Friday, December 04, 2009
You said, why don't you tell me.
I could feel the heat of our bodies and synchronized breath. I looked into your eyes and remembered.
Back in '98, I had just broken up with some girl. I can barely remember her name now, anyway she cheated on me and I found out. I was heartsick for months, you know, she was the one and all.
My dad went to a cemetery to see his mom's grave and I was in a maudlin mood so I went with him.
I heard weeping. Heart rendering sobs of grief. Pain and love. Longing. Mumbled, I miss you's and I love you's over and over.
I look down the long aisle of tombstones and see a man bent over, wracked with grief. One of his hands was clutched around his heart, the other tracing the etched name of the tombstone.
My dad felt uncomfortable being by that much emotion and signaled me to go. As we passed near the man I was able to see the dates.
June 1, 1926 - August 5, 1962. Thirty-six years ago, he still weeps.
That is how much I love you.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
It took four years and a brutal divorce to get to this point. I got sick of blaming her. She is not done blaming me. I need to open the windows and get some air in here before I pass out from the paint fumes. My head throbs.
The phone is ringing. Five will get you twenty that it's the realtor. I keep moving back the sell date. Little fixer projects keep compounding. Cabinets need hung, tile needs grouted, rooms need a fresh coat of paint.
Especially this room.
I've finished everything I could think of, all installations are plumb and ablaze with new paint. The house looks better than when we bought it.
All except this one room.
I remember that day we got the house. Janice was so happy and her head was dizzy with excitement of what it would look like after a few years of hard work. It was OURS. I looked at it more with apprehension, I'm an office drone, hard work is as alien to me as an intake manifold gasket. I smiled and carried our daughter inside. Maybe we would make this work.
Little Izzy picked out her bedroom and said, "I want a princess room!" My little girl got everything she wanted. I spoiled her but she deserved it.
I got every single can of Pink Pastel Princess paint I could get my hands on and covered that upstairs room. Pink ceiling fan, pink trim, pink light switches. Izzy loved it.
And now I sit on an empty industrial size bucket of Alabaster White, alone in an empty room, in an empty house.
I've bought every different shade of white available and sat watching it dry. Eggshell, Off White, Bride White, Cream, and every combination I could gather. The realtor said the only way to sell a house is to paint all the rooms neutral. If the prospective couple had a boy they wouldn't be able to picture him in this pink room.
So I've been trying to cover and erase the memory of my daughter's wishes. But every time that white coat dries, the pink can be seen. It refuses to be let go.
I scraped the walls with sandpaper, and the pink shows.
I laid seven coats, and the pink shows.
I put up white wallpaper, and it fell to the ground.
Four years I've tried to whitewash this room and for four years I've seen that paint dry to a bleeding pink. My wife told me I was abandoning my daughter.
My daughter was the greatest gift I've ever received, and I could never abandon her or let her go.
The phone rings again.
The pink fades in on the wall.
If I can't cover the pink, how am I ever to cover the bloodstain near the floor?
Monday, October 05, 2009
And in two weeks she becomes Jewish.
I'm proud of her. This has been a long journey for her and one I traveled with but a tiny step behind. She forged this path the same way she chose it, alone and on her own.
She's learned about Judaism from a position of wanting to learn about Judaism. She isn't some poor kid being ferried back and forth to Hebrew school. She does not take this religion for granted. She does not resent. Every piece of information has been received with bright eyes and eagerness.
Aside from studying Jewish History the classes revolving around the mechanics have struck my wife like a tuning fork. For the first time in her life she's found something, other than me, that is set to her soul's frequency.
It's humbling to see someone embrace so fully something that has always been in the background, forgotten dusted off only for holidays.
However, there is that small negative that has attached itself to Judaism like a seventh point on the Star of David.
Jews aren't universally embraced. Entire religions and subcultures have been built around the idea that Jews are evil. The entire history of the Jewish people is nothing more than: We moved here, they try to kill us, we moved there.... Rinse and repeat. For eons, we as a people have suffered and died for our religion. Now lynchings and Pogroms don't happen that often but there are holdouts to the old ways.
Last Sabbath, my wife and I got a rude awakening about that other part of Judaism. That secret, hushed, always present thorn that consistently exists, that seems to be in the back of every Jew's mind: Happiness will always end. Someday THEY will come.
To the ancestors THEY were the Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Spaniards, French on and on and on.
To the modern Jew, THEY are the Nazis.
Two weeks ago the National Socialist Movement in Riverside, California made their debut. The NSM had been in town for about two years but they were making a big public showing for the first time. Their target was a group of illegal immigrants at a Home Depot. Way on the other side of town Jews, Unitarians, Green Party members, and various others rallied for Peace. A few different groups under the leadership of the Aztlan Brown Berets raced to the NSM rally and confronted them. A few punches were thrown over a flag but all in all, 10 Neo-Nazi met up with 50 or so defenders.
My wife and I were at that rally miles away from the fight. We never even saw a jackbooted jerk. And I know for a cold hard fact that no one of Jewish persuasion was over at the fight. Mainly because the Rabbi told us all to stay put.
A week later, my wife and I are heading for Sukkot/Children's services at the Temple and guess what?
Two NSM members were waving their flags and swastikas around outside of the Temple on Children services night.
Our Rabbi asked them why they were there. The older one said they were there in response to Jews breaking the Sabbath to attack innocent like minded individuals involved in a peaceful rally against illegal immigration.
No violence happened that night, cops were called but there was nothing they could do.
I told my wife that night, this is something that comes with all that other wonderful stuff.
Through gritted teeth she said she never wanted to be a Jew more.
Friday, September 18, 2009
As usual we are running late for, well any kind of occasion, but tonight for my birthday dinner. I’ve been dressed in my tux for a half an hour or more while you’ve been in the bathroom doing whatever it is female’s do.
This scene replays so often that I don’t even glance at my watch or give a shit anymore. I just put the TV on ESPN.
