Thursday

EXACTLY HOW MUCH SARCASM CAN I GET AWAY WITH?

DON'T FORGET:

Like...in general...just - don't. Don't forget stuff. Because there are certain things you should remember. So as a rule, just DON'T FORGET. Unless it's something you're trying to forget - like something bad...but then...what does that mean? You're going into denial? Probably not good.

ALSO: Don't keep using the same jokes over and over again. Keep a checklist. Check it each day. Come up with new material. Or just don't try to be funny. If you can't think of anything funny, be dramatic.

It's too early. I can't sleep. I should not be online.

Monday

My dad was one of the most practical people I ever knew and he believed in ghosts.
Sometimes I wish my boss would go home and take all of her stuffed animals and seat them at little desks and just boss them around all day - just so she can get it out of her system.

Sunday

If I don't have enough human contact while I'm awake, I make up for it in my dreams. I have all kinds of conversations in my dreams. It gets confusing though. Like I will get to thinking about a subject (while I'm awake (I guess)), and I remember that I was just talking about that subject with somebody - but then I realize that I can't determine with total certainty whether I had that conversation while I was awake or if I had it with one of my dream friends. Sometimes people I know in real life - who aren't really friends - are my good friends in my dreams. This is pretty sad. Conscious Bobby just isn't as outgoing as Dreaming Bobby. Some day I'll consolidate all of the different Bobbys into one, and we...I...will be like a super hero.

Wednesday

Maybe I have some kind of hyper, super sense - sense of feel - or maybe it's just the nature of this building, the design - the floor, taut like a drum skin...let me tell you: as I sit in my cubicle, I can feel it in the floor - through the soles of my shoes - when people approach

Thursday

What if I sat down on the sidewalk and refused to get up until I was dragged away? How would that go? How long would it take for the cops or somebody to come and pick me up and drag me into a police car or an ambulance...take me to jail or the hospital... I would just sit there and not say a thing. Not even make eye contact with people trying to help me. Would I freeze to death out there? Die of thirst? I guess I'd pass out if I didn't have enough water. Two days at the most? Or would somebody bring me some water, but not take me away...at least - not immediately... "While we arrange for his 'living quarters,' let's make sure he doesn't die out there on the sidewalk. Give him a blanket."



I post this video in the spirit of Christmas. It's a tribute to Kraftwerk done by Senor Coconut - which is like taking weird and multiplying it by weird. This reminds me of Coleman's Nursery at Christmas time (A Portsmouth, Virginia thing, Dog. But I guess every town has something like it). Coleman's Nursery would set up robotic Christmas figures in snowy, festive scenes: elves would hammer away at toys, and there were bucking reindeer, if I remember correctly, and a gyrating Santa and Mrs. Clause. . . just like . . . motorized, three-or-four-foot-tall dolls, badly in need of lubrication, moving around and stuff, sayin "Ho ho ho," squeek, gear grind, spark, buzz, hydraulic sound etc and so on...and they charged admission and little kids found it delightful and terrific and the nursery also sold plants, of course, year around, and mulch and fertilizer and so on. That place was great until it damn near burned completely to the ground - even though it was right next door to the Portsmouth Fire Department - NO JOKE.

Every time I leave home and visit a different town, I wonder whether I could make it in that new town. Where would I live? Where I would work? If it is a pretty rural place, jobs would probably be scarce. I might not be able to find a cushy cubicle job with an all day internet connection. I have no skills. I would have to scramble for my living. I'd have to take whatever I could get out in the country.

Maybe I’d become a truck driver. I’d buy up every book on CD I could and listen to them during long hauls. I'd listen to foreign language lessons on CD. I’d get an audio recorder and babble into that thing all day. Do truckers still have CB’s? Talking on a CB would be like going in a chatroom.

Maybe I would start a business. I tell you - one service that is needed in some of the counties around where I live - these people need somebody to haul the junk off their land. I mean: You’re driving through the country, and it’s all scenic and serene, and suddenly there’s a yard with all kinds of crap strewn all over: washing machines, old cars, rusty old tractors, trailers missing wheels... Maybe I’d get a roll-back wrecker and just haul junk to the junk yard. Or I’d sell vintage auto parts on the internet. Ching!

I don't know...what else do they do out in the country? Logging? I don’t know if I could do logging. I would saw my own leg off or hit somebody with a falling tree or get mauled by a bear or beaten up by other loggers or something. And I don’t like the idea of cutting down trees, I guess that sounds...whatever...

It seems that if you buy the right machine, you can really make a lot of loot. Just buy a machine and start a business. Pressure washing or something like that. Tiller? ...for some tilling? Whatever.

What would you do if you uprooted and then planted somewhere new?





... and I posted this Prefuse 73 video because it's cool.

Saturday

I was sitting in a room at work, waiting for a meeting to get started the other day, and a lady seated across from me was wearing a really stylish shirt with Japanese characters printed all over it with palm trees and huts and so on. The lady who was sitting next to her was actually Japanese. She said to her, "Thats a cool shirt."

Then the Japanese lady started to translate the characters printed on the shirt. She would point and say, "This means love." "This means beauty."

Monday

Driving around, running errands on Saturdays, sometimes I'll see a person walking beside the road. I'll run my errands, and then I'll go home. Hours later, I'll go out again and run more errands, and I will see that same person walking. He'll be in a different place from where I'd first seen him, of course, but I'll think, wow, that guy's been walking all day, and he's only gotten from there to there? Then I'll calculate the distance in my head along with his apparent walking speed... did he maybe stop for lunch or a drink... and then I'll realize, yep, that's about how far you'd get. I have actually been that guy - that walking guy. Without a car. Walking really really far.

