The Difference Between Me and Kim Kardashian

NY Lotto claims to make New Yorkers rich.
Here is an urban setting with a building and a NY lotto advertisement that claims to make New Yorkers rich.

That Wall Street game tho

I’m getting really good at typing shit on my phone. It is an ideal writing method because I can write anywhere and, unlike with a laptop, I can hold the phone so that people can’t read what I’m writing.

I want everyone to read what I’ve written, but unlike Sal Paradise, I don’t want anyone to watch what I’m writing.

I can’t write when people might be watching because I always play to the audience. Any audience will do. I change everything from my voice and cadence to my opinions. Why? The simplest answer may be true, and that answer is that I’m seeking approval all the time. There may be a deeper answer.

But let’s not delve at this time.

People say that everyone is basically the same, that we focus on what makes us different from one another, but the sum of those differences is very minute compared to what makes us the same.

Who knows.

I like to think that I am special, even if it means that what makes me special is that I am the biggest attention whore the world has ever seen. The difference between me and Kim Kardashian is motivation, body measurements, and pretty much a lot of things but if I wasn’t lazy and was smarter and beautiful I would do what Kim Kardashian is doing. I want everyone to look at me all the time.

Well, except when I’m writing.

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Richard Feynman in Central Park

I dreamed of a coffeehouse full of toys and couldn’t find a place to return my dirty dishes and when I did they had all become screws and it was necessary to sort them into specific compartments. I dropped them on the floor and a fluffy white dog went to eat them so I picked them up but they multiplied like hydra heads and my wife was waiting outside with arugula in her hair.

Yesterday I went to Central Park for the first time since moving here. My good friend came with me and we stopped at a mini book fair on the way. He bought a book of Japanese Poetry and I wished I could commit to reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I couldn’t commit because here in my apartment sit a small detachment of my army of books, the rest of which I’ve locked in storage on Fulton Street in East New York, and I’ve decided not to move until I’ve read all of them.

Good Friend found a copy of On the Road and handed it to me and I remembered why I haven’t read either Good Omens or Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. It’s because I keep rereading On the Road and Catch 22.

We walked through the park for about half an hour, took some pictures and threw a few loose quarters at a guy playing an Erhu. There were two guys actually, in separate parts of the park, but the first sounded like a train derailment shrouded in sackcloth and ashes.

Then we walked out of the park and I said, “I’m unimpressed.”

Good Friend said he thought it was great but I could tell he thought it was good.

We walked up the west side of the park looking for a bodega to get some stakeout coffee without realizing that we were in the one place in the world least likely to contain a bodega. This fact became apparent after a few blocks and I looked at the map on my phone to find a more likely location.

We were surprised to see that the blue dot indicated we had covered only about one percent of Central Park. Richard Feynman said, “Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deep enough.” Gordon Flanders said, “Walk around dispassionately. Nearly everything is really a waste of time if you go into with the right attitude.”

We Know Time

It was drizzling and mysterious at the beginning of our journey. I could see that it was all going to be one big saga of the mist. “Whooee!” yelled Dean. “Here we go!” And he hunched over the wheel and gunned her; he was back in his element, everybody could see that. We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Hell yeah, they knew time. And we know time. And I know I’ve got nine minutes until I really should start getting these V-Day preparations out of the way.

Yes these days really are passing quite strangely, what with this new way of perceiving them as transient, rather than “every morning a little birth, every night a little death,” which is a quote from somewhere I forget.

It is drizzling and mysterious in my head. One big saga of mist, it has been. But we’re all delighted, and the confusion and nonsense of the night before is behind us, and somewhere far ahead of us in the same sense, and all there is left to do is to move.

Time comes and time goes and everything really is strange and wild. The night comes but it is gone in the morning, only to come back again. It is nothing. It is physics. But anyhow it’s all vanished into so much soreness in the legs.

And so will pass the night ahead of us, since already it is behind us.

Buy the ticket, take the ride. As hideous as it is, I, too, have found it to be true.

To move, to move, to be in motion, that’s what time is, that’s how time goes, and that’s how we avoid time, and though we can never be friends, we can wave as we pass on the street.

My First Adult Writing Contest (The Post Where I Write My First Flash Fiction Story)

Well, I never gave much thought to this flash fiction business. Thought it was so much window dressing. Thought it was a bunch of malarky. I would have thought the same thing about all poetry if my English teachers hadn’t told me it was meaningful. And then poetry hit me like a smack in the face last year. And it was good. So, I read some of the winners of this contest and they were good. So now I will try to write a story in under 250 words and win the contest! I’ll save this as a draft in case there’s a rule about publishing your story beforehand.

I’m pretty sure I won’t win the contest at all, having never written a story like this before, but I was pretty sure no one would like my blog, so fuck it.

