February 24, 2024 at 22:38

Today my girls, nine years old, completed 49 page stories, typed and we had a donut and gelato party with them and their friends.

None
January 21, 2024 at 19:33

I can never be alone, with you,

I can never be asleep, with you,

I can't drink from the sky, nor your neck,

For if I did, you would be mine, and I would be staked.

None
In a world of nihilism, I choose to create magic
January 08, 2024 at 06:40

None
January 08, 2024 at 06:29

Final Farewell on the Nepalese River: Remembering Uncle Zane

Final Farewell on the Nepalese River: Remembering Uncle Zane

September 26, 2023 at 00:13

I stood on the shores of the river, a few Nepalese children by the water playing. I was holding a plastic box filled with the ashes of my uncle Zane. I know the box wasn’t his life. He was larger than that box and would always be larger to me. An entrepreneur, a builder, an adventurer. A man who lived a life that could be seen and admired. A father of a 9-year-old, Zeevan, who stood beside me. A husband to a Nepalese woman, Deventi.

After a 20+ hour flight and a 7-hour bus ride, my mission was complete, giving them this box all for this moment. They asked me to open it. Its design in no way natural to the ritual we were about to perform. The lid was sealed with a sticker I cut with my fingernails, pried open to reveal a plastic bag filled with his ash and bones. Deventi’s father covered it with rice, flowers, and a few coins. And together we walked into the water to shuttle off this foreign vessel in an attempt to replicate a ritual I could imagine would be very different than this.

As we let go, the observing Nepalese children beside the water ran in to grab the box—who is to say why, the impropriety of our vessel in this sacred river, the money, I don’t know. We pulled them back and it floated. Good god, it floated and began to drift. Flowers and rice on top. As if all was right in the world and this departing moment would be all that it should be. And then it sank, but by fortune or design, the flowers rose to the top and we encouraged them downstream with gentle hand-made waves. And we said goodbye.

Embers Whispers

Embers Whispers

June 13, 2023 at 00:13

In quiet nights by fireside the wants of bright do hush, between the sparks that stories tell and drinks that fan the lush.

(Amidst the complication, of minds that only see, through lenses of experiences alone to you and me)

A crackle burst of embers fly and truths shared light is found. Perhaps the next when fires burn, a roar will be our sound.

A Dream Turned Poem

September 20, 2021 at 00:13

I saw you At the far restroom You caught my eye as I was halfway there

You were standing there Proud, with red hair, slightly faded A woman

I turned back My back to you And you were gone

But I knew we would always be there, Your eyes and mine, As I chose a different path

I chose the ancient game To be just the same Almost...

I had you

Hello Reality. You debt collector.

Shores of Surrender

August 12, 2021 at 00:13

I was attending to those needs, You know, the ones which we never discuss...

Tucked in shelter, not guilty, but still hushed

This is where I find Her. Washed in opiain seas, Washed of memory and of need, lost in having found: Her smile (and my blush)

She... My Desire, center of the world, Need’s doppelgänger, indigo vines that wrap, tight against my lashes.

My choice. Until dragged up on the shores, gashed and bruised.

Hello Reality. You debt collector. You dick. I pay. And I pay.

Just to hear her voice.

The Turtle Shell

The Turtle Shell

March 05, 2020 at 00:13

The stories we tell ourselves are everything. Sometimes we are saviors. Sometimes we are sinners. Sometimes we dig ourselves into pits and ask why no one sees us.

When we let go. We forget. Or we are broken. Those muscle memories of our lives, lovers, legacies… those well worn corridors of thought are boarded up. Only to be seen when we are small and slip through their cracks… finding cobwebbed halls and rooms, flickering lights and empty tables where there were once warm glows and great feasts.

I try not lament those shuttered wings, though often a board will fall loose and I’ll hammer it back up, feeling the cold draft as I do. That closure keeps me warm, even if what home remains is cramped. Claustrophobia feeds a need to build anew

I know now what I need. To build a tiny sanctuary for when I am small. When destinies and dreams are distant, I’ll land my drifting wisp of a self there. A turtle shell mansion, fit for a genie, with hexagon tile shimmering an abalone shine to the flicker of warm hearth. Safe. And etched on it’s walls in my own ancient scripts: a map, a path to return to desire, dreams, and destiny again.

The Turtle Shell (First Draft)

The Turtle Shell (First Draft)

February 15, 2020 at 00:13

We dig ourselves these pits and ask ourselves why no one sees us. We look around and see nothing but walls. The waiting rooms of our minds. Cold echoes.

We're looking for Supermen, women, people. People with X-ray vision to see our hurt. But those who can see and those who can do are few and far between.

When we let go. Or forget. Or are severed. Those muscle memories of our lives, lovers, legacies… those well-worn corridors of thought are boarded up. Only to be seen when we are small and slip through their cracks in moments of fear… finding them cobwebbed shadows of their former beauty. Flickering lights and empty tables where there were once great feasts.

I don’t lament those wings of my mind that are shuttered now... it gives time, energy, and urgency to build again.

I know now what I need. To build a tiny sanctuary for that lost wisp. When destiny’s and dreams are distant, I’ll land myself there. A torris shell mansion, fit for a genie, with hexagon tile shimmering a abalone shine to the flicker of a warm hearth inside. Safe. And etched on it’s walls in ancient scripts a map, a path to return to desire, dreams, and destiny again.

Oh ye silence, how my wiles defy me, pray I forget your simple beauty. Oh soft question, you too are all, and everything. May I only remember amidst the din.
March 31, 2013 at 01:23

March 31, 2013 at 01:06

The Amazon Challenge

March 26, 2013 at 08:44

I completed my Amazon challenge. I sold a product made entirely out of other products listed on Amazon, ordered, assembled and shiped it.

Greetings Johnny,

Each SteamLab Candlestick is hand made to order, I'll send you a photo of your custom piece on April 2nd, prior to shipping. If you are happy with the finished product I will proceed with shipment. Otherwise, you are free to cancel your order at no charge. Each piece has its own unique embelishments. Please feel free to ask questions.

Thank you for shopping with SteamLabs, Mike Messenger

Embrace insanity just long enough to catch the strings of thought, thread them through the needle of diligence, and stitch them into reality.
November 05, 2012 at 01:09

Threads of Inspiration

November 05, 2012 at 00:33

Carve out your places in life.

Burrow in the cracks and crevices where inspiration grows,

Open the mountains and mine the estuaries of thought and diligence reserved,

Catch the drifting threads.

Wind caught scents that swirl and catch, absorb and fill the dry,

Soak the thoughts that catch, clouds of mist that rise and leave one fresh in worlds of white

These are dreams that catch, that feed and thrive,

These are the oligarchies of minds edge, tripping over forgotten sensations, those that wake and lift.

Bottle them as fireflies, but care to feed, and free, and trust they will return on winters and summers eve.

As the cold and the warm are simply coins of thought, which thrive on one another.

It's easy to become lost within the accuracy of perception and loose the essence. We live in a world of ambiguity haunted by facts.
June 16, 2012 at 16:00

Reading on the Road

Reading on the Road

April 28, 2012 at 18:13

Late night.

Late night.

April 24, 2012 at 03:49

Going to see my wife today.  See you Monday Seattle.

Going to see my wife today. See you Monday Seattle.

April 14, 2012 at 02:15

Vivace.  Thanks Adam!

Vivace. Thanks Adam!

April 09, 2012 at 00:05

Saw this while taking a walk in seattle.  Someday...

Saw this while taking a walk in seattle. Someday...

April 08, 2012 at 21:08

I miss you my wife.

I miss you my wife.

April 08, 2012 at 07:18

From my office in Seattle

From my office in Seattle

April 07, 2012 at 06:06

Are we candle stick makers or are we writers to their light? Are we critics of critics, or authors of our own opinions?
March 19, 2012 at 01:45

Some times I think everything I learn will be gone before it’s useful. Every month there’s a full moon. Full moon means high tide, watching it all wash away again.
March 19, 2012 at 01:45

December 25, 2011 at 00:39

Cat on my balcony

Cat on my balcony

December 23, 2011 at 16:57

Nice El Camino in Ventura CA

Nice El Camino in Ventura CA

November 28, 2011 at 01:20

Hey ho George!

Hey ho George!

November 27, 2011 at 20:32

Coke :)

Coke :)

November 25, 2011 at 21:02

Did an over exposure out the car ;)

Did an over exposure out the car ;)

October 31, 2011 at 03:38

October 30, 2011 at 19:31

Mmm, mints.

Mmm, mints.

October 30, 2011 at 03:06

Rock on Lolly! #tribute

Rock on Lolly! #tribute

October 25, 2011 at 19:49

Just a coke ;)

Just a coke ;)

October 25, 2011 at 19:47

Cats in motion!  Love the blurry babies tung sticking out.

Cats in motion! Love the blurry babies tung sticking out.

October 20, 2011 at 05:15

Google towels?

Google towels?

October 18, 2011 at 18:57

Life is stranger than fiction... And I can think of some weird #%^*

Life is stranger than fiction... And I can think of some weird #%^*

October 17, 2011 at 22:52

My lady in gauntlets... Spoon is unresolved.

