Monday, November 29, 2004

Lead Into Gold Into Lead

So Thanksgiving weekend. Mostly, I was thankful for getting the fuck out of the miasmic pit of bad feelings that I call my office. Some bright boy, as Hemingway would say, got the idea that a windowless room in the basement would be much more pleasant if painted pale yellow. With bright orange doors. Throw in a cranky, petulant German with the manners of a spoiled five year old and the human feeling of a Vulcan, and you’ve got a recipe for GOOD TIMES! So while the braintrust of the firm were in high level meetings with clients and toasting the good times ahead, the four of us in the cheap seats who getting shitcanned ten days before Christmas were sitting in the outside room, being resolutely ignored and feeling a bit chafed about the chaps. God bless YOU, Tiny Tim, you precocious little cripple.

So, to cheer myself up, I did what the rest of America did, aside from the vegans and other assorted weirdos and haters of Freedom: I ate my way to happiness. Or at least into a stupor.

I was supposed to race at San Ramon on Saturday, but it rained the night before and the track was “too wet,” even though it wasn’t raining at race time. WTF? It’s a fucking BMX track, what’s going to happen? We get muddy?

Saturday night was supposed to be Captured By Robots at Bottom of the Hill, but I was really not feeling being out and about amongst humanity. Though robots would’ve been nice. I long for an Isaac Asimov future, devoid of fleshly weaklings like myself.

Sunday morning was the Run to the Far Side 10 K. Up until then, I was pretty much of the opinion that 10 Ks were the province of old people and fat asses, which I guess is true—and I’m one of them, because that run kicked my ass. After all, I thought I was Bobby Badass Marathoner—and a marathon is over 40 K, but that marathon was over a year ago, Jack. My thighs feel like someone’s stuck about 8 or 9 icepicks in them, and I’ve got some sweet shin splints. Anyone want to run this week?

When I got back, I stepped on the scale I’ve been assiduously avoiding. How bad could it be, right? I just ran a 10 K. Well, weight-wise, I’m not all that much heavier—about 20 lbs. over where I want to be—but my scale has a body fat percentage feature. I gained three percent body fat over the holidays! And if the weight didn’t go up, I guess some of my muscles must’ve congealed into Parkay over the weekend.

I know—I’m a bitch. I’m going to turn into one of those “I’ll just have a salad with dressing on the side” twats. What I need to do is get a new set of New Balance distance shoes and start putting on some fucking miles on the weekend.

All right, so. This was mostly about nothing, huh? I’ll promise to be more interesting next time.

“If I had to give you something then I think I’d give you nothin’
If I had to give you something then I think I’d go to hell.”

“Day of the Deadringers”

Friday, November 26, 2004

War All the Time

It's 11:23, the day after Thanksgiving, and my roommate is still in his room, playing war games. The sound of automatic weapons fire, death grunts, and radio communications with commands like "Kill him now!" are coming through his doorway. Good times. I wanted to ask him to go to my folks for Thanksgiving, but that kind of thing is always a little weird. My dad has Alzheimer's and my mom forgets a lot as's a matter of gauging how resilient people will be to answering the same question over and over. I don't know...I suppose I was more concerned about my own discomfort. Selfish, to the last tiny bone in my eardrum. But who's to say he hasn't had a satisfying time killing in his room? He's been doing it all week.

The Avengers are playing at the Du Nord tonight. Didn't really feel up for a show--I've got to wake up at 7 tomorrow for the races. I missed the Dicks, Crime, and now the Avengers. Struck out on the legendary SF punk thing.

