Tag Archives: Dollhouse

Taking A Charge In A Zero Sum Moment

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Scale To Talent
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Originally published on May 29, 1996

Hey Ben—your note has me dialing for symptoms and just the right synonyms to match your own interesting English sentences spinning doughnuts around my memory, into the read-only memes that keep us satisfied in being outselves. Thanks for writing back in English because I have no German except in my pop's heritage. You wrote:

Caught up in words as they are. "Work" means "making money" and free-time is meant to be for recreation. In Germany, in the mid-eighties, when unemployment was a popular discussion, one heard of the "human right to work". This was twisty. I wonder why people need someone to tell them what to work, although they need some money I anticipate. Well I'd welcome NO WORK...

Yes, Ben (he says, like Peter Sellers as Chauncey Gardener to the old dying billionaire). My wife's mother recently lectured her on the topic. With this common interpretation sharp on her peacewhittling tongue, she was of course probing with ages rich mother-in-law cynicism MY own twisted unAmerican state of NO WORK. Meanwhile, I acknowledge that I appear to jealous acquaintences quite blessed among men for lack of a regimented work burden, or entitlement, depending one one's perspective. My wife has been convinced finally that I am best kept at home in the privacy of my whirling mind and Dollhouse, near her cold indifferent fingers but warm toasty heart. I admit I feel rather insecure anywhere else, and tend to drink myself into an explosive reproach to the bickering myths of strataculture every time I step out into the bustling city of lights, armed with little but the urgency for escape from any number of circulating yet dreaded theories of nightlife which haunt me because I am nothing without MY WORK, as sluggish and apparently unilluminating as it is to most who claim to know from whence arrives my artistic impulse.

Opinions are always made about money. Even the most discrimating poor among us, myself included, gaze upon it and are corrupted with envy and linguistic violence and strident motives to obtain it, or else are saddled with an indifference that leads us into bitter arguments swapped for obsessive compulsive choices as wretched and concrete and ugly as a proper sum of money ever was.
I keep busy making sure I have a contortionist's name for myself, or else in the minds of my severest critics, I keep busy shining names and nuances behind barstools and bushel baskets of cloudy arguments where lightning strikes swiftly and severely against the surface of old arguments whose welcome is long gone. With only slight exaggerations, I work every waking moment. My wife complains that I don't know how to relax, partially true, rest is sleep, al else is work, if you will, to meet my strategies for survival. Fuzzy well-intentioned logic like educated guesswork and informed interpolation, however, is the grace the unequipped will never face, and for their ignorance they will probably perish with their lessening winds. My dreamstates are work, are tools, are kids in the sandbox and I embrace them just as voyeurs do when at the movies, peering into someone else's dreams and ideological documentation.

But back to the idea of work and money. My wife pays nearly all the bills. This is true. She feels the burden of her job, of course, but she brags about what it brings her in prestige and buying power of argument and freedom when dealing with the host of projects at our command, basic insecurities about the future notwithstanding. If I bring in a dollar, I give it to somebody else, usually her, or to the computer industry. I am an accomplice within the digital revolution, a footsoldier, an enlisted tattooed man, OCS candidate, a homefront evangelizer as I stare past the garbage, glass shards, dilapidated structures, and confusion from my Dollhouse perch which serves me well enough as fresh air and culture, such as they are in Nero's regime.

Surrounded by mediocrity and prejudice, great practitioners of liberal slander refuse to intuit my disguise as the very one they tout in their own philosophies. My sockets burn sometimes with urgency to fly somewhere, anywhere else where I can explode past the loose meaning of contemporary friendship into the netherland of a more pure synchronicity of duty, loyalty, purpose, and comprehension.

In other news, this rainy season is driving all the yard bugs inward, ants and cockroaches multiplying themselves and immigrating to my turf as if they "owned the joint". Fighting against the corruption of the material is the only fight worth dying for, but dying is a losing cause. I hate dying.

WORK IS ENERGY. Money is a contaminating conversion and byproduct, safe only in proper prospective, because money corrupts everyone who surrenders to it. Opinions are always made about money. Even the most discrimating poor among us, myself included, gaze upon it and are corrupted with envy and linguistic violence and strident motives to obtain it, or else are saddled with an indifference that leads us into bitter arguments swapped for obsessive compulsive choices as wretched and concrete and ugly as a proper sum of money ever was.

My love she speaks like silence. Without ideals or violence.
She doesn't have to say she's faithful. Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
Bob Dylan

Pure work frees man from the analysis of money. Am I a hypocrite for pointing this out? Am I a hypocrite because I love to spend money? Am I a hypocrite because I have argued, successfully it seems, to remain at home, supported by a woman who is hardly Artist or fraud, simply to allow the chips to fall where they may? Am I a hypocrite because I am aging, ugly or fat, conspiring to destroy faith in humanity's surge to crawl up from the tidal mud known as the Anti-Hip instead of being that dazzling, thin, strategically well-placed well-pocketed and quasibeautifully hip? The trickle down economies of Art and Finance are not dissimilar; as Ezra Pound's crackling contentions about art, economics, and war, and William Gaddis in his terrific novel—The Recognitions—have revealed.

