24 June 2017

Failing to touch on anything but necessities

Dear diary,

What news have I not yet told ye about our home-repair dilemmas? We picked up our ginormous truckload of floorboards, on Tuesday. Everything happens on Tuesday. "The day of Tiw, the god of victorious combat in Norse mythology," quoth Wikipedia. So I guess we could also call it Marsday, after Mars the Ancient Roman God of War. Or LORDsday, since

The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
(Exodus 15:3)

There are like twenty boxes of vinyl planks imitating wood lying all over our penthouse right now. You can't step anywhere without tripping on them. (They're still in their packages: once they're installed, they'll no longer be obstacles.) And they're H-E-A-V-Y: the wardens at the liquidator's warehouse wouldn't even let us haul more than ten at a time in our hatchback, because of the great weight of the matter; so we had to make two trips. By the way, "hatchback" is defined as a car with a door across the full width of its back end which opens upward to provide easy access for loading fake wood floorboards. Now it's my job to figure out how to cut and place these things so that they don't buckle or bulge, and so that they stay in place and don't slide off the globe when you moonwalk. I'll have to saw them into curvy and zigzag shapes in order to navigate them around all our air vents, dishwashers, doorway casings, and barber's poles. My spirit deflates, just thinking about all that work. So I'll change the subject.

The reason there are barber's poles between our building's floors, by the way, is to allow barbers to descend to the ground faster than by using a standard staircase.

I like that one can purchase vinyl planks from a lumber company; it makes me wonder if they also sell vinyl wear (see the explanation below). And then I wonder if someone will soon invent wood wear. But they've surely already done such a thing – it stands to reason: for this is the afterlife.

PVC clothing is shiny apparel made of the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which material is commonly known as "vinyl"; hence this type of garb is also called vinyl wear.

I also like that, when you decide to install the floorboards without using glue, they call the process floating. You click the planks together and they just float there. This is the method I favor; for after ripping up our ex floors, which were MORE THAN GLUED to the subfloor, I decided that I am categorically opposed to adhesives.

And I hate it when interviewers on television say "That was a perfect segue to my next question."

I gotta try to relax today. I'm stressed about the installation of this refuse; it's making it difficult to go about the forest without roaring. Everything's gonna be OK. It'll be nice to get this carpet out of the house: when I moved in, it had cigarette stains all over it – deep fried burnt lozenge-shaped craters – so I bought a big rug to mask the malformation. That was a mistake: What I should have done is...

By writing them down, I aim to master my fears: to exorcise them through articulation. But this no longer works to relieve the pressures of home repair; the stress grows every instant I remain mindful of it. I really hate everything that is not imaginary.

So let me try to quote myself away from this bad post. Below is a passage from Cormac McCarthy's novel Suttree. If it's too small to read, you should be able to enlarge it by clicking it. Instead of using my injured fingers (for the shocking truth about which, see my previous entry and the one before that) to type it into the screen, I snapped a photograph of part of page 414, because I feared that the average Internet browser would fumble its structure, as the text consists of single-spaced, indented paragraphs – a format nearly impossible for modern technology to effectuate. For there are two types of writing that this online realm is averse to: poetry and prose.

23 June 2017

More minor malfunctions

(Sorry about sharing yet another stupid ad with its text removed; I'm just fascinated by the way that the images end up askew, plus the showy colors, the dashed border, the choice of objects and the result of their juxtaposition – it's like a compound new alien word.)

Dear diary,

And I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth,

as it says in "Song of Myself" (§48). My first thought was to begin this entry by quoting all the places in the so-called historical books of the Bible where the narration labels each king as having governed either goodly or evilly. As if every one's rule is strictly one way or the other. There was no point that I wanted to make by extracting those verses; I just thought it would be nice to put such ducks in a row. But when looking through the text, I could only locate the 'bad' kings. Wherever the 'good' ones were, they sidestepped my skimming. So I decided instead to copy the wise words of Whitman.

(None of the above has anything to do with what follows.)

