Thursday, August 28, 2003

Thoughts on comics...

No, I don't mean stand-up joke-tellers. No! I'm talking about comic books, those 32 or so odd pressed pieces of wood pulp inked, written, colored, and stapled... that kids never read any more. The new comic book demographic is, more and more, the 30-something male. Why is that?

Many years ago, I used to read comics. Read comics? Hell, I was a comic addict!

It started so easily.

I was about nine or ten years old. At the time, I had a "Big Brother" - a child-less man who was getting older and full of regret who decided he could take care of a young man without a father for a few hours every weekend - his name was Don. Don was probably one of the few decent men I knew as a youngster, looking back on it. He was overweight, worked as a janitor, and lived in a detached garage separate from his folk's home, which he helped keep up. Yep, he was a real dork. Well, one winter, the Big Brother's Organization arranged a winter trip for the Brothers and their boys up to the mountains. (I can't begin to remember where!) A cabin was rented and... well... it was all rather boring, actually. A bunch of guys sitting around in a cabin, the floor covered with sleeping bags, one small, black and white, television showing nothing but sports... Don and I went to the local store and I asked Don to buy me a comic book - my first. It was a Special Edition Superman comic book with three stories: one about Superman, one about Jimmy Olsen, and one about Supergirl. The Superman story had Mr. Myxleplixi.. um, Mr. Myxpletisce... um... the guy whose name you can't say! The Jimmy Olsen story involved him time traveling back to World War II. While this might have started a life-long fascination with history, it WASN'T because it was historically accurate! The last story, the Supergirl story, had a witch in it and Supergirl's skirt was really short and her top was... well, I was approaching puberty, after all...

I lost that comic that weekend. It wasn't until many years later that I encountered them again.

It was after I was married. Gosh, I must have been 25 or 26 (OH, TO BE YOUNG AGAIN!). Roberson, a friend of mine from high school who was my best man at my wedding and who I never talk to any more, had started to buy comics - who knows why? And then, Murphy started, too! But I told Rosa, "Don't worry. I can read their comics. I don't need to buy any." Oh, didn't I?

I started with Spiderman. I'd always like Spiderman. He was a nerd like me, mannerly, goofy - sure, we'd get along. But there were four Spiderman titles. That was one comic each week. Rosa figured we could afford it. Then, I had to get the Hulk. The Hulk, a comic about a man with uncontrollable rage - yep, like me. And that would be it.

But then there was Wonder Man.


Iron Man.


Avengers West-Coast.

Captain America.

Silver Surfer.

Fantastic Four.

X-Men (and there were about 57 X-Men titles!!!!!).

And so on... and so on...

Oh... it was ugly. Eventually, I'd pick up something like 20 comic books each week. Rosa wouldn't mind, though, because she spent the rest of our money. (In the unlikely event that she's reading this, I'm just kidding.) I remember when we'd run errands after picking up my comic books (we only had one car - what with the comic book bills!) and I'd sit in the car, reading.

I've since stopped reading comic books. Oh, I'd love to read them again but they're far too expensive. We're talking a few bucks for a single book here! Meanwhile, I have stacks upon stacks of boxes and boxes and boxes filled with books, occupying my bedroom. I can't throw them away. They're worth too much money... sadly, though, nobody wants to buy them...

This last paragraph was going to be about how much I miss those days, sitting with Rosa, reading my comics, but I guess you probably know that. Some things are only meant to last for a time and then we look back on them and then we miss them.
On Preview Nights, Grease Burns, Girls, and E-mails...

Yep, that's the laundry list! Let's start...

Last night was "Preview Night" for "Play it Again", the show with the British Bogart. For the first three minutes, he really tried to sound "Bogartian"... but ended up sounding like someone had punched him in the teeth. Then, he went back to sounding British.

And the strangest thing happened. The audience didn't care. It didn't matter to them. Okay, now we have to take a couple of things into consideration. First, they weren't paying. "Preview Night" is the night before opening night and is FOC for family and friends. Second, they were family and friends, so of course they were rooting for him! Third, this ain't Broadway, folks, and some people are far more easily entertained than others... such as, say, ME!

There was a reviewer in the audience... let's see what she says... (I'll keep you posted.)

Last weekend, I decided to fry some fish. This is something I don't usually do. In fact, the whole time we were married, it was Rosa who handled all of the "fish frying" duties. But, of course, I haven't been with Rosa for nearly four years and she ain't ever taking me back so I figured it was time I learned to fry my own damned fish!

This is the part where the grease burns come in. Now, I didn't quite notice them. (I was busy!) I did run my arm under cold water but had to return immediately to the fish, ya know? Well, nearly a week later, I have burn marks all over my right forearm, criss-crossing the massive scar I got from when they rebuilt my arm. (It's a long story.)

