another slovenly day

today is my friend nathan’s birthday and he’s married to my 2nd oldest friend hane and hane is one of the smartest people i know and smart people are good to know and when me and hane met in college i was really into slovenly and then SHE got really into slovenly and once for the magazine i edited we went to their flat in san francisco to interview them and hane offered to drive both ways so i could get drunk. it ended up being a very good interview because i was pretty up to scratch on the band and knew what questions to ask and that’s the key to a good interview, knowing what to ask. slovenly ended up being on the cover of Osmotic Tongue Pressure #4 and hane had a big hand in making it happen.
when i say that hane is smart i mean it and the reason i would even remark on it is because apart from her intellectual capacities she is very much grounded in reality and knows what she wants and knows how to make it happen, and i don’t know a lot of people like that. i’m certainly not like that at all but hane is a tough cookie, she’s tenacious and patient in equal measure and that’s a deadly combo for anyone who might try to thwart her well-constructed plan for a successful strut through the maze that is life. nobody has to worry about hane and hane is nobody’s fool.
i was pretty honored when she asked me to be the speaker at her wedding in los angeles, it was held at union station downtown and there was a LOT of people there. i had flown down from portland to participate in the event and was staying at my brother’s and was on something of bender, a little loose and a little sloppy. my brother lent me a suit to wear and an SUV to drive(my bro lives in long beach) and when i arrived i found a liquor store and bought a half-pint of whiskey. i hadn’t prepared anything too awesome for the ceremony, i had found a rumi poem that seemed suited to the occasion even though i later found out that rumi was pretty standard marriage fare and a little on the sappy side to boot, i’m glad nobody told me at the time because it was all i had. right before the ceremony began i went into a stall in the bathroom and downed the half-pint in one gulp and before i knew it i was out in the courtyard at union station standing in front of a large gathering in my capacity as the wedding’s orator. i remember being less nervous than i should have been, i’ve always hated being in front of large groups and did not like being the center of attention but i think maybe the whiskey helped because i was able to say something appropriate and sincere before reading the rumi thing and then sat down on a bench next to the minister, a pretty asian woman who told me that i had done just fine, which was nice to hear.
what wasn’t so nice was that after the ceremony i found myself too drunk to make my way to the reception where i would no doubt drink much more and i knew if that happened there was no way i was getting back to my brother’s place. so instead i just sort of wandered off and got back in the SUV and started the 30 minute(or so) drive back to long beach, feeling pretty stupid about having to miss the reception. i ran into heavy traffic on what must have been the 10 or the 710 freeway and for the next 3 hours me and a gazillion other motorists CRAWLED our way in a southwesterly direction, i’ve been in plenty of LA traffic in my life and this was without a doubt the WORST. i might’ve even had a 6-pack in the car with me but either way i was drunk and tired and i remember at one point i rolled down the window and started talking to a dude in the car next to me and things were so stalled that i was able to have a decent-sized conversation with the fellow and things never sped up the whole way down. somehow i made it to my exit and after that ordeal i decided to stop and have a few at a bar near my brother’s and i remember that afterwards when i was pulling out of the parking space i was in i rammed into the car behind me but since i was drunk and it was a bumper-to-bumper type thing i drove off.
the next morning my brother took me out to the car and showed me a long scratch along the side of it and asked me what the hell. i told him about the ramming but said i didn’t sideswipe anything and didn’t mention the drinking although he’s no dummy and must have known anyhow. and for some reason the way i remember it is that he had lent me his OLD SUV even though(as i have finally come to accept) it was actually his NEW SUV that i had fucked up. so now i had screwed up twice, first by having to ditch hane and nathan on their wedding day and then by scratching up my brother’s new car and even though at the time i didn’t sweat it too much this was just one more instance in a long line of instances where drinking got in the way of something that was actually kind of IMPORTANT. which is what it tends to do. but to get back to my point…happy birthday nathan!
today is wookie’s “day off” which is actually packed with appointments and preparing things for the big slumber party tonight, leni’s having a couple of friends over to celebrate HER birthday. again. i wonder if i should’ve invited hane?

