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Other Topics => Off Topic Discussion => Topic started by: ER on September 13, 2017, 03:39:31 PM



Title: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 13, 2017, 03:39:31 PM
Anyone want to write something in a free-flowing stream of consciousness style here? Aw go on, give it a try and you might discover you'll always been in love with your third-grade babysitter.

Something like:

I've always found cats slightly intimidating because they clearly are sure they are better than me, and sometimes I wonder if they're right since I could never be sure I was cool if I had to "go to the bathroom" in a sandbox in laundry room corner, but as I have a pizza in the oven right now I can't elaborate so instead I'll recall that I had a killer sandcastle going when we were on a beach in Florida in 1984 but I took so long constructing it (it was to be as tall as me) I never got to finish it since we had to leave, tide was coming in, my dad said "El, get up here or you'll get washed to Cuba," and I think that sense of disappointment about not completing my project carried on for all the later Reagan years, maybe it still does, residing deep in my consciousness as unfinished business, rather like when I passed up a chance to throw a live chicken to an alligator in the fall of 2003 (oh gee a breakthrough, see this works) and I wouldn't because that was mean but I only bought the chicken another thirty seconds of life since this Florida good ol' boy who was with my co-worker's former school friend and he unhesitatingly tossed the placid chicken into the canal full of four to six foot alligators, who lunged at the chicken so it did not last five seconds in that water, and now I have to dry my last remaining dog off when she comes in from the sprinkling rain and should I do that before the pizza is done or after that's the question so I will stop now

(I had no idea I was going to write any of that when I began. Kinda fun. But crap my pizza really is burning.)


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 13, 2017, 10:14:23 PM
Most everything I write here is stream of conscious. Unless I am making list. Even when I review movie I don't really think about it.

I'll give it a try-except-I can't you just nulled that by saying "write stream of conscious". That means I have to plan what I write. So-No-this won't work for me. Unless I wake up in the middle of the night and post babbling s**t. And that would NOT be planned. Stream of Conscious-what the f**k does that mean? My concious stream is always running-sometimes it goes over a waterfall and crashes onto the rocks of reality and I feel like I AM alone in this f**king world. And i float like a dead fish tossed by a fisherman who just caught me for sport. And what then? NOTHING! Your gutted and scaled until you conform to the norm-and you have to suck theyre shriveled gray dicks untill they bless you with theyre money.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 13, 2017, 10:19:28 PM
Seriously ER-Im a drunk-I write my babbling drunk s**t all the time-I never think about anything unless it involves movies.
I'm drinking now. :drink:


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on September 13, 2017, 10:38:01 PM
Ok, here goes . . .


It's 10:30 and I really ought to go to bed but I want to finish reading these new posts here and play some DS3 and I really ought to write some more on the new chapter that I started and monkeys are funny but if I start writing this late I'll be up till midnight and 5:30 comes awfully early and if I play DS3 I won't know if my best friend writes me back or not and I could sneak upstairs and surf HBO for awhile but my wife is already asleep and I don't want to wake her but I like surfing through the movie channels and speaking of movies I need to watch BUBBA HO-TEP sometime between now and Saturday when I have to take it back to the Forbidden Gallery which is a decent place to rent bad movies but OH MAN I miss Hastings so much, why did they have to close, and why can't Greenville get a bookstore to replace them?  At least there is Half Price Books in Rockwall and I have a signing Saturday but I never have time to shop there when I am trying to sell books and my phone just chirped is  that her writing me or is it another stupid FB notification or a Nigerian banker who needs my help getting $40 million out of the country does anybody ever fall for those well I'll never find out if I keep typing this so


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 14, 2017, 01:54:00 AM
ER--I think most folks who answer anything on a dying forum just spout any f**king thing that comes into their head. I know I do. No regrets. Nobody REALLY knows me-or cares. If I died tommorow-the world keeps spinning and fanboys will keep plugging away about arcane films nobody watches or even cares about in the real world.It's like the Led Zeppilin song-"if I leave here tommorrow-" nobody cares about our puny scribblings on an obscure website where the very founder of said gave up-because he realized the real world needs attention-MEANWHILE-his drooling lackeys cling to a dead horse like flys on s**t.
SO! Is that "stream of whatthef**k"enuff?
PS-Im one of those "Lackeys" clinging to a dead fantasy dream that "I am important. What I say means something."
Hahaha.
Theres a stream of f**ked up thought.

 :wink:
I dont give a rats ass if anyone reads anything. I love you all. I don't come here to be important-I come here like I would go to a freind-to unload and enjoy the good people. I'm an ass and unload too much sometimes-but you folks are the best. And I love you.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on September 14, 2017, 06:41:45 AM
We come here to see what RC Merchant is going to say next! LOL

Oh, yeah, and sometimes we talk about movies, too.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Pacman000 on September 14, 2017, 11:03:48 AM
This site still is a top result for the key words "bad movies" on Google and DuckDuckGo. Checked yesterday. Probably same results in Bing and Yahoo too, but I haven't tried them in awhile.

StompTokyo? That's a dead site.

https://duckduckgo.com/html/ (https://duckduckgo.com/html/)

https://www.google.com/search?q=Bad+movies&btnG= (https://www.google.com/search?q=Bad+movies&btnG=)

Let's try Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex while we're at it:
https://www.bing.com/search?q=bad+movies&qs=&form=QBLH (https://www.bing.com/search?q=bad+movies&qs=&form=QBLH)

https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AwrBT4O7p7pZ41wATSpy.9w4?nocache=1&nojs=1&ei=UTF-8&pvid=QuJQOzk4LjHkCiBmWa3EpgDxMTA3LgAAAABh3ZdC&gprid=&fr=sfp&p=bad+movies (https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AwrBT4O7p7pZ41wATSpy.9w4?nocache=1&nojs=1&ei=UTF-8&pvid=QuJQOzk4LjHkCiBmWa3EpgDxMTA3LgAAAABh3ZdC&gprid=&fr=sfp&p=bad+movies)

Yuck. Look at that URL. Just a mess.

https://www.yandex.com/search/touch/?text=bad+movies&msid=1505404944.74302.20939.27948&mda=0 (https://www.yandex.com/search/touch/?text=bad+movies&msid=1505404944.74302.20939.27948&mda=0)



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 14, 2017, 11:41:11 AM
Why is this post here in a stream of consciousness topic instead of Anecdotes or Random thoughts? I guess because it's less well-punctuated.

Overnight I was inflicted with a rare species of insomnia, rare in that I typically sleep fine when I can go to sleep, which I can all except maybe a couple nights out of an entire month, but last night I fell asleep and some time later I was awakened by my husband mumbling, "Turn over" and I realized I was mostly lying on him, back-facing him, all the way on the right side of our bed, and that's extreme even for me, a mobile sleeper, rolling around a lot compared to his composure and rare movement.

So I laid there in the near darkness for I don't know how long, unable to get back to sleep, maybe a couple hours, and I finally gave up, got up, did a few things around the house, realized I did truly need to sleep more than I did,

so I sat down and read the Bible, the King James no less, to show how serious I was about needing to dose off, I began with Old Testament genealogies and census accounts in that archaic 17th century language, begat begat begat all extolling the fertility of Hebrews, and nothing worked,

so I turned to the Gospel of Mark and read it for actual effect and got into it, which was technically the last thing I wanted, an interesting read, and finally I gave up and stayed up, but had no energy to do anything constructive

so I cursed a little and just went with it and sat around waiting on my family to get up, usually my littlest is the blue ribbon winner for rising earliest, gee I'm glad I accidentally got knocked up and had her, I toyed with waking her up and seeing if she wanted to make waffles with me or take a walk in the (VERY) pre-dawn, but I didn't though I'm certain she'd have had no mercy on me were I the one sleeping (five year olds can be absolute sociopaths, she taps me none too gently on the forehead to wake me up)

so I killed time, ruing the lost sleep and even the lost productivity, but I did think.

I thought about once when I was sixteen I'd stepped through weeds over a rusting chain link fence that was being held down for me late in the night and was standing on a cliff in this park near a university with someone and he wasn't worried about the fact limestone crumbled with little advance warning because he said our footing was solid and I suppose it was, but we were easily eighty feet above a sheer drop onto (again, not reassuring) fallen limestone boulders, and he said the trick about heights is you quit thinking of the what-ifs, you take reasonable caution and then you enjoy them because they do have a lot to enjoy, the view, the thrill, the uniqueness, being somewhere most people won't go,

and that was true, it was beautiful there in a tingly-palmed hey I suddenly hafta pee way gazing southward at the twinkling city lights of the basin.

He was closer to the edge than I was but he said, "Ever known me to do anything stupidly risky?"

(Ask me in another five years.)

I said I guess not, which was not entirely true, he was out late with me which was risky, he'd attended the University of Michigan even though he was from Ohio, which was risky during football season, he went to Jesuit school and was an intelligent boy and therefore recruitable by the Jesuits, and that was really risky,

but he said,"Then why would you think I'd start now? I wouldn't do anything with you that was dangerous. Besides as long as we don't deliberately leap off we're perfectly safe."

PeRfEcTlY sAFe

I asked what if we tripped and fell and he said, "Trip? What are we, toddlers? You're sure-footed. I've seen you leap onto park benches without breaking stride."

Well that made me think of a time I did fall and fall hard, and nearly died as a result and I think he knew I was thinking that so he did step back but looked at me like I'd maybe moved down a letter grade in his book, which left me all the rest of that night feeling like a wuss for worrying when everything turned out fine since above almost anything else in life I wanted him to think well of me I wanted him to think I was this fearless Celt who was at least his equal, and he was not afraid of anything but I knew I was a fake if I tried to pretend nothing frightened me because lots of things did, the top of that list being afraid of not living up to his image of me

and you know that's the nature of life, isn't it? Risk/reward, risk-reward, risk and reward, they go hand in hand, and he had a point in his attraction to heights, there is a lot of reward lost in life by those unwilling to take risks and that is probably what is in the minds of those insane Russian kids you see on YouTube hanging one-handed off some ninety-story radio tower. Sure they die sometimes but the thrill they must get when they don't, that must outdo any drug. I get that I just would not do that unless I was saving a loved-one's life or something because there is basically nothing I'd shirk at doing to save someone I loved.

But risk reward, my mind was going there, wasn't it? So let's go on

Which leads me to the time my father, in taking a significant risk for his employers in exchange for a reward, was nearly killed in Angola when I was a child, and he was working there with a Canadian company that was handling high-profit high-risk business deals with the Angolan government, which was basically controlled at the time by the Cubans, who were themselves being told what to do by the Soviets.

One day my dad was working and all was fine, money was good, the west African climate was terrible living conditions were...okay for a Third World setting, no flush toilets just these holes in the floor, lots of flies but they got HBO, believe it or not, even the bottled water was suspect, but the money WAS good, and the next a local man they dealt with, Milo, his name, a Jehovah's Witness and therefore anti-Communist, came hustling up and saying,

"You have to leave right now! They are coming for you all!"

So my father and his co-workers did what they'd drilled for and been ready to do for all the time they were there in that dangerous place, they ditched on the spot and fled with the man as well, Milo their paid lookout/informer, knowing if he stayed his life was forfeit for helping them, and the next thing my father knew, several hectic hours later, he was in Kinshasa, Zaire, having had to literally run to a car to reach an airfield and be flown along on a none-too-dependable prop plane with those co-workers who survived a police raid. They almost ran out of fuel and the flight was hell itself, second worst option only to staying behind.

Several of their Angolan employees, including women, were hauled away by police and never heard of again, and not all the North American workers made it through either, and a close friend of my father's, a man from Tennessee, was simply never heard from again, a man with a little girl about my age, a nice man,

and much later in the 1990s, after a change in governments, someone Dad knew there in Luanda, Angola told of the police ransacking everyone's apartments, the office, tearing everything out, beating up people who were guilty of nothing more than living next to the foreign workers, aka my father and the others, interrogating violently.

What had happened, they later learned, was the paranoid leftists running the city and nation in the 1980s, who were not fond of westerners in general, though still, like most Communists, hypocritically dealt with them out of economic interest, had been told by a Soviet asset active in Toronto that the Canadian company my dad was working with was a front operation set up by  the US to spy on and undermine the Angolan government, and that message from the Soviets in Toronto was all it took to activate their brutality, and a lot of people died, including nearly my father, who says it was more luck than anything that he was where he was in the office that day to be on-hand for the warning from that man.

If there is a God, as I believe there is, I should owe God the rest of my days for saving my father, and if there is not, then thank you Fate. As for he lived and others died, isn't that  a mystery as old as time?

They escaped by mere minutes, and I often think of that, I nearly lost my father as a little girl, all the memories we've had together for thirty-some years I never would have had, I would have grown up not knowing what exactly became of him but accepting he was dead, his bones in some unmarked tropical "grave" along with others, and that's bad enough but Jesus in a handbasket, that means my mother, who had one foot back home in the best of times, marrying and coming over at seventeen, that's insanity, really, would have taken me to that Holy Land the rest of the world calls the Republic of Ireland, and I would have had to grow up there going to an Irish f**king Mass every morning of my life, saying rosaries with my grandmother, getting beaten up on my my fat Irish cousin Magda instead of my hot American cousin Dana, getting threatened with the correction of the Magdalene Sisters every time I dared to breathe the wrong way, and dear God there is only so much horror my mind will take.

Which leads me back around to something I was thinking about this morning or overnight and that is if most stereotypes, however offensive, are true, then most cliches are as well, especially the one that says, "Make every day with your loved ones count."

In a world where far too many rules exist, that should be one of only a few etched deeply into our brains:

Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you

Wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident

Don't run with scissors

Don't believe him, he eventually will there no matter how many times he promises he won't

AND: Make each day with your loved ones count.

S.O.C. done, I now return to my normally shut mind.




Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 15, 2017, 01:00:23 PM

"Doooo you have the time/To listen to me whine?"

Reality, thy name is hunger. Evil, thy name is Bethany.

My godson, he of the many fears and issues, is spending the night with us/me tonight, so he can go to Oktoberfest with us all tomorrow, which is going to be a big deal since my parents are going as well, and in fact my oldest daughter is spending the night with them, very nice, and my mom is picking her up after school.

My daughter's parting comment before leaving this morning was, "Mom, please make sure HE does not get in my stuff or touch anything that's mine."

I told her I would and said I doubt he wanted to do that anyway, and it was an uncharacteristically stringent edict from my normally generous future nun there, but it is kind of indicative of the reaction my godson brings out in others, even adults. Not good, not good.

Maybe we should make him take up boxing, and then bribe the other fighter into taking a dive? Would that work twice?

But this SOC ramble is not about my godson, it's about me, containing lots of that beautiful 9th letter.

With a special guest appearance by my arch-enemy....Bethany. (Shudder and twitch.)

As for me, I am kind of loopy right now since I got gypped (or to be politically correct, I got "Romany'd") out of my Northern Indian lunch today because my godson's sissy grandmother had another weird "panic attack reaction" from her allergy medicine, which, in fairness, does say right on the bottle, "side effects, etc etc etc etc panic episodes and anxiety etc etc etc," so maybe she did  genuinely believe Roseanne was trying to break into her car and smother her under her breasts, but I think she just goes all runty (oops, typo) sometimes, especially where I am concerned and was all whiny and hey person who was going to buy lunch, come rescue me even though I'm a loathsome shrew whose claim to fame is she used to look like Cheryl Ladd in the 1970s and who once produced the most awesome human being Evelyn ever saw but I'm just a sneering troll today and I don't even live in the same zip code as you despite having a marriage certificate with our names on it, blahblahblah, me, me, me, no lunch for the starving, I'm worse than a war criminal.

She does not like me and yet another side effect that bottle could have said was, "makes Bethany happy when she can screw Evelyn out of something, be it a house or a lunch."

Sooo, screwed out of Indian food for the second time of late, not to mention, yes, literally denied a house years ago because of the same woman's high blood pressure fueled oh-I'm-going-to-lose-my-health-and-sanity protests, here I sit munching Muncho-s (what are the odds) and cheating one interns out of her Cheetos (a trend?) since they leave orange stains on fingers and Germans do not want orange fingerprints on their 40,000 announcement post cards we are sending off to der Fatherland and being paid 16.4 cents above postage and printing for each.

In other words, yes, I'm hungry, and it's the evil crone's fault.

"I'm going to get you, my pretty, and your little dog too". <---That quote comes from her autobiography, it really does, and since I did lose a dog recently, I think I may be next and hunger is her weapon.

Things Bethany has done against me include but are not limited to:

1995-2000: Being really mean from afar.

2000---present: Being even meaner from anear.

I swear, sometimes my life feels based on the Armenian starvation genocide of WWI, with Bethany being the Turks. You wanna talk Trails of Tears, people, did I mention I was supposed to go to lunch today? And now I'm not? And it's because of Bethany? Now I am this close, this close, to ordering lunch and actually having to pay for it myself, despite the fact I wore a dress, for the love of all creatures great and small, on casual Friday!?

If you've read this far, recall, I did warn you this was a whine.

Okay, I better get something because no way in heck am I going to try to face what lies ahead of me tonight (horrors) on an empty stomach and with low blood sugar. I might do something rash like make my godson close the door while he is in the bathroom, or not button his shirt for him before Oktoberfest's chicken dances.

So thank you, Bethany for making me have to pay for....my own lunch.

I guess there's a first time for everything.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 15, 2017, 03:29:37 PM
Okay, I ate. I'm closer to sane now.  :smile:


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on September 15, 2017, 03:50:17 PM
You know, hit men are not as expensive as most people think.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 16, 2017, 08:30:21 AM
when we go downtown today i will be nice to everyone even scientologists who come up and ask  me to take their personality test

i will be calm in the face of any and all thug mentality

i will give panhandlers the free store tokens and not real money but if one actually says to me i want to get drunk can you help i will buy him the largest beer oktoberfest sells

i will not stand outside a port o potty while my godson wizzes no matter what arguments and twists of logic he tries to employ there's nothing wrong with you lad you can pee by yourself

i will remember each day i spend with my mother is giving a gift since she will surely outlive me

i will be gracious when someone thinks she is my sister

i will think of my german ancestors on my father's side as purveyers of chocolate and music and philosophy not as the distant relatives of jew-beating wagers of world war

i will offer to eat one (1) bratwurst despite being a vegetarian if the person urging me to do so vows to grant me one undeniable request to be redeemed at the time of my choosing sometime between now and next oktoberfest

i will tell my oldest the father huber story when i show her the inside of saint xavier's church which is how in confession the venerable jesuit got to hear two sides of the same story from me and someone else yet had to walk a tightrope of not telling either what the other party had said since he did not want to burn in hell for breaking the seal of confession

i will not drink alcohol in any form despite it being oktoberfest

i will avoid clouds of gaga smoke that always arise at recreational events yeah like they're authentically oktoberfesty right

i will tell one hitler joke to honor my uber-jewish friend edie and may the ghost of joan rivers inspire me to think of a good one perhaps the one that starts what did hitler name his junk

i will take everyone who wants to go which excludes my godson naturally on the observation deck of the city's tallest building

i will shoot no one unless they really got it coming


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on September 17, 2017, 08:32:28 AM
"Its not an erection!" I shouted. "its a pudding spoon".
My explanation didnt calm her suspicion. She continued to stare unapprovingly as I approached. lucky for you, I thought. If it were an actual boner, I would be shouting "Im a samurai!", and there would be hell to pay. Not today. So as our paths cross in this death tunnel. I give her the "look". You know, that "its 7:00 am, I havent had coffe yet, and I will stab you with a broken John Denver record look". After surviving the first micro aggression of the day, I come face to face with one of the ruling class demi-gods. Time to punch in. Time to enter the matrix within the matrix.

Swipe that plastic.
Beep.
I am now in the system.
I am now sub-servient.
I am now without will.
I am now a corporate whore.
Civilian life is indefinately suspended.

I'll make that money for you. I'll make you proud. I'll make you a top-fortune-500-Super-Mega-God.
Your products will infect the cosmos in a pan-spermia Tsunami. All lesser gods will fall.
They will beg.
They will dispair.
They will be eaten, and we will cling to your back and relish  in the debris. We will sing our praise and give thanks for many a fallen crumb. So it has been written in blood and eco-friendly recycled 8.5x11 copy paper.




Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 17, 2017, 09:17:24 AM
"Its not an erection!" I shouted. "its a pudding spoon".
My explanation didnt calm her suspicion. She continued to stare unapprovingly as I approached. lucky for you, I thought. If it were an actual boner, I would be shouting "Im a samurai!", and there would be hell to pay. Not today. So as our paths cross in this death tunnel. I give her the "look". You know, that "its 7:00 am, I havent had coffe yet, and I will stab you with a broken John Denver record look". After surviving the first micro aggression of the day, I come face to face with one of the ruling class demi-gods. Time to punch in. Time to enter the matrix within the matrix.

Swipe that plastic.
Beep.
I am now in the system.
I am now sub-servient.
I am now without will.
I am now a corporate whore.
Civilian life is indefinately suspended.

I'll make that money for you. I'll make you proud. I'll make you a top-fortune-500-Super-Mega-God.
Your products will infect the cosmos in a pan-spermia Tsunami. All lesser gods will fall.
They will beg.
They will dispair.
They will be eaten, and we will cling to your back and relish  in the debris. We will sing our praise and give thanks for many a fallen crumb. So it has been written in blood and eco-friendly recycled 8.5x11 copy paper.



[/quote




Ah, you capture the madness of both a sleep-deprived morning and the grim reality of corporate servitude with a Coupland meets Barker acidity. Nice.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 17, 2017, 10:42:29 AM
"Did you see Regis this morning?"

Bang!


I have almost always lived life in a hurry, doing most everything early-on, from skipping crawling and going straight to walking, to reading The Books of Blood when most of my peers were lip-moving their way through The Babysitter's Club, to making my cousin show me her coffee table volume of Robert Mapplethorpe's The Perfect Moment, when at home I was not even allowed to watch Twin Peaks. (It had owl-demons and incest.) The fact I felt like projectile vomiting after seeing some of Mapplethorpe's images (a man putting an entire middle finger down another man's hose was good for a whole day without me eating) I would not have admitted under torture, since if my cousin thought the pictures were cool, hey, they must've been since she was way more awesome than I was. She still is, in fact.

I wonder, though, is my rushing along because I innately know I will live a short life? In My Life With Martin, which I read at ten----case in point---Coretta Scott King said she felt that was true of her husband, and he died violently as I think I will.

About all I know is I really like italics.

And trees. I do love tall old trees.

And the smell of gunpowder.

And the two L's in my life, one who keeps my secrets, the other who loves me no matter what I do.

But while on the subject of death and Mapplethorpe, did you ever read Andy Warhol's diaries? If not, then let me tell you something. When you reach the last few pages of 1986, maybe very early 1987, the uber-neurotic Mr. Warhola muses wistfully about seeing Mapplethorpe sick with AIDS, and how sad it's going to be having to go to his funeral, he dreads it, and then...SLAM, Worhol suddenly died himself, predeceasing Mapplethorpe!

Death tends to be like that, it likes to slink and sneak and indulge its wicked sense of humor, and above all it loves, loves, loves to live up to those lovely Biblical lines etched on the tomb in the long version of Once Upon A Time in America:

Your youngest and strongest shall fall by the sword....

Or drug, or car, or undiagnosed heart defect.

I really do hate death. I wish I could play it chess on a board made of lunchmeat, or at least kick it in its bony crotch.

A post-Mass recollection ere I go face the afternoon as the fifth wheel at my monster in law's house.

When I was in school I dreaded nothing so much as the annual Right To Life Day they'd impose on us. It was like carved in granite, you HAD to be there for RTL Day, no exceptions, None. If you were out for any reason whatsoever, be it your great-grandmother went on a shooting spree and was put down by the cops or anything else, you had to then make up for it by volunteering for a set number of hours at an RTL center, answering phones, handing out leaflets, counseling someone in “your peer age group.” You had to do that or they'd not let you pass that grade. Given that, it was the one day a year when the school nearly always had perfect attendance since no one save a few masochists wanted to have to do that.

Every year they'd divide the girls and boys and have, I suppose, a custom-tailored event depending on what 'nads you had, and the main presenter of the ghastly slide shows they made us sit through was this woman named Mrs. Bierce, who was always sweaty-looking, blotchy-skinned, red-faced and utterly humorlessly sincere in her message. Why she failed to become a nun I still don’t know.

One time she told us about the impending warning signs of "loss of judgment" if ever we found ourselves alone with a boy doing what the Church would not want us to do, and she concluded by saying it was our body's way of telling us to put on the red light. Now I know she meant red light as in stop, but to me and judging by the giggles I heard, it sounded like she was saying red light as in wow, you're turned on, why, just go start a cathouse, you little harlot.

Realizing this gaffe she flushed an even deeper crimson across her chins and redoubled her efforts lest we find humor in her serious subject matter, which probably only served to desensitize more of us than it affected in the way she wanted.

The high point of one year was as I sat there brain closing down, I spied a strange light crawling across the floor, creeping toward the desk behind Mrs. Bierce, reaching her leg and advancing sloooowly up her gridiron-size thigh. I saw it was caused by some equally bored girl reflecting sunlight off her watch and she was going for Mrs. Bierce's eyes. Oh, please yes, blind her, I thought, but the other girl lost her nerve somewhere around Mrs. Bierce's nipple line and stopped. Sigh.

Oh, well.

I think that was seventh grade and I remember making it through Mrs. Bierce's half-day long presentation left me giddily shell-shocked, and when I finally made it downstairs to the lobby to go home, I could not stop laughing this nerve-spent, semi-hysterical giggle. Naturally my mother was late in picking me up (no bus service) but joy to the world the coolest human being on the planet who was working there in the afternoons said we should go wait in the cafeteria, and I gladly did and he found some snacks in a back cabinet and I sat there with my head down laughing and laughing, while he looked at me like he knew all girls were crazy and I was crazier than most, but I couldn’t stop my laughter because I couldn’t stop thinking of all the terrible sights I'd just been shown, dumpster babies with spaghetti innards spooling out, and that infamous photo of that Florida woman flopped kneeling over herself abandoned in a puddle, dead, dead, dead in a motel room. And every time I’d stop I’d try to look up at him and start laughing again so I’d have to put my head down on the lunch table and cover it with my arms.

This continued for probably five minutes.

It was all too much, as it was every school year.