The few who know the ropes either play them to bizarre lengths or avoid them with the meanest of miseries. The rest of us argue ourselves straight into a double-edged niche, and so it becomes us, our sentence for which parole is repeatedly denied, despite any makeshift theories to the contrary, we or some other highly paid or dollar dead genius devises for us in the meantime.
You have postulated Ben, that "people get occupied in a way, they forget to handle NO WORK. You know that, I suggest, but do you also know that contemplation, the force of passivity, I mean not producing, maybe on a journey? Oh, yes, you are a gardener too. Many people have to work, to ease their artificial bad conscience."

I understand what you are saying. If I say to somebody "I am a writer." Or a painter, or a traveler, or a flute player, am I less so because no muscle has called me up on the telephone to offer me a job or a contract? Am I any less a gardener if no one has offered to snap a polaroid of my roses or send me on an all-expense paid holiday to the Alpines to discuss breeding techniques. Does it matter whether I eat poorly like the beast I resemble, or whether I eat in eloquent gusto like a fancy fat French chef buttering his own bread in Paris? The human right to work and the human right to be hip are not too far apart on the GT scale of impossible tasks hustling among so many and so stupid a population always electromagnetic & naked in the catbird seat, but ever so snobbishly none the wiser...

But we, despite our best attempts to avoid or embrace symptoms bunkered down in unappealing ratios of human production and consumption, drunk from the fountain of fair green idealism, we too succumb to the same pitfalls in one flavor or another as any other poke even as we like to feel superior and just a bit more enlightened in comparison. We struggle against struggle not knowing how to slip the knot that binds us.

Basically Ben, I feel most people desire everything they think they can handle. Most of us don't know when to start OR stop the false lures of desire outside the domain of self-interest. The few who know the ropes either play them to bizarre lengths or avoid them with the meanest of miseries. The rest of us argue ourselves straight into a double-edged niche, and so it becomes us, our sentence for which parole is repeatedly denied, despite any makeshift theories to the contrary, we or some other highly paid or dollar dead genius devises for us in the meantime.

But it's been my experience to observe that poverty-stepping revolutionaries are not content with merely doing next to nothing, or running some small underground bookstore which suits them for a few seasons. Soon enough they want capitalism to give them more than they have managed to accumulate. Invariably they clamor for more money or more free time as if freedom of choice requires a zero sum cure using social algebra and a bad attitude. My guess is that like Mother Nature, it's not often you can cheat Father Capitalism.

GT

P.S. “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it's more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody's blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It's only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

—Malcolm X

Just As Quickly As It Came Whistling In

skism
Language Is A Poor Substitute
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Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Peter Burris, in a splendid mood, relishing the prospect of breaking back into the world of solids, propositions the nearest and most competent accountant at hand, "Sue, are you interested in helping me get my consulting firm's finances in audit-worthy shape? I am on the brinnk of three multi-thousand dollar contracts and i want to open a bank account and do things strictly by the book, so when we seek financing from investors, everything looks good. I don't know what you would charge, but if I'm correct, we should have no problems paying you what you think you're worth; if I'm wrong, we'll offer equity and incrementally more as our prospects improve. Is this an attractive notion to you? Please let me know what you think."

"What do you think? I am inclined to help him, but I want to charge a going rate...will you help me with this...I can set it up in Quickbooks Pro for Windows. Of course we will need lots of pertinent information, but I think Peter will be forthright." The scarlet dress she is wearing has my attention, but Sue is no less in a propositional mood. Of course her propositions and even her prepositions, influenced by her being the heir apparent to the family breadwinner role, are less concerned with what's casually placated inside her scarlet dress than how many greenbacks she might pocket today.

Questioning the who, what, where, how, why, and when of the organizing principle of life itself—now that, my friends, is a topic worthy of deep black seas, buried and lost civilizations, the 90% of brain power just sitting there waiting for you and me.
"Sure, I'll help," explains Gabriel, "And yes, you should charge a good rate. He's asked me to design a GORGED.COM logo with a pomegranate fruit imposed upon the "O" in gorged. He said he thought that I charged $35/hour for this kind of work. I wrote back that no I didn't but since I am hardly in business these days, I'll certainly treat him right, but as for the accounting thing, you are swamped, and command a high dollar for your services, and besides, Peter talks a good game but as scatterbrained and addicted to grandiose thinking (birds of a feather) as he seems to be at times, I wouldn't want to waste a lot of time hemming and hawing over his accounts (re: Shipman), particularly with all the househunting and sales prepping we already have on our plate. But he was good for us financially for eighteen months when we really needed it, and I like to return favors when I can, so if he seems to have himself in order, I would like to accept his work.

"Bottom line, if he is getting all these high dollar freelance jobs, why should we expect peanuts for participating in that Tom Howellesque of all things—negotiations. Peter does like to farm out a lot of stuff since his critical skills are limited mostly to linguistic and server side elbow grease, but nevertheless he does seem to GET the jobs (or the promise of, but if I recall, a lot of those promises fail to materialize, so he's not much that different from us in that latter regard)."

Geez. Talk about the inability to stand firmly and deliver. Just a whiff of work, money, success, a mere taste to the senses, then it's gone, just as quickly as it came whistling in...
A time, a time, and half a time later, Sue has heard back from Peter with the following results. "Baby, sounds like the same 'ole Peter...sorry, I thought he was ready to play ball now."