ain’t it fun?

captain beefheart died 4 years ago today and before he croaked he changed the landscape of popular music, or rather unpopular music but as we know what happens underground eventually bubbles to the surface and when it does it can’t help but alter the terrain up there at least a little bit. the record that really did a number on people’s assumptions about sonic capacities was “trout mask replica” but i’ve already posted that record so i thought i’d go with his 1st record which is a bit more accessible and might make a nice soundtrack for reading whatever ends up in this post, all you gotta do is click on that thing up there and then we can start. ready? good.
so far today i’ve gotten the most views on this blog ever which is cool but the confusing part is that while at this point there’s been 55 views the stats page tells me there’s only been 7 visitors. i still haven’t quite figured out what the difference is but my assumption is that 6 people have read one or 2 posts and the 7th has gone completely bonkers and thus far has perused 49. hope you’re having fun and maybe even picking up some useful information #7! and thanks for jacking up my stats.
yesterday my cousin paula wrote and told me that the blog has introduced her to a lot of new music and that was a nice thing to hear, i’ve spent a big chunk of time listening to all kinds of stuff in my life and as a result at this point music has gotta be my strongest suit to play and play it i do. and though generally the stuff i recommend is either jazz or rock i have forayed into folk and blues and world music and rap and a tiny bit of classical but that last one is my weak spot so if you’re looking for an opening to exploit that’d be the place to start. also yesterday i got a view from someone who runs a fan page about jim morrison and his longtime companion pamela courson and that person read my post about the 27 club which is the club you join when you’re a rock star that bites the dust at that tender age. usually it’s a result of drugs and/or alcohol but not always so be careful doing whatever it is you do between your 27th and 28th birthdays, your friends and family would probably prefer to have you around for a few more years.

this song really did a number on my addled brain during my 2-year stint in san francisco, it’s a song about kicking the bucket too soon(“ain’t it fun when you know you’re gonna die young?”) and the guy who wrote it(peter laughner) only lived to be 24 before drug and alcohol abuse caught up with him in the form of acute pancreatitis. the reason it freaked me out so is because i was drinking a lot at that time and having hangovers that really gave me the screaming willies and/or the bonafide heebie-jeebies and when your brain gets that frazzled all kinds of strange things start to sneak into your consciousness and when you mix that with depression and a dash of paranoia you might end up as something of a hypochondriac which is what happened to me, i walked around that city constantly thinking i was about to keel over from pancreatitis or liver failure or a brain aneurysm or whatever other disease cropped up. why i chose that particular period of time to get into this particular song remains a mystery to this day but i still find “ain’t it fun” to be a particularly harrowing tune. i hope it doesn’t ruin your morning/evening.
wookie just paid me a visit, she usually comes in when she wakes up and we have coffee together and today the story is that there’s a talent show at her work and so even though it’s my day to get leni i’ll have the afternoon off because wookie’s bringing leni to the talent show where she’ll be singing “the star spangled banner” and if you think that song-choice kinda sticks in my craw you’re right, i am not a fan. i find the standing and/or saluting the flag while someone butchers the falsetto on “o’er the land of the free?” to be somewhat egregious, i think jingoism in any form is at best half-sinister and even though he wasn’t dissing patriotism per se i think samuel johnson’s quote that “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” is pretty accurate. just think of all the corrupt assholes who have wrapped themselves in the flag to perpetrate horrible crimes in the name of “security” or “freedom” or “capitalism” and your head will spin, and you can start with every single U.S. president since the republic was formed and pretty much all presidents or kings or titans of industry in ANY country for that matter. but i can see this is turning into a rant and last night i re-read an old post and discovered it was WAY too long and while it’s too late to cut this short i’ll spare you another 500 words at this point and wish you the happiest of thursdays. i mean shit, it’s only a talent show.