My lady in gauntlets... Spoon is unresolved.

October 17, 2011 at 03:22

It was a good day at the ren-fair.

It was a good day at the ren-fair.

October 16, 2011 at 23:55

In cosmic chaos came, an expansion... perhaps mundane. Another birth in an endless chain, and in this so we became. Before this we can not know.
August 07, 2010 at 03:28

Tattoos and Perfection

Tattoos and Perfection

May 10, 2010 at 01:12

Locusts down to the bone on my right shoulder, bees building a lunar lander on my left.

A laser-carved lotus now rests in Buddha's hand, Soon trees will turn the gears in the ruins of our fears.

May we finally achieve perfection, Until a dreamer invents the next microscope.

Written at Coronado St, San Buenaventura (Ventura)

I've realized that there are a hundred versions of me, each snapping hungry hungry hippos, chomping at the white balls of my limited attention span.
March 19, 2010 at 04:42

Sometimes I blog to indoctrinate myself with new beliefs. It’s like an endless affirmation – realizations sprouting with each assertion. How do I get so dumb and quiet when people surround me? I have to live a double life to find a word worth saying.

I’ve had the thought, “What if life is the story of the journey between expression and repression?” I shortly lost interest, “What the hell does that mean?” We as children are endlessly making those around us aware of our needs and desires. Adults, understanding this, go on to an extreme. The self-sacrificing parent. A specter gliding through the world, seemingly unaffected by need or desire. Delayed gratification is paramount, encompassed by a belief that this is the higher road.

I’ve realized that there are a hundred versions of me, each snapping hungry hungry hippos, chomping at the white balls of my limited attention span. It’s all chutes and ladders in the end… it’s luck who wins. By luck, of course, I mean chance, since my currently limited perspective does not allow for mystically influenced realities. ::pouts::

We have this overwhelming weight to choose one. So as I type, I explore the meaning behind this. I’m the most intuition-driven person I know. I am a sorcerer of metaphorical spontaneous generation, who casts the illusion his genius is self-created. The reality: I’m a pile of rags surrounded by rat traps. Can’t stop them all.

Biology. Wherever we feel it, in our gut or our womb. It’s pulling us to move towards something predictable, something stable. Even chaos can become predictable… if you live the same chaos over and over again (Ain't chaos then, is it…). A man who flies all his life eventually loses interest in the billionth cloud under his plane.

Psychology. Social indoctrination. We follow in previous generations' footsteps. We are infinitely knowledgeable of their mistakes. We’ll do better. Right? ::Scatters the paprika of hope and/or delusion:: It’s a whole new world with a sea of new mistakes.

Wantonness. Something feels missing. Unsatisfiable. Emptiness. We believe that once achieved, a sense of completeness will ensue. ::rings the buzzer:: I’m starting to think this is the human condition.

I am Dracula.

This is Heaven & The Gelatenous Cube

This is Heaven & The Gelatenous Cube

February 20, 2010 at 04:42

Somehow I've escaped the world between firm perceptions (That gray mass of questions and misdirections.) I've lived in the gelatinous cube and survived... Now I'm nude, armor left behind.

I don't know about you, but fantasy and lucid dreams have created me. My ego has grown to the size of Leonardo da Vinci's metaphorical balls. I actually have the gall to believe I can do anything.

I've been blowing bubbles between 9-hour shifts, naps, and dreams. I love what I do, and the question now is, who am I in-between?

I love this little thing we call life, I don't know where I'm going, but I've convinced myself it's forward. I miss the silence of singlehood, But I love the love of a lover.

I think this world we're in is heaven, Hell is any voice in our heads that tells us otherwise.

Practicing Grammer but Obviously Not Spelling

Practicing Grammer but Obviously Not Spelling

December 19, 2009 at 20:07

It's the lion's choice
It's Christmas
Its color was brown
It's my turn to drive
Its tiny hand held mine
It's the reason we're together
We're alone finally
Were you happy?

Just practicing my: it's / its / were / we're grammar. I was writing with stream of consciousness, didn't realize it was a poem until much later.

Is it obvious how I've changed? If poetry is a mirror for mind, I say yes. I've found structure within my chaos. Inevitable perhaps... Inevitably human.

Scrap of Paper Poetry, Found While Cleaning

September 01, 2009 at 23:45

Cat art

Cat art

June 27, 2009 at 06:41

I discovered this little masterpiece left behind by a destructive feline. An overturned plant was left nearby.

Spider plants

Spider plants

June 25, 2009 at 19:51

My little children. One of my experiments with fish tank grown plants. Worked out quite well. I miss my little spiders.

Grifting Abandon

Grifting Abandon

June 18, 2009 at 08:06

While my responsibility drives, Shouting obscenities at passersbys, I'm in the back seat, window down, Air surfing with my hand.

I'm ball dancing through a window, With a twist, our cupped hands make fists, We waltz through glass shards shimmering, Air treading on obliviousness.

I've got mud on my helmet, bugs in my teeth, Built a pyramid of cars named Mona, Tearing monster truck tires up that staircase, Past heaven, into outer space.

Forget coins in my eyes, currency is yet to be invented in this fantasy, The gatekeeper best get himself a dictionary before the jury arrives, I'm a silver-tongued lawyer for my soul, Grifting for just a few extra lives.


Faith regardless of incalculable odds... Hope's the most beneficial delusion I believe in, I'm surprised how often I surprise myself.

Wordle - Poem En' Mass

Wordle - Poem En' Mass

May 05, 2009 at 21:59

This is a visual representation of my word use in all of my poems in the last year or so.

Some of my more repetitive poems influenced the outcome. But otherwise it's quite interesting.

The Joys of A Resident Manager

The Joys of A Resident Manager

April 09, 2009 at 01:49

I received this lovely envelope (Containing rent money), with a cute note written on the back. My plan of slowly replacing the current tenants with Computer Programmers, and Graphic Artists… is well on its way.

Cradle Generation

March 12, 2009 at 01:49

I've spun the merry-go-round hard. Wrapped my legs around the bars, Trusting momentum, back to the air. My arms flailed, chest to the sun. Vision blurred, head in the stars. What I haven't done to feel.

We're the cradle generation, Ladle up the alphabet soup. Rock stars of our imaginary worlds, Pebbles and moons in our cereal, Life's just too hard. Holding hands with hedonism.

It wasn't meaningful enough for me. I sought the satisfaction of abuse, Still got bruises from human roller coasters. Boredom induced masochism. Finally, I called, "Truce!"

I'm done with ego masturbation, Convenience-based morality, Procrastination, Isolation, Games with human names.

Starting from the ground up, Let's build something.

Homage to Patriotism

Homage to Patriotism

February 18, 2009 at 23:45

The American Flag hangs over my desk for the first time, It's wrinkled and missing a few stars.

There was an empty pang in my stomach while hanging it. My social awareness of white pride, rural rednecks implied... Last time I felt pride... I was a Republican. It's been a decade... since I changed sides.

I guess I'm allowed to be proud now. And I've been trying on that feeling for fit. But Nationalism still has that funky smell.

So my reservations hold... like barnacles on a ship, Trying to find the imaginary numbers keeping us afloat. Asking myself... which is more patriotic: A hammer... or a gun.

Duality

Duality

January 21, 2009 at 07:30

If I'm to be between The world in my head And the world as we collectively see it So be it.

I've got a barefoot on the one foot, And I've a misfit tube sock too tight on the two foot What's mass-produced is too loose, or tight My mommy was only an assembly line for two To me that's just right.

Princesses, popes, petty prim coats, and the past... Cut & pasting palaces round people, some with moats & crocodiles, Given enough time and glue, make-believe just never lasts... People put their hopes in odd places.

We're so much more than we Play-Doh ourselves to be Da Vinci might have got close though I'm on the fifth shelf Too short to reach myself.

I know with a camera zoomed out to fit the size of existence, We may just be ten tin men set up in a row Just waiting for a finger to let us go I am the finger of my perception.

In my lucid dreams, I've been granted god's hand Levitation, creation, the desires of any man I've had a thousand tan brunettes, Even... triplets.

My next challenge—a clone of myself Though facsimiles have been made, sentience eludes me Some part of me resists granting total control In due time, I'll summon this world of mine.

What We'll Have

What We'll Have

January 14, 2009 at 13:21

I've built us a cathedral from sandwich toothpicks, Sipping tea, stuffing soggy envelopes that seal themselves, I sent the mayoed pickles to refugees.

'sigh' Forbid they be an acquired taste! For fear my fickle fancies request they send them back to me. Let's jest, be poor...

Till you and I might swim as ducks, Side by side, to catch the crumbs In our one dollar bills.

Notes falling daffidly, failing with moments of utter bliss, A mixed concerto of rediscovery, failures and success.

Near Six Years Untouched

September 23, 2008 at 02:42

It just sits there,
in the corner.
Hunched... curled into a shadow.
In a black coffin.
In an insane stupor, he cradled it
Pieced it back together again
Its golden body in his arms,
Only to let it sing in ways he could not remember
Notes falling daffidly failing with moments of utter bliss,
A mixed concerto of rediscovery, failures and success,
Its brilliance shined, and for a moment,
Two were one.
A gasp of release, and with a brief flurry of afterthoughts,
It was in pieces again,
With little absolute reassurances of return.
And it sits, in the corner
Again waiting for its remembrance,
To be struck on by insanity.
Beautiful,
If only one could take on such bliss,
While reasonable, and sane.

