Tuesday, January 31, 2006


She mentions the year 2079 and what life will be like. In 2079 we will have optic and auditory implants that blur the line between simulated and actual reality. In 2079 scanners will scan environments down to the molecular level meaning perfectly rendered virtual spaces. In 2079 we will be able to have coffee on different continents and feel as if we were right across the table from each other. In 2079...

I scan the room with my eyes, ripping the information of the coffee house to memory, onto my biological hard drive. The walls are off white and have the texture of Madrid, illuminated by the rhombus shaped patches of gold light pouring in from the morning sun breaking through the windows. She is gazing out the window talking and dreaming. A silhouette outlined in divine light. I note the pale green shirt she’s wearing under a heavy black yarn sweater with wooden buttons and how the lacy patterned neck line seems to blend into her pale skin. She turns and looks at me with her sweet blue eyes bursting with yellow at the centers and says, in 2079...

There is a man behind us on the couch drinking coffee and reading a paper. I can’t see him but I know he is there. There is a stereo on a table near us in the corner, the sound system for the café. It has 24 switches on it. Two rows of 12. On our table our glass plates are stacked on top of each other. All that remains of our lunch are a few morsels of eggs fallen from her egg bagel sandwich, a few bread crumbs from my turkey sandwich, and a crinkled bag of uneaten Cheetos. In front of both of us are two bowl shaped coffee cups--black with smallish half circle handles. Her cup is half full of Chai Tea. Mine--black coffee: half empty. In 2079...

I take in the café. I breathe it in and I taste coffee and cigarettes and turkey on the back of my tongue. I find it difficult to conceive of such a distant future being wholly absorbed by a quiet coffee house on a rosy January morning in 2006. I record.

In 2079...I, an old man with many wonderful and fruitful years behind me, will trot down the hall, past the den, and the study, to the holodeck. Computer, I’ll say, run file .coffehouse__1 and leaning back under a pile of blankets on my lap, I’ll rock in my chair with a smile on my face and she'll smile back.

"Ramblings from a Disenchanted Idealists"

Life, the financial part of it anyway, thus far in my short existence, has been a matter of acquiring and paying off debt. Debt is often spoken about as a weight, as if balls and chains are fastened to the debtor’s ankles, a cross borne on the his back, a weight on his shoulders, a necklace of iron around his neck. I think of debt, in our times at least, as an omnipresent force, like gravity pulling us down (gravity is more complex than that, but this is a rant). Mr. T comes to mind as an illustration of this first analogy. The man’s neck and shoulder muscles suffered as a result of his love for bling. With each luxury item he bought the heavier the weight--the greater the strain. Those that will charge a plasma screen television on their credit card to impress their friends at a Super Bowl party are an example of taking on a needless and reckless financial burden. Those people I do not feel sorry for.

Debt as a force is something else. No matter how hard I try to get out of debt, I can’t get out of it. My strategy thus far has been to live a minimalist life style. I enjoy food and electricity and cable internet and sewage. The only way to stop from paying for those things would be to become a starved monk in the wilderness. These things will not put you in debt as much as they are required to live a healthy life. I have tried to avoid debt by not buying toys.

This is a strategy of simple living--of working for what you require. I am rethinking this strategy. Every time I pay off a debt and I mean within hours or even minutes, I manage to get in more debt. It is like living a debt free life is in violation of natural law. Whether it be a medical accident or a car accident, a blown car part or a parking ticket, debt pushes down on me. I don’t have a car and yet the justice system demands that I buy car insurance just incase something happens. It hasn’t happened yet, but pay for it anyway! No, my strategy of simplicity seems to be an inadequate response to the craziness of a bureaucratic, materialistic, market manic, civilization. Living like a poor yet happy college student is no longer an option for me. There is but one option left other than dropping out and that is playing the game. I am confronted with playing the game and that gives me nightmares.

