Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Jen says:
Worthiness. You and I both pulled the worthiness card, so I remember it. And she wanted us both to trust our instincts more. She had a definite sense that you needed to move on.

What was interesting was that for me, she pegged educatio, in a training sense, which is absolutely dead on.

But for you, she asked you why you are so afraid to go back to school. What are you waiting for, she asked
Jen says:
she asked you. She thinks you need to move to something that will be a springboard to your return to school (and I think the writing plays an important role there) and that returning to your education is more important than starting your own business.
Jen says:
heading out to the shelter.
Jen says:
But that is what I remember.

Jen says:
no problemo


Not in a super pensive mood (or maybe it’s uber pensive) and so I have, I am afraid, been neglecting my writing. Work has me running in circles with all of the changes here and I’ve been bringing that same energy home with me. Really since our rummage sale, thank you again Vanessa for you impetus and hard organizational work, I have all of this change energy. I have the basement fairly cleaned out and last night I did five loads of laundry – got the winter cloths sorted and stored – etc. You get the idea. Things are in motion. I keep making trips up to Goodwill with things I didn’t sell at the sale. I’m in a change phase, where a week or so from now I will be a slightly different person in perhaps a more significant way than the usual gradual evolution that we all experience. It feels that way anyway – as though some more substantial shift is in process.

Ok – so if you’ve been reading related blogs you’ll know that we did Vanessa’s birthday tour of the Missouri wine country & we had a surprise party for her. Then Jen and Dereck were in town Late Saturday until early Monday. We went to gay pride and while there many of our group had readings done by a psychic. This psychic works up the street from me at Mystic Valley and comes with a good reputation for clear and insightful prognostication. While others may be reluctant to discuss their readings, I find that I am not - and perhaps writing about it will help me remember it.

You want details… our troupe of ten revelers, having completed the viewing of the parade and negotiating our next move, decided that drinks were in order. They put me in front like a dowsing rod or a flushing hound, knowing that I was most likely to find the shortest path to the booze. We only had to cut through one occupied display tent to arrive rapidly at that margarita stand. Drinks in hand we found ourselves backed up against the tarot tent. Jen and Beth both sat for readings – ten dollars for ten minutes. Erica had been previously read by the aura sketch artist, and had been pleased with her hour of color-coded advice at mystic valley proper. I listened in on both readings, but will leave them their tales to tell.


Jen then dropped another ten on her tarot women and insisted I sit for a reading. My psychic did not wait for me to touch the cards, but began to read me as soon as I was in the chair. I had introduced myself as someone who worked at The Healing Arts Center and so she formed some of her read on that introduction I am sure – where she got interesting was in her sense of time and interest. She talked first about my writing and how important it was that I continue with it and that I alter my career so that I can spend more time writing. She envisioned me working alone at a desk – in a business/office of my own.

She took my hands and read my palms – talking about my health and longevity. She didn’t really say anything about relationships, children, or any of that sort of thing. We did several passes with cards and it kept coming up that I need to let go of the past, that it’s done and I can’t do anything about it even if I wanted to. That I feel guilty for things that aren’t my fault and that I have no control over – that my job is very stressful and I should just let go more.

She talked about how I was completing a three-year cycle – my three years back in St. Louis – my soon to be three years at this job – she was bang on there. She talked about how much I have grown over the past few years particularly working through issues of masculinity – she talked about how I do over-think things a bit and should realize that while I am on a spiritual quest – much of what I think I still need to find is in fact already a significant portion of my personality – “You are on both a celtic path and an eastern one. You couldn’t be who you if you hadn’t already answered some of these questions and reached some of the goals that you think you are still pursuing.” OK – several other people heard this reading – what am I forgetting?


Sorry to be off the proverbial blogging map. My new computer guru has informed me that we are going to need to wipe the slate clean by wiping out my hard drive and starting over. My CD burner died some time ago and I have a rigged external read drive that I salvaged from a rummage sale a few months ago, but I have no write capability, so we are going to use my fast connection to upload my files to his website – then we are going to nuke the fucker and, like Finnegan, begin again. I haven’t had time to blog at work as I have actually had quite a lot of work to do. More Later.


Monday, June 28, 2004

I’m sure the stories from this past weekend will begin to roll slowly out of me during the coming week – one which concerns this blog and its recent silence would be the tale of virus hell that began Friday morning. Mary Beth must have hit a contaminated page in her Thursday night surfing or opened a contaminated email– as Friday morning the system was fucked with pop ups. Even my google tool bar was no match for the onslaught. She told me later that AG Edwards had blocked all downloads, as something particularly nasty was out there. Well we got it, and when my usual lunch hour fixes did not do the trick I settled in for a weekend long war which really only concluded this am. I worked on it consistently for several hours on Friday night (while drinking Gin & Tonics out of an Atlas Mason Jar). Saturday am from my 4:30 am wake up to my 10:30 departure for the wineries was also dominated with attempted system restores, upgrading the Norton, and other widgets. Repeated cleansings with adaware and spybot revealed over 150 spy ware programs – and it took many cleanses to vent the virtual colon of this machine – the ultimate culprit seems to be Trojan horse named Sokets De Trios V1 which my kill bot program took out behind the shed and shot execution style about a half hour ago. So let’s hope that’s it. I am taking the added step of bringing in some hardware this week, I bought a D-link home network for Mary Beth and I – a hardware firewall beats a software one everyday. I’m translating my newly developed work skills into a home network for us. There is still some funk on the hard drive, as two pop ups have attempted to get out of their box in the last five minutes – so additional advice on computer colon cleansing would be welcome. Thanks –k-


Friday, June 25, 2004

I’ve long suspected this, but the arrival today of the Edith Piaf 30th anniversary box set – load to me by Diane – confirms it, I am living in a Jean Pierre Jenet film. Thankfully the misenscene is more Le Fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain than Delicatessen, but some elements of City of Lost Children do seem to be lurking about the place. I have burned copies of this two CD set, which may transition Circle K into a full fledged lesbian bar. After all my pissing and moaning I am beginning to quite like my new desk – go figure. The Raise, the health care, and my new computer with flat screen monitor heals a bruised ego quite well. Also there is more light and life at my new desk and I have a jade plant to nurture. I think for a time I can be quite happy here. Of course I am drugged to the gills on allergy meds so this feeling of positive acceptance could be a drug-induced hallucination. The devil tempts both Hamlet and Descartes with Bishop Berkeley’s fictive monads in his efforts to Faust us all away.

The Monad Arrives:
I am being more productive out here as I am not getting bogged down by office conversations and negotiations of policy – this may well leave me out of the policy loop to some degree, but that could be a good thing – despite my title of administrative coordinator – more and more I am tech guy (this week I reprogrammed our phone system, ran 100 feet of Ethernet cable through the ceiling to this computer – learned how to re-network the software end our system from a student named Jack, installed a switch on said network to allow expansion of our network-etc.), operations manager, store manager – things that I thought I didn’t want to be, but actually to which I am quite well suited. The main problem is that I miss interacting with students – I miss my old life as a teacher – so there we have it – that is what I am mulling in circles – the return to the teaching life. And despite all the improvements in my remunerations I still sometimes feel like I could get fired at the drop of a hat – odd to feel so insecure after being offered so much security – my moodiness in the transition did not sit well and so I think that I might be on thin ice. That’s ok, I know how to thicken it in simple ways.

