Goddamned H2O

A beautifully sunny and mild day. The kind of day I leave the building for a few lunch minutes and sit out on the brick wall on Gower while I watch the cars and a parade of Hollywood’s most illustrious parade by.

This is a dream day.

It does not get better. Temps in the high 70s, L.A.’s sky is uncharacteristically clear of haze or brownish vehicular soot. People walk by wearing t-shirts, shorts, even flip-flops. Yet it’s not harshly southwestern desert-like in the least. The kind of day you can sit in the direct sun, and the combination of the breeze and low-cook sunlight still cannot make you break a sweat.

I save a lot of money during the winter on deodorant. You simply don’t need it when the air is so Pacifically unobtrusive that your body does not need to expend one extra joule of energy for the purposes of heating you up or cooling you down.

Even the Arrowhead dude is taking it easy. His truck is parked along the curb and each side is lined with boxes, compartments, filled with empty water bottles or full water bottles, many of which will end up standing in coolers in offices where they will be the office town square around which slackers and lazy-ass paper pushers can talk nonsense in order to break the monotony of their computer-bound existences.

One of the lot security guards is also sitting on the brick wall. Not sure if he’s taking a break or surveying the street for possible intruders, encroachers who would be so bold as to dart through the open door, bypassing the secure, badge-activated doors. Once on the lot, capable of who knows what…

The Arrowhead dude, friendly guy, he delivers to our building and once in a while we make idle, stranger chat, the kind of fluff you talk about with people you don’t really know and probably never will know, but it’s the usual human urge to merge existences, however fleeting. Arrowhead guy and me wave, smile, I sit. Watch the cars pass and the wind is so nice and comforting that I can’t imagine leaving this to walk back into my large fluorescent cage.

I was made for the wild, that’s where I belong. Problem: the wild isn’t wired, is it. What willlll I doooo?

Arrowhead dude (I’ve never learned his name, I’m not good with getting or remembering names) finally stands. Enough chilling. He heads through the door for another water call, apparently. The guard who was out front follows and I am left behind to guard the precious Arrowhead Springs liquid gold weighing down the truck’s shocks with all their 5-gallon heft. A few minutes pass as I sit in utter stillness while I let the beautiful day prolong my stay out here when I should really be heading back to my desk.

Out of the corner of my eye I spot a man, around 30, white, with scraggly dirty blond hair, not unheard of in Hollywood, a tight t-shirt and fashionably distressed jeans. He is lingering around the rear of the Arrowhead truck and without looking too obvious, I study his cautious and tense movements as he slowly leans in and pulls out a full bottle of water from the rear compartment.

Instinct propels me to my feet and I really should begin walking back to my office. Instead, I march over to where the gentleman is slowly bracing the water bottle over his left shoulder and setting to walk way. “Excuse me, you can’t take that water,” I command. The man, shocked, spins to look at me and in that instant of surprise he drops the bottle on the ground; it falls just right because the red plastic cap tears and streams of water pour out the top of the bottle as it dances and rolls at the man’s feet as its emptying contents run to the gutter.

Now the look of shock gives way to…what is that? Anger, fear?

He reaches into his pocket, his right pocket, and I don’t realize or can’t realize what is happening. Because the water is pouring out the bottle, clean, fresh, expensive, distilled water and it’s a waste, that’s all I can think, it’s such a waste and the fact I’m standing here playing water cop is such a waste as well because I should be back at my desk by now but this damned sunny weather, this beautiful day, has enraptured my senses. Won’t release me.

And I played water cop and now a bottle of water is gone to waste and my life gone to waste as well because out of the blue, the water thief pulls out a fucking pistol from his pocket and points it at my face and pulls the trigger.

In the microscopic second before the gunpowder pop and the bullet shreds my skull in half, in that microsecond, all i can think is “H20.” Goddamned H20.

On mental constipation and eating children

Let it be written…

Dudes and dudettes, I’m lagging.

Mentally, physically, emotionally, I’m a freakin’ slug.
The spark is missing, people!

The Phoenix fire has petered out. It’s times like this I have the utmost respect for professional and Olympic athletes. I don’t care for sports but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the discipline and superhuman feats required of these athletes, especially considering the physical body undulates in cycles of efficiency. The natural rhythms of our biological cycle. No one can be at the top of their game every day.

The intellect is a “muscle” of sorts. There are days you got it going on. Sharp of wit, sharp like a razor, you can barrel your way through any cognitive mine field.
And there are those days you can’t think your way out of a box.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not claiming that this blog is in any way the result of finely-tuned intellect. In fact, more often than not it’s quite the opposite.

And today, I am not feeling it.

