December 14, 2010

Trolling IRL

A most extraordinary trial is going on in the High Court at the moment in which a man named Chrysler is accused of stealing more than 40,000 coat hangers from hotels round the world. He admits his guilt, but in his defence he claims that – well, perhaps it would be simpler just to bring you a brief extract from the trial. We join the case at the point where Chrysler has just taken the stand.

Counsel: What is your name?

Chrysler: Chrysler. Arnold Chrysler.

Counsel: Is that your own name?

Chrysler: Whose name do you think it is?

Counsel: I am just asking if it is your name.

Chrysler: And I have just told you it is. Why do you doubt it?

Counsel: It is not unknown for people to give a false name in court.

Chrysler: Which court?

Counsel: This court.

Chrysler: What is the name of this court?

Counsel: This is No 5 Court.

Chrysler: No, that is the number of this court. What is the name of this court?

Counsel: It is quite immaterial what the name of this court is!

Chrysler: Then perhaps it is immaterial if Chrysler is really my name.

Counsel: No, not really, you see because...

Judge: Mr Lovelace?

Counsel: Yes, m'lud?

Judge: I think Mr Chrysler is running rings round you already. I would try a new line of attack if I were you.

Counsel: Thank you, m'lud.

Chrysler: And thank you from ME, m'lud. It's nice to be appreciated.

Judge: Shut up, witness.

Chrysler: Willingly, m'lud. It is a pleasure to be told to shut up by you. For you, I would...

Judge: Shut up, witness. Carry on, Mr Lovelace.

Counsel: Now, Mr Chrysler – for let us assume that that is your name – you are accused of purloining in excess of 40,000 hotel coat hangers.

Chrysler: I am.

Counsel: Can you explain how this came about?

Chrysler: Yes. I had 40,000 coats which I needed to hang up.

Counsel: Is that true?

Chrysler: No.

Counsel: Then why did you say it?

Chrysler: To attempt to throw you off balance.

Counsel: Off balance?

Chrysler: Certainly. As you know, all barristers seek to undermine the confidence of any hostile witness, or defendant. Therefore it must be equally open to the witness, or defendant, to try to shake the confidence of a hostile barrister.

Counsel: On the contrary, you are not here to indulge in cut and thrust with me. You are only here to answer my questions.

Chrysler: Was that a question?

Counsel: No.

Chrysler: Then I can't answer it.

Judge: Come on, Mr Lovelace! I think you are still being given the run-around here. You can do better than that. At least, for the sake of the English bar, I hope you can.

Counsel: Yes, m'lud. Now, Mr Chrysler, perhaps you will describe what reason you had to steal 40,000 coat hangers?

Chrysler: Is that a question?

Counsel: Yes.

Chrysler: It doesn't sound like one. It sounds like a proposition which doesn't believe in itself. You know – "Perhaps I will describe the reason I had to steal 40,000 coat hangers... Perhaps I won't... Perhaps I'll sing a little song instead..."

Judge: In fairness to Mr Lovelace, Mr Chrysler, I should remind you that barristers have an innate reluctance to frame a question as a question. Where you and I would say, "Where were you on Tuesday?", they are more likely to say, "Perhaps you could now inform the court of your precise whereabouts on the day after that Monday?". It isn't, strictly, a question, and it is not graceful English but you must pretend that it is a question and then answer it, otherwise we will be here for ever. Do you understand?

Chrysler: Yes, m'lud.

Judge: Carry on, Mr Lovelace.

Counsel: Mr Chrysler, why did you steal 40,000 hotel coat hangers, knowing as you must have that hotel coat hangers are designed to be useless outside hotel wardrobes?

Chrysler: Because I build and sell wardrobes which are specially designed to take nothing but hotel coat hangers.

Sensation in court. More of this tomorrow, I hope


September 26, 2010

Her Relentless Pursuit

In the first 24 hours after someone broke into my car in my own driveway, I was mostly mad at my husband. Who leaves a backpack with a BlackBerry and a wallet full of cash and credit cards in the car overnight, with a GPS visible on the dashboard and the freaking car doors unlocked? We might as well have hung a sign on the door that read: Suckers live here. Welcome!

The day before had been magical -- a beautiful, warm, sunny fall Sunday in San Francisco. We lingered in the city too long but still had to buy groceries on our way home from an exhibit of watercolors and drawings from "Where the Wild Things Are." As we pulled into our driveway, I said to my husband, "I'll run in and start dinner. You bring in the bags." And that's the last thing I remember. The next morning, the glove compartment was open, papers hanging out. The GPS was gone.

I canceled four credit cards and ordered a new BlackBerry before I thought to check Craigslist. I didn't know what I'd find, but it occurred to me that pawn shops were the domain of desperate crackheads and that the savvy modern thief would hock stolen wares online. I did a search in a 40-mile radius of my neighborhood. My GPS was the first thing that popped up.

To be honest, I wasn't certain that Garmin Nuvi 265w was my GPS; I didn't remember the model number. For all I knew this was some poor schmuck who'd fallen on hard times trying to get a little cash. Still, it was awfully suspicious. It was the only Garmin on Craigslist that morning. And the entire ad was written in capital letters, as if that particular seller were jumping up and down, trying to get my attention.

My hands shook as I tapped out what I hoped was a casual e-mail query: "Hi!! I could TOTALLY use a GPS. Is this one still available? Where are you located? Thanks!!! Jasmine."


September 13, 2010

August 15, 2010

From the LJ of Rene Engstrom

1. Put your iTunes (or any other media player you may have) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

Stop Crying Your heart Out

Thank You For the Music


That Old Black Magic



I Jibe and Joke

Whose Arms are You in Tonight?

The Flowers That Bloom in the Springtime

Comin' and Goin'

The Belle of Chicago

Stella D'Oro

When Yuba Plays the Rhuba On the Tuba


I'm on a See-Saw

I Dont Feel Like Dancing

Turtle Twist

My Best Wishes

Nice Weather For Ducks


How About Me?