Addendum: here’s the prompt and the quote for the contest:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW

I want to put a ding in the universe. –Steve Jobs

Oh by the way I found the idea for this on WetInkPress. So you have to write a story under 250 words and use at least four of the prompt words and you can either try to use the quote as inspiration or not, if you do and you are the best at it, you get an additional award.

Ok I think it’s two guys talking, one guy thinks he can change the world, the other doesn’t, then the first guy leaves and feels like he’s already changed the world.

Here goes then.

Tides of evening wash over the graveyard in a sudden flurry. The men spoke with strong Irish accents.

“Mom would be proud of us wouldn’t she.” He tossed it over his shoulder like so much dirt. Not a question, jus

Pause. Outside they are digging themselves out of the snow, so this works well. Me and GF are like fuck it, we ain’t going out in that shit! I don’t know why people are in a hurry to get out. We hibernatin in this bitch.

Anyway

Rolling tides of evening washed over the austere graves in a vengeful fury.

The two men spoke in Irish accents.

“Mom would be sah proud, wouldn’t she.” He tossed it over his shoulder like so much dirt.

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. “Aye, don’t you think so?”

“I should be glad to never learn one way or another.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

“Our world is as beautiful as hers,” he said, handing the flower to Dennis.

Dennis glared at his brother and threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “Our world is shite.”

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

“Exactly that. One day closer to death. One more step into the grave.”

“So we act meaninglessly?”

“Of course we do!”

“Do we not celebrate our mother with every minute we spend here, digging, in a kind of prayer like way, don’t you think?”

“Ah.”

“And by celebrating her, throughout our lives, don’t we make the world a better place? Don’t we then change the goddamn world?”

“Shut up and keep digging you fool.”

Patrick smiled, sccoped the rose carefully into his shovel, and replaced it upon the pile.

Ok, obviously lost the thread there at the end. But that was about 310 words, so only sixty to cut. Now to make the language more poetic, and more dark, and more graveyardy. Nothing like what I had in mind, but fuck it, I guess that’s what flash fiction is all about. It’s some kind of flash of a scene that makes an impression in your mind. But it’s still supposed to have a middle and an end, according to the writer interviews I read about people who have won last year’s contest. The middle is supposed to be the ending, and the end is supposed to be basically giving you some time to wind down from the hock of the middle/end, instead of being a punchline at the end like an O Henry story or something.

Rolling tides of evening washed over the austere graves in a vengeful fury.

Hmm. I like the idea of a tide of evening. Probably read that somewhere else.

The rolling tides of blackish violet announced the evening

The rolling tides of black clouds ferried the evening in among the austere graves. Two men dug shoulder to shoulder near a humble stone.

In his strong Irish accent, Dennis muttered, “She deserved so much better.”

In the beginning I was thinking he was a gravedigger and he was saying sarcastically his mother would be proud that the Irish brothers had gone to America and could only find work as gravediggers. But now I think she should have died without enough money for a funeral and they are burrying her. Maybe she had big dreams and never got to do them. Maybe she died in America after making the voyage to follow her dreams.

In the accent of the old world they had just left, Ireland, Dennis gritted his teeth. “She’d be sah proud of us making the journey.” He tossed the words over his shoulder like so much dirt.

I like the idea of tossing words over his shoulder, but then old Patrick better not be shoulder to shoulder, because then why is his brother tossing words over his shoulder at him.

Ok they are digging graves back to back. Ha! They can’t be back to back tossing dirt over there shoulder into each other’s hole! That’d be a story in itself.

Ok they are face to face.

“I guess she found what she went looking for.” Dennis tossed the words over his shoulder like so much dirt. Nope got to go!

“I guess she found what she went looking for.”

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. “Aye, don’t you think so?”

Dennis glared. “Should’ve been buried in Ireland at least.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

“She found a new world, to her it was more beautiful, probably because she’d never been there, and having died as soon as she saw it, she hadn’t the time to be proved wrong, and so she probably died happy.” Patrick handed the flower to Dennis.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “This world is shite.”

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

I was thinking of the dwarves from Lord of the Rings when I said, “And further we delve…” but then I put dust, because ashes to ashes and dust to dust, from dust we came and to dust we go. But of course Patrick shouldn’t say anything about dust, that would be Dennis’ line.

“Exactly that. One day closer to death. One more step into the grave.”

Of course here I was thinking of the song “Time” by Pink Floyd,

You run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking

Racing around to come up behind you again!

The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older

Shorter of breath, one day closer to death!

But exactly here is where the image kind of fell to pieces, and I overstated his line and then of course Patrick would never ask this question:

“So we act meaninglessly?”

“Of course we do!”

And then with this next line I was trying to find out what the whole point that Patrick is trying to make:

“Do we not celebrate our mother with every minute we spend here, digging, in a kind of prayer like way, don’t you think?”