The door opens and you stand there looking at me…
A vision of angels greets me. After all these years, little moments crystallize in my mind of how fucking beautiful you are.
I swoon with pride, lust, and love.
I reach for that special spot on your hip, that place where my body melts into you.
“Baby,” you say, “we’re already late…”
“It’s my fucking birthday.”
We fall into the bed together, breathing each other.
We make love looking into each other’s eyes, slowly, I relish the feeling.
I love this woman.
She orgasms with me, we are in sync.
She looks me in the eyes, “Happy 90th baby.”
Monday, August 31, 2009
Within minutes our home would be gone.
We were evacuated days ago; the flames were close
We scrambled out the door with everything else we could fit in the cars.
Something is still missing. I ducked under the dividing tape to get back to the house.
I fan the flashlight over our wedding photos, eyes puffy from joy.
I pass a picture of me as a child waiting for a baseball to land in my glove, thrown from my father who just like the picture, was always just out of the frame.
What else is there?
I go to the bedroom as I see the flames reach our neighbors house. I rummage around in a drawer.
I rush out of the house.
My wife, on our second date made me write a letter to my father forgiving him and asking for an apology.
I never mailed it, much to my wife’s disappointment.
The fire consumes the house.
I drive to my mother in law’s house, on the way I mail the letter. I didn’t fill out the return address, he died in 1998.
I call my wife, “I love you and you were right.”
Friday, August 28, 2009
After 35 long years, it had finally happened.
She sits at the table like every other morning. The newspaper was read, the coupons clipped. The coffee was gone, another pot was brewing.
Thirty-five years of being tethered to a wheelchair and hospice bed.
Half a dozen times she reached for the phone to call the nursing home. She always had to call to make sure they got him out of the bed otherwise he’d lay all day and get bedsores.
She looks through the mail. A mountain of sympathy cards and final bills from insurances. A large manila envelope held a death certificate.
Her grandson left a brochure for a cruise…
With the Caribbean at his bag, he laughed that great big roar of joy, “Baby, I’m the King of the Ocean, ain’t no place on the water we won’t see.”
The next week he was diagnosed and her life stopped.
Now it can start again, the future was hers.
Seventy-five years old.
She pores another cup of coffee and reaches for the phone…
Another ficly.com original
I am cursed, have been since I was a boy.
My dad said it was because he fucked a gypsy in Peoria.
Every time I fell in love with a girl, they moved away.
Every rock star I loved, dead at 27.
Even the food I love will suddenly stop being sold at grocery stores .
Literally, I am a dead end for dreams of fulfillment. If you want to go somewhere in life, don’t let me know about it.
My dad knows all about my curse. Used to beat me every night. He told me it was my fault Twilight Zone got canceled. To hear him, I’m to blame for everything from the cancellation of Star Trek to the Kennedy assassination, both of them.
My penance has been four broken clavicles, a detached retina, internal bleeding, and a few anal fissures.
But,I’ve decided my revenge, every thing I love and idolize dies.
Dad you are my hero…
I want to be just like you…
Everything you do is right…
It’s been ten years of worship.
My wife has a restraining order against me and my son is in traction.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
He is alert now. More then ever before.
He can feel the heat rising in the air, taste the fear.
He smells urine, sweat, and regret.
He senses the change in the atmosphere, the residual ozone of his brothers cut down by the last group of stragglers. The food chain is made of barbed wire sometimes.
They had cornered the family in an old church. Mordecai could smell the dry rot and termites. Dust of prayers never finished, the Lord had been gone a long time.
One by one his nest had braved the doors only to be spurned and burned by the family holding a cross.
“Back demon! The power of our God will smite you!”
With a confident stride he walks towards the church door. When he is aroused by blood, Mordecai becomes silent and arrogant.
“Demon! You will not harm us! Die like your foul brothers!”
A man puts the cross in Mordecai’s face. They expect fire, they receive a chuckle.
One by one Mordecai feeds. The last survivor clings to the cross, “Why didn’t the cross stop you?”
Monday, July 13, 2009
Normally, I leave a semi big footprint in the online world. I follow a lot of blogs, webcomics, and news sites. I twit and regularly post on writing sites like ficly.com. I probably spend a good four to five hours a day farting around on this here internet.
And I do it all at work.
Or I did. Company changed an internet policy lately that doesn't really police my internet, rather it measure my bandwidth.
I got food poisoning at the beginning of last week and that coupled with work restrictions, I've been unplugged as they say. And it felt pretty good.
I'll probably ramp back up to my former speed soon. But for a while it was nice to not be tethered to a facebook or twitter feed.
Take it easy internet.
PS. Go see Moon. It's fantastic.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Tuesdays 10pm on FX. Check your local listings.
It's one of those shows that consistently f's with the audience. Things too tense, here's a comedy show. Laughing too much here's some heartbreak. That guy is your favorite character, well now he's dead.
Seriously this entire show's catalog is a roller coaster of emotion.
This week's episode went a little too far.
And I love it.
The entirety of "Torch" is pretty messed up. Denis Leary's Tommy finds he can't cry after years of alcohol, death, and loss. So he drinks an entire bottle of Jameson and takes a blowtorch to his leg. Then while patching himself up he gets his cousin's widow to have sex with her, in an very S+M borderline rape scene.
But that's not the troubling part.
At the very beginning of the episode, Tommy's Fire Engine squad report to a three car pile up.
The joke, they laugh, and they get to work.
Lou, Tommy's friend, is trying to get Tommy out of the house so he can bang his Hooker/Thief girlfriend (it makes sense if you watch the show) when he stops dead in his tracks and begins to weep.
The other guys run over and all start vomiting and crying. Except Tommy.
It's a kid they say.
Tommy says he'll handle it and goes and gets a blanket.
Movies might be the high art of film, but TV when done right can nail powerful emotion without being explicit.
