Davecat Gothic

A bout du chapeau to Ptak Science Books; I include a wonderful yet anomalous "find" of Mr Ptak's:  A future photo of Davecat taken in 2046.  Although he ages quite well, it is a bit unsettling to see that in the next thirty-six years Dakota and Carolina consolidate and, accordingly, there are again 48 states. 

"Keeping a straight face with you giggling, Sidore, is not easy."

The myth holds us, thereforenot through its romantic flavor, not the remembrance of beauty of some bygone age, not through the possibilities of fantasybut because it expresses to us something real and existing in ourselves, as it was to those who first stumbled upon the symbols to give them life. — Mark Rothko

You're so vain—bet'cha think this isn't about you...

          I honestly despise every bit and byte of the most recent revelations from the sunset stained stucco-and-concrete hued neurons in your skull.

          I'm not only referring to the vacuous way your brain fails to formulate, nor just the way it conject-ificates — even (I say in my best cartoonishly lyrical exit-stage-left tone) but the way your Gulliver’s been wired.  That's what I hate the most.  The way you’ve permitted, nay—encouraged—its re-formatting by all the paperdolls who giddily camouflage you with their painlessly worthless info-injections.

          They’ve not only erased laugh lines (that could’ve, once, been correctly referred to as dimples) but are now—at the pace of these keystrokes—preventing the formation of character in what’s become a silicone-based body costume.  Is it possible to still refer to something as a ‘facade’ which completely covers all vantage points?  Once you begin to sleep in it (if you haven’t already) isn’t it an exoskeleton?

          The load—once enjoyed, then craved, now giveusthisday our daily band-with high-fiber-optic / low-in-telligence—is over your head...overwhelming...overwrought...over taking you...overkill   ing  you.

I know you don’t see it.

You’ll be missed.

Already are.

The magnitude—on every level of experience and meaning—of the task in which you have involved me, exceeds all my preconceptions and is teaching me to extend myself beyond what I thought was possible for me.  For this, I thank you. — Mark Rothko

Sizing-Up the Art of Criticizing

In another (failed) attempt to determine why no person I know (and especially no professionals) are capable of acting as my film umpire...I began—on the winter solstice of last year—to screen about one film a day and to rate every one I watched.  Four months and more than 100 films later...I've learned that the five-star rating system doesn't work (and little else).

Under the commonly used 5-point system, 1 is the lowest rating available, (for painfully terrible movies) 5 is the highest, (for unique and wonderful works of genius) and 3 is given to average middle-of-the-road films.  3's are routinely forgettable.  The best way to decide if a film is a 3 is if—immediately after viewing—you know it wasn't a 1 or a 5...wait a week...and if you can no longer recall the film, it's a solid 3.  That leaves 2 for the movies with too many flaws, and 4 for the films you like.

A good rating system, right?  I thought so too, until I learned the uber-majority were huddled invisibly under never-remember-land's umbrella.  When the best thing I could say about 6.5 out of 10 of them was:  They're not bad enough to dislike, I knew I "needed a bigger boat" (needed to fix the 3s).  But first, why are there so many 3s? 

I determined there were a few over-looked intricacies to both the film-watching and film-rating process:

The Rob Schneider Truism:  Film watchers rarely intentionally watch films they believe, based on previous experience, will be forgettable-to-terrible (3 or lower).  Accordingly, there are not many 1s on anyone's list.
The Pixar Truism:  Film watchers rarely love every aspect of a film to such an extent that they say it is amazing, timeless, and best-ever.  People are stingy with their highest rating, which results in a low number of 5s on most people's list.

The 'That-One-Guy' Truism:  The overwhelming majority of films are an unfortunate combination of not good enough to remember and not bad enough to remember, which poses a significant problem if you are ever asked to recommend a movie.  Even if you aren't a professional critic and are just some idiot who watches a rabidly massive shitload of films—eventually—someone you know is going to ask, "Hey, Avatar wasn't a 3, was it?"  [Yes]  "Should I see it anyway?"  [Yes]  "Why?"  [It's pretty and was uniquely made].

