Sunday, April 30, 2006

On Jeans

A small treaties on fashion:
The particular function of dress is to prevent one from being arrested for indecent exposure where such laws exist and/or protect the body from the elements. If an outfit speaks louder than the person wearing it it is a bad outfit. The perfect dress would go unnoticed by those that interact with the wearer of it. Particular articles of clothing that blend utility with fashion to a high degree are the tunic, the cape, the hood, and the straight legged hardy jean. Perfect colors are brown, gray, forest green, navy blue, and in summer months, white.

I went to the mall to buy a new pair of jeans but I couldn't find any in my size or that didn't have holes or bleached out patches on the legs and crotch. Why don't fashion designers design a jean with a balanced blend of utility and fashion that last a long time and fit a tall thin guy like me correctly? Are there really that many short fat guys out there with a fetish for thrashed denim?

People at the mall all look alike. They dress in the same clothes and the same food court junk food is slowly being turned into shit in their intestines. It's depressing.

Going into more than one store is more than I can usually bare but today I went into at least six trying on jean after jean. Looking in the mirror, I thought how silly I looked in clothes designed for a guy ten years younger, six inches shorter, and fifty pounds heavier than myself. I felt like myself again when I changed back into my old beat up work clothes. I though about becoming a nudist.

I saw three deer at work today. They weren't wearing any clothes and they were eating bushes. I stopped working and just stared up at the clouds fantasizing about being a wild man in a loin cloth and gathering berries and nuts; having squirrels for pets and eating wild honey. What would John the Baptist or Beorn from The Hobbit think about faded jeans and thread bare shirts with brand names printed on the chest?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Tell Me, Where is Gandolf?

What did you say?

Bad Dinner Conversation

I don't write this to make myself sound spiritual, if anything, this post only reveals my weakness: staying quite when I shouldn't.

A couple nights ago we had a small potluck with my housemates upstairs. Nothing fancy--nachos and tamales for four. But others came and while I was cutting the tomatoes for the salsa, I heard twelve people clamoring onto my porch and they sounded hungry and jolly. Don't get me wrong I love it when my friends come over and I especially love cooking for people but I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough food to feed everybody. I am poor. Beth and Andy and I agreed though that if Jesus could feed the masses with a few fish and bread loafs then surely we could scrape enough food together to feed a few of our friends.

The mountain of nachos came out of the oven colorful and wonderful and Beth ended up cutting the tamales into little pieces of finger food so everyone could help themselves to a taste. I ate my food and watched these people, my college friends, dig into the feast we'd prepared and it made me happy. Their attitudes though made me sad. A girl visiting from England was there, on holiday to Bellingham. For the sake of our foreign guest I'd hoped we would have been honorable representatives of our country. But sure enough my liberal dinner companions began the Bush bashing and American self loathing. When Americans call Americans evil, who are they talking about? Surely not themselves.

The thing that really got me upset though, the thing I should have opened my mouth about, was the Christian bashing. Every other word was god-damn and Jesus Christ. And then there was the jokes about Christians. I just stayed silent and ate my nachos telling myself that I'm a watcher not a speaker. I should have said something to these people: hey, you guys, your hosts are Christians. We cooked you this food. God has never allowed us to be hungry and even though we are poor, has allowed us to share this food with you, our friends. Please, show some respect. They know Andy, the neighbors upstairs and me are Christians and they don’t even care. Ugg. After dinner I thought I heard a rooster crow for a third time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yogi the Peacock Man

I was at the park yesterday laying on a blanket under the sun among a hundred other people doing the same thing. The park in spring is very much like theater. There are performers and audience members. The park itself, crawling with actors vying for the lead roll, is a grand play. There is the main story line of community in spring but there are also sub-plots happening everywhere simultaneously; from the seagulls gliding above to the cute little girl getting her kite tangle in a tree's branches. The mating dance, both a comedy and a tragedy, is the loudest of the narrative strings.

I heard Andy who was sitting beside me and Jessi say, "Duuuude, check that guy out." I looked in the direction he was nodding and understand his tone immediately.