* * *

I remember a day, a Christmas day, when I was driving across town to my sister's place for dinner. It was snowing out and very windy. I drove onto this bridge, and halfway across, I saw an elderly woman bundled up, walking across the bridge in the wind and the snow. She looked pretty frail, and she was hunched over, and I wasn't really sure how far she was going to make it in that weather. I turned around - but before I could get to her, two or three other cars had already turned around to offer her a ride, and she had her pick of drivers to ride with.

Sunday

JUST TURN THE THING ON AND START TYPING: Daylight savings ends, fall back, do I know what time it is: I've been blogging five and a half years. I've been in Florida for a year and a half. I'm cold this morning. I have a sweater on. And shorts. I woke up and I can't go back to sleep. It’s Sunday. Normallly I'd get up and start getting ready for work except I don't work on Sundays. There’s definitely work to do. I could go to work right now - there’d be plenty to do. Managers would be glad. There might be somebody there working right now. Who knows? My cubicle neighbor said she was coming in today (yeah right [maybe, actually]). Overtime is allowed. The money is needed because of the upcoming holidays.

Starting tomorrow, Monday, when I leave work, it will be dark outside for sure - even if I leave on time. I've been leaving work late - in the dark hours anyway - with all the overtime. I leave home to go to work when it's dark, and on my way home from work, it's dark. The only daylight I see is at lunch time or when I sneak outside for breaks - breaks that used to be smoke breaks - but which are now just sunlight breaks or stand in the rain breaks. I have been off cigarettes six years.

It's time for the inevitable seasonal depression. It comes about because of the lower temperatures. It comes about because of the upcoming holidays. I get depressed because I can never seem to get the right gifts for all the people on my list. I can’t even get my list right. Some people are no longer on the list. There are new people on the list. Some people on the list - I have no idea what to get them.

Saturday

The more I work in administrative jobs, the more I realize that it is the perfect type of work for me. I don't have the attention to detail - or the stamina or discipline to maintain the attention to detail required for something like accounting or tech. I space out at work. I can work really fast! Believe me. But I do space out. Way way out. The operations of the whole organization won't slam into a wall over some little slip up on my part. Administrative duties can be varied - so it keeps my attention - in that I have to be aware of some new curve or hump - some new flow of work or new task or new little project. Respond to this email. Track this issue. Enter this data. Approve or deny all these forms. Move these files around. Check or uncheck these boxes in this computer application thingy. Answer the phone. Ignore the phone. Talk to some person - like a live person - standin there. Talk to it. Whatever. So . . . until I get my job as a _____, what, an action adventure hero correspondent world traveling sucka assassinatah astronaughtic under water super aquatic lounge singing professional footballin space alien ambassador...an administrative gig will have to do - the money ain't there, but hey, I only worry about money when I ain't got none.
This is a video by Four Tet



It's not that I'm lazy, it's not that I'm waiting around to die, I'm just not that into making all that money - the folks at work, the spouses of the folks at work, their kids - the other side of the family - - they are the money makingest mover shakingest consumers in the land, but they never make or take enough. Me, I'm not saying I occupy some perfect peaceful contented place, but I'm just not motivated (not less not more) the same as the people I see around me - - or maybe I just don't understand the people around me - they seem to just talk about products - the products they want to buy or that they already own or the products they owned in the past: this car this purse this shoe this TV this computer this jogging suit this saw this lotion this curtain - - but if I was so superior - which I know I'm not superior -- sometimes you want to think you're at least different, maybe better at certain things, not others - but if I was trying to say that I was worth it, worthy, worth something - worth it not to just scoff at dismiss - but - I mean - I'm who I am, but why haven't I found IT - IT - it that I'm saying I should be all about - why am I not happy - like happy more - do I even want to be happy - why no friends - why yelling fuck in traffic - why wannabe - why not be - I'm not an academic, I'm not nothing I see around me, I should define myself, I should set goals, or no, maybe I should just loosely define a routine and stick to it - try not to get in trouble - 'decorate' a wall not and then.

Tuesday



My last post, after I looked at it again, it felt dumb. I was about to delete it but...instead I just deleted the dumb picture

...so I posted this video instead. Because I like it.

...in other irrelevant news, I'm thinking about going back to school - - which I've thought about before... but. University of Central Florida has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction or whatever.

Saturday

When daily routine starts to plow over my whole consciousness, and repetition - day to day drudgery - starts to push away all thoughts and observations of anything new or interesting, and I'm just caught in this infinite loop of images that I see during my routine - - like when working long hours, you finally get away from your desk, but you're still seeing that computer screen that you looked at all day - that computer application you worked out off all day . . . recurrent images appear - like when I blink, that image is there, and when I sleep it's there, and when I'm awake with my brain idling - the image is there. Lately the recurrent images are of the pavement that I see when I swing my legs out of the car and walk into where ever it is I am going. Lately at work, there are tons of smashed acorns all over the parking lot. Before that, it was smashed little baby frogs - seriously. Little frogs just don't know how to get out of the way of my coworkers. Around my apartment, it's always smashed little crayons or smashed candy - M&M's or jelly beans, or spilled drinks - cool-aid or chocolate milk from the little kid that lives next door. I need to start picking my head up a little more I guess.

Wednesday

Reverse Graffiti : Ossario : Alexandre Orion

This is so cool. The cops are baffled because he's not really doing anything wrong.