To solve my "3-problem" I decided to add qualifiers.  With a 3- and a 3+ it's possible to diminish the mediocre middle.  Unfortunately, sometimes—still—there is nothing more to say about a film than it was "solidly forgettable"...and, therefore, there are still some 3s.  But the majority are now identified as 3+ (some memorable accomplishments) or 3- (a few memorable errors).

The Never Listen to a Jaw-less Critic Truism:  Back when he could talk, Roger Ebert's "default" was solidly in the center, and he normally called them like he saw them.  Now, his default is 'thumbs up.'   It's as if every forgettable film gets a one-point bump because he's glad he still isn't dead.  And then there are his inexcusable exceptions.  He gave his lowest rating to 'Kick Ass' not because the film contained flawed editing or poor acting or a terrible script...but because he didn't find humor when an 11-year-old girl cussed and slaughtered baddies.

"Hey, Kick Ass wasn't a 3, was it?"  [No, a 4]  "But Ebert gave it a 1!"  [Grampy's sense of humor must have been removed with his tongue]  "Didn't he give Avatar his highest rating?"  [Simplistic template-driven action movies are perfect for the immature and the aged].

Title (linked)     Director, year      Theater / Home      Genre      Rating
Avatar - James Cameron, 2009 - T - Fantasy/SF - 3+
London to Brighton - Paul Andrew Williams, 2006 - H - Crime Drama - 3-
Bottle Shock - Randall Miller, 2008 - H - PPBOTS - 3-
Step Brothers - Adam McKay, 2008 - H - Comedy - 1
Up in the Air - Jason Reitman, 2009 - T - Comedy - 3+
Rudo y Cursi - Carlos Cuarón, 2008 - H - Drama - 3-
The Last Supper - Stacey Title, 1996 - H - Drama - 2
Blood Simple - Coen brothers, 1984 - H - Crime Thriller - 4
Once Upon a Time in the West - Sergio Leone, 1968 - H - Western - 3
A Sound of Thunder - Peter Hyams, 2005 - H - SF - 2
The Hangover (unrated) - Todd Phillips, 2009 - H - Comedy - 4 (2dX)
Sherlock Holmes - Guy Ritchie, 2009 - T - Suspense/Thriller - 3+
Solyaris - Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972 - H - SF - 3-
Lilja 4-ever - Lukas Moodysson, 2002 - H - Drama - 3
May - Lucky McKee, 2002 - H - Horror - 2 (2dX)
Visioneers - Jared Drake, 2008 - H - Comedy - 2
Don't Bother to Knock - Roy Ward Baker, 1952 - H - Drama - 3+
My Man Godfrey - Gregory La Cava, 1936 - H - Comedy - 4
United States of Tara: Season 1 - Diablo Cody, 2009 - H - Comedy - 5
The Book of Eli - Hughes brothers, 2010 - T - SF Thriller - 4
The Shooting Gallery - Keoni Waxman, 2005 - Crime Drama - H - 2
The Girlfriend Experience - Steven Soderbergh, 2009 - Drama - H - 1
You, The Living - Roy Andersson, 2007 - Comedy - H - 3-
The Class - Laurent Cantet, 2008 - Drama - H - 3-
Paper Heart - Nicholas Jasenovec, 2009 - Romantic Comedy - H - 3-
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Terry Gilliam, 2010 - Fantasy - T - 3+
Daybreakers - Spierig brothers, 2010 - Action - T - 3+
O'Horten - Bent Hamer, 2007 - Comedy - H - 3-
In the Loop - Armando Iannucci, 2009 - Comedy - H - 2
Edge of Darkness - Martin Campbell, 2010 - Action - T - 3+
Ben X - Nic Balthazar, 2007 - Drama - H - 3-
Songs from the Second Floor - Roy Andersson, 2000 - Drama - H - 2
Body of Lies - Ridley Scott, 2008 - Action - H - 3-
Killshot - John Madden, 2008 - Crime Thriller - H - 3-
Thirst - Chan-wook Park, 2009 - Horror Drama - H - 5
Sleep Dealer - Alex Rivera, 2008 - SF - H - 3-
Surveillance - Jennifer Chambers Lynch, 2008 - Crime Thriller - H - 4
Taken - Pierre Morel, 2008 - Action - H - 3-
Max Payne - John Moore, 2008 - Action - H - 3-
Alice - Jan Svankmajer, 1988 - Animation - H - 3-
This Is England - Shane Meadows, 2006 - PPBOATS - H - 3-
La jetée - Chris Marker, 1962 - Short/SF - H - 1
From Paris with Love - Pierre Morel, 2010 - Action - T - 3-
City of Ember - Gil Kenan, 2008 - SF - H - 2
