Tuesday, May 31, 2005

mysfit's adventure at the San Francisco Zoo


the only elephant

so i'm not quite sure about a zoo without elephants or camels, but there you have it. i went to the san Francisco zoo this weekend and since i was visiting my folks, i got to play with my mom's digital camera. hopefully, jennsee will not be angry with me for inundating the tourist with photos. the best part of my adventure was seeing the snow leopards - these wondrous big cats you must imagine in you mind - their long tails and spotted fur like snow - for they refused to be photogenic in the california sun. though, we lucked out with timing for just as we reached their cages a zoo-keeper consented to wake these lazy beasts.

Friday, May 27, 2005

sexing the fish

because sometimes i have more to say than will fit in a pop-up window.

the first Jeanette Winterson book i read was Sexing the Cherry, given to me my senior year of high school by an English teacher who shall remain nameless, as i promised not to reveal to anyone that she was my source. i don't know, i suppose it was something of a controversial choice (but then, i was a controversial child).

i was completely blown away. i'd never read anything like it, & oh, how it lingered.
it opened thus:

The Hopi, an Indian tribe, have a language as sophisticated as ours, but no tenses for past, present, and future. The division does not exist. What does this say about time?

Matter, that thing the most solid and the well-known, which you are holding in your hands and which makes up your body, is now known to be mostly empty space. Empty space and points of light. What does this say about the reality of the world?

& the novel goes on to answer these questions, after a fashion, with a cross between a fairy tale, a historical adventure (which is really not so different from a fairy tale, actually) & modern science. wheeee!
i loved the book's notions of personality, of the malleability of time & space, & above all the magnificent & mysterious bending of language, like light through water or glass. (see? it's getting to me even now.)

i think her first novel was Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, a somewhat straightforward yet surreal autobiographical-childhood novel. i wasn't as moved by this one, as i think those elements of her style that i love most were still in the formative stages, though it's been years since i read it, so it's difficult to say accurately. it is, however, also the only one of her works to make it to film, as a BBC series that i've never managed to see. (you! British-fish! find it & report back to the fish!)

the next book i read was Art & Lies, absolutely, without doubt one of my favorite books of all time. i've owned more copies of this than i can remember, because i keep giving them away, shoving them into people hands with an exuberant "you have to read this" (much like Cherry, or, for that matter, Good Omens, Small Gods, & Hard-Boiled Wonderland & the End of the World.)

Art & Lies somehow is able to encompass fragments & microcosms of every human condition, every aspect of a soul's involvement with its world. it's stunningly beautiful; it is art while it speaks of art. see? i'm glowing.

How can i come close to the meaning of my days? I will lasso them to me with the whirling word. The word carried quietly at my side, the word spun out, vigorous, precise, the word that traps time before time traps me.

& that's just me opening to a random page, which happened to be one of Sappho's.
ahem: (picture me shoving book in your hands) You have to read this. Now.

when introducing peoples to Winterson's work i usually start with either Art & Lies or Gut Symmetries, which blends advanced mathematics with myths & sex. talk about archetypes; this book is a complex & gorgoes take on the Romantic Triangle. go forth & be symbolic, kinda thing. "Does time wear a watch?"

i seem to be losing my train of thought here, i keep being distracted by the books themselves, & Lord knows it'd be madness to try to read them all at once. so i'll just say, The Passion is far too beautiful & clever for its own good, like a Venitian Comtesse at a masquerade ball. read it if you want to know what that has to do with Napoleon's chickens. hell, read it anway.

her short stories are like surreal photographs, & the Powerbook wasn't as good as i wanted it to be. is she losing sight of her skills? who knows, but she's got a new one out, Lighthousekeeping, & i'm going to find out.

the ranting fish has a big mouth

So jennsee ranted and raved a bit at everything the other day and today i feel like saying f--k the f--king world - maybe the stars are out of whack or something.

First and foremost, I've recently decided that the government has no business taking away my right to choose to wear a seatbelt or not. They are really cracking down on this now with a "click it or ticket" campaign - catchy, no? Now they can pull you over for no other reason than you weren't wearing your seat-belt. At first, I thought the seat-belt law was a good idea as it does in fact, save lives and of course, you should buckle up your kids. Well and great, but this is a law which tells the individual to do something which good for the individual (and this is the important part) in regards to his/herself alone or else pay the fine. There are many things I could and probably should choose to do that would be good, not for the society I live in nor for myself in regards to the society I live in, but for myself alone - but it's not for the government to decide these things for me. My wearing a seat-belt effects no one's safety but my own and my car is my private vehicle (or would be if I owned one) - next they will ticket me for not tying my shoes or wearing a coat in cold weather.

In this country our government is supposed to speak with the collective voice of the people, this is true and apparently the collective voice of the people are crying out to have their personal decisions made for them - sad really. This may seem a trite complaint on a good idea, but I think this sets a dangerous precedent. I see this as an attempt on the part of the government to save me from myself and I challenge anyone to come up with another law which forces the individual to make a good decision which directly or could directly affect no one but the individual him/herself. I've been wracking my brains and cannot think of one.

Sixteenthly, I am so worn out by the feeling of being manipulated by the media, by the government, that I'd like to file for Societal Member's Comp. Like Worker's Comp, this new program will compensate people for injuries taken as a direct result of living within society. SMC comes with a life supply of "I-Really-Care" pills and "I-Don't-Care" pills as well as an instruction booklet detailing how and when to use the pills. Currently, "I-Really-Care" pills come in two flavors: 'surprisingly-like-peanut-butter-M&M's' and 'wow-I-could-swear-these-are-Mike&Ikes'. The SMC scientists are expected to come out with a new flavor of "I-Don't-Care" pills by the end of the month - currently they are only available in 'mmm-Sour-Patch-Kids-like'.
To help justify my case for the SMC, I plan to submit conversation parts A, B, and C. Please view, as you too may qualify to receive Societal Member's Comp.

The last thing I was going to rant about today was Star Wars and George Lucas in an attempt to expunge from myself the disgust at a man who has that much money and that kind of a franchise and yet still cannot hire good script-writers or main characters who can act. But I'm so sick of it all, (like jennsee says it's everywhere, so much so that I don't even feel the need to link this), that all I have to say is I guess some stories are more powerful than the storyteller.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

the fish exists!

at least sporadically.

i'd go on a rant here about pain, except i think i've already stated most of my thoughts on the subject, & i'd hate to repeat myself.

today is one of those days where you can insert "f--king" before anything & it applies. try it.

f--king Indiana--for those in the know--is finally acceding to the wisdom that is Daylight Savings.

f--king Harry Potter is getting an early reading for kids in Edinburgh. while i think this is a magnificent idea i resent the exclusion of yours truly from the event, just because i'm too old. (& not in Edinburgh, but that is a mutable fact.)

f--king pigs: draw a pig that will symbolize your personality. yes that's correct, your personality in the form of a pig. charming, no? several thousand individuals have already been transformed. into pigs.

f--king Don Quixote may be resurrected again. actually this is a good thing but i've got a rhythm going now. besides, f--king Good Omens has not been. (thank you for reminding me, machine.)

f--king popular culture. must Star Wars be everywhere? & we all knew this would happen to somebody. (thank you Phylos for the heads-up.)

f--king Neil Diamond has a new album in the works. thought you'd like to know.
f--king fish are weird, & so alien sometimes. f--king fish.

