Friday, December 29, 2006
Luckily, the Kid, my sister, had to get a Secret Santa gift for work. So we stopped in at Walgreen's where she found a digital camera small enough to fit on a key chain for only $10.
This was like a message from the gods, so I bought one myself and the above photo of her child is the result.
"The Kid" is my sister, for those who don't know. Been calling her that for most of her life and even though she has one of her own now, an adorable imp named Lucy, the name still sticks.
We started where she tends bar, "The French Quarter," figuring we could get a few cheap drinks in us, mix with her coworkers and head out. And... we never left.
Turns out they had the biggest crowd for a Thursday since opening, and of course, the least experienced bartender to stem the tide. The Kid and Amy (her busty, blonde, birthday-girl boss) came to the rescue while I sat back, took in the scene, and did my fair share of shots:
Numbered among these were Mind Erasers, Lunch Boxes and Tuaca Lemon Drops. If you've never had a Tuaca Lemon Drop, imagine a caramel-filled lemon, soaked in alcohol, and you pretty much get the idea.After an initial rush, the crowd thinned and we were finally able to get down to business - good ol' fashioned drinkin' -and- booty shakin'!
The music was a bit... flaccid but the overall vibe was cool, with an interesting mix of folk: black, white, breeders, gay men (closeted and otherwise), fag-hags, lesbians (with a friendly bull-dyke thrown in for good measure) and all points in-between.
Plus the music got better as the night wore on. Whether this was due to our suggestions or a steady influx of alcohol on our parts is debatable.
They did play House of Pain's "Jump Around," which was a good thing.
After all, I came to get down.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I was under the mistaken assumption there was and, unfortunately, mentioned it to my father.
"Sure thing," he said, "and I believe that there's a flower for every raindrop that falls."
"No, really" I said, "the blood doesn't turn red until its oxygenated. That's why veins are blue."
"What about arteries?" he replied.
I pondered this, then tried to distract him with the mention of "icefish" - a species of fish without hemoglobin I'd read about the night before. This one I knew for sure.
"I'm not so sure I can believe anything you say after the blood thing."
Right. So I came inside to look up blue blood vs. red on the net. Turns out he was right.
"Sara says turtles breathe through their ass-h*les, " I told my father when he came in from smoking. They both peered over my shoulder while I typed. "Do you believe her?"
"Sure," he said. "She never said that blood was blue."
Friday, December 22, 2006
You know that old saying, "you can never go home"?
While its true to a point (time marches on, the river continually flows and we can never cast our net into the exact same river again) I think there must be some middle ground, somewhere between "never" and "always".
The past doesn't just dissappear - elements remain - only they're mixed in with the here-and-now so that a strange hybrid results. And that's what makes for the off-kilter sensation - being lulled in by the familiar, only to have the familiar spun on its ear. Like a dream.
Dekalb is like that for me, at least right now...
Right now I am hanging at Dad's place (under remodel for the past ten years and known, tongue-in-cheek, as "Palatial Estates") listening to my Dad's oldest and best friend, Bruce, play the guitar.
Bruce can pick up just about anything and start playing, but he tends to focus on one instrument at a time - currently the lead guitar. As I write this, he is laying down a bluesy riff and ever-so-slightly f*cking with the playback so it sounds almost backmasked.
Back when Bruce still owned the place, he gutted the place and hired Dad to do the remodel. There was a big hole in the living room floor, going down to the basement, and crap all over the place, but Bruce would sit in a chair, non-plussed, and thump out a funky bass beat. Once in a while, after Dad was done for the day, we'd sit around, drink beer, and listen.
Then Bruce got the wanderlust and after his kids were old enough, he sold the place to Dad for a song (not literally) and started moving around. First New Mexico, then California, and then London, to be closer to his daughter. We didn't hear much from him and weren't even sure we'd see him again.
Yet here we are, Christmas time, and I am sitting here listening to Bruce play. He's only here until his next sojourn, "Honolulu, maybe" and its the lead guitar he's playing - but I am sitting here listening to him play.
And I don't know when I will see him again.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Slacker is here, too - or at least he was - in his spot behind the computer, and in the other room M is soundly slumbering, her sleep mask askance.
(Okay, I don't really know if its "askance" but I couldn't pass up the assonant opportunity)
(Yes, I am a dork)
Moving right along...
The past week on the homefront was relatively uneventful (no thefts, vandalism, etc. - I did do some violence to myself, impaling my shin on the corner of a low concrete wall and filling my pant leg with blood, but owing to a recently growing pattern of self-abuse, this is hardly noteworthy. I am happy to report that my black eye and the puncture wound in my left arm [both from seperate events] are now completely healed. No, I'm not kidding).
Beyond the homefront: M ended the last quarter, swimmingly*, while I assisted in the successful completion of our inventory at HUGE Supply.
*Soap Box Moment - one possible exception to "swimmingly" might be M's Marketing Class - for which SCNM seems to have thrown out all humanistic and individualistic considerations in lieu of cutle little rhymes, jingles or any other bright flashey things that could possibly ensnare the minds of the slobbering masses. Example:
Don't like your life?
Filled up with strife?
Considering the knife?
Change it with...
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Maybe they could even do cooperative advertising with someone like Nike or McDonald's - really get the message out there!
Blah, blah, blah.
So I thought I might have to count little widgets all weekend but inventory went better than planned and we actually finished ahead of schedule. Oh, sure, we had the obligatory computer systems crash at 4:15 pm on Thursday, fifteen minutes before we were supposed to start counting -and- it was down for most of Friday, but they were able to circumvent this little problem and we were able to avoid working the weekend. Yea!
Now, having expected to work the weekend, getting that time back feels like a little gift.
Of course the devil's advocate in makes me wonder if I'm not a fool for being thankful - thankful for what was already mine - especially since it was bequeathed by the faceless grey monolith that is my employer.
