Correspondence: 12.07.16

From: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@mail.com>
To: Babe <listentothebabe@mail.com>
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 10:16 AM
Subject: Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Babe,

How are the rains these days?

Madness hits you like a bar of soap. That’s funny. Certainly more accurate than washing over you like a beautiful wave. Yes you really have to be a buddhist about it, or a stoic, or what you think is a stoic, since I tried to learn about stoics and I got bored.

I’m glad you posted your story dead things. I enjoyed reading it. That mother is a piece of work. And that bird! What possessed you to write that way about an eagle! Ha! You’re something else. Shitting all over the dresser. Woo! Shit Christ that’s some kind of image.

I have been writing more by hand in my brown leather book. I’ve been writing in it since 2012. No one sees that and tries to peel away the layers. There wouldn’t be anything to peel if they did. It’s barenaked and shows straight through to the bone like a leper dead six hours in a pool with a distracted piranha. But nah it’s not privacy or the lack thereof is it. You wish the work could stand on it’s own but everyone gets psychoanalyzed from Blake to Didion. But that’s half the point. Fuck it. If they think you were sexually abused as a child based on the story well shit I guess you’ve crafted a reality for someone and I guess that’s what it’s all about. Writing fiction, I mean. But anyway shit I’m not deriding you for having to get up your courage to post it. Gertrude Stein never had to read blog comments.

Limn is a great word but I don’t know how to use it. Please demonstrate.

I like the man in that painting and I would like to be him, at least for a time, because alcohol soothes the boredom. On the rare occasion I get to drink these days, with the working all the time and having the same days off as my wife, on half of those rare occasions things really work out well. As it stands I drink an average of two beers three times a week, which is just enough to not be able to say that you haven’t drank anything at all. Ha! Well. Anyway. Doesn’t matter. The worst is over for now.

I’m reading Moby Dick, did I tell you that already? I’m two thirds of the way through. The first third was great. I feel like I’ve written this already but I am too damn lazy to look. You know what I hate? Clicking all around the screen to check things. That’s why I don’t post links, too. I would like to link my posts together more but I’m just too damn lazy for that. Moby Dick has a lot of really killer lines. Like one every other paragraph. This mother fucker knew how to handle English. I never seen a whale up close, but I can’t imagine the dimensions he gives are real. Probably the whales were bigger back then before garbage islands and ozone depletion or whatever else. Probably he’s taking some dramatic license. He says it’s eight feet from the top of the sperm whale’s head to where his mouth is at the bottom of his head. I guess that’s reasonable if you think about. But you don’t know what eight feet is anyway. Two point something meters. Can you conceive of distances? I can’t. A meter is about the limit of my ability to accurately imagine the size of something.

I’m writing in my brown leather diary because I needed to know that the way I write on my blog was the same way I would write if no one was reading. It’s not at all. Every communication is artifice.

Don’t underestimate the value of entertainment. All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. That’s what I learned a few weeks ago. It has helped a little bit.

In the city you can’t walk around with your ears open. There’s too much pollution. Much too much pollution and unsolicited bullshit. I used to think I should walk around and experience the moment. We all need a place in the sun and we’re all trying to get it in the same place like a bunch of dumb-fuck assholes. So keep the ears plugged up with house music and remember that everyone else is living their own dream and you don’t want to interrupt. Here even the destitute and the pick-pockets don’t want your kindness. Plug up the ears, grope around in the dark if you have to and turn up the music and find your way to the punch-clock. It’s a stupid thing. But as you can see, the rotten fish in Chinatown and the working models in Soho find a way inside through your pores and that’s more than enough experience and living in the moment for one human animal without leaving the larger orifices unguarded.

I miss those times we would comment on each other’s posts in real time, and I made you laugh and you made me think. The whole world is a wheel so I won’t despair, not because I don’t think it’s a good idea…but because…well I don’t know, maybe I will despair after all.

Best of luck out there in the wilderness of civilization.

-G

https://listentothebabe.com/2016/06/17/correspondence-17-6-16/

From: Babe <listenotothebabe@mail.com>
To: Gordon Flanders <gordonflanders@mail.com>
Date: Friday, June 17 2016 at 9:39 AM
Subject: the way the rain smells

Dear G

I’ve been waiting for the rains to come since early May. The locals say that this was the worst summer yet. They said this last year too, and I remember that it was vicious. They don’t remember what that was like anymore, but I do. I logged the number of migraines I had last year.

