Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Everything in its place

Right off the bat, I tried to join the circus. It was the right thing to do. But they wouldn't have me. They didn't find me disturbing enough. So I applied for a job at the bank. But they wouldn't have me either. Though they said they had no openings, I could see that I discomfited them. They didn't want me around customers. They didn't want me around themselves.

It could be my stink that's to blame. Either the olfactory or ocular variety.

Fortunately, I am not entirely unemployable. I am willing to show up and am not abnormally stupid. I can work hard when I have to. I don't hate it entirely. This is enough; no, this is surfeit.

Inside the swirl of fumes, my stink is occluded. Besides, everyone feels safe in their car at a gas station, no matter who's manning the pumps. In fact, I think they like seeing me here. It makes sense. It would be much harder to bear to see someone of some personal magnificence playing pump jockey. That situation would constitute an implicit threat.

I, on the other hand, comfort customers with the knowledge that there is still a chasm of crystal clear air between themselves and the bottom.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Only My Dignity

"Are you alright?" A couple of young ladies in a passing cab inquired about my physical well being.

I could have had a fractured femur and I would have wobbled away from there. I think the first thing that went through my mind as my bike slid out from under me on a slick Sixth Avenue was "How embarrasing." Not "Oh God, I hope I don't die," or "Wheeee!" To be sure my adrenaline kicked in and I hopped back on the righted bike as if nothing had happened.

And then the inquiry from the cab. To which I smiled and replied, "Not really." And off they went. I guess their question did not hold its literal meaning, but something more akin to: "Holy shit! That was crazy!"

I wish I could blame my fall on a crazed driver or an oblivious pedestrian. But no. I simply tried to turn and brake at the same time, and the tires on my Trek would not cooperate. In the realm of NYC cycling accidents, this one barely counted. I got off with black grime all the way up one side of my body, and the feeling that my insides had been shaken vigorously.

It reminded me of the one other time I have fallen from my bike in this city. Going all of 7 or 8 mph up a slight hill, my shoelace slowly wound itself around my left pedal. By the time I was aware of this phenomenon, my foot was tied to the pedal. I tried to stop and plant my other foot in order to untangle. Instead, I toppled, slow-motion-style into the street. A dramaless crash, it didn't even have the "wow" factor. Inevitably, a lady in a minivan pulled up beside me and asked if I was hurt.

To which I replied. "Only my dignity." A lame quip indeed, but the bast I could do under the circumstances.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Scientolo-Gee, Even Mormons Think We're Nuts

What's the difference between a cult and a religion? A couple thousand years.

Nevertheless, who in their right mind would take Scientology seriously? Word to the wise: anything that comes out of Hollywood is bullshit.

Lucky for us, the good people of the Smoking Gun provide evidence that Mr. Hubbard, the cult's founder, was truly insane.

If you're feeling saucy, visit the scientologists' own site/bookstore, and leave them some feedback (i.e., "Wow, this shit is loopy!"), or maybe you'll be converted by their claims to provide you with answers to life's questions by selling you books and courses. A little sampling of what awaits you there:

"Let us bear in mind a few salient facts from the larger body of L. Ron Hubbard’s discoveries. In the first place, if the physiological consequences of drug abuse are generally known, the breakdown of mental alertness and ethical fiber is not. Next, he tells us that the user, even the recreational user, is prone to unnatural hostilities and hatreds and, “while this may not hold true in all cases, it does establish a link between drugs and increasing difficulties with crime, production and the modern breakdown of social and industrial culture."

Friday, June 24, 2005

Sleater-Kinney Love

I'm in love with Sleater-Kinney. I saw em last night at the Roseland Ballroom, and I can now say unequivocally that they rock harder that any other band out there. Everyone gives the White Stripes credit for getting such a big sound without a bass player. Forget not S/K, who could kick the White Stripes' ass in a battle of the bands. They rock harder and have more substance, whereas the Stripes sometimes threaten to sink under the weight of their own style. What I'd really like to see is Janet Weiss go one on one with Meg White. Ms. Weiss is ferocious back there. There's little doubt who would end up the queen of the kit.

They started loud and hard, and didn't let up for an hour and a half. Corin Tucker wailed and warbled. Carrie Brownstein chanted, harmonized, and set the stage on fire with her guitar work. They sounded fantastic. Amazingly tight. That's a benefit of playing together for so many years, I guess. No slouches in theatricality either, they kicked, jumped, squealed, pointed, and made me feel like jumping out of my damned skin. If I could kick ass half as hard as the ladies of Sleater-Kinney, I'd be the baddest ass kicker in Brooklyn.

