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Nov. 10th, 2010 03:18 am I was watching Journey Quest, and had this thought:

Why don't we form parties like in RPGs? At least, for individual quests, partying -- with a well-balanced party -- always allows for greater feats than individual efforts. In "real" life, what sort of party would you assemble for your quests?

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Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:36 am Okay, I caved. NaNoWriMo count: 1300 words.

Themes: Pentecostal cult, future mixed-world bazaar, desert war with zombies.

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Oct. 5th, 2010 07:18 pm Today I realized...

Being a human is pretty gross.

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Sep. 29th, 2010 11:58 am The Nostalgia Cycle

At the local Tesoro (I went there to buy coffee and a cherry Fruit Pie out of a need to be reminded of the joy I feel when watching David Lynch movies), they are painting the signpost. The smell of the paint was the same as the paint we used in the aircraft carrier I was stationed on back in the nineties.

Such was the size and nature of a carrier that we were constantly painting. Stem to stern, and by the time we get to the back end, it was time to start all over. After enough layers, the ship was sandblasted or scraped down to the bare metal, and the whole process started over again.

As an office Sailor, I never painted the hull, but did my turn painting internal compartments and passageways.

Sometimes my mind gets stuck in gear. Sometimes the wheels spin and spin and never seem to get any traction. Often it's worry: worry that people hate me, that I have finally fucked up enough that everyone is going to give up on me, that my mind is going, that I will fail at everything I try for the rest of my life, that I will somehow wind up in trouble because I have forgotten something.

I get a lot of that. But I also get a sort of nostalgia. I miss the Navy (though I hated it when I left). I miss Maine, where I grew up. I miss San Diego, where I spent a decade with good friends, grew and loved and lived fully -- at least in the golden haze of my mind's memory. I was also broke a lot, depressed a lot, and prone to fits of anger for no apparent reason that scared some of the people I loved most. I hated the sun by August, and it kept going and going and going. Maine was the same, except for snow in place of rain, and March in place of August.

But in this nostalgic state, my mind keeps hearkening back: Tony introducing me to webcomics and Silent Hill, acting in community theater, my wedding in a dear friend's garden. Even childhood memories: staying over at the Munro / James house with my friend Steve. Friends laying on each other in the hallway, talking about science and philosophy and Dungeons and Dragons. Going to see Jethro Tull with Toby Heath. Toby is dead now, young, a congenital heart condition finally did him in.

And nostalgia is sad, too. Those times are gone. And some of them were bad, too. The time I gave Eddie Bobalek a nosebleed because I wondered what would happen if I bashed my head into his face. The dying squirrel by the side of the road that somehow made me realize that all things end. My one and only black eye. My attempt to end it all with my father's prescription Valium. Screaming at Aeire for no reason I could understand, watching myself, watching her cower as I acted out all the asshole, abusive men she had ever known. Tony telling me we were done. Tony dying by his own hand in a Maine forest.

And on and on my mind spins. It's not a bad thing, I guess, and eventually it subsides and I can look at the present again. At the future, even. And always in the time that held me, I let things go by. I come back more in debt, or behind on deadlines, or in a messy house that was my responsibility. Then the anxiety spin cycle starts.Rinse. Repeat.

Some day I hope to run out of quarters, because this game is exhausting.

Right now some things are going right, some are going badly. As always, I guess. I am moving this week. I hate moving, but the life I lead seems to demand it, and often. At least this time I was here for over a year, and that's progress. And Jake and I have almost been together a year, and that's progress as well.

I talk to my shrink about my life and he is exhausted just listening to it.

Instead of settling down, it seems like it's spinning faster. Every time I start to cope, it cranks up even more, keeping me in the same state as before.

But CBS.com seems to be carrying Twin Peaks now, and maybe a little of that won't make anything worse. And later today I am going to a play, and tonight I'll be warm in bed with a loved one. So things are not too bad. They've certainly been worse.

Love to all.


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Sep. 27th, 2010 10:28 pm Vodka science

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Sep. 8th, 2010 11:27 pm Zombies as Escape; Dr. Who at Burning Man


I had a thought today. You know (or can figure it out if you never have before) that a generation's fears can, in part, be shown by the kind of horror movies that are popular.

Radioactive monsters. Slashers. Stalkers. Vampires. Space aliens. Different eras have different dominant types of horror, and different fears: science gone too far, strangers, loved-ones turning out to be monsters, mindless hoards of communists/consumers/cancers, and the like.

Zombies, symbolic of a few different things, have made a strong comeback. I think they are back for a different reason this time.

