Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quite a bit of rain has fallen on me. Not heavy rains, but soft whispering rains that pester me from just over my shoulder even as I see sunlit parts of my city in the distance. Middling rain or heavy rain is my preference as I ride my motorcycle. Light rain strikes the ground and the ground spits back a mist that blurs the face shield of my helmet, turning my field of vision into one metastasizing cataract.

Heavier rain beads nicely, obedient to the laws of hydrodynamics, and rolls away. Light rain mist will gather into a stray droplet, tear-like, and trickle leisurely along. These drops tend to surprise me. There have been slow-waking misty mornings where I startle and for an instant, think they are my own tears. Heavy rains are more polite, and almost never toy with my emotions.

I cut a piece of a windshield wiper and I meant to attach it to my wet-weather gloves, but I never did. I don't know where the piece is now. But I know where there are windshield wipers.

* * * *

I've not written much on ye old blog. I'd like to say I've been very busy working on the screenplay for Murk, but the agencies have blacklisted me after I Rick-Rolled the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. How did I manage it? Simple enough. I merely kidnapped his son and claimed that I was "never gonna give him up" alive if Rick didn't meet my demands.

Works every time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shoe of Freedom
Carry my soul with yours
Crack the pale forehead
And let all the air inside
Escape into the atmosphere
Where it might actually do some good

Monday, November 24, 2008

Given the meteoric success of the Twilight series (essentially a Harlequin Romance novel about star-crossed lovers whose conflicts are vampire-related instead of the traditional physical and substance abuse problems), I've been pitching my idea for a novel to various publishers.

Here goes: Our teenage protagonist, Moola McEverygirl, has moved from the bustling city of Tucson, Arizona, to Laketown, Minnesota to work out her father issues with her father. Moola is modestly hot girl, the kinda sorta hot that comes from being average-looking when most other peers are still hip-deep in the awkward-looking teenage phase. Moola enrolls in the local high school. She notices an attractive, muscular, guy with pale skin, dark hair, and a slightly green complexion. His name is Puddles Killington and all the girls are in love with him because he is so aloof and mysterious and vaguely described that he is easily projected upon.

Moola and Puddles are instantly attracted to each other and proceed to be extremely awkward about everything. One particularly awkward day, Moola, who is a terrible driver, loses control of the up-armored humvee her father purchased from the Army surplus store and drives it into a lake.

Suddenly, all of a sudden, and out of nowhere, Puddles appears underwater and pushes her vehicle back onto land. That's right; Puddles Killington and his family are Nessies. They moved to Minnesota from Loch Ness to live among humans and go to high school...for some reason. The Killington Family is different than other Nessies because they refuse to pose for blurry photographs.

Moola and Puddles are awkward and uncertain, but they know they are in love because it says so in the book. Puddles is much older than Moola, from a time when women couldn't vote or own land and it was still legal to beat your wife, but he and Moola have some of the same CD's and they're both in high school so they are in love.

Puddles has a hard time expressing his feelings, and the situation is made more difficult because The Council of Nessies has forbidden relationships between humans and Nessies because it is deemed too stupid. It would be like dating a very rich Furry. And sex between humans and Nessies is not forbidden, but the Council released a pamphlet warning against it because Nessies have extremely cold penises, which makes sense because their entire bodies are ice-cold and it would be weird. And also the point of vampires drinking blood was a metaphor for the relationship between men and women so when you add sex to the mix their is little point in it.

Still, cold penises are just weird. I believe the Urban Dictionary defines a chilled erection as an "ice pick", which is very difficult for most males to achieve. Urban Dictionary does not really define it as such, but it should.

What? Oh, and there are other problems. The local Minnesotan Native Americans that live on the lake have an ancient grudge against the Nessies because the native people are really...Bigfoots. They fight each other for control of territory, but neither side has ever won because Bigfoots can't live in lakes very well, and Nessies have no interest in living in the forest and eat fish anyway. Anyway, arbitrary magical blood-feud!

Then Moola becomes attracted to a local Bigfoot, because the Bigfoot represents the archetypal burly, ruggedly handsome guy that is warm-blooded and your own age, while the Nessie represents the effeminate, hip male that might possibly wear women's jeans and is given to feeling conflicted when deciding between listening to Chopin or My Chemical Romance for the next month.

The conflict of the first book, Murk, and the rest of the series, New Tide, Rip Current, and Breaking Wave, will be basically the same. Moola wants something from Puddles, Puddles can't or won't give it to her, the Bigfoot offers Moola what she wants, Moola can't choose, and Puddles family and Bigfoots fight the whole time.

At the time you the publisher decide that the series has become unprofitable, Moola will pick one or the other and live happily ever after with her magical baby, Alia the psychic daughter from the Dune series.

After all the books are written, I will re-write the first book from Puddles's point of view. I predict the book will go on record for every sentence ending with a question mark.

Thank you for your time. Please notify me immediately, and I will accept my advance in cash.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ender and Remy purchased their first comics the other day. They loved the comic shop. Ender got a "kids" comic that had Spiderman, Iron Man, and Hulk attempting to dog-sit Cerberus, the three-headed guardian of Hades. Remy got a Speed Racer: The Next Generation or some such thing. It's a promising start, and I was much relieved when Remy put back the Veronica (from Archie fame)that he had been poring over.

Their intelligence surprises me. The concept of teaching is unraveling in my head. I don't feel I've really taught them anything, except perhaps how to swim, but they sure are doing stuff like counting and saying parts of the alphabet. I credit PBS for most of that.

I think I'll hunt down some of the old school programs. Mr. Rogers must have a hand in raising them. And Bill Nye. And I can't leave out Levar Burton.

The great intellectual explorers of my time spoke to me, the viewer, in a way no other adults were at that time. And they're still there, to speak to my nephews about science, literature, and being a good neighbor.

I still need them too. I know there is much I've forgotten.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The spicy email I wrote earned me a phone call, in which I spoke to a reasonable human being and we discussed matters far and wide. Well, almost entirely reasonable. The woman I spoke with brought up armed assaults on campuses and religiously-motivated attacks.

The letter was baited with words that throw up the blinders of ignorance for many people. My reference to Allah was cited as "threatening". This saddened me, because anybody with a passing familiarity with the Muslim faith, or even someone who has seen The 13th Warrior, knows that there is only one god, so it's absurd to say something like "God of gods" in the same breath as Allah.

She was concerned that the letter is threatening, although when I asked her to point out any specific examples of threats she was at a loss.

She told me that she had read the email to her husband over the phone and that he had demanded she forward it to him so he'd have evidence in case any harm came to her. I laughed and suggested he email me if he has any questions.

So it's making the rounds, I assume. I am disappointed she found it threatening. I conceded that there are jokes, and as a person who jokes, I am responsible if I am not funny. So not funny, I can confess up to that, if I must. The most adorable part of the conversation was when she chastised my use of swear words. She would begin to read certain phrases, falter at the swears, and then press valiantly on.

It really was cute. "I can't believe you'd put this in an email," she said.

I really enjoyed talking to her. I liked her a lot. I thanked her for her call, and when she asked me to "drop it" I said sure.

She had one other request during our talk. She told me I should use my writing powers for good.

I'm all for that, of course. But I'm a freelance do-gooder, and sometimes they're just not hiring.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

In Which I Conduct a Sortie In The War of the Internets

Dear Bri,

I am surprised to hear from you in these circumstances. I believe the first and last time we met was during the Buddy Ambassador training I attended with Luis. I apologize for my poor moral standards and lowly ways. Perhaps it is a reflection of my own poor education, excluding my formative years at Mountain Pointe, of course.

I do appreciate the call my mother received from the school informing us to handle it "in the family". My mother has an incredibly easy life and I relish the terror inflicted upon her whenever a school "official", such as they are, calls her and claims that I am threatening to abort my siblings somehow. However, I am disappointed that you did not draw attention to the latent homosexual and incestuous subtext I nestled in the phrase about "selling people eggs and charging them for the price of an entire chicken" to paraphrase myself.

So thank you for frightening my mother so. She is certainly the person to call when two brothers, both adults, who see each other every day, say offensive things on the internet. Your righteous Crusade against internet depravity is a blessing to us all, and I hope that you don't rest on your laurels now that you've foiled my plans. There are so many others out there to stop, so many children suffering unspeakable sassings at the hands of those who claim to be loved ones. I applaud you, and may Allah (God of Gods) show me the mercy that you have shown me.

