Friday, May 07, 2010


Funny how birthdays start out with the most compressed of intentions after 30. Today I woke up thinking I'd glide thru inauspiciously, but technology had other plans (thanks, Facebook). It's nice to know that lots of different people are thinking about you at the same time, and I felt that throughout the day.
After finding out that I was,kt going to be working all day, I stole away and truly began the observation. Took the dogs for a walk, had some nice conversations with people I'll know for the rest of my life, and hung out with my brother and my wife at my favorite bar in my hometown. Now, as I lay with my dogs and wife as she takes pictures of us, I realize that I have little to complain about.
So I won't.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Certain quieter moments afford me the opportunity to put what I believe to be my thoughts down. It's usually unplanned and after some sort of pathetic grappling with my procrastinating nature. It starts with a warm contentment I'm sitting on a heated blanket. If I can maintain, it's good.
Sometimes it moves to fast...the ideas and words whoosh by, and I struggle to keep up. Those times, I find myself looking back at what I just wrote fondly...but it's already stale. Too late to add to the idea.

In those moments, I feel less like a writer and more like some sort of echo stenographer...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

One day

I don't know if I really believe that one day can make all the difference...
..but please let this be the one...

Up with the moon

Up the fireworks...with friendly strangers...myself included...arcade games alone with the smell of fried dough and beer nearby. Bikers on the coast of the lake. Every store closed at 10pm.

Is this what 37 looks like?

Monday, April 06, 2009

The War Against Rationale

Every so often, I'll happen upon one of those Internet "Top whatever" lists and find something I can really use in my day to day. In this case, it's well-articulated clarity.
The usually smug and frat-tastic CRACKED MAGAZINE website recently posted "5 Common Ways Your Senses Lie to You Every Day" (an innocuous enough title...)

Here's the full article:

Here's my favorite entry:


You'll Hear it As:
"You gave that homeless guy a sandwich? Ha! Like that's really going to fix poverty!"How It Screws Us:The Nirvana Fallacy is when you dismiss anything in the real world because you compare it to an unrealistic, perfect alternative, by which it pales in comparison. It wouldn't be a problem, except it keeps us from getting anything done. "We were GOING to write an album, but...Nevermind."

For instance, procrastination can happen for a lot of reasons--you drank too much the night before, or you're feeling uninspired, or it's your first time doing gay porn and you're having second thoughts--but one of the most common reasons we procrastinate is fear that the end result won't live up to the "perfect" idea in our heads. Think about the writer friend of yours who has never actually written anything, because they're "waiting for the right idea" for a book to come along.This is why people wind up living in their parents' basement--waiting for the perfect job, the perfect girl, the perfect friendship--before committing to anything.

If you're not full of that kind of self-doubt, don't worry, there are plenty of assholes willing to supply it for you. Any incremental improvement on someone else's part is mocked as some kind of deluded hypocrisy, because anything short of perfect is not worth doing, so you might as well do nothing, like them. "Ha! You're drinking a Diet Coke with your hamburger? Like that's really going to make a difference!" "A wedding dress. Right. Like THAT will attract a guy. You're pathetic.

"It Gets Worse..."
Politicians use this to attack any idea they don't like. "Sure, your plan is helping millions of families in poverty. But I found examples of people abusing it! So we might as well scrap the whole system!"
Or, you'll hear radical political types on the Internet say, "I'm not voting for any of those guys! They're no better than Bush! They're all corrupt agents of the NWO! I'm staying home until you can show me a perfect, incorruptible, intelligent politician who believes the exact same things I do!"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fake Movie-Novelization covers circa. 1966

If the Global Interwebnetworksystem has taught me anything, it's that there are some clever folks out there.  
These are really, REALLY clever:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In defense of 'REDBELT' (on the comments board of IMDB)

I love it when I read a comment of a movie that I really enjoyed that starts with "worst movie ever" or "made no sense". Well...I don't actually "love" it, but I understand (eventually).

It's ok if it didn't make sense to you. Don't feel slighted or compromised by the confusion. Just don't dismiss. If mankind dismissed everything we found perplexing or impenetrable, we'd still be studying tea leaves or chicken bones for answers. We'd be burning hethens at the stake because our elders told us to. We'd be nothing more than a collection of wandering, fear-based tribes drawing imaginary property lines in the sand.

A movie can be just that...a movie. A series of carefully constructed images. Just as a poem can be a series of carefully strung together words. It's what you bring to it that turns it into a dream. It's what you bring away from it that turns it into something that doesn't ever have to be defined. If it doesn't make any sense to you at the time, accept the fact that perhaps you haven't had that particular life experience that would allow you to connect with it. Look forward to uncovering more truths and gathering more empirical knowledge that might allow you to empathize with the filmmaker’s vision. Then, if it still doesn't ring true, move on. There are so many other dreams out there. More than any of us can imagine. Don't slight someone for trying to connect.

Don't get me wrong. There are heaps of bad movies out there with contrived plots and shallow intentions.

'Redbelt' is not one of them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dear Prolific Internet Comment Poster

Dear Prolific Internet Comment Poster-

Never stop. The world needs you. It must.

Please continue to post away every thoughtless comment, every incendiary tirade, every tactless outburst. The information conduits are open…they are there for a reason (no matter how unreasonable yours appear to be). After all…an echo-chamber without echoes is just a gaping chasm of nothingness.

And who wants nothing? If we die, and there is just that, at least there was SOMETHING, right? An imprint of some form or another. Something distinctively you. If we live audaciously…if we lend a blind eye to opinion…if we indulge every single moment of self-generated artificial clarity, we are eternal. Our digitally inscribed words a map of our souls….a breadcrumb trail leading back to the candy forest of whatever truths we have dogmatically come to believe. Language is nothing more than a tool. Cleverness begets timelessness. Why waste this time on well-developed articulation and meditative observation when we can just type. And TYPE. And TYPE. Sortie after sortie…the targets so far away…so hobbled and inhuman.

Everything is worth saying, regardless of the overwhelming evidence of the contrary. What do those guys know, anyway? Have they suffered what you’ve suffered? Have they walked the miles in your shoes? I think not. No one has ever thought like this. No one has ever felt this way.

So spread those mouth spores, Johnny Appleseed 9000. A world without meta-crawler hits is just a sad nowhere of irrelevance. If you don’t say it first, it may never be said. If you’re not out there leaking your ill-informed brain-syrup all over the place, no one will ever know you were even here.

No one will ever know you were even watching.

Someone else

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Night of 100 Blogs

Here's PC MAGAZINE's favorite 100 blogs.  One of my faves ( is there:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Haahvid square

I love watching the stories pass by. It's 1230am. The bars and the clubs are just getting out. All the first dates, the quiet lonely times, the frustration and the promise of something new. Every car and couple that phases in and out of my view. The smells of perfumes from around the globe. All the different clips of conversation in all those different languages. I know they're not all happy stories, but they seem to be.
I suppose it could be anywhere...but as I look up into the 3rd floor used book store and the antiquarian coin shops...still abuzz with the blue flicker of classic film viewing and late night studies...I can't help but feel a comforting sense of familiarity. Such a place of wonder. I suppose I'll never leave the northeast...but, if I do, the memories of this place will forever be a part of my history. For what it's worth. And, sometimes, it's worth everything. Or, at least, just enough.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Man Without a Country (House)

Early Sunday morning marked a very important step in my life towards my goal of near constant manic-depression. I had my first on-the-record accident. Nothing too serious but, in about 1/10th of a second I was down $2000. Backing out of a really small parking spot in Harvard Square at 2am, I hit a support beam painted in the same light-reflective color as the creature from Predator, no doubt.
1/10th of a second later, Bumper dislodged, front side panel scratched and dented. Headlight housing warped. No one around to witness my shame, save the square beam looming pompously overhead. That's right...I'm on to you, buddy. I'm not buying the whole "non-sentient"-thing one frigging bit.

This incident, of course, predicated a day-long period of financial analysis. My friends are all buying houses right now. 30 year loans on most of them. 30 YEARS.
30 years from right now, I will be 66 years old. 66 and still paying off a mortgage. That's if I bought a house today (or tomorrow). Working till I'm 66. At least. For a house that, by that time, I probably won't want to live in anymore. Sure, I've heard that we can refinance...resell or whatnot...but I'll still be paying 2k a month SOMEwhere. I won't even bring up the added expenses of potential children (future post).

