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June 19th, 2009

10:40 pm - [Connection And Reconnection.]
Addendum to the June 17, 2009 entry:

Just shortly after those things happened I get a great, brick-house beautiful email from Brandon [another Hospitality Club guest-turned-friend] who I have not spoken to in over two years easy. And this evening as I check my mail I get news that Nes has finally been given the Spouse Visa she had been waiting over a year for. She got the news just before leaving Tucson for Diamond Mountain.

Something else sort of cool is that Nes and Ed stayed with me at Cybele's because my apartment is more like my own personal fort and it may not be suitable for everyone. And I had a friend staying there already since he was in between apartments. So they stayed with me and Cybele at her place. The interesting thing is that I had never even met her in person and I invited Cybele to come along with me to one of the teachings that Geshe Michael Roach was having. She was unable to make it and I eventually met her later. Nes and Ed were there that night too. [Maybe it's not that interesting the way I'm explaining it.]

And a small instance of this Connection and Reconnection business; I showed Ed the dollar bill I had ready in an addressed and stamped envelope waiting to be sent back to Gary. Ed added another dollar just because. [Full circle again.]

And after not being in touch for probably 20 years one of my best friends from high-school sent this out of the blue too:

I was had some Sigue Sigue Sputnik on my iPod the other day and it got me to reminiscing. How many times did we make that walk from your house on Patterson to Village Square? That was like 3 miles each way. I still laugh at the time we mixed bleach and ammonia to clean up the giant Adidas logo on your basement floor. We could have died then. I watched some dumbass janitor make that mixture when I was working for Sam's Club and he was taken away by ambulance shortly after.

Other good/interesting memories:
Book Brokers (I still have the Kraven's Last Hunt SpiderMan series, one of the only comics I still have)
Magnum 44 markers and the wrath that follows their trail
Listening to New Order's Substance over and over and over again
Prank calling the Dierbergs pay phone
RPG marathons at James's house (Do you still hear from him? I often wonder what he ended up doing.)
[Censored just to save a certain party any hurt feelings or embarrassment.]
Getting high more than is reasonable or necessary.
Taking an excessive amount of NoDoze and then going to see Mannequinn 2 which we walked out of.
The Central West End. I need to give my wife a tour of that place soon. I miss it.

Lots of good times from age 15 to 17. I have a 16 year old step son who loves to sit in front of the xbox 360 a little too much and wish he would go out and experience life. The TV and video games are sucking the life and real experiences out of the future generations. I wonder what souless bastards they will all become. Not saying we are perfect, but we can at least say we lived.

Just for old times sake, yell at the top of your lungs, "I am the prime male specimen!" Especially when the day is very droll. Works wonders.

[But, yeah, I knew that there was something going on over these last few days.]

[Go crazy.]

June 17th, 2009

07:38 pm - [The Distance Between Locations.]
It took 3 Years, 341 Days, 11 Hours and 10 Minutes for my $20 bill to reach Texas. Today, after all of that time, someone found it.

Today my great, good Bodhisattva friend Nes [and her perfectly wonderful husband Ed] has popped back into my life after at least a year.

[I will take these things as some sort of sign.]

{A follow-up post is just HERE if you're up for it.}

[Go crazy.]

June 14th, 2009

04:17 pm - [As Bloomsday Approaches.]
I scored some great old Time magazines from a thrift store just recently and have been looking through them like they were relics from another time. And they are relics from another time, really. I have a couple from 1930 and a few more from the 40's. The advertisements were almost all copy and were more like brochures and every other ad was for some sort of whiskey. And if not for booze then for cigarettes and they all are going on about how their brand of cigarettes are 'healthy' and doctor approved. There is another one that has Hitler on the cover and it's from 1932 and the article basically says that he's this up and coming guy that is getting a lot of Germans all riled up and we may need to keep an eye on him in the future.

I was doing some research and reading online at the Time magazine website and they have all of their old issues archived there. You can read them for free. I found the issue where James Joyce's Ulysses was finally off the banned list and was finally published legally.

Since Bloomsday is just days away I figured it might be a nice thing to read.

[Go crazy.]

June 8th, 2009

07:43 am - [Gary.]
I wonder how many takers Gary has so far on his little request? I'm so tempted to send the dude his dollar back. And I'm equally tempted to start the same campaign.

What can it hurt? I mean, I have been working on this little project where the goal is to paint one-million little paintings and then sell them off for a buck a piece. It'll take years and years I'm guessing. That's too long. I need to get Gary hired on as my new agent. He's obviously got some pretty good ideas.

[3 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

June 5th, 2009

01:40 am - [LP Cover Lover.]
I'm probably way behind the times on this one but I just now found out about this website. I do this quite a bit. I'll find something cool or interesting and then excitedly mention it as if I've personally discovered the thing and want to share it with people. Shortly afterwards I realize that it's old hat and common knowledge to everyone else. But so what?

We should live our lives with that level of excitement, right? We should act as if we're the first ones to have ever discovered horchata or oral sex or anything else, right? How can it hurt?

Either way, this site is so great. [Dig that crazy Colonel!]

