Tuesday, September 25, 2012

books

Caught in the netherworld between romantic notion and prophetic practicality...
Failing a complete crashing of the world's industrial grid, one of the more touchingly humanistic ideas i've ever had is (and must be) passing away, doomed to a stillborn existence.
I love books.
Much of that love is abstract, of course...a love of all that books stand for...the dumbfounding miracle of thoughts being translated into words being translated into writing...intricate marks of staggering complexity that can be understood by a person you never have, nor ever will, meet...allowing you to walk through the mind of a stranger across the globe, or dead a thousand years...looking at their thoughts as they themselves shaped them. A miracle it's all too easy to take for granted.
A part of my love of books is not abstract at all. Growing up in this society, you develop a lifelong, intimate relationship with them. Their touch becomes as familiar as the caress of a lover. Their gentle weight as they rest on your chest. The sound of fastly-flipped pages. The smell of a literary treasure (to you, anyway) that was created before you were.
Passing away, passing away...
I first conceived this idea some years ago, and began implementing it (whenever i didn't forget). I decided to start a trend based on the notion that books should not be hoarded. They should be read and passed on, so that every book could accumulate its own rich history. Whenever i finished a book, i would sign my name on one of the blank pages at the back. Humans had long ago given purpose to the blank pages at the front (inscriptions and owner information), but i'd never seen anyone offer purpose to those empty pages at the end. In my dream, every reader of every book would list their name...i could be the 39th person to read a particular copy of "The 39 Steps". Or perhaps i'd read the copy of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" that had passed through Kurt Vonnegut's hands. Or the hardback of "Lolita" that had been treasured by Nelson Mandela.
This notion could have been my one enduring contribution to the history of literature.
But a couple years ago, i realized this was a dream that would never be. Perhaps were i born a decade earlier, i wouldn't have been progressively pragmatic enough to accept this inevitability, but...the era of paper books is coming to an end. It doesn't take a nostradamus to see. Digital reading is superior financially and ecologically, in terms of saved space and spared trees. With seven billion people on the planet, saving space is no joke. And though we might solve the problem of deforestation by using hemp trees for paper...ultimately, progress will render books little more than a quaint memory.
I've already begun adjusting my life accordingly.
A friend speaks of willing his book collection to me, and i say, "Within a decade or two, dear friend, no one will have books, nor want them."
People ask me about being published...and i tell them that anyone in the world can currently see almost all of my scribblings, virtually for free. How could any writer aspire to more? Shakespeare, Goethe, Keats...with what immeasurable, choking envy would they look upon writers in this internet age?
I've gone through my own books, a treasure i once measured as needing at least a seventy-foot shelf, and consigned the majority to charity or garage sale. I kept some rare ones and picture books, and i couldn't bring myself to let go of my collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs...late edition paperbacks that will have little value even a century or three from now. But they were a piece of my youth that exists in me beyond measure. And there they are still, much as they were when my small hands held them, transfixed. Not cold, not hard. Delicate but enduring. Burroughs was the writer who turned me into a reader. If you've never had that transformative experience, i can only offer my pity.
So while books still exist in this world, pass them on.
Signed or unsigned.
Pass them on...