In my previous entry I reported how I nearly severed the fingers off my hand while dismantling a rusty metal workbench. How else have I injured myself recently? Let me count the ways. In my pocket is a handwritten note serving as a self-reminder, for the next time I blog, to mention my misfortunes; it reads:

  • pliers pinching pinkie
  • insect repellent in eye
  • washing face one-handedly

That first phrase refers to last night, when we were getting ready to screen our movie: I was trying to prepare refreshments, but the vodka bottle's cap was stuck so tight that not even Hercules could untwist it; therefore I got out the toolbox: I used pliers to grip the bottle's top and squeezed with all my might, but the tool slipped and clamped down onto my little finger, which happens to be on the same hand as the workbench wounds from yesterday. So now my pinkie has permanent blackish red blotches on the print of its face commemorating this accomplishment.

Then later we rode our bikes to the park, and I held up my injured hand to try very carefully to apply mosquito repellent to the parts of it that are not yet lacerated, and in doing so I somehow ended up spraying the poisonous mist directly into my eye. So it stung for a moment, and I spent the rest of the day expecting to go blind and lose control of my nervous system. (I've never really been in control of my nervous system though.)

So all these mishaps left me with only one good hand. And it's my non-dominant hand, so I'm a clumsy awkward bumbling toddler again, because this hand has a mind of its own—it's more of a mitten than an octopus, by which I mean that it's inarticulate—thus a regular daily task like washing my face takes forever, and when I'm finished there is soap all over my shirt.

22 June 2017

Not much of an arc, not very dramatic

Here a picture that I took with an x-ray machine so that you can only see the bones inside of the glove.

Dear diary,

Yesterday marked my first time experiencing a burning desire for a visit from our trash truck. My mother, every single week of her life, would worry about the garbage – how much stuff she and my dad could fit in it; and whether they filled it full enough; and how they could balance one last bit of trash on top of the heap without violating the commandments of the waste management company so the load cannot be rejected and thus will surely be hauled off to the outer darkness. Hoping to avoid inheriting my parents' obsession, I myself try to keep my care for garbage at zero. But yesterday was different because our trash bin contained several hundred bags of old flooring and underlayment that I removed from the kitchen and slew my right foot doing so. So the night before garbage day, as we were getting ready for bed, I confessed to my sweetheart that this is the first time in my life that I'm actually excited for the trash to be collected. I've finally walked a mile in my mother's shoes.

So that's the exposition of this episode; now here's the rising action: Only half of the garbage got emptied. My sweetheart was going to bring the bin back into the shed before she left for work, yet she noticed that it still felt heavy. (You should have seen it when it was FULL – it was the heaviest garbage you've ever felt in your life: it was a miracle of God.) So she called the waste removal company and cried foul, and they said sorry we'll come again.

So they came again, as Jesus will someday, and—here's the episode's climax—this time the big robotic arm shook the bin overhead for an extended interval, to make sure that it emptied out every last atom.

And the falling action of this farce is that after the bin was taken back into the supply shed, I went out there to fill it up with more debris, and one of the pieces of junk that I wanted to get rid of is a makeshift workbench that the place's previous residents cobbled together: it consists of sharp rusty metal replete with cobwebs and dead spiders and weird other bugs unknown to science, plus vacated moth cocoons all over its frame. I began unfastening the screws that held the thing together, but in the process I ended up cutting my hand in two places. Now when you nick your hand on something clean and sanitary, you merely need to wash the cut and bandage it; but when you slice open your hand on rusty metal infested with creatures that not even Hieronymus Bosch would paint to populate Hell, you must pour isopropyl alcohol over the wound, after thoroughly washing it, and then apply antibiotics like bacitracin to the affected area. Then you bandage it. Well I think I explained in a recent entry here that the medical supplies in our apartment have all obediently expired; so the ointment that I found was two months past its date, and even the bottle of rubbing alcohol said "Good until 2014." That's three years ago; or five, if you're reading this after the world burnt up. But we had nothing else in our first-aid cabinet; so reluctantly I used these ancient unguents, while praying to myself to save myself from the tyranny of Nature's shelf-life.

And the denouement of the situation is that after 48 hours I'm still half-alive. Writing angry blogs criticizing political adversaries and complaining about my favorite TV show.

So the latest episode of Twin Peaks, which aired last Sunday, was barely passable. The show used to be magic, now it's humdrum. But I still stand by my praise of the third thru fourth hours of the show. If every new airing offered us stuff like THAT to look at, I'd be a less sad camper.

And my verdict, after finishing the entirety of The Putin Interviews, is that it exceeded my expectations: I love that film. Oliver Stone is my hero.

