Tuesday

The house where I grew up was on the main street leading into the neighborhood. Half the people who lived in our neighborhood had to drive by our house to get home. There were two schools right across the street, and there was a park; there were three softball fields and like ten soccer fields. There was so much traffic going by.

When I stood on the porch, it felt like I was standing on a stage. No joke. I felt this weird anxiety. You had a huge audience (huge, moving audience) - with all of those cars going by. I could feel the eyes of every driver and every passenger in every car that went by. It didn't bother me until I hit my teens. I didn't like hanging around out there at all. People in school would come up to me and mention it. Yo, I saw you in your front yard and shit. You were eatin an apple. Hee hee der her ha ha hee hee.. Yo. What? Were you stoned?

Like. Maybe.

I don't know why I blogged this.

Friday

RANT: When All The Newspapers Fold


Where will we get our news when the newspapers go out of business? You hear story after story about layoffs and buy-outs at newspapers. I can understand why paper newspapers are taking a hit - I read all of my news online (while I’m supposed to be working.) I haven’t bought a newspaper in a long time.

So is it all going online? When you go to a newspaper online, you see these gigantic, screen-obscuring advertisements that move around, and you try to chase after the ‘X’ in the corner of the ad to close that beast out. It’s ridiculous.

What is media going to look like after all of these bankruptcies happen, and all of the buy-outs and buy-ups by huge media conglomerates...and...also with the internet neutrality issue (another scary scary thing)...what will they allow us to see on our screens?

And TV news? I gave up on TV. Almost completely. The only time I watch TV is when I'm on the treadmill at the YMCA. And when TV tries to hit me with the commercials, I unplug my ears from TV and plug them in to my iPod - no shit - while I'm running, I'm fumbling with the goddam wires, trying to get my earbuds unplugged and re-plugged at each commercial break. I won't be sold to. Sorry. TV...Cable TV... Why am I going to pay so that they can bombard me with commercials? No way I'd pay for cable TV.

So how will I find out what's going on? I guess I'll just sit in a dark room with the radio on.

Saturday

When I was a little kid, I used to hang out in the our folk's garage and watch as my brother and his friends hoisted V8 engines out of cars using a hand-cranked winch. The winch was attached to chains that hung through holes poked through the garage ceiling. I remember questioning my big brother. Where do those chains go? Won’t daddy be mad that you poked holes in the ceiling?

There’s a steel beam above the garage ceiling in many houses (in all houses?). That's what that chain was wrapped around up there. Later in life, I actually had a job in construction for a short time. I was working for my big brother, framing houses. When we were building the garage, we had to set the steel beam in the ceiling of the garage, a serious task, because that beast is really heavy. Everybody around would stop what they were doing and come help lift the beam into place.

Monday

My Thought Budget


I’m wondering how disappointed I would be if I broke down the amount of time I spent thinking about each subject. What if I actually spreadsheeted it? What would my categories be? Would this make me more efficient? What if I sat there with a stopwatch, and in between thoughts - like when I reach a good stopping point between waves of thought - I stopped the stopwatch and recorded what the thoughts were and how much time I’d spent thinking them...I would become a much more efficient time user!

This, of course, is crazy.

Or is it?

It is.

I, personally, don’t have that kind of mental control. I will be reading a book, for example, and I’ll realize that, hey, that whole last paragraph, my eyes were passing over the words, but I was thinking about...say...putting a frozen pizza in the oven. I can’t direct my mind resolutely enough.

I think I would be ashamed if I spreadsheeted my thoughts. How much time did I spend thinking about stupid stuff like, Damn, that asshole didn’t say Hi to me. Or completely embarrassing stuff that I can’t even bear to mention, let alone record on a spreadsheet. I guess it would be like any other kind of bookkeeping - you hide the embarrassing items under another more vague category, What is this charge on your credit card to...a massage parlor? Yeah, file that under 'OTHER.'

Sunday

I'm consuming way too much information lately. Today I read all day, but I could barely recap any of it to you. I mean, that information is there, stored in my memory. If the subject comes up, I'll remember some article I read, and I'll mention it maybe. Hopefully I'll get it right - I'll recall enough of what I read to make it worthwhile to open my mouth. Otherwise, maybe I should just shut up. Maybe I'm reading all this stuff for entertainment, not for educational purposes - it's not doing me much good.

I get depressed - bloated with barely digested bits of info. I decide, well, it's time to go with what I got and take some action. Create something. Finish something. Do ...something. How many unfinished projects do I have? How many unbegun projects do I have?

At least I'm posting to my blog. I'm typing words and hitting 'PUBLISH POST.' I'm getting some kind of message out to the world. ...or out to a few people anyway.

Friday

I was leaving the YMCA, and I saw a little kid and his mom walking into the neighborhood across the street. The little kid had just finished his karate class at the Y, he had his karate suit on - his gi. The mother was holding the kid's hand as they walked...or...the kid was holding his mom's hand. He seemed to lead the way. I can guess what the kid was thinking. He's fresh out of karate class - even though he's only five years old - he's ready to defend his mom against any attacker - using round house kicks, jabs and flying sidekicks if necessary.