Short Song

September 05, 2008 at 08:33

Just something I've been working on... I clipped it together so it would sound like it's finished. I'm not even really sure its all about the same thing... so good luck trying to make some sort of interpretation out of it.

The day before Holloween… No one who reads this knows what the heck I’m saying… so I think I’m talking to myself.
August 30, 2008 at 03:38

So I managed to overcome the doom over this new computer I’ve built. I made this doodle above using a virtualized version of Windows XP running in Ubuntu (Linux). The milestone here is Wacom support. Notice it looks like my other art, with different pressure levels for the pen. I’m happy. Only a few minor dilemmas… the Wacom pad gets trapped in the Windows virtualization… so long as I want pressure sensitivity… so I have to use a normal mouse for Ubuntu… secret advantage? Well… it allows me to use two mice at once… simultaneously (Something I always dreamed of).

It’s 5:34 AM right now… Thursday… I have two more days to conquer the world before the huge reunion party. One entire day killed building a new computer from scratch… god… it was nerve-wracking installing the heatsink on the CPU… phew I might end up taking it off again to redo the thermal paste, I’m getting 32* degrees (C) while idling… I demand better!

No one who reads this knows what the heck I’m saying… so I think I’m talking to myself.

I had a dream that I saw Geoff again. It was early in the morning… very vivid. I was moving into a new house, and… he was there to visit… or something… and I awkwardly walked up to him and gave him a hug. The emotional aftertaste was strong. In dreams, it's hard to tell the difference between feelings… smells… and tastes. It wasn’t a good feeling… it was difficult.

All my friends are coming to see me Friday. Hoorah! Noah and Yance broke up! Cassy & Macie broke up! The whole old gang + Jasmine will be together!

Cassy, Dirk, Noah (+Friends), Patrick, Molly, James (?), Sara, Victoria, Nick (?), Jon, Ava, Brian, Leah

Oh my

Art Inspired Nonsese, Nonsense Inpired Art

Art Inspired Nonsese, Nonsense Inpired Art

August 27, 2008 at 00:03

Dunkin' Donut f*ck I can't remember a time I forgot something that hurt. What's the best formula for disaster? I'm plastered with a casting line of fishnets Set to suck me into the water, wet, Dreams of empty pie tins crumpled. Lie down to your steam, Fume when the crown comes around, Get your turn to be Captain America.

Everyone says he's dead. Not Nietzsche, God made short work of him long before he could. But we all believe he's alive... Someone will draw the straw scribed "Judas," We'll all close one eye while they pen n' shade his rebirth.

Finish what you've begun.

Wet dirt from a summer hose wafts by in a gust of air, The burst of a cold strawbery, the solid cold grasping teath Desert lips moist citrus sting soothing...

Savoring ideas

August 24, 2008 at 10:38

My finger runs across the splintered grained wood, Wet dirt from a summer hose wafts by in a gust of air, The burst of a cold strawberry, the solid cold grasping teeth, Desert lips moist, citrus sting soothing... The hours tenderize souls of feet crossed rock dirt, Pressure clenched fists open forward grabbing wind, Damp palms catch crisp breeze, Harvesting treasures red.

The human body is the most powerful image possible.

Fields Forever

August 24, 2008 at 10:38

Exercise: Taste, Touch, Sound, Smell The human body is the most powerful image possible. Use it sparingly and with impact.

My body. Life, and energy of youth, Thin, long limbs, warm skin, Bears fur covering legs and chest. Long scar on my right arm, Square, slightly dimpled chin...

Doomed to Fly

Doomed to Fly

August 23, 2008 at 06:14

We connoisseurs of fantasy
Who dress in different destinies and dreams
How we love to...
Imagine.

Myself is only tangible
With four fingers
Clinging to the cliff of identity
My mirror, memories
And reflections in others eyes

One finger fatigued
Reaches bent broken to the air
Wind brushes across
Whispering truths and lies
To the persisting four:

You can become anything,
Now two flail towards the sun.
You're what you believe,
A claw mark is left behind.
Options are infinite,
A puff of dust. Only one clings.
You can never loose yourself,
My body tumbles through the air.

When I meet someone new
Through them I'm self aware
Not of my immaculate illusion,
But who I've become.

While I and those I love have held four fingers
Firmly pressing my actions to fit
Sun warped puzzle pieces of previous perception
And fantasize finding ourselves finished
Some day.

In a world where the inanimate is alive
And people are never the same
We pretend the river is still.
Perhaps we're less malleable then my mind believes
But believing is better
Perhaps.

If there is no end to my fall
Am I doomed or have I discovered?
How it feels to fly.
To brace or embrace oneself.

Blushing Chaos

Blushing Chaos

August 12, 2008 at 04:02

Shall we dual with pistols or rapier Chaos?
You load my dice and blow on them too! ::Swoon::
How deceptive of you.

But you see... I'm too clever for you Chaos.
You painted mask for primal law...
Excuse for patterns I can't find.
I am a abacus on crack, calculating my way through the earth to china-- given enough time.

I'm twenty three years into my Mona Lisa,
Done it all so far with my own hair.
The true finesse was done with the beard I only this year learned to grow.
A few horse hair brushes would have been nice-- and a real canvas,
But Mona Lisa would practically paint her self with those tools.

I know myself like a tired lover,
Who knows his partners thoughts before his own.
Sometimes I just look at myself knowingly, and don't say anything at all.

August 11, 2008 at 03:38

Chasing the Rabbit

Chasing the Rabbit

August 11, 2008 at 03:38

A small piece of paper I found on this journey Tonight was a bit odd. In a small world… revolutionary kind of way. I decided to go on a bike ride and open my mind a little because it has been a little too focused as of late and a evening of distraction seemed appropriate.

I rode my newly repaired bike (New tire and tube $9) down town, along the San Lorenzo river, and to Costco just in time to catch the last half hour of snack time. Beyond tortellini and miscellaneous sports drink samples, I starvingly snagged a piece of pizza, and had an Arnold Palmer (1/2 Ice Tea / 1/2 Lemonade) for 59 cents.

I wanted to go up the trail to UCSC and followed the hap-hazard directions of a guy with a bike who looked like the type who knew what he was talking about. The strong chinned type, like me. Anyway, he was an idiot and sent me up he homeless highway railroad tracks where I ended up having a lively conversation with a pair of pale moon bearded homeless men. After rattling my way up the gravel railroad for fifteen minutes, I aborted mission. I rationalized that there was nothing at UCSC I haven’t already seen and peddled a back sadly.

On my return journey I remembered a two lane bike road that winds up to Mission from Costco that I had eyed deviously in the past, contemplating if I could get away with driving my car up it despite the “Bicycle and Pedestrians Only Sign.” I decided I needed to scout it out for width before any such endeavor would be attempted, and this bike journey would be an excellent time to do so. Just as I turned the corner back towards Costco I saw people congregating outside a building. I saw a sign that said above… “The Fellowship.” And assuming it was merely a cult gathering or Lord of the Rings fan club I proceeded.

I walked up to the friendliest looking gentleman, a bald shrived man, and asked what was going on.

“Its the fellowship,” he said. “Yah. I see.” “Yah.” “So what’s the fellowship ?” “A.A.” “Oh.” “They won’t make you say anything if you go in there. And there’s free…” Zelda music played mysteriously in the air “…coffee and donuts” “Really? So I don’t have to introduce myself or anything? Hi my name is Mike and I’m just pretending to be an alcoholic?” “No,” he said gravely as if my denial made my case all the more serous.

I went in and decided the best way to fit in would be to immediately pour myself a coffee, which I did. The donuts would be for next time. I sat as they read the twelve steps and the twelve traditions. I listened to the guest speaker for the day, while gingerly sipping my coffee. I fell in love with the traditions on the wall silently while he recounted the tragic things that had occurred to him while he was sober, and how people who knew about his problem swarmed to his side to distract and help him through it. He made jokes like “they ate all the food in my fridge, and mostly just watched the football season on my TV, but I couldn’t thank those guys enough for being there.” He had it all. 19 out of the 20 signs of being an alcoholic. The only one that didn’t apply was ‘Have you ever lost a job’ from drinking. He said he never had a real job. He said his easiest days were when he helped someone else, those were the days he never is tempted. His involvement with the organization, sponsoring others had made him stronger. A big part of his story was about his first relationship after giving up drinking. Its a general rule (none of the rules are mandatory), that you don’t become involved in relationship until you’ve maintained one full year of sobriety. His sponsor told him he needed three. On his third year he met a woman and fell in love. His sponsor told him “Give me a call when it doesn’t work out,” he already knew.