I think, quite simply, a zombie apocalypse would make all of our regular problems disappear overnight. Taxes? Infidelity? Flu? Debt? Fuck that, there are ZOMBIES! It's more of a wish-fulfillment fantasy than a fear. Rather than horror films, modern zombie films should be paired with "Ordinary person taken out of world" works like Alice in Wonderland, The Matrix, or Dr. Who (from the POV of the companions).

Of course, in the fantasy, we're always one of the ones kicking ass, not the first-to-die-because-we-can't-really-believe-Mrs. MacGillicuddy-is-a-zombie types.

Burning Doctor:
The noise recedes. All is quiet. The man lays on the floor, unconscious but alive, his heart beating in its own, unique way, breath ragged but steady. The floor is cold, but he does not yet feel it.

The door to the chamber opens -- not by hand or machine, but simply a released latch and an uneven casing. The air that flows in is greyish with a fine, salty dust. Outside it is bright and hot and the sounds of twenty bands in competition with weather, crowds, traffic and explosions. For this place and time, this is just normal background noise.

The man stirs. As the room warms with the hot, dusty wind, sweat covers his forehead. He is wearing a smart suit, but already it is wrinkled and damp. His hair is blond, his chin bears a light golden dusting of what might be a beard one day if it eats right and does its exercises. He is thinner than the man the suit was tailored to.

"Whoa!" A face appears in the doorway. A man in a parti-colored mohawk and little else stands there, a water bottle clutched in one hand, the other supporting him against the doorjamb. The wind eddies about him merrily, like a joyous pet. It flaps his zebra-striped loincloth to one side. He does not seem modest. Nor should he.

"Dude, are you all right?" The man in the mohawk runs in, kneels before the man in the suit, checks for pulse, is discomfited by what he feels lub-lub-dubbing at the man's throat. The man stirs.

"Water," he says.

The man in the mohawk lifts the man in the suit's head a bit, and carefully pours a bit of the water -- tainted a bit with Gatorade, dust, and maybe a whisper of cheap vodka -- into the man's mouth. He sputters, and his eyes open.

"Hello," he says.

"Hey, dude," the man in the mohawk says. "You ok?"

"I am the Doctor."

"You, uh, look more like a patient. I'm Blue Parrot."

"Is that really your name?"

"Well, Eric, but Blue Parrot here."

The man in the suit -- The Doctor -- jumps up and shakes Blue Parrot's hand. "Pleased to meet you. I'll call you Blue."

"Er, okay, but what was wrong? Are you okay now?"

"I'm not sure, Eric, but I think so. It's a bit fuzzy at the moment. How do I look?"

"Fine," said Blue. "I guess."

"But," says The Doctor, "How do I look? Funny? Dour? Athletic? Sloppy? Mad?"

"A bit mad, yes," says Blue. "You're hair's kind of Mad Scientist, for one."

"Is it? Is it really? What fun!" says The Doctor. "Come with me!" And he grabs Blue's arm and pulls him out the door, into the sunshine.

"Far out," says Blue. "I must have been dosed or something."


"Never mind."

Outside, a row a blue plastic boxes stands on a barren patch of desert. A line desultorily wends along, and people in various stages of undress and costume take turns entering these boxes, flicking a lever that makes a little window go from green to red. They are portable toilets. At the end of the row is the blue box The Doctor and Blue just exited. The sound, light and heat was over them.

"Where are we?" asks The Doctor.

"We're at 4:30 and Eccleston," says Blue.

"Four-thirty and ...?"

"Four-thirty and E," says Blue. "Near Jiffy Lube."

"That," says The Doctor, "is a baffling answer to a simple question. What year is it? What planet?"

"Far out," says Blue. "You musta got dosed, too. Did you know that port-o-potty looks like a spaceship inside?"

"It is a spaceship, among other things," says The Doctor, and he carefully closes and locks the door, eying the toilet queue. "The year?"

"Twenty-ten," says Blue. "A.D."

"Must be Earth, then," says The Doctor. "Something's wrong, though. Why is everyone so ... festive?"

"It's f*ckin' Burning Man, dude! Black Rock City, USA! Are you mental?"

"Burning Man, Burning Man, Burning Man ... oh! I remember, a late twentieth-century festival that culminated in the torching of a huge human effigy."

"You're a trip, man," says Blue. "Now if you don't mind, unless I can use your space ship, one of the potties just opened." And he rushes off to catch one of the doors as a woman dressed like Mother Theresa with bared breasts exits.

"Burning Man," says The Doctor. He sees he is still holding Blue's water bottle. He takes a sip and grimaces. "Water is crap this century," he says. He spots a fez in the dust, lost perhaps by one zealous naked people that had run after a large tanker truck that was spraying water on the dusty road. He puts it on. "Fetching, I am sure," he says. "I think a fez lends an air of dignity."

