Sunday, June 5, 2011

This One Time in Hawaii

It was about 5 hours earlier than the same time where I was.

Thinking about time in a more physical sense than usual, I was playing trivia late one night, and suddenly there were two bars in Hawaii that made it into the top 20. It was probably around midnight, assuming my time correction is accurate. That's about 7 in HI, right? Anyways, I got to thinking about playing a nationwide trivia game in real time. For instance, the places in CA that make the board pretty often are in Tujunga, Palm Springs, Orange and Goleta (Goleta?). Also there are about 3 bars in Portland OR that are always up there, as well as places in the midwest that I don't pay a lot of attention to. Occasionally I see places on the east coast, but usually less and less as time goes by. When I'm playing a game at 9 p.m., they're playing the same game but it's midnight for them. I was thinking that was strange but then I searched out the sites in Manhattan that have trivia, and there are very few... the only one worth mentioning, in fact, is Mad River Bar and Grill on 3rd Ave. Maybe there's a lot more to do when you're out in New York City... I don't know, I've never been there.

So, my napkin note for the night reads "What fun is it playing in Hawaii when there are no contenders in your time zone? Oh yeah, YOU'RE IN HAWAII."

On an unrelated note, but still regarding time, I've just started reading DFW's Infinite Jest, and I may have bitten off more than I can chew. So far it's like Naked Lunch without all the junk and the mugwumps and the alabaster.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Night of Rain

Forty miles home in the rain, and no snow to look forward to when I get there. Just rain.

I am jealous of my friends who have found their livelihood in places where they can experience four seasons - especially snow. Hell, I’m jealous of those who have one (a livelihood) or the other (snow). Both? What did I do wrong? What am I still doing wrong? I pass the exit that would have led me home… a riverfront cabin with a huge stack of firewood (cut, hauled, split and stacked by me) and the smells that you earn from that sort of thing. And the warmth, and the light from a glass-door stove and four well-placed candles and one of those old light bulbs that you really can’t buy anymore burning just above my head in the little kitchen.

Things are breaking inside. Two weeks ago I took a 14 hour train ride. It started at night, and we were allowed to bring our own booze onboard, and there was a lounge car and an observation car that were open all night and full of people from all over the country just talking and watching the night fly by. All I had to do when I reached my destination was stumble off – I had a ride and a couch to crash on and all day to recuperate. You know what I did? I sat in my fucking seat. Tried to sleep. I managed to – about 45 minutes at a time, waking up every hour for 15 minutes and trying to get comfortable again. I was glad when 6:45 came around and I could go to breakfast, where of course I sat with a cool old lady that I would have loved to talk to and a loudmouthed couple from Asshole, Pennsylvania that monopolized the entire meal talking about how uncomfortable their sleeper car was and how Obama was ruining ‘Murica. As cool old lady and I walked to the back to our coach seats, I thought about sitting down and asking her more about New Mexico (she was a native) but, like I said, my sociability is all gone. I took some pictures out the window, they looked like this:

Andrew and Matthew spent seven days and seven nights in intense fellowship with FSM. RAmen.

On the way back, I sat in my seat again and read Young and Revolting. And took the window seat after Flagstaff, at midnight on the biggest full moon in 20 years, so they say. Could’ve used a shot or two. Then it all got cloudy. Don’t it always?

post script
don't blame me for the poor ending to this post. It could have been much better if only you'd let me, tia rica.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

inside man

There was a dead man
in my head and I don’t
know what he did in
there but sometimes through
the red parts of my eyes
i saw him trying to get

one day I let him, and
i went in instead, and
with him out it wasn’t
so bad in here

now he walks around
and talks to the people that I know
and says peculiar things and
i’m not even sure if any of them
have noticed.

but I don’t think he can make
things any worse and I’m starting
to like it in here and I think I might

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Solving and Resolving

We're getting on to the end of another year, and tonight I decided on a new New Year's resolution. Usually all I want to do is learn to stop talking so much, or maybe just stop talking so much without even having to learn anything. That is still number one this year, as it seems like a good goal in that it's completely unattainable for me, so I can always have it.

Number Two this year is Stop Eating In My Car. It's tough for someone who drives 80 miles a day and tends to head home anywhere between 6:00 and 11:00, but the other night I was eating a Whopper Jr. (the 6th one of the week) and I got mayonnaise on my radio while I was shifting gears. Then a mess of ketchup and mayo came out of the sandwich onto the right leg of my new pants, and the pants were so dark that I couldn't see the globs. I was using all the napkins but it had come out in more of a spray than a drop, and pretty soon it was on the steering wheel and the gearshift, and then both hands and one ear. I ran out of napkins and I'm driving along the 10 thinking "Goddamn, when did I become such a fucking slob?" So I guess I'll just have to do a little more grocery shopping for things to keep at work, but I think it's doable. It might also take care of this little fast food indulgence I've been permitting myself, which is destroying my gut and making me feel more like a pinata than a person. It used to be that I'd put on ten pounds every November, like clockwork, and I always wrote it off to an evolutionary byproduct and didn't mind too much on account of the days where it would be sunny and beautiful and never got above thirty degrees. But I don't live there anymore, and while sixty can be occasionally chilly it's no reason to stock up on blubber. But mainly I don't want to end up sticking pickles in the cd player.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Sunset Also Rises

