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Always bustin' heads, jumpin' in and outta beds...

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9th February 2011

9:22pm: Return from the Dead
I figured it might be time to have at least have one visible connection to the world through the internet.

http://infanttyrone.tumblr.com/

I can't believe I didn't get the author of 'Sense & Sensibility.' I'm such a fuckin' cretin. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! *bangs head on desk*

23rd May 2008

2:19am: We Thank YOU For Your Patronage
Usually I keep half an eye on the floor of my apartment for piles of cat vomit. It is always in those rare moments when I decide it's unnecessary that I put my foot (usually bare, occasionally stockinged) into a warm pile (or, somehow worse, a cold one.)

This is the kind of up-to-the-moment journalism that will no longer be available from Infant Tyrone. I've been thinking about this for a while now, and I think I am not Infant Tyrone anymore. Back when I started this foolishness (and apparently before I knew how the spellchecker worked) my plan for this space was essentially two-fold--
--write the same self-indulgent stuff I'd been putting in journal-type entries for years, but a lot more of it, and
--unlike my journal entries (or my books, for that matter) these would be "public".
Public in this situation being very different from "published", since I was still just writing self-gratifying nonsense, but like tearing out the pages from the notebook as I went and leaving the sheets on the seats of city buses or park benches. It gave me a little thrill, a sort of exhibitionist frisson. You have to understand-- I've written by now like six books. And I have some kind of paralyzing phobia about letting them out, which makes them seem like those crippled genetically-doomed little over-bred dogs that certain rich crazy old people carry around. Dogs are meant to run around and roll in mud after rainstorms and chew up dead things they root out of the bushes, and puke them back up, and then roll around in that for a little while. These novels, I should have shoved them out into the muddy decaying world at some point, but now it's too late, they are pampered little narcissistic mirrors that couldn't live out on Ashland Avenue for like five minutes. So writing stuff and just lobbing it out there-- even into the often-echoless void that is the internet-- felt like a wild thing for me.
Of course, that's a wildly sheltered and vanilla version of the internet. I was never doing this for attention, exactly. I understand that there are like a billion pictures of penises and at least 3 billion breasts on the internet-- what some usually-drunk laborer in Chicago thinks about his favorite comics, comedy albums and post-modern novels is silt on the ocean floor of the information ocean. It was more in the spirit of a conversation I remember having with a friend (who is getting married next week, coincidentally) in junior high school. His question was this: if two people play chess or checkers or Risk against each other over and over for like ten years, are they then really good players, or what? Because if you are ever only butting heads with the same head, how slick are your moves really going to be? When some new person shows up and like immediately takes over Kamchatka and the Indies and a big chunk of South America and you look at the board thinking "I cannot see what you possibly could be planning in this game..." and then they proceed to destroy you. Do you follow me? Here is the simple translation: I wouldn't know if I was writing even made any sense to other human beings at all (forget about good or bad reviews) until I actually showed it to them.
Hence my insistence on as much anonymity as I could manage. I didn't want this too be about my real-life friends or co-workers reading about what I did or thought. I just wanted to know if I could conceivably communicate with strangers via the written word. I, the flesh-and-blood person (who is not a short black guy, fyi) shouldn't enter into it at all. I met a guy once, a poet who was to be a long-time friend, and the first day we met each other we left the "happening" we were at and went to the Del Rio in Ann Arbor and sat at the bar under dusty golden beams of the setting sun and he introduced me to the bartender: "This is ___, he's a great writer." He'd never read a word I'd written. I have a fear of being titled "writer"; some of the most worthless shitheels I've ever known went around calling themselves "writers."
Anyway. I'm not quitting writing. Nor am I giving up the internet. (Blockland needs me...) But between 2003 and 2008 some fairly heavy shit has changed, and I have trouble being Infant Tyrone any longer. Hell, I'm not even saying that I'm giving up lifting my handles from Pynchon books. I just wanted to leave a conclusive note here, so that there was no confusion. (I've had a couple LJ associates just drop entirely off the radar and it kind of alarmed me like are they dead? How would I even know? Are they maybe in prison or something? Do they need help?)
Anyhow. I want to thank all the Russian spambots who have found this LiveJournal and tried to colonize it. I'd like to thank the people I know in Real Life who I've met through this LiveJournal, who have refrained from blurting out "Infant Tyrone is just this _____ named ______, and I've met him and he's a total ____head." I'd like to thank some truly fantastic people I've met here whom I've never met in person due to finances or really heavy geographical hurdles but were at times closer to me than any flesh-and-blood friend. I'd like to thank all the much more consistent and non-neurotic LJrs who were patient and polite and friended me and responded to my drunken foo-fer-aw. And so, yeah. I'm not declaring bankruptcy but I am closing down this location. Pardon our dust.