I have a bit of sadness today about some odd interactions last night – I went out singing with Beth and – without telling the full story primarily as it is her story to tell, or not, as she sees fit– a rowdy drunk guy crossed a line – shouting inappropriate things at her and she was rescued by the two sweetest gentlemen – Dennis and Virgil came to her aid. Dennis likes my voice. He danced with Beth. Virgil shared our table.

My story: I went into the men’s room and I was experience that effusive “I love this place” feeling that one sometimes has about bars and I noticed that the towel dispenser was shot – no plastic cover – towel roll about to fall off the bent hanger on which it was spooled. We just put in new towel dispensers at the HAC and a perfectly good old one was in the dumpster. McClain’s is just down the street from the HAC so I asked the bartender if they would like a replacement. She said I should ask the owner current owner – an odd implication – and she pointed him out. I went up to him and asked if he was the owner, “I am for today.” McClain’s parking lot has been torn out and replaced by a pylon for the extension of the metro-link. From this odd exchange I surmise that the bars days are numbered. He said I could drop off the dispenser if I wanted, so I borrowed Beth’s car and ran up and got it.
After I brought it back I was treated differently, not in a good way, this gesture seemed to have been too much, crossed some kind of line. Later in the evening, when I walked past the owner a guy next to him did a pantomime of dropping his pants so I would have a clear shot at his ass – read – long haired guy with diction in country bar is assumed to be gay and that’s a bad judgment in their redneck context – I’m not sure I’ll go there again. I’ve just realized my error. Why install a new towel dispenser in a condemned building? Why insult the owner with this gesture of futility that pours salt into an open and deep wound. Why rearrange deck chairs on the titanic. I guess for several reasons we now need to find a new place to sing.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A day, like any other, and what energy have I at the end of it to write about it? Some small amount. Brad just left. We were having gin and tonics under the backyard umbrella following his massage at the center and my movie with Glen. It’s very important that you not drink after massage; that you only drink water. However, as W.C. Fields often observed, the problem with drinking water is that fish fuck in it.

I went to see Dodge Ball, which I can both recommend and suggest that you avoid. The first half hour, maybe even the first forty minutes, are so bad that you find yourself thinking about all the times that you have walked out of a movie – trying to re-establish your criteria for walking out of this movie – you think about what else is playing in the theater, when it started, and if you could enjoy it if you came in late. But the second half of the film is so gut wrenchingly funny that it atones for many sins – my best advice is don’t see it in the theatre, don’t rent it, wait for it to come out on cable and come into it late at a friends house so that you miss the first half and are in no way financially connected to the makers – then you will enjoy it in a realm free of responsibility – form a bond – maybe even grow to love it. When it is good it is very good, but mostly it’s a horrendous film, so I laughed my ass off, which is doubly good as my ass was coming loose anyway.

Now I am drinking a 2001 Haywood Merlot, vintner’s reserve, which is quite fine. It was a birthday gift from one of the crew and I must say an excellent choice. I also just found out about the Monday doctor’s trip for a friend – you know who you are – when people are sick I want to be invited – I’d invite you – grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Ok – I’m just being silly now so I best NPR it – listening to The Connection – Topic: why more men don’t read fiction. Easy answer – why read what you’re livin?


Monday’s revised late night post:

Pensive Pandas ponder peccadilloes while I, a dull and muddy mettle rascal peak like john-a-dreams, un-pregnant of my cause, and can say nothing – not for king upon whose dear life this damned defeat was made. Hamlet’s fatal flaw is inaction, despite the action of the mousetrap, which serves only to confirm what he already knows.

Moments of quasi-historical significance continue to glide by me like the glanced at countryside from a fast moving vehicle. My dad called to ask if I’d watched “the funeral” – no interest. The other day the Olympic torch went by the front of my house – not close by, but literally right in front. I live on the St. Louis Marathon course so the police are used to runners on Delmar, it happens all the time, so it’s only natural the torch should go by. No interest on my part, bitching about the traffic from my compatriots. That’s it.

Tonight after bowling the big Wilco CD release party was held at the Saratoga. Again, no interest. Sad fandom lining up to get a chance at signed memorabilia and interfering with my game of pool– I’ve just never gotten that. I did like and still do like Uncle Tupelo – the preceding band – whose demise lead to Wilco, but Wilco did not get the talent end of that split. It reminds me of the Dead Heads who followed Fish after Jerry Garcia died – what’s the point? I paid to see Wilco once, in an attempt to relive my own Uncle Tupelo fandom, but I wouldn’t do it again – every song sounds the same to me – am I just getting old? Morose Morrisey shit had its day and now its time for it to go away. I’ve suppose I’ve long lost interest in the next cool thing and the next.

I saw women I used to know tonight – their names and when I knew them would take a
clearer mind than mine to recall – suffice it to say they were kville women who had longed for and were now in the St. Louis trendy life, such as it is, and I was sad to see them thus, so in the clutches of the nothing – wishing it were something. Somewhere the princes is yelling, “Sebastian , say my name.” And the wolf draws closer to Atreyu. It would take Falcore to get me out of this mood. That’s what I need, that’s what we all need, a luck dragon.

On the upside the folks from Vintage Vinyl brought in several crave cases (30 packs of White Castle) so at least I got some heart disease out of the Wilco affair.

Wednesday am.

Change is only exhausting when you resist it and I am exhausted, but am resolved to be less so. I moved out of my old office yesterday and am now in the new office construct that we built last Friday. Office construct… it’s as though one corner of the store has been walled off by a square of mahogany dyed office furniture – my “P” desk (a desk in the shape of the letter P, but water sports jokes may be appropriate) abuts against the wall and then there is a gap to enter the space followed by all the old, but matching, office furniture completing a mid-store corner and then heading back to the wall. We keep
getting compliments on how nice it looks and it’s true – it does look nicer then what was there. Of course my ego is still wrapped up in the principle of the thing and the mold from the “new” furniture has caused me two asthma attacks – but if we keep scrubbing it then eventually it will all be ok. The purple chair is now really the source of my lung trauma and I have taken to the back room – I can’t be around it.

My boss is skeptical of my reaction to the chair and asked why the warehouse didn’t affect me – all the dust and mold has settled in the warehouse – it isn’t until you start moving things – or squeezing the cushions by sitting in them – that the allergens are released. Humor is the only way to survive assaults on your ego, take yourself less seriously and the world will as well. The fictive possibilities of endured bullshit are manifold. It’s not enough that I lose my office and the desk I built, and then I have to build a new desk and filing cabinets etc. but then it turns out that I am allergic to said enterprise and suffer the ravages of phlegm clogged lungs and am up last night into the wee hours hacking up horrendous homunculi. I feel like I’m the Jack Tripper of some New Age sitcom waiting for this episode’s conclusion. It comes out ok in the end because I get a raise and healthcare and the critics applaud the use of irony in that I can now afford to go see an allergist based on my acquiescence to that which I am allergic to – ha – and everything returns to sitcom stasis until the next episode, where…

Questions of a Feng Shui nature: One assumption of the new age paradigm is that everything is connected to everything else – thus it is logical that one’s life could be messy “because” one’s room is messy and so forth and so on. I have been waiting on a stove repair from my landlord for some time – the oven stopped working – shit last July. After we got back from Wisconsin it began to be temper mental and eventually stopped working altogether. Anything that I used to make in the oven I’ve been making in my slow roaster or my toaster oven – sad. Post garage sale, where I moved out “energetic blocks”– pow – Robert comes Monday to repair the broken valve – deduces that a new stove is in order and yesterday I took a two hour lunch to supervise its installation. I celebrated last night with a Tombstone Pizza, but I think I will up the ante tonight with Sheppard’s Pie.


