trick or treat

Ahhh… the day of the party is at hand. Happy Halloween all! As you can see, blog got all up in the festive mood also. Go blog.

Heard a band on 3wk yesterday that piqued my interest, so I looked ’em up with the trusty Google. They are called The Potomac Accord. I have no idea if the name refers to an actual event in history (forgive my ignorance). The music is what Sharaun calls “the stuff you listen to that makes me wanna kill myself.” Yeah well, I do kinda dig that dragging, minimalist, hushed/sad sound sometimes; plus they play the quiet-loud-quiet card really well, and I am a big fan of that. I’d maybe put them on a comp with Kepler, Early Day Miners, Low, Mogwai, Godspeed, A Silver Mt. Zion, etc. Hmm… describing that imaginary comp makes me wanna actually put it together. They have some mp3s on their site, which I downloaded and have been listening to a lot. Who knows, I may break down and order the disc. Check ’em out for an idea of the post-rock (whatever) “sound” I’m talking about.

I don’t think it’s strange that I put whatever I want on the blog. I’m not worried about who sees what or what impact it might have on whomever. I’m not concerned about people reading the blog and thinking I’m crazy. Yeah I write it for an audience, but I also write it for the hell of it. I would write it if people didn’t read it, I’ve been doing it for years – just not online. I’ve got 500 pages of shit that’s not online, and this is jolly #60 of the stuff that is online. So all you blog haters, take note of my cool and aloof rebel attitude – and don’t step to me… we clear?

Wouldn’t it be cool if people dressed up as you for Halloween? I guess when you see a you costume in the Halloween shops, it’s just another sign that you’ve “made it.” I think a Dave costume would be fly.

Dave out. Party on.

first times

i don't know why i write these
Still sick it would seem. I feel now like it’s not as debilitating, but tiring; and I’m tired of it. I really don’t want to feel sub-par for the shindig tomorrow night, but it looks like I just can’t shake this bug. Bummer.

Sometime mid-week, Ben reminded me that we have the Modest Mouse / Shins show this Sunday night. Shortly after, he found out that all three shows are completely sold out. I dunno, but finding out that three consecutive nights at the Fillmore were sold out immediately increases the value of that concert’s stock to me. Where before I was excited to go, now I’m really geared up. I’m hoping for a great show – I’m always impressed with the sound in the Fillmore, it’s a great place to hear live music.

The temperature is dropping and that makes my brain go all “Fall.” The grey-skied, cold and windy days that I love so much. I guess they remind me of being a kid in Lompoc, learning songs about pilgrims and stuff. The end of the year was always my favorite. The holiday trifecta, my birthday, the weather, everything.

Mom, close your eyes.

In 1992 I was dating this girl who lived about 40min from me. I was a brand new driver, so I would go visit her a lot. I had worked for a summer at Sea World, making turkey sandwiches for tourists – and was rewarded with two free passes to Disney World. One Saturday we used the free passes, went to Disney, and then came home to her place. Her parents weren’t home. I remember we started watching Radio Flyer on HBO. Making out in the living room, we decided to retire to her bedroom to seal the deal. The first time for each of us, it of course sucked. The year-old condom I had kept in my wallet broke after about 5min, I woulda been safer sheathing Excalibur in cling-wrap. I remember she was wearing black underwear. We “did it” a couple more times over the next month, and then broke up. Ahhh… young love… so meaningful.

I’m Dave. I played the best rat of ’em all in the Clarence Ruth Elementary School stage production of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.” I’m out.

a thing for folding

It's a $20, I swear...
I’m pretty sure I have what Freud referred to as an “oral fixation.” Wait, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Despite what a Google search turns up on the term (porn rules the internet, it would seem), a latent (or adulthood) oral fixation manifests mostly in things like nailbiting, smoking, chewing on junk, etc. Man do I have that. I gnaw on everything. Straws, plastic bottle caps, my own cheek, etc. I don’t typically chew on pen caps, and I don’t bite my nails. I’m more like a goat, just munching on whatever happens to be around. Yesterday Wes came in my cube and asked what I was chewing on… and I wasn’t really shocked when I said “I dunno… I found it on my desk.”