P.S.

Now here's some good news: As soon as I finished re-reading Cormac McCarthy's novel Suttree (with HUGE pleasure – it was unexpectedly rewarding on the second time around), on the very same day, I received in the mail the book that I had planned on reading next (at long last, the B&N gift card has been spent). I've lately been in the mood to absorb the stories of alcoholic wastrels, so after Suttree I decided to return to Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry.

I'll end this with a detail of the receipt for the package that just now arrived. These will all serve as part of our stack of books that we bring in a backpack to read aloud daily at local parks. They're pretty much what I listed in a recent post here. "Poems" refers to Elizabeth Bishop, which we'll read after finishing Geoffrey Hill's collected work (from 1952–2012) in Broken Hierarchies.

18 June 2017

Let the mad sparkles from the river suck the fear out of you

(I'll apologize for the title and image in the post-postscript.)

Well,

since there's nothing that ever happens in my neck of the woods, and everything is funneling towards doom, the only patches of good time that I am afforded are in the provocations to the imagination found in books and movies. The week that just passed was saved by The Putin Interviews, Oliver Stone's latest four-hour film, which was shown in four parts: one on Mon, one Tues, one Wed and one Thurs. And the day that comes before Mon is Sun, and that's when the new episode of David Lynch's Twin Peaks: The Return airs. (Tonight!!!) So from Sun thru Thurs I could live each day with hope. I hoped for 8pm to come to pass, as that hour coincidentally was the starting time of both of these fine programs. Then at nine they're over, and it's back to blank for another TWENTY-THREE hours. And there remained the problem: What about Fri and Sat? For those two days are Lynchless as well as Stoneless, which works out to 48 hours devoid of promise.

I cured Fri by watching a Hitchcock movie that happened to be on TV. (No need to give the title: it's not important.) There's something about Hitchcock's weird precision, it's like a fetish for clarity, which pleases me enough to provide respite from the truth, alias the world, alias Dullsville. So that killed Fri; at least Fri night. And then last night, which was Sat, I discovered (which is to say: happened across an email that mentioned it) a documentary directed by Jon Nguyen called David Lynch: The Art Life (2016). I'll devour anything about Lynch, so I sought out and watched (that is: streamed online) this title eagerly while not expecting much (as documentaries on Lynch, of which I've viewed a number, usually leave me unimpressed), but this effort was pretty satisfying. It deals mostly with the personal, private side of Lynch's life up until the time when he started making his first feature film.

During the screening, I made this minor observation: While Lynch is wearing gloves to spread some sort of sandy compound on a canvas, I'M wearing gloves to spread cement on a cracking basement wall. (I was repairing leaks to our complex's foundation at that moment.) By noting this, I didn't mean to insinuate that Lynch has never had to endure the dictates of necessity – after all, successful artistry consists of expending energy in a way that renders one's interactions with necessity as more of a dance than a battle; and Lynch's attraction, for me, in large part stems from his being more familiar with this type of success than most other popular artists – I just wish that I would remember to choose to turn over the body-reigns more often to my true "I" (my soul spark; my central self) than my superego (my hypercritical master-self; my internal overseer); for I control both phenomena. But acting as a gentle-person and deferring to the age's codes of politeness is a way of valuing others. And I am nothing if not a connoisseur of otherness.

Born in a fanger (= "fun" + "manger") . . .

I gather that Lynch didn't live an exceptionally charmed adolescence, and he didn't come from an abnormally affluent family; but I still react with jealousy when I hear about how events transpired for him. Knowing just one person at the right moment who is sympathetic toward your spiritual gifts can make the difference between a life of harmony or discord. (As it is written: There was never any more heaven or hell than there is NOW.) My gifts are different from Lynch's, but they're every bit as abundant. I am X% fire.

His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of flame, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. (Daniel 10:6)

I don't say this out of arrogance. We should all see ourselves this way: it is most accurate.

As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. (Ezekiel 1:13-14)

Watching Lynch work with paint, and with other drippy substances, filled me with love. My medium of choice is text. I am happiest with the written word; but I admire anyone who works in these neighboring realms: wires and metals, foam, acrylics or oils or whatever – dough, even; or gizzards. Lynch reminds me that there's nothing stopping an artist from going to the grocery store and buying choice cuts of chicken, so as to morph them into a masterpiece. I say "morph" instead of "paint" or "sculpt" since there's no precise name to call the act that Lynch lures me to fail to articulate. I don't want to say "mash" because that sounds too careless.

