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May 31, 2005

What are you doing here?

Tilou Rue St-Denis
Click images for desktop size: "rue St Denis" by Tilou
The weekend was filled with scattered thought and moralistic sniffing. I took home made banana bread to the neighbors - we have to get rid of it somehow, pretty soon I'll be making midnight runs and stashing the loafs in mailboxes . . .
I re-read "Burn Marks", the Sara Paretsky created V.I. Warshawski novel, and, apparently, I have a crush of Warshawski. Unrequited love with a fictional character . . . thinking about it, that's what most unrequited love is, only a dream merits that much devotion, a real person would have to let you down someplace or sometime - it's our nature.
I took Good Ol' Dog to the dog park yesterday. My elbow is feeling better but my accuracy is very off and I was only getting 50 yards on my throws. Good Ol' Dog is getting fitter. She will soon need a new name (from me anyway). She's starting to move like a 4 year old dog instead of a little ol' lady dog.
Hot Car Girl (1958) Coming back from the dog park we made some small discoveries: The cocky rabbit lives in a bush that we walk by.
We got to within 3 feet of it! At first I thought maybe it was a brain damaged bunny but now I'm certain it is just a joker. It was sprawled on the path with it's eyes closed, digging the sun. When we approached it the rabbit YAWNED! Got to it's feet, wiggled it's nose at us in a very disrespectful way then strolled into it's clump of bushes!
Good Ol' Dog was in hot pursuit. An unsuccessful pursuit of course, for which I received and accept all blame . . .
We also saw a mallard duck momma with 13 little ducklings that looked identical to the little duckling we saw yesterday. The little duckling that the geese were trying to murder, I mean.
It would be nice to think that little battling duck was one of the happy 13. I've no way of knowing for certain so I'll opt for the happy ending.
Then we came across Pink Girl walking with a guy. She acted very embarrassed, like she was afraid I'd stop liking her because she was seeing someone. I thought he was a jerk. He tried to get tough with me! I thought he was funny and probably destined to have a short life. Why he would get jealous of me because his gal pal got giggly around me is absurd. That he thought he could get tough with anyone is suicidal. I had about 5 inches and 40 pounds on him and he didn't look like he worked out (walk with splayed feel, very flat footed, no grace or restrained speed and, most telling, no scars on his face or hands).
I was glad to see her, and glad to see her happy. I didn't have a long talk as the histrionics of the boy friend were making me laugh too much.
Besides, what I know of Pink Girl she'll have him down twisted soon enough.
My next door neighbor has been waving at me. She's a jogger. She runs with her boyfriend who is woefully out of shape so I can't get a handle on her talent ability. She's got the height, the shoulders and the build to be a good middle distance runner. I've seen her look good running and I've seen her look bad.
I've been devoting time thinking about asking her if she'd like some coaching. I'm stopped only because I'm not certain if I want to get back into coaching at all. It's not doubt it's knowing the strain and stress that comes from handling any athlete, even just a dreamer. Maybe the dreamers take the most out of me, more even then the ultra talent who squander their ability.
BlueshuffleshadowI see so many bad runners, people who clearly have no idea of how to run, who are going only by miles covered instead of style and technique. They say, "Ah, did 2 miles today!" when the actual benefits from their poor style gave them maybe one quarter the benefit in either their appearance or speed and stamina. I want to make sure that, if I return to coaching in even this form, that my motives are right and not just a knee jerk reaction to stupidity.
I know I'm just a dumb ex-jock but seeing people run with tight shoulders or crossing their arms is as stupid to me as I was to them during those times when I had to read aloud in class.
There's some small drama on the horizon; nothing that touches me deeply. When you're in the right, know it, have had it proven once - the aftermath feels merely frustrating.

May 30, 2005

These simple things, these simple times

Bluehoriz 1440X900
Click images for desktop size: "Blue" by Pumpkin Juice
I've never understood fear, not really. I had coaches who taught me how to use it to intimidate and to psych. I never really got it though.
I see it all around, especially in venal cowards who proliferate recently. I always wonder; "what's so bad out there?" At least, what's so bad out there that it's worse than what's going on "in here"?
We water sealed the deck today. It was fun. I made mp4's of my gift cd. I thought about pretty girls smiling at Farmer's Market. I ate soup with crackers.
It was all nothing but fun.

May 29, 2005

Women . . . they live on land . . . and they smell like flowers . . .
~Captain Jack (Paul Ruebens)

Click images for desktop size: "PsychoProp" by Graphino
I have to think hard because I'm not sleeping much again. I can function at a good level without sleep but I have to monitor my thoughts well. I always fear the irretrievable error made because of misunderstanding or confusion.
Friday was a pretty decent day on the surface. I went into town with my housemate. While she went on her appointments I wandered to a music shop where the guys and I played Neil Young's "Rockin' In the Free World".
Some songs sound great when you have 4 people bashing out the song's chords in unison. While we were playing I was surprised to see Pink Girl with a girl friend. The friend had blue spiky hair.
Pink Girl must confuse sitting with 3 guys bashing out a song with a concert. Instead of just walking up and saying hi she kind of danced around and kept waving to me and giggling and whispering with her girl friend.
While the guys were figuring out what song we were going to ruin next I went to her and said hi and told her I was glad to see her. The Blue Spiky Girl looked older than Pink Girl so i was thinking Pink Girl maybe was 22.
After we mangled the Dandy Warhols' "Bohemian Like You" I took the two giggling women to the used book store with me.
Hollywood Burlesque X01There I found a copy of William Kennedy's "Ironweed" for my housemate. She'd never read it. I was going to buy it at Barnes & Nobel but they wanted 20 bucks for it! (Bastards - No paperback book should cost 20 bucks!)
Second hand it was $3 . . . I got a couple of cheap disposable books for myself.
When we left Pink Girl said she had a present for me. She'd gotten 2 cd's for me. One was daft - a re-recording of some 60's junque, but the other was one of my all time fave albums. I was surprised by that on all accounts. I'd never talked about this obscure group with her.
They went off to see "Star Wars" and I went and met my housemate.
Then today was a day to mark. I went to the Farmer's Market and got a case of bananas for $6! A flat of strawberries for $8! And peaches.
The market itself was way nifty. It's like these 4 disconnected aircraft hangers filled with stuff. It was all great except for the crafts section. Crafts sections are too often a heavenly punishment proving that having no taste is indeed a sin.
While pushing through the crowd at the last hanger a pretty girl caught my eye, she smiled at me and held my gaze for a long moment. My housemate called for me and I reluctantly turned away.
As I turned away I told myself that she was probably just a woman working at the stall and being friendly to a potential customer. When we walked back past the spot where we'd seen each other, the smiling pretty woman was gone.
I've said this before: Sometimes when you walk down the street a face catches your eye and you say to yourself, "there goes the love of my life."
And you are right.
It's true.
Then for hours your mind is filled with all the cliches, balmy breezes on full moon lit nights, eyes that bring peace to your burdened weary soul, a kiss that sends tingles through to your toes. All the cliches, good cliches because they're so damn true.
For a while your mind can see nothing but that fleeting face.
Then we forget it, because we're people and we forget everything. It's how we manage to stay alive.
But you never forget the loss of the beauty that face gave to you.
I wondered if the pretty woman was looking around trying to catch another glimpse of me. Just as I was scanning the crowd hoping to catch at least one last sight of her.
Click images for desktop size: Maris, Mays & Mantle "Three Sluggers"
After the Farmer's Market we stopped at a car show I had spotted on our way up. I was blown away. This was just a mall parking lot show but they had TWO '27 Bucket T's! TWO 63 'vettes, totally tripped out. AND A 409!! It was one of the most impressive car shows I've ever seen. There were over 80 awesome cars, like at least 5 chopped and channeled mercs!! A 62 Bel Air ragtop! And on forever. So much cool iron, so that all the new VW's and Hondas I saw as we drove back home kind of disgusted me with their lack of elegance, style and elan. Not to neglect glass-pak and moon wheels.
When we got home our housemate used SOME of the bananas to make banana nut bread. . . which I can't eat but I am allowed to smell it when it's baking, and that's enough.
I gave a loaf of it to our next door neighbor. He has a daughter, about 10, who makes me laugh. She wanted to know why i was giving this to her. I told her it was to eat! Which seemed to settle the matter.
The day ended with Good Ol' Dog and me at the park. My hyper extended elbow still hurts but I was still able to throw the ball for her, not far but at least as far as a wannabe yuppie of which there were plenty.
On the way back we saw the ducks and geese and a tiny baby duck who seemed abandoned. The geese were trying to kill it and the other ducks kept swimming away from it at speed. We couldn't catch it. I watched it and fretted over it's fate for a minute and remembered the smile of the pretty girl at the Farmer's Market.

May 28, 2005

We need women . . . without women every fight would be a fist fight . . .