Three or five nights ago I was headed home, east, and it was one of those evenings when a lot of low clouds made the sunset really colorful. It was only about a quarter visible, and very pink, and I hit the grade into Calimesa which is pretty long. Traffic was good and I was knocking along at 70 or so. It's kind of steep and ten seconds in I noticed, in the rear-view mirror, that the sun was rising again. I could see almost the entire thing. It reminded me of the time I started at the fire station as the sun set, on my bike, and then rode as fast as I could up to the boneyard. I raced up the rock that I liked to hang out on, and the sun had not quite started to set there. So I watched it. When it got below the horizon, I took off again for the gravel pit up the road. I didn't quite make it, so I kept going up the road and took the trail that goes to the rock where the windsock is. I climbed up that and watched the sun start to set, again. There was nowhere higher to get to in a reasonable amount of time, so I watched the rest of it from there. Then when I was 16 and I had to work while the rest of the family went on vacation, I got up to go to the heliport and watch the sun rise. That might be the first time that the Earth's rotation really sunk in (in a practical setting, at least) and I realized that if you traveled west at just over a thousand miles an hour, sunset would last forever. So in a Concorde you could watch the sun set slowly for hours. Or in a fighter jet you could watch the sun hover in the sky for a while, maybe 45 minutes or so, because I don't think they carry enough fuel to maintain that speed for very long.

Tonight I heard a twentysomething complaining to his friends that he was unable to impregnate. "I'm shooting blanks, dude. If I had a shotgun, and I was in World War One or World War Two, I'd get killed because I'm shooting blanks, dude."

It sounded goofy at first, but then I realized how often I talk about things like "spinning my wheels" and "grinding my gears." It would all be metaphorical if I weren't a Transformer.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Sunday Poem

I sat at the bar, lungs full of tar
From the smoke that enveloped the place
And gazed at the girl, her hair all atwirl
As I tried to remember her face.

She acknowledged my glance and her eyes did a dance
And yet I was drawing a blank
She started to stand, saw the pen in my hand
And back on her barstool she sank.

Puzzled, I sat, while chewing the fat
That sat in my beer-addled brain
When through the door came another young dame
And I questioned my memory again.

Instead of a stare she cast but a glare
And I wondered what crime I'd committed
The frosty looks from the ladies, I took
To mean rudeness my mind had omitted.

A bit after nine, again feeling fine
An old man sauntered up to the table
His mottled gray beard with ketchup was smeared
And his legs not entirely stable.

As he coolly appaised me I started to see
A fine story these characters could make
I bent to my paper, my pen as my rapier
To cut out the parts I could take.

And then around ten, the women again
Were brandishing swords of their own
Protruding from eyes which had narrowed in size
And were threat'ning to turn me to stone.

I finally quiesced and put on my best
Smile, which I fancied sincere
And ventured around to the enemy ground
Their reasons intending to hear.

"What, may I query, has got you so leery
of me, just a simple observer?"
She drew herself nigh and suddenly I
Was accosted with adm'rable fervor.

"Last week we all were watching you scrawl
In your notebook while you said not a word.
When you got up to pee, we read it, you see,
And your thoughts about us were absurd!"

"So now, sir, your writing, while sickly exciting,
has singled you out as a liar.
Here's what we think of your judgmental stink-"
And she set my poor notebook on fire.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Waiting

I knew when I started this thing that the title was going to have some relevance. Or maybe I just hoped. And now I realize that if I had been saving money for the last two years, I'd be putting a down payment on a house right now, or maybe moving into a nice apartment. But between having the time of my life and being depressed out of my mind (a daily and costly transaction) I haven't got two dimes. I decided to move last week and realized the only thing I had to liquidate was my truck, so I scraped the stickers off the window and took it to the car wash, where the guy promptly broke off a valve stem and I had to race down the street with a deflating tire to get it fixed. A sign? No. It turns out that the place that gave me such a great deal on tires a few years ago just didn't change the stems, so every one of them was a whisper away from snapping off and leaving me in a bind somewhere in Garner Valley, which is about the only place that truck gets to go these days. And besides, without a raise or a better job, selling that thing is only going to get me through about 6 months.

Monetarily speaking, I'm not big on delaying gratification. When I think of all the things I would have missed over the last couple of years if I had been paying rent, I really don't see the point. I'd have $37.50 per week to eat and drink. No dentist, no shooting, no trips, no internet. I'd have finished all my books in the first year, and after that it would've been slitwrist city. Times like these I look at all the shit I own and wish I could give it back for full purchase price. Mostly it would be DVDs. I mean, I had every intention of watching The King and I, Oklahoma and The Sound of Music, but I haven't yet and now that Rodgers and Hammerstein collection is looking like a waste of twenty bucks. But I can't very well go back in time and unbuy it, I mean, what kind of trouble might I have got into if I hadn't spent that entire weekend watching the second season of King of the Hill? I might've gone out for a drive at just the right time to be in front of a semi-truck driver who wasn't paying attention. Again. I am alive and all my limbs are attached and working, who am I to regret even the smallest cog in the wheel that brought me here? I think cogs are all supposed to be the same size though - maybe that's my problem.

Well, one of my problems.

I don't want to spend another summer here, either. This place is like a burrito full of suck and hot sauce until November.