And, now that I'm thinking twice about it, it doesn't seem right to "go to the grocery store" to purchase your artistic materials. It seems better to find them in the wild. But I want to stress intensely that I do not mean to go hunting for living beings: no, thrice underscored: I mean stumbling upon whatever has already given up the ghost.

Actually, I take back even what I just tried to say. I don't like the idea of using any kind of cadavers on your canvas. As I said, I much prefer words: they're clean, they don't carry deadly microbes. You can chop them and they don't spurt out lifeblood, unless you SAY that they do: "I broke the sky in half, and it spilled blue ooze onto the meadow."

Yesterday we went for a walk during the part of the day that the forecast had warned might contain rain showers, and we saw white and slate clouds on the horizon, and some of them were smearing towards the earth, like someone feathered them with a paint brush – I assumed this indicated that there was precipitation in those areas – and one section above was wholly free of clouds, and its color was deep. I remarked to my sweetheart that that color of blue was beautiful, and that there are probably certain planets in faraway galaxies that have a different makeup to their atmosphere, so that instead of appearing blue their sky looks bright green. And maybe their grass is rich blue. But then I decided that the thought about the blue grass was too dull to voice because, if taken together with my remark about the alien sky, it would become apparent that my thoughts were proceeding programmatically to simply reverse the colors of our own home planet: for here the grass is dun and the sky is gray.

Now amidst all of his creative endeavors, David Lynch has children, even young children, yet he continues to work on artistic ideas. And my neighbors have children, and they (I guess) do not have artistic ideas. And I myself have artistic ideas but no children. Children are good, but they cost time and money and effort. If I were a despot, I'd have cash to spare (from bribes received) for the raising of children; and, although I'd probably lack the effort (which is to say: I'd lack the desire to expend any of my existing effort) to help raise my children personally, I'd possess riches sufficient to hire someone else to use THEIR effort (like a billionaire's breasts can just buy out the breasts of a wet nurse). And the same goes for time. Time and effort are maybe the same thing. So maybe space is effort also. Anyway, the point is that fathers...

I was going to say that males are bad for not wanting to care for their offspring, but now I've decided against it. Some males care for their children, it must be true. Maybe my neighbors do, for theirs. Maybe Lynch does, for his. And against the direction I was traveling in my brainstorm above, I think that I would make a fine guide for my own daughters, if I had any. Because, if I were ever to deign to beget, I'd beget only daughters: never a son. No Absaloms for this Messiah (2nd Samuel 18:33). Not because I wish to have females exclusively – that's just the way things turned out; that's what the LORD granted me. Children are miracles, so they say. They result from the almighty dictator: Luck of the Draw. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. ...Yet I noticed, in watching the Lynch documentary, that it was some painter that he met along life's way – his friend's father, rather than his own, if I remember right – who helped Lynch out and propped Lynch up, and who even cautiously intervened when Lynch's bio-dad grew impatient with his son's artistic lifestyle. Tho I still wouldn't label this a "misunderstanding solved" but rather a "misunderstanding smoothed." For parents never understand.

There's this idea: Parents hate art (conventional parents, that is; not artistic parents—artistic parents are mortal gods, not parents), or at least they hate the thought of their own children pursuing a life of art, because they see art as a precarious career choice; so their hatred for the spiritual bent of their child is based on an obsession over their child's physical wellbeing. Isn't that placing body before soul? Isn't that irreligious? ...You're right: it depends on what you define as religious.

Why did Jesus disown his parents? (Did Jesus disown his parents?) Was Jesus an artist? What is the point of delineating between one's earthly and heavenly fathers?

It also seems to me that art either makes NO money or TONS of money. The phrase "starving artist" is timeworn, for reasons. Look back over the biographies of the artists who today we hold in highest regard: How many of them were ignored by their own generation? And yet there are always exceptions. Some artists make much money selling what I myself would call exuberant artworks; and of course many artists make much money selling what I would call tedious artworks. I am one mind among many, casting assessments of excellent or awful: you're saved; you're damned. I wish I had more GOLD COINS, so that my judgments would make a bigger impact in the realm of holy commerce.

