31.12.09

Old Town Burns

Received ominous reverse 911 call. Large structure fire in Old Town, Eureka. Hope Celebrity Watchdog is okay. Would love to see the Schooner or Heroin Hilton burn, though.
The storm is here.

BART Officers Hoping Not to Kill Anyone This Holiday

Last year Oscar Grant died in a BART station, shot to death by a BART police officer. It was a cowardly act, seemingly unprovoked by any stretch of the imagination. BART has been trying to change the way it deals with passengers. The officers are shooting less people, they are friendlier and so on.

BART's police force went under the microscope after the shooting, and rightly so. Any time a cop shoots someone for apparently no reason ("I was scared" is not a reason), it needs to be investigated. BART, not wanting to seem like the trigger-happy, minority-hating LAPD of years past, took steps to humanize its public image. Interviews with some BART riders says it worked. Others are obviously skeptical.

This year there will be a bigger police presence on the public transportation system. Some lines won't be running due to crowd issues (or so they say). People, I suppose, may be relieved. Others may think, "Well, I hope I don't get shot. I better just stand here and look at my feet."

If you're black and riding BART, I wish you the best of luck. I think your chances of getting shot for based on skin color are down about 30% from last year, but I don't think you're out of the water yet. If you're a male, I think your risk increases by about 10%. Be careful.

On a note related to racism, Rush Limbaugh, that bombastic junkie who happens to have a radio show that is the epitome of progressive thinking, was rushed to a hospital in Hawaii last night. Looks like I got a late Christmas present! I don't know why he is there yet, but I am anxiously awaiting word. Drug overdose? Beat up by a prostitute? Ass cancer? I'm hoping for the first or last, but I'll take the second option, too, if only for the entertainment value. I don't like that motherfucker, and I wish him all the worst. If anyone is working at the hospital and happens to snap some cell phone pictures of him with tubes up his nose, I'd love to see them.

Let's hope this is the last year we'll to hear from that human feces sack. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

30.12.09

These Beasts of Hell

Today was one of those days that defies explanation. It felt like the season finale on some television drama, where everything you knew about the show would change when it came back next season. I did one of those inventories of the people I work with (and did work with), and it really felt like that ... and not in a good or even interesting way. It was actually kind of sad.

Today a friend I rarely talked to spotted me online. He had been reading the blog. Asked me how the manuscript turned out. I haven't heard back yet, so that is unknown. Then he IMed something cryptic. "This is your last year where anything seems normal." I asked him what that meant, but he had disappeared into the realm of cyberspace. It seemed to be a strange thing to say, and coming off the feeling I got from work today, it didn't help.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. I never cared about the holiday. One day is as good as the next. I like the amateur drinking night aspect of it, and appreciate holiday death tolls, but as far as a reason to celebrate ... not my thing. I know some people really get into it. They think of it as a time to reflect, though they avoid that the rest of the year. (Too much thinking, dude.) I just ignore them and go about my business. Another day. Any other day.

I hope tomorrow is different. I hope there is some good news on the horizon. I hope that when I connect tomorrow's dots the picture isn't the bleak thing I saw today. I hope that, but the reality threatens to be far different.

Who will survive and what will be left of them?
Stomach is revolting against me.
Guzzling hot sauce not for weak of heart. Habanero based madness.
Hot sauce is good.

28.12.09

Monday. Bloody Monday.

Mortal Combat

Another Monday rears its festering, drooling head. My cough has not subsided. I have not checked e-mail yet to see if I have a status update on the manuscript.

Storms are on their way in, which is always good. I'm not one of those sunshine people. Sure, it's nice every once in a while, but the rain always makes me feel comfortable. Sun leaves me exposed.

There is a business in Eureka called Dogs Made Hot. It's a dog grooming facility. It sounds like something else. It being Humboldt, it could be both. I wonder what made the owners choose that name. Was Desire This Dog taken?

6:42 and I can disguise the fact that Monday is here no matter how hard I try. I look at Mondays as warfare. If I can make it through the day, I can handle the rest of the week. It's not just a work thing, either. Everyone's attitude changes on Monday. The world gets ready for business. The chipper motherfuckers ask if your weekend was long enough. (These are the same people that see you sweating your ass off and ask, "Hot enough for you?" There is a special place in Hell for them, where idiotic questions are asked all day long ... and they are forced to answer or a pea-size piece of flesh is ripped from their bodies.) There are people who love what Monday represents. They also think politicians make a difference and the police are there for our safety.

My back is on fire. I have been coughing like mad, which has put me in this position. I vacuumed yesterday and that didn't help, either. I think I need a pain pill with me today. I hate that, but I don't see any other way. If I don't, I can't work. I'm sure of that. It took me twenty minutes to get out of bed.

Monday. KTVU shows the traffic in the Bay Area. It looks like a moving Christmas tree. I think of how many people trapped in those cars hate their jobs, but are stuck in them for one reason or another. How many are just pushing the buttons hoping for something better? How many hope to really make a difference in the world? How many don't care?

Pam Cook, a newscaster, seems thrilled to announce that Avatar is still number one at the box office. The movie looks like crap to me, but who knows? I have no desire to see it. James Cameron, the man behind Titanic, is a tool.

Enjoy the trenches. Lock and load.

27.12.09

Elbows Deep in the Cash


Michael Mastromarino knows what pain is. He was, in better times, a dental surgeon. One of those people you are scared of in the worst possible way. They use these torture instruments to delve into your sensitive mouth. The mouth you eat with. The mouth you use to sing in the shower. To please your lover. He's in there ... digging.

Mouths weren't the only thing he dug, either.

Mastromarino was the leader of a New York based body snatching ring. Its motive? Greed. Pure and simple. The people in the ring stole bones, skin, ligaments and other assorted human sundries. A great many of the parts were used for dental implants and hip replacements. To keep from getting nabbed, these guys deboned the bodies below the waist, sewed in good ol' PVC piping and let the families view the body at open casket funerals. While Aunt Susan was sobbing, the parts were being sold and ended up being used in over 20,000 transplants.

Oh yeah, these guys failed to screen the goodies for disease.

Diseased organs is a worrisome issue. In early 2008 two Americans died and two others were getting chemo after getting organs the year earlier courtesy of a teen who died of a rare form of cancer. It was thought he had died of meningitis. The folks who received his pancreas and liver died of the same cancer that claimed him.

All for a little money, right.

It should also be noted that I could find no evidence that any of the parts Mastromarino sold caused any deaths, though I didn't delve into it too deeply. This is not a subject I spend a lot of time thinking about. I had just happened to read an issue of The Economist that focused on the market for illegally obtained organs. It was fascinating and disgusting. Those lips you got off a girl who died in a car accident? Who knows if they were obtained with permission.

There's something very sinister about that. Something very symbolic, too. This is capitalism at its finest. Greed is good. Gore is good. If it can be sold, it will be stolen. If there is money to be made, there is blood to be spilled. Body snatching, which used to be a very commonplace crime, now has gone high tech ... sort of. The bodies are obtained much the same way, but the outcome is different. They are no longer being studied. They are being pieced out. They are being harvested. So what if nobody screens for rare, creepy forms of cancer. What's the odds of those eight deformed cells doing you any damage? Slim, indeed. But not slim enough.

And people ask me why I don't donate. My response? Does it matter?

26.12.09

An Omelet of Disease ...

Bad day. Kudos to Tyler Jacobson, the artist whose work is here, for showing just what I'm thinking.

So This is Christmas ...

Seven a.m.. My daughter wakes me up. "Dad! Santa was here!" Those are great words to hear. I had left the tree lights on all night so that when she woke up everything would be dark but that. The night before I made her the meal of her request: sushi. I arranged seven balls of sushi topped with almond butter on a plate. In between the rice I put slices of fresh organic orange. Her drink was natural pineapple juice (no sugar added, yo) and water. Afterward we made reindeer food and cookies. She made three cookies for Santa. A snowflake. A snowman. A smiling face. They were delicious.

She was delighted with the gifts from me, Santa, family and co-workers. I took plenty of pictures. We played until the point of exhaustion. I was sick and in pain, but I didn't care. I would do this until I choked to death on my own blood if I had to. These are memories neither of us will forget.

And then she had to go.

As a dad, that fucks with me. The house which seemed so joyous and alive just mere minutes ago was now as silent as a tomb. The mute terror interrupted only by my coughing and the occasional noise from the hamster.

I wrote a bit. Film Threat was (and is) still down. I had already sent out my manuscript, but I have other things I'm working on. I always have other things.

When that got to be too much, I decided to watch a film. Ils. Foreign horror is always good for the soul.

I shut the blinds. Lit a candle. Watched. Great film. The reveal was not what I expected. Not by far, but I was happy to know I identified the noise correctly. Didn't learn that until the last scene, though.

Laid down. Tried to read some Selfish, Little. If you've read it, you know small chunks at a time is all that is mentally possible.