No great treasures to be found here. If I was a baseball player, I’d probably be having an 0 for 4 day with a couple of strikeouts and a pop up.

I’m sure anyone who has attempted to maintain an allegedly vibrant blog can testify, you have those days you post some utter embarrassing, worthless shit. My first blog taught me an important lesson when it comes to coping with these slow brain days.

Don’t fight it. Go with it.

If your synapses are flowing like a clogged drain, don’t attempt the extraordinarily intelligent. You are fighting yourself.

Don’t fight yourself.

This is key. It is the driving force behind my new bloggerized incarnation. David, circa 2009, now 2010.

Blogging as an honest expression of my present state. It’s a fucking diary for chrissakes.

A public diary and the question is how honest do you choose to be?

If you’re having a bad day and all you can do is shoot mental blanks, accept it.

Only by accepting the petty nature of our moods do we rise above the constraints they may otherwise place on our freewheeling intellectual nature.

If I can’t be thoughtful, I’ll write about my inability to be thoughtful. Or I’ll write about this miserably stalled “East L.A. Makeover” project that has seen no progress for a month.

Write. I love to write.

I’m actually an aspiring writer, believe it or not; in spite of…this.

I write short stories which notoriously invite form-lettered rejection notes. I think it would be Goddamned hilarious if I sent a blank rejection form with my stories. The reader would only need to fill in a flew blank lines and check off a box or two. The boxes could have various reasons for the rejection.

-Story was too long
-Story was too short
-Story went nowhere
-Characters were unbelievable
-Are you really a writer?

Hmm, that would be an interesting form to include on each blog post, wouldn’t it? It’s been said that most blog readers don’t feel compelled to comment. What if you accompany a field with each post that is similar to a rejection slip. Listed are an assortment of reasons the post sucked and you I can even inlude a write-in section allowing the reader to voice his displeasure more candidly. Anonymous of course.

The internet requires serious “anonymity.”

How else would all these keyboard Alphas have such large balls without a good dose of anonymity.

I see the way some of these guys comport themselves online.

Whatever, whatever, whatever! Ha. In fact, I suspect many of them not only attempt to come across as hardasses, I think many of them shamelessly embellish their masculine credentials and they inevitably sound like caricatures of the maledom they seek.

Well I’m lapsing into serious and I am lacking the mental energy to sustain it.
And lacking mental energy means only one thing.
Cake Wrecks!!!!

A cyberpantheon dedicated to bakery disasters. Dedicated to lapses in communication and cake assembling skills.

Funny shit.

My favorite (probably because I’m such a computer geek) is The Problem With Phone Orders.

Rather than paraphrase, I’ll snip directly:

[answering phone] “Cakey Cake Bakery, Jill speaking! How can I help you?”

“Hi, I need to order a cake for my boss. We have a photo of him playing golf that we’d like to put on it, though – can you do that?”

“Of course! Just bring the photo in on a USB drive and we’ll print it out here.”

“Great, I’ll bring it by this afternoon.”

Later…

“Hey, Jill, what am I putting on this cake?”

“Oh, check the counter; I left the jump drive out for you there.”

[calling from the back room] “Really? This is what they want on the cake?”

“Yeah, the customer just brought it in.”

“Okey dokey!”

Got that visualized?

The customer brought some cutesy ass little jpeg on his flash drive and dropped it off so the photo could be transcribed to cake top. We’ve all seen it. Kinda freaks me out. The thought of eating my cousin’s 3-year-old son is a little too Swiftian for my tastes.

Anyways, the cake, when delivered, quite literally reflected the customer’s request. The flash drive.

Hahaha. I bet the HBD herd would go apeshit about that one.

Now that is the extent of my cerebral offerings for the day.

My swirling fascination

A few years ago I bought a CD called “Trance.” The cover had minimal artwork. There was some vague, mystical wording which I have completely forgotten. I still have the CD but the case and the album sleeve are long lost. The CD contained 3 tracks, each quite long and made up of different examples of music as an extension of and guiding path to religious “ecstasy” and inner expression.

The third track captured my imagination. It was of Turkish origin, a slow, gentle flute-based meditative piece which builds gradually in tempo and is said to accompany practicing Sufi whirling Dervish dancers. The little booklet explained briefly the practice of Dervish swirling and included a photo, similar to this:

The album description explained swirling as a religious physical meditation structured around the rhythmic spinning in accordance with the rotational nature of the universe. The physical meditation brings the practitioners to the precipice of perfection as part of a Muslim religious ceremony called “Sema.” Through the music, speaking with God, and whirling, one can work to shed the ego and become the “unmoving” center of the universe.

