Sunday, December 17, 2006
This book I'm reading is monumental. It's all bleached bone and gray. Pared, barren prose leaves such space for the reader to complete the picture, to put their own eddies in the dust, images often repeated with a slight change in their ordering. The word 'blood' is on every page, somehow making it lean and honest. And it makes me think of the book review below, and how a stern, unforgiving frontier novel like this really is much like the hyperbole drenched sci-fi genre. Both stipulate the most incredible of conditions, inducing the most remarkable of responses, exposing all extremities of character. Men fight gods here. The narrator, the tekhnos, the nature, the atavistic logos, and always always the reader. In this one, the prose allows little compassion, I can feel these people pushing against me, my observation, my presence, as if I am the only reason they reckon under such misfortune. The problem now is that I should have to read this quick if it's to become the Christmas gift I bought it for.
Victoria always makes me think of castration somehow. I'll cut this short for now, but I'll try and come back with a fairer idea of why it strikes me so.
Friday, December 15, 2006
- Madonna is a youth vampire.
- a dawn to cauterize the rent night
- blogbituaries? RIP Mac, Onechildleftbehind etc.
- moisturizers? dermatological ballast for the overclean?
- wine rings on the computer
- lost/found note to my mum: '...mostly because immediacy is more of a removal of self than its delivery: its too late to make any decision in the present.'
- Wedding Crashers sequel: Christmas Crashers?
- spitting into the rain, does anyone else feel compelled?
BROKEN TELEPHONE OF THE WEEK (I have little ears): Foaming Bath Groins (grains)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "He went to get spastic down by the waves" - my mother
Thursday, December 14, 2006
*Blood Meridian* clocks in at 337 pages, yet seems much longer, each chapter crammed with so much force and baroque ambition as to overwhelm the uninitiated reader, pummeling our sensibilities with its bloody license, its terror-networks of human splatter, its lines of lit glycerin, its miles of pain. Initially, Captain Glanton's regiment of scalp-hunters seem little more than bloodthirsty pilgrims of hate, an ignorance-cult borne of excess and syphilitic mind-rot. But more vitally, they are the war ensemble of Judge Holden's theology of martial gamesmanship, itself reducible to a few happy bylaws:
1. Men are born for games, and war is the game that swallows up stakes, rules, players, all.
2. There is no mystery to war, for war is god.
3. War is thus the truest form of divination.
Most brutal case of Hobbesian one-upmanship you will ever read....
I'll try and resist the obvious and reflexive comparisons of Judge Holden to Ahab and Iago and MacBeth and the Miltonic Satan. The word McCarthy himself uses in Chap. XXII (pg. 309) is "mutant," hypothesizing a creature specially adapted to the primeval wastelands of the American Southwest, a nomadic barrister of martial law incarnate, a pure demigod risen from some antediluvian vomit-bowl, one whose Mars-haunted spirit has internalized the whiteness of the whale, and is prepared to externalize this principle by whitening the West into a boneyard calcified by Judgement.
Clive Barker once remarked that he took it personally when something died, but the Judge takes this precept even further, convinced that nothing on this earth shall be permitted to die without his permission, without his blood-stamped ratification. His knowledge and his works are listed in the insanity provision of the criminal code, his running shadow itself half-way toward becoming an occult artifact. By the end of the novel, ageless and sleepless, he becomes less a mutant or demihuman than a pure principle or Intelligence, a roving nexus of judgement beyond origins or ends, Ares Unbound.
In my own experiences as a reader, the Judge is one of the few authentic father-figures I'd be willing to follow into the desert, a posthuman prodigy whose martial consciousness is lodged in the atavistic as much as in the epistemological, a true avatar of post-millennial ethics that must be reckoned with by all 21st-century readers. As Harold Bloom noted, *Blood Meridian* is far more important to us today than it was in 1985 (or even the 19th-century where it is set), helping us to calculate the number of the beast in, for example, the ruins of war-torn Kosovo, as in any future site of genocidal bombast....
The Kid is a recurring figure in McCarthy's fiction, an orphan and drifter fallen into bad company, yet vouchsafing some blurred trace of empathy in the bloodthirsty maw of Glanton's paramilitaries. It is this shred of "humanity" which the Judge condemns as a betrayal to the regiment, a heroic disloyalty to the Hobbesian principle of universal conflict, in the end providing an apologia for the Kid's penultimate, er, shall we say liquidation?
*Blood Meridian* is also a linguistic odyssey whose shadowy vocabulary recalls the work of certain SF fabulists who construct an alien language to reconnoiter their imagined worlds. (It is not surprising that McCarthy is such a revered figure in the vanguard of contemporary science-fiction; the novels of Jack Womack and William Gibson in particular simply wouldn't exist in their current form without his influence.) The difference is that most of McCarthy's "jargon" can be found in Merriam-Webster's, and the ambitious reader may want to prepare a glossary before embarking on this great novel; my own list includes: acacia, acequia, alcalde, almagre, aloe, anchorite, archimandrite, arroyo, artemisia, azotea, bagnio, baldric, bodega, boleta, bungstarter, bursar, cabildo, caisson, cartouche, chaparral, chattel, cholla, corbel, cordillera, coulee, crinoline, dorys, dragoon, egrets, enfilade, esker, fandango, farrier, felloes, filibuster, fulgurite, fusil, galena, guidon, gypsum, hackamore, holothurian, ilex, isomer, jacal, jakes, javelina, jornada, kiva, lazarous, lemniscate, littoral, malabarista, malpais, matraca, Monroe Doctrine, mortice, nopal, ocotillo, palmilla, paloverde, pannier, playa, plover, porphyry, presidio, pulque, pumice, purlieu, quirt, rebozo, remuda, revetment, sacristy, saguaro, sally-gate, scantling, scapular, scow, scree, scrog, selvage, slurry, solpuga, sotol, spall, specie, sutler, suttee, swale, switchback, tamales, tern, thrapple, tumbril, tyrolean, vedette, viga, vinegarroon, weskit, whang, wickiup, withers, yucca, and if you've read this far, it should be clear that I have no life to speak of...(!)