If you wish, I can send my disturbing comments to you first before I post them on Luis's Facebook. For example, I was thinking of saying this:

"Dear Luis, when you were in the womb I tried to abort you with one of the vacuum cleaner attachments."

I'm proud of that one, because it lacks the subtlety and sarcasm that seems to provide your administrators with so much trouble.

To summarize, I am angry to the point of sarcasm with any and all people involved in bullying my mother. She was and still is incredibly afraid that this will begin some kind of CPS witch hunt, and more than that she is genuinely cowed by the school system. I believe the whole thing is funny and a waste of your time. My mother responds with a child-like dread of going to the principal's office. It is sad for me to watch the people involved scare her like this. I love my mother, but she doesn't always understand the jive-talking of the youth of today. So when someone tells her I'm writing about harming my younger brother, she believes them. I don't think any of you (you meaning teachers/staff/students) thought of the repercussions of such an accusation. It is my suspicion that you are compelled to act upon internet "threats" because they leave such a clear trail. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and verbal abuse are notoriously difficult to prove, and even so what happens, counseling? I understand that this is a matter you deal with in your care of your students, our children and siblings, and I believe you (still meaning teachers/staff/students) are acting in what you believe to be in the best interest of Luis's education and welfare. I respect your motives.

But that doesn't mean this whole business isn't fucking retarded. (Fucking retarded meaning I don't think anyone actually read it and understood it and I would love someone to go through and explain the offensive bits.) In fact, I know they didn't understand. The only one that can understand it is Luis, because that is who the message is meant for. It was sent in an arguably public forum, and Facebook has its own protocol for handling account harassment. Not to mention Luis can actually delete unwanted comments from view. Shocking, these technologies.

I guess I'm giving you hell through the details, but that's because I am something of a bastard whenever I feel that someone is trying to censor my writing. You're allowed to not like it, certainly. Expecting me to conform to some arbitrary standards of conduct is futile.

Schools love policies, and I have yet to be shown what policy I am violating, and if so, what jurisdiction, if any, high school officials have over me. Will I not be allowed to come to the 10 year reunion? Do I get detention? No, so far all I've gotten are vaguely threatening phone calls and letters to my mother.

I get angry when anyone distresses my mother.

In writing this, and in being honest and candid and even trying to be funny (certainly debatable), I understand that I am perhaps escalating the situation. Nonetheless, I must insist that you desist or else...I'll write yo mama jokes on Luis's Facebook wall, and when you read them you'll know they're about you.

But now you have my email address. I can be reached at the same number as Luis, 602-438-1286, from 8am to 5pm which is when I am taking care of my twin nephews (the ones Luis is always talking about) and hanging out with our dog, The Noobers.

Any problems you have with me (of which now I'm sure you have many) would best be addressed to me directly. If y'all scare my moms again, I'm gonna get heated. Then, as I said, I will openly mock yo mamas until the cows come home. Because what else could I do? If people are going off their gut feelings, I'll respond the same way. I've got lots of time to waste on stuff like this. And it is a waste.

I'm sure we'll see each other again, and we should at least be civil. You know how Luis hates it when we fight.

Your rowdy scientist,

Guillermo "Memo" Lopez
Mountain Pointe Alumnus; Class of 2000
Go Pride (even though lions are terrible animals; the male has a harem, he doesn't hunt, and kills any babies that aren't his)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pictures For Sad Children.

This comic captures many of my life views in a hilarious ways.

And I can't stop singing this:

Monday, November 03, 2008

John R. has coerced me into participating in National Novel Writing Month. Or Nano Wrimo, if you will.

I started off strong with three whole pages. Technically the daily goals are set in word counts. I do not dwell on technicalities.

Other events in the internet world have sidetracked me. My mother called in a state of panic usually reserved for blind people at an electric car rally. (They can't hear them, you see.) She was concerned because I was making fun of my little brother Luis on Facebook. Luis is in the Special Education program, and it isn't uncommon for him to check his various accounts at school. Also, under the Patriot Act, government institutions are granted access to social networking accounts, private or public, and use them in their investigations.

I'm no expert on these particular shenanigans. I've heard of cases in which prospective employers search social networking sites for information on a prospective employee, which is understandable. Employers can no longer rely on a dumb email address to tip them off. I recall a job application that had an email listed as something like "busty1117". My boss threw that one right in the trash.

The difference with state and federal dudes is that they can check any account, regardless of the privacy settings the user requested. It's legal, and not unexpected. Given my classification as unskilled labor, it may not matter as much to me, but I've seen the impact of such attacks based on what most people would consider standard college photos, and in truth, a growing trend among Disney child stars.

I digress. My mother had been contacted by the school saying my statements went "too far" and that she would be receiving a letter. My mother is a teacher and she sees school officials as actual authorities, like police or something. She's also fairly conservative herself. I asked her what I had written that had bothered her and she didn't actually remember. School administrators had read it to her over the phone, in a stern tone, no doubt. This is what I assume they read:

Hey little brother, I know I joke around a lot, and I usually avoid talking about my feelings. So here goes: I don't love you and never have. I hated you as soon as you were conceived, but I could only complain about you to anti-abortionists, since they believe human life begins at conception. It works out well for me, I sell them eggs and charge them for the price of an entire chicken.

But yeah, I don't care about your special needs or whatever because you're a jerk and that has yet to be proven as a part of your syndrome. Also, your dog is ugly and when I see his face I want to throw up, and I usually do.

Also, your little info box says it's almost spring break and that is a lie. You are a liar.

Too far? I say it doesn't go too far enough.

I find the administrator's need to confront my mother about what I've written on the internet to my little brother as a puzzling use of their resources. I imagine their is some appeal to charges of internet abuse. Actual verbal, physical, and sexual abuse is much more difficult to investigate and even harder to prove. Facebook harassment, however, is far more convenient. The site even has a little news feed.

I am happy that my writing is getting some attention. Finally! I get to be misunderstood in my own time! Every artists dream. If I keep this up, I may even get censored! Then I'll write a book about Luis. It will be like Marley and Me, that book about the dog that ruins everything. All I really have to do is replace the word "dog" with "boy" and "Marley" with "Luis".

I wonder if they'll make a movie about it. I wonder who will play me?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm considering riding my motorcycle to New Mexico to support the Obama campaign next weekend. Simply put, I received an invitation and I am interested. A long ride in pleasant weather, a chance to go somewhere I've never been, and a participation in Democracy.

Voting is important, yes, but the guys on top vote on stuff that we, as "the governed" scream about. I've lived in Phoenix, Arizona for my entire life and I'm all over the place. Yet, I have never ever seen my senators, or members of my congress, or any of my governors, face-to-face, hand-to-hand, in person.

So I assume they don't know my feelings about how I am governed. How hard have I worked to tell them?

Democracy rests on educating myself and my fellow citizens. If I choose not to vote but I don't even know what I'm not voting for, that is not freedom. That is a prison with no bars.

If I learn a bit, just a little bit, enough to perhaps feel that I might like or dislike it, even if my opinion has all the passion of choosing no onions on my In'N'Out hamburger, I have become an actor in how I wish to be governed.

My elected officials are the hands and the mouthpiece, but I, ha, I am the feet and I am the voice.

And now, I'm also the wheels. Only two wheels, but that's all I need.

If any other bikers interested in Phoenix are interested in going for a ride around the city, perhaps wearing shirts to support our political interests, let me know.

I mean all political interests. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Calvinists. Any political philosophy is better on two wheels.

I intend to vote for Obama at this point, but I would have voted for McCain in 2000. I liked McCain. But it didn't matter, because I didn't vote. I figured the Republican nominee would win in Arizona like he usually does. I didn't care for President G. W. Bush then, but I'm not happy I was proven right. Great presidents bring America together, not divide us further. They should sit on high and cast their eye about like Sauron. Then point us in the right direction. We are the governed Americans, and as always, we will work the jobs and we will fight the wars and we will solve the problem.

We are the governed. Our elected officials are the hands and the mouthpiece, but we are the feet and we are voice.

I can only speak for me, I know, but I believe my hope is a shared one. Whatever happens in this election, and the next one, and the many more I see stretching out into the future for the United States of America, I will be ready.