Touch Me, Touch Me


Oh Yeah

Pennsylvania 6-5000

Television Rules the Nation


Home in Pasadena

July 31, 2010

The Aniv

Loosening his tie, he grazed his fingers over the tips of the keys of his keyboard as he entered the record of an order of 3000 test tubes and 200 flasks. He sighed as his eyes darted around the room, looking through the menagerie of glass ware. Everything seemed in right order. Nothing out of place. He spotted his assistant entering the room, cardboard boxes in his arms with more glasses, he thought. Rummaging through his bag, he pulled out a small blue racquetball and rolled it towards the unsuspecting lab assistant.
What happened next could only be described in most cartoon comics. The assistant stepped on the ball, realizing that his balance was suddenly compromised fell over sideways, but instead of glass shattering from the box, his box was full of large laboratory weights and heavy stone platforms. He fell throwing the boxes towards the first shelf full of delicate glassware. In turn, that one fell over onto the next, and so on until the University's dispensary was nothing more than a glass shard pile.
Rafe stirred from his nap as he heard the slap of a paper on windowed desk. Breaking as quickly from sleep, he looked at the order form. A magnetic stirring plate, three beakers and the magnet. What a strange order for these kids he thought. He stepped back and produced the desired items without even making eye contact with the requestee. It was easier to deal with undergraduates without having to look at them, explain anything or talk for that matter.
"Here is your equipment, have it back by six pm a month from today. Here is a sheet with the instructions. If you have any questions about equipment, call the office here with the number at the bottom of the sheet." Rafe said blandly. He turned to the calendar and saw the red circle marked around this upcoming saturday. In sharpie it read 'Sam's Aniv' Aniv? Aniversery! Of course, how could Rafe forget. It was six months since they first met, when he had slammed into a car door and she flew down to him in rescue. What to do... What to do... His assistant arrived, enhanded with cases of fresh, sterile glass tubing.
"Mitch, what should... I need your opinion on something."
"Chyeah, get larger volumetric pipets, these things suck in terms of capacity. If you're interested, i've got the number memorized as a mental note."
"No no, it's on something..."
"CHAAA KEEEE VOOOOO FFFFFFFF Eto! Eto! Nung! Kang! Doiiing!"
"What the fuck?"
"Oh, dont worry, it's the way i store all mental notes. It translates to CKVF 11930."
"No, these pipets are fine as is."
"Whatev broski."
"No, I wanted to ask you, what you should think I should do for Sam and my's 6 month anniversery."
"Order her this totally sick ass larger capacity volumetric pipets! Like thirty of them."
Rafe only could turn away and roll his eyes with contempt. 'What a weirdo' he thought.

Since Lucy bike was no more, Rafe had bought a truck off craigslist. It was a beautiful 1956 Chevy pickup with a gigantic back window, that could carry everything he needed at the lab. He sidled himself into the car, slipped the key into the ignition and the engine roared to life with a heavy rumble and kick. A thin smile plastered over his mouth feeling the engine running and throwing the car into gear. The car lurched forward, pulling out of the parking lot and down the street. As he scanned the road, Rafe's eyes slowly rolled back and forth, looking at the shops and stores in the area. "Hm... nothing seems all that good," he thought "There has to be some place I can find something really outstanding to get Sam." As he braked, the little picture tag on his mirror danced back and forth spinning around showing a picture of Kentucky, his old dog and a picture of him and Sam sitting on top of the roof at Georgia Road Fruit Market. His consciousness snapped and an idea materialized in his head.

Sam stared at her reflection in the medicine cabinet. She pulled the sides of her mouth with her fingers, baring a neat row of pearly teeth, her expression went from playful to laughter. She stepped out of the bathroom and looked down at the loft that she and Rafe now shared. Rafe's old roommate finally found a place next door and she moved into Rafe's place. It looked the same with a couple of exceptions of some girly objects, her old furniture arranged neatly around the bed loft. She looked around the comfortably furnished bedroom and saw on the dresser a small, leatherbound black book. She picked it up and realized it was Rafe's planner. He must have forgotten it. She flipped to today and saw that today was their six month anniversary. She'd forgotten! She ran to the bureau and started pulling out dresses and skirts. Rafe must have something planned and she didn't even have anything for him. "Oh shit. Everything here is for summer. I cant go out and buy a new dress, Rafe has the truck and, and, and..." she gasped. Written underneath the red circle was something. It was written in Rafe's cryptic scrawl. Her eyes narrowed as she tried to decipher. All she could make out was the word Diamond. The shocked expression on her face slowly melted away to form a large grin that plastered her face. A diamond!

Rafe had a grin plastered on his face as well. He remembered, there was something he'd ordered for Sam a couple months ago. He needed his diary, it would have it. He reached into his leather sack and the familiar leather book couldn't be found. Shit. It has to be at the loft he thought. Sam would be working from home today. How would he get by her? He pulled the truck outside the door of their building. He gingerly slipped out and walked in to the hallway. He silently opened the door to their loft. His head poked in and he peered around. The kitchen was empty, the living space seemed deserted. Wandering in stealthily, he scanned the room. All clear. All he had to do was go up the stairs to the loft and grab his book. With cat like tread, Rafe stole silently up the stairs and onto his prey. He looked around the seemingly empty loft, his eyes darting around in hopes of finding the journal. He saw it laying on his pillow, its weight pressing down into the down pillow. Grabbing it, it revealed underneath Sam's delicate hand. Rafe's heart stopped for a moment. Sam must have read whatever was in this. Shit shit shit...

Carefully backing away from what seemed like a lion's den, Rafe moved slowly, watching every step he took. One out, he ran to the truck, shutting the door behind him and breathing heavily. His head dropped back against the rear window and blinked several times. He reeled forward again looking at the book in his hands. Opening it almost like a treasure, he looked for the date and in his cryptic scrawl, it read: Be sure to pick up order at Diamond Heights. Bringing the truck to life, he pulled away and to safety. He pulled the truck in front a small narrow alleyway, and left the truck there. Walking gingerly amongst piles of trash bags and cans, Rafe came up to a stoop with a dreary looking painted door at the top. He knocked three times and a small slot opened, a hand reached out grasping a small parcel wrapped in brown paper. The arm handed it to Rafe and in return, Rafe shoved several bills into the extended hand. The little slot shut and the alleyway was as it was again.

Over dinner and cocktails, Rafe thought he was doing well. Sam sat across from him at the small table at the little restaurant where they first went out together. The fairly expensive one mentioned in a previous story but i'm too lazy to look up. The entire evening, Sam seemed to have a twinkle in her eye, every time she laughed, her curls bounced lightly. Rafe looked at her and began to melt in his seat. He felt happy. After dinner and the dessert and coffee was brought over, Rafe reached into his pocket and pulled out the little brown package. It was still tied up with waxy twine and he placed it on the small saucer that sat in front of her. She stared at it, not knowing what to think. It certainly was larger than a ring box, but not big enough to be a bracelet or necklace case. She gingerly undid the bow that held everything in place, and with a careful finger, she peeled back the paper revealing a small little silver box. She opened the lid and inside was a beautifully hand crafted silver ring set with several small stones and a diamond right in the center. She was stunned and shocked, her mouth hung open.

"Babe, I know we've been together for six months. I've loved every single minute of it. I would love to spend alot more of it with you later on. Will you marry me?" Sam looked at Rafe, her expression drooped and she nodded, obviously lost for words. She only could make a gutterance of uh-huh as she nodded.

July 25, 2010

June 26, 2010

ReSurveyed After 1.6 years

Put an X in what you've done... (12.10.08)
Put a Y in what you've done... (6.26.10)


[ ] I am shorter than 5'4.
[ ] I think I'm ugly sometimes.
[y] have many scars.
[xy] I tan easily.
[ ] I wish my hair was a different color.
[ ] I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
[ ] I have a tattoo.
[yx] I am self-conscious about my appearance.
[xy] I wear glasses.
[ ] I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
[y] I've been told I'm attractive by a complete stranger.
[ ] I have more than 2 piercings.
[y] I have piercing in places besides my ears.
[ ] I have freckles.

Family/Home Life

[xy] I've sworn at my parents.
[ ] I've run away from home.
[ ] I've been kicked out of the house.
[xy] My biological parents are together.
[ ] I have a sibling less than one year old.
[xy] I want to have kids someday.
[ ] I've lost a child.


[xy] I'm in school.
[y] I have a job.
[xy] I've fallen asleep at work/school.
[ ] I almost always do my homework.
[x] I've missed a week or more of school.
[x] I've been on the Honor Roll within the last 2 years.
[y] I failed more than 1 class last year.
[xy] I've stolen something from my job.
[ ] I've been fired.