*lifted from Amazon without consent
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
"What determines whether time speeds up or slows down? The consistent answer is that time moves in relation to the amount of chaos. We can state the Law of Time and Chaos as follows:
THE LAW OF TIME AND CHAOS: In a process, the time interval between salient events (that is, events that change the nature of the process, or significantly affect the future of the process) expands or contracts along with the amount of chaos.
When there is a lot of chaos in a process, it takes more time for significant events to occur. Conversely, as order increases, the time periods between salient events decrease.
We have to be careful here in our definition of chaos. It refers to the quantity of disordered (that is, random) events that are revelant to the process. If we're dealing with the random movement of atoms and molecules in a gas or liquid, then heat is an appropriate measure. If we're dealing with the process of evolution of life-forms, then chaos represents the unpredictable events encouraged by organisms, and the random mutations that are introduced in the genetic code.
Let's see how the Law of Time and Chaos applies to our example. If chaos is increasing, the Law of Time and Chaos implies the following sublaw:
THE LAW OF INCREASING CHAOS: As chaos exponentially increases, time exponentially slows down (that is, the time interval between salient events grows longer as time passes).
This fits the Universe rather well. When the entire Universe was just a "naked" singularity -a perfectly orderly single point in space and time- there was no chaos and conspicuous events took almost no time at all. As the Universe grew in size, chaos increased exponentially, and so did the timescale for epochal changes. Now, with billions of galaxies sprawled out over trillions of light-years of space, the Universe contains vast reaches of chaos, and indeed requires billions of years to get everything organized for a paradigm shift to take place.
We see a similar phenomenon in the progression of an organism's life. We start out as a single fertilized cell, so there's only rather limited chaos there. Ending up with trillions of cells, chaos greatly expands. Finally, at the end of our lives, our designs deteriorate, engendering even greater randomness. So the time period between salient biological events grows longer as we grow older. And that is indeed what we experience."
THE LAW OF ACCELERATING RETURNS IS THE CONVERSE OF THE ABOVE (it'd be kinda redundant to actually present). MORE CAN BE FOUND HERE.
Pretty sweet, eh? I've got a few problems with it being called a 'law', as there's at least one cosmoverse of unknowns among us arrogantelope.
Also, found this and it could be mildly construed as related but DEFINITELY worth the buffer time to load. It's awedropping!
Friday, December 08, 2006
“We’re here mum,” John repeated. “Goldstream Park. Sit tight while Nadia sets the chair up for you.”
Nadia locked with the woman’s watery eyes, bright but submerged, nickels flashing from a staid millpond. “The salmon, grandma,” as if answering the unasked. She wondered at her father’s ability to speak to this hidden woman, his voice a reply only to itself. She bit her lip back, a ward of criticism: how else to speak to a ruined foundry? Jocularity emboldens the seekers, not the trapped. “Perhaps we’ll even see some other wildlife. It’s been a while since you’ve been here…” She stooped to shift the slight body to the chromium-alloy chair. It was no harder than lifting a frown to a smile. Her father returned from the parking validation, the rental car wept its doors firm and they made for the footprint-pitted path.
John walked a marked pace ahead, his height stiffened by his long coat. His was a parade ground, inspecting those straight-backed Douglas firs, attending majestic. A vast hall of heroes. Their mossy festoons could not soften his eye. From crooks of boughs, sword ferns dripped like verdant, shade-laden lanterns. Connecting the earthbound to the ethereal, he thought. Their columnar support vaulting the doming sky. How ageless the arborous responsibility! How their efforts belied all strain. He paused, and from his chin through to his fists he stretched his bowed spine, a motion of habit, not supraliminal form.
Nadia’s gaze swept low the ground, negotiating the gnarled snags and mudded depressions. Grandma’s weight rattled through the wheelchair, resonating something in her hands that remembered bird bones in a shoebox lined with tissue. A musty trunk of sensation opened, its yawned lid revealing… some cave of sluggish, groping motility, bestial and blind. The ancient woods seemed to recoil, its pride retreating to expose dank spaces between the trees, spaces where things fed. A salmon carcass, innards outer scale as if combed through by its own delicate ribs, leered from a brittle shrub. Grubs writhed indecipherable from its cuttled flesh. Such proximity to the touring human passage kept the higher-order predators at bay, she thought, furthering this vermian glut. And there we were, feinting revulsion but meaning jealousy. Everywhere, the autumn blanket rustled a pocket above an undercurrent of mycologic mucus, sinking into loam. Tendrils beetled through fallen debris, sucking on a rot inherited. Those sweetening aromas just a byproduct rising from the openings of those feeding. One end eating the other eaten. Torsos of the mighty lay in charnel digestion, saplings springing from them like sprigs of mint.
A woman who looked as if she was wearing too much perfume picked along the riverside path, binoculars swinging from her turtled neck. Her calls to children too old to require them mingled with the croaks of gulls. She gassed a smile past the trio with a distracted glance, and hurried on. Blanched chum salmon cluttered the stream like languishing tea-bags. Fowl slashed at the attainable amongst them, the ones who’d furrowed their redds and spent their roe. Dippers rimmed the rippling runnels, fervently poking about for egg caches. Further upstream the rutting continued. From somewhere behind came the cry of “Eagle!” While Nadia and her father plumbed the tannin waters, the old lady’s scarf-fastened head turned tropically.
The light was light, Francine thought. The balds caught it in their stirrups as it bore them high. These days, gravity seemed to miss her body as it fell. Nadia, tall like her father, regal features cowled by black hair, her presence here lustrous, and what a life ahead. Francine went back, back to matter, to steam from a kettle and mouse slurps around a kitchen table. Light conversation as weigh-scale to life’s vexations. Back to when John was Nadia’s age, a young man, homecomings rarified by schools and girlfriends, terse words and church bells. He was apparent now -just in front of where she sat- hands on his hips and jigging for a laughing Nadia. A joke! He was grey himself, grey but robust. And here, in this wooded place, quiescent despite the roiling waters and hording nature-gaggers, life could again be lauded. Lifted up as a chalice. Up, up into the canopy. Up into that blue, blue air.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
So, this is probably a web-wide phenomenon, but how about:
- Polar Bear in an Elevator
- Squids in a Lingerie Store
- Mexicans at Biftek (based on a true story)
- Fruit Bats at an AA Meeting
- Eggplant in a Bubble Bath
- 8 Year-olds at a Carpet Emporium
- Stingrays in a Fromagerie
- Couscous on the Metro
Also, I've been worrying over this question for a while: if on a raft with 5 or 6 people, floating aimlessly and without hope of being saved, would you eat the vegetarians first or last?
also, please welcome my oldest known friend James to the blogging world!!
