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Topics - Eater of Clowns

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46
Get your fucking model on watermelon fuckers, this is the Great PD Expression-Off.  See a spagbook photo with one bitchin grimace?  Submit that shit.  Think your grimace can beat it?  Submit that shit.

I start you off with an expression inspired by Dok's Mustache thread:  THE LEGENDARY LEER.




Sweet sockfucking christholes that's a leer.  I humbly submit my response in the form of drunken leer:



That leer's so powerful it pixelized the faces of my close friends.  Their faces are like that now, permanently, and they forgive me because of the glory of that expression.  If you see a pixelface around, they are beautiful people you should be less hostile to than normal.

CAN YOU OUTLEER THAT?  Show it.  Does your pooping face top the leer?  SHOW IT.  The gauntlet, I lost it, it's thrown down so low it's in the fucking mantle.

47
The movie adaptation of Fraggle Rock is getting a new screenwriter - for an "edgier" script.

Quote
Director/Screenwriter Corey Edwards has updated his blog with a note warning Fraggle Rock  fans that “there are some dark days ahead, my friends.” As it turns out, The Weinstein Company, who has been working with Edwards on a big screen Fraggle Rock movie, has begun a wide search for a new screenwriter to come aboard the project after demanding the the script was “not edgy enough.”

Down at Fraggle Rock they had things just about figured out.  Of course they had problems; space gets cramped underground you know, but oh what little those caves did to their spirits.  Living with no sun to speak of would drive the best of our moods spiraling downward but not those little guys.  You ask one of them what it's like to live in a dark stone cavern and they cheerily reply with how well it carries their voices on their many daily songs, how it melds their voices together to something more.  That's what the Fraggles were all about; individuals each strong alone coming together for something greater still.

They did their work with us, with their "Ambassador" Henson, for four years.  It was a big four years for them, they were explorers at heart and loved the idea of a new world above to strike out and learn about humanity.  And we lapped up every second of it, didn't we, their catchy tunes and their oddly relevant lessons?  Here we had beings so foreign who somehow understood us better than we did ourselves.  It wasn't at the price of introspection that they knew so much and still remained cheerful.  No, they were deep people, they after all knew only darkness really.  It was through strict discipline of mind that the Fraggles kept things running as they were lest they fall into the traps we've all seen ourselves.

Henson saw the toll our world exacted on them as days went by.  Groups of Fraggles would strike off as stowaways on boats and airplanes to examine the humans above and report back.  They would gather together like they loved to do in one of the production areas, at these times strangely less welcoming of outsiders than was their nature.  They would speak in hushed voices.  Faint gasps could be heard.  Every day some scouts returned was followed by a wary eye by the Fraggles the next day on set; stress lines began crossing their eyes.  Listen closely to the final season and you might hear a note of sorrow in their song.  How could they trust humans knowing what we're capable of?

It was the height of their success that the kindly muppet man requested they return home.  The higher-ups were obviously less than thrilled that their merchandising and ratings would disappear just like that.  Like always, Henson fought them tooth and nail on behalf of the strange creatures he'd come to love.  Even seeing in his other projects how cold the money makers could be, Jim left that meeting disturbed; disturbed by the sly and slight smile on the face of one man in the back of the room.  A man who was biding his time.

Things were largely normal back home for them for quite a few years.  Long enough, almost disturbingly precisely perhaps, for us to forget what the Fraggles once meant to us.  And maybe for them to forget what we are.  Their man came to Fraggle Rock long after Jim was gone.  There was quiet in the cave.  They didn't like him, didn't like the menace behind the well trained publicity smile.  They didn't like the greed they saw when they explained the Doozers, how he almost licked his chops at the idea of a race of workers who knew only to work and never understood why.  But they listened.  That's what they do.

Turns out that man didn't need contracts.  He didn't need legalities.  All he needed to was ask for help.  Help us.  It was a cry none of the Fraggles could turn down.  The ones that had forgotten the world above in their twenty year absence jumped at the chance to try again to teach us what life was really about.  They could sing and laugh again, for us, and we could share it.  And the man just smiled sly and slight.

With props to Richter for his recent Audio Book entry on bringing this about.

48
Discordian Recipes / Discordian Travel Guide
« on: June 16, 2010, 02:01:22 am »
So, I've been around the country a bit in the last month or so and other pders have been to a lot more places a lot more frequently.  We're spread out, we've all gone to different places, etc.  I'm wondering what the interest would be in getting together a bunch of pieces as a travel guide with our own spin on it - pointing people to actually interesting parts of cities instead of hellholes, maybe touching upon stuff that a regular guide wouldn't.  Think Weird New England, but written by people you know.

Anyway, this is in Discordian Recipes right now because even if we can't get a legit travel guide, at the very least we could have a list of good places to eat, little hidden gems you know about that even other locals might not.

Example:

California

City:  San Francisco - EoC
Area:  Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf is an area well known for blubbery mammals sunning themselves on wooden planks against the backdrop of the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.  Sea lions are also known to show up there.  While the majority of this destination seems to be reserved for cheap souvenier shops and only-in-tourist-town eateries like Bubba Gump Shrimp there are a few gems to be found by the water.