According to a Sufi description of the dance I found at Wikipedia:

In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, the semazen’s camel’s hair hat (sikke) represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt represents the ego’s shroud. By removing his black cloak, he is spiritually reborn to the truth. At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, the semazen appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God’s unity. While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God’s beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth. The semazen conveys God’s spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love.


video courtesy of http://bigloveturkey.com/

On the surface, the focus of Dervish whirling appears to be movement (which obviously it is) but as I heard explained by a Dervish dancer, the “essence of whirling is non movement.” The locus of the universe as one spins and revolves in sync with Solar System is the very center of the whirler, this unmoving center. And here is where one can discover absolute “equilibrium” (my term).

For absolute equilibrium is the godlike state religions aspire to. Ego is purged; one hand calling to the heavens, the other to earth. As you spin and the flute’s sounds swirl gently but persistently through your soul, the world spins faster and faster…then, in a moment of perfection and ecstasy, you are still. Your inner self. Serenity falls and blankets your still being as the world spins by; you are the unmoving center.

A Post-Apocalyptic Moment in Time

January 2, 2010
Pasadena @ the Renaissance Academy Theater on Colorado
2:25pm

Driving through warm South Pasadena and San Marino
approaching
the hillsides of Pasadena

gardeners blowing, residual grand-sized Christmas decorations still lingering and floating in the gentle enclave wind

San Marino the Beverly Hills of the other side of LA…rushing you know
you rush to a place you don’t know because you don’t know where to park where to pay where to do anything
rushing through San Marino

—-
on
his earphones
gradually tuning the world out
gradually teenage-izing the world out

driving reach
Pasadena
pull in
park
with 10 minutes to spare never been here the theater looks discount as I drive by
park
his earplugs out
we walk to the theater
with 10 minutes to spare

as yes
i can
take my sweet time now walk smooth like a calm operator
I hate to rush
it breaks my FLOW

and my flow is casual I don’t rush I don’t look flustered man
but when you are rushing to catch a flick you just gotta look like a mess
inevitably

o

we walk past a doorstep with a major dose of vomit
fuck

pasadena
partyville
strollingville

people drink and they walk and they puke
hold my breath
we reach the
Academy
cool!!!!!

dig it
my kinda place
reclusive cheap
$2 per
to get into the goddamn Matineed
place before 6
so we get in

and i discover during the payment process
that i left my 25 bucks at home
but

i brought 7 ones hahahaa
just covered

but i couldn’t buy a snack
lame
i was at a theater that charges $2.00 for entrance and couldn’t buy a snack but —- said he was full from eating too much great i win that battle

pay at a curved booth window easily circa
1963

no one here
wears uniforms
hahahaha

dude is wearing a button up student looking kinda casual shirt and a beard looks like he might be the owner’s son really friendly
and hands us our raffle tickets (that is how they look)
and tells us where to go
with a sincere smile

none of that surly ghettotude you
get at all the mammoth chain theater complexes
with their big seats and big popcorn and big seats and big sounds

nuh uh

nothing is big here
everything retires
and
shrinks
there is nothing magnificent

you pay and you watch, the crowd is not small

it is large
lots of people
looking for that two dollar cinematic fix
and the fix
is
THE ROAD

the movie
came out on my birthday
november 25
a month and a half
later

it is showing
here at the academy where junior is working the booth

and hot dogs are only a dollar
or two
but
the clock is ticking
and we can’t miss a seat!!
we rush in

and find a row
i like

we pull in
toward the middle
it’s dark
i’m blind
dark

i scoot along to the center
and
my foot
kicks
fucking kicks like a soccer player
kicks a full-sized drink and popcorn which some previous moviegoers left
kick the fucking trash and it goes flying
toward an old lady sitting alone
at the end
of the row
i
squeak
“sorry”
and she looks and expressionless cotinues to munch on her food
ok
not even a smile or a “that’s ok”
fuck you bitch funny just moments later the slide tells us to turn off our cellphones and throw away our trash
fuckers they didn’t

it’s not like i sat there and aimed
to kick that mess at her

we sit
the slides are going
the ads
and right away
you can tell this is a discount theater because
the slides
only fill the left
2/3 of the screen lol

I feel like I’m watching a slide show in my science class at my underfunded high school class with mr shaw shitty slides shitty focusing shitty sound

ah yeah
just like high school

but not
cause i’m here at the pasadena academy

watching
the road
with my son
the ultimate father
son
movie

and book

i read the book
and i really read it before the movie ever was announced

i’m not a read the book 1 day before the movie kinda guy
not my style
i read the book
earlier this year
end of 2008
loved the book mostly
except

the end
so lame
so deux ex machina
too much so
for my tragic tastes
the book did not end

as it was intending
and it sounded so
commercial
and contrived
anyways

not expecting much but i didn’t plan on watching the movie until
my son’
read the book
for english class winter assignment

and he
loved it so much that he asked me if the movie was out yet
on thursday

uh yeah i told him
it’s been out for a month
so

last minute plans hatched
here we are the academyin pasadena
watching the ultimate
father son movie

i was going to make this
a rampage
and gut hollywood for its modern inability to do BLEAK
then i thought
hollywood has never done bleak
hollywood is about big stars and big smiles and big heroes
it’s not about
death
and darkness
no
hollywood does not do
bleak
and
the road
is bleak.

