Saturday, October 30, 2004


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 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


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.


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


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


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

"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


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?"


"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."


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.