01:27 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
05:40 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2006
imagine that you are backpacking across europe. you are off the beaten path, taking advice on where to go only from other backpackers you encountered in your various low-budget hostel-type accomodations. each person told you some smaller town in the middle of nowhere. and the more backwoods you went, the more remote the recommendations were, and the more hardcore the travellers were, and so the smaller and smaller towns were your destinations.
imagine that after a month of this, you have found yourself in the middle of some small eastern european country you had never really even heard of, in some small town that only has one train per day coming in and out, and you have ended up there on some national holiday, so you are stuck there in the middle of some festival. the town was booked solid (there being only one or two small hotels within your budget), so you have ended up sleeping on a bench in the park, using your backpack as a pillow. you slipped your hand through the strap so no one could take it from you.
imagine that night, waking to what sounds like an army marching by. imagine that when you opened your eyes, you saw a mini-parade of wagons and horses, like some sort of old time travelling circus. some people walking, some people riding, some men, some women, some babies in some arms. just silently passing through the town. an old man in a wagon plans an accordion as they go by.
this is too interesting (and too loud) to sleep through, and so you throw your backpack on and join the group, wondering where they're going, and hoping to get some good pictures. you walk beside a guy with a waxed moustache and a puffy shirt.
you have just had the (good?) fortune to run into a family of gypsies.
they only walk another mile or so, out into the woods surrounding the town. they circle their wagons and make camp. they build a fire.
what you find out in sitting around and chatting with just about anyone that will sit near enough to notice that you're an outsider is that this is a special holiday for the gypsies as well. it is a commemoration of the first diaspora over 700 years ago. the old man, the patriarch, has decreed that they would have a big celebration, and other gypsy families are meeting here as well for what will be the biggest gypsy party EVER.
you decide to stay a few days, until the party, and for whatever reason, they allow that.
in the next few days, you make a few friends and try to earn your keep (or at least be allowed to stay) by helping with chores and whatever else. basically, whenever you see the guys your age in a group going somewhere, you go with them. and when they chop wood, or whatever, you do it too. no one tells you to stop, so you start to feel like you're blending.
imagine that the next couple of days you see more and more gypsies arriving until there are literally THOUSANDS, all dressed in their own old-world styles.
turns out the guy you first saw, with the waxed moustache, has returned from america just for this occasion, and since he speaks perfect english, you end up hanging out with him a lot. he tells you what's going on most of the time. he also tells you he's in a band back home. a punk band. you find this interesting.
the night arrives. you are watching as a bonfire is built. the party has started. there is dancing, and drinking, and lots of colorful clothes. the women wear large earrings and scarves. the men wear puffy shirts and little pieces of netting around their pants. there are many moustaches.
the party rages on for three days. no one sleeps. every night the party gets crazier. the people get more excited.
around three am on the third day, you notice that your friend with the moustache has joined the band. the old man with the accordian is there, a fiddle player has joined. some girls have started playing percussion, beating on big drums. one of the girls has a washboard she scrapes to the beat. they have been playing lots of traditional stuff, but now that he has strapped on his guitar, a more rock vibe has started to emerge in the rhythm.
the punk element starts to peak through. the band is going with it. the tempo is picking up. this is starting to sound like music you would listen to back home.
imagine that the band really strts to Get It. they play their hearts out. people start dancing even harder than before. they are jumping up and down. the guy starts to sing. he belts out lyics like he's mad at someone.
Frenzy is the only word you can think of to describe the crowd. they have squeezed in closer, chanting and pumping their fists. it's getting rowdy now. at one point, the guy puts his guitar down and jumps into the crowd. at another point the girl puts her big drum on the outstretched hands of the crowd, then jumps on top and plays it while riding over them.
these guys fucking ROCK.
you have never felt so lucky in all your life as you do at this moment.
[this is the only way i can describe the gogl bordello show. see their show at least once in your life. i highly recommend it.]
11:55 a.m. on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
rarely am i jarred awake from a deep sleep. my way is to drift into a light trance as i wake. for this reason i rarely remember dreams. which is a shame, as dreams are the place where the most interesting things can happen.
case in point:
when the phone rang this morning (shrink's babysitter cancelled, had to reschedule), i was in a hotel room with two other people. they were my friends, but the identities of which are unbeknownst to me at this (conscious) time. we were partners in crime.
we had been hiding in a hotel room when a dude came in. he saw me. he was going to shoot at me. so i shot at him.
i cocked my gun, jumped out from behind the couch as i saw him aiming. i fired once, then ducked back down. i didn't see if i hit him. but i heard him fire back. i cocked my gun again (thinking as i did it, "i don't think you have to cock it every time, i think i could just jump up and shoot a bunch of times"), jumped out, fired again, and ducked back down.