Stargate: SG1, season 7

FOUR STAR - none
NOTEWORTHY
-Fallen ***
In a moment the like of which was all too infrequent, Jack's humor rises to a level of genuine funniness! The team discovers that Daniel has been deposited on an alien planet, his memory, ascendance, and clothing gone. There's some way-too-Star Wars action as Jack and Carter destroy Anubis' super space-weapon.
-Homecoming ***
A well-made adventure that can't rise above the fact that Jonas' character is being "made redundant" (or whatever euphemism they're using these days). Corin Nemec, come back soon.
-Revisions ***
As blisteringly brilliant as any second-rate product can be, and a thoughtful, understated example of something that's a bit rare in the world of televised sci fi - actual science fiction. No blasters or explosions, no mustache-twirling enemy (or mustache-twirling supercomputer), no soap opera romance...just a simple story about the remains of a civilization on a radiated planet living in an environment bubble, hooked up by neural interfaces to a computer that constantly adjusts their memories to keep them alive and happy. They are oblivious to the fact that their thoughts are being controlled, and their population slowly reduced as the bubble shrinks. A nuanced performance by Christopher Heyerdahl, who would go on to be the most resonant recurring actor in ATLANTIS.
-Lifeboat ***
Is it actually conceivable that i'm glad Michael Shanks is back? It is indisputable that he became a capable actor sometime around season 3. He delivers a brilliant turn here, as he has multiple alien consciousnesses uploaded into his brain. He plays a blustering tyrant, a level-headed technician, and a scared child all with equal aplomb.
-Enemy Mine **
I wish this entry (starring uber-supporting actor Michael Rooker - JFK, TOMBSTONE) had something noteworthy about it so i could dazzle you with the tagline "Here's Rookin' at You, Kid". Ah, here it is...the STARGATE debut of future ATLANTIS stalwart Kavan Smith, as Major Lorne.
-Birthright ***
An okay effort made magical by...Jolene Blalock!!! Sorry, i get a little excitable around ENTERPRISE's T'Pol. A community of free jaffa warrior females enlist the aid of SGC. They prey on jaffa any time they need a replacement symbiote. Earth offers them a chemical way to be free of the symbiotes, but old ways die hard. Teal'c and Jolene have an affair (if i had written the episode, Mr. Judge, that would have been my move too). It doesn't fizzle, nor does it quite sizzle. O'Neill gets a great penis line.
-Evolution ***
I may lose sleep over not giving this one four stars. Airtight, visually arresting, and atypically gritty. An army of programmed super soldiers impervious to traditional weapons is created by Anubis. One is captured by dumb luck. The hunt for technology to combat this menace leads to the trail of the Fountain of Youth. Jackson is captured by honduran rebels. Carter, Teal'c, and Jacob go on a mission to destroy Anubis' soldier factory, while Jack heads to the jungle, where he's guided by an embittered former comrade (Enrico Colantoni - GALAXY QUEST, JUST SHOOT ME!). This is what living up to one's potential feels like.
-Grace **
A passable episode of Carter stranded in space alone on a ship. Her hallucinatory conversations with manifestations of herself are actually well-made, with some depth.
-Fallout ***
Welcome back, Jonas! The instability of the naquadriah deposits on Kelowna are about to destroy the planet. He, Carter, Teal'c and a scientist (Emily Holmes) must take a subterranean vessel 20 km down. The scientist, whom Jonas had been romantically involved with, is exposed as a goa'uld. It's the most "human" any goa'uld has ever been. Nicely done.
-Chimera **
When push comes to shove, Carter CAN pull off sexy.
-Death Knell ***
A well-balanced blend of character and action. Hammond and Jacob negotiate to prevent the tok'ra/jaffa/human alliance from disintegrating, while Carter, alone and wounded, struggles against a super-soldier. This is some of the best writing that Carmen Argenziano has ever had, and he's up to the moment. His name has to be considered in any discussion of SG1's most valuable supporting actor.
-Heroes ***
Tantalizingly good. One dreams of that missing STARGATE writer who could have done one final edit of every script, and pushed the series into greatness. This one has the outgoing President commission a documentary made of the SG program. The filmmaker (the wonderful Saul Rubinek - UNFORGIVEN, TRUE ROMANCE) is an independent. His work will go into mothballs indefinitely, but he's still given the cold shoulder. Adam Baldwin (FIREFLY) gives a cheeky, satisfying performance as an SG team leader. Robert Picardo (VOYAGER) debuts as Richard Woolsey, who would become a regular on ATLANTIS. On a planet where the remains of an ancient city are discovered, the goa'uld attack. There's an extremely-effective fakeout in which you're led to think that Jack has died. Rather than being given some miracle healing or other cliche, we learn that it's Dr. Frazier (Teryl Rothery) who has died...just after she got her only romance of the show, with Saul. This two-parter veers from greatness to clunkiness, but is usually closer to the former. It's surprisingly character-driven, and does a wonderful job capturing moral ambiguity.
-Inauguration ***
A new President (William Devane) is elected, and Vice-President Kinsey (Ronny Cox) loses no time in attempting to further his anti-SGC agenda, with the help of his lapdog Woolsey. What a wonderful moment in time...for a few minutes, you fall into the dream of a STAR TREK/WEST WING magical swirl (no doubt helped by the presence of Cox and Devane, who logged memorable appearances on those respective shows, and Picardo, who did time on both). The fourth actor in this (oval) office drama is James McDaniel (NYPD BLUE). A few show clips are sprinkled in. Picardo loses faith in Kinsey. The writing is more obvious than a true synthesis of those shows would be...but with delightful performances aplenty, you can mostly forget all that.
-Lost City ***
Anubis' invasion fleet is finally at the doorstep, while SG1 seeks to discover Atlantis, the lost city of the ancients. They find the next best thing, a planetary defense system left by the city's makers. Were you to see this episode as a standalone, having only seen the movie, you might imagine that the series had spent seven years living up to its promise. Gripping action, augmented by burst-out-loud laughter. Its only weakness is that it's perhaps a trifle easy...but it's so much fun, you don't really care. Sacrificing himself, Jack downloads ancient knowledge into his overmatched brain. The world saved, he gets frozen in stasis.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

sanityized lyrics 3

ONLY GIRL
[re-write of "Only Girl (in the world)", by rihanna]