“Ah.”

“And by celebrating her, throughout our lives, don’t we make the world a better place? Don’t we then change the goddamn world?”

“Shut up and keep digging you fool.”

Patrick smiled, sccoped the rose carefully into his shovel, and replaced it upon the pile.

I was thinking this would make a good ending image, differently worded of course.

Patrick scooped the rose from the grave and placed it carefully at the foot of his mother’s…stone…headstone…rock…the humble stone…the crumbling humble bumble of a tumbling stone.

Ok if this story is to work I’m going to have to let go of trying to keep with the “ding in the universe” theme. At least so closely. It’s a good image, and it can work if I let it, at least marginally, though it may not be a contest winner. This is, after all, my first contest.

And that’s a line that Hunter Thompson used frequently: “We are, after all, professionals.”

Round three:

The rolling tides of black cloud ferried the evening in among the austere graves. Two men dug near in front of a humble stone.

Dennis muttered, his Irish accent harshening the long ‘o’: “She deserved so much better.”

Why am I fixated on this long o shit? Maybe I’d better use a different word from the prompt. Or maybe: “Two men dug close to a humble stone” Or near the entrance, there cowered a humble stone, and two men dug gravely. Hahahah gravely. Dug with seriousness. Dug in earnest. Dug in painful earnesty. Dug integrally. Dug it like it was Dizzy Galespie in the wild blue night and the mad ones running hurdy gurdy down a street of internal pain and wondering…all of us suffering, all longing, and Dean’s long last old man wandering the streets nearby, somewhere in the mist beyond reckoning.

Or maybe, There cowered a humble stone, and two men bowed low to the hard earth, digging stolidly, digging stoicly. digging. There cowered a humble stone, and along it two men bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving, to wind up here. And us, her only kin, her only friends, the only ones who care enough to bury her.” This is of course too drawn out, but he would say something like that. He would grit his teeth and hurl the dirt, heft the dirt, bring the dirt out of his very soul, which he has been keeping there all her life, only to dig it out now at her grave, digging into his own soul and finding nothing there but dust, all is dust, all is fleeting. What a bitch.

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight. This is good, glinting may be the wrong word, but cool moonlight on bared teeth is both bright and creepy. Patrick’s a creepy mother fucker to be laughing in the moonlight. Which of the two is right? Well, that’s in the eyes of the reader. Life does not present us with judgments. Like Jet Li says in Fearless, basically my favorite movie of all time (maybe after Crocodile Dundee), “Does the tea judge itself? No, we judge the tea.” Or something like that. So what then does Patrick say here, if Dennis life can be…or rather Dennis’s thoughts can be summed up with all is dust…what does Patrick mean to say. “But she does not die in vain, for she has us, and we are who we are because she lived, and because she loved, and we live because she lived, and we love because she loved, and here in the night, working together to celebrate her life and honor her with the sweat of our brows and the strain of our backs, we prove to the world that she was here, that she made some difference in the world.” Ah what a cop out, dear Patrick. Just by getting knocked up someone makes a difference. “No, anyone can stick a hanger up there or fall down the stairs, but no one who raises two boys against the threat of silence and death, against the hungers and terrors of this world, has lived in vain.”

Patrick plucked a rose from a carefully arranged pile at the grave near the newly stacked pile of dirt.

Well he’d have to be stealing this rose from another pile, because roses don’t just grow in graveyards. So what does it signify if he is taking a rose that someone else has gathered, and giving it to his own mother. Well, it could be very political. Robin Hood and the merry men. As this is a very austere graveyard, and his mother’s grave cowers among the other stones, because they are so much bigger and richer, he is taking from the rich, like their view of welfare or some such. They pay the taxes and he takes it. Yes but I don’t know if I want to make that point. Like Kurt Vonnegut said, or something like it, when this country was born you’d better have taken way too much, or you’d get nothing at all.

And why is he giving his brother a rose. He is taking a part of his mother’s soul, say, if they brought the flowers there to lay at her grave, then he is taking a part of his mother and giving it to his brother, how is it he can bestow this blessing? I suppose it is because he took from her her caring nature, her optimistic view on the world, or perhaps is currently blessed…I mean possessed by her spirit and therefore is acting in her stead towards his troubled brother.

Patrick held the rose delicately and proferred it to his brother. “Like this rose, she is now dead, but her beauty lingers with us.” Hm that sounds good, but lingers has a bad connotation I should think.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “This world is shite.” I think I can just take out “this world is shite” since Patrick has refrained from saying anything about the world now and they don’t have to be talking in Irish accents. But slowly opening is good, not for the wording but for the image, it’s like a mouth that opens to swallow them, not a new image, but a strong one nevertheless.

Patrick laughed. To Dennis his laugh sounded cold and lonely, weak and powerless in the face of the oncoming night, in this horrible place of death. “If you’ve done with fooling about do you mind lending a hand?”