future mind and the infinity trigger

me and wookie woke up separately but simultaneously this morning. she’s blind as a bat without her glasses so she propped herself up in bed and squinted towards the clock but it must not have worked because when she turned around and saw that i was also awake she said “what time is it?” and when i told her it was 5 she said “i was hoping it was one or something”. wookie likes sleep and never seems to get enough because of the job so she was hoping it was still the middle of the night so she could drift back into dreamland for more than the hour and a half she was looking at. or squinting at. anyways we talked in the dark for a couple of minutes and while we were joking around she said “i’m gonna tuck into you” and i said “isn’t that the mazzy star song?”. the phrase “tuck into” is a funny one and threw my friend karen for a loop when i used it off the cuff one time, she had never heard it before. of course there’s also the phrase “tuck you in” and while that’s a completely separate thing i suppose you could say “i’m gonna tuck into you while i’m tucking you in”. anyways i always liked that mazzy star song even though it’s not as jagged as i generally like my music, it’s not jagged at all, it’s pretty. i wrote a post about pretty songs once and i guess i could’ve thrown “fade into you” into the mix but i forgot. and i guess that j mascis also likes the song because he did a cover of it but when i listened to the beginning of his version i was unimpressed so i guess i’ll just use an old dinosaur jr song, that’s his band and i listened to their record “you’re living all over me” on my first trip to europe so here’s my favorite track from THAT album:

dinosaur jr used to be just called “dinosaur” but i guess there was another band called that so they had to add the “jr”, the world of band names can get rather tricky.
another name “controversy” was actually the name of this blog, when i started it me and wookie looked around on the web to see if someone else had already claimed it and the only 2 instances of it being used were 1) one other artist had used it for a brief period of time on the website “deviantart” but wasn’t using that account anymore and had changed the name and 2) apparently there’s a company called “infinity firearms” and since firearms have triggers that phrase comes up once or twice. i got the phrase from an old song i wrote called “future mind and the infinity trigger” and right now i’m going to try to post it but i doubt it will work, i’ve never done it before:
yeah, never mind. it didn’t work.
anyways that song and 13 others are gonna be on the tape that jeff’s gonna put out, i’m calling it “no friends band, lost tapes 1998-2005″ and to be honest i’m starting to have some doubts about whether it’s going to be any good or not. mostly it’s the vocals that are bugging me, other people have told me i sing just fine but it’s hard to hear your own voice being musical and when the words are really clear it’s even harder. lyrics are tricky things and there’s some lines in the songs that bug me and stick out like sore thumbs and as everyone knows sore thumbs suck. which is ironic because when you get a sore thumb it’s actually YOU that sucks, i mean you suck your sore thumb to ease the pain. whether or not this phenomena has anything to do with infancy i couldn’t tell you.
i actually started browsing a parenting book which is a strange predicament to find myself in. it’s actually wookie’s book and she’s been using it for tips on how to deal with certain situations involving leni who just turned 7 and is a little too sharp for her own good, or ours for that matter. boundaries. it’s all about boundaries. with me in particular it’s tricky because i haven’t been able to figure out where those boundaries should go and i tend to be easy going until pushed too far and then i can get pretty annoyed and the other day i had to raise my voice(well maybe i didn’t HAVE to but i did anyway) for the 1st time when she wasn’t listening to me but then that made her cry. so apparently there’s a pretty big learning curve and since i haven’t been there during her development up to this point that curve is hard to navigate. ultimately me and wookie are trying to get her to do 2 things: 1) be nice to and respectful of other people(including us) and 2) quit making a mess everywhere and if you do then clean up your shit afterwards. that’s pretty much it. for now.
like a lot of things that seems simple enough and like a lot of things it’s actually way more complicated than that for some reason. and figuring out what the reason IS might be a good start but that alone probably won’t fix any problems that need solving. and as stan always says, “the world is problematic”. which might just be the understatement of his or anybody else’s life time.
maybe i’ll just go back to bed.