But he sat down across from me and talked about how if I thought we had it bad, imagine what it was like at his school, the Jesuit Order, those Navy SEALS of the Catholic Church, slamming it into their heads that they must NOT fornicate, lest they get girls pregnant. If they got a girl pregnant, why Purgatory for ten million years, even if they managed to avoid Hell. He did make it sound even worse over there but neither of us believed in any of that or took it at all seriously.

He said, “Ever read the Book of Romans? I think the entire religion is off target.” Then he told me about his weekend and it was the most interesting day I’d ever had there.

I think by the time my mom came, forty minutes late, some internal Irish clock running in her goofy, non-linear brain, I would have spent another session with Mrs. Bierce, just to be down there alone in the cafeteria getting consoled like that.

Pathetic but you took what you could get there in Catholic school.

As for Mrs. Bierce, she collapsed from a stroke one day years in the future, little surprise considering what her blood pressure probably was, Death probably didn’t want her but Death is dutiful if nothing else, and I can't imagine whoever does RTL Days in the 2010s is putting those captive girls through as much as she did us, so, good riddance. There are only so many vacuum cleaner sound effects the ear can endure before gallows humor sneaks out.

All right, my daughter’s done changing from church clothes to play attire, so it’s off to my mother in law’s barony of passive-aggression! Thanks for letting me ramble, gang. It’s Toweringly useful.

"Did you see the sunrise this morning?"

Bang!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 18, 2017, 09:14:21 PM
My family gathered tonight, celebrating a birthday that actually happened last week, and as it was going on, someone said to the birthday individual, “Enjoy these times, they’re your glory days.”

And that got me thinking.

I would imagine if any of us were asked when our glory days were, we’d love to honestly answer, “They haven’t happened yet.” But in truth I think past a certain point that ceases to be reality and becomes wishful thinking. (Nothing wrong with optimism!)

So I was pondering when my glory days might have been and I hit upon the first five or six months after I turned eighteen. I know partly it’s the rose-tint of hindsight but life honestly was really good then. Things had been rocky for a time not long before but everything seemed to straightened out and I was happy in a way that was rarely present in the immediate past. I remember I laid in bed one morning in the still-darkness before I had to get up, trying not to wake someone else, and I thought, I have everything I could want right now. It wasn’t a boast, it was more an awed realization, because my life for several years had been about sturm und drang, and I wasn’t used to being able to make that statement.

And then there’s the gold-plated fact I was no longer a minor, the only condition any of us ever knew through the entirety of life itself from infancy til 12:01 AM on our eighteenth birthdays, and me, I’d at last made it to the promised land. It felt wonderfully like freedom itself. I could and did say no.

I could tally the things that were suddenly better, things like I had kicked my years’ long flirtation with eating disorders, I had a great dog, a good car, my aunt was sometimes letting me housesit for her while she traveled, no one was making me go to Sunday Mass anymore, and I hadn’t been to stupid Ireland since 1994, meaning I’d had two whole summers home with my friends, which was wonderful and new. I had school under control for the first time and there was less pressure than ever before. I was sort of in a grey area there that suited me, walking a tightrope between keeping up my grades but not getting my skull constantly pounded on by my double agent program adviser who acted like a tenth of a percent difference on my GPA was do or die.

Largely, then, I even felt at peace with my mother. I was happy with my family, I had even been hired by a noteworthy employer with the promise of interesting work lying ahead, and they were paying me for doing almost nothing at that point but talk to psychologists, take aptitude tests…and, um, give them lots and lots of blood samples. Hmm. But, yes, I, the poor cousin in a rich family, at long last had a little money of my own, plus I was of age so I could mostly do as I wanted.

Arising from that last part, I was also surely the only senior in the history of my conservative high school who was living in sin full-time with a man in his twenties.

Top that if you wanna talk glory days.

I had also about that time decided to write a novel called The Rise and Fall of Oscar Wilde, and since I figured Wilde owed me something considering the number of times I dedicated the rosaries I was forced to pray to lifting his scarlet self out of Purgatory (he became a Roman Catholic on his deathbed in Paris, shortly before muttering the best final words ever spoken, “Either that wallpaper goes or I do.”) I even one morning, cold and bored in school chapel, kind of said a sideways prayer to him to the effect of, “Hey, ya big queen, how about gifting me a little of your Irish wit for my English exam today?”

At that second, above the drone of the priest’s homily, I distinctly heard this lilting crisp voice chirp in my head the reply: “How utter!”

And just like that an idea for my composition hit me: How Fashion Defined History. Why whoever could forget how stylish the Nazis looked all the way down to their jackboots, or how Henry VIII managed to look manly in poofy sleeves? Would Jane Austen’s Regency belles have been nearly as winsome if their dresses had waists? My essay included the line, “Divas must be great b itches lest they lose all intimidation.” (Though I changed “b itches” to “drama queens” so I wouldn’t get suspended three months before graduation.) I ask you, could I have written a line like that? No, I was channeling Oscar Wilde!

Well I got a 99% on the exam, so, what more proof did James Randi’s million dollar challenge need that a ghost heard me and replied? LSS somehow they found a loophole and didn’t pay up….or even write me back. (It was worth a try.)

Wilde, though, is someone who has always fascinated me, a flawed genius so arrogant he refused to flee to France to save himself prison time when the magistrate cut him some slack after his conviction for wanton buggery, yet whose humility leaks out in De Profundis as I think it does nowhere else in our language under the pen of any other writer. He was a man who fell from a celebrity boastfully excusing his own conduct with the quip, “The world loves the saint but Christ loves the sinner” to becoming the broken figure who in late life said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

I got about forty pages into my novel and realized I was drifting into being a little (porno)graphic in the oral sex depictions between Hoscar and Bosie (yet Wilde was a man who did say love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling) and grew frustrated when it wasn’t the tone I wanted, but one thing I did feel cool with was this character I totally invented, this sociopathic penniless homosexual aristocrat, poor member of a rich family (something I knew about, as you may recall) who jealously stalked Wilde. I began to like him so much the entire novel threatened to shift onto him and in time he was the one part I felt was any good, so I scrapped the manuscript but later wrote a short story with just that man in it, a vicious bastard plotting to murder Oscar Wilde at the height of his fame.

After I’d re-read it from across twenty years I saw it wasn’t bad writing for eighteen, so I put the story on a flash drive last month and was going to see if I could get someone to look at it but it sat in my purse til yesterday when I decided it wasn’t that important to me after all, and if I didn’t offer it to someone before the end of the day I’d put it out of my mind. A sort of fateful “let the dice fly high” thing.

So  yesterday, before the birthday party that started off my thoughts, I was out partaking of brunch (irritating term, I know but so is “partaking”) with the family with whom my daughter and I go to church, and my relations with/within that family are so complex you’d need a flow chart to follow them, and even I am not sure of the right term in every case or what I am to everyone there---almost one of them; a godmother; a cherished friend; a living link to a memory; a hated Hell-fiend succubus who should combust very slowly at high heat---but as I sat in a big round-ish booth wondering if I should ask one of the two adults there who does not want me dead if they’d like to read my story, something else came up and I lost my opportunity.

Sometimes it is like God on High wants you to think about something, because it keeps recurring. Know what I mean? Haven’t we all had the experience of never in our lives hearing of a movie or concept or song, and suddenly you’ll just keep hearing it everywhere for no apparent reason?  Read Carl Jung if you’d like to go deep into the theme.

Okay, so I was out with those people deciding whether to mention my 1997 story, and in that family is one of my closest friends and she said something to the effect that, “If I was a battery in The Matrix, I’d want to be stuck in the time when I was happiest.”

Her father asked her when that was, and she said, “I dunno, maybe about senior year in high school, back when everything was still great for us.”

Considering her family’s history that could have been a mood-killer but somehow wasn’t so the conversation turned not at all to the story I’d been a second away from mentioning, and not even so much to her senior year, which would’ve been about twelve months before my own, but to when everyone there was having personal good times (backpacking through Europe in the early ‘70s; working toward the 1996 Olympic trials; the second half of my senior year; envisioning Evelyn getting smashed by a falling satellite in the parking lot, uh, that same day), and then it was asked, were they really so good or only seemed that way, and would we truly want to relive them?

All that arose as a subject a day before the “glory days” comment at tonight’s birthday party which now seems strangely foreshadowing.

I guess I should not read too much universal significance into that convergence, it’s not like it’s THAT odd for the topic of glory days to arise from a woman looking at forty this year, or at an eighteenth birthday party the next evening, but somehow it did feel like the universe was wanting me to pause and reflect on the topic of good times, and it felt like one of those moments when someone pulls back the fixed curtain between reality and super-reality, and there it was, a naked sign of Order, of A Greater Plan, of perhaps Divine Stage Direction amid the chaos that otherwise appears to command this dimly-lighted life.

Which leaves me asking: Okay, God, if you’re going to order the entire universe to create points of synchronicity in my path, what’s so important about me reflecting on the good first half of me being eighteen?

I sure can’t yet figure it out, though I am trying.




Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 20, 2017, 10:56:36 PM
Media vita in morte sumus. In the midst of life we are in death.

The first time I ever saw someone die wasn’t the first time I’d seen a dead person, that would have been at my baby brother Daniel’s funeral long before, a child version of me seated on my grandpa’s knee, my mother a composed, black-clad pseudo-statue, her beautiful face colorless and still, not even twenty-six yet and her second son in three years headed for the ground. She was unable to hold me, too stricken, not entirely well, so my paternal grandpa did the honors.

My father was…away from home, nearly a scandal, that. His six-pound son lying dead, passing on mere hours into this world in his mother’s arms, and where was he? People whispered about him, asking what sort of man would not come to comfort his family at such a time? They didn’t know enough about it all to understand, as even I already did, the truth being that he almost certainly did not even know and was still looking forward to his son’s arrival a month down the road. They didn’t know either about my father’s long job-related absences, which my mother and I accepted, the restrictions, the precautions of the life he would live throughout my years of growing up, or of those imposed cautions that so readily descended by outside standards into the realm of low-grade paranoia, part of a profession all too readily glamorized but which contained in reality nothing glamorous whatsoever, a career about which I was taught early-on to mislead, and those to whom I told the truth rarely failed to disbelieve me, including priests and even my best friend. My father’s employers were everywhere, people acknowledged, yet when they actually encountered someone in the rank and file of his profession it was as if they could not encompass the stark reality that they exist and are among you.

“Don’t you want to say goodbye to him?” my grandpa asked me there in the chapel as I pressed myself up onto his shoulder to stare at the crescent of dark-attired strangers seated behind us.

“No!” I said forcefully in my little voice. “No!”

So no one made me go up, but I did see over the tiny white casket where an equally miniscule infant lay wrapped in a blanket, eyes closed, mouth pink as a rosebud, the little brother I would never have this side of paradise.

So that was death, yes, but not dying.

The initial occasion I saw the spark leave another human being, saw the body become that graceless thing it graduates to be when death catches it in its irresistible shroud, I was seventeen years old, it was April 1, 1996, a Monday, an April Fool’s Day, as it happens, and I was again in the company of my grandpa, an ardent baseball fan who would not admit to having missed an opening day in half a century, who always took pride in telling me that every spring the first game of the major league season happened right there, in his hometown.

He’d ask, “And do you know why that is, Ellie?”

“Sure, because the Reds are the oldest professional baseball team in the world, so they get the honor.”

He knew I knew, he’d been quizzing me every spring for as long as I could remember.

We’d been to the big Findlay Market Parade that accompanied opening day, its route snaking from Over-the-Rhine to the former Riverfront Stadium, an almost holy ritual in a city where schools let out for the occasion and something like one family in six came down to line the streets for the parade’s two mile procession. There were clowns (scaring almost no one back then) and Shriners in tiny cars, the Budweiser Clydesdales were stomping, and the United States Marine Corps Marching Band did John Philip Sousa proud. Pete Rose, the sport’s leading hitter, disgraced everywhere but his home town, was in a lead car that advertised---what else?—Schott Buick. As he passed each street corner people yelled to him, “You deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, Pete!” And Rose would look toward those people and wink, a cocky sunovagun but heck, they loved him, he was one of their own, a boy from the humble west side who’d made good as no others of their numbers ever had.

On Opening Day in the American Heartland what darkness could possibly arise from beginnings like those?

Grandpa was acquainted with people in the Reds organization and the result was he had gotten us good seats for the game, behind home plate and little to the right, about a third of the way to first base, maybe ten rows up, close to the Cincinnati dugout, close enough to see the facial features of anyone standing at the plate. We were there early, the weather was perfect for baseball, the organ was playing, the crowd was ready, vendors were hawking their wares, in a German town so many beers were available, a buzz filled the ballpark (itself now gone, replaced by a better facility, though not one with half the meaning to locals), and I was impatient. Baseball….bored me, to be honest, still kind of does, and were it not for the fact I was spending time with my grandpa I would have been carrying  a book to read, probably A Canticle for Leibowitz, which enthralled me that spring. Grandpa had taken my cousin and me to see a World Series game in 1990, something I treasure more in hindsight than I likely did at the time. Now I am so glad I went.

Am I glad I was there that day, though, April 1, 1996? I guess, but…..

At long last things got underway, Air Force jets from Wright-Patterson flew overhead, the national anthem was played and back then I think darn near everyone stood for it. The teams were introduced, the stands roared for the hometown team, and lastly the umpire came out and tipped his hat to the crowd. He was a large-statured man named John McSherry, and I admit I didn’t pay him much attention, though later I often thought of that moment, since in a very few minutes Mr. McSherry would lie dead in front of all 60,000 of us, spared no humiliation in the act of his passing.

When it happened, his legs giving out, his bulk spilling forward and downward, a look of odd madness taking over his darkening face, tongue protruding, it did not make sense for a moment. I thought what? The first pitch had been thrown by a dignitary, the umpire, McSherry himself, had called out, “Play ball!” and as I remember a batter approached . Then McSherry called time out, turned back toward the dugout, as if to walk rapidly away…and fell face down.

For just an instant the entire stadium went quiet, then the noise became loud indeed, and many stood to get their money’s worth of an unexpected tragedy.

My grandpa said, “Look away, you don’t need to see that.”

I did look away, kind of, during the next few awful moments as the dying man on the ground was surrounded, as TV cameras rolled, as onlookers gawked, many taking pictures and even videos on the bread-loaf sized camcorders of the era.

I looked at my feet…then peeked down at the terrible events on the field. I gazed up at some gulls circling above, seemingly as at home on the river as on the ocean, oblivious and uncaring about what anyone was doing below.

And then I looked again and saw the poor dead man’s feet sticking helplessly out between two paramedics who had flipped him over. There was something horribly pathetic about seeing his feet like that, then I saw his face…his face for just an instant, and I don’t think I looked anymore after that.

They called off the game, only logical, though some complained, saying never had a Reds’ opening day been canceled in a streak that went back practically to the Civil War. As for me I didn’t  see how anyone could have thought of playing a game under those conditions, not just out of some sort of respect but because the entire afternoon was suddenly tinted with morbid darkness. Maybe they were tougher than me, maybe I was weak, but I had just watched someone die, and that awed me and made me feel cold. I thought how just a few minutes before that umpire had walked proudly out and tipped his cap to the stands as the announcer introduced him, he had minutes to live, and now he was gone. Was he in pain even then, as he made his entrance? Was he afraid? Was he telling himself the sensation in his chest was nothing…just go on?

Grandpa and I left among a crowd that milled not quickly toward the exits, the conversation around us focusing on nothing else but what we’d all witnessed.

“That’s all we’re going to hear for days,” Grandpa predicted. “And you watch, El,” he said, “there’ll be people who will lie and say they were there today when really they weren’t.” He asked me if I’d ever heard 25% more people claimed to have voted for Kennedy after his murder than ever did in 1960. He said, “Same situation.”

Grandpa had liked Kennedy, and he didn’t like liars.

He and I trekked about ten blocks north to a place called Arnold’s, an interesting bar and restaurant which dates to about 1861, a little older than the Reds themselves, and in standing-room conditions Grandpa had a beer and got me this in-house craft cream soda that came out of an actual wooden barrel and cost an unimaginably pricey (for 1996) $4.50. He asked if what I’d seen was upsetting me much, and I said no, it was okay. (I’d have dreams about it all, of course, I was like that.) Grandpa commented that people ought to watch their weight, and I agreed they should, weight being my paralyzing post-tennis obsession, but I likewise thought for the millionth time of how people also should not smoke, and my grandpa was an incurable, unapologetic smoker.

My father was off in another city that day, again away from home when a tragedy struck, though for nicer reasons this time, preparing to watch the Kentucky Wildcats, “his” basketball team play (and win) the national title that was wrapping up March Madness, so I was staying with my grandpa til Dad got back. I kind of felt sorry for my grandpa living alone the past year since my grandma died after a series of strokes, leaving him to himself in that big old house of his, a house that had once buzzed with energy and life and which now seemed shunned, as if it was always Grandma, not he, the family came to see, as if she was the house’s very soul, taken too young, too young.  At least I still came to see him.

He went into his study and smoked, I did my own things, eventually toward evening knocked on his study door and asked if he wanted me to fix us anything, and he said he didn’t care, so I threw something together but neither of us wanted to eat after the day we’d had.

He said he didn’t understand why people let themselves get out of shape and fat and I said maybe they couldn’t help it, and he said they always had a choice, they could help it, people just did what was easy.

We finally took a walk together around sunset, back to this hilltop we called the overlook, a place we’d gone together since I was very little (a place I take my own children these days) and though he was sixty-six my grandpa hiked up that hill with ease, smoking not seeming to slow him down any more than the accumulated years, and I honestly can’t remember if I noticed that he was remarkable in being able to cover that distance so well, or if I just took it as part of the way things had always been, but it was something of a feat, him in such good shape he could trek all that distance across rough terrain and reach it the same time as an athletic teenager. In retrospect I am proud of him.

From that height we watched the sun turn the sky pretty colors, and we talked up there, mentioning other times we’d made the climb together, me being so small on some of them I had to hold his big rough hand, and finally, too soon in memory, we went back before darkness turned the woods as lightless as a cave.

I said goodnight to him, kissed him on the forehead, and went upstairs to the bedroom that had once been my father’s, while he went back to his study and smoked while listening to WLW as men called in to talk sagely about the day’s tragedy, pretending they had insights, their tones of voice authoritatively self-important, therefore slightly silly, though I doubt they thought so.

Knowing I had been there at the ball park, everyone, it seemed like, called me, wanting to hear details, the more lurid the better. That’s how it is, people want to know all about something tragic, don’t they? Mostly I failed to oblige, I just didn’t want to, but I told a lot of it to my best friend’s younger brother, who was actually a close friend of mine in his own right, almost like my own brother, I erroneously thought then, a classic only-child always seeking someone to fill the role of sibling, missing the fact the kid was in lust with me (and every girl he knew). And I told all of it to my boyfriend, who suggested it might make me feel better to talk about it, so I said okay, and I did just that, even telling him about McSherry’s feet sticking out between the paramedics who rolled him onto his back, and good Lord, how his wide-eyed face was red and his jaw was gaping open so it looked like even in death he was gasping for breath.

Horrid.

It didn’t make me feel better at all to tell him all that, it made me feel sick and it messed up my dreams, just like I told him it was going to, and he said sorry. I held the phone to my ear and he held his as well and neither of us said anything else for a while, just stayed like that. We were better at meaningful silences, he and I, than anyone I’ve ever paired with since. We could speak entire conversations by saying nothing at all. It was a gift, and a useful one that particular night.

So, it was the first time I ever watched another person die, I wasn’t nearly as old as I liked to think I was, and the experience was truly awful.




Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 22, 2017, 05:17:50 PM
GO BLUE!! f**kING KILL MOELLER TONIGHT! f**kING KILL MOELLER!!!!!!!!!!
(Sorry, had to channel someone for a second there.)


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 23, 2017, 07:17:28 AM
Blue did clobber Moeller last night....    Derren Brown, the self-alleged British mentalist, once did an experiment wherein he placed a wallet full of money on a busy New York sidewalk, and it was picked up in seconds, but when he tried a second wallet and surrounded it with yellow evidence tape, thousands walked past over the course of hours without touching it....    My cousin went into a famed/infamous brothel in Amsterdam and told me a huge neatly-painted golden sign hung just inside the place that read: "We Are Not For Sale, Our Time Is.".....  


Sitting decreases sperm counts, likely because of the increase in heat to that region, resulting in lowered rates of spermatogenesis....    I once got yelled at in school for cleaning up a broken mirror....    The neutral site where last night's football game was held should've been called Methville....    Elevators are supposedly the safest method of travel ever devised, surpassing airlines, yet my godson cannot be dragged onto one, surprise, surprise....    Came back from lunch yesterday in a good mood and then I got the news this eighteen-year-old girl I knew through my cousin had cut her throat with a razor blade. That was the first report but it turned out she'd more like cut her neck, but still, you know? She's alive....    I once wrote a story that is half stream of consciousness. Anyone wants to read it, let me know....    


Last night I passed up a chance to hear Wallace Shawn speak in order to go to a high school football game, and this morning I got an email from me from ten years ago with the subject line b***h Slap Inside For Wrong Priorities, Future Self....    My dancer/gymnast friend I went with last night kept spinning on her toes. Not the ball of her feet, her toes, making her my hero....    I had a dismal thought yesterday that had Elvis lived he'd have become an obese Howard Hughes-like recluse and that dying at forty-two was actually a better option for his legacy....    In the summer of 1977 if my mother had turned around and gone home on schedule when she was out walking with her fussy littlest sister, or if my father not been racing his ten-speed with his friend to get ahead of schedule on his summer bike trip around Ireland, trying to reach this pre-arranged stopping place a half-hour ahead of some other guys who were farther back, my parents never would have met, since it came down to a matter of a few oddly intersecting minutes...    Rabbits should not eat carrots!...    They never showed the upstairs rooms on Family Ties, and that used to drive me crazy as a kid....    Most bears are herbivorous via necessity...  


Victorians English people were thought to be on average more sexually active than modern-day English people...    I try to limit the amount of hand-me-downs my youngest gets from my oldest since she deserves her own clothes...    Nature tries to give us a clue about danger through the eyes. Robins have friendly eyes, dolphins have friendly eyes, sharks and rattlesnakes do not, neither did Rasputin....    I have a tin of Earl Grey tea from the 1960s in my kitchen, and I would like to try it but then it'd be gone....    If you eliminated cat videos and ASMR from YouTube I bet the site would lose at least 1/20th of its content....    


I've noticed you can find some excellently dated products if you get down and look on the floors under grocery store shelves....    A couple weeks ago I told my father huge news, something I'd kept mostly to myself for twenty years, and he wasn't mean about hearing it, but he'd mostly guessed ages ago and just never said....    


I have not used plastic grocery bags since 2008 since I have this peculiar paranoia one of my children could get suffocated in one....    I am so preoccupied with what the last line of my diary will be that in case I die suddenly I always have one line in the next day's entry, which I roll forward each day. Hopefully it'd make me sound prescient and everyone will be like, "How'd she know???!!!" since that last line is: "It is time to draw the curtain upon my life."....    When I was young I used to be perplexed with how two people who had been intimate with one another could ever look at each other again....    Someday Coca-Cola will be forgotten.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on September 23, 2017, 03:14:29 PM
captains log....provisions are low. We must venture out to hunt and gather.
At this hour in the morning, there is only on place to go. The most foul and hostile of places.
Wally world.
Its a long and perilous journey that we must indure lest we go hungry. I would be ostracized at the very least unless grilled-cheese sandwiches are provided. The kakihara household would tear itself apart. Those pygmy savages with gnawing gnashing teeth that demand constant tribute, and if tribute is not offered, it will be taken. That is the law.

The journey begins. Over the hills. Through the woods. An endless blur of stop lights and brake lights. A small sedan behind me, following ever so close, Only to whip around me and pass by in such an arogant manner that for a moment I almost forgot about the mission. Our paths will cross again granny.

Arrival. The leviathan rises from the early morning fog and reveals itself. Massive. All powerful. All consuming. Its been waiting for me, its been waiting for all of us. Theres no time for fear. I must go in. Into the depths of a chinese hell.

Enter. The doors open before me. seducing me. The tortured screams and howls of low prices are deafening. My eyes are assualted with flourescent lighting. A sea of office supplies, computer desks,towels and cookware.

Into the bowels. Past the skinny-jean goblins. Past the 2 for 5 David Spade/Wesley Snipes combo dvds. Around the obese demons on motorized carts and their litter of hellspawn. Through the isles of toilet paper and past all of the poor lost souls forever doomed to wander the labyrinth of hello-kitty notebooks and power-ranger underwear. Am I also doomed to the same fate? Have I been foresaken? Will kraft singles not spare me?

Get up! Get up, you fool! You have to make those sandwhiches, The free world depends on it!
Just a little further.
There!
I see a part-skim low-moisture light.
Is it...?
Its her! At last! Ive found her!
Hold on mozzerella, lets get you out of here.

mission accomplished.
 


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 24, 2017, 11:06:49 AM
I just feel like the world is f**ked and I dont care. Worship Trump. Suck his dick. Build a wall-mexicans built your towers.. Bomb Korea. Make sure you suck Putin's dick. Ya know-because he's laundering your money. YOU a***oleS who cant see-by now-wtf is going on?  You gotta be yanking my dick. Mexicans are doing your work-I worked at Honee Bear Canning I worked with Mexicans for 30 years-so f**k you a***oles who excpect us to do your work.
Yeah-this is called stream of whatever the f**k.
Unless you worked at a factory for 30 years-f**k you.
ER-
You write on and on. Nobody will read it. Post in in spurts,ER-Nobody reads long winded posts.
And blah blah blah f**king BLAH!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 24, 2017, 11:20:48 AM
Sometimes I just want to beat people in the head. Sometimes I want to TRY to understand why backwoods rednecks would vote in a lying failure TV show host bulls**tter as President of the USA. What the f**k is going on? Is our country comprised of backwoods morons?
Answer.-
YES IT IS. :hatred:


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 24, 2017, 12:55:38 PM
ER-
You write on and on. Nobody will read it. Post in in spurts,ER-Nobody reads long winded posts.
And blah blah blah f**king BLAH!