Click images for desktop size: "Bob Gibson: The Intimidator"
Another day with no sleep. No stress but no sleep.
There is stress but it's all self induced really.
Some of it is rage as the things I always thought were beautiful and worth defending are being destroyed by the new conservatives who have forgotten what freedom means. Cross burnings in the 21st century. One of the crosses was burned in front of an Episcopal church.
There are churches now that worship some sort rabid craven coyote false god who tells them, David Berkowitz style, to insult another religion and tell them how and what to believe.
We used to be big and strong enough to appreciate and love people for the differences between us.
I remember back in my Days Of Madness, when I was hurting so badly that I prowled looking for pure hate driven revenge.
My wife and son had been taken from me. The rage was justified. I wanted their killers and I had a childhood friend who thrived in violence. This was bad, not that he was my friend; I loved him dearly, but bad as he made a violent response seem natural. He made rage and turmoil seem not excessive.
That kind of rage brings about the stupidity of policemen; "Well maybe you didn't do it but we know that you know somebody who knows somebody who knows who did it." (Tip: Anytime you discover your speech patterns are following old vaudeville routines you are most likely in the wrong.)
Chafed Elbows & Scorpio RisingOne early morning after a night of the "Hunt" we saw this little Hispanic guy running towards us. We were down in a section of town where you were known only by your colors.
This little guy was about 5'6", skinny, and wearing black satin hot pants.
Here we were, two banged up guys wearing kevlar and impassive faces. My buddy was a very large, fit dangerous scary looking guy. Somebody running towards him was usually suicidal.
The little guy came running up to us and said that some gang bangers were after him to steal his guitar. He had an uncased vintage Martin slung across his back.
Up close I could see he was in his early 20's, had bad skin that he tried to conceal with some heavy pancake make up. He wore a lot of make up. His hair was strange and old fashioned: a huge conk with long pointy sideburns. He wore a frilly red rayon shirt and a little satin bolero jacket that matched his hot pants.
The little guy was scared. He asked if we'd walk him to a school about two blocks away. We saw the gang bangers down the street, all young and pretty nasty in a pack.
We both must have decided we liked him. We walked the little guy to the school, which was dilapidated with plenty of boarded up windows. About what you'd expect.
The little guy was nervous and scared so he chatter-boxed at us so I didn't get a chance to ask him what he was doing walking around a hood like this dressed like that!
We got to the school and he invited us in. We followed more out of curiosity than interest.
We witnessed one of those little miracles that no one ever talks about. The little guy was a performer. He was there to sing Elvis tunes to a mess of black, white and hispanic kids. I like Elvis so it was easy to notice that he changed the words to apply and appeal to the different ethnic groups. The songs had a beat but the new lyrics were about pride and about being something you could be proud of.
Watching the little guy do his routine I felt very ashamed of myself. I can't explain the feeling right, but here I was on my quest for madness, as rabid a creature as the vermin who'd shoot a woman and a child. And here was this guy, this little guy, putting himself at risk to sing a mess of songs to some kids.
Because it was important to him.
I remember thinking that maybe one of those kids would get past the entertainment part and get the message and maybe they'd get the idea that they could be anything they wanted to be.
Munkielove 1600-1 And maybe if they felt proud of themselves they wouldn't have to shoot somebody else's wife and kid. And maybe if I wasn't such a selfish jerk and had done something real for others maybe the miscreants who murdered my family wouldn't have felt the need to smoke crack and kill helpless innocent people so score more crack and prove that they existed. Maybe if they saw that they belonged . . .
I'm not smart enough to make a big social plan. I'm just a dumb ex-jock who doesn't know much of anything at all, so the only thing I could think was that, maybe if somebody played a little ball with these kids, taught them how to play the games and let the games teach them about themselves and the miracles they could accomplish on their own maybe they wouldn't feel the need to shoot some other guy's wife and kid. Maybe if you played a little catch with them and listened to what they said, maybe. Maybe.
That was my fugue. That ended my Days Of Madness.
For all you people who hate I hope you have to go through less than that to realize that we're all in this together. Sometimes it takes more guts to not hate. A real man can afford to be gentle and to listen instead of spouting vitrol or advice.
I've no plans for Memorial Day weekend. I don't need holidays and I sort of resent them still. We're going to the Farmers' Market tomorrow, which should be fun.

May 27, 2005

But the money's so good

Click images for desktop size: "The Tree"
It was the kind of day where you don't think you have a right to feel as tired as you do. Lovin' madness, too many strangers and gentle worry. It was the kind of day where you wish liquor had the effect it had on you when you would sneak a sip of the old man's boiler maker, then you'd know you had a chance to let your brain just escape. Then I remember that I don't drink.
I was up late. I generally ignore the technology that goes into this blog but last night I got hit with a mass of spam for some porn site. I found out via my housemate about checking url's and the like and I was kind of fascinated about how many people actually stop by and read this.
There was one place, a business, that stopped by every day or so. I went to look and it was an LA recording studio. This perplexed me. I thought, "A haven for the spam guys?" When I looked at the list of employees I saw that two of the people were kids I worked with. . . I wondered why they never dropped me a line, why they came and read but never said hi.
I'm pretty comfortable with knowing that people always do things for their own reasons, reasons we'll never understand. I think we don't have a right or a need to understand everything. But there's always a reason.
Live Fast, Die Young (1958) Like in even the most transparent cases, the obvious and painful ones, betrayal and deceit. They don't upset me, well, the acts do but they don't make me upset with the person other than wondering why they think so little of themselves to do that. (The Mighty Mighty BossTones' "All Things Considered" is a great song about this stuff.)
It's not turning the other cheek crap, it's understanding that these destructive acts are perpetuated out of loneliness, fear and self loathing. those are pretty nasty ways to feel about anyone, especially yourself. I or you might have been inconvenienced, maybe in a big way, but it's still just inconvenience when compared to their lifetime of feeling that badly about themselves.
So why someone would want to read about what I'm doing without saying hi makes me a little curious it doesn't upset me. It would only upset me if they thought I didn't want to hear from them and know that they're ok.
So after a hurried sleep, where the murderous cats i live with continue their plans to kill me by always waking me up at 6:30 just to feed them, I resumed my job search.
Life is nicely laconic here. I like that. I don't like when employment agencies share that trait.
A couple of days ago an agency called me and asked if I'd consider part time work, a permanent position for 16-24 hours per week. I said for sure but it would depend on location and rate of pay. She said she didn't know . . . I thought those were pretty basic questions . . . So I didn't hear anything then yesterday I got an email saying the job was about 5 miles from me and paid $15 an hour. I said yeah that would be acceptable, lets talk about it.
Then this morning I got an email demanding to know why I was interested in working part time . . . from the same person who offered me the job . . .
I'm sure there's a good reason for this track but I'm surer that I don't have to care.
Then I got a job offer for the night position, so I thought swell! But then they called me back about the fact that they needed more ID from me to prove I'm an American . . . So I have to hustle up with the SSA to get me my Social Security Card so I can get a crappy job . . . madness.
Click images for desktop size: "SuperStars"
Then I got a letter saying my unemployment claim was cancelled because my employer gave them a bad employer ID number . . . but I could appeal . . . Running all that down I understand why I'm tired . . .
The great thing was that I took Good Ol' Dog on two walks, one to the dog park. She is getting fitter and stronger. But not too much brighter.
At the dog park she actually raced with the other dogs to catch a ball (I'm still only able to get about 50-60 yards on my throws, that worries me). She never would race with them because she always lost badly. Today she out ran them and then RAN back to me fending off the other dogs and showing me she had the ball. She was very proud.
Then when we walked around the lake we saw a rabbit who did not see us! We got to within 4 or 5 feet before he noticed us! Sadly, Good Ol' Dog didn't notice the rabbit (Her story is that I walk her stupidly!) When she suddenly noticed it it seemed o trigger the rabbit's awareness and he dived into some nearby bushes.
Good Ol' Dog lunged after it and snapped the leash so I hyper extended my elbow. (What an old man thing - hyper extended my elbow holding a dog leash?)
Prison Without Bars (1938)I was happy that good Ol' Dog is getting so strong. But she's not getting brighter. While she snuffled around the bush I watched the bunny slink off into the woods by the expedient method of WALKING two feet away PAST US!
Good Ol' Dog ignored me while I shouted and and pointed, telling me she couldn't play cause she was hunting a rabbit. I watched the bunny saunter away while the dog was tearing through the pushes . . .
When I finally did manage to pull her away she thought I was very mean and we had to scrupulously check any similar bushes we passed as Good Ol' Dog is convinced that this is a haven for bunnies . . .
The dog and my friends made a mess of a day into something memorable and pleasant.

