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"Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone will say 'plate' or 'shrimp' or 'plate of shrimp,' out of the blue. No explanation and there's no point in looking for one either. It's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness." Tra

Updated: 2015-09-16T08:49:39.431-07:00


Post-Traumatic Kites Disorder


My memories come all pre-paid and preprinted on larges sheets of sturdy but light fabric. Not paper, but paper-like. Each sheet is painted brightly in moving colors, sounds, and all senses, then lifted aloft like a kite held by thin strong filament for retrieval.

But I do not control the reels. The memories can charge in, spool winding madly, tear off from their balsa-wood frames, and envelope me in their prismatic net. This is allowed.

Some might call this an "issue." I prefer not to.

Not to speak of anything in isolation. Gestalt. Issues and issues.
Back issues. All the original covers, sealed in amber (heh!) but tethered by such long strings as to allow some kites to hide away concealed by distance or blending in among familiar constellational groupings.


In such situations it is beneficial to befriend the breezes. Never bad advice, eh mate?

When I think of kites, I cry.

Talking to my boss about this didn't go well. I was relieved, or fired, or maybe they set up the paperwork so it appears that I quit. No matter.

It's not about my unsupportive and hostile ex-employer. It's not about blame, though I certainly maintain my own responsibility for the things that I said. It's not Me. It's not even about kites and strings.

It's about reels.


Of course a good proper hurricane would blow them all away indiscriminately, with it unfortunately as well as all the people and their delicious beach-time snacks and non-alcoholic cold fizzy beverages.

The simple solution is to dispense with the destructive intrusive memories by forgetting them. Find the tether of each and burn the connection. But that guarantees nothing. Nothing but the freeing of the kites.

Of course they're indestructible because they are forever interred in the unchanging past. Illustrative kites carved in eternal first mass.

The temperature has crept up to 97 F. The morning breezes have slowed to less than a trickle.


Arizona is burning.

East Valley tells and shows more.

Yes. It occurs to me that kites can be burned.



A "neoloathism" is a woefully, achingly, soul-destroying neologism that typically has a bucket of hate in it. Limbaugh does this. "Feminazi." There, *poof* it's a word. It's a neoloathism, a new word for a new way of hating people. I make have originated this word myself. I did a couple routine web-search-engine thinsg for it and got zip.


"AheadPhones" are new Apple products that allow you to hear into the future. Not really.


I may have mentioned this idea before because I'm proud of it: The "iProd." It's an iPhone with a built-in Taser.


We were walking the dogs a couple weeks ago. It was that time of each spring when people clean out their closets and sheds. In front of almost every house we saw on our walk had a pile of stuff out in front of it. One pile had an old set of wooden-shafted golf clubs and I took a discarded two-iron.

Nobody ever uses a two-iron anyways.

See what I did there?

That's not all folks. You also get the ginsu knives. I used irony to make that joke. In our home this is a form of what we call "Fractal Humor."

Going back- I left the golf club inside our front door after we got home. The morning was starting to get hot and the dogs were ready to cool off. Me too. Spousie told me that the golf club "freaked them out." We talked a little about it.

I made a little sign and attached it to the club. It read: "Please Do Not Use on Family Members."

Spousie said "What about good friends?"

"Suppose one of them gets really out-of-line?" I asked.



Standing outside our front door on the little bridge/doorstep that goes over the koi and goldfish pond.


"Pulling yourself up by your own boots" is supposed to work for people who are so poor that their boots are strapless.


"Rich people suck." Okay, that's not a neo-anything. But the phrase did obtain a fresh shade of meaning after the Paris Hilton sex-video came out years ago. Actually I haven't seen it but I assume there's stroking, blowing, sucking, licking and such things involved. Sex is so... oral.

Maybe I have said too much...


I just heard a coyote. It's 0455. I have to go make sure the cats are in.

