Saturday, March 08, 2003

Nissa's asleep and I just put out the fire in the fireplace. Bugsy has been prolific with output today. She's both an indoor and outdoor cat. This morning a piece of dramatic irony occured. I was woken by a telemarketer for a carpet cleaners. I said, "No thanks." and hung up. Then I went to go back to bed and stepped in a pile of Bugsy's vomit on the carpet. I said, "Oh, real mature, God!"

Friday, March 07, 2003

There's an optimistic way of looking for meaning in the fact that they've remade `Willard' with Crispin Glover. Remember that no matter how bad you screw up, there's always a future.

The pessimistic view comes when I think of what to say to all of my aspiring actor friends. "They'd still rather use somebody who is known as one of the hardest people to work with in the industry than use you."

Needless to say, the bad news for all of us is that they keep making crap as our entertainment ration. I haven't seen the film, but come on!
Film studios should hire me to be a level puller. One side of the lever has a green sign which reads, "GOOD IDEA." The other red sign is "BAD IDEA." This should seem like simple calls, but sometimes large organizations just need one person to take a step back and critique.

Dude comes in and says, "I've got an idea. Let's remake `Willard.'" He'd be falling through that trap door with the Wonka bad egg sound so quick I'd probably pull a tendon in my pulling arm!





Thursday, March 06, 2003

I've hit the halfway mark of catalogging. Five hundred of my books are on line. This is a week and two days after first getting on line. I've got a little under three weeks to get the other half on line. I hope to go a little lighter and slower, but I know that I'll probably keep charging along at the same pace.
I forgot to report the big news of yesterday. I made my first online sale. It was a Kerouac book. I shipped it this morning.
Dr. Shrinker and I talked about my father today. I told her about the mind games he played with us while we were growing up as our only form of interaction with him and she laughed with astonishment. She said that was really screwed up. Then she had me talk to him as if he were in the room. I didn't want to do that, but I did it anyway. Then I was supposed to respond as him. The exercise made me realize that I was very angry and confused over my father. She said I'm on the road to getting an emotional life back. I might actually begin to enjoy things again or feel passion or write again. Fact is, I'm okay with all of that, but I also realize I have to make myself feel the things I don't want to feel as well in order to have a full range of tools. Right now I've been having moments of passion, but it feels like having been blindfolded in a closet all weekend, then ripping it off at the beach in August. I gave her a copy of the poem from the other day.
Niss and I went to dinner at Rutabagorz. I had this thing called "The Heap" which is every meat they serve in one sandwich with two cheeses melted over it. This was coupled with a chocolate shake that was disappointing by comparison. Nissa gave me a fish costume. I'm hazy on where it came from, but it's in the back of my car now.
I stopped by the library while I was in Orange and borrowed the movies "From Here to Eternity" and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Also picked up a Wordsworth collection in the Friends of the Library store. And for to put on line, I found a book by Mary Shelley that isn't Frankenstein. It's called The Last Man and it seems to be sci-fi.



Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Also, to make it an even three postings in a row, "Radio Free Albemuth" by Philip K Dick is a good book for the moment. I mean the Total Information people and the Homeland Security and Ashcroft and even the guy who lives in the White House could very well have patterned their whole structure of power from "Albemuth." It's spooky. But it also gives a lot of hope in that dark, Phil Dick way.

I consider myself a big Dickhead.




So you know who I've been reading lately.
There's a book that should come back into vogue right about now, or pretty soon. `Farenheit 451' is probably next for me to re-read. I was talking about it with Niss or Charles or the Royal Nonesuch for all I can remember. But the point is that it reaches almost fifty years into the future and speaks right to us right now in "TIA Presents America."
I've always got another pull whenever I re-read something. There's always a voice at some other part of my head that wants me to read something that I've never read before. There are so many books out there (don't I know it!) and my life's only so long. I've also been thinking of Whitman's "Specimen Days" which was his prose work. But the fact that I've never met anybody who has read it makes me want to tip toe slowly around the book.



Okay, now. Be sure and re-read Mark Twain's "War Prayer." Here it is in case you're too danged lazy to look it up yourself.
Mark Twain's War Prayer

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou
near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved
firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds
with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriotic
dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in
pain; help us lay waste to their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the
hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless
with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of the desolated land in rags and
hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in
spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our
sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter
pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the snow white
with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him who is the
Source of Love, and who is the ever faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and
seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."