[2 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

June 1st, 2009

07:35 am - Leshan Buddha Sketchbook Scan
I have this weird way of meditating sometimes and I tend to do these quick gesture drawings of the same subject over and over. I remember doing the same thing for scarab beetles, my wooden carved Weeping Buddha statue and Ganesha. I probably made well over 100 drawings of each of those things. Most recently I'm really into the Leshan Bodhisattva/Buddha statue. I'm just so overwhelmed by this statue and the sheer scope and scale and magnitude of it. It's so beautiful to me that it seems like it can't even really exist. It was started in the year 713 and it took about 90 years to complete.

[I'm cross posting this to buddhists as well since that's where I was reminded of this.]
Current Location: 724
Current Mood: sleepysleepy

[Go crazy.]

May 30th, 2009

12:54 am - [Art Snob.]
I'm getting into this space where I'm finding myself more and more bugged by the things that people are passing off as art. I've always been a pretty tough critic and I'm sure I may come off as being all holier than thou when it comes to offering my view on what someone else is doing. I can be a bit mean sometimes but I just can't settle for the other option of just spouting off some innocuous compliment just to not hurt someone's feelings. That'd be worse, right? Yes.

I just don't think that you can buy Art at some hobby shop and sprinkle a little glitter glue around and fill in the collage blanks with assorted go-to, rubber-stamped words in flowery script like Breathe or Dream or Fairies or Love. And then add copyright symbols and watermark your images just in case anyone tries to swipe your lame ideas in the first place. It's just so goddam trite and expected and boring and I wonder when the last time I saw any new art that made me forget how to talk. [I have seen this sort of thing lately. Just a few days ago, in fact, and I'm lucky for it. I just meant that figuratively is all.]

It's enough to make me feel some compulsion to create if only for the sake of reminding myself that not all art has become so homogenized and watered down. It sometimes takes work and time and inspiration. I've been looking at a bunch of various mediums and shapes and sizes and I've got some good ideas about what I want to work on next. I'm hoping to sweat it out this summer. I guess I'll see what happens. You have to start somewhere I guess.

[6 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

May 28th, 2009

01:18 pm - [You Should Go There.]
The Shady Dell was just perfect. It was way more cool than I imagined and every detail of the place was so thought out. Every single drawer in every single trailer contained some secret relic and that part alone was worth it. Cybele posted a couple of photos so far and and I'll collect more from everyone and get them uploaded soon. But, yeah, if you are able to visit Bisbee, Arizona then do yourself a favor and stay at the Shady Dell.

[2 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

May 21st, 2009

11:32 pm - [Small Town Newspaper Obituary Writers.]
In all of this genealogy research I'm doing lately I'm finding that I've been reading more old newspapers than I probably ever thought I might. [Although, now that I think of it, I guess that part's not too surprising.] I'm not sure if it's because of the very distinct Midwest manner of speech and the sometimes unexpected usage of the language or if it's just the way that people talked back then. But either way you look at it I really am enamored by some of these writers and especially some obituary passages I found in a recent batch of old newspapers. A typical example has paragraphs like this:

Edna was one of ten children. She loved the outdoors and, as a child at home, would always volunteer to do just about anything outside to escape working in the house. She and Alva began their married life in a little log cabin in the Blackfoot Community. A cabin, which she had helped her father build. There three of her children were born. In 1940, they moved to a farm in the High Prairie Community and that was their home over fifty years. There is where their children grew up. She helped milk the cows, raised chickens, helped in the hayfield, and whatever else needed to be done on a farm. She worked for several years at Rice Stix Factory and then worked tying fishing flies for Blakemore Lure Co. A few years after her husband’s death, she reluctantly sold the farm and moved into Lebanon. Edna was very content with the simple things in life – food on the table (and when she cooked a meal there was plenty of it), her family together for the holidays or anytime for that matter; sitting on a river bank with fishing pole in hand; the fulfillment received by raising a bountiful garden from which vegetables were canned and frozen; nurturing her flowers; making quilts for the grandchildren; or taking a drive in the fall when the trees were at their peak of beauty. Several years ago she accepted Jesus as her Savior and was a member of Emmanuel Chapel. Edna was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She truly cared about others. She will be greatly missed but the memories she created we will carry all through life.

They are just these really long things that actually reflect upon the life of the person and tend to lean towards the sweet and human. Even though I've obviously never met these people [and most of them I'm not even related to anyway] I still feel something reading about them. It's just a lot nicer and it seems like a real shame that all we tend to get today are postage stamp sized tidbits that are concerned more about the column inch than the person they are attempting to memorialize. [I've got plenty better than that one too but it was just what I grabbed first.]

And, whoa, these newspaper editors seem like they were good times. Some of the articles just crack me up and some are almost surreal. I'm including one here and sticking it behind a cut because it's a big enough image file that I don't want to bog you down without warning. [Although isn't that a pretty dated thing to be warning somebody about? 'Warning! Very Large Image File! Please be advised that it may take up to 2 business days to download.' It's not like we haven't upgraded our 2400-baud modems. Sorry for my rut.] At any rate, the article is also typical of the late 1800's and you'll honestly have to read it yourself. Really. It's kind-of worth it.

Missouri! Mobs! Mayhem! Murder!Collapse )

And I bet if newspapers today printed lines like, "The head of the boy, six years old, was mashed to jelly and the little girl was struck over the head with a poker and left for dead." then they'd stand a much better shot at not going under. Or maybe.

[Ah, the good old days.]
Current Location: 724
Current Music: Eels [Everything.]

[Go crazy.]