While other people told their stories, I spent the whole time coming up with my own alcoholic story, entwining the already absurd truthful events in my life with carefully placed lies. I decided in the end my alcoholic admission would have to wait until I had ample time to solidify details. I like to keep my story constant. Throughout each persons story I also tried to apply the lessons in a more general sense. There speaking about addiction. Compulsion. Things which I myself have been very interested in, and perhaps overly psychologically aware of in the last five or six years. How does one get trapped. How does one let go of everything else in order to hold onto one thing. I’ve experienced this two or three times myself in my lifetime. I’ve feared getting trapped my whole life.

I thought about the structure of a completely anonymous group with no leadership. I thought about God. “Stick a fork in a light switch if that’s what it takes to believe in something greater then you.” I remember the speaker rumbling after a short story about atheism in his life.

At the end we held hands in a circle and said the Serenity Prayer. The last thing we said with a final two squeezes of the hands was, “Come back.” And that was it. I grabbed some literature… knowing deep down that I could probably find everything on the internet later. At the same time I wanted to take something physically away with me to remember. So I did. I chatted with a couple of the guys and rode off. Onwards towards my future driving trail. I found out they meet five times a day, every day of the week.

Just before the trail began there was a painted sign that said Table Tennis. I admit I partially believed, out of its utter absurdity, that this was merely a cover for some secret spy organization. I set to investigate. Sure enough, as I walked in there were nine or so tables set up and people were playing… ping pong. A guy at the door greeted me and said it was five smackers to play and I smiled and replied sweetly, “Can I just watch?” After twenty or so minutes I started hearing rumors stirring and began asking questions. It seemed that several out of towners were coming tonight for a sort of, impromptu tournament. The number 9 in the world Men’s 30’s champion was going to be there. Ranked 18 in the world overall. I sat and chatted with an older woman about technique as the pro’s arrived and put on there sporty short shorts and began to play. My life felt completely like Forest Gump at this point, having had so many absurd things happen in such a short span of time, and I smiled while imagining Gump carrying Lieutenant Dan out of Vietnam screaming “Put me down, let me die god damn it.” A flashback of Lieutenant Dan shouting curses at god on the top of the mast of the ship during a storm lit up in my head. I suddenly realized what I thought was these guys playing, was actually just warm ups, as they each threw down their ping pong balls and poof turned into ninjas.

I was wrong about ninjas… they held the ball like a wizards preparing fireball spells. They clutched it, stared furiously while rolling it in there fingers, turned their backs to there opponents and sliced their paddles like katanas sending the ball perfectly lofting centimeters above the net. Counter intuitively, there volleys grew shorter as they became more serious. Each round was a fencing match, a few swings, a subtle feint, the tip of the blade touched the torso, and its a point. The finesse, especially the delicate posturing, and the identical replication of motion during their serves was astounding. I was hypnotized for at least an hour.

I managed finally to draw my self away, not without finding out that the building was available MWF for rent fo $65 an hour. Perhaps fodder for a later scheme I pondered. I decided to ride to the baseball fields just for fun. While checking out the buildings as I rode past, one was filled with people laughing and my curiosity took hold again. This evening is pure madness I thought! Again… but still… it is pure genius.

I was brave and walked up to the door and peaked in, the guy at the head of the room was obviously doing some sort of show, and he looked at me and beckoned me forward. I sat quietly and realized he was preforming… believe it or not… a magic show. I looked at the audience and noticed it was mostly kids. They were half American, and based on the chatter I deduced, half Japanese. The magician was a god. He had the mustache. He had the rabbits! At one point after removing a rabbit from a cake he subtly turned his back to the audience and wiped it down as it had obviously been in the cake for a little longer then small rabbit blatters could handle. He even did this with panache. His shtick was clever. He pretended to be a bad magician. His tricks of choice all appeared to be obvious, but there was always a twist.

At the end I was very curious as to what exactly I had walked into, and talked to the lady who seemed the most obviously in charge. She had been translating some of the more complicated parts in Japanese. She told me it was a group that worked with kids in conjunction with Santa Cruz’s sister city in Japan. That the kids were doing a sort of “after school exchange program.” Very interesting I thought. I know someone who’s very interested in something very similar I said. My free magic show was over, I could very well tell that unlike AA they would not be sharing there Pizza, so I departed. I rode back along the trail I’d been headed for all along and decided a small clown car could navigate on it perfectly but not my own. The air was icy as I burned down the road with only a white t-shirt all the way home.

With courage and finesse we can live as foxes.

Imperfection Confection

Imperfection Confection

August 07, 2008 at 03:48

Sometimes I lie just to be myself.

August 03, 2008 at 23:03

I found this poem/narrative that I wrote six months ago, and in retrospect, I think it provides some perspective into the feelings I was having at that time. The title to this post is a line from another poem written a week or two before. This narrative is a transition out of that state of mind. This is unedited from the original. It was written as a stream of consciousness poem/narrative originally with no edits on the page, and I feel this is the form it must be presented in.

I don't know why, but I felt compelled to read this aloud with spoken word the instant I found it. I only read it once in my head before recording it spoken aloud, and you can hear my own perspective change of how the piece should be read as I re-read it. The second part I did not choose to speak aloud.

Part I

Sometimes I make so many mistakes

It becomes who I am.
How am I not myself.
I am everything I do, and it's only
Hard for me,
When I don't know how to repair what
I have destroyed.

I am lost in happenstance
Drowned in a hazy fog of repressed thought.
Complex fear, and delusion.

All the same I feel so clear and lucid.
A lucidity so crystalline,
so pure and sterile, I feel cold.

Its difficult to accept when one
Has tried too hard. When ones
Intentions have trespassed, and
Swallowed the intuitiveness that
Created the dreams my intentions
Strive for.

Part II

I am a host to devils, and I do not even believe they exist.

Why must others be the lens from which I must filter truth.

I pick up my own marionette strings and cast myself into a frenzied dance.
No one dances,
On the page, in type, in songs and in fables is the only place.
In the real world it is forgotten.
Music is something for private ears,
Its important to capture your emotion,
While it is hot.
While it is cold.
While it is fresh.
While it is empty.

Smile a little while you cry.
There are some options which are never the right answer.

Aspirations

August 01, 2008 at 04:36

A steady trickle of courage leaks from an infinite dam, Moving through the dry, heaving cracks of this nation, Saturating the minds of children and aspiring world leaders, Nourishing intellect, community, and self-expression. Could we be so brave?

Could we choose the people of the world as our own blood? Could pipe dreams lead to the sweet beaches of Turkey? Metaphorical Perfection, I ask thee, "Can man survive in your world?"

Can a man who dedicates his life to change ever be content? Do kind people really get the better deal in the end? Or is that just what everyone else wants them to believe? "I clasped my heart in my hands to you, Metaphorical Perfection."

When my brain implodes inwards, I can see the moment of my death through the optic nerve of my extricated eye.

I don't want to be remembered in ten-foot-tall print. I wish to be whispered about, passed secretly under desks, To live in smirks, and winks, and secret handshakes, Not in spirit, or blood, but in life, humanity itself.

NYC Part II

NYC Part II

July 29, 2008 at 04:38

I escaped TV land to the streets with my newfound geek companions. My Rolodex was full of numbers the potentialist inside me screamed to possess, but I'd likely never call. As we treaded to Nintendo World, a memory bubble played a segment from my own childhood. This is exactly the kind of place I would have dreamed of when I was twelve on a family vacation and begged my father to visit, only to arrive with it closed for renovation. I couldn't help but tell every twelve-year-old child I passed that less than a mile away existed a life-sized virtual reality chamber where "You too can stomp goombas and eat magic mushrooms!" I could paint a picture of every mother's grimace.

It was pretty much twenty stories tall, and I wandered as Link for two hours in a real-life representation of Hyrule. The balance board is fun too. I got a perfect score in the surfing game and now have the confidence to take waves as tall as the Nintendo building. I'll be buying my real-life surfboard with my next paycheck. To be honest, I wanted to get out on my own again. I could tell the guy from Wisconsin was a bit nervous with me around his girlfriend, which makes sense... he knew she was obviously my type. So I kicked it after lunch, after having a fight with some Times Square pizza jerks who tried to charge me $50 for a slice I thought was only $30. I grabbed my bags, stole some more cookies, and turned on my biological supercomputer to figure out the NY Subway system.

Man worshiping subway

The NY Subway

Imagine re-entering your mother's womb. Of course... huge, cement, and filled with many other people trying to do the same thing. The New York Subway possesses all the grit, damp, steaming, burning sweaty air of a sauna with its bench on fire. Flailing, towel-waving old men and all. It is so symbolic of New York, there is an entire religion dedicated to its worship, and I felt as if I had just been inducted. A masochist's dream, the suffering which occurs before your A, B, 1, 2, or three arrives is legendary, lucky for all you sadists out there the misery is shared by all. When it pulls to a stop and the doors slide open, it is reminiscent of stepping into a mountain lake at 10,000 feet. A flood of cool air pours out and crawls up your arms, neck, and with a shiver, finally over your head. Everything moves fast. I, with a 50-pound pack filled with useless cold weather clothes strapped to my back, sent people toppling over in piles like bowling pins with every turn. The subway is amazing. I absolutely love it.

Upon exiting and coming to the surface from what felt like a teleporter, conception of distance traveled could only be measured in the change in the people and scenery around me. "Union Square" – this was the home of the True New Yorker; I could feel it boiling my blood. Everything was real, and alive. It possessed all the spirit and soul Times Square lacked.