The view is certainly worth seeing, offering Alcatraz, aforementioned bridge and sea life, and some seriously bizarre street performers often from the same vantage point.  Fresh crab is readily available from a number of little stands for a seafood lunch.  

Check out Musee Mechanique, a private museum housing historic coin operated machines - able to be used by the public.  Break a dollar and you can watch a mechanized reenactment of a British trial and hanging, get your fortune read by a terrifying wizard, enjoy a brief vintage peep show, and arm wrestle against a robotic bicep.

What to see:

Just south of San Francisco, an easy drive or a hop off the commuter rail is Colma.  The area is known for its density of cemeteries, but one will have particular interest.  The Woodlawn Memorial Park is the current resting place of Joshua Norton, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.  The Woodlawn office has maps at the ready and the employees were more than willing to send travelers in the right direction.  

City:  Fresno - Secret Agent GARBO (HoverCat)

In the Fresno area proper, there's practically nothing touristy (I have no idea what the German and Japanese tourists come here for). Tower district is like a mini Castro, sort of, and Tower Theater is really cool inside. If you like antiquing, there's some decent stores in Old Town Clovis (I still recommend Fulton's Folly, though, which is in Tower). I can't speak for most of the little towns around here otherwise because I don't go to them.

Good restaurants:
Tsing Tao
North India
Teazers (actually a tea house)
Piemonte's deli
Mezze House (best Mediterranean place in town)
Thai Gem (teeeny tiny place, like I think the max is twenty people, including staff)
Me 'n Ed's (a super good local pizza chain)
Edo Ya
Brahama Bull
Starline Grill

Cool clubs/bars:
The Starline (for local acts)

Other:
Clovis Farmer's Market is every Friday all summer long. Really, really, really good produce, local acts, various things to distract your kids, like a bounce slide, and pretty good food.


In the Sierras:
Yosemite (ehhh...scads of tourists, though still pretty)
Squaw Leap Loop (a small hiking trail - pretty and moderately difficult)
Sequoia National Park (much prettier and much quieter than Yosemite - it and Kings Canyon tend to be where locals go)
Kings Canyon (absolutely gorgeous and very quiet)
Shaver Lake (man made lake, but very pretty. Popular day trip spot here, and Shaver Pizza is a good spot for lunch/dinner)
Dinkey Creek - pretty, there's fishing, and Honeymoon Pool is a good swim in the late summer)

City:  San Diego - Jenne

San Diego, CA.

You got your usual haunts that are "internationally known," like the Zoo, Balboa Park, and SeaWorld.

Balboa Park is the only WORTHY of those three, because it's got some cultural bent to it.  It's got these international houses that specialize in the cultures from the area after which they are named.  House of France, House of Iran, House of Palestine (!), House of Germany, House of England, House of Uzbekistan (!), etc.  And twice a year, they have "street fairs," where they put out booths where they sell food, up and down the row where they are located.  Every other weekend of the year, they take turns opening up (about half to a third of them rotate ever month) through volunteer labor to showcase their curiosities, historical artifacts and some small food item(s), which you can pay a voluntary fee for.

Balboa Park also has sooo many museums--flight, sports, natural history, science...all in historical buildings.  Parking is FREE.  The zoo is also located here, if you have the notion.  But you can also simply park, picnic or hike.  Is all good.

Downtown Gaslamp is awesome...Balboa's located nearby.  This area in San Diego is rich in cultural diversity, different shopping areas, an outdoor mall that's all funky because it's multiple buildings put together, and performing arts.  It's got your usual homeless, etc. element, like a "true" downtown...but not to worry.  Popo abound.  So do the bike cabbies.

The Harbor near downtown is cool if only because it's got some great eats, just like downtown, cruises where you can go see some whales, and great atmosphere.  You get a great view of the Coronado Bridge, which leads to Coronado itself.  Home to the Navy as well as this little area full of moneyed buttheads.  It's cute, overpriced, and damn gorgeous.  OH, and it has one of THE most famous haunted hotels in San Diego--"The Hotel Del Coronado" or "Hotel Del" as it's known locally.

San Diego has a lot of local hiking, biking and walking trails.  Our national parks system has not only inland mountain hiking but also trail and beach hiking.  Waterfalls.  Creeks.  Lakes where you can fish.  They're all over.  You are surrounded by nature here.  You can't run from it or hide from it.  You come here, it is your destiny.

Lastly--the arts community.  We got your hippies, we got your Chicanos, we got your Wylands.  You want artsy fartsy--you won't be disappointed.  From street art in Barrio Logan, to Lomas Santa Fe where artists have studios by the beach, to Escondido where the poorer art students hold regular art nights with free wine and artisanal chocolates.

San Diego seems vastly white washed thanks to all the midwestern folks that have transplanted thanks to job opportunities and our all-too-prevalent military complexes.  But in the end, we're pretty diverse.  And damned gorgeous.

***

Maine - RWHN

If you're ever in Maine.

Leave.  

Actually, Portland is alright.  It used to be more fun back when I lived there IMO.  There was this great club called The Skinny.  We'd get a lot of the kinda sorta famous acts who weren't so big that they actually still wrote and played music with some soul to it.  Saw a great performance by Superdrag there.  One of the small rock shows I've been too.  We had the Sheila Divine too which some of you Mass-types might be familiar with.  Anyway, that is a ghost of the past now.  As was the Free Street Taverna.