It always comes back to the marketplace. Will we ever escape our manmade nightmare? Conflict, and the buying and selling of things. It's almost a sick type of purity, for a country to achieve the condition of War Profiteer: for that melds the two most prominent primate pastimes.

Since suicide is frowned upon, one must find some way to keep shuffling thru this game of mortality. Is it important that you LIKE to play? Perhaps it is crucial that you enjoy playing. Art is important to me because it's fundamentally playful. It's the one aspect of this gloom that I genuinely love.

P.S.

Here's an extra quote from the end of the first chapter of Ezekiel; for I can't get enough of this type of epiphany: I want the sublime to remain in my mind. If a nightcap is an alcoholic drink taken before going to bed, then let this serve as my daycap:

...upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about.

P.P.S.

Seeing as the digits on my six typing-limbs are still operational, I guess I'll explain this blog post's picture and title. I pay myself by the word, so I'm always looking for excuses to...

The picture shows the back of an ancient birthday card (it says "TO: Bryan"), and this has two additional pictures taped over it. The one on the left is a Polaroid photograph from an instant camera with quick-developing film; it depicts a stack of old blurry audio equipment: there's an effects processor ("QuadraVerb"); a minidisc recorder; an analog cassette deck (single), and another analog cassette deck (dual, with "hi-speed dubbing" capability). And barely discernible in the sliver of foreground at the bottom of the photo is a mound of cassette tapes. I have millions billions trillions of those things. And the pic on the right—the one slightly overlapping the balloon—is an advertisement that my dad cut out of the newspaper when he was looking to purchase vehicles for his trucking business. (I hate my dad.)

The post's title comes from a remark that David Lynch makes in the film at issue. Describing the first time he saw the Californian sun (I must paraphrase from memory, since I only just watched the movie yestereven), he said: "It felt like it was sucking the fear out of me." So I combined that thought with a fragment from an early poem by Walt Whitman:

Mostly this we have of God; we have man.
Lo, the Sun;
Its glory floods the moon,
Which of a night shines in some turbid pool,
Shaken by soughing winds;
And there are sparkles mad and tossed and broken,
And their archetype is the sun.

16 June 2017

Killin' time with The Good Book and other half-thoughts

Dear diary,

How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it.

Those words are from Cormac McCarthy's novel Suttree. They remind me of Whitman's "Has any one supposed it lucky to be born? / I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know it." ("Song of Myself," sec. 7) I'm using this quote to get me started, although I'm not commenting on it or adding to its thought in any way. I admire it, but I'm ignoring it. For I'm preoccupied:

Again I find myself trying to speed the pace of the minutes, because I'm dying to view the conclusion to The Putin Interviews, Oliver Stone's latest film, which is airing on the small screen as I type this (I am not a paid employee of Mr. Stone: I just love the concept, the content, and the execution of his new movie; and when you're in love, you must inform yourself via your weblog, lest you forget how intensely you once embraced the inferno of art) (by the way, when I use the phrase "airing on the small screen," I mean that the composition is being distributed by a cable network, or that it is streaming online, as opposed to "now showing on the BIG SCREEN" also known as "the silver screen," which means that the movie is being exhibited in a theatre near you, upon a blank surface that fills the entire venue, by way of a projector that casts a beam of light through a strip of film); but, as I explained in my equally preoccupied post from yestereven, my sweetheart insists that I wait for her to finish teaching the glockenspiel, so that we (she and I; not her students) may watch the show together. And she isn't scheduled to come home for more than an hour...

So here I am, writing another stupid blog; and the first law of writing a stupid blog is that it must be accompanied by a pic, also preferably stupid. Now, as I've whined in recent entries, I'm fresh out of pics (even stupid ones)—the well's dry, the chamber's empty, the void is formless—so I'm obliged to improvise, and since I still haven't spent that damn B&N gift card, moreover since it is here sitting on the table right in front of me, as I brainstorm about what to use for an obligatory image, I decided to photograph IT. Give IT its rightful fifteen hours of fame. (It's minutes for mortals, hours for gift cards.) Earlier today I noted down a title in block letters on a scrap of paper, which I affixed by tape to the card, as a self-reminder to purchase the book Hebdomeros, by Giorgio de Chirico, because, as a poetic marvel, it's well worth owning. The other books I want are listed in my June 7 entry, "Two quotes and three blahs"; also, for anyone interested in deducing the abnormalities of my personality from studying my handwriting, I engraved those same titles beneath the card's lawyerly lovenote (the so-called fine print) in the image that disfigures my June 10 post, "Mostly bung'd by TP".