Tommy kneels in front of the camera, which is tight on his face.
Tommy begins gathering the kid into the blanket.
And when I say gather, I mean reaching in different directions. The camera never leaves his face and never shows anything horrible.
When he stands up the blanket isn't covering a human shape. It more resembles a pile of dirty laundry.
I still can't get that scene out of my head.
It was a master's class of staging and writing, and I applaud Leary and company.
Watch it people.
Update:// Here's the clip while it lasts
Another ficly.com original. Ficly.com the most fun you can have with your pants on. At work
It never gets easier.
This fucking job…
A punch clock on the soul. Start and finish, minute and hour. Ever closer to death.
I exist in definitions I’ve never found to be true.
For eight-ten hours a day, I become labels and employee handbook regulations. I walk through a door and become someone I am not.
The beauty part is that it all starts over again tomorrow.
I have dreams and aspirations. But not from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM. Those hours I’m a drone.
Minute and hour.
For what? I don’t even fucking know anymore. You come to my house it looks like a goddamn Ikea catalog.
I hate my fucking nightstand.
I have nothing to show for myself outside of this time frame of work. Everyday I turn myself off for 8 hours so that I can enjoy the other 16.
My house bores me to tears.
So, I tell you this not to be depressing, but to tell you, don’t take it personal.
It’s a paycheck.
Now close your eyes.
You won’t feel a thing.
That’s a good girl.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The bridge was too high, the water, black and cold was too, too far below.
Grammatically, he may be correct. The above is a run on sentence. But I never care about such things.
My use of semi-colons has forever been altered by Kurt Vonnegut.
Here's his rule:
Here is a lesson in creative writing.I think that pretty much sums it up.
First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.
And I realise some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I'm kidding.
For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I'm kidding.
We are about to be attacked by al-Qaida. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I'm kidding.
If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I have a purpose now.
I’ve never been more ashamed. I’ve never been happier.
For all my wandering and all my searching for a clue, I have found one thing to be true.
Killing makes my back hurt.
I take a Darvoset every morning and Oxycondine every night. My world is a fog. Last night I hurt my wrist when the crowbar hit a brick wall instead of the much softer middle school principal/pederast crying and dying in the alleyway.
I have a different appreciation of the words “Dead Weight” now.
The newspapers call me a pervert and a deviant. They can not see the message, the gift. I am a true American hero, I am fighting for individuality.
As of this date over 30,000 men have applied for a name change. For the first time in history no babies have been blessed with mediocrity.
And yet I still must work. I am not yet truly alone. A status of being I’ve been destined to.
“Hey buddy, you got a light?”
The guy I’ve been watching crosses the street.
“Hi, I’m James, what’s your name…”
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Original Post of Ficly.com
She looks at me for the final time with no tears in her eyes. It’s the first time since we found out the news she’s been able to look at me.
Breathless and exhausted, we stare into each other souls.
There are no words anymore. Just breath, scent, and heart. This moment is the moment that I’ve been waiting for without realizing it.
Our lungs synchronize with the clock.
Another couple of seconds burn off. It’s getting darker now.
It’s getting cold.
We spent a furious day in bed. The sex was urgent, insistent. She pulled me into her with more power than her 110 pound should ever produce. The fabled mom strength where she would be able to pull a car off a child.
I walk to the balcony naked. Her hands never leave my body.
“Baby, it’s close to time.”
“I know Max. Any regrets?”
The sun begins to rise over the mountain. As the light hits my face, I feel warmth for the first time.
“Nah, today was the best day ever.”
We turn to each other.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Original post on ficly.com
His death was fast. So that’s a good thing.
I guess, I don’t really know. All I do know is the poor kid has arms and legs in angles I didn’t really even know was possible.
The coroner said that the arms are like that because the bones were near shattered upon contact.
19 years old and he ended up looking like a swastika made of burnt meat.
Christ he smells.
The tech nerds at the station were able to leech some information out of the hardrive. Lot’s of messages and tweets, whatever the hell those are, to a porn star named Delilah Stone. She runs a virtual sex site, complete with user input.
When I asked the tech nerds what that meant they showed what looked to be a blood pressure cuff, complete with Delilah’s open mouth and logo on the side.
Coroner rules it death by electrocution through the penis. The cuff constricted so much his member entrapped him before it disintegrated.
Ah, young love ain’t what it used to be.
I pick up some flowers before I go home.
I love you baby…
Thursday, June 18, 2009
He moves into my vision with that sad, slack-jawed, Droopy McCool look in his eye. He smiles at me like a three year old who went potty like a big boy or a dog that killed yet another gopher and deposited it all self congratulatory on my back porch.
He gets up and moves away, laughingly high fiving the other guys.
The camera guy yawns.
The director snorts another line.
Darla comes in over my left shoulder with a towel and bag of ice. One for the mess and one for the swelling. She’s a chubby girl, not a performer, just some sister or cousin or failed film school reject looking for a foot into the bigs. She reassures me, “You’re doing so good…Only thirty more.”
She can’t look me in the eye.
I stretch my legs. Extend my back a little.
I motion to the next guy.
“I’m your biggest fan.” His breath smells like whiskey.
He makes the bed rock. I stare at the ceiling, his shoulder blurs my vision every other second.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
He also is one of the pioneers in animation. Anybody who has ever watched a cartoon owes it to him.
I never heard of him before today. His hometown in Canada is having a Winsor McCay day in his honor and some of the comics I read online all revere the guy.
And then I found the below video and my jaw dropped.
In summary that is full hand drawn animation using FULL COLOR in 1911.
My mind is blown.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Another post at ficly.com. Entry into "A Touch of Madness" Challenge
Ah, Clint come in please. You can shut the door.
Now you may or may not know why I called you in here. I must inform you that your actions today will influence my decision whether or not to call your parents and tell them why you are wasting their well earned $55,000 a year on this institution.
