Saturday, July 30, 2005
We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.
- RD Laing
this was my google quote of the day. i haven't thought much about laing recently, but i used to soak up his books like crazy back in my college days. i mean my other college days. fifteen years ago. laing is possibly one of my favorite writers on the topic of psychology. he was sort of the one responsible for the whole notion of certain forms of madness (not the clinical term, of course) or psychosis as being a sane response to an insane situation. later on, he lived to regret how far we carried that notion (i.e. attributing many forms of schizophrenia as treatable through deep psychoanalysis sans drugs, etc and in romanticizing psychological afflictions). even that, i'd say, could be in large part due to him. keep in mind, however, that he was living in the age of electroshock therapy. it wasn't windmills he was tilting at. he's also frequently lumped in with gregory bateson in that they were both fierce intellectuals whose notions jived with that of the counterculture at the time. tune in, drop out.
another good laing quote: "life is a sexually transmitted disease."
if you ever see the book knots, i'd recommend that one. also, the divided self. his interviews are classics as he was extremely clever and more than a little combative.
Friday, July 29, 2005
"you don't look like a movie star," she said.
"i got news for you," he said. "movie stars don't look like movie stars. you ever seen brad pitt up close?"
william: why do you wear wedding rings?
me: to show how much we love each other. it's a symbol of our marriage.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
interesting article on the legality of subway searches. i think the big problem people are going to have with this is the "random" part of the searches. the police will either be taken to task for racial profiling (looka, get over here mohammed!) by well-meaning liberal groups or they'll inadvertantly search an 87-year-old grandmother in order to avoid such accusations, thereby invoking the rage of the dittoheads. i bet this lasts for a month or two and goes away if there aren't any more subway attacks.
also, won't the terrorists just change tactics? i mean, what's to stop them from walking into macy's and blowing that up? esp. since they now know that a) cops are randomly searching bags on subways and b) they can refuse to ride (i.e. their refusal to ride won't get them caught). i just get the feeling that this sort of thinking leads to road blocking the entire united states. oh, so they'll blow up a target? nobody goes into a target without a bag check! (reminds me of scene from the jerk. it's the cans! he hates these cans!)
Friday, July 22, 2005
faith lutheran's summer youth program had its 2nd annual film premiere today. for the past two summers the kids in the program have made a movie as part of summer camp. this year it was a musical, Live from Jericho. thomas played the role of a beleaguered tv news producer. he hammed it up quite a bit and stole the show with his delivery. i am biased, but this seemed to be the general consensus. there were probably sixty-eighty people in the audience and they applauded loudest for thomas in the closing credits. "he's such a natural," the director told me afterwards. "he had me laughing constantly." it's often hard to imagine your kid in other's eyes. thomas cracks me up inadvertantly, but generally not when he's trying to be funny. i don't mean this in a mean way. parents often tire of the things other people find charming in their kids. "yeah," you want to say, "he's a laugh riot." but here he was, doing his shtick for the crowd and shining. he even mc'd the event, opening up with some classic bill cosby..."ladies and germs, welcome..." i have to be honest. i was smiling through and through.
video games are rotting our children's brains and causing them to kill each other and themselves in record number!
bullshit. well, at least the violence part. you could argue their brains come pre-rotted.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
i don't say hello anymore
i have a bookmark that thomas made me. one side reads "don't read this page." the other side says "read this page." i get a little confused about which side goes with which page in the book i'm reading.