Tuesday

My mentals hurty
I worked seventy hours last week! Working myself silly, working myself blind, working myself brain dead. I don’t mind the extra scratch, but I reach a limit. I like to be able to have some time to myself. But...it’s always crisis mode...at every job I ever worked... I feel like such a sucker sometimes. Sometimes I think I like looking like the hard working martyr.

I’ll take the extra hours and money, but it really messes with my head on a deeper level than I realize. Like when I’m driving home at night - my eyes don’t really work very well. Or my brain. I start freakin out, wondering if I’m in the correct lane ...did I got on the right side of that median? The headlights are sooooo bright too!

I don't have a single worthwhile thing to say. I started a new book called The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout, PH.D. About 4 percent of the population falls into this category - sociopath - no conscience, no guilt.

Sunday

A couple moved in to an apartment right near ours, around the corner, a few months ago. I didn’t really know much about the couple until one morning my neighbor told me that the guy beat up the girl really bad, she ran outside screaming and bleeding, and the guy came outside too, yelling that he was going to shoot everybody. The cops came and the guy ran off. He hid on people’s patios and shit, apparently he hid on ours. I slept through all of this, I didn’t hear a thing. He ended up running into the woods nearby, near a lake. He’s lucky he didn’t get chewed up by an alligator, which would have been - like - instant justice. He hid out like that all night, I guess, and then the cops came and got him in the morning.

He went to jail, but he got out, and now he’s back in the same apartment with the same girl. She took him back. I’ve only seen him - like outside smokin a cigarette or a joint or a stem or whatever or just moping outside - I've seen him only a few times because I’m working very very long hours lately. I made eye contact with him yesterday, and he looked like he wanted to play the stare down game with me and all that shit, the scumbag. You know...you’re just tempted to go up to him and say . . .like . . . I don’t know. . . “So, do you ever get in fights with men?” Or, “So, you beat women... do you molest children too?” Or, "Did you tell them what you did while you were sitting in the holding cell? Did they grease you real good?" Or . . . I don’t know, just walk up to him and just start kicking the ever living holy dog shit out of him - just kick his knee out, and when he goes down, have a big stomp fest, yeehaw - commence the brutality - the same kind of brutality that he subjected his girlfriend to. But . .. what can you do? Like, what really? REally, what the hell can you do? Why is this guy not in jail anymore? Why did he do this terrible thing? Why did his girlfriend take him back? Why do I have to see his face? Why does he show his face?

Wednesday

I have a red gym bag full of letters sent to my mom and from my mom – to and from her sisters. There was a major feud in my mom’s family - an everybody against everybody kind of feud – every sister against every sister. My siblings and I rarely heard from anybody in that branch of the family (that I can remember).

So this bag of letters – somehow it came into my possession after my father died (my mother died before him), and we were clearing out the house. I learned that one of my mom’s sisters had attempted to contact my mom before she died, to try to patch things up a little - but she was too late.

This red gym bag full of letters – I haven’t read anything in there – but I’m sure that it chronicles this whole history. I’m not sure when I’ll get up the courage to open up these letters and read them – or if I even should. It’s none of my business, right?

Thursday

If I had superman’s powers, I’d become a super tagger. Imagine me hovering next to the White House spray painting my messages with bullets and rockets bouncing off me and I’m just like . . . spray spray spray
Yoga eye contact, Ghandi at the wheel midfinger

Friday

Life story vampire

Tuesday

Is there some pill I can take?

Wednesday

There’s too much to write about lately – I mean – with the Margaritas and the fireworks and the visits from the Eustis Police Department, so I’ll just tell you about this dream I had: I was at a Self Help Seminar and everything was making sense, but suddenly I found myself expelled from the proceedings – or maybe I graduated – but the next thing I knew, I was doing construction work to the very Convention Center where I had just attended the Self Help Seminar. The Motivational Speaker at the seminar – the guy who had so motivated me during the earlier proceedings – he stepped outside, and the last thing he said to me - before he fired me - was about my handiwork, “You’ll be lucky if that doesn’t cause an earthquake when it falls!”

Thursday

I know that there are harder jobs out there than mine – obviously. But right now, my job is pretty hard. I have 386 unread emails. I got baskets full of hard mail. My phone’s blinking. Half the department is out sick or with sick pets or sick cars or sick something. I got knucklehead suckas from other departments just – POOF –appearing in my cubie – sometimes more than one at a time – as though they were freakin beamed down by Scottie. They just appear. I turn around and they’re there. I don’t even have time to take the music hoses out of my ears: “Robert, we need this and this and this and this – and we’re kinda pissed and the customer’s pissed that you haven’t already done it and blah blah blah.” …people from other departments come to me because customers and members and applicants and candidates are doing the End Run around our department’s channels of communication. My phone is currently forwarded. I got a two week turn around on all items sent to me. Which ain't good enough apparently. I’m pretty sure I can’t hang on in this position long. I’ll probably get fired - at which time I will peacefully gather my things and get up and walk out – happily. All of this for some reason makes me think about this: NASA will send teachers into space . . . and doctors, and shit – they’ll even send a monkey into space – but they’ll never send an administrator like me into space. Ain’t they got paperwork on that shuttle? I’d rather be in space than here, is what I’m sayin basically.

Tuesday

Spotted your co-worker's photo at a porn site?

Saturday

never too late to stop yelling
photocopied wisdom used on neighbors

Friday

...kicking off my slutty phase...