[xy] I've slipped out an "lol" in a spoken conversation.
[ ] Disney movies still make me cry.
[ ] I've peed from laughing.
[xy] I've snorted while laughing.
[xy] I've laughed so hard I've cried.
[xy] I've glued my hand to something. Three words, zap-a-gap
[xy] I've had my pants rip in public.


[ ] I was born with a disease/impairment.
[y] I've gotten stitches/staples.
[ ] I've broken a bone.
[ ] I've had my tonsils removed.
[y] I've sat in a doctor’s office/emergency room with a friend.
[ ] I've had my wisdom teeth removed.
[ ] I had a serious surgery.
[x] I've had chicken pox
[ ] I've had measles.


[y] I've driven over 200 miles in one day.
[xy] I've been on a plane.
[xy] I've been to Canada.
[xy] I've been to Mexico
[ ] I've been to Niagara Falls.
[ ] I've been to Japan.
[ ] I've celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[ ] I've been to Europe.
[ ] I've been to Africa.


[y] I've gotten lost in my city.
[xy] I've seen a shooting star.
[x] I've wished on a shooting star.
[xy] I've seen a meteor shower.
[y] I've gone out in public in my pajamas.
[xy] I've pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
[xy] I've kicked a guy where it hurts.
[xy] I've been to a casino.
[ ] I've been skydiving.
[xy] I've gone skinny dipping.
[xy] I've played spin the bottle.
[xy] I've drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[ ] I've crashed a car.
[xy] I've been skiing.
[xy] I've been in a play.
[xy] I've met someone in person from MySpace.
[xy] I've caught a snowflake on my tongue.
[ ] I've seen the Northern lights.
[xy] I've sat on a roof top at night
[y] I've played chicken.
[xy] I've played a prank on someone.
[xy] I've ridden in a taxi.
[ ] I've seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show
[xy] I've eaten sushi.
[ ] I've been snowboarding.


[y] I'm single.
[x] I'm in a relationship.
[ ] I'm engaged.
[ ] I'm married.
[ ] I've gone on a blind date.
[ ] I've been the dumped more than the dumper.
[y] I miss someone right now.
[ ] I have a fear of abandonment.
[ ] I've gotten divorced.
[y] I've had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
[x] I've told someone I loved them when I didn't.
[xy] I've told someone I didn't love them when I did.
[xy] I've kept something from a past relationship.


[xy] I've had a crush on someone of the same sex.
[xy] I've had a crush on a teacher.
[xy] I am a cuddler.
[ ] I've been kissed in the rain.
[xy] I've hugged a stranger.
[y] I have kissed a stranger


[xy] I've done something I promised someone else I wouldn't.
[xy] I've done something I promised myself I wouldn't.
[y] I've snuck out of my house.
[xy] I have lied to my parents about where I am.
[y] I am keeping a secret from the world.
[xy] I've cheated while playing a game.
[y] I've cheated on a test.
[y] I've run a red light.
[ ] I've been suspended from school.
[xy] I've witnessed a crime.
[xy] I've been in a fist fight.
[ ] I've been arrested.


[xy] I've consumed alcohol.
[y] I regularly drink.
[xy] I've passed out from drinking.
[xy] I have passed out drunk at least once in the past 6 months.
[xy] I've smoked weed.
[y] I've taken painkillers when I didn't need them.
[ ] I've eaten shrooms.
[ ] I've popped E.
[ ] I've inhaled Nitrous.
[y] I've done hard drugs.
[xy] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[ ] I can't swallow pills.
[y] I can swallow about 5 pills at a time no problem.
[ ] I have been diagnosed with clinical depression.
[ ] I have been diagnosed with one or more anxiety disorder.
[ ] I shut others out when I'm depressed.
[ ] I take anti-depressants.
[ ] I'm anorexic or bulimic.
[xy] I've slept an entire day when I didn't need it.
[ ] I've hurt myself on purpose.
[xy] I've woken up crying. Death and Suicide
[ ] I'm afraid of dying.
[ ] I hate funerals.
[xy] I've seen someone dying.
[xy] Someone close to me has attempted suicide.
[xy] Someone close to me has committed suicide.
[xy] I've planned my own suicide.
[y] I've attempted suicide.
[ ] I've written a eulogy for myself.


[ ] I own over 5 rap CDs.
[xy] I own an iPod or MP3 player.
[ ] I have an unhealthy obsession with anime/manga.
[ ] I own multiple designer purses, costing over $100 a piece.
[ ] I own something from Hot Topic.
[xy] I own something from Pac Sun.
[y] I collect comic books.
[xy] I own something from The Gap.
[xy] I own something I got on e-bay.
[xy] I own something from Abercrombie
[y] I can sing well.
[y] I've stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant.
[xy] I open up to others easily.
[xy] I watch the news.
[ ] I don't kill bugs.
[xy] I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for the sake of being able to rhyme.
[xy] I curse regularly.
[xy] I sing in the shower.
[xy] I am a morning person.
[ ] I paid for my cell phone ring tone.
[ ] I'm a snob about grammar.
[ ] I am a sports fanatic.
[ ] I twirl my hair.
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name.
[x] I love being neat.
[xy] I love Spam.
[x] I've copied more than 30 CD's in a day
[ ] I bake well.
[xy] My favorite color is either white, yellow, pink, red or blue
[y] I've worn pajamas to school.
[ ] I like Martha Stewart.
[xy] I know how to shoot a gun.
[y] I am in love with love.
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
[x] I laugh at my own jokes.
[x] I eat fast food weekly.
[x] I believe in ghosts.
[ ] I am online 24/7, even as an away message.
[xy] I've not turned anything in and still got an A in a certain class.
[x] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
[ ] I am really ticklish.
[xy] I love white chocolate.
[ ] I bite my nails.
[xy] I play video games.
[xy] I'm good at remembering faces.
[x] I'm good at remembering names.
[y] I'm good at remembering dates.
[xy] I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.

June 20, 2010

Qui me Protegera

It's been a year and a half now. Yet, I still seem to sink myself, deep and onto the verge of emotions with past letters, and journal entries. I dont know why, she's still sitting there, on a little bench in my brain, dangling a foot crossed over the other leg. What difference is there, from any other relationship I've ever had? Some reasons, just cant come forward and raise their hands. Yet, past loves, some have just left just like that. I cant explain it.

It doesn't keep me up at night, I dont lose anything over it. But for any multitude of reasons, my mind wanders back to her. Beautiful, intelligent, adorable, childish, artistic, talented, encouraging, and indefatigable. I dont know if my body wishes for her, to be mine once more, or just to see her one last time. My mind knows, she is but a spirit, unchainable, and unrestrictable. Unstill and heart, open to one and all. Just not me alone anymore.