very bleak
didn’t detract from the book
at all.
impressive and sad and tragic
and symbolic
and very very introspective
for those
who care to

not only a tale of father son
a tale of life
one generation
to the next
microcondensed into one gray wicked fucking apocalyptic scene from the
post
apocalpytic world
a man
a father
living out the cycle of life the cycle of weakening and demureness in the face
of
youth

man
meets his
end

hands
reigns
to his son entrusts and relinquishes
control
amidst tears and sadness

heart wrenching movie

Interview with a loner

 

Like a baby, stillborn,
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.

-“Bird On A Wire”, Leonard Cohen

 

Of all human traits, one of the most bothersome is the inability by many people to step outside their own personal perspective and to appraise the world in coldly impersonal, non-judgmental terms. Most people bring residual experiences, fears, and hopes with them into all situations and proceed to reflexively label everything they see and hear with value definitions they themselves possess. An act which climaxes with the normal human tendency to assume all other people share the same wants and needs and aversions.

 

This is most striking when you belong to a group that shares a characteristic that is deemed unpopular or undesirable by mainstream culture. Even if you are content belonging to and identifying with this marginal group, your mere membership will elicit concern and sympathy and even intervention from others who don’t belong to your group and are intent on fulfilling the natural human urge to bring others into the fold.

 

My guess is that we all belong to such a group or groups due to a personal proclivity which separates us from the dome part of the bell curve.

 

I am also guessing that the alienating characteristic is often so trivial and minor so as to not arouse the slightest attention.

 

Maybe you have a thing for girls with big feet or your favorite color is peach or you prefer cold weather. Meaningless individualisms that don’t affect the world around you in the least (other than women with small feet).

 

I belong to a group which receives too much attention, and amusingly, a group which probably as a whole despises it the most.

 

I am a loner.

 

Who are these loners?
What are loners?

 

No one can argue that most people need that special “alone” time and most will readily admit to it. Conversely, most people view such “alone” time as a relatively rare and intermittent period in which batteries need to be “recharged” and perhaps the mind silenced through self-reflection and the “mute” button pressed to drown out environmental overstimulation. Once this “lonesome urge” has been sated, however, most people are quite happy to rejoin the ranks of companied society.

 

What’s it like being a loner?

 

It’s…lonely.

 

“Lonely” as a description can only exist in a pejorative sense as it relates to the common instinct people have to be surrounded by…people, both physically and within one’s life. Lonely describes an emotion and a longing and as I stated previously, in popular thought, it is a given that humans reflexively flee this dreaded state since it’s widely assumed that all are affected detrimentally by it. And there lies the roots of the resulting chaos…lonely is an adjective without any foundation upon which we can judge the measure of its severity.

 

There is a class of people who are lonely, but not loners. Due to an assortment of emotional dysfunctions, they lack the ability to form meaningful human relationships and it bothers them. The loner is not this. His only hangup is that he enjoys the state of being “lonely” too much.

 

I read an article about people who are missing a common physiological tool which signals the brain when one is cold. They can literally freeze to death before they feel any discomfort.

 

And I believe some people are missing a cognitive ingredient which triggers loneliness.

 

A loner will never freeze to death in spite of the dark, arctic solitude where he seeks to live.

 

The loner is not lonely.

 

The loner who is honest and mature will soon realize that being alone is a curse. That his craving for solitude will one day, if lived out, will only cause pain and torment. Pain and torment…they patiently stand in line to greet the loner with open arms. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later. But they wait surely.

 

The loner can choose to defy himself and his nature and attempt a life of normalcy amidst the crowded mass of society; happiness and succor is not to be found here for the loner, but at least he can find solace in the fact he has chosen his own route to dissatisfaction and misery. For the option of living out the journey of solitude, which promises satisfaction today, also promises pain and misery on its own terms. The loner will have no say in the misery deferred.

 

For the loner only has 2 choices:
To live in unhappiness surrounded by people for the rest of his life; or to spend the last portion of his life in dire anticipation of death in a cloud of unforgiving solitude.

 

Solitude, made bearable by youthful vigor and independence. But in old age, rendered villainous as physical robustness gives way to encroaching helplessness.

 

A loner for you.