Wednesday, May 30, 2012
From "The Lost Journals of Old Pop Drivel"
I've been told I have a problem with floating. Even though this behavior is, so far as I know, 100% limited to dreams, it's effect on my waking hours is equally problematic, I'm told. Why would an innocent, unobtrusive float through the neighborhood be an issue? Especially my floats, which on a good day are like swimming through the air - a lazy breaststroke void of breathing concerns, where I can dive like a snorkeler to examine something that warrants extra attention. Even on a bad day, where my floats are ghostlike, I'm blown about the air willy-nilly, unable to control my speed or direction, and feet-less, meaning I should probably get some work done before I attempt a landing - even on those days, floating doesn't feel like much of a problem.
It is on such all-day floats that I can cover miles and miles of digital territory without remembering a single site. After I've returned and taken root again I may enjoying a breadcrumb tour a day or two later. It's like having a video camera strapped to my forehead for several hours before passing out during an extremely robust tequila tasting. Fortunately those days have been on a long hiatus and show no signs of returning soon. Even so, I just closed my eyes for a moment and could've sworn I was in Lanai (one of the Hawaiian Islands I've never visited), preparing to play golf.
Peder "Old Pop" Drivell - September, 1967. Las Cruces, New Mexico
Sunday, May 27, 2012
No it's not the "Birthday Bridge"; the GGB that everybody is waxing poetic about today, but I figured since everybody was going ga ga for the Golden Gate today I might as well draft off the general hysteria and trick some unsuspecting readers into thinking this would be a thoughtful, meaningful piece about the significance of the GGB as one of mankind's great engineering achievements but anybody that knows anything about Limboland knows that this is not the place for content of redeeming social significance. But, so as to not insult a huge inanimate object on it's birthday, I will say that the GGB is a damned fine bridge as bridges go. It is a true engineering marvel and it is actually one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World but who's to say what qualifies as a wonder anyway? Few are going to buy a "wonders of the world" list that doesn't have the iPhone or Stevie Wonder on it. (The Wonderbra was a write-in candidate back when everybody was talking about it, but as soon as every woman in the neighborhood had one the boobs kind of lost their "wonder" and just weren't quite up there with the Taj Majal anymore.)
Just to be clear, the bridge referred to in the Hack excerpt below was never even remotely considered a wonder of the world, except maybe by some of the same sixties suburban armchair country club racists that dubbed it "The Longest Bridge in the World". Canning Blvd., on certain nights in certain circles was most certainly a wonder of the world, but that's another story altogether.
From "Hack", the chapter entitled "The Longest Bridge in the World".
The Marin County locals liked to tell visitors that the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was the longest bridge in the world, an obvious untruth. “Oh, yes, it’s true” the locals would explain, “it connects California’s most exclusive community - Marin - to deepest, darkest Africa - Richmond!”
Henry Griffin as a teen believed this observation to be true, having had the opportunity to witness the difference many times on the drive up to Lake Tahoe, which went through an area he, and his friends, and more often, their parents, simply referred to as “deepest, darkest”.
On the west side of the bridge, rich white folks built shopping malls with elaborate sculptures in parking lots graced with Mercedes, BMWs, Porsches and an occasional Bentley. On the east side of the bridge, once past the Chevron oil refinery, the streets fell into disrepair, the shops had bars on the windows, and jobless blacks gathered on the street corners to drink Schlitz Bull out of brown paper bags.
The favorite landmark on Canning Blvd, which at the time was the fastest connection from Marin to Interstate 80, was B&K Liquors, where the Marin folks rolled up the windows and locked the doors of their station wagons and drove slowly past, hoping to witness a drug deal or knife fight in the crowded parking lot in front of the besieged liquor store. Hack did not know a single white soul who had the balls to stop at B&K, even in a dire emergency. And it was only a few miles and just across the bay from their comfortable upper-class homes in San Anselmo!