a series of fortunate events

well, a couple anyways. #1 is the finishing up of the tape that’s gonna come out, all the stuff is mixed and the songs are in order and etc. and now i will never have to kick myself again because of “the lost tapes” episode that dragged on for 15 years because everything is found and marked and mixed and in digital form to send off to japan. one thing i won’t mention(to keep things on the “fortunate” tip) is my concern over whether or not jeff is gonna like it at all or not, i’m not sure it’s his cup of tea but he’ll have to put it out anyways even if he hates it because he already said he would and he is a man of his word, it’s a dicey prospect but i won’t mention it because it’s not a “fortunate” situation and i’m trying to stick to the theme of optimism and appreciation here. so let’s stay on track.
#2 is the fact that i got to see stan yesterday and so that ice is now broken, you know how sometimes you don’t see your friends for a while and the longer it goes on the more awkward you feel? well i guess i was starting to feel that way about stan because it’s been about a month and a half since i moved and we had only talked once(and that was briefly) since then and i had tried to touch base w/him a couple of times and he hadn’t gotten back to me so i thought maybe he was mad or hurt or i had done something to make him feel bad or something, you know, all of the things that go through your head in situations like that(at least all of the things that go through MY head). but yesterday while fucking around on facebook i got a chat message from stan that proposed us meeting for coffee and it just so happens that i had spent the morning trying to self-motivate to get over to the old place and visit w/him but had thus far(at that point) failed rather miserably but with a little momentum from the outside was able to get showered and shaved and off we went to the rain or shine coffee shop just down the road. anyways it was just like old times up to and including him asking me to take care of his dog abby while him and karen take a short trip to corvallis to see their friends. and no i don’t think that was the only reason stan got in touch w/me, i’ll admit it crossed my mind but i was able to cross out that cross pretty quick. i don’t know if i’ve mentioned abby before but she’s a loveable little jack russell that freaks the fuck out when you’ve got her on the leash and she sees pretty much ANYTHING, other dogs in particular but also children, strollers, skateboards, bicycles, cats, and squirrels. which means she’s something of a pain in the ass to take care of but she’s so cute that you don’t mind all that much. she’s not as cute as this, though:

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i’ll just go ahead and include guzzy as a fortunate event, wouldn’t you? so that makes 3.
the 4th and most unexpected fortunate event came in the form of a long and extremely affecting message that showed up in the “comments” section of one of my blog posts a couple of days ago, from an anonymous source. i had written in that post(as an aside, no less) about the lack of credit i got for my part in the band i played with for over a decade, trumans water. i griped about things like the wikipedia entry and other write-ups that basically treated me as a peripheral member when for 11 years i was one third of that band in every respect, idea-wise and musically and artistically and etc. okay, so in the entry i mentioned that i felt slighted by all of this. a couple of days later a message showed up from someone who is apparently very familiar with that band and had all sorts of kind words concerning my participation in it, and nothing like that has ever really happened to me before. he covered my contributions to songs and albums and seemed to think that i had filled a difficult position(trumans was very unorthodox rhythmically) with a considerable amount of success. he also compared my drumming to that of captain beefheart’s magic band and it seems that to both of us that is the highest praise. he ended by saying that “i wanted to contribute something that would do at least some justice and to let you know that your work hasn’t gone unappreciated.”
the whole thing was very moving and to be honest i felt humbled by it all. as a basically unknown artist you often feel like you’re just working in a vacuum and sometimes it’s hard to muster up the energy to continue to do things when you receive next to no feedback. this blog is a case in point. but every now and again a voice comes out from the wilderness to offer acknowledgement and encouragement and helpw you to continue doing what you’re doing and that really is a very fortunate thing.
i just heard the toaster “ding” which means somebody’s toast is done which means wookie is now awake and we can have coffee together before she goes to work. this is also a fortunate event. and thanks to everyone and anyone who has ever encouraged an artist to keep on keeping on, we can use all the help we can get.