May 25, 2005

Time Dies Hard

Test Your Sanity
Click on any image for full desk top size: "Test Your Sanity"

I might have had to go with my housemate today so I cleared out my schedule, hence I find myself with an empty day. I'm not good at empty days. I like to be moving forward. Good Ol' Dog and I did go for a long walk to the dog park (that area of the world where dogs and puppies are actually allowed to be free, or at least seem to be free). we had it to ourselves which suited us just fine. I gathered up every tennis ball I could find (about 10) and set up a 6 inch water dish and marked off 150 feet on either side of it. I threw the tennis balls at it 200 times. I wanted to do a thousand but Good Ol' Dog was looking pretty peeked. She thought it was her bounded duty to retrieve every single ball. After a while she stopped bringing them back so I had to keep scouring the bushes. When we decided to leave I found that she had taken all of the balls to this little cool hollow and pretty much filled it in. Last House On The Left (1972)Anyway, I was tumbling and leaping around, doing a baseball kata sort of thing and I managed to come within 12 inches of the dish 189 times. Seven of those misses were terrible and would have been extra base errors. I think a half dozen of the throws I counted (2 hit the dish) would really have been too low. The first baseman would really have had to dig them out. I justified my poor performance by telling myself that I was only throwing tennis balls which were too light, too small, too green, too muddy . . . I worked assiduously at not admitting that I needed more practice. Walking back from the dog park Good Ol' Dog and I came across the Great Blue Heron! It let us walk to within 3 feet of it! It was remarkable. As is appropriate for such a majestic animal it paid no attention to us, it did it's convincing best to spread it's wings casually and to fly to a different part of the pond as if it were something it had been contemplating for quite some time. What I particularly like is when the heron lands it extends it's legs and seems to tip toe across the water. The pond covers about 2 and one half acres. As we walked along it we met the duck families. The waddled away at a good speed. The babies are still gray feathered but are looking much more duckish. Then we came across the geese. I don't like geese very much. Somehow they look majestic in flight and like giant pigeons (with attendant mess) on the ground. And they hiss at us every time they see us. They are very mean, you see? Then at home I took this incredibly dull quiz, where I sort of though tthe answers were amusing. As usual I have no clue as to what animal I would want to be can lead to all these conclusions.

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.
In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.
You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.
Your ideal relationship is comforting. You crave a relationship where you always feel warmth and love.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage pessimistically. You don't think happy marriages exist anymore.
In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

Lynda Carter W1 Finally at home we just saw a woodpecker! With a very bright red head. He was mashing on a tree. I like it best when the woodpeckers mash on the metal flashing and rain gutters. It makes a great sound. The have a steady beat and you can dance to it. But I can dance to jackhammers too. I like noise. The rest of my time I'll spend idly worrying over my housemate returning from her big opp job pop safely. The cats being cats cannot cooperate, so my persoanl safety seems assured for a while. One of them did seem to indicate that it would look on it favorable if I could, please, throw myself down the stairs. . . It did not take it graciously when I refused. With the Heron and Woodpecker I actually hoped to run into Pink Girl. I didn't. So much for kismet.

May 24, 2005

What is there about sadness that makes it so appealling

Click images for desktop size: "Resort" by Zipangu
I'm a creature of habit. To survive I have to have a strict routine. Illness has caused me to be even stricter with myself. I forget to take pills and stuff pretty easily.
I have to be harsh with myself because I'm pretty relaxed. I like being the King Of Cool. To stay the King i have to be strict with me, and then I can forgive almost everything else. Sloppiness is what makes me mean.
Like every morning, I get up when I have to (strict doesn't mean being a task master or drill sergeant, at least to me it doesn't), and I have a cup of coffee. I have to take a tablet in the morning with food. I've convinced my body that a cup of coffee is food.
Then I brush my teeth. I'm one of those who thinks that taking a shower with dirty teeth is kind of creepy - it makes me feel like the shower isn't getting me clean.
I like hot showers. First thing I do is wash my hair. I use either Aveeda or Redken. I prefer Aveeda because they were the first shampoo that didn't test on animals, especially they didn't test on dogs, and I like the way Aveeda makes my hair smell.
I wash my face with a buff puff and either Clinque or Erno Lazlo Soap.
Taxi Driver Ver4I shave in the shower. I used to have a steam free mirror but now I just shave by feel. I use a 3 bladed Sensor razor. The big trick for me is to not push hard on the razor or push hard on my face and to pull the thing across my face slowly. Let the razor do it's job.
Then I rinse off and put in the hair conditioner. I have to use the fancy soaps and stuff because my diet doesn't allow enough fat, but it makes my skin softer than it ever was before. I shave in the shower because the steam makes my beard softer so I can shave closer. I shave every day. Some think I look good when I look rough. I don't.
While my hair conditions I use a loofa and Nuetrogenia soap to wash my body.
After I've dried I have to put on the creams: Arms, face and hands, feet and legs. On my face I use a 50+ sunscreen and Armani Balm. I still get tan. I then sprtiz with cologne. I used to use Santos by Cartier, now I use something someone gave me for Christmas.
Putting on all this stuff makes me feel like I'm preparing for battle. Even more than kitting up for a game. It makes me somber and leery of my opponent. Body armor is armor no matter what it's shape or texture
And then I'm ready for the day.
I went on the call back interview today. I wore my double breasted suit, white shirt and a silk tie win a half windsor. I figured the full windsor would be too intimidating.
When I got there the guy I was to interview was about 7 inches shorter than me! He wore black slacks, white shirt and a polyester toe in an overhand knot. I made him nervous. I'm not used to interviewing for these types of jobs so it's hard for me to completely dumb down and to give the proper unresponsive responses.
Lost Lonely Vicious X01It went well enough but I know I made this fellow so nervous that I'm not sure I can trust all he said to me. He's supposed to call Friday with my schedule and start day. I'll wait to hear.
My house mate seemed to have an anxiety attack today. This morning she decided she wasn't going for the hot pop job interview. She changed her mind, but several times. I'm glad for her that she finally decided to take the trip. She doesn't have to take the job but the money is serious, the position important . . . what's the problem in having your ego stroked and living on corporate hospitality for a while?
She startled me today: She thought that jocks just showed up for a game and started playing. She didn't realize about practice, pre game warm ups and drills. The world likes hard work to be transparent. I don't mind that.

May 23, 2005

The Pink Girl and the Blue Heron

Click images for desktop size: "Fragile" by Lawn Elf
There was a light rain this morning. It was the kind of rain that has you searching for reasons to be depressed but eventually you get bored with the search and just move on to the next chore, like one of those robots in a movie you remember but never really saw. Last week or so I was walking back home with Good Ol' Dog in tow when a little girl, I made her to be about 14 or so, started walking next to us. She had pink hair, a pierced navel and was dressed in a way desperate guys could see as provocative. She walked with us for a few minutes and talked to me about Good Ol' Dog and about my iPod. She seemed pleasant but I was disturbed that the little girl was so trusting of me, a stranger. In the right light or the right clothes I can look sinister, even dangerous. In a baseball cap my housemate said I looked like a Ted Bundy style serial killer . . . I'm pretty sure I don't like looking like that. Anyway I don't think little girls should be so trusting even if children are safer with me than they would be any other place on earth. This early morning I went out with my umbrella to my appointments. Maitresse I saw Pink Girl hop out of a sports car and run up to her home, she caught sight of me and made straight for me, seeking shelter under my umbrella. I was crabby enough and in enough of a hurry to start to lecture her about being familiar with strangers; pointing out that there were a lot of people who would prey on a pretty teenager. She laughed in an appealing way and said she was 22. I'm doubtful of that but who am I to question? She walked with me and we talked about what I was listening to. I was listening to Alkaline Trio at the moment. I was surprised that a girl with pink hair hadn't heard of, or even worship them. I loaned her my ear buds and restarted the track. She liked it well enough. We walked and she said she thought I'd be into old stuff like the Everley Brothers (!!) I told her I liked the Everley's fine, and told her I liked noise. I like a lot of different things. We split the buds, one apiece so we could listen to The Smithereen's "Behind The Wall Of Sleep". We danced like a dream Fred and Ginger for a minute. She smiled and I waited for her to laugh, instead she tried to hold my hand. I wouldn't let her but I appreciated her trying. A Great Blue Heron flew overhead. We both looked at it in silence. I was touched to learn that she knew about the Blue Birds and their nest. I was more touched that she was as worried as I am about someone disturbing them. Then we argued about how many babies we imagined were in there. I had to catch my bus. The rain had stopped when we parted. I felt stupid because now I had to carry a useless umbrella on a sunny day. I felt stupider because I forgot to ask her name. After returning from the day's chores and errands I took Good Ol' Dog for a walk. She was all excited. She had to go to the vet today because of a mole on her muzzle. The vets said it wasn't much to worry about and would probably go away soon. That pleases me no end. The Superman We walked around the lake and I saw the Great Blue Heron again. It flew low over the water and landed close to us. It was a pretty magnificent kind of animal. It stood still for a long moment and then flew away. I asked my housemate's son (19) if he'd like to meet the Pink Girl. He wasn't interested. His loss. Crazy Women who know about Blue Birds and Herons are a rare thing and should be experienced. He and his visiting friend made me laugh - rural upper class kids trying to talk street. I thought it was charming and thought how well he'd do to have his world shattered with a Pink Girl. Tomorrow one of my housemates has to make a 2 hour drive for a big pop job opp. I have my own un-big time job opp to worry over, but I'm more worried about her arriving safely.

