Random Acts

So, short story, I went to the ball game yesterday. Interleague. Nationals vs. Orioles. No big deal (besides the fact that Nat's Ronnie Belliard smacked the shit out of a bottom of the 12th, runner on first, two out, two strike fastball to walk off 3-2 winners even though it seemed only Oriloes fans stayed past the 9th).

Of course there's sponsorship abound. You name it. In fact, and the point of the post, ExxonMobil® sponsors a periodic, "Random Act of Kindness" thing. Indeed! Several times during the game ExxonMobil® does something like upgrades seats, gives out $50 gas cards to entire rows, or feeds whole sections. Random acts of corporate marketing.

Uh, ExxonMobil® and "Random Act of Kindness"? Huh?! On one hand it's totally fucking cynical for the company to do this. Some would argue disgusting or insulting. On the other? Brilliant to steal the hippie/liberal bumpersticker slogan and arrogantly use it as its own. C'mon? The kid who proposed this move should get a window cubicle for sheer hubris.

Of course, if any of the ExxonMobil® spies read this post, how 'bout a "random" comp of my next fill-up or a million dollars from that $40 billion quarterly profit. Now that would be random.

Hey, I'm on your side here. I called the heist brilliant.

Simple Ticket Gone Bad: Story Time

There's a sushi restaurant next door to the coffee shop where I sometimes work. The guy getting the ticket works at the sushi restaurant. He was delivering stuff. All the delivery vehicles park right there in front: FedEx, county liquor delivery, UPS, fresh fish truck, Starbucks supply truck, etc. This kid was in a car. That spot is also where the mopes often park their cars to run in for coffee. Too lazy to find a spot, too important to give a shit. Parking there makes your car stick out into the road a bit. You partially obscure a cross walk. Oh, and there's a hydrant. It's a shitty place to idle your Navigator to run-in for a shitty half-caf. Believe me, I hate on that shit. But, I'm okay with the kid this time.

So, the cop (Barry Bonds new job - city PD, by the way; neither County Mountie nor Statie) thinks it's a run-in mope, right? Obviously. The kid comes running out, flapping his arms about his delivery. But, you know, the cop has started writing the ticket, there's nothing to do about it. It's time to take one for democracy and justice and city revenue. Big, whoop. Looks like the kid's doing just that. It's over.

Look carefully at the picture above. Right side, top ("high, top-right"). You see a man in a blue shirt. That's a reflection from the diner's mirrored walls. That man is the owner of the sushi restaurant. He's actually between the sushi store (and me) and kid and the cop. The reflection is from behind the cop and the kid. He's coming to help the kid; to explain about the situation; to straighten everything out. But boss man decided to get into it with the cop. No Jedi Mind Tricks involved. At all.

Look below. The cop got kind of irked. There was yelling. Threats of towing. Calls for equality (the trucks park there). Requests for badge numbers. Orders ("step back into your store, sir!"). Ugly little scene over a little parking ticket. I'm just glad there was not Tasering or hand-cuffing or anything. Whew!

Guest Post: Rich from Berkeley

1) The An Appreciation Thread:

I'm going to say that So Many Windows live by Bruised Orange [and here: clicky] is the best mono recording of the decade. Damn we settle in. Imagine if we played together as a group more than once. ONCE!
2) The Annual Awards Thread:
TY: [wife] won Pancreas of the Year award.
RICH: Must not be a lot of competition in the Pancreas of the Year category.
TY: No shit...she sweeps every year, it seems.
[Eds. note: Okay, just drop that and keep on walking. Oh that? Nothing.]


From Ty: Do this. Take a step back, Rich. Not just from these two items. Take a breath then take one giant step back. Look around.... Oh! Our shit. Our EMPIRE. Everything we've done or touched in the last dozen years? Gold. What the fuck, dude? What. The. Fuck?

And we just keep on walking. Oh that? Nothing.

Ask Ty...June 30

Q: Why is my family so crazy?

Just wondering,

- DB, Syracuse

Ty: Good question and an even better observation, DB.

Here's the deal: Your family isn't crazy. All families are crazy. And your family is part of all families.

I mean, you're asking me?! See: An Historical Record for God sake. I'm 42 years-old and am just beginning to reconcile family. Your family is indeed crazy and, conversely, they all believe you to be nutty too. Trust me. Same for me and same for everyone else. What has happened is that a group of people you felt you knew and whom you felt you should know are now or have always really been strangers; they are people you hardly know (or whom you hardly know anymore). It's like anyone you haven't seen in forever and haven't kept up with events and ideals. Just go to a high school reunion and you can feel the same thing: who are these fat, weridos?

But, the family instinct leads us to feel that we should have some sympathy and compassion and knowledge of these people. They look familiar. They smell the same. There's an emotional pull stronger than any logic or intelligence. Our blood feels synced. Thicker than mud, thicker than naught. Believe me, I've compartmentalized all notions of "family" and I still have illogical and sudden pulls toward these people I hardly know. I have a cousin who I grew up with that calls on occasion and it's like some random stranger calling me but someone this person possesses some knowledge of not only my past, but of some of the secret stuff I'm internalizing. But, the few things in common you realize you have include need for oxygen, and that we both noticed the sun came up this morning. But, there is still love. I would protect some of these people if it came to that. I won't send them money (so don't ask), but I might lie in court. Weird, huh? And, yes, they are crazy. What must they think of me?

Your family is crazy because you are crazy because we are all crazy. Whatever that means.