It finally rained last night. I was happy for the 27 minutes it did.

I think a madness that feels like sadness afflicts us sometimes and there is no cure. The only thing is to be Buddhist about it and let it go through you. But it doesn’t happen the way they write it in books– it isn’t a gentle wave that you dive under and perhaps if you can hold your breath, you look up and watch it roll past. It’s not a wave at all, but a bar of soap that hits you.

I wrote a story, dead things, it sat in my brain for a while. It took a bit of courage to post it. It wasn’t the narrative or its subject matter that worried me, it was that people would read it and think, ah so this happened to her. There is no privacy in being a writer. Everything you write is parsed to see if it might reveal you, peel another layer of your self imposed anonymity. Ah, but what did you think of dead things? Was it too risqué?

I’ve discovered a lovely new word: limn.

B.

P.S.

I thought the man in Hope Gangloff’s painting might be you. As you will never send me a picture (nor I to you), I have given you this face and the lackadaisical posture to match the mood that you say has taken you. I hope the boredom has passed, because really there isn’t anything worse than being bored. It’s fucking worse than pain. I know this.

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Reading Walden

I started reading Walden a couple of days ago. Period.

I’ve just been reading a little at a time. It’s crazy how many books I’ve read but if you ask me about some of them I sort of remember what they said and try to use that to show that I know about them or have read them, but you can see I don’t really know about them, like in the Socratic way someone would know something.

Socrates, I read in Proust and the Squid, was not in favor of writing because among other things he said reading things would give people the illusion of knowledge. Now we have it to the extreme, with iPhones we are all cyborgs. I don’t have one yet, but I wouldn’t turn down a free one. But with an iPhone, or a smartphone actually, any smartphone, is what I mean, with one of those things you have the knowledge of humanity in easy reach, almost as easy and in some cases easier than retrieving knowledge from your own brain. But we don’t really know a whole lot. Or at least I don’t. And I don’t even have a smartphone so I’m really fucked.

Anyway, I think I have mentioned that part of Proust and the Squid before, because that’s pretty much the only thing I remember from reading that whole book. It’s amazing the amount of things I have learned from books and then quickly forgot, or maybe not even quickly, even slowly forgot, until I pick that book up again and read the whole thing and remember and think damn if I had only remembered that instead of forgetting it.

So I’m trying to read slowly and really internalize what I’m reading.

I was thinking for this post I should look up the context that this journal was written in and really have an understanding about this shit, but then I said fuck it. There does happen to be some interesting context written on the jacket. It seems that Thoreau died in obscurity and his journals were discovered later as works of importance. That’s what the cover seems to imply.

It says to wit that he was born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts, the son of a pencil manufacturer. He graduated from Harvard and started teaching, but then gave it up because “of the stern methods he was expected to undertake.” I don’t really understand what that means but I guess he just thought the shit was too rigid or something. Apparently he tried his hand at various jobs, started writing journals, and was close friends or at least in “a close relationship” with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was older than him and had property at Walden Pond. When Thoreau was 28 he built a cabin on that property and published Walden nine years later, and it was “received poorly.” Then he died at forty-five years old in “relative obscurity.”

In the front description of the book it says Thoreau rejected the tenants of the industrial revolution and he searched for something more meaningful than materialism. This of course is very interesting for us today who are so affected by the industrial revolution that we do not even know in what ways we are or are not or how we would be different if it had never happened, and so on until there was no internet.

What did I know about this book before I read it? Well, a lot more than I do about most books I guess, which is nothing. I knew that it said somewhere that he went into the woods in order to live life deliberately, and by that I guess he meant he went in there to do everything the way he wanted to do it, to have a reason for doing everything instead of waking up and shaving because that’s what your dad did.

What else? I think he says “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” but that might be Emerson. Anyway I see it on the side of a bank sometimes. Also I know that people who are libertarians like the book, and park rangers and people who like to do things themselves and independent people and a lot of patriotic people sometimes say something about it, and I know that Thoreau is considered somewhat of a philosopher, at least enough that my parents would mistrust anything he had to say since it would obviously be outside of God’s divine plan.