Happiness is not guaranteed to any of us. But I will be free.

photo credit: David Malki at

Friday, October 24, 2008

Times are hard. Times are so hard that Stephen Hawking has gotten a part-time job making robo-calls.

Times are hard in Afghanistan as well. In response to the shutdown of Lehman Brothers on Wall Street, the world's largest producer of cocaine has been burning its own cocoa fields due to a massive surplus. It's known in high school economics as "creating false demand" and it's what the US does with crops in order to drive up prices. Finally, those terrorists are starting to embracing Capitalism.

Times are so hard that my collection notices include a polite request for a stamp so they can mail me again next month.

Times are so hard that Joe the Plumber is voting for Obama after business closures disrupt his hourly fix of Krispy Kreme.

Times are hard.

Blackwater, the mercenary corporation employed by the US, which gained notoriety for operating in an ethical black hole because they aren't under the jurisdiction of the US military or Iraqi security forces, has also felt the pinch. They've been forced to cut costs on fuel and ammunition by just firing a few shots into the air when they enter a villages, and then heading straight out. Most Iraqi villagers are pleased by this new display of fiscal responsibility by the mercenaries, and expect to see a rise in their own quality of life. The primitive peoples have a surprisingly astute grasp of financial theory. The consensus of tribal elders describe the loss of work time due to rebuilding their village and burying their children as "unsustainable".

Times are so hard that Dick Cheney asks for proof of insurance before he shoots you in the face.

Times are so hard, everyone invited to President Bush's global financial summit is expected to bring their own chairs. A potluck brunch is also planned, but reports that Russia is bringing its legendary Tundra Juice* have not been confirmed. >>>UPDATE: Nineteen of the G20 Industrial Nations showed up with only paper plates and plastic forks. The crisis was averted by Canada, who brought enough for everybody. "Socialist dummies," President Bush was heard to mumble through a mouthful of pancakes with real maple syrup.

*a concoction of melted snow, vodka distilled inside a live wolf, and chilled by the tears of Stalingrad's war widows, which never melt.

Republicans and their faith in self-correcting markets are widely believed responsible for the current financial "Nine Eleven". But I believe they were well aware and well prepared for the crisis. Evidence for this is right in our phone bills, in the fine print that reads "In the event of national and global economic collapse, a 7% tax will be charged to cover the cost of eavesdropping on your conversation."

The infamous "Gitmo" has moved to reduce the status of detainees from "enemy combatants to "those shifty brown fellows", which in Cuba allows for even worse treatment. Spokeswoman for the prison, Dr. Crimla Shimshanks, claims that it is an attempt to reduce costs by decreasing the amount of food, water, and vitamin C. Dr. Shimshanks stated that it meets the minimum requirements agreed upon in the Geneva Convention after the second World War. However, in a stunning display of independent jouralism, Presidential underdog candidate Jaclyn Backhaus discovered that she was referring to a different historical global conflict, determining the proper treatment of prisoners in the (ongoing) war between gerbils and guinea pigs.

When Jaclyn's running mate* confronted the Doctor with these facts and expressed concern that human beings cannot live on a guinea pig's diet, Shimshanks retorted "But look how shifty they are!"

*Jaclyn's selection for her running mate,
The Road by Cormac McCarthy, was vaulted into the spotlight after being made into a film starring Viggo Mortensen. Support for the post-apocalyptic yarn about a man struggling to maintain his humanity while protecting his young son was a surprise to many who were expecting Ms. Backhaus to choose No Country For Old Men, an older book by Cormac McCarthy with more experience, although just as bleak.

Governor Palin wants to increase funding for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for the first time since its inception. She would like to "Require states to demonstrate that their Special Needs education is based on "proven outcomes" and job placement after high school. I also support jobs for retards; I hear that the GOP is already accepting applications for the 2012 vice presidency.

(I was going to say Alaska is looking for a governor but I don't want to offend those guys. I may go there someday and Wasilla courts are very sympathetic to hunters who "accidentally" shoot people whose skin color is similar the color of a moose, or say, a black bear.)

In his 2000 campaign, John McCain gave a speech demanding that religious institutions show temperance and even tolerance towards other faiths, citing examples of both Islamic and Christian leaders whose vitriolic statements and calls to violence threaten human rights and civil liberties. I wish that that 2000 McCain was still running for president.

Oh, a friend who may identify herself if she desires told me a joke: What do Sarah Palin's mouth and her vagina have in common?

Answer: 1 in 5 things that come out are retarded.


I also saw a t-shirt that had her picture on it and the question "Do we really want a vice president that has had a penis in her mouth?"

No, I didn't really see that. But I want to.

Times are hard?

But seriously folks, she claims the media is picking on her, but making fun of Sarah Palin is as easy as a high school student with abstinence-only sex education.

As much as I kid, I'm proud of her nomination by the Republican Party. Senators and church leaders alike envy her, my sources say. A Republican that doesn't have to resort to seedy hotel rooms and airport bathrooms to satisfy a fondness for penis? Perhaps there is hope for the party after all.

It must be strange for them, I imagine, to be fighting so hard against people who would accept that they are homosexual, and not actually hate them for it like the majority of their constituents.

A warning to all my Republican or socially conservative friends that are gay: I will still tease the hell out of you, and maybe even do a sexy dance at you. Jokingly, of course.

Of course, adults can make their own decisions, I guess. What is the saddest is the little kids in church and school, like when I was in Catholic school, who were already clearly gay.

You may be able to fool most people, but at the very least your girlfriend or wife knows. Oh, she knows.

But it's okay to be gay, even if you think it isn't. When human beings suppress their sexuality, especially males across the board from those celibate Catholic priests, to celibate Muslims, and incarcerated felons, they lose perspective. After a while, molesting altar boys or strapping on a bomb or violently raping another male might seem more possible to them than say, guys that have a willing sexual partner and maybe even an emotional relationship.

Where was I? Ah yes, times are hard. Times are so hard that the CIA is extraditing terrorism suspects to the Luxor in Las Vegas and water-boarding them the Bellagio fountains. It's surprisingly lovely, their cries for mercy and claims of just overstaying their student visas sync up nicely with the water spouts.

Times are hard, times are hard.

Airports have begun keeping people's shoes after security checks. Security has suffered in other ways, the police officers have been removed. The safety of each terminal is handled by the guy at the Starbuck's, who in between making lattes shouts out "Achmed!" He is authorized to tackle anyone who looks.

Times are hard, and if I write any longer I won't be able to keep running the refrigerate.

Okay, okay, I'm done. Back to babysitting. Times are hard for them too. Times are so hard the kids have to beat themselves.

How hard are things for you?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some scientific study has determined that the evening is a good time to be creative. The worst times are right after lunch and about four in the afternoon. This correlates with my own experience accomplishing nothing before midnight. Ten at night is the prime time. It's late, but not too late, and most of the dullards are worn out form a hard day's babbling inanities. Quiet and peace.

Today was a good day. My two-year old nephew, Remy, had his tonsils removed last week and is recuperating more slowly than anticipated. His throat still hurts, but there's nothing wrong with his feet so I took he and Ender to the park. I hadn't taken them in some time because subjecting them to the summer heat in Phoenix is borderline child abuse. I have argued in the past that their smaller bodies lose heat much more quickly, but to no avail.

Back when people still watched television, I saw a penguin on tv that lived in Costa Rica inside a refrigerator. When it felt like taking a stroll, the penguin would don a little backpack full of ice.

Well, it didn't put it on itself, I assume whoever installed the doggy door in the fridge had a hand in it.

I'll try that next summer.

The twins found the only mud puddle in the entire park and ran through it with their toy trucks. They seemed genuinely apologetic for getting muddy. I told them that it didn't matter now; they were already muddy and they might as well enjoy it. Which they did. They're only two, so I don't think they understand me well enough to grasp the concept, but I assume once they saw I wasn't upset they figured it was ok. And it is. I don't mind them getting muddy if they don't mind me hosing them off in the backyard.

I foolishly failed to schedule an appointment with my wet-ware tech support (psychiatric nurse practitioner counselor lady) and the chemicals I usually ingest to adjust my neurotransmitters have run out. I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. I feel okay at the moment. It's only been about 48 hours. The only difference I notice is that I am much less drowsy. I intend to request another pill to stop the drowsiness. You know, medicine for the medicine.