Sunday, June 20, 2004

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the train wreck we like to call poker night. You may now ply me with gallons of water and I will be your re-hydration slave.

I guess I am beginning in reverse. As per usual I am not really sure where to start. Friday at work was a bad day. It began with an eight am trip down to a warehouse on Laclede Street – just up from the SLU bar Humphry’s, where Tyler used to bartend and on which the film One Night at McCool’s is based. The writer was apparently a regular. I’ve never seen the film so I can’t comment on any intertext there. Sometimes I find myself in warehouses or factories where things are made or stored and I feel like I am in a grade school field trip, in one of those films Mr. Rogers would show about how coke bottles get filled. So I met the warehouse manager down there to pick up my new desk, chair, and other various as sundries. He opened a huge door and I actually got to drive into the building. I like driving around in buildings, there’s a quality of irreverence for space about it that is hard to beat – I have my car where once the wheels of industry turned and now there is just the immanence of the wrecking ball. We rode up and down in old freight elevators and read the graffiti of previous generations.

Once upon a time the place was a Styx Bar and Fuller (sp?) showroom, before that it was a switching station for the old trolley line. Now it is an architectural dinosaur soon to be purchased, probably by SLU for parking or some such thing. Perhaps lofts. The company that currently has it – Warehouse of Furniture is I think the name of it – needs to liquidate, so we got our new furniture cheap. My “expensive” chair was the one with the least amount of mold and dusk on it. I am eating a great deal of bitter at work lately – that’s what some martial arts instructors call it when you have to suck up shit in the hopes that you’ll be a better person for it – be grateful for your problems as they are your best teachers. My health insurance kicks in the first of July, but when the job stress from the company that gives you the insurance is the cause of the health problems that force you to use said insurance you are something of a hamster in a wheel aren’t you.

So, we’ll make the best of the work debacle – I spend a great deal of time there, but it is not my life. Suffice it to say that not only did I have to put my desk together, I had to go down to the warehouse and take it apart. It’s best not to dwell on Scylla or Charybdis, but instead to sail between them, into the arms of some future Penelope. Right? With my educational and personal debt on the left and my job stress on the right I sail forward in search of..........

Sorry to leave off mid thought, but I am feeling a little green around the gills and must drag myself back to the land of the living through the cunning use of napping, vitamens, & some form of meat. More later. I think I am getting motion sickness from the movement of the cursor – this is going to be a long day (also thinking about my work life is making me a little crazy so let’s just avoid the subject shall we). I made money at our garage sale and I won money at poker, I got to spend a little time with Jen and lots of time with other friends all weekend long – so even if I am down – I am up.


Thursday, June 17, 2004

More on the ass cuffs front:

Work perk:

I just came out of a massage. I average one massage a week, though last week I had two. That is a fifty minute full body Swedish massage, though sometimes I get Shiatsu, Myofascial, or even cranio-sacral. Some weeks I get more than one massage if there are last minute cancellations in our clinic – someone just comes upstairs and gets one of us.

Ok, fifty two weeks in a year – @ thirty dollars (that’s what we charge) a massage, that’s 1,560.00. The going rate for a professional massage in St. Louis is 65 per hour, so that’s 3380.00 in preventive healthcare. I am not rationalizing. I am addicted to massage. Gayla, "I can really tell you get regular massage, I just found a few adhesions in your neck, but mostly you are in fine shape."

Angela calls me a massage whore because I get them all the time, though I almost never give them. I am trained with 100 hours in Swedish massage with corresponding training in Anatomy & physiology – I did it last year on a lark – I even have a table at my home on which I have given exactly zero massages. I am not licensed to work on the general public and I think most of my friends would find it weird to get a massage from me, so there you go. I haven't given a full body massage in over six months.

I came up from my massage and there was a man walking towards me with mala beads around his wrist. Before he said anything I said, “You are here from the Buddhist association to pick up parts of the altar in the basement storage.” I knew someone was coming and the mala beads (sandalwood spheres that look like rosary beads) were a tell.

Don said, “Yes, How did you know?”

Karl, “I’m just like that.”

We got a measuring tape as Don wasn’t sure if the Tanka holders would fit in his Infinity. “It’s a new car. The back seats fold down, but I’ve never done it before and I’m not sure how it works.”

“You have to use your key to unlock the seats. It’s a security feature so your valet doesn’t get into your trunk.”

We were walking back into the center to get the seven foot long, foot and a half wide, Tanka holders (A Tanka is a sacred wall hanging- usually of an incarnation of the Buddha like Avalokatashvara or a healing Deity like Green Tara) and I thought – “who is coming” – he immediately said, “A teacher is coming to the ashram in Augusta Missouri, my son has been traveling in India and I thought it would be a nice surprise for her to have the beautiful Tankas he’s sent me.”

Karl, “I was just about to ask you who was coming”

Don, “I know, I’m just like that”

Diane later told me that of all the people she’s dealt with from the St. Louis Buddhist Association, Don was the rudest Buddhist. I thought he was fine, charming actually, but he clearly had an ego thing cooking, as many of the new agers do, and I could easily see how his Brahmin self could drop you into an untouchable caste faster than you could say, “infinity”.


Just got this from Vanessa:

What: Yard Sale
Who: Karl, Vanessa, Hannah
Beth, Angela, Brad
When: Saturday 19June2004 7AM
Where: 7257 Delmar
Why: To balance our chi & make a little gin money

Actionable Intelligence:
Hannah is procuring folding tables. Will have to the Cirlce K by Saturday morning.
Friday evening is a Pricing Party at Karl's.
Vanessa will drop off at Karl's Thursday morning signs & flyers to post around UCity- if Karl, Beth & Brad would be so kind as to take a stroll around their neighborhood & post them. :)
Vanessa will also drop off stickers for pricing. She has devised a very sophisticated system for tagging & money collection. She has no life to speak of.
Vanessa will also bring coffee & bagels Saturday. Would anyone volunteer to bring Bailey's?
The P-D does not have any free ad space, corporate bastards. An ad is $16- shall we do it?
Would someone volunteer to bring balloons? We must have balloons.
What say you?

Also Bill has his page up - be sure and read the Prince story!


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

When I am well I cook:

A side truth – perhaps when I blog less I cook more. Last night I made Angela and Mary Beth Steak tip Fajitas with three kinds of peppers, onion, sour cream, Colby, Jack, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, romaine, all seasoned with cayenne, paprika, white and black fresh ground pepper corns served with tortilla chips and doctored salsa.

