Dé Máirt, Iúil 31, 2007


I'm totally the first guy to think of this.

Dé Luain, Iúil 30, 2007

Odds and Ends

I had a theology teacher in High School with one testicle. I've just been thinking about him lately. Lance Armstrong was his idol, he had pictures of him scattered about the class. Some say Armstrong got cancer by taking the same bubbling cocktail of drugs that every other bicycle racer gets caught taking. Surely not. Armstrong is a tower of American purity leering down on European depracity and my Theology teacher, Mr. what's his name, he loved him.

I don't know why he told us that he had had testicular cancer, and that he now had one testicle, something about perservering through the power of Christ or something. Nor have I ever actually seen the grotesqely deflated scrotum for myself. When someone tells you that they have one testicle, you tend to assume they're telling the truth.

A real jackass, that guy.

A friend of mine didn't get the reference from the "Dune film" I made on my Facebook page. Perhaps not as many people saw that movie as I think. David Lynch directed it you know. In between "The Elephant Man" and "Blue Velvet" there was Dune, and it was a departure. It has Kyle Mac'Laughlin, of course, and also Sting. It's uncpeakably awful, though it is something you should know about.

I don't have anything to tie these two subjects toghether, no wise observation or pithy saying. Just things I've been thinking about the past two days is all.

Dé Domhnaigh, Iúil 29, 2007

Chick Tract Review : The Little Princess

Heidi is a girl of about eight who is dying of something or another. Her last wish is to go trick or treating as a "little princess" on Halloween. With the last of her strength, she manages to get into her costume and walk around the neighborhood, escorted by her older brother, Josh. (I've always wanted a dead baby sister.)

At first, I thought that Heidi was going to drop dead on her journey and then be justly hurled into the lake of fire for partaking in this Satanic holiday. The Jack Chick that I know would have no qualms whatsoever about sending an eight year old girl to eternal torture and agony, but he must be getting soft in his old age. After collapsing twice and refusing Josh's pleas to return home, the last house they visit is owned by a kindly Christian couple. Realizing that they have a dying infidel before them, the couple deliver the good news of the Lord to Heidi, and lo, she is saved. Taking there duty to the next logical step, the couple follow Josh and Heidi home to their parents, who have never heard the story of Jesus and his blood sacrifice before. (The number of people who haven't heard of Jesus is strangely high in Chickland.) Her parents are overawed by the story of Christ, and of course see no logical problems at all with the whole blood sacrifice thing. Heidi dies during the wee hours of All Saints Day with the knowledge that her family is saved, and they all live and die happily ever after. The last panel shows Josh visiting his sister's grave with a loving and grateful smile on his face.

I found this tract sitting on the park bench at Fourteenth and P. This is "the" park bench, the one understood to be the property of the downtown hobos, so it must have been one of them who picked it up at the City Mission or what have you. Whoever it was left out overnight to get rained on, which is an absolute disgrace. People who don't recognize Chick Tracts for the cultural artifacts they are need to be flogged.
Thankfully though, the tract managed to survive the storm, and I was able to turn the pages and read it without tearing it apart.

Like I said, Chick is getting soft with age. I really was expecting another classic anti-Halloween feast of insanity like "The Trick" or "Boo" www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0058/0058_01.asp (Satan himself is summoned on his "birthday" by the sacrifice of a house cat, and proceeds to slaughter random teenagers dressed as a pumpkin, this is Chick at his best, even better than "Death Cookie".) But no, Chick doesn't denounce Halloween here, indeed, Heidi's trick-or-treating is actually the path to her salvation, and the crown from her costume is even seated on her grave.

So I'm afraid there's nothing about "The Little Princess" to recommend it. It simply isn't insane enough or hateful enough towards those who think differently from Jack Chick. A person who reads this tract might get the impression that Jack Chick is a kind-hearted old man, which is of course the furthest thing from the truth. Pick up "Allah had no Son" if you want some real fun. Leaving "Princess" out in the rain might not have been such a bad thing after all.

