whatever comes to mind

> The phone is necessary for a comfortable life. The speakers > I am getting (cheapest pair of Polk Audio on BestBuy) > are NOT necessary for a comfortable life, but I would > be willing to spring $89 for a set of good headphones, > so what is the difference if it is for speakers that I > can actually use with my tube amp?

Gosh.. I had a friend in the late 1970s who possessed some of the best gear of that time. The words 'Harmon Kardon' come to mind. I think that was the amp. Can't remember what brand of speakers or turn-table.

But he was “on the spectrum” (not words I recall being used in those days), so to speak, and thus relatively gosh-danged finicky.

In fact, his bedroom walls were covered in album covers and what I'm vaguely remember being called “pull outs”. There was some Buddhist-ish book whose title I can't remember we'd pour over, doing what he fondly referred to as “yoga breathing” – which was basically hyperventilating. But, well, you had to do what you could as an adolescent in the late 1970s, gas prices being what they suddenly were after being essentially nothing (by comparison) until it was finally our turn to drive.... <waves/winks at Murphy>

He, um... well, maybe I should respect the dead by not relating any stories. But, oh my, he was a handful for the rest of us in public. We were more into drinking coffee than alcohol at that age, maybe a couple cigarettes, and he'd not smoke, but had a real penchant for throwing lit matches at napkins he'd crumpled into the ash tray. And you never knew when he'd suddenly raise his voice in a way that typically silenced a place....

He was into a lot of music, but I'm recalling above average predilection for The Who.

> You named a few decent 80's power ballads there, but not > what I would consider genuine metal. Motley, incidentally, > is my favorite band of all time but it was only after they > kicked Vince out (for several years) that they released a > true metal album. All depends on the listeners perspective, > of course.

I still don't know what “metal” is. :–)

However, I was massively impressed with the Metallica “black album” (did it even have a title?), with just the slightest whiff of complaint that I felt it had a noticeably “digital” sound to it, as in some combination of too precise, and maybe just slightly tinny.

But the songs and execution... oh my....

Still, if I had to choose between that and Garbage Version 2.0 en route to permanent residency on a desert island, it's not even close: I'd choose the latter with zero deliberation in a fraction of a heartbeat.

> one thing about having a thing for every month opening > a small blue notepad, taking a pen to jot and group > the latest transactions from HSBC then again into a > spreadsheet, is that I can see exactly how much I've ever > spent on beverages of the alcoholic variety. £5,342.

Well, gosh dang if the numeric aesthetica in me doesn't wish it were £5,432!

> Life is too short. We must always remember to live like > it's our last day on earth.

If not in itself!

> As far as “things” go, I have nothing to donate > anywhere because I have so little things that I need all > of my things.

Oh c'mon, dude, surely you can part with that iPhone with the for-shit battery! ;–)

We watched a couple more episodes of “Jack Ryan” tonight. Compelling. It feels almost “Breaking Bad” grade in terms of the intensity of the drama. But then it's been years since watching that, so maybe those embers are too cool for reasonable comparison.

Had a couple glasses of my favorite white wine. Super pleasant buzz. Partner is working some online class. I'm wishing I had a cigarette. Just one. Foolishly burned too many of them around the pool table at the dive bar a couple nights ago. Now I probably have to wait until Friday to acquire more, which of course is almost certainly a good thing.

I had some damned fine scotch Sunday afternoon, the memories of its smokiness palpable on the tongue.

> What is worse, in my opinion, is that in today's political > climate, this is a vicious cycle we can't escape even in > real life: media are using the same “click-baiting” > techniques, while politicians take advantage of people's > gut reactions in their own perpetual political campaigns, > as hate feeds itself and society suffers.

No one ever said pretending to be something we're not would be easy....

> I always loved the old heavy metal bands, as I have been > listening to them since 1990 (when I was 7).

I somehow never quite got there. I'm not even remembering its vital attributes, come to think of it.

Did “Round and Round” by Ratt qualify? I recall really liking that song.

Similar time frame (I think), something called “Fly To Angels” (I think) by Slaughter.

Motley Crue's (sp?) “Without You” comes to mind....

Again, no idea if any of that fits whatever definition of “metal”.

> The next time you're out and about, keep a keener eye open > for the data that your city is presenting to you. You'll > be pleasantly surprised at how much information you've > missed or taken for granted.

It's a fun theory.

