Thursday, April 29, 2004
google's filing with the SEC.
things i noticed today
ellen degeneres. i liked her better when she was bob newhart.
i signed up for a gmail account. 1 gig of free space. what does that even mean anymore? a gig. i'd fill that up in a day with all the spam i get.
that's another thing. when did i cross over into spam-dom? it wasn't sudden. first ten or twenty messages a day. then fifty. now it seems like i'm deleting a message every minute. all those extra large penises and breasts and 24 hour sex-a-thons and depression cures and co-workers setting me up on blind dates. feel good. feel better. feel incredible. sometimes i just want to click all their links and completely destroy my email accounts. sorry guys. i can't find your messages anymore. the spam has me.
there's a talent show at thomas' school near the end of school. he's going to play his guitar. lonanne and i want to have him do knock-knock jokes in-between songs, but he refuses. he's like me in this way. he loves knock-knock jokes and will sometimes tell them in succession for the better part of an hour. but he wants it to be an unexpected sort of funny, unprovoked and a little bit random. if there's an expectation on our part or anyone elses, then forget it. no knock-knock. six more weeks of winter.
this season of the sopranos sucks. why do i decide to get hbo when the writers of the sopranos stopped taking their quaaludes?
the walkmen. bows and arrows. track 4. actually tracks 1-4. and 8. also tom waits rain dogs. all the tracks. radiohead actually rips off a line of his in the pyramid song. "they all went to heaven in a little rowboat." what's the picasso line? good artists copy and great artists steal.
i went to a poker tournament at crimson and lost out in the first round. the asian kid that beat me went on to win the tournament. this doesn't do much for me, though. i played like crap.
-adolf ball hit me in the mouth
a week ago my mom stopped breathing. she called 911 just in time. they put her in the icu and a machine was breathing for her. a nurse friend of hers told me that she scrawled "i'm drowning" on a whiteboard. i went to see her in a cheap beaumont hospital this past weekend. her and her five doctors. one was a short, kindly spanish gentleman with tiny hands. another was tall, all business. they came in and suggested tests. angiograph. mra. or mri. check the blood cells. check the kidney. everyone knows what happened. they kept repeating it. she had congestive heart failure and fluid in or around the lungs due to kidney failure. it's just that nobody can quite say why it happened. she's better now. home and resting. off the breathing machine. my mom just laughs about it. "they don't know," she whispers to me. i nod and we smile. like warriors.
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
a great overview of the oil-for-food scandal. in light of the fact that bush is currently being pressured to have the u.n. take over iraq, it's worth finding out a little bit more about the 10 billion missing dollars (that's slightly 9 billion more dollars than halliburton stands to make, i can assure you).
Monday, April 19, 2004
i met scott blackwood, my short story prof, the other night out for drinks and he reminded me of this article by francine prose about william trevor vs. alice sebold.
a quote from trevor:
"The very obvious sort of experimental writing is not really more experimental than that of a conventional writer like myself. I experiment all the time but the experiments are hidden. Rather like abstract art: you look at an abstract picture, and then you look at a close-up of a Renaissance painting and find the same abstractions."
indeed, trevor seems to approach what flannery o'connor called the "anagogical" vision. the view of the world as it is. if comfort culture and oprahfication seek to "heal" via false endings or falsely-echoed truths uttered over warm tea, then writers like trevor and even shows like six feet under stand in stark contrast to this. here's life in its full, they seem to say. nothing less. nothing more. here's death when it comes. here's life where you don't expect it.
sxsw haiku reviews:
volume 1 & volume 2.
anyone who knocks johnny cash's late work really should pick up when the man comes around off musicmatch or iTunes. i liked hurt quite a lot (off the same album), but this song shows the other more jesus-on-fire side of cash.
The hairs on your arm will stand up at the terror in each
Sip and each sup will you partake of that last offered cup
Or disappear into the potter's ground
When the man comes around
Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still
Listen to the words long written down
When the man comes around
Sunday, April 18, 2004
well, it's finished. finito. complete.
it doesn't have the underground layer with tubes that shoot you off to blockbuster and grandma's house. it doesn't have a swimming pool or a trampoline on the roof. it doesn't have most of the things that thomas envisioned in his 200,000 renderings of the "ground treehouse." but we built it. and it wasn't some cheap-ass, overpriced playhouse made of fake red cedar. my stepbrother (the architect) designed it. kyle, my stepbrother, my stepdad and nadav all came over and helped. much like the amish, we did it in a day. only it's not a barn the size of a football field. and there was lone star beer.