Your teachers and roommates have lodged several complaints. We at Chapley Hall are future captains of industry, men of power and action.
We are not, and I quote:
A mutant with the ability to catch on fire by eating sunflower seeds
We are not sunflower seeds
Am I getting through to you?
We men of Chapley do not also:
Have the ability to fly after eating beans
We do not have secret Mongolian Kings as father’s
We are not fanciful.
Mr. Clint, all that you have done at this institution is create fancy and fantastical. I hereby am placing you on probation until you appear to have remorse for all the above and painting the words, “Captain Hamburger” on all your uniforms.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Originally posted on ficly.com
You know, I didn’t mean it.
I mean I don’t even really like this job.
It’s just one of those things you fall into. Who wants to be a long shore man? Or a grip for porno movies. I, I mean grip as in, you know, a stage hand, not “grip a cock” or “grip some titties.” Anyway, some of these gigs man, they just exist to catch star eyed disappointments.
A catchall for misfits.
I used to be a detective. No shit. Catch the bad guys and all that jazz. It was fun.
It was hell.
But, you can’t always win if you’re a good guy. Fuck, sometimes you can’t stay a good guy.
Dies are tossed, coins are flipped. Sometimes you’re the winner and sometimes you’re the fucked.
It’s just odds. Sooner or later, someone like you is going to think it’s a good idea to get something for nothing and run. Then I got to get my fat ass off the couch and find you.
It’s just nature man. The circle of life. You get born, you get pussy, you get greedy, you get shot.
Not like I got to tell you that right?
Friday, June 12, 2009
Another flash posted on ficly.com
I like to whistle. Something about little diddies made up of my breath helps to calm me when I’m sad. Invisible music.
I am sad today, and I’ve been sad for the last few days. I’ve lost my puppy, Mr. Scraptastic.
He’s fond of trashcans and sewer lines. He’ll run for miles after a ball and sleeps inches from and within my heart.
I whistle “How Much is that Doggy in the Window.”
I see some guy dressed in clashing dacyron looking in a trashcan across the street. God damn he is ugly.
“Hey we about ready to go?”
“Yeah Gritz, let’s go.”
“So we gots ourselves a target?”
“I think I just found one.”
“That faggy butterfly across the street…”
“What’s he doing? Is he fooking whistlin’?”
We cross the street. Gritz tightens his fingers around the grip of the bat. I shift my knife to my right hand.
I like to whistle. I wish somebody would come help me look for my puppy.
Here comes two guys now…
Thursday, June 11, 2009
My name is, well it doesn’t really matter now does it? You wouldn’t care, it’s not particularly good name, just plain, unassuming. Pretty much just like me and my parents and my grandparents and on and on through time and generations. A whole family populated by wallflowers with social phobias.
We don’t leave footprints.
We do not matter.
Whether the Mayans’ calender holds true and we are obliterated in a couple years, or we all have to wait until Rapture, one thing is certain.
St. Peter won’t recognize anybody with my last name.
I was always told that I could be anyone I wanted to be, rich, fat, and famous. I just had to work hard. My blood is a composite of generations of non-athletic, scholars who are allergic to hammers.
I am an amalgamation of those who just get by.
I tried for years to get noticed. I was a failed class clown, failed jock.
The only thing I’ve been able to achieve was something five minutes ago. They’ll know my name now.
James Smith, the murderer.
Twitter is the new myspace. Or the new facebook. Or the new Flickr.
Let me start again:
Twitter is the new crack.
Kind of a genius thought. Little updates that can be sent from phone, facebook, myspace, and blogs that are no longer than 140 characters.
Pop-ups of life.
I am a writing type person. 140 characters is not nearly enough for me to clear my throat.
I follow Wil Wheaton on twitter, me and 500,000 others, and he linked over to a story he started on Ficly.com. And now let me start again.
For Brandon, Ficly.com is the new twitter laced with crack and meth.
1024 character chain stories. What the crap?
The website is extremely polished and simple and you get into the mist of things right away. No big login screens or registration. Those on blogger already have an account. A few clicks and presto, creative happenings all over the place.
Each time you read or write a story, at the bottom of the page is two links: Prequel and Sequel. Anybody can write before or after your story, extending the length and presumably the strange.
I'm hooked and just posted my first of many to come stories I'm sure.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Just returned to work from the longest weekend ever. Or at least the most Jewtastic weekend ever.
So much drinking....brain still hurts.
I promised myself during the week that I needed to write more, Pittsburgh especially is dying a little more everyday.
Then I take 6 days off because of family. Dedication you are my bitch.
Friday 6/5/2009://A long day at work dealing with office politics and East/West cultural clashes.
Is there some law about your boss refusing to speak English to you?
At about 8.30 PM, Sarah and I hook up with my grandmother, Bubbie, and start the long drive to Calabasas, CA. For those that don't know, that's really far, about an hour and a half of LA traffic.
We check into the Country Inn and Suites on Calabasas Road in Calabasas, CA. And that hotel Cala-sucked.
Water damage everywhere, and by extension, smelled like gym socks.
Sarah and I go to bed immediately, Bubbie stays up and drinks with relatives.
Saturday 6/6/2009:// The reason we went to Calabasas is for a Bah Mitzvah of some relative so distant I still don't even know who they are.
Bubbie got invited to an Orthodox Bar Mitzvah that morning.
So for those keeping score:
Brandon and Sarah one Bah Mitzvah at 5.oo pm
Bubbie one Bar Mitzvah at 8.00 Am and one Bah Mitzvah at 5.00pm
Bubbie's morning Bar Mitzvah was four hours long!
Again for full clarity. My family was one of the first families to become Reform Jews. That's how we roll. "Brandon, whatever do you mean by this term: Reform?" Good question, myself.
Reform Jews are Jews that said, "I'd like to be Jewish but I got shit to do." Welcome to Reform, the fully customizable religion for the Modern Jew on the Go!!!
