Friday, April 30, 2010

Becky Beard: Friend of Fort Stark

She came from Jackson, Tennessee in 1961. Her husband was in the coast guard. She saw Elvis in Memphis in 1957 but someone had to tell her it was him. Now she lives on Rose Lane in New Castle as she has for 50 years and guards the fort. Full interview is on the way.

You want to see a man on his knees?

It really is impossible to be anything but a pitchman in this world. Like Adam Smith said, "We are a nation of shopkeepers."

April, 29, 2010

Re: Freelance copywriting position

I’m very interested in the web content writer/SEO specialist opening. I produced copy as an in house content writer for a start up company in Los Angeles where I was responsible for all the content for a number of web sites and products. My responsibilities included customizing the eBay store content, managing our Overture PPC campaign to optimize the sites for keywords, compose the emails, press releases and affiliate marketing material as well as phone sales and affiliate revenue account management. Because the site technician, the graphic editor and the owners were also in house we worked closely as a team to grow the business. The company I worked for was short lived as it invested in fad products like pocketbikes, helium filled hoverdiscs, hovercopters and digidraw toys so the domain names are no longer active. But here they are anyway:

I am a creative writer and my specialty is entertaining copy. I recognize and appreciate the balance that must be reached between readability and keyword placement on e-commerce sites. I approach ad copy like a research project. What is the demographic of the audience? What are the product’s features? What are the major selling points? What’s the clearest way I can communicate the allure of the product? Whenever possible I took the products home and familiarized myself with them so I could write from an informed perspective. I rode the razor scooters around the parking lot so I could write product specific copy. Then I added buzzwords, action verbs and loads of search terms strategically placed and boldfaced. Most product copy on the web is generic or comes from the manufacturer. My copy is never generic and we had to force several competitors to discontinue the use of my copy when we found them using it. I still occasionally see my copy on an eBay ad though the products we sold are mostly discontinued.

I am a diverse writer whose imagination is limitless. I can turn any product, service, event or cause into Internet gold. With a clear keyword and strategy the content I write is guaranteed to drive traffic to the site and inform and entertain readers once they get there. I was trained to write press releases by the now deceased Rolling Stones journalist Patrick William Salvo in Los Angeles, who was trained by L. Ron Hubbard. While I am not a Scientologist, the influence strategy made an impact on me. Patrick Salvo asked me to look for the life and death drama in any assignment from a Chiropractor to a Charity Marathon, and lead with that to transform information into news.

The workflow process we used for the websites allowed me to write simple text with html and paste the text into an online inventory database field that updated the online content. I own Dreamweaver if more advanced html is required.

I graduated with a degree in English and Music from Humboldt State University and have explored many occupations such as electronic engineering to motorcycle repair and have traveled extensively in my quest for education. My love of learning and my ability to reveal the story behind the story are what sets me apart from other writers. What I bring to a writing project cannot be replaced with a few hours of online research. I have unique life experiences that enrich my writing with a tone of authority and authenticity you’ll not find elsewhere. My priority is always the needs of the customer and I look forward to using my diverse skills to provide all your website and press release needs.

Oggy Bleacher

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Any Port in a Storm

I was wandering around today and stopped at the Ice House in New Castle and pondered getting something called a "Double Jeopardy" which is a ice cream frappe covered in chocolate syrup and fudge and whipped cream. It's basically an ice cream sundae on top of a frappe. It cost $6 so I I decided I should just get an ice cream cone, maybe moosetracks ice cream...but I wasn't really hungry for ice cream so I thought that I should get a hot dog but I didn't want to bother asking for it. So I backed out and went to Fort Stark. I was only looking for some comfort through sugar and lately sugar has been wreaking havoc with my metabolism, leaving me drowsy and slurring my speech. I've been tested for Diabetes and that's not the problem. My tolerance has shifted.
I went back to Fort Stark to search for clues. I'm not the first person to walk these sandy shores. What motivated those before me? I think I will do an entire photo series at Fort Stark. The air quality was absolutely perfect today even though it was cold and windy. Yes, I will return to Fort Stark and take a whole bunch of pictures. There are so many things about that place that hold memories of mine. And maybe in the process I will find some kind of peace.

One good thing about Fort Stark is that the place is deserted. It's public land but the nearby property owners must have some arrangement so the gates are locked and no one can park there...and there are no signs saying "Fort Stark 1 mile". I can see their point since Ordione Point is like one minute away and has many more nice features like swings and a playing field and it doesn't require me driving past their tennis courts to get to. But Fort Stark is a beautiful, haunting place and for 25 years I've played there and had pictures taken of me there and taken pictures of other people there and it's time I devote a whole day. I've got to borrow a real camera though because this Kodak thing has limits. Then I can put them all online and look at them in the winter when I'm in Mexico.
I'll have to take the moped out there but that'll be a good test of the new engine.

Is it me?

