... not if you buy it... fuckers...
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Let's face it. "Green" has become a marketing term. What used to refer to something being at least less harmful for the environment, has been reduced to so much lip service.
My company, for instance, has a line of "Green" products. They're determined to be "Green" because they use less power than other products... but please don't ask for relevance. It's pointless, meaningless, crap. Ignore it.
We need a new word for "Green"... or we need to smack people who fuck with language...
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I don't know if you can summarize wisdom into a list but someone has tried and has done a pretty decent job of it, too, I must say. It may not be perfect, but it's better than most.
Take a look. You might learn something before you're done...
1. SELF-MANAGEMENT AND PEOPLE SKILLS ARE THE KEYS TO YOUR SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS.
2. YOU ARE AT THE CENTER OF YOUR UNIVERSE. STAY THERE!
3. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MOST IS WHAT YOU GET.
4. YOU MAKE YOUR HABITS AND THEN YOUR HABITS MAKE YOU.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
unless you want to count 9/11...
Bush took office before that happened, fyi...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I've been saying this for years and now somebody has done a study.
Just look at it. How the hell can anyone live up to these damned things? I'm a guy who has spent his life being taken for granted, taken advantage, all the while towing the immense expectations romantic comedies expect us to live up to! I guess it's good timing, then, because this is one guy who is getting tired of trying to live up to the perfection romantic comedies say I'm supposed to provide. Hey, at best, I'm flawed. I'm sick of these movies telling women that they shouldn't settle for someone who isn't rich or perfect.
Now to take on those fucking sports films...
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This morning, I didn't get much of a chance to hear my alarm go off. Vicky startled me with, "Turn off your alarm!" and I did... and fell back asleep...
I got a call about a replacement being needed for a show that was already having performances. It was a show I'd already done, so everyone assumed I'd know my lines. Of course, once I got on stage, this little, dinky box stage that was deeper than it was wide, I needed to constantly refer to the script so obviously it was embarrassing.
"Tell me now! Tell me what I did was right! Tell me before I plunge this dagger through my heart!" This was only followed by a "shuffle shuffle shuffle" as I scanned through the script for my line as she held the knife aloft, dramatically, ready to plunge it... "Um... Yes. You did."
It was a play about vampires and I was dressed in the layered outfit with a huge overcoat on top. It had to be huge, cause so was I! I was fat, slow, forgetful, and unable to maneuver through the simplest exchange. Soon, I realized all of the other actors carried scripts as well and we were being booed. Then, Act One ended.
I couldn't believe it. "This is crazy," I told the director. "Absolutely crazy. I'm better than this! I know I am! This is inexcusable!"
"So? What are you going to do?" he asked.
"I'm going to go through the script and memorize the lines!" I told him.
There were some further exchanges in there about football players at halftime being pissed off because they weren't playing to their fullest potential and that was me. I knew I had only 15 minutes at most to memorize Act Two and I scanned through the script but I couldn't find the lines. Page after page was covered in advertisements. The director told me that was the only way they could afford to print scripts any more.
And then, the curtain was coming up and I hadn't even found Act Two, yet.
And the lights were on me...
And I woke up. Grateful to be in my bed.
I knew I was trying to tell myself I was out of practice, out of shape, inexcusably absent from the stage... but, hopefully, when I do return, it'll go slightly better than that.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Now, listen, I support Obama but, more importantly, I support a change from the Bush years. And if there's one thing Bush was great at was getting all cute instead of answering questions. We don't need that.
But here's what really got to me...
I was reading Huffington Post today and there was a story about how Campbell Brown took offense at Obama's response. I understood; I felt the same way. But I was appalled at the comments by the readers, supporters of Obama, who employed the same vitriol and took the same umbrage with reason as Bush supporters have whenever he's been asked a question during these past eight years. What the hell is that? Folks, it's one thing to support Obama but, when he does wrong, it is up to us to call him on it. Even if it's just between us and never reaches his ears. Because the tiny voices of many can be a roar that keeps him on the straight and narrow.
The last thing we need is a bunch of blind followers. That's what led us to Iraq, and torture, and our failed economy... and on and on... we don't need more.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Mainstory: I was heading down the stairs in the dark the other night...
Pointtothestory: I broke my fucking pinkie toe!!!!
Harley was squished but is just fine.
No, I'm not talking about "things you lube"...
Since I hadn't heard any feedback yet on Murielle's Big Date, we decided to give it a read ourselves. With four characters, Vicky would read two and I would read two. In the end, it was a lot of fun. It's a very funny plan.
The best part, though, was Vicky, because she felt it necessary to give each of her characters their own voice. One character she read in her own voice. The other character, well, had me laughing and laughing. Now, Vicky's not used to getting laughs so I think she took offense.
"Why are you laughing?" she asked.
"Because you sound like Annie Potts in Designing Women!"
And she did. It was fucking hilarious!
Writing this now, I realize she actually sounded like a cross between Amy Madigan and Annie Potts in Designing Women, which makes it even funnier!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Now, listen, I'm no big believer in God... at all, but I'm equally not a believer in ghosts or aliens...
Wait. Let me rephrase that.
It's not that I don't believe in God. It's that any God who may exist is completely irrelevant.
Ghosts, on the other hand, are just goofy bullshit. Come on! The spirits of the dead? Really? Are we five?
When it comes to aliens, it's a matter of defining your terms. Do I believe that life could exist elsewhere in the universe? Absolutely. Do I think they're interested in our anuses? No! And it's just fucked up that some people spend their time obsessing on that.
Seriously, people, pack up your aliens and your ghosts away with your Gods and pop your religion in there, too.
Friday, November 21, 2008
But Eric introduced me as "Author, Actor, Director, and Playwright: Ken La Salle" and that was pretty cool. For those of you who don't know, "Ken La Salle" is a pseudonym; he is my better alter-ego. And it's nice to be him sometimes, not just the guy with the dead-end job going nowhere in life with far too few friends... It's nice to retreat back to Ken La Salle now and then.
So, who is Eric? He's the ringleader of the Orange County Playwright's Alliance. Yes, I've rejoined OCPA. Figured it was time. I've got plays and they've got connections - their connections are about as dicey as my plays. Still, it's nice to be living as Ken La Salle again.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
You think it might encourage people - like, say, automobile manufacturers - to want it? To come up with reasons they gotta have it? To fly their private jets out and get it?
Yeah, that's what I thought. This is turning into a great object lesson of what NOT to do in a financial crisis...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Eclectic yet applicable, I figured I had a winner that could not help but impress.
My co-worker, Kathy, an attractive, young thing, asked me if I'd come up with a topic. I said, "Yes, I'm going to write about constructing a workable theory of free will from Newton's Laws of Motion."
"Oh," she said. "Well, good luck." And how did she sound? Bored. She sounded bored.
Free will! You know, that thing nobody knows if we have or not. I'm going to construct a workable theory about it based on Newtonian physics, which is like using a paper clip and bubble gum!
... seriously, I’m like the black hole of impressive…
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
If these words have moved you, if you're a decent human being who does not wish to have the rights of others removed through hate - and if you're a citizen of California - sign this petition to stop Prop 8.
"The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."
Still euphoric from the night before, I opened the newspaper to soak up the world's reaction to America's triumph. I enjoyed that. Buried on a page deep inside and below the fold was a story of sobering force. A girl, Aisha, thirteen years old had been raped by three men in Somalia . Her parents brought the girl to the authorities to report the crime. The Muslim elders ruled that the girl had committed adultery and should be stoned to death. That happened. On the same day Americans elected as their president a man whose sometimes silent middle name is Hussein, that happened. I stayed stuck reading and rereading this story. Aisha feels like that story you hear or read about the soldier who died after the war was over because word had not yet reached that battlefield. Of course the rest of the world is not as dumb as me. Nor am I really that dumb. Of course Aisha won't be the last. Of course.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
But give it a read. I think you'll find it very interesting. It's a bit Democrat-centric but McCain gets his due in future installments and it's certainly worth it for some insight into a truly historic race.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Looks like my days of riding my bike to work are over for a while.
