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November 30, 2005

Great googa mooga can't you hear me talking to you
The Temptations

Atow021 Tunick
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Tunick
I spent about 7 hours in hospital today.
It was a unique experience. I had to show up at 6 AM, even though I had an appointment. WHen I arrived there were already over a dozen people waiting in the cold and the damp. At 8 AM we were allowed in. They gave us plastic chits with numbers, like at an old school deli.
I had to go and give blood for testing and pick up my meds. Even though I was number 9 I didn't need to waste energy being nervous. They were at 4 when I got into the correct waiting area.
I waited until 10. See, it's for cheap medical care. I figure they need to torture us this way to make sure we really can't afford doctors.
I got in and got on for the X-Ray machine - the big Sci Fi tube one where you lie down and it rotates up and down your body.
Attackofthe50Ftwoman X01 (1958)I thought that was cool.
I had about 9 other machine based tests. They kept leaving me alone in the rooms.
Personally, when I'm left alone in doctors exam rooms I presume they want me to play with all the gear and examine all the drawers. THe depth of my exploring goes along with the length of time I have to wait
I didn't find anything to swipe today but I was fascinated with a jar of topical anesthetic. They made it WILD CHERRY scented. You have to wonder if that's for the benefit of the patient or the doctor.
End result is that I've been walking around with a low grade general infection for the past few weeks, which is where the low ebb of energy comes from.
The meds I take that keep me alive are disintegrating my bones! My dream of how they must look is not inaccurate.
They quickly pulled a tooth as the jaw bone has crunched up so badly there was nothing for it to hold on to. Which is why it hurt.
Basically they figure I can go on ten more years like this. That's not such a bad deal when you think about it and think about how much life I've jammed into my time already.
I am worried. I think it's important that I outlive my puppy. I don't think she would be at all happy without me. I think she would be pretty sad.
I have to see the Doc's next Weds for more “good” news. And I have to have 4 radiation treatments. I have to pay for them. They think it will be “only 300 bucks” for the poor and the destitute. That's apiece not for the series. It's a workable figure, I guess. They forget that I work for a living . . .

I finished 54th for the week in the football contest! And have moved up to 134th for the season! I'm trying to finish second . . . that's correct, I want to lose! Second prize is a $1,200 expresso machine I would love to have!

Dc Cover Fear Itself P06 (Jsa)
Click images for desktop size: "Justice Society Of America" by DC Comics
I've been remonstrated for not finishing the retelling of “A Taste Of Blood”, my little western student film. I either can't believe that all (meaning 2 people) are that interested. If you are why didn't you go see it at the Fox Venice!!
I'll finish the retelling tomorrow . . . honest . . . I'll try . . .to . . .
I'm just kind of flat and tired today. I don't drink but the way I feel right now I can't remember why that is.

November 27, 2005

My father was in the hospital. He motioned the doctor to come over to his bed.
He said, "People are wonderful!" With that he died.
Francois Traffaut

Beached B24 I have had a calm, pleasant Thanksgiving weekend.
Four days in a row off!
I slept, healed, played with my puppy.
My puppy and I spent Thanksgiving Day at the local hospital with the children. We all had a marvelous time. We watched a lot of movies. "The 7th Victim," a classic, or it should be, from Val Lewton, about death, peer pressure and love - always about love and it's different forms. It is filled with so many wonderful scenes and moments it's senseless to try and lay them out.
"City Of God," which was about one tenth as interesting as "The Gangster Tapes", which it owes a heavy debt to.
"The Brothers Grimm," the new one from Terry Gilliam. It was sweet and a great lesson on how to make a good movie that has no chance of being a success.
Bride Of The Monster X01 (Insert)(1956)We watched some beautiful football. Most incredible was the final play of the Nevada - Fresno State game. Nevada was leading 35-32 when the Nevada back broke through and had an easy TD, but instead the kid slid to the ground at the one yard line. He preserved the win and didn't rub Fresno State's nose in it.
But what I remembered that I like most in my life is to plug headphones in and walk down a road with my dog. No matter what else or even nothing else in life this will always bring me pleasure, smiles and a feeling of ease.
Now for my picks in the NFL!
We don't pick the Thursday games so it's a bit shorter today.
Last week I was abominable and finished 707th for the week! Which dropped me down from 168 to 181 for the season. remember that if tempted to bet based on my pro picks!
Home teams listed first - my pick in bold.
Cincinnati v Baltimore - Carson and Chad still have the chip on there shoulder. The most interesting match up of the day.

Buffalo v Carolina - After the way the Bears embarrassed the Panthers last week Carolina has too much to prove.

Tampa Bay v Chicago - Chris Simms meet Mr Urlacher, over and over again. Minnesota v Cleveland - Vikings have to be the worst team in the league but they find the most bizarre ways to win.

