Saturday, April 30, 2011

Soap Sud/Lingering Drain Formations

I was taking a shower and noticed the formation of soap and shampoo foam looking like a little white head, with two bubbles opening up - the eyes. And a tiny bubble, a little gaping mouth. The foam pointed into a little edge, a little tail that flickered and wavered in the rushing water. It looked like a happy little sperm man.

At work, in one of the bathroom stalls, there are little holes and indentations in the bricks of the wall. They line up like constellations to form little faces. Some look like rabbits, dogs, old grimacing men. Dramatic faces yawning and bellowing.

I like seeing things configured in the shading of objects. Perhaps it is a healthy function of Gestalt psychology being sound. The brain is filling in patterns and adding flavor to perception. The imagination is being exercised. Or perhaps this a bad habit, for some day down the road when dementia sets it sails, these patterns recognized become all too vivid and undecipherable from reality. A frightening face on the bathroom wall would stop my bowels.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mustachioed Etching

I had to pee at 3am. As I got up I was convinced I had the best new idea for a short story now trickling in my head. This morning as I brushed my teeth I racked my brain for what that gem was and could not for the life of me conjure it up. I cursed myself for not jotting it down in the middle of the night. I've got to get in the habit of doing that. But, oh well, if it truly is a good idea, it will come back to me. But, what if it takes some 30 odd years to peak back up through the muddle of my subconscious into a spec of clarity? Drats. Should have just written the fucker down.
Sometimes I get stuck on thought rhythms where I explain myself to myself. This may or may not be a form of OCD. I'm not sure. I do have "checkers." I double check a few times at the end of the day whether or not the door is properly locked and the stove is off.

Throughout the workday I find myself doodling on index cards while on the phone. Lately it begins with a sudden burst of a wavy line. My instincts pull me to vigorously fill in and shade the area within the wiggles. It looks like a thick mustache. A face forms around it. Soon I feel the sudden urge to doodle more wiggles. Which becomes another mustachioed face. The subconscious manifestation of how I looked in a previous life? My future mustachioed self? At least the important ideas make their way onto paper. It looks like this (there are many
more almost identical sitting in drawers like important leads) ->

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Could Sleep...

I wrote a post yesterday about air traffic controllers sleeping on the job and I definitely felt the desire to do so today! I awoke this morning with the Velvet Underground lyrics "I Could sleep for a thousand years" whispering throughout my dim, tired noggin. Luckily I was able to make use of my girlfriend's car this morning, which allowed me a few extra minutes to zone out in the shower. I think it turned into a 40 minute shower. Shame on me for wasting hot water. I crawled into bed after midnight last night. My body's a bit more persnickety than it was last year. Less than 7 hours of sleep renders some slowed effects in my effectiveness. Last night Wood Sugars did the very first installment of the Playground Theatre podcast. Donny Kevin Rodriguez and Ever Mainard hosted interviews with Boyish, a group of regular performers at the Playground Theatre. Two other podcasts performed and recorded within the same hour as the Playground Podcast; Jessie and Matt's podcast, two very like-able hosts, and Ted Tremper, a very creative man, did the Near Death Podcast. These will all be coming very soon. I've mostly performed at the Playground Theatre, and last night was my first chance getting to sit back and enjoy the show. I enjoyed a pint of Fat Tire Amber Ale. I ran into my friend Dan at the 7/11 when I bought this bottle earlier in the evening. He recently popped the question to a lady and she said yes. The whole "live before studio audience" feel was pretty neat. Eliaz of Wood Sugars did a very nice job orchestrating the evening's show. This is a man who functions well creatively on 3 hours of sleep.

Just now my long curly hair shifted, almost felt like a bug knocking about my locks, but nonetheless it seems to have just been the weight of my hair falling over the crest of my ear upon which it rested. This startled me, like an angry hallucination. I could sleep for a thousand years.

Today I cold called someone who couldn't seem to hear what I was saying and so they kept on shouting "Who?! Who?! Who?!" repeatedly for almost a minute. It appears I spoke to an owl today.

On my drive home today I passed by the last chunk of the Cabrini Green buildings being torn down. It is all gone but a dismantled corner. Graffiti adorned one of the walls. By early next week I imagine it will all be rubble being discarded from trucks. It made me slightly sad. Especially seeing that etching of graffiti. That was once someone's decorative touch to a place called home.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sleep Blip

Everyday when I leave work I notice there is a touch of coffee left in my travel mug. I tend to forget about that touch in the early morning when I arrive and smell the fresh brew, as I gravitate to pouring that fresh cup. So I dump the touch of coffee out in a patch of dirt with now budding flower poking up. I wonder if plants feel the effects of caffeine and bop microscopically.

