curious thoughts and remembrances

Thursday, October 30, 2003


It's been a tough week so far. One of my dearest and oldest friends, Sammy, found out Sunday morning that his brother Danny died while rock climbing in Joshua Tree park in California. He was 21. I met him when he was 9 or 10. Death is not something I've had to deal with to much of an extent thus far, and this passing has certainly hit closer to home than any other, with perhaps the exception of an ex-girlfriend's father, years ago.

I'm left feeling a strange mixture. I've been sad. At first horribly so, and now it just sits as a weight in the back of my mind throughout the day. It sits for awhile, then floods my thoughts when I talk with Sammy, or with other friends, or when I'm just thinking about whatever that leads me to memories of Sunday morning, or of home and the past. I'm also rejuvenated. I feel lucky to be alive and there's an immediacy to all my dreams and desires that has come with the clarity that death is always a very real possibility. I can sense my friendships and emotions strengthening, and so I hope to hold on to the kinds of thoughts I've been having this week.

Within the next few days I will be attending Danny's funeral, in San Antonio. I'm really scared. People I haven't seen much of in the past five years will suddenly all be together and all feeling pretty much the same. It's necessary and it's hard and it's tiring and it's horrible. I don't know what else to say.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Saturday night 

Saturday night, I went with a few friends to a bar called something like "Club de Calenta" or something like that, on Cesar Chavez, East of I-35. A trip. Two gringos, a gringa, and an Indian... walking into a bar where no other gringos, gringas, or Indians were spending their evenings.

The jukebox blasted fast Latin beats programmed on drum machines with accordians singing along. A couple couples danced. The man/woman ratio was about 9/1. Cowboy hats. Boots. Tank tops. Hair spray. An APD officer playing bouncer. Bud Light, Corona, no Dos Equis. "Bandamax" on the big-screen TV playing music videos that were filmed somewhere between the Mexican countryside and the Hill Country. Two tall, voluptuous transvestites in black leather(vinyl?) dresses standing in the corner throwing balled-up napkins at a few young men. The bathrooms read "Hombres" and "Damas". The hombre was a squat fellow with a thick mustache, white tank top, tattoo on his arm, and bushy eyebrows. The dama was a sexed-up Virgin Mary. I felt uncomfortable.

I'll admit it and be disappointed in myself for it, but I thought there was a fair-to-middlin' chance I could get my ass kicked walking in there. My attire didn't help my awkwardness: brown leather retro tennis shoes, jeans that flare at the bottom, a wide-collar, form-fitted button-up shirt, shaggy hair, and a sign that read "I am hip" taped to my back. Ok, the last part isn't true. You walk into a place with a cop playing bouncer, you stick out like a sore thumb, you might get a whuppin', right?

But the discomfort passed. A couple of 40-something men in cowboy hats were nothing but smiles with us, asking "You're leaving???" in an oh-so-genuine tone when we got up. One waitress kept smiling at me as she passed (I think it was the jeans with the flare that got her). And I really dug the tunes and the music videos. It turned out to be a good time. Next time maybe I'll get the nerve to dance to some accordian tunes with one of the regulars. I bet those transvestites would have accepted the invitation. Maybe the waitress.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tuP 

Nasty's... is the place to be on Monday nights. I brought Paul out there for his first Nasty's experience. He left elated (and frustrated, but mostly elated). I enjoy the feeling of coming into a situation, feeling out of place, but still being myself. Especially when dancing is involved. It's fun to move.

For the second time ever it was pointed out to me tonight that I'm expressive with my hands. I haven't noticed this about myself b4. It is now an aspect of myself that I am happy with and aware of. Hopefully I won't become too aware of it though. That messes everything up. In my experience, self-awareness leads to self-consciousness which leads to awkwardness which leads to malcontent.

For Christmas, I want two turntables. I won't ask for them, as they're much too expensive. When I'm entrenched in a short-lived career as a lucrative contract web designer, I'll buy myself a pair of wheels of steel. For now I'll just marvel at Mel, Baby G, the Parakitachi crew, etc, and play with mixing MPthrizzee's in my bedroom, maybe performing at a few co-op parties and activist benefits. Beats are my treats, and nothing rhymes with rhythm.

And now, in the interest of blog relevance, I impart to you, my public: life is art, and vice versa. It is best to lose your preconceptions of art as being something beyond your everyday experience, and accept existence itself as a form of art. It is this type of notion that led to what have been called "Happenings" that started in the late 50's / early 60's. The fixation on the tangible will only bound your definition of art, and perhaps thus your concept of artistic value. When I shake my booty and dull my aural sensitivity in front of an 18-inch JBL woofer, I am simply adding another stroke to the canvas of my life. Life as art? Everyone knows that there's a lot of bad art out there in the world. Don't paint another watercolor sunset.

Monday, October 06, 2003

A job's a job, a check's a check 

Work! Looks like I landed a contract for some web design with a small software company. It's only about a week and a half of work, but it will hold me over for now, and it's something to add to my "portfolio". And tomorrow I have a meeting with a law firm that should hopefully result in a second contract to do a website for them. It feels good to have something to do.

I'm currently reading a collection of short stories by Lorrie Moore, referred to me by Nicole. She (Moore) often uses this "imperative" style; some of the stories are like lists of instructions that recount stories of dealing with generally shabby situations in life: have divorced parents, dating a married man. I give it the thumbs up, although I can only read sad prose for a limited period of time before I need to get back into something political, adventurous, or nostalgic. There's a certain danger in reading about too much sorrow that hits kind of close to home, ya know? Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

I love all of my friends' blogs, but Rhys' is just a level or two beyond! Yea Rhys! (Why oh why won't he link to me?)

Sunday, October 05, 2003

No subject, thanks. 

Got the new (final?) script for the next episode of "Stuck in Delaware" tonight. Looks like I have a few more lines to learn this time, including some that I'm going to have to really work to keep a straight face on. Fun times...

I've been writing some new songs, including one about a one-night stand made possible by Friendster (pure fiction I promise). I'm working in an extended vocal range these days.

Thus far this entry is worthless to the blogger-passer-by, so, hmm, something relevant, let's see...

The shortest distance between any two points is a line. There, you learned something. Unless of course in you're dealing in one of those weird math-geek-hyper-dimensional spaces, in which case maybe a line's not the shortest distance. In fact maybe there is no distance, because there are no points, because there is no space.

Damnit, it's raining. I might not be going to Elysium tonight after all...

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