I want you to love me, like I'm a hot ride
Keep thinkin' of me, doin' what you like
So boy forget about the world cuz it's gon' be me and you tonight
I'll tell you lies you wanna hear, cuz you're way past pride

Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world
Like I'm the only one that you'll ever love
Every other woman dead in the ground
Only girl in the world...
Like I'm the only one that's in command
I'll manipulate you cuz I can
and I'm pissed at you cuz I'm not a man
Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world
Like you'll fuck me every hour every day
For a thousand years or more if I say
Only one...

If your eyes are untrue, Im'ma castrate you
Spy another butt, Im'ma chop your little nuts
Ain't no other love but me that you'll spread
Make my ugly sister cum and you gon' be dead

Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world
Like every other woman choked and died
Every bitch you ever looked at, she lied
Only girl in the world...
Like all the little girls and grandmamas dead
Even your mother and your sister they're dead
like I ripped off all their fucking heads
Only one...

Take you for a ride
Oh baby, take me high
Let me break you first
Sit on your face all night
Take you for a ride
Oh baby, what you'll do
Let me break you first
You'll even lick me where i poo

Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world
If you fuck me and we have a baby girl
I'll rip her heart out and i'll eat it whole
Only girl in the world...
Like I'm the only one that's in command
Cuz I'm the only one who understands
Two nights of me, you'll want to fuck a man
Only girl in the world...

Monday, September 17, 2012

sanityized lyrics 2

IT'S BAD TO BELONG
(re-write of "It's Sad to Belong", by England Dan and John Ford Coley)

Met you on a springtime day
You were mindin' your life
and i was mindin' mine too

Lady when you looked my way
I had a strange sensation
and, darlin' that's when i knew...

I forget i belong to someone else
when a nice one comes along
It's just shit to belong to someone else
when a nice one comes along

Oh, i wake up in the night
And i reach beside me
hopin' you will be there

Right beside my sweet old girl
A big old bed of breasts for me
and two derrieres

But it's sad to belong to someone else
when a nice one comes along
It's so bad to belong to someone else
when a nice one comes along

This life could be such a dreamworld
for the rest of our days
Me and my lady hand in hand
I love her, she loves me
And we both love
everyone else we see...

Wish i had a time machine
I could make myself go back
to the day i was born
And teach myself to give love free
And let my woman love any way
her fancies do yearn

It's so sad to belong to someone else
when a nice one comes along
Just so bad to belong to someone else
when a nice one comes along