at any rate, thomas woke us up this morning and he and william went out and started swinging on it. i have to be honest here. i could see the whole thing collapsing the minute they got on the swings. but it didn't. william christened it the "ground tree playhouse." thomas bemoaned the fact there isn't a tree attached to it. they both asked me when i was going to install the rock-climbing wall and a pole. ah, life.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
things i (barely) noticed this past week
i collected stamps when i was a kid. somehow i avoided knowing this for 25 years. then, as i was licking the antique toy stamp to affix to my tax return, i remembered. i collected rocks too. i read somewhere recently that memory is transactive. in short, you store your memories with other people. kyle knows computers so i don't have to. sort of like google. you don't have to remember anything with google. but my childhood's lost to me. i recover snippets here and again, but i don't have anyone who stored it for me, who can repeat it back to me and i to them.
the urge to write almost always strikes at the wrong times. as i'm lying down in bed, my muscles recoiling from a day of furious non-action, my legs barely able to make the effort. i'll do it tomorrow i say to myself dreamily. or maybe never.
thomas' soccer team, the golden eagles, won their first game of the season last weekend (3-1) over the green hulks. thomas scored two of the three goals. not much beats watching your kid sail through three defenders like silk and kick a round ball into a goal from twenty feet out. simply fucking brilliant. today at practice, the coach told us that was the first game they'd won in two years. of course, this is the first year thomas has been in the hizzyouse.
i do most of my best work standing up. i got a ball to sit on at work and i'll often kick it back and stand. my monitors are stacked up chest high on twenty reams of heavyweight color laser paper. 94 brightness.
salado makes me sleepy. scratch that. going out to the country makes me sleepy. i nearly slept all day saturday and most of easter sunday on shirley's leather couch. she must think i'm a bum. but the rain hits the tin roof...the smell of old, burnt cedar wafts across the room...and i'm out.
i can't continue at my present rate. i'm overbooked. writing, work, side jobs, soccer, guitar lessons, taxes, poker, music, folly, friends, phone calls, email. i usually get to bed at 1 or 2 a.m. and wake up at 6:30. i used to read about people doing this and shake my head in amazement. it's only going to get worse in the fall.
in less than four days william has been hit in the head with a baseball bat (thomas), had his eye nearly scratched out with a broken plastic somethinganother (thomas) and fallen off a slide, slamming his face into a pile of gravel (himself). he looks like rocky (from rocky I, when stallone's face was probably 1 part makeup to 3 parts ass-whipping). i scooped him up off the gravel and pulled tiny rocks out of his bloody cheeks. his teacher at school already thinks we neglect him. "are you ever going to cut his hair?" she asked me the other morning. "not now," i said. us magnusons gotta stick together.
Saturday, April 10, 2004
another great hitchens on fallujah.
I debate with the opponents of the Iraq intervention almost every day. I always have the same questions for them, which never seem to get answered. Do you believe that a confrontation with Saddam Hussein's regime was inevitable or not? Do you believe that a confrontation with an Uday/Qusay regime would have been better? Do you know that Saddam's envoys were trying to buy a weapons production line off the shelf from North Korea (vide the Kay report) as late as last March? Why do you think Saddam offered "succor" (Mr. Clarke's word) to the man most wanted in the 1993 bombings in New York? Would you have been in favor of lifting the "no fly zones" over northern and southern Iraq; a 10-year prolongation of the original "Gulf War"? Were you content to have Kurdish and Shiite resistance fighters do all the fighting for us? Do you think that the timing of a confrontation should have been left, as it was in the past, for Baghdad to choose?
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
things i noticed on my son's seventh birthday party at skateworld last saturday
skateworld employees aren't all that friendly. the guy at the ticket counter tells us we "better be sure" we have the correct names on the birthday list because "everyone else will have to pay." it was sort of the way he said it. he's probably laid down that spiel a thousand times, but i bet it turned sour for him the second try. come to think of it, he should've been working at a porn store. "japanese schoolgirls are on aisle twelve and I DON"T FREAKIN' CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!!!" our party hostess wasn't much better.
thomas fell down at least twenty times, but he kept getting back up. he didn't want my help either. he's all growed up. (sniff).
they still have couples skate.
red light/green light is impossible on roller skates.
if you're four years old and your name's william, you can still get away with wearing a tigger suit in public.
"you shook me all night long" by acdc never really gets old for me.
they only have pink skates for size 13 feet. size 12 too.
the entrance to skateworld is hidden for some peculiar reason. everyone tries to go through what looks to be the main entrance, but is actually a door that puts you right on the skating rink. people opened the door at least seven times while we were there. it was like someone opening the exit door in a movie theater. the sunlight nearly blinds you.
skating backwards is what separates the experienced skate world regulars from the birthday party crowd. it also appears to be a convoluted mating ritual for thirteen-year old mall refugees.
Friday, April 02, 2004
via geekpress: The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman
it's been a long week. i wish i could begin to describe it, but i gotta go get the clothes out of the dryer. then i'm going to watch some indie movie and passsss out.