I've also been a bit more forgetful but this hasn't really complicated anything more important than the quesadillas I prepared for lunch.

So far so good.

Also of note, I have set up my little writing room. Compy is good to go; I have a table laid out with various journals. Perhaps another little table for the typewriter and I'll be satisfied.

The room is small, but much of the space is still free because I like to sit cross-legged on the floor.

I am pleased. It feels like I have a little pocket in this world to call my own.

Like those damned marsupials. Fortunate bastards; they have no idea how sweet they have it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'd like to endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States. And this isn't a racial thing, even though I hate all races, particularly the human race as well as some of the more devious aquatic mammals.

And I hope this election isn't marred by voter fraud. After all, so many angry, ignorant poor people have houses in multiple states, as well as a desire to undermine this great democracy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tumultuous times. This is that kinda now that nobody really yearns for in the storybooks or the movies. There are no songs about it. It's a warm day with wisps of cool breeze. A sort of dull roar, or just a trembling, in the distance or right beneath our feet. In this now, we poor humans who know only confidence in war or peace, stare out on a blank canvass and wait for inspiration.

I guess I'm not sure what to do either. In my new home, I am a guest. Somewhat by choice, since I lack the possessions to hold the space around me. This would be simpler if I were some other animal, a dog perhaps, and just marked my territory with urine. Got plenty of that. Then, after having done so, I would be thrown out into the yard with a bowl of water and a bleached lawn chair for shade.

A bee stung me the other day. I was riding my motorcycle, as I do, and I hit a bunch of bees. As insects go, they are a fatter more bumbly species and we struck each other like pebbles at a lover's window. One fell down my arm and into my glove, where she stung my wrist. Not much of a sting, more of a love bite. At the next stop light I shook out her broken body onto the asphalt. The sting stung, naturally, but home was not far and I rode the rest of the way before I gave my sting a full inspection.

No radioactive bee powers yet. Or maybe they're just not obvious powers. Perhaps I have a mighty sting, but only one use before it kills me too.

Perhaps I like flowers a little bit more.

Weather will be warm tomorrow, a little cloudy, but being outside in the afternoon will be downright tolerable.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My primary sources for political news are NPR and Youtube. What an age we live in.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ah, this is the life.

Kelly is away for work. My roommates are off camping. My home has been empty this weekend. The noises of the house surprise me still, and as I am quasi-paranoid (meaning I am actually quite paranoid but I am convinced it is only for fun) the creaking of the floorboards and the soft muttering of the door jambs give me pause, much akin to the pause headlights give to deer. Quasi-paranoid, I am, but that doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

All alone, there is much to do but no pressure to actually do it. I could finish reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, or listen to The National in concert on my iPod. Their are weights in the garage that I could lift up and down.

I could go out and socialize, but I did that on Thursday. Kelly and I went over to Donovan and Lauren's to watch the Vice Presidential debate. There was quite a crowd. Lauren made delicious snacks for all and I drank Stella Artois arrogantly and lorded over those drinking Bud Light as I imagine a new step-brothers is supposed to do when said step-brother is clearly better than the other pale, acrid, and watery step-brother.

After that debate, I found myself in another heated exchange, this time concerning hydrogen. I've argued drunkenly enough that I now retain a nagging feeling that I'm completely wrong about most things, but I stood firm, and still do, in insisting that hydrogen is quite abundant on this planet and not terribly expensive to get at.

I'm still quite riled up after that hydrogen business. A quiet weekend at home is just the solution.

Mostly I've been wandering around the house naked. Then that got boring and I made a toga out of my old Star Wars sheet, the one my Godmother gave me when I was little because I loved Star Wars. Miguel says we watched the Star Wars movies over and over when we were little, but I don't remember that.

The sheet isn't big enough to be a toga; It is tied around my waist and then the leftover bit is thrown over my shoulder like a sash. I call it a faux-ga.

Saturday night!

Monday, September 29, 2008

DC made a film. Please do not die until you have at least watched this trailer. Perhaps we can bring you back as a zombie when the movie is released. Just. This. One. Time.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kelly Lopez (nee' Kuntz) and I have been legally married in the state of Arizona. Meg Taylor performed the tiny but lovely ceremony which consisted of Kelly's grandparents and my best pal, Brian Young. A few ducks were also in attendance.

Legally married, I say, but in the Mexican culture there are specific rules for the young males who dare marry outside of the Mexican culture. In order to prove myself strong enough to enter the land of "The Ghost-Faced Smilers" (as we call white people), I must obliterate 50 pinatas, drink a bottle of tequila, and make enough burritos for everyone in attendance. All in the time from when the sun touches the horizon and before it finally sinks into night.

So, tactics become important. Traditional approaches are to drink the tequila in one go, kill the pinatas, and then make all the burritos. However, anyone who has ever drunkenly rolled a burrito will tell you that this is a path to despair.

I tend to think less than traditionally. Thus, I plan to cut down the rope holding the pinatas, run them all over with one pass of my motorcycle, and blend up the tequila into a giant margarita which I will leave unattended while I roll up the burritos.

Nobody will be able to resist stealing some of my delicious margarita and this should finish it enough of it to leave me standing the rest of the night, and strong enough to hunt down and bring back the skin of a chupacabra by dawn.

Kelly and I would like to have the wedding on Halloween of 2009. I haven't fleshed out my wedding party yet, but likely they will be the Justice League or perhaps the Animated Series Batman villains. I will be dressed as Alan Moore.

There will be an open bar, but I don't think it will be a traditional open bar. There will be a massive stockpile of booze and mixers and the only rule will be that you CANNOT pour your own drink. You have to make someone a drink while they make you a drink.

And for those who get too belligerent, I will roofie them and the appropriate costumed character will be photographed over your body.

Oh yes, far less than traditional. Perhaps some choreographed dances, more traditional Mexican feats of honor, and Youtube breaks.

Thank you for all of the loving thoughts and exclamations of confusion. All is exactly as it should be.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The comic that says out loud what we're all thinking.

The comic depicts my plan for the education of my children. As there are so few rainy days here in Phoenix, I will hit them fairly hard and berate them mercilessly until they have no choice but to escape into a world of fantastic literature.

To subscribe to my parenting newsletter, please leave your contact information below.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I still don't have a cell phone. My brain is...changing. I've been having more actual conversations with people. When I speak with others, I'm no longer constantly prepared to respond to something in my pocket. A part of my attention has been freed up, and it wanders around like a will-o-wisp, attracting stray thoughts and keeping them company.

I am able to become more immersed in a conversation, even lost. Often, whomever I'm speaking with receives a communication on their cell phone, breaks eye contact, and responds to it. It only takes a few moments, but when it happens I feel a flash of disorientation that leaves me blinking slowly as if waking from a nap.

The short bursts of communication are common now, and often convenient, but I didn't realize before how much it has altered the way we converse. Cell phone conversations have an average life expectancy of mere minutes. I remember being annoyed when a conversation took more than five minutes and I didn't feel "prepared" for such a lengthy interaction.

I'm regaining the ability to prioritize information. I can't just fire off random thoughts. I still think them, certainly, but over time the least relevant ones drop off because, well, they're what I would have said had I been sharing the same experience with a person, like driving in car together or watching the same film. Cell phones allowed me to have imaginary experiences with people, in a way, that I felt I could always share with them.

But what I'm sharing isn't really sharing. I thought of them, but wherever they were they did not think of me, because they were having a different experience. All my cheerful text messages contained shadows on a wall.

Neal Stephenson, a writer I enjoy immensely, has a few of the same concerns I do, and perhaps we all have felt one time or another. His new book, Anathem, touches upon it, as this interview reveals.

So I'll continue wandering along without that particular technology. Perhaps in fifty years or so, I'll get a cell phone again, just like I had when I was a kid.

For now, I think I'll enjoy the story of my life as much as I can because, as is true of many of the stories we share, to appreciate it, you really had to be there.

Friday, September 05, 2008

An Insider Report on Jaclyn "Don't Stop Believin" Backhaus

So many people have asked me what I know about Jaclyn Backhaus in the last few days that I decided to write something up.