& f--king Mars had "a wet & violent past", if you can believe it.

i wish i was able to move my f--king head without agony.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

fishy responses

transcribed from tape. interview with monkey 0

1. You are clearly a ghost samurai. How did you get into this racket, how's the pay, and is that your real moustache?

that's a good question, monk, and one that i'd be glad to answer. it all started when i was young boy in the uzen province. i joined a dojo at the age of 5 and didn't look back. i moved quickly through the ranks and became the best swordsman in the shogunate. unfortunately, being a sucker for the ladies, i was poisoned by a female ninja who worked for an opposing warlord. the pay was great while i was alive, tho it wasn't really a monetary compensation that i received. it was a status thing, so i was comped everywhere i went. in retrospect, i lived my life a little too hedonistically and got what i deserved in the end. now that i'm dead, i have no need for pay. the moustache is mine, tho i didn't grow it. it belonged to my master uesugi kenshin who once told me

Fate is in Heaven, the armor is on the breast, success is with the legs. Go to the battlefield firmly confident of victory, and you will come home with no wounds whatever. Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death. When you leave the house determined not to see it again you will come home safely; when you have any thought of returning you will not return. You may not be in the wrong to think that the world is always subject to change, but the warrior must not entertain this way of thinking, for his fate is always determined.

circumstances led us into battle together. i was voctorious, removed his moustache, and attached it to my faceplate. it is both a trophy of battle and a reminder of my master and my own mortality.

2. Would you rather have a jet pack or a special robot arm which dispenses superb espresso and vintage Barolo?

tho robotic limbs have their advantages, i would rather have a jet pack than a robot arm. i like wine, but i've never had occasion to drink a barolo. i do not like espresso, nor do i like coffee.

3. When you're on the train and you see the signs that say "do not throw anything from the train" (or "ne jetez pas aucun objets dans le fenestre" as they say in France), what do you get the urge to chuck out the window?

george w. bush.

4. Name your favorite foods for:
4a. zombie attack


chilled monkey brains. (also my favorite food for liberating indian children from mola ram and his gang of thugees)

4b. true love
chocolate sex, wine, and roses.

4c. zero gravity

milkshakes.

4d. waking up not knowing where you are or how you go there but you're covered in it

egg n cheese sammich.

5. We'll end with a simple one: nature or nurture?

noodles.

later, our very own jenn see asked me these revealing questions...

1. the universe: infinitely expanding, or goes in cycles?

it cycles as it expands, but on one of those old-timey bikes with the funny wheels.


you are number six.

2. if you were a plant, what would you be?

ficus, i think...yes....a ficus.

3. which fictional character do you have the biggest crush on?

recently, natsuki.


okay....

but it all goes back to caitlin fairchild of gen13


ummmm................

4. if we make a movie of your life, who should we get to direct it? who would star? who would play me?

wes anderson, maybe, could direct? bill murray and owen wilson come with the turf, but additionally i'd like to have jack nicholson and scarlett johansson to play you.


scarlett

i will of course portray myself....

5. what's your favorite word? who's your favorite musician? how are the 2 related?

oscillate & jimmy knepper. he was a little too old to oscillate when i met him, but he could still play like a mofo. charlie parker, tho...he could oscillate.


jimmy knepper


knepper and charlie parker


& i think we can consider "what fish represents your dark side?" to be a requisite.


manta ray

and as a parting thought, i leave you with this.

goodnite you little fishies...

Monday, May 23, 2005

what sprang from the head of the fish

a little disclaimer to ease my nerves and some background info about me, if you were curious...

i have been writing poems since 2nd grade and yes, i still remember the first poem i ever wrote - no, i will not tell you, so don't even ask...

i don't remember when i gave up on rhyming and structure - it was so long ago - but i do remember the swelling sense of freedom it gave me and so i never looked back, though i do occasionally write some experimental form poetry, it almost never rhymes...

but sometimes and without warning rhyming happens in lyrical form- so here is the latest which sprang from the head of my fish:




the world smells of gasoline
but i'm a painted lily
singing songs to you
in passing phrase
of days i could not see

i wish that you could breathe my air
and help me bring the sun
but you, my dear
are far from here
chasing vodka with the dawn

they're burning all the houses down
and torching fresh cut grass
but we've been dead
for longer years
than the pope's been chanting mass

the world smells of gasoline
but i have lost my mind
and you got lost
between the drops
when we left the frame behind


i haven't found a name for this - suggest a title if you dare...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Star Wars Episode Fish: the good, the bad, & the horrifically disfigured.

it's been a couple of days since i've seen it, & of course i'm going to see it again, & wheresoever you go, people are discussing it, so i thought i'd offer my thoughts on Episode III.

i dug it.

this bit will be spoiler-free in the extreme, because myfit hasn't seen it, & she knows me & my cinematic tastes well enough to reach certain conclusions even if i'm not explicit. so it's not so much a review as a sketch, & as much on the context as the content, i guess.

we watched all the movies in the week leading up to Wednesday, but not the Clone Wars animated microseries, because that--what i've seen of it--is top-notch stuff, & i didn't want to raise my expectations too high. better to watch Episode II, & be able to say, Hey, at least the love scenes were shorter.

the movie grew on me, & by the morning after (when i stumbled about delirious from lack of sleep with light sabers frolicking in my head) i had come to appreciate it. everything that needed to be there was there, & though the pacing seemed awry--it slowed down when you didn't want to & all the best bits went superquick--i was pleasantly surprised by the way certain elements were handled.

Lucas didn't shy away from the darkness in this flick, & as soon as he went all twisty & evil i understood why they had cast Hayden Christenson in the first place. there are those out there who continue to be upset with the transformation of one of the most archetypal villains ever into a whiny & self-indulgent teenager, but it makes sense to me.

This flick though really belonged to the Emperor. this is his ascent, after all.

& it only goes to show that Obi-Wan really is the consummate Jedi, as well as why Darth Vader hates him so much. shudder.


Obi-Wan.

hmmm, i'm getting close to revealing too much. i ought to stop.

an interesting result of this third film is that people are now wondering how to view the series; e.g. some friends of ours have a new baby. will she grow up seeing them as 1-6 or will the original chronology linger? (i love popular culture.) if you watch the new ones first you lose the reveal of Luke & Leia's very interesting family tree (& the impact of one of the classic lines of cinema), but you also gain the reveal of the Senator/Emperor transition.

they're in the other room, talking about it again. i think if i'd written this 3 days ago i would have had a lot more to say, but by now i'm sick of stating my talking points. i'll come back to it later after only those living in hole won't know what happened.

besides, when it comes to sci-fi in the visual medium, give me Farscape any day. Farscape kicks Star Wars' ass around the universe (yes, i know people will be throwing things at me for that. i don't care.)

postscript: looking for aliens blowing up planets action? War of the Worlds is coming.

cue theme music, title sequence.

another episode of "thoughts, comments, shrieks of outrage" for your fishing pleasure.


in the vast ranges of Nothing in Particular
maps freckled with mountains
carve red-lined interrogatories
out of the sand. sand? what sand?
sand at the edge of oceans?
there it is roaringly quiet, & if I
sit very still the wind
tosses my hair
like a photo shoot,
a classic moment--what color is it?
though i am
in this room & the sea is
out there.
sand of desert where there are
footfalls &
actually mostly rocks,
stones wedged in my aperture,
stopping my tongue &
falling like boulders
into conversation.