Here of course I was thinking of the song “Weak and Powerless” by A Perfect Circle. And the graveyard isn’t really a horrible place of death. But to Dennis it is. Should the story be more biased towards Dennis view of the place? If not, then I’d have to say how it sounded to Patrick. Maybe: Patrick laughed and the sound echoed in the cold night, off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens, clear and delicate as fine crystal. Dennis was unnerved. “Don’t you know it’s bad luck to laugh in a cemetary?”

Is it? I don’t know if anyone thinks so. But Patrick would scoff, “Ah but what’s the use, Dennis, since it’s all dust to dust up in here anyways.”

Patrick turned to the work with joyful fervor. “Look. Even here we make a difference. One stroke after the next.” He threw dirt. And another. “And further we delve into the dust.”

Maybe: Patrick sunk his shovel into the earth, the soil, the terroir, the fertile ground ready to grow a briar and a rose, like the song about Barbry Allen…sorry…Patrick sunk his shovel into the dirt, “Every action has meaning. By merely thinking, and the remarkable and instantaneous aquiescence of my capable muscles, I have thus caused this ground to clear the way for my mother’s broken body. Further and further we delve, where if we had not been, if she had not been, no delving would be done.”

Delve. Acquiesce. Hm…Wordpress spellcheck does not recognize the word aquiescence.

“Further and further we delve in to the dust to which we too will soon return,” Dennis spat. “Stroke after stroke, each stroke one stroke closer to death.”

Patrick scooped the rose from the grave and replaced it carefully at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Round four then:

The rolling tides of black cloud ferried the evening in among the austere graveyard. Two men dug in front of a humble stone, decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers.

Close to the gated entrance, there cowered a humble stone and two men bowing low to the hard earth, digging.

Cose to the gated entrance, a clean and proud, if relatively diminutive stone, decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers, watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving to make a difference, just to wind up here.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s smile glinted with cool moonlight.

Cool moonlight reflected off of Patrick’s crooked teeth as he smiled. Oooo. Patrick’s crooked smile reflected cool moonlight. Patrick’s toothy…Patrick’s sawtoothy…Patrick’s snaggle-tooth grin reflected cool moonlight.

“We live, because she lived. We love because she loved. Tonight, brother, we celebrate her life and honor her with the sweat of our brows, the strain of our backs. The woman who raises two boys against the hungers and terrors of this world, she has not lived in vain.”

A little preachy, but getting there I guess.

Patrick plucked a rose from the arrangement at the stone and proffered it to his brother. “She is as dead as this rose, but similarly, her beauty lives on.”

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “The rose will fade in a matter of hours. From dust we come, to dust we return.”

Patrick laughed and the sound echoed in the cold night, off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens, clear and delicate as fine crystal.

Dennis was unnerved. “Don’t you know it’s bad luck to laugh in a cemetary?”

“Even here we make a difference,” said Patrick as he sunk his shovel into the dirt. “Each stroke clears the resting place for our mother, who we can bury properly because of this difference we have made.”

Shit still don’t know what to do with that.

“Further and further we delve in to the dust,” Dennis spat. “Stroke after stroke, each stroke one stroke closer to death.”

Patrick shrugged and scooped the rose from the grave, replacing it carefully at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Oops. 378 words now. Round 5, and at this point I’m just going to go with it. It’s been an experience anyway. And I’ve been working for…two hours?

Ah but shit that 378 included asides by me so not so bad after all.

Final round, all cut up:

A rolling tide of black clouds ferried the evening in among the austere graveyard.

Close to the gated entrance, a small stone decorated lovingly with freshly cut flowers watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s snaggle-tooth grin reflected cool moonlight. He plucked a rose from the arrangement. “We live and love, because she lived and loved.” He proffered the flower to his brother.

Dennis  threw the rose into the slowly opening grave. “The rose will wither in a matter of hours. We will wither in a matter of years.”

Patrick’s eerie laugh, clear and delicate as fine crystal, echoed off the face of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens. He sunk his shovel into the dirt. He emptied his shovel to the side. “Each stroke we make, even here, makes a difference.”

Dennis agreed. “Further and further we delve in to the dust. Each stroke one stroke closer to a grave.”

Patrick lovingly scooped the rose from the grave, replacing it at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Now for the title. Got to be good since it’s such a short story. Basically my thinking for this final cut was don’t overtell the story. The line about the terrors and hungers, I really liked that, but it’s not something someone would say, unless they were really damn smart. It’s something the narrator could say I guess, but there’s no place for it. So sadly it goes. And I want to leave some to the imagination, about the relationship of the rose to the person, and I didn’t want to get to sappy about we love because she loved, because I think that’s a Kirk Franklin and The Family song.

