Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Mad Moon Dancing

The following piece appeared in the first issue of XIII Pocket's Seeding Meat. I believe it has all been sold out, printed back in 2008 and only sold via gallery events, theatre shows, etc., but I thought I'd share it here as it recounts a strange encounter I had on New Year's Eve back when I was 8 years old. It's semi autobiographical. If you want a copy of any of the old Seeding Meats hit me up, I may have a few copies leftover on my shelf. I also made a movie when I was 15 of the same title, The Mad Moon Dancing, this was 1997-ish? It was about a mental patient who has hallucinations of the moon coming down and eating him, leading to an escape/chase scene. I did some fairly wild special effects using a sheet of plexiglass to reflect an illuminated moon I made by painting craters on a glass orb normally used to encase overhead lights. It premiered as a finalist at the Maine Student Film Festival as part of MIFF way back. It survives on a VHS tape. If I ever get around to converting it to digital I'll post it here for shits and giggles. Anyway, elements from that little movie poked through in the following short story. 



By Jeff Phillips
Starry eyed dissonance sprang from his twitching, sweaty lids. The child was fast asleep for some time. Drifting into a slumber well before the stroke of midnight, he missed the ball, the potential kiss of his neighborhood crush. Downstairs, the party still throbbed, experiencing the behavior of wild drunkards become of his parents and their pals. Such a party was not his scene, yet.
Nightmarish visions snatched apart his REM sleep. A black and white mind movie jarred a haunt. Sleeping in an old wood house, the large white/silver disk of the moon's face turned to a rabid, predatory persona and crept up the front steps and loomed on the porch. Peeping in, the moon's eyes sized him up and licked its dusty lips. Petrified, paralyzed, magnetized by a chilly bed.  The front porch quickly rotted out from under the touch of the fleshy moon sand. The house crumbled like cards made from salt.  The moon sand sprayed into the child's eyes, further tightening him with paralysis. With the old house down for the count, the child on the bed paled in weight to the gigantic, rabid, predatory moon which drooled high above the child. Each drip of saliva knocked the child in the face and roughed him up. Lungs drowning. Eyes stinging and cloudy, the moon pounced. Moon teeth seized the child's head, ripped it from the neck. And the child's consciousness bounced back from the surreal to a sweaty, pulse heavy reality. Relieved, shocked, the child picked himself up and traded pajamas for corduroy. He emerged from his room, recovering from the horror of having been eaten alive by the moon in some alternate, brain electric expanse.
He peered down stairs from the balcony, and witnessed his father dancing a strange, baboon-esque jig. His mother laughed and spilled bloody mary mix on the man, Mr. Handraddy's lap. The child snuck his way through the crowd of neighbors and parental friends who laughed and slapped him on the back, jesting with the boy for being up past his bed time. He snuck his way to the mud room, and fished for his boots and coat from amongst the sea of others.
Outdoors, the child found fresh air and fog. A chilly breeze rocked the trees and it looked fitting to the beat of the music blast from the house he left behind. He looked up to the sky and found the moon hidden by clouds. At first relieved by its absence, a fear crept back that it might still be watching, hunting.
The street lay silent. His thoughts went soft with the peace of it for sometime. But soon thoughts and reverberated images from the day emerged in flash form. He remembered his mother chopping carrots for the dip, in the kitchen, listening to public radio. A news cast touched upon the announcement of a man who escaped from the loony bin in their county.  The quiet streets and apparent vacancy did not last in its projection of peace with the alarming bulletin that rested all evening in the back of his mind. The moon in man form escaped the tests and attempted soothing analysis behind white, sterile, padded walls to stalk the streets of this sorry city. Just the child and a loose man inhabited the outer landscape. The rest were engaged with parties and winding down New Year's celebrations. The image of loony bins reverberated a deep, scarring scratch in the child's perspective. Once his older brother told him of a time he and his pals trespassed into an abandoned nut house deep in the thick woods.  A hollow, creepy building. Then sounds, footsteps rustling. When one pal felt the grip of a hand grab at his ankle they darted. Racing to the sanctuary of a car, in the overhead light they found themselves covered in bloody scratches and finger prints in the wet blood.
Overwhelmed and on the brink of wicked tears, the child was on the verge of steering back home to the party, desiring an exit to the safe watch of friends and neighbors. In the distance a figure came bounding and skipping in the spirit of his prior dream. The child was again paralyzed, as though moon sand became a vapor with the fog, and penetrated his eyes. Silent, barely breathing, the figure drifted closer and closer. As it became more visible apart from the fog, what stood a short distance away from the child was a man in the flesh wearing only a diaper.
Almost laughable, the child blurted out, "Its baby New Year!"
The fellow approached and greeted the child. One hand held something wrapped in tin foil. The other extended a hand shake to the child. "Happy New Year," he wished.
The man gazed at the child for a moment, then spoke again:
"Want some salami?"
Not interested, the child shook his head with the gesture of no.
"Want to smell it?"
The strange diapered fellow did not wait for an answer, but went forward with peeling apart the tin foil to wield a thick wedge of spiced meat. He poked it under the child's olfactory organ.  The child shrunk from the encounter, deep, disappearing into heavy fog and lived on, untouched. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

You Can't Control the Chipping Sometimes

I decided to do all of my Christmas shopping at local Chicago businesses. And I did, except a couple of items at a Barnes & Nobel (as some of the small local booksellers didn't have the intended items) but I still feel good about supporting a book store, period, in these times. Among others were; Eclecticity, Bookcellar, & Marbles. I found some gems in Marbles. I could spend a fortune in Marbles trying to get smart. Soothing classical music played, which studies have shown is good for the brain. An all around brain booster, that place. I spent a good chunk on gas to hop around town, so what didn't go to went to Shell. 

My girlfriend and I left for Minnesota Saturday morning, trying something different. Instead of leaving Friday night after work, like we usually do, getting stuck in both rush hour and jams of others leaving town, we took naps after work and struck out at 2am. I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me, despite a bath. For some reason thoughts of various birthday parties popped into my mind, and I couldn't remember for the life of me what I did for my 27th birthday. And it bothered me because I started to feel like my memory is getting fucked up and I thought about spending more money at Marbles to turn that around. Then I started waxing nostalgic on the interior. See, I grew up in Maine from age 10 to 19. My mom has since moved to Michigan. So holiday trips to see family now point us either to Michigan or Minnesota. Which is great! Some swell places to visit. But I started thinking about how I will never get the opportunity to spend time in the house I grew up in ever again. And I got really fucking sad. Little things husked in my sense memory, like the back deck and cluster of pines behind the house. The gnarled tree I used to climb. The rotting tree fort and the compost heap I made with scraps of wood and chicken wire. The feel of the carpet on my toes, the half wall between the kitchen and the family room where news papers were stacked, the finished basement with cold white tile, a jukebox, a bar, an unfinished section of the basement with ski wax ground into the pavement. I desired to have a lucid dream where I just walked around in that old house, like a ghost, but I couldn't fall asleep. Now, it wasn't the most enchanting house in the world, it was a very ordinary residential 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house. But nonetheless it was the place where I spent 10 years of my formative years, and tiny little things that I took for granted happened, all creating an ether of forgotten warmth...and then the worst of it is, I started thinking about how even though I've gone through 9 or so Christmases since my dad's really sunk in that I'll never get to spend another Christmas with him again on this Earth.  Unless he were to drift down as a ghost. Which may not be a complete impossibility. But all of those ghost hunting shows portray such spirits as pissed off or sad or anxious and I wouldn't want that kind of Christmas for my dad. 