I'm not exactly why this occurred to me now. Is it some sort of 'defense mechanism' meant to trivialize the 2k bill for the car? Do I have a sinkhole-type mentality that causes all of my unconscious fears to materialize in times of duress? Perhaps, during the 'incident', I hit my head as well?

I usually don't bring these things up, as these sorts of conversations usually end with "That's just how it is, man" and (if I don't relent) "Quit feeling sorry for yourself, asshole" and, finally, "You can sleep it off in that cell". Most of the time, I am aware that I have been blessed with much opportunity. I won the country lottery just by being born, I suppose. That's all fine and good, and I certainly don't fish for pity. But sometimes, when the cold gust of mortality intersects with my daily routine...and I've already laughed off all I can...and I've fed the dogs and taken out the trash and said goodnight...I find myself gazing into the gaping chasm of the future...and I say to myself "I better sell some goddamn screenplays".

66 and troubleshooting "Windows Vista 2035" for some law firm CEO that doesn't like his screen saver?

Fuck THAT.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wes Anderson

Whenever I can't think of something to watch...whenever I question the significance of film making...I ultimately end up with a Wes Anderson film. I love it when I am able to forget that I've ever seen a movie before by watching a movie. Nostalgia aside, films are captured dreams, plain and simple. Who doesn't like dreams?

Life, at it's worst, is a strange and confusing series of unanswered questions and near-incomprehensible moral ambiguities. At it's best, it is a Wes Anderson movie.

Go rent one. Screw the people who say otherwise.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Transogram has done it again!

Transogram was a toy company that produced tons of great board games throughout the 50's and 60's.  Really well designed, weird, fun stuff  (I'm still looking for a copy of the new age-y Ka-Bala game of the supernatural).
However, I'm pretty sure they let the janitors design this particular toy.
If you ever got the chance to time-travel to the 60's and wanted a sure-fire way to get your ass kicked, might I suggest starting here:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"I"LL save you, Kimmie!!!"

Now, as many of you might guess, I'm no stranger 80's arcades.  Or 90's arcades.  Or 00's arcades.  I am currently typing this as I stand in an arcade (and I hope they open up's so cold...). 
One thing I couldn't stand were the laserdisc arcade games that sprouted up in the mid-80's.  Wait...that's not true.  I loved them. 
They were just so frigging nervewracking.  Non-sensical and arbitrary movements requiring split-millisecond execution.  The only things more upsetting were back-to-school sales or public-speaking.
I just wanted to watch the damn footage. 
Well, now you can...without waiting for some arcade-pro to play it for you on 2 gee-dee quarters : 
Here's 'CLIFFHANGER' as well...based on the Lupin III anime.  Good stuff:
The absurdly difficult 'SPACE ACE' :
The absurdly horrible 'FIRE FOX' (based on the equally horrible movie) :
And, of course, 'Princess Daphne's (DRAGON'S)  LAIR' :
Thanks again, collective nostalgia storage core YOUTUBE!!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

INFOCOM (virtual) roundtable

 *If you already know about INFOCOM (or you just can't stand long setups...and by 'long' I mean 2 frigging paragraphs for crying out loud), feel free to jump down to ANYHOW
I'm not sure how many of you were immersed in the 'Interactive fiction' pool, but back in early days, ZORK (not COKE) was IT.  I remember visiting the Museum of Science's "computer room" in 1983-ish.  by school appointment only, your class could come in and operate a row of 8 amber-screened units in a what appeared to be a reconditioned walk-in closet.  
That's where I played ZORK for the first time.  
The early 80's was when computers seemed to function just like in classic science fiction stories...I would type words and the computer would respond.  Point-and-click my ASS.  This was a game that actually required a collaborative between the computer and the user for maximum effectiveness.  The graphic rendering engine...was the user's imagination. [CUE THEME FROM 'COSMOS"]
Zork was created by a company called 'INFOCOM'.  Infocom was essentially a small collective of geeks who formed a startup of sorts then wrote and coded interactive fiction (based on a proprietary coding language).  Also, they were based right in Cambridge.  It goes without saying that it was one of my first ideal-career dreams to work at Infocom.  Typically of innovative startups, they developed a close-knit office culture that kept morale and loyalty high but also nurtured the creative aspects of the employees (one that would still yield marketable results). 
The company got larger, eventually garnering the interest of Douglas Adams.  He created the interactive fiction version of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' with the Infocom staff, which became hugely popular.  A sequel was started, but mysteriously never saw the light of day.  Infocom lasted until 1989, when Activision bought them out and fired the last 15 employees in Cambridge. 
Last month, an author posted some of the contents of the famed 'INFOCOM Drive'.  Supposedly this is an actual backup drive Infocom shipped to Activision at the time of acquisition containing interoffice e-mails, unfinished projects, code, etc.  He wrote an excellent article and posted it on his blog.  Great article...but that's not the amazing part. 
A few days the comments section...INFOCOM staff started replying.  Not just the janitor or the guy who answered the phones.  The authors, the coders, then president.  Not just with pithy congratulatory stuff either.  They start fleshing out the story that began to emerge from spotty email transcripts in the article.  Sometimes it even gets a bit heated with the non-INFOCOM collaborators. 
Now I know I'm geeking-out a bit here, but this is kind of a consolation prize version of a dream come true for me.  I may never be able to have worked at the INFOCOM office, but at least I can enjoy the INFOCOM office drama/ almost real time!
Here's the article...and (most importantly) the COMMENTS:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

California Odyssey

I don't go on vacation much these days. This reason alone was enough to get me to say "yes" to an 8-day trip to California, a.k.a. the other side of the continent I call home. Other factors include:

-Friends moved there recently
-My wife's brother is returning from Iraq for the last time
-I've never been there
-Hollywood and all that hooplah

Here are some reasons why it might not be such a good idea:

-Missing our dogs
-I've been soul-sick lately

I'm writing this from the hotel room I'm sharing with my wife's father, so I guess I marshalled through any roadblocks in the road to Cali.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bad High School Poetry #1 : Malden

Sing to me malden,
Your blunted industry,
Your closeted anti-culture,
Whisper to me malden,
Sweet nothings of promise,
Your vague covenant of advancement,
Your tenebrous guise of wherewithal,
Together we gaze,
At the hope we share,
For a future ingrained,
From a potential ignored.
Your apathy committed matricide.

Seriously, though, I miss the screen...


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I think I'm ready to be pissed at myself

A lot of my time lately has been devoted to drifting all willy-nilly down the nostalgia stream for hours on end. In these self-indulgent trips, I try to understand why everything seems better "back then". Why I can't seem to re-engage myself to the present and involve myself fully to the life at hand.
Enough is frigging enough, pal. I know as well as I do that I most likely didn't appreciate what was going on then" any more than I do now. All these new dreams and people and things are waiting for me and I'm neglecting them like some sort of cosmic opium-fiend. See? I despise silly analogies like that one, but it's more important that I just get this stuff recorded and move on. Let the world polish...I should be creating.


Saturday, June 30, 2007

The last time I was here...

Coogan's in boston...near the not famous Game on Internet cafe. I miss it as soon as I'm here. It's so close...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why can't I go home?

Sometimes I will drive by the house in malden. You know the one...
As I turn down the street, I am assalted with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia one would expect from a character like myself...moments of confusion, moments of clarity, halloween, hurricanes, conflicts with mock enemies involving broken bottles, all that...
Then I see the house...alterations aside, it is still the house...there is a fence obscuring the backyard that served as the stage of countless summertime scenarios... Adolescent fantasies and teenage parties...
A bulkhead that served as a drawbridge...a window that served as a drive-up window...
Trees that provided a welcome escape from whatever needed escaping...
Wether I'm here or not...I find mysellf asking...where did It go, and why can't I go there again?
Can't I?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Don't Enter That Bomb Shelter Just Yet, Citizen..."

The world can be quite frightening. This is true. However, were you
aware that there are forces at work that struggle to make it even MORE

They're called '9/11 Conspiracy Theorists'.

It's like anyone with a question, a camera, and access to the internet
thinks they can be the next 'Encyclopedia Brown' of world events. That's
all fine and good, but to release a documentary or website or book that
presents a series of unanswered questions, leaving the viewer/reader in a
sea of speculation when the answers actually DO exist is completely
irresponsible and, on a certain level, downright nihilistic.

Here's a good website that debunks a lot of what the recent (and
lingering) conspiracy theories try to present as fact. The author is a
little smug (I know, I's hard NOT to be), but the information he
provides is pretty solid.