So, how long do grease burns take to heal???


Lisa. Lisa. Lisa.

Well, I can report that a definite rapport is developing between us. We always sit together in the group (the cast of the show). There's talking. There's a little touching.

This just feels weird. It's like pushing my way through jello - I can feel the resistance to spending time with anyone but Rosa in my head. But she doesn't love me - she told me that! She doesn't want me! Don't I deserve to find someone? Am I supposed to be alone my whole life?

But for however cute Lisa is, however nice she is, she's not Rosa. And I miss Rosa so much.

Is it any wonder this feels weird?

Last thing: This site has generated what you might call a "negative satisfaction" as far as email is concerned. That is to say, I haven't really received that much. Well, last night, I thought I'd test the email link (over there to the right)... and, um, I didn't get an email! So, I thought I'd ask you to test it, too. (Cause, really, what else do you have to do?) Click the link and send an email. After that, send me an email at, letting me know you sent me an email. Then, send an email to your mother. (When was the last time you emailed your mother?!)

Uh, excuse me. Anyway, this test will help me figure out what's wrong... or not. I actually don't have a clue how this works.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Pipes for Peace?

Remember the name: Daniel Pipes.

Shrub appointed this hate-monger to the board of the United States Institute of Peace, a think-tank funded by Congress to promote peace. What does he have to say?

"The only path to Middle East peace will come through a total Israeli military victory." (Kind of like our foreign policy of the past three years...)

"The Bush administration should install a 'democratically-minded Iraqi strongman' in Iraq." (As opposed to our promise of democracy - but, then, who ever believed a white-man's promise?)

"All Muslims are suspect...and need to be watched for connections to terrorism." (Let's continue the American tradition of racism and turning an entire society into our enemy!)(... which we already did so well with the Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian... the list goes on and on!)

He fits in rather well with Shrub's gang of jingoists, with nothing but fear and hate to sell.
A weekend full of pasta...

Okay, so I'm lying. I went the whole weekend without hitting the pasta. (Or being hit by the pasta. Or having some guy club me over the head with linguini...)

Friday night, I went to see Chris in his new show. It's an improv show. Chris has never done improv. The group that he was with is new. The theater is a little shithole. The website advertising the show used the fact that they had beer as a prime selling point. But I had to go and provide Chris some support. After all, Chris had been there for me so many times. In my first play, Everything Changes, he played the perfect - not too exagerrated - homosexual. In Atheists, my second play, he played a great dope. This guy has heavenly timing. Then, in my last show, Whatever Happened to Me... well... he was really funny in Atheists... so, I figured that with all the help he'd provided me, I owed him to see the show no matter how phenomenally sucky it sounded.

Then, to my astonishment, it didn't suck! It really didn't suck! In fact, it was quite good! I went with Keith who, at 41, is noticeably getting fewer and fewer of the younger generation's jokes. He was shocked but having a good time. I just sat back and cheered on Chris... and lusted after his girlfriend - but we won't tell him, will we? As with any improv show, it had parts that sucked but those parts were very few and far between. It was almost as if... they'd, I don't know... rehearsed! (It was scary.)

That night, I had another sleepwalking nightmare. Monsters were in the hallway and I had to block the bedroom door. More monsters were trying to come in through the window. It was a long time before I realized, clasping the door, that I was having a nightmare. Even stubbing my toe during the nightmare didn't wake me up. I just incorporated it into the nightmare! (OY!) I'm not too disturbed, though. It was my first in over a week and I went back to sleeping normally after. Someday, someone's going to have to explain this to me, though.

Saturday, I readied myself for Hell-Week. Hell-week, for those who don't know, is a term used in theater for that week before the show opens. Basically, you work your tail off. So, I got my apartment cleaned... well, moderately cleaned... and took video game breaks to break the monotony. At around 8pm, Carrie from the play called and asked if I'd like to meet her, her husband, and some people from the show at Pierce Street Annex. I said, "Sure. Why not." She said, "Good. I'll invite Lisa!"

Lisa is a girl (actually, a woman. I don't know why my terminology can't grow older as I do!) in the play that Carrie seems damned and determined to set me up with. Oddly enough, this is not something I'm too keen on. Oh, there's nothing wrong with Lisa. She's cute. She has an incredible body. She's nice, even. But, for the first time - okay, I haven't been in a situation where I might end up dating anyone other than Rosa in two years but bear with me - for the first time, I actually don't think I'm ready.