My good friend's little brother got married over the weekend in our old hometown of Auburn, ME and there was a pre-wedding party a few days before Christmas at one of the brew-pubs, Gritty McDuffs and I felt a bit of jealousy towards all of the old peers getting to grab drinks and catch up. Something I didn't really think I'd care about at the time of high school graduation, but I do after all feel some interest in the course of their unfolding life stories and seeing it via Facebook is such a tepid leak.

I did have a great Christmas with my girlfriend's family. We enjoyed some great traditions, like crab legs for dinner on Christmas Eve, Vietnamese food a few days later. They were all very generous with gifts and we had a jolly time talking, playing games, just being together, that sort of thing. 

Burning into my late twenties I'm realizing more and more that life moves fast and some things don't get swept up into the time ticking churn. Childhood burns its wick, and some of the wax of its glory doesn't stay stuck to the table. Some of it gets chipped away. But you look at the table next to you and see your buddies getting to play with old wax of theirs that no one chipped away and you feel weird. You can't mad. You can't control the chipping sometimes. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Laughing Problem

When I was a young child, I used to sometimes laugh for no reason at the dinner table. The inexplicable nature of the stimuli that sparked the laughing made me laugh even more. It got uncontrollable at times, especially when a friend was over for dinner or lunch, that energy would egg it on. I would sometimes be made to eat the remainder of my meal in the bathroom if it got annoying enough. 

My friends would tell me that I had a laughing problem.

Over the weekend, through Christmas party ale drinking and hang over recovery meditation, I had some moments of uncontrollable giggles. They felt good. It reminded of those younger days when I was made to feel weird about inexplicable chuckles. I realize now that was a great problem to have. I'd like to have more of that problem. The laughing problem.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cake Frosting Tear Drops

I've been watching a lot of space documentaries lately. The Universe is in my Blockbuster queue. It's made me thing about how creative and destructive space is at the same time; black holes engulfing, stars ejecting fused elements, clouds condensing to become stars, meteors smashing bits of dust off of a m0on, which later becomes another planet's moon, etc. Indeed it has inspired me to incorporate a bit of destruction in my own writing process. In fact, the process of revising my novel is very destructive, stuff being chopped, sentences being bashed and rearranged. 

I started writing a new novel this week. I had been wanting to since the summer, an idea brewing since then. But I waited because the summer was busy, and then I moved. And then I thought I should wait until I have my current novel finalized. But really I need to spew down this new prose. My current novel is at a point where its feeling like a destructive process, as mentioned above. In a good way, maybe. But I felt the need to get this new idea in pen. I'm writing it all free hand, in a notebook. This excites me because computers are starting to remind me of business, and I start thinking of e-mails to follow up on, etc. I like the unplugged feeling of writing by hand. I like getting to a feverish point where my hand hurts. I also like the feeling of exploration that comes to me when jotting shit down with pen and paper. Which is what I feel like a first draft of a novel should be; an exploration, not a final product. When I did more acting, it used to frustrate me when directors treated rehearsal performances like it should be the final show. It's not. It's rehearsal. It should be about exploration. 

I feel like my revision process is a black hole right now. And my new writing project is the white hole.

I could go on and on about space. I almost had a mini panic attack in the bathroom at work this morning when I tried to think about what existed before the big bang. Certainly something other than a super dense primordial atom. Can something really be created from nothing? Which leads me to think that the big bang may be the off shooting matter from some other universe. No beginning? The ancient gets more ancient. The thought makes me dizzy. I had dreams last night that hinted at some absence of matter. Black space, small specks of things happening. My brain had no framework to compare it to reality other than a planetarium with a dim bulb. 

I also had a dream that I was at my high school reunion. I stepped in some cake frosting that had fallen to the floor and everyone pointed out that it looked like crusty cum had smeared on my shoe. It was humiliating. Cake frosting tear drops. I woke up depressed. Are such embarrassing events really that depressing in comparison with planets out there getting ripped apart by magnetars? It gives me hope that getting made fun is really actually a chill time. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Turban Tan's 2 Year Anniversary Thoughts

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the release of my novella Turban Tan. Books deserve birthdays. Below is the main character, The Drippy Man celebrating.

Two Years Later, Some Thoughts.

Turban Tan began as a piece of spontaneous prose, thrown up here on this blog in fact. I developed it some more for one of the Seeding Meat releases, written almost as a play, with dueling philosophies on the parts of The Drippy Man and The Dry Advisor. As the economy continued to hover in a recession throughout 2009, I became quite interested in economics, the complicated facets of it, of derivatives, CDOs, mergers. I wanted to play around with an economic “drama” of sorts and The Drippy Man character continued to surface in my mind.

I became interested in dystopian literature as a sort of economic ghost story.

I liked the idea of starting not from his race to escape a fucked up world, but of exploring his tendency to go back to it after being offered a sanctuary. In a lot of ways I think people are masochistic. We make things harder on ourselves than need be.

Below is a video of me being really excited about this book. 

This is 2 years ago. I look pretty much the same. In fact I am still quite excited about this piece. I’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t a perfect piece of literature. But I hold fast to the fact that it is a wild, unique crack at dystopia, at a fucked up spy novella, at a novella in general. Though flawed, I am confident in its fascinating trek from Maine to Dubai. The writing came together fairly quickly when I set out to expand it into a novella. I had a lot of shit floating around my head from reading the news more actively than I ever had before. Turban Tan is a bit raw, simple, ambiguous, and I appreciate aspects of that. The novel manuscript I’m currently working on, I’ve been working for two years now. I’m in a bit of perfectionist mode, chopping, refining each sentence structure. I’m less reckless as a writer now since Turban Tan, for good or ill. I suppose every writer goes through phases of development, after all, I’m working on strengthening my craft. Yet something I learned from my high school athletic days, sometimes you get worse before you get better, while the muscles rip and grow and ache.

Enough of my thoughts. Turban Tan is swell. It has an orange cover and a strange story told from a strange, coded point of view. You should buy a copy! I really think you should! For your back pocket and for your Occupier’s stockings. You should also eat cake today and read a book for at least a little bit.

I’ll be getting drunk tonight. I hope you do as well and offer a little toast to The Drippy Man.

Buy a copy and read it too!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coat Funk

I have a theory. 

