Friday, January 31, 2003

Okay, I’ve been slacking paying my bills of late. My electric bill hasn’t been paid since I moved, I think. For some reason they put me on a 3 month bill cycle. Well, I had to pay at least $600 by today or they were gonna finally cut it off. Of course I could have mailed payment weeks ago, but that would just be too easy. I woke up at about 6 this morning and started vomiting. I hadn’t had anything alcoholic to drink in about 12 hours. I thought that would narrow my chance to pay the bill. I had set my alarm for noon, but somehow the volume got turned off and I woke at 1:30. I managed to shower and find a shirt that wasn’t too horribly filthy and wander over to Albertson’s service counter where they take utility payments. It took about an hour and a half. I think there were 10 people in front of me. Rent I can drop through a slot in the office door and my cable modem bill I can pay online. I need to remember to buy stamps and stop waiting so long to pay the electric bill.
I signed up for Netflix a few days ago and got 3 DVDs yesterday. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, My Best Fiend: Klaus Kinski, and Incubus. Incubus is weird, Bill Shatner in 1965 speaking Esperanto. What the hell were they thinking?

Monday, January 27, 2003

Something someone just said about me:
"well yeah, but you listen to like foreign industrial techno pop noise death metal doom folk?"
I’m watching le Mépris. It is called ‘Contempt’ in the vulgar tongue. It comes from the French New Wave in the early 60’s. It stars Brigitte Bardot. Early in the film we see her nude back and buttocks. She is in bed, a man is near her. I wish I had the suits and dresses the actors wear in this film. So wonderful and bright, they reflect Europe in 1963. Fritz Lang is both an actor and himself in this film. I last spoke of the Seventh Seal, a film that throws back to the 1920’s in its stark visage. This film, in contrast, has digested the earlier voices and visions rather than throwing back to them. Quentin Tarantino must have seen this piece. Godard put posters for his other films in the background of several shots, as Quentin draws several lines of continuity through his films, (the radio station, character names, etc.) His style, much like I would like mine to be if I produced more than one-offs, is digestion. Godard tells a wonderful story and creates a world for us but in someone else’s context. I would make the connection to Rap, singing over someone else’s riff. I hinted in my post about the Seventh Seal that not everyone will watch these things. I’ve received extremely negative (almost violent) responses to my recommendations of films like this. I guess most people just want to watch things go boom.
"Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver."

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Watching Streetcar Named Desire. I wrote about it on Christmas, so I shouldn't say too much more.
I'm watching the Seventh Seal. A friend got it for me. We saw it together once, many years ago. I was 17 or 18, I think. I lived with my mother in somewhat somber accommodations. It was a three bedroom house, roomy enough for 8 people or more by our standards. We lived on beans, rice, and homemade tortillas much of the time. We had no phone, and for some months, no power. My friend wanted to hang out with me, but I wanted to be home. We went to a video store and rented a copy of this film. He is no doubt an intellectual, but such bleak fare is seldom on his palate. The train tracks were a few yards outside my window, like a parody of the Blues Brothers. Every so often the house would shake and conversation would become impossible. My window was foiled over, no light came in. Only an 18” black light provided any visibility. The film is not bleak, really. It has a gaunt, black and white visage, don’t get me wrong, but there are visions of Life and Love; the knight is really looking for something to give meaning to his life before he dies. The same friend recently made an off-hand comment that I consider silent German cinema as light viewing. Compared to the Sorrow and the Pity, yes I do. His barb was misplaced. I enjoy films created by artists and intellectuals, not hacks and hired guns. That’s a difficult boundary, I know. Film is only made to make money for the most part. There are some exceptions, I know. I prefer things that tackle uncommon moments, embrace uncommon beauty and grace.

The pale face of Death in this film is a stark figure, looming over the frame. The idea of watching a film about a knight playing chess with Death might seem boring to some, but it sets up so many Icons that I nearly weep. The knight meets a family with a beautiful child. They hold the boy with such care and love. Their emotions flood over me. I can watch Pulp Fiction or other well-made contemporary films, but there are so few films that move me to the point of tears. I don’t cry from sadness, but from a flood of emotions that I can’t control all at once.

Does this make any sense?

Saturday, January 25, 2003

A song just recently cycled back into my life. Lou Reed's "Dirty Boulevard"

"I want to fly fly fly fly, from this dirty boulevard."


1. A broad city street, often tree-lined and landscaped.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

In my experience, the old entrance to the city that has been forgotten since the freeway came in and is now home to the "freaks and the niggers" (Jane's Addiction ref, I'm not a racist.) I would add the "Whores and the tweekers". I don't have anything against them, either.

I should write about my life on Union Blvd., once the entrance to Bakersfield on your way from LA but now home to the hookers and addicts. Well, 'now' as in the last 30-odd years. For its history, it could have been...should have been New Orleans or Manhattan, but the promise never came through. They died with the Interstates. Bakersfield is one of the largest cities not served by one of those paved monsters.