So I closed my eyes and fell asleep for a while. Candle burning as if I didn't care, and I didn't. Never ate dinner. Stood in the dark. Thought it was way too quiet. Put on the Misfits and thought for a while. Thought about life. What I wanted from it. What I didn't want anymore. Visualized my idea for world peace. Turned up the Misfits louder.

I'm supposed to see my darling little girl today, but she has been throwing up. Possibly from too much Christmas cheer. So I've got the Misfits playing again. Loud.

Last night I got back to writing. Coughing so much my back feels like it is on a revolt. Pretty sure that if this doesn't go away soon I won't be able to move. I've got weeks of it, though, to look forward to. People at work have it. It is misery.

Misery is such a pretty word. It lingers on the page. It means so much. Even in happiness there can be misery.

I don't drink. I don't own a gun. I don't put a needle in my arm. I don't have a gambling problem. I don't routinely lie to myself. I don't take pills to stabilize. But I know why people do these things. I know exactly why they push things to the back. I know why the measures they take are so self-destructive.

A friend texted me. Are you okay? She had a feeling, I guess. I wrote back that I was. I didn't lie. Wouldn't lie to her. I was okay as okay could be.

I used writing as a form of therapy. I think I've evolved. It will be a good day no matter what. If I don't get to see my girl, I will miss her, but I know she is with her mom and her mom will take care of her.

Are you okay? Yes.

As okay as okay can be.

24.12.09

A Whirlwind of Broken Glass and Shattered Dreams

Christmas Eve. The sushi is consumed. Reindeer food and cookies laid out. Gifts under the tree. Work was work, though very mellow today. Tomorrow I get to spend part of the day with my girl. The other part? I'll spend it with myself. Not always the best place to be, but I should be coasting off her excitement for a good part of it. I want to rest so this cough goes away, but if it is like everyone else's, I'll have this for a month.

Our governor, that mush-mouthed motherfucker who governs as well as he acts, is attacking all things Social Services (re: special interests) again, and playing Enron-like games with the budget. Next year is apparently his last year in office (unless something like cancer or a bullet ends it earlier). It can't some soon enough. The guy constantly attacks the poor as if they are the reason California's budget is in the fucking toilet. It's not. There are several reasons why it is broken (deregulation of the power industry, out of control worker's compensation cases, the housing crisis to name just a few), but the poor is not one of them.

Schwarzenegger is supposed to present his budget by January 8. One can only imagine what will be in this one. For a guy that comes across as a moderate Republican, he acts like an Italian dictator trying to operate within a democracy.

Cancer or a bullet. God I hate this fucker.

23.12.09

Coughing so much my back hurts. A lot to do tonight. Need to finish my book and send manuscript out.

Victims ... Aren't We All?

I did some shopping last night. Forgot one damn thing, so I have to go out again today after work. Stayed up late reading, which is a rarity these days. If you read one of the other blogs I do (The Written Word is a Lie) you know the book I'm reading is a bit of unpleasantness. It got me thinking (between coughing fits that have torn my back to shreds) about the nature of victims, justice and revenge.

There are people in this world (and I know some of them) who wear victim status like a crown. It absolves them of all responsibility. They think the world is out to get them, to drive them into the ground, and they make it so easy. They think their "victim" status should give them some kind of special foothold in the world. But there are victims and there are survivors, and its the survivors who deserve our respect. The sad thing about victims is that we are all victims of one thing or another, and we can all claim that title, but when you make a lifestyle out of it you don't even deserve pity. Survive and destroy. It's a better ending to your story.

Justice is a concept that fascinates me. As a society we have given up the notion of doling out justice ourselves and have left it in the hands of the government. Why we did this I have no idea. Laziness, perhaps. Lack of self-confidence. Fear of history being repeated (lynch mobs come to mind). We can be just people on our own without the help of the government. I see nothing wrong with taking the law into our own hands when the situation is warranted, and that leads to revenge.

Revenge is not a bad thing. In theory, it's something restricted to humans as far as I know. It puts things right. I sends a message, and let's be honest -- it feels good. If someone has done you wrong, you get them back. You can't rely on the courts and a jury of someone's "peers" (a joke if you've ever been to jury duty) to do the job for you. You need to sometimes step up and say, "So it goes." Victims of crime (different than lifestyle victims) need to sometimes take the law in their own hands to make sure they don't find themselves a victim again.

There are always problems with revenge and justice, and maybe that is why we have marketed them out to third parties, which, it needs to be noted, also make mistakes. I'd much rather be responsible for my mistakes, though. I don't want to wash my hands of what needs to be done (and can't ever see myself wearing the mantle of victim like I'm an Oscar winner). I want to wash the blood away, both literally and symbolically. I believe when someone does you wrong, you visit Hell onto them. Anything less just isn't civil.

People do bad things to others because they are either compelled (and no sense of right or wrong will stop that) or they think they can get away with it. Under our current justice system, they are more right than wrong. They do often get away with it. And they do it again. They put someone else in the role of victim. They act out again and again until they are caught, do their time and many decide to do it all over again.

How the hell is that justice?

And justice just doesn't go for street crime. All those Wall Street goons who have put our economy in the shitter need some real justice brought to their doorstep. All those people affected by the lost jobs and homes need to seek out revenge. That sends a message ... a chilling effect. Hell, our country has carpet bombed to do the exact same thing. Take a cue from the folks you help keep in place and wipe them out ... wipe them all out. It's fair. It's just. Those who have harmed you deserve likewise, unless it is against your beliefs. If that's the case, I respect that. If you'd rather leave it up to others to keep your hands clean, that's your choice, too, but there's no respect there. You're just setting yourself up for a fall.

People who do bad deserve the same. Far too often that doesn't happen. They go on to repeat their patterns and the world turns a blind eye. We need to stop that. We need to send the monsters back to Hell, and we shouldn't feel bad about it. Bad things happen when good people do nothing, and sometimes the bad comes from the very people we think are there to protect us. Family members, cops, investment bankers, politicians. The criminals don't always wear a ski mask and carry a gun. Sometimes they have a badge and uniform. Sometimes they are elected. But bad is bad, and garbage must be thrown out. Otherwise it just rots everything around it.

Gotta love books.

22.12.09

My Wishes for 2010

The end of the year is approaching. New Year's Eve, otherwise known as amateur hour for alcoholics, is a time when bad bands play on television and people want to reminisce and pretend that the next year is going to be different. "I'm going to stop smoking." "I'm going to get healthier." "I'm going to get this STD all cleared up." As a society it makes us feel better to think we will take this one day to change our lives around. With just a new day and a few words we will suddenly be new people on a new mission.

I don't really use the holiday to do much of anything. It's a holiday I find useless, quite honestly, but I do enjoy the end-of-the-year news recaps. I don't take the time to forge a promise I may or may not keep. I don't drink. I don't believe shooting a gun up in the air signifies anything of worth.

But ...

If someone asked me what I'd like to see, this is what I'd say.

Octomom. I'd like her to drop off the face of the Earth. The world has enough people. We don't need some mentally unstable woman vomiting out a few dozen more. If only she had enough breasts to feed these things.

Obama. I really just want to see him do something other than make promises he can't hope to keep, continue with the Bush administration policies and pick winning sports teams. I don't know of any president who has been a bigger disappointment. Just get something done.

Tea Party Patriots. On a related note, I want those idiots who have Medicare yet still protest health care reform to think about that for just fifteen minutes. Don't listen to talk radio. Don't tune into Fox. If you have Medicare, you have government health care. Assholes.

Eagles. Superbowl. Yeah, I think that would be good. I'd like to see Arsenal win a few more matches, too.

The California budget. Over governor, the esteemed Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a bit of a dipshit. His threats have not helped California balance its budget. Our representatives are fruit from the same tree. I say lock them in a room with knives and let them battle it out if they can't do a reasonable, sane budget on time. Social services (otherwise known as "special interests" in government speak) get economically eviscerated while the business continue to enjoy subsidies and tax breaks. We are one of the biggest economies in the world and we can't even fix our fucking roads. Sweet Jesus erect on the cross -- it's not quantum physics. Do your goddamn jobs or one day the public is going to get pissed off and do a public hanging.

Glenn Beck. I'm pretty sure the guy is insane. I'm also very sure his listeners are equally insane. He finds conspiracies in all the wrong places and thinks that everything points to liberals destroying America. Glenn, you are right! There is no escape. The liberals are going to turn us into a country full of homosexual, commie, eco-terrorist, mixed marriage supporting socialists! The only way to stop this is -- suicide. Let's make 2010 the year you set the example for your fans. Even if you don't think it will stop this onslaught of liberalism, it'll send an important political message. You do it. A bunch of your supporters do it. Man, that will show them.

Hollywood. As part of the California economy, you would think I'd Hollywood to do well. I love movies, too, so why do I want it to go under? I'm just sick of it. Burn it to the ground and start all over. Get some real vision in there. No more sequels. No more knowing what the talent is paid. Let's put the art back into the world of cinema and dispose of all those movies starring the Wayans.

