Saturday, September 29, 2007



--To gaze

WHO IS IT who wrote: Without A Vision, The People Perish (?) It is timely to consider this bit of wisdom for me I think because I think this people, these citizens of the United States of America, need some thing besides the pain and fear chronicles with which we’ve been subject for these countless decades.
If you grew up in the 50’s it was natural to be scared and to rebel. You had the bomb and Red Menace and you built your career around that, baiting and debating it, chasing reds or outing writers in Hollywood. But what now? Muslims are evil? There’s a terrorist under every turban or burka? What kind of image of stupidity is that? Vision? What has 4 eyes and cannot see? Mississippi. Are we that dumb? Burka’s aren’t even in our dictionaries. They’re red-flagged by the writing programs, unless we turn that option off. Even this one: Burq, red-flagged. Stupid.
The thing is this: Yes, we could be afraid and hide under our beds or covers at night reading the comics by flashlight, some cheap lead-based metal thing from China, while we learn of superheroes that might save us. Short hair slicked back. Tighty-Whities underwear worn high-high up above our waists if we’re boys back then, the 50’s. Ah, the class of 57 may have had its dreams dear Statler Brothers, but what nightmares we think of now, eh? Of the phantasms you must have had flying after you. What of those our children get run down by now? What do they fear? And, why should all of these people have such fear and loathing?
Or, we could rebel against the prevailing winds/conventional wisdom, and say, perennially: The Emperor Is Naked. Naked and Stupid. We have to have someone saying that, forever. Forever and a day, just like, we have to have people saying what needs to be said; the real truth, what’s politically correct is to say, yes, it is hot in here, or it stinks, etc. Just remember, when the stop light is red, to stop however, because we can’t just for the fun of it yell: FIRE! inside a crowded theatre, because some of us want to watch the show, in its entirety, without interruption.
Yes, occasionally, late at night, with only a few people in there, you can maybe ride your Peugeot Mo-Ped inside the theatre, down to the screen in front, wave to the projectionist in back, if he were looking, and then ride back out, through the lobby, and just be on your way home. Maybe you’ll get a ticket for stopping not long enough at a stop sign on a hill that your feet have to come off your pedals and an overly-aggressive cop in the area that every one hates, may write you up; maybe you won’t. Yes, occasionally one can and should be able to do that Mo-Ped Movie Theatre Run, and one should for sure DARE to do that and indeed for sure DO IT! But, we can’t be all doom and gloom, Doom and Gloom, DOOM & GLOOM. We grow tired of it. It doesn’t help forever. It doesn’t get us very far.
Our country was founded in turbulent times, built on philosophies borrowed by the French and written by smart guy lawyer’s way back when. It was a positive and possible movement which caught fire and like a wildfire spread heartily, as a disease, and formed a nation, a congress, a people, a legend, an ideal, a vision. But what is our vision now?
What/Who will help us with a vision for the next couple of decades? Non-Interventionism? Cleaning up the miasma that is the quagmire of Afghanistan/Somalia/Serbia/Croatia/Iraq? Producing finally, a workable Health Care Program, which is again based on something the French people have? But something twisted to fit our Bureaucratic Nonsense that is our wit and wisdom, our conurbations and way? I think so, and I certainly hope so. Woe unto those candidates who cannot come up in 2008 with some kind of sense making platitudes through which we as a people and individually will have to live with after deciding alone in our quietest moment, who will be the next president of these till (?) United States.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Rome did fall. How long has it been for the United States? Where will we go? We almost lost it a long time ago, and it wasn’t all about slavery, but money pure and simple, keeping a people from gaining a foothold in the world. How dare you keep us from earning our keep? Don’t you dare cut us off of our livelihood. We want to continue to make that filthy lucre to be able to buzz off in our virtual worlds every now and then and escape the unanswerable questions of global this/that and every thing else. Who cares about any of this whack if we can’t figure any of it out? Let’s keep on dancing, let’s break out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is.
Depressing. I’ve had enough of it. Driving down the road once with Peter Drucker, Business Management Guru, and he said to me: “I don’t get depressed, I get busy,” indeed. Get busy, but a lot of roads there are to hell if you get with the best intentions vein. Look, there’s all this death and utter destruction in the desert miles & miles and a day away from here. What in the HELL are we doing over there? Why can’t we get out? How do we do it? We need a vision, else we’ll surely perish. Don’t want to be all doom and gloom on you or any one, but so too, I don’t want to be all Pollyanna sweet, pure-bread. That’s just as dumb as fear and loathing.