Let's face it: I still love Rosa. I probably always will. I have a hard time looking at anyone as a partner - even for an evening! In my mind, I was born to be with Rosa. Oh sure. There's that little technicality. You know, the one that says she doesn't love me and, IF she ever did, it's been a long time since that was true. The one that says she wants me out of her life. The one that says she's pregnant with another man's child. The one that says, "Hey, moron! Get a fucking clue!" You know, that little technicality.

Well, it turned out that Carrie couldn't get ahold of Lisa and I ended up sitting at the Pierce Street Annex with her and her husband, talking about the play. (Actually, yelling about it. Those damned kids and their loud music!)

On Sunday, I had to get myself to rehearsal. Again: British Bogart. Steve yelling at me for no reason. Me wishing I was anywhere else. Say it with me: I'll be so glad when this is done!
A quick note...

I am really getting tired of people mixing their patriotism with their nationalism and their jingoism. Just so there's no confusion: killing off a group of people just because they don't agree with you is NOT patriotic!

Friday, August 22, 2003

You want good news? Well... okay!

Those who know me know that I don't keep a bucket full of good news in the back for these occasions. Indeed, my life doles out good news sparingly - kind of like the way you put dijon mustard on a cheese sandwich, lest you burn your tongue - and who likes that? Now, I wouldn't mind a chance to burn my tongue but, that said, I'll still take whatever good news I can get, holding my tongue out the way we once did on rainy days, hoping to catch a drop. (Kids, don't try this at home - or anywhere - you just DON'T want to know what's in rain these days!)

I've been waiting a few days to make this post. I didn't want to say anything prematurely. (As Steve can vouch, you don't want to do anything prematurely.) (What can I say? Steve's on my shitlist these days...)

As you know, I've returned to taking St. Jon's Wort. With the nightmares, sleepwalking, waking up screaming driving me crazy - IN A LIMO! - I knew I had to try something to change things. Since you really can't change what you do in your sleep, I thought some happy drugs might help.

And they have.

I haven't had a nightmare in a week! I can't begin to tell you what a relief it's been. Consider how terrifying it is to wake up screaming - then multiply that by at least six weeks. My worst fear of returning to the edge of the Grand Canyon was being realized and my nightmares were becoming my waking world. Now, after a week of real, restful sleep, I can feel a change in my outlook. I'm coping. I'm going to be all right.

Oh, I still have dreams and I still wake up in the middle of the night but sleep and I have never been the best of friends anyway so I'll take this. Last night, I had a dream that I was having lunch with Sean. He was the manager at a sandwich shop and he got us free sandwiches as we talked about his problems (which I'll be much more help with here in the real world now that I'm less of a basketcase!). We talked about these insane gas prices. We also talked about a used Volvo I'd purchased for $10,000. This, of course, was the Rosa tie-in. Rosa loved Volvos and it would be highly ironic for me to buy one. But, when I woke up, there was no screaming, no tears, no panic... just a hunger for one of those sandwiches.

So, there's your good news.

Oh, the play still sucks and our Bogart is as British as ever. My job is still a cesspool. I'm still alone. But it's amazing what you can deal with when you're not on the verge of a nervous breakdown!

Rob, who I knew as a boy - everyone should have someone like Rob in their life or even on the periphery of their life - had an interesting response to the things I've been going through. You see, way back when (we're talking the '80s - A LONG TIME AGO!), I used to compile tapes for Rob, with music and comedy and stuff. This was the precurser to the cds that I now compile for people. Rob's response was to compile a cd for me, something he'd never done before. It was accompanied by a short letter, written in typical Rob humility, stating how little practice he'd had in such endeavours. Well, his collection of music and spoken word (lot of Shakespearean bits) really touched me. I wondered, what could he have been thinking of when selecting the tracks. One song, Simon & Garfunkel's The Boxer, hit hard - no pun intended. Did Rob see me as a Boxer, as beaten and bloodied as I've felt of late? Or was he trying to tell me of strength I often forget I have? Then, later, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here reminded me of our youthful infatuation with the song, never knowing at the time how ironic those lines would be. Thanks, Rob.

Oh... before signing off, let me just say that I lost another friend in the midst of this, who couldn't stick around when things were bad... she can go to hell.

Hope to have more good news for you later. Stick around.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Say Goodbye to the Baltic...

Looks like the Baltic is the most recent victim of man.

Now, a green algae, thriving off of man's pollution, is covering the Baltic Sea, killing fish and poisoning swimmers.

... But remember, man isn't hurting his environment - oh, heavens NO!
Sure it's futile, but's it's fun!...

You all know by know about the recall election in California. We gotta kick out Gray Davis because of Cheney's dealings with Enron!

Well, if we gotta kick out Davis cause of Cheney, shouldn't we kick out Shrub for the same reason?


Now, I know this won't work but go on over and sign the petition anyway. (And I'll see y'all when they throw us dissidents into Guantanamo!)