Kansas City v New England - Not just a sentimental pick. KC looked horrific last week. Washington v San Diego - The NFL has given the Chargers the creepiest schedule in the league. Still Brees and Tomlinson have a lot more juice than Tampa Bay.

Tennessee v San Francisco - Cruddy game of the week. I still love McNair but . . .

Houston v St Louis - Rams are true Jykell and Hyde. This is the week to win.

Arizona v Jacksonville - Jaguars are held together with chicken wire and nylon, Warner had his revenge game last week in St Louis. Interesting but cruddy game.

Oakland v Miami - Why not? Most boring game of the day.

Philadelphia v Green Bay - At the start of the season this was a game I was looking forward to. . . This is why they make them play them all instead of letting computers decide.

Seattle v New York Giants - Manning still not a road warrior. The game of beauty will be Alexander vs the Giants front 7.

New York Jets v New Orleans - The two teams with the most heart and character in the league forced to meet. New Orleans is my pick just becasue they have more to prove.

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November 22, 2005

There comes a time

Strength 1024
Click images for desktop size: "Strength" by Zipangu
Strange day. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow but I had to make another one for Monday about the tooth, head and arm pain.
I guess it pays to specialize.
I had a small fantasy that my bones were having the calcium leeched out of them. So that instead of hard shiny billiard ball looking things my bones were shrinking and showing frayed wires poking through the gristle while the manufacturer's labels were being gently eroded.
Daydreams like that are why I read a lot.
I got a notice about a package I received from the Post Office. I went to pick it up before work and they couldn't find it. Oddly, to redeliver it means I couldn't get it until Monday!
I called the 800 number on the ticket and was told everything I had was wrong - the wrong station, the tracking number was too short etc etc.
So I called the right station and they couldn't find it either.
I keep wondering what it is.
I sent my friend some books and stuff via UPS. It was kind of fun being able to follow the details of the package via the internet.
Creepy comparing the Post Office to UPS.

Attackofthecrabmonsters X03 (Insert)(1957)A young friend came to visit me. I can't call him one of my kids. He's a fine young man. He surprised me. It made it feel like it was a holiday.
I got a surprise gift. Flowers. That made it seem more like paradise was creeping in around the edges of my puppy's and my steel gray world.

I've gotten several emails asking about the little movies I made when I was a kid. I forget that the people who made them with me are mostly dead now.
Is it supposed to feel tragic being a survivor?
They weren't much, just things I had to do to get my Masters. They seemed important at the time, because they were. they were just student films - no, this doesn't mean it was endless minutes of a horse running through a field or a vain attempt to get my girl friend to take her clothes off in the name of art (A laudable purpose for student films, in my opinion).
“The Gladiators” was well received. Mainly for the carefully choreographed fight scenes and the soundtrack. I take credit for the sound. They weren't as impressed with the music but with the quality of the foley, sound effects and recording.
I got a 10 k grant to make my next movie. For me the main point was to have fun. When your crew is made up of surfers and football players fun is the one thing you never run out of.
We decided we needed “real” actors, instead of the usual stable of friends. We put an ad in Dramalogue.
This was exciting. Actors are crazier than stunt drivers and cliff divers combined. We actually got head shots that the actors made by pressing their faces against the glass of a Xerox machine . . . we got resumes from names we recognized but realized the actors hadn't worked in 30 years. We got resumes that were felonious in their intent to defraud.
We had a lot of fun meeting these people.
They never behaved in the same way and they were always amazing, charming or at least fantastically annoying. I started to love actors then.
One memorable guy showed up dressed as Harpo Marx. He entered and did a pantomime that ended with him pulling out a ukulele and performing “Whole Lot Of Love”.
I loved it, but as this was a western I really didn't see how I could work him in.
I don't think we used any of the Dramalogue actors, much to my continued regret. Instead we got people from Equity Waiver shows.
For the female lead we found the most singularly incredible looking woman any of us had ever seen: light red hair with green eyes, swimmers figure and a smile that would make you spend a months salary in hope of seeing it again, even if the smile wasn't meant for you.
Problem is she couldn't act.
She was beyond bad. Her voice was entrancing but every time she said a line she sounded like an illiterate asked to read Hamlet in order to spare the executioner.
No problem - I made her a French Woman, who spoke no English! She didn't speak French, none of us did. She just made French sounds. Surprisingly no one ever seemed to have noticed that she spoke nothing but gibberish.
On a surf trip to Mexico we found a rundown old Western set. It was large, busted up and beautiful. Rattlesnakes hid in the shadows and scorpions got upset when you entered any of the buildings.
It gave us a huge edge. We argued about what movie it was built for. Most of us wanting to think that it was constructed for “The Wild Bunch” but in reality it was most likely for “The Master Gunfighter.”
So we were ready. We camped in the Mexican desert and shot for two weeks on a refuse-to-die-Old Mitchell. I had a friend at CFI and he scrounged up 12 hours of 7256 for us, and could process it at night when we got home.