I completely agree that authority should always be questioned and that
there should always be checks and balances in place that prevent any one
entity or govenment body from becoming too powerful. I am fully aware
that there are rich, evil companies in the world that have a vested
interest in politics and some heavy influence on politicians. But come
on...let's keep our heads.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Edge of Everything Else

In Marblehead this evening. It's August, but it could easily be a not-so-chilly October. Lisa is running a little late for our first meal at a quaint little dockside pub called Barnicles (name makes sense, right?), so I've ventured down to a small pebble beach nearby.
It's almost completely high-tide, but there are a few dry rocks left for me to sit on. This allows for a serene panorama of hundreds of ships in the bay. Across, the coastline lit with tiny lights that almost look like candles and, beyond, the ocean...indigo at the horizon. For some reason, the thin, unmanned lighthouse at bays end has a green light on top. Irish? My thoughts move on...

I may have found a new favorite place to be.

At the end of the beach is a private walkway leading up to a hill with a single, massive tree. Not sue what kind...a wide-branched dome of oak-like leaves. Looks like there's a plaque near the cliff. I'll have to investigate later.

Then there's that sound...light breeze mingling with the hypnotic occasional bell in the distance.

One of these days, I'm going to swipe one of these boats and go exploring...something tells me every day is almost one of those days...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Storefront solace

Ahhh...sushi corner. Nestled in a tiny of melrose. One of the reasons we moved here...that, and the bookstore that closed a month after we moved in. Alas...
I love the charm and comfort of a storefront. I miss having friends in town that owned stores. Like a little citadel of commerce to use as a temporary respite. That, and you just can't beat the guilt-tinted discounts...alas...

Kevin smith has his comic store in new jersey. Sometimes it seems as though his entire career trajectory was beelining toward comic-store ownership. I think I can relate (although I probably reached my ceiling of pompous fanboy-tolerance a while ago. They really nailed it on the Simpsons...)

To sum up (my sushi is here):
Ideal=small theatre/bookstore/coffee shop

To the future!

Hazy Shade of Summer

It's funny how getting things done can bum me out.
I've been pretty productive (in an essentially non-creative way) this past week, getting some mundane tasks out of the way.  I've found myself a bit in the doldrums.  Not sleeping well, unfocused in thought (those same 3 or 4 songs keep repeating in my head...), given to staring at the sky in the grips of faint existential day-dreaming...
Last night I slept for about 1.5 hours, and now I'm at work typing this...slowly...
I knew this morning that I would be hard-pressed to function at 100% today after returning to the house 3 times to retrieve items I needed.  I feel like I'm not making strong eye contact with people today as well.  I shouldn't be out today.  It's like waking the kids up at midnight to go shopping.
Of course, I know the source of all this.  I have all these stories and half-completed scripts bouncing around, trying to get out.  Gotta uncork soon.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fuzzy Logic

I've noticed lately that awareness seems to get encumbered by the weight of things. It seems like fragments of past experiences, dreams half-remembered, echoes of media broadcasts...they all seem to swirl and nest in my present-time consciousness.
It's difficult to gauge or categorize the state this leaves me in...Mentally fatigued? Maybe. Only partially awake? Who knows...It all sounds like a potentially dangerous way to live (or, at least, a recipe for mortality regret. "I could have done SO much more with my time...")
I guess I'm concerned about that fear we probably all harbor...The fear that we're dreaming more than doing. SO many things to peel and mine from my subconscious...So many floating projects with dubious futures...
Certain things seem to pull me out of this self-imposed incubation. Certain tactile feelings...Certain moments...
The night sky as I float in a pool
The feel of the grass in front of Nana's gravestone on my fingers
The smell of a freshly cleaned towel

All part of the ongoing investigation that is my life, I suppose. At least, this time, I had the wherewithal to write it down.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Day of the Wedding

Thought I'd put a 'stream-of-consciousness'-type post for the big day (as it is called, and as I have myself come to call it). Now I'm typing it, so that's saying something, I guess.

Slept till 11-ish. Not the real sleep...that 'Christmas-eve' antipation sleep. Just awake enough to feel like I'm not sleeping, just asleep enough to feel time slip and think about things like song lyrics and signposts from the day before.
I now have 2-hour teeth bleaching apparatus in my mouth. Leave in for 20 minutes, take out for 10, rinse, repeat. I think it's crap, but this is probably the only day in my life that I'll give it a shot. (That may or may not be true depending on results...) Anyway, it gives me time to type this.

Last night I got together with some of the old Poo-doo crew an we filmed a skit at Kev's house. I was pretty tired, but we all found inspiration in bursts throughout, and it may turn out funny as a whole. As usual, there are standout moments that I pray an edit can cultivate. If not, we have more standout moments...and isn't that what's it's all about? (unless you're doing this for a living, then you're screwed)

Prior to that, I dropped Lisa off at her parent's. Such a strange tradition, but I understand it for it's buildup-effect to today. I have no idea what the dress looks like. I'm sure I'll be stunned and honored and confused and freaked out. In a good way.

So now I sit with the dogs as they sleep, typing this with 2 plastic mouthgards filled with bleach (that, I am told, is very safe...unless irritation which point I should consult my dentist...whom is probably not working on a Sunday.)

Here we go...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Either Really Funny or...

I've always had a problem distinguishing Post-Modernism from Dadaism (I know...who doesn't, right?)
For example, the following website has hundreds...HUNDREDS...of individual works lovingly crafted for a movie the authors had nothing to do with.  Collectively, they seem to form a 'Grand work', linking people with ideas...artists with their subjects...until the lines separating each entity become irrevocably blurred.  To quote a certain 80's hairband named after a certain White-colored Snake (who's serpent name also becomes strangely significant in this case):
"Is this love?"

Nostalgic Shame on Present-Day Bewilderment

These fleeting web-fads sort of piss me off...
but oh, if it were only this simple...

I am a d12

Take the quiz at

I regret nothing...


Friday, April 07, 2006

Dog is My (Palm)-Pilot

Is it that time in my life where one seeks out profound quotations to cherish?  Here at last? 
Either way, I'll have to remember this one for the right moment...a moment I hope doesn't arrive any time soon:
"The best friend man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son, or daughter, that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and good name may become traitors to their faith. The money a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only to be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.

When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives his master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when that last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there, by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even in death."

Senator Vest, speaking to a jury about Old Drum, shot in 1869

Thursday, March 30, 2006

"...but is it ART?"

Don't let the sublect of this post fool you...I AM envious.  Check out some of the other projects on that page as well.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"Last night, I had a nightmare..."

Then I woke up to stark reality. I gotta tell ya'...not sure which is worse. Groggy, disappointed, deflated...
As I got up and picked out some clothes for the day, it occurred to me that GWB will probably be representing this country for another 4 years. I shut off the TV (running through the evening).
As I brushed my teeth, it dawned on me that more that this country is run by fairly simple people with guns. Even if they DON'T have guns, they want to be sure they can get one whenever they case the gays start marrying...or something...
As I got in my car and started my day, the noise of the inevitable concession drifted, TV, conversation...
It's like that feeling you get when you're excited about a new experience with a group of people (taking a class, starting a new job...)...something you're really looking forward to. A chance to present yourself and express ideals and hopes and interests in a pure forum. Then, when you get there, you realize that no one there likes you. In fact, most of them think you're an asshole.
Stark...raw...sudden truth...
Now what?

It probably doesn't help that I'm sitting in the server room of a Law firm.

I wandered over to Quincy Market for "lunch" (coffee) I got there, so did John Kerry to "do the deed". It was strange to see him there in person after seeing him on TV for so long. Surprisingly happy, he spouted his usually effective rhetoric...sometimes interesting, sometimes just enough to be clear...always articulate, though. Always. I still find this an admirable quality, regardless of the general concensus.
He thanks those folks who deserve to be thanked...campagn leaders, his family, his partner, some kid that raised $600 in the summer selling bracelets...
I settled in to the idea. Then, as I was walking away, somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even, and in his final words I found an ace that I could keep. He said:

"But in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans. And that -- that is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on earth."

