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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Evening commentary

Bittersweet.

All the random moments that make my life worthwhile aren't as wonderful without someone to share them with. It's not that the one second when I feel filled up over a combination of music, drinks, and friends isn't perfect. I just mean that if my lover - whoever she is - was right next to me, it would be more perfect.

So, I say these mad, raging nights are bittersweet. Dark chocolate tastes like my life right now. Maybe it's healthy, and maybe it's sugary, except the flavor that comes after is so like nostalgia & regret but comes even quicker. It is indistinguishable from actual sadness that way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coma Therapy




For a writer, I really don't read that much. For a musician, I don't listen to a whole lot of music. For an artist, I don't experience art very often.

It has been a while since I've read a poet who actually speaks to the things I want to see in my own writing. Eric Victorino isn't the best poet, or very stylish, or even particularly ground-breaking. He doesn't use language in a way completely different than what's come before, or after. He doesn't write about subjects I haven't seen in other mediums. In fact, if you asked me what it is that seperates his writing from everyone else's I could only say, "well... his name's on the cover."

But it's more than that for me. I've always been one for stories. I love them; the plot thickening, thinning, going through its various crests and troughs. That is what draws me to this man's work.

(A big shout out to my brother, David, for giving me the book so that I could re-experience it with my writer's eyes. Thanks again for your excellent taste/recommendations!)

I want to repost a poem that is basically amazing. So let me get the legal-jumbo out of the way: This poem is the property of Eric Victorino & Orchard City Media. This poem is reprinted electronically in its entirety for the purposes of education and literary critical review. All rights are reserved by the author and Orchard City Media.

Please don't sue me. I just really like this poem.

"I am a saxophone

I am a saxophone
so be something like a set of drums to me...
because I can't see myself going
solo.

I've been bumping into things,
I've been clumsy...
but I'm learning.

I am on another road
to another nowhere-in-particular,
just another-place-not-home...

I've made circles
around the circles I made before
and I can't even count
the wrecks I caused along the way,
but I'm trying,
I'm learning.

I'm tired
but I'm full of so much energy all at once.
I don't long for the past anymore
I'm eager
to face the future.

I've started scaring myself
in a good way.
I've started asking myself
some pretty tough questions
and for once,
I'm coming up with
the right answers.

I know now
becoming a better person
is a decision you make.
it isn't an accident.

and I am a saxophone,
so be something like
a set of drums
to me
and we'll learn to play
such wonderful music."



This guy is officially my new favorite poet. But I won't get any of his other books - I don't want to spoil it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trolling my computer's depths


It's strange to look at yourself as you used to be. Watching home movies, seeing old pictures, listening to dated recordings - I always feel strangley creeped out to look at myself in third-person way after the fact. It's almost like when you spit on the sidewalk, or cut your nails. The pieces don't belong to you anymore; they're not you. They're icky because they used to be.

I was mucking around my writing folders, cleaning out cobwebs (AKA old files and useless drafts) when I happened upon something from my humble, pathetic, talentless past. This was a one-sentence story assignment from my very first creative-writing class.

Gluttony

I am hungry for the sweet ripe flesh of plums, pears, peaches, pineapples, watermelons, mangos, berries; for the delicious tender taste of steak, lamb, chicken, rabbit, duck, salmon, shrimp; for the potent flavor of cheese, pickles, biscuits, salads, sodas, crumb cakes, and carrots, wishing to feel their sweet juices run down my chin, tickling my neck as they caress my recently shaven skin – irritating the razor burn and coating my little red marks with a sticky edible sap – smacking my lips as my tongue wraps around each morsel like a python ‘round some prey, slowly choking out the flavor before swallowing it in one gulp, reclining back into my chair with the sweet satisfaction of a sated appetite and stuffed belly, listening to the music of some forgotten blues musician wail out his frustrations in guitar-driven chords that I – in my ignorant bliss of hunger-induced gluttony – cannot hope to understand, because you see, living for the moment the next bite reaches my lips is all the understanding I posses, now lying down on the floor to search for soft sleep’s embrace to ease the swelling of my stomach, pressing against the waist-band of my jeans, tightening along the buckle of my belt, now sending stabs of ache and pain to a body that was feeling only pleasure and contentment, forcing me to restlessness – tossing, turning, moaning out against my need, to feed this poor shell of mine that sought only the company of soft breads, sweet wines, and an end to this desire for more, more, more, and more, food. Then my stomach exploded.



***Author's Note*** The second sentence at the end was added after-the-fact for dramatic effect when my class published our work that semester into a collection titled, "Nobody Kills Babies for Fun."

Yes, we were some sick individuals.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bunny Comics



life after love



Oh gawd... it's so true.

http://www.bunny-comic.com/

Webcomics = the new Graphic Novel.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hypocrisy when pretty girls are involved





Okay, I know how I totally bashed hipsters like three or four posts ago.

But now I have to admit something: hipster girls are fucking HOTT. Beautiful, gorgeous, sexy, sexual, delicately put together... I just wish they weren't so stupid/annoying/into hipster guys.