June 08, 2010


Rafe laid in bed, his body, cradled by the feather mattress and the down comforter. Beside his naked head, a second head lay as well. Delicate features, slightly tan skin, and hair bun tied up. The bun bobbled back, gently smushing into his nose, stirred him, from gentle to a stark angry look. He rolled over, the only sound being of the rustling of fresh linens and a small groan as the turn took place. Like an animal, she sensed a change in the environment, her nimble body adapting and turning over to face Rafe's head, or at least the back of it. Her nose homed in and her body slid closer until the tip of her nose poked the back of his neck. His eyes stirred, brow furrowed until it clicked, the smug expression shaped itself into a smile, and he rolled over. His eyes slid open slowly to look at her sleeping face. He watched it for a moment, pensively examining all her features. Rafe leaned in and kissed her forehead. For a minute, the face manipulated itself into a smile, before it broke out into a giggle. Rafe leaned his head in, her eyes opened ever so slightly, the glassy green-blue eyes peered back at him, sparkling in the morning sunlight.
"Sam..." Rafe paused for a moment, "Hi."
Her face stretched back into a silly smile.
"Rafe?" Samantha asked.
"Hi." He laughed and wrapping his arms around her body, then his legs until they were entangled in each other.

She was,

I cant help but recall, the pull
it guides me near, tempting me
to a nearside fate, wishing and
wanting that, which forever
shall no longer be mine.

Ev'ry quark and thing, still sounds
deep resonations with me, haunting but
charming at the same.
To no end, I list
the ways, you've done
right or wrong, and I count
I've wronged you, more than
anyone deserves.

Spinning away at my insides
I tear at my hair, cursing
the mistakes I made, wishing and hoping
that by chance, no it would
not ever be so.
The Wild North
The Simplicity of Sincere
The Sincereness of the Simple
Every loving gesture, for this
mobile idiot, who spurs
and overlooks?

You've gone and done it.
Identity Lost
Paradise Lost
Love lingers, Lost but not Gone.

May 25, 2010

The Book of Jengasis

Email me if you would like to add and contribute:

Chapter 1
1. First there was nothing in the world and all was silent.
2. Then the hands of the creators descended from their realm.
3. They created a planet, and it was good.
4. The second day, they made the oceans and mountains and it was good.
5. The third day, they created trees and plants and all things living, and it was good.
6. The fourth day, they created man and he was good.
7. The fifth day, they created woman and she was good.
8. The sixth day, they created blocks, and a whole lot of them, and it was good.
9. On the seventh day, they sat, rested and it was good.
10. For the first time, the creator hands spoke to man and woman.
11. Thou shalt work and study like people
12. On the sabbath, thou shalt build a tower
13. And three blocks wid it shalt be and as high as the top of the trees
14. Once thy tower is complete, thou shalt enjoy it and play with it
15. And with that, the hands disappeared from sight.
16. The next day, man took on a name of Robert and it was good.
17. Woman also took a name and she was Sharon and it was good.
18. They lived in a beautiful garden paradise named Weeden.
19. The hands came down and forth again.
20. Thou shalt not touch the forbidden pomplemousse tree of Parcheesi
21. If thou does thoucheth iteth, thou willeth suffereth a stormeth of diceth.
22. After saying that, the great hands disappeared from sight.
23. They lived peacibly in the garden for a year and a half and never were angry.
24. One day, the serpent of temptation and discounts bit a thron and his tongue was forever forked
25. The serpent hissed at Sharon, hypnotizing her with the movements of his forked tongue.
26. "Thou shalt eat from the forbidden tree of Parcheesi, and thou shalt save 50% on all purchases over 20 dollars at the Pick and Pay."
27. Compelled by some unseen force, Sharon reached for the forbidden pomplemousse tree of Parcheesi.
28. Sharon did touch a pomplemousse, and her hand shriveled up and fell off.
29. The great hand of the creator came down and flicked Sharon and Robert out of the Garden of Weeden and were forever more banished.
30. Robert was still physically whole, having borne of sound mind and body.
31. But Sharon, disfigured and deformed was a gimp and an outcast of degenerate proportions
32. And they had nothing buch each other and ark loads of blocks. Sharon and Robert commenced to build towers, and they called this Jenga.
33. Sharon and Robert began removing blocks from the tower, symbolizing their removal from Weeden.
34. They then replaced the blocks on top of the tower to represent their new beginnings upon the worldly world of earth, and the more they built, the less stable it became.
35. Mary did move the blocks with much difficulty using her only hand.
36. In the equity of spirit, and in fairness of play, Robert did vow never to use his two blessed hands in the worship.
37. And that was how it came to be, that forever the revelers of Jenga, used but one hand to move the good blocks.

Chapter 2.
1. Although gone from Weedon, Robert and Sharon did liveth out the good life on the land that the great hands had created.
2. Although a gimp, Sharon begat two children, and they were raised well by the hardy spirit of Robert.
3. They were known to the worldly world as Drain and Unable, born and raiseth under the shade of a Pomplemousse tree.
4. They still lived the good life the great hands had laid out and their parents had raiseth them to accept.
5. At the begatting ceremony, one was destined for evil (like in all good books, movies and plays.)
6. While playing in the garden, Unable had wandered into the house, for want of lunchables and other play time snacks.
7. Pissed with lower than average performance reviews, the hands of creation had flicked the serpent out of weedon.
8. As it flew, it came upon the outside of the door of Robert and Sharon's modest two storey, three bedroom, two and a half bath with full kitchen and utilities house and worked its wayeth into the back enclosed garden.
9. The serpent slithered between the collard greens, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, onions, corn, heather, thyme, rosemary, dill, rhododendrons, cauliflowers, broccoli, spinach, celery, cabbage and lettuce.
10. The serpent of evil, commencedeth to wrapeth himselfeth around the baby Drain and commenced with its hypnotism of evil and half off deals.
11. "Baby Drain, thou shalt become the evil one in the family, thou shalt strayeth from the flock, and leadeth your people naught from pure and Jenga, but to the rotted flesh and general nastyness of Parcheesi."
12. "But why does thou want me to do so? Are my mother and father of great moral and mortal goodness? It is not the way of Jenga and I cannot follow that which topples the tower."
13. Then, the serpent replied to baby Drain and lieth to him, so boldly and with such great audacity, that the forces of destruction could have taken Drain instantly.
14. "You see young child, I have been around since the third days of creation, I came, I saw, and I really took advantage of some bargain fruit.
15. I saw the land emerge, I saw it rise from the ground and I witnessed the adoration of mankind and I can tell, just by the geomorphology and the shape of the worldly world, that it was destined to be that for Parcheesi and other dice related games."
16. Drain only could look on and reply "I shalt not have no doings against my mother and father, it shalt not shat upon the golden face of Jenga."
17. The serpent began to move its tongue about and baby Drain was led unto the dice cup of temptation and was forever transfixed in neutral until the age of 18 to suddenly embrace that which is not Jenga.
18. The serpent was clever in his wily ways, and made Drain that which is not Jenga only come out as an angsty teenager going through senior drama.
19. A great number of years had passed without event or change. Other than Sharon's missing hand growing back but only to the size of a small key lime.
20. It was seventeen years, to the date, and upon the kindly countenance of the young, pimply and angsty Drain, did the evil behest itself upon his behavior.
21. Drain snucketh into the kitchen's pantry and stole from his mother and father. He took the bread to last him, the water to sustain him, and his father's playboys to entertain him.
22. Under the cool darkness of night, then upon an escape did Drain make the leave from home for the time.
23. Drain walked for many days, seven days and nights to be exact, and soon upon the morn of the eighth day, did he finish the last of the sustenance, and could no longer open the playboys from being cemented together.
24. He collapsed onto the cold desert sands and before him, a light doth appeared.
25. There before him, just slightly to the left of where he lay sprung forth, growing at an accelerated rate, a gleaming pomplemousse tree, filled with Parcheesis.
26. Drain took what he could, and walked further yet, and came upon a settlement of people, these were those who had been expelled from the garden of Opoloy for cheating as banker.
27. Drain embraced these peoples, and they all embraced Parcheesi, and yet, Drain felt still a heavy burning in his heart.
28. Drain then took an antacid tablet.
29. Robert did feel the evil of Parcheesi grab at him and cut of his left in penitence for Jenga.