We do have a couple of Irish-styled pubs.  Ri Ra and Brian Boru.  Both have good fare and good music if you're into folk and Celtic music.  Can be a little pricey.  Next to Ri Ra is the ferry that can take you to some of the small islands off the Portland coast.  Mind the locals, especially native Mainers.  Don't always take too well to out-of-staters.  

If you're more into the nature/outdoors scene, you can't really go wrong with Maine.  tons of places for hiking and camping.  There is a great hiking trail in Cutler, Maine which is in far east Maine.  One of the trails ends with some pretty spectacular views of the ocean.  That is views atop of high cliffs of jagged rock.  Mind your step.  There's a pretty good folk music scene in that part of Maine as well.  Blue Hill is a hotspot for that sort of thing.  

The places to avoid in Maine at all cost are:  Biddeford, Lewiston/Auburn (where I live coincidentally), Augusta, Calais, Old Orchard Beach (unless you are French-Canadian and then apparently it is a mandatory summer destination) and pretty much the entire county of Piscataquis.  

If you want to go somewhere that is completely devoid of human life, save for the occasional lumberjack, then The Allagash Wilderness is for you.

*****

Mooloolah

Sunshine coast. QLD, Australia.
- PlacidDingo

Mooloolah is a piddly little town on the sunshine coast that really isn't all that bad, provided you cab generally entertain yourself. Theres a park wig trees that are good for climbing, a train station that can get you out of there when you go mad and some nice walks. Hunt down the national forest: there's a nice long walk there that will take you through an abandoned train tunnel. There's usually a bit of mildly interesting graffiti on it. Wear shoes; it wasn't all that dangerous to walk through barefoot a few years back, but broken glass pops up now and then. Keep walking long enough and you'll hit Beerwah; but thats a long walk. It's good for bikes too.

Shops round Mooloolah aren't too special but they have what you need. There's a place called the Thunderbird cafe that is periodically renamed but its worth a visit. Good place to get a hungover breakfast and read the paper.

There's b and bs around; I was a local so I never went but it's meant to be worthwhile.

And that's Mooloolah.

******

Nagoya, Japan - PlacidDingo

Everyone shits on Nagoya, which is totally unfair. Tokyo is the big city. Kyoto has beauty. Hiroshima has history. And Nagoya doesn't really fit anywhere nearly into that spectrum so it gets ignored.

Nagoya is a place for music, but only if you look for it. I don't know how you can find it. Personally I learned Japanese and made friends with a guy in a band. Because when you get into that scene, it's wicked awesome. Find yourself some of the smaller crazier clubs and bars and get into it.

There's something to look for called nomihoudai (飲み放題) which is all you can drink. Look for this in Karaoke bars. You want to go in with friends. Start with easier stuff, then move into heavy screamy stuff towards night end.

Ossu is a great market area, great for a wander. Beyond the market area are some weirder areas worth a look. I remember a tattoo shop, which is worth a visit; Japanese tend to be anti tattoo. Except the mafia.

Sakae is your party city. Men garishly dressed in a club may be yakuza. If fingers are missing, dnt. There's lots of clubs, go in and enjoy. Don't get too boisterous and loud, generally. You'll be tolerated, but you'll look like a fucking idiot gaijin. Which you are, but you know. Make an effort. Go to Hub the English pub if you want to get some advice from English speakers.

******

Anchorage, AK - Alty

This place is beautiful.

Unless you've seen it you have no idea. Some seasons can be tougher than others, but each one has its own brutalities and essential rawness. There's something so comforting in the deep inhale of ice-cold air, feels clean and good and pure. And you can feel every piece of your body without even trying. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to feel individual parts of yourself?

Of course, the brutality. Homeless people die here, a lot. You don't really hear much about it because most of them are very, very drunk native alaskans who don't know many people outside their own circles, which are mostly from out in the middle of nowhere. The cops certainly don't care, and most of these Sarah Palin propelling republican assholes just leaching big oils slimy tit (I guess that's me too since I'm registering Red this year) are way, way, way more concerned with whatever is happening on their giant televisions. But fundies and libtards aren’t the only ones here. There’s an army of stoners and hippie stoners that are way, way, way more concerned with what's on their giant televisions. Every one in Anchorage has a giant television. Doesn't matter if you're in debt to your ears and live in FILTH, you’ve got a giant television. Something, something warm light, like unto the womb, something distractions from death you own and others and HO MAH GAWD DID YOU SEE THAT SHIT, THAT SHIT WAS HILARIOUS.

Where was I? Oh yeah, people dying. People die here. They get trampled by moose. They get mauled right in the city limits while riding their bikes at 3 am. They get shot. The get beaten over the head with rocks and shoved somewhere in the massive expanse of earth and ice that is easily accessible by road. Or sometimes some moron just leaves the body in the woods for some hunters or kids to find. And sure, it’s not all the time or anything. But still, nature will fuck you up..