I woke up today to the liberal morning talk show rantings of NHPR. It sounded completely insane. Has the country fallen apart overnight? They were talking about things like late term abortions, torture, genocide, assisted suicide, concentration camps in Arizona, health care, etc.
It was laughable. No way to wake up. I've been slowly reading about Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations...which is boring me to death, but apparently since 1750 at least there has been almost no progress on the affairs of men. The exact same issues between government and people were a major concern in Smith's time. It's safe to say where there is a government there will be a pundit. And where there is a pundit there will be people talking about that pundit as though they aren't pundits but really they are. We all are. The size of the government, the influence of the American government, the over all power of the government is really Unamerican. If I weren't American I'd say this can't be a democracy. It's a democracy on paper, but it's like calling Wal-Mart a neighborhood bakery because there is a bakery and it is in the same state as a neighborhood. We've got a government that basically rules every fragment of our lives and no one is happy about it. If we weren't all living so well I'd call it a disaster. It's really only a disaster if a) you care about individual responsibility. b) you live in a country other than America.

I'm turning over a new leaf today. I'm going to really work at living like the poor uneducated person that I am. No more delusion. I'm not going to be prejudiced against the rich anymore. I have an idea of where that trait came from but I've had enough time to purge it and have failed so far. Let's just say that in the debate of nurture and nature I'm seeing a lot of evidence for nurture being the major factor. All you parents out there keep that in mind.

Today's sermon-
I planted trees for a winter and these tree saplings were 7 inches tall and I'd plant one every three seconds. I think I planted half a million. Anyway, you plant a sapling perfectly straight because if it is slightly angled it will take years to right itself. Just a bit extra attention to planting it straight will make the tree's life SO MUCH EASIER. But if you intentionally and willingly plant a tree on a completely skewed angle and also hide it in the shade or piss on it and leave a shovel lying on it for years then it's a miracle if the thing grows at all. The tree itself has a very good chance of surviving, unless you totally ignore your responsibilities and abuse and neglect it. IF you abuse it then you shouldn't be planting trees. That's pretty obvious. But, guess what? This isn't about trees.

The headlines are alarmist and the talk shows are even worse. It's hard to pretend we aren't on the eve of destruction. Americans are living what is called a "Five Planet Lifestyle" that is, it would take 5 earths to support us. The way we manage to survive is by taking the difference from other countries. We justify this by demonstrating how technologically advanced we are. Look how small our phones are! Yes, the cataclysms we are causing are mostly hidden from us by the media and it probably wouldn't matter if we did know about them. Go to a KFC buffet sometime and watch people pig out. If the extra crispy vat is empty they just wait for it to get filled up again. They don't think "Hey, did I eat too much?" ha.
We can ignore the problems because they will likely not cause much of a problem in our lifetimes but the problems we're passing on are going to take absolute genius to fix. Hell, we can't even define the problems yet and someone is going to have to solve them eventually.

I'm taking advice from Michael Jackson and starting with the man in the mirror. With that in mind here's the video:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sexy New Features

I'd like to point out some added features to the blog. The previous left sidebar was my own creation that required me to go into the html template every time I wanted to add something. It was tedious and I didn't really grasp that blogger had thought this out before me and had these features that were much simpler to add and move things around. I figured the live blog feeds were one of these features and when I added them the whole house of cards collapsed and my rigged sidebar could not accommodate the new blog feeds.

So, I had to redesign everything within the parameters Blogger expects me to use. And here is the new look. It's basically the same thing except you can now view the updated posts of the blogs I've followed. See? So you don't have to go look at those blogs to find out if something has been updated. You can just glance at the sidebar. I think this is also possible with my own blog but it all depends on the site you use.

I wish it would give a taste of the actual post but it only shows the title so we all must be be mindful to write interesting titles to get people to check it out. For instance, I just changed the title of this post from "New Features" to "Sexy New Features" because I know sex sells. Also, I've included a live blog feed from the Adult Services in Los Angeles for some titillating content to counteract my depressing, pitiful, poisonous rants.
I will bet that among all of those links I've got there everyone is going to skip over the ones from transforming cultures and either pick the ones from the Onion or from the Adult Services. This just shows that the title is very important. Like, are you going to click on a link for "Man reduces impact on environment using cat poop" or "I'm Horny and beautiful. Come play with me."? I've added Google Analytics to the site so I will know exactly which gets more hits.

I've also started a creative venture with an Adopt the Hobo and a ghost letter writing project. These are stand alone pages that can now be found below the header. Desperate times...etc.

Let me break down the changes in bullet form:
*Live Blog Feeds
*Easier to read sexy font
*New Adopt a Hobo Page (Guess who the first hobo is?)
*Purchase Oggy's Book through Paypal
*Option to Subscribe (or publicly announce you do so)
*Since no one looks at my old posts I've relegated them to the bottom of the page.
*Same old ranting

Any questions or comments may be posted below in the same old boring comment field.