Enter Yogi, the Peacock Man, A hippy looking guy wearing nothing but loose butt-boy running shorts and a beard sprinkled with granola crumbs. The guy could rock the shorts, I'm not denying him that, but he knew it. There is only one reason to come to the park looking like that, I thought, to be the star of the show.

He started his performance by walking barefoot to a patch of park visible to the most people and then I can only guess, in the calm before the storm, said a prayer to Buddha. What happen next almost made my face turn red. He did a hand-stand. Now it was a pretty great hand-stand, I won't deny him that. It was clear this guy's hobby was gymnastics...but those shorts!!! And from the hand-stand position he split his legs and started doing rotating scissor kicks. His groin was like a signaling beacon sending out ultra high frequency mating calls to all the young college girls in the park. The twisting and kicking lasted some minutes and I had to turn my head more than once out of embarrassment. When that fine display was over, he started his stretching routine which looked something like this: with his back to the ground and his hands and feet planted in the grass, he made his body into a hill, his groin region the pinnacle, where there stationed a radio tower broadcasting again his virility to the college girls.

I tried and am still trying to figure out how a man decides in the morning to put on baggy butt-huggers and go to the park to do stretching exercises. That seems to me like an activity that could easily be done at home, or in a gym wearing sweat pants. It wasn't about the stretching though. It was about mating strategy. I imagine his forefathers bagged women through similar tactics: medieval knights stopping in villages, polishing their jousting sticks in not but a helmet and loin cloth as maidens giggled in doorways.

Act I: The Stretch was finally concluded but Act II: Seduction was about to begin. He Walked to the waters edge and stood firm, gazing out over small waves splashing on the rocks of the shore. He appeared to be meditating or pondering chaos and order but it was obvious what he was really doing. For the very spot he stood to pray was also conveniently the very spot where three giggly school girls were braiding each others hair. I looked away for a moment and when I glanced back to Yogi, he was massaging one of the girls necks. Playing with her hair. Rubbing her back. Whispering in her ear.

Within minutes Yogi had the girl on his back showing her how to stretch, for he, you see, claimed to be a student of yoga. The girls ate it up. Not long after that he had her upside down with her head in his groin. "Grab my ankles and really feel the stretch."

Puke. This stuff was really working?

Well I could go on and on about the park and Yogi. But as it turns out Yogi eventually left the girls alone but perhaps had planted a seed that would flower later at a bar or a poetry reading. It is still early in spring. There are many acts yet to come before our actors turn into middle aged parents who drink away their lives and beat their children.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Connect the Dots

I opened the opinion section of the Bellingham Herald this morning and was perplexed by the following letter: (Here is the link for the online version: Letter to Editor)

Aghast at bid to repeal gay rights

I somewhat doubted the real need for legislation banning discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation. It seemed a formality in our tolerant society.

We have many admired gay and lesbian icons and "Brokeback Mountain" nearly won the Best Picture Oscar.

I was aghast to be proved wrong when the day after such legislation was passed an effort was initiated by Tim Eyman to put back in place the ability to deny a home or fire a person who loved others of the same sex.
Why would anyone fight for the right to discriminate? I'm still flabbergasted.
I'm not sure that the supporters of this effort to repeal the anti-discrimination law are aware of the large numbers of their friends and family who are gay or bisexual and hiding this fact (with just cause, it seems).

I'm very glad to be a homeowner and employee of a tolerant company so that I can openly admit that I am bisexual.

Charles Dawson


I know I sound like a broken record when continually writing my own opinions on the gay issue but I can’t keep my fingers off the keyboard after reading Mr. Dawson’s letter. I am “flabbergasted” by his reasoning.

The problem with the language used in this letter is that it is absolutely weightless.
It is pure rhetoric, the flowery mantra of an ever increasing population of the willingly ignorant.

If this were an argument for continued support for legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation it would look something like this:

I. We live in a tolerant society
II. A lot of popular people are gay
III. A movie depicting gays won an award
IV. There are gay people (the fact that there are large numbers of them is unsupported here)

Conclusion: People who would repeal legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation are intolerant.

