Thursday

Police Decorated for Not Beating Annoying White Kids - World Insists on Beatings as Parents Cringe in Embarassment

Watch or listen to the piece below before you read past the double-dashed line. But before you watch or listen, do me a huge favor and think of this as a high art piece. Consider it either a performance piece or a Rob Reiner mockumentary. Please do that for me first.

OK, watch. I'll wait... No, seriously. Watch all of it.



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OK. I know everyone has posted this video and have opined and pulled opinionated comments [clicky] [clicky]. I realize that. I know, alright, I know. But it is priceless and it makes me feel so ALIVE!

I so love this with all the passion of all my soul. Seriously. I wouldn't lie to you. Everything about it. And I get it too. I went to UC Santa Cruz. I've seen the Berkeley tree sitters with my own two eyes and smelled them with my own two nostrils. I lived in Bush's DC.

But, other than those Berkeley tree sitters chumps, this is the very best of what America has to offer. The terrorists have won! The terrorists have already won!

And we've got such robust, unreal, motivated characters: There's Mr. Democratic Consensus, Ms. Double Peace Sign, and Blonde Marley. Fuck! How the security and police have so much restraint with students (white kids), I’ll never know. Ever.

It really should’ve been totally Rodney King and Nancy Kerrigan, if you ask me. All, "Whhhyyyyyyy???!!!!" *CRACK!!* "WHHHHYYYYYY???!!!!" *BIFF!!* Remember I was the guy at the Berkeley thing shouting, "Shoot 'em down! Cut the tree down!"

I love when the big, black security man gets his go-ahead and just walks in through their "barricade." Camera dude's all, "excuse me."

Watch the video again. This time remember these babies are actually serious.
"Who's going to facilitate?"

The Great Depression of 2008 is So American! [5]


So I walked to Starbucks to get some work done. Sometimes I enjoy being among the people when I'm working because of the inherent superiority I cast over the joint. I'm addicted to that feeling, OK?

Anyway, this so-called "joint" (when did I start using "joint"?) was fucking packed today. Don't know what that was about but people were having business meetings, moms playing mah-jong or some shit ("mahms"). Kids running around like they have no manners (cuz they don't). People camped the fuck out with laptops, and spreadsheets and shit. Annoying. I almost didn't stay. I mean what am I working on, anyhow? Getting more comments like these:
"Really? Ty, really? Come on, you've got to be better than this. Remember that now, people are reading."

"[this post]...was just long...pointless..WOT. can you please post something that shows you do belong...? look fwd to reading your next post...hopefully you will prove me wrong."
OK, that's not too bad, but what-evs, right? I mean, what do people want, Philip Roth? Walter Percy?

Anyway, I'm at the packed as hell Starbucks and I see some people leaving and I take their table with the usual small talk, blah-blah, get the fuck out, will 'ya?

I'm sitting there drinking my coffee and just beginning to unpack my shit. This woman starts walking my direction. I believed she was carrying her garbage to the trash can but she walked right up to me.

And says, "Hi. I have food allergies, do you want my bagel and cheese?"

I didn't know what to say. Was she just being nice, was she trying to poison me? Was it because...was it because I'm...black? Maybe I looked like I needed the food.

I mean I was wearing a "YALE" hoodie, pulling out a MacBook, and strapping on Bose QC2 headphones. I mean this could have gone horribly bad had I snapped, "Bitch, what?! Last time I took free cheese Reagan was president!"

So instead of frontin', I actually took it and ate it.

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That's So American thread [clicky]
WTF? Contact: ty[at]middlespace[dot]net
That's So American photography by ty

Wednesday

Perhaps My New Most Favorite Photograph Of Mine


Sky: [clicky]

It's Wednesday!

Anyhow...

My "almost seven" year-old told me something the other day. It is my plan as a father for her to know that communication with us on any issue acceptable, welcome, and good. We've already discussed "ass," "shit," the body parts, and how words have power and contextual uses and such.

But the other day she goes, "Daddy. I know what the middle finger means." Playing dumb, I asked, "What do you mean?" She says, "You know...the middle finger." I asked her what it meant. She told me that it meant that "you hate God." "No, no, no...." I proclaimed. I assured her that the middle finger definitely did not mean that you hated God (even as a non-believer I couldn't let her believe that). What it meant, I explained, was that if you pointed your middle finger at someone you were telling that person that you were either angry with them or that you hated that person. I explained that it was not a gesture she could use as a kid and that if I learned that she did, it would be a problem.

Then I asked her to show me how the kids were experimenting with it.

First she did this:

I explained that this was well executed but 180ยบ backwards. I said, "turn it around." Then she did:

That's my girl!

A Fine Mist of Diamonds Falling Upon Our Bourgeois Shoulders


Hi, it's me, Ty! I thought since we're well into our third week of this "dope ass worldwide Web log," that I'd take a moment to say hello. Herro Sayrors! It's not like we're purposefully being all aloof and distant from the people whose attention we CRAVE SO MUCH. On the contrary, we're just four very busy fellas who all happen to be a little bit shy to boot (no, seriously). And there's your explanation for all the pseudonyms and such. We all have other obligations to manage and privacy to conceal when we're not furiously and secretly typing our Web logs in cubicles or bathrooms ("Sorry, baby! I'm just... constipated! Give me another minute, I'll be right out 'kay?").