the good fight

i’ve already written about television(the band) and also about television(the idiot box) but it’s tom verlaine’s birthday and he’s from television(the band) and i love this song so here we go. where to, i’m not so sure yet.
yesterday was basically a “write off”, you ever have those? days where things just don’t really work out or go anywhere or seem to have much to offer? well that was my yesterday. it started with sleeping away most of the morning. i did get up and write which is something but it’s not enough to bulwark(good word, one of my favorites) my limited mojo against the static onslaught of less productive days. when you’re already prone to depression such things can really knock you for a loop and at the end of a crappy day if you cannot look back on SOMETHING that you managed to accomplish then you’re going to have a crappy night, too, so i ended up throwing in the towel around 8:30, pulling my knit cap over my eyes and sending myself off into the ether.
before that i watched a movie about muhammad ali and i’ve also written about him because he happens to be something of a hero to me for various reasons and it was a good enough movie to keep me occupied for a couple of hours which got rid of the nagging boo-hoos for a little while. one new thing about me and ali is that about a month ago i saw a doc about the “thrilla in manilla” which talked about what a jerk ali was to joe frazier in the run-up to their fights(there were 3 with the “thrilla” being the 3rd) and how hurtful it was to joltin’ joe and his family. frazier comes off as a pretty tragic figure in the movie and the story sort of tempered my love for ali a little bit but last night’s movie sort of restored it. sports figures are generally pretty one-dimensional but some of them like jackie robinson and ali and roberto clemente and hank aaron have a lot more going on than knocking people out or hitting home runs and it’s always nice when that happens because then you don’t feel quite as guilty for getting caught up in baseball or boxing or basketball or football. and speaking about basketball and sports figures with some depth there’s a lot of support going on in the NBA for the protests taking part across the country regarding police brutality against people of color. some of our very own sports figures(i mean all portland has is the blazers) sported the “i can’t breathe” t-shirts during the pre-game(including the national anthem) and that’s a small but encouraging show of solidarity from damian lillard, lamarcus aldridge, wesley matthews, will barton, and dorell wright. plus they had the coach’s(terry stotts) backing so that was nice. with lebron james it’s more complicated because historically i have really disliked him but his support for the protests has thrown a wrench into the works.
the protests don’t seem to be going away anytime soon and that’s a great sign, i think that what’s happening now is perhaps even more encouraging than occupy wall street because the potential for a really broad-based mass movement seems to be there and whereas the occupy stuff was perhaps somewhat limited by it’s radical roots(anarchists, etc) the recent wave of protests are not. it seems to me that a movement based on an anti-racist platform might at this point find a wider audience and when the more mainstream elements(such as sports figures) begin to line up behind it there’s a lot of potential there, enough so that it may even be able to go beyond police brutality and into the realm of economic disparity where who knows what might happen? once people begin to question the economy you never know where it might stop and once people become aware of the inherent racism, inequality, destruction and dangers of capitalism we’ll be well on the way to having a revolution on our hands. finally.
wookie might even like that and she had a bad night last night, worse than mine even. she’s hopefully sleeping it off right now as today will be action-packed and we’ll both need to have our bearings to navigate things like the mall, ice skating, and a large dinner gathering with all the pipsqueaks thrown in for good measure. although now that i’ve been up for a couple of hours going back to bed is starting to sound a little too nice, what would ali say? probably something like this:

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float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

seven and seven is

yesterday leni turned 7 which made it my 1st birthday as the pipsqueak’s overlord, i mean overseer, i mean parent/guardian/step-dad/what-am-i? and it started EARLY. like christmas morning early. the festivities got underfoot(or is that underway?) in the pre-dawn hours which isn’t exactly odd in my case but the last time i saw leni get up at 5 in the morning to do anything except go back to sleep was never. i figured yesterday morning would be no exception but the little tyke had other plans and those plans included pancakes so it was off to the kitchen for me. the first time i tried to make leni pancakes was shortly after i met her and though i followed a recipe that time the batter had ended up seeming too thick so i added milk and tried to fry the results but to no avail, now the batter was maybe too thin? that was my only guess so i continued to dip into the flour jar in an attempt to thicken it and i swear to god no matter HOW much flour i added the goop would not thicken to the point where it was fryable and while i know that the reason had something to do with the baking powder or salt or something i am still perplexed about what exactly that reason IS so if there’s any cooks out there in batter-land who feel like clearing this mystery up please send the answer to me right here at infinitytrigger and the 1st solution that can pass our stringent string of trials-and-errors nets the proprietor a pencil.
yesterday’s pancakes had to be made with wheat flour and brown sugar and was straight up my best batch yet.

the birthday proceedings had actually started the night before with wookie doing the present-wrapping and balloon-blowing and festivities-planning and feng-shui-ing to get everything just so but wookie’s no fool and so took the me-making-pancakes time frame as a license to snooze the wee morning hours away. leni is also no fool and realized that no wookie=no presents and so cut that snooze short and then it was time to unwrap a few things and all of those few things were birthday presents. the big hit was this nutcracker/barbie dvd i found at goodwill for a couple of bucks and ironically wookie had seen that very same dvd a day prior but had decided(after a few moments reflection) to pass on it. any responsible and/or crafty parental figure would have done the same because the barbie shit is really horrendous in pretty much every way which means that a) encouraging barbie-engagement is most likely not a real positive approach from a child-development standpoint and b) buying the dvd GUARANTEES that either me or wookie or both is going to have to sit through the monstrosity. when i picked up leni from school later on that day i decided to do wookie a solid(i owed her one) and let the little ragamuffin eat brownies and watch the barbie thing while mama bear was still at work which means i had to soak up the full brunt of not only watching a horribly-animated piece of crap but at the same time listening to what at this point amounts to christmas music 2 full weeks before that holiday arrives, and i do not like christmas music. bah humbug.
later we ate at a place called laughing planet with wookie’s mom and brother E and had cupcakes for dessert and then walked 2 blocks to the avalon arcade on belmont. at the avalon you pay a small admission fee and buy a sack of nickels and then walk around playing skee-ball, air hockey, and crappy car or shooting games for an hour or so. i played the worst skee-ball of my life and then tried to play a driving game that i had never seen but it turned out that most of the instructions were in japanese and i accidentally ended up in a honda fit, hit “manual transmission” while selecting my vehicle and had no idea how to shift(plus the gearshift was on the left side!) and ended up spinning my wheels while crashing up against the guard rail at the starting gate for the 1st half of the race. for some reason the sack of nickels in my jacket pocket seemed to grow bigger with each game i played and towards the end i was overheating, leaving credits on pinball machines, and literally throwing nickels away on the most wasteful machines i could find. wookie hit the jackpot on the MOST wasteful of the games(where you drop your nickel down a pachinko-type chute and hope it does something to the pharoah or whatever it is) and so leni had a lot of tickets to cash in and she got a boomerang that doesn’t come back and a plastic robotic claw. birthday over.
also last night E brought the disc of my 4 track stuff that we had recorded the day previous to the restaurant and i will say about more recording, the studio, and the results some other time.

i know i say that a lot but this time i really mean it. parenting is pretty fun.