@ @ @
Oops, sorry James, fixed the link (but left the syntax bizarre).
Can't... stop... thinking... of this flogged-to-death issue (these ones are a little scarier):
- Unicorn in an Accordian
- Porcupine on a Tricycle
- Pureed Carrots in a Prom Dress
- Hypodermic Needle in your Porridge
- Nicole Richie in your Shower
- Crayon all over the Fiscal Quarter Budget Review Presentation
- Tabasco sauce on the Toilet Paper
- Peanut Butter in a Hair Piece
- Vengaboys on the Morning Car-Pool Stereo
- Dripping AC Unit Above Where you are Eating Your Ice Cream
Ok, I lost the plot a bit there, maybe I'll have more once I calm down a bit.. Hope today's great for everyone.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I'm going to cut my teeth gently though, and not be too ambitious in this installment. I'm just here to pick up my spirits some today. Free the bonds, like. I would have waited longer, but ARRRGH!!!
I used to rise to Isabel's posts, because they seemed so horribly inaccurate a portrayal of what had been. They'd feel so unfair. I'd reason eventually, after reacting angrily, that to protect your pattern of belief and behaviour, you'll turn instead to the heroic task of flipping the world on its head until the sense you need with which to maintain your worldview eventually loses its grip and falls into the seat you'd reserved for it ('hypothesis' lit. "under one's seat"). The end-game of that task reduces yourself to victim though, and if both parties play that game it becomes a game of 'who hurt who more'. I dearly wish Isabel and I had been able to speak to each other during the past 3 months, as before that we had actually been able to glimpse into the reasons as to how we'd fallen apart without the feeling of recrimination. Briefly. We'd seen each other as people, not villainously fragmented anti-personalities. In the end, she cut me out after a fight we'd had over $20. I gave and asked apology. We did not talk further. In the last 1/4 year, I still manage to hurt her, this time through absence. I'd held onto her link because I counted her among the closest of my friends, and I guess I was wincing for reconciliation, or at least some attempt at it. Now that just looks fruitless. I can say 2 things assuredly: It was my fault, but also hers. And, at least we can say we tried. Maybe that's even the problem?
Anyway. She keeps a tidy and thought-provoking blog, and despite occasionally coming across as abrupt, she proves to be the most stalwart and considerate of allies.. but add her to your links accordingly, as by my next post you won't be able to find her here anymore.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
(* - a phrase I liked from a book I'm reading. I won't say which one, as that's the subject of tomorrow's post... I was feeling faint for quite some time.)
Please keep in mind that the following blog idea was induced by shortage of blood to the head. Thank you.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
i learnt how to roll from my uncle glynn. he'd bring me tubes of smarties, chase me around the sofas until i learned a new headwound (i say 'chase' figuratively, as he was a restful man and would catch me either by tripping my feet or by luring me over with tabacco esoterica) or give me lessons. one of which was to roll a mean smoke. the rizla'd come out, the golden virginia pouch with its earthy smell, and then the slight hand gestures and adjustments. he'd pinch out the tickles sticking out of an end, tossing the flecks back into the pouch, and then light the fag. it smelled good. i always saved all my orange smarties till the end (i had convinced myself that they tasted like terry's orange choclate, a rare treat) and proffered them as trade for his valuable skills. he let me roll a few smokes, which looked like the nesting sites of 2-dimensional birds, and then even light them to pass to him. i was perhaps 8. i'd been caught drinking a few times by then; once turned in by a friend at the smurf's ice-capades for enticing him with a hippie of scotch; another time drinking my mum's dad's pear wine; and the other times... wait, i've yet to be called out on them...
where was i going with this? oh yes... why do we feel compelled to buy stuff when it's just lying around? i pass about a pound of tobacco on the streets everyday... this gives me an idea: tobacco cake! and a whole line of baked goods, including tobacco biscottis (what the hell are they? bookmarks? anti-witch talismans? mobile bulletin boards? even jackie chan would not know how to use them...)
i truly wish i'd known uncle glynn as an adult.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
thinking about change in montreal -without holding it quiet in your pocket as you walk past a panhandler (how i wish i could truly provide it)- is usually an exercise in futility. thanks for the midwifery on the post below, tighties and all. i belaboured the question not to be contentious, but to better understand it. ok, so there was a bit of affected contention there, but that was part of the question... talking about change as change?
i had the day of the renegade shoelace today. my right scarpa boot. after a few fingernumbing attentions, i let it trail. like a potato shot root or rain-worried worm, it writhed behind me. and reminded me of the one time i've writhed behind my shoelace in the wilds of the UK countryside...
my friend Mark and i were malt-mangled, and i believe somewhere in the netherregions of shropshire. his parents had been kindly chaperoning me for the odd weekend, and this had been one of those... so, pretty much legless, we hailed a cab. the traditional pulled up, and the door, unlatched from the inside, swung open for us. following the example of our alcohol and embassy laced breath, we tumbled over each other into one of quentin tarantino's math class doodles. the taxi driver was wearing a black leather cat-suit, her auburn hair held back sheerly by the hot air rising from her countenance. she faced us once, and Mark and i were struck dumb. astonishment couldn't even turn our heads to register the other's reaction. our cabbie was of mythologically gorgeous and self-possessed graces. the corner of her mouth swallow-winged up to see our previous loutish confidences sodden in front of her: we were taxidermed. Mark eventually mumbled his address, and we were swifting propelled homeward. it was a few moments before we regained our drunken humour. and even then, it was under spell and respect. we spoke with her, and, i believe, engaged her elegant amusement (though doubtlessly for very different reasons than we presented). and the cab ride seemingly ended much quicker than the average. we paid. bowed out (one steps down from a uk cab). and closed the door teenage hearts engladdened that we'd not made too much of a fool of ourselves. it was only when she was driving away that i noticed i'd just locked my meter-long bootstring in the door. having still enough slack in the string to hobble along, i knocked on the side of the cab while hollering with the desperate anticipation that only a countless hours of surgically administered gravel-extraction from my favourite turnip could exhort. because she was all-wise, she stopped for me immediately, smiling with more than a little bit of mischief as she unlatched the door. Mark was howling. i was sober. and facing the ground, disjointedly expressed my immediate desire to go inside the house.
my message here? i am so glad i have yet to get dragged behind a car like a dozen cans announcing 'just marred'.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Locals believed that it foretold the end of the world, though the official explanation was that it was desert dust that had blown over from Arabia. But one scientist in the area, Dr Godfrey Louis, was convinced there was something much more unusual going on.