I read today that a 3rd air traffic controller has been caught sleeping on the job and terminated from his position. I do understand that the air traffic control field is probably one of the most stressful fields, yet I'm curious for the sudden trend in sleeping in front of the radar blip. It certainly calls out for more attention to be garnered if you get caught sleeping while governing the safety of the runway strip versus sleeping at an accounting desk. No one's truly at risk if you sleep during an audit. So I'm on the side of the terminators in their canning of those sleeping in front of that radar blip. Despite the stress of the job, which I can certainly understand the desire to sleep after the anxiety wanes, I do believe if you want to keep that job, find a way to stay awake. If my bus driver fell asleep I'd want his head. I work in sales, and that can be a stressful job, but I've yet to fall asleep at my desk. But if I do one of these days, in my field, I'd probably only hurt my companies revenue, and my income.

Coffee. I may be immune to it to a degree yet, coffee can be a good decision if you start drifting at the sleep blip. Perhaps diet may be making them so sleepy. Are these air traffic controllers gorging at Chili's Too on their breaks(I ate at one of these twice in 24 hours)? I learned today that different types of foods such as meats and starches and fruits digest at different rates, and it is therefore ideal to eat them separately, not as one big square meal, as some of those foods types can get clogged and gunked and ferment behind the slower digestion of a different sort, which can also hog necessary enzymes for the other. I did not know this. A co-worker informed me. So tonight I focused on the meat type for dinner. And I do not feel so sleepy as to crawl into bed at the 9 o'clock hour as I usually wish to do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Digital Aaaart

I find myself more and more going beyond an initial knee jerk apprehension toward digital distribution, and am okay with momentarily embracing. Sometimes I feel as though I would be happier in the 1800s, when literature and the stage were dominant forms of entertainment. When actors were considered tradesman, albeit still poor, but less so regarded as silly dreamers, and when the pen (and its counterpart paper) was a little mightier than it is now. We do live in different times. People enjoy the portability of their devices, gadgets, and the fact that it contains an entire library of books, music, movies, and beyond. And even though I prefer the unplugged quality of pages, I do see the benefit of an e-reader of sorts. I have a tendency of reading multiple books and magazines at once, which kills a young man's back when all carried around via messenger sack. Anyway, I'm quite proud of my book Turban Tan and okay with it being read digitally while one is sitting on the john. It's now available on iBooks! The Nook! (has been available on Kindle for awhile now). I'm just very happy that it's being read whether scrolled or paper pages turning. Although I do hope the more its scrolled the more people learn of it being available as a paperback and perhaps partake of that edition while out in the woods, camping or strolling for a technological exit/retreat.

That being said, initially my interests in the Wood Sugars podcasting was out of developing an audience for our live shows, and while that still is true, I more and more appreciate the old theatre of the mind, an upgraded pocket size (yet bigger in its own way) reemergence of the classic radio show. By the way, we have a new episode available. ITB S2E7.

The delivery of stories sure have changed from cave wall etchings to animated GIFs. And what is the higher art? Is that for us to waste our time deciding? Or shall we continue to play and create and share our stuff even if it flickers behind LEDs? And when the power grid collapses (which is not far-fetched, perhaps imminent in our lifetime) we can evolve back to way of performing and digesting the written word through means more so of the Earth and visceral.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Slight Nobility

Over the Easter weekend I got to sneak out of the cold and grey Chicago April which seems to refuse the coming of spring. Although a brief trip, I was amazed by the spread of vegetation in the North Carolina landscape, and it's ability to perk my creative mind just by the intensity of the green. So green it hurt at first sight. Unfortunately the trip was short lived. We were first supposed to fly out Friday at 2pm but after delays and delays our flight was cancelled and the next flights there weren't until 6am or 9:50am. Naturally not wanting to be up at 3am to get to the airport we opted for 9:50am.