Pot. And finally we are here. Drugs need to be decriminalized. I believe this upcoming year will be the first real step in this direction, especially when it comes to pot. You can argue and say that the passing of Prop. 215 was the beginning, but that just opened it up for medicinal purposes, which, while important, still kept the status quo in place. I believe this year will bring the idea of legalized drugs to the forefront of mainstream discussions. They won't be decriminalized, but it will be the start. Of all the things I sarcastically wrote about, this is the one I can see happening.

And that concludes it for now. I'm sure I'll think of others soon, but for now, this will do.

Oh yeah, I really hope Michael Bay passes away in some weird autoerotic asphyxiation deal.

Tonight We Murder

If you recognize the title of this post, kudos to you. You are cooler than people give you credit for. If not, it's okay. Nobody will hold it against you. I now have two days to get a bunch of shit done that I should have got done days ago, and I'm getting sicker. I sounded like a two pack a day smoker this morning, and coughed up some stuff I'm pretty sure was alien in nature. (I pictured spitting it outside and watching as a bird flew down to examine it. The mucous would then come to life and grab the bird in, pulling it into its mass like the Blob.) I'm also hoping to send out the manuscript tonight or tomorrow. Have other plans that need attending, too.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, he says while loading his clip.

My coffee is going as cold as my heart. I smell bacon. I only had three pieces. I want more. I like seeing the slabs of preserved meat lined up on my plate. Biting into its comforting crispness. Feeling it crunch between my teeth. You never feel more animal than when you are eating meat.

I have the new Writer's Market sitting on my desk. If this publisher I am sending to rejects it, I will hit up every publisher of horror in that book. It's a mission. I need to get it out there. I need to take more steps so that I don't have to keep doing what I'm doing to pay the bills. It is necessary.

I got an e-mail on the previous post already. That's almost record time. Again, no comment on here, but an e-mail taking me to task for thinking "entertainment is bad." I don't think entertainment is "bad." I just think a steady diet of it is less than ideal. I find it sad that some people don't get inspired by works of art, that limit their input because of things like subtitles or genres. I find it disturbing that people not only don't like thinking about what they are seeing, but are proud that they don't. If that's what people took from that post, they are right. If they think I don't like entertainment, they are very, very wrong.

Okay, let the day begin.

21.12.09

Arrogance

A good friend told me today that something I wrote on my film blog (The Last Picture Blog)was the most arrogant thing he had ever read of mine. I said (and I'm paraphrasing him quoting me because I don't feel like going back to find the quote) that people couldn't be blamed for their taste in film because they haven't been told what to like yet. Kind of funny, and that does sound like me. But was it arrogant?

I have been told I'm arrogant, pretentious, a borderline fascist and so on. All labels that tend to me more than to them than me, but enough people have said it that I have given thought to it. I don't want to come off as arrogant, but I think having an opinion is good. I don't care if I come off as pretentious. As far as a borderline fascist -- well, not accurate but I will admit a certain fascination with the idea of keeping the rabble in line. I would probably never go to a Boyd Rice view of the world, but I can understand it.

Arrogant is defined as: 1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance, or 2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others. Neither of those definitions are particularly flattering. And when it comes to film and other works of art I can say I probably am arrogant and pretentious, and probably a bit of a fascist (in the artistic sense), too. I always try to be humorous about it, but honestly, I am. I am passionate about these things. I find them important. I give my opinion more weight than that of "the masses." Now that I admit that, I have to ask: Is that wrong?

If you love something, why not give it an elevated status? Why not be vocal about it? Why not belittle the "competition"? In the grand scheme of things, the only opinion that really matters is each individual's when it comes to any one thing. I have a forum where I can let my feelings be known. My opinions and thoughts should only inspire thoughts in others. Nobody should take them as anything else. So what is wrong with all this? Isn't it better to have an opinion than to be on the fence with everything? It sure as hell doesn't make for interesting writing.

I actually think I'm a pretty fair person. I know that my tastes in film, comic books, books, music and so on, don't match most people's. I'm okay with that. I won't adopt an opinion just because the majority think that (such as with this adoration of The Beatles). That's not me and never has been. If you think I should be more fair, you either haven't read enough of my work, or need to go elsewhere.

Now back to my friend. He didn't say it to be mean. In fact, I got the impression he thought it was kind of funny (I still think it is and I told one my co-workers about it and she kind of agreed with me). I think he knows me pretty well, and I also think he called it pretty good. I'm glad he brought it up to me, since this has been a problem for a few years now. (I really noticed it when people got on my case over my positive reviews and essays on Amateur Porn Star Killer.) I've been thinking about it a lot. Namely, should I try to sound less so, or should I embrace it and own it? It's isolated some readers. I know this for a fact. But at the same time, I know there are some who appreciate it. They like the fact that I think some things are just plain shit and that I can defend what I like and why I like it.

I'm staying the course, obviously. It generates opinions and is, I believe, generally amusing to read. People will continue to find me arrogant, pretentious, fascist-lite, or even homosexual (as one person once wrote after I praised French films). The problem is: As long as I'm writing people will think this anyway. Even if I'm the most bland, pedestrian, vanilla writer out there people will think it. When you put yourself into the public eye you have zero control over what people will say about you. They will misread you, misinterpret you, and hate you (or, even worse, love you). You can't control it, and you shouldn't even try. You can have fun with it, and you should let your opinion be known if you have that forum, which is the real heart of the matter to me.

I've always hated people who have had a public forum, one where people are either listening to them or reading them, and they do nothing with it. They don't bring anything new to the table. They don't inspire thought. They don't have an opinion. They aren't even really entertaining, but there they are. That has always bothered me, and if I ever end up that way, I'll pack it in and call it day for my writing.

Today was a good wake up call that I have not reached that point (thank God). I'm pretty far from it if the opinion of others is to be believed. Again, thank God.

I stick by that quote that caused this post, too. I think far too many people don't even have an opinion on things until they are told what to think be it by their friends, the media or whatever. Not everyone, but enough of them. As I said to my co-worker whom I brought this up to, "How can I be wrong? Kangaroo Jack was the number one film in the nation and Married With Children was on the air for eleven years." If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does.
Rain. So nice.

Strange Daze

I woke up at about three a.m. with a nasty headache brought on by sinus congestion. I hate that. Feel like I'm about to get really, really sick. I was looking in the mirror and that is what came to mine. "Brace yourself. You're going down."

Great.



Eagles won last night, but I didn't see the game because I was playing with my daughter, which is more enjoyable than any sporting event. The team destroyed the 49ers playoff hopes, which were slim to begin with. I have plenty of friends who like that team who I'm sure are plenty upset, but what do you expect when you go up against a team with a psychopathic animal abuser in it? Good times? Steelers won, too. Saw highlights. Spectacular. Raiders, a team I'm neutral on, pulled off something amazing, too, after losing 83 quarterbacks.

I'm pretty sure this headache is not going away. I wonder if I will make it through the day. I feel a bit feverish, and that's never good. Film Threat still seems to be down, so I've got reviews backing up. I'm almost done with my synopsis. If I can get a book deal in 2010 ... well, that would be nice.

Work will set you free. Or: Work makes you free. Auschwitz, Poland. Some "common thieves" took the sign that greeted Jews on their way to death. Ironic sign? Definitely. But did you ever read the placard on the Statue of Liberty?

19.12.09

Why Abortion Must Be Kept Legal

Dear God, let me have the strength to go on.

It all started yesterday. I was on my lunch break and in a rush because I had a shorter lunch. I was on my way to the post office, and I got to that four way intersection at 2nd and C in Eureka. You may know it. Only the east and west streets have a stop sign. North and south streets get to go as normal ... unless you are the lady in front of me. She stops at the intersection while there are cars stopped at the east and west streets. The drivers of those cars were waving her on. Perhaps she thought it was trick. She wouldn't go. I laid on my horn and shouted out the window, "Fucking go!"

And she did.

I turned up 3rd and immediately got behind an SUV filled with young women. No problem, except they were stopping every ten feet for nothing. Not a slow down, but a full stop. It was time to yell out the window again.

"Fucking move!"

And they did. Turned at the next right. Another woman got in front of me ... and did the exact same thing!

I think the trick was being played on me. Where the hell was Alan Funt? Ashton Kutcher? Jesus?

"Move!"

And she did.

I made it to the post office only to behind a woman with a brown bag. In the bag was a present. She wanted to ship it in the brown bag ... which wasn't sealed and had no address. Isn't there some sort of post office test you have to take before you can step inside the building? No? There should be.

I got out of there and made it back to work in time to eat some spicy ramen that I made spicer by pouring in a ton of crushed red pepper. I keep several packets at my desk for this sort of thing.

Flash forward to today and the Bayshore Mall. I wanted to look for a video game for my daughter and see if FIFA '09 was still on sale for the PSP. It is, but before I can get to that store I have to make my way through the zombies.