May 20th, 2009

06:32 pm - [Found Tour.]
Last year when Davy and Peter made their rounds across the country they stopped off here in Tucson and it was just a blast. Found Magazine is tremendous all by itself but when you punch the whole thing up with original music inspired by some of the finds, slideshows and live commentaries then, man, you're really doing something then. Hoooo! This time they will be doing things a little bit differently but I cannot imagine it could ever be not worth going to see. They'll be here at Hotel Congress on June 26.

Attention St. Louis: Turn off your computer and hurry on down to the Mad Art Gallery in Soulard. The show is starting any minute probably and you'll be glad you saw it. [It's at 2727 S. 12th St. and you can call them to see what's up at 314-771-8230] Okay. Now go.

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

May 18th, 2009

11:41 pm - [Weekend Update.]
This weekend was sucky and cool and it wore me out. The first part of the weekend began around 4AM on Saturday when my phone starts ringing with questions about the situation with the vans. My job is spread all over but one aspect of it is to arrange and secure most of the trips for the luxury sedan service I work for. this weekend was probably the busiest two-day period the company has seen in close to forever. We didn't think we'd have enough high-occupancy vans to accomodate all of the guests that were slated to depart on Sunday. Saturday was one of the busiest days for Yellow Cab and that's the other company I work for. Saturday night was this huge charity event and every year Yellow Cab donates all of the transportation for that event. We drive everyone home that needs a ride and has had a bit too much to drink. Each company needed as many vans as they could secure and they would need them at the same exact time almost.

The charity event transportation would be going until maybe 2AM and the first hotel departures started on Sunday morning at around 4AM. I would need to make sure that all of the vans that were being used for the charity deal were immediately delivered to the resort as soon as possible.

I got stuck doing crowd control at the charity event and my job was to calm the people down and entertain them long enough until the next van returned from their route. I'd load the van with 8-10 people that were going to the same area of town and the drivers would drop them off at their homes and hurry back for another group. We had about 10+ vans working like this non-stop and it wasn't enough to keep up. We called in regular taxi cabs to help out and even they weren't enough. That same weekend was commencement at the University of Arizona and cabs were in short supply. [Yellow Cab is the largest taxi fleet in Tucson and we have about 150 cabs. Our next largest competition has around 15-20. And even being that large we still couldn't keep up with the demand.] I remembered pretty early on why I stopped bouncing in bars and dealing with squadrons of impatient drunks is a big task. Especially when I was completely sober and, unlike in a bar, I was not allowed to just grab hold of some jerks neck and drag them outside kicking and all. You can't do that to people that just attended a really posh charity event. It's not cool at all.

Every hour I'm swearing is my last and I am dying to get out of there. I was comped a suite at the JW Marriot Starr Pass Resort that night too and my girlfriend had already checked in and was waiting for me. My feet were killing me and I was quickly becoming the target of these impatient people who obviously blamed me for not having a ride for them when they wanted it. All I could do was ask them for their patience and explain the situation [that we had a fleet of vans out driving people home for free and they were hurrying back as soon as they could] and try and gather groups of people who would be in the same van when it arrived. We did a great job of handling everything under the circumstances and ultimately everyone was delivered home safely. But I didn't get done until around 1:30 or 2AM. I drove to 7-11 and made it just in time for a 6-pack. I was in some part of town that really only sold crap beer in mostly 40oz bottles. I settled on Newcastle and drove to the resort. I get there and the valet guy parks my insanely messy car and I grab some clean laundry from the basket on my front seat. I tuck the laundry and beer under my arm and drape some clean boxers over my shoulder and sling my backpack and laptop over the other. I trudge over to the front desk and they are staring like I'm nuts and I realize how I must appear to them. This is one of the most high-end resorts in the state and is where Tiger Woods stays. It's the kind of place that charges $3 for just a tortilla at their restaurant. It's fancy, see? And here I come looking stressed and toting beer and underwear around in the lobby.

One guy immediately asks me over his glasses perched on his nose, 'is that liquor?' and I say of course not. That it's beer. And he promptly chimes back that I cannot bring it in. Right then this second guy, the night manager I think, says to him that I'm Mr. McHenry and he says that I can certainly bring it up with me. And I was sort of shocked by the statement. I guess on their end I am responsible for a pretty decent chunk of business for them and I work with a good portion of the senior management at the resort. I make sure that all of thier guests are really well taken care of but I'm not sure why he'd call me Mr. McHenry like that. I suppose that it was also due to the fact that I was in a 100% comped suite by one of the main people at the whole place and regardless of who I was I must be somehow important. But either way, it caught me off guard.

I go up to my room and charge my phone and open a beer and hang out with a sleepy but patient Cybele. I need to go back to the offices soon to pick up a van and get it back to the resort by 4AM. It's about 2:30AM and I have maybe an hour to kill before I go back out again. No time to sleep so I just spend time with Cybele in this really nice room and I get cleaned up and change clothes and head back out. I look a lot better the next time the lobby guys see me and I actually look like a normal person. I get the van and rush back just in time to end up getting stuck helping some group get to the airport.

I take calls all morning and coordinate trips and reservations and everything goes smoothly enough. I finally stop around 7AM and I call it quits and go back up to my room. Cybele is up and we go for breakfast and pack it up for home. I am finally asleep by 10AM and since I took Monday off I sleep for hours and hours and go back to sleep some more.