Leaving Marin and headed toward the East Bay, there was an ominous hint that you were indeed headed into another world: the imposing edifice of San Quentin State Prison jutting out into the bay just before the bridge. San Quentin occupies perhaps some of the most valuable real estate in the world, within rifle shot of four-star restaurants, famous investment banking firms, and the Golden Gate Ferry Terminal at Larkspur Landing, once the home of the Hutchinson Rock Quarry, where Dirty Harry chased the Zodiac Killer up and down the conveyor belts before he finally plugged the “punk” on the dock of a sludge pond.
As a student at Redwood High School, which was lovingly called San Quentin West, Henry Griffin could see the big prison from the second story classrooms, and often pondered what Charlie Manson and Sirhan Sirhan were up to at any given time, imagining them pounding out license plates in between gang rapes.
Reading through this now, just a few weeks before publication, I can't help but see it as a rather drab bit of exposition. Wouldn't been better for Henry Griffin, posing as Paco the carefree caballero from the Ranchos of Guadalajara, to get a flat tire outside of B&K and get into a dramatic knife fight with several of the locals. Of course Paco is not really a Mexican, so his chances of surviving a knife fight in front of B&K would have been slim indeed. He either would of had to run away in shame or the story would have ended, rather abruptly, in the B&K parking lot. Oh well I guess a bit of boring exposition will have to do!
Buenas noches vacqueros!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Okay so I'm sorry if I have falsely represented the Limboland experience as nothing but non-stop silliness and stupidity, however I would argue that "fear and loathing at the corner 7-11" is probably a broad enough copy platform, or "positioning", to allow for occasional reflection, temporary moments of meaningful observation and even thoughtful analysis. I can think of many times standing in the aisle of a 7-11, or more likely in front of the beer cooler, trying to place that slightly musky, antiseptic odor and having a quiet moment of profound insight. I have also felt waves of unnameable anger and frustration sweep across me as I stood there among the Ho-Hos and the Twinkies, and I've wanted to shout out, curse the injustice of the universe and hopefully scare the shit out of the greasy meathead behind the cash register who thinks he's such an all-powerful badass honey badger in his little convenience store world.
Today is the first anniversary of the death of Ryan Klee aka Ryan Humphries at age 23 from an overdose of alcohol, probably rum and coke and several beers, and oxycontin. I was reminded of this fact as my 24-yr old son headed out for work this morning, and then I came inside and saw his short facebook post: "RIP...it's been a long year without you." Ryan and Jack were as close as two guys could be without being lovers.
He was also insatiably curious - the kinda guy that always had to see what was up around the next bend. Combine that with a desire for altered consciousness and people either become enlightened, they die, or both. It could be that God set it up so that curiosity about altered states of consciousness is strictly taboo - doesn't the apple represent that ultimate nugget of wisdom, and didn't God say don't fuck with it? That is if you buy all that, but metaphorically speaking it could be that the general idea is that you, Mr. Human, get one life, one set of eyes, one brain, one body and there are certain parameters that you're supposed to operate within in return for what some would say is just a litany of misery anyway. Be that as it may, if you push it too far, ask too many questions, start eating off-limits fruit, life and all it's various features gets taken away from you.
If Ryan were here today I would say "Dude...what was it about that arrangement - that simple pact - that wasn't good enough for you? Why did you have to push the edge of the envelope and what the fuck did you think that you were going to see?" But even more important I would ask Ryan, just as I would ask every suicide, accidental or intentional: "Did you ever stop to think about the rest of us? Did our love not mean anything to you? Did I not explain to you how pissed off I get when people fuck with my kid's happiness?"
The drug overdose is perhaps the penultimate act of selfish stupidity. I guess it's no wonder it happens more to young people who just haven't had as many years under their belt to see just how close the other side really is.
|Jack and Ryan loved to fuck with people's heads|
We now return you to our regular programming. (Notice how I am forgoing pimping for a "like" at www.facebook.com/hacknovel? Hell the book isn't even out until late June. I should shut up already!)
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
It's true the first edition of Yeung Lap Ming's incursion into the quiet, antiseptic little burg of San Ansnorlmo drew an unprecedented number of almost 300 visitors to Limboland. The profound irony is that the Lapper's return has gone mostly unheralded, which is why Charlie Chan looks like he's about to bite that poor little birdie's head off. As soon as nobody's lookin', that is.