Really there's no excuse for this, but I just can't help it! There's something fashionable about them that makes me think they could be interesting girlfriends, personally, publicly, and especially privately. It's the way they cross their legs, or how their bangs are always almost in their eyes, or any of the million odd assortment of eccentricities they possess.









Geebus P Cryst!

It's just not fair that they're so damned good-looking, but completely vapid otherwise. If only there was a decent one to be my hipster queen... something like that!

Oh well.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Questionnaire


This is an old questionnaire I completed last semester in one of my creative writing classes. It was given to us as part of an exercise to get us thinking about our writing, and how to generate material. At first the whole thing seemed like a waste of time until I went back and reread my answers. Here it is, reposted for your pleasure.




1. Do you like toast? Why, yes, I do. Toast is one of the most wonderful ways to incorporate wheat into your diet, especially for people like me who don’t eat breakfast regularly. The best thing about toast is the variety of condiments it can incorporate, like jam, or butter, cream cheese, and even Nutella!

2. What kind of toast do you like? Personally, my favorite kind of toast is a thick whole-wheat slice covered in cream cheese & jam. The sheer texture and sugariness of the spread is both delicious and nutritious. Second after that would probably come buttered toast, but only because I respect classic taste.

3. Did you always know that you would be a writer/poet or artist? Yes, and no. I didn’t ever really know for certain. The possibility of becoming a writer-slash-poet-slash-artist was a gradual process that grew inside of me over the years. Once I realized it was possible for me to do this though, I was set.

4. Do you remember any clues in retrospect that brought you here? Describe them. I remember doing a lot of reading. The wonderful stories I grew up with as a child made me envious of the author’s ability to create something so amazing completely inside their head. It seemed that if I couldn’t do anything great and majestic in my life, like being an astronaut, then I’d have to settle for making-up great and majestic things and hope nobody noticed the difference.

5. What is your favorite time of day? The nighttime, hands down. Specifically, I really enjoy the period between two A.M. and four A.M. because it’s often been considered “dead man’s time”. This is the period when your circadian rhythm is at its slowest, the heart rate and breathing are softer, so that you slip into a place between being awake and being asleep. Crazy shit goes down, and I don't wanna miss out.

6. Are you haunted by anything? Yes, definitely. We are all haunted by something in our lives, whether it is a misdeed, accident, terrible misfortune, or perhaps simple uncertainty of the world around us. The fact that we have scars helps make us more human, able to be readily compassionate and understanding with one another. Yet, anyone who has yet to experience these things is not less of a person, but maybe less human.

7. Is one time of day more productive for you? Not really. No time of day is really more productive for me than another because my habitual rhythm isn't really a set pattern. At night there can be times when my skills as a wordsmith seem to reach out into the realms of the great literati. And at the same time I have often completed many divergent tasks in the earliest parts of the morning, just as the sun is rising and most people barely awake. It really depends most on where I'm at inside, than on what the world's doing around me.

8. What would you do if you were not a writer or a poet? If I weren’t what I am then I wouldn’t be who I am, so to me this question feels a bit awkward to answer. I suppose if I wasn’t me then I’d be someone else and would probably do desk-work surrounded by a cubicle in a large office building with little need for creativity or exercise. If I could be me – while still be not a writer – then I’d be a musician or an anthropologist, but I'll probably end up doing those things as well anyways. So it goes.

9. If you were not human what would you be? I would definitely be either a ferret or a bush-baby. I like bush-babies because they're sofuckingcute it almost makes me want to puke my guts out. They're are mostly nocturnal too, like me. I'd probably be a ferret though because they're super cunning but manage to hide it real well. They've got such a bad rep, yet they're actually no worse than anything else. I like the way they work, too; they've got a style that's just classic unpredictability.

10. Can you come up with one word that would bridge poetry-writing-art? This question needs to add in music and subtract poetry (since poetry and writing are synonyms bordering on being twins) so that it would be music-writing-art. To bridge these already close subjects one need only say, “Life”. Life is what creates these useless things and pointless pursuits at random without any sort of order. Really, Life is the all-time mother for anything that exists, because Life is the situation that allows them to be. Does that make sense? Probably not.

11. What do you collect? I collect keychains. Mostly from vacations and other adventures, but also on special occasions that I need a tangible souvenir to remember it. Some of them are gifts I got from family and friends who know about my little hobby and purchase the best ones they find along the way.

12. How is your collection displayed? I have put all the keychains into a small wooden treasure chest lined in red felt that I stole from my Dad after he moved out. The chest is pretty shoddy after all the years it's been around, but works as well as anything else I might get. The chest kinda gives off the whole "buried goods of a valuable nature" effect.

13. Have you had past lives? Describe them. I don’t know if I’ve had a past life or not. My Mom once told me that when I was little and just learning how to talk I would tell her how we lived in an old wooden town in the west where there were some robbers and we were shooting them and… something like that. Being a little kid and only just learning how to talk, she figured I was just making it up for fun, but she added in, almost like an afterthought, that I didn’t know anything about the west or robbers and shootings. So maybe I did have a past life? Who knows.