Ha, yes, I know, RC, even I grow weary of it but what if I told you they aren't always written to be read by anyone here, or that sometimes things like misspelling a name on a subsequent mention (Worhol) or mislabeling a title (Death to the Outsider) or the spaces between words (the blue clobbered post) or even the number of different languages used in a post have more meaning than they seem and a short post is not always effective for what I need? (Actually I can guess what you'd say.) And, hey, you claimed you'd read a menu if I wrote it. How my ego does fall!  :bouncegiggle:

And I admit, I do like to write.  Read, don't read, mate, I am due a raise soon either way.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on September 24, 2017, 01:29:20 PM
ER-
continue to write as you please. I read it and often enjoy it, and Im not the only one. It takes time, I tend to ramble on when I write, because I usually cant get my point across in a few sentences. My brain starts going in many directions, Im wandering if its some kind of HDAD or ADD or something. So a lot of the time what I write something it can mutate from a rant to a screen-play to a third person account of a waking dream. Or something like that. Anyway,  this thread is good place to write on and on.   


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 24, 2017, 02:49:30 PM
Don't get me wrong-ER-I love you dear.I think your a very talented writer. I -myself-don't mind taking the time out of my life to read. I read a lot. But lots of morons won't-so your talents are lost on them-like you posted-it is a stream of observation that most won't read what you write. I think your a genius. What I wrote was an observation-not a denoucement--becuase in a vapid world of facebook and where people shorten thoughts to memes-you are a refreshing oasis in a land of morons.
And excuse my spelling-I'm not good at spelling. I may be illiterate-but I'm not stupid.
Bless your heart.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on September 24, 2017, 03:24:42 PM
ER-
You write on and on. Nobody will read it. Post in in spurts,ER-Nobody reads long winded posts.
And blah blah blah f**king BLAH!

Ha, yes, I know, RC, even I grow weary of it but what if I told you they aren't always written to be read by anyone here, or that sometimes things like misspelling a name on a subsequent mention (Worhol) or mislabeling a title (Death to the Outsider) or the spaces between words (the blue clobbered post) or even the number of different languages used in a post have more meaning than they seem and a short post is not always effective for what I need? (Actually I can guess what you'd say.) And, hey, you claimed you'd read a menu if I wrote it. How my ego does fall!  :bouncegiggle:

And I admit, I do like to write.  Read, don't read, mate, I am due a raise soon either way.

I have to say I love reading ER's long posts.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 24, 2017, 03:29:52 PM
And here's my long-winded response to what I wrote regarding ER's writing-!
 Most people-in this ultra information land of ours-will ignore thoughtful writing in lieu of watching vapid pretty people on TV go through the motions of an existence- ie.-the Kardashians-any pretty face with lots of money and no talent-where  bards sing "n****r n****r" and couldn't play an instrument if it f**ked them in the ass -where talent is voted on a tv show judged by mediocre morons.  Coach potatoes who think Honey Boo Boo is classic high art. Where a man who is f**king President cant think of a better adjective than "great" and grabs p***y as a hobby becomes president-yeah.
We are a dumbed down society. Book readers are in the minority. TV is king. Mediocrity rules. Sound bites and catch  phrases are the wisdom of the day. Yeah I have a problem with that.
A thoughtful person will get lost in a land of morons.
Donald Trump is a moron who panders to morons-and-sadly-this country is FILLED with MORONS. I don't give a f**k if I offend backwoods stupid hillbilly a***oles-they are IDIOTS. So f**k you hillbilly morons-I dont give a f**k about your interbred s**t. You wanna hate n****rs? I HATE YOU.
See-were still on this stream thing-right?-I'm streaming.

ER-don't ever stop writing.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Paquita on September 24, 2017, 05:02:01 PM
I read them!  Usually  :smile:.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: AoTFan on September 24, 2017, 05:22:53 PM
You know, hit men are not as expensive as most people think.

Guess it depends on the quality.  If movies are to be believed I've heard it's around 5k a head.  To me, 5k would be a LOT of money.  (Honestly, I don't think I've ever HAD that much money at one point in time.) But I suppose to others it wouldn't be.

(And I'm not trying to put a value on human life, mind you...)


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 24, 2017, 09:00:39 PM
I'm glad you made this thread-ER-because it lets me rant crazy s**t
Check this out.
Most People need a God-ya know-someone to tell them to be good-or else you go to hell.
But Think about it-that's the stupidest belief ever.
Some guy in n the sky will punish you if you don't worship him.
Really nice-such a loving "God". Not possible. Crazy bulls**t. Use your brain.
A loving God He loves himself more than you. Half of the 10 commadents involve-Dont worship other gods-love me suck my dick!"
An egotistical f**ker.
Doing impossible s**t-because folks are afraid of death.
Have fun with that.
Religion was invented to control folks before cops. So-yeah-take yer bulls**t to heart.Live a lie. I don't give a f**k.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on September 25, 2017, 01:13:45 AM
This is rattle off the top of your brain thread-right?
Well dig this.
This world-and most dumb f**kers in it-believe-and kill-because of a belief in GOD. Why? Because my imaginary friend is bigger than yours. f**k religion. It's the cause of most wars-take your god and stick it up your ass.

f**k GOD-are you serious-do you really believe some being controls the universe? Even comic books try to come up with better logic. Religion is a good thing-if you use it as a philosophy. Use it as politics-which most dumb f**ks do-it's worthless.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 25, 2017, 09:08:48 AM
RC, religion is human-created, therefore it is flawed and bears the imprint of human beings with all our faults. Good, too, comes out of religion and it’s simplistic to deny that. I would have to say on a localized scale religion often does more good than bad, but there is no denying wars and cruelties have accompanied religion, though gazing only at these things is an exercise in shutting your eyes to the good that is also there. We tend to see the bad, while the other hemisphere of it all goes on unheralded in acts of kindness that may only have played out with religion to give them genesis. If religion has destroyed then religion has also produced art and music and charity, healing of the body and spirit and mind, it has been the catalyst for the preservation of knowledge that might otherwise have been lost, and it has transformed thieves and tyrants, giving these brutes access to what is better within their own selves.

And that’s only the humanistic side of it all, the parts we can see, leaving out any claims of an afterlife.

Look deeper, beyond religious expression and dogma, and you see the thing that religion feebly tries to point at, which is something higher that I do believe most all of us all feel.

I say we most all feel it because something that inspires so much wonder and also sees so much energy invested even in railing against it is the thing that humans seem to feel is innately of supreme importance. (Saying “there is no God, there is no God, there is no God” is also putting  a lot of time into something that is not there, so why does someone who disbelieves bother to do that?)

The uncreated creator, the first object, the thing that has no precedent and no beginning is what science and philosophers agree upon, it is a thing that needs to be there unless the universe and time wrap in on themselves like a giant Mobius strip: which perhaps they do.

Because the human mind is chauvinistic, we tend to see this uncreated creator in terms familiar to us, assigning it form like that of our own, perhaps correctly (maybe we were created in this being’s image, an image which preceded us but does not belong exclusively to us) or maybe we are simply trying to visualize this force and impose ourselves onto it, thinking it is as we are.

Personally I think if there is a God then that force/being/? is so much greater than us that we cannot begin to understand it. This is a force that set order amid chaos, that created quasars and black holes and mathematics and time itself, it created the tiniest atom and the broadest expanse of this and a likely infinite number of universes into being. Nature left alone cannot create a Stonehenge, something humble humans engineered five millennia ago, so how could chaos, even given an immensity of time, create the miracle of the mammalian eye, the neutrino, the force of gravity? It would seem nature unguided would, firstly, not exist, secondly create nothing but limitless void. Nothing cannot arise from nothing. 0+0 will always equal 0 no matter how many times you ram it through a calculator.

To extend that thinking farther, if humankind arose from something other than nothing, then humankind arose with an intent behind its existence, a plan, perhaps, and while there is a certain unassailable mystery as to why we are here, is it not just possible that in a universe which just maybe did not create itself, the creator would care enough about its creation to set some guideposts down among it, instilling a sense of conscience amid the survival of the fittest directives of rude nature?

And if this is taken as a given or even a possibility, then is it not likely that the tales of the creator deigning to communicate  with we lowly creation, the stories preserved within religion, may just make some sense? Honestly, which would make a better person, the teachings of Jesus or the brutality of a God-less adherence to natural selection, which sees virtue in cruel self-ism? To dismiss all that lies in religion because people have mangled its goodness is a short-sighted prejudice that shows anything but intellectual sophistication. I would much rather dwell thinking “it could be true” than to shut my mind and say “NO!”

I used to hang out (kind of an accurate description) at an old Jesuit church downtown and the priests there lived vows of poverty, they had nothing, did not even own the clothes they wore, yet these men ran a soup kitchen that served three meals a day, and they worked more hours running this charity operation than most of us do paying for the items we own. What compels them to live that way? A belief that their God told them they should. Without religion a lot of people downtown, who depended on that soup kitchen, would have gone hungry.

I can also tell you what sages of all nations throughout time tried to tell you, which is the more you open yourself up to listening for the mysterious voice of what lies beyond you, the more readily you will hear it. Something is there, I am convinced of that, something that is not just my imagination babbling back at me. It is not a placebo, it is a force that guides and comforts and is, via our instinct, just as much a valid part of who we are as its twin, logic.

As I said, religion is man-made, I agree, it is an effort to tribalize, it does divide at times (often) I again agree, but does the flawed combative nature of our species that taints religion utterly rule out all possibility that something beyond us exists within and amid and around us, and that all religion is an effort to seek that out, know it, placate it and gain its friendship?

I don’t think it does.

PS I know, RC, like I've told you, that even when you are brutal you always speak from your heart and you always speak honestly, and I respect that. You're original in a world of dullards. Most everyone here is that way, if you notice, they're unique and atypical. Maybe that's a big part of the reason I've hung around here for ten years. This is an interesting group of people.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on September 25, 2017, 04:22:05 PM
I can accept the idea of a god who created the world but doesn't really care about it. I can equally accept the idea of a god (or indeed gods, goddesses) who have weaknesses and aren't all powerful. But looking at the world I find it impossible to believe there is a god out there who is infinitely powerful and equally merciful who loves us all.

A conversation I had with someone a while back where I was asked if I didn't want eternal life and all that jazz. To be honest I have a lot of bad memories I have no wish to spend an eternity remembering.

Equally however, if someone else wishes to believe in a god different to how I see things I am not only quite happy to let them, I would also fight for their right to have such.

Just as long as your not trying to force me to share your beliefs.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on September 25, 2017, 05:30:22 PM
This thread has turned into a "religious/personal belief/thoughts on god and existence" thingy. Interesting. Ill probably ramble on and on, so endulge me because I will digress.

Well, damn, Im not sure what I believe, as far as God is concerned. Ill try and articulate something, but if you ask me tomorrow, Ill tell you something different. First off, I have a lot of issues with religion. I subscribe to the George Carlin school of thought that religion is BS. The institution of religion more specifically. Yeah, a lot of wars and violence. A lot of crazy people doing a lot of crazy things. Crusades and cleansings. Blowing up little girls at concerts. All horrible and unnecessary acts. Anything that is organized or instituted is, or can be corrupted because thats the nature of humans. It usually comes down to control in some way or another. It seems like most of us agree on that much. As ER stated, there is good that comes from religion. Some people actually do good and kind things because of their religious beliefs. Faith is also important to people, even people who arent religious have some kind of faith.

Now that religion is out of the way, its time to speak of God. Well, do I belive in God? I dont know. For me its not an easy or simple answer. I struggle with it. In some ways, no. I dont believe in an invisible man in the sky, Not the santa clause depiction. Ive tried many times to have this conversation with people. you know, like a real intellectual discussion. An honest one. But at some point, a look of discomfort or even terror washes over their face. Its a real uncomfortable thing. Religion is in our DNA. We used to sacrifice children so crops would grow. Studies show that people litteraly get high on God, The opiate of the masses. Damn, I have to go. Ill try to continue this train of thought. It may take several posts. To be continued....



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on September 26, 2017, 05:38:25 PM
continued - Ok, since the "stream" has been indefinately shut off and were on this God trip, or maybe Im the only one on this trip, the cogs in my brain have been turning, trying to think of a way to state my thoughts on God in a coherent way. Ultimately I will probably say a lot of psuedo-philosophical crap that amounts to nothing. I cant state things as eloquently as ER and I have some personal issues that are in line with the way RC said it. Im trying to stay on the subject of God without getting into the religious aspect of it, but as Im writing this, Im realising that my religious experience has been a formative part of my "understanding" of God. Not that I understand any of it. Im not really tring to bash religion but I think Im going to have to vent a little.

Ive been somewhere between atheism and agnosticism for some time. Early on in life I was secretly atheistic. Many things just logically didnt work for me as far as believing in god, the judeo christian god that is. Even as a child, I had some understanding that a system or dogma in  life was some sort of man made control. I was aware of some of the history of religions and the suffering they caused. I knew that people who referenced a book (ie the bible) like it was an instruction manual were being intellectually lazy. The stories didnt make sense to me. Ive spent a lot of time in a lot of different churches, never really bonding with the people and never feeling quite right about the situation. Something in my gut just didnt agree. The stories, the hymns, the people who were into it just didnt seem right, in fact, it scared me. They scared me.

It just seemed so morbid. It felt the same as a funeral. The naked man nailed to a cross hanging on the wall. Yes, hes got nails in his hands and hes bleeding. Hes suffering, because of me. Its my fault that I was born and this guy loves me so much he was willing to be nailed to a cross and suffer an agonizing death. Oh, and his father loved him so much, that he allowed it to happen. Because of me. Which brings us to the guilt part of it. You catholics know what Im talking about. Guilt.

Next comes the fear. Simply by being born, one is a sinner. Theres no way around it. Were all sinners. I thought that I was a nice guy, but nope. Im a sinner, and sinners go to hell. He loves me so much that I could be sent to a place of fire and brimestone to burn in agony for an eternity. Really feeling the love, eh. Maybe, if I beg, confess, repent, give a little donation, or say 10000 hail marys, I will be spared this horrible punishment. Maybe if I try and be like jesus. Its impossible mind you, but if I try really hard and come to church every sunday, I wont be sent to hell. No pressure.

..to b continued.   



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 27, 2017, 09:36:34 AM
continued - Ok, since the "stream" has been indefinately shut off and were on this God trip, or maybe Im the only one on this trip, the cogs in my brain have been turning, trying to think of a way to state my thoughts on God in a coherent way. Ultimately I will probably say a lot of psuedo-philosophical crap that amounts to nothing. I cant state things as eloquently as ER and I have some personal issues that are in line with the way RC said it. Im trying to stay on the subject of God without getting into the religious aspect of it, but as Im writing this, Im realising that my religious experience has been a formative part of my "understanding" of God. Not that I understand any of it. Im not really tring to bash religion but I think Im going to have to vent a little.

Ive been somewhere between atheism and agnosticism for some time. Early on in life I was secretly atheistic. Many things just logically didnt work for me as far as believing in god, the judeo christian god that is. Even as a child, I had some understanding that a system or dogma in  life was some sort of man made control. I was aware of some of the history of religions and the suffering they caused. I knew that people who referenced a book (ie the bible) like it was an instruction manual were being intellectually lazy. The stories didnt make sense to me. Ive spent a lot of time in a lot of different churches, never really bonding with the people and never feeling quite right about the situation. Something in my gut just didnt agree. The stories, the hymns, the people who were into it just didnt seem right, in fact, it scared me. They scared me.

It just seemed so morbid. It felt the same as a funeral. The naked man nailed to a cross hanging on the wall. Yes, hes got nails in his hands and hes bleeding. Hes suffering, because of me. Its my fault that I was born and this guy loves me so much he was willing to be nailed to a cross and suffer an agonizing death. Oh, and his father loved him so much, that he allowed it to happen. Because of me. Which brings us to the guilt part of it. You catholics know what Im talking about. Guilt.

Next comes the fear. Simply by being born, one is a sinner. Theres no way around it. Were all sinners. I thought that I was a nice guy, but nope. Im a sinner, and sinners go to hell. He loves me so much that I could be sent to a place of fire and brimestone to burn in agony for an eternity. Really feeling the love, eh. Maybe, if I beg, confess, repent, give a little donation, or say 10000 hail marys, I will be spared this horrible punishment. Maybe if I try and be like jesus. Its impossible mind you, but if I try really hard and come to church every sunday, I wont be sent to hell. No pressure.

..to b continued.   



Interesting.

Guilt over failure, the unavoidable nature of personal wrongdoing labeled sin, forgiveness withheld, the province of a select few to dispense said forgiveness, the Catholic Church sets people up for a cycle like addiction and a fix, doesn't it? (In a way it bothers me that my oldest daughter seems so drawn to it.)

A recurring funeral, nails in feet, arrows in chests, Hellfire, you said it. You want to see morbid Christianity, go into an old Irish church untouched by the questionable iconclasm of Vatican II, lol, so, yeah, I get where you're coming from, I really do. Fear of death is something I used to say was behind the original creation of religion. (Islam's beginnings I truly think were about one megalomaniac's grab for earthly power but it's the exception.)

I think one oft-overlooked HORRIFYING possibility to it all is yes, perhaps the universe has a creator, but why does that necessarily translate out to humans living on after death? That's a possibility few people seem to throw out there, either theists or their alleged opposite. I don't subscribe to it, but I do ponder it.

I am married to someone who takes on a sort of third path to it all that is neither belief nor disbelief, but comes down to utter apathy. He genuinely has no apparent interest in the question of God's reality or God's non-existence. None. Zero. He could not care less. So little does he invest himself in the idea of God that he had no problem with not going to a church service of any kind for ten years, or of now sitting in every Sunday with our two younger children, mostly to please his mother. He can be there ninety minutes, walk out and not be able to tell you one thing that was talked about in the service because it bounced off him.

Since my lifelong preoccupation is with God, what is, what is to come, what has been, I have at times envied the peace he has in simply not caring, but I could never replicate that, and even during my years of agnosticism I remained in a near-constant state of wondering about it all. So my mind....spirit....soul was fertile ground when the day came I had my own (self-serving) eureka moment.

Ultimately two things focused me and pointed me where I am today, and interestingly one of those was fear, the thing I mentioned up above. My younger self would have been angry with the older me for letting fear be a catalyst for a transformation. She'd have said don't let fear overshadow logic, which tells us no one can know with the existing data whether God exists.

To her credit she once faced death and did not run to God like a scared rabbit, but dammit I was fifteen then not thirty-one, her incident was sudden, mine left me a long time to contemplate the horror of looking at what I thought was near-certain death in 2010, let's see anyone's mind not be focused under that shadow.

So the first thing that changed me from an agnostic to what I am today was base fear, but the other thing was not faith, I have little faith, it was that I was shown by a longtime friend that evidence does exist for belief: and I consider belief an altogether different thing from faith.

I believe in God today, a God who took human form as Jesus, not because the idea tremendously appeals to me (sorry), but because I accept it seems the most likely explanation, and if I carried one thing away from my background in biology it is that facts should not be disregarded just because they are unwelcome.

I think Jesus lived, died, returned and worked miracles as the Bible says, no matter how at odds accepting this has placed me with some people I knew in the days when many of the ideas of science ruled my brain. (Today I recognize a lot of scientists are egotistical, close-minded  jerks but I didn't always get that then.) From this point of acceptance the next logical step is to say if the account of Jesus is true then the things Jesus spoke of about living beyond physical death are true as well.

Frankly it makes for a happier life than my notion of life ending in nothingness. "Be seeing you, Grandma" even if only a delusion, is much more positive than, "life's a b***h, and then you die.<----------"


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Pacman000 on September 27, 2017, 11:44:14 AM
I find these topics disheartening, and a good response can take a lot of time, so forgive me for the short post. I tried writing something up yesterday, but I feel it would retread ground I touched on years ago.

Here's an interesting HuffPost article: Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars? (http://"http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-alan-lurie/is-religion-the-cause-of-_b_1400766.html") I can't agree with every point made, but the author does do a good job arguing that most wars do not have a religious cause.

That organized religion could be corrupted and used to control people, but without some organization religion would have no earthly purpose. You couldn't run a soup kitchen or a charity drive without some sort of structure. Organizations where the human leadership is a group chosen by election or lot might be better than organizations led by a single man or woman.

Christ's death is rather grim, but His resurrection is cool. Since this is a movie site:

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EW1IT-A6HY#)

 


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 27, 2017, 08:16:06 PM
Tonight I went to an event that marked the twentieth year of sobriety for my friend's father, whom I've actually known longer than I've known her, and I couldn't count how many people came up to him and told him what an inspiration in the midst of their own struggles they found his accomplishment in turning his life around, showing it is possible, that it can be done.

Tonight demonstrated to me it is always possible to re-invent yourself at any point, even your lowest, and in so doing you never know who else you might help by example, even beyond yourself or your family.

I must say not only was I proud of the man, I was distinctly humbled, especially when he gave the chip he got to his daughter, put it into her hand and curled her fingers around it, and I saw how she looked at it and him, knowing she has so often told me that growing up she accepted that he would likely not be there this far into the future, and now he is.

To be honest, although this post is not supposed to be about me, there have been times in the past when I had tremendous anger toward this man, misplaced, justified...I don't know, it doesn't matter anymore, but there does come a time when someone is simply not the person he  used to be, and this man has long since achieved that rebirth....he is a good man today as he tried to be even at his lowest, I love him for who he is and I vow I will always give him full credit for his accomplishments, come what may.

There are some moments that realign one's thinking, and tonight was almost spiritual in the most profound sense of the word. It was purifying. I almost feel like crying, which is so weird.

Congratulations to him.

Congratulations and well done, my friend.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 28, 2017, 05:18:11 AM

We've all wondered why it is ghosts are seen wearing clothes, when logically it'd seem ghosts would be naked, right? Old topic. So to take that further, it might seem clothes have spirits and can enjoy an afterlife. Obviously, right? I mean they're always on ghosts, QED they survive death. So to take it one step farther STILL, why do clothes need humans attached to them to be a ghost? Why can't clothes themselves haunt locations? Hmm? Think about it. Remember that pair of jeans you threw away eleventh grade because they got bleach spilled on them? They might be floating around in the ethyr, watching, waiting, making random appearances and scaring onlookers. I bet it's only a matter of time till someone encounters a full non-bodied apparition of an old dead shirt or a single sock that met a tragic end. (And we won’t even talk haunted condoms!!) It's only logical, after all. I truly think this is the next great field of paranormal research just waiting to happen!”


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on September 29, 2017, 02:16:08 PM
Fame is so short. When I was growing up Marge Schott was a name I heard all the time around the city, yet today an intern, twenty-two years old, high GPA, had never heard of her despite growing up locally her entire life, and I thought for a moment about the late Marge Schott, who once was frequently on TV with some really funny car commercials involving her prized Saint Bernards. For those who don't know, she owned several major car dealerships, and she bought the Cincinnati Reds during one of the lowest points in that venerable club's history.

She was a character, sometimes an embarrassment, but definitely an original.

She was also an early victim of the intolerant PC culture strangulating America today.

Mrs. Schott was a loud, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, plain spoken anachronism of a tough old German-America woman who also happened to have a heart of gold, was kind, generous to the point of the absurd, and who looked out for her employees in ways you just don't see anymore. Everything she got she got honestly and frequently after having to fight hard for it. When her husband passed on in the 1950s, Marge Schott was left his dealership, but in the age of Eisenhower Detroit's powers that be did not want a woman running an automobile dealership and tried to force her out. Instead she dug in, spent years fighting it out, and ultimately won, becoming the sole female proprietor of a car dealership in the United States for many years to come. What's more she took one car lot and expanded it into an automotive empire the likes of which the Midwest still has not seen surpassed.

It was and yet was not easy to like Marge Schott. She used language that would've made a sailor blush, defied every No Smoking sign she ever saw, and gave orders with all the grace of a drill sergeant. She also hired minorities long before desegregation, promoted women, and paid everyone the same decent wages whatever their color. People tended to hire on and stay with her for life because she was frequently generous and always fair. She knew the people who worked for her, knew their families, knew if their kids were sick, or if their parents had just died. For forty years there wasn't a church festival or large charity event in town that didn't get financial backing from Schott Buick. One year she paid for every school in the inner city to send its kids to the zoo for a field trip. She'd read the newspapers and if a hard luck story was there, she'd say to her right-hand man, "Can we do anything for them?"

Usually she could and did.

My grandpa knew her and lived not far from her and had his "Marge" stories to tell. He said, "She uses the eff-word so much even I feel shocked." Through him I met her a few times and she was nice to me, as she always was to kids, I sure didn't hear her cuss, and growing up in the time I did she was just sort of always out there, on TV, on the news, in the papers, a household name, just something....that had always been.

At least until about the time I was in high school, then it was like....not just outsiders beyond the city but locals turned on this icon. Yeah, okay, she used language that perhaps was acceptable in her heyday but wasn't anymore. Yes, she still retained WWII-era jargon for our nation's one-time enemies. Maybe she said something downright rude about how much she was paying one of her star players, and flippantly mentioned his ethnicity in words that by the 1990s were inflammatory. Yeah, she did all that, but you know what, she was also an old woman by then, not in the best of health or (some say) the sharpest state of mind, and because of things she'd said mostly in private, she was ridiculed, penalized, ultimately forced to sell the baseball team she'd all-but rescued a decade before.

Then all that, this attack on language, was slightly shocking, that the words of someone speaking freely in private could be used to trash that person in public felt somehow new. Now it goes on so often people are used to it.

So due to her verbal blatherings Marge lost her team and had to sell most of her dealerships, a lot of her longtime employees were put of work, families suffered and things changed, all because people far out of the range of ever hearing it found her language insensitive. Words are air, actions are deeds, which was worse, a wobbly-minded old lady saying "dirty Japs" or crusaders shutting down workplaces?

She died in 2004 and based on the intern's comment may be mostly unknown to the younger generation, and it's a shame she is, because her life could teach a lot of lessons....good lessons and lessons that are cautionary tales. Marge may have been rough around the edges but she wasn't a conformist. May she rest in peace.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on October 01, 2017, 01:05:27 PM
-continued. I have to finish this thought. It should have been a separate thread but I hesitated to start one because it would open a can of worms. by worms, Im referring to the worms in my brain because I obsess sometimes.

Well, Ive touced on fear and guilt, those 2 things seem to be fundamental in most peoples perception of religion. Sometimes I wonder if people actually believe or if theyre afraid not to be believe. A big part of my understanding of religion was trying to be honest with myself and I still dont know if I am, is it even possible? Most of my religious experience has been negative. Mix that with a messed up child hood, some messed up people and bad situations. Voila! Youve got yourself a skewed outlook.