Ok, to bring you up to date, not that it seems anybody seems to care much about the Young Lapper and his BIZ anymore except me and some other blog surfer who claims The Mingler had a BIZ to do with him too. Which doesn't surprise me - he is "Yeung" after all. He could probably be having a BIZ all night long if he wanted to.
My sleep did not improve after the 3AM message from the phony Asian, though it might have improved had I known that Yeung Lap Ming was not a Charlie Chan wannabe smoking under a steaming streetlamp on a rainslicked street in Hong Kong's red light district. But I didn't know, so I was up all night pacing the cool hardwood floor, periodically getting back in bed and reaffixing the CPAP mask, which is what old fellas wear when they don't want to admit to a bad case of sleepy penis and want to be left alone (I supposed it could be his side but then a CPAP mask is hardly a deterrent to a big strong man in the mood for some penis play. On the contrary it's probably an invitation, even for old guys.) When I heard a soft knock on the door at 4:30 I broke into a hot flash sweat. I hadn't even responded to the Ming Daddy's email which was still open, thankfully covered by a screensaver of cute family photos. I popped the CPAP mask off my face but forgot to turn off the machine so it started blasting away just as our wee hours visitor knocked again, a little louder this time, causing Boo the dog to go apeshit in his crate, barking and growling loud enough to wake up my little sweetheart.
"What the fuck?" she grumbled.
"It's the goddamned dog" I didn't mention the knocking.
"Fix that fucking mask, will you? It sounds like fucking Niagara falls in here!"
My little honey can be rather direct some times but she was right; it was a bit loud.
Again, the soft knock. My sweet little 198 lb baby had already rolled over and was now imitating a mountain range under the blankets with one Himalyan monster in the middle, so I quietly padded out the door and down the hall. But I'll be damned if it wasn't darker than a carload of assholes* down the hall; so black on black that a wave of vertigo brought me slowly to my knees and I proceeded to crawl in the general direction of where the front door was supposed to be. Then, as I was crawling through the silent and still darkness my right hand fell upon a shoe. A winged tip, upon further examination; I could feel the little holes. Then my left hand fell upon an identical shoe! A retired physician was standing in my front hall!
(to be continued, or not...) Do ya think it could be the Lapper? Or somebody else? Not a doctor! What the hell would a doctor be doing in my house at 4AM? Unless he knew something I didn't. Like maybe I was having a stroke and this whole story is just a blood clot exploding in my brain?
But what if it's Major Martha Gomez? Or The Donker in disguise? To tell you the truth the way I feel right now I can only quote the great Lowell George and say "I don't care who it is. I just don't wanna talk to 'em now."
*courtesy Stephen King's book on how to become a writer. I think it's a good metaphor so long as you don't think too hard on it. But you know what? That fucker needs a new hobby.
Oh and if u are feelin' philanthropic gwan give lil' Hacky a like. He's startin' to get a complex over there on FB what with folks spittin' in his tin cup and such...www.facebook.com/hacknovel. Spanks!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
PEEING LIKE A 12 YEAR OLD! I mean losing the gut, the acne, the ringing in the ears, the fatigue, the drooling, then tendency to stumble around with my fly open, the mysterious lack of awareness of visible boogers peeking out the nostril, the loud, sonorous flatulence that accompanies the increasing flaccidity of the glutemus maximus, the paper thin skin on the shins that sparkles in the sun, the cracked calluses on the heels and the raw bunches of leathery skin on the elbows, the increasing penile dormancy...these are merely bland annoyances when compared to WEAK STREAM. So imagine my excitement when I read Tommy's bold and refreshing confession. First, the implication that he too had perhaps noticed that the old pump wasn't pushing out the same PSIs, or CFSs, or BTUs or however the flow of pee pee is measured, like it used to. Of course when we're talking about cubic feet per second of pee pee, we are not talking about the strength of the tool itself but rather the flow control mechanism inside at the pumping station. Has the pump grown rickety, rusty perhaps? Would a shot of WD-40 with the morning prune juice help lubricate the machinery such that bladder musculature would regain it's elasticity and thus produce a more manly flow, versus a pathetic periodic dribble that neither warns of it's arrival or effectively bids farewell?