But playing the game has rules built into it to insure that one does not violate the law of debt: higher taxes, the cost of maintaining a youthful and business friendly appearance, a mailing address, etc. People with high paying jobs, middle class Americans, are in extraordinary debt. And for what? A vision of the future?

We are naked when we come into this world and naked when we leave it. Dust to dust.

I imagine myself walking barefoot through a wood on a carpet of moss in a weightless white robe and a staff with a glowing orb mounted on the top. I’m eating wild raspberries from my leather fanny pack. How light I feel!

In my night mares I am stumbling over a charred landscape under the weight of an enormously huge and clumsy backpack. Inside is a three to four bedroom house, two bathrooms, a fancy espresso maker and a house full of furniture, a car, a job at Wal-Mart and a blue vest with my nametag on it hanging in the break room, insurance, bills, taxes, and the implications and responsibility of living in a nanobot techno future.

Get a damn job, you hippy, you might say, and you’d be right. I only wish there was away to get a head with out giving The Man a rim job...that the stucture of society were more like a rocket ship to heaven and less like the gravity field of a brown dwarf pushing a major portion of it's citizens into debtor's prision.

Friday, January 27, 2006


My brother Andy, has started a geo cities web site and put his art work on it. He is very talented. I've added this site to my sidebar so you can check in to see if he has posted anything new.

New Blog post are coming. I can feel them gurgling in my stomach. It won't be long now till I pass them.

Word of the Day:

Frack: 1.. An edgy word used on Battlestar Galactica to avoid the dreaded bleep. 2. Identical to our earthling F word except that the Capricain version is spelled with an "ra" instead of a "U". Used in sentences such as: What the Frack is up with the Cylons, they look just like us humans now? Frack this mother fracking viper! We must repopulate the human species...want to Frack? I'm a fracking sensitive yet power obsessed female president, if you frack with me, I'll frack the frack out of your fracking frack--you won't even know what fracked you, fracker.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mr. Bell

I sat down at my computer desk this morning with a cup of coffee and a breakfast cookie and an intention of doing a Bible Study before heading off to work. Instead, I checked emails and news sites, then decided that listening to my favorite radio program, Coast to Coast AM, sounded more fun than Bible stories. I went to the Coast website and was excited to see that Machio Kaku, a brilliant scientist, was the guest last night. The joy lasted momentarily though: I saw the announcement that Art Bell’s wife, Ramona had died.

I was shocked. I don’t know these people, but in a way I do. Art Bell has kept me company many many nights—nights when I didn’t feel so great and my life wasn’t going so hot. Countless nights I went to bed early, cozy under the sheets, listening to Art talk about science and the paranormal. He had pulled me through hard times-- kept my mind busy when it might otherwise suffered from idleness.

I listened, almost in tears myself; to this man I respect so deeply, share about his sorrows and shock in losing his soul mate. He said slowly, fighting back the tears that he had seriously considered ending his own life to join his departed wife; his life seemed meaningless without her and if not for his five cats, he might have ended it or would end it.

Art Bell’s voice is like a warm star in the night. He has been an influence and comfort in my own life and countless others. I wish him all the best and would encourage all of you to check out his thought provoking radio program as well as offer your prayers, that he might find comfort in such difficult times.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

If Humans Had a Weather Machine

Man #1: How about this weather?

Man#2: F#!@ing George Bush!

The New Morality

Nurse: Doctor, what is wrong? You are breathing heavily and persperating. You look terrified. You came through that door in such a hurry. Now your stacking heavy boxes of medical equipment against it. Why? What’s wrong, doctor?

Doctor: The horror! The horror!

Nurse: Doctor, your trembling. Is something the matter?

Doctor: I’ve seen the face of evil, nurse. EVIL! Now help me with these boxes, girl!

Nurse: Doctor, your scaring me. What happen in there-- with Mrs. Jones? Was there some sort of complication with the delivery? Tell me, Doctor. For the love of God, your scaring me.