We are going to the Shady Dell over next weekend and my best friend and his new wife will be visiting from Denver. Cybele and I got the Airstream and they got the Tiki Bus. It's going to be the opposite of this weekend and I'm hardly able to wait.

[4 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

May 14th, 2009

10:34 pm - [Debbie Deb.]
Seriously, I'm back to being mildly obsessed with her and her music and I hadn't thought of her since I was in middle school or so. I hadn't thought of a lot of things since middle school and I'm sort of becoming overwhelmed all this past year or so, little by little mostly, by these fragmented, tiny reminders of a life that I lived back then.

One year I remember taking all of my birthday money and just pooling it all together with the hopes that I'd have the $129 I needed to buy the Best Gift Ever. I ended up with just enough for this perfect [holeemarymotherofgoditssofreakinawesome!] ghetto blaster radio. It was so perfect and so giant and it had dual cassette decks and more levers and knobs and switches and lights than I knew what to do with. But I could dub tapes on my own, that was for sure! [No factory recorded cassette was safe with me around and I'd grab whatever tape I could find and cover the side holes with scotch tape and record over whatever was on the thing to begin with.] And I could listen to everything I wanted to and I would. I'd just sit down there in my room listening to the radio, laying down directly in front of the thing on the floor. I remember being on my stomach with my arms propping up my head and my upward-facing palms cradling my jaw and my cheeks. I'd be motionless and silent and never breathing until I got lucky enough to depress the record button exactly at the most perfect moment. [Eventually I would have the most perfect everything tape.]

I'd wait for the radio commercials to be over and the DJ to stop talking and while I'm holding my finger on the [un]pause button in hopes of catching a song I wanted. I was this private, pre-teen, mixtape master. I'd zone out and listen to all sorts of music and I'd draw and read and imagine myself old enough to be able to have car keys and a $50 bill.

Car keys and $50 bills are still really big, symbolic things for me even today. They were two of the Main Things that I thought I would need to have in order to overcome almost any conceivable dfficulty I might face in my life. I knew this was true because I had worked it all out plenty of times in my head. I had made all sorts of crazy lists and charts and [I'm not kidding] I calculated the probability of everything that could possibly go wrong in a life and all of the things that could go right. And the results always seemed to come back to that lone, shining fact that car keys and a fifty could tilt a losing hand into a guaranteed winner. [Even today I get pretty fucking tickled when I'm slowed down in my life just enough to realize that I've got a set of car keys in one hand and a $50 bill in my pocket. I smile at myself just then and I make myself feel like I am an unexpected sweepstakes winner each time I think of itI'm glad that those things have grown together in my brain like they have. I'm glad that car keys and a $50 bill is always enough to send me walking away like I own the place and I can go like that for hours and hours. [Giant cranes.]

I realize now in looking back on it all that I was probably set entirley through with this underlying current of sadness and grief. I was just a small child when so much horrendous shit sort of just blindsided me and swallowed all of the things that I loved the most. I guess I was calculating how to not let something like that happen to me ever again and it's seriously pleasant to consider that the only magic wand or cloak of protection or secret formula in life I would ever need were the keys to a car and fifty-dollars. I guess that if I stopped distracting myself back then with things like music and reading and drawing and Space Camp and the Cold War and Dungeons and Dragons that I'd otherwise feel pretty fucking terrified by the idea of what life really was all about. As far as I knew there were absolute forces at work against you that were chomping hard away at you from afar. It took me years to not feel like I was being specifically singled out by some lesser demon who got big laughs from killing my family or having my bike be stolen.

I think it was around that time that I had some sort of emotional and spiritual moment of awakening that I'd probably call a satori right now but back then it freaked me out for a while. Like years even. So I'm all happy at school and I have my brand new radio zipped inside this giant duffle bag. It was so big that I couldn't even zip it closed all the way and I was trying to be secretive about the fact that I brought it to school to begin with. Kids soon found out I had it and they were chirping about how they wanted to hear it and I said that we could after school and that I had extra batteries too. As class was beginning to start I gather my composure and try not to look like I'm carrying contraband and I must have done this awful job becasue I knew the principal was walking down the hall. Towards me. I pretend to be busy getting a drink of water or something and the radio accidentally switches on in the bag. It's static at first and then you hear it loud enough to be heard in the other classrooms. It's Debbie Deb and one of her perfect break dancing songs and I sort of held myself in limbo there and I am struggling with this heavy, singing, freestyling, duffle bag slung over my right shoulder and I know I'm probably in big trouble. [I was recently in big trouble for something else. I forget what exactly?] And the radio just falls out of my hand and crashes to the floor exactly on the corner where it might do the perfect amount of damage. It went silent and I sort of didn't care at all. I didn't care about the principal or the teachers or anything else that once made me nervous. I just sort of gave up and I think it was a real satori because it was where I learned, for the first time for sure, that to really gain control over a situation you have to give up all control of it.

[I don't have any .mp3 files but in case you want to listen with me on Last.fm then Lookout Weekend and When I Hear Music were probably her most popular songs and I'm not kidding when I say that they are just as awesome now as they were back then.]
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: [You know already, right?]