I know Walden was a pond, or didn’t I know that before I read the jacket? I don’t know. I know something about, well I heard this thing at one point in my life I don’t know when but I’ve always thought about it and never done it, something about he avoided making a path to his door either purposefully or with his feet over time, because he thought that one should always be trying new roads and paths in order to experience life more broadly. That’s the general memory I have of someone saying something like that to me once that, if I don’t examine it, becomes sort of like a belief that I have about the book and about life in general, some background thought that affects my life in some unconscious, subtle way once in a while.

Well, I think that’s all I thought I knew about the book before I started reading. My general list of assumptions about the book.

I’m up to page thirty or something like that, where he’s talking about how cheaply he built his house in the woods and how expensive it is for the students of Cambridge College to be housed in less luxurious rooms and how they don’t even have the advantage of having built the place they are living in, and so cannot fully appreciate it. He’s talking about how people don’t learn anything. He says instead of a student taking a bunch of metalurgy classes, he should just go make his own knife by digging ore out of the ground and smelting it and so on. But instead his father buys him a knife and sends him to school and pays dearly for both with money and therefore with time spent earning the money and therefore with pieces of his life, all of which the student has no connection with and therefore benefits little.

Thoreau’s writing in this book is highly quotable, and it’s hard to feel like you’re getting everything he says because almost every sentence is memorable.

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.

I mean that right there is a great line. But the problem with that line is that it starts a thought that continues for four more lines, which are all bad ass, so it’s hard to remember how effective it is as a punchy one liner. Observe:

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives; some such account as he would sent to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me.

Alright and that’s on page one so…shit. At this point I’m thinking, this mother fucker is like thirty years old right now, writing like that. Talking about what he, on his side, requires of every writer. He thinks enough of himself to require some shit from another writer. I don’t know that shit is blowing my mind right now. It’s like I was thinking about Don Draper on Mad Men the other day, because I was catching up on the episodes, and I was thinking, that dude commands respect, he just is…well he’s just old. Like he’s not growing up. The thing too with that character is that he’s not grown up, he hasn’t figured life out at all, but then I guess you never do, but he just somehow acts like he has and why the fuck haven’t you? Stay out of my office with your childish crap. Hm but that’s just probably some weird connection that makes no sense, I’ll work on it.

Anyway he’s already talking about living sincerely, so that makes me think of Linus in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the great pumpkin, talking about how sincere is the pumpkin patch. And mother fuckers just aren’t sincere any more. Everyone is ironic and sarcastic and evasive. I sure as hell am. But anyway, I’ll continue.

The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They have no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra’s head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.

Alright now we’re only page two and this mother fucker is dropping it like it’s hot. He’s talking about the normal existence of old time industrial revolution slaves going to work every day and hating themselves, not accomplishing shit. And how well he writes, and for no one but himself, really. This is some journal type shit. I guess he was writing for the townspeople of New England. I don’t know. But I didn’t even know Iolaus had a name. See so we’re already learning some Greek shit up in here. I mean I guess most people know about the hydra, or learned about it sometime. The hydra had a million heads or something and Hercules was hacking away at them…shit you know what I just realized I only really know this story because I saw the cartoon movie Hercules. Ha! Shit. Fuck I should have paid attention in high school. Anyway, the more he chops this son of a bitch up the more heads come up and you’re like damn Herk that shit obviously ain’t going to work! So apparently this Iolaus mother fucker rolls up with a blow torch or a hot iron as it were and seals the heads as Hercules chopped them. But these poor townspeople got to go to work every day and move in the same way and all that like in a Charlie Chaplin movie.

Alright fuck, every line is gold so I’ll just randomly skip some of them.

How can he [humans] remember well his ignorance—which his growth requires—who has so often to use his knowledge?

So basically if you don’t have time for leisure because you’re always working on something then you’ll never realize that there are a lot of things which you have never thought of and only by thinking of those things can you grow…or at least you have to realize that you don’t know a lot before you know what you know…or something like that. Ah fuck it why am I trying to explain it, just read it again.

