Monthly Archives: July 2008

All You Buddy

Seven months and over forty pounds since I last had a drink, I am ready to face some shame and post up a vaulted video of myself tripping the light fantastic in various stages of undress. Perhaps I was inspired by <a href="“Where the Hell is Matt?, the Youtube sensation… In his video, Matt reaches across cultural and geographical divisions to spark global conversations in the language of dance; heartwarming. My video is one very inebriated guy who barely avoids stripping totally naked while dancing in front of a crowd; equal to or less than heartwarming. Filmed in the spirit of “Intervention” or, “So You Think You Can Dance?”

Special thanks to Dave G for the camerawork, narration, “It’s all you buddy!”

You Think I’m An Ignorant Savage

We need to paint with all the colors of the wind

Lately I’ve been thinking that were I a Disney Princess, I would probably be Pocahontas… hence the “Colors of the Wind,” lyric I’m using as the title here…

Reading about history on the internet is surely no substitute for a formal education but let me say this: I don’t think I would have the freedom in any classroom to debate connections between electric knifefish evolution in the freshwater lakes of the supercontinent Gondwana and migration along the highway of algae that brought humans from Asia around the Pacific Rim to the Americas long before any ice-free corridor opened between the North American glaciers.

I love how everything has a name… ancient Earth oceans like Iapetus and Panthalassa indicate that when we discover more about the history of liquid water on Mars, the discovering scientists are going to have to dig deep into their reserves of creativity for new names. We all know how creative scientists and engineers are… NOT! That is why here on the internet, I would like to offer up a name, a simple name, that scientists may, if they are so inclined, use for the first discovered ocean on Mars… “Bosco.” They may or may not take me up on this.

Electric knifefish probably were the last fish to swim in the oceans of Mars before the solar wind stripped away the atmosphere. The reason I state this so simply is not because of any scientific evidence: to the contrary, life has never been found outside of Earth, electric knifefish have never been found outside of South America, etcetera. However, because of Mars’ molten core cooling into a solid and therefore the shutdown of its magnetic field, I believe the last life on Mars, the fish in the Martian ocean of Bosco, must have generated their own electric field. Perhaps in the great oceans on the Jovian moon Titan there are also electric knifefish.

Even though no electric knifefish were able to flip-flop across open land to the Western lakes of the supercontinent Gondwana before it split into South America and Africa, they did and still can all generate their own personal electric fields. Something tells me we are going to find these things on other planets in extraterrestrial oceans like Bosco. Of course all that depends on a set of factors such as if life ever existed off Earth, the salinity of these oceans, the evolution of extraterrestrial fishes, etc. etc. The lesson here is that no schooling is needed to be perfectly informed about these things, and to expound on them accordingly.

A National Geographic program told me (in high definition) that America has always been a melting pot and a salad bowl of cultures since the first migrants followed the highway of kelp around the Pacific rim (the same boaters that overtook Australia?) fifty thousand years ago, just as smart as us, and made it to the West Coast at approximately the same time that Western Europeans trekked across the Atlantic on the glacial edge bringing with them the Clovis point and populating the southern East Coast, just as smart as us. Yes, it appears the land-bridge story was a bad one. I remember being in fifth grade thinking, “This whole land-bridge thing’s a little fishy.”

America has always been this way!

At least since three million years ago when the volcanic Isthmus of Panama rose up and bridged the two continents allowing for interchange of flora and fauna such as rodents and yes, electric knifefish. (Yes!) After Panama it was like the animals were picking teams for a game of dodgeball… South America sent up its armadillos, opossum, vampire bats, porcupine, dire wolves, hummingbirds and chupacabras… North America sent down its deer, rattlesnakes, cottontail rabbits, hog-nosed skunks, squirrels, big cats and short-faced bears. I bet it was cute!

Many mega-fauna species died off, however, around the time that gigantic waves of human beings flooded in, leading some scientists to believe that we were the catalysts of death and destruction. Rubbish, I say, for we people are the kindest and gentlest beings yet put forth by the evolution of life. For the record, tonight for dinner my aunt and I dined at a seaside clam shack and I had a foot-long chili-dog and a 1/4 LB cheeseburger and she had the fried scallops platter.

How high can the sycamore grow?  If you have to ask, you'll never know!

Maybe the evolution of our species is best respresented by a human tribe stalled on the land-bridge, and our future survival is dependent on an ice-free passage opening in the glaciers of our selfish desire. Perhaps the internet is like an algae superhighway and I am amongst those first in the grass rafts rowing away from the land where I was born. Or perhaps…

Jake and Earl’s

“That’s why I don’t eat shrimp,” says Charles Barkley to Dwayne Wade on his T-Mobile cellphone in the popular TV advertisement. We never do find out why Sir Charles stopped eating shrimp, but as they point out over on Yahoo! Answers, lots of people don’t shrimp. I do eat shrimp, but I was a little worried when Christa insisted that we order them at Jake’s Dixie Roadhouse, the Waltham restaurant that Mr. S spun out of Jake and Earl’s, the original barbecue component of the East Coast Grill.

Lady C and I had driven all the way up into Waltham on hot wet streets to see if we could lift any of Schlesinger’s lingering fingerprints from the spot. Even though the name had to be changed to the singular Jake’s Dixie Roadhouse after Chris sold his stake, Jake and Earl’s is still written on the windows. Seven years after the sale, the brisket was lean, dry and I liked it a lot, but the burnt ends were overdone and hard to chew with my bad teeth. The buffalo shrimp was fantastic!

The breading on the shrimp was Goldilocks and the buffalo sauce had might and bite. Definitely the opposite of how Sir Charles feels about shrimp, we left Jake’s and watched the Hunter Thompson biopic “Gonzo,” playing at the Kendal Square Landmark Theater’s twin, the Embassy Cinema. At the end, after he commits suicide by gunning himself down, and then has his ashes put in a rocket that explodes in the night sky over the valley of land that he owned, I was feeling angst. It had started raining, and we got the hell out of Waltham.

eat buffalo shrimp jake's dixie roadhouse waltham

bbq blues jakes dixie roadhouse waltham

The first year Jake and Earl’s opened Mr. S should have had a Hell Night at the Roadhouse with a live band.

CHART: My Chief Concern

A homeless guy who had been sleeping in the basement of my Harvard Square apartment building was recently escorted out by police, according to a note posted by the property managers. To best describe how I feel about that, I present the following super-accurate chart. Although many other concerns appear in the form of animal heads posing savagely, clearly my chief concern is the homeless guy who had been living in the basement with me…

This patented chart technology is more than just Paintbrush on a Steely Dan album cover, trust me

An Anus is Frot with Danger

Bonobos know all about this stuff

“So, you feel alone? You probably look forward to weekends with your buds — especially those times when you can horse around, wrestle & even be a little tender — like when you’ve had a few beers (or maybe just got done pinning the guy down wrestling) & you find your arm around him, resting a hand on his upper or lower back in a casual, reaffirming hug…”

We human beings certainly lead sexually diverse lives… and some people have something to say about that! The whole idea of telling someone else how or with whom to have sex goes way over my head. But then the closest thing to intimacy I’ve experienced in the past few months has been reading a doctor-penned gay sex manual purchased by my sister. The fistulas detailed in that book reminded me somehow of when Jack Mackenroth had to leave Project Runway to do battle against multiple-resistant bacteria that had attacked his upper lip. The connection is somewhat more ambiguous to me now.

What does this symbol mean?  Cock2cock!Out in the wild of the internets, on my own, by myself, in the dark, I rubbed up against this idea that frottage should become the prevalent form of male to male intercourse. It was late at night, I was examining information, when I came to a website with “man2man” in the domain. At said place on the internet a doctor was presenting the ideas from his book about frottage. Mainly it was broken into a two-pronged argument in favor of frotting (which itself in this case would also be two pronged.) The first part was that anal sex is no good because the back door is one way, and the tissue is not suitable for penetration. Thats the old, “Rectum? Damn near killed ’em,” line from back in the day…

Thats what kind of drew me into reading the endless nonsense present on this webpage. I only describe it as endless nonsense because instead of being written in paragraphed flowing prose it was constructed in single sentences that were almost all linked to their own footnotes, making the examination of said data exhausting to the eyeball. And, obviously, because it was a long-winded argument. The vagina section alone probably took me an hour to read. I read and read about the vaginal walls and their elasticity and evolution and a tit-for-tat vagina to anus comparison.

After reading so extensively about love mounds, that night I had a dream I was having vaginal intercourse with my first girlfriend. It was a horrible dream, and not because of its accuracy to the real-life event, but because it was a deeply sensory dream… Maybe that was also distorted in the dream process, because it smelled exactly like B.O., very strong B.O., and that’s not an authentic vaginal odor. Perhaps my synapses were crossing memories of the hour spent reading about vaginas with the description of an alternative frottage position involving male genitalia “penetrating” the partners armpit. Its called “bag-piping.”

Beyond the vagina (isn’t that what all life is?) was the second prong of the pro-frottage thesis, that anal penetration twists the male psyche into a submissive, emasculated state. The argument that butt sex accounts for feminine behavior in men sounded like something my dad would say. Personally, I have befriended my share of Marys and queens (though not any Queen Marys) and it seems to me, from my scientific perspective, like they were probably born like that. Now I’m not saying that some men do not affect femininity, because modest affectations can be observed anytime an individual joins a social group. Just that I don’t blame butt sex for feminine guys. All in all, to me, the psychological prong did not hold much weight compared to the anatomically correct observation that, “An Anus is Not a Vagina.”

Its either that the idea didn’t hold as much water, or that I became tired of reading a litany of single sentences by the second half of the thesis. Most likely a combination of both, but in any event, the brute force of the argument flew right past me; not that I dodged it, it just didn’t hit me. To hark back to how I feel about some people telling other people with whom and how to have sex, militant cries for frottage to transform the gay community are discordant with the toll of the iron bell of sexual freedom. Yes, with anal sex there is a high rate of disease transmission, including the dreaded HIV. With anal sex there is also blood, sweat, tears, cowboy hats, fecal matter, the need for water soluble lubrication (Jake Gyllenhaal spitting on Heath Ledger’s brown eye); its not for everybody, and that’s a fact.

Let me also put on record my support for state’s that have repealed anti-sodomy laws. Whatever the dangers of anal sex (with either gender), telling someone what they can or can’t do in the privacy of their own bedroom just doesn’t jibe with me (legalize it!). Further investigation into the field of frottage revealed that not all is coming up roses and daffodils on that side of the fence, either. If adopting the “g0y lifestyle” (g0y is a term meaning straight-acting frot boy) means shunning the gay community then it sounds like g0y actually just means closeted. When wrestling with a straight guy, a meandering hand on his lower back or lustful, heavy breathing or getting an erection can actually result in a punch to the face. A manly, frotting fag would be like the sad, lost cowboys of Brokeback Mountain, except crotch-grinds sub for anal penetration at the semi-annual fishing trip.

Interesting as the frottage debate is, there is a dark side to it as well, called frotteurism. Some people have a fetish for sexual rubbing against strangers in public. “The professional handbook of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV), lists the following diagnostic criteria for frotteurism. *Recurrent, intense, or arousing sexual urges or fantasies, that involve touching and rubbing against a nonconsenting person. *The person has acted on these sexual urges or fantasies, or they cause the person significant distress, to a degree they are disruptive to everyday functioning.” In Japan, this is called chikan, is featured in pornography, and most often applies to men rubbing themselves sexually against women on the crowded subway cars. Chikan is such a problem that during rush hour many Japanese subway trains have women-only cars…

The Biggest Dog Has Been A Pup

The American humorist Erma Bombeck once said, “Every puppy should have a boy,” and this one properly obliges…

Keeping the pup super duper clean

The poofer outside with its poof face on

Swimming Shorts and Sausage Pornography

Big thanks to Drew and Diamond for stepping into the void created by the disappearance of my camera, and delivering these high quality shots from the 4th of July Party. Those are the swimming shorts the Future wore when he swam out to the Rock, which was covered in seaweed and very slippery. As for the sausages, all I can say is two of them ended up taking the walking tour through my digestive tract…

3rdarm in the Red White and Blue bandanna on the 4th of july

So many sausages... its like sausage pornography

Lighten Up, Francis

This is an artistic construction of what the Manned Cloud blimp hotel would look like

The Fourth of July party was like flying in the new dirigible designed by Jean-Marie Massaud… a luxury hotel in the shape of a large whale floating through the sky at 80 MPH. It was very chilled out yet it went quick. I’d love to write up my full thoughts on the day, however, I cannot overcome feeling bummed out over the loss of my camera and therefore all my photos. After my second plate of food, I left it on the grass with my sunglasses and I went to get a soda. When I came back, GONE.

The lesson here is you can look, but don’t touch. I’m gonna have to cue up a “Stripes” quote to deal with you camera-thieving / -moving assholes… “Psycho: The name’s Francis Sawyer, but everybody calls me Psycho. Any of you guys call me Francis, and I’ll kill you. Leon: Ooooooh. Psycho: You just made the list, buddy. Also, I don’t like no one touching my stuff. So just keep your meat-hooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I’ll kill you. And I don’t like nobody touching me. Any of you homos touch me, and I’ll kill you. Sergeant Hulka: Lighten up, Francis.

I’m going to get some sleep and lighten up. The camera thing, obviously, is just killing me. I can only hope I get that phone call in the morning, or its returned to me tomorrow at work, so I can share the pictures of the fantastic dangers that we all managed to live through… including but not limited to Ace out on the rock amidst stormy waters, lots of people eating, the strobe lights and stripper poles in the Party Ride, Eric the Viking as the Statue of Liberty and, “How long has Bob been gone with the machete?”

Before I go into a fitful sleep where I will be Mel Gibson angrily ranting, “You kill him, you kill yourself, you motherfucker! GIVE ME BACK MY SON!” and by son, meaning camera, and by kill, meaning erasing my pictures. Instead of imagining more of that, I will end on a mellow note with Mr. Massaud’s tranquil inspiration for the whale shaped blimp hotel: “The large whales made a choice in evolution to live in harmony with their environment,” he said. “They are symbols of life in harmony with nature.”