Can't make it to Temple? That's OK!
Forgot the Prayers? That's OK!
Didn't go to Hebrew School? That's OK!
You're a Woman? That's OK!
Forget to call your Bubbie? That's still not ok!
Basically a movement in Judaism, mostly influenced by America's short attention span, started cutting out hours and hours out of our collective religious observances.
Orthodoxy isn't like that, everything is still in.
My Bubbie was blindsided by a four hour marathon she never saw coming.
Sarah and I spent the day tooling around town, going to a Farmer's Market and taking advantage of a free hotel room that we had all to ourselves.
The Bah Mitzvah we went to was 45 mins long. Goes without saying it was a Reform Service.
Then it was party time.
The Bah Mitzvah girl has very rich parents....VERY RICH. Like spent $400,000 on a reception rich.
I might write about this party later but it was obnoxious.
It did have an open bar with only top shelf liquor.
Brandon blacked out. Ended up in an elevator holding one woman's shoe. No one knows to whom it belongs.
Sunday 6/7/2009:// Hangover thou are loosed. Sarah didn't drink and spent the day nursing me back to health. Oy Vey.
Went with Bubbie to a pre wedding brunch in Calabasas. Future daughter-in-law and Mother-in-Law DO NOT GET ALONG. Painful to watch.
Drive back an hour and half to Ontario for some much needed sleep in my own bed.
Sarah decides to go shopping, I'm too exhausted/hungover. She is more tired than she thought and locks her keys in the car.
I walk 2 miles to keep her company. She was at a different gas station that was only .5 miles away.
Monday 6/8/2009:// Sarah goes to work for the morning and I go to the laundrymat.
Then at 12.00 I pick her up to...Drive to a wedding in Malibu. An hour and 45 mins away.
That's right, I have a family member that sent out invitations to a wedding on a Malibu beach. On a Monday. At 4.00 PM.
All in all the wedding was beautiful and the 50 or so miles driving up PCH on cool sunny California day made up for the driving back and forth to LA County.
One of the very, very few things I'm actually going to miss about Southern California when I get out of here.
The reception was another hour drive away in Westlake. Great food, great drinks, and every body's tension was finally released.
Brandon doesn't drink but Sarah did.
Tuesday 6/9/2009:// Hangover thou are loosed upon Sarah. I took two full days off work but Sarah took half days. Tuesday she had to go in at 1.00 pm. Spent most of the day relaxing trying to get some life back into the Mrs.
I go to the dentist and get four fillings.
Finally back at work on a Wednesday and I feel absolutely drained.
Have fun out there,
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Mr. Eddings, for those that don't know, is a New York Times Bestselling Fantasy Author. He also resides in the Pantheon of Writers that fill my head.
I loved, loved David Eddings and by all rights Leigh Eddings.
David and Leigh Eddings, Leigh being his uncredited wife/co-author until recent history, are responsible for some of the bestselling fantastical works not called Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter.
The Belgariad and The Mallorean, The Elenium and The Tamuli are each seminal works. Mr. Eddings was the only writer that seemed to understand that fantasy fiction doesn't have to be long winded diatribes better suited for a D&D session.
His characters were funny, collquial, fierce, human. The Eddings' answer to Gandalf's archaic ramblings was a drunken 7,000 year old fool named Belgarath.
More than anything, as a child, I was struck with how strong and powerful his heroine's are. Fantasy seems to steamroll over the fairer sex, always another damsel in distress. Polgara and Serephina were islands of strong calm in the chaos around them.
From the ages of around 12 to 23, I read everything the Eddings' wrote once a year. Everytime I did I was connected to that insecure boy that huddled in his room listening to Nirvana and Tool. I miss that wide eyed bastard sometimes.
After I graduated college with a degree in Creative Writing and Lit Theory, my critical eye was more harsh to the works and I derided the books I loved so dearly at one time. So I haven't paid attention to the Eddings' recent works. I was sad to see that David's writing partner, Leigh passed early 2007 and more alarmed at the weight of age seemed to be having on David when he burned his house down working on a car.
Some kids have baseball or fishing at the lake with their dad to anchor them to a specific time or emotion.
My happy place was with Ender Wiggin, Pug, and Belgarion.
In the words of my favorite now deceased author, Kurt Vonnegut, "So it goes..."
I was full of exuberance
Full from my lips
expelled from my protuberance
Now they have left me
my muse slaughtered, and will vacate
I can't think of anything to write
So I fake poetry, just satiate
like a turd
Monday, June 01, 2009
I swear to god I went to a class over the weekend and was laughing at the name Martin Buber (Boob-er) for a solid hour and now I have to conceivably go to court because of Antisemitism.
When did I grow up?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Words I've been hearing ad nauseum for damn near three decades now.
Americans have been bred with an ideal that individualism is sacred. That everybody is a snowflake, unique and entitled. Heck, that creed is basically stated in the "America Dream." Rags to Riches. Every single person in this country deserves to be rich and famous.
Nowhere is this more prominent than my home state of Sunny Sunny Golden California.
This is the home of Hollywood and get rich quick schemes. Hundreds of thousands of people migrate here every year for their shot at the brass ring.
Why? Because it's promised to us. Eddie Izzard said it best, and I'm paraphrasing, America pursues happiness. With a shotgun.
I was born in this country therefore I should and will receive housing, money, happiness, love, etc.
In other words, we are a selfish country.
One of the reasons Communism was so vilified in this country was that it put the needs of the many in front of the needs of you. Americans can not even begin to wrap their heads around that concept.
We ask proudly, what can my country do for me?
I've lived on both coasts for a long time. Eighteen years in California and eleven in West Virginia. My wife and I have been thinking about home ownership and looking at websites for both California homes and Pennsylvania homes, one big difference is readily apparent.
California homes are surrounded by steel.
Fencing, walls, gates, window bars. If I were to take a medieval knight and stick him in Los Angeles he would ask when the Huns were attacking.