In front of me is a mom and three loathsome children. The mom looks like her she got too close to a candle and her face started to melt into this sad puppet-like semblance of what was once human. Her glasses are dark to hide her dead, milky eyes. She has the strong aroma of coffee and cigarettes coming off her. Her children are dressed in the height of mall fashion. They range in age from toddler to teen. I find it hard to believe someone mounted her, but everyone's got a fetish. I'm stuck behind them as we weave through the aisles of Sears.

Dead stop. Boom. Right in the middle of an aisle too small for me to make my way around them. Mom looks around as if she's just smelled barbecue. She looks up. "We need help," she says to her oldest. She sure does. Lots of it, and not the kind you can find in Sears. "We need to find someone to help us."

Instead of walking in some general direction. She stands there as if waiting for the angels to fall out of Heaven and into her scabbed cleavage. Help is not coming. I'm close to delivering pain, though.

"Excuse me," I say. I'm polite. Almost always polite at first. Give a benefit of a doubt. You know, act civil even though I'm not confronted with civilization. Civil people don't stop in the middle of an aisle as if they are the only ones in the corn maze. (Or is it maize maze?)

"We're looking for help," she says as if this explains her blocking the aisle.

"I just want to get by." I could turn around ... and probably should, but I'm sick of this shit. I'm sick of people thinking they are the only folks in the universe. It's annoying, selfish and child-like. And to think these people are raising children. What are those kids going to turn out like?

"Well, I'm looking for help."

The kids feel my rage. Perhaps they've felt the same thing coming off mom when she's downed a bottle of JD after her favorite is voted off American Idol. They move out of the way. Unfortunately, the woman has the stroller and she is still blocking my way. I try to get by. She doesn't move.

"I'm looking for help," she says again. It's starting to sound like a plea. It's about to.

I push my way past her. I don't touch the stroller. I make sure of that. The kid will have enough problems in life. I do use my body to wedge past the woman. She is not easy to move.

She mumbles something. I think I heard "rude" in there. It wasn't rude. It was as civil as I could be while still maintaining my sanity. I didn't turn around and confront her. She wouldn't understand, and I don't want her to play the victim card. I just keep going, telling myself it's just the zombies in a holiday mood. It isn't. It is always like this when dealing with the walking dead. There's just more of them out because it's the holidays.

I made it out alive. I'm going back tomorrow. God help us all.

How I Found My Boss' Dead Body


It's a story I've told a few times in the past, but I got an e-mail saying I should tell the story of how I found my boss' body. Why not?

Years ago I was an employee of the Pleasure Center in Eureka, California. It was, at the time, a sex shop with a slant to female consumers. Now it's corporate owned with jack off booths and glory holes and all the personality of lint. Back then there just weren't any booths or holes.

Bill was my boss. I hated him. He sexually harassed people and was generally an asshole. Honestly, I'm glad he's dead, and about a week before I found his body I did threaten his life when he pushed me too far. Needless to say (but I'll say it any way), that caused a bit of concern for me when I had to call the cops.

The week before I found his stiff body I had wandered into the apartment section of the store and caught his ugly girlfriend naked. His girlfriend was an aging hippie whose breasts could have sorely used a bra few years earlier, as gravity was having its merry way with them. There was an awkward moment when I came in, but then she left. I learned my lesson.

The apartment section of the store was essentially a back room with a kitchen and its own entrance as well as one into the store. I used the kitchen section of the apartment to make silicone anal beads. I was the world's only producer of these special beads. I guess it made me special.

The found Bill on a Saturday. He had been spending nights at the apartment, so every morning I made a habit of checking the back entrance into the apartment. If the door was unlocked, Bill was in. If Bill was in, my morning would suck. As I walked toward the door, I could hear the Smashing Pumpkins coming from the kitchen from the Italian restaurant below.

"A killer in me is a killer in you."

I tried the door knob. It turned. Fuck.

So I let myself in through the store and went directly to the kitchen.

Have you ever walked into a room and could feel electricity? You know, like the television is on with the sound down? I could feel that. The television was on, but there was no sound. I saw the top of Bill's head as I put my lunch in the fridge. He had a mattress on the floor. He was on it. I just caught a glimpse of him, but he looked like he was sleeping. Fucker.

"Bill, I'm in," I said. I wanted to wake him. I didn't want to see him naked. One of those things happened.

"Bill, wake up! I'm here!"

No answer. Fuck twice.

I walked into the "living area" of the apartment and stopped in my tracks.

He was on the mattress. Naked. Sitting up. Back against the wall. Eyes partially closed. Mouth partially open. A cock ring was still wrapped around his lube-slick flaccid penis. His lube-slick hand was starting to turn a nasty shade of purple. He was facing a television that had long since gone to blue screen, indicating the end of whatever porn he had been watching.

"Bill!" I shouted. "Wake the fuck up!"

I don't know what prompted me to shout that. I knew he was dead. He wasn't going to wake up. I was not expecting to come across this. I think I can be excused for my actions.

"Fuck!" I screamed ... right before hitting the wall. I then quickly dialed my future wife.

"Bill's dead," I said into the phone.

"What did he do this time?" She was used to such declarations from me. I say them a lot. Still do.

"No. He's really dead. Not moving. Not coming back."

I then called 9-1-1. Explained the situation to a dispatcher who seemed to get paid only if she couldn't comprehend an emergency call. She didn't seem to understand "dead." "Is he breathing?" she asked. "No. He's dead."

Where I come from, dead doesn't involve breathing.

The paramedics come. At first they are more concerned with the store's whips and devices. Then I get them to see the body. They don't know who I am. I could be his son, though if I was I would have killed myself long before this.

The medics use the utmost in technology to determine his status. Understand, though, that this is Humboldt County, a poor region of California despite the pot. The most current technology available to them was this: The EMT picked up Bill's arm and dropped it to the floor, where it made a dull thud sound.

"Yeah, he's dead."

They all shared a laugh over this, and I cursed myself for not having a camera.

The police were next on my list of people I Had To Deal With. The cop asked me if there was a weapon. I assured him the only people to touch anything were the EMTs. They touched his arm. They had to see if he were dead. According to the way it hit the floor, he was. I guess I could be an EMT. I could lift an arm.

The officer seemed intent on making it a homicide investigation. I was starting to worry about the column I did for a friend's 'zine. It's title? "Murder Your Boss." I was really regretting that one at the moment. Why couldn't I have called it "Fuck Shit Up 2"?

I tried to explain that I didn't think Bill was murdered. I knew how he died. Or I thought he did. He was making amyl nitrate. There was a bottle of it by the bed.

"Well," the officer asked, "how do you think he died?"

"He was using amyl nitrate," I started.

"What's that?"

"Poppers." Wasn't this his job to understand these sorts of things?

"What?"

"It's a drug. Increases the heart rate."

"Oh."

I got it. He failed the EMT test.

"Anyway," I continued. "He was using it while masturbating to a lesbian porno. That's lube on his hand, and the television is on blue screen."

The cop popped the porno out of the VCR. It was a lesbian porn. I was now outperforming the EMTs and the police.

At this point Bill's ugly girlfriend called. "Bill's dead," I said. I didn't have to be nice about it. I didn't like him, and I didn't like her.

"Was he naked?"

Why would she ask that? I didn't think she murdered him, but I do think she was here when he died. It was a first impression. The things she was saying made it seem that way, and then she said she was taking off for a few days for Redding.

That night, after all calmed down, my head started playing tricks on me. I saw the actors on television as they would look when dead. In the bathroom, I looked into the mirror and put my face into the same pose as Bill's dead one. I wanted to envision what I would look like as a corpse.

When I came out of the bathroom, my future wife was asleep on the floor. I couldn't wake her. I freaked out. Screamed at her to wake up.

Rumors ran rampant, as they tend to do when someone is attached to something like a porn store. He wasn't found with a dildo up his ass. He wasn't murdered. (The actual cause was heart disease, I think. The drug use didn't help.) He died jerking off, Astro Glide still matting in his pubic hair.

I was glad he was gone. I was glad his girlfriend was gone. If you think I'm harsh, I defend myself by saying he was a prick. In fact, he was still married and his Austrailian wife wanted nohing to do with him or the business; she was happy to wash her hands of everything.

There's the story. Perhaps one day I'll go into even more detail. But now you know the truth. Think about that next time you jerk off. Is that really how you want someone to find you? Probably not, but you won't stop either way.

17.12.09

I need a book deal badly.

Another Day


A new day. Terror already lined up. The dawn breaks. Deep breath. Smell the wood smoke. Know what is coming.

I feel refreshed. Got my sleeping fixed. Feels good. Gotten woken up by a text from Arsenal at four a.m.. Read it. Right back to sleep.

Manuscript package almost ready to go.

So am I. Later.

15.12.09

At War With the Planets

I was going to update the comic book blog tonight, but decided to stick with this one instead. I don't feel like writing about Kool-Aid Man and the pictures are still screwed up. Maybe when I'm done...

Oral Roberts died today. Celebrity Watchdog George Anthony Watson let me know. I can't say I'm sad. Snake oil salesmen selling God to old people for a portion of their pension seems kind of hellish to me. If you believe in God, you can take pleasure in knowing he has more company now. If you're like me, you find the whole thing ironic.