“Without a vision, the people perish.” –Proverbs: 29:18 Author unknown

Friday, September 14, 2007


Friday, September Fourteenth, 2007

--Music Plays As You Read--
Find This On Your Player, and play it gently, not so loudly, but there, enough and on a repetitive mode: Beatles: TWO OF US, from LET IT BE. “Sending Post Cards, Writing Letters. On-Our-Way-Back-Home. We’re On Our Way Home. We’re On Our Way Home. We’re…Going…Home…” It’s not in the right order or any thing, doesn’t matter. The important thing is that the melody is playing and you’re hearing it and it’s going on and on and on, like the long and winding road, like, in the song, the possible line about being longer than the road that stretches out ahead. And while that’s going on, you read this:

READ: There’s an old joke, goes something like this:

Q: What’s the last thing that goes through a Co-Dependant’s Mind When They Die?
A: Another Person’s Life Flashes In Their Mind.

And that is much of life, when viewed circumspect some times. You go through the motions, you show up. Woody Allen, much maligned in some areas, he got it right when he said words to the effect: "80% of life is showing up, being somewhere". To which I add, and being there on time, but none the less, it’s like watching it from afar. You sort of just feel once removed from the events as they occur from time to time. Emotionally you’re sort of detached: Especially so at an awards presentation last night for work. And, on your mind right now, there’s a funeral of a co-worker’s mother, you sort of just-now-don’t want to go to; which is on for 3 o’clock this afternoon. You want to stay home and mope. You wish the weather would be better, cooler, more “mild”; definitely not as hot. You KNOW you won’t go and eat a meal with any one after. No drinks. F-that. You had just two last night and nothing really good to eat at all and that was pisser number one. Real pisser, couldn’t eat well, didn’t. Couldn’t find some place to eat or get some meal that would have been good for you at all. It sucked. And so did your mood. The mind/soul of it, dropped right out of it all, every-thing. You began, started thinking about mortality and how fucked every thing was. About how you’re not appreciated more for who you are and all. That mainly, you’re not "more". But how could you be looked at as "more", if you’re not? You’re just this thing and that’s all there is to it. There’s nothing here. You have a gift but you somehow are unable to do more with it. It sucks.

Two Of Us...that Beatles tune...and I think: Just the two of us…and then, yeah, that song plays: “Just the two of us, we can make it if we try, just the two of us.” Add or turn on that song, by Bill Withers. Withers, indeed. Time withers. Life, withers; by and by. Building castles in the sky. Something about good things coming to those who wait but not for those who wait too late, and going for something, whatever it is, that we know…What do we know though? What do we know? Two things. Two People. A Twin Dilemma. The Twin Dilemma, the title of a Doctor Who episode. One with Tom Baker. Something to do with twins. My sister and I. If you believe or understand Philip K. Dick or schizophrenia. Or bi-polar disorders.
Bill Withers is still alive according to Wikipedia. He wrote: Aint No Sunshine as well as Lean On Me…Well, we wake up, you know? We have ‘another day to run’ and even though you may feel that, it’s right to say ‘I don’t want you on my mind’, as I feel from time to time about the people and things I know, I know that I should ‘take it all in and check it all out’, and funny thing is, these quoted items, are the tracks of the retired artist who used to make toilets for Boeing 747’s in Los Angeles, all the while writing songs, and making it! Making it. Hmmm. Interesting. His wife handles the business now, doing all the "whatever it is", of a retired person’s stuff, who can collect residuals and all, based on previous work. You know, he’s got stuff out there. People do re-recordings, versions of your work, you get money off of that. Important, right? Something, yes? Whatever, okay? Whatever. Impact forever.
That’s what that’s about. Impact. Some kind of impression. They’re still going on and on about me. Through the miracle of life or will. My will being done, long after I am. Like Walt Disney, like many a musician.