May 22, 2005

This feels like madness, this feels like home
Golden Earring

1932 Horse Feathers-1 I keep getting dunned by some oddball promoter who is asking me if I am who I am, (Popeye and I have that in common; "I am what I am and that's all that I am"). Then they make this preposterous proposition going on as if they are certain that I am me with no justification for this other than hope. I think that they're confusing who I am with what I used to be. They want me to do a opening bit at some sort of state fair or something. I've no interest and I'm amusedly affronted that ignoring his last 3 e-mails isn't enough to be shed of him. I used to be a guy who could get asked to replace a super-fine twin guitar attack on his lonesome. I used to be a guy who thought he could single handedly replace a a duo. It had not much to do with talent, it had to do with attitude, and the ability to do standing back flips. As a guitarist the only things I had to offer was a metronome like right hand and a bizarre hybrid Travis-style picking technique. I invented the picking style myself because i didn't understand double tracking (or comprehend that it even existed) so when I listened to records I just assumed that the guitarist on the disc was just really really good. So I messed around with alternate tunings and complicated picking techniques while I tried to mimic the sound. I haven't touched a guitar in nearly 2 years. The last time I played in front of strangers was in a pub in Camden Town. So long ago that the law in the UK was still that pubs had to close at 2 p.m. on Sundays. To enjoy the abbreviated drinking time a bunch of Irish musicians would get together and smoke cigarettes and play songs sitting around a double length pub table. I'd sit in. As I was so obviously American I was always exhorted to play Cowboy tunes. I know a lot of Cowboy tunes . . . The patrons of the place liked it when I played mainly because I only drank diet cokes and the cute bar maid charged me like 50 p for a diet coke (instead of full bar prices) and so buying me a round was a trivial affair. So with that history I'm not interested in "revitalizing" my career with a music public who's "tastes have finally caught up" with my "hard driving rhythms and rock steady beat."Shags I thought for a moment that I wouldn't keep ignoring his entreaties but would instead call him and tell him that the only set I would do would be an accapella cover of the Shaggs's "Philosophy Of The World". There's a picture of the band. The picture is very very much for real. The Shaggs had no talent to speak of. No talent in any direction what so ever. But they made a record and actually got it distributed with that album cover - they clearly had no real talent for design either. There was a musical stage play based on the album a year or so ago. How many other bands can make that claim? if you add the caveat how many other bands who only know 4 major chords etc - the answer has to be, there is only one and this is them. I, for one, would like to see the choreography that goes with sloppy rhythm and a drummer who can't keep a beat. I'm not sarcastic ever. I mean I want to see it, for real, and will be disappointed if they cleaned up the sloppiness to appeal to the great middle. The song lyrics do have a certain adolescent girl profundity that shatters into high comedy, "Rich people want what the poor people's got. Poor people want what the rich people gots," a nifty sort of perception. "Girls with short hair want long hair. girls with short hair want long hair," and on like that till the end, the end of time. With the play being a moderate success the promoter might actually go for it, then I'd be stuck with having to learn the words to all the songs . . . I could say I would need a full symphony with a 60 voice choir and that we would only do Buddy Holly covers . . . that's not good, I actually LIKE that idea . . . I guess the best course is silence - which means I am passing up . . . well, almost car fare - ROUND TRIP car fare to Chicago! Other than plotting out how to escape a revival of my career it's been a nice Sunday. I corralled and harassed everyone into going to the Waffle House. They all balked but they all ate. I enjoyed it. I had coffee and Texas Toast, dry Texas Toast. Texas Toast was not exciting. It wasn't even jalapeno bread or anything. It was marginally thicker than the standard toast, so I liked it plenty enough. Everyone else had eggs and grits, but my fave order to hear was "double hash browns, smothered and covered". That is quite clearly a class dish even if I have no idea what the words mean I know that I wanted it.DesertfoxI asked why Country Ham was a buck fifty more than ham ham and got a lot of definition. I think this is a lot of people's last meal. Country Ham is ham soaked in brine . . . which still doesn't explain why it's a buck fifty more unless the theory is that someone who eats country ham won't be around too long anyway so lets fleece them for all we can get while we've still got a chance . . . When you're the poor non-employed member of the household you get to do a lot of hanging about. Young Dude is going to see Star Wars, so I'll go clothes hunting with her. I'll get to spend a lot of time staring at lingere which is a pleasant way to pass time.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Shopping did not go well. It was fine but we got nothing. I got to look at the new iMac that I now desperately need. I'm feeling anxious, which is not a feeling I'm used to. My vision keeps going sort of black or something. I have a Dr's appointment tomorrow that I'd managed to block out. It will all be OK. Won't it?

May 21, 2005

The psychodramas and the traumas gone
the songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars
And then along comes Mary
~The Association

It Happened One Night X04(1934Lc) Very tired right now. It's been a day of walking and paper filling.
Good Ol' dog and I took a long stroll down to the shopping mall WITH an Apple Store! I now NEED an iMac g5!! Really, I do!
Came home and filled out papers and wrote letters until my housemate suggested a short drive to the country to walk his dog (Good ol' Dog in another guise actually). It was nice, Beautiful landscape, that I still can't take for granted, and lovely weather and trees.
Good ol' dog kept reminding me that she was there to hunt bears and I had better watch out because when she goes into a kill mode she just has to kill everything she can see. . .
We didn't see any animals and good ol' dog said it was my disbelieving attitude that caused it. That and the too loud noise I make walking . . .

How do we feel today?

Click images for desktop size: "A Whole New Ball Game"
This is dreary. Rainy and cloudy all day, and far too cold. I went to the doctor. Chemotherapy has implanted fear receptors in my brain. Hard evidence of this from the nifty way my blood pressure and pulse rate bounce around. When we started I was 6' 3/4" (I appear to have grown a half inch in 3 weeks!) 174 pounds (I also appear to have lost 5 pounds in 3 weeks) my BP was 112 over 80 and my pulse was 72 BPM. An hour later I calmed down and my BP was 80 over 50 and my pulse was down to a more reasonable 60. The Dr said it was normal for chemo patients to dislike the doctor's office and my having 3 chemo's just made it sort of ingrained. This was one of those long 2 plus hour exams with a lot of "fluids" taken from me. There weren't any highlights. The low lights were the Dr telling me I was in remarkable good shape . . . If he'd stopped there I'd have been stoked . . . for someone who's body has had to endure what mine has. PrisonHe also said, "you must have been very very fit before all of this. Most chemo patients look much worse than you do." I like this doctor but a little bit less after he said that. He brought back too many of the memories. Maybe he figured I had no memory, no memory at all. To add to my veil of tears I now have neuropathy. (I don't have a clue how to spell that.) It just means that the veins in my hands, feet and face are dying, I guess. They set up an appointment at the lab for all the blood for the new panels. When it's analyzed I have to see a nutrionist. My diet has to change yet again. Food makes me sick. I have to eat but another of the side effects of the chemo's is that my engine doesn't process food quite right. I think it's a pretty safe bet that whatever the changes are I won't get to eat coquille St Jacque anymore . . . and I have to take two more pills every day for the rest of my life . . . On the plus side I got to flirt with the nurse and receptionist. Any day you get to innocently flirt with cute women is a good day. My housemate actually waited for me to drive me home from the Doctors! I might have terrified her a little bit. She wanted to take more charge of my diet. I was still freaked out from the Dr's pronouncements so I think I was unintentionally sharp. She must have forgiven me as we had a good time shopping for some stuff to make her son's stay more comfortable. I like her son. He's smart, agile brained and funny. He raises the comfort level here well. I keep trying to feel like the outsider, the intruder, the spectre but they don't allow it. Thanos 04 Pg03This has been the second dreary day here. I have to be stupid careful about getting sick - chills etc so I haven't been able to take good ol' dog out for our 4 or 5 mile walks. She's pretty hacked about this. "You get me into shape and then you abandon me!" We got about a mile and then I panicked over a few drops of rain and headed back. Good ol' dog kept looking at me and I know she was muttering under her breath about me. We went out later at night. (My new glasses are so dark that it is an adventure going out at night!) I carried an umbrella this time and we did about 2 quick miles. Walking in the streets disturbed me greatly. People in cars did not seem sober and I know we startled at least 2 people so we went on a trail around a man made lake. It was cool and we got to wake up some ducks who quacked at us and fled into the water. The way I figure it I got to flirt with two cute women, shop for some furniture, see an old book on college football and I got to wake up some ducks; so it was a pretty good day.

May 20, 2005

It isn't all about me?

Click images for desktop size: "A Navajo Of The Kayenta Area"
It was a day where I realized a lot and still managed to smile.

