Slid the Slide
The slide is slid
We slid the slide
We run in fear
And cannot hide

I will not care
What others think
Lovely planet
On the brink

Just live each day
Advance and thrive
Seek some pleasure
You won't survive

What was the plan
What did it mean
Who was this for
Was it a dream

In the context
We're just a blip
There is no port
This sinking ship

All the damage
That we done did
We slid the slide
The slide is slid


The Shipping Lady
My existence has resulted in the necessity of a regular shipping service. I sometimes ship odd shaped items. There was a time when a lot of art was exported from middlespace. Sometimes I can pack items for shipment and sometimes I have them do it for me (they are professionals, trust professionals). In the 15 or so years they’ve shipped for me I only know of one cracked piece of frame glass. It was probably my fault.

Ninety percent of the time The Shipping Lady will be there. Always the absolute best, friendly. Every move is precise. Every judgment is accurate. I trust The Shipping Lady (yes, I do know her name). Packing. Shipping. Notary. These are the people in my neighborhood.

Today when I offered the recipient as, “[lastname] on [streetname],” The Shipping Lady said, “Oh, this one’s for Rich.” It was really familiar yet not pretentiously so. It was a noticeable thing but really subtle. She wasn’t fishing for anything, just doing her job. She just knew.

We always talk baseball, year round. Today we greeted each other with an exaggerated shrug because of a big free agency signing. She’s a Nationals fan. Endearingly so. She isn’t a 2019 bandwagoneer. The Shipping Lady has been all-in since 2005. She knows baseball and she knows I do too. She also knows that I am a homer for my team as well but she never remembers which team that is. All The Shipping Lady knows is Ty is from California. She’ll reference Angles (bleh), Giants (really?), Dodgers, Padres (haha), or A’s. It doesn’t matter and I don’t mind at all. She needn’t to know.

One of the many businesses that Amazon is killing is the neighborhood shipping service. USPS survives because they actually deliver a portion of Amazonia. I can't imagine trying to ship anything from the Post Office. Direct delivery cuts shipping services out of the loop, unfortunately. And they can’t survive on packing tape and greeting cards. I guess I hadn’t thought that through yet.

Anyway, The Shipping Lady is happy the Nationals paid to keep Straus but she is disappointed they couldn’t keep Anthony and he went to Anaheim. Now I have to keep track of the Angels.

Whichever happens first to end my relationship with The Shipping Lady will be sad. The store closes. The Shipping Lady retires or no longer works there. I no longer have odd shaped art to send. All of these options mean something quite permanent. As with any long run, the end comes quickly.

It’s very much like this at the grocery store too, but with basketball.


A Certain Sad Desperation
It is Christmas somewhere
That is what they are always saying anyhow
I can see and feel it all slipping away
Attractive like those whirlpools of old

There is the practical (and) there is the administrative
Both are realities (and) both require expertise
Ignoring facts occurs along a continuum
Absolutes will always be the rarest

Genius is found in the children first
Born closer to animal than not
Some of this should make absolutely no sense

Once engaged there are no off switches
Life is the fuse lit
It is easier to put a piano into a basement than to take one out
There is generally a certain sad desperation

The New York Times Discovers the Internet


Seeing the Patterns in the Matrix

Hi, how are you?
There is no opposite of monster
We survive how we learned to survive
For every beneficiary there is a victim
That’s just how the universe balances

The Punnett square is both
    warning and solution
As we breed traits both
    good and worse

Obviously name check number two is Darwin
Explains so much about how we got here
It was clearly evident they entire time
We just finally reached the threshold population

Information to support hypothesis
    confirmed and rejected
We all know this is going to be
    terrible and amazing

There has been a societal tear
It mirrors the cracks in polar ice
Maybe we circled the barn finally
And we clearly did it ourselves


Eleven Scans of Portraits from the 1990s

all images blah-blah-blah ©2019 blah-blah-blah tyhardaway middlespace tkol your mom

Base Ball (an unedited reflection)

Just before the 2012 baseball season began I declared, "I'm going to follow baseball again." I hadn't really followed-followed baseball for years prior to 2012. So I did and I chose the local national league team, the Washington Nationals, as the team I was going to follow. I could call them "my team" like people say about such things (even though I'm from LA and the Dodgers will always be my real team).

The Nationals 2012 wild ride was insane and the playoff loss to the Cardinals was brutal. I swore that I would never invest that much psychic energy into anything as basic as a baseball team (millionaires playing for billionaires and such). Same thing goes for politics. Not my ride or die, bruh. I'm not like most people, I know when to go too deep and when to not.

