bad liver, not-so-broken heart

i just got tossed out of the sack for snoring. well not exactly tossed out, it was more of a voluntary self-ejection after wookie told me to turn over on my side because i was making a ruckus. i’ve got a history of snoring so maybe i’m a little sensitive, i’ll admit. i come from a long line of snorers and big noses and deviated septums and other ailments of the schnozz so i guess i can chalk it up to genetics but that could be a stretch because it only happens sometimes and usually it’s when i’m feeling at least semi-stuffers.
when i drank it was louder and more consistent and beware any light or even near-heavy sleepers in the vicinity. i drank enough to end up in detox 3 times and all 3 visits were marred by the nighttime sound-emissions emanating from my less-than-humble proboscis. they were also marred by the fact that my drinking was so out of control that i ended up in detox 3 times but that’s another story, right now i want to focus on the snoring. my first visit started in the early morning at a place called coda in tigard. the 1st thing they did was some blood work to check on my vitals and when they were prepping me a member of the staff leaned in real close and said “you’ve really been at it pretty hard, haven’t you?” in a snarky voice. i didn’t like that very much and enjoyed the test results even less, they basically said that my liver was fucked and if i didn’t shape up i was doomed to a life of cirrhosis and death. but back to the snoring. they stuck me in a room with a vietnamese fellow whose name escapes me and i was so out of it that i didn’t even realize i had a roomate anyways. and the next morning i didn’t, apparently i snored so goddamned loud that i drove the poor fellow out of the room and into a different part of the facility. that was nice because it meant i had my own room for the whole week i was there.
having my own room at hooper detox was impossible because there weren’t any rooms, there were 2 enormous wards(one for guys and one for girls) that were packed from wall to wall with beds and most of those beds were filled. hooper has more of an institutional feel, like a cross between a hospital and prison and they take your clothes away right off the bat, make you shower and then they give you scrubs. they let me keep my own slippers, though, which was nice. anyways i had a bed in the corner right next to a guy named thomas and for the next few days me and thomas hung out a lot and played dice. before the games began, however, he was treated to an entire night of me snoring away and the next morning when i woke up he looked at me in astonishment and said “i’ve never heard anyone snore like that” which is saying something because he was a junkie and had been in hooper several times before(recidivism rates in the wonderful world of addiction are extremely high) and so had been exposed to many other snorers in his short time on the planet. while he was telling me about the racket i had generated the night previous an old guy across the way was snoring away(having slept through the loud buzzer that went off at 8 sharp every morning) and he was LOUD, friend, like he could’ve been heard from MLK boulevard(we were on the 2nd floor). so i says to thomas “i’m not THAT loud, am i?” and he says plainly and w/conviction “oh yeah”. believe me, a guy could easily get self-conscious about these things.
there was also ANOTHER trip to coda but by this time i had gotten the picture and so talked the staff into letting me sleep in the tv room, away from the other fuck-ups. that sort of worked except there was one graveyard lady who insisted on turning the tv on to keep her awake and as a result the sounds of shitty tv shows(are there any other kind?) kept ME up all night. that and the lumpy couch. the other parts of my stay were actually pretty nice, we had a crew of 7 in there(it’s kind of a social-model facility) and i liked all of them, especially betty who was a phlebotomist who was there because she had a half-gallon-of-whiskey-a-night habit she couldn’t seem to quit and so voluntarily committed herself into detox with the blessings of her employer. when we got out we were supposed to go to AA meetings together but i got drunk before the 1st one and i never heard from her again. i wonder why?
i could also tell you about the shock caused by my snoring when i got locked up in rehab but that’s a long tale that we’ll just have to save for another time. my liver’s just fine now and my heart is hardly broken and so things are looking up.

