Saturday, July 31, 2004


Having determined that he was indeed a match through additional blood tests yesterday afternoon, GJ went into surgery at 4:30 for the Kidney transplant. All we know of the donor is that they gave both kidneys and the doctor who worked on GJ performed both transplants. He was out of surgery around eleven p.m. and things seemed to have gone well, when GJ began to bleed excessively. He went back into surgery at twelve thirty and took four pints of blood before he was stabilized. He is now in full recovery, though still in the ICU. I just got off the phone with Vick and she reports that he is happily eating a cheeseburger, so that would seem to be a very good sign. Myrna, his mother, and her sister are flying in from the Philippines on Sunday and the sister will serve as a backup donor should there be tissue rejection.


Friday, July 30, 2004

The pink shirt is now white, the yellow shirt dissolved into shreds and had to be thrown out. That’s ok – I know where I can get another one. I got to work and the basement and upstairs storeroom were flooded. I mopped. The floor to the storeroom is waterlogged and sagging slightly. We had tiled two treatment rooms after the last basement flood. As with all well made plans, this allowed much more water to enter the basement and flood rooms that have never flooded before. I mopped. Steve Steve the Benzedrine man, if he can’t clean it no one can. Steve is on his way to suck out the water and spread anti-microbial agents upon the wind (into the carpet by the gallons). He will talk rapidly at me, that is he will talk at me if I am here.

I just got a very important phone call from my mother. My cousin Greg’s son GJ has needed a kidney transplant. He’s been on the list and his mother is in the Philipines trying to arrange a Visa for her sister to come here and be a donor, she’s a perfect match. His name just came up today, right now. They, GJ and Greg, are on their way to Barnes for the transplant. My Aunt and Uncle are on their way down from Wisconsin. GJ is a teenager though he looks much younger from the stress on his body due to the poor kidney function from birth, he’s thirteen I think. The subtext for this donation is that someone his age, a match, must have passed in an accident last night. Greg is Glenn’s brother, whose birthday would have been July 20th. Shirley has just sold her family home, her mother’s home, her family’s ancestral farm, where Glenn was murdered last year. I am going to try and tie up loose ends here at work such as I can, but I am leaving for the hospital at noon.


Sandy Mallory’s rules for young writers: Tell an embarrassing story about yourself to seem more human and to allow emotional identification with you on the part of your readers. (I just made up Sandy and the rule based on something Angela told me).

This morning, in preparation for my big trip, I took some of my new dry clean only shirts and wool pants and put them into the washing machine. I was careful. I selected the gentle cycle. I added the special gentle soap. I then added the black pants, the red shirt and the two white ones. So my trip is off to a good start and I haven’t even left yet. The red shirt and black pants are fine, the two white shirts are soaking in bleach so maybe I caught it in time, but I doubt it cause I’m a dumb ass. Anybody want some very nice pink shirts? I just checked on them, one is only slightly pink and the other one is now yellow…WTF!?! I changed the bleach water, so we’ll see.

It’s storming here, deep rumbles got me up at five and I need to finish packing and run those last few errands. I have a mountain of work at work in order to leave things in reasonable stead for my ten days off. They will either see how much I really do around there or they’ll fire me as soon as I get back. That’s what’s nice about recessions, this shared sense that we all have of our unflappable job security. I don’t suppose it matters much, there are always other jobs for strapping young lads like myself with long hair and too much education. Once a bartender, always a bartender. Actually I will return to an exhausted support staff and receive a tidy raise, one can only hope.

My psychic told me I would take two trips this year that were important, if we assume by “trip” she meant actually traveling through physical space, then here we go on number one.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Veins of sludge and a mind muddied with the Crisco goodness of Schnuck’s fried chicken. I was returning a film, Hell Boy, at lunch and couldn’t resist the ready-to-eat-ness of this cholesterol laden “meal” and of course I must now suffer through the food groggys until such time as I am able to thin my blood with a little gin. Ah health. Not much to report from stasis land. Hell Boy would have been good if I was fourteen, but as I am not, it was not so great – just eye candy. I have already left mentally on my vacation. My body will rendezvous with my mind tomorrow night in the Denver airport around nine pm. I’ve heard it said that vistas, in that you focus on few fixed points when viewing them, are conducive to deep relaxation and abstract musing. I go in search of vistas.

I was thinking that I hadn’t done anything to get ready for my trip, but that’s not true. I’ve arranged the pet care, though I should buy extra food to be safe. I’ve paid rent in advance through on-line bill pay, though we still need to get the renewed lease in. I have not packed, but I have done laundry so at least the clothes are clean. I’m half ready to half go with my one-way ticket on this ten day round trip. Divided Gemini, when will you meld? Will this trip allow a welding of your head and heart, which generally you keep far apart? Whatever happened to your brother Andy’s Dodge Dart? Languishing in a wrecking yard, it isn’t hard to assume that when the twins come you need more room. As Hitler and the Nazis found, sometimes you need more lebensraum. As Hitler and the Nazis saw, this principle has major flaws.

We watched Big Fish last night. Makes me think about my little tank and wonder what more room would do for me. Take ten days, get away, think about it, call me when you know.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Some recent shots that my nephew Tre just emailed to me - he took them with his phone at Nick's Wine Bar, the B52's concert, and my backyard respectivly.The password is "spleen".


Naming summers – the summer of love comes quickly to mind. Two summers ago was the summer when half of my friends left St. Louis and the other half got business cards. Last summer was a summer I’d just assume forget. For me it was a summer with a great deal of personal loss. I think I can safely say that in many ways last year was the worst year I have experienced in this life. That summer the new agers that surround me would say things like, “It’s amazing how many people are leaving the planet right now.” This summer is turning into a summer of leaving as well, not the planet, but one’s partners.