Old Diet Coke + Splenda = New Diet Coke = Coke Zero – Splenda + Aspertame/Ace-K Combo = Old Diet Coke. i think.
we went to see chili cold blood (jesus' comin'...i'm the fuck you up man) at the poodle dog lounge this past weekend. i ran into a parent of one of thomas' classmates. he told me the poodle dog was a pretty rough bar back in the day. "how rough?" i said. "a friend of mine got stabbed in the throat," he said. "ouch," i said. "yeah, well, he deserved it."
william can't go to sleep these days without an ice pack. he puts it on his head or his foot. "do you have a headache?" i ask him. "no," he says. "it just feels good." thomas says he's crazy. "he needs an ice pack to fall asleep!" it's no different than a security blanket i tell them, but neither of them know what that is. they didn't suck their thumbs or hold on to anything for too long. me, i had a blanket until i was six or seven. i sucked my thumb through a big gap in my teeth and my mom read to me until at least fifth grade. lonanne would roll her eyes. "and we all know how you turned out." needless to say, what's an ice pack here or there?
i have no interest in seeing charlie and the chocolate factory. in fact, i'm actually opposed to the whole concept of it. i realize perfectly sane people will plunk down good money, that their beautiful children will lap up the special effects and the goofy sadism inherent in the plot. they will say things like "it's a different kind of movie" and "johnny depp is really good!" which, i suppose, is what people say when they're trying to convince you of something. it's also what i seem to hear about every other movie. let me help you. i won't be convinced. there's nothing about the original movie i don't love. gene wilder is brilliant. his eyes literally shine with mischief and mayhem. even what some find corny or cheeseball works for me. charlie. grandpa joe. all perfectly cast, all marveling inside their universe. i also never fail to tear up at the end when wonka whispers "so shines a good deed in a weary world." jesus, i'm tearing up right now. so goddamn tim burton and his contrived bastardizations. goddamn him for planet of the apes (seriously, planet of the apes should be enough). goddamn him for all the batman movies. yeah, even the first one. goddamn him for big fish and making poor albert finney a cliche. and, yes, now, goddamn him for this excreble blasphemy.
the lead singer of a thrash metal band threw a beer can at my head while i was standing in a mosh pit at emo's. then a big girl with a tattoo that covered her entire back elbowed me in the ribs. i wiped the beer off my forehead and pushed her into another big girl. they both looked at me and laughed. it wasn't unlike the look a cute puppy might get. later we walked outside and saw the owner of the bar. "adult daycare," he said, laughing, but not really. despite all this or perhaps because of it, thrash metal can be strangely uplifting.
willie nelson finally has that reggae album out. i've listened to it a few times and thought about it quite a bit, but i still don't have anything meaningful to say on the topic.
my dad calls me accidentally on his cell phone. sometimes twice a day. he doesn't realize he's done it. "hello?" i say. nothing. the sound of air whooshing. sometimes i hear him talking to himself or to someone else. maybe he's pressed up against it in his pocket. i listen for much longer than i should, hoping to hear what i don't know. he's making dinner or he's driving to the store. a trunk slams. "dammit," he says. i feel like a weird sort of peeping Tom. "hello?" i yell. but, he never hears me. i don't know how much all this dead air is costing me, but i've become strangely addicted to it. i don't even say "hello" anymore.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
list of over 100 quick and easy healthy foods. i'm actually a big fan of granola and fruit. and garlic. lots of garlic. alas, i balance this out with sparks beer and hot dogs.
ok, so seriously, this was the most depressing story of the week.
note: i heard this story driving to work this past week, but then was reminded of it when i was visiting taylor and brooke's blog (added link on left, finally).
40 things that only happen in movies.
Friday, July 15, 2005
i can safely say this is the most depressing thing i've read all week. say it ain't so.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
does the term "shitfuck?"
muslim scholar says killing civilians actually A-OK.
"The term 'civilians' does not exist in Islamic religious law," said Hani Al-Siba'i, head of the Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies in London.
he goes on to blame zionist americans. but, the important thing to remember is the terrorists are fighting us b/c we are fighting them.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
william has a movie idea.
"what is it?" i ask him.
"where the men run and the women are cheetahs," he tells me.
"is that the title?"
"i think it should be where the people run from the cheetahs who are chasing them," says thomas. "because, not all the cheetahs are women, right? and the people running should be different kinds of people. and you've got to say who is chasing them. the cheetahs are chasing them."