Plans Not Involving Cupcakes, Directly


It's gently breezy and about 75 Freedom Degrees here on the back patio. The weather of Central Phoenix is kind early this weekday morning. Then the garbage truck pulls in. From Mourning Doves to jet-engine decibels in moments. Then the SWAT team guys suddenly appear out of nowhere and some dude with a bullhorn yells some nonsense about "the Feds" or whatever. Then some very loud; especially for six-thirty in the morning, authoritarian mommie-hang-up rant about "put down your weapons." What a bunch of bunts.Sure.Weapons? I'm not even on second cup of coffee yet. I've never had a weapon in my life. Well, when I was a kid my brother had a pellet gun and he let me shoot it sometimes. But that's it for all the weapons in my life. Wait. That's not exactly true. I have several weapons: My tongue, my pen and keyboard, and my (sometimes reluctant,) kinship with reality along with those select people who keep to it.And my secret weapon: My spouse. Don't you dare even think it. Whatever it is. It isn't going to happen.The advice given to me was to "let go of the tug-of-war rope and then simply walk, stroll, hop/skip/high-jump away." Let the opposing team collapse backwards. The whole game, and *all* power struggles are games, then falls apart. I'll show you another way:You can always just cheat on the Venn diagram. Who would care if you did? The Zenn-Diagram Polizia? If you add another properly placed circle "D" to the diagram you can build (or just imagine,) one just as logical and simple as a Venn but which demonstrates that A, A+B, and B are all equal because they equal D which is an imaginary overlap of C. It's a freaking fractal mess is what it is which is probably why Venns don't do that.*We are going to move. We have a buyer. We're sort-of working our way up from starting at the Isle of Wight. We were looking at possible places in Shanklin. Then it became Canterbury, then more inclusive surroundings as far as the Isle of Sheppey but still Kentish.There are places north, which to me means anything above London on a map, which have stable and growing local economies. Maybe not so great as Canterbury's, but swinging up nonetheless. And with much better options for a home to buy, (I could easily make that one our home,) and a job for my spouse. My nursing license isn't valid in the U.K. I have slid into the cloudy footless realms of semi-retirement/unemployment anyway. It's unlikely I'll work as a nurse again here in Phoenix. I can't imagine. A move to Cambridgeshire or Oxfordshire, perhaps? Spousie seems actually excited by their job prospects in those regions. Their MSW is quite valid there and there's also a shortage of social workers in the U.K. My young one seems thrilled by the possibility of living in proximity to a shopping mall perhaps like the one in Peterborough. This tells me that something went wrong somewhere. Whatever it may be it can certainly be addressed positively. I seem to be the only family member with voting rights, at least above Dog/Cat level, because they get a percentage of the household vote too, who prefers the rural to the city. But I like "dense" urban living very much too. So it goes. It's the asteroid-belt/suburban/automobile-based/corporation-dominated /single-family-home/McMansion/snout-house stuff that doesn't seem to work for me. Anyway, that's Plan A. Plan B might be going in the other direction but can you believe this? My family refuses to live in/on Hawaii. "Too isolated." That would be a much easier move than the U.K. too. But nooooo. Plan C? It probably isn't wise to try to consider. Having said that I admit to compulsivity and I have several alphabet-length lists of plans.*Do not worry if you are continually afraid that someone will steal your pants. If you make people generally aware that you do not wear undergarments then they are very unlikely to take anything they believe you wore while "going commando."* For many decades I have occasionally suffered from nightmare sequences involving some sort of "alien invasion, fascist-Nazi[...]



The iconic Skellig Michael. Austere. Exposed. Isolated. Harsh. Incredibly beautiful.

Behind the Smile


Ben Quayle-R, my Congress critter. He hasn't shaved in a few days.


Dust Bunnies and a Lost Chess Piece


I will explain later. I've been to New Jersey and back, so to speak. In a way that makes me feel even more fortunate.

In the meantime have a Percival, Guardian of the Clawrovian Gates, which is just a fancy-pants name for whatever is under the refridgerator.