This past Friday I went to what was ostensibly a birthday party for my friend John’s sister Megan. It was in reality a separation party of sorts for John and Rebecca, complete with the ironic gesture of using their leftover wedding napkins for the h’orderves. The separation seems amicable enough, but neither of them were in the same room during the entire party. Hannah and Dave hope to have their sudden divorce settled by Christmas, she has already sold the ring and wants Dave to sell the house, which seems unlikely and may be the first in a long line of points of contention. Vanessa and I tried to convey last night that our precocious and over-compensating-ly adjusted AJ will be giving up a fair amount of things in the near future and perhaps her room could wait a bit, but to attempt to reason with a Hannah in her cups does smack of self-indulgent lunacy.

Doug and Jeff in New York are no longer an institution, dividing the worlds largest CD collection between them. Their old house in the ville burned down as an intuitive precursor. Chris and Christine, who met through my ill-fated introduction, still living in the ville, have severed their connections such as they are able to with young Rowan in common. Jack and Diane split last night with plenty of tears spilt at Wildflower Café to christen his morning departure for California. Anne’s ex Mat just left for California today as well, and she sits to my left despondent that in the year since they broke up he has managed to grow up, just in time to depart. My ex has recently moved to Columbia, but we haven’t spoken in nearly two years now so I suppose my involvement in this summer of leaving is only incidental.

I am leaving for California this Friday, but I’ll be returning in ten days with Mary and all her worldly possessions. For me this will be a retracing a trip of my youth, when I moved out to California in 1991 like Mat, with all my belongings trimmed down to fit into my car. I didn’t have a good go of it then, as California was just descending into recession and you needed a college degree to get a job at Burger King. I moved back after six months, unable to make a good go of it there. I came back to the Midwest and enrolled in college, finding that many of the new instructors had fled the collapsing Californian college system, where humanities instructors were seen as intellectual fat fit for trimming. It wasn’t what I had planned, but driving the country there and back did air me out in a much-needed fashion and I hope this road trip will do something of the same, put a breeze in my hair and help me leave all this leaving behind.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Ok, it’s the middle of the night three am – and I just woke up from an odd dream in which my deceased grandmother and cousin had both come back to life. I was hanging out with them at my parent’s farm. There was nothing specifically frightening about this dream, more generally so it was the casual closeness of the dead that I find disturbing. It was as though they had both just returned from a trip, sort of comforting. I don’t feel like I have had a nightmare. What disturbs me most is that images of death have been all around me all weekend long. The Dalai Lama emailed me Friday and advised me not to worry about death, as it comes to all people.

…You can confront the prospect of your own death and try to analyze it and, in so doing, try to minimize some of the inevitable sufferings it causes. Neither way can you actually overcome it. However, as a Buddhist, I view death as a normal process of life…Knowing that I cannot escape it, I see no point in worrying about it.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

So, having woken up from an odd dream at three am it seemed that I should do a Tarot card reading as what else are you going to do in the middle of the night when death has come calling. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck, true to form, coughed up the Death card as the primary situation in the Celtic Cross. My on-line interpretation site advised me that Death is a card of new beginnings where one starts over after being stripped to the bone, only to travel higher than one ever has. Or it could just mean the death of yourself or a loved one.

Full reading: I drew The Empress as my mothering and creative self covered by The Queen of Swords – gat about of knowledge that she is. Behind me is apprenticing and hard working Eight of Pentacles and in front of me is the hold onto what you’ve got Four of Pentacles. Beneath me is the out-ed truth evident in the harsh words of the Three of Swords piercing a heart and above me is the knight of wands (red heads are wands and the card means journey – so this is me on a trip – I leave for California Friday). The next card – in the four-card side ascent is The Six of Pentacles (help comes from without in the form of money – this is also a card that reminds us to give).

Above that is the Death card, above that the nine of swords (which is a guy waking up in the middle of the night with nine swords above his head – signifying that most of your problems are in your head – how’s that for a card of the moment), and finally the Devil (Pan the revelous lord of addiction and desire) in the top position. According to my interpretation site “Most cards urge balance, unity, restraint, yin-yang. Not this card. Completely tilted toward the masculine, it is a card that revels in extremity. There is a convincing argument that this is the most powerful and dangerous card in the deck. Magically speaking, it is the one card in the deck that holds the secret of how to escape the material and temporal bonds of Earth. It is a very potent and fascinating card.”

Heavy reading. I want to know more about the Death card so I turned over the two of swords – maintain impartiality and allow for compromise. I wanted to know more about the Devil and so I covered it with the King of Pentacles – yup me again – me and my father both. I still needed more about this death card and covered it with the five of cups – there you go – my ubiquitous Tarot advice “let go of the past and recognize what you’ve got you dumb ass”. Also, go back to sleep you freak, whoever is dead will still be dead in the morning and if the deceased be you then perchance you’ll dream the companionship of lost loved ones until such time as reincarnation is deemed fruitful by the universal Tao.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Dear Karl,
Here is your horoscope
for Friday, July 23:

You're in the mood to compromise, cooperate and be totally charming to one and all. Sounds like it's time for an impromptu party at your place, doesn't it?


Local Color:

Coming back from lunch there is a woman in the alleyway wearing red curlers in her dark hair and blue blocker sunglasses. She is painting her garage door battleship gray. She has the middle-aged skin of a smoker and I’m sure she doesn’t mind the fumes from the paint as they blend with the menthol from her Virginia Slim. The door is almost done, when I left for lunch an hour ago she was just priming everything in white. The heat has broken. The hundreds of the past several days have resolved themselves into a hazy eighty degrees with a slight breeze and a hint of storm. Her door will soon match the sky.