Stargate SG1, season 6

FOUR STAR
-Frozen
Part of this episode's brilliance is how it feels so different. Instead of grand action or some alien landscape, they spend the episode dealing with the most elemental humanity, in a storm-bound antarctic research station. A frozen humanoid (Ona Grauer), millions of years old, is thawed out. She regains consciousness, displaying stunning recuperative powers. She cannot speak, and soon members of the team are succumbing to a terrible sickness. Jonas talks with her, and she eventually indicates she can understand him. In only his fifth episode, Nemec nails a performance that is quite possibly the best yet by any SG1 lead. His empathy and humanity are profoundly touching. Equally as moving is the almost-mute performance of Grauer. Her character arc marks the first time in SG1 history my chest tightened with emotion. Her recuperative powers extend to others, but in her effort to heal everyone she expels what little life she has left, and dies before helping Jack. His only salvation comes in temporarily accepting a tok'ra symbiote.
NOTEWORTHY
-Redemption ***
A two-part season-opener that's one hell of a ride. Anubis tries to destroy Earth by sending a resonant energy pulse through the gate. They have two days to find a solution. Rodney McKay and Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec) help Sam. It ends with a fantastic NASA adventure, in which just about everything goes realistically wrong, with Jack flying an experimental, overburdened spacecraft into the atmosphere, trying to open a hyperspace window in which to drop the stargate. Teal'c is off-world after the death of his wife, and leads an attack on Anubis' weapon, with his underage son. The world saved, Jack accepts Jonas into SG1. That part's a little contrived, but Nemec is pleasant enough. Also enjoy a lil' Aaron Douglas (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) as a dethpicable jaffa.
-Descent ***
An abandoned goa'uld mother ship appears in orbit. SG1 discovers that Thor was able to trigger its self-destruct when Anubis accessed his brain during torture. Several assassin jaffa come out of suspension, the ship crashes into the ocean...all sorts of wonderful action on Jonas' first mission. And just like STAR TREK 3, they save Thor's consciousness! It's in a big leggo.
-Nightwalkers **
After five seasons, the first episode without Richard Dean. SG1 investigates a company that is experimenting with goa'ulds and genetics. Decent writing, but even with a flawed character, Anderson's absence makes for a hollow feeling.
-Abyss ***
Jack, whose symbiote has died, is captured by Ba'al. He is tortured, killed, and resuscitated repeatedly. Shanks guest stars, trying to get Jack to try to ascend with him. I wasn't missing Daniel, but...powerful. A top-five O'Neill entry.
-Shadow Play ***
Sci fi superstar Dean Stockwell!! An admirable little effort. Take a stock sci fi script, and toss in hidden schizophrenia.
-The Other Guys *
A couple of bumbling scientists being babysat by SG1 come to the rescue when the unit is captured. A game performance by John Billingsley (ENTERPRISE) wasted. Cheesily written. Embarrassingly acted. Amateurishly directed. The worst SG episode of all time.
-Prometheus & Unnatural Selection ***
Fun...with a lighter, more unbound feeling that STARGATE: ATLANTIS would lay claim to. A TV crew is allowed access to a starship the SGC is building, in exchange for their silence. Once aboard, they commandeer it and fly into space with the help of their goa'uld leader. Villain John de Lancie (STAR TREK) is possessed by the goa'uld, and killed (nice try, but his recurring character still can't quite rise above flaccidity). The asgard ask the low-tech Prometheus crew to attempt a rescue of their race, which is succumbing to the replicators. It's off to an alien planet we go, for our first encounter with the human-replicators, who will play a large part in SGA. A fun turn by George Wyner (SPACEBALLS), and an underused Tahmoh Penikett (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA).
-Paradise Lost ***
This one doesn't feel entirely "Stargate"...and that's a good thing. Maybourne's connivings lead to he and Jack being stranded on a lifeless moon. There's an empty, gritty, uncomfortable quality to this'n. Another O'Neill top five.
Disclosure *
For a while, this episode is as enjoyable as any clip show can be (he said left-handedly). The new footage that showcases the clips is enjoyable. General Hammond and Senator Kinsey (Ronny Cox, one of the few actors who can be counted on to rise above second-rate material) preside over a meeting wherein the U.S. reveals the existence of the stargate program to the ambassadors of the world's top military powers. Very few clip shows have the cajones to excuse the series' stars entirely, but this one nearly pulls it off. It all devolves into an enormous self-stroking of the SG1 penis...but still, you'll be laughing when it ends. The wrong kind, but laughter is laughter.
-Forsaken ***
Probably the most unobtrusive, unflashy entry on any "Best SG1 Episodes" list. The team discover a planet with a downed alien ship. They and the survivors come under attack. A shaky alliance is formed. The episode sparkles because of the absence of wasted or untrue moments. It's also dangerous, and a bit sexy. Jonas has had fine moments before, but never in such an integrated way. Stay, Corin Nemec, don't leave us!
-The Changeling ***
Certainly more enjoyable than that Jolie turd. Teal'c has visions of an alternate life in which he is a human firefighter. They turn out to be delusions he's experiencing on an alien planet, as he tries to keep himself and Bra'tac alive with only one symbiote. A fine entry, and it's lovely to see Christopher Judge (who wrote the episode) let his, um, hair down.
-Memento ***
On a space shakedown cruise of the Prometheus, the core goes critical and must be ejected. Their only hope is to short hop to a planet which is supposed to have a stargate. It does, but its inhabitants don't know it, as they've buried all relics and records of their barbaric past. The forces of xenophobia and paranoia clash with a progressive leader, well-played by Robert Foxworth (ENTERPRISE). Seamless.
-Full Circle ***
A decent season finale as the action returns to Abydos, where SG1 looks for an artifact Anubis needs while the natives fight a delaying action (and get creamed, but then all supposedly ascend...). Daniel breaks the "rules of the ascended", trying to help. Skaara dies (goodbye Alexis Cruz, the last link to the movie).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