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

May 9th, 2009

08:08 pm - Let Me Tell You About My Mother

My biological grandfather died shortly before I was born and by then he had already left my family and married another woman who had just given birth to their newborn son. He died alone in a single car accident on a Missouri road after he lost control of the car and he slammed into a tree. Before he died he drank a lot and one of the main stories I remember hearing about him was when he decided to load the kids into the car and take them to the carnival. These excited little kids [my mother included] never knew what hit them when they realized that they were lied to and they were being dropped off at an orphanage. [I'm not making this up. I have photographs to prove it.]

My Grandmother Constance remarried as well and the man that she married was the man that I consider to be my true Grandfather. I also consider him to be the greatest man that ever lived and still to this day I am humbled by him to the point of near worship. [Maybe not actually worship but something pretty close to that at least.] He taught me about Art and Stupid Bunny and pancakes and how to be nothing but loving and compassionate and that in being those things I could almost never go wrong.

When I was a small child my mother and father got divorced. The deal was that my mom would work [in factories mostly] to support the family while my father went to medical school and worked part time as a paramedic for the fire department. This plan seemed to work okay for a while but soon after my father graduated from medical school he apparently decided upon a better plan and chose to leave for some nurse. He left my mother with me and my kid sister and with no money aside from a $5 bill that he left on the table with a note. And that was it. [And he apparently swiped my library card too but that's another story.] Leaving like that can only just suck for the people you leave behind but he left at a time that was and still is simply inconceivable to me. Just before he left my Uncle Cornelius drowned. He was on some float trip with his friends and one of the girls that was there was pregnant. She got a little too far out in the current and was unable to stop herself from being pushed away and under. My Uncle Cornelius went out to get her because that was just what he did. That was just how he was. And he did manage to save her from drowning but he was unable to save himself. They didn’t find his body for over a month. The time my father chose to leave was just then as my whole family had given up hope that he was even alive. They lessened their prayers by then and this time they were simply praying that they might just find his body.

Not too long after that [maybe just a few months if I recall correctly] my Uncle Alphonsus was murdered. His full name was Alphonsus Andrew McHenry III [most people called him Andy and his closest friends sometimes called him Al] and he had just given birth to his new son Alphonsus Andrew McHenry IV. While he was in the Navy he served on the USS Jason and I am named after my Uncle Andy and that ship.

Not too long after that my Grandfather died from cancer of the everything. And shortly after that my Grandmother died of heart failure.

My mom did the very best that she could under those awful and inconceivable circumstances of having your whole entire life just wiped entirely out in one fell swoop. She became an alcoholic and just couldn’t cope as well as she wanted to and I ended up being babysat quite a bit by my surrogate uncles. These were mostly bikers who owned tattoo shops and smut shops and dive bars and who were involved to the point of immersion in the pornography industry. I spent a lot of years in porn shops and tattoo parlors and bars. I saw some things that most people shouldn’t see and I knew a lot about things you shouldn’t know a lot about. On the converse I learned a great deal about the things that are truly important in life. Both of these facts contributed in, for good and for bad, creating a sense of fearlessness and detachment in me that has both helped and hindered me at times in my life. [And I don't regret a moment of it really.]

Years later my mom went through AA and became sober and she rebuilt her life from scratch. My sister and I never wanted for anything and although we were probably poor by most standards it never really seemed that way to us. At least a lot of the time for sure.

As I get older and I consider what my mother went through during that time I’m not sure how she ever even coped with it all. I hypothesize in my head about how I would feel if, for example, the top five people you love the most in life were taken in some horrific and unexpected manner. Gone. How would I handle that? How would you?

[Can you even imagine yourself ever being that strong?]

I went through the same things as she did, I guess, but I was only nine or so and none of it all really sunk in for me then. [And sometimes I doubt if it ever really has even fully sunk in. You know?]

I look back on my own life and all of the wonderful and awful turns it sometimes has taken, and surely will take in the future, and I always can’t help but feel even closer to my mother.

I love her more than I can even say and beyond the fact that I truly do love her I feel like I like her even more than that. And that’s pretty cool to me. I think most of us love our mothers because we almost have to but it makes me feel really great that I just like my mom so well. I think that she’s cool and funny and that she has one of the kindest hearts of anyone I know. I’m proud of her for what she managed to live through and for how she managed to ensure that my sister and I lived through the same. I feel like she did a pretty good job of being a parent and more often than not when I find myself feeling pretty good about myself, for some reason or another, I find that such a characteristic that I seem to somehow possess [and maybe even admire within myself] can somehow be directly attributed to something that I learned from her.

[I just wanted to remind myself of that is all. Again.]

Originally published at [Posted over at smartwentcrazy.com/journal.]. You can comment here or there.

[5 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

April 26th, 2009

01:19 am - [The Past.]
This NPR story just makes me feel depressed. The high school I went to was, I'm pretty sure, the oldest West of the Mississippi River and it is just about one of the coolest buildings ever. I can't even stand the idea of the thing being torn down and just looking at pictures of it makes me feel nostalgic. The building had these old-school phones in each room that could be dialed out to other rooms. It served as a room-to-room intercom system and whenever we'd skip class and hang out in the attic upstairs we'd have somebody call us up there if we were missed.