But all of the above is just introductory material. Now I will start this evening's blog post proper:

Why should we say that God made the very first human perfect but that that human fell into baseness and thereafter humankind has been getting worse and worse? Why not say instead that the first human was barely even passable but that, over the centuries, humankind has been improving steadily and will soon, if we don't give up, surpass God's perfection?

Now let me quote a Bible passage, to bring me back down to misery.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

That's Exodus 20:4 in the King James translation; the words are attributed to a character titled 'God'. Why does this God give such a command to his people? Why is he against representative art? Is all art magic, and is all magic bad? Do creative actions radiate voodoo force? (And isn't voodoo force greatly to be desired?) If you were a jealous God, what type of production would you prohibit? Yet, as the author of the world and all of its ways, why not simply render such acts impossible? It is because you only value the love of free-roaming chickens? Do you really consider that a life pent up inside decaying flesh is at liberty? Add Genesis 1:26 to the above: "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," and then God said to this image: "Thou shalt not make any likeness..."

Birds are things in the heaven above: don't depict them. Saints are things in the earth beneath: don't depict them. And the rainbow trout is a species of salmonid native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America (amount of calories per eighty-gram fillet = 111): don't depict them.

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

That's verses 18 & 19. The people's reaction is recorded here, but is it condoned therefore?—is it sanctioned because it is noted? Would it really kill you to hear God speak directly? I'm not a fan of priests, of intermediaries for the divine; so I prefer to take the people's reaction to the LORD God's histrionics as understandable but mistaken.

And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

I've heard it said that God is love, that God is light. Yet here verse 21 has God residing in "thick darkness," and I presume he's fueled by hatred. I enjoy this type of God (for a storybook, that is: not for real life)—he's the type of fiend the populace would throw corpses to, in hopes of satisfying his appetite so that he falls asleep gorged and thus leaves off haunting your city.

An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings...

These words and the following end the chapter; however, I beg myself to permit myself to share two definitions before copying more quotes. Trousers are "an item of clothing worn from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately (rather than with cloth extending across the legs as in robes, skirts, and dresses)." It's my understanding that, because trouser legs had not yet grown fashionable in the culture of so-called biblical times, priests from that age wore something like kilts; which is why males were always being warned to "Gird up your loins!!!!!!!" (Pardon the excessive punctuation; I was imagining that God himself was attacking us.) Also I cannot resist sharing this explanation of the comparatively recent coinage upskirt, from an online dictionary: "(of a photo or video) taken surreptitiously from an angle that allows a viewer to see up a person's dress."

Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. (20:26)

I'm tired of mocking Exodus now, or at least this part of it: I hate the law, commandments, statutes, decrees, ordinances... I only like free-form writing, freestyle raps, freethinking prophets... So I'll move on to some other yawn-fest. But, before I go, I'll quote just one more verse (22:28), because I've always found it curious, and I wish that churches would blow smoke about it the way that they do with other biblical commandments:

Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

It strikes me as funny that no voice among the committee of King James' Bible translators objected to the phrase "the gods" in this rendering; or that, if anyone did, such a motion was overturned. Yet perhaps a veto was granted, even unanimously, and then they all simply forgot to make the change.

I'd love to see behind-the-scenes documentary footage—big screen or small—of the King James Bible translation: I mean the process that resulted in the text of the 1611 version. I'd like to know how that went: Were there many arguments? How about jokes, levity? Was it all strictly white-wig serious?

(This last topic interests me because the church that I used to attend considered the K.J.B. to be not only decent and accurate but the only English translation inspired by God.)

I got a haircut today, just so you know. I'm trying to think of ways to keep the moments rolling along; my sweetheart isn't home yet, and I'm getting antsy.