I've got mixed feelings about the protest I was just at. Nissa called me late last night and asked if I'd like to go to the action at Chapman University today. I said okay.
I got up early (for me) and rushed to get out the door. I kept getting delayed, which culminated in Nissa calling to ask where I was. I blew up a little at her.
I drove through the traffic and parked FAR from Chapman. The event was on the cafeteria patio. They had a PA and were playing music. People were mingling with signs. There was a Dominican friar there. Nissa went and printed out the speech that Chaplin gives at the end of `The Great Dictator'. My former calculus professor gave a great speech on why it's important to get as much information as possible. He spoke of how, in youth, he was a conservative republican. He started seeing how the US government was out and out lying about much of their actions in Vietnam. He decided to be an opponent to war and especially to injustice. He went to Nicaragua during that whole mess and was horrified by what our government was supporting. He came home angry and did everything he could to stop that war. He encouraged everyone to get as informed as possible.
I decided to leave around one to get some work done. Nissa tried to make me feel guilty for not taking the whole day away from work. This got me really pissed and guilty at the same time. I've been to many marches, I've written against this war, I drove out there to show my support even though I'm no longer a student, and she was trying to guilt me into thinking it wasn't enough. Like me not getting any forward motion on catalogging is some great thing for the world or for me. Of course, because it was coming from her, I felt the guilt too, which I knew was a load of crap, which made me angrier. I let her know how angry I was and she apologized. She said she had a selfish image of what today would be like. I apologized for being so grumpy.
Now, of course there were the usual meat heads who shout out dumb, violent things during our rally in order to get a rise. Unfortunately, one of the organizers gave them just that. He got up and asked if any of the opposition would like to come up and debate. At that point I decided to leave. I hate that fanning the flames, penis measuring contests that happen at some protests. Like yelling louder is going to win people over to your side.
This is exactly why Jerry Garcia never wanted to get political or have anything to do with protests. His life was his example, his protest. He made, or at least helped set into motion, this peaceful, loving community that actually worked. His protest was saying that the world and life on it didn't have to be all hate, negativity, violence and war. The world is what we make it. People saw this group of free people having a lot of joy around music. That was the point. Some people who like their fear too much turned up their noses and dismissed it. But that doesn't matter.
Anyway, I was made a little sick by the dude's tactic and didn't stay around to see the self righteousness.



Tuesday, March 04, 2003

I wonder if there isn't some form of madness or physical malady that's triggered by staring for too long. I stared at the catalogging program all day, then spent the last hour of daylight riding my bike and whittling. After dinner I stared at a book for two hours. Now I feel like my insides are ready to make a break for it. I'll be glad when I've got the thousand books in inventory so I'll feel like I can go out in the daylight again and maybe actually have social interactions with people.
I had a social interaction this morning. Rob called me about the poem. Actually, we talked about how much art "workshops" suck. He's in a fiction one right now, or rather is ditching a fiction one, where he always ends up going last and therefore getting rushed through. On top of that, the teacher has this "the author must not respond" rule. There's another good way of forcing things down to blow up all over people later.
Nissa has rehearsal regularly now. I imagine I'll be seeing less of her, or at least later at night. After tonight's rehearsal she's going to an OC Peace meeting of some sort to explain tomorrows actions to her. I don't quite get what's going on tomorrow either. If I'm not marching somewhere with a sign, I'm a lost as to what to do with myself. I've heard talk about massive walk outs. But where am I supposed to walk out of? I guess I could stand up and walk away from the computer and get some fresh air. Go stand out on my lawn for peace. Maybe I will. That sounds more pleasant that typing ISBN's and prices all the live long day.
Anyway, she's says they're giving out black armbands with peace symbols on them. I asked her to get me one so I could wear it all the time, even if we don't go to war or even for after the war is over (see, I'm getting better with the whole optimism thing.)



