Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thought of the Day: Courage

The dividing line between courage and cowardice is not strength, but bluff. The courageous pretend to be stronger than they are, because they would rather risk a sacrifice than fail to act. The cowardly pretend to be weaker, less strong than they could be, so as not to have to bear the sacrifice.

After a time, the difference between acting strong or weak and being strong or weak vanishes. Because what matters is that whatever you can do - you are that strong.

More Sexy Pt.3

"Up in the Gallery" by Franz Kafka. Translated by Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC, Canada. The translation is in the public domain and may be used without charge and without permission, provided the source is acknowledged, released November 2003.

"Up in the Gallery"

If some frail tubercular lady circus rider were to be driven in circles around and around the arena for months and months without interruption in front of a tireless public on a swaying horse by a merciless whip-wielding master of ceremonies, spinning on the horse, throwing kisses and swaying at the waist, and if this performance, amid the incessant roar of the orchestra and the ventilators, were to continue into the ever-expanding, gray future, accompanied by applause, which died down and then swelled up again, from hands which were really steam hammers, perhaps then a young visitor to the gallery might rush down the long stair case through all the levels, burst into the ring, and cry “Stop!” through the fanfares of the constantly adjusting orchestra.

But since things are not like that—since a beautiful woman, in white and red, flies in through curtains which proud men in livery open in front of her, since the director, devotedly seeking her eyes, breathes in her direction, behaving like an animal, and, as a precaution, lifts her up on the dapple-gray horse, as if she were his grand daughter, the one he loved more than anything else, as she starts a dangerous journey, but he cannot decide to give the signal with his whip and finally, controlling himself, gives it a crack, runs right beside the horse with his mouth open, follows the rider’s leaps with a sharp gaze, hardly capable of comprehending her skill, tries to warn her by calling out in English, furiously castigating the grooms holding hoops, telling them to pay the most scrupulous attention, and begs the orchestra, with upraised arms, to be quiet before the great jump, finally lifts the small woman down from the trembling horse, kisses her on both cheeks, considers no public tribute adequate, while she herself, leaning on him, high on the tips of her toes, with dust swirling around her, arms outstretched and head thrown back, wants to share her luck with the entire circus—since this is how things are, the visitor to the gallery puts his face on the railing and, sinking into the final march as if into a difficult dream, weeps, without realizing it.

More Sexy Pt.2

I've Decided to Make This Blog More Sexy.

"Hey, baby."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Discovered By A Mom!

Discovered by a Mom! The trick to make teeth look whiter! See the before and after photos all over the internet! Discovered by a Mom!

What you see is the result of a technique - discovered by a mom - that makes teeth look whiter! This ordinary mom was fooling around online when, quite by accident, she clicked one click too many and downloaded Photoshop. "At first I said, 'how do I return this? It's electric!' But then I thought what the heck, why not give it a try first. Before I knew it, I was zapping the red glow from people's pupils, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, and making whites whiter and brights brighter in all my family photos! And that's when I made my discovery: the trick to make teeth look whiter. Photoshop does that too!"

It's a wonderful discovery, folks. Photoshop. Making teeth look whiter all over the damn internet! Discovered by a Mom!

And wait 'til you see what it can do for those unsightly pounds and bulges.

Language, Love, Art

I think that language is more worth loving - more worth loving deeply - than art. And I hate to say that! Because in truth, I have always considered myself a visual person more than a verbal person. So it pains me very much to say know what, in fact, what kind of an asshole am I to say I think like that? Fuck me AND my presumptuous BULL SHIT.

Anyway. I just got swept up in the language for a moment, over a separate issue, and I lost perspective. I do think that Love of Language gets you deeper into people than art does - all the joys and kinks and shared attempts and experiences and frustrations of people. And in that respect, oh how well repaid the love of language is! But Love of Art can get you deeper into the universal and the transcendent. The power of a created image or object can take you soaring out of your body and even, out of your mere human identity, and lift you up into heavens and hells and firmaments and fundaments, burn away all the amassed connections and complexities in an instant and leave you feeling quite primordial, quite beatific. Certainly language can hit those notes as well, but I think there tends to be a different method and effect with each. When both are working at their highest level, language effects more epiphanies; art works in raptures.

The Love of Math is also fraught with cosmic and spiritual revelation, when approached with the requisite reverence and humility. No. I'm serious. It totally is.

But I think what I was trying to say in the first place is that while as a young man, the powerful and fiery vision of the singular artist seemed all that was needed to frame the I grow older, I find myself more and more in love with the human scale, in all its frailty, in all its most common needs and desires to express and understand. If art is the uncommon vision of one, addressed to the world, if art is the impetuous attempt to speak a perfect statement (of any scale - from cosmic to tragic to intimate) into six billion hearts, and potentially infinitely more in posterity, then language to me seems so much smaller, so much more dear, the medium through which we each try to reach the heart of maybe only one other person, in one moment, off the top of our own. Art is a colossal and singular act, the death-defying realization of a uniquely conceived goal. Or if it isn't, it god-damn well ought to be! And it deserves reverence, whether it succeeds or dies trying.

But language is where we all die trying. Just about every day. And where we all find life, and occasionally, the great and meaningful victories of having brightened the heart or the mind or even the face of just one other person. Whom in that moment at least, we love. Communication is an act of love.

It may be that I've merely given up on the possibility of the grand act, for myself. But I don't think so. I never wanted that for me, particularly. I love it as much as ever from others! I do love art. Art was my first love.

New Respect for Freud

"It is only when a person is completely in love that the main quota of libido is transferred on to the object and the object to some extent takes the place of the ego."

- Sigmund Freud
I love that. That's almost precisely perfect. First really interesting (to me) use I've seen him make of his little metaphorical mindscape strata map. Nice one, Siggie!

Really quite good.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I've Done a Lot of Things In My Life I'm Not Proud of

None of you out there need to be idolizing me. Listen, I know I come off like a paragon of exemplariness, and in a lot of ways, that's a truism. But that's not the whole story.

It never is.

Listen. I've done a lot of stuff I'm not proud of. Laundry. The dishes. Filled up my gas tank - I'm not proud of that. I made a photocopy of a document earlier today. Last week, I held the door for a man. I'm not proud of that.

When I was in 5th grade, I made some decisions I'm not proud of. Later on, yeah, I was proved right - but I'm still not proud. That's some kind of hypocrisy, if I was - you can't go around being revisionistically proud of things, trying to reflect that bask back into the past, just because history goes around vindicating your decisions, just because everybody crowds in after the fact acclaiming you as some kind of hero, some kind of genius.

I can't buy into that whole narrative. I can't idealize myself too much, I know the real story too well. Too many things I've done in this life, that I am not proud of. Not then, not now. That's not even all of them. That's not even a complete list.

You don't need to be idolizing me. I'm just a guy trying to get by, in a world I'm not particularly proud of.

For Too Long Have I Underappreciated The Dutch

The Dutch have a sublime mastery of mining discomfort for the rich, bulging veins of humor that lie concealed within. This is a brilliantly conceived and executed piece:

And speaking of discomfort, there is Dutch Pop Idol. This halftime extravaganza is really worth watching, at least, I watched it and I think you might need to:

There are times when it's appropriate to spew vitriol upon our vapid American talent contests, and then then there are times when reality crashes in and forces you to say: we need to appreciate what we have.

And that goes for the Dutch as well: we need to appreciate what they have.

The Tough Topics #9: Same Sex Gay Marriage.

I've got the solution for a compromise on this gay sex marriage deal, but extremists on either side are not going to like it one bit.

So here goes.

Heterosexual America has an enormous bug up its collective psyche on the "quote unquote" Sanctity Of Marriage. We need to face facts: not within this generation is marriage ever going to come out of the closet - if even then. Anybody doubt that at this point? Does anyone want to bet that the rest of the country is more liberal than the California Supreme Court? Because let me tell you: I will take all of those odds.

So where does that leave us?

Now just for the sake of argument: as same sex-gay marriage activists, do we say "screw what people need now, we can't compromise on this one - semantics is more important than actual tangible rights that people need!" Is that what we say? Or do we say "let's do what all liberal activists have always done: fight the battle we can win today, chip away the stone, slide another few yards down the slippery slope and fight tomorrow's battle tomorrow."

I say we say that second thing.

Anybody out there crowing that change is inevitable? That it's going to happen no matter what? Well how about this: put the heck up or else shut the heck up. How about you act on the confidence you claim to have for the future. Show that confidence by leaving the inevitable to the future. Because I'll tell you what else is inevitable: it's not going to happen in the here and now. If you really believe it's inevitable, then great! Let's throw a victory party for future us! But in the meantime, let's get serious about the struggle shall we? Change the battle plan for today. Win the battle you can win today.

Here it is. Here is the whole battle plan: call it something else.

It's as simple as that! Cede the field on "Marriage." Let them have their sacred word: "Marriage." They will feel quite secure and sanctified as long as they can keep saying "Marriage is between a man and a woman," a thousand times smiling! So let them have their magic word. You go for what matters: the rights.

If you call yourself an activist, and you say the word is more important than the rights, you're some kind of pathetic piece of shit. People are hurting. Can't visit their life partner in hospital! Car accident victim, could die any minute! "Sorry, you're not a family member." Problems with inheritance! Problems with permission slips, problems with insurance - do you want to say some word "Marriage" is more important than people who are hurting right now?

If so - NUTS TO YOU, pal! You fight on the side of the enemy, you don't even deserve victory at that point! No activist in a righteous cause puts the cause ahead of the people it serves.

So do we now have our priorities straight? Leave "Marriage" to the straights (for the time being) and come up with another word, or better yet, swipe an existing word and repurpose it (just like "gay"!).

That word is: "Espousal."

Campaign vigorously for "Espousal." Settle for nothing less than a U.S. Constitutional Amendment. Define "Espousal" as procedurally identical and legally equal in all aspects under the law to marriage. The two people who file for their license, get their blood test etc, and solemnize their Espousal with the requisite witnesses present are therefore officially "Spouses" (see how neat that works?). Eliminate the hysterical "they'll force our churches to host fag weddings!" objections, by specifying right up front that no church shall be required to perform Espousals if it shalt not decide to do so. On the celebrant side, anyone with the right to perform a marriage also has the right to perform an espousal if they choose. On the justice-of-the-peace side of course, no blocks allowed: a civil servant can't refuse to perform a totally non-religious function on religious grounds. Draw and quarter the bastard who tries that shit. Demote him or her to postal duty.

Further stipulations: make a point in the Amendment that Espousal Ceremonies can legally be called "Weddings." The Sanctity Of Marriage is the issue that the opposition has staked out. If they cared about the Sanctity Of Weddings, they should have made that an issue earlier. Ditto such various forms and words as "nuptuals," "pre-nuptual," "honeymoon" - everything linguistically that can be applied to a "Marriage" applies equally to "Espousal" under the law. The Sanctity Of Divorce is not a particular issue either. That's what I mean by "procedurally identical and legally equal": keep it simple and the same, except for the stupid and meaningless term you use up-front. Any two spouses who want to file proceedings to sever the knot, just call it the same thing regardless of the gender equipment configuration situation: that's a D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

For any morons: I would like to point something out. It should be obvious. This is not "separate but equal." You do not have to report to a shittier college, with subpar textbooks and no activities budget. There are no facilities and infrastructure involved except for the person across from you in bed, who believe me, will be the same person whether you call it "Marriage," "Espousal," or "Adultery." So if you can just give the first two conditions IDENTICAL LEGAL RIGHTS, then your entire fight is won.

For now. Two to five generations down the line, when the world is finally ready for the inevitable, we can get "Marriage" officially re-classified as a special subclass of "Espousal." Which frankly, it really was all along.

Let's also leave Adultery rights for later. Adultery is less about rights than privileges anyhow.

In the parlance of diplomacy: there's your "compromise," bitch!

Welcome to it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Talkin' Sweet #4: There's No Explaining Us darling. We say we love each other. We say we love each other, and I believe that - I know that it's true. Our love is the most urgent truth I know. But at the same time, you are so mysterious to me that sometimes I feel like I don't know you at all, like I don't know you from Adam! Can't really use that expression talking to a woman. It sounds funny. But I think I could say with some justice that I couldn't know you from Eve. Because you are so beautiful, and so original, that you can only be the absolute first of your kind. And I bless the man whose rib got pulled so that the world could be filled with you, because without you, my existence would be eternally worse.

But the skeptic might say: how could it be worse? I wouldn't know what I was missing! That's false. I believe most of the whole world knows what it's missing. Almost the whole world walks around knowing the feel of that ache, that hole inside. And yes, maybe they don't know exactly what it is that they are missing, but they do know exactly how it feels, to live with that lack. I know how it feels, because I felt that ache every day - before you came into my life. And I knew it was you that I was missing, because from the moment we kissed, that ache went away. I surely have not missed it since.

Every day you yourself remain a wonder and a mystery to me. But every day, the truth of our love is plain as day - and unbreakable in my heart. It's beyond doubt to me, when it is in your eyes and in your touch and your laugh, when I see it in all of your's beyond being put into words. It's beyond being understood, and it's beyond the need to be explained. I know I will never understand you, any more than I expect to understand fate or destiny, or whatever blessed miracle brought you to my arms. Your love to me is the chiefest of sacred mysteries, and I would never be such a philistine as to think I could sound its boundaries, or fathom its extent. You have cured me of all such hubris. You have taught me that true love passes all understanding. Our love eludes words, defies reason, and confounds the mind - none of which matters. True love can be grasped by only the heart.

And mine will never let you go.

Change Can Be Bad! But Reform Is Always Good.

I think our municipal police forces need to be reorganized, streamlined, and centralized. They all need to be writing tickets and citing criminals against the same set of laws, and they all need to be reporting to the same Chief: who would be called the President of the United States.

And why not? He's the Commander in Chief of the Military, isn't he? And what are our police forces, but a peacekeeping force employing (basically) paramilitary tactics in order to control order? The reform I propose would be one more way to bring everything into line, and make it not only more efficient, but far more effective.

Our new national police force would be more like Switzerland: absolutely impartial. Absolutely neutral. "Police Neutrality," right? That has a good ring to it! Our new national police force should also be more like journalism, observing a policy of strict non-interference. There would be a code of professional ethics that would require it. Rather than interfering with criminals, the police would simply observe and report. The criminals would be duly noted, and then justice would take its proper course in due time. This would ensure that no one's rights would be violated prior to due process.

There would be a separate branch that would handle it from there: the United States Arresting Officers Corps. These guys would be bad-ass. It's like a whole different division! All they would do is arrest criminals. (Again: major improvement in efficiency). One of their crack operatives would be played by Christian Bale, and every single officer would be expected to evince that same high level of emotionless and impartial precision heroism. This would ensure a very high standard of excellence among the entire Corps - thus keeping morale high.

The result of these reforms would be that crime would be very nearly eliminated. There would be an almost complete improvement in societal decency and happiness, and a sense of serene justice prevalent in society at large - but at the cost of something essential that would be missing, something that maybe most people might not even notice, but it would be really crucial and necessary on a human level - and the rest of what happens could be a sort of meditation on the consequences of that.

I believe this is the only way our current justice system can be improved. It's time to suck it up, quit making excuses, and do what needs to be done. Step 1?


Pool Night Irregular Blues

Pool night. We haven't done pool night in way too long. We need to get back to every week, regular.

Afterwards, I walked halfway home before I remembered I had moved!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fine Shades of Meaning, Out the Wazoo

I find the word exotic to be titillating. The word titillating, however, is merely vulgar. This could be because it includes the word tit, without, however, coming right out and saying tit. Coming right out and saying tit, I find provocative - but not suggestive! It's gone a good bit beyond being merely suggestive at that point. Provocative can be arousing, or it can be inflammatory. Either one could be controversial, depending on context - yet I think you'll find that something inflammatory is usually not arousing, especially if it is inflammatory in the nature of an irritant: causing the skin to get red. Even as an indecent remark can cause the skin to get red! A blush of demure mortification, a flush of embarrassment - which some find alluring.

Words are mysterious and tantalizing messengers. They tease us capriciously with meaning, hinting at the bare outlines of thought, letting diaphanous accents settle over and enwrap thought's succulent frame, caressing its sleek surface; and sometimes - sometimes! - stripping away every last veil from thought's glorious stark figure, the full reveal in a shocked instant, with a sudden flash of insight and a bawdy flourish of trombone! Words entrance and entice; the ways in which they work wantonly upon our minds and moods can be maddeningly sensuous, galvanically transcendent, and volcanically intense. Today, I adulate conversation. Today, I sing the virtues of words.

Stimulating conversation - can there be a more pleasurable leisure activity? A more gratifying way to satiate the need one has, to know another more deeply, most fully? A surer way to probe and reach even the inmost inward secret depths of another, to assuage our fervid desire to be as completely one with another as two can be? Or three! The presence of a third is no bar to shared intimacies, so long as trust is there. Indeed, in all our fond and tender relations with one another, should we not strive to expose ourselves, as much and as often as possible? And to be open and receptive to others, as they in turn dare their own exposures!

To really converse with another is a bold and brazen act of daring, an audacious act. A courageous act. But at that moment when we truly meet each other in our deepest regions, when we see and feel and embody the startling fact that we know each other, know each other well, very well, oh! so well, and very thoroughly - in that one ecstatic instant, that rapture of knowing and being known, fully - we see that every risk on the way was worth taking. We see that the true folly would have been to withdraw, short of the mark, or to have never made the risky attempt. For it is then, in that heady rush of sympathetic bliss, the fulfillment of that moment, of thought offered, of point taken, of thrust grasped, of comprehension clenched and meaning held tight, of nuance wrung and subtlety bled dry, and a wide shared smile as you each luxuriate in the lingering enjoyment of that sublime consummation of intent and realization, flung back upon a freshly disheveled and mingled perspective, basking, awash in the thrum and glow of a mutually-reached understanding - it is then that truly, we must admit conversation to be the pinnacle of human intercourse.

Hm. Now, about that post title - is it properly "out the wazoo," or "up the wazoo"?

A loaded question. Perhaps.

A Call For All You Kung Fu Fans!

I used to watch A TON of "Kung Fu Theater." Saturday afternoons, it was that or Godzilla flicks. As an aspiring global cosmopolite, I had to get my foreign cinema fix one way or the other!

It's very important for young people to be exposed to the arts and cultures of other nations. Young people are naturally thirsty for these sorts of experiences - and I was no exception! And in many ways, it was "Kung Fu Theater" that provided me my entrée into the world of sophistication and enrichment that is Import Cinema, or as I call it, the Theater of The Other. I for one am living testimony that if you get a taste of that good stuff early enough in life, that's an entrée you'll never send back!

Foreign films: some of them have subtleties, others are dubbed, but all showcase a unique point of view that typifies the rest of the world. For me and many others like me, "Kung Fu Theater" provided an opportunity to experience this particular point of view. And not only as a passive viewer! In many cases, there was an interactive, participatory-theater aspect, as the commercial break sounded the starting pistol to reenact various dramatic sequences just witnessed - whether together with the other kids, or alone, using the available furniture.

But as the years pile on, where now are the Kung Fu Classics of yesteryore? With the exception of a few immortal classics, I can't even remember most of the titles. And so I am reaching out to the global community of fans: can you help a brother out? Do any of these well-remembered scenarios or vignettes ring familiar? Can any of you tell me the titles of these films?

(there's no prize. It's not a contest! I don't even know the answers. I'm asking)

1. There's kind of a snide guy whose main remark seems to be along the lines of: "Your kung fu is impressive. But who is your master?" This is taken as a huge insult, and a big deathmatch breaks out!

Now I myself use that line, myself - but always in a context that makes it clear that I mean I am the master. Like "who's your daddy," except violently nonsexual. Whereas this guy in the movie - it might have a taunting aspect to it, but I think it's also a sincere question on some level. Or maybe: he killed the other guy's master, and the other guy's suspicious of that, and so this is a sort of a salt-in-the wound deal, to refer to his dead master. I'm a little foggy on the details. Which is kind of the point, I haven't seen this movie in forever.

2. The hero and heroine are about to go at it (not fight-style either - the other kind of "go at it") and the hero puts this red ball in his mouth that he's supposed to suck on (during) to increase, how you say, endurance, and everything's going along great for a while (you can't see anything! - a lot of bedsheets flapping around and bed-rocking going on) but then he messes up and accidentally SWALLOWS it, and he makes what I can only describe as a "Jackie Chan face" - though I'm pretty sure the actor's not Chan - and gets a mother of a tummyache. Playtime over.

I'm serious. This was a kung fu film. Saturday afternoon kiddie matinee material. Foreign films: often educational!

3. A fighter is repeatedly cornered and questioned throughout the film, by different characters who are trying to find out something he knows. I don't remember what secret he possesses that people are trying to find out, and it doesn't matter, because he never tells. It plays out the same way each time: the questioner asks one question too many (I think one is one too many) and the answer comes back: "You'll find out....when you ROT IN HELL!" Then he kills his interlocutor after a protracted battle scene.

It became a catch-phrase of ours, when closely questioned - but you had to be careful not to trot that one out if mom was in earshot. She didn't care for that sort of talk. And her kung fu was impressive.

4. All the characters say "But still!" a lot. Often with a dramatic pause, before or after (which quickly becomes a comedic pause, the more they keep saying it). And they keep saying it, even where it's not really necessary. "But still!" It goes on like that throughout the whole movie. Except during the fight sequences. "But still!"

You know what, I've got more, but that's it for now. Let's just start with these!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Help Me Out Here, Music Industry Moguls!

Can't anybody get Green Day to do an awesome cover version of the "Charles In Charge" theme and put it on their next album? Just imagine how great that would sound!

Imagine Billie Joe's fake English accent sneering his way through those lyrics: "Charles in charge! Of my Day! And my Night! Charles in charge! Of my Wrong! And my Right! And you see...I!!! want!! Charles in charge of me...I!!! want!! Charles in charge of me!"

It would be like some depraved punk meditation on consensual fascism.

Which Member of My Immediate Family Are You?

I'd love to make up one of those internet quizzes of my own! Only instead of: "Which U.S.S. Enterprise Crewmember Are You?" or "Which Hobbit Are You?" or "Which Ewok Are You?", it would be "Which Member of My Immediate Family Are You?" I think that would be just about awesome.

What I'd have to do is, step one, I'd have to first design a test, with a fairly comprehensive series of questions, detailed enough to differentiate everyone into all the possible categories. Next, step two, I'd have to have each member of my immediate family take the test. That'd be the hard part. Five girls, four boys (I'd include myself in the test), two parents...some of these people are every bit as contrary as I am, and participation in something like this might be a hard sell! Especially when they get to the end of all those questions only to find out what they already knew: you are yourself. "Thanks."

Finally, step three, I'd have to design a logarithm to sort between and weight the values for the various questions and answers, so as to be able to assign each test-taker to the closest fit, based on their responses, to a member of my fam. That'd be the easy part. I don't sweat logarithms any more than I sweat metaphors. Logarithms are my meat and cookies!

This would be an awesome test. I'd just use first names, of course. But a little thumbnail snapshot would be a sweet addition! Nobody would mind that. I'm sure I've got enough lying around. I'd only pick the funny ones.

Now that's a sweet idea for a personality test!

I have to level with you on this one, just so you know: it's going to be just about impossible to score a Me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Songwriter's Dilemma

Songs, you know what - I want to say a few thing or twos about some of the song lyrics I've occasionally posted here. A number of them have not been entirely up-to-snuff. No, I mean it. What's more, a number of them (the same number) have not been entirely serious. I've posted a semi-decent number of lyricses, but I'd guess the ones that were serious could probably be numbered on the fingers of one hand. Give or take polydactyly. Point is: a lot of them were written kind of jokingly, all in one go.

(never mind the fact that some of my most awesome songs were written DEAD-SERIOUSLY, "all in one go")

The reason I don't normally post lyrics up by themselves for the songs I really love of mine is, I hate to put the words out there without the melody that they make sing. You know? So, I'm working on that aspect - recording some of this stuff in rough demo form, but for now, that's what we're stuck with. Dry words. And that's not how I want to put some of my babies out there to the world! So I don't, by and large.

Now that's not a dilemma, though: here's the dilemma. All the songs I'm writing lately sound like country songs. Or maybe not all, but an abnormal number do. Abnormal, considering I went through my first 350+ songs without writing a single one that I'd describe as country! After all this time, to tailspin into a whole spate of country-tinged numbers is enough to make me puke in my beer!

On the assumption that puking in one's beer is more 'rock' than crying in one's beer.

But I mean it as a metaphor only. There's always a better place to puke than one's premium, delicious beer! Whereas the major-label American water-style lagers preferred by most C&W-listening, hat-wearing honkey-tonkeys would no doubt only be improved by a seasoning of bitter tears.

Don't mistake me! I love certain legendary dead Country stalwarts, as well as a select few living legends of the genre. And some of the up-and-comer young bucks (and particularly, buckesses), sure do show adequate sass! But for ME to be writing that stuff, it comes off problematic in my mind. Never mind I'm a Southerner (South Jersey). If I wrote some Southern-Rock inflected tunes I'd be fine with it. But that's as far as she goes - Southern Rock ain't Country.

At some point during this article I seem to have decided "Country" gets a capital 'C'. Well maybe it does. But NOT FROM ME!!

Burger What?

I was trying to think of a good, generic name for a burger joint. Never mind why. But they're TAKEN! I mean, I knew Burger Shack, Burger Hut, Burger Barn were taken. Burger House. Burger Haus. Burger Stop. Burger Shop (and Shoppe). But it keeps going and going! ALL THESE have been taken:

Burger Castle (didn't White Castle sue?)
Burger Circus (these guys better not have a clown...)
Burger Palace (...ditto, a King)
Burger Place
Burger Station
Burger Factory
Burger Bunker
Burger Zone
Burger Box
Burger Chef
Burger Hall
Burger Room

Even Burger Joint is taken!

Which leaves us with some unsettlingly vague options:
Burger Building
Burger Destination
Burger Home
Burger Abode
Burger Area
Burger Location
Burger Locality
Burger Locale
Burger Region
Burger Setting
Burger Environment
Burger Situation
Burger Locus
Burger Relative Coordinate System

Hm. Some of those are getting a bit too abstract. Yet others falute perhaps a bit too high for what I was going for:
Burger Realm
Burger Domain
Burger Dominion
Burger Empire
Burger Protectorate
Burger Embassy

Maybe the emphasis on a place is misplaced. We could just go with:
Burger Premium
Burger Bounty
Burger Find
Burger Reward
Burger Prize
Burger Bonus

Although, now it sounds like giving away free food. Maybe go with a name that calls forth a more specific, particular place. I'm not sure these would be believable:
Burger Laboratory (or Burger Lab)
Burger Institute
Burger Asylum
Burger Clinic
Burger Terminal

I don't know. It's a lot of choices, but, still seems like all the good ones are taken. I kind of like "Burger Situation" - but nobody would buy it! No one would ever believe that someone could get a loan and open up a joint to call it "Burger Situation." What would it be, some sort of participatory deconstruction of the modernist fast food experience? MAN! I would so go there!!

But no one would believe it, as a functioning restaurant.

Burger Abode, now, that has possibilities.

Burger Embassy might be a funny one - featuring the brightly-dressed burgers "of many nations"! No diplomatic immunity for them, though. They are to be consumed.

Never mind that that's kind of the reverse of what an embassy is.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ice Cream Reveries #19

You know what I used to love? Baskin-Robbins strawberry. The purest, most straightforward one (they have a lot of odd variants). Flavor #19 I think. I believe it was called 'Very Berry Strawberry' which I admit is a bit gae. However.

Excellent in a waffle cone.

Can a Feminist Bake? Pt.2: Update

I can't bake at all. I positively suck at it. But that's got nothing to do with the fact I'm a feminist!

I'm so sick of these stereotypes.

Can a Feminist Bake?

I've been interested in learning to bake. Pies, mostly. And not just fruit pies! I have an abiding interest in the whole range of that pie-wide spectrum of the possible. I love the phrase "the pie in the sky"! Who baked that first pie in the sky? These days it seems mainly applied to grandiose rewards for unrealizable schemes, held out to motivate people, to keep them striving for a goal that will never materialize. It's been made all materialistic and sordid. But surely the first pie in the sky was heaven! And man, I can't wait for my slice of that pie in the sky*. People wonder what flavor it's going to be, but I have a suspicion: mince. That'd be quite a curve-ball, huh?

Anyway, pies - that's my bake-ological area of interest. Cookies, too, I guess. That's what you do with extra crust dough right? Cookies! You can even bake 'em in the same oven - just sneak 'em out early though, because they finish quicker.

But anyway, I've been reading a bit into the whole idea of baking, aspects sociocultural as well as bakeological, and I've come across a bit of a dilemma, because some people seem to see baking as no fit activity for a feminist to engage in.

I think that's a positively rotten attitude!

I feel like I've been a feminist my whole life, only I never embraced the term until about a decade ago - because I had fallen for the way foes of feminism would distort what feminism truly means. About 10 years ago I guess, I realized that all that bluster and anti-feminist propaganda was just the patriarchy's way of dividing and conquering. Take the divisive, loud-mouthed theories of a few assholes on the far fringe of feminism, trumpet those worst excesses and paint the whole cause in that same bad light: "See what this high-profile feminist fringe asshole just said...? Well...that's what they all believe. That's what feminism is about."

But that's bullshit, though. The real true cause of feminism is something any thinking human should be strongly on board with - in a nutshell: belief in and advocacy on behalf of women's social, political, and economic equality to men.

That's the real deal, that's the real fight. This morbid obsession over picking out this or that wispy thread of "oppressive patriarchy" and holding it up to the light, hollering "Here's another invisible thing that keeps women down! But I spotted it!" - that sort of himsterical overreaction does nothing to help the real fight. In fact it undermines it, by obscuring the important, hard-to-deal-with issues, with a grand parade of facile trivialities. Petulant tantrums over what women ought or oughtn't wear, or how women ought or oughtn't comport themselves, are oppressive neo-victorian pruderies no matter what their origin - whether they spring from small-town down-home Baptist pulpits, or the slick journals of ostensibly-feminist academics.

Real feminism isn't about placing restrictions on what women can do - or on what a feminist can do.

So anyway, where was I? Baking! And the question is: Can a Feminist Bake?

Hell no.

At least, not this feminist. But I plan to take a crack at it. I plan to learn the deep dark secrets of the art. I need to explore the curious exhortations of my destiny.

Weird Dreams, Lately

Weird dreams, lately! Weird dreams.

But I know - if I set my heart and mind to it - I can make them all come true.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pretty Cool!

Moscow Subway 360 Degree Panorama
Click on the pic to get sucked into some kind of weird warped-space 360 degree panorama of a Moscow subway service tunnel!

I keep expecting aliens to jump out. Where's my full-assault gauntlet?

EDIT: It appears to be "Russian Underground Panorama" by Vladimir Shalagin. Hard to tell, a lot of his site is written in symbols, but there's some cool stuff there you can find by clicking blindly around - including another panorama of a sewer! Or at any rate, some kind of subterranean drainage catacomb.

EDIT2: and clicking around, I found a bunch of others, too - this guy is awesome! Here's a dance hall (and the same from the stage and from a balcony lounge), a beautiful faerie-lit bridge over a river, with trees made out of garbage, and the aforementioned sewer. Which is not a "sewer," apparently, but a meeting of underground rivers.

Some of the panoramas take a little longer to load. It's a cool effect - you'll be looking around and at first, everything you see starts out grainy black and white. Then suddenly big patches turn clear and in beautiful color, until everything is.

He appears to be using some sort of catadioptric camera. Vladimir Shalagin, ladies and gentlemen. Good job Vlad!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Jury's Out on the Greater Good

Crimes that can only be understood by trained professional jurors do not deserve to result in convictions.

I consider myself a patriot. But if we drop the jury system, then this country really deserves to die. Experiment over. We lost. Trying the accused before a class of jaded and insular professionals will represent the death of the last vestige of a country "by the people for the people." We'll be a country by some people, who decide for us all, in our name - against our behalf.

Of course, we're already halfway there in some ways. People are clamoring for it: "Take my individual rights away! I don't want them! The greater good is more important!" No, they don't say it in those words - usually they're talking about some other person's individual rights - but that's the net effect. Because if you can cut somebody else's, then somebody else can cut yours. And why not! For the greater good! Isn't that laudable?

The problem with the greater good is, it ain't you. No matter who you are: it ain't you. It ain't me. It ain't anyone you see. It's an absolute abstraction that necessarily applies to no single one of us. If the greater good renders the rights of the individual forfeit, then at any given point you will find you have no rights - not because of anything you did! But because someone can determine you were in the way. A regrettable casualty, for the greater good.

Who should have that power?

The greater good will be defined by whomever happens to be working the government at that time, and - and they define it how they see fit for their own purpose and benefit. Protecting the rights of the individual is the real greater good: protecting us all, every one. "The individual" is also an abstraction - but it is concrete: it applies equally to everyone you see.

The fact that our justice system's overseers know they can't make something fly unless they can convince 12 ordinary folks that it's right - this is one of the single greatest bulwarks we have against the tyranny of the elite. Install a class of professional jurists with a vested interest in the system, see how fast the system decides it can make anything fly. And believe you me, it will.

What tickles me is that all the self-styled, well-meaning, principled elitists all like to think that if a trained elite decided everything of importance, it would all be decided in their favor. Hell-no.

Come the revolution, the well-meaning and principled elitists will be the first up against the wall.

(on) Art's purpose

It's well and fine
to bake and glaze
and paint designs
of ancient days
and perfect forms
upon one's vase
but flowers draw
the oohs and ahhs

I've Been Awarded An Award!

The award is "Neno's Award":

The award is a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.

The aims of this award:
* As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
* To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.
* Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
* Don't forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
* Answer the awards question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
* Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
* Don't forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

I'm actually keeping this award all to myself, selfish prick that I am. However, I will fully answer the awards question by writing the reason why I love blogging.

Now is not a good time, though. I'll do that in Part 2.

EDIT: Ah, I'll do it right here. Why I blog, it is primarily an outlet for various ideas and snippets and characters and ideas that would otherwise fit nowhere and serve no purpose. Arguably, they don't fit here either, and I wouldn't dispute anyone who said they serve no purpose here. But I like some of them. My blog is kind of abnormal in that it's not really about what's going in my life so much - it's more about providing an outlet, a place to save and serve ridiculous tangents.

Possibly I don't post a lot about me, because I'm a very private person, really, and terribly anxious about boundaries. And not the slightest bit anxious about being that way.

But partly it's also: not a whole lot to say on that front!

Most of the people I've met online are very cool. Some you have to watch out for, but that is really the same as anywhere.

Cover Band Crossover: Mötley Cüre!

Mötley Cüre! They cover the songs of The Cure in the style of Mötley Crüe -brilliant!
I'd love to see these guys in concert. Just this clip, that's some awesome showmanship on display. Talk about something for everybody!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Content Providers Now Outnumber Content Consumers Two-To-One

dogimo: Good evening, and welcome to another edition of Special Guest Shot. Tonight we join Dwight "Doc" Tedster, Executive VP of Sales and Advertising for Yo!tube. First off, Dwight, a 2-parter: one, do I call you Dwight or "Doc", and two, is your last name really Tedster?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: Yes, it is. Dwight is fine. Nobody calls me "Doc," I don't know where you got that.

dogimo: Did your parents consider "Ted" as a name, or have you perhaps had any sons named "Ted"?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: No, that would be...pretty stupid.

dogimo: Quite right. So Dwight, I understand that you've got some alarming news on the media front today, to the effect that content providers now outnumber content consumers?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: True fact. By 2-to-1, it's a phenomenon.

dogimo: What can you tell us about that? What's the cause?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: It's down to the explosion of media outlets, ways and means with which to put one's self, message, image or voice out there. There are twitterers, 12ers, you-tubers, bloggers, vloggers, and any number of others. It's a global trend, and people are jumping on board in droves - more and more people wanting to express themselves to the world. But what's dismaying the content provider community right now is that as more and more people have jumped in to the global self-expression boom, the relative size of the audience keeps dwindling. Eighteen months ago, the number of people putting themselves out there eclipsed the number of people tuning in to read, watch and/or listen. As of last month, the trend reached a crisis point, with twice as many content providers as there are people interested in consuming that content.

dogimo: I see the problem. And what does this trend bode for the global media paradigm to come?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: It's hard to say! The content-providing community has long made a conscious effort to band together and up their mutual consumption of each other's content - blogs linking to other blogs, various mutual-appreciation community archetypes - but with the flood of new providers, it isn't enough. There are just too many people who want to put themselves out there, and there aren't enough people who want to pay attention. The question is: how can we expand the appeal of what's being offered?

dogimo: Especially since what is being offered is essentially, the unedited musings of random amateurs! Such as myself.

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: You have hit it exactly! How do you make that appealing?

dogimo: It's a challenge, and a struggle! Has anybody come up with any ideas, though? It doesn't seem like a really solvable...

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: Well, that's where you're wrong. The solution is pretty obvious if you think about it. We unionize.

dogimo: ...what...?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: Think about it! Union-approved and credentialed content providers! You'd have a chance to set the bar a lot higher, institute some quality controls...

dogimo: ...that's...

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: something to give us some control over the nonstop flood of subpar producers, give the public some assurance that what they are getting is high-quality content. Give consumers a reason to be interested.

dogimo: I admit, it's not entirely crazy, but from a practical standpoint, how do you impose something like this?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: Don't say "impose," it's not a bad thing it's a good thing! Union members would proudly display the Union seal on their page, the consumer would have a high confidence level wherever the seal is displayed. It's a win-win.

dogimo: Okay, but what about scabs?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: I don't anticipate a problem. We believe the cachet associated with Union content will naturally attract the consumer, just by virtue of a superior product. If not, well we have ways of dealing with non-Union providers too. I don't anticipate a problem either way.

dogimo: Well heck, under this scenario, would I get in?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: I haven't really looked around much, at what you have. What sets you apart?

dogimo: Well, I do...I'm a bit of a polyspecialist. I do some poetry, some drawings...some interviews...

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: ...

dogimo: I have a recurring Nude Blog feature?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: I'm not the one who is going to be making the decisions, it wouldn't be right for me to speculate one way or the other...

dogimo: But I've got a shot, right?

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: Every quality content provider has a shot. We will certify and sign up anyone who makes the grade.

dogimo: Sweet! If it's quality you're after, I'm not worried.

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: Yeah, neither am I. The concept's a proven winner. We're just adapting proven old-paradigm methods.

dogimo: Well that sounds fair enough. After the break, maybe you can describe the derivation of the pay scale for us.

Dwight "Doc" Tedster: ...


Tips On If Your Fresh Produce Has Gone Bad (Certain Ways to Tell)

If you have some celery or carrots, or other fresh produce in the crisper and you think it might have gone bad, and you ask it if it's still good, and it answers you - it says "yes, I'm still good!" - throw that in the trash. It's gone bad, it's lying to you. Real fresh produce can't talk, if it can talk then it's gone bad, it must be some kind of population of superintelligent spores or something that it's become infested with.

Don't eat it. This isn't science class okay - you don't want to be experimenting with your own life.

It's true, there's a possibility that eating ex-fresh produce that has been infested with superintelligent talking spores, maybe if you ate that while getting struck by lightning, one would think: superpowers, right? And may be. But that's a longshot, a real longshot - more likely you just get real sick and or die. Is it worth the risk? No, it's not.

Besides, how superintelligent can these spores be? They'd have kept schtum if they were that smart.

Weight-Loss Success Story: My Jeans Just Came Right Off!

I just absently hooked my thumbs into the waist of these jeans, pushed down - without even undoing or unbuttoning anything! - and VWOOP! They just went right straight down! Without even undoing the fly. Went right down! Drawers, too.

These jeans are the same pair that used to be tight and restrictive! VWOOP! Right off! No problem! Effortless. That means I have lost some weight. I must be doing something right!

Oh, it uh, also means I'm looking for a new job. I guess you can't do everything right. Not all the time - it'd be boring.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thought of the Day: Troubles

Don't hesitate to pour out your troubles to others. Sometimes that's the only way to get a good look at them!

Questions About Me: What Do I Do, Exactly?

In my blogger profile it says "Generic Day Job." People have asked for a bit more descriptiveness. Well, I'll try.

Generic Day Job just is what it is. Just a basic job-style job. I type - people read and implement. I call - people pick up and listen. I negotiate - thick, deep, fast and hard. I smack down those who stand in the way of the success of the company. I am a stiff-nosed, bloody-knuckled corporate inside/outsider who never lets his maverick ways stay the hand of progress, who gets stuff done with equal parts pipe-fisted brutality, rakish charm, and a healthy dose of hot, honeyed lead when the situation is begging for it! A man who keeps his own counsel, a man who follows the biggest dreams he can find and trods roughshod headlong down the path of success knocking people in the way sideways with sidelong glance, a barrel-voiced laugh and a wicked sense of following his own course by blazing his own path and hitching his own wagon to his own star.

I hope that's a bit more descriptive.

"Generic Day Job"

I Am All That Plus A Side Of

Some say "I'm more than a label," by way of retort, protesting the very idea that anyone should ever try to apply a label to them.

You know, for me, it kind of goes without retort or protest. I know I'm more than a label. That's why I never mind when someone applies a label to me. If the label is misapplied, I may dispute its accuracy (assuming it seems worth the bother). But if the label applies, to its limited little extent that any label can apply, then what's to quibble? What cause to protest? All of us are way more than just one particular aspect, such as might be labeled by a particular label - but that doesn't make the label inaccurate.

A label describes some aspect of me. It doesn't "reduce me to..." - as if someone's bare word could whittle what I am.

I am more than just:
a hard worker,
a male,
a writer,
a painter,
a songwriter,
a sex-machine,
a decent individual,
a lover both loyal & true,
a crowning glory of evolution,

but so what? I am more than any of those labels - so what? All of them are still accurate. All of them are true. And for me to dispute any label that fits, just because I'm more than...well, that's kind of some weird inferiority complex on display. As if I wasn't secure in the fact of how much I truly do transcend the crap out of these (nonetheless perfectly accurate) labels.

The fact that you're "more than" doesn't mean the label isn't 100% accurate. It's just one frame that fits you, out of many that also fit you. You look out a window, at a view of the world - what you see is truth. Nobody needs to tell you there's plenty of other views to choose. That the world is "more than just" what you see out one particular window. Nobody needs to tell you that.

I mean, you're not a moron are you? You don't need somebody to tell you that. We know that.

And if you are a moron, please: you are more than just a moron.

We know that. You don't need to tell us, thanks.

Curiouser and More Curious

My metabolism is speeding up, actually. Now I can burn calories just by looking at them. If I stare at my food too long before I eat, it has zero nutritional value.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nouveau Riche To-Do List

1. I wish to purchase a peerage of considerable lineage and dignity.
2. I want the finest wines available to humanity. I want them here; I want them now.
3. I want to buy this place and install a fucking jukebox! Liven you stiffs up a bit.

Aw man. This list had potential and I've just totally gone down the Withnail derail. We shan't recover.

Ah well. I'll take another crack it it when I've actually got the requisite nouveau influx of d'argent.

This Song Is Like, The Missing Link Between John Cougar Mellencamp and Tyrannosaurus Rex

How cool and huge was this song? The Navy Recruitment Rock Band that played a concert at our school played this song last. The capper of the set. That is exactly how cool and huge.

That band's rocking performance, highlighting how cool Navy life could be (they didn't play any Village People oddly enough), was probably the single reason I decided to join the U.S. Navy. Later I changed my mind and decided not to, but I can't recall what the single reason for that was. Funny how some things stick, some don't.

Man, I remember this video, though. That girl at right about 2:39? For only about half a second? Man, I thought she was pretty hot.

But only during that half-second, though. She's all over the rest of the video in a less impressive capacity.

But don't be fooled by my heterosexually-biased commentary! This video is all about equal opportunity sexy people.'s Andy Taylor's hairdo holding up for ya?

Aw, yeh.

Me! A Damn Dirty Plagiarist! Imagine That!

So I wrote this tiny little poem, which I posted on my poetry blog:
her mouth is a wide
cut, her eyes
can't tell
who is being
and who has been
Pretty minor, just a few descriptive slashes and pokes. Hardly more than a haiku, really. But something bothered me about it, and rightly so! Because today I googled up a few variations of the key elements and imageries (what few there were) and of course, smack my forehead! As if I didn't know! The image of a woman's mouth as a cut figures prominently right at the front of the quite famous "The Kiss" by Anne Sexton:
"The Kiss"

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby, you fool!

Before today my body was useless.
Now it's tearing at its square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see — Now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She's been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.
Now mine is hardly to be compared to hers - clearly. That goes without saying. And it goes without saying that I must acknowledge the clear debt to and primacy of Sexton's imagery, here. I have no idea what sort of mental block allowed me to post mine in the first place, but having done so, I would rather pay tribute than take it down.

Anne, with her father
is out in the boat
riding the water
riding the waves
on the sea.

- Peter Gabriel, "Mercy Street"

Life Lessons From Uncle Tim #5

So I was coming up to the buffet table at some family function, a reception of some kind, and there stood Uncle Tim, plate in hand, browsing amongst the danties and delectables. And so I said, "Soooo, Uncle Tim...what's good?"

He turned, paused, regarded me soberly, and delivered his well-considered answer: "Joseph - it's all good."

Which later became a popular saying among the kids.

A Scathing Indictment of the Shameful Role Played by David Bowie

David Bowie: Imp of the Perverse? Pied Piper of pansexual androgyny? Avatar of ubercool subversiveness?

No. Bowie was naught but a glittering tool of the entrenched patriarchy, a painted idol of avant-glam who fronted for The Man's dominant-paradigm purposes, by serving as a pansexualized lightning rod, a channel to attract and sublimate the repressed and perversive urges of youths who might otherwise have put them into action. Kids who might have felt an obligation to get their freak on, in freaky ways, could instead work all that out of their systems by proxy, vicariously, harmlessly: go get a Bowie album. Let your readily-purchased, mass-produced, prepackaged freak flag fly.

Marilyn Manson serves much the same purpose today*, but at least he's more up-front about it.

I'm ah, totally kidding. That's some real high-class horseshit right there! Bowie's alright. Catchy tunes: check.

I also enjoy his acting.

I Can't, In Good Conscience

A lot of people cherish a picture of me as a gentleman of lofty principles and noble ideals. But it's not that, it's just that my devious designs have always fought a losing battle against my brutal and overbearing conscience.

And will continue to do so.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Louder It Is, The Better It Sounds

There are some funny continuity issues in this video! Hat on - hat flies off! Hat is back. Hat replaced by horns. Hat back again! - and that's just Ang's headgear. But it's pretty clear just from looking at the video that it's not intended to be a straight performance clip of this one song. No one could think that, not with the Brian swinging from the bell, cannons going off, Rosie bouncing around and Angus everywhere at once! No, it's pretty obvious this is meant to distill a number of the highlights of the currently touring live show into one clip.

Tall order! But I think they did a decent job. One thing I can personally vouch for is, that crowd noise is no lie. People went ape over this tune when they played it in Oakland. Deservedly so: it sounded great! Sounds great here.

One thing I love about AC/DC fans: they turn out in force and in a good mood, and they cheer just as loud for the new stuff as the classics.

One thing I love about AC/DC: they consistently churn out new stuff that deserves to be cheered for just as loud as the classics.

Great rock band. In my opinion, the best there's ever been.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mike Tyson Vs. A Cow

OK, Mike Tyson versus a cow. Mike wins, right? I mean, sure, he's way past the peak of his game, but he was one of the fiercest hand-to-hand combatants the ring has ever seen and surely a lot of that training and technique is still in him, too deep to be entirely forgotten as the glory fades and the softness of age seeps into sinews.

Whereas, what does the cow have? The cow is a docile animal. Its instinct isn't to fight. Sure, they do get ornery from time to time and mess some farmer up pretty bad, but Mike Tyson isn't a farmer. And we're not talking some narrow cattle-chute here, where you get trapped between a panicky animal and a hard place. We're talking about a real bout in a ring, with room for each combatant to maneuver. What's the cow going to do? Sure, it can stand in and take a lot of punishment - we're talking an animal that can weigh between 600 and 1500 pounds depending on breed and feed, way out of Mike's weight class even now - but ultimately, what's it going to do? Hit you with its head? Bite you?

A cow bite is no joke, but neither is Mike Tyson's (his head butt neither). And Mike has two big weapons the cow doesn't have: his fists. As to the rest of its body, the cow doesn't really know how to use it to advantage in a big-time prime-time pay-per-view matchup situation. So I think we can say that in a straight up fight, ordinary cow versus ordinary Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson wins.

But what if the cow were trained? Yeah, that's right. Mike was trained - give the cow that same advantage! Imagine a cow, trained up from calfhood to wield its body and head for advantage in a fight! A combat-savvy cow, as opposed to one whose first instinct might be to just thrash around and/or mosey on out of there. Imagine a real contender cow: 1,500 lbs of brute bovine power, animated with an almost olympic level of cow-style fighting skill - trained in so deep it's like second nature. A cow like that would be some kind of unstoppable monster.

Sorry, Mike. The cow takes it.

Life Lessons Can Be The Bitterest Lessons Of All

I'm so bummed. My jar of Mendocino Jam Co's "Our Mustard With Seeds" died on me unopened!

It turned all brown and sour.

What a fool I was not to waste it extravagantly upon every sandwich while I had the chance!

Open Dream Journal #37: Much Too Def

I was in a multimedia store looking for a DVD of Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story but they didn't seem to have the whole thing. They had a number of things relating to it, including a very large and handsome volume (book with DVD) of Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story: Day 23.

But I didn't just want Day 23!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

For Some Reason, I Feel Like WINE.

For some reason, I feel like wine. I feel like wine, reminiscences, and talking about love. So I'm going to do it! I'm going to do all three: wine, reminisce, talk about love. I'm not really in the mood for white wine, but since that's all I've got cold, it'll have to do.

Ah! A nice glass of wine. To go with the reminiscences, and all this talk of love.

Talking of love, I am no where near done with that shit. This last little episode, you know - HER - well, think what you want. You can judge her if you want, but I don't. Still, just based on the experience itself, what with that junk that was pulled, it's like you'd think any old fool would pack it up and call it in. Call the hospital organs committee, tell 'em where to pick up the heart you no longer need.

But not me. For one thing, I'm not going to even donate my organs. Yes, I know, it seems selfish doesn't it? But it's not. I can't get into it here.

So as I was saying, I'm nowhere near done with love.

Or with wine.

Or with reminiscences.

So I stand fast, soldiering on like Donny fucking Osmond. Only whereas he was a thief in the night, who can't get enough, I prefer a more frontal assault approach to my love soldiery. Metaphorically, I mean. I'm not talking sexual assault. More like a determined campaign of emotion, with love the victory to be one. Won/one. Two become one. It works.

So, despite having every good reason to conclude I suck, the world sucks, women suck, love sucks, I remain optimistic in spite of it all. In it's FACE, of it all, so to speak. One day I am determined, I have determined that I'll find the woman who deserves to have a man like me. Or the man! But if it's a man I find, a man who deserves to have a man like me, that's going to be one awkward scene. I'll just have to break it to him straight: dude. I'm sorry, but your equipment's wrong. Not wrong like morally wrong, objectively wrong, it's just subjectively wrong. Wrong for my purposes, wrong. There's just nothing there I really want to work with. I'm sorry.

At that point I guess the whole thing will be justified karma on me, for me breaking that poor dude's heart same as mine was. I hate to think of it. Then I'll know how it felt when I got my heart broken. Only I knew that already, I guess. I mean, I was there. But this time, I'll realize it was all deserved in some way, retroactively. And that will provide some sense of closure. But doesn't karma violate the time space continuum?

So. Anyway. Time for a few reminiscences.

Hm. That one was nothing I can really type out. Too involved.

I love life. I have been extremely lucky in life.

Let me see if I can think of anything else to reminisce about.

Modernist Recipe #1: Crisp Mexican Brie Pizza

This is a simple yet hearty Crisp Mexican Brie Pizza, such as the common rustic folk of rural Mexico would be likely to make, enjoy, and incorporate into their shared cultural heritage after they read about it right here.

  • two pounds of sifted flour
  • 6 ounces of baking soda
  • one pound of milk
  • a large mixing bowl
  • pasta sauce, canned or jarred
  • one egg, raw, in its shell (to begin with)
  • herbs and spices (to taste)


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. If that's not hot enough, add ONE HUNDRED MORE DEGREES. Take dry ingredients and sift gradually into the mixing bowl, making sure everything is equally combined with each other as well as itself. Then break the egg directly into the mixing bowl. Use only one hand when breaking the egg. If a shell fragment drops in, do not pick it out. Throw out the entire mixture - you have ruined it. Thus ends the recipe - for you.

Those of you who did not allow an eggshell fragment to drop into the mixing bowl, add the milk into the mixing bowl and mix and fold, mix and fold. Do not over-mix. The resultant dough will serve as your pizza batter.

Form the batter-dough mixture into a round, pizza shape in whatever way seems best to you. Apply the pasta sauce to the top of the dough with a smooth circular motion to ensure a pleasing and even coat. Take the brie and cut it into thin gooey shreds (I did not list brie among the ingredients, because you should have it already). Liberally cover the pasta sauce layer with shreds of brie. Top with herbs and spices (to taste, and always taking into account that the pasta sauce may already have zesty spices included right in! It is okay to taste it to see, since it has already been cooked - this is why I specified: canned or jarred).

Bake the resultant pizza until it is done. Remove from the oven. Mount it in a square frame and secure/preserve it with whatever transparent sculptural fixative seems best to you to impart a lasting appearance of freshness, while keeping it firmly in place.

Hang in a well-lit space. Serves everyone.

NOTE: before attempting any recipe in the Modernist Recipe Series, please read and appreciate the significance of this Explanatory Note:
Modernist Recipe Explanatory Note

Finally Got My Band Named!

So after months of dithering around with awful band name suggestions such as "Baby Epidemic", "The Aah Bags", and "Soft Pickle", we've finally hit on one that I think is PERFECT:

"Bonnie McDeadly and The Mystery Deepens"!

Unfortunately the rest of the band apart from me didn't care for it, and seems to have quit, so it's kind of back to Square A far as that goes.

Still, what's harder to put together, a great band or a great band NAME??

I mean, just look at some of the talented bands out there, and then...look at their lame band names.

I've got the core concept down solid, the rest of the pieces will coalesce around that. I'm pretty confident on it.

Sur les grandes batailles de Paris

"This bread is awesome."

Larel looked across at Ron. Her husband. He was chewing on a hunk of parisian bread with sincere appreciation. "It's just -" he caught himself, she knew, before he said fucking awesome - and continued, smiling "- awesome." He was clean-cut. Athletic. Loyal.

"This cheese, this cheese is awesome. Have you tried this soft cheese? With the bread?"

What did she see in this guy? They were in a textbook-cute cafe in Paris. They were in Paris for the second of two weeks. On their honeymoon.

So many couples coming to Paris to make everything perfect in the world for a fortnight. She wondered if all that pressure of expectation caused a greater rate of blowups? Or was there understood to be a ceasefire for the duration, like a muslim holiday?

She pulled off a corner crust and wiped it in the cheese, making sure some stuck. Popped it in her mouth. "Yup! Awesome!" she chirped. He gave her a look.


What did she see in this guy? He was a sweetheart, but how could she spend her life with him? And what exactly was this, cold feet for procrastinators? But seriously: could she spend the rest of her life with him? 

He was culturally hopeless. His overall impression of the Lourve? "That place was HUGE." Yesterday they had spent all day there, and his most insightful reaction to any given masterpiece of art was awe not at the piece itself, but at how long it must have taken the artist to "do that." Twice he expressed relief at the invention of the camera, to make things so much easier for everybody. Apart from that, he listened appreciatively to everything she explained, and laughed un­self­con­sciously at her vicious eviscerations of the various pieces on exhibit. Occasionally after she'd been particularly savage to some poor dead master's minor work, he'd lodge a mild, smiling protest: "I'm sure that's accurate and all, but it's still pretty." And his amused eyes said the same thing about her.

What had she been thinking? What had attracted her to him in the first place?

She liked that he looked like a quarterback but had played lacrosse. She liked his self-assured way of dealing with any situation. They had great sexual chemistry - and not only that, but the sex wasn't bad either! But how had she managed to get through two and a half years without realizing what a lunk he was?

He wasn't unintelligent! On the whole he was a quiet, deep thinker; no genius certainly (like she was! ha ha) but capable of surprising leaps and sharp observations in any number of his fields of interest: contract law, science fiction plotlines, the vicissitudes of his favorite pro sports franchises, even politics and world affairs. But in terms of art or culture, hopeless!

A sudden realization occurred to her: that the reason she hadn't noticed this before was that her own daily life was fairly bereft of art and culture. In her private time she might read, or look something up, but there was an almost entire absence of culture from her real life, from her activities, and it was certainly not a part of the things they did together.

But so what? Art and culture are useless relics in today's world! She had a certain disdain for them, she could admit that. But it was an educated disdain. You have to know what something is before you can disdain it. You can't just not care! That's cheating.

He was looking at her still. Grinning. "Hey Lar, wanna go back to that museum again today, if your feet are up to it? If we do nothing else and extend our trip another 2 weeks, we can probably see the whole thing!"

She laughed. Tried some more of the cheese.

It was awesome.

Furnish Your Home With Bad Puns!

I just purchased a nightstand emblazoned with a large numeral 1.

What's a dogimo?

I'm kind of mad, because when I started this damn thing there didn't seem to be anyone really going by dogimo. And I Googled it! And I am an expert googler!

Seriously, I am an expert googler. I'm a real good googler. Like, googleo experto. I use google to find things around the house. I'm like, "where are my keys?" Google Them.

There they are.

I always find myself wishing I could google up past events in my life that I've grown hazy on. The tech's not there yet, but I assure you it will be. They're googling for it right now. In the future, almost all science will be done by googling for it. Even research, and inventions.

So anyway, when I first started this damn thing, nobody else really seemed to be using dogimo as a handle. So I took it, and it was fine, and after a while I noticed this other guy was using it, and he said that "dogimo" was a term for a Japanese person who...I'm going on memory here...loved the English language but had never been outside of Japan??? Something like that??? Anyhow, I don't know. That guy was around for a while, but he's disappeared now, at least as I check today.

But over time, simply hundreds of other dogimos have crept in! And I guess it's no big deal, but it sure makes me feel less special. And it's kind of inconvenient, too. I tried registering at YouTube and there's some other dogimo already there, now. I mean, what was I supposed to do, go around to every service and log in and register and claim my handle? Right from the get-go?

I only picked this damn name because my other handle was taken in the first place!

Thought of a Lifetime

The greatest place on earth is portable.

Song: As Yet Untitled

Trouble? Sometimes I need to destroy. If I was a Red Indian, I'd resent the term. Who said it was time that we'd run out of? Get bent.

If I was pregnant, I guess I'm fucked.

If I was a saint, well I'd tell you good
but you'd be a prophet so you'd tell me first
and we'd each throw the book, yeah chapter and verse
and curse

Your love is alright!
Your love! HAH!
It's alright!
Your love!

If I was an angel, I'd hang my head
And if we had wings, we'd fly straight down
and if we had harps we'd play with our horns

Your love is alright!
Your love! HAH!
It's alright!
Your love!

Your heart has been strung on a golden chain
so light you would think it'd break from the weight
but you'll fasten the clasp behind somebody's neck
Whose neck will get broken next?

Your love is alright!
Your love! HAH!
It's alright!
Your love!

"C'mon Baby Let's Cut School, Go to the Beach!"

C'mon baby let's cut school, go to the beach
don't need no math class we'll count all the grains of sand
don't need no english class, we'll read the label on the sun-tan
stuff - it's slicky and smooth - grease up me's back
and I'll grease up you's!

Come on!
Cut and go
cut and go
we'll get advanced degrees
in sunburns and sand sports
Come on!
Cut and go
cut and go
we'll study everybody's tan lines
and laugh at their shorts
C'mon baby let's cut school, and go to the beach

C'mon baby let's cut school, go to the beach
don't need no history class - the beach don't ever change
don't need biology class, out here it's all very plain
plain to see, so we don't need to guess
true or false - multiple choice, I can see you're the best

So let's go! jump up!
and jump in the surf, hey it's icy icy cold
so refreshing it hurts

Come on!
Cut and go
cut and go
we'll get advanced degrees
in sunburns and sand sports
Come on!
Cut and go
cut and go
we'll study everybody's tan lines
and laugh at their shorts
C'mon baby let's cut school, and go to the beach

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oooh, Baby

Online sex is just a natural progression from smoke-signal sex and semaphore sex.

Focus On Goals: Education

I believe all education should be reduced to teaching the test. Shoot. Let's just come out and acknowledge the fact, shall we? School doesn't teach you anything but how to go to school. Nothing you learn in kindergarten prepares you for anything but 1st grade, and so on and so on until you graduate. It's the life lessons you learn interacting with peers and adults during your school years that prepare you for life - and there's no standardized test for that. School just keeps kids busy while they learn enough about how to live, and how to get along, to give them a crack at being good enough at it to get through the rest of life.

So put the emphasis where it should be: we need to do a better job, teaching kids to do better at school. Which means: doing better on the tests. Then we can make the tests that much harder! Ultimately, the goal should be for the U.S. to have the hardest tests in the world, and then build an unstoppable army of schoolkids who can take them. Who can beat them.

The next step after that? We institute some sort of high-profile, prestigious global Academic Olympics to humiliate the rest of the world's kids. In fact, just as gym class has been phased out, this Academic Olympics could eventually supplant the "gym class version" of the Olympics. Excercise is important to a healthy lifestyle, but ridiculous feats of athleticism are not!

There's more I could say, but for now let's let that stand as my comprehensive stance on the topic.

I think that shirt

I think that shirt is one of the shirts that every time you wear it, I'm always pointing it out and going on blah blah blah about it with some comment or remark or mention of appreciation. Well, I don't need to belabor the point, and you're sick of hearing about it anyway I am sure!

So consider yourself complimented on your damn shirt.

Frankly, I think this might be one to many times to the well for you on that one.

Art: Capturing What Anyone Can See, and Calling It Yours

99% of artistic ability is being able to see the beauty that's already there, in front of your eyes - capture it, abstract it or depict it, sign it and exhibit it.

The rest is a combination of a tendency to exaggerate, and/or a poor grasp of math. Of which I have both, in spades!

Further Bulletins As Events Warrant

"When people talk about 'The Mind', I pretty much assume they mean mine."

You will be glad to know that I'm making copies of my mind available free, downloadable, over the internet. The launch has been pushed back several times due to technical difficulties far beyond normal comprehension. Part of the problem is, none of the available hardware can play it. However, I assure you, the problems are well in hand, and I will keep you rigorously informed.

Open Dream Journal #1: The One That Started It Almost

I was in my apartment in Manhattan and this strange but attractive young woman came to the door for some ulterior purpose. She claimed to be someone that I had never met before, but in fact I knew that she wasn't that person. She didn't look right. Naturally I assumed that she wanted to bang me* (I mean, I was pretty sure that it was a dream, as I don't live in NY or maintain an apartment there), but apparently not. Or at any rate, nothing of the kind transpired.

The interior of my apartment, which was in a nice neighborhood, looked like it was the interior of a rustic log cabin. It was a homey sort of place, but there was a problem with the wiring or electricity or something. As I was talking to this young woman, trying to find out just what her game was, the lights went out (it was daylight, so no big). So I went over to the light switch which was all exposed - no cover - and had various wires that appeared to be coated with caulking. I seemed to know what I was doing. She stood next to me as I fiddled with some of the wiring, pulling out one connection and sticking it somewhere else, and jerry-rigging something with an old No. 2 pencil. I was electrocuted several times during this process at a relatively low voltage, and I had to reassure her "no problem! I'm fine. Standard practice."

Later after I got the lights working we both ended up standing in our bare feet in the bathtub (fully clothed) while I monkeyed around with the showerhead and we both were electrocuted several more times.

That's about it. Technically I should have used "shocked" instead of "electrocuted," but electrocuted sounds better. Plus, in the dream, that was the word.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It Occurs to Me

It occurs to me that the 14th of every month is a sort of a phantom valentine's day, only for some reason I've only just noticed it now.

Whoops, only 10 more shopping days 'til phantom christmas.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Talkin' Sweet #3: Translated Into Romanian and Back Again Edition

I am always in yes for loving you. Never I will begin no. Even if the instant of my life were the ultimate, still for you the answer arrives: yes! Yes on the instant! Now, the afternoon, and the instant forever.

No break can stop our wall from never falling down. This wall we made for us is strong together. It holds out the world for us to be safe from it. And the world is a wall made of itself, we our love together only can find past it. No wall but ours can hold us - and that forever. The world can hold back itself. We each other throw to the catch, and hold safe.

If time the instant held, and we unfolding within it, nothing to change and find ourselves would be your eyes in mine. And this what I saw in you: you in me. Nothing!

So hand yourself into mine. The alone road is not us, for to walk alone is not ours. Love my love. You my life stopped the instant.

What Am I Doing?

This user's status and mood updates are private.

The Future of the Next Five Minutes

"Arrow" by Dan Jelinek, starring newcomer Sona Panos. Her name is a palindrome! But that Arrow! It has the power to frighten and delight me something awful.

I have no more say to add to such of a this.

Monday, May 11, 2009

(Not-A-)Muffaletta #3

I've only got enough focaccia for one more of these, but I don't know how I can top this one for sheer deliciousness. I ended up shredding the ham this time. Maybe...shred it and mix it in with the toppings?

I'm glad I've only got enough for one more of these, though, because let me tell you, I am so sick of this delicious sandwich!

What's More Important? POLL CLOSED

The poll is closed, the results are in - these results are FINAL & BINDING:
1. Good Sense Of Humor 6 (18%)
1. Magnesium 6 (18%)

3. The Invention Of The English Longbow 5 (15%)

4. Rock And Roll 4 (12%)

5. Big Tits 3 (9%)
5. Shared Interests 3 (9%)

7. Nice Ass 2 (6%)
7. Well Hung 2 (6%)

9. Nice Personality 1 (3%)
9. A Reliable Breadwinner 1 (3%)

11. Afghanistan 0 (0%)
11. The War On Drugs 0 (0%)
11. The Battle Of New Orleans 0 (0%)
11. The Mahabharata 0 (0%)
11. Hitler 0 (0%)

So, quite a few ties in there! Let me break down the results for you:

Tied for 1st we have Magnesium (without which none of the others would be possible) and Good Sense of Humor (without which many of the others would be unbearable). Seems fitting enough!

Coming in 3rd we have The Invention Of The English Longbow - a surprise front-runner throughout much of the poll! And inarguably of critical importance, from a historical perspective. At #4: Rock and Roll. Yes, it's hard to argue with that. Some might even say that those who put the "objectively more important" things above Rock and Roll have got their priorities all wrong.

Tied for #5 at 3 votes: Shared Interests and Big Tits. Big Tits were holding firm at 2 for a good long time, and I had a feeling that 2 would be how they'd end up. That would have been poetically apropos. Because 3 seems a little...odd. But then, if they'd held at 2, all the "anatomy" options would all be tied in importance. Which would be kind of a letdown. You'd like to be able to give the nod to one of them over the others, and now we can, and so there it is: I know which way my readership leans. From a statistical standpoint at least. I was glad to see Shared Interests finish strong - for a while it seemed nobody thought that was important at all!

Tied for #7 at 2 votes apiece: Nice Ass and Well Hung. 'Nuff said.

Tied for #9: Nice Personality and A Reliable Breadwinner - one vote apiece. I bet I know who voted for Reliable Breadwinner. Nice Personality, I think was victimized by a "vote-split" effect from Good Sense of Humor. In retrospect, I probably should have only included one or the other, since most people would reason "I don't know how many people with 'good personality' have no sense of humor!" The reverse is not so true, but still.

No love for Afghanistan, The War On Drugs, The Battle Of New Orleans, The Mahabharata, or Hitler. I was kind of surprised to see zero for The Battle of N.O., but maybe the historians amongst the readership recognized that as the potential vote-splitter it was, and all decided to back the front-runner English Longbow instead. Which was very nearly a winning strategy! So, can't say I blame them. Go Historians! Solidarity!

As for me, I voted Magnesium.

Self-Portraiture: Missed a Few

Here's a few more I missed in my recent spate of uploads. Found these squirreled away someplace while I was looking for something else:
self superhappy
A variation:
self superhappy BLUSH
And a variation:
self superhappy TONGUE
And now finally, wow, who's the big guy, with all the muscles????
Self Flexin
Yes, that is an accurate portrayal, of just how pale I really am. Maxin' and relaxin', stylin' and profilin', flexin' and tex-mexin'.

NOTE: "Tex-Mexin'" in this context is not related to the culinary genre, but is rather the new hip hot slang for "Text-Messaging."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sympathy for the Bad Guys

You know sometimes, when I'm watching a movie? I find myself sympathizing with the criminals. You know? Because they've got such a sweet little operation going! And it's all going to work out perfect!

Until Steven Seagal gets involved.

And then it all comes crashing down.

Flashback Quote of the Day: Unconditional Love

"The only unconditional love is unrequited love."

- that's from me! I came up with that in high school.

NO MAKING FUN. I was really sensitive then.

This BLUEGRASS Is Driving Me CRAZY!!

I keep saying I love this kind of music but you can't just have it on in the background. It's CRAZY-MAKING!

But listen to these guys will you? This is some virtuoso work on the frets and strings, here. What exactly was it that was supposed to make thrash so particularly impressive, from a "whoa-musicianship!" standpoint? These guys shred every bit as much. It's just less loud.

Bluegrass is thrash less loud.

Don't these dudes sound a little like Motörhead? At key points. And the main riff! Here: for comparison:

Beautiful. What a great song!

An even more perfect for instance! These boys rock out the same song "Ace of Spades" as a straight bluegrass:

EDIT: Dang! The audio on the first "Ace of Spades" clip got switched out. Well HERE'S THE REAL DEAL:

Isn't the online video revolution something or other?

Go Motörhead!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

spring blossoms


My Not-A-Muffaletta

Man, this sandwich was GOOD. The picture, not so good - I think the ghost of Monet infected my cell camera, everything comes out all impressionistified. But it's not always bad - remind me to post this pretty-cool impressionistic pic of spring blossoms!
Ham, salami, provolone, fresh onion chopped up with marinated artichoke, sun-drieds, and kalamata olive, all on a divine artichoke focaccia from Arcangeli Bakery in Pescadero. A goodly amount of Sierra Nevada Pale mustard on the meat side of the bread, a thin sheen of mayonnaise on the filling side. Hot it up in the oven at 400 degrees for a few minutes, get the cheese melty into the fillings and the bread (and odd salami sticking out) crisp. It was GOOD. I did it right.

Special thanks to a guardian angel on the oven temp assist.

I say "Not-A-Muffaletta" because, being myself a sandwich purist of strong convictions where my beloved South Jersey italian submarine sandwich is concerned, I would never presume to refer in writing to any sandwich which was not on made on muffaletta bread as a Muffaletta Sandwich. That's an affront. The Muffaletta is one of the world-class sandwiches, perhaps (who knows) even coming to within a distant third of my beloved South Jersey italian sub, leaving the #2 spot open out of hypothetical respect for some potential yet unknown exotic colossus of sandwich quality that walks unseen, serene in the distant quarters of the globe which mark its dominion, while I sit here all unawares of its dominance. You have to keep that distant second spot open for that, just in case, just out of respect.

However, its generally acknowledged that from a functional standpoint, in terms of how each performs its duties within a sandwich, the difference between muffaletta bread and focaccia...negligible.