Sunday, April 29, 2007

walking away from the wreck age

To survive my adolescence, I build a myriad of walls--inner walls to barricade painful memories of the past, and outer walls to protect myself from the possibilities of new pain. Overall, I had a happy adolescence: good friends, loud concerts, stolen lawn jockeys, and so on. But there was always a sadness within that would escape through a crack in the wall at the most inopportune moments, sometimes causing the outer wall to crack as well, leaving me open and vulnerable.

Walls are a great defense mechanism. They can keep people out and provide much privacy. But walls fail when they keep people in, and the privacy becomes solitary confinement. For years I thought that I was Montresor, sealing my motley past away brick by brick. Imagine my surprise when I realized instead that I was Fortunato, walled in by my own hand.

In these last few months of therapy, I have been slowly tearing down a number of my inner and outer walls. It can be a slow and painful process, like bashing away with a sledgehammer until one's hands are blistered, or chipping away drearily with a spoon to little effect. But when enough bricks tumble down to let sunlight and fresh air in, when the damp cold inside gives way to radiant warmth, it's worth all of the effort and pain. I still feel exposed and vulnerable occasionally, but I just don't have the strength or desire to build any new walls. There is so much else that I'd rather build.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

so let it be written, so let it be dumb

I dreamed last night that I had written a book called nuthut. I was in San Francisco signing copies of the book for high-school classmates that I haven't seen in decades.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

fu gq

...from my days of modeling for J. Crew on Dagobah...
or was it Endor?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

serenity now

I've been thinking lately about how dead-on and powerful the Serenity Prayer is. It transcends mere religion and faith. It doesn't ask for miraculous cures. It gets straight to the point: give me clarity--let me see clearly.

Give me the inner peace to live with the immutable. Damn, that's some righteous science right there. I've wasted so many years wishing that I could change my past. I cannot. But I can change my understanding of my past. I can dig deep and learn from it. I can accept my past, and it's not a passive acceptance. It's an active acceptance, informed by maturity, empathy, and experience.

Let me see clearly enough to tell the difference between mountains and molehills, windmills and wind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

embrace the random xxi

Islands of Consciousness

The above site is simply stunning and amazing. Ever-changing photos meld and overlap in time with an equally random multi-layered soundtrack, creating the sensation of inhabiting someone else's memories. This will move you.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007


...I think about dialing my childhood phone number.

But I'm afraid that I might answer.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

progging out like a mofo

Alex, I'll take "Used Prog CD's" for under $10.00:

36. Yes -- Yessongs
37. Yes -- Yesshows
38. Yes -- The Word Is Live

The first two are double-discs, and the third is a triple set. Damn, that's a lot of squiggly Moog solos. I discovered Yes in seventh grade when a friend played me his older brother's copy of Fragile, and another friend let me borrow Close to the Edge. At the time these albums were only about ten years old: to a teenager, though, they were ancient but in a cool, Frodoesque way (nerd alert!). And so began my fascination/obsession with side-long songs, concept albums, meandering solos, and all things prog.

Side note: I last saw Yes live in 2002. During the first half of the concert, the assholes seated behind my brother and I would not stop talking. They had obviously won tickets from the local classic-rock station ($60 seats) and were not interested in the music at all, choosing instead to yammer brainlessly. Finally, I couldn't take it any longer--without turning around, I just bellowed "Man, shut the fuck up!" They remained quiet for the rest of the show. Zack was right: sometimes anger is a gift.