Christopherjanderson Thecoldestday
Click images for desktop size: "The Coldest day" by Christopher J Anderson
The plot: Billy, a mixed race half caucasian half hispanic, was five years old when he watches his parents shot down in a senseless bungled bank robbery. He's taken in by a deranged blind uncle, his mothers white brother, who teaches the little boy to be a dangerous gunfighter. Billy is trained and loaded with hate until he is 16.
Problem is Billy is dangerous with his guns, a marvelous athlete but he has no rage or anger in him. Billy befriends a stray puppy. His new friends leads to some troublemakers trying to have some cruel fun with “the kid!”
Billy ignores the insults but reacts in the only way he knows how when one of the gunfighters kicks the puppy. It's a terrifying demonstration of speed and accuracy. The four men don't have a chance.
Billy doesn't kill them. He shoots the holsters from their legs before they have a chance to draw, His 6 shots sound like one quick roar. Billy backs out as the hard cases stare at him in awe, relief and in disbelief. The puppy follows Billy home.
Billy's uncle is enraged. He exhorts Billy for not killing the 4 gunmen. He sends him out into the world to kill the 3 bank robbers. He sends him out with no preparation for life other than 2 dangerous guns.
When Billy goes out on his killing mission the puppy, who followed him so faithfully stops and sits down in the dust, watching him ride out to become a killer.

I'll tell you how it ends later.

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Days for remembering

Click images for desktop size: "June"
It's pouring rain here. Cold, dreary, slick streets rain.
Nothing to do at work except put in the time. My step-father died the Friday after Thanksgiving. I don't remember the date. I could remember the year but I'd have to think about other events.
My step-father had a bleeding ulcer. The doctor told him that if he continued to drink he'd be dead in 90 days.
My step-father's response was, “If you can't drink and chase broads what's the sense in living.” He told that anecdote to everyone for the next 90 days.
I guess you can say he was true to his credo.
He had a grand Thanksgiving and died quietly at the breakfast table the next day.
My mother died the next year. Also the Friday after Thanksgiving.
When my step-father passed we discovered he'd left a lot of debt, no money and my mother didn't know how to write a check.
Robocop(1987)-01Old fashioned values.
All of this reminds me of the long tracks we follow to end up where we are. Like if I'd only turned left instead of right that semi never would have smacked into me.
It comes to mind how I met this guy Harlan Ellison in my favorite rockabilly shop. He was there searching for rare jazz records.
We were just flipping through dusty racks and chatting like you do when you're standing next to stranger. I thought he was fit for a little guy.
Some how we introduced ourselves and I realized I liked his book, “Memos From Purgatory” a lot.
He was surprised as he didn't think anyone ever even knew about his non science fiction work. We exchanged phone numbers.
About 3 months later I was with my buddy Mark, doing some easy tune up climbs in Joshua Tree, the high desert. I love the high desert, the sky and the vastness. For intimidation purposes it rules. For cleaning your mind it rules.
It's the only place outside of a city where survival is all you can enjoy.
We were packing across about 2 miles of desert scrub heading for some rocks you couldn't drive to. They looked promising.
We heard it first - a light click click clacking. On top of a small mesa a man was sitting on a folding chair at a card table. On the table was a portable Royal typewriter. The man was naked and typing furiously.
It's not often you get to talk to a naked man in the middle of the high desert so even though he either ignored us or didn't know we were there we decided to wait a minute and see what was up.
Finally he looked up at us and smiled. He invited us in . . .
He was clearly tripping his brains out.
We asked him the sane stuff, made sure he had water, wasn't lost etc.
He said he was writing a new book. He said his name was Phil Dick and that he lived in Redlands.
He talked a lot, like the way guys on acid used to do. It was much more entertaining than walking through the scrub. I don't remember the content much - instead of adjectives and adverbs he used a lot of sound effects:
It was like -shwrika shwirka shwrika- big you know and it flew rottarottarotta fast.
And then he went back to typing and it was like we didn't exist.
Shimuna Revisited 1024
Click images for desktop size: "Shimanu Revisited" by Shifted Reality
Mark told me that Philip K Dick was a great Science Fiction writer. He loaned me his books when we got home.
I'm pleased that none of the books had his picture on them. It would sadden me, even to this day, to find out that the crazy naked man wasn't this writer whom I came to love.
After reading “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” i envisioned what a great movie this would make. I called Harlan Ellisson and asked him if he knew how to get Dick's number. I mean, all science fiction writers know each other, right?
Ellisson always had this annoying way of answering the phone. He would scream “WHAT DO YOU WANT!” as a greeting.
He warned that Dick was a lunatic and, to his mind, dangerous. He did have his number and he lived in Redlands.
So I called Dick. I told him how I thought Androids would make an excellent movie and even detailed my plans to translate the odd religion it espouses.
He liked my ideas but told me that MGM had optioned the book recently for some Brit to produce. He said the Brit didn't get the book at all but the MGM money was way good.
He even came up with some ideas that I could use in my story to change it around enough to be his story but different enough to get away with it.
He never mentioned agents or contracts.
I never asked him if he was in the habit of writing in the nude in the middle of the desert.
That someone else was going to make it took the heart out of me.
I ended up doing a trite little film called Gladiators.
We shot it on the mesa where I met the Dick naked man.
My movie is fine enough. If you haven't seen it it two Roman Gladiators wearing the face covering gear. They fight out in the desert. In the middle of nowhere.
Monkeyman Sungoddess
Click images for desktop size: "Sungoddess" by Monkey Man
A hillbilly family, man wife, son and daughter have heard about this as some phenomena. They drive out in their Robins Egg Blue Cadillac convertible to see it for themselves.
It was supposed to examine family morays and have some bitching fight scenes.
The fighting was choreographed by this guy Nick. Nick was cool. He's lost an eye fencing and even had a dueling scar. His street clothes were a modern version of the 3 musketeers. He would have loved it if he could have worn a sword on the street.
He was the assistant of Bill Faulkner, who was famous not for being an Olympic medalist in the Saber but famous for teaching Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn how to sword-fight for the movies.
The two of them taught my football player buddies how to use the gladiator short sword; how it was used to pierce and rip and very seldom to stab.
And while I was there one day was when I re-met my wife to be. She was an actress now and was taking fencing lessons for a part in a play. I had known her in school but who had refused to date me because I had a bad reputation.
And that's how it goes, from looking for a copy of Ronnie Self's “Ain't I'm A Dog” to marriage.