Is such a promise enough to warrant the severe physical and emotional shock of a "cleanse"?
Well, imagine that by simply having a shake in the morning, a shake in the evening, and a healthy lunch in between, plus any number of midday snacks from a list that's not too godawful horrible...imagine that by cutting out the coffee, the booze, the sugar, the red meat, the chips, the cookies, the peanut butter and jelly (but keeping THE BARNEY BUTTER)...imagine that after 3 weeks of such an insignificant and wimpy sacrifice I could end up PEEING LIKE A 12 YEAR OLD!! Imagine my pride as I stand at the precipice of El Capitan, the sun rising in glory over the Yosemite Valley and catching my powerful golden arc in it's rays as it sails over the Awahanee and Curry Camp, across the steam rising off the meandering Merced river, across the valley to Glacier Point where it quickly forms a spectacular golden waterfall that the tourists hail as the Second Coming. Imagine that if I just kept cleansing that, in awhile, I could be PEEING LIKE AN 8 YEAR OLD!
It's always good to have a goal!
PS If you're having fun reading this scatological, puerile and sophomoric drivel then join the thousands of folks that are following "Adventures in Limboland", just don't tell anybody! Just click that little button on the upper right. Go ahead. It won't hurt I promise!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Hard to believe I know things like this don't usually happen to guys my age especially guys that have kinda hit some choppy water during midlife such that it has been a bit of a crisis. You don't generally see guys that are either ambling or downright crawling toward retirement - even young guys like myself that just seem a lot older than they actually are because of the various prostheses, splints, pulleys and electric motors in places body parts used to be.
If you said giving a raise and a promotion to a sourpuss son-of-a-bitch whos meager enjoyment consists of retweeting ugly rumors about corporate executives is like giving a 5 course gourmet meal to a guy that is about to take several thousand CCs of Diet Coke injected directly into his heart, you would not be entirely right. Sure there are some similarities but it's really more like trying to placate an old but still very wild boar that has been shot everywhere but the heart and has just enough range that he could still make a bit of a mess.
I know I know I haven't displayed a real attitude of gratitude about my job, which yes yes yes I'm very lucky to even have jesus christ the poor guy down the street was a manager at Target and had been there for 23 years. His back goes out and what do they do? Now the kids are on the streets, the house is in foreclosure and the wife ran off with the pizza-faced kid in photo processing. You think I'm not surrounded by such tales of woe? Well I am and I pray to God every day to just let me get through the day without quitting or getting fired for telling some punk advertising agency greaser that the idea behind Twitter is exactly the same as the idea behind the most basic direct marketing 101, except likely to be even more effective because you know to whom you are lying, so you can tailor the lie to be that much more convincing!
The irony is that THAT...what I was just talking about with Twitter n' shit...THAT is why I have been promoted. I pointed out to some really cool marketing executives whom I greatly admi...admi...oh...oh fuck my throat is swellilng...oh shit there's a pain in my left arm...oh...goddammit...okay the marketing executives are douchebags. Whew. Man. Best not to lie when you're blogging. Especially this E-blogger Google stuff. I mean, heard they had figured out to prevent user's from lying but I didn't know that it actually worked!
Ok...so I got promoted because I pointed out to the execs that Twitter was called Twitter not because that's the sound a little bird makes. I mean, maybe partially, but it's also the sound that Peter Piper makes on his pipes. The sound that all the townfolk follow, and follow and follow and.... Eventually these supposedly super social business gurus realized that there ain't no point in tweeting to an empty room. And if you didn't follow people, nobody would follow you back. And, young businessman on the go hustlin' down Madison Ave with a wire in every orifice - yeah you buddy - you better come down off your throne and leave your body alone (from a song written by a guy who is old enough to be that marketing execs father), it's still just a numbers game. Even for Apple! Yeah! Really!
Ha Ha and next thing I know the President and Chairman of the Board is sending me a personal message from the desk of her assistant congratulating ME or someone who has a name alot like mine for discovering what Facebook, which is alot like Twitter, is all about!