I think I have that right. Now in this form you can see that Mr. Dawson is just a raving mad man. Everything about this is fouled up. But lets work with it anyway. If you boil away the argument further, throwing out premise two and three on account of being absolutely ridiculous and premise four for being irrelevant you get this:

I. We live in a tolerant society
II. People who would repeal legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation are intolerant.

Conclusion: Therefore, we live in a tolerant society if and only if people vote for legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation

I think it is pretty clear here that Mr. Dawson as a man who likes to have sex with both women AND men would like to live in a society where he can openly admit this fact with out being discriminated against. Or another way of putting it is that Mr. Dawson does not want to be punished for his sexual behavior, he wants society to be tolerant of it. Tolerance, I can only guess, means that Mr. Dawson will be rewarded (since he is not being punished) for openly proclaiming his sexual behavior.

With this added piece of information I would like to again make adjustments to his argument.

People who reward me for my sexual behavior are tolerant.
People who do not reward me for my sexual are intolerant.

or further simplified:

If you agree with me you are tolerant
If you do not agree with me are intolerant.

This to me does not sound very tolerant Mr. Dawson.

Now for my own commentary. Mr. Dawson the fact that you like to have sex with both men and women is your business. Personally I think being devoted in love to one person and being monogamous is nobler still but that is my own view, one that you can or can not be tolerant towards. Concerning your letter to the Herald though I will say this. I a surprised that a newspaper would reward you by publishing such ramblings.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


1 In the beginning there was water, a great sea of water that covered all the earth. 2 And the Sun and the Moon hung above the Sea, rising above it and falling into it, churning Her waters as a sculptor kneads clay. 3 The heat of the Sun’s touch warmed the belly of the sea and portions of it were caught up, hung in the sky as clouds. The Moon’s fingers were cold and caressed the Great Sea in the north and in the south, there forming ice. 4 The waters, separated by the Sun and the Moon, receded and for the first time land appeared. 5 The Sea, pleased to have a companion, prepared a gift for Earth. She plucked from the branches of clouds tiny packets of air, the sweet tasting fruit of the sky and tucked them deep in her watery womb. 6 Many times did the Sun and Moon rise and fall before the fruit of the sky was ripe--ready for birth.

7 Once upon a time, the Great Sea offered the fruit of her womb to the earth that they might be companions forever as are the Sun and the Moon. 8 The Earth was pleased with the Sea’s gift seeing that it was good and out of deep respect for the Sea accepted only a third of her fruit, giving back two thirds as a symbol of humility; for deep and wide were the waters that filled the Great Sea. 9 The gift of the Sea to the earth is all living creatures that move about over and under the surface of the earth.

The Exodus

Chapter 1. Now, in the hill country of eastern British Columbia there was a cattle ranch. At the top of one of those hills over looking the grazing fields, laying in the midst of tall yellow wild grass, the Arch Angel Gabriel smoked a wood pipe that curled at the stem. 2 The chill of evening was approaching and he watched the ranch hands below hosing the mud off their tractors and putting the horses in their stables for the night. He could see in the valley below the cattle barn, the black smiths shop, the short bridge built over the small icy stream that wound through the fields and turned the mill wheel in the summer. In the middle of the workshops, with smoke rising from the chimney, fenced in by alder logs, were the kitchen windows aglow against the dusk. 3 The smell of fried eggs and bacon was on the air and caused Gabriel’s mouth to water. He licked his dusty lips and tasted the vanilla of his pipe tobacco.

4 The sound of gravel under leather boots approached from behind Gabriel before Adam collapsed in a dust heap. 5 Adam struck a match on the heel of his boot and lit a hand rolled cigarette, sighing musically a lung full of blue smoke--an incense offering to the Lord. He nodded towards Gabriel. 6 Howdy.

7 That day, like all the days stretching back out of memory, Adam had worked his guts out in his father’s fields: watering and feeding the cattle, digging holes for fence posts, rounding up the calves from atop a horse, making sure the equipment and the animals were in working order. 8He wasn’t tired. He was pleasurably exhausted, hungry for supper.