And, uhhh…being on time? Early. Well. I’m not at chapel nor am I going to that grave site. I think I made it. After going through door after door after door. Plenty of maps all along the way but Ladies that do that (Give the: "Here's How You Get There," spiel.) they’re way in the BACK: There's remodeling going on at Rose Hills now, but even still; how come it’s so complicated? Nice green grass. HOT place, huh, on the hills. Rose Hills Cemetary/Mortuary, Whittier, California, in the sunshine. Smoggy, not a cloud in the skies. Beyond hills, small mountains, East of Downtown L.A. proper. Whittier. Good thing my windows roll down (they’re electric). I’m parked with all 4 open, under a tree, in the shade and should move up as the sun will be hitting my back pretty soon.
I’ve had some water, and it has taken 40 minutes to get and figure this place out if even this is right. I’ve still my doubts. 3.17 pm and no one’s here. Busy cars going up down the main thoroughfare. This “last resting place”, for many thousands of people who get buried in Los Angeles. Spooky-Sad here. Traffic Report: SB 605, the San Gabriel River Freeway south of 5 or Golden State Freeway, there wasn’t much traffic. Speed Limit a faded chipped old yellow 30 MPH on the tar-macadam, which the worker’s trucks driving on the road keep it well past 35, 40+ at least. Yeah, I guess so. Why not? Outrun Death? I almost got run over twice. Once coming up, a semi-truck moving over into my lane on the freeway. Then, as a car came around the corner fast while I was on foot, attempting to cross the street after negotiating the maze that was the labyrinthine circuitry of the reception area at Rose Hills Mortuary/Cemetery, in Whittier, California.
I wonder do I have the right place? Wouldn’t there be other people here? Besides just a few of the workers cuttin’ the grass up the hill: Gnangggg-Gnangggg-Gnangggg whipping cord-Edge-Trimmers cutting grass off the grave markers and such. Always cutting grass around here. When does it ever cool off?
Going (went) through Rio Honda, Santa Fe Springs, Downey, Norwalk, etc. to get here. Rio (River) Honda (?) over the Freeway, and San Gabriel River west of here in “Whittier” where Nixon went to college. (It’s down the 605 (S) a ways from here.) On the Hills of the Cemetery. My friend Jim Douglas’s Grandmother (Joan?) is buried around here somewhere as I recall. Been here once before. For that I believe. And on the other side or just before turning off to go down this road to this place down from Gate 5: (I turned in at Gate 1.), there’s a “rental” place I came to for Grip-It Lighting once, a long time ago. It’s now a Caterpillar (Rent) place. Goofy. Creepy. Strange. It was supposed to be at 3 PM and there was a note in parenthesis: (Arrive Early). No one is here but me.

{And as I write this now at 7.48PM, probably could have just gone into the “chapel” on the hill and just sat and waited, looking at the pageantry and all: ALL of the other services, funerals, people being buried, adulated, revered, etc., and saw all the people before and then after and then caught the folks and maybe 6 PM would have been the Interment Service at plot #1283 or whatever the place was curbside.}