Friday, January 24, 2003

I think sometime during my long bender weekend I hurt my shoulder. It’s like a pinched nerve or something. I probably need to sleep on my bed more instead of in the closet or bathroom. It’s just a perfect cap to the day. After missing a few busses (and still getting to work early!) I had to fire two people and two more people quit. Fun, I tell you.

My lease weighs heaviest on my mind. Should I pack up and go back to my fathers? His house smells so different. His dogs bark too much. There is too much light in the bedroom for me to sleep and I don’t think he would let me put foil over them. I don’t think I could get a job worth my time there. Pack up and go to Alan’s? Where would I put my things? I don’t think I could afford to get a storage place. I have too many things on my credit report to get a nice place in San Francisco. Do I go month-to-month and pay more while I try to get those things taken care of? My first choice, but would I be able to catch up? Sign another lease? I’d get $100 off next month’s rent and my monthly rate would not go up. On the downside, I would be forced to endure another Las Vegas summer. What to do?

Monday, January 20, 2003

I've drank most of a 2 liter Pepsi inside 3 hours. I call that overcafinated.
I’ve been having problems getting to sleep and, once I do, getting up again. At least I’m sleeping in bed normally. I’m not sure why, I think my futon mattress can be more comfortable and it’s darker in the bathroom or the closet. My apartment still doesn’t feel like home, but I’m not as nervous about it any more. Plus my downstairs neighbors haven’t been blasting the Doors as 12 noon every day.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

There is a football game on the television in the break room. My colleagues have turned on the television in the conference room to watch it as well. I was so close to avoiding any and all knowledge of the Super Bowl. I can’t believe I’ve managed to isolate myself so well.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

A weekend (that is to say Wednesday and Thursday) in Las Vegas, the service sector has turned our natural schedules on end. Circadian Rhythms are supposed to go from dark to light. The religious burden has determined that we have a Sabbath day off (even if there is some disagreement as to what day that should be.) The worker’s unions have fought for two days off a week, the second being conveniently paired with the Sabbath. The Victorian-like drive to leisure that infested the 1950s stretched the service industry by demanding the constant sating of their need for meat and gasoline. Neither God nor the Union could stop Commerce. Perhaps that is unfair. With a burgeoning population, it would be impossible to have everyone heading for work at the same time, even if people used public transportation and we killed anyone with an SUV. I have kept a mostly nocturnal lifestyle since graduating high school. I imagine I use more electricity that way, but I hope it’s nominal. In California, it is difficult to live at night. The bars close at 2 am. If one works a graveyard shift, you are forced to change the normal patterns of life, i.e. going for a beer after work or taking your children to the park. Here in Las Vegas, there is very little that requires day time hours. That makes keeping one’s cycle easier, but I am starting to wonder if God and Union had something going, that people have a need to wake with the sun and sleep with the stars. I wonder if the calendar is arbitrary. If everyone agreed to change what day Friday fell on, would it change anything? Do Saturday and Sunday have any importance beyond designations? On a side note, people here say “my Friday” before their two days off. It really bothers me when their “Friday” happens to be Tuesday. It’s not Friday, it’s Tuesday. The fact that you have the next day off doesn’t change the calendar. That rhythm is so fixed in people’s minds that co-opt language to make it fit their shallow world.
Anyway, speaking of rhythm, I need another beer. BBL.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

A friend ordered me a DVD for Christmas. UPS kept coming at the wrong times to deliver it. I called on the last day they said I could call to get the delivery changed and they said that it had already been returned. So since I’ve been to paralyzed to get anything done I’ve got a friend who feels dissed and no DVD.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Just got my own domain. The island of Tokelau lets you do it for free. So now I'm is taken already.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Why do people assume that I am humorless if I don’t laugh at their jokes? I know what’s funny and I have a low tolerance for the stupid and inane. That makes me a snob, it doesn’t make me humorless.
The Earth Liberation Front torched some SUVs. The dealer is probably insured, so it's not that painful. I'm not supporting violence here, but I really don't like SUVs.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.

Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow. 236

Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.

Ham. Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and outstretched heroes the beggars’ shadows. Shall we to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.

(Hamlet, Act II scene ii.)

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.

"Who are you?'" said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, 'I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'

'What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. 'Explain yourself!'

'I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself, you see.'

'I don't see,' said the Caterpillar.

'I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, 'for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.'

'It isn't,' said the Caterpillar.

(Alice in Wonderland.)
I'm watching This Old House. Bourgeois at its height. I just like to see how other people live, and how living works. It might seem dull to some.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Here's a pic of me riding a pony.
It’s another day off. I should go to the store, but I don’t really want to go anywhere. I wonder when our current economic scheme solidified, the cycle of work and weekend that tears down our morale. I suppose people didn’t have time to be morose or just sit around until quite recently. Why can’t I be motivated enough to move if my ancestors spent every waking moment in a struggle to survive?

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

No resemblance to persons living or dead.