But the title, what a bitch.

Twilight in the Garden of Souls

Like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Digging

The Brothers Who Think Differently About Death and Other Things, Too.

That title endebted to Zoolander’s school for kids who want to learn to read and do other stuff, good, too, I’m sure Matticus will come through with the accurate quote there.

A Proper Burial

Like digging, these two titles at nothing to the story.

Laughing in the Cemetery

The Dusty Rose

Dust on a Rose

The Petal and The Rose and The Stone and Casper the Friendly Ghost

The Hand The Furnace The Straight Face

That’s a Project 86 song, by the way.

Burial…It’s a Real Bitch When You Do It Yourself

DIY Burial

The Hipsters in the Cemetery

Burial for Fun and Profit

Further and Further We Delve into the Dust

That’s fun but doesn’t add anything either. Son of a bitch.

But then the guy who wrote last year’s second place entry: Dutch Baby, also had those exact words in his story, so his didn’t technically add anything, even though he said that you have to make your title work for it’s pay.

Death Makes People Think About Their Lives

Making A Difference

Vanity

Pride

Pride Turns to Ashes in Their Mouths; and Their Bones Littered the Desert Until Judgment Day

The Cold Hard Earth

The Entrance

The Exit

Coming In Through the Out Door

Entrances and Exit

Exeunt

Farewell

By The Sweat of Their Backs

By The Strain of Their Backs and The Sweat of Their Brows, They Confront the Terror and the Hunger of The Cold Hard Earth

Strain and Sweat, Tears and Toil

Hey there you go. And I used another word from the prompt.

For this to, is the lot of a man. And the cemetery is a sort of a lot isn’t it.

A vacant non-vacant lot where the kids can’t play baseball.

Well I wasn’t going to post this until the contest was over but fuck it. I’ve had so much fun I don’t care whether I win the contest or am disqualified. And I can’t wait to see what you think. And just in case everyone doesn’t want to read all this muck about, I’ll post just the story first and then this.

And I just printed it out and realized a few things. Lovingly was used twice. And two adverbs right next to each other “decorated lovingly with freshly” not good.  And dirt used twice too! Shit. And did I mention there’s kind of an incestuous homoeroticism going on here? “…loved.” He proffered the flower to his brother.” Well shit. Sounds like a proposition to me. Oo if he extended the flower to his brother we could add some further sexual innuendo there. Patrick’s totally gay for his brother. What’s a better word for “lovingly scooped?” Oh man if he “ladled” it out it’d be like he was eating homemade chicken noodle soup straight from his mother’s grave, how nourishing is that.

Hm, shit. This story is actually not a story. It’s more like a poem, an arrested image. A photograph in words. And that’s fine. And I’m still going to submit it. But I think it’s not actually a story.

Strain and Sweat, Tears and Toil

A rolling tide of black clouds ferried the evening in among an austere graveyard.

Close to the gated entrance, a small stone decorated with freshly cut flowers watched over two men who bowed low to the hard earth, digging.

“All her life, striving.” Dennis tossed his words like so much dirt. “And hardly a proper burial.”

Patrick’s toothsome smile reflected cool moonlight. He took a rose from the arrangement. “We live and love, because she lived and loved.” He extended the flower to his brother.

Dennis accepted it and dropped it into the slowly opening grave at their feet. “The rose will wither before dawn. Our fate is the same.”

Patrick’s laugh, clear and delicate as fine crystal, echoed eerily off the faces of the proud stones, rising toward the heavens. He sunk his shovel into the loam. He tilted his shovel and watched the stuff accumulate along the mound. “Each stroke we make, even here, makes a difference.”

Dennis nodded. “Further and further we delve into the dust. Each stroke one stroke closer to a grave.”

Patrick scooped the rose from the pit and replaced it at the foot of his mother’s headstone.

Ha, so I went to post that, and these suggested tags came up: Neurological Disorders, University of Auckland, Cannabis.

WTF

Messy Desk (Rambling and Writing Practice)

I wanted to get started on something, but I just took too long. Now GF is coming home and I guess she’ll be here in 30 minutes or so. She’s a little sick and didn’t get much sleep last night so I’ll be taking care of her. AKA sitting on the couch and watching movies with her while she eats soup.

Got this big ass thing of coffee all made up, too. Don’t know if I’ll be able to sit still.

Till she gets here I might as well spout off something.

