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Out On a Lim (3.27.08 - 6.12.08) >>
(6.13.08)

They say whiskey will kill ya, but I don't think it will

                                                                      -Bob Dylan

If my ears've been suffering delusions of grandeur, I would swear that on more than one occasion, I've heard that I've been called a "genius", whether done so as a joke or as a sarcastic excuse for a "compliment", by friends, family, acquaintances of acquaintances, and complete strangers, in regards to some facet of my fleeting life.  I pretend to ignore it, although, obviously, I've got vague memories of several possible examples of fragments of that figment of speech in my imagination--nothing worth recounting.  Although, I will say that I've never felt so pleasantly manipulated as when Delia, passing my name under her breath, called me a "genius".

I don't know...

Maybe I hit the event horizon whereby I relinquish myself to her bread crumbs, her tongue twisters, and her bending over chairs to pick up tacks off the floor.  But I suppose such moments happen without realizing that it has occurred.  Or is reality the lack of accessing my imagination as I'm seeing the chromatic reflections in the gravitational lensing of the sparkles in her shirt?

My former drug dealer and his coworker went to a rare public screening of
Eat the Document (the last time it was shown in LA, according to the presenter, was a decade ago).       

Picture a packed audience of Dylan fans...

Penelope Spheeris (director of
Wayne's World) gave a guest talk after the movie.  I noticed at least three cute chicks--the shiney orange skirted one, the one in the tight white dress, and Dylan's former assistant.  Mickey Jones (Dylan's drummer in the film) gave a lot of insight during the Q&A session.  My former drug dealer's coworker asked the question "What happened to the footage of Dylan and Lennon in the cab?"  And there was some kid who had Dylanesque hair who wondered about poodles.

Today, I unwrapped a CD of Indian slide guitar music (
Calcultta Chronicles by Debashish Bhattacharya).  I routed it to the Ethnomusicology Archive, but copied and uploaded it into my Puffy Walkman.  Some of it reminds me of eating basmati rice in Hawaii, even though I've never done so.

When I returned home from the screening, I found a message on my answering machine from a couple asking me if I'd like to housesit for them in July.  I rewound the recording to rehear their phone number--I think I'll call them tomorrow.  Cause I believe I'll take a real vacation from OUT ON A LIM, relax in a nice house, play my guitar as loud as I want all thru the night, and be the idiot that I truly am.
 
(6.16.08)

I've never had a gun pointed at me.  Until tonight...

My shower was flooding.  I noticed that the normal amount of my accumulated hair wasn't getting caught in the drain as of late.  And sure enough, today, the clog caught up with whatever was building up in there--a puddle of milky water was making itself at home in my basin.  So I fed it a half bottle of bleach as I got comfy and watched the latest of
The 4400 episodes that'd arrived in the mail.

The show is cool, albeit without the cultural panache that shows like
Heroes has amassed, even though there seems to be parallels--mysterious abilities amongst a cast of seemingly random characters.  But I do like the concept of the "ripple effect" whereby something singularily "bad" happens to triggers "good" things in general.

Vanessa joked that I never visit her at the circulation desk unless Lucy is there.  I tried to explain to her that I saw her yesterday at her place of employment without Lucy, with proof of the topic of conversation we had--the paintings of Miles Davis and the nationalist/feminist themes of Bjork.  But Lucy didn't help matters.

"Your secretly in love with me," she boggled her eyes.

"Yeah," I rolled my eyes.  And truthfully, I couldn't fake my body language as I waited for 4 o'clock when Delia said she was gonna return.

After the first two of
The 4400 episodes, my shower still was flooded.  I poured another quarter of bleach as I watched a trippy episode--it was about an alternate reality where life for a character seemed too perfect for eight years.

Delia returned when she said she would.  And I gotta say, I really enjoy the non sequiturs that she spews--we discussed warts, her silver heart shaped watch, job offers that she's considering, and the opera that was playing tonight.

I nearly finished the bottte of bleach after the last of the four second season episodes of
The 4400 finished.  I selected Radiohead's In Rainbows as I headed to the mailbox to return the DVD and my nightly walk.

Reading between the lines, I'm assuming that Delia was asking, without obviously doing so, if I wanted to see the opera with her tonight.  Had I gone, maybe I wouldn't've stared down the barrel of a gun...

Sadly, the last thing I heard on my Puffy Walkman was Radiohead's "Nude".

Vanessa and Lucy got in a discussion about "popular" vs. "classical" music.  My eyes were so far wound up into my sockets that I couldn't see beyond the backgrounds of the windows of the library.  I became social awkward during the conversation.

"I like your shirt," Sumner commented on my t-shirt as I tried to decipher her's.

"It's a philosophy joke," she explained as I made the universal sign for "it went over my head".

"Are you serene?' Lucy mocked.

"I guess," I guessed.

Cynthia wore the prettiest dress
With different color socks
Sometimes I wondered if the mates where in her lunchbox
Me and Lucy opened it when Cynthia wasn't around
Lucy cried
I almost died
U know what we found?

                               -Prince

Emily's "I can't casually listen to music" rang in my ears when the hooded crook shook his pistol at my face during my nightly walk.  It seemed like another usual excursion, except when he appeared rounding a corner.  My initial reaction was "Wow, that guy looks like the stereotypical Death," with his cloaked face and implement of killing.  And sure enough, he pointed his gun at my eyes, asking me to give him everything that I got.

"I've got nothing," I raised my hands, "except my Puffy Walkman..."

I handed it to him and he disappeared into the shadows.  It happened so fast.

I should've gone to that opera with Delia...

Actually, the walk back home wasn't so bad.  The absence of music filled the air and I was reminded of the peacefulness of the night as the hum of an airplane hovered hundreds of feet above the ground.  When I returned, my shower was unclogged.

(6.17.08)

I would've forgotten about the gun incident from last night if I hadn't read a comic during my morning shit (see PEANUTS 5.3.65).  Cause really, it was no big deal--everyone gets robbed.  And I totally sympathize with the criminal as he's probably trying to make ends meet during these economically faltering days.  I should've added up the signs of the times.  As well, losing my Puffy Walkman wasn't cool, but I'll live.  Cause it's not like I lost Ami and Yumi's entire discography--the original CDs from which I converted those tracks into ATRAC files are still in my possession.  And actually, as I'm back to listening to uncompressed audio, the difference is more pronounced.  Was I really exposing my ears to such subpar quality?  I mean, I'd gotten so used to inferior spatial separation and clarity of aural definition that when I heard Scarlett Johansson's voice in my car stereo on CD for the first time (I'd always heard her via my Puffy Walkman), the difference was significant.  I liken it to when I heard the SACD edition of the Pixies'
Doolittle at my former roommate's house--I likened the experience to the before and after state of a car getting washed, as the dirt gets removed to reveal the vehicle's buried shine.  Perhaps my Puffy Walkman phase needed to die.  But I digress...

My shower drain didn't succumb to my clumps of hair this morning, and shortly after, I felt the urge to take a dump.  Now, I've got several prospective material for reading on the toilet--I'm halfway thru the concluding half of
Sylvie and Bruno, I've got a gratuitous Puffy photo book for, ahem, studying lighting and, uh, composition, and my stash of comic strip collections (Pearls Before Swine, The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes, and Peanuts).  It was too early in the day to have my mind blown by Lewis Carroll and I wasn't horny enough to, um, learn anything from two sexy JPOP stars.  So I browsed thru my funnies for a laugh on the can.  I quickly settled on Charlie Brown and the gang as I wasn't in the mood for Rat and Pig's mega subversive humour, Gary Larson's volumes are a bit too heavy, and that kid and his stuffed tiger weren't calling out to me to join them in their taunting of hot little Susie Derkins and Mr. Buns.  Nope, I thought that Charles M. Schultz's comic strip would compliment my poop perfectly, not to mention, I've fallen behind in my reading--I'm currently catching up on 1965-66 as 1967-68 awaits on my bookshelf.  What was I talking about...?

Oh yeah, so the first four panels that I read were as follows:

- Linus walks up to Snoopy who's sleeping on his dog house
- "Snoopy, how about going for a little walk in the park?" Linus asks.
- "Great!" Snoopy's thought bubble reads as he jumps down from his roof
- "I'm always afraid to go for a walk alone...I might get mugged!" observed Snoopy

That last line hit home.  And it was then that it struck me to the fact that I'd gotten, for the very first time in my life, mugged last night, in my own neighbourhood no less.  I suppose I ought to be thankful to be alive as whenever a bullet threatens my existence there's a greater chance of my death than had I not put myself in such a situation.  I know I'm grateful for not losing a more expensive MP3 player--I'd held my greed in check on getting a device with greater storage capacity.  Of course, my schizophrenic paranoia kicked in as I imagined that the gun wasn't loaded and I'd just been duped by some punk kid awkwardly dealing with his unempowering feelings of inadequacy.  Or maybe I got shot and I'm living in some wishful version of some last moments of reality.  I wanna lay low on declaring my mugging as being "life altering", but the coincidental comic strip caused me to spiral into self doubt.  I really did crossed paths with Death.  Fictional or not, I wasn't ready to go yet.  I sacrificed my Puffy Walkman for my survival, which may sound like a flippant remark, but I believe that it reveals my desire to remain in this world longer than I might otherwise pretend not to be afraid of getting killed.  And I saw Delia shake her ponytail.  She seems to have that physical quirk whenever she says the word "fun".  The last time I witnessed such was yesterday when she was cutting up strips of adhesive labels.  She kills me...

(6.18.08)

"Dena forgot her MP3 player," Penny mentioned as she pointed to the device in question which was on the table where newly arrived packages were piled for my assistants to unwrap. 

"Hey, did I tell you what happened to my MP3 player," I asided.

"What happened to your MP3 player?" she chit chatted as she picked up a pair of scissors.

"I was held up at gunpoint and it got stolen," I detailed.

"ďYOU GOT HELD UP AT GUNPOINT?" she repeatedly yelled.

After calming her down, she told me to report the incident to the police.  This had never occurred to me--I figured it was a minor infraction of bad luck and I doubted that I'd ever get my Puffy Walkman back.  But she made a good point: that I ought to at least log it into their records so that if someone else reports a similar crime, the officers of the law'll've some history of muggings in my neighbourhood.

So later that night, as I was boiling some pasta, I called the local police on their non-emergency line.

"I'd like to report a mugging," I stated.

"When exactly did it happen?" the receiver questioned.

"Uh, four days ago," I truthfully revealed.

"Why are you reporting it so late?" the receiver continued.

"Uh, after talking to over with one of my assistants, I've realized that I should warn the neighbourhood of the incident," I truthfully explained.

"So what exactly happened?" the receiver prompted.

"I got held up at gunpoint..." I truthfully proclaimed.

"THAT'S A BIG DEAL!," the receiver shouted.

"No," I truthfully tried to settle her down, "it's not a big deal, I just want to report it cause my assistant said I should..."

"ITíS A FELONY!," the receiver remained in a loud voice, "I'M SENDING AN OFFICER TO YOUR ADDRESS..."

"No," I truthfully didn't want to be interrupted during dinner, "it's really no big deal, I just want to report it cause my assistant said I should..."

"WE DON'T TAKE REPORTS OVER THE PHONE!" the receiver screamed..

"Ok," I truthfully agreed.

And sure enough, just as my pasta was ready, a police officer knocked on my door.  I answered it--he was a bald Asian.  (I've got long hair).  The following conversation felt like a scene from
The Big Lebowski as I tried to state my facts whilst the officer couldn't take his eyes off the stegosaurus sculpture in my living room. 

"Do you want to press charges?" he concluded.

"No," I shrugged.  "I just want to report the mugging cause my assistant said I should."

"Ok," he scribbled on his notepad, "I'll make a mention that you don't want to press charges but are on record that this happened."

"Yeah," I unfolded my hands from my back.

"Hey," the officer finally broke down, "is that a dinosaur made out of LEGOs [sic]?"

"You wanna look at it, huh," I sighed and took him on a standard tour of my apartment.

Tonight, I decided to return to my nightly walking route despite all the trouble that's occurred four days ago.  I've been treading my path during the daylight since the mugging, just to be on the safe side, but I was ready to face the same nighttime scenario again, albeit without my Puffy Walkman.  And honestly, I think the incident was isolated, and I shouldn't be afraid of my streets.  Especially as I made it home safe.  What I thought about most during the walk was my assistant's birthday...

She clocked six hours of work today.  We talked about all sorts of things, nothing particularily library related--music, family, temporal theories, etc.  She was funny as hell.  And then she mentioned that her birthday's on Wednesday.  I reserved lunch with her on that day.

I'd virtually mentioned that I got mugged on Facebook.  My sister was concerned and cellphoned me.  Spikeadelic emailed me.  Apparently the same thing had just happened to him...    

(6.19.08)

Although it's only been recently that 5172 has been wearing dress shirts with more frequency, instead of his usual t-shirts, today was the first time in his mind's recollection that he's unbuttoned the top two buttons--for instance, when 21272 invited him to her concert last month he wore a black dress shirt, but only went so far as to leave one button undone.  Truth be told, 5172 always neglects his top button, unless he's wearing a tie, and even then the special occasion must be very.

"Mind if I smoke a jay?" Zaggs quoted as he passed around a joint between him, my former drug dealer, and me.

41687 gave her student ID number and password to 5172 who clocked out for her.  Don't worry, he wasn't cheating the system--she'd forgotten to clock in for the first half hour of her shift, so rather than have her write a letter to her supervisor, he pretended that she stayed longer and compensated for her lost time.

Zaggs hit the jackpot.  He was laying down drum tracks and fell asleep on his friend's studio's couch.  When he woke up, an archspirit found him.

"She's also cool with my..." he looked for a euphemism, "...high five..."

I got my economic stimulus payment.  And although I'm gonna stuff it in my savings account, I frivolously spent double the amount this fiscal year on a prime lens--so I'm not cheating the government.

"That's really special," I was uplifted by Zagg's supreme luck.  He's got someone who cares about him despite his condition.  My faith in special lady friends rebounded.

There were two occasions today whereby 5172 felt as if 21272 was ignoring him, albeit it could all be figments of his paranoia.  One, upon driving into campus, he drove past her at the exit from the parking lot as he was entering--she failed to wave back.  And he was certain of her identity cause he'd memorized her license plate.  Two, he was discussing sunset angles with the stage manager in the courtyard when he thought he saw her crossing the street towards the music building.  He turned his head long enough for her to ditch him when he returned his view to her last known visible position.  However, he's well aware of ignoring her the last time she checking her email in the library.

6485 forgot what online video game she was addicted to approximately eight years ago, when she was 15.  So she playfully lured 5172 to the secondary terminal at the circulation desk to look up potential titles that are kept at a popular internet portal.  102586 noticed us.  "Happy birthday," he congratulated 6485.  "Thanks," she noticed that the default search engine featured a hot air balloon.  And sure enough, today was the day that the Montgolfier brothers flew the first hot air ballon in 1783.  102586 looked up his birthday to discover that his day of birth coincided with the Airbus A380 maid its maiden flight in 2007.  6485 looked up 5172's birthday and took particular notice in encyclopedic fact that the first adhesive postage stamp, called the Penny Black, being introduced on his day of birth back in 1840.

"Guess what I got?" my former drug dealer coaxed.

"The third season of
Weeds on DVD?" I answered correctly.  None of us have the correct cable channel that's broadcasting the fourth season of our favourite pot dealing show, so we're behind a year.  Anyways, the second season ended on a crazy cliffhanger that needed to be resolved ASAP.  Zagg's jay didnít let the returning episode down.

I'm always cautious about asking college students out.  There's the professional distance I'd like to maintain--I earn a steady income, with benefits, from my university job, and it wouldn't be cool if I fucked up that sweet deal, not that there's anything illegal about dating girls who're closer to the age of consent than I am, but I could do without the political gossip and potential legal entanglements with daughters of men more financially powerful than I would ever want to be.  Same aged colleagues, yes.  Students with over a ten year age difference from me, no--but that rule ain't written in stone.

I liked the last episode of the fourth season of
Lost.  Well, in general, the entire season wasn't bad.  I especially found the Desmond/Penelope story worthwhile, not to spoil any of it.