For all the negativity Ive mentioned, there is a lot of good as well. Miracles do happen. Ive had many close calls and have been saved by some "grace". Ive gotten past the F god phase from when I was younger and angrier, mostly. Ive since grown to be more accepting and realized the beauty in life. I think having children has had a hand in this. Children change people.

I think ultimately, religion is about communion. Connecting to something greater. Who can say if its an all knowing conciousness with good intentions. Maybe god is beyond good and evil. Maybe were just hairless monkeys created by an alien race, just to see what happens. Maybe in the end, nothing matters, maybe theres nothing but a black void, but a black void would be something wouldnt it? Even nothing is something.

 So there, Im gonna try and stop there because I cant figure out how to express my views on god. Im somewhere between atheism, agnosticism and some other philosophical mumbo jumbo. I could have said that in the begining but I thought that I could hammer this out in a single post. This thread now returns to a stream of conciousness.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on October 02, 2017, 01:26:07 AM
Whoa Whoa WHOA! Kakihara-I know i was your nemisis with the political thing-but I am gaining more respect for you as far as the religion thing goes. Yeah,this thread,it was supposed to be about one thing and morphed into another. I think That's how religion started.
Christ-who was the Superstar of his day-they didn't have TV or sports or rock stars-they had they're own superstars. But the populartity of Christ has nothing to do with my atheism. The pure science of it does. It's nonsense. It's stupid. But that isn't the REAL reason I HATE rleigion. I hate it because it's usually used for political power,for war,for persecution of folks who don't think like you. Religion is a bigoted concept which can breed hate. f**k god and f**k religion.
A cult morphed into a religion that caused war. Almost all wars-are because of f**king religion. f**k THAT.

PS. Kakihara-I know you think I'm some bleeding heart liberal-far from it. I Just don't trust millionaires who inherit money but no brains,and a twisted history (called the bible) because we can't figure out how s**t works.
People who have nothing grab at what they want to hear. Thats the whole point of politics and religion. Has nothing to do with common sense.
Brother-I think you know what I'm saying.  :drink:


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on October 02, 2017, 01:46:35 AM
What I said above says why I hate organized religion. I din't say why I don't believe in GOD.
I'll tell you now.
I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus or vampires or the f**king Easter Bunny or the f**king spaghetti monster. It's just stupid.

http://youtu.be/65AuuFpNFxY (http://youtu.be/65AuuFpNFxY)

Oh f**king christ on a cross-that song almost made me puke in my own mouth! If I had a choice-I would take Tom T. f**king Hall into a wet damp room and connect a car battery to his nipples and dick and make him f**k a duck.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on October 02, 2017, 06:32:38 AM
RC, you know I love you, but I could not disagree more.
Wars are fought for resources, wealth, land, and pride.  Then people wrap those things up in the language of faith to feel better about it.
There are some purely religious wars, but they are not as common as most people think.

My Dad spent sixty years as a minister.  He performed over a thousand weddings and twelve hundred funerals; he visited people in the hospital every week, he counseled troubled teens, saved marriages in crisis, and challenged people to be better, kinder, and more loving.
Far more "religious" people do things like that than go out and start wars or fan the flames of hatred.  It's just that folks like my Dad never make the news.
My faith makes me a better, kinder, and more decent person.  That is not why I believe, though.  I simply believe because after years of research and reading, I have come to believe the stories in the Gospel about Jesus are true.
If they are true, then He was the Son of God.
If that is who He was, then I believe in Him.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: RCMerchant on October 02, 2017, 09:28:30 AM
Indy-it sounds like your Dad was a kind man.
I won't EVER knock a man's religious beliefs. My brother Mike is very religious-and he also has a kind heart. When I was a little kid I lived for a short time in a Catholic orphanage and Sister Nina was the sweetest lady I ever met. She would wake me up at nite when all the other kids were sleeping and let me watch NIGHT GALLERY in her room-because she knew I liked scary movies (I was 7).
Does that change my opinion of religion. Not at all.
I may argue politics-but I won't touch religion. I was stating what I believe-and would never push it onto others.
It's not the basic philosophy of religion I object to. It's the science of it- which I just can't wrap my head around-and the misuse of it by power hungry despots and liars that twist it into something evil.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 02, 2017, 12:03:04 PM
the misuse of it by power hungry despots and liars that twist it into something evil.

That bothers me too, RC. When I was a child there was this group of vandals that called itself the God Squad, and their deal was they'd go into libraries wearing masks and destroy books they felt would have offended Jesus. What they did disturbed me for years. I think the worst enemy of Christianity is not the non-believer, it is the believing hypocrite who finds it easier to extol Jesus'  message than live up to it.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on October 02, 2017, 01:09:43 PM
the misuse of it by power hungry despots and liars that twist it into something evil.

That bothers me too, RC. When I was a child there was this group of vandals that called itself the God Squad, and their deal was they'd go into libraries wearing masks and destroy books they felt would have offended Jesus. What they did disturbed me for years. I think the worst enemy of Christianity is not the non-believer, it is the believing hypocrite who finds it easier to extol Jesus'  message than live up to it.

Aah, the difference between the rightous and the self rightous.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on October 02, 2017, 05:39:23 PM
RC - Did you really say something nice about me? I am blushing. Ha! Really, I think we actually agree on alot of things we just approach it from different angles. So you know, I dont think of you as a bleeding heart liberal, I think your a passionate person. There are a lot of damn people that go through life like robots, never feeling, never thinking or even having there own opinions . You have opinions, and I like and respect that.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 03, 2017, 07:37:53 AM

My dog thinks she knows best.

Child-rearing? She’s the household expert, sometimes looking at me reproachfully when critiquing my parenting skills, sometimes correcting my choices via a sort of passive resistance that takes the form of lying down in my path when I am, say, attempting to remove a roundly protesting six-year-old intent on scaling a bookshelf like King Kong up the Empire State Building. A disciple of Gandhi could not do non-violent protest any better than my dog.

At other times she does her bit to save my offspring from a hideous fate that might await should the vegetables on a plate be consumed instead of handed down to her under the table in a clandestine manner reminiscent of a couple of spies sneaking top secret plans across Nazi-occupied France circa 1942.

She also firmly believes deer, despite their guise of docility, are a menace to world security, and tirelessly chases them off, lest their nefarious plots come to fruition.

The doorbell? All I can assume is it is some mad scientist’s subliminal weapon rigged to drive us all mad should its dulcimer tones sound out uncanceled by her vocal reply. Again, she knows best.

She also tirelessly takes one for the team by leaping into the pool before we can get in and offering herself up as a sacrifice to any invisible pool sharks that might be swimming within. God knows how she might save our lives that way one day, since pool shark attacks are on the rise.

She also knows that only by assuring that we get adequate exercise can we lead healthy lives. To this end she chooses random moments, night and day, to come set one of her toys in our laps, whatever we’re wearing, whatever we’re doing, insisting with gym teacher-like determination that we cease our lounging and get outside for a round (or twenty) of throw and chase.

But I think her deepest sagacity lies in her conviction, one I share, that schoolwork should be kept at school and that homework is a cruel and unusual affliction, and therefore she ate some last night, bringing to life the schoolroom’s eldest cliché.

You have to respect a four-legged friend who’d chew on a math paper for you, long division being poisonous.

So, yes, my dog knows best.




Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 04, 2017, 07:21:58 AM
“What are you worried about?”

That’s a perfectly reasonable and possibly constructive question to ask yourself, or to ask anyone. I think if properly considered it can lead you places, take you down a path of discovery.

Note I said “worry” and did not say “fear”.

Fear and worry are different animals, yin and yang, they have different masters, God versus the devil, let’s metaphorically dub it, one has a purpose, the other grants benefit only by its effect, not its presence, like a shadow under a cloud. A shadow exists yet is not a thing in its own right.

Worry is payment on a debt you might never even owe. Yes, that’s what worry is, it is slow torture which may push us to some useful undertaking, but mostly….it’s a negative. Is all fear negative? I don’t think it is. Sometimes fear makes perfect sense.

Fear limits us, true, but fear also saves us, proving yet again that instinct has its place alongside logic, neither displacing the other, each giving testimony. I am convinced without fear our species, probably all species, would not exist; deprived that inner spark that drives us on to keep going in the face of threats always present in a hostile universe we would never have made it.

But fear also holds us back.

In fact that used to be one answer, perhaps not stated as such but there, when I used to ask this man I knew what motivated him to continue doing this job that was so dangerous he was told when he signed on, “There is a one in three chance you will not live to thirty.” (Gladly he is still alive.)

He had other reasons, I know, genuine love of country, being there for his brothers in arms, but one thing he said was, “Past fear it feels wonderful.” Then he asked me if I’d ever been there, and I don’t….think I have.

He said, “It is the best feeling there is. I couldn’t even start to describe it. You feel completely alive.”

I’ve always remembered that and frequently thought about it. So to lose fear is to be….liberated?

I remembered his words when later I encountered a poem that is said to encapsulate the soul of Bushido:

To desire nothing
To fear nothing
Is to be free.


Yet who is there that has no fear? The insane?  The deluded?

In high school, in the midst of the darkest point in my life up to that time, waiting on news of a loved-one, I came upon a book someone had left on a bench in a hospital waiting area, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, by Pope John Paul II. FEAR NOT, the one-time Cardinal of Krakow wrote. He said it was the core of the message of not only his Papacy, but his entire life.

Fear not.

Even at sixteen I thought that had to be the most hollow advice I ever encountered. Telling someone not to be afraid was setting him up to fail and feel guilty, or it was pointing him in a direction that would likely be harmful.

Seriously? Fear not? Was fear then some vestigial remnant of our primitive state, the appendix of emotions? It had no utility? His god did not place it within his creation for a purpose? Wasn’t the former Karol Wojtyla ever afraid, if not for himself then for others, when brutal Nazis occupied his home town, and later the smothering stranglehold of Stalinist Communism sought to bleach all color from the human spirit? Seriously?

To this day the idea of meeting someone who has no innate fear scares me more than most other things I can think of. In fact I have met a fair cross-section of humankind, the loathsome, the craven, the courageous, the stupidly brave, yet I don’t think I have ever known anyone who did not in some way give fear at least a modicum of control over his or her life.

I know I certainly have.

It’s true my greatest terrors don’t focus on me anymore, haven’t in nine years, but that isn’t liberating, it’s enslaving. It increased fear, not decreased it. Yeah, it rendered me less self-focused but it made me….more bonded, less free, more vulnerable, and being aware of that I do sometimes wonder what it might be like to truly disdain all worry, all concern, the entirety of the instinctive voice of warning.

The answer is, it would be insanity.

In sensible moderation fear is our friend; fear keeps us alive. Allowed free rein fear overruns us, holds us back, torments and even tortures us. (Like my poor benighted godson.) So once again doesn’t our response to fear speak of finding a middle ground, that path the wise throughout time counseled was best?

Is fear base, and is logic evolved? I honestly do not know, but I can say this, let one or the other have too much hold and you or someone near you will suffer for it.

In the summer of 2000 I just maybe came the closet I ever have to honestly not caring whether I lived or died, and I was downtown one day when this clearly unhinged street man came up to a group of we suburbanites who were waiting on a bus, ranting about finally catching this “bird-beast” he’d been trying to capture all season, a being with the head of a snake, fangs, venom, and the body of a scaly bird, with “big feet like shovels.”

This person was obviously out of his mind yet his total sincerity, his glee at his achievement drew me despite knowing he was probably dangerous in his depravity, but I took him up on his offer to show me his captive, this scaly “bird-beast” and he was overjoyed to have an audience.

I walked behind him as he trotted ahead and back to me over and over, reminding me of a dog racing onward and returning on a hike, or a child tugging you out of the house to see his latest backyard mud sculpture. The man’s eyes were yellowed, grotesque, his skin this dingy dusty yellow above its deeper brown. His homelessness rendered him dirty, his smell like garbage and old clothes, but his buoyant delight in having someone see his prize was also obvious and my curiosity grew since surely something existed to generate the tale. So even as my every nerve ending shrilly screamed out danger, danger, danger, I went with him past the edge of the city into the bottoms, as it was called, this no-man’s land between the expressway and the river, broad daylight not making it much safer to trod onto the stretch of never-developed ground once, in the 1800s, enjoying the infamy of having the highest murder-rate per capita anywhere in America. (It was called Bucktown, look it up if you want to hear lurid stories of drunken steamboatmen and runaway slaves knifing one another.) I trailed him and he gave every indication of believing that what he was saying was true: he had captured some mythical monster.

He led me to this muddy space beneath an overpass a hundred or so feet above, cars heedlessly whizzing by, where a camp had been set up, a shopping cart fixed above a burned out fire pit, trash-strewn as far as the eye could see, and he trotted around pointing to what he said were tracks.

“You see! You see them?” he cried out, jabbing a finger downward.

I saw nothing.

After a moment he claimed, disappointment keen, that his bird-beast had escaped, it had gotten away. Then his eyes got angry and he threw out a man’s name, telling me this person had let his creature go…. He was going to kill him for it.

I knew from the start here would be nothing to see, no missing link, no being from mythology, but I went anyway. Why, I wonder? Was I pushing past fear? In my despair was I seeking harm, looking for death to join me with someone else who’d recently departed from life?  In the end I was fine, I walked away and left the man there, so involved in semi-coherently ranting to himself he may have forgotten I was ever present. But that is probably a case in point of how disregarding fear is unwise, disproving FEAR NOT as all-purpose good advice.

All I know is sometimes in my life I have been deeply afraid, and in every case I have to say that fear was warranted. That night on the Appalachian Trail was one time that springs to mind, and an occasion when a man and I were almost certainly in the worst danger we could be in, death absolutely real and seemingly imminent, was another. (When the danger miraculously passed the feeling of euphoria was like little else I have experienced; it was insane. It also, oddly, bonded us.)

So is that the key? Is…well-placed fear and ONLY well-placed fear the answer to it all?

In one of his beloved paradoxes the English writer G.K. Chesterton reminded us a century ago that: “It is only when we are afraid that we can be brave.”

Theodore Roosevelt counseled all men to: “Master fear lest it master you.”

Words of wisdom exceeding the trite encouragement of the former Pope, who seemed to be saying it is never permissible to be afraid. Chesterton telling us to use fear as a springboard to something nobler, and Roosevelt’s  maxim to never let fear control you are much more practical pieces of advice, and I think they got it right where JPII got it wrong.

But as for worry, that topic I addressed up above, well, is worry ever warranted, except as a motivator? What worries you? What are you worried about? What keeps you in a cage? Imagine, just imagine, not having anything to worry about.

Now unlike losing all fear, losing worry…that honestly would be the sweetest liberation.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 05, 2017, 11:10:52 AM
Ever had the experience of going somewhere and for no apparent reason, no visible threat, no known history of maliciousness there, feeling it was….bad, as in tainted, even threatening?

I suspect everyone has, and know I certainly have, and I think it’s wise in those times to listen to what we’re feeling. Not necessarily run scared, but….listen. Just listen. Then think about it.

I seem to have felt that association of unseen malice in connection with woods more than in man-made places, and if you ever have you know just what I’m talking about. Sometimes you go into a woods and it feels welcoming, happy, vibrant, you’re glad to be there, all is well, the energy is just glorious. Mostly that’s lacking, mostly woods are just woods, some nice trees, some dead ones, the occasional crossing of paths with wildlife, but it’s just…forest. And then there are those rarer but more memorable instances where you go into a seemingly ordinary stretch of wilderness, maybe one near civilization, maybe not, and it feels….wrong. It feels threatening. It can be hard to breathe right. Paranoia sets in because unease is so heightened. You look around…just trees, just nature, sunny sky above, no one in sight, no dangerous predators, yet…you want to get out fast.

Know what I mean?

Let me spell it out: some places are scary.

I think the hubris of our age is thinking we know best, that “new” is king, that the latest theory automatically displaces all older ones. This is frankly a stupid idea bolstered by a prevailing arrogance which holds that knowledge will always be furthered to the point that a contemporary hypothesis displaces all precedent, that tradition and inherited wisdom arose out of ignorance and are therefore unworthy. How sad. If we can reach the point of giving our forebears the respect of admitting that in some cases they, who lived more closely with the natural world, just perhaps knew a thing or two that we don’t, then we have to consider that nearly every culture that has ever been, even the Japanese today, the most technological people on this planet, spoke or speak of spirits, kami, ghosts, demons, fairies, wendago, manitou, beings from what we might in our vocabulary term other dimensions. They spoke of cursed places, of bad luck associated with locations. How did these notions arise, out of silly ignorance, or just perhaps for good reason?

The Bible certainly speaks in terms not far from this, as does the Tao Te Ching, the Koran, the Talmud, and the oral “mythos” of probably every tribe I ever heard of. Yet now we disregard what virtually the entirety of our species embraced as true, and think we know more than they.

Medieval Christians took it all so seriously they’d set up crucifixes at crossroads, and before them the ancient Romans would go a step farther and build shrines at certain sites, locales unconnected with any event in history that would justify them being there, but it was done to placate “badness” for the Romans felt it too, they felt certain spots just exuded detectible menace.

So why do we, even when we feel such places exist, forests that make us uneasy, buildings, waterways, pretend reality is otherwise? Why does our instinctive unease around basements and places of tragedy make us shrug those feelings away, saying there is no such thing as “bad energy”? Science sure may not agree with that dismissal, and we are learning more and more that alternate timelines, alternate realities, an infinite pantheon of universes might not only be theoretically probable, they almost certainly are the basis of reality itself. How do we know passageways between dimensions do not sometimes intersect here on our world? If elsewhere, why not here as well? Why do we resist the testimony of a million years of instinct when instinct screams at us? Why is it so far-fetched to think that in a universe where “all is energy” a negative event can’t stain the energy of a setting in ways that mar it for a long time thereafter?

How do we explain some peculiar cases of people vanishing “without a trace”?

I know that the times I have walked on the isolated burrens in western Ireland, a place where people do quite literally seem to disappear off the face of the planet, I have always felt something there, not cruel, not frightening, but powerful all the same. It’s not a “bad place” but it is someplace to go someday if you have never experienced for yourself the feeling I’m talking about. It is like timelines meet and vibrate there in the thin soil, in the rocks beneath, out toward the ocean, into the sky. Families once lived there and now they are gone, they died off, the emigrated, the tragedy of their involuntary displacement, the uprooting of 5,000 years of continuous occupation, all that took an already mystical landscape and tilted it into melancholy, leaving the burrens a desolate, history-haunted place unlike any I have ever felt in my life. Serpent Mound, Fort Ancient, Stonehenge, Glastonbury? Yes, cool places, glad I visited, but I felt nothing there, not like the burrens, not like some stretches of plain old woods I’ve visited.

I tell you, there truly are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy, and sometimes we feel them.

Know what I mean?


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: AoTFan on October 05, 2017, 10:38:46 PM
WARNING: Bitterness.

I absolutely f**king hated riding the bus in Junior/High school.  It was always same s**t everyday, I'd get on our overly crowded bus and NO ONE wanted to sit with me.  (Granted, this was partly because most of the seats already had two people in them, and, being a big guy I took up some room.)  It quite fun to be sitting with only one butt cheek on the seat, holding on every time the bus made a turn.  Seat concerns were only half the problem.  I had to deal with an endless parade of a***oles and bullies, each day trying to pull something to make my life miserable.  

I mean, I endured the usual insults, people not wanting to sit with me (I quickly learned to stop being polite and asking people to scoot over and just telling them), but also people snatching my stuff (like whatever book I was reading), or painfully flicking my ear.  At one point one of my chief tormentors had apparently pushed the bus driver too far and she sprung into action... making him sit in the front for two weeks.  

So, in other words, you misbehave, you get a permanent seat.  F**k me, why couldn't I have gotten that "punishment"?

Traditionally, usually the further in the back bus I went, the worse the trouble got. I remember one time I was walking slowly to the back, looking for a seat, and there was a large bag right there on walkway of the bus.  I tried to step over it, but it was rather long and I ended up putting a foot or two on it.  The owner, a guy I'd known since sixth grade said, "Hey, don't step on my f**king bookbag!"

And I replied, "Well, get your f**king out of the walkway!"  

Everyone was all, "Ooohhh... he's being a smartass!"

Seriously?  I mean, I had a place where I kept my books too, it was a backpack.  Before sitting down, I do something stupid like, oh, dunno, but it on my lap.  But John was one of those people who were "too cool" for that kind of thing I suppose.  He was one of those kids that was always bigger than everyone else (mainly because he'd flunked a couple years in elementary school) and was chewing tobacco by six grade. (Course, since that's probably the equivalent of around tenth grade for normal people, maybe it's not so shocking.)

Luckily late in tenth grade we moved, and I got on a newer, less crowded bus route.  


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 06, 2017, 07:24:20 AM
And to think as a kid going to a school with no bus service I romanticized what riding a bus would be like.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on October 06, 2017, 03:14:33 PM
Its funny, all my life I seem to have been rebelling against conformity. Even before I knew or understood what it was.

Sometimes this has cost me heavily, when I just couldn't fit into other peoples social groups or someone found me just too strange. Its resulted in various types of bullying. Pretty much every time I've encountered this my response has been to make myself even stranger and try to fit in less. I've ended up in a job that no one expected me to be in where conformity is almost mandatory and yet I still manage to make my own way through it not quite fitting in. I know a lot of family members didn't think I'd last in the RAF because they thought I didn't have enough self discipline for that.

Yeah, try going out running for four hours five days a week regardless of what the weather is like and an additional two hours in the evening. Come back after doing that for six years without a single day off ill (including when I had a full on bout of flu and was in a lot of pain) and talk to me then about self discipline.

As part of this I always seem to automatically support the underdog in an arguement, even if the position isn't one that I agree with (actually, I find that part of it occasionally annoying)

I think that part of my trouble though is that if I am told I can't do something I will move heaven and earth to prove them wrong. If it is something I know I can I rarely feel the need or want to do it.

So I go my own way rebelling with no idea what I am rebelling for or against (rebel without a clue?) even when I don't particularly want to be and when I have nothing to gain from it and when it would make my life easier not to. Apparantly this comes down to my OCD. Should that make it easier to deal with having something else to blame for it? Doesn't seem to make any difference either way to me. The OCD also means that when I make my mind up on something it is very difficult to get me to change it (although it is possible, you just have to know the right way to talk to me).

At work no one understands that I don't want to get promoted. I have more than enough money to live on (sure more would be better but I am sure everyone feels that way), I'd have to take on a lot more responsibility for not a lot extra cash so I don't really see the point. From the next rank up a lot of people have to put in extra hours at work, which they don't get paid for (or even thanked for, its just expected) and that bites into their family time. Thats not something I am willing to lose out on just for money.

Oh well Kristi wants to watch Hocus Pocus so I guess I'll go sit with her. In ten minutes she'll have falled asleep on me and I'll be stuck watching it alone lol.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 08, 2017, 01:58:02 PM


Unusual day, home by myself. Children with my parents, husband and cousin at a football game (the type where the ball is shaped like Stewie's head) so it's just me and the dog, listening to the light rain, mellowing out, barefoot even.

Strange weather last night. Fall-like day, pretty, oddly calm evening, then about eleven o' clock I heard thunder and thought is that....? And minutes later this wall of wind (gusting to sixty in some places) and rain hit like Mjolnir, strong, but five minutes later it was done. Did damage while it was on us, broke a window, knocked over a decrepit tree, branches thrown every direction, like a bomb, the quiet shattered, the Midwest saying "think you're safe just because it's autumn, huh?" yet as soon as it passed the night was calm again.

I didn't go anywhere usual today, not to church with my daughter, not over with everyone to hang out with their paternal grandparents, not to the park with the kids, not the football game, it's like a gift of isolation, which can be nice in moderation.

But then I found out my godson (yes, the one with issues) is now further infused with fear because he had a serious choking incident this morning when a chicken nugget "went down the wrong way." If there was one kid on the planet who did not need more trauma, I'll tell you what, but glad to hear he is fine.

As for my family, I should have a few more hours, maybe two, two and a half, and I can't figure out how to spend it. Should I try to create a Bob Ross painting? Read? Get crazy and dance in my underwear and drink root beer straight from the bottle?

Truly the house is mine, ah-hahaha!



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on October 08, 2017, 05:17:55 PM
Day 3 with no coffee. Let me tell ya, life cuts like a dull meat-cleaver without caffiene. I predict long painful days ahead as I go through withdrawlas. After 2 or 3 years, I finally went to the dentist and had my teeth cleaned. After working the night shift for a few years, I had developed a coffee habit, which made my teeth less than pearly. Coffee tastes like dirt water but it works. Now its time for a cleaning. I hate going to the dentist. Its torture. All of the Scraping and poking around with various sharp metal tools. Oh, and the power tools. Damn those power tools. Whizzing and whining.

Theres also the intimate part of it. Its very much like intercourse, maybe in some sense, it is. As uncomfortable and awkward as the situation is, there is also a feeling of euphoria. Pain causes the body to release endorphines, much like sex.

Its time. After arriving and giving my consent, Im led to a small room and told to lie down. As I lay waiting, I become more anxious. The waiting gives my mind time to think about all of the horrible things that I dont like about going to the dentist, and about the movie Final Destination. That could really happen, ya know? The sound of busy busy people walking by as I lay there. waiting. Forever. Waiting for my turn. Then she walks in to my life. A very attractive woman, with sharp metal instruments ready to stab me in my gums.

She coldly snaps on some latex gloves and asks me how Im doing, without even looking at me. I assure her that Im doing just fine with a false confidence. Now that shes laid out all of her torture devices in a neat and orderly fashion, she spins around and looks directly at my mouth. Shes a pro and knows what she wants. Like a Pez dispenser, I automatically open my mouth, giving her the authority to violate my personal space, and she does.

While I lay there being eviscerated with some kind of metal hook thingy, something stirs inside of me. Is it the endorphines? She has beautiful brown eyes. We are breathing each others air.

Im wide open, vulnerable, someone is on top of me, latex gloved fingers in my mouth, looking deep down inside. Can she see my soul? I have no choice but to be docile and take it. Theres something pressing on my shoulder. Its warm. Its soft. Is it an elbow or is it a breast? perhaps, Ill never know.

Then, its over. The small talk of free toothbrushes and flossing doesnt ease the unspoken feeling or the intimate moment that we shared. Its time to part ways and pretend nothing ever happened. The rawness of my gums and the chemical taste in my mouth. All so vivid.