Friday, May 20, 2005

the fish brings you...

" Ten Reasons To Go To Work Naked "
(this was emailed to me and i wanted to share)

10. No one ever steals your chair.

9. Gives "bad hair day" a whole new meaning.

8. Diverts attention from the fact that you also came to work drunk.

7. People stop stealing your pens after they've seen where you keep them.

6. You want to see if it's like the dream.

5. To stop those creepy used truck salesmen from looking down your blouse.

4. " I'd love to chip in...but I left my wallet in my pants."

3. Inventive way to finally meet that 'special' person in Human Resources.

2. Can take advantage of your computer monitor radiation to work on your tan.

And the Number One reason to go to work naked : Your boss will never say, " I wanna see your ass in here by 8:00 ! " ever again.

mysfit said vodka so i fished this


"The flowers that we stole from San Jacinto are in the vodka vases by the window..."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

possibly more information than you fished for.

that's right kids, it's time to reveal the secret answers to your questions concerning the universe--or the bit that contains me, anyway.

emily started this whole thing, & she asked me these questions ages ago, so without further ado:

emily: jenn see,
1. What is your most memorable selfless act?

jenn see: is it wrong that it's taking me awhile to think of one?
ultimately i think i do nice things for other people because it makes me happy.

shit. i don't think i am selfless, ever, even if it might seem like that on the surface.

um, you fishies who know me, can you think of any selfless acts i have performed?

emily: 2. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

j: drinking champagne on any day i don't have to work. even if it's (ahem) tuesday.
bubble, bubble.

e: 3. Can you find a photograph that expresses your greatest fear?

j: that photograph of the burning monk. self-immolation. burning to death. shudder. thank god i don't live in the days when they burned witches, i would have been ashes, i'm sure.
but i do want to be cremated after i'm dead.

e: 4. When did it hit you?

j: what, the fear of fire? i had a nightmare once about my house burning down round me. it was god-awful. we'd had some sort of fire prevention presentation at school & the images really stuck with me.

when i was 14 it hit me that no one could live my life for me. when i was 9 it hit me that everything is mortal, everything passes away. when i was 19 it hit me that the Midwest was no place for me. when i was 22 it hit me that i could control my own neuroses. last june a man on the way to a bar hit me. totalled my car, too. bastard.

e: 5. What is your favorite part of blogging? What does the experience provide for you?

j: i blog so as to have a venue for my creativity. mysfit & i have a longstanding creative partnership, & it seemed a good way to keep a good thing going over different time zones. it's totally worked, too, & i'm writing prolifically. yay!
besides, i like having conversations with strangers.



& of course mysfit grabbed the thing & ran with it, & since i've known her for years, i couldn't help but wonder what such an interview would reveal. wait no longer:

mysfit: jennsee, darling, i would like to know:
1)What's the weirdest thing you've ever done for a job?

jenn see: the weirdest thing that ever happened to me at work was when i was 17 & working for an Italian restaurant in a shore town near Atlantic City. i had to occasionally make catering deliveries, & one busy night, pulling out of the parking lot in my boss's new truck, i had the very surreal experience of listening to a concrete post rip open the side panel & the wheel well. the post was just short enough to be out of view of a girl unused to SUV's. the whole damn bumper just fell off, & i spent the rest of the night with one of the waiters drinking wine & trying to duct tape it back together.

the weirdest thing i've ever done to get a job...that's trickier. more often i'm at my most creative when i'm trying not to work. i don't just call out; i devise lengthy plans & excuses that cover every possible question that might be posed to me that i might remain almost entirely blameless for my absence. for example, this week i've had to call out of my current job (which i hate, hate, hate, which is rare for me) in order to attend interviews for a new one. this is fairly bizarre, especially since normally when i call out i sink back into bed with a feeling of utmost relief.

i wasn't made to work; i was made to host parties & make conversations. if i ever get around to that time machine i will be "Lady So-and-so" with her 17th-century Parisian salon.

m: 2)Where do colors go when they fade?

to Rainbow Land to become sprites working for the good of children everywhere.

sorry, i couldn't resist.

they go into the air of course, particle by reflective particle, leached out by sunshine or wind or washing machines, floating invisibly with newfound freedom & no attachments to objects, winging their way into space. when good colors fade they become supernovas.

seriously, though, lately there seems to be an overabundance of green in the air, based on how my car's been changing color before my eyes.

m: 3)Would you ever go skinny dipping in a stranger's pool if you thought they were out of town?

j: this is a leading question, dammit.
moment of truth: i've never gone skinny dipping. i'm a little selective about who gets to see me naked, & the circumstances have just never been appropriate.
it's on my list of things to do before i die, though (hopefully before i get all wrinkly & saggy), & i will be keeping my eye out for secluded tropical pools & private Mediterranean beaches.

as for stranger's swimming pools, that's a different story entirely. i grew up in a shore town, where 60% of the population is only there for June, July, & August. there were plenty of warm nights in May & September, & half these tourists were only around on the weekends anyway; what crowd of adventurous (read: drunk) teenagers, with a bit of a chip about shoobies*, could resist all those lovely warm glowing vacant swimming pools? they line up along the boardwalk, beach house after beach house with luminous aquamarine hints of water peeking out between shrubs, trees, & fences.

hence, the practice known as pool-hopping: wear a suit (& maybe, if you're a girl, some easy shorts too), always know where your towel is, remember where you left the beer & you better hope you can hop fences. chased from one trespassing incident to another by rent-a-cops, neighbors, & sometimes sneaky homeowners all sleeping & acting like there was no one there, we'd race up & down the boardwalk & the beach, Longport to Atlantic City, stealing the luxuries of being a little bit wealthier. it was an adrenaline rush at times; there were also times when we weren't caught & we'd almost forget that this wasn't our personal swimming pool. ah, being 15, when for whatever reason we could get away with antics like this.

m: 4)What anime character do you most identify with?

j: hmmmm. i look like Witch Hunter Robin, my favorite of all time is probably Vash the Stampede, & character-wise, i think i identify with Fuu-chan.