Monday, August 18, 2003

Beat that, National Enquirer!...

Have you ever noticed the psychics they have in those tabloid papers in the checkout line? The all have psychics predicting the Second Coming of John F. Kennedy or raising of Atlantis. When these extraordinary things don't happen, they say, "Oh, well, it'll happen next year. You just watch!"

And, so, it should come as no surprise that other organizations have taken that same method as their own. Remember last year when the Dept. of Homeland Security (insert crude comment here) and the CIA would tell us, "Another attack's coming this week! It's this week! You watch! It's coming!" And when it didn't, they say, "Um, next week! We meant next week! You just watch!"

Now, the World Markets Research Center in London has decided to take the same tactic as shown in this article.

Now, I'm not saying that the US will never be attacked again. Violence is bound to come about with the seeds we've been sowing. But I think it's awful indicative of a government that wants to keep us scared and, thus, something you should think about.

Get thinking.
Beaten, sore, wounded, and sick...

Yep. It was a helluva weekend!

Saturday morning, I brought my car in to be serviced and, while I was waiting, decided to go for a walk. As you probably know, there's not a spot on earth that isn't sweltering this summer. I guess I should have known that, too. But I went for a walk anyway - out in the heat - and came back exhausted (it was about four or five miles), over-heating, and a bit burned. On the way back, I was going to stop at Juana's for a haircut. I need my haircut for this show - you know, the British Bogart show - and I thought I'd have Juana, who is Rosa's sister, do it. As soon as I neared the street to turn down, I started to get a panic attack. I had to forcibly steer the car to the turn and, realizing that I was working so hard just to turn down her street, it became very clear to me that I shouldn't go to Juana's. For once, I decided to listen to my body. (Mind you, I still need a haircut!)

That afternoon, Keith and I went to see Freddy vs Jason. What can I tell you? Take an Elm Street movie and a Friday the 13th movie, stick 'em in a blender, hit FRAPPE and this is the result. Scary? Nah. Funny? You bet! Action packed? Oh, GOD, yes! Dopey? Of course, it is. It's basically what you'd expect. Fun and stupid at the same time. I loved the hell out of it. "Man the torpedoes!"

That night, Keith and I went to Balboa and walked about. Keith's still the same obnoxious jerk that I grew up with but I'm realizing that, underneath that obnoxious jerk, there's a nice person in there. And it's terrifying how much he is like my father. I mean, Richard, Dwight, and I all have characteristics like dad but Keith is doing a spot-on impression of the guy. (Don't tell him I said that. He might take offense.)

Saturday night, like nearly every other night for the past month and a half, I was awoken by a nightmare and stayed up all night afterwards. I only fell back to sleep at about 7am and woke up at 10am with a little cough. Odd, I thought, as I hadn't been smoking that much.

Well, the cough went on and on until, by the afternoon, I realized I had more than just a cough. This was too bad, too, because Bruce (the lead in the British Bogart play - but not the British Bogart) was having a get-together at his house for the cast. I opted out, being sick and all.

I was more than just a little sick, too, and it pissed me off! I just had a fever three weeks ago. Come on! (Stress, I realized. I've had a lot of stress and this is how it's coming out.) I was up all night, coughing, wheezing, and blowing my nose. My throat hurt so much, it hurt to swallow - so drinking lots of water was out.

When I finally did fall asleep (5:30am, folks), I had my first regular dream in over a month. My mom was being bilked by a sleazy contractor and it was up to me and my two older brothers to stop him. (Mind you, I only have one older brother, so...) One of the brothers was Rob Morrow ("Joel" from Northern Exposure). The other brother looked disturbingly like Harrison Ford. What does that say??? (Hopefully, it says that the St. Jon's Wort is beginning to work!) Anyway, I woke up at 7am, feeling like hell but having to go to work anyway.

... How was your weekend?

Friday, August 15, 2003

Another work-week is closing like a door... that will be reopened in just a couple days... stupid door...

Can you join me in one big, group "OY"?

It's been a few days since my last update so I thought I pass some words along your way... there's just so guaranty these words will make any sense!

First, to the topic you're probably most wondering about, yes, I started taking St. Jon's Wort on Sunday. That's nearly a week ago and my sleep has improved - somewhat. Well, I'm still not sleeping too much but, at least, my nightmare's don't resolve in me screaming my lungs out or running out of my apartment in terror. So, there's that. On the other hand, I only had one regular night of sleep (six hours) this week.

So, I'm tired.

With only two weeks to go until the new show opens, I'm beginning to think that Steve (our Fuhrer, er, director) doesn't care if Bogart sounds like Bogart. He still sounds VERY British. The weird thing is that other cast members tell him he's doing a good job. Am I nuts? This just doesn't make any sense! I mean, the crux of the play is that the lead character is visited by Bogart. Bogart! Not someone who wears a trench coat and calls himself Bogart but Bogart! Call me nuts.

Looks like my good friend, Sean, is losing his house. This is very disturbing news. He and his wife and been through so much. Since Rosa and I have split up, I've told Sean that it can't go south for both of us. Since my life sucked so badly, his had to get better. Well, that doesn't seem to be happening. It's time's like this I wish I believed in a God... so I could hate him.

On the up side, there are the radio stations of Grand Theft Auto 3: Vice City. As some of you may know, in this state of the art game (a term I do NOT use lightly), you drive around town... sometimes in cars that only recently became yours! While driving, you can turn on the radio and listen to one of a dozen or so radio stations. I love the stations because they mix some great 80's tunes (the game is set in the 80's) with top notch comedy writing. So, I've been thinking about how I'd love to have these sound files (after all, you're not tuning in to a real station) to put on a cd. Well, now I can. I found a program that takes the files out of game code and puts them in mp3. Each "station" runs over an hour and I plan to be in hog heaven for a while!............ I freely admit it. My life is pathetic.

READERS! It's time for you to write to My Side! That's right! My email inbox is as desiccated as a Republican's heart and I need some mail. So, come on, kids! Write me! (This message brought to you by the guy who writes this junk.) It's easy! Just click the "Write to My Side" link on the right and past in that chain letter you recently got!... along with your credit card number...

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Time for a new post...

There's a guy named Peter Lynds who is playing around with everyone's perception of time down in New Zealand. Ripples of confusion spread throughout the world as a result. Lynds likes to play with ancient paradoxes about time and motion.

He seems to be saying the discreet instances of time are indeterminate. If you're wondering why this is giving people headaches, consider that, with no discreet instances of time you have nothing at rest. Ever.

... That is not what this post is about.

This all got me thinking, is all, and I thought I would throw a couple things out there for you readers... both of you.

You have never been at rest and you will never be at rest. Long before you were born, your fetus was inside the womb of a moving creature who, even when she thought she was at rest, was always moving. She stood upon tectonic plates that shifted, on a planet that rotated, in a solar system that danced, in a galazy that spun, in a universe constantly expanding. If there's ever a stop to this, it won't happen until long after you're dead and your cells have decomposed and your molecules have changed hands an innumerable amount of times and even your atoms have broken down to energy and the energy has burnt out.

Consider this: If the planet stopped moving for one moment, there would be enormous upheaval. Everything on the surface would be damaged.

You wouldn't want to be at rest.

So, an object in motion stays in motion... an object at rest? Ain't no such thing!

Monday, August 11, 2003

For those who thought I was rooting for Ah-nold...

Well, the California Recall-David-a-thon has offically won, with everyone from Larry Flynt to Gary Coleman to the Terminator throwing their hats in the ring. Rather than stand back without an opinion as I usually do...


I just thought I'd give you my two bits on my choice, should David get thrown out. (Mind you, I'm still hoping he doesn't. There's no way you can tell me he was closer to Enron than Cheney!)

I first heard of Arianna Huffington when her right-wing husband was running for the Senate. Then, I heard of her again later... and kept hearing about her... and got really irritated. "Republican logic" is an oxymoron I'd rather avoid and hearing her spew her variety irritated me like a night tied up in front of a Fox News anchor.

(Didn't expect me to start like this, did you?)

Then, the strangest thing happened. I actually found that she was changing her views. In a single year - I think it was around the millenia - she went from the right, crossed the center, and tipped her toes into left-wing territory. ("Progressive" is an old term but liberals prefer to use that these days as it isn't spelled l-i-b-e-r-a-l.) Further to the left she went until she was leaning right up against the Green Party.

She'd probably prefer that no one remembered her Republican past. I think that anyone who can rethink beliefs they hold so firmly and change for the better, someone who has seen both sides of an issue, deserves a listen.

She's educated people about white-collar welfare, church and state sense, fuel economy - things that people are ignoring these days when it's far more entertaining to turn the war on TV. She's also spoken out against the war, against Shrub's tax giveaway, Cheney's crimes... What can I tell you? I fell in love with her.

She's certainly used her mind more vigorously, given it a more complete workout, than Conan the Unintelligible.

So, there's my briskly-written-as-I'm-presently-at-work endoresement.

Arianna for Gov.

The color of Lieberman...

I've got to run this past you. This article was recently published on CNN's site. It includes a quote by Lieberman that, well, just blew me away.

"If we're for middle-class tax increases, if we send a message of weakness and ambivalence on defense, if we go back to big government spending, if we're against trade [and] for protectionism -- which never created a job -- we don't deserve to run the country," Lieberman, a presidential candidate, said on "Fox News Sunday."

Now, let's think for a second. "Middle-class tax increases"? Well, if you think about how much Shrub has cut taxes for the rich, taxes on the middle-class has become a larger proportion. "A message of weakness and ambivalence on defense"? You mean, as opposed to killing anyone we feel like that week? Joe, rational thinking is not the same as weakness and the quality of mercy is not ambivalent. "Big government spending". This was my favorite! Does Joe have a hole is his head where Shrub's deficit has not been able to stick?

Let's face it, folks. Lieberman wants to out-Shrub Shrub and do we really want someone who's going to do that?!
So, what am I doing with a Gardenia bush, anyway???

I was at Costco one day when they were selling Gardenia bushes. It made me think of Rosa, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise as everything makes me think of Rosa... So, I picked it up.

It's been out on my patio for the past few weeks but the recent heat wave (that's been lasting a few weeks now) has taken its toll on the poor thing. It was getting wilty, tired... pretty ill. So, I moved it inside and it started to be revived. (It's called air conditioning...)

Now, it is its perky self again. Rosa would be proud.

... Mind you, Bandoo has decided it's also quite delicious, but...

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Times like these drive me nuts...

Where to start?

Wednesday night, I tipped the Insanity charts by sleepwalking in the midst of a nightmare! That night, I slept only a coupe of hours.

Thursday night, I walked even further in the midst of a nightmare and slept even less. This isn’t simple insomnia. This isn’t a case of not being able to sleep but rather, shaking and clutching a the threads of your sanity in terror of what might happen while you sleep and therefore must not.

Friday night, I went to Ocean Beach to hang out with Tim. We spent most of the night watching TV and such and didn’t get to the nitty-gritty until much later. At around 1am, we walked the beach and talked. I told him about my tenuous grip on reality and how the lack of sleep was driving me crazy. How terrified, depressed, and desperate I am.

We didn’t go to bed until 4am. I slept on his sofa. The first nightmare was based on the series MASH. Then, there was a second nightmare. When the third nightmare woke me, I was clutching the sofa for dear life, so hard that I wrenched my back outta whack! It still hurts! (This is why I’m writing rather than at the gym!) (Well, on reason – the other is that I’ve been smoking too much!)

I felt like a zombie all day. That was the day of Sean and Megan’s yearly BBQ. I had fully intended to go until I heard that Rosa would be going. Out of deference to everyone else, I said I’d wait to go after she left. Imagine, if you will, how depressing it would have been if I’d been there, crying and shaking. I don’t just miss Rosa. She’s the other side of my heart that was torn out of me. This isn’t just a case of someone losing a friend – I lost my life’s love. My heart. My future. My life. If I go crazy from missing her here at my apartment, just think out bad off I’d be with her there. So, I waited. Turned out, she didn’t leave until nearly 9pm, long after the BBQ was over.

Well, I saw Sean today and he tried to tell me how I didn’t have to stay home. He didn’t understand that I never assumed I had to – I simply didn’t want to inflict my pain on others. I’ve lost so much control. I can’t control my tear ducts, my nerves… my heart. I’m far worse than a nervous wreck. I’m heading to suicide – nobody seems to understand this. My friends tell me I need to cut it out but I can’t. I just can’t stop loving Rosa and missing her.

Then, a brainstorm. I realized that I’d stopped taking St. Jon’s Wort in June. Maybe that coincided with the beginning of the nightmares??? And, so, today I picked up some St. Jon’s Wort – we’ll see what happens now.

Things have to get better. Any worse and I’m gone for good. When I say that my nerves are shot to hell, I don’t just mean that I have to smoke now to keep from shaking and having panic attacks. I mean that I haven’t a moment of normality any more, every moment screams at me my doom. Rosa isn’t’ with me every day, she’s with me every hour – more! Everything is a reminder of the future we should have had together and that she does not love me and that I’ve been ruined and thrown away like a broken toy. I have to claw my way through my life, hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute, just to get through, just to survive. Nothing brings me pleasure. There is no happiness. I really want to die.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Taking this lightly...

Okay, I'm going to go off the regular topic for once and bring up something near and dear to my retinas: light.

I've been reading more and more about "light pollution" lately. Interesting. After learning about litter, smog, industrial waste, nuclear waste, plain old cat litter, and noise pollution, now we have "light pollution".

So, what's the big deal? What is light pollution?

You know I wouldn't bring it up if it wasn't important. Here's a pretty-well written article on the subject. Looks like our addiction to light has caused doom to silk moths and brought baby booms to algea. Light is a type of habitat encroachment as it disturbs natures most basic cycles.