This entire state is populated by people who live the American Dream by making sure every one else stays the fuck away.
In perhaps unrelated news California is more crime ridden, poverty stricken, drug laden, and lacking in all areas of education. In all ways that socioeconomic status is determined California reigns king.
I blame the fences.
If I don't have to face my neighbor it's easier to step over a bum, to turn a blind eye to crime, and to formulate negative stereotypes.
The protection of the individual is harming the collective.
Or maybe I'm just too much of a liberal now a days.
California is supposed to be the weird state. Full of hippies, actors, and gays. Yet we don't allow a significant part of the population the same rights as the majority. Why?
This fortress California.
Friday, May 22, 2009
The subject is a direct quote from, I assume Bill Gould. Bill is the bass player of my favorite band of all time...Faith No More.
My choice in music has always been schizophrenic to say the least. I listen to Sinatra, Outkast, Guns N Roses, Slayer, Johnny Cash, etc all in the same day. One band, only one in my life has given me everything I love at once.
Faith No More's catalog is an iPod Shuffle.
And they broke up over 11 years ago.
And BA "Finger on the Pulse of America" Boucher just found out they announced reunion tour plans in February.
So, yeah, I'm a little happy today.
And finally the single greatest video put out after a band broke up ever:
Monday, May 18, 2009
Full disclosure: I am a Star WARS nerd. I love it.
Star Trek, at least The Original Series, has never been on my radar. My dad loved it and that made it old man stuff. He took me to the movies and I have fond memories of Wrath of Khan, but to me, Khan can not hold Empire's jockstrap.
Empire Strikes Back might the world's perfect film for a seven year old. Action, adventure, comedy, hot girl, dashing heroes. The works. Return of the Jedi I liked better but what kid can resist Ewoks?
Star Trek didn't really have a lot of that. It had politics (yawn), diplomacy (zzzzz), really bad acting, and Tribbles.
What's a kid to do right?
So I spent near three decades on this planet proclaiming Star Wars over Star Trek, and was willing to fight to nerd death on the merits.
And then Lucas released the Prequels.
I'm not saying they are bad movies that weakened a franchise. It's more that they are bad movies that weakened mankind.
The only thing that kept me on the Star Wars train after Episode I was, and I quote myself in 1999, "At least that was Undiscovered Country."
If that reference eludes you it is merely to state this: The worst of Star Wars was never as bad as the worst of Star Trek.
That is until 2009.
I saw Star Trek, the new one, on Saturday. Amidst the action, comedy, special effects, and amazing performances I realized something, this was f'ing cool.
There's a scene where Spock is going to teleport to Vulcan to save his parents, before he beams down, he crouches so that he can immediately sprint. That was cool.
Spock! Spock is cool!
I honest started getting upset at the end of the film when the plot was starting to wrap itself up. I wanted more!
I can honestly say that I never thought I'd live in an age where I want another Star Trek movie and Star Wars needs to be retired.
So after seeing Star Trek I went home, I looked to the stars and felt a convulsing through my body
Friday, May 15, 2009
I was born in 1980. Not too long ago, but long enough ago that we all thought dayglo shorts and shirts that changed color around your armpits were the wave of the future. Turns out we were very wrong.
I think back to my grandparents who heard about life on the other side of the globe through a radio. There view of the world was still in their own head. Words like exotic, mystery, magical were how they pictured Cambodia, India, The Far East.
My parents' generation had television. Pictures of the world broad casted in almost real time. They used words like expansive, panoramic, horrific, war torn to describe Everest, Outer Space, and Vietnam.
My generation has the internet. Instantaneous information about anything you wish to learn about, at your fingertips. Soldiers can Twitter and up date their Facebook from the front lines. To describe Detriot, Outer Mongolia, Space we use words like LOL, UR FAGZZZ!!!, and I can has Sri Lanka?
We have created the foreign, seen the strange, and now are desensitized to it's mystery.
The internet has given us access to the entire world, and we rickrolled it.
But sometimes, just sometimes, the internet can be a place of positivity.
A couple of days ago I posted a piece about a local radio personality that came down with brain cancer. I was pretty bummed out and sent some well wishes their way.
The in turn responded by reading the piece and took time out of their understandably busy schedule and thanked me personally. They didn't have to do that but it's amazing that a few hundred poorly edited words on some bargain basement blog like this could help in some tiny insignificant way.
As the internet increasingly makes us an insular country. A mass of young people shutting out the world to proclaim EPIC FAILS on others anonymously, it is humbling to me to be able to spend just a moment near a stream of intimacy and closeness that happens too too little.
I don't mean to brag or seem as though as I have some lightning touch of speech craft. And I hope I don't come off as name dropping or arrogant.
If anything Bryan Bishop and Christie Clough have humbled me beyond words.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Wake up after making several attempts at deals with the devil. Breakfast, caffeine, play with puppies, shower, etc.
Then on the drive to work and for the rest of the morning we listened to the Adam Carolla Morning Show on 97.1 Free Fm.
Adam Carolla as you may know from Loveline and The Man Show is an extremely gifted complainer and generally funny guy that eased my wife and I into a stressful work day.
Adam started his radio days on the KROQ and subsequently Mtv show Loveline. Behind the screens they hired a young fat kid named Bryan Bishop. The world of radio I've been told is a hive of villainy. A festering cave of back stabbing and malcontents. Adam Carolla does not suffer fools and had a revolving door of backstage employees. Bryan Bishop however, was a sweet kid who worked hard and always always had a smile on his face.
When Howard Stern left terrestrial radio and went to satellite, Carolla took his place in 17 markets across the country. Doing the morning show meant Adam had to quit Loveline and when he left he specifically picked the very best, most responsible, and stand up staffers. Bryan Bishop, now thin, was the first to be hired.