Pride and Pus


My young one now wants to study astrophysics at a prominent university. This will cause us some financial strain but I do not want to stand in their way."Some of the “gossip” can be viewed as people trying to “understand” the suicide. But, still, openly conjecturing about causes and doing so in a pejorative manner serves NO positive purpose whatsoever." Kevin Caruso, am so proud of my spouse who has little to no background in the hard sciences despite their expertise in their field of social science. They are reading the book In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, Quantum Physics and Reality by John Gribbin. "Far out and groovy" as WHRW used to broadcast with some frequency (Unintentional pun, otherwise the neologism "punintentional." Still... Yuck.)10) "In spite of the hell that suicide survivors UNFAIRLY go through, the vast majority of suicide survivors are extremely loving and caring people who go out of their way to help other people."(My insert: This is from Kevin Caruso's site noted above from a list of reasons why suicide survivors are heroes.)"I rest my case...Suicide survivors are heroes.The people who SHOULD be stigmatized are the ones who spew ignorance and hate about suicide.One more time: Suicide survivors are heroes.Always remember that. And whenever you meet a suicide survivor, remind that person that he or she is A HERO…"Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. Funny and smart. (Video of the ASU chat here.More from Mr. Caruso:"You MUST talk about it; there is no question about that. Keeping the feelings bottled up will make the situation more difficult and potentially cause you to be more prone to suicide. So, again, you MUST talk about the suicide.But who you tell, and how much you tell them, is YOUR decision, and only your decision."[Snip]"DO NOT let anyone push you into talking about something that you are not comfortable with. Period."Please do not be a wire monkey mother. Please do not be a wire monkey *daddy* either. (Harlow's experiment summarized. More here.)Please take this advice from Bill: "Be excellent to each other." If you can't do that then get off the bus.Nurse's suicide highlights twin tragedies of medical errors.Dona nobis pacem.To all.[...]

No Satisfaction, or The War Against Sick People: Bush Era Continued


The children’s rights group estimates that 994 people younger than 18 were killed in drug-related violence between late 2006 and late 2010, based on media accounts, which are incomplete because newspapers are often too intimidated to report drug-related crimes. Taken from the basically harmless and partially venerable people at Salon, who had been parsing a Washington Post article. Amazing. Somebody still reads the Post. And in this day and age! More: “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,” said Michele Leonhart, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The cartels “are like caged animals, attacking one another,” she added.They, the cartels, are not attacking one another in these hideous incidents. They target children to terrorize communities. And Ms. Leonhart thinks this represents a fucking success. I puke.That's one crazy motherfucker right there that Michele Leonhart. She's the Bush leftover at the Drug Enforcement Agency; a lifer, and she apparently and admittedly chose a decades-long career in law enforcement because when she was little somebody tried to steal her bike.You know. That old story. Epic cluelessness on a scale of magnitude measurable in billions and billions of lightyears. She needs fucking therapy. Her parents should either have gotten her bike back for her or bought her a replacement. Pronto. (That means "fast," for all you Republican readers who may think I am referring to the archaic and archtypical (in the sense of an actor's portrayal of a character quite notable as a mind-shatteringly ignorant bigoted clusterfuck stereotype,) Lone Ranger companion.We managed to at least elect a compromise like our dear Obama, so why do we have to be stuck with some freak with a fetish for increasing the misery of terminal cancer patients who obtain some relief from medical cannabis? This woman is like totally mental, dudes and dudettes. Okay? No. So like grossly un-okayThe Trumbull portrait of Jefferson is my favorite and the statesman himself has some very good ideas about government. Yet far too many people whose family histories are laden with the evil tragedy of slavery have Jefferson to claim as an ancestor... Yuck. Yet: "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes" [Letter to von Humboldt, 1813]. So much for the religiousity of the Founders. One of them anyways, but he's a biggie. "Our principles are founded on the immovable basis of equal right and reason. Let it go, Ms. Leonhart. Quit hassling 730,000 sick people with state-issued medical cannabis permits. There is no reason to do that. Get a fucking life already. Go catch a bike thief or something. And what's with the $2,200,000 you DEA guys gave that perjuring snitch Andrew Chambers? He lied under oath, dumbass. Dear dear Michele sweetie, did you not get that this guy was an unreliable profiteering psychopath and that you, with your wonderful experience as an undercover agent, got totally PLAYED by this asshole? Great. Nice work that. It's the old Peter Principle:[Snip]"...The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "The theory that employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent." ... "In a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence," or, as Dr. Peters Principal explained more simply, "The cream rises until it sours."You are bad cream Ms. Leonhart and I beg you to spoil no dinner of cooked potatoes. How nice of you though to carry on a grand Republican tradition: Cluelessness so lacking in empathy, compr[...]