Saturday

You know how bored I was yesterday? I had all these BUSINESS REPLY MAIL cards that fall out of magazines. Free postage that I was just going to throw away. So I wrote notes on the cards, and I mailed them. The notes were to the person in the mail room or the admin in the sales department who would probably end up reading the card. I just asked what it was like to work at National Geographic or Florida Trend or whatever publication the card came from. "Is your job hard? Is it really noisy there? Is there much lifting? I hate lifting. Have a great day! And I'm not a weirdo, really." Just nice notes to hard workers wishing them nice days.
At work the other day, a co-worker was sitting in the breakroom looking at the Orlando Sentinel article about that terrible airplane crash in Sanford, Florida. We were commenting about how terrible it was, a kid got third degree burns over eighty percent of his body. Five people died, I think. She said it reminded her of something that happened in her town in Kentucky when she was a freshman in high school. She said one of the worse bus accidents in history occurred there. The wreck killed a bunch of kids from her school and burned a bunch of others. She described how kids came to school - her friends - and they had burns, and they had grief counciling and psychiatrists and so on. And she’s telling me all this in the break room at lunch in that setting, that context of lunch time chatting and inane conversations and people microwaving their food and stuff. I said that it was the most terrible thing I’d ever heard. And we just got quiet. I didn't know what else to say. It's tough to come up with something to say in a situation like that because you don't know where the tragedy fits into their psyche - like is she still kind of grieving over it now - twenty years later almost - or if I acted all consolatory, would it just be ridiculous and awkward or more harmful than good because it dredges up grief that she's already dealt with and put away... And then somebody else walked up and started a new conversation - about purses or shoes or something. Sometimes life has absolutely no logical context. You’re flung from one situation or conversation to another with no warning or preparation. I mean - I was just headed down to the break room to try to snag a piece of pizza or cake or something.

Sunday

Friday

. . . those people from your past who you wonder about - you wonder whether they think about you . . . they do think about you. That’s how memories work. Memories ‘try’ to stay intact. Memories try to float to the surface now and then. Memories are bits of information with their own algorithms. There are lots of memories of you out there in people's heads . . .

Saturday

Animal Collective - Leaf House

I just want to post videos all day.

Broken Social Scene - Cause = Time

I just want to post videos all day.

Friday

1. What would your cat do about it if a bear broke down your front door?
2. New employees are nice to me until they realize how low on the org chart I am here. Then they ignore me. Then I start mumbling shit.
3. The other night I was driving through this remote area, a wildlife refuge. You never see anybody walking out there, but suddenly I saw a guy walking next to the road. My headlights hit him weird through the fog - he appeared to be glowing. “Wow, a ghost,” I mumbled. I rounded this bend in the road, and there were ambulances and fire engines and cops and twisted up cars next to the road.
4. I went to the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida. The water does not gush out of the ground anymore. The water table is too low. The water has to be pumped out. It tastes horrible. It’s probably got lead or radon or argon or nitrates whatever in it. It will probably decrease my lifespan.

Thursday

3 am, banging on the psychic's door

Sunday

I dread grocery shopping. People bump you, they block you, and they ram you with their carts. I was in the grocery store today, and I started to wonder: Is it possible to decide to be happy... and then - just be happy - in the grocery store... I heard a couple of goofy ladies a couple of aisles over laughing their butts off about something. I saw a worker stocking shelves, she was singing along with the song on the store’s stereo system. The grocery store’s stereo system is the one thing that actually can cheer me up at the grocery store. More and more often I will catch a song playing in the store that I actually like. Are grocery stores playing better music? Or am I just getting old? Or are my musical tastes far too broad? Can’t I just be happy? Even at the grocery store? Can I be happy and still pull of my writer wannabe angst? Here’s a question: Can I avoid getting in a fight in the grocery store... or whatever public place? How often do you actually see fights in public places? When was the last fight you saw in public? People don’t get in fights in public - usually, mostly... I don't know - you see on the news when a fight really escalates - somebody pulls a gun and they make the evening news. The last serious fight I saw was at a Greyhound Station in DC... about four years ago. These two big dudes duked it out and ended up wrestling on the floor - trapping some poor bystander underneath them. The security guard came along with one of those retractable night stick things and beat one guy on the leg until he let go of the other guy, and then the cops came. Then those two dummies went to DC jail.

Monday

So far this weekend:

I visited a fort on the gulf with artillery and mortar batteries that never really killed anybody, the fort never saw action.

I saw an alligator go after a bird.

I spent a couple of hours in dangerous surf - wading, swimming and floating.

I stared at some orchids.

I tried reconciliation through minimal word count.

I figured something out: Certain car wash tunnels swallow up bad people.

Thursday

People at work call me Robert. That’s my official name - like on my birth certificate and diploma and license and all. It’s on all the paperwork - applications for employment and so on. Usually though, people eventually ask me, “Do you go by Robert all the time? Or is it Robby? Rob? Bob?”

“Bobby,” I say. Nobody at my current job has asked me about this yet. I’ve been there ten months now. I don’t care enough to bring it up. They don’t care enough to be curious about it. It was awkward anyway - in my previous jobs - it took everybody a while to catch on . . . only the people closest to me would start calling me Bobby. Everybody else wondered who the hell Bobby was and continued to call me Robert.