5172 busied himself with writing down accession numbers for his montly quota of performing arts special collections folios to be sent to cataloging.  He hated the dramatic moments before he took 6485 out to lunch on her birthday.  Cause he's been countlessly burned before by other teasing chicks.  Instinctively, he decided to classify her as "special" if she actually followed thru with her promise of letting him take her out to lunch on her birthday.  God knows he's seen this same scene played to denying death eternally in the past, to the point where he expected her to inevitably flake.  But she didn't...

It was the happiest day of his life when he finally spent time with her outside of work.  "Next time" finally happened (see OUT ON A LIM 6.25.08)

I revealed my chest hairs, like Desmond and 5172 do, thru my black dress shirt.  Those top two buttons, in my honourable opinion, are totally unnessary.

(6.20.08)
(6.23.08)

I love you when you don't do anything

                                                 -Sam Phillips

I currently smell like the janitor who previously emptied my garbage bin.  I'd never put her and her scent together before, but it's only now that I realize she must've been overdoing the perfume to cloak the nature of her job--my memories of her were of the late nights in my office when I'd hand her my garbage bin for her to empty into her janitorial cart.

I had a dream in which I watched a television set capable of convincingly reproducing three dimensions.  I remember double checking the angles of broadcasted aquariums that held imprisoned aquatic turtles.  They seemed to be cool, illusionwise.

"Have you ever drank absinthe?" I asked Monique.

"I tried it once in Russia," she confirmed.

My mother told me a story about my first encounter with marijuana.  She was strolling me in a park in San Francisco.  I must've been less than two years old, which was in the early 70s.  Anyways, I fixated upon a weed that a stray hippie denoted as being of the pot variety. 

My usual path to work in the morning involves passing the loading dock.  However, today, I noticed a trace scent of what I seem to associate with Delia.  I let it slip as a coincidental crossing of sensations.  But as I opened the door of my office, I found her telling me that she'd just been to the loading dock dumping off empty refuse.  I rolled my eyes in both contempt and contrived positioning in the space time continuum.

"Well," I invited, "you're welcome to join us at our absinthe party."

"Thanks," Monique replied.

I think Sam Phillip's new album
Don't Do Anything is cool.  I've been listening to it on my commutes to and from work lately, and it's the perfect CD to console, to the best of my estimation, post-divorce distorted thoughts, not that I've ever been thru such trauma, but I like the passive hope, namely in the title track

The tables and chairs on campus are made of heavy metal--they're outdoors and I guess the weight deters robbers.  Anyways, these tables and chairs have tiny holes decorating their surfaces.  And sometimes these tiny holes line themselves up with my eyes so that the tiny holes on the tables encircle the tiny holes on the chairs which encircle the shadows of the tiny holes of both the tables and chairs.  I wish I could take a two dimensional picture of this phenomenon, but I'm afraid that it seems to only look cool in three dimensions.

Delia was checking in periodicals.  I took particular notice of Scarlett on the cover of NME.  So Delia rubber stamped "RECEIVED" on Scarlett's face, rendering the image ridiculous. 

Emily crossed the street to be on the same side as John.  He kinda expected to see her, so he stood in place by the old fashioned street lamp.  She hugged the pole like it was her lover--he couldn't take his eyes off her chest as she mindlessly recounted her schedule up until she was to leave for New York.  And then he decided to reveal the story about him being mugged, which lately has seemed to've been a crowd pleaser.  Sure enough, he caught her eyes reflected off the sun, and that was enough to remind him not to get too attached to anyone.

"Henry," my janitor declared, "today's my last day."

"Aw," I hugged her as her perfume rubbed off on me , "thanks..."

(6.24.08)

"Did you eat lunch?" he nervously asked.

"Nope, not yet" she smiled.  "I was waiting for you."

And all thru the walk to and from the management school's cafe they conversed nonstop--her rapid accent pulling the dialogue, which didn't necessarily go anywhere as tangents along the way intersected the topics, for instance as they crossed the bridge adjacent to the campus' main hall, she inserted a tiny story about how she once was on wheelchair duty, meaning she had to help usher disabled patrons into the rear entrance of the building, this was after she worked at the catering kitchen that had her waking up at five o'clock in the morning and pissed off at her dorm neighbours for keeping her up all night with their drunken stupidity.

They ordered sandwiches--him the pastrami with cheese, her the avocado veggie.  It wasn't a bad day, so they took a seat outdoors, in the circular quad.

"I can almost make this," she pointed to her sandwich after taking a bite. "There's one ingredient that I can't figure out, but other than that I could make this."

"Really?" he was impressed--any chick that's not shy about cooking is a winner in his book.

She finished her sandwich before he could as she kept asking him questions for him to spend more time answering than chewing upon.  It wasn't so much as awkward, but pleasantly so in that he usually, more often than not, drops the ball of silence somewhere during most conversations with people--including everyone, it doesn't matter how familiar he is with any of them.  Perhapas she was just as nervous and her tick was to not stop talking.  Either way, they didn't feel like shutting up.  And laughing--she came up with some crazy scenario involving a network of pipes contecting all the coffee machines on campus, and addicts like her could hook up to it wherever and whenever they needed a fix.  She made him laugh, even though he doesn't drink coffee.

They hit the water fountain as it emitted an intermittent shot.

"Wow, they turned it on today," she declared.  Indeed, it wasn't everyday that it was in service.

"It's cause it's your day," he concluded.  Indeed, it was.

And like I said before (see OUT ON A LIM 6.19.08) it was the happiest day of his life.  Cause anything less would've sucked, not totally down the tubes suck, but suck nonetheless, and anything more would've been pushing his luck.

(6.25.08)
(6.26.08)

On the crystal anniversary of
Jurassic Park (6.11.08), my former drug dealer, Zaggs and his archspirit, and I watched the first few episodes of the third season of Weeds on DVD.  I tried my best to pay attention to the show at hand, but my eyes kept landing on Zagg's archaspirit's chest--it could've been the proportions of a bipolar stripper.  Anyways, a couple of days earlier, I did watch the dinosaur flick, for old time's sake.  And today (6.16.08) I learned that Stan Winston, who's credited with the live action dinosaurs, died last night.

"What's 15 years?" Lucy boggled her eyes.  "Ten years, yes.  20 years, 25 years, 50 years--those are real anniversaries."

"You were six years old when
Jurassic Park came out," I calculated.

"You're good at math," she observed.

Last night I listened to my vinyl copy of Madonna's
The Immaculate Collection.  She's got some cool riffs as I noticed the spaciousness of the analog representation of her hits.  And sure some of her songs are "cheesy", but hey, I was in junior high when "Crazy For You" was released.  Say what you will about that tune, but unless you were 13 years old on a slow dance floor, it probably doesn't mean the same thing to you, hormonally speaking. 

"Did you get the new Emmylou Harris album?" my lawyer prosecuted.

"Honestly," I swore, "I haven't been listening to much non-Japanese music lately."

"Just get it and burn it for me," he instructed.  "It's been getting good reviews."

"Ah, alright," was my verdict.

Of course I lied--I've been listening to Zooey's album a lot.  So much so that I purchased the LP.  And tonight, after dinner and drinks with a movie director, I heard her sing in uncompressed audio.  The "punch" of the piano and her voice never hit me so hard before.

My spiritual advisor once advised me on the nature of actresses--if they can act a certain emotion, they've probably experienced that state of mind.

The movie director explained that he might be needing some Larry McFeurdy style music for his next movie.  I didn't recoil, for I've been waiting for an excuse to resurrect my alter ego.  In the back of my mind, I also catalogued the musicians that I've got at my disposal--Penny on flute, Lucy on cello, Dena on clarinet, and the various instrumentalists that they're acquainted with.  Plus I'll've a budget.  This project willl be fun.

Monique overheard me when I mentioned to a coworker that
Vertigo is a one of my favourite scores.  "I like Vertigo," she repeated.  And somehow I knew she was going for the coincidence angle.  So I pulled one on her.  I was double checking numbers on sheet music boxes and came upon one that I knew I'd fucked up on.  When I approached her with my correction, she was surprised to find that she was wondering about exactly the same thing.  Now, either she was acting, which per my spiritual advisor means she's aware of the nature of coincidence, or I caught her off guard.

John waved to Emily.  It seemed casual, but deep inside, he knew that it wasn't.

I'm taking tomorrow off to glue together my latest mosaic.  After this one I'm doing one for a coworker's girlfriend's sisters's kid.  And then one for Zagg's archspirit's kid--that one is something I'm looking forward to.

But back to
Jurassic Park.  Even though Lucy was six years old when that movie came out, I was at the age (21) when it felt revolutionary, especially after years of crappy dinosaur effects.  15 years is a significant anniversary.

Thanks Stan.

(6.27.08)
(6.30.08)

I packed my work plank into its storage position behind a shelf of bins containing thousands of toy bricks which are classified by colour and size.  I'd just finished delivering a completed wedding anniversary portrait and since I was beginning my official summer vacation tormorrow, I couldn't find any argument for keeping my work plank in its usage position.  Cause it's been in use ever since the last four projects that I'd worked on including this last one--basically, it's a plank of wood where I build and glue mosaics.  It's sturdy enough to withstand the weight, keeps warping at a minimum (especially with the help of spare telephone books), and is stained with melted toy bricks.  Anyways, I've been looking forward to the break.

I packed my clothes (four t-shirts, four pairs of underwear, four pairs of socks, four handkerchiefs), shower products (shampoo and soap), dental devices (toothbrush and paste), hair treatments (comb), ear cleaners (four Q-tips), and deodorant (which I'll use two of the four day's I'll be gone housesitting for my boss).  This'll be the first of two guaranteed (and possibly three) housesitting gigs that I've got lined up for this summer.  As I wasn't planning on going on any trips, I figure staying in other peoples' houses'll be good enough for me in terms of going on vacation.  And I mean I'm really gonna be taking a break--it's high time that I drop out off  OUT ON A LIM for at least a bit.

I packed a bowl before I wrote this paragraph.  Let me explain.  The wedding anniversary portrait was for a friend of my former drug dealer's, so I siphoned my fundings accordingly.  Yes, ladies and subscribers, I'm going on a bona fide break, which I can't remember when the last time I unplugged from my blog, but if my memory vaguely serves me somewhat correctly, it's been a while.  And if there's anything I believe in in this world, it's the profuse taking of breaks from whatever one's engaged in, be it work, recreation, belief, suffering, happiness, etc.  To turn everything off on this side of the mind, and turn everything on on the other.  Give the rest of my brain a rest.

I packed this entry with three logical packing references (and one illogical stretch).  Anyways, to be clear, dear readers, I'm going on vacation for the next two months (July and August).  If I don't lose my mind completely, which I'm not ruling out as a possibility, albeit there's an insiginificant chance of such given that my advocation of taking breaks also includes returning to projects that aren't finished yet (at a minimum, OUT ON A LIM'll run for at least a decade before I truly pronounce it dead, unless of course, I die before then), I shall return in September.  Well, thanks folks for reading.  And have a nice summer...

(7.1.08)

Every afternoon, a van full of retards swings by the steps of the music building to sweep up the leaves.  I've seen some of them pick up pockets of trash, too.  Most of these characters are short and round bellied.  They all wear the same blue shirts.  Some carry rakes, some brooms.  And their eyes are distant, their speech slow, and their mannerisms unsmooth--cause they'ren't functioning in the front ranks of this intelligence based world.  Nevertheless, I greatly admire their dedication to their daily task.

Cause I'd be bored after the first day on the job.  Sweeping up leaves and picking up trash ain't my idea of fun.  Especially on hot summer days.  And to think that tomorrow's the same deal, forever and ever--clean the mess that'll always be left behind each and every following day.  I'd put a gun to my head if such were my only options in life.  Yet, these retards keep continuing their little neverending duty.  Sure, I sometimes see them slacking off all lazy on the benches, but that's cause they're human beings.  Regardless, they'll always have my respect.

But who's to say that I shouldn't get jealous?  Perhaps there are patterns in the leaves that only they can understand.  Maybe if I gave it a try, I'd discover that the peaceful broom sweeps lull me into a state of mind harmonious with disconcerning meaningless illusions of reality whereby contemplating the equivalence of all dimensions provides a glimpse into the absence of any difference whatsoever between sweeping leaves and anything else anyone else thinks they're doing with their time on earth.  Cause, really, I couldn't ask for more.

Happy Birthday Mom

(9.2.08)

If I were to list the three things that I like about the television show
Arrested Development, the third item would be the music, which itself serves three purposes--number one being the traditional thematic underscoring of the episodes with everything from quirky ragtime shuffles that follow the misadventures of the series' dysfunctional family to the bass slapping groove that accompanies a certain pimping puppet, number two being the overdramatic usage of said themes for comedic effect such as the quasi religious motif and the sappy sentimental melody so much so that these examples often get cut off in mid bar with a wink to the audience, and number three being the sarcastic songs such as the "Yellow Submarine" ripoff and the British spy tune that are funny for their randomness.

The second item would be the camera work, which serves two purposes--number one being the traditional framing of the characters albeit in a nontraditional sitcom manner which often feels like a wobbly handheld documentary especially since the show has no laugh track, and number two being a hilarious part of the comedic timing namely when awkward moments cut back and forth between faces in a way that actively accents the humour.

And the first item would be Maeby Funke who serves one purpose--to keep me watching her cute freckles as she drives her cousin into losing his mind, which is one of the funniest romances ever, not to mention her other crazy schemes like her "Marry me!" tagline and her alter ego Surely Wolfbeak that even after repeated viewings still make me roll on the floor over and over again.

(9.3.08)

Dear Readers,

My name is Larry McFeurdy.  Iím writing this OUT ON A LIM entry on behalf of my alter ego, Henry Lim, on July 25th, 2008 for online posting on his blog on September 4th, 2008--a few days after his vacation from cyberspace ends, which is a misnomer given that he's writing this entry during said "vacation".  Anyways, this'll be like a little midsummer report, if you will, in fact, it's a sorta live exclusive from within the centeral scene of the crime type of perspective.  If anything, the following paragraphs'll be written closer to their actual date of occurrence, which depending on your sense of memory and whether or not it fades over time, represents the facts from the divergences in the fractions of what happens today vs. tomorrow vs. yesterday accordingly.  I say it's more vivid at the core and gets coloured with wishful hindsight as the future becomes the past.  But enough about Henry...

For whatever reason, I finally got around to watching the Dylan inspired movie
I'm Not There.  I kinda was over expecting Cate Blanchett to steal the show given the volumes of accolades that leaked thru the press and friends who couldn't stop putting her on a pedestal, thus wasn't overly blown away by her Oscar nominated performance.  However, I really dug Charlotte Gainsbourg's presence.  And most importantly, I thought that the tediously reimagined interpretation of Dylan's myth and music put to a mildy unrewatchable film served a single purpose in terms of it's value to me--the title song.  I'd never heard it before, although I admit to not being more cooperative in the pirating of  his illegal bootlegs.  So after hearing the moody track, I immediately researched it's availability on the chance that maybe I've got it in either my home or work libraries so as to allow me to rehear it in full.  Well, it turns out that it got its official debut with the movie, even though the recording was made circa 1968 with The Band.  Needless to say, I ordered the soundtrack.

OK, I apologize for talking about myself without your permission.  So I'll describe Henry's day instead...

All week he's been listening to Hajime Chitose's latest CD
Cassini on his commute.  He thinks it's alright--not as strong as her previous albums, but has some killer tunes nonetheless, namely the singles, in the overall weak collection of yawn inducing adult contemporary JPOP.  Anyways, as it was Friday, he decided to relisten to Sam Phillip's brilliant Don't Do Anything.  The title track is his favourite song on the album, of which the distorted guitars are a plus.  And hearing it again was like an ignition spark in his ears for whatever sounds were being ignored before during the past seven days.  The explosion, however, wasn't all that blew his sense of hearing today.  He woke up at his steady hour of consistent awaking, 10:30 AM, took a shower, got dressed, drank his glass of orange juice whilst Puffy's remake of Unicorn's "Hataraku Otoko" rocked his bedroom's stereo, and thought "By the end of this month, I'll've not'd a cigarette in a year, and damn, that's a pretty cool song--I can't wait to hear their next single..."