On the other hand, when I got my stolen truck back I couldn't help but feel grateful.
The stringy-haired, crack-headed thieves I'd imagined were morphed into mere agents-of-fortune once the truck was returned, and I even came to feel a strange sense of connection with them after finding an old black-and-white baby picture they'd left in the glove compartment.
In a way, I am grateful to those guys. I have a newfound appreciation for that little purple pickup - with its cracked windshield and 180,000 miles - and a few other things as well.
In fact, right now, the sun is setting, Lou Reed is "beginning to see the light" and I am feeling pretty goddamn mellow.
So, yeah, I could bitch about work and the faceless corporate entity that reigns o'er all, but... f*ck it.
Let's just save that for another time.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I finally found a deal - one week for $150 - made the reservation then lost it when the computer crashed.* Finally, I was able to call National and verify.
Once there, the woman quoted me an additional $175 for insurance, which I refused, citing my own insurance. No problem.
Then I called my insurance to confirm I could get full coverage. Problem:
"We can't offer you full coverage because the vehicle upon which your policy is based is no longer in your possession. We can offer liability, but cannot expand your policy without first examining your car, which, of course is currently not possible."
Now at this point, my finances were at a particularly low ebb:
1. I'd flown into Aspen for the Memorial Day Weekend. (The one thing I'd actually planned on).
2. The following weekend, in a somewhat spur-of-the-moment act, M and I moved in together, and I had to come up with my part of the deposit money, utilities, etc.
3. In the same month, I had to take half a paycheck because our company had been bought out and Home Depot was "restructuring" our pay. (In other words, withholding the money for an additional two weeks to take advantage of the float and make more money themselves. Blah blah blah.)
The good news about the switch, they told us, was that we could borrow our own money out of the following paycheck if we really needed to. Also, they gave us a whole month advance notice.
4. I got a speeding ticket.
5. A big mean kid beat me up and took my lunch money.
Okay, I'm kidding about that last part but with all of the aforementioned -plus- my standard bills (not to mention the need to come up with a down payment) it was definitely the month of money like water thru a sieve.
The moral of the story is that I rented the car without full coverage.
Then, for the several days, each and every little noise: the dog next door, a person walking down the street, even the wind in the trees - all alerted me to the possibility of an intruder, and I would stalk thru the house at all hours, peering out windows and compulsively eyeing the rental car like Smeagol and his precious ring.
In fact now that I'm writing this, I think I'll just take a quick peak outside to make sure everything's cool. Be right back.Pretty soon, M was getting no sleep either (I can't imagine why) and we were both going slightly crazy, though pretending not to.
Okay, its still there. (Gollum!)
Now where was I?
Then, the next stage of sleep deprivation hit, and (for me at least) things started getting... kinda wonky.
You know the bit from "Fight Club" where Ed Norton talks about insomnia, sleep deprivation, and maybe even sanity?
"Was I awake or was I dreaming?" and "Everything is like a copy of a copy of a copy."Things started getting sort of... fuzzy like that.
And then the little accidents started happening.
footnote #1: M has a Mac, which sometimes has issues with Microsoft based forms.
You somehow get out of sync with life's rhythms and suddenly guys with electric cattle prods start coming out of the woodwork. Innocently, you bend over to pick a dollar bill off the sidewalk and then "Yiheee!" they've got you.
The funny thing is, I'm in a pretty good mood as I write this and am starting to feel like, maybe, I've made it through the tunnel to the other side... but only time will tell.
What am I talking about?
It all started on Thursday morning, when I got a speeding ticket on the way to work. No big deal, right? Just a minor pain in the ass...
"You late for work or somethin'?" asked the cop. My clever retort (at least more clever than the question) remained unspoken. "Nope," I said.
In spite of my discretion I was cited for both speeding and no proof of insurance. Accordingly, Monday, I took time off work and drove down to the Scottsdale Civic Court to show them the little card that had been buried in a pile of unopened mail.
The clerk looked confused. "When did you get your ticket?" she asked. "Because the officer hasn't turned in his paperwork yet." Of course not. She took a copy of my insurance and said it would be matched up with the ticket when it came in...
(And while I'm sure of her good intentions something tells me I might want to double check on this. Either that or just sit at home and wait until they show up at the house with a warrant for my arrest.)
That was on Monday.
On Tuesday, the truck was stolen.
(Or maybe it was Wednesday, but when I went out that morning it was definitely gone. )
"Truck's gone," I told M as I walked back into the house.
"What?" she said, in sleepy confusion.
"Truck's gone. Pretty sure it's stolen."
"Did you lock it?" she asked.
Ironically (for those who know me) I had.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
But there's a certain freedom in that.
It would be self-aggrandizing to call this art, yet blogging is a form of self-expression in a public venue. (So blogging is what, artistic? Artsy? Great. Maybe I should just start gluing little shells to paper right now.)
The conundrum is (great word, by the way, "conundrum", sounds like drums beating):
Whether to create for one's self... or to create for one's public?
So, whether to cater to a, primarily, faceless audience or to blog what one truly thinks and feels -that- is the question! (Then again, maybe we should just substitute "live" for "blog" and cut to the chase). The trick, I think, is to act from the heart, without being apologetic -or- defensive. The more direct we are, with others -and- with ourselves the simpler and easier things are.
Yeah, okay, I realize this isn't rocket science, but this is MY blog and if you don't like it you can just go eff youself while being roasted over hot coals... (well, yeah, I guess this could be construed as defensive. Whatever.)
Anywho... inspite of my car being stolen, and a little added in stress in the lives of both M and myself, I truly love being downtown.