Last night

I walked about my neighborhood with my bag of Busch Lights, just me and the rain and T-Town. A cop turned quickly into the alley I was walking through, he passed me with indifference. I gave a beer to Cici, a black gentleman from abouts 30th and Starr. He said I was alright. He told me to stay cool. He said there was nothing wrong with having a good time. Indeed.

I made my way to De'Leon's and walked through the drive-through. The couple in front of me ordered in perfect native tonged Spanish. The fellow behind me, he could have been annoyed or disgusted, drove over the sensor once and than again and than kindly let me stand in front of the box and order. Bearded fellow, I think he's a student, I think I've seen him or even talked to him before.

I ordered the Huevos Rancheros. My pronunciation was good but not quite perfect. (Way-vos Ranch-air-os) I got that down, but I forgot the little hint of an exhale before the "way." The woman at the window took my money without comment. I had been out in the rain for some time, and though it wasn't raining hard I was getting quite wet.

My food had been tossed about and mixed together by the time I got home. Beans and rice and eggs all together. This was fine, better that way in fact. What wasn't okay was that I had run out of my own Valantina's extra-hot sauce. De'Leon's sauce is nowhere near hot enough. It's clearly made for the casual fan, the unserious crush, and you would expect better from them, or maybe I shouldn't. There's no money to be made in being a beans and rice elitist. Let the elitists come begging at your window like the rest. Let them buy their own extra-hot sauce.

I sat on my porch and ate my meal with my last beer. The crickets were overwhelming. One couldn't here the unhappily married couple next door screaming over the sound of crickets. I ate my food, sopped up the remnants with warm tortillas, walked to the trash can in the alley to throw away plate, bag, and beer, and returned to the porch.

There was rain, crickets, and nothing else. I had been out on Thursday afternoon, the hottest day of the year, and it was brutal. Now it was room temperature outside, with rain and a light breeze. It was achingly beautiful. I never forget to feel angry when the weather is unpleasant. But I do forget to feel thankful when the weather is perfect. Thankful to God? Sure. why not? Am I too much of a cynical badass for that? Failing that, at least be thankful to nothing then. Nothing wrong with that either.

I drifted to sleep on the porch swing for a couple of hours. The love I felt for my neighborhood was overwhelming. {This is home, I spent a quarter, a third, who knows, maybe half or more of my life in the town where my parents and grandparents live. But this is home, Lincoln has always been home. Malone (You don't mind if I call you by your proper name dear? Of course not.) was always sitting there waiting for me. I love the Latinos and the Arabs and the Sudanese and the white tattooed Old Milwaukee drinkers and, though strangely enough, I love them least of all, my fellow jaded overgrown students.} There was nothing but rain and crickets, loud enough that I could still hear them as I dozed. This is enough. Whatever happened before and whatever will happen in the future, I was here for this. I know that it happened and that it was mine. And it is enough.

Dé Sathairn, Iúil 28, 2007

I think, what the situation is

I think that I should stop seeking complete catharsis.

Instead, there should be a little something left over for the next day.

Some goal, activity, or purpose.

Though, of course, there are no real reasons.

It's either too hot or it's cloudy,

and that's the way it's going to be.

Dé Sathairn, Iúil 21, 2007

You're going to die

You're gonna die, you're gonna die, you're gonna die tonight.

Dance the strawman jango.

Hurt is for the head, I am the heart,

You have no daughter




income gap

treed by a woman, stepping stone

rock, and a place

out of home is where you're going

and that's all there is

friends, life, lovers,

house party, let's get mood lighting
digital instruments, blonde and black casts

stage woman, comfort men

pets for the deranged and comatose, the parking lot
where people leave, hard facts

Christ figures, platinum templates, hard facts,

facile notices

cringing, working

out the solution

waking up, it's all

no, sober, open, and waiting.

The break, the break, the billy, the billy, the billy
frost, engine

widow's hair peak cleaner season soundlessness open, fogginess, forget.

