Saturday, May 03, 2003

Last night I saw Nissa's show. I highly recommend it. A Man's A Man by Brecht runs this weekend and next at Chapman. It's a disturbing show that is very hard on the audience. I love that kind of thing.

Today was what I call a Philip K Dick day. It's a day that's really hellish, but one slogs through it and maybe even finds some joy in the slog.
It started, and forgive me if I get a little graphic, with the toilet overflowing after my morning poo. Or rather, overflowed with the attempted flush of the morning poo, spilling poo-water onto the bathroom floor. And I'd just seen `Dogma' two nights before so I've got all kinds of demonic images in my mind over this. Having a basic knowledge of healthy and unhealthy conditions, this left me with the problem of how to clean up that sort of thing on a baterialogical level. I sopped it up with rags, which I then threw out (which I figured was better than using tree flesh.) I put rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and Lysol over whole floor, even where no poo-water had spilled. The floor crackled like rice crispies. I took that as the sound of a healthy floor.
Niss came over. She was exhausted after her show (which is horribly taxing for the audience and I can't imagine for the performers) and a party at her place afterward last night. We went out looking for `Boys Don't Cry' because she's performing a scene from it in her acting for the camera class. We went to three or four places and could not find it. Oscar winning performance from, what, like two years ago. Nowhere. No video, no DVD at the library, Best Buy, Suncoast and Blockbuster.
This brought on a very good conversation about the uneven playing field for women. We started on how it's acceptable for a mainstream film to have gaggles of (albiet usually disgustingly stereotypical) gay men, but not lesbians yet. Also, about how the sexual revolution really only opened the doors for a lot of T & A on the tele and men saying things in public to women that would have got them thrown in jail in Victoria's reign. I threw in the observation that most women in our society are made aware or reminded by circumstances constantly that they are women and I can probably count on one hand the amounts of times a day, if any, I actually think about the fact that I'm a man.
Then we ran down the list of heroes and entertainers. Julia Butterfly Hill was still fresh in my mind. Niss pointed out that you think of the sixties and Janis is about all you think of as far as counterculture women (I argued Joan Baez, but we agreed that it's mainly only people who were alive at the time who really remember Baez and, for the most part, recognized her much more readily at the time than Joplin.) I could rattle off about twenty modern male musicians I'm wild about right off the top of my head.
Then:
"I love Ani Difranco, Laurie Anderson, umm, I think Tori's done some great stuff on her early albums and the most recent one. Umm. Does Diamanda Galas count?" And that was the best I could do.
Niss took a short nap while I cooked her dinner. Then she left and I sat in my room reading.

An hour later, Mom called excited for me to come quick. I ran out and, out the back window, there was a big orange and yellow bird on the fence. Majestic, goregeous. Just a beautiful bird. Mom looked up that it was an oriole, which live in Nor Cal or Mexico, not native. A split second later, the bird was being crushed in Boingo's jaws. Mom screamed and started crying. I tore out and chased Boingo. The bird let out yelps of dying pain and I knew from the red spatters on its yellow chest that the bird was gone. Mom came out and told me that it was just something that cats do, which I knew. I went into my room and sobbed, calling out to God for an hour or more. I didn't release my cries on sound because I didn't want them to hear, but I cried for too long and the sharp intakes of breath and nose blowing told on me.
My parents and I spoke about it. It was going through my mind that Boingo is a wild cat. He attacks Bugsy, he attacks us, he brings other people's pets to our door as half eaten corpses. He'd make a great farm cat or a cat for somebody with a lot of insects or vermin. I was thinking that I'd want to know he was in a place were he'd eat well and not be harmed. I thought this and wept heartily because I love him. I've raised him from a kitten. I saved his life. He's my cat.
In my room I prayed that in my life I wouldn't lose everything I love.

I hope.

So I went to see Phish, the friend. It was good to get to vent some and talk about the state of the world.

After we picked up Charles from work, I went and was bad. I bought the soundtrack for "A Mighty Wind." I rationalized that I'm driving up to Chico next week and I'll need some new music for the ride. While I was there, I went through and looked at all of the artist's names labeled in front of me. The women were about 1/4 and the one's I mentioned before were the only ones that interested me. I know that there are great women musicians out there. Women musicians are just thrown bones by having a handful of them signed at any given time.

I came home and Mom said that she told Dad that that experience was like her life. Every time something is beautiful or enjoyable, something really disturbing has to happen. We can never have a pure moment of enjoyment. I told her that I totally understood and felt the same about my life.

Then, right before she went to bed, she said that if I wrote a sermon about it, she should like to hear it. I think that's probably the least I could do.