In case you still wonder or missed it, here's a thumbnail background your very own The Black Beatles team of enterprise solutionists (featuring poems by Pete Best and music by Stuart Sutcliffe):
Who are The Black Beatles? [clicky]
Anyhow, given the difficulties I'm having with my brain (it was referenced in the link above, keep up with me here), I discovered that I now have problems thinking sometimes. Given the hit or miss nature with absorbing new information and holding onto short term memories, Web log topics are kind of a bitch for me.

So I asked three members of my old school posse to help this nigga out. All dudes though. I guess I'm better at asking guys for help since I'm too awkward and embarrassing around the ladies. This could have been a tragic mistake with the only feedback being about pussy and fighting, but we got lucky. Besides, now you can meet some of my FFRs; friends for real.

I asked Big Dave Wave (Miami), Rickey Powell (Berkeley), and Philly Boy Gabe for a jump-nudge to get me moving for today's The Black Beatles post. Here's what the boys suggested in their own words:
Philly Boy Gabe: The Oscars®. Timely, bullshit, obnoxious, wasteful, riveting, disgusting, and so VERY American. I wasn't thinking that you'd actually watch it though. Just kind of riff on the Academy Awards® from your perspective.

Big Dave Wave: Talk about your new "3:12" appellation. My guesses:
Colossians 3:12 - "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience"
-OR-
Revelations 3:12 - "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name"
Rickey Powell: Write something on that screenplay you and the Prof [San Diego] wrote about those kids shooting up Disneyland, that Klub Kaos thing.

Since I subscribe to a No Backlog Left Behind (NBLB) ethic, and since I could die at any moment, I'm gonna do what comes most naturally to me: I'm going to write about all three of the motherfuckers!
[Note: If you're too ADD or just a bit illiterate, just skip now to the comments and--cut and paste--"Tej sux." I don't fucking care]

Here goes:

The Academy Awards® Recap
Here're ten things about the 2009 Academy Awards®. I actually watched a few minutes as I nervously and agitatedly clicked-through the channels while my meth high dissipated. This is everything I remember or learned about the awards; this is a Transient Global Amnesia pop quiz:
1. Tina Fey is so goddamn hot I'd let her slash my face if that was what she needed to do. I didn't think she was all that at first (years back) but Rickey Powell clued me in (it was like he punched me in the face for breaking his camp shovel or something). I guess I was too old to really catch her during her SNL heyday. But, shit, he was right the fuck on. I told my wife that "I'd drown Fey's husband if it would increase the probability that I could eat whipped cream off of her various body parts." She said, "What about me, nigga?!" I replied, "Huh?" And I love how she says, "suck it!" (Tiina Fey, not the old lady - Golden Globes '08).

2. Ben Stiller, James Franco, Jack Black, and Seth Rogan smoke so much weed. I'd totally hang with those guys. It might be the ultimate men-ism bullshit session too. I'd have to setup audio and video recording equipment first because I am certain there would be epic madness that most of us would totally forget like morning after retards. This could win best documentary sometime in the future.

3. The host, uh, what's his name? Oh, fuck, I just had it.... Hugh Jackman? Is that it? He's good looking. I don't know his situation I'm guessing he probably got all kinds of laid afterward.

4. Why was a fucking marching band in tuxedos on stage on the Academy Awards® broadcast? Was the meth trippin' me up? I clicked past that shit observing that it was a "production number" and I clicked back all like, "what the fuck?" This was so...random. I mean I know Radiohead had a band on stage at the Grammys®, so I guess that's the new thing. Fucking visuals of snare drums and sousaphones. I played in marching situations and even I think that's totally gay.

5. I was feeling a little bad at first for that Japanese dude who won for short animation because I'm empathetic like that. He was all bloken Engrish and shit then he whipped out, with epic smoothness: "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto." Hells yeah! I'd totally hang with that dude. I'm gonna invite him to the James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jack Black, and Ben Stiller thing in a Vegas suite with mad bud and very expensive whores. He'd be our performing monkey Ninja samurai. We'd totally give AIDS to Las Vegas.

6. I personally know an Oscar® winner, ya' know? I swear I do. Not trying to namedrop (so I wont), but I went to college and did a little bit of fucking around (nohomo) with the guy who won for editing Traffic in 2000. Somehow I feel compelled to mention this Academy Awards® factoid this time every year since, and I probably will for every year after. I totally wanted to make out with his then girlfriend because I was totally smitten with her, at least that's my version of the story. She was charmed though.

7. Of all of the nominees, I saw these films: Dark Knight, Bolt, The Visitor (DVD), Tropic Thunder (DVD), and Kung Fu Panda. I have a six year-old and Netflix. I'm lucky the child likes to go to movies else it would have been just two. Now you know how my life is.

8. I know very little about this Slumdog Millionaire deal, but I guess it kicked some ass at the big award show. I heard that on the radio. All I know is that it's about some smelly foreigners who get beat and tortured about something. Meh!

9. Heath Ledger was really fucking awesome in Dark Knight. But the Dark Knight went on for nearly 45 minutes too long. It could have been the an awesome film had it been edited to exclude that whole TwoFace shtick. They should have used that dude who won the Oscar® for editing in 2000; my BFF from college who had a girlfriend I wanted to kiss on.