So how do you like them apples? (old saying). I mean, I could be all sour grapes on social business and social this and social that and the grassroots paradigm, or I could embrace it and love it like I do because it let's me sit here and rant like the complete goofball that I may actually sometimes be (read my novel, HACK, soon to be available for pre-order, and let me know if you think I am just a complete goofball. I've been trying to figure this out for awhile but more importantly I've been trying to figure out if there's some sort of government program that takes care of people like me. Oh. Welfare? Is that it?)
Yep. I got promoted! Oh, and by the way I know of a bridge for sale in New York for cheap!
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Limboland fans (all 4 or them) from back in the days when this was Various and Sundry remember at little series entitled "One Shake at a Time", which was a daily chronicle of my experience with The Clean Program "cleanse". Well, turn on the "oh fer chrissakes why the fuck..." loop because I'm gonna give it one more try and I can tell you right now after day one that the chances of sticking with are the worst yet.
So why try? Some of you might recall a really disgusting tweet/FB post awhile back regarding a large growth that appeared between my man-boobs and my penis. Many people took offense to this observation, though for the most part they did not identify themselves for reasons that probably include but are not limited to the presence of man-boobs and penii. (penii = plural of penis. Prounounced peen-eye). Those are just things that most normal folks don't want to think about much less be reminded that they even exist. But I hate to tell all you folks that haven't joined my @FiftySeven blog that man-boobs are inevitable, though their size might be negotiable. At any rate it was the object that was growing between my man-boobs and penis that I was, and still am, concerned about. Funny thing is I have not been buried with cards, letters, emails or tweets suggesting ways to address the alien growth. Perhaps this is because I have not been specific about what it is. It is MY TUMMY! It is GARGANTUAN! And it just KEEPS GETTING BIGGER no matter what I do. I haven't been drinking beer, which is the accepted culprit for a tummy with this profile. Not pregnant (but look it), not porking out on hot dogs, fries, Mickey D's, Bungler King...no, pretty much eating like a fucking monk and what do I get but a giant protrusion! Don't like it at all not one bit.
As if this whole idea of self-penury isn't objectionable enough; I am expected to go at this exercise with enthusiasm! Like this is supposed to be big family fun! Hey Honey you ready for your morning shake yet? You bet baby just as soon as I get back from Pete's for coffee and a cinnamon roll!
Okay I am starting to feel weak, drowsy, a little light headed. Vision is blurry and my belly button is starting to leak.
Let me know if I can make you a shake!
And if reading this caused just a smidgen of relief from the existential pain of our meaningless existence, the go on ahead and jump on bored (upper right, follow this blog). Trotskis (and Tolstoys) are forthcoming, get on over to facebook.com/hacknovel and give 'er a big wet lick! Thanks!
The FICTITIOUS Mom vs. The REAL Mom
In my forthcoming (mid June, 012) novel, HACK, our hero's mom, Louise, is mostly the antithesis of Mingus MacLingus. But, as always when creating a fictional character, there are elements of truth that spill over. You can imagine what a child of The Great Depression, four major wars and a culture that was ultimately turned upside down in her lifetime must have had to do to cope with such massive change. Not that any previous or subsequent generation had it any better or worse.
In this excerpt our hero, Hack, is camping in a thicket off of Highway One near the Bolinas Lagoon in Northern California, thinking about people who may lay claim to his painting portfolio if he died. (see synopsis here: www.facebook.com/hacknovel.)
His thoughts then turned to his mother, Louise -- a chain-smoking, sharp-tongued drunk who incessantly criticized and nagged his father and the boys with shrill righteousness. Louise Griffin believed she was not living the life she deserved, nor did she hesitate to inform anyone within earshot of her mistaken, accidental fate.
“Oh, it’s a fine life for middle class matron,” she would say of her home to her daughter, “but it’s not the life I thought I was going to have when I married your father. I never intended to stay here in California, you know. It was fine just after college when were first married, but never in my life did I intend to raise a family here. Honestly, I always thought your father would want to move back to the family down south. It’s just such a shame - so disrespectful - to walk away from your roots like he has.”