Earlier, as the sun set, the buildings, sidelit and framed by telephone poles and light poles and the glitter of broken glass in concrete, the buildings glowed against a darkening sky and it was as if the light came out of them, not just bouncing off of them. They were stoic and majestic and I felt like an explorer in some dark exotic forest, lucky to observe these beings, undisturbed in their natural habitat
And no, I was not on drugs.
Although, now that I think of it, my visual acuity seems to be greater lately. Know what I mean? You just see things you don't normally see, see the transcendant quality in them...
I wonder if this isn't, to a certain extent, a function of stress. I am able to see transcendant beauty because I am more desperately seeking it out? Perhaps, "desperately" isn't the right word. Mabye its "adamant".
Good word, that.
P.S. Speaking of stress, anyone looking to sell a good cheap car?
Saturday, October 07, 2006
The dog next door barked a few times so I went out to sit on the porch, smoke a cigarette and observe.
Thought I heard tires on gravel, like a car being pushed along the road, but when I walked out into the yard, nothing.
I did see a pregnant woman walking, two blocks down. That and some slow moving scallop-shaped clouds backlit by the moon.
Now I'm sitting here staring at the computer.
I could go on, but why?
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Came home last night after work and a quick Camelback sojourn (even took a few pics of the purty sunset) to settle in for an uneventful night o' readin'.
For those who are keeping track I just finished "Kafka", a biography of sorts, llustrated by Robert Crumb, then started re-reading "Wyrms" by Orson Scott Card. (Its better than it sounds. Really.)
M came home, close on my coat tails, and asked if I wanted to grab a drink at Carly's. I passed in favor of the aforementioned. (Now, of course, I can't help but wonder...)
Read til M came to bed, 'round eleven or so, and slept thru most of the night. Exception: The dog next door went ape sh*t around 5am but I thought little of it at the time.
Then, 'bout 6:15 am, with the sun shining and birds shrieking (singing, whatever), I shlepped out to the car and found...
(insert dramatic organ music here)
Absolutely nothing! They got the car, M's digital camera -and- one of my library books (talk about adding insult to injury - those fines can be a real bitch!)
As my dear old dad would say, "Bummer, dude."
The good news is, though we've split up, I have little emotional investment left over and sincerely wish the little truck well in whatever circumstances it may find itself (no one say "chop shop" or I might get a little teary-eyed).
The bummer part is all the paperwork crap (example: My existing insurance policy won't fully cover my rental car. Why? Because my policy was liability only and to increase coverage I would have to (giggle) bring in my truck for appraisal. Ironic, no?). And then there's the joy of purchasing a new vehicle.
As Bill Murray once said, "so I got that going for me... which is nice."
On the bright side - I did get to take the day off of work.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Whenever the sun is near the horizon, sunset or sunrise, the light hits the carriage house behind ours and it looks for all the world like a painting.
M and I have alluded to this in passing, occasionally sitting on our back steps and savoring the view, but recently Slacker seems to have joined the party, as well - avidly awaiting the opening of the door, and then quietly standing or sitting in the doorway, gazing out.
Went to the farmer's market yesterday morn and while it was none too exciting (lots of eco-conscious lesbians and aging yipsters plodding thru their liberal weekend rituals) the coffee was good (organic free trade, of course), the company was excellent (the charmingly dishevelled M), and the light was beautiful. Accordingly, I was inspired to snap a few pics.
The market is held in a parking lot kitty-corner to the Westward Ho Hotel, a monolithic throwback to 40's California architecure.
Something about this place is very alluring. Reminds me of when you meet someone for the first time (maybe after a few beers) and you have that comfortable yet energized feeling - intimate and very familiar.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
He said that not everything from the past was noteworthy. Brushing your teeth, for instance, was something you'd done in the recent past (at least, hopefully), but it didn't make the event historical.
Blogging's kinda like that. Haven't had much to say, lately, but now I got a coupla things:
First off, M and I are settling in nicely into our new place. We are in downtown Phoenix, the Garfield Historical Distric, which is one way of saying the the Arts District -or- another way of saying the Barrio.
M points out "Ghetto" may be more appropriate in lieu of her Jewish heritage, but tell the multitude of our hispanic neighbors that. If you can speak Spanish, that is. Which I can't.
Question: What do call a monolingual?
Answer: An american.
So I've been listening to the mexican radio stations but haven't quite made the lingual leap yet. But once the downtown library re-opens I am so there. Seriously.
Oh, so anyway, last night M wakes me up 'round midnight (all apologies to Thelonius Monk) and says:
M: Adam, you have to see this.
A: Mmmmf. (I say, in my sleep befuddled state)
M: You have to come see this and tell me what it is.
At this point I have no idea what she's talking about but I do know that I've been awakened from a deep sleep to do, what, share in the moment?
M: Come in here.
So I stumble out of the bedroom, bedraggled, to see what looks like a hummingbird flying around our living room. Or one of these really cool moths that recently started appearing at the warehouse where I work.
S'moth, I said.
No, she said, it's not a moth.
Then it landed on the wall near us. And she was right. It was not a moth.
First of all, let me say that all insects - with their mandibles, exoskeletons and multi-faceted eyes - are about as alien as you can get and at the risk of sounding species-ist, I just don't mix well with their kind. In fact, they pretty much freak me the f*ck out!
But cockroaches... they are in a class all by themselves.
Now imagine the grandaddy of all cockroaches - two inches long, half an inch thick, with a head big enough to make out facial features... (and I'm pretty sure we made eye contact).
Jesus, I am getting skeeved out just describing this. You know that itchy skin feeling on the the back of your neck and shoulders like something is crawling up your back and into your hairline? Yep, I got that feeling right now.
So now I'm wide awake, eyes locked with this Kafkaesque monstrosity, when suddenly it assumes the form of a small bird and flies at my head.
No, I didn't scream like a girl. Yes, I wanted to.