But the older I get – and thus the less remaining life time I feel I have – the less I feel I want to “blow it” attending to “information”, aka “knowing facts/figures/stuff” when, instead, I could be attending to forms of beauty, whether “natural” or “human made” (and of course the latter is a subset of the former).

I mean, okay, I suppose “beauty” could be thought of as consisting of “information” – sensory information that I suppose could be – and obviously is – quantized. And that's all well and good inasmuch as there isn't too much lost in the translation from so-called analog to so-called digital.

But I was thinking of “information” as more the likes of “23 people scootered down the left side of Whim Street on 2020/02/10”. I'm rather tired of that kind of “information”. I want to call it “information for information's sake”.

And speaking of tired, the “information” consisting of news articles whose title contains the word 'reportedly' is quite possibly the most tiring of all....

> Did you know that in the first 49 days after you’ve died, > you can do anything you like and go anywhere you want in > the world, just by thinking about it? On the 50th day, > your arse is hauled off to your ‘training place’ in the > astral world (probably some abyss, let’s be honest here).


> Anyway, I am getting a haircut tomorrow, I decided. Need > to look fresh and dapper for my own sake. I can't stand > just having a mop of hair on my head. The top will remain > the same but I am shaving the sides.

I dog-sheared mine for years for simplicity's sake, but eventually wound up with a pony tail.

But I have it somewhat easy in that I've lost so much up top that it never becomes the shaggy disaster it could in the days of my youth (when I was told.. what it means.. to be a man.. <John Bonham wizardy>).

> I, myself, want less dependency on a computer. Less > dependency on digital entertainment or amusement. Less of > the same. And just less in general.

I'd like to think I could do that at the drop of a hat. I did it with Facebook/Twitter what now seems like eons ago, and the peace boost was immediate and lasting.

> Less = more

How very Linux-sounding of you! (given those are somewhat similarly behaving commands, there...)

I do fantasize about being done with online altogether save to pay bills, including running my own email server explicitly for that purpose. All other communication with others would revert to snail. I think I could really love reducing my world to my partner and I in this home, our favorite public spaces, and local friends. I mean, it would be just soooo much less to think about. I imagine a side benefit of that being finally doing the home/local stuff to the best of my abilities, instead of it being more just “one of many worlds” perpetually being distracted by the “virtuals”.

And it would be so cool to once again see the mail carrier as the harbinger of great random surprises (letters from friends) than only the bringer of snail bullshit (“snailshit”?), aka junk mail.

> I could get texts on there, but would always reply with > a phone call. No “professionals” (doctors, etc) would > text me, to begin with, so no trouble there. And, my phone > bill would be significantly cheaper without having to pay > for data.

Simpler phones atop “Republic Wireless”, baby. I've been saving gobs of money down that path for years. Mega-gobs, even. And there's also some technical salvation to it in that our house is located in a super shitty cellular zone, so being able to do voice/text over wifi is quite the joyful middle finger to cellular carriers...

...although of course we're still dependent on an internet provider, and that's been rather suckass zone that last couple months.

They sorta gotcha one way or another. But it does feel good to at least minimize the penetration....

> More in the morning. We were insatiable, even if we'd > verbally agreed we were sated. I showered, she watched me > get dressed. She was already thinking about the future. I > wasn't thinking past the present. The train station brought > another reality, one only she saw coming.

Oh, God, what a beautiful read!

I mean, you know.. once I moved beyond my crippling jealousy....

> On Friday morning we handed over the keys to our flat and > home of the last two years.

Coincidental wow, in that yesterday afternoon my partner and I were revisiting our doing that some 10 or 11 years ago. It was a huge gamble at the time, and I'm glad for the both of us to have prevailed, as I suspect we'd not have made it this far together had we stayed put.

> Tho I had another wonderful thing in my life and thats Lexi

I've met only one, but she left me with the impression there ought be more.

> Just feeling sick of it all

There's definitely more than a little nothingness to internet “things”.

Internet technology is also a seemingly infinitely kludgey hodgepodge of carpets to be randomly and/or unannouncedly pulled out from under you not long after you finally “get” something, finally make something work, etc. So if you ever do build up sufficient escape velocity to feel technically-minded therein, brace yourself for endless meteor, asteroid, and comet strikes, suns exploding, time/space suddenly behaving in new – and generally unwelcome – ways, etc., etc., etc.