Interesting reading and something you should keep in mind.

So, what's this make me think of? I often walk late at night. I never miss my footing because the streets are incredibly well lit. A few months ago, when the Santa Ana Winds were going nuts (as they always do these days), a few blocks in my neighborhood had their power cut off. Even the streetlights were out. And the streets were actually dark for a change. It was great! It made me think of the times when I've been in Oregon or long ago when I'd visit Washington - and there wasn't a streetlight every ten feet casting four gazillion watts of flourescent glow onto your puss. You could see the stars. You were more aware of your surroundings. Yes, there was even that moment when you were a little scared.

... I miss that.
Welcome back to Nightmare Chiller Horror Theatre...

Here it is:

I wake up in a panic and rush to my bedroom door. Opening it, I'm looking at an infinitude of possible existences (read up on your quantum theory) - Kens that stretch out as far as I can see. Every one of them is in an apartment, in my bedroom. Every one of them is terrified. I slam the door, screaming. Suddenly, I realize that I'm awake. I'm in my bedroom. I am standing at the door and I am screaming. I realize I have to get out of there right away. I throw on some clothes and bolt out of my bedroom.

I stood in my hallway for what seemed to be half an hour, telling myself over and over that it was a dream.

Well, it was more than a dream. For the first time, I was having a nightmare and sleepwalking - AT THE SAME TIME!

An unfortunate turn of events to be sure. After all, I was sleepwalking last summer. I was sleepwalking to the extent that I was driving in my sleep! What will happen if I drive in my sleep during a nightmare?!

As you can guess, I didn't sleep much.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

He wrote a note! Call the cops!!!

So, some kid wrote a note in his luggage with the word "bomb" in it. You can bet people went crazy!

This is according to an article in the Boston Globe.

According to the police report, the note, which was placed on top of clothes in a black gym bag read: ''[Expletive] you. Stay the [expletive] out of my bag you [expletive] sucker. Have you found a [expletive] bomb yet? No, just clothes. Am I right? Yea, so [expletive] you.'' (Actually, it was probably closer to 'Fuck you. Stay the fucking out of my bag you cock sucker. Have you found a fuckign bomb yet? No, just clothes. Am I right? Yea, so fuck you.'' ) (I don't speak Expletive very well...)

That's right. A note.

A spokesperson for the TSA said, ''There was no commotion whatsoever. But when [we] see the word `bomb,' we take it very seriously. In today's security environment, there's no room for that sort of joking.''

Good for the kid! Still, who out there still thinks Americans aren't the dumbest sheep in the world???
Another one bites the dust...

This comes as a complete shock. I lost another friend today.

I've lost quite a few in the past few years. I think I'm getting good at it.

Last year, when Sherryl decided she didn't want to be my friend any more, she said it was because I couldn't move on. She was referring to the loss of my wife, the loss of Rosa, back in 2000 when she told me to find someone else. Because I couldn't ignore the pain and how my life had been shattered by this, Sherryl decided she'd rather not be my friend. And because she'd been able to after her husband left her, she felt she'd outgrown me.

Which brings us to now. Now, another friend has decided she wants nothing to do with me as long as I can't pretend to be happy, as long as I can't shut up, put on a plastic smile, and pretend to be someone else when she's around. She also upset because I haven't been picking up women at bars - you want to talk about strange?!

I always believed that friends accept you as you are and help you when they can so they can enjoy the good times with you, too. That is not what others believe.

So, oh boy - this helps! Maybe she'll be friends with me again one day. Lord knows this isn't the first time she's walked away because she couldn't tolerate me any longer. Maybe next time, she'll try to remember, the appropriate response to "I need help. I'm on my last leg." shouldn't be "Eat shit and die!"
Where'd all the women go?...

I remember hearing a long time ago that, after a certain age, there are far more single women than single men. From what I remember, that age is around 30 (or, at least, in the 30's).

Well, I'm 37. Where are all the single women?

I found out last night that everyone in this play I'm in is attached. I am the notable exception.

This is pathetic. It's been months since my last date - and longer than that (years) since a second date. (The notable exception here is Rosa - but better to leave that alone than to conjecture.)

For those who've not met me, I'm not a bad looking guy. I'm reasonably intelligent. I'm polite, mannered, interesting...

And of no interest to women whatsoever.


I'm going to hit the next person who tells me it's a good thing I didn't jump last year.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Leper. Outcast. Unclean...

Anyone who has read Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant Chronicles will understand what that means. This series of six novels was the spark that started my own meager attempts at writing and, consequently, hold a sacred spot in my heart. (Yep, a leper holds a sacred spot in my heart. Is it any wonder I'm so fucked up?)