The Song of Sparrows - Majid Majidi, 2008 - Drama - H - 3+
Vidas Privadas - Fito Páez, 2001 - Drama - H - 3-
Pantaleón y las visitadoras - Francisco J. Lombardi, 2000 - Drama - H - 3-
Shutter Island - Martin Scorsese, 2010 - Psy-Thriller - T - 3-
Yi Yi - Edward Yang, 2000 - Drama - H - 3-
Baxter - Jérôme Boivin, 1989 - Horror - H - 3+
1000 Journals - Andrea Kreuzhage, 2007 - Documentary - H - 3-
Stupidity - Albert Nerenberg, 2003 - Documentary - H - 3-
The Iron Giant - Brad Bird, 1999 - Children's Animation - H - 2
911 In Plane Sight - William Lewis, 2004 - Documentary - H - 1
A Clockwork Orange - Stanley Kubrick, 1971 - SF - H - 5 (2dX)
Constantine's Sword - Oren Jacoby, 2007 - Documentary - H - 3
Breakfast with Scot - Laurie Lynd, 2007 - Drama - H - 3+
Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog - Joss Whedon, 2007 - Comedy - H - 2
Brief Conversations with Hideous Men - John Krasinski, 2009 - Drama - H - 4
The Taking of Pelham 123 - Tony Scott, 2009 - Action - H - 3-
The Crazies - Breck Eisner, 2010 - Horror - T - 4
Revanche - Götz Spielmann, 2008 - Crime Drama - H - 3+
Taking Woodstock - Ang Lee, 2009 - Comedy - H - 3-
The Invention of Lying - Gervais and Robinson, 2009 - Comedy - H - 3+
The End of August at the Hotel Ozone - Jan Schmidt, 1967 - SF - H - 3+
Chop Shop - Ramin Bahrani, 2007 - Drama - H - 3-
The Hunger - Tony Scott, 1983 - Horror - H - 3+
Sade - Benoît Jacquot, 2000 - Drama - H - 2
Ponyo - Hayao Miyazaki, 2008 - Anime - H - 4
Alice in Wonderland - Tim Burton, 2010 - Fantasy - T - 3+
Women in Trouble - Sebastian Gutierrez, 2009 - Drama - H - 3
Read or Die - Masunari and Lee, 2001 - Anime - H - 2
Undead - Spierig Brothers, 2003 - Horror/SF - H - 4
The Ghost Writer - Roman Polanski, 2010 - Thriller - T - 4
Sin Nombre - Cary Fukunaga, 2009 - Action Drama - H - 3-
No Impact Man - Gabbert and Schein, 2009 - Documentary - H - 3-
Hank and Mike - Matthiew Klinck, 2008 - Comedy - H - 1
The Hit - Stephen Frears, 1984 - Crime Thriller - H - 3-
The White Ribbon - Michael Haneke, 2009 - Drama - T - 3+
Fanboys - Kyle Newman, 2008 - Comedy - H - 2
Roads to Koktebel - Khlebnikov and Popogrebsky, 2003 - Drama - H - 3
$9.99 - Tatia Rosenthal, 2008 - Animation - H - 4
Changling - Clint Eastwood, 2008 - Drama - H - 3-
Final Fantasy: Advent Children - Tetsuya Nomura, 2005 - Anime - H - 1
The Botany of Desire - Michael Schwarz, 2009 - Documentary - H - 3+
Absurdistan - Veit Helmer, 2008 - Comedy - H - 3+
Encounters at the End of the World - Werner Herzog, 2007 - Documentary - H - 3
Special - Haberman and Passmore, 2006 - Comedy - H - 3-
Peter and the Wolf - Suzie Templeton, 2006 - Animation Short - H - 5
Extract - Mike Judge, 2009 - Comedy - H - 3-
Examined Life - Astra Taylor, 2008 - Documentary - H - 3
Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth - Erik Nelson, 2008 - Documentary - H - 1
Shiver - Isidro Ortiz, 2008 - Horror - H - 3
The Ring Finger - Diane Bertrand, 2005 - Drama - H - 3
Lust, Caution - Ang Lee, 2007 - Drama - H - 3+
Angels and Demons - Ron Howard, 2009 - Thriller - H - 2
2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films - Various, 2007 - Animated/Live Action - H - 4
How to Train your Dragon - DeBlois and Sanders, 2010 - Animation - T - 4
The Bank Job - Roger Donaldson, 2008 - PPBOATS - H - 3
A Perfect Getaway - David Twohy, 2009 - Thriller - H - 3
The Mother - Joon-ho Bong, 2010 - Mystery - T - 5
Chinaman - Henrik Ruben Genz, 2005 - Drama - H - 3+
Hot Tub Time Machine - Steve Pink, 2010 - Comedy - T - 3+
Black Dynamite - Scott Sanders, 2009 - Homage - H - 2
The Center of the World - Wayne Wang, 2001 - Drama - H - 2
Repulsion - Roman Polanski, 1965 - Horror - H - 4
Open Your Eyes - Alejandro Amenábar, 1997 - SF - H - 3-
Kick Ass - Matthew Vaughn, 2010 - Action - T - 4

