Friday, May 08, 2009
Stripped of self
The connection to others
Is the touch of god.
David eats old hamburgers the day after,
Still drunk and happy,
He looks to me and says,
“All I can taste is cold with pickles.”
Tommy lives to skate and fight
And live he does,
In a bruised and battered
Blur of every night.
Kirk barbecues at 4 a.m. in dark.
He eats nothing but chicken.
He cranks the sound and self to twelve
And dances alone with his cats.
Michael works the nights at a hospital,
Both nurse and addict
He tells the ill the pain will stop,
But it won’t.
And stripped of self
The connection to others
Is the touch of god.
Mike Brady 2010/17
1. The cop that stopped me in Barstow needs more color. He was big in a fat kind of way, ugly with a steroidal acne blush, and scary on a Steven King travels through Nevada while dreaming of lepers tripfest. I kept thinking he wanted to pull me out of the car window in pieces, if needed. If I were a woman, I would have dialed 911 before rolling the window down.
2. Route 66 from the Bagdad Café to Golf across the desert is unrideable – the max speed is 40mph, and it’s a rough ride at that. It has obviously not had maintenance in the last 30 years. On the other hand, and meth lab, barring transportation problems, might find a nice home in the Mohave – and maybe you should think about that late at night while driving alone (see #1.)
3. As a child, I had three-year relationships with people (Army brat.) I’ve learned to keep the magic going as a n adult, with difficulty, but am learning that it’s sometimes more about my fear of being found out than it is timing and readjustment. I don’t fear rejection – I don’t care enough – I fear rejection after someone gets to know me and enough of the real stuff has leaked out to give an informed opinion. Not sure if it’s self-fulfilling prophecy, on my part, or just good common sense on the part of others – but some real patterns have developed in both work and play. I almost cringe when people like me at first meet – the same people reject me once they find out I’m not there projection of what they thought. The funny thing is – people who don’t like me on first blush, at time, end up big supporters. I’ve learned that other people can’t see me any better than I can – very scary, and I wonder how this has affected behavior – and more important, what, if anything, to do about it.
4. Different on this trip – small things, baby steps. I sent post cards to 3 people. I talked to people when I stopped. I stopped at places, and for reasons, unclear to me.
5. There are a lot of fucking people in California – only Las Vegas was anywhere close – but urban suburbia is non-stop in the Golden State, except for a small area around Stockton.
6. Beginning and end, and now for some plans – cut my hair, clean up my resume and look hard for a job. I have realized that I may not get a job quickly, and than I can continue to enjoy this time off without guilt – but I do need to do the footwork and keep the looking on the clean side of the street.
7. I may live in a world I create most of the time, but I’m going to start issuing more passports and travel Visas. I’m not North Korea, other than in my hair style and self sufficiency (juche.)
Thursday, May 07, 2009
After wandering the desert for a few days, I’ve made it back in one piece, tired but unchanged in spirit. Wherever I go, I find myself alone in a place, and when I return to where I started, I find I’m back to the same place, with me. No gestalt, or awareness – and a change that will only be seen in time – or not.
Left Tonopah early and had a nice, non-stop drive up and around highway 95 (Nevada just has two roads going different directions with the name of 95 – it calls the one I’m on ‘Alt 95’.) I has been wonder getting off the freeway and taking 2 lane roads on this trip – most of my time is spent alone – if I get too near another car, I just pass them or slow down – usually I pass them. I don't like people in front of me when I'm driving -- it takes too much attention. People are unlike the road -- they can act stupid and surprising, even to themselves. The road gives notice that doesn't take a psychologist to figure out, and it can be guarded against surprise with only half an eye and a solid feel.
After 4 hours, I hit Carson City and switched to Highway 50. I went up and over the mountain and had a nice drive through an uncrowded Lake Tahoe. I had forgotten how big and pretty the lake is and how much fun highway 50 is to drive on a day with no traffic – just zooms and sweeps on a well maintained two lane – at least to Placerville.
Placerville to home – I could do it in my sleep.
No pictures, no highlights. Good to be back.
(I added a picture of the famous 'Sno-cap' drive-in -- Seligman and the view from my Hotel in Tonopah)
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
At the crack of 5, I chose to sleep until 7.
Kingman to Seligman, with a stop at the Grand Canyon Caverns, was a smooth, magic glide of a trip. Even Hackberry’ ruins looked clean in the bleach of the morning sun.
I was the only one at the Caverns, usually a meeting ground for elderly Germans, and just sat in the sun for a bit – then headed to Seligman.