Tonight I made Mary and Mary Beth lamb shoulder in olive oil browned in a cast iron skillet. In the Dutch oven I cooked down potato wedges in a stick of butter with the left over cilantro; added late for flavor. When the lamb had browned three minutes on each side, I removed it from the heat and drained off the fat. I then added ½ cup of lemon juice with a teaspoon of dried tarragon to begin a sauce with which to whisk up the flavor of the browned steaks – deglazing the pan in the process. Separately I blended a tablespoon of honey from the farmers market with ½ teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. I added a teaspoon of mustard to the blend with two tablespoons of butter as well. Mary worked that over in the mortar for me and then I mixed it into the reduction and returned the lamb to the pan to flavor. On the plate I served the shredded left over romaine and the potatoes. The lamb was served over the romaine and the sauce was poured over both meat and vegge to serve in the additional capacity of dressing.

It is a very good sign that I am cooking. It shows me on the road to bright places, as in the dark there is no sustenance.

Mary just went to Pete’s Sure Save for more gin, so I thought I’d take a blog break and open the evening’s pleasures up to the wider world.


Whew, I told Jen I would write over my lunch break, but there was no time. Too many machines to function – dishwasher etc. I’m also so pensive right now that the thought of sitting down to write has something of the floodgate fear about it. Work – they have bought me a nice new desk and a new chair – a seven hundred dollar chair – that is arriving on Friday. I am also getting a new computer with a flat screen monitor. No word yet on whether or not I will have to, yet again, assemble my own desk. I signed the blue cross blue shield application yesterday so I should soon have health insurance… careful what you wish for, for you shall surely have it. I said a raise or health insurance – they said a raise and health insurance – no word yet on the amount of said raise. Said raise has a two month lead time to encourage me to make the transition well. Will the raise simply offset the amount of the healthcare that they want me to pay for (50$ a month)? Will the raise seem worth what, another year of my life? Three down, how many to go? At least now I can go get a check up.

Jason, “I don’t care what direction you take, the important thing is to move forward. I don’t see you doing that there.”

Mary Beth, “The chair is probably second hand, one of those aeron chairs that belonged to some poor dot-com exec who got canned with only his worthless stock to give him solace.”

Karl, last night, “Is the chair like golden handcuffs? More like a golden ass cuff.”

Mary Beth, “A lavender ass cuff.” (The Chair is supposedly lavender.)

Karl, “My first priority is to free myself of the albatross of debt that hangs around my neck, the questions is, what is the best way to go about that? I also have goals of self development and being of assistance to others. Can I meet those goals where I am? Could I meet all of the above goals better if I were somewhere else?”

Kirksville does not seem to be the correct move at this point. However much momentum I seem to have lost from the weekend, I would assure you all that these waters, while still on the surface, are plumbing their deeper currents for the correct course of action.


Monday, June 14, 2004


Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at work last week Friday I said to Deby, in a moment of frustration, “Obviously without healthcare or a raise I am going to have to start looking for another job.” She went to the owner with that quote.

Today, after a lengthy meeting in which I expressed my job dissatisfaction and the reasons for it, not feeling appreciated – the ridiculousness of this whole desk thing etc., I was offered both healthcare and a raise – conditional on a few things – but still, it’s very good coverage, better then I’ve ever had before, the raise is not yet negotiated. Most importantly I was simply told how much I was appreciated, such a simple thing and yet essential in any job. I know, bottom line people, I am not agreeing to more than being willing to listen until all the details are ironed out. They understand that I have a desire to return to teaching and said that they wanted first and foremost to support me in whatever I chose to do.


Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, neither shalt thou buy the Brooklyn Bridge just cause it’s for sale.


Five am wake up:

Dreams are lost to my change-jangled mind. My long contained frustrations are closer to the surface then I ever recall seeing them. A lost weekend as per usual has pressure valved the rising steam, but not the momentum. This train is still bound for glory, this train. Saturday I did both a great deal of reading and a great deal of napping. I spent time over at Angela’s and had anxiety dreams about moving to the ville without a sure job. I ended up living in the dorms. I don’t need a psyche degree to interp that – we have a one to one ratio. Melissa Q was in my dream, raising crickets for a pet of some kind – just what I need, archetypal snakes in my psyche fed by Melissa. Her twin sister Becky should be giving birth any day now. We saw just her at John and R’s party and mitosis seemed immanent. So that probably explains Melissa’s cameo.

Angela has television, which can eat your head if you’re not used to it. We watched Goonies, which she had never seen. Sunday I went golfing in the am with Brad and John, our threesome was joined by a guy named Mike who gave us all great pointers and was very patient with us. Even still, my golf game degenerated into a form of croquette where the object became hitting as many trees as possible. Mike, “You realize that you just hit a sapling. What is that, an inch in diameter?” To suck that badly requires a special kind of talent.

Brad, “Did Karl tell you about his game?”

Mary, “I hear he’s an amateur arborist.”

After the links, the feast:

Once again ghetto Schnucks was out of tonic so Brad got us strawberry daiquiri fixins. While the usual suspects smoked and sauced I fired up two grills and did corn, hobo stew, and acorn squash in butter and brown sugar on one grill and on the other grill I slow roasted chicken leg thy combos, which had spent the better part of the day in a vat of Stubb’s special marinade. I smoked them with hickory chunks that had been soaking in water since Saturday morning.

Thick clouds of hickory smoke rolled out of the four vent holes in the top of the meat grill, while the inside dining room bar clouded with the exhalations of the various brands of the attendees, both brought and bummed. John brought Macanudo cigars, so eventually even the patio air was seasoned with hand rolled heaven.

Hobo stew:

Thinly slice four to five potatoes and place on a sheet of tinfoil
Cover with onion soup mix
Cover soup mix with diced carrots and a sliced onion
Salt and pepper
Melt one stick of butter and pour it over the contents
Add also a quarter cup of water

Using three to four additional sheets of tinfoil – seal this combo and throw on grill until psychic forces inform you that it is done. You can flip it once after you sense that the potatoes are browned. If cooked with squash you can use squash as an indicator.

Once upon a time there was a thing known as Karen and Karl's Kirksville Cajun Kegger.

I feel a Cajun party coming on – gumbo anyone?


Saturday, June 12, 2004

Fuck, I answered 45 questions - but question 41 and 45 were the same question.

I was expecting Pol Pot


Title: Boom

I will now attempt to explain the eidos of this blog, even though that was not my intent it seems to have happened anyway – I will proceed like a children’s puzzle where you have to circle the animals in the forest with a crayon if you can find their outline – look especially for the monkey:

Saturday – 10 am – rain

I just finished watching Kill Bill Volume one on DVD – what an amazing film – I only own one DVD – an Eddie Izzard tour video – I think I may need to own Kill Bill, but will wait until the special combined release comes out.

So we shook the tree and we were waiting for something to drop – which it did – and now comes the complicated process of decision. I got the nod that my application would be a welcome addition to the pool. I am working on my vita etc. this weekend and will get it in on Monday. I am making calls to my letter writers and getting my chickens in a row, but of course we shouldn’t count the ducks before the horse – and other anticipatory clichés all jumbled up together. The thing is I really like my life here. I love my home and my friends. But, as Sondheim observed in Into The Woods, “opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”

Logistics – my lease is up at the end of August – I like living with Mary Beth – we seem a good match as roommates – actually close to perfect. Could I commute the three and a half hours to the ville – doesn’t seem sane. Could I sublease to a friend to save moving my crap – take the middle room for when I visit and pay partial rent to store my shit here. Fish are not easy to move. Nigh impossible.