Feeling spaced and alone. Got laid off a couple weeks ago...come Dec. 15, no job. Not looking forward to finding another, not stoked on the idea that it may be back to clubs and cabs... Not feeling it. I see the abyss coming, and I'm not feeling too comfortable about it. I don't want to go there, but I'm standing on one of those moving sidewalks at the airport. Or a glacier. A river of ice, slow flowing into the sea. What I'd normally do in this situation is try to find the nearest wet-eyed girl to fall in love with. Someone told me the other day: "Interested is interesting." If someone shows interest, you're drawn to that. Hey, maybe I am okay. Here's someone I can tell all my old crash and burn stories to, and she can tell me hers, and we can lick each other's wounds by the fireside until we come. Then we'll scrub our brains out with dreams and go eat waffles. "This must be love, love, love. Nothing more, nothing less--love is the best."

K's grandmother died today, while I was in meditation class.

Like everything, this mood is a song. Let's try "Coney Island Baby" by Mr. Lou Reed, without the part about playing football for the coach:

When you’re all alone and lonely
In your midnight hour
And you find that your soul
It’s been up for sale
And you begin to think ’bout
All the things that you’ve done
And you begin to hate
Just ’bout everything

But remember the princess who lived on the hill
Who loved you even though she knew you was wrong
And right now she just might come shining through
And the--
glory of love, glory of love
Glory of love, just might come through

And all your two-bit friends
Have gone and ripped you off
They’re talking behind your back saying, man
You’re never going to be no human being
And you start thinking again
’bout all those things that you’ve done
And who it was and what it was
And all the different things you made every different scene

Ahhh, but remember that the city is a funny place
Something like a circus or a sewer
And just remember different people have peculiar tastes
And the--
glory of love, the glory of love
The glory of love, might see you through

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Like the Trumpet of Gabriel

When I blow my nose, I don’t fuck around. It makes a loud, trumpet sound which used to make the other kids laugh. I don’t know…maybe my characteristic nasal trumpet is responsible for all those years of anti-social behavior. Maybe a I have my nose to thank for my rugged individualism and counter-cultural iconoclast status. (Full clout, y’all!) Point is, when I’ve got action up there, it’s got to go. No namby-pamby, polite noseblowing for this boy.

Anyway, it’s no secret that the sinuses connect up the nasal passages to the eyes. It’s one big system. Some years ago, I noticed if my honking was extra Gillespie-esque and intense, I could feel air coming out of my eyes. No shit.

So last night, I’m riding home on my bike around 10 PM. It’s cold, I’m tired, I want to get home, and I’m rocking “Liar” by The Jesus Lizard, so I’m putting on some speed. My eyes are watering from the cold air and I’m sniffling like crazy. Finally, a block from my house, I stop to do the farmer snot get-down. I gently lay my index finger aside my right nostril and blow. I didn’t mean to do it all that hard, but I guess I did. Not only did I clear out my nostril, but I blew a bunch of mucous out my eye socket. I don’t know—maybe it was just tears, since my eyes were watering. Kind of stung though.

Though I’d share that

What Your Beard Says About You In Court

I found this in a Mississippi State Court document. Why was I looking there? Google search for "individualist" + "nonconformist"--a little research to sell you beer, my pretty. Anyhow, considering my nickname used to be "weird beard" I thought this court transcript was at least as humorous as the Ray Charles song "The Man with the Weird Beard."

Challenge S-9, 8-10, Davis. He is a friend of Thurman, who was previously challenged by the state, S-2, Panel 7, Juror 7, and visited with him during the entire two days that they were here, and stated on the record that they were friends. Thurman, as stated previously, has been convicted of ABC and drug violations. He also had a weird beard, which indicated to the state that he was a strong individualist and non-conformist and dissenter. He left his employment blank on the jury questionnaire form. He voted for a defense verdict in a civil action on a close issue. He said that it was a hard decision for the jury to reach, which indicated that it was a close issue, and in the close issue, he went for the defense.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Stay Metal

The kids love the metal, whether they're rocking to Ozzy at the latest Ozzfest, or blowing up a police station in Iraq--the devil horns rule the day.

