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the dream police are at the donut shoppe [14 May 2007|04:01pm]
[ mood | indescribable ]

(This update is a little personal, barely adult-themed, but comes to a point)


Even with the emergence of spring, the basement chamber in which I sleep is of the sensory deprivation-type. That is to say, with the new absence of pitter-patter of constant feet above my head and the removal of the big television that lacked a remote – so at night I used the DVD remote and set it to a “blue” screen – if it wasn’t for the gently chiding ‘bing-bong’ of my cell phone’s alarm I might never wake up these days. 

The result of going to sleep in a dark room with no ambient light or noise, compounded with poor discipline against late snacking is bad juju dreams. It is subject to debate which came first: the sci-fi or fantasy movie and television show that presented the idea of a lifetime occurring in a flash (see: Wizard of Oz, Star Trek/NG: The Inner Light) or the human psyche that imagined entire spans of time when the REM stage of dreams was really only a few hours – then only remembering edited bits of it, allowing for time.


In any case, it was something that I was used to by now in some 30-odd years of epic storytelling dreams. I wasn’t always in control of my dream body (or puppet), but very often I could change the subject or environment as easily as changing a channel. A common trip shopping would eventually become a full space-battle. A classroom hallway would become a mansion. Sometimes I would get to complete an act of lovemaking with a general or specific woman in my dreams, but most often something would interrupt or block it.


So imagine my surprise when a whole bunch of them showed up last night one at a time, like my mind was running a “best of” clip show. If previous unfulfilled sex efforts were my mind’s censoring for broadcast television syndication (or a Freudian communication), then this recent night was the unrated DVD version. Every act was sweet and tender (and of course, pleasurable), every act went through.


What was disturbing then, was the mental DVD commentary made by superego. It apparently was on drugs, as I struggled to make clear what was recollection of real-life past partners and what was daydreamed or previously dreamed. Like the Manchurian Candidate, I was somehow convinced – even into the first hour of a wakening state – that these encounters had happened.


Normally I would not quote wikipedia for anything, because most entries are more like jumbles of voices in open thought than a definitive definition. But this passage for ‘false memories’ was interesting in this case:

Memory is a complicated process, only partly understood; but research suggests that the qualities of a memory do not in and of themselves provide a reliable way to determine accuracy. For example, a vivid and detailed memory may be based upon inaccurate reconstruction of facts, or largely self-created impressions that appear to have actually occurred. Likewise, continuity of memory is no guarantee of truth, and disruption of memory is no guarantee of falsity.”


The process by which we choose to remember something may fly in direct conflict to what we know happened, and I do mean “we” in the collective form in this case. There are instances in which the individual stands alone as a witness to something that later gets entered as historical document, and there are cases in which the subversion of text (and here I’m not poking wikipedia but classroom textbooks) slowly becomes the accepted position.

Then there is the cliché but recurring ability for people to forget something and have it happen all over again. Perhaps an individual thinks themselves better than a former counterpart, or that modern technology and society would not let that moment happen again. 

Unfortunately we live in a cyclical natural world in which what goes around comes around. We put ourselves in regular patterns and in situations where history can repeat itself.

But vivid momentary déjà vu happens to me on regular occasion. This is different, as it is something akin to a fabric of your sight stretching for a moment. I slow for a moment for uncertainty until I let the moment happen and pass. Then I return to the unknown, un-previously seen world in its lovely temporal one-way street.

While the use of video, film, and digital imaging can be skewed, slowed, repeated, and generally be ripped apart and re-assembled in a preferred manner – is it fair to say that the mind its natural neural capacity is following the act of simulacrum or is more original and fragile than this?

The psyche and mind can edit but not with complete control. It can extend scenes with new scenes or change them completely – without pre-planning the production and script as a crew would have to in real life visual storytelling mediums. I re-visited long past events that happened and didn’t happen, and I was momentarily delirious to know that these neural pathways have not been shed or vaporized to make room but instead is carefully storing moments in the old attic.

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Word. [24 Apr 2007|04:18pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

It is a strange position that I find myself in here: writing online about a piece not yet gone to print about an author with a book not yet published. But this perhaps is what the power of the internet will reveal itself to be.

 

By the time we are done with this decade and move on finally to matters more spiritual and evolutionary rather than discovery and maintenance (think: now - computer technology and global superpowers not later - communication with nature and global language), these ruminations into the power of words obscured by the pursuit of their value will be long lost among the din of many voices.