"Hey, what's PPBOATS?"  [Period Piece Based On A True Story]  "What's the best American film you've seen in this four month period?"  [Surveillance, 2008]  "Best English language film released in 2010?"  [The Ghost Writer]  "Best of the 108?"  [The Mother]  "Any you'd be willing to excise with a blunt fork?"  [Hank and Mike, Step Brothers, and The Girl Friend Experience]  "Did you learn anything really valuable from all this?"  [Nope].

A picture lives by companionship.  It dies by the same token.  It is, therefore, risky to send it out into the world.  How often it must be impaired by the eyes of the unfeeling. —  Mark Rothko

Miscommunication vs. Mistakes

          Miscommunication causes more problems than malice, hatred, zeal and greed combined.  Don't lump miscommunication in with errors and oversights.  Miscommunications are not mistakes just because the portmanteau (this week's word!) began as: mistaken communication.  When someone commits a mistake all that is required from them is an apology.  Accidents happen.  Our decision-making brains don’t always work the way we want them to, and—because it's a common affliction—when someone else’s brain doesn’t work the way they wanted it to, we empathize and forgive.
I entered a large, empty, quiet, pizza place I’d never been to before, read the menu, ordered, sat in a corner and—for the next twenty minutes—ate a salad from the salad bar, drank a liter of unfiltered wheat beer, listened to soft music and read my book.  There were no other customers.

The cook came out of the kitchen, placed a pizza box on the counter and said, “Number 86!”

I stood, walked to the counter, picked up the box, thanked the cook, declined additional spices and cheese, took the box back to my table, opened it, and looked at the pizza for all of ten seconds before I began eating a slice.  In my defense—it was the correct size, smelled correct, and the toppings appeared to be of a texture, quantity, and color conforming to my order (simply put:  there were no slices of pineapple, no odor of green peppers or red chilies, and it wasn’t cheese-only).

Out of a rift in the fabric of the universe (or maybe even the bathroom) a big fucker with gravel in his voice and forty-four years of beers poorly hidden under a 3XL shirt appeared at the counter and said, “I think you called my number a minute ago?”

Fuck.  Me.