14. Who can you talk to about writing? I can talk to very very few people about writing. Pretty much only my brother, myself, and perhaps the professor’s paid to teach me. But not always because sometimes they give bad advice or don’t know any better than I do. Also, I don't like to talk about writing – it feels silly for some reason. Talking about writing is like dancing about architecture… at least to me.

15. What do you spend most of your time looking at? I spend most of my time looking at women. But not exactly women, more like the disassembled sum of women, their various pieces (ass, boobs, legs, hips, eyes, hair, etc) and the way those convey so many subtle messages just waiting to be deciphered. After that comes the sky – whether night or day – and then printed words on pages.

16. What environments are good sources for your inspiration? Some of the best inspiration comes from people-watching. Humans give off so much in their movements and little interactions it’s a wonder we bother using our mouths to speak at all. A lot also comes from exploring, usually in the form of urban spelunking, but nature has plenty to offer as well. Generally, it is the act of discovery, the process of seeing and experiencing that gives me my inspiration.

17. What do you do when inspiration comes to you? Whenever I find myself hit with an idea, usually I’ll want to write it, play it, sing it, dance it, draw it, or somehow make a record of its existence. Most of the time that’s a bit inconvenient for the people around me (especially if I want to play it and people are sleeping) so, often I will sit on the idea for a while looking for the most important thing that attracted me about it, the most basic and important part from the idea, and get that down.

18. What kind of activity spurs inspiration? There’s not much you can do to force inspiration – it doesn’t work like that. The best you can hope for is to mix the right elements and (being an intelligent mind) expect to get some interesting results. Typically I’ll go somewhere that I enjoy, feel connected to, and just soak up the time I’m there, breathing in the atmosphere, participating when I want, so that through just being alive, I create stories in my mind.

19. What would you like to spend time looking at? I'd like to spend my time looking at beautiful buildings, beautiful paintings, and especially beautiful women. Actually, just the women. No, not even. Just a beautiful woman. Just one gorgeous, stunning, amazingly beautiful woman who is looking right back at me because she loves me. That'd be nice, I think.

20. What is your definition of the word vacation? My definition of the word “vacation” is a state of action in which a person goes somewhere they do not go very often and relax in that space so that they may enjoy life a little bit more and be at peace for a time. The key components of being in this state – vacation can be an action or state of being, just like working – is total disconnection from your daily routine as well as complete relaxation mentally and physically.

21. What do you do on your vacation that you would like to be doing now? I would dearly love to be travelling; and this is what I do on my vacations. Let me explain how travelling encompasses the whole scope of my vacation. Normally, my life is constricted to the same city for long periods of time, whereas on vacation I get to explore a wider world beyond the city-limits. During these travels I am able to use all of my senses to enjoy the experience of being somewhere both rare and amazing. This makes travelling my favorite thing to do on a vacation, as opposed to going somewhere and staying put. It is very relaxing for me to be going on adventures and discovering things far removed from my regular experiences.

22. What are your favorite subjects? My favorite subjects are philosophy, creative writing, literature, science, history, anthropology, sociology, physical education (i.e. aikido, or sport), and religious studies. These aren’t ordered in any particular hierarchy, but I do have favorites. Many of these subjects are hard to enjoy in the way they are taught, but become true gems of learning when undertaken individually.

23. Are there any subjects that you would like to explore that you have not yet explored? Yes, indeed. I would really enjoy learning more about natural biology, wilderness survival, practical mathematics, language, and art. Language is an especially fervent choice because it seems that our education system does not teach us to think in many languages, or help us learn those basic skills that allow us to communicate in more than one way.

24. If you could live anywhere where would that be? I would live in Paris. That city, above all other places I have ever visited (which, while not many, are more than most people see in a lifetime) has captured my imagination. I feel as if it is the only place an artist, or musician, or writer, or philosopher, can truly be free to grow uninhibited. It is as if the French sky is broader than here among the city skyscrapers.

25. Do you know where you want your finished work to live? I should hope so – yes. I want my work to live in the memories of people. My dream, my desire, is to become a great writer someday, maybe even the greatest ever. Where can a great writer’s work live best? Books, disks, computers, stone tablets; these all deteriorate and fade over time. Not even Homer came through the dark epochs of antiquity without losing a few things along the way. But I want to be better than Homer, go further. And it seems to me that the collective thoughts of humanity are the only such place where great tales may reside; in the head, in the heart, where they'll live as long as they're true.

26. How do you place value on what you write? Well, it is very difficult to make a value-judgment on something that is inherently subjective. As a writer you really must decide for yourself what works are worthwhile and which ones are not. In the end though, the audience gets final say over these things, because they are the ones who will read and preserve it. Whatever I feel to be my greatest achievements will only be great for me; while my readers will choose for themselves what they think is the best. So it goes, y'know?

27. What is enough? Moderation in all things, even moderation. Enough is when you have balance, and too much is when the balance is tipped. It is hard to know or explain these things because we don't have words precise and vague enough to convey the history of associations/perceptions they have.

28. What is your favorite gift that you ever gave? The best gift I have ever given someone (so far) was a love poem that I wrote during the fall of 2006 while I was attending junior college. It was given in that hope that this girl, Katie Morales, would see my deep affection for her and decide she felt the same way. I scarcely need say that I failed miserably, and learned a valuable lesson that day: you change nobody’s mind but your own.