 

There is nothing than can be said (or typed) that hasn’t been written or published before. A walk through the claustrophobic hallways of a secondhand bookstore, especially one like the multi-floor collapsing “Downtown Books” in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, always creates a great sorrow in me after spending too long inside.

 

No pun intended, it has to do with sheer volume. The number of books devoted to a subject, the amount of energy devoted not only to the telling of a tale or ruminating of an idea but the process of putting it out there and selling it to the people is just astounding.

 

How did this come up? In an interview to appear in late May, I talked with a lovely woman who, after a lifetime in a media industry, mothering children, and managing a high-profile restaurant with her husband has her first book published. The subject wound around the value the physical book – the division which is publishing it puts it in a trade paperback format, around the same size as many new hardcovers but without the binder.

 

It makes the work more accessible. Not only can a person tote such a work around with them, but the good quality of the paper and price can reach a greater demographic. I even joked with her (since she does voice work) that when it came time to do the audiobook, (which is not a given) she should do it. I have a long adult love affair with the audio version of books since listening to Frank McCourt read his memoir, Angela’s Ashes.

 

In this age, there are two things the literati and intelligensia deal with: 1. the value of a word on paper when it can be transmitted electronically faster, cheaper, and wider…and 2. the value of our words when everyone is talking at once.

 

(continued tomorrow…)

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Here and Now. The one thing that is lost in the VT shootings (with UPDATE) [16 Apr 2007|03:56pm]
[ mood | blank ]

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9604204


((Update, Apr. 17 2007: So far, I'm right.  )) 
At the time of this posting, the rampage on Virginia Tech’s campus is over. The story is still developing, the smoke is clearing but there are little answers and much speculation. It is sublimely the most interesting point in the story, one that goes with little attention or discussion. 

It is always after the event that we get the answers, that witnesses with video cell phone footage make way for debriefed victims and eyewitnesses. Later, we get those who knew the shooter and perhaps more speculation as to why he did it. 

At this moment, however, there are still no heroes and courageous survivors. There is only confusion and anger towards the school for their inept handling. There are the many reports of scared college kids jumping out windows and breaking legs when landing just to escape the carnage.


And for once, the use of the word carnage is not an overused journalism cliché. It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. It beat out the Columbine High School shooting done by two disillusioned students, and it beat out the watchtower sniper shooting on the University of Texas campus back in 1966 (from which there was a TV movie made with Kurt Russell). 

Now with the latest toll at 31 dead, it even beat out the previous rampage when George Hennard rammed his truck into Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, Texas -- then opened fire on the lunchtime crowd, killing 22 people before turning his gun on himself.

Why is this fascinating right now? Because it is authentically riveting. It’s not riveting to listen to television news stations marathon cover the piece by letting their anchors talk and talk – or interviewing people on the street. But the crumbs of new information that seep out like a pool of blood is what keeps us.

It’s also a wonder to watch those who will pundit later right now. There are so many aspects to cover, and question, and comment on. We live in a fascinating time, I suppose. There was a TV movie for other real-life gun massacres, such as the North Hollywood shootout – in which the gunmen were inspired by the movie Heat.

This will be another matter wondered by the bloggers and columnists: what video game, movie, or song inspired this person to kill over and over again? The real truth may be why no movie was ever made of the Columbine or other (Elephant doesn’t count) modern-day school shootings: loneliness and alienation isn’t a sexy subject. No one wants to produce a movie in which the tellers of the tale tremble in fear and wet themselves. No one wants to be the villain in a TV-movie where they are pathetic and disillusioned then die for no good reason.

This is the part where I should rail against the absurdity of our American culture in 2007 for the extent it takes matters. But unfortunately, as much energy will be expended on this occurrence there are no new themes here. You can write as many articles, editorials, blogs, and hold radio talks show programs but except for the highest body count – there is nothing here that hasn’t been explored or talked to death on its own.

The story hasn’t come out fully yet. We may not know for awhile. But let me take a guess: the bomb threats called in last week were from the shooter (likely an engineering student at VT). After being pretty much ignored or rebuked on campus, he shoots an unrequited love in the first dormitory location. Then the gunman hoofs it across to the building where he felt rejected by other students and faculty, knowing that he has nothing to lose. When the gravity hits him of what he’s done, he kills himself. 