Thankfully, however, Jesus intervened (praise god!) and the little f*cker flew up into our overhead lighting, where he was trapped and finally cooked by the multiple lightbulbs therein. Of course we could see his desperately flailing siloutte and hear the skittering of his little limbs for about an hour after that but didn't bother us.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
*Am listening to Modest Mouse yet again and can't help but sample some of their lyrics as I go.
We'd drunk ourselves into (stupidity? honesty? oblivion?) at the all too familiar Bikini Lounge** - myself, Matt Danley, Big Ax, and of course, the inimitable M. The boys had begun drinking around 10:30 am (so they said) and M and I did our best to quickly acclimate.
It was First Friday and I slipped out for a moment to catch a whimsical street dance performance (think "Flash Dance" meets "Mad TV") just outside the bar.
When I returned M had wrapped Matt's Kenneth Cole belt around her head, (looking like a cross between a 20's flapper girl and a Punk with a leather fetish) and with 7 or 8 inches of the belt stuck straight up in the air, proceeded to start whacking people with an ostrich-like, pecking motion.
**The three previously posted photos are all taken from a recent Bikini outing.
The evening had started innocently enough when I'd met up with Longhair for a beer, at, of all places, at the Mall of America.
I'd told M I was going to the "Mall of America" but that's in Minnesota. This place, the Arizona Mills Mall, is actually in Tempe at the intersection of Baseline and I-10, but once you've seen one mall...
And I say "of all places" because I'm not too big on Malls:
When I first moved to Phoenix, some 15 years ago, I got a job at a Mall Jewelry Store and ended up hating it so much I'd eat my lunch outside, in a 115 degrees, in a suit, just for a brief respite.
Something about those places - forced air, weird acoustics, overstimulation, whatever, that just sucks the life out of me. Bleah.
All of that notwithstanding, I met Longhair, and, as it turns out, some of our old compatriots down at the Mall:
We all hung out, caught up, tipped a few and then, everyone went to play video games. I paid my tab, went downstairs, and couldn't find anyone.
I stepped outside to check my messages.
Once outside the Mall one foot kept falling in front of the other and pretty soon I was shooting down the freeway with the warm air rushing past.
The rest is history.
Longhair, my bad for leaving without saying good bye.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Lost 2 games and won one in a less than auspicious outing. Perhaps age has caught/overtaken me but I'm choosing to look at the whole thing philosophically. Life's a journey and all that... stuff, dude.
The highlight of the weekend (at least the mentionable bit) had to be watching M parade around the apartment wearing nothing but a pair of rubber gloves and a white plastic bag wrapped around her head.
She'd smeared her hair with a greenish-brownish paste (a combination of tea and other herbs) in order to "treat" it and the overall effect was quite striking:
Part aborigine warrior, part wood nymph, with just a hint of warp tour acid freak.Then she wrapped the goop of her hair in a white plastic bag...
And in combination with the little white rubber gloves...
The whole ensemble took on a disturbingly scatological (and yet oddly arousing) feel.
And then we made cookies.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Me: What's up?
Him: Little Buddy.
I should mention that "little buddy" is my father's name for his penus...Him: Mommie's here.
Me: Oh. Right.
Him: She's back from Denver.
Me: No kidding. Guess where I'm going tomorrow.
Me: Yup. Vail, actually, for a volleyball tournament.
Me: Well... tell her I said "hello," then. (slight pause) After you're done, of course.
Me: And Dad?
Him: Yes, son.
Me: Jesus and I love you.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Okay, well... there's the whole we're-gonna-live-together... no-we're-not... yes-we-are... no-we're-not thing.
But that's not totally unexpected:
Question: How do Porcupines make love?And so it goes. More on this situation as it develops.
Answer: Very carefully.
Also, news flash, I recently went to the Doctor's (the holistic Doctor, that is) for a check up. They took fluids of various and sundry sorts and I, well, I was pretty damn chill, even if I do say so myself.
Now, let me point out what an unlikely occurance this really is - since I was a wee lad, I've been deathly afraid of anything medical! To this day, the smell of rubbing alcohol sends my heart racing. Really.
So imagine my surprise when I found myself, not only not freaking out, but actually calm and relaxed. At the risk of sounding touchey-feeley, I felt as if if the good folks at Southwestern College of Naturopathic Medicine were actually listening, and communicating -and- were ready to help - not just pounce on me and do something to me.
Oh, sure, I got a DRE (if you've never had one, you simply don't know what you're missing!) and was stuck with needles, but, it was a fairly pleasant experience.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I'm playing Modest Mouse's "Polar Opposites" for the umpteenth time:
I'm tryingGives you that warm happy, glad to be alive feeling. Witness: http://darkcorner.net/concerts/mm/mp3/03-Polar%20Opposites.mp3
I'm trying to
drink away the part o' the day
I cannot sleep awayee!
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Okay, its been somewhat enhanced, but the raw materials are his.
The eskimos say that you can look at a piece of rock or wood and, if you look closely enough, you can see the inner essence waiting to be freed.
This is kind of like that.
I am the Eskimo and his photos, the wood.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Why? Well, first of all, everone's gotta play tournament style now-a-days. Its gotta be Texas and its gotta be tournament style. This means you're in it for the long haul, and, depending on the company, it can be kinda tedious.
Plus the house rules for this particular game were a little funky. Money paid to 1st thru 4th place, which takes away a lot of incentive -and- the blinds went up every round, which is fine in the early goings on, but in heads-up play becomes quickly cumbersome. Blah blah blah.
Yes, I realize this may be somewhat tedious for you non-cardplayers but one of the lovely things about having a blog is the ability to whine or pontificate upon any given topic, ad nauseum.So there I was sitting on a commanding chip lead in heads-up play -but- due to an extremely progressive blind was knocked out after only two hands. So I finished 2nd place and won a whopping $20. Whoopee. Plus I had to witness the amateur version of "Sports Talk" for the duration.