My desk is cluttered looks like the snowstorm came through here. No damn it that’s something my mother would say. What’s the best way to describe a cluttered desk? What’s the most interesting way I could possibly do it? I was reading in The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk about how focused practice is the only practice that makes us better. People do their jobs every day but they don’t necessarily improve every day. Only by trying to go beyond what you currently do can you become better. So he said the best way to become a better writer is to do writing drills, not just write like you always do. The best way to become stronger is of course to push yourself past your limits. George Patton says the same thing in Patton’s Principals. I used to keep a card of this quote in my wallet, and now I can’t think of it exactly. Except he said something like: You have command your body to work harder than it can, that way your body will say, ‘I’d better step it up if I’m going to keep up with this crazy mind.’ Well, it was way different than that, but still pretty colloquial like that. So the best way to get better at writing is to write something you don’t want to. Or something like that. I always want to improve my writing, that way I can just write anything and it will be interesting. That’s what Jack Kerouac ended up doing. He practiced all the time until he could just write about something and it would be poetry.

Ok, then. Cluttered desk. Cluttered desk. Desk is a mess. Desk is a mess. Shit is messy. Got a mess on this desk got to put it to rest. Can’t pass a test with a cluttered desk. I must confess my desk is a mess. Can’t pass a test with a messy desk. Messy desk yes it’s blessed.

Messy desk

Can’t be blessed

Must confess

Can’t pass no test

No not unless

Messy desk

Takes a rest

Checkbooks, textbooks, a clock that isn’t plugged in. Staring past the mess out to the street, out to the windows, out to the snowy clean ness of the rest of the world, everyone’s desk is clean but mine is a mess. There are pens and scissors and ripped up letters and things written on scrap paper things that aren’t scrap paper being written on, things that I have written and then written something else on them four years later. And this desk was not a mess just a little while ago. I cleaned it up for our first AirBnB guest so it was just as clean as it could be. Now it’s got my iPod charger cord and my ripped up copy of the New Yorker that I usually keep in my bookbag. It’s got tickets to The Breakers and my little black books from last year and papers papers papers, an application for a CVS card. And this is just shit I can see from this low slung vantage point, slouching backwards in my chair with no visibility. Old mess gets plowed under and ends up on top of new mess, like water in the ocean, or dirt in a field. What’s that process by which water from the bottom of the ocean comes to the top or something like that…reduction or some shit.

I’ve got to learn some more shit.

I wanted to write a little essay about Trader Joe’s. And about biking, too. I’m thinking that I should definitely start that new blog, but I’m thinking I should plan it out better. Like the whole thing should be an actual project, instead of kind of like a therapy which is what this blog really is or should be (thanks to psmprincess for pointing that out). So basically the new blog should be wholly contrived. Which is a word with a lot of negative connotations. But what is the actual definition? Well it simply means to create or bring about by skill or artifice. That’s not so bad. The essays will come from the heart, but then go through a skillful filter of sorts. But yeah so questions come up about should there be pages, shouldn’t it be simple to follow, and how to create a larger and larger audience for that shit so one day I can sit at home watch the snow and write essays instead of being a bartender. I love being a bartender right now, but I love writing even more, and when I’m 79 I don’t want to have to go to work every day. Man I’d love to live to be 79. I always feel like I’m going to die before that, because it’s so easy to do. Anything could kill you. But that’s a different topic altogether and I’m trying to practice some writing before GF calls, which could be any second now.

The snow is no joke out there now. That shit is truly covering everything and this is one of the first times in my life that I have been able to actually see it accumulate. I don’t normally sit in front of windows for this long. It’s sticking to the trees in shrouds now, and the cars are getting fucked up, you can see their whole windows are crystallizing and shit. The snow’s coming so fast and hard that it’s like a mist out there, everything loses color, it’s all whited out the further away things are. The yellows are less yellow. It’s funny too because once the sun comes out, the complete opposite will be true. The sun will reflect off the white and make everything seem like a movie by Pixar. More true than life. Those are some story telling mother fuckers, too. God damn they know how to grip the emotions.

My hands are so dry when I use a rough cloth to polish dishes at work, I feel like I’m the one scratching the cloth instead of the other way around. I feel like I could sand down sandpaper.

Well GF just called and she’s going to want picking up soon. So I’ll have to get to figuring that shit out. I’ll try to write more later today, but I might just read so she doesn’t have to listen to the tippity tapping of these keys.

 

Happy Feet

Readability Index: Readable

Hot damn can’t hardly work around this bitch cuz I got my man’s house mix keyed up and this shit is hot! You ever get something from your friends like a story or a CD or something that they made and you think to yourself shit I hope this is good because I don’t want to have to pretend I liked it next time I see them? Well, thankfully my boy shut that shit down and came out with some infectious house masterpieces. I remember the last time a friend gave me a CD it was this dude made his own raps with some friends and it was just embarrassing.

Ho but yeah I wanted to be up early to get down on this new idea I had. But I couldn’t. I got home last night at 3 in the morning after working until 2:30. I remember thinking, it’s probably getting towards one o’clock as I was cleaning up and then looking at my phone it was almost two. Yeah but it was a great night. We were slammin the whole time but we held the line and in the end I made almost four hundred bucks. Bartending is the truth!