Just a guess,


I've Always Been This Awkward - Three


Mondays are such a jumble. Yeah, I’m like the rest of you, really. I work during the so-called “work week” and try to take weekends off. I try, you know? I push as hard as I can then I try to relax on weekends with the family and neighbors over barbecued meats and light beers. Ha! But relaxation sucks! The world can take relaxation and shove it. [Note: “Shove it?” Yes, it is 1979?]. We’re all going to die and I’m not going to be known as "The Guy Who Relaxed” (In fact, according to sources in California, we have less than a year to live so there's plenty to do). I was named the King of Leisure based on how I live my life not based on how I don’t live it. Don’t get confused. Keep up with me here, people. Leisure is hard work. Read, don’t judge. Jumble. This posting is a jumble. I just read it over. I know, the magic word is “edit” but I failed the magic portion of edit school [and then he just kept walking].
Here’s something I bet you didn’t know about me #1: It would be my preference to work non-stop, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. I’d work all night; sleep for like two three-hour blocks. I’d only eat cherries (when in season) and drink coffee and yerba mate. I’d be all Cabin & Manifesto and shit if I could. I was once a workaholic but the woman I was dating at the time intimated that that wasn’t going to be cool with her. Twenty years later I say, “Thanks a lot! I’ll do what I want to do.” Not really, but that’s the mood I’m in this morning. Monday. Not pissy, just obstinate, really.

I went to this parent and kid playdate thing this weekend; friend with kid having friends with kids over for cheese and juices and (apparently) nonstop conversation about our children. My kid is six; the others were all under one. Awkward. I was the dad rummaging in the liquor cabinet and taking pictures of everything. Awkward. But I can get away with socially aberrant behavior because I have the “Wacky Ty” act (Hey, folks! I’m here all week, matinee on Sunday!). People encourage it, even. It’s like my friends are my worst enemies sometimes. I know, they’re not but, drunk at noon on a playdate isn’t the epitome of grace and glamour. I did volunteer to--and succeeded at--move a wasp nest from the sliding glass door frame though. Through drink comes courage, my hearties! Wacky Ty is also Ty with the huge balls (and a squirt bottle and a little stick/schtick). Wasps? What wasps? Here’s the sick part, there are a whole lot of people who only know me as the Wacky Ty act. Sick!

At this thing, my friend Julie who has a 10-month old or something and whom I don’t see much anymore because she has a 10-month old or something says, “So, Ty. What are you doing? How are you filling your days now?” Huh? How am I filling my days? What you traded the baby for your Interwebs access? What the hell? I’m filling my days making all this boss-ass important voice-of-a-generation art for you. I pour my heart out for you and you don’t even know that it’s pouring it all over your flip-flops. Hey, there’s heart on your shoes! My answer, “How am I spending my days? Rocking in front of the telephone waiting for it to ring.” (Matinee on Sunday). Guaranteed I work as hard as anyone. Guaranteed in this world of nothing guaranteed.

But Mondays are a jumble because I have backlog. That’s the problem. If there’s one thing I dislike, it’s backlog. If I suddenly died (A girl can dream, right?) there’d be unfinished and unpublished shit scattered about on computers, in piles (neat OCD piles), and in my brain. That would bug me even though I’d be dead and wouldn’t have thoughts. Which is why Rich knows that when I die that it’s his job to score my laptop and hard drives along with whatever else looks of interest to him in the middlespace laboratory. He can figure out how and what to delegate or just dump into the casket. You think that’s bullshit? Well he and I typically send an obligatory reminder email to each other prior to flying or embarking on such risky behaviors (automobile racing, AIDS swimming, voting, etc.). It goes something like this, “Dude, I’m off to Cleveland, in an aero plane, when I die come get my shit. Laptop and hard drives are in obvious places.” Something like that. It’s our man-thing I guess.

[Note: Reminder, speaking of death, change will to reflect "natural burial" rather than the stated "common cremation" - I have my reasons. Mostly because the stench would make the memorial so funny]

Mondays are a jumble because I have so much queued up shit in my head. Projects in progress, scams to run, supermodels to bang. The usual. I’m not even into supermodels, just being obstinate again. I even list daily objectives for organization sake. It’s something I got from Anthony my ill-fated Ph.D. advisor. Anthony wasn’t ill fated, just the notion of me completing a Ph.D. was fairly ill fated. I mean I’m plenty smart and all, in fact I'm probably too smart and saw that I wasn’t the type to jump through the requisite hoops [Note: My excuse for not completing degree: “too smart” - classic]. I wish I were a Ph.D. caliber person though, it would be pretty cool to have a Ph.D. like nearly everyone else I know; Dr. This and Dr. That who can’t even tell me what to do for a sore throat. It doesn’t make them any less of the mopes they are though; it’s just a cool-ass thing to achieve in one’s life (that’s really good for moneygetting). Anyway, today’s objectives were:
1) Process this weekend’s pictures (I’m no photographer nor was taking a lot of pictures this weekend) – Check!
2) Answer emails (that’s why I get nothing done, I’m so cordial) – Check!
3) Write a little bit (although I’m no goddamn writer) – I’m writing now, but it took me a while to get my head straight about it.
Speaking of answering emails [Note: this section rambles], I wrote to someone this morning that, "I can't control the world" and followed it up with something like, "Not that I would want to." Believe me. I don't really want to be any sort of influencer or style master or prophet or anything. I’m no Barack Obama. I don't want any of that. I don't need any of that. That’s not how I get off. That doesn’t trigger the jollies for me or anything. It’s way too much responsibility for me. I mean, who cares what I think, right? I don't keep track of stuff enough to influence anyone on anything. News? Sports? Philosophy? All capricious and contrived nonsense. In fact, I don't really care what others think of me or what they think for the most part. Now, I know that kind of sounds a bit Barack Obama New York Times elitist-arrogant but just so you know there is a core group of people (and YOU are part of it) who influence me. In fact, I care a great deal what you think. Sometimes I play directly to you. [Note: Hi. How am I doing? Good? No?! Oh, okay. Thanks.]. Where was I?