This last item is something we never find out in these situations. The emotional process of the killer from 5 a.m. until roughly 9:30 a.m. will never be known, because the shooter always kill himself or is shot by police. If we can figure out the anguish before, the numbness during, and the point of regret – maybe we can prevent the next record from being set. Add to Technorati Favorites

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Man without a country, mortal shell [12 Apr 2007|08:44am]



Favored author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
1922-2007

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/books/12vonnegut.html?ex=1334030400&en=5f47f4f343376a1f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/11123162/kurt_vonnegut_says_this_is_the_end_of_the_world

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Man damages Old Master painting at Milwaukee Art Museum [06 Apr 2007|04:17pm]
[ mood | restless ]

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=587117 reported by Bob Purvis



It was something you’d almost want to watch*. Yes, it would be cringe-inducing like watching Borat or Jackass or America’s Funniest Home Videos or Faces of Death. I wouldn’t bring these videos up if I didn’t have a later point. But the point is this, perhaps: even the mentally unhinged have a subversive performance art statement to make about the easy and high-def violence broadcast in modern artistic and commercial media.

The meat of what happen: “The 22-year-old Pewaukee man started kicking "The Triumph of David" by Ottavio Vannini as it hung on the wall in the museum's Early European Gallery, said David Gordon, CEO and director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Painted in 1640, the oil painting depicts the outcome of the biblical tale of David and Goliath, with David carrying the giant Goliath's severed head, Gordon said.”

Let’s forget all about the trivialities here. This is not about the security guards that couldn’t get to the young man in the few seconds it took to kick a tennis ball-sized hole in a 15th century painting. Any number of highly suspect people walks through art museums and galleries around the world many times a day.

In fact, those unstable persons are often what make art and the interpretation or commentary of our society so vivacious. In 2007, many fine individuals with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorders, impotence issues, all the way down to those on antidepressants and sleep disorders have a wealth of chemical balancers and elevators available to make them happy. Well, dull but not acting out. Besides, the vandal stated that he is on medication but failed to be on it at said time of kicking.

The value of the painting is not the real issue, either. Neither is the advocation for the destruction of valuable art, or the preservation of artifact. Yes, the staff of the Milwaukee Art Museum has learned to better monitor the drunkards at the frequent parties and events who decide to climb and grope the art (see Martinifest fiasco). We want national charitable trusts and collectors to continue to want to bring special exhibitions to the MAM, even if they are often just early work, minor pieces, and studies. On a side note, at the most recent “Three degrees of Bacon” event, the offended robust lady statue was conspicuously missing.


The act of violence against a canvas (aside from the decapitation depiction on said destroyed Old Master’s work) was done far from what might be considered the most dangerous work in the museum. The most dangerous work is the Francis Bacon featured exhibit (even though, as opined two sentences ago, not his best). With depictions of blurry faces and dogs on dark backgrounds along with dissected faces, religious hierarchy posing in front of sides of beef, and two owls – the fears these paintings may instill lay in a fuzzier, dreamy area of our psyche. If anything, given the chance to get drunk at the “Three Degrees” event and crawl into a big woman’s arms would have been nice.

While the vandalism or destruction of artwork for any reason is not original (see Dario Gamboni , or this), the desired statement is relatively new. In a different era, someone committing this act could have done so for various reasons: a soldier fresh from the war reacting emotionally to the horror he’s seen, an anarchist making a political action, or a troll seeking attention for themselves by an obnoxious mean.

From reports, it’s unlikely the disturbed man did it for any of those reasons. After the act was halted, he took off his shirt and lay down on the cool floor.

More likely in my mind is the possible reaction to the lack of real violence around him. Before you negate this supposition, remember that while guns tear people apart – it is an act done from a distance and impersonal. A car accident of deathly ends is uncommon to witness unless it ends up recreated on TV or in a movie.

Therein lays my argument. Would the cure from a Clockwork Orange even work anymore? Is it even necessary? Kubrick and collaborators imagined that you would have to hold the eyes open by force. Little did he know that decades later, images of sex and violence would become staples of evening television (once family-friendly CBS airs no drama in prime-time right now other than crime shows, and has killed off more fictional people than real numbers from their imagined cities) and movies (that being said, 300 was pretty awesome and I will be seeing Grindhouse).

How much can we process? While the undertones of Bacon’s work are enough to make you want to run out and smash into the Chihuly sculpture, it’s the mastery of the Old Master that brought a high-def painting into people’s heads. Its commonplace to see a severed head in media (there’s one in Entertainment Weekly this week, look for it at your dentist’s office), but rare to see in it such gothic, biblical, realistic ways. TVs and movie screens are points of light, whereas Goliath defeated head can be felt, touched, probed, punched, and kicked.

