Wednesday, September 16, 2009

good god almighty that stuff 'aint real

This is how I spent my evening:

and it was just lovely. I'm halfway through the first season (thanks netflix insta-queue! - which I have used way more than the traditional netflix mainly because I'm too lazy to put the dvds in the mailbox which, I realize, is absolutely rediculous) and it's a great show so far. And the wine was pretty good too... I won't lie, the first time I bought this was a few years ago, and I bought it because I liked the label... I just can't help myself when it comes to aesthetics.

I received a few calls to go out tonight, but I'm glad I didn't. It's been really nice to just sit around, watching Dexter and taking periodic musical interludes. Speaking of which, I am completely obsessed with Sea Wolf's Leaves in the River right now. It's my song of the month.

My last day of work was yesterday, and already I'm reverting back to my habit of staying up way too late (having to wake up at 6am everyday really puts a damper on the whole staying-up-till-4am-writing-listening-and-reading thing that has been my life since I was in highschool). I have no clue where I'm going to go from here... and maybe I should be stressed about that. But I'm not. I just can't be. The air is too nice, the music too moving, the possibilities too endless, and the time way too short.

I went out to dinner with my mother the other day, who is going to Portland for a month-long visit, and she was so stressed out, like she so often is. And when I told her that she needn't worry so much, she got upset, like she always does at first when this recurrent conversation pops up. Sometimes she sees me as someone who never really worries about anything. I've heard this from people a few times actually. And I guess I can see where it comes from. Ammi used to get so mad at me in school because I never really worked at anything... or at least never worked at anything I didn't feel like working at, and she couldn't understand my ambivalence about academic pursuit. And I get it, I mean we are embedded with this notion that you need to do well in school and make a lot of money to be happy. But that is complete bullshit. It really is. It's not that I don't worry, or stress. It's quite the opposite actually. I freak the f out a lot of the time. But, in the end, and somewhere deep inside, I just realize... what is the point? You can stress about something until you are crippled by worry, and you can take all that stress and kill yourself to meet some standard that was placed in you, and you can hop from stone to stone with that weight on you, and that's fine, because you end up hopping from stone to stone anyway, but why consciously carry the weight? What I explained to my mother, and what I explained to Ammi about my academic attitude, is that I'm not immune to the pressure. I'm the guy who always says, don't worry so much, quoting Matthew 6:27 out of context; not because I'm actually indifferent to these very real circumstances, but because I've wasted way too much of my life worrying, and because it's what I'd want to hear, what I've so rarely heard, and because I think you just miss so much of the great stuff when you put so much energy into fighting the bad stuff.

I did not intend to get into all of this. It's much too big a concept to tackle here, one that I actually haven't ever really tried to put down in words before. But I'll say (or, rather, Bob Dylan will say) this in closing:

"When your head gets twisted and your mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When you're lagging behind and losing your pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
No matter what you're doing if you start giving up
If the wine don't come to the top of your cup
If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holding on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And your train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood's easy finding but you're lazy to fetch it
And your sidewalk starts curling and the street gets too long
And you start walking backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's morning seems so far away
And you feel the reins from your pony are slipping
And your rope is a-sliding 'cause your hands are a-dripping
And your sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And your sky cries water and your drain pipe's a-pouring
And the lightning's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashing
And the windows are rattling and breaking and the roof tops a-shaking
And your whole world's a-slamming and banging
And your minutes of sun turn to hours of storm

And to yourself you sometimes say
"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"
And you start getting chills and your jumping from sweat
And you're looking for something you ain't quite found yet
And you're knee-deep in the dark water with your hands in the air
And the whole world's a-watching with a window peek stare
And your good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying
And your heart feels sick like fish when they're frying
And your jackhammer falls from your hand to your feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And your bell's banging loudly but you can't hear its beat

And you think your ears might a been hurt
Or your eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blinding dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an' fooled while facing a four flush
And all the time you were holding three queens
And it's making you mad, it's making you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncing around a pinball machine

And there's something on your mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearing
But it's trapped on your tongue and sealed in your head
And it bothers you badly when you're laying in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And you're scared to your soul you just might forget it
And your eyes get swimmy from the tears in your head
And your pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion's mouth opens and your staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closing with you underneath
And you're flat on your belly with your hands tied behind
And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign

And you say to yourself, just what am I doing
On this road I'm walking, on this trail I'm turning
On this curve I'm hanging
On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking
In this air I'm inhaling

Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard

Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailing
On this mandolin I'm strumming, in the song I'm singing
In the tune I'm humming, in the words I'm writing
In the words that I'm thinking
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinking
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking

But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make your heart pound

But then again you know when they're around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
Cause sometimes you hear 'em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from your bed, from your last chapter of dreaming
And you can't remember for the best of your thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming

And you know that it's something special you're needing
And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healing
And no liquor in the land to stop your brain from bleeding

And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flying train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows your troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
That won't laugh at your looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rolling long after the bubblegum craze

You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it's you and no one else that owns
That spot that you're standing, that space that you're sitting
That the world ain't got you beat
That it ain't got you licked
It can't get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked

You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope's just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve

But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
And your trouble is you know it too good
Cause you look and you start getting the chills

Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
And it ain't on Macy's window sill
And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain't on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it's funny

No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you're bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain't a-gonna find it on your ticket stub
No, and it ain't in the rumors people're telling you
And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are selling you
And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star's blouse
And you can't find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus

And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knocking and tapping in Christmas wrapping
Saying 'ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry'
When you can't even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows

No you'll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache
And inside the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who'd turn you in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back
My friend
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
And think they're foolig' you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks

And you yell to yourself and you throw down your hat
Saying, 'Christ do I gotta be like that?
Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at
Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty

No but that ain't your game, it ain't even your race
You can't hear your name, you can't see your face
You gotta look some other place

And where do you look for this hope that you're seeking?
Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burning?
Where do you look for this oil well gushing?
Where do you look for this candle that's glowing?
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere?

And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You'll find God in the church of your choice
You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it's only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You'll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
at sundown

-Bob Dylan


If you've been generous enough to read through all of this, I'll leave you with a few tunes that have been good to me in this beautiful season.

Friday, September 11, 2009

i let my music take me where my heart wants to go

I've been feeling very restless lately, but not at all in a way that makes me weary or overtly anxious. I think I'm beginning to shed this notion of waiting. For so long now I've been waiting... waiting for some opportunity, or some change, or someone, or... I don't even know... But I'm done with that. I was listening to some music and reading some poetry this evening and I had this intense feeling of excitement, not for things that I've been waiting for, or hoping for over the last year or two, but for an entirely new set of circumstances that don't have the rigid outlines my previous dreams have had (have you ever wished for something for so long that you've imagined every possible scenario that it could play itself out? You dream it to death and then it ceases to excite you anymore, you just anticipate, in vain most likely) in fact there were no outlines at all. It was simply a feeling of excitement, and wandering images of beauty.


I remember the first time
you named me “Good morning.”

And how, the night before,
you considered my ceiling,
where the passing cars outside
the passing cars outside
the passing cars outside
cast their shadows and liquid lights
through the slats of my blinds.

You said: “Hey Romeo--
your CD player is skipping again...
but your ceiling’s like fireworks for poor folks!”

And I liked that.

I like the tall pauses you take
when you tell your nephews knock-knock jokes.
And I like your theory
that men and women’s shirts button on opposite sides
so that couples can get dressed facing each other
after making love.

You seem to season your seasons,
your days, your time
with rhyme, not reason,
I’ve seen you. Daily. Nightly.
I’ve watched you housebreak a puppy
just by asking politely.

And your remedy for insomnia?
Is to pile every pillow and blanket into the tub
and you nap there like you’re taking
a patchwork bath,
and I said once: “Oh--I wish I had a PICTURE!”
and you said: “Oh--I wish you and I had HOT SEX,
and then ELVES showed up at our doorstep,
with a PIZZA, to tell us JESUS just built a TREEHOUSE
in the backyard, and he’d like to meet us both,

You’re weird,
with a capital “WE.”
And I’m grateful, I marvel,
you’ve helped me hammer
some of my worst manners into manhood,
but I still admit--I like the way your shorts fit,
and how, overall, you’d call me “smart,”
even though sometimes
I do really stupid shit.

And I like how you giggle with your lips closed
like you’ve got a secret little moon in your mouth.

But I’m not insisting you’re some kind of goddess,
(I know you’re suspicious of unspecific love poems).
You’re more like a sunflower,
growing in the courtyard of an old folks home--
you mean things to people on a daily basis,
and this petty poem won’t explain
just how “my favorite” your face is,
(but I wish I’d been your bathroom mirror
the day they took off your braces).

You’re so pretty.

You’re like a vivid video game
and I’m the idiot kid
just trying to get to your next level--
I like your right-shoulder angel,
Hell, I like your left-shoulder devil.
I admire the lively deeds you do.
So if you come through a doorway again,
in a thrift store poncho,
or a drop-dead evening gown,
twirling and asking:
“Well, whaddya think?”
I’m gonna tell you:

“Shit howdy, Sunshine,
sit your fine self down!
If you’re looking for a compliment--

I think you’ve come
to the right place.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

release me

"Oh dear God, can you see this now?
I am myself like you somehow.
I wait up in the dark for you to speak to me.
I'm opened up...
Release me... release me."

I've been listening to this song for over 10 years now and it still gets to me every time, and always for a different reason. There's something now I want to be released from, but I won't get into that.

They've got a new album coming at the end of the month, and hopefully some nearer tour dates will be added. Can't wait.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

mr. t poetry

Today, my brother-in-law invited me to a facebook group he created - Mr. T Poetry.

I don't know where he comes up with this stuff, but it cracks me up.