Basically, Jaclyn turned me into a whale. I got better, but I still have a furious addiction to krill-flavored corn snacks.

She claims to be anti-zombie, but I know for a fact that she played a dead woman in a play. The play's message was distinctly pro-undead.

As a supporter of the 90's, she voted to extend the year 1996 for 18 months, which would have cost taxpayers billions, but admittedly would have given us a couple more seasons of Fresh Prince.


* "Hockey mom": No one has ever claimed this.

* "PTA mom": True. Jaclyn was a member of Parental Training for Arthropods, after she inherited her great-grand-uncle's beloved
pet lobster, Jubilance Pinchybottoms the 3rd. After Jubi joined the Canadian Royale Coaste Guarde, she promptly
quit the organization.

* "NRA supporter": Absolutely true. She is known to have received their highest honor, a signed photograph of Charlton
Heston firing a rare gun that instead of bullets shoots out other, smaller guns.

* social conservative: I don't know what these words mean so I will only say MAYBE?

* pro-creationism: Mixed. When asked who created Life As We Know It she was seen only to shrug and share a wink
with a nearby lobster wearing a top hat and monocle.

* "Pro-life": True. Rescued a baby bird from a cat. When others told her that the mother would no longer care for it
because it smelled like a person, she coolly replied that "Birds have a very poor sense of smell." Science supports
her answer, but all agreed that they didn't like her tone.

* "Experienced": There are quotation marks around this one, so I'm assuming it refers to something tawdry and I
refuse to speculate.

* political maverick: Not at all, unless you count that time we got kicked out of a John Tesh concert for
screaming "Tesh/Strongsad '08! Tesh/Strongsad '08! Tesh/Strongsad '08!" through his entire performance of "You Are
The Wind Beneath My Wings".

* gutsy: absolutely!

* open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not
good at explaining actions.

* has a developed philosophy of public policy: I know you are but what am I?

* "a Greenie": no. She is not an easily-digestable eco-friendly snack for dogs or cats.

* fiscal conservative: She's never spent more than she had.

* pro-infrastructure: I assume this refers to all that stuff that holds buildings up, so Yes. I mean, true.

* pro-tax relief: Completely eliminated the state tariffs on tiny top hats and monocles, and slashed property
taxes on all gerbil home construction after 1998.

* pro-small government: Yup. She calls no man mister.

* pro-labor/pro-union. I thought this said "pro-Funion" which is an onion-flavored corn snack. MAYBE?


This is a response to the New York Times Op-Ed, "Jaclyn Backhaus? Really?".

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I believe politics are like World of Warcraft.

Trolls don't care if you call them trolls, elves are going to be pro-bows, and there are as many ways to play as there are players.

Enthusiasm for the game results in higher levels and cooler weapons.

Too much enthusiasm results in cramped hands and a food pyramid that has potato chips as its first and third tier.

So remember, fellow citizens, that we've all been there. Everyone at one time or another has clicked on a sheep until it explodes. And that's cool.

Confusing the amount of level-70 characters you have like John McCain confuses his houses? Not so cool.

Perspective is key. I know tempers are flaring now, but we're not fooling anyone. We all know we're just killing time until Starcraft 2.

I imagine it will go something like this:

"Nice mount. This is my spaceship."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Never in my life have I felt such an affinity with an animated crocodile as I have after watching Schnappi. I am Schnappi. Schnappi is me. Except he's Egyptian, and I'm still the property of the United States.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

When a man lives with an ear to the ground, the silences speak volumes. There is a science nestled among the subtleties of silence. It seems a paradox, and no, deafness is not a desired trait for such an occupation.

Silence is rarer now, and the study has become esoteric. The old masters were able to see the length and breadth of every silence, like a shadow cast upon the ground. They sat on the steps of the abandoned temple that served as their college and gestured at the silences between the people passing by.

These human silences were the more apparent then, even as they are now. Beginning students are merely encouraged to seek for those spaces in between us where silence can live. In time, they may learn to see it there, billowing out behind the passers-by. Everywhere silence fills the vacuum. All graduating students understand that the presence of the silence is vital to our existence, crammed together as we are. If the silence did not fill these spaces between, what would?

As students advance, they learn to distinguish between the silence. Again, the intellectuals so fond of snubbing this particular science become unwitting subjects. There are silences Awkward and silences Satisfied. There is the silence Between Uncertain Words. The silence of Death is more difficult to ascertain, as the other, living silences quickly crowd into the new space, usually Regret, Despair, or Indifference.

There are the more intimate silences, but this is recommended only to the advanced students, usually those who have endured their year in the Silence and still wish to continue their studies.

There is the silence that stretches between loved ones as they part ways without expressing their love. The silence stretches between them like a stale piece of taffy, warping before it tears.

There is the silence before an orgasm, a rushing silence, a swift current hidden in a still water.

Angry silence is an airless room adorned with razor blades on string.

The old masters are gone now. With no willing heirs to their knowledge, the study of silence has become a private endeavor. Perhaps, between us all, we know everything. The silences are still with us, around us, and nestled even inside us. Perhaps this is what prevents us from hearing many of the things we tell ourselves.

And so, to the study of a broken science. Failed Endeavors have a silence as well, but it has yet to be identified, measured, and cataloged. Perhaps it is the silence of one who believes himself slighted, when in fact no one is thinking of him at all.

Monday, August 18, 2008

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

"Good thing you believe in irony."


"Lucky for you, we're letting everyone in while St. Peter restarts Windows."


"You know, I believed in Guillermo when I was younger but, after hearing so many ridiculous stories..."


"You know Sky Kurtz?"


"What's a Gurg?

I know this because Google knows this.

Friday, August 08, 2008

About six months ago I was obsessively watching Bioshock clips on YouTube, mainly this one with the Moby remix of "Beyond the Sea":

I just found this, typewritten on a torn piece of paper:

all bioshock and no play makes jack a dull boy
It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times. All the people that weren't starving in the streets were huddled in the trenches. Or so the newsfeed claimed. There wasn't much faith to go around, especially not for the Terran government. The system was like a child that never matured past the point of lying to your face. Startling how effective that remained, even at this point in the Magic Pony Wars.

I have forgotten that I may not live to explain this in person. It probably doesn't matter anyway. Like God, like Vishnu, like what you had for breakfast yesterday, you have to want to believe it's how you remembered it. But maybe it wasn't like that. Maybe it wasn't like anything. Maybe all there is are your whimpering words and the skeptical stare of your audience for as long as they'll listen.

It began with the God-Makers Suspicions should have been aroused by the mere fact that they named themselves that and subsequently started referring to themselves in the third person. None good signs.

Their department was a small one until some bureaucratic mis-step merged the bio-ethics with bio-engineering and then left the annual budget sheet in the printer. Suddenly there was only enough money in the Tri-Terra Media Corp. for eighteen million new lines of stem cells and a mop bucket.

I almost suspect the scamp who altered the abandoned financial document never expected it to go through. But it did. It has. We are all of us living through the result.

The blisters on my hand have not yet healed. My pace is slowing as they grow more tender. Bandages now. When will people learn? Man was never meant to play God with an unlimited budget and no stockholder accountability.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

She's not here. She told me not to write and well maybe I wasn't going to write anyway. I think she'll be okay, anyway. The sand will scour the expression from my face and I'll feel like the biggest secret at least in the room. She told me not to write and well maybe I won't because I'm not here either. Maybe our mothers wouldn't have gotten along and I'd've had to choose and I would have chose you but expect a lot of crying after.

Specifically not to write, she's not worried of my voice because my voice is independent but the writing stands atop perceived romantic insecurities. In speech moments live and they pass look there just went two of them. Written writing moments sullenly defend the rivulets of pondering hiding behind them. A movie set mock-up of a life painted already peeling at the edges.

Flowers drying upside-down.

Because it's unfair. They had a plan, I had a plan, you had a plan, plans are falling like cherry blossoms and I never liked cherries but I eat them now if they're on other things I do like.

I don't speak the language there but I can learn a language for you. And not a tongue language but an art language or a music language or a living one. I'll try not to mention dreams I promise.

Does the tyranny of democracy mean the Earth spins the same direction even though we all want different directions? Crammed in a limo and we want different radio stations when the driver is behind glass and he remembers we didn't tip him last time?