Chapter 2. Gabriel, the Arch Angel and Adam, the son of a rancher sat in the utter silence of the country, talking not with words but fire and smoke from under cowboy hats. 2 From his breast pocked, Gabriel took a flask. It was a handsome flask engraved with gold and inlaid with an ivory emblem of the Canadian flag waving. 3 There was a flash of just pride in his eyes as he passed the flask to Adam. “Whisky,” he offered. Adam took the flask in his hands and drank from it. 4 “Strength,” said Adam passing the flask back to Gabriel. Gabriel took a shot and winced. “Strength,” he echoed. The crickets chirped and coyotes howled in unseen places. 5 “Courage,” tipping the flask to his mouth. “Courage,” Gabriel agreed. A cry of geese rushed over head, a silhouette in V formation. 6 “Fortitude,” said Adam. “Fortitude,” Gabriel said. 7 “God-damn, I say let’s eat.”

8 Adam and Gabriel leapt up off the ground, tugged at their coats and hats and started towards the glowing windows floating in the blackness of the valley.


1 Daniel had an invitation to the temple. 2 He was a psychotherapist. 3 The King had summoned the top Freudian psychologist in the land. 4 The King had had an unsettling dream.

5 Daniel took a bus to the airport and a plane to the temple. A tall quiet man with a gray mustache and a monkey on his shoulder drove Daniel to the Kings chamber in a solar-powered golf cart.

6 The Kings temple was massive. 7 It was made out of vaulted ceilings, flying buttresses, stained glass windows, great pillars of marble, satin curtains, and gold. 8 Most of the temple was made out of gold. 9 It must have taken a hundred thousand master craftsman a thousand years to build such a place, Daniel thought.

10 The man with the mustache and the monkey led Daniel past the hall of Kings--a courtyard housing bronze sculptures of ancient kings. 11 He led him past ivory fountains: cherubim spitting and pissing water at each other. 12 Past huge gold embroidered tapestries that hung from vaulted hard wood rafters. 13 Daniel was awe struck by all the riches and crafts he had seen but was unprepared for the delight he felt at the sight of the Kings garden. Perfectly manicured grass and raked white sand. Grove after Grove of fruit trees and grape vines; flowers hung as hair on colossal stone statues of men. 14 Tame thee nature for it is wild and must be subdued.

15 Finally Daniel arrived in the Kings chamber and was greeted by the King himself. 16 Daniel was wearing a new denim outfit from the Gap. 17 The King wore a smart gown. His tunic played a movie. The movie was a western. 18 The King kissed Daniel on the mouth. 19 Kissing on the mouth was popular. 20 ”I have had an unsettling dream. 21 You have a masters degree in dreaming. interpret my dream correctly and I will make you governor of my land. 22 First though I must show you my most prized possession. I warred with many Kings, plundered many lands to acquire this rare and precious relic-- the finest work of the artists. 23 Come with me. 24 The King took Daniel behind his throne and there was a glass case. 25 The glass was thick and would be pierced by no sword. 26 The King clapped once and torches around the case ignited. 27 In the case was this: Campbell’s Soup cans stacked on top of each other. 28 ”Wonderful, no? Now concerning my unsettling dream.


Chapter 1. My name is John. My great grandfather worked on the railroad. My grandfather, as a surveyor on the highway projects. My father hung cable for the phone company and I am a system administrator--I lay the bricks of the internet. My family has been in the business of obliterating space. 2 I write to you to as one who has been on the other side of space.

3 Some months ago I was phoned by a friend who I’d not spoken with since college. My friend, Job, at last I’d heard he was studying theoretical physics--more specifically, string theory at MIT. His voice over the phone seemed shaky at least and raving mad in truth. 4 He informed me that he had indeed completed his studies at MIT and graduated with honors. 5 In the years that followed however he had fallen out of favor with his colleagues because of his fervent and unorthodox methods of experimentation with Tesla Coils. He invited me to his home in the San Fernando Valley telling me he had a machine of profound significance that he wanted to show me. And so, in a matter of days I found myself on a plane from my home in Seattle bound for the Golden State.