29. Do you have a favorite meal? Describe it. My favorite meal would be an odd thing indeed! I should like a large mixed sushi platter; hand-rolls, nigiri, rainbow-rolls, miso soup, and skewered kushiyaki. Then we would have an Italian dish of penne pasta with red meat sauce and breaded shrimp. After this would be Mexican tacos and carne asada. The drinks would only be freshly squeezed grape juice, ice-cold coca-cola, or Stella-Artois (best in Belgium). To top it off, dessert would be a large chocolate fudge cake topped in barely-ripe strawberries and plums leaving the sour taste intact while still being juicy. Fuck, man, I’m starving!

30. What does the word create mean to you? To create is an act that brings forth something out of yourself that did not already exist in the universe. For instance, when God used his/her/its powers to create something from nothing, that nothing was God, who had the stuff of Life inside of himself/herself/itself. So I guess, to me, creation is to bring something from nothing – even though that should be impossible.

31. What are some of the primary feelings you get from your art making practice? Mostly I get a deep sense of satisfaction at just being capable of things like this. Making a new story, or poem, or song, or picture is better than sleep, food, sex, or perhaps even Love (though I don't know, never having been in love with someone who loved me back). There is also a sense of validation that what I am doing is not just enjoyable, but right, as only something so natural and near-instinctual can be.

32. If today were your last day in this life would you be sure to do? That depends. Knowing it was my last day to live I would probably get in the car and go see my friends and family. I’d tell them all how much I cared about them, and how I would miss them. Then I'd indulge a few carnal needs. You can bet there’d be a lot of eating, hurried sex, and instructions for my disposal had. If I didn’t know it was my last day to live though, I’d probably spend the whole day sleeping till woke-up just before night to read a good book and drink some flat soda.

33. What question would you include on this questionnaire that we have not included? I’d suggest you include the question, “what’s your deepest sin?” If this proves too religious, then try, “who do you hate the most?” And should that prove a bit too controversial, perhaps this one: “what’s the one mistake you’re glad you made in your life?” But if that is also simply not appropriate, then I should ask you to include, "what would your last words be?"



Feel free to copy this and repost it in the comments section with your own answers. I'm looking forward to seeing how ya'll respond!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

H I P S T E R S


You knew this was coming.



Living in San Francico, I tend to run into A LOT of hipsters. And as a subcultural anthropologist, it is my solemn duty to recognize, categorize, and understand this strange species of the youth zeitgeist.

Now you might be asking, "Steve, why do you hate on hipsters so much? Don't you have anything better to do?" Well first of all, no, I don't have anything better to do. Thanks, douchebag. Second, I hate on hipsters for the same reason I hate on MCR fans, vamp-goths, tweens, bros, women with too much plastic surgery, and ultra-liberal activists - they're stupid & annoying. They piss me off by their very existence. It's almost an insult to humanity that such varieties of peoples exist. I mean, I could stand a crack-ho, because at least she's not pretending to be anything other than a ho who will suck your dick for crack-rock. Whereas other social groups - let's say, hipsters - seem to think they aren't what in fact they are. Thus, they are douchebags and deserve to be mocked. Oh, and mock I shall.



Here we have a diagram of your typical hipster. Note his plastic neon-colored sunglasses and brown-paper wrapped PBR. The hipster wears dilapadated clothing in a sincere effort to appropriate some sort of authenticity because they themselves posses none. The fix gear bike, the janitor key-ring, etc, all are attempts at adopting iconic references to working-class people in an effort to pretend they are somehow relevant and/or cool.

A particularly disgusting habit of many hipsters is to wear t-shirts with logos of 90's cartoon shows - TMNT, Captain Planet - children's books - Where the Wild Things Are, Where the Sidewalk Ends - and even video games - Zelda, Mario, Warcraft. Tattoos of these geek-culture icons are also becoming popular among a hipster-subgroup community that I'm calling the "metal-hipster".

The mentality is that "coolness" can only be achieved by taking the "uncool" and perverting it for their own self-image. (Authors note: all these things ARE actually cool. The reason why it is disgusting on a hipster is that hipsters never originally enjoyed these things. They only started sporting them as a method to the madness of their fad...ness.)



Here we have an example of the hipster girl. Note the too-high too-big belt and extensive bangles on both the neck and arms. Hipster girls tend to appropriate fashion from the 1920's and 1960's, via flapper-style dresses and high-waisted pants/shorts.

This particular example comes from Williamsburg, but close examination reveals traits inherent in all hipster chicks (and indeed, inherent in all hipsters regardless of gender): quirky fashion sense coupled with modern parody of older styles.

Particularly noticeable about hipster girls is their tendency to wear wide-rimmed glasses, usually with perscription-less lenses or, even worse, no lenses at all. (This was possibly a precursor to the dreaded shutter-shades invasion of 2007.) San Francisco hipster chicks seem to have a peculiar preference for mustard-yellow cardigans. Whether this is merely a regional difference, or warning of an impending shift amongst popular uncool colors, I cannot tell at this time.



