Dropkick

Somehow I managed to miss Dropkick Murphys until about twelve hours ago. I’m now making up for lost time. Don’t wait for Burns Night for bagpipes – Listen: Warrior’s Code (I suspect Ray is now thinking, I told you so)

Somehow I managed to miss Dropkick Murphys until about twelve hours ago. I’m now making up for lost time.

Don’t wait for Burns Night for bagpipes – Listen: Warrior’s Code

(I suspect Ray is now thinking, I told you so)

Big Al

What kind of (Deadwood) Cocksucker are you?created with QuizFarm.com You scored as Al Swearengen You have carved out your powerbase from the mud under your feet and you’ll be damned if some cocksucker is going to take it. You know how to play the fancy politician’s games, but you know how to play things the […]

What kind of (Deadwood) Cocksucker are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Al Swearengen

You have carved out your powerbase from the mud under your feet and you’ll be damned if some cocksucker is going to take it. You know how to play the fancy politician’s games, but you know how to play things the frontier way too. If that means getting blood on your hands, so be it. (Al Swearengen is played by Ian McShane)

Al Swearengen

88%

Alma Garret

69%

Cy Tolliver

69%

Trixie

63%

Doc Cochran

56%

Calamity Jane

56%

Seth Bullock

50%

Joanie Stubbs

38%

Mr Wu

31%

E. B. Farnum

25%

On my first try I was Seth Bullock. I like this result better. In reality I’m somewhere in between.

I am, actually, distantly related to the real life Al Swearengen – no lie.

(thx to my One True Love, miz Chelsea Summers for the quiz.)

Dad Points on Ice

There are certain things a man does for no other reason than to win the approval of women. This can include gifts, certainly. But it can be as simple as lawn-mowing, or putting the seat down, or getting one’s fucking feet off the table. Little else, though, has quite the innocent payoff of pleasing adolescent […]

There are certain things a man does for no other reason than to win the approval of women.

This can include gifts, certainly. But it can be as simple as lawn-mowing, or putting the seat down, or getting one’s fucking feet off the table.

Little else, though, has quite the innocent payoff of pleasing adolescent girls.

Hence, I accompanied my nine year old daughter Ruby to “Disney’s High School Musical on Ice” at what was once called the Oakland Coliseum (though it now seems to be named after some over-monied high-tech database giant).

It was a bit odd being in that building again. It’s been a while. I’ve lost count of how many concerts I saw there through the seventies and eighties. They seem to have re-modeled the place heavily, or the drugs I was on back in those days did worse to my memory than I was aware.

But that night, it wasn’t stoner boys in down coats and waffle-stomper boots, sporting Yes and Genesis and Pink Floyd t-shirts. Tonight, the smell of shampoo and lip-glass and adolescent excitement was in the air.

There’s a sound – unlike any other sound, anywhere. This is what Beatlemania must have sounded like in person. This is the sound five thousand adolescent girls screaming as one, at the top of every tiny set of lungs, when an skater dressed and made up and wigged to vaguely resmble Zac Efron takes of his shirt and does a bit of fancy footwork across the ice.

I have to admit, such excitement is infectious.

Now, if you have adolescent girls at home, or know someone who does, you are all too aware of the whole High School Musical phenomenon. I won’t bother to describe, or try to explain, why this low-budget Disney Channel made-for-television movie has become such a massive hit. What I’ll say, though, is that it’s cute, silly, has pretty good songs, and likable stars (and as we know from the gossip pages, Vanessa Anne Hudgens is pretty tasty indeed in her birthday suit.)

But one has to be at least a bit afraid at the idea of – well, anything on ice that isn’t either olympic, or a comestible.

Ok, maybe it was just the screaming girls. Maybe it was the fantastic seats I had (I could reach the ice from my seats, which means I was close enough to see the skaters sweat, and see the expressions on their faces when they would occasionally drop character). Or maybe it’s that I genuinely love figure skating. But I admit it – I liked it. It was, possibly, the most soulless piece of live performance I’ve ever seen, and yet I enjoyed it.

Yeah, I’m blaming the little girls. It’s hard to be jaded and cynical when you’re sitting behind a ten year old who looks like she’s seeing god every time a favorite character skates by

Ruby was absolutely paralyzed with excitement. I thought she was unhappy halfway through the first act, and then realized, she was utterly overwhelmed into a fugue state. She wasn’t even able to applaud at first. I’m not entirely sure she was even breathing. When we got home, she had a sobbing breakdown, a combination of exaustion (WAY past her bedtime) and thrill over-load.