My lawyer and I have a running joke.  Whenever someone dies, we observe that "it's not funny this week", with "it" being the royal "it".  Well, his wife gave birth to a baby girl last night whilst I was in line for a screening of Chaplin's
Modern Times with my former drug dealer and his buddy from work.  We were on standby as the show was sold out.  Unfortunately, my former drug dealer had to make a pickup from the nearby clinic and got swallowed in the Hollywood rush hour.  Likewise, I underestimated the traffic to the movie theatre.  But luckily, we acquired tickets to the sold out event after waiting in the non-ticket holding crowd, who happened to all get let in due to the availability of unfilled seats.  It was a treat to see Paulette's eyes blown up beyond the size of my television screen.  Not to mention the widescreen that I splurged on during a housesitting stint--it was big enough to annoyingly reveal the ridiculous lighting rigs reflected in actresses eyes, but fun all the same to see and hear Luna Lovegood's hot face and even hotter voice in twice the diagonal width of my TV and at a volume unbothersome to neighbours.  Anyways, I wrote a congratulations email to my lawyer with the message "it's funny this week".

Henry's parents are gonna be in New York this weekend.  He's gonna stay over at their house with his sister whilst they're gone, party it up, and watch
Arrested Development.  His mom called him from the Eastern Time Zone...

"Where are you?" she crackled.

"I'm at work," he replied.

"Work?" she mocked.  "Oh yeah, you're three hours behind us."

"Where are you?" he replied.

"We're at a wedding with your brother for your third cousin," she broke.

"Cool," he replied.

Oh, I almost forgot.  In addition to the above, but not as mind blowing as what'll be referred to below,
Henry added another composer credit to his expanding every even year since 2000 entry in the IMDb.  No big deal, but no little one either, given that one of his goals in life was to be listed on the famous website.  This time around it was for a short film that was, per the IMDb rules, screened at an officially recognized festival--in this case, the LA Film Festival, specifically, the 72 hour competition where specially selected directors were given cameras and three days to make a short film.  He happened to have been the composer on several productions of one of the participants and so he contributed a quick little acoustic guitar score. 

My first assistant relayed a correspondence to me which she gathered from my second assistant.  I might've suggested to Assistant #1 that she and Assistant #2 should be on more friendly terms, I mean, I couldn't believe that they haven't communicated with each other all summer (Assistant #1 has been clocking in hours at work whilst Assistant #2 was at flute camp).  Anyways, the other day Assistant #1 announced that Assistant #2 will return to work next week...

Henry thought about the good news--
a Puffy fansite touted a link to the the band's brand new video ďMy StoryĒ.  He caught and threw away his surroundings and disappeared into the mind fucking bliss of the best music ever.

I wish I could say the same...

-Larry

(9.4.08)

"Those are two of my favourite things," the chubby Asian skank pointed to the jar of pickles and bottle of whiskey that I'd placed on the supermarket conveyor belt.  She was ahead of me in line with her six pack of discount wine.  My gut reaction would've been to roll my eyes, but I overrode my instincts and politely smiled.

I'd picked up the pickle habit from a couple of my housesitting gigs.  Some of the families kept a jar in their fridge.  And me being the cheap resident, never stocked much of my own food in their kitchens, so I couldn't resist a free fermented cucumber or two.  Needless to say, I started to stock my own.

Another habit that I accumulated from my staying in other peoples' houses is drinking water.  I used to avoid the drink cause I thought it was too trendy for me.  I mean, you'll never catch me buying a bottle of water--I'll accept one from my former drug dealer, but I'd never pay good money for what ought to be free.

Anyways, one of the households had a filter pitcher that I tested.  It was delicious in the sense that it was a better deal than buying bottled water.  So I followed the example.  Don't get me wrong, my casual drink of choice will always be chilled green tea, but I can't complain about free water, minus the cost of the filtered pitcher, of course.

But another benefit of cleaned tap water is cleaned ice cubes.  Previously, I'd drank my whiskey straight.  The term "on the rocks" crossed my mind and I tried the liquour with some ice cubes made from water poured out of a filtered pitcher.  After a few glasses it really doesn't matter, but them ice cubes sure make that first one go down nicely.

And I picked up my whiskey habit after eating sushi with an angel and her boyfriend.  Drinking and listening to music makes abandoning her wings seem easier to assume.  Coincidentally, some pickles during the clinking of the iced glasses to imaginary cheers and my cup of water as a hangover cure keeps me waking up with a smile.

(9.5.08)

After years of never fully understanding the phrase "got your work cut out for you", I looked it up online to find out just how wrong I was.  Cause I had guessed it completely backwards--I thought it meant that things'll be much easier from now on.  I mean, to me, having my work cut out for me implies that the task has been defined, such as cookies cut from the dough and all that's left is to bake them.  Whereas, if the work was NOT cut out for me and I was given the dough and had to cut the cookies out, my task is that much more involved and thus more difficult.

Upon visiting my sister's house, I found the portrait that I'd constructed for her wedding face down on the ground--it had fallen off its ledge during an earthquake.  Luckily the glue had kept it nearly together--there were a few stray pieces that had chipped off the corners.  My sister and her husband gathered these pieces off the floor, but were pretty much clueless as to where they fit back.  I propped the portrait back up and easily reconnected the broken bits.  Saying that "my work was cut out for me" in this case might seem misleading.

Speaking of earthquakes, I was at work when the one which knocked down my sister's wedding portrait hit.  My assistant was asking me a question about a CD when the office began to sway.  "OH NO!" she changed the subject and shouted, "IT'S THE BIG ONE!"  Of course it wasn't the prophesized quake that's gonna sink California into the Pacific, but seeing my asssistant freak out made the interruption seem more exaggerated than it was.  I'd be joking if I said "we had our work cut out for us".

(9.8.08)

I got new eyes
               -Bob Dylan

At the optometrist, I overheard another customer getting finicky with his choice of glasses.  He used words like "make my face look..." and "more stylish"--concepts that are meaningless to me.  Cause when it comes to new glasses, I only want to know what my vision care covers.  I won't spend a penny over my fixed amount.  The attendant asked if I'd like something similar to my old pair.  I replied "Sure, why not."  She scrounged three that fit my budget.  I tried them all and picked the one that felt most comfortable.  And I was done.

A week earlier, my former drug dealer emailed me about Dylan's upcomming concert.  Tickets were going on sale the following day.  However, when I tried to purchase a pair, the online agency claimed that they were sold out, but pointed me to an affliated vendor that had some at nearly twice the cost.  I was cool with spending a ridiculous amount, after all, it's Dylan--I should be so lucky to see him perform his songs.  After confirming with my former drug dealer to go thru with the transaction, I ordered our tickets.  Coincidentally, the price I paid was exactly the amount that my vision care covers for frames and lenses.

That same day I began my housesitting gig for the head of my library.  He'd asked me how much I charged, to which I gave my standard speech regarding how I don't like to discuss money, it's totally up to him how much he'd like to pay me, blah, blah, blah.  And really, it's no big deal--I'd do it, and have done it, for free before.  The way I see it, this summer, housesitting was like my vacation as I got to sleep away from my apartment.  The change of scenary alone is priceless.  Anyways, as I unpacked my stuff, I found a check on the kitchen table.  It was for the exact amount that I'd paid for my Dylan ticket.

It's been nearly seven years since I had my last eye exam.  And since I've got vision care, I've got no excuse not to get a new pair of glasses.  So I impulsively decided to make an appointment at the optometrist closest to my office--I walked down today during my lunch break.  It turns out that my perscription is improving.  And my new doctor ain't bad looking at all, althought she is a little to chatty for my taste--somehow after finding out that I worked at a music library, she found it necessary to tell me about her favourite bands and who she's soon seeing in concert, to which I added I'm seeing Dylan in September.  She interjected "I'm from Duluth, Minnesota..."

(9.9.08)

My shower now looks nearly twice as large.  There's something about the illusion in the white tiles that after being cleaned seems to expand perceptions.  Cause they were moldy green before.

The last time I scrubbed those walls was when my cousin visited--one of her conditions for sleeping over was that my shower wasn't dirty.  That was almost two years ago.

Unfortunately, the illusion works the other way, too.  I thought that the task appeared easier than I expected due to the smallness of the shower which the dark colour concealed.  It took about an hour and a half to finish.

Getting the grime out of the gridwork was the most difficult part--I dug my sponge hard into the crevices.  I suppose using something other than a cheap disinfectant cleanser could've helped, but I didn't mind the tedious work.

Actually, it was humbling.  Cause it's rare that I do household chores.  I mean, technically, I should've hired a maid.  But along with my underestimation of the undertaking, I was grateful for the personal satisfaction after I finished.

What was once nasty is now shiny.  The radiance lights up my mornings.  It's like a totally new shower.  Of course I'll probably clean it again in another two years.

(9.10.08)

She'd misspelled "Thursday" in her email--she'd forgotten the "s".

That day I got a call from my optometrist saying that my new glasses were ready.  So I went on a break at work and walked down to the Village to pick them up.  Immediately as I put them on, the world looked different--things were clearer, but the contrast was what really kicked my ass.  The depth of the darks reset my perception of the visual weight.  It was like the world looked heavier than before.  Needless to say, the journey back to my office was a trip.

The whole drive to the sushi joint, she kept complaining about her boyfriend.  My eyes couldn't roll enough.

Following silly tangents, I've gotten into Jamaican rum.  There's that reference in "4th Time Around" that caught my ear as I strummed it during a housesitting gig.  And coincidentally, they had a bottle in their liquour cabinet--as well, they'd given me permission to raid it.  So I did.  And the song made more sense.  Screwdriven with some orange juice, it's a fun drink.

I hate it when she calls me a "saint".

Times are tough.  My former drug dealer, for the first that I can remember, had no pot on hand when I stopped by.  We smoked some hash instead and watched an episode of
Dexter and the movie Kiss Me, Stupid.  Both satisfied my three criteria for entertainment (actress, cinematography, and music)--Jennifer Carpenter (and Rita Bennett), the Miami heat (or what appears to be that locale, which I've visited once) captured on camera, and Rolfe Kentís killer main titles (without forgetting Daniel Licht's score) in the former and Kim Novak (and Felicia Farr), the widescreen black and white shots (Iíve never been to Climax, Nevada, but Iím sure it never looked better), and hilarious Gershwin tunes (and Previn score) in the latter.

Likewise, the sushi joint wasn't jumping like it once did in more prosperous days--we didn't've to wait in line.

I read an excerpt from Francis Ford Coppola's wife's memoirs which relayed some Zen advice regarding emotions--to notice them, but neither wallow in them or push them aside.

She lost her job, which didn't lighten the mood.

After I dropped her off at her car in the parking lot, all I could hear were fragments of a few apocalyptic verses from  "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" in my head.  And when I got home, I poured myself a glass of serious whiskey and began to systematically commit the epic song to memory.

It was a forgettable Thurday.

(9.11.08)
1999: The first time I heard the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind" in a movie was during the final scene of Fight Club.  And it couldn't've been more perfect--the mental theme of the song, the fin de siecle atmosphere of the film, and of course, the way cool synching of the drums to the explosions.  That was a prime example of a good soundtrack.

There's a mural on the 10 freeway near the 405 intersection that depicts a bunch of runners.  It's a competent piece of art, but it never really hit me as mind blowing--then again, most civic designs don't.  Anyways, everytime I drive by, I hardly look at the mural.

2005:
Veronica Mars utilized "Where Is My Mind" for a WTF scene in the second season--a body washes up on the beach with the title character's name written on his palm.  Now, I'm too partial to the show, so I can't give an objective opinion as to whether or not this was a cool usage of the song.  However, I can say that it was no Fight Club.   

I do look at the graffiti that adorns the mural.  I'm actually more impressed with the street art than the actual piece itself--there's the illegalness, not to mention the danger of the spraying paint from the freeway, that says more about urban life than the pedestrian mural.

2007: "Where Is My Mind" loops during the final segment of
The 4400.  It's a key moment in the series, which never gets developed due to the show's cancellation, as the characters discover their new powers.  Unfortunately, the song's been getting overused.  The impact is dying.

I was practically parked by the mural during a traffic jam and had a better chance to inspect it.  There are cracks and the paint's chipping.  My eyes were drawn to these imperfections.  It was as if nature was saying, "Hahahaha, in the end I'll win."

(9.12.08)

Apologies to the owners of the house who entrusted me with their home whilst they went away on vacation.  Cause I had a party.  Nothing like rock'n'roll crazy, but it was collegiate and coworker fun with some of my illegal substance abusers mixed into the crowd.  Of course the theme of the party was "absinthe"--a friend and I ordered a bottle online.  And it's currently legal to own and drink in America (I don't think you can sell it, thus the overseas internet transaction).  Nope, some of my former dope dealing pals packed some pipes afterwards.  Although, the absinthe wasn't bad--it tasted like licorice, and yeah, we did the whole pouring ice cold water over a sugar cube placed on a specially designed spoon (which we substituted with forks) ritual.  I thought the world looked and felt more cloudier.  But then again, that might've just been what the pot wants me to remember.

Luckily, nothing stupid happened.  I mean, there's always the possibility of a royal party foul.  But then again, everyone I invited, to the best of my comfortably distanced relationship meter, ain't super dumb.  And I don't think any of them still held any outstanding grudges with me.  Although, I did feel a little underdressed--I wore my "I'm on vacation so I don't give a fuck what I look like" shorts and movie t-shirt.  Some of the girls seemed to've put in the effort to wear uncasual dresses, heels, and perfume.  However, it wasn't my house, so I didn't need to pretend to be impressing anyone.

And to the homeowners' credit, every one of my guests didn't think that the house sucked.  In fact, we spent hours admiring the ample artwork--it's sorta akin to a tiny, but packed two story gallery, with a 42 inch cable telvision set and a stone pathed backyard garden.  I thought about watching porn on that big screen, but chickened out and rewatched old episodes of
Veronica Mars.  Sometimes, for dinner, I'd eat outside at the table in the backyard.  I remember at the party, sitting on lawn furniture, looking up at the night sky between the trees and the balcony, as a couple flipped thru channels downstairs.  There was more light that night than I usually use.

Not that I care about the saving energy, rather I like things dark.  And if I can see in it, there's no use in turing on any extraneous lights.  This also applies when I housesit.  Normally, in the party house, I roamed around without any internal illumination as there were enough windows to let in the external neighbourhood's lit street.  Even when I blazed a bowl on the balcony, I had every light off as I zoned out into the nocturnal horizon.  Garbage trucks would take forever traversing the alley.

But I almost never have parties at my apartment.  I've had handfuls of friends over now and then, and I've held meetings of the local LEGO users group, but because of the working studio environment of my living room, it's kinda impractical to have any sort of gathering of people within range of that messy and fragile space.  So holding a party somewhere else seemed like the greatest idea.  I sorta wished that I did such more often.  And my fondest memory, like every party I've held, was being glad that no one didn't show up.

(9.15.08)

Tonight I finished another LEGO portrait.  It was for a coworker's girlfriend's sister's kid--a closeup photo of his face was what I was given to work from.  I'd thought about doing it in colour, but after scanning the spreads on the market value of shades of tan and orange, I opted for the cheaper greyscale rendition.  Not that it kills the quality of the final portrait, cause I think you can never go wrong with a black & white image, my ocular bias to colour notwithstanding.  Anyways, I'm actually not technically done as I've still gotta glue it together, which I'm planning on sniffing tomorrow.  But that's a mindless task.  The actually putting together of the pieces takes a bit of calculated comprehension on the part of the builder with respect to the distribution of shapes, sizes, and shades of grey, not to mention a working understanding of reinforcing a 2 x 3' canvas.  No, gluing is taking the portrait apart, row by row, and rebuilding what's already been built--easy shit.  And I never really remember much about what goes on during the gluing stage.  Or maybe that's just the glue talking...

Oh, and I've decided not to post any of my LEGO portraits on my webpage.  Because these are private commissions amongst acquaintances, meaning I'm within four degrees of separation with the subjects, I've come to the conclusion that it's not especially classy to use these projects as product placements on the internet.  Although, I've posted these on my Facebook account, but I think that's a less public venue than OUT ON A LIM.  And I think it's only fair to my Facebook friends given that I don't give them a link to my blog.  Yeah, I try to believe in not repeating myself.  Which isn't to say that it's not impossible to gain access to a jpeg of my latest LEGO portrait or read my current blog entry, in fact I'm sure there are some of you that're both Facebook approved friends and OUT ON A LIM subscribers.  I don't think I'm gonna be gaining any more hits with this lame cross promotion, and that's fine with me, cause frankly, I wouldn't mind not gaining any more friends and taking my fame a notch lower.  Cause as of today my need for attention is the opposite of starved.