OMG Raphael!!!

No prophet am I, Jedi knight nor.

Doesn't it say in that old thing some of those religious folks call "the book" about when Jesus comes back from vacation he'll have gone through a name change?

"I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name." Snipped out of Revelations 3:12 from the New International Version. Though the truth apparently has to be spoken in many languages, ironically you only have to be able to understand your own language in order to be in on the joke.

Well you know what? This "Christ" dude/entity/god/whatever has already returned, the its new name is...


Yesterday and Today


From guest blogger "Ivy:"

That's all I've got. The rest is just passing through. I'll tell you about the spotted cow sometime.

Two lungers but only three chest-tubes. Two epidurals. The one lunger was transplanted on the 5th and you'd think they'd be a lot of work but no, not really. It was the middle person. Pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. He's on Sildenafil ($9 per tablet, three tabs a day,) and the reallly expensive experimental inhaled med too. He'll probably be listed for transplant soon.

Sildenafil is generic Viagra and many people have cheapo insurance that doesn't cover it... for anything, even though it's a life-saver; fuck all, it's the life-saver right now for pulmonary hypertension. Sometimes the doctors buy it themselves to supplement their patient's ability to pay $27 per day for just one of the medications upon which their life lies in fragile and somewhat perilous balance.

May your today give you many of the pleasures from your yesterdays.


Staple Guy


OMG you would not believe some of the absolutely fucked-up stuff I have to do.

So there's this guy from the Prescott area and due to diabetes he couldn't maintain his landscaping business and so he's disabled. His SSI wasn't much so he lost his house. That story. Happens every day. Makes some people proud to be 'Murkin.

But then he lost his lower right leg. He still had surgical staples on his stump. He came to Phoenix because there are really no shelters in Prescott. Plenty of bars though, and the most beautiful town square in our fair country.

He was admitted for a complaint of "chest pain" which almost worked because he's already got about six stents in his heart but his ECHO was normal so I got orders to discharge him from the hospital...

To a homeless shelter. With fucking staples on his fucking stump.

Yay U.S.


(Photo from Daily Vexation.)

Oh and here's this weird little thing: I put a couple Percocets at his bedside so he could have some decent pain medicine before he left. (He was in the bathroom when I did that. I told him through the unopened door.)

He never ingested them even though he had complained of pain continually and he seemed to have had a preference for intravenous opioids. He left those two little white oxycodonic embryos right there in the tiny pill cup in which he'd also left a dime. It may well have been all he had to give.

(Cross-posted in The Crack Den.)



Today I will serve a tentacled corporate juggernaut bent upon squeezing huge profits from people facing ruination. That's one of my problems.

I will solve another thousand problems, none of them my own.

1/1/2012 Begins While Finches Gaze Down from the Tip of the Horn


If there were a hair on the moon I could find it. I would already have found it long long ago.

No worries though.