But from where I'm sitting I can see none of that. In place where WILD things are everywhere is nothing around me that is not stale. This entire town serves. It is one giant strip-mall to feed the hungry, squealing masses who are supports for wheels that grind the rest of the world into dust. Landmarks are stores, shops, confectioneries. Achievements in civilization are opening an Olive Garden, finally getting a Victoria Secret, ooh there's a new target opened up on Southside and OH MAH GAH SUPER WALMART. I know what it feels like to become on these people.

I drove from Seattle back here. When you drive here you drive to the end of the earth. And on the way you will see mountains that are so purple they're nearly black, think Kali, with tops that look like jagged crystal, that completely surround you. And you will see trees that go on forever and ever. Fields of seemingly nothing will do the same as well, but the vastness of those forests are overwhelming. When you first arrive all you can think about are those trees and how you're in the middle of them, they're everywhere. You go to the grocery store, the bank, your apartment, but all the while you are surrounded by raw, wild forests peppered with people.

After a while, though, the trees and the mountains fade. Something else takes their place. Can you imagine? Massive, raw, unrelenting and unmerciful WILD cast aside to make room in your head for THEM. They worm their way inside your head. Spiders, yeah. Black Flies, them too. Creeping bags of plastic slugs ready to seal you up and keep you warm. Even if they don't get in you're so busy fighting them off that you forget about the trees. Not that they offer anything special beyond their massive presence. But how can something so huge work its way out of your mind? How can you forget that you're just a cold little monkey using your awesome brain to beat back nature far enough so you can actually enjoy it instead of ending up dead.

If you're looking down from on high this town spreads like an oil slick across a soggy marsh sitting on an open lip of ocean. The funny part is underneath most of this mess is clay. Lots and lots of clay. You can probably imagine what happens to clay in an earthquake. Maybe if you visit at the right time you won’t have to.

Notable places to get hammered:

The Spenard Roadhouse
The Bear Tooth Grill
*These two also have good food, if you’re into that kind of thing..*

Bernies Bungalow.

Aaaand I hate all the other places, more or less.

49
I don't know much about my uncle.  He's lived on the west coast my whole life; I can recall his presence at a few family gatherings as a kid but I had no significant interaction with him until recently.  He's a friendly old guy, a wife, no kids, retired and living in the San Francisco Bay area.  He's a bit of a mystery though.  I've heard snippets, rumors, hints of his past.

He's one of five siblings; the only male of the bunch.  I guess he had some problems with my pepere when he was younger, maybe he was too rebellious.  I can see it happening, my pepere was one of those mid-20th century World War II vets - strict, unwavering, and dead of a heart attack at 55.  Anyway my uncle was in Vietnam.  Nobody talks about it much and I haven't ever asked him.  I don't intend to either.  It's not one of those things one can ask somebody.  Sometimes I think it's a shame because there's knowledge there, and I hate to see knowledge and stories die.  But it's not my choice whether the bad stories live on forever.

After that things get hazy on what I know about him.  I heard he had a tough time adjusting after the war, which is, again, to be expected.  He may have gone down south to act as a Nicaraguan freedom fighter.  I have no idea what that means in terms of his role, really, don't know who he was with or what kinds of things he did and saw.  It sounds like something he believed in, to me, like maybe he had this romantic idea it was the right thing to do.  I'd love to know his reasons why.  Perhaps if I come to know him better I can pick it up.

Beyond that all I know of him is what I know now.  He seems happy, intelligent.  He takes it easy and he has a tendency to drone when he talks.  It's funny the similarities I find myself having with a man who I've really interacted with only a handful of times.  He says interesting things.  Seems like a guy who has life all figured out.  I like to think I do as well, sometimes, but I'm young and uncertain.  My reasons for getting to know him are much the same as my reasons for being here; I feel like I can learn.  It's generous of him and his wife to host me for the week I'm spending out there, and I was happy to learn they're excited about it.  I am too, of course, I get to go where I've never been and see parts of this beautiful country I've never seen.  But I'm also excited at possibly learning from my uncle, or even just about him.

I realize this is some self indulgent shit, but I thought maybe it'd make an interesting read on a day this place seems afflicted with melancholy.  It's also my way of telling everyone not to do anything terribly interesting while I'm gone, because I can't be sure I'll have any time to check this place out.  I'll be around until Tuesday.  After that, behave your goddamn selves.

50
Sometimes I suffer grand delusions of being a person.  I'm not a happy accident of nature stuffed full of cheap carbohydrates and caffeine and distraction.  I realize that I have a functioning mind capable of so much, I begin to stare off to follow that hint of possibility and I lose it as quickly as it came.

I say this because some other times I'm sure I can't be alive.  Times where I talk to relatives of inmates who have had a death in the family, when I get frustrated because they can't gather themselves on the phone to let me direct their calls.  Times where I send an ambulance to a hospital carrying an infant and a terrified mother, and maybe it's maimed or maybe it's a bad cough, but it's a terrifying ride for the parent.  I can picture this and I still can't feel it, not like I can feel the interruption from a good read.  Times like last night, where an inmate is found unresponsive in the health wing, where the nurses had been performing CPR and using the AED until an ambulance arrives, which I then dispatch to learn that there's been no change.  But all I know is that I've got too many phone calls to handle at times like those.  One of those phone calls is a nurse asking for an outside line.  She sounds like she's been crying.