We got see my grandparents whom I hadn't seen since 2002, at my father's funeral. There were a couple of attempted trips over the years but nothing that didn't fall through. It was pleasant to see them, and I certainly enjoyed reconnecting to the genealogy which my grandmother has been quite passionate about pursuing over the years, having visited a wealth of genealogical libraries through out the world, dedicating hours of research. She had prepared a gargantuan book of her findings for us to take with us, dating our ancestry back to 300AD. She traced us back to William Brewster, came over on the Mayflower, John Harper who ran a tavern after the revolution, Amos Wheeler who died in the battle of Bunker Hill, back farther to William the Conqueror, Lady Godiva, King Henry II who was a central character in The Lion in Winter, Charlemagne, Pepin the Short. On top of that I have the blood of old Viking ancestry and a variety of old Irish kings before the first millennium. My mother had recently seen the show "Who Do You Think You Are?" where they document the quest of movie stars to dig into their ancestry, and apparently Gweneth Paltrow was recently on there and learned of her ancestry to William Brewster. An old distant cousin...perhaps I'll have to hit her up for tea and reminisce on our mesh of distant relatives, haha! The thing is, ancestry is so intertwined and complex like a burst of staircases bleeding into one another, creating new off shoots of stair cases, anyone can really be traced back to these old rulers overseas and find they have a pinch of their blood and DNA, but not everyone takes the time to do the homework, and the fact that my grandmother has done so, and has the proof of records to determine our ancestry to some of the above mentioned, and more, is quite exciting, to me.

Our current culture seems to dismiss the deeper past lives of our blood line. We sometimes embrace from the occasional reminisces of the immediate departed family members whom we have pictures with. The bloodline is interesting thing to take seriously. Although it does trace the claims of kin to property (to some this has greater urgency, particularly when thrones are in question) it is perhaps the only physical thing we leave behind that was actually a part of us, part of our own unique chemistry. The propagation of the species, of a clan of folks. Blood brothers. Many tribal religions place great importance in their ancestry, and in fact believe the spirits of their ancestors to continually have a presence in the way the cookie crumbles in their lives. If so, I got an interesting bunch on my side. In fact, I'd like to be more open to the idea, as you know my fascination with ghosts. If I see the ghost of a naked Lady Godiva trotted down the street on horseback then I know I'm making progress.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Great Pacific Garbage Patch!

Saw a thing on TV last night. Massive circling constellations of human trash circling in the ocean. Plastic chunks being ground down and coating some beaches heavily like a new toxic sand. Happy Earth Day! Take a break from throwing your Doritos bags and Mountain Dew bottles into the sea for a day. Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

I ride the bus everyday and litter seems to pile on some desolate corners like color faded snow banks. Chicago is looking to catch up with Detroit in image of degraded, desolate urban pockets. Of failed industry and weathered, dimmed humanity.

Today I board a flight to North Carolina for a few days. Weather prediction is high of 80s, even 90s on Sunday. I'm very thrilled for the warmth, and the momentary change of scenery. I expect the vegetation to be quite blooming this time of year. I'll also see some family members I haven't seen in approximately 8 years! My flight was supposed to be this morning, but I received a call from a 1-800 number I didn't know. Naturally I rejected the call. No message was left. Out of curiosity I "googled" the number. It told me it was an American Airlines number. (Their website is - perhaps a great airline for the anonymous alcoholics!) So I checked my flight status. Flight 4008 = Cancelled! Oh dear, I called the number and it was all good, they moved us to a later flight. But good thing I called. They didn't leave a message. Good thing for my curiosity. Perhaps they would have called back in due time. I will participate in a jumbo jet burning fuel on Earth Day. But then I'm "jet"pooling with others. Maybe that's why they moved our flight? Not enough passengers, so they thought better on Earth Day and wished to consolidate, for Mother Earth. Or for cutting costs.

I had a dream the other night my girlfriend and I moved to Arizona and lived on a house atop a butte over looking a quiet highway. I love Chicago, but in order to appreciate it I need my periodic breaks from it. From concrete, noise, agendas, massive criss crossing paths of people on agendas, or none, just bustling. I wouldn't mind living atop a butte in the desert for a month. With my type writer, a fire pit, and cans of beans and jerky kept in tin foil.

I close my eyes for a moment and picture myself swimming in the current of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is a metaphor for modern society. We must enjoy the pristine waters in between it all and constantly maneuver to keep a comfortable space.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


My twelve year old self commanded my 27 year old body this evening. The girlfriend has grad school class on Wednesday's, meaning I was without her dazzling recipes and on my own for dinner. I had pizza, popcorn, and Moosetrack's ice cream. The type of shit we'd say we'd eat for dinner when we were kids, dreaming of living on our own.