Am I advocating or encouraging such acts? No. I had to think about it a few days ago but now I’m positive it’s no. Historical artifacts should be preserved, we must learn from the past to build upon it. The thing that I worry about is, what are we building upon now? The stones have been getting smaller and smaller, and we’ve reached a kind of leveling off at our ability to understand and process images. It seems like a reformation will happen. How much of this will be a tight fist and control and how much will be self-control remains to be seen.

*Reports from the underbelly say that MAM has security cameras, and may have caught the action but are not sharing with anyone….


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Think about it [08 Nov 2006|11:25pm]
Just a brief this evening. For once, it is about politics. This is an unusual feat for me, since in public I try to remain as neutral, bi-partisan, or laissez-faire as possible. Most of my reasoning has to do with appearances as a journalist, while the rest has to do with the privacy of my personal feelings and views. So while it was disappointing that the referendum (and this is also important, a referendum not an amendment or law) ended up passing, it is important to look at the positive effects.

1. Wisconsin voted overwhelmingly Democratic. The nation actually swung the pendulum for the first time in 12 years so that the House and Senate is Democratic.

2. A lot of people got out and voted. Of course the gay marriage ref. and the capital punishment ref. passed. There are tons more old people in Wisconsin than young people, and even if we could get out the vote as a younger set there is still more of them out there. They are going to vote to keep things the same -- conservative and traditional. But look how close they really were and how many felt strongly enough to vote on it. Talking is good.

3. Rumsfeld is gone. Idiot. 

4. Britney finally said enough. Some things in the world are starting to make sense again.

Peace out.
-blurradial 
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A Day in the Life...and lunner at Old Country Buffet [06 Nov 2006|08:02pm]
((Writer's note: I am beginning a bit personal and without much seeming weight, I know. My wonderful essay on America's Funniest home Videos being vital to our nation's healing psyche lays trapped in another computer, unfinished. Take this with the loveliest salt you can give. Thank you.))

               
         I had wasted most of the day already. At the current frozen moment in my life, after a very long stretch of employment -- I am not. The lack of routine and normalcy after a period does not send a person into a state of monastic reflection, no matter how long you stand in the woods with your dog and stare at the amber bed of dead pine needles. Thoreau never had a credit card debt.
          I am also a long way from living on Walden pond. I have a car, which provides me the long escape of wandering the suburban landscapes listening to audiobooks and NPR. Occasionally, I listen to the shuffle setting on my iPod through the car stereo – futher removing me from living a real Buddhist lifestyle.

One time recently, upon accidentally criticizing my sister’s keeping every last scrap from a full farmhouse and into a storage space with my belongings, my mother snapped back at me: “not everybody can lead the simple lifestyle that you have chosen where you give up everything”.
Weeks later, I spend the afternoon after getting let go from a staffing agency project (the money ran out and the agency which wasn’t very good didn’t have anything prepared for me) staring at my half of the storage shed and all the objects with which I recently co-habitated. Actually, it’s more like a third of the space but the point is that I have not given up my personal possessions. Gathering concrete dust and cobwebs, my kitchen gadgets are cold in the Wisconsin fall air. My favorite couch is upended, my favorite chair is buried under weight and probably now broken.
I suppose I was not thinking of this today as I headed out on errands. I always make the joke to others when they tell me what they did that day saying, “I was out running errands…”
                “Who is this Aaron guy and why is everybody always out for a run with him, ha ha…”
My father, who is retired but occasionally substitute teaches at high schools to keep himself busy writes a note on the kitchen table: Went out to run some errands, see you later this afternoon. –Dad
It is not a funny note to me, despite the fact that it is written on a spare white space from a coloring page his grandchildren left out before going to daycare. The house is quiet, which it rarely is these days. My father is gone way to long to be out running to Menard’s to get bags of salt for the water heater. It is obvious to me that he has gone to the Indian Casino. He does this when he is bored or worried about the state of finances and his children’s inability to have any finances.
It may seem like nothing, unless of course you have ever been to the big casino in the valley. It is very extravagant on the inside, rivaling anything in Vegas in its décor and bright machines. What strikes you when walking the long aisles of slot machines, poker machines, roulette and blackjack tables are the despondent working-class and retired people sitting on stools. They clutch their big purses half-turned away from the machines they’ve chosen. They stuff their hands in their jacket pockets while a cigarette hangs out of their mouth. It’s kind of like someone took occupants of a blitz bombing and transported them somewhere shinier and insulated.
My father started by going with his sister or Grandmother (who were also addicts), just for fun. If fifty dollars went goodbye, it was just entertainment. But my father pins his hopes on that one draw that would change the family’s fortune. Just one good tug and the financial state of despair we often face would be obliterated. They could afford every medical malady or automobile injury that popped up. He could buy his youngest daughter (and single mother of three) a house. He could tell his son to go off elsewhere to seek his luck somewhere he could be appreciated. He could take my mother on a long cruise like she’s always dreamt of doing.
When I leave the house, after I run to the bank but before I can purchase my new pants (to replace the one that ripped this weekend) my father calls me on my cell phone. He sounds chipper, maybe just a little bit manic.
                “Hey Brian.”
                “Hi Dad.”
                A pause ensues, partially because of bad reception – but only partially.
                “I was just wondering if you were going to home for dinner.”
                “Didn’t you see the note I left on the table?”
                I left a note on the backside of an envelope that looked like junkmail.
It read: Went out. Don’t think I’ll be back for dinner. See you after 6:30.
”Well, yeah. But I didn’t know whether I should leave something for you or…”
”No, no. I’ll eat while I’m out here.”
”Okay. I was just wondering because I was going to make the individual chicken pot pies that Mom had gotten out of the freezer and I didn’t know how many to make.”
 