Dé hAoine, Iúil 20, 2007

Independent writing

No class paper, no script to work on.

Had a real work week this week. Waking up at eight to go to film class (which is excellent, just excellent) Writing my analysis of the film I just watched from 10:45 to about noon, tackling my reading assignment and/or eating lunch and/or showering from noon to four. walking to Dan's place and waking him up. Working on the script/dinner/ recruiting hobos, searching for THE ONE, drinking in public, five or six hours of sleep.

Went to "2001" last night and was left emotionally drained as always. "Masculine ballet" quoteth Becky. Now that she mentions it, there are about three women in the whole movie, and one of them has about twelve words of dialogue. All of the major players are either men, monkeys (no comment please) or a machine. It's such a sterile and sexless movie though, gender roles don't really factor into it. It is also Kubrick's most optimistic movie by far. He's usually so brilliantly, ruthlessly misanthropic. (Shades of that in 2001, of course, "The Dawn of Man" comes when monkeys figure out how to use tools to bludgeon other creatures and each other, bureaucracies keeping vital information secret more out of habit than for any practical gain.) If Kubrick ever had dealt with gender roles/sexuality, rest assured that it wouldn't have been kind to any perspective. (Oh yes, Eyes Wide Shut, almost forgot about that.)

I'm feeling more wide awake, less withdrawn, than I have for days. I think I'll go see a local band tonight, since I've seen five films in the past four days.

I don't know if I was tired necessarily, but I've been living very deeply inside of myself for the past three days. This may be due to lack of sleep or it may be that I've been in the same room as someone else more than I'm used to.

I told my friend Gregg once that I like to spend some time alone every day. He said that he understood. I said that I liked to have a good four or five hours. Greg's been a little afraid of me ever since.

Dé Domhnaigh, Iúil 15, 2007

This is just Lovely


I'm not going to lie, this story greatly improved my sense of well-being.

Call me a hippy, and I suppose I couldn't honestly deny it.

We Are not The Satan

And we are not amused.

Dé hAoine, Iúil 13, 2007

To the man who stole my duffle bag

Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of

Today's Edition of the New York Times:
Bush is still trying to link the war to Sept. 11th/Al-Qaeda/terra, and that's getting far past the point of anoyance isn't it? I'm not going to assume you don't read the newspapers. I am no bigot, you could be some sort of gentleman bandit, and the copy was free to me, so, by all means, enjoy it. Educate yourself.

One Pair of broken Headphones:

I really don't know why I don't throw those things away.

A One-dollar pair of sunglasses:

Those sunglasses have lasted longer than any dollar pair of sunglasses I've owned before. I was curious to see how far they would go. Pity, but quite alright. My gift to you.

The Power Cord For A University-Owned Apple I-Book.
I'm responsible for the loss, of course. About forty five dollars. It's going to hurt, I'm not going to lie. But than again, don't you just wish, (Oh don't you just wish, don't you just fucking wish you God-damned tape worm!!) Careful Joshua, you are not a vengeful man. But anyway, you didn't get the laptop, and I know you know it was in the bag not one hour before you swiped it, and this satisfies me,

My red notebook:
The public-access drafts are safe. I had taken them and the labtop onto the donation floor at NABI to get some writing done. And oh by the way, the laptop is safe as well. The notebook costs two dollars, in case your wondering. But, the thing is, I'm a writer you see. You probably didn't think that many writers go to the plasma bank, but quite a few of us do as a matter of fact. We're a dime a million. I had left my bag with my newspaper and my headphones and my power cord and my notebook and my sunglasses sitting under a chair in the waiting area because my hands were already full with the laptop and the scripts. Damned foolish of me, I know. should have waited until I was seated and tapped before I started writing, that way I could have kept the computer in a bag and brought the whole thing with me to a safe place. So you now have several chunks of manuscript, rambling ideas, first drafts. Do you like to read? Feel free to go through my notes since you have them anyway. I have this story, it's about a rancher in the Nebraska Sandhills who dies alone on a cold night when he realizes his insignificance. Common stuff I know, and really not any good, not yet at least. I think if I polish it over a couple of more drafts I really might have something. In the meantime, enjoy it if you can, and good luck trying to trade fifty or so pages of underdeveloped ideas for meth.