The Grand Opposition and Its Friends


There's always a ton of things to write about; happenings at the Great Muffin Factory Institute of Some Freakish Misunderstanding of the Basic Elements of Health Care, trips to here and there, new musical experiences, and maybe the odd bits and bitters down in the caliche supporting Phoenix life. Sometimes, there's even time in the day to put things down to pixels, bits, and bytes. Some mornings I have been writing three or four pages. Real pages, on a legal-pad sort of writing surface. With a pen. I like "clicky" pens, as do all nurses. We do not have the time to uncap a pen, write, and cap the pen again. Even a momentary click to raise the writing point from the barrel of the pen, when added up over thousands upon thousands of times, assumes mountainous proportions. It eats away at your time like radioactive decay chewing off Carbon-14. A persistent hound nipping my ankles, this very weak beta decay to nitrogen-14 with a half-life of approximately 5,730 years tears a little life away from me each moment I live and work. Good quick read. Pretty cool basic article, the kind of thing my child and I can share.My Kid, Part 415: For a while they were interested in old stuff like H. floresiensis. That was back when I took them to meet Donald Johanson. The man! Can you even imagine this guy? He's fresh out of university on some lonesome dig in a slowly disappearing triangle of the world when he finds The Findingest Find in Finding History of Finding Finds, Ever: Now shrimpbowl seems more interested in far-away stuff like the recently-documented star-collection 13.1 billion light-years away. (More here.)So they're this kid and they've met this skeleton-discovering guy who basically invited them to come study at the Institute of Human Origins which is, quite luckily, rather nearby. Already they've had a taste of The Edge.My lead doctor right now says to tone it down on stuff like this at work. This doctor thinks; and as I consider it too, quite rightly, that I myself have had something of an "exceptional" life. With my history of anxiety, PTSD, depression, and general disturbitude I've never been one to seek input at a merely acceptable level. It had to be more or it would not hold me. And I needed to be held. Held over. Held into. Held back. Held onto. Held from.I liked music so I auditioned at and gained entry to a New York music school. I had three finger-picking lessons with a local guy back then (he taught me "Freight Train!") but I basically taught myself classical guitar. One summer at a music camp before my high-school senior year I met a musician named Roger Harmon and he set me straight on a lot of things classical guitar-wise. Then I studied early music with the woman who wrote the definitive music history textbook of that decade, Edith Borroff. I learned to play renaissance lute "thumb-under" style by looking at the facsimiles of old lute books on microfiche at the fine-arts library. Sight-reading the special notation used by lutenists; at the least the "French" style tablature used also by the many wonderful composers of the English Renaissance, is actually a little easier than reading traditional music notation once you get the hang of it. Not mention stuff like that. People think I'm bragging or something when actually I am marvelling at such fortune and; well, stuff. As if it happened to somebody else, not me. I was just there, or something. Maybe in some ways I wasn't.Martin-Logans. If you're going to listen to music at home, save save save until you can get something like these. I saved a few dollars a week for like a freaking decade to get these. Down the listensities: I worked summers at SPAC back then where I heard *everybody* on top of the classical-music or[...]