I'm angry and I'm ready but if I were really ready then I wouldn't flee from teachers. I'm trying to hide infinity underneath my mattress and I almost got the corner but I can't get any more. If everybody's leaving sooner than I meant to be alone but I've been sitting on this suitcase and it's empty as my tomb.

Maybe she's right.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More bad news about cell phones. The phone companies are manipulating your feeble, human brain.

This explains a lot. I can recall many instances in which I was directly frustrated by these exact issues: full signal, then when you actually make a call, no signal. Full battery all day, half battery for an twenty minutes and then no battery soon after that.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I shaved carefully and put on my suit. I had an excuse to look my best and I knew, I knew you might be there. I sat alone in the front row and examined the set. I was right, you walked in with a friend and called hello to some people in one of the rows behind me. I stood up then, and turned.

She looked directly at me and stopped. I looked her in her eyes as I've done a hundred times before and tried to remember to smile. She didn't recognize me, not all of me, and our eyes passed that millisecond moment when a glance becomes a stare.

Each sliver of a second was a shard of mirror. In one I was reflected as woeful, left alone and unknown, a stranger now to her memory. In another I am happy, looking in her eyes again and seeing something other than a woman wronged in heart and mind. I was just a vague familiar, and I confess I was satisfied with that, or at least I mean to be.

I've not experienced this before, this being forgotten. It's an odd satisfaction; I meant to stay away and I must have done it well. Of course it helped that I was long of hair and partly bearded, wearing glasses and not dressed like a scruffian.

But I needed exactly that, this time. Now I can accept that this, these dreams of her and regrets and wondering what I could have been, if I had left the best part of me when I left her, this is mine and only mine. She doesn't need to know these things. Time and a change of grooming habits have let me become nobody. And after years of being that other person to her, nobody is a name I accept with gladness. And if hubris does not bid me shout out my true identity, perhaps I can sail safely away to some port beyond where I will not break every promise to change.

Some place where it won't matter that I still love you.

I step out into the blood-warm night to smoke a cigarette. It's the slowest suicide I know besides getting up everyday to live my life. Clouds sit fat and heavy looking close enough to touch. The moon is somewhere behind them and they glow, faintly. They cover the whole sky except for one big hole where a god must have punched through on its way back to heaven. I'm no Christian, but I don't blame him for leaving. Anyone would leave if they got the chance.

I don't worry about death. There isn't much else worth more thought and I give it plenty every time I go out on a case. A slow death is all right with me. The quick ones don't give you enough time to say goodbye but it ain't like you got much time to regret that either. In those last moments when I know I've bought it, I suppose everything will seem so beautiful. Paying attention is good in my line of work but really I try to notice these things because on that last day one of them might be the most beautiful of them all. Maybe even one of the ugly, pitted memories that hunker down in the base of my brain and only pop up their head to kiss me goodnight or to blow laconic breaths at the trailing smoke.

I drop my cigarette out into the dead grass. It doesn't catch; it'll never catch. I grind it under my heel like an accomplice. The hole in the sky is smaller. Gotta get while the gettins good.

I want to kill myself a little more but the phone rings. I heave myself through the window and back into my office. I'm annoyed but that's good because whenever I get a call this late I don't have to feel bad about not being polite.

Nobody's ever paid me to be polite.

I snatch up the phone on the fifth ring. "Grim Reaper here, what do you want?"

"...Grim? What? I-I'm sorry, this must be the wrong-"

"Lady, it's a joke, and the best I got at this hour. I'm Jim. What do you want?"

"I'm...I need your help, uh, Jim."

"You got it. Come by my office."

"What? Now?"

"Would you be calling me right now if this was something that could wait?" There's a scuff while she puts her hand over the receiver. I hear another voice, maybe a guy. There's no response from her. I pull out a cigarette and kiss it between my lips. She takes her hand off.

"Okay. At your office?"

"At my office. Just let yourself in." She's quiet. I hold the phone up to my ear with my shoulder and fish in my pockets for a book of matches. "Ma'am, I'm sure I can help you. I just don't like the phone so much."

"All right." She hangs up, click. I leave the phone off the hook and stick it in the top drawer of the desk so I won't hear that droning alert. The drawer below that contains a broken revolver and a fully functioning bottle of Faust's Single Malt Scotch. I find them to be equally reliable.

I start towards the window and catch my reflection. I didn't shave today and around my eye is still yellow-green from my last satisfied customer. I straighten my collar and adjust my thin black tie. My reflection grins back at me; a shorn-headed brown guy who looks like he hits the bottle as much as the gym. Cigarette dangling from my lip, I salute. "James Reaper, Private Investigator, reporting for duty sir!" I give him the finger and clamber out under the heavy blanket of night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How do I resolve my...mislike of Wal-Mart with my desire for fun new activities for the twins?

This is how.

We took it relatively easy on the poor, discriminatory corporation. It was a valuable field exercise. At times I would instruct Ender or Remy to put an item back where they got it, not to touch certain items, and to walk closely with me. Mostly they listened. I do not want them to assume that they can act this way whenever they walk into a store. That's another reason I chose Wal-Mart; nobody will give me a second glance if I whoop their collective butts up and down the aisles.

One day, when they're ready, we three will get ourselves kicked out of Wal-Mart. And every Wal-Mart. When they're ready. I'm not sure what we'll have to do to get kicked out. I felt that I let them go much crazier than I've ever dared, but we got no scrutiny from the employees whatsoever. Some people remarked on their cuteness and asked the usual twin questions but that was all. I filmed a bit, also, and my plan at that time was to say I was doing a sociology project for class. If pressed, I would say my major was in Projects.

So the plotting begins. I think I can dress them up in Wal-Mart brand winter clothes and send them into the freezer section. Not the aisles, I mean opening the door and running around inside the actual freezer.

That may not even work, because I plan to hide immediately and watch. If and when some employee actually responds, I'll run up panting and say "There you are! I've been looking all over for you two! What in good heavens are you doing?!"

Another plan is to put them in little stained wife-beaters and jeans and then let them play with cans of beer. Once again, I'll be hiding.

I'm not sure what else to do, but the possibilities are as endless as the supply of Chinese children living in factory houses that produce most of Wal-Mart's crap.

I know it won't really solve anything, and probably only impact the immediate employees, and that essentially I am just being an ass and attempting to rationalize it, but hey, I have to set an example.

I'm not sure what the future holds for my twins, or what challenges they will face. One day, they will have to look into their own souls and decide if they will use their powers for good, or for awesome.

In the meantime, I plan to get them kicked out of all the places I don't want them to go.

I wonder if I could get them into a strip club. One by the airport, and I could say I flew in to spend my one weekend a month with my kids and why you giving me a hard time, half these dames got kids anyway?

The audacity of hope, indeed.

[from the journals: 7-18-08; 2115]

Pagan Angels slither underneath the cemetery leaves. Long sleeves and pants in the summertime. This is my stylistic legacy. Caked mud on my Gore-tex boots. This is not goodness. It is not goodness I seek right now. Tangled in my wires and mired in the conversation of others. My fingers do not want rings. Decorations are best kept under the skin. These still suffer damage and are seldom stolen.

Buoyant we.

Today while I slept and dreamt I had conversations I would have had on my cell phone, were my service active.

Vivid voices and likely words woke me with its conviction. To sleep, then, to continue our conversations.

Music drowns out the conversations around, avid discussions of which film to see or if there's time to eat before.

With my aural blinders on I imagine they speak of having dessert as the first course for the rest of their lives, in case they do not survive to the end of dinner.

That couple there speaks in hushed tones, planning a conspiracy of theatre, friends and family stumbling into passages of Borges.

Another calls a friend over to where he has been waiting and asks his help to shatter every mirror in his house.

A woman in a red dress licks ice cream off her finger. The evening is warm and the shop was out of napkins. My people today carry vast technologies in their pockets and no handkerchiefs. She listens to another woman monologue about her master plan to rule the world by controlling all vectors of disease and unleashing viral horrors on all who oppose her. The woman in the red dress has finished her ice cream and stares into her paper bowl, nodding.

Two boys swagger along with skateboards under their arms. A girl in a pink tank top clutches her purse, intent on a similar rolling along.

A brick fireplace fed by gas chatters angrily, a funeral pyre jailed by fountains on this side and sofas on that.