I am working. I am thinking about things that need to be done. I need to hire someone to replace Diane who is leaving soon for New York. Her boy is leaving for Berkley within the week, so perhaps with the whole country between them they will finally be able to connect. He wants to write things for himself, about himself, like a blog. He wants her to get to know him through his writing because he can’t speak. Diane can speak, is speaking, but wonders if she’s getting heard. She is overwhelmed at the sometime thickness of men. She can’t write, or more to the point won’t write the way that he wants her to, which is in a voice that is more for herself so that he can get to know her through this fictive golem. He wants to see her in a familiar mirror, as nearly every woman in his past was a doppelganger hanging in the either of the web. He wants to project that past onto this possible future. Diane hates her writing and what she does write she would never put it up in a public forum like this, never in a blog. But she does want to write to him, so he can know her, but not abstractly about herself, concretely from herself to him. Direct. Immediate. Diane has an intended audience. She’s retreating soon from his past and his issues to clean her mother’s pool on long island. “I’ve had enough growing experiences for one year, and I need to rest.” As she draws the skimmer across the surface of the water, sending slow ripples to lap against the chlorine cake, she’ll be hoping that this languid time apart will mean more than absence, but that’s only if her boy can hear her absence in his everyday.


The Night Belongs to Maplewood:

That’s the official slogan that I am now doing community service under.

Yup, I am now an official member of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce. Back when I was Services Manager of the Kirksville Days Inn I waited on people like me during Chamber and Rotary lunches. I now have joined BJ among the ranks of Chamber members. BJ are we still entering the Springfield Chamber’s BBQ contest? This overlap is made all the more odd by the fact that BJ’s mother was a member of the Kirksville Chamber and I used to serve her lunch. In Maplewood no one serves you, you serve yourself from the table of sandwiches and sides – though our next meeting is brown bag.

Not a very glamorous affair, but friendly and funny and community minded, so that seems all good. My name spelled wrong on a large card in front of me at the horseshoe three table in the old-large-one-room-building with yellowing drop ceiling, make the new guy speak first about his business and its role in the community, we’re so glad you came and your efforts to support the auction are much appreciated. I have volunteered to help solicit donations for the annual silent auction (with open bar all night long October 2nd people!) to help keep the foundation alive and involved, partnering with the city for a better tomorrow.

Best exchange from the meeting: Deb, “I can make a basket out of anything. If you stand in front of me too long I’ll wrap you up in cellophane and stick a bow on your head.” Dave, “Kinky.”

My working life has been increasingly odd as I embrace it with some kind of renewed vigor. I’ve gone through an existential crises of late which has ended with me choosing the life that I have – imagine that. It’s a convenient sort of choice to make, as everything pretty much stays where it is – except you – you move into better psychic space. Actually deciding, “You know what, this is good. This is better than some of my other options. I am staying here.” I’m like one of those couples standing on the beach in Maui saying, “After all this time together I’m still interested and passionate about us and this journey that we’re on together. I’m here to renew our vows and go forward recommitted to this life together.” Accept that as a Gemini, I am both parties in this beach wedding scenario, locked in a narcissistic self deluded series of endless rationalizations in which I pretend to have freewill and the universe amusedly watches.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

You must all now worship the jibjab!!!!


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Brad's new car.


It’s true. Advil makes me feel high. Makes me euphoric. I had a euphoria filled lunch wherein I walked my dog, talked with my local grocer Mike, bought shaved ham and sandwich fixings from his deli and walked home. I made myself I large deli sandwich and loaded the dishwasher, vacuumed the living room, read the mail, took the trashcans to the curb. The basics of life. It’s good to take pleasure in the basics, to say to yourself, “this is my life.” I have a habit of trading my life in on a new one every three years or so. I reinvent the circumstances of my life – even my ten years in Kirksville involved new houses and jobs, new friends and identities. I recently was confronted with an opportunity of sorts to “take out a new lease on life” (this is an appropriate metaphor as I am leasing this life with a monthly payment that would stagger you) and I am opting for this life I do believe.


Innocent mind candy for your pleasure.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Ah, driving the people who love you nuts. That’s what being the fulcrum monkey is all about. When you get enough momentum going you can vacillate effectively between two extreme points of view with little or no effort. I am taking tonight off from my life and will be unavailable for comment as the tank silt settles once again on this my own little rectangle of hope.


Sunday, July 18, 2004

For Jen's wine and dine I think Harvest or Frank Papas. Thoughts?


Sci Fi pop-culture consciousness meets the cudgels of Scottish curmudgeons:

Do you remember the Trouble with Tribbles episode of Star Trek? Not that I am a huge Star Trek fan, but if you’re of a certain age is does form part of your TV inspired consciousness. Tribbles are pseudo space hamsters that multiply when fed and loved on, like Gizmo in a swimming pool popping siblings out of his boiling back. They fall from overhead compartments until Klingons and Kirk alike suspect dastardly plots behind the fuzz. I am having the same trouble with golf balls. They are everywhere. They are in every junk drawer, rolling around in my trunk, my glove box, that little compartment for drinks between the two front seats of your car, a wicker basket on the way into the house, the bar caddy, the silverware drawer, my bowling ball bag, fishing tackle box, and of course my shaving case (which also has tees in it), as you only use the travel case on vacation and vacations are made for golf (not that I am any good mind you, but I am improving).

At the end of every game it just so happens that you have a few spare balls in your pocket. You know, extra in case you lose one, a non-migrating African Swallow flies off with one, or if you should wish to drive and putt with separate balls. Normal people put them back in the golf bag at the end of the game, but the subconsciously influenced Tribble folk like myself sow these golf balls throughout the nooks and crannies of their lives like Johnny Apple Seed on a mythological distribution tour, and each “seed” is wrapped in a psychic shell such that even the slightest eye contact with the dimpled surface of the ball will cause you to think, “Maybe I should be golfing? When and how could I be golfing again?” And thus the seed grows its numbers in seminal millions in accordance with the evolutionary value of the scatter shot, such that golf courses emerge from the suburbs and condo associations like cultish Scottish hives, where mad hornets of the game use their big bertha stingers to lob larva into the underbrush and leave hail like dimples on the hoods of passing cars.