The big news now, for anyone out there who reads him, is that Mr. Donaldson is working on a Third Chronicle of Thomas Covenant. Now, I gave up on fantasy novels nearly a decade ago but you can be sure I'll be gobbling these suckers up. (For those who don't know, they're like Harry Potter - with real problems!)(Is it any wonder I can't respect the Pothead?)

In a recent interview (stolen from, he had some great things to say about writing and life.

But on the subject of contradiction, consider this: every human being is by his/her very nature a contradiction between material flesh and unquantifiable consciousness. That's hard to think about. Understanding ourselves isn't easy. Personally, I don't know any other way to process the dilemma of being a walking, talking contradiction except through story-telling. Certainly the fundamental postulate of traditional Western religions--dualism--doesn't do it for me.
Smoking or... smoking?...

I've been smoking more lately. There are a lot of reasons for this.

This morning, I read an article on that mentioned how homosexuals and childless straight people tend to smoke more. Why do people with children smoke less? Well: As a matter of fact, childless households (whether gay or straight) spend, on average, 56 percent more on cigarettes and alcohol than their childbearing neighbors. (Among households where the parents have some education, the discrepancy is even larger.) Nor is there anything mysterious about why. First, parents have extra reasons to live long and stay healthy, both so they can be there when their kids need them and so they can enjoy the company of their grandchildren. Second, parents have extra expenses—starting with diapers and continuing through college tuition—that leave less disposable income for cigarettes. Third, a lot of parents don't like the idea of smoking in front of their children.

Reading this made me think of a possible reason why I smoke. Perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that I devoted nearly half my life to a woman who didn't love me. I gave everything I had to a woman who didn't want me. I looked forward to a future with a woman who never wanted to have children with me and is now having a child with a man who doesn't (and, in all likelihood, never will) love her. And I can't see any future without her not filled with pain and torture.

Will that drive you to smoke? To all those who harp on me about it, you should be happy it's not crack!
Don't mind him, folks. He lost his wife.

God, I'm tired. I'm really tired. Tired is a two-lane highway that goes from Los Angeles to St. Louis. Well, I'm out here in Jersey, well past tired! I kept going after tired ended. I'm asking for directions just to get back to tired!

Sunday night, I didn't even fully get to sleep before the terror set in and I had to get up before I started screaming. Last night, I tried sleeping on my sofa, hoping the change might help, but I was up within minutes with my arms folded tightly, reminding myself it was just a nightmare. Then, I went outside and had a cigarette because there was no way I would stay in there and a needed something to ease the sense of panic away.

Meanwhile, we're in our last week of rehearsal before we need to be "off book". "Off book" is not a quaint way of indicating we were standing on encyclopedias. No, "off book" means that we will have to have our lines memorized. I will have to have my lines memorized. Jeepers.

In a play where everyone seems to be married or in a relationship, I was taking a wee bit of comfort in the fact that two of the other actors, Bruce and Danya, were also single. Then, last night, I found out Bruce has a girlfriend... and she is Danya.

... of course. So, I'm the only single one in the bunch.

All I want for Christmas is a mafia hit... on myself!

Sunday, August 03, 2003

So, what happened this weekend, anyway?

This weekend, I continued the month-long tradition of little sleep thanks to lots of nightmares. I figured I jot a couple of them down...

1) Friday night, I dreamed I snuck into Rosa's house but was so afraid of being caught and losing any chance of ever getting her back, I ran away. Only after I was nearly out of my apartment, did I realize I was dreaming. That didn't stop me from getting the hell out of here and driving away for several hours, though...

2) In Saturday's first nightmare, I walked out to my livingroom, to see Rosa and her baby lying on my sofa. I tried to talk to them. I tried to reach out to them. But they were like phantoms. I didn't awake screaming... I did awaken - I wasn't screaming. Anyway, I tried to go back to sleep, which led to the next nightmare...

3) I was pulled forward in time. Turned out, Rosa had drawn me decades into the future, where she owned just about everything and had set up a world where I would forever be miserable. Only after I woke up did I realize that she didn't need to move me forward in time to do that...

Last night, I went out and saw "The Bad Seed", which Lori was starring in. She was absolutely wonderful and blew me away because, in spite of piss-poor directing and some sad performances by other cast members, she still gave a great performance.

I realized how lucky I am to be surrounded by such talented people: Lori, Steve, Annie... well, there were others (Chris, Sherryl, etc.) but they're long gone. (BTW, I'd include Tim as one of the talented folk but he refuses to use his talent... grrr....)

Seeing that show helped put into perspective the show that I'm in. With a British Bogart, "Play It Again Sam" is looking pretty pathetic, but I can still try to do my best. Thanks, Lori.
Quick thought for the day...

Wildlife Refuge = Indian Reservation