11th January 2008

5:27pm: %100 True
I’ve heard you’re not supposed to be early for dates, but I didn’t want to be late either, and what was I going to do, stand outside the bar? There was a silvery suv parked out front with it’s lights flashing. It’s alarm sounded like a nagging Russian wife: Yuri-Yuri-Yuri-Yuri-Yuri… I sat at the bar and ordered a beer.
“Would you like to see a menu?”
“No, maybe in a bit. I’m meeting someone—“
“A first date?”
“Kinda, yeah. Do I look nervous?”
“Yeah. You’ll be fine, relax.”
“Thanks, I hope so. I kinda have…I’ve got a condition that always comes up on these things.”
“What kind of condition?”
“Well when I get nervous, especially around attractive girls—it’s gross.”
“Are you going to fart a lot or something?”
“I wish! No. When I meet a pretty girl, well… Do you know what a naked mole rat is?”
“…Yeah…?”
“They kinda start popping out of my mouth. Naked mole rats. Especially if she’s got freckles. One by one, poom poom poom, out come the naked mole rats.”
“Wow.”
“Yeah. It’s gotten so I just don’t go out anymore.”
“Wow, man, that’s really rough.”
“And it couldn’t be like, puppies or baby bunnies or anything. It couldn’t be something cute.”
“Yeah, those things are really gross-looking. But you know what? I bet there are some girls out there who are really into naked mole rats.”
“I guess it’s possible. I only seem to meet puppy or bunny girls.”

26th November 2007

10:43am: Coffin Joe Would Like to be Added as One of Your Friends!
When I lived in Michigan I would occasionally run with a fella known as Johnny Refund. He was a hoot and a half, and the sort of archivist who has a million great movies and albums at his fingertips. And he was trying to describe a Coffin Joe movie to some of us once, where Coffin Joe gets taken down to Hell for more or less being a wild guy, and the Devil is after him but since Coffin Joe is an atheist the Devil's got no power over him. Joe keeps saying "I don't believe in you!" Now I've never seen the movie, but Johnny Refund's impression of Coffin Joe's line has entered my personal lexicon as an entirely appropriate thing to say in certain situations, if only anybody else knew what I was on about.

Now almost every day I get another message from MySpace-- I made a profile for Infant Tyrone years ago, and neglected entirely to do anything with it. We hates it. But anyhoo, I keep getting these messages from exotically named women who apparently want to be my friends. The first couple times I logged on and went to look at the woman's site, only to discover that it's just one more source of spam on the net.
So now when I see them I don't even bother to check-- I delete them without reading. However, can you guess what I say each time I hit that "Report as Spam" button...?


In a couple hours I'll be leaping into Working-Vacation-Land, shuddering across the rails from the shores of Lake Michigan to the Puget Sound, with a quick diversion to visit the mighty Miss-I-sip of my youth. 'd like to thank the writer's strike for this opportunity, 'cause if I knew there would be a new "Carpoolers" tomorrow, I'd skip the trip and do an assplant on the couch. I'm singing extra-stupid songs to the cats this morning, 'cause I'll miss them so very much. If Amtrak allowed cats and had a wireless signal, I'd live on it like those people who live in shopping malls.

24th November 2007

1:03pm: Quick, help my wishy-washy brain!
A) Blow my savings on another trip out west on the luxurious train, with a stop in my home-town, spending this coming week writing in that most gorgeous of offices, the Amtrak viewing car through the Great Plains and the northern Rockies and in hotel rooms, or

B) Save my money and enjoy that special kind of vacation where you stay home, but don't go to work or do anything productive? And maybe get some writing done when I'm not distracted by TV and video games?


This shouldn't be a tough decision, but it's got me totally mired.

22nd November 2007

11:46am: An Explanation to our Non-American Readers
Ahem.