Certainly city buses and trains tend to have some bodily odors wafting about. But it increases exponentially as winter happens. Most likely people don't ever wash their winter coats. Last year's funk comes out to play. I know I'm guilty of it. I recently noticed my coat smelled like shit and I couldn't remember ever washing it. I've had it at least 6 years. I have since washed it and feel good about it. I feel like I fulfilled a civic duty. I know the economy is bad and coats take up room in washers and dryers, hogging real estate from other urgent clothes, but I hope more people decide its time to throw their coats in the hamper on laundry day. 

 This morning I was all disoriented when I woke up. I thought it was saturday. My girlfriend was up and atom in the kitchen. All showered, dressed. I was like "why the hell you up so early?" She was just like "you up or going back to bed!" I said "goin' back to bed!" I went to pee and while I was peeing I realized it was Thursday and my alarm would be going off any minute so I couldn't actually go back to bed. 

Then on the train to work I realized my smelly coat theory. I hope they all find some extra quarters in their couch. We'll worry about mitten funk some other time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Today I had lunch at Subway.  A shitload of teenagers came in, on their off-campus lunch break. Most had their own lunch boxes, or pizza from the place a few storefronts down. Clearly outside food to be munched on in Subway as though it were some cafeteria. None of the Subway staff said anything to them. A juice box was spill near the cuff of my sleeve. 

One teenager was eating a slice of pizza. Another one came in, referred to as Daniel by some girls, reached over to grab the slice mid mouth. 

Teenager: Naw man, this is my pizza.
Daniel: Give it to me!
Teenager: Naw!
Daniel: Remember that time you asked me for a bitch and I hooked you up!

Then Daniel and the other teenager started to wrestle. Some girls laughed. Daniel tried to splash them with streaming fountain soda. The girls shrieked "Daniel! Stop!"

Subway staff went about their business as usual. 

Daniel wrestled with other teenager again and knocked his styro-foam pizza box to the floor. Then he left. Through the window I could see him run out into the street to pick up a discarded Subway beverage cup, still half full, and proceed to chase after some other girls who were hanging out down the street. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deleted Prose 1

The following is from a section of my (in revision process) novel manuscript. I've been trimming the fat. Chopping out stuff that doesn't fit. This particular item I felt messed with the logic of the first section as far as the narrator's perspective goes.  But I still enjoy the prose here. So I thought I'd share. The manuscript is continuing to come along nicely. The text is getting stronger. Top heaviness reduced.

The gray steel spanned great lengths. Conveyer platforms churned up magical boxes, fat slabs of black fiber glass encasing what is most important; the screen! An army, inciters of vision pumped down the flattened rubber track, running them to the next arm that finished the job and sped them onto yet another.  If the arm had conscience it would revel in the glory of finishing the job.

My father, Bruno, walked the concrete between these rows of conveyors and arms and boxes with glossy screen. He managed the inspectors and technicians, ensuring that the scheduled output of boxes, which will soon flash visions, was up to par. It was indeed. The newest box was flatter than the norm and quite vibrant in comparison to more decayed models. His toe tapped a tube; glass rolling. He bent and picked it up. He was not quite sure what it was doing on the floor, all by its lonesome. This wasn’t a good sign. If one had hopped off the assembly and went loosey goosey from the unit…this was a bad sign and SOMETHING was not up to par as he had expected upon first glance. He recognized the possibility that sure, it was most likely one box with a missing tube and it would account for only one faulty television abstaining from colorful display. But if more boxes began to share the same problem and more cathode ray tubes began to join in the free radical summersault on the oily pavement… then the accrued return, shipping, and replacement production would be the skinning of his ass. They had a deadline to meet and a nation of department chains to stock before the Holidays, and this being September, well ho! Three months is right around the corner. Mush, mush you automated arms!

But if you’re going to do a job right, do it right the first time around, and Goddamn if more cathode ray tubes escape the cage of glass. Then the evidence of his knowledge on this possibility – the security feed that ran to another screen (not manufactured by this factory, believe it or not) would indict his professionalism and pinpoint him as the culprit that neglected the prevention of a costly recall, during the red periods after the fucking Holidays! Fucking lose – lose situation! Pull the plug and halt the assembly!

He hustled off towards the window that shined its fluorescence, bouncing light from a mountain of spreadsheets stacked on top of his desk. The paper still clung to the side strip with holes that gripped the perforated river of paper through the chunk-car-chunk of an ink ribbon rub down, and beside this hub where he could trace the success of his management through numbers, was the yellow lever that stopped it all and made the white and grey arms take a hissing break.

The gears hummed a low note and the conveyors slowed and stopped and peace was too much to ask for – an arm held still the glass pane a centimeter from the skeletal encasement of the box and a visceral static did spark and pop and blew the glass into shards.  The shards carried the microcosm of lightning storm on its back until it slapped into the hot wires, the hot wires that talked to the arms and gave it the day’s direction. The heat jumpstarted a black simmer and burst of red-then quickly to a blue flame which hustled down the length of a friction rubbed conveyor. The rubber did not hinder the conduction of the dance party of angry static and electron charges. The whole of the place, every arm and box exploded and the symphony of flame and smoke and debris consumed the body of my ducking father, who pulled down his face and gripped the tip of his hard hat. This is the machine’s consequence for a moment taken to reflect upon, not participate in production. The shockwaves of angry televisions put a sinking dent in the Holiday inventory and made a victim of my father. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rock Opera for the Digesting

Last night we went to a 2nd Thanksgiving dinner party thrown by my girlfriend's good group of friends. After a week of digesting turkey & an assortment of leftover carbs, we did it again. A good problem to have no doubt. Any food, an overwhelming amount of feast food, is a good food, nothing to complain about. I will say though my body has been "de-energized" since digging in a little over a week ago into the traditional foodstuffs. Some talk about the fact of tryptophan making us sleepy as only a myth, but some recent scientific studies talk on tryptophan being enhanced by the sheer amount of carbs in the typical Thanksgiving feast, thus making such a meal more coma inducing than a turkey sandwich at the local deli. Whatever the science may be, the sheer amount and variety of food items is certainly causing a load on the digestive tract. Particularly this variety. You have thick potatoes, green beans, french fried onions, turkey meat, gravy fat, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sugary pie, etc, all of which digest at different rates. And being eaten in conjunction with one another makes for a strange fight to sneak ahead of the acid line to be broken down at it's ideal speed. Yet the pie you ate at the end of the meal, breaks down quicker, due to the sugars, than the meat hunks ahead, so the sugar sits there for a bit, gets impatient. This big belly party exhausts the guts.

A colleague of mine once brought up the diet theory of eating all food groups separate from one another. So you eat your meats in one meal, wait a good couple of hours, then eat your pasta. Then a few hours later eat your fruit. This allows for an ease in digestive flow. And it makes sense. You don't want that fruit to rot while it waits behind the sirloin steak. I've yet to commit to such an eating standard. And clearly Thanksgiving breaks the rules of this diet. Though I'm thankful to be privileged enough to enjoy pounds of food and indigestion. Again, these are good problems to have. 