Do I dare “intrude” on the chapel up the hill? I want to pee again and eat, have a beer and get a massage. But I haven’t any money now. Polished off the ice/ice-water from a coffee this morning before a large turkey sandwich & muenster cheese sandwich, the only thing I’ve had after a smoothie after smoothie after smoothie and Tension Tamer Herbal Tea. And another Tension Tamer Tea, one by itself, not in the juice. And, after the ice/water, I had a 0.5 oz bottle of water or some such measured thing as that, just sitting here, thinking a bit...
The Smoothie: had grapefruit juice, packets of c-vitamin etc powder mixes, 3 peaches, one pear, 2 bananas, some (15) pellets of green algae, 30 drops of grapefruit seed extract. And for most of the day I’ve had to sit down and contract my bowels for gaseous expelleramous, that and passing liquid through my bladder, and still now I feel a bit dehydrated. A little bit listless and slightly headachy. I took a bowel stiffening (I thought.) Tylenol pain reliever before sleep at midnight, when I finally got in bed and all.
All this after leaving the “Mousecars”. The oscar plus Awards for workers recognition show at work last night. Being herded into the north hall side of Banquet Room of the Grand Ball Room of the DL Hotel left me hivvy. I revolted. Cut against the tide and walked back through Down Town Disney shopping district between the two amusement parks where I work, to the shuttle stop east of both places of which only one I work in, and took the shuttle back to my parked there at 5 AM car, baking leather seats in the relentless California sun. Drove myself home alone.
I’m staying here till 4 PM (I eventually left at 4.30 PM.) and then I’m going home. I put in my time and I’m tired. Drove by several plots on my own past several groups: one black, one hispanic and a couple of mourners here/there, mostly asian, revisiting long-dead relatives.
Go up to the church, you ninny! Yeah, I will, before I go home. 2 small long back wing birds on a pine tree nearby. Way off in the distance I spotted some crows. (Later, on the hill near the chapel, looking off in the distance to the west towards downtown L.A., several big-big winged birds were visible in the sky hovering on the thermals above the Rose Hills plots.)
The trees are mostly pine scattered around here. (Nothing indigenous.) Palms along the main road. Olives here there. Elm? And a few others I don’t recognize. I’m a failure when it comes to this phenomena. I’m a failure in general, I guess. It’s all right. At least I’m the best one I know. So, that’s a pretty good thing, I’d say. Pretty good. Pretty darn good.
Wish I had the line on the nearest Velvet Turtle (Long defunct old high-end you go there after church place. Or big business farts go there for 2 martini lunches M-F.) or some such, I could get into—drink iced tea with no fruit—no lemon or lime in it at all. Maybe that’s what did it for me. My tummy today. Mojito last night. But uhh more likely the cheese chicken sauce that’s hot (red) and guacamole with tomatoes and onions! That I had smeared on it. Yum-yum! Tasted real good, but oh-oh-oh UGH my tummy later on!!
I picture dead dead flesh. Old brown skin dried off bones here, cemetery, hair, stink, mortuary END—NOT coming back to life. Body badly decomposed. SAD in a way. What would happen if/when my Mother or Gary (her husband), didn’t make it home alive from one of their “trips”? DAD died in Mexico, when Alice (his wife), was up in the States. What? SAD.
I guess I must just go home now. (4.25/4.30) I messed up. Went to the wrong gravesite or time’s off/wrong—won’t be until 6PM—I don’t want to be there for the viewing. Someone I don’t even know, never knew, went solely for? We go for ourselves don’t we? No? We’re lucky? We aren’t dead? Family Friends Help support. Ease Burden of Sorrow/Loss by showing up, being there. Lean on me.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A LIFE NOT SO AQUATIC? OR, The Vicissitudes of Life...

My Aquatic Spider Release: Showering to wake up this morning I noticed my usual water going down the drain backward (counter clockwise), and to the left spin, instead of right. Good, some politicians would say, because we’ve been going the wrong way for quite some time.
I thought, Owen Wilson. What’s wrong with him? He’s got the life of ease, right? Every one loves him, but what, he doesn’t have his one true love? She was about to leave him? People are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and a bunch of un-name-able other places most folks haven’t even heard of that the United States of America and its current world wide policies are involved with, so buck up buster. Get it straight, get over yourself, etc. Or, just go down the drain like this arachnid “did” this morning. After several struggles to get up out and away, it just went down.
There was a spider in the shower with me this morning and it was from whence I noticed not, but noted it struggling, trying to get up, out and away, for dear life, I interpreted, though who am I to know the life of a spider? And it didn’t make it. It went down, down-down-down the drain, down. And so is it still alive? I think so, but it went with the tide is what it did…and that’s what most Americans did and do and what a lot of people do. Though most don’t (I’d say), become famous, or appear in the papers a lot, with their great works and deeds, they make it…but not all, not all. And though all of us die sooner or later, it’s inevitable; it’s always in store for all of us; every single one. Some die horrible stupid expirations, for no good reason at all…not as if there are good reasons for dying, no. Not in a war. It happens. We die. Damn. That sucks. Most people quip with the, it could have been prevented. It was preventable. Owen could have made it or will only go there some day when someone’s not looking…I feel sorry for the poor bugger, sorry for all of us. We’re all struggling.
As many times as I make it, as bad as it gets, there are times I’d like to lay down and go to sleep and never wake up ever again. I even say that to myself from time to time. I just want to go to sleep, etc. But at some point you have to check yourself, what it is you’re saying…if you’re not getting the best of results in your life and all, maybe you can change things. Maybe. Perhaps you can alter your inner/outer dialogue, your communication channel with yourself, through which you operate your “YOU”. Center. That sounds all wacky mystical and touchy-feely, don’t it? But, we all need a healing center, and that’s what it’s all about.
From time to time it’s whatever gets you through the night. If it’s a good or great book or movie or buying a new shirt or having sex with your wife or whatever, good. Go for it. Do it. Do it till you’re satisfied, eh? Whatever it is.
You need something. We all do. We may come in alone (And, maybe we don’t: Busy operating room, most of us.) and we may die alone, but we still have decisions to make and people to travel with and that’s what makes it worthwhile. Heal up my man, heal up. Heal up if you can. Go all along the way my aquatic spider release. Go and heal…thy-self?