In the comic book The Tick (who is nigh invulnerable)– one of the early issues – The Tick is out patrolling the city and he finds a would be super hero in need of help. Hanging from a cord between two buildings there is a man in a monkey costume. The Tick asks him his name and he says, “Brachiating Man”. “What’s the problem?” asks Tick. “I seem to have lost momentum.” Even if the Truman thing doesn’t work out, I seem to have recovered my momentum. This minor desk thing has given me a much need kick in the ass. Thanks to all of you so much for all your support – thanks for your phone call last night Jason – much appreciated.

Brad just called – requesting my presence at the coffee shop up the street. Perhaps in a bit. The schedule has been tight of late – Wednesday I took Angela out to Michael’s to spend a birthday gift certificate – we had high end low class food – (please explain) Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon and stuck with a toothpick (I would not have ordered it if I’d know it would come that way, but it was fine) and a whole fried catfish – with drinks fifty seven dollars (this is a Greek Restaurant though you’d hardly know it from the menu).

Thursday Beth, Angela, V, Taylor, Angela’s Nephew and myself went to The Chase, the hotel where Paul got married, to see a special screening of Harry Potter – a Webster Alumni association event hosted by our friend Nicole. At the last minute we decided to dress up – Vick went as Trilornie (sp), I went as Gilderoy Lockheart, Angela was Hogwart’s student number three, Taylor was Malfoy, Michael was Harry, and Beth was pissed (cause I told her we weren’t dressing up). In the adult costume contest V took first, I took second, and Angela took third. The trifecta! There were of course only three adult contestants so we had the asshole vote locked up.

I loved the film, a rough start transitioning to the new aesthetic, but overall I thought the tone was much more complex and interesting.

Last night we went to see David Sedaris do a reading and take questions at Powel Symphony Hall, great venue. I ran into John Wen, who I seem to run into all the time, and I got blast from the kville past by running into Lisa (record collection can’t stop talking, but about what we’re not sure-probably records - Lisa – BJ – who you went on that date with to Bogies). Lisa of the Bill and Tress punk party days, on the porch of The Cat House and Shangri-La, circa 1992 - drinking forties of old English with Jed & Jenny. Lisa just moved back from Minneapolis with, of all things, her husband. I gave her my card so we’ll see if we hear from her, it would be fun to catch up. We also ran into Karen and Eric, her friend from high school.

After the show Karen, Eric, Brad, Beth, Vanessa, Chris, Angela & I all went to The Southern Bell to sit on the back patio and have cocktails. Southern Bell has fabulous food and great atmosphere (fountains with rubber ducks bubbling under thick trees strung with lights like a Christmas in the deep south, while inside the queens gather round yon piano and revise Gershwin to include anatomical references), but be advised, the drinks are thermonuclear. We have established that I am a tolerant man. One Bombay Sapphire Gibson was absolutely enough for me. As the second one arrived – this time in a pint glass (demonstrating that the tender had some form of vendetta or crush) - Eric asked a fateful question, “Could someone please explain what the term postmodern means?” Karen and I held court, though I kept apologizing for my inept metaphors. The titanic of our conversation struck the berg of his questions in the icy waters of gin – there were few survivors.

Give us the quickest version humanly possible please. Victorian Hubris and nationalism builds into Modernist idealism betrayed as the Arthurian valorization of war runs smack into the brutality of the trenches and the fresh scent of mustard gas. There must be one big truth under all this crap and the modernist authorities will now hand that down. Whoops! Counter colonized, the little truths of global culture undermine the white man’s white whale. Logic too takes a hit as the Aristotelian hang over hits the platypus of particle physics, and we are forced to concede that the map is not the territory. Any discourse has a fulcrum on which it pivots. High and low, near and far, all have a center point around which they function. Unfortunately the act of looking for the center shifts it, because to look at a discourse you have to frame it inside a larger discourse. So then the center of your argument is shifted outside the parenthesis that you have just set and is moved to the assumptions that underlie the new discourse. By looking for the center you move it and it will always shift beyond the capacity of your discourse to capture. This is actually the “plot” of Adaptation – where do you start? At the beginning of time? Sedaris actually talked about this last night when he was talking about emotional rather than intellectual truth – which is why Adaptation is “saved” in the second half by the extreme intervention of plot – emotional rather than intellectual truth.

Example: We want to understand Hitler. We frame Hitler within the discourses of history. But the assumptions of the historical method will impose their own meanings on whatever we look at – and will include the personal histories of the historians and the history of history as a discourse and an academic concern and a form of political shaping in the master slave dance of power. Does this relegate the conclusions of the historians to opinion? No, they are chasing a center which is always moving and it’s moving in part because they are moving it, whereby the future changes the past – not what happened – but what it means.

Brad just called, “They are running out of coffee, you better hurry.”

Karen, “You’re just a neo-platonist in your assertion that there is a center at all.”

What a place to be out-ed in.

Me now, “I suppose I prefer neo-Kantian who clings to the idea that the phenomenal world can rupture and the noumenal can pour in across the abstract bridge of art.” The Tao which can be told is after all not the eternal Tao.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Pensive and defensive I relax into rhetorical remembrance:

I came up empty on the lottery…I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy. I am thinking this morning about Stephen’s Ministries, a company I used to work for. My sister Sandy worked there doing data entry and light secretarial, she got me hired on as the after school custodian. I must have been sixteen. I developed a penchant for juggling trashcans, much to the delight of the office folk, but much to the chagrin of my various bosses, who clearly saw my antics as unwelcome distractions from the serious work of data entry. Stephen’s Ministries itself was an odd business built around marketing the ideas and influence of Kenneth Haguk (pronounced hauk), an ecumenical psychologist hard at work in the industry of group think (alternately called self help).

At the time I really didn’t think much about the product, it was very much a paycheck job. Kenneth would occasionally call me into his office and give me life advice, but honestly I couldn’t reconstruct one of those conversations if I tried – it all seemed so vacuous that I just took it in as a caricature of well meaning, but way off Christianity. More than anything the business seemed to be about book sales and Kenneth’s ego. I do remember that he had a bad arm and a large black chair, the combination of which reminded me of the villain from Inspector Gadget. These factoids set the scene, but are not germane to my point. There was a staff writer who worked there, I’ll have to get back to you on his name, but he was clearly a tragic figure for me with an accompanying rise and fall. I’ll call him Bill.

Bill’s “office” was in the backroom, where they kept the staff writers. He and this woman Ellen would spend their days churning out advertising copy and short articles on Stephen’s Ministries for any publication that would have them. He radiated an aura of boredom and when we would occasionally debate things, he and I (as my custodial supplies were proximate to his think tank) he would come alive and ask searching questions. He would try on opinions in true Socratic form, walk around in front of the mirror of our discourse and see what he looked like. I admired his mind, but recognized that he was marking time and hawking his gifts for Haguk, as much there for the paycheck as I was.