This went on for awhile. A phone call with my father has to have some sort of qualification of a longer conversation in order to make the effort worthwhile. He talked about what arrived in the mail. He talked about anything that would avoid talking about what he had done that day. This is how you know. If Dad does legitimate things, he tells you about them.
One time, after a day of gambling at the casino, he came home and told me that he was up $100. Thirty minutes later in front of the laundry hamper as I sorted towels, he gave me the $100 bill and said that it should hold me over for a bit. I tried to hide my shame as I accepted it. He was bringing me into the big secret and holding up the ideal of why he does what he does. The next day was a Friday, and I spent most of it on dinner and many, many drinks at the Cactus Club. It is unusual to witness me drinking heavily, and it was not fun for me or others.
But today was another day, and here I am buying new Columbia pants to replace the old Columbia pants I ripped across the bottom of my right butt cheek. To make it worth my while, I get a nice white undershirt to wear under the dress-collared shirts I may someday wear to my imagined office job. I also get an unnecessary sweater. The sky is lit up at dusk like my favorite popular-culture-maligned artist Maxfield Parrish.

I have not eaten breakfast. I have not had lunch yet either. It is four o’clock and too early for dinner even for the Wisconsin farmers who eat at 5:00 p.m. sharp. I crave fruits and vegetables as much as I crave meat. I crave no limits on my binge, either. These are things I currently cannot do at home. The four food groups have always been present at my homestead’s table; the weight of the pyramid has always rested on red meat and potatoes.
I venture to a nearby strip mall that sells, wrapping paper for a dollar and Venetian nails for $30. I speak of course about ‘Old Country Buffet’. If I was going to be depressed and bloated, I wanted to blend in with a crowd. I paid my ten dollar entrance fee (dinner starts at 3:30 there, which sounds funny but wait for it). I saved my seat and plopped down my heavy man-bag. Two plates later (and dessert) and I was satiated.  Cold peas bathed in mayo, institutionalized carrot coins, pineapple slices, fillered meatloaf, a salted baked potato, and other sampled edibles slid into my belly.
I rarely come here, unless I am either truly in the mood or desperate. I was both. The patrons around me weren’t so much diverse as they all belonged to a subset not normally pictured in the audience at talk shows or featured in Kohl’s clothing catalogs. Some were senior citizens, just hours away from bedtime. The food here would be soft enough to chew, and varietous. This is important because these folks were not here for the unlimited refill but the ability to choose what they ate instead of being limited by menus or trays to the monitored bedside of a retirement home.
A young couple at the next booth cooed in Spanish to each other, startled when the waitress with the crimped hairstyle took their empty glass salad plates. Another man with very thin hair and pale skin slouched on the same side of a table of four with an attentive-looking Asian woman. A single heavy-set black woman in a bright blue basketball warmers’ jacket sat humbly with her bewildered toddler nearby in a highchair. It was hard to find an exceptionally different person than someone who sounded like a known caricature.
Soon the booth with the young Hispanic couple left and were replaced by a threesome: a man in his forties balding but still with a mullet, his ghostly aging mother who wore her headwrap even when they were seated, and (with her back to me) a mostly silent woman with dishwater hair pulled back into a simple ponytail. When she did speak, her voice was hoarse like she had just come off a factory line.
“How’s this, Ma. Pretty good hah,” said the man who sounded like sat at a barstool all day.
”Yes,” said the mother in a weak and dentured voice. “This is alright.”
The conversation undulated like a choppy tide on a wooded lake. It nevered stopped, as a moment of silence became a signal that something was wrong at the table. Yet when the old mother spoke, the sentences waivered like a tape recorder whose batteries were failing. She talked about neighborhood gossip, grocery shopping, the squirrels outside her house, anything. Anything.
I almost couldn’t read my fancy men’s magazine. Scarlett Johannson looked out at me from the page like she wanted to change her frozen expression from horny and desirous to bored and incredulous. I pushed my plates to the edge of the booth for the “waitress” and left. The sun goes down way to early in Wisconsin’s late fall season. I unwrapped a piece of Trident to calm my aching stomache, turned the key in my beloved leased car, and drove off.  