A man, stocky with small spectacles, points to the ground as he and his companion walk over it, noting the spot where on the exact opposite side of the world, his mother met the man who was his father, but is not his father now.

A girl in a striped shirt, jeans, and several strands of fat beads, glistening black plastic like spilt oil on a seal's coat. She paws at the air over her shoulder to beckon her friend along. She assures her that spontaneous combustion happens once every twelve seconds, but only once, so it may be years before one of them bursts into flame, if ever. Besides, she adds, milkshakes will lower our core temperature.

A woman in the movie theater points to a seat set apart from the others. "They usually don't last long after they've been separated from the herd>"

I hope this is not true of all things.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Perhaps when we are in our formative years, the teeniest tiniest babies, we need to love completely and without thought of ourself, so that one day, perhaps, when we grow up, we can recognize the feeling if it ever comes again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm going to see The Dark Knight in the Cine Capri at Tempe Marketplace at 10:30 pm. I've seen the film once and now I'm ready to handle it in all its majesty. If all goes well, I plan to see it in the IMAX. If all goes well.

I'm going alone, because I'm lonely, and I hate being lonely around people. After I "officially" stop babysitting my nephews (during which I usually jackass around on the computer while they jump on my bed, on the dog, and steal things from my room) my solitude seems more profound. I'm enjoying it now, because it is a Special Thing when I open my door after a time within and the babies, thus hearing it, dash over yelling wildly and try to climb into my arms.

I try not to take it for granted. I look at my parents now and think how strange that they carried me once, that I would sleep in their arms and run to them when I was hurt. I suppose they changed and I changed both, but really I believe that I think I am above such things, too dignified to admit that I was ever loved them so, that they were ever my whole world, my titans.

Rather, I tell myself that if ever some extreme situation arises, I would rush to their defense, fight off villains and scale obstacles to save them. Why do I believe I can move mountains for them, then, when I do not move the pebbles in their path everyday?

I will think on this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Track 10 or Did I Miss Out On You; multimedia, collage of Nintendo Power magazine and

I was feeling lonely last night so I made this.

I need to get my motorcycle fixed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I made a Dogbook account to link up to my Facebook account. I think I got a little carried away.

The Noobers

Life has not always been the easiness for me. My mother was a three-legged bitch who ate my poop.

My father, a Boston Terrier, was a musician, or at least that's what he called digging through people's garbage and howling at the moon. He was killed when he and his buddies got drunk after eating a bunch of juice boxes that had been left out in the sun behind a Wal-Mart. In a drunken stupor, he got the bright idea to try to scare the mailman. Him and his pals hid in what they thought was a mailbox, but it was really a trash compacter that happened to have an old envelope in it.

I guess he died how he lived.

Word around the kennels was that a six-toed cat pushed the button to start the compactor while my drunken cur of a father was passed out inside. To this day, I train day and night in the art of chasing cats until I find the felonious feline that compacted my father.

I remember the last time I saw him. He said to me, "Hey, kid, quit bein retahded and git outta heah . I'm trying to get my hump on with this golden retrievah. I heard she's a slut, bong!"

It's not the most inspiring last words, but hey, I'm a dog, I take what I can get.

To those who call me friend, know that all I truly care about is finding that cat. Until that day.

My Owners...ha. I live with a bunch of apes that go by the name of Lopez. They hardly ever feed me deliberately, but they are some sloppy bastards and I get to eat whatever falls after the floor unless one of those damn babies gets to it first.

Don't get me started on those kids. One of those humans needs to get it off its lazy ass and teach them the difference between "doggy" and "horsey" cause hey, I'm a 25 pound dog over here and those kids already outweigh me. Every time they jump on my back I know how Tom Arnold felt under Roseanne Barr. Whoa, you think that jokes old, try it when you measure life in dog years, am I right? It's 7-1, which coincidentally is also my endowment in a few other areas, you know what I mean? I'm talking about my red rocket over here, hey! Easy, I'm a dog; I don't know nothin about modesty. I see an ass, I sniff it, right?

The ancient Greeks called dogs "the shameless ones." Hey, you try telling if it's a boy or a girl under all that fur? You just get up on it and hope for the best, know what I mean? (Ah, you know what I'm talking about; I seen your Myspace friends. Yikes. I hadn't woofed so much since the Clifford Convention back in '06) And we're color-blind. And who are the Greeks to make fun of he-bitches, eh? I have it on good information that after inventing democracy they all headed to the saunas, and they came out quite a bit dirtier than when they went in, mind you. And it's still true to this day; I knew this Alopekis named Nibbles and you couldn't turn your back on him without him trying to slip you the ol' Organic Snausage. Yeah, he's the kinda dog that won't believe it's not bacon.

This is me. Scruffy, tattooed, prone to outbursts, disrespectful of laws, and given to outrageous claims.

Listening to Sarah Mclachlan until I fall asleep.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Shake Thyself!

Television, in its early days of regularly scheduled programming, provide something of a common consciousness for the people.

Youtube provides something like a fractured revived brain with split personalities and horrible fusions of neurons that revive for a millisecond to flashbulb a nightmare image of their oxygen-starved hallucinations. Like Furries.

So instead of Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, my twins will grow up with a hodgepodge of internet videos I find humorous, beautiful, or are accompanied by a song I like.

I hope it will serve them well if the future gets worse before it gets better.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My children are both feverish and sick. It's cool enough to play outside, but mainly we'll just watch movies and drink a lot of liquids. Since they were throwing up anyway, I'm letting them watch some of the direct-to-video sequels that Disney craps out after almost every film.

At the moment they're watching Lion King 2. This movie picks up after the birth of Simba's cub. We know it is Simba's cub because in the original Lion King Simba gains control of the pride from Scar, and when a new lion takes over a pride they systematically kill every cub sired by the previous leader.

Also, the Disney movie portrays them as singing and dancing, when every zoological study reports that lions only enjoy slam poetry.

A notable exception to the usual sequel garbage that Disney manages to compact into a DVD is Toy Story 2. This was made by Pixar, just like the first one, and Disney distributed it. Disney doesn't actually make them, see, but they market damn hard to make people think they do. Pixar was working on the sequel and basically called Disney up and said "Sorry, we don't know how to make...crap."

Thus, the budget for Toy Story 2 was upped considerably and even released in theaters. It was even better than the first one, in my opinion. Emotionally, it had some very complex scenarios. Also, it was hilarious.

And Disney learned nothing.

Now that they have considerably more influence after purchasing Pixar (although the boys are still pretty bad ass; one of the head guys flat-out told Disney that they wouldn't do any sequels "unless the story demands it".

I'm hopeful that they'll be able to fight off the Disney influence. If they turn into an inbred studio like Disney, raping classic stories and then shuttling off the twisted spawn into a Wal-Mart bin near you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Noobers, Part 2

This is my impression of the telecommunications companies that received retroactive immunity for illegally helping our President spy on Americans.

I guess if I wanted to be crude, I could say that this is my impression of the President as Civil Liberties goes down on him. And do I want to be crude? Oh yes. I'm pretty irked that corporations that break laws affecting millions of people get off without punishment and yet I affect one particular asshole by fire-bombing his car and I'm the criminal here?

What kind of a country is this?

My final caption suggestion is "Senate Accidentally Grants Gurg Retroactive Immunity For All Future Crimes".

Witnesses quoted him as saying "Woo-hoo! I'm gonna drill for oil on the lawn of the White House!"

A source close to Gurg expressed concern, stating "The last time he said that he just firebombed someone's car."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My nephews are now capable of screwing the top off of my Nalgene bottle. Ender can also close it again. They have moved up from "Crow" to "Octopus". I chart their development by comparing their capabilities to other animals. Since Ender can also close the bottle, he gets a bonus point moving him up to "Polite Octopus", which I imagine exist somewhere.

There is also the Rude Octopus who simultaneously smokes seven cigarettes and flips people of with the eighth.

In gelato news, I journeyed to the reputed best gelato shoppe in the state, goes by the name of Arlecchino. In English, our state language, it means "Harlequin", which is what I assume it will be re-named once that English-only law we voted in goes into effect. Sorry, Italian, but you sound too much like Spanish. French, oh you know you've never been welcome. Is that all the Romance languages? Hmm, better get rid of that Braille as well. It claims to be in English but who knows, right? I never did trust anybody who couldn't look in my functioning eyes.