Tomorrow I'm having lunch with my mom.  I'm gonna meet up with her at a local Japanese market and take her to an okonomiayaki restaurant--the same place where my sister and I ate, after my lawyer introduced me to the place.  These days my sister and my mom don't speak to each other than via me.  For instance, my mom's birthday is approaching, and my sister made find out what the party plans were.  So I called my mom and found out that she's gonna be in Hawaii on the weekend after her birthday--she believes, as my sister calls psychotically, that celebrating one's birthday before the actual day is bad luck, namely it'll cut your life short cause you jumped the gun.  Hence, the next viable day was the weekend after she returned from her vacation.  And such was the message I gave my sister.  Anyways, I'm looking forward to the grub, cause okonomiyaki is one of my most favourite dishes.  Of course, my favourite okonomiyaki has been cooked by my mom, so we'll see, as my sister'll most likely inquire about next week when we chat online, what our mom's reaction to their recipe'll be.

Today's music menu: memorizing the last verse of Dylan's "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", which I think is one of his most straightforward scary songs with its classic cutthroat lines about being busy dying, not belonging to he, she, them, or it, and colliding head-on with stuffed graveyards ; playing with LEGO accompanying to the soundtrack to
Veronica Mars, Garden State (which Dick Casablancas mistook for a literary based movie, as well as my sexy optometrist mentioned a band that contributed a track), and Avril Lavigne latest CD ; watching Puffy's 10th anniversary concert DVD whist remembering why they're the coolest band ever--I mean, no one is even comming close to their fun brand of fun music which includes fun melodies, fun lyrics, and fun girls singing like they're having fun, that it saddens me to think about how unfun the rest of the world must be as they're missing out on all the fun ; and Osvaldo Golijov's score to Youth Without Youth, which sounded brilliant when I heard it during the movie, but didn't strike the same aural nerves on my stereo, however, is growing more pleasant with each listen.

I had a dream where I reconnected with my first adolescent blonde crush.  She wore a see thru white thingy that erased any misimaginating of her veiled curves.  We rolled around under the sheets for about half a half decent offspring's dynasty, give or take the moral questions surrounding ancestoral qualifiers for success.  And our lips brushed each other haphazardly every lunar year in anticipation of happening to lock long enough to appreciate the full moon's return orbit, during which the bed no longer felt horizontally aligned, rather there was no vertical either, as up and down became the same, and the name of the game was to remain in vain as I woke up and realized that it was all a dream.  Yet for the rest of the day, the traces of those fantasized moments followed me wherever I looked, transposing those ideal memories onto the eyes of photos of some of the chicks that I've befriended on Facebook.  And then I remembered that I've got another LEGO portrait in the queue, I've got a film score to compose in the upcomming weeks, and I've got yet another dream to awake from.

(9.16.08)

The first line of my reply to her offer was a cruel knock at the horror of what she was asking to do for me, namely cook me dinner.  And yes, this was a gamble given that she's not so nuanced in the English language, let alone the hard to detect sarcasm of email--there's a greater chance of her not understanding the joke.  But I figured, fuck it, I'm not in the mood to play any games, so I'll stop being a cordial citizen and go against the rules of courtship, or whatever's going on in my head.  I mean, her always shooting for my stomach, mind you this wasn't her first felony, is like aiming for my heart, her disagreement to my conclusion notwithstanding. 

I once told a chick the secret recipe for my eternal devotion, be it legal matrimony or a meta vow: homemade curry.  She never complied with the simple task, but then again, perhaps she thought it was more complicated than I'd explained.  But really, all it takes is someone making me some curry, it doesn't matter what kind, and some rice would be nice, and I'll be forever grateful.  Nothing more, nothing less.  And no, this little meal plan isn't available for my family, who've tried in vain to win my heart--from my mom's stewlike brew, my sister's gravy style, and my cousin's exotic seafood spices.  Although, if you'd put a gun to my head, I'd pick the Thai shrimp curry as the one to beat.

To soften the blow of my rejection to her offer, I planted a sentence with multiple double negatives--which I think cancels out into a positive, but I could've miscalculated myself, so I'm not betting that it's not impossible for it to not intentionally punch her in the face.  That being said, the real reason for including it is I find such confusing bundles of words capable of sending the reader off balance, which can either lose them, or sharpen their concentration, depending of course, on how emotionally involved they are.  It's a childish weeding technique, but it works--I find that most adults lack the patience to pursue what doesn't make any superficial sense.

And then I pulled some thinly strung argument about why I'd agree to her offer if and only if she allowed me to take her out to dinner--something about time, recently cashing a commission, and my conscience.  It was corny, and I don't care, but I wanted it to be full of holes as it's not the excuses I'm giving, but the underlying hope of seeing her again that clouded the construction of my plea.  Sure, any psychiatrist would flag the black humour as a defense mechanism, and they'd be right, but in this case, I don't mind being wrong in terms of testing her threshold for my stupidity.  Cause, I'm an idiot, and if she can't see that, then she should avoid me.

But if I can make her laugh, that'd be another story...

(9.17.08)

I don't know which is the bigger cliche--that not every marriage will last or it's the ones you least expect that fall apart.

A coworker tried to pass on a kitten to me.  "Why do I need a pet?" I put it kindly.  "Aren't you lonely?" she tried to sweeten the deal.  "Unfortunately," I soured, "I've yet to get tired of being alone."  In other words, I don't give a crap if I'm single when I die.  And yes, I'm aware that many people live with that fear--I keep rolling my eyes whenever someone cries about such depressing scenarios.  Cause I don't know which is the bigger mystery--why these people cling to this irrational concept or why I'm so ignorant of these supposedly basic human emotions.  

When my friends and family started to marry themselves off, I kept the fifty percent divorce rate statistic in the back of my head.  At each wedding, I'd be both happy for the occasion and a little guilty as I placed imaginary bets with myself as to how long the union'll last.  Cause if the numbers are right, with each marriage came the greater chance that one of them'll end before death does part them.  And as my collection of couples added up, I sat back and waited to collect my winnings.  But I don't know which is sadder--that it didn't take so long or that I was so off with my prediction.

My engineer was disappointed with himself.  "Don't think about it," I tried to philosphize.  "But I wanted to be creative this summer," he shrugged, "you know, get an album, a song, anything, recorded and feel like I've accomplished something."  "You can't look at things like that," I attempted to advise.  In other words, I don't give a crap if I accomplish nothing in this life.  And yes, I'm aware that many people live with that fear--I keep rolling my eyes whenever someone cries about such empty scenarios.

Cause I don't know which is the bigger joke--that nothing matters in the end or hoping otherwise.

At the opposite corner of the sushi bar, a stranger was half kidding about his girlfriend kicking him out of his house.  He laughed off having to load his stuff into a truck and toasted his new freedom all the while pretending to cry when he claimed to not regret ending his six year relationship.  My former drug dealer jumped into the conversation--he recently broke up with his girlfriend, too.  As well, a lady at the middle of the counter generalized "This has been a bad year."  I don't know what's worse--that I had nothing to say or that I didn't say anything at all.  

(9.18.08)

But the words are the same...that's the important thing
                                                                         -Bob Dylan

I would rather've hoped that she'd unconsciously wore her black bra than if she'd done so with premeditated teasing reasons as the former suggests a randomness to my arousal and the latter seems a little way too fucking evil for an angel to cross morality lines with such immoral disregard to my innocent bystander position in her heart ripping circle of human friends.

Growing up, I can't say that I have any fond memories of seeing any of my fellow Asians on any television commercials, let alone following any from week to any week as any lead roles on any weekly broadcasted shows.  That isn't to say I wanted to, especially these days when I feel a little uneasy about seeing my honourable brothers and sisters selling out to the American media not unlike slaughtered puppets with status quo status and the blank faces on high definition screens that don't define anything other than any other exchange for degrading services via certificates and coinage and annoyage and spoilage and backward boilage of the illusion of freedom.  Nevermind the hot actresses on certain hit serieses.

That was the second time I "accidentally" glanced down her shirt to see a briefcase scenario of her wide open bra--if she'd've known that my eyes've got mental cameras that can capture images directly to the film in my head, she'd've probably not've flashed me so, especially since I can rewatch it whenver I want at any speed and hallucination, rendering her reality into an incomparable parable about a cute graduate student who can never live up to the one that's blowning out of proportion in my mind.  Although, thanks for nicely locking that shot into my memory.

"Sorry," I said as I waved to the person whom I'd stepped on as I returned from the urinal at the Bob Dylan concert.  That's all I could say--I mean, who wears slippers to a general admission floor show, granted it's a mini hippie convention, but it ain't exactly brightly lit, both in the auditorium and audience's level of unmedicated perception, and is a chore to retrace any steps back thru the crowd if one were to leave one's spot for a drink and/or undrink.  And if karma was in effect, the scaleable and balanceable harm that I caused might've bounced back at me in the form of having to sniff the nasty back of the head smell of an unattractive white trash housewife's hair.  However, she moved away after a song in the ebb of the people in front of the stage--she hardly ruined the great performance.  This was my third time seeing Dylan, and they've all got their special moments in the marble halls of my most memorable concert experiences, but this time I was much more conscious, due to my first hand attempts at playing the harmonica, of how cool he is at that instrument.  Or maybe he's gotten better at it since the last other times that I've seen and heard him bend them notes.  Nevertheless, I likened it to taking lessons from the master himself when he added solos to songs that don't've harmonica parts on their recorded versions, for instance "Ballad of a Thin Man"--the first thing I did when I got home was try it myself.  And his voice.  Man, it's like a biting, growling, devil may care about tuning bark that cuts and pastes phrasings in an unrepeatable micro tonal improvisation of some of popular music's most classic standards.  And I can see myself laughing at the possibility that he's giving the finger to the public as he destroys his own melodies, cause it actually makes the joke that much funnier when it starts to sound better than most properly assumed productions of hit records.  Yeah, it's an acquired ear that appreciates such nonsense, but no one can dispute the refined musical qualities of his harmonica--he somehow still respects that aspect of his act, if not has developed it towards the opposite trajectory of his voice, namely as a more "honest" example of his capably carried out concept of melodic expression.  The solo on "Spirit On the Water", both live and on his latest album, are some of the most insane lines I've ever heard.  Crowd reaction agreed.

(9.19.08)

Let me guess where I went wrong.

There was that night I ran into you in the basement.  You wore a tank top that barely hid your bra strap.  And I off handedly replied to your comment about sneakers being mass produced by child labour with "Where did you get that information?"

"I saw it on TV," you concluded.

"And everything on television is true," I sarcastically joked.

Henceforth from that awkward moment, the awkward vibe between us has been more awkward.

On the days that I drive my car, which are usually the five working days, plus or minus some extra curricular errands that require gas powered transportation, I always prepare for my death.  Cause I should be prime for a fatal accident anytime soon.  I've never been in a crash that I couldn't walk away from--once someone rearended the car that I was riding in, and there was a hit and run incident that I survived.  I mean, I don't think I'm a great driver as I listen to my music way too loud for some undrunk or unstoned person behind the wheel would ever attempt to risk their lives in the highway centric, tinselweighted, and idiot disproofed Los Angeles traffic.  But then again, I suppose death is meant to be unexpected.

It took her a week to reply to my email, which I'd written in reply to her a week ago, when she offered to make me dinner.  You know, the joke that I thought might fly over her English as a Second Language head.  And to be honest, I really didn't fret over her delayed answer, although I did tear up my fingers playing blues scales.

I asked my remaining loyal assistant how she avoided getting blisters, or equivalent physical erosion after practicing music, in my case the acoustic bamboo guitar, she a family of clarinets.  She likened herself to someone who works out everyday for ten hours everyday and has trained her body to handle the scars with dignity.  Well, other than the lump that's on her bottom lip.  I looked at the indention of strings in the fingertips of my left hand and kinda thought they were worth the trouble, but also felt that maybe I'd overdone it.  Oh, and I also think she's been reading my mind a little too much.

Another guess would exclude me from the equation and theorize that perchance you've got some problem that's beyond my comprehension, to which I'll respect with my "none of my business" stance.

And I replied to her reply replying to my reply to her initial email with directions to my apartment.  In other words, she's comming over this weekend.  I hope repetition of that last sentence is implied with the repeating of this statement of the obvious.  Unless, of course, something fucked up intervenes.  Which always does, or at least is near verbatim to the story of my life.  But then again, I suppose the expected is meant to die off.

But can you blame me after losing your scent?

(9.22.08)

Gotta thank Facebook for shooting me into a mild nostalgic headspace as I've befriended some old high school (and earlier) classmates.  Mind you, I'm not exactly uncryptic in my personal information--heck, I don't even've a link to this here blog.  And so I never filled out my "education" box.  Anyways, another alumni friend did, and I clicked on our alma mater.  Hence I stumbled upon some old friends.

I dropped a dime in the hall.  I was too lazy to pick it up.

Oh crap, I smell her on me.

In the car she implied that dogs are dumb, to which I argued "I think they know something that we don't, so I hardly think they'rre stupid."  She agreed--I can't tell if it's a good or bad omen that she changed her mind so quickly.  Did she always think so?  And if so, why did she try to bait me with that "dogs are dumb" crap.  Or was she testing me?  Fuck, did I fail?

So there's this pull down menu on my high school's Facebook listings that can limit by graduating year.  I clicked on "1990" and hit "add" on everyone I remember exchanging more than a few words of social interaction with during those four years.  Remember, we didn't've email back then, so seeing online representations of these people was jarring at first--it's like we're in the future now, or something as time travelin' trippy. 

"No because, can you help me move some chairs downstairs?" the administrative assistant asked me on my personal intercom number.  "Sure," I replied with nothing better to do.

That's funny cause I don't remember consciously smelling her during the moments we were close, but only afterwards, in her lingering state, do I register it as a memory.

My former drug dealer got a new TV--well, actually it's my former roommate's former TV.  It's bigger than my former drug dealer's former TV.  However, even though I've watched it before at my former roommate's house, it seems bigger now--my former drug dealer's entertainment lounge is way smaller than my former roommate's living room, which made said TV appear smaller due to the distance between the couch and the screen.

I've got the Japanese characters for "now" and "then" prominently featured in my apartment.  And I've always wondered why I didn't've "later" anywhere.  "It can't be reduced to a single character," she clarified. 

She called me three times today--once to tell me when she was comming over, once to tell me when she was leaving, and once to tell me when she arrived.

I guess there's something about high school that's maintained some kinda shared bond of survival between us as some of my friend requests were granted.  And I hate to generalize, but everyone so far hasn't surprised me with what they've ended up assuming since we graduated.  I mean, it's like they're older, but it's not like they've drastically strayed from who I'm guessing they were back in high school.  Likewise, looking at myself, I doubt I'm any different--shit, I'm still writing OUT ON A LIM (the same namesake of my high school journalism column) as if the clock hasn't moved.  Not to say they're exactly the same, rather everyone seems to be following their "logical conclusions", if there is such a term, such that they've developed over the years, yet they've kept their core personalities, be they the leader, the band geek, the good student, or in my case, the guy who writes about it.  It's all kinda blood curdling and comforting at the same time. 

Of course, I moved down the menu four years before and after "1990" to fish for more fellow students.

"Look," the administrative assistant bragged, "I found a dime in the hall."

"What will they do next?" was my question to her about a mutual friend's relationship.  And I don't know if it was the three beers, although I doubt it, cause as an alcoholic in training, that's hardly enough to give me a buzz, but the concept of the future hung in my face like a drunken dream.  Maybe it was her subliminal scent.  Or perhaps it was how she laughed at my jokes and vice versa, which is all that really matters, in my humble opinion, nevermind all the pseudo science about chemistry or shared agendas or whatever, compatibility, for me at least, is a sense of the same humour.  Period.  Everything else stems from that simple cracked up view of the world.  That isn't to say I never wanted to make anyone else laugh, and damnit if I didn't try, but I've accepted that it's all luck--she and I either get the joke or we don't.  Now, I'm also not saying we're 100 percent on laughing at the same exact things, but the higher the coincidence, the better.  Well, anything other than zero is cool.  And so the hilarity continues.  But it, and to remind myself, all this high school sentimentality hasn't helped me to be any more unromantic, kinda raised the issue about the future, if only during the drive home, which seems to be the image that my nose's recalling.  The air certainly wasn't circulating in the vehicle, enough to fog my windows.  "Is that a pump?" she pointed to a random oil well drilling next to a hotel.  "Hahahaha," I gassed. 