He's just as right when he says that as George Bush Jr. is.
So I went back to work and wrote this.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


Larry is my friend. This may seem like a rather mundane thing to most...having a pet and referring to it by it's first name, carefully skirting the issue of special relevance. He's a dog, sure...but I've grown accustomed to all but ignoring that aspect. Larry came to us under the umbrella of external necessity. My girlfriend's Uncle had taken ill and, after purchasing and caring for Larry for several months, was unable to continue. The terms were vague...we were to "mind" Larence (as we have come to call him) for an indefinite period of time. After a while, it became clear that he was here to stay.
It's hard to describe our relationship with this small entity that brings us so much joy...this little, white, animated teddy bear with a mind of his own and a daily agenda that seems to reset every few minutes. To communicate, we have developed a seemingly simple language derived of keywords, varying tones of noise, and a whole lot of empathy. As a result of forging this interspecial friendship, I have discovered a renewed understanding of patience and wonderment.
For instance...
Larry treats all visitors and encounters the same. He's eager to make a positive impression on new people, and is always excited to greet known friends. There is no room in his life for such a thing as an "acquaintance", and he's sure to let you know that he's happy to see you again...each subsequent encounter a celebration of life and interaction. If it's late, and the house is still, he'll be sure to bark at any strange bump or noise...letting the potential invader know that, although it might be nice to see you, it is far too late to be disturbing the current peaceful atmosphere of the house. Sleep is sacred. That's when Lisa, Larry and I get to lie down and dream. He finds his spot for the night, cuddles up, and lets out a relieved sigh as we all drift into that strange place. A place that's best received if one can awaken to the presence of trusted companions.
In our waking hours, he finds great joy in simple games. His current favorite is something I can only describe as "Let's pretend that I can overpower you and take this tug-toy away from your grip". Simple, basic stuff. Just an excuse for us to avoid more complex interaction and share a moment doing the exact same thing. It's the shortest distance between two points in and Larence. I'm sure a lot of this can be chalked up to instinctual behavior. He likes to bury treats in laundry. He has to sniff everything. He'll tilt his head to the side if you say something to him that makes no sense. But there's a thought process going on there that is unique to our environment. Just the right amount of learned processes, on-the-spot diagnostics, and decision-making that make for a pretty convincing living thing. Kind of like a person. In fact...I'd say exactly like one.
So what makes a person? What makes a thing capable of being deemed a "friend"? Does the fact that Larry probably won't ever affect the course of mankind's progress on this Earth exclude him from being considered an equal? Does the realization that he'll never invent anything...fix anything...or, otherwise, bring to light physically tangible things previously unseen...effectively invalidate him for inclusion in the pantheon of relevance?
After careful consideration, I'd have to say screw that idea. The very real notion of losing that feeling I get when I see him gazing expectantly out the front window as I approach...when I open the door and he rushes to my side, ecstatic...that alone could change the course of who I am...who I'll become. These are indelible influences on my life now, and, just like every friend I've ever had, it shapes my world as I struggle to create, discover, and disseminate what I've learned. Only something that truly cares about what goes on outside it's own sphere of understanding could do that. Only a person could do that.

Friday, March 26, 2004

"Is that an HOURGLASS in your pocket or are you just waiting for me to die?"

Here I am again...face-first in computer swill. I'm having such a difficult time concentrating on the issues at hand that I thought I'd just exacerbate the situation by re-introducing my ongoing writer's block to the mix. You know...something OLD, something NEW...something mind-boggingly inane and repetitive...
I'm almost out of the incubation period known as WINTER in New England. The summer is coming and, with it, the promise
of new life to aging spirits...I can sense long-thought dead faculties returning.

Admit it or no...we northerners are all just a little bit country, a little bit S & M. Every year, it's like taking a bat to the face in slo-mo...slower every year. First with a Nerf bat, then wiffle, then wood, aluminum, white-dwarf, etc. Sure, it's spectacular to WATCH, but to participate in? The thrill is gone, friends...take a hint...the concession stands are CLOSED.
Would I miss the snow? Would I appreciate it less if I could go out on my porch EVERY night at 2am and relax without 6 layers of cold-retardant clothing? The distant rumble of plows working away at those soon-to-be pock-marked roads...couldn't I just record that to CD?
Sure, a lot of the ambivalence is based on fear. Sure. But I'm getting older...not old, but I'm definitely carrying a lot more in my head these days...some of it even useful. All the ideas and inclinations and possibilities...all lined up and losing patience. You know that palpable unease you sense while in a crowd of people in a huge line...when they seem to stop calling numbers for a long time? Somebody once said that the difference between a "crowd" and a "mob" is purpose. Once they all share the same purpose (ie. Getting a refund, Meeting Ms. Aguilera, Getting the hell out of my skull), that's when it gets dangerous.
I must avoid becoming a cliche at ALL COSTS...if that means lifestyle change, then that's something I'll have to seriously consider...over BBQ steak and grilled corn on the cob. Mmmmm...

Thursday, February 12, 2004


I think Sting said it best when he said..."Synchronicity". Or maybe it was Carl Jung. Either way, it was said. I guess it's up to the folks at Clearchannel to choose who said it BEST. There are certain people in my life that make me think, from time to time, that it's all just an elaborate stage play. I took a wrong turn tonight en route to home with some friends (other "crew" initiates) and, in the middle of Davis Square (Money magazine's top 10 "hip" places to live), at a stop light, my friend Rich is waiting at a corner for a cab. He hops in, naturally, and it's off to our adventure of getting him home. Like it was all planned. Like the world was one big Hardy Boys mystery, and our encounter was merely a plot device to move the story along.
Rich is a member of the "crew", a group of folks that form a collective in my life. It would be no less improbable if we encountered him on holiday on the streets of London or Baghdad or the mountains of Brazil. He is always integral to the plot of this century-long movie I'm living in , as is every member of "the crew". No surprise need be expressed. CUT TO:

Monday, January 19, 2004

"Can a Robotic Vacuum really change your life?"

No. No it can't, you lazy asshole.

I fold

I don't know what's more pathetic...the fact that I, a person that hardly EVER watches T.V., have decided to sit through a marathon of CELEBRITY POKER for an unknown amount of time (gosh it's late), or the number of times I've suffered through that Robot vacuum commercial.
Do you think people that have come upon legitimately hard times financially that catch this commercial for a $200 "robot" vacuum...maybe passing an electronics store with a few T.V.s on display en route to their 2nd job at a factory with no health benefits and a 75% chance of eventual dismemberment...Do you think they see that commercial and wonder what the hell went wrong? You know...with humanity?
Ok...I don't actually WORK at a factory...
I try to justify my viewership with specific factors...David Cross, a very funny guy, is playing. I actually like playing poker. But it all starts to waver and fade as the grim reality sets in...I'm WATCHING people play poker. For a while, I fantasize that I'm at the table as well, playing for some charity, trading some wimpy remarks with the others. That wears thin. I grab a beer to add to the casino vibe. Then it occurs to me.
I'm watching this because I know there's nothing else to watch at 2am that I wouldn't be able to wash away after I shut off the box. And it's for charity, man. Jeez...

Friday, January 02, 2004


Sudden moments of isolation are nice, aren't they? (no need to respond...)
Those times when you're in full-tilt social or performing mode, at a work party or a club or a friend's house...lots of noise, conversation, calculated interruptions. Maybe you hit the restroom...maybe you step out for a're suddenly ALONE. Just you and the super-ego echoes. I've noticed that lately, in these stolen segues, I seem to strike up a brief conversation with myself. Something along the lines of "Here I am" or "That was interesting, huh?" Most of these conversations are brief, reassuring and pleasant (with a smidge of levity and a hint of irony). They're usually followed be an extended staring session at an object or pattern of interest in the area (if it's the Men's room, the pattern is almost always what's just North of the urinal directly in front of me). These few seconds give me the impression of empowerment and, to some degree, existentialist immortality.
When I was younger, I'd have conversations with God like these. Impromptu and effortless...made perfect sense. I didn't even have to say anything outloud...a simply wry skyward glance would suffice. These recent "how-do-you-doo's" are a little different but, still, seemingly directed outward. One of these days I must remember to scan the stalls for any listeners I may potentially freak out.
Then again, in this world of "hands-free" phone conversation, we are already a nation of solo-talking lunatics wandering the streets freely.
Voices bounding into the electric strata without a care in the world as to who might be listening.
I think my conversations are small checkpoints. My way of taking stock of my perception of it all and making sure I still have a grasp of the invisible world...where those fleeting "spots" in the corner of your eye might not be just dust...where, regardless of current surroundings, the right combination of cleaning agents, cheap cologne and bagged lunches can send you back to 11 am on any given schoolday in 1982...where those golden moments of dialogue shared with friends and colleagues maintain and thrive. Maybe I've always been talking to the same person. It always seemed familiar and external...I'd hate to ruin it by over-analyzing it. Then again, it's been so long, maybe it's "un-ruinable".
I suppose I'm comfortable believing that it just may be impossible for me to feel totally alone.