Giant Fox in Union Square

Union Square, 16 Story Fox

I engendered an endless, but beautiful walk to my hostel for the night. Arriving only to find its width to be approximately my arms' reach. I deposited my pack and set out to make my possessions look as worthless as possible, placing my ratty green shoes on the pillow, and various wrappers, trash, and distractions to encourage anyone curious to believe my bag did not happen to contain my 17" Sony laptop. I could hear people outside wailing in such a way that could only be the result of a sixteen-story fox consuming them one by one, but I was focused on my task. One of my soon-to-be eight roommates, a portly man with a full-size keyboard cellphone, informed me of a bar where every drink gets you free pizza... and without even finishing his sentence, I had departed to acquire some.

The Gator Bar. Impressive. The bartender wore a flat-brimmed hat, huge black sideburns, a nose of legendary proportions, a runway goatee, and a styled, greased mustache. He was Cyrano De Bergerac incarnate and, if not with his arms but with his smile, he could obviously wrestle an alligator.

CerenoGator

The Impressive Bartender

I ordered some SlyFox from the tap, a brilliant ale. Within a few minutes, a full-bodied orchestra played a micro-symphony as my pizza arrived, but immediately cut off as the plate hit the table. The thick amber ale and pie satisfied my body while conversation with locals satisfied my mind. We all came to the conclusion that my act on television was merely a drop in the machine fueling the numbing, dumbing down of America, and it was acts like these that get people like Bush into office. They were brassy, crass, and had an ounce of sass. They were all manners of ass, and I loved them.

The timbre of my type is growing dissonant... to be continued.

NYC Part I

NYC Part I

July 23, 2008 at 04:38

I just saw Michael the Archangel and was incredibly moved… I’ll cheat and steal a picture by someone else to give you an idea of how fucking awesome this is. I’ve always had a soft spot for Angels with swords, that I happen to be named after. I was sitting in Starbucks trying to remember the name of the church it's in front of and asked an old Jewish guy next to me. He said, “Yeah, I know what you're talking about, it's Saint John's Cathedral, Michael's got his foot on ‘you know who’s head.'” For anyone who’s familiar with the representation, you’ll like what he added on here at the end. “You know who… George Bush.” This makes me love New York even more. I’ve been shooting the shit with locals this whole trip and I have to admit, they’re fucking great.

I was on TV today. Since I don’t watch TV, I was able to watch through the wonders of the internet; you can watch the segment below. I admit I was a little nervous, but not nearly as much as Joyce who did great by the way (She had no idea they were going to play the montage at the beginning about her, surprise!). I had to be brave to inspire geek courage amongst my fellows. I find this is usually when I’m the most brave. Below is a picture of the people we worked with. The girl on the far right is the producer, next is Dan, the guy who proposed and organized the segment, followed by the cute couple from Wisconsin (we went to the Nintendo World store and gorged on pizza afterward), then there's Joyce on the end. My ego couldn’t help but cut and paste this blurb Joyce wrote on her blog:

“Then I met Mike from Santa Cruz. He was handsome, funny, and had awesome green sneakers. Effortlessly, he epitomized everything we love about geekdom. I guess that is why they picked him. People kept saying to him... ‘You won’t be single long!’ I certainly hope that is true. 🙂 … Mike was just the right amount of smart/smartass. I love him.” ~Joyce

Well… anyway, here’s the shit you’ve been waiting for. Funny thing is, this part of the trip was probably the least exciting part: The segment! I’ll figure out how to get this posted on my blog when I get back, and I’m not in the best city on earth. There’s a ton more I have no time to describe about my trip, and sadly there will be no pictures to share. I need to hire a bard to travel with me and log my epic journeys in song. More to come. Tonight is the CouchSurfer slumber party on Long Island; let's hope I can navigate the Subways all the way there!

NYC Part Zero

NYC Part Zero

July 23, 2008 at 03:38

The experience which is NY.

I could recount the events of my trip, with poetic pondering, slightly exaggerated elaborations, and deliberated dissections. Instead, I will write a fiction. Because inherently, all perceptions are fictions, and every retelling is a recreation.

I was picked up at my doorstep by a ten-foot-tall mustached man driving a Benz built by Romans. This man had a mouth as big as he was tall and an array of skills to match. He felt like a victim from Los Angeles washed up and resuscitated on kinder shores. With dreams of movie sets, he bragged about his capacity to get things done, his grandest achievement, “Key Grip,” whatever that is. He was California. And as he smiled huge, he gave me his card in hopes that someday my fame would carry him on the wave he’d been training to surf his whole life. I loved him. And as I waved goodbye to him, California waved back.

I’d go into the cavity searches which occurred while going through security, but I feel this is a trodden subject that has been over-portrayed. So, imagine for yourself the exaggerations you’ve heard a hundred times and let's move on.

As I sat waiting to depart, I searched the crowds for the “True New Yorker,” as I shall call him or her. I knew one must have been lured to the greener oceans of California and would be returning home on my same flight. The True New Yorker would be in a weakened state from the softening effect of this place and would be ripe for capture. My eyes crawled out of my skull and wandered across the laps of strangers, my words slithering into ears in efforts to root out this creature. But as a social butterfly, I was unsatisfied and decided to introvert into my book at the thought of the ridiculousness of seeking something I would be immersed in shortly.

The sky over New York as you arrive in the night is like God's private Light Bright set. Organized in grids of perfection which could only arise from years of destruction and recreation. It was an ocean that formed a net made of gold. In the midst, I caught a glimpse of the ever so familiar red and blue drifting down the streets, strobing in majestic contrast. To save someone's life? Or the hand of our Executive branch?

Upon arrival, a generic foreigner, who classically described that his family would be coming shortly, drove me to the neon altar of corporate human sacrifice, “Times Square.” I was taken aback and immediately felt subliminally compelled to purchase at least eighteen different products. I managed to escape my stupor and ascend to my room in the Quadruple Tree hotel only to be disappointed with my room's height, looking out only 100 feet over the city. I ate the cookie I was given at the desk, quite a prize for a $300 room, and savored its freeness.

I wandered the streets, asking again, “Where was the true New Yorker?” Not here. Just idiots like me. I managed to find myself in back alley bars. The kind of bars where your back is pressed against the wall, and your stomach is pinned to the counter. The kind of bars where newcomers crawl under the gauntlet of bar stools to find a seat. The drink was good. I just enjoyed and listened. They must be here.

I opened my eyes only to find myself reading a sheet of typed notes. I was at Fox News? It was comfortable like a red harem filled with pillows, and as I read the lines I had spoken in my phone interview, I thought to myself, “Shit… no wonder I’m here.” I knew the only person who could set the bar too high would be myself. I had no idea how to remember all the clever phrases I’d used. I instead took the famous phrase “be yourself” literally and decided to say, “Fuck it, I’ll improvise.” I’d put myself in the mind frame that everyone around me was mere peasants, and with my fellow geeks shivering, I had to be strong for us all.

There was one line in my head that I wanted to use, should the moment arrive. Sure enough, it did. And it was the kicker of the whole show. I imagine as the moment took place, a sign lit up for the audience saying “Boooooo,” but they paid no regard and hooted and hollered over it. I even got her to wear my glasses.

After stealing several platters of egg burrito, I exited a champion. People looked authentically intimidated by me. I guess it's dangerous to declare your disinterest in blonde talk show hosts. But I felt the geeks had won. I thought it was absolutely important that everyone know, we have formed a geek dating site because we are superior, and don’t wish to waste our time with superficial blonde talk show hosts.

I can see Z's escaping my head. To be continued…

Typewriters, Locusts & Honey Bee's

Typewriters, Locusts & Honey Bee's

July 07, 2008 at 04:03

So, I bought a typewriter for $13 at the Thrift store. There is something so elegant about typewriters; they feel so soulful next to computers.

The faded locust faintly in the background of the text above is something I drew today. After much searching, I decided the closest opposite to the honey bee is the locust. This is intriguing; I've been thinking about locusts for quite a while and never really made the symbolic comparison.

Locusts are the epitome of the mob, the anti-community. Their behavior is representative of destruction, chaos, and hedonism. They breed madly and consume everything in their path, and when the land bears nothing left to consume, they move on.

The honey bee is the epitome of the group effort, the communist ideal. They are representative of creation, order, and the collective good. They coexist with their surroundings and propagate life around them. They are selfless and are dedicated towards the survival of the entire colony.

Although honey bees may seem the more virtuous of the two, they're really the same... both just trying to survive and following the evolutionary models set out for them to do so. These two models obviously are intended to be applied to humanity, where their meaning becomes more real. The world thrives on both creation and destruction. The community as a whole can be bettered just as much from a selfish individual as a selfless one. The key is that both are necessary. I dedicate my life towards intention. I wish for everything in my life, good and bad, to be directed with will and choice. An individual who wishes to live their life with intention, I believe, must embrace both creation and destruction. Both hedonism and selflessness. Both order and chaos. In order to feel fulfilled and complete as an individual, I believe one must possess both the mentality of the honey bee and the locust.

