Saturday, June 28, 2003

Pleasant day. I spent most of it on the backyard swing reading and watching the cats watch the birds. I got a call from Nissa and we worked out what I was talking about before to a point that we both seem comfortable with. I discovered an amazing Thai restaurant up on Beach Blvd. Good Lord, their garlic shrimp is ambrosia.

Again, can't say I'm sorry there's not more to report. Although I'd like to, one of these slow, pleasant days, be able to end by saying, "Oh, and I sold that $900 William Burroughs book."
Today I do not get to end that way. But I do get to have a bath and some sleepytime tea now. That's always nice. Nice endings are nothing to sneeze at when you've experienced enough of the alternative.

Friday, June 27, 2003

I don't know how much I want to write right now, but here I am. I spent the day with Nissa. I helped her move almost all of the rest of her crap out of her old place and into storage. It was a rollercoastery kind of day. We had some really great moments together. We laughed a lot. There was less tension between than there's been in a long time... at moments anyway. The "not being able to express affection" thing seems to grind on me after a while.
Anyway, it ended on a hard note to swallow or at least a flat note. She was downloading songs for a very long time and I just kind of sat there and developed a very stong sense of boredom. So I left. At home I called her to tell her I got there okay, which we've always done for one another at my insistence. She asked if today was rough for me and I told her that it was at parts. I went into how I was really feeling and was met with her usual complete silence when I go into things from my heart. Until I heard the typing on the other end of the phone. I rang off soon after. She hung up on me before I could respond to her "ta" with my usual "ta."
It's getting easier in some ways and harder in others.
I came home and read about a hundred pages because I needed to get all of that out of my head and I don't drink anymore.

Following my own desires to break out of negative thought patterns, I'll end on some positive notes. First, I managed to sell and ship more today than I did all the rest of this week (which isn't saying much, but I'm supposed to stay positive, even within the parenthesis.)
The other good thing came on my way home and it's a moment that I'd like to dwell in this evening. I was changing music in my car when I rounded a corner in the hills where Niss lives now and had a moment's view of all of Orange County lit up before me like a carnival. At that point the radio took over my stereo. I have it on KUSC, the good classical station here, and there was all female chant going on. Just then, it popped into my head, "it's Sabbath."
Good Sabbath to you all.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Today was pleasant and productive. I rode my bike to the post office in the morning, which seems to be the way to go. It keeps me out of the car but doesn't make the trip last the whole morning like walking does. Back at home I worked on the inventory data base for a good two hours.
I meant to break for lunch, but I turned on PBS and they had on a children's show about pigs. And there were piglets frollicking and looking very joyous and I was suddenly waking up a half an hour later on the armchair I'd sat in to watch it. So, then lunch.
Then a little sunbathing and reading. More data entry. Dinner, tea and reading on the backyard swing. Hung out with Sean.
I can't say I'm sorry that I don't have anything more interesting to report.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

And now it's back. Please ignore my two latest blogs where I try and work out the best way to make a joke about something that was only experienced by me for a few minutes.

Get a grip on yourself, Reverend. People are starting to stare.
Okay, so my blog has gone all Slaughterhouse Five on me. I don't know if it's happening with your browser too, but somebody went in and quantum leaped my chronology. I hope this will work its self out, but suspect that it won't. Stay tuned. I may be asking for advice on other free blog sites from all of you out there.
Whoa. My blogs gone all Slaughterhouse Five on me. It jumps around in time all of the sudden. What's up with that? I hope this works its self out while I sleep. But somehow I doubt it.
Two items before bed.
First, the last word on that last post. In reference to the quote from the Spiked article, since when do book reviewers get off calling anybody geeks?