Sunday, December 28, 2003


The view from my back porch window is misleading. In a plesant way but, still, optically deceptive. From where I'm sitting, I could be anywhere. Depending on my mood this can be a liberating sensation or a constrictive notion. For the most part, because of the altitude, I'm in an airship that doubles as a house.
To the North and West, vast hills with countless trees and rich vegetation. At night, pale yellow and flickering blue lights from several cottages poke through the dark green. To the South, the electric monoliths of a distant metropolis (ok...Boston's 4 or 5 buildings and the red Citgo sign) stretch across the horizon like an attendant alien landing site for giants.
My house on the edge of everywhere.
I've never been one to "nest", really...but it's strange to think that this place that I've called home for less than a year evokes more feelings of calm and comfort than one I lived at for 25 years. I've still got a lot of travelling and exploring to do, but I now know, on the days that I can't leave my house, that I can still venture out.

Friday, November 28, 2003

My current "Process"

Ok...Here's how it's been unfolding on my designated writing days:
Drop off Lisa. Return home. Consider organizational duties. Consider fleeting personal appeasement (along the lines of Playstation 2, downloading files, or listening to ambient noise trickle in from the neighborhood...the passing commuter rail train is my FAVORITE...) Consider writing.
Opt for appeasement. Later...
Reconsider organizational duties. Reconsider writing. Consider, as a concession, ANOTHER artistic outlet (Touch up a nice, dusty tune...maybe learn that a-ha song from that 2nd album).
Opt for appeasement. Later still...
Reconsider why I don't just work at Target (at least I'd get a discount on things to take my mind off of writing). Reconsider organizational duties. Consider that dreaded moment of glancing at the clock and realizing it's dark out for a reason. Opt out.

I call this technique the "dance", and (I assume) it takes YEARS to perfect. Just ask all those veteran performance artists ("Anyone can smash a pumpkin, but it takes a true master craftsman to get the pieces to look just right!"...or something like that, or nothing like that...)
Essentially, I'm inventing new and less-than-exciting ways to prove that I'm a bum.
So, what do I do? Well, as a true pseudo-scientist, I start observing other people's processes to see if I can glean some alternate techniques. First subject: my DOG, Larry.

Larry is our 7 month old Bichon Frise. We inherited him from Lisa's ailing Uncle. I have to admit, wouldn't have been my first choice in companion breed but, thankfully, just because something hadn't occurred to me doesn't mean it's not a good idea. In fact, a majority of the things I enjoy never initially occurred to me. I guess I have my generation to blame for that, right X'ers!?! Hello?!?! (God, I hate hip generational classifications, even though I'm a big fan of Douglas Coupland...moving on...)
Larry is a very good idea. Having a friendly, fluffy entity going about and establishing it's own processes is a welcome addition to my home. As I observe his development (and try to have a hand in it as well), I get to witness first hand the purest form of discovery and learning. He is fearless and friendly, gregarious but protective. Every person he sees is the first person he's ever met, and he is most appreciative. He growls slowly to be let out at 2am. He barks at ghosts at 3am. He is perfectly content to be held like a baby, but he is equally at home with running full tilt down the hill of our street and exploring the bushes outside the VFW.
He has his (equally endearing) weaknesses as well. He can barrel up any flight of stairs, but stares unmoving at the descent. He hates to be left alone...barks loudly and continuously until we show up. He chews EVERYTHING, with a particular affinity for tearing paper into hundreds of pieces.
What I see (and what I am, admittedly, a bit envious of) is that he does things because the reward is two-fold: he finds true joy in it, and he discovers.
Later, he will understand restraint and consequences and, perhaps, embarrassment (although I doubt the latter). Now, though, the world is new and interesting and BIG.

So, basically, I want to be where Larry is again. I can almost remember how it was...there's just so much left to shed if I want to get there. So much time homicide to atone for (or to just forget altogether).
It's foggy outside. Larry and I are going for a walk. I don't think he's seen the train station yet.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

What the-?!

Good stuff.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

It was my third game in a week. I looked at the unnaturally lit sky above the outdoor arena. Giant, architecturally diverse skyscrapers loom. Behind them, recently airborne jumbo jets slowly ascend into the stratus and beyond. My gaze lowers to a crowd pushing 40 thousand...all of them reacting in unison (with frightening passion and fervor) to anything from a hand gesture to a barely visible orb hurtling through the air at a hundred miles per hour and bouncing off a green wall. Above it, a massive video screen displaying pictures of players and statistics of their progress in real-time.
I watch...and I wonder...does anyone find all of this astounding?
We are surrounded by the staggering achievements of mankind...the prodigious achievements of civilized humanity...and within these steel walls our hopes and our dreams merge to form a focused, collective need hinging on the performance of a few dozen uniformed men. A city within a city, with it's own history and mythology. Amazing. Where else can one find contentment in feeling so small and unremarkable. Every once in a while, a celebrity might pass a dream of the outside. Today it was Stephen King, his extraordinary accomplishments muted against the backdrop of the half-dozen screaming, painted, shirtless warriors behind him. We were all adherents to the Gods on the field performing for us...for US. Craziness.
Hours later, leaving the arena, the sensations and awe begin to fade...but there is lingering joy. The things that seemed so important just a little while ago still have impact as the other things that were important prior to the experience begin to resurface...the aspirations, the plans, the hopes, the bills...maybe they're all a little less daunting, now. Maybe they aren't so wistful or quixotic. If it's possible to get so many people...tens of thousands of the same mindset in the same place at the same time...well...LOTS of things seem possible.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

At 80 miles per hour, in the wee hours of the morning (when the moon looks like a flashlight shone through a Vellux blanket) the world becomes a much simpler place. Simple in a pervasive sense. Language is reduced to blinking lights and varied speeds. The syncopated pulse of painted road and light post lulls the senses, leaving only the most pertinent ones to interpret the muted symphony ahead. The entirety of each vessel, regardless of the number of occupants, nature of cargo, or make of vehicle, represented by 2 burning embers.
Reflected in the reverse distance, a new cast member joins. An abstracted old friend...a stranger in our midst...a far-flung regret returning to haunt. It catches up, and we regard each other in a voyeuristic peep show of speeding shadows behind windowed conveyance. It disappears in the periphery, but its presence is felt. At this speed, it's just as dangerous forgotten or remembered. Once it moves on towards the invisible horizon ahead, it becomes Perhaps we'll meet again, but, for now, it must blend in with the rest. A never-ending series of introductions ensues.
After 16 or so hours of this crap, the road is anything but friendly.
Sometimes, the stripes in the pavement seem to spontaneously move forward (like a fans blades in certain light). When this happens a brief terror ensues, and the subtle alpha state must be immediately set aside for the more practical self-preservation mode. I struggle for as many points of visual reference I can muster. Dodge. Parry. Thrust. The whole process is such a bizarre concept. To hurtle oneself forward at this velocity for such an extended period of can this be considered acceptable? Just "something you do" to get from one place to another. I suppose we never would have gotten out of Africa a half a million years ago if folks kept asking questions like that, but it's still a dubious procedure if you ask me. Just like everything else worth doing on a regular basis, it's probably just a matter of discipline...knowing which facilities to shut down at the right times. I wonder if there's a secret "Road Bible" written for/by truckers...or, maybe, some sort of ancient medical practice that removes/augments certain parts of the brain. Were I to ask at the next truck stop, I'm sure I'd get a nice punch in the face for that level of inquiry. The things I suffer through for science and enlightenment...

Beautiful. Clean. Windy (surprised?) Huge's hard to see where metropolis ends and suburbolis begins. No Ebert. No Springer. Just as well...I'd hate for their deified images to be tarnished by actual one-on-one contact. Navy pier...huge and self-sufficient. A modern-day Atlantis. It could break away from the mainland and sustain life for years. Wrigley field...very nice. The copper and steel Harry Carry effigy ranks as one of the most frightening man-made constructs I've ever encountered.

Schimeel...Schimazel...empty-ville incorporated. The lakeside Art museum (designed like a massive stylized manta-ray) was the only thing that stood out. Didn't seem to belong there. Maybe it actually floats and somehow ran adrift the Milwaukee shore.