The first year of the show was bumpy and the ratings were all over the place. Bald Bryan, as Bishop was nicknamed, moved around the staff in many different jobs until he proved to Adam that he had lightning fast reflexes on a sound board and was able to record, splice, and playback clips almost instantaneously.
97.1 Free Fm fired most of the on air staff after the first year and saddled Adam Carolla with Danny Bonaduce as a sidekick. Curiously though Bald Bryan became an on air talent as well. His job was to stand in the booth with the cast and punctuate Adam's ideas and points with often hilarious clips or Bryan's own sarcastic optimism.
Adam jockeyed for Bryan to make pay as an on air talent with CBS radio, 97.1's parent company, to no avail. He was just a tech. Carolla refused to believe that hard work should go unrewarded and paid Bryan out of his pocket to make up the difference in his salary.
After the second year, CBS radio rightly removed Bonaduce from the cast. Carolla and company never seemed to click with Danny's alpha male bravado. Bald Bryan was firmly placed into the sidekick chair and never let it go.
A few months ago, with the country in the economic toilet and radio even further in the sewer, 97.1 flipped formats from talk radio to Top 40. This action lead to the firing of every single person on the station. Bald Bryan was without a job.
Adam Carolla started a daily free podcast on iTunes. An hour or so a day recorded in his home or office with a menagerie of guests. Bald Bryan has been on the show before and the May 13th episode seemed another opportunity for Bishop to entertain his fans.
However, thirty seconds into the episode you learn that Bryan has inoperable brain cancer.
I wrote the very brief history of Bald Bryan above off the top of my head and for a good reason. I spent five hours plus every morning for three years with Carolla and his band of misfits. I heard Bryan's fledgling voice grow into a confident personality. In a very real way, Bryan became one of the biggest stars in Los Angeles radio. He was the bright eyed, optimist giving a small path of sanity through Carolla's hilarious but mostly crazy rants. Bryan was the anchor.
I feel as though I know him. And that is a bit of hyperbole but think about the relationships in your life. Who do you talk to in a frank and open way for 25+ hours a week. I don't even have that much time with my wife Monday to Friday.
I have to admit I was teary eyed this morning listening to Bryan regale the listeners, his friends, his fans with the struggles he and his fiance have been going through for the last couple of weeks.
During the podcast Bryan plugged his blog, hibryan.com. There isn't much there right now but he does implore everyone to click over to his fiance's blog, An Inconvenient Tumor.
And here is where the review starts. But this isn't really a review as much as a long winded endorsement.
Christie soon to be Bishop is an open and frank individual. She is also terrified and optimistic in the face of what might be every single couple's greatest fear. Two weeks ago she was planning a wedding, now she is taking the greatest love of her life to a radiation clinic.
The blog is touching, heart warming, and generally positive while at the same time slightly horrifying.
My heart can not go out enough for her and Bryan.
I think the most we all can do is go to her blog and leave some well wishes.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I hear stories all the time about how funny he was and what a party animal he was. I didn't get to see any of the adventures of "Larry the Lech."
I spent an entire childhood surrounded by good natured family members giving my grandmother looks of pity. Whispers everywhere.
As I grow older I realize that he isn't a disease he is a man. So I wasn't there for the wild parties, I do get to be around his sense of humor and he's eternal optimism. He's had the disease for close to forty years, a decade longer than any doctor gave him. He smiles all the time and until recently was still begging me to take him to Vegas and some girly shows.
The man is crippled and my grandmother still gets pissed at him for being too much of a flirt.
An anecdote on how he turns everything positive: He almost got arrested for shoplifting twenty years ago. His excuse? "Who's going to finger the guy in the wheelchair?"
My grandfather isn't doing so good anymore. For the last few years we've all seen the progression. Something however keeps him bright eyed and optimistic. Some force, some magical hand guides him to blue skies and sunsets.
That magic is baseball.
As an American boy or girl, no matter your socioeconomic status, baseball exists. Somehow someway it gets on your radar and is always there. When I was younger I hated sports. Wouldn't play them or follow them.
However, I knew who Babe Ruth was. Gehrig, DiMaggio, Lasorda, Pete Rose, Marge Schott all fought for space in my brain against Lincoln, Washington, Revere, Jefferson.
Some names transcend the sports page and become part of the weave of America itself.
My grandfather believes in the Boys of Summer. The worst of his illness always comes after the world series and his eyes and thoughts are never sharper than on opening day.
For him I started to watch baseball as a teenager and pay attention at least to the pennant races. Which because we live in Southern California meant my grandfather and I had to live and die with the Dodgers.
Baseball has changed over the years. Night games, Designated Hitters, In Field Flies, Humongous Salaries, and Steroids. Purists believe that the game has been perverted, strayed from the course. Threads loosened from the fabric of baseball and America.
For very few however, there is still a magic. My grandfather fights the battle inside his neurons everyday so that he can see the Dodgers win it all someday. There is a calm and healing wave from the crack of the bats and slap of the gloves.
At the beginning of every season I look forward to watching games and following the sport. By the third week, I'm bored of baseball again. In all fairness I am a football fan and baseball is way to slow.
To get excited about the season around March or April I pick up any book written by WP Kinsella.
Kinsella's voice is the voice of time. His narrative flow is a direct link to the glory days of Tinkers to Evers to Chance right to Manny Ramirez's 50 game suspension for steroids.
I am in love with his style.
Kinsella consistently makes you smile when reading a particular phrasing or description. He writes with the same magic that makes baseball so very important.
Shoeless Joe or as you probably know it, Field of Dreams is a novel based on the short story "Shoeless Joe Jackson comes to Iowa."
It is a love story. A romance. A story of fulfillment.
Ray Kinsella, the protagonist, is in love with three things: His wife, Baseball, and Iowa. Each are mysteries to Ray. Gordian Knot's of puzzles, hope, and heartbeats.
We all know the basic plot of the book/film so I won't bore you with a recant. However, if you've never heard of the book, James Earl Jones' character is actually JD Salinger in the book. The actual guy not someone based on him.