Not only did Dr Louis discover that there were tiny biological cells present, but because they did not appear to contain DNA, the essential component of all life on Earth, he reasoned they must be alien lifeforms.
"This staggering claim is that this is possibly extraterrestrial. That is a big claim I know, but all the experiments are supporting this claim," said Dr Louis.
His remarkable work has set in motion a chain of events with scientists around the world debating the origin of these mysterious cells.
The main reason why Dr Louis's ideas have not been immediately laughed out of court is because they tie in with a theory promoted by two UK scientists ever since the 1960s.
The late Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe have been the champions of "Panspermia", the idea that life on Earth originated on another planet.
They speculate that life was first brought here on the back of a comet. Over the last decade, Panspermia is being taken ever more seriously.
The US space agency (Nasa) is now increasingly interested in searching for extra-terrestrial life.
Prof Chandra WickramasingheA new robotic submarine is being developed to explore the oceans of one of Jupiter's moons. This submarine is on test at the moment in a lake in Texas.
Finding life elsewhere in the Solar System would be a vital bolster to the Panspermia theory.
Another section of Nasa is devoted to the study of bacteria found on Earth that can survive extreme conditions.
Finding these types of bacteria makes it more likely that micro-organism could survive the hardships of travelling through space on the back of a meteoroid.
Professor Wickramasinghe explained: "Bacteria have got to endure the extreme cold of space, the vacuum of space, ultraviolet radiation, cosmic rays, X-rays.
"That sounds like a tall order but bacteria do that. From what we know survival out in space is more or less ensured. Bacteria seem to me to be born space travellers."
Last summer, Horizon had exclusive access to a trip taken by Professor Wickramasinghe to India to investigate at first hand the red rain phenomenon.
He met Dr Louis and together they visited the people who had witnessed the red rain.
He was able to see the recent work of Dr Louis which shows that the red rain can replicate at 300C, an essential attribute of a space micro-organism that might have to endure extreme temperatures.
spaceAll this has convinced Professor Wickramasinghe that the red rain is a form of alien life.
"Before I came I had grave doubts as to whether the red rain was really an indication of life coming from space; new life coming from space," he said.
"But on reflection and after talking to Godfrey, I think I would now fairly firmly believe that it did represent an invasion of microbes from space."
Many scientists remain highly sceptical, however, but if Wickramasinghe and Louis are correct it will be the strongest evidence so far that the theory of Panspermia might be true.
It also raises the intriguing possibility that if life first originated on another planet then it must mean all Earth organisms, including humans, evolved from alien life.
By Andrew Thompson
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I'm familiar with two very powerful mental states: paranoia and jealousy. They are in league.
Paranoia's a sure-rooted word for a fleet-footed concept: 'para' = beside or beyond; 'noos' = mind; eidos = 'form or shape' --- ultimately, etymonline.com describes it as a "mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions"... but I'm not here to speak of paranoia: all mental disorders seem to be assessed by matter of degree (IOW: the abstraction that is secularly "human" is made out to be sort of formal balance of virtue and vice, and so everyone characterizes some expression of form. Disorder is when one particular form dominates).
I'm here to speak of jealousy. What the fuck is it and why do I experience it so much?
When I say jealousy, I do not actually mean the emotional expression of it (which may have immediate streaks of paranoia, despondency, negative self-appraisal, anger, disappointment etc. attached) but the idea of jealousy as a motivating force... avoiding jealousy, or affecting my life to maintain the absence of jealousy I'd consider to be experiencing jealousy, obviously without the burning sensations.
Flat-out, jealousy is not necessarily a bad thing, that is as long as it is not paralytic... it can be quite complimentary, is a phenomenon that every ilk, breed and creed feel throughout the human globe, is a legitimate motivating force and biologically functional by nature. But as soon as it gets linked to delusional belief structures (from as powerful and immediate an emergence as paranoia to just calculated aversion of it - which is the type I experience) it takes a negative spin.
Jealousy, as I experience it, is different from envy: jealousy targets a threat to status as from another, whereas envy exposes a desired attribute, privilege or possession as belonging to another. They can of course be readily confused and mutually involved.
Yakkity-smakkity... what is it that I'm jealous of? Here I again resort to pointform:
1) In terms of writing, I find myself inherently jealous. Guarding my ideas behind an iron trap. If I raise a point on this blog, you can be assured it is not 'crucial' to me as a prospective story idea. In fact, I am reluctant to even speak about ideas. Paranoia, perhaps, but I don't like 'releasing' concepts that might get swiped from the ether and installed into the zeitgeist (a great word that, but one I'm beginning to despise). Not that I think that these ideas're grandiose, I just think that they're mine.
2) I am jealous of the relationships I am not immediately able to protect. This could be triggered by envy too. For example, I am jealous of my step-brother's relationship to my father. I am jealous when I feel there is flirtation happening between my lover and another. This could be due to some element of perceived lack of control.
3) I am jealous of laughter. Envious of another's acumen in inducing it.
4) I am jealous of others' ability to not abide by an ethical code.
5) I am jealous of you for reading this, because this is something you could use against me. Therefore, I'm done.
Now I am going to rub myself down with exfoliating substances (which is most substances if done vigorously enough: pistachio shells, frozen cheese curds, toothpaste, rye bread, Archie comics...) to slough this skin-clinging grime.
I have a few dynamiting strategies in mind. I'll save them for another post.
c.1225, from O.Fr. gelos (12c., Fr. jaloux), from L.L. zelosus, from zelus "zeal," from Gk. zelos, sometimes "jealousy," but more often in a good sense ("emulation, rivalry, zeal"). See zeal.
c.1280, from O.Fr. envie, from L. invidia "envy, jealousy," from invidus "envious," from invidere "envy," earlier "look at (with malice), cast an evil eye upon," from in- "upon" + videre "to see"
- - - - -
- i don't like microwaves. i cannot bear to be near them when they're on. they make me feel funny and i hear things.