After the massive feast last night, I was quick to desire bed when we got home. I drifted into intense dreams derived from the images of outer space my girlfriend and I have been subjecting ourselves to in watching The History Channel's: The Universe in our Blockbuster queue. One of these dreams started out with swimming through space, hopping from asteroid to asteroid, until I swam from the depths of this black vacuum to crawl up the shores of some European country, looked perhaps a bit like Portugal. The outer space behind was indeed just some big black ocean waters. Once on the shore I stepped on a snail, and this I could feel in my dream, a vivid slime ooze between my toes. I wound up starting my own small business refurbishing apartments. During the course of one project I kept ordering food from a diner. The owner himself delivered the food and we developed a good friendship. After this project I decided I was going to swim back out into space, and so I went to say good bye to the diner owner. I stopped in at the diner and he laughed at me, telling me I couldn't go! He was retiring and liked my business sense and wanted me to take over! I resisted, but then he asked me to follow him into the kitchen. He led me through the kitchen, into another larger, seemingly unused kitchen. Gates made of jagged spikes closed off one section of it. He told me to wait to the side. He wanted to show me something special locked inside a secret tomb, but he had to go in and disarm the booby traps first. I watched him dodge swinging blades and dropping spikes to disappear through a sliding glass door, down a long dark tunnel. He was gone awhile. Then he returned, on fire, playing the electric guitar, singing! I wasn't sure if this was his doomed body from the detriment of a booby trap, or if this is what he wanted to show me. But the rest of this dream took on the feel of a rock opera. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Breaded Control

Last night I dreamt it was my brother's birthday. A gift he received was a video game controller, deep fried and breaded. One had to eat their way to its use.

This would be the most American invention of all time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I am fattening myself up for the winter with meat and carbs and piles of books to rip up the mind until it bleeds and pools of platelets create a layer between my skin and the cold air. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blood Blister Be-Gone

Today I finally got rid of a blood blister/scab I've had for about two weeks. I got it from home brewing. There was this bottle from my last batch I hadn't fully cleaned out, at least not very well. Caked mold remained at the bottom from the remaining mash dregs. Thus I soaked it in hot soapy water for hours and then proceeded to thrash more hot liquid around to really break it up. I succeeded. But it resulted in the aforementioned blood blister between my thumb and forefinger. I was beginning to worry about my body's ability to heal it was taking so long. It looked almost like a mole. I was starting to get used to it. I secretly referred to it as my power mole. 

It went down the shower drain. A beetle can maybe play hockey with it. 

I don't think my brain synapses function correctly first thing in the morning. I kept getting weird phrases in my head while doing my morning, get-ready-for-the-day rituals, like "animal cat punches" and "sudden fritter freeze." And they kept looping in my mind like a scratched to hell piece of vinyl spinning. 

And then I'd picture the blood blister dissolving slowly. 

On my train commute to work I overheard two older, white men. Wearing nice suits. Both balding. One was skinny, with tight cheek bones, the other was fat and pouty. The fat, pouty one kept muttering "stupid democrats, goddamn liberals, god I hate them." Whenever the skinny one would respond to his droopy grievances the train would rattle loudly and I couldn't hear the specifics. I imagined the pouty guy calling me a young stupid punk and then imagined myself shouting back "you don't know me, what makes you think you know me! I just have a stupid grin on my face because my blood blister finally healed! Cannot I not feel jacked about small victories!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Plan on Firing Anxiety (Here is How it Will Go Down)

With the seasonal temperature shifts, I sometimes find myself feeling an explicable anxiety, a gnawing, ill-informed nervousness that follows me like I'm a heat lamp. I'm thinking of getting rough with it, cutting this anxiety loose, like in those sad boy loves animal movies where circumstances force him to tell it to scram despite every bone in his body hating the act of severance with the confused creature. 

Well, I wouldn't  feel so bad about telling anxiety to get lost. I just have to sit down and do it. I want to be a creature of comfort.


Me: Mr. Anxiety, please take a seat.

Anxiety: I'm very busy...

Me: I'm not asking.

Anxiety: Fine, man.

Me: Listen, there's no easy way to put this, I've lost a lot of sleep over this, but we all deserve a peace of mind-

Anxiety: Cut the bullshit.

Me: Funny way to put it, that's what I'm asking you to do!

Anxiety: I don't like jokes, sir.

Me: You were assigned to me at birth with the intent to protect me by alerting me to real predatory dangers. Things change, the world we operate in develops down strange paths, and we take on new challenges, complicated challenges.

Anxiety: I haven't taken my break yet today...

Me: You'll get a nice break. Fact is you work too hard and you've hijacked your purpose. You're sounding little alarms all over the place, distracting my departments, dissolving all real resolve of mission, scattering priorities, depleting adrenal resources.

Anxiety: I work harder than anyone else!

Me: Yet you're ignorant to the fact that you've derailed everyone else's ability to work! You're holding this operation back!

Anxiety: I'm sorry you're not pleased with my performance.

Me: Worrying hasn't been an effective strategy. I'm sorry, Mr. Anxiety, but I'm letting you go.

Anxiety: Fuck you man! What will I do now?

Me: Evolve. Your severence is this shot of whiskey. Here. Drink. Relax.

Anxiety takes the shot, glares at me, and gives me the middle finger.

Me: Leave the door open on your way out. I like the breeze.

Fade to Black.

The Smart Toilet & Shitty Thoughts

Allow me to talk number 2 for a moment. I bet some day will come the invention of the "smart toilet." It will read back to you calculations about density, mass. It will tell you things about your health and bowel movements based on pH calculations and how it corresponds with what you had previously entered into the menu database for the meals you have eaten. It will tell you when that pizza you had on Friday is fully digested. 

Because let's all face it, it's human instinct to take a look at what we've expelled from our bodies. 

I sometimes stop and think about what I've contributed to the sewer system over the course of the day. And that if we faced apocalypse and running water had stopped, convenience and grocery stores ransacked for bottled water, rivers dangerous due to people taking armed territory at sections, the sewer with it's dark river below us may become a last resort. I sometimes think about such a thing, and what sort of contraption I would manufacture with my own two hands and found objects to clean the water and purify it. It would perhaps take a lot of strainers and boiling to re-allocate steam, to more strainers and boiling to really get the shit out of it and avoid a stomach ache. 

The sewer is a resource. And if never touched, 1 million years from now, what will have become of all of the human waste, dish water, detergent, bleach, cleaning supplies, Drano, dead skin cells, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, vomit, blood, fingernails, hair, motor oil, and a variety of other items, after having sloshed around and drifted down as gunk lining the bottom of the sewer floor. Will it become its own type of rock, caked layers pressed, that can be burned for fuel?