What did he say? Unfortunately, my assessment had been correct again. Peter and Tim shared this knack for long range tomorrow plans that often fell by the wayside because of their inability to strike when the irons where hot. We would soon pay nearly $5K to a Jersey mafia moving company to reconsign all our stuff less what they plenty broke or stole to a condo all the way across the city, from the ghetto bounces of hapless SE to the nose-jointed professional classes of upper NW in a couple of months, and Peter would suddenly feel a resurgence of hatred, according to Tim, that we had asked with two months free rent to vacate the room he kept in shambles last spring when Mother was graduating from Oglethorpe, and we began the last push for ultimate household order so as to best prepare the dear old rowhouse for sale this spring. Geez. Talk about the inability to stand firmly and deliver. Just a whiff of work, money, success, a mere taste to the senses, then it's gone, just as quickly as it came whistling in...

"Everything sounds good to me; I need to take a look at which Quickbooks product will suit better. I am aware of your housing situation and I automatically assume you are swamped at all times; in that vein, I will line up all my ducks and get the data you stated that I need. I anticipate I will be ready to play ball in four to six weeks. I need to reincorporate...mine expired during a bad time (ie, Michelle's visits and phone calls were devouring my income and I let a deadline pass OUCH!), but I have an eye on the next step. Talk to you really soon," assured the always pedantic Peter Harper Burris, professorial, punk, and predicated upon the principle of perfecting an argument. I was never quite sure however, where his catholicism began or where it ended. I always wanted to ask him that question, but I knew I'd never have enough time to register whatever he might call a full response.

That I would meet a painter named Peter Harper who would become my best friend for a season or two in 2007—when we both kept studios at the 52 O Street Studios building in DC—is irrelevant to this Burris segment. Questioning the who, what, where, how, why, and when of the organizing principle of life itself—now that, my friends, is a topic worthy of deep black seas, buried and lost civilizations, the 90% of brain power just sitting there waiting for you and me to take the next step. They tried it with poisons. They tried it with rules regulated by carrots and sticks. Those didn't seem to do it. What's next? I don't know, but it's always the poets, the philosophers, the artists, the inventors, the truthtellers who prep the soil, lay in the brickwork, and take the first few steps.

For you slow learner's in the mix, that's what we, he, and thee are doing here in SAMPLEX. May God light our way.

Painting The Last Days Of A Merger That Failed In Capitulation Envy

envy
Capitulation Envy
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Date: At 10:08 AM -0500 3/3/00
From: Timothy S. Shipman

My birthday went as I had planned, fairly anonymously! I had the folks take me to the DC Chop House on 7th St NW near the MCI arena, and that was about that. My father, as is his way, made a spectacle of himself by complaining about the prices, both of food and drink.

Being deaf he has a bad tendency to over compensate when others don't hear what he says, so there was a good amount of yelling outbursts. I think that is the last time I'm ever going to go out to a restaurant with him. "Can't take him anywhere!"

Before I all but quit going out into the city farce, I'd gotten that same way at bars and clubs and with myself in general. Life has a tendancy to become too busy and stall out completely, but nevertheless, I sweat beads of kinetic energy in my own special task to become more focussed on the project and determined to stay focussed on the project just so I can face myself with quiet intelligence despite what the world has to say about me, and in keeping to that intelligence, it feels a lot better now that I've identified how I want to live and where I want to live it, have taken a solid gaze at the old trusty game plan I developed as a child, and after having throttled myself with detection bits across a thousand shortcuts and hand-polished voices I like to think I find in books written just for me, music, fleshpots, sweatshops, moving violations, kindly nods to city fathers to endorse, system bugs, and bugged rugs created just for me, and other photosynthetic blankets of doom, parting gloom, private room closed eye well-hung mushroom clouds a=made for me, all fitting for my time, our tenor, these tribulations flitting back and forth like a ceiling cluttered with Blum's chintzy wire mobiles pointing nowhere in particular and everywhere at once, so much so that sometimes life in this old neighborhood just feels in a word, obsolete.

That this has anything to do with Richard Shipman—he would most certainly plead confusion, that would make him correct once again. Everything is too expensive, and he is confused, and no doubt very proud of it. Sometimes, I chagrin to see myself in him. In others, I thank God every day is Judgement Day and that we, he and I, boast not a few spectacular differences that I shouldn't worry about Richard's particular hill of beans, but have enough bean hills of my own to keep me busy sorting out this from that, thank you very much...

I’d have the room that I need to live another ten years without clutter or squalor except that of the street itself, or should we really begin to cash in on ourselves, we could sell out and get into that promised mansion in the sky, mountain or seashore, urban or primal, heaven or hell, wherever the American pursuit leads.
But I see how it is. Take away man's dignity in work, his manhood, his relevance, and he soon becomes unnaturally obsessed about the smallest speck of dust in the universe when it is very obvious that this particular speck of dust is somebody else's job.