There isn’t really anybody around to call me Bobby. My sisters and nephews and niece and old friends in other states call me Bobby, and Keri calls me Bobby. My bloggin friends call me Bobby. But I don’t have any friends in fuckin Florida, so there’s nobody but Keri to call me Bobby down here. At the few little poetry readings I was going to here they called me Bobby. At Panera and other restaurants they ask for your first name when you order. I tell them Bobby - only because I miss being called by my cool name. Kind of sad, huh? It’s not just that I’m getting older (Robert sounds more mature than Bobby), it’s that there’s nobody around who cares enough to call me by my cool name - Bobby. Is this what happens to you?

Sunday

Sometimes you’re lucky enough to read the right thing at the right time.

I was reading this gigantic history book in the bookstore yesterday. It renewed my understanding and perspective. Europe was just a transient kind of a place where numerous tribes wandered all over the place - like on the fringes of the Roman empire, there were these nomadic tribes bumping into each other and warring and forming alliances and trying to settle but getting run off this spot and that spot and so on. Nobody could claim any spot for very long - and finally Alaric and his Visigoth people stormed Rome and kicked the Romans' asses all over Rome.

* * *

I still do not feel at home here in Florida. I have been here a year now. With all the people down here complaining about transplants (newly arrived people like me) and all the people talking about old Florida and all the people complaining about restructuring districts or whatever to make voting a little more fair and all the dudes in huge trucks with their rebel flags, and with all people who won’t even talk to you or look you in the eye if they think you’re new . . . I don’t know (you just want to scream at these people, "Hey asshole, do you realize the population of this planet is growing faster than they can even calculate it? So you gotta make room whether you want to or not!"). These people can’t hold their land. So many of these ranchers down here are selling off and moving away - they just can’t compete with the mighty developer dollar. And I know for a fact that this ‘right’ that they think they have - this ‘right’ that they think I do not have - to be here, it’s all bogus. Bogus in a big way. (Before I started reading the European history book I was reading a book about native Americans, so don't even - I won't even . . . )

I guess the best I can do is to just try to feel at home in my own skin. Even that is difficult sometimes. But if I can’t feel at home, I can at least feel like I am progressing... progressing toward condition where I got a head full of knowledge - and I can zap people with factiods if they try to tell me somethin about somethin . . . and that is not even the reason I stuff my head full of everything I can - and I don’t even think I gorge on knowledge for knowledge’s sake or for gorging’s sake - I do it because I am compelled to do it by some force I can not understand - and that’s okay with me.

Thursday

soul failure Tao Te Ching

Wednesday

Hitting the 'Next blog' button all day . . . I've taken in a lot of blogs that way, and I notice patterns - recurrent age demographics or recurrent themes or topics or whatever. Sometimes I think I'm too old to have a blog. Sometimes I think I'm too young - I've noticed a ton of retiree 'hittin the road in our RV' type blogs lately. Also, many people try to start businesses off of a blog. A lot of people create a blog just to chronicle one particular trip, or one particular pregnancy or one particular bout with one particular disease.

Sunday

waiter, not stalker

Saturday

. . . tried to rip me off at Pepboys . . .

Friday

my word count
my pulse

Tuesday

I’m forced to finally consider this: When it seems like I am surrounded by assholes, everybody else around me is an asshole, it could be possible that I am the one who is an asshole. I have to at least consider this possibility.

Monday

If I was a real man, I’d be out there taming the Florida frontier every day, tearing down forests and building McMansions. But instead, I’m in a nice air-conditioned building processing applications and forms. If I was a real man, I guess I’d be utilizing great math skills (which I don’t have) or exploiting vulnerable people.

Wednesday







GETTING MY MESSAGES OUT THERE USING ALL IMAGINABLE MEANS

I’m putting up my stickers again. When I first moved to Florida, I didn't think I would be able to place my stickers effectively. Back in DC, there were plenty of places to slap stickers where masses of people would see them. There are so many people on foot - when you're on foot, you notice a sticker stuck on a newspaper box or stuck to the back of a sign or on the back of a subway seat or on a pay phone. But in Florida, everybody drives (fast). For a more subtle graffiti form like mine, there aren’t as many opportune spots to slap up a sticker - where somebody will actually see it, that is. I thought and thought about it and . . . EUREKA: gas stations. High traffic. Captive audience. I slap them right on the pump or on a trash can. Those fools gotta see them. I’m back in business! And as goofy as all this horseshit sounds - I feel like I am dealing in The Meaning again. (I’ve also been posting these little blue cop men in different places. hee hee hee)

I saw a documentary about graffiti artists recently, and there was this one guy who spray painted his whole life story on the inside of a subway tube - New York I think. He had a workman’s outfit for his disguise - so he looked like he belonged down there. He would spray a huge white rectangle on the wall - a blank page - and then he’d write on that - everything from his whole life - page after page. But nobody saw it . . . except . . . the cops (who eventually caught him). . . and the other workers. I find that incalculably noble. But I gotta get my stuff out there where it can be seen. I just gotta. Not all splashy and high profile like spray painters . . . subtle, but seen.

You should read/watch/listen to this: GRAFFITI RESEARCH LAB

Sunday

I think I need to step back a few magnifications and let a little more of that bigger picture into the frame - and let some of this immediately stuff fall away.

Tuesday

...inquiring minds blown

Sunday

My Latest Guerilla Self Promotion



You know those books in the reference section of the library that have biographies of historically significant Americans? The ‘Who’s Who of American History’ volumes. I grabbed a slip of paper and wrote my own entry and tucked it into the volume where it belongs (alphabetically).

One of the things I said about myself is that I am not famous, I’m jealous.