the ramifications of bad prospects

this fairport convention song has been on my mind a lot lately, it’s one of those things that i just stopped thinking about at some point, and i mean even when i would actually think about the fairport convention(which isn’t all that often) i wouldn’t remember this particular track which is weird because it’s probably my favorite song by them. but it got all mixed up with “reynardine”(another favorite, though a lesser one) and for some reason the 2 songs morphed into just one but THAT song was simply “reynardine”, “the deserter” had bailed the scene entirely. so to make up for lost listening time(so essential in today’s topsy-turvy world)(is that how you spell “turvy”? i think “topsy” is right) i’ve been playing it over and over again. i also posted it to facebook and a lot of people liked it, i wonder if they had forgotten about it too? like i said yesterday, memory is a funny thing. just ask wookie.
anyways while i was posting it to facebook i thought about my friend and used-to-be neighbor stan, i know he likes sandy denny a lot and she’s the singer in the fairport convention so to make sure he heard it(i don’t think he’s real familiar with them) i posted it specifically onto his wall with a note that i might be in his neck of the woods later and would call. yesterday was an odd day in that i got up earlier than usual(4:30) and when i did i was almost immediately able to solve a problem i was having with 2 pieces that i’m currently working on. this sort of thing happens from time to time where i hit a wall with a piece and try to grind it out unsuccessfully and then get frustrated and quit and then wonder about not only the particular piece but also my artistic prospects in general and then get uptight about the ramifications of bad prospects and then get tired and go to sleep and then wake up and solve the puzzle right off the bat. so all that went on yesterday which is great but i’m kind of back in that boat trying to get going on ANOTHER piece(gotta keep the momentum rolling) but instead of getting up at 4:30 i got up at the usual 5 and instead of immediately solving collage problems i started writing this post and that’s where i am at the moment and if you’re reading this then i guess that’s where you are as well. writing is like that.
but back to stan, i ended up working(?) until around noon and then got out of the house and headed his way, i had a couple of errands to run over there and after going to the bank and putting gas in my car(did you know that in oregon it’s illegal for you to pump your own gas? it’s true) i called him but no dice, he didn’t pick up. then for the hell of it i drove by the old place on my way to buy catfood at the fred meyer and there he was in the front yard, raking up leaves and douglass fir boughs(funny word) so i stopped to say hello. it was freezing out but he didn’t invite me in so we just stood on the lawn and talked and apparently stan is pretty bent out of shape lately because the landlords have been hovering around trying to get my old place in shape to rent out and stan doesn’t much care for landlords or any other people that have any power over his life, like bosses and politicians and police, for example. i guess i’m the same way but stan was pretty uptight about it yesterday, the landlords filled the yard debris bin so there’s no space left(for the likes of leaves and boughs) and they put some drywall in stan’s garage also but probably the main thing is that he thinks the landlords might raise the rent on his place and stan is barely scraping by as it is. i actually thought about that possibility when i was deciding to move because i knew they’d raise the rent on MY place after i was gone and since it’s a duplex i figured there was a decent chance they’d up his too. so stan’s in a bad spot for now and he doesn’t like it and i don’t blame him. we both find the idea of landlords somewhat unpalatable because we both find the idea of private property somewhat unpalatable and the reason for that is simple, it’s because we’re anarchists or anarcho-communists or left-marxists or whatever term you want to throw our way to designate us as people of the far left because that’s where me and stan are politically which is one reason that we get along so well. another reason is that we both believe in being kind to others.
another funny thing about the fairport convention is that one time when i was on tour with my old band i had just recorded their album “leaf and liege”(which “the deserter” happens to be on) and brought the tape on tour and we had listened to it a fair amount(i’d play it when it was my turn to drive) and the other kevin in the band didn’t know what to make of it at all, it was a rather sharp departure from most of the stuff we were listening to at the time and it sort of baffled him, he wasn’t sure if he liked it or hated it or what. it was enough of a problem that when we were in san diego for a show he asked our buddy stampone(a san diego fixture for many years and a rock writer par excellence) if he(meaning kevin) should like it or not. he needed stampone to decide. weird.
one time stampone told me a 12-hour story but that’s another tale entirely, the saga of brockbank, which hopefully i will get around to telling one of these days. but not today. today is the day that starts where yesterday left off, isn’t that always the case?

2 dead guys and some new shoes


i came across this photo the other day and was pretty psyched to find it, i hadn’t seen it in years and had forgotten about it. it’s a picture of me and my 2 dead friends, that’s me on the left drinking coffee and there’s ryan with the guitar and on the right walking away from the camera is mike. we were(quite appropriately for our purposes) out at tombstone music in clackamas to interview the band dead moon for our magazine(at the time) osmotic tongue pressure, they own the shop so we met them there and asked a bunch of questions. i remember that day i had to ride lying down in the back of mike’s white ford truck, i can’t remember if that was before or after the law about riding in the bed of a truck but i do remember that i had a twelve pack of henry weinhard’s beer with me(memory’s a funny thing). but hey i just looked up the oregon truck bed law and it actually states quite explicitly that if all other seatbelts are already in use then an adult(over 18) can legally ride in the bed of a truck as long as he/she does not hang over the side. so there you have it. i learn something new everytime i write posts for and learning new stuff is what it’s all about in this life or any other.
anyways the 2 dead guys are a cautionary tale and although i’m pretty sure i’ve already covered it elsewhere these teachable moments don’t crop up all the time so allow me to briefly summarize…