I hear of these things and it's not like watching the news.  I can get angry at the news because it's somebody's fault.  I can get angry at the laws and the politicians and the corporations because it was a conscious decision to bring ill to the world.  Then sometimes, sometimes like last night, awful things happen that nobody can control.  I'm not sure what did it to the inmate last night.  I looked up her suicide attempt history to see if there were any recorded; this was partly to cover my own ass in case I missed one and didn't alert them to keep an eye on her.  There was nothing.  Maybe there is someone to blame, maybe she got the wrong medication, maybe with better supervision she would have made it.  The administrators are going to look to pin it on one of the nurses or officers down there doing the grunt work.  They'll ask them why they didn't do this, didn't do that, because they have the hindsight and their lovely policies and their power.

I won't feel it though.  So Dok, do people have an off switch?  Do I become cold and efficient in the face of such things because I have to be?  Is it a failsafe to avoid an overload of hearing so many things bringing so many lives to a halt, changing so many people?  Please tell me it's so.  Because otherwise, well, I won't have those brief moments anymore, and those mean a lot to me.

51
Or Kill Me / Enemy of Fives
« on: May 04, 2010, 05:32:30 am »
"All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way-if he ever attacked at all; if he was indeed the enemy." -John Knowles, A Separate Peace

It all starts with pixels on a screen.

They coalesce into the faces of people never met, maybe never spoken to, and those faces are where the ideas come from.  The ideas, the fragments of Discordia, the parts which will never be made into a whole.  Each perspective lends another piece of the image that appears amidst the clutter; the fleeting sight of a greater thing.  Some pieces are more clear.  Some are ethereal.  Some are brilliant and shining and some are vaguely more integral to the structure, seen flashing in the blink of an eye, that won't be completed.  Never discount that the impressive work of this construct was done by those pixels on the screen.  But they are not the architect.

This architect builds skyscrapers and art galleries, builds cubicle farms and computer towers and prisons.  The architect is mad and hilarious and hopeless.  Connections which could not be true are made real.  Supporting beams are made where there were only small bits of substance.  Arguments are won with support of foundations impossibly strong that exist entirely by conviction.  Lovely conviction.  Self deluded conviction that convinces the architect one fragment of a Discordia that can never be whole is more valid than the rest.  All that it ends with is a grumbling bunch of mad fools clinging to their sweet darling thoughts, oblivious that so much more can be made should they share perspectives.

There need be no singular uniting vision nor goal nor collective.  There certainly should be no hive mind.  All that there should be is an ability to look upon this wealth of ideas and see their potential, individually or compounded.  That will be painful.  It will take curbing pride, and struggles of words and thoughts.  It's entirely worth it.

We are the sufficiently creative minds, and we've created enemies amongst each other where there are none.  Instead, use these resources to make something incredible.

52
Discordian Recipes / Horrible Food Decisions
« on: April 19, 2010, 05:02:42 pm »
It's a bright day in Spring.  An hour drive north of me there are hundreds of people running 24 miles in an incredible feat of physical and mental endurance.  Others are mowing their lawns, or perhaps running much needed errands with their free time.

Not this guy.  Instead I woke up around 9:15, laid in bed for another hour or so, went on the internet, and spoke to my girlfriend, who is at work, before deciding to eat something.  Now, I've been living alone for just over a year at this point, and I'm well familiar with the concept of independent adulthood in that nobody is around to stop you if you make a horrible, horrible decision like the following little number:



That's a piece of red velvet cake with butter cream frosting, a few strawberries (you know, we have to be concerned with health here) and a cup of coffee (to unstick chunks of food from my throat after I under-chew everything and down it in record time).  The perspective is a bit skewed here, so let me just say that the cake is not a small piece.  It's taking up a big chunk of the plate, it's probably over two inches thick at the end, and, well, those strawberries are lying in the shadow it's casting.

Let's say it's the day after your birthday.  You just finished a weekend filled with wonderful friends and family to remind you how lucky you are.  In such an instance, I cannot recommend highly enough the effects of such a breakfast on highlighting how much of an idiot you are and how quickly a potentially productive day can turn into several hours groaning on your couch.

So, let this thread be about the bad, bad decisions you made with food.  Official-like.

53
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / ATTN: Left Coast
« on: April 09, 2010, 04:34:42 am »
I'll probably be in California from May 18th-25th.  I'm staying with my awesome retired uncle whose town I forget but I'm flying into Oakland so it'll probably be in that vicinity.  I won't have a car, partially because I think you need to be 25 to rent one and partially because I don't feel like paying money.  I have absolutely no plans for doing anything during that time other than arrive and depart from the airport.

Any suggestions for the area would be greatly appreciated.  Anyone in the area would be awesome to meet.  I'm up for anything.

I've never taken a vacation before.  As in taken the time from work, booked the flight, stayed somewhere, etc.  I'm assuming this is how one vacations and such.  Never been to CA either.  I think I might like to see the Pacific Ocean.