10. Us Jews fucking OWN Hollywood. You're welcome.

3:12

I'll tell you what, Big Motherfucking Dave Goddamn Wave did his homework with the bible versus n' shit. That shit in absolutely unimpeachable, if you ask me. What the fuck can I say after that? Nothin', that's what!

Scroll back up and check that shit out: Colossians and Revelations. Damn straight. But, also, check this one I found:
Philippians 3:12 - "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me"
While that's totally fly and shit, the problem is, I'm totally stalling.... I know 3:12 had something to do with Besty Lou, but I can't remember what it was. At least that's what I'm going with...not that I have already attained all this or been made perfect or anything.


Klub Kaos - 1
(novelized for your protection)
Nick and Daniel realized that this was it, in the movies the proverbial jig would be up. The new chilling reality was that their lives, lives normal-like-before, was over. It was either jail or death, probably both. There were no words exchanged but Nick and Daniel were definitely on the same page with regard to how this ended; Cho, Harris, Klebold, and Kehoe had already written the endgame playbook.

Billy was too blissfully satisfied that he had killed Procter to think of anything else. It was probably the only joy he'd felt since he was a very young child. At least that's how he remembered it. Procter couldn't call him a retard now, couldn't scream at him now, could he? Who's fucking stupid now?, he wondered. Four years of poking and prodding had forced his hand and now it was over. Relief! Billy still wore all but the head of the sweat soaked Goofy costume. Goofy's head was rolling around in the back with Nick who was still wearing most of a tattered Mickey Mouse costume, but that head had been long discarded when Nick threw it at an Orlando police department cruiser. That was a lifetime ago, nearly one hour had passed since they bolted the happiest place on earth.

Billy's vengeance was complete and perfect as he mindlessly sped along the Bee Line expressway at 99 miles per hour in Mickey Mouse's outlandishly modified red convertible. No fewer than a twenty police cruisers, two police helicopters, and four news helicopters followed. This was the stuff that made Rodney King famous and O.J. infamous.

Daniel realized that since moving to Florida nine months earlier this was the first time he felt anything. Anything at all. The whole move, the school year, the planning, the trip, the shooting was all just a numb blur. What he felt now was love. The love of his only friends, the friends who now constituted his only family. The family who did things and listened to each other. The family who kill together - stick together. Amen. Fuck it, he thought, and settled comfortably into his seat. He pumped his shotgun and pondered whether to fire off a celebratory round a la Saddam Hussein in his prime or not. Daniel knew that he had just reached his prime. He let one fly, BLAM! The recoil was still surprising to him as his badly bruised shootin' shoulder could affirm.

Nick fumbled with his phone for several moments before he realize that he could just take off the oversized four-fingered Minny Mouse gloves. He wanted to, needed to, say goodbye to his little sister. She would not understand this. Maybe ever but he needed to say bye since she would never see him again and would only hear what an animal he was. How he so callously killed so many people...at Disney World...children, students, and "the innocents." That's what bothered him the most, from the beginning. Ella would hate him. Hate him for what he did. What he did to her. "Fuuuuuccccccckkkkkk!!!!" he screamed an threw the phone out the back. Tears stung his eyes.

Fame and infamy was no longer optional. They were now the Disney Three.

See? I guess what I'm saying is: Yes, I get by with a little help from my friends.

The end.

Tuesday

Today's Quote of the Day de Jour

Strong eastern Germanic accent, smiling lasciviously:
"Eh! You're so schkinny, it's not fair! I bet you can eat anything you vant. You're like my husband who-I-hate-with-passion for this."

- Physiological Therapist
(prior to my treadmill stress test today)

de jour collection [clicky]

That's My DJ

I know, terrible photo, I know, sue me. But sometimes you gotta shoot with with what you got. And if alls you got is the telephone, then you gotta shoot with the telephone, okay?

I took the offspring to a classmate's 7th birthday party. The invitation noted that there would be a DJ. Hells yeah, I thought, a DJ.... It's a real par-tay! Then I thought again.

"I'm a DJ" doesn't count if you've ever done a 7 year-old birthday party on a Sunday afternoon in a suburban county rec center where the only diversity was the half-black father of the quarter-black girl who gets a pass for passin'. Take any of those elements out of the equation and I'll give "the DJ" the benefit. But, combined, you're not a DJ. You're the party radio playing "Cotton-Eyed Joe."

Not to hate or anything, but somebody has to take back the night when it comes to bastardized terms. Terms like "artist," "baller," and "DJ" have been so watered-down that I can't even tell people that I'm an artist without them thinking I make beaded oven mitts or some crafty, retarded-ass shit like that. You're not a DJ, you're the guy helping kids to do the Chicken Dance between pizza slices and cake chunks (someone forgot a cake knife).

But. There was redemption this past Sunday. Apparently with all the organizational minutia, none of the organizing moms and dads had remembered to bring FIRE to light the CANDLES. You cannot sing "Happy Birthday To You, You Live In A Zoo" to a seven year-old without FIRE on the CANDLES. You may as well send her directly to therapy after the goody bags have been distributed, don't even stop by the house.

Guess who had a lighter? The embarrassing newly-menopausal grandmother with the terribly short 1985 Annie Lennox hair who insisted on "dancing" with everyone didn't even have a lighter. But...that's right! My DJ did, the savior! Amen.

Don't forget to tip the help.