Witch Hunter Robin.


me as Robin, Halloween 2004.

i realize this answer is a bit of a cheat. i may come back to it later.


m: 5)What's the scariest dream you've ever had? (If you don't remember a dream, explain the scariest experience you've ever had.)

j: my scariest dream (that is, the one that affected me the most) is also my earliest memory. i was 4 years old, & my baby brother had just learned to walk. (he was a tad precocious even then; he started walking at 7 months. me? i was about a year & decided that the middle of Chicago/O'Hare was a good place to start. if you wanted to know.)

what i remember: the screened in porch, with the bright red-painted concrete floor, runs the length of the front of my house (which is a cute little number in black & white). the screens are in giant (to me, anyway) archways, a sort of 2-D collonade; the edge opposite the side with the entrance looks into an alley or path between our house & the neighbors, bound by rhododendrons & brimming with potential for the imagination. i had a lot of fun in those hedges.
anyway, my baby brother (in the dream, remember?) has toddled the length of the porch from the front door to this edge, & he's leaning against the screen, looking out. i remember what his little hands looked like (20 years later he may beat me up for describing this) pressing against the screen, the same way they looked pressing out of the mesh playpen. do you know what i'm talking about? it's a weird effect that both numbs & stimulates the palms, a weird pattern-texture-smoothed thing.
suddenly the screen tears, without a sound, & pulls right out of the archway; out tumbles my brother.
i've been (in the dream) watching this from the middle of the room; i go after him & lean out.
for no good reason there is a yawning pit, a hole, where the path used to be (though the path goes on away on either side), & he's disappeared into it. i tumble after him, screaming, & try to save him--it's all echoey & i can't hear where he is & there's cobwebs strung everywhere across the pit, i fall through them, they're in my hair & mouth & i can't save him.

& that's all of the earliest thing i remember.

the scariest moment--& i've had a few, but this is a Moment that i'm going to always remember--is (oddly enough considering my fears) when i set myself on fire. there was a votive burning in a terracotta holder (designed specifically for votives, i might add) for an all-night final exam study session, i'm awakened from under my art history tome (so i dozed off a bit) with "there's a fire in your room."
the varnish on the votive holder has caught fire. it's near enough to a curtain to make me panic. what i should have done was grab a wet towel & a saucepot, but what i did (i was a little delirious) was just try to pick the damn thing up to move it.
it exploded in my hand.
whatever was flaming in there--shards, wax, wick--torched my hand & fell.
on the carpet.
this is the moment.

whoooompf.



the entire surface of the rug--on which i'm standing--is ignited in a rolling, spreading kind of sudden flame. you know how you can burn the fuzzies off your socks? (er, i'm not the only one, am i?) it was like that. vivid, blue & orange & gold, the fire seared every bit of loose fuzz & cat hair off that carpet.

then it went out, just like that, leaving a few shards smoldering on the fabric.

my heart still races remembering it.

but mysfit knows all this, she was there. she's the one who woke me up, thank god.

mysfit: Bonus question:I'd also like to know what kind of fish best depicts your darkside...

jennsee: hmmmm. ok, this is really difficult. there's no such thing as a Melodramatic Fish, at least not that Google knows about. i'm going to have to go with the bluestriped fangblenny, partly because it's fun to say & partly because it's a sneaky little bastard, which i tend to be in my worst moments.

like me, it disguises itself in costumes to move where & when it pleases, particularly when it's on the hunt.

tag, little fishies. you're it.

*shoobies: n. pl. don't know where they're going, don't know where they live, don't know how to act, despised by those at whom they throw money. sigh. tourist towns.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

when the fish asks you if you're a god you say yes

jerry and rocketboy, first in a while...



i lost rocketboy upon our arrival at these great smokies. he was there, i swear he was, but i turned to light a cigarette and he was gone. i figured he might have just gone ahead so i followed the trail before us...me.
that was almost a year ago.
and here's me, still following this spine up the east coast of the former continental united states, great beast that it was. i might have been looking for my lost comrade. i might have just been following the path. probably both.
as the north carolina (formerly) snow skirls before and behind me, i get depressed. it was this search, this compulsion to follow a path that's off the beaten, that got me started so many years ago. i'm still chasing the same dreams. the only proof i have is a pair of worn out shoes.
i get depressed because i've come full circle, and i hate circles, daddy-o.
no recourse, save one, and an unreliable one as the case is. i don’t know how to use this timespike. i have the gist of it, in a point and shoot kind of way, but there’s no precision involved.
something i’ve noticed about travel by timespike. the more i do it, the longer i stay in the flow, the more my rough edges get worn down. time is not something to trifle with.
there’s also my growing concern and paranoia that the device will stop working, run out of batteries. what then?
i think i’m losing my resolve.
i cast the spike and wait for it to catch. it’s less reliable now than it was when i found it, when i met rocketboy. man, how the fish used to bite. thirty two minutes pass before i feel it this time. not the longest, but notable.
the timespike pulls me out of now and plunges me into

now.
swinburne island, just off the coast of another that i know. i recognize the crematorium and the cold wreck of the narrows bridge. it is sunny, tho. and there are sunflowers everywhere. there’s nothing else here, save a boat, but that’s all i really need. it floats and i’m not going very far.
the sea is calm and slips beneath the prow as i scoop the oars. i’m reminded of youth, but that’s a different type of spike.
i reach the opposite shore and follow the beach a little before i head inland. things are familiar, but everything is so blasted to incoherence that i could be anywhere, and once you’re anywhere….
‘hey jerry, you have a smoke?’
i turn and there stands rocketboy. i hand him his cigarette and hold the lighter ready.
‘where you been?’
i shrug in response and flick the lighter to life.

Soluble Fish

this Sunday i had the chance to see the comprehensive Salvador Dali exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art before it wends its way to wheresoever it goes next. has to be one of the best exhibits i've ever seen there, & i've seen quite a few.

the museum's special exhibitions always go on timed tickets, & as we were waiting in line, Disney-World-style, all winding back & forth, a projector displayed a series of black & white images over the entrance to the exhibit. mostly these were photographs of Dali himself, sometimes pictured with his work, or doing strange this with mannequins & lobsters. he's a strange-looking figure; as my stepfather said, "No wonder he has those circles under his eyes; he must be afraid to sleep."

the show did an amazing job of demonstrating the psychological & artistic development of Dali's work, from his early post-impressionistic/cubist work to his "Nuclear Mysticism" near the end.


Figure at a Window (the artist's sister), 1925.


Barcelona Mannequin, 1926-27.


Apparition of Face & Fruit Dish on a Beach, 1938.


Dream caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate, One Second Before Awakening, 1944.


My Wife, Nude, Contemplating Her own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture, 1945.


Madonna of Port Lligat, 1949.

Dali is really worth a little research effort. he invented the paranoiac-critical method, played with Federico Garcia Lorca, the Surrealists & Freud, Einstein, Heisenberg, & always his enigmatic wife Gala, stolen from her first husband Paul Eluard. His artistic renderings of wartime Europe or very powerful, partly because he viewed the destruction as akin to organic decay. As a bonus to all this theory, he was also a masterful painter, mechanically speaking; his technique was impeccable pretty much from the start. it's part of what makes these images so intense &/or disturbing.

i've updated the tourist with photographs of the museum, though you're strictly forbidden to take photos of any special exhibit, so the most dali-esque of mine are actually from the gift shop (which, if you follow the path of the exhibit, is your way out. clever marketing.)

i think they extended the exhibit another week, so if you're around Philadelphia do yourself a favor & wander through it. then go have a good strong drink afterwards, you'll need it.

scraps of fish: Chapters part the Next.

Chapter 4: but why is the rum gone?

da dum da dum da dada da dum
a face behind a moving window,
telephone lines swooped & curving in reflections.
cue soundtrack, those are my eyes.