Damn you travel case, I have work to do. Dastardly driving range, I will not head your call.

My Horoscope from yesterday:

Dear Karl,
Here is your horoscope
for Saturday, July 17:

If you're off on a trip, no matter how long or short, rest assured that you'll have a marvelous time. Matter of fact, see if you can't get started early.

Boy, they weren’t kidding. We left the house around six to get downtown and had slow traffic through Delmar only to discover that the Metro-link park and ride lot was filled with Alice Cooper fans waiting to see him at The Pageant. There was no parking to be had there, so having been fucked by the Coop we tried our hand at the Daboliver station. The parking lot there had been demolished and the local grocery store advised that they would tow any link parkers so with mounting blood pressure we decided to just go downtown, the link is only useful if it is convenient and yesterday it was clearly mismanaged – advice, don’t let The Pageant use the link lot as overflow while simultaneously smashing nearby alternatives. We were in a heavy traffic jam downtown for maybe forty minutes – bumper to bumper along the West edge of the Arch park grounds. When we got down to the rivers edge we were among the last few cars to be allowed into the garage for the President Casino, Arch parking had long since been filled – which for all my stress turned out to be a stones throw from the main stage. We walked right up and the concert started about twenty minutes after we got there. It was a great show culminating with an intense encore of Rock Lobster followed by a half hour of barge delivered fireworks and a laser light show. The weather was perfect, high sixties and breezy. It was a great time – followed by Gin and Pizza at my back yard table. We fired up Vick and Trev’s new hookahs with mango and double apple respectively and managed to convert all of us to the fine art of hookah smoking – much better when you have a clean pipe with a single hose, than if you are under-serviced at Nick’s Wine Bar on a three hosed slightly stale antique. Ah well, my prewriting is accomplished – I have some professional writing to get to that this has been the primer for – get the juices flowing – that sort of thing. Also soon off to Harry Potter – so be well.


Saturday, July 17, 2004

Friday Ante Meridium:

I have bashed my knee, my left knee. I don’t remember bashing it. There are no visible marks or contusions. There is however a slight swelling that makes walking, showering, getting in and out of my car, stairs, and movement in general painful – swiveling in my chair seems ok. Actually it is not the knee proper, but rather the attachment of rectus femorus or adductor magnus or maybe even vastus medialis (the most likely player), which I have pulled, twisted, torked, or otherwise fucked up. I can deduce a likely scenario involving a bottle of gin and knee height table, but this is idle speculation on my part. I could have just twisted it on my way to bed, impacting only myself through awkward motion.

Having access in my New Age bookstore to Louise Hay’s best-selling Heal Your Body, in which the victim of any ailment is found to be the passive aggressive self-destructive cause of said ailment, I decided to look under “knee” to better understand today’s impediment. According to Louise, “Knee Problems: Stubborn ego and Pride. Inability to bend. Fear. Inflexibility. Won’t give in.”

Cures work as follows: Apply soothing affirmation, wait, repeat. Louise has proscribed that I meditate upon “Forgiveness. Understanding. Compassion. I bend and flow with ease, and all is well.” with the frequency of an itinerant catholic praying for hail marries.

I walked it off.

Angela, “Do you cope well with change?”

Saturday Post Meridiem:

Just back from coffee in the Delmar Loop with my sister and nephew. They are currently under the influences of counter colonization from the Middle East and are into all things Hookah. Trev, who is seventeen, hangs out in a hookah bar in Sacramento. We found them each portable hookahs at a falafel place, forty bucks per hookah with a cute little case like a lunch box; odd mother son bonding over mango flavored tobacco. Earlier today I got up and went rummage sale hopping with Karen and we did the debrief on recent life motion – we must have hit at least ten sales and a few junk shops. I bought a nice driver for my golf game, a big bertha like Brad’s, for only two dollars. I also got a cast iron fish tank-stand for three bucks, which might fit Angela’s tank. Karen got some concrete plant boxes – two for ten dollars and we each had lemonade from Kyle’s front yard stand. Later we had lunch at the Schlafley Bottle Works over in Maplewood, which Bethany was the architect of. Kudos to Bethany, we sat in a section of your imagination and had salad, soup and sandwiches – the Summer Kolsch is a mighty fine beer.

Last night I had a big work dinner at Harvest – I could write a novella about that one, suffice it to say I work with an odd but likable bunch of people. Harvest is one of the most expensive places in town, the food is locally grown and follows the seasons in availability – hence the name Harvest. I had the halibut with a beet root salad and every bite was perfection. A good cap to a bad week, actually it’s best if I don’t talk about my workweek, my Friday began with firing someone and went odd places from there. Our consultant Jack was out from Seattle, hence the wine and dine. Dinner conversation was profligate with the ironies implicit in discussing the evils of marketing with your sales coach. Also, in the eventual book, today was the day of the Feng Shui toilet policy. I know that’s quite a teaser, but you’ll just have to wait. After the dinner I hooked up with Angela, Vick, and Trev and we went to Nick’s Wine bar for drinks and my first experience with a mango hookah. I have to say, it doesn’t seem to be my cup of tea, but the drinks were good – on a hot day little beats a Gimlet with citrus gin. On our way back through the Loop from the Central West End we saw that there was a midnight show of Moulin Rouge on the main screen at the Tivoli http://www.clubmoulinrouge.com/mr1.htm. So that let out at about two am. If you get the chance to see it again, or for the first time, on a big screen, don’t pass it up – it was filmed for large-scale viewing. I am defiantly burning the candle at both ends on my weekends this summer. Tonight we’re off to see a free concert under the Eades Bridge in Downtown St. Louis – right by The Arch - The B-52s hit the stage at 7pm. We might take the metro link downtown. Tomorrow it’s Harry Potter on the four-story screen at the Science Center, apparently the speakers are in the screen itself, so the surround sound and surround visuals are not to be believed. I am thinking about leaving St. Louis again – the circumstances are not open to public scrutiny– but it clearly would mean leaving the buffet, and with the constantly changing entrées’ one wonders if it would be worth it.


