Monday, February 28, 2005

The first rule of Gerg Club is...

You know, there's that old movie with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro, Awakenings, in which Dr. Malcolm Sayer (Williams) is working with comatose patients and tries a treatment that might revive them. And we watch as DeNiro's character, Leonard, wakes up as an adult after having been comatose since he was 12. And see him come to live and dance and learn and just, well, Be Alive.

And then, slowly but surely, the drugs effects die and he slips back into the comatose state.

That is my greatest fear. I have woken up, and I am so afraid that I will fall asleep again. And I can't. I won't.

The funny thing is, I have been feeling my share of pain lately. I have buried old selves. Have made decisions about my identity that involve making final breaks with hope in a certain situation in my life. A situation that, I should say, was in my life. I have messed up a few things in my life that will take a while to fix. I have managed to get smitten with someone whose eyes are elsewhere.

And for the first time I'm okay with that. With all of it. Because all of it feels like the bruises and cuts and scrapes that come with just being out there and doing things. Not things that spell doom and gloom. Just scrapes. The rest of it is filling me up with so much laughter and joy that I can handle the dings. I can even find ways to turn them into new opportunities for happiness.

I told Spookit yesterday that I wanted to be the kind of guy who wore the cape. The cape that she and Junli made for me and made me wear, much to my embarassment, the Saturday before Valentine's, at Bob Dobb's. I was a bit uncomfortable. But I wore it because I wanted to be that person.

I wish I had had the courage to follow through on a thought I had that night -- to just let loose and do some Oscar Wilde vamp around Bob Dobb's in that damn cape.

This weekend I had a taste of Old Patterns, the kind that can drown you. I think the experience actually made, or helped make me, physically ill last night. It felt like destruction.

I want to create. I want things that are creation. I want to stop writing, and be a writer. I want to be writing.

I won't go back to sleep. I. Won't.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Flighty Flighty Flighty

Address change for the blog. There are reasons, not sure if I'm going to share them quite yet, because part of me worries that, in the flighty mood I have been in, it may all be rather silly. But, you know, I may just embrace that. It may be silly, but it'll be my silliness, thank you very much, and not someone else's. And that's really the name of the game right now.

I'm really, officially, not liking this blog look. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but just doesn't seem to be me. Only what is me anymore? I'm busy reinventing that, and thus have no firm grip. Maybe what I need is a randomly generated template that changes daily, or hourly on weekends.

Last night I had a conversation with someone in which I was more open and honest than I have been able to be in a long time, and talked about bits of myself that I really never, ever talk about. As a result I did not sleep much at all, because we stayed up talking until 4 am. And man I needed it. To that person -- well, you know. You're amazing. That seems like such a hopelessly inadequate way to say it. But there you are.

And I talked to Barry today. This made me happy. Barry is good people.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


...there's this hunger now, constant, a gnawing of the innards that food can't satiate. It's a hunger that threatens to consume you, and makes you want to hide, and run, only you can't, and deep down you know that it's a hunger that you must let consume you. Only in its consuming fire can you be reborn.

Everything that you had thought was life, what had looked liked it and tasted like it and seemed oh so important, wasn't, in fact, life, but was something else, a dessicated corpse, boney hands reaching up to clasp you by the throat and choke you silently so that no one ever heard your screams. You've had this sense of control, and in your life you have this sense of things that have been bottled up, compacted down and chained and tied securely and then drugged just to make sure the bastards don't move, don't budge a frellin' inch. You have held on with desperate claws, maintained that icy grip of control, and have, as a result, found yourself completely out of control, unable to handle what life brought your way.

You have had a little to drink, not enough to truly be drunk, but you have drunken it fast enough to be a bit tipsy, and the feeling is one you dread, and don't, because you realize that you have feared this because it is freeing and breaks down walls and leaves you exposed, and oh no we can't have that, can we? And now, now, you just want to jump in and risk drowning. Let go, be free, go wild, spin, giggle senselessly, and above all risk. Be reckless and stupid and jump off that frellin' cliff and only then bother to check that you have the parachute, and that it works, and that you know how to use the frellin' thing. Dance and sing and spin spin spin. Break every one of those chains, melt them down and turn them into something else, maybe a nice sculpture, something erotic, a giant penis or a Venus of Willendorf or one of those chicks from a Matisse painting.

You've been asleep, and every part of you is pins and needles, especially your heart, your soul, and most especially your body, which feels like it has been mothballed for years. The agony is excruciating and brings tears to your eyes, and laughter, because it's funny, because it's true, because you know that the pins and needles mean that you are waking up. And you feel like you could bury yourself in clothes and still feel naked, and the thought terrifies you, and elates you, because you want to be naked, finally, you want to stop hiding. You want, just once, to not hide behind secrets and lies and misdirection, but to let it all hang out and blindly trust.

And so the hunger grows. You have been careful and so have become dead from hunger. You could consume the world, you think. Or perhaps it is rather the hunger of the world that you feel, and you want, finally, to let it consume you, to give yourself into that oblivion of the moment, the fire, trusting blindly that you will rise from the ashes again.

And it's official

I've gone insane. The Flying Fat People are, well, flying, and there's a rather studious elephant trying to get my attention (he's wearing antique spectacles, so I know he's studious), and the voices in my head are saying really, really interesting things.

But DAMN, this feels good. Even though I'm now exhausted and sweaty and smelly and really, really need a shower. It. Feels. Good.

And, of course, it strikes me that, when the time comes for me to move out of this apartment and into some other living space, I will be so much easier to move.

And it strikes me that so many, many things that I thought were life were not, in fact, life at all.

Insanity Can Be Fun

Culmination of Week: a decision to clean out some stuff. To finally say good-bye to a few bits of the past. Also motivation of space -- want it. Small apartment. I've been toying with the idea of getting rid of my SF mags for the past several months. I have some dating back many, many years, and never, ever look at them. Maybe, just maybe, they are a waste of space at this point, and I'm sick of wastes of space. I don't mind being a bit untidy at times. But it's starting to get ridiculous around here, and maybe is time to clean out a bit more of the detritus.

I've held onto some odd things. They mean nothing to me now. Why do I still have them?

This will sound highly melodramatic, but what is happening here is a creation of a new Greg. Gerg. And he's someone I want to be. That I'm going to be, damn it. He's the guy that's been kicking around in the back of my head for a while, one I've been too timid to let out. Time to kick Timid's ass.

And so: clean. One step, pretty small, but strangely, wonderfully cathartic.

Friday, February 25, 2005

"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."

So I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to capture some sense of last night's dream. The one that has been sitting in my head ever since. But it keeps coming out melodramatic and dumb sounding. And parts I'm just not sure I want to share right now. Or maybe, it is better said, am just too chicken to share right now.

So let me tell you something else instead. It's a bit from Ruby 4, I think.

Ruby, you see, is on the mysterious fourth moon, Sonto Lore. And she ends up in a bit of pickle. She's on an empty plain, and then enemies -- or what she thinks are enemies -- come towards her. She discovers that she can throw up crystal walls between her and them, and keeps doing so. Wall after wall after wall until she finds that she is completely boxed in and is rapidly running out of air.

This is, of course, just something from a silly little Science Fantasy audio drama. Read into it what you will.

Random Friday Stuff

Howdy do, folks. Gerg here, feeling much more human. Let's waste some electrons, shall we?