I also received email from a good friend today. It's funny how in the Interwebs ages we can develop quite good friendships with people we've spent so little time with. Yet, and maybe this is restricted to the creative class, we know so much more about them than some of the mopes we see every day. And they know about us. Gary is making a movie: Inspiration. I’ll tell you more about that when I can. Not that it’s a secret; I just want to adequately pay tribute to his and his team’s hard work and dedication. I could learn something from them. I’m going to donate money to the project. You should too ($5,000 in one month). It's good to know that not all your friends are mopes.
Synopsis: Claire, a precocious yet still innocent pre-teen girl, tries to learn about her absent father by secretly painting his portrait from her imagination. When her mother discovers the painting, Claire learns an even bigger secret, and takes the first steps on the path to becoming a young woman.
Speaking of getting to know you, and the jumbles, and all the stuff written so far to get to the good stuff, I bet you didn’t know this about me #2 [Note: Editor, please smooth out this transition for me, thanks]: For all my loudmouth public and art antics, I quiet as a church the old hump-sack. Now, and let’s be clear, do not for one minute mistake quiet and timid. I’m a monster. Grrrrr! (branding, remember) I’m a student of sex. And a student of art. I always have been. Art and sex are not mutually exclusive. They are highly correlated and orthogonal and shit. I figured out at a very young age that all the hot nudes were in the art books in the public library. I was that kid. What I haven’t figured out though is how to use art to get hot women to take off their clothes so they can get into books in the public library. It is only one grand psychic step between anatomy and physiology. I am that kid. I took college level sex classes TWICE! Because I was interested in the topic, really. I wrote a term paper on female orgasm. I know about the sex. I study sex. I should have been a biologist or physician. But sex is more psychology than physiology and that is what my college degree is in: psychology. Guh! I'll always be that kid.

So yeah, when I’m doing my sexies business, I’m so focused with concentration and world-class knowledge that the audio portion of the surveillance tape would only reveal the cool, quiet, deliberate, and authoritative commands of the professional: “Turn. Here. Over. Down. Now. Blue. Yes. More. More? There. Good.” None of this, "Oh baby, yeeeeah baby" nonsense. I'm working not barbecuing. And professional may be the wrong word. A sex professional is something entirely different, I suppose. I am the academic. The chess club president. Sex Nazi! Those who cannot do, teach. Those who cannot teach, judge. Sex judge would be weird. I could get a Ph.D. in sex. Very quietly. Huh?

Why am I talking about all of this? Oh, because the Post Secret guy was on the radio this morning. Fascinating stuff. People and their secrets is what modern humanity is all about.

And that was mine. Shhhh!

I've Always Been This Awkward

Exhibit #2 - Torn


Ask Ty...June 26

Q: As a child in Pennsylvania, I spent what in retrospect seems like an inordinate amount of time in olde timey colonial places where people dressed up in hats and bonnets and buckles and wire rim glasses and made candles and spun yarn and told us how people used to sleep on hay and poop outside. And I'm not even talking the big places like Williamsburg, VA or Plymouth, MA. I'm talking your neighborhood variety colonial throwback like Valley Forge, or Lahaska, or Rittenhouse Square, or Hopewell Furnace, or Ben Franklin's home, or George Washington slept here or whatever. There are pictures of me on more than one occasion wearing tri-corner hats eating sugar plums and comfits with my head and wrists stuck in a pillory imagining townsfolk throwing rotten fruit at me.

Did you have such things in Los Angeles?

Ty: Good question and an even better observation, Are Dub. Ahh, Los Angeles! LA. The City of Angels. La-La Land. My home. I was born in Los Angeles. Actually within the city limits itself. General Hospital. I possess the cred to fly the distinctive 213 tattoo. Crips and Bloods. Rams, Lakers, Dodgers, and Raiders. Hollywood. LAX. USC. UCLA. Average high temperature? 73°F. Average low? 55°F. Fourteen inches of rain per year. Never colder than 28°F, ever! We made all the TeeVee and all the movies and shit.

El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula

Los Angeles of my youth spans the Watts Riots of 1965 (my birth year) and the Rodney King Riots of 1992; the the Sylmar earthquake of 1971 (Richter 6.6) and the Northridge earthquake of 1994 (Richter 6.7). Sure I technically left Los Angeles in 1973 but it will always remain in my heart. I may be Californian but I am Los Angeles. Did I mention that I was born in LA?

Ha! You had "Hear Ye! Hear Ye!" and all that shit, huh? For real? All the time? Ha! William Penn and John Dickinson and stuff, huh? Ben Franklin? That's soooo gay! Not homosexual gay but, lame as hell, dude (we had the homosexuals). Here's the total I knew about Pennsylvania until I was like in high school American history:
  • Eagles
  • Sixers
  • Steelers
  • Coal
  • Liberty Bell (cracked)
  • Phillies
  • Pirates (bad hat period)
  • And this riddle: What's the biggest pencil in the world? Pencil-vania
I grew up with:
  • CBS
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • Smog like hell
  • Olympics
  • Sam Yorty
  • Daryl Gates
  • Tom Bradley
  • Drive-bys
  • Disney
  • Beaches
  • Halter tops
  • Boobs
  • Hollywood (prostitutes, runaways, drugs)
Growing up, I always believed those feel-good Christmas movies with snow and white people happy about everything was a complete fantasy. White picket fences? What the hell?! Snow was something you drove to like the beach. Snow was up in the mountains. Pilgrims? Another story. Santa? Has to come down a chimney, huh? We don't have a chimney because it didn't get cold. Another story. That's why I never believed that stuff. I always felt the "story" (lie) about Santa to be a bad thing for kids because it just showed that adults lied.
"I don't know - Santa might be a good thing for little kids. First, it gives them a sense of magic and excitement they'll never have again when older, plus, it's a certain right of passage figuring out the truth. And, because they learn that things aren't always as they seem, it might teach them to question reality in the future."