I remember how I used to think when I came out of karate class, when I was five or six years old. I felt cocky. I remember in kindergarden actually saying the following to another kid in my class, "I could beat up a grown-up if I had to."

"Me too," said the other kid.

Wednesday

Disrupted Sleep Patterns, Horrible Videos and Steadfast(ly) (absent) Morals: A Rant


It’s 1:00 AM, and there’s no prospect of sleep, so I’m all over the internet. Inevitably I am faced with the prospect of watching some kind of horrible video - a video I know I shouldn’t watch - but which I am compelled to watch because of my terrible curiosity. If I had a dashboard for my morality, I wonder how the dials would read as I watch some of these videos. Would the needles twitch when I actually decide to watch the video and click on the video? As I watch the video, are my morals shifting? Are these videos changing me? Maybe all the gauges are busted on my morality dashboard. What would an amoralist dashboard look like? I just watched a video that made me never want to have kids - never want to subject a teen to the horrors that other teens will inflict. This video is all over the net right now. You probably know what video I'm talking about.

Sorry, no link.

Maybe watching these videos is necessary - bearing witness - maybe it is making me a better person, because it makes me feel such horrendous pity for some of the characters in the endless stream of videos that makes it to the internet. Maybe instead of being desensitized to violence, I’m becoming more sensitized to violence by seeing these horrible videos. Maybe my moral gauges are not moving a single tick - neither up nor down - no matter what I see out there.

All the New Folks Coming Online


I'm so busy trying to keep up with all of the Web 2.0 stuff, a more worthwhile subject to consider might be the growth of the internet in terms of users. You often see estimates in the news - estimates of how many new users will start going online by the year so and so. These estimates boggle my mind. The internet will be a better place because of the sheer numbers of people and the diversity of the people contributing to it, I think, not because of any of the latest widgets or social media. More people means more ideas. A million new people means a million million more ideas.

I started going online in 1998. That's when I set up my first email account at Yahoo (and actually checked it regularly). I started going into chatrooms at that time - the Yahoo Books and Literature chatroom was where I hung out. Very little was said about Books and Literature in there. In fact, you were scorned if you mentioned books. Not exactly educational. I mean - I did learn to type fast.

I'm ten years into my internet addiction. I can't imagine the nonexistence of the internet. When ever I can't find something on the internet, it really surprises and irks me. Surely this is on the all-knowing, all-seeing internet by now.

All the information you could want is out there - or if it's not the right information - it is still much more than you could consume. Hasn't this made us a much more efficient bunch of busy bees? Or has it just made us busier?

Has the internet made us all more capable of stretching our brains around lots and lots of data and know-how? Is the internet making us into better thinkers? ...or just different types of thinkers. Is the type of thinker we are becoming better or worse? Billy and I had a telepathic chat instant message kind of a thing going where we were both bloggin on this kind of stuff.

I hope all the new users of the internet start blogging everything in their lives. I'll read it all. And I'll leave them goofy comments.

Monday

If a huge flood came, I wonder if I could balance on the tip of a light pole. I would build a tree house dwelling on top of the light pole using whatever debris and material floated by. I could fish and eat what I catch, I could eat seaweed. Drinking water would be a problem. I could condense water inside plastic bags and drain the distilled water for drinking. My friends would float by, and I would adorn their bodies with flowers - flowers that I find floating by. Holy books would float by, and I would transcribe the the pages. I would tuck the transcribed pages into the pockets of my friends, and then I’d gently shove their bodies away into the current. I would reach a point in life where I no longer want to occupy these coordinates - on top of this light pole. I would assemble a raft with whatever debris and material floated by. I would step aboard this raft and float away with the current.

Saturday

A Four Item List:

1. I run on a treadmill a lot lately. When I run for real, I get dizzy or disoriented, my head swims. I'm not used to being in motion when I do the act of running.

2. I've had the same dream a few times lately. There's a soccer game coming up, and I'm running late. I can't find my cleats or shorts or something. I miss the game. I can't play. I wake up disappointed. (I'm not even in a league or anything - - and the players are players from my childhood or different pick-up games I've been in over the years)

3. I'm thinking about graffiti hidden in plain sight... like where you figure out what the font is on an existing 'establishment' sign, and then you duplicate the font and make a sticker to put over the sign - with your own message. Or finding stains or smudges in your surroundings that almost look like a face or whatever - in carpets, or on walls or on this or that - and then finding a paint or something that matches the color of the stain and then completing different images in there.

4. At night, I'm just another set of headlights.


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In unrelated news, this is Yellowman at Reggae Sunsplash 1982. I saw him at Sunsplash in nineteen ninety-somethin in Norfolk, VA.



Also, this is Eek A Mouse...saw him a few times.