Doctor: I told her to get an abortion--I told her! But no, she didn’t listen to me. Her goddamn morals. To hell with her morality, it has spawned an abomination! God help us!


Nurse: Doctor! Tell me. What is on the other side of that door?!

Doctor: The devil! Didn’t you read the Jones report? She was raped by an android and impregnated by silicon nano sperm. The baby she carried for nine months is a goddamn hybrid! The spawn of satan tore her right in two then killed Doctor Larson and Doctor Wizorowitz. Poor Mrs. Jones--split in half!


Nurse: Oh, Doctor! The door is giving way!

Doctor: pulling the nurse close, the top three buttons of her blouse popping off.

What has this world come to Nurse? An artificial antichrist on my operating table. Nurse, I’ve always loved you. Kiss my chin and run your hand through my chest hair.

Nurse: Kisses doctor’s chin and strokes his chest hair, the doctors shirt was ripped off by a robotic claw right before he slammed the door shut. Even though the nurse is going to be eaten alive by a robo-baby (which looks like a cross between werewolf and the tin man, if the tin man had daggers for teeth and chain saws for arms) she is unable to resist tilting her head sideways, and worshiping the doctor, and being a helpless female. Her drunk love, turns to panic.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! The door, it is broken! We are going to die!

Doctor: Damn you Mrs. Jones. Damn you to hell! I told you to abort the fetus.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Historical Times

It has rained twenty eight straight days. No sun breaks. No moon. Just clouds and an intolerable wetness. The record for consecutive rainy days in this region is thirty three. The ten day forecast shows no relief in sight. We are living in historically wet times.

In periods such as this, in the Great Northwest, there is little else to do but think and write. Sitting in the door frame of my refrigerator room, I listen to the sound of falling rain, cradle a cup of coffee and study the muddied colors of the pear tree out back.

I watch the delivery drivers park across the alley, unloading boxes on to hand carts, then pushing them up the ramp to the door where they punch in the secret code into the keypad, then disappear into the bowels of the credit union.

I think about a post human future and salvation.

I realize I am whistling Wish You Were Here.

The rotting leaves, the rotting garden, the mold, the moss, the colorless sky, the gray puddles, the water, the wetness, the mud, the cold waterlogged wood under my bare feet, damp, soggy, saturated. Water.

I think I'd like to move, at least off the porch, to go somewhere, do something.

I think I'd like to stay put and be lazy all day.

I think about weather control.

I think about the Fourth of Julys spent at the beach, under the stars, fireworks bursting in air; about bon fires and beer; I think about sunburns and aloe vera.

Friday, January 13, 2006

My Brother

Beside my computer, tacked on the wall with a push pin, is a picture of my brother and I posing as conquering heroes on the lip of the Grand Canyon. His hands are on his hips, facing away from the camera, gazing outward into the desert abyss. I am standing proudly with my chest puffed out and my legs powerfully planted on red rock. Our clothes are strewn in the foreground and we're both wearing boyish smiles.

We drove across a continent to see one of the great testaments of time. Once there, we had our picture taken like other tourists except unlike the others, we were wearing not but our underwear.


He puts the car in park and turns the radio down. The sound of the windshield wipers scraping across the window is almost as loud as his beating heart. The police cruisers spot light fills the cab of his car with a blinding light, making him feel uneasy--there is stage fright. His heart almost burst with the tap on the window.

"License, registration, and condom ." from the beefcake cop, with his hand on his holster.

"Uh, yes, sir, here are my papers." the trembling boy offered.

"Condom. I need proof of protection."

"I, I, I don't have any on me, sir."

"Step out of the vehicle, and do it slowly. Good, nice and easy. Hands! Hands! Let me see those hands bub. No tricky stuff. Now hands behind your back. You want to tell me why your cruising around town, past all this poonanny on the street, with out proper protection, boy?"

"I, was just running up to the market to pick up some milk for my mom. We ran out at home and she was going to make French toast for dinner. Please officer, I was just going to run up to the store, it is only a few blocks away."