found in yonkers

This article heralds a change in my life - i've moved again. After more than two years in Jersey City, i spent a month vacationing and visiting family before i landed in...Yonkers!
Yonkers?
Sounds like something Shaggy should be saying to Scoob.
The prospect of writing this post has bored me a bit, reflecting a gradual change in my writing, away from "this is my life" fare, to more entertainment and social commentary. I still plan on offering intense self-revelation, but more and more i need that to be in a larger context (though to a certain extent, it's always been so, as such honesty is itself a bit revolutionary). And too, i view my scribblings as something that might be more understandable to people a century or three from now...the words of a time traveler, plunked into humanity's inhumanest hour. I feel the historian's need to document, often in very simple ways, so any change i'm making won't be conspicuous. Just more selectivity in what i deem interesting enough to share.
So...why would anyone leave the birthplace of Kool & the Gang? To vacate my room for the aged, infirm parents of my housemate, who were moving here from India. But i'd had one foot out the door for a good while - i started my new room search many months back. There were wonderful things about my last home. I had a beautiful three-room basement apartment (with 5000" TV), and my housemate and i shared many philosophies (plus a love of sci fi). But i lived there as a rent-reduced or rent-free caretaker, so i was never completely "off-duty" (a needed state of mind in one's own home). I never knew when a shout from my housemate/landlord Joe might come from the first floor. He did his best to minimize that...but too, there is a slightly imperious quality in Joe's personality. For example, he once shouted down that he wanted to borrow my alarm clock. Instead of coming to get it, he waited for me to bring it up. He had the capacity to treat me like a menial, and an angry side. It seems a little unfair to trudge that up, as that particular facet of him only came out two or three times ever...and at least once, he apologized. But you can understand how all these things made for a general, mild oppressiveness. I love Joe, and because of that, i'd known for a while that the best thing i could do was to move out. I'm optimistic that our friendship will be the better for it.
So on to...zoinks! Yonkers!
Where the hell is Yonkers?? I'd lived in NY eight years, and had only a vague idea. Where's Neil Simon when you need him? By funny coincidence, i visited Yonkers for the first time two months ago, to meet two old friends who were passing through. After a dinner that cost what i make in a month, my post-midnight bike journey home via the George Washington Bridge was unforgettable (i almost wrote about it - guess why i didn't?).
I never imagined i'd land this far from midtown Manhattan - by subway, bus, and foot, it takes an hour or more. But i knew that finding a place wasn't going to be easy...minimal rent plus a "right" feeling are hard enough to find, then add to that the fact that i'm probably moving this winter. Nothing's definite, but as soon as i finish one more NY project, i'll be ready to depart.
A part of me thought it was cool that i'd be adding the Bronx to my list of homes, leaving Staten as the only borough i'd never hung my hat (one week with Evan in Manhattan is a stretch, but i did technically have all my possessions with me). That thought was doused when i realized i'd shot past the Bronx, right into Westchester.
The Craigslist ad invoked a similar situation to my old one - reduced rent in exchange for caretaking, handiwork, and driving. I made the trek largely because the woman who posted the ad called the unboughtsoul link i sent "awesome". My concerns about them becoming overly reliant on me disappeared when i realized how many people are here. It's a bit like a hippie U.N. An enormous victorian house, with so many boarders i haven't even met them all. When i first entered the neighborhood, it felt like the soulless suburbs that spawned me...but happily, just a few blocks away the ethnic situation gets more pigmented and low-income. I live right off Broadway (the very same), yet not many urbanites know this Broadway, in the land where numbered cross streets end. For those of you of whom this means something, think B'way & 280th. The landlord, Karl, had a debilitating stroke years ago. The landlady, Daisy, is the den mother. She grew up on a plantation in the Philippines where the "mine/yours" boundary was more than a little blurred.
My testosterone has been spiking, with the abundant estrogen hereabouts.
There's A, a german fashion intern. She's open and fun. We're not each other's type...but if she were determined to have an american affair before returning home, i'd do my best to make her happy.
There's M, a chinese international lawyer. I met her on my scouting visit. She was dripping wet, wearing glasses and a towel. I must have gone into sensory overload, as i wasn't even sure it was her the next time we met. Or maybe shyness plus desire lowered my IQ. She's fun and outgoing. With a tiny bit of encouragement (or none at all), i might develop a fine crush.
There's another A, a quiet american. There was a small spark between us, and i think she may have looked toward my room before she went to bed the other night, not knowing i could see her. She looked like she didn't want to be alone.
There's ?, the most downbeat tenant. Her energy is positively life-sucking (did i just coin a new oxymoron?). She's a walking cliche, unable to get over her husband leaving her for another woman. The part of me that wants to love everyone imagines giving her sexual healing...but there's some serious darkness there, so i'm a little relieved she's shown no interest in me.
And there's H, a chinese student who lives in the room next to mine. She arrived in the states the night before i got here. She's young, and thrown into a world where everything (including the language) is alien. I told her i would find her and bring her home, if she ever got lost. She's sweet and desirable, and on my second night, i discovered a crack in our wall that allows me to look into her room. Given the testosterone coursing through me, do you think i was able to resist? The hole's so small i couldn't see anything bigger than a sandwich. Then i found out that she asked the landlady to replace or fix her blinds, as she was worried about someone seeing her from the street. I immediately felt so sad for her. Here i am, so comfortable with myself i walk around naked with the windows wide open...and here she is, living in loneliness and fear. At least we've got the loneliness in common...and the sense of being in an alien world (come to think of it, we may have more in common than i thought). In a faintly ironic turn, the landlady asked me to fix H's blinds. On my side of the wall, i taped over the crack, and i'll look out for her (in the other sense) as best i can.