Your Friday Top 10 iTunes List:

  1. Let Go -- Frou Frou --Details

  2. Don't Fear (The Reaper) --Unto Ashes --Empty Into White

  3. Jerk It Out --Caesars --39 Minutes of Bliss (In an Otherwise Meaningless World)

  4. There She Goes, My Beautiful World --Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds --Abattoir Blues

  5. The Promise - When In Rome Various Artists - EMusic Awesome 80's

  6. Remnants of a Deeper Purity (2004) --Black Tape for a Blue Girl --Tarnished - EP

  7. Babe You Turn Me On --Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds --The Lyre Of Orpheus

  8. Beautiful People --Rusted Root --Beautiful People

  9. Abattoir Blues --Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds --Abattoir Blues

  10. The Want (Existence/Nonexistence) --Android Lust --Stripped and Stitched

A Quote for Ya:
"While I'm still confused and uncertain, it's on a much higher plane, d'you see, and at least I know I'm bewildered about the really fundamental and important facts of the universe."
Treatle nodded. "I hadn't looked at it like that," he said, "But you're absolutely right. He's really pushed back the boundaries of ignorance."
-- Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

And best IM Away message of the week, courtesy of Junli:
haha we got kicked out of a bar last night.... and i told the bouncer to stick a wawa brush up his ass and rotate five times..... interesting...

You know, I coulda told the guy not to mess with her.

Have a happy Friday. Off to work, a blessedly halfish kind of day. And no, I still haven't gotten last night's dream out of my mind.

Weird, Weird, Haunting Dreams

[Listening to: In the Sun - Joseph Arthur - Come to Where I'm From (5:36)]

Going back to bed in a moment. Just trying to get back to that place. Dreams tonight were, uh, vivid. I think that's the word I'm looking for -- vivid. Haunting. Intense. Not nightmares, mind you, but...yeah. Vivid. And the kind of dreams that, when you wake up, you just sort of sit there and say, oh. I get it now. That's what's been going on.

Epiphany by dream. Which just goes to show that dreams, with all their dancing platypi and singing mooses and naked bankers, can be realms more real than the world.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Overheard on MSN...

spookit [dance of the freaky circles] says:
what can i say, im a fan of my breasts. its no secret. LMAO

A brief look into the world of my friends. Do you see why I love these people?

Feeling much better now. Went to the store and got food -- bike ride hurt, but managed. Food was good. Watched rest of Lost in Translation. Just in general have been resting. It feels good. Damn good.

Will be resting more soon. But glad I listened to my body. May actually mean I feel human tomorrow.

There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

Miracle Max: He probably owes you money huh? I'll ask him.
Inigo Montoya: He's dead. He can't talk.
Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

So. Wow. Work worked great. Was home before noon, feeling really beat and more than a little dizzy. Had lunch, which I had bought at the Union so I wouldn't have to do anything, and the proceeded to sleep and sleep for a long time. And feel like I could still sleep more. But at least now I don't feel so, you know, all dead.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...wah? huh?

Hmmm. I was watching Lost in Translation last night...

*tries to remember last scene he was aware of*

Body died. Dead dead dead. As in slept like the. Sometimes you burn the candle at both ends. Sometimes you take a blowtorch to the middle. Body decided enough was enough.

Scary thing: I could sleep more right now. But alas, work calls.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Oh i know you will rise / When you watch yourself burn to the ground

[Listening to: Down Under - Men At Work - Various Artists - EMusic - Awesome 80's (3:42)]

Firstly, a message for She Who Has the Hell Week -- it's almost over. And tomorrow you're gonna kick ass.

Secondly...Man. Today. Ouch. 10 until 8, and pretty much nonstop. Had a bit of a break at 5, kind of a laid back session with a student, but man. My brain hurts. *pokes at head* Not sure if it's still there, to tell the truth.

So last night I watched Henry and June. One of those movies I just have to watch on a regular basis, one of those movies that says things I need to hear or something. Tonight I'm tempted to watch Lost in Translation, which I got back from Spookit today. I'm obsessing about music, and now about movies. Watched Amelie again last weekend. Will probably will watch it again soon. And will be breaking out Wings of Desire again pretty quick. And also watched The Fisher King about a week ago.

Right now, mostly I'm just going to sit and stop for a few minutes. Maybe put the movie in, maybe not. But just stop for a bit. Cuz my brain hurts. There's days tutoring just leaves you drained.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

junbugy: i think it has just occured to me.. that i totally thought i was having a real conversation with you...

[Listening to: Never Grow Old - The Cranberries - Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2:35)]

I feel beaten up. Like, last night, I actually did beat myself up, instead of just metaphorically. I half expect to see bruises when I look in the mirror.

But it was cathartic. And man, I took that black mood, that funk, that stench of depression and kicked it in the ass. That needed doin'.

Spent the first part of the day in a bit of a bleh space, probably mostly due to exhaustion. Work was definitely hard today. Brain wasn't in it. But I got through it and resisted the temptation to just go home. And, well, concentrated on utterly silly things. Silly is good. Need more silly. And so I spent way too much time on a silly thing tonight, just to hopefully bring a smile to someone's face.

My sister opined, if I may be so bold as to make this public, that I should be more forgiving of those old Gregorys. I am. Last night was a blow up, really, a purging of bile. The strange thing in all of this is that I wouldn't change anything. I mean, I am here, now. All those Gregorys, all those choices, led to here. And without all of them, and all the horrid missteps - I wouldn't have Amy in my life. Or Junli. Or Spookit. Or Barry. Or or or. And I am strangely comfortable with the idea that I am precisely where I need to be, and always will be, no matter where I am. If that makes sense.

But -- the basic idea stands. They may be part of me, they may have been me, but they no longer can have a say. They are dead. Life is for the living.

Monday, February 21, 2005

One Angry, Angry Post

[Listening to: Metropolitan Glide - Tom Waits - Real Gone (4:13)]

Very much in the moment. Read at your own risk...

I've been having these moods for the last few days. Goin' happy, happy, then thunk. Hit a wall and drop like a really heavy dropping something. Last night I wanted to cry. Tonight I wanted to cry. I just got done beating myself up with exercise, which has had the total effect of...making me feel beaten up and wanting to cry. Angry yoga. Not a good thing. Ancient Indian Exercise by Sauron of Mordor. File under Missing the Fucking Point.

And all this at a time in which I've been feeling happier and more alive. But it's like old Gregory's are coming up to try and strangle Gerg in his crib. That's what I've been feeling like. Like the past has just noticed that Something is Fucking Up, and We Better Fucking Slap the Bitch Boy Down 'Fore He Gets Uppity. They take on a Face and spend much time telling me what a fucking loser I am. I have dreams and they spit on them. I have hope and they try to kill it. I dream of love and they try to twist it to self-loathing.

And then there's the old patterns, like obscene butt prints on a couch that should've been burned a long time ago. Stupid dynamics way past their expiration dates. I got your expiration date right here, muthafukkahs.

And so I sat here tonight for a while, getting into a deeper and deeper funk, and every stupid thing I've ever self-destructively thought popping up in my thoughts like they had some fucking right to be there in my head, and in general going almost blank with funk, and then...snapped. If you haven't noticed.

I'm heartily, totally, fucking sick of it. Of the stupid fuck loser voices of Gregorys past, colored as they are with the voice of another asshole who shall remain nameless. The voice of self-hatred and giving up and abrogating the responsibility of life and loving and you name it. Of the stupid loser ass patterns of life-crushing bullshit. Of the whining little shits in my head, the simpering fuckheads, the ones who can turn the simplest of joys into something bad. Who can make me feel stupid for feeling something I haven't felt in a long time, when it's really a wonderful thing and to be embraced. Those Fucks. I'm sick of them. It's time for the lot to be ripped out of my head, or at least have some industrial strength duck tape smacked over their lips. It's time to tell them that this ain't no fucking democracy, this head of Gerg's, and HE's in charge now.