On breaks from school my ability with computers would garnish me extra wages as I would work full days, not as a custodian, but as a data entry guy who could trouble shoot their very simple network. I was thinking about going into computers at this point in my life and I noticed that I would often get stuck into a problem and work straight through my lunches and my breaks, forgetting to eat. My brother Phil said that this was a great thing about working with computers, but the speed with which my workdays would pass was more than a little frightening. I could imagine a life of little distracting problems that carried me along financially leading to a death of Ivan Ilych moment where I gasped out my last breath with a “what the fuck was that all about? I was busy with the glitch in the thing!”

During one of these breaks from school, when I was around more, I noticed the absence of Bill and I was informed that he’d been hired as an editorial writer for the new newspaper The St. Louis Sun. The paper was an ill fated venture that rose and set in this one paper town with the rapidity of a single day’s solar cycle, but it provided a brief moment “in the sun” for Bill (too heavy handed, I know). He came rolling into the office of a lunch hour to say his final goodbyes and collect the last of his stuff. He was in a new suit with a fresh haircut and he was wearing this long gray belted overcoat that was made of very fine wool. He was going to a place where his opinion mattered and he was shod as the warrior for king. I remember being impressed and relieved that he’d made it out of indentured servitude, I remember thinking that there is hope in this image of a well- groomed thinker escaping his bonds.

I’m not one to keep in touch with my archetypes and so all I can tell you of him is inference. The plastic on which he bought those new threads compounded monthly, so I hope his splash at the short lived rag was big enough to carry him forward, but I never heard of/from him again. I have a sense that I was witnessing Icarus’s lift off. Myself, I got fired for the unstoppable trashcan juggling, which would later translate well to the rapid and tricky inversion of booze bottles in a later career. I wrote, “Elvis has left the building” on the lunchroom erase board. I left the building. It was promptly erased. I was replaced by a high school friend named Casey: who won the heart of the beautiful Jessie by telling her how blue her eyes were in a simple poem, the old songs still work. On my last date with Jessie we braved a torrential rainstorm in my rag top convertible dune buggy to go see the third Indian Jones movie at the Galleria, the one with Sean Connery.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reactive meets reality:

I went to the mattresses, like you do in these situations, and I have discovered some bottom lines. How much to reveal about an institution where I have connections? Someone is asking someone if I should apply and the asker advises that the asked will probably say no (and the asked would know), as I am not A.B.D. (all but dissertation) nor do I have an MFA and so I would probably not be in the running in this market. Other mice are seeking the cheese of answers, so the tree has been shaken and we await what drops. Ph.D. questions in the comments – there is a cycle to applications – which are due in early February for fall starts – so we’re a year off. It’s been long enough since my last GRE (graduate record exam) that I should probably retest (I was quite hung over last time and did quite well, so we test the bounds of state dependant memory there) and I’ve actually never taken the subject test in English (as I am a World Lit guy and historically we haven’t been well represented by said test as our canon is mostly not white, not male and not dead).

Programs being considered:

Subaltern studies at Madison Wisconsin
World Lit in Puerto Rico
Public Intellectuals in Boca Raton Florida
MFA Iowa City

Any of these will cost serious bucks both through tuition and unemployment – I am already in debt up to eyeballs, I spend over half my current income on it, and PhD’s have a one in 500 shot at a university job where I will make just a little bit more than I currently make. Does this realistically sound like a good idea? Why don’t I open a bar, go to law school, and get a job in advertising while I write the great American essay. I may have already won the lottery – I need to go chat with my numbers. Like Ponce de Leon seeking the fountain of youth in 1500’s Florida, I am conditioned (by the American Dream which has some origins in that Spanish search for wealth and youth in the brave Mundus Novus) to seek the instantaneous spark of the quick fix for my noxious new age nowhere.

(Inane Wayne D quote – “We came from nowhere, now we’re here = now here, and we are heading to nowhere. The only thing that changes are the spaces.” You hear something like that and you might think you’ve actually heard something, but you haven’t – just vaguely Calvanist mutterings about the elect being elect because they know they’re elect and just letting themselves be elect already – double predestination is a handy sort of God loves this football team – kind of thinking. Don’t feel bad about the world. Feel good about yourself! That is doing your part. Is it? Sounds like apologist crap to me, in denial about the cost of privilege).


Two things –

Thing one: the desk incident happened last week, yesterday I was told we needed more floor lamps in the building so I went to Home Depot and got five. I assembled three yesterday and two today. My boss called on the way into the office today and explained to Deby that I should put one of the new lamps in the office as he needed to take my desk lamp for his treatment room – so today he took my lamp – I couldn’t stop laughing and I demanded that Deby build me a Mongolian Yurt in the parking lot to house my new office.

Thing Two: Truman just listed a position for a generalist for the coming academic year. This is essentially the job I used to have there. The pay is close to equal what I make in a year for about eight months work, plus healthcare, and it would be a great springboard back into a Ph.D. program. There are currently only eight applicants (not including myself) and I have already demonstrated that I can do the job, by actually having done it. Thoughts? Can/should the prodigal son go home?


The 30-Second Bunnies Theatre Troupe proudly presents :

‘Titanic’ in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies


Change tends to come like punctuated equilibrium, like the plate tectonics in the planet’s crust. There is a long build up of pressure along fault lines and then wham: earthquake and tidal wave; the sphinx is looking at a new horizon. There is a long build up of pressure between human tribes and then wham: tool use explodes as the result of population pressure moving us into marginal realms of environmental occupation. Emergent agricultural and communicative technologies arise to allow the planet to tolerate six billion and counting (Malthus, you pessimist, fuck off). There is a long build up of pressure in your psyche (like the one that may have lead to your psyche), in your relationship, at your workplace, and then wham: motion (interesting that motion follows colon as a part of speech in this sentence – vowel movement).

In my case this pressure release feels like demotion. “Depending on how you see a thing the ship is free or it is sinking, depending on how you see a thing you cage your mind or you free it.” Deelite is the songs tress of this particular moment.

My boss wants my desk. It’s a nice desk, I picked it out and built it.

Mary Beth, “I was waiting for you to realize this on your own, but you are clearly as expendable as your desk.”

Angela, “You have got to be fucking kidding.”

Vanessa, “My boss took my flat screen monitor at my old job, that was the last fucking straw. I quit that day and I took the client with me, cause I fucking rock!”

Erica, “That has to really feel like a demotion.”

De – motion = motion in the wrong direction.

This is a repost – I posted it last week – deleted it – but am reposting it – edited for tone:
Livin in the land of the New Age
Or: A hard day comes home to roost.

That will be the title of the book that will come of the past three years of my life. I just turned thirty-one – divide by three equals ten percent of my time on the planet as samurai in the service of this particular guy. I’ve worked for several guy’s with his name in my life, so time spent working under the abstract category of people with his name is actually much higher. I know you’re itching for the current conundrum so I’ll get to it quick, but before I do I want to point out that this is but one grain of straw in a spine-straining spire.

I have a desk.

It’s a nice desk.

I actually built the desk for Deby when we first hired her.

I picked it out, brought it back to the center, & I assembled it from a kit.

It took me two days.

When Ann took the admissions job and moved out of the administration we moved her upstairs with a new desk – which I also built.

Deby’s desk became my desk, we moved it downstairs, and she took Ann’s old desk.