Chapter 3 (incomplete)
1. Many years had passed since the vow of penitence for Jenga did Robert take.
2. Robert and Sharon worked hard to till the land, and with enough begatting, they established a long standing community to build temples, shrines and two public libraries with a magazine section.
3. Man had spread himself to the far reaching corners of the earth, spreading the words of their gods as interpreted in their own ways.
4. The great creator, curious as to how his science project was going, came forth upon the people at midnight in their time zones to check how progress was going.
5. "Doth thou all respect and honor me?"
6. "Yes."
7. "Doth thou all respect and honor me with celebration?"
8. "Yes."
9. "Doth thou all respect and honor me with celebration by doing the old, you know, custom?"
10. "Yes."
11. "Doth thou all respect and honor me with celebration by doing the old, you know, custom of Jenga?"
12. And upon the utterance of Jenga, did several people look ashamed, bashful and confused. The creator looked unto these people and gave them the stink eye.
13. "What hath thou been doing with thy free time then?"
14. "Parcheesi"

Angsty High School Poetry - Part II

I read this one, and I rather liked it.

The church rings,
A clattering stone.
A drunk pair of lovers,
see themselves as lovers,
streaked across the inky sky.
Yet the approaching officer,
sees only but two drunkards,
strewn across the filthy street.

A rousal, they wake.
No longer does their classical life exist.
Cats and dogs holler
like the belching of an uncle
the cries of a woman
fighting over a fish head
pierce the soft underbelly
of the morning calm.

The lovers sit,
covered in filth.
Wondering, whether or not,
if when they drank,
truly were they with the gods.

November 26th, 2006

Angsty High School Poetry - Part I

I found a bunch of poems from my high school days when I was still dating Kim, and god were my poems and handwriting total shit.

Love, oh how she exists
In many way a shape or form
Like young lovers sitting
below the sading palmettos
under a rose red sky.
Or like the quiet carousel
standing silently in the park
once loved by all
and now,
paint peeling from the noses,
falled in flakes like show.
Or maybe like two ancient
gnarled trees
whose limbs grow knobbly
and old like the knuckles
of grandfather's hand
Althought weathered,
by time and the elements
but branches still embrace entangled
underneath the vast cloud of night.
What love may be,
I see it everywhere.
In life, in mind
and in you.

June 21st, 2006

May 12, 2010

Windmills of your Mind

Round, like a circle in a spiral,
like a wheel within a wheel

Never ending or beginning
on an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning,
running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
in the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
to a tunnel of its own

Down a hollow to a cavern
where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
in a half-forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
in the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket,
words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly?
Was it something that you said?
Lovers walk along the shore
and leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming
just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
and the fragment of a song
Half-remembered names and faces,
but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over,
you were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
to the colour of her hair

A circle in a spiral,
a wheel within a wheel

Never ending or beginning
on an ever spinning reel
As the images unwind,
like the circles that you find
in the windmills of your mind

May 11, 2010

Celebrating the great life of George W. Beckham Jr.

George William Beckam, Jr. May 10, 1921 - Mar. 11, 2010 Resident of Alameda George William Beckam, Jr. died peacefully on March 11, 2010 in Alameda. Mr. Beckam attended Fremont High school in Oakland and then the University of California at Berkeley, where he met his wife of 67 years, Virginia Arnold Lee. At UC Berkeley, he jointed the ROTC. He then interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army and was sent to Officer Training School. After his own training, he trained troops at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri before becoming the Post Engineer at Henry Barracks in Puerto Rico. He retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the Army Reserve where he was in charge of mobilization of the Western States in case of enemy attack on the mainland. At the conclusion of the war Mr. Beckam returned to UC Berkeley and completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering while he worked full time. He was later hired by Alameda County as Traffic Engineer. He worked twenty years for the county before becoming a consultant to Highway safety projects around the state. He became California's first licensed Traffic Engineer (license No. 00001). He also wrote the protocols, interviewed applicants and made recommendations as to who was qualified to become a licensed Traffic Engineer. Mr. Beckam's expertise in the field of traffic was the basis of his successful bid for Alameda City Council. He served two terms, one as vice mayor. He was a major contributor in helping to pass measure A and greatly limit the density at Harbor Bay development and protect the quality of life in Alameda. George and Virginia were avid bridge players. As well, they shared a love of history and travel and wanted to see where history had happened and was happening. During their marriage, they visited most of the European, many of the South AMerican and African countries and the USA. They have been on most of the major rivers in the world. George also enjoyed the arts. For several years he and his family were involved with the Oakland Metropolitan Ballet Company where they enjoyed being stage manager and helped to produce ballet performances. His favorite was the Nutcracker Suite. George was preceded in death by his parents George and Francis Beckham and his brother Harold Beckam. He will be greatly missed by his wife Virginia Lee Beckam and his four children, Sydney Howard (Bob), George W. Beckam III, Karen Petersen (George), and Katherine Cato (Adam). He also leaves 9 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, his sister-in-law Helen Beckam and nephew David Beckam. There will be Memorial service to celebrate his life on Saturday, April 10, 2010, 1:00 pm, at Greer Family Mortuary, 2694 Blanding Ave., Alameda, CA. Greer Family Mortuary

May 07, 2010

Something's Missing

I've got two wheels on my tricycle
and four toes on each foot
I've got six days in my week
and up with this I will not put
I'm a bath without a plug
and I'm a handle with no jug
I'm a kiss without a hug unless you're near me
I've got three strings on my violin
and I'm an only twin
Something's missing, something's missing, something's __-__-ing

Well, my cat has only got eight lives,
he chases two blind mice
On my birthday, when I get three cheers,
they only cheer me twice
I'm an oil well with no oil
and I'm a plant that has no soil
I'm a kettle that won't boil unless you're near me
Two and two make three when I add;
you're an orphan, says my dad
Something's missing, something's missing, something's __-__-ing

But, whenever you come close to me,
my life is all complete
No longer do I have four toes,
no longer two left feet
I'm a playground full of swings
and I'm an eagle with his wings
I'm a nightingale that sings because you're near me
Now, my love, I beg you stay 'cause,
when you stay, then I can say
Nothing's missing, nothing's missing, nothing's mi ... ... ssing

May 06, 2010

Street Signs Part Deux

A sequel for a story writ two years ago...

I shuddered as a breeze caught around my ankles. Denise had left me after all, after that "hell" I went through when she had that family emergency. I still lived with Dwight, although he somewhat simmered down from the boiling hot lothario he was two years ago. The two of us moved out of our old place on Mason street and found a nice, decent double loft in the industrial part of the city. I was no longer studying at the university but I was working as a technician for the labs in the forestry department. When I say technician, I really mean something more like... well... the guy behind the counter at the dispensary for lab equipment. But I do know how to work all the stuff, and service it. Mostly since it was equipment from the 1930s.