I compose my blogs in word and cut and paste them into the blogger
frame. Blogger has altered the compose page and it is not letting me
cut and paste. This alteration doesn't work for me and may
undermine my blogging efforts. Thoughts? Ways around this evil


Thursday, July 15, 2004

I just got a serious offer from the people who gave me the tandem massage. They want me to get my massage license as soon as possible and come work for\with them.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

20 Questions to a Better Personality

You are an SECL--Sober Emotional Constructive Leader. This makes you a politician. You cut deals, you change minds, you make things happen. You would prefer to be liked than respected, but generally people react to you with both. You are very sensitive to criticism, since your entire business is making people happy.

At times your commitment to the happiness of other people can cut into the happiness of you and your loved ones. This is very demanding on those close to you, who may feel neglected. Slowly, you will learn to set your own agenda--including time to yourself.

You are gregarious, friendly, charming and charismatic. You like animals, sports, and beautiful cars. You wear understated gold jewelry(?) and have secret bad habits(!), like chewing your fingers and fidgeting.

You are very difficult to dislike.


I have two things to "say" about rabbits in light of Steve.

Steve is my front yard rabbit who eats my clover and runs past me every morning, on my lunch hour, and several time in the evening.

Steve, are you from Spain?

Steve, have you seen any of the Alien films?

Steve, who is this Shyman?


Unabashedly stolen from Jeni, sorry for the steal Jeni.

World Ideologies as Explained by Reference to Cows

You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Pure Socialism:
You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you all the milk you need.

Bureaucratic Socialism:
Your cows are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you should need.

You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

Pure Communism:
You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

Real World Communism:
You share two cows with your neighbors. You and your neighbors bicker about who has the most "ability" and who has the most "need". Meanwhile, no one works, no one gets any milk, and the cows drop dead of starvation.

Russian Communism:
You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the black market.

You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the Mafia takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the "free" market.

Cambodian Communism:
You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

Pure Democracy:
You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

Liberal Democracy:
You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point that you must sell them both in order to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow which was a gift from your government.

Representative Democracy:
You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

British Democracy:
You have two cows. You feed them sheeps' brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

Pure Anarchy:
You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

Pure Capitalism:
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

You don't have any cows. The bank will not lend you money to buy cows, because you don't have any cows to put up as collateral.

Capitalism, American Style:
You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.

You have two cows, one American, one Chinese. With the help of trilling violins and state of the art montage photography, John Tesh narrates the moving tale of how the American cow overcame the agony of growing up in a suburb with (gasp) divorced parents, then mentions in passing that the Chinese cow was beaten every day by a tyrannical farmer and watched its parents butchered before its eyes. The American cow wins the competition, severely spraining an udder in a gritty performance, and gets a multi-million dollar contract to endorse Wheaties. The Chinese cow is led out of the arena and shot by Chinese government officials, though no one ever hears about it. McDonald's buys the meat and serves it hot and fast at its Beijing restaurant.

Political Correctness:
You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the phallo centric, war mongering, intolerant past) two differently - aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.

You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.


I was drinkin when I wrote this, so sue me if it goes astray…

Tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis:

(I’m trying to learn Latin in my spare time)

Time changes, and changes us with it:

Do you recall youth looking at age? I remember being a seventeen-year-old dishwasher at a fine dinning restaurant and looking at the twenty four year old waitress Pam and seeing an adult, marveling at her farness from me in age and experience. She was a woman who had rounded youth and begun decline. She’d past the marker of adulthood through her story. Pam had a 4.0 grade point average in a nursing program and she dated a coke dealer. The skim helped her study, but deepened the lines in her face, though I understand her addiction was more to him than to his wares.

She tried to kick one time by sleeping with one of the bus boys and then she told me about it as a sort of prurient come on, “I can’t believe I let him sleep with me.” Causatively speaking, she was smart but not wise. The bus boy, Chris, soon left to drive a front-end loader in a Latin American construction company, and now I think he owns a pizza place nearby me. He purchased it on language skills and a clear cutting will.

Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor, though retrospect sees more doors than windows. This is a sentiment often expressed as, “If I only knew than what I know now.” Still I suppose we’re safer for our ignorance, if safe is a worthy goal. The youngest people I know think safe is anathema, but that is a selfish stance is it not? We are rarely safe for ourselves.

I remember being twenty-four at a bar in the ville and looking at a man my age with a prodigious gut and thinking, “Doesn’t he know how bad that looks? Why doesn’t he do something about that?” Now my own paunch precedes me into rooms like a separate time zone, mountain leading central. I liked becoming a bear of a man, grew out the beard, developed the habit of smoking pipes in my sitting chair with my hunting hound at my feet. I passed for “vague age man” – drove a fourteen foot Ford LTD Landau and got eight miles to the gallon. I excessed. R called me “Mr. Excesscivity” as a term of endearment and passive aggressive critique. Paul called yesterday to tell me he saw her in Columbia on Sunday. “Yes,” I said, “She’s there now.” Paul, “In psychology.” Me, “yup.” Our lackluster love languished in libation, libidinal luck was not in those cards. Re-deal please. Shuffle and re-deal.

In the time of the beard I was always being asked by older women to define myself with a marker of chronology, women older than me often don’t mind guts and see them as markers of strength or virility, something of a Papa Hemingway guise. A young man who has aged quickly can be just the thing. Mary calls it my Professor look. I am told I make too much of my weight, as I keep it all in one place, but vanity aside I know now that my heart beats faster than most and so the gut must go or I will, too soon.