- Big Dave Wave
Question this reality, bitch! Ain't no damn Santas!

Anyway, your question, RW: Did you have such things in Los Angeles?

While we didn't have public stocks, we had Mexicans (pronounced: "MESS-kins") who did mariachi with the big hats with the dingle balls and the big guitars. We had taco trucks. Chinatown was a novelty with all the headless ducks hanging in the windows. We took a bus to that. We went to the Farmer's Market. We invented gangster rap and glam. Sugar Plums was a ballet.

Here's what we had in Los Angeles: Earthquakes, fires, landslides, shootings, riots, and Mexicans. Repeat.

213, represent!

Just a guess,


Four Things That Are Very Good and Totally Worth It

1) Reading: "The Itch" > Atul Gawande/The New Yorker > [clicky]

2) Music: "What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective" > Steve "Steinski" Stein > [clicky]

3) News: "Economists at the investment bank predict that motorists will see the price of gas rise to $7 per gallon within two years, a 75 percent increase.

The run-up in prices will cause a dramatic change in American driving behavior, the report said...predicted that by 2012, there would be roughly 10 million fewer cars on U.S. roads than there are today." > ABC News > [clicky]

4) Miscellany: Ty Hardaway™ > Middlespace > [clicky]

Jerry Sneede

Who the Hell is Jerry Sneede & What Should We be Known For?

Battle of ideas
The five hour show through dawn
Shadows are scary

I've Always Been This Awkward - Two


This one summer in college I didn't really want to go away from Santa Cruz (because it was Santa Cruz and it ruled) so I applied for and was hired to work with the campus Conference Office. You know, it's a revenue thing for the school, they rent the unused spaces like dorms and apartments and classrooms and such. They have groups come out to the beauty of the campus and they offer expensive catering, blah blah blah. Money is money, I suppose. Overhead counts. I guess it kept my overall tuition affordable in the end, however.

Part of the gig though, and this is important, was not only did we get paid, we got a free room. You would be placed in an apartment or dorm or whatever. So you could work all day, do your "stuff" all night, and roll out of bed to "work," and live in Santa Cruz all summer. A summer job with free room and sometimes free food (conference leftovers) was incredible. Like the burned-out kids at my child's summer camp who look fairly rough in the morning, we must have looked absolutely dead to our campus guests.

Anyway, I learned that I got the job and soon it came time to learn where we got to live; which part of campus, type of accommodation, and who we'd be near. Socially, this mattered quite a bit. You know.

Bittersweet, I was assigned to a sweet part of campus, up in the redwoods, to a pretty new apartment in fact. But to a double room. Egads! I hadn't had a roommate at that point for a long while and those situations were by choice or convenience, not some arbitrary assignment for some job thing. Besides, I that point. You know, "active." Sexually active. I was a man! Funny thing is, that summer I was actually accused of being a "player" by my supervisor before the word "player" hit the popular and mainstream vocabulary. This was like 1989 or something. I wasn't no player (but, like I've mentioned, my branding was strong). Maybe my supervisor Hilary accused me of that because she felt that I constantly hit on her. Maybe. She loved it, too. Had I been a real player, there'd be more of a story about Hilary too. But, I never even kissed her.

My previous two roommates had been wicked genius Matt R. in Cupertino, and before that Kathy K. in Hayward. Matt and I planned that shit the year before. And we had schemes and ideas. We ran scams and we tweaked situations. We freaked out Dean so bad he moved back to Colorado. We got yelled at. We laughed and drank very bad beer. We had a hot tub.

I was just really, really lucky with Kathy. The best part of roomming with Kathy for that year was, of course, the rumors. Everybody asked if we, you know, "slid over" to each other's beds during the course of the long, cold east bay evenings. We didn't, but we had a pact to never divulge whether we did or not. I think our stock answer was something like, "C'mon? What do you think?" Thinking back, that pact in and of itself was kind of hot. Our little secret. I really should have worked the charisma on Kathy though. She was pretty hot. But I was young and a bit inexperienced with the ways of real-life, grown-up women. I lived with her and it was very What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I had a long-term, long-distance girlfriend at the time and that was a factor too. What was I thinking? Had I been a "player" this would have been a very different story. I did see her naked a couple of times. Boobs!

Anyway, so I was assigned a double room for my Conference Office job and, frankly, I found that to be petulantly unacceptable. I figured that if I complained about it I could risk having the job at all and all my summer plans would fall into the toilet and I'd be homeless and addicted to heroin and dead by 25. I needed the gig. So, I concocted a plan. I would lie.

My lie to get out of living in a double room was centered on--as all good lies are--the irrefutable
story. What would get one out of living in a double room for a summer? It had to be medical because religion could be too complicated. It had to be a private medical matter that required privacy. But I didn't look sick. It had to be weird.

Somehow I figured it out. I cannot remember how I came up with such a beautiful plan without the use of Google and the Interwebs. Did I go to the library? Like I said, it was 1989. There wasn't a Google or a viable Interwebs. Somehow I found some reference to "somnambulism" somewhere. I didn't have the sleepwalking type but the, get this, screaming in my sleep type. Oh, I've had it forever.