I like my desk. It’s artsy, it’s ergonomic, I selected it & in a certain sense I built it, or really assembled it like the Lego kits of my childhood. It has a certain prestige sitting as it does with Deby’s desk in the administrative office – as I am first and foremost an administrator. Right. Future college graduates, if you work at a small school you may be asked to build your own desk.

The owner wants my desk.

I don’t know if he likes and envies the prestige of it. Maybe he likes its’ design and its’ position in the building. He wants to move me out into the store to seat me next to me the store clerk. Perhaps if I am seated higher than the clerk I will feel like the grocery store manager who can call out blue light specials on a whim. Bach Flower Essences now 30% off.

In Aikido when someone attacks you they teach you not to take it personally. The attacker just wants your space and the simplest response is to give it to him. The best way to give it to him is to remove your self from it. Simple. We are now accepting offers.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I got the links back up and I took a goofy test informing me that....

as if we didn't know that already.


Monday, June 07, 2004

A less rose colored recall.



I am married to some unknown woman with dark hair. She and Erica are meeting at our house, which is of course my childhood home – recurring location. They are planning to head downtown to meet my ex for drinks and are taking her the present of a pet “dogfish.” The “dogfish” looks like my pleco, but is narrower in front and has a think back body sort of like a seal. They do not have the fish in water and it is breathing through very flexed gills like a mud puppy. I suggest that they take this fish in a small tank which I know that my ex with recognize as the centerpiece from Paul’s wedding. I suppose it would be a nice gift.

This glass rectangle used to have a beta in it with a small bamboo garden until, against her advice, I put the beta in my community tank – where it has happily spent the last two years. We would fight about dumb things like that. At one point I covered the bottom of the centerpiece with river stones and put it inside my community tank – so that there would be a fish tank inside the fish tank, and my fish in the tank could watch fish in the tank if they wanted to. I called it my meta-tank due to the additional level of frames, but I got bored with it and switched things around (it was also a pain when I needed to change water and a tiger barb died in a water change that went bad).

In my dream I go to get the centerpiece down from the shelf and discover that there is already water in it. Ted, the fish that I had to flush after he got jacked a few weeks back, was swimming in a way that indicated hunger. I was happy to see him alive and quickly got him food. I then sent him on with the girls to my ex.

What does it mean to be visited by a ghost fish and to then gift the ghost to someone who has become as a ghost in my life? I guess I’m just processing the feelings that were dredged up this weekend. The thing is, I am not sure how I am processing them just as I am never sure how I really feel about our demise as a couple. Two mixologists get mixed up together and when you separate things out you are left with mixed feelings. Relief and loss seem to be the primary features. Ah well, there you have it. I am having a rummage sale and giving a great deal of stuff to the Salvation Army. Perhaps I’ll put my innate sentimentality into that centerpiece and see if I can unload it at the sale.


Sunday, June 06, 2004



Worn and whittled weekend where Smarty Jones is passed and Ronald Reagan Passes.

A eulogy of sorts on the passing of many things:

I am tired. Last night we grilled burgers. Beth brought food fixins and I jazzed up the hamburger with Worchester & hot sauce, working in diced onions, and grilling them with smoked cheddar on top; heart attack specials. We also grilled corn & various squash in olive oil and oregano to mitigate the meat. Claire came to visit, which was very nice and we welcomed her back from Honduras for the summer, it did however stir up the ever-present past as she is in ready contact with my ex. I do miss my ex and wish her well – Claire overlaps that life, as do many of the people reading this blog. As is generally known, we did not have an easy time of it and it did not end well, as sometimes is the case. We both fought a long time for what we had built together, but at some point you cross a line where the struggle is more struggle than you can live with and then it’s time to move on. She moved out and we moved on. She used Clair’s truck, which has been put to that purpose before. Actually, the same truck moved her into the Washington house in the ville.

What makes a personal story interesting when you don’t know the players? Is it the degree to which the particular touches on the universal? We know that boy meets girl and boy loses girl, that’s a second by second recurrence in the world, but this particular boy and girl stand as symbols through their individuation – it’s a modernist riddle how we get to the many through the window of the few. The postmodern caveat would be that the only thing you’ll get through that window is a brick wall, truth big T is an illusion. Note the deconstruction of the master discourse when we posit a boy meets boy or girl meets girl narrative. That said – people do still meet people – and in a certain sense that seems to approach some kind of universal plot structure, if nothing else. My jury is still out on universals as there always seems to be a platypus, an exception to every rule.

If we are reflecting reality in our narratives, why then do none of the great romance stories seem to tell the tale of the next person & the next person (& I’ve found that there does always seem to be a next person)? Don Juan is a tragic figure who is too lost in new love ever to hold love – he’s tragic. Oh sure, there’s the handsome widower who falls for the nanny ala House Boat, but what about the serial monogamist who builds a new troy when the old one burns, a story that charts the arc of the many romances a person may have in their lives. I no sooner say that then I am confronted with our evening’s fiction – the retelling of the Reagan Romance. After his first marriage ended in divorce; Ron loves Nancy and the nation loves Ron. The illusion of remembrance colors Nancy’s distinctive reds a nice shade of rose. This story has a gravity to it that I won’t be able to avoid.

Is it really possible, as the TV told me today, that a youthful Reagan saved seventy lives in the swimming pool at which he life guarded? Does that sound credible? The mythmakers have done a bang up job reselling us the man who sent national guardsman against migrant workers and college students in the early days of his governorship in California, he broke the unions, ran up enormous national debt, and is ridiculously given credit for the intrinsic failures of communism, he gave weapons to terrorists in the arms for hostages swap that swept him into power, he was at the helm when the CIA began selling drugs in inner city America to fund unpopular covert actions, he repeatedly blocked advancements in civil rights and was generally a throw back to a John Wayne America that never actually existed, but in the celluloid from which it sprang. Marion (aka John Wayne) didn’t like horses and went to Hollywood to avoid war service. I will remember Reagan and his, “City on the Hill,” the ash heap of history is a high hill indeed.

I thought that Garrison, on A Prairie Home Companion, struck just the right cord when he praised Reagan’s disarming charm, which always befuddled liberals. There’s a lesson there for the beleaguered left who think reason will carry the day when all of human history seems to deny this hopeful impulse. Garrison sang Ron a song, a Louisiana funeral march, somber at the outset and swinging at the finish.

I suppose I too am sometimes suffered on the strength of my charm, my presidency has had its’ own share of mistakes and I don’t mean to white wash them with this apology: I’m sorry for the loss that comes with love and the pain that persists when hopes aren’t fulfilled and promises kept. I’m sorry Smarty wasn’t bred for that track, I wasn’t bred for my track, and neither was Ron. May the horses of the future run on tracks that they’re trained for and may the Troys of the future always have a Shlieman to keep them honest. When we all pass, as we all will, hope that there’s a Garrison handy to point out your strengths and sing past your weaknesses in mourning and in celebration for the life that you lived.


Saturday, June 05, 2004

When a person lives heedlessly,
his craving grows like a creeping vine.
He runs now here
& now there,
as if looking for fruit:
a monkey in the forest.

If this sticky, uncouth craving
overcomes you in the world,
your sorrows grow like wild grass
after rain.