I've nothing to dig my hands into.
if I was making speeches I
would
design
new
words
that zip & explode,
that unzip & envelop,
that bloom nastily,
&
your eyes thrown open by the farce of an ear,
the force of teeth & tongue,
all
at
work
on
your
will
with the elegant seduction
of rhetoric
look
here it comes
here
it
comes.

just think I'm thinking here thinking of things & I think I hear you--
no.
too soon.

too soon to make sense?
too soon.

but darling it's December again.


Chapter 5: ah the might of the common cold.

come one come all to this playground,
low as he-said, she-said,
high as monkey bars & third eyes blinking.
look, you
can
tell
by
her
eyes
she's
some
where
else.


indeed, another installment of Hey look what i found in my old journal.
for convenience's sake, & as a shameless way to elicit compliments, the sidebar has been updated with links to the writings of we fisherpeople. hopefully this will soon come to include the Adventures of Lieutenant Drinkwater, & possibly even the Adventures of Jerry & Rocket Boy, the brainchild(ren) of fishies on this end. we shall see.

Monday, May 16, 2005

jumping up & down joyful excited fish

can fish jump?

this fish can.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire.

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe.

feel the fantasy fish! look at it flutter!

"oooooh. ahhhhh."

my glee knows no bounds!
(what, i'm a nerd, didn't you know that already?)

when the fish makes discoveries

mostly it's via other sources, though every now & then a true epiphany is visited on the fish.

this is not one of those days.

but i have discovered that gay men smell things differently, which i might have known had i paid more attention in the past to the reactions of gay men to, say, garlic. or i might not.

it has also been "discovered" (really i think they could've asked anyone) that traffic has sucked, does suck, & will continue to suck in the future.

also discovered was the existence of the Notorious Sturgeon Gang, foiled in a well-executed caviar sting.

if you're into making your own discoveries, find out what Google thinks of you (or just about anything, really) & then translate it into any number of other languages, thereby become octolingual & impressing fish everywhere.

or you could just go with Latin. Latin is always good.

motomike has made his own revelatory discovery, thereby increasing my fear of all-out nuclear war. evil evil people have the power...

if that's not enough wisdom for you, here's a flash animation of Life. yours, mine, anybody's.

not a fish at all

ok, so i know i've promised much in my life- i know i promised you pictures of mowing the lawn and being the goddess of destruction as i run my lawn-sharpened mower over the weeds of chaos and mother nature in another of man's chaotic attempts to bring order to the yard - but after two days all the dandilions (who were just laying down and biding their time) popped right back up - scaring the cat - and the lawn looks like it needs to be mowed again. So, I'm feeling a bit sheepish and not like a fish at all, much less a goddess...

besides, I still haven't finished the roll of film - or maybe i have - but this camera is new at least to me, and requires decisively non-digital film. It may rewind itself eventually - i hope.

so instead here is a picture of a duck:

-from P.I.P. Handicrafts


now quit your quacking...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

the swollen eyeball on the kingdom of heaven

with my current visual travails i am forced to come forth with my true identity: i am the Swollen Eyeball, seer of secrets & collector of conspiracies.


if you must know more about my secret second life, seek ye out Invader Zim, & ye shall learn the Truth. as it were.


went to see Kingdom of Heaven on Thursday. er, don't pay theater prices to see this. it proves that sometimes screenwriters can get away with anything. the only characters i cared about were all dead halfway through.

though on the plus side, i almost bought into Orlando Bloom. mind you, he really needs to stop replaying the same character (a blacksmith in search of his father what?), but he seems to have it down to an art, much more so than in Troy (which i dug for its poetic & historic roots), though i guess his character was meant to be a pansy.



Liam Neeson is always good for something, & absolutely makes one of my favorite scenes in the movie (the one in which Balian is knighted.)

my favorite character was Hospitaler, played magnificently by David Thewlis, who is one of my favorite people in film. he always surprises me. he was the last to die in this film, via decapitation. oh, yes, did i mention the Tarantino-esque gore? the bloodshed & body count in this film were positively Biblical.

Hospitaler.

the cast also included Jeremy Irons as the Marshall of Jerusalem, & Edward Norton as the disfigured King.

he looks very Mordred-from-Excalibur here. the mask made for some intense images.

which brings me to my favorite aspects of the movie: the imagery &, oddly enough considering the abysmal writing, the emphasis on language.
there are a number of theological discourses, as one can expect, but there was a symmetry & a kind of reprise-like repetition, a fugue, if you like, of declarations of faith (& the lack thereof). the power of language is really what's being demonstrated in this film, e.g.
"Does making a man a knight make him a better fighter?"
"Yes."
(you see what i mean about the writing?)
photographically speaking, there are some stunning & highly archetypal moments: if you do see it, watch for the scene with Saladin's sister in the grass, & one where Balian is under a palm tree as several Knights Templar move in to ambush him.
there were many others, but a movie can't survive on imagery alone.
point of fact: my least favorite aspect of the movie (aside from the writing).


Eva Green as Princess Sybilla.
A lovely actress, to be sure, but in the most objectified, minimalized, & absurd role for a woman that has been seen in these sword-&-sandal flicks for some time.

in other words: engh.

on a side note, & because i was thinking about walls, my neighbor has been replacing the chainlink fence that surrounds our back yard (the one my landlady won't let me have a key to, thereby dashing all hopes of creating a garden or having a place outside this summer), & the poem Mending Wall has been revolving in my head since he began, hammering his metal poles into the grass all yesterday afternoon:

He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down!"

Robert Frost.

Friday, May 13, 2005

i wish i was a happier fish.


me with lilacs, Rutgers Gardens, NJ, a happy tuesday.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

busy fishtail works overtime


fish in the wind, Santacroce Garden Store, Staten Island.

i realize i've been neglecting my telling of fish tales, but i've been too busy following the damn thing to explain what it's doing.

[insert teaser trailer]
the Life Aquatic! the Audrey-Hepburn-shaped holes in the universe! Salvador Dali live at the Philly Art Museum! (cue soundtrack) Interchangable Emmas take over my daylight hours! Dr. Dee goes to Prague! Gay men smell things differently! Traffic sucks! (cue explosions & crowd scenes) Magnolias & Lilacs! Bamboo groves! My Hime wears short skirts! David Bowie vs. the Knights Templar! (intrigued yet?)
[insert release date]

oh, damn, there goes the fish again, after the mashed potatoes...
excuse me, i must handle this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

mysfit reveals exclusive interview to the fish

These questions came from Emily :

1. What religious imagery most moves you?
All of it. I think religious imagery is a very important part of life for all people who have a religion. Symbols can help you to clear and focus your mind, letting you become in tune with whatever deity you believe best defines god for you. Religious imagery fascinates me and realizing that people gleam hope, die/kill, sacrifice and live for such symbols, I am deeply moved - sometimes to tears and sometimes to laughter. I hope you don't think this is a cop-out answer.

2. What is you favorite at the movies snack/candy?
Reeses Pieces

3. Would you describe yourself as extroverted or introverted and why?
Years ago, I realized that I was an introvert who has spent her whole life pretending that I am an extrovert. It might have worked by now.