Yeah so I didn’t get up at 8:30 like I thought I would. And I got to pay the rent today. And somehow I had to figure out how to outsmart those American Express bastards. They’re not so bad, it’s the Wells Fargo dudes. Ah shit I guess I’m really to blame. Sounds like Margaritaville in here. But anyway I figured out how to shut that shit down and it only took about half an hour. Which is more than I wanted but less then it could have been. And there goes another hundred dollars spent and still haven’t replaced my shoes with holes in them. But fuck it. Least that’s nearly taken care of.

Ha and I did the dishes before I sat down to this bitch. And got dressed too. Man I ate some chicken that GF made for me the other night. Was banging like a storm door and I could really feel the love in every bite.

So I basically got about an hour before I got to exit the doors and find that crazy landlord of mine and get him paid up.

So my grand scheme. I was thinking of something the hilarious MrGhuxley wrote on his post about trousers or something: Newspapers are just comic books for people who take life too seriously. And I was thinking about the books I look at most: Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Chuck Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Hunter S. Thompon’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Gonzo Papers, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Man Without a Country, and how they’re all at least sort of non-fiction, or kind of new journalism. And I thought about how I like to draw stupid little comics on napkins. And I thought I could make some kind of faux-journalistic blog about random bullshit with comics in it. Yeah that’s pretty much what I thought.

I thought I might use this blog as a place to write the rough drafts and think about what I’m going to write before selecting and winnowing out (winnow) what’s useful to the project at hand.

By the way, anyone reading this should totally go read Suffering With Meaning. It’s worth much more than the five minutes it will take to read it. And it says so succinctly what I’ve been trying to get at with a lot of the weird rambling posts on this blog.

I’ve got about twenty minutes before I have to leave so I’m going to try to think of what my first article/essay is going to be about.

About Today

Readability Index: Unreadable

Ok I finally put in some laundry. I had to try to shove the quarters into the machine like three hundred times. I set a timer for my French Press before I went down into the basement, four minutes, and it went off not halfway into my struggle. But it finally worked. There’s a note on the wall from 2001 saying that we tenants should let the landlord know if there are any problems with the machine, but I feel like we should probably have said something by now, so I’m definitely not bringing it up at this point.

I had some thoughts:

I should be a journalist

I should just read books all of the time

I should be a famous bartender

How did that guy on Top Chef get to be famous

The owner of that noodle place

He makes me think I could do some shit too

He just wants to have a good time

Wouldn’t it be funny to start a story with this guy’s next door neighbor lets him in the house, like inivites him over and the guy is kind of weary of the situation because he pretty much likes to be by himself anwyay…but then the neighbor says, “You want a beer?” and he says, “Well, by God, I would like a beer!”

Ok I’ll talk about that stuff later. Maybe.

So I left out of here to go get some shit done and I gotta say it did feel good. Getting shit done just feels good. I don’t know why. I was thinking about it at Stop and Shop while waiting for the bus. It’s like that Bob Marley song, Pass It On, “Live for yourself, you will live in vain, live for others, you will live again.” Well, I really don’t understand that shit at all because you are the only person you know, but then again, we’re all made out of the same elements so we’re really all the same thing, we’re all one, the universe just experiencing itself subjectively. I am everything that has gone before me. And yet I have an ego and can block the world out if I want to, and parts of me want to, one part. You know I’ve never read Freud or Jung. Should fix that. But I did read some Ruth Reichl on the bus, and you know I never have before. Well it was great. She’s awesome. But so Bob Marley, I should watch that documentary again. Marley was the creative title and it was the shit.

But I was thinking, that some of these errands, well I wouldn’t run them if it was just me. I wouldn’t probably run any of them if it was just me, but it was for my girlfriend. Well, not exactly. Like I had some stuff at the library, but so did she, so that was sort of for her. Really I only went because she asked me if I was going to go and I felt stupid saying no since she’d probably be like, well what the hell are you doing all day then?

So being productive. I’m sure it feels good because my mother was always all about being productive. Rather she still is. And so I grew up in an environment that reinforced my getting things done, or however Dr. What’s-his-face would say it. Skinner. BF Skinner. That was a fascinating read, Beyond Freedom and Dignity. If we’re not controlling the environment then we’re simply leaving control of the environment to someone else, because the environment will control the public. Or the society. Something like that.

All the muddled notions one arrives at by way of a thousand books one only read as fast as they could so they could say that they read them…could they be dangerously incomplete? Well. In reality I didn’t read them so I could say…well some of them, perhaps as many as half, could’ve been read that way…for that purpose rather. But mostly, like today, I just start a book and I get so wrapped up in “what happens next!?” that I can’t slow down to appreciate the way it’s done. Like the first page of Garlic and Sapphires, I was like, wow look how she does that, and look at all that alliteration and consternation, this is a beautiful piece of writing, and look at that formatting, but by page 3 I was like hot damn this shit is intense! Is she going to give Le Cirque a 3 star rating? 2 stars? Will she fold? Shit! And before you know it I finished the damn book and it’s two weeks from Friday and I don’t remember a damn thing.

