Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Me And The Devil Blues 5/2/09
Personal Slogans Of The Season 4/21/09
Fearless Asymmetries 4/16/09
By These My Son Be Admonished 4/4/09
As Usual 3/31/09
The Crack-Up 3/18/09
Current blog: Open A Vein
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I'm not ashamed of having called "madness" and "poverty" by their right names and intend to go on speaking as plainly as I feel I can get away with for the whole rest of my life just as I've done so far. It'll have been a good exercise; there'll be a few posts I'll want to link to (in a "here's what I said about that last year" sorta way). I'm no saner (or richer) but I'm not so crazy that I'll deny that jobhunters need to put on masks of Yes no matter how clearly they may feel Oh Dear God Anything But More Of This.
The main thing is that for a few hours on a few occasions this project consumed me altogether and I forgot that there's anything in the world to do but write about whatever was going on in my life, in HTML format, and post it on the Web for all to see. It's quite a bit like getting in a groove with singing-and-guitar. Everything else about life shrinks into insignificance and I can just be in the moment and flow. And for a few moments life is like everybody seems to want to pretend it always is: obviously totally worth it instead of some neverending test of one's patience or endurance. Such, evidently, are the consolations of philosophy. Anyway, I quit.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Still it's been nice having 'em around. I'm pulling the mysteries and SF; replacing 'em with A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction (Searles et al; 1979), The History of Western Art by Edwin O. Christensen (Mentor, 1959), A Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin, '62 reprint of '59 issue), the sonnets, songs and poems of shakespeare (sic on caps and serial comma; Bantam 1964) and The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain (Hannah's copy from Zagreb in the mid-70's).
All massmarket (racksize) paperbacks; $4 a whack. Pretty safe I judge. That's the Bexley Coffee Shop in, um, Bexley. The best used bookstore in town (the Acorn; top of the list) turned me down for a gofer position.
Next up: the bar up the street. Really a diner as much as anything. Lots of space there... some of it full of an ould computer graveyard. Which, sure, a shelf fulla used books is gotta be better than. Duh.
Any hour now. Blogging is fun. That is all.
Friday, May 29, 2009
priced for sale at the enclave.
used books: the only kind that matter.
10 bizarro comics (many amazing cartoonists)
10 hatful of seuss (taught this teacher much)
08 new american poetry 1945-1960 (donald allan)
10 halliwell's filmgoer's...guide (wellworn)
30 math's:...history & phil'phy (w.s. anglin; springer HB)
10 browser's dictionary of foreign words (j. wiley; 2001 1st HB [no jacket])
6 mathematics (rapport & wright; stunning WSP 1st )
2 eight great tragedies (mentor; one play has pencil notes; tape on cover)
2 skin tight (hiaasen)
2 for whom the bell tolls (hemingway)
10 greek myths (graves: scholarship for the masses; pelican '61 printing [2 vols])
2 dr. nightingale races...cat (adamson)
2 sticks & scones (davidson)
2 all the hungry mothers (adams)
4 darwin's radio (bear)
4 vacuum diagrams (baxter)
4 the human brain (asimov; mentor '65 ed.)
6 romantic poets blake to poe (auden[!] ed.; viking portable; worn; '69 printing)
that's it for now.
but i've got a lot of stock.
and no way to move it all at once.
(no way to cut and run: bad idea.)
the proposed deal is right down the middle
(my stock; their store... win-win
[plus i get to have books around me
as i blog... if the whole deal works].)
it turns out i *do* want to sell.
keep me in coffee money.
who knows maybe start a conversation.
bonus round (already there for reference;
now priced [not] to sell)
30 history of western art (barnes & noble HB)
20 illustrated history of the world (b&n HB)
20 calculus (HB; stewart; textbook millionaire living in a palace)
20 essential world atlas (oxford; gorgeous satellite shots etc.)
10 webster's new world encyclopedia (prentice-hall '93 1st)
the dictionary's not for sale.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
if you can learn to treat people like crap
and then not only forgive yourself for it
but not even *believe* you've treated 'em
like crap, it's like some social superpower.