54
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Bicycle spags?
« on: April 07, 2010, 04:18:27 am »
So I wouldn't call myself an avid bicyclist, but I really enjoy going for a long ride.  Right now I'm on my sister's Gary Fisher, one of the lower end models, and I'd like to get my own bike when I get my MA tax return.  Here's the thing.  My budget would be around $600, which could get me a decent but not really exciting bike.  Craigslist is a good resource, I know, and I found a good bike there for my girlfriend, but I'm very tempted to be daring in this.

I'm considering building my own bamboo bike frame, which can be done for about $150 to make a frame that would usually retail for about $2000.  The process seems involved but not out of my ability range.  It requires the use of propane torches, mitering, epoxy, and frame design, none of which I have ever done.  Resources are pretty solid online, with a bunch of guides to cross reference and ideas to draw upon.  These two are catching my eye in particular, the former about single speed and fixed gear cycling and the latter about bamboo frame construction:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

http://bamboobike.wordpress.com/

I really like the idea of having a unique bike that I can really say is mine and get extremely upset about when it inevitably gets stolen.  It's spring/summer and I could use a project to work on.  I want to know if anyone here has any experience building bikes (not necessarily constructing a frame but assembling them) or knows anyone who's really into it, if this is feasible for a newcomer, or really anyone who has opinions on fixed gear/single speed bikes they'd like to share.  Or anyone really, who wants to help me out with some perspective.

The project would, of course, be accompanied by a Bring & Brag thread with pictures and write ups of my progress.  I'll also try to carry a camera and note on me while riding it to upload photos of my mangled corpse should my construction prove faulty.

55
Bring and Brag / Sense of Time
« on: April 02, 2010, 04:32:17 pm »
   It's early spring and it's a Thursday and it's three o'clock in the morning.  I'm getting out of work after a twelve hour shift and I'm walking to my car and there's nobody else.  It's never worked out like this before but it just seems so familiar because of the season's young mists and the smell of dew and the silence of the hour.  And because I've done it all before so many times in the early spring.
   It's early spring and I'm a freshman, I'm a sophomore, I'm a junior, I'm a senior, I'm one year out, I'm measuring time by years at my job and not by years of my class now.  Working on the second without breaking a sweat because it's all been so nice and sure here and I'm still young it doesn't always seem like an eternity in place.  It's early spring and I'm turning nineteen and there's a green dinosaur pinata, I'm turning twenty and there's a pistachio cake, I'm turning twenty one and the bar is singing me happy birthday, I'm turning twenty two and I'm at the Moan and Dove, I'm turning twenty three and there's a black forest cake, and I'm turning twenty four now in the early spring and there will be ribs.
   It's the early spring and I'm lonely and I'm interested in this girl and I've been dating her for a year and we're ending it and my girlfriend and I are two months in and we're measuring it in years not months now and I love her but I did then too.  Six years of driving my Corolla, my Lumina, my Civic home in the early spring on roads pocked and lights tauntingly red and a defiant few headlights passing me by.  It's hard finding parking near my dorm near my townhouse near my apartment so late at night.
   It's early spring and setting and plot have shifted but the characters are all the same like it's some hack writer's changing of minor details to sell a whole new story.  It's repetitious and bitterly bitterly nostalgic against even knowledge that there's nothing to be missed.  And six years from now in the early spring will I remember I think I saw a shooting star on the way home?

****

So I thought that one up last night and wrote it down before I went to bed.  It felt really raw at the time but I can't decide if I like it or hate it.  I was trying to describe the sensation of it all having happened at once but still with the memory's lack of clarity - almost like seeing what's in front of you and not being able to really grasp it.  Comments and criticisms welcome.

56
Or Kill Me / Excess Weight
« on: March 18, 2010, 04:26:58 pm »
There's this horrible little thing in my hand and a voice coming from the other end of it.  I hate this thing so much.  It's pressed against my skull by a tensed forearm and a hand clawed over this little red button of a circle with a line through it.  It's right there, I have the digit with which to accomplish the task but I just can't do it for the repercussions.  Just press down that thumb and it ends, that's all, but I'm not supposed to.

It weighs a few ounces, heavy and large in comparison to a bunch of the others I've seen that have all kinds of awesome features that this beastly thing does not.  Even so, none of them are large enough to be wedged between skull and shoulder whilst walking about without some serious neck pain, not like the old ones with the cords.  But they all have that little red button with the circle with the line through it.  It's the worst fucking button on the whole thing.  It's literally a little red button with the understanding it should not be pressed at the wrong time.  How fucking cruel is that?

Just as bad as the button is the comfortable weight it presents for throwing the god damned fucker against a wall.  It's got just enough heft and sexy aerodynamics that if you tossed it you would see the fragile little screen burst and fragile little guts fall out.  It would be so awesome.

Instead of throwing it and instead of pressing that little god-fucking-hate-bitching button I'm using it to ineptly clarify some complex thought to someone else trying to ineptly clarify some complex thought.  Then when I don't plaster the bastard to my left ear and filthy up that sexy full color screen with errant wax and spittle I weigh down my right pocket to a familiarity so complete that I feel funny if it's gone.  And it'll shakes in there when it needs to tempt me with its crappy red button.

That stupid little button.  That I cannot press.