I had a heart-to-heart talk with Diane the staff coordinator about "an issue of concern to me and my potential apartment mates.... Uh, I scream in my sleep." That was a really fucking overly concerned and sincere conversation. I explained it like a pro though. Needless to say, I ended up in my very own wing of an apartment. I even considered the occasional scream to keep the story solid, but I never had to to do that.

That was a good summer. One of many. That was a great lie. One of many.

I worked Conference Office for the two following summers. By the end of my third year Diane and I had become quite chummy (even though she played the new Bobby McFerrin song Don't Worry Be Happy for me - really, she thought I'd like that? How sweet). Drunkenly, I fessed up to the somnambulism ruse. She was all, "I thought so!" She thought it was genius and told me some of her favorite all time lies, the best and most versatile being, "I had to wait for the sofa to be delivered."

Summer jobs are all about lying.

I've Always Been This Awkward


We are Here Now

It's been too long.

An Only Goal

Wow. Today I totally got my ass kicked! Kicked and handed back for close-up inspection. [Yes, that looks like ass] And you know what? It was exactly what was needed. Leave it to the Scouts, I'll tell you. I must have broken a shovel or something.

It was the kind of beating only the closest family member could administer. The right-cross, left-hook wake the fuck up call. Attack on the softened body. Slaps about the skull. I was called "jackass," I was called, "asshole." My attacker was right. It is time.

And I know I'm being obtuse but the detail is not for public review. It's none of your business.

But, so's you know, right and accurate words delivered at exactly the correct time can change everything. The simple kind of perfection that only a sibling in philosophy could deliver.

One gets so accustomed to hopping the fences in life that a leisurely saunter through an open gate just didn't seem obvious or intuitive.

Thankful, I am. It's good to have people watching your back.

I've Always Been This Awkward - One


So I'm sitting at the kitchen table. Alone. It's like 10:30. I do this every morning. It's like my job. I answer email. Work on my art. Look for jobs that pay money. I have a career but what I need is "moneygetting." Like everybody in America I need money. America is about moneygetting. You can't do moneyspending without moneygetting and I don't want to get into moneystealing. That's not too cool. What do I need money for? Dunno. I don't really have anything I need or want to purchase. I guess in America there is a value, a ranking, a hierarchy bestowed to the quantity of moneygetting you do. Right now, that makes me pretty low; about four inches above the cracked out pieces of shit we all fear when we're walking alone downtown. Mastercard says I can spend like $25,000 on shit but they kind of expect that dough back.

But I'm sitting here at my laptop, doing my thing. There's a guy power washing the front of my house. They are going to work on the wood rot and paint or something, shit I could probably do if I weren't so busy typing this. Sentence. Right. Here. Some guys from the city were painting some dumb lines on the street to show you where to park your car. Nobody gives a shit about those lines. It's just paint on asphalt. But this is the job these guys were assigned for their moneygetting. I can't hate. Later on they can go out and moneyspend on Bud Light and child support and spark plugs. That sounded kind of elitist, huh? I make no apologies for that.

I'm drinking yerba mate. Yes, I'm on the mate kick again. New bag. New life. I'm eating cherries fresh from Whole Fields. Kathy from next door just called about the dogs and I almost missed the call because I have big ass headphones on. Fat cans, man. I'm working on transformation.

I'm just setting a scene for you so you can envision how I begin my day. One of the bananas is moving from overripe to rotten; you can smell it. I'll eat it later. I'll eat later. I'm filling up on the mate water though. I'm guessing Costa Ricans piss a lot. I had to "clean up" the ants this morning. If the cat doesn't eat in like three minutes here they come. Clean up is the euphemism for kill the prehistoric bastards. But I'm teaching the offspring that we don't kill. Yes, Raid kills 'em dead. Another lie to resolve.

I finished processing a couple of pictures but I'm just kind of burned out on photography right now. The all-black and white June turned into a bust for me psychically. I got about 70 posts in that thread but it started to weigh heavily on me. This month is weighing heavily on me. It seems I'm not alone though. Seems most people I know have concerns this month. Maybe it's just a state. Maybe it's where we are.

There's still so much to do. So much on my mind. I have this audio project to do. It'll be something different that will probably end up sounding exactly like the same old crap from my camp. Why can't I have real talent like Dave or Rich? Maybe if I weren't so lazy...I mean right now I could be playing guitar. fingers still hurt a little from yesterday. Maybe I'm just not sufficiently inspired. Conversely, maybe I'm just overly sufficiently distracted by circumstances. At inception of each major project there is much preparatory thinking and willing that must happen. Many questions to answer. How do I do this again? How did I block out the distractions? What's my purpose? Oh look cherries. No! I have to put the amp here. The microphone here. I wonder if the Dodgers won? No! Stop it! You're spacing out, son. Where's the tuner? I wonder if the new Achewood posted? I just checked. It hasn't. He's running it "midday" this week. What the hell is he doing? I'm a charter donor, I should be emailed this shit. Fucker.

This will be like the ninth or tenth album I've made. I actually cannot account for the right number off the top of my head. I'd have to look it up. Just like I'd have to look up anybody else. How weird is that? I remember when I was like three albums in I could so confidently state, "This is our third album!" Like that rookie shit even meant anything. Ten or twelve years down the road it's not about how many records you've made, it's more about have you fulfilled your potential or simply, have you fulfilled your will yet. Art is dark matter.