Everything is changing. And I want that totally now. I want a burning, folks, and I don't mean in the sense I used the other day. I want a burning that says fuck you to the past and strangles every past Gregory in his deadened sleep. I want the past to lie in ruins. Gerg from the ashes and fuck 'em all.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Oh, and...

Just thought I'd note that, if you look in the Amazingly Fantabulous People I Know section of the Blogroll, you'll notice that the Abstract Gecko is once more murmuring. Well, one post anyway. We'll see if he actually blogs for real this time :-).

Thanks for the words, Hunter


Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"
--Hunter S. Thompson

What? Huh? Oh...

[Listening to: Coin- Operated Boy - The Dresden Dolls - Dresden Dolls (4:46)]

I forgot to mention, in the earlier boring post, that I had odd dreams last night. Intense, and they seem to have had the effect of distracting me even more. It is now official. My brain is taffy. Trying to focus on anything is almost impossible right now. Damn brain, damn dreams, damn...

What I'm trying to say is, well, hmmm...


I found this too amusing (I used my Livejournal ID for it):

Random Angel Icon Generator by Nuintincowen
Your Icon Is...
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Damn funny episode, that.

Totally Useless Post (but read anyway)

Okay. Did a few small changes here in wackyland. Err, Cottage of Lost Play.

Suddenly not as keen on the design. Humf. But that's neither here nor there. What is here, and quite possibly there, wherever there is, is that I changed a few things with regards to comments. You did know about comments, right? That you can leave comments, and start rollicking conversations here? Use it! Anyway, the changes -- last week, I forgot to mention that I opted to allow anonymous comments*. So you can get a blogger id and use that, or you can use anonymous comments, which mean you don't hafta. The anonymous comments should know give you the option to leave a name and website or whatever. Try it out and let me know.

Today, I also undid the peekaboo comments I had set up and opted to go with the new pop-up window. Nice thing is that with said window you can read the comments and post right there without being taken to another page and then having to click something and and and...

So comment away! Have fun! That means you! (stares significantly at Junli, and Amy, and all the other Minions of Gerg...) Last week we almost had mini-conversations starting up. That would be fun!

*in case my sister is wondering -- turns out that blogger and google handle http links in comments through a proxy that google's pagecount ignores -- ie, the comments on blogger are useless for page-rank I'll do it and see if, indeed, comment spam is unlikely to occur...

Amy Quote of the Night: There can never be enough Catholic school girls...bouncing

Okay, head being reluctant in the shutting down category tonight. Must have spyware installed putting normal operations in disarray.

Was at a party tonight at my sister's. Good fun, was there till close to 1 a.m., but felt oddly disjointed. Nothing bad. I was having fun. But also kinda...not there, completely. One problem was that I was being haunted by snatches of story. The Great Mystery Story, of which a few people have now seen the beginning in rough form, is really possessing my brain in ways no story has before. It comes in snatches and bits and pieces. Characters whisper details of their lives to me. Blurry, dreamlike scenes twirl among my thoughts.

It really, really feels as if it is a story that is demanding to be told. I'm oddly (and geekily and nerdily) reminded of that one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the one where they encounter an alien probe that proceeds to possess Data and the computer of Enterprise and convert things into scenes and characters from the ancient culture's mythology. Call it Imperative Storytelling.

And you can call yourself a Star Trek geek if you just said, "Oh, god, that was a great episode!"

On top of all this, I find myself with thoughts that increasingly put me in a weird dissonance, always slightly off from everything around me. A growing focus in my head that is, well, distracting. And overpowering. Whatever I am doing, my thoughts keep wandering back to one point with a fixation that is...distracting. But I already said that. It's late. That's my excuse.

So I walked around, hung out a long time with Amy and Matt and Spookit, and later with Autumn and Michelle and others, and conversed, and at times didn't, and got sleepy, and kept having these thoughts pop up -- the distracting ones, the bits of story, all of it. Even as I was thinking of the conversations I was in, and enjoying the moment. I was in the moment, and not. I was there at a party on a wonderfully rainy night, and I was also in a terrible land and place with a story unfolding in it that seems to really, really want to be told; and I was thinking about something else entirely, whether I willed it or not.

No wonder I keep having trouble with sleeping. I am possessed. My brain has been taken over. Two different things entirely, but taken over by them I have been. Man, that was an awkward sentence. Let's forget I wrote that, okay? Just kinda go with the idea of it.


Saturday, February 19, 2005

Wet Winters, the Springs that follow

[Listening to: Gone for Good - The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow (3:13)]

It's raining today. The official forecast (at least as far as Weatherbug is concerned) is "frequent showers." This has meant, in fact, frequent showers. Huh. A truthful weather report. Neat.

The storm started on Thursday, and has waxed and waned since. Thursday night my electricity -- the whole neighborhood -- was out for an hour. I lit candles and read with my little Mighty Lite and listened to the rain. This morning, out shopping, the Tucson Mountains were so lost in mist they looked like something out of a Japanese landscape painting.

It's been a wet winter. Warm, by Tucson's standards for a winter (keeping in mind that our standard for a cold winter is warm by other's standards). Not that many days, for instance, with nights in the 30s or below freezing, though we have had a few chill spells. But it's been the storms that have stood out. Long things, like our winter storms tend to be. But frequent, which has not been true for several years, and warm. Today is a comparatively cold one, with the current temperature standing at 54. Most of the storms have not dropped the temp much. It's been pretty much 60s with brushes of 70s all the way.

We're a semi-arid region. One that has been in the grip of a monster drought. It's been dry and suffocating. A thing of dust and summer fires in the mountains. And now, this winter, we have gotten a hint of, if not an end to the drought, at least a letting up. The ground water level has actually gone up for the first time in several years. You can almost feel the valley waking up.

All of this seems especially significant to me, given as I am to flights of fancy, because it seems to mirror my life. Things have been dessicated. But the rain has come, and a spring will follow.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Bleh and Not Bleh

Okay. Not feeling the best -- started day with a nice round of barfing, not sure why, maybe stomach goofy from allergies or something. Work hurt, just one of those days, though today I got to work with some of my cooler students. Almost fell asleep at one point, while taking a break in the senior tutor room.

Had one of those naps at home from which you wake feeling like the dead after they've been beaten senseless.

But tonight had a nice IM conversation with Junli, then we went and got coffee and chatted for a bit. Turned down the chance to then go out with her and her roommate, simply because the slight woozy feeling was starting to return. But it was nice to get out for a few minutes, at least. And once again being reminded of the awesome people in my life.

Tomorrow is Chris' big blowout party. Rumor has it it's going to be at least a six squad car affair. Maybe I'll bring my camera and take pics.

Top 10 Friday

Okay, instead of the random thing in iTunes, a look at the top ten songs in terms of play counts in my iTunes library:

  1. Let Go -- Frou Frous -- Details

  2. Don't Fear (The Reaper) -- Unto Ashes -- Empty into White

  3. There She Goes, My Beautiful World -- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds -- Abbatoir Blues

  4. Babe You Turn Me On -- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds -- The Lyre of Orpheus

  5. O Children - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds -- The Lyre of Orpheus

  6. Beautiful People -- Rusted Root -- Beautiful People

  7. The Promise -- When in Rome -- Awesome 80s

  8. The Want(Existence/Nonexistence) -- Android Lust -- Stripped and Stitched

  9. Jerk It Out -- Caesars -- 39 Minutes of Bliss (In an Otherwise Meaningless World)

  10. Abbatoir Blues -- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds -- Abbatoir Blues

What's mostly funny about this is that it shows 1)that Gerg was really, really obsessing on the new Nick Cave stuff for a bit, and that 2)some other stuff is starting to make a run. And that I seriously went nuts for the Frou Frou song after Junli introduced me to it. Like manic.