Monday

How to Die (or, Again with All the Dying, Already?)

I was writing a post for this coming Wednesday that included stuff about the Academy Awards® and I remembered I know/knew this dude from college who won an Oscar® for editing in 2000 and how I used to totally flirt with (mac on) his totally beautiful girlfriend back in like 1988. Then I "Googled" his old girlfriend and saw that she's on the Facebook and I opened the Facebook to "friend" her. She looks exactly the same; hasn't aged a day. I imagine this the first thing most people do on the Facebook, and that's what's great about the Facebook, you can exchange like two or four "wall postings" and move on your merry way never "talking" again. What did we do pre-interwebs?

But then I found out on the Facebook that a really, really old friend/colleague, Roger, had fucking died. That saddened me aplenty. Then, I noticed that, Holy Crackers!, another old friend, Tommy, had recently died too. I mean, what the hell?!

Then I had to delete like three people because my new/old "friend" put me at 103 "friends" and I, very specifically, have a 100 "friend" hard cap just 'cuz i'm like that. But the hard-cap-as-metaphor is somewhat salient since I did find one old real-friend but, unfortunately, kind of lost two others. I got to thinking....

I was filled with all these thoughts about these people who have recently died; what they meant and how I remember and will remember them and whatnot. And I got to thinking about how we remember people, in general. Memories become less about the stories we share about these individuals and more about that person's essence. While we can recall some of the stories with varying detail, the overall memory is a composite of many things.

Then, of course, I got to thinking about my composite; how people who knew me well or not very well would remember me. There are specific stories, there are interactions, there's essence, and there is also the pieces I've deliberately place to tell the stories about myself once I'm dead [clicky]. I mention this like every twenty-five TGA seconds, I know, but I guess my so-called "process art" is my way of telling some parts of my story to somebody in the future. It's a way for me to leave enough jigsaw pieces and Easter eggs for people to kind of understand the composite that I want them to understand. Maybe. But I realize that this is probably as good a point as any in one's life to start specifically shaping The Story by completing the puzzle, and putting down what it was all about. Now is Season 5 of LOST, I suppose.

I sometimes wonder how I will die, not in a paranoid or fearful way but just out of (morbid) curiosity. Especially when I hear weird stories like how Ania fell down the elevator shaft in Philadelphia (rendering Steve Martin's Pink Panther 2 slapstick fall through multiple levels of chimneys ironically riveting). Or like that Buffalo plane crash, where you're, one minute, just sitting around the house eating Cheetos and then BAM! So solly, Chally, you die now. Will it be wholly unremarkable and without drama - slow and quiet where no one will finds you until you start stinking up your pathetic condo building? Or will the word "irony" play a major role?

How would you rather die? Skydiving or swimming across the English Channel or from some horrible parasite contracted while hiking through the Amazon at age 70 or scuba diving in the Galapagos or something glamorously romantic like that? Or just slipping away alone in a La-Z-Boy watching in front of the TeeVee. I say the latter. Quiet, simple, no fear. But I'm sure there are those who'd disagree.

Anyway...just sayin'. Like I said, Season 5 of LOST.

RIP people who died and got me to thinking again.

Saty Early 2009

Sunday

Ronnie Brown (Sunday Worship)

In my dream last I went to visit my grandmother's at her old near-poverty apartment in California. The dream was set in the present even though she's been dead for almost 16 years - I have these occasional dream "visits." I pulled my new Acura TL into one of the visitor spots and prayed that nobody would steal or otherwise fuck with my new, cool, and expensive driving car. Even though there was plenty of money in my dream life now, my grandmother refused to sever her roots by moving from this low class apartment complex where I spent seven years of my life (5th-12th grad). My fancy car stuck out like a new $20 bill pressed into a pile of dogshit.

Anyway, I never got to see my grandmother because I got distracted then woke up. I parked next to some beat-up old taxi cab and noticed an unforgettable phrase on the door, "New Colored Cab, just as cool - no 'hustle'." Fucking classic genius, right? Then I noticed the name of the independent proprietor: Ronnie Brown. In my dream, I had known a Ronnie Brown from high school (not in real life though). Nice guy, smart but not the achieving type, the kind of guy that floated between cliques like my real life analogy Anthony Williams (one of the handful of black kids at my schools). I looked up and saw a guy with dreads and bo-ho clothing walking away from the car and just knew it was Ronnie. It was. Same Ronnie + 25 years. You know that feeling where they look the same but weirdly aged and about 30 pounds heavier? Same here.

I went and talked with him but I don't remember many of the details; small talk, old times. The point is the image of New Colored Cab stuck with me when everything else from this dream faded.

So while I can remember, I cobbled up kind of what that cab sort of looked like here:

main image from design your own taxi logo thing: [clicky]

Saturday

A Thing Built By A Child Is Usually A Perfect Thing (Saturday Workshop)


Adults prefer function better, but kids, for instance, care less for it; opting for texture, color, and geometric design.

Bless.

Todd Squirrel Blows Himself on My Fence (Saturday Workshop)


"You have to die for real" to get to heaven though [clicky]

Friday

"The bananas are black. They got flies in the back. And also the chicken. In the dish with the foil."

AllWork&NoPlay


Thematic reference [clicky]

Resurrection

Now that we're all healthy and it's almost warm, it's time to resurrect some things that have gone idle.
Zero to A Hundred - web posting/gallery/book of portraits of people aged 0 - 100, had to be completed. Submissions welcome.

