I'm two faced

All Shook Up

So much of the complication in my life comes down to frantically trying to avoid situations where I know I will get flustered. I hate getting flustered. Flustered situations echo in my head, I recriminate for years. It's unpleasant.

That's really what I have to learn to get past: either learn not to get flustered, or learn not to get bothered by it. Or learn not to recriminate. Or not to be bothered by recriminating. 
  • Current Music
    Dunno, can barely hear it over my thoughs
Something affected him out in the desert

A Random Dream

It was the strangest thing. Last night I had a completely random dream. Nothing but unintelligible shapes and random words strung together. It was a little enervating, the whole thing had a feeling of distress, like it should have made sense but didn't. I woke up wondering if I'd intercepted a message from space.
It was bookended by other stress dreams, but more conventional ones. A dream return to college, which a common dream setting, including the inaccessible big old organ hidden on the second floor in the back of the huge lecture hall across from my old dorm (an organ which existed in real life, but accessible and in the chapel), then jamming and a wander around looking at how the people were all so strange looking but so recognizable as being from my school — totally weird and totally familiar at the same time, look looking at fashion trends you recognize as being a trend by their ubiquity but have never seen before — and having no luck finding anyone I knew, although I did get some second-hand updates on people I was once barely acquainted with. It was a long one, lots of wandering around, across fields and up to rooftops. Someone showed me a YouTube video of a student film I had starred it. It was actually pretty good, although it struck me I used to be much better looking when I was younger.
The closing bookend was a weird stress dream. Stuck in a highrise, planning a hiking trip around a head of urban land that has appeared in many other dreams, looking out routes and getting together water bottles, when struck by a flood that reached 12 or 14 stories. Everybody gathering to watch movies in a higher up apartment. Being panicked by an alligator that found its way in through the elevator. Pointing out to some relatives the wave cresting outside the window, only to notice in horror that it held what looked at first like drowned bodies, but which happily turned out to be still-living people enjoying being hoisted so high.
Both very vivid and very intense, probably due to the fact that I was laying in bed with insomnia until 6AM.
But, in the middle, most strikingly, that strange random dream, just a string of nonsense phrases and jumbled shapes, and the enervating feeling that everything shouldn't not make sense.
  • Current Music
    Still some jazz thing.
Angry bearded pic

Goodbye Dreamwidth, Hello Again LiveJournal

Well, after migrating my entire blog, posting my sweet "Putin Is A Gay Clown" meme here for the Russkies to find and moving over to Dreamwidth, and attempting to make my very first Dreamwidth post, I am right back here at owned-by-communist-bigots LiveJournal, like it all never happened.

DreamWidth, apparently, in 2018, hasn't yet figured out how to make social media integration work. For real. Nice work, guys, you're real pros.

So, now I'm back in the land of "No freedom of speech for you!"

Maybe I'll switch over to Wordpress or something. I don't have time for this shit.

  • Current Music
    some jazz thing
Evil Mike

A Missed Opportunity for Accord

I had to run home from the cafe around the corner because I forgot some papers I needed to work on. As I got to my front door, there was a guy strolling up the other side of the street playing the accordion. I watched for a moment as he walked up to the corner and away.

I spent a few minutes tearing up my room for my misplaced papers, and then, as I left again, I saw him across from my house again, strolling up the street in the opposite direction, still playing the accordion.

I knew what I had to do.

As quickly as I could, I ran upstairs and got out the broken accordion that has languished in my closet for years, gave it a few pumps to make sure it could make a suitable racket, then slipped it over my shoulders and immediately ran downstairs to chase after him. I intended to yell, "THIS STREET AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE TWO OF US!! FIND YOUR OWN STREET!!" and pound the accordion furiously until I ran him off.

Unfortunately, in the short moment I'd been upstairs, he had disappeared. I stood out front at the curb for a few minutes, holding the accordion in ready position, looking to and fro with narrowed eyes, but he never reappeared.

It's a shame.
I'm two faced

A Grammatical Advisory

It occurs to me that "nachos" is singular, like "kudos". There's no such thing as "a nacho".
  • Current Music
    whatever bland nu-R&B this is that this café is playing, I don't know, but apparently this guy wants really badly to get freaky with whoever this other person is
  • Tags
    , ,
Evil Mike 2

Old Now

I went to visit a friend last week out in the Central Valley. He's living with his girlfriend and her 10-year-old son Carlo. I was apprehensive about spending the weekend with a kid underfoot but he was actually pretty cool, charming in a way. Spends his entire life in front of a screen, but often with his headset on, playing Metal Gears Killshot 360 VR with friends from all over the world. He spent a lot of time in his room by himself shouting "Fragged! Fragged!" but it didn't bother me. To me, that's cool, much different from just watching TV or surfing the web. When he's not doing that, he's asking lots of thought-provoking questions, actually pretty impressively for a 10-year-old.

But, so, we're having breakfast at Denny's, and the kid is kinda being hyper, and absorbing mom's attention. Now, I happen to always travel with a magic trick I'm fond of. I have a flaming wallet. You pull it out, open it up, and it bursts into flame. I've had it for years, I've just always loved it, and gotten some pretty funny reactions. (See the userpic I've attached to this post, I was actually doing the flaming wallet trick when someone snapped that. Cool, huh?)

So while the kid is freaking out, amped up on about a gallon of maple syrup and a large milkshake, I pull out the wallet, turn to my friend next to me and say, "I bet Carlo is so amped up that he's going to miss my magic trick." Carlo's mother hears this and says, "Carlo! Look!", and he actually stops talking for a second, and I whip open the wallet to produce a fine miniature bonfire in my palms. And Carlo is utterly unimpressed, says "I saw that on YouTube," and goes back to attacking his food.