Today was an ... interesting ... day. Don't know what to make of it yet. Had the urge to listen to mid-career Suicidal Tendencies. Heard "Barracuda" on the way to get my daughter. You can't help but turn the radio up when that song comes on. The vocals and lyrics are shit. Utter nonsense. But that guitar. Good lord. It's such a clean, grinding sound that gets your attention every time. No wonder it's a classic. Makes me glad I like rock sometimes. Those who only listen to hip hop are missing out.

I have more to say, but I'm not going to. I'm taking a page out of an old playbook and shutting the hell up.
Comic blog to be updated when pictures work again. Maybe tonight .... Late.

All Tomorrow's Parties


I guess it's come to a head. Those close to me know I've been stressed. Many of you have not been happy with me for various reasons, and I apologize. I know I don't come across as very caring lately, and kind of not there, but I'm trying to sort through this mess and come out a better person.

My Mirror is going into isolation. It's a move I totally agree with. Isolation is good. Isolation breeds thinking. Isolation produces introspection. Some people will say it is unhealthy. I say it is sometimes necessary. I'm not saying I'm going into total social isolation. Not at all. But mentally I think I will withdraw more ... at least until I figure out how to deal with the stress in my life. The doctor is a good step. Fixing my sleep habits is another. Eating healthier, too.

Stress is a killer. So is not being true to one's self. I'm not sure which is worse at this point. I figure I'll be able to see more clearly once the fog is lifted.

So, to all of you affected by my many splendid moods -- I apologize. I haven't been easy to deal with, and I know it. Now I'll just be quieter.

To the news.

In El Cerrito a 14-year-old boy raped a 12-year-old girl at school. Two boys saw it. One got help. The other tried to pull them apart. The boy is due in court today. I hope some parent puts a bullet in his head. I'm sick of this shit.

Here is another thought. There was a group of women in Canada who went after rapists and attacked them. Why don't you ladies do the same here? Really send a message home? You are a rapist, we'll come to your house and take your penis. Snip, snip. In the sack. Never see it again. You would have a lot of sympathy. Wear masks so you don't get caught. It's obvious the usual ways of dealing with this situation aren't working, so I firmly agree with vigilante justice.

I've never raped anyone or even felt the urge to. I know it may not seem like it, but I have a lot of respect for women ... more than I do for men. Men are weak (I know, I'm one of them). Men are driven by the most base of emotions. Women have their problems, too, but one of them isn't really sexual assault (though it does happen).

Onward ...

Humboldt's in the grip of a slight storm front. Lots of wind. Rain. Cold. Nice. I saw a woman on the streets last night. She was on crutches. I figured that she would at some point be a victim if she didn't get home or to shelter. Her face said victimhood was something she was very familiar with. She looked like she would like nothing more than to blend into the shadows and never be seen. I felt bad. I wanted to offer a ride to wherever she was going, but I knew she would be suspect, and I'm not one to give rides to strangers. I just hope I don't hear about her on the news. If she was homeless, I expect I won't. Homeless women around here do not have it easy, and you never hear about it on the news. I get to hear about it. It's not pleasant. Not even close. Imagine if you had to sleep with one eye open every night. What do you think that would do to you in time? Make you a bit skittish, wouldn't it?

Always feel better after writing. Getting words out, even if they don't directly apply to me, do wonders for my psyche. I talk to my girl in five minutes. I get to see her tonight. Always good.

I'm reading one of the three books I got for my birthday. I read them in the order I received them because I'm weird like that. Total head fuck. Makes the skin crawl. I like it, but boy is it unpleasant. Best to embrace the discomfort than to pretend it doesn't exist. Don't know if that is better, but it works for me.

I've been avoiding my other blogs, but maybe tonight I'll write more once I'm off the phone. Update the comic book one. I always have something to say on comics, books or movies. Some people think I talk a bit too much about these things, give them an air of importance where there isn't any. I disagree. Everything is worth commenting on. Everything but the boring ... though that merits at least a line of disdain.

Obama is on the television. What a disappointing president. How he differs from Bush is beyond me. Yeah, he's smarter, more intellectual, but his actions are about the same. The people he put in charge of cleaning up the financial mess are the ones who created it. Do you ever feel cheated?

And so it goes.

The Philippines has a volcano set to explode. Gotta love when nature puts us in our place. Nothing makes you feel smaller than a burst of lava chasing your ass.

Work is coming soon. My synopsis is taking shape. I need to meditate on things. Blah. Blah. Blah. Wasn't it Black Flag that sang, "I want out/Right now"? I think so. It's a great line. Sums up things pretty well.

The rain may end tomorrow. That saddens me. I like the cleansing power of rain. The filth that is washed away. I like listening to it at night. I like knowing nature is doing something around me. Save the sun for the soma addicts. I'll take the clouds, thunder and rain over that any day.

More later, I suppose. There is always more later. Maybe I can get this blog back on track. People are mixed on the more personal writing, and that's okay. I've taken some flack for it, but it is nothing I can't handle.

Christmas in over a week. Hope you are clocking your friends and lovers. It's the "wave that is sweeping the nation." My favorite quote from the commercial? "My own arms are telling the time? How do they do that?" If we are to take this at face value (and it is poorly acted, so it is scripted), we have to wonder what that woman would think of something like quantum physics or microwave popcorn. "My magic box is making popcorn in a bag! How does it do that?"

I hate when businesses use stupidity to sell their goods. Turns me off to them totally. Later days, kiddies.

14.12.09

Bad Dreams Unmask Fears


I woke up this morning an hour before I wanted to and threw up. I've never had a nightmare that made me vomit. Never. This one did.

I will not write about the dream. Just tried to. It upset me. I had my revenge, though. To give you an idea of how bad this dream was, at one point I said the to human pig that had done wrong, "... and if you try to run, I'll nail your breasts to that table. You won't be going too far then."

Yeah, that was not a fun night.

I got to go to work soon. Do some good. I was going to make a post office run today, but it being the busiest mailing day of the year, and me being of short temper does not make it seem like a good idea. I've got a lot to do tonight and not enough time to do it. Story of my life. My desk is a mess. It bothers me to look at it.

Sat in the jacuzzi last night. Had played soccer (the real football) with my daughter earlier in the day and twisted funny while going for the ball. Later, my daughter kicked the ball so hard that it went off my knee into my nose. Her response? "You okay? Well, you aren't bleeding, let's go." She called her team the Bone Breaking Tigers. I really like that. It's a strong image. That's my girl. There is something every day that she says or does where I can see myself in her.

I ache. I don't heal like I did when I was 20. There is comfort in that. The miles have worn me down, but I like it. Makes me feel ready for whatever is coming.

Worked on my synopsis some more. Can't get this manuscript overview down just right. Have just a few paragraphs to sell it. It's a tough one. The story is simple. It's meant to be. The next one will be a deep examination of violence unleashed. It will bother me to write a lot of it, but it must be done. I have some great ideas for it. I won't send it to the publisher who found this current manuscript to be too depressing. I wouldn't want to send him off the deep end.

Xmess is almost here. The zombies are flooding the mall, the floors slick with their drool. Got to be there next Saturday and Sunday. That's never fun. Good for zombie watching and listening to their attempted conversations, which are little more than grunts and phrases learned from television commercials.

Arsenal won. Eagles won. Good on both counts. Arsenal is looked at as sometimes being arrogant. Eagles have Vick, whose transgressions are well documented. He had a few good plays last night (one that I can think of), and you can see why the Eagles nabbed him. Arsenal played well against Liverpool. The Gunners, as they are known as, were not in top form, however. They got the win, though, and that's all that counts.

Stomach still upset. Nerves shattered. That stupid I Got Clocked! commercial is on. I wonder if they will make a clock of Adolph Hitler or Jeffrey Dahmer. I should call and find out. "I wanna clock Hitler!" They do say "whoever" in the commercial. Maybe i should take a random picture of someone, get the clock made and send it to them. That would be creepy. "Honey, did you do this? No? Who the hell would do this?"

Monday.

12.12.09

California Death Tripping


I had this surreal day. Time with my daughter was well-spent, but we ended up at this birthday party/tea party for people we really didn't know, and neither of us is really all that comfortable in that kind of situation.

Felt awkward, but it was a nice gesture on their behalf, and my girl had a fine time. I kind of let my mind wander, as I tend to do in these situations.

I've had this new story in my head for a while now. Nasty bit of work. The kind of thing publishers say they want, read, and then decide it's too much for them. It's a study in depravity and evil, of acting without consequences and how bad you can fuck with someone who doesn't realize they've stepped into your playground. Part of that stems from conversations with friends. Part of it stems from me trying to figure out what I want to do with my future. But most of it stems from my imagination and a few images that have been in my head for months.