*that*'s the god-damn "Secret", if i'm seeing
clearly... trouble is, of course, this "secret"
has to be kept secret even from oneself
to be effective (the usual storyteller's
gimmick: the quest is much more interesting
than the prize [but one keeps *speaking*
of the prize to get a "like you're there"
effect... like the character, *readers*
experience the mc-guffin as *imaginary*
(unlike the quest itself which is of course
real for the character but imaginary for
the reader)]... the key to the treasure
is the treasure kinda thing). and of course
everybody does it to some extent: "denial".
the trick is to *use* your denial (and then of course
cover your tracks... the secretary will disavow
any knowledge... "imf"... impossible mission force
or international monetary farce?... inquiring minds
wanna have their morning free-associate right out
in front of goddess and man [and robot and who knows
what all... cat maybe]). love always. v.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Whereas the whole idea once would have repelled me. Now, yes. I played the boy in The Happy Journey to Camden and Trenton. Also I did the lights (two shows a week in season) for a company of puppeteers and even got lunch money for doing it. A walk-on in Town Theatre's South Pacific. Also I understudied with the lightman on the same show (with a real dimmer board). My Dad was the director and the lightman was my best friend... a "theatre person" in those public school days.
Whereas I just didn't see the attraction at all. Extracurricular activities? Isn't that just like voluntary school? With tryouts?
But I guess I sort of get it now. What I suppose my parents were hoping I'd somehow have picked up on when I was doing the little bit of dabbling I mentioned essentially to please one or both of them: people who can accomplish difficult things by working together get stronger by doing so; also friendships and other social ties develop.
Indeed, it now appears that it's by doing all that stuff I always wanted to avoid that one becomes one of those confident son-of-a-bitches that's always going around grabbing up all the good stuff. Which is something it might have occured to me to want. Anyhow I think I want it now.
I expect there'll have been occasions when people've tried to break this down for me; I expect it's pretty common knowlege. It's certainly understood by, this guy I saw a movie about just a little bit ago, Rafe Esquith.
I was actually moved to tears by this thing. The Hobart Shakespeareans, it's called. Esquith teaches disadvantaged immigrant kids; he recruits a class each year for a special program and shows 'em how school works when you've got a dedicated pro with a free hand leading volunteers. In particular, along with doing all the usual "school" stuff, way better than most of the rest of the kids in the school, his class mounts a production of a Shakespeare play every year—and they take it on the road.
And a lot of the stuff coming out of his mouth was the same stuff you'd hear from the braindeadest lickspittle propaganda drones till you wanna puke: accountability and teamwork and "work hard and play by the rules" and baseball for god sake. But when they say it it's just transparent lies to get you to shut up and lube that grindstone whereas this guy not only means it, he proves it.
"If I could believe that stuff", I say to th' Mad One at this point, "hell, I could be a great teacher!"—but, alas, I do not believe it: I'm about as sure as I ever am of anything that working hard and playing by the rules is generally just another name for Quiet Desperation.
Those "jobs" the kids in these classes are supposed to get better qualified for by taking classes with me? Maybe for one in several dozen. And sure, it's nominally voluntary... nobody's holding a gun. But they don't call 'em required classes for nothing. Mostly it's a giant con game; a trap these kids are in. One I've becomed ashamed to be a part of.
Anyhow, math is all I got; the only thing I'm an expert in. Teaching here ought to also be about how to survive in bureaucracies but it's generally clear on first sight that they'll learn little enough about that from me. I sure can't teach 'em good middle class attitudes like Mister Esquith; I'm a fucking failure for god sake.
Opting out of all the voluntary teamwork I could see my way out of has evidently led me to the sorry pass where all I can see is the tryout—the possibility of rejection—and an uncertain reward. Never ask anybody for anything if you can help it, I always say. Also, "in plans begin disappointments". Stuff like that. So I'm something of a mess.
And I can't see or hear like I did and I forget things a lot quicker and more completely but maybe I'm not a whole lot stupider overall than when I was younger (and reputed pretty bright). And the Mad One is the only close friend I see regularly and indeed I'm sort of a pariah but up in the barracks I have reason to believe I'm, not only generally well-liked, but even cared about and respected and suchlike valuable things... it appears I've retained at least some of the once-ample charm I inherited from both parents.
So, you know, as much as I hate to say it, there may be some thin rays of hope. Which I'm gonna need. Because it appears pretty likely that the little bit of confidence I have gotten back in my winning streak this last few quarters is gonna be enough to get me fired. No good deed...