After many travails, my second column at Inveterate Media Junkies is now finally online:
Monthly Archives: June 2011
Severe heartbreak. Deaths of old friends. A resurgence of depression. My son outta town for a couple weeks.
And now…drumroll please…cancer scare!
What the fuck, is it sweeps week?
[UPDATE: After the tests, it turned out I was okay.]
Turns out, my digestive trauma/internal bleeding back around the turn of the year, maybe significant. Turns out, dropping twenty pounds in a month and a half and not being able to regain any of it, maybe significant. Turns out, a few warts and an odd bump in my skin, maybe significant. Turns out, uncharacteristically major spikes of stress caused by minor upsets, maybe significant.
So today was day 1 of tests. Friday’s day 2, with a specialist, and this morning the doc pointed me to another specialist who I’ll likely see next week. Today was all about blood. Friday is likely to be a biopsy. And day 3 will probably entail a full-on colonoscopy.
For some reason, I’m tense. And sad. Well…I was already sad. But now, really tense too. It’s hard to focus on anything. I hope to get my writing done today, at least 500 words, but will at least make sure to get my pushup regimen done.
When fighting demons, you gotta stay in shape.
We all know his words of wisdom, right?
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
That’s all well and good if you’re a super-monk toad-midget with a glowy sword, living in an imaginary swamp, created by a man who’s getting closer by the minute to exhausting every good idea he’ll ever have. But in real life, sometimes trying is all we’ve got.
No one is perfect. Not all actions, no matter how resolutely performed, will be successful. The nature of the scientific method is all about trying, trying this and trying that, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t. And life is pretty much the same.
You want to “Do or do not, there is no try?” Then only act on simple things, don’t aspire. Stay in your safety zone.
Trying is good. Trying is noble. If you try and fail, learn from it and keep going. That is wisdom.
My status on Facebook as I wrote this:
is trying, in both senses of the word, but trying not to be trying, so it can be just the one sense from now on.
And Now, A Word From Sesame Street…
Thanks, New York! Time to oil up the ol’ rubber ducky for the honeymoon!!!
I ♥ New York!
Dancing Under An Outlaw Moon
I’ve made a YouTube playlist of most of the Songs of the Week and other music I’ve shared on this blog (89 videos in the list at this writing), and will add new entries as I feature new tunes in the future. Of course you’ll need to find individual posts themselves to see what comments, embarassing overshares, memories, or funny thoughts I originally shared with the various tunes.
The link (which is also in the blog’s sidebar, under “Special Stuff”), is:
“Fireflies” (Song of the Week, 6/20/11)
My depression is rearing to tell me it hasn’t been vanquished for good, but I’m not gonna let it take over things anymore. This Owl City song reminds me of a really happy time, and it makes me hopeful. Plus, it just makes me smile and want to dance.
“Though No Horns Adorn My Head” (A Poem)
Though no horns adorn my head
My spirit points to the moon’s sky.
Though my legs don’t end in hoofs
I walk a cocksure prance ‘cross sacred Earth.
My body is hairy.
I’m a proud-hung young buck.
Behind sharp eyes my soul stalks wild.
Horny As Hell God–
Reviled by fundamental debasers of flesh sacredness–
You still live
I will drink red wine
I will eat bloody venison meat
And I will dance and sing and fuck and live
So that you may be sacred still.
So that I may be sacred still.
So that life will be sacred still.
Spiders Are Wonderful (An Even Better Wack Kids’ Book)
Everyone is all abuzz about Go The Fuck To Sleep, which is pretty funny, especially as read by Nick Fury of SHIELD.
But over on his blog, Dennis Detwiller offers up an even better “alternative children’s book,” Spiders Are Wonderful by Toby Vok. As Dennis rightly puts it, “If I had to describe it, I would perhaps call it a children’s book of existential horror. Toby Vok is a twisted, wonderful man.”
You can read it in its entirety by clicking the image below. Toward the bottom of the page, Vok also graciously offers it up for free in both PDF and epub formats.
The gifted and award-winning novelist Nicola Griffith posted an interesting blog entry about a year ago on the topic of how sex is depicted in fiction. It’s very worth reading. Here’s a bit:
A few years ago I was on a panel with two or three other writers and the talk turned to sex in literature. It turned out everyone on the panel (except me) thought all fictional depictions of people having good sex were ridiculous because sex was never, ever super-awesome and mind blowing. No, they said, sex was comical and self-conscious; sex was fumbling and clumsy; sex was embarrassing. Sex, everyone (except me) agreed, never went right the first time, so why did writers insist on writing as though it did?