And now I'm the unhip old guy, trying to seem cool and utterly failing at it. We all knew that guy as kids, and now Carlo has turned me into him, just like that.

So, that's how that happens. In case you were curious.

[NOTE: Two years after this post, I am pleased to report that I succeeded in astounding a 10-year-old with a trick, and have thereby regained my youth. It took two years of effort, though.]
I'm two faced

Same guy, wrong planet

Of all the daft, utterly senseless things I've heard a million people saying lately, I have to say none disturbed me more than today, when I read that Tony Visconti, David Bowie's longtime producer (!), said in an interview: "I'm looking for virtuosos like Hendrix, Cobain, and Bowie."

I have never been more convinced than now that I was born on the wrong planet. These are clearly not my people. None of them. Impossible. They don't even make sense.

That '80s guy hailed as a genius, people supporting Hillary, and now, this. It's as if we're all walking around with holes in our shoes, me just like everyone else—but, everyone else is raving that the way to solve the problem is to cut off our feet. And, like, they're really, really into it.

People are that strange to me. Lately moreso than ever.

Or maybe this is just the universe trying to get me to finally take the hint that I can get people to believe anything I want them to, all I have to do is repeat it over and over.

Probably both.

-----

BTW, apropos of nothing: to any female readers, just letting you know, I'm not saying anything, but I'm really good-looking. Everybody knows that. Very distinctively attractive. A lovin' machine in bed too, the best you've ever been there with, better with the skills than you even imagine. Lousy boyfriend, though, no sense getting emotionally attached or looking for long-term, you don't want that. But, occasionally one night stands, noncommitted friends-with-benefits situations, the occasional no-strings-attached complete emotional & physical release—I'm number one, everybody says it. You want me there. Everyone knows it. You know that obviously I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. I wrote this for you.
I'm two faced

New Directions in Mid-life Crisis: Music As A Prime Pursuit, And Consequent Rumination

Music is realistically the only way I'm going to distinguish myself. I'm probably better at prose, in most regards, than music; but in a couple of hours you can write two or three minutes of music that will change peoples' lives. I know I have a book in me—probably some sort of abstruse treatise on life and why we laugh and why horror movies are scary—but I don't have a demon driving me to write endlessly, like I do forcing me to make noises every hour of the day. And I only do what I'm driven to.

I'm a knowledgeable and dextrous but ultimately not exceptionally talented musician, as musicians go in life; knowledge and dexterity are tools, useful but not what makes a musician a musician—at least, not a musician first and foremost. For me, it's always been a fundamental drive but felt, in practice, like a second language. It's like the difference between being someone with a truly deep knowledge and enjoyment of a much-loved foreign cuisine, and being the cook who grew up cooking it and not knowing 'food' as anything else.

It's very tough to write true poetry in a language you don't feel in your bones. It can't be calculated or derived by rote. I can't write great poetry in English, either, in the conventional sense, but I can spot the poetic in unique ways and places and communicate it, and the real work is all done at the pre-intellectual level. The arts are a way of seeing, not of expressing. Unfortunately, though, there's no real literary equivalent of that 2 or 3 minute piece of life-changing music, that small package of complete emotional transformation. I don't expect anyone will ever write a transcendental blog post. But if I try to sit and write out my book, I'll just get distracted and I'll never finish it. I know myself by this point.

It suddenly strikes me that my urge to leave a mark on history, my intense distaste for my own transience, may be the chief cause of suffering in my life. Really, this isn't about distinguishing myself, but about redeeming myself to myself.

It just goes to show you, there's always yet another underlying assumption to worry about.
I'm two faced

A Respite

Enjoying a few minutes chilling post-chiropractor in one of my favorite little hiding spots.

Vapid City does have a little soul left, if you no where to look. This completely unpretentious little cafe, on a corner you've probably passed 500 times, is like stepping out of the self-consciously hip capital of tech and and progressivism and kink and into any roadside truckstop anywhere in America. They make a killer tuna melt and, most importantly and least easily conveyed on facebook, they have a Bunn coffee maker that fills the place with the scent of Genuine American Roadside Luncheonette. As many of you know, I spent 7 years without a fixed address or phone number back in the 90s, and the smell of coffee simmering in a Bunn-O-Matic as I slumped into a booth with 10 hours of driving behind me and two yet to go until making camp was such a ubiquitous, familiar touchstone that if I had to pick something as "the smell of travel", that cheap, consistent coffee aroma would be it.

So I like to come here, as with my few other favorite hole-in-the-walls that getrification somehow missed, to catch that vibe, to remember on a visceral level what it feels like not to know where I'm going to sleep tonight or where tomorrow will take me, that I'm open enough to life that the odds are better than not that something wonderful will happen, sooner or later—probably sooner. I loved poring over my maps like a miser poring over his hoard.
I come to a place like this, and, past the surrounding buildings, I can feel the horizon around me in every direction again.

Shortly before posting this, a guy who looked like Jeff Goldblum walked in and ordered a hot pastrami sandwich. When was the last time you heard someone in San Francisco order pastrami? That's what kind of place this is.

How he eats that without rye bread, I can't possibly imagine.

I'm two faced

The Beaked Shall Inherit The Earth

I believe after humans wipe themselves out a generation or two from now, the eventual next dominant species on earth will be descended from corvids. Most people think it'll be cockroaches, but corvids are already as intelligent in some ways as human children and comparably good at problem solving, they have the biggest brain volume per body mass on earth except for humans, and they can fly away from danger. Sounds to me like a recipe for success once the hairless apes with the guns are out of the way.