 

 


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 09, 2017, 03:08:11 PM
Today in adventures in nature versus nurture, my formative years, or the miracle of how I turned out so relatively normal.

Subtitled: “Cath, honey, quit crying, you want Ellie to hear?”

It’s probably not insignificant that even a film-maker as bold as Ingmar Bergman waited until the end of his long career to write The Best Intentions, a screenplay about the complex relationship between his parents. Bergman commented that it is almost as if a taboo exists regarding the telling of the story of one’s parents in a way that depicts them as people, which they were long before they took on the role with which you cannot help but identify them.

If you’ve ever seen The Best Intentions, you appreciate both Bergman’s intrusive candor and the fact his troubled parents gave him ample material upon which to draw for the creation of his courage-driven work. Happy families may be, as Tolstoy said, all alike, but except for The Brady Bunch they’re also a bit boring. It’s in conflict that the meat of drama lies.

Was there conflict when I was growing up? Surprisingly little, which made how things turned out all the more crazy when I tried to piece it together, back before I knew a happy ending lay ahead.

I sometimes think my own parents would give Bergman’s mother and father a run for their money when it comes to having an interesting relationship. Some highlights… My dad got almost fatally poisoned, he barely talked to his father, my mother had an episode of identity theft that left her broke, blahblahblah, dinner with Andrew Lloyd Webber at a Democrat fundraiser, church on Sundays, going with my mom to evening art classes, coaching basketball, various March Madnesses, hey, our kid’s on the national honor roll, aren’t we great? Hey, I love you, I’m leaving, goodbye.

They married young, split up, went other directions, got back together to the point I thought they’d tie the knot again yet they didn’t, they drifted apart, got back together, drifted and got back together, and despite seeming happy, nothing came of it. One re-married, one did not, and eventually they married each other a second time, which is ongoing at the present (and I sincerely hope the future). They seem happier than ever, and I long-ago quit analyzing them and now just roll with it: age quod agis, as the Romans said.

Maybe it’s weirder still when I say I am not sure my mother, despite being the one to divorce my father, has had anyone else in her life. Ever. Although she’s not a churchy type on the surface (she is brilliantly artistic and works at a gallery among nothing but gay men who adore her) she is in her own way ardently religious, prays rosaries nightly to keep me out of Hell, a place she fears I am going, and has said many times that though she gave my father a civil divorce as a favor so he could be free to re-marry if he so desired, she inextricably regarded herself as canonically wed to him, so if she ever found another person, it would be an adulterous relationship.

Yup, that’s what she said. Is your head spinning yet?

In my heart of hearts I think maybe she’s part alien, or possibly some ancient Irish spirit being. I know the concept of time certainly mystifies her. Rarely growing up did I get to see the first part of any movie, because she always got us there late. She took me to a five-year re-showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1986, and I was in my teens before I realized the entire Amazon sequence happened, because when we got there it was already up to where Marian is drinking the man under the table in Asia. I also had no idea how Geppeddo got Pinocchio since we were late for that too. Even today if I hadn’t shown her how to set her DVR, she’d seldom get to watch any TV show she likes, simply because she can’t seem to recall when it’s showing.

“Oh, is that on tonight?”

“Yes, Mom, same time every week.”

“Was that 8:00? I thought it was on later…”

“Nope, prime-time since 2013.”

That’s my mom, easy on the eyes, draining on the patience, and only fifty-seven, so it’s not senility in case you wondered.

To begin at the beginning of this complex ball of twine, my parents met under crazy circumstances, completely by chance, a crossing of paths so improbable it’d actually be the part in the movie that’d most strain credulity. As I’ve written before, my father spoke many times of the tunnel vision he experienced when he first saw my mother, how his heart seemed to slow or stop, then sped up rapidly. He said love at first sight absolutely is a real thing, he felt it. Nothing deterred his feelings for this girl he eventually married, not college, not his parents, not his future plans, not the entirely acceptable girl back home with whom his mother and sister were desperately trying to get him engaged.

My mother was then and to this day remains, for my father, The One.

So I exist today because of all that, having been born ten months and one week after they got married half a year after first encountering one another in the summer of 1977, not long before Elvis’ fatal bathroom visit.

Not new information there, BMDO-ers, but hang on, I’m going someplace.

Maybe I should note that my mother was and is beautiful and fey and somehow innocent, and my father is to say the least a smart man. In fact you might say intelligence is what my father’s life has been about.

Although it’s not something you easily notice about your parent, my father is also not at all a bad-looking fellow, and women have tended to like him, he had some noteworthy girlfriends before running into my mother, and my cousin used to torture me with stories she gleaned from my aunt. (So many virgins….in the ‘70s, no less.) He also eventually had other relationships after my mother divorced him in the mid-1990s and before his second marriage (and the resultant cruelty with which he ended that), but my mother is not only his great love, it’s as if she is a drug he can’t seem to cut out of his life, he’ll forgive her for anything, and she has sometimes given him much to forgive.

Oh, not the usual things, I don’t believe either she or he ever cheated on the other, something some people doubt when I tell them, and granted I am not, of course, able to know that with certainty, but I would say I’d be willing to bet my life on it. My father was often gone from home for long stretches of time when I was a child (which needless to say did not make life any easier on my barely post-adolescent mother) but years in the future he told me he wanted me to know he was never unfaithful, then or anytime, and I take him at his word there. He’s too awe-struck by her. His all-encompassing feeling for her is indefinable.

No, the things my father forgave my mother for were actually larger than dalliances, it was more like abandonments (plural), and while he was hurt when she departed that first and most egregious time, he didn’t hate her for it, doing better in that regard than I did, since I got angry with her when she left and stayed angry for years, barely speaking to her, not speaking well of her, resentful even as I joked the life I lived would never have been possible had she stayed in America. It could be pointed out she stuck it out as long as she probably could, 1978 to 1995, missing her family and homeland, that she got married when she was seventeen and in getting married she left all that, her culture, no less, and that she doubtlessly did her best for seventeen more years to fit in and thrive. She had me at eighteen, lost two other children by her mid-twenties, and under the circumstances she didn’t have a chance to live her own life in ways that gave her much room for expression. She had to be a mother before she was ever a fully-formed person in a psychological sense, and that had to be rough.

But I didn’t know that. Maybe I was a self-focused kid, but I’d sure thought we were all happy, and mostly I think we were. Happy enough…? I guess not. So when the person you loved the most, as I did her, who’d always been there and you assumed likely always would, goes away one night with little to no preamble, just…goes, it is like a complete inversion of your world, and it registered as betrayal.

Maybe at the time my father dealt with guilt issues in marrying my mother when she was so young but he didn’t hate her and lived for years clearly just wanting her back. He let me be mad at her but he also didn’t let me go too far into trashing her memory. When I refused to see her or talk to her no matter how often she tried he said that was my business, but he also said I should do those things and that one day I would be sorry if I didn’t.

My father lost his mother and his wife in the same season, yet he held himself together and kept life going for me, and above all others he honestly has been the one person I’ve always been able to count on, even if for the entire month of May 1995 he did make me stay home except for going to school…taking away my car, my phone, my music, my TV, my friends and my eating disorder. (I mean he shoulda left me my eating disorder, jeesh, c’mon.)

My father loved my mother so much, in fact, that in some sort of carefully considered and minutely orchestrated late-life crisis two years ago he divorced his blameless and very nice (much younger, less than a decade older than me) second wife of seven years, just for the chance, the mere chance, he could get back with my mother before he got any older, knowing she’d never consider anything if he was married to someone else. The fact he was generous to his second wife in parting and the fact his gambit worked, he did re-marry my mother, somehow does not quite clear the taste from my mouth of what he did. He blindsided a woman who’d done no wrong, who had a science-nerd teenage son I actually related to, and told her she’d done nothing, just informed her he was tired of what they had and he wanted to reconnect with his first wife whom, unlike her, he loved, so…take what you want, dear, take everything we shared, dear, drain the bank account if you want, dear, it’s all yours, dear, I think the best of you, dear, good luck, I’m done, bye.

Dear.

That’s….hard. Imagine being his second wife and hearing that, hearing you’re being thrown overboard out of boredom so your spouse can pursue a dream of regaining the woman who was in his life before you. My heart goes out to her. My God. Who does that, you know? Well, my dad, this man I admire and love, that’s who. He even asked for my help in pulling off his blindside, giving me some account information and asking me to go down a list and do things and…

….I cooperated.

Today is his birthday, he is sixty-one, and it broke my spirit a little that his heartlessly-discarded second wife actually sent him a card. Jesus, I miss her, and I still feel rotten.

So I think there is the raw material for a screenplay in my parents’ lives. I wouldn’t write it but someone could. I think any outsider would get it wrong, however, by seeing amoral selfishness where it was not always there, would miss desperation, love, pathetic clinging to the bonds of duty until sanity itself frayed, and above all they’d miss love conquering even good sense. And that’s what I had to grow up with, all that. Kind of funny, no wonder I turned out so….interesting.

It’d be a crazy film.

It’s been a crazy life.

Top that, Bergman.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on October 09, 2017, 06:41:47 PM
And THAT, folks, is why I call my friend ER "the most interesting woman in the world!"


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 10, 2017, 07:02:01 PM
I was thinking of the topics about which I have written.

I've covered the annoyance of having a birthday on Christmas Eve, my childhood, my teen years, my school years, my parents, my children, my godson, my godson's family, my thoughts on guns, my parents, the time my cousin and I summoned James Joyce's ghost on a Ouija board, where I was when I heard River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain, and Princess Diana died, my motivations for following that crazy homeless dude to see a "bird beast", the origins of my sex life (in intricate detail), Magic the Gathering, movies, my parents, the time I almost got abducted by a fake Ozzy Osbourne, why horses are terrifying, my possessed Teddy Ruxpin, an exploding Pope, how much childbirth hurts, the Holy Roman Empire, the funeral we had for a bottle of New Coke, my friendship with a nonagenarian nun, and why the prizes in Cracker Jacks are so disappointing.

I've touched on why I can't stomach meat, about what a great freaking shot I am, about my gay cousin who lives with us, about being trapped on a houseboat all night in my teens with my gay cousin's mother and her partying friends, the time I moved into a facsimile of Animal House, complete with Skins parties, a bee in some rosary rattler's hair at Mass, my parents, my dog Charlotte Sometimes, what it was like to grow up "the poor cousin" around my rich family members, why starvation seems empowering, tennis, the paranormal, Paranorman, my unsuccessful efforts to persuade my best friend not to have an abortion, cemeteries, interns, Indian food, my husband's pre-marital promiscuity, why being sent to Ireland every summer could have been my excuse for developing a drinking problem, and my hand-stabbing cousin.

I've told y'all about the Appalachian Trail, going pregnant to a holy roller funeral, carnally cohabiting while in high school---and for the record having no regrets at all----, the time I ate Frank Sinatra's food, the time I was nearly in Rainman, the time was nearly in Airborne, the time I rode an elevator with George Clooney's dad (back when he was the most famous of the three famous Clooneys), the tutor who groped me, the psycho-nerd who kissed me, the prep who lied about having intimate knowledge of me, or the jerk who bashed my head into a wall to "get your attention" he said, when I could not stop laughing at my Confirmation and held up an Archbishop, why the presence of wheat does not improve the flavor of peanut butter cookies, the disturbing afternoon in which Grandpa and I witnessed an umpire's death, growing up near a major amusement park, my specious arguments for God's non-existence giving way to my case for an uncreated creator, my parents, my apparent unintentional tendency to later be friends with the younger sisters of men I've slept with, the single time I got puking drunk, my love affair with italics, and why there are worse things in life than being cheated on.

I've been forthright about how much I love rainy weather, how I like to stack stones and leave them in the woods, how I used to leave time capsule messages behind at my high school for future students to discover, why I laughed til my head hurt the first time I heard Borat sing "Throw the Jew Down the Well", how much I envy the simple, how ice cream headaches can make you wish for death, my parents, the shame of holding a bag with condoms in it while talking to your professor, the murderous agony of having your agent steal your stories, the awkwardness of dropping a plastic grape down the front of your dress, why I detest bachelor parties, how I've composed a diary that runs to around 6,000 pages so far, why I will one day walk the length of the Hadrian's Wall Trail, why I inherited my house, and the time I was surrounded by coyotes while walking home one night.

So in short, gang, I think....the well of my life experiences may have run dry.

Oh, wait, you don't know about the time I tied my hair in knots when I was four. Gosh, and here I thought I'd run out of anecdotes!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on October 10, 2017, 09:37:49 PM
You, my friend, never run out of stories!!!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: AoTFan on October 10, 2017, 11:27:27 PM
Imaginary conversation with a friend.

Friend (who's surfing the internet): I tell you, it's so confusing these days.  All this information, all these pictures and videos and stories you hear, it's hard to know what's real and what's not.  Hard to separate fact from fiction, and I frankly find it rather annoying.

Me: Well, it can be that way sometimes, but that's why you gotta get your information from multiple sources, do some research, and hopefully you'll find out with some degree of accuracy what news stories are true and which aren't.

Friend: News stories?  I'm talking about celebrity nude pics!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 11, 2017, 03:50:25 PM
My cousin, his friend the weekend rent-boy, and I went to a lecture about the supposed paranormal the other evening, given by a group of self-dubbed ghost hunters, and it wasn’t bad if you could lay aside a knee-jerk impulse to roll your eyes at how don’t-laugh serious the presenters were. They played an EVP of a gargley voice going, “Leave or I will hurt you” (or maybe it said “Beaver, Wally heard you”) and showed a nice PPP about shadows and orbs and the like, put up some shots of genuinely spooky wouldn’t-go-there-sober places like a prison built atop an Indian burial ground, a middle school built atop an Indian burial ground, and an Indian burial ground built atop an Indian burial ground, but they said they said one indication of whether a group you see on TV is genuine is the frequency with which they claim to encounter demons, which the speaker said are actually uncommon compared to genuine ghosts.

Hmm, thought my mother’s daughter, yet Jesus always seemed to run into demons a bunch. Go figger, as the love of my life would once have remarked.

Demons got me thinking of my mother in law and the Keebler Elves, but also of John Milton. Specifically, ever read Paradise Lost and start thinking Lucifer had it together, and then you wonder why someone so brightly eloquent couldn’t grasp that God would've known an infinite number of years before he began his revolt everything Lucifer was gonna do in that revolt? Or that God, again, being GOD, wouldn’t weave Lucifer’s revolt into his (okay, just this once -->) His plans for ultimate triumph through His creation?

Or why God didn’t just go to Lucifer a trillion years ago and be like, “Son, I know what you’re up to, so stop before I have to smite you with horns and a tail, K?”

I think Lucifer would have appreciated that and everyone could have happily gotten along behind the Pearly Gates eating ambrosia and mana, with Lucifer going in his Yorkshire accent, “Thanks, Lord, I feel a right git knowing you were onto me the whole time.”

(Of course without the devil we never would have had rock and roll or chocolate, so, yeah, God is wise.)

Sometimes when my mother in law (yes, it’s her, not the Keebler elves) shifts into her machinations I feel clever like God must have when Lucifer started plotting behind his shining back. Like when she is attempting to do a low-key outa the corner of her eye clandestine glance at someone in public, usually preambled by one of her friends saying something like, “That little waitress’ nose ring makes her look like a hussy, doesn’t it?” she resembles Katharine Hepburn wobbling her head in that direction while pretending she is, ho-hum, just happening to glance that way.

My mother in law never quite made it a secret she would have rather her son married someone other than me, and if she was never “exactly” unwelcoming, she also left no mystery about her preferences. In fact if I ever had any doubts about that an email of hers cured me in the mid-‘00s, she coming to the wonders of the paperless letter about a decade after everyone else, when she accidentally sent me a copy of a private missive intended for her son’s eyes only, not quite grasping that “reply all” meant REPLY ALL. Thus I and all her contacts awkwardly learned in great detail what she truly thought of me.

If most people I know had sent out a reply-all while blasting someone down to the DNA level, I’d have comfortably assumed it was intentional, but, no, I knew she truly was that technologically inept. So I gritted my teeth, slammed a tennis ball against the side of my house for a while with my cursed racquet (why it’s cursed is a story for another time, but LSS when I was fifteen it nearly killed me), then asked my spirit guide Oscar Wilde for some soothing words. Ireland’s greatest homo reminded me that: “Evelyn, the only thing worse than being talked about was not being talked about.”

That being not very comforting I gave Oscar an ectoplasmic Viagra and told him to f**k off back to buggering Plato or something.

My future husband, who’d also read the email, hurried over after work and brought me flowers and said, “Laugh it off, she wouldn’t think Helen of Troy was good enough.”

“Yeah, um, okay,” I said, “I’ll do that. Ha and ha.”

Truthfully he was right, no woman ever would have met the checklist in her dream category (wide childbearing hips a must) but it seemed I was just really off the mark, being everything from not a WASP to not a Republican to working a job that she couldn’t quite put her finger on but something about it wasn’t right, to being a vegetarian, to not liking cat figurines that much, to apparently somehow in her mental gymnastics having me down as both an agnostic and a Catholic, to being…how should I put this…um, if I were a snowdrift I’d have other footprints on me? But the thing that really made it okay and left me laughing it all off was………she insinuated that I stuffed my bra.

Stuffed my bra, yes.

What is this, I thought, 1950? Who stuffs a bra anymore?

I said to her son, “She thinks I stuff my bra? You know that’s insane.”

He said, most gratefully, “Oh, yeah.”

Okay I’m not top-heavy or anything, just a B-cup, but I don’t have to stuff my bra, for gosh sakes, so my mind was just nuked.

When she found out she’d emailed her private thoughts to about sixteen people, including me (she had my email address because she’d send out links to pictures of porcelain kitty cats and other nauseating things she collected) her embarrassment was more than acute, like Spinal Tap’s stereo, it went up to eleven; double-blood pressure medicine for sure.

She tripped over her mouth’s feet apologizing and, grasping this’d give me the high ground for a long time thereafter, I said, “Ah, it’s all right, you were being honest in what you thought was a private communication.” (You creaky-kneed backstabbing blob.) “Don’t be embarrassed, you were looking out for your son.” (You sour old bag.) “Someday we’ll laugh about it.” (Like at your funeral.)

Oh, sure, in coming years she grew to tolerate me and reach the point of liking me a little by proxy since I did fulfill two of her deepest wishes, I got her son married, and I helped give her grandchildren, though the joke was on her, I did it partly out of order.

Speaking of that blessed event (not our wedding, which she talked me out of having in a cemetery, the other blessed event) she wanted us to give our first daughter this name she’d loved since she was our age, a name she’d have bestowed on her own little girl, if she’d had one. It was a name that in her mind shone with golden light, which rang with angel-voices, a name which meant the world to her.

That name was Mimi.

No offense to anyone (still) reading this who might have a Mimi near and dear to his heart, but…Mimi? Mimi is fine for, say, a small yappy dog, but you name your daughter Mimi and you are pretty much assuring she’ll never get to be President of the United States someday, since no world leader is ever going to summon much awe at the prospect of a meeting with President Mimi. So the 131st time I let her down in my life was when I did not bestow her grandchild with the name Mimi.

Annnieway, the ghost hunters last night were a trip and my cousin flirted with one, his gaydar pinging “hot ass” loud and clear, and he and the rent-boy and Goober the ghost-chaser went out to Starbucks after the lecture, somehow being able at that age to chug lattes at 8:30 PM without losing the night to insomnia like me, and I came home to find, as I knew I would, none other than my mother in law watching the children---who absolutely love her.

As she left she asked if I’d tell her how the upcoming parent-teacher conferences at the kids’ school went, and I said, “Sure, I’ll email you.”

To this day the word “email” still makes her flinch.

It was great.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on October 12, 2017, 02:46:56 PM
I love these dark nights. I can go walking late at night and its like there is no one else in the world. Went along a dark street with an open park on one side and trees on the other yesterday. I couldn't resist running through the piles of leaves and kicking them up. Without the heat of summer the nights feel cooler and less stuffy. I don't even mind if it rains a bit, after all that tends to keep everyone else inside and the sense of isolation helps me relax.

My boss wants to move me back into my old job in the windowless dungeon. I can't say I am looking forward to that, but I'll get it done. Hopefully I can get a move on to a more enjoyable and challanging job soon though.

Some times I really wonder if I'd be bothered if everyone else just vanished off the face of the planet. I'd just find the surviving cats and become their emperor.

Of course, about the only command they would obey would be ignore me and stare disdainfully in my direction.

Watching a TV series from the late 90's where Sir Christopher Lee discussing the past 100 years of horror. So many great old movies... so many of my idols dead now alas. Oh well it suits the time of year. Going down to see the family for 10 days after I finish work tomorrow. Got my little brothers stag do on Saturday, going to see my little half brother play rugby on Sunday, catching WASP playing in Glasgow on Monday and then the wedding on the following Saturday.

Oh yeah, and that means ER gets sole custody of long posts while I am gone.  :twirl:



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 13, 2017, 10:53:09 AM
Gee, Alex, I---I'll try....

Today’s inadvertent topic: one thing the Church of Scientology gets right is how screwed up the field of psychology is.

When I just started middle school I and others in this hideous gifted program I was in had to see psychologists every week, and the one I was assigned to was this rather young woman named Doctor Nora, and this person had no business being around children or even being in her profession at all, she was simply a terrible, Orwellian human being. But anyway, one thing Doctor Nora did that sticks out in my mind was she was talking to me one morning, her ever-present notebook in hand, insulated tea-mug on her desk, probably all of twenty-six, and with her eyes half-hidden behind thick wide glasses she said, "Tell me all the filthiest cuss words you know."

Talk about being startled! I, an insufferably good child who rarely questioned authority figures back then, blurted out, "Why?"

She said, "It's about measuring your social development. I won't tell you said them, just tell me the ones you know."

I wouldn't do it, I refused, I said no, so she wrote something long down without saying anything to me for about thirty seconds, then without looking up at me she said about three truly bottom of the rung back alley words and asked if I knew them, and I turned red and squirmed and she said, "All right, I think you've answered non-verbally."

In all my years among mental health professionals, in school and later in a job I worked, no other psychologist or counselor ever asked me anything like that and I still wonder about it since it seems inappropriate. But then again, as I said, Doctor Nora was utterly heinous and used to tell many lies and violated confidentiality on several occasions. Although she looked nothing like her, she reminded me a little of Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter, falsely-sweet exterior, cruel inside.

A few years in the future, 1995, having by then grown used to speaking to “thought-doctors” I was asked if I would do my father’s employers a favor (as they phrased it) and answer some questions about how I believed my father was doing in light of the stresses caused by his impending divorce, and since my dad said, yeah, go ahead, El, it’s all right, I agreed. The trippy thing was this psychologist they had me go see about my dad (he had a high clearance for his job so he had to be stable) was a Navy officer who looked exactly, and I mean ex-actly, like the TV talk show host Montel Williams. To this day I am not sure it wasn’t Montel Williams, though why Montel would’ve been moonlighting as a Navy psychologist in a mid-sized city I don’t know. He asked me about how my dad was doing, and I sat there feeling the GUEST/VISITOR laminated badge  they gave me to get in the facility hanging around my neck like a millstone, and I answered honestly that while, yeah, sure, he was upset, he seemed fine and had really been helping me with my homework lately. Also he still coached basketball for an inner-city youth center. Oh, and he was way nice to those disadvantaged urban kids. Yeah, he was just great. Doing fine. Perfect. Ran two miles a morning, wasn’t drinking or kicking my dog, Charlotte Sometimes. His guns were locked up and everything.

Not-Montel asked me more things, none of them seemed particularly significant or anything, then finally closed his notepad and asked if there was anything I wanted to talk about, since we had time left and I’d been “so good” as to come in. I said no thank you, sir, and he asked if I was sure, since what was going on at home was doubtlessly stressful on me as well and sometimes talking did help. I still declined and he left it there and thanked me, shaking my hand as we left. (At that age an adult shaking my hand, person-to-person was still worth noting as an event.)

Turned out I’d unknowingly ratted my father out without having a clue I was doing it, but, not wanting me to feel bad, he didn’t tell me for almost another twenty years how much trouble I caused him, and he said like a lawyer cross-examining someone on the stand the people behind the interview had been after one tiny iota of a fact, and I gave it to them. I asked why he didn’t warn me then, and on that rainy day in 2014 he said it was not his place to do that over something so important. That wasn’t how the rules worked.

Yes, Not-Montel was yet another snake in the grass in the field of psychology.

Though I’ve routinely seen psychologists across much of my life for school and work, only once did I ever consult with one of my own volition, since I am not sure the profession is all it’s cracked up to be (for starters they still have not arrived at defining the difference in “mind” and “brain” did you know that?) and I think there’s a certain inner-moxie that comes with toughing out life’s rough parts on your own. In fact during the worst stretch of months of my existence, the second half of the year 2000, knowing anguish I’d not wish on a North Korean bomb technician, I didn’t talk to anyone professionally, just endured a life in death inspired by a death in life, (thank you, Coleridge) and more or less pulled through to be the sunny soul I am today.

(The sunny soul who wanted to get married in a graveyard, yes.)

You know who actually did help me? A priest.

In high school I used to talk to this Jesuit priest, not confessing, I made that clear, I never asked for absolution, but he was a nice man, in his eighties then, gone now, and he invited me to come talk anytime, the seal of confession would still bind he, he said, even though I claimed not to believe in sin or forgiveness or absolution or indeed in God. So I’d head downtown about once a week to this gloriously lovely 1850s church called Saint Xavier’s and tell him about my adolescent life, its ups and downs, the squeeze plays and the pressures, the madness  and the mystery, and he was more helpful than any degreed psychologist I ever knew.  He also told me I had “scrupulosity” and was caught in a sort of harmful self-centeredness that focused on what I saw as my own failings and negative qualities, which to an extent could be a good thing, though he felt I’d taken it too far and beat myself up for everything I got wrong. (And since I felt I got so much wrong I wore a lot of self-inflected mental bruises.) He advised me to also concentrate sometimes on my good traits, and said it was all right to be proud when it was deserved.

Sometimes I wanted to reach through the confessional curtain and hug that man, he was so selflessly nice to me.

The really strange thing about the conversations I had going on with this ancient priest, though, was that I was initially drawn to him largely because I knew someone else who was going to him for actual confession, and that gave me a sort of frission to think I was telling this man one half of the same story someone else was feeding him from his perspective, so that even though as a cleric he could never reveal anything to me or about me, he was in the center of both sides, which…felt Hitchcockian.