A couple of years ago, I caught them at Roseland as well. The difference this time was definitely the solos. On their latest, "The Woods," the solos and guitar flourishes are very pronounced. Onstage, they actually indulged in long breakdown jams, to the delight of most of the audience, many of whom seemed also to be in love with S/K (not surprisingly, there was a higher lesbian-to-hetero ratio here than almost any other place I've been, though I admit, I haven't been to that many lesbian haunts).

They were kind enough to bestow on us two, count em two encores and seemed to be genuinely pleased that we hooted and hollered to bring em out for a second. They even played the Danzig ditty "Mother" for us.

Sleater-Kinney, you're the best!

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Despair for humanity. You must.

Right. Left.The above is just assinine. This is horrifying.
Be forewarned.

Work, Eat, Sleep

What else is there, anyway? Love? Not necessary. All the things you might do to occupy yourself? All unnecessary. The sports, the PlayStation, the bars, the clubs, the concerts, the theater, the blogs, the newspapers, the causes, the charities: all of it feels like some sort of not-so-profound distraction from a basic truth.

But what is the purpose of all this distraction? There are three main possibilities. The first is that there is no purpose. That all activity beyond the basic necessities of survival is necessarily frivolous and pointless. It is activity that is engaged in because we have become, as a species, just too damned good at the survival game, and must spin fantastic games with our copious free time.

The second possibility is strongly opposed to the first. The truth could be that all this distracting activity is integral to the game of survival of the fittest. That the social interaction, activities, and all the ways we play are manifestation of our animal natures, meant to attract mates, prove our worth as partners, and practice skills needed for survival just as a cat chases a string.

The final possibility is that the feeling of distraction is not so universal as I think. In this case, my experience cannot be generalized. It instead points to a deep unrest within me. A trauma of such magnificence that I dare not look at it, so that even eating, working, sleeping become a distraction from this fearsome truth. I know there is one such truth which I fear to embrace: death. I also know that a deep-seated fear of death is not confined to person, and that this is not the only fear I refuse to fully face. There are more: likely many more that I dare not even write.

Oddly, I believe all three of the above theories to be true. And I believe in good. In helping others, but I am not certain why.

I love to love. I love to play. But I wonder why.

I've read of the philosophy that people are here to help others. Seems just as likely to me that we are here to dominate others. Domination through any and all means is certainly the preferred course of action.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Because it is ashamed for me to sing

Soccer Love

Yankees, Why Do I Care?

I'm not supposed to care about baseball. I know better. Especially professional baseball. A bunch of spoiled athletes. A bunch of egomaniacal owners. People live for their teams. They get tattoos. Spend thousands on playoff tickets. I can see the absurdity of all this.

I know better than to care. But I do care. Alot. About the Yankees, of all teams. I usually root for the underdog and decry the power-mad, absurdly wealthy Yankee-types of the world. But my attachment was formed young, and breaking it would be unthinkable.

So I find myself defending the Yankees when they're accused of buying their titles. Of destroying the competitive balance.

Worst of all I feel truly deflated at every loss. Especially this year, as they fail to live up to expectations, game after game. Especially now, when the bullpen has turned a 2-1 lead over St. Louis to a 5-2 defecit. My stomach tightens, my fists clench. I want to throw a fit. I want to yell at the team. I know how irrational this is. I really do. But do I stop? Of course not.

Go Yankees!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Black Lung Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Why? Oh, God Why?

Smarter than whom? Than me. The goal is to improve, mentally and physically. To train the whole of oneself to face any situation. This is the key to living, right?

But I'm not so sure the constant push for self-improvement is all that smart. After all, if I constantly encourage myself to become "better," I am labeling the current version of myself as somehow inferior, thus hindering me in the present in order to brace for an unknown future. And if I'm focused always on some future version of myself in which I have finally attained superior intellect, I will never enjoy this moment. And if I focus on some future physical perfection, I will face escalating disappointment as I age and deteriorate. Either way leaves me old and bitter.

I tell myself to live in the moment.

Nevertheless, I want to be the best.

I want to be stronger. I want to be smarter.

I've been writing a character with Alzheimer's. Not the most hope-inspiring of afflictions.
Take a look at this chart to see if you have Alzheimer's.

Luckily for me, the title at the top here is not Cheerier.

Jackasses Hit the Pipe

Something tells me these 2 aren't getting any smarter.
No, I don't know these guys. They just got swept up in
an Internet search. Jackasses.
Posted by Hello