Don't like it?
Send your moneyback requests to:
1234 Up Yours Lane
Phoenix, AZ 123456
Yes, the progressive blinds are there to speed up play, but then... aw, skip it!
You want to know the real reason I'm bitching? The real reason I'm bitching is because it was boring. BO-O-O-O RI-I-I-ING!
Sure, we're all there to hang out and shoot the breeze, but how long can you sit around and hash over the same mundane crap?
- I thought he came around on the pitch.Apparently, you can do this for hours. Fascinating stuff.
- Yeah, but did he break his wrists?
- Guys, there are actually two criteria. The wrists is one. Whether or not the bat went past the front of the plate is the other.
- But the picture clearly shows...
- But is it a picture of the same play?!
I never thought I'd pine away for any part of Long Island, but. Those guys knew how to have fun. We'd drink beer, smoke cigarettes and talk about whatever random stuff came up (okay, yeah, we talked about more than our fair shair of acting junk - go figure, a bunch of actors! - but still).
We'd mix it up, play into the wee hours -and- lo and behold, it was... FUN! Sometimes, we'd even go out to breakfast after. Here's to you, all my homeys back on Cell Block C!*
*All apologies to Kid Rock, and, no, it wasn't really prison but L.I. does have a certain, closed-in, impending violence kind of charm. : )
To my former brothers-in-arms:
The impeccable Antoine Jones! The creepy-but-endearing Tim Gillespie! And last, but certainly not least, the lovable man-child, Josh!
I love you guys and hope you are doing well. Or, at the very least, surviving.
So where was I? Oh yeah, cards.
Who the "F" pays out to 4th place with 8 guys playing!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
there's an entendre there but I'll leave it alone for nowAnd now I feel... what? Sleepy? Numb, perhaps? Not sure.
I do know I don't sit up straight as I should.
Don't want to become the human question mark, after all. And breathing is easier and deeper when upright. More connected. Shockras and such.
Or is it Mothras? (godzilla reference).
Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my sould to keep.And speaking of Mothers (mother, mothra, whatever) I've just returned from rescuing mine.
Okay, I didn't exactly rescue her but she did break down - her car, at least. And I didn't fix her car but I did go to meet her at the mechanics. And I didn't give her the money to fix it but I did lend it to her.
Yes, I know, a good son would've just given the money. Unfortunately, I am not that son. Currently, I am broke (a fact which I did not reveal) and, in fact, will have to go into overdraft to cover the payment. Alack.
This after the day from Hell and I am feeling even more pep in my step! Yeah!
I was going to write about the Fam the next time I signed on, but since that time is now and since I am feeling a bit wistful... I think I'll just skip it for now.
"Lou, Lou, Lou - it's the beginning of a great adventure."
- Lou Reed
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Okay, I'm not exactly single, but then I'm not married, either. Just let me keep my illusions for now, okay?Anyway, I just got off the phone with M, who I've been spending quite a bit of time with lately. More on that in a bit. In the meantime...
As we were talking I was scrolling through my email and was disturbed to find one of my teachers had passed away - John Peck of the American Academy in Los Angeles - a true gentleman and excellent vocal teacher. I didn't know him all that well but true teachers are rare and he was a good one. Peace to you, Mr. Peck, wherever you are now.
So, yeah, I apologize for my lack of activity on the blog but I've been gone the last few weekends (my best time to write) and then I had some technical problems with the site. Anywho...
Update: Crazy Naked Man is back on the scene. I am of course referring to M's neighbor, J, who took a naked stroll 'round the neighborhood and was carted off for his troubles.
Supposedly, he was committed, but we couldn't help but notice his recent presence again at the apartment complex. That and a highlighted bible passage left on M's doorstep. So we got that goin' for us. Which is nice.
I'd go into greater detail but I think I'll wait until the situation is better resolved. In the meantime, you may want to call ahead before just "stopping by". Word to your mother.
So yeah, Cinco de Chicago was quite nice. Got to see the Fam, hang with the Kid (my sister), the Kid II (her daughter - oh, and did I mention I am an uncle? Yes I am! Strange days indeed), D.O.D. (a.k.a. Dear Old Dad) and "Mommy" (dad's pet name for his girlfriend of 25 years).
Smoked and drank way too much, but when in Rome, right? Also got to see an art opening by one of Dad's coworkers, Al*
No this is not a sitcom.
And, yes, "Mommy" sounds kinda creepy. But, it's supposed to be done for humorous effect, and, as with other of D.O.D.'s eccentricities, we just smile and nod.
* I should mention the hardware store Dad manages is somewhat atypical. They seem to hire more than their fair shair of musicians, artists, punks or anyone ever-so-slightly out of the norm. Picture the guys working for John Cusack in High Fidelity, only they work in a hardware store. Blah blah blah.
Al, for instance, is a soft-spoken, slightly neurotic, and very talented artist. (Although, now that I think of it, neurosis and Art are pretty much inclusive). His show included several different wood block prints done in the japanese style - on kites no less - and one piece included several little card-sized kites, all in rows and columns, with a cicadas imprinted on each. This looked really cool but must've been a bitch to hang with all of the little kite strings trailing behind, looking like a comet's tail .
There was also a nice three-tone piece done of his significant other, E (whom he should not marry unless he is completely without any doubts! Any whatsover! Ahem. Moving right along...).
There's plenty more to say about the Fam, but its about time to head out for tonight.
Until later, dudes.
Monday, May 01, 2006
For those who are unaware (or simply to lazy to click on the link above) Ten Thousand Waves is an all inclusive, japanese style spa. They offer all kinds of treatments, massages, etc. and also feature several hot tubs, saunas and cold dunks - all in the the open air.