I continued to follow baseball pretty closely for all the years since 2012; watching the Nationals and the Dodgers and some other teams pretty closely but staying only generally aware of happenings from around the leagues. It's fun for me. I've been to a whole bunch of games, mostly with Makfu who is the absolutely perfect person to live sport with. I even went to a spring training a few years back.

But, things run their respective courses. I decided to pull back a little more from so closely monitoring baseball. I chose to pay attention but not to the same extent as before. I publicly disowned the Nationals as being "my team" (but continued to speak highly of the players and manager). I rooted against them early in the season. I wanted to see if they could play in the division which turned out to be a runaway for a deeply flawed Braves squad (and the tomahawk chop has got to go). But I have nothing against The Washington Nationals, I just gave them up as being "my team." I rooted for them to lose during the LA-DC divisionals. They beat my real team.

But I rooted for the Nats to beat the Cardinals and the NLCS sweep was hysterically fitting. I got people out of a talk I was giving early enough that they could watch the local team on the TeeVee.

So the Nationals are going to the Series? How do you like that? Good on them, they have a lot of delightful personalities. I may know this the team better than any. They are on an epic run, playing loose and having fun. That matters. Rendon, Soto, Howie and the rest. The playoff rotation? KuSuZu? Davie’s heart situation? They have nothing to lose. Baby Shark and dugout dancing? All expectations for this season were realized in July. And congratulations to the fans of the DC team. Good on you. Feels good, don't it? I hope you win it all. It’s good to see people have fun.



This Thing With Pilots
so there's this thing with commercial airline pilots where there was formally a glut of pilots who were mostly former military and because there were so many pilots the salaries went way down because the air travel industry is horrible

because of the era of internet commerce and two day delivery standards the cargo industry needed pilots so badly that the salary of pilots went way up in the cargo industry and all of the commercial airline pilots started going cargo

hey wow cargo is awesome and the pilots can watch the game and listen to music and smoke cigars and the pilots don't have to wear captains uniforms because that's just a costume for the passengers and while we're on the subject of passengers there is so much less stress in the cargo industry because the pilots don't have the added moral weight of lives on board

and so all of the most experienced veteran pilots went to cargo and the people flying commercial are now the least experienced and most poorly vetted pilots and even though there is a huge need for new pilots the air travel industry refuses to pay commercial pilots more

at some point the air cargo industry will start to hire all the former military drone pilots and there will be an even lower salary for cargo pilots and the air travel industry will refuse to hire them back because they are horrible

nobody will know or even care if the new same day standard delivery cargo planes are flown remotely or even ultimately by computer overlords and nobody will know or even care if commercial flights are flown with AI and the pilots are just two minimum wage employees in costume sitting up front


Take It All
I have a feeling that
that may have been a
final warning shot

The universe decided to
be mercifully generous
for some reason

Of course one  could
argue that this is all

The more it takes the
more I want to take
until I take it all


Eight Room Diesel Funk

I’ve always felt a little unsettled* by 1998’s One Fine Ride. We tried to make something that turned out to be not necessarily honest with the base recording sessions; with the performances of that time. We tried to make a studio album out of session recordings and it came out a sloppy, overreaching mess** of a record. But that’s how we did it back then. We mixed hubris and ambition and didn’t really care all too much about outcomes. No apologies, I love what we did but had we released the base recordings unadorned, I would be just fine today.

By mid-1998 we were very tight performers but we couldn’t play the songs to save our lives. That was way too boring and unfulfilling so we chose to just play together and figure out where the sounds went. What came out is what came out. We stopped using set lists and sometimes didn’t even load all of our equipment in. We felt most confident when we intentionally made things difficult for ourselves. 

We recorded a lot.

Most of these futuregifting recordings were captured around the time we recorded the One Fine Ride tracks. Most of these are from rehearsal sessions at Smelly Hell. The Greatest Story recording is from a show on June 4, 1998. This release feels more true to the performing experience of that era. It is the literal height of the tripgrass era.

This piece feels a lot like how I heard everything in my headphones. And maybe that’s how someone would listen to this supercut; headphones straight off the board. I feel more settled about this representation of tripgrass era tKoL. That's all I have to say on the matter.

It's definitely not for everyone.


* By contrast This is the New America is an amazing and timeless treat. It’s intimate, it’s true to the performances.

** Except for Princess Bridge. The OFR version is the ultimate iteration. In fact, the OFT Princess Bridge/Ruins of Pagosa/Kids in the Street run is the very best of that record.