Now let's talk about hair-styles and beards.

For male hipsters typically some sort of "scruffy" appearance is what lady hipsters find most desireable. The more dirty, grungy, and disheveld, the better. (How this lack of hygiene is attractive is undiscernable at this time, but theories indicate that it has something to do with the "just woken-up" look.) Also, male hipsters seem to have a seasonal-shedding process, shaving off their winter beards for a railroad robber mustache in the spring. Indeed, reports of young hipster guys tying tweens to railroad tracks have been reported in isolated communities such as Buffalo, and Orange County.



The "natural hipster" seems to be most prevalent in San Francisco, where veganism (AKA starvation) has corrupted the palates of a generation of mid-twenties hipsters. However, despite differences all hipsters are capable of breeding with one another, thus creating hipster-mutants. These strange cultural concotions are used by the hipster father/mother as a veritable human accessory to enhance their appropriations of authenticity via parenthood.

Which brings me to my next point: hipster mating habits.



Typical hipsters congregate in cheap dive bars, art galleries, soul clubs, museums, and house parties. Finding a mate usually begins with a series of "deep, soul-searching stares" that notifies the female hipster, "hey, I think you should give me a tug-job in the bathroom." While hipsters in general claim to be searching for "authentic, meaningful relationships" they are usually content with an authentic, meaningful one-night stand listening to Animal Collective or The Decemberists.



Now this has been a relatively short introduction/destruction of the hipster group as it exists in America & Western Europe. But for those of you fellow saboteurs and subcultural anthropologists seeking further information about this blight on our urban environment, I suggest looking at primary sources such as HipsterRunoff and Last Night's Party. Also, get out there and see them in the wild. Look in your city's recently gentrified neighborhoods.

Here is a diagram outlining hipster iconography so that you may know them on sight.



Good luck!

Cheers

A song for lonely hearts





I know. I keep alternating between being sarcastic and being melancholic. Must be confusing for you, my dearly devoted readers. For that, I apologize. Bear with me through this tumultuous time in my life, as I go through the motions/movements/stages of Like to Love to Loss. It's a slippery downward slope I'm treading and all your support has not gone unappreciated. (Though I COULD be a bit more obvious about saying, "Thank you.")

The small things that you leave in my comment's box have a greater impact than therapy or Prozac. Thank you all so much - for everything.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Newly Writ [Been Edited]





Lover's handprint stain


                             Depressions in my bed
                             sheets still smelling like you
                             old pictures       old letters
                             gifts wrapped but never given
                             memories, stories, sharing, shared

                             I have to tell again the same things
                             I told you, but won't be you anymore
                             it'll be someone different, and they'll be a little
                                    less interesting

                             How I've missed this you, this       new you
                             this replacement part, replacement lover
                             her soft hands       kiss as good as your lips
                             I imagined, even better

                             And in my head you are
                             in front of me       I can see the curve of her hips
                             the place where I would brush my face against
                             stubble rubbing so I'd say, "sorry"
                             you'd say, "I love you"
                             we'd just lay       just like that —
                             passionate & apologies

                             You, her — can't tell the difference
                             who was it I loved?
                                    idea, image, and voice
                             I thought it was you       feels like her
                             my newer lover       my fixer-upper
                             swept up every piece, from corner to corner
                             under sinks, in drawers       the back of bookshelves
                             she delicately put my broken heart in the garbage
                             in the lover's dumpster's alley-way

                             Then something unexpected
                             reached inside her chest
                             pried open the rib-cage like rusty prison-bars
                             there was her heart beating       she cut it
                                    in half and gave me that
                                           I love her for that
                                                  but is it because my heart isn’t mine?

                             I am old Tinman
                             oil-can used up, borrowing parts
                             still getting stuck, still locked tight
                             still thinking Why,
                             "lover told me lies and I lost my love…
                                    lover told me lies and now love lost my name…
                                           lover told me lost and now lies love me again"
                             it doesn't make sense

                             she does so she has me
                             her heartbound
                             lover and I love her

                             I guess



*** Dedicated to Gibs ***

If there's a hell, I'm going there


I found this horrible picture on the internet and everytime I look at it I can't stop laughing.



Does this make me a bad person? Iunno... but whoever put the caption on is even worse. So, I guess I'm just kinda fucked-up.

BUT ISN'T THIS PICTURE FUCKING HILARIOUS?

*Can't stop laughing*

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Uh-ohs




dis iz wat happens wen u fux wit teh earfs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reeducation


Hey, despite my often melancholic depressions, love dressed as heartache, and the rants going on paragraphs spanning for days, there is still a larger purpose to promote here: Saboteur Academia. I'm a teacher of the new school, laying down lesson plans so you don't trip on cubicle walls and stay there.

Today's class is devoted to your texts. These are the books ya'll need to read, reread, and then - because I KNOW you ain't got nothing better to do - just read the mothafucka all over again.

First we have the classic canon of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.