Then, in the middle of the wave of sound and noise, he hears something familiar. The hydraulic step. He turns. A Cyber Man is standing before him. "You waiting in line?" it says.

"No," answers The Doctor. The Cyber Man joins a line, and eventually trades places with Blue, who comes out sweaty and pumps some alcohol-based hand sanitizer into his palm from a dispenser mounted on a post near the end of the line of Port-O-Potties.

"Did you see a, a sort of large, metal man just now?" asks The doctor.

"Yeah," says Blue. "There's a camp up the way that makes those suits for you. It's pretty cool. They say it's air-conditioned. Don't know how he goes to the can, though."

"I think," says The Doctor, "you'd better take me to that camp."

"Sure," says Blue. "Nice fez."

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Sep. 8th, 2010 10:56 am Rites of Passage

re: Burning Man -- There was a wedding and a funeral. No births I heard about, but many conceptions, I would wager. 54,000 people. Next year's theme is "Rites of Passage." I will be there, you have my word on it.

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Sep. 7th, 2010 05:40 pm Returned from the Burn

...despite a blown tire on the trailer. I swear, it never even crossed my mind that a spare tire for a trailer was important. Now we know.

We got our students to SLC just in time for class, but not for luxuries like sleep and a shower, as had been our plan. Some of us overnighted in Elko, waiting for the tire place to open, while the others crammed into the small car to make it to SLC by dawn -- I think so, anyway, we haven't been able to do much touching of bases, we just know they got here, and that's my guess as to how long it would take.

As usual, I feel that I did not do enough for Poly Paradise. We had to clear out in a rush to get our peeps home in time, and had very little help for the breakdown team. Every year seems to work out that way.

A bunch of us have started planning an art installation for next year, so maybe we'll be early arrivers, and can be more useful. We'll see.

Anyhow, much love, and now I am going to poop in my own bathroom, and use 2-ply TP. Then go to bed. Unpacking can wait till tomorrow,as can returning phonecalls from creditors, new boss and make calls to the even newer, better boss (Who I hope hasn't changed his mind while I was gone). I tend to get this superstitious fear that something horrible will happen while I am at Burning Man, but so far I have seen very little in the way of disaster. Maybe one of those voice mails, but I hope not.

Some moments:

The Swedes

The Swedes' Beer Aerobics

Trouble being carted off

Crisco (?) being carted off, but being mad about it

The event in the dome, including some very funny moments

IS that German midget staring at my junk?

The search for oysters (unresolved)

Falling in love at the carcass wash, but never seeing them again or even saying hi

The ugliest motel room ever

Sleeping through the Burn (I didn't mean to!)

Lots of drinking

Candy booze

Collecting Brians for the quest at the Oggribar

Lots of amazing conversations and inspirations

Doctor Who at Burning Man

I met the drummer from the marching band in Shortbus!

Double-Plus rainbow!

...and more. I'll share pictures when I can find my damned camera.


Who loves you

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Aug. 8th, 2010 04:01 am Prayer Wheel

A prayerful, meditative overwhelm of sound: chants, songs, crows, prayers, Japanese instruments, drums. Just relax and let it flow.

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Aug. 8th, 2010 02:21 am

Wuvwy (Wepwise)

This may be more embarrassing than amusing: My impression of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd singing "Lovely (Reprise)" from Stephen Sondheim's A funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I played Pseudolus in a community theater production a while back, and the Pseudolus/Hysterium duet always made me think of Elmer and Bugs doing the "Kill da Wabbit" schtick in the classic, "What's Opera, Doc?"

Please, Hysterium! We must convince the captain!

That I'm a beautiful, dead girl? He'll never believe it!

He will, you're delicious!

No, it won't do, just look at me!

I can't take my eyes off of you
You're lovely,
Absolutely lovely,
Who'd believe the loveliness of you?

Sweet and warm and winsome,
Radiant as in some
Dream come true.

Venus will seem tame,
Helen and her thousand ships
Will have to die of shame!
You're so lovely,
Frighteningly lovely,
That the world will never seem the same!

Now lie down, and think dead thoughts.

I'm lovely,
Absolutely lovely,
Who'd believe the loveliness of me?
Sweet and warm and winsome,
Radiant as in some dream come true.
Now. . .



I should have jewelry. And flowers.


I should have flowers, Doc!

All right, flowers!

I'm so lovely,

Literally lovely,

That the world will never seem the same -

So lovely -

That the world will never seem the same

I told you it was to be a comedy, Doc!

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