And given the way I'm obsessing about some other music right now, it may well be that in a week's time this list is a bit different. Will the Frou Frous be dethroned? Will Meatloaf appear? Inquiring something or anothers want to know!

Or not. It amuses me, though. So there.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Instead of forever hovering above I'd like to feel there's some weight to me. To end my eternity, and bind me to earth.

[Listening to: Cynthia's Journal - Human Drama - Cause And Effect (5:22)]

Name that movie quote continues. Consider this a warm-up for March and the lyrics (except, you know, no prize).

I have had a startling realization over the last few weeks.

It is this: I'm not, really, a very political person.

I mean, I have political opinions. I have a vision, as it were, of what I think society should be like. I am, shall we say, rather left in the spectrum, if we buy into that system. And sometimes have gotten quite worked up about it.


I don't deal well with Causes. Movements. Ideologies. Big Things. Gov'mint. Yada yada yada.

What I've discovered is that, all told, I deal best with the small. The one on one. And I have this theory -- that that is the real level, the important level. I mean, I look around our society, and the world, and I see, for instance, such nastiness at times at that level. I've experienced it myself. And, of course, lots of good. Lots and lots of good. But my point, in bringing up the nastiness, is that it seems like if we can't even be decent and kind and caring in our little local lives, there's no hope for much of anything happening on the bigger level. I think change probably has to happen from the grassroots and build up from there.

It's not that I don't want to change the world, but rather that I'm so tired of artificial divisions, and letting those divisions interfere with simple human interaction.

Not an earth-shattering realization, nor an original thought. But it maybe tells me something about myself, and my life, and how I want to live it, and should, and also explains something about my writing I've been trying to figure out. Namely that, while I often enjoy Big Idea stories, especially in Science Fiction, but have absolutely no inclination, and frankly no clue, how to write. Even though, for some reason, I have felt at times as if, well, I should.

Another way to think about it -- over the years, I have been good at joining things. But I can never sustain the passion, and I'm starting to realize that it's the divisions inherent in that process at times that have put me off. I don't want to join anymore. I just want to be, and to connect.

It's better to help people than garden gnomes.

How Very Annoying. I woke up at like 5:30. This is Just Wrong. I wasn't even really sure such a time existed. I'm still not, in fact.

So last night I go to bed after doing my yoga and taking a nice hot shower, mainly because I then found myself feeling rather woozy. I'm thinking allergies were at work, probably coupled with the fact that I haven't been drinking enough (water, smart-asses, though maybe I haven't been drinking enough in the other sense, too...). So I was all nice and cozy in bed, and had Life of Brian on the ol' DVD player, and...well, I think I got up to the scene where Brian is painting "Romans Go Home" all over the walls. Or maybe I just dreamed that part.

Speaking of which, I had very, very odd dreams, with a large cast that included pretty much all my friends. Some acting quite bizarrely, others acting pretty much like normal (ie, bizarrely). Probably the highlight was Spookit and Junli walking around all obsessed with the idea of having a pet platypus.

Don't ask me. It's just my head. I can't control the thing.

The scariest part of my dream would have to be my brother-in-law, who had cut his hair short, and...I can't even bring myself to say it..was was wearing a business suit. And reading the Wall Street Journal (For readers who don't know my dear brother-in-law, this combination is about as likely in real life as, well, a meteorite hitting you in the head. And scarier.).

And bonus points to anyone who can name where the post title comes from.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

And somebody said that it burned like a forest fire

[Listening to: I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) ("Single Edit") - Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (5:16)]

So a comment from Archenar today got me lookin' in the direction of the original post about Desire at the beginning of the month, in which I quoted Neil Gaiman. And uh, realized I had misremembered exactly what I had quoted.

Here's the original post. The quote was actually the one about waiting, which was not quite what I was talking about last night.

What I quoted was this:

"If you have nothing left to want, then you just wait until there's nothing left to wait for, don't you?"
- Neil Gaiman, "What I've Tasted of Desire," The Sandman: Endless Nights

What I was remembering last night was from rereading the story after doing that post. From an earlier portion of the story:

Most people want things like a cande-flame, flickering, shifting. You, on the other hand, want like a forest fire.

And, from the last two panels of the story:

A long time ago I met somebody with golden eyes. I was told so many things. But they are gone now.

And somebody said...
That it burned...
Like a
forest fire...

So I hope that all answers Archenar's question about what Gaiman quote I meant.

As to Archenar's other question, about whether the word I wanted last night was melancholy...well, I don't think so. It's not that thoughtful kind of sadness. It's the last lingering touch of regret and anger and self-bashing, coupled with a certain dread of the future coupled with tremendous excitement coupled with the feeling of being more alive than I have in a long while and laughing a lot more and daring to dream of passion once more, and wanting to hide in my shell even as I sing lustily and begin to smash at its walls, all the while spitting in the face of some of my more rationalist tendencies and embracing, yes embracing that damn Byron inside me, wanting to galavant among the daisies and make wild love and sing sing sing and also, of course, hide and watch tv a lot and try not to feel, don't dare to feel, no, that's how you get hurt, but oh the subtle, freezing, killing hurt of not being connected to the wonderful people in your life, of not feeling that human contact, the hugs, the hands on the shoulder, the voices...

It's like a leg that's been asleep, hard, hard asleep, and the prickles and burn have started as you move it once more.

And it's not ambivalence, because I know exactly what I want. Right now I have only to look up at my computer to see the piercing gold eyes of Desire on the Neil Gaiman calendar. And the fears scream, but they aren't what I want, I'm so tired of listening to them.

You know? And damn, but those golden eyes are haunting me right now.

As a final note, today is my sister's birthday. And I would just like the world to know that she is still my bestest, bestest friend, and one of the world's truly beautiful people.


"I'm human, yep! Human, human, human! Just look at my neck!"

[Listening to: Beautiful People - Rusted Root - Beautiful People (4:10)]

Dang it. Can't sleep. Hello, sleeplessness, my old friend.

Wrote another poem. Two in one day. Not sure about this one. But then, I'm not completely sure about the other (though I think it's going in the right direction). But there you are. Two poems in one day. One fairy tale one (the dreaded Prince's Lament, which has proved tricky to date), and one..other one. Not like most of the poems I've been writing, that's for sure, and not sure how soon I'll be sharing it with anyone.

And strangely I feel like I want to cry, and it's not because I'm sad. Or happy. Maybe both. Maybe it's one of those odd, complex emotions that only the Germans ever really bother having words for. One that leans on the good side. But I keep having that sensation, like I'd love to just let go and weep like a frickin' baby. But that sucks to do alone in an apartment with no one else but your cat, who is far more intent on sleep than with anything that might be up with you.

I think -- it's beauty. I've been noticing it a lot lately, in all it's forms, and I am realizing just what a sentimentalist I can be, because it makes me want to cry sometimes. For all sorts of reasons. And I want to be cold and hard and rational and reasonable. I want to be Newton, but keep finding myself Byron instead. Except, you know. Not an asshole. Or nearly as good with words. And that's what I was grabbing onto with that Whitman poem, at least in part, though mostly for a completely different reason altogether. But that's what the poem is about. And the thing is, while I want to be cold and hard and rational and reasonable, I'm heartily sick of all of them. I don't want to want them anymore. I want that Gaiman quote I talked about towards the beginning of the month, about passion and desire. I want to burn, like a forest fire.

You know?

And now, please brain, can I sleep?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Random Thoughts from a Fevered Brain

[Listening to: Remnants of a Deeper Purity (2004) - Black Tape for a Blue Girl - Tarnished - EP (4:01)]

Oh, and I had a vote for an 80s extravaganza theme for the lyric contest. Anyone concur? I think if I do that (and given my current mood, I'm leaning towards it), I may do a mixture of both New Wave/Pop and some 80's underground.