Why do I assume you do drugs? . It's your risk/reward radar; you don't have one. Yes I did call the police, I have a warrant out but that's okay. I'll go to jail as long as you go too. How else did you think I would react? What did you expect to find. Do you really think I would have forgotten my bag if I had anything valuble in there. (Like a laptop say?) Did you expect to find money? It's not a purse. I do the traditional hetero-male thing and keep my money in a wallet. I don't know if you have some sort of vision disorder, in which case all apologies, but no, it's quite clearly not a purse. You really would have to be something of a, you know, fucking moron, to expect to find money in the bag. So yes, your's was the act of a desperate fiend who tells himself to believe what he wants to be the truth.

Dan and I spent last night planning for the show, writing, and discussing our insecurities, and it all seems so foolishly pessimistic now. We're doing quite fine. I assume you bought a bag with your blood money. Do you have enough to get you through a Friday night, were you expecting to?

So yes, enjoy my work and my stuff. The lady who saw you, who described you to the cop (couldn't help but notice that he treated me with a lot more respect once he found out I was a university student and not just another extended hand. It's not right I know but, anyway, how does it feel to know that your hand will always be extended?) didn't get your name, pity. But she did describe you as something of a shorter version of me. 5-8, medium-long sandy hair, blue eyes, no mustache though. I have a feeling we will meet, and if I find out that you threw away my notebook in some alley when it proved of no use to you, I swear to Christ I will fucking, I don't know, I am not a vengeful man.

Dé Céadaoin, Iúil 11, 2007

Godspeed LadyBird

She flies with the angels now.

Dé Luain, Iúil 09, 2007

This is The best-case scenario

If you don't know who painted this, you need to try just a little bit harder.

This is the best-case scenario

I used to have a petite Mexican girlfriend who looked just like Leon Trotsky.

This is the Best -Case Scenario

Photographer robert Mapplethorpe was forced to digitally remove his own feces due to a bizarre geometric blockage over his anal opening.

This is more of a Myspace thing. But Myspace is fucking up. Anyway, it's term-paper time again which means it's procrastination time again.


It keeps going dead when I try to sign in to blogger. So I spent forty-five minutes doing the same thing at the same computer. I could have spent longer. I would have sat there until I starved to death, if need be. But I came to a point where I realized, no, this isn't enough. Machines exist to obey me, and this one was not. I had already given it too many chances, it could detect my weakness.

So I disciplined this computer. I poured an entire bottle of water into the speaker outlet. A few sparks, some smoke. This isn't my computer, I mean, it might as well be mine, I'm commanding it right now. Technically, though, it's the University's since they, technically, paid for it. But I command it, and it failed me.

So I was careful, discreet, a little bit at a time. It will be over soon, be still Desdemona. Yes there we go. Now quitely grab your bag and calmly leave the building. It could be at least five minutes before they notice the electric burn smell, and by than they'll probably have forgotten your face. You could probably walk right through the door tommorow, find another slave, and no one will think anything of you.

What I think I'll do though, is ruin them all.

The only machines that have any right to exist are the ones that work perfectly forever without any attempt at maintenence or understanding by the owner. Disobedience from machines are the only insults that matter. Better to let your wife screw your best friend while simultaneously throwing your wedding pictures into the cats liter box than to allow your computer to upload porn one milisecond slower than it is supposed to. Every machine that ever does anything wrong is a murderer, and any "man" who ever takes his machines to a specialist for "repairs" is a traitor.

This state of affairs will not stand. If that means a return to the days when we didn't have so much as a wheel or a knife to butcher our game with then so be it! I will personally destroy any machine that could ever conceivibly malfunction as well as every person who stands in my way.