Mind you, I had to stop for a while there because it was just getting too dark in the morning. Wait for the time change, I thought, and so I did.
"But then it'll be too dark at night," Vicky warned me. Hush now, woman! Let not your tiny mind blind you to my master pl...
Huh? Oh, lookie there. It's kinda dark.
So, now I just have to wait for February or March. Maybe then, it'll be light enough at night to let me ride home in some relative non-darkness... maybe...
You know, I keep losing opportunities to ride and it's driving me crazy. Here in Southern California, I'm not used to having things like weather affect my life. Dammit. So, I'll keep hitting the gym during the week for my weekend rides... and look forward to spring...
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
In the pre-capitalist reality, James Madison said when he put power in the hands of the business elite, he would be entrusting "enlightened statesmen and benevolent philosophers who would devote themselves to the welfare of all."
Clearly, he believed this statement in the way I guess some modern Republicans do. The only problem was that he eventually realized this didn't work and in 1792, disillusioned and worried about the democratic experiment, condemned what he called "the daring depravity of the times." He went on to denounce the business elites who, given ultimate power, "become tools and tyrants of government...they overwhelm government with their powers and combinations and are bribed by its largesse." That's how he perceived the system he had helped design. In 2008, this is an apt description of the Republican relationship to government and power.
Finally, some blue light, tectonic plate shifts, a sea change, we hear... a wave of despair carrying us to a new place. The bastards are finally meeting their grisly ends and will be discarded and abandoned as men come to power who will actually try to govern. I know we're supposed to be civil but I'm not a real believer in this method when dealing with crimes.
What does the sea change mean? How can we help people understand what is happening and help them contextualize it?
First the past: Senator McCain, Governor Palin and assorted surrogates are delusional and breathtakingly corrupt. They disgrace themselves and their country as they lie, smear, slur and write it off as political manner.
Yet the creeping truth must frighten them late at night: there is no currency left to buy the big lies.
There is no more money left to loan or borrow the big lies or to sell them. No more money left to pay off the debt, the wreckage in the wake. The orgy of excess has drained every bottle, smashed the furniture and left the cupboards bare. All that's left is derivative debts -- bets between liars and lies. Trillions of dollars. Turned capitalism into a Ponzi scheme for trading worthless paper. No real value anywhere. No matter how much money Ben Bernanke prints.
We are asked to stand over the abyss and experience our own destruction as another political game show -- just another surreal horse race. We watch millionaires and paid Republican hacks appear on television yelling "Socialist!" at Obama as if the Bolsheviks are coming to rape our daughters. These are the same people who oversaw the greatest upward redistribution of wealth in the history of this country. The same people who, through general lawlessness and a privatization frenzy, succeeded in shredding the Constitution, turning war, illegal domestic spying, security, border patrol, interrogation, and even torture into profitable industries gorging on the state.
Friday, October 31, 2008
The "do they really need to be equal" argument is not new to me, probably because I remember hearing adults use it about black people when I was a kid. "Do we have to let them live in our neighborhood and marry white women?" they'd say. The answer was a resounding, "Yes, and shut the fuck up."
If you find yourself asking if homosexuals really deserve all the same rights as everyone else on election day, remind yourself just how petty, intolerant, and outright ignorant you sound, punch yourself in the mouth really hard, and vote NO on 8.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Anyway, they had Fox News up on the screen - the biggest reason NOT to go to 24 Hour Fitness if you can help it. I already have a membership, which is so cheap I basically just have to suck it up. Still, I hate watching Fox News.
That said, it's nice to know they are still running as far from truth and honesty as before - which leads to my political comment for the day.
The Republican Party and their ilk have been going so amazingly out of control, I'm surprised no one speaks out. George Will, where are you? First, they claimed that Obama was the most liberal member of Congress, which put the joke on Kucinich. Then, they claimed he was a Socialist, which is laughable when you see how centrist his politics are. But then, they made the jump to the "most liberal politician ever" (a quote yesterday from McCain) and claims that Obama is a Marxist.
Marxist? As in "Proletariat Revolution"? Nyet, Komrad! Say it ain't so, Joe! Seriously, has anyone asked the Communist Party how they feel about this? Most likely, they see Obama's politics as positively oppressive! Anyone who claims Obama's a Marxist just learned the word and obviously does not know a thing about Marxism.
But this goes even deeper, I think. That they believe they have to make their claims against Obama more and more extreme, taking headers into claims that he is on par with terrorists, shows a basic distrust of their party's message. Think about it. The Republican attack against Kerry was that he couldn't make up his mind. Against Gore, it was that he was too liberal and tied to Clinton. Against Clinton, it was that he was too liberal (it's a popular refrain). Against Dukakis, it was that he made hasty decisions. But go back as far as you want and you won't find such absurd claims made by a major party's candidate. You won't see one candidate saying of another that he "pals with terrorist" or that he "is a terrorist". You won't see a candidate embracing race baiting to create fear of the other candidate. It's not enough for them to say "We're the party of small government" because it's obviously not true. They can't say "We're against special interests"; look at their energy policy.
The Republican Party has become the party of war, of tax cuts for the rich, of squandered opportunity, of economic turmoil, of lies and deceit, of creationistic denial of science on a scale not seen since the flat earthers, of hypocrisy on a grand scale, of Orwellian NewSpeak, of intolerance and hate. And I am left to wonder how anyone could call themselves Republican. How could anyone who believes in the right to life because of religious faith call themselves Republican when the Republican Party is responsible for a war against a nation that never did anything to harm us? How could anyone who believes in fiscal conservatism call themselves Republican when the Republican Party squandered the surplus, giving it away to the wealthiest one percent? How could anyone who works for a living call themselves a Republican when the Republican Party platform provides tax breaks to the rich and increases taxes on the middle class? How could anyone with a conscious vote Republican?
You probably expect me to end this with an endorsement for Barack Obama. Okay. I won't let you down. But let me begin by stating that I am not a Democrat. I'm a member of the Green Party, having left the Democratic Party when they sided too many times with the Republicans, when they allowed themselves to acquiesce to those ethically lesser and drive our nation into a far darker place. So, with that said, why am I supporting Obama? Necessity. I told Vicky when the primaries began that I would vote based on a simple criteria: truth. During this election, only one candidate remained true. Only one refrained from telling the most outrageous lies to win a vote. Only one stayed true to the American people. Only one stuck by his principles of decency and refused to make truth the first victim. McCain and his Hockey Mom have found themselves caught in one lie after another. They laugh them off with contempt for truth and for the American people. But Barack Obama passed my criteria: he told the truth.
Those of you who know me know that I am passionate about politics and I know what I'm talking about. I take it very seriously and would never endorse someone I did not believe was the best person for the job. It's never an issue of "who has the best chance to win" because that is the fastest route to pandering. It's also not a matter of "who is the most popular", though Obama is; I won't deny that. Vicky believed in Obama long before me, believing in him the way some people find religion. But I stayed back, watching as lie after lie was cast upon him and as he brushed them off and refused to let them tarnish him.
Will he make mistakes? Undoubtedly. All people do. But I believe he will face every challenge with an honesty and decency that his Republican opponents couldn't find with both hands, a map, a sherpa, and a GPS. He'll face them true to the American people, something his opponents have shown they are not capable of. Finally, he'll face them with a spirit of honesty that has him prepared for the worst without sinking to the worst. That's what matters most. That's why he has my vote.
That is why I am asking you to join me in supporting Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Thanks for reading.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The signs I've read so far have read:
Prop 8 = Free Speech, because intolerant hate-mongers should be allowed to say whatever they want...