"The grocery store huh, I should hall you away right now. There's a helluva a lot of pun-tang at the grocery store, kid. You want to get aids? What, you got no respect for yourself, walking into to a trap like the grocery store without a condom? Your a real punk, boy."

"Uh, yes, sir. Sorry sir. It's just that well, I’m not the kind of guy that sleeps around sir, I, I am a virgin, I am saving myself for the one I love. My wife."

"Ha, how old are you boy?"

"Sixteen, sir."

"Your so naive. You, hooligan. There ain't no way you gonna stay a virgin, not in this punanni wasteland. It's everywhere boy. It's scary, it's dangerous. It'll eat you alive. If you worked in my line of work, see what I see everyday… Yep, your a young idealist, boy. There are factors beyond your control or any of our control. You can't control your pecker, boy, and your gonna wrap it up or go to jail. I'm takin you in, smart ass."

"But, sir. No."

"Get in." Opening back door of the cruiser. "Head down."

The adrenalin hits the boys heart and without thinking he bolts--slipping right out of the cops hands, he runs through the rain--hands behind his back. But he is no match for officer Beefcake who is on his heals--who pounces on the boy, body slamming his small frame into the asphalt

"Your in a world of trouble now, son. You young men are so impulsive and reckless, there ain't no way your gonna be able resist the poon. Your ours now, boy. We own you. One Adam Twelve--we have a four five nine, that's right, bolting virgin. I'm gonna need back up."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dreaming of Unwinter

The rain was coming down heavy outside, beyond the office window. All was silent but for the sound of trees pawing with their pruned-finger branches at the side of our red bricked building, begging to be let in out of the cold; the misery. I looked from the wall clock to the window beaded with rain drops, then to the coat I chose to wear today, a mock leather, spring jacket, without a hood. Dread and laziness took me. Winter, go away.

At the right moment, when the clock told me I’d worked long enough, I rose slowly and put on my pleather coat and dragged myself out of the office, down the stairs, through the hall and finally, through the heavy double doors, into the pouring rain. Damn.

I walked, and walked some more--my eyes down, watching for puddles to avoid. Something happened then and though I hadn’t acknowledged it with my conscious mind, I perceived it none the less. At a molecular level, my body, the cells, started wiggling a bit faster with excitement. Then my sensory districts began to broadcast alerts, yellow, orange, red. My nose sent a message: the air had become more fragrant. My skin sent a message: remember the way spring touches? My sight grew brighter as photons flooded my retinas.

The sun was shining!

I looked up and became a weather man, “this won’t last forever.” And with out a PhD in meteorology, I must admit, it was only a guess. But a smart guess based on observation. The patch of blue sky was tiny and quickly being torn apart by swiftly moving storm clouds. The gap in the gray was like a tornado of still, sweet-smelling June air extending down around only me.

On the horizon, breaking upon the roof tops of homes on a distant hill top, shone a dense rainbow.

I blinked and found I was no longer walking on a city street but was instead walking through a wood with a lawn of moss under my feet. I was clothed differently as well, in deep blue flowing robe made of a strange but soft synthetic material. The rainbow was still beaming but instead of falling on the roofs of track housing, it landed on a great white walled castle, a city powered by the energy of the rainbow. And in the valley beyond the wood, in the shadow of the hill, was farm land. And workers dressed in beautiful green robes tilled and harvested the land. And I could see, walking on thin whispy clouds, men in orange robes, the harvesters of the sky. My eye site was keen, and I could see far, all the way into the distant halls of the city on the hill where men in purple robes governed and wrote in books made of light. And there were women in red robes dancing in the cities parks, painting and playing musical instruments. Still another group of people, outfitted in yellow, were studying the rainbow, channeling it through thin glass cables to all the corners of the city. The people in yellow robes were also the priest and tended the temples and the fires that burned within them. And a white light radiated from the peoples faces and over the valley and from inside the trees.