(As an aside, people wonder why I'm sometimes moody, off, or just plain weird. I don't care that they think these things. Don't care at all, but I will explain part of why that may be the case. When I'm coming up with a story, it usually starts with an image or scene in my head. This will just come to me out of nowhere. Then it festers. Sometimes for over a year. Usually these scenes are quite vivid/explict/terrible. Imagine having that stuck in your head, knowing that it won't go away until you can figure out a way to use it in a story. It's not fun.)

I like this new story idea. I wish I had time to write it, but I don't at the moment. I won't think of the ending because that's how I operate. I've never completed a story with the ending already in mind. I don't think I can. If I know the ending, I have no reason to write it. I write these stories to find out how they end. If I know, why waste my time? Someone else may want to read it? I don't care. They need to tell their own tales, then.

Originally this scene I came up with was to be used in a film, but I eventually figured out a story around it and how to fit it into a manuscript. It won't be pretty, but my fiction rarely is. I take the job very seriously, and I don't write light. (Or "lite," as it were.)

As I stood around the party, watching faces, listening to conversation, I started to think more on an idea of been working on. A study of fear. (I also thought about pieces on the embracing of victim culture, and one dealing with death of emotions. Fear seems more interesting.) Namely, which segment of society is more frightening: city folk or country folk? I'm not writing it yet, but I have my answer. I only have to go about proving it.

I also thought about this idea I've been having for a private dinner party. Just a few people. Invite only, of course. Spicy foods. Beer, soda, wine -- whatever. Pleasant, intelligent conversation. Perhaps a bit elitist in nature (but anything on that level will be in one form or another), but also people unafraid of truth. All of this came about because I was talking in the Mirror, so to speak, about my mashed potatoes.

The fear study came about when thinking of ideas for the blog, thank you for asking.

So my mind was all over the place. I forgot my cell phone, so I couldn't even check the time. I was trapped with my thoughts. It was okay. I'm not afraid of my ideas.

When we left the party we came home to make dinner before the annual truck parade. For those not from Eureka, California, the truck parade involves trucks done up with holiday lights. My daughter likes it, so I'm all for it. The tradition seems nice, too, so it's not like some creepy St. Patrick's day parade. We enjoyed it. I overheard something interesting.

"Seems like some people need a hurtin'."

You can bet I'll be using that line.

I've got the story fleshed out thanks to the party. Now all I need is the time to write it. Ideally, I'd be working on it every waking hour of the day until I got it done, but that's not realistic. Nice, but not realistic. I don't need to work on it yet, either. It's fresh enough that it needs to simmer for a month. If I still want to visit it then, I'll find time. Until then, though, it's back to picturing some scenes and wondering why I get strange looks whenever I open my mouth.

11.12.09

Arizona Death Tripping


My daughter is asleep. She's got her doll. A documentary on the "real wolfman" plays on the television. I could use a Coke.

Was at the drug store tonight looking at air mattresses. Good to have one on hand for whatever. Thinking about my manuscript, an e-mail I've tried to write like eight times, and wondering if I should get Chapstick. I've had problems with that stuff in the past, but I keep licking my lips like a drunk, and they are getting cracked. So all this stuff is running through my head when I saw them.

They are in line ahead of us. Two women. Late twenties. Their only purchase? A half gallon of Caramel Delight ice cream. They are very excited about this ice cream, and very happy with the price. The clerk, a guy a few years younger then them, greets them like he thinks he has a chance.

It's fun watching these dances. Makes me feel good in my alienation from their world.

Dealt with a near migraine today. I felt it coming. Quickly took medicine. Avoided disaster. Watching these two women makes me wish I had that migraine. They are way too happy to have this ice cream. If it were a deer, they would have it mounted above the computer desk, a permanent reminder of the deal they got.

What kind of life is that? What is your life like when you get positively animated over the price of a half gallon of ice cream? Does cancer exist? STDs? Serial rapists? Was this the best thing that happened all day? What kind of jobs must they have where ice cream from the drug elicits this much joy? Perhaps they are in charge of watching paint dry.

I know it's the small things that make life tolerable. I get that. I understand that good ice cream can be expensive. Been there. I don't get, however, how it becomes a symbol of all that is pure and holy in the world. Two minutes spent praising its price is one hundred and ten seconds too long.

I also know I'll never get it. I don't live in that world. No complaints there, though. I would never get used to the territory, and I believe the people are a little too psychopathic for my tastes. More power to those of you who stay there, though. It can't be all bad. At least you get cheap ice cream.

Primitive

Yes, after months of being nagged by just about everyone I know, I am seeing a doctor! Now I get to nag back to all you about your health. (It's one thing people do well -- nag others about things they don't do themselves.) You've all been warned. Get your ducks in a row. Roll up those sleeves.

Hopefully my problem (or problems depending on who you listen to) can be cured with a prescription and a few kinds words and loving glances. It would be awkward, but what isn't?

Stress is a bitch. Just had to wonder what was worse. The nagging or the back pain. Guess which won? Bwah, ha, ha, ha!

I've been to the doctor for this before. The stress is getting bad enough to cause me pain which made it hard to function. Don't want to miss time with my kid or work, so I gotta do what I gotta do.

It could be worse, of course. It can always be worse.

10.12.09

Random Thoughts


I'm burned out on writing my manuscript synopsis. My mouth is on fire because I figured a late mail of sirloin soup laced with Sudden Death sauce would be a splendid idea. I didn't use much, either. Don't really need to. Enjoy the random thoughts.

The Volksfront, a white power organization, uses the black sun as its logo. I really like the mystical and symbolic power of the black sun. I wish it were used for some other purpose. Perhaps to sell seeds or organic cereal bars.

If you rob a bank in Eureka, California, it's a good idea to stay in your hotel room if you're getting flat-assed drunk. Being drunk in public leads to attention, which leads to cops, which leads to an arrest. Brilliant move, you dumb fuck.

If I ever meet Baby Bush, I'm going to offer him a pretzel. It just seems right.

You ever meet those people who think every day is a miracle? Imagine how fascinated they must be with holograms and digital 3-D movies. That shit must really blow their minds.

The latest Amazon commercial, which features the Destroyer album, utilizes music from The The. Henry Rollins once lived in an apartment that was rented by The The's lead singer. My friend the mirror just wrote to Rollins and he wrote back and brought up free speech -- a concept I get behind and know a bit about. These things are connected by nothing but the words I wrote, yet they all exist. The people who think every day is a miracle are pissing themselves by now.

People don't follow their instincts nearly enough. If they did, they wouldn't give a lot of hitch hikers a ride, they wouldn't get wasted with that guy they barely know, and they sure as hell wouldn't believe the girl when she says she's on the pill. Trust your instincts. They are there to keep you alive.

Not all babies are cute. Some are gruesome looking. There are some young kids who are weird looking, too. They have oddly adult heads and features. This should freak me out, but it just makes me think, "You must look exactly like one of your parents." And they always do. It's sad.

Jimmy Fallon is not funny. He will never be funny. He thinks he is funny. He is not, though. I could kick his ass easily, and that is funny. If I meet him, I will challenge him to a fight. When he declines, which he will, I will taunt him. "Then make me laugh. Come on, 'Comedian.' Make me chuckle. Do it or I'll put you on the ground and kick your teeth out. No pressure. Just make me laugh. Convince me you deserve that show you got. No pressure. Make me laugh." Guaranteed he'll be collecting his teeth before I even so much as crack a smile.

There are far too many bad fantasy books out there. I also wonder if older women masturbate to those cheap romances you find in grocery stores.

I've met plenty of people who think their means and time of death is somehow predetermined. Not a single one of them has ever really believed that, though. At least they didn't act like they did. If they did really believe it, they wouldn't stop at stop signs or look both ways before they crossed the street. They'd have to realize that it doesn't matter because if you're set to die, you're set to die. Nope, not a single one of them really believed it. It must make them feel better, though. Can't imagine why, however.

Okay. going to bed. Enjoy your night, young lovers. Tomorrow we draw blood.
Cutting lunch short. Cannot stand the trivial today.
Enduring small talk is one of life's tortures. I need my book. Do not care about weather.
Lunch with no reading material is not good.
Keeping it alive for now. When it becomes a burden i kill it.

8.12.09

No Decision Yet


I appreciate the comments left, but I haven't made a final decision on the blog yet. When I do, I will post it here, of course.

I'm leaning toward keeping it, but I have to work on getting this manuscript package ready, so it may be slow posting for a while.

The Shut Down


I've contemplated from time to time ending this blog and all the others. They aren't generating enough comments, income or readers, and I feel like my time is best spent elsewhere. I have two other manuscript ideas that I want to pursue, and little time to do so. So I wonder ... should I end this thing?

Friends and family have misunderstood some of the posts. Feelings were hurt. Anger was raised. Every time I mention Amateur Porn Star Killer I get an e-mail blasting me for it. I have to wonder if it's worth it. It's a lot of work, a lot of stress, and I don't have the time or energy for either.

On the plus side, it is a great release and it keeps my name out there in one form or another.

It's an idea for now. I'll revisit it in a few days or so. Until then ...

