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Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005, R.I.P.


It goes something like this:
"You probably already know this, but Hunter Thompson died. Killed himself."

I did not know this when the news came via a phone call.

A few minutes later, my kids are still asleep in the back of the car on the way to the grocery store.

The sky is overcast; it is balmy out. A perfect day for the topic of death.

My eyes well up.

"Fuck me," I think.

"Why am I about to weep over the death of a man I've never met?"

I'll tell you why: because after reading Hunter Thompson, he changed the course of my life.


It'd be silly for me to try and put into words what this man meant to me or how his idealogies helped me chart a path through my own twisted life.

I will say this: If you have not read RUM DIARY or FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, go read them.

Now fuck off.

I've got some beer to drink you god damn bastards.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Smell Like Teen Spirit?

Or does it smell like anarchy?

Went to a house party last night in Carrboro - held at the Co-Op House.

Zegota, 1905 and Del Cielo played.

The room was filled with patches and studs, torn t-shirts and tattooes; alternative living at its best I guess. It's always worth a good chuckle to see the conforming non-conformists gather.

Del Cielo was an all-girl three-piece that reminded me of Sleater Kinney because they were all fuzzed out and shrillin'.

I thought 1905 were awesome. Maybe it was the fact that their singer is this tiny girl with one of the loudest, angriest howls. They did the herky jerky punk smattered with breakdowns thing. Different enough to not sound like anybody else (although there was a band name running through my head last night while I watched them but I've since forgotten).

Zegota played last. They rocked the anarcho-crust punk vibe while tossing in some emo (nee screamo). I was there to see them because I work with their singer. Never heard them although I wasn't surprised by their sound because I know Moe their singer fairly well. We always get into discussions on punk rock and music and arts and culture during down time at gigs we cater. It's always good to see the younger generation of punks keeping the flame alive.

God bless house party shows, I tell you. I feel that half of the reason I enjoyed any of these bands was the setting. I don't think it would have translated as well if they were on stage and in a club.

I need to see more house party shows.
I do.

Saturday, 2:45 PM

Yesterday was Saturday.



2:45 pm.

I'm listening to the Mick O'Grady Trio CD that Mike Daily sent me.

Mike Daily is Mick O'Grady.

Mick O'Grady is the protagonist in Mike's forthcoming novel AS IS.

The music is sparse, enough to fill a room but not enough to overpower the words, the verse.

So the Mick O'Grady Trio is the performance vehicle for Daily; reading passages from his novel backed by soundscapes.

On the package that came in the mail, there is a quote:
"If you like listening to the sound of your own voice, does that mean you're an audio-narcissist?"

Track 4 is on. "Los Angeles." Mick is talking about selling his most prized possessions for money. "I keep sellin' books and tradin' in CDs to buy groceries. Henry Miller for macaroni and cheese. Dostoevsky and selected Bukowski for lunch meat. My Sonic Youth discography for meatless patties. I'm not a vegetarian."

At 2:45 pm, Saturday, the phone rings.

It is Mike Daily.

He has memorized passages from his novel in order to perform them.

If listening to the sound of your own voice makes you an audio-narcissist, then what does memorizing the text of your own novel make you?

Wrapped that around your head.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Would You Hit A Woman?

I was channeling surfing recently when I came across an old interview (I believe it was old) of prize fighter George Foreman and the interviewer asked him the question: "Would you hit a woman?"

Typical of knee-jerk journalism to ask such a question. They we're trying to bait him into answering it like he was some sort of animal a la Mike Tyson.

Foreman replied: "I once said I would fight man, woman or child."

Of course the man made a living as a professional boxer and in context it makes perfect sense: He felt so confident about his skills that he would get in the ring with anyone.

That I believe is what he was trying to say.

The interviewer, a woman, asked again: "Would you hit a woman?"

"Yes," said Foreman, "I would hit a woman."


Remember that word.

Today, I almost hit a woman.

I was driving Spencer to school.

Pulled out of the neighborhood onto the main road which leads to his school.

Just as I pulled out a tow truck towing a broken-down recycling truck lurched into the road from the next intersection. I slowed to possibly let him go but with a tattered pickup riding my ass, I decided to keep on going.