I've been working on my genealogy a lot lately. [A lot.] Maybe that's why I'm sensitive to this right now. I've been really nostalgic for the past and at the same time it makes me feel a little bit less connected than I'd expected. Many people say how defining their ancestry tends to make them feel connected and I expected that might be the truth. It mostly wasn't. It's touching and sad and lonely when I'm reading some 3-inch obituary in some newspaper from 1849 that describes the life of someone I was related to. I've got a stack of death certificates from members of my family. It's this reminder that life is horribly short and that more often than not the things that you have done in that life will scarcely be remembered or they won't matter much if they are. I guess that things just die or fade away and I thought I'd be used to that by now.

[This isn't me being depressed at all. This is just some admittedly sad observation and I've already begun reminding myself of the lovliness that happens almost constantly.]
Tags: ,

[2 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

April 24th, 2009

06:17 am - [Morris McHenry Is Going Back To Iowa.]
Hornellsville Tribune
September 11, 1856

Mr. Editor: The following is an extract from a letter received by me on the 6th, from a brother-in-law lately from Almond. He went to Kansas in the early part of March last, intending to make his residence, but like many other of the Free-State men, was driven out of the Territory and now resides in Crawford County, Iowa.

Supposing that his old friends many of them are readers of your paper, and might like to hear from him, I send it to publish at your discretion. M. H. Wygant

Boyer River, Iowa, Aug. 13, 1856
Dear Brother:

This country is not very thickly settled yet, and is filling up rapidly. Businessmen bear a premium, but I would hardly advise any that have a good business to come here at present.

Land Warrants can now be located in the North part of the Sioux City district, and in the North part of the Decorah District; all South are closed.

Western Iowa goes the Republican Ticket with a rush. Our county went so all but 10 votes.

About Kansas: the reports that you get in the papers of the state of affairs there, are not colored too highly, for they do in a great measure utterly fail to convey to the reader a correct idea of the state of things there. No Free-State man is safe one moment there. An unguarded word may subject him to a coat of tar and feathers or a hemp neck tie.

While I was in Leavenworth City, myself and JOEL C. GREEN, of Alfred Center, went to a meeting of Fire Eaters where Gen. Whitfield was to address the Kickapoo Rangers; but GREEN could not stay there, for these same Rangers had once bought a rope to hang him with at the time they cut BROWN to pieces at Easton. One man tried to get at him again and he had to leave.

Language fails to express the contempt and contumely that is heaped upon every man from North of the Mason and Dixon's Line.

No man that is a man can go to Kansas and see the outrages that are committed in the name of Law and Order; see Free-State men abused, robbed and even murdered, without thinking that something must be done.

But the Buchanan and Fillmore papers say these are political yarns. They are not yarns; they are solemn truths. Crime [especially against Free-State men] bears a premium and brings its perpetrators into high favor with the government officials and Southern desperadoes for they are sure then, that they are right on the Goose.

The men that murdered DOW, BABCOCK, and BROWN, do not pretend to deny it; but on the contrary are proud of the glory they acquired thereby.

The man that killed DOW, now holds a high position under the government as an officer. And the man that killed BARBER is proud to show himself and says these are the hands that killed Barber by G-d.

I saw with my own eyes the murderers of BROWN, they were honored and complimented by the Southern Slaveholders and the contemptible Northern dough-faces.

I can never get to thinking of the puppy dog actions of some of our Northern men, without getting mad. No man can uphold the contract of the present Administration, or stand quietly by and not raise his voice against the iniquities of the Slave power, as the Fillmore party does, without menting and receiving too, the just contempt of every true friend of American Liberty. I am not a fighting man, but if any thing makes me feel wolfish, it is to see men treated as they are in Kansas.

There is no sight for the Free-State men; for the Border Ruffians have the whole power of the executive to block them, and there seems no hope for them to elect a Republican President. You must work in Allegany.

I received a letter last night from brothers VINCENT and ROSWELL and they say that part of the west [Wisconsin] is almost entirely Republican. Now a little about this country. It has exceedingly fertile soil. The surface is rather rough, but a large amount of as fine line as I ever saw. I don't think there is 160 acres in the County but what can be plowed. Timber is not so plenty as in Wisconsin, but there is plenty for building purposes, and there are indications of coal significant for fire. A man with a few hundred dollars can make himself independent right away. It is the greatest place for making mercy I ever saw.

Your brother

Hooo! I mean it; genealogy is really fun.

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

March 6th, 2009

06:28 pm - [A Small Bit Of Advice.]
Never, and I mean never, eat large curd cottage cheese and pickled herring together on an empty stomach. It proves to be a strangely delicious yet impressively devastating combination.

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

February 23rd, 2009

08:21 pm - [Cyclical Cyanide.]
During World War II, the majority of the cyanide capsules that were produced were made in the concentration camps. You can easily imagine that this, of course, made the issue of sabotage a very real problem for the Nazis. This is also one of the main reasons why many Germans who committed suicide by cyanide also shot themselves just after to make sure they would die. This is also the reason why Hitler himself was forced to poison his beloved dog Blondi; he wanted to make sure his batch of cyanide was not fake.

[Go crazy.]

February 21st, 2009

08:53 pm - [Dear Zachary.]
Have you seen it yet?

[Go crazy.]

February 4th, 2009

08:45 pm - [Frankenpinky.]