I got a lecture from Lily this weekend. She was all nudging -- no shoving -- me to get my shit together for a gallery exhibit. I started in on my whole bullshit about how it's not about what other people think but how I relate to my art and blah blah and she just says, "Shut! Up! With that nonsense!" She insisted it was form of moneygetting.

So I have to go get ten frames and ten mats and pick ten images to frame and frame ten images. Then I have to give those ten pieces to her and she'll do the rest. Ha! How do I pick ten to print? If I had that figured out I'd be eating fucking bon-bons by the pool and there's be like a dozen naked or half-naked models standing around awaiting their turn to pose for me. I'd have PAs doing most of the the real work. Art is dark matter.

I remember seeing Ben at his San Francisco artist's reception being all benevolent and patient with people. And by people I mean rich queens who wanted to eat him during the course of some violent sex act and people who just asked really stupid questions. He was all, "Thank you very much for coming out. I appreciate your comments." Can I do that? I'd be all antsy and fidgety and ANNOYED to high heavens. "What is it a picture of? Fuck! It's whatever you want it to be! Jesus, how did you even get in here. Somebody get me a goddamn drink!" Art is dark matter.

So here I sit on like twenty years of work from my most productive period. Most of it ready to be deleted during a lightning strike or the drop of a hard disk. Ha! There are some things printed. But I've given the bulk of that away in some desperate attempt to be valued or accepted by friends and fans alike. Oh you like that? Here, I'll print (and frame and mail) you a copy. Why can't I have real talent like Christine or Cassady?

What's funny is I cannot take a compliment for shit either. People are either lying or they want something. This is just what I do, how can anyone like it? That's just weird. Lily says she'll make me index cards with pre-printed expressions of gratitude. "Thank you. You're so very kind [smile]. We can ship work to anyplace in the world. We take checks [offer handshake]." Why can't I be talented like Lily?

So here I sit typing instead of working. Maybe this is the end of the ride; an arc completed. Or is what I feel that wonderful feeling of being on the verge of bigness again? Dunno.

I've Always Been This Awkward

A Rant Forgiven

Here's where I would normally discuss with some depth how ridiculous governments can be at times. Most times. What with their Ideas and Notions and such. Building revenue bases in order to create Jobs for the People! But, today, I'm not going to do that.

Maria Benz


Only one person in the world will know what I'm posting here. If it's you please acknowledge as appropriate. I sense your presence.

To quote:
Standing on kidneystones w/ no name. Someone didn't wax. She's a shingle,
freezerpeople, she's a shingle!
You're a genius, son. Genius.

Ask Ty...June 24

Q: Your teaser about the traffic ticket was great. But we all know what your doing, you want us to ASK for the punch line! So I'm asking: What was the magic Jedi Mind Trick you performed on the Statie to let you (almost) slide?

- Cass

Ty: Great question and an even better observation, Cass. Thanks for asking. You know me too well. There's always more. Always a bit of insult to injury. I love it when they beg for more.

Yeah, the County Mountie (as we call our Montgomery County police) who works the speed trap I forgot about yesterday was about as official (or officious) as they come. He called me "sir." He asked the year of my "Volkswagen vehicle." And mumbled a bunch of requisite stuff. It was cut and dry traffic stop except, and here's where the the Jedi Mind Trick began, he sensed absolutely no attitude from me. I copped not one ounce of 'tude. I was speeding, what the hell do I have to argue with the Mountie. In fact, he smelled not one whiff of fear, anxiety, or dread. I was cool. I wasn't on a phone. I wasn't mad. And that was the gift I gave to him. I owned that shit. I was speeding. I drive the lightest version of the VW/Audi 200 hp turbo package. It's going to go fast. That's why I drive it.

I agreed with all requests and information. I kept my hands on the steering wheel, I turned the hazards on and rolled both windows down. Stereo was off. I was a model stop. He informed me about my speed ("okay"), he informed me about the doubling of the fine ("okay"), and he told me about points ("okay" - whatever that means).

When my opening presented, I pounced. He asked, "Where is Hart Road?" I mentioned it was "right over there," pointing across the street. He says, "You should know about the limit here."


"Oh, I totally know about this zone, I see you out here all the time. I was trying to figure out why everyone on the other side of the street was driving so slowly. They were literally hanging out of the windows looking at me." Then I exaggeratedly demonstrated how people were warning me of the trap." I says, "By the time I read this one guy's lips...'s-p-e-e-d t-r-a-p'... there you were standing in front of me like you just beamed down from the Enterprise or something *bam!*"


He bursts out laughing and says, "Yeah, they were trying to warn you, I guess." He then pardoned himself and left. When he came back his affect was not officious. He had tilted his shades up to his forehead and spoke English as opposed to cop talk. He explained to me how he changed the ticket to 39 in a 30 sans doubling or points (whatever that means). He said something about that's the minimum he could cite and mumbled something about "already written and called in." I mean he had just, two minutes before, told me it was a $160 fine that doubled and had two points (whatever that means). He said that this was for "eighty bucks." He blabbed something about slowing down and told me to have a good one. I told him to be careful "beaming into the street like that." He said that he'd try. I have control of my charisma.

I'll tell you what though. I wouldn't even try Jedi Mind Trickery on a Statie (the State Highway Authority Police). They don't take crap from anyone. I would have been searched and probably jailed. B would be in foster care.

Story to the moral: CRACK!