The gelato was excellent. I even ran into my friend Juwig and his wife, who I never met before. She seemed nice, and she and I both were eating the same flavor so I knew she had sound judgment.

Juwig expressed surprise that I drove so far from home for gelato. I often forget about the price of fuel, and that people are usually bored driving long distances. I haven't had to buy gas in almost two weeks, and I seldom get bored on my motorcycle.

Heh, this gelato trip had been particularly exciting since I wasn't sure when the place closed and might have gone a little faster than I needed to on a stretch of freeway where police don't seem to venture.

In Phoenix we have odd chunks of freeway that are placed haphazardly about that become extremely popular twice a day but have little traffic otherwise. Which is convenient if one wishes to haphazardly exceed 100 mph in search of sweet, sweet, gelato.

I also let a family share my parking space. Parking was limited in the little plaza, and I was happy to share. I hate taking up more space than I need, ever since reading The Little Prince.

They were very gracious. It's little things like this that help fight the trouble-making stigma of riding a motorcycle.

On a related note, I have figured out how to make stop-sticks. Those things are expensive; about 60 bucks or so. Four dollars spent at the hardware store and a few blood-blisters from the damn needle-nose pliers and I have even better ones. And these are made with chain, so they are much more portable. I have individual ones to use as chaff if enemy spies are in pursuit. Once I figure out the wiring on the button that releases the oil-slicks I will be unstoppable.

Unless someone jams a stick in my spokes. That'll take me down pretty quick.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Remy just stole my handcuff key.

Clever boy.

But more importantly, he brought it back.

Yes, I am teaching my nephews how to bust me out of state and federal holding facilities. Why else do people have children?

This is a fairly easy lesson. I say "Gee officer, can I just give my nephews a hug before you haul me off?" Remy will slip me the handcuff key, and Ender will slip me the bacon grease.

Then when the police open the door of the squad car, I'll leap out completely naked and covered in bacon grease and I will run like the wind. There's nary a law enforcement agency in history that's been able to catch a greased Gurg.

If they shoot me that doesn't count. If they tazer me that's partial credit. If they set a maiden with red hair in a tranquil glade and catch me like a unicorn, that's extra credit.

Bean-bag shotguns and stun grenades are allowed, but non-lethal force probably won't be an issue since I'll likely be dealing with the Phoenix Police Department. If Sheriff Joe gets his way, their motto will go from "To Serve And Protect" to "If It's Brown, Shoot It Down".

Which is a little mean. I'm much more partial to "Kill 'Em All And Let Immigration Sort It Out", but I can see how that would be difficult to fit onto a badge.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Luke wrote "Not sure what else you're doing, in terms of media participation (or not) but your writing is becoming increasingly good these days."

The comment pleases me greatly. As for my media participation, this is it. Blogger gives me a spot in the internet vending machine and my selection is free, even if sometimes I snag on the tip of the corkscrewing dispenser. A good kick to the internets usually jars me loose.

I do have a small idea that would be a fun, low pressure way to create stories and overcome the ubiquitous loneliness of aligning letters. It's in the pre-alpha stage, which essentially means I can do it anytime I just have to get off my buttocks.

But for now, I'm all yours at no cost to you. Except for a few externalities, like making friends and me dropping by to eat your food.

* * * * *

I spent Independence Day with my family, eating and lounging about. This holiday is bittersweet for me partly due to my being a half-soldier and mostly due to the Americans that are currently dying in battle and the Americans that are being killed by poverty, poor education, and basic health care. One argument I had (with a business major) about providing healthcare despite a person's economic status. It was a friendly discussion, but I did reply hotly when she stated what is essentially the foundation for arguments against such socialized initiatives: "This is a country of individuals."

"No," I said, "This is a country of Americans." Our freedom is not being eroded by institutions such as the police, firefighters, other emergency personnel, providing public education, or the fucking post office. In my America, we don't let each other die without a fight.

Sigh. But I don't delude myself about how much the majority is willing to sacrifice. The downside of the visual medium, of course, is that it shattered our ability to conceptualize ourselves as a unified nation. If we had only the radio and the president went on a radio address and said "Americans are being killed by diseases. As a nation, we can help them" I think people would.

In a visual world, if we don't see it, it's not as real as the problems we can. It is more likely now, almost inevitable, to wonder "Well, what kind of Americans are being killed?"

Now this guy makes me proud to an American.

The feeling I get from watching this is pride, envy, a touch of despair, and hope. Perhaps this is how a parent feels as they let go of their children.

The hope I feel is not for the future, but for the present. We can do this right now. The bit of sadness comes with all truths; it encompasses my experiences and illuminates everything, the good and the bad. I've not drank in a three months or so, which is a long time for me, and despite the chemical shenanigans when it reacts with my medication, the most effective motivation has been the saccharine happiness that it brings, the truth-in-shadows.

As a substitute, it is a poor one. Happiness isn't just a feeling, and it certainly isn't achieved by shutting out other feelings. What alcohol gives me is a pleasant distortion. Picking out shapes in the clouds, singing along to static, dancing to white noise.

This makes me feel happy by taking me away from my environment, giving up my awareness, by going to another place. In doing so, I have often literally lost the ability to communicate, as anyone who has been privy to my drunken ramblings can attest.

I still want to drink. The desire is the same. But right now, I am focusing on my other desires. I guess I just don't want to miss anything.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I've been thoroughly enjoying the new Sigur Ros and Iron and Wine albums. Lot of hand-clapping in both of 'em. Love that hand-clapping. It's going on the list of my favorite instruments, right up there with banjo and those huge drums they use at the symphony. Part of the huge drum entertainment comes from the prim and proper wormy guy in a tux doing the striking. He looks like he should be calling the police to report sounds like this. I love it.

Aside from music, I've been listening to short stories and poems on the mp3 player. I was hesitant at first. Well, not with the poems; many poems demand to be read aloud and are more fun that way. Short stories seem surlier than poetry, like little dogs that believe they are rottweilers, or small-framed men that have poor balance because they are always drawing themselves up a bit too high.

I began with stories I had already read. When I reluctantly admitted to my dog sleeping nearby that literature is indeed still literature if it is heard and not read, I moved on to some Tolstoy.

I loved it. I do love it. When I was listening to the stories I'd already read, I was more following along and noticing a few new things, the more sonorous phrases.

Tolstoy was a good choice, I think. His short stories often read like fables; the intentions of men are simple and tied to their nature and wisdom comes from unlikely sources. In fact, usually some character is standing smack dab in the middle of the wisdom they seek and just need someone to point it out.

I love it. It's like story time again. I want to clap and go "Yaaaay!" and maybe strike some huge drum until someone calls the police on me.

Also, the short stories from Librivox are read by volunteers. If I listen good and practice hard, maybe I can volunteer to read a story. I was thinking of doing that anyway, for the nephews.

Not that I'm terribly lazy, see, but when I was wee my brothers and sister and I had a little Fisher-Price record player and we had many, many little records that came in the back of story books. We would play the records and follow along with the book. I struggle to remember exactly how much we played with that thing, but I know it was a great deal.

So I imagine I can make the same sort of thing for my nephews. It would be fun to even find a record player for them. In this touch-screen world, I yearn for analog. I love switches and dials and huge buttons with lights inside. Part of the appeal of the record player was that I was unable to skip all around hundreds of albums and thousands of songs. I put it on and I listened through everything. Which was wise then when I didn't know what I liked. But then, what do I like now that I haven't heard yet?

Heh, I also remember a record of Romeo and Juliet, the old film, and I would turn it on the highest RPM's so they sounded like star-struck chipmunks. That was my introduction to Shakespeare. Seems to have worked out pretty well. Maybe I'll try to convince a few people to read a play or two with me and record it, for the nephews. Oh, and it must be incredibly over-acted, to the point of lugubriousness. Children have no time for subtle emotions. They consider it a sign of weakness. Or perhaps a lack of conviction. "If you really want it," they'd say, "Why aren't you hurling yourself to the ground, kicking, screaming, and demanding you get it?"

"Because that doesn't work anymore," I'd say.

"Have you tried it lately? Even if it doesn't work, it's an excellent place to start. Then you just work your way down."

Dang. Smart kids.