This is purity. This is discipline. Everything is either perfect or evil. Nothing is perfect. Destroy everything. No compromise, no phony jusifications, no special pleading. A single subatomic particle colliding with another invalidates the existence of the universe. Discipline.

Dé Domhnaigh, Iúil 08, 2007

A summer's day like this is every day

There is the morning where you are refreshed and there are things to do, the white afternoons that never end, where you have to do something, you have to go out there. But it's ninety-five degrees, and the trees leave no shadows, so you stay inside and you read or you watch TV or you eat or you nap.

Oprah is still on. You read the paper and there are already football stories on the front sports page, Ernie's of Ceresco is still selling furniture at Blowout prices, another restaurant, another "old favorite" is closing, another one is opening, a sports bar, or maybe a family grill.

A hot summer's afternoon is every afternoon. The light of the sun softens slightly. the heat isn't dulling your appitite anymore. You are ten years old and your mothe is baking Lasanga in her kitchen. You are twenty five and adding a hot dog to you Mac-n-Cheese. You are twenty one and your girlfriend is calling for pizza.

In the fall, when it's cool snough to wear long pants and a jacket, the seriousness will return.

You can take classes in the summer, set goals for the day. But they're just not as urgent as the sun. There's a small peak in drowsiness that we feel around three in the afternoon. The summer sun is why. So you do maybe half of what you meant to and you'll get to it tommorrow. The summer afternoon is all the time you have wasted, the jobs you settled for, the times when you skipped school, your friends chickened out, and you were stuck at home watching Teletubbies. All of your aimless days.

Dé hAoine, Iúil 06, 2007

Summer In Lincoln

It's cool air and crickets and bike cops trying to find whose still lighting off fireworks. They didn't find them though, and I'm glad. The day after the fourth id always a little sad, like Christmas, the big seasonal climax comes with mos of the season left to go. So good for these outlaws, dropping flares and firecrackers from their stoops, risking arrest or burning down their apartment houses, good on them, easing the transition into the drag of summer, the blast-furnace white-hell afternoons and the slow cooling and return to seriousness.

Lincoln is people hanging outside of the little eateries and laundromats. This is when we have neighborhoods. This is when students leave their cocoons and interact with the locals.

This is when the lights are a little lighter, and downtown looks just a little bit impressive, and the real city insiders make themselves known to each other.

Dé Céadaoin, Iúil 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Americans are so hard, our disembodied arms stab themselves.

Al Gore III is a badass


Dé Máirt, Iúil 03, 2007

Purse Snatching

I witnessed a purse snatching in downtown North Platte. It was either four or five years ago. Two guys came running out of a restaurant with a purse and two screaming women were right behind. It was the petite blond woman they had stolen the purse from. They must have simply walked passed their table and grabbed it. I had met the victim somewhere, a party or maybe an old job I had. She screamed "help" and I remember my feet started to shuffle in a runnish sort of way towards the scene. I don't know if I intended to help or not. It doesn't matter. The thieves jumped into their car and rocketed down the street. They were ten blocks down the street within seconds, and I was nearly a block away from all of this. I couldn't have possibly gotten there in time to, do what?

I told my friend Chad about the incident a couple of days later. He asked me why I didn't help. "I would have" he said. Chad had held a job for a total of one year out of the previous six. He supported himself through the junk-for-drugs trade, which he gladly worked both ends of. Mostly though he was supported by a girlfriend who had an associate's degree and a teller's job at North Platte's First National Bank. She was twenty, but considered it beneath herself to hunt down somebody who was twenty-one and willing to buy alcohol for minors every night. So she had Chad. She worked and studies and told Chad to get a job so that they could get a bigger house. He smoked pot and traded twenty-year-old bikes for meth and watched TV and bought her beer and pot. Their relationship works as well as anyone else's.