at this point, my compatriots were shooting too. i heard the bad guy shout "i think i got shot in the lung!" then he fell.
we came out from hiding and saw that he was shot, all right, though it appeared in in the heart. it was not clear if it was me or one of the other guys who had shot him. this i was glad of.
oh no! another guy was coming into the hotel room! and now i didn't have my gun! (dreams are weird, huh? random)
i hid in the bedroom this time, and heard the door creak as he entered.
it was a fat guy, looking as scared as i was. i saw him as he peeked into the room in which i was hiding. i wasn't hiding very well, just standing there, and i saw that he saw me. i knew i had to attack, as surprise was my only weapon. i jumped on him, knocked him down, and hit him repeatedly with a really big set of keys(?) i had in my hand. i hit him in the head over and over, shouting at him to be knocked out. he looked really surprised and scared, and i did knock him out.
we were standing in the hotel room, thinking about what to do to make it look like an accident, wondering if we should still be hiding, if more were coming, when the phone rang.
i'm not one to interpret dreams, really, but as i wrote this, it occurred to me that it seems rather violent and awful.
i'm hoping i just watch too much sopranos.
11:28 a.m. on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
[new to new york]
it was summer of musthavebeen '96. i had just moved to new york city with eli, theoretically just for that summer while he fixed up his apartment in hell's kitchen and found a new renter, though we would end up staying there a lot longer.
having never visited the city of new york before the day we arrived, i was understandably overwhelmed. (it took me about two weeks before i would even go on the subway by myself, and only then with a map folded up so tiny and cupped in my palm for quick and subtle easy-access.) about the only thing i felt comfortable doing was walking the streets of times square and fifth avenue all day.
one day, walking up broadway on the way back to the apartment, i saw a middle-aged black man, who ran right up to me at the first eye contact.
"hey, excuse me, please, can you help me?" he was dressed all right, no homeless rags or anything. he was reasonably well-groomed, basically ordinary in every way. the only thing noticeable about him was how desperately he looked at me.
i have never been good at locking eyes with someone and then ignoring them like i didn't just see them. so i stopped. he launched into a story. he was from out of town, new jersey, just in to see a play. he had come out and discovered his wallet had been stolen. also, his car was out of gas. he needed some money so he could get home.
it was a detailed story; it sounded plausible. i imagined it was something that could easily happen to me, a smalltown boy in over his head in the Big City. i wondered what i would do in his shoes. probably the same--beg for enough money to get home and cancel my credit cards.
i listened to his whole story, then reached into my pocket. i wanted to give him a buck and leave the rest up to other people, but the bill i handed him was a five, and i didn't have the heart to say "oops, sorry, i meant to give you much less." he took the five, thanked me profusely, and i headed home, feeling pretty good about myself.
yessir, i wasn't the country bumpkin getting lost in the Big City, i was the well-adjusted city boy, helping out those that couldn't handle it as well as i could. i had bailed someone out that was having more trouble than me, i was--
eli didn't even let me finish my story. "let me guess" he said," he was a tourist from jersey or something, just came out of a play, he lost his wallet, and just needs money to get home."
[that's how that story ended for the last ten years. until the other day. while i was in austin visiting some old cronies, one of them reminded me of that story. he said he especially liked the ending. i asked him what he meant, and he told me this next part. the funniest thing about that is how i had so totally forgotten it, how only upon hearing my OWN story told back to me did i remember it. this is something i had actually experienced, and yet i had to ask a friend to tell me what happened. anyway, here is the actual ending--]
the next day, doing my daily walk around the city, i saw that man again. my blood boiled at the sight of him, but feeling like a fool, i didn't say anything. i just averted my eyes and tried to walk past. i have never been one for confrontation anyway. no, i planned to walk on by.
until he approached me. he didn't wait this time for me to stop, he launched right into the story again. i looked him in his eyes, waiting for him to reecognize me and stop lying. i wanted to see his face register that he knew me, that i wouldn't fall for it again. maybe he would slink away quickly.
before he had finished the story, i jumped in. "you told me all this yesterday!!" i shouted, "i gave you five dollars yesterday!'
he didn't even miss a beat. there was still no recognition in his eyes as he said, "and i thank you for it. can you believe it happened to me again?"
11:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2006
[setting the mood]
let's see...coffee's brewing. sunshine streams in the windows. it's a lovely day outside. maybe i'll open a window. there we go. that's nice. coffee's in the cup, sitting beside me. put some music on the computer, not too loud.
it all feels so awkward, and weird. the pressure is great. i beat myself up about this site every day. and every day that pressure grows a little more. i know it's only for me at this point, and that's ok. it's actually better. less of the ever-mounting pressure. so like it's my first time, i'm trying to get just the right environment.
it's not like i don't have the words. i have read many books in my life; i speak words all the time (i have been told i maybe speak them too much). so it's not like i don't have the skills to say what i think. typing it is just the next step. but for whatever reason, i just haven't.
i blame the evil box in the corner with all the cables coming out of it.
10:37 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2006
[i cant feel my hands.]
it's cold, so i can't type.
i've got tivo to watch.
i haven't had my coffee.
i've had too much coffee.
i have to go to...(wherever). i'll do it when i get back.
i have nothing to say.
there's too much pressure to write something GOOD.
i'm not in the mood.
the internet is slow today.
these are all excuses.
i need to put them behind me.
06:46 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2006
things were black. things were bad.
they were bad and they were black.
i was catatonic. i was sitting on the couch not doing anything. literally.(though everything was NOT literally black. that was just an expression.)
i was certainly not cognizant for doing things like blogging.
but i am ok now. things were bad, i was alone.
not things are good. i am no longer alone.
i am happy and in love, and the only thing bringing me down (besides lack of a real job, which, to be honest, nver REALLY brings me down) is that idea that feb. 14 is coming, and i don't know what to do for that Special Someone...
words, more words!
03:23 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2006
thing are really messed up right now.
not sure how to fix 'em. not sure what would be the right thing to do.
not thinking about much else at this point. so very little else to say.
12:19 p.m. on Monday, January 30, 2006
[the bigger, heavier door]
first, a little backstory:
recently, the dude who runs my building (i know, he's called my building manager, but that makes me think of an old, fat man with a mustache and a polish accent [don't ask me why but it does], and this guy is a hip guy; my age, a stoner-looking dude. surfer, ladykiller, rocker...you know, a hollywood guy) put another door on the front of the building. there already was one, but now there's a bigger, heavier door with a better lock.
this door has a big, mosque-shaped window in the middle. it's a big piece of glass. it looks nice, but you know, it's fragile.
so the other day, as i was hurrying out, i swung the big heavy door hard, as people do with big heavy doors. but the thing is, this door doesn't have one of those hydraulic thingies (door closer? let's just call it a door closer) at the top to make it move slow and to force it closed or anything. so as i swung it hard, it really swung, you know?, and it was clear to me that it was going to swing all the way around and smash into the wall, and break the glass.
i panicked, i dove, and i caught it. disaster averted. i told the guy who runs the building about this next time i saw him, re-enacting the dive and all. he laughed a lot at my antics.
backstory number two:
i hate grocery shopping. the MOST. the ipod is making it a lot better (as an ipod does with most every activity), but i still make it a point to do it as rarely as possible. i'm talking like once a month. or less. so when i go shopping, i go shopping. i buy two of everything and forget nothing. it takes me ten minutes just to load the entire contents of the shopping cart into my truck.
i went grocery shopping today. i couldn't find a parking spot on the right side, so i had to make ten trips lugging everything across the street. (it was either that or double park, make the ten trips back and forth to the apartment, and then go park the truck, which, i don't know, felt more impractical) then i walked up to the door loaded down with groceries, had to struggle with my keys, only to see that not only was the second, heavy door closed and locked, but--
(you know this is coming)
today was the day they decided to install a hydraulic door closer. and not just any door closer, but a really strong one, that pushes the big heavy door closed no matter how many boxes of coke you lean against it.
it was a very difficult task, getting all those groceries in. one might even call it a pain in the ASS.
but i figure i only have myself to blame.
06:52 p.m. on Friday, January 27, 2006
so hi. here i am. trying again.
seems since i got back to this little neck of the woods, i got...distracted. or discouraged. or just lazy. i don't know.
haven't seen the people i want to see with the regularity that i would like. haven't been the BFF of all the people i have always felt close to. and have not paid enough attention to my writing.
not that this post (or blog, for that matter) counts toward any of that, really. just getting my feet wet again, i guess. trying to adjust to the temperature of the water. not ready to just dive in.
but i think the best way for me to approach it is to basically act like i never went anywhere. cause the pressure of a dramatic return, well...i don't handle pressure well. so let's just pretend i have been here all along, kay?