Somewhere among his books, Nietzsche speaks of the concept of "dying at the right time." I've probably given a reaction to it here before, or at least mentioned it – it's one of those things that I obsess about continually. To die too early; to die too late; to die at the right time. This present entry is taking way too long to die. Yesterday's entry died too young: all I could do is get out a thought about D.J.T. and one about H.R.C., and then my soul-mate materialized. So maybe it's good that this post is stubbornly refusing to conclude, since I wanted to explain what I was attempting to do by mentioning those two politicians. I only wanted to talk about them as humans, without offering excessively negative criticism. Pity the billionaires, just to be different. I don't think I succeeded, but I'll blame my shortcomings on the hasty nature of this medium. It's always someone else's fault. (Darned foreign sovereigns.)

But seriously, I think we here in the U.S. give individual celebrities too much attention. Ideas, constructs of the mind should get more respect.

I hate catching myself having said the word should. Who am I to tell anyone what to do? My old Heavenly Father used to thunder and shout "Thou shalt..." Ever since I left his cult, I swore I'd never bark a command at anyone. Now look at me: up on a mountain all my own, threatening to break forth. "Know that after Christs death, he became Jehovah." —That's from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake.

People still engage in heated arguments about God without ever having defined that term, can you believe it? The same goes for art. X says that Y cannot be art. OK, so what? I'm interested in Y; even though X says it's N, and J thinks it's bad, and P calls it God. I don't say "Who cares what other people think!" because I care deeply what everyone thinks; but I have no problem living among dissenters and holding my own views. Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it...

Yay! hooray! my front door just opened: She's finally home!

Here lies a blog post that croaked at 9 o'clock.

15 June 2017

Coaxing the minutes to pass

Here’s a pic of a calculator and a phone lying face-down together.

To whom it may concern,

The only reason I’m writing to myself now is that I have an hour to kill before my sweetheart comes home, and it’s hard not to turn on the TV and watch Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews, which are my favorite new filmwork, and part three of four is airing this instant, but my sweetheart made me promise to wait for her so that we could watch it together. Gol darn I like the new Twin Peaks, but I really really REALLY love Oliver Stone.

So what else is new? I gotta come up with a few matters to think and type, to help time fly. Well on the Republican side you have Donald T., he’s the U.S. president. I wonder what he’s doing right now, what he’s thinking about. Does he actually believe in supply-side economics? Is his favorite book really the Bible, as I’ve heard him claim?

And then there’s Hillary C., who ran for president on the Democrat ticket. I wonder what it’d be like if I could spend an evening with her, talking about average stuff; nothing political, just a conversation about life and learning, people, the heart, money, religion, automobile engines. How much of what she says does she believe? What makes her tick?

Here’s a tip if you’re driving a motorized vehicle and you encounter a bicycle that has the right-of-way, requiring you to stop and let the bicycle pass before you: You should stop very far back, as far back as possible, at an exaggerated distance extremely removed, so as to indicate that you have no intention of hitting the biker; for this will give the bicyclist confidence that she can proceed without risking her life, and she’ll therefore pass before you in a flash, and you’ll get to be on your way even quicker. Whereas if you barely come to a rolling stop and let the grille of your vehicle creep closer and closer to the bicyclist, as a way of signifying your impatience and also to intimidate the rider, this will make the bicyclist freeze up and fear to act on her right to proceed: you’ll therefore both enter a state of deadlock, and it’ll take you even longer to get to your journey’s end.

I’d like to learn how to solder, so that I can replace the water faucets in my house. Also if I can become proficient at operating a nail gun, I’ll have a better skill set. Then I’ll be much sought-after when Armageddon blows all the doors off their hinges and busts up the plumbing.

I read somewhere that God created death and life in order to... Oh, hi! My sweetheart just came home... Talk to you later!

11 June 2017

Stuff I forgot to say, and other stuff

Dear diary,

A couple things I forgot to tell myself in yesterday's Twin Peaks post. (If you don't care about that show, just skip this first paragraph. And, by the way, I wrote the following before episode six of the series was released, which occurred mere minutes ago; so I was thinking about Diane prior to the revelation that she's played by Laura as well.) I find it interesting that there's not just the positive charge cancelling out the negative, or the two on either side of a boundary balancing each other, but there's a third party (neutral?) that enters the equation and allows for a defiance of the expected result: In the movie Mulholland Drive, Betty and Rita are (to speak loosely) the plus and minus, whose would-be balance (whether that's friendship or rivalry) is twisted into a conundrum by Diane. (If you object that there's also Camilla and therefore a balance again, no lopsidedness, then I'll bring up Sylvia North and let THAT be the wildcard; but I'd rather keep Diane for the sake of the name, as she's Dale Cooper's microcassette addressee.) Now in Twin Peaks: The Return, we have the good Dale and the bad Dale, one in and one out of the surreal 'Lodge'; and yet the introduction of (infestation of? sacrifice of?) a new character named Dougie seems to have allowed for a bending of the binary system that kept the two Dales separated.