I also have a thing with folding and/or crumpling. If there’s a piece of paper, or any foldable material for that matter, in my hand – I’ll subconsciously fold and crumple it. I do it with stuff that I shouldn’t too, like balling up a receipt while I’m standing in line to return the item that I got it for. I usually only realize what I’m doing when I look down at it. As a kid, I remember being fascinated by repeatedly crumpling and smoothing paper until it had the consistency of cotton. Jeez, maybe my dad was right… maybe I am crazy.

Frank wrote me again, and said he would be doing the gas chamber on what was this past Monday. Man, that must suck. Glad I’m not brave enough, or called by some crazy sense of duty, to go into the Army. No, really, I’m quite proud of him. He and Angela are planning to get married sometime around Christmas, so strange to think of my bro being married. What are those kids gonna be like?

This is the 58th blog entry I’ve done. I don’t think I’ve missed a day yet (not counting weekends). That’s insane.

Dave out.

what doesn’t make the cut

it's like my water...
Still sick, altho possibly on the mend today. TheraFlu comes correct with mediciny goodness, making me feel much better. Fixed the sprinkler yesterday… dug it up and re-piped the whole thing. I couldn’t have broke it better had I been aiming with the assistance of ground-penetrating sonar. I ended up smashing right through a 3/4″-1/2″-1/2″ T joint which connected two different pipe sizes and a sprinkler head. I had to replace the whole junction… ugh. Glad that’s done.

It’s crazy what kinda stuff your brain commits to memory, and what stuff doesn’t make the cut. For instance, I can recall the lyrics to what must be hundreds of random songs… … I brought you a crate of papaya, They waited all night by your door… – but I have trouble remembering stuff I went in debt to learn. I can remember where the 5th Tri-Force was in the Kingdom of Hyrule, as well as how to knock out Don Flamenco and King Hippo in under 30sec – but I can’t for the life of me remember how to balance a chemical equation… and I took exams on that shit. Wanna know how to make Mario get crown-triangle lives by hopping on a turtle shell?, I got ya. What’s that? You say you’re interested in a word-for-word retelling of the “foot massage” scene from Pulp Fiction? I’m your man. You want to know what? No, I’m sorry – I forget exactly where Kentucky is on the map… I’d need a book for that.

It’s like Laplace Transform goes into my brain, attempts to take up residence, and Don Flamenco says “Sorry, me and King Hippo got this space reserved; you might wanna try moving in next door to ‘up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-select-start’ or that 6th grade gym locker combination over there.” Poor Laplace, seems like all my available brain space is taken up by completely useless knowledge.

Friday’s party is creepin’ up slow. Ended up reserving a keg o’ Honey Beer from Beermann’s for the soiree. Should be a good time. Expect pictures from the goings-on sometime early next week.

Dave out.

thank you mr. axworthy

cough cough sneeze sniffle
I’m sick. I feel crappy. So today, you get a break from the 3-page blogs while I rest.

I put my old camera up on Ebay, hopefully I can make some cash. I didn’t get to work on the yard or the Halloween stuff much this weekend. I did have to repair the FCG on Sunday, because the blacklight fell from where we mounted it – and was swinging by it’s cord. I also finished a few tombstones and set them in the ground on Sunday, while I had a bout of feeling well. Equally as rad, I discovered Sunday night that while securing the graveyard fence in the front yard, I had managed to pound a piece of rebar through a sprinkler pipe. So, today I have to repair that so I can get the lawn watered again. Not a very productive weekend.

Oh yeah, speaking of the crank ghost – I took some video last night so you can see just how awesome this thing looks. Remember, the final effect includes a haze of fog that obscures the ghost. I didn’t have the fog running for the video, but I still think it’s pretty impressive. Judge for yourself below:

FCG movie for broadband users.
FCG movie for dialup users.