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November 20, 2005

USC 50 Fresno State 42

Strain 1024
Click images for desktop size: "Strain" by 5D Design
Been having a difficult time lately. The week following the strain of my puppy's accident and then her spaying has been followed by a week of huge physical distress for me.
The pain is back to that level where I can't really sleep. Just a low level of unconsciousness. This morning I realized I've been through this before. It takes a couple of months of physical therapy to fix. Before it wasn't as bad and in my left arm. I'm right handed so this makes things difficult, even typing is stressful.
Fortunately the Men Of Troy decided to be entertaining last night. The game was so exciting I suddenly realized I seldom thought about the pain!
Elect Reggie Bush!
Matt Linehart as the Secretary Of State!

Let Me Die A Woman
Last weeks NFL picks were pretty good but they still only netted me a 365th place for the week! My standing for the season fell 3 places from 165th to 168th.
All I want to do is to come in second for the week to win an expresso machine!

This weeks picks: Home team first my pick in bold.

St Louis v Arizona Bulger is back. Even with Kurt Warner Denny Green keeps proving he is inept. I'd bet the house on this one.

Chicago v Carolina An interesting game. If only Urlacher could cover Steve Smith, then this would be must see. Probably the game I'll watch. Two good defenses and the return of Grossman spell smart coaching from Smith that will cost him a win here.

Dallas v Detroit Marracucci has just made a bad situation worse. I heard someone say that Detroit was being held hostage by their corp of superior receivers. Lions will make it close but they can't close on the road. Cruddy game of the week contender.

Tennessee v Jacksonville This is a wild pick. I think McNair is a Hall of Fame QB. I love Leftowitz and Jack Del Rio but they're banged up trying to hang with the elite. The Titans have been improving and McNair can exploit the Jaguars injuries.

Cleveland v Miami Cruddy game of the week.

New England v New Orleans More interesting than it should be, for all the wrong reasons. A bleagured Saints squad facing a smashed up Patriots. No game will show more heart and determination this week.

Vachement-Pre 1600
Click images for desktop size: "Vachement" by Pre
Washington v Oakland Mainly interesting to see Redskins rebound and to watch the Collins-Moss-Porter show.

New York Giants v Philadelphia Too much going on for the eagles to think about winning. They'll hang close enough to make it fascinating.

Baltimore v Pittsburgh Tommy “Gun” Maddox went to UCLA. The Ravens aren't as bad a team as their record says they are.

Atlanta v Tampa Bay If Vick can't get past the Buc's voo doo the Falcons don't advance in the play offs. The other game I plan to watch!

San Francisco v Seattle Alexander has an easy week to set himself up for the season records.

San Diego v Buffalo The Tomlinson show will be worth watching!

Cincinnati v Indianapolis Emotion, Carson and Chad are all the Bengals have going for them. It might be enough.
Kb-002[Poster-Art]Denver v New York Jets As sorry as you can feel for a pro team, that how sorry I feel for the Jets. A very good coach blindsided. Denver wants to win.

Houston v Kansas City Almost a cruddy game of the week.