I profusely apologized and offered to buy him a beer.  He accepted my apology, declined the beer, and waited 15 more minutes for my pizza.  And, of course, neither of us will ever eat there again (imagine how many years it must take to get food when there are a hundred people on a Saturday night).
          This is not how people act after a miscommunication, although they are—like mistakes—common to everyone.  We rarely empathize when someone else’s brain doesn’t send or receive the communication the way we wanted it sent or received.  We always think our own brain is not at fault.  When miscommunication roars its ugly maw in our face, one's first impulse is to defend our brain's portion of the communication:  “That’s not what I said.”  “That’s not what was meant.”  “You didn’t say.”  “You know what I mean when I say.”  “I’m not a mind reader.”
I sat and talked with a dozen friends, co-workers, and family members at Oktoberfest.  Many of us were drinking unfiltered wheat beer and (as a group) it was decided we’d walk a circuit of the festival area to see the food booths as well as identify what types of music were being played and, once everyone returned to the table, we’d drink some more and come to a consensus on eats and music venue (at the time, that was the understanding my brain concluded had been decided for it).

Twelve brains—even sober ones—can never make a decision and act as a unit, and within three minutes a couple wanted to stand in line to get some food, five minutes later someone else wanted to shop at the craft booths and her husband decided to sit and wait for her, ten minutes later and another couple wanted to stay in the polka tent.  After less than an hour, the group was down to six.

As we walked past a tent with a band playing a cover of Prince’s 1999, I said, “This is the best tent because they’re playing Rock.”  I was hoping to sway the rest of the group.  (I thought I heard affirmative responses.  I thought my wife agreed.)

As we strolled through a little, grassy, shaded, park-like area one of the last couples decided to go get food but (because they didn’t want to lose the group) asked if we would wait five minutes for them.  We agreed.  And then almost immediately the last two people disappeared and it was just my wife and I.

Five minutes became ten.  We were sitting on a large boulder in the little park-area and we both needed to empty our bladders as well as refill our beer mugs.  We stood up, began walking and I said, “None of them are coming back.  Why don’t we go to the WC and after that...” At this point, she began to nod and our paths began to diverge as she turned toward the women's WC, so she looked at me over her shoulder as I completed the sentence (with a rise in my voice to insure I was heard over the festival volume):  “ ...I’ll meet you at the Rock Tent.”

Over the next three hours I listened to music, purchased more beers, went to the WC a few more times, walked back to the original table twice, scanned the crowds on and off (admittedly, my care-factor decreased as my intoxication increased) but I never ran into my wife.  Eventually I spoke with one of the other members of the group and he told me she was way beyond supernova angry in the little park-area.

“You goddamn fucking asshole!”
“Why are you waiting here?  I’ve been looking for you for hours.”
“Because the last words out of your mouth were, I’ll meet you at the rock!”
“The Rock?  I said, I’ll meet you at the Rock Tent.  Why would we meet at this...?”
“I don’t fuckin know!  I thought it was a stupid place, but that’s what you said!”
“But it wasn’t.  I’ve been waiting for you in the Rock Tent.”
“You just said you’ve been looking for me for hours!”
“Yea, well.  When you didn’t show up after enough time, I began looking for you...but I always returned back to the Rock Tent.”
          Every time I enter a location where becoming separated in the crowd is even remotely possible, I ask the question of all in attendance, “Where’s the rock?” 

          One might think everyone's cell phones eliminate the need for a “rock.”  That assumption is incorrect.  Wherever (when did that portmanteau get formed just so we could drop an e?) people congregate in large numbers the cell towers usually fumble the increased load; in very noisy locations, not everyone can feel their phone’s vibration all the time; batteries die.  Mistakes.  Are made. 

The familiar identity of things has to be pulverized in order to destroy the finite associations with which our society increasingly enshrouds every aspect of our environment.  —  Mark Rothko

Today's Veach

Me.  Open to new adventure.  As long as it fits into my current paradigm.  Which, to be a thousand percent honest, is simply:  Never again do more before 9 am...  (and if you can see your way clear to allowing that to be closer to noon, I'll show my appreciation until my jaw locks in the panting-alligator position).