The Mulatto/Octoroon project - gallery/book portraits and text about mixed-race experiences.

C'mon, people? Do I have to do everything? Don't think I've forgotten. I forget nothing (unless I'm having spells of the Totally Gay AIDS).

Today's Quote of the Day de Jour

"you are part super-hero you know. I know not everyone gets that about you, but I do."

- Middlespace Cadet, Betsy Lou

de jour collection [clicky]

Thursday

25 Random Things About Me

25 Somewhat Random Things About Me
(a bit stolen from the Facebook crowd)
in no particular order

  1. I really dislike all fake-friending "social networking" interweb things like Facebook & Linkedin & Twitter.
  2. I am a liar and a thief (I totally stole that phrase from somebody); but I'm an awful liar and a very good thief.
  3. I may be the most competitive, opinionated, narcissistic person you I ever met.
  4. I really do have a superiority complex even when I'm pretending that I don't.
  5. I know and like most of the songs from High School Musical 1-3.
  6. I never took the SATs.
  7. I made $20/hr. teaching private music lessons when I was a high school Jr. (1982).
  8. I'm going to start saying "sacrebleu" a lot now because I'm a total dork.
  9. When I was a kid I'd pretend I had amnesia, now that I've had it, it's still pretty funny.
  10. I'm a lifelong workaholic and would work 20 hr. days if I could.
  11. I know people more talented than myself who I actually like (they're my friends).
  12. If I had the money, I'd buy a lot (more) shoes.
  13. I have never believed in god or a god or gods.
  14. I have wanted to be white and I have wanted to be female but I'm really happy being a half-black/half-Jew male.
  15. I am as sexist as I am racist.
  16. Watching most sports bores me to tears but playing sports is awesome.
  17. College was way too easy.
  18. I dislike most children.
  19. I'm totally introverted but nobody ever believes it because I overcompensate.
  20. While I was a competent skateboarder I blow at snowboarding and surfing.
  21. I'm not really "expert" at anything.
  22. I hate holidays but I love my birthday.
  23. I don't want to be old and feeble.
  24. Twenty-four is my very favorite number.
  25. I love my friends, all six of them (because they're talented and I steal all their ideas -- you can figure out who the Oceanic Six are).

New Demographic / New Hang


Bluetooth Too Far Mind Terrorist Wi-fi Cafe Co-op

Wednesday

Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea

'Member this from November 20, 2008?
"And, speaking of politics, dang if the Barack H. Obama Jiu Jitsu mojo isn't sweet, swift, and lethal with regard to Lieberman and the Clintons. If you don't understand what I mean let me essplain, Lucy:

Lieberman was Dead Man Walking and he knew it. Joe now has a new president, Joe campaigned for McCain, scary Rham Emmanuel is now Chief of Staff, and a tidal wave of "punish Joe" sentiment was brewing. Dead man, right? No! What did Barack bless? A plan that allowed him to keep most of his power and a slap on the wrist. Joe is now a grateful servant of King Barack. With the Minnesota and Georgia senate races still in play, and with Ted Stevens losing in Alaska, the Democratic senate is on the verge of a magic 60-vote lock-out. The beholden Joe is now a blue caucus man."

[clicky] & [clicky]

I see that Say It Ain't So, Joe voted "Yea" on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1). Had Barack let the Democrats punish Joe for misdeeds, they wouldn't have had that vote.

Check the comments too [clicky] because I also stated:
"Also, with regard to Lieberman. They only need him in the short term.

You don't think he'll be tossed under the very first bus of convenience. Trust me, Lieberman is on a very short leash."

Careful driving buses around the Capital, you never know when someone will toss Joe your way.

But never mind me...I'm out of politics now (and hell if MN isn't still "in play").

Somewhere

Untitled (President's day)

In Dreams I Walk With You


It might be my new brain pharmaceuticals or old age or my impending death, but several physiological changes have happened to me over the past couple of weeks, since "the big event." Some of these changes I refuse to discuss because it's none of your goddamn fucking business (and HIPAA protects my privacy). But if anyone has Bob Dole's number maybe you can help a fella out if you know what I mean?

Anyway, one of these changes is a fairly new ability to clearly recall dreams. I've always been fascinated by dreams and dreaming without any of the stigma of assigning meaning to them. They're just dreams and that's what's cool about them. I have tried over the years to document my dreams on a regular basis thanks to advice from my old pal Bill Domhoff. Most are merely notes of quickly fading memories in notebooks. Some have been posted around here. Big Dave Wave can apparently control the action within his dreams. I can't do that yet but I hope I can keep remembering them well.

This morning I awoke at 5:13 after awaking from a frustrating dream about my attempts at teaching the first day of university-level Intro Psych Stats. The chalk pieces were just little brittle nubs, I couldn't spell "Inferential" or "Descriptive" nor could I correctly write a simple algebraic example for my students (like 5+a=8, solve for 'a'). WTF, right? I didn't have notes and I was sweating like a motherfucker because I was so ill prepared and I knew it.

The frustration grew to the point where my students were wandering around ignoring me like I was some white bread Teach For America rookie in Baltimore city. I was a total pussy too, "C'mon, guys. Can you just sit down?"