happy birthday diego rivera

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the painter’s studio, 1954

sad reindeer and the 27 club

jim morrison would have been 71 today if he wasn’t dead, but instead of hanging around until his twilight years jim kicked the bucket in such a manner that he joined the “27 club” which is a club that you should try to avoid joining. unless of course you think that dying when you’re 27 years old is the cat’s pajamas. i decided to look up who else is in the club and there’s a boatload of fellow premature dead-getters to choose from including jimi hendrix, janis joplin, brian jones, kurt cobain, amy winehouse, mia zapata, and d boon. those last 2 are the most tragic because neither zapata nor boon were doing anything stupid like overdosing or blowing their brains out when they passed on, zapata was strangled to death and boon died in a car wreck. d boon is possibly my favorite person of all time but since it’s morrison’s birthday today i’m gonna go ahead and stick with him for now.
my copy of the doors’ first record used to be my dad’s and although he wasn’t a member of the 27 club my dad died really young and when i moved to berkeley a few months after his passing i grabbed a stack of records he left behind and the ones i remember are the doors, captain beefheart’s “clear spot”, the beatles “magical mystery tour”, a couple of emmylou harris records, and joni mitchell’s “blue”. the joni mitchell record got me mocked a couple of times(once by my best friend AND my girlfriend!) but the mockers didn’t have a leg to stand on because their taste in music stunk and anyways “blue” was a sentimental favorite because my dad used to play it a lot. he also played a lot of john denver but fortunately THAT never sank in or i would have been quite vulnerable to any anti-kevin sentiments that were grounded my music library. anyways the record i remember most was the doors record and i remember it because although i was quite young when i was first being exposed to it a lot of it sunk in and in that sense it was probably the first “serious” music that made any impression on me. i mean i had some really kooky radio favorites as a tyke including “don’t go breaking my heart”(elton john and kiki dee) and “jet”(paul mccartney and wings) but the doors’ impact was sort of heavier and more menacing. i remember a road trip to san luis obispo where i was lying down in the backseat while my mom and dad rode/drove in the front and that doors’ number “the end” was on and while i found it very intriguing i also found it disturbing at the same time and i don’t think any song had previously had presented that attraction/repulsion dialectic to my young and malleable mind at that time. but since i’ve already posted “the end” in another entry here’s a different doors’ song i really like(though i didn’t come across it until much later):

when i was older i went through an anti-doors and in particular an anti-morrison phase because i read a book called “uptight” about the velvet underground and he was in it a little bit and did not come out smelling like a rose, it was pointed out that he wasn’t really a “poet” like he fashioned himself(or if he was he wasn’t a GOOD poet) but was instead an over-dramatic drunk with a pretentious streak. as usual the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle but at this point i’ve come to the conlcusion that the doors as a group were just too good to write off so there it stands. happy birthday jim!
i was in charge of leni yesterday and i have to admit that in the morning hours my parental skills were not in tip-top shape, i basically napped and/or dicked around on the computer and let her watch too much tv. that changed around noon when it was decided that we would drive out to cedar hills and visit the seven dees nursery out that way because they had some reindeer on site and some other stuff like music and face-painting to sort of ring in the christmas season. plus it was free. when we got there it was a bit of a zoo and we had to park a ways down the highway and for some reason i brought a blanket to donate to the homeless because the nursery was asking people to do that and i always do what i am told. there was an enormous line to get a picture with the reindeer that fortunately leni didn’t want to stand in either so instead i bought her a half-dozen fresh-baked mini-donuts. they were right out of the fryer and rolled in cinnamon sugar and were warm and good. then we walked over to see the other reindeer who was just hanging out in a cage and he looked like this:

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he had gnarly antlers and a shaggy coat and a collar that said “prancer” but after a few seconds of looking at him i started to get depressed because there was no fucking way that this particular creature wanted to be locked up and gawked at when he could be flying through the sky towing a fat man on his sled with all the other reindeer. so me and leni bailed and since we had only been at the nursery for like 15 minutes at that point we decided to walk around and look at plants but it’s winter and the plant scene is not great and also the nursery itself was sub-par so we couldn’t stretch our stay out that far and instead we just drove back to town.
we stopped at the rain or shine cafe again and she had hot chocolate and i had coffee and we were going to continue the ogre and silly juice story with part 2 but after a few sentences leni had a major attack of the sillies herself and could only say “ogre, ogre, OGRE” over and over and laugh hysterically and so i dragged her out of there and we went home to watch football and wait for wookie who was spending HER day attempting to take an alzheimer’s patient swimming and apparently it was a 2-hour ordeal for a 5 minute swim. time is a funny thing but alzheimer’s isn’t and my best friend mike is also a member of the 27 club and that’s not very funny either.