For the last year my paramour has become quite a fantastic belly dancer as well as a pretty great choreographer of group/troupe dances.  I've now entered the fray.  Today, I began to learn how to accompany her on the doumbek drum.  After she shared a new (to me) genre: middle-eastern influenced gypsy-electronica punk, we attended a concert by Balkan Beat Box, and this genre has grown on me like a transplanted Caribbean bamboo forest in a Turkish bathhouse (one fucked-up simile, that).  I stumbled on this almost-hour example:  Diaspora Electronica - Balkan Beats by Markabre (from the above soundcloud, track 4 [at the 7.25 mark] is best—but, isn't track 4 always best?)  If you are able to sit still with any of these tracks at full-volume then...check your pulse, you might be dead.

Art is an adventure into an unknown world which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.  —  Mark Rothko

Creative genius comes with side-effects

          The Self Help Center exposes some uncomfortably sharp reflective pieces which don't quite mesh inside of it's author, Romius T.  Occasionally I glimpse counterparts in myself.  If Philip K. Dick wrote a digital journal (instead of his Exegesis) or if Hubert Selby Jr. had blogged, this is how they would read.  Since an introduction in any other form seems impossible, I offer a snapshot-travelogue-of-sorts:

5½ years ago

Here's a list of things you normally take for granted until you are faced with unemployment:
   1. A fresh box of Arm and Hammer odor dissolving baking soda for the freezer and refrigerator.  [If one of you would just click through a google ad, and buy some baking soda for christ sakes.]
   2. Health care.
   3. (2) two-liters a day cola habit is hard to break.

5 years ago

While it's true that I have been eating better on food stamps than during my time with Arizona's Superior Court, it couldn't last forever.  First there was that annoying sound my roommate would make everytime of the month rent comes around.

4½ years ago

About Me.  I was told every blog should have one of these.  I am 38.  I work in a grocery store.  I am an atheist and a Marxist.  I have acid-reflux disease, and for a white guy I can make a pretty mean homemade refried bean tostada.

4 years ago

First, real beauty does not come in all shapes and sizes.  I don't care if Tyra suddenly feels sympathy for fat chicks, they still is ugly.  And I know a little something about ugly.  Hell my memoirs are called "Memoirs from the short bald fat white guy who sits next to you on the bus who wants to get your attention but quickly averts his eyes when yours meet."

3½ years ago

Of course it's 2:38 in the morning and I am on my 4th Natural Light beer.  Don't ever bet against me—no matter how much you think the guy in the Fast in the Furious is not Ja Rule—otherwise you too will be offering up your secret beer stash to me.

3 years ago

If you could feel my jugular right now you would feel how it is pounding away at me.  My fat isn't the jiggly kind.  It's more like hard yellow brick.  Sometimes it feels like the blood feels all pudgy and gets stuck in my veins.  I want to rub it.  To coerce it through back through my veins like jelly stuffed in a donut.  But I hear that is the worse thing you can do for a clot.  You rub a clot and it could pass through right to your brain or to your heart.

2½ years ago

We were at the Dollar PBR bar.  Only today is not Dollar PBR.  So instead we drank 4 or 6 pitchers of beer.  The beer was warm and we stuck a plastic cup of full of ice in the pitcher to keep it cold.

My ex-roomie has the Gout.  He drinks way too much.  I drink way too much.  I can't think of any other reason, (other than the Bone Cancer) that my foot should hurt.  I must have the Gout too.  I have to stop drinking.  If I stop drinking I will soon have to kill most of the people I meet in my customer service line.

2 years ago

I must love punishing myself like some kind of co-dependent housewife or something, because I always take jobs where I have to deal with complaints, assholes, and upset people, or just people in general.  Why do I forget that I hate people?

1½ years ago

My stomach feels like I swallowed a pine cone and I am now trying to squeeze it through my intestines.  I guess that is why I am awake at five in the morning and why I've decided I would get this post out about "how my blog turned 4 years old last week and nobody cared."  I started blogging 5 years ago on March 5, 2003.  I was working for the local county at a self help center and library.  I sold divorce forms and helped people get restraining orders.  I used to save lives for a living before I bagged your groceries.