This series of toilet-inspired hodge-podgery is your first step on the road to becoming a member of the modern enlightenment. It's got random facts, celebrity stories, urban legends, failed inventions, the history of everyday things, pop culture, palindromes, anagrams, and of course, the best info on anything W.C. related. I recommend starting with one of their all-star collections so you can get a feel for their style. Once you've cut your reading-teeth on that you can move up to the more specialized editions.

Next, we've got Schott's Original Miscellany.



Born of the British, this book is exactly what the title says, "Original. Miscellany." You get such a compilation of facts, factoids, factotums, factoturs, etc, that you won't know what to do with 'em all! However, you will, you will. A good Saboteur Academian is nothing else if timely in the application of the mostly-useless skills he/she has learned in the course of their reeducation. (Remember the wise-words of Brother Bill Watterson via Calvin & Hobbes: "I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.") Peruse this to increase your abilities at weights & measures, and all that other stuff there wasn't time to learn in school... because then when would you get your nap?

After you've gained the knowledge of randomness and facts, it's time to move on to present-tense.



Streetworld is a must-read for anyone trying to catch up with the steady-rolling century. (Err...millennium.) Experience globalization at its best - through underground urbanity/humanity. Check out subway-system graffiti, customized gravestones in South African townships, Thai punkers, and the strangely exciting world of Jell-O wrestling. Up your street smarts so you can roll with the crazies and gangsters, instead of getting shanked by them!

Finally, everyone needs to get a little mystical every now and then.



This tiny picture (which is all I could find from the internets) is The Book of the Bizarre. Ghost stories, strange facts, and even stranger practices. The stuff in here will shock you. But for the journeyman Saboteur (or journeywoman) out in the world, sometimes things get freaky. Sometimes things get hooky. Sometimes, things get just a little unexplainable. For times like that, you need to know which way the Ouija board is pointing. Get some knowledge on the occult and then pray you only meet Casper, the friendly ghost.



So, all ya'll got a good start on your reeducation. Hopefully you payed close attention. Nonetheless, some of you may need to reread this - and you better. Check out the texts; then come back for the next lesson.

Cheers

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Discovering Webjunk


I was trolling through an anonymous secrets-post-site where I found this picture:



How awesome is that!? Wicked awesome, that's what. I'm such a sucker for traditional characters (cartoon or otherwise) in non-traditional settings. It's hilarious for one, and sarcastically intelligent for two (and a half).

Seeing that also reminded me of this picture stored within the bowels of my computer:



But these are nothing compared to some of the messed-up stuff you can find on the web. I mean, there's hentai - japanese-animated pornography - and disney-porn. Have you ever seen Donald Duck fucking Daisy doggy-style while Goofy takes a dump on her head? I didn't think so. Well, you can see it if you just make creative use of that Google search-engine! It's disgusting, but at the same time, you gotta admire the talents (perverse talents) of the people who make that stuff.

However, if you like more...innocuous, things, you can still get your "fix". Maybe. Honestly, finding good webjunk is something of an art/science/something really really difficult. Back when I was a super-gamer-nerd I would spend all my downtime either making a fresh batch of hotpockets, or looking at random shit on the internet. It's a pastime I'm trying to revive in my time-off.

(Okay, I know. This was a weak-ass post, but I've been busy! You can't turn-on creativity like a faucet - you have to be in the right mood. Which mood is that? Last-minute panic.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is it sweet, sweet poetry? Nope, just more ranting


Some of you (and you know who you are) have been asking me to show more of my "creative" work - AKA poetry. Well, being that it's 4:30 AM and I'm tired enough, uninspired enough, and also arrogant enough, here's a small piece that I started on waaaaay back in 2005. Enjoy!

Predawn

in the early-morning work-induced flurry     i contemplate
i wonder, imagine, consider, reflect
on the existential oxymoron that is Me
inlove, outlove, lostlove, or just loveless

can a man who sees his self as
handsome, compassionate and intelligent
find a lady, extraordinaire
in this our world so
fuckedthehellupbutstill
beautiful?

dubious, dubious beyond
doubt — such a man is too full
to fill his self with more
(an overripe plum     too sweet to eat
with decay already rotting through
leaving a stench of more than we like
of more than we need)

the man looks, the man loves
the woman looks back, loves back
but here's the spoiler — it doesn't work out
theirs is a story of plums and peaches
both sweet, both with inedible pits
(who indeed can stomach someone entirely?)
except Peach is immortal     beautiful
like only longevity could be
and Plum is ephemeral     fetid
fruit that rots while still on the tree

the man     bites into the peach
licking the juices as they trickle down
his tongue, his lips, his chin
the woman     bites into the plum
choking on the meat
grasping gasping, groaning for air
because such a man is dead already like
decaying fruit fallen off its branch and
rotting on the ground

what the man was, is, would have been
no more than a memory’s shadow
a purple stain on asphalt streets
looking up towards a world full of life and wishing
that it were his

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tell me your first


I am a firm believer that whatever your "first" is, tells a lot about you as a person. Your first hot dog. Your first time riding a bike without training wheels. Your first job. These things reveal who you are in a fundamental and totally unique way... in my opinion.

Anyways, here's a "first" that I've thought about more than a few times. Your first album. The first music album that you purchased with your own money. Was it a cassette tape? Was it a CD? Did you get it from a big-box record store, or some small shit hole-in-the-wall?