I definitely feel this next line. I used to tell my brothers about debt and how they should avoid it. I was like, well every time I spend a dollar on a coffee or something stupid, I’m stealing that dollar from my creditors, because I owe them more every month than I make. Thoreau says:

Some of you…are poor…I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live…

Ha, and to continue with his description of the state of the world as he sees it in the common New Englander:

Talk of a divinity in man! Look at the teamster on the highway, wending to market by day or night; does any divinity stir within him? His highest duty to fodder and water his horses! What is his destiny to him compared with the shipping interests?

And then it gets really interesting as he starts to talk about people’s opinions of themselves. And here’s where I really relate to the text.

See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.

That’s a great one-liner in there, too, covered up by the genius of the whole description: Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. If I could just think of myself as being a good person, a nice person, a worthwhile person, which is how I act like I think of myself, well then life would just be better. Somehow I always thought you could just fake it till you make it. I’ve been told that a million times. Not happy? Smile, if you act happy, you’ll become happy.

Here there is also another connection to Don Draper (sorry, I’m obsessed with him. There was some article or TV clip my friend was telling me about last year that said, “I wish everyone would stop talking about their imaginary friend Don Draper.”). Draper is a big shot and no one would argue with that, but on the inside he’s still Dick Whitman and he hates himself for it. So in public he’s got it all, but he’s very unhappy because of his own private opinion of himself.

Then there’s another incredible line, which I can’t even comprehend at all but I know means something awesome:

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

As what’s her name would say in that one movie, “As if!” Well shit I just talked about that the other day, how if you had eternity you could kill a trillion years and still have the same amount of time left, which is just the opposite of this seriously legit one liner. Like I said, don’t really understand why not, I’ll keep thinking about it.

This is obviously too long now so I’ll leave it at that. And I’m up to page five. I’ll leave you with this:

It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

I Just Wanna Say This

Well, spring is the mischief in me and in the world so it seems. That is all.

There are so many colors outside now. And the whole week is supposed to be nice, nice, very nice. Yesterday was cold and wet and I took the bus to work instead of riding the bike. Big mistake there. The bus was late getting here and then I ended up taking a cab back from work because the next bus was in 96 minutes. 96 minutes. How does that even work?

That reminds me of a newish thing I hate. It’s funny that I hate it because people say it when they hate or don’t understand something. I hate when people say, “Really? REALLY?” Everyone is at it now. It makes me want to say, “Really?” to them for saying “really.”

The bus situation would have been a perfect occasion for me to say “Really?” And that’s why I thought of the fact that I hate when people say that. Recently Leo from Zen Habits wrote a post about anger stemming from selfishness. Like if you get mad at someone for doing something then you’re just imposing your expectations on a world that obviously doesn’t conform to your expectations even half of the time. In light of that of course I’m just being childish when I expect the bus to come more than once every god damn hour and a half.

Yesterday when I got to work I was like, “Shit man I left my house at 9:30 and just got here at 10:30.” And this new dude at work says, “Well I left my house at 8:30.” Well I’m like shit why do you live so god damn far away? Because this mother fucker drives to work. I’m like damn man you practically decimated the ozone on your way into work every morning. Haha but of course we’re all at work on that one, or maybe it’s a conspiracy. But anyway, I guess you could counter by saying well shit the economy is such a bitch that people have to drive two hours to get a restaurant job! To which I’d say bullshit. The economy is depressed as Eeyore out this mother fucker that’s true, but restaurant jobs are everywhere. But maybe I’m lying to everyone. It did take me a while to find this one. And the general manager drives down from New Hampshire every day. I really don’t think it’s necessary but I could be wrong. Anyway if I had to drive two hours to get to the nearest job, you know what I’d do? I’d fucking move! AKA if I didn’t have any money I’d sleep in the employee bathroom. Fuck driving two hours to work every day.

Yeah but anyway. What the hell was I talking about in this bee-itch. Oh well it’s pretty obvious to certain readers that I have had a lot of coffee today. I try to get down on coffee, like I try not to drink it. I don’t know why, I hear bad things about it and I have a fear of addiction. And GF is definitely addicted. Not crazy addicted but she needs to have it every morning. So just a normal American. But to me that’s scary. I am not reinforced by that. I read a blog post somewhere about how coffee works, some blog about keeping your health or something…shit how did I even find that blog? But anyway it just blocks the chemical that triggers your body to go to sleep from getting into your brain somewhere, so in essence it doesn’t do anything for you, or that’s what the post was trying to posit. And I agree with that from a purely materialistic standpoint. And I usually try to think of things in purely materialistic terms. I have been thinking of cutting that shit out…materialistic thinking that is…but I’ll talk about that later maybe.