My housemate's son arrived in the afternoon. He's a fine young man, in my opinion, who is putting himself through an Ivy League School. He is still a human being, in the Cheyenne sense of the word. I hope he will always remain one. So the house is pleasantly full. I forget, sometimes, just how much I enjoy people being around me. It seems unlikely to me that they could enjoy my company near as much as I enjoy theirs. My mail today consisted of too many bureaucratic letters, each contradicting the other. My day consisted with inexplicable answers from the government. And I got a phone call to set up a final interview for a job. I got the impression the job was mine to have or to blow. It's not a great job but it's a job. It's money. It would be very low stress and mildly interesting. Working at night. I enjoy that. A job would help me not feel like a burden.

Midnight Cowboy Then to cap off the night we went to a Choir thing at a Unitarian Church. My other housemate was in one of the groups performing so I enjoyed that. When we went in there was a little girl of 6 or so dancing in the entranceway. She was watching her reflection in the front windows as she spun out a very intricate well rehearsed series of moves. I thought she was captivating and was very disappointed when it was clear she wasn't practicing for the show. Of course I found the memory then more charming and bittersweet: she was dancing for herself. The "Intergenerational Choir" was kids and their parents. I could have done without the parents for the most part. The kids were great. There was one cute little girl who never opened her mouth, the boy who held his sheet music two inches away from his mouth, and the little girl who had her own private choreography for the whole thing. I also liked the flat chested mom who sang while giving her son a piggy back ride. The people were all so earnest and good natured that I felt dirty and far too urban. I had a flash that I don't belong among people like this. I'm too big, too corrupt. I see a different world then the one they live in. Autumn I'm pleased people like this exist. They remind me of the world we dreamed of as kids. A world where hope wasn't something to be bashed around and forgotten. I'm glad it's there. It's a thing that needs to be protected and defended, but it's not a place for me. I've been migrating the old posts over to WordPress. It's a pleasantly tedious chore that makes me re-read and remember. The remembering is good.

May 19, 2005


Boy Slaves (Lc) X01 Very tired and tense.
Dealing with paper pushers can do that. Being unemployed can do that. Being alive can do that.
Part of the tension is from having nothing imminent and threatening on the horizon. I've lived so long under threat I'm not sure what to do when things are just calm. It's an itch and now it's an itch I don't have to scratch.
Got a call back on an interview. After talking to some employers I realized I had to really dumb down my resume (or CV if you live east of here). I thought I had reduced it about as far as it would go. I hadn't. I just took out more stuff and instead of supervising things I emphasized where I was hands on. Instead of a title I pick out one responsibility and make it a job description. Instead of focusing on good works you focus on how you managed the money.
In this new America, that is reminding me daily of the totalitarian visions of old commie Russia they taught us via comic books, being good and honest isn't enough. Isn't even good. Being stupid and willing to swallow the line your feed is good. Being able to distort facts to prove a ridiculous point is good. Exclamationpoint
It's what makes the clean lines of a sports field so appealing. It's why we get upset when our heroes are caught cheating. When you throw away values you need to find someplace to reinforce that you are a good person.
Being able to swat a double down the line with 2 men on is the easiest way to do that.I found a baseball - hardball - league about 2 hours away from here. I'm hoping that they can connect me with something nearby. I got a baseball and a softball out today. I disliked the softball - too big, too yellow, too soft. I'll play that game but I want to play baseball where serious physical injury might occur. I don't want to get hurt and I don't want anybody else to be hurt but for a game to have meaning to me you have to have some flesh bone and blood on the line somewhere. Or else it's mere fun and nothing else.

May 18, 2005

As I walk down this road there's more than just my shadow beside me . . . Apparently

Wind By Ilona 1024
Click images for desktop size: "Wind by Ilona"
I'm pretty much an agnostic, which to my mind means I'm too wishy washy to make up my mind.I mean what sort of God would allow children to suffer through leukemia? What sort of God would create human beings who could burn the eyes out of dogs and rabbits to make a new mascara? Like Ken Patchen said, "I can't believe in a God who would accept man's image of him."On the other hand who but a God could create the swirl of galaxies, the miracle of evolution, genetics and the power of emotions that run through us.I'm wishy washy. I still go to church on Easter and for Christmas.My mind took that sort of illogical metaphysical bent today. I went to the DMV to get my Driver's License. (An unsuccessful trip but not discouragingly so.) I had to wait nearly 3 hours. During the wait I got told to turn down my iPod! So I went outside to hang with the other guys who, like me, were busy with our waiting and bored.Born To Be Loved X01 While I was out there I saw something interesting. A black woman in a black burqa and an ankle length maroon skirt that had nicely embroidered gold sigils on it. She was holding a card and a cup so I assumed she was begging. Like most I tried to avoid her gaze but I was fascinated with the artfully composed outfit. She stopped in front of me and I pulled the right ear bud out to hear her. She said, ". . . you are surrounded by ghosts. I see 3 dogs, 2 women and several children. They all love you and want to protect you. The little dog will never leave you. Give me $5 and I'll tell you more."Being wise and urbane, I knew it for a scam and I didn't have $5 anyway. Even being too sophisticated to fall for it I justified it away (She probably saw a tuft of dog hair on my shirt. What dog owner doesn't have dogs he remembers. She'd probably say the women were my mother and grandmother etc etc)It stayed with me.After some running around my housemates and I went to a college baseball game. It was great! For 6 innings I was stunned by the level of play, then in the final 3 innings it turned into a typical college baseball game, which is it's own level of fun. Precariousprize The crowd was huge. About 3 hundred, which is enormous for college baseball regular season games. It made me want to play again. I decided on the spot to look for a coed fast pitch softball league. It's not baseball but I don't think I'm going to find a baseball league for adults here. Which is the first real negative I've experienced. Tomorrow is going to be busy. My housemate has an interview for a big job she deserves to get. I have a "group" interview (what the hell is that?) for a job and then there's the small and sundry tasks of staying alive to mix in there.Now that I've started to get good ol' dog up to a level of fitness - she even looks younger - she now demands a good 2 hours of exercise a day. She plans to be sleek I guess.I also have to deal with another layer of bureaucracy while I still struggle on to get my ID back together (the patriot act is a gross invasion of personal rights, when did America get so wet that we couldn't just protect ourselves?)I have to not get angry with the exotically dressed woman. I'm weak enough to find it somehow comforting to imagine that all my loved ones were with me even as ghosts. I could hate her for putting that forlorn idea into my head. I am glad I don't much of anything I'm ashamed of.

May 17, 2005

Ain't scared of a bloody nose

London1940-41 Spent the morning dealing with bureaucrats. You have to wonder about any group of people who name themselves after furniture, antique furniture.
The job hunt goes on though. Not scintillating but enough that I still feel confident that something good will eventually break before my spirit does.
I wonder sometimes if I've reached that stage of being unemployable. All I want is to be under-employed (a new 21st century buzzword, for sure).
There's no pressure on me and my mind is not so warped yet to think that is not a good thing.
The pressure that is out there comes in the form of a phone call from a doctor who tells me my kidney panel is back and I do have some problems.
Aren't kidneys fun to talk about? I keep thinking of steak and kidney pie and how I still flinch when I think of biting into a chunk of kidney. So why would I want to talk about mine? I don't.
So after listening to the doctor I got back into the job hunt.
Went and picked up a job app. I think my attitude is a hinderance. I can't help but ask why am I having to pick up a job app that is clearly torn from a pad of them. Why would you look at this impersonal form and how can you decide about people from this incredibly trivial terse questions?
After running some errands with my housemate I took good ol' dog for a walk. She was super strong today, she's getting fit, which means she has more energy for getting into trouble. While we were walking I noticed that I'm losing weight again.
Everything I eat makes me a little bit sick, some foods badly but all foods somewhat. My belt needs to be shortened about 2 inches. I'm supposed to try and put weight on . . .
So good ol' dog, in feeling fit and better kept lunging about and it was obvious that a 2 mile walk wasn't going to bring her down. I felt too weak to run her so I took her to the dog park, about 6:30. The dog park was filled with some lovely pure breds and some zany canine characters and YUPPIES! I thought yuppies were extinct, or murdered. They still thrive and they still buy dogs for all the wrong reasons. There was an 8 week old vischilou there and the owner was slightly offended that I knew the breed. I guess it took the sheen off of it for her that her puppy wasn't more exotic and that a guy with a good ol' dog knew it right away.
When I got home I was hurt to find out my housemate was depressed. She's brought me nothing but pleasantness and good so it hurts to see them down. It seems a member of her family had said some pretty viscious stuff to her. God save us from people who love us. Instead of being angry she got sad and blamed herself.
I hope I made her laugh. Laughing is not a cure for depression but it's hard to be sad when someone around you is playing a fool.

May 16, 2005

I was crusin' in my Stingray late one night when an XKE pulled up on my right
Jan Berry

For A Few Dollors More(Italian)1Xs Sundays are made for day dreaming. Even with thunderstorms and lightning flashes, Sundays are made for day dreams and remembering.
I went and got the paper after a late start. I was up until 5 doing not much - mainly not fretting and mainly enjoying myself. It's been so long since I've enjoyed myself I feel guilty about it. I know that's stupid but I'm still Catholic enough to think that being guilt free would be the ultimate sin.
There's some possibilities for work in the paper, and tomorrow we'll see.
I then took good ol' dog on a four mile walk. We had fun. I'm still worried about her weight so I ran backwards for about 500 yards. She thought that was funny and kept up well. Dogs don't comprehend how I could run backwards. I ran, backwards, into a tree which made good ol' dog laugh pretty good.
We then went into a large chain grocery store. I have to eat but the doctors would seem to prefer it if I didn't. The manager came over and very politely explained that I'd have to leave good ol' dog outside. Because she doesn't have a working dog tag I couldn't make my pitch.
Of course good ol' dog took the tact of, "I told him dogs shouldn't come in here!" even though she was the one who led the way into the store! I enjoyed talking to the manager though.
Houseofd On our return trip a RABBIT jumped out on the path right next to us! Good ol' dog took off after it and we ran about 20 yards before it turned off and vanished in the underbrush. Good ol' dog blamed me for being too slow and we spent the next 5 minutes seeing if it might come back. It didn't.
I do wonder what sort of boring life a rabbit might have that it would risk canine fury for a quick adrenaline rush.
How slow and exciting is my life now? My major find was the nest of the blue birds! They have baby birds in there. Baby birds are a cool thing. I stared at them and thought that blue birds are pretty but kind of dumb. There nest is only about 6 and 1/2 feet off the ground. I like them but it took a lot of self restraint to not tip toe up and get a good look inside. I worry about the people who might be bored, stupid or with a touch less self restraint.
Got kind of sick again. It knocked me out hard. Food. I'm eating too much. Often just to be polite but more often because I have memories of hunger and the housemate is a damn fine cook.
Wp13-Bg 1280I woke up in a weird sweat. The cat, who is kind of huge, was draped over me asleep. Her litter mate was playing Doctor Cat and examining me closely, while good ol' dog jingled her collar and allowed this feline outrage to continue.
I discovered that I will probably be using WordPress for longer than I anticipated. Movable Type, the new MySQL and Perl 5.6.1 seem to be in conflict. They all work great separately but not together. It will be diverting to move and adjust everything. I'm so relaxed now that I'm paranoid about getting too chilled and forgetting my priorities.
Sometimes change just to change is not a bad thing.

May 14, 2005

Stop dominating that Begonia
~Paul Guillard

Red4 1440
Click images for desktop size: "My Housemate"
Another lovely day that promised late night showers. I was up early to take a six mile slog with the good ol' dog. We trotted about a mile so that we both soon looked totally wrecked but we had a good time. We walked 2.7 miles to a shopping mall where they have an Apple Store. The parking lot was so packed with crazy drivers that I was afraid to cross it with good ol' dog. We made it which was the point. On the way back we found a dry cleaners that was advertising $1.97 a garment!! I need to get my suits clean to prolong my work hunt. I'd been pricing and had gotten quotes of as high as $9.40 and a low of $7.25 so this seemed semi-miraculous, even if they don't do an awesome job! Then the little girl next door talked to us. She claims to love good ol' dog but I think she just wants a friend. She's about 8 and, nowadays, you have to be very reserved when meeting kids, so I make it a point of being "safe". She's a good seeming kid. I hate that there are vermin out there who pose a threat to kids and force me to be unnatural, but any kid is worth far more than my piddling sacrifice of not blurting out the first thought that comes into my empty head. The Italian Restaurant 1600 Then we went with our friend to drop off my dry cleaning and a trip to the nursery. I took big ol' dog into the nursery. We got two flower boxes that will fit over the back deck railings. We're going to plant herbs in them. Good ol' dog wanted a frozen yogurt and promised to pay me back when she got her allowance. I got her two boxes of Frosty Paws only to discover she doesn't get an allowance! At least the Frosty Paws were on sale . . . I find it fascinating that nobody ever calls me on bringing a dog into shops and things. I don't think that they should but I notice also that most everyone just sort of pretends the dog doesn't exist. Maybe it's some sort of survival thing, as in, "no one would be stupid enough to bring a big dog in here ergo I must not be seeing it."I liked preparing the gravel for the bottom of the flower boxes. I got to hit things with a hammer and smash them. Lots of noise and lots of shards of flying things. It was great. Men never grow out of the pleasures they received at age 5. They're planted now. In a week we expect to see sprouts!

Study In Light Spent the night recounting the events of the day. I felt sort of sick but too content to fret over it. I wonder if I can live without a liver? I'm pretty sure you can't. My diet is so bizzare now and so restricted I feel incredibly embarrassed to eat with other people. It's tedious to think about but basically fat makes me incredibly ill, even a small amount. The smallest amount of sugar makes my veins light up like raw wires. Salt makes my face go numb and the wrong carbs make my left side joints scream in agony. Sometimes in the midst of it I wonder if it was worth it to fight to stay alive to die from one of the side effects. But I found out the dull orange birds with the spotted chests and curly crests are female cardinals! A little girl tells me she loves a good ol' dog, the dog brings me her pull rope and growls at me until I play tug of war and yeah, it's always worth it - life I mean. Even if dumb old cats insist on sleeping in my lap and no one knows what the big black and tan bird with the silver beak is called, it's always worth it.


It was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor
David Bowie

Click images for desktop size: "Black Crow King"
The day was overcast but lovely. I got to buy somethings - foolishly a new set of ear buds . . . I needed them, really. Secondly some food. It was a miniscule contribution to the household but it made me feel, minisculey, like I was contributing. I went to take good old dog for our daily walk. They have a leash law here so I tell her that she has to be leashed because she might kill someone. She always nods her head and thinks, "That's true. I am a very dangerous animal." Before we left I picked up the mail. There was a letter from the doctor with my test results. My cholesterol etc are exemplary! My blood count has not dropped badly and the leukemia shows no sign of reappearing. But I've been tired and sort of dizzy lately and couldn't put a handle on it. It appears that something is wrong with my liver. Whether it's an aberration or something significant will have to wait 3 weeks. Liver disease is not an uncommon side effect to chemotherapy but if I have it Good ol' Dog and I are going to go glare at somebody really really hard. I might even jut my jaw! Spiderman14 The letter put a dampener on our walk, it made me think and remember. Not much is more dangerous than thinking and remembering. "The older I get the faster I was . . ." The free hosting service is having a hard time getting the Perl Modules installed for my Movable Type installation, so I might have to use WordPress for longer than I anticipated. In some ways that's fine. I like WordPress. No word yet from the baseball league. It might not exist anymore. To have a league you need at least 200 players. Maybe there aren't that many people trying to escape the present in dreams. I guess I could play soft ball but it seems so, well, wimpy, and the people playing such a soft sport wouldn't understand the fire and the passion. I'd rather play on a woman's softball team. I coached SAQ for a woman's team and they were charged. The pitcher blew smoke man.

May 12, 2005

I felt Like The Space between the stars

Click images for desktop size: "Asleep"
I spent today feeling sick and working rehabbing my housemates house. Being sick was no fun, still isn't. I'll have to work on that. Rehabbing the house with P was totally cool. We replaced a sill (house foundation) and I got to bash things with a hammer and break stuff! I also got to use a crowbar! This was serious breaking stuff. Being sick bothers me some. I keep wonder if I've fallen down another level on the plateau. That would be pretty sad for me. To ignore reality I thought a lot about the greatest guitar players that ever were. I'm not real big on the 32nd notes at 240 bpm burners, so prepare to be disappointed.

Jimi Hendrix was and is the greatest guitarist ever. And I hate most of his music, except for the blues. What most impresses me is his work with a cry baby wah pedal. It's a midrange oscillator you work with your foot. Hendrix could work the wah off the beat while keeping the time with his right foot. Hendrix was always pretty dead on the rhythm to boot.

At The Circuis1Xs Scotty Moore was the first rock & roll guitarist. He was very cool but Cliff Gallup is the one who brought a new way of talking to the guitar. The guy played a Duo-Jet and used 4 steel finger picks and a steel thumb pick. He laid out tasty lines and driving rhythm in the Blue Caps, the first Rock & Roll band. How good was he? The apochraphyl story is about the first recording session. Gallup was a kid and the producers figured he couldn't play so they brought in a Nashville session musician. Gallup demonstrated the opening riff to "Race With The Devil" and the seasoned session musician packed up his guitar and walked out of the studio. More relevant is that Jeff Beck, a pretty studly guitarist his own self recorded a tribute album to Gallup; "Crazy Legs". He had to drill for a year to be able to come close to mimicking the way the guy danced on the fret board. Gallup played impeccable rhythm and created most of his sensuous solos on the fly. He seldom played the solo the same way twice. And Cliff Gallup is a totally cool name.