Well, I am not prompted to this erudite muse in a vacuum. I have been reading blogs that make me feel old. That for good or ill are filled with emotions that I haven’t experienced in years. And I don’t envy them the unevenness of it all. Eventually the people you hurt weigh more heavily on you than the hurts you sustain, and you try to tread lightly on the rice paper of the temple, lest the tares prevent your progress to the dragon burn my young Shaolin. Yet every time I look back to see if I have made progress, it’s as though we could take a casting from that rice paper in our search for the yeti. I hope it’s an ascending gyre, but it might just be an outward spiral, the most basic of labyrinths.


Deconstructing Spidey Rantorific panorama in cinemascope:

(rough draft to be expanded)

When I get like this I resort to a kind of academic shorthand, which is a limited discourse I’ll acknowledge, but I’m only willing to unpack if you are staying to ask questions, otherwise you’re on your own.

So with blogging and a critical eye in mind I went to see the new Spider Man tonight. Mary Jane is saying to Peter, “I’ve always been in your doorway.” And I am thinking the Derridian, “I have always and already been in your doorway, since the very notion of history has been collapsed by the flaws implicit in the underlying assumptions of history – as in his story and yes we’ve seen this “his-story” before, particularly on film.” I am about to unload so before I do let me say that I loved and enjoyed this film, I laughed and I also cried at key moments that touch on my personal struggle (I am not being ironic, I did tear up at a few moments, but I am a shlep so think what you will). Say what you will… the perils of Pauline have become more perilous, though they still include the surgeon’s circular saw reminiscent of sawmills of the past, hence the final scene's water front lumber mill locale complete with psuedo glacial ice on Spidey’s web. Spidey has to stop a train sans literal Pauline impediment, but she is psychically under threat so it’s the same widget. Then you include the unwieldy octopus of cheap power for the poor and you get Feminist Marxist film crit for you Jen.

The white insane Hobgoblin-to-be is willing to put his fortune on the line for his piece of cheap power, assuming it is an affordable monopoly. Silly duped Latin man with ethnically vague dead European wife, cut your ties with European idealism and succumb to the capitalists of the north, Dole just wants your bananas but, “we have no (fusion) bananas today” - you can stop it - just put out the fire. Fay Ray has her share of building assents, thank you King Kong (down to the dress no less), but her let me choose lines hit close to home as I-Karl-have sent more than one ex packing with the line, “I’m no good for you.” Of course I was obviously right, but that’s beside the point. Jen’s/Pie’s queries circle round the sexual so if I were to jerk a read from the obvious metaphors of virility I would focus on the sheepish Russian girl who offers him the chocolate cake. Can he have his cake and eat it too? Apparently he can, just as we can watch the schlock and love it like the good little monkeys we are.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

After my amazing tandem massage this morning I agreed to write marketing for their business in exchange for massage, we are also developing a tandem massage class for them to teach this technique. It requires some skill to apply equal pressure with four sets of hands. They also made me give a detailed response with constructive criticism as this was a training for one of the women – hence its freeness.

On my way out there was a woman waiting to go in, who I greeted and made small talk with. Several hours later this same woman walked into my office looking for a book on visions, her arrival here overlapping mine was an apparent coincidence. I told her how to get to The Living Insight Center, she told me about my aura and she shopped for a bit. She said, “I’ve always had visions, but lately they have been coming so fast and there are other things, like your aura,” and she gestured to its bounds, “which is so clear to me.”

Later, a student named Mike asked what that strange and wonderful smell was by the door. The coincidence women was checking out and as I suggested that perhaps they were from the roses that a student’s husband had brought in, or the new plants Deby had hung by the entrance, she said, “No, I’ve had angels with me all day and they smell like flowers, there are two little ones with me on my arm right now.” She made a gesture as if to tickle one of them. My job is not like your job; here we’ve got Angels in the infield.


Writing for work:

The Health Benefits of Regular Massage

I am an addict. I am addicted to massage therapy. I received my first professional massage at the prompting of my girlfriend five years ago. Back then I thought of massage as a luxury, a special way that a person could treat themselves to a taste of the good life, but my girlfriend knew better, she was making regular appointments not as a treat, but to maintain and improve her basic health. What she knew then, and what I have learned since then, is that regular massage can be an essential tool to support and enhance every aspect of our quality of life.

When you experience high levels of stress your immune system becomes weaker and your body has difficulty voiding toxins. The body defends itself under stress by being ready for action. When you are stressed your body is ready with what is called the “fight or flight” response, you tense for combat or for escape (even if neither are called for). If you are constantly under stress you can begin to hold your body in tense positions, to literally freeze into that reactive stance. Many forms of chronic muscle pain have this kind of tension at their heart. People who aren’t relaxed are more susceptible to disease and injury; their immune systems are often compromised by being overloaded with more toxins then they can handle, and people distracted by stressors are more likely to harm themselves or others through easily avoidable accidents.

Regular massage therapy is a cure-all for all these ills and can restore your physical mental and emotional health through detoxification, relaxation, stress reduction, greater mental clarity, improvement of immunity, circulation, flexibility, mobility, and overall health. Going back for more frequent massage can address long standing issues of structural alignment and can be a first line of defense for any changes to your body such as the early visible stages of skin cancer. Beneath the surface, regular massage can provide relief from chronic pain, the freeing of adhesions in your muscle tissue, the healing of scar tissue and can release patterns created through trauma, chronic tension and habitual holding. How are you holding up? Maybe it’s time to make another massage appointment. Call The Healing Arts Center at 314-647-8080 to make an appointment with one of our student or professional Massage Therapists or call your therapist today!