Prop 8 = Parental Rights, because intolerant hate-mongers should be allowed to raise their children however they want and restrict their childrens rights however they want...
Prop 8 = Religious Freedom, because intolerant hate-mongers should be allowed to force you to believe however they want you to believe...
With this in mind, I thought I'd help out where I can. I'm always here to help.
Prop 8 = Democracy, how can this be a democracy if we can't take away your rights...
Prop 8 = Freedom, because you don't want to see intolerant hate-mongers like us angry... you wouldn't like intolerant hate-mongers like us when we're angry...
Prop 8 = Less Traffic, we will get out of our cars and walk away if you don't vote the way we want you to vote...
Prop 8 = Right to Bear Arms, think about it, you think we haven't already started stockpiling guns...
Prop 8 = Air, that's right, bitch, you like to breathe, mother-fucker...
Prop 8 = Life, we will fucking kill you if you don't vote the way we want you to vote...
There you go. My mind is changed. Everyone should vote for Proposition 8, to respect the rights of hate-mongers whose world-view is so fragile and fucking whacko that they can't permit someone to do something that in no way effects them at all.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Still, there's one thing I do want to mention. For those of you in California, that's Proposition 8.
Before I mention that, however, I'd like to quickly cover the issue of gay marriage. What the fuck is wrong with you idiots? The universe did not implode the second homosexuals got the right to marry and dogs and cats aren't living together so why don't you pack away your bigotry in your old kit bag and shut the fuck up.
Now... to Proposition 8.
I hate having to vote against being for something that's against something. It pisses me off.
Prop 8, a vote for hate, removes a person's right to get married. So, if you vote for it, you're voting against equality. If you vote against it, you're voting for equality. You see how fucked up this is? I hate it. I just want to tear the fucking thing right out of my sample ballot.
But I can't.
It's at home.
The thing is, it made me look like an idiot to my wife the other day. I said, "Hey, did you hear that Obama doesn't support 8? That's nearly enough to make me vote against him."
"Why would you vote against him?" she asked.
I went "Buh buh buh"...
She said, "A vote for 8 is a vote for hate. Didn't you know that?"
Fucking backwards laws. I hate 'em!
Can we just have equal rights? Do we need these fucking idiots who will do anything to keep their bigotry?
... oh wait. Sorry. I live in America.
Monday, October 20, 2008
A few days ago, I wrote about how tired I was of always being the guy who was there for people and nobody was there for me when it came to my birthday and how depressed it made me that nobody seemed to care about my birthday.
Then, I got an email from Rob, a very old friend. It came a day late and he basically said, "Sorry for getting this to you late but: Happy Birthday!" I thought it was nice. I was glad he remembered me.
And then, I realized I had no idea when his birthday was. I'd completely forgotten.
I had forgotten a lot of people's birthdays.
Here I was complaining about people forgetting my birthday when...
And there was that sickly moment of recognition.... oooooh....
Happiness is a fleeting thing but, then, so is unhappiness. I've gotten over my disappointment about my birthday. But one thing that comes with the realization that happiness is fleeting is also the knowledge that the little things really do go a long way. I mean, I wasn't depressed because of a lack of expensive gifts; it was being forgotten that was so sad - which tells me how my forgetfullness affects people. So, I've decided I need to be better about this. I need to be a little more active in making other people's lives happy, even if in a small way.
Anyway, I'd probably feel less like a dick...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I suppose I should explain. My birthday has long been my least favorite day of the year. It is a constant reminder of just what a joke my life has been and what a humiliating experience it is to be me.
Let me explain. I have lived my life and really worked hard to do the one thing I want to do with it; that is being a writer or even an actor. Okay, that's two - but an artist in one form or another. So, I've acted - or, at least, I've tried ot act. I've written 16 novels and 5 plays. And yet, I've been an abject failure at both. Some people think trying equals succeeding - but honestly, do you pass by the bum on the street and say, "You're the President of the United States!" No. You don't. And for that same reason, I don't see myself as a writer or an actor, no matter how much effort I have put into it and continue to put into it. In fact, the way things have turned out, the only thing my efforts have given me is a pretty crappy job at a pretty crappy company. Honestly, it's pretty pathetic.
I like to think of myself as a fairly decent, good-natured, nice guy. But I've never had a lot of friends. I've never been the guy who has the big birthday party. I can't even tell you how many birthday parties have been thrown for me because it's so embarrassing.
Which is probably why I just want to go home tonight - from work, cause abuse on your birthday is important I guess - and eat Ramen. Cause, really, what's the point? Vicky will probably want to go out, but mostly because she won't want to cook and will feel guilty about that. It's traditional at this point to say "Vicky is the one good thing I have in my life" - but the fact is she's a person in my life, not my life. She's doing fine - but we've been fighting so often lately I don't have the energy to make the platitude.
Of the few friends I have: One wouldn't even invite me to his wedding this month and when he asked me to be his friend in Facebook, didn't even say so much as "Hi". In fact, he still won't talk to me. Another one can't be bothered unless it's to tell me about his sex life - and that's what I want to hear. The rest can't be bothered. As much as I like to think of myself as a writer, nobody I know wants to read anything I write - which leads me to believe that you readers are strangers.
Nobody really gives a shit.
And there you have it: FAIL.
I'm staying away from EPIC FAIL. I don't think I'm there quite yet... but every year brings me closer.
I guess I'm saying all this to share the misery a bit. I mean, I know there are plenty who are worse off than I. That's obvious. There are plenty far better off, of course; they stopped reading after paragraph one... several years ago. But there may be quite a few at the same level of misery and I want you to know - I get it. I'm with you. We'll get through this Every day brings as much hope as it does just as much abject failure.
Today sucks. Tomorrow sucks ass. The day after sucks zombie ass.
But the day after that could suck a whole lot less. You never know. It's been 43 years now. Odds have got to turn one of these days...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
But, you know what I'm just beginning to realize? Nobody is there for me. Nobody. I try to make a list of people who have been there for me in the last few years and I get nothing.
Now, listen, it's not like I'm not sympathetic. After I tried to kill myself, I'm sure people got tired of helping old Ken. But dammit, I've paid for that several times over by now and, quite frankly, I'm fucking sick of it.
So, I'm thinking about trying out the word: No. I'm wondering how that would feel for a change. Engaging in a little bit of self-interest. I'm not talking about robbing from the poor or anything; I'm just thinking it might be nice to stop trying so damned much to get the world to like me. Because, you know what? It doesn't work. It's not paying off. I get screwed every time.
So, I would warn you to watch out. Unless you're willing to give a little, Mr. Easy Going will be out of town for a while.
Here's a phrase you don't hear too often: I'd fuck her into next Thursday.
You don't hear it too often because, well, it doesn't make any sense. I mean, how would you do that? Cause the bed to vibrate at 88 miles per hour?
And yet, that's what entered my mind when I saw a woman going into work this morning - cause I'm a guy and this is what we do! I thought, "Holy shit. I would fuck her into next Thursday." It just came out of nowhere, completely distracting me from tits, ass, legs - the entire woman - because I thought, "How the hell would you do that?"
Ah, for the good old days of "Boy, I'd like to fuck her."
Saturday, October 11, 2008
It seems that Muslims send their children to college and invest in their education for one reason and one reason only: To Take Over The World! It’s not because they love their children or because they value education or know how much a good education is worth. Oh no. It is To Take Over The World!
So now you know. Don’t trust any Muslim who dares become educated because you know that, in the end, they will Take Over The World. And that’s the last thing we want, a lot of educated people in charge!
But the kicker to the whole email was the end: “Please... I beg u vote Repulican this one time in your life. This guy is a front man for something worse 2 come.”
Yes, not only did the author misspell “Repulican”, they also said that this guy’s a front man for something worse “2” come.