 
    
 
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Welcome to the beginning of a cold but new day. [02 Nov 2006|12:50am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

This is to be the first inauspicious entry in what will become a more lengthy and diatriabical blog. Those that remember my previous professional blog with blogspot (called "Are Cell Phones the new Cigarette?") will hopefully be wowed and won over. But instead of coming in like Cronkite or H.S. Thompson, I feel like Connie Chung on her way out. Maestro?



http://www.singshot.com/playPerformance.html?performanceId=39010&play=Y#
 (you'll have to go here for now until I figure this out....)

More to come, when I get computer time and brain cells together...

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Particulate [11 Jul 2006|10:00am]
I wake up at 6:30, to the blaring sounds of NPR. I changed my radio a week ago to talking voices for my dog. He needed to be locked in my room while a raging tornado of a house party happened. I was not there, on purpose. I've failed to change the station back, and now wake up to it. I turn it off. My returning swath of a hand finds the dog, and I wrap my arm under his belly and my hand reaches his flopped-ear.

We slept for another five minutes. The air is uncomfortable, made so even more by the stench of incense and because the other roommate is lazy and leaves all the windows open.

It has rained again, and the air is heavy. I walk to work, the same five blocks I walk every day for little pay. Nobody else wants me, and nobody else wants to hire me. I live currently off of a credit card, and the plasma center. Thursday will be my third visit - $30.

I am empty. Soon I will get bad news that my prospective apartment mate will not move with me but instead go to a job in Montana. Soon I will move home for a month in shame, perhaps finding a place back in Waterford and a grocery store job to go with it.

I cannot afford prints, so I avoid people who invite me to be in shows. On Friday, I took these pictures:



Soon the end of ten years of my life will dry up like dust. Soon 17 years will mean nothing, and I will put everything into storage. Soon I will be free, or trapped. Same thing, different word.
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memo [19 Mar 2006|09:19pm]
You don't have to ask my permission to do the wrong thing. Just don't lie to me in advance about the way things are and then do the opposite. That's all I ask.
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winter of my discontent [02 Mar 2006|04:25pm]
[ mood | discontent ]

it has been one million years since anyone has touched my face.

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happy valentine's day, muthafuckas [14 Feb 2006|10:19pm]
[ mood | complacent ]

When I was walking back to my car today, I had Ryan Adam's "When You're Young" in my head and I had to listen to it.
(Chorus: Oh one day when you're looking back
You were young and man you were sad
When you're young you get sad
When your young you get sad then you get high)


By the time I was driving home late tonight, this song was playing off the album:

Come Pick Me Up (sung as a emo/country lament)

When they call your name
Will you walk right up
With a smile on your face
Or will you cower in fear
In your favorite sweater
With an old love letter

I wish you would
I wish you would
Come pick me up
Take me out
Fuck me up
Steal my records
Screw all my friends
They're all full of shit
With a smile on your face
And then do it again
I wish you would

When you're walking downtown
Do you wish I was there
Do you wish it was me
With the windows clear and the mannequins eyes
Do they all look like mine

You know you could
I wish you would
Come pick me up
Take me out
Fuck me up
Steal my records
Screw all my friends behind my back
With a smile on your face
And then do it again
I wish you would

I wish you'd make up my bed
So I could make up my mind
Try it for sleeping instead
Maybe you'll rest sometime
I wish I could


So true, man. So true... (beats chest and shakes head)

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I don't want to leave this world/this world [06 Dec 2005|08:55pm]
[ mood | dirty ]

Close your eyes
kiss my lips
I'll put my hands on your hips
And pull you in to
your own romantic death

I'm looking down the barrel of a gun
just for fun
Fighting in a war I only know exists
But for prophets

I don't ever wanna come down from this war
I've seen things I've never seen before....