I'm stoked to have 4 days off in a row for Thanksgiving. I just have to try and get to my friend for the holidays.
I can't take a bus cause they won't let my puppy travel with me so I've been trying to find a ride share. I'm getting desperate and checking the local papers and craiglist religously.
Whatever happens I'll be fine. But I might be happy!

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November 18, 2005

What do you think I mean

Zelenayy-Feya-Wallpaper 115
Click images for desktop size: "Zelenayy" by Feya
The pain in my right arm and shoulder is becoming troublesome.
It's what kept me from playing a mini-season of baseball. Too much pain. It's worsening.
It probably indicates something worse but I've no time for it now.
If I've played my last ball game at least it was good. 7-1 and the only loss in an exhibition game to a high school team that knocked out in the first round of the Texas Championships, which shows how good the competition was.
The quality of the opponent doesn't really matter in the games I play. What matters is the level that I and my teammates play at, the effort and the knowledge that we are striving always to be better than we thought was our best.
Scanners(1980)-01Work was a drag. Petty bitching back biting politics. I can't for the life of me see what the prize is, or might be. Between the excruciating pain, the cold and my puppy being a total maniac ( I like that my puppy is a total maniac) I managed to not be involved in any of that.
They wanted me to be. The main concern was that I might be so angry I was planning to quit! Well, of course. It's that kind of job, but I'll do it in my time and there won't be any pressure from them.
My puppy is getting to be a wonder.
She thinks she's funny and part of the time she's right. Slow patience pays off. She's no longer very timid. She's settling in to being aloof and with out fear.
What have I got to not be happy about?

The days of wonder shall increase And the temples stand above the water . . . For whosoever hath knowledge of love Shall be loved; and whosoever of hate, Him shall we love before all men.

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November 17, 2005

The road follows me frantically

Desert Girl 1024X768
Click images for desktop size: "Desert Girl" by Denis Goulet
What I want is to get a couple of minutes of my puppy doing her prancing and dancing on video.
What you want is someone to come into your life who believes in you, who will stand by you in times of trouble, who will never doubt you, who will love you like a mother, a brother and a lover.

Both pretty good aspirations, I'm thinking.

A friend of mine died yesterday. He died of leukemia.
He was a running back for the University of Colorado back in the 80's. Back when Colorado looked like a power house and had lofty aspirations too.
The first time I saw him I was on the sidelines. It was the first time I'd seen the Colorado Buffalo. It was nearly as cool as seeing Traveller circle the stadium. I mean, here was over a ton of ripping snorting beat barreling out onto the field fighting and bucking while 4 frat rats tried to hold that wildness in check holding it back with school colored ribbons.
Dirty O'neill, The Love Life Of A Cop (1974)
Right behind him was my friend.
He looked wilder than the buffalo.
They were playing Nebraska for the championship.
That week my friend had been diagnosed with MD. Yeah, that MD, Jerry's Kids MD.
He played like a champion that day. They won. He played for two more years and was one of the reasons that Colorado was a force in college football.
Then he was diagnosed with leukemia. He kept close to his family, worked with kids. And then yesterday he died.
He was 39.
He was a champion on and off the field.
We weren't really friends, except in other people's eyes. Everyone just thought we had so much in common. We didn't really, except liking kids and a refusal to just roll over and die, and a strong desire to be the best and to see everyone around us rise up to be the best.
Maybe that is a lot in common.
Dead at 39. That sucks. I hope they don't do a Lifetime TV movie about him. He was more than that.
He was a human being.

My puppy is recovered from her surgery and her car accident. So quickly it astounds me.
She's been off the pain meds for 2 days and is starting to complain a little bit about the pulling and the sudden stabs, I think. She hasn't slowed down and her sense of humor, while still stupid, is highly active. Its hard for me to force her to slow down. I love seeing her be a nut.