Anyway, I had a dream last Friday that I posted here because it's a Black Beatles Wednesday:

Dream Sequence #27

Here's the complete accounting from dream(s) of Friday, February 13, 2009:

Begin - Roll Tape [1]
==========

I'd been staring through a window of some kind of music studio for quite a while; minutes or hours, I didn't know and it didn't much matter since I was surely dreaming. I was cognizant that I "possessed knowledge" though (whatever that meant). I was aware that the muffled sounds had drawn me to a place deep inside my own brain and there was much work to accomplish.

As I gazed I wondered whether this was all about me this time or if I was sent as witness to someone else's moment--if I was consumer or producer. I wasn't sure if I had a specific role, but there was action and I yearned for a piece even though I understood that this dream had rules, limits, boundaries and responsibilities, something Dave Wave taught me like 20 years back. [2]

It was mostly dark where I stood in what was a derelict public high school building. I didn't know why I knew this, it was just one of those obvious pre-loaded dream facts. There were the usual clues: the building was in horrid disrepair and looked to have been abandoned for many years. It smelled of mold and ratty shit. But there was an ambiance of institutional history that deserved respect.

Yet within the studio there were fascinations. Vintage and futuristic instruments, tube amps, computers, and sheet music amid leisurely accouterments. There was a bunch of improbable shit not yet created that I couldn't begin to describe. The studio lighting had the incandescent warmth that tapestries, knobs, dials, and assorted freakery reflected and absorbed like Jerusalem's pool of Bethesda in direct contrast to the dank cold where I stood. The studio was a microcosm within and I could feel heat through the glass. This could have been hell or heaven.

The characters inside hadn't yet noticed me, but during the time I watched I had been amazed and mesmerized. The sounds, even muffled, were scintillating but also extremely familiar to me. The music was so resonant and intuitive it could have been, or should have been the sounds I was supposed to create. Or these were the sounds that I have never made and would never make, bottlenecked somewhere impossible to emerge. Art locked away in compartments with memories of abuse, age old lies, and hatred of self, family, and people. Maybe I was blown the fuck away by cacophonous sounds of my brain's own purgatory.

There was one individual I took notice of, a leader holding everything together inside. A musician so loose and so happy and so rhythmically and sonically meticulous that I failed to differentiate between seething jealousy and star-fucked awe. He was moving between instruments and from sequencer to pedal board like goddamn Gottfried Leibniz at a Philip K. Dick convention. He was...the joy and he was the fury; all arms and legs and hair and affirming nods to others who caught cues better than Mahavishnu's first orchestra.

What I was witnessing, I surmised, was the type of once-in-a-lifetime elation that extremely profound artists only momentarily experience--perhaps only once!--then spend the rest of their miserable existences chasing like crack's first hit. And...who were the talented fucking musicians playing so amazingly tight and so relentlessly hard and with as much detached temperament as Tenmen? And how did this school, this piece of shit abandoned ghetto dump have such an incredible studio at its heart?

In an instant I knew who the mastermind was. I recognized an unmistakable riff segue from keyboard to guitars and then I was able to identify who I was watching. It was dude...uh, you know, dude from Fiery Furnaces? What's his name? Matthew...Eleanor's brother. I had seen them before, I knew their shit well. I knew who it was making the music inside my brain, in my dream. This was now beginning to make some sense. I was starting to remember again.

==========

Changing Tense: I watch for a while longer and when one of the performers leaves the studio, the door hangs open. Then I'm in the doorway; I'm there instantly like in a film edit. Sounds switch from a muffled mono to stereophonic surround. The difference in context is kind of like when Dorothy stepped out of her black & white tornado blown hovel into the Technicolor hi-sat soundstage land of Oz, but for all of the senses. I smell the musk, sweat, weed, and candles from within the studio. I touch a velvet chair to prove to myself that I'm alive and awake. There's a too-bright aquarium with many fucked up things that couldn't possibly exist like two-headed fish with human baby faces, currents of varying color, and little underwater villages of tiny scuba-clad humans. There are gadgets, toys, art, and little creatures everywhere I look. I suppress surprise. I taste blood.

Once everyone notices that I'm standing in the doorway all sounds abruptly stop. So sudden it's like cutting headphone cables with hedge clippers, there is no fade. Then the too-vivid colors flatten and Matt's affect morphs from exuberance into something the anchor opposite. He becomes introverted, withdrawn, sullen even. He lets his hair fall over his eyes. The others fade away. There's recognition and despair. Fear is present.

I offer, "hi, you're Matt! Friederberger, right?"

"It's Matthew" he says quietly, slightly annoyed, making no eye contact, "Friedberger. Why are you here?" he demands softly.

I urgently want to tell him why I'm there, the honest to God truth, that I'm there because this place deep inside my head, in my dream, is where I possess all knowledge and control. I wanted to explain that it was now the time for me to execute orders to.... But recognizing a similarity in sensitivity to my own, I empathetically realize that, perhaps, the moment was passing.

"Yeah, sorry, I do know, actually," I divulge. "It's Matthew Friedberger, I know of you.... I am Tej and I just wanted to tell you that I understand what you're doing here, I have all of you and Eleanor's records. I respect your shit, I get it. I know! But...." For some reason I cannot tell him anything more. The metaphoric window had shut.