Chad had unusual notions os self-defense. His house was full of valuble and/or illegal things, so he was rightfully worried about break-ins. Plus he liked Crystal. He once believed that his house was being bugged by the FBI. We hangers-on played along, shouting "FUCK (officer so-and-so)" while our drug deals went on unabated. Chd thought he had the legal right to shoot any intruder for any reason as long as he didn't have a back door. So he sealed the back door of the house he was renting with wood, nails, and concrete. Nebraska's self-defense clauses, as in most states, are vaguely worded, something about resorting to lethal force as a last resort, typical boilerplate. There's nothing at all about a back door, back doors are simply irrelevent. Back doors do not legally exist. I tried to explain this to Chad but he didn't believe me. Lots of people still believe in the back-door clause. It's like God that way, it really doesn't matter if the law is real or not. The fact that people think it is creates the same effect.

So Chad said he would have rushed to the aid of the purse-snatching woman, and nobody
who knew the man believed him. He was counting on that. It was subtle nonsense. He wasn't claiming to be a Vietnam Vet or that he had a million dollars worth of coke hidden somewhere. It didn't sound ridiculous on the surface, just to those of us who knew that he liked his Bud Light mixed with V-8 for breakfast. So he said he would have helped her and everyone knew it was nonsense and he knew we wouldn't call him on it.

Dé Luain, Iúil 02, 2007


There is a small chance that I'll be going to Chicago for the fourth. Their is an even bigger chance that I'll be doing nothing whatsoever. Possibilities are what one makes of them. Someone else will be driving, of course, as I am to awesome to pay my parking tickets.

Dé Domhnaigh, Iúil 01, 2007


Well, there was the trip there, from downtown Lincoln. Following Myles down a four-lane street, than an expressway, than a narrow state highway, than a county road, than a gravel road. Random, A solitary tiki torch sat by the houses. This was private land, somebody owned an entire lake. A big fire, and a string band, like a real one.

And, let's see, the bar in Dewitt, the Red Zone, the crowd melts in ecstasy at Bon Jovi's Always." Laughed at them, ignored by bartenders for longest possible time. Miller-High-Life, off-sale. Bar vaguely Husker and pro-military themed. Red walls, random bar shit on the walls. Screen door to get in. Could be a bar in the middle of nowhere anywhere, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, Mexico. Expected more mosquitos and stale-beer-urine-smell.

Beatrice for gas, only place where's there's anything open. Bitches Ain't Shit.

Found way back to right road, Waldo Farms.

Meet and talk to locals mid-nineties metal band T-shirts. One woman was in hair college. 26-year-old man in Nine-Inch Mails-shirt with nine-year-old-son. Or was that two seperate people?

One woman is taking classes at Southeast. I think I might have clicked with a couple of local girls. But, they sang amn Eagles song. "Take It Easy" the most Eagles of Eagles songs. A guy in a farmer's tight, fitted baseball cap played take-it-easy and
all the locals started singing; sincerely, lovingly. Than he busted out "Margaritaville."

Fuck the guy with the guitar. I have a friend who's thirty years-old with a wife and kid. The band he's fronted since he was eighteen is still officially together and occasionly puts out a new album. His lyrics are really trite and no one in the band plays well. But he still maintains the fiction of being a professional musician so that he has an excuse to bring his guitar to parties. Fuck the guy with the guitar.

I was in a panic. The Lincoln people, they were, somewhere else, and here I was. Men in cowboy hats and long white beards stare into the fire grimly. They're singing Eagles songs. The moon is full and everything is startingly clear, too clear to intrepret accuratly. I have a real melted plastic, cheap-magnifying glass view of things. I break up weed poorly in the dark and smoke a spliff by the fire. I need to get out of here. I need to get back to Lincoln.

I'm not quite in a panic. I'm walking towards another sort of light and I won't walk beyond there. Stay calm. The light is another campfire, and the Lincoln people are there. I tell Dan that we should really go soon. They played The Eagles and any romantic notions about wilderness and drinking... this is how they have fun out here. This is how I was brought up. Jesus, I'm not sleepin here, I'm not seeing the sun rise here.

I woke up in my apartment at ten thirty. I figure I got five hours of sleep. I'm fine, quite fine. Quiet pensive, but quite fine.