- i don't like sleeping with the door closed.
- i don't like wearing the same socks 2 days in a row.
- i don't like being called 'buddy'.
- i don't like membership games as a basis for friendship.
- i don't like that i can't remember a lick of lyrics.
- i don't like that lies are rendered transparent to me, and yet i say nothing.
- i don't like that i let jealousy determine so much of my inaction.
- i don't like this list.
- - - - -
also, if you've never heard of it, here is the ultimate website for drug and substance information. the 'art vault' is particularly interesting --> http://www.erowid.org/culture/art/
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
- Tending to say in real-life, on the advent of something noteworthy happening: "Just when you thought you had run out of things to blog about..." I now say it so frequently, it's become "Just when you thought you had run out of things to say just when you thought you had run out of things to blog about..."
- One of today's things... while at the cafe and as furnishing my coffee (it's really an obfuscated sugar delivery device for me) the breast-feeding woman I'd avoided looking at got up to get some water. The baby was still suckling, perhaps even swinging freely from the nub, while she poured. This is cool and all, but on the pitter-patter of justifications, it felt a bit like a flaunt too. I'm all for public feedings, and not for the reasons you'd imagine either, but I do feel it should be tempered. I'm glad the hippie lady feels comfortable about it and even incorporates it into her list of multitaskable errands, and though I don't feel directly uncomfortable about it, it does make me uncomfortable that she would not anticipate other's comfort levels... shit, i was squirting cream into my mug as she leaned over to get the water jug!! it was like she was daring a rebuke for what she was doing, which I feel is as prejudicial as the actual rebuke itself. I'd say that breastfeeding is a bodily function, and like nose-blowing or ear-digging or coughing or underwear-adjusting or coke-snorting or toast-eating or hair-combing or PDA, I just don't want it done over my coffee.
- I generally believe in giving other smokers a smoke when I can afford to. This is self-interested, as it does grant me the right to ask it of the commons when I'm devoid. What I can't stand though, is when it is expected. The dismissive 'No' or acquiescent 'Yes' is given on the approach vector; on the sheer and very real etiquette that determines the of meeting another. You're asking for currency, mate! Societies have placed different values on tabacco, and much like there are those that would find it disrespectful to refuse a proffered cigarette, the one I'm in has conferred a very real monetary value onto it. I'm not saying there is not a wealth of social tokenism placed on the smoke in this one: We could've become friends or at least formed a temporary alliance (conversational prop). But no, you were rude, now deal with it.
- The studio is going to be operational upon return from Xmas. We're going to be warming the apartment with overheated amps! BTW, does anyone know the best music posting program for blogs?
Sunday, November 12, 2006
1. 'pointless' is a funny word, especially when it's spelled 'poontless'
1. i never used to like Thomas as a name, it befits an adult, but not a boy (and Tom, I find, pisses me off now some as an adult, so i've tried to revert to Thomas, but there's some missing dude-factor in it that i'm strangely needing to perpetually reinforce). after some contemplation with the A&S, i'm assuming S'Mat (inspired somewhat by Jo and Chris's cat matdamon and my groaner of a middle name, Matthew) as the name of my blogging persona.
2. i quite like it: S'Mat! it's almost dirty, almost onoS'Matopoeic and utterly stupid. it conjures up a mild reference to those fantasy-novel protagonists that contrived second-rate authors suffer the reader with: S'Mat confronted the brooding menses-wyvern hidden deep in the cleft. All that was visible was it's meanness. He scratched at his very manly jaw and weighed his crystal vorpal sword while thinking to himself: 'How would be the best way to slay this icky bugger without my heroic balls getting in the way?' Naturally, he was hearkening back to his slight misapplication of force at the now ill-famed Troll Book-Club and Spoken Word Gathering Massacre of 1133. He winced. It was a very manly wince.
3. you can tell that this author is second-rate because in reality no self-respecting barbarian warrior would bring a crystal sword to a decent wyvern routing. also, it appears that it has not occured to the author that this is nowt more than a none-too-veiled sexual allegory.
1. i've been thinking of getting some fish for a while because they're way better 'please-don't-dies' than stick-insects. their names will be Romiette and Juleo and they'll be feathered blackmoors, which are like the visible minority of fish. please refer to the below post to see how I apparently feel about visible minorities.
2. because fish cost money, I've been thinking of creating a virtual fishtank to help forego the financial and emotional but mostly financial pain of having them die. They'll also be easier to neglect this way, because that's apparantly the trend with fish.
3. i hope that pet-store hires me. despite what it may seem like here, I'm good with animals and I'll be able to inform them closely about the pets they are purchasing.
4. my experience with animals: 3 dogs (+ another 3 on loan), 2 cats (+2 on loan), 4 ferrets, 1 tortoise, maybe a dozen fish, a bushel of stick-insects, 1 iguana, 200g of blue-cheese, 2 turtles (on loan), one wormery, 2 budgies (on loan), 2 gerbils, 3 bare-assed mice (don't ask), 1 hamster (on loan), 2 injured pigeons and 1 sparrow and 1 red cardinal fledgling (sleep-overs), a handful of Australian friends and once I stroked a chinchilla.
1. Jesus, I desperately need a job.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The lady whose company I borrow ('keep' too fickle a word) is staggeringly engaging, and she'll regale me with crafted anecdotes - from the sidesplitting to the horrific - until we reach that region of the night that only psychopaths, eBayheads and upwardly-mobile librarians ever frequent: that timebelt of the insanely late. So we carved up an accord: today we get up AND STAY UP... We got up 7 hours earlier than yesterday and I think I might be hallucynating with tiredness, or from it.
Generally I find I can temper tiredness with food, and conversely sooth the hunger-wolf with sleep. So I vowed to keep myself topped up with food so's to stay innoculated from fatigue-induced shitheaditis and thought this to be the perfect occasion to try the $7.99 (+Tx) Indian buffet I see while toing and froing the Plateau. It sucked. It sucked to the degree that it corrupted the 'all-you-can-eat' slogan from that of enticement to that of taunting provocation. While I did get to ingest the DOA sheep that my subconscious had been laboriously hurling over the fence, there were what could've only been bone flecks in the vege dish and the rice was like machine-blended airplane insulation foam.