6 Upon arriving at his home I was at first struck by the unsightly nature of his yard. 7 A dry wind whipped the tattered edges of Nascar flags flying at half mass. 8 The grass, bald in spots and in others waist high, grew through the slats of a nativity manger and the baby Jesus lay out of his crib in the shadow of pink flamingos. Christmas lights seven months out of context hung loose from the eaves of the roof and like a bone pile in the desert, a gutted car lay bleached by the sun in the driveway--a black oil-stain underneath the mark of a life once lived.

9 After carefully navigating through the obstacles of neglected yard ornamentation, I knocked on the front door. Since nobody answered the door, I tried the knob finding that it was unlocked and though wobbly on it’s hinges, opened. 10 I got no response to my calls for Job.

11 The inside of his home was as repulsive as the outside. Crumple hamburger wrappers littered the room and the carpet was in desperate need of a vacuuming. A smell of sour milk I discovered came from an orange Tupperware bowl on the coffee table a quarter full of milk and almost unrecognizably soggy Cheerios. You can imagine the disgust I had for the hygienic practices of my once good friend.

12 I passed through the dinning room and kitchen which shared the same disorderliness as the living room. 13 A door to what I presumed correctly to be the basement was on the far wall of the kitchen, partially blocked by an old rusted out refrigerator. 14 Down the stairs I crept brushing cob webs away from my face as I went. 15 I called Job’s name quietly but still was not answered. 16 At the base of the stairs I became aware of a faint buzzing interspersed with what sounded like the crackling of electricity. 17 ”Job?” I whispered.

Chapter 2. As I peaked around the doorframe in the basement wall, I saw him sitting slumped in an ill upholstered kitchen chair. He had a distant look in his eye and wore a scraggly beard but recognized me and greeted me faintly. 2 He motioned with his hand to the machine at his feet: two Tesla coils ablaze with wild fingers of electricity grabbing at the darkness. 3 ”I have something to show you John; something unfathomably curious. Would you like to see the other side?” he asked me with an insane grin across his face. 4 I barely comprehended his words being so stunned by his outward appearance but something about the tone of his voice--how it rang with absolute truth--convinced me to come closer. 5 When I had relaxed a great deal and become accustom to my strange surroundings, Job stood circling me, telling of his revelation. 6 ”The Universe John” he said, “is not a material universe. There is matter in it yes, but that can not explain life. Life is still a mystery. There are many universes John but life only occurs where two particular universes overlap. Earth is such a place; where the material universe is animated by the spiritual. The spirit universe is folded John--folded one hundred and seven times, making it so small as to slip between the atoms in the material universe. ” 7 As I was listening to his voice behind me I was pushed and fell between the Tesla coils.

Chapter 3. I found myself in such a peculiar place then that words are hardly adequate in describing it but none the less, words are all I have. 2 I found myself standing on sticky moist ground in a land that stretched for countless miles curving upward and over my head--like standing on the inside of a giant sphere or like the inside of a preposterously large womb. 3 And in rows and columns covering the surface of the sphere were what looked and felt like gelatin cubes measuring approximately four inches. They were vibrating and their surfaces were rippled like a pond disturbed by a pebble. 4 I stooped down and picked one up in my hand for a closer examination and found that inside the cube was a slip of paper like a fortune cookie fortune and it waved back and forth like a fish swimming in water. It read. “I love you.” 5 I picked up another one and read: “I love you.” 6 I must have examined a hundred cubes over a large area and the same message appeared on each fortune. 7 ”I love you.” A cowboy approached me and announced through telepathy that he was an Angel of God sent to teach me about the sphere and the cubes and the fortunes inside. 8 He handed me a scroll of parchment paper and told me to unfurl it. Printed on it was the image of a handsome steal flask engraved with gold and inlaid with an ivory emblem of the Canadian flag waving. 9 I looked up at him and he said, ”Drink.“ When I looked back again, the scroll and the image were gone, replaced by a flask. 10 I drank from the flask and the taste of whisky was sweet on my tongue but like fire in my stomach. 11 ”This is the mystery of the flask,” said the cowboy. 12 ”I look cool drinking out of it. Now to the mystery of the gelatin. 13 The cubes are the spirit of life vibrating on an ultra high frequency. The vibrations spill over the one hundred and sixth fold in the universe with enough energy to spill into the one hundred and fifth and fourth and so on until the vibrations and the message they carried to the clay of your earth animating it into living creatures. 14 I tipped the flask back and drank. “Love,” I said. “Love,” repeated the cowboy.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Greens Keeper