(9.23.08)

I've never opened a car door for a chick before.  Call me a chauvinistic asshole, but I'd rather believe that I've got enough respect for my date's self sufficencey to let her handle that task for herself.  Or maybe I've never met the right chick...

Down the hall, the afternoon light was bouncing along the tunneling corridor.  Someone was walking towards me.  Secretly I imagined meeting her for the first time in such an illuminated manner.

As I was taking a shit in the basement, where I usually do the deed in the privacy of the restroom not so situated to the public as the one upstairs, I heard some student practicing Debussy's "Claire de lune".

In my defense, we were in a sketchy neighbourhood--she said so herself, and although I wasn't as paranoid, afterall I've survived a mugging before, my instincts kicked in, namely to protect her fears.

As I continued down the hall, the person at the other end also closed the gap between our distance.  I tried not to stare, but something about her movements seemed familiar.

I used to bait a lot of chicks back in college with "Clair de lune".  There's something about that piece that lures them.  I remember getting knocks on my practice room door from cute girls late at night wondering what I was playing.

We were walking back to my car from a party.  And in the dark, there were shadowy figures roaming the sidewalk.  There happened to be one right next to where I parked--by the passenger's seat.

And as she became more recognizeable as we passed each other in the hall, I noticed that she was an ex-girlfriend.  As well, she'd dyed her hair blonde.  Naturally, I did a double take.

The main reason why I'm attending your recital next Saturday is to hear your interpretation of "Clair de lune".  Cause in a weird reversed scenario, the notion that you're pulling the same carrot trick on me is worth the irony.

Immediatlely, I walked between her and the stranger by my car.  Cause if anyone was gonna get harassed, it ought to be me.  Following thru, I unlocked the passenger's door for her.

"I like your hair," was all I could say to her as I strayed from her earshot.  She smiled back.  I don't know if bumping into her was happy, sad, or both.

Meanwhile, before your performance, I decided to play "Clair de lune" once again, if only to reacquaint myself with the notes and to get a better perspective on what you'll do differently.

Afterwards, my only thought was "Did I just open a door for a chick?"  What the hell's happening to me?

(9.24.08)

There's one gigantic hole in the logic of the movie
Flakes.  Ok, so it's set in a cereal bar--a quirky independent enterprise whereby customers can order their favourite breakfast brands, be they the current staples or esoteric lines from nearly forgotten childhood.  The banter in the bar, which attracts the kinda crowds that champion cereal all day long, is of the off the wall variety, mixing the obsessive historian mentality with the stoner who just woke up.  Fine, the dialogue isn't bad and the setting didn't bore me.  But the play on the word "flakes" falls apart fast.

So the manager of the cereal bar is an aspiring rock musician.  He's typically characterized with the anti-establishment slacker attitude, the upholding, if only theoretically, of the integrity both in his day job and his music, and the ultimate goal--record an album.  Cool, a character I can relate with.  I mean, I've got first hand experience with what it's like to be outside of the corporate feeding frenzy, not selling out, and recording that elusive album.  Trust me, the temptation to join the social rat race, cashing in, and not only finding the inspiration, but following thru with the production of that album ain't easy.

Cause the rock album is akin to, if I might make some metaphors, the novel for aspiring writers, the movie for aspiring directors, and the mural for aspiring painters--it's the big opus.  And I'm not saying I recorded a masterpiece, but luckily, it was exactly how I expected it to be, and in my book, that's all that matters.  It summed up my rock musical aesthetics at the time, and I can't imagine it any other way.  In that manner, I'm kinda past the angst surrounding saying what I want to say in an album.  Nevertheless, I sympathize with fellow aspiring rock musicians, writers, directors, and painters who're currently struggling to get their dreams started.

And so in
Flakes, the protagonist encounters all the problems of recording his album.  Of course, to make matters worse, he's constantly being antagonized by his girlfriend--she nags him to finish it in a week, she sabatoges the cereal bar by cavorting with a rip off franchise across the street, and sucks the romance out of their relationship.  Yes, these are all legitimate girlfriend issues regardless of the comedy that results from these obstacles.  And I'd be onboard with the movie if the girlfriend wasn't a goddess, cause that's true to life.  But for fuck's sake, the girldfriend was played by Zooey Deschanel.

I mean, I'm sorry, if you can't get encouraged to record an album for her, you're a complete idiot.  Hell, she's the subject of a song on my album and I wasn't even sleeping with her.  Geez, for someone like her, I'd compose epic symphonies, I'd sculpt a lifesize Eiffel Tower out of toy bricks, I'd produce a television series with seasons in the triple digits, and I'd do whatever she says.  "Here it is," I'd say before she'll get a chance to say "When are you gonna record your album?"  Cause an artist is only as good as his muse.  If she's beyond belief, the plot doesn't make any sense if the main character is unmotivated.

(9.25.08)

Curse you for sticking a melody in my head--the one that plays everytime I make a U-turn, you know, that "chyuuuuuuuu" sound that you always make whenever we follow thru on that maneuver in my car.  Cause even when you're not riding shotgun, I still hear your voice as I buckle towards the opposite direction from which I was initially heading, be it on foot or tire.  The peaks and valleys of your tune variate in my imagination, but it's still the same theme, namely I never'd associated such a sound effect to accompany U-turns.  Thank you for opening my ears.

"Do you trust me?" should've been my response to her confession of her mistrust in her boyfriend.  However, it stank of recycling--I'd given her some lame nonsense in the past about how I don't trust little kids and I'm slightly sure that she's trying to redirect those issues, which were phony to begin with, at me, you know, to get me riled or something. 

Three fake blondes are better than one real one.

She gave me delusions--somehow I was supposed to send her postcards (real, cardboard paper, stamp, and handwritten) to get her attention, despite her mailbox being within a reasonable driving distance, not to mention the more current form of online communication.  But really, shouldn't real postcards trump computerized representations thereof?

"This is your street," you said in Japanese as we approached my address.  Now, something tells me that that's either really cute or really cruel that you remember where I live.  Nevermind that I can't forget the location of your residence.

Her situation was screwed--she'd gotten laid off, but her professor still taught at the university, so she needed to assist him to the departmental party, and she needed someone other than her boyfriend to assist her in dealing with the awkwardness of it all.  "Are you going to..." she didn't finish the sentence.  "No...unless...well...I thought about boycotting it cause they fired you...oh, are you going?" I mumbled as she nodded her head, "...well, if you're going..."  "Can you help me?" she begged.  How could I escape such a betrayal dispersed corner.  And yes, she didn't look too bad looking when she pleaded her case, live, and in my presence--this wasn't a phone call or email.

Three real blondes are better than one fake one.

(9.26.08)

They're selling postcards of the hanging
                                                     -Bob Dylan     

So I sent her a postcard today.  I thought about getting more elaborate--maybe writing her a letter on the back of a purchase order or printing out an email.  The whole idea was to take advantage of an older communication technology, one that's not electronically efficient, yet far more personal.  Anyways, in the end I opted for the simplest option. 

On my lunch break, I made a bee line to the souvenir shop on campus hoping to find a postcard rack self promoting our school--the bottom floor of the central student center, where they sell t-shirts and other crap embellished with our mascot, colours, etc.  However, all I could find were some generic Los Angeles, Hollywood, and California postcards near the greeting card section of the general store.

Some French couple was giving the postcard rack a spin so I pretended to busy myself by browsing the college dorm room poster selection until they allowed me to examine the selection all to myself.  I know it really doesn't matter which one I picked, but the photographer in me couldn't stand some of the lame pictures of the Staples Center or the Grauman's Chinese Theatre--man, I'm sure I could've shot better angles.  Nevertheless, my eyes grabbed a beach landscape not because it was spectacular, but because nothing else came as close to being unpleasing.

For a second, I pictured myself being a criminal and stealing the 50 cent postcard, but chickened out and paid for it.  I'd stashed a pen from my office in my back pocket and found an empty table near the food court to compose my message.

There were a million things I wanted to say, but after some consideration I whittled it down to the most basic gist.  There was ample space on the back of the postcard to reveal plenty of feelings, but I chose to be brief.  I characterized  our names in our native writing systems.  And in English I wrote "Call me".

(9.29.08)

I can read minds, but it's pointless cause I'm illiterate.
                                                                   -Mitch Hedberg

But seriously, lately, I've been sensing that people've been reading my mind.  And I'm not doubting the psychic ability, I mean, I figure my mind prints out my thoughts somewhere in the cosmic continuum in some kinda neural code that some people might be able to not only locate but crack.  But it's like some people're finishing my sentences a little too perfectly.

I don't mind it when my former drummer does it--he's been higher than anyone I know so I give him the benefit of the drugs to mine my mind.  A better example would be my assistant--she's been freakishly one step ahead of my train of thoughts.  And when you do it, it's like you're running anti-gravity roller coasters around my brain.

Likewise, I've seen peoples' heads metaphorically open their contents to me.  All I need to do is say "yes" and I'll be reading their minds beyond any conventional print based technologies.  In fact, I could soak up their souls if I ever so felt inclinded.

Of course, I'll always refuse.

I saw you yesterday.  You stepped into the library and stole a tape dispenser from the circulation desk, which was being supervised by my assistant.  I had to comment on your outfit cause it was worth commenting on and on about until you gave me a better view as you stepped away from the circulation desk to reveal your skirt and legs and sandals.  Later, my assistant already knew who my hot date was last weekend.

The not-so-mystery lady, obviously, was to whom I addressed the "Call me" postcard.  And I'm estimating, unless the post office makes some gross error, that it shouldn't take more than a day or two for her to receive my message.  As well, I'd add a week or two to her reply.  Nevertheless, I didn't give any hints to you about what was in the pipeline when you didn't steal the tape dispenser.

However, you did remind that your recital is this Saturday--you taped posters in the hall promoting the event.  Extra bait was included--a reception to follow with, and this is the added bonus, food and drinks.  I mean you playing "Clair de lune" is enough of an incentive. 

I'm already there.

(9.30.08)
I gotta say, I can't remember ever having any long standing negative experiences with the postal service.  Sure, I've lost a few letters in the past and once a bill never arrived, but more than otherwise, I trust that the mail will always get delivered.  Of course, I'm aware of the imminent chance that I could be wrong.

Anticipating to take a few days off from work to meet a film score deadline, I started to wonder about the status of the project when the proposed cutoff date came and went.  Not that I've got any stake in the deal, but not receiving any explanations from the director, I can only imagine that something's not going smoothly.  Yeah, it's a bummer not to be composing, but it could always be worse.

My lawyer recently joined Facebook.  He broke it down to me thusly--"You know how talking face to face with someone is like the most personal form of communication, well, next to that is a telephone call, followed by writing a letter, and then email, and so being friends with someone on Facebook, with the option to either interact with someone more personally or not, makes it even less personal than email, and I like that."

I am working on another LEGO portrait--this one's for another of my former drug dealer's friend's parents' wedding anniversary.  I was giving a status report on the project to a colleague, when I came up with a flimsy goal, meaning if I hit it, cool, if I don't, it's still cool, but just for number alignment's sake, it'd be cool if I could finish eight portraits in '08.  Right now, I'm building this year's number six.  And I've got two more requests lined up, so it's a feasible goal, if not a better one than completing seven portraits in '08--that just doesn't have the same ring. 

Cellphones, on the other hand, are a pain in the neck.  It's almost as if I can at best hear 90% of every conversation due to crappy reception on either person's end.  And I'm all about subtle vocal gestures, which totally gets lost when I gotta repeat a joke that dropped off or garbled suddenly.  I'm pretty sure I compromise my intelligence greatly when I'm on my cellphone just so that nothing I say can be misheard.

As of this writing, this year's Halloween show seems to be a go.  In an exchange of emails between me and the writer/director/producer of the musical, I was assured that I'm aboard as the composer, to which I thanked with the temporary dropping of any other projects that I might have going on at the time so as to give my full attention to the show.  Truthfully, I'm looking forward to it as a break from what seems to've so far been a non-musical project oriented year.  It's time to return.

It's been three days since I sent her a postcard.  I figure either she's not replying to its instructions to call me or it got lost in the mail--the likelihood of the latter didn't give me the confidence to believe in the former.  Of course, there's the possibility that she did try to call, but my cellphone was outta range.  And then later today, I got an email--she invited me to a concert on Monday and post scripted that she got my postcard and'll do as I commanded after Saturday.

(10.1.08)

Riding in my car were three hot young Japanese girls.  They never ceased giggling as we conversed in their native language and shot down Wilshire in the unobstructed late night traffic.  The girl in my passenger seat had a distinctive nose, which from afar wasn't as attractive as it was up close--I remember noticing it when she was on stage playing a Schumann piano sonata, but especially couldn't take my eyes off it when she jumped ahead of the pack and locked steps with me as we walked to the parking lot.  She was from Tokyo.  The other two in the back seats were from Nagoya--one had cute cheeks and crooked teeth, which in my book ain't something what phony braces should touch, and the other had nice skin that stretched across her shoulders like ice cream.  The former played a Chopin fantasy solo, and accompanied the latter for a two piano arrangement of some symphonic variations by Franck.  I mentioned Puffy being a personal love of mine and they hit their heads on my car ceiling laughing.

The stage manager didn't know what a "fluffer" was--or, and I can totally understand, she was pretending to be in the dark.  But I was trying to use an analogy as an answer to her question "Why are you sitting thru this whole recital when yesterday you told me that the only reason you'll be comming is to hear the last performer?"  At first I explained it in rock festival terms--there are opening acts and then there's the headliner.  My former drug dealer has a pertinent theory about Radiohead concerts--that they purposefully hire crappy bands to play before them so that they look even more cooler when they blow those bands out of the water.  "So it's like a comedy club?" the stage manager added.  "Yeah," I kinda agreed having only once been to one.  But really, there were a half dozen pianists who played before the grand finale, and I'm not saying they weren't great players, however the three hot young Japanese girls weren't bad to look at.  And so I elaborated further with "Do you know what a fluffer is?"

Checking my schedule before the recital, I discovered that the next few daysíre gonna booked and I won't've any spare time other than now to watch my latest Netflix rental Persepolis, me of course being the cheapskate who prefers to get the most out of his monthly fees.  It was a four star flick.  Nonetheless, it's true effect seemed to become more apparent after my viewing.  Firstly, the walk to the mailbox to return the DVD felt more "real" than I'd ever experienced before--I'm chalking this up to spending an hour and a half absorbed in an animated movie and then suddenly walking about in the non-cartoon world.  Secondly, and most importantly, the film was set during the Iranian Revolution--a setting I've never seen animated before, which seemed to heighten the human dignity theme.  I thought about my blessed life far away from those scenarios, and how later that night, these kids comming over from all around the world to take a piano master class have got it even more lucky.

The grand finale was some Debussy pieces, including "Clair de lune".  And from the first two notes of the piece, my life flipped upsided down--I'd always played the first note louder than the second, and so when she reversed the dynamic, which is probably the correct way anyways, I heard the actual melody for the first time.  Cause left to my own devices, I've always focused on the harmony of that piece, which are just as melodic, in my opinion.  Anyways, as she highlighted the upper register in her teacher's patented singing tone style, I was frozen in exquisite eternity, if only for a moment.  Her tempo was perfect--I like it slower than most recordings.  She shifted in the light not unlike a proverbial glitch in the matrix.  The fluffers did their job well.

After the reception, the three hot young Japanese girls were mulling around the green room looking for a ride to their hotel--it was too late for the bus.  Naturally, I couldn't offer my services fast enough.  They gave me the address of their destination and I shrugged at how it's completely no problem for me, in fact it'd be my honour to drive them, as I showed off my ablitly to communicate with them.  Somehow that won their trust, so they went and changed out of their concert attire as I double checked their address with an online map service.  The sorority house across the street was having a loud party--they wondered what was going on, to which I replied "School starts next week, so they're celebrating the last weekend before summer."  The girls hinted that their "tensions were high" due to their post-recital nerves and a party could be a solution.  I smirked and gave them a fun little ride instead--that's all I could do without being a total horndog.  Afterall, after I dropped them off, I knew that the grand finale would call to make sure I dropped them off OK.  I had to be able to give an affirmative response.