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November 15, 2005

The snot has caked against my pants
It has turned into crystal
Arthur Lee

Ancient Relics William Blake
Click images for desktop size: "Ancient Relics" by William Blake
A lot of stuff going on, none of it bad; all of it time consuming.
I've been ill. Very non specific sort of illness. A deep and penetrating kind of fatigue and general unwellness. It's harder and harder to just move.
Fortunately I have a puppy who doesn't allow for lethargy. She demands I move and play.
That's a good thing.
A friends mother saw pictures of my puppy and thought she looked at least 3 years old instead of just shy of 6 months! I put that off to living with me. I've aged her prematurely I guess.
She's happy. Even after being run over and spayed she's happy and full of life, except when she has to take her pain pills and medication. I've had to give up hiding her pills in treats. She's too smart for that and will refuse the treats unless she sees me eating them first. She watches carefully too.
Cosmic Monsters X01 (1958)I'm not unhappy.
I've been devoting myself to gadgets. Gadgets are a nice harmless way of avoiding life and pain.
I've a new, decent digital camera. I use it to take pictures of my puppy. I've no interest in photographing anything else. What do I want to freeze in time to remember?
I'm also deeply fascinated with my standalone DivX player. It's a DVD player that plays the avi files you download from the internet. It's fascinating to me and has so many annoying and pleasing quirks that I don't watch much of the movies I simply see what each codec does or doesn't do, whether the subtitles display on my Asian films, whether I can scan this one or only let it play straight through.
It was only 40 dollars. They even sell them at WalMart! The exclusivity of my predilections has clearly faded.
The job is a job. It stinks. I don't make enough money but I get to take my dog there. I can survive on the money and having my puppy with me is like always having a best friend with you.
The most irritating thing about the job and the thing that will make me leave it quickly is discovering that 3 of the women who work for the company, two of them bosses, have crushes on me.
I dislike that. I have no interest in them other than they are nice people. Their infatuation causes them to “drop by” far too often. (I work by myself - just my puppy and me.) I don't understand their fascination with me at all. I'm old and falling apart and have no interests I'm willing to share with them. Our tedious conversations usually require me to merely grunt (most of the time my mind has drifted so I have no idea what they're talking about, especially on the interminable phone calls.)
Dream 1024
Click images for desktop size: "Dream" by Zipangu
I like them as people but there aren't that many people, anymore, who I want to spend that much time with. I've been spending a serious amount of energy trying to figure out a way to get my puppy and I up north.
There are people there (and dogs) I do want to spend time with. Through a series of threats and whinging and comprimise I've managed to get the entire Thanksgiving weekend off. That's a big deal where I work. I'm already the only person there who doesn't work 6 days a week, although I still don't get 2 days off in a row.
I want to go away. I want to walk down new streets and high ways with my dog looking up at me and snuffling in things I don't want her snuffling at.
This is not a big dream, I think, so it should be easier than this, I'd think.
Again, as usual in the USA, it's a shortage of money.
I need to remember the only real function I have is to just survive.

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November 10, 2005

How much further

Different My puppy was spayed today. Nothing dramatic at all.
To me that is good news.
I missed her all day. When I finally went to pick her up I was relieved. She was excited to see me. She came over and went on her back to show me her wound and to ask me to rub her tummy.
If I didn't have to settle up the bill we would have crouched there for hours. She was so happy to have me rub her face and tummy.
She looks rough. The effects of the car striking her aren't totally faded. They cleaned out her wound and pronounced it to all be good.
Beginningoftheend X01 (1957) At home she was just relieved. Like a soldier she finally let her veneer down and sort of collapsed.
She just wants to be petted and held until she falls asleep.
Nothing at all wrong with that.

I realized how much I dislike my dead-head job today. The only things I like about it are the people who see me as a human being, which, is most of them; that I can bring my dog, and that is no small thing; and that the paychecks don't bounce, even if they aren't really enough to survive well they are enough to survive.
It's the creepy stuff that gets to me. Constant checking up on you, constant hard core boiler room stuff. It annoys to the point of saying adios.
All I wanted was to be left alone. The job pays enough for that, and I do well at the job, but I don't like being constantly spied on.

Now I need to sleep. My puppy and I have been through a lot today. Too much during this week. We deserve the time to just collapse and to be with each other.

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November 9, 2005

And as I was walking down the street

Growthbeyondreasonrogue 160
Click images for desktop size: "Growth Beyind reason" by Zipangu
Been doing too much. No, just enough to get it all done.

Feeling pretty rotten but I've got most everything settled to some small satisfaction.

I took my puppy to her therapy dog 1st level trail. I was surprised she passed it. She is a surprising dog many times over.

Tomorrow she gets spayed. It needs to be done for her health and well being. When she gets spay I can afford her license. She'll begin seeing kids right before Christmas, then continue her training.

I love the little ball of fur.

Kill Baby KillWhile we were walking we passed a guy talking on the street. I listened as long as I could. He was saying something like this:

“There are many tragic and awesome tidings I could give you; it is my wish to only speak simply of that relationship with the universe which all men desire knowledge of - that out of this knowledge may rise the cathedrals of a humanity geared to out glory the stars. The key to this knowledge is - you already know the answer. I see it forming on your tongues. THe key to this knowledge is a love of all things.”
“To love all things is to understand all things; and that which is understood by any of us becomes a knowledge that is embedded in all of us; for when a single tree in the forest has reached a height greater than it's fellows isn't it then the truth to say that the height of the forest is not less than the most distant leaf on that tree.”
“To recognize truth it is only necessary to recognize each other; for no man has ever been born into this world with the necessity to lie about anything whatever. ”
“Who is he who dares speak of God now?”
“Who is he who tells me to kill my brother in His name?”
“Where is that one who says: We have declared war on the enemy?”
“For he is a liar and a murderer.”
“For the only enemy is war.”
“It exists in their peace.”
“It is war to allow the few to starve the many.”
“It is a war to allow the few to blind the many.”
“The power of this enemy is not in the few. It's power is in the many who fear, distrust and hate one another.”
Mirani Everardus Benedictus Gregorius Pagano In The Woods
Click images for desktop size: "In the Woods" by Mirani Everadus Pagano
“Love is the kingdom”
“Love is the blinding light in this darkness.”
“You are saying to yourselves: Yes, what you say is the truth - but what are we to do? How is it in the least worthwhile that we, a handful in these stupified millions, should try to live by what we know to be right? Of what use would this be?”
“I can only tell you this: One who speaks the truth shall eventually and inevitably out sound the world; and one who lives the truth shall have a life in every man forever.”
“I ask you to love, not to hate. To live, not to die.”