Originally uploaded by smartwentcrazy

[8 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

September 1st, 2008

06:05 pm - [Unexpected But Not Unbelievable.]
I have been way into politics for as long as I can remember and I recall arranging to be able to spend the night at my uncle's house the evening of the Presidential election in 1980 in order to be able to stay up as late as I wanted to and watch the election results as they came in. And I was seriously sad that night when Jimmy Carter lost to Reagan. I even had a Jimmy Carter cereal bowl and breakfast set to prove how serious I was about politics. [No kidding.]

And I was in middle school in 1984 when Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate and even at thirteen I knew that this sort of move was way more accurately defined as political pandering than a case of choosing the best person for the job. I was this crazy-smart little kid and I was jazzed up to no end that our school was holding these mock Presidential elections and I involved myself in them as much as I could. I made such an impression on the administration that I was pushed through to go to Space Camp even. But anyway, I was also one of the students that got picked to do some interview for a newspaper article about the upcoming Presidential election and I made sure to let them know that I thought that Mondale was only pandering to women voters. [Not to mention how much I disapproved of Reagan's cuts in Social Security and welfare programs.]

So with all of the recent Bad Craziness surrounding McCain and his choice for Vice President I was reminded of that article and took it to work today to scan it.

Sketchbook Newspaper Article Scan

As it went, Mondale ended up making such a wrong and hasty choice because he simply needed something to set him apart from the plain charm and natural charisma that Ronald Reagan had. And the list of other mainstream or well-known candidates was pretty shabby so he concocted some zany scheme to create some energy and momentum for his campaign. And choosing some unexpected candidate was the ridiculous route that he took.

His short list of potential VP candidates was so goddam contrived to begin with that it read like the set up for some unfunny and horribly cringe-worthy joke. [A Mexican, a Jewish mother, a Black guy, a redneck and an Italian woman all walk into a bar...]

And Mondale just got fucking creamed that year. I mean, sweetchocolatechrist, man. Just look at those miserable numbers:

And speaking of Bad Craziness, I'm still shaking my head over McCain's choice of Sarah Palin. To quote one of the great poets of our time, P. Diddy, "John McCain is buggin' the fuck out." And that's an understatement when you consider that a great bulk of Palin's professional work experience comes from announcing the Iditarod dog sled results for a local Alaskan news station.

Not to mention the fact that it's entirely possible that she may not actually be the mother but the grandmother of the child she claims as her son. [You couldn't make this sort of shit up if you wanted to.]

[6 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

August 31st, 2008

10:34 am - [The Next One Will Be A Very Long One.]
I've been working on this increasingly massive bit of writing in response to a comment left by my wonderful friend gladwaller to a recent post I made.

[It's becoming a really important subject for me lately.]
Current Music: Counting Crows - Catapult

[2 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

August 29th, 2008

05:54 pm - [I've Got Something I've Got To Tell You.]
Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: You're so cool, You're so cool, You're so cool.

[You're so cool.]
Current Music: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Soul To Squeeze

[2 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

August 25th, 2008

08:19 pm - [A List Of Things That I Am Covered In.]
Today has been an hilarious adventure and I am only just now home from a very long day of work.

These are things that I am covered in right this very moment: [In order of appearance.]

  • Catheter Urine

  • Gasoline

  • Motor Oil

  • Sweat

  • Beeswax

  • Rainwater

  • Ashes

  • Rice and Tofu and Sausage

  • Cat Food

  • Kitten Kisses

  • Smiles

[All of this is true.]

[2 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

August 24th, 2008

07:30 pm - [Jesus And Santa Claus And The Easter Bunny.]
I always get myself worked up when it comes to discussing religion and mythology and this afternoon I found this video that is really blowing my mind. Especially at around 45 minutes into it and the discussions of mushrooms and Santa Claus. I never knew that stuff.

The video is here.

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

August 23rd, 2008

09:37 am - [Socks.]
Spell the word socks. [Do it now with me here, s o c k s.]

Do you know what you just said in Spanish? [It is what it is.]

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

09:35 am - [Whew Is Right.]
I'm really happy with the fact that Obama has chosen Joe Biden and I've always wanted to see that sort of plain facts and square dealing toughness come from the Democrats.

[Go crazy.]

August 18th, 2008

09:24 pm - [Bag And Bottle And Bone Man.]
This morning and this day has been a usual day in every other regard except for the fact that I have been so entirely in love with everyone today. I'm not fucking kidding here on this one. I've been riding some strange and beautiful wave of swooning over everyone and everything and I even told one of the managers at work that I felt like I was on ecstasy or something as I wanted to go on at great length to everyone I ever met about how much I love them and how much they mean to me and how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

And maybe all of this metta that I've been sending out is coming back to me because recently I've heard some pretty lovely things from some pretty lovely people in return.

I'm bare-boned and crazy* and I'm sending you love. [Hoooo!]

* I won't apologize for swiping this pop-lyric line. I just thought of it just then is all and it's nice and I like it and so what.

[2 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

August 17th, 2008

07:52 pm - [Sleepless In... Just Sleepless.]
I was up at 4AM and I couldn't go to sleep and I have been awake since then and I do not like it.