It will be fun picking out the 31 songs, heh.

I'm sleepy (or seepy, as Spookit would say), but strangely in a brain fever of sorts, unable to relax totally. May put on a movie or something. Don't know, rightly. At loose ends. I wonder if loose ends are tight ends who just don't give a shit.

Told you I had a brain fever. Feels like my life is in a weird, new-old place. Not sure what to make of it, but enjoying it, but freaked out, but...

You know?

Writing update: wrote a poem today. Did some work on the Mystery Story. Contemplated Little Robber Girl.

Uttering joyous leaves

For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana,
                  solitary in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well that I could not.
            --Walt Whitman, "I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing"

I was tutoring someone with this poem tonight. Lovely little Whitman poem. The man could do things with the sound of English that few others can manage. Just look at that line:

Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near

See what he does? That flow, the way the sounds give the structure, not punctuation? Pure genius.

And I'm tempted sometime to name this blog "Uttering Joyous Leaves."

Of course, mostly it struck me tonight that I kinda grokked this poem, though not perhaps in the way Whitman meant it. Those last two lines, man. I'm understanding those.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

What ya think?

Been a music kind of day. Finally found the backup CD with the Awesome 80s album, which is important because it has When In Rome's "The Promise." All apologies to my sister, who seems convinced that Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come on Eileen" is the best. A fine song, that, but "The Promise" wins hands down. Got album on computer, proceeded to listen to that song and Taco's "Puttin' on the Ritz" about 5 times.

And suddenly I'm wondering if it'll be time for another rendition of guess that lyric. Anyone up for a game? Would probably run it in March, with one post a day giving a lyric to be guessed. First to comment wins for that day. Winner overall maybe gets a small gift certificate to the iTunes Music Store. I'd probably be a bit nicer, maybe posting at a uniform time and all.

And yeah, Chris, I know, I've never technically given you your prize from the September run of this game. I'll make that CD, I promise. As soon as I get some CDR's. :-)

Of course, then we could ask questions like -- should there be a theme? Maybe a Fabulous 80s Contest? The Punk and Techno Bash (wait, no, Spookit would win too easily). Well, we got time. Drop me a line if you have any good ideas (for themes, not for songs. No cheatin'!)

On the other hand, let's not. 'tis a silly place.

[Listening to: Jerk It Out - Caesars - 39 Minutes of Bliss (In an Otherwise Meaningless World) (3:16)]

Hmmm. Sunday afternoon. Sun's starting to pour through my window. The storm is past. It was a good one. We got dumped on pretty hard Friday and Saturday. Things very wet. But today has been sunny and coolish. Warm enough to bike around in short sleeves with just a bit of delicious "ooo, it's cool" feel to it. And everything has been scrubbed clean. Everything is shiny.

A good weekend, I think. Haven't really had one of those for a while. Haven't really had any particularly bad ones, either, but definitely not any good ones recently. But this weekend I get some good, if desperately boring, outside work, and make a load of cash that will help greatly right now. And I go out with some friends, which I don't do nearly enough of, and, well. You know. Things just feel righter.

I am, as Milne might say, a silly Bear.

Anyway. Someone asked me, this weekend, if I was content (you know who you are, dahling, as Fernando would say). And -- yes. Content-in-motion. Content, and content to be hungry, if you know what I mean.

It took a bit of a faceplant to realize that all the best things were already in my life. But I'm finally realizing that. So to all you best things in life, I just want to say...thanks.

The Thing, in full glory Posted by Hello

Spelling champs beware! One could make a comment about what misspelling 'erudite' makes one, but I'm a nice guy... Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

This can only be trouble

Session Start (spudthecat:junbugy): Sat Feb 12 20:01:22 2005
[20:01] junbugy: hey gerg we we we we come
[20:01] Spud the Cat: okay
[20:01] junbugy: WHEE!
[20:01] junbugy: go stand in the street!
[20:01] Spud the Cat: how about next to it?
[20:01] junbugy: and wear black..
[20:01] junbugy: NO
[20:01] junbugy: IN THE STREET!
[20:02] junbugy: oki we leabin
[20:02] junbugy: baI!

Okay, so I slightly edited it. But only to point out that a friend told me to 1)wear black, and 2)stand in the street. The friend, by the way, was not Junli, but Spookit, who was at Junli's house at the time. Draw what conclusions you will.

But the evening was fun, just kicking at Bob Dobb's. Of couse, there was the matter of the cape. Which I had to wear. Which, among other things, said, for some reason, Shit Balls. And also said, for some reason, "I AM EURDITE." We could spend some time pondering exactly what "EURDITE" is. But I, after 10 long minutes of careful research, I have discovered that "EURDITE" comes from the Latin, 'eur' being a root meaning "having to do with being amazing" and "dite" being, "no, really, really amazing."

Maybe I'll post a pic of the cape tomorrow. And I should also note that Junli was heard to utter, in close proximity tonight, "I can't lick my heart. That sucks" (or something like that) and "I'll just move my skin."

You can't do this! This is New York! Nobody lies naked in a field in New York. It''s too Midwestern.

All you doctor folk out there? All you medical folk? I love you. You are heroes. You are amazing. And thank god you do your job, cuz I wouldn't touch it with a billion mile long pole. See, I am doing a bit of editing this weekend, going over some big ol' study. Dear Lord. How do they do it?

Anyway. My brain is now dead. Dead dead dead. And there's more to come this weekend. No party weekend this (shut up, peanut gallery, or I'll --). So dead brain. And Gerg is, at the same time, too wound up to go to sleep. This may have something to do with the coffee he drank to keep the computer screen from blurring out on him.

It may also be a sign of insanity that Gerg is talking about himself in the third person. Ooo, look, flying little fat people. Weee!

I was so wrapped up with this job I didn't even yoga tonight. Bad bad bad.

And this may be the most pointless post ever. But hey, Chris finally blogged again, so go check out Nostalgia of the Infinite. *points to sidebar, vaguely in the direction of the "Amazing People something something" header* She got all philosophical about getting tattoos. And finally put links up. Now all we need to do is get Faisal and Jessie to do same (put up links. Though I guess they can philosophize about tats if they want to, too). But where was I? Oh, yes. Lame post. Go read Rie's. Much better, all in all. Or you can keep reading this one, because in a moment I'm about to introduce some gratuitous nudity into this post.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I must put an end to coincidence. The new moon of decision. I don't know if there's destiny, but there's a decision! Decide!

Just settlin' the head 'fore I go to sleep. I think, as I come to grips with things more and more, that I am realizing that the hardest skill in life is to learn that most important lesson -- that the past is dead, that deeds that have been done cannot be undone -- that you can only deal with now, and nothing else. That every mistake I have ever made just does not exist. They happened in another time, another place, to what were really other Gregorys. That I have to let go of those Gregorys and be this one, right now, the one being called "Gerg" by crazy friends, the one getting excited about storytelling again.

There was a boy who went through high school wanting to self-destruct or die. And he did. There was a boy who listened to ugly words from an ugly person and died. There was a young man in college who wanted to hurt himself, and to die, and did. Who went to New York and died. Who came back to Tucson and died.

There's only me. This Gregory, at this moment. I could choke on regret. I really could. I understand, now, the people who talk about that. But I can't. I won't. Because it's all dead, gone. There's only me, in this Now. And all those steps of dead Gregorys past have brought me to this point and can't be undone. And it's a place that has its wonder. A lot of it. Mostly in people that I have not appreciated as I should have, because I was drowning in regret.