If, in the world, you overcome
this uncouth craving, hard to escape,
sorrows roll off you,
like water beads off
a lotus.

-Dhammapada, 24, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

This weekend I am a monkey in a forest.


Friday, June 04, 2004

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K (I feel like I have been laughing all day – which is good after yesterday’s shit storm):

Do you need a lawyer Jen? Call BJ, Jason, Tyler, Eric, Jonathon, or Jed - we'll hook ya up with some legalin action!!!!! My peers spent years in ponderous contemplation of the law. Jed does internet property law so he might be my next phone call. I here tell somebody's been usin this here blog for their own nefarious purposes - watch out there sistah - the legal team is itchin for a fight. This blog is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Any similarity between me and a fictive person will not be taken as coincidental. Actually, I’m not sure how to feel about this new info – or if I mind being fictionalized – I do that to myself (and everyone I know) all the time through the cunning use of narrative frames and effective rationalizations -so for time being I guess I’ll just let it go and see what, if anything, develops.


Advice to self, don’t blog drunk – advice to others – if you think I might be blogging drunk and you like what I’ve written it’s best to print out the posts, as in the morning I will delete them and you will lose access forever – this is especially good advice if you plan to use them against me later in a court of law. Today I am clean, baptized in the fire of gin and a nice meal with friends. I made spinach pesto linguini (with walnuts instead of pine nuts), and golden brown chicken in a red wine/butter/mushroom reduction. We hung Mary Beth’s art all over the dinning room and re-hung my transplanted pieces in the living room. The place is starting to have that over art-ed feeling of true bohemia. I love it. Now I am showered and shaven, conditioned and combed. I feel like a genie in a bottle waiting for someone to rub me the right way. Let us now see what the day will bring.



Say the Mantra



Thursday, June 03, 2004

Caution – deconstruction ahead
Blog Theory in progress:

“In English, unlike many other languages, the essay has played a minor role in twentieth-century literature. In contrast to the other writing forms, there is almost no criticism on the essay, no articulated recognition of the way an essay may be written, and other than comments on its content, no consensus or dissent on how it should be read. At the present moment, it is largely represented by certain of its subgenres – memoir, travel writing, personal journalism, book review, academic criticism – and the kind of free ranging essay that Borges wrote is almost entirely absent from periodicals outside of small literary journals.

Abroad, essays in an unlimited variety of styles appear daily in the cultural supplements of newspapers or in large-circulation intellectual magazines. They tend to be written by poets or novelists, and it is often the case that writers are known or respected as poets or novelists, but actually read as essayists. This is the milieu in which Borges wrote: much of the work here first appeared in newspapers. In that world, it was expected that essays be as fascinating as stories, and it is revealing that, perhaps in order for his fiction to be read, he started out by distinguishing his stories as essays.”

Eliot Weinberger – introduction to Jorge Luis Borges – Selected Non-Fictions.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Missouri Historical Society Check out the free concert series at these two links - lets go to the gardens tonight - meet at my house by 6:15


Missouri Botanical Garden


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946


Pantagraph.com - News - Transplant in transit 05/09/04


An infinite series of games:

I got up early this morning, as per usual, and had my coffee etc. I made an early trip to Hannah’s to drop off her bowling bag, keys and smokes, which were still in my possession from last nights escapades post bowling – a Vegas night which the sands of the desert will now erase for the benefit and comfort of all. Hannah lives on the same street that one of my grade schools is located on. I cruised the empty playground on the route into work and began to be contemplative about these ongoing overlaps of self in space and time – here I am again in this part of the fish tank – twenty years later.

I have been struck all day, as I go through the motions of “what comes next” that I am engaged in playing a nearly infinite number of small games made up of conditional tasks.

“Game On”

Open the center: unlock doors, turn on lights, check classrooms, AC units on several floors, resolve computer problems with anti-virus upgrade faulty firewall (Symantic and Mcafee upgrades not playing well together) so that network works, adjust week nine (of 12) announcements as per peccadilloes of employer with more inspiring thought for the week, call Steve about the carpet odor, get Gift Certificates for Steve to Deby, get checks to employees in building – including self, go to the bank to file a fraud claim on a stolen check unresolved since October 2002 and probably the source of Jennifer’s dismissal from related cooperation – her replacement is equally inept, though more through youth than inaction.

Meet with bank manager who says “reimbursement-tated,” in thick Jersey accent, wonder how she got/keeps job – glad we switched banks & should switch myself – she has shakes and possibly a neurological disorder & is ultimately sweet & helpful if difficult to communicate with – wish her well, deposit my own check, return to work, confirm training tonight with Nada, check on brochure with the printer – which has been delayed yet again due to fuck ups with the logo that idiot designed – reduced DPI of and did not keep original design - empty dehumidifier in clinic astounded that more water remains to be drawn out of the air that I am walking through.

Check email – get Buddhist advice that I am source of own misery and thus must be source of cure – odd email directing me to meditate when morning read was the first section of The Secret of Golden Flower – old copy filled with marginalia written by self to self in attempt to decode mystical directives – directing me to meditate – main piece of advice from odd Wayne Dyer speech: meditate – I seem only able to contemplate – a less useful form of “walking meditation”.

Call Angela and social plan next few weeks – David Sedaris tickets for tour supporting new book, Harry Potter Webster Alum event at Chase, Brother Kris’ visit, Sister V band she wants us to see, Vanessa’s birthday trip to wineries, possible rummage sale, various free concerts and “As You Like It” park performance left up in the air as no tickets are required - rough sketch of coming trips to Dallas, St. Paul & Sacramento.

Head to downtown Clayton to pay personal property tax on current car and my school bus floundering in field up in ville (what am I going to do with/about that behemoth?) – arrive in Clayton to parking space with 27 minutes on timer – sun-shower in the shadow of skyscrapers – blue sky & light clouds – past due property tax not payable with debit –still driving on expired plates from April– wander past bus stop of my youth (my high school is a short walk from here) seeking friendly ATM – give up and soak the buck fifty from a Commerce.

Stop in at newsstand looking for French Photo – perhaps no longer in publication as website has been stagnant some time- ponder career as fine art photographer where “a picture is worth a thousand words” – remember interview at eighteen at Columbia in Chicago with twenty something counselor who replaced the sixty something woman who had invited me – campus is a slightly swaying skyscraper with additional up/down motions added when train passes – contemplate and reject idea of trying to focus image in enlarger as building moves beneath me – return to present – return to courthouse & pay property tax.

Surrounded by people with stories, power suits passing me on the street, porn buyers at newsstand – hundreds of cubical bound public servants in tax office – street cleaners in golf carts waiting for a mess to address – feedbag establishments of every variety beginning to draw their lunch crowds – night custodians catching their buses home - return to meter with eleven minutes remaining – home – two large trash bins up the driveway to the curb – dog has peed in upstairs hallway – contemplate baby gate – new cat knocked down boards placed as makeshift gate in am and will suffer no rootless obstruction – steam clean floor with handheld – check mail – intend to call gas company for upgraded meter– write blog contemplating the endlessness and trivialities of these “actions.”

Repeatedly wonder if this consciousness will persist after I am dead, wonder at the pointlessness of all of these shell games carrot and sticking people through their days, wonder indeed at the voyeurism of a hypothetical God.