Sometimes I think these thoughts. Not as a fixation, just drifting what ifs in my mind at some points of the day. Shit worth thinking. Because shit is always happening all over the globe, slipping away below us to a story we rarely bother ourselves to imagine because it may be grotesque. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Vacuum Man Gets Vocal

I've been thinking about this guy I saw the other day at the California Blue Line stop, at the tail end of the day's home rush hour. A line had formed to go down the stairs from the platform. A guy with long, flowing black hair came trotting up, swinging a vacuum cleaner by the handle slightly as he moved. The people descending stopped off to the side the stairs, as far over as they could, to allow him up. The guy became angered by this accommodation and began yelling at them as he ascended "Ahhhh, fuck you, get out of here YOU! Get out of here!" When he finally got to the top, the line began to move again. The guy yelled at some one waiting for a Northbound train, under the heat lamps. "You too! Fuck you!" Some people across the platform started laughing at him and he yelled something un-intelligible, like "aaghjyoouyuyauuuyuAHAHHGSuiu YEah yeah fuck you ahsuujkkuujfuck!" 

I was at the end of the line going down.  I had the urge to mess with him. I wanted to tell him to "suck his own dick off with that vacuum." Just to rile him up. But I didn't. That wouldn't have been a level headed thing to do. It would have been mean. I could have wound up with a vacuum cleaner base fracturing my skull. And I thank my inhibitions for showing up to work at that moment.

Now if I had been on the other side of the platform, with the electrified track space between us, a taunting remark on an irrational man telling people to go fuck themselves would have been a fun thing to fling. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pseudo Night Terrors

Last night I had a dream in which I found out that I was a ghost. I was visiting a small New England coastal town, met with some friends by an old industrial yard, drank an assortment of Mexican beer without limes and hit rocks out into a field with metal baseball bats. We parted ways as dusk came along. I noticed a general lack of activity on my walk back to our hotel. Some lights went on in various apartment windows, yet I noticed no people meandering the rooms. They looked empty. I thought perhaps ghosts were flickering these lights.

I stopped in at a church because I heard nice organ music. I walked in on a meeting of the priest and various church staff members. He looked at me and accused me of eating all of the communion bread. I denied it. 

I returned to our hotel. My girlfriend was lying on the bed with a cucumber peel mask spread on her face. I leaned in to kiss her hair. She awoke, startled. "Who's there?" 



"Right here."

"I do not see you."

I touched her head. "Do you feel me?"


"Can you smell me?" I breathed in her face.


"But you don't see me?"

"No. Maybe I have something in my eye."

"Can you see the picture on the wall?"


"Can you see the piano in the corner?"


"But you don't see me?"



At one point I awoke from another dream. I had fled to live in rural Maine because I fell victim to identity theft. I received a phone call at my cabin, from the perpetrator, telling me to look across the lake at the other houses. He was in one of them looking at me with binoculars. He laughed. When I awoke from this my girlfriend was in the midst of her own night terror. "Oh my god oh my god!" She shouted as she sat up in bed. She sometimes does this and at the time of it, I fear there is a bug pestering her face. She is not very lucid, partially sleeping still when I ask her what is wrong. She calmly says "nothing" and is very confused why I am asking this.

I got up to pee. Coming back to bed my body blocked the street light and created a shadow. My heart stopped for a brief moment until I became cognizant of the physics of current photon play. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Generational Pissing Match

This morning I was sitting in my recliner, cat in lap, reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I came to a part where Gertrude Stein was telling Hemingway his was part of a lost generation. Stopping for a moment to sip my coffee, I saw a flash in my mind of Sarah Palin expressing her disgust at me for sitting on my ass and reading an outdated book by a writer she believes to be a lunatic asshole. 

"What's wrong with reading a book?" I asked.

"You read filth that corrupts you, that gives you stupid ideas, and makes you think you're entitled to things you don't deserve!"

"And do you deserve, respect? Your generation is the one that set in motion the end of the world. Whether you like it or not, miss, your generation collectively is the Anti-Christ." I lashed back, an imagined out-let for anger. "My child will probably be born with asthma, thank you very much, smoke stack champion!"

As a disclaimer, there are many in my life (parents, Aunts and Uncles, extended family, landlords, colleagues, clients, friends, friends of the family, etc) who are actually are down to earth, thoughtful, respectful and level headed. They understand the struggles that my generation faces in our young careers. It's the political leaders, corporation leaders of my parents generation that get under skin and where I intend the following expression of disgust. 

I get the sense that the middle aged politicians think so lowly of my generation. But their parents' generation thought little of them, and back on to their parents' generation who thought little of them. A vicious cycle of low confidence in and attempted understanding of their own spawn because they've slowly realized they can only control them so much. And it fuels the pissy angst they feel towards the engine of society they have fed into another complex, mushy disaster. They cling to old philosophies on how to fix this, not realizing it was these old, musty thought processes that caused kinks in the work flow of a society. And they want dish out disparaging remarks on their children's generation because they'd be embarrassed if it was some punk kid that found the solution. 

The problem lies not only in a class conflict. But a generational one persists. We've been taught that we must work hard to get ahead. But many are trapped in a stage of life where hard work is actually, unfortunately not paying off, on a wide scale, because the shareholders are scared to sprinkle what's in the kitty. And those that are out in the workforce as collection agents of sorts to suck in consumer exchange to fill the company kitty, are made to feel like assholes for questioning when the shareholders might feel comfortable enough in the base of this kitty to open its valve.

There grows this distrust in the previous generation for having told them to work hard and reap what one deserves. And then as a result, the old generation in turn gets mad at the kids for being mad at them. They complain that we complain, and then they go and complain with such fervor it would make a mountain hides its cliff face. 

But I will not be discouraged. I will continue to work hard, because one day, when the old generation has to call it quits on their political careers, and people from mine start theirs, maybe things will finally be revitalized. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tailored Pants

I dreamt last night that I was visiting my mom and her house, in this subconscious world, had two campers parked to the side against tall hedges. I explored them. They were dusty. Small animals skittered off, breaking windows as they went. She had a barn, high up in the rafters hung several canoes. I was very excited about these canoes. I rigged a pulley and climbed up to sit in one of them, just hanging. High up. From the rafters I made my way to a hatch, to the roof, and found myself joining up with a gaggle of young children playing tag on a series of slanted rooftops well into night fall. 