Dick Dale was another left handed guitar player who played an upside down Fender. Hendrix would go to Dale's surf stomps and his gutiar shop at the Balboa Ballroom to study Dale and his killer licks. Dale's incredible double picking technique and his outboard Fender Reverb box created a whole new genre in music. Is there anything cooler than that? As a performer he ruled. No one can forget a young Dale (before he burned himself up) looking like a whip thin pirate, surfer hair and a hoop earring stomping on the stage ripping Miserlou. In one of the great moments in entertainment this young surfer would interrupt his solo to whip out a cornet and rampage through the song blowing the horn like an ungodly sailor praying to Huey.

And finally there's Bobby Fuller who was a fabulous songwriter and front man, so good it was easy to over look the fact that he was devastating guitarist. One of those kids who built his own recording studio at like 12 he worked on rhythmic lead sets. It was a hard code to crack. Like in his cover of Buddy Holly's "Love's Made A Fool Of You" his guitar never flashes as he keeps it in check to sell the song.

A Place To RestJust like the awesome Del Shannon who proved beauty and toughness could live together.

When you talk about guitar players you have to remember guys like Robert Johnson who invented the blues (no matter what WC Handy claims), and the exquisite Django Rheinhardt who played the notes your heart needed to hear. And Buck Owens who sold out and . . . and . . . I actually got a little piece of money today. Maybe enough to get some decent ear-buds and start to repay some of my huge debt. . . I'm sick but I feel good. I remember how to smile.

May 11, 2005

Where have all the good times gone~Ray Davies

Click images for desktop size: "Space Ghost"
I I don't think anything is exactly going right, like my blood things are like totally screwed and yet I feel giddy and happy. Giddy? Yeah. Every song seems driven by explosive guitars, the sun reaches through and gently warms, even the Saints and Chris Bailey aren't depressing. Maybe I've finally slipped into madness? If I'm insane, what took me so long? The $36.00 job being a "security guard" for kids (Johnny, final warning - no shoes on the Moon Bounce!) seems to not have materialized. I'm blame the employment agency. So tomorrow I'll be helping my housemate do the rehab on his house out in the country. It's a daunting job but I'm in the right space to raise a house off it's foundations (literally - I get to play with heavy tools . . . ) Streetrepose The number I called for the baseball team was disconnected. As I want to play pretty badly I managed to track the guy down to a working number and left a message. My hopes are dimmed slightly, I don't like the odds of the league still existing if the league president has like moved, but who knows. Playing sports is one thing I use to stay whole. It's a way of pretending I'm not dying. I look at the people who run their mouths and breathe my air. They have so many words and they've never been able to be lost as a giant amongst giants, never felt air taste like gold as your pound a ball up the middle, or understand the magic that comes from leaping into the air for a ball you can't see; then finding the ball nestled in the pocket of your glove and then that ultimate beauty of digging it out of your glove and making the bullet throw to first to pick off the base runner who doesn't understand that miracles happen every time a ball touches wood or leather. Tarantula! (6) How do you know how good it is to be alive without knowing that the limits the world imposes no longer apply to you, at least when you have a ball in your hand and your standing on a field somewhere playing football, cricket, baseball. And with that in mind I applied for two jobs today. One as a bicycle mechanic. I have no idea why I did that. At least it was fun talking to the owner. The other job was at a used book and cd shop. The owner sold me a Del Shannon CD for A DOLLAR! That was very good. I looked at a couple of guitar shops but the one that looked most promising has Larivees and Santa Cruz in the window!! They want car salesmen for those! What a dull write up of a non-spectacular day where life just happened, the talk was good, the cats nefarious plot to kill me failed once again and good ol' dog kept telling me that I throw the ball very stupid while the air was filled with birds.

May 10, 2005

I'll be damned. Here's your ghost again, but that's not unusual.
~Joan Baez

Sushi Set
Click images for desktop size: "Mark Evans-Sushi Set"
It was a fabulous day. Not a day to mark with a white stone,perhaps, but a day to remember as a way that most days should be. I took a bus into downtown. I liked the way the city mixed well with my usual eclectic mix of songs on my iPod - big city blues, surf, rock and bluegrass on today's playlist. I liked the looks of all the people. I did a march. Because I was out of meds the thoughts in my head were pretty much out of control. I'm not that smart so it's pretty easy to not listen to all my thoughts and impulses. I always figured smart people drove themselves crazy thinking that because a thought comes into their head it has to be considered, because only dumb people have thoughts that just "magically" appear. While I walked I thought that Ethel, my little dog who passed away, would have been so happy here. There was grass. Where she and I were there was very little grass so standing in it was a treat for her. She would splay out her feet and wiggle her toes to feel it between her claws. I enjoyed thinking of her walking alongside me, with her on the grass laughing at me for walking on the sidewalk. Miracle In The DesertI went into any likely looking shop/business and asked to apply for work. It's a harsh way to look but it didn't feel that bad. It felt like accomplishing something, although I can't define what. One place I went was to the Triple A ball club. I was surprised at all the history they laid claim to, it felt odd but right that they laid these claims in a pretty new stadium. I applied for work there - office work. What made it thrilling was that they had the number of a fellow who, at least 3 years ago, ran a Senior Baseball League! So I was armed with fantasies of my dead dog and day dreams of my dead "illustrious" past to accompnay me on my rounds. I thought of two things that had been said to me: "It's surprising to me that an ex-jock like you has such a good vocabulary," and, from a different person who was reacting to the fact that I have to wear shades 24/7, "I just think that weird and stupid," which made me think that wheel chairs were weird and stupid too. At the time the only thought I had to the question of my sunglasses was, "Honey, anyone with as much cellulite on their back of their legs should not wear tight short skirts and really shouldn't call anyone else weird." I haven't figured out what I feel about my vocabulary, other than I'm pretty sure it was meant as a compliment. Janetleigh 02I talked to a lot of people and sort of forced them to take my name and number. They didn't seem to mind. I discovered a "Dollar Store" that was enviably grotty. I got my notorious $1 mouthwash! Then I managed to score my drugs. Taking them reminded me of the penalty for not taking them in the appropriate way. They made me very sick but not incapacitated. My friend made a special trip into to town and to take me home. Funny, I haven't used that word in a long time, at least not with the meaning I just felt: Home. I took the good ol' dog to the dog park and threw the ball for her (and a dozen other courageous curs). They all complained because I threw the ball too far. Home and checked my blood. It's all over the place, but it takes a while to settle everything down and get back on track. On Thursday I have a little 4 hour job for $36, supervising kids at a school in the suburbs. It's hard for me to accept and deal with but I'm happy. I walked about 8 or 9 miles today and even when the pain started I felt good. I can even ignore the feeling of doom that seems to be waiting. I think that feeling is generally thought of as a mental disease.


May 9, 2005

I get knocked down but I get up again

1965 El Rey Del Juego (Ing) 01One thing that dumb guys like me learn early on is to never do anything you'll be ashamed of. If you can't say it, don't do it, sort of thing. It leads to a pretty punctillious lifestyle; a life based on honor and tasty waves.
It's a long, stupid and boring story but false accusations even when everyone knows they are nonsense really get up my nose.
Today was an aggravating day in most ways. Temper this with a lot of laughing and a lot of seeing cool things. I saw a real blue bird today. It was more than a little impressive. I want to be a blue bird, but only for a little while.
Dealt with a lot of beuaracracy today. I'm out of meds and I feel a bit rough when that happens. It's endurable and if it's starts to grate I just recall what it was like "back there" and then it feels like there is nothing at all wrong in the world.
I'm still waiting for the server to be updated so I can go back to Movable Type, but I kind of like playing with WordPress.
Oh, and I got some clothes today, as a gift from my friend. It makes me uncomfortable taking gifts, but I need the stuff and it pleased myu friend to make the purchases.

May 8, 2005

MySQL & Movable Type

Yesterday the hosting service (which I like immensely by the way) updated the server to the latest MySQL database. Unfortunately for me the update worked very very well but broke my Movable Type installation . . .
I figure they'll get it sorted out in a few days but until then I've set up this WordPress blog to fill in the gap and the void.

Keep On the Sunnyside, Always On The Sunnyside

Erte A good day, a nice day. A day of growing and of peacefullness.
I cooked . . . Pasta al olio parmasean . . . I used Jerusalem Artichoke Heart Lettuce so it was healthier. It was fun to actually prepare a meal, better to prepare it for other people instead of just myself.
I did my dynamic and static stretches today and then jogged about a mile with the good ol' dog. We then walked about 3 more miles. I might only be gaining strength but the good ol' dog is getting fitter and fitter. She stayed with me the whole time and only started to fade in the final half mile. Last week I was worried that I had near killed her! She likes getting fitter too.
The job hunt was not as dynamic this weekend but there still seem to be possibilities. I've decided not to go to the job interview tomorrow. The pay is mediocre, the traveling would be extreme (30 miles!! on public transportation!!) and it's stuff I don't want to do . . . I have hopes for a few jobs, mentoring troubled kids, counselling and helping doper kids rehab, are on the top of my list.
Spent the rest of the time trying to repair my movable type installation but that's pretty much a job for the host.