((In the drone of my classes today, I could not get this out of my head...or the video. It is beautiful. All the better if you've seen and experienced Beautiful Agony before seeing it.))

http://www.devilducky.com/media/33457/

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in passing [01 Dec 2005|12:58pm]
I was in a hurry yesterday. I was helping out at a computer lab in the library when the call came in that I was needed at the help desk. Since there was a crowd of clients with problems, I noted that it would be awhile.

The last guy was a writer; he was auditing until his book was finished. I helped him extensively until finally I could delay no longer and took off for my next assignment. About 50 yards away now, he called after me. When the man reached me, he slipped $10 in my hand and thanked me for all the help. I probably should have denied the tip, but currently my debts prevent me from turning down any money.

As I reached the door connecting the lab to the library, the swinging of the door startled the girl on the other side. She said "oh!"

Then she saw my face and said, "hi."

I almost did not hear it. I certainly didn't register her face, and hurried on my way as if she was talking to the guy behind me. It was only later that I registered who it may have been. Was she ever that height? Could she really be blind to what she did to me just nine months ago?

More than likely, she did. The greeting, 'hi', is weighted with an entire story of meeting, intimacy, secrets, and avoidance mixed with facade and sadness. If I had realized who she was at the moment of our latest passing, would I have stayed and talked? Yes. Would I have been honest? No. I, too, would have played along with the charade of innocence.

A few months ago, I attended the speaking engagement of a major philosopher Harry Frankfurt (author of 'On Bullshit'). She sat in the back row, far enough away so that she may not have noticed me. If she had, there was nothing she could have done anyway. I couldn't help it; I stared at her for almost two hours. It was not out of longing or obsession, but instead her face became the background screen for the movie I played of our short relationship, and what went wrong.

I do not think she knows that she was the last one to break my heart. I had not realized it myself until after she had gone. I have not let myself be taken since, I do not allow myself to get too close. I do not believe she knows this, either.
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not a haiku, but close [31 Oct 2005|09:12pm]
Seen on several street lamp poles on my block.

LOST CAT
Small Black
Domestic Long Hair
Yellow Eyes
Responds to Yoko

Its like a poem. I've seen this cat, and she's told me that she'd rather stay outside. I've tried. I even sang "Oh Yoko" to it. At this moment, my cat has half of her body in a half opened drawer, scrapping it out with a votive candle that's in there. She is bored, and looks to me for entertainment. I pat the backside before her tail until she cries with happiness, and then runs across the length of the flat.
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the bard is upon me [19 Oct 2005|09:29pm]
[ mood | complacent ]

a rare poem that should be as meloncholic as I am but instead seems upbeat.

Crunchy, crunchy underfoot
the beagles' paws on leaves
a world of information
sniffed at bases of trees.

Crunchy, crunchy underfoot
a smile on wizened snout
delighting random passersby
on the out and about.

Crunchy, crunchy underfoot
legs kicking in whimpered sleep
imagined squirrels run panicky
at the thunder of his feet.

Crunchy, crunchy underfoot
perspective from the dog
wagging tail sets metronome
and breaks me from a fog.

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I need someone to create a cover song mix CD... [10 Oct 2005|04:53pm]
So, I'm too chicken shit to wrap my time up in limewire/kazaa/morpheus/etc to hunt down the best cover songs ever and make myself a playlist...but I just heard the second best cover ever on live365.com.

It was a single by Postal Service: Against All Odds by Phil Collins.
(the best remains Travis' "hit me baby one more time")

I also heard a country alt-rock version "Dark End of the Street" last night, and it made me lonely for the soundtrack to the Commitments. Are there other fantastic modern indie versions of well-known songs that transform it into something else to include???

Edit: Okay, so yes...."Hurt" (9-inch nails) done by Johnnie Cash. Alls those covers on the 2 rick rubin set count. And Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "Somewhere over the rainbow" (Judy Garland), but that has been used so much now that the magic is almost gone (allmoost).