So – I guess literally given whom I'm responding to – “Ground control to Major Tom....” ;–)

> So I know that over the next few days it's gonna > be extremely hard for me to be able to do anything > correctly. As all i'm gonna be able to think of is how to > get high again.

What I found to be a powerful “trick” (when I quit drinking for seven years) was to remain grateful for the relative high of sobriety for the effects of alcohol having become a genuine relative low. One might say it was a sort of “negative space” trick, where I'd be thinking the likes of “Oh my God, I sooooo love the 'swig' of not drinking I just took!”

Now, full disclosure (as more regular readers here may already know), I did eventually drink again under circumstances connected to comraderie with an ill brother, which at times I consider a mistake due to the fact I'm still capable of going well overboard. But, I also met my partner several years before then, and thus was establishing a personal space quite different from that in which I'd been “bottle out of control”. Therein I truly have (except for said relatively rare “well overboard” moments) learned how to drink moderately in social settings, and I think there's some significant “win” in that (mostly due to how most people tend to look at people that don't drink at all – due to past addiction – as somewhat frightening pariahs, people that perhaps they shouldn't trust for not being able to “simply” (per their experience) have a couple drinks with them).

But I do remember the “trick” mindset, and employ it as needed if/when I'm feeling the pull of the “low”....

> How is everyone doing tonight? Good I hope

It was a bit of a rough ride during conversations with my partner, as we're pondering marriage and attempting to become more “transparent” overall.

A significant stumbling block is she can become emotional toward my revelations in ways I can't seem to respond to other than becoming a combination of depressed, and increasingly interested in becoming less transparent. As I was explaining to a correspondent, her emotional responses to my being transparent “drive me into the arms of another”, as it were, where “another” is any kind (although never “salacious”) interactions with others that she's unaware of, complete with tinges of “Oh yeah? Then suck on this...” (where, of course, she couldn't possibly come to know what “this” is because I'm that damned good at hiding...).

I mean, she doesn't even know about this blog, for godssakes, and I'm sure I must have been less than glowing about her in posts along the way, just because relationships are hard, I don't always see things correctly, it's easier to blame than to understand, etc., etc. And this place feels like a sort of collective confidant, if not a confessional.

But, well, how do you explain to someone that you've possibly shared more with strangers than with them over the course of a year? Does “because you drove me there” ever really work as an explanation, even when it's true?

And then there are the couple female correspondents I been interacting with for years, completely platonically. But, see, my partner doesn't believe people can truly be platonic... she believes what people call “platonic” is people in denial, all but certainly en route to all-out romantic engagement given the right circumstances, right removals of impediments, etc.

That theory of hers notwithstanding, I've shared a lot with them that I couldn't with her.

So... is there a way to suddenly become transparent about all that, such that I don't have to lose anyone (including this blog) in the process? Or am I hopelessly beyond the point of being trusted?

Posts, snow, email, snow, Netflix, snow, Nancy Pelosi, photos of snow being manually shredded....

(Oh, c'mon! You know how sometimes some things are just too hard to resist. So shred – I mean cut! – me some slack, dammit! ;–) )

Guess what? I think all my correspondents have tired of me.

Well, except for the one that goes back 40 years.

I mean.. can you, dear youngsters out there, imagine 40 years of correspondence? And between people of diametrically opposed politics? And yet the friendship continues to transcend all that happy horse dung?

(That last word had me flashing back to another friend (who married my first girlfriend, btw..) painting his Dungeons and Dragons figures in his parents' basement, circa last 1970s...)

Anyway, I guess that leaves merely two being referenced by the word 'all' in the third line of this installment.

Of course, it could be coincidence. People do get busy with other things. And it is possible to run out of topics.

But, you know, when you consider yourselves more than a little bit of a nutcase, you can't help but wonder if others are finally seeing it too, and slowly backing away.

Something within recently began theorizing about how the consensual existential crisis seemingly rending the veil of The World's temple (hey, I was a Christian fundamentalist for a couple years, so of course I occasionally feel compelled to inject bible references..) might be rooted in the fear of having to personally and collectively face what the vast majorities of the species are: frauds.

Typical members of the “political class” exemplify that fraudsterism, and we're so used to it – not to mention arguably not too different from them (if/when we really compare our inner, unspoken (except online anonymously, of course..) thoughts/feelings with what we portray outwardly (which, of course, is motivated by survival and/or acceptance needs, neither of which are evil in and of themselves)) – that, like our own odor, we don't/can't see it.

