Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Rebecca Loudon's Cadaver Dogs.
Go buy it.
One of the dangers of exposing yourself to language and imagery like Loudon's is that your own language is revealed for the watery, ineffectual, broken-winged bird that it is, and thereafter feels like ash on the tongue. To read her is to be thrown into the hold of a ship that's going down in heavy seas, madman lashed to the tiller, and you're blindfolded and something smells like blood and the dank world heaves and the air is full of black rain and the stench of rotting fruit and something darker and the thing is you can't stop grinning, you can't stop it, it's terrible, terrible, but there is music and a glowing light under the water and if you have to go, you can't imagine a more wondrous way. And there's a little girl in a white dress who wants you to hold her hand, if you can just get your chains off and get your feet under you.
But that's not it at all.
It is more beautiful. It is more harrowing. It is a wrench in a man's hard hand and swinging, whistling as it arcs down. It is a flower that floats in the air in front of you in the night at the foot of your bed and the sound of your mother singing in the bath down the hall. It is the monster breathing low and deep in the closet and the doorknob is turning, slowly, slowly...
It is yet more.
Plus, the fucking cover is a freak show.
Thank you, Rebecca, for letting my work hang out with yours. My work is all shy and freaked out about it, but secretly thrilled.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Self at Forty-four
It's my birthday.
Happy Birthday, me!
There's a lot to like about forty-four. Eleven was one of my favorite years, so this year could be four times better than that. I remember this green t-shirt from that year that I wore until it fell off me and now I'm in a junkyard dog shirt that's ready to do the same thing.
I'm a slob.
My daughter, who hasn't spoken to me for about a month now actually wished me a happy birthday today. She made me a mix tape, which I actually dig because whatever the fuck is wrong with her, her musical taste is very good, very eclectic and oddball and she always turns me on to some cool shit.
So, good that.
My beautiful wife. I'd rather have five minutes with her than a room full of treasure and a Genie in a lamp. If there is anything better than going to bed at night with someone who knows you, really knows you, and loves you anyway, loves you like a crazy freaking idiot, I don't know what it could be.
It's all I need or could ever wish for.
So. Good that, too.
Also, duck breasts with orange chipotle sauce for dinner and a homemade chocolate birthday cake for after!
Maybe I look sad in this drawing, but I'm not. A little care-worn is all.
I am grateful for all of you who read here and share your shit with me. It brings me good cheer, without fail.
Peace be upon you.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Pan-seared tuna with ginger-shiitake cream sauce
A couple of inch thick tuna steaks
3 tbs butter
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbs peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
4 tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tbs fresh lime juice
Put the butter in a heavy saucepan and under medium heat toss in the onions, cilantro, ginger, and garlic, saute for 30 secs or so, then drop in the mushrooms and the soy sauce and give it another half minute. Add the cream and heat, stirring occasionally, till it coats the back of your spoon, about three minutes, add the lime juice.
In another heavy skillet, heat up the peanut oil and under high heat toss the tuna steaks on, a minute or a minute fifteen seconds on each side. (Salt and pepper and pat dry the tuna beforehand).
top steaks with sauce, garnish with lime wedge and cilantro.
It goes nice with wasabe mashed potatoes, which is just make some mashed potatoes like you like and add 2 tbs wasabe powder and salt and pepper to taste.
Add a mixed green salad and some crusty baguette, bottle of wine...you'll get laid.
In other news, I am still crazy as a shithouse rat.
and glad to be home.
May you be at peace and happy.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I'm in this class, Officer Involved Shooting Investigations. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I like these. I like to do them, I like to be involved in them. I was sitting in class today thinking about what I like on the job and here is my list:
officer involved shooting investigation
one of my very favorite things that involves all of the above is trying to figure out the mechanism of wounding, the sequence of shots, the body positions, etc.
this is very, very, very complex a lot of times.
It is a kind of mathematics, and physics, and biomechanics, etc.
A puzzle, if you will.
In the midst of human catastrophe.
So. I am some kind of voyeur.
In this job, there are a million things I can't get it up for. Property crimes. Financial crimes. Fucking embezzlements, insurance fraud, forgery, whatever.
Also, labor relations.
I like it if there is somebody dead and someone who did that do them. I like it if someone has to do something heroic to survive. I like it when the good people win and the bad people don't.