But anyway, when I drink too much coffee I feel really great for a little while. Maybe I do crash later and that’s why I am afraid to drink to much of it. But you know what I do when I don’t drink coffee? I crash the whole day. Ok no I don’t crash all day. I just stay at the same level all day. Maybe I’m bi-polar.

Here I found that blog post about caffeine.

Hey while we’re talking about other people’s blogs, here’s a reference:

Q: What do you say to somebody you just murdered for talking to much?

A: Well you’re DEAD now. So SHUT UP.

Oh good Christ that is some funny shit right there.

Hoo damn well it’s nice as a bitch outside and I am sitting in here like a mad man. I was rereading Kurt Vonnegut’s Man Without a Country. It gave me so much joy to read it. I feel everything that he says. The world is so fucked so let’s all laugh and dance, he says, and you can really get behind it because he is a very kind person and he never says fuck or shit and he’s smart and old and wise, even though he’s DEAD now.

Ah but it made me think maybe I should just stop reading new books and just reread the ones I’ve already read that were really good. I think that would be a satisfactory way of avoiding the feeling that I’m missing out on everything.

I’m listening to Charlie Parker now because I read most of Blues People about three times but I still haven’t gotten all the way to the very end. I’m like ten pages away and I put it down to read something exciting I saw at the library. And I’ve got this damn book from the library that will probably make it impossible for me to take new books out since I’ve had it for like three weeks past the due date. I always do that. I don’t see any reason for making a special trip to the library and I haven’t been by there so the book just won’t get returned I guess. But there’s a part of the book where he quotes from an earlier book of his, Cat’s Cradle and he says something like “There was a lot of suffering and misery so I made up lies so that everything would seem to have meaning and everyone could live in peace and happiness.” Something like that. And of course that’s the fake guru Bokonon saying that about Bokononism, which I’ve talked about before.And anyway it’s making me rethink materialism. If I could just convince myself of the lies maybe I could also feel fulfilled.

Well I could go on about whatever now. But I guess I’ll keep this to a somewhat readable length.

Repetition and Metaphors

It kicks like a sleep twitch. I just been listening to a few songs on repeat, yesterday and today.

I listened to The Xx for the first time two days ago with GF on NPR and really liked them so I’ve been playing Crystalize and Angels alternately three times, and then Anyone’s Ghost and Conversation 16 by The National, and then Crystalize and Angels again, and then Papillon by The Editors just to mix it up.

Most of the time I write in silence or else I’ll start to put in lyrics of the songs because I just can’t help it. But I played this little playlist like 10 times yesterday before work and I’m on my way to doing the same thing today.

And I’m doing almost exactly what I did yesterday.

And it’s awesome.

I’ve been really sore from riding my bike to work and apparently a lot of the pain has to do with the bike being too big for me. I’ll let you figure out the metaphor in there.

But other than the fact that it hurts to bend over, working at the bar has been pretty cool. I do have to suppress my ego like a mother fucker as people treat me like a non entity, both on the road and at the bar, but that’s a good exercise anyway.

I finished reading Blown Away by Caitlin Kelly a couple days ago. I meant to get up early today so I could get some reading in but I went to be at 2:30 and just slept through all my 9:30 alarms. I wouldn’t have gotten up if American Express hadn’t called me at 10:30. Thanks guys!

I got enough money this paycheck to almost pay the rent, so that’s good.

I made an omelette with chicken sausage and cheddar and peppers and it made me want to throw up, so that sucks.

I’m going to make some coffee soon, that’s going to be sweet, in a non-literal way.

I’m about halfway through my second reading of Great Expectations. It’s good.

I don’t know, in this part of time I’m feeling less realistic and literal. I feel like expressing my emotions and ideas at this moment all comes out in absurdist bullshit or song lyrics. Fuck it I’ll just go with it for now. It’s working okay anyway.