I can’t say I want to go back and see HSMonI again right away. But I also don’t at all mind the time and money. Well, well worth it. And damn, are those good Dad Points.

Saturday, Ruby goes with me to her first hockey game; thus, she gets to see what ice should look like, ie, with blood on it.

Update: I just read a review of this show by SFGate’s Peter Hartlaub. He captures it perfectly.

meet me at musso n’ frank

I’ve been having’ one of those days – weeks, actually – when I’m just craving a cocktail.

But not – you know, just alcohol. It’s not really alcohol I want. It’s the time, the place, the, you know, the thing.

There are those places you miss; not a place place, not Hawaii or London or the Scottish Highlands, Venice or New Orleans. That’s bigger, and sadder. That’s a spirit, a feeling.

No, I mean that smaller scale sense of missing. A coffee shop where one once sat, eating greasy food and drinking bad coffee after late nights. The book store where one used to sit and read in a dusty corner. The bar where one once met friends and heard local bands.

And it doesn’t have to be a hangout. Some places I’ve been, they got under my skin after one visit. A pub by the river in York; a fish n’ chips stand on the Royal Mile; a bar down below canal level in Brügge.

One such – and the place I’ve been visualizing now – is a silly place indeed. You know the place if you live in Hollywood; you know it by rep if you read about LA. If you’ve read crime novels by Michael Connely or Robert Crais or Jonathan Kellerman, you know the place as if you’ve been there, eating steaks and drinking mid-day with rough men.

Musso and Frank. Hollywood’s oldest eatery they call it; it feels like it. It feels like it’s seen more old hollywood action than any studio or any mansion. You can imagine Welles, Chaplain or Valentino; the Mark brothers or Clark Gable. You can imagine writers, Bukowski, Faulkner, Hemmingway. They live on in the dark walls and worn tables.

It’s the kind of dark, wood paneled room, the kind of old-fashioned chop house ambiance, that just seems to have ghosts and seem to inspire dreams.

Aside from that kind of cuisine, aside from the feeling that someone very important or deeply sinister may’ve sat in this same seat yesterday or may tomorrow, the thing one goes to musso n frank for would be martinis. And that’s what I’ve been salivating for. Ice-cold, served with an odd, tiny carafe on the side (so you get an extra pour), this is place that understand exactly how a martini should taste.

And I’ve been sitting here all day, trying to concentrate on incredibly dull but important data gathering (to prove with numbers what everyone already knows to be true). But my mind is in that dark, smokey room, (because never mind the silly laws, in my head it’s smokey, like it would have been in those days), with a fine, mysterious dark-haired girl beside me, and we’re drinking icy cold martinis.

Outside it’s daylight – because it has to be. But here inside, I shade my eyes with the brim of a hat, and I breath in the perfume of her, and sip icy cold gin – always gin, never vodka.

Thats where I am today. But the martini I might make when I get home – or not – wouldn’t taste the same. Because the scene is what I want, and the company, the company of ghosts and beautiful, mysterious women. The drinks? Well, they’re just the taste on my tongue.

TNK

Because I just loaded this up to show a friend what 801 sounded like: TNK. Enjoy. (Damn, Bill MacCormick is an awesome bass player…)

Because I just loaded this up to show a friend what 801 sounded like: TNK.

Enjoy.

(Damn, Bill MacCormick is an awesome bass player…)

One Large

This is Moronosphere blog entry number 1000. And I look at that number with a mixture of confusion and pride. In January of 2004, my friend Jennifer offered to host of a domain I owned. I wasn’t doing anything with it, but I figured, hell, I might as well host it someplace and use it […]

This is Moronosphere blog entry number 1000. And I look at that number with a mixture of confusion and pride.

In January of 2004, my friend Jennifer offered to host of a domain I owned. I wasn’t doing anything with it, but I figured, hell, I might as well host it someplace and use it for email and a couple of web pages. Jen’s then-boyfriend had a machine in his office, and was more than happy to donate a bit of space and a bit of bandwidth.

Do you want a blog, while I’m at it? Jen asked me, since she already had Movable Type installed.

I couldn’t really imagine why I’d want one, but I was curious about how the tools worked. I didn’t really get blogging, but I learn better with my hands involved than when it’s just my eyes. So I said, yeah why not.

I didn’t think much about it. I’d been hanging around with a few bloggers like Trance, Circe, Doxy, Jenifer, and a number of others, and I didn’t really see myself doing what they did. On the other hand, I’d been having a successful run writing erotic fiction, which was posted on a now-defunct site called Satin Slippers. So I figured, blogging might help my writing; it might give me a place to get down my own thoughts on writing, and would be a place to keep in practice when the muse wasn’t cooperating.