I was glad that winter was over.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Song and Dance

700 hours:

I walked downtown to Starbucks. I looked like a bag of ass, having just rolled out of bed. My eyes were half open with crusty morning goobers rolling like boulders from the moist corners. Not completely awake, confusion set in as I stood at the ordering counter. The woman behind the register was absolutely high on mocha. She seemed comfortable with her surroundings; the out of focus type all over the walls, the pink and avocado striped pillows resting on the “brew” colored sofa chairs, the cylindrical alter shaped shelves filled with jazz CD‘s, basket sized coffee mugs, and stainless steal thermoses shaped like ancient fertility gods. Am I dreaming?

A chalk board hanging from the menu board announced the special of the day: cinnamon bun latte. A hieroglyph of a cup with steam swirling and curling out of it convinced me that indeed, the special would be good for me. As if I needed further convincing, the words accompanying the picture, written in a cheerfully famine flowing script font, with tiny bubbles for serifs, read: “Pamper yourself“. My mind wandered to a field where the soil was warm pink clouds and stalks of cinnamon grew tall and danced and sang African folk tunes. There was a crop circle in the cinnamon field and in that, a Victorian style iron bathtub filled with bubbles. Candles sticks fluttered above the tub with fairy wings and soft flame for hair. I stripped naked, my cream skin exfoliated by the sugary warm breeze, and dipped my big toe into the bath then my whole leg, finally submerging my whole body in the hot latte bubble bath. I drank in the steamed milk then spit it out in a thin stream. Time stopped then, and I was a fountain, a cherubim statue made of white chocolate, melting slowly from the bottom up--evaporating into a java nirvana. The sky above me parted and the face of a goddess appeared. She was a giant soap bubble shimmering in all the colors of the rainbow. She spoke:

“What can I get for you, sir?”

I felt myself rocking and a soft whisper--the African folk tune--leaking out of my crusted lips.

“Sir? Sir!”

“Uh, oh, um, hmmm…I want to pamper myself this morning.” I said.

“You bet sir!”

I hadn’t noticed before but the back wall was actually a curtain and was parting slowly revealing an assembly line of industrial age gears and rotors and steam whistles. Working the line was a crew of munchkin women dressed as show girls in leotards of bright primary colors. Red, Yellow, Blue. The neon light reflected off the sequins sewed all over their outfits. They sang and danced and seemed to perform for only me and that made me happy and I clapped and danced and slobbered and the whole café danced with me.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Best Blonde Joke Ever!


When I was a child I had a lot of faith in adults, especially my parents. And by faith I mean that I really believed that my elders had the answers to all of those curious questions I had about the world. I came to the realization the other day that somewhere along the line, I turned into an adult. Even though I lack most of the important contemporary signifiers of adulthood, (marriage, children, a career, a mortgage) I am at an age where my friends are starting to have these things. Yes, the kid’s I grew up with now have children of their own and those adorable little brats are brimming with questions. Questions that are above my head.

This is probably completely obvious to parents, but like I said, I am not a parent; this revelation came recently while driving over the mountains with my buddy and his daughter who was in the back seat seemingly fascinated by everything on the other side of her window. We were stopped at an intersection and there was road work being done on the cross street to our left. A policeman was directing traffic and the headlights of passing cars were reflected off the rainy late evening air as drivers slowly maneuvered around the cones. “Daddy, what are those glowing things?” Cassidy asked from the back seat. I hadn’t noticed myself but surrounding the bulldozers and work trucks, road flares were blazing red, pulsating like stars. My buddy answered without hesitation or even much thought, “those are road flares, Cassidy.” I looked back at Cassidy in her car seat and saw a look of awe on her face as she made the new association between image and sound…r o a d f l a r e.