Love at First Type

Love at First Type

July 01, 2008 at 17:16

There's no love at first sight for computer geeks. It used to be that a man looked for a woman with a particular set of skills, that was generally expected for all women to have, and a woman looked for a reliable man who would work hard to earn money to raise a family. Even with these unfair gender standards, people had a hard time finding the right person. Now, let's ask ourselves, how hard is it to find a girl who can write code in Linux? Because that's an example of a set of skills I'd be interested in, and that represents probably ten girls in California, none of which I would meet on the street. Online dating is an inevitability for the nerd community. And from my observations, a potentially successful one. Congrats, Brian & Leah! Love at first type.

Miscellaneous

July 01, 2008 at 17:16

Love on eBay

I bought some love on ebay, I couldn’t wait… so I used “Buy it Now” It was worth the extra premium, To avoid the bidding war.

F*cking in the Air

I’m sitting on this foreign couch, temporary bed, staring. I’m watching a Chihuahua get fucked by a Dachshund. He’s mostly fucking the air.

I remember when you were a puppy. I remember when you kept your member to yourself. Your master told me, the first time you saw it, it startled you. You hid under the bed.

You still have the innocent eyes. When he points his finger at you, you look afraid. He says you look guilty. Do you understand guilt?

Now your sleeping. Only one foot away. I’d be tired too. I know, because I am tired. I’ve been watching people fuck the air my whole life.

If you could have everything, Knowing your life would go by in a flash, Would you do it?

I <3 Improve

Inprov… is god. Pure untapped subconcious…Everything that I am is inprov… it another key part of my might and my mite. Obviously I’m going to say it is much farther on the might end of the spectrum. Its how I create everything. Just spill. Just empty. Don’t think. This took two takes… the other one was about something completely different. Simplicity is sweet. Nearly all of my songs are based on improvization, and most of my writing. Its who I am, and I love it.

We need to fight for new imagry.

As creatures capible of rational action, we rarely make decicions purely out of ration. There are always subtle influences, and always undercurrents. There are too many phrases which once incited imagry but over time have turned int just banal phrases. We need to fight for new imagry.

A Helthy Dose of Optimism

A Helthy Dose of Optimism

June 04, 2008 at 03:04

"This is just the beginning," Margie exclaimed, "Why do you have to be so glum, Gerald, talking about us like we've been together for years?" Her fists rest on her hips as she stares at him, her face holding back a slight grin.

"Hey! I'm just telling you the mistakes we'll probably make together." His sheepish smile bores unbearably into her resisting smile. "I mean, our kids are probably going to be lunatics--"

"No... the only lunatic in our family, that is if we have a family together, is you, smart guy. Our children are going to be happy and perfect."

Gerald kicks at a passing sandcastle and shivers for a moment as they both look up to see the last sliver of the sun blink out. "Well, I guess there's no hope for them being depressed freaks like me then," he pulls her a little closer so she can feel his body shake against hers.

"That's why I love you, Gerald... because I think you're a depressed— are you cold? It's seventy-five degrees out here, Gerald!" she says with a worrying glare.

"You can continue, I believe you were about to explain the real reason you're still with me after a world record, five dates--"

"Well, firstly I wouldn't call them dates," her hands tickle his side aggressively, "You haven't spent a dime on me, and secondly, yes, I already have Guinness on the phone," She puts her pinkie to her chin and her thumb to her ear. "Wait, they're telling me they don't believe me, they want us to wait right here until their camera crew arrives." He slides his hand from her far shoulder slowly up the arch of her neck and steps abruptly in front of her, putting their faces only inches apart. He lets her feel his warm breath on her lips, but then moves up and gives her a soft peck on the nose. "You're such a tease, Gerald," she places both of her hands on his chest softly, leans in as if to give a kiss, and then pushes him firmly away. He trips and falls backward, the heels of his palms dig into the soft sand. He looks up at her with a huge grin on his face and grabs her by the leg, pulling her down with him.

::The scene closes::

Modisty

Modisty

June 01, 2008 at 04:32

I've been camping by the ocean for too long. The sand's cracked my feet and the sun's too hot. It's epiphany, not love, that ties me to the bedpost. It was my dreams that tightened the knot, I can't stop.

I finally found what has been keeping men and women apart, It's that line between them on signs for restroom doors, I peeled one off while grinning in symbolic satisfaction, God patted me on the back and parentally shook his head.

I am an Astronaut, Wasted on vodka a billion miles from the earth. The government tells me I failed the Rorschach inkblot. I told the doctors I saw two men holding hands.

I think a penny is all I need to pay back my debt to you, Understand it's more of a gesture, not to be thought of as quantifiable. I understand it may come off as a big "Fuck You," but that's up to you. You could choose to keep it and remember me always.

My perception of color is no longer what I was taught, I keep thinking blue when I see red, It's just not the same watching movies where people get shot, It all just looks... absurd.

Alright God, I name the last dumb animal "Zebra," where is my Eve?

Lost and found memories...

May 30, 2008 at 07:03

I wonder when I will stop dreaming. I think I've got it. I have it. Now.

I love the appearance of compounding sentences. They read like a mantra. Very soothing. Sweet.

I wish that this blasted text box was created with the same width as my blog, so as to preserve the formatting I carefully pay attention to. It's murder on poetry. Everything askew.

I've always been a man for aesthetics. Someone thought me to be a talented young artist once. The best in my class. The teacher thought I really had it and offered to teach me privately. He was a nice old man. The whitest white mustache. I heard he died. Six years ago, I guess. Time flies. I think I had it in my head that it was all luck though. That I was a fraud, and he would find me out. I was scared I would lose my talent. Bloody fool. It was just natural to me... it just made sense, didn't seem like there was anything special to me at all. I was the only person in class who drew with perspective... meaning I drew exactly what I saw, not what I thought was there. We did drawings in class, of real objects... I remember I drew a stuffed penguin. I took it very seriously then, I would ask people to switch seats with me so I could get the perspective that showed the most depth. I was in fourth grade. I got scared and then I quit. I didn't draw realism again for eight years.

I don't think I've thought about that in a long time. Let alone told anyone that story. Years... many years. It's funny. I didn't even think about that when I started drawing again. Not even once. Not until this moment.

My brother motivated me to become an artist and a writer. I respected him so greatly. He was always the brilliant son, I always knew he was brilliant. He's in Tijuana now, he called me. Why the fuck can't brilliant people just be brilliant? Why can't they just shower the world with their talent? Why do brilliant people have to get caught up in poisoning themselves, and second-guessing themselves, and driving themselves insane? Why can't brilliant people just be brilliant instead of killing themselves slowly so they can be just another dumb sheep caught up in lies and superstition?

Perhaps there is no goal I need to set for myself. I sorta always hated the future. I think I'll just be brilliant, and not be afraid of choosing where or how I'm brilliant. Just let myself be carried from one thing to the next. I just want it to be natural. Organic. Too bad I don't have the money for it. Got to choose. Got to choose.

I miss my mom. I'm going to see her soon. I think she misses me. She used to say to me, "Michael, you're the light of my life."

Comments

Nash

Damn dude. This was a fucking awesome post. I loved the story about getting too scared. You used just enough detail to make it feel real. As far as your brother and goals are concerned, he probably didn’t have much in the way of long term goals either. I doubt very much that he sees more than a few months ahead. I think that it’s important to keep an eye on the horizon and an eye on your feet, so to speak. And I know it’s very difficult. It’s one of the reasons this Korea thing is so nice for me. I’m setting myself up with money and a house guaranteed for a while and I can just sit tight and worry about some other things. Korea is my right now, and when I work on writing that’s for my future.

Dreams and goals are a fine line to walk. One can dream too much, but one shouldn’t give up dreaming altogether. I suggest the middle road. Let dreams encourage, but not overwhelm.

Remember when we weren’t quite getting enough D&D, so we started the Generic Campaign? And we made a bunch of basic classes and just let the DMG and MM play themselves out? It was still good. I miss you man.

Culture and Creation

Culture and Creation

May 16, 2008 at 02:30

There are many different kinds of culture. For a moment in my time at Parkfield, I made a connection in my mind, an epiphany if you please. "My standard definition of culture is too narrow." I realized that any group of people who shares traditions, has their own vocabulary, their own activities, or rituals could be described as having their own culture.

There are some forms of culture which occur on the micro-scale that easily escape detection. For example, sharing a traditional long walk to 7-11 and passing a particular brand of cigarette back and forth is an element of culture within a friendship. Culture can exist between just two people. There are elements which are unique to that setting, there is vocabulary, method, timing, and tradition. There are cultures which are more obvious, cultures which encompass one's way of life. I'd call these "enveloping cultures." I don't know if it's a personality type, or if this is common to all human beings, but I bask and glow in a new enveloping culture. I feel as if I am a jungle explorer, discovering ancient temples or hidden caves beneath waterfalls as I dive deeper as if for pearls within the depths of a new culture.

To the outsider, enveloping cultures seem incredibly strange. In all honesty... all culture is strange. Oftentimes rituals seem arbitrary, with older cultures the purpose behind certain rituals may have come and gone, they still, however, serve to unite those involved. Culture provides a medium and center for social creatures to interact, it often includes systems of morality, and provides life purpose. Culture serves as a central set of social rules for maintaining a balanced and healthy community. Even Micro-cultures often serve to benefit basic needs.