Ave Verum Corpus, Brother Jerome


Oh my goodness he was a big guy. I shouldn't have been surprised because the St. Vincent brothers had a reputation for savoring life's many good things. Brother Jerome was nothing if not well-fed... and also very good-natured. I could hyphenate a thousand positive adverbs and adjectives yet still not have said but a fraction of the nice things that could you could say about that jolly man.I was a nurse aide back then, working on a 40-bed(!) medical-surgical unit in an upstate New York community. I still have friends in that town. I visited there last year to hear some music, too. Garrick Ohlsson playing the Rach Three with the Phillies. Awefreakingsome. Anyway, St. Vincent's was a local retirement facility maintained by that church. It was a rest-home for elderly brothers and priests. Once in a while one of the brethren might get sick enough to be admitted to us for a bit. "Are you a Catholic child?" asked Brother Jerome one morning as I was nurse-aiding him with something."Actually no," I said with a smile, then added, "Why? Do I look Catholic?!" (I have a naturally distinctive type of hair not associated with Catholicism, let us say.)He smiled back but continued. "Do you pray? Would you pray with me?""Brother Jerome, every breath I take is a prayer," I replied. He beamed. He was delighted. He didn't give a fuck what my religion was, nor even if I had one. He just wanted to know if there was anybody around who was familiar with some of the literature. It was a great way to start the day. I firmly believe that a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship is of considerable importance. Without that not much can be done. For example, if your patient is a drug-seeking psychopath with no conscience at all then you as a nurse will never be able to establish such an arrangement. Unpossible. Don't even bother trying. Be prepared for a shift of games.*The evilist most deadlieristical molecularational stuffy-stuff ever:Do NOT be fooled by the innocent appearance!Yeah, it's a killer alright. No. Not really. Not at all. I was outside one of the many "clubs" that have sprung up in the wake of Proposition 203. This one is right down the street from the hospital. There's also an evaluation clinic across the street from the hospital campus. They usually feature a doctor who will, for a mere $150, fill out the forms necessary for you to obtain the State-issued card identifying you as a medical user. So... out of the club putters an old man with the most severe neck stoop I've ever seen. Though walking upright his neck was near-parallel to the ground even with his soft neck-brace in place."Excuse me sir," I said as I approached him, maintaining the appropriate distance out-of-doors. "I'd like to ask you a few questions if that's okay. I'm a blogger and I've been interviewing medical marijuana cardholders and anonymously writing about them. For a book maybe." He turned his head like a turtle, smiled, and said "Fine!""Well first off, what is your condition and how did you aquire it?" I started out."I read the Torah for forty years." I was puzzled. I am sure he meant to play me a little, and it was fun. He wasn't cat-and-mousing me. He was making me think."You stooped over the pages all day long for decades and decades," I said."Yes," he replied, "Indeed." "So how does medical cannabis help you?" I asked. "Oh, it's not for me," he went on, "I'm a caregiver. I don't have a user card. This is for the Hospice where I volunteer."He's like about 90 years old, bent over sideways, walks with a cane while looking straight down at the ground, he volunteers at a Hospice and not only that, he gets them their medical marijuana. Awe. Some.*"Don't you know In this new Dark Age We're[...]

"A-83," or "Transfigured Night Part CXXIV"


In the college logic course I took so many years ago we studied Venn diagrams. A lot. More than enough for it to have changed my life forever. It is perhaps inaccurate to say that Venn diagrams changed my life; because in fact, Venn diagrams became my life. Or rather, I realized that this simple model upon which we can build, arrange, and especially analyze relationships, had always been there and I had just been notified of this development. And everything is a relationship. Relationships define us.Maybe the subatomic particles that make up the building blocks of our quantum universe are also just relationships. They may as well be, they're so damn tiny anyway. It isn't like they're "stuff." They're smaller than "stuff." My spouse is faultless. The whole package. Athletic figure, intelligence, humor, style, and various talents. We met because we both belonged to the same local running club. My dear spouse was actually married to another when we first met, and we'd "seen each other around" a lot, like for years, before we ever spoke to one another. That wasn't a solid marriage and I had nothing at all to do with its failure and break-up. It was an opportunity I acted upon quickly, though.Ours has been a great marriage and we have the most interesting child, one with features that would gain them entrance to modeling or acting but they currently express great interest in astrophysics. When you meet another person and have some sort of relationship with them it is sort of like a Venn diagram. You're one circle, I'm another, and we overlap on this blog at this moment. That may be all. Or there could be more.Well of course there's more, stupid! simply because there are so many people. (I speak to myself here.)shrimplate is like that. Sort of a composite, as if it were being written by a collective rather than an individual. More people. Unlike many other shrimp, shrimplate has these tentacle-like thought-ribbons that can reach round the globe to make visits. shrimplate knows "others" who can similarly unfurl a riband across the greatest span. shrimplate often steals and borrows from other nurses. One in particular makes repeated appearances, under deep cover, which is sorrowful because they work in a specialty unit at one of the big medical centers here and if I discuss their specialty it will expose them. Not that many people do what they do and it's the only such program in The Valley. They have however made a request...I hesitate to answer to that request for surely it will likely betray them... so I will not.Hence, a sketch: (heh)"It isn't like we were BFF's or anything. We didn't hang out outside work, but sometimes we talked and since she's going back east I've actually revealed quite a bit of myself to her," they told this writer, "But I am surely going to miss them a great deal" they continued. Normally the chatty one they said that they ran out of words when confronted with good-bye. Why? We don't know, we decided after discussion. You miss the rising stars. They step out of your Venn circles and in a whisper, away. Just away. Nothing else. The sort of "away" that is as far away as you can get. Gone. But you need them! Good nurse STAT! But they're really, really gone.Except in memory. Yeah yeah yeah it's a small world but I don't think so.[...]