I think it looks pretty good! Hope ya liked it, I’ll have more pictures of Halloween night sometime next week. Everyone’s costumes are sounding really awesome, so there should be some good snapshots of the whole affair. Oh yeah, more blog stuff in the news… see, I’m not that crazy…

Dave out.

your bathrobe smells like assault

so I did do some growin' up here...
For some reason, the “blog_ideas.txt” file is blowing up. I’ve got a queue of items I want to write about, but this entry doesn’t contain a single one. Seems I’ve caught onto the “blog craze” or something. Steve said he’s afraid that the blog is starting to take over my life… I hope not. But I do enjoy writing it.

I went through a phase in college where I started writing one-paragraph “memory” things. I would try and write down a memory I had from when I was younger. I wrote these down on September 1st, 1997. It’s really freaky to me how many details that I’ve forgotten between now and when I actually wrote these down. The story about giving the bird to the retarded kid… I had completely forgotten that until I just read it. In the six years since 1997, it was effectively erased from my mind. Maybe I should keep writing things down… lest I lose ’em all one day. Anyway, for your enjoyment (maybe), here are some of ’em.

Some reference for these stories. From about 1st grade on, my family lived in Lompoc, California, at 613 North Y Street. Looking at that map, my house was on that street with the little red pin. The big tree-lined property almost directly underneath that was my school (yeah, I had a long walk). The fields to the north and east of the picture were our playgrounds for dirt clod wars, the big empty looking lot to the right is a church where we would make “tunnels” in the long grass out back. Now on to the stories:

I used to have this fantasy back when I was in fifth grade. There was this kid named Joe who I didn’t like because he was going out with Kristina. I remember thinking that it would be so cool if I could walk upside down on the roof. Like on the walkways around school. I thought about hitting Joe in the head and him not being able to reach me. I thought that everyone would think I was so cool if I could walk on the ceiling. I guess it’s kind of dumb now – but man it sounded so good back then.

We had this huge cardboard box like from a new fridge or something, and we put it in the backyard and climbed inside of it. We drew with markers all on the inside to make it look like a spaceship. It was supposed to be the Millennium Falcon. We put blankets down and drew fake windows with stars and planets in them. We would take those little cheese and cracker things and go inside and eat them on our way to Mars. One day the spaceship got hit by a meteor while my friend Shawn and I were in it. We started cussing and swearing at controls and beating on them. We used lots of bad words like they do in the movies when things break. The box was right under my mom’s bedroom window and she heard us cussing. That night I got in big trouble, and I had to get rid of the spaceship.

We used to have to go to this kid Jason’s house after school because mom and dad were at work. We would walk through the alley behind my house and through the fields to get there. One day I found a book in the alley, it was a very pornographic romance novel. No pictures though, just big words and lots of smut. I wish I could remember the name, something to do with a boat – like “Anchors Away” or something. We hid it way out in the field (we walked that vertical dirt farm road on the left to get from school to Jason’s) under a bunch of dirt clods and we would tear out a new page every day to read on the way to Jason’s house. There were about ten of us that Jason’s mom watched. And one girl told her mom about the pages, I had to go out in the field the next day and bring back the book for my mom to tear up. I got in trouble for that.

We would go over to Jonnie’s house across the street. His sister was in fourth grade and I was in fifth. We were gonna go kiss in the backyard. She said her mom and dad were in the bedroom “humping.” We started rolling around and looking at each other. Like some real movie love scene. Then her dad called all the kids to come in, I had to leave out the gate – no kiss.