The sun comes up and filters through the pine trees and fog joining the cold morning wind in an assault on my eye balls. I'm cruising out to the first green, a mower in the trailer hitched to the back. I am a greens keeper. Franz Liszt composes a symphony in my ears. I imagine he is 5 nanometers tall standing in a microscopic concert hall in an invisible city in a tiny world bound up inside the Ipod hanging around my neck.

I see a coyote looking confused, skittishly pacing the green in front of me. I whistle. Come here boy, I say. He squats on the green and poops.

Three deer walk gracefully through the creek later in the day. Their tracks are in every bunker on the back nine. I rake them out, wishing I could go barefoot in the sand.

*Later, after work*


Someone is beating on my back door. I gather my tired limbs off the couch and answer the door. My landlord is standing there, a vein on his forehead throbbing violently.

"You guys had a god-damn fire last night! Now I told you I want no fires, you hear. You damn kids. Now this ain't right. I've told the neighbors that if they see you starting a fire they are to call the cops."

I blink. Is this happening?

Yes Mr. Landlord. Sorry. It won't happen again.

"It better not you son of a bitch no gooder."

Hum. I close the door and recollect the last 2 minutes of my life. Was I just reamed-out by an eighty year old man with an anger problem for having a barbeque in the backyard the night before. I didn't even plan the thing. I just made an appearance to be neighborly.

Here is what happens with dysfunctional communicators. They start accumulating emotional energy as they shuffle over life’s carpet in socked feet. The charge of energy grows bigger and bigger and forms a pulsating orb the size of a large medicine ball which pushes down on their shoulders and scratches their neck like a bothersome turtle-neck sweater. When they can't take the burden anymore they unload it on someone else. Usually a non-confrontational nice guy like myself.

This, I decided, was what really happened at the back door if I could look into the eleventh dimension. Mr. Landlord, in a crouching position, wearing a kimono and a head band, pressed his wrist together and conjured a green fireball. He then channeled all his frustrations (his failure as a father, his sexual impotence, his greed, etc.) directing them at my heart. He shot the green fireball at me and hit me right in the gut sending me flying backward in slow motion.

I have had a bad day ever since my encounter with my demon landlord. It is against the law to shoot people with arrows and bullets and tranquilizer darts, but apparently it is completely acceptable to shoot them with poisonous emo-balls.

I should become a super hero called The Green’s Keeper. I’d wear a green leotard and a have a utility belt filled with hoes and shovels. I’d roam the earth, beating up bitter grouchy old Sith landlords.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Everyone has a talent. Some are good with machines and tools, others at communicating ideas. There are even people that have the talent of making others believe they are talented.

One talent I do not posses is drug taking. I am very bad at drugs. But how I wish I could experiment with psychedelics and not end up a man standing at the interstate entrance holding a sign for food. Drug trips fascinate me like dreams and elf stories fascinate me.

Like heroic astronauts shot into cold empty space to explore, so are the drug users who survey the mysterious regions of the mind field. I do not use drugs because I am not strong enough. For those with the strength, explore! Bring back reports of what you’ve found on the other side.

I know you may scoff. Delusions, you’ll scream. Those junkies on the street are mad; their rational minds eaten away. And I wouldn’t argue with you…much. The question I can’t get out of my mind is, where does the information in a vision come from? If you have a conversation with a leprechaun about water spirits, what/where is the origin of that information?