Carefully learn and know your audience
React to openings
Accept invitation to pounce
Cease pouncing if it ain't working
Keep pouncing if it is
Just a guess,


Guest Post: Science - UPDATE

I just conducted a scientific survey of blogs and blogging. By clicking [Blogger's] 'next blog' until I got bored, I compiled the following results:
1) 71% of bloggers are blogging exclusively about their children
2) 9% of them are blogging from the perspective of their children (e.g., Here's a photo of me and my dad!) despite the fact that their children are too young to talk, write, or care about blogs (creepy)
3) 44% of photos that appear in blogs have been taken before
3) 108% of bloggers can't spell
- RP

Note: I think "blogging" sucks. It's stupid and it's retarded. Stupid-retarded. I am not a blogger (or a musician or a photographer or a writer). I hate blogging. I do not blog. These "blogs" that I maintain are a small part of something else. It's supportive. If you've not figured it out you too are stupid-retarded.
------------- UPDATE -------------

Oh, yeah, people who are sooooo into their children make me vomit in my mouth which is really gross since I'm drinking yerba mate, but yeah, that shit's the poorest. Now don't give me crap about my child-posts. She creates her own art. I'm just passing it on.

And the people who write in their child's voice for some reason? What gives there? I had this one mom RSVP to a party via email in this whole it's-from-the-child voice thing. My reply? "I'll forward this to B's account." When next I saw her she thought it was so "cute" that I replied that way. I was all, "Oh, I did forward it to her account. She has two." 'Nuff said. She does, actually.


Cass is Right

Photo by Cassady ©2008 Fifty Grand (edit by me)


Seizure Galaxy

Damn GTI

So I'm driving home with the B. And circumstances brought us the route we were driving. And I'm all distracted in my brain by circumstances. And I notice that cars driving in the opposite of us are driving r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y. I'm all, WTF? and stuff. I notice that drivers are looking at me; hanging out of their windows and staring and such. All in kind of a slow motion.

Then I see a police officer standing in my lane. Directly before me. "Yikes!" I said.

Damn GTI. Goes to fast. Machine's fault. Ticket VW, not me.

He says I was doing 47 in a 30. He says it was technically in front of a fire station and double fine and points (whatever that means). But I got him laughing and he wrote it for 39 in a 30, no points. He wouldn't have written it but he had already started the ticket. So nine miles over is the lowest ticket he could write. I should have worked the charm earlier.

Weird charisma. I went from $320 and two points (whatever that means) to $80.

I love me. And you should to.

[J. Giles Freeze Frame was playing.]

Damn GTI.

We Get the Art We Deserve

"Pity, while a temptation (even the final or most powerful temptation) to the higher man, was primarily the preserve of lower ones. These, Nietzsche dared to think, wallowed in it as swine do in mud, their pity for others being indistinguishable from their pity for themselves. This preoccupation with pity, the modern epidemic (which, as Nietzsche says, glancing at Schopenhauer, “has made even philosophers sick”), was the sign of a declining life form, an anesthetic for incurable sufferers. It pointed the way toward the last man, who would feel nothing and long for nothing."

I've been thinking about "transformation" lately. Transformation meaning fundamental and quantitative personal or organizational change. Sea change change. Real and permanent change. Here are some thoughts.

I'm guessing that transformation methods that result in completely new paradigms that are positive, beneficial, and logical isn't some dumb business/consulting concept or self-help quackery. Change isn't magic. Change is the result of diligence, concentration, and resolve. Transformation is work. We own our existences and, thus, must pay our own dues.

How do things change though? How is change executed? Is there a formula for transformation?

The process has to be simple; it has operate vis à vis a pre-determined sequence. This sequence, however, should contain no more than five steps that are easy to remember (like an acronym, mnemonic or other "memory" device). Fundamentally, any one step in a formula should be fairly easy to execute (or simply easy to reference) without regard to the whole.
F - Fend for self -- dependency burdens, find appropriate balance (i.e., no company can depend on one supplier)
O - Outlaw distractions -- and police with diligence (our ADHD culture breeds chaos)
C - Concentrate on vision -- goals are important, set and plan (ah!)
U - Unlearn bad habits -- the trickiest aspect but most important (ah! #2)
S - Strength is mental and physical -- strength is not conceptual (blah-blah/rah-rah)
Okay, see that word "vision"? In red? That is the hard part. Individuals and organizations must have a idea of where it/they want to be. The vision must be created first. Before any of this, we must figure out what we are trying to do. The other steps are simply reinforcements of the concept. Well, the unlearning of bad habits, is the part that holds transformation together.

Can we change ourselves? Can we change situations? Can we change organizations? Can we change the world? When Obama (Or No Change) mentions "change" what are is it all about?
When people say, "Oh I can change," what does that mean?

Dunno. Let me think on it more.

To B from Uncle Rich: Your Own Galaxy

"Summertime, my friend. Time for epilepsy."

I've Always Been This Awkward - Prologue


I remember when I was in third grade and decided to write a book. It felt like the right thing to do at the time and I actually got a pretty good start using a friend's parent's typewriter. "Tina Around the World" was moving fairly steadily towards a rapid, heroic completion until I fucked with the stupid typewriter ribbon and couldn't type anymore. I broke the only thing standing between my brilliant little mind and the fame and fortune of juvenile book publishing. I was going to be on easy street, too. Maybe get on Donahue or the Dick Cavett show or something. I don't even know if Dick Cavett was on in 1973 but you know what I mean: Pay day, bitches.

The story, as I remember, was about a little girl, Tina, and her friends (some real and some imaginary) who decided to see the world. They walked aboard a sea freighter and off they went to see said world. Unfortunately they didn't make it so far given I had no way of purchasing a new typewriter ribbon. So I returned the typewriter. I remember the weight of the "portable" typewriter thing as I lugged it several blocks back to Tim's house. My story was that the ribbon just jumped out of the typewriter and I couldn't, try as I might, put it back right. It was the machine's fault, of course.