Plans like that rarely quite play out when it comes to blogs. One may begin writing about sex, to find one’s voice is more focused on personal growth. One may start writing about chickens, and then find one’s blogger’s voice has more to do with family and daily life. Blogging’s like that. Once you stop thinking about what you write, and begin to write, the blog has a personality all it’s own. This sort of writing has no rules.

I started doing this, one thosand entries ago, with no thought to who might ever read it, what it might bring or cost, or what it’s duration. I am, frankly, amazed to find I’m still doing it. I cannot stop, even if I want, though some days it seems a burden, or an herculean labor.

I find the outlet – and the audience – the be an essential part of my life, as much when I can’t do it as when I can.

Still – one thousand. I wish there was a good way to count the words; half a million? a million? More?

There’s a small temptation to summarize the fractional lifetime these 1000 pages represent; but I’ve done that in one sense far too much already. And the years between then and now haven’t lain easily on me, for all that there are high points ranking in the highest of my life. Summaries will be left for another time, some more concrete life milestone.

This project started out just for me, and always, I need to focus on that. It’s not for you people, for all I love the lot of you; it’s for me, and I have to keep writing for myself, and not censor so much as I sometimes have. Whatever I’m feeling, I need to try harder to write it, and let the desire to be good hinder me less. I need to think less about who may or may not think is that about me, and write, to the best of my ability, as if no one was reading.

One thousand entries. A line from a Gin Blossoms song comes to mind:

The lost horizons I could see
are now resigned to memories
I never thought I’d still be here today

I still can’t really say I get blogging, of course, but maybe in another thousand entries, I will.

more fish geekey

Ok, it’s got a long way to go, but it’s a start. And it feels better having gotten something done today that was completely unimportant. If nothing dies in a week, then I can start populating this tank with more than just left-over survivors from the old one.

Ok, it’s got a long way to go, but it’s a start.

Img 0011-1

And it feels better having gotten something done today that was completely unimportant.

If nothing dies in a week, then I can start populating this tank with more than just left-over survivors from the old one.

vacation from *

Damn, I wish I could get a day where no one else wanted anything, needed anything, had to have something fixed, looked at, cleaned up, or taken care of. You know, there’s a down side to being problem solving guy; namely, when do I get the bandwidth to work on some of my own? I […]

Damn, I wish I could get a day where no one else wanted anything, needed anything, had to have something fixed, looked at, cleaned up, or taken care of.

You know, there’s a down side to being problem solving guy; namely, when do I get the bandwidth to work on some of my own?

I have a gift – it’s the thing that turn up on my work reviews, even when I’ve otherwise completely screwed the pooch, work wise; a knoack for debugging things, for seeing the root cause. Well, THERE’s your problem, and Jaime Hyneman might say. I’m just good at knowing, through some combination of intuition and observation, what makes a system work and thus what’s making it not work.

So I find myself forever in that role; the better I get, the more constant the need.

I don’t mind, you know? It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am. It’s what I enjoy. That lightbulb moment, when seemingly un-connected points of data suddenly assemble into a picture, and I can see the point of failure. It’s the tiny highlights in generally drab work days. And more, at home, in real life, when I say, this is the failure point and can apply, or help apply, some solution, it makes me happy.

There are points, though, load exceeds structural resistance and I want to simple give in, let the crushing weight win.

There are the points when I need time away from every single ounce of need, want, issue. No one saying help me or this is broken or can you fix.

This is, of course, the kind of blog entry I usually don’t post. I’ve written it a couple times a year since I started blogging, and rarely does it see the light. Because as much as I don’t want to help, I don’t want any help.

I need a vacation from the universe. And it makes me understand why people find the spike to appealing; let me go away from myself for a bit. Only then there’s another need to manage, and the cycle gets smaller and tighter.

The list of things I need to do gets longer only – never, ever shorter, and the list of what I want to do is almost forgotten under load. I was trying to recall the other day the last time I felt free enough of pressure to cut loose and create, and I cannot recall; it’s lost on the blur if the last year and a half. Even on my last vacation, never did I have a day where I could say, this is my time, forget what other people are doing or want to do.

I feel the edges of a crazy sort of rage at the edges of things. Sadness and anger are lurking at the back of my skull all the time now, and I need someplace to put them.

A good friend asked me the other day if I was ok – really, really ok. And I had to think back a long time to the last moment I felt really ok; moments of time, too soon gone.

I need to be back there, in those fleeting, warm, soft, truly happy moments. And I don’t know how to get back there.