Postscript: Two nights later, i ponder the thought of whether i taped the crack in part because it could lead to some reality in which H and i are lovers (or make her cling to me more once we are). There's a little "yes" in there somewhere. At the time, that wasn't any conscious part of my intention, but...this society forces us all to treat sex and love as a predator treats food. I try to treat love with better motivations, but succeeding in that generally only leads to loneliness. There's irony there too, i'm sure.

Monday, September 10, 2012

women have it SO easy!

They actually do.
In one little way.
Oh sure...there are 5,784 other ways in which women have it bad, often the kind of horrific bad that most men could never in a million years understand, and for which the systematic castration of an entire gender wouldn't be an entirely disproportionate response.
But...
Women in today's world have it ridiculously easy in one area.
Being physically attractive.
What's that? FOUL, you cry? PREPOSTEROUS, you say? Women are still judged by their looks far more BLAH BLAH men can just roll out of BLAH BLAH aging men look distinguished, women look BLAH BLAH...
Yes. All true.
But what i'm saying is, motivation or merit aside, women in today's world have a much easier time ACHIEVING physical attractiveness than men. And women, you'd better enjoy this right quick, because within another generation or two, this double standard will be as dead as a dodo. As current as a quagga. More moribund than a moa.
Not following me? Ask yourself this. What do women have to do in this day and age to be considered physically attractive? I'm not talking about facially...that's a world unto itself where men and women are basically on even terms (any woman who still chooses the burden of makeup in this new millenium has failed to grasp the number of discerning women [and men!] who have soundly rejected such unsexy artifice).
No, i'm talking about the primal response to seeing the posterior view of a member of the opposite gender bending over to pick up a pinecone.
What does a bent-over woman have to do in today's world, to elicit heightened blood flow, pupil dilation, and surreptitious glances?
She has to do one thing.
Not be fat.
That's it.
Big boobies help, of course...but even they are part of a paradigm that is fading (and will one day be replaced by a paradigm wherein character and intellect will be the biggest sexual attractors, regardless of gender). The pathetic, default standard of attractiveness that women enjoy today is not shared by the males of the world. If a male wants to visually attract females, the one essential peacock-feather he's got to display is a developed musculature. Some men have it. All men and women want it.
(a bit much, but you get the point)
Do you know how much harder it is to have a toned physique than simply "not be fat"?
Look at your media images. Look at the women that magazines and movies sell as icons of physical desirability. Your Hiltons, your Flynn Boyles, your Longorias. If a man wanted to sell himself as a sex symbol with a comparable physique, he'd better be the most charming motherfucker to ever draw breath. Or have a horse-like dong.
I'd go with the horse-like dong, myself.
(cinema action hero Angelo Jolie)
Is this double standard dying? You betcher average ol' penis it is. A few world-changing waves of feminism and a little thing called Title IX are seeing to that. In a much-closer-than-you-think future, any woman who wants to turn heads by simply walking down the street, had better look at least a little like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWRtc5dVaFo&feature=related
So make hay while the sun sets, all you skinny women. And know that the more discerning among us ain't impressed.
We know, we know, you don't really care.
We'd have a hard time caring, too.
(Add boobies and a woman's face...pretty hot, eh? Down, tiger.)