He eases even as I realize that this had not become a time to push or bully, so I say, "But I'm not here to bother." I turn and walk back toward the exterior studio window where I first watched. The door whooshes closed as Matthew Friedberger, pushing his hair from his eyes, says, "But..." I look inside the window and the studio is filled with water like the aquarium.

Moving the hair from his face, Matthew gurgles, "wait!" Bubbles float upward.

==========
*Poof!* Alarms! Alarms sound everywhere. School alarms, bells-not-buzzer alarms. The rapid repeating pattern of bells that were used for fire drills when we were kids. There is no fire! There is never a fire! Some kind of announcement begins, garbled and drowned by the bells. Something about...a bomb threat?! Something about "orderly evacuation."*Flash!*
==========

Awakeness: I'm in a hallway in a busy office, walking. The individual offices and cubicle pens are nearly identical with desks facing walls, dying plants, wholly ignored family portraits, and people dressed in the telltale threads of worker bee corporate America; Dockers and pantyhose and terrible shoes. People all pretending to be so very busy since it is, after all, "these economic times." Phones ring, copy machines whir, there is the buzz of conversation. I hear the distinct sound of typewriters typing in this busy office. But nobody looks toward me so I must be OK. I must belong so I just keep walking like when your stoned and you hope no one figures it out while you wonder if you have on pants.

The office where I instinctively stop is different than the rest. Conspicuous. All tinted glass to the hallway and...leafy inside. I stand at a sliding glass door and wait for it to open because I apparently know an entry protocol or I am expected or something. Inside, it is as humid and warm as a greenhouse, comforting and womblike, oddly opposite the dry cool of the outer offices. Here plants thrive in air rancid with the decay of organic matter. Beakers bubble. An LP plays on a turntable. Mice scramble.

Turning to me from the stereo hi-fi unit, my old colleague Mike Wise stands there wearing my blue cardigan, shirt untucked, unkempt hair, and wearing his idiosyncratic migraine-tamping sunglasses. I noticed the floor has not been cleaned since forever because the office cleaners are never allowed in this place (obvious pre-loaded dream fact). There are dried leaves, paper clips, clumps of soil, and garbage on rugs atop long-faded industrial carpet. Mike looks me up and down with that half-committed smile of his, knowing already.

"Well?" Mike began, "did you do it?"

"No, not yet. But I will," I answer honestly but way too quickly as I sit in a worn leather chair.

"Good. Don't worry, we have time. I'll send you back." he laughs and turns back to attend to the turntable.

Scratchy symphonic music plays softly.

He says evenly, "You know you also have to kill Sajiv for misdeeds, right?"

I reply, "Yep. I know..." because I did know that Sajiv must die.

==========

Stop Tape - End: 3:49 a.m.



[1] "The Pony Act" from Her We Go by the Kingdom of Leisure, 2009
[2] "She Has No Idea" from Music to Nod-off To, Preamble or This is Just a Test Part I by Big Dave Wave, 2005
Photograph by Richey Powell, Berkeley

Tuesday

Her We Go - (album update/initial sketches)

headphones are good a thing
all are everything is headphones & cocoa collection
doy
Her We Go playlist
1) Taste The Monster 5:58
2) Make As New Place 7:20
3) The Pony Act 2:09 - new!
4) in progress.
5) in progress..
6) in progress...
7) in progress....
8) in progress.....
9) in progress......
10) Taste (reprise) 1:54
the Kingdom of Leisure playlist
1) tyrone hussein hardaway washington, d.c.
2) richey powell berkeley
3) big dave wave miami
4) philly boy gabe philadelphia
5) eric c. virginia
6) in progress.
7) in progress..
8) in progress...
9) in progress....
10) in progress.....
© 2009 Middlespace Arts - Middlespace East/Middlespace West

Sunday

Fill-Up



Neither Nor: A Story


"Lot of people who are into the new try to hide it."

- Darryl Morey


"And yet here he was shuttling between a black world that treated him as white and a white world that treated him as black."

- Michael Lewis


"Everything I've done since then is because of what I went through with this."
- Shane Battier

Friday

Color Photography w/Captions

clicktoenlargebutyouknowthatalready

"Rocks Off" (look for it)


"Hyphen"


Sugar High & the Mommy Gang


Two Doz. Long Stems? -or- Neighbor Ruining Things for the Rest of Us Suckers!

The Fab Four


Worldwide Since 2009 - Bigger than Jesus Since Yesterday


Old school, on vinyl [clicky]

Dead Bodies (for Ellie Campbell)

Yesterday Danny called me all in a panic to say that he had gone to the house of one of his employees, Trish, to check on her because she hadn't shown up to work in a few days, answered her phone (landline or cell), or returned any of his messages. After initially being pissed, he got kind of worried. The landlord let him in. Trish was dead. She was about 55 or so. No known cause yet.

Danny was totally rattled having never, ever, ever seen a dead body in person; even at a funeral. I wasn't phased because I've seen plenty of dead people. It's highly experiential for me. Maybe what separates me from Danny isn't that I've seen "plenty" of dead people, because I don't know if I've seen more or less than anyone else, but that if I don't hear from someone for more than about 70 minutes, I just assume they are dead and start planning accordingly, psychologically anyway.

Maybe what separates me from Danny is that I have actually found dead people myself. Four of 'em, all overdoses, except for one.