although both of these humans had bigger than average appetites for drugs and/or alcohol they didn’t really fit snugly into the “addict” category. you’d have to say that alcoholism was certainly present in both young men to one extent or another(and yeah, i believe there are different types of alcoholics) but i wouldn’t say either one was fixing to die. they both drank and dabbled but when they kicked the bucket it wasn’t the culmination of any prolonged struggle, in both cases it was the direct result of a bad decision and both of those decisions were about taking drugs while too drunk to either make a proper decision or to physically handle the ingestion of that substance. mike was drinking at a bar collating the new issue of the magazine when he met a girl, they spent the day drinking together, she was a junkie, and when she offered him heroin later that night he was drunk enough to take it so she shot him up(his first injection) and he overdosed and died. with ryan it wasn’t quite as dramatic but resulted from an alcohol/cocaine binge which was apparently too much for his compromised physical condition(he had one of those diseases where nobody really knows what it is) and he went into cardiac arrest and died in the ambulance on the way to hospital. so long, fellas.

they both had things going on in their lives which were promising, mike had recently gotten accepted into a graduate program at cal state northridge and ryan had a solid job and a girlfriend he really liked and had they not sort of succumbed to a temporary temptation they would likely not be dead right now and i wouldn’t be writing about them. at least not the dead part. so take it from me kids, if you’re going to take a drug you should definitely be clear-headed enough to understand the possible consequences, i mean i ain’t gonna tell you what not to do but don’t get suckered into making a bad call just because you’ve had a few too many.
last night me and wookie were driving down to water avenue in the southeast industrial section of town to meet some friends for dinner and we somehow ended up on 2nd avenue and all of a sudden there were chop-shopped and souped-up cars EVERYWHERE, parked and parking and cruising with their lights on and there were people milling around and music pumping(in our car too because wookie’s been really into this rap group called the clips as of late) and it went on for BLOCKS. in the middle of nowhere. it was like that scene on crenshaw in “boyz in the hood” except there were no hydraulics and there was no ice cube. at dinner wookie’s friend muff gave her 2 pairs of nikes, one sort of black and glittery and the other hard pink with beige, that was an unexpected treat. we got home and wookie said “i’m sorry but i have to eat ice cream” and the reason she’s sorry is because my cholesterol is through the roof so ice cream is on the shit list and ice cream is one of my favorite things so that’s why she’s sorry. and then she only ate half her bowl anyways. if ice cream was a drug then i’d be dead 20 times over but for the moment being alive is a lot more fun than being #3.

the royal twins, the ogre, and the silly juice

this is leni’s new favorite song. i put the album on last night when she was folding clothes and she said “kevin always knows the perfect song to put on” and when i told her to pipe down during dr. doom because it’s my favorite she listened for a sec and then said “i think this is my favorite too”. we’re in the middle of our first little love-fest and we’ll see how long it lasts but for now it’s fun. she had school off yesterday and when wookie went to work i let her watch one or 2 too many horse cartoons(they’re about 20 minutes long) so i could take a brief(and frequently interrupted) nap and then do a little work and then i had her get dressed because i was supposed to take her over to audrey’s to play with HER kids but we never got the word via wookie so that got scratched off the list. at that point leni played on her own(w/ dolls and whatnot) for about an hour and then i could tell she was starting to kind of hit the wall so i intervened and we did a puzzle of an underwater adventure world with a shipwreck and some treasure and some small fish and a shark and a whale. i had finally managed to find my copy of dogbowl’s “flan” which i was looking for because i thought leni would like it and i put that on and she DID like it even though it’s a grisly story of the protagonist flan and his fish ginger kang kang plodding through a cartoonish apocalyptic landscape of nightmare-horrors i think leni only got the cartoonish part and the music is rather playful and has lots of clarinet in it and there’s a song about a mermaid which leni thought was really pretty and was quite apt because of the puzzle. anyways here’s a song from that record:

after the puzzle i suggested hot chocolate, the snow(as in “snow day”) hadn’t materialized but it was cold as hell and there was plenty of ice everywhere so a hot beverage was certainly in order and at first leni balked at going out(even though getting her out of the house was my point in the 1st place) and decided that we might as well just make it right here in the apartment, so off to the kitchen we went. she pulled out a small can that said “hershey” on the side and looked for all extents and purposes to be some sort of chocolate syrup that would function passably for a cup of hot chocolate but upon further inspection it turned out to be frosting so that was out. then she opened the baking drawer and started pulling out all kinds of chocolate except that it WASN’T all kinds of chocolate, it was one kind and that kind was baking chocolate and as i soon found out with a quick google search on my new phone(what’s happening to me?) NOBODY makes hot chocolate out of baking chocolate. so that was also out.
so it was off to the rain or shine cafe at 60th and division! but i’m getting ahead of myself. first we had to bundle up which included a purple jacket and purple boots and a lion’s mane knit head wrap and then we had to get stuff for leni. just kidding leni was the one in purple and lion’s mane that day, i didn’t even have a scarf. there wasn’t much ice on the ground but it was all over my truck and while i was scraping it off the windshield i thought to myself “should we even be on the road with all this ice?” which is a question i’ve been known to ask even WITHOUT a kid in tow(always looking for an excuse to stay in) but the roads were just cold and wet so we drove the measly 6 blocks and for some reason i parked too far away but we made it in and the cafe was super toasty and most people were on laptops.
leni got hot chocolate and i got coffee and we sat at the window and looked across the street and across the street happens to be the mount tabor reservoir and there’s a small building right on the corner that’s circular-shaped and i have no idea what goes on inside it so i asked leni what SHE thought went on in there and this is what she told me:

she said that there was an ogre in there who was a nice ogre and he worked in the building but was sad because the people in our fair city weren’t very nice or very happy and so he started to put silly juice in the water supply to make people happy so that he could have lots of nice friends.

which sounded like a good story to me and with a little prodding the story mushroomed to epic proportions with all sorts of details and characters added and new and mysterious motivations arose and all kinds of good-natured machinations came to the fore and by the time we left the story had a new title which was “the royal twins, the ogre, and the silly juice” and involved a beautiful princess and a prince who went “wackadoodle” upon encountering the ogre for the 1st time and for a whole day could only repeat “ogre, ogre…” over and over and louder and louder(i had to hush leni a little because we were still in the cafe) and people kept trying to catch the ogre putting the silly juice in the water but couldn,t because he was just too crafty.
i like a good story from time to time, especially over hot chocolate on an icy day.

when the drought ends

alright i’ll be straight, i’m a little concerned about my lapsed output these days. it’s getting to the “piss or get off the pot” stage where if some convergence of focus/energy does not sweep through the new digs at some point in the not-too-distant future i’m going to have to do something about it besides waiting, maybe start a checklist or wear a boiler suit or rearrange the furniture or the cat or my brain, i need to start seeing some PRODUCT soon or my script will start losing it’s semi-legit status and when that happens all kinds of weird shit might happen and none of it too positive. it doesn’t take much to lose the thread when you’re dabbling in the esoteric milieu of “the arts” and without some sort of concrete EVIDENCE from time to time, i mean some real tangible and indisputable PROOF that you’re not just jerking around with your time and your talents, the stories you tell yourself begin to lose the thin veneer of plausibility and when that happens it’s curtains for you, bub, you’re toast.
anyways during the moving process i stopped writing and didn’t have much time or space for art and since getting out of the old place and into this one took longer than expected there’s been something of a drought and those are dangerous, once they start they create their own momentum and once that momentum takes hold you don’t know where the fuck you’re going to end up. many years ago i stopped doing collage and tried painting and screwed around with matting techniques and not only did those endeavors go nowhere but they also usurped the time/energy necessary for making actual ART and before you know it it was 6 years later and all i had was some matted older works and a bunch of shitty paintings to show for it. paintings that i’m still having a very hard time giving away. literally.
i’m looking to avoid any similar pitfalls this time and so am going to try to write at least a little bit more regularly and hope that busting out a couple of new pieces will thaw the cold snap and the floodgates will once again open. and speaking of cold snaps the metro region was supposed to see 4 inches of snow today and roads were supposed to be icy and schools were supposed to be closed but it’s looking more and more like simply a really cold, wet day, even though portland public schools have delayed the starting time 2 hours. and why do i know that? because i HAVE to now, mister, i’m in semi-charge of a tot fer crissakes.
adaptability is a good quality to have and my cat guzzy seems to be rolling with the uprooting fairly well. she’s even putting up with leni’s photog shenanigans, wookie gave leni her camera because wookie got a new phone the size of your head that takes better pictures(literally) than any camera i’ve ever seen and the budding paparazzo has decided that the cat is now her own personal fashionista and has been chasing her around popping her flash in the poor girl’s face over and over. “bemusement” is the wrong word but at least at this point it’s not massive annoyance or even outright fear.
yesterday i picked up a used 4-track machine and started going through a pile of un/poorly-marked cassettes to try to see what i’ve got in the pipe because my friend jeff in japan wants to put out a tape-only release of my long-lost recorded output and also make my art available to a broader public in one way or another. anyways all of the stuff was recorded back when i HAD a 4-track machine which means the songs are between 6 and 15 years old which is a trip. i have to run the tape deck through an amp and listen to it on head phones and do not yet have a stereo tape deck to mix it down onto but it’s a start and i’ve been wanting to do SOMETHING with these old tapes because i did spend quite a bit of time getting stuff together back in the day and it would be a shame to just let it go to pot. i’ve done that w/too many things over the years and it would be nice to tie up some loose ends.
i was going to write about the hopelessness of all politics in this country and the utter lack of soul on display by the gaggle of total assholes who hold the reins of power but i’m hoping that the whole thing gets turned upside-down soon enough and that everyone involved gets their comeuppance and i don’t want to jinx it. leni’s about to get up and she’s going to need a waffle and right now i prefer to focus on that.