57
Discordian Recipes / Boston Restaurant Week
« on: March 04, 2010, 03:22:36 am »
http://www.bostonusa.com/visit/restaurantweek/restaurant-week/restaurants-by-neighborhood

I'd like to take the opportunity of restaurant week in Boston to try some places out that I would normally not be able to afford.  If any New Englanders have suggestions as to where to go for someone who only eats in the city rarely, it'd be much appreciated.  My girlfriend and I are open to pretty much any type of food, the only thing being nothing raw because of diet restriction.

I skimmed through them and I like the way Umbria Prime and Gaslight Brasserie du Coin look at the moment.

58
Or Kill Me / Let's talk about the weather.
« on: February 13, 2010, 12:01:47 am »
Banal conversation and pointless chatter are obvious chagrins to everyone.  Some have lower threshholds than others but we all have a limit to how much uninteresting crap we can put up with in a day.  You've got interaction trappers who come up to you and start talking about whetever comes to mind, office nonsense and such.  And really, is there any greater example of this dull, wretched talk than the weather?

The weather gets a bad reputation though, undue for what it is.  Our lives are so inundated with media and potential interests that it's a miracle two people can share similar hobbies.  We've got nothing in common with each other anymore - even the people who supposedly do!  Two people love beer?  That's great - good luck getting them to agree on which is incredible and which is crap.  Don't get me wrong, this is a great thing, more potential for individuality and independent thought (won't hold my breath for it) and all, but it backfires sometimes.

We're just so damn disconnected.  Where does one find a common ground in conversation in a group of relative strangers thrust upon each other so often seen in workplaces?  Five people in a group enjoy television, let's say, but one guy hates reality shows, another watches only sports, one nothing but major news, another the history channel, and another prime time sitcoms.  Television itself has so many options the common joke has been about who gets to control the remote.

The weather.  It's one of the few things that's occuring to every individual in your immediate vicinity in the same way at the same time.  It did in the recent past and it will in the near future.  It's an experience we actually share, in the very real sense.  I saw a great spirit of camaraderie on my street the first storm of the season - neighbors who barely spoke helping each other shovel and push cars that were stuck (like -ahem- my own).

So please, if you see me, point out what kind of day it is.

And then fuck off.   :lulz:

Anyway, it was just stirring around my head lately.

59
Or Kill Me / Sustainability
« on: January 25, 2010, 04:38:31 pm »
It's the eco-friendly buzz word just after green became cliche.  It's the new earth hipster way of saying green is fine for the general public, but sustainability is where it's at.  It's for people who know organic isn't necessarily the answer, who make conscious decisions to lessen their impact.  It's the management of people, economy, and environment in order to live on this earth forever, to undo what we've done and begin healing the scar tissue we live in on a daily basis.

Adam is this guy who's always been big on the trends, a discoverer personality that markets hope to catch the attention of because they know this motherfucker will spread the good word.  But there's no market in this one, Adam knows too well food marketing and its effect.  He's a vegan, not because he's against killing animals but because Adam knows factory farming them is bad for the environment and he has no access to healthy grass-finished beef.  He lives in the city and rides a bicycle to work, public transportation if it's really bad.  No cars, nope, that shit's a dead American dream where Sunday rides were the tradition and Route 66 was pure romance.  His clothes are from hemp and organic cotton, his electricity is from wind power, and he cooks like a mad motherfucker.

You see there's this test Adam took online, a sustainability test that was just for kicks at first but really got him thinking.  How many earths would it take to support human life if everyone on the planet lived like him?  The average American was 8.8.  Adam was a 5 at first (young people without many resources tend to score higher) and through all this sacrifice and hard work he's got himself down to a 2.3.  He's been doing all that brain work lately about how to lessen his impact and finally he's got the message, the real message.

He's really that discoverer personality like I said and on this one he'll be the first.  Adam goes out and gets himself a gun license and a high powered rifle.  Hunting is big in his parts so that's easy, God (or Gaia, or Whoeverthefuck) bless the USA.  He finds himself a nice little perch out of view and he waits for his prey to come out.  Finally the answer to sustainability!  After a little while he's got one in his sights and he waits calmly, remembering that he used to be pretty good at Boy Scout camp, keeps steady and fires at the big bastard.  He hits it dead on.  It's got to be at least...

Thirty-five years old.

Sustainability is the management of economic, environmental, and societal needs in hopes of finding an equilibrium that will let humanity live on this earth forever.  Current thinking is to curb economic gain and develop environmental practices without hurting people.  But that's a trade off, it's ignoring the whole idea.  On that online test Adam took it's impossible to get 1 or less than one and damned difficult to get less than 1.8.  It's got nothing to do with how we live.  It's that we live.  Or more appropriately, how many of us do.

So remember Adam's lesson.  If you want mankind to survive, kill at least three people.  It's the Sustainable thing to do.

60
Bring and Brag / Statues and Cliffsides
« on: January 12, 2010, 08:37:02 pm »
Back in October my girlfriend asked me to write and orate a short story for her for our anniversary (yesterday).  Now that she's officially the first to have seen it, I'll post it here:

    In the Traveler's world no place has a name.  Destinations are necessary as beginnings and ends to journeys, for resting or restocking his supplies, for anxious leisure while not feeding insatiable desires for new sights.  Home and place of birth exist separately, the latter forgotten to decades of wandering and seeming eons without speaking, the languages of men and other blended to ambiance of new surroundings, both brick and mortar to empires raised on words, some hollow and some awesome.  And the former is where the pack rests beside him that night, the sky perpetually taunting him with its infinity above.  Tonight they would offer no such humiliations, their merry eyes and innumerable grins, their hints of grander meaning falling on the uncaring tiles of a standard fare inn.