Saturday, September 01, 2007


“We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become fast in the external. We have allowed the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live.” –Martin Luther King Jr.,
This quote here is from radio broadcaster Frank Sontag’s website. A fella heard on 95.5 KLOS, here in Los Angeles. It’s the “touchy-feely” show called: IMPACT, on Monday mornings from 1 to 5 AM. Sunday night, eh? For most people. He talks philosophy. He goes on tour and will have something on the 4th of this month. I wonder if I’ll go. Nope. Don’t consider it. It’s rather like the Voices From The Street bit, where the character goes to find this person every one is going to…to find out something about themselves, in their life, etc. Whatever. That boy was a character in a novel…now I’m reading about a girl in a novel and it’s dedicated to PHIL. And I think we all know: Philip Kindred Dick. Philip K. Dick.
"Times glory is to calm contending kings, to unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light." –Shakespeare
Another quote on his page: This one, from under a heading: Our Mission Statement. His father got a job in Los Angeles, as an electrician at Universal Studios. Frank was born in 1955 in Ohio. Did a lot of things and got on the Mark and Brian radio show way back when as a board op., etc. Now he heads up a group called: The Project For Social Change. He’s got a lecture Tuesday, at 7.30, at the Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church up the hill from me in Costa Mesa. The cost of the lecture, which is entitled: The Pursuit Of Happiness, the last of the year for him, (This is the last time he’ll do a public appearance this year.) is $10.00, and is like the words read around there somewhere on the site, sounding like something that just covers the cost of the function itself.
Maybe I should click on the link and go. I think I can make it to work the next day by getting up at 3.30 and more importantly, going to bed at 10 at night…and I may not even have to. I have the thing, the deal, just down the street. Why couldn’t I just show up, you know? Okay. Ten at the door. Why not? I live just down the street and though you’d normally go left, you can’t do that out of that drive way down that hill and all, no. You’d turn left and go up and turn around in a parking lot with a signal given at the top of the hill in Costa Mesa. Okay. So, what’s there for me? Won’t know unless I see, do, go.
I tell the story of a writing class: I talked to the instructor, whose name conveniently escapes me, and she said you’re spending your energy on journaling and not writing. So, for this class we’ll try a little experiment (my embellishment here), and have you not write in your journal for the length of the class. Just write the assignments, and see how you do. I did well. I wrote some things of which I’m proud. I liked it. It was deceptively simple. Don’t know how/why I’ve not done more with my fabulous gift.
(People who heard the tale used to gasp when they heard that bit, she said, and knowing I write a lot in a journal or that they do themselves write a bit in a journal as well. But they come around if they know about or want to write “professionally”, and it’s all about discipline…etc.)
It occurred to me the other day, how, I wasn’t even interested in sitting down and shooting a film with someone. The nuts and bolts part didn’t interest me. I just wanted to write something and have that be that. I didn’t and don’t want to even read it aloud to groups and things. None of that. I just want to write it as best I can and get it out there. If people buy it, fine. If not, fuck it. Oh well. I hope later then that I could make a living off of it. I’d like to get an English degree or something at UCI. Maybe. Something…but not any thing else, you know? I just…don’t care…and I really find it so very difficult to clear out my storage space with no place to put things here…because I don’t want to just toss every thing…and I’m crowded out here…and I’ve no means I can tell, to make a move any where else. It’s difficult for me. I need something and some one and I’d like to just get it via writing and have that be the thing and carry me forth.
I know life is a spiritual journey as well as a physical one. I don’t want god or jesus or mohammed or buddha…I want to meditate and live in a nice house and have fun. I want sex with beautiful women and to have friends I can count on who don’t live so gat-damned far away. I want to have a state of being within/without (to share-give by example), of love and kindness and giving/forgiving…patience and equanimity…I want to live in that world as well. By that I mean it’d be nice, more than just a little nice, to have it be in such a place that is like that in re-turn.
Joy lies in the light, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself.