Many thousands of years ago, our American ancestors, the Cowboys, came to this great land seeking freedom from oppression, and cows. They landed on Plymouth Rock and established the first American city, which was probably Boston or Philly or something.
Anyway, when they arrived, the United States was overrun by huge malicious turkeys. Just as prehistoric Canada was controlled by a ruthless cartel of giant beavers (look it up, dude,) ancient America was the stomping grounds of big fat mean cigar-smoking turkeys, who had enslaved the Indians to build for them huge monuments like the Cahokia mounds and the St. Louis Arch and probably the Space Needle and stuff.
So the Cowboys showed up and were like "Howdy pod'ner." And the turkeys go like, "What up? Are you the new slaves we ordered?" And the Cowboys go "I don't think 'at sooooooul brother." And they pull iron on the turkeys and there's this huge battle, which is where George Washington and Abe Lincoln and MacArthur and all those dudes came from, because the Turkeys called in the British to fight for them because there was an ancient treaty but then the British were finally like-- "What are we doing? Without you Hitler is going to take us over!" So then the British came over and helped the Cowboys, and the Indians too, and finally there was just the main boss-turkey in his HQ and he goes "Don't be foolish. You and I are not so different, really. We could be partners and rule these United States together!" And the main Cowboy goes "E pluribus unum" or something like that and shoots the boss-turkey, who flies backwards through a huge plate-glass window and falls like, 100 stories down.
And so now on the last-but-one Thursday of November, we all get together and give thanks for the birth of our country. We have pictures of pilgrims and Indians up all over, because after the war the Indians became the Native Americans, and the Cowboys dressed up like pilgrims for Halloween or something. We have left-over pumpkins from Halloween, too. We eat turkey, which represents our victory over turkeys, and cranberry sauce which represents the blood of our enemies, and yams, which represent sweet potatos. And then we watch football, which represents the Cowboys.

Thank you.

21st November 2007

9:37pm: Deja Vu All Over Again
It's been nearly a year since I had my little train-excursion out west, which was all great fun and ended with me falling into the Pacific Ocean and befouling a good friend's couch with sand and sea water. And now here I am again. I don't have nearly the same amount of money that I had last time, but I think I could cook up a nice little trip somewhere. But as this is my kind of vacation, what I'm looking for is solitude, quiet and isolation. Initially I decided I would do the Empire Builder (train from Chicago to Seattle) again, but after I paid all the outstanding bills and rents and stuff I discovered that I would barely have enough for a flight back, not even considering hotel and extras. So now I'm looking for something cheaper, probably closer, and last-minute. And if nothing appears I am quite seriously considering getting a motel room in like, Milwalkee until December 1st and going to ground.
Tomorrow I go to have turkey with the moms. I leave them Saturday, and between the time I wave goodbye to them and the time I need to pick up my dogs on 12/3, I've got nothing. So tomorrow I'm going to switch back over to my travel alter ego.

In unrelated news, it is so foul and windy outside my third-floor apartment in this brick building is creaking and rattling like a tar-paper cabin in the woods. I'm a little concerned about the big window in front of my desk which is making some downright sinister noises, and a little while ago I was sure that I could actually feel the building moving in the wind.

16th November 2007

11:00am: The Onset of Maturity
In some respects, I am a late bloomer. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was about eight years old, nor did I learn how to swim until the year after (an embarrassing admission for someone who grew up on the Mississippi River-- I did almost-drown a lot as a kid.) I didn't learn to drive until I was 25. And I don't just mean I didn't have my license, I literally could not operate a motor vehicle until E taught me (along with some very positive reenforcement.)
And I know I've mentioned here before that I hadn't attempted to grow out a mustache until late 2005, where it grew mostly by neglect due to my participation in NaNoWriMo. I've had a contradictory relationship with my mustache ever since. But due to a recent decision to stop letting my fear of the 'Stache Curse run my life, it's out and proud, and getting longer and bushier every day.
That said, I have a question for those of you who went through the whole thrill of having a mustache when you were younger, and already know all this stuff: now that it's coming on cold season, when one blows one's nose, how does one prevent the, uh, "nesting" of certain unwanted products in said mustache?

And while we're on the subject, which do you say-- the adult and dignified "buhg-err"*, or the more fun to say "BOOh-gher?"

And while we're on the subject of getting older, how do I slow down the speed at which time passes? I've gotten pretty good at speeding up the undesirable time (i.e. work) but why does my hour before work have to go that fast now, too? And my weekends, forget about it. Gone before I even know they've arrived. Is there some kind of lotion I can use? Some kind of hat?

*As Biz Markie says it.