4. Did you do it?
No... of course I didn't... I wasn't anywhere near it... I was at the movies... alone... I was on the moon with Steve...

...I mean, do what?

5. What kind of fish best depicts your dark side?
Ok, this might be the hardest question yet. What kind of fish and my dark side... I don't have a dark side. No, really, I'm all light and shining and goodness and - alright, my dark side... hmm, I guess my glib, off-the-cuff response would be the puffer fish, because of the toxic spines that I shoot out at people I'm mad at...

Though this response might change as I think about it more.


The Official Interview Game Rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."

2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.

3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.



Tuesday, May 10, 2005

uncle fish went to Bryn Mawr

which reminds me of "Bron-y-aur stomp" but isn't.

i was fortunate to grow up in a family with musicians on both sides; i have a whole mental scrapbook of acoustic guitars as seen by a child. & since then, of course.

my mother's brother, Jeffrey, performed this Saturday past at a quaint brick place called the Point, which had a nice open stage & good light. i love to hear my uncle play; he's able to project a level of emotion & expression into his voice that you rarely hear in folk music (for lack of a better word for the genre). partly i think this is his musical theater background--he was joined on stage at one point by the Jesus Christ Superstar band (he's played Jesus for over a decade running, now, i think. he's really good at it. it's kinda weird, but i've gotten used to it.) He was also joined by Ray, who plays bass on his cd; for the performance he played this ginormous mariachi-looking acoutic bass that was basically a guitar blown up. i remembered him from my little-girlhood, but he didn't remember me--& here's me thinking i haven't changed much at all (smirk). the rhythms were syncopated & sympathetic, the lyrics poetic, hermetic, & above all conscious. if that makes sense. i even heard some songs new to me, which was an unexpected pleasure. & he's written one of the best songs for fathers ever. & i should know.

if that weren't enough, i love the chicken song. the inherent absurdity one finds in chickens is akin to that of monkeys, methinks.

& i completely forgot to ask any of them if they'd seen A Mighty Wind.

the tourist has been updated with images of the show; we had a lovely time celebrating mother's day there.

as a side note, it was free comic book day at the store next door, & we scored whole handfuls of colorful sheets of paper.

i'll probably return & say more later, but for now i've got to go watch The Life Aquatic.
Ah, Steve Zissou: there's a man who follows his fish.

always laugh loudly from under umbrellas

in the grandest tradition of tuesdays around the world, my fish brings you this lovely yellow umbrella. may it help you to conquer the world, or failing that, your fears at least...

Monday, May 09, 2005

it's monday and the fish won't settle on a topic...

so i keep trying to compose my thoughts into something both cogent and coherent, but not only am i feeling lost at work today, but i think that i have a near terminal case of a little thing we could refer to as Monday-ADD...

So, Good Morning, afternoon, evening, summer, winter, spring and how are you going today?

WELCOME TO NEPTUNE!!

Welcome to a few episodes of my fish as i could only do an episode at a time, this may be a little tangential and entirely fragmentary so from the first....

This weekend we celebrated both those wonderful people we call mothers who granted us existence and the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII and the defeat of the Nazi's. It was kind of a strange weekend.

I celebrated spring and being a goddess of destruction/creation by mowing my lawn(more thoughts about this another time, when i'm coherent). This is spring to me: ladybugs and lilacs. Not lawn care. I know many of you are wondering at this point what a lawn is and why you have to care for it. Soon I will include a picture... I will say one more thing about this just now - I hate raking.

I've decided for the catch today, that I am going fishing for a literary fish and just leave it at that. For those of you who don't understand what I mean by this, check out the sidebar and go to my to other site (or something) but don't enjoy it as i am still trying to find time to spruce it up.

I built my first computer yesterday, from the inside out. It was really neat - something else to cross off my list of things to do before i die. Unfortunately, i don't remember what i put in it... so don't ask.

These sugar-free candies are killing me - i want a cookie.

[YOU WILL LISTEN TO HAPPY ANARCHY... YOU WILL LOVE IT... YOU WILL LISTEN TO HAPPY ANARCHY...]



end transmission

for promotional fish only

there's no show to plug.  we're taking most of may to record a bunch of preliminary tracks for the next album.  paris hilton thinks it's gonna be hot.  there is a favor tho that i would ask of all of you.  we're trying to get onto the warped tour via ernie ball's side stage.  ernie ball is not a film star from those blue movies your grandpa used to watch.  he may not be a real man at all,  but he does make guitar strings...incidentally the type that joe uses, so now you know what to get him for christmas and birthdays.
tangents aside, we still need your help!  this is the last week of judging and it would make a better case for us if you could bump up the number of plays for us.  all you have to do is visit 


http://www.battleofthebands.com/happyanarchy 
just click play


you have to let the song play all the way to make it count.  use this as an opportunity to introduce a coworker or family member to the band.  easy, right?  after you do that, send the link to everyone in your address book and ask them to do the same.  send an email to your local and state representatives and see if they can get a bill passed to get us some plays.  they seem to like getting involved in things they have no business being into.  we just have to spin it a bit, get the right angle, like if we don't get this gig then todd won't be able to get his medication and the american people can't let that happen.

thank you!

see us: www.happyanarchy.com
write us: happyanarchy@happyanarchy.com


-t-

Sunday, May 08, 2005


mother goddess, garden store, Staten Island.

mater matris piscis.

Agriturismo
to my mother from a wine map of Tuscany.

Delicate bird-boned faint haze traces
of mountain in your blood
Are you the French aristocrat
I've always pretended to be?

because you know, & betwixt
your rouge & vine
I expect
that you wait.

You are:
introducing Audrey Hepburn.
training your eye to the concave lens,
where your rocky virgin waits,
already imagistic.

Strade del vino, maman.
You are:
three pegusi rampant on a verdant field.
luxurious hair tints & molecular curls.

stronger than a trilogy of cancers
like crow's feet on European eyes,
kindred neurotic, arteriosclerotic & maroon.
Do you remember that, then?

& me, whiteboot dancing
like angels of annunciation at the pregnancy of text?
Deliciously ancient, bounded by birds,
the Mediterranean kisses our border ships.

I commanded thee
to ascend the Duomo,
& you did, remarking the light
for remembering.

Maman, I want to be
Audrey Hepburn,
I am too tall,
make it so.


2002, i think. a newly revised edition, since i couldn't find anything except the original draft, banged out on my old silent Smith-Corona & covered in mysfit's annotations.

the tourist has been seriously updated with spring-appropriate images, including several of women, children, & flowers.

Happy Mother's Day to all those to whom it's appropriate. mothers are awesome.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Special Relativity

(I've been meaning to post this for a while. It's a few years old, but it's probably one of my favorite writing pieces that I've ever done. So Enjoy! Since bloggie doesn't like spacing, all the italicized parts, except this one, are supposed to be indented.)



On the first floor, I welcome the checkered floor, the high ceiling, the empty room. Not sure how to proceed, I hesitate. The light, withdrawing from the corners, condenses into a single stream, intensifying the center of the room. The process, instantaneous, hurts my eyes. I walk into the stream.

It’s not that I have a problem with my body, she breathes, I just don’t understand why I only have one.
I only have one mind, I reply, but so does everyone else. Everyone is I.