7.12.09

Eureka City Hall Homeless Camp Disbursed

Eureka City Hall has been the site of a homeless encampment for a few weeks now. From all accounts the tents are gone by the time city workers show up in the morning, and the cops have been letting the people camp there ... until now.

This weekend the homeless were moved out by the police. The usual problems were cited: trash and the like. The protest (as some had made it out to be) lasted about 30 days. Ironically enough, the past few days have been some of the coldest of the year. That's a great time to move the down and out out and away.

Eureka has a homeless problem ... like many other areas. I've lived in Old Town. I've seen it first hand. Some of them are homeless by choice. Some of them are homeless due to circumstances beyond their control. Some of them are aggressive. Some are super nice. The point is, they are people like everyone else, but unlike a lot of other people, they don't have a roof over their heads, they are often the victims of random crimes and bothered by police. This group at city hall didn't have a place to go, so they went to city hall to make a point.

Whether or not the point was made remains to be seen, but one thing can be sure, moving them out did not solve the homeless problem. Yes, it may have kept the city hall parking lot "cleaner," but it did nothing to address the problem of homelessness in the first place. Honestly, I'd rather the police clean up the drug dens then roust the homeless, who were getting out of sight by morning anyway. So why this? Why now?

The economy is in the toilet. More and more people are ending up on the streets. We may not always be happy dealing with panhandling and whatnot, but this is a problem of society. As a society we have to deal with it. We can't look aside. We can't pretend it doesn't exist or doesn't effect us. These are families, these are young people, old people, smart people, addicts -- they are people, and to ignore them says more about us then it does them.

The police may be happy that they don't see tents in the city hall parking lot anymore, but where did those people go? They didn't just disappear. They didn't suddenly find homes. They went elsewhere and the problem remained. Just because we don't see them now doesn't mean they aren't there.

The poor in America are a lot like our elderly -- disposable and forgotten about except at certain times of the year. (Chritmas for both.) Granted, people have their own problems to deal with, but we can't ignore what's right under our noses. We can't pretend it doesn't exist.

A few of the homeless protesters (they say they were protesting the lack of housing and how the homeless are treated) were interviewed on KIEM. They may not be as articulate as the usual talking heads, but they had a lot more to say. The one thing they said over and over (in not so many words) is that they are people and that shouldn't be forgotten.

I'm big on personal responsibility. I get irritated with getting asked for money. But I still have compassion and understand that people have different obstacles they got to get over. I can't be vocal about personal responsibility as long as I make sure it goes both ways. I can hold the homeless as responsible as I hold the homed. As long as we live in this world together, the problems of the homeless are everyone's problems. Eureka can't considerate itself a compassionate city if it is forcing the homeless out because some workers found toilet paper in a stairwell.

The obvious answer to homelessness is: Give them homes. It's not that simple, however, though it would be nice. We could legalize squatting, but that still wouldn't solve things. A lot of these people need the help of social programs meant to combat addiction, chronic unemployment, medical needs and so on. Some of them are veterans with PTSD. (What does that say about us when we have homeless vets with issues?) Some are families who have never had to deal with this before and they have no idea what kind of help is available to them. So what we need is not only homes, but also the idea that these people aren't problems.

It's tough when you look at the scope of the problem. It's so huge it seems like there is nothing that can be done. And maybe that's true. Maybe there is nothing you can do ... at least not so on the surface. If you don't have the means or knowledge to help, the least you can do is not make their lives harder. You don't have to give money -- that's fine -- but don't refuse to give them your change and then berate them for forty seconds. Who does that help? Does it make you feel better? Do you think your "pep" talk will cause them to become magically employed?

Years ago I worked for a retail establishment. My boss and I were outside cutting some wood for shelves. An obviously homeless man came up to us and asked for change. I said (truthfully) that I didn't have any. My boss told him to "get a job."

"God bless," he said, and then he walked away.

I pointed out to my boss that we could've used the help with the wood. "Why didn't you offer him a job?" I asked.

"Look at him," she replied. "Who would hire him?"

I didn't point out that she was perfectly capable of changing something for this guy that she was complaining about -- lack of a job. She could have had him working, but instead she advised him to get a job even though it was doubtful she would ever hire him in the first place. Her lack of responsibility for the situation coupled with her rudeness probably made her feel better. It did nothing for me, however, but to establish the idea that my boss was a hypocrite and a bit of a shit, too.

So the police brought the homeless campers an early Christmas gift. How nice of them. How progressive. How New Age. I guess we can all feel better now. We don't need to have our field of vision cluttered with unpleasant reminders of where society has failed. We don't have to see them as we travel to get a $3.50 coffee. The police turned on the light, and they scattered like cockroaches back under the sink. If their presence worked that well on protesters, imagine the results if they came up against real criminals.

I understand that we live in a society of laws and rules, but I'm still a little ashamed right now. I don't get some kind of joy in thinking people whose lives were most likely pretty miserable in the first place just had more misery dumped on them by people who are employed to serve my safety. I didn't ask for this. I don't know anyone who did.

Camping at city hall was asking for problems, but instead of treating them as such, maybe the police should have asked if there was anything they could do for them. After all, last time I checked they were there to serve and protect them, too. I guess on the plus side they're all used to being treated like shit so this was nothing new anyway.

We could've treated that differently. Instead, we did what we always do. Maybe next year.

Maybe not.

The Worst Part of This Job


The worst part of this job has always been and will always be editors. Ask a simple question about a comment made and the editor will launch into a rant about why it doesn't work, why it can't work ... and all I think is, "You didn't get it at all, and it seems plain to me."

Editors are failed writers. Some are great. Many aren't. Mondays seem like the day I deal with idiots. I ask a simple question about a manuscript. I get a simple answer to a totally different question. I wonder if I could ask it another way. I can't. I don't know how to ask it another way. All I know is that it was misunderstood. Perhaps that is my fault. Perhaps not. It's happened enough with many different editors that I sometimes wonder if they really know what their readers want.

Today I got e-mails from people I hadn't heard from in a while. One is an actress/singer, the other a lawyer I know from working with on some writing stuff from a while back. It was good to hear from both of them. The actress never got enough roles, and I've said as much several times over. She's good. Very good. The lawyer is also good at his job, but his taste in movies is questionable at best. He really got on my case about me writing for the Amateur Porn Star Killer series. He asks if anyone's been sued yet or prosecuted because of it, and I wrote back that he would be the guy I would recommend to defend director Shane Ryan if it ever came to that. I don't think he'll like to hear that, but I think he would understand.

With my back pain kicking into high gear, and my stress level being super high, I'm buckling and seeing a doctor. I don't want to be bed ridden or taken from either job due to inability to work, so I am taking care of this. I fear what they will say, but it needs to be done.

I'm tired. Wiped out. Lack of sleep caused by stress is taking its toll, too. That's even worse than the back pain. I don't want to take sleeping pills, but I fear it may come to that. I can't continue to survive on three to four hours of sleep a night. I refuse to get a 215 card because that's not me, and I don't really want to rely on medicine, but I'm starting to wonder if I have a choice.

I need some sleep. My eyes are fighting to stay open. I'll lay down and I'll fall asleep almost instantly. I won't stay that way, though. I'll get up and be up until I have to take a shower and hit the road. That sucks. That's no way to live. That's stress destroying me because I can't help but think of things constantly.

I do not know what else to do.
Finally seeing a doctor. Long time coming. Back issues and sleep deprivation gotta go.

5.12.09

The Cult of Personality


I brought up the subject of Cargo Cults last night while talking to Blue. I just mentioned it in passing. Mentioning it here because I can't post my reviews on Film Threat, and I'm wondering if it's another glitch or if they are pissed off at me for not doing an interview. Either way ...

Anyway, as I got to thinking about the Cargo Cults, I started to think about how our modern day society is a lot like them. We engage in ritualistic, magical thinking in order to gain stuff. I don't know what else you'd consider a credit card, home shopping channels, wish lists and so on. Since Cargo Cults are "primitive" we tend to think we are above that, but I actually think American society is just a more subdued version of them.

Cargo Cults have been known to build runways in order to attract the material/technological goods they so desire. We obviously don't do that, but we do buy counterfeit goods (knowingly) in order to fool people into thinking we can afford $1500 purses. With that image in mind, it's not a far stretch to think something like that is done not only to impress people but to attract a mate who may be more material minded and thus more likely to spend their money on material goods.

Weird.

As I stumbled through the Bayshore Mall today, taking in bits of conversation and fighting my way past people who just stop walking without warning to do God knows what, I couldn't help but think of concept of a Christmas tree. In a child's eyes, this is put up and then one day -- boom -- gifts magically appear under it, delivered from the sky by a magical man.

We set our youth up to be cultists from an early age, yet I don't think we see it that way.

In 1992 Alexander Cockburn wrote of something similar with American culture as a Cargo Cult. This was in reference to some rebuilding efforts in Watsonville, California. So I don't think I'm totally off base here. Cockburn is an agitator, but he's also fairly reliable.