There was this Asian family next door to Jonnie’s house and they had a kid who was retarded I think, he didn’t go to school and I think maybe he was in a wheelchair, or couldn’t move or something. All day long they would set him in front of these big sliding glass doors and he would just sit and stare outside. He had really short hair and we always looked at him. He would try to say things to us when the door was open, but he talked funny and you couldn’t understand him. It was all mumbled. I think he must have probably had cerebral palsy or something that I didn’t understand. He was trying to talk to us, and Jonnie’s sister Tina said he was calling me names, she said she could understand what he was saying and that he was calling me mean names. I got mad and gave him the finger, not really even sure what it meant I’m sure. His mother saw me. They told my parents. I cried and said that they made it all up, I cried so hard and so long that my parents believed me. I lied about it so many times that night that I almost believed I didn’t do it either. I said “Why would they make that up about me dad? Why?” I learned then that if you can make yourself believe your own lies, you can make anyone believe them. Probably not the life lessons my parents wanted me to learn. I wonder who that kid was, and what was wrong with him. I hope he didn’t know what I was doing.

It was about a week and a half before Christmas I’d say. My whole family packed into the station wagon and went to get our tree from the lot downtown. We picked out a really big one, we weren’t sure it would fit in our living room. When we got home my dad and I started pulling the tree out of the back of the station wagon, it was already hanging out a little because we couldn’t fit it all in. I remember having jackets on because it was kinda cold. Mom and John had gone inside and John was in the bathroom. My mom came back out the door to help us, we hadn’t quite got the tree out of the back yet. Then I heard a woman screaming for help. There was a new couple that moved in across the street only a few months ago. I looked over and there was this lady running out of the house with only bra and underwear on, she was kinda fat. She was screaming for help, and “he’ll kill me, he’s trying to kill me.” She ran straight for our driveway. My dad and I stared as she ran past us to my mom. We didn’t know her very well, but I remember when she ran past that she had all these big ugly bruises on her legs and back. Then we all went in the house and my mom had given her her bathrobe to wear. My mom called the police for her. After a while she went back across the street. After that my mom’s bathrobe smelled just like that lady. I told her a hated that smell, that it made me sad – it reminded me of that lady. She washed it but I swore I could still smell that lady. Finally she threw the bathrobe out and got a new one. I had never seen anything like that before.

I think James Kokobaker smoked pot in the fifth grade. He thought he was so cool. He went out with Kristina. I hated him, he lived across the railroad tracks from me. One day he asked me to come to his house after school. He was much bigger than me and I thought he wanted to fight me. But for some reason I went anyway. We went inside and played Olympic Skiing on his dad’s computer. I had a great time, and from then on he and I were friends.

Ryan Lopez was sort of weird, but I liked hanging out at his house ’cause it was right next to the park and had a great alley to ride bikes in. His parents were never home. They were always somewhere. He had a big brother that he idolized, he had been in the army and he played guitar and rode a motorcycle. He was really cool. He would tell us ghost stories and give us advice. When he wasn’t home we would go in his room and sit and talk, we thought he was the coolest. Ryan and I used to spray WD-40 on the fence in his backyard and light it on fire. We would draw pictures with the fire, like peace signs, smiley faces, and bad words. I used to have a pretty good time there. But we stopped hanging out that much when I met Shaine. Shaine and I got pretty popular and I guess I kind of ditched Ryan. I used to see him running around the playground while Shaine and I swung on our swings. They played Voltron, and we even sometimes made fun of them. It had been about two years since I’d even talked to Ryan. I was in fifth grade and I was looking outside my living room window. I saw Ryan riding his bike down my street, which was a long way from his house. I remember wondering what he was doing so far away from home, and almost at dinner time too. I went outside and called his name. He saw me and started to pedal faster and went right by me like he didn’t know me. He was wearing his brother’s black wind-breaker jacket with his brother’s name on the back.. He totally ignored me. I remember being mad. I went back inside. The next day I looked for him at school to ask him why he ignored me. When I asked Kristina where Ryan was, she told me. She said that his brother got in an accident on his motorcycle last night, he was dead. I felt sad for Ryan, and bad that I hadn’t talked to him in so long. Maybe he would’ve stopped and talked to me about it. He really loved that guy.

They asked me if I wanted to take the “gifted test.” I was in third grade. I had to put a puzzle together and look at some pictures and tell them things. I don’t remember it being too hard. They told my parents that I was gifted. They said a I could go to this all new gifted school next year. The school was far away and I had to take a bus to get there. All my friends were at my old school. The only person I knew at the new school was Ryan Lopez. He introduced me to his friends Sky and Blue. The swings sucked there, and the classes were weird too. I started to miss all my friends. I told my mom I didn’t like it. I got to go back to my old school in about a week, I was very happy that I wasn’t gifted anymore.

I got my new digital camera yesterday, man it is so awesome. I think I’m gonna sell the old one on Ebay, maybe make some cash. Oh, and even tho I typically don’t like Guided By Voices, I am really digging this song lately… just thought you’d wanna know that.

Dave out.

ego death

sorry, this whole entry should be enclosed in those <begin tanget></end tanget> thangs...
OK, I’m gonna go ahead and get the crazy-talk out of the way before I move on to more regular blog ramblings. Prepare for a full-on URL linkfest, you could read for hours on the links I’m giving you here… For those who want only blog-style goings-on, fast forward a few paragraphs and read the bottom junk. Thanks.

At various times in the past 4 or 5 years, I have been intrigued by the idea of so-called “ego death.” Unlike some of the ideas that get stuck in my brain, I can actually pinpoint how my thoughts were directed to such a seemingly obscure subject:

It all started with an interest in classic alchemy. Spurred, believe it or not, by a Smashing Pumpkins album several years back. Alchemy is the process whereby early “chemists” tried to change (“transmute”) base metals into gold. I read a lot about the processes and ideas of these early chemist-cum-get-rich-quick folks, and was fascinated. Some of the theories and ideas put forth by people like Hermes and Paracelsus just sucked me in and and made me want to learn more (and vintage alchemical imagery is just engrossing to me for some reason). From there, I got interested in “spiritual alchemy,” which led to reading a bit of Jung’s thoughts on it. “Spiritual” alchemy is just the appliance of classic alchemic ideas to the spiritual: the belief that a “base” human can be transformed into a more spiritual being (gold) through a series of transmutations, or refining steps. Somewhere in there I got tangled up with the origins of religion as we know it, which led to some interesting entheobotany research. I read up on that for a while. Including one book which purports (among other things) that the manna that God’s children survived on while lost in the desert was actually psychedelic mushrooms, and that the origins of Christianity were born out of an altered-consciousness “hoax.” It’s a super interesting read, if you’re daring enough to wade through it. (Here’s the Christian refuting for equal-time’s sake.)

Anyway, the entheobotany stuff somehow morphed into an interest in all kinds of Gnostic materials. But before the Gnostic phase, I somehow came across the writings of Terrence McKenna. McKenna is a kind of modern-day Tim Leary, a “pioneer” in the use and “study” of pyschoreactive substances (LSD, mushrooms, plants, etc.). I was reading McKenna when I first heard the term “ego death” or “ego loss,” which in his case was in reference to a psychedelic experience. He himself only accomplished it through the use of psychedelic mushrooms. I don’t know if I want to go eating caps to gain a greater spiritual understanding of my place in the universe, but the ego death thing sure does sound intriguing. From a website:

“It is an ecstatic state, characterized by the loss of boundaries between the subject and the objective world, with ensuing feelings of unity with other people, nature, the entire Universe, and God.”

Sounds kinda awesome. Losing your sense of self or something. Anyway, if anyone knows of some non-drug-taking way to achieve it, let me know. And now that I’ve managed to demonstrate my insanity – I’ll change subjects.

Wanna see how I got three free months of cable and internet and a personal phone call from AT&T Broadband’s VP of customer support? If my dad taught me anything, it’s that you gotta write letters when you’re pissed. It’s an old letter, but I found it while cleaning out my “My Documents” the other day, and thought it was kinda funny.

Dave out.