On the way back we chose route I-80 which runs the whole of my vote for the worst state to drive in the union...Pennsylvania. The roads are, for the most part, unlit and they wind trough the Appalachian mountain range. One also gets the impression that hundreds of deer are airlifted to an altitude of several thousand feet and subsequently dropped onto the pavement. Every hundred yards or so I dodged one mutilated carcass after another. If the world were populated by only deer, one would definitely get the impression that the end times were upon us. I hope these truck drivers get commission/GRIT points for the deer kills (as opposed to some sort of fleeting moment of glee-type thing).

Nothing like it...even if it is mostly a place in my head these days.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Ok. Here I go. Let's see what's so "great" about these "great lakes".
I had one parting thought just now that I just HAD to get down...
wouldn't it be funny if something BAD happened to me on the trip? What would happen to the works...they're poised to start their own journeys...

HAHAHaaaaa! I just wanted to register this for karma's sakes. See you in 5 days or so...(less if Chicago has technology)

Well, I’m off to Chicago. By minivan. Please hold all comments/outbursts/projectiles until after the speaker has finished.
Yes…12-15 hours (depending on which mapping program/amateur cartographer one consults) straight. Just a few months ago, I was thinking how I’ve never really taken a TRIP. You know…just dug in, gassed up the vessel, SoBe ADRENE-RUSH in hand (far superior to the comparatively vitamin-deficient RED BULL)…
Well, the call went out. It’s the last hour before I’m off to the asphalt sea. I had a night of excited restlessness…a seemingly dreamless state of semi-lucid miasma. I’m not sure how that bodes for this evening’s drive, but, hopefully, I can drive right through ‘till dawn in Illinois. To leave in the dark in one state and arrive in the light in another…like a slow motion blink while traveling at the speed of sound.
It helps to romanticize about it. So far, I like the Pirate analogy. Sure, these waters are well charted, and most of the mysteries have been discovered, debunked and documented, but I haven’t seen them. Maybe they’re all jaded…maybe the beauty of Pennsylvania is so intense, the travelogue authors held back intentionally, making it seem like a painfully dreary, unadorned landscape. One man’s hectare of grain is another man’s panoramic view of Eden, right?
Regardless, I’m bringing my camera.
As I was packing and finishing up loose ends (via e-mail…it’s more exciting to me if I pretend I’m going somewhere technologically retarded), I got another “the call”. It seems the producer that was heretofore brushing us off finally got a hold of my agent. He actually read the scripts. He loves them…ALL of them. He wants the completed scripts within the next week to bring to his partners for possible production.
Like a pirate on a spaceship, I now feel strangely out of place…

Friday, May 02, 2003

The first word. Perhaps even before that...maybe the first keystroke. Every time, it never fails...the hesitation...the ambivalence...the dread of putting it down. Every time. That’s how I know I'm not a "real" writer. Before I start, I have such pent-up contempt for my own abilities. If I am allowed to incubate amidst the mire of outside influence for even a day's time, I return to this state. Who knows where it comes from. I've decided not to explore the origins of my doubt. It's all bullshit once I get going. A sentence is all I need to pierce the threshold and never look back. Until, of course, the next time. But once I'm rolling, I can't even IMAGINE that state of mind anymore. Like a curse lifted. I'm in a convertible in the painted desert, turning around and looking at something we passed miles ago, now on the horizon. What was that? Oh well...what's ahead is much more interesting.
What's ahead are the STORIES. Floating in from conversations in diners, in discretionary gossip in elevators, cell phone outbursts in public parks, half-remembered morning dreams, unearthed memories from early childhood...the crib...the womb. So many stories.
There is a common thread. Many threads. Connected by tone and "theme", maybe...maybe a more abstract component (gosh, let's hope so). The clues are there. Gotta' get the team together for

Saturday, March 01, 2003

How's this for a metaphor...
I was thinking today about ideals...nostalgic (again) and projected. When I was in High School, my dream was to have some sort of startup company in a of those high-ceiling, old mill renovation deals. Big open space...lots of screens and gadgets and modem connectivity everywhere (this is PRE-Internet, man...) I could work until dawn on whatever project I had going. I could invite my friends over for late night technology buffets (read "geekfests")...riding the wave of nocturnal glee until that first wondrous glance out the window revealing the distinctive light of a new day. That was always my favorite...sobering, but, nonetheless amazing. A perfect complement to that lucid "tired-high" feeling. We had crossed the threshold of mysterious night into a new day. Sleep was still optional. We would ignore the limitations our bodies imposed on our minds and completely cater to our, in this commercial space microcosm, boundless and without peer.
So the inevitable "why" factors in a short time after reminiscing. Why was this appealing to me? Cut off from the rest of the world with only a small pipeline (via modem) to connect me to it. I was reminded of the old trick of pie plates and pinholes during an eclipse, and I sensed my thoughts shifting to a defensive tone.
Textbook escapism. To the nerd degree. Back when a nerd was a bad thing.
It's easy to write it off as such because I have more elaborate plans for my life these days. My visions of my own future contain many faces and much community...many different backgrounds and know...BIGGER.
But, even now, as I write alone in my dark room lit only by the light coming from my monitor, I find that I still romantacize about the warehouse startup. I still find the idea appealing...a warm, comforting solace...a not-so-far removed perch with a great view from the inside.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

I don't think I ever had a proper period of nostalgia. The feeling sort of overwhelms me at it's a transient entity...a bad landlord that drops by arbitrarily. I've moved 3 miles from the place I've lived since I was 5 years old. Not nearly far enough away to douse the echoes of so many daily journeys to the train...countless trips to the sub shops just around the corner...and all those fantastical pilgramages to my friends' houses. Where have they gone? I know Mike (with his TRS-80 and PARSEC cartridge) faded long ago...and others are back there, but it's different now. Our collective heads have travelled beyond the threshold of adulthood...our childhood fantasies realized and replaced by more complex memes that transcend our geographical locales. Even when we're together it's a sentimental yearning-fest.
Not to say that it's all a futile excercise of trying to reinitialize an irrecoverable condition.
The only thing that I can label as an inherantly "adult" state (so far) is the dichotomy of simultaneous nostalgia and foresight. Somehow, I've armed myself with a metal detector (fitted with a rear-view mirror) on the beach that is lucid existence. A day that shares the purity of learning new experiences, tempered with a blueprint of past excursions on familiar ground, is common enough for me to accept my life as a work in progress worthy of continued funding.
I'll be honest with you (me)...I've had a few drinks, and the euphoria I'm feeling right now (euphoria = somewhat pretentious bullshit-i-tude...bear with passes) convinces me that there is a "code"...a series of conduits and pathways that constitute "truth". Whether or not I've actually latched on to one of these hotlines is pure conjecture...but there's a "beat' undeniable tempo that I can adhere to. I know I'll read this later and wonder why I didn't wait...but, at the same time, I'll ponder my mindset and realize that there's no joy that compares to the manifestation of thought as it occurs.
But there are MANY other types of joy...