All this aside, I was floating in semi-conscious revery when I paid the bill. I followed the Indian gentleman to the register. We have a fairly good rapport - this used to have my favourite menu [a la carte]- and so sallied some, with his final joke being 'do not be fearful, but the bill comes to $9.11' and so I answered, too quickly and way too wrongly: 'don't worry, i'm not a suspicious person'. I paid, tipped, put on my coat and only when I was half-out the door did my shithead-comment alarm go off. Of course I meant 'superstitious', not 'suspicious', but if I were to return and correct myself then I'd have to possibly explain why saying 'suspicious' was such a shithead misadjectivism, only coming into existence because I was tired and not because he was brown etc. This further blustering would be an exercise in shitheadity of Costanza proportions. So naturally I meekly tiptoed out and now attempt to assuage my guilt in that neo-Catholic cyber-confessional commonly given the appellation of 'my blog'.
ps. Interestingly, this gaffing occurs reasonably frequently when I'm dog-tired. My last mega-clanger was several years ago, when after cabbing home from the airport, and genially nattering in drowsy English and my brutal pidgin French to the Haitian driver, we arrived at my apartment, I paid and leant through the open passenger window to give him his tip and say thankyou, good night. 'Merci. Bon noir' I cheerily nodded through the warmth from within, his smile froze as much as mine peeled slowly back by the rictus of horrific revelation: yes, instead of saying 'good night', I'd of course said 'good black'. I wheeled stiffly around and scolding myself something fearsome, gingerly retrieved my bags from the boot of the taxi. I did not look back. Until today, I'd honestly thought it was an isolated mistake, but apparently I'm actually a fucking bigot when I'm tired. Perhaps I should look for work within the government.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
1. You can read (a skill assumed by photonic activation by the inherent promiscuity of rods and cones and occipital nerves etc. as needed to reassemble semantic signifers encoded within a predeterminate writ)
2. You can read English
3. You have legs where they should be
4. You go into and through areas where rain is known to occur (if the word 'outside' seems foreign to you, not only is your last name not likely Proust or Frank, but you should really be busying yourself in preparation for the inevitable YouTube.com meltdown)
I have an aversion to umbrellas. This may be some vestigal Londoner rebellian emerging, but I suspect it is more. I strongly believe there is a way to commute in moderate rain without a) rain gear and b) getting wet. All you need is a hoody and the warming layers beneath. Here I must revert to pointform.
* walking is a mode of fluidly navigating surfaces. the walker is approached by manifold surfaces as she travels: brick, glass, paint, sheet metal, baby, cotton, poo, wheeled things, cord, plastic - - - everything. the walker need constantly be aware of jeopardy. simply, walking is perilous.
* because the walker is already necessarily aware of her surroundings, it is a minute conditional adjustment to prepare for adverse environmental hazards. in this case: rain.
* rain, though indiscrimminately invasive as a barrage of micro-surfaces, is still subject to the same fluidity of surface as the walker. so viewed, there can be anticipatory preparation and momentary improvisation.
* say 'no' to umbrellas. this is not to say that they are not wonderful and fun to carry (especially when closed), imparting a sense of dignity and presence to the bearer, insulating him from external influence. however, they are dangerous: as eye-rakers, surely, but also achieving a false sense of imperviousness that might unbalance the bearer's sense of worldly proportion. in short, umbrellas keep clothes dry but dampen awareness by virtue of illusory separation.
* use a hoody. not only will this protect you from peripheral umbrella eye-jabs, but the feel of the environment on the fabric will serve to extend your senses. like a spider in the center of her web, information will in.
* rain is manipulated by surface. the wind forms a virtual surface, and pushes rain at its whim. so, while walking, be sure to notice the direction of the wind. on a particular side of a street, you will find a rain shadow (wind blowing west, walk on east side of street: no droplets.) if awnings are available (commercial areas) you can either walk beneath them, or avoid them altogether. they protect the static from rain, but not so well the mobile. other umbrellas will spit and dribble on you (however, walking a few steps behind a quick umbrella wielder will clear a path for you so's to assist the avoidance other umbrellas.)
* the speed and manner of how the walker walks will heavily affect how much rain she receives. a geezer once told me the theory that you will get wetter while running that while walking, the belief of which i've not yet commited (many variables: rapidity, size of runner/walker, wind direction etc.) the walker need not walk sideways, but they can reduce the ability of the rain to hit them: by movement of the shoulders and stride length, by the gait. through practice, the walker will be able to avoid most of what would otherwise hit them. this is not dodging, but another form of surface navigation.
All this to say, you WILL get wet, but only slightly and definitely not the type that engenders discomfort, and the gain: you will be able to enjoy the cadence and magically quickened world as revealed under the rain. yes, this is a martial art. please use it to impress your soft, cab-hailing friends.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
most of these sorties of imagery ain't worth the virtuality we'd designate, being mundane or too ordinary in and of themselves, but if we anthropomorphize far enough, they could be considered simultaneously alien and soothing... to live in a matchbox, or a hole in some cheese. to invite your first and giddy first-date to join you on the back of a jetty-stalking seagull. and if all goes afoul, there's always the chance he gets eaten (or you, if you can't get the taste of the off-colour jibe about his mother's dental hygiene practices out of your own mouth...)
and what happens in real-time, when distance cracks your from a loved one's presence? it could be either unnerving or reifying, or turgid with reflective marveling. what happens to you, when you are there and they are elsewhere? where do you send yourself? into the throes of neurosis or overanalysis? take your worldview to the fridge to conquer some dairy products? do you bring your fist down upon what earlier you cherished?
i wonder because i wander. and i've vowed to practice my wonder awander...
(ps. for statistical purposes only: per volume, this was the least time-consuming post EVER written by me. i typically deliberate over comments on others' blogs longer than it took me for this. therefore i conclude that it must suck)
Sunday, November 05, 2006
and at the same time, i want to always remember. i want to cradle the moment like a jpeg in a storyboard is frozen and forever captured. i feel such remorse that i can never do this.