(note: This article in NO way endorses the objectification of women, which has left half of humanity psychologically crippled, their identity and self-acceptance defined almost entirely by their bodies [and in the past half-century has made anorexia and bulimia planetary epidemics]. That shit has gotta stop, and now.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

unstumped

It's possible that my lifelong passion for tree trimming and, more specifically, stump removal, can be traced to how utterly enthralled i was by chapter 3 of "Shane", as a child. Most critics would label that passage "human vs. nature", as Shane and Joe become obsessed with the removal of an ancient, monolithic tree stump. But i think it more rightly falls under the category "human vs. self", as their struggle is about exploring one's own limits.
I haven't re-read that passage since childhood, but its resonances have lost none of their impact. In very specific ways, it's subconsciously informed my own stump style (most notably, an aversion to mechanized aid). Not that i've never availed myself of chainsaws or vehicles with chains...but i'm most happy when it's just me, manual tools, a stump, and no heed of time's passage. Nor do i turn down help...but generally i prefer my stump crucibles to be solitary rather than with those who don't share the passion.
Many people prefer to not deal with a stump directly, choosing rather to let it rot, or even hasten that process with acid injections into the core. To me, that's like carefully nibbling away the biscuits of an oreo, then tossing away the creamy, yummy center. To be sure, the ape in me thrills to the climbing and denuding part of tree removal...but the moment you're alone with that naked stump, is usually when the job really begins.
The stump i removed over the past few days isn't the most titanic subterranean arboreal extraction i've ever essayed...but will serve as a lovely example of a lifetime's passion. Let's go down into the dirt.
This stump had decorated (or blighted) its owner's domestic landscape for eight years. Over two feet wide at the apex, it had acquired the appearance of a relic primed for removal. The visible rot seemed pronounced enough that one might be tempted to tear it apart with bare hands.
One would give up that tactic quickly. It was ash, a species i'd never dealt with. I brought out the stump remover's chief tool, a mattock. A long, thick handle topped by a pickax-like head, with one side often ax-like and the other a pick/digger. Rotted chunks fell away. Further swings revealed that the eighteen-inch core was stronger than most fresh trees.
I began digging around the base. Most stumps are removed this way, exposing and chopping the roots one by one. The easiest trees have roots close to the surface, spreading out like spokes on a wheel. A lot of systems are more like an inverted half-koosh, with roots that burrow deeper. The rarest system is a tap root, with one central root going straight down.
I soon discovered that this was a tap specimen, with a root close to two feet wide burrowing into the depths. There was also a four-inch surface root, and a few smaller ones.
After digging a foot or so around the base of the stump (except for the side that abutted a one-ton, half-buried boulder), i gathered more tools - two metal wedges, a sledge hammer, and a crowbar. A few more chunks slowly fell away, until i began concentrating my attention on a dark fissure that ran through the center of the stump. It proved to be weaker wood, and i was soon working my wedges, trying to split the stump in two. The greatest pitfall of this technique is being unable to extract a wedge. One of my wedges had a long handle, but the other almost got trapped a couple times. I made some headway, and even discovered a dirt hollow hidden in the stump. But it refused to split, so i went back to excavating. I discovered that the tap root, perhaps because of boulder-strewn soil, curved off to the left a couple feet down. I soon had an eighteen-inch section of its side exposed. Wood chunks began flying, and i was in the hardest physical stage of stump removal, when you have to just keep lifting and swinging your tool. The muscle core of most amateurs is only good for a few swings at a time, and is spent in a few minutes. I was a little out of shape myself.
It was during this section that i had my only contact with humanity. A neighbor came out, to go on an errand. I'd never met her, but she made some small talk. There was a spark of sexual energy, as is fitting between a woman and a half-naked, muscled man dripping in sweat and filth.
I hacked away, giving the stump an occasional whack with the sledge to test its vibratory quotient. At one point i was trying to push it forward, and my foot slipped, sprawling me across the stump. My forearm got scratched up. I knew that a prybar would separate the halves more quickly, but the only one i knew of was at my uncle's, a thirty-minute round trip. I guessed that it would take forty-five minutes with the tools i had, so kept at it. Finally, i tore away a section that was four feet long, two feet wide, and a foot deep. Dusk had fallen. I'd been at it four hours.
I returned two days later. When i went to re-clear the loose dirt i'd excavated from the underside, a toad almost jumped into my hand. I moved him from harm's way, as i'd done with a friend of his the first day. It was time for hacking. With the root intact, the remaining half of the stump was as solid as the whole stump had been...a lesson in the rot-resistance of taproots (moist and protected from the elements), and the hardness of ash (the wood used to make baseball bats).
As i hacked and cleared (ax-cutting involves 45-degree cuts opposite 135-degree cuts, pointing toward each other), i began to uncover what seemed to be the old bones of a large animal, perhaps a deer...or even human, my imagination thought. The passionate, focused part of me would have been annoyed at having to stop my work for something as mundane as calling the authorities to excavate a murder victim. Tain't human, i said to myself...and never found a fragment that proved otherwise. The hole was now close to three feet - a deep approach, particularly on the boulder side of the stump, which elevated me a foot higher.
I interrupted my hacking with occasional whacking (to test the vibratory quotient), and also availed myself of the chance to try to snap the stump with my legs, as the nearest tree was perfectly placed to lean my back against...but the stump barely quivered.
Hack, hack, hack, hack, hack.
I dug away at the secondary root. I'd avoided it because it was against the boulder, but with careful clearing i was able to get an angle. Ten hacks, and it was gone.
And back to the main root...
Hack.
Hack.
Hack hack hack hack hack hack hack hack hack hack hack hack.
More hack.
I was able to come at the root from the top and side. When i reached the bottom on the far side and the top on the near side, i knew it was close. Sometimes i'd test it, just to get a rest from the hacking. Was it time for a final leg push?
I tried to rock it back and forth. A tiny quiver grew, and i heard the first crack that heralded the end. Back, forth, back, forth, crack crack cracK CrAcK. CRACK!!
I let out a long whoop, as i had at the end of the first day. The second day took two or three hours. I pulled the second section from the pit. It was bigger than the first. I filled in the hole, and raked it over.
Within a week, no one would ever guess a tree or stump or worker had ever been there.