That’s right. JOHN MCCAIN SURELY MUST BE A MUSLIM! It all makes sense! You heard it here first!
Hey, why not? The logic is just as twisted as anything they’re emailing out these days. But when all you have is fear-mongering, it probably makes sense.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Not much to add to this - except how I love to watch intolerant, right-wing, pea-brains squirm...
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I don't know what this means but I thought it was a hell of a metaphor just the same!
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Quiz time: Does anyone remember the last time a Republican Presidential candidate was expected to do well in a debate?
For the last 20 years, the Republicans have made an art out of setting expectations subterraneanly low. I think the last candidate expected to debate well for the Repugs was Reagan - and not because of his ideas, of course, but because he had screen time!
This makes me wonder: What rationalization could Repugs possibly give for their continued existence? "Our ideas are so bad they can't stand a chance in honest debate - We must be right!"
You're not hearing the Dems say, "Obama can't string together an intelligible sentence. Biden has no command of his faculties." I'm no Dem but, in my mind, that's a good thing.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
If you give them the $700 billion, make them issue stock. Make every recipient of the bailout issue stock in return for our "investment." Don't give them the dough. Make them sell a stake in their companies. Banks, investment firms, insurance companies, you name it.
But if you want to know true terror, imagine getting a bug caught in your mustache. You're riding and you don't know if the little guy bounced off or is caught in the mass of hair... and if he's moving up towards your nose... or down to your mouth...
Damn, I must really like cycling...
Monday, September 29, 2008
After You Fall...
One play after another after a book after another... What do I get out of it?
Here's a shocking equation: 16 books and 5 plays have equalled 0 sales. It's something I have to face every day of my life. Other writers tell me how good I am, actors tell me they love my plays, but none of that means anything in terms of financial success. Nobody buys my stuff. It's a shameful admission. It makes me miserable.
Yet, I keep going.
I keep thinking, "Maybe if I do things a little differently. If I just get a little better." But I know that's not the case; we've all seen utter shit in the book market and trainwrecks on stage or screen. It's not a question of quality. It's a question of luck.
So, I keep going, thinking that maybe the next thing will bring me a little luck, a little recognition, make it all a little less pointless.
It's like gambling, you know? I've got a lifetime of losses to make up for - I should never have gotten into it.
My most recent play, Murielle's Big Date, is easily the funniest, most absurd, most dynamic play to date. I have no doubt that it's better than most of the rest of the shows I've seen. But what it's going to come down to has nothing to do with any of that. It's going to come down to the mood of the person reviewing it and whether they want something like that. (That's why I've made it a single set show with a small cast - to maximize the possibilities. Show runners love easy sets and small casts.) But the bottom line is that each person reviewing submissions, for shows or books or whatever, is looking for one specific thing and, if I'm not it, they move along. It's not about quality; it's about chemistry.
Anyway, it's all pretty damned heart-breaking.
And there's no stopping, of course. I've got three papers to write for school this semester but after those I already know what comes next. The next book is the follow up to Climbing Maya, a book not only answering the question of free will but also a story about my father's death and how each of his sons had a different part of themselves stripped away. It's going to be more complex, more emotional, and more profound than Climbing Maya, both related to and completely detached from the previous book. More marketable and more personal - because the bottom line, folks, is that there's much more than gambling going on here. I'm writing for far more than publication; I'm writing for me, too. The answers that I find are answers that I'm looking for, after all.
But I will say this. It's pretty damn exhausting.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
It reminded me of just why I write. It's different from anything I could have expected. It's vibrant and alive and completely, batshit, mother fucking insane. I love it.
Now, let's see how long a break I can take before starting on the next thing.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
... but back to the TV show. For those of you who caught the 2-hour premier the other night, you were doubtlessly as glued to your TV set as we were. Why we put glue on our TV set makes no sense to me but there we were.
Now, I'm not saying there weren't a lot of things that didn't make sense. Hell, I could create a blog just for HEROES plot holes! In fact, that's one of the things I wanted to talk about today... um, one of the holes in HEROES plot, not creating yet another blog nobody reads.
As you probably saw, Peter's mind was - oh, SPOILER ALERT! (as if it mattered) - put into the body of a high-powered villian on Level 5, supposedly the level filled with the fiercest, roughest, toughest, meanest, leanest, fiendest, beanedest, rootinest, tootinest villians in the HEROES universe. You're darned tootin! And when all these VILLIANS escape - due to yet another plot hole - we're made to assume that bad things are coming to every corner of the HEROES playground.
... so, what's the first thing they do? They rob a gas station, kill a guy, and steal his SUV, Funyuns in tow. These certainly aren't the "rule the world" kind of villians. And you know what they say. "Themz aint yo Funyunz, Themz be Foxy's Funyunz!"
... Yeah, I'm also a fan of Drawn Together. You remember that show, don't you?
No... I didn't think so...
I thought I'd bring it on over to My Side, where things tend to get a bit more cynical, and share something with you that you might not know. I want to talk about dancing. Don't be afraid.
You've probably heard me mention how much I hate dancing but there's a paradox there, because dancing also happens to be very important to me. Seriously. See, I normally feel like such an idiot dancing that I have a hard time dancing with anyone who makes me feel MORE like an idiot. Trust me, I ran into this with more than a few dates.
Now, Vicky and I had rehearsed our wedding dance over and over until we had it down. We had it down so well... it didn't really feel like a dance any more! It felt more like a performance, to me. It was like losing our first dance and gaining our first performance!
But I still wanted that moment - that perfect moment where the stars aligned and everything felt right and we danced together, losing ourselves in each other's arms. I wanted to feel as far from being an idiot as possible... and, for me, that's rare. But every moment of our wedding was choreographed, timed, segmented, and set. It didn't look as though there'd be any time for perfect moments, not the kind I wanted.
So, we were wed. We were rushed upstairs for our "moment alone", which turned out to be just a moment. Then, pictures began. We were hurried up to the gazebo, the photographer got into place... and no one else was where the were supposed to be. We were asked to wait a minute... just relax...
I don't remember the song. I wish I did. But some jazz was playing and everyone's attention was on the wedding and off of the wedded. I asked Vicky if she'd like to dance and she stepped into my arms and it was as if we were the only people in the world. The stars aligned and everything felt right. It was perfect.
That will always remain, for me, our first dance.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Down came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the itsy-bitsy spider realized that all life is futile and meaningless...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
My life, right now, is going through this weird period where past, present, and future keep slamming together in the strangest of ways.
I'll give you an example.
On one social networking site, one of my ex-sister-in-laws recently asked to be my "friend". What the heck, I figured, so friends we became. I've never tried to get in touch with my ex-in-laws out of respect for Rosa. I figured that was her life and no longer a part of mine. But when someone asks to be a part of my life again, to be my friend, it just doesn't seem right to refuse that. Slowly, we have started a correspondence. Of course, we've talked about Rosa. We talked about the divorce. But we also talk about my life today. I tell her about Vicky and some of the things we do together. I tell her about how fortunate I was to find Vicky. I've also mentioned how much Vicky and I want to have a child. This ex-sis-in-law has two kids and she knows how I've wanted one for some time and, again, what happened with Rosa. She hopes Vicky and I have a baby real soon.
And who would have thought that? Past, present, and future - BAM!
I was a pretty lousy husband to Rosa sometimes, but not as much as I was a pretty lousy brother-in-law. I was stand-offish and cold and unwelcoming. Somehow, though - and as usual - my negative assessment doesn't belong to those who I felt deserved to judge me negatively. She just thought I was "a grump."
See? You just don't know.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
If you're not as appalled by that as I, allow me to explain something to you and to Mr. Haidt.