No more. Time to drown in Life.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dumb like a moose, Dib. Dumb like a moose

Ahem. Let me just say...


And man, it felt good. My head feels almost normal. A little odd...not even exactly sore, you know? Just odd feeling. Like you know how sometimes you're suddenly aware of your tongue sitting there in the back of your throat, and it feels funny and weird? A bit like that, only with a head. A big stinkin' head sitting on top of my neck. Just sittin' there...

But I did yoga again. The past couple of days this was, simply put, impossible. Tonight it was possible. My shoulder neck injury thingie is still hurtin' a bit, but much better, and stretching it gently felt good.

And I just had a chance to earn some cash this weekend land in my lap, and it will be a big help in righting Ship Gerg.

And and and...let's see. Did some writing. Got opening of the new, mysterious, flitting around story. Actually had Junli, who was at work tonight, read it over and answer a few questions, which determined for me that it needs work on a couple of fronts.* But I kinda suspected that -- I'm trying to do some things that are, for me, pretty tricky, and obviously need to work a bit harder to make it all come off. But I'm getting a bit of a feel for this story, which continues to haunt me like no story I've ever had. (and yes, I'm being deliberately vague on this one...I may run it past a few other folk in dry runs to see if things are working. Junli was just the first victim BWAHAHAHAHAHA)

(* and Junli, being Junli, proceeded to offer to type up the handwritten story fragment while I was tutoring and she was working the front desk. What did I do to deserve friends like the folks in my life? Must do more of it...)

And now that the headache is gone, I am ready to tackle Little Robber Girl and do some of the changes that still, sigh, need to be made. I feel like I'm so close to achieving at least a semblance of the story in my head. Yet it eludes me. Maybe the longer period forced off from it this week will be a blessing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Speaking frankly, we are here to slaughter your population, make human beef jerky, enslave your women, and stare luridly at your daughters.

This post is really mostly just to have that (points up) title. Oh, for those long ago days when Berke Breathed didn't suck dino eggs!*

(*It strikes me, Gerg says sometime later, that there was a time, in those Bloom County days, that we thought of Breathed as being the John Lennon of comics. Now, with Opus, we have come to realize he is in fact Paul McCartney.)

But in the interest of actual content...

Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.

The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.

We live at the edge of the miraculous.

Remorse is impotence, it will sin again. Only repentance is strong, it can end everything.

Remember, it is never wrong to quote Henry Miller. I was delighted, in searching for quotes, to find the following, simply because, well, I've never gotten the attraction to Joyce:

"For at bottom there is in Joyce a profound hatred for humanity - the scholar's hatred. One realizes that he has the neurotic's fear of entering the living world, the world of men and women in which he is powerless to function. He is in revolt not against institutions, but against mankind...Ulysses is like a vomit spilled by a delicate child whose stomach has been overloaded with sweetmeats."

Why?! Why my piggy? I loved you piggy! I loved you…

Humf. Hurm.

*mutter mutter*

Head still annoying me. I think I shall remove it. Yes, that is what I shall do. That'll teach the bastard. Not like I use the stupid thing anyhow.

Felt okayish this morning, but really sore in the brain pain. Afternoon was that plus feeling shaky as in shaking a lot, like I was cold, only wasn't.

This truly bites.

I've pretty much written off this week, and would like a red card to be called on the Universe. At least a yellow. Time in the bin! Time in the bin!

Some random notes -- I have watched the shy story as it flits past many times, and am beginning to see its outlines pretty well. It will be a tricksy one to write, and that's no joke. The voice shall be hard, even though I see it quite clearly. And there's two voices, one inside the other's head. This shall be tricky.

I was going to link to Neil Gaiman's site to point out something you SO HAVE TO HEAR. But site is down right now. He had an mp3 of a Icelandic lounge version of Smells Like Teen Spirit. It has to be heard to be believed. I'll post a link when it comes back up...


And, uh. Oh bugger. This week is a wash. I'm a wash. *goes to whimper quietly and melodramatically to self*

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Still in pain, not as bad.

I think my head has stablized a bit tonight. Doesn't exactly feel better, but the random bouts of tunnel vision that I had last night/this morning have dissipated, and I don't feel that overwhelming urge to just give up and burst into tears.

I have good friends. Junli bought me lunch. Lots of love from lots of people. Made the day, which was a quiet nightmare in some ways, liveable. And Junli gave me staples. This may not sound like much, but I suspect they may be magic staples. Staples of Glorious Attaching or something. I mean, I'm pretty sure Junli wouldn't be chintzy and give me, you know, ordinary, mortal staples. Staples of the Gods, these are. I can tell: they glow, and little sparks shoot out when you touch 'em. Staple things with these and they'z staying stapled.

Anyway. No yoga today. Head too fragile. Took a hot shower, will now continue watching Dark Passage, which I started last night before the pain crashed down. There are few things in this world that a dose of Bogart and Bacall can't -- well, if not set to rights, at least quell for a while.

Pain. 4:45 A.M.

You don't know what brings the headaches on. You just know they come, here and there, once in a while, crashing in upon your head and pushing all else out. There's probably some scientific reason. Some rational explanation involving tension and chemistry. But it's the darkest hours before the dawn, and you don't care about those things. You cannot think rationally, or do you want to.

The world seems to collapse into a point in these moments. Light hurts. You never realized how much light there was in your apartment at night until these headaches come and point out each little bit. The computer monitor is like a blazing inferno of light. You turn the brightness down until it becomes bearable, barely. You don't know why you're doing this, precisely. A weird form of torture. But you were lying in bed, the pain chasing sleep away, and had to do something. Had to give yourself a voice here and now. Because the headaches drive home that you are alone right now. There is nothing more that you would love at this moment than to have someone here to hold you and fight back with warmth and love against the pain. Someone to let you collapse for just a moment, let go of everything adult, and be, if only for that moment, a child again, protected.

But there's nobody here except your cat, who is a cat and thus blithely ignores your pain. There are Priorities.There is a bug in the apartment. It must be dealt with.

Inside the pain you concoct wild theories. The darkest parts of you suggest there is a punishment involved in this for a million transgressions real and imagined. Another part thinks that there are so many stories trying to get out, stymied by the bottlenecks you have erected in your heart, that they begin to hammer against your skull, desperate to get out into the world and have voice, even if it means tearing your head to shreds. You are just a vehicle, after all, for the stories. If you do not birth them naturally, they will caesarean themselves out in a bloody finale. Another punishment, for the years in which you have closed yourself off to the stories. To what you think might be your purpose in this life. You wonder if, perhaps, the pain is you trying to get out of your own head and fully into the world.

But there is probably some scientific explanation, some rational reason for the pain. But you don't care. You just want someone to hold you and wipe away the tears that fill your eyes. Someone to be stronger than the pain for you, if only for a moment. To know, right now, in this darkness, that there is someone out there in the world, someone other than the pain.

Monday, February 07, 2005

And every one of them words rang true / And glowed like burnin' coal

A miscellany post...

Hot on the heels of Feisal's entrance into the blogosphere, we now have the other half of the Amazing Duo, Jessie. You can read Jessie's blog -- O it with the highly metaphorical name -- here: Jessie's Page.

Meanwhile, Yours Truly, who more and more seems to be answering to the name Gerg (darn those Fontes sisters!), managed to do something to his neck/shoulder while doing yoga yesterday, and is still feeling it today. And now also have a headache to go with it, bad enough that I'm feeling that anti-bright lights feeling. But luckily things to feel better than yesterday, and I did a nice gentle yoga session tonight. Didn't do it this morning, though. I will start the 2 a day maybe tomorrow, maybe in a few days, depending on how things feel.