Oddly enough, I've often said capitalism is cannibalism. In the 12/76 issue of The Journal of Nervous and Metal Disease a few doctors looked at cannibalism being linked to Cargo Cults. There is a report of a 30-year-old man who killed and ate part of his son in hopes that God would send him instructions as to how to do the right thing and his fellow tribe members' heads would become clear and then they would "do the necessary things to bring about the white man's way of life." He wanted God to "send many goods" and his people would find money.

We're supposedly so advanced. MP3 players. Written codes of ethics (only paid lip service to by people who have no ethics of their own). The justice system. HDTV. Elective surgery (but no health care). Hybrid cars. Recycling centers. We're so advanced, yet we are still just nothing more than a massive, self-deceptive Cargo Cult. We may not kill and eat our children, but how many families have been destroyed by a parent blowing their savings on a chance to win big at the casino? How many families have prayed to God to win the lottery?

The cults have their runways. We have our tax incentives. Both are there to attract material goods and money. Both are magical thinking. We just think we're more advanced.

Knees Deep in the Blood of Swine


Did some more Christmas shopping for my little girl. Did some of it at our lovely Bayshore Mall, home to a Borders, a pretzel place, a church and creepy public restrooms. Here is a sampling of some things I overheard.

At Borders: The female clerk says to a female customer, "I don't know why we wouldn't have it. We celebrate diversity and stuff." How, pray tell, is diversity celebrated?

In line at the bank: The man behind me says, "I don't know if it's the best movie of the year, but it is the coolest. It should win an award for that." The film in question? 2012. And the award for awesomeness goes to ...

Walking through the mall: Two teen girls who differ only in shirt color are walking toward me. "I don't care," one says to the other. "I'll fucking kill him." I can't imagine what transgression evoked such a response. Perhaps he unfriended her on Facebook or some shit.

At GameStop (always an entertaining venture): "Are these PS2 games for the PS2?" Had I been working, I would have said, "No, just the Wii." Figure that one out, hot shot.

At Kohl's: Clerk looks at my $10 off coupon. She rings in the item, which is $8.00. "Hunh," she says. "This cost you nothing. How did that happen?" I respond, "That is eight bucks. The coupon is for ten dollars off." "Doesn't seem right," she says. "How so?" She doesn't answer.

I also noticed that our Santa looks a lot like Noam Chomsky. It's rather eerie, actually. I want to ask if it's him, but he also looks surly. I don't want to fight Santa in the middle of the mall, but if I do, I will post a picture here.

Back in pain. Relaxing now.
The concept of lines are too hard for some adults.
Mall shoppers like Romero zombies. Hate being here.

3.12.09

Hammer Time


If I wrote everything I felt, I would have a lot of explaining to do. Instead, I carefully choose my words. I try to stick to politics and social issues, but since real life is so firmly tied to those things, it all becomes political and social.

I've been in this weird mental space the past few days. Started with an e-mail. These words on the screen made me question a few things I was already questioning anyway. Ran these things by some people I trust (as I had been anyway). I don't think that's a bad thing, but it was a confusing thing. Heard a lot of truth. Heard a lot that made me unhappy. Heard a lot that made me think.

How unpleasant.

"Where do you see me in ten years?" I asked.

"Lonely."

That struck me. It wasn't exactly unexpected, though. It seemed to make sense. That word was followed by a lot of rational thinking. Thinking that startled me by how accurate it was.

I suppose if I wasn't so damn tired and in physical pain right now, I would make some observation and all would be well. I don't have it in me right now. I'm drained. Everything feels odd. Nothing feels quite right. It's not the best time to be making observations.

By now I should be asleep. I'm tired. I didn't get much sleep last night. Don't expect to get much tonight. Instead, I write because if I edit the manuscript I'm afraid I'll screw that up. I have the news on in the background. (Economy update coming up!) My back has a twitch in it that feels kind of new. It definitely doesn't feel good.

A commercial for Dr. Phil's show comes on. Dr. Phil. Now there's a guy I could hit with a hammer and feel damn good about it. Not once. Not twice. Three sharp blows right in the mouth. He's a smug cock of a man who tries to hold people accountable not for their own well being but for ratings. If he had an ounce of integrity he wouldn't do this in a public forum. He would do it behind closed doors (where that hammer could come out if he acted like he does on his show). I'm all for people being responsible. I am not into the idea of humilating them so you can raise the price of your ad space. He's a sideshow and far too many people are paying for admission.

I think of how Dr. Phil would deal with me. "You've got choices, boy! Make them! Stop dickering around and really think about how you deal with other people."

"Well, doc," I'd say. "I don't make emotional choices anymore. That doesn't work well for me. Instead, I kind of go the rational route. When you do that, you'd think things would be black and white, but there's a problem."

"And what would that be, boy?"

"People. People are far from black and white. They are these fucked up creatures -- can I say 'fucked up' on NBC? -- who have little agendas, who can't handle their own affairs, who lie to themselves every day. They make it so you can't deal in black and white because those colors don't exist there."

"Don't you lie to yourself every day, boy?"

"I do, doc. But I know I'm doing it, and I know why. I'm trying to keep my head about me, but I'll tell you what. You impress me. You try to get right to the heart of the matter."

"Why thank you."

And then I bring the hammer out. "Let's get to the heart. Let's get to the truth."

Whack. Whack. Whack. Audience is freaking. A woman passes out. Phil's got a few teeth in his hand. He's looking at his palm as if he can't believe this is really happening. "What the hell?" he asks. It sounds like "Whush da hellsh?"

"That's my truth. A hammer to the teeth. Ain't nothin' truer these days."

Who am I kidding, though? Dr. Phil is an adorable teddy bear. He's the kind of guy you cuddle up with and share a lollipop. He's rock solid.

Hey, thanks to everyone for the birthday videos, well-wishes, gifts and whatnot. Very kind of everyone, and don't think I don't appreciate it. I know I've been distant lately. I've had a lot on my mind. It's the holidays or something. Either way, I thank you. I know I don't always show it, but those of you who are my friends know I mean it.

Off to bed. I won't sleep. But I will think. Lord, will I think. My mind will race. I want this manuscript published.

Bernanke is on television getting grilled as to why he didn't do more. He should have. Could have. Frankly, our representatives shouldn't be asking him questions and telling him he needs to go back to Princeton. They need to do a pay-per-view special where one lucky lottery winner gets to eviscerate him and hang him by his own intestines.

That I would pay to watch. Hey, some people like wrestling. Some like romantic comedies. I like televised executions of public figures who fell asleep at the wheel ... or in Bernanke's case -- looked the other way.

The only thing this guy should be in charge of is picking up his teeth.

Hammer time.
So tired. Stress killing me.
Our president screwed up big time. More troops. Less killing. Right.
Feeling not so hot. Stomach and back hate me today.
My book provides refuge from the refuse.
Cold out today. Warmth is overrated.
I feel strongly about violence.
If you listen to fools ...

2.12.09

Something Wicked This Way Came


Heading to the post office at lunch. Already on edge because it's been one of those days (and for those of you who had to deal with my insane probing questions -- I appy-polly-loggy). I'm stopped at the corner of 3 and C when they come shambling out across the street heading toward the alley that runs behind Lufkin's.

Four of them. Large. Like small dogs. Shambling. Not quite right.

Raccoons.

Seeing this put me in a strange mood. Raccoons are nocturnal. This was a little after noon. These beings most likely had rabies and the way they were walking kind of confirmed that. It felt very end of the world like, and I knew that if they crossed in front of my car I would run them over. I would destroy these crimes against nature. Not because I'm cruel, but because I'm kind.

I made a super hot breakfast burrito for dinner tonight. Eggs. Cheese. Jalapenos. After Death Sauce. After Death contains red habanero pods, cayenne, spices and pure pepper resin. It's not the hottest sauce I own, but it is up there. It does burn. It does hurt. Couple it with jalapenos and it's a wonder I didn't need to go to the hospital.

As I've been told today by several different witnesses (can I get another?): I don't do anything part way, half way, half-assed or with any subtlety. I don't burn matches. I burn forests.

That seems about right.

Friend and co-worker, DJ, suggested a pizza run is due. I could not agree more. She's isolating herself. I commented on her blog my thoughts on the whole issue. I can see it. Isolation isn't bad. A pizza run won't solve that, but we'll be cellmates for a while. We will bounce ideas. And it will be like talking in the mirror ... only you don't have to worry when the mirror answers back this time.

Back to the raccoons.

I should not have been so freaked out by seeing these sick animals shuffle across the street. It felt wrong, though. Felt out of place. Fell like a break down of the status quo ... and not in a liberating way.

Arcata has had its problems with rabid foxes as of later. Eventually that would cross over. I wanted to stop it.

I never got to feel that satisfying crunch of bone beneath my wheels. But had they crossed in front of me, I would have. I would have and never looked back.

Sometimes animals are a lot like ideas. They need to be killed before they get out there and cause a real problem.