I could see the driver of the pickup cursing at me, arms waving, finger pointing, obviously upset that I was suddenly in the way of wherever they were going.

As I made my way up the hill, I pointed to the speed limit sign - that read 35 mph - knowing the driver of the truck was looking at me and continued on down the road glancing at my speedometer and seeing that I was at 40 mph.

So I slowed to 35 mph. You could see the anger on the pickup driver's face.

I turned into the school parking lot.

I saw the pickup truck pass the left turn where it was planning on going and zoom down to the next entrance to the school.

"Aw shit," I thought.

I park the car, walk around to the passenger side where Spencer is and see the pickup truck squeal to a stop in the space next to me.

"What the fuck are you doing?" yells the driver at me.

"Do you have a problem?" I calmly say.

"You pulled out in front of me!" yells the driver. An older woman, short hair, dressed like a man, veins popping on neck.

I size her up as I walk to the driver's side door.

"The speed limit is 35 mph," I say.

"You cut me off!" screams the woman.

"The speed limit is 35 mph," I say again. My hands are on the driver's side door by now; my face almost inside the vehicle.

She makes a move like she is going got unbuckle her seat belt and get out of the car. Moms are pulling in beside us to drop off their kids.

"I suggest you stay in the car," I say. My heart is racing now.

'Fuck you!" she says. Then peels out in the gravel lot and speeds off.

I would have hit that woman had she gotten out of the car and tried to attack me.



Ass Crack

So yesterday I broke the seat of my toilet when I leaned over to grab the roll of teepee giving new meaning to the term "ass crack."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Saved By Devo (Again)

My kids love Devo.

What can I say.

So little almost-2 yr.-old Cole gets to being cranky after dinner,
fights with me take his meds, spits them out all over me and basically does his best at being the Gemini that he is.

He begs for a Little People video but the video doesn't work.

He wants to be held. He feels like shit I know.

I hold him.

The sleeves and shoulders of my shirt are stained with his snot.

I'm about at my whit's end.

He asks for the Wiggles but I returned that DVD earlier today.

I put on Devo... and all is well in the house.

We Are The Chestpains, This Is Our Theme Song

So I take the boys to the doctor this morning after being kept awake for several days by their snotty noses, coughs and general crankiness.

Both boys are diagnosed with minor ear infections.

We discuss meds and inevitably is comes back to allergies and how to handle them. The nurse practioner is big on Albuterol to help the cough. Suddenly you find yourself giving your kid motrin for pain, albuterol for the cough, amoxicillin (that nasty Pepstol Bismol colored shit we all had as kids), and zyrtec for the allergies... it's like they are living in an old folks home I tell you.

Somehow it comes up that I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, my 37th birthday at that.

"Oh but that's for his heart," says my wife when the nurse makes a comment about three boys being sick on Valentine's Day.

"What?" she asks.

"It's a long story..." and without skipping a beat I launch into my whole Sudafed O.D. story.

"And you had chestpains," she says.

"Yes," I say.

Spencer interrupts, "Yeah and now dad has a band called the Chestpains!"

"A little dose of humor goes a long way." I say to the nurse, before turning around and giving a high-five to Spencer.

On the way home inthe car, he starts singing the band's theme song, "We Are The Chestpains/This Is Our Theme Song/Don't Know The Refrain?/Come On And Sing Along..."

Little Cole chimes in with the "whoa, whoas"

Saint George Makes A Request

Seems avid reader St. George was the first to puts dibs in on the soft cover edition of Kem Nunn's THE DOGS OF WINTER (from Saturday February 12 post).

So George it's yours just tell me where to send it.

That is George if you want to give up that thinly disguised veil of being anonymous.

A Monkey Is Born

I worked a post-wedding brunch yesterday (Sunday) at a house in Durham which was full on Cribs-style (if Southern gentrified folks had their own version of Cribs.)

Had to get to the catering company shop by 6:30am.

Woke up very unrested from sleepless kids with sick desires:
"Blow my nose," "I need a drink," "wahhh aah wahh."

I make it to the shop on time but coffee and the morning constitution aren't part of the program.

Because the house is so huge (i.e. VIP customers) we've got the crack staff to handle it. 9 people are working a party for 100.
Two kitchen staffers who prep the food and work the eggs benedict stations, event planner, one lead, and 5 waits of which I am one.

We had to set up tables and chairs around the house.

Some of which involved a flight of stairs 16 steps long.

Midway through the shift one of the co-ed, young girl waits confided in me that she was about to shit herself.

I'm not sure why she told me this other than to get some smypathy. Caterers (and food service blokes for the most part) are a rare breed. Not topic is too taboo.

When the lead wait sat down for a break in the garage and tipped over an ice cooler with wheels, falling back into the bussing area and knocking over the tub of slop (i.e. the liquid of drinks not drunk) and spilling it across the garage floor, there's nary a chuckle. Just a matter-of-fact discussion by those in the room:
"It looked as if it happened in slow motion." After said discussion the collective regroups and continues about the duties of the shift. Someone muttered the adage: "what happens catering, stays in catering."

So I'm not suprised about the shit comment. Everybody probably needed to take a morning dump, myself included, but when working a house party, nobody wants to be the staffer who stinks up the bathroom.

As the shift began to wind down, I noticed the bathroom door ajar and got a whiff of stench.

A few minutes later I saw the co-ed and asked her if she felt better. She chuckled. "I feel like I just gave birth to a monkey," she said.

"That's funny, " I said.
"Because I just saw a monkey running through the house."

This is catering.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


I am tired.

Tired I am.

Thirst For Verse (Slight Return)

When I went to the library the other day, I noticed they were holding their quarterly book sale this weekend.

So after my shower and some coffee, I head off to the sale.
Run into a few book-loving freaks like myself that I know.

Say hello.

Good luck.

Happy hunting.

I'm only sort of half with it from the sleepless night and I don't have the time to do any real serious browsing.

I hit up the basics: poetry, biographies, fiction.

The poetry section is weak and blurred together with drama and classics. I don't see any City Lights Pocket Poetry Series chapbooks (easily identifiable by their size) so I head off to biographies hoping to find a good one by Nick Tosches (on Sonny Liston or Dean Martin specifically) but find no such luck. Browse the fiction. See a Jim Harrision book - Dalva - which I'm convinced I already have in hardback, this one here is soft cover.
So I pass on it.

Oftentimes, I'm so fixated on trying to land a certain score that I end up buying it twice. I've done this with records many times.

I go back to biographies one last time before I leave. Along the way I spot Kem Nunn's THE DOGS OF WINTER which I recently read and it was one of the best books I consumed in quite some time.
I pick it up because it is hardcover and vow to send/give my soft cover copy to someone in the near future.

Back I biographies, I spot one on Kenneth Rexroth - who is one of the grandaddies of San Francisco's epic Beat lit scene - and pick it up.

I had just gotten an email from a friend of mine about how I was a great American poet after he discovered a long lost stash of poems I'd sent him years ago.

He is an archivalist.

He keeps everything.

Ironically, this was on the same day that I felt compelled to go to the library and read poetry. I felt it was my duty to keep the synergy going and take the Nunn and Rexroth books to the checkout.

It cost me $2.

Turns out I don't have DALVA

Sleepless In Carolina

The House Of G was kept awake last night by sickness.

4-yr.old Spencer's coughing and stuffy nose kept him awake.
Beckoning mommy or daddy to his room to blow his nose, get him a drink or give him yum-yums (Simply Stuffy - a children's decongestant).

Roughly 2:45am I awoke to a heartburn induced dry cough attack.

Must have been the nachos consumed while watching that shitty "scary" movie called the VILLAGE. At least it's not scary 45 minutes into and that's when I pulled the plug on it because I kept finding myself looking at the inside of my eyelids.

I've had a scratchy throat since I butchered my voice during Wednesday night's band practice. The makeshift P.A. just isn't cutting it. I'm finding it harder and harder to hear my vocals so I end up yelling more, making me sound like some Baldwin brother for a few days.

So I'm up coughing, drinking juice, sucking on a Ricola and doing just about anything to right the situation.

Drinking dry pilsner beers and toking on a one hitter doing the movie surely did not help.

I retreat to the back room as to not wake those who are trying to get some sleep and snuggle under a blanket with the TV on, volume real low. Finally sleep comes.

Then Spencer waltzes in a says it's time to get up. I drag myself
and the blanket to the family room, turn on the TV for him and lay down. I never looke at the clock. Several shows later I look:
it's only 6:15am.

I deduct I have easily been up since 5am.

It's at this time the wife stirs, feeling edgey and awake from whiskey consumption and allows me to return to bed for sleep.

It seems to take forever to get back to sleep and I even dream about already being asleep and having to wake up.

8:30 am. I'm torn awake by the most amazing leg cramp I've ever had. Not since my days as a bicycle messenger in Los Angeles have I woken up in writhing pain, twisting and turning, rubbing the cramp.

I get up and shower.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Confessions Of A Punk Rock Dad

It's amazing how many people see a man with two kids and think
he's just got them for a day; a couple of hours.

Little comments.

I hear them.

Like today, at the grocery store. I'm picking a few essential items up for dinner: gorgonzola cheese, white wine, beer, peppercorn sauce and Ricola cough drops.

I'm planning on stuffing the filet mignon I got last week when it was on sale with the cheese, and coat it with the peppercorn sauce. Serve it up with rice and steamed broccoli.

In line to check out, almost 2-yr.-old Cole starts fidgeting in my arms. He wants to slide my debit card through the machine. Arms are flailing. Legs whipping. I'm trying to get him to chill out.

Suddenly, an elder gentleman - white beard, balding - holds up Cole's little stuffed horsey, the comfort item he brings everywhere. And says, "Mom would have known what he needed."


Reminds me of the time I saw a woman at the park with her two kids, me with mine. "Must be nice," she said while watching me help Spencer onto the monkey bars. "To have a flexible schedule
that allows you to spend time with your kids."

Best was the time I was at Target, struggling to get the little monkies into their car seats when a mini van pulled up next to me. The woman got out of the driver's seat and slide the van door
open, still watching me wrestle the boys into their seats. She had one toddler and another on the way. "Is today 'Day With Daddy' day?" she asked.

"Everyday is 'Day With Daddy' day," I said.

Thirst For Verse

The sky yesterday was so striking: all Carolina blue and loaded with puffy ice cream coulds.

The kind of thing, I thought, that moves poets to write their verse.

I drove to the library to bury my head in the words of great
poets. But the selection of their collection was weak by my standards.

I sat in my truck looking at the sky, staring at a leaf less tree mulling over the fact that what I saw above me had moved me so much.

It's been over a decade since I wrote a decent poem.
Probably half as long since I had the thirst for verse.

By night's end, I had pulled the brown folder out of my desk drawer, the one marked O.P.P. (other people's poetry) and read the words of impassioned men, tired men, lonely men, drunk men.

I started with Berryman (first name John).
Moved on to Simic (first name Charles).
A little Williams (first name Miller),
some Flint (first name Roland),
and Stokesbury (first name Leon).

and I'm seeing things a little differently today.

Clock Watching

The clock over the sink in my kitchen is stuck.

Stuck on 8:45 am.

Second hand clicks forward, then back.

Jerking like a kid with Tourettes.

My 4-yr.-old Spencer is home sick with a cough.
His younger brother Cole seems to be developing the same
sneeze & wheeze symptoms.

I feel trapped. Stuck like the clock.
Like Bill Murray in GROUNDHOG DAY;
forced to live this moment for eternity.

I'm not going to change the battery just yet.
Let the timelessness of this torture drag on just
a little bit more.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Generic Flipper

Track listing:

1.) Way Of The World
2.) Life
3.) Nothing
4.) Living For The Depression
5.) Sex Bomb

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Let's Talk About The Weather

Refilled my zyrtec prescription.

Couldn't have done it at a better time as the weather has been warm all week.

Which means spring is around the corner.

Spring means pollen.

And pollen is my own little personal hell.

After just a few days of nice weather, my nose has already started to uproar; getting clogged and stuffy.

My 4-yr.old son Spencer feels my pain. He actually already is getting slammed, his first allergy attack of the season has begun. He is stuffy and miserable. Can't get a good night's sleep. Poor cranky little fella.

He takes zyrtec as well. His is liquid form though and he has a few doses left. Looks like I'll be refilling that soon.

He and his mother went to an open house last night at the school up the street where he is going to attend kindergarden in the fall. I can't believe he's gotten so old.

He pee wee soccer league also starts up in a couple of weeks.
Suddenly the schedule gets busy: soccer practice twice a week, games on Saturday mornings, his birthday in March, a possible visit from my sister and family.

This is the calm before the storm

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Kicker? I've Got The Itch

The Itch started this morning.

And, as usual it started out on my head.

Because I've been a bit obsessive about the status of my manhood, I've been neglegent in taking my zrytec. You may remember a previous post (Sunday January 30) where I explained the common symptom of zyrtec withdrawal being hives - or in my case - endless, full-body itching.

I found one tablet left and gulped in down with my breakfast despite the fact that you are suppose to take it at night because it makes you sleepy.

I'm about ten minutes away from trekking down to the CVS pharmacy and get the damn prescription refilled.

Ponder this: piss poor erections, sore balls covered in razor stubble and an insatiable full-body itch.

Your day can't been worse than mine.

Shiver Me Timbers

Okay, so in my previous post I couldn't figire out how to link to the Planned Parenthood site so here are the facts on risks involving vasectomies:

Hydrocels - Swelling containing fluid causes tenderness near the testicles.

Granulum - About as disgusting as it sounds. Sperm can leak from the tubes and cause sperm granulation which can lead to a lump underneath the incision.

In roughly 7 out of 100 cases, some men feel temporary discomfort or pain in the testicles. It is suggested that you take an anti-inflammatory to help.

What they don't tell you is how all of this is going to affect your psyche. For me, the pain in my testicles feels like I'm constantly walking around like I was kicked in the nuts five minutes early. I can deal with the loss of appetite but loss of erection? Try that one on for size.

It isn't that I can't get an erection. Just that keeping the fucker at full mast can be difficult. Having your dick wilt in the middle of a blow job or half way through masturbation is probably one of the biggest mindfucks that can be delivered to a man's brain.

It's only been two weeks but I'm putting in a call to the doctor on this one.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Back To My Balls

I had band practice last night and about two songs into I was thinking, "Man, it kinda hurts my nutsack to sing."

I don't really sing per se - this is a three-piece punk band afterall - but holler or scream (we cover "Beverly Hills" by the Cirle Jerks and "Hall Of Fame" by Government Issue), so I figure maybe my testicular discomfort is from practice, or lifting my shit ass bass amp into the truck of my car.

I'll even consider agressive ball-slapping during sex as an option.

But I made the critical mistake: I went online in search of information.

Go to Planned Parenthood's web site and search for vasectomy
complications... now you know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Starring Ben Affleck

Post date your blog entry
check the balance
is thinking forward forward thinking?

Bottoms Up!

Take that anyway you want to dear reader.


is this like shouting at yourself?

Cold, Starry Night

you see how this could be contagious?

This Is Future Tense

Post date your blog entry
check the balance
is thinking forward forward thinking?

Look At The Clock

Know what time it is?


but you still keep reading.
wait. haven't you read this already?

Eternal Spotless Sunshines Of My Mind

what do you do
when tomorrow becomes today

or is that what do you do
when today becomes tomorrow

Now, what do you say?

I'm LIke A DJ Scratching

There's no reason to my rhymes.
'Cept for finding the time
to time the rhyme

Hairy Knees

I'm channeling memories of '91
living in Glendale, Calif., with 'nother
East Coast'er.
He said: "My knees are hairy...
because I'm always wearing shorts!"

I'm channeling memories of '91
from five minutes ago when I sat down
to pee and looked at my hairless knees,
after I breathed the coldest breath; after I titled
the frothy glass, after I snacked on the tastey snacks.

Confessional Poetry On Blogs Is '05's Pet Rock

And I'm gonna roll up in on the shit.
Don't hate the playa, hate the game, yo!

Sarah Conner?

Post date your blog entry
check the balance
is thinking forward forward thinking?

Don't Question Aquarian Convention

Like Emril Lagasse, I'm turning it up a notch.

Cold, Starry Night

Is on nigh


Breathe in.