It still may be tougher getting from here to North Arlington than I want it to be, and so the quest to annex the property next door continues its haunt and eats up a lot of brainpower better spent elsewhere I suppose, but the whole affair remains a valuable alternative mythology and day to day memory builder for me, such as it is. Greg II and I haven't spoken since just before the holidays. But one thing is for sure, running this small house formerly known as the Dollhouse rather anonymously ain't the end of the line for me, or if it is, it is expressly against my will, especially if it is alongside these new neighbors who simply ain't a part of the GT plan, but you know me, I usually defer to the host of natural configurations to do most of the work, until that driven part of me steps in to straighten out the kinks and assume in kind what's been given to or is in the process of being taken away from me, whatever the spark is called.

The same's been said about this house on many an occasion, but there's noise and clutter, chaos and anger next door. We've also got rain drainage and perhaps a rodent problem in common. I'd like to solve both problems in one swoop. To get serious about rebuilding this neighborhood so that it can be ready to inherit its present beckoning. The Gabriel and Sue merger of 109 and 111 Eighteenth St. is magical in concept and practicality. I'd have the room that I need to live another ten years without clutter or squalor except that of the street itself, or should we really begin to cash in on ourselves, we could sell out and get into that promised mansion in the sky, mountain or seashore, urban or primal, heaven or hell, wherever the American pursuit leads.

GT

Rogue Turkeys, Crippled Pilgrims, Other Fine American Visiting Traditions

norwegian-holiday
Norwegian Holiday
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Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 8:19:35
From: Timothy S. Shipman

So it looks as though it's going to be one of those days, at work....slower than death. Did, in fact, receive the message that you called, but got it pretty late, and of course forgot to call you back on Sunday. I imagine it had something to do with the work you had in mind for me.

So did you manage to have a good Thanksgiving?

As for me, I went over and visited with Chris Reed and Lyzbeth for a short time before meeting-up with the folks, to go eat at the White Tiger, a new incarnation in an old restaurant location at 3rd & Mass Av NE. It has been everything from Man In The Green Hat to Cafe Capri, where I used to deliver pizza to Bangcok Orchid to its present moniker...

Tim

TYPE IN A SUBJECT HEADING IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO SYNCHRONIZE, oops, sorry for the shouting that this ALL CAPS typing infers, but as I was saying, than to synchronize with all the other notes lining the mailboxed and defrocked worlds of chat and the chatted on my hard drive and yourn.

Civilized manhood truly soaks up the free time. It’s a good thing in the long term if I can fake having plenty of it, time that is, not civilized manhood. Maybe I’ve got that mixed up. Depends on which side of the clock you’re standing behind and whose civilization we’re fighting for…
Shared a pretty decent meal and some idle conversation to make Thanksgiving par for a small group of bogeys that we've reluctantly become. Epstein came over (I hadn't seen him since your birthday bash at the IRISH TIMES a few marches ago), and we plus Allie and an old college chum of BB's named Kevin Kelly burst our collective guts next door. I'd churned together a rather nifty pineapple dressing which Bob stuffed into his 12 pound turkey to complement the quite meaty well-received crab casserole I almost finished up for breakfast this morning. To top it all off Blum served pumpkin pie and whipped cream he'd mashed together from scratch, yes, from scratch both the pie and the whip, including a superb flakier than storebought crust. And I don't even like pumpkin pie, but Bob's is the best I can imagine. I think somebody cracked a pilgrim joke. A few Ben Franklin fuck and fart proudly references. Got to love the literate crowd that breeds around Blum. A belch and a rollover. Some beer. Some wine. Some after dinner coffee. It was pure November cosmos, whimper, laugh tracks, and rust. I should have brought over one of my poinsettias to kick the table appeal up a notch, but it wasn't my call, and Blum doesn't take too kindly to suggestion, not mine anyway...

Later Epstein followed me back to the Dollhouse, hijacking my computer for the next couple of hours to web wonk before squeezing directions out of me in dogged pursuit of TRAX for hetero night, the ever evasive holiday lay, and mad rocker life at 29. I then doubled back over to Bob's for another slice of pie and a few purge scenes on the telly before yawning back out the door again, glad the holiday slurf was finally over, done with, and dutifully repackaged as recent past only a couple of crude snapshots can truly bring back to life. I should have insisted on a group fotoplasty, but in weakness of will I didn't.

I snag Sue from the airport tomorrow afternoon, early evening actually. Bob and Allie tie the gordian on December 5, Friday. Bob Dylan at the 9:30 Club later that evening. The following Monday I wobble into jury duty. Civilized manhood truly soaks up the free time. It's a good thing in the long term if I can fake having plenty of it, time that is, not civilized manhood. Maybe I've got that mixed up. Depends on which side of the clock you're standing behind and whose civilization we're fighting for...

GT

Dime A Dozen Macintosh Writers Wanted

writers
But I Write Also
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Date: Wed, 29 Oct 97 15:01:51

Macintosh publishing company is looking for individuals to write articles for their upcoming issues. This is an opportunity for qualified candidates to get published in a leading national publication and build their writing credits (no-paid). Articles will be published quarterly and a selection process will be made from the submissions received. Candidates interested in this opportunity please send email to Mark Abras at MacDirectory.

Damn. They insist you to learn to write as it's important to have opinions and state them in a style others will read, but let's not call this a "paying" gig. No, go sell a trinket or build a highway if you want to make some money. Ballplayers with the faraway stare trot out their wares in a tryout, but to their favor are contracted into the scheme from the beginning, even in the bus leagues. Writers are a strange lot, always working for free. Meanwhile plumbers, carpenters, accountants, bricklayers, cab drivers, politicians and other earnest resume-savvy cogs, oh they can make some big bucks almost anytime they want to take a job. What about designers? Systems managers? Kill the system they say. Bury design they scream. Oooooh la la—my angst is an easily bored mule...