The first album I ever bought was Third Eye Blind. (It was their eponymous first album.) I got it from Tower Records when I was like eleven or twelve. You know, I actually remember the first three albums I ever purchased. The second one was Floored, by Sugar Ray. And the third one was Robbin' the Hood, by Sublime.

Thinking back, I had reaaally bad taste in music, but those three albums, which were my first, I believe are still pretty damn good.

So, let's get some reader reponse/participation! What was the first album you ever purchased? Tell me about; the how, where, when, and so on.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Defining the Hopeless Romantic


What is this mysterious caricture of a person? The hidden persona which says, "Yes! I will love and then loss. I will suffer the slings and arrers of OUTRAGEOUS heartbreak. Give me the physical memory of ex-lovers. Give me the human-shaped dent in the bed. Play random songs on your sound system that remind me of my ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/somethingfriend. Talk about his/her/its new success without me in their life. YES! I want to suffer as much as I can, and then do it all over again."



Oooookay. Maybe that was a bit much. It was a bit much wasn't it? How many blogs have I been depressed for? I lost count somewhere around waythefucktoomany.

But on a serious note: as a sub-cultural anthropologist starting a new phase in his single life, I want to explore the stereotype that seems most applicable to my personality - The Hopeless Romantic.

- emotionally sensitive
- likes long walks on the beach
- often sits alone in public places staring at the couples
- listens to jewel/dido/bon jovi/alanis morissette/fiona apple/iron & wine excessively
- watches movies like Love Actually, You've Got Mail, or (dear god help us) When Harry Met Sally
- is constantly asking you if your new hott friend/coworker/classmate/roommate/bandmate/random stranger has a boyfriend or girlfriend
- thinks random hook-ups are offensive, except when they happen to them
- has never had a real relationship, but would TOTALLY marry the first person to have them
- writes reaaally bad love poems or plays music which is a terrible imitation of john mayer
- over-analyzes EVERYTHING
- doesn't get laid enough... ever
- sings catchy-pop songs in the shower
- has serious conversations with their cat/dog/parrot/hamster/goldfish
- thinks about lowering their standards ALL THE TIME, then realizes they've already lowered them as far as they'll go
- hugs people awkwardly for a long time
- goes into momentary brain-death-fart when an attractive person of the opposite sex (or same, i guess) smiles at them
- always assumes people who look near them are looking AT them
- can't stop reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, because, "IT'S SO TRUE!"
- needs to get a life because they watch videos like this:



and this,



and this,



and actually enjoyed it.

Yeeeeaaaah... that's about all, I think. If I missed any, please feel free to contribute, and I'll add it in.

***BONUS***



Please send all inquiries to my email - zekjevets@gmail.com. Nudie-pics are a plus!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fables & Parables


I've been reading a lot of short fiction - flash fiction, short shorts, comics, webisodes, fables, and parables. Today's world is so busy; so many things to see/hear/do that I just don't have as much time for getting information as I used to. Economy of conveyance is my new modus operandi. Thus, all the quotes... and now I'm really getting into parables (fables too, and other stuff). Here's one of my recently discovered favorites:

"There was a man who could think only in bronze. And one day this man had an idea, the idea of joy, of the joy which dwells in the moment. And he felt that he had to tell it. But in all the world, not a single piece of bronze was left; for men had used it all. And this man felt that he would go mad if he did not tell his idea. And he thought about a piece of bronze on the grave of his wife, of a statue he had made to ornament the tomb of his wife, the only woman he had loved; it was the statue of sadness, of the sadness which dwells in life. And the man felt he would go mad if he did not tell his idea. So he took the statue of sadness, of the sadness which dwells in life; he smashed it, he melted it down, and he made of it the statue of joy, the joy which dwells only in the moment."

-- Oscar Wilde 1889



Wowzer! Can you see the precision, the conciseness? Such are the hallmarks of what I call "good art".

So let me explain it for you now. The man is so engrossed in this moment of creative inspiration, that he virtually destroys the memory of his wife, and the sadness of losing her, so that he might satisfy this momentary desire to express his idea. The man gives in to need no matter the cost, but in doing so he creates a way to escape the sadness that the statue of sadness for his wife gives. basically, by continually remaking our emotions and yielding to temptation, we create our own way to escape them.

However, I disagree with what the man did. I think that by preserving the memory of our sadness - though it cost us present discomfort and possibly happy works of art - we honor the pain it has caused us, and acknowledge to ourself, and to others, the importance it has had on our lives. Scars are the imprint of pain which lasts a lifetime, and tearing those apart for momentary indulgence is just wrong. It feels to me like self-destruction of the kind till even you wouldn't recognize yourself.

Instead, use that pain as fuel, fire, inspiration for your job/craft/art/whatever. But leave it's presence intact. It does not do to tamper with your wounds like that.

ART




Let's talk about art. A more disputed subject there has never been. Contentious seems to be more like it. People are still feuding over what is and what isn't qualified for such a "prestigous" label.