I realized that it was me talking. I was lucky that the only one who could hear me was my puppy, and she doesn't care about my words, only that I pet her when she's sad, hold her when she's scared and feed her when she's hungry.
She listened to me patiently, then put her front feet on my chest and tried to lick my face. She went off and found a good stick and begged for me to chase her.
With that, despite the pain and the fatigue and the crabbiness, that made it a very good day indeed.

November 7, 2005

Just tired and busy

Hulk 10 A lot to do and a lot needs getting done.
I was 11-2 in my football picks. Somehow that bodes not well.
My puppy is fine. So am I.
I'm voting tomorrow and I have no idea for what. I've gotten no election matierial from any of the candidates. How odd. Must be the new America. Vote for me based on the color of my sign.

November 6, 2005

USC 51 Stanford 21

Bedford Oak, New York City
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One thing I know about being a Trojan: No one knows what's like to wear the bulls-eye. To be for every opponent you face a chance to justify a season, a life if they can beat you on the field of play. Being a defending champ means having to be more than perfect, more than the best. I'm still incredibly proud of this years team.
I still say dump the celebrities and let Traveller roam free!

With everything going on I forgot to finalize my NFL picks for this week. Some of the choices I ended up making are not the choices I would have gone with today.
I couldn't do much worse anyway. Last week I finished a “better” 347th for the week. I raised myself to 190th for the season . . . my best season placing had been 93rd. I am clearly not clairvoyant or able to assess pro sports . . .
Dementia 13 (The Haunted And The Hunted)-1
Any way, as usual the home team is listed first and my picks are in bold.

Miami v Atlanta The 'Canes are the best team in FLA . . .

Tampa Bay v Carolina An astonishingly uninteresting game that promises to be boring. Steve Smith can provide some fun, Simms was grossly over rated and a flop in college and shown nothing to prove he can play in the NFL.

Baltimore v Cincinnati Baltimore is gutsy but Carson Palmer is the real deal and a winner.

Minnesota v Detroit I picked the Lions before I knew the extent of Culpepper's injuries. Brad Johnson is a workhorse and what could put the Vikings on top. I'd have picked them over the Lions.

Jacksonville v Houston I'd bet the house on this one and give the points. Cruddy game of the week contender.

Kansas City v Oakland An interesting game. Raiders are almost playing well. Go Larry Johnson!

New York Jets v San Diego At the start of the year this looked like an exciting match. Now the only real question is, “Can Tomlinson avoid jet lag?”

Cleveland v Tennessee I have no idea what I was thinking here . . .
Click images for desktop size: "Area 4" by Pixelhust

New Orleans v Chicago Cruddy game of the week. New Orleans has had to endure too much - an insensitive boor of an owner is just too much. He's managed to turn the city against a team that they looked to for hope. The Bears defense is getting better . . .

San Francisco v New York Giants If the 49er's can pull off two wins in a row I say send them straight to the SuperBowl! Eli should get his first road win.

Arizona v Seattle Another cruddy game contender. Sea Hawks are talented but boring. Biggest interest is how will the Cardinals implode this week?

Green Bay v Pittsburgh I should have picked Green Bay. Favre is getting angry and that is scary for opponents. Steelers ground game will decimate the Packer D but Favre is a monster.

Washington v Philadelphia If I'd known about the Owens' suspension I'd have picked Washington. McNabb will press to prove Owens is not the team and when he presses he has a history of failure.

This is not shaping up as a stellar season for the NFL.