I suppose I could have figured out a way to complete that genius project but I suppose I got distracted with the discovery of cussing, TV, and putting my hand under the dress of this one girl at after school care. "The Six Million Dollar Man" was pretty distracting. I think I got kicked out of that after school care program. I think we had to move soon after that too. To Texas. I'll talk about Texas some other time but I hadn't become truly skilled at multitasking at eight years old. Tina was shelved. Postponed not cancelled.

Tim had a deeply religious family who, as I recall, lived on the property of this big church. I guess his dad was the minister or something. That was a long time ago. I do remember his older brother calling me goofy. I was offended. Still am! Goofy? I'm a serious novelist, I recalled.

We "played" in the dog house once and got fleas once. Tim was my best friend. I hit Jeffery that year, third grade. I haven't hit anyone since but people think I'm crazy so they stand, generally, clear. How crazy? I feigned amnesia once at recess in third grade and just couldn't remember anybody or anything. I was fucking goofy! I puked on my desk once but that was because I got sick. I really liked this girl named Kim or Monica or something. One of many brutal crushes to come. There were (or was) identical twin black girls who were taller than everyone else in the third grade. I only remember like four names from third grade.

Later, like more than twenty years later, Mark and I got going onto the big screenplay idea. Beers were involved (and a little pot in my case). It was brilliant, too (and we were going to be the voice-of-a-generation easy street rich, too like Quentin Tarantino or something). "Klub Kaos" (note the mouse ears on the "o") was about these three Florida high school marching band kids who were going to smuggle guns into Disney World, steal the costumes of Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy and happily shoot guests from the back of a convertible and ride off into some sort of blaze of glory sunset. The character Billy was a little slow and played the bass drum. He had issues. Nick had a very high IQ and access to guns and lived in a home with a single parent, his mom of course. Daniel kept the plan moving. None of the three had love in the family.

Well, that Columbine thing came around and Mark moved back to California and, you know, things happened. Between us there are now three kids, two mortgages, and about three thousand miles to intervene. He's still one of my greatest friends ever. More of a brother than a friend. Another project postponed (not cancelled!).

When my father fancied himself a novelist I couldn't help believe that I could write something too. I'm a little competitive. Okay, I'm hella fucking competitive. After all, if he could write then it was an evolutionarily fact that I could write better. Right? I've read some of his writing. Most of the words are spelled very nicely. Some of the sentences make a lot of sense in and of themselves. But as stories? There's no real depth or breadth to the writing. In many ways, it's like what you've read here so far. In this case, I may have been theoretically incorrect.

But, there's something I have to say. At least when I started typing I believed that there was something I needed to say. In fact, at four this morning I had plenty to say (a whole god damned encyclopedia of voice-of-a-generation easy street shit). And it was brilliant, too. No, there's not a story yet, but I have something to least I will eventually. I'm just warming up. Playing with the ribbon. I'll edit it later so don't worry. Just like my music and my photography I cannot write so you just have to be patient. As my Ph.D. advisor once said (to every class), "I'm semi-literate...I only know some English." What I mean is I'm neither musician nor photographer nor a writer. Fuck. I really cannot tell you or anyone else what the hell I am anymore.

And, yes, I have always been this awkward. I'm also very shy. I'm also quite unsure. Nobody believes any of that because I've developed such a robust character that I play called "Ty" who can be funny and smooth and confident. A leader of all men and situations is Ty. He knows first aid and a paragraph or two about nearly every subject known to humankind. He's a bad ass and rumored to be hot shit in the sack. Well, guess who started that rumor. I may be awkward but I know a thing or two about branding.

Or not really. Maybe the awkward, self-deprecating, unsure rube is the act. Ha! Maybe I'm a terrible lover. Maybe I cry and rock at the sight of naked women. Maybe. Maybe I am a world class bad-ass genius voice-of-a-generation hard-core pimp motherfucker.

And, oh yeah, I remembered what I wanted to say: If I don't get too distracted, I'll write something more for you. Maybe tell some stories. I've got a couple of stories to tell. Stories about growing up poor and black and white and suburban in Los Angeles and then in a wealthy community with good schools and blond girls and free weed and Coors light and how I toured America and went to college in Santa Cruz and moved to the east and had bands and friends like Big Dave Wave and the Otter Prince and Efrain and Mr. Smiley and all the lies I've told and people I've met and told lies to and all that shit. See? I can't write worth a...worth a...what would a writer write? I can't write worth a bon mot.

Parahippocampal Gyrus - UPDATE

What a great day!
"...because life without sarcasm would be a dull and way too nice place to be if you ask me."

-Meredith F. Small
Oh, speaking of which, George Carlin died. So? Everyone dies eventually. What's the big hoopla, anyway? Is it me or was that dude pretty much not funny, anyhow? Guh.

Have a nice day!
------------- UPDATE -------------
"I'm with you on that one, Holmes. I'll give George Carlin his place in history and acknowledge that perhaps there was a time when his humor was revolutionary, but for as long as I was alive, it seemed mostly to appeal to old hippies who think that wearing rainbow suspenders is a real gas. His delivery seemed forced and his subject matter somewhere between obvious and tired.

It comes down to the difference between stoner humor that exploits your ability to make connections and leaps of reasoning in order to make humorous observations (David Cross, Patton Oswalt) and stoner humor that relies entirely on the fact that you're stoned and will think anything is funny (George Carlin, Tommy Chong)."

-Via Email

My reply: Yeah, am I the dick who has to bear the bad news? That shit ain't funny and neither is Jerry Seinfeld. I give him his due, he paid 'em like nobody's business but he just wasn't funny. Now he's dead. Ha!