(10.2.08)

I can't seem to plan my plans with her.  Everytime they seem to backfire.  For instance, I tried to set up a mini concert for her, replete with a harmonica solo, in one of the available concert halls, but my engineer cockblocked me.  Anyone else and I'd've been pissed off.

For comparison's sake, I thought it'd be neat to contrast recordings released by The Beatles and Dylan in 1965--in particular
Help! by the former and Bringing It All Back Home by the latter.  Nevermind who introduced who to marijuana, but I can't help but hear the huge gap in lyrical sophistication between them.  I mean, The Beatles monosyllabic odes to love seem so juvenile next to Dylan's multidimensional come ons and fuck offs that it's a wonder that the two albums were recorded during the same year.  Nevertheless, despite all of Dylan's advanced understanding of rhyme schemes, The Beatles, especially the song "Yesterday", displayed an equally mind altering comprehension of the perfect pop tune.  In other words, it's hard to say who kicked whose ass that year.

I won't admit that the postcard experiment was a total failure.  Cause she did call me, but I miscalculated her response.  Nevertheless, the fact that she acknowledged my lame prank was enough to keep me interested in the courtship game.  I don't mind the outcome as long as it's along the lines of her favour.

I ordered the latest posthumous release by Mitch Hedberg
Do You Believe In Gosh? with a Bill Hicks CD that I previously didn't own, Relentless.  Now, they're both prime examples of psychedelic comedy, but the former has a nonchalant attitude that's part of his appeal whilst the latter is a master of sound effects and carefully crafted diatribes against modern assumptions, that it's difficult to say who's better.  Hedberg's got the stoner slacker perspective down, but Hicks' got the philosophical mind altered argument funny and ready to take the stand--both their albums are hilarious, but I admire Hedberg's improvised ecomony (check out how he deals with a vocal audience member) and Hicks' constructed spiritual theories (check out how he ties everything back to the limitations of society's overvalued sense of children-centric culture), but I'd be hard pressed to determine whoís funnier.

And so I've tried in vain to impress her.  We were in attendance at a classical music concert in an art gallery, which we preluded with a dinner at a southern Japanese noodle restaurant, and I couldn't get her attention amongst the hot young Japanse graphic designer and Turkish doctoral pianist student.  They bought some vodka.

I try to change my Facebook profile pic every month.  In September, I had a sentimental JPEG of me playing the organ when I was about ten years old--it was taken sometime during my visit to my aunt and uncle's in Indonesia circa my grandfather's bout with losing his mind, when I learned, and I mean really "learned" what the notes on a keyboard really stood for, namely the implied chords and the melodies that I fooled around with all those years ago.

October's pic is the halved profile pic I took for my
Redondo Beach ablum.  She thought it was creepy when I gave her a copy, but fuck it, it's a cool picture regardless of it being outdated. 

During the second half of the program, as we stood in the audience listening to the bassoon sonata and the violoncello duet, she mysteriously unraveled her hair.

It was like the conglomeration of all that is holy--I think every girl knows that their hair is incredibly galaxy shattering, and letting it all hang loose is the ultimate turn on.  And I admit that fixing it up in some kinda "Hey, guess what my hair looks like when I don't give a fuck" is a foreplay standard, it's still a major tease if she alludes to a "Do you think I look beautiful naturually if I let it all hang loose".   What?

Yeah, fuck the plan and come what chaotically may...

(10.3.08)

Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude. The Dude, from Los Angeles.
                    -The Stranger

School starts tomorrow (9.25.08) at UCLA.  In other words, like every year, I'm expecting the campus to explode with new and old students returning for the fall quarter.  Cause during the summer, there's hardly anyone around--it's like having the whole university to myself, there's peace in the solitude, and the lines at the eateries aren't too long.  But come the new school year, it'll be alive.  And not that I'm complaining, cause the cadre and caliber of cute girls resumes its action, but it is a dynamic shift, like the stillness before the storm.  Not to mention, I'm just riding the academic timetable. 

Life does not stop and start at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit.

                                                                                                     -Walter Sobchak

I've been consulted to do some more housesitting for friends of friends of those that I've either provided that service for in the past or've heard that I've done so, be it from mine or other peoples' mouths.  With two exceptions for coworkers who'll only be needing my help for single weekends, I've declinded all other requests with the clause "I generally housesit in the summer and am very busy during the rest of the year."  Which is actually true.  Especially right now as the LEGO portraits need to be finished, Halloween musical composed, and special lady friend wooed.  Give or take the occasional films that I've agreed to score in the meantime.

I am the walrus.
                  -Donny

OK, so that last quote doesn't actually tie in with this paragraph, given that Lennon was the original composer of those lyrics, but it's the closest reference from The Big Lebowski I can think of at 1 o'clock in the morning that links to The Beatles.  Anyways, yesterday, I received as of this writing, up until now, the nearest form of correspondence connected to The Fab Four in the form of an email from a representative of McCartney's daughter, Stella--she's interested in hiring me to do some sculptures for the opening of her new Paris store.  I still can't believe it myself.

We believe in nothing, Lebowski.
                                          -Nihilist 

My special lady friend sent me a thank you email for the other night's dinner and concert.  I replied with my own thanks and how I thought she looked like a goddess.  She returned with a "Don't you mean goblin?"  To which I wrote back "Hmm, maybe I need to double check, no, I've got my glasses updated, and I trust my eyes, yes, you're not a goblin, but an angel, oh yeah, PS: I'm in negotiations with Stella McCartney."  She didn't respond, which is her normal course of action whenever I get too flirty, I mean, at least, that's the usual pattern with her.  I'm like "whatever", but I do agree that I shouldn't've added that post script.  Sometimes I still need to admonish myself for bragging.  I hope there'll be a day someday soon when I'll've learned to keep my ego in check.

Blow on them.
                -Bunny Lebowski 

You were back to you old self again today when you gave me more than a sentence fragment as you waited for the fax to spit out some orchestra parts.  And I was glad, cause I was afraid that I'd said something wrong to build your defenses.  Although, I admit, it's kinda self centered of me to think that I was responsible for whatever emotional distance you trekked.  Nevertheless, as you gave me your cellphone number, I thought a bridge was finally built.

(10.6.08)

He knew something was up when she cornered him with her undone hair.  And before he could remember if he'd ever seen her in that state before, she gave him her cell number. 

You think about her dizzy reasoning--"Why do we always have these stupid arguments at work?" she contended, even though you hardly figure that your verbal exchange could nearly constitute any permanently hurtful disagreement.  "Then we should argue outside of work," you submit.

As she calls me back for the first time, I notice what appears to be a very similar situation landing in my hands.  Either that or I'm losing my mind.  I mean, really, the distractions, the communications, and the thrills all seem to lock into place.  A little too perfectly, I think.

He hates it when he knows, or thinks he knows, about something someone might not think he knows about.  For instance, the rumours that a certain professor is getting pissed off about their nonexistent fame, and the awkward assumptions thereof reflected in behavioural flinches that said professor subconsciously reveals or compensates for during interactions with others.  Or when a girl tells him how pathetic her boyfriend is--he thinks it makes conversations with the accused more than slightly uncomfortable. 

On the shores of the lagoon, she nudges you--"Tell her you won't hang out with her anymore unless she leaves her boyfriend," she yells over the water skiers.  Meanwhile, her boyfriend is taking photos of the stunts.

I'm learning to shut my mouth whenever I talk to girls' boyfriends.  It's kinda like a passive aggressive form of superiority when they try to prove their worth, be it listing their accomplishments, or worse, telling me what they hope to do with their lives, and I've got no reply other than a deadpan "Hey, that's cool, man."  Although, my enthusiasm's generosity increases in proportion to how much they claim their girlfriends talk about me. 

"So do you have a girlfriend?" she hopped onto a stool and popped. 

"What?" he stalled.

"Did you meet anyone over the summer?" she specifically wondered.

"This summer?" he changed the subject.

And this is when you realize where this lame dialogue is heading--she wants him to ask if she broke up with her boyfriend over the summer.      

I could diagram our relationship back to before any of us was born, but it'd just underline how insane I might've become.  And I'm pretty sure all the patterns'll prove that the same things are happening over and over like a cosmically intertwining inverted nightmare.  Sometimes I wonder if I should maintain the eternal shape or if I could change anything.  No, some things are better left in my head.

(10.7.08)

I will always be hoping, hoping
You will always be holding, holding my heart in your hand
I will understand

                       -Paul McCartney

At the traffic light, I was ready to turn left--this was at the Wilshire and Westholme intersection on my daily commute to work.  Normally, or rather every time in the past, the green arrow would signal me to go after the cross traffic had their turn.  However, on Friday, it skipped me.  I hit my gas, but quickly braked after realizing that I had to wait another whole sequence on the traffic gamut.  And strangely, this seemed to establish my current theme in life.

Call it instant karma, but maybe I shouldn't've poked so much fun at Sir Paul McCartney over the years.  I mean, just the other night I caught some public television broadcast of one of his more recent concerts and couldn't watch it cause my eyes couldn't stop rolling--compared to Dylan who seems to be alive as he deconstructs his songs, McCartney comes off as being a lifeless slave trying to recapturing the reconstruction of old hits.  The promotional blow jobs by celebrity admirers that interrupted the flow of the performance further convinced me that if his legendary status needs to be constantly justified by others, then maybe it's not so obvious from the music itself, which tells me that he's trying way too hard to be something that he's not, namely as important as his image wants to project.  Yeah, I know I'm being an asshole, and that's why I deserve to not get his daughter's approval.  After a series of emails with her representative, I've been holding my breath for a reply on whether or not I'll be hired to build some sculptures.  The light's still red.  

Yet after listening to my favourite McCartney tune from the last 15 years, "Hope of Deliverance", I suddenly rediscovered why I used to think he was cool--the effortlessness in his catchy melodies, moreso than Lennon's, which were always more obtuse.  Anyways, I quoted the chorus on my Facebook status and got commented by a friend who identified the lyrics.  Another friend closed his email to me with the song's title.  Strange--I never knew it was so popular, although its sentiments seemed appropriate for these crazy times.  I get the feeling that nearly everyone in America is bracing themselves politically and economically for some kinda change.

Although, I gotta admit that I'm sorta one step apart from everything.  I've always separated myself from governmental issues insofar as they've been beyond my personal reason to care--and I'm not intelligent enough to sift thru the bullshit let alone vote on anything that someone who some proposal effects ought to busy themselves with.  I mean, I look after myself, and live with the blind wish that if I can do it, everyone else ought to.  I'll never burden anyone, least of a politician, to give a shit about me.  But that's just me.  And yes, I do realize that there are others who need help, take this financial crap that's going on, which again, has yet to directly hit me, but it's nothing a little patience can't fix.  The times will always change.

And it's not like I need the money, although Stella's offering to pay royally, in euros to boot.  Nor is it the Beatles connection, albeit it would a dream to work for her, her father notwithstanding.  No, it's part of some crazy plan I'm scheming.  Yeah, I know I should remind myself that everything I've premeditated with you never goes accordingly, but wouldn't it be great if I took you to Paris for a couple of days and...

Wait, I'm really getting ahead of myself.

Editor's note: The gig fell thru.

(10.8.08)

You're tightening the screw.

I told you the truth about my botched postcard plot at the back to school BBQ--that a relative and her husband were separated at the moment and since my family was celebrating my mom's birthday, I thought, as a favour to her by deflecting the pressure target on her head, I'd invite you, cause they'd forget about the end of the world if I introduced them to you.  However, you didn't respond in time.  Technically, yes, you did address me, but not specifically for the postcard's sake--I recall the email you sent telling me that you received it, but would follow it's instructions later.  And that's alright, cause I left it up to fate--if you'd've called in time, I'd've fed you the above story.  But you didn't and so I let my relative suffer.  I can't win them all.

However, you shouldn't've told me that I should've told you anyways, cause it's not what I'm accustomed to, rather most chicks get a little apprehensive about such demented logic that I never get a chance to recover from such a blunder.  And the fact that you still consider me one of your "favourite people" is kinda confusing given that I gave you my twisted excuse to get you to meet my family and you didn't slap me, I mean, you practically are egging me to continue, and that's both encouraging and suspicious.

Everybody loves a worthy opponent.  So I'll play it cool.  Or the fool.  Obviously, this entry is being posted more than a week after I wrote it, so check out my confidence before it goes prophetically crashing to reality.  I mean, I've been shot down so many times that I think I'm sure that I can handle another one, even if it's from someone who's actually worth falling apart over.  But we'll see...

"Are you sure you won't want to seek revenge if I stole your girlfriend?" he imagined saying in the future.

The renegade's two latest catch phrases are "...your mom" and "...on a stick" with the former being incorporated into whatever was said last in a conversation, for example the above statement would be amended as "Are you sure you won't want to seek revenge if I stole your mom?", or variation thereof, and the latter would be tagged onto the end of the final strands of a discussion, such as "Are you sure you won't want to seek revenge if I sole your girlfriend on a stick?"  It gets me everytime.

She texted him that the beach date was called off.  Originally, there was a tentative possibility that it was on--she was gonna take her boss to go swimming in the ocean, only she doesn't like to hold her breath under water, so she asked him if he'd like to join her as she waited on the shore.  It sounded like fun, but he's learned not to get too hopeful as he waited for her signal.

Don't get me wrong, cause as little as a week ago and I might've fallen for her bait.  Although I never would've been able to've been so under control had school not started as there ain't no way in hell I can point my eyes towards all holy and unoly directions on campus and not see heaven--hot young girls everywhere, freshly detained from high school, and looking to get the most bang out of their tuition bucks spent on experiences to be remembered for a lifetime.  I move freely among them and I smile as I thank whoever I'm supposed to thank for allowing me to have the greatest job on earth for a depraved soul such as me.

I looked at the sun today for the first time in a while.  I was driving home from work at my usual hour of departure and perhaps the specific alignment of the earth's axis during its orbit around the center of the solar system has affected my conscious awareness of that great glowing ball of fire in the sky or maybe the direction I'm facing in life, namely towards her, has blindsighted me from remembering ever noticing any illumination from above, but I didn't pull down my shade to cover its brightness, which I'd been doing so during the summer's pace within spatial trajectories.  And so I saw the most obvious light of all shining, but not so annoyingly as before in front of my eyes, so that I mentally tied the sight together with an image I saw last night of a brief but everlasting radiance behind my closed lids.  I took a hallucinatory photocopy of the association and filed it for later, hardly knowing that it wouldn't be much of either--the real sun blows away anything I could ever conjure via earthly drugs and less than a day is hardly long enough to get freaked out by such circular circumstances.     

(10.9.08)

I've been noticing some overlapping between my frames of mind lately. 

As you know, all of my LEGO projects this year have been portraits.  Sure, it began with a fictional character, namely Laura Palmer (before she got murdered), but ever since then I've been asked to consistently recreate photos of loved ones, such as grandchildren, professors, brides, and grooms.  I'm just fulfilling clients' orders and I don't mind working on images of humans, but it does seem mighty convenient that concurrently my photography has focused on portraiture as well. 

Yeah, the bulk of my pictures since I got my DSLR camera nearly a year ago, which incidentally was instigated by a shoot involving a football player (after a heroic game), have been for gigs that centered around documenting people, mainly concerts.  Also, I've found myself continually bringing my 85mm f/1.4 lens to family gatherings and music department parties. 

It was whilst I was doing some minor Photoshopping (slight contrast adjustments) between LEGO building (I'm about halfway done) that I realized how similarly themed I've become.

The most obvious difference between the two visual art forms is time--photography is fast (shutter speeds at fractions of a second), LEGO is slow (approximately a month to finish a 2 x 3 ft sized mosaic).  Well, relatively speaking, I mean, editing can add some minutes to the fine tuning of a JPEG and I generally spend on average an hour a day with plastic toy bricks.   But more or less, the instantness and the patience balance each other out.

Cause to me, the kinetic thrill of photography comes from catching light as it reflects in composed patterns before it disappears, and with human subjects, expressions are even more elusive.  With LEGO, it's the opposite--the light has already been captured, and it's the breaking down into pixels and putting it back together one piece at a time that creates a meditative state.