oregon ducks vs. portland yups

there’s 3 girls sleeping in the bed at the moment, i’m counting guzzy the cat(of course) because she possesses all of the good human qualities(being humble, sweet, and calm) and none of the crappy ones. there’s a new routine around the apartment which goes like this:
me and leni go to sleep early and wookie stays up tinkering for a couple of extra hours, cleaning or doing work stuff or just enjoying some quiet alone time. i get up long before anybody else except the cat, who begins buttering me up as soon as i show any signs of life, what with the purring and the climbing and the licking and whatnot. me and the cat visit the kitchen where i feed her and put a pot of coffee on and then i have MY time to tinker all by my lonesome for a couple of hours. leni hears me meandering around the apartment and takes this opportunity to switch beds and assume my place next to wookie. guzzy, having gorged herself to satisfaction, joins them. after working for 2-3 hours i begin to hit a wall and briefly consider returning to bed until i realize that there’s no room for me at this point. and that’s where i’m at now, a little dazed with nowhere to go. i’ve decided that all 4 of the pieces that i’ve been working on are done but will put off gluing them down until tomorrow and so i log into wordpress and write this stuff down and then i guess some people read it. ah, the cycle of life.
yesterday a fake christmas tree arrived at our door(i think from that horrible company amazon)(correction: wookie just informed me that it’s from a non-horrible company called “treetopia”) and it’s a beautiful pink one and wookie is psyched because apparently i’m the first fellow who was ok with anything else besides a real tree that was green. at 1st i simply didn’t care one way or another but now i’m also kind of psyched because the tree looks pretty great and frankly it livens up the proceedings quite a bit. take a look and see what i mean:

DSCF3204

so screw tradition, we’re gonna live in the pink for a month, why the hell not?
the ducks trounced the arizona wildcats 51-13 which means they’re the first team to secure a spot in the inaugural college football playoff. apparently that’s going to take place at the rose bowl in pasadena and the ducks are now flirting with a #1 ranking. which is cool because leni’s teacher is an oregon duck football FREAK and when a teacher is unhappy her students are unhappy and there’s already enough unhappiness in the world. i was a bit unhappy last night when i had to miss the game because wookie’s step-dad took us out to eat at a place call nostrano and although the food was pretty good the place was generally uptight and snooty. the hostess really looked down her nose at us and since i had to take leni outside 2-3 times that meant crossing paths w/her more than i would have liked. the reason i had to take leni outside was because she wouldn’t sit still and eat and instead was rather squirrelly and had that look in her eyes which said “get me the fuck out of here”. outside in the frigid air she ran around in circles and then we played a game where she would sprint to this red car in the parking lot and back and i would pretend to time her. well technically i wasn’t PRETENDING but rather counting as slow as was necessary to guarantee that she would beat her previous time over and over again.
apart from the hostess being snooty the restaurant was packed with portland yuppies and if there’s something out there that i dislike more than portland yuppies i haven’t run into it yet. what really sucks about pdx yups is that you know that these goons sitting around looking(and acting) like the conceited elitist fucks that they prefer to be are the same creeps responsible for the gentrification of the entire city which is now basically completely white and becoming more and more unaffordable. there ought to be a law against it but of course there isn’t and none of these jerks ever stops to think about the consequences of their presence in traditionally poor and/or minority neighborhoods so fuck ‘em. anyways having to sit amongst them was a drag, as they were just another reminder of the race/class divide that exists in this country and is on full display right now.
but there IS the 3 girls and the pink tree and there’s art and music and friends and neighbors and even though there’s not nearly enough hope in the world anymore there ARE people who are refusing to be rolled over on and that’s something that lifts the spirit at the most dire of times.
go ducks!

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