I didn’t say much on that panel because I was shocked by the notion that so many people thought and felt this way. I’m older now. I’ve heard this supposition many times. I’m tired of it.
In my experience, sex really is super-awesome and mind blowing. It really is astonishing, transporting, and ecstatic. It really is the closest thing on this earth that we’ll come to swimming in a tide of light and magic. If it’s not that way for you, maybe you’re doing it wrong.
I have to say, my experience reflects Nicola’s; the worst sex I ever had was still fantastic. But I understand not everyone is so fortunate, and some just aren’t that interested.
Hop over and check out her piece, and read through the comments. There’s some interesting discussion.
Pulp Hero Spotlight: Operator # 5
Talking About Death With My Kid
Reading back through old journals, I found this from January 3, 2003:
Nathaniel really moved me this afternoon. He was “predicting” and predicted I’d die when I was 110. I said that sounded just fine to me, that’d be a good long life. He asked how old he’d be when I was 110. I said 78.
He said that’s when he would die, because he didn’t want to live longer than me. I insisted he had to live longer, at least past 100, and that it was natural for a parent to die before his child because the parent is older. He asked when I thought I would die, and I said I had no idea, but I hoped it’d be a long, long time.
He gave me a very close hug.
“Threshold” (A Poem)
Planks solid underfoot
storm and waves and
wind bash and batter
that on which I stand.
looking at stars for guidance.
The dark god
is trying to keep me from
I have yearned toward.
My heart is strong.
I swim like a bastard.
River mouth roaring turbulence
and it seems I’m lost
just as I am saved.
I pray the god of this river
O great flowing god
god of life and motion
O great god,
I ask your mercy
I am on my knees
and I see that in your flow
is wisdom gained
and strength born
if only I swim, and look,
Grant me, o god,
calm shores to salve
and spirits to guide me.
And then were the waters
then, the sky grew blue;
then, the bright sun
burned away darkness,
leaving shadow, plain to see,
but woven into the world of light,
And I am alive.
“If You Ever Did Believe” (Song of the Week 6/13/11)
Song speaks for itself. :)
Prayer In School As It Might Be…
“Our Body” (A Poem) [NSFW]
I hear your heartbeat in my heart
Pushing and pulling and warming my blood.
I feel your breath in my lungs
Filling, gasping me with life.
I taste your mouth in my mouth
Teeth nibbling, tongue slippery-ing me to joy.
I feel skin memory of your lips on me
Sucking me deep
Drinking my seed to your belly.
Your sea brine cream taste won’t leave my tongue.
I am cumulative countless nights deep in your center
Throbbing our heartbeat
Breath-gasping our hot shared air
Mouths mouthing, sliding wet wild
Screaming pounding clawing our voice
Runneling our sweat
Spewing sticky salt our sperm
My sperm. Concentrated me.
I never want(ed) to lose our body. Our love.
Happy Birthday, Les Paul…Have Some Springsteen…
In honor of the birthday of Les Paul, I want to share this singularly fucking incredible video of Bruce Springsteen with Tom Morello, performing “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Not only is it an awesome song and an incredible performance, but there is some ungodly guitar work in this video, especially by Morello.
You’ll want to watch the whole thing, because OH MY GOD.
Then, a vid of the man himself (at 93!!!)…
I’m Back From The Dead, Wish You Were Here…
When I first discovered that depression was pretty much the source of most of my troubles, the reason I hadn’t been able to build the life I wanted, and sought professional help, my MD referred me to a beautiful lady shrink at Emory (let’s call her Susan Silverman, for those in the know, because she would have been perfect). I met with her a couple of times, and she explored my history then referred me to another shrink in the program she thought would work well with me.
One thing she told me before I started working with the other doctor has always stuck with me. Continue reading
On Track: Daily Progress
Last Week (On Track Goes Off Track) Continue reading
A Bend in Reality…
Just had a funny bit of synchronicity.
While dealing with AAA today, trying to resolve a pretty unimpressive history of customer service, I found I was carrying not only my current membership card but last year’s, which is defunct. So I was just now trying to tear it in half to throw it away, folding it repeatedly in the middle, with random music playing through my computer from my iPod (more than 8,000 songs for it to cycle through).
And a song started up by John Andersen. I hadn’t heard this song probably in three or four years, and it pops up. I recognized it but didn’t remember what it was called, and was distracted by trying to tear the card in half. Bending one way, then the other, then back the other way…
And Andersen sang this:
How much more can this poor heart take?
You bend it until it breaks…
And that cracked me up pretty good. Of course, it has some other significance in my life of late which doesn’t really bear laughter…
Below the jump is a good video of the man himself performing the song… Continue reading