Even Robots Started Small

Last night I watched the film, “Even Dwarfs Started Small.” This was the first Werner Herzog film, other than “Grizzly Man,” that I have yet to see. It was his second feature film, a “Lord of the Flies” allegory of society starring an all-midget cast. The fact that allthe actors in the film are midgets made one IMDB reviewer with an admitted “fear of small shapes” call the film ” very scary,” and the fact that someone else was scared of the film made me in turn fearful of watching it alone, so I invited my friend Alexa over and she watched it with me.

“Even Dwarfs Started Small” made me question the role of serendipity in Herzog’s filmmaking. Was he setting up these shots based on strict storyboards crafted months in advance, or had he given himself the freedom to film what “felt right,” following outlines from his script. Based on the beauty and oddity of some situations, like a driver-less van careening in circles, I am guessing the latter. If thats true then my current goal of watching all of Herzog’s films should be very good for my own art. The spontaneous and unplanned is a crucial component of the art I value, and I can only benefit from studying a master.

Today, after a nights sleep featuring dreams about old friends when they were young and with their families, (thats what you get for posting pictures of yourself as a kid on the facebook,) I did my daily duty of serendipitously trawling the internet. Hombre, a central character in “Even Dwarfs” was a theme. In the film, Hombre is peer-pressured into a room with a woman, but he cannot get onto the bed to copulate with her. Its a touching, funny scene, watching Hombre try and fail. He can’t “get up.” That kind of shit is why I love Herzog!

Eventually I stumbled upon a Digg-linked page detailing how Milky Way fluctuations can effect life on Earth, for example how every sixty four million years our solar system’s celestial movement brings us outside the galactic plane, exposing our planet to much higher levels of cosmic rays. From there I read about how machine has conquered man in every game we’ve ever created, save the oldest game, “Go.” From the excellent film “Game Over: Gary Kasparov and the Machine,” and talks with my sister on artificial intelligence advancements and possibilities, I knew that the machine mind was dominant over our own in terms of computational power.

This article, however, demonstrates that computers have a ways to go before they are our intellectual equals… Perhaps when the time for intuitive computing comes about, the film “Even Dwarfs Started Small” will apply as much to them, as to us. In that case, were I the future-director of a remake, perhaps I’d cast Wall-E as Hombre?

“Go has become a cryptic symbol of unlocking the secret of artificial intelligence. If a machine can figure out how to dominate at Go, it is believed that mankind would be very close to replicating human thought. However in spite of over a million dollars in prize money up for grabs, programmers have not yet been successful.

It has been calculated that there are more distinct games of Go than atoms in the known universe. A move early in the game can affect the passage of play hundreds of moves later. The vastness of the possibilities offers a wide range for individuality, and an intuitive awareness of the other players feelings and thoughts.”

Wall-E stars as Hombre in my future all-robot remake of Even Dwarfs Started Small

Summer Skies and Stars Are Falling

Everyone knows that time is money, but few keep that in mind when it really matters. Take as an example this week. Out of all the fifty two weeks in a year, this one’s definitely in the top ten. That is worth some money, when you stop and think about it. Its the beginning of summer; the season of sun and fun is all in front of us. There will be fireworks popping off in the night to remind us of the fourth of July. Many people will take their vacations.

Kristi, the GM at the East Coast for the past three years, worked her last shift Monday night. Her husband, mother and father, and the woman who was GM for the nine years before Kristi, all ate dinner together to celebrate her accomplishments, and I waited on them. The previous GM, Maureen, who was Kristi’s mentor in a way (she hired and trained her to be the successor) had not been back in the restaurant since HER final shift. I had always dreamed of waiting on her, and this proved no disappointment. Maureen watched all the moves I made with eagle eyes, and in the end, offered me praise.

As a professional server, the opportunity to wait on two East Coast general managers, together, was an honor. It felt right for Kristi’s last night in that the circuit was complete; the teacher and student were back at the same table, each with a plate of panko-fried yellowfin on a bed of noodles. The chickens of the sea had come home to roost. As the night went on, dinner was cleared and other friends and employees arrived to say thank you to Kristi for her hard work, and to wish her well in her future endeavors.

This Friday is the fourth, and the restaurant will be closed for the employee party. I’m going to try to keep in mind how valuable this time is now in America… the beautiful, warm weather, the longer hours of sunlight, good health, friends, and explosions high in the sky. And I am going to think about the good chunk of time Kristi gave us for less than optimum pay, how she kept her mind open, managed us and the restaurant well, and I’m going to try to find a way to say thank you.

The Monday night crew with K Nugs on her last day

Monday crew and Eric on Kristis last day

Kristi (with her mom) passes the baton to EZ

What is this the Rockettes?