future, now

i’ve been here 9 days now and no longer have the excuse that i’m trying to get moved or settled or that i’ve been too busy, i mean i HAVE been busy but certainly not TOO busy so throw that one out. it’s a new place and a new arrangement and there’s now other people involved, i mean they were involved before too but now it’s more DIRECT and it’s kind of a whole new world. which reminds me that i was going to use a different song to kick this off but screw it, the mc5 is already there so the mc5 stays and maybe i’ll get to the other one a little later.
anyways you can call me DAD now, jack, or something real similar. because while it’s true that i’ve been taking care of little creatures for many years now it’s also true that those creatures had/have 4 legs and a more limited range of psychic capacity and that any impact i have had on their lives has basically boiled down to food, love, and security. with this new creature there’s all kind of other influence possible from worldview and musical taste to politics and philosophy so i’d better watch my p’s and q’s and even my r’s and t’s for that matter. i can talk to/with this new creature and try to point her in certain directions and instill decent instincts but there’s also all kind of perils involved, there’s a whole lot more room for error and the ramifications of those possible errors are now writ LARGE. which means that while in theory i’d like to create a mini-bohemian revolutionary with a penchant for free jazz and out-rock, in practice there’s just too many other concerns to make those qualities(however enriching) any sort of end-all. we’re dealing with a pint-sized consciousness with a medium-sized psyche and a jumbo-sized range of future possibilities so caution is the key here, patience and and an open mind and some caution.
anyways here’s that other song i was thinking of:

now i hope you’ll forgive me for venturing a rather obvious observation but so far it seems to me that whatever it is you might wish to impart upon a kid it makes little difference how well you express it if that kid sees you contradicting the premise in action, i mean you can’t tell a kid to pick up after him/her self if you don’t and you can’t tell a kid to be quiet in a booming voice. in fact so far it seems to me that if you display the behaviors you hope to install in a small-fry you often don’t even really have explain to them why they should be doing likewise. for example i recently got the laundry out of the dryer and began folding it on the couch and without me saying anything leni started doing it with me, something i had never seen her do. another thing that seems to work is making the necessary menial tasks of everyday existence into some sort of communally-spirited sport of call and response, like finding a certain place to put shoes and backpacks and depositing your own stuff there while kind of extolling its merits to no one in particular. i know these are pretty minor points but i’m figuring if these sort of approaches work with the smaller stuff maybe they’ll work in the more expansive domains as well, high hopes indeed and not necessarily based on any extensive collection of data but you have to start somewhere so that’s gonna be the opening salvo i attempt to employ.
one trippy thing is that i find myself being easily lured into forgetting that i’m dealing with a 6 year old. my experience is limited and i don’t know if this generalizes but in the case of this particular 6 year old we are dealing with a very sharp creature indeed. so far there is very little she can’t seem to grasp and in many cases her understanding of the basic structure of things is really quite sophisticated, and even on some of the more esoteric points she seems to follow the thread rather closely. and if you mention anything having to do with candy or treats or toys you better be prepared to follow through because not only does she hear those things(no matter how off-handed the remarks) but she WILL remember them and if you don’t she will remind you.
anyways i’m trying to find the peer/parent/patience combo and it’s going to take some work and even though thus far it appears to be rather exhausting i’m also starting to realize the sort of awesome possibilities of encouraging this little tyke’s better instincts and enabling her more expansive capacities to come to the fore. in the process i’ve already been to ikea(thumbs WAY down), been prevented from taking a leak at the mall(couldn’t figure out what to do with leni while i went), watched the kid usurp some crucial space in the studio room to pursue her OWN artistic career(god bless her), and put up with a very loud version of “the little mermaid” from 1979(denmark) while i was trying to watch the football game. wookie is trying to lighten my parental load in the early going but there’s just no doubt that my involvement is going to continue to grow, there’s all kinds of days off school and weekend events and birthday parties and trips to the doctor/dentist in my future and while it’s a future that i did not bother to plan for during the previous 45 years of my life it’s a future that is here now so i better deal with it.