In case you're wondering, my advice is -- turn off the ringer on your phone if it is near where you do your yoga. Being startled is Not Goodness while doing yoga. I should have remembered this lesson from the days of Spud thinking it meant I was playing.

But the combination of pains make for a not-completely-happy-gerg. Sigh.

Letting The Little Robber Girl sit for a day or two. In the meantime beginning to see another story take shape in my head, an odd beast that hints and whispers and is as shy as a pixie. May do some free-writing to see what happens, but did find some ideas today by sort of looking the other way when the story flitted around my head, pretending not to notice, and then sneaking a quick peek as she slipped past. It's a fantasy, I can say. It involves a snippet I posted months ago on Pig and Pepper, a snippet that came to my head and haunted me for some reason. As I see more and more of the story, it seems...odder than anything I've written.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

So if you got a trumpet, get on your feet, brother, and blow it

Junli, aka the Enigmatic Princess -- to whom I, as erudite as I am, must be her most Humble Servant (cough, cough) -- aim'ed me the corrected quote, and a source:

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"
--Hunter S. Thompson

Which pretty much says it all.

He's in a piggy nether dimension cleaning toilets with his head

Hey diddly ho, good neighbors. Actually having a productive day, which is nice. Tons of work done on The Little Robber Girl, though I'm hating the end right now and generally thinking that it's just not fully there by a long shot. But lots of work. I have also managed to catch up on my tutoring reports, and get some things done around the apartment, and even exercised this morning, all part of a plan to increase the exercise the next step by doing the yoga mornings and nights, too, when I can (they're short workouts I do, so this is quite reasonable). Even did the dishes and have a clear counter for the first time in a week.

Not bad considering that yesterday, among other things, I managed to get jack done on the writing front. Got some work done, but hardly a major, awe-inspiring effort. But maybe I should be fair, since yesterday I also figured out all the stuff that had to be done to the story. But I also cat-waxed like crazy (witness the new look to this site). Today I've done a bit of that -- suddenly decided the computer needed some of that basic maintenance you do once in a while -- but mostly have stayed on track with stuff. Yay me! All this and it ain't even 4 pm yet, which means tonight I'll have plenty of time to decide on what to do about the ending of the story, and maybe decide whether I should add a hot lesbian sex scene.

Kidding. It's not THAT kind of story.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

What ya think?

Eh? Look good? Lots of thanks to the Wise One (at least in Things Designy), Shiloe aka Spookit.

Pardon the dust

I'll be playing about with the blog design here and there. And you'll notice a new title. Expect this. I may alter it once in a while depending on mood.

Not quite happy with the look at the moment, but not quite not. Kinda want some cool icons to replace the ones that came in the original template I used. *looks significantly in spookit the amazing artist's direction. considers just breaking down and begging*

Update: Okay, this is..a start. Of sorts. Fits the title a bit, anyway. Will keep tinkering, but until I convince someone fabu to come up with some rip-roaringly awesome page design :-)...

Junli aim'd this quote to me:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ WOO HOO what a ride!"

I'd love to know where that's from, since she got it from Andrea's away message.

And while we're talking quotes...if you're wondering about the new name, well, it's from Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales, Book 1:

“... and so here we builded of good magic this Cottage of Lost Play : and here old tales, old songs, and elfin music are treasured and rehearsed.”

I always thought it was one of his more magical images, a cottage that was larger on the inside than out and was home to all the children who found their way to Valinor before the ways were lost. And it had such wonderful places, like the Hall of Play Regained. (I think that's what it was called) Anyway. It fits my mood.

A meme for ya

[Listening to: Nature Boy - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues (4:54)]

Why not do a meme for a change? This one cribbed from Dispatches from Tanganyika

1. Who do you admire the most and why?

Nelson Mandela, for all the obvious reasons.

2. What would you have as your last meal if you were on death row?

I'd probably puke up anything I was eating in fear of what was about to happen, so would it matter?

3. What is your earliest memory?

Getting Big Bear, my fav stuffed animal of all time. Who I still have thanks to surgery by my sister, who sews better than I do.

4. If you had 3 wishes, what would your 3rd wish be?

-- imac G5 with all the works
--that me and my friends and fam each get 10 BILLION dollars
--that...oh, I'm not telling this one

As you can see, I'm completely selfish. World peace won't happen unless enough people want it, anyway.

UPDATE: yeah, I realized I misread the question. So there's one through three. You'll just have to live with the mystery on number 3. At least my friends know they'd be rich by the time number 3 was unveiled.

5. If you had to be blind or deaf, which would you choose?

No contest. Blind. I'd hate missing visual beauty (mountains, flowers, the ladies, etc), but not hearing music would be worse. And I'm better at imagining visual things than aural.

6. Have you ever been dared to do something where the risk exceeded the reward (ie. jump off a building for a penny)?

Yes, but the risk only exceeded the reward because the reward was lame.

7. If you were forced to live the rest of your existence in a fictional world from a movie, book and TV show which ones would you select?

The world Harry Potter lives in. DUH. Close seconds: the universes of Farscape or Firefly.

8. If you had a superpower, which superpower would it be and why?

X-ray vision. I'm like a cat -- I find closed doors an affront to me personally. But I'd never use it on people (women cough cough).

9. What is your favourite vegetable?

steamed broccoli! or maybe Red Swiss Chard.

10. In how many different languages do you know the meaning of at least one word?

English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Slovak, Hebrew(of the ancient variety), Aramaic(ditto), Russian.

There's probably others that fit, but I can't think of them right now.

11. What did you want to be when you were a child?

I think the first one was "work," which was this mysterious thing my father did. Then it was a basketball player.

12. What one event (if any) would you change in your personal past if you had the power to do it once?

There's someone I would never have gone on a date with, had I been smarter at the time.

13. What’s the one question you want to be asked of you in an interview?

If it takes a chicken and a half a day and a half to lay an egg and a half, how long does it take a monkey with a wooden leg to kick all the seeds out of a dill pickle?

14. Have you ever cheated death?

Yes, but shhhhhh, don' t tell him. That dude has a scythe, and those things are sharp.

15. What was the most important decision you’ve ever had to make?

Finally deciding to stop letting one person in my life dick me over repeatedly, and making a clean break.

16. Which sports team do you support the most, and why?

The Arizona Diamondbacks, because they are the only professional team called "Arizona something" that feels like an Arizona team and not just a Valley team. And they have Gonzo. And beat the Yankees in the world series in 2001. And have Craig Counsell -- again! w00t!

17. Mobile phones (cellphones) - evil or good?

Good. I want one.

18. What is your favourite song at the moment?

Ummm, toss-up between Black Tape for a Blue Girl's "Remnants of a Deeper Purity(2004)" and
"There She Goes, My Beautiful World" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Holy Cow

[Listening to: Innocent When You Dream (78) - Tom Waits - Beautiful Maladies - The Island Years (3:09)]

Christ on a pogo stick, I think I have a beginning.

There's miracles in them there hills, there is.

It's embarassing to realize that you've been beating your head against a wall only to find out there's a door two steps to your left.

Off to yoga, perchance to stretch.

Sometime Later...

The fun thing was that my random thought earlier was right. It was the Icy Bitch herself that was the missing ingredient. The Snow Queen. She's not in the story, but has to be there nonetheless, if you get my drift. Part of the backdrop. The main backdrop, in fact. Things play off her, even though she's not there.

And so now I have this beginning, and I think I know how to weave in some threads so that she is sustained throughout without really being there. If you know what I mean.

The biggest change, though, will be one of voice, getting a bit more of a fairy tale narrator voice into the whole thing, kind of omniscient and all. But tonight I wrote the little intro bit, and then got the first major scene done up, with the two girls in the carriage going towards the Robber Castle. And now Monday looming at me to keep me going this weekend.