I then found myself in India, staying in an antiquated hotel. A friend talked me into getting tailored pants made in a small shop in the grand, ornate hotel lobby. At one point, the newly stitched pants were on me, and I lay on an ironing board while an East Indian gentleman ironed the fabric, the heat seeping through to my skin. But I was okay with this as I was sipping on legitimate Absinthe & puffing opium from a hookah. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I feel the urge to write a sci-fi-esque novel, just going nuts and writing bullshit and going by a new logic, a new law of physics. Just going nuts and allowing myself the freedom to be preposterous and see what can be sculpted from it. I like space and space blows my mind and I want to fuck my mind up a little bit by writing about myself in space and sucking the cartoon-ish fascination out of it and scare the shit out of myself.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I am kicking myself because of my stolen bike in early September. I had pulled up my old receipt which I was ill informed had the serial number on it, but it didn't, so Johnny Sprockets had to go digging in their archives from 2009 of receipt tickets and it took them several weeks to find. Phil, a Johnny Sprockets company man, was very helpful in this project and got me the serial number. He left a voice mail. I feel bad because I haven't called him back yet to thank him. I've been meaning to do this. I should do it soon. I am going to put it on tomorrow's to do list. I never filled out a police report after I found the bike missing  because I wanted to make sure I had the serial, I felt a report would be ridiculous without it and that the cops would laugh at me. But it took so long to get the serial number that by then, it would look ridiculous with there being such a huge gap in between filing and the date of theft. I also thought I had some pictures of it but I guess I don't. That bike is as good as a belch dissipating in gale force winds. I miss it. I wish I was on the ball. It was a nice bike. I wish I had made it look shitty, with duct tape and yarn and spray paint and newspapers wrapped around its frame. Next bike I get I will put paper machete around it and paint fake vomit on it, maybe glue fake plastic vomit on it. Maybe some neon pom poms in the handles. Some beer cans in the tires. Pink duct tape on the frame. Doll heads hanging from the frame. It will look unique and stupid. No one will want to steal it. That's kind of what you have to do. I really want to go for a bike ride. I want it to snow something crazy and still go for a bike ride.

Today Eliaz Rodriguez and I helped out our friend Joe Avella shoot a scene for his feature length Master of Inventions movie. We shot it in the Mother's bar. I was an extra in a shot. I played drunk and even felt a little drunk. Mind over matter. I would save some money if I did that instead of buying booze. It was dark down there. Our eyes hurt when we left and the Division street farmer's market, an expansive thing was suddenly all packed up and not speck left behind. Eliaz and I went to my corner bar, the Orbit Room after and ran into my landlord who was having a beer after cleaning the shit left behind by my old downstairs neighbors. We found out a glass window had been blown out on our sun porch. My landlord let me know he noticed it. I thought maybe the wind fucked it up because we heard some rattling this week in the gusty howl, but in looking at it when I got home it looks like it was shattered, remains collected on the roof of the building next door, from the inside. Like a dick through something at it. I'm wondering if our ol' foes from downstairs gave us one final fuck you before they moved out. And I'm not surprised. I've kinda been bracing myself for a brick through the window from all of this. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Witching Hour

I've been waking up lately at 3am and wind up entering this partially awake, partially still dreaming hallucinatory state where lying in bed becomes this pseudo game, a complex one that doesn't make any sense and I can't fall asleep until I figure out the game. What's spooky is that this lines up with what is known as the witching hour. So I wonder what ghosts and ghouls are whispering taunts into my ear inducing such head games.

The neighbors below moved out. I wouldn't put it past them to put a curse on us to keep waking us up in the night without music. Will be looking for sage to burn. And Nyquil liquid gels. Sleeeep is a seven letter word.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Tense. I've been messing around with tense in the next round of my novel revisions. I originally wrote it in past tense. A friend gave a draft a read and suggested I play with it in present tense. I was excited at this notion at first and played with it some. But I'm not sure it works with this piece. I generally like present tense writing, the active adrenaline of it. I do however feel this novel works best as a sort of memory play, told through the narrator's jaunty attitude, which transposed into present tense has a weird disconnect, the tone doesn't match the proximity to the intensity of things happening. If I were to make the present tense thing work, I would have to do more than tweak verb-age. The tone would have to be completely re-written. And the tone is one of the elements I'm very proud of. I think it's fleshy and charming. 

Over the weekend my girlfriend and I got out of town for an evening. One of her favorite beers is Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale. The brewery is just outside of Chicago, in Barrington, IL. We've been wanting to do a little getaway there. Get a cheap motel and go drink it up at the brew pub, not have to worry about driving back into the city. Unfortunately they were out of pumpkin ale, but we had a wide array of other brews; the Hop Slayer Double IPA, Jack Stout, Nut Brown Ale. Some others. We drank and ate until she got a gassy stomach ache, then we cabbed it back to the motel. She passed out and I switched between War of the Worlds and The Shining.  In the morning we ate some stale food in the continental breakfast room. Then went to Dunkin Donuts.

I finished reading It by Stephen King this weekend. I had been working on it on and off since April. I did really like. He delved into a deep sprawl on the town history, character histories within the 1100 page novel. And I liked the heavy detail, you really got a deep sense of the characters and the town scape. And the finale had a psychotropic tinge which I liked. One of the things about Stephen King novels I find, is that I don't find myself scared while reading them, but a subtle paranoia lingers with me during the revolving span of working on one of them. And I attract creepy happenings. For instance, several years ago, I read The Shining.  I was reading it on the Red Line one night and some one fell violently on me. He was bleeding from the mouth, bleeding on me. At first, startled up from the page, I thought he was attacking me. I pushed him. Realized he was hurt and offered to help him. To buy him ice or something. He ran off at the next stop. I was left with a blood smear on my copy of the book and my work shirt. Later that night I woke to pee and for a split second thought I saw drops of blood all over my arm. In the hotel room Saturday night I awoke to pee, and in washing my hands in the sink (hotel style, the counter was in a separate space than the toilet and tub), looking at my vague black outline of a reflection in the dark, I jumped at what I thought for a second was the black outline of another body next to me. In the end it was only my eyes adjusting to the dark,  or so I think. I like books that fuck with me head. One of the things I like about books versus movies or plays is that they are like a subtle drug. Working off the imagination, causing it to fire, it puts you in the author's head at the same time as the author is getting inside your head. It alters your consciousness whether you like it or not. 

As part of the Occupy Wall Street movement a lot of people are closing their accounts with major banks. While I stand with and support the movement, and agree with the notion of closing one's account with a bank they don't agree with, I watched some videos of people doing so and they kind of annoyed me. In one video two girls went to close out their accounts and had big protest signs with them, and of course the videographer. They were asked to leave and were so surprised and angered by it. Now, the real objective of closing one's account, I think, is the build up of it on a massive scale. If enough people close their accounts and withdraw their money, that could hurt the capital and revenue of that bank. That's where the objective should be, running into a bank with a protest sign expecting to just go about one's business is obnoxious. It comes across a disturbance, antagonistic, and the protester loses power. Just go in, close your account, exercise your right as a consumer to stop doing business with an institution you're not happy with it. Sucking the blood out of the bank will go a lot further than waving the proverbial pirate flag inside a place of business. The bank tellers are not the fat cats, making them feel shitty about doing their job so they can collect their hourly and pay their rent is not the best use of energy, I think. Block traffic, shut down the city. I support that. But something about these girls' aghast and offended reactions being asked to leave with their high held protest signs annoyed me. Other than that I support the 99%. I'm certainly one of them. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raw Men