Neither I nor the other party made a secret of what we were doing, going to the same priest, but neither of us ever confided to the other the things we were telling him about ourselves and the collective realm of “us.” Besides, love conquers much, as I found.

Here is a link to that kind old priest’s grave site, if you’re interested. Beam good thoughts at him, if you’re so inclined.

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=24776907 (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=24776907)

As I mentioned I did talk to a psychologist on my own just once, back circa 2005 when I got this ten-session retainer package for around twelve-hundred bucks, and she was actually more helpful than Not-Montel and Doctor Nora and the other double agents from school and on the job. I told her a lot of things, like how as far back as I could remember I’d had this fixation, this certainty, that I was going to die when I was twenty-nine years old. (Whoops!)  I told her about all the deaths of loved-ones I’d had in my life and about various stresses that came with my existence, and interestingly, using slightly different terminology she told me much the same diagnosis as the Jesuit priest had in high school, though instead of “scrupulosity” she said I had unresolved guilt issues (how vanilla), and she gave suggestions about how to overcome the feelings of self-blame she said I carried, things like writing letters to myself and to the objects of my issues.

Good advice, though some of the guilt was warranted and I wasn’t sure I deserved to shrug it off like I bore no responsibility to anyone else for anything they experienced. I had been cruel a time or two and I had inexplicably, spontaneously abandoned someone at arguably the worst time I could have done it. I’d also been half of something that was too terrible for words, so I never told her about that, though always knew what she’d have said, and I didn’t want to hear someone telling me to forgive myself for that too.

Whether it is coincidental or not, looking back I see that about the time I visited her I did experience a change of chapters in my life story and many of the issues that felt pressing to that point did fall away, and for about another decade I was good to go. I felt glad about the trajectory of my path, which was new and it was nice. I took trips, I had my first baby, I bought an assault rifle.

Then a few years ago, I slipped.

It happened because someone from the old days was moving back into town, re-opening deep scars, some deservedly terrible. Because I had never resolved any of those, just hid them, I got sucked into the gravitational pull of old issues and went through this odd era of being extremely past-focused, wallowing in remorse, grief, regret, almost to the exclusion of the present, which my friends more or less endured until it got so strange my husband sat me down one day and said, “We have a good life. We have our children, this house, our work, and a lot to enjoy now. We also have a whole future ahead of us. What you’re agonizing over was a long time ago and you need to get over this.”

Well, yes, he was right, and I did, it wasn’t that I didn’t have the power to make that choice, I consciously decided to close the door again on a loss that tortured me like a fresh wound. So I did tons of ab-crunches to burn off energy, gritted my teeth and got through my dread over this person I hated, partly for his connection to a lingering grief I, he, and all his family share, being unavoidably back in my outer life where I knew I was destined to encounter him.

Though like Sylvia Plath’s bell jar (the concept not the book) I wonder if it’ll descend again one day, my almost time travel-like concentration on parts of the past that ache to this very day? I hope not, because it’s rough on a parahyperthymesiac like me to be stuck reliving what’s over and done when the hard fact is there is nothing more useless than yesterday. (Except in its ability to teach us lessons.) In fact I got over at least part of it so much I am going to have lunch in twenty minutes with the person whose return I once dreaded. (Poor man, he never deserved to be hated like that….)

So is psychology helpful? I don’t know, but as I started off saying, that b***h Doctor Nora really blew.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 14, 2017, 05:00:04 PM
This morning the young woman who tried to cut her own throat in a car last month came by to see my teenaged cousin (once removed), and she also happens to be the only girl he's had sex with, though he's had lots of guys. He just figured he'd see what it was like, and she was into him, so, shrug, that was earlier in the year. ("Looser than I'm used to," was his verdict about the experience of heterosexual intercourse, and I just about fell off my chair when he told me that.)


It struck me that in slashing open her neck it was as if she released foul spirits or something, since she was the calmest, steadiest, most un-crazy person today, and she was NOT like that in times past when the vibes she gave me leaped around like fleas on a hotplate, and I cautioned my cousin then, "Do be careful of that one."


He, who reminds me so much of his mother in male form, all the stories of her life she used to dazzle me with growing up, said, "Are you saying for once you think I'm safer with men?"


"Possibly..."


Placid though she was today, my young cousin still got her out of the house as fast as he could and bade me not to be fooled, he thought she was still nuts.


Out of genuine curiosity I asked if she was so iffy why'd he mess around with her, and he said, "She asked me to."


There you go, she asked him to. Wow, why didn't I think of that when I was single?


I asked if he thought she was attractive, and he said yes, of course, he perceives female beauty, it just usually did not sexually activate him. (And she is by almost any standard a nice-looking girl.)


I said, "Is that what it's like? A separation of physical beauty from sexual beauty?"


He goes, "I guess because I did have to think hard about hot guys while I did it."


I picked up on him saying "usually" women don't arouse him and he said if his attraction to men is a ten his pull to some women is more like a two. Not a turnoff just much weaker.


Then he told me how she stalked him all spring after hanging around him all the time last winter while they were still in high school, and how all his friends told him he should not have done what he did with her because she was in love with him and she was a freak-girl.


This man to whom I was once engaged used to have synesthesia, and he'd tell me being around some people sounded like this shrill noise was going through his brain. I bet he'd have felt that about this chick even today because somehow her calm was almost more daunting than her normal instability.

Whatever the case may be regarding her mental health, good luck to her, I hope her life is happy and involves no more self-inflicted razor wounds, since eighteen would be ridiculously young to die.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 15, 2017, 03:17:22 PM
I recently ended a love affair that began in the days of my youth.

It happened when I made the tough decision not to stay a member of the National Geographic Society, as I had been since I was seven.

Perhaps it is a symptom of the problem when I point out that the notice sent to me from National Geographic (from a Florida-based mailing house, no less, not even from the HQ on the Mall in Washington DC) referred to my involvement with The National Geographic Society as a “subscription renewal” which may seem a minor thing but it’s not. You see, as Alexander Graham Bell and the other founders intended back in 1888, one joined The National Geographic Society in order to lend financial support to the noble endeavor of “increasing and diffusing geographical knowledge,” and the cheerfully gold-spined periodical that came in the mail was merely a monthly report that kept a member informed of some of the wonderful undertakings toward the pursuit of knowledge dues made possible. There was never an intention that the journal of the National Geographic Society be “merely” a magazine.

I think the cancer started when National Geographic began to appear on the shelves of supermarkets and (back then) book stores. That was….a mild rules violation right there, something longtime President Gilbert Grosvenor wisely resisted for years (his mantra was “We are not Life Magazine”) but no one kicked because, hey, more readership meant more funding, which meant more exploration, right? But it was a symptom of the decay that had already begun to fester deep within the skeleton that was supporting the world’s most distinguished instrument of information.

What the real final straw was for me I could not tell you. It wasn’t the “gender” issue this January, though that was an insult to biologists and rational thinkers everywhere with its efforts to argue that bi-gendered homo sapiens sapiens actually have as many as seven distinct sexes. Nor was it the four-part “food” series that was in actuality little more than anti-Malthusian bleeding hearts stoking the fires of First World plentitude versus Third World need. And it wasn’t even in itself the staff and editors working “global warming” into almost every feature each issue, or even the fact the once literate tone of the journal had given way to colloquial prose that included the occasional four-letter word. No, it was that these things were indicators of how the mentality had shifted among the board of directors, taking this once-strictly non-political gift to the world and turning it into just another blatantly slanted tome that tried to make us all feel bad about ourselves. (Hey, if I want to feel bad about myself I’ll listen to my ever-wise eight-year-old explaining why I am wrong about almost everything I think I know.)

And enough of that was far too much. I began to feel the Society had become like the Catholic Church circa 1500, in need of a purifying Reformation to draw standards back to their roots. I hungered for more articles on archaeology, on the outer planets, on the mission to save the dome of Hagia Sophia, on the efforts to reach absolute zero, or the quests to explain how the neutrino can exist and yet have no mass. I wanted less ink spent on how Third World peoples lack toilets, what Whoopi Goldberg thinks of the state of education, or why suburban Americans should beat themselves daily for enjoying the fruits of modernity gifted to them by the ingenuity of their ancestors.

I wanted to learn about blue whales in ways that included more than the (shameful) fact humans had once hunted them. I fondly recalled times when a piece about the Mariana Trench did not devolve into a spiel on how plastic bags litter the ocean waters. Remember when half the content of an issue could be a delightful travelogue written by some family driving a camper across Europe? When was the last time National Geographic published something fun like that? These days where are the informative pieces on South Africa’s revitalized packs of painted wolves? Where is a bit about the centennial of the horrors of the Somme campaign? How about an issue dedicated to Siberia’s taiga, those great stretches of sub-arctic forest which are the legitimate “lungs of the planet” and not, as so many now think, the fetid Amazon?  (I went to Brazil for my honeymoon and trust me, South Park nailed it, the Amazon is a Hell-ish nightmare.)

Above all I wanted to encourage editor in chief Susan Goldberg to learn the difference in “excellence” and “elitism” and quit hitting that Western Guilt button! I’m terribly sorry people in Rwanda don’t have skyscrapers and good libraries, and terribly glad we do, but isn’t it contrary to natural selection to think all population groups within a species could face different geographical challenges and nutritional benefits across many generations and yet result in exactly the same levels of competence within that species? Europe and Asia were great places to dwell, I’m sorry so much of the sub-Sahara wasn’t. Hey, I don’t make the rules, Charles Darwin did. Maybe God created everyone equally, but blind nature certainly didn’t. Deal with it or not, “Nat Geo” but stop complaining. (And FYI, for the record I hate when the journal is called “Nat Geo”.)

Oh, I still treasure National Geographic as a concept, this source of knowledge that enshrined the grand 19th century spirit of pure scientific exploration well into the nascent 21st century, but I love what was, not what is. Which is fine, since on digital I own every issue ever created, and, truer to the heart of what I’m talking about, have physical copies of every volume back to 1943, and about seventy issues dating earlier than that, so I have plenty of quality material to keep me going. In fact I love few pleasures more than finding a spare hour to lose myself in the columns of those old issues, their pages redolent of the libraries and scholarly bookshelves of times gone by. The digs of Heinrich Schliemann and Howard Carter, the London of the Tudors, the Maasai Mara migrations, the Leakey family in Olduvai Gorge, the graceful stalking of a leopard after her prey, the blindness of cave fish, the wildlife of the Korea DMZ, the Volga delta, the wonders of a Vermeer, the madness of Ivan Grozny, the inexplicable flight of the bumblebee…these are what I want National Geographic to be, not a record of the miseries of African secondary schoolgirls not having the same standard of feminine protection American women take for granted.

And I doubt I am alone in wistfully remembering when National Geographic had all that.

So let the current crop of agenda-propelled hijackers learn nothing from the plight of a fellow publication, the once glorious Smithsonian, as they dourly pilot the National Geographic Society straight into a volcano, weeping the whole way down about how evil and ethnocentristically self-entitled people in the developed world are. I might mourn but I’ll have decades of classical reading to comfort me. As for my “subscription”, well, I never had one. I was a dues-paying member and I wish the current management grasped the fine point of that. Maybe I’ll come back when they learn the difference, though I doubt they ever will.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: kakihara on October 15, 2017, 05:24:14 PM
Whoa ER, that one had teeth! Very scathing, I like it! It touched on something that is infecting every single aspect of our lives and its getting more forceful everyday. The mention of National Geographic got me thinking though, remembering things. Back in 7th grade, somewher between '92 and '93. That particular time left such an imprint on me. It was a transitional time. I was beginning to learn about things like consequence and social orders. The years that would follow would be increasingly awkward and painful. At this time I was not yet self aware enough to realize just how uncool I was, it was the end of a certain childhood freedom of not knowing or caring how others might think of  you.

That particular school year was mostly spent in ISS (in school suspension). It was great. If you got in enough trouble, you were sent to a room with the other delinquents, usually for 3 to 5 days at a time. You couldnt talk or interact with the others. The only thing you had to do was copy an entire page from a book, once you did that, you were free to draw or read or day-dream.  This gave me time to sharpen my super-hero drawing. The comic boom of the 90s was in full effect, so at that time, my drawing skills were in demand. Being able to draw wolverine and magneto paid off big time, I could trade drawings for goods and services, I had enough cry-babies, tear-jerkers and air-heads to last me a life-time.

The wardens name was Coach Buford. I think he used to be some big-time foot ball coach, he looked like one. He projected a silent strength. He pretended to not see a lot of things, he didn’t want any trouble, the perfect government employee. A year later he would retire and only later it would become clear why he was so low key. After working a lifetime in the system with a year left until retirement with a full pension and benefits. Theres no way I would risk that by having an incident with an illegitimate punk or one of his irate parents. Smart man. Its not worth it. He was like us, doing time.

One of the “perks” of being in ISS was being able to read, and reading material was provided. In the corner was a huge pile of  National Geographic. Most of them were old, some going back to the late sixties. I can still remember their funky smell. Who knows where these things came from or how they accumulated, many of them had a little sticker on the corner with a home address. I never saw one with the same address. How did they get there? 

There was always a surprise with those old “Nattys”. I liked to pull from the bottom of the pile. Whats it going to be today? Angkor Wat? Great whites? Tiwanaku? Malaria?

Oh, I can still remember the thrill of stumbling upon a picture half naked indigenous woman with mud caked boobs, and I was doing it in front of an authority figure. I was beating the system!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 15, 2017, 06:09:57 PM
That's hilarious, kakihara. I only got detention for one incident and at my school it was called ASA (After-School Assignment) and no one could believe I had it, they were all like, "Right, you got ASA, uh-huh." But I did, I got it in the fall of my tenth grade year for shoving this goshawful girl named Andrea one morning when she was blocking my locker and badmouthing my mom, and as luck would have it she fell onto her backside then got up and ran away crying, but good grief she had it coming and had been a pain in my life for many grades, so I couldnt bring myself to regret it. I think even the people who put me in detention were a bit amused I was there and knew what a shrew Andrea was. And like you I thought, "THIS is supposed to be punishment? This is a vacation compared to regular class." Alas we didn't get National Geographics to read. (I almost mentioned brown native breasts up there and should have. Well done. Two points.)

Y'know, someone oughta do a topic, "DID YOU GET IN TROUBLE IN SCHOOL?"

Heck, I bet even Indy has a story or two, and RC....he'll be off the scale.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: sprite75 on October 16, 2017, 09:14:11 AM
I miss avatar kitty.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on October 16, 2017, 04:46:12 PM
I don't know if anyone is aware of the "Me too" thing going on in facebook right now about women who have undergone some sort of sexual assault or even rape. Although I've known lots of people who have done, its been something of a shock to me just how many friends and relatives have undergone this. I am feeling incredibly angry about it right now and wanting to go out and cut the balls off every man who has ever done these things.

One of my female friends started critizing people for posting this as not really being helpful especially to people who can't stand up and say it happened to me without fear of reprisal from friends and family. She has been raped twice and accused me of being cruel.

Anyway the arguement went on, me telling her that hiding things in the shadows helped no one and if she wasn't prepared to offer a better solution then she should stop putting down other peoples attempts to help. Eventually I am pretty sure she has unfriended me. Some how I don't feel bad about making this stand. If it brings out how big a problem this is to the forefront and gets something done about it I can live with her disapproval.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 17, 2017, 08:53:40 PM

According to the late Danny Sugarman, author of the most fawning biography I’ve ever read, No One Here Gets Out Alive, Doors front man Jim Morrison said that “drugs are a bet with the mind.”

That line sounds just so shamanistic and cool when you’re a teenager, doesn’t it? But it loses something when you consider that the abuse of drugs morphed the version of Mr. Mojo Risin’ who said that into the obese, hypertensed, alcoholic twenty-seven-year-old who’d by then gone back to calling himself James Douglas Morrison, and become an ex-pat writer of incomprehensively awful jottings his chemical-saturated brain thought were poetry, a has-been who likely died of a heroin overdose while wedged into a bathtub.

I don’t know why so many people want to make that “bet with the mind” (more like a war on the mind) but they do, and living in a region sometimes dubbed Ground Zero for the narcotics epidemic drives home just how stupid involvement with drugs can be, and how many people lose that bet that sounds so cool when you’re young.

Today I was taking my littlest daughter into the library to return books we’d read over the weekend when I saw two police cars and an ambulance parked by the library entrance, and a man walking out said to me, “Might wanna come back later.” He gave me a pointed look that said he was absolutely serious.

I wasn’t sure what was going on but if it was something I wouldn’t want my five-year-old to see, well, better safe than sorry. So we drove down the block and killed an hour walking around and looking at coloring books and Halloween decorations at a drug store, then went back to the library, and this time the parking lot was clear except for a board of health inspection vehicle. Turns out, as I’d soon learn from an overwrought librarian, someone had overdosed on heroin in the restroom, and while that person was revived, in about two-dozen cases every week in my home city, others are not so fortunate. The board of health worker was on-site because the restroom had to be inspected, I was told, to make sure no harmful substances were left behind.

Living as I do in a region where morgues are literally having to leave bodies in hallways because they’re so full of overdose victims, I wonder why are drugs still so glamorized? I know there is a difference in various substances, that saying ”drugs” is simplistically throwing the same blanket classification over everything from marijuana to morphine, but the message is so often the same, that there’s some cool mystique around getting high, and that I don’t get.

Oh, I’m not immune, myself, just puzzled, and I can understand the allure of intoxication, be it psycho-genetic in nature or just a desire to while away an evening pleasantly buzzed, but why the widespread pretense that using various chemical substances somehow elevates a person’s social standing? See, that’s the part I don’t get, use them, whatever, but why is there a perception that it makes someone more daring to do that? If anything, being high on most drugs makes someone less appealing, less bright, less athletic, less sexually capable, and frankly leaves most people smelling worse, be it the burned foam rubber stench of crack that’s so hard to wash out of hair, or the reek of booze in someone’s sweat, and even marijuana does not exactly come across as the most fragrant of colognes.

So what is it?

I can remember one of the first times I felt it, that “oh, wow, I’m gonna go get drunk, how wild of me” attitude. I was sixteen and my twenty-year-old cousin decided she was going to get good little me wasted, and later she claimed it was to show me how terrible being very drunk felt, one of a long chain of life lessons she seemed to try to instill in me to scare me off of everything from shoplifting to sex, but I think mostly she thought it’d be funny to get me to that state, and usually I would have declined to participate in her game but that evening there was a perfect storm of conditions, everything from me being away from home for the night, staying with her at this little rented four-room college town cottage (that rested about ten feet off a highway) she called her “bungalow,” to the fact this guy I was in love with was coming by to hang out, to some X-factor of it seeming…well….like I said, cool.

Therefore when it was just her and me she convinced me to chug down beer after beer, and I was absolutely headed for true sickness but the guy I was going out with came in before the evening was too old, took a look at me, and gracefully positioned himself between me, my cousin and the beer (I guess I’d had about five of them), and talked me into walking around outside with him for a minute, and before we came in he whispered to me the sage advice, “Don’t drink any more, okay?”

(He also said drunk girls were either tedious or interesting but I was an exception in being both.)

I would have done basically anything he said and luckily he was looking out for me, as usual, so he was the one who let me in on the fifty-foot sign I was missing even though it was right in front of me, that being that my cousin was doing this on purpose, setting me up to be throwing-up sick in front of him, all for her own amusement.

Jeeeeze, man, could you get any redder than that?

So I sobered fast and was all right, and I had a lot of fun that weekend (even though those two, my cousin and my boyfriend, didn’t like each other as I expected they would), us roaming a university town where my cousin ruled the A-list in ways I never could or would, but I still wonder what I was thinking drinking that beer, and why did I believe I wanted to get so drunk in the first place when I had almost no experience with alcohol at all?

Intoxication has a mystical allure, I tell you….

In due time maybe I learned a thing or two after seeing another cousin so sick with alcohol poisoning she was indescribably pathetically grossly sad, visit another cousin in a facility after she had to be revived by paramedics following a collapse on a sidewalk near a college, the result of snorting  a speedball, I’d be there when a tough-as-nails friend of mine broke down telling about his brother’s death after a cocaine binge that robbed his family of everything that could have been, and when I was seventeen I’d save someone’s life after I walked in and found him more dead than alive, eyes rolled in his head, face flushed splotchy purple, mouth foaming,  after mixing the wrong combination of pills. (In his defense he wasn’t trying to get high, only get through a holiday-season event after a recent catastrophic illness left him weak.)

I guess you could say I’ve had the good/bad fortune of being there for occasions when drugs put less than the best foot forward, and I also feel truly lucky to have been born without the addictive traits that plague relatives in my generation.

Yet, I can’t pretend to be some absolute guru of sobriety. Not when I’ve been drunk a score of times, smoked a few jazz cigarettes, considered ingesting ayahuasca as late as last year, and on an infamous long-ago cruise took pills with my roommate and was left rubber-limbed and stumbling into a wall as I tried to navigate back to our cabin while some strange man sought to grope us both in a hallway, yeah, not real fun, so I’m not throwing stones at anyone, but it’s what I started off going on about up above that honestly perplexes me: with everything shedding contrary evidence on the matter, what makes drugs seem cool to so many people?

And that I don’t know.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 24, 2017, 11:44:49 AM
In college my roommate and I lived a floor above this middle-aged man named Ray, for whom I felt sorry and about whom most everyone else complained, and he was a true challenge.

For starters Ray chain-smoked, and we could smell it up in our place no matter how many towels we put in vents. He'd wake up in the night and fire up a cigarette, we could easily hear this through the thin floor, and I was sure he was going to burn us all to death sometime, so one day when I was getting the mail I asked him if he'd tried to stop smoking and he said yes but deep down he just didn't want to.

I said that sounded like my grandpa, and Ray got happy and said, "So if he’s still alive and smokes, there's hope for me, huh?"

Then as if on cue he lit another and kept puffing.

He proceeded to tell me he did once try to quit with hypnosis back in 1980, and learned to hypnotize himself for the same price as having somebody hypnotize him, and said if ever I wanted to be hypnotized for any reason, come see him, he wouldn’t charge me much.

I thanked him without irony and later tried to imagine a life-crisis or addiction of suitable magnitude to drive me downstairs to let Ray mesmerize me. I couldn't.

Ray also left his TV on LOUD honestly night and day, whether he was home or not, he never turned it off since by his own admission he was lonely and it provided an illusion of company.  He also once confessed the set didn’t always come back on after he turned it off so he left it on to be safe.

I asked if he had a newer TV that did turn on and off would he shut it down sometimes, and he told me, “Ellie, if I had a new TV I’d hock it and spend the money.”

So that bright idea went into the trash can.

But above all what I remember about Ray is he was a letch who would time his exits from his apartment downstairs to coincide with when we or any other females left ours, so he could try to brush up against us in the hallway or on the stairs, a thing for which he was so infamous we dubbed it "getting Raylested." It was like some creepy game, twisting your body sideways on the stairs to run the Ray minefield. He was absolutely shameless about it and if you timed your dodge just right you could actually catch him as he leaned his beer belly out toward you in these "accidental" Twister-like contortions.

When my mother visited me one summer I delicately broached the subject of these intrusions with him (since he never denied what he was doing and even seemed to find it funny) and mentioned if he happened to smear against my mom on the stairs my dad would hear of it and likely Ray would wake up naked covered in oats and honey in a camel market in Yemen, so how about giving her a pass?

“Oh, sure, El, anything for a fiend.”

The man lacked all shame.

Yes, he was gross but I did feel sorry for him because he was wretched. He drove an old car that barely ran, this like 1979-ish Buick, but yet he was convinced every kid that passed by our parking lot existed only to come vandalize his vehicle, so when school let out he'd stand in his window and watch and when some Butthead-looking teenager happened by he'd shout down to the sidewalk:

"Better not see you touch my car, punk! I’ll kick your ass!"

One night I came home in a merry mood and wrote some things in the dust of the back window on Ray’s old Buick, and in the morning he was asking around, "Did any of you see someone vandalize my car last night???"

"Vandalize" being the writing of BITE ME in the dusty grime.

It made him so crazy he sat up all night to catch the miscreant (some teenager, of course) on a return visit to the scene of the crime, and he bade me please phone him night or day if I saw anyone doing it again. I kept a straight face only through superhuman will power.

I remember one Halloween in particular Ray came and stood on the front stairs when we were giving out candy, and complained non-stop to any of us who would listen (which meant me, everyone else ignored him) and helped himself to piece after piece of our mini-Three Musketeers, and then he tossed the wrappers down so I had to pick them up before I went back in. My roommate said I should shove them under his door but what was the point, you know?

But the really strange thing about this man was Ray was a lawyer. Or... he'd been to law school and passed the state bar (that makes you a lawyer, right?) but he worked as a telemarketer for some mind-befuddling reason when I would think almost any attorney could make a better living practicing than trying to sell vinyl siding in a boiler room. Yet that was what Ray did, he worked in this phone room and lived on the ground floor of an almost run-down student apartment building, so broke he borrowed packs of Raman noodles from us a few times, and occasionally I’d bring him back Taco Bell and he acted like it was the gifts of the three wise men.

I did feel bad for Ray, though he made it hard.

For instance he had a teenage son he never saw and really never much had because he said he did the male version of aborting him. I made the mistake of asking what that was and he went into this long dissertation of how if a woman doesn't want a child she can have an abortion but a man is stuck supporting the result of an unwanted pregnancy, so while he could not help that he was forced to pay child support, he could pretend this kid was aborted and never think of him.

I asked if that was working for him, and he said it was. I went, what about birthdays and Christmas, don’t you ever feel sad then? “Nah, I picture her in a clinic back in 1984 and that clears my mind.”

Just....I was at a loss for words about that.

Ray could be funny but Ray was also a bitter man who was convinced life had dealt him an unfair hand. He wanted to give everyone advice and said he was good at it, but I thought physician heal thyself, dude, you’re living like a bum.

One memorable piece of advice was when this guy from back home came and visited me up there Ray told me after he was gone (I swear to God), “I hope you had sex with him up here because you’re going to lose out on him if you didn’t.”

I looked at Ray and didn’t feel mad or anything just… What does someone say at a moment like that?