craigslist is a way of life

i’m now looking at all my stuff in another place and realizing that i’ve got a lot of shit. it first dawned on me while i was transferring all my stuff from my old place to this new one here and moving the records by themselves took 2 days. we finally found a bookcase(6′ X 3′ X 12′) that could fit them all but now we need another one that’s 9 feet long and about 3-4 feet high that will actually hold books, as well as my recently revamped turntable and receiver. and for some reason bookcases are not only difficult to find in the right dimensions(those of space and time) but cost way more than one would expect. so now i think we’re stuck with going to ikea which is not only a place that i’ve managed to completely avoid all these years but also requires that you assemble their furniture at home. god help me, i’ve been yuppified(though i still despise bourgeois society and all its accoutrements, which is a pretty bourgeois word to describe my dilemma).
one thing i did get into during the moving process was getting rid of stuff on craigslist. i had done it before about 5 years ago when i thought i was moving to long beach, ca but didn’t and back then the method was to put shit out on the curb and if nobody took it fairly quickly i’d post it on craigslist and lo and behold that thing would be gone pronto. i gave away all kinds of things and some of them got snatched up so greedily that it was obvious i should have sold them instead but my mind was messed up at the time and i didn’t feel like making deals. this time i was a little more pro-active and was able to sell just a handful of things but hey, $80 is $80.
my most interesting craigslist ordeal centered around a stack of cruddy paintings i did about 7 years ago, i had decided at some point that i was going to teach myself how to paint and spent probably over a year working at it and pretty much ended up where i started which was at lousy. anyways i was in the process of loading them into the truck for a dump run when i decided that what the hell, let’s see if anyone likes them and so i posted them on craigslist for $5 each under the heading “free weird paintings from a guy that actually does collage”. the gist of the ad was that i didn’t think much of them but that art was subjective and that if my collages ever took off maybe the paintings would be worth something. nobody even nibbled, let alone bit, so i reposted them for free and got a lot of responses and i tend to think that was solely because the price was right but you tell me:


and those are probably the best ones.
the 1st guy that wrote me flaked off pretty quick but there was a guy named john who drove all the way from milwaukie(oregon, not wisconsin) to look at them and he took 4. i guess they’re for a 3-bedroon 1200 square foot mobile home he just bought for $13,500 and he was psyched and that made me feel good. so then i started getting other responses and since giving away paintings to people who liked them made me feel good i decided to try to give them to as many people as possible which is what i’m in the process of doing right now, there’s 5 people and i’m having them send in their faves in numbered order and then i’ll figure out what goes where and then they can come pick them up. it’s fun, and if doing art wasn’t a full time thing i’d probably keep giving stuff away for free. because the thing about capitalism is that it’s all about exploitation and manipulation and since the goal is to make the biggest profit possible someone always ends up on the bottom and anyone with any soul to speak of is not interested perpetuating that dynamic. ripping people off is a rotten thing to do unless you’re ripping off people who can afford it in which case it’s fair game because if someone is rich you pretty much know for a fact that they’ve been on the other end of the stick ripping OTHER people off and turnabout is fair play, especially for cruel fuckers like the bourgeois and even the petit bourgeois, yep, even the petit ones are fair game.
anyways i almost got the painting-distribution plan assembled, i’m just waiting for one more person to write in with their list of faves and then i’ll throw all the numbers in the hopper and hope everyone gets something of a bingo. making another person happy is a nice thing to do and since i’m trying to do that in my non-painting life(which is all of it at this point) i’m gonna let the same sentiment seep into every endeavor where it belongs. wookie and leni and guzzy deserve it so let’s see how i do.
fuck the midterms, politics these days is just another losing proposition.

