back from his screen, hold up his finger, look, really look, a flake of dandruff that had drifted off his head had stuck itself across a zero or an eff, then think about snow and how he liked to scoop it off of things and eat it, well, except the snow with dog poop in it, definitely not that snow, especially not the snow that makes it hard to drive, no that’s bad. Bad.

Then look at his paperwork and try to remember what the point was. Then look at his screen and wonder where all the snow went.

This is Colorado after all and the snow melts fast, what with all the sun and the dry air and the crazy drivers turning snow into red pellets of death. Yelling and honking and giving him the bird, then coming into the DMV to get their shit straight only for more yelling and honking and giving him the bird.

Then take one more look at the flake and carefully place the flake back on his head.

In my field, I have to provide criminal background checks and those can be had for six bucks on line, in a tenth of the time it takes to examine a flake of dandruff. “Murderer, yep. Rapist, uh hmmm, yep al queda, sure. Shoplifting, too.” All on line and quick as electrons can fly (depending on your internet connection, of course). Painless and requiring no patience. The last time you got caught speeding or that bogus ‘failure to use turn signal’ ticket is another matter; laying in a lake of fire and having your genitals flayed is apparently the only punishment for those sins.



Eventually the earth would shift, East Africa a little closer to the Indian Ocean, and Neil would call the next stone in line. The stones sang and they sounded like this:


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lighting up the lawn with a little salt and a lot of gasoline

The girls were plucking yellow leaves off my parent’s elm, gathering them like paper dolls in their arms, cradling the beloved treasures until they could get inside and press each leaf baby between sheets of wax-paper. Ignoring the leaves on the ground, the orphans, the girls stripped the lower branches of every last perfect specimen. They all end up there on the ground, I said, attempting to make a bigger point about The Circle of Life (terms they’d understand) and the inevitability of all things falling and carried away by the wind. Yet they went on, oblivious: harvest season.

We were there to put up Halloween decorations. A call came in a couple weeks back reminding me that the season (and the task) was at hand and I’d have to arrange my schedule to suit mom’s need to have the most garish house in the neighborhood. One of those calls that is expected yet dreaded; if you don’t pay those parking tickets we’re going to hunt you down and boot your tire, it’s your turn to bake several thousand cupcakes for the upcoming PTO extravaganza. See, it’s not as simple as tacking up a few day-glo monster faces and installing a blacklight bulb. I swear, my mom owns massive shares in Hallmark and I’m convinced that several Chinese factories have a temple devoted to her, incense, candles and plastic statues showing her arms outstretched, both hands brandishing a credit card.

After risking life and sciatica, several large boxes were pulled from their space in the garage and placed in the courtyard. Muttering to myself (if you’re going to get free labor from me, bygod, you’re going to get muttered curses), my muddled mathematical mind calculated lengths of extension cords, minimum labor, and what circuits could handle the load of glimmering crap without exploding like cherry bombs. As I pondered, fuses crackling (my own and the ones I imagined), the wee ones raided the boxes, playing with rubber skeletons and tangling up strands of little orange lights. They placed plastic spooks and ghouls around the lawn, not as ornaments but as new-found playmates. As I went about my task, imaginary friends relocated to a permanent spot, plugged into the web of power, the kids squealed with delight every time their toy took on a new aspect and glowed softly in the rarified light of an Indian Summer’s late afternoon.

Mom had White Chili (whatever THAT is; anyway, it was delicious) simmering on the stove and a secret beer for me as compensation for my efforts. I say “secret beer” because dad no longer drinks (not having the mind for it - he’s in AA - nor the body for it). He’s become like the elm tree out front, leaves plucked by children unaware that their own fate awaits like his, leaves piling up on the driveway, branches broken by an unforgiving wind. Facing that, his autumn, his sunset, he simmers in his own resentment and sorrow- me and not him, setting up Halloween, too weak and infirm to do it himself. He and I were never close and indeed, I was never his true son. He adopted me but never accepted me, black sheep that I am. Yet among the sons he sired, I am the one who comes by and hangs cheap plastic crap or fixes gutters or captures the garter snake coiled up in the basement.

Not having a yard (per se), I love working on my parent’s lawn, landscaping, putting in plants, showing my children how vegetables grow. I tore out wretched lava rock this past summer and replaced it with vinca minor. The way the vines have come in has convinced my parents to let me take out the rest of the rock, put in some slate blocks and grow more vinca.

The stuff that I put up comes down in November and I have a brief reprieve. Indeed, as I take down the Halloween stuff, I’ll set up the big inflatable turkey and that’s all I have to do until Thanksgiving and fuck.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

There's a place I go where they do this sort of thing:
They took me from my bed and threw me in a van. No one else was there except the cops and me. They didn't tell what it was about and in fact they didn't have mouths, they hardly had faces.

We rode for a long time and I really had to pee. They hadn't blindfolded me so not only could I see where we were going but I got a good look at the inside of the van. Stuffed in a crease of one of the rear quarter-panels was a red, plastic beer cup. I shuffled over to the cup on my knees, my ankles shackled and my arms cuffed behind my back. Kneeling before the cup, I motioned to the cops around me that, hey, fellas, one of you are going to have to help me here and take my Johnson out so I can, you know, fill this cup.

The faceless, dumb cops just kept looking ahead at the road. They looked like mannequins composed of black holes.

We stopped at an IHOP and some Mexican busboy helped me take care of business in a bathroom thick with the scent of urinal cakes.

When I left the bathroom, I saw the cops sitting at a table, staring at their food. After all, they had no mouths.

I've invited some people to go there and a few have replied but I'd like to see more.

So if you have recently received an odd invitation and don't know what it's about - it's not about cheap Cialis or Barnyard Girls.

And if you want to know more, you know how to email me.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Excellent question.

String theory is all mathematics and unprovable propositions so why shoukd we place our faith in it?

For one, mathematics has served us well, with no animony. It describes the universe well, with no inconsistency.

Secondly, there doesn't seem to be a better alternate theory - none. Reconciling the macro (General Theory of Ralativity) and Quantum Physics necessitates strings, how gravity behaves between the two theories only makes sense with sting theory. No other theory suffices. Excuse the pun but strings tie up everything in a not-so-neat bunde but there you have it.

Yet you are who you are despite all your particles zipping off into infinite flux. Somehow, the you that you are maintains some stability, conisistent instanteation of the You that you are. We don't just wiggle around as two-dimensional objects on a screen but just who we are. And yet, everything that is you is a particle, wave, whatever, squiggling into the ether and other dimensions, slipfinny and elusive, the slippery and undefinable You zigging and zagging elsewheres and at the same time here. So what's to say you even exist?

Because there You are.

Nothing really explains that or even quantifies that; not You, your essence. Nothing can. Yes, we can explain how everything within You works but we're clueless as to that which makes you You.

Take comfort in that lack of knowledge.