I am willing to concede that the object that glowed in the street was a road flare, but is that all it is? I became as curious as Cassidy, what is a road flare, really? I guess it is a chemical reaction, a warning sign, it is probably many things. I was struck with the realization that the way we learn about the world as children is very much a matter of faith in our elders, in their knowledge. My buddy is a smart guy but he doesn’t have the answers to hard questions. He tells his daughter what his parents told him, those glowing things are called road flares. In this way we pass our collective wisdom and ignorance down through the generations.

Faith in authority is a very shabby way to acquire a world view. Ideally, we would have all of eternity to find things out for ourselves (and maybe we do) but if we want to get anything done in this life, we must trust others. I bring this up because I love reading smart people’s ideas about the world; I like to hear what people think about God and space and what it all means. But after my epiphany the other day watching Cassidy, I can’t help but see scientist and priest (the smart people from two warring tribes, or so we would be led to believe. Science and religion should not be at odds with each other, it is the politics of each field that conflict) in the same light as I saw my buddy, a man answering a question the best he could but not really having qualifications to answer it at all. The scientist and the religious give good answers but not final ones. This might all be very obvious, but it has allowed me a little wiggle room--a space to dream. Are we absolutely positive that we understand the expansion of the universe? Do we know for a fact that our distant ancestors were mistaken about God and the gods? Is a capitalist market really the best way to organize our society? Do we know for a fact that trees don’t talk?

Civilization will “progress” and there will still be love and goodies and even catastrophes in the future, in Cassidy’s old age and in her children’s children’s age. But how might the world change dramatically if instead of just seeing a flare--those chemical reaction causing an energy release--Cassidy saw something completely different and had no restriction placed on her vision? What are we failing to see because we fail to look, or even worse, choose not to?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Yuppy Chain Holiday Card (a little late)

Pleasant season my friends,

Hi. Some of you may not know me but I am my master's (Matt) house plant. I live in a pot on my master's speckled linoleum counter top. He sincerely apologizes for not keeping his blog more up to date but wants you all to know that he will be working on that in the coming weeks. So, another year has passed and I want to write a letter letting you all know about the exciting stuff going on in our thrilling lives, and, well, to brag about my master.

My master is currently working towards completing his four year bachelors degree in six years. All of his professors say he is a pleasure to have in class and that in fact, he is brilliant. Just last week my master found the solution to a math problem that even his professor could not solve. My Master is so smart. I wear a sticker on my pot that announces the unique genius of my Master.

Not only is my Master an intellectual giant but he is an absolute big shot at work. He works in a large office--the central nerve of the University. The pressure he must face behind his desk juggling the delicate power of order in a shit storm of chaos. Without my Master's monk like calmness and sharpness, the office would collapse. My Master works so hard. I tell him to relax, play a game of civilization, but no, he works into the wee hours of the night, by candle light as to not use to much electricity (My Master is very environmentally minded), grading papers for the professors and balancing the budget for the Dean. My Master is the center of the world.

Oh and you should see all the stuff My Master has bought this year. He is really boosting the economy, as rich and successful as he is. He eats out almost every night and not just at McDonalds either but really rich exotic places. Greek, Tai, Mexican. He is a big shot. All the waiters know him and give him big helpings. My Master tells them jokes and though they aren't as clever as My Master, they laugh and laugh. My Master is so popular.

My master also has a way with the ladies. Women adore him. His beautiful girlfriend comes over and they laugh and smile and stare deeply into each others eyes. They are so in love. Other people might think they have loved but I seriously doubt anyone has ever loved like My Master loves. His girlfriend is the most beautiful and intelligent woman. She is a big shot too.

My Master was also in a biking accident this year. Very painful, I'm sure. My Master though, God Bless that sonovabithch, took it like a true man. He had titanium rods holding his arm together but after a few weeks pulled them out himself without even taking pain medication. My Master can beat up anyone!

Yes sir. Our lives are wonderful. We are doing exciting stuff almost everyday. This spring My master is going to take me skydiving in the Congo. We are living the American dream and doing it so stylishly.

Happy Holidays,
Peter Plant