Something has happened between us. I don’t know what. She called it a catalyst. I called it a cauterization. Something about her last visit changed the way she feels about me. When we were together before, when everything was so compressed. She knew I wasn’t going to stay there so she compensated by holding as much of my time and attention as she could. Of course I let her and indulged/enjoyed myself. I had other things I could have done, I had many other circles I could have flown in, I suppose. Hers was the most enjoyable and comfortable by far. When it came time for me to leave, she must have felt truly madly jealous. She was being left for another woman, as if she wasn’t enough. I could have come to her room smelling like a gallon of whisky and a dozen women and she wouldn’t be angry unless it had taken away from the time she wanted to be with me. She has told me that she cried much of the summer after I left. I didn’t want to leave, but I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. My partner and my father were there to retrieve me. With no job, no financing, and little hope of making it on my own, my only choice was to return home. Of course home was with my Love. My Love and I had made plans (most of which I’d already fucked up,) we were going to live together again after this long trial. The intimate compression of the preceding year had distracted my affections too far to make what my Love and I had before to remain stable. Sancha had left indelible marks. I still carried on correspondence with Sancha, after I left. We wrote each other as opportunity provided. My Love and I tried to make our life together. (“Dead stars still burn” screams over the headphones now.) We had Hopes and Plans. But “the lies and deceit gain a little more power” (to quote someone.) We shared/shed too many tears. Sancha’s understanding of my Romeo/Stray Cat complex and my acceptance of her near-insecure need for love was still there as much as my desire for her intellectual energy and sensual explosions. Now, so much time has passed. I should have drunken away all the pain, but it still surfaces. I’ve lost both women, yet Sancha still wants me near. “I don't know how things would be anywhere near natural after what we've already had and done. As natural as they would be for us.” she says. So I should move to San Francisco to be closer to her, so she can visit me as she pleases and we can let whatever happens happen. I’m left here in Vegas with the baggage of Love and Life weighing heavily on my shoulders and she says I should seek Sanctuary on Golgotha.

Visions of the City keep hitting me, driving over the Bay Bridge in a clapped-out station wagon with Roz and Erica a decade ago. My first visions of the City, it’s shrouded in cotton-fluff clouds as if we are fighter pilots-locked on target-delivering our fiery payload on the unsuspecting masses.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

As I’m waiting for the bus I feel a tap on my shoulder. I look over and it’s someone I recognize. He’s wearing a long-sleeve, black shirt over black BDU’s and bondage bracelets. “Do you want to play kick ball?” he asks. “No, I’m on my way to work.” “Too bad, give me a call.” He jogs back to his car, I realize that, even if I had a phone, I don’t have his number.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Back to the Crown and Anchor. We sat at a table instead of at the bar. The waiter looks like something out of the San Diego pier. He keeps the drinks coming, so I can’t complain. We were yelling about something that seemed important at the time but is rather vague now.

Friday, January 03, 2003

So Waiting for Godot proved as boring as I thought. I would up falling asleep during it. I slept a lot over the past few days. It feels good. I wish I could sleep as much as I did when I was a teenager. It helps me get to work on time, but prevents me from doing much anything else. The ride to work today was a blank. I don’t remember any faces, only the gradual sway of the bus. I got an email from my father. It reminds me that if I want to move soon I had better start planing and involving those that could help me. It took me forever to get my shit together to get out of my old apartment and move just a few miles. This move is going to be more difficult. I’ve reached a crossroads. I’ve never lived alone (I know, I keep whining about that.) I can either stay where I am at, try to find someplace else here in town (I do have one or two friends here,) move back in with dad (ick!), or get my ass to San Francisco. None of these options seem easy or necessarily desirable. San Francisco has so many housing issues and I’d need to store a good chunk of my gear until we found a bigger place. It has been so much easier in the past, I found a woman and we moved in together. Well, I moved in with her. That sort of serendipity is rarer than I thought in the past. I’ve been a lucky bastard, going from my mother’s to living with a partner. Sigh, time to pay the piper, I suppose.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Waiting for Godot is going to be on PBS shortly. I'm not sure how I feel about this. After Mel's production, a bland BBC production could prove painful to watch.
Amateur’s Night. Around 22:00, I went to the Double Down. Some punk bands were playing. I got bored and called some friends. I thought I’d just check in and see how the party was going, but the response was (as usual,) “Do you want someone to pick you up?” I thought for a second and consented. I arrived at their bourgeois domicile at about 21:45. I was dangerously close to sober, so I grabbed a few shots of whisky. Some beer later, I felt better. There were many people there. I had something in common with a few. We chatted. My friends/hosts told me to either take a ride now or sleep there, so I chose to stay. They passed out early, like around 04:30. It’s the first time I’ve slept anywhere but my apartment since I’ve moved here. I was safe, at least. These are people I’ve known for years. They gave me blankets, but I slept under my trench coat. I don’t know why. I’ve had this bum mentality since I got my first trench and pair of boots. Boots are your pillow, coat is your blanket. When I woke up, there was no one around. I finished the beer that I had left when I passed out. Someone came out of hiding. We smoked, I had another beer. There was a cheesy 80’s retrospective on VH-1. It almost made me wish I had cable TV. Good, close friends.

Insert bad joke here.