It's No Game, Pt. 2

Silhouettes and shadows watch the revolution
No more free steps to heaven
Just walky-talky--heaven or hearth
Just big heads and drums--full speed and pagan
Well it's no game

I am barred from the event
I really don't understand the situation
So where's the moral
People have their fingers broken
To be insulted by these fascists--it's so degrading
It's no game

Documentaries on refuges
Couples 'gainst the target
Throw the rock upon the road and
It breaks into pieces
Draw the blinds on yesterday
And it's all so much scarier
Put a bullet in my brain
And it makes all the papers

It's no game

Children 'round the world
Put camel shit on the wall
Making carpets on treadmills
Or garbage sorting

And it's no game

(David Bowie)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Air Supply's Greatest Hits

So I finally get out of the house to take a run--it's 11:51 PM. I'm about to play some punk rock or Slayer or something to get in the workin' out mood, and I decide to play "The Decline of British Sea Power" by British Sea Power. Fuck, that album is all-time, as Mike Lawyer would say.

The guitars on that record rock so hard, and yet, it's such a damned romantic album. It makes me want to make out; it makes me want to say stupid things; it makes me want to fall in love--and not many things do that nowadays.

I run about 20 blocks to maybe 27th Ave, and I decide, fuck it, I'm going to run to the beach. I've measured it out in a car before--it's 3.2 miles from my house to the beach, making about a 6 1/2 mile run. But I am down for anything--I've got the iPod full blast and I'm air guitaring and shit. And the damned thing craps out on me! Ain't that a bitch? Freezes at 38 seconds into "The Lonely":

"Since I find out that all of this
Is nothing more than emptiness
Filled with impermanence"

No iPod lasts forever. Actually, I looked up troubleshooting on the Apple site, and the "freezing up" thing doesn't seem too hard to fix, except that I left my firewire cables at work.

Anyhow, BSP makes me want to be madly in love, and have one of those madly in love slow fucks. Not a soft-focus, Hallmark card, sillhouetted lovers holding hands on the beach, Air Supply fuck, but one of those slow, intense fucks where it seems like you don't have enough skin, like you just want to touch everywhere at once and do the Vulcan mind meld at the same time. The transcendent power fuck.

Which reminds me of this time in high school. My friend Bret and I were in his beat down Scirroco listening to Iggy Pop, and this guy Tony Anselmi was in the back seat. We were all supposed to be in Journalism class, but Ms. Wilson didn't give much of a damn if we were there everyday, so we were out driving around. We were listening to "Instinct," which is a pretty mediocre Iggy album, but that song "Strong Girl" was on, which is a cool enough tune. Bret and I were saying that it'd be a great song to fuck to, and Tony chimes in: "You know what's the best album to fuck to?"

"No, what?"

"Air Supply's greatest hits."

Tony actually ran for Class Clown. You know, campaigned for it. Of course he didn't get it. There's more to being a clown than being clueless.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Thank You, Mr. Cave

So I downloaded the new Nick Cave albums yesterday--“Abattoir Blues” and “The Lyre of Orpheus.” I’ve only listened to “Abattoir Blues” as yet--on my bicycle on the way to work this morning. Mein Gott—from the pounding drums that set off the opening track, “Get Ready for Love,” it’s clear Nick isn’t fucking around on this one. He’s not here to sing melancholy ballads--at least not right away--he’s here to rock in a way that he hasn’t since the Birthday Party. The guitar is just fucking vicious, “six strings that drew blood,” all the while Nick sings cynical and psychotic, looking for some kind of sign--Jesus in his reflection, the image from the Shroud of Turin (a fake) rising out of the coaster underneath his sweaty bourbon glass--and the gospel gals belt “Praise Him!” like Patti Labelle on speed, sounding like a stadium full of Pentacostals on the eve of the Apocalypse. “Until we find ourselves at our most distracted,” St. Nick sings, “And the miracle that was promised creeps quietly by.”