Here goes:

Dead Body #1: The first was Katrina in '89 who was addicted to heroin and all-pharms and crystal meth (and probably crack too) and had a temper that could only be described as goddamn fucking explosive! I used to let her visit me at the office (never at home) and I always had to sit in the chair by the door with the door cracked a little, just in case she was having a day. Three times over the course of the year I knew her I had to call 911 to have the police remove her from the office for screaming and making threats and refusing to leave and throwing shit and just freaking the fuck out from hearing simple truths about her life. No one ever pressed charges but once they arrested her for possession. It's funny when people get busted for possession; how they are all incredulous about how magical drugs got in their pockets and they do this whole "Whaaaat? I don't do drugs...you planted them on me!" routine. This act is the exact reason I watch COPS on TeeVee.

Anyway, Katrina was obviously a high risk for accidental overdose and that's exactly what happened to her. I got a call from a colleague who got a call from her landlord about an odor. I went out, he let me in, and she was on the bed, dead, eyes open and very red, pills visible in her vomit and that whole dramatic scene. I guest it was shocking for me at the time. The smell of death: much shit, new mulch, and beef stew.

Kat was only 22 and she actually still believed she was going to beat it and live a life happily ever after. She really believed in a future. She used to write these long kind of 8th-grade-rhyming poem-raps about life and would show them to me with pride:

I gotta hang on/cuz I believe in me/
and I'm gonna dream on/cuz there's so much for me to be

I really liked her though, so I was glad I was the one who found her because her whole family was fucking all kinds of white trash miserable and her boyfriend was just pure evil. And all of her "friends" were the predatory type. I wish her whole gang could've been indicted for murder, because that's basically what happened.

Dead Body #2: I only knew Jimmy for a few weeks in the summer of 1995. Heroin, of course. A mutual friend called to say that Jimmy was missing. We went to his place and convinced the manager to let us in. And there he was dead on his side on the kitchen floor, with bunches of plastic grocery bags in each hand, and a used condom on the floor...of the kitchen. No odor, thank G-d. All the lights were on. Camera equipment and accessories all over the place, some not even opened yet.

Jimmy's place was odd in that there was a digital clock radio in every single room, in the hallway, in the bathroom too, and no furniture except an office chair and a futon mattress on the floor, with a sleeping bag, and a bunched-up flannel shirt for a pillow. Mostly camera equipment and a laptop.

Why the clocks? We never bothered to ask. I still can't figure and no one seems to have known why the clocks.

Dead Body #3: The consummate junky's junky, Carla would ingest anything, smoke anything, inject anything, snort anything, plug anything. Everything, actually. She was 45 and had been living like that since she was 12. She looked 60. It was a miracle she was still alive. Her lifestyle had just caught up to her. I went to pick her up to take her to her first medical care in 10 years; a physical that she had finally agreed to take only if the "doctor didn't lecture."

It was 2001 and Carla lived in the worst rooming house in Lynn, which is saying a lot. Lynn, interestingly is only one of two non-deep south places I've been called "nigger" to my face, which is saying a lot (Cincinnati is the other). This place was the saddest and most violent pit of despair and human depravity I've ever seen. It may be the place that has frightened me the most. Her door was open and the TeeVee was on and she was dead next to her bed. Not long dead either. As I was calling 911 some dude walked in behind me with his pants off and a huge erection in his hand. Comically, he about faced and marched out when he saw me. And, that was Carla's life: door open, sex for drugs, 24/7, use or be used. I stayed there until the cops and EMT came even though I was terrified to be there. That place was that bad. It was stupid and paternal of me to stay, I know. But its what I did because I'm sure further violations would have occurred.

Dead Body #4
: In 2006 I was sent to check on an AWOL co-worker because he hadn't shown up to work in for several days, answered his phone, or returned messages. Awwww shit! We got in touch of his brother through a number in his HR file and he met me at Dave's place with the police there for a "health n' safety" visit (and to legally break in). Dave was dead on his shitty couch, the TeeVee was on and it stunk like fuck. The body had actually ruptured, what the cops called, "a popper." The police put these tiny tampons in their nostrils and seemed wholly and surprisingly unfazed. Dave's brother vomited.

Dave died at 41. Carol (our boss) was totally rattled. I wasn't because Dave was a total pain in my professional ass. Dave had started a diet and rapidly dropped like 70-80 pounds in like two months. People asked him, "are you okay, aren't you losing weigh too quickly?" and he was defensive as hell with his, "can't a guy lose weight anymore with out people criticizing him?" Incredulous, he was. He didn't know he had somehow given himself diabetes and basically killed himself.

I had to pretend to give a shit around the office and at the memorial when deep inside I was so relieved. I acted all sad like I did when that time I got laid off with an incredible severance package and before I signed the termination agreement.

Anyway, have a good weekend. Don't die. Or, at least, don't let me find your ass. If a plane doesn't crash into your house, you win today.

Wednesday

Track List Posted - El Vado - Big

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 6:00 PM, Ty <tyhardaway@gmail.com> wrote:
you know how we proclaim being on he verge of something big...

...that's the feeling again.

all around.

hang on.
---------------------------------
On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 9:18 PM, Rich <rpwalk@gmail.com> wrote:
Yeah, dude. I see it from here. I actually have some perspective on this one. I See It.
---------------------------------

From Middlespace West
[clicky] for El Vado track list
[clicky] for context
[clicky
] for contact