"thomas!" william whines. "it's my movie."
things i neglected to mention
sometimes i feel like i'll be found out to be a fraud at work. i regularly prepare my post-layoff letter to the ceo. some people call this "imposter's syndrome." i find this translates into just about every area of my life. i'm not really a writer. not really a father. not really a son. i'm a reed. a memory.
i regularly fall asleep during movies.
i drink too much coffee.
i have chronic back pain from an accident that happened roughly six years ago. i was out at the barn in salado and i picked up a barrel filled with concrete. bill was there. i'd heard people describe their backs going out, but i didn't realize how apt the "going out" part was. my back felt like it had disappeared. i lay down on the ground like a baby, fetus-like. now i take aspirin every day and forget to do back exercises. i'm only comfortable laying on a flat surface with my legs raised up on pillows.
i'm vain about my teeth. i buy white strips, but don't finish the schedule. i buy whitening gum, toothpaste, mouthwash. i have memories of my grandmother's teeth, yellow from coffee and cigarettes. i see my mom's teeth on her death bed, stained from iced tea and diet cokes. her mouth is open and i can smell her breath. i'm swabbing that little mint foam tip around in her mouth, trying to get it through her clenched teeth. i can't get teeth out of my head.
very little beats riding downhill on a bike. now, thomas has decided he doesn't like the weekend bicycle club. i beg him to revive it. "why can't i beg you, but you can beg me?" he asks like a magistrate. like an adult.
i've wanted a new bed for roughly ten years.
i spend money like my dad did when i was a kid. stingy on most days or forgetful, but then in quick bursts of generosity, as if to make up for everything. i buy lunch. or crap at target. or a round of drinks. i take the family to fiesta texas and buy crap, crap, crap. on the one hand, these are memories, i think. on the other hand, these are consumerist tendencies.
i don't remember any of my dreams.
i check the closets and showers and under the bed when we come home from a trip. i double, triple check the locks on the doors. i think of that damn btk killer and how he hid under the beds and in closets, letting himself into people's houses when they weren't there. i have a recurring vision of a thief bursting into the back door as i close it, knocking me over. well, that's it, i think.
i can't stand to see pictures of myself. or hear my voice.
our cat left. or somebody picked her up. we put up flyers around the neighborhood, but still no word. i think she's gone for good this time.
i mean to go to church. i mean for us to go to church. i'm not only having to convince myself, but lonanne as well. she barely sees a point. she asked God to protect her family and look at what that got her. why go to church to learn that shit happens? because there's love, i tell her. because there's something to it. because we see as if through a glass darkly. because the rationalist/scientific model doesn't account for everything. because, at the end of the day, God isn't through with us, nor us with him. but these are just good intentions. not even good intentions. half-formed intentions. i'm continually surprised i haven't been spit out yet.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
is africa choking on aid money?
i'm not sure, but i do like bush's proposal (and challenge) to the EU countries. drop the farming subsidies and let africa compete globally.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
wayne is the new shatner
we went to see the fireworks in round rock yesterday. we were attempting to split the difference btwn. austin and salado for shirley's sake. i thought we had the better end of the deal until william puked his tiny guts out as we were leaving. no family outing seems to pass without a member of the family throwing up. usually it's thomas, but he seems to be holding his ice cream and heat fairly well these days. right before the fireworks, they played a track with a man reciting an overwrought, patriotic poem. the voice sounded familiar, but i couldn't quite place it. "it's john wayne," lonanne said. turns out she was right. he apparently put out a whole album of spoken-word tracks back in 1973 and they were (big shock) digitally remastered and re-released following 9/11. good stuff. what's next? a re-compilation of inspiring john wayne movie speeches set to hans zimmer synth tracks? or does this not quite match shatner for kitsch quality? perhaps it is, in fact, too plain and honest to capture the ironists' imagination.