I didn't care that I was single, I changed for a new lifestyle. Dwight had become a graduate student and was working as a TA earning a bit of money and I was pulling my part. Our place became a pretty chic place, like you know, those fancy looking apartments you see on television. We had a flat screen, and Barcelona chairs and big glass topped counters. To be fair, the flat screen is 24 inches and the reason we have so much modern furniture was because the guy who lived across the hall ran a furniture warehouse and couldn't move the damn things so he gave them to us. Pretty sick bachelor pad if I must say. Our double loft is a bit of an anomalie because there's two separate lofts. One over the entrance and one over the living space. It works, there's still tons of light and all, just less privacy. I can be in bed and sit up and then see the big D riding on some girl he met. Lately, it has been the same girl. I think he's finally settling down for a change. But every night those two were together, I wanted it just as much, so badly.

Mason st. and Delaware avenue

My old apartment was on my normal bike ride to work at the College of Forestry. Every morning, I'd pass by it and ring the bell on my road bike just to say hello to my old windows and front door. Sometimes, i'd check the mailbox to see if I still had any mail being sent there. I got most of it by then, but occasionally, a misinformed relative will send a check there and whoever moved in just leaves my mail in the box still.

On that morning, I did my usual routine, rode past it, and rung the bell. Suddenly, I heard the shuck of a window and I looked up to see a round tan face looking back at me. From my own old apartment for that matter. I was enthralled for a moment as her straight, blond hair drooped over her bare shoulders covered only by the straps of a worn looking undershirt. I forgot I was on my bicycle. Someone had opened the door of their car right in front of me and well, I went sailing for a brief second. I did a sort of half barrel roll over the handle bars and laid there on the street for a moment. The offending vehicle had closed the door and pulled away quickly, running over my bike in the process. She saw this and her head ducked out the window.

I dont know for how long I laid in the street but when I came to, my head was cradled in her arms and resting on her knees on the sidewalk. Up close, her face was sweet, and her eyes were greenish blue. If I didn't have to get to work, I could have laid there for a while longer. I staggered to my feet and she looked at me in surprise.

"I... I got to get to work..."
"Are you all right? You took a nasty hit and that person just kinda ran off."
"Where... where's my bike?"
"Well, you cant really ride it. It got run over."
"What? Lucy Bell? Run over?"
"That's a cute name for a bike."

I started to cry a little. She pointed to the wreckage of my bicycle leaning against the wall of my old building. The handle bars were bent, the frame wrecked and both wheels busted up pretty badly. The only thing that survived was the pannier rack on the back, the bell and my Brooks saddle.

"Why don't you come inside for a moment. You can use the telephone here to call your work place."
"Uh.. S-sure."

She was petite but she was strong enough to support me up the staircase. She kicked open the door to her place and placed me in a chair in the living room. I thought to myself, this used to be my living room... I looked around me, the place was rather bare. There was a simple scrubbed table on one side of the dining area, a couple Ikeaish chairs, a forlorn looking saggy couch and a few prints framed on the walls.

"My name's Samantha. Everyone calls me Sam."
"Well, my name's Rafe."
"Just want to know. Is it with an ie or a... hah. Oops."
"Easy mistake. It's fine. The telephone?"
"Ah, nearly forgot."

She walked over to the kitchen counter and picked up a black cordless phone and handed it to me. I called in my office, saying I wouldn't be in today since I was in an accident, etc. etc. As I spoke with my boss, I watched her walk around the apartment doing her things. She walked into her room and emerged wearing a sweatshirt with the letters Alpha Nu on the front. My mind raced a little.

"Cool. How're you feeling now?"
"A bit better. Say, can I ask you something sort of personal."
"That depends on what you're trying to find out."
"Do you buy groceries at Boles' Green Grocers?"
"Yeah, I do actually."
"Do you recall bumping into someone and slapping him there?"
"Slapping... let me think. Yeah, there was this perv there. Said he was reading the words on my ass and thinking of the Dean or something. I told him I was kinky and... oh my god. That's you. Like... how are you!"
"Fine thanks."
"Look, I didn't mean it when I said perv or anything. It's just, it's been pretty hard lately. I was dating some douche bag who wanted me to spray tan myself orange and he dumped me for some floozie at Chi O and I dont know why I'm telling you all this."
"I dont either. What are you doing here?"
"Well, I moved in here when the place came up. I graduated and needed a place to live since I started work for the admissions office."
"Believe it or not, this is my old place."
"That's like some sort of crazy coincidence."
"Sorry for kinda standing you up the last time we met."
"Well, I did come on to you a bit forward."
"I suppose. You're not dating this uh.. D bag still are you?"
"No. Single as a nun."
"Ahh. Well.."
"You're asking me out aren't you?"
"My answer to you is yes."
"You're not still kinky are you?"
"You have yet to see my good sir."
"Uh. Great. Pick you up at eight?"
"On what? Your Lucy Bell is reduced to a bike seat."
"Saddle. Bike saddle."
"Fine fine. But what do you intend to do?"
"Well, you have yet to see my good lady."

We exchanged numbers and parted ways. I took the remnants of my bike out of the lobby and carried them back to the loft. When I got back, Dwight looked at me and sprayed his drink all over the table.

"What the fuck dude? What happened to you?"
"It's a long story. But in the end, I got a date."
"What? No way. How long has it been since your dick's seen another woman's bits?"
"Not that long. Sheesh. It's been what? Seven months."
"Seven months! Oh my god. I'm surprised your balls haven't exploded unless you've been whacking off constantly since that Denise witch dumped you."
"I'll appreciate it if you dont call her a witch. Denise and I are still friends."
"Yeah look. I'm friends with my grandma. But I dont think about her like the way you think about Denise."
"Look, your grandmother..."
"Aww dude. I cant eat now. I'm thinking about my grandma in bad ways. Fuck."
"Dwight. You're sick."
"You're sick man. You're the one with the date now. The girl I've been bringing around, she says she wants to move some things in. Shit dude. What am I gonna do?"
"Fine with me."
"No. Not fine with you. You should be virulently opposed and get in her face."
"You dont know her name do you?"
"No fucking idea."
"Right. Well, we'll work on that. Not even a first name."
"Abby or Edie or Babby something with an ee sounding name."
"I dated a girl by the name of Babbi all right?"
"Back at the old place. The one I brought back a second time and never after."
"That was Bambi. We talked a little."
"Woah, total brain fuck right there man."
"Right. I'll help you figure out your girl's name for you if you help me."
"With what?"
"I need your truck for tonight."
"Fine. Take care of her. She needs a bit of gas."
"Fine by me."

Dwight's pickup rumbled to life as I put the keys in, and shifted it into gear. I loved driving, it's a warm feeling, feeling the warmth of the seat, the rumble of the car as it sat in gear. I pulled the car outside her place, got out and set off for her door. There was a familiar buzz of the doorbell and a warm, sassy sounding voice from the speaker.

"Hey, it's me."
"Hey, come on up."

The door rattled with a buzz and I pushed my way in. I came up to her door on the third floor, and the same little bare room made itself present again.

"Hey you."
"How're you doing?"
"Fine, just give me a second to finish putting on makeup."
"Sure sure."

I sat in a small easy chair as she disappeared to the bathroom again. I looked around, there seemed to be a bit more furniture than when I was here earlier this morning.