Sarter Resartous = the blogger reblogged

Pace yourself:

The heat has at long last come and with it comes exhaustion. Why aren’t you blogging? Is it the heat? Could be. Yesterday it was in the high nineties and one hundred and ten degrees with the heat index (temperature plus humidity = how hot it feels). Today was more of the same. This is not what people call a dry heat. Humidity is at 100% so you have the pleasure of sweating without the linked enjoyment of evaporation, merely clothing saturation as the air has all the water it can hold “thank you very much”. I have friends from Taiwan who are shocked to find themselves in this non-equatorial sauna, thinking that they had come from the fires of Hades only to find themselves down a few floors in Dante’s Inferno. If it were more predictable from day to day, the city planners could market it, put rock piles on street corners with water pails and little ladles, distribute birch switches at roadside stands like the pretzel sellers. St. Louis in the summer, all sauna all the time. A white toweled city parading its gutted flabbiness and pristine plasticity with the anonymity of a Swiss bathhouse. Every home with an exterior of cedar seeping sweated sap into the sultry night.

How does that humidity scale work? You would think 100% humidity would put us down with Atlantis, submerged. I suppose it means, “If it were any more humid it would be
raining”. Meteorologists of the world please elucidate. Heat doesn’t interfere with writing, air conditioning does. AC has oft been credited with the demise of southern fiction in the U.S. Heat encourages slowness, encourages the slowness of memory, encourages long slow sips of gin in which musing is the most amusing thing one cares to be up to. I have not been moving slow, I have been moving fast. Jen thinks that my blogging hiatus means I am considering writing something more substantial then a blog – actually getting after a book of some kind. It could be as simple as being very busy. I’ve been cleaning. I mean really cleaning. Rented steam cleaner with massive chemical accoutrement cleaning, trips to goodwill cleaning, mental health cleaning. Following the advice of friends and psychics alike I am trying to let things go, but instead I am just on the go.

Just an example:
Friday workday followed by Syberg’s Sports bar with sister and family, followed by cards at sister’s, followed by poker game in St. Charles with BJ, Tyler & Adam (left with forty on a thirteen dollar stake) until three am, up at seven am and golfing nine holes with family at Ruth Park by nine am, grocery shopping, afternoon “cosmic bowling” with nephew for fourteenth birthday (2:30-5:30), Sister Sandy’s pending child is a boy to be named Henry, home to function three dogs – a cat – and twenty three fish (dog sitting two additional dogs all weekend for Vanessa), south to Bree’s twenty fifth birthday BBQ (seven pm until one am), up and off to target for baby gate to restrict dogs to the first floor & steam cleaner to de-dog the upstairs carpet, steam clean whole house carpets and upholstery, folks arrive for afternoon of cards & beer, folks off to dinner and conference so to Beth & Brad’s for Six Feet Under, Queer as Folk, Full Metal Jacket & Gin. This has been the typical pace of late on both weekday and weekend. Workday Monday, return steamer on lunch hour, function dogs, work till six, function dogs, bowling league with nephew subbing for Vanessa who is off with Hannah & Madonna (seventh row) in Chicago, pool with nephew, White Castle with nephew, home to yet another black out, up to blog (now) and then off to Kirkwood for tandem massage (two people work on you at once) at friends new business (Barb & Sandy), back to work while doing an impression of Jell-O having just been myofascialed within an inch of my life, to write “news” article for The Healthy Planet on the benefits of massage on a Thursday deadline and receive several hundred bottles of various Biotone Massage Creams into inventory, as well as dealing with the thirteen as yet unforseen crises which await me - primary - finding Theresa a place to live for three months while she completes her course work.

Makes you tired to just read it doesn’t it?


Thursday, July 08, 2004

As life progresses occasionally we snap a few shots. Here are visuals from some recent rhetoric and some stories yet to be told. Perhaps you could ask questions that might prompt me to explain some of these pictures.

There are also Beth's pictures to view.


Andrew is taking a break from blogging, I’ve noticed that several of the bogging set whose pages I read, are in something of a summer slump – myself included. I have a mental dish on simmer and every time I go to lift the lid I feel the fear of underdone cuisine. Mary and others have offered mild chastisement for the lack of writing – about our vacation, about Angela’s Tuesday night hospital visit – she’s fine don’t worry – but our healthcare system is a shambles. My folks are in town this evening through the weekend as well, so I imagine that the writing will continue to be sparse. Hopefully the dam will break soon and I’ll manage some Saturday morning rant. I just found out my ex R is moving to Columbia on Sunday. Good luck R in your new career and city – Paul and Caroline would love to see you I am sure.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Well, it’s seven thirty am and I have nowhere to be for an hour so lets see what we can get out. The power was out last night and was still out when I got up this am, it finally came back on around six am. At 6:00 I heard the air kick back on and at 6:01 Mary Beth was grinding coffee to fuel her first day at Boeing.

We had raging torrential storms last night. The first wave hit when I was at bowling, I had called Beth to tell her I’d found my missing debit card and she informed me that the trees in U-city were bending over – implication: get ready cause here it comes. For the next hour or so while we bowled, we kept one eye on the radar screen and the other out the window at the visible front – the five picture windows on the East wall of this second floor bar framed what on television would be mistaken for hurricane footage. On the big screen TV a Doppler radar map showed the whole region covered in some form of yellow or red activity, with the storms lined up like pro leaguers chucking thousand pound balls at the pins of the St. Louis skyline. Zeus and Thor looking to throw strikes while Loki fucks with the power plants, in true trickster god fashion. Then the channel five live feed cut out so like all sane Midwesterners would, we got more drinks and continued to bowl – drink sales were probably up as no one wanted to have an empty cup when the power finally tanked, as at that point we all knew it would.

Every time there was a major lightning flash the jukebox would cut out for a second and the people who were singing along, myself included, could be heard filling in the missing lyrics – imagine huge biker dude with long gray hair and full beard with leather chaps in a Grateful Dead t-shirt filling in the missing bridge “strike the pose” on a Madonna song. Fucking great.

These cut outs grew more and more frequent until finally all of Maplewood went down – accept of course – and here is a great mystery – accept the lights over the pins. Apparently The Saratoga has an emergency power system that feeds the pinsetter and the lights above for just such an emergency. We had seven frames to go when the power kicked and I’ll be damned if we didn’t bowl them out. After every throw you would have to hit the reset button to get your ball to return, and half the time you’d have to walk halfway down the lane to meet your ball. I helped the bartender Paulie light cans of sterno to put out on the bar, and switched to gin and grapefruit – as the tonic was on the soda gun and had no power.

The air conditioner began to drip onto one of our two lanes so we put down some towels and called it the water hazard lane (continuing to bowl on it through the water). At first we used the lights on our cell phones to score by, aiming the green glow at the page, but eventually one of the guys on the other team went out to his truck for a mag light and somebody else showed up with scented candles (cucumber melon). Zack, from the other team, was bowling with the mag light held in his mouth – he actually got a few strikes that way – Vanessa marked as well – scoring the first post blackout strike. Vanessa kept snapping pictures and running short digital movies so we’ll see if those turn out.

After we finished bowling we ended up holding over our tabs, since the ATM was out of commission. The owner showed up with Coleman lanterns, which made it feel like camping. The water dripping from the defunct ac made it feel like a cave. The conversation made it feel like a brothel and the lightning through the plate glass windows outdid any Fourth of July show anywhere. We bullshitted our way into the wee hours as the final patrons in our very own candlelit bar.


Friday, July 02, 2004

That is it! Fuck Microsoft, Bill Gates, and the lot of them. If they can’t make a spam & spyware proof browser, then who needs them. In the spirit of Clint Eastwood stealing the latest in aviation technology from the Russians I am switching to Firefox, the Mozilla browser. This is ironic in that the attack we suffered last week was, according to the MSN owned magazine Slate, caused by the Russian mafia in their attempts to hijack passwords to online banking accounts. I have uninstalled all things Explorer and am done with it and them. I advise those of you still on the Bill Gates team to read said article closely. As per Beth's request - see above links.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming." –Goethe-

What are we (am I) becoming?

Change energy abounds. Today is Mary’s Birthday. Yesterday was Brad’s last day of teaching before the summer break. Mary Beth has eighteen hours left to work at A G Edwards before the Tuesday start at Boeing – balancing the backlog of bids by the bombers to make them rapaciously efficacious. Jen has a nameless new dog. There is more, but we shant out the major changers, the moving in-ers and the maybe moving on-ers.

One of the things that fills me with consternation is that I keep missing opportunities to write. More seems to happen than I am able to capture, or at least capture well. My backlog of tell-able stories from the past week alone is somewhat exhausting. And as I feel the details slip away, like flesh melting into the soil, I keep telling myself that the skeleton is enough to remember. But we both know, you and I, that this lesson is one of discipline – you snooze you loose and detail turns to detritus. Especially when alcohol is the enemy of memory and your country is occupied by a band of swarthies under the leadership of a man in a grogram coat; the old grog (developing a personal mythology – don’t mind me).

We went out last night to celebrate some of the above changes and found ourselves at a closed Southern Bell – with new hours, a new menu that focuses on burgers and sandwiches, no piano (where will the queens sing? Singing seems to be taking some hits this month), and perhaps a new owner – the Southern Bell seems to have suffered a northern takeover. We took our melancholic antebellum asses up to Wildflower in the West End proper and enjoyed drinks, appetizers, and the night air. We are mostly off to a mild summer on the heat front, but I have no doubt that our humidity will soon match that of Thailand, between two major rivers the theme is steam.

After several rounds of drinks and a perceptible wane in energy we crossed the road and went to Rosie’s, which is like an odd bit of the ville. In this particular part of the West End you are surrounded by high-end cafés and art galleries, antique stores and chocolateries. Rosie’s is a wood paneled dive where you are encouraged to bring your dog, reflecting a West End that was – a working class wonder that is still peopled with characters of every sort (including us).

After our appetizers at Wildflower, Rebecca walked home to get – (excuse me for a second, MB’s cat Bozo is in a box to my right eating the edge of the box – tearing out hunks of cardboard – is this a cat or a gerbil?) – her horse of a black lab and upon entry into Rosie’s that bartendress exclaimed, “Holmes!” When you are known in a bar by your dog, you are truly known. John bought us a round and we settled into the atmosphere. If you’re an old school K-villian think pre-Hot Spot – think Flamingo (Flaming-O) before the rehab. No two chairs alike, wood paneling, baskets on the tables with self help microwave popcorn still in the wrapper (I took a pack home), mega touch trivia, plastic darts cricket, Johnny Cash/Motown Juke Box, bathroom in the back of a French door closet – step up on a platform to piss and to read the graffiti, “This is the worst bathroom I have been in in my life.”

I have oft observed that I am most comfortable in well-heeled bars and Rosie’s is up there and the heeled list wherein you’re apt to find some gypsy heathin herbal healin. – I’m late for work so other observations will fall by the wayside.

Later -
Still thinking about change energy.

It is precisely because our present life is so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire’s tremendous energy if we wish to transform our life into something transcendental.

-Lama Thubten Yeshe, Introduction to Tantra

Tantra – Sanskrit term derived from loom – implies weaving together threads – focuses on worshiping the active divine feminine Shakti – change energy. Yoga – yuke – to yoke or bind together the mind and body – weave and bind the creative to transcend.

Tomorrow we are going back to the lake.

Fred, "Your writing seems unfocused, half there. Where are you?"

Karl, "On Vacation."