It was probably the first time the book had been moved in thirty years - when I reached up and grabbed it to insert my bio. They have more than one biographical set of volumes like that. That book probably won’t move for another thirty years. Not until the Friends of the Library Book Sale in the year 2037. Maybe somebody will buy the whole set of volumes, and they’ll leaf through each one maybe. Then they’ll see my bio.

Saturday

. . . facing the fact that by most 'normal person' standards, I lead a pretty sad life. But I have all this time left, and I'm pretty healthy. And I like writing. I like leaving notes in unexpected places. I do.

Wednesday

Some people can not function under normal circumstances. Normal is too normal. When it seems that there is every opportunity for things to go well - their environment is safe, stable and sane - they still fret and stress and fuss, and they find peril or invent it or reach out for some trouble or sadness or madness. It’s like that ‘warrior during peacetime’ theme. With these people, you think about it and come to the conclusion that these people belong in a disaster area.

Maybe with me, I shouldn’t be looking for a particular job or region or climate. Maybe I should be thinking about average relative adversity, not average relative humidity. Temperment not temperature. I pick all the flowers in pretty meadows, and I lay them all over the grave yard.

Saturday

I could make my book myself. I could bring it to the library. I could make friends with the librarian and ask that he watch out for my book (maybe slip him a few bucks). Don’t let anybody throw my book away, okay? This is my life - all the best parts of it. My life has to mean something. I can’t let my story get lost. I have to leave documentation of myself, my journal, my story, my family’s story. Please. Let me keep my book in your library.

I’ll go all over the country making deals like this with librarians.

Tuesday

Freestyle not hostile, standoffish... not armed standoff'ish. Just say hi - it's easy, coincidence is the religion, maybe, the luck. Saving up for plastic surgery, drunk driving takes practice.

Friday

Do you remember when I let you read my poem, and you didn’t laugh in my face? You can do better than most by simply refusing to advise. Buy and wear only quiet shoes, you said. You were so wise and funny that day. When the man wants to wipe his butt with your paycheck, it’s time to get direct deposit.

* * *

Automate and consolidate - When they invent a time machine, you can go up and down through your lifetime time continuum - recruiting the best possible you’s - a staff of you's. Time travel will make the work of human resource professionals very difficult. Cops too.

* * *

And now you don't call. With a rapidly deteriorating memory, I hold all that you said, and I reexamine it. What did I miss?

Thursday

Wednesday

Astronaut women never fight over me.

Sunday

The place where I’m temping has just hired me. I should be thrilled, I guess. Hey - it’s more money, and I get healthcare and free college if I want (what to study... hmm). This is my routine. I do these temp jobs, and sometimes they want to hire me (sometimes they don’t want to hire me [or they really really don’t want to hire me]). I work there a while, and then I then I quit. Whatever. I’m free to do what I want.

So far, the following companies have hired me (or wanted to) while I was temping for them, I mention only these for a reason:

Amerigroup - Medical info tech or something - reports guy, basically - I ran queries and did reports
Verizon - reports guy, basically
Burke & Herbert Bank - Administrative Aid in security/fraud or whatever
Union Labor Life Insurance Company - claims and then proposal writer

And now, here I am again - going permanent at Brand X Company. At any one of these places, I could have made a career. I tell you - I’m going to write a book one day called A Slacker’s Guide to Getting By - because a slacker can get by. I tell you this too: There ARE jobs out there - all kinds of jobs. You might not find them right away, and they might not seem great at first, but if you’re looking hard enough for work, you’ll find it. And really - it’s what you make of it. And really - you get out of it what you put into it. My last job, at Union Labor Life, I really started to get into it and bust my ass and really really like the people I was working with, and I was lucky to have the coolest bosses in the world... but... the time came, conditions changed, and I headed out. Florida. I always had wanted to try Florida. My girlfriend got her dream job there. So I went. But... Florida sucks. (So far.)
I guess those tornados jumped right over us, or they skirted to the north of us here in Eustis: orlandosentinel.com/damagemap. We got some wicked storms here. Like idiots, we tried to sleep through it. I should get one of those storm radios that comes on and wakes you like an alarm clock when there's crazy weather coming. I guess it was a series of tornados, the worst of which hit Paisley, Florida - 17.8 miles away (by road). Paisley is northeast of us, and Lady Lake, Florida is southwest of us. So we're lucky. The system traveled right through here, over us or barely north of us, from the southwest to the northeast. I think that one little finger of a tornado zapped this abandonned old liquor store around the corner - it looks pretty thrashed. Maybe it was straight wind damage.

The following may seem insensitive or hypersensitive, but I'm going to go ahead and say it: FEMA got here yesterday, Saturday. The tornados happened Friday morning - like 4am. As you might have noticed from the above wiki entry about Paisley, the population is 97.41% White. Lady Lake is 95.32% White. This is Brother Bush's old state. Starting to catch my meaning? How long did it take FEMA, or anybody, to get to New Orleans?

Anyway, what's going on now... floods in Indonesia? Our planet is getting mad at us.

Saturday

NOTES [*quack*]:

-I think we really do need aluminum foil hats. (And aluminum foil cup supporters.)

-I don’t have cable TV, right, so I have to rely on the faint signal that my little rabbit ear antenna receives. Every time I open up my laptop, the signal on my TV goes fuzzy. [Is the phrase ‘electronic interference’ simply a less frightening terminology used to refer to radiation...?] And somehow the internet has leapt from its wires and into my iBook... and other people’s songs are now appearing in my iTunes application. ...and you know how when you leave your cell phone sitting next to your computer at work - and you get a call or a text message - and you hear this weird, critical mass, eminent death by radioactivity sound?