As families have grown decentralized, and corporations seek more and more to control our culture, the natural organic nature of culture has changed. Corporate engineered culture has not grown out of years of benefiting the community it served, it has grown out of capitalism and consumption. Science has done its fair share of dissembling culture, as many have turned away from religion, and myth. These things once served a purpose, served as outlets for our emotional needs, and served as tools for guiding good choices. We exist in a unique world where culture is as real as ever, but no longer existing directly as a tool for our benefit.

The grandest thing I can imagine is creating an enveloping culture of my own. I wish to discover a way to organically allow a new and unique culture to blossom from my life. I think this not only takes a sense of openness, but fearlessness, and perhaps even a bit of recklessness. It takes the courage to do new and strange things, and to lead others to engage in them as well. It takes abandonment, in exchange for an embrace with what may be seen by outsiders as absurd.

There are enough beautiful cultures in existence as it is. I realize I am naive to seek to create my own so brashly having experienced so little. But I want to become a participant in everything I respect, and I learn through doing. This may be a weakness. Or this may be my place on this earth. I will continue to respect, admire, and immerse myself in other cultures as much as possible. But like an artist, or a writer, what better way is there to learn than to practice your own creation while in the process of discovering and learning from others' works? I have myself decided to strive to create tradition with those I care for, to invent new words, to pioneer new perspectives!

Nothing would get done without naivety.

Where shall I start?

Consumption of a Tidal Mind

Consumption of a Tidal Mind

May 16, 2008 at 02:23

I've never painted with colors really. So lets just say abstract was not really a choice ::winks::

Geschlecht und Fahrräder

Geschlecht und Fahrräder

May 06, 2008 at 02:08

I had the word Fahrrader stuck in my head while making this.

Wacom

Wacom

May 04, 2008 at 06:40

I've been lusting for a Wacom tablet for god knows how many years. It is basically a pen and a writing pad that translates your motions and pen pressure to the computer. In a wild foray into San Jose involving a several-hour tour through the guitar shops while my good friend Marc was searching for a Les Paul guitar, of which his spending budget was a little over two thousand dollars, the only destination on my mind was my ex-work Best Buy. In my scammings, I had accumulated a large number of "RewardZone Points" from my patriotic excess spending this last holiday season. A Nintendo Wii which I resold, and the laptop I bought my parents ($299) for which they forcefully paid me back. Unbeknownst to them, with that laptop I happened to get a free HP printer worth $79 which I kept, and a 4GB Microsoft Zune which I resold for $100. Thanks, Mom & Dad, it was the best Christmas ever! I also purchased a large number of other toys which I played with, and returned before the January 31st Christmas returns deadline. Buying things and playing with them all Christmas long is the best and only kind of Christmas. You feel joyful and exhilarated during and shallow and empty afterward. Ahh, it seems I've discovered a way to feel the joy and suffering of materialism without the financial burden! The total expenses were in the ranges of $1k. My "Reward" for all this tomfoolery came in the form of a $45 gift card, several months later. Not much, but it made me especially happy knowing I got it without spending a dime.

People have weird fucking hobbies.

I could rant forever on this subject, so to make a long story short... I saw they had an open box Wacom tablet ($169), I bartered with the manager, got an extra $20 off, and walked out of there with my credit card $105 lighter ($199 - $50 - $45 = $105). I've been playing with it all night and have been really satisfied. Ominous as it seemed to me at first, it only took me about thirty minutes to configure it in Linux! The clever little picture above, although not spectacular, is my first sketch. Very cool.

Now not only do you get the joy of my poignant poetry, but my awful art as well.

A Dream Worth Striving For

A Dream Worth Striving For

May 03, 2008 at 05:24

Oh, music. I just watched a French film entitled "The Chorus." Obviously, this isn't its native title; it's the bastardized American translation of the equally generic French title "Les Choristes." In reading the box, I found the plot to be generic. A teacher goes to undisciplined students, they learn music, students are reformed. Very predictable. I actually rented this movie partially because that predictability is somewhat soothing. I was a great fan of Mr. Holland's Opus, To Sir With Love, Dead Poets Society, and many others on that endless conceptual list. The lead male roles draw me in. They are fathers, mentors, creators, dreamers, and shape and blossom communities around them in such a way that strikes me with awe. For the purpose of simplicity, I will call these men Shepherds. Christian analogies aside, this seems fitting.

I've grown quite fond of the Shepherd. He often takes the form of a clever teacher who finds unique ways to reach his students. Naturally, he is firm but at the same time just and forgiving. He is charming, has a sharp wit, and a distaste for authority. He need not be handsome; he may in fact be bald! He is enamored with the success of his students, and perhaps a bit in the clouds, often breaking the rules and treading on others' feet on their behalf. He is an ever-vigilant father figure. In the movies, he always has a weakness, usually the unattainable woman, and it is in this you see his humanity. However, this is irrelevant. In the end, he does not get the girl. He rarely becomes renowned. He simply grows old quietly. His only legacy... the students he's touched. This movie did not disappoint. Beyond another incarnation of my favorite character, it reminded me of a time when I was in Symphonic Band, performing in a group of fifty individuals, all watching our director Ken Carter, who was nearly one of those men himself. I realized at some point through the movie, that this was the type of man I wished to be. I realized at some point that this is what I have always wished to be. A "Shepherd."

I've come up with a word for people who possess characteristics I admire or seek. A person can become more than just a person; they can become a symbol incarnate for an idea or a dream. The essence of these individuals aspires beyond their mortality. I have been referring to such individuals as "Avatars." Avatar is most commonly associated with the Indian god Vishnu. In Indian culture, an avatāra is the earthly form assumed by a deity. Hindu analogies aside, this seems fitting.

I have always been a stark individualist. Striving to succeed independently, self-taught. A part of me has a deep fear of becoming merely an amalgamation of my surroundings, and I've tried in the past years foolishly to cloister myself in order to prevent my creations from being tainted. I believe I always knew this was impossible, but still, I avoided mimicry of others' work and words, even as a tool for learning. It has taken me many years to choose individuals to look up to again. I once called these individuals heroes. I'm not looking for heroes anymore. Heroes die. They're legendary for it. I'm looking for human embodiments of concepts, Avatars. These individuals' existence is irrelevant; they are just collections of ideas and dreams. The process I have gone through has made me realize what I am doing is probably not unlike what our ancient ancestors did in their creation of Deities. Ancestor worship is the first recorded religion known; it only makes sense that after enough time, the stories would begin to merge and individuals once renowned for one great deed would take on those of others of his time. Eventually, the stories would be forgotten altogether and become pure symbols, become myth. And so the first gods were born.

It has been odd watching my rational journey. Every day I look closer only to see myself shifting to what I might call "empirical spiritualism." I don't worship Avatars, but I do study them, spend great deals of time thinking of them, and modeling my actions as I see them. In a sense, this is a sort of worship. I don't believe in Divine energy traveling through the cosmos to fuel their deific (I think this word is a combination of Deity and Terrific!) powers over the universe. But in a way, that energy is real. Through my study, I become an Avatar myself, and in turn, I influence those around me. I find myself foolish yet again, realizing the grand enlightenment I build for myself boils itself down to mere semantics ::Sighs:: At the same time, I am proud. I'm proud to have come to these realizations on my own, and I'm proud to feel I know why I'm doing what I'm doing.

The Shepherd is an Avatar I respect and wish to someday embody myself. It's not about ego or self. It's about ideas and dreams. That which is immortal. Striving to become the embodiment of a concept is beautiful. In a sense, it is about letting go of the individual, the self, and dedicating your existence towards something greater. It's not about the desire to change those around you. Mahatma Gandhi, to me, is an Avatar of the Shepherd; once said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." I would add... "It is through the strength of your embodiment, not your words that change will come." One need not have heard or even known a word Mahatma Gandhi said to feel the power of his ideas or dreams.

This is a dream worth striving for.

Soup in the Snow

Soup in the Snow

April 30, 2008 at 04:15

Where's the naivety I was promised?

I just feel this listlessness.

It's akin to the sickness felt from lying in bed too long.

I love lying in bed... it takes me a really long time to feel like that.

Is this a lucid dream?

I crave. I crave so much. For something.

If that something is a perfect world,

Then as a creature of craving, I do not belong.

Here's a lovely story written by several of the motivating aspects of my rationality; they are personified as characters for your amusement.

"Meaninglessness, how is the soup?" "It doesn't matter?" "Really?" "I think it's too hot." "Time, could you give us a hand with that?" No rush, Desire depends on anticipation. Pride mentions that perhaps there is something else we could be accomplishing while waiting, but Fear doesn't want us to go too far, or the soup may be cold when we return. Desire thinks of the taste of cold soup and agrees.

"Fuck the soup." Abandon smiles at me. Perhaps I should eat it now and burn myself. Fear reminds me of the potential for permanent damage to my taste buds, and Desire turns his head and gives me a cold stare. Time whispers to Desire the impossible-to-imagine length of tasteless living that would ensue, and Desire looks resolute.