Art is useless. Art is what's not practical. Art's what nature didn't do. Art is accidental. Art must be constructed. Art is only art when it's on display. Art can't be understood. Art conveys information. Art is a way of understanding the world. Art is beautiful. Art can only be created by an artist... Can art only be created by human beings? Does art require intent? Who decides what is or isn't art? Is it the artist? The critic? The audience? Does the "artisticness" of something come from an innate quality, or is it merely something to be presented, after careful consideration? Why does a pretty picture need be labled "Art" at all? Can't it just be a pretty picture? ... And so on.

People have been wondering what art is since cavemen were drawing shit on the rock-walls. (But I bet critics were less critical back then!) Honestly, the whole mess of it disgusts me. What is art! What isn't art! Aesthetics who spend all their time philosophising art annoy me. They use their over-education to rationalize something which simply cannot be rationalized. Perception made concrete is not preception. You do not take opinion and turn it to fact.



I've been reading the biography of Oscar Wilde again. (Quite a good book, actually. The guy had one helluva interesting life.) He spent so much of his time promoting a form of aesthetics that was deeply entrenched in describing art so that we might surround ourselves with it. The thing I remember most clearly about it is that he seemed to believe that art must be dissident. Art had to rebel against society's molds through extravagance and rebelliousness. Art is individualism at it's most prominent.

Now, not to be a douchebag, but I disagree. I disagree with the whole history of art criticism, art philosophy, aesthetics and critics alike. I deny their opinions, theories, and conclusions. Because let me tell you friends, the honest answer would put them all out of work. Careers would tumble to the dust as useless. Whole schools of thought should lose relevancy like a tired old pop-song. And not just that, but even Almighty Critic would be rendered impotent. What is the true definition of art? What is this secret that could smother all sorts of puffed-up importance? You'll probably think of this as a lame answer, cheesy cop-out, too obvious to be true - but it's not, let me tell you...

Art, is whatever we say it is.





Begin.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Is it too late to go to sleep? It is when you're heartbroken


(***Author's note*** I'd apologize for all the sappy, sad and sentimental posts, but fuck it - this is my blog so I'll just keep posting what I please... not like I get paid for this shit.)

I can't stop listening to this song. For whatever reason it just makes me feel like how I feel already - just so much more somehow.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The worst thing that's ever happened? That isn't quite how I'd put it


These loneliness birds have laid stone eggs in my heart, and when they hatch, surely I will die inside.



Music plays but I can't hear it. Pictures flash on my television screen but I don't see them. All the words I've written aren't enough and so I keep writing more. I've vomited up this love-sick sickness and still there's more! I have never been so angry, so betrayed, so completely and utterly used and used-up in my life. All this love is turned to hate, boiling, frothing, running around my stomach like wild horses. I HAVEN'T TEARS ENOUGH FOR THIS! All my sadness is such a small cup in the vastness of the world's miseries, but still this hurts. I am sick from it. I am getting worse each day because I keep it in, because I can't let it out, because all it would do is destroy my life from the outside first. Gawd, how I loved, how I trusted, how I gave everything of myself and it wasn't that it wasn't enough - it was that my lover was a dream! After climbing most of my life from the hell that it had been; this is where I end up. I let myself fall from such great heights... and have been falling ever since.

But now, before the deep crash sounds, I shall contemplate. There is a lot in me to figure out. What, why, where? When was it that I started my descent into madness? How did I get here? Of all the places to find myself, this is where I last expected to come to, moving through the blackness of despair so deep, so wide, like the ocean at night; a vast unchanging surface, devouring.

And the single-most intensely troubling question: will anything ever be okay ever again? Because I just don't know anymore.



"I once heard a tale of a man who split himself in two. The one part never changed at all; the other grew and grew. The changeless part was always true, the growing part was always new, and I wondered, when the tale was through, which part was me and which was you."

I think, for us, which was which, who was what... it isn't important. The answer's are as obvious as they are redundant. I was the man, she was the woman. I was the pursuer, she was the pursued. I was the passionate one, she was the practical one. I was everything, and she was nothing. I was the reality. She was the fantasy.

Now I have to wake-up, because I'm too young for dreaming any longer.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

01 01 20 09


Happy, heppy, happi, heppi, hyappi, hi-appy New Years everyone.

Did everyone have a crazy-good time? I was drinking with my roommates, watching blaxploitation films on OnDemand while playing Auld Lang Syne on my saxophone, and other "classy" songs. Maybe I didn't have the best New Year in comparison to rich people/celebrities/Tucker Max, but it was DEFINITELY better than last year.

Did ya'll make good resolutions? Was it to make yourself into a better person? Lose weight? Stress less? Have more fun? Find that perfect lemon meringue pie? Or maybe you just said "fuck it" and drank 2009 under the table.

My New Year's resolution is: no more pretend relationships.

I'm going to find myself a real girlfriend who loves me and can give me the kind of comfortability I really need. And in the meantime, I'll have as much sex as possible!

But let's not lose sight of the solemnity of the occassion. We're starting everything over again. The cycle has rebegun. So here's a song to make you feel all soft & new, like a just-washed blanket, because that's how I feel after the New Year's ball has fallen in Time's Square.