Our first night, shortly after check in to Silver Moon, M and I enjoyed a private tub under the stars:
To be honest, at this point I was thinking to myself, "self - this is quite nice with the stars and all, but did we need to drive for a day and pay several hundreds of dollars to to sit in this particular hot tub?" I received my answer on the very next day.
Before continuing, I should mention that a part of the spa is.... (dramatic pause) clothing optional.
Now, of course the whole thing is very proper, with a specified area and certain rules... but, well, naked in front of strangers is still naked, regardless of how genteel your surroundings may be.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
When I woke up around 2:30, the fan was on and it was pretty cold.
I was laying diagonally across the bed so I folded the covers over me from both sides like an enchilada.
Then I pulled out "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" from somewhere in the bed and started reading.
Reading Joyce is like thinking your own thoughts, only they're someone else's.
It's 6 a.m. right now. I've just taken a shower and I am not looking forward to going to work.
Yesterday was my birthday.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
And, no, you evil bastards, it wasn't my 40th!
(Okay, yeah, I'll be 40 next year, but in the meantime... eat my shorts!)
Interesting side note: Two of my closest friends weren't at the party because they both had sons whose birthday is the same as mine. Coincidence? Or the mysterious hand of fate...
(Meanwhile, back at the ranch...)
I cannot imagine a more enjoyable birthday weekend:
Friday Night: Went to see the Mark Morriss Dance Troupe at the Mesa Something-or-other Ampitheater. First of all, this facility absolutely rocks. Very modern but tasteful and just hanging in and around the theater was really enjoyable. M had suggested we go some months earlier and it happened to fall on the birthday bash weekend.
Now, the dancing was always technically good, (just ask me because I'm an expert! I'm also very good at driving) but the style of dance varied greatly.
The opening number, for instance, was a tad bit Oklahoma-esque and I watched as M managed to scrunch down about as far as she could into the far corner of her seat, almost, but not quite, dissappearing into another dimension.
Ironically, she'd earlier told me to vamoose if I didn't feel the love. At that moment, however, it seemed there might be 2 new patrons at the nearest bar, come intermission. Luckily, this was the exception to the rule.
The next number, modelled around a piece by Bartok, was urgent, dramatic and arresting. I don't know how to do this piece justice other than to say it was like watching some compelling foreign intrigue unfold - one which took place on another planet. Blah blah blah.
For me, the guy to watch was "Pony-tail Boy" (so named by M), a.k.a. Bradon McDonald. Not only could he dance, but he had a fluidity of motion, expressiveness, and a committment - which made him compelling to watch.
Oh, yeah, and there were a few hot chicks, that could dance pretty good, too.
I could go on (example: there's a print by Escher in which man evolves - and one of the Moriss pieces somehow evoked this) but... maybe you should just go and see for yourself. Really.
Saturday: Woke up around sunrise, wrestled around with M a bit (I think she won - best 2 out of 3 falls) and then, well...
*not every birthday celebration should necessarily start this way (kids, do not try this at home) but once in a great while...
In preparation for Saturday night festivities, M had gotten together the fixin's for Dave-a-ritas - (marguaritas named after their illustrious creator, Dave, for whom we now pause and prostrate ourselves in the ultimate display of gratitude. As my father would say, "like kissing Jesus!") Anyway, they'd been freezing/curing all night and before transporting them to Longhair's, I wanted a small sample. Just a taste, really...
This was at about 7:30 in the morning. M had one. I had one. Oh, god, yes, and then M heated up some mole' to go with eggs and salsa. So good. And then, of course, we each had another to go with Breakfast.
Time passes and, suddenly, its 7pm, I'm back at Longhair's with a party going in full swing. I am wearing army pants with no shirt, a cowboy hat and sunglasses, and I am attempting to play ping pong. Suffice it to say a fun time was had by all -and- by 9pm, I was done!
Let me mention that Dave-a-ritas are famous for two things:
- The are so-o-o-o tasty.
- They pack a wallop!
Happy birthday to me.
So, M tucked me in, and headed back to her place. Which leads me to the next part of the story...
Sunday Morning - Had gotten out of bed, briefly at 7 am, to get some hot grease (namely, a Sausage Croissanwich), consume same and return to my post-inebriated coma. Then, at 11 a.m. M calls:
M: Can you come over? Something strange is happening here.
And indeed it was.
Her neighbor/friendly acquaintance had suffered a psychotic break. He'd broken out one of his windows, shaved his head and, while M and I talked, had started loudly counting outside her apartment. I could hear him over the phone.Moments later I am racing over in my truck (hair plastered to my skull), when my truck starts chugging and I realize I have to stop for gas. Finally, several panicky minutes later, I arrive, and...
No noise. No one around. He's back inside and all's well. At least, seemingly so*
*We did hear breaking glass a bit later, but thought it was the originally broken window still falling apart. Unbeknownst to us, it was a new window.
A few hours later, we head out to get coffee and do respective errands. Downstairs, in the parking lot, we both get into our cars, and I look up as a large naked bald man walks out of his apartment and into the parking lot.
Our eyes meet as he walks past and slowly walks down the center of the driveway and towards the street. M jumps into my car, she calls 911 and we follow as he trudges along.
We continue to follow at a distance as he walks the length of the parking lot and then, without a sideways glance, out into traffic.
After a semi-miraculous trip across Broadway he walks about a half a block and then, into, of all places, Ted's Hotdogs.
Interesting sidenote: another man about to walk into Ted's froze with his hand in the air, and, continued to hold that position until well after the naked man had left.
The naked man left Ted's (obviously forgot his wallet) and the police arrived to take him into custody.
And then we went to coffee.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Oh, and did I happen to mention the place is run by New Yorkers?