I've never kept a job very long in my entire life, three years at one place, two at another, one apiece at two more. The remainder of my jobs lasted six months, four months, or shorter, but I was a most excellent worker wherever I was. I earned respect. Left with an air of decency, even as I might revolutionize the world I was leaving. But MY way's not for everybody. Most certainly not. We each must ponder this alone.
Bracken may be landing a job at Peter's firm as a researcher in the global securities industry. His resume will be submitted today with a wink and a nod. I'm on record as recommending he apply himself to this task over enough time to make it unmistakably worthwhile if he's hired, and there's more than a good chance he will be. Caps off to Dollhouse syzygy once again...No, NOT dynamite caps, you fool, your ball cap man, your ball cap.

I have seen the future, and it would be a fabulous affair for many if he can establish himself there, but only he can decide which of his options brings himself that ever illusive optimum pleasure schematic and then SETTLE in to work the progress line as only Len Bracken can manage it. This should be interesting to watch. I taunt him about buying a Mac and getting with the program, quit preaching from the outside, but get in and become a real player. He's still debating himself. I've never kept a job very long in my entire life, three years at one place, two at another, one apiece at two more. The remainder of my jobs lasted six months, four months, or shorter, but I was a most excellent worker wherever I was. I earned respect. Left with an air of decency, even as I might revolutionize the world I was leaving. But MY way's not for everybody. Most certainly not. We each must ponder this alone.

GT

It All Adds Up, In the Heart Tony Left In San Francisco

picture
Seething the night fantastic...
samplex

Most excellent letter, Steve. Every note sounded to perfection, like a toot from Miles, not that I'm an expert in that school of riff. But I do think you are hooking into that mysterious circuit where the line meets its maker that puts both the author and the reader into the same zone. Thank you for noticing my lead. Am disturbing the peace, going down the up staircases and up the down staircases today. Want to put a day sleeper back into that rear middle floor corner where hangnail dust and flakes of tooth decay mostly reside now. One ficus tree has major bug infestation spreading a jelly substance up its leaves with a thimbleful smudging that far north window. The other one had the beginnings of that same rot on some newer sprigs nearer the trunk but I think by pruning them I might just have evicted those damned bugs. As far as my life goes I don't claim to be any great motivator. Well, maybe I do, I must, if I put my grievances on display so often, knowing full well what nastiness they reveal about me. But I am merely following up on what feels most natural to my birth certificate at any given moment, kicking with all I've got to recover the life I feel born to, entitled to, suited for, and inclined to push and pull for, but can't quite keep my own internal and eternal demons at bay long enough to set the table properly. But the psychological weight is still present. Just like yourself, Sue, Tim, and nearly every other grain of sand from here to eternity. I'm no hypocrite. I'm no saint. But I do exert my own strong personality when that's the only strategy that can reconcile the dull, tedious beat of no direction, no relief that passes for the day in and day out around here.

eRighteously in pursuit of a conscientious point of view, I was in persistent boil last night. Mostly over Shipwreck Tim, Yet Another Steve Taylor, and Busy Sue Hedrick in that order, debrewing & eschewing the screwy baseball game Sue had channeled onto both middlefloor TVs to greet my sour but rising delight by the time I returned from Hechinger's with bags of dirt and manure, a few more seeds, and a bulb to stick in a socket, easily recognizing a kissup she'd already denied, once, twice, three times a cock crow earlier that morning. I ranted. I puffed. I rolled over.

When I finally cave to that stroke or that brain seizure and am in a twinkling of a cobra’s eye made a green around the gills outright vegetable, the false friends crew will soon enough scatter after the scorn and the laughter has faded to yet another dull memory. They always do.
I got what I deserved. Every choice lends itself to the pride of the past and the fret of the future. Dodging the impure calculus of the rogue ego, I can feel blessed with ample knowledge and vision today despite an occasional swipe in knocking back a few oratories and cleaning off a dozen dirty windows just to SET things straight again. Stale agitation is a rule of thumb like skeletons in the closet and cobwebs and black cats in a Halloween House, as we both push back with both feet through the thin synthetic veil of liquid skulls, broken quills, and pocket nullifications of the hack writer and his lovely dullard, condemned to digest the latest bull edicts leftover from a forgotten question and a plate of do nothing fats clogging the Dollhouse system. Sure. Opened a few doors. Closed others. But you know how working from an even keel that when the broken rudder fails, Landry, whether in the best of times or the worst of times, your own experience with Jack has shown you a good sea captain is required to know the limits of his own ship.