Then along comes Trump, who seemingly communicates exactly what's on his mind, perhaps for having so “made it” economically, and in terms of surrounding himself with family such that he hardly needs the opinions of others, explaining and justifying his speech/behavior in ways we'd likely feel embarrassed to be seen bluffing so hard and/or desperately.. but then he time and time again pulls it off... so that all at once we're embarrassed for being reminded we're frauds, but then doubly embarrassed for being so much less skilled in the art thereof, i.e. that we couldn't keep parlaying our ridiculousness into greater and greater fraudster wealth/blessings....

Could it be?

What the hell's wrong with me that I have only 657 posts here (until this one nudges that to 658)? tmo's got, like.. what was it.. 15 million or something like that?

How in's alpha layer (as though a color, e.g. green) virtual earth am I ever to catch up?

You do realize I'm joking around, right?

(Although I'm sure a few ego molecules on my end took it seriously for at least a “my-crosecond” or two...)

> 44F outside right now. Sprinkling rain. Rained a lot > earlier, I can tell. Sun or sorta out, and that is a good > thing. Amazing what some sunlight does for my mood after > days without it.

32F here, an overcast that looks easily strong-armed into some sun.

And I'm suddenly wondering why I often feel like there's something less real about this (particular online) world than the so-called “real world”, given in both cases the gestalt thereof is mediated (as opposed to being “im-mediate”, i.e. direct) via mental models primarily reducible to a posited subject (“I”) experiencing posited objects (“not-I”)?

Is there really any difference apart from said “I” telling it”self” there is?


So maybe “I”'ve had it all wrong. Maybe “I” should just chill the fuck out and enjoy both – not to mention any other worlds – aka dreams – that come “my” mental way?

(all the quoted words in the previous quoted to emphasize the merely posited-ness of said “subject”)

> After all is said and done – I think I need to do some > brainstorming on what type of e-book I am going to write.

Okay, I'm admittedly biased. But how about reflections upon being a

I don't have time or interest in doing such. But if I did, I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy making up fun alternative reality names/handles for the more active of this population, then amplifying aspects of how they come across, attenuating others, guessing on how what's left (of their character/person) after such filtering might translate into “real world” behaviors, actions, predicaments, etc., and then letting them “have at” in settings both online and so-called “real world”....

Last night's “dive bar bliss” had me remembering one of several songs I created in the 1990s inspired, in part, by events connected with that favorite bar of mine from the 1990s.

There was a dear young lady “regular” there who, well, we became what might be called “best platonic buds”.

We had many a good time at the bar, many a good time playing cribbage in her apartment – mostly listening to “The Cure” and “Depeche Mode”. I was sufficiently “inner circle” with her to be privy to her – what she called – “transformation”, i.e. going from a mousy-faced, boring-haired, plain and ordinary female to near supermodel in front of the mirror in her bathroom, as I sat smoking cigarettes on the toilet seat next to her.

She was a troubled soul (as was I – my inability to realize it at the time, notwithstanding), often somber while referring to disappointments and failures in her life (mostly with guys) in elusive ways – as though stating such precisely would be too painful.

So “Mean Me Well” is about her as though her telling it in a variety of ways, with an overriding theme (per the choruses) of deflecting my attempts to introduce alternative (mostly “Buddhist-ish”) thinking to her mental context. As the lyrics explicitly say: “I know you (i.e. me) really mean me (i.e. her) well(, but...)”.

(Chuckling now, remembering having lent her my copy of “The Buddhist Bible”, and her running down the stairs (always in non-trivial heels..) of the favorite bar for having forgotten to return it to me. (I was just about to pull away from the curb and go home.)

The lyrics “(she to me) save your truth for someone else, I'm busy with my life.. no more old philosophy, just go and love your wife...” (as I was married at the time) rather nail it, I think.

There's just so much I love about the song – despite it clearly being far from professional-grade audio quality (because I recorded it on a 4-track cassette tape deck, then transferred it to an 8-track digital device for subsequent re-mastering once I could afford such...). The whole mood of it seems so eerily, dreamily reflective.. so perfect a wistful vehicle slowly, meaningfully hearse-ing me down Reminiscence Lane....

Anyway, check out “Mean Me Well” here: