Friday, December 31, 2004

Satellite Fur

The man in front of me in line at Mervens, had huge ears. I could not see his face but his ears were hard to miss...great flabby lobes dripped onto his shirt collar. And they twitched too. They were searching for the smallest tinge of sound. I stopped breathing, not wanting to disturb the ears but they only twitched more, straining to hear even the juices of my blinking eyes. The ear cannel was like Shelobs liar--deep, dark, and hollow, filled with webs. I looked more closely at the ear before jumping back with freight, a sudden push of air had ruffled the coarse strands of gray hair nestled on the rim of the outer canal. I stepped back, away from the ear. It needed room. As it rotated back and fourth like a SETI satellite dish, I realized that I was in the bra and underwear department. I pretended to look at underwear while the terrible ear probed me. One table of surprised me very much. It was covered with little girl's underwear. Each pair of undies had a different slogan sewn in glitter such as, "Lil Princess", or "Sexy". "Who would buy this stuff for a child", I thought. The ear jerked in my direction as if it had heard my thoughts.

Elders

I paid eight dollars and fifty cents to see "Meet The Fockers". I went with my friends to the theater in Everett. It is strange going back to my home town. The people there have very different attitudes than the people here. They are hard people, quick to defend themselves against even the most innocent glance. The young people wear very different uniforms in the south. Ones made of felt with a flag sewn on the breast. The flag reads, "FUBU". They wear rags on their heads and white suede boots with laces left untied. Even the language used amongst these bands is different. It originates from some scorned corner of the mind, and twists the faces of those that speak it. Their Generals communicate battle plans to them over the Hip Hop radio stations. Their women voluntarily receive a mark of ink on their lower backs, a signal that they are of child bearing age. For all of their rituals and customs, their playful laughter amongst themselves, is the most alluring.

One of these bands of kids sat in front of us. I cupped my hands and smiled, as I watched the boy in the far chair molest his girl friend in the shadows. With my head cocked at a slight angle, I lifted a delicate porcelain cup of dark English breakfast tea to my lips and sipped, loudly and politely. My pinky finger was lonely and pointing skyward.

The character of Mrs. Focker, played by Barbara Striesand, is a sex therapist who coaches old people in the art of sex. After all, what is the point of living to old age with out having an old hoe to do doggy style? On screen an 85 year old woman mounts her 90 year old mate in the reverse cowgirl position, while the man starts thrusting his frail hips under his wife's sagging posterior. It made me want to ralph, not laugh. Suddenly the screen filled with old people dry humping each other on yoga mats. I looked away from the screen, to the boys in front of me laughing, and the boy on the end, who had his groping hands under his girlfriend's shirt.

My friend Megan, cut a small chunk of Gorgonzola from a round brick of cheese in her lap, and passed it my way. I tasted the cheese in my teeth and in my neck and I wondered--who are the wise elders of our tribe? Do they exist?

***

I looked up from my magazine to my mom who was reclined in her big comfy chair, flipping through the 9000 direct TV channels. I see people flip through channels, but rarely do I ever see someone put down the remote and enjoy one channels programming.

"Listen to this mom. In this article, four philosophy professors were asked about the reaction on their campuses to the re-election of George Bush. They all reported that students and faculty were crushed and generally suicidal, unable to understand an American public who would support a man swayed by the interest of warfare and commerce. One professor says that, the moral interest of the public in this election could rekindled interests in ethics and moral philosophy rooted in Greek philosophy-- but that is a long-shot. They all agreed that George Bush is not the leader that America needs. They say that we need a philosopher king. Wouldn't that be great mom, a philosopher king?"

"Well of course they want a philosopher king Matt...They are philosophers. Bankers want economist kings, warriors want fighting kings, the religious want preistly kings, and Perverts want perverted kings. "

My mom sounded so wise, like she was Yoda. My mom is an elder.


Monday, December 20, 2004

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

Things that happened this weekend:

*I heard that if you fold a twenty dollar bill in a certain fashion, a picture of the world trade center and pentagon burning in flames appears. I tried it. I was not convinced.

*Played Halo 2 with nick for eight hours.

*My neighbors had a party--a high school party. I had no idea that people with giant white man afros existed outside of MTV. Turns out they do exist, and they were all at Monica's party.

*My 30 year old housemate got beat up by a 16 year old kid at that party. Why is a 30 year old man at a high school party?

*Ate out for EVERY meal.

*To relax after work today, I put in a Yo Yo Ma CD, and whistled every note in unison with Yo Yo's cello. My secret wish is that I will someday have a career as a whistler.

*Enjoyed the rare pleasure of winter sunshine.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Felis Navidad

How fun it would be to live modestly in a Mexican village surrounded by family and friends. I would take to beach combing and equatorial gardening.

Tonight, for my dad's 52nd birthday, we went out for dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I was talking about Thoreau and overthrowing the government, while my parents were looking at me blankly as if to say, what in heavens name is our idealistic son talking about now. I was rescued by a Mariachi band. Six of the roughest old jolly men I have ever seen, came to our table with violins, basses, and guitars in hand. My mom brightened up, "Will you play felis navidad?" The men huddled to work out their play, and then busted into the most festive and happy rendition of any song I have ever heard. Felis Navidad, Felis Navidad... "Everybody now"... And the restaurant goers broke into song... I want to wish you a merry Christmas, I want to wish you a merry Christmas, I want to wish you a merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart! My dad was singing loudly and my mom was dancing in her seat. The old woman across the way was singing with her grand daughter--it was absolutely blissful.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Machines

I pushed my dirty laundry up to the laundry mat today in a shopping cart. I was literally airing my dirty laundry in public. I unloaded the clothes from the cart to the washing machine, dumped a generous amount of laundry detergent over the whole mess of clothes, turned the dial to full heat and made my way to the park to wait for the cleaning process to happen.

On a large root, under a tall tree, in the middle of a quaint park, I read The Painted Word, by Tom Wolfe. I learned more about the evolution of modern art, today, under naked branches, with the warm sun on my face, than i did durning three quarters of art history class in college. I glanced up from my book periodically to watch a girl and her dog play fetch. I was amazed at how excited the dog was to run after a ball and bring it back to her master...over, and over, and over again. I am sure there is a lesson to be learned from that sort of enthusiasm.

After a while I guessed my laundry was probably done spinning in hot soapy water, so i made my way back to the laundry mat. Time must have stopped for me in the park, reading my book and adoring that dog, because my laundry wasn't quite done (when is a load of laundry actually, completely done... probably never, there will always be micro particles of skuz clinging to fibers).

I had an encounter with the Penny Man while waiting on the steps outside. The Penny Man is a local crazy who comes door to door asking for pennies. One day, I didn't have any pennies but i offered him a shinny new quarter instead. He looked at me like I was nuts, telling me to keep my quarter, he was only interested in pennies. We shot the shit for a minute, but conversations about pennies only last so long. When things became awkward he said goodbye.

I put my now wet clothes in the drying machine and started home, but not before i had another conversation with a woman who was chain-smoking a cigar. She was really interested in Laundry mats and so we talked about laundry mats for about 10 minutes. I enjoy small talk about little things like laundry mats and pennies, although i am no good at it. But listening is fun. I walked home and put a chicken pot pie in the oven which is a heating machine. I ate lunch listening to Cat Stevens.

In House Drive By

I need to have a shot of egg nog and huff a pine tree, and i will do that right after i write this post. My boots are by the door, waiting and everything...birds are singing, beckoning me to come out and play in the sun. but this first...

The news is becoming one big commercial. I am noticing more and more, especially durning this holiday season, that reporters are reporting about products, which is totally advertising! for example last night i am in bed listening to the radio. The normal programing fades out and a loud rat-a-tat-DING rata-tatada-tat-DING sound fills my head. "I know what that sound is", i was thinking, "it is the sound of type writer". Then i thought, "ah, the news", and started preparing for objective hard jounalism to swim into my ear. The top story was about people dieing, the second story was about buildings collapsing, the third story was about people destroying buildings and killing each other because somebody uttered the pharse Merry Christmas, instead of Happy Holidays. The fourth story was this:

Toyota wins the prestigious truck of the year award. The brand new Toyota Tacoma has the most comprehensive safty features with driver and passanger side air bags, a burly 5 stroke horse power motor with plush leather interior. Toyota spokesman, Yakamen Lee, reports that sales are good and encourages you all to go buy a Toyota Tacoma.

Ok, Ok, it was 2am and i was drifting off to sleep but i swear the news used to report about actual stuff, stuff that people could talk about in front of the water cooler and sound smart. stuff that allowed us to be informed citizens. didn't they? I think it is all a big scam... all of it. How do i know the world is as bad as the news says it is. from where i am sitting it looks pretty good.

I am going to go frolic with the birds now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Day Old Donuts

I am not sure what is wrong with me lately. Here is an example of what I mean. Andy and I went grocery shopping tonight at Fred Meyer. We got separated at one point, he was distracted by the comic books on the news stand, I was digging in the bakers day old clearance pile. My heart leapt when I saw them there--a dozen Christmas sprinkle donuts for seventy five cents. I put them in my basket and glided to the cooler for a gallon of milk which sounded so good with donuts. Andy met back up with me at this point. We were both in front of the glowing cool of the milk case.

"Wow", his voice was in awe. He directed my attention to two women a few feet away, illuminated by the light of the egg case. One of the girls was average looking. She might have had the talent of Mozart or the intelligence of Newton, but that isn't even remotely important to this story. The other one, well she was dressed to kill. In fact she was to hot to be grocery shopping. She was decked out with clothes and hair and the whole shot. Andy wanted me to participate in a male ritual which involves looking at a female and saying things like, wow, look at her, and so forth. I didn't want to participate. I was to focused on my sprinkled donuts and frosty jug of milk. "I don't feel like acknowlegeing her or this ritual right now" I told Andy, "but hey, check out this deal on donuts!"

On the way to the robotic check stand, we passed two other young women. One I didn't notice, the other one was wearing jeans and a sweat shirt and was not wearing any make up and her hair was a wreck. I smiled at her, I smiled at Andy. In some weird telepathic way we all understood what was going on. This is what was going on...We just wanted to be humans that ate donuts and didn't have to dress up and play parts at the grocery store.

I am not sure if it is normal for a 24 year old single man to understand these rituals to the degree that I understand them and choose sprinkled donuts over a chance to meet a pretty girl.

The Trial

I know next to nothing about the Peterson murder trial. As far as I am concerned it is just one murder among thousands that happen every year. It is wonderous how certain cases make it to the elevated status of sensationalized media event, while others are forgotten on the back page of local newspapers.

I came across a head line on AOL that got me thinking this morning. The Banner read something like, "Lack of Emotion Sent Peterson To Death Row". Where are the appeals to JUSTICE in this headline? It is a very scary thing in my opinion, when philosophical discourse in society disappears entirely, replaced by surface level playground politics. A man is sentenced to death because he is stoic?!!! Perhaps if he would have been an actor and football star he would have got off. Peterson should have been more dramatic, maybe putting on a piece of clothing that was too small would have got him off. It all worked for OJ. Forget that the guy killed his entire family, he was composed in court.... crucify him!

Our justice system depends on educated citizens, who on the whim of a jury summons, are able to make decisions about justice that effect not only individuals but society as a whole. American citizens are so drunk on emotion and judgment that that system of justice is in jeopardy.

Perhaps I am just as lame as the rest of American media addicted junkies, but this headline totally reminded me of Trial scene in Pink Flyod's, The Wall.

Good morning, Worm your honor.
The crown will plainly show The prisoner who now stands before you
Was caught red-handed showing feelings
Showing feelings of an almost human nature;
This will not do.

Rock stars and artist always seem have a interesting perspective on a schizophrienic society.

Again, there has to be a distopia novel here somewhere. People sentenced to death, not for their crimes, but for their personalities. If I imagine plots to distopia novels every time I read the news, it makes me wonder, maybe I am living in a distopia!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Wake Up Man

I respect a person that listens. Listening is a dead art.

Listen, your so drunk that you can barely stand, but still your mouth is moving. Your eyes are blood shot and glazed...I hardly recognize you, and still your mouth is moving. Surrender my friend, or you will die with a bottle in your hand. You're so young. Surrender. Listen.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Get Into the Holiday Spirit

http://www.americanangst.com/dingfries.html

Day Planners

I just took my last final. I am done.

I am sitting here thinking about day planners. I am trying to imagine a circumstance that would require me to use a pocket calendar. My imagination is elastic but not trans-dimensional.

If I did have a pocket calendar this is what I would pencil in for the next three week: water Christmas tree.

Perhaps the most bitter sweet technology on earth is the clock. We continue to divide the moving universe into smaller and smaller and ridicuously smaller chunks. An old time Indian, when asked how long it would take to walk over a hill and down the other side, replied, "as long as it takes a hungry man to eat a large meal."

The clock is sweet because it allows people to meet together with greater precession and accuracy. Bitter because we become slaves to it.

How much is seven dollars and twenty five cents? It is equal to the time it takes a poor man to scrub ten toilet bowls.

A day planner is a book of love letters written to Father Time.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Happiness

Happiness was dancing down the street today and it did wonders for my mood.

I had studied all morning long for my literature final this afternoon. On the front porch while putting on my tennis shoes, my mind was full of ideas and fragmented sentences that would potentially be part of my essay, and my stomach was sort of twisted and knotty. I heard a voice on the sidewalk so I looked up from my laces to see a girl singing and skipping--practically waltzing up the street. She briefly looked my way but ignored me, she was too into being merry. Weird, I thought. I put on my coat and walked off my porch and onto the sidewalk. Happy Girl was a few strides away, still as gleeful as she had been when she passed me on the porch. She beat me to the cross walk where I got stuck at the light. I continued to watch her as she floated away.

A little lighted man started glowing which prompted me to start walking across the street. There she was ahead of me petting and serinading a dog which had come out to greet her. The dog looked like he was in heaven and when heaven became to rich he walked back to his owners who were in the door way of their apartment grinning at Happy Girl. She twirled around with her arms outstretched and continued tap dancing towards campus. My curiosity was peaked now. Why was this girl so flamboyantly happy? Still I followed.

The sidewalks were peppered with students walking to and from school. Each with their head down looking cold and distant. I watched though, as Happy girl directed her charm like a Care Bear stair at each one. Their faces immediately brightened when she sung songs of greetings. An old woman walking her dog on the other side of the street stopped and turned completely around to watch as Happy girl fluttered through the sunshine. I looked at the old woman and she looked at me and her dog looked at both of us. I pointed to the girl and threw up my hands to say, what is up with this girl? The old woman understood my body language and mouthed a word: "happiness". We both smiled in agreement. Every person this girl passed went from sad to glad, including a cable repair man who actually started laughing. I was gaining on her because one of my strides equaled 5 of her whimsical twirls. Was this girl on acid? Had she just gotten laid? Was she mentally disturbed? My curiosity was climaxing.

"Hey," I called, "why are you so happy?"

she spun in my direction and her sandal flew off. She snorted and laughed and looked me in the eye.

"it is a beautiful day!"

I couldn't believe my ears... She was this happy because the sun was shining? No drugs or cultish mind control? I liked her immediately. Her name was Brigid. We walked the rest of the way up to campus talking about the holidays, finals, and for some odd reason the Dali Lama. Other then perhaps an overdose of granola this chick seemed completely sane.

When we got up on campus everyone knew Bridgid. I heard Hellos from all around. This girl had the best energy I have ever seen.

"You have a lot of friends," I said

"I am a lucky girl," she said back. She really meant it.

We were headed in different directions so I told her it wasn't everyday I see someone so happy walking down the street. I thanked her for brightening my day and headed off to take my exam. She yelled, "Good luck!" and that was my encounter with Brigid.

It is absolutely amazing what a good attitude can do! Thanks Brigid. I wonder if you were an angel.

Me As Dr. Phil

On my way to class i heard a tid bit of conversation that made me think that men and women really are from diffrent planets. I am not convinced that the difference between the sexes is any more pronounced than the difference between individuals. However, when you have masses of females acting like, and dressing like pop divas, and a large portion of males pretending to be a mixture of John Wayn, Snoop Dogg, and your generic half naked Abercrombie model, things can get f*cked up real quick.

This conversation was blue and red shifting as i walked passed it. This is basically how it went:

Girl 1: oh my gawd
Girl 2: yeeah, so it's like, i work all day and go to school, and then when i get home, Bobby is on the couch playing video games.
Girl 1: Tasha, you can do so much better, you need to find a guy with ambition, a guy that is going to support you!
Girl 2: your right. Bobby has no ambition, he needs to pay more attention to me. He needs to quit playing those ridiculous video games.

I have the feeling Bobby is clueless and in way over his head with Tasha. But a brother needs to play video games once in a while. Still, why do young women date the biggest rejects in the gene pool?

Words that women use that scare me: Ambition, Support, Car.

Some of these women at school are just trying to nab a bussiness major and then milk the poor sap for all he is worth... My advice for a man would be to stay away from women in the libral arts and bussiness departments, start hanging out in the engeneering and biology labs, the ratio of men to women might put you at a slight disadvantage, but the women in those departments are generally smarter, and nerdier... and might even play video games with you! (the perfect woman)

After that conversation had recieded into the background radiation, i smiled, suddenly very content being single.

Eggs and Hashbrowns

What a strange dream i just had. In the dream i looked into a mirror, which i can't recall ever doing in a dream before. The reflection of myself was startling and yet heart warming. the person stareing back at me in the mirror was myself as a ten year old kid. I was young again! That kid was so healthy and innocent, so completely stress free. Perhaps that dream was a much needed response to this, finals week. or maybe god was showing me what i need to be before he can bless me and show me the path he wants me to travel. Jesus said we could move mountains with faith! if only i could have that kind of faith.


Monday, December 06, 2004

Feeling My Beard Grow--A Painfully Slow Day At Work

Snow blankets the distant hill tops.
Inside a clammy hotel room
as stifling as the inside of a spaghetti bombed microwave oven.
The scent of people a decade deep, mixes with the violent smell of cleaning products and air freshener.

God bless CSPAN's book channel!
Tom Wolf kept me company at work today.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

A Call for Twenty Somethings To Bring Back The Sanity

My poor brother. Tonight at dinner he shared his frustrations with me about his situation at work. My first reaction was to tell him to find a new job. It is an automatic response, for me as an American, to assume that we have complete freedom when it comes to upward mobility, that working hard will get you places. But wait, not so fast. Is it really that simple? Andy told that he was playing video game on Yahoo at work today--on his break. The boss caught him playing and lectured him not to waste company time playing games. Ok maybe I can understand that. The problem is that it isn't just that Andy was playing games when he shouldn't have been, it is that in every job I have ever had--and I have had a lot of shitty jobs, there are always certain personality types at the top of the pyramid. They are the people that talk the loudest, that follow rules, that PLAY THE GAME. At the hotel, I do my work and I do it well, the best, I was raised to work hard. My dad made it clear to us that working hard honors God, family, and self. But working hard doesn't always pay. It pays, at least in minimum wage service jobs, to be as lowly as possible, to do what you are told with out question, to conform and smile.

Andy is so talented! He is brilliant. I have found that my bosses are usually lazy and wasteful, and have not one shred of imagination. The work force is being filled more and more with conformist. This is a severe unintelligible rant, but it bothered me so much to see Andy so sad about his boss not appreciating all the hard work he does, and to only focus on one instance. Young people today are so smart and so full of imagination....When are we going to be recognized as adults and then allowed to contribute to society instead serving burritos, and making copies, and ringing registers....? When are the baby boomers going to retire!!!?

What would happen tomorrow if all the workers quit and only the bosses where left? What would happen if people decided to ask big questions, about life, and love, and our place in the universe, and decided that it didn't matter that much that the salt shaker goes on the left and pepper on the right.

I pray that after school I get a job that allows me to be myself. My worst nightmare is that I will be a corporate drone, following protocol!

On a Park Bench

Sometimes one has to leave the apartment. For an agoraphobe like myself, the prospect of leaving the house is both exhilarating and terrifying. Maybe my phobia isn't founded in clinical legitimacy, in fact, I like the outdoors more than the indoors. But, I have found that the geometric grid of the city, full of its square buildings and bright lights is not much different than the inside of my apartment. So, whether I am scared to leave my apartment, or if I just feel trapped because the outdoors looks so much like the indoors, is psychologically debatable.

I went on a quest last night. A quest through the concrete forest to the palace of light and wavering pictures. I walked down town to see a movie. I learned a valuable lesson on the way.

The cold weather forced me to layer my clothing for warmth. My stocking cap was pulled down low, covering my ears, while also covering my friendly cream colored forehead. The 3 sweaters and an my plaid overcoat made me look bulkier and more threatening than I really am. Women and men of smaller stature would cross the street a block before we passed each other -- I am tall and threatening in the cold shadows.

As I approached the theater 20 minutes early, I figured that I would rest and have a cigarette on a bench that I have seen so many old bums rest with a smoke or a drink of malt liquor from crinkled paper bags. I sat on the cold cement bench and crossed my legs, right over left. I struck a match in front of my face and for a brief moment, the city block receded into the darkness, giving way to a brilliant bon fire! An instant later, the shop fronts appeared again, this time behind a curling wisp of smoke.

Then out of nowhere, there was a young guy on a bike before me. The wheels on his bike stopped spinning and he was no longer a biker, but a stationary standing figure. "Hello, you looked like you could use some company," he said. I offered him a smoke but said he had his own and then his mouth was a chimney just like mine. He told me that he was really high, that he just smoked "hella weed". I nodded and smiled.

"See that phone booth over there?" he pointed to a phone booth across the street. "yes". My eyes did see a phone booth. "I got some Indian bitch gonna call me up and suck my dick. See I got this phone number off the internet. I call it when I want some pussy. Those Lumi bitches are wild. Just last night, I call up this number and meet this bitch down town and she fucks me. I was so high. I woke up this morning not even remembering last night. I was drinking and smoking and sniffing oxicotton. So, when I wake up this morning, I see this fine ass Indian bitch laying beside me. I tried to get some pussy this morning, but she goes and tells me she has a boy friend. What a bitch! I think that hoe gave me something too man, I have this wicked itch. We connected though man. It was spiritual, intertwining with a native. Me and Pocahontas. She could have been the one." I told him that it seems kind of sad connecting spiritually with a person with only a burning itch to remember the experience. He looked at me blankly and continued talking.

"Yeah man I just got back from the gay bar. Man I didn't know it was the gay bar. Had all these fags hitting on me. You know, nothing against homos, they are cool they just need to leave me alone. I go into gay chat rooms just to fuck with them. I fuck with them and tell them how much I like sucking cock, then I tell them to meet me some where--but I'm just fucking with em. I'm not a homosexual. I mean, it is ok if you are, I'm not trying to offend you." I tell him that no, I am not a homosexual. "I am so fucked up right now though, can you tell that I am high?" "You seem all alright to me". He asks me if I want to get high. I tell him I quite smoking weed along time ago. A cop drives by and eyes us both. "right right, good for you." he says and then continues talking about blow jobs. I had a strange feeling he was hinting at something.

I wanted to tell him that there is more to life than sex with strangers and drugs that make you forget about fucking those strangers. I wanted to tell him about Jesus and eternity. About something that transcends phone booths and numbers written on bathroom stalls. I asked him what his name was. "Jason". "Jason it was good talking to you, thanks for the company. I am going to go catch a movie but have a good night. " "take care" he said. I left him alone on the street corner, high, waiting for a phone call from Pocahontas.

It doesn't matter who you are exactly, only where you are. In the university square, people expect that I am a student. At work, costumers assume that I am a servant. While smoking a cigarette on a street corner frequented by the down troddened, I am one of them. I am no different than jason, or my professor or Father John or Sonia the housekeeper, we are all God's children. I probably should have invited jason to see the movie with me.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Touch

We all need to be touched. It feels good to be touched. I remeber the hugs my grandpa used to give me. He would wrap his huge arms around my little body and pull me into his happy old man belly and squeeze until we were both lost for air. When the hug was over we would gulp in air with open mouths and smiles. I miss my grandfathers hugs.

Or those hardy handshakes from old friends that last for minutes with out stopping.

When i hug my grandma i bend way down and gently imbrace her, carefull not break her in half. then comes the kisses on the cheeks.

And dancing. Standing close...so close and rocking back and forth--together. Laying my head on top of hers, while her face is snug against my chest.

Or like tonight, in the cold of a winter night, with the moon shinning in the fog, after friends share a friendly moment and share a hoakie but heartfelt group hug.

Peting my cat.

Accidentally bumping into a girl you have been waiting so long to touch on purpose but never had the courage.

Wrestling with friends...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Turkey Day...er, Ham Day

I had a good time this Thanksgiving Holiday. The parental units came up wednesday night and took me down to Marysville. It felt really good to get out of Bellingham. Thier house was warm and comfortable and the best part is, i was able to hang out with my soul mate...my cat, Tiger. My dad and got on the subject of religion at 10pm wed. night and didn't make it to bed until 2am. I really want to take along walk thru the woods with the Lord and emerge from the trees into hospitable little town were we can drink warm chicken broth in a friendly fire lit pub and laugh the night away.

My parents make me happy. They are still so young. My Mom made a wonderful thanksgiving dinner which included, ham, mash potatoes, stuffing, peas, bread, salad, and so much other good stuff. We ate pumpkin pie until we were flushed with contentment.

Thankgiving night i went to Megans house, all my friends, that i never get to see ,were there. Garret is now a married man. We are grown ups. We had some drinks and some laughs and i caught a ride back to the parents house were i curled up on the futon.

Yesterday we went and saw a movie and then, like we did so much this week, we ate. After dinner we put up the christmas tree--the fake christmas tree. Nick and his girlfriend came by and sat on the couch, watching the barry family decorate the tree with 20 year old ornaments my brother and i made in sunday school when we were just little whipper snappers. i would have liked to drink coffee and pet tiger, while just staring at the tree for a while but nick looked uneasy, so we headed back up to bellingham were we ate a second dinner at red robin. We played pool in robbies gargage. We were all 5 pounds heavier from the holiday gorge fest. We compared white bellies in the driveway, under the flouresent garage light.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tower of Babel

I came across a blog while mindlessly surfing the internet. In it, the author cursed the medium of web logs, arguing that to write on one or to read one is a bigger waste of time then smoking weed and watching adult swim cartoons. He ranted that blog writers are absolutely self absorbed, that by dumping their inner emotions out into cyberspace for everyone to read, they are causing real harm to society. I agree with him....Well maybe not about the destruction of society, but maybe about the dangers of self absorbtion. I must point out that he, as an antiblog blogger, is a hypocrite, like us all. So with that in mind I will very self consciously write the following...

The kids in my class are so damn smart. They use big words to showcase their big minds which are producing big ideas. They are at the top of a high intellectual tower. I am not on the top of the tower. In fact, I feel so low intellectually that if the world of intellect is circular, than i am so far under the the tower that i am in a dimensionless pocket next to the top of the tower. This position next to the tower, but not on it, puts me within earshot of the people chatting on the tower roof. Their voices are always coming out of their moving mouths. They puke out big words, out of their smart mouths. The words don't mean anything. The tower is covered in the sounds of their words--their empty words. I am hovering near the top of an alphabet tower--I am in an alphabet basement. They are building the tower with their words and I am in some weired subterranean cavern getting stoned.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Feng Shui

I need a quite place to paint. A private place, where my amateur paintings will be safe from critical visitors. A place where I can be creatively naked. My room seemed like a logical place. So yesterday, I rearranged my room, creating a three by three foot “studio”.

My room is now arranged exactly like it was the day I moved into this old house. My bed is scrunched into the corner, like vegetables pushed to the edge of a child’s dinner plate. On one side of my bed is a wall dominated by two large windows. Through those windows, I gaze at the moon and the stars…or the clouds tinted orange by the city lights, as i drift off to sleep. On the other side of the bed, is a metallic filing cabinet, filled with journals and trinkets. On top of the cabinet is a lonely wooden touch lamp. Underneath the lamp, my clock radio glows, and sings me to sleep. My books are a small tower: Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, Azar Nafisi’s, Reading Lolita in Tehran, and God’s, The Bible. At the foot of my bed sits a wooden chair with faded moss green upholstery. On it's lap rest my backpack. One of my bright yellow paintings hangs at the head of my bed. My carpet is a twisted jungle of green and gold shag.

I have rearranged my room before. I arranged it for Her, for Us. My bed was in the middle of the room so that we would both have an escape route for late night trips to the bathroom. That old kitchen chair was my night stand. It held books written by Herman Heese, Jack Keroauac, William Burroughs, Richard Braughtigan. Her night stand, was the silver cabinet. It was always littered with hair pins--and a tall glass of water. Periodically I will find one of those hair pins in a dark corner of the appartment. On the wall i had tacked up a chinese tapestry she had given me. It depicted a two headed god dancing between bamboo shoots. The carpet was always covered by our disguarded clothes. Her night bag was somewhere in that pile of clothes. Above us, the moon light would rush through the window. I remember Her as a silhouette in the cold winter moon light…whispering. We would stay up into the early morning talking about saving the world. At the foot of the bed was the bedroom door. In the mornings we would do everything possible to avoid walking through that door. We savored the warmth of the blankets, the warmth of each other.

Last night I was unexpectedly flooded by the memories of Her.
Those memories felt old, ancient, as if they were somebody else’s. Laying in my bed, now pressed against the wall, surrounded by the warm glow of my bedside lamp, I felt new, fresh, like I did when I moved in--like i was ready to start walking through life's doors.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The American Dream

I should have listened to my favorite classical music program on the radio while working today. Instead, I turned on the TV. Maybe tomorrow I will work in silence. Naw, then the ghost would get me.

The sheet was flat on the bed, I was busy stuffing pillows into their cases before I put the comforter over the sheets. A television commercial grabbed my attention...

"Hello we are Kenneth and Cynthia Johnstone", Ken and Cindy are wearing their Sunday sweaters while hugging each other in front of a crackling fireplace. The coziness of the fire is blurring all the imperfections out of their skin. Ken and Cindy are happy, content, people. "We don't have a job, we have a career. Here at Wallmart, we have a career that offers us the opportunity to realize our dreams...." Now, Ken and Cindy are wearing blue vest and smiling with other blurry happy people in blue vest, in a Walmart. "Our son also has a career at Wallmart as a pharmacist. Together we are living the American Dream." Cindy, Ken, and Preston, the man-child pharmacist, are cheek to cheek, slobbering on each other. They are a happy family.

Immediatly after the commercial I started cussing. How fucked up is that commercial?! Wallmart was being sued just last year for working their employees to the bone for less than minimum wage! No offense to the employees of Walmart.... But the people that work there do not look like Ken and Cindy. They barely look human. And they never look happy...Well not, sitting-by-a-fire-drinking-eggnog, happy. So it has come to this. The new version of the American Dream is a family working 60 hours a week for minimum wage at Wallmart. Is this disturbing to anyone else?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Fountains

Where are all the public water fountains? Last night i went on a very long walk. I had some errends to run, dinner to eat, thinking to do. At one point, I became very thirsty. I was miles from home and drying up. I kept imagining that I was a wanderer in the middle of the Saharah. The song "People are strange" by the doors was going through my head. I searched every street corner for a water fountain. I passed the church--no water. The school--no water. Near the courthouse there was the refreshing glow of a Pepsi machine. I became horrified and anxious. It seems unreal that a walker would have to spend a buck fifty on chemically enhanced sugar water, while not having the option to drink freely from a public fountain. I had no money so i staggered on, to the place were we all end up, in the end. The ATM machine.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Inspired

I feel creative for the first time in months. I think blue times are a blessing... people that are always happy and laughing thier heads off terrify me. Anyway i feel inspired. I went and checked out some student films tonight up on campus and they really inspired me. They were good--but i know i can do better. That is the great thing about compitition... that is one positive aspect of capitalism that so often gets overlooked. Students make good movies and then other students try and make better movies. A free enterprize of ideas with out limit. Before you know it Bellingham will have a vibrant community of film makers.

Greetings

At the top of the Sehome arboretum, in the wood tower, I enjoyed a moment by myself. Mount Baker was hovering in the sky. I said hello.

I left the tower and said goodbye to the mountain. Walking down the muddy path, I realized that i was wearing camouflage. Grey shoes, brown pants, a forest green sweater, and a black stocking cap. I am growing my winter beard. It is the color of dead leaves in the evening sun light.

The sound of muffled voices approached me. My ears are a better defense against preditors then my other senses. My eyes scaned the forest, trying to put image to sound. The reflection of two strangers slowy getting bigger filled my eyes. Fifty feet. Twenty five feet. The two men were seven point six three feet away. One finger away...

****

"Standard greetings."

We pass each other and the measurements now have a negative sign in front of them.

"Slightly subversive greeting to you, and an inquiry concerning your well being."

"Standard response to your inquiry--my well being registars in the positive." The inside of my mouth is warm and vibrating. The outside of my mouth is a crew of muscles constructing a smile.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Automobile Pornography

Tonight I have to write a paper on the movie Crash by David Cronenberg. My fingers are so very cold. I am having trouble typing. My brain is also cold. I am going to defrost both my hands and my mind by writing on my blog.

After viewing Crash, I am reminded of a short story written by the illustrious science fiction writer Kilgore Trout, a fictitious character invented by Kurt Vonnegut. In his story, which was mostly published in sleazy dime porno mags during the 1960’s, a crew of human astronauts visit a far away planet on which a race of war torn people introduce the space adventurers to the hardest porno in the galaxy. The aliens of this distance world have ravaged their planet, killing all of the plants and animals. They are forced to eat petroleum products for sustenance. But they do have a thriving entertainment industry centered around the cinema. The aliens brag about how filthy and hardcore their pornography is, but the astronauts are skeptical--these aliens have not seen the raunchy porn of Earth. The aliens bet that their porn is far more intense, and invite the astronauts to the theater to see for themselves.
In the theater, the lights dim. The screen is dark but the speakers spill the sound of erotic moaning and groaning. The audience becomes fidgety in their seats. There is the sound of moist lips smacking, of heavy breathing, and biting. An image begins to slowly fade in on the screen. A family of four sit at a dinner table feasting on ripe vegetables and plump, crisp fruit. The father slowly carves the steaming turkey which dominates the center of the table. A close up shot, frames the juices of the turkey oozing out of the meat as the knife slices through flesh. The crowd moans. The family dog jumps up on the table and joins the orgy, lapping up saucers of milk and pumpkin pies. A quick cut to the man’s Adam’s apple shows it bobbing--up and down--up and down. The aliens are reduced to squirmy groaning bodies in a debilitating ecstasy. After the show the proud aliens inquire of the astronauts: that was the hardest pornography in the galaxy, was it not?

I love that story!

I imagine Crash to be a porno for cyborgs. Machines have become so intertwined with man that the line where man starts and and machines start is blurred, examining that blurry line can be sexually pleasurable. In my home town of Marysville, as I am sure is true with so many towns across the country, kids cruise the main street in their cars as a mating ritual. The sexier the car the sexier the driver. Girls in pink escorts, boys in lifted pick up trucks. The cars themselves are a sex symbol.

Somewhere, on a fantastical planet in my imagination, the cartoon cars from the Cheveron commercials, are all lined up at a drive in theater watching a maochistic porno of cars being demolished in a wrecking yard.

Winter Blues

The Northwest winter is hard to explain. I can feel the presence of an old dark magic. The short summers are rich and warm, like turkish delight. But the last remaining colors of summer are all but gone, what is left are naked rain soaked branches that creek in the wind. The sky presses down, low and cold-- a haunting fog that never burns off. Everything turns brown and grey, everything is moldy. The cold drizzle outside makes me think twice about getting out of bed. Lonely street lights reflected in black puddles at 4pm, make me want to go home and cook hot fragrant dinners. I shun my summer hiding places--the cement slab downtown will be frosty soon, and the dusty porch which is so inviting in the summer, is muddy and lonesome in the winter. Blackberries, apples, pears, cherries are replaced by slimy mushrooms that taste of a spiceless earth. But even the mushrooms won't be around much longer. On the streets, the familiar curves and lines of the human figure are replaced by the clumsy bulk of sweaters and overcoats. Human faces are veiled by hoods. And people tend to look down so not to get rain in their eyes. I can smell the scent of wet human, as people clammer into the cafe from off the street, shedding their rain soaked jackets and wiping wet hair out of their eyes. Wet hair is a strange and fascinating sight.

I have this theory that spirits are regional. The spirit that awakens in a Northwest winter is a great solitary spirit. Both beautiful and plain. And extremely melancholy.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Walrus

The Eskimos at one time depended completely on seals, or maybe it was walrus, to sustain them. The Eskimos literally were made of Walrus. Their bodies converted the walrus meat into energy which allowed for cell regeneration and much more--I am not a biologist, the point is that the Eskimo's entire way of life centered around the walrus. They used bones and all to keep warm and make tools. Walking through the mall last night, (I was there to pick up Xbox live so that I can now be plugged into the wider cyber world of halo 2) I asked myself--what are Americans made of. The answer is obvious, we are made out of the Mall. The people at the mall wear mall clothes. Many of the articles of clothing advertise the place they were bought: Old Navy, Abercrombie, Holster. People in the food court eat mall food, building their bodies out of Mongolia noodles and Ivars clam chowder. The movies that play in the mall rewrite neural pathways, becoming part of the thought processes of mall goers. Art, entertainment, food, clothing, shelter, mating rituals... It is all happening at the mall. The people at the mall look and smell like the mall, the way old people and their dogs look alike. The modern super mall is very much like a giant walrus.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Halo 2

Halo 2 came out in the wee hours of this foggy November morning. Behold, it now lays on my television. I had put the game on reserve months ago... I am not really sure why, maybe to feel the rush of being a part of something. After pressing the play button on my answering machine yesterday, a woman's voice began to seductively beckon me from the speaker. "Hello this is Veronica from the Bellingham Game Stop, I am wearing silk stalkings and a Masterchief helmet. I find you so sexy, i find men that play video games so sexy. Come down to the Gamestop and pick up your special edition Halo 2 tonight at midnight. See you there you sexy sexy man." then she gave the gamestop phone number in the same sexy voice but in a robot-giving-out-a-phone-number, disjointed kind of way:"ONE,TwO, nine-----sIX,THREE, ONE, seVen"... Oh the fantasys of video game playing nerds.

I went down to pick the game up at 11:30 in my brothers car. The line to get into the store literally was one hundred yards long. I started cracking up, wishing i could share this amazing scene with someone. No way was i going to stand in that line, even though it might have been fun. I headed over to the Fairhaven Pub to meet Justin and Andy. Justin was going to play for open mic night, so he was busy working up courage to get in front of people, while Andy was silly drunk. He finally played his set at midnight. I thought it was great. But I am no musician. When he got off the stage he looked suicidal. He then tore himself down the rest of the night. What a curse; To be so talented and have such a low self esteem.

A few more drinks and it was now 2Am. Lets go get Halo 2! So we drove back to the gamestop to pick up the most hyped up game in history. The hordes of people were gone and we walked right into the store. Another group of guys our age walked in at the same time. The nerdy clerks greeted us like brothers and laughed about a second rush. I want to make this observation real quick--intellectual hippy librals always march down this street with flowers in thier hair singing songs of peace, yet, disagree with one and they turn into the most violent people on earth. You will never find that with a gamer. I have never met a gaming geek that had a mean bone in his/her body. World Peace...you won't find it in San Fransisco, you will most definitely find it in Redmond Washinton.

2:30AM Halo 2 docks with the Xbox. The game and the computer make sweet love and suddenly i am as lost in fantasy as Veronica hoped i would be. What a beautiful game. We interwined in ectacsy until 4am.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Job Interview

"Ok this is going to be fun, I want you to think about this senario: you are out in the middle of the desert. Nobody else is around and you are going to starve. In front of you is a great chasm, one thousand miles deep, one thousand miles wide, and one thousand miles across. On the other side of this divide is an oasis full of food and water. If you can cross the chasm you will live, if not you will surely die. The only resourse you have to traverse this obsticle are 4 planks of wood and an infinite length of rope. How would you use these items to cross this ditch and save your life?"

"uhhhhhh......."

"Ok ok, Matt, let's put that question aside for the moment, continue to think about it and feel free to cut in and share your solution at any time, but let's continue the interview. Tell me about your personal strengths, and also tell me about some areas of your personality that you feel could be strengthened and what steps you are taking to better yourself."

"uhhhhhhhh......"

"right, ok these are standard Hollywood Video questions. Let me move on but that question is important so we will definitly come back to it. Tell me about a time when you felt proud of your leadership ability, when you led a group of people to a successfull outcome.

"uhhhhhhh...."

"Matt, don't worry about it. Ok, um let me see. Let's do some role playing. I am a guest and you are a service representative trying to sell me a promotional package...GO."

"uhhhhhh...."

"Fine, Fine... tell me your favorite three movies."

"uhhhhh...."

"Wow, um, ok so, without looking , can you tell me what color the wall behind you is."

"uhhhhh.... purple."

"No no, it is not purple, but good gues good guess. Ok, good, well do you have any questions that you want to throw my way?"

"uhhhhh..."

"Matt I will call you tonight to let you know either way, there is a second panal interview tomorrow afternoon. Three of our area supervisors will be administering the interview. So I will give you a call."

"Ok thank you."

"And Matt the chasm... fill it with your infinite length of rope and walk across it."

"uhhhhhhh...."

***

There is a distopia novel here somewhere.




Incredible

Another weekend spent at the hotel. I don't dislike my job by any means, I sometimes feel it is unimportant, which it probably is, but it feeds me and pays my bills which I am thankful for. I have a job interview today at a video store. So maybe I will have two jobs. Free videos is a major plus, I hope I get this job.

Friday afternoon I picked up my paycheck and was pleasantly surprised at how much moula I had made--months with 31 days rock! I figured with the little bit of extra money I would indulged myself at the mall. I walked to the mall which is about 4 miles away. It is a nice walk--I have to take the side streets though, the alley ways are the best, or otherwise I have to breath exhaust. I am not knocking cars, cars are one of the cooler inventions in the history of the world, but I would suggest that people get off their fat asses and walk once in a while. You can be much more intimate with the city on foot. I don't think people in cars notice the exhaust that is spewing out of their cars either. Safely sealed in their computer generated atmospheres with Dave Mathews or bone thugs and harmony blasting on the CD player, they never have to actually breath real air or listen to birds. Oh well... So I walked to the mall.

I like going to the mall. It ranks up there with art galleries and bowling alleys as a great spot to people watch. My feet really hurt so I looked down and really noticed my van tennis shoes--they are so worn out, they have lost their ability to support me as a mobile unit. So I bought a new pair of walking shoes.I can't wait to walk to the video store in a few minutes in my new shoes. It is weird but my shoes start to mean something to me after a while. I only have one pair, and I wear them everywhere. Looking at them, I start to remember my journeys and even though metaphysically speaking, they are not alive, I can't help but feel that those vans have traveled with me as companions...through the Grand Canyon even. I stared at them for a long while in the food court as I put them away in the new shoe box.

With my new shoes on I decided to see a matinee--The Incredibles. What an amazing movie. The animation blew me away. And the message was awesome to... I am reading Anne Rand so this one part really struck me-- I almost started chanting USA, USA... Anyway... The mother complains to the father that he isn't spending enough time with the children, that he should go to their sons graduation. The father says something like, what graduation, 4th grade? Why do we celebrate mediocrity? a damn good question Mr. Incredible-- a fine question indeed.

The movie theater was pack to the brim full of little snotty children. They were really cute though. they have no inhibitions--they just speak loudly, "mommy look at the horsey!" it made me smile.

I walked home from the mall in my new shoes.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Pillow Talk with Umma Thurman

Last night i dreamt that my life was this: sleeping in with Umma Thurman.

Reality: I am a male house keeper.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Matrix

I finished the book Straw Dogs that I had mentioned a couple days ago. It started out as a critique of humanism and progress--interesting...But the closing chapter blew me away. The economy started making sense to me. Language is such a hard thing to use to illustrate an epiphany-- dancing around a fire painted in root powders is probably better, but how would I show that on a blog.

Ok economies. Hunter gatherer societies were around 15 thousand years ago, then these new guys called farmers drove these primitives to the edges of the world and well that is pretty much how things went up until about 200 years ago. A couple centuries ago people started making better machines. The machines were expensive and only the rich guys owned them. For the poor people to find work, they had to move to the city so they could work in the factories were all these machines were. Now we live in a consumer economy, blah blah.... But what John Gray is pointing out is that machines are taking over. People in the near future are not going to need to work. The machines will do almost all the work... But more importantly he asks, what will people do to occupy themselves in this new leisure culture? And this is the part that blew me away, its been there in my face all along. They will entertain each other! And my oh my how we entertain each other today. So he says we create jobs that only function to shield us from boredom. We invented a butt load of these jobs last century, including psychiatry, and we increased the volume of older jobs such as bureaucrats, actors, etc. Don't forget the popularity of DVD's, and video games--teams of people are working on this stuff.

I always kind of wondered what the hell I was going to school for and now I have discovered it. I am an aspiring entertainer. Any cultural study is entertainment. Ever wonder why porn is so rampant? Gray would say it is there to keep us entertained, to keep us unbored. He predicts that when sex looses its ability to keep us unbored we will seek out entertainment else where, maybe in monasteries. This was all much more profound in the context of the whole book, but I had this moment of clarity in which I saw graphic designers, writers, movie stars, astrologers, Oprah, all bumping into each other while laughing and crying and thinking they were important.... Life can be really simple sometimes, I need to never forget that.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hobbiton

I slept in like a totally lazy bum this morning. Warmly under my bed covers, i listened to Kerry's concession speech and Bush's accaptance speech. The sun is shining outside and it is a beautiful day. It is hard to be too unhappy with the election. I am glad that somebody won by a large margine and the American public can get on with life and not have to watch lawyers on CNN for the next 3 months. I made a decision this morning to not get so wrapped up in politics and partisanship. I think when 9/11 happen I, along with probably most Americans, became addicted to cable news. It is such a waste of life. I have a groovy life independent of the libral, conservative debate. So I am officially over yelling at tvs, and argueing with friends and family. It just doesn't seem healthy. I wish America was more like the Shire. The president is only one man but our nieghbors and friends, we can live a hobbit like existance if we try.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

America...Fuck yeah

Ok, I went to the parents house. That was a mistake, all I did was argue with my dad about politics. He believes that George Bush and Jesus are the same thing. "You can't be a Christian and vote for Kerry Matt." I am so sick of hearing that.

When I got home my neighbors were on the porch... Totally shit faced and sad. Mike was praying to a crucifix. He told me he had been praying all night that Kerry would win. "How are we going to face the next four years?" Nicole chimed in, trying to stay optimistic, "We are going to protest tomorrow." Big deal.

My dad is praying for Bush, Mike is praying for Kerry... Poor God. Rob called me, "Bush won!". He sounded like he was trying to convince himself that everything was great, "God has a plan for our nation."

Mike told me he was scared: "I am scared Matt."

For some strange reason the people on the porch, my friends, my family, they looked like black and white photographs of sad American Indians at the turn of last century... A defeated people. With so many references to god tonight, I couldn't help but feel that he was noticeably absent this night.

Election Night

Here we go... this is supposed to be the night that determines the fate of the United States. It doesn't feel all that huge now that it is here, but i will be glued to the tv set none the less. I would like to see bush get the boot... but if he doesn't i'm not sure that i will even notice. If i can get a ride to my parents house, i am going to spend the evening watching the news with my dad, watching him bark at the blue states. if i can't get a ride, i will go to the bar and watch drunken kids cheer the blue states.

....it's all happening.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

A Hippy Parade In The November Rain

I think i might be addicted to my blog. My school writing is suffering becuase of it. The paper i wrote tonight reads in no way like an academic paper. Instead of a tecniqual critique of a certain directors feminist film, i wrote what looks like a drug induced flashback. Included in my paper is: an account of my visitation from the directors spirit, an embellished recollection of an exerience i had watching the film in which everything became a cubist painting, and last but not least, a memory of drawing a nude in a life drawing class. My God! I better wake up early to edit this. Oh well, this has been a busy weekend-- a halloween kegger, house cleaning at the hotel, preparing for an American civil war starting tommorrow--i am sure the almighty professor will understand.

I thought there might have been a freagin drum beating hippy parade marching down the street to protest election day, but it turns out the noise i heard was just rain water spewing out of the gutter.

Super Size Me

Last night i watched the movie Super Size Me. Boy did it ever make me feel guilty for eating that onion ring bbq burger from Red Robin for dinner. Afterward I pledged a 40 day fast to cleanse my body of toxins. Well that was like 12 hours ago. Now it is breakfast time and i have eggs on the stove a cup of black coffee in front of me. I am never going to reach spiritual enlightenment.

I have so much crap to do today that I am having thoughts about not doing a damn thing. Wouldn't that be nice?

"well, i'll go to college and i'll learn some big words
and i'll talk real loud goddamn right i'll be heard
you'll remember the guy that said all those big words
he must've learned in college."
--modest mouse

Monday, November 01, 2004

Halloween

I always have the worst costume on Halloween. Probably because the idea of dressing up in costumes seems so very strange, and yet--I do it every day. I wear three costumes each day. I go to school dressed as a college student: Jeans. a hooded sweatshirt, and a pack on my back. At work my costume is that of the corporate slave: black slacks and a colorless button up shirt, and absolutely no facial hair. And finally my bed-time costume: baggy flannel cotton pants and a t-shirt. I guess form follows function. But there is no real reason why I should wear jeans to school and my professor a corduroy sports coat with leather patchs on the elbows. Humans function best in groups. Groups form indivuduals, and indivuduals have an amazing drive to get drunk and form groups.

Like I said, "I always have the worst costume on Halloween." Last night I dressed as a partial birth abortion. Everyone else had such nice costumes. Real works of art. I threw mine together 5 minutes before the party. I wore my sweatshirt on my legs and my pants on my chest. A straw was glued to my head. Just like the year I went dressed as an electron, nobody understood my costume last night either. Quick observation about last night--every girl was dressed like a slut. The one girl that wasn't, I wanted to marry. I asked each one of them, "what are you supposed to be?" "A slut". "And you?" "Slut." "You?" "Slut" (Hmmm... Say that word a couple times. I wonder what its origins are). I wish people would be honest about thier costumes during the other 364 days a year. Most people answer, "I am a unique individual", or something identical but fancier sounding, even though the guy wearing the black hooded sweat shirt looks exactly like me, and so to, all the people wearing old navy cotton billboards on thier breast look alike. Costumes.

But all observations and cynisism aside. I had fun last night drinking keg beer at my neigbors house, which was also dressed in costume--a haunted house costume. It was pretty psychadelic. Some DJ's even showed up but they communicated only with music and i didn't see either one utter a word.

After the party I happily stumbled home and climbed into bed. I had one of those dreams that makes one wonder what is more real, waking life or dream life. In the dream, I told my friend that I dug her and we ended up getting together and living out our lives in bliss. When i woke up at 4 AM, my life of happiness swimming in fountains sculpted of bronze with my lover, had dissolved completely. It took me a couple seconds to remeber who i was. When i got up to walk to the bathroom i discovered that i was drunk and had lost control of most of my motor skills. I pissed like a race horse and got back into bed. I tried my damnedest to get back into the dream that i had been so violently ripped out of by the needs of my body, but i couldn't.



Saturday, October 30, 2004

Day

With two sweatshirts and a stocking cap on, I went for a mid afternoon walk. I started out ambitiously, with plans to walk all the way to the north side of the city--to a cosey little cafe and a hot cup of soup. The wind was so chilly though. The wind stirs every year about this time, almost as if it and the trees have an agreement concerning leaves. I found a quarter while walking through a hidden alley way. Its not everyday i find a quarter; sometimes a nickle, sometimes a penny, but rarely a quarter. Quarters don't really mean much to me anymore other than an association with laundry day. When i was a kid finding a quarter was so exciting. It meant an afternoon at 7-11 playing arcade games, or buying a jolly rancher sucker from the ice cream man. When i looked down and saw the quarter half hidden in loose gravel, i felt the exhilaration of childhood.

Mazes and Monsters

I had a pretty big realization last night. It happend while Andy was playing Nintendo, and then became even more clear after watching Tom Hank's fist movie, Mazes and Monsters. There has been a dramatic shift in the way we live now, in a tecno culture, compared with even the days of my childhood... the 1980's.

Andy has every Nintento game ever created, stored on his computer. That itself is amazing. Look how far tecnology has come in the last 20 years, how drastically information storage has changed. Andy was scolling through a slew of titles and picking games at random to play. I was watching. What started to fascinate me was the themes of the games and how diffrent they are from today. One in particular, an airplane game, gives the gamer a birds eye view of the marsian surface. Piloting a space plane you must destroy all the martians who are lobbing glowing orbs at you. I could be wrong, i dont play very many new video games, but todays games aren't making kids excited about space exploration, are they?. The video games i see coming out today are vast virtual arenas that allow one to live a virtual life. in many role playing games you can buy food, tatoos, you even date virtual characters and build up your life stats. Is the dream of American space exploration, and even broader, american ingenuity, dead? In place of space exploration, we Americans have decided to explore ourselves. It seems, reality television and life simulation games almost make american's content sit on the couch and live virtual lives.

After the nintendo I poped in Mazes and Monsters. It examined much of the same themes that i had been pondering in front of Andy's flashing computer monitor, but from the perspective of fearful suburbian parents of the mid 1980's. They feared that if thier children played dungeons and dragons, they would be get caught up in fantasy and loose thier ambition for living in reality. It was one of the hoekier movies i've ever seen but i thought that it was way ahead of its time in predicting a virtual culture. What a cool field to get into--virtual culture.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Arrows vs. Nukes

"Fuck capitalism, Fuck industry, these fucking fuck fucks... polluting streams and the hole in the ozone layer--FUCK. The fucking corporations man, greed and destruction. Fuck America, we are raping the world. Have you seen toxins interact with organic compounds... I do, I am a fucking chemist."

"How would you change things?"

"For one we need to destroy our nukes and quit polluting. We need to grow our own food and hunt with arrows."

"I saw this really cool exhibit about global design up in vancouver this weekend. There were all sorts of new designs and materials that will--"

"FUCK THAT MAN! We are just going to pollute the streams even more by producing these new fibers. No we need to Fuck all of it. Fuck the assembly line. We started destroying the world with the rise of industrialism. We need to get back to fucking nature man."

"What's natural?"

"ARROWS!"

"Arrows are tecnology. People killed each other with arrows just like today they kill each other with missles. I have to believe in progress even if it is an illusion. Maybe the work on the next space shuttle will lead to new and improved consumer products that will make life easier and cleaner. If not things will balance themselves out, Gia will send her famines and pestulance to get the population back to a healthy number. Don't worry about it so much, get a job that will allow you to use your chemistry skills to improve our situation. I enjoy my refridgerator, my heating, my sewer, my cotton sweatshirt, my ability to sit here and talk with you without a rival tribes man shooting me with an arrow. We will pull out of it. Push into space, start a federation of planets and explore the deepest stars."

"Man you sound like a fucking war mongerer. I am sorry but you are a ruthless Fucking Capitalist. Having a refridgerator means that you are killing 10 million affrican babies. You fucking Christian baby killer."


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Meme River

I am truely fasinated by the information that I come in contact with. It's almost as if an exterior power is feeding these ideas to me. For instance the flow of literature that enters my hands. It is a really cool trip that we all take through the world of ideas. I remember at the age of 18 picking up Kurt Vonneguts "Breakfast of Champions" and being blown away. My eighteen years of public schooling had lulled my mind to sleep and this book had revigorated my capacity for curiosity. That was close to 7 years ago now and every book I pick up seems to pick up where the book I just finished leaves off.

An example of this just happend last night. I had just finished reading Howard Bloom's book about superorganisms and the evolution of ideas or memes. There is always that sadness that comes after reading a great book, the vacum time before i find another good book. So there I was in the sad vaccum when my nieghbor brings over a book called "Staw Dogs". It turns out the book is an argument against blooms ideas. What are the chances of Justin bringing over a book that is exactly about the same thing i had just been reading? but... maybe there is really only one idea or a few ideas and we can't help but bump into them over and over and over again in diffrent forms.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Oh Canada

My parents, my brother, and I went up to Vancouver BC today. We paid a visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery. The show I wanted to see was closed for the weekend. But the first two floors were hosting an awesome exhibit about globalization and living in the 21st century. Some things that blew me away were: the material and textile display which included self cleaning glass and fire proof super insulation. I could have spent the whole day in there but my dad was bored I think so we left early. I felt really enthusiastic about the future afterward, looking forward to the day when all this futuristic technology will be available to the public, improving our lives and our relationships with each other.

After perusing the gallery we strolled through the streets of the city taking in the bustle of the Canadian shopers and beggers. I might have devulged to much information to my mother when I verbally recalled the time in high school, when my friends and I bought magic mushrooms from a perfect stranger in the same alley that we were passing by, and how we tripped out in the dirty motel across the street.

We stop in the court yard of the museum to observe the drama of a peace rally. My dad started getting pissed so we had to drag him out of there reminding him that we were in somebody elses country. This ultra conservative patriotism is starting to scare me a little bit. I hope my dad doesn't have a heart attack.

We ate lunch at Burger King and then headed back home. It was a really fun day. I wish I could hang out with my parents more. As soon as we got home, Beth, our upstairs nieghbor invited us to carve pumpkins on the porch. My parents had to get home to watch thier favorite televison program but i was soon carving my pumpkin and drinking wine. Andy made an amazing chicken stir fry with fryed rice and soon the whole whole house, upstairs and down, was filled with the smell of good food and raw pumpkin.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Ferret

Andy has a Ferret. He brought him home from the pet store a nameless creature. I suggested naming him Falcore after the flying dog in The Never Ending Story, so that was his name...for two days. But, Andy called Falcore Ted Danson soon after that and the name stuck.

Ferrets Sleep like 23 hours a day but the one hour that Ted Danson is up and about he is crazily breathing and hissing and hopping. His body is really long and it is always swirling, kind of like the milky way galaxy or any old spiral galaxy.

Andy gave him a bath the other day because his head smelled like pee. Ted Danson's body is so long that when he curls up to sleep in his little ferret hammock, his backside is actually laying on top of his head. A little to much water to drink before his 23 hours of sleep and well, you get the picture.


Moms

I dont know what happend to my post from earlier today, it just disapeared... and to ponder where it went has left me staring into space with wide watery eyes. The contents of that lost blogette were along the lines of this:

Who does Mrs. Hienz Ketchup think she is saying that Laura Bush as a mom, never worked a real job in her life. I am greatful to my mom for being there in my childhood. It was an absolute wonderful way to grow up. I know how hard my mom worked to raise us and all of the other moms out there that believe that nurturing thier young is the most important job there is. In today's world it is hard to make it economically on one salary, but i applaud and really want to hug those women OR MEN that stay at home to give thier offspring the best chance of survival. Maybe they can't afford a jumbo sized Lincoln SUV to hall thier kids to soccer games in, but in the long run society benifits and those families benifit. i remeber getting home from school as a child and smelling my moms meatloaf. Thanks Mom. And Terresa Kerry... shame on you.

Must Read

I am bogging it for the second time in one day. I recommend that every person that reads this post--yes you, the lone person in my audience, there in the dusty corner--you should read The Lucifer Principle, by Howard Bloom. It is the closest thing to a grand unified social theory i have ever read.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Democracy

I voted for the first time today. I punched the chads and sealed up my ballot and mailed it off. It felt good too. Over the last few months i have grown very cynical about politics and have even argued with friends that voting is a waste of time, that all the politicians are crooks anyway. I'm not taking back that statement now. But it did feel good to vote for my canadates and dream of a parallel universe in which the guys i voted for might actually be elected to office. So... anyway--i have been politically devirginized.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

An Unseen Stranger

While cleaning a hotel room, i found a man's journal that he forgot after checking out. It is completely fascinating the diffrent ways people arrange thier liveing space. I am always excited to enter a dirty hotel room where i get to play detective and imagine the people that slept there and what thier lives may be like. So finding an abandoned journal was a rare treat for me.

I sat down on the bed and read this man's journal. i think it was an assignment for AA because the first page was titled in big letters, "10 reasons i need to stop drinking". The other pages were recollections of events in his life and a quick description of his feelings about those events at the bottom of the page. For example:

October 17, 2004

I cleaned hotel rooms today. It wasn't required that i see another human being or communicate with one. I put the rooms back together after the guest take them apart. The hotel room is a piece of corprate art when i am done with it. But when i first open the door it is a piece of found art. Like a a birds nest. Or a wolves' den. In one room i found a man's journal. On every page he conversed with himself about why he needed to quit drinking and how ashamed he was that he could not stop. In the garbage can, next to the bed was an empty 40 oz bottle of malt liquer in a crinkled paper bag.

My feelings: brotherly love

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Whip Cream Sex

If there is one thing that constantly boggles my mind it is this: Why do so many people think they should be out doing something other than what they are doing to be happy? So many are unhappy because they are home alone, or are not having sex with a drunk partner lathered in whip cream. I am not in Canada spending hundreds of dollars on liquer and I am happy about that. Tonight is a Saturday night, after a long day of work and study, i feel lucky and totally blessed to be rocking out and drinking a glass of wine at home in my appartment. Don't stress out and be unhappy becuase your not on the set of MTV's Dance Party. Go sit on your porch and look at the stars. Make up stories about them. Pick up a good book and curl up. Go for a walk. Paint a picture. Write a story. Go have a cup of coffe and trip out on the people around you. Go listen to some music downtown. Get lost in thought. Be happy my brother! Independence is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Bald

Yesterday they came.
An old rusted man and his pony tail wearing apprentice.
Urban loggers. Wood barbers.
The sound of chainsaw was startling.
Then...Drizzling Lumber.
A mess of branches on grass. Hair on linoleum.
Just a little off the sides please
--oops--decapitation.

"Timber!" hollered the raspy old man.
A school bus floated by, windows fogged by children's breath.
The tree, that just yesterday protected the side of this house from
wind, rain, sun, and curious strangers,
is today,
in the back
of an old
pickup truck.

The side of this house has never been so naked,
so completely hairless.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Information Overload

We live in the information age. That means that the people with the most information have the most power, or so I understand it. Over the last 24 hours I have watched 4 movies, not including the documentary on Sun Tzu's art of war, that was for fun. I listened to my favorite radio program while eating breakfast. I watched the presidential debate. I read a chapter on the toilet. I read 2 chapters in a text book in the library. I read half a novel before bed. At one point today I became aware of the ones and zeros around me. There is information everywhere. Look around you. Cigarette box. Cereal box. Product packaging in general. Mass media. Traffic signs. Conversations. DNA. There is so much information out there! I secretly want to slip into a comma and dream the rest of the year away. Like a polar bear--I want to hybernate.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

IITJ

It is raining outside. A few blocks away at the laundry mat, my wardrobe is tumbling over itself while being blasted with hot air. That means I am eating my breakfast bagel and writing in my work-around-the-house jeans and ragged t-shirt.

Last night I completed a Jung personality type test. When psychology was first invented these test were probably done on psychotic junkies in a cold dungeon lab. The doctors were distinguished from the patients by their hair styles. The doctor's hair was greased and parted while the patients completely neglected theirs. They were also the ones tied down to the beds with leather straps. Today however, we administer the test to ourselves as a source of entertainment when we are bored. And interestingly enough--the neglected "bed-head" is a popular contemporary hair style.

Back to the results of the test. It turns out I am an IITJ. That means I am an introverted, intuitive, judge, thinker. Less than one percent of the population is an IITJ.

I am a unique snowflake.

Reading a little further into the test results I found that IITJ's usually die alone, unable to connect with the other 99 percent of humanity. So, when I woke up this morning I treated myself to a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

Comfort food.


Friday, October 08, 2004

Imagining Indians

Today in my film class, the students, all of whom are white, criticized their Anglo forefathers for being racist fascist. It went on for an hour. After we watched the 1936 version of "The Last of the Mohicans", the professor asked us to cite examples of ways in which Indians were depicted. Everyone seemed to have found something rasist about the film. One girl noted proudly..."The relationship the indians had with the animals made the indians out to be animals themselves. Like when the beaver warned the indian that the british were coming". The professor became a bobble head doll, "yes, yes, good example." I was thinking, is this for real?

But what really got me is this: The teacher pounded his hand on the table....BOOM, Boom, Boom, Boom....BOOM, boom, boom, boom. "This drum beat is a sterotypical portrayal of sacred Indian music..." I have no doubt that it is, but i am also not sure what that last sentence even means. A bright kid up in the front chimed in with an epiphany. "whoa you know what? i think that same drum beat was used in the Lord of the Rings for the Cave Orc's battle song." A girl next to him sighed. Peter Jackson is a rascist they all agreed. I am not kidding.

I got to thinking...

This class is titled "Imagining Indians". I wonder: Is it still ok in the United States to say what you want and laugh about it? Is it ok to just watch a movie for the pure pleasure? Is there such a thing as objectivity? Is it necessary to take life so seriously? Sitting there in the tiny little desk, i took out a scrap of notebook paper and scribbled the title that I would have given the class... "Imagining Ourselves".

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

House Plant

High atop the canopy of the coffee plant forest lives Regina--the spider. In the dirt fields below, her tiny spider children play spider children games. In the far eastern field, standing hundreds of spider measuring units high, are the ruins of a great flying beast. On warm Autum nights Regina's children snuggle up in beds of silk and listen as thier mother tells of the adventures of Bumble Bee and how those ended in a cloud of dust in the far corner of the eastern field. Thier 12 little eyes open wide when they imagine the city of honey were Bumble Bee came from and all the flying bees working and trading in the city streets. When the story is over they drop from the branches on strands of silk and fall asleep between the roots of the tree.

And I am the Moon that shines in the night. My computer monitor is the Sun.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Teeth Whitening

In the bathroom mirror I see the reflection of my face. I am fascinated by the image staring back at me. His nose is crinkled and pointing upward towards the light, giving an unusual visial perspective of the nostrals. Two, three, four, black hairs are sticking out. There are folds of skin where his eyes should be as a result of a power squint. His forehead--speed bumps of flesh. His mouth is open wide, almost wide enough to tear the skin on the corners, but not quite. The color of his face is bright red. "That's me," I think, and relax my face.

The motor on my toothbrush is on full blast and I am concentrating all of its fire power to my left fang. I am hypnotised by the sound of the tooth brush, forming in my mind an image of a great army of germs being cut down by the millions by my oral weapon of mass destruction. Bits of tooth paste and siliva are splattering on the mirror, the blood and guts of my tarter enemies.

The battle is over, it's time to clean up the battle field. I swish Listerine in my mouth. The guy in the mirror looks like a chipmunk eating a mouth full of granola. My gum are a burning inferno. I spit.

To Andy who is playing video games in the next room, "Hey do you brush your teeth with baking soda?"

"Yeah."

"You should start using Crest Whiteing Strips."

"Yeah, I should. How long does it take to do that?"

"Well your supposed to wear them twice a day for 14 days. But man, the free time I have, when I should be wearing these things...I am either smoking cigarettes or drinking coffee, two things that stain my teeth."

"Yeah."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Xeroxing Insanity

From behind her gold rimed glasses, the blond girl speaks. Her mouth opens really wide until her face becomes a throat. Her head is inside out and unhinged. Her breath smells like pills. Wet, in a fetal postion on the floor, are the remnants of Customer Service. The girl working at kinkos is on paxil.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Lenses

A rant: The University is behind the times by 30 years in the humanities studies. All classroom discussions focus on cultural diversity. Gay and feminine studies dominate the curiculum. The word "sterotype" is the college students favorite word. Every sentence starts out... "i find it intersting that---". Sorry but the cold war is over, and although a play about homosexual vietnamese lovers is "intersting", i do not understand how that is going to bring me a paying job in 2 years. Why aren't we talking about blogs in class. Look at this new medium of human communication--the internet. what has that done to humanity? what about nano tecnology, space exploration. People don't smoke grass anymore, they swallow lab chemicals-- what does that say about our culture? my friends are hard working people, why don't we read literature about carpenters who struggle each day on skyscrapers to pay off thier credit cards? My friend Heather is on leave from iraq. Apparently it is a common practice for adolescent iraqi boys to hump donkeys. why haven't i heard this before. There are so many ways to look at the world. it is such a rich and vibrant place. i am so curious and constantly in awe of life. I find it interesting that in every class we examine the world through the same rainbow colored lens... and yet we (at the universities) never turn that lens inward and ask what it is about the university culture that preocupies us with minority sexuality.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Cricket Hair

If I could make a movie it would express one condition: excruciating awkwardness. The movie would make the audience as uncomfortable as characters in the diegesis, and in that moment fantasy and reality would be spliced together, one a mirror of the other...true art.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Midnight with Tom Petty

I almost have enough money saved up to fix my car. The hippies in this town put such a guilt trip on drivers. But it is time for me to push aside the marjiuanna smoke and idealology and face reality. Cars are a convienance. The few errands i had today on my day off, which would have taken less than an hour with a ride, took up the majority of daylight on foot. It was a beautiful day though.

I hoofed it for pleasure this evening and watched the sunset by the bay on my favorite slab of cement behind Jalepenos restaurant. on my way home i ran into rob and we decided to spend the rest of our evening drinking beer and playing videogames. It was fun. I haven't played guilt free video games for ages.

after the virtual killing spree, we headed out to the porch and discussed the best stradigies to seduce the checker girl at fred meyer. i guess the easiest way would be to buy groceries and act like a human being. But that can't be right. What about the alpha males in gorilla tribes? they are a variable, that based in human reality or not, i haven't quite figured out. rob and i decided that life is too unpredictable, that no matter what direction our lives take, we will meet in vancouver for the 2010 olypics and have a drink in a pub. if our lives haven't turned out like we planned, if we don't have fred meyer checkers, we will streak the games.

it is passed midnight and i am listening to tom petty. good night.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Melatonin

My dreams sure have been weird lately. In one of my dreams last night two polar bears were set loose to create mischief in france. i saw them being flung from heaven down to europe. And then, like rip vanwinkle, i followed a ghostly guide up an ice shelf. We climbed up the steep glacer as if we were ascending a great stair case into heaven. On the way up we refreshed ourselves by snacking on dvds the way a runner might drink gatorade from a paper cup. i got to the top of the shelf and came upon a group of laughing people jumping off a high bouqiney. the dream changed and i found myself on a school bus.

A kid behind me kept slicing my neck with a collection of pocket knives. i continually told him to stop cutting me but he just laughed. So i turned around in my seat and grabbed all his knives, which he kept in a tackle box. The knives were made of flimsy plastic and i broke them all and threw them out the window. I then gave a speech about preemptive strike and how America attacked iraq to prevent a similar incident. i turned back around, victorious, and then woke up.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Naked Conversation

I'm out of the shower because my skin is red and itchy. Being a male maid is tough business, dirty too. My hands: raw from chemical burn.

In the shower, whistling the theme to "Bravehart", I think about pecking orders and my spot in the hierarchy of things. Daydreams of wealth and power. Daydreams of dropping out. A disruption in thought. A voice. It isn't introducing itself. It is deep in inquisitive conversation. Can't locate source of voice. Is it in my head? Turn off shower.

My voice: "Hello?"

His Voice: Aum Yah... Hello!

I have discovered the voice is that of my landlord. I can't see him. He is outside. I am naked and talking to my landlord through an open window. The curtain is ruffled by the breeze. The curtain is a country of mold.

His voice: "Did you talk to so and so about the such and such? And what about that dog I heard yipping over here yesterday. That poor cotton picking dog, shouldn't be in a cage. He should be running in a field. Now what about that broken window?"

Confusion.

"Mr. Landlord...I can come down and talk with you in a minute if you want. I'm, I'm trying to take a shower."

"oh yeah matt, ok, I just heard the whistling, yeah, ok, bye now."

Eyes blink. Did that just happen?


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Coffee Mug

Outside it is cold, like winter, not at all like September. Inside protected from the drizzle, full of nervous energy and feet sweating in wool slippers, i have little else to do but think. Thinking must burn calories, and god knows after my trip to the pizzaria for lunch i have calories to burn. In searching my thoughts, i have yet to find the solid center and fear that my thoughts and beliefs are an eternal mist without a core. All my beliefs stack on top of each other without a foundation, without support. i don't know anything!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Movie Night

All I wanted to do tonight was stay in, undisturbed and watch "The Red Violin" and eat a large Chicago style pizza from the take-n-bake joint. My brother popped in the movie and we prepared to eat until we couldn't eat anymore. Three bites later there was a knock at the door. Andy opened it. Our nieghbor Monica comes in full of smiles and laughs and asks us why the hell we are watching movies. She says we should be outside drinking vodka and laughing.
"Hey uh, both our toilets are clogged next door do mind if i take a shit over here?" she asks... totally nonchalant.
"Yeah go ahead Monica." there goes movie night.

We turn the movie back on, louder this time to drown out the grunting sounds coming from the bathroom. Into the second piece of pizza--a knock at the door. I opened it this time. Justin comes in wearing a scraggly beard and wants to know if Andy wants to play music. Andy reluctantly said "sure" and went next door to drink vodka and play drums. Monica was done by this time and i was finally alone with my movie... with the Red Violin.

The phone rang. I made the mistake of anwsering it. My very old and very thrifty landlord asked why Andy's rent is late and then started gossiping about how the nieghbors almost burned down thier house yesterday with a smoldering cigarette. "Two fire trucks had to come." I was trapped in that conversation. Like a good serf i agreed a lot with everything she said until the line went quite and she said goodbye.

I layed down on the couch and pushed the play button with my opposable thumb and sunk back into 18th century England and was again following the story of the violin. It didn't last long. David was at the door. He came over to apologize for something he told me this weekend. I made the mistake of bringing up politics late Sunday afternoon with the people on the porch, all of whom want to destroy George Bush. Anyway, David, a long haired hippy archer, told me that if i voted for Bush he would shoot me in the heart with an arrow. At the time it sent shivers up my spine but i had forgotten about it. In my doorway, he said that he felt really bad for telling me he would shoot me in the heart with an arrow and he had felt bad all week and wanted to appologize. I was touched and told him not to be silly.

After that was cleared up i sat back down on the couch and again pressed the play button. The damned thing was at this point, Andy came home and wanted to start the movie over from were he had left off! So he started the whole movie over and that is why i am typing on my blog. How hard it is to watch a movie in peace.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

No Trespassing

I took a different way home today after work. I got off early, right about lunch time, so instead of going home and eating a tortilla peanut butter wrap I treated myself to a subway sandwich to go. When I left subway I was smiling, happy about the healthy lunch that was 12 inches long that I would be eating on my afternoon of freedom. So when I looked up a side street and saw a F.U.B.A.R trailor park hidden from the public view, I thought what the hell, I am going to cross through the shanty village on a quest for a short cut home.

I followed a long haired man who limped briskly through the parks entrance. I had the feeling that both his knee caps had been busted long ago in a whaling accident or possibly by an angry meth dealer collecting debt. The man turned behind a painted brick wall and disappeared into trailer that was missing a door but in its place hung a thin pink cloth (possibly an old night gown) to keep out the weather and the burglars. I can't accurately describe this place... It was a very poor trailer park, on a hill, behind the subway and McDonald's dumpster. Little Mexican children scurried into their trailers, hiding from me as I walked up the dirt path that wound through their filthy ghetto. There were clothes lines with laundry blowing in the wind. A big dumpster served as the town square. And toys were scattered everywhere.

I briefly pondered how people could live in such poverty in the middle of such an affluent city but honestly I was more concerned with my subway sandwich and the quest to find a middle passage to my luxurious apartment.

I continued walking until I came to a dead end. A head of me I could see what used to be a gate but had been fenced off. It had a sign facing outward to the street which I couldn't read from my side of the fence. It probably read "no trespassing", or "keep out", or "vote for Kerry"... I stared at the fence for a while wishing I could press a titanium communicator badge on my left breast and ask Scotty to beam me to my living room so I could wolf down my sandwich named after an underwater killing vessel. Eventually though I turned around and started for the main road and my conventional route home.

A man was in his yard about 8 feet away from me blocking my way. I said, "hi" and he nodded back. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was trying to find a path to the high road. He looked at me coldly confused and then shook his head as if I were a giant disappointment to the human race.
"this is private property, you are trespassing right now."
I was stunned. I am not sure why I was stunned. Perhaps I didn't like the fact that a poor man living in a dilapitated trailer was questioning me--a middle classer. It could have been be because the guy wasn't the sort that would invite me in for a cold beer and tell me war stories about Nam. Or maybe I was mystified by the concept of land ownership and property rights--that is probably what I was thinking...

I looked the man in the eyes as to say, "we could have been good friends, you and me. All of human history has led to one moment and it is this one. Appreciate this blessing and do not ruin it all with law!" all this cheesy brotherly love stuff was going on in this look I gave the guy and then I politely nodded my head and apologized and he nodded his head in acceptance and I went on my way though shanty town and out the other side.

Blackberry Wine

I saw a friend tonight. I didn't have to travel far. He was in my backyard--drinking wine from the bottle.

We got to talking about life which always seems to be the subject when passing a bottle of wine. I asked him how he liked living with his girlfriend who he just moved in with. His reply made me laugh...

"It's cool, yeah... yeah it's alright. Not like being an 18 year old at a supermodel convention, but... yeah, I'm happy about 89 percent of the time."