bleed for me

just had my 3rd bad blood draw, the shrink asked me to get labs done to check med levels and i went to the same place i went to last time which is when i had my 2nd bad blood draw and you might be wondering why i went to the same place after having a bad experience last time? well that’s a good question and the answer is this: i went to portland adventist again because i’m already in their system and because i can’t go to providence because i still owe them money from the last time i got labs done there which was right after my FIRST bad blood draw, a draw which was so bad that the doctor couldn’t even get any blood outta me so i had to go straight from her office to providence and never paid them. that was many, many years ago.
but it’s a good story so here it is. i was in the middle of starting the last leg of my drinking career(the leg which almost killed me and forced me to get sober) and was not feeling well but did not yet grasp that my alcoholism was the cause so i went to see a naturopath. i remember that i wore my slippers and took a cab(drunk) to the office over on hawthorne but had no idea how i was going to get back home(i was having trouble planning ahead at that point). when i got in to see the doctor she asked me a bunch of questions and i began to notice most of them were about my drinking and not about the supposed ailment i was seeing her for. she asked if i had ever gotten treatment for it and i told her that i had ended up in detox once where they had told me that i was pre-cirrhotic and had also told me that if i quit drinking for 9 weeks my liver cells would regenerate and so that’s what i had done and after 9 weeks(is that even true?) i had started drinking again. about the pre-cirrhosis thing the naturopath said(in what seemed to me a rather offhanded manner) that at this point i probably actually HAD cirrhosis and she wanted to do a blood draw to check my liver and my pancreas. she had these disposable hypodermic needles and tried to draw blood 3 times but could not hit a vein and apparently that’s the limit, you can only try a blood draw 3 times and then someone else has to do it. she was pissed and wrote me a prescription for blood labs and sent me off to providence. her only advice was to start going to AA every day(thanks a lot, doc).
anyways i had to hoof it all the way to providence on glisan in my slippers to get my blood drawn and before i got in to see the phlebotomist i had to do all this paperwork and the nice lady told me that i didn’t have to pay right away and that they would instead send me a bill. the phlebotomist there was a nice russian woman and i told her about what had happened at the naturopath and she said “i don’t know what the other doctor was talking about, you have beautiful veins” and hit one on the 1st try. about a week later i got a call from the naturopath who had gotten the results from the lab and she said to me, “i can’t really believe it but amazingly your liver and your pancreas are fine”. she almost sounded pissed.
anyways that was 6 years ago and after that i started going to a pcp at the bridge city clinic and they had a lab on-site so i just got my labs done there. the phlebotomist there never had any trouble finding a vein but i stopped going to that place about a year ago because there was a super high turnover rate and everytime i went i had a different doctor, i started going to a place called la clinica where i’m seemingly the only gringo and i have a great doctor but there’s no lab there. so last year when the shrink needed me to do labs i had to find a new place and since i couldn’t go to providence i settled on portland adventist and that’s where i got my 2nd bad blood draw. the person in the lab there seemed a little hungover and when she tried the left arm she couldn’t hit a vein at which point she started moving the needle around while it was in my arm. that was unpleasant. she tried again but no dice and then we switched to the right arm and she finally managed to draw blood but i walked around with a bruise covering my entire arm for 3 days. that was also quite unpleasant and it also kind of pissed me off.
but today when i had to go get my labs done AGAIN i still didn’t want to go to providence so i went to portland adventist thinking there was no way they were gonna screw up a 2nd time, right? getting admitted took 3 different people and too much time and then even though there was noone else in the waiting room i had to sit there for like 15 minutes. when i got called in it was a different phlebotomist who was also russian(is phlebotomy big in that country or what?) and she sat me down and started feeling around for a vein. she said something like “have you had problems before?” and couldn’t seem to locate one and i told her about my last visit and she said “you have very small veins and they’re moving around like fish(?)” and finally decided on a vein that noone had ever tapped before on the OUTSIDE of my arm. it took her a couple tries and even once the blood started flowing it was like a dribble and she kept having to fuck with the plunger and it took forever and started making me feel queasy. she tried to distract me w/small talk and when it was finally finished she said my expression had worried her. we’ll see how the bruising goes in the days ahead.
i was going to write about pumpkin patches and pumpkin carving(i’ve been knee-deep in pumpkins lately which makes sense because it’s coming up on halloween and wookie loves pumpkins regardless) but that’ll have to wait until another time, i finished 4 pieces yesterday and am going to continue getting my shit organized for the big move and the world series starts tomorrow and the giants are in it, october is probably my favorite month by far.