It's a sweeper, that, a mind-sender; a comment on photos and the places onto which they act as portal: sand-scoured citadels of doors in doors, amaze with terraces interlinked; ear-pressed chests of sanctuary thrummed with the lyricism of softened stories; dripped fruit lazy and uneaten in frames of far-off days; meadowed trees; the 3pm dune grass pushed by the salted shadows of noon-quickened clouds. As long as I've known her, she's refused to forget... She recounts episodes so accurately that she's even remembered for me where I was on a particular day, who I was with, even what we had talked about while spilling what we had eaten over what we had worn... And now, if I read her right, she wants to plunge into Lethe... or at least steep a curative tea in its waters. I wish her much luck.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
she eyes the sandstone arch
a wedge and lonely end to edge
the sky's bright-lined loss and ire
standing there, a crease, a maker
she eases airs of simmered figs
dreams awake the wetted low-lands
that steals asleep her lighted taper
lying there, a mood, a flower
she bears and bores and's borne awind
a curse and leaden urn to course
life, which weighted, defies her power
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
"Uncannily so. I think I know what It is," I reply, "I think It's a gourd. Man, Steve, I'm so glad you were in the house when I met It."
Since that pivottal moment, our lives have been filled with affections for all things gourd. We did shots of vodka and smoked It up. It's a joyous little goblin and It's wormed Its knobbly way so far into our hearts that we've decided to collect a few more, you know, become gourdeners (gourd-ranchers, gourd-wranglers, gourd-tamers, gourd-handlers, Super Gourd Bros., gourdoliers, gourd-keepers, gourdheads, Supplicants to the Good Gourd Almighty etc. [we don't feel we need to 'define' or justify our relationship to It, ok?!]) I have said/typed/thought/dreamt the word GOURD perhaps 500 times in the last 12 hours. If you still can't picture It, It approximates a rancid, partially deflated, sea-sick pumpkin. Or perhaps 'a constipated limbless toad' might be a better discription, as I swear It pulses when you don't look at It directly. Steve suggested we be nice to It, as It's been through a drastic habitat change and we're not quite sure as to what powers it may possess. I'm thinking evil ones. As he MSNed to me today: "I get the feeling the gourd chose me." We're definitely going to have a whole spectrum of gourds soon (we'll likely start the first Canadian SPCG [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Gourds]), and we'll be holding varied activities to keep them amused and socialized. Perhaps a Gourd Ugly Pageant or a 3-meter hurdles race or a few Wine & Cheese & Gourd parties. Pictures of the gourd(s) are to follow in subsequent posts. We'd also appreciate suggestions for gourd names... (so far we've been thinking either Jane or Glourdia...)
So, well done Steve for finding us a swampcore merchandising scheme. I hope I didn't give away what I'm getting people for Christmas in this post... if I didn't then here goes, you'll be getting: a gourd.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I am prone to psychic cramps. They tend to occlude the world and the planet (which one’s more interesting?) and panic me some… It’s just like not being able to see much of the concert, because you’re too busy trying to dodge the sweaty dreads of the giant hippie looming in front of you. Except in this case - for the purposes of this ridiculously obtuse simile - the hippie is me. In any case, the hippie must’ve eaten some moldy hummus or pine-resin or whatever, as he just rushed off towards the bathroom leaving me with an unobstructed view. Just in time for the intermission.
So, good thing I had such a good contingency topic in store! It’s good! After Tuesday’s interview, I realized how much gooder writing in italics is.
Are they pets, those fish? If the word ‘pet’ implies the soothing practice of enjoying frequent physical and proximal friendship, that would prevent the term from being used to describe fish. In which case they should be call ‘feeds’. Or, in use: I have two ‘pets’, Snickers and Wooboo, the bi-curious hamsters and four ‘please-don’t-dies’, Larry, Curly and Moe. And Larry2. So then why, I wonder, as I glance out the window (in this case, I suppose I could awkwardly truncate the sentence into: I wondow why) do we keep fish?
Perhaps because we like the window (but windows, I think, by definition should be openable… wind-door?) It is strange practice removing an organism from its environment, and transferring it to a reinforced tank. Imagine the reverse, like the Porno For Pyros tune, if we were hauled into the sea, and put into upside down glass tanks and sometimes get sucked into the air filter or die of ear-rot or eat each others’ young or walk around with strings of poop from our poop-holes. It would be pretty frightening. Especially as when we put fish into a jar, there’s not too much foreknowledge as to who’s going to prey on whom. Our selections tend to be mostly aesthetical and largely ignorant to the jostling links that make up the food-chain… akin to us being snagged and slung into a cage with a tiger with neo-conservative leanings or an unstable, long-fingered clown with daddy-issues. Yes, I’m obviously still talking about Love.
All this to say:
If I were a fish, I’d swim upside down, as I’d be more afraid of something eating me from below, than above. Or definitely try and immigrate to a small pond or fish-tank, if only to fulfill the aphorisms: An immigrant fish in the pond is worth two native fish in the flusher or Give a fish a man and he’ll be fed for a day. But teach a fish how to man and he’ll be fed-up for life.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Q: Why did I want you to be a writer? You little shit.
A: I wanted you to be a writer because it seemed like a fantastic way to do everything else.
Q: What are me talking about?
A: When asked by adults WHAT DOES TOM WANT TO DO WITH HIS LIFE? BE A FIREFIGHTING ASTRONAUT WHO CAN CHANGE INTO A VENOM-FANGED PANTHER AT THE SLIGHTEST PROVOCATION? you'd always reply: Play Lego. What're you going to do with yours? Drink more brandy?
Q: You're not making much sense here... What was your actual reply?
A: I want to be a farmer. I want to be a vet. I want to be a submersed archaeologist. A samurai knight. A space-pirate. A drummer. A mad inventor. Peter Gabriel. A BMX trickster. A General. A court jester...
Q: You little shit...
A: Yes, it's my fault. I stuck with 'farmer' as the answer seemed the most readily unbelievable, and adults seemed chronic over that whole belief thing. Also, saying 'farmer' would make them clam up expeditiously. Then I thought about it, ate a few Lego pieces, and then thought about it some more and even morer after that. I notice you're not a farmer...
Q: I harvest woe. I plant and then supplant hope. I lead the tripe out to the pastures and train my dogs to train me...
A: And during the doldrums of inactivity that people occasionally call Thinking, you realized that I can do it all by becoming a writer. I mean, you seem most adept at inactivity... Also, I remember you seeing this interview with Roald Dahl, aged and crooked as he was, where he padded dodderingly down his garden path to his shed, coaxing the camera man behind him with a wave of his pajama-clad arm, opened the latch-locked door and revealed the most modest little cubby of a room. 'This is where I write' he said. There was a four-paned window overlooking one or two rosebushes, a small wood stove and a slanted desk. A few cups of cold tea and pencil shavings. You said to me: 'I like pajamas. This is what I want of your life!'
Q: Huh. Yes. I remember now... I always wanted to live in a shed. In a shed in a tree. In a boat-shaped shed in a tree. In a boat. In a tree in a shed on a boat in a tree. Yes... mou're so right. Oop, look at that. My! How time flies. I should put mou back... see mou later. Mou little shit.
A: . . .
And that's about it.
Monday, October 23, 2006
My sleeplessness was not that exciting, and mainly consisted of me recognizing the need to slip in an indefinite article in some archived paragraph somewhere... but there were parts worth talking about.
I devoted much of my insomnia to contemplating the concept of vegetable oil. I know I could wiki-it, solve the issue of oil extraction briskly, but I'd feel satisfaction to solving this one on my own: vegetable oil... it's cheap and consumed in abundance, but what vegetable are they talking about? Not once in my life have I had to push away a carrot for being too oily. Are there leguminous crude slicks out there? "We don't need no lube, baby. If you just lean over and get some cabbage from the bottom drawer..." (ed: it'll be there regardless of its slidifical properties) I understand how seeds can contain oil, but if vegetable oil is made from seeds they should call it seed oil. I understand, with the whole existance of baby oil, that one does not need to deconstitute something for it have the name of that something (but it would assist matters. ed: not talking population control) Perhaps they mean that vegetable oil is to be used ON vegetables? This calls for a public awareness effort. Perhaps I finally have purpose to be awarded a grant.
Steve and I chatted a lot yesterday. We both needed it. Steve had just watched a movie about psychos and had lost his nerve. And I'd just made several realizations about my life... found my nerve? I must plunge in this way - - ->
For the past few weeks, I've been watching my face devolve into vague, indefinite lines. I don't think I'd be described as a particularly vain person, not with some of the things I've done to my image (remember, I dress like a lesbian... I find lesbians dress either like urban-commandos/fishermen or a relaxed Richard Gere. I lean more towards the former style), and I like to be thought of as positive... My face in the mirror has been wan and over-exposed, hastily drawn, features conflicting and inexpressive. Acid-washed. I've wondered about it some, whether it correlated with my mild writer's block and brooding moods. If others saw it too. I've had a few upsets lately and not known how to deal. So yesterday, I looked deep into my mirror's eyes' mirrors and declared, voice tightened by emotion, "Tom, you need to be more of an asshole." I've been using kid gloves, pulling punches (I'm afraid of hurting people, which I guess is a little conceited, but I tend to either take the hits and analyze method or use killing strokes) and avoiding the sparring that most people seem to revel in.
So I went for a 30 minute sprint and burst through the membrane of my malign tumourousness like the Kool-Aid man bringing the party to a kid's lame-ass birthday. It was a crazy run. One of those tears-mixing-with-rain-and-snot, get-my-stolen-car-stereo-back, life-reclamation runs. I puked while running. I jumped over dogs. Cars gave way. It was mad. Then I came back and looked at my face. It had begun to reassemble. I met Steve, and we talked. About how hurt we were, about how we'd deal with it, about what we meant to each other and about psychos. Anyone could be a psycho, he said. And he's right. We are a pre-meditatively violent species. And look at the restraint people show. Look how much not-killing goes on. I don't trust any of you any more. You're all ready to explode in an overly intelligent and calculated fury involving chains and rusty basement bathrooms. From now on, I'm the overtly crazy guy, ok? At least it's honest. Anyway, the motif, it seemed, was 'control'. Steve dropped that one and it brought together the many threads I'd been tugging at. I have to modify it some and qualify it as the 'perception' of control being the important bit: making the decision. In my relationship with the cosmos, I've definitely been the bitch. I'm fine with it, but no more submission, feigned or otherwise. No more deferring decision. The time is now. Seize the world and squeeze the juice. After the next smoke, of course.
Er, what else? Oh yes...
-blogs as hyper-personalities: personalities you can create and present, a different type of citizen. Not really journalistic (I'd be pissed if I opened my diary to see someone'd left commentary or witty banter. Yesterday I saw the funniest anonymous comment I've ever seen on the entire internet: BIG BLACK COCK, IN YOUR FACE. That's definitely really funny.) but fully, conceptually presented.
-The physics of a novel. In real life, there's Newtonian motion laws, semblances of relativity analogies etc., but in a novel, perhaps it's the characters that determine the physical properties. Force of Wills and the momentum they carry. In novels, gravity is determined by the weight of the soul... this is a brand-new observation for me, so I'll turn that around a bit, see how it sits.
-Lucy's Aussie roommate who unfortunately works at Miami left me offended with her casual 'roo-shooting chit-chat. So I changed the topic to cane toads, and she told me they golf with them. I don't know if she meant swing with them or at them, but still... come on! Aussies seem to have quite a few sadistic/masochistic pastimes: footie, cricket, Foster's, toad-thumping, Neighbours, other Aussies... no wonder they all say that poutine'd be a big hit over there.
-My back is killing me.
-I'm torn between using my favourite slogan of all time 'Bilge Pump' as my DJ handle, or the spoonerism 'Bulge Pimp'. It's more of a spineroosm really.
-Sometimes I really wish I were a Kodo drummer.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Turning the compost over to cover the new scrap matter with humus, I smell my foibles. See how past injuries have caused my tendons to grow lurching in response. I see the will-o'-the-wisps of my former life... a person'll come and they'll go, but having them do both at the same time will fuck with your ability to understand consistency; to know how and when to depend. They, by their action (mostly inaction), will be the last person able to comprehend this. I've acted since to suspend others, to stop them from leaving, to stop them from seeing me for what I am. I've been coming and going for a long time.. trying to find the fulcrum, manifest the stasis, telling others what I feel and not revealing it. Funny what a final amble through the pale-sunned autumn orchard'll show you.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
In unrelated news, I got trampled by The Elephant.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006