Last night I met the new neighbor and that was cool and I was supposed to be trying to go to sleep early and I declined offers to go for drinks or have company. I downloaded The Dark Night and had already watched half of it the night before and figured I'd try and watch the last half before going to sleep. [Whatever to Batman. It was okay is all. A good movie. But not worthy of Best Movie Ever on IMDB. But, again, whatever.] So I pause the second half of Batman as it is so-pauseworthy and I decide that I have to have a Slurpee. Coca-Cola is the only flavor for Slurpee's and there is a 7-11 just across the street from the Circle-K. I decide to forego the true Slurpee and instead accept the knock-off Icee's that Circle-K has because I have this little crush on the counter girl with the Sanskrit name. I pull into Circle-K and immediately decide to fuck that off and go to 7-11 for the real thing. [Sanskrit crushes can wait.]

So they are, of fucking course, out of Coca-Cola and I am so frustrated that Batman sucks and that I know I need to be asleep and I end up getting some grapey-blue flavor that I do not want at all. But I buy the thing because I made the trip and I look really cool in the crazed outfit that I ended up choosing just to run out of the house for 5 minutes. [This is very similar to laundromat clothes and I seriously love choosing my laundromat clothes. I feel like a sweepstakes winner in those outfits!]

Little did I know that this was a Monster Energy Rush Slurpee [with added crystal-meth chunks or something] and I am really unable to sleep.

[I will tell you the rest later.]

[Go crazy.]

August 15th, 2008

07:58 pm - [Music Videos.]
Since I was thirteen years old my very favorite song has been Bad by U2. [It still is and it still makes me all weepy when I hear it and I am so not ashamed to admit that.]

I was stuck zoning out on YouTube at work today while avoiding work and watching music videos with my office door closed and I was struck by the fact that most all of the music that I love the most today is stuff that I loved when I was a teenager. I've been really fortunate to have seen most of my favorites in concert too. I've seen U2 a handful of times and R.E.M. a few times. [Nirvana at Mississippi Nights!]

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

August 14th, 2008

06:45 pm - [I Feel Like A Crazy Person Lately.]
But I mean crazy in the most awesome of ways.

Last night was some great fucking deluge here and all of the electricity goes out on the whole block. What's sort of weird and cool is that the next door neighbor moved to Scotland and she gave me a lot of her junk and some of that junk included like four-hundred candles. Seriously. There is a wooden crate full of candles on the front porch. So if your electricity was ever to go out then I was in pretty good shape for it.

So I try to light the candles but the wind is blowing so much and it's like horizontal raining outside and the front porch furniture is blowing off into the yard and so I just put on some shoes and jump in the car and go to Plush. The electricity is on there and I have a couple of drinks and tell that super-funny brown chicken and brown cow joke that as been going around. [Hooooo! I love that joke so well.]

I decide to come home before I get drunk and see if the lights are back on and they are not and as I'm driving down my street there is a mattress floating down the middle of the road. [I promise on my mother's life that this is true.]

The lights come on eventually and I fall asleep with the kitten who is so scared of the lightning that he just crawls into my chest and passes out. And it is awesome.

I ditch work early after leaving for lunch and not coming back after I decide that I'd much rather be sitting on my couch for the remainder of the day in my underwear while watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and drinking organic milk and eating 4 glazed buttermilk doughnuts. And this is what I do.

For the last three days I have been unable to get that goddam Popcorn song out of my head and that song has been the sole soundtrack selection for my life as of late. [Choose from 79 different versions!]

And for the last few days I have been thinking about you too. A lot. [It's like I can't get you out of my head or something.]

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

August 7th, 2008

09:33 pm - [From Before.]
I have been dumping old text file entries from a couple of years back into this journal and I guess I didn't properly backdate a couple of them.
[I'll remember to do that for sure from now on.]

[Go crazy.]

August 4th, 2008

12:17 am - [Groundhog Day.]
The weekends usually go by strangely for me and I realize that I am caught up in the whole working from 9-6 every day tedium and when I do have free time for myself I end up feeling a little lost. I duck invitations to go for drinks and I pretend to not hear the door when someone stops over unexpectedly for a visit and I let my phone lose its charge so that way I'll have an excuse for later on. [It's ridiculous really.]

Today I spent some time cleaning the apartment as the neighbor is moving out and she had a yard sale over the weekend and she gave me some giant bookshelf. This is a massive bookshelf and owning such a piece of furniture requires a complete and total rethinking of how best to arrange the furniture. [So much depends on a red wheelbarrow, no?]

Hulu is the best friend of a person without a television and they just posted Groundhog Day. Everyone, of course, loves this movie and from the beginning I was a raving maniac for the thing since I had really started immersing myself heavily in Buddhist studies around the time it came out [mid-1990 or so, right?] and I learned so much from watching and re-watching this movie and considering all of the Buddhist implications it presented. [I'm sure I bothered and scared a few people with my rantings. I drank a lot back then too.]

A lot has been written since then about the Buddhist philosophies in the movie and most people already know about the main points people tend to make when comparing the two. I'll not get into it really but a nice enough article is here in case you care. [And I think you might.]

It's raining like crazy here in the desert and my street is like a river right now as it always is when it rains like this. My house smells nice and I feel really okay and my laundry is clean and the kitten is perfect and I look really wonderful after having shaved for the first time in nearly a month.

[You do know that I love you, right? Please say that you do.]

[9 flew over the cuckoo's nest. | Go crazy.]

August 3rd, 2008

10:54 pm - [Aqua.]
Sorry if I'm seriously late in learning about this thing but I just now found out about it. [It's that LiveJournal Aqua deal.]

[1 flew east, one flew west | Go crazy.]

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