Ramen noodles have been fine cuisine to me lately. I get excited about eating them. Not only for budgetary reasons. I've discovered some grocery stores in my neighborhood that carry a wide variety of flavors, beyond the regular Oriental, Beef, Shrimp and Chicken. I remember there being a wide array when I was a teenager but have seen the myriad of options wane over the years until our recent discovery. In fact I had been thinking of them not long ago, wondering what had happened to those flavors of old. I even tried looking them up online. Perhaps the "law of attraction" really works and I willed them back into existence. But I'm so glad that once again I get to enjoy
Roast Pork
Roast Beef
Roast Chicken
Chicken and Mushroom
Creamy Chicken
Picante Chicken
Picante Beef
flavors again. I think we have some others in the mix.
Ramen was a staple of my lunch diet as a lad. I had a friend who called it Raw Men and I thought that was funny. I think Ramen made it's entry into my life when I was 9. Before that I loved the fuck out of Campbell's Chicken Noodle. Chicken and Stars. I had a Vietnamese friend and we'd have homemade ramen for lunch when I was over at his house. This was when I was 8. Then when I was 9 and my mom brought Oodles of  Noodles home from the grocery store and I tasted them and realized I actually had them before, I was ecstatic.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bringing Home Small Pumpkins

Went apple picking today in Indiana but didn't find too many apples in the orchard, all picked over and some scattered on the ground, got to stump on a few and at least enjoy the pseudo outdoors and the sunshine. I ate 3 pumpkin donuts too many in a short amount of time and had a sugar crash. The Hen House Prowlers were playing bluegrass for the family folk, I know these guys, I know them as Sexfist, their other name from some Chicago shows. They were nice enough to let us record some live tracks awhile back for our Wood Sugars Inside the Barrel podcast.

We bought a tiny pumpkin for our cat Gus. I get a kick out of cutesy things like that.

Wicked tired today from a late night of chicken wings and sour beer, then hoppy beer with a good friend last night.

Was wicked tired last Sunday too, I failed to mention here about our Wood Sugars 4 shows in 24 hours last weekend. We of course had our Jokesmith Juggernauts on Fri Sept. 30th which was a good turn out but the comedy didn't seem to hit. It's okay, it happens. I hope the people were at least entertained and enjoyed their Friday night out. Saturday, Oct 1st we performed at the Ravenswood Art Walk at two different times, different places. At 11:45am we performed for 15min at their Main Stage. We had to substitute out the cuss words and ultimately performed for the beer booth guys, the sound guys, and a mom with two toddlers bopping around. I rehearsed my bits all the way there without the usual cussing. I was intensely nervous I'd let some f bombs slip like usual, but I was proud in the end to be a controlled performer. Then at 2pm we were under the impression we'd be performing in a theatre space but it was actually a wood shop. Wood Sugars in a wood shop, very fitting I do believe. It was actually the most fun I've had performing in a long time. We got about 5 or 6 random viewers, and were supposed to fill an hour. We're used to 15 min time slots, so we threw in some old sketches and did some improv to stretch it out. We popped some genuine chuckles out of our crowd.

Then we were asked to perform at a friend's house party, which we agreed to tentatively but an e-mail blast went out from the hostess that we'd be performing and we didn't want to be the dicks who backed out, even though Donny was hurting from what he thought was a cracked rib after a bike accident. It was actually pretty rad performing along with some other comedy folk in an apartment. It was cozy, almost salon style. I heard about a ghostly encounter from earlier that day in that very apartment. I dig hearing such things. Some people shotgunned their beers. I cheered them on and just drank my beer really fast, not chugging, not sipping. I got drunk and stayed out late. I don't do that enough anymore, but was reminded why it's not a usual thing for me when my wee hour AM bus route through Wrigleyville delayed me from catching the Belmont bus, within only a few seconds. And it was a 30 min wait for the next one. So I just walked, which I usually don't mind but I've been doing that a lot lately and my feet were tired. I thought about the novel I've been revising.  About to dive into another pass at it, and I'm feeling a slight nervousness. The piece I feel is getting close to being something swell, yet I feel like a blacksmith about to work on a bunch of small metals. A slight cabin fever type thing echoes around in me like the sensation of trying to put thread through the eye of a needle. Sometimes I get a kick out of digging into such tight focus on a task, yet sometimes I just want to work sloppily and spill my guts all over the place and not have to reshape it all into neat little piles.

I'm a slob with OCD.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Finance Blizzards

It's hard to avoid thinking about the financial crisis and it's perpetuation. I mean the economy still sucks. Frustration is visible. I feel it. You feel it. Certainly if the powers that be wanted to fix it, it would be fixed by now. We feel hopeless The new american dream has become a lazy one. It aims for financial reaping, money making more money. Sit back and collect. Money has become a commodity which outweighs the merit of practical goods and services. Energy production, transportation, auto, technology, food, health, and many other industries takes a back seat to the work of the financial institutions. If the financial workings of the world; stocks, currencies, hedge funds, futures, etc all become sluggish so does industry. Yet needs remain, and resources can still be tapped. I've said before that the function of money perhaps needs to be revised. But we're a world addicted to money. I'm not naive, this won't change for another thousand years perhaps.

The word innovation is tossed around yet our nation and major businesses are run by people who are not innovators. There is general malaise and dip in creative energy that is all encompassing. How do we boost this without the promised reward of money? How do we boost this motivated only by providing utilitarian benefit, joy, entertainment? Not only is our economic system bogged in bullshit, we as people are in a rut, the jacked up feeling of accomplishment diffused by money worries. If we continue to pin advancement's potential on the work of the financial sector then we will continue to decline. Money itself has no creative nor innovative potential. It is merely a tool for transactions and the trading of real commodities that have useful value in our lives. Money has become a shield, a blinder. Certainly I'm not knocking profit. I'm okay with profit. It's why we do business, to fund our lives. But with the immense focus that world economics has placed on money itself as a good, real thought is pulled away from real production. Money powers stress and stress becomes God.

It's exciting to see Occupy Wall Street gain momentum. Frustration should be voiced visibly when there are widespread issues, financial crises at hand. Occupy Wall Street has been dished its share of criticism for not laying out any clear demands. But I agree with those who remind us it's not just about clear demands. This isn't a hostage situation. It's a wake up call, shaking us from an apathetic trance, a cry for help. A cry for help because we're all entrenched in a global financial hole that is not being addressed by our leaders with any true resolve. Certainly if the powers that be wanted to fix it, it would be fixed by now. Policy makers are too addicted by party favors and a weird, dick-ish form of high school spirit towards their "side."

Just for fun, or for the good of mankind, I did some thinking about what my demands would be if I was asked to solve this shit. Here are my ideas to get things moving again:

1) Repeal the Gramm-Leach-Liley Act which repealed provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act separating investment banks and commercial banks. This came along in 1999 and shit hit the fan not even a decade later. Banks are tools for business. When business becomes just a tool for the banks, business becomes a bummer and so do the banks.

2) Make credit default swaps illegal. Gambling on failure wins the prize of failure.

3) Set in motion a plan to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, all drone warfare. All troops from overseas. Cut defense spending. Focus defense on defense, not offense.

4) Reinvest the funds cut in step 3 to put into energy infrastructure and energy independence. Develop renewable energies (solar, tidal, thermal, wind) and begin oil drilling on U.S. soil with smart adherence to safety regulations to avoids spills and deadly thrills. Rebuild a failing and inefficient power grid. This step alone will create a shit ton of jobs.