Sunday, February 09, 2003

A strange dream that doesn't have to mean anything...
I allow myself to linger in the small room (one of three) adjacent to the parent's bedroom. "Adjacent" is too...pragmatic. The rooms actually comprise one wall of the bedroom. The one I'm in now is immaculate and, despite it's size, well dressed with character. As I scan the shag carpeting and the velveteen pillows, I wonder if the other two rooms are as androdgenous as this. Soon, one of the daughters comes in. She walks past me with a smile and begins to make the (by any standard) already made bed. "Where is your brother?", I ask. "Italy. He'll be back after the competition." "Have you ever been?" She warms to the very thought. "Mmm. Yes. Iove it there." "Yeah, everything's so different...the foliage, the roads, the's as though you're on another planet." Why did I offer that? Had I ever been to Italy? I didn't think so..
The Father walks in. It's Tom Hanks. The mom follows, sits down on her bed and makes a phone call. It's really hard to gather either of their dispositions, much like it was with the daughter. Pleasant, but aloof. He says hello, then begins talking to his daughter about school. The details escape me, but I do recall the same air of levity hanging on every sentance...almost like every phrase is a possible setup to a joke. Some are actually delivered...or so I'd believe. There is no subsequent laughter. As I sweep under the desk in the smaller room (is this what I do? Some sort of maid? Indentured houseguest?), I interrupt them. "I'm sorry, but you folks have to be the dryest natural comediens I've ever met", I offer admiringly, perhaps with a hint of benign inquiry. Tom, the Dad, says, somewhat cryptically, "It's always been like that" with slight grin. "You'll get used to it." I consider how well adjusted the daughter seems despite having to sleep two feet from their parents' room. Is it a testament to their parentage, or do they just have good genes and a remarkable sense of irony? Maybe there was a period of rebellion, but it's not palpable here.
My head hurts. I feel a little sluggish, like my mind is pulling it's punches. It's later, now. Same day? I'm in the mall, talking to another of Tom's daughters. I owe her money, supposedly, for some sort of services rendered. Nothing salacious. Her boyfriend is there. They both clean tables in the food court as we discuss how much I've given them, and how the remaining balance stands at $56. They have some difficulty explaining why, but I don't feel the need to challenge them. It's as though my will is subdued...I am complacent here. I keep waiting for my instincts to clue me in around these people, but the engine doesn't turn here. My mind is across town, now. I see two japanese girls...costume makers? The are modeling two VERY realistic Koala bear outfits to several unimpressed Italian businessmen and a worried, power-lunch-ready British woman. I feel bad for the girls...this is humiliating. What sort of application would call for this? They're even mimicking Koala behavior. "These won't work. You can see the slopes of the eyes through the lids.", one of the Italians says. He chuckles at his unexpected onset of bad taste, and repeats "You can see the slopes". No one else laughs. The British woman is upset. "Girls, we can't use these. We need something for tomorrow." Dejectedly, the two girls remove their outfits and walk outside. One is crying on the others shoulder.
It's dusk. The girls have been shopping for something...department store bags aplenty. They laugh and relax on a nearby bench. Where are they? On the roof of the building they were in earlier pitching the Koala suits. It's their intention to sleep here tonight...on the roof. As the sun sets, they don golden face masks and huddle together, staring sleepily at the horizon as the world is basked in deep reddish hues.
Across the city, I am sitting on a beach chair, staring at the same sunset. I'm still not sure where I am, or what city it is, but I am not at all alarmed. I know the girls will be up at the crack of dawn for more humiliation. I know that, somehow, they are happy...just as I am right now. Alone. Part of me argues that contentment does not equate to most definitions of true happiness, but the notion doesn't remain long as I allow my gaze to drift up towards the newly appearing stars poking through the dying scarlet sky.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

"Sunday, Sunday...bah, BAHHH, bahh ba-bah..."
Or is it Monday? Some days, it's so hard to nail down even a simple circuit of thought. I mean, how hard can it be to reflect on something as it happens? Well...when you've let the discretionary expediter in your head take the day off, pretty tricky, it seems. THoughts and images I've seen mingle with the things that are always brewing to form an aquarium-like mosaic that, upon closer inspection, suddenly change order and direction as if to avoid classification (a LOT like fish, I guess. I should hit the aquarium more often).
I don't see WHY...I'm sure it's nothing THAT profound or important...just half-baked, lazy-day ideas and bits from movies and TV. I like to PRETEND that it's all some massive puzzle begging to be solved. Maybe that's what compels me when I finally do find the outlet or the flow or that "moment". Like one of those things you heard when you were a kid that you've accepted as fact, but lots of things you've learned since seem to indicate it's another big lie. The big ones (like Santa, the Easter Bunny, and all thta money you get after college) tend to pale in significance with time as compered to the smaller, more personal ones (Pop rocks and Coke, Old Man Jenkins' house is haunted TO-THIS-DAY, and there's still a chance to win that big prize from the ATARI 2600 SWORDQUEST series). These are the things that ask, quietly, to be accepted on a handshake deal..."nothing to see here. No need to mind your business, and I'll continue exuding blissfully nostalgic childhood ignorance".
Back to the haze...
I'd have to say that, because of the national trend of the 5-day work week, most people are doing just what I'm doing today...taking a non-sleep rest. Letting things happen. THerefore, if I'm to believe that we can all somehow tap into the collective unconscious of the planet, it makes sense that consistent, uniform images and ideas are much harder to nail down today than, say, at 2pm on a Wednesday.
Also, I just realized that the TV has been on all weekend. Pisser...I just shut it off. I feel much better now. Damn echoes...

Sunday, December 29, 2002

This otherwise festive season has forced me to take notice of a disturbing thread in my life (perhaps more common than I expect, but we'll see...) I'm beginning to see how easy it may be to eventually doubt just about EVERYTHING.
This is the first year I've encountered that dread of REpurchasing the exact same item for someone. I've heard of other people experiencing this feeling from time to's possible that I have, on a forgotten occasion, done this once before. That's fair, right? Well...try EVERYONE. Every single gift I purchased, I developed a strange fear...a fear that engendered profound doubt of my grasp on personal history. I imagined that the item was a "nice match" for the person in question's, doesn't it make sense that this blessed union of creative purchasing and character analysis would have occurred in the past? Even as recently as last year?
Sometimes it was a mere "flinch"...a brief flash of cautionary doubt...the type of thing that would result in a stunt pilot to bail or Evil Keneval (sic) to hit the brakes on the ramp leding up to the 23 limo's in Caesar's parking lot. In those examples, potentially disastrous, sure...but here, after a few moments, water under the bridge. " hard feelin's, me. You're still the goods." Other times, the doubt induced a series of related questionings...a slew of reflections and recaps that spawn a full-fledged self-investigation. "Did I already get this? If so, why can't I remember when exactly? If not, then I'm not as good as a friend as I thought I was..."
I guess it's clear that I've taken issue with my memory. The foundation of which is "If my past experiences become less and less concrete, then how can I base new decisions on them?" As I grow older, the edges are blurred on everything...the contrast is turned way down on my screen. I even noticed tonight, driving through some pituresque scenery, that the amount of "picture" within the span of my vision (peripheral and otherwise) seems cropped...all Pan & Scan. Am I squinting more these days?

Thursday, December 19, 2002

My favorite time to just BE is that time when you're QUARTERS asleep. This is where and when I feel most in touch with the other side (or all sides...or, at least, more sides than usual). I mean, come KNOW those aren't JUST KNOW your cubicle or your living room or your backyard isn't your whole world.
It's a nice place to be. I think Neil Gaiman, writer of the SANDMAN series, writes mostly in this state. Cats sleep 3/4 of their lives, so they probably have the most experience with navigating it. I imagine that's what they're chasing when they suddenly dart into the next room...or stare at "nothing". Whatever current stresses and connundrums plague my waking mind are, for a time, whittled away to meaningless trifles...or, better yet, they are transformed into strange backdrops to ongoing subplots in a surreal storyline that I sort of melt into. In this venue, priorities and issues of importance are shuffled around in such a way that I cannot possibly guess what's happening next. I guess that's why it's such a thrill when I see a movie that knows what it's doing even though I have no idea where it's going. It's following one of these "sub-lucid" plot schemes, I just know it! Soon I'll be in on the secret language and I'll be able to spot the other in-the-know-travellers and, with a wink or a gesture, share a moment of shared awareness and comraderie. Just like Pirates!
So, I wasn't saying...
Today in one of these sleep/wake states, I realized that, as I get older and continue to watch the world evolve, the trend seems to be inching towards cliche. All those old, cheesy plots...they're coming true. In terms of the "masses", people generally don't like to think too much about their entertainment. They don't like a challenge when they're expecting to be placated with something...well, cliche. Familiar. The age of psycho-Manifest Destiny is NOT upon us, for the most part, is it? I feel like I should challenge myself more...condition...set up good habits of creative outletting. But I'm so tired...too tired to even get to a POINT tonight...ZZzzzz...

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Navigating the world is rough enough without having to keep secondary "psychical" maps on hand. Remember good old deja vu? I do. I remeber that transient scenario...that bridge from deja vu to recognition and, finally, to nostaligia. Anything can set off this distinctive chain of events that ignights longings and fond memories...the smell of ammonia conjuring images of a school lunchroom...a distant church bell harkening back to the good old days of one's hometown. You know...the goods.
So why is it that the trend of modern society to erradicate any unique characteristics a location may or may not possess? (Don't worry...I know I used a keyphrase like "modern society" that usually marks the beginning of a long political rant, but nothing could be further from my intent. Trust me...)
I got the deja vu today. Only, this time, the bridge from deja vu led to the brick wall of disorientation...then, ultimately, to disillusionment.'s my question:

Why do all the STOP & SHOPS look EXACTLY the same?