And, exultant, we’re led into “Cannibals Hymn,” and some piano, some organ, and a guitar that sounds more like a percussive instrument. And it all goes to show why I love Nick Cave so much. For someone so bruised and battered, someone who can be so sardonic and spiteful in one song, in one lyric, in one twist of tonality on one simple word, he’s still a pie-eyed romantic, and a believer. Every Nick Cave song, from the first Birthday Party album until this latest release, is a struggle with faith, a struggle to believe: in God, in Love, in the idea that believing is still possible. And for all his self-styled, sometimes ham-handed, crucifixion complex, as an artist really does seem to be searching for the light, wading through the abyss with a candle. Like the rest of us, he’s mired in this mortal coil, but not to the point where he gives up seeking transcendence. And there’s something infinitely more satisfying in the tension between feeling born to sin but destined for glory, than in mere musical nihilism. (Mr. Cave paints in a decidedly Christian idiom—but you could just as easily substitute “suffer” for “sin” and “enlightenment” for “glory” and you’ll get the same struggle, in Buddhist terms….) In saving himself again and again, record after record, he makes it salvation--a tiny moment of grace, as sweet as a song--seem possible for the rest of us

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Three Point Plan for World Domination

So I'm walking back to the office, and I walk past a guy with this great hat. It says, “WINE 'EM, DINE 'EM, 69 'EM.” Man, I thought to myself. Now there's a guy that must get a ton of play. He must beat 'em off with a stick. [When he's not wining, dining, or 69-ing 'em.] A bold, and apparently effective--if mutually delivered oral gratification is your goal--dating strategy like that deserves a closer look.

Clearly the first step in any amorous activities is plying your date with copious amounts of mind-altering chemicals. In this case, alcohol is the chosen drug, specifically wine, which has a “classy” air about it, even when poured out of a box. However, I'd like to suggest that this might be a symbolic placeholder for any drug which lowers the inhibitions, for the sake of a catchy pneumonic device. “Roofie 'em, Dine 'em, and 69 'em” just doesn't have the same ring to it, ne-c'est pas?

Step two is a little more revolutionary. To my mind, this step has more to do with impressing your date with your cultural savoir faire than the effect that the dining experience will have on your dates booze-debilitated body. Why kill the buzz by dumping a bunch of food on top of it? Certainly projectile vomiting would be a bumpy side-road to get lost on whilst heading up the onramp to Rte. 69, the Superhighway of Suck. While I don't purport to understand the full theory behind this paradigm-shifting headgear, I will suggest that the Dine 'Em step be handled with the greatest care. Perhaps a fancy fine dining place where miniscule, yet aesthetically pleasing portions are offered, and an underfed and ill-tempered Frenchman will happily check your “WINE 'EM, DINE 'EM, 69 'EM” hat while your date smiles broadly enough to cause the retainer to drop out of her mouth while she exclaims, “Gosh [Your Name Here], you sure are classy!”

Also keep in mind that introducing a turgid, fleshy probe into the aforementioned oral entryway which is connected via esophagus to a full stomach, but not before passing a little-known organ called the uvula, well…it could be risky. Then again, so could booze on an empty stomach. Maybe the “Dine 'Em” edict is simply to suggest a temporal gap between the fast and furious quest for inebriation that initiates the encounter, and the tongues akimbo fellatio fandango that, God willing, brings the evening to fruition. By all means, if it seems to be merely a case of settling the sloshing, head to the nearest 24 hour doughnut emporium and throw some doughnut holes down her gullet.

[I say “her,” but please, don't let the sad sexism of English pronouns bring you down. I would be more than happy to accommodate any ladies willing to place me on the receiving end of such a visionary courtship plan. I don't drink, however, so we may have to use near beer for the first part. I promise to act drunk.]