Re: NY - I've finally come to realize I just can't get a way from the fucking place. Oh, sure, I left like a thief in the night, sold or gave away most of everything I had, moved thousand of miles and now do I everything I can to avoid even the topic... but everywhere I go, everyone I meet - my girlfriend (or whatever title you want to use - M points out we haven't exchanged stuffed animals yet, so maybe squeeze or ol' lady is more appropriate? You fill in the blank. Hey - maybe we should have a contest... anyway), my coworkers, half of my customers and every other person on the god damned planet that I strike up a conversation with - they're all from Brooklyn or Queens or Long Island or some other god damned place. And man are they smug about it.
But I digress..
So, anyway, there I am, having eaten the Calimar' when Sully, my big bald-headed irish coworker shows up. We sit, bitch about work for a while and then "Mexican Radio" comes on:
"I feel a hot wind on my shoulder
and the touch of a world that is older..."
Me: Man, I dig this song. Reminds me of my old buddy, D. It was kinda of our theme song back in the day. (pause) Though I would be hard pressed to say why, exactly.
Big Bald Headed Irish Co-worker: Yeah, Black Flag was one of my favorite bands back then.
It was Wall of Voodo, dude.
And then we talked about the Blue People of Kentucky.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Sorry I'm not going to make it but I'll be there in spirit. (I'll be the forty-something old guy in the corner getting drunk on cheap wine, chatting up twenty-something ladies, okay, girls, whatever, and trying ever so casually to name drop about acting with big Broadway stars in NY... okay, we didn't really act together per se, but we were on the same stage at the same time... well, almost.)
I was going to sneak out and suprise you but realized I'd spend more time in the air than with you so I gave it up. Blah blah blah.
X's and O's,
Your Big Brother.
P.S. See you in Chi-town for Cinco de Mayo!
(Okay, I went to bed at 9:30 but we talked for a couple hours non-stop and let's face it, 9:30 for an old geezer is like midnight for the young pup!)
Remind me to tell you sometime about the Eccentric Gay Millionaires we once worked for. And, no, I wasn't the Pool Boy.
Okay, well, I occasionally did skim the pool but that wasn't my only job, okay? OKAY? (man those little shorts chafed). Anywho...
At least I didn't have to watch the monkeys.
And, no, I'm not kidding.
We've come a long way, baby.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
I attribute this in part to a late night conversation with M the night before, which included weight lifting as a means of reinforcing bone density. That and a coupla cigarettes smoked.
The interesting part about the dream was that I was actually being interviewed for Chiropractic School, but for some reason this included a full physical exam. And no, it was't sexual...
So, I logged on yesterday and tried to respond to some of the comments to my
previous blog but couldn't. Some technical difficulty thingey. Whatever.
Yeah, so I was up late playing cards. Okay, I didn't really play cards that late, but then after I got home I couldn't go to sleep. Too much restless enerby. Had played with some friends/clients and in a combination of good luck and misfortune won both tourneys.
Oh, and yes, I am one of those nimrods who enjoy Texas Hold 'em. Did the whole World Poker Tour-aholic thing. (There really should be a whole 12 step program: "Just step away from the TV!")
And while I'm at it, what's up with the whole clean up your house, fix up your house, get into shape, shape up your look, improve your life, your dog, your ass, whatever. Jesus! Here's an idea, instead of sitting on your ass watching people tell you how to do all that, just do it (all references to Nike are purely unintentional, I assure you)
But I digress.
Where was I?
Oh, yes, responding to comments about Lunch with the X:
First thing - to those diehard romantics who think we should get together to rekindle a lost romance: I'm currently in a relationship in which things are going pretty well. (Oh, sure, it could all go down in flames tomorrow, but, in the meantime I kinda look forward to what comes next.)
So there's that. -AND -The X is happily married - has been so for 10 years. I think they just had their anniversary.
Plus there's the whole, "there's a reason we broke up in the first place". And I'm not finger-pointing here, just stating the obvious. I mean, there's a reason we split up, right? Maybe things have changed. Maybe they haven't. Don't get me started.
Eh, more later.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
And how is your garden growing today?
Mental Gymnastics - Installment #1 : Ya know, its funny. I normally use phrases like "sweet thang" and "my dear" in a semi-flip way that is intended to be casual, fun, and imply a certain amount of friendly affection. However, in certain cases, (as with one's ex-wife) these words can take on a more ominous significance.
Is "my dear" intended as flip? Friendly? Or could it be implying more? Maybe its Freudian? Or maybe these words are simply a throwback to an earlier time? Blah blah blah. The interpretations are endless.
In the end, however, I think its better to just be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes a banana is just a banana. Anyway...
Regarding our chance meeting, I can't express how pleasant it was to see you:
You were both gracious and lovely (and I don't want to sound too corny, here, but the years have truly been kind). And... it wasn't the torturuous event I'd somehow anticipated!
So... yeah, I figured we'd bump into each other sooner or later upon my return. (In fact, a friend just reminded me that I'd dreamed about you with a baby while I was still in NY - weird, hunh?) But I'd always anticipated this with a certain amount of trepidation....
It wasn't too many years ago I was in Rochester, MN, driving down the road and, suddenly, I saw you, driving in the opposite direction. Of course, it wasn't you, and I realized this moments later, but the physical sensation I'd experienced in the meantime was all too real. However...
Time passes. The world whips around the sun a few thousand times, and then...
Then, just a few weeks ago, we bump into each other and... things have changed. It was so good to see you, and, what's more, the feeling seemed mutual. You even asked me out to lunch in the spur of the moment:
K: So now that we've finally bumped into each other, we should do lunch sometime.
K: Sure, we could catch up on everything.
A: Umm, sure. Okay.
So now there's this whole lunch thing looming in the air...