"Is some of this furniture new?"
"How is furniture 'sorta' new?"
"Well, college finished a couple of days ago, and students are just throwing all this stuff out."
"Did you look at it with a black light first?"
"I didn't want to think about that."
"Well, it comes with student used furniture."
"So.. where are we going?" She emerged from the doorway, wearing a black slinky dress, her face lightly touched up with makeup. "I mean, if we're going somewhere else, I need to change again."
I thought about it, one thing came up. "Twin Peaks."
"Twin peaks? The bar?"
"Yeah sure. C'mon it'll be fun. Look, I got my darts with me, I can teach you." She reluctantly looked at me with a cocked head and little pouted lips. "Or how about Swing."
"That sounds more like it." She grabbed me by the tie and we left her place. In the hall, there is an old alcove for the telephone, she pushed me into it. Her lips pressed against mine, this caught me by surprise, and I just let it happen.
"How 'bout dinner too?"
"That's better."

I took her for dinner at Oxygen 42, a considerable dig into my pocket and then we found ourselves dancing and grinding around the dance floor. Drinks flowed between me and her, more her than me. Before long, I found her crashing about, falling, flailing and generally, very drunk. After an hour's worth of dancing, I had to drag her back to the car.

"Where are your keys?"
"I dunno. They-they were n a scrunchie on my wrist." I looked at her wrists. Bare. "But uh oh. Looks like I lost them."
"How am I supposed to get you home?"
"Take me with you!"
"It's only our first date. Look... I"
"Shhhh. Just let me sleep. I promise I wont be bad."
"Allright I suppose."

I drove back to my loft and took her up to my room. She looked at me, a wide grin smashed itself over her face. She giggled and then pounced onto my bed. I looked at her, I cant do it I thought. She's drunk. She looked at me and crawled to the edge of the bed and grabbed my tie again and this time, with a weird amount of strength, she pulled me down on top of her. The rest is just history.

I woke up, the sun was streaming through the windows, and my head was still somewhat of a groggy mess. I looked around. The bedsheets were tangled around my legs and waist. A lump of pillows lay around, the comforter was thrown onto the chair and there were clothes everywhere. I looked to my side and splayed out on the sheets, arms enwrapt around a stuffed moose I had laying on the bed, was the naked figure of Samantha. Her hair was spread out and fanned over the pillows. I drew a finger and poked her side. Her eyes stirred, and I poked again. Her lips, parted revealing a small pink tongue that licked around.

Atlas and Kingman Sts.

I sat quietly at the cafe, sketchbook laid out flat in front of me. My cigarette still let little wisps out, showing resilience to dying out just yet. As I drew, the pen just seemed to flow over the pages, cutting loose all of my enslaved ideas and thoughts in picture form. It was a little while since I last saw Sam. That morning we had gone to bed together, she just disappeared and hadn't called since. The waiter brought along another coffee to the table. As I looked at the steaming cup, I heard the piercing ring of a cellphone. I looked around to find this strange source of noise and found myself making eyes with Sam again. She saw me and sprang up, knocking over her table and the things on it.

"Oh my god, so there you went."
"Yeah, here I went."
"Why didn't you call?" Her legs crossed, revealing a bit of a thigh. It was becoming irresistable.
"Well, you left in such a hurry, I almost thought you didn't want to be bothered."
"A girl would like to know a little bit at least..."
"Well, I apologize then."
"Do you want to make a girl's fancy again?"
"You know..." Her skirt lifted a little.
"Aha, well... hum." I put my coffee down and looked her in the eyes. Her lashes batted over her light blue eyes. "I could.. Lets go how's that?"

I took her arm and she took mine and we walked back to my apartment.

April 18, 2010

California: Arbor and Bird Day Annual Update

Update. I finished the whole thing at eight ten today. Finally!

I'm excited to watercolor this later tonight. All I have to do first is erase the blue lines first.

California: Arbor and Bird Day Annual

I started this project on my own on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010. You can kinda see, it's on size C paper, 24 by 36. I like working with new sizes of paper and especially a new way of drawing. Before I used to use a pencil to outline everything and before that, I did everything free hand. I'm doing a lot less nowadays. I started using blue pencil, and I like the way it works out.

Here's a close up of some of the lettering. You can see some of the design outlined in the blue pencil. It doesn't show up in photocopies!

I haven't worked on this thing for four days. But now it's sunday. I've started working on the project again, and finally got to outlining everything.

I'm proud of this part most in particular.

Here are some of the tools I use. The Rapidograph #3, a Number 5 Ink Letterer, Rapidograph ink and a ruler.

April 13, 2010


So to catch up with reading this, I've got some things to let you know about.

I've been working hard at things in Berkeley. I've started to do art again, it's a really soothing, and I really love the Arts and Crafts posters of Will Bradley. Stay posted for the start of that project! :)

Sunday, I got my brow pierced.

Saturday, Coulter Woolf and I just had an adventure. St. Mary's college, Fruitvale, Alameda, NAS, The Kingfish and the Albatross!

March 22, 2010

Hoegaarden part two

I just met a girl, Cassie. Cassie god knows what her last name is, told me to met her here at this time. With a fist full of cash and an open mind. A really open mind. I stood there, thinking, this couldn't be possible, that everything that had just happened in my usual breakfast place was just a dream. Yet, here I was, standing by the Cable Car turnaround and in my jacket pocket, eight hundred dollars. I watched the masses of tourists line obediently around the concrete bollards, waiting for their chance to ride the world famous cable cars of the city. I jerked the pale keffyeh closer around my neck and looked around one last time. Five minutes i'll give her. Five.
I heard my name, pitched out through the cold air. "Max!" I spun on my heels to look around. I didn't see anything. People just kept milling about their businesses, togged up in cold weather clothes. "Max!" I heard Cassie, I just didn't see where she was. She finally pushed her way through a throng of tourists. "Max, there you are. Come on, i've been waiting forever. Come on silly."
She grabbed my arm, leading me through the crowd and down into the BART station towards the entrance to the mall. She gripped my arm with a strength I really didn't think she had. We wandered down, below Market street and we found ourselves immersed in the Westfield mall. Couples, groups of college students, all milling about looking and trying on things. I looked at my drab clothes, a pea coat, collared shirt and levis. Nothing exciting. She dragged me towards Nordstroms. All around me stood mannequins dressed sharply in plaid and checkered patterns, beautiful looking people with their noses in the air and old ladies, dressed in their best shopping. Cassie took me by the hands and looked me in the eyes.
"You need this. It's not too late to back out. Just say so, and i'll disappear like fries in front of a fat kid"
"Of course I do. Why else do you think i'm here?"
"Allright. Prepare to go from drab to dapper."
She skired off for a moment then returned with the floor walker.
"Yes I see ma'am. I'll see what I can do. Please."
The floor walker escorted me into a back room and suddenly, without warning, i'm covered and swamped in clothes. The sheer combinations and colors was overwhelming and soon, I found myself presented before Cassie. Wearing a pair of dark trousers, a plaid shirt, skinny tie, wool jacket and a small porkpie. Only one thing could come out of my mouth.
"What is the cost?"
"Sir, this entire combination runs for about fourhundred and seventy five."
I choked. "Come again?"
"four hundred and seventy five. Plus Tax might I add."
"Ah. Well."
Cassie poked me in the ribs again. "Do it."
I forked over the cash. "I'm wincing as I'm doing this as you know."
"You're doing good. I've got a kiss for you." She leaned into my face and placed a small kiss on my cheek.
"Whey hey hey."
"Thank you sir, here is your receipt."
I grumbled in my new outfit as we walked out of the store. Cassie held my hand. I couldn't help myself.
"Let's get a drink ok?"
"I guess."
"Allright, we'll go to The Peaks."
She pulled me onto an F car and we rumbled together into the Castro.

