Possibly the greatest band ever.
Possibly the greatest band ever.
The Motörhead rings in the front are my latest, from Great Frog.
Behind that are a several of my daily wear rings, from the MT Maloney, Deadringer, Tony Creed, Sinners inc, and Courts and Hackett – links are in the left side bar to all these.
shot with my iPhone 5, processed with ‘be funky pro’ app.
Nine years ago, I started this blog.
That’s an incredibly long time in internet years.
I kind of want to load my posting data into a grapher to see how my posting frequency curve goes. From frequent to really really frequent, and then a long slide into almost-never.
I bet you could lay that against blogging trends and the growth a facebook and twitter and see the implosion clearly; as social media finally got a real foothold, blogging crashed and burned.
That probably makes sense. Blogging was a fad, something of an era; every fucking person on the internet seemed to have a blog for a six month period there. And then they didn’t. Abandoned blogs are the ghost town of the decade; people will tour them some day, dodging tumble weeds and spam links and stealing mementos.
Actually they won’t. Because unlike ghost towns, blogs leave nothing behind but empty hearts and minds. No blood no guts no brains at all.
There are exceptions, obviously. Great writing happened, and is still happening, in the context of blogs. No, the issue wasn’t a lack of content, it was the opposite. It was that signal-to-noise problem that chases us around the internet; when something works, really works, it has the life span of a snowflake. Perfect, brilliant, ephemeral, and then gone, lost in the waves of its own success. The sheer mass of irrelevancy and stupidity swamped the goodness and buried it.
But you know that. And anyway you’re not reading; who reads blogs anymore?
I was trying to figure out where to start in this update. Where am I now, and where was I last time I actually used to write about it?
Last time I had double-digit updates in one month was November ’09.
Last time I broke 20 in a month was january ’07.
Stats for 2011: 32 updates.
Stats for 2012: 8 updates.
So you can see where I sort of abandoned the idea of talking about myself on the internet. I’m pretty sure that corresponds to various life events, though I frankly have neither the desire nor the strength to try to correlate it.
Bottom line is, my life’s been complicated, but it the worst, most trivial and tedious way.
Long time readers (I don’t know if that’s plural any more) know I’ve been through some incredibly painful crap the last few years; to the point where I got really self-destructive, made really bad choices, nearly lost my job, and wrote incredibly well.
This current wave isn’t like that. In the last couple years, it’s that shoelace shit; a job that just keeps getting busier, kids having various breakdowns, family schedules of unimaginable complexity, financial troubles, health issues (mine and others). It comes down to the minutiea of the ordinary: too much to do, too little time to do it.
And I’m getting old.
in November of 2011, I turned 50.
Ok, I know, 50 looks good on me. The other day, a sexy MILF in a Peets coffee addressed me as ‘young man’ (there’s no way she’s more than my age). I can still get away with dressing like a teenager – skinny jeans, slouchy beanie, combat boots, tee-shirt over thermal. And it’s not the grey – yeah, the beard is largely gray now, but gray in that steely way that looks weather-beaten from hard riding. And I’m at the lowest weight of my adult life; from a high north of 250, I’m down around 210; for the first time ever, I weigh what it says on my driver’s license.
No, the age is on the inside. I feel it in my fucking joints. My shoulders tend to ache now, and my knees can’t take as much pounding. I can’t drink anymore (it just makes me sleepy and gives me a headache); there’s gin in my liquor cabinet that’s been there wince – well, I was drinking dirty martinis with dark-haired girls when I bought that bottle. I fall asleep too early and sleep like crap these days. And my eyes – I carry three pairs of glasses with me now, far, near, and dark.
Fuck you. I’m still angry and dangerous, and I absolutely will do the wrong thing to you given half a chance. You still should not trust me with yours wives, your your girlfriends, your sisters or your daughters. The difference is, I’m a little bit smarter and move a little slower.
What I won’t do is get old gracefully. I can’t seem to avoid getting old, but I can avoid acting old. I drive like I always have – get out of my fucking way, you – I ride motorcycles, I scuba dive (deep), I go out of my way to do the more dangerous things. What age tends to bring to this is only that I now think about how long recovery will take before I go do something (sorry, honey, I’m not 25 anymore).
I’m not afraid of being an old guy. I just hate having any limits placed on me, you know?
Ok, it’s been way too long since I’ve been able to give link-love to my skull ring frineds – sorry guys, life has a way of giving us lemons, right?
I’ve finally started to get ’em in place again.
I can’t change the sort order, so it’s in the default alpha sort.
There are some still missing, I have to delve into the archives to get ’em all out, but if you see hits, let me know.
Again, apologies for dropping ’em, when I cut over to wordpress, thats’ one of the design elements that didn’t port.
More on this later, I have some new silver to post pix of.