14th November 2007

8:52pm: Blindsided
So while walking around a corner today with a dog, I got smacked in the face by a heavy rope dangling from the 20th floor of a high-rise. The high winds off the lake were blowing it around pretty fast, and the crew that was using the little suspended cart thing had apparently just split for lunch or something. It happened just as I had turned a corner and I thought someone had hit me in the face with a broomstick. Busted my glasses right good. I had to search around half-blindly in the loading area for the lenses.
So obviously I'm de-biked for a while-- which stinks since I just had it in the shop yesterday for bearing and tube problems (three destroyed inner-tubes in two weeks, I finally bought me onna them 'thorn-proof' ones.) For a while, I thought I could ride without them, until I realized I couldn't hardly see 30 feet in front of me. (I've got whatever that thing is where the one eye isn't quite a sphere, is that a stigmatism? Or astigmatism? Anyway. I don't look like Marty Feldman or anything.) So I'm sorta pissed off.
I am also pissed off because I had planned on going to see "No Country for Old Men" after I finished with my dogs today. Sure, I still could have gone, but I could have saved $20 and lay in my closet and played the beam of a flashlight across the bottom of my shirts, and had about the same narrative experience.
There are some authors, musicians, cartoonists and filmmakers who could crap in a bucket and write/play/draw or film it, and I would gush and rush to take part. I'm aware of that, and that I'm less than critical about those creators. But there are other people who do some stuff I really dig, and some stuff I'm indifferent to, or outright dislike. Both the Coen brothers and Cormac McCarthy fit into that latter category, and to be honest that makes me more interested in their projects. (For example, there was no question that I would fall deeply in love with the newest Pynchon novel, but when Stephen King drops a new one, I'm more curious because it's easier for me to believe it could be good...or total crap.)
So I was pretty excited to see that movie. And I still could have gone and used the soundtrack to translate what was happening (...dark screen, faint shapes moving, conversation...silence...dark screen turns brightly orange-yellow, the sound of an explosion...did the sund just rise really dramatically?)
And I have to lean way in to see the computer screen now too. Draaaaag. So I apologize if there's any huge errors in this post. Now lets see how well I can check IDs.

12th November 2007

10:40am: Something Fell
I've been having these weird sort of 'fits' over the last few months. The first couple times it happened, I just assumed that it was brought on by the various psychoactive drugs my doctors had prescribed. But as each of them failed and I stopped taking them, the fits continued. They mostly happen as I'm waking up: sometimes in the morning, but most disconcertingly when I'm awakened in the middle of the night, by a sound outside or something.
Sometimes before my eyes are even open I'm hit with this solid wall of disorientation. "I" am still me, the observer, but there is the sensation of being in the wrong life. Like the strength of deja vu, except that the only thing I know in advance is that this is the wrong place. I recognize my body as mine, even though it doesn't feel entirely correct. Maybe it should be heavier or lighter-- I mean I recognize the stock model, but this one isn't the right one. Like two people buy the same car and drive it for 32 years, and they're bound to be different, right?
And it's not just physical. When I open my eyes and look around I recognize all the things around me, but I don't recognize them as being components of my life. After a couple seconds I can always reintroduce myself to myself, but for hours afterwards there is a panicky instability to my thoughts. As if for a practical joke you were to chloroform your brother or next-door-neighbor, cut their hair and perform some light plastic surgery and put them in your pyjamas and into your bed. He would wake up in a panic because even though all the evidence points to him being Jim, he knows in his heart and soul that he's Bob. But to protest that seems ridiculous, right?
It's happening while I'm awake sometimes now, too. The other day, picking up tacos next door, in the time it took for me to walk from the soda cooler to the cash register, everything fell away from my mind as if my whole life were dried mud that was crumbling at each step. By the time I got to the door I was happy, feeling just fine, and stepped out onto the sidewalk with no idea where I was. Was someone waiting for me? Had I driven? Did I walk? Which way? Finding that I had a heavy carabiner loaded with keys and a bicycle helmet gave me the clue, and in about four or five seconds I remembered everything again, but with the certainty that this is not my life.
If you'll permit me a flaky conceit, if during sleep our minds drift off from our bodies, I've been coming back to the wrong one in the morning, like the millions of honey bees who can't find their way back to the hives. And that it's happening when I'm awake is freaking me out a little.
And I don't have any clues about who's life I'm supposed to be in: I think in dreams I can see it, but when I wake up here, like this, the elastic snaps and any details of what I was dreaming (or daydreaming) about are maddeningly obscured.
I know a variety of dementia-related disorders run in my family, but isn't 32 usually waaaaay to early for that kind of thing to begin?

9th November 2007

11:25am: The Greatest Swordsman in the Periphery
My hair was starting to get kind of tangly, so before my shower this morning I broke out the clippers and reinstated some discipline on my high & tight. (It wouldn't pass muster in the actual service, since it's kind of shaggy around the front & sides.) This is the haircut I've been giving myself for years now, but I've got to be a lot more vigilant that it doesn't get too long, because then it could be mistaken for the Steve Bartman of haircuts, the "fauxhawk".
Now that my beard and mustache are growing out too, I'm finally within sight of one of my ridiculous goals. In my teen years, I wanted more than anything to look like Daniel Ash of Bauhaus. But eventually I learned that kind of hair-height doesn't come cheap. And even in my misguided goth years I was lazy about my appearance, so I gave that up. There was about a month where I was enamored with the skinhead aesthetic (it should go without saying that I'm talking about the look of two-tone, not the racist dickheads,) the simplicity of the jeans and jackets and boots appealed to my burgeoning puritanical side. This was the first real cropping of my hair, and it hasn't gone long since.
But the combination I'm working now, of unruly beard & 'stache, plus the short utilitarian hair is getting me closer than ever to my preferred look of the day: master swordsman and all-around wise guy Master Yupa from Hayao Miyazaki's "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind".
Girls go crazy for guys who base their aesthetic off comic book characters, right?

8th November 2007

10:39am: Doctor Memory
Ever have one of those days where every train of thought that you board seems destined to take you express to some source of deep and burning embarrassment from your past? I woke up remembering something terrible I did when I was eight, so I tried to switch topics by thinking of what a nice time I had when I went home over the summer-- and remembered when an old friend I hadn't seen in at least a decade approached me at a party and I loudly declared to everyone hey look, ______ _______ is here, when it was in fact a totally different old friend to whom the years have not been kind, who turned around and left. Shuddering, I tried to think of something entirely different, I know, the apartment! and found myself thinking of past roommates whom I no longer speak to because of various petty duplicities or politicking. I can't win today.


(Note how I didn't make the title of this post into some chintzy play off the word "land mine/d" as in "wandering in the mindfield". I have too much respect for you all to do that. You have better taste. Your welcome.)


(God, now I totally regret this whole post.)

4th November 2007

11:24am: Weekend in Paradise
Saturday-- How I hate walking dogs on Saturday. I think I've mentioned before that even though I ride my bike for work all week, I do it with less enjoyment than stress. Riding on city streets twists my stomach all up, even though I do it all the time. So the main appeal of my weekends is that I don't have to dodge semis on Ashland or cabs on Halsted. But I've got one client, God bless 'em, who always needs Saturday walks. And before you wonder if I charge more for weekends-- yes, I do, but I inherited this client and they had another price structure, which is all like whatever, but he is also painfully generous, for instance when he left for a week's vacation and boarded the dog he left me $100, just because he felt guilty about my losing the work. So, I walk the dog on Saturday with a minimum of whining.
As I pulled onto Armitage I was passed at a light by a bike-wanker. He shot through oncoming traffic amid honks and squealing tires. I thought by the time the light had changed he'd be long gone but no, he wasn't riding fast, he just couldn't be bothered to stop or respect the other traffic on the streets. And so OK I'm really not competitive, but just by going at my normal (admittedly driven) pace, I passed him. So at the next light he shot out into the oncoming lane and whizzed through another red. I was thinking "He's doing that because I passed him, but I'm not going to be drawn into this reckless game."
But he was matching my route. So through no agency of my own, he stayed twenty feet in front of me all the way to Boystown. I just slowed down, stayed right behind him, because otherwise I'd just pass him every block, to have him pass me at each intersection where he would stop traffic and alarm drivers shooting out in front of them as they accelerated into crossings.
We finally parted ways at Halsted & Belmont. But as I was locking up in front of the Coffee & Tea Exchange, removing my helmet and walking in to get my coffee I saw him go noodling up Broadway. The lesson here is this: it doesn't matter how many skull & crossbones stickers you have on your brand-new Chrome messenger bag, or how much colored electrical tape you put on your frame-- I will smoke you. Me and my dorky helmet and my 1957 Phillips and my enormous thigh muscles will destroy you.
Good thing I'm not competitive.

The rest of Saturday was mellow: lay on the couch reading Elizabeth George, covered in cats, had a chocolate shake, bought groceries including a six pack of beer (an increasingly rare buy for me) and only had one, played guitar for a while, played the uke a little longer, watched Brian Williams mock himself on SNL, then watched Nature and Nova and American Masters and switched my clocks, and toddled off to bed at 4, or 5 am.

Sunday-- Lay in bed, again becatted head to toe, reading the Reader. No dogs, no bikes, no shopping today-- I've laid in enough supplies to get me through until Monday without me having to put on pants even once. My bachelor's brunch thus far has included (but is not limited to) black angus steak, my second pot of coffee, Dutch apple pie, herb-wrapped Brie & olives, mixed nuts and a banana, banana omlette, banana sandwiches, banana casseroles, mashed banana molded in the shape of a British lion rampant, blended with eggs into batter for French toast, squeezed out a pastry nozzle across the creamy reaches of a banana blancmange-- wait, no, that was that other bachelors' brunch.
Today's big plan is to enjoy some television-- I can leap from channel to channel on a Sunday like ice chunks in a flowing river and never dip my toes into paid programming. (High on the list today is "The Patty Duke Show", which isn't always good but has a theme song that lives in my head all week, plus I like scanning Patty/Cathy for Samwise-like facial expressions). And if I can make it through "The Flying Nun" without passing out, there's the Sunday Night Gallery/Twilight Zone bloc. The only thing that could make the day's viewing better is if my new TV girlfriend was on. I'm still close to Tina, but we've been growing apart, and we just never had the chemistry that Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and I have.

Anyhow, I think that overall I've done a great job of not getting any actual writing done this weekend. If I can only keep this up, I'll be in a perfect position to crap out 45,000 panicky last-minute words November 28-30.

*Stuff happened on Friday, but it's not anything I can really write about rationally. So let's all just pretend it never happened.

1st November 2007

4:03pm: Carpenter's Apprentices
So I ended up doing a little bit of last-minute dog-sitting yesterday and this morning, which I was ambivalent about. On the one hand it would allow me to watch AMC's Halloween marathon, including the much-maligned "Halloween III: Season of the Witch", which I've wanted to see for years, ever since I was a kid. But on the other hand, it would mean I was staying away from home on Halloween night, and it would make it difficult for me to cook up my traditional last-minute costume*.
So but anyhow I spent the whole day into the evening on the big couch at my client's house, watching Michael Myers get not-quite-killed over and over. The place is a pretty expansive condo, and I was in the lower garden-half, where a couple unused bedrooms lie off a long darkened corridor. The dog and I reclined on the couch, long after the sun had gone down. I considered turning on a couple lights, but I don't like to waste electricity, and plus I ain't scared by no fool slasher flicks, maaaaan.
But suddenly the dog, who had been asleep, leaped from the couch and began barking manically, and growling deep in her throat, the hair all along her back standing straight up. To be honest, I almost peed a little. Turns out she just saw a little lap dog outside and freaked out. But I'll admit it-- for about three seconds I was pretty much in horror-movie freak-out mode. It must have looked pretty funny.

Speaking of things inspired/derived from John Carpenter, for the last couple days I've had that one bit off DJ Shadow's "Endtroducing" (an album which is heavily seasoned with clips from Carpenter's underrated "Prince of Darkness") where the deep voice buried in static is repeating "it is happening...again..." This is of course my unconscious mind's way of reminding me to get my unconscious ass in gear in re: this November's novel. As in years past, I've been mulching ideas all year, and now I've got a head full of rich fertilizer (yes, I'm just going to give you that one free. Your welcome.) Also as in years past, I'm probably going to work at a slow pace the first part of the month, taper off, and then finish the whole thing in a few days in the last week, calling in sick to work and not sleeping and drinking a stomach-corroding amount of coffee. However this is the first year I'll be doing it without cigarettes, which have sort of been my spirit animal for the last 17 years. So we'll see how it goes.


(This is also the time of year that certain people feel obliged to piss on the whole idea of National Novel Writing Month, which is of course the right of every American. However, I have this to say: sit on it. I'll be happy to debate it's merits and flaws with anybody interested.)

*My genius idea for a costume this year was a lazy man's triumph-- I would steal from the Handsome Family, who I saw perform one Halloween in their normal clothes, but with matching bullet-holes in their foreheads. I could dress like normal for the bar, and if anyone said "What's your costume supposed to be?" I could respond "What costume?"
However, I was so enmeshed in the saga(s) of Michael Myers, and walking the dog, that by the time I got to the costume shop on my way to the bar, the Molly-Hatchet-album-cover-looking guy behind the counter was making the throat-slashing motion to me through the doors that indicated that I was too late and they were closed. He did come to the door to tell me in person, though, giving me the chance to say:
"Hey look, I really just need to get shot in the face-- I'll pay you cash!"

25th October 2007

8:29pm: For Real?

Fire chief: 25,000-acre blaze was set



What kind of shit-for-brains does such a thing?

24th October 2007

4:48pm: Tasteless Commercials
Since I am often watching the old person's TV channel (Channel 23, MEtv) there are lots of commercials for automated wheelchairs and health insurance. One of them, which comes on almost every commercial break, begins with the following line:

"There's a health insurance company that believes that life begins at sixty five."

And every time it comes on, I have to reply something about how they offer abortions up to the 256th trimester.

23rd October 2007

2:43am: Another Bizzaro Me
So tonight's overheard bar conversation was lifted from the group who dominated the place all night. Between playing the standard 80's retro butt-rock and taking lots and lots of photos of each other dancing and lip-synching to said BR, two women and two men had a gossipy conversation about an absent friend, at a really unnecessary volume, about five feet away from me.
Apparently this absent friend broke his back a couple of years ago. Since then, he's become a junkie who stays at home all the time, and cuts his own hair. He also no longer cares much about anything, and has some shitty service-industry job which relegates him to a lower social strata than his friends. The tone of this conversation was about %35 "that poor guy, we all miss him" and %65 "what a hilarious loser who invites our ridicule!"
And then they all sang along to "Killer Queen" and acted it out, and took pictures of each other acting it out.
I'm glad their friend escaped.

20th October 2007

1:57pm: My Masterwork
Occasionally I will lament that I have never made a career out of my writing, in spite of a rock-solid determination at the age of eight that it was the keystone of my future life. My ex-wife, parents and many friends over the years have tried unsuccessfully to shove me into any number of writing-related careers-- journalist, advertising, criticism (shudder) with no success. I don't want to write just anything, I want to write what I like, what makes me happy.
And while some aspects of my dog-walking gig are not very glamorous or even dignified, I do get to write daily notes to most of my clients. Some people just want a string of numbers and letters (D: #1, B: #1 & #2), others don't want notes at all, but I am lucky to have a couple of clients with the supreme good taste and humor to let me "do my thing." To wit--

"Mistah B" was princely in his deportment today, bestowing his grace upon stone and tree alike. He also did a number two. See you Tuesday!"

18th October 2007

4:37pm: Lazy Man's Holiday
All week I've managed to walk my pups and be home by 2, or 3 at the latest. I've managed this by being short two dogs this week, going to bed early after the bar, and riding like a crazy man. Hence, each day this week has found me comfortably ensconced on my couch in time for the bombastic opening credits of "Magnum P.I." and sometimes even "Gunsmoke".
But since I don't work at the bar tonight, I decided, in the spirit of a "day off" to change it up. Until I got a load of all the apocalyptic warnings in re: super-winds-and-hail-and-tornados-type storms, all day long. Which would mean I'd have to do my route on the bus, since my brakes aren't too hot and I don't really have any rain-gear appropriate for riding.
But after careful research over breakfast I decided the storm wouldn't really roll in until at least after 3, by which time I could be somewhere doing something fun. Or "fun" for me; I had made a playlist of some of the most melodramatic, heavy-duty bummer music I could find from my early teen years, and I would satiate my inner brooding adolescent by walking around the lakeshore park in the catastrophic weather with headphones, thinking 'bout how nobody really "gets" me. So off I went, fully expecting my day would end with me crushed under a tree or electrocuted by lightning while spacing out to Rachels "Music for Egon Schiele" Oh boy!
I battled wind and traffic, making the best time all week-- I was walking my last dog around 1:20. (The day took a harrowing turn at one point, when I shared the elevator with the heartbreakingly cute redheaded dogwalker/artist I've been stammering around the last couple months-- her charge walked around me, sniffing my bag and shoes, binding the leash all the way around me. But before I could extricate myself, she wrapped her arms around me and passed the leash to her other hand, untying us. My heart stopped cold, since that was easily the most contact I've had with a woman (or man, for that matter) in at least four months. It would have been awkward and possibly sexy if there hadn't been a painter in the elevator with us, waggling his eyebrows at me. Seriously, my heart stopped dead.)
1:30 and the sky is sunny and clear. I find a place along the lakeshore, laying down on a concrete slab in the sun, head on backpack, foot wedged into the spokes of my rear wheel, and dozed off in the sun for about half an hour. Woke up when a hoser came and stood 40 feet away, yelling into his cellphone. In this huge park, with literally miles of land, he chose to walk off the path and stop by me so he could regale his "bro" with whatever d-bag story he was chortling about. So I rode down to the zoo.
I found this wonderful little park-within-the-park, the Something Something Orchid Pond adjacent to the Lincoln Park Zoo, where I found another stone slab on which to sit and zone out for a while. On the off-chance that I meet another girl someday, I've got this huge list of places in my head now where we could go and sit and be quiet and look at nature. Boy, if I do meet a girl, she better have some kind of condition where getting excited could kill her, otherwise I'll bore her into a coma.
Then into the zoo itself. I have real mixed feelings about zoos and circuses. I love animals-- any and all animals-- and I cat sit and hang out with them all day to the exclusion of humans. But it makes me a little nauseous to see them enclosed in those tiny habitats. The compulsive pacing back and forth, the restless overgrooming, all symptoms of captivity. But I do love to see (and smell) them; the implausible grace of a swimming polar bear, the casual lethality of the big cats, even the antics of the chubby zoo-squirrels-- what a life they lead! And abundance of food, just laying around, but always a chance of stumbling across a predator from half a world away.
Anyhoo, most of the animals weren't even out in the public viewing areas. Obviously, it was after 3, they were watching "Magnum P.I.".
However, by the time I mounted up and rolled out of the zoo, I realized that it was still sunny and balmy, and I had absolutely no interest in listening to two hours of depressing music. Whistling the theme to "The Jeffersons" I headed home.

(In my tradition of inadvertently giving my posts accidentally hilariously sexual titles, I nearly called this one "Storm My Ass". Dodged a bullet there, huh?)

15th October 2007

9:27pm: Last time I was home, my step-mom and I were talking about this and that, and she asked if I was seeing anyone. I said no, and that I didn't want to get into it, since virtually everyone I've spoken to in the last like, ten years knows what my problem is. She nodded and said that in one of the tribes she had studied, you could bring a topic to the fire only a certain number of times before the rest of your culture said "OK, enough."
Which is why I don't post so much. 'Cause y'all have already heard it. If you wonder "What's Infant Tyrone up to these days?" the answer is the Exact Same Shit.
2:09pm: Vote of No Confidence
Let's see, how to put this? OK, if my life were a corporate endeavor, the shareholders would be holding a vote to oust me as CEO. Not for negligence or damages to the holdings, but for neglect-- for not being daring enough. We've got some great resources in this organization, and while our books are in the black, we could be doing much, much more. We're seeking a daring, bold, visionary new candidate to be more than a CEO; we're looking for a leader who can actualize the paradigm and all that other management-type jive.
We are now accepting applications. Please have minimum five years prior experience, references.

13th October 2007

11:12am: A Real Catch
OK then, since nobody is going to go to the horror movie marathon with me, I'll stay at home and spend the weekend assembling the giant robot models djproselytic sent me for my birthday.
And then hopefully by next weekend my testicles will have dropped and I'll start being interested in girls.
3:50am: Win a Date with a Loser!
So I've got no dogs tomorrow, and the next two nights off at the bar. Jon Bon Jovi is the guest host on SNL, and the weather is supposed to be sunny, not nice and overcast and heavy.
Essentially, I've got the weekend off and nothing to do...well, almost nothing. I've wanted to go to this for years, but I never have. Does anyone want to go with me? I promise not to get all weird in the small hours of the night, like Michael Jackson in the "Thriller" video-- "Ahm not like other guys" indeed!
Current Mood: "See you next Wednesday"

3rd October 2007

4:35pm: To Dote, Has Doted, Is Doting
On the whole, I have been pretty content to be single. I'm not big on socializing, don't care for sharing my bed while sleeping, and I'm happy cooking for one. Sure, I miss sex, and once in a great while I'll feel a little lonely, but on the whole I think the pros outweigh the cons. I'm not very good at being a boyfriend, and thus I'm saving someone the irritation of trying to get along with me.
But there are times, like today, that I feel the lack. I mention this because I had another bike mishap today, and I'm kinda bunged up. Took a chunk of meat out of my forearm, dug a little patch off my ankle, and it feels like I chipped another notch outta my tailbone.
But I walked away from it (even if my bike needs some time in the shop.) And as I was walking home I took out my phone and then had to think about who I could possibly call. My parents? They don't want to know how dinged up I get riding in the city (my mom wants to drive me to each dog already, and if she could, she'd sit at the door with me at the bar, just in case anyone said anything mean to me. Thanks, mom.) I have a couple friends in town, but they've got loved ones of their own, and if I called it would sound like I was either bragging or seeking sympathy. Which I'm not. (To clarify: this post is not fishing for any "poor baby"-type sentiment.)
But when something like this happens I'm forced to really look at that empty space. When I damaged my hands working at the brewery, I remember one night coming home from work in pain and my girl taking my wounded hands in hers and saying "Oh, my poor honey's paws..." and that still brings a little acorn into my throat.
Would that I could do the same for someone. I like the making soup and tea and getting blankets and aspirin and watching movies role of caretaker myself (although not all the damn time.)
If only there were a number to call-- like an escort service-- but instead of peroxide blondes with waxed this and pneumatic that, a nice girl would come over in sweatpants with a couple movies and some ginger ale and a pizza and gasp in horror at the bloody hash of my arm and sit with me on the couch and get my cane for me and refill my cup and curl up with me while we watched something dumb on TV. Wouldn't even need sex. Just a little doting.

But frankly that might be even creepier and sadder than calling a prostitute. And since I'm no longer insured and have no more pain meds for my swelling back and posterior, I'm going to make do with two cats and some Tylenol and maybe I'll order myself a pizza pie.

And you know what? I've shaved, and I still have bad turns of luck-- so I'm going to grow that fucking mustache, and damn the consequences.

And in other business, here's a meme about books everyone talks about but many people haven't read, as kyped from Ltmurnau.
Read more...Collapse )

29th September 2007

4:53pm: Oh, You Guys...
So I'm listening to Weekend All Things Considered, and they just did this story about some high school students who stole test answers-- I came home half-way through the story and didn't get all the details.
And so they were interviewing all these high school kids, most of whom didn't want to give their names. Except for one civic-minded young man who gave his name as "Mike Rotch".

Come on, NPR. You really gotta pay closer attention, especially when you're talking to teenagers.
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