Monday, March 03, 2003

When Mark Twain danced naked beyond indoor America's midnight in life, the women would look and giggle and keep the sight of Bacchus tramping a bunch of pagan all over their Christian fields silent.
Awful beautiful were the peeks behind the skirts of Victoria.
I'm sick in my lungs.
I've slept in squares too many nights.
I must listen to young Tom Waits to get over the emotional lip,
Crest the waters to let this out.
I've still got to site other, famous people to hide my emotions behind because I don't trust you yet.
Don't worry. This poem will be no longer than it needs to be and then you can get back to whatever it was you were doing.
The other day, Rob in New York called me to say that he felt like screaming out tears on the streets of Jackson Heights when an old friend left forever to Italy the other day but he was in public so he got into the elevator to his home, but there was somebody there so he battened his hatches until he got inside and answered the phone which was his friend's father just having missed her and Rob was strong for the stranger father on the other end let down that it would be days and another country before he heard his daughter until Rob finished giving information and hung up and made himself a screwdriver. The tears burst flames out of his head's windows.
I thought at the time I would've liked him to cry in the elevator to shake somebody up that he didn't know. A rare piece of human they weren't expecting on the ride up the building, when their minds were on their cat food and they shouldn't have to think about the importance of their fellow passengers. But I knew that I wouldn't have either.
I knew I wouldn't have even made the screwdriver and "Whaallll!" into the space of the apartment. I would have sucked all of that rare human down until I vomited it up in rage at a loved one a few days later. Which is modern etiquette.
It all goes down somewhere beneath my stomach to some dark space, like a port-a-potty, I have no idea how full it is and what might be down there, but I keep pouring it down there.
I've never heard a reporter report on the great invisible Lovecraftian beasts that amble up and down America's streets ready to swallow those who peek over the dam and bare a little of their reality.
There's a dark presence older than civilization on this continent.
I'm crawling around looking for my eyes. I know they were cut out and are laying somewhere on the asphalt in front of me. The warmth on my cheeks is thicker and saltier than tears.
I'm sick in my lungs from holding death inside.
I want to run down the road barking my tears at the beasts who would have me keep gagging it to my grave. Bellow those rapscallions into the light. I want to tear out the throat of every fad, every knickknack and jimcrack that we're supposed to cover ourselves in for the almighty Comfort, frothing at the cameras "You're the people who murdered Kerouac!"
I want to broadcast my cat sleeping on sunlight over satellite as the new America.
You don't care about all of the things I really want to do.
All of the wrong things are unacceptable. That has to reverse. The HMS Doom is filling with murk green sea, hugged by the dark father that slumbers beneath the ocean like some evil teddy bear.
I've got to allow myself the emotional wreck all of this is making me. I've got to get rid of all of these metaphors. It's time to rip off my armor before I jump into the river.
The white mustached nude walks steaming on my freshly trimmed lawn, to the street where I'm prone, with a face so terrible that I cannot go back in under the covers. Nobody titters behind their Venetians because there's flashy poison on a screen in front of them. He hands me my eyes. He says that those who lose their eyes for his sake will gain them.
Twain tells me to strip off all of my clothes. "All of it. Not a stitch must stay on for this dance.
Push out the bad air from your innards.
Let go of the silly concealment of your clothes, cloaking your life within and study shame no more.
Uncover your Head.
Allow your loins to flap free, go where the life within.
Relax your belly, the core and source of you.
Feel the cold and heat on and in your skin.
Take off your shoes for you are standing on holy ground."
I catalogged 100 books today. In fact, I just now finished. It can be done. Tonight I'm going to let myself crash. Right now I'm going to try and get a walk or a bike ride in before the sun slips away from me.
Oh, and I've been listening to the Phish concert while I worked along with a Tom Waits concert from 1999. That's been nice.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

I did not sleep well last night. I tossed until three, when I fell asleep for an hour. Then up to potty and then rolling and tossing until probably four thirty. Niss got up at around six I think, which woke me for another half hour. Finally rose at about ten thirty, red eyed and full headed. My body did not like being deprived of Benedryl for the first time in two years. I feel like I'm about ready to roll over right now though.
Today we went with Yod, Charles and Phish to an old timey revival theater in El Segundo. "The General" was the Buster Keaton film they showed. It happens to have been one of the two Keaton films I'd seen before.
Center stage, when you walk into the theater with red and green lit chandeliers, is The Mighty Wurlitzer, spot lit in all its glory. Behind was a collage of black lit gee gaws and jim jams that moved when different sounds on The Mighty Wurlitzer were played. It was an altar to tiktokism. The feeling of magic grasping at us through time was amply provided by the theater. The gentleman who played (whose stance reminded me of our friend Tom Maddox who used to run the One O'Clock Jump swing dancing on Saturday nights, but passed away two days before Christmas this last year) gave us a twenty minute medley of songs from before the Depression and some others mixed in that just sounded neat on The Mighty Wurlitzer (says Nissa, "Now I've finally got a positive memory to go along with "It's A Small World!") It climaxed with a sing along in which we were introduced to a number of tongue twisters and all ended up laughing at ourselves. Then they showed a Laurel and Hardy short. Then intermission. Then the feature. I was rapt. It was one of the coolest experiences I've had in a very long time.
Then, Niss and I ate and parted. The same grumpiness that I've been getting whenever we part came tonight, but I noticed it this time and was therefore able to control it. Then I went to Instagon and got cds of the Phish show we saw on Valentine's along with the Instagon show from when dr oblivous was down.