Monday, September 3, 2012

masturbation montage 3

The women i currently dream of loving, when dreams are all there is.
Living in limbo between homes can afford little opportunity for self-sex. Given a chance, my mind swirled, a reflection of deprivation and my battered, feral state of mind. Some of the women i fantasized of should stay in dreams, "sensibly" speaking (not least of all for the fact that herpes and HPV are known quantities in parts of this list). I had my first HIV test in a decade last month, and my semi-recklessness of the last year hasn't resulted in any viral news. Curiously, there are a ridiculously conspicuous number of one-child single mothers in this far-reaching swirl. I think that says everything about our society though, and nothing in particular about me...
ANN
My ex-lover who sent me a small-talk e-mail today. She's "happily married" for a year or two, and our relationship remains frozen for me at the point where she left...sweet lovers, sweet friends. I dream of the day when she comes to me again for intimacy and healing. Her shut-down of our friendship when the romance ended, has played no small part in my inability to move on. It took her over a year just to be able to write with me, a little.
BERNADETTE
My phantom internet romance which i shut down 99%, after years of patience convinced me she has no intention of ever meeting.
JULIE
A friend in FL. We were never lovers, and have reconnected this year, acknowledging the sexual energy between us. Rationally, we would be horrible as lovers...different sexual tastes, religious views, politics, and grooming affinities. We should focus on being intimate, platonic friends. But she told me that having me inside her for the first time would be the high point of her sexual life. How do i not fantasize about that?
?
A woman i met once. She's "developmentally disabled", with an IQ that's on the high end of such classification. There was a spark between us, and i suspect her curiosity was sexual. I want to love everyone. Shouldn't we all feel that way?
?
A friend i was in love with once or twice, who has had intimate thoughts of me as well. Though never lovers, we have a deeper relationship than most bed buddies. Loving her might bring third-party damage.
TARYN
Strangely, a woman i've never met nor seen in any way. A teacher friend of my dad's wife, she and he have pondered trying to match-make for us. They say our spirits are frighteningly similar...their only reservation being a reluctance to bring together two non-believers(!). It says something about how broken and empty i am that i would even ponder such a set-up, as their views on romance are pretty archaic (the sad notion of match-making itself, for instance), and their perception of me is skewed as well. So why do i dream of loving this stranger relentlessly?
V
A woman from FL (what is it with FL??) who wrote to me and declared her attraction, after reading my article about being a naked art model. She's unusually unreserved (like myself), bright, damaged by the wars of the sexes (who isn't?), and is three quarters of the way through reading everything i've ever posted...words i never dreamed i'd hear from a single human again, given the sheer number of articles.