Meaning I would then see these pesky guests on a need to know basis. And tell them to bug off when I’m just not in the mood for somebody else’s boy noise. Sue and I no longer one mind. Eghads! What would become of life? Sue would say we’ve never been of one mind, and I say that’s exactly how I solve the equation. Let’s face it, Nimrod’s spoken. I’ve already solved for X, and now when I must solve for Y, I don’t like answer unless it’s an imaginary number. A number that spells relief when the colony of two and three gathered over and over again spell relief, not the same awkward similarity, familiarity, bucket of pedestrian drivel. That stings even me, as originator of that thought. Maybe a bit harsh. Nah, it’s the bare naked truth. Here I am in my forties and going nowhere faster than those ghetto bullets I just mentioned.
So dearies, in bringing it all back home what I'm trying so diligently to say is I'm relocating my beastly snort to the middle floor with or without spousal consent in order to embrace my own loneliness, a routine I find comforting, and not at all demeaning to whatever manhood is supposed to be. Hope to get a day bed or something sane put back in that rather homely rear corner. Without benefit of a loft setting, I want to expand my person to all the Dollhouse, work it, maximize it, by making it suitable for the right number and right combination of people and work habits, you know, the imaginary band, the literary chips gang, the occasional groveling guest, the all night facetime with digital tools a roaring against the grains of ineptitude (certainly a complex carb I don't need), then just a quiet crawl into the unquestioning sack without waking anyone of importance. Layabout guests, or crash pad dummies would have no such privileges of privacy which as a strategy might make them less willing to embrace the nearby sofa or my snoring, et cetera, but I do smell a flaw in my plans that I'll refrain from airing just now. Still have this afternoon to finish the middlefloor rear window cleaning chore. Will shake up the mystery books as we know them, but I'll come out feeling swell, not better in ages. Secrets akimbo. May divorce Sue just for the hell of it, a statement not much different than the wedding blues, most likely will not, since I told her I'd never leave her, even if I had to stand and deliver the Gettysburg address in her general direction every time she came near me with that pathetic grip on nothing, which is precisely the force of habit (to get her to actually hear if not listen, identify, and intelligently construe the words I use, and not the ones she imagines or spins) that she doesn't like, but let me tell you guys one thing, it is easier for me to do soooooomething, then get loud about feeling nearly alone in my solo quest, than it is to convince others they should also pursue their own best interests in communicating well, and standing by that communication all in the name of inventing an original life.

Greener pastures? You betcha, maybe, absolutely not. Baby Sue's a keeper. She's a lovely generous loner just like me, and needs me more than the bottom of the wine glass she loves without friction. No upshot to leaving the only family I have left. But the advantages of shaking the tree of liberty, breaking off a twig or two, catching a pecan, a peach, a pelican or two is enough is disabuse me of those terrible thoughts. Rather, I'd work into oblivion. Stagger up the stairs. Tumble into bed. Nod off to sleep as my balls and chains drop to the floor. Hear the crosswinds and dead luck gunshots the hoodies deliver like pizza around the concrete jungle gems and sneaker slicks of Greater SE. No TV. Wouldn't that be nice to finally shut off that lying lost dog. Close enough to hear the back gate coerced, control its passion, its loss. Night watchman, part owner, 40 Dollars and twenty-two cents. All alone (dancing with words). Others have retired to germane quarters. Meaning I would then see these pesky guests on a need to know basis. And tell them to bug off when I'm just not in the mood for somebody else's boy noise. Sue and I no longer one mind. Eghads! What would become of life? Sue would say we've never been of one mind, and I say that's exactly how I solve the equation. Let's face it, Nimrod's spoken. I've already solved for X, and now when I must solve for Y, I don't like answer unless it's an imaginary number. A number that spells relief when the colony of two and three gathered over and over again spell relief, not the same awkward similarity, familiarity, bucket of pedestrian drivel. That stings even me, as originator of that thought. Maybe a bit harsh. Nah, it's the bare naked truth. Here I am in my forties and going nowhere faster than those ghetto bullets I just mentioned.

Life creeps like a three chord song into our souls. How do we handle this creeping sickness? We begin to crave active roles in which we can play the exemplar or the idiot. then tear through the awful script with a code that counterfeits the messy...
Despite the constant spilt milk mop up and flatline fatigue, Sue and I, forge ahead forever linked like Greyhound and Trailways buslines, realizing there is more of the same where that came from, but we keep up this shared struggle of brotherly and sisterly love for the Dollhouse's best interests. We should have tried to adopt a few years ago. I floated the ballon several times, but our finances have never really smiled in that direction, Sue was dead set against adoption, says she's too selfish. At least, she was honest about that much. But she's nothing but generous to me. Garbage in, garbage out. Looking for an angle, Steve? It's all right here. It's right here in me. I told Len Bracken that yesterday. Tom Tenderly the gleeful mooch knows I say it to mean it, Rounthwaite, Swartwout. Williams, they all knew it too. Am I great strikes? Not half the cup of coffee I started out to be, but I don't strike out when I keep my eye on the pitch a whole lot either.

My current unhappiness stems (uh, he said stims) from the slow pace at which I work. I stay busy all the time, but it never seems enough to do all that needs to be done. I love everything I am doing these days, even the gazing. My impatience with myself is exacerbated by the sandgnats of my generation buzzing all around my head and my toys, my time and my noise. But that's what in the end is called life. I just wish I had more privacy on the one hand, and a larger, more productive staff (or as they say in the rock and roll cruiser), the fab four or five, even six or seven motivated chaps righteous enough to launch this happening idea centered around the Dollhouse media center of course (well, the Stadium-Armory commercialization project would do wonders for these urges, but that's another archive my head keeps curling up in bed with better left to other paragraphs).