Then I proceeded to do my laundry, tossing whites in with colors and overloading the machine.

I'm an adult.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Quick Trip to End the Week

The other day on the bus the guy in front of me had wildly greasy hair, and I wondered, like the oils oozing from the leaves of plants, could a person have certain intoxicating properties layering the space between their mane? Much by accident if a single strand of hair were to trickle down into my coffee, and the oils dissolved into the cooling beverage, I may find out in an unsuspected trip.

Meanwhile to my right, Cabrini Green's last tenement is coming down, looking like a half assed swipe of a McVey bombing.

The bus driver is in a jolly good mood. He's whistling old TV theme songs; The Andy Griffith Show, The Twilight Zone...and moves in and out of others; Pink Panther and hits of the 80s and 90s.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Refresher Course

It's Wednesday and I'm feelin' like a dullard!

Thinkin' I might try the following things to recharge my spirits. Visceral shit.

A) Allow myself to be soaked by an April rainstorm.

B) Take some valerian root, lie down on the couch, listen to a trippy vinyl record.

C) Laugh really fucking hard.

D) Call up a long lost friend.

E) Share an intense piece of cake with my girlfriend.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Float Down

Last night I had many vivid dreams, yet the one that stuck out the most involved a climb into outer space. My memory of this dream segment began with me floating down from an orbiting space craft, through the deep blue atmosphere, diving slowly, downward, immune to the normal scorch of objects screaming down toward earth. My space friend, also wrapped in thick space garb floated down with me, impenetrable, keeping me company, to see me down safely. Both of us still tethered to space craft.

Once upon the ground, he coiled back upward, wishing me luck.

I entered into an old battered building, looking to be an old factory, although quite tall, possibly 80 stories. I made my way up through the deteriorating floors, through stairways and winding lofts, still dragging behind me the long long tether. People entered the building and watched and cheered me on.

Eventually I made my way to a small house built upon a sprawling floor on the top story. Old rocking chairs and junk were piled on top of its flat roof leading up to a hatch that opened up to the blue sky. I climbed this treacherous pile, balancing wonderfully. People still cheered. I made my way up to hatch, opened it, and waded with my arms back up to the sky, slowly, gracefully, as through water. The tether continued to trail me.

I came to the brink of the Earth's atmosphere, into outer space. The space craft trickled by. A new tether was lowered to me. I hooked onto it, released the old. It fell back to the Earth like a quick swift dart. I trailed behind the space craft in a soothing free float.

What was most interesting to me about this dream as I reflected on it when I got up at 4am to pee was how real it felt, and looked. Perhaps much more vivid than the lens through which I have been seeing everyday life as of late. And the feeling of weightlessness, how weird. What an overwhelmingly cool feeling. I never felt anything remotely close to that, not even floating around in a calm pool.

Perhaps far fetched, but I do wonder if while we dream, we visit other planes of existence, the spirit realm. I have been reading a book lately about ancient fermentation in research of the pre-industrial brewing methods to add more layers to my Whiskey Pike feature length screenplay. I find it very interesting how mindful ancient tribes were of the spirit world, in plants and even in inanimate objects. Nowadays with our pre-occupation with materialism and dismissal of the "gods" in things, life kind of takes on a bland coating. Things are just objects. Plants are just there, making oxygen for us. Studies show that talking to plants aid in their growth. Science can explain it as the exchange of carbon dioxide. But what if plants, like people, needed attention, for emotional growth which bleeds into physical growth? We really have no relationship with plants. We eat them. We breath them. We take them for granted. There seems to be a magical thinking in the days of ancient yore. I can't help but think how finely tuned their imaginations must have been in seeing a god in a flower or a bug. Our imaginations seem to be growing stale, atrophying a bit. We trade books for screens, less exercise for the imagination. The spirits may be abandoning us. We control the day with the ticking clock, with deadlines for production, for commerce. Nature, which has its own clock, we no longer listen to.

This space dream I found incredibly cathartic. As though I got to take a break from gravity, maybe even from my body? Astral projection theories often describe a string of sorts trailing the body...was this my space suit tether? The climb through the intricacies of the old factory perhaps resemble wafting through mental gunk of the day to day operations of being a person.

I've had a space dream before, floating outside of a space station. This was awhile back, but also incredibly vivid both visually and to the touch. One of my favorite dreams, like a favorite movie?