Live on coffee and flowers.

A List of Things I Did Today

It’s been a wild day. I spent a lot of it outside the house. Most of it up to now. And now we are home and GF is doing yoga to a video and the people downstairs are practically yelling at each other as a means of communication. We can’t wait to move out of here and not hear these people any more.

But whatever. Big deal. Better than having suicide headaches.

I’m kind of hungry now. I went to PS Gourmet Coffee for the first time today and if you haven’t seen their campy ad on TV you’re missing out.

It’s a lot smaller than it looks in that commercial. I hung out there for a while. GF had some meeting and she wanted to go out for lunch in the city so I figured I might as well go with her, even though it meant missing out on some writing time. It’s President’s Day or something so she didn’t have to go to school.

I sat there and read an Irish newspaper article about this owl getting stuck in an SUV on a Florida turnpike and living through the 140 mile ride. And then I read some more about women and guns.

Then we went to this super cool coffee shop called Barrington or something like that.

Then we went to this Thai restaurant called Brown Sugar Cafe. It was awesome. There were fish swimming around.

Then we went grocery shopping. At least that’s over. Trader Joe’s was mobbed with cars.

And now I’m here, trying to get into the writing groove, but all this noise…and shit I don’t know. I’m not feeling it.

From the back heel through the hands you want to be one long diagonal line. Really feel both legs working evenly. Inhale lift the body, exhale vinyasa.

Three Hours of Buzzfeed

Oh yes. Three hours. Straight. Unintended. Just sat down to GF’s computer to write and there was a tab open to Buzzfeed.com. I just had to read this list. Then that list and another fucking list for three fucking hours! Shit!

I did read some interesting articles. On from Esquire all about Ashton Kutcher. And another in The Atlantic all about rich girls and their husbands. And no matter how funny my writing is I’ll probably never laugh at it like I did when I saw this.

And that’s a real bitch. How am I going to be out here trying to be entertaining when there are websites like Buzzfeed everywhere, and The Atlantic and Esquire are posting their articles for free?

Damn it. We’re all writers now. There isn’t just a pile of books somewhere out there that we wish we had all the time in the world to read. Now there’s a whole damn internet that one day of could take us a hundred years to read. And that’s if there wasn’t any dishes to wash in between articles.

Of course we just have to remember that we can’t do everything. To just enjoy the things that we do. Well, shit. It’s easy to forget that. It’s easy to get caught in the maelstrom of interesting things. The whole world is the Party of Special Things to Do.

But I’ve been sitting in this chair for three hours and that’s proven to cause all kinds of shit that’s related to early death and permanent discomfort.

And the longer I sit the harder it is to get up. And the more the confusion and cloudiness returns. I have all kinds of stuff to eat in the fridge, but it’s so far away from this chair and my portal, my rectangle full of the whole god damn world.

So much entertainment can be got for free. You don’t even have to pay for internet. You could just go to the library where you’re surrounded by a universe of information that you’ll never make a dent in. Son of a bitch it all feels like so much nothing.

Live for yourself

You will die in vain

Live for others

You will live again

But this is one twisted kingdom of Jah, so who knows if we can even trust that. Damn it.

Pay no mind, it’s only me feeling like a frenetic jumble of synapses all melting slowly into an oversized overstuffed recliner.

Holy Shit

I’m trying to tell myself that I don’t have to get everything done in a day. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sometimes I feel like life begins when you wake up and ends when I go to work, or when I go to bed, like whatever I have to do in life I have to do it today. I think it’s from always telling myself to carpe diem and thinking I could die at any moment. Well unless you’re going to get crazy and steal some cars and hike the Appalachian Trail and try a back flip off the roof I guess you’re not really living up to your full potential. I guess I’m not living like every day is my last, anyway, so I might as well not think like it.

It’s almost time for me to go to work and I’ve spent the day doing all manner of trivial things that need to get doing and right now I don’t feel that usual sense of accomplishment. I guess some of that has to do with the fact it took going to Comcast and messing with wires for three hours to fix the internet, which I didn’t know was going to be broken today.