On the second floor, we gaze at each other through glass windows and listen to the TV hum. Sadly she smiles at me, her white teeth grinning.

It’s new, she says.
I know, I reply.
I’ve―never tried it, she says.
I know, I reply.
It doesn’t really do anything, she says.
I know, I reply.
I love you, she says.








On the third floor, I wait for her. Time has a constant effect after a while, like freefalling.

No one really listens, she told me once.
I’m listening, I replied.

Straining, I hear the memory of her song. She would breathe my thoughts into wave patterns to bounce down hallways and bend through water. She never asked any questions.








On the fourth floor, I am faced with a reflection of me. Despite trying not to, I see her in the process of reflecting. The face stretches to fit the image of dimension and vertigo hits me.

On the fourth floor, I am faced with a reflection of her. Despite trying not to, I see me in the process of reflecting. The face stretches to fit a frame of reference and vertigo overtakes me.

On the fourth floor, I am faced with a reflection—

You’re trying too hard, she says.
I know, I reply.








On the fifth floor, she meets me. Standing just outside my vision spectrum, she sings to me in ultraviolet rays. My shadow sways in time with her melody. Passing through me, she takes him, twirling through corridors and leads him to higher frequencies of movement. I try to follow but all I find are specs of dust floating, unsettled by their passage. I only see spots.








On the sixth floor, I find my shadow, beaten and broken, bleeding.

You affect me, she says.
I do not reply.








On the seventh floor, I find my shadow drawn to me. I find the furniture drawn to me. I find the air drawn to me. I wrap myself in the fabric of the seventh floor and wait for her to be drawn to me. She approaches cautiously, as if unsure whether I am actually there. I know she feels me, but I am not as she remembers.

You don’t have to be afraid, I say.
I’m not, she replies.
Will you sing for me, I ask.
I will not, she replies.
What will you do, I ask.
I don’t know, she replies.
I love you, I say.








On the eighth floor, she waits for me, counting variables and constants. The echoes of my footsteps reach her before I can.

I hear your rhythm, she says.
I don’t understand, I reply.

She explains the stars to me. She explains that to be a body is to rely on potential. That a body suspended in limbo becomes the standard measurement of time, the gauge of motion, the origin.

I hear your rhythm, I say.
I don’t understand, she replies.
I can hear your heart beat, I say.
I am infrared, she replies.

I explain that to be a body is to rely on gravity. That identification requires separate movements through time, but to be alone is to be without identity. I tell her that she is my identity and she sings to me.

Friday, May 06, 2005

dreams of fish

who was it who came to me in my dreams this morning, backlighting like a dream does until features blur & there were fingers on the small of my back. a lover? my love was there too, & he minded not. his arm was linked in mine & mine in the other's. a sex dream? maybe but i don't think so, it was too bright for that, too full of clothes. we were outide leaning against a rail beyond which was...some stream or valley full of light or mist, blurry, like Niagara but less wet. there was a house behind us, full of rooms. was it an angel? what was i thinking? who was it who came to me in my dream this morning?

Holy Mackerel!

"and the fish shall rise up and take their revenge..."

In a startling apt post, our dear friend from Thysdrus informed me of this astounding event. Please view with caution - not for the light-hearted:

"Fish Floors Old Fisherman in revenge attack"

the fish makes up words

;
as in the past tense of squeeze.

“What did you do to her ass?”
“I squoze it.”

Thursday, May 05, 2005

childhood fish-back

Welcome to my time-portal and please don't mind the squiggly flashback marks.

Last night I re-watched a childhood favorite of mine: Return to OZ(1985). The creepy sequel to the Wizard of OZ(1939) (though I have to admit, parts of that movie freaked me out when I was a kid as well - oo, flying monkeys). If you have never seen this - you should. If you need an excuse, introduce any child that you know to it.


Tik-Tok meets Dorothy

Often when I re-watch movies that I loved as a kid, I realize just how stupid they are, or that they are just not all that I remember them to be. The strangest experience of this is when I watched the Neverending Story(1984) a few years ago. I still love the movie, even after re-watching it, actually especially after watching it. That's just it - I love the memory of the movie. Watching the movie itself was a bit unsatisfying as the acting and effects were very cheesy. It's the story-line that really carries the Neverending Story.

Unlike the sequel to the Neverending story, the Return to Oz was actually good. The best thing though is that Return to OZ was still just as great now as I remember it to be as a kid and unlike the first movie, this one is not a musical. Fairuza Balk plays a great Dorothy in her first movie ever.

You may remember her from such movies as The Craft(1996), American History X(1998) and Almost Famous(2000). It's interesting to note that the Dorothy in this movie is obviously a young girl and seems much younger than the Dorothy in the first movie played by Judy Garland. The Tik-Tok man is one of my favorite characters and I was pleasantly surprised to realize that Nicol Williamson plays the Nome King and the Doctor. He also plays Merlin in another of my favorite childhood movies and probably still my favorite King Arthur movie, Excalibur(1981).

Nicol Williamson as Merlin

I'll try not to give too much away but the plot is pretty simple, as long as you don't talk about the CHICKEN! Dorothy Gale is saved from electric therapy by a mysterious girl during a thunderstorm. She falls into the flood waters and is swept away to OZ. In OZ, she finds that the Emerald City is in ruins and the people are turned to stone. The city is inhabited by the movie's replacement of the flying monkeys: a creepy gang called the wheelers and the Scarecrow, who had become the King of Oz, has been taken prisoner by a devilish creature called the Nome King. Incidentally, there is a villainess, and though she is no Wicked Witch of the West, she does have many replaceable heads. Can Dorothy save the day and return to Kansas? Of course she can, but then you didn't need me to tell you that.


head wheeler

This movie pulls a lot from the books which followed the Wizard of OZ. There were something like 15 OZ books written by Frank L. Baum and I read them all. After a while they got really repetitive - Dorothy ends up in OZ after some storm or something, lot's of things go wrong which Dorothy and her friends have to overcome and then she somehow makes her way back to Kansas. But they are pleasant books to read to kids as bedtime stories.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

geographical fish

was going to post something more abstract, but i came home from work & my May National Geographic was waiting for me, with some lovely fish just leaping from the page. very vibrant. so i thought i'd share (the images below).

also, monkey O's got some intriguing fish market photos up, & i personally may photograph my sushi when dinner occurs. yes i eat dinner at 10 o'clock, no i'm not weird for that. what does make me weird is that i'll probably be watching that dang musical again.

eat the brownie.




I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date

No time to say hello, good-bye
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

fishy gay may madness in spaaaaace.