The book was written in the eighties about a survivor of the sixties who is in love with a baseball legend from the twenties. Yet every word, description and anecdote is as timeless as a double play.
The book is written it what appears to be broad strokes. Sentence to sentence you are being moved along the life of Ray Kinsella. I think the first paragraph covers over three years of Ray's life. However, when you look closer tiny little details pop up every time I read the book.
So I read it around this time every year. Every year I make the same pledge: Watch more baseball and call my father.
But mostly to remain another witness to the ever steady connection of baseball.
This isn't so much as a review as a chance to write about how a simple book could wrap it's arms around me and give me faith. Faith in baseball, faith in hope, faith in themagic.
As a grandson of a man dying of MS this book and the great god baseball helps me to realize how a man with MS lives with a smile on his face and the smell of the grass in his nose.
Monday, May 11, 2009
That was lame.
Great weekend in the Boucher camp. The wife and I work a lot and so when we get 48 blissful hours together we tend to pack as much couple time in over the weekend as to make up for the time apart during the week. Consequently, Monday mornings are a bit stressful as we are in desperate need for more sleep.
I wouldn't change it for the world though.
On to the countdown!
May 9, 2009:// As I was driving to rescue the wife from the clutches of the demon lord Work, I was hit about the face and ears with a radio commercial promising a cloying premise.
Attend with starry eyed optimism the opening of a Swedish furniture establishment and select few will earn free credit with yon edifice.
So Sarah and I hightailed it to IKEA at 6.30 AM. Let me repeat that 6.30 AM on a Saturday. The first 1000 people through the door gets a scratcher which is worth anywhere from $10-$1000 of credit in the store.
at 6.30 we were in the upper 200's of people in line. Probably 1900 people were there when the doors opened.
Victory for the Bouchers!
We got $35 total though. So that was kind of cool.
Our Saturday pretty much was shot after that because we didn't get home until 2.00pm.
So nappy nap time.
We did find time to take the dogs to the dog park. Charlie is continuing her plan to become the strangest dog on the planet.
I am a dog person. I really am. I love their world view. Simplistic and stark. Cats annoy me.
May 10, 2009:// What do you get the mother who has everything?
I really feel bad for my wife sometimes. She is a quirky, beautiful and charming individual. She has chutzpah or personality if you will. I have never introduced her to someone who didn't immediately fall in love with her.
So I marry her because everything she is, I want to have around me all the time.
I in turn repay her with giving her the most over the top cliched bitch of a Mother-in-Law on the planet.
It's so deliberate we can't help but laugh.
So we made the obligatory trip to the mighty metropolis of San Bernardino, CA to see my grandmother and aunts. And by proximity, visit with Her.
You know that feeling of when your car is sliding into the car in front of it? Your brakes are engaged but you just can't get the car to stop. There's a pulsing in your lower spine, your heart is retreating, your mouth just drys and flecks of spittle are your only attempts at a scream?
That's dinner with my mom, only times a thousand and full of Jewish guilt.
Sorry Sarah, you really got the raw end of this marriage.
Throw in laundry and grocery shopping and you got an almost perfect weekend.
I give it three and a half screaming mothers out of 5
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I write emails.
Actually very sad. I sit in a cubicle beside a big bay window. Outside I see the California sun beating. Glory.
I sit in greys, every slipping second closer to obscurity.
But the one benefit of an office job, compared to the construction farmer, is that I can't waste my company's time and money but farting around on the internet.
Where do you think I do this blog?
But the other side of the coin is that the internet is a collective of evil. Digital disgust.
Anonymity brings out the demon in people.
So it's nice to be shown little lights. A few brief seconds of care and love. Positivity in an increasingly darkened world. Today kotaku.com referred me over to Daniel Benmergui's "Today I Die."
A short game that involves changing the text around from "dead world full of shades, Today I die." to something much more elegant and uplifting.
Sometimes the simplest acts have the greatest impact.
My work day is ending but the lingering aftereffects of this stinking job will stay here for today.
After you play check out his other games. All short and have the underlying sense of positivity.
It's really quite refreshing.
I can't wait for work tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
As with Let the Right One In it's becoming readily apparent that the best writers in film are not American.
Timecrimes is a very elegant and nuanced attempt at a science fiction cliche that is as old as HG Well's disco shoes.
The film looks like it costs $5 dollars and only has four people in it, but the director Nacho Vigalondo (who also plays a character) gets so much out of the budget that you will never notice.
Timecrimes is one of the best science fiction films I've seen in a long time, might be best ever.
Hector is moving in to a new home with his wife. When she leaves to go the the market, Hector does some peeping with his binoculars and catches a young lass stripping.
Hector, reacts as most men, he tries to get a better look. When there are too many trees in the way, he takes a hike into the woods. He finds the girl, naked and unconscious. While trying to see if she is ok, Hector is stabbed by some guy covered in bandages with a pair of scissors.
Hector flees to an abandoned complex. He finds a walkie talkie and some guy helps Hector escape to a silo. The young man inside (Nacho Vigalondo) says the best place to hide is this tank with a lid.
Big mistake, Hector wakes up an hour and a half in the Past. The young man (imdb.com lists him as El Joven (The Youth) says he needs to just wait and after an hour and a half he can go home, the Hector in the past will disappear.
Hector from the future decides that he can't wait and he needs to go home. Every single decision he makes from this point brings tragedy to his life in the future.
I won't say anything more at this point.
There are so many twists in this movie that it would seem hard to follow, but the absence of special effects and side plots or too many people on camera, simplify the world. Everything is a tidy complexity. Everything is wonderful.
The main character, Hector, is played wonderfully by Karra Elejande. Hector is a clumsy fool in the beginning of the film and transforms into a wounded hero. He is the anchor of the film.
Timecrimes rates a 86% on rottentomatoes.com.
I give it 100%