Barbara Griffin had of course heard this litany a thousand times since before she was old enough to understand. She remembered stories from her mother about how they would someday live in a grand southern colonial plantation with servants and horses, golf with the ladies, afternoon tea, party in taffeta gowns at grand country club balls, but as time went on, her mother’s dream faded and became nothing more than one of a million complaints that fit into the general category of what was wrong with the world.
Besides leading what she termed an ‘uncivilized’ life among the nouveau-riche in Northern California, she believed that WASP heterosexual society, what she simply termed as ‘culture’, was clearly doomed to extinction and that San Francisco in particular was a harbinger of society to come.
Some Mom our hero Hack has! Well they come in all sort of colorful shapes and sizes! Hope you got a good one. I know I did! I love you little MacLingus. Hope you are having fun wherever you are!
Jeb Harrion, Sunday May 13, 2012.
Monday, May 7, 2012
If I started the maiden voyage of @FiftySeven by admitting that I forgot something, I forgot it on purpose, the purpose being to illustrate the organizing principle, or lack thereof, behind these "then and now" observations.If you aspire to become a Zen Buddhist, capable of emptying your mind of all but the tiniest gnat (humming in the key of B I might add. Or maybe it IS a BEE!) then you will find it gets a whole lot easier as you go. No wonder all the yogi's and guru's are these old fucks living in caves! Social security doesn't cover the rent, their digestive systems can't handle most foods, the libido moved out with the wife and kids, and they can't hardly talk anymore. So. Senility? Enlightenment? Who's to say? Sure a guy's gonna get good at pulling a noodle through his nose and out his ass if that's all he does all day!
Okay besides brain termites, the illustration below attempts to capture just a few of the new bodily features I have acquired, most in the last 5 years, and this doesn't include the growth of hairs in odd places, inexplicable pains deep within the darkest inner reaches of the soul (really hard to find, much less draw), the misleading appearance of surprisingly teen-like zits...
I too was once youth on the go. I now work with youth on the go, every day, at a very highbrow and creative advertising agency (I know they're not called that any more but this is my blog and I reserve the right not to give a fuck what they want to be called, godammit! I feel a sudden urge to be sitting in an imagined friend's imagined living room overlooking a medium tempo freestone river on an early autumn evening after a day of fly fishing in the deep, clear, cold pools swilling cold white wine out of a boda just like NICK ADAMS! Damn - see how that works? Hemingway that dead bastard!)
The invasion of the non-sequiter is another common side effect of reelin' in the years. Why those of us in the bottom of the fifth (I like the "life is like a baseball game" metaphor even if the average bear doesn't make it for all nine innings) think that most folks would like nothing more than to wander off topic and make every conversation or business meeting an exercise in free association is purely aspirational thinking. It could be that we become afraid of actually "getting things done" since ultimately getting the big thing call life done is just the regular completion of our daily items on the to-do list, one day at a time (if we're lucky).
Ah but the old guys do tire sooner, and I think this old guy is eager to find out what the subconscious has in store tonight! I'll try and remember to include it in the next issue of @FiftySeven, but don't count on it! Besides this might be @SixtySeven by the time I get around to the next blog...
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Mr. Rogers also possessed awesome powers. Namely, the power to get small people to believe that inanimate objects, usually puppets in the form of animals, could talk. And who's to say that he didn't have the power to actually make inanimate objects talk! Sure, that old owl in the tree has a twisted backwoods twang that young Fred probably picked up working after hours in the fishing camp, pleasuring the crackers and their walleyed cousins. It was probably during those moments that young Fred started imagining that the hunting trophies on the wall were talking to him, telling him everything was going to be all right and that someday he would be able to walk normally again. You can't help but feel sorry for the late, great Mr. Rogers after those brutal summers in the Ozarks but as so often happens great art is born of great pain. Ow. Hurts just to think about it.
Just as it hurts to think about Eddie Murphy what he has done to talking donkeys all over the world. I know for a fact that not every donkey is an obnoxious, rude, uncivil, flatulent butt waggler like Eddie's Donkey. How do I know? Take a look at this rare video of the incredibly shy and reclusive Donker as he politely shares in the evening meal of a hungry house pet.
There is a good chance that without Fred Rogers and Eddie Murphy this video could not have been made! Wow. Think about that for maybe 10 seconds. Or not.