Friday, May 02, 2003

My current schedual seems to be a little light on the rest side. I took a nap after work and before dinner. It's the first nap I think I've had since I was sick.

In other news, the possum continues to elude us. I think we're working against ourselves, like I've said before. I think we're breeding a race of superpossums by eliminating the possums stone dumb enough to get caught in a trap. Behavior modification, that's my idea. Or simple relocation once trapped. But no. Evolution is ignored. We go for instant gratification. This is why we're on the ebb as the dominant species. Mark my words. It's sad really. I wonder what the giant possums of the future will think when they unearth a video copy of tonight's presidential address to the nation. They'll base a whole theory on why humans died out based on it no doubt.

And speaking of which, I have one thing to say about that speech. It's another piece of over-the-top cynicism, like my Protestant Crusades hypothesis, so hold yr hat. I think that our president's stumbling over words and mispronunciations are scripted. I think they're scripted to send out an image of a common man, a coyboy, and, yes, a less than intelligent man.
I think that sends a message to Joe and Jane Sixpack in middle America and an entirely different message to Joe and Jane Sixpack in Iraq or Jean and Pierre Sixpaque in France. All of these images work to the administration's advantage.
Just like his father with the "wimp" image. Turned out that he was a dangerous man, but everyone was making the wimp jokes because dude talked like Mr. Rogers.
It's a carefully polished image put out by the White House. I don't think we see anything that we weren't meant to see.

Chew on that the next time somebody cracks wise about Bush saying "New-cue-lar." Think about what nasty things could be behind that curtain that you can only suspect and fear. Never know.

If only I could write fiction like this.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I spent the night at Nissa's. I slept the sleep of the righteous dead. All of this because Dr. Shrinker wanted me to come in this morning at ten. I walked like the righteous dead from Nissa's to Dr. Shrinker's, while eating organic dark chocolate covered espresso beans.
Niss and I are having a session together where my Dr. Shrinker and hers and Niss and I all sit in a room together and talk about one another. We're going to try and work out what's up with us. I have my suspicions. I know I'm not supposed to put all of the blame on others, but I'm pretty sure that all of this can be traced back to Nissa's show opening tomorrow night and then her graduating in a week and a half.
In other news, books are moving again, which is good. The possum is still at large, which is bad. Lulu, the orange cat from across the street, was caught two nights ago. Luckily I had nodded off on the recliner in the front room and let her out.



Monday, April 28, 2003

"Whoever you are, it's exactly who you're supposed to be."
That's something I've believed for years, but forgotten constantly. It's one of those lessons that I keep learning over and over. Another lesson is to not be ashamed of myself for having forgotten it whenever I learn it again.
Tonight that exact quote was spoken to me and a room full of other people by Julia Butterfly Hill. For those of you who don't know her, she's one of my heroes. It's so hard to find positive role models these days, especially ones that aren't pompous and self righteous and therefore fall really hard like Jello Biafra.
Anyway, Julia Butterfly Hill had an experience of connection with all in the California redwoods many years ago. Then, she heard about clear cutting techniques used, and still used, by greedhead logging companies. So, she sought out a way that she could help preserve the ancients. She was pointed, with her hat full of rabid youthful energy and conviction, in the direction of an old growth tree called Luna, that was on a hill, or mountain, set to be clear cut. She sat in the tree for over two full years to keep them from cutting it down. It still stands and she walks the earth now.
Not surprisingly, the speech was a really positive experience for me. And free! I would have rounded up a group to go with me, but Niss reminded me of it today and I wasn't sure I was going to go until about half an hour before hand (sorry, Phish and Sean, I probably would have asked you otherwise.) I felt the pull of lazy and the pull of having a life changing experience. I think we all know how often Lazy wins.
But, for some reason, I got into my car and rushed down there at the last minute. I got a second row seat and got to meet her afterwards, thank her and get my book signed (and personalized. When I meet my heroes, I don't think about business.)
On top of all of that, I think I've got a little more focus for the forthcoming Timekeeper of Always story I'm working on inside my head. It's not ready to spew out onto paper yet, but it's cresting.

It's funny. The last time I did acid, my room mate talked about how all of history is really about people who were willing to get on boats. Which is a rarer thing than it sounds. I'm glad I got onto the boat to hear the speech tonight. Every action not only changes our lives, but effects the whole universe. I changed a little tonight and got a little perspective that I needed.

Sorry to gush like the hippie who made it past the guards to talk to Jerry Garcia, but I'm energized tonight. I'm positive tonight.

Whee!