She climbs hills like a Matchless

S4W-Mlb-Bestshots-003-Intheglare I was dragged to the Doctor's today. The expense of it bothered me (paid for by borrowing) and the fact that the “good news” I get is tempered heavily.
Basically I am now 1/4 inch over 6' and 179 pounds. (I've gained SEVEN pounds since arriving here! That is a good thing.) And I'll probably live 4-6 more years, 7 on the outside.
As this is what they told me each year for the last 3 (including the time frame) there's no real surprise. No fat, no sugar, no flavor, and I'll make it to the max.
I also got my sproinged glasses back today. They are really really dark. I'm fairly well convinced I can sneak any dog into shops now with Ethel and my time honored ruse of claiming they are seeing eye dogs . . .
1930 Little Caesar (Ing) 00I can see remarkably well with them though. I can see coins in my hand and identify them by sight instead of by touch! There is a lot of detail though. I sort of miss seeing the world through a number 2 diffusion lens.
Then Good Ol' Dog and I went for a walk. We encountered many strange beings and saw a blood red cardinal, which excited me no end. I realise where ever I am I will always be a tourist, and always be in awe of my surroundings, even if now I can see them a bit too clearly.
I have a job interview on Monday, in a town about 30 miles away!! It's a terrible job with mediocre pay - I'm split down the middle as to if I want it.

May 5, 2005

Buying when I should have been stealing

Click images for desktop size: "Lemonade?"
Today I helped my housemate rehab his house. It was fun and scary. We found the main beam was twisted! Came up with a plan to save it that worked! What is ever better than having a plan and seeing it succeed.On the down side I picked up my new glasses today. For about 30 minutes I was fascinated. I could see and read again. It bothered me a bit that they are no so dark you can't see my eyes at all, even though I got some odd anti-glare gunk on them. But after 30 minutes or so the lens kind of spronged loose and so it's back to the Doctor's tomorrow. I also have to see an internist tomorrow to try and induce them to write a script for my meds. I suspect that I'll have to do the whole physical and blood work junk. I was stunned today that when we finished up on the house rehab (about 7:30) that our house mate had made coquille st jacques!!!!! (Five exclamation points-sure sign of a demented mind) For someone who 3 weeks ago was eating plain rice as his only meal eavery day for a week this is more than extraordinary and as close as I'll get to paradise. It is making me incredibly ill. My diet is highly restricted but I wouldn't give up a bite of it. Motherboard128Kmac I did think about some of the things that have been worrying me lately, on that gooney level. Like what has happened to America. How have we managed to destroy ourselves? How have we become a creep who deserves an ass kicking? How did we allow corporate creeps to decide how we would think and live? Being gone for so long I've think mostly of Ginsburg, who through all his gooniness still said it best: "I've seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by bullshit." In Europe they are fascinated by weird stats, like how the water they drink today has passed through the bladders of 82 different people before you drink it. Because matter can neither be created or destroyed the air you breathe now contains molecules that MUST have once been breathed by Julius Caesar, Hitler, Einstein, and Christ. And I must, with my last breath breathed air last breathed by you. We drink the water that's passed through each other's bodies, breath air that has been in each others lungs and still can't see that we are all just people. A man needs a hill with a view, a shotgun and a good dog to get out of this alive.

May 4, 2005

Of Kings and Men

Click images for desktop size: "Fossil Fish"
There's a hill, brown with sun burned grass. It a steep hill but rolls to a low rising high-point. On top of the hill is a man, dressed in scruffy rags and he wields a sword that is too large and too heavy for his scrawny arms and emaciated frame. But he wields the sword.
Surrounding the crown of the field is an infinite army of soldiers and creatures dressed as soldiers and creatures from a darkness that has nothing to do with night. They make a noise, a clamor that stops thought and clouds all emotion except fear. But still the scrawny man wields his sword.
From no place a large stranger appears behind the scrawny man. He wears armor of perfect blackness that refuses to reflect light. He approaches the scrawny man and puts a friendly hand on the scrawny man's shoulder, then he tosses back his cloak and draws his sword which is larger and heavier and sharper than any other sword.
With no words exchanged the two of them slash at the air with their weapons and together they attack the fearsome enemy.
Screen See junque like that is drama. It's also the junque of myths and legends. I think myths and legends are important. They give people a higher place to want to be.
Like the 300 Spartans who broke the back of the most powerful army ever assembled. Over 1,000,000 Persian soldiers fought them to a standstill for nearly a month. One million against 300. Myth and legend that became history. (History is just the way to remember life.)
Or in the Philippines during World War II. A squad, 7 men, facing the entire 3rd Japanese army. 7 Men facing an army to protect the backs of their comrades. They held them for a week that enabled 40,000 men to escape and live. 7 men who stood off an army, 7 men not fit enough to make the retreat, wracked with malaria, wounds and inexperience stood up to an army. Myths and legends enabled them to stand up and do a job.
Inter-Course It's those same myths and legends, that same aspiration to a higher plane that enables most of us to get up everyday and fight through life. It is what stops us from just huddling under the blankets merely surviving and until the day melts into the next day.
I'm going job hunting today. Different kind of dragons out there.
I realized that my desperation has a focus. When I made my move from the old place it was with small hopes and a knowledge that the struggles would continue. I made the move because I thought the war had a better chance of success. Instead I was met with bigger and uglier monsters. And now, that seems like a mysterious series of events that don't even make for mediocre short stories.
Now the stress seems like the memory of a painful operation. See the desperation I feel is this: It's easy to repay money (worrisome and stressful in its own overwhelming way but still relatively easy.
What's desperate is that there is no way to ever repay kindness, no way to ever return the favor of that welcome hand on your shoulder as you prepare to face the infinite army of soldiers and creatures dressed like soldiers and creatures from a darkness that has nothing to do with the night. There's no way to repay myths legends and history. There's nothing to feel but humble.

May 3, 2005

I have no mouth and I must dream

Sky Rooster 1280X960
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The day started with my friend waking me by shouting for help in her sleep. This hung in the back of my brain all day until she received a call from her doctor informing her she had a bacterial infection. I hope she was just a bit pre-cog and the infection was what her dream self needed help with. I walked the dog over to pick up her scrips. I don't like my friends being ill. I thought one of the deals I made was that if I got ill they would never have to.

After I've endured so much cruelty and then to find true kindness and matter of fact gentility in someone, I don't think its fair to me that they might have to suffer! I'm still bad at watching someone I care about being in pain. Walking to the pharmacy with good ol' dog was nice.. I've been walking the dog to death, I think. She's been sleeping an awful lot. We discovered today that she's about 12 pounds over weight or about 20% over what her ideal weight should be. Imagine a 6' male human who was about 40 pounds over weight!! GreyshuffleI'm eating healthier than I have in the past 18 months. Oddly, I feel like I'm getting weaker. My muscles have tightened up considerably so that I bend with more than my usual slowness and twinges. Tomorrow morning I start doing about 30 minutes of dynamic stretching. I thought about taking the dog with me for her benefit but I have the guilty feeling that running with her about 1.5 miles on Saturday night was the start of her physical wearing down. Like all dog she loves to go but doesn't understand that even she has limits. I hope everyone stays well tonight, even the people I hate. I hope my friend stays well and keeps getting better.


May 1, 2005

He not busy being born is busy dying
~Bob Dylan

Click images for desktop size: "Lobby Card: Earth VS The Flying Saucers"
This was a day of walking, not the forced marches of prior weeks, but the strolls that bring calm and peace. I missed Ethel. She had to walk through desert and stone. Today good ol' dog and I walked through grass and woods.

I spent the day going through the papers looking for work. When I got bored doing that I started a search for a baseball team I could join. I found a lot of softball teams, even plenty of choices for slow and fast pitch but no baseball leagues. In a town that features a Triple A pro team I'd have thought the choices would be larger. I'll keep searching. It might be that I'm just looking in the wrong places. I still feel desperate about not working, but not the desperation that leads to despair and depression. I feel an urgency but not in panic. CantsleepMaybe tomorrow will bring the good news I need to keep feeling positive and looking forward. The 2 cats here are pretending to love me. This is an obvious ruse, as they keep slipping up and reveal their real intent is cold blooded murder. I don't drop my guard even for a minute and can tell the difference between purring and growling. I don't blame the cats. They can't help it if they are evil, they're just born that way; they're merely cats and, as we all know, have a bred in duty to destroy humanity, and as I was always reminded, a deep physical need to hit good dogs in their noses. I just now received an email telling me my team lost their first game of the season yesterday 8-6. I feel badly for them but losing is as important as winning. We learn from both of them about ourselves and about our opponents; which means we learn how to live. I note that without the incredible daily stress I was under I feel weaker and feel the twinges and pains more clearly. I'm less of a juggernaut and more of a human being. I prefer being a person to being a machine.