Hate in Phoenix, 11/22/2011


He was following me awfully closely behind in his car. He honked. I was travelling along at a reasonable speed, not slowing him down. Then he pulled out to the left up alongside me as we drove along. He motioned for me to put down my window so I could hear him.

He looked twenty-something, driving a black Lexus, and all he wanted to do was tell me my left rear tire was low. I thanked him and pulled over at the next service station.

Later there were two SUV's in front of me. One in the lane to the left and up ahead, and another just in front of me. The light went green and as traffic moved the man in the SUV in front of me pulled next to the other SUV and gave them the finger.

It was completely unprovoked.

When I passed the SUV to the left I saw that the older woman driving it was wearing a hijab. Perhaps she hadn't seen him, she seemed so intent on her old-person manner of motoring. Maybe that would have been best.



The policemen (I am almost certain that none of the jackbooted thugs were women,) who attacked protesters are cowards.

They make me sick.

They are cowards because they are armed and armored to fight what? A bunch of singing people with cellphones?

They are even bigger cowards because they have chosen to serve the one-percenters instead of their fellow Americans. Instead of themselves. Instead of you and me.

They are cowards because they beat our veterans.

If you have already seen the videos available at these links then you are probably just as disgusted as I am, and if you haven't seen these, then you need to just get it done and over with.


Welcome home, soldier.

Tea on a Horse


Jost once wrote "Everyone must drink their own tea." It was a message to me in a birthday card he once gave me. He had been struggling, he later told me, with choosing the right Zen phrase for me. Then he just gave up and wrote that to go along with the delish loose green tea he provided as a gift.

I love tea. Much more so than coffee, though I love that too. It's a coffee-drinking nation, though.

Leischen secretly lets it be known:
no suitor is to come to my house
unless he promises me,
and it is also written into the marriage contract,
that I will be permitted
to make myself coffee whenever I want.

From the Kaffe Kantate by Bach.

My own spin goes this way: Everyone must ride their own horse.



What difference?

October 27th, Sylvia Plath Day



My favorite. Happy birthday, Sylvia.

By the way, did you notice her "laptop" in the first picture? I used to have one of those. It belonged to my mother. I typed college papers on it. I used to play the little tape-spools as if they were deejay turntables "scratching," so yes, I invented that.


Wraiths, Creationists


This is the first one I read:




Now I'm forty-or-fifty-or-so pages into this one:


There's also Matthew Chapman's Forty Days and Forty Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania.

It's very dismaying just how bad some creationists can be; lying-assed duplicitous sneaky power-hungry fuckheads. Some wish to destroy science by conflating into it a marshmallowy paste of supernatural unpredictability and general uselessness. So I'm not a real big fan.

Compis Mentis Kewlist



Sometimes patience is required. Often it is rewarded.


We have St. Vincent tix!


I was having a bad day, but now I feel much, much better. It's a 16-and-over show unfortunately so we can't take The Young One Who Will Not Be Otherwise Denied.

Annie Clark is going to blow Arcade Fire out.

I like the way the rising figure behind her vocals in the ethereal parts of Marrow shift from a regular diatonic scale to a whole-tone scale before dropping down into that hip-grinding groove. Help me. No kidding.

This came late in the day; at night actually. It was the left turn, the sudden change of mood and direction, that made the story of my day a little more worthwhile.