I like when the weak are protected from the predatory.
I would like to kick the predatory in the teeth, and then make fun of them while they are trying to pick up their teeth with their broken fingers.
I am a deeply flawed human being.
I have all of these luxuries. I have all of these deep, disfunctional feelings and beliefs.
I don't know if you should fear me or be glad I am out there.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Azucar Y Chicle
So. This struggle. One of the consequences is that I am brought face-to-face each day with these very powerful emotions, very strong, dark, difficult things. The effect is like being caught in the surf zone- a huge wave catches you, knocks you down, sends you spinning around and around, breath knocked out of you, disoriented, blinded, roar of the sea in your ears, taste of it in your mouth, fear, helplessness, cold and dark. When the surge passes, you try to orient yourself, look toward the light, move toward the surface with your lungs laboring, break into it, and another wave is on top of you. Gasp for air and down you go again.
So, very powerful stuff.
But eventually you get kind of numb to it. And that's good. Because what you may begin to realize, what I am coming around to, is a conception of emotion as akin to advertising, to the slick, jazzy, hyper-sexy, hyper-violent, hype of sales. Like television. Like the movies. All this flash, this drama. It makes everything seem very important.
My unmet needs.
Cast a good-looking guy, a hot chick, give 'em guns and cool clothes and an exotic setting, a glass of premium whiskey, a couple of catchy lines, and we're off to the movies.
Maybe, just maybe, emotions are something we should endeavor to pay a little bit less attention to. Not that it doesn't matter if you are happy or sad, loved or alone. Not that.
But maybe it should kind of be like, I dunno, an appetizer and not the main course. Or a condiment. Yes.
Something to add flavor. Depth and nuance and smokiness to the food. But don't mistake it for the actual food.
What I find is that if I can just observe my emotions without making them a big deal, I don't get as caught up in them. They become more like something my body does, and I don't have a lot of control over it, but I don't have to let it control me, either.
But there is also a feeling of flatness that comes with that mindful disconnection from the engine of emotional reactivity. You could call it Zen-like calm, but you could also call it the flat affect of shell shock.
It's better than punching things, though.
I am going to indulge in some cook therapy today, big time. I'm making a tapas dinner spread with the following dishes:
olives with lemon and rosemary
white bean, anchovy, and caper spread on baguette toast
clams in garlic sauce
wine and ham croquettes
fried fish in garlic, vinegar, oregano, and cumin
fried eggplant with honey, mint, and sesame seeds
mini meatballs in saffron sauce
lots of wine
Take that, emotional shit-storm!!!
Peace be upon you, dudes.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The Body as Vehicle of History, Part II
The storm continues unabated.
I spent a few hours on a surveillance job this week, tracking down someone. It always feels like I'm on TV when I'm doing stuff like that.
I need a theme song.
Gone all next week for Officer Involved Shooting Investigations school. Beautiful Santa Barbara.
Don't ask me what my wife thinks.
Look, I know I'm half fucked up. I do bad things. I do things badly. I don't do what I should. And I know that one 'oh shit' wipes out a hundred good deeds. Or a thousand. All of them that went before, at any rate.
I gotta eat some shit here, and I don't like it. I have some blame-shouldering to do.
"But I was trying." I want to say.
Like I would.
Like I would give anyone the satisfaction.
I read something today, how we all feel like God's up there, judging. And he'd give us a break, he would, cause he knows we're doing our best. It's our neighbors who he's gonna assfuck.
Those motherfuckers. They ain't no damn good.
Right now I feel like I been dealt out.
Sidelined, you call it. Benched.
I got all these emotions.
My brother says in the Marines you get to have one emotion, one feeling. After that, you've used up your allotment.
So, you don't waste it.
You hoard that motherfucker.
I know I'm being circumspect, and you'll just have to trust me on why and what all I'll say and what I won't. It's none of it important, it's just private. And it's not my privacy, it other folks. So.
But I caint get aholt of what would steer it right. I'm all thumbs and two left feet. Blind in one eye and can't see out of the other one.
One thing is that I'm getting to watch my own emotional weather system. High pressure system, low pressure system, building force out to sea, dissipating when it hits land.
Stalling off the coast.
God damn I better shut up.