    His road ended shortly ahead at walls that seemed to dance in the waning sunlight.  They rose tauntingly before him, covering only the half of the city not resting upon sheer cliff side.  Rumors told him to arrive at twilight while others claimed twilight never ceased so long as the sun fell on the city, the beautiful city, its irrelevant name etched as the only mark upon the high walls.  There was no welcome in addition to the name, no title or claim to supremacy, merely a declaration of its being.  With similar function the guards stared at this path worn man, the filth of his lengthy wanderings seemingly more than the accumulated filth of the entire city could be.  They watched him pass and watched the soles of feet that seemed to have seen more miles than the world has seen years disappear on cobbled streets more immaculately tended than most palaces.

    Business of the denizens appeared to be dwindling with the hour, the city's squares emanating a foreknowledge of desertion.  Men and women were perfect here the Traveler saw.  As his gaze rested from face to face in awe a plethora of the same passed by without his notice, each attractive in unique ways.  Looks began to be thrown at him of concern and distaste and in his shame he realized how he much look to these people.  With effort he averted his eyes to the architecture of the place.

    Nothing about the place was uniform, no two buildings alike nor even very many symmetrical, yet it was all so perfect.  He sat for a moment on a bench that clearly belonged precisely where it stood to find the breath pulled from him by his shock.  Shocking eyes that had seen so much he marveled briefly, the thought interrupted by his notice of a pristine fountain his seat faced.  A child with clever eyes knelt on a stone pedestal with a smile hinted on her lips as her arms lifted a circlet to place upon her brow.  It was a snake engulfing its own tail.  Clear water cascaded from the serpent and splashed to the rest of the pool with a shifting chime.

    After marveling from his spot for some time he rose on tired legs with excitement, the exploration of a new place at hand.  He mastered the skill of finding the shy sights, the ones which hid themselves from prying eyes and appeared only if one knew they were there.  In cities they were discovered only by following the kind of person who looked as though they might find themselves where one wishes to go, a skill that takes a keen eye.  But he found none like this here.  Instead he set to his life's work of letting his whims guide him.

    Darkness fell before long, marked by moonlight shimmering on the streets and none to see it but him.  His footsteps echoed across the lonely alleys in an ethereal music.  Down one street or another he might find flickering light playing upon the edges of a closed door, laughter inside like any other tavern in any other city.  But the tones were richer and the light more pure somehow.  Eventually he found one such doorway from which slow music drifted and the light seemed feeble and the laughter was not real but only an idea that had once been there, a memory imprinted on the spot by those who would frequent it.  Here he stepped inside.

    Lovely people sat dejectedly about the place, their features no less striking for the almost determinedly sullen mood.  He sat at a bar of oily wood, rich smelling and spotless.  A mug was set down before him in a silent gesture from the rough looking man tending to the customers.  With a nod he turned to a woman crooning before a fire, her voice sounding as though it might catch aflame by the sparks popping intermittently.  He became slowly infatuated as her tune carried him through histories and tragedies.  These were not the words of a mortal, or if they were they were not meant for mortal ears.

    His drink was sweet and heady and as he turned for another the bar man lingered a moment longer, the act so foreign to the man as to make him visibly uncomfortable.  As though he knew the question forthcoming.

"What does the lady sing?" the Traveler asked.  It was the first he'd spoken since arriving; he awaited the reply nervously.  Thus far his beaten appearance had made no impact on the folk but he feared to be ostracized.

"The day's events, in town at least," came the reply.  The man's tones lilted in gruff song not unlike the lady's own.

    The Traveler listened more closely, catching the rhythm and understanding her at last.  Expecting to hear of thefts and politics, of deaths and religious figures he instead learned gossip.  The grocery boy was in love with a nobleman's daughter; a visitor had entered the city gates and has been seen exploring its streets.  He perked up at what might be about him, but there was no more.  His presence was known and evidently unremarkable.  He motioned to the barkeep.

"Do you have rooms available?"

"We do, and baths and food if you'd like more than drink."

"I'll have the lot of them," he said.

    The man showed him to the upper floors of the building, where narrow halls belied spacious rooms and opulent beds.  His own was decorated with flowers.  He laughed a little, unnoticed by the exiting innkeeper.  It made him forget a disturbing image while he left the basement lounge, a slight vision that chilled him.  On the railing leading upstairs his hand passed over a gouge in the wood otherwise polished smooth by both care and years.  It was the first imperfection he'd seen since arriving, but with those delicate flowers in view it seemed a mistake of his own senses.

    A bath was drawn shortly after, happy looking attendants filled it swiftly without seeming to break their own paces.  In it he washed the filth of miles, the dust of roads caked so firmly upon him it seemed a part of him.  It stayed there in the basin, now a cloudy unsavory stew that drew his mind again to that rough spot on the railing.  He fell asleep with it in mind.

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