"Fuck the soup." Abandon grins. "I'll starve, I want to get the fuck out of here and accomplish something." Pride reminds me of Jesus, and we smile at each other. Meaninglessness reminds me that anything I do won't actually matter. Time mentions that in the grand scheme of things, he agrees.

"Fuck all of you." Abandon giggles. I sit down at the table, and Time cools the soup. Pride rearranges the floating noodle letters into an incomprehensible word it made from the amalgamation of six other words, "Tidessireab," and thinks he's amazing. Desire admires the temperature and texture of the first bite but then begins to rant on the improvements that could be made. Fear wonders if the sodium content and nutritional value of canned soups could be potentially unhealthy. Meaninglessness just stares out the window, searching. Abandon seems satisfied with the non-committal nature of the soup.

The letters around Pride's word are slowly consumed until only the word remains. Pride can't bring himself to eat it and goes to look for a pencil so he won't forget the spelling. Desire goes to sleep on the couch, seemingly satisfied, but dreams of better soups.

Abandon pours the remaining tomato soup and the remaining letters into the snow outside; he knows holding onto such things will only hold him back.

Pride is frustrated with Abandon and decides to write this story. Fear wonders if others will interpret hidden meaning. Pride is sure everyone will love his story. His ego and knowledge of his own genius motivate him to go out into the snow and make a new friend, Denial.

Love wanders around in the snow, so white and beautiful it blends perfectly, disappearing in the reflection of the sun. It's not alone or lonely; it's content, knowing it has nothing to do with any of them. Nothing.

Abandon laughs and clicks "Publish Post."

The Relms of the Unreal

The Relms of the Unreal

April 26, 2008 at 02:24

I happened upon this amazing man, Henry Darger, who wrote a 15,000-page novel about seven beautiful little girls, The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. Awesome title, right? Anyway, this work, as well as hundreds of paintings, some of which were 12 feet long painted on taped-together butcher paper, were discovered in his room after his death. The novel contains thousands of battles depicted in gory details, heroic rescues, and mysterious beasts! I watched a reasonably good documentary on him; they animated sections of his work, which I found a little inappropriate, as he never intended his art to be viewed as such. In all reality, he never intended his art to be viewed at all, so I guess everything is up in the air. He was declared a gifted reader when he was in first grade and bumped straight to third, but then found himself shortly after in a boys' institution for the "Weak Minded." In his artwork and story, he depicts the seven Vivian Girls as the great heroines and gives them dashing lines. In his autobiography, he claims girls are far more courageous than men, with which in certain circumstances I would agree.

He had a very limited perspective on the world and very limited experiences. He lived his whole life as a janitor in a hospital, spent a short stint in the military, and as a Christian, he attended mass every day (I didn't even know mass happened every day!). But he had a challenging relationship with God, as he was a vehement protector of children; he wished to adopt but was always refused. God never answered his prayers. His war with God in the real world takes its toll in the novel, as the Vivian Girls fight for the Christian army. Whenever Darger has a dispute with God in the real world, the Vivian Girls suffer horrible losses in their battles or are nearly fatally wounded. His knowledge of sex and women was so limited, all of the females depicted in his art possess male genitalia! He spent nearly every hour of his free time working on the novel in some shape or form. He was a completely self-taught writer and artist, which I respect enormously! This man created such an elaborate world in his mind, he kept track of the casualties, the generals' names, and the expenses for the battles in a log book. When he was finally put in the same elderly home his very own father had died in thirty years before, he withered and died very quickly. Without his fantasy, he had no reason to live.

The mind is capable of creating such amazing and elaborate worlds based on the knowledge it absorbs. My god... the mind is powerful.

Humans! Sometimes it's hard to believe I'm one of them.

This is a better answer.

This is a better answer.

April 20, 2008 at 03:08

"Faith."

This is my revised answer to any and all questions asked of me. It is an answer not caught up in the unnecessary complexities we impose on existence.

There are six streams of water in the center circle of my shower head; it is surrounded by twelve further streams, and around that are an additional eighteen. I imagine myself to look like a tiger while the streams spread the hairs on my chest. Counting silences the mind. There must be people out there who do this as a hobby. Insomniacs. Those who think too much.

Insomniacs lay in bed and wonder deep into the night about reality, planning their next courses of action, questioning actions taken so far. I dream late into the morning, so late because the worlds I create for myself can seem so intriguing, complex, and compassionate. I get caught in dreams and languish, lumbering out of bed.

I spend hours trying to remember... remember how I felt, and why I feel as I do upon awakening. Sometimes I am overjoyed, and have no idea why. This slinks into sadness. "Is my joy rooted in another one of my fictional creations?" They are mine, so in hindsight, I see no reason to lament. It can be frustrating to forget... one can't turn their reality into what they can't remember.

"Faith."

Blurb.

April 16, 2008 at 08:22

Congratulations. Despite the ambiguity of meaning within the stanzas, as a whole, your poem makes sense. It's a powerful collection of concepts.

It's a good start.

Now, write me a poem with images so visceral I feel as you did while you wrote it.

~Me to Myself

Maybe I'm that little bit of truth in the abstract.
April 15, 2008 at 07:57

Must a critic be themselves criticized in order to be respected?

Poetry is like a drawing. You can spend hours making it perfect, like a photograph. There are people who do this. Realists. I'm a realist.

Poems can be like abstract art too. All messed up and random. Words and images splashed on the page in hopes that the readers/listeners' minds will find a pattern. We're good at that.

Throw out enough words and a person can't help but find meaning. I've fallen for it.

Some abstracts capture a little bit of something real. You look at it and you can't quite see it. Maybe you can feel it. Maybe it comes to you when you look away.

What if I were to tell you that everything is the same? And everything is in everything? What if I told you in reading these lines backwards you'd find the meaning of life? Would that scare or excite you?

Would you sit in denial of such simplicity? Would you demand a greater challenge? Would you see everything crumble or everything come together? Would you see both?

Why don't old people burn themselves in front of the White House in protest to war? Why don't their dying breaths shout protest - wield the power of their dwindling lives? Do they condone the existence they will soon depart?

Do they realize a greater meaning beyond war, hate, death, and pain, or do they accept them? If I am who I am because of the world that has created me - am I not the world? Why do we so often ask questions after and not before?

If I am everything, then I too am like a drawing. Perhaps I'm painted by a realist. Perhaps I'm just a reproduction of what my artist has seen, and touched. A duplication. Or an amalgamation.

Or perhaps I'm a piece of abstract art. All messed up and random. Just a splash. Maybe I just think I'm something. Forcing patterns out of nothing. Maybe I've fallen for it again.

Or maybe I'm something between. Maybe I'm that little bit of truth in the abstract. I can feel it, and I tense up, I look harder. What if I let my eyes lose focus? Will I see me?

Perhaps it is easier to see truth in that which does not strive so hard to reproduce it. Can truth be in deeper disguise within a fact, then in a lie?

The Fish of Many Shades of Gray

The Fish of Many Shades of Gray

April 04, 2008 at 05:11

I am king,
Of a pond of perception
Just large enough to see my reflection.
I decree that someday I will be swallowed whole,
And in time I'll become the sea,
And eventually the stars.

In the mean time...
For those who have no taste for my disgraces,
I don’t have a kiss for those who condemn,
Each has the taste of "me" on my lips...
And it's a shame for you and them.
I fan the flame.

When my lids lift,
My color shall be gray.
Gorge on illusions as you would chocolate,
Fatten your self up, for the only thing thats pure white is a lie.
But I can't bare to lavish life with ten foot long tongs.
Truth is a masochists pleasure,
It's spilled ink or a long sigh.

Does anyone fake an orgasm for themselves?
I think I have. It made nickels and dimes at the time.
Just to feel warm, wading in my placid pond.
To Fantasize while I flail in a stormy sea.

We crack our eyes at sun break,
And it dawns on us to 'Shake the chills.'
But hand it to those who fall, or crawl from their beds for their own sake.
To those of them who make a new notch on their belts for each day,
And tighten it again, so it won't bleed dry.
I say 'Bleed!' But out of passion, not fear.
What good is blood without heart?

For those who are depressed, I understand.
Just put faith in choice
Beyond the buffet of distractions and highs,
It's always been up to you.
To choose to live, die, laugh or cry.

Smoke your life down to the bone if you wish,
And feed your cancer bedtime stories,
Of how it was.
But don't tell yourself that’s how it had to be,
Unless you are a lover with that lie.

Because we can be anything,
Vegetarians if you please,
And if you lust for brown lumps of ground beef...
If that brings back comforts from your childhood.
I will make you meatless meat balls.
Just let our friendship be more,
Then dining and deception.

I'd rather pry my eyes open every hour in this sea,
Have salty stinging blurry sight so beautiful,
I'll coddle the ocean cold with guilty grins,
While waves crash like towers,
Fearless because I've decreed:

I will be eaten,
By a fish of many shades of gray.
So I might serve beyond my words,
And those I've touched holding hands in the swells.

My fish is more ominous then the ocean. And I will feed it well.
I will swim in truth,
Until my lie comes.