69 'EM
Is this as foreplay to the flagrante delicto? The “beast with two backs” as Shakespeare called it? Or, for those of you inclined to the modern idiom, “the hobby horse,” as Judd Hirsch says in the John Hughes coming of age opus, The Breakfast Club. (Not to be confused with every other John Hughes coming of age opus. He sure did milk us for our allowance when we were teens, huh?) Or am I just hopelessly animalistic, regressive, reptile-brained, yang-oriented, and thoroughly, shamelessly male to think that penile/vaginal penetration is the ultimate destination of the Love Bus? Fucking is so fin de siecle (“end of the century,” for you Ramones fans/ non-French speakers). Making out replaced it in 2000 and had a good run, but, if our friend's prophetic hat bodes anything for our collective romantic proclivities, the new millennium will henceforth be dedicated to oral.

As an HIV test counselor, I can tell you that oral sex (“oral not sex” if you're President Clinton) ranks relatively low on the risk continuum. At least in terms of contracting HIV. May I suggest no vigorous tooth brushing or flossing beforehand-you don't want to make your gums bleed. In terms of other maladies of Venus, however-you can still get just about anything else through oral sex. Warts, hepatitis, black hairy tongue, herpes, who knows what all. Herpes, Jesus. What is this, 1981? No one worries about anything that won't kill them anymore. Dive in there, Sparky! This is the moment you've been waiting for, there's no time to be finicky.

I can't tell you who's the bigger visionary: the cloistered philosopher who came up with that saying/stratagem, the intrepid designer who followed his heart and had it screened in puff ink on a mesh hat cobbled together by a preteen Malaysian, or the Sidewalk Superstar who had the foresight to pick a winner, and the cojones to turn his dreams into reality.

Hats off to you, good gentlefolk.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"Don't Be Consoled..."

Okay, so I figured it out. My boss is highly disagreeable: he treats people without a ghost of respect, berates his employees in front of their coworkers, doesn't give them the opportunity to save face, and generally acts like a petulant, ill-bred five-year-old. And when I'm going through it with him, I now think this: this isn't as bad as the Bataan Death March. So my boss thinks human beings don't deserve dignity simply because they're human beings. So what? I'm not being forced to dig my own grave, I'm not going to get bayoneted, he's not going ot come running out of his office with a samurai sword and behead me.

Of course, it's not entirely a good sign that I equate work with war atrocities, but we can't all be jetsetting international playboys, you know? Plenty of worthy human beings with just as much of a right to pursue their dreams have been annhilated for amusement--why should I bitch about a jerky boss? History is rife with small pox infected blankets, beheading competitions, tubercular candy, incindiery bombs, tiger traps, and free fire zones. Gas chambers masquerading as showers. Genghis Khan made a man eat his own flesh until he died. You think you've got problems? Do you know what it means to be "drawn and quartered"? Look, there are your intestines, being wound up on a spit. Horses hitched to each limb, headed in different directions... All the torture these days is psychological.

I'm talking to myself, of course--literally and figuratively. Buck up, Sparky, it's mental anguish, sure, but not quite "The Manchurian Candidate."

All this reminds me, in a roundabout way, of a Stiff Little Fingers song:


They tell you not to worry, they say they're terribly sorry
But that's the way it has to be, for the likes of you and me
Just be good and know your station
Always look on the bright side
Keep you faith and keep your patience
Your reward is after you've died

So don't be told, don't be consoled
Things are so bad, you can never make do
And there's always someone better off than you

They tell you that's your future, it's all down to human nature
Simply settle for what you got, that's destiny and that's your lot
All of us cannot come first, yes what you have is second best
But it might be a good deal worse
Third world peasants get even less

Do you care that it's not fair?
Is this the way we have to live?
I know I care, and I want an equal share
Even if it means I have to give

The people who are on top
Say that you should keep your chin up and
They are keen to show you, the unhappy ones below you
But I want to more of that stuff, that's looking at it upside down
And the world has got money enough for us to make it go around so

Don't be told, don't be consoled
Don't be ruled and don't be fooled
Because things are so bad you can never make do
And there's always someone better off than you.

A Moment of Rancorous Bitterness

I wrote this a couple months ago, probably. I just ran across it, and figured, why not. Discretion is the better part of valor, but he who hesitates is lost. (Probably not as lost as he who spouts empty platitudes, however.) So here it is. No condolences, I'm in a happier place now.

Duncan hasn't written any blogs. Why? Because blogs are retarded, expulsive effluvium that people don't read. The information explosion is not a good thing. Emily Dickinson did not write blogs. Every word counts, and all these things are about is word count. Oh, crap--here I am, writing a blog. (It's no coincidence that the genre rhymes with "log.") So that makes me self-reflexive, post-modern and ironic. Barf.

I'd like to dedicate this blog o' fun to Maria, who told me she gets "hella play" on Myspace. So here I am, it's 2:00 AM Friday night, and I'm not even motivated enough to play with myself. I took a nap when I came home from work, and now I'm awake and bored off of my ass...hence, this blog. How is it treating you, dear reader? Oh, that's right--no one reads these things.

Look at me! Look at me! I'm angry and disaffected.

So I'm getting up at six A.M. to go race my bike in Livermore, which is also known as the anteroom to hell. The windows are always shut in Livermore, though, so it's a few degrees hotter.

I got a hilarious email from my ex-girlfriend yesterday. I told her that maybe she might be possibly partying a little too much, since I'm a judgmental bastard and the last time I saw her said she'd been up on coke the whole weekend. And mushrooms, she has such "spiritual breakthroughs" or some such shit while on hallucinogens. Yeah, mmm-hmmm. All that William Blake "the path of excess leads to the Tower of Wisdom" shite. (Not that she'd quote Blake on the subject...maybe a sage like E-40.) Anyhow, she replied that now, as opposed to times of using too much in the past, at least "all the drugs I want to do I can get for free." Wuh? You thought I was worried that you were paying too much? Well, so long as being a cokehead and going to the End Up at 6:00 AM are free, well, you go girl! Snort like you're possessed by the spirit of David Lee Roth...don't come crying to me six months later when you're all tapped out and you look like him, though. Speaking of Diamond Dave:

"You know you're semi-good lookin'
And on the streets again
Yeah, you think you're really cookin' baby
You'd better find yourself a friend.

Ain't talkin' 'bout love--
My love is rotten to the core."

This is a girl that I thought I was going to marry...and vice versa. And she writes and tells me, three months after we broke up, that some guy ripped her heart to bits and pissed on it. "I really thought I was going to marry this guy." So, that's two guys you were going to marry in a year? And I thought I had a problem with falling in love too much. How 'bout some Positively 4th St. here, perhaps the greatest dis song ever written:

"No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I'd rob them

And now I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don't you understand
It's not my problem"

She left a message on my machine after the dismemberment of her heart (it's made out of Legos--you can break it apart and build a new one in minutes), apologizing for breaking my heart in the past. And I will admit, it was not all happy times and pass the soda crackers when we broke up. But, ultimately, it was like a veil of frustration lifting... And there I was, wondering just how I get myself so worked up all the time. What am I looking for when I fall in love? Someone to tell me that I'm not as fucked up as I think I am, "hey--I like you. You're okay." I want my soul validated like a parking receipt. I'm done with that shallow shit.

So, anyway, back to the email--finally, she tells me she had a vision while on mushrooms that she and I were going to be really good friends. What, I ask of you, is the dividing line between revelation and delusion? What was that? Did I hear a bell? Oh, you mean high school is over?

Okay, as far as the Noble Eight-Fold Path is concerned, this is not right speech. This is talking shit, and I will incur many karmic demerits. Do not get caught wandering the bardos without a hall pass.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Autographs Are Available, But I Only Sign Body Parts

Here I am, killin' it at San Ramon last Sunday. By "killin' it," I mean wasting a bunch of other old men trying to be kids again. But this is the first race I've won since I was a 12 expert, so if that doesn't deserve a groupie grope, at least a mercy fuck is in order.