I'm usually surprised at the luck involved in getting a good photo--I have no control over my subjects, give or take their awareness of my aiming a bulky piece of glass at them.  And there is no mystery to LEGO--a brick either fits or doesn't.

Well, I guess I'm kinda interested in people these days.

(10.10.08)

Why is it that I can hear your voice when you're not directly talking to me?  OK, not in some psychopathic "I hear voices" manner, but rather during casual social settings, whereby we'll get separated in a room as we drift towards other conversations, yet despite my ear's concentration on whoever else's story I'm listening to, I can't lose your voice in the background.  And it's hardly out of boredom, cause sometimes I get lucky enough to lock topics with ultra cute chicks, which ain't to say that you can't compete, but sometimes I roll my eyes at all the contrapuntal music that's unwittingly trained my discrete sense of hearing to not only treat all voices equally, but to behold, separate, juggle, and return them into their individual and connected multiple parts.  I bet that you'll deny it, but to be fair, sometimes I think you use a simple system of subtle signals to keep within your range of attention.  For instance, I'll be talking to some stuffy professor, and whatever I say last, you'll echo it a second later, maybe slightly altered to avoid seeming too obvious, behind my back--it's akin to, without getting to technical, a parallel fifth, which according to the strict rules of counterpoint, sticks out like a sick thumb. 

Thumbing the bumps on the stegosaurus in my living room, she seemed genuinely impressed.  I mean, I really wouldn't care if she wasn't, but I think I can assume that she wasn't faking her astonishment when she compared my dinosaur to her dream of playing a marathon concert of an entire series of a single composer's violin sonatas.  That thru me off, cause most people that've toured my apartment don't've such crazy ambitions.  At first it felt all warm and fizzy, like she could relate to me on a level that everyone else is apparently blind to, with her musician's fingers feeling the dimensions of my sculpture, and what she's built in her mind to be a monumental undertaking, just like the one she's preparing.  But the truth broke her spell as I scoffed her words of admiration with my honest feelings toward the beast that's posed to block my door--that it really was no big deal.  Sure, it's something no reasonably sane person should try at home, but I wouldn't even put it in the same category as mastering an instrument during one's entire life.  She shouldn't've even tried to trick me with that vice versa psychology.

Of course, it takes one to know one.  Cause yeah, I used to indirectly talk to people myself, especially with girls.  This was way back in junior high, so my maturity levels weren't as sophisticated as yours.  Anyways, I'd be talking to some friends and if I located you within retarded earshot, I'd raise and direct my voice towards your direction as I changed the subject to either make me brag louder or show off some fucking dirty word.  Obviously, I've since learned to keep my eyes in the direction of my phony conversation and toss my voice into the acoustic tide towards its real recipient without efforts in volume or desperation.  Anyways, I overheard you asking for everyone's opinion on your dream concert--afterwards, the tally seems to be, with one dissenting voice, 'youíre insane'.  The only supporter in your corner so far is me.

Or so she says.  My internal jester mocks her insecurity--the common bane amongst a great majority of the people I meet.  Where is everyone getting this crippled sense of self confidence?  Why doesn't anyone trust themselves anymore?  Cause it's seeming like the flock, although it promotes mutual survival, kills an individual's trust in one's self, whereas being alone is commonly a death sentence, in my case, after spending the majority of my life apart from the herd mentality, has obliterated, if delusionally, my dependence on what others think.  Not that I'm better than anyone else, rather I can always rely on myself.  I wish you could do the same.

Cause I never asked for anyone else's opinion about my dreams.  I just followed them.

(10.13.08)

"My lesson ends at 5 o'clock," she answered.             

Most of the time she's cool and sophisticated as she keeps a detached distance from the other students.  Some might perceive her cold attitude as evidence of conceit, others might say she's too "worldly" to bother.  But every now and then, she'll slip and act like a little kid, such as when she runs down the halls, her echoing sandals shuffling on the tiles. 

"Did you eat dinner yet?" I asked from the reference desk as she sat at a nearby public terminal in the library.

"No," she baffled.  "It's only 3 o'clock."

"Well," I threw the dice, "wanna get dinner later?"

I gave her fifteen minutes before I gave her a call.  Somehow I knew that this was how it was gonna play out, as it's always happened more often than not in the past--stood up again.  And I hate that I'm either getting too old or too tired of the same tease, but I was neither here nor there when she didn't pick up her phone.

"Sorry to've made you wait," she huffed after hustling around the corner near the basement exit.

"No problem," I didn't lie.

"I can't make it tonight," she didn't surprise me.  "I've got a last minute rehearsal.  We'll get dinner next time..."

After dinner and an extra late night discussion I found myself astounded about her life the following morning.  I mean, I always knew it was full of heartache and bravery, but there's something about getting the details filled in, face to face, that's both affirming and anxious towards humanity.  And so it's been over a year since I quit smoking, during which I never had so much as a twitch for a cigarette.  However, her upfrontness and the intimacy of the whole affair gave me a long lost urge as I inhaled.  But it soon passed when I sighed.  Ironically, it's all because of her that I stopped in the first place.  And the topic actually popped up in our wildly woven destiny themed conversation that it'd be really stupid to start again whilst things are going good.  Luckily, my life ain't so tragic, and I never associated nicotine rushes with bad times, so I'm betting that when the pendulum does switch its course, I'll be fine.

My favourite harmonica is in the key of A.  It was completely arbitrary when I used it to play "Happy Birthday" for her.  And all temperaments being relatively equal, it's got all the same notes at the others, transposed of course.  Yet I left it up to fate to decide what song I'd sing for my supper with based on what harmonica I drew outta the pocket in my guitar case.  Cause my voice ain't as flexible and actually sounds better within certain ranges, thus making keys a significant matter--I've identified and/or adapted the ones that best fit my repertoire.  So when I picked the key of A, I knew exactly what songs I could play.  And then it came down to a matter of what I had most polished.  For better or worse, "Desolation Row" seemed appropriate--it's one I've had up my sleeves for a long time, although at almost ten minutes long, I can see it being an epic test of the audience's endurance.  For what it's worth, I enjoyed my performance.  Or rather, I got lucky.

(10.14.08)

There's some creepy old guy that's been hanging around the music library bothering hopeless looking college girls, I mean, other than me of course.  I didn't catch a good glimpse of the predator, but one of the circulation students told me that the suspect recently made her feel uncomfortable as she demonstrated on me how her personal space was crossed by him--actually, I felt a little uneasy about her touching my shoulder as she whispered her scary account into my ear.  I backed away and told her that I took her word. 

We've got an elderly patron who ain't getting any younger.  He can barely walk as he hauls his plastic bags full of photocopied notes thru the security gates.  The other day I assisted him at the reference desk--he wanted me to find the sheet music to some Portuguese songs.  It took me a moment to switch gears and slow down my pace as he took a minute, literally, to take a seat.  His trembling hands pointed to a title on the xerox of the CD jacket as drool dripped from his eternally opened mouth.  Well, as long as he doesn't hit on any young chicks...

I think it's time to make public restrooms non-gender specific.  Now, I may be missing something, but to the best of my deduction, the only reason why they're currently separated is to curtail guys from checking out girls, or vice versa, whilst they're getting their genitals relieved.  But since gays can bypass this segregation, it's kinda not fair to the heterosexual population who might want to get in on some of this hooking up at the toilets.  Plus, it'd totally equalize the lines at crowded events.  And really, who doesn't love the sound of a chick peeing?

(10.15.08)

I'm considering revising my three criteria for liking a movie (actress, cinematography and music).  Cause after watching
My Blueberry Nights which fulfilled all of my required aspects in spades (super fine actresses (Norah Jones, Rachel Weisz, and Natalie Portman), excellent cinematography (by Darius (Se7en, Panic Room) Khondji), and music by Ry Cooder (including a song by Geethali (Norah Jones) Shankar), but for whatever reason left me unimpressed with these otherwise superficialities.  And I couldn't put my finger on it.

I'm not completely digging your new super sexy look that you've been sporting lately.  I mean, yes, on a purely horndog level, I'm hopelessly spellbound by your darkly outlined eyes, long hair, and kicking vixen outfits--my dreams thank you for turning up the heat.  But after becoming aware of your background, I'm finding myself in reality digging deeper into your soul.  And sure, you've got a professional responsibility to look your best, but it's not me you're trying to impress.  Cause you've already won me over with your sad stories.

I'm thanking her for the last time we'll ever sleep together--my reaching from behind and cupping her breasts, the crepuscular rays upon her light bulb sized areola, the allegro first movement, the drums speeding up every repetition of the 12-bar blues, until the beats per minute segue into the adagio second movment, the pizzicato fades into arco whole notes that extend over bars, from the highest register on the glissed synth to the bassiest reverb drenched kick, like a million years of sonic technological advances the sphere of sound clears the space for the third movement's presto, and a final blurry finish that'll never be repeated, but remembered forever cause it is nothing but.

You disappeared before we came upon a definitive conclusion regarding going out this weekend.  And I really don't mind, even if you're being ultra carrot dangling with me, cause I'm convinced that we've been together in a past life and will be in the next, so whatever happens in this one ain't gonna get me all disgruntled--that'd be greedy on my part, I mean two outta three lives spent with you is more than I deserve.  Although I do question your motivation to feed me the idea of going to a philharmonic concert in conjuction with sushi exactly when you'll be celebrating a heavy week of work, not to mention, we've been in each other's presence every week since you came back from New York.  What the hell is going on?

My conclusion, after carefully dissecting the whatnots, is that I need to add a fourth criteria to my reasons for liking a movie, namely one laugh.  I don't care if a film's a serious piece of shit, unless its got an excellent actress, excellent cinematography, excellent music, AND elicits at least a single chuckle from me, I won't consider it worth my time.  I don't care if the humour is intentional, in bad taste, dark, or tearful, it's just gotta be there.  And with each day that I survive, I'm further affirmed that the gift of laughter is never a laughing matter at all.

(10.16.08)

Timing is fucking everything.

I attended a training session today for an email "vault" system that's supposed to free up some of the clogged up memory of the library staff's collective mailboxes.  Admittedly, I've been using my work account as my backup for the email that I've received from my webpage, only cause I figure it's probably more stable than the fickle one I pay for, but I guess even government servers have their limits.  So accordingly, anything over a year old is gonna get automatically migrated to some other storage unit.  And it was mandatory that I take a class to learn how to access those transferred files.

My supervisor happened to've signed up for the same training session--we were given a handful of dates to choose from, and it was completely by luck that she picked the same day as me to be instructed.  Anyways, before class, cello chick came into my office asking me if I could copy some music for her.  She wanted a score to be reduced so that she didn't've to've too many pages on her music stand.  It was absolutely no problem to comply, although looking back, I do think I should've toned down my flirting--specifically, she complained about the hot weather, to which I suggested the simple solution of her wearing less clothes.  Yeah, it was bad form.  I'm pretty sure my supervisor overheard us as she made some excuse to leave her desk and hover around the copy machine.

Later that day, at the office birthday party of a colleague at the art library, I fumbled for a harmonica from my guitar case.  I haphazardly grabbed the one in the key of D--which as any blues musician ought to know, is really the key of A, with the flatted 7.  The first song that came up on my list of potential songs to play in that key was "Subterranean Homesick Blues".  So I busked it, partly scared that I'd forget the rapid fire lyrics, however for some stroke of luck, I managed to get thru it without a blunder.  Weird.  Afterwards, someone requested "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".  That song's a lot easier cause every line can be conjured easily from memory during the spaces between the slower paced verses--hit the 4th with my ring finger as I remember what's next.

In a sideways way, I'm gathering data on audience reactions to my interpretations of Dylan.  Last weekend's dinner party performance was okay, although I don't think some people, namely those who weren't born into the English language, understood the poetry of the lyrics, which is really the only thing that matters with these songs--the music and the singing is irrelevant, in my opinion.  That is to say, I really need to focus on getting those brilliant rhymes across.  Sure, the office birthday party crowd was more age appropriate for the material--baby boomers with sentimental ties to the 1960's.  But I'm still curious as to the possibility of proposing to perform an all Dylan set in the library rotunda series of concerts.  Does anyone still give a crap about those ancient songs?

Just what I fucking needed.  As my supervisor and I stepped out of our offices and into the foyer of the music building, my eyes immediately recognized piano chick sitting on a bench eating her lunch.  Which wouldn't be a big deal if I hadn't confessed to her after all the guests left from her dinner party that I once had a thing or two for my supervisor.  Metaphorically, I scrambled for a symbolic harmonica to play--and I landed on the key of truth.  "I'm going to training," I waved as my supervisor and I stopped to say hello.  Fuck.  "Training?" piano chick disbelieved.  She looked smoother in the lunch time light than I'd ever seen her before, but I hadn't lied--any other excuse might've weighed less on my conscience as she gave me a subtle yet clearly hurt expression.

I'm so sorry...

(10.17.08)

On my way back to my office from the vending machine, with a can of pizza flavoured potato chips in hand, I saw you make your way towards me thru the crowd evacuating the lecture hall.

"Henry!" you yell over the rising tide of yapping students comparing notes and weekend plans.  And you continue at your exaggerated volume with your request to use my computer as we enter the library.  "Shhh!" the circulation staff chides.

I saw her next move before she made it, or rather I made a highly educated guess--it only makes sense that she'd cancel our date given the mounting momentum.  And even if it's only one sided on my part, I kinda figure she figures I'm susceptible to doing something stupid.  She's probably right, of course.

"Where's your laptop?" I ask as you type your homework on my computer--some description of some piece of art or something or some other.  "I don't want to argue," you ignore my harmless question, stick out your hand, and add "Give me a chip."

After printing out your assignment you suggest getting dinner tomorrow night.  I sigh, afterall you jerked me around last Friday, and check my mental calendar.  "Sure," I discovered and resigned.  I wave goodbye to you, but ain't expecting you to prove your reliablity for once.

OK, I might've forgotten to hug her the last time I stayed late.  Well, I generally don't initiate such gestures--that's not how I was raised.  Although, I did feel like breaking my normal behaviour that night.  However, I never thought that it'd be much of a stupid mistake.  I'm probably wrong, of course.

(10.20.08)

Some of us scare ourselves to death in the dark
To be where the angels fly

                              -Bob Dylan

I nearly had to pull over on the freeway when I heard "Red River Shore" for the first time.  Well, technically it was the second time that my ears received it--the double album Tell Tale Signs, volume eight in Dylan's bootleg series, arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and I played it in the background when I was drunkenly answering emails last night.  But this morning, as I listened with an awakened mind, the lyrics hit me hard as my eyes teared up, especially during the killer last verse, and feared I might lose control of my car during the heart hitting rhymes.  But like always, I navigated thru the temporary diversion.  I mean, pardon my language, but fuck, if that's a song he discarded, no one has a chance of comming within having the mere gall to call themselves a songwriter with any of their officially released shit.  I'm just glad that one of the great American poets is amongst us--that's something I'll never stop telling my grandkids.

After eating my cup of Cuban black beans, lentils, and stewed beef soup in my office, I went to the vending machine to select a plastic bottle of lemon flavoured iced tea.  And upon returning, I noticed your profile on a bench at the entrance of the library.  Naturally, I crept up beside you, asked your permission if your adjacency was available, and respected your decision by sitting close enough to see the light bouncing off the spheres of your eyes.  I've been making it a point to make girls laugh whenever I hang with them, and I didn't hold back with you--I liked it when you grabbed my leg when I went a little too hilariously far.  Alas, you got all serious about your future, and I think you misinterpreted my definition of "seriousness" when you groped for my approval as you fell back on my half jokingly assessment based on a side comment I made about not taking life too seriously, including such sentiments.  I don't think I chose the right words.

"Check out the marching band," I pointed off to the distance.

"I can hear them," she described, "but I can't see them--don't say 'check out' when you mean 'can you hear?'."

"Sorry," I clarified, "but you know what I mean..."

Soon the classes were let out and the halls were streaming with students.  You continued with your semi-serious plans as she pushed forward thru the crowds and interrupted our once private discussion.  As fast as I could I asked her if dinner was still on for tonight, to which she pulled some lame excuse about some other guy wanting to take her out, but I knew that seeing my knee under your hand was enough to force her to call her bluff.  Likewise, her blondness must've gotten under your skin, especially after I told you the truth about that hair colour's affect on me.  It was like being pushed and pulled in some fatalistic affair in the open air.  You disappeared in the whirlpool of kids going to their next class.  At twilight, I walked with her along the hillside pathways towards the Chinese fast food place.  The drums and bugles reverberated from the unseen stadium.