Bottom line, I'm ready for change. Watch the sailors sail. Tim without a job? Can't fathom his presence around here the same way he sees it. His intuitive lack of inspiration can also be painted as an intrinsic lack of discipline because nothing stands in the way of a Tim Shipman goodhour feasted with breaking soundbarriers and a loaf of goatsheadsoup with a chosen few gathered in His honor. I want to see Tim achieve whatever goals he wishes to set, but he ain't there yet as best I figger.

Guess I should toss this one up on the wires. I'm buzzing, rambling, not a single point to make. Dirty windows are calling. It all adds up, in the heart Tony left in San Francisco...
My own 24 hours a day, after weathering the Yellow Years of unrequited punk rock notoriety, are rather sacred to me, now, but I have given them freely much too frequently to events I chafe while performing, and isn't this the root of all evil, as both Tim and Len Bracken would have me believe. And too, you would have no intellectual recourse but to throw another log on that fire of poor response as well. You have been chafing and moaning for months now. Sue is the same way. Hey, it's most people's nature. Yet faulty reckoning folks every inch of the way have no choice but to HEAR and SEE me rebelling against nonsense while they cling to and celebrate their own while all I dare to do is EVERYTHING. I do not celebrate bullshit. When I finally cave to that stroke or that brain seizure and am in a twinkling of a cobra's eye made a green around the gills outright vegetable, the false friends will soon enough scatter after the scorn and the laughter has faded to yet another dull memory. They always do. I can make most of it happen already in a flash. Even as we all slurfishly wait for the big event to crush the emptiness and falsehoods of our lives.

Life creeps like a three chord song into our souls. How do we handle this creeping sickness? We begin to crave active roles in which we can play the exemplar or the idiot. then tear through the awful script with a code that counterfeits the messy, and can only transition AFTER (after the man with a thousand plans, sang Norko) the My will versus Thy will way of life can finally produce results of a particular maybe unique toil, especially now as we all begin to recognize ourselves as the double-edged sword that rips at amazing clockspeeds its up-to-the-minute reports into our handheld brains. And in that perfected time as always the scatterers will themselves be scattered.

Guess I should toss this one up on the wires. I'm buzzing, rambling, not a single point to make. Dirty windows are calling. It all adds up, in the all too common heart Tony left in San Francisco...

Red-Eye Gravy For An Old Rump Roast As Chuck Berry Takes A Polite Bow

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Chuck Berry Takes A Bow
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Originally published on September 19, 1997

Thanks for all the little notes you've wafted down along the Greater Southeast Peripatetic Olfactory Canal lately. Read them devotedly, bookmarked accordingly, grinned when our own thoughts have been replicated in the "real" press, et cetera. Been busy finishing off the A&F site. Now I move into the promotion and maintenance phase. A six-month contract. This Always & Forever contract should prove to be a keeper. Sue's going out to Hector's farm today to load AOL on his Performa out there, and also to begin formulating his farm site by gathering up horse pics.

Newsburst. Peter Burris is moving into the Dollhouse basement next weekend for a season or two, the Sunday following my 42th birthday. Yes, happy and all that. We'll be hosting a few in a quiet gathering after work on Friday. Blumstein celebrates his last day at Columbia Research on the same night. He hasn't responded to my E-mail inviting him and Allie over, but I reckon he might have other celebrationary options up his sleeve. We still haven't tossed the balls since that night of the pokerfaced airconditioning mishap a month ago.

We plan to throw a lot of cash and sweat at the basement as you've already been made aware. Timing is gonna be tight to get all the damned ducks in a row, but everybody involved is psyched to making it work. So Peter might be camping out for a few days or a week until we cut the ribbon. This has all been rather sudden. A year ago I would have never dreamed that PHB would welcome or even be welcomed into this house on any sort of long-term and, uh, familiar basis.

Time does tend to change our perspectives for better AND worse, n'est pas? Karen may have landed us a huge trucking company account, but it won't kick in until late October as the owner puts the finishing touches on a multimillion dollar startup company. It's not in the basket yet, but is almost a sure thing, as he's an ex-and-wouldbe-current beau. She's really excited about her new role as GSIS sales rep. So are we. And best of all, she's no mirror mashed maniac like the rest of us. She's a levelheaded bubbly sort, who just has too many potential contacts to not exploit. So we've all stepped up to the plate looking for that fat pitch down the middle.

By the way, Karen gave Pitch a major bitching over that condescending kissoff note he wrote me, from her own volition. She told Sue about it later. Pitch had CC'd the note to her. Apparently she read it the same way I did. Sue's often characterized Karen as not being too awfully smart. I haven't been around her that much, but she continues to impress me with her downhome country wisdom. She's nobody's fool. She loves Sue, and is always cratcheting Hector about undervaluing Sue. And her mother loves me, in Karen's words. Now isn't that just gravy for an old roast like me. We have suddenly found ourselves bright-eyed and bushy-butted, primed for the feast.

And just think, not too long ago . . .