Toward the end of my residency in that dumpy little flat I did learn to my surprise Ray actually found a woman who was willing to spend her life with him. There’s someone for everyone, I guess. She was rough and out-smoked even him, coughed when she talked, and drank wine straight from a bottle, but she was pleasant enough and friendly and did seem to care about him, and above all she turned his blasted TV off at night, for which she still holds my gratitude.

Eventually Ray and this woman left the building, shortly before I did, and moved somewhere across town with wedding plans, and I lost touch with them and have never found anyone from those times who hears news of Ray anymore, so good chance he's in the great smoker’s lounge in the sky, but he is much more fun to look back on and laugh about now than he was to live above, Raylestation and all.




Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: 316zombie on October 24, 2017, 07:14:35 PM
the previous post reminds me of how much trouble my total inability to keep a straight face has gotten me.
   my first semester( junior year) at my vocational high school, i didn't go to very many of the regular classes, as i had already done the work at my old high school, so i took that time to do 2 years of learning all the stuff about electronics that i would need to graduate with my class and get all of my licences senior year, like everybody else. i did that work in the school library, so i spent all day for a week there, then the next week was learning the hands on stuffin shop class.
  anyway, roundabout thanksgiving, mr. dempsey, one of the english teacher came in and asked why i wasn't in class with the guys in my shop. being an idiot, i laughed and said i'd completed honors english through freshman college at my old school. very stupid barri.
   he went to the principal and demanded that i be inclasss, and the principal complied. so i went.and i aced every essay and book report, because i'd ALREADY DONE THEM! this p**sed him off, so he told me i had to write an essayfor the national why i love america contest, which was supposed to be voluntary, or he'd fail me. mind you, if he failed me, i'd get kicked out of school, we had to maintain a b average in all regular classes, period .
    again, i laughed at him,and told him i'd do it, and write the biggest load of tripe he'd ever read. and i did. my parents were literally in tears with laughter when they read it, it was such a load of hooey( i DETEST american history,especially early american history, having grown up in new england, the paper was all about my respect and admiration for the pilgrims and paul revere and drivel like that) ,but they told me to submit t so i wouldn't flunk out. and i did.
   AND I FREAKIN WON FOR MY SCHOOL!!! 250 bucks prize money, a trophy and moving on to the county contest.  AND I WON AGAIN!!! jack dempsey was BALLISTIC in his fury, he KNEW it was a load of crap. but my wins made HIM look good, you know?
   so i went on to the state contest and was one of the top 3 contenders for going on to the nationals. we had to read our essays on a live radio show and the top vote getter would go to DC for the nationals. so i start to read....and i start to laugh. and i could NOT stop laughing!! they gave me 2 more chances to start over, jack dempsey claimed i was just nervous, but i could.not.stop.LAUGHING!
   i think maybe it was because mysubconscious wouldn't allow me to win with crap like that...or maybe it was my revenge on jack dempsey... or maybe it was because the other 2 kids DESERVED to win,and go to DC and get the big scholarship and intern on the hill. none of which interested me in the slightest, i already knew i'd eventually become a chef, my true passion. but i still have the 3rd place trophy, it's a bronze microphone i affectionately refer to as jack's dick in bronze...
    and at 56, i STILL get in trouble for being a smartasss who can't keep a straight face.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on October 31, 2017, 10:08:10 AM
I kind of went off the deep end last night, and only got two hours sleep, so when my youngest leaves for kindergarten, I better take a nap for trick or treating tonight.

See....long ago I was diagnosed with this rare condition, so rare many doctors say it does not exist (as opposed to "ADD" which makes total sense, right?) called parahyperthymesia, and it kicked into overdrive with no warning about thirteen hours ago.

It's not contagious or even inheritable as far as can be told, but it leaves me all the time extremely past-focused, and able to recall in fine detail past events, which sounds better than it is, but the result is often I can't fully enjoy the present, and am only waiting for it to pass so I can analyze and re-live it in memory.

And that is a suckfest. (Well, it did contribute to getting me a cool job, but the job has been a mixed blessing, truth be told.)

You've probably seen it in me in here, my almost compulsive need to record and detail my own past, right?

Annnieway, last night it hit me like a hammer. My palms started tingling and my heart started racing, it was less a panic sensation than a sudden understanding that I HAD to figure out this thing from my past, I HAD to, it was like....needing to breathe, that strong, I HAD to do it. I had to write it down, I needed to tell it, to record it, to think it through. I could either do that or begin to overload into some sort of crazed manic state.

So I went away from everyone and started writing, pouring it out of me, memories of this particular time. Nine pages flew out in a few minutes, typos and weird sentences but I kept going and going at it. The children went to bed, I barely said good night, my husband, who understands me, shook his head and laughed and said, "I think I'll leave you to it then."

After a few hours I did finally quit long enough to take a break and get online for a bit, but then I poured back into memory until almost sunup, and the result is this long WORD document I haven't even read yet and don't know what I'll think when I do, but I am feeling better today, exorcised, drained out, back in balance, but as far as afflictions go, it's a strange one to be stuck inside your own past, seeking to....what, to understand it? What's that even mean? But at least I feel more myself today.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 06, 2017, 05:16:20 PM
I'm in a lull at work right at the moment, nothing happening, my invitation to chat declined out of necessity, but I still have to stay another hour, so I thought I would come in here and write something, just whatever, not as easy as it used to be since I've run low on topics and life experiences worth sharing (and even those that aren't) so I don't know, have I….ever written in detail about the time I wanted to murder someone?

By that I mean literally murder him?

It was around seventeen years ago when my desire to strike at this person was at its height, and I used to feel my pain send out tendrils toward the cause of that grief, a man across the city from me, and I'd have these ideas, dim at first but scary in their intensity later on, that were centered on how this person, who'd irreparably damaged so many lives and taken someone away from us, should die. Most beautifully of all, he didn’t even know I existed, so that would be a big plus in getting away with it. Because I did want to get away with it, I wasn’t self-destructive, just notably amoral and in unprecedented anguish directly because of him.

Fair to say I’d done some crazy things in my young life, twenty-one years old and thinking I was all grown up, but I’d never killed anyone, and disliking violence never wanted to. In fact I even used to tell these veterans I worked with how glad I was of that and how I hoped I never had to. But as the summer of 2000 wore on and life was in this valley of desolation, regret, agony, depression (the list could go on) I kept thinking how this man was alive out there, and did he deserve to be after what he’d done? Had he ever even reached out and said he was sorry? He’d re-written my entire future and hurt so many others, and yet he got to go on. From the depths of my darkness that knowledge wormed through my skull and gnawed into my brain.

Nothing was going to happen to him for what he’d done.

So I entertained what I knew was a bad idea, my interest in him which inched into obsession. I found out what his name was, where he lived, when he left for work, what he did, when he got home, who his friends were, his habits, when he put his trash out in these ugly Chinese-made brown cans, where he had gone to school, when he got up, and the time he went to bed. At first it was a….well, not a game, exactly, I was too lost that summer for games, but a curiosity, something to try to get my mind off how horribly life hurt right then, but by degrees my stalking got more serious, and then I came to this moment when it occurred to me the idea I had in mind would work, it honestly would most likely let me kill this man and get away with it.

Oh, sure, I still told myself this was a dark fantasy and mostly justified, I didn’t actually want to make someone die. And I think that’s true, I didn’t, not deep down, not even on the surface….except, well I kept thinking about it, the final idea, the plot, the deed, the scenario, which would be successful, I knew it would. And that’s when all at once I was afraid of myself.

For myself too, but of myself.

Ever been in that situation? Where you scared yourself?

I realized I had spent weeks knitting together a plot and was entertaining this notion of doing something that every culture on the planet from the stone age to now ranked as the worst offense of all, a crime that would send you to Hell or link you karmically in future lifetimes, where I lived, if caught, it would get you the death penalty. It was something that would turn you from a person into an anecdote, leaving your schoolmates spending the next six decades telling anyone who would listen how, yes, they knew you, and how you used to seem normal as far as they could tell.

If I got caught maybe I’d get lucky and my family would work out some insanity plea, but what life would that have been, locked in a mental hospital for decades?

The coming to enlightenment about how far into this I had gone, when day by day it felt more and more normal and all right to think about, struck me with such a jolt that I tried to make myself stop even letting the idea enter my head. Yet it wouldn’t go, and I couldn’t evict it.

I finally, abruptly, told one other person, this man I still know today, someone just as mired in sadness as I was, someone I was talking to a lot that summer, and when he didn’t seem to get what I was saying in my little stumbling bits of confession (again, he wasn’t doing well either) I looked him right in the face and made him understand I was telling him maybe as a way of asking for help, which he seemed to understand then, almost like a psychic connection, I wasn’t just talking, I was afraid.

I was hoping for something eloquent and deep from him but the best he could come up with was, “Well, you can’t do something like that.”

I went so far as to tell him that wasn’t exactly true, I could, my idea was good, it had strong odds of success since I knew about…things.

So he said, “What I meant was YOU can’t do something like that.”

And there was the fact of it, at least that time, under those conditions I couldn’t, that was true.

I sat there longer with the man and he proceeded to say some very nice things about me and I knew I would be betraying all of that, this regard he had for me, that others did, betraying my upbringing and my family and law and my future, setting myself up for unending paranoia and guilt, maybe even eternal damnation, and for what? What would I change when all I would be doing is extending one group of people’s grief onto another’s and hurting some other family?

I felt ashamed then, and I felt like some darkness lifted off me, so, yes, I guess that man who told me all that helped me that day. Maybe even saved my life.

Later that lost summer, which seemed to get worse in other ways as it went along, not better, I left the area, mostly on schedule, since I had to go back to school, and distance helped so that by fall it seemed surreal I’d ever had such horrendous thoughts in my head at all. As time will, it began to play a little game with me so that I started doubting that I had ever been as consumed by the idea of murder as….I confess I was. By Halloween I could nearly believe I’d imagined it.

Eventually, years later, I’d even meet this man I used to fantasize about killing and for warped reasons ended up paying him a thousand dollars in return for him telling me things I wanted to know about an otherwise mundane morning in 2000 that made this stranger so important in my life.

Now he has children and he didn’t then, children who never wronged me and who wouldn’t have been born if my grieving madness had tilted far enough for me to do what I imagined doing, so I’m glad I never did, and don’t know that I ever truly would have, or could have, since I hate violence, but it is disturbing to me now to remember how I was then in the worst summer of my life, and honestly make note of the fact that I invested as much time as I did in something so wrong and dark and terrible as wanting to kill another person.

Though….to this day I do still think my plan would have worked.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 09, 2017, 09:10:55 AM
at a memorial service one night about sixteen years ago, around the same time I met the deceptively deep pretty boy I later married to my father’s amused disbelief, I was home after graduating from college, actually, hilariously, living in my childhood house again after four years away, babysitting for my cousin and not doing much else despite having a college degree, all the while mired in this self-disgusted celibacy I’d taken on that set the clock back half a decade and more, I heard John Cooper Clarke spout out his brilliantly obscene chant-poem Evidently Chickentown

clean version here ----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4zv_vVEjks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4zv_vVEjks)

and I got cold chills, and not just because it was the dirty version where he doesn’t say “bloody,” and the word he chooses instead he makes use of to the point it loses all vulgarity and becomes a rhythmic sound, forced air in its purest form

or because I was hearing it played straight off Napster there at the memorial service in a confining overcrowded basement that was vaguely redolent of vomit, second on a playlist that began with Billy Corgan's cover of Stevie Nicks’s Landslide, which filled me with longing and made me feel like my breath had been sucked out all because time itself so cruelly moved in only one direction cursing us to remember with longing what we could never ever revisit

it was because that beat, that cadence, that march within the filthy language John Cooper Clarke was spewing in his Lancashire accent was poetry at its most Whitman-like roar of sheer God-less, lawless, future-proof liberation from all sanity, the only sane reaction, it said, to an insane world, cynicism elevated to pragmatism, give up or fight or do your own thing but the system, the world, other people, it’s all even crazier than you, it said

and for all I know I may have been the only person there in that freezing cold basement not on acid, it was passed around, I know, tiny tabs smaller than a baby fingernail, with stars printed on them and perforated edges, me the reliable designated driver, oh, jeez, from to Leatherette to Heatherette the go-to one for responsibility in every realm save three, get us home, Ellie, that’s all we ask, but I swear that screamed-out poem made me trip for a moment at least as intensely as anyone else there that creepy, chemical-enhanced night, just wham, like this light was in my head for a minute, some sort of higher plane experience of the sort Buddhists claim music and chanting are able to do to you, like a rush of euphoria that barely lasted but staggered me it was so real, just so strongly real, ASMR on overdrive times a million, like out of body, out of mind, out of soul, that strong, just for a moment, though I’m not sure why.

the memorial, though, was for this kid I barely knew but several of my friends were close to, I’d shaken hands with him, ridden in a car with him, gotten him and his boyfriend de jour a Mountain Dew out of a cooler one summer day when it was 100 degrees and the air seemed to bend it was so hot, and that was about it between us, this artist and singer who died taking a nap while his mom was fixing him dinner, really sad, malformed heart, finite number of beats reached early, not even out of college, nobody’s fault, the same guy I wrote about in here a while ago, whose grave we later visited in a group, trespassing in the cemetery long after visiting hours and later had another weird night, right there in that same half-finished suburban basement as the memorial service, actually, some species of collective hallucination that was contagious

or the manifestation of an unhappy ghost, though I lean toward hysterical hallucination. I still felt it, that much is true, this cloud of sadness, sadness, sadness, pressing cold and strong against and into me, into us all, like someone who died young and suddenly might feel, a confused soul unsure where his sleeping dreams ended and the next world began

IS THIS REAL AM I REALLY DEAD

making one girl wail and cry and leaving me just feeling like WHOA inside

but anyway, there that night, weeks before the ghost, the night of the memorial service, just me and thirty near-strangers mostly from the same high school, not mine, four or five years past graduation, I got into a conversation with a moderately drunk someone never seen before or since outside the bathroom door as he was holding his girlfriend’s spangly fuchsia-hued purse, a ridiculous object I can only assume was some gay designer’s revenge on women in general, while his girlfriend in turn held her puking friend’s hair, and above the music and indelicate sound of booze-powered hurling he was claiming Family Ties, that bridesmaid of Must-See TV, had been the last innocent show on the air

and I said well, maybe Seventh Heaven was and it was still on then in 2001, and he said no, Seventh Heaven is not that innocent, it at least covers the rough stuff, incest, drugs, self-mutilation, it just does it by showing it's bad and that it can be resisted, and I thought that was true, Seventh Heaven may have been goody but it wasn’t wimpy so maybe Family Ties was the last innocent show on TV, since as bad as it ever got on there concerned some oily perv named Uncle Al who was shown hugging Mallory a little longer than she wanted him to at a media event. The dad was too pacifistic to kick Uncle Al’s ass for it, so blah, no respect for you there, Steven Keaton, since sometimes a punch in the mouth is the Lingua franca of the situation, and someone pawing your underage daughter is one of them

anyway I've also mentioned before, in here, I mean, how when I was little I'd watch Family Ties before bed, 8:30 Thursdays, right after Cosby, which I didn’t usually tune in for, mostly because everyone else did and I tried not to be a lemming, not yet comprehending how that was letting others dictate to me by reverse snobbery the way twenty million ‘90s teens wearing Grunge were all being equally unique, and it got under my skin that it never seemed to show the Keaton family's upstairs

i know it didn't exit, the set was just the set, okay, yes, but it still became this unshakable issue that it never (that I ever saw) showed that part of the house. I wish I could forget how much that bugged young me, but I can’t forget that (or much of anything, ever) and it was a nails on a chalkboard issue with me, some strange affront to my not quite blueprint-built brain which I couldn’t dispel. They had bedrooms and bathrooms and hallways the Keaton bunch went off to, Alex had a bust of President Nixon by his bed and yet…we were barred from coming up there

why?

“Sit, Ubu, sit! Good dog!”

it was just something pre-tween me had to live with, an obsession that made no sense to anyone else, something that weirded out the one teacher I told about it, and she was old enough to have thought she’d heard everything, but my quirk passed, the show went off the air in 1989, I found other things to perplex and madden me, like what is outside the universe, why did I like Quantum Leap so much, and if new water is not being created on Earth, how many people had previously drank the liquid in my glass before I did? (I still wonder about that.)

and maybe that toughened me up, my disappointment about Family Ties that led to understanding that “there was nothing there to see” because when Pulp Fiction came around in 1994 and everyone was all like

"What's in the briefcase, man? What’s in that briefcase? Is it Marcellus’ soul, man, is it? Hey, El, what’s in the briefcase, do ya think?"

well I was at peace knowing nothing was really in the briefcase, it had no answer, it was clearly a golden, glowing McGuffin, and I let it go with Zen-like grace. (Or, truthfully I wasn’t able to see Pulp Fiction in 1994, got chucked from the multiplex for trying, too young for an R-rated flick, a ten-buck bribe availed me nothing, but I did see it in 1995, and had my episode of unruffled wisdom then amid my turbulent year, 1995 seeming a different universe from innocent 1994.)

likewise with Trainspotting, a fine, fine movie that makes you appreciate clean restrooms, I had this feeling the title meant nothing, and though I listened to many theories come and go my senior year in high school when everyone was heading to the indy cinema near the region’s biggest college to see it, I felt it was another thing that was just supposed to kick up dust and nothing else, that the word “Trainspotting” was only a word, no definition. Turns out I was correct, Irvine Welsh admitted it when the depressing Trainspotting 2 thudded in theaters last year, finally saying that it was never anything, the word trainspotting was just his puff of brain dust to stir the curiosity. (From across time I heard a million ‘90s people screaming in agony at the shock of truth.)

so think about this, all right, if you choose to (since free will must be maintained and I won’t force you), given those examples of the illusion of depth, like quiet dark closets being mistaken for elongated hallways, how likely do you think it is that much of history beyond the big motivations like food and sex and comfort, much of the resultant innovation, not just philosophy but a lot of the rest, has been underwritten by the effort to solve a mystery that was never truly there in the first place?


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on November 09, 2017, 10:57:42 PM
at a memorial service one night about sixteen years ago, around the same time I met the deceptively deep pretty boy I later married to my father’s amused disbelief, I was home after graduating from college, actually, hilariously, living in my childhood house again after four years away, babysitting for my cousin and not doing much else despite having a college degree, all the while mired in this self-disgusted celibacy I’d taken on that set the clock back half a decade and more, I heard John Cooper Clarke spout out his brilliantly obscene chant-poem Evidently Chickentown

clean version here ----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4zv_vVEjks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4zv_vVEjks)

and I got cold chills, and not just because it was the dirty version where he doesn’t say “bloody,” and the word he chooses instead he makes use of to the point it loses all vulgarity and becomes a rhythmic sound, forced air in its purest form

or because I was hearing it played straight off Napster there at the memorial service in a confining overcrowded basement that was vaguely redolent of vomit, second on a playlist that began with Billy Corgan's cover of Stevie Nicks’s Landslide, which filled me with longing and made me feel like my breath had been sucked out all because time itself so cruelly moved in only one direction cursing us to remember with longing what we could never ever revisit

it was because that beat, that cadence, that march within the filthy language John Cooper Clarke was spewing in his Lancashire accent was poetry at its most Whitman-like roar of sheer God-less, lawless, future-proof liberation from all sanity, the only sane reaction, it said, to an insane world, cynicism elevated to pragmatism, give up or fight or do your own thing but the system, the world, other people, it’s all even crazier than you, it said

and for all I know I may have been the only person there in that freezing cold basement not on acid, it was passed around, I know, tiny tabs smaller than a baby fingernail, with stars printed on them and perforated edges, me the reliable designated driver, oh, jeez, from to Leatherette to Heatherette the go-to one for responsibility in every realm save three, get us home, Ellie, that’s all we ask, but I swear that screamed-out poem made me trip for a moment at least as intensely as anyone else there that creepy, chemical-enhanced night, just wham, like this light was in my head for a minute, some sort of higher plane experience of the sort Buddhists claim music and chanting are able to do to you, like a rush of euphoria that barely lasted but staggered me it was so real, just so strongly real, ASMR on overdrive times a million, like out of body, out of mind, out of soul, that strong, just for a moment, though I’m not sure why.

the memorial, though, was for this kid I barely knew but several of my friends were close to, I’d shaken hands with him, ridden in a car with him, gotten him and his boyfriend de jour a Mountain Dew out of a cooler one summer day when it was 100 degrees and the air seemed to bend it was so hot, and that was about it between us, this artist and singer who died taking a nap while his mom was fixing him dinner, really sad, malformed heart, finite number of beats reached early, not even out of college, nobody’s fault, the same guy I wrote about in here a while ago, whose grave we later visited in a group, trespassing in the cemetery long after visiting hours and later had another weird night, right there in that same half-finished suburban basement as the memorial service, actually, some species of collective hallucination that was contagious

or the manifestation of an unhappy ghost, though I lean toward hysterical hallucination. I still felt it, that much is true, this cloud of sadness, sadness, sadness, pressing cold and strong against and into me, into us all, like someone who died young and suddenly might feel, a confused soul unsure where his sleeping dreams ended and the next world began

IS THIS REAL AM I REALLY DEAD

making one girl wail and cry and leaving me just feeling like WHOA inside

but anyway, there that night, weeks before the ghost, the night of the memorial service, just me and thirty near-strangers mostly from the same high school, not mine, four or five years past graduation, I got into a conversation with a moderately drunk someone never seen before or since outside the bathroom door as he was holding his girlfriend’s spangly fuchsia-hued purse, a ridiculous object I can only assume was some gay designer’s revenge on women in general, while his girlfriend in turn held her puking friend’s hair, and above the music and indelicate sound of booze-powered hurling he was claiming Family Ties, that bridesmaid of Must-See TV, had been the last innocent show on the air

and I said well, maybe Seventh Heaven was and it was still on then in 2001, and he said no, Seventh Heaven is not that innocent, it at least covers the rough stuff, incest, drugs, self-mutilation, it just does it by showing it's bad and that it can be resisted, and I thought that was true, Seventh Heaven may have been goody but it wasn’t wimpy so maybe Family Ties was the last innocent show on TV, since as bad as it ever got on there concerned some oily perv named Uncle Al who was shown hugging Mallory a little longer than she wanted him to at a media event. The dad was too pacifistic to kick Uncle Al’s ass for it, so blah, no respect for you there, Steven Keaton, since sometimes a punch in the mouth is the Lingua franca of the situation, and someone pawing your underage daughter is one of them

anyway I've also mentioned before, in here, I mean, how when I was little I'd watch Family Ties before bed, 8:30 Thursdays, right after Cosby, which I didn’t usually tune in for, mostly because everyone else did and I tried not to be a lemming, not yet comprehending how that was letting others dictate to me by reverse snobbery the way twenty million ‘90s teens wearing Grunge were all being equally unique, and it got under my skin that it never seemed to show the Keaton family's upstairs

i know it didn't exit, the set was just the set, okay, yes, but it still became this unshakable issue that it never (that I ever saw) showed that part of the house. I wish I could forget how much that bugged young me, but I can’t forget that (or much of anything, ever) and it was a nails on a chalkboard issue with me, some strange affront to my not quite blueprint-built brain which I couldn’t dispel. They had bedrooms and bathrooms and hallways the Keaton bunch went off to, Alex had a bust of President Nixon by his bed and yet…we were barred from coming up there

why?

“Sit, Ubu, sit! Good dog!”

it was just something pre-tween me had to live with, an obsession that made no sense to anyone else, something that weirded out the one teacher I told about it, and she was old enough to have thought she’d heard everything, but my quirk passed, the show went off the air in 1989, I found other things to perplex and madden me, like what is outside the universe, why did I like Quantum Leap so much, and if new water is not being created on Earth, how many people had previously drank the liquid in my glass before I did? (I still wonder about that.)

and maybe that toughened me up, my disappointment about Family Ties that led to understanding that “there was nothing there to see” because when Pulp Fiction came around in 1994 and everyone was all like

"What's in the briefcase, man? What’s in that briefcase? Is it Marcellus’ soul, man, is it? Hey, El, what’s in the briefcase, do ya think?"

well I was at peace knowing nothing was really in the briefcase, it had no answer, it was clearly a golden, glowing McGuffin, and I let it go with Zen-like grace. (Or, truthfully I wasn’t able to see Pulp Fiction in 1994, got chucked from the multiplex for trying, too young for an R-rated flick, a ten-buck bribe availed me nothing, but I did see it in 1995, and had my episode of unruffled wisdom then amid my turbulent year, 1995 seeming a different universe from innocent 1994.)

likewise with Trainspotting, a fine, fine movie that makes you appreciate clean restrooms, I had this feeling the title meant nothing, and though I listened to many theories come and go my senior year in high school when everyone was heading to the indy cinema near the region’s biggest college to see it, I felt it was another thing that was just supposed to kick up dust and nothing else, that the word “Trainspotting” was only a word, no definition. Turns out I was correct, Irvine Welsh admitted it when the depressing Trainspotting 2 thudded in theaters last year, finally saying that it was never anything, the word trainspotting was just his puff of brain dust to stir the curiosity. (From across time I heard a million ‘90s people screaming in agony at the shock of truth.)

so think about this, all right, if you choose to (since free will must be maintained and I won’t force you), given those examples of the illusion of depth, like quiet dark closets being mistaken for elongated hallways, how likely do you think it is that much of history beyond the big motivations like food and sex and comfort, much of the resultant innovation, not just philosophy but a lot of the rest, has been underwritten by the effort to solve a mystery that was never truly there in the first place?





Forty-two.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 13, 2017, 02:17:24 PM
Every year about this time I send off a birthday present to Jackie, for three years my university roommate, and like it has become one of the rituals that support the foundation of our relationship, my husband always asks, "Ellie*, how many more years are you going to send a present to someone you haven't lived with in a generation?" (*Because very few people call me Evelyn.)

I'll always answer, "At least a year past when she sends me one."

Then I'll mention how she is so kind as to give me a birthday present that's separate from a Christmas present, not doing as most people do and combining them to save time and money.

I'll also remind him I was living in my car at the start of school and that she did rescue me from homelessness, and he'll say (as he does every year, like there's a script for this) it was only "homeless-lite," since I could have ended it at any time with a phone call to any of several people.

And I'll say, "Yes, but she didn't know that. She thought I was destitute and yet she took me in, so it was still a good deed."

He'll kick back, "You didn't even live with her that last year you were up there."

And I'll say, "Well excuse her for not wanting to live with her new husband."

His curiosity mollified, he'll throw in, "I guess it's nice you two send each other presents but it still seems anachronistic."

And then the topic will wind down and one of us will start up with a new subject for conversation, but this or a close variation of it has been going on this time of year since roughly 2003.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on November 13, 2017, 02:58:38 PM
Every year about this time I send off a birthday present to Jackie, for three years my university roommate, and like it has become one of the rituals that support the foundation of our relationship, my husband always asks, "Ellie*, how many more years are you going to send a present to someone you haven't lived with in a generation?" (*Because very few people call me Evelyn.)

I'll always answer, "At least a year past when she sends me one."

Then I'll mention how she is so kind as to give me a birthday present that's separate from a Christmas present, not doing as most people do and combining them to save time and money.

I'll also remind him I was living in my car at the start of school and that she did rescue me from homelessness, and he'll say (as he does every year, like there's a script for this) it was only "homeless-lite," since I could have ended it at any time with a phone call to any of several people.

And I'll say, "Yes, but she didn't know that. She thought I was destitute and yet she took me in, so it was still a good deed."

He'll kick back, "You didn't even live with her that last year you were up there."

And I'll say, "Well excuse her for not wanting to live with her new husband."

His curiosity mollified, he'll throw in, "I guess it's nice you two send each other presents but it still seems anachronistic."

And then the topic will wind down and one of us will start up with a new subject for conversation, but this or a close variation of it has been going on this time of year since roughly 2003.

Record the conversation the next time it starts the just start playing it each time it comes up after that.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 13, 2017, 08:52:35 PM
Every year about this time I send off a birthday present to Jackie, for three years my university roommate, and like it has become one of the rituals that support the foundation of our relationship, my husband always asks, "Ellie*, how many more years are you going to send a present to someone you haven't lived with in a generation?" (*Because very few people call me Evelyn.)

I'll always answer, "At least a year past when she sends me one."

Then I'll mention how she is so kind as to give me a birthday present that's separate from a Christmas present, not doing as most people do and combining them to save time and money.

I'll also remind him I was living in my car at the start of school and that she did rescue me from homelessness, and he'll say (as he does every year, like there's a script for this) it was only "homeless-lite," since I could have ended it at any time with a phone call to any of several people.

And I'll say, "Yes, but she didn't know that. She thought I was destitute and yet she took me in, so it was still a good deed."

He'll kick back, "You didn't even live with her that last year you were up there."

And I'll say, "Well excuse her for not wanting to live with her new husband."

His curiosity mollified, he'll throw in, "I guess it's nice you two send each other presents but it still seems anachronistic."

And then the topic will wind down and one of us will start up with a new subject for conversation, but this or a close variation of it has been going on this time of year since roughly 2003.

Record the conversation the next time it starts the just start playing it each time it comes up after that.

I should...


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 16, 2017, 10:46:26 AM
If you guys thought I could write a lot when I was healthy and well, wait to you see how wordy I get now that I am a lowly shut-in cripple…

A few mornings ago I woke up and my lower right back was throbbing. It hurt so much in the night I realized it’d made my dreams all weird and dinosaur-filled. I kept trying to think what I'd done to cause this and I couldn't come up with anything.

It still ached so much Monday I stayed home from work (my one-time nearly father in law sent me flowers, huh) as I limped hunched over through the day and had a wretched night's sleep, about three hours of lying there trying not to breathe too hard. Then on Tuesday I figured I'd go in to work anyway, what the heck, it was going to hurt wherever I was so I might as well make some money and spoil a few interns with little kindnesses like making sure they had a magazine to hold over their heads when they walked three blocks in the freezing rain to get the mail at the post office. (I’m so nice to them.)

I hate taking drugs but I gave in and downed some Tylenol, and after that I could almost believe I was better, since the pain went from a spasming “God kill me now” throb to a low ache. I got everything done that I needed to do, but when it came time to leave I could not stand up. Just....couldn't. I laughed because it was so absurd that I, who have always been gifted with fluidity of movement, speed, even, a tennis player, a PE minor, briefly an exercise instructor when my friend was on maternity leave, kept falling back in the chair. It didn't even hurt that much since I was still drugged up on three Tylenol, but it was like my back wouldn't do what it was supposed to do, as if the signals were not getting through.

“Maybe terrorists have released polio,” my boss suggested, earning him The Look.

I gave in and called my husband and asked him to come get me, so he left where he was and brought our children with him, I guess thinking we'd all go out to eat, but, no, I was genuinely in a fix.

I finally did walk around before he got there but I wasn't up to driving myself. He wanted me to go to the emergency room and I said no, but agreed I would go to a massage therapist, so we went, me feeling like a proper jerk for dragging the children out for all this, but I hobbled in, trying not to let on how much pain I was actually feeling as the meds wore off, not wanting to freak the children out, my oldest being especially prone to worrying about everyone and everything, including whether dust mites have feelings.

“More than math teachers, honey.”

The massage started and hurt like crazy truth be told, but I thought maybe it was doing something too. Then she stopped abruptly and said, "You have this...knot..." (she stumbled past the word tumor) "...above your right kidney."

I was like, "Say what???"

So my husband came in and pressed down on the spot she showed him (which felt like getting jammed with a piece of rebar) and he said in a peculiar tone, "You've got this lump there the size of a super ball."

I thought, definitely not good.

He and my daughter prevailed on me to go to the emergency room (for the record I hate going to doctors) where they tortured me by pressing in on my back (“Stop and I’ll tell you everything!”) and said, huh, yeah, that's something, something seems to be there, maybe a cyst or maybe just where your back is healing an injury and forming a hard place for protection. Have you done heavy lifting or vigorous exercise lately?

No, and nah. Just my usual activities and exercise.

The doctor asked what my usual exercises were and I listed what I do and the doctor said, "That's a lot for almost forty."

That made me feel good til I contemplated the almost forty part. How did I get to be thirty-eight, anyway, when my game plan was to die at twenty-nine? Day by day age had crept up on me, granting wisdom but salting the wounds of time’s cruel lash.

So the nurse made me wear one of those inhuman open-backed gowns with a flower print on it, and there I lay on this cot while a closed-circuit TV played Vivaldi and showed calming skies and waterfalls, just like the death part in Soylent Green with its horrid final revelation:

“Soylent Green, it’s made from….beets!”

As the clock ticked I contemplated the odds that someone had died while wearing the gown I was in, and felt sure lots of people had probably given up the ghost on the cot I was lying on. Then I thought about what a bum deal that in the same year my husband was going to suffer the loss of two women he loved, me and the '90s chick from California he used to bang before my time, and what my funeral was going to be like, bagpipes and Thanatopsis, I hoped.  Spring Grove, or somewhere else? Closed casket, since I never did like being looked down upon. Comfortable shoes were a must. And I’d want to give one of my daughters my wedding ring and be buried in my 1990s engagement ring. Boy would my mother in law have a field day griping about that!

Her: “I told you that mongrel b***h always loved him better than you!”

My husband: “Well, I dunno, she dumped him more times than she did me, so I guess I won.”

(Private joke, I digress…)

I wondered if my godson's grandmother would smile a bit when she heard the news of my untimely passing, since she's held a deep grudge against me for twenty years, though oddly for all the wrong reasons.

I questioned if the first man I almost married was up there in Heaven, eternally twenty-five and banging some hot prom queen, and if so would he give me the time o' day once I got to the afterlife?

"Sorry, Evelyn, you aren’t twenty anymore. You’ve had three kids, and I mean, ummm…"

"f**k you, Brian, where’s Oscar Wilde to write me a witty comeback?"

Then I wondered which evil fiend among the many who'd step forward to console him for his loss my husband would marry on down the road, and would this monster give all my books away and try to make my children call her mom?

(Nurse! Barf bag!)

Adrenaline rush time, Celtic rage, and I started getting mad about it and I believe I would have gotten up and walked out to yell at my husband for his awful future second wife if I could have just reached my clothes or been able to take a step without moving like a sloth.

Finally, about 9:30 the staff came back in, spread on this icky mint-colored gel they’d obviously just taken out of a freezer and did an ultrasound on my lower back....and said they couldn't find anything.

I said, "Nothing?"

"No, nothing that we see. Everything looks fine. You're just a wimp, I guess."

(They may not have said that last part.)

I was relieved, but the mystery remained, why was I in pain and what was it they felt near my kidney, you know? (I bent my arm into crazy angles trying to feel this myself and couldn't.)

“What did it feel like?” I asked my husband in the car coming home.

“Like aliens had sneaked in and subcutaneously implanted a rubber ball.”

So the last two days I’ve been taking it easy and shirking all my duties, and have been so lazy I’ve actually gotten my five-year-old to let the dog out and bring me the TV remote, and all I can figure is one among my activities, hiking, running on the treadmill, helping stack firewood, carrying my sleeping son upstairs, whatever, tore a muscle and it has formed a knot there as sometimes happens during healing of a muscular injury, and lo and behold it seems I am not invincible after all and one or more of my undertakings was too much for me.

Me, who used to run 5 1/2 minute miles and play three five-set matches on a Saturday. Me, who used to like to jump flat-footed onto benches next to the sidewalk and then leap down again without breaking stride. Me...relegated to invalid status, as lame as Mr. Smallweed in Bleak House. The shame is horrific.

Yes, it is dismally depressing, though I am about 75% better today compared to Monday, so soon I’ll be able to find and destroy that second wife, the hussy who would have tried to take over my kids.

I’ll know her when I see her....


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on November 16, 2017, 12:08:24 PM
Ever had a muscle pop slightly out of place? Sounds like it could have been that. I gets trapped between some other muscles causing strange lumps and is intensely painful but one they slip back into their normal positions the pain fades after a few days.

Anyway, glad you are on the mend.

Here is one thought for you though. With all changes to marriage laws and so forth, how do you know it would be a woman your husband would marry in that situation? He could be so inconsolable and find you irreplaceable by any other woman he ends up in the arms of man.

Thats about as good an attempt as I can do at making you feel better just now. Hope it helped, or at least gave you a smile.

Failing that I'll take the "Now I can't stop imagining my husband making out with a man everytime I close my eyes" nightmares.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 16, 2017, 05:18:09 PM
I think you're right, Alex, I think that's what it is, like a torn or slipped muscle. Remarkably painful!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on November 16, 2017, 06:43:48 PM
Get better soon, my friend!!!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on November 17, 2017, 04:59:04 PM
Stream 1)

One day some time back I was sitting watching the news. A bunch of people from the Middle East were upset with the UK and the USA and were doing their standard thing of burning the flags of those countries.

It got me to thinking. Every time they are upset with the west this is what they do.

Where the hell do they get these flags from? Is there a chain of stores all over the region selling various flags? If so do they make them out of specially flammable materials? Why do they think that burning a flag makes any difference to the country they are offended by? I mean if you want to hurt another country try organising a boycott of all its imported goods. Pretty sure that would have much more of an effect.

Its not something that has ever bothered me and I thought even it was a bit of a mix of patheticness and comedy.

Anyway, some weeks later I was over visiting Kristi while we were still going out and I happened to mention about this to her. It surprised me just how upset she got over her flag being burned. I mean to me, a flag is something I might fight under but other than "Oh look there is our flag, patrol is on the right route. Keep heading to it and we get home" it doesn't especially mean anything to me. After all I didn't design it (if I did it would be a lot cooler, with dragons (because dragons improve everything) and sparkly (well because women tend to like sparkly things and I am all for equality), I didn't vote for it. I just happened to be born in a country that uses that one. I could have been born under a different one just as easily. I certainly don't fight for it. I fight because I get paid pretty well for it. When I first joined up I did have feelings about going to fight for Queen and country, but I've since came to the realisation that while I love my country I really don't much care for most of the people that live in it and I am just trying to protect the minority that I do care about. Some times when I have a boss that I find inspirational, then I'll fight for them (most of them tend to be SNCO's (sergeants, chief techs, flight sergeants or warrant officers). Very few commissioned officers are able to win my loyalty in the same way. In fact I can only think of one. Quite frankly though, if everyone else on the planet was wiped out beyond the people I like, I don't think there would be enough left to repopulate the earth without inbreeding becoming a problem within a few generations.

An ex girlfriend (Bev) once accussed me of trying to save the world all by myself. She was wrong about that (as she was about many things about me, but thats another story, and one I don't know if I'll ever tell here). All I am fighting for is the parts of it I care about. If as a by-product this helps other people, well good for them.

It also gets me why people think that a flag touching the ground is someone a disgrace or insult to it. Personally if my blood is good enough to touch the ground, then I can't see why a flag shouldn't be treated the same. Or maybe people are saying their flag isn't good enough to touch the earth of their country? It really is something I don't understand. I just think its wrong that a symbol can be viewed as being more important than the people who have fought for it. Still, I know plenty other people think differently about this and that's their choice. Just because I don't get it doesn't make it wrong or right.

Although, when the revolution comes (on that glorious day (extra karma for the first person who gets that reference)) everyone who doesn't agree with me is going to be the first up against the wall (that reference is too easy for karma). And that's not just about flags. Especially you lot out there who don't have the same favourite colour as me!

Stream 2)

Music has always been really important to me, be it the songs I listened to on the radio before I was old enough to go to school, watching Top of the Pops (how we got music in the UK before MTV), or when I was old enough to get a job and start buying my own music (first album was Appitite For Destruction by Guns N Roses, then The Razors Edge by AC/DC, followed by Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden).

I've always liked to keep my distance from other people and personal stereos were a big help there. I could just stick them on, walk along and ignore the rest of the world. In fact the only time I haven't minded being part of a crowd is when I am at a gig, standing front and centre up against the barrier in a mosh pit. Until I met Kristi I never met anyone or done anything that made me feel better than how I feel when I am there, not love, sex, alcohol or drugs (although my experiences with drugs were much more limited than my peers. I've always had this thing about not becoming addicted to something).

It doesn't matter how bad things are out in the real world, when I am hearing live music nothing else matters and it feels like I am floating in a world made up just of music. I can close my eyes and just slip away into it.

Sometimes the music doesn't even have to be live for it to just take over. Like the time I was on guard at 4am and 'Jump' by Van Halen came on the radio and I got caught by the guard commander playing guitar, only with a rifle, or when I was down the gym on a running machine and didn't realise I was singing Rob Zombie's 'Super Charger Heaven' out loud. Its just as well my singing voice has been compared to someone famous. Freddy Krueger. Alas despite my love of music I couldn't carry a tune if you put it in suitcase and regardless of my 40 years of trying to learn how, I am still unable to whistle a tune. The other day I ended up singing the song 'Neverending Story'. I got as far as "The Neverending Story aaaahaaahaaaaaaahhhhaaahahh" before Ryan was begging me to stop.

Hmm, currently I know three people called Ryan. If I meet one more I am going to have to start giving them nicknames just like the Dave's.

Anyway, back to music. As an example of my musical talent when I used to be a roadie one of the bands I worked for needed someone to play a tamborene of a song and they asked me to do it. So the first night I got up on stage and beat that thing for all it was worth.

The second night I noticed the cymbols had been removed from the tamborene.

On the third night the skin had been removed as well, thus allowing me to possibly be the only person in the world who has ever played a wooden hoop in a thrash metal band.

It still amazes me to this day that I was viewed as the responsible one when we went on tour. If the story of what happened with the video camera (no, its not what you are thinking, damn but you lot have dirty minds) was more widely known I'd never have made it to be a road manager. Or the time I had a jury rig a power supply to two electric guitars through a single socket. It worked, but if the guitarists got too close (like Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons trading lines) then electricity arced from one guitarist to the other, or indeed the time I smashed the lead guitarists ribs in with my boots (this is quite a long story, but it involves a drug overdose and giving CPR to him and he was sick while I was doing mouth to mouth. When he'd recovered I told him that if he ever did drugs again he wouldn't need to worry about an OD, I'd kill him myself. I walked into his dressing room on another tour and caught him popping a couple of pills. I ran over, punched him to the ground and then started stamping on his chest. The rest of the band pulled me off him and it turned out he'd been taking a couple of asprin for a headache. I put that one down to tough love and I am sure the fractured cheekbone and broken ribs taught him a lesson he'll never forget. Not to mention the rest of the tour had to be cancelled. Never did work with that band though for some reason...).


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 18, 2017, 08:42:46 AM
Alex, Mr. Mash, the janitor guy on On You Being Served used to talk about the glorious day when the revolutions comes. Am I in the right neighborhood?


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 18, 2017, 09:35:48 AM
It’s good to be alive.

Since except for a few twinges I am finally more or less better after my recent back pain (though still no closer to figuring out what it was all about) I took a solitary walk in the woods today amid the cloud-smothered dawn, hearing the world wake up and feeling the energy that is always there, if you let your spirit open to it. The soil smelled richly damp, the few dry leaves the oaks still hold rattled above me, the scuttling noises of squirrels doing their quirky little dances, the deer flashing their white tails like ghosts between the thickets, it was all part of the glory. All just another day in these woods that five generations of my family have known, that I once fought a years-long legal battle to keep when my grandfather left them to me and someone else, not even in my family, really, tried to take them away.

I don’t know if there is anyplace I love more.

It’s disturbingly warm out right now, humid, spring-like, storms are forecast for the afternoon, some "strong to severe" as the meteorologists say in their precisely-worded language, and in the part of the world where I live nature’s inclemencies can be more than just an inconvenience. Right now the wind has begun to hiss, swatting the tallest tree branches, swaying them, leaving me to wonder what will come crashing down sometime between now and the stillness of sunset, assuming it reaches its projected "gusts of up to forty miles an hour" today and doesn't spawn anything worse, as sometimes happens, even in November.

Because where we live the sky can’t always be trusted. The sky, cruel as well as kind, tries to hurt you.

Our woods, though, it could survive almost anything, and likely has, since it’s very old, ancient, even. Because of its geography, slanted topography giving way to steep hillside, it lacks those venerable trees that reach cloud-ward, gravity and geometry’s unyielding angles, taking their toll before old growth is ever achieved, but it is a virgin forest all the same, its cycles of seeding, maturity and death, then an afterlife in the loam, bark decaying to soil, have repeated over and over for half a thousand human generations.

We know for a fact that Shawnee Indians used to camp here on the tallest hillside that looks down at the local river valley, and though that sounds long ago to us, 250 years, to the forest they would have been late-comers.

A group of friendly Mormons once told me they think this place may actually have been a Book of Mormon site: how about that? They tried to make a case that the advanced Hopewell of 2,000 years ago, who, like the Shawnee we know were here, literally HERE, coincided perfectly with the Lamanites of which their faith tells.

Before the historical tribes, though, even before the dubious Lamanites, who knows. It’s believed the first people to be here in these hills above the fertile river valley came trailing the glaciers' retreat as the ice age, which never actually ended, began its patient trek north where it remains even now in the land of permafrost tundras. Cougars used to be here, bears, sloths, wolves, even, far enough back mammoths, since we have the distinction of residing almost literally where the half-mile high glaciers stopped their southern advance, before reversing as the mysteries of climate caused their alteration, their runoff flooding downward with gravity, feeding a river even more ancient than this woods, creating boulder-dotted gullys we used to climb down into as children, and which my children like to do today. So mammoths used to graze here beside the ice, feeding on the meadow flowers that dotted the pseudo-tundra that was once….right here. I like to imagine what they smelled like, and how their trumpeting calls must have sounded.

Weird as it sounds, I love them, even though they’re long, long gone.

So from a human perspective, the woods has "always" been here, never logged, never developed, through millennia, possibly 13,000 years old, and sometimes I think it has many secrets, that it knows things that have gone on. I’m sure across the century of centuries of its life span lovers have met here, feuds were fought, deals made, rituals enacted, skies watched, sacrifices undertaken, ordeals endured, storms, fires, almost certainly murders. If there are such things as ghosts, surely ghosts have been here too, floating in the mists, recalling life, perhaps always cold, cold, cold in death. At least that’s how I always imagined them as a child, spending nights here with my grandparents, hearing stories, sitting up alone and sleepless staring out the windows into the woods, imagining I saw things, telling myself I did.

I can tell you from my own humble vantage point, a mere speck in the time it has known, odd events have come to pass within the woods we are so silly as call “ours.”

For instance there are disappearances associated with our woods, probably natural, almost certainly natural, but, shrug, my mind spins what it will. A few years ago my daughter, then about six, wanted a cat, so we got her one, and since the little cat had four white paws, my child announced she was named Miss Sparkly Feet.

Cute don't you think?

Miss Sparkly Feet was quiet, even for her kind, tolerant but not markedly affectionate, and one day….she simply vanished. Poof. Gone. We looked but never found her. Unremarkable, I suppose, cats being cats, but we never found any trace, any clue, any sign of predatory violence, just...into the woods she apparently went, and in the woods she stayed forever. One of life’s small mysteries.

This summer our beagle, Ernie, a rescue dog, sweet but admittedly not anyone’s favorite compared to our lab, Chocolate, likewise took one of his walkabouts into the woods, something he did many times in the eight years we had him, only this time…well.

Yes, coyotes roam here. Yes, things happen. No, I don’t truly think the woods ate our pets whole, consuming them in some Sabbath of the Soil, or believe they slipped through some portal and wound up sharing the environs with stone age hunter gatherers, but who am I to say they didn’t? Makes a more bearable explanation than the pair winding up coyote dung.

But our woods, it’s a cool place. It dresses up with each season and rewards us for the love we give it. It has memories everywhere I look, of special times and people I’ve known, who lived here too. It whispers and hints and plays games, and likes to remind me that it’s been here for a very long time.

It’s the most remarkable place I know.



Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on November 18, 2017, 09:53:01 AM
Alex, Mr. Mash, the janitor guy on On You Being Served used to talk about the glorious day when the revolutions comes. Am I in the right neighborhood?

If by right neighbourhood you mean British TV then yes, but I am afraid that is not the show I was thinking about, although I will give you a point of karma for getting a reference that I didn't remember despite having watched that show as a child.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: indianasmith on November 18, 2017, 11:22:58 AM
That was pure prose poetry, ER!  Magnificent!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: 316zombie on November 19, 2017, 10:36:58 PM
That made me feel good til I contemplated the almost forty part. How did I get to be thirty-eight, anyway, when my game plan was to die at twenty-nine? Day by day age had crept up on me, granting wisdom but salting the wounds of time’s cruel lash.
written by ER

  the same way i ended up 56 when i planned being dead at 25.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 19, 2017, 10:45:27 PM
That made me feel good til I contemplated the almost forty part. How did I get to be thirty-eight, anyway, when my game plan was to die at twenty-nine? Day by day age had crept up on me, granting wisdom but salting the wounds of time’s cruel lash.
written by ER

  the same way i ended up 56 when i planned being dead at 25.

Quem di diligunt adulescens moritur.


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on November 20, 2017, 01:51:23 PM
Oscar Wilde owes me, and I was just explaining to a Jewish intern why that is, and why it is I expect to be able to call on him in the afterlife (or now!) when I need a witty comeback, or tips on how to deal with that pervasive minority group known as men. He's sort of like my flamboyant spirit guide, except I never really hear from him since he's not actually there.

For those not already in the know---are there still any here?---let's review.

See, though he had the sad misfortune of being born into an Irish Protestant household (we do not speak of such things on my mother's side of the family) Oscar had the good sense to convert to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed in Paris, which means he needed a Get Outa Purgatory Quick card, something young me, sitting faithfully attentive but drugged with boredom at thousands of Masses helped provide from seventh grade on.

Hey, my prayers had to go someplace, right, and Joan Rivers wasn't dead yet.

There is this sci-fi quality to the Catholic doctrine of Grace, wherein Grace is applied from one point of time to any other point of time where it is sent, or, more commonly "where it is most needed." Me, I used to sit there droning though the liturgical responses at chapel each day or Mass on Sunday (for most of my life Saturday was my one day off, and it belonged to tennis) and so I'd always offer my prayers during silent reflection to getting Wilde out of The Place of Purification. I would picture him, rosebud on his lapel, swishing happily through the Pearly Gates, tossing off bon mots, and it felt worthwhile.

I figure I shaved time off for hundreds of his non-Pope sanctioned acts with Bosie and the rest of the pale squad, so he skipped into Heaven, passing by more mundane but forgotten sinners guilty of not supporting Bingo, or having lusty thoughts about cheeseburgers on Friday during Lent.

So like I said to her today and in here before, Oscar Wilde owes me!!


Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: ER on December 15, 2017, 02:36:15 PM
What I'd Like To Tell Them....

To my oldest daughter: Relationships are more fun when you're the crazy one.

To my son: If you win over the mother, your foot's in the door.

To my youngest daughter: Men are going to like you, so cultivate your inner drama queen.

To my husband: Quit trying to catch falling ladders.

To my mother: When you're sixty, let's tell everyone you're my sister. When you're seventy you can be my daughter.

To my dad: Don't die game, write a memoir. Everyone would want to read it.

To my childhood best friend: You made it, so enjoy yourself.

To the person in Austin I love the most: Remember, I'll never tell any of your secrets.

To my favorite self-styled Jewish Princess: Almost everyone keeps the nose they were born with, so quit acting like still having yours is such an achievement.

To my college roommate: Told you neither of us would be the first of our group to die. You still owe me that Coke.

To my Mormon friend: Proxy baptize me and I'll haunt you.

To my jerkiest uncle: You did your worst, I won, now go die slowly.

To my godson: You're fine, and in life you'll mostly be okay.

To my godson's mother: Your bubbly soul is a gift from God, never lose it.

To my friend's dad: You're a much better person now, even if you were more interesting when your life was falling apart gram by gram.

To his wife: Give me some credit, I could have been worse, you know.

To my favorite Texan: The best is yet to come.

To Trevor: I've always imagined your underwear is more complex than a Jackson Pollack canvas.

To Dark Alex: Your darkness brings light to the grayness of life.

To the Rev: I stand by what I said about Ireland.

To RC Merchant: No, your name is spelled with an "ie" you been spelling it wrong all these years by putting a "y."

To anyone who posts on this site: You're more interesting than most of the people I know.

To all the interns at work who ever called me "ma'am": Time will make you understand.

To the Three-Eyed Beast: Ultimately I'm still here, so thank you.

To myself: Remember, you'll survive every day of your life but one.







Title: Re: Stream of Consciousness
Post by: Dark Alex on December 15, 2017, 03:37:57 PM
All my life I've been hearing people say who dies with the most toys wins.

My plan is to outlive everyone else and then steal their toys. Who wins now biatches?