All the way from the layout of the Ben & Jerry's frozen section right down to the location of the 6 for $1.99 roll bins. MIRROR IMAGES. I had the unfortunate privledge of visiting TWO separate different cities...on the same day. On the 2nd visit, whilst passing the holiday cookie table near the self-serve checkout lanes, I had to stop (and NOT shop) for a moment and gather my bearings.
What city was I in? What time was it? And the YEAR? THE YEAR?!?!
This confusion, of course, leads to some unnecessary self-query. "Am I getting senile? My ID says I'm 30...that's probably not the case." I persist. "Am I bogging myself down with so much activity that I've become easily derailed? Is there something METAPHYSICAL going on with my reality?" Right about then, I let me have it. "Have I become some sort of multi-dimensional hitchhiker...skimming realities and jumping planes without conscious effort?"
Oh, if it were only that interesting.
Organization, in this society, is a virtue of the highest regard. Organized = efficient. It's that simple. Unfortunately, the first casualty of organization is almost always imagination. The science of order is pretty cut and dry, and most people HATE change, so...well...
OK...there's TWO guys working at a company. One guy went to art school, self-published a fanzine, had some poetry printed in the local paper, and has a really snazzy idea for organizing the pre-packaged cold-cuts section. The OTHER guy graduated from accounting school...with HONORS (Cum Laude...whatever...), and alphabetized the entire International foods-spotlight lane...just like they have it in the store in the next town over...and the one next to that...and the one in Frisco. Who wakes up with a job the next day?
I dunno. I'm sure it makes sense...but I know that I'll never have fond memories of my local Stop & Shop, because, wherever I go (like those paintings with the eyes that follow you around the room) it'll always be the same store looking back at me. There's no more magic in actually BUYING something at these big chains. There is only "need" and "possesion" and, quite honestly, the stuff doesn't taste THAT good.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

You's funny how things work...
...or, rather, REFUSE to work without the proper amount amount of chemicals.
Take, oh, I don't know...the MIND, for instance. Here's this thing that's always on. Always. For all we know, it may have always BEEN on, in some form or another, even prior to our current tenure here on this planet (non-Christians take note). It just chugs away. But how many different gears does this thing have? And why is it a constant struggle to drive it the same way every day?
For example...
Yesterday, I'm sitting in front of a computer at a client's office. They're having a problem connecting through something called CITRIX. I won't go into the more-than-horribly-uninteresting details of Citrix, but let's just say it's a 'Remote Desktop' application...kind of like a McDonald's in Latvia or mainland China, it looks the same wherever you go. I know Citix fairly well, so I activate the "diagnosis" portion of my neck pumpkin and the problem is solved fairly quickly. I breeze out of there and the client breezes into an Alpha state only accounting software can induce.
TODAY, I'm at a "similar" client with a "similar" problem. Objectively, it's the same situation. Citrix. Connection problem. Audio landscape of clicking keyboards and distant printing. No problem, right? Well, you might as well have handed me a phone with a spanish-only speaking person on the line and told me to "get them out of downtown Hamburg and on to the 11:45 flight to Tokyo." I was lost. The same diagnostic engine I had used yesterday just wasn't sputtering to life. Where did I put that switch? How'd that start sequence go again? No idea. What was the point of knowledge if I can't use it EVERY time I need it?
Then, after a few lengthy, bitter, silent discussions with myself, I realized...I hadn't eaten. Nothing. Not even something to drink. My car had a better meal than I did, and it was already past noon. I was eyeing the slightly cheaper REGULAR grade petrol product, but that's just not good enough for MY Subaru. No sir...premium blend...keep it coming...
But none for the pale, sleepy guy, thanks. He'll get by. Like a camel, I would burn the stored nutrients nestled (somewhat conspicuously) 'round the midrift. What else would it be there for?
Stupid. I'm always the first person to complain about my memory being terrible, my sleep/wake cycle being out of whack, and mental agility needing discipline. It's so easy to get frustrated at the your bodily functions for not being more consistent. It's so easy to be put off at the fact that one's mind doesn't function in a more complicated manner when, all along, it's needs are rather simple. I've just got to remember to drink my Ovaltine (the rough modern equivalent of which is SUPER-NUTRIENT-BOFFO-ENERGY-PERFORMANCE-ULTRA-TINE-DRINK with Taurine, Ginseng, Caffine and Vodka). It's all about diet, I guess...or chemicals, specifically. Delicious chemicals...

In other news, we WON the BEANTOWN MELTDOWN Battle of the Bands. Wow. We listened that night on the Internet for the live announcement after the show. It didn't come until 3am, but it proved quite a shock to a lot of people. Things are changing...almost in a green-skin/purple-pants type degree. I hope I can juggle well...

Friday, November 29, 2002

Tonight our band performs in the finals of the big local music competition. It's us and 5 other bands, whittled down from 36 bands total. All this in the wake of another strange Thanksgiving (A day in which, historically, we give thanks for all the other strange days in the previous year that, now, seem sublime in comparison).
Thanksgiving can always go several ways...but, more often than not, opts for the melodramatic Turkish Twist route (Get it? "TUrkish"? "Turkey"? See...I think put a little bit of thought into this from time to time...okay, maybe that isn't actual PROOF per se...). First, there's the guilt trip that begins after the first calll from a family member asking me to come over for dinner (A dinner that usually occurs at Tea time, not that I honor the "official" time for tea...but certainly a time block more suited for late lunch than full-blown dinner). With fragmented nests all over the NorthEast, it is inevitable that there will be more than one dinner...and, certainly, this isn't an actual COMPLAINT. I realize that there are countless out there presented with NO options during the holidays, but, for now, this isn't about's more about anyTHING...that "thing" being a state of mind that NEVER equals the sum of it's parts, but, for some reason, significantly alters perceptions, emotions and the way Turkey tastes.
Suburban angst.
Ultimately, I always feel like a tourist. No matter where I end up. Not that I'm some lofty observer or fringe outcast, but I AM getting older. Apparently, the need for roles in a mixed group setting doesn't wane as the hair greys and the back reconsiders, and I find myself trying to either take control of the conversation or, somehow, withdraw completely and help in the kitchen (or, more accurately, the bar. "You've never tried Rum and pumpkin pie? Well, let's put an end to THAT right now..."). The thing that eases the night along is the fact that I can see that most everyone seems to struggle with the same need. Sure, it's nice to be accepted...but these days, it's nicer to be INTERESTING. You may not be surrounding yourself with jerks that will qualify and quantify your life choices, but it would be encouraging to know that, if they did, they wouldn't know HOW to categorize your lifestyle. Not that any of that is REALLY important on anyone's scale...but on Thanksgiving, for a little while, it SEEMS like it's important.
Or maybe not.
I still had a good time. Screw it.

ANYwho (that's for those of you that HATE words like "Anywho")...
Here we go. I've never been in a REAL competition before since this series (2 consecutive wins, now tonight in the Finals). It's nice to know that the judges are looking for an ecclectic final round, as the different sounds represented in tonight's lineup would seem to prove. I'm glad it hasn't been a more-tickets = more-recognition situation, and for that reason, I have faith that we'll do fairly well. Strangely enough, since we started the shows a few months back, I've had a strange inkling that we've already won. It's not a prideful, pompous feeling at all...just a comfortable resolve. It should be fun...and I'm mostly looking forward to the feedback (oh, and SECOND prize of a classic Arcade game cabinet. That too. But mostly the feedback. Yeah. Wicked awesome.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

You know, when I was a kid (shouldn't all new journals, electronic or otherwise, start off this way?)...
I would daydream in abstract concepts...not fully understanding the how's or the why's, not really able to communicate these concepts or stories effectively in any medium...looking forward to a future when I would take full advantage of this industrialized machine we call home. I'd make some $$$ to buy the tools necessary to perform the psyche-surgery and remove those dormant embryos gestating in my skull and get the stuff OUT THERE.
Sometimes I'd fret about the NUMBER of ideas I might have (or NOT have)...or, if they sit for too long, would they get "spoiled" from all the junk food imagery coming at us from all directions. Ultimately, I resolved myself to the belief that, spoiled or not, as soon as I have the TOOLS, they're coming OUT...and I'll keep producing them as long as I many or as few as they are. Screw trying to justify or qualify or compare or contrast.'s the future.
I HAVE the tools. Lots of them.
SO, why am I leaking out stories and projects at a snail's pace?
Perhaps, over the course of this thing, I'll either figure that out, or forget the question and start DOING stuff.
I'm hoping for the latter...