'Cos there's beauty in the breakdown

[Listening to: Let Go - Frou Frou - Details (4:13)]

All wrong, all wrong. The beginning is all wrong. With capital letters: All Wrong. This is the trouble. No scene of robbers attacking carriage, because it is so strictly not relevant to anything in this here little story. No wonder the Little Robber Girl spends part of the scene staring at a dead man. It's that kind of scene, dead and lifeless, because it ain't doing anything, certainly not interesting the reader. It certainly ain't interesting the writer, that's for sure.

But where to start, where to start. Where will make sense, where will impact. Or is a where, per se, or is it a thing, a taste, a feel? Problem: the magic of the story is lost in the shuffle. Solution: unlose it. Put it front and center. Snow Queen must be felt, even though she is not, strictly speaking, in the story.

Right? Shrug. Go explore. Stop wasting time on the net and go explore. See what happens. Get this flippin' draft done already. Monday, that's it, I have to have proof Monday that a draft is done, or I shall...I don't know. People must mock me, I say, MOCK ME, if I don't get this damn draft done.

Shut up and go explore, Greg. Geez.

Spookit beat me to it, but...

[Listening to: Knuckle Down - Ani Difranco - Knuckle Down (4:34)]

Random Music Friday!

The next 10 items in my iTunes Party Shuffle:

  1. Everything You Can Think -- Tom Waits

  2. Shattered in Aspect - Faith and the Muse

  3. Kicking the Gong Around - Cab Calloway

  4. Wildworld - The Birthday Party

  5. Combat Baby - Metric

  6. Innocent When You Dream(78) - Tom Waits

  7. 32 Footsteps - They Might Be Giants

  8. Clownhead - New Creatures

  9. All Lovers Lost - Faith and the Muse

  10. Bag's Groove (take 1) - Miles Davis

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Random, Nick Cave induced thoughts

[Listening to: O Children - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - The Lyre Of Orpheus (6:49)]

So, kind of following up on the the Desire post.

I once talked, back in the pig and pepper days, about sensualism. I didn't mean the kind involving body parts and all, though that is part of it. I meant the whole package of sensualism. Sinking into the senses, into your body. Living right here, now, in the moment, in the flow of sensation.

There's that Pot of Coffee, say. You know the one. Somehow you manage it once in a while, just the right amount of grounds to water, and then you make the cup, and somehow mix it just perfectly in whatever way is your way. If you use sugar, you somehow use the exact amount of sugar grains necessary for perfection. Just the right amount of cream. You lift the cup up, and feel the warmth radiating into your fingers, and take that first deep whiff of the coffee. You can feel the steam hot and wet against your face. If you have glasses, they fog up a little. And then that first can't describe it. Rich, bitter/not bitter, earthy...

And of course all the others you can think of. I have sometimes been jealous of smokers for the sensual pleasure they get in the whole smoking experience. But there's the sun and wind and food and the first time you hold hands with that girl you have a huge crush on; clean sheets on your skin after taking a hot shower, the beautiful ache you feel after exercising, the first blast of cold winter air on your face. And the physical experience of listening to music, listening to that voice that speaks to your heart.

A friend made me fill out one of those stupid internet surveys earlier. It had a question about fears, and I should have put "being a ghost." I get this tendency to turn away from the sensual even as I crave it. I get so lost in my damn head that I can't find my way out. I realize things like how seldom I hug friends, say. All those little moments of physical contact that ground you in this world. And I end up feeling that horrid sensation of being free of the gravity that ties us together, like I could float away with a puff of breeze. Become so insubstantial that no one will see me or hear my cries. That's my fear. That's what keeps me up on those nights in which 4:00 A.M. lasts several terrible lifetimes as I stare up at the ceiling in the darkness.

And I've spent so much time waiting instead of stepping into it all. Ghosts wait. That's what they are, aren't they? They wait and wait, and, like the Neil Gaiman quote said, wait until there is nothing more to wait for. And then wait even more, forever. Like people who wait for God or for glory in some afterlife, never realizing that the time is now, there is only this -- that, if you believe in Jesus and the Bible, the dude talked about the Kingdom of God here on Earth NOW, not in some distant nevernever.

Waiting. Fool's Game. I want to step into the stream, and I'm so fucking afraid, and I have to just do it anyhow, crying and screaming but doing it, and I have to take that first step, if only I can find my feet.

Ya know?

Small Update: While I'm being a bit moody, I might as well point out that if you follow the BBC link for On This Day at the top, you'll see that today is the day the music died.

But february made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.


[Listening to: Babe You Turn Me On - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - The Lyre Of Orpheus (4:21)]

Day at work -- done. Dinner -- et. Yoga -- yoga-ed. Shower -- taken. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds -- playing.

Nice. Sometimes it's the simple pleasures.

I think I've gotten a handle on That Which Was Bugging Me about the Little Robber Girl story, especially with the beginning. Realized there was an unrealized thread in the thing that needed teasing out. We'll see if I successfully tease. But I've got to say that if nothing else happens, this story has been one of those learnin' ones. Maybe will come out a writer with a couple more ideas about how to do this gig.

Of course, it was a bit disconcerting, reading over progress so far, to realize two scenes did absolutely nothing but waste paper and ink. But at least they were short scenes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Visiting Old Friends

It's fun looking over your older writing, even if a bit disconcerting. But looking back at a certain story, I'm tempted to re-explore a character:

The same old same old, Robbie thought, Thursday night at Alejandros, coffee and pseudo-intellectual posing, people desperate to validate their sorry selves by being seen with him. The conversation gilded, hellos and howareyous underscored with Grand Pronouncements on Michel Foucault and the French Feminists, utterances as meaningful as the clinking of their glasses. And that was just the women. The men were worse, squaring off to determine the intellectual alpha male, the prize being the new girl, a busty coed, Carol or Sue or Beth or Voluptua, whose sole contribution to the conversation so far had been that Foucault might have been depressed.

I honestly think this was the first story where I started to get the idea of voice, especially in the third person. I had done some good stuff with first person, but didn't fathom the possibilities of it in third person until this story.

Bloody shame the story faceplanted worse than that Agony of Defeat Guy you always see during the Olympics. I didn't trust Robbie. Didn't let him use his voice, ironically, and tell me what was up with him. I forced him on a path, and he got moody and stupid and...

Well. You learn. But it might be fun to go back to the old boy, mix things up a bit and see what cooks if I let him have some room to stretch out. I suspect -- it has somethign to do with passion. He seems, in parts, to be someone with passion who has walled himself in. (yeah, I know, con-ven-ient, given yesterday's post. I may be wrong. I will listen to the dude, okay?) We'll see.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

February, Desire, and All That

[Listening to: Forever - Human Drama - Songs Of Betrayal Part 1 (4:51)]

"If you have nothing left to want, then you just wait until there's nothing left to wait for, don't you?"
- Neil Gaiman, "What I've Tasted of Desire," The Sandman: Endless Nights

So I've got the Neil Gaiman Endless Nights calendar this year. And February, of course, is Desire, specifically a picture from "What I've Tasted of Desire," with amazing artwork from Milo Manera. So now I have those golden eyes staring at me wherever I'm at in the room.

To want. I've waited so long. To just finally want. To burn with it, blaze with it. To scream it and shout it. To desire, to be desire. To break out of the numbness that so often seems to lurk in the back of my spirit. To want so bad it hurts. To be mad and giddy. To finally meet the eyes of the golden-eyed stranger full on.

Desire in all its forms. To give into my desire for words, for stories, for love, for beauty. To burn, like a forest fire. And to make others burn.

That's what I want.