U.S. Patent No. 3,951,134 (issued Apr. 20, 1976) “Apparatus for and method of sensing brain waves at a position remote from a subject whereby electromagnetic signals of different frequencies are simultaneously transmitted to the brain of the subject in which the signals interfere with . . .”

...miasma of signal and electronic interference. . . Finally, we are unable to go outside at all. If you step outside, your brain activity and self control will be washed away like a flashlight beam at noon, washed away by waves and waves of signal and interference in the outside air. So we just sit at home, in the middle of the floor, in copper cages singing songs to each other.

Thursday

I was sitting in traffic the other day breathing in exhaust fumes... I wanted to open my window and scream at everybody in traffic with me: All you fuckers know you're going to get cancer from these fumes, right? I already know I'll get cancer [heredity], I'm just telling all of you! I just don't know how the environmentalist message will ever penetrate the brains out there when all the brains out there are marinated with the cruisin life style. I'm nothing without my car. My car defines me. It sooo defines me... let's go cruisin' ...and the way our world is now designed, you can't get anywhere without a car - unless you're in a major major metro.

If the fumes don't get ya, the other drivers will. The way some people drive - they should just drive to a prison and ask that they be let in.

The little roadside memorials - crosses with little Teddy bears that mark the site where somebody wrecked their car and died . . . they don't slow anybody down.

The two biggest health risks: drivin and drivin

* * * * *

And because I am trying to completely bum you out - just to finish you off: When my mom died, a couple of days later, Frank Sinatra died. Back when my brother died, a few days later, Princess Dianna died. There are all kinds of memory triggers - that bring back those hard times - songs, obviously - movies, I guess - headlines... but celebrity deaths too? Not sure what famous person died when my dad died. Not sure what that means either.

Saturday

1. This is a picture of me.
2. The other day I was staring at this crane at a construction site while I was eating lunch. I looked at the height of the crane and wondered this: If it fell, would it land on me where I am currently sitting?
3. I was thinking about getting a P.A. System for my car - a loud speaker behind the grill with a mic inside the car... so I can do a little Spoken Word during my commute to and from work. I could start a car pool and make it into a rolling Open Mic.
4. I miss so many of my old blogging buddies. So many of them have slowed down or stopped. It makes me feel really good, though, when they visit my blog and comment. I started Skullbolt the blog in April of 2002. I was doing a temp job at Georgetown University Alumni Association at the time. I had all kinds of time to play on the internet. I mean - those jokers wouldn’t give me a task for weeks.
5. Today's my birthday. I am 36 years old.
This town where I live is having an art show right now. I think I'll go pull a little stunt. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Did ya hear? He's the Upsetter, Lee Perry

Hiyo!

Thursday

What about this? Poetry's Security Guard.
Because I am not at all career minded, I’m free to say and do a lot more at work than a lot of the other people there - people who are concerned about appearances. I say things that stun them. It’s an incredible freedom. It’s great fun. They have no way of responding. They are only able to smile and try to find some sort of escape route from this conversation they have fallen into - with me. Escape before you are seen talking to the freak temp guy. The looks on their faces make me laugh when I’m thinking about them later.

Monday

My ‘Service Engine Soon’ light came on recently. Maybe there’s a light like that blinking inside my skull. (((Service Bobby Soon))) I drove the car to AutoZone, and they plugged into my car (free) and read the code my car computer was throwing: P0174 - System Too Lean. I googled this code. Lots of messages posted to the net about trouble shooting cars - most seem misguided... and because I’m misguided, I read a while. I soon got sidetracked. I don’t care a whole lot because the car still runs, I’ll replace this and that until... finally... whatever... and because I am misguided, I’m considering the possibility of a little more meaning and value in life - that’s what’s important now.

A plan, maybe. If I went back to school, what would it be? Creative Writing? Sociology? World Affairs? Statistics? Microsoft Certification in SQL?

Here’s something: I’m alive. I’ve been thinking about that lately - that simple statement: I am alive. Yeah, I’m going to die some day. Sometimes I’m very sad. But I’m alive right now. I’m out there living my life, and there’s a lot out there for me and everybody else who’s still living. MAN, LISTEN: I got dents in my car from a crazy fucker who, for an instant, wished I was dead! NOW THAT IS A HEIGHTENED STATE OF LIVELINESS! He wanted to smash me into a ditch. He wished I was dead - I saw it when he got out of his truck. He soon became aware that I was about to kick him in the nuts: ALIVE! He soon calmed down and came to his senses, and the cops came, but he wished I was dead for a fraction of a second there... he’s alive, and me too, and he’s probably a soccer dad and all that shit (which is good for him, you know? great)

So... the Mass Air Flow Sensor, I tried that.

Saturday

Walgreens had a sale on colored T-shirts, five for ten dollars. I went in and bought some. I picked out all different colors. When I got them home and took them out of the bag, each T-shirt - because of its color - reminded me of a T-shirt I used to wear of the same color - but the ones I was reminded of had logos or writing on them stating whatever purpose my life had at that time. The green T-shirt reminded me of the green T-shirt I wore when I worked at Great Big Greenhouse in highschool. The T-shirts reminded me of little league soccer team jerseys I’d worn. They reminded me of bands - concerts - where I bought the T-shirt. They reminded me of surf shop skate shop T-shirts and times that I tore them or bled on them or sweat or burned holes in them... Who would have thought that newly purchased, colored T-shirts - with no writing on them - could be such memory triggers?
It’s good to know, when driving around in circles in town during weird hours, that there are at least a couple of bars open - possibilities for some kind of human contact are there if you need them.