If morality is about "binding groups together", how can you call Republicans moral when their specialty is divisiveness? Their great fallback position is always "God, guns, and gays": Liberals are against God, gonna take your guns, and make homosexuality in the mainstream. Republicans preach hate towards the least fortunate peoples: the poor, the immigrant, the homeless. They even preach hate towards veterans, denying them adequate medical care or GI benefits. Meanwhile, they claim that liberals - the group who has supported equal rights for all groups - don't get it.
If morality is about supporting essential institutions, how can you call Republicans moral when their strategy has famously been to undermine our most essential institutions: schools, health care, infrastructure. To see Republicans as moral, you would have to count the NRA as an essential institution. You'd have to include the hate-spreading Religious Right as an essential institution. You'd have to count the multinational job-exporters as essential institutions. You would, essentially, have to see reality through a myopic, diseased lens to consider the Republicans moral under that criteria.
If morality is about living in a sanctified and noble way, Mr. Haidt, then you Republicans would have to cast their vote for someone other than McCain or Palin. McCain was the "brains" behind the Keating Five. He refused to honor Martin Luther King. He denied benefits for veterans, the group which he is supposed to most empathize. Palin lies and lies and lies, about selling her plane on Ebay at a profit, about not wanting the Bridge to Nowhere, about stealing from the taxpayers of Alaska, and more still. Are these noble acts? Are these sanctified acts? No and No again. These are loathsome and low and unworthy of any definition of morality.
Don't tell me I don't know what morality is, Mr. Haidt. Don't tell me I don't "get it". Don't hide behind false rhetoric and deception in the hopes of getting more Republican votes.
Or prepare yourself for the mountain of vomit which is sure to fall your way.
Monday, September 08, 2008
I picked up SPORE yesterday and I have to say, "Great game."
DON'T BUY IT.
Listen to me. They use that awful Securom anti-piracy measure that plays hell with your hard drive and then won't let you reinstall it when you get your hard drive fixed. Now, I'm stuck with a worthless disk and I don't dare give it to Vicky to install on her machine because it'll fuck that up, too.
Here's what you do. If you want it, and you should if you like light, fun games, get it through STEAM, the download service provided by VALVE. They let you reinstall as many times as you like with no Securom and no fucked up hard drives. Do yourself a favor.
Meanwhile, I'll continue hating EA.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
He said he would if I provided it for him. Blanche gave her blessings.
Today, however, just as I was about to begin… intelligence crept in. I began to think about what I was doing. And it came down to this: You don’t eulogize someone twice. You just don’t. You go on with your life. The only person who would get anything out of my repetition of the original eulogy would be me… and Dad would have liked it, too, of course – he would have loved the idea of a world constantly eulogizing him after his passing! But, for anyone else, it would have been unnecessary and unwanted.
I’ve eulogized my father. I’ve done just about everything but cry about my loss – I know how much I need to; I just haven’t. I’ve heard jokes I know he would have enjoyed. I’ve told jokes I know he would have told. (Simply eating “Ass-per-Agus” is excuse enough.) So, I’m going to let my original eulogy go, stop mourning and start enjoying.
But, if you’re interested, you can find a copy over one One Path, warts and all.
Friday, September 05, 2008
It's not that hard. There's one rule here: Look busy.
And this is what I want to write about today, because it's more fucked up than you can possibly imagine. Nobody actually works. As long as you can look busy, you impress your Taiwanese bosses. I've only completed about a dozen projects in three months - and I'm known around here as being manic about my job. It's crazy. I spend seven hours of my day waiting, sitting and waiting.
After Allied, I was really hoping to find a job where I could contribute and do something worthwhile. But not only can I not work here - because if I do too much, I'm told to slow down because I'm putting too much pressure on other people - but I also can't fill the void by writing, because I'm watched most of the time to make sure I look like I'm busy working on a product...
It's like fucking hell.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
It was also filled with lies, but that's neither here nor there I am told. What does it matter that the Republican party has gone schizophrenic: Biden's experience in the Senate doesn't count but McCain's does. Palin has enough experience after being the mayor of a tiny hamlet and governor of the least-populated state, but Obama doesn't as a US Senator. McCain's flip-flops don't count because he's the Change Candidate. Obama is the elitist; pay no attention to McCain's many properties. The Republican hypocricy of calling themselves the party of "family values" while having one candidate with multiple marriages and another with teen pregnancies - abstinence only folks! - while Obama and McCain have actual family values doesn't seem to bother anyone. Just ignore it, I'm told, because that Palin sure is cute, isn't she?
But I don't hear about how the Republican's are appealing to our better selves. I don't hear about how they are providing a brighter future for our children. I don't hear about how they care for regular people. Tax cuts for the rich, tax breaks for big oil, more wars, fewer rights - that's what I hear.
And I am reminded of that old saying, about how we get the government we deserve, and I'm thinking about what we deserve after years of illegal wars, torture, and abuse of power.
Vicky's been talking about moving out of this country, abandoning this sinking ship of state... she may have a point...
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Well, I couldn’t anticipate what happened. Turned out, the folks who read and listened liked the play for reasons quite opposite than those intended. What I expected to be hilarious turned out to be heart-felt. People liked the relationships and the drama.
After Climbing Maya and now this, I don’t know what makes me think I’m a comedy writer.
But don't think I'm complaining. I'll be submitting this one right away and I'll let you know if/when something comes of it.
Friday, August 29, 2008
She's real keen on debate.
Fine, then I want to see them teach Advanced Orgies right alongside their fucking abstinence (see the pun?) classes that have been proven so effective!
So, McCain says Obama has too little experience but here he is, on death's door, ready to put someone with far less experience in the driver's seat when he inevitably dies of one cancer or another. Where's the logic?
Obama picks Biden, who has more experience, to take his place should anything happen to him. That makes sense. It follows the Kennedy/Johnson idea. But what's McCain going to say? "We need someone with very little experience in the White House! With less experience than Barack Obama! Because he doesn't have enough experience! So, we need less experience! I'm senile! I eat peas! Someone wash my bum!"
Yep... Republican'ts got it all figured out!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Is he also the kind of person who lets you make an ass of yourself on your blog only to prove you wrong? Absolutely!
Robert has done me the extraordinary favor of finding another actress so we can do this play reading this weekend. I’m telling you, I am out of gas on this one but he took the steps I couldn’t and made sure things would work for me.
He has my gratitude.
Now let’s read a fucking play!
(… no, not you. But I could always use an audience if you want to come by. Otherwise, be assured you’ll be updated here.)
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the people who, when asked, said, “I’d love to be there but I can’t,” that I’m mad at. What pisses me off is all the people who said, “I’ll be there!” and then later said, “Oh, I can’t. Just remembered I have to floss my cat.”
What it came down to is that people don’t care about my writing as much as I wish they did. I guess that’s evident by my book sales. But I’m going to stick this out and try submitting it anyway, and I’ll hope it’s good. The whole point of reading it was to hear if it was any good. That’s a luxury I’m going to have to live without.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In case I lose it, the point of this email is what a fantastic woman I married.
… Vicky. I’m talking about Vicky.
There’s been a bit of a shakeup down Ken way, a shake up of friends and maybe not friends. It started with Cindy, who has a lot of practice ending our friendship. Well, this time she “needed time” because Vicky made a joke. I understand that some people lack all of their senses, including their sense of humor, but I’m puzzled when that’s supposed to justify ending a friendship. If it was that frail, I guess I’m better off.
Then, in came Teresa. Teresa, love of my 17th year, regret of my life. She forgives me for the rotten way I treated her and has a good, happy life, which makes me happy. We email occasionally. It’s nice.
This, this week, I was spotted on a social networking site by three of my ex-sisters-in-law. After Rosa, I was sure she’d convinced her entire family to hate the ground I strode on but it turns out that wasn’t true at all. It also turns out that I wasn’t the only one punished by the divorce and Rosa seems to still be paying. It makes me sadder than words can express to know that her life is sad. I wish there was something I could do to help but there simply isn’t. It has nothing to do with Vicky, either. The face is, there’s nothing I can do. But it’s nice hearing from the ex-S.I.Ls and it’s fun starting fresh.