-Mohandas Gandhi

Pretty cool stuff. I mean, I like the fact that it’s not all slick and there’s all these “professional degrees” and such, bragging about all the stuff. I think that it’s like people helping people and really opening up and getting along that gets it going where it needs to be. That’s what makes life worth living and all such as that. (Touchy-Feely.)
Call it humanistic or atheistic/agnostic or whatever. I don’t care. I think it’s right. It’s not like I’m now going to throw it all in to Frank and former Irene Clair or some kind of prophet/profit I am unaware of…no. I’m not. I am going to make it a point and more of an effort as always, to make it happen, make it occur. Get the stuff out and throw every thing I can away or what I mean is donate what I can to good will and all. That kind of thing…if I’m not using it now and can’t use it. If the material is not any good any more due to mold or whatnot as that, you know, yeah, get the stuff trashed…moving on like that…but, not into bazillions of dollars as…the answer to every thing but so too, it’s pretty helpful around here. Systema….what that is for me…have to find something…constantly improve and make that up as I go, all along the way.
Systema, something I culled from Spook Country. It’s I think off the characters relying on Santeria or something, from Cuba. But, I think, the word: System…and the rhythm of it, and thinking of it, like a mantra or OM for meditating…walking down the road…using at work perhaps…when there’s a “situation”. STOP. Breathe, and what’s going on? LISTEN: Really hear. Then maybe make a decision…sure, there are times when you must ACT right split second fast right away, but a lot of it, if avoiding ugly conflict and anger hate ugliness goes; then taking the time to STOP. What’s my systema? What’s theirs? Breathe. LISTEN. What’s going on? What do I need to do and is it really necessary to DO any thing here? That’s important…really. One doesn’t always need to “do” any thing about what goes on.
BLINK SMILE DO NOTHING: BSDN. Say those letters over and over again to yourself, out loud when alone and needing to meditate. That could be your mantra, or one of them. Create a mandala with those characters. A nice fine drawing of that in the pattern, a circle or mandala, to focus on when things get hairy.
Where is this thing going? Could I really write something here or should I just quit because I’ve got to have this posted to the two websites and I want to see how they’ll fit. I need to wash out my juice glass and get to my tai-chi-chuan and grocery shopping and other things to do like get a hairs cut at 9 A.M., when the place opens, but before that I must eat more fruit because it’s breakfast still. I’m hungry. I need to eat a little more and top it off with a banana for my grumbling stomach. There’s the matter of coffee (some wee-bit of caffeine), and then real good, good-for-me, heavy-matter foodstuffs. Not lunch necessarily, but solid foods from there…not fruit mixed with any thing, but not necessarily “breakfast” foods either…they don’t fill me up. They’re in the stomach one moment, and then I pitch head-first into a lack of energy dive I cannot recover from--some times--it seems till way late in the day; if ever after that. It sucks. It’s great to be able to get the metabolism cranked up, but it’s also very tricky. One has to be able to keep the engine burning…and that’s the thing about writing too, eh? Does making it move more just produce more or evaporate all that good sou? (It’s a bit of both?) Exercise, you are more vital. And then, you can be spent as well. Same thing perhaps.