(10.21.08)

Alone in my car, I started to drive in circles--straight on Grand, right on 3rd, right on Hope, right on 1st, and back again onto Grand.  My stereo was off, so I turned it back on--Tell Tale Signs disc one, track 12 "Marching to the City".  It's been some time since I visited downtown Los Angeles.  I believe the last time I was here was when, for fun, I photographed exteriors of Disney Hall during its construction.  It's hard to think that I never attended a concert at the landmark venue.  Perhaps I was waiting for tonight.

"Are u here?" she texted.  I was surprised since I thought that my day at work was over--I closed up the library, I planned on sitting thru five o'clock traffic so that I could eat a fast food burger, put in an hour of LEGO portrait building, get stoned, watch my Netflix rental Rokugatsu no Hebi, and pass out.  Cause tomorrow I had to go to a former patron's mansion so that I could autograph the piece I made for them, which was scheduled at noon, meaning I couldn't sleep past twelve o'clock on Saturday like I usually do when I go completely nuts on a Friday night.

The second time around the block she gave me a call--it was dark and I didn't see any cops around, so I broke the law and answered my cellphone whilst driving.  She informed me of her position in the ticket line--there were five people ahead of her.  She didn't've to do that.  And it was then that I supposed if she succeeded in procuring seats, I'll know that I'll never take her for granted ever--she'll be the one that I've been waiting for all my life.  And sure, I'll be asking for a lot, especially since I didn't expect to've gotten this far, nevermind that I'd planned for this moment earlier in the week, but she'd canceled our date and I'd nothing to lose.  "If we get in, good," she instructed, "if not, it's OK, we go home."  I liked that attitude--actually, it echoed a conversation I had with her previously, namely, that I trusted fate.

"Yes," I typed back in Japanese--I was correcting a purchase order for some orchestral score CD-ROMs.  "Do u wanna go sushi?" she returned--the digital bell of my cellphone indicating an incomming message started to sound more Pavlovian than I'd ever heard it before.  I fumbled with an envelope and punched in via my numeric keypad "Hai".  "What time are u done?" she immediately answered.  "Whenever," I lied--actually I was gonna be finished after I mailed the purchase order.  "Can we go now?" she hurried.  "Meet me in front of the library," I spelled as I logged off my computer.  "Iam here," she sent back.

The fourth time around she dialed my number to inform me that she got us tickets.  So instead of turning on 3rd, I cut into the parking lot.  I headed for the nearest exit from the P3 level and raced back to the front entrance of the concert hall.  We missed the first number on the program.  Also, our seats weren't next to each other--herís was somewhere on the third floor, I was on the fifth.  "Meet me here at the intermission," she explained as I waved to her from the elevator.  Unfortunately, the next number had already begun, so I wasn't allowed to my seat.  The usher led me to room hooked up to a television, but had a crack in the architecture so as to let me hear the music for real, albeit in mono.  Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto was triumphantly played just around the corner from my ears.

Likewise, it's been a while since I've been to Little Tokyo.  And apparently neither'd she as the sushi place she wanted to go to was no longer there--it was now a yakitori restaurant.  However, we were in the mood for raw fish, so we explored the neighbourhood and, without difficulty, found a tasty looking bar.  The chef was extra friendly as we enjoyed the Japanese food.  I don't know if it was the neon lights outside the window, the dreamlike atmosphere, my childhood memories of the vicinity, or her next to me, but I felt a rush of major deja vu.

Another couple entered the television room.  I could see myself getting bummed out about the situation--getting so close to the music, yet not being in the audience proper.  The story of my life.  But I've lived thru this same scene so many times before that I've lost seeing the point in expending the energy required to boil myself in thoughts of kicking myself for falling for destiny's cruel sense of humour.  No, these days, or maybe it's cause I promised myself not to take her for granted if we got tickets, even though I overlooked being separated from her, I actually felt thankful that I got this far.  I mean, I shouldn't be here, but I am, and I'm in the same building with her--I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  On the contrary, I'm in grateful debt to my sheer luck.

"Henry," she signaled to me during the intermission as the nearly sold out crowd took a break from the near perfect performance.  "Let's sneak into a row behind the orchestra," she planned, "so we can sit together."  "Good idea," I smiled--hey, being grateful isn't limited to remaining afar.  We strolled the garden, met some familiar faces, imagined what occurs in the amphitheatre (kids concerts, sumo tournaments?), and blended thru the door to the seats behind the orchestra.  Stravinsky's Firebird was the next on the program.  I'd never heard it live before, not to mention it's one of my favourites of the composer.  And as it started, I appreciated the stereophonic scope of the colourful sound--yeah, it's backwards, but anything's better than being cooped up in that television room.  I can't think of a better piece or girl to be with for my introduction to the interior of Disney Hall.

I didn't let her see the check and paid in cash.  My biggest mistake, beyond being really underdressed, was not anticipating that she'd change her mind about going out tonight and therefore not carrying enough in my pocket to cover both dinner and the concert.  No doubt, I had my credit card, but if she was gonna wait in line to get tickets, I'd lose control of that transaction.  I suppose not everything's gonna be in my hands.  "Drop me off here," she pointed, "and drive around in circles til I get our tickets..."

(10.22.08)

I woke up with the strange notion that I was the god of love.  It was like a revelation that's been suppressed all this time and suddenly I was truly aware of who I was, not to mention my role in the scheme of things, namely to command the realm of affection amongst all creatures inhabiting the universe.  Ironically, I wasn't allowed to directly participate.

You directed me down a street that led to a grandious view of the valley below.  The pollution was unusually minimal and made the distant mountains more dominant, but nonetheless impressive.  And I asked a selfish question: "What did you think of my interpretation of Dylan?"  You replied that you, understandably cause English ain't your first language, didn't understand a word I sang, but complimented my voice.  Strangely, a long time ago, everyone that'd heard me sing always gave me the sideways criticism that my instrumental backing music wasn't bad.  And I admit that as a youngster my vocals were as far away as could be from being great--intonation's never been my forte.  But I've consciously worked on it, yelling at the top of my lungs to break it in, smoking cigarettes to accentuate a raspy character, and taking phrasing lessons from respected idols such as Onuki and Yoshimura.  But I'm constantly working on improving my voice.

Every couple I ran into instinctively made me smile.  And even when there were dissolutions, I knew that I was responsible, but that there was a grander plan involved for those broken hearted folks.  The cosmic joke that left me on the sidelines slightly bothered me every other millions of years.  But most of the time I was fine.

"Your singing voice sounds really different from your real voice," you explained.  "What if that's my real voice?" I played around, "and my other voice is fake?"  "Could be," you played along.  Actually, I've been liking the sound of my singing voice these days--I've figured out how to get more volume and growl.  Also, I'm leaning towards a lower range.  I mean, a year ago I was getting kinda sick of how I sang.  And it's not like I have any idea what I'm doing, but one day I discovered a vent in my throat that I'd never accessed before which flaps with a dusty sympathetic vibration.  Somedays it's more prominent than others, but it's now been incorporated into my act.  As well, I can make the back of my mouth scrape on command.  Later that evening, you directed me up the same street we drove down early and the view of the valley was now romantically illuminated.

I mean, I think it makes sense that if I were the god of love, I wouldn't be in love, cause I'd devote myself totally for others to feel love so as to not hog any of it for myself.  Likewise, such a deity would be unattractive on all accounts--the one nobody'd suspect to be the keeper of all that is stereotypically beautiful.  And then I fell asleep.

(10.23.08)

Leda was raped by Zeus.

We were driving on the 101 when the winds hit.  Shards of branches dispersed in our lane as my headlights confronted their deflections along my windshield.  You freaked out, but I pointed out that what we'd stumbled upon was on the outside--we were safe inside my car.

My sister went to Philadelphia for the weekend.  Afterwards she chatted with me online.  She forwarded me a crappy digital photograph of her wrist with what appeared to be a tattoo of a squiggly cross.  She tried to fool me into some story about her getting drunk and waking up with the brandished design.  I knew it was fake--of all the designs to settle upon, not to mention that she's a professional art director at a well respected advertising firm, she'd really be losing her mind if she picked such an image that made absolutely no symbolic sense, designwise.

To be fair, Zeus pretended to be a swan being chased by an eagle--Leda's kindheartedness can't be faulted.

I goofed about the directions you were feeding me.  I mean, I pretended to disagree with your lefts with rights and vice versa.  And at the stoplight a loud sound knocked on the side of my vehicle.  "What was that?" you responded.  "It's probably an angry squirrel," I storied.

After doing my laundry I decided to feed myself at the local Japanese food court.  Except that the railroad tracks were convoluted, leaving me to resort to alternate paths.  Somehow, I made it without remembering the trouble it took to get myself a prime seat with a breaded pork cutlet ready for dipping into seasame sauce.  But before I took my first bite, a passerby's arm caught my eye.  He had a fake tattoo of a Elmer Fudd.  And suddenly I dazed off in a deja vu--I'd seen this exact moment in a dream before and if I recall correctly, it was momentous, why exactly was uncertain.

"Stephan," the new janitor incorrectly called my name.

And you replied with a tale about your favourite cartoon character from your youth--some kindhearted squirrel made popular in Japanese comic strips.  I didn't know what you were talking about, but kept track of the title for future internet research and potential gift possibilities.  You continued with your fond memories.  I tried to picture what you're getting at, namely how this is related to the bullshit squirrel I made up for this comedic cadenza.  And you blew my mind when you said that I reminded you of
Honobono-kun.  That was the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me...

I'm waiting.  For what, I don't know.  For good or bad, beats me.  But those tattooes triggered something in my anticipation for my precognized future.  I see it hurtling into my face--distantly blocked, but blurring before my eyes like chips of shattered hopes.  Nevertheless, I'm definitely locked in.

"My name is Henry," I amended.  "You're Leda, right?" I hadn't forgot.  "You've got a good memory," she confirmed.

Editor's note: Catch my interview on Pirate Cat Radio 87.9FM San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Berlin tonight at 1AM PST.

(10.24.08)

OK, so I thought today'd be a return to normalcy--no more delusions of destinies or cosmic puppetry.  And everything would've been fine had the head of circulation at the music library not scolded me for checking out a non-circulating item.  Let me back up...

Your boyfriend asked me to locate some out-of-print scores, which we happened to have in our collection.  So I overrode the system with my supervisor privileges and borrowed the rare items.  No big deal--I'd done far worse for you in the past, namely sneaking facsimiles out of the basement.

My former drug dealer called to tell me that he'd gotten the number of a slammin' girl he met at a sushi bar.  And suddenly I returned to my god of love frame of mind.  Somehow I found it necessary to deny my chances of love so that someone else could be blessed.  Besides, he's far more worthy than I could ever dream to be.

Today I received the photo for my next LEGO portrait assignment--it's for the wedding of a cousin of the girlfriend of my brother-in-law's friend.  I'm nearly done with 2008's number six portrait.  And I've got an eighth lined up after the seventh.  It's looking likely that I'm gonna hit my goal for the year.

So a student's nearly crying to see volume five of the scores that I've got checked out for your boyfriend.  Fuck.  I thought these weren't so in demand.  Then again, there's probably a reason why they were deemed non-circulating.  I emailed you boyfriend to see if he could return them tomorrow.  Nope.  Damn.  I needed to retrieve them somehow.

And this year's Halloween musical still needs to be composed.  I should be getting the script and a tape of the main vocal line soon.  I wish it could've materialized sooner, cause I need some distraction to keep my mind from this jealously looping nonsense.  Pile on the projects please.

However, I won't tell you that I drove to your boyfriend's apartment tonight to pick up the scores.  Afterall, it was my own fault for checking them out--I'm taking full responsibility for my mistakes.  But you don't need to know about anything.  The moon was full.  And for the first time in my life, I actually feel like I'm heading towards it.

(10.27.08)
I was lounging at a secluded Mexican restaurant in the hills of Orange County with two of my drug addicted friends, when I was surprised to discover that they don't have dreams anymore.  As well, they can't fall asleep unless they're high.  But nevermind that, the thought of losing my dreams is unthinkable.  I mean, I live for my dreams--it's where anything and everything happens.

According to my informal tally, many of the people I've been meeting lately seem to be aspiring to do nothing with their lives--they don't want to work, yet want to be rich.  Sure, who wouldn't like that.  And I totally admire anyone who can.  However, no one's got even a hint of a reasonable scheme to accomplish their non-goal oriented lifestyle.

OK, so last night's dream wasn't so great.  I was enrolled in college again with all the homework and tests to deal with, I lived in a dorm with roommates, and I still had all my projects to work on--LEGO portraits to build, Halloween music to compose, photographs to edit, and my blog to write.  Of course I ended up, as in real life, focusing on what I like to do best.  Then I was chased by Nazis...

And I always thought that I was a lazy unambitious bastard.  But I guess, honestly, I like my job.  It's hardly demanding and the pay ain't worth bragging about.  Yet, I'd still go to work, for free even.  Cause I think there's something humbling about doing someone else's bidding.  I've got no desire to lose that.  Life's too long to be spoiled.

I got the impression that my two drug addicted friends preferred to be dreamless.  It's really none of my business, but on the surface they seemed to be avoiding their personal issues, or whatever.  I guess I'm just lucky to be pleased with my life enough to look forward to my dreams which are generally pleasant, last night notwithstanding.  But then again, my nightmares are hardly worth blotting out.        

(10.28.08)

My identity got stolen again.  I got a call from my bank asking if I'd recently subscribed to Newsweek.  Nope.  And so my credit card was retired.  A new one was being dispatched.  I guess I'm glad that they caught it so fast.  But it's been something like a year since this happened before.  I wonder if this is gonna be a regular occurrence.  Meanwhile, I used my debit card to pay for non-cash transactions.  It's kinda a pain in the ass to edit all my online accounts--once in case I get charged to my dead card, and again when the new one arrives.

I had one goal today--to order a
Honobono-kun book.  Actually, a few days ago I'd found a site that had a copy.  But they regretted to tell me a few days later that the item was out of print.  Listings online were almost nonexistent, at least in English.  And the obsessive freak in me took it as a challenge to get my hands on it so I could give it as a thank you gift.  I did author/title searches til I went in circles.  It was only when I wielded the ISBN number that I arrived at the Amazon.co.jp.  And so I seemingly accomplished my goal.

I've been getting friend requests on Facebook for people that I don't know.  There's one guy who's been persistent--he's got one mutual friend, but I did't recognize his name or his profile pic.  Anyways, yesterday, my lawyer told me about an old high school classmate that he recently friended.  So today, I requested to be and was accepted as his friend.  However, he mentioned that he's got an alter ego, who's also a radio DJ.  Well, it turns out he was the persistent fellow.  I apologized for ignoring his previous requests, and accepted his invitation to be interviewed on his show.

Amazon.co.jp, however, estimates that it'll take 3-4 weeks to ship my order.  That's better than nothing.  And I hope it's the right book.  I kept all this a secret when I bumped into you in the library.  But I owe you, and it's only fair that I get you something, albeit nothing of my own creation--I'd originally planned to construct the squirrel character outta LEGO, but first of all, I'm unfamiliar with comic strip, and second of all, my schedule's really tight at the moment, so I'm taking the uncreative route.  To be fair, it's relatively difficult to get a hold of the book.

I'm no stranger to radio interviews.  Although, they're usually no more than five minutes and limited to a single topic, namely LEGO.  My old high school classmate's on at midnight, so he's offered ample time to get nostalgic.  And to talk about other things than what I'm mainly famous for.  I'm looking forward to it.  There's been some cool things that I've seen via Facebook, such as finding friends who are "whoa, it's a small world" married to friends of mine.  But this radio interview adds yet another layer of wonder to the social networking site.  Then again, maybe I'm just easily amused.

In the hallway, an extremely cute girl, I'm guessing she's a freshman, wouldn't let me pass.  Or rather, I didn't allow her to pass either.  Like a mirror, we both moved to the right, then the left, then right again, then left again, until we couldn't stop laughing.   

(10.29.08)

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