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Oh, sure, you might have to spend a few hours lying around in convalescence. That, and drink a mason jar full of M's brown goop... (Okay, yes, the brown goop had a decidedly positive effect, so I really can't complain).
But a day spent home from work - well, what more can I say? I got to catch up on my reading of "Tank Girl," and read about the Guerrilla Girls. The first is a comic and the second is, well, its sort of an affirmative action movement regarding the Arts.
I also got to delve back into the Eightfold Path, as presented by Thich Nhat Hanh - one Phat dude, with a capital "P", if you are into getting down with the here and now.
Reading his "The Heart of Buddha Teaching" was perfect while lolling around in semi-boredom. Reminded me to appreciate things at hand.
On a completely different note, I'm posting a picture from a strange and devious practice that was enacted upon me just the other day.It is a technique called "cupping," which is supposed to attract Chi to an afflicted area. And if you thinks it looks bizarre, you should have it done to you...
For me, the jury is not yet out on this one. However, brown goop and needles (otherwise known as acupuncture) get two big thumbs up!
So there I was, at the Phoenix Art Museum, minding my own business. I'd just finished checking out "The Art of Philip Curtis" (pseudo- surrealist, not my favorite, but okay) and had started wandering through the Asian Exhibit. I turned a corner and....
You know how time is supposed to slow way way down before an impending accident? You're in a car headed for imminent collision and you notice a great deal of detail, all at an extremely rapid pace? Yeah, This was kinda like that.I should mention that I hadn't seen "K" for about 12 years. We'd maintained a sparse but congenial email correspondance since then but the last time I actually saw her was when we hugged goodbye after attending our divorce proceedings. So there's that.
And she's holding a baby.
And she's surrounded by several women, two of whom are from our closest friends from that time.
It was at this point that Time excused itself from the general proceedings and we entered into the Time Warp:
- I look at K.
- She looks at me.
- I look at the baby.
- The baby looks at me (okay, maybe I imagined this part)
- I look at L. A.
- (you guessed it) L.A. looks back at me.
- I look at C.
- She looks back at me.
This seemed to go on endlessly, like a hall of mirrors, until finally, L.A. mercifully broke us out of the loop with these words:
And suddenly we were all back on earth under the constraints of normal space and time.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
2. The theory that two people must have sex before the can ever be in love. Because you can't love someone until you know that person fully -- and sex brings many revelations.
3. My favorite band/movie/team/political party/religion -- which I've just been told sucks. It may indeed suck. So what? Someone just ground my passions under his heel. Let him have some.
4. Fifteen percent off. You'll get 10.
5. My rung on the ladder. The salary's still there, I still have my office, but something's off. They're making plans without me. My turf has eroded. Time to shine again.
6. My right to leave the bar as early as you want. I will be called many names. I am none of these things.
7. My equally valuable right to hand my keys to a buddy and have another round. Morning will hit hard and fast, but sometimes I have to risk short-term-memory loss in the name of long-term-memory gain.
8. A free phone. They get a check every month for two years? Yeah, free phone.
9. That brief stretch of time that is my own. I may not get it until 10 p.m., but make sure I get it, because after my commute time, company time, dinnertime, and quality time, my time is the last defense against total annihilation of the self.
10. My habits. She's dying to change me, but she should know up front that men don't change. We can evolve, however, and that takes time.
11. A perfect combination of retained youth and acquired wisdom.
12. The true source of her silence, her headaches, her thickening layer of frost. It may be me, or it may not. But whatever it is, get it out there because this crap cannot go on.
13. The remote. A guy I know broke his leg fighting for the remote. And he'd do it again.
14. The sanctity of the line. Whether the dirtball tries it with a car or his own cloven feet, his butting in line is a grievous insult -- he's saying his time is more valuable than mine. We're all on the same death clock, pal. Deny him. Hard. The mob will back me.
15. Making money from that one thing I'm best at. There has to be a way to cash in.
16. The real answer. Sales reps, bureaucrats, and bosses of every stripe are where they are because people settle for their pat, evasive answers. Pound their bullshit position with a fusillade of toddler logic: But why?
17. The mail-in rebate I still haven't received. Companies count on lazy consumers. Be their nightmare.
18. Happiness. Can't swing that? Strive for absence of misery. Then keep going.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Hmm. Nope, let's try that again. (Throat clearing noise)
Okay, there are some people, whom, will always be a part of our lives no matter what.
My uncle, Wally, god rest his soul (and a merry old soul was he), was one of these.
Parents, siblings, loved ones - we carry these people around with us until there is the person, themself, and there is the person living inside our head*, sometimes ascending even into myth. (Again, witness Uncle Wally, a figure who looms large, not only in my memories, but in those of literally hundreds if not thousands of people.)
And then there's your ex-wife.
Okay, not your ex-wife, my ex-wife (and I may be circumlocuting ever so slightly, here...), my ex-wife - the inimitable, "K":
Not to be confused with my most recent ex - the ex-girlfriend "K" - and a shout out to you, my dear, who are still doing battle in NY's Long Island, but are soon to finish residency and embark on doctorhood. As the Fun Loving Criminals once said, "best wishes... and knishes".All right, I think I've danced around this one enough. And now, back to our story:
So there I was, minding my own business on a loverly Saturday Morning at the Phoenix Art Museum. M and I had breakfasted at the Welcome Diner and decided to stop in for the Impressionist Exhibit...
Okay, sorry for the cliff hanger ending but I must rush off. Damn this whole "making a living" thing and how it interferes with really important things. Like blogging. Sigh.
More later. Promise.
*footnote: Okay, yeah, I've been reading some Roland Barthes lately, so the whole division between people and the images we carry of them is not necessarily original. On the other hand, "Right Mindfulness," a key to the Eight Fold Path to Buddhist Enlightenment is considerably older... blah blah blah.