It’s funny how I always think of things to write about, and then write them in posts to write about later, but then I never write about them again, because I never really read over the last post, and in fact would probably rather never see my writing again. Until like ten years from now to see what was going on in that year or whatever.

I applied for a credit card today in case I ever need to rent a car or whatever, I should have one, and Capital One keeps sending me offers for a car that “gets you back on track.” Bank of America offers a card that you pay a deposit and that’s your credit limit. Then you use the card, and it builds your credit. So Capital One, well I figured it was some shit like that. Anyway I don’t have any credit cards because they’ve all practically gone to collections so I figured I might need it. Basically for renting a car. I figured I’d get like a two hundred dollar credit limit. They approved my application right away and gave me three thousand dollars. Now what the fuck kind of sense does that make? Don’t they see all my other cards aren’t getting the money they gave me back? Well, I suppose they hope to make enough in interest, as the rate goes to 22 percent in November. I guess they figure if they can keep me paying minimum payments for three years before it goes into collections they can get a thousand dollars or something. I don’t know but that shit is crazy.

Soon as I saw the number I was like…oh shit…I’m going to the Caribbean motherfuckers! Hell yeah getting my tiki on bitches! Shit I probably will, these dumb bastards giving me three thousand dollars. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve eve seen. Not really.

But yeah, shit, just wanted to roll up on here and type some shit out real quick and let ya’ll know I’m alive, I know you missed the rambling these last two days.

This world is crazy.

I got mad preparations to undertake for tomorrow and I’m not even doing anything that fancy. I’m putting together a tart from a recipe by Once Upon a Tart, that pastry shop in New York. And we don’t even have reservations to the place we want to go to, we’re hoping to just sit at the bar. That shit could be a complete disaster. But anyway I took the night off, which is something I haven’t done for years so, how bad could it be.

My reading time has really taken a cut with this riding the bike thing, since I can’t read like I did on the bus. Shit. And the customers are really starting to get on my nerves, and I’ve been off work for four days. Yesterday was the first day back. So that’s not a good sign. I better drink some coffee or something today. Shit I thought I was over substance dependence but I guess not. I wish I could drink margaritas on the job. I’m really about to start bringing a flask.

But shit I don’t have a flask and I can’t buy anything until mid-March, since I won’t hardly make enough in the next paycheck to pay my rent and then the one after that is already ear-marked for student loans and credit card payments.

Fuck it I’ll put it on the new card.

Be easy, ya’ll. I love you.

Stat Junkie

It was clear that these people were swingers of some kind, sodomites up from L.A. for the weekend. There was talk of orgies and flogging, and also of calling the baby sitter and getting back in time for the Rams game. One of the women asked me what I thought about Ed Meese, the new attorney general.

“He’ll get you,” I said. “You’ll all be in jail before long.”

She backed away and stared at me. “What are you?” she muttered, “Some kind of creep?”

“I am the night manager of the O’Farrell Theatre,” I said, “the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America. I am the final authority on these things. I know the face of decadence.”

Hunter Thompson wrote that in October of 1985. In his early days, he would type whole manuscripts of great writers just to see what it felt like to write those words. The Great Gatsby and I think some Hemingway, but I might be wrong about that. It feels good to write those words. Especially, “I know the face of decadence.” And, “He’ll get you.” I don’t know why this is funny, I guess because I can just see him walking up to these cats in front the elevator in the middle of the night, and they’re asking him about Ed Meese, who he no doubt knows all about, being a politics junkie, and he tells them he’s the night manager of O’Farrell Theatre, for no reason at all.

When I read Thompson I like to listen to Bob Dylan. He liked Dylan and so do I. He was a self proclaimed politics junkie. He said following politics and being a part of it was a rush better than sex. A habit worse than heroin.

I found I have a problem, too. I’m turning into a stat junkie. I check my stats all the time to see how many people have looked at my blog since I was last here. Sometimes I just write a post lately so people will look at it and like it. That’s not a road I want to go down. I want this to be about more than stats. Although I do love cataloguing and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And maybe stat checking has something akin to that. But I’m running out of things to write about because I’m not putting more things into my head because I’m trying to get home and read the new comments and check the new stats and so on. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, nothing drastic. I guess I’m just going to make an effort to read more and take more stuff in and all that. Live in the moment and whatnot.

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.