Second, Niss sent me the link for a "What book of the Bible are you?" quiz.

http://quizilla.com/users/reflectedgrace/quizzes/Which%20book%20of%20the%20Bible%20are%20you%3F

I was torn on a few of the answers so I did it twice. The first one, with my first thoughts, said that I was Psalms. The second one said I was Revelation.
I think people who know me will agree that's just about right. I'm a little bit Psalms, I'm a little bit Revelation.
A REVIEW OF REVIEWS
by Rev. Paul Mathers

Here's a link to a horrible article that's way below the usual standard for the Guardian, which is normally one of the more readable news outlets.
http://books.guardian.co.uk/harrypotter/story/0,10761,982451,00.html
Here's why it's horrible:
The thesis is a blindingly obvious observation. In fact, the author states that Rowling herself wishes that the marketing machine didn't have its claws so deeply embedded in Harry Potter's shoulder blades. Look out! It's a cheap journalist trick! He starts with something that every man, woman and child can agree with in hopes that we'll follow his train of thought to its destination.
Now I come to two of the three things reviewers have been doing across the board that have been bugging the holy crap out of me since the release of this new Potter book. The first is the comparison factor. Every reviewer mentions Dahl and Tolkien and usually throws in a word like "derivative" or "near plagarism" or some such lubberwort, making sure that they also state "I actually enjoyed the first one I read." Klee-shay.
And feminists should take note. Dahl and Tolkien are both old school, male children's (or young adult) authors and the dudes who are writing these reviews are, nine times out of ten, dudes.
But the worst comes near the end of the article. He says he hasn't read the book (which is no longer mandatory to review a book I suppose) but it seems to him that, by the size alone, he can judge that it was poorly edited and not nearly as good as the other volumes. What kind of reviewer turd is that?

"I know nothing about this, but I feel certain in saying that..."

You want to talk about what's wrong with this world? Sure sure, the advertising monster is abominable. But what about the load of snake oil this bum's peddling?
The third thing, which this reviewer has mercifully and astoundingly refrained from doing, is the reviewers who feel the need to insult those above the age of consent who choose to read these books. Here's a line from an article from Spiked Online:
"Presumably anybody who is not embarrassed to read a children's book in public is not going to feel humiliated by a children's book jacket. In fact, the nature of our times means that aspiring to the infantile is positively cool."
No, of course, just like in high school, everybody's right about being as achingly "grown up" as possible. It's not cool to retain any of the sense of joy and wonder that one had as a child. One should toss aside any whismy they might be feeling and embrace the stoic. Thank you, Greyface. You're making the jobs of our leaders so much easier. Make sure all of your humor takes others down a peg or refers to something unpleasant. Make sure you feel humiliated and embarrassed whenever anything juvenile comes up.
A whole world of adults thinking that way makes it good and difficult for a child to be well adjusted, believe you me. They tried to whip the fun out of me when I was young. The swine.
In short, when book reviewers start telling me how to live my life, my reaction is to mentally flip them off.

I guess since it's a childrens book there's no need to write a competent review on it, right?

Let's see these chuckleheads write something that brings a little release from their mundane world and restores a bit of people's faith in the ridiculous. Maybe then what these reviewers have to say wouldn't be an entirely dismissable, steaming pile of twaddle, eh what?





Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Dr. Shrinker and I went over how I'm doing about the break up. She suggested the possibility of kicking it up a notch and breaking off all contact from Nissa for a long period. Like two months. She pointed out that this was just a suggestion but I don't think either Niss or I want that. I mean, I've got this great fear of us drifting now that our connection has become less immediate and I think that would stoke the flames of that fear. Also, Nissa is my best friend. I don't want that to end. But Dr. Shrinker suggested that a long break like that would force me to rely on my friend base outside of Nissa and then, when we came back, we would catch up and be more casual friends. This is not what I want. I don't want to shallow up my connection with Nissa.
Then, on the other hand, I suppose all of this is like when the baby's crying at night and you're not supposed to go in and comfort it because it will learn to cry for comfort. I've always thought I'd never be able to do that with my hypothetical baby. That's why Boingo meows at the door all of the time. Sometimes I give him lunchmeat for no good reason at all. Sometimes I let him in to sit on my belly. But inevitably he starts trashing the place or getting all cagey when he's inside, so I don't let him in too often. But he still comes to the door and meows everytime I'm here because he knows that there's a chance for some attention.