Friday

I had this friend in DC named Don. I saw him at all of the poetry readings in DC metro, and we started to hang out a lot. He liked to write poems - spontaneously - on the scene - on bar napkins. He even had a chapbook he was writing called Love Poems on Bar Napkins.

One time he wrote one of his love poems on a bar napkin, and he showed it to this girl in a bar. She started to read it, and then her friend said something to her, and she got distracted. She spilled her beer, and then she used Don’s poem to wipe up the beer spill. She realized what she had done, and she got this look on her face...like...struggling not to laugh out loud...covering her mouth with her palm...total derision. I don’t know if Don thought so, but it seemed to me to be the cruelest fuckin thing I’d witnessed in quite a while. Don seemed to be half stunned, but he was still trying to hit on this girl... and therefore he was willing to allow her whatever cruelties she whimsically felt like dealing out. But poetry is Don’s thing - his poems have been in the Iowa Review and a lot of other places and shit - he’s no joke - he takes his poems very seriously... and that dumb girl just laughed it off... she looked to me for some kind of complicit expression - on my face - as if she was hoping I would sigh and roll my eyes and wordlessly convey something like, “I know. Who cares about this weirdo’s dumb poem?” I gave her a look that I was hoping would cause her to have great guilty feelings... but then I just tried not to look at her at all. She walked off leaving Don with his soggy fuckin poem.

I told Don to hurry up and transcribe his poem to another piece of paper before the writing on the napkin got blurred too badly.

...that was one cold, creep of a skank ‘ho’ - that girl... or maybe Don was the one - the one going around showing poems to girls in bars - as a way of hitting on them - I don’t know. The whole thing made me queasy.
Using a magnifying glass to burn words out of a dictionary in the sun, trying to estimate exactly how many people will care when I die, if I ever go crazy, it’ll probably happen in the morning, it’s my most creative time. Unless it happens in my sleep... I just wake up as a crazy person... Everybody wants to die in their sleep, but would they want to go crazy in their sleep?

Thursday

By the time you read this

I will be thinking about something else...

therefore you should look and listen to THIS.

yep

Saturday

1. I don’t have any friends, and here’s how it affects my schedule: I have lots of time to think. And anyway, when I do spend time with other people, I often dominate that time with explanations of my own thoughts ... which tends to drive other people away - so it works out.

2. I think that being a good story teller doesn't always require the most creative or clever person. You just have to be a good collector - have a good memory. Remember the best stories. Keep them ready to cue up. Keep stories for all occasions. Know what parts to delete - what is necessary - where to start the story. Sometimes a story telling session - because of its spontaneously, tacitly agreed upon rules - requires that you - the narrator - were actually involved in the story - like, directly. You did the thing or the thing happened to you (a macho story telling situation perhaps). The story tellin sessions are better when there is no such limitation. You shouldn't steal stories. Credit your source. Or just begin your story by saying, "There was a guy..." or "There was this lady..." Sometimes you're in a story telling situation, and you have the perfect story - you're just waiting for your turn - and the context suddenly changes! Or the story tellin session ends - like because your boss walks up or whatever.

3. When sleeping your way to the top, kissing is optional.

4. How many times has a saxophone been used as an ashtray - like as it was being played... and when this happens, how often does that saxophone player set his saxophone down and prove how good of a slugger he is...

5. For all he knew, she was speakin ten different languages...

6. Going down to get her name adjusted.
I recently had my driver side rear view mirror torn off by an asshole who drove up onto the median from behind me - his truck side swiped my car as he bolted passed - half on the sidewalk, half in the lane... The mirror still hangs from the side of my car by the adjustment cable. Sometimes when I’m driving at higher speeds, the dangling mirror gets a bit of wind under it, and it flops up and bashes into my window - scaring the ever living dog shit out of me... usually it's when I'm deep in thought that this happens.

Monday

Greetings and short answers only today

Saturday

So you had one or two drinks with your co-workers, and you're preparing to leave... but they talk you into having a few more drinks... and then a few more after that etc etc. Finally you leave - you get into your car and start the long drive home and then... suddenly the periphery is awash with flashing blue lights!

Busted!


And you end up HERE! DOES YOUR TOWN HAVE ONE OF THESE?

When a person gets arrested, their mug shot and their information - including the charges against them - it all gets posted to the county sheriff's web site.

I hope my mug is never posted up there, but if it does get posted here - if I get busted and they photograph me, I hope they don’t photograph me while I'm crying or something.

Friday


. . . an invention of little use, with no industrial or commercial value, by default, what is it: garbage, memento, abstraction, souvenir, gift, future relic, symbolization, shaping, portrayal, recyclable material, particular, art, reminder, trophy... I want to be the little golden guy on top of a trophy. You have trophies in your house, right? Don’t you look at the golden guy on top of the trophy sometimes and think, wow, that guy is a winner eternal.

Thursday

Compared to what?



That is my new response to everything.

Monday

Part of a special task force assembled to fix my own errors. Volume, volume, volume - wholesale errors. Jobs are social traps. Sitting on the floor of your cubicle with papers spread around you looks very ‘special projects.’ I could walk around all day carrying one piece of paper - stepping hard - a serious look on my face - I could do that all day, and people would think I was ‘about something.’ They’d offer to help. They’d fall in behind me. If they asked what was up, and I didn’t tell them, they’d assume it was really bad, and they’d just follow - with determination. They’d figure that when we stopped walking, the truth would be there.