GT

Today In History

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If It Matters At All
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Originally published on September 19, 1997

Thanks for all the little notes you've wafted down this way lately. Read them, bookmarked accordingly, grinned when our own thoughts have been replicated in the "real" press, et cetera. Been busy finishing off the A&F site. Now I move into the promotion and maintenance phase. A six-month contract. I expect that the Always & Forever site will pay a few dividends. At least, there's yurnover, therefore uopdates, although I'm throwing in two hours of updates a month in the $55/month contract. Sue's going out to Hector's farm today to load AOL on his Performa out there, and also to begin formulating his farm site by gathering up horse pics.

News. Peter Burris is moving into the Dollhouse basement next weekend for a season or two, the Sunday following my 42th birthday. Yes, happy and all that. We'll be hosting a few a quiet gathering after work on Friday. Blumstein celebrates his last day at Columbia Research on the same night. He hasn't responded to my E-mail inviting him and Allie over, but I reckon he might have other celebrationary options up his sleeve. We still haven't talked since that night of the pokerfaced airconditioning mishap a month ago.

We plan to throw a lot of cash and sweat at the basement as you've already been made aware. Timing is gonna be tight to get all the damned ducks in a row, but everybody involved is psyched to making it work, and so Peter might be camping out for a few days or a week until we cut the ribbon. This has all been rather sudden. A year ago I would have never dreamed that PHB would welcome or be welcomed in this house on this sort of long-term familiar basis.

Time does tend to change our perspectives for better AND worse, n'est pas? Karen may have landed us a huge trucking company account, but it won't kick in until late October as the owner puts the finishing touches on a multimillion dollar startup company. It's not in the basket yet, but is almost a sure thing, as he's an ex-and-wouldbe-current beau. She's really excited about her new role as GSIS sales rep. So are we. And best of all, she's no mirror mashed maniac like the rest of us. She's a levelheaded bubbly sort, who just has too many potential contacts to not exploit. So we've all stepped up to the plate looking for that fat pitch down the middle.

By the way, Karen gave Pitch a major bitching over that condescending kissoff note he wrote me, from her own volition. She told Sue about it later. Pitch had CC'd the note to her. Apparently she read it the same way I did. Sue's often characterized Karen as not being too awfully smart. I haven't been around her that much, but she continues to impress me with her downhome country wisdom. She's nobody's fool. She loves Sue, and is always cratcheting Hector about undervaluing Sue. And her mother loves me, in Karen's words. Now isn't that just gravy for an old roast like me. We have suddenly found ourselves bright-eyed and bushy-butted, primed for history, the feast.

And just think, not too long ago . . .

GT

Back In The Saddle, Soap And Shapely

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Back In The Saddle
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Originally published on January 31, 1997

I am forwarding these two recent notes I sent to Steve (who has been remarkably steady in recent days after months of little to say), only because since I've been so busy and completely absorbed by Bracken's project my own e-mail generation had dropped to almost nothing. I didn't want you to think I had blown you off or anything as vulgar or self-preserving like that. Quite the contrary. I've been feeling guilty and depressed that you've written interestingly on several topics that I failed to engage because of my current workload, while simultaneously neglecting my own hefty writing project describing those sordid details of the changing of the guard here at the Dollhouse.

Steve meanwhile weighed in with his interest in hearing more about the book project. You did not, but hey, you certainly caused a stir at the Situationist camp a few weeks back that I thought you might still appreciate a few details while they were still warm in the oven.

After a month of working diligently for someone else I had a few general Mac housekeeping chores to manage, a major crash to weather, and I am now on my eighth day of flu sickness without antibiotic calvary persuading me that the end of this misery is yet in sight. So I face the hiss and boos of the faceless crowd as I admit that still the first line of the "Great Storm" ending 1996 has yet to find its way to page, although this Sunday, Groundhog's Day will mark the first month's anniversary of Tim and Jennifer's exile from the Dollhouse fevers.

Speaking of anniversaries, what day exactly do you turn 31 in all your sass and bosomly anthem? Have you managed to seduce a frozen Swede onto your corporate tab? Would you tell me if you did? I dropped my soap. You wouldn't be pulling a Jack, now would you Landry, all bathed in secret lights and bold rationalizations while flogging community standards with one hand tied behind your back and the other on a stack of sci-fi novels, with nothing but your feet and your mouth to accomplish the dirty deeds, now would you Landry?

Of course I jest with you, but you know as well as I do that in the eye of the hurricane, few details are lost in the saddle. It's out there on the swirl that conflict states its name and bends the rules to suit its own game. Wishing you a swell Minnesota memory. Nothing lasts forever, not even a Green Bay Packers grin....

Whew! It's Over! Bracken's Debord Is Typeset!

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Guy Debord
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Well, it's finally finished. The Debord book is packed off to Portland. Took data to service bureau to have my Syquest media converted to Zip, and printed out a color proof of the cover. Nearly a month's worth of work is in the can. Now I can address what happened over New Year's, settle back into my own themes, but first I need to awaken afresh. I am tired, needing a night's rest. Tomorrow I shall begin the prologue promised those long brackenish weeks ago. The details will no doubt seem shallow now, since most of you no doubt have struck conversations of some sort or another with the exiled in the meantime, but since I am urged by inner demons and outer banks of recoil to capture the essence of my own perspectives, I will presume some of you are still interested in hearing these details, despite their tardiness, but maybe far enough away to be free from kneejerk.

GT