1 year ago

I start the dishwasher.  I glance at the left over dishes.  4 wine glasses.  4 shot glasses.  I need to take out the trash.  I need to shower.  My face feels grimy.  I may have smeared the bacon fat.  I look dumbly in the mirror.  I hope to see something that is not there.  I see the growing scalp line appear where once there was hair.  The computer hums in the background.

6 months ago

July 30th is the fifth birthday of this blog.  You might think I would be excited about that.  But I am not.  Somehow celebrating the five year anniversary of a blog that has attracted 12 readers only makes me want to cry.  You can't celebrate 12 readers.  Just like you can't celebrate how the writing on this blog has gone from awful to almost better.

4 months ago

Anybody else just really tired of trying, I mean fuck, I've worked my ass off for almost 20 years and I am still barely just scraping by.

2 months ago

I think the coke we bought had to have been cut with meth.  Actually I am sure all coke is cut with meth.  I am so not addicted to coke that a line sits on a paper plate hidden in my dresser drawer.  I did not finish it off last night.  I did not use it as a perk for getting up early and going to work this morning.  I did not snort it up as soon as I got home.  I did not think about doing the line while I stood around at work today.  I am not even thinking about doing it right now.

1 month ago

I had 4 beers before I took the pill.  My ruddy complexion is even redder today than normal.  My face feels quite warm to the touch.  Almost alarmingly warm.  Though I have had the feeling that I am running a temperature all day long.

Two weeks ago

I have discovered: the connection, warmth, and empathy that I lack in real world.  I know E is fake.  All you do is sit on the couch with your friends touching fingers.  But when I take E I get all the "feelings" you take for granted.  I know it destroys brain cells.  But let's face it.  I have not been using those brain cells for anything.


Maybe you don't know this, but we are all going to die.  I think that life is like a video game.  That even if you beat the Donkey Kong arcade game and get a million points and finish the 39th level—some one unplugs your machine.  I guess what I am trying to say is that at some point all of our high scores get deleted.

When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing.  No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money.  Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain.  Today it is not quite the same.  It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption.  Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss.  But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow.  We must all hope we find them. — Mark Rothko

Sometimes we have the absolute certainty that there's something inside us that's so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won't be able to stand looking at it.  But it's when we're willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel. — Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)

I may be mistaken...aren't quail wings white meat?

         With a hat-tip and head-nod to Mary Whitsell and her Resident Alien post, A Case of Mistaken Identity...I share:

Northern Arizona — From my porch I watched a row of birds dashing single-file about as fast as their short legs could carry them across a corner of the yard and I asked my (then, new) girlfriend if she could ‘see the partridges from where she’s sitting?’
          ‘You mean the quail?’
          ‘Quail?  No.  The little bobble of feather-tuft on their head...like an antenna...I'm pretty sure that makes them partridge.’
          ‘Nope, quail.’ The smile in her voice contrasted with the (new to me) question-at-your-own-risk tone I immediately perceived as a challenge (which I've never learned to completely stop questioning, but I've certainly learned to respect...maybe 85% of the time).
          ‘I’ll bet you an hour back-rub that those are partridge.’

          It only took a few minutes of research for me to learn that, although both are in the pheasant family, she was right—they were quail.  Why was I convinced they were partridge?  I blame the producers of the 1970's TV show The Partridge Family.  In the producers defense, the California Partridge has a tuft on it’s head like quail, so maybe the “Come on now, and meet everybody...”  little family of bird caricatures shown during the “Come on get happy!”  intro-credits aren't completely to blame for the back massage I had to give.

Silence is so accurate.  —  Mark Rothko

Virtual Sistine Chapel - Gif Generator

Click above to see the art of the Sistine Chapel and below to view and make your own gif-art.

We assert that the subject is crucial, and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless.Mark Rothko (Marcus Rothkowitz/Rotkovich, 1903-1970)