(apart from this post here about my return, of course.)
also, gonna disengage the comments. that's pressure too.
i don't want you people to say anything, if you're out there. i want to assume no one is. it's just easier for me.
but anyway, that's it.
i am here. i am ok. and i will start writing again.
whether it will be more of the same, or something new, interesting, or not at all, i don't know.
but words will start appearing soon.
resume business as usual--
05:25 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2006
once upon a time...
there was a poor peasant boy who liked to write. he had no job or money, so he spent his days writing to pass the time. he wrote and wrote and wrote words on thin air. which is to say, he wrote them on paper and burned the paper up. he watched the smoke rise up to the gods, and he thought "those words are gone." it made him feel special, or complete, or something. it made him smile. then he would go play and forget about them.
why did the boy write? even he never really knew. the boy was never sure if those meant anything to anyone, but he was pretty sure it meant something to HIM. so he kept doing it. he liked thinking that someone up there in the sky saw his words and smiled, even though they didn't know who he was. it pleased him to think of the strangers finding his words and wondering about him (the boy).
soon the boy started to like the idea of actual people finding his words. so he started putting notes in bottles in and throwing them into the ocean. (he lived near an ocean. he was a poor peasant boy that lived near the ocean. what? should i have already said that?) as time wore on, his notes got more elaborate. they turned into stories of knights and dragons and kings and imprisoned princesses.
as he got older, he started to write more smart-ass, sarcastic, "did you ever notice this, did you ever notice that?" kinda schtick. but he got over that phase. eventually he started to write stories of his life and the lives of others. it was a challenge to make boring everyday details seem as interesting and magical as the dragons and sorcerors he had written about in the past. but he enjoyed the challenge. and he never ran out of material.
even more eventually, the boy realized he was a man. his father put him to work as a salesman, which involved travel. he started to see the world. he started to see how interesting everything was--all the places he had never been. all the peoples he had never seen, cultures he had never experienced.
he wanted to write about that. but he still had that annoying job.
after many moons, the boy (now a man, as i have said) stopped travelling, but he kept working, and he didn't write as much anymore. he met a fair maiden and got distracted. between work and spending time with the her, he didn't get around to writing anymore. he didn't throw any bottles into the ocean for a long time. he didn't even burn any papers. he just kind of stopped writing entirely.
then one day, walking home from work, he wandered closer to the beach, and noticed something on the water. something small and green.
he waded out and saw that it was a bottle.
he dared not hope, but he did look.
sure enough, inside the bottle was a note.
"send more stories."
07:02 p.m. on Monday, January 23, 2006
[cause bad words is better than no words]
so blogging is the new not-blogging.
or not-blogging is the new blogging.
whatever. i don't know. but i know nothing's on THIS website, and that i have no one but myself to blame.
so i will put words here, cause otherwise, there might be a couple of people that won't know if i still exist.
(if you don't find this post interesting, blame those people for it.)
came back to l.a. a while ago. am trying to embrace it.
working a bit. here and there. "day play." just enough to pay bills.
bills are for the new apartment (back in koreatown) and water, electricity, phone, tivo, cable...etc. you know. the usual.
yeah, got tivo as a gift. an amazing gift. made tv worth watching again. though now it seems to occupy a lot of my time.
watching tv allows me to continue not to wonder why i don't contact any of the people i like that live in this town. really don't know why i turned shy all of a sudden. just don't have time to worry about it. too busy watching "rescue me".
(amazing show--my new favorite, by the way).
it was really hot. it's gotten cooler again.
should get on the phone to see about finding more work.
can't call it depression if you never stop to think about it...
06:19 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, 2005
[neon tanks would rule too.]
dear motorcycle guy that i saw tonight;
as a rule, i don't really like the japanese motorcycles. though i don't ride 'em, i always saw myself on an old timey kind of bike.
but when i saw you fly by me on the highway at about a hundred mph, with the glow-y neon blue lights underneath--well, i gotta hand it to you.
if you put some blue neon on your white helmet, you will be Tron.
and that will rule.
11:58 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, 2005
today, i rolled out of bed at eleven. cause my CELL PHONE kept ringing.
i threw on the CAMO SHORTS laying on the couch and my FLIP FLOPS. needed
COFFEE and had to WALK THE DOG anyway.
in the bathroom, i saw my HAIR was EXTRA EXTRA BAD. so i threw on a
on my way out the door, i grabbed my keys. beside them were my MIRRORED
COP SHADES. threw them on too.
walked to the STARBUCKS. got a call while i was waiting in line, and
talked while i ordered my VENTI REDEYE.
it was a PRODUCER lookking for a CAMERAMAN on monday. i took the job.
he was talking to me on his CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING HIS CAR.
things is different here than in in costa rica.
11:52 a.m. on Thursday, July 7, 2005