5) Re-structure the tax code with a surcharge on millionaires. Close loopholes. Taxes are necessary to fund government. Think of them like dues. You wouldn't expect you country club to keep the grounds trimmed without your contribution. Maybe create a special privilege for millionaires so they can feel an extra perk for paying higher dues.

6) Legalize marijuana for people aged 21 and older and tax it. No matter what your moral stance on this topic is, perhaps the war on this drug is a drain on government resources. And the laws in place don't actually stop it or stop its presence in movies and entertainment. It exists, its a buzz like cigarettes and alcohol. If you're morally against it than its up to you as a parent to talk to your kids about it. It may not stop your teen from trying it, but the laws in place don't either. In all reality if you let your kids eat Burger King or White Castle than you are probably not fighting the right health battle with them. There lies an opportunity to regulate this drug and tax it, creating revenue to fill in government budget deficits.

7) Reinvest the extra funds from steps 5 and 6 for energy efficient transportation systems. High speed rail. Airplanes burn a shit load of fuel and airports are a pain in the ass delaying people from work hours.

8) Create tax incentives for companies with 90% or more of their workforce and property in the U.S. Bring jobs home. We have an idle workforce.

9) Create an annual "innovator prize" which awards for merited innovation in industry in the form of a 3 year hiatus from capital gains and payroll tax. Innovation needs a spark. Let's do something really neat with the space program and get America excited again about progress and exploration.

10) Life time pensions for all members of congress are bullshit. If I worked two years at a company I wouldn't expect a life long pension. Reward those for longer term service. One should serve 12 plus years in congress to get these pensions, either 2 Senate terms or 6 House terms. Republicans keep asking for cuts in spending. This is an easy one. My taxes should not pay someone for life for serving one term and doing a bad job at it.

11) Create debt forgiveness in exchange for community service. Perhaps 40 documented hours can shave off $1K in debt? I'm sure some formula can be created that would get a shit load of people out of their houses, both employed and un, to do some good.

12) Financial education as part of high school curriculum. Not everyone is privileged to have parents teach them about savings, credit cards, loans, debt, 401Ks, budgeting, etc. Everyone should pass at least a semester of financial education in order to graduate high school. Who can blame the children of low income families with little educational background for taking on predatory loans? Part of democracy's responsibility should be in equiping future generations with the educational tools to make educated financial decisions, to compete with the privileged. Financial awareness is an important thing.

These are some ideas that are certainly not perfected, yet I feel highly confident that if some resolution were to be put in motion in each of these items, the economy would blossom and people would be paying their bills all around and having a great time. A playful attitude would spread, popping new innovative ideas to take back into industry and keep the wheel spinning ever so vigorously. Optimism would be in the air again.

Please, bounce some ideas here. Call me out on shit. I would enjoy a dialogue on this.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Liquid Dreamy

One could say I had a wet dream last night. Not the pervy kind, no. I was boarded up in a cabin with a wailing hurricane outside. Couldn't run to the outside, so I had to pee in a metal pale. Unfortunately it splashed up and out onto the floor and I had to do some serious cleaning. Luckily I actually didn't pee in my sleep. Which is wonderful. When I was young kid I would sometimes have a "bedtime issue" and wet the bed here and there up until 7 or 8 years old. I'm not usually forthcoming with such personal history, as it's certainly embarrassing. Around the age of 7 my parents tried out a "wet alarm" in my bedding to alert me to any liquid setting it off. I would usually sleep through it. Which was most likely the problem. I was such a heavy sleeper in my younger days that my body wouldn't awake when it had to pee. The shame I would feel from this eventually turned me into a light sleeper, and ever since those early days my body isn't shy about pulling me from my slumber when piss calls. Yet every now and then I can feel myself peeing in my dreams, and I freak for a moment when I awake later and remember such a dream fragment. I feel around the bed spreading for any dampness yet am relieved at the dry touch. And I find this strange. Doesn't urban legend say that if you pee in your sleep it tells your mind to pee in reality? I ain't complaining. I'm okay with peeing in my dream world as long as this physical disconnect is maintained. 

There was such a weird shame that I totally forgot about until I pondered this now. I can recall a sleep-over at friend's where I wound up wetting my sleeping bag. The next morning his dad took it upon himself to roll up my sleeping bag and he called me out on the fact that it was wet. I clammed up. He must have sensed but covered up any accusations of pissing and asked me if I had spilled anything. I said I got up for a glass of water and bumped it later in the night. One time my brother's friend Mike was in my bedroom and curiosity poked him to peel the masking tape I had over the label of my "wet alarm" to cover up what it was to any visitors. So it could appear as some weird alarm clock without time reading on it. He asked me what was up with this wet alarm. I told him it was in place because I had a spilling problem with knocking water onto my bed and it was to alert me when I did this. Ha! Spilling problem. What bullshit I had spouted. Turns out later in high school I did have a spilling problem for a short time and spilled beverages by pure accident on friends 3 times within a week. Turns out I don't have very good control over my body. 

My most embarrassing moment of bed wetting was playing house with a neighbor girl and we crawled into my bed together to play husband and wife at nighttime. I had forgot to tell my mom about my little bladder mishap, so we hadn't changed the sheets yet, and it was very wet. This neighbor girl was grossed out and asked, more less shrieked, why was it so wet! I told her I sweated a lot the night before. I think I got away with that cover up. This was after all in the thick of summer. 

For shame, for shame. I remember feeling such shame at this and tried confessing to a friend through a joke about wetting the bed. He took it as a joke, and joked further, making me feel even more fearful of coming clean and clarifying the truth behind the joke. 

The good news is I haven't wet the bed in 20 some years. And because of this I feel okay mentioning in a blog about this little soggy past of mine. I'm sure the suppressed embarrassment has affected my confidence in subconscious ways. It is time I come forth and acknowledge this dirty gem of personal history, let go of it, laugh it off, and grow up/gear up from the coming of my 30s in 2013. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Harsh Words

If you read my post about "Noise Complacency" you'll remember it seems I've made enemies with my downstairs neighbor by being reasonable. Looks like the dude is moving out. When I arrived home yesterday he and a buddy were carrying a couch down the front stoop. He glared at me with red, burning, murderous eyes and called me a "nazi ass mother fucker." I started to speak, to defend myself some, and he continued "yeah, you and your bitch ass wife." Referring to my girlfriend.

It was exciting to later in the evening see them drive off in his U-haul. Never have a felt such wrath for asking a person politely to turn down the music some. I'm such a party pooper, how do I live with myself? How do I sleep at night being a nazi ass mother fucker? So why would loud bass affect my slumber?

At least I have a bitch ass wife to console me.

I have a paranoia this bald headed, red eyed, bearded rager will sneak back some night to murder me. If that ever happens my ghost will really ruin his party. Part of life is making enemies. I've finally become successful in one of life's endeavors.