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November 5, 2005

And, for some reason, life goes on

Ocean Of Feelings-1
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When your urine and feces smell like a chemical dump instead of human excrement: it's a message.
It's a stench I've smelt before, in hospices and the cancer/leukemia support groups.
It oozes out of your pores and reminds you that you're no longer completely human.
I've been sick. Not the “Lord, I see a light!” sick, the kind of drawing down into the quagmire sick that you don't want anyone to experience. The kind of sick that makes memories and puppies the only solace.
GuysAndDolls(1955)-01Sicker even than the sickness in my soul at seeing what this government is doing to my country in the name of God and patriotism. When politicians prey on fear is the time to check your armor.
But memories always bring solace, whether the memories are real or not, doesn't matter.
It was the first adult party I'd ever been too.
“Why are you so unhappy?” I asked her.
“Am I?”
“Well, then, I suppose I am.”
“But why? You're young and___”
“I'm beautiful.”
“So why then?”
“So why then hell.”
I thought maybe I had better go back to my chair.
“Wait a minute,” she said, putting her hand on my arm. “I want to say something to you and then I want you to do me a favor. Is it a deal?”
I said that it was a deal.
“I don't know what I want. I don't know what I like. I don't know what I believe in - if I believe in anything. My father was rich, even if yours wasn't. I mean, he had money. He was a selfish, domineering, stupid boor. But a boor with money is never a boor in the true sense of the word. What the hell, I'm just working up to a disgusting drunk. You let yourself in for it by not getting rid of me in the first place. And you were on the level about all the surfing and football stuff? You really honest to God love those things don't you? Well, maybe it is beautiful. Maybe one day I'll let you take me surfing.”
She caught her breath quickly; looked at me in a funny way; and said very quietly:
“I don't want to live anymore, David.”
I didn't know what to do or to say.
Cartoons3 1024X768 46 Yesterday my puppy got run under a car. By a woman who was too preoccupied with her life to notice the world around her. She was speeding and she was wrong and she was scared. I was stupidly fatalistic.
I got my puppy to the vet. No broken bones. She was terrified. She went under the SUV but not under the wheels. I spent the night holding her so she could sleep.
She looked at me so imploringly and would only close her eyes when I stroked her face. For the first time she slept cuddled next to me, her breath rushing too fast and very shallow.
She felt better and more herself this morning but I noticed that sometime during the hour or so I slept she'd pulled out some fur around her ankle (?) joint. It showed a tiny but deep puncture.
Took her straight back to the vet and the puncture was under 2mm wide but deep to the bone. She was very brave and stayed at the hospital.
I was fond of Nurse Daniella as she lay on the floor with Shelby until the anesthesia kicked in. She said something that touched my heart: “She was working so hard to be happy.”
How much my puppy likes her is clear. When I picked her up and went back to work my housemate was waiting for us. I asked him to watch her while I ran to the store to my puppy howled and kept jumping at the door for the 8 minutes until I came back. I'd never have known that as all I got was her doggie smile and a “What ya bring me?”
She nearly 99% tonight. Crazy puppy.

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November 2, 2005

Before the internet: Excerpts from an old diary

Hopper Edward Conference At Night November 30, 1972 - Found a book on the bus: Raymond Chandler - The Big Sleep. Bored. Started to read it.

December 1, 1972 On Chapter 7. A new Pacific is opening up for me.

January 20, 1973 I have read all of Mr Chandler's work.

January 22 There is a neighborhood I don't like. There are people in it like the two who stopped me last night:
"In the market for a mouse?"
"Pardon me," I said, trying to walk around them.
"A hard one to please huh? What flavor do you like? We got dark meat, red tops, bow legs, hump backs - "
"What do you do with these unusual mice?" I said to humor them.
"A foxy grandpa, huh?" one said.
Then they said other things I won't repeat.

Blood And BonesFebruary 11 It was sunny when I got out of school today and I thought it would be nice to imagine a big snake crawling along the street - so right away I saw one poking his nose into the upper storeys of house and lashing his tail around. Then he turned to look at me and his tail whipped out and cracked me in the leg.
When I took off my pants for bed I was surprised to find a bruise on my left leg about 3 inches from the knee cap.

June 2 I was sort of daydreaming this morning after I'd woken up - imagining it was 10 below zero and a lot of ice on the sidewalk. Though I had my jacket buttoned up around my ears I nearly froze and fell down three times.
A lot of boys followed me for blocks - watching me blow steam out on my breath.

July 6 I wonder why evil people get more power than good people. Wish I never had to go out until this is all over because they may decide to kill me too.
I won't talk about it if I can help it.
Received 6 advertising pieces in the mail this morning about varicose veins, trusses, relief from hemorrhoid distress and so forth - the biggest amount of mail I've ever had on a single day. But where did they hear of me and think that I'm in trouble of that kind?
My eyesight is worse but it would be terrible if I stumbled with them on so I won't risk glasses.

345 - Catain America Dec 31 I resolve - Not to forget to put on my rubbers. Not to talk to people on the street becasue these people have nothing better to do than to get me all excited and happy. And stop carrying cigarettes to hand out since people might think I had begun their use, besides making them angry offering them Chesterfields when they want Camels.
Not to have more than one vision a day.
To pray every night for everybody in the world.

Jan 6 I have a secret.
I am writing a book.

April 5 I have finished The Taste of Blood!

April 27 I have the feeling that something is going to happen.

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