One of my worst mistakes back when I was with Rosa was in not holding the proper people accountable when they gave me the shaft. I’m talking about her parents, mostly. I made the mistake of taking it out on everyone, which was wrong and cost me a lot.
So, here I am, a married man talking with, at least, four women outside of my wife. (Can you imagine them all inside?) I am positive there is someone out there thinking, “If I was Vicky, I would tar his hide,” or something like that. Maybe it’s “She shouldn’t trust him, given his past,” or “He should be investing that energy on his wife.”
Here’s the thing. I’m tempted to agree. Listen, I know I don’t have the most sparkling history but keep in mind that Rosa was the one who pushed me into another’s arms through years of neglect and outright telling me to. And maybe it’s okay to have female correspondents. The thing is I think Vicky and I both know who I better never talk to if I like my balls attached and that’s Rosa.
Which brings me to another point, my ex-S.I.Ls had asked if Rosa and I still speak. They’ve implied that maybe we should. But I have been very clear. If I ever spoke with Rosa, Vicky would kill me slow. After all, Rosa was the one who broke me, stole from me, cheated me, and ruined my life. It’s not out of jealousy that Vicky is so demanding; it’s just the smart thing to do!
Which got more interesting when I heard that Teresa was coming into town.
Which brings me to my point. Here I am, talking to these other women, and Vicky is okay with it. She trusts me. She knows that my motives have less to do with them than others might think. Maybe she also knows that I want to screw every 3rd woman I see anyway; talking to these won’t change that. (And before you complain, most men want to screw every 4th woman they see. I just haven’t made it out of puberty, yet.)
I can’t tell you why Vicky is so understanding except to say she gets me. I’m not the kind of person to turn away friendship, even when it’s as superficial as online blabbing. But I know what other people would say, how they would respond, which shows me how cool Vicky is and makes me love her all that much more.
… and she scares me, too. There’s that.
Monday, August 25, 2008
… and now they’re starting to freak out because they might not get immunity.
From what, I wonder…
And they’ll never get in the least bit of trouble for it… of course…
Sunday, August 24, 2008
And now, the folks taking your vibrators!!!
That's right. Now, they can seize your sex toys. Not only do they not need anything in writing... where would they get it if they did???
I wonder about people who travel with a suitcase filled with pocket pussies but traveling salesmen need to earn a living, too. And, as for the folks travelling with suitcases filled with black, leather, dildos... well, Republican senators should have their rights protected as well...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Either way, it’s little more than a fumble on the Republican’tsTM radar. The bigger issues are how eager he is to start wars and abuse the environment and how hesitant he is to show compassion or to tell the truth.
But if knowing he can’t remember how many houses he’s bought keeps you from voting for him, I’ll take that, too.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Just plain creepy.
Now, if that doesn't do it for you, how about this:
DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE THAT MCCAIN IS A FLESH-EATING ZOMBIE!!!!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Cyclists For Christ.
What’s the matter? Can’t he ride his own bike?
He’s all-powerful and all-knowing and, yet, he can’t ride a fucking bike?
Did the crucifixion play hell with his circulation? Or is he just a gimp?
Or are you raising money to send him to camp?
Seriously. These are the things I wonder about.
Friday, August 15, 2008
McCain’s answer to our energy needs is to drill for more oil. Supposing he finds this wealth of oil, what do you think that would equal? More global warming! Right.
Our options are running low. Alternate power sources are great; I have stock in a solar cell company, myself. But how far does that go?
I wondered about this as I sat inside of Taco Bell at lunch today. I was watching everyone eat, even as I ate, and I wondered if perhaps we’re all in denial or something. I mean, here we are, living far beyond our means. We’re killing off our oceans, drying out our forests, squeezing every ounce of goodness from the land, even as we make more and more people.
When will we start taking responsibility for ourselves? When will we finally grow up? Or do we kill ourselves before we get that far?
So, I get to work this morning. I shower. I dress. I break my lock… like an idiot… but enough of that. Later, I’m sitting at my desk when people start talking about all the bikes that are stacking up. When I first started riding my bike in, I’d park it inside, in a cubby alongside the only other bike. Now, there are four bikes in that little cubby and it’s getting crowded!
We took a quick inventory of who rides. There are four of us… but two of them can’t understand why we need to bring backpacks and have lockers and… hold on… They don’t shower.
They ride to work (four miles and 10 miles) and don’t shower, don’t change; they just work in their sweaty clothes.
Now, listen, I’m not stickler for hygiene. Hell, I’ve spent many a drunken weekend in the same clothes until I can appreciate my own, natural perfume – but hey! After riding 10 miles, you should really consider bathing!
And I don’t know what was worse. The fact that they don’t or the amount of people in the conversation who suggested I didn’t need to…
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Then, on the 30th - just a few weekends from now - the plan is to get some actors together at my house to read it all out loud. Comedy is different when it's spoken than when it's read so you really need to hear it. That's why you get some actors to read it before you know you're done.
... unfortunately, I've been so long from the stage that I know only a few actors and most of them are busy, you know, acting.
Used to be, Clostio and I would sit together for a preliminary read and I'd see if he would laugh. But he hasn't spoken to me in years - YEARS! - so I'm stuck without his help and without enough actors.
Enter Vicky and Jeff. Yep, I'm volunteering them to read with two actors I know. It shouldn't be too hard. A good play should be funny without any help, after all. As long as they can read, which I've been assured they can, we should be fine.
Check these pages for a full update later. Should be fun!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Apparently, the Torture President is going to go "raise concerns" about China's human rights record. Now, listen, you won't hear me arguing for China on this one but anyone who thinks we Americans didn't abandon the high ground the minute we started torturing people needs a good smack in the head.
... I volunteer to do the smacking...
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Being a joiner never saved anyone.
But this may. I thought it might be nice to help you out with an updated list on what seafood is good to eat, both for you and for the environment.
We can't eat everything, folks. No, seriously. We can't. Cut it the fuck out.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
When a bike is approaching you from behind, the rider is supposed to shout "On your left" or something about "left" short of "I loved the Left Behind Series" if he's passing on the left. Same goes for the right, except they should use the word "right". But yesterday, when a few bicyclists were passing me, all I got was, "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!" All of them shouted simultaneously and literally weaved around like they were drunk once they were past. When my turn came to do things the right way, I shouted to a rider in front of me, "On your left"... and he moved to his left... oy.
It's probably not proper etiquette to stare at female joggers as you ride by, something I still have to learn.
One thing I love about biking is the level of friendliness riders have, which is all over the map. Some riders wave and say, "Good morning!" I'm too busy thinking, "Don't have a heart attack. Don't have a stroke." to reply. I usually give a single head nod, which is probably indiscernable since my weary head is already bobbing-a'plenty and might explain why some people give me an odd look and ride by. Others avoid you, caught in their fear of being alone on a river trail rumored to house muggers, murderers, rapists, and Episcopalians. Lighten up, folks.
Recently, I started riding before work. I'm up to about 16 miles each morning or so but, to do that, I have to leave at 5:am. It's still dark at that time of the morning and it remains dark until I hit the farthest point of my ride, where I head back home. Then, the diffused sunlight, itself appearing too weary to be up - who in their right mind would be? - slowly begins to bring relief to the east. I stop. I step off the bike. I think about my life, count my blessings, and try to set a positive attitude for the day. Up until then, the only signs of humanity are individual headlights coming towards me on the trail in the darkness. After, there are bikes a'plenty, bunny rabbits, egrets, a few cute jogger chicks, a congregation of life using the river and I am just one. My iPod keeps my legs pumping. I count streets until my exit. And I nod at those I pass.
Once in a while, I catch sight of someone less fortunate than myself, a guy who sleeps on a bench in one of the picnic areas or another with a bike so loaded up you think it won't work but it does. It reminds me that there's more to this life than riding alongside a scampering rabbit or waving at the jogger chicks doing their stretches and that I am enjoying a priviledge. Keeping that in mind is my bike trail etiquette.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
But I figure this would be a good time to lay down my most recent lesson in the art of playwriting: Conflicts and How NOT to Create Them.
I finished Act One of the new play this weekend. In it, the Conflicts are obvious and right up front. I think that's the best way to go. Look at Shakespeare - I'm not drawing any comparison here! I'm just saying! - his conflicts were right up front: Romeo and Juliet couldn't be together. Hamlet had to avenge his father. Cesar had the whole "stabbing" thing.
My plays are not on such a scale. I write about typical, common, average... geez, boring people... In the new play, the conflicts are: an inability to conceive and insecurity. Nobody's left guessing after the first act what's going on, just how they're going to get out of this mess.
So, now that that's clear, let's look at my last play. In Whatever Happened To Me, the conflict between the main characters was clear: a couple struggles through an agonizing divorce when a younger version of the man comes to steal the woman away. But it's never been my favorite play and I'll tell you why. The relationship between the father and the son is forced. It's uncomfortable. It's wrong. You know why? Because you have no idea what the conflict is until the end of the play. The conflict isn't resolved; it's just illuminated! And the illumination is a copout because the conflict between the father and the son has nothing to do with the ultimate illumination (turns out the mother died of cancer, blah, blah, blah); the conflict is the conflict! Sometimes, fathers and sons can't stand each other. I know! So, trying to find an excuse for the conflict is amateurish and forced.
That's one of the great things about learning the craft. Now, I can go back and fix that. I can remove the stupid excuses and deal with the conflict itself.
And maybe, end up with a play I like.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
My first love.
I broke up with her in the most horrible, petty way – over the phone – over another girl – I was a louse.
25 years later.
I reconnected with Teresa through a miracle called the Internet and the first thing I did was apologize. I didn’t do it for her benefit. I did it for my own. I did it because I hurt myself with that act. I degraded myself and behaved as less than a man.
Now, we’re corresponding – and I can hear you out there. I can hear what you’re saying. “Ken! Sherryl and Cindy and now Teresa! How does Vicky handle you talking with all these ex-girlfriends of yours?”
I want to address this but let’s move Sherryl over to one side because she and I talk once a month; we’re more acquaintances than friends. Cindy and I are friends but Vicky’s met Cindy and knows there’s no threat there.
Now, Teresa. My first love. A girl I haven’t forgotten for 25 years. How can Vicky deal with my corresponding with her? Well, first of all, Vicky trusts me.
But enough about her. You’re wondering what I feel – I know I am. I was sitting on the sofa just now and that very thought fluttered by the landscaping of my mind. What do I feel?
First, I’m amazed. Life is so ripe with hope. It’s all around us. I mean, right here was someone I wronged, who has forgiven me, and is opening a friendship. It’s really amazing.
But who is this person? Is it Teresa? She sent me a picture of the girl I knew back in 1983 – almost like she was holding her hostage in a way, this other person who holds her name now in the present. I looked at that picture and felt pierced. Here was the face that I had etched into my brain as Teresa. That was her! Who was this person who sent me the picture?
Yes, who was this person? That’s the thing, really. She’s not the Teresa I knew. I’m not the Ken she knew. The most interesting thing about all this is that we both are total strangers, connected by a similar past. We may get to know one another and we may find each other completely wonderful – or completely annoying. The Teresa I knew exists only in my memory and I am thankful for that. This new Teresa may be my friend. I hope so.
Signs of hope in humanity don’t saunter by every day. I like to enjoy every single one.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Curse of the Holy Crap
That's it. That's the joke. Just something about the juxtapotion of those words just makes me smile...
... or, at least, if a TV announcer could be eaten by a shark as he read it...
Friday, July 11, 2008
I was greeted this morning with the banner headline “Web Site Posts Racy Miss Washington Pics”. Now, Miss Washington is no dog – so, being the perv that I am, I looked. Of course.
But seriously, someone has GOT to do something about our definition of racy. A little standardization, please! When I think of “racy”, I think of just shy of hardcore porn. Topless in a Jacuzzi, say. But whoever broke this story – Woodward and Bernie, they ain’t – must have been raised in an Amish township. To this idiot, “racy” is a picture of someone in her bra. Uh, that’s just a bikini top. It’s also someone flipping off a camera. Don’t go into the city much? It could also be making “suggestive hand gestures”… CALLING DR. FREUD!
Seriously, I’m a busy guy. If you’re going to turn me on to some high-class porn, fine. But don’t waste my time with this!
Seriously, I think this is how the FISA (Fourth Is a Superfluous Amendment) Bill got passed. We Americans allow ourselves to be too threatened by boobs to use our brains… and the contents of Miss W’s bra ain’t too bad, either.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
When you voted for FISA, you took a horrible turn down the wrong direction. You betrayed the principles of the Constitution. No worse than the others who voted for it, perhaps, but you’re supposed to be better. We should be able to hold you to a higher standard.
This FISA bill gutted the fourth amendment and you know that. It’s going to be very difficult for me to vote for you come November. Will others? Sure, they will. You’ll win. I don’t doubt that. But principles are no more about voting for the winner than they are about taking the easy way in order to get more votes.
People will vote for you because they don’t dare allow McSame to win. But you know this should never be allowed to become a race between the lesser of two evils and that’s what you’re creating.
So, you owe us. You owe us big. When you take office, it will be your duty as President, as a Constitutional Scholar, as an American, as a Reasoned Human Being to right this wrong. I only hope you have the strength to do that. Because you didn’t have the strength today.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Have I mentioned that I’ve solved the question of Free Will? It’s simple and takes only a few, basic, physical laws. I know that’s my next book of philosophy but getting down to write it is another issue entirely. Part of the reason I want to write about free will has to do with my unique perspective on the subject. When my brain makes me see things that aren’t there or hear voices or muddies my vision by throwing up life-sized pictures in 3D or when I sleepwalk or when things get generally fucked up, I have to wonder how free will applies. How can I be said to have free will at times like that?
This takes the question of free will out of the realm of predestination and puts it on a more existential footing: What do you do about it?
You get through, that’s what you do.
And so it was that Vicky and I were sitting at a table in Lynn’s in downtown Cambria, I was eating my steak, when – like some carnival funhouse – my vision split. This is a singularly unpleasant experience. On one hand, I was at the table. Vicky was in front of me. We were carrying on an innocuous conversation about the kid at the other table looking like the guy from Napoleon Dynamite. (“Ghaa! Idiots!”) On the other hand – almost like I was in two places at once – I was sitting in a living room with my dad and we were watching real estate listings for desert properties. (In case that description is too difficult to understand, here’s another way. I sat inside the living room and two windows looked out over dinner. Still confused?) It was such a random image that it nearly hurt. I had to clench my eyes tight to try to shut it out. Opening them, I noticed the label on the A1 bottle was printed in Cyrillic. The hell??? I clenched my eyes shut again.
Vicky asked, “What’s wrong?”
I said, “It’s not in English.”
That’s what it’s like being married to Ken. Here’s what it’s like being married to Vicky. She solved the problem by simply turning the bottle around. I doubt she even knew what I was talking about but she waited for whatever was happening to pass. (One answer to this problem may lie in the fact that the part of your mind in charge of dreams and hallucinations is far from the language center.)
Problem was, it didn’t pass. Over the next few hours, I worried away at the image like a rotten tooth. I thought that my dad and I were in Seattle. But why were we watching real estate listings on TV for desert properties in Seattle? I realized Rosa was there. Slowly, the image came into a sharp relief.
But it was no relief at all. Almost like remembering part of a lyric and trying to remember what song it’s from, I dissected the image. Over a day later, and much to my surprise, I realized that this image that kept colliding into my psyche wasn’t one image at all. The house in Seattle was real but my dad and I didn’t look at those real estate listings there. The real estate listings came from a time in the mid-1980’s, when my dad and Blanche and Dwight and Richard lived in Bloomington and my dad would often check out real estate listings and explain them to me. But the third part of the image – Rosa – why was she there?
Do I need to tell you?
And so, I came to realize that the different parts of the picture were nagging at me as much as I was nagging at them. My dad’s been out of town and out of contact for over a month now. As sick as he’s been, I am very worried about his health – his life.
But what does this have to do with free will, anyway? I had planned to write a book about free will, set amidst fictional conversations with my father. Now, here was my father, slamming into my right eye – as if to ask me, “Why do the conversations have to be fictional?” I was the only member of my family who could write my father’s biography and now, in the final days of his life, it would be best to get started before too late.
I could write about his life and the actions the set his course, time and again, using these as examples of what free will actually was, what it meant, how it worked. I followed the progression of his life up to my mother and through to Blanche. I thought about the destruction my parent’s divorce wrought on my mother’s life and that’s where Rosa fit, because losing her had destroyed me so, with repercussions still felt to this day. (It was with Freudian irony that the first relationship I had after Rosa was with a single mother of three children!) And I realized that my own life is a series of exercises in free will. Maybe correlations can be drawn between the two lives. After all, I’m no biographer; I can’t do a proper biographer but I can use history to show how free will works in our lives and how the physical laws I mentioned earlier can be expressed in time.
Finally, this could all come together to show how free will functions in the life of someone whose own brain often works against his will and, possibly, his own best interest.
I don’t know if I can do this. The situation at work does not allow me to write. But I know that there’s something in all this and maybe I’m working on it without my knowledge. Either way, I’m running out of time, my brain doesn’t want to wait and, as I’ve so often been shown, I’m doing it whether I want to or not.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
It’s nice to know we’re finally sorting out the terrorists from the Nobel Prize winners. It took Bush a while because, after all… he is… black…
Next week, they may decide that war does not equal peace… but don’t bet on it.
You know, if I was inclined to find conspiracies, I just might… nah! Surely, it’s all a coincidence!
Monday, June 30, 2008
I woke up late.
I zoned out over breakfast.
I started to feel nauseated just before leaving for work... on my bike...
Shortly after the ride began, I realized that my cycloputer... cyclocomputer... eh, fuck it, odometer wasn't working. I think when they installed the new, kevlar tires they knocked it askew. Anyway, no readout. This would have been no big deal before but, now that I'm used to gauging my speed through the lovely, computerized interface, now I was all fucked up! Was I riding too fast? Too slow? Was I pacing myself? Was there gravity? I DIDN'T KNOW!!!
Crap. Oh well.
Then, as I reached the Pond... well, what used to be the Pond... what they now call the Honda Center - the Honda Center, like I could bring my Civic there to get serviced! Service this, bitches! - anyway... where was I? Oh, right. When I reached the Honda Suckmydick, I realized I had forgotten my water. Son of a... but, no time to thing negative thoughts - because shortly after that, I realized that I was going much slower than normal. The clock on my odometer was still working and it was telling me I was slacking bigtime! Thing was, I was pedalling as fast as I could. In fact, I was already sore! I wasn't halfway there and I was already sore! So, I hunkered down, dug in, focused... you get the picture... but it didn't make any difference!
Normally, the ride is enjoyable, invigerating... but I spend this morning pushing myself. Not stopping. Not coasting. I just kept pushing until, as I exited the river trail with only minutes to spare, I finally had to admit it wasn't me. It was those new, damned tires.
I wanted to call Vicky to tell her but... my phone was dead.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
A poorly designed ship.
A company that believed it was above the law.
All of these things came together to create one of the worst ecological disasters ever: the Exxon Valdez.
We all saw the images nearly two decades ago, the devastation that an oil company who couldn't be bothered, that used single-hulled freighters, that just didn't care - Exxon - we saw what they did. They were found guilty and told to pay $5 billion in punitive damages, a drop in a bucket for them, next to nothing for an oil company, and they fought it. Later, that amount was cut in half. Now, the Supreme Court - you know, the judicial body who is supposed to protect justice - lowered it to next to nothing. A mere $500 million. What is that? How does that compare to the kind of money Exxon (now, Exxon Mobile) makes? First quarter profits for these fiends was over $10 billion. They could have paid the original from the profits they make out of price gouging.
What does this mean?
Well, Exxon has gotten off scott free for one of the world's greatest ecological crimes in history. They don't have to pay much to the people they harmed. They don't have to pay anything for the environments they harmed. For all the dead and diseased, they pay nothing.
And we let that go. We give them that pass. We say it's okay to destroy the environment. We do this because we so desperately need our gasoline so we can drive our cars so we can also destroy the environment.
We are all complicit in crimes that go so far beyond our comprehensible scope that we can't even feel the guilt. Our children and their children will suffer. We'll be long dead and people will still suffer for our crimes. You can say that's blowing things out of proportion. You can say you do your best to cut pollution. You can placate your conscience with whatever lies you find necessary but when it comes to something as horrifying in scope and affect as the Exxon Valdez, we say there's no guilt. Nobody was really hurt. No damages need to be paid.
We deserve this.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Now, George Carlin has died.
I’ve always found myself attracted to truth tellers. And George Carlin, especially with his album “A Place for My Stuff”, inspired everyone I knew and shook me with the truth. I never recovered. I found myself listening to him passionately, up until “You are All Diseased”. I have to say he sounded like he fell for all the post-9/11 bullshit for a while but I’m happy to report that he came back around to the truth.
And now, he’s dead. We won’t have him to tell us the truth any more. But we can continue to listen to his truths. We just won’t get any new truths. Just the same old truths. We’ll have to make up the new truths, being careful not to lie.
As an Atheist, I’m kind of glad he died, in a way. If there really is a God, it’s good to know that Carlin’s going to be up there to call “bullshit!” Imagine it, Carlin up there, talking to God, explaining to that prick just how stupid it is that a God who loves us all would put us in Hell for all eternity simply for the crime of not “loving him” enough. That’s the problem with God, he was stupid enough to create truth tellers like Carlin who aren’t afraid to go “up” there and call him a prick.
Now, before I finish, just one thing… to all my other heroes… STOP DYING, ALL RIGHT? Seriously. I’m talking to you, Firesign Theatre! I’m talking to you, Garrison Keillor! I’m talking to you, Al Stewart! I’m talking to you, Woody Allen! (Oh, and Woody, make a good movie before you die, will you? Your recent crap has been a stinking pile of turds and I’m not shitting you.)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Sex and the City is like watching a small room crowded with fat, sweaty homosexuals masturbate to reruns of That Girl. Only, they never cum. Episode after episode passes like distended colon while they continue to masturbate, getting sweatier, jiggling fat, while you’re forced to watch.
I didn’t like it.
At the end of the day, this movie is nothing more than a militaristic, selfish, self-absorbed attempt to blame men for everything, even when it’s not their fault. Look, men are fucked up – I’ll grant you that. But this movie doesn’t even have the sense to aim for the big things, like war and global warming. Everything else, though, is open game. If a woman gains weight, it’s a man’s fault. If she lets herself look like shit – man’s fault. Neglects her husband – man’s fault. Acts completely irrational – man’s fault.
Meanwhile, the biggest fault I could find was in the man in my shoes – for wasting money on that that garbage pailed fetus of a film.
Probably won’t be buying the DVD…