March 21, 2010

Hoegaarden part one

A short story:

I'm not the sort of guy, to try something new. Hell, I'm afraid of trying a new beer. In high school, my friends called me Maxed out Max. Not cause I did things to the extremes, but more because I had exhausted out everyone from not wanting to try anything other than my usuals. In my first two years of college, I continued in this fashion until my third year, which is where this story begins.

My eyes tend to remain shut, they dont really open until well after I've emerged from my cocoon of comforters and blankets. It usually tends to happen, just about halfway through brushing my teeth, and shaving. As usual, my roommate is still fastened firmly to his mattress, his legs dangled limply over the edge in a pair of red basketball shorts. The little clock beside his head began to chirp a soft alarm and his hand, edged towards it like a snake and with a single, deft motion, chucked it at me. I just managed avoid being hit by morning missiles. His head ducked under the covers and I pulled the thick, linen curtains open. Light streamed through the large windows and he sat up. Blinked a couple times and covered his head with a pillow. I only stared at him contently and finished dressing and got out.
At the cafe, I ordered my usual breakfast and my usual coffee. I had it at my usual table with my usual newspaper section from my usual newspaper open.
I dont know what it was, but you know that feeling that some people get when something just clicks in their head, and they go flippin bananas? I kinda had that. I stared at my table and only one thing came into my mind. Disgust. I motioned for the waiter, and he came by.
"Mr. Max, good to see you. Is there something with your breakfast?"
"Yes, there is."
"But, what could it be? It is the exact same thing our cook Maurice has made for you for the past two years."
"But that's just it. Could I have something different?"
"But of course. Here is a menu, I'll be back."
I stared at the piece of paper. Although, there were 12 different breakfasts, it felt like staring down 1000 different entrees. My mouth began to pulsate with fear and excitement. Each option looked more liberating that the next and each one began to scare me like no other. I could only look at the next one down and almost feel my teeth chatter. The waiter came back.
"Mr. Max, are you ready?"
I looked at him, and then back to the menu. My mouth trembled in fear.
"I'll just stick with what I got."
"I see..."
Suddenly, I heard a voice behind me. It wasn't any voice I knew, none that was familiar to me at least. It was sweet, and sour at the same time. It rang in my ears but was pleasing. I turned around and saw a smiling, bubbly face. She sat there, in a calico print sun dress, her hair was clipped short and she sported a cycle cap and thick framed glasses.
"Could I get, a carafe of orange juice, a chicken fried steak, some home fries, no... let's have hashbrown patties today, and a fried egg on the side. Sunny side up. Something new this time."
I was in awe of how easily she just picked new things. I turned back towards my plate of eggs benedict and hashbrown pattie and looked back at her. Something in my gut said I needed her. I stood up and sat myself down at her table.
"I'm Max."
"Oh. Hello. That was rather forward. Well. Hello Max, welcome to my table." As she said this, she made a flowering gesture with her hands. "Now Max. What can I do for you?"
"Well, this might sound silly. But hear me out ok?"
"It's fine. Just tell me."
"Ok, well... I'm in a rut. I cant try anything new. I've been the same, straight laced guy for the past 20 years and I think you're the person to help me change that."
"Why would I want to help you?"
"I just feel it in my stomach. The way you ordered breakfast, I could never do that."
"Haha, silly. But that's just breakfast. It's what I feel like."
"But why do I always feel like eggs benedict and patties?" I jerked the dish from my table onto hers. The eggs landed with a rattle and bits of potato scattered about.
"Oh man. Are you some nutjob or something?"
"No, I'm honest. Look. There's no one in my life that's radical, different, etcetera. I want to live a little. I want to... I want to do things my mother would be angry at."
"That's not a problem. Ok first off, let's order breakfast."
"But I got breakfast right here." I motioned to the eggs benedict and patty.
"Not anymore." She spit on her palm and smacked the benedict. "You're ordering something new, and i'm helping you. What do you feel like?"
"Me? Uh. I dunno."
"Pick something."
"Ahh. phoo... um. Pigs in a blanket covered in gravy sound good actually. I've never noticed them before."
"Then Piggies you shall have! Waiter!" She motioned over my waiter. "This gentleman will have..."
"Uh... Can I get the pigs in a blanket covered in gravy."
He looked at me stunned. "Very good. Anything else?"
She looked at me. I looked at the menu.
"Champagne and orange juice. I'd like that please."
"Very good." A smile spread over his face as he walked off to put the order in.
"That's a great start. I'm proud of you."
"T-thanks. It's new."
"Cassie Innsbruk"
"Of course."
"huh" I nodded vigorously. The waiter came back with a plate of sausage gravy draped over a pair of piggies. I wolfed them down. They didn't taste like they should have been in my mouth at this hour, but it was invigorating. The Champagne came next and it washed it down with a bubble. I grinned at my new found ability.
"Turns out you do have free will"
"Heh, I guess so. Hey look, I know it's kinda out of the blue, but would you like to go out with me? Help me continue changing me? It'll be for the good of the world."
She looked at me stunned. "Ok. I'm not seeing anyone, and something like you might be a fun project. But we gotta do heavier shit than just bacon and eggs. Now. What other problems do you have?"
"Well, where should we start?"
"How about them threads. When did you last go shopping."
"On my own?"
"Oh my god. Meet me at Powell station in 45 minutes. Bring a buttload of cash."

to be continued...

March 17, 2010

Movie Review: Paris (2008)

Going through my netflix today, I stumbled upon a really beautiful film I had en-queued but since it was recently just released in the US, it was put on watch now. The cinematography is amazing and the choice of music and soundtracking is excellent. I highly recommend it.

It follows the stories of several people around the city of Paris. Though several of the story lines never interacts, some do come in contact with each other without even knowing it. Just to give you an idea, the main story follows Pierre and those around him. He's diagnosed with a disease and his miserable attitude just creates a wall of just interaction and I've never seen anything like it before. I mean, I've watched movies with just as many story lines but never interacting in the way that Cedric Klapisch had woven the movie.

On scene, the movie takes advantage of many parts of Paris, the beautiful architecture and all sorts of wonderful sets as far off as French Morocco and Cameroon.

if that doesn't interest you, you see Melanie Laurent in a bra for a few moments. That made me happy enough.

March 04, 2010

Whom Death hath bourne Away

When Laurence Matheison died, his wife commissioned this sculpture as an expression,

of her love for him.

I wish I had a girl like that. Doesn't every girl want that too?

January 20, 2010

Remember why?

I can still sort of recall when I first put the bicycle gadget up on my blog. I was actually, pretty excited to know that we were nearing a sort of, big day since it was a couple days until it would be 1200 days since any new bike lanes were installed. I thought: Yes. Change will happen. New bike lanes will be installed... etc, etc. Now, it's been 1310 days since. I'm still hopeful, but much more rather doubtful.