& what a gleeful beltane weekend it was. or it should have been. there were some unexpected complications with the rebirth. but i'm getting ahead of myself.
i think i'll cut that metaphor right there.

cut!

take 2.
may 1 2005 marked the 40th anniversary of the first gay civil rights march ever, which happened to occur in philadelphia, which i happened to already be destined for that day. so sunday afternoon found me at the aftermath of the Equality Forum celebration, which, from what i gather, was several thousand homosexuals thronging the Old City streets. they'd been going at it all weekend. i only caught the tail end, which mainly consisted of very colorful debris (someone later gave me a strange look when i referred to it as "gay trash" but i think he took it the wrong way) & a Cyndi Lauper concert on the river (which we abandoned for dinner, actually, for a number of reasons which, if i elucidate, will go forth in a tangent of mighty proportions, so i won't.)


debris, Market Street, Philadelphia, May 1 2005.

from thence we went forth to the ghetto that lieth on the river side of Northern Liberties. did i care? not a whit, trotting drunkenly about the crooked streets with my camera photographing the ghetto cathedral & stumbling up to bulletproof glass. i smiled at the kid in the wheelchair.

at the Fire i spent most of the time watching the new Family Guy & observing the infamous & rare wild Mitch in his natural habitat. scientists generally concur that the wild Mitch is the only one of its kind (at least in north america. some experts believe there may be a small tribe of Mitches somewhere in the Amazon Basin). Fascinating. do i have an Aussie accent in your head yet? good.

& for the record, i really liked the bartenders at the Barbary, great big weird space that it was. strange lights. the bartenders were clueless, actually, but very cute.

the whole past few days have felt like a kind of cavalcade, a pageant of the surreal & the gleeful. this sensation may be attributed to the sudden occurence of very colorful musical numbers in my immediate vicinity--to wit, the dolphin cabaret in Hitchhiker's (a stunning & glorious display in Britishness) & an impromptu catching of Showtime's Reefer Madness, which may cause your brain to melt. it manages to capture the 30's propaganda & still be completely modern (note the iconography-themed finale). but my favorite part was Jesus. which is a really strange word if you stare at it for awhile.

ed's note: sorry bout the bum link, sometimes it's hard to find Jesus.
sorry, i had to. i may have fixed it...if not, the media page is here. Listen to Jesus, Jimmy.
really though, see this movie, it's out of control. end note.

i am following my fish

Without the need to cast my bobber adrift on the web and find the perfect catch today, I have freed my mind to find a more ethereal, thought provoking fish. So now as I gaze across the vast blogginess of the bloggosphere and see the poet blogs, the photo blogs, the story blogs, the movie, music, art and cultural blogs, the blogging blogs and other blogs and I think about fish in a broadly categorical sea.

So where in all of that, is my fish that I am following?

What is the point of this post?

Blog: short for web-log; an electronic log of well, whatever you feel like logging electronically.

Cooking blogs and booking blogs; author blogs and shopping blogs; industry blogs, cinematic blogs and style blogs; active blogs, didactive blogs, disentangled quiet blogs... Onto other blogs - all the fish in the sea (see sidebar list) and I like to cast my line.

So here in my fish, where I feel the most comfortable, I place the things I find at the the end of my line for all my friends in far away places, even those I have never met.

"I am following my fish because my fish knows where to go."

Monday, May 02, 2005

the time has come

to reveal the secret japanese identity of the fish.






Your Japanese Name Is...




Yori Shijo



adventures along the Delaware,
Penn's Landing, Philadelphia.

coming soon. see the tourist for a taste.

the fish of brotherly love

many fishes were followed this may day. sadly, yours truly is both extremely hung over & almost late to work.

this is like a little happy blip to encourage you & promise you good bedtime stories tonight.

one grip, two frood, red starfish, blue tattoo

It is with great sadness and infinite joy that [we/i/you] ask the fish to stand still, sit down and jump up and down for this Starfish:

-picture from Natural Perspective

Actually for any starfish. Personally, I have a personal relationship with starfish in general and their essential star-like features. But here's two reasons why this is not just the catch of the day but the catch of the week. One, my mother and two, the end of the world. Which would you like to hear about first?

Do you have a grip on your life?
(Warning: the tattoo in this story is not blue)
1) At the prime age of 55 (or so) my mother got a tattoo of a starfish. She had released her firm control on reality and taken a plunge into the deep blue sea. Thus embracing the rebel within her soul. Sound strange? It would if you knew my mom. Let me give you a bit of history:

I got my first tattoo just after my 18th birthday. It's a small affair on my ankle and since I always wore boots, my mom was none the wiser. Except at those occasional times that I would walk nonchalantly down the stairs in a towel after a shower, forgetting to check if she was around. Then when she asked, I'd tell her it was a temporary tattoo that I'd bought in a vending machine outside a grocery store. She'd believe me, of course, and we'd move on with our lives. Now granted, she only saw the tattoo once in a while, but I mean come on... anyone who buys temporary tattoos or anything from those little machines in front of grocery stores knows that you almost never get what you really want, at least not twice. But my mom, blissful and innocent in the ways of grocery store vending machines, believed that the tattoo was fake for the better part of a year. Until one day in a hotel:
"That's a real tattoo isn't it?"
"Yeah, mom."
"Oh."
And that was it. I mean what could she say. It's not that my mom is naive or anything. It's just that like all parents they believe what they want to about their kids until they absolutely can't. Now, for my other tattoos, I got her drunk to tell her - no mean feet as she doesn't often drink. This worked much better.

So a few years later...

My brother took my mom to get her open-water scuba certification. In the vastness of the ocean, my mom's identity was challenged. Being a Virgo, she has driven her fingers deep into the marrow of her life and has always played it with puppet-strings. But before the ocean, we humans always stand naked and alone - utterly at the mercy of Mother Nature. She knew this and she did it anyways. I can only imagine that feeling of panic when the dark waters of uncertainty closed over her head and - gasp - opened up the magnificent world which thrashes and thrives beneath the waves. It must have been exhilarating to realize that she could let go, release the strings and just float along with the fishes.

Compared to this, how hard is it to go to a tattoo parlor, face down a large man covered in flaming skulls and tell him that you want a starfish tattoo on your ankle? No - not a seascape, just a starfish. No - not the size of a hand - smaller like a penny. No really, I don't want any sand or sun or shells or waves - just a starfish thank you. Yes, I'm sure. Thanks, really, it's a great deal, but I just want a starfish! Yes, I'm serious... and I'm sure - just a starfish please! What do you mean you can't - it's simple - it's just a star with sand-like coloring! And no, I don't want any sand!


What is your reality quotient?
2) As for the other starfish, are you sure you still have time for this? Well anyways, I do. It's the end of the world and I feel fine.... Well, I sort of do and I sort of don't and I sort of sort out the sorta sorta sorta... argh, I'm stuck in loop as it were. Saw The Hitchhiker's Guide Movie this weekend and was delightfully surprised that they pulled it off with all of the British flare and zany antics which wouldn't be the Guide without it (though I spent the rest of the weekend with singing dolphins in my brain):
"The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate."
I'm sad because it reminded me that a frood has moved on from this world to those [above/outside/different/non-existing in a very real way] other worlds that I know nothing about. The inestimable hoopy Douglas Adams died in May 2001 while working on the screen play for the movie. Ah well, I'm sure he's chillin' with the fishes at the Restaurant. (hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy)

For those of you only [familiar/not familiar at all] with the Hitchhiker's Guide series, here's a quote from one of his essays called How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet:

"I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this:

1) everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are."

So, in honor of Douglas Adams and those of us who will miss that hoopy starfish, I put out my thumb, look to the stars and wish I knew how to see the Marvels of the Universe for less than thirty Altairan dollars a day.