Well I had to take a break here because my girlfriend came home and now I feel less on a roll. She’s pretty awesome, she just walked right in and made chicken stock. And gave me a chicken taco. Then I washed the dishes. Now she’s taking a shower. I made some more coffee because she said she wants some. She has a lot of reading to do which is awesome because it means I can just keep writing and writing. And finishing that damnable laundry.

But shit, what was the point. Yeah so just going out and doing errands, running them rather, well that was enough to make me feel pretty accomplished. At this point that feeling is starting to wear off. But at the time I didn’t feel anxious about whether I was wasting time and whatnot. I guess those are the kinds of things I feel are important. Daily drudgery type things that have nothing to do with art. I don’t know where I got the idea that working at art was a waste of time but I guess it’s down somewhere in my psyche because I don’t make time for it. Of course I have made plenty of time to blog. But then that’s not true, I had all the time there anyway. I just stopped doing a lot of other things like sleeping late, watching porn, watching movies, and washing the dishes, not to mention eating and reading about cocktails, and then all of the sudden I had all this time to blog. So I guess it is true, then, that I made time by clearing away those activities. What is it about blogging then that makes it ok?

Well I guess I haven’t given up entirely the idea that one can make money at writing. Even though by God I have tried. Merlin’s beard. I’ve tried to give up the idea. But it just seems right that I should make my money writing, even though I’ve never sold a damn thing I’ve written, or even tried to. Shit that’s not even true, now that I think about it! I sold a story on Amazon. I think I sold two of them for 99 cents each. Well there you go. That’s progress for you.

One of my favorite proverbs goes something like: Be not afraid of moving slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Of course I spent most of my time going backwards. Or so it seems.

Where is all this leading to? What’s next?

Reminds me of that scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Damn that was a good movie. Hunter Thompson is everyone’s favorite. And Johnny Depp is my favorite actor. The scene at the hotel when he’s tripping out and trying to check in. “What’s the score here? What’s next?”

Well, I was thinking I could become a food writer. Or a journalist of some kind. I love writing, but I just love typing and typing and never looking back. Maybe I could send it in and someone else could edit it or something. Ah shit. But that’s how Thompson did it. Just let it go. Maybe if I spent enough time practicing, I could do it something like Jack Kerouac. But well that’s completely misunderstood. He worked really hard. I just finished reading a biography that came out recently called The Voice is All and it was by a Carol…something…Carol Johnson..shit I don’t know but it was damned interesting.

I shudder, I sit at my own dining room table, someone else’s dining room table for that matter, this furniture is a rental from the real occupant, I sit shuddering here listening to the demons all around. And by demons I mean those bastards that live upstairs and those bastards who live downstairs. I can hear their every breath. It’s a good thing they’re not big talkers or I’d go mad. No chance of that now. Not at all.

But God damn it. What is going on. I’m positively giddy with the notion, the idea of spending hours just typing random bullshit. I could even get down with typing Random Bullshit Random Bullshit Random Bullshit over and over again. You know, that’s a damn good way at getting better at typing, because the more you type one word the harder it becomes to do it without fucking up.

Positively giddy, where did I pick that phrase up? Either a book movie or TV show that’s for damn sure. Used to be I would pick a phrase or a mannerism up from one of my best friends. But I have moved away from them now, so whatever I say is probably from books or moving pictures.

Everything is unimaginable.

Ah, but damn, I need to get good at everything. Read all kinds of books about food and educate my simple palate. It doesn’t pick anything up at all. Lemongrass? What the fuck. I’ll tell you what an apple tastes like if you can tell me first. Like Ruth Reichl says, food writing is very subjective, to the point that I can’t be absolutely sure that what you taste when you eat an apple is the same thing as what I taste. Just like with colors and all that.

Well, shit. I think I’ll look at comments for a while.

I’m obsessed with myself. That’s for damn sure. Everything on this post has been for damn sure. I’m tired of that.

You know I really like looking at my stats. What for? Shit the writing is the fun thing right? But really, we only write so someone else can read. I never knew that before. And you’d think I didn’t know it now, the way I spew shit on the page like something I don’t want to talk about.

Damn, and I had a million ideas I wanted to talk about. And they all were me. I should write something that adds value to someones life. How do you spell someones? I don’t know. But I learned what a consomme is.

Oh yeah, but I was at The Breakers in the gift shop looking at all these boring ass books and thought, shit, I could be entertained for years just reading these dumb ass books. I should just bartend, make money, and read books.