Annie Clark (who *is* St. Vincent,) seems to really go for those cheap 1960's Italian guitars with weird pickups and switches. I hope she stays with that just due to the analog-crude lo-fi sound her band can generate; indeed, prefers to make. Personally I didn't like playing those guitars back in the day. They were usually set up poorly, difficult and uncomfortable to play. There must be something about the sound of them that appeals to some players. At any rate she doesn't appear to be the $45K vintage Les Paul type. I could be wrong.

Yes Virginia, There Is a Wall Street Protest Going On


Hat tip to Anthony over in The Crack Den for the link to this Democratic Underground posting:

"...15 of my fellow marine buddies are meeting me there, also in Uniform. I want to send the following message to Wall St and Congress: I didn't fight for Wall St. I fought for America. Now it's Congress' turn. My true hope, though, is that we Veterans can act as first line of defense between the police and the protester. If they want to get to some protesters so they can mace them, they will have to get through the Fucking Marine Corps first. Let's see a cop mace a bunch of decorated war vets."

I am in awe.


" If they want to get to some protesters so they can mace them, they will have to get through the Fucking Marine Corps first."

Fuck yeah. I wish I was there standing shoulder-to-shoulder with him. It would be a great honor for me to do so. However that thing about "let's see a cop mace a bunch of decorated war vets..."

Does that have to happen? I rather hope not.

Dafty Duct


Baroque specialist Ingrid Matthews (Ingrid Matthews Olson.) Maybe once or twice a year I go on a Chaconne binge or sometimes even a full-on bender with the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by that old religious freak with all the kids. I am currently swirling about in such an aural flux. The whole set. Desert-island (which Phoenix is particularly not unlike,) stuff which has already given me a lifetime of enjoyment and I feel like I haven't even started yet.I have heard of these but having never heard the music itself I'm pretty excited about this. Overall I think the monumental Chaconne is complete in the original violin manuscript provided by Bach himself.That's a beautiful sight. His hand was impeccable. I can read the notes right off the pages written in his own script. That is some kind of awesome. Everything is right there. It's a whole world. Even the tiny little editorial additions typically made by us guitarists (we can supply bass notes and sound out internal counterpoint only suggested by the manuscript,) bother me. Just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean it's worth doing. You could, I suppose, run a marathon in a revolving door. My spouse says this is not worth the effort. It's "too hard" vis-a-vis rewards (if any?) gained from such an arduous undertaking. I sincerely believe that it is not hard enough and therefore a little less interesting than running a course over hills against the wind on a hot day. But Schumann was a pretty hip guy so his accompaniments are sure to be at least very interesting.*Swimming in a kaleidoscopic sea of feeling-states each itself buoyant upon the rippling waters of memories, I negotiate each day. Quite like you or anyone else, you might basically agree. So I am constantly reminded by concerned others, friends, family, pets... that my intellect will not lead in itself to the resolution of my concerns. They arrive at this conclusion, which though I have many many times before beginning early in my childhood years, by using intellectual processes. If I were to present this observation to them I would expect possible negatives which would need to be worked out. A fucking shitstorm is what it would be, frankly. One strong enough to wipe out entire trailer parks. Another reason I'm glad I we have six-inch walls, surrounded by outer walls."This is the worst trip I've ever been on."I want to go home.[...]

Lands Hidden, Lands Nearby



Upon hearing the call of The Elders, Percival the Dark Guardian has returned to his post at the forefront of The Clawrovian Gates. Beyond this lie old things, dank and forgotten, crowded by flaring gray dust-nebulas... the Shadows Which Underlie The Fridge. Among these roam perhaps the most feared beings from the dismal land of Lotharae: the dreaded Turtle Heads. Murderously aggressive, they are also so well-armored that it is said they can withstand the lava flows of the goddess-mountain: Trymdahl Crater, traditional home of The Lightning Bats, but that my friends is another story with another hero, a soulless enemy, and a wascally wabbit.