His contributions:

Mr.T, Mr.T
why me Mr. T
is this some sort of conspiracy?
Mr.T are those kittens free cus
I'm so hungry Mr.T
Mr.T, Mr.T
grab a forty will watch you on T.V.
MrT. could you defeat Bruce Lee without the use of heavy machinery? Mr.T
Mr.T, Mr.T
I bet that you could beat up gravity
Mr.T you should have been in E.T.
Mr.T with your mohawk and goatee
Mr.T it's fools that you pity Mr.T

When I joined in I was under the impression we were making up poems that might have been written by Mr. T himself, so here's my contributions:

by Mr. T

pity the fool

commiseration for the cretin
sorrow for the sap
empathy for the empty-headed

but can I
can I not

also love?
by Mr. T

the weight around my neck
the weight on my soul

it glimmers in the sun

and all you better quit your jibber-jabber
by Mr. T

"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars."
- Walt Whitman

Shut up, fool.
I'm gonna bust you up Whitman!

I could probably spend hours doing this.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I noted in my last post that my current job consists of at least twelve hour shifts, and that is accurate, but, I should also say that the majority of those hours are spent doing absolutely nothing, as will be proven in this post. I mean, most of the time, there really is simply nothing to do. I'm a manager, so I do very little work myself, I just tell people what to do, and, really, at this point, I don't even do that because all my workers do what they're supposed to by now.

So anyways. I was sitting around today in my "office" - it's not really an office, just a storage area adjacent to one of my bars which I have adorned with a few chairs and a fan - with Shane, a very old dear friend of mine who works as a porter for the company. Shane and I grew up down the street from one another and have been best friends since midnight hide-and-go-seek was the most fun a kid could have. While sitting there and talking about how bored we were, Shane suddenly said, "you want to make some mazes?"

Now, in 9th grade Shane and I had this one math teacher, Mr. Forgette, the man was crazy (somehow Shane and I always had classes together with the oddest teachers... don't even get me started on our English teacher that year, Mr. Spira, who one time walked into class, looked around, and said "I'm not happy with this class today" and proceeded to hop out the first story window and walk off not coming back until 2 minutes before the class got out...). But Mr. Forgette was just hilarious. It was an AP math class, so he didn't really care too much about the curriculum, and any time you didn't want to listen to his lecture all you had to do was raise your hand and say "Mr. Forgette, I don't understand Cold Fusion" and the man would immediately turn off the overhead projector and ramble on and on about cold fusion (we pulled this trick in excess of twenty times that year and it ALWAYS worked). To this day I have no idea what cold fusion is, or really anything he said - one time I had a question about a test, and I went up to his desk and stated my question, and he just said "ah, well... you ever been to dunkin donuts?" I just stared at him for a while, and he stared back for a while, and after a while I said "um...yye, yes" and he said "alright then" and so I stared at him, and he stared back, and I slowly backed up and went back to my desk more confused than I started out. I think it was probably some mnemonic device he said over and over in class, that I might have picked up had it not been, coming back to the point, for the mazes.

The mojority of that AP math class was spent by Shane and I, sitting in the back row, creating elaborate mazes for each other to solve. We'd spend the first 30 minutes or so creating, and the last 20 trying to solve.

We were a bit rusty today, Shane apparently being a wee bit rustier on his maze skills then me because here's what he came up with:

and here's what I came up with:

Shane's took me roughly 20 seconds to solve.

When Shane saw mine he said, "Jesus man! I said let's start out basic and work our way up! What the fuck is this.. a teleport??"

Yes, there were teleports in my maze. One of them with an out of order sign on it, just to keep him on his toes.

It took him about 15 minutes to solve.

And I get paid for this shit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

sort of pointless entry

Let me just say that Tuesdays come and go far too quickly. Tuesdays have been my only day off for the past few months, the other six days consisting of at least 12 hour shifts, and let me tell you, one day off a week is not enough to do all the things you want to do. The first half of my day sucked, because it's also the first of September (crazy) which meant bill paying time, which meant hair pulling time, which meant insatiable need to get in the car and drive time. Which is precisely what I did... after fixing my car (I thought it was broken badly, and it was a huge relief to only need a jump). I drove to Albany to go see 500 Days of Summer, which was really good. I've always loved the combination of driving and listening to music... sometimes to a fault because I often would rather just listen than talk when in the presence of company, which seems rude, I know, I know, sue me... but this combination has become especially poignant since it really is the only time I am able to listen to music because of my work schedule (aside from Billy Joel's NY State of Mind that plays every day after the last race. I used to love that song, now I feel like vomiting every time I hear it). Now I feel like a drug addict getting a fix whenever the windows go down and the volume goes up.

So anyway, 500 Days of Summer was great. Though (spoiler alert), I really did want things to work out between them, probably because I identified with Tom so much (if I met a beautiful girl in an elevator who said she loved The Smiths I'd be done for too). It's also possible I don't like the idea that you can love so much about a certain person and not be "right" about them... Eh. But the thing with the girl at the end, her name being Autumn, was clever enough to make everything alright. And the coming attractions were awesome... aside from the one for Gamer, which looks like Michael Bay throwing up... the rest looked amazing though... check it:

I started out this post with ambitions of writing something meaningful, but I've lost it. I'll leave you with this, which is probably nearer to something I wanted to say, my favorite short in Paris, Je Taime - in honor of the little french film scene in 500 Days of Summer, which might have been my favorite part, and also in honor of the upcoming New York, I Love You, which I'm kind of worried will fail miserably in comparison to it's french counterpart.