I need to hear this one: Radiohead "Nobody Does it Better" (Carly Simon)

too obvious?--Joe Cocker "With A Little Help From My Friends" (The Beatles)

I guess I am aiming for a new breed more than I am all-time goodness....
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A depressing evening punctuated by meatloaf in beer gravy [06 Oct 2005|01:31pm]
[ mood | crushed ]

I keep imagining that with enough time and output, there is some great reward. I punctuate this of course by buying lottery tickets and thinking that I will save some heiress from drowning or marry rich (this last one I am most cynical about).

I was riding on a high for several weeks after my two entries into an exhibit juried by the curator of the Cotemporary Art Museum in Chicago was accepted. I have not entered or submitted anything in awhile as I concentrated on creating work and think through my philosophies.

For some reason, I had a failed bit of logic that I kept blocked in my brain to keep some sembleance of hope alive--that is, that I would win one of the six monetary prizes among the fifty accepted entries. I hurried home from UWM and quickly showered and changed clothes. Then I proceeded to upend my desk as I searched for the free passes to the event. I cringed at the thought that I would have to pay to see my own work on display. Twenty minutes later, I found them. I only needed the one, as I failed to produce anyone free to go with me that evening.

I would, however, see other people I knew there at the event, theoretically. Four other members of the Photography group I was affiliated with had told me that they too had work in the exhibit. I didn't feel so special after that.

Double-timing it to the event in the dark, my stomach began to feel uneasy. I wasn't sick, although the recent change in weather made my own body unhappy and had yet to adapt. I entered the old manison known as Charles Allis that had been converted into an art museum. At the front table, I found as I handed over my pass that since I was in the show, I could keep them for another time and anyone I wanted. I felt stupid that I spent so much time looking and wondered if I would ever use them, since anyone coming to see it will mostly likely come on gallery night when entry is once again free.

There was around 20 people in attendance at this time two hours into the event, and a loungy piano player in the corner, and a bored-looking bartender. The main hall was adorned with the largest pieces, and I quickly realized looking at the program that if I had won something special they would have told me already. I was just in the show and should be happy about that.

Then I began to hunt for my pieces, without looking obvious about it. Ten minutes of casual walking about, I found them on the second floor with many of the others. Only...mine were in a corner outcropping. Since I made my pieces 8x10 (11x16 with frames), they got hung in this side section with bad lighting. I was sad for them, like they were chickens I raised for the county fair being housed in the worst part of the barn. There was an urge to take them off the wall and carry them home.

In comparison to the other works, it seemed interesting that although the juror lady was from the Contemporary Museum in Chicago, most of the 2-D works were middle of the road when it came to commentary and complexity. They were all deserving pieces (well, most of them), but few struck me as significant. Most looked like the kind that would hang in the office of a doctor with good taste.

A better analogy would be rock music that you once rocked out to now played without bass, treble, or volume in that doctor's office so that it sounded like easy-listening muzak. The works were nice, but there were no "Elephant-dung Madonnas", if you know what I mean.

After 30 minutes, I felt it safe to leave. I eavesdropped on people walking around commenting on the works but heard nothing juicy. I shambled up the street, and sought out the Comet.

Since the remodeling, I rarely sit on the cafe side so that I can smoke and read at the bar. Tonight I realize that I probably do this now to either spread out newspapers at a table of my own, or to flirt with the bartender. She was not there that night, and the tables were pretty much filled with typical trendy bar patrons. I sat at the back booth of the cafe side, and collected local papers to spread out before me.

I order a rock juice and the meatloaf with beer gravy. It comes with a side of cornbread, a small yet diverse salad, steamed and grilled asparagus, and mashed potatoes in beer gravy. It was obvious that I was comfort fooding myself, but I couldn't help it. I was doing anything to avoid going home.

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[28 Sep 2005|11:08pm]
[ mood | crappy ]

I tried to make my roommate watch Donnie Darko.
He is 19. He says, wait. Is this a scary movie?

well...

wait. Does this thing have like gore, cause I can't really get into that.

well...

I make him watch it anyway. He seems to get into it. Then around 4 a.m.....

Image Hosted at ImageHosting.us

he falls asleep like this. This picture was taken in total darkness, right before kindness filled my heart and I woke him up so he could sleep properly. I'm too good for my roommates.

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