Nissa hasn't called tonight and I'm about to wind down to sleep. I've spent the last four or five hours in the Harry Potter just so I could be caught up with her. And now I'm feeling a little like the baby or the cat.
Tomorrow I'm going to find people to spend time with. I think that was my big mistake today, woodshedding with Potter tonight when it's obvious I wasn't ready for that kind of isolation just yet.

Well, it's like I've said before, some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you. Tonight I'm a Paulskin rug laying before the hearth of some cave somewhere in the mountains.

But it ain't all dark clouds for the Rev. I had my favorite artichoke chicken sausages tonight. After dinner I picked fresh peppermint leaves from the garden and made myself some tea. Rob called and we laughed a lot. I got fifteen minutes in the sun to begin the slow process of evening my back sunburn and my snow white front into a deep tan. And I got a beautiful Japanese art book for my inventory. So, let's part on a cheerful note this night.



Yesterday I got up and shipped the weekend's books. Then I went to the magic shop. The owner was a really cheerful and friendly guy who seemed to really enjoy laughing with the customer about things. Which is good for him because that got me to drop about three times as much as I was planning when I went in there. I went in for a joy buzzer and left with a sack full of fun. And an invitation to the "by invite only" Magic Castle. Another reason I need to start dating again soon.

Dr. Shrinker reschedualed but I still went to the group thing. But not until after dinner with Nissa. We decided that it might make things better for the both of us in the long run if we part for a while. We decided on a week and we can still call to talk about the book if we want. It just hit me that everyone was saying in one way or another that it could make things harder if we continue to see each other so frequently so soon after the big break up.
Needless to say, neither of us wants to spend the time apart. But we both agreed that it might be a good idea anyway.
Last night I went to Lob's big poetry thing at the Liquid Den. Mindy was awesome. Mindy is awesome. So was her co-feature Rachel Kann, who I'd never seen before. And Lob seems to have booked just as exciting features for the whole summer.
I even read a poem. It went like this:

Cain

Cain shadow boxes on an old warped pallette that lays against his tin shed.
His face humps itself with tight & slack & tongue darting in & out.
Angry, slamming sex.
His arms fall hard like body parts out a thirty story window.
"You know how cold tin roofs get in winter?
Piss hot in summer?"
His arms bulge like his muscle's gonna split his skin.
He turns so quick I'm slapped in the face by his long, wet hair.
"Mad? You're damn right! I don't get royalties for a concept. Marked as an idea. Marked as human motives. Marked so no one can touch me."
He wipes a dollup of perspiration from his horned eyebrows showing nails bit so short they're scabbed around the edges.
He slices a bitter smile through his sopping beard and spits out his variation on one of the oldest jokes.
"You provide the drive behind all of human history and no one blinks. But kill one brother..."




Sunday, June 22, 2003

Oh and it's time for this again.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix of all things. I was gonna read The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp, but now that's next on the pile. It got bumped because Niss wants somebody to discuss this with. That plus the Phoenix thing and me. The Phoenix is to me what the number 23 is to a lot of people.
Watching: The Magic Christian
Listening To: Solomon Burke's Don't Give Up On Me.
When we got up today I decided to go to the magic store up on Magnolia st. I haven't been in a long time. I want to get myself some things to spread the feeling of the world being a strange place. Open some third eyes with joy buzzers and things like that. But they were closed.
Nissa helped me cut my hair. I finished the Lord Alfred Douglas book and cried at the end. Niss went to work on a paper for her summer class.
Tonight I went out to a coffee house and read while having some peppermint tea. That was nice. Tomorrow, three books to ship, then magic shop, Dr. Shrinker, then the poetry reading.
Yeah, everyone should come to the Liquid Den tomorrow night. Lob's starting up a Monday night poetry reading. His readings have great energy and everyone should come out no matter if they write or not. Poets + Beer. Of course, I won't be having any beer, but I should be having some poetry. I'll probably arrive around nine because of Dr. Shrinker. But everyone should come out for the reading. It's Mindy Nettifee that's featured and she rules.