I’ve never seen it look better – painted, prosperous and unchanged. At the hotel right outside of downtown – where I spent a week as a child waiting for my mom to get the station wagon fixed – a new manager had redone the place. He said that, ‘the old ladies son had ran it into the ground’ until he took over. I estimated the room number when he asked me (memory only remembers magical thoughts,) and he opened it up for me – looked plain, but sort of like I thought it should. A nice guy with a clean motel – sans pool – which queers it a bit. I took pictures and told him I’d pass on the place to others.
Ate at place, ‘Westside Lilo’s Café.’ Great food – highly recommended for breakfast. If you meet the waitress Pam, tell her I prayed for her 30 year old son who has a seizure disorder, but is ashamed of it and broke his collar bone when he ‘felt one coming on’ and tried to run upstairs before it happened in front of his friends.
Next stop – Oatman.
The road from Kingman is awesome!! Back in the day, Route 66 was this road, a winding road up to, and down from, Sitgraves Pass – this must have been a scary highlight for Okies’s on their last rubber.
Oatman is an old mining town/tourist trap – it’s almost a carbon copy of Nevada City. The big draw is the donkeys – millions of them, all wild, free and existing like the cows in India. One of them bit my daughter (Allison) when she tried to pet him without a carrot in her hand – filthy cloven-hoofed devils.
From there – non-stop to Tonopah.
Tonopah is a mark on the weather channel that, I think, everyone in the bay area has seen over and over. It’s also a pretty cool mining town at 6,000 feet. This is a pretty place to stop for the night – and my hotel advertizes that it’s, ‘perfect for Grandma.’
I am tired – will get this blog out, and proof tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I am not that good at letting people know what’s going on with me – never have been; doubt I’ll change.
So – this is an update to all who read this, maybe not the stuff in my head that makes it smoke on cold days, but the where, and a few facts – hopefully illustrated with marginal pictures.
Fired on Friday last – for being me – the best me possible under extended exposure and grinding. Signed up for the State tit on Saturday, and on the road today.
Left early and zipped through San Jose. Stopped at Harris Ranch, off Highway Five, a couple of hours later – just in and out with Tri-tip. Noticed the Hollister cut-off on 152 had been finished – good work state.
Thought for the morning – “They torture wine to make it better – why not people”
(Well... because they are people.)
Cut over to 99 at the Lost Hills exit and managed to drive straight through to Boron.
Boron is a place that I’ve passed over the years on the Freeway—it always looked like a residential, planned community of flat topped houses from the Fifties – a West Coast version of Levittown.
I took the business exit through town and stopped at the Boron Museum – cool complete with blue haired ladies that liked to talk – I sort of listened, and then left.
I got off the main road to go slower and check out some old spots I half remember from earlier trips through Barstow. That’s what the cop picture is for -- 1st ticket in 15 years – time to pay for all my sins uncounted – though I was going slower than my dad at the time this happened. Bad work state.
I fumed to Needles – got some sugar and a coke – then off to Arizona.
I’m here (Kingman) and going to get my dinner – then TV, unless the fates arrange some other entertainment.
Friday, May 01, 2009
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
A little moment at the end of all,
While on the floor the quiet ashes fall,
And in the firelight to a lance extended,
Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,
The broken shadow dances on the wall,
I will permit my memory to recall
The vision of you, by all my dreams attended.
And then adieu,—farewell!—the dream is done.
Yours is a face of which I can forget
The color and the features, every one,
The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
But in your day this moment is the sun
Upon a hill, after the sun has set.
— Groucho Marx
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
— Anaïs Nin
"I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
— Marilyn Monroe
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."
— Ayn Rand
"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."
— Sylvia Plath
"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
— C.S. Lewis
"Kiss me and you'll know how important I am."
— Sylvia Plath
The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours"
— Alan Bennett
"Poetry is what gets lost in translation."
— Robert Frost
have made the smallest ever incandescent lamp using a carbon nanotube as the filament. The nanotube is so small it behaves as a quantum mechanical system but it's just large enough that the classical physics rules of thermodynamics should apply. Analyzing the light emitted from the tiny light will give the team a better picture of what happens in the twilight zone between the quantum and classical worlds." California
And the best three response to this article are as follows:
1. How many quantum physicists does it take to change a light bulb?
Three. Two to do it, and one to renormalise the wave function.
2. You Fool! You altered the outcome by observing it!
3. I just replaced all the lamps in my house with these, but they just don't seem to brighten up the room like the old ones, and now my cat is missing.
I love physics humor -- tight but bouncy.