Also I forgot to mention that when we rented a device to help us remove the (count 'em) FOUR layers of vinyl and underlayment that were glued to our kitchen subfloor, we filled the power steamer too full at first, and we used cold water instead of hot, so it took more than an hour (instead of the advertised "5 min!") to begin to heat, and once it started to crackle and boil, steam came shooting out of the fill cap, and then HOT water began to gush onto the carpet where the device was sitting. This scared me. I didn't know if it was safe to move the steamer; yet I assumed that if I didn't get it out of the house, it would flood the room and we'd all die and go to hell. Plus I remember that my father (also named Dougie), when he was about my current age, had his car's engine overheat while he was driving my baby sister to a wholesale tire store, and he pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the car and popped the hood and saw that the radiator was steaming, so he instinctively began to unscrew the cap, whereon the cap blew off from the intense pressure, and burning hot fluid blasted out and drenched my father's chest: so he ran down the ditch to his left where there happened to be a swamp, and despite the slimy green algae pervading its surface, my dad walked right in up to his neck, to cool the white-hot pain. Then for a long time after that, he had to use salves and ointments on his chest to heal the burns. And my sister was left alone in the vehicle, in her car seat (she was only an infant), the entire time my dad was down in the swamp. So I remembered this fiasco when I was eyeing the smoking cap of the power steamer; and I kept repeating to myself: Don't touch it! But I was able to pick the thing up by its handles and gently set it outside the house. It leaked on the concrete for a while, after we shut off the power and unplugged it; and the instruction booklet said to wait twelve minutes before removing the cap, so that the unit could have time to cool down; thus I waited thirty-three minutes, just to be safe. ("Careful! Careful!" —that's a quote from the intro narration to Guy Maddin's 1992 film Careful, screenplay co-written by George Toles.)

I hate bass-mobiles (like Batman's "batmobile" with bass for bats), those vehicles with the big bass woofers that vibrate your whole apartment when they drive by. They're stupid: If you play your bass super loud, stop doing that: When you turn the bass up beyond a certain level, you cannot even tell the difference from within your vehicle; it only affects the people outside of your car: All you're indicating is that you want everyone to pay attention to you; that's bratty; it's like a little kid whining at its mother: "Mommy, mommy, look at me!" It's just annoying. I'm a huge fan of rap music. I loved the so-called Miami Bass genre when I was young. But I never had a bass car nor did I want one. Just listen to your music and enjoy it privately. I'm happy with everyone who wears headphones. Which reminds me of that scene from Wrong Cops (2013), where Ruth's husband stumbles upon his wife and Officer Rough leaving the police car after a 'quickie', and Ruth nervously asks her husband if he knows Rough, who is their neighbor, and the husband says yeah he hears him working on his music ("The walls are so thin!") and Rough apologizes and says he'll use headphones from now on; but the husband says it's OK and that he likes Rough's music – it's Ruth who has the problem with it. ...My point is that I am like Ruth, when it comes to bass-mobiles.

We went to a really beautiful park today. In the morning, it stormed so violently that the wind blew a lot of branches off of the trees, and there was hail hitting the windows. There's leaves everywhere now. But the afternoon was calm, and that's when we walked: all the verdure was healthy robust dark green, and the tall grass and weeds were bent over with the weight of countless water beads that looked even prettier than gems. I've got to remember to take bug repellent with me though, because at one point I felt a tickle on my elbow, and I swatted at it: now I don't know what kind of insect was aiming to attack me, but it was big; it felt like a fuzzy marble or a marshmallow when I smacked it, and it left a streak of bright red blood on my arm.

P.S.

Do you have this problem at your house? Is all of your medicine outdated? Every time I want to use some aid or pills, the expiration date is more than three years ago.

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