Here are the ones I have live:
My blog’s been broken for some number of weeks or months, due to some stupidity of my own (removing the .htaccess file without making a copy of it first).
Still, I un-broke it for now, and will shortly be back to posting nothing but pics and the occasional promise the wrote more.
It’s been a long time wince I’ve really WRITTEN something.
Not some cute pics of my kids, or pix of how sexy I am with muscles and scary facial hair, or arty photos of some rock or rusty tractor.
I mean actually write.
I used to write about politics – about how much I fucking hate our system, and the people in it; about how I wind up having to vote for a guy I think is a wimp, becauise my other option is a member of the freakiest cult in the world, untel scientology showed up, and a man utterly without moral compass or any sense of personal honor. I just to make that sort of a screed entertaining. And sometimes good. Now, I don’t even make it.
I also used to write stories – some true, some false, most someplace in between; ambiguity leads to better fioction. I used to fucking teach people how to write, because dammit, I was good.
Now? It’s not that I’m not good ; it’s that I’m just not. This shit here isn’t writing, it’s ambien-fueled thrashing, posing in the vague forms, assuming the shapes, but not actually producing anything.
As I type this, small, hairy spiders bigin to creep over my keyboard. I like ambien.
What I mean to say isn’t just to bitch about my failures; they’re not real failures. They’re failures to start, rather, not failures to do what I do.
“I know I have a novel in me,” my friend Myles said the other day. And yeah, he does; I can smell it on him like scotch and success. And god dammit, I sure as fuck have a novel – not a; several. But let’s sart one before we visualize the second. I have ideas for a half dozen books, easily; my problem isn’t ideas, or narrative; it’s simple attention span. It’s also simple being awake long enough.
I have to write, to get this going. And the brilliant thing is, no one reads anymore, so I might as well start here.
It was a dark and stormy Night…
Wait that isn’t right. Maybe something in a wilder vein.
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive . . .”And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
Um, wait. That might have been done.
I guess I need to do this in my own words.And to be honest, this work is old, but I have not pulled it out and worked on it in years.
Tires on the highway. The wind in the old tin box of a van I drive. Blood in my veins. Whiskey in my skull.
Motörhead – Lemmy doing something you might call singing, the crank-drain making his voice just right to tell me about life on the road and jailbait and dirty love and the ace of spades. A story I pretend the tattoos on my arms would also tell you, but it’s the ones on my back that really have a story.
Roaring. All of it. And I was roaring back.
I was leaving some trouble behind me I guess. Or so I like to think. Really the trouble was over, a thing with a girl, and some tattoos, and some booze and some drugs. And then the girl was gone and I wasn’t, which was the wrong way for it to have ended.
I roared back at Lemmy.
Wait there’s more. Lets skip a bit, til after the cops stop him.
“Son, I’m startin’ to think you got some problems,” the sherif said.
I turned my head and looked at him. Wished I still had some sunglasses. “Well. Yeah. You could say that.”
“So I tell you what. You quit dicking me around and tell me something true, and I won’t haul you off to my jail unless you’re doing something to deserve it.”
I sighed. Told him my name. Told him I was just passing through. He wanted to know where I was headed.
“Fuck if I know. Maybe I’m just – easy rider, y’know?”
He chuckled. “You know how that movie ends, right? Damn though, I liked those choppers.”
I decided right there I wasn’t going to have to kill the sheriff. So that was good.
“So you’re running away then, yeah? So just tell me something. Because I will check on it. Tell me if that thing you’re running away has a cop’s name connected to it, or a warrant.”
It didn’t. The only name I was running away from was tattooed on my back. So that’s what I told him.
“Girl?” he asked.
“Dead girl.” I answered.
That’s how it starts. And I know how it finishes. And I know there’s a girl – another girl, because this guy, like me, will always, always have another girl. But unlike me, death tends to hover near him, not so you can see, but so, if your nose is sharp, you can maybe smell it a little, after he leaves the bar.
The middle is there the issue is; and not so much because I don’t know what it is, but because I can’t seem to make it exist. Yet.
I will start again. Now. I will write something. Doggeral or drivel, but I’ll write some words, about something that matters. And when I have ten, or twenty, or a thousand words, somehow, I may be writing again.
Because my soul dies when I hear others discuss writing like it’s something than can do, just because they go to school. Writing – my writing – rips itslf of of the fucking soul, because it has to. You don’t teach that, unless you’re some sadistic bastard; you don’t learn it on purpose. You don’t have it at all; you simply ARE that; the question is only, does it go to paper, or is it taken out on flesh.
“let’s be survivors, they’ll never find us,
It’s all behind us, I know a place they’ve never been”
bill nelson and the gentlemen rocketeers, live, 2011. Christ this is great.