a brief(though major) catastrophe

i’m fairly uninterested in material possessions with a couple of exceptions and the main one is records, i’ve been collecting vinyl since i was very young and have amassed a pretty good collection and you could easily say w/o too much exaggeration that it’s an important thing in my life, one of the only “things” that really matters to me one way or the other. now one of my favorite records in the world is the minutemen’s “double nickels on the dime”(see above), it’s got this song on it called “history lesson pt. 2″ that has a line where d boon sings “punk rock changed our lives” and that’s how i feel about “double nickels”, it changed my life and there’s not a lot of things i could say that about(though there ARE more than i had previously thought).
anyways i’m in this facebook group called “now playing” where people post pictures of whatever record they happen to be listening to and usually a comment or 2 as well. it’s sort of fun and gets me to listen to stuff that i might not otherwise listen to and lots of stuff i haven’t heard in many years(i do have a LOT of records). so today i decided to spin double nickels on the dime and i posted a picture on now playing along w/the comment “along w/trout mask the greatest record of all time”(“trout mask” being the captain beefheart record “trout mask replica”) and i meant it, i can be real wishy-washy about lots of stuff but with music and politics i’m STRIDENT friend, and i mean stand-on-your-soapbox-and-belt-it-out-to-the-back-rows style strident. not something i’m always super proud of there you have it. so the minutemen comment wasn’t out of character at all. and everything was moving along fine until the first 2 sides were done and i put on record #2(it’s a double) and instead of the 3rd side starting i got side A all over again which apparently meant that i had 2 1st records and no 2nd records on my hands which meant i actually only possessed half of the greatest record of all time. how could this happen?
well i’ll tell you how it could happen. for various reasons(including many personal shortcomings) i’ve often found myself in dire need of money and in such instances have often resorted to selling whatever i had to sell and the only things i have of any real value are my records. so many, many times in my life i’ve picked through my collection and grabbed a stack of records that were worth something and taken them to the local record store and sold them, often for pennies on the dollar. over the years my record collection has been whittled down and although at 1st i was able to sell records that were valuable but not super important to me i’ve reached the point where any further dings to my stacks are gonna HURT. now i was aware that i had had 2 copies of double nickels at some point but was pretty sure i had sold one of them back so when i pulled out that copy today and found 2 1st records and no 2nd ones my heart literally dropped. this was a real tragedy and i ain’t lying. the obvious conclusion was that i had sold back a copy of double nickels containing 2 SECOND records and left myself a copy with 2 FIRST records. and on top of the lack of necessary tuneage i was staring in the face there was also a well of self-loathing i had successfully quashed since my last visit to the record store which was now welling up inside me like a river of puke come to ruin my day/life. that loathing being there because of what dostoevsky might call the “self-lacerations” inflicted whenever i thought about the fact that instead of either simply WORKING more to generate more income or(better yet) not to waste so much fucking money in the 1st place i had resorted to selling off the only real “things” that mattered to me. which seemed to point to all sorts of inadequacies i preferred not think about.
well like the title says this horrible catastrophe was unexpectedly cut short because when on a long shot i went out to the garage to check i found the other copy of the album which i apparently hadn’t sold, and although it only had ONE record in it guess which one it was? well it was sides C & D, it was the missing 2nd record. and although all of the issues kicked up by all of this confusion are still lingering they have been reduced to smaller, more manageable chunks. so my day is back on track.
giants won again on more cardinal errors and they’re now only one win away from the world series. my cat is being is extra cute this morning but it’s back to wookie’s tonight for game 5 and some food and visiting, too. the sun is out which is a rare thing this time of year and now if you’ll excuse me i’m going to finish listening to the greatest record of all time. you should too.

time’s up

not much time this morning so this’ll be something of an experiment, gotta play mr. mom cos wookie’s going to work and leni has a late start at school so i have to hang out w/her for 2 hours and then drop her off, looks like i’ll be meeting people like teachers and parents and maybe principals and crossing guards, i mean who knows? this is all new to me. i’ll even have a booster chair in my truck from now on which means i’m gonna be one of THOSE guys which quite frankly makes me a little bit squirrelly but you know, the things you do for love and all that stuff. wookie thinks i should have a blog all about being a new “parent”, she thinks people might actually read it which would be an odd change but there’s just no way i’m going there anytime soon. i prefer keeping it loose and open and not knowing what i’m going to write about although i do have at least one topic picked out that i’ll probably get to soon and that’ll be about all the fun i had in the detox ward, 3 different times and 2 different places. that was a while ago but there’s plenty of ground to cover when you’re writing about those places so there’ll be plenty of grist for the mill. unlike today, i mean i’m just treading water at this point.

i started going through my stuff in the garage to see what i’m up against and ran into a situation right off the bat cos when i opened up one of my trunks it was filled w/way more sports cards than i remember and man is it HEAVY. i used to collect those things but they’ve been in storage for several years and there’s just no way i can go through them before the move so that’s just another thing i probably don’t need that’s gonna get dragged into another storage space at another apartment and like most people i have a fair amount of that sorta stuff, like old papers and books i’ll never read again and clothes i don’t wear and whatnot, shit i’ve been carting around for years. but after you’ve moved something around a few times it seems weird to just toss it, there’s a certain amount of psychic dissonance to contend with when you start to realize that there’s a whole lot of extraneous debris taking up mental/physical space in your life and unless you’re prepared to jettison a few loads of tenacious psychic baggage it’s best not to think too much about it.

so i’ll move briefly onto sports, where the giants went up 2-1 on the cardinals in the NLCS strictly as a result of the cards’ inability to get through 9 innings w/o making at least one costly, boneheaded error. last night they scored on a great bunt that facilitated a lousy throw that sailed past the 2nd baseman(who was covering first) and into the outfield and allowed brandon crawford(who was only on base in the 1st place because the same pitcher responsible for the wild throw had walked him to lead off the inning) to score from 2nd. game to san francisco and boy is mom happy. she’s all done with jury duty now and can really focus on the playoffs.

so that’s about it, i’ve got a collage mostly glued down and it looks good and i’ve got a booster chair in my truck so look out world, i’ve got a train to catch.

time’s up.



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