Is it futile to resist the avalanche of information, Oggy ponders, is it more important to maintain one's autonomy? It would be easier to succumb, to surrender, technically speaking since the moral evolution would take longer, but suppose he could just switch off the counterculture part of his brain and ignore the philosophical implications of his actions and the actions of the street sweepers of Santa Cruz or the lifeguards and doctors. This is a zoo, Oggy decides as he adjusts his wool poncho to better protect his hands from the biting Pacific wind and rain that has been lashing the coast for three days and night. A zoo with no zookeeper. Or are the zookeepers our own ethical DNA, which monitor the fences and meal times of our inner chimp? Oggy watches a first shift line cook dump a bag of trash in a dumpster and sees two scrawny Tweakers dressed in black move from the shadows of an alley to scavenge for food scrapes. There is a place to put the trash and so we create trash. But if we had unlimited amount of space then would it be justified still? Is it the limitations of space that is the problem or is there a bigger question to answer? Oggy's instincts are that a dichotomy is the answer, yes, and yes. Yes, the limitation of space is the problem. Solve that problem either with neutral waste or a bigger dump, but there is also a bigger question. Suppose mankind could jettison its waste into space. That's big enough, technically, to receive the physical waste of man without testing the limitations. Oggy has no problem accepting this assumption. Yes, the universe is big enough for the waste of man.

Oggy slows his bicycle down at a stop sign with a combination of both brakes and dragging his one good foot on the pavement. His poncho momentarily gets caught in the space between the wheel and the brakes and tugs him backwards but he stops in time and pulls the poncho out and tucks it into the hemp twine that is his belt. Yes, the universe is big enough but is that a free edict for the creation of as much waste as possible. Is there no greater responsibility to resources than space to put the trash? Money, the only globally recognized symbol of economy, keeps the shopkeepers attuned to every nut and bolt, but only because it costs money to waste. Is it not theoretically possible that waste will one day cost so little as to be negligible? Isn't that the goal of all shopkeepers? To make waste economically? Is it also not the goal of a consumer economy to produce more than is needed and is that not a matter of ethics? Oggy takes a small scrap of paper from his shirt pocket and scrawls, "Note to mayor - The culture itself is flawed."

There is no one coming at the intersection and Oggy equates his obedience to the traffic law that demands he stop at a stop sign to the larger ethical question of economy, using what is needed in principle, and not because there is space to put trash. Oggy stops in principle because that is the law and he is not a reckless citizen. But the question Oggy has to ask is if the reckless use of resources transcends law. It is legal, but it is also morally weighted. Oggy feels that if actions such as where you put carrot trimmings or, as the crank junkies are now finding out, where you put day old bread, are not tied inextricably to a moral reference point then the meaning of life is threatened. What is our function if not to answer these questions? Are we merely shopkeepers on our way to the next cup of coffee? Is that enough? Because extrapolated to the extreme terminus whether we stop at a traffic sign or don't stop is an indicator of the strength of our moral fabric.

A car honks behind Oggy. The drive has to honk twice before Oggy responds and makes a gesture of apology before rolling his bike into motion and allowing the car to pass him. What is our purpose here?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rookie mistakes

Somehow the Blue Hills production became a disaster. In the pouring rain I apparently turned the camera off when he said action and back on when he said cut. This would've been clear had we reviewed even a minute of the footage but it was pouring and we all fled the area before the police discovered our blood smeared prop clothing. Reshoots are scheduled for today if it rains.

But I don't feels so bad because I've been called up to Lebanon again for more nude photos because he thinks he missed some shots in the series. Since I shaved my beard since the last session I don't know what kind of effect that's going to have.

I have been having motorcycle dreams and piano nightmares.

It is late April and the sun has been out for two days since December.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Letters from Oggy

In my latest attempt to recreate the frame of mind I need to be in to write the Santa Cruz book I went into the forest near Jones ave and built a plastic tarp lean to and with the flies and mosquitoes buzzing in my ear wrote the following letter home from Oggy in Santa Cruz to his mother. I think I'm onto something. I have to transcribe it because no one will be able to read the handwriting. The difficult part is holding back the pessimism that was not present for most of my time in Santa Cruz. We were changing the world and it felt right to have a team of people defending individual liberties and talking about the constitution and civil rights. So, Oggy has to be optomistic, which is forcing me to be optimistic to capture the same voice I want Oggy to have. While at the same time keeping the farce just to the edge of believability. Did it work? I forgot to use trash as the piece of paper since I only used recycled writing material. If anyone has letters from me during this 1993-1995 period it would help if you could scan them. And send them to me. I know I wrote some priceless descriptions from the woods. The trouble was that I was in a Hunter Thompson phase and started to exaggerate everything so they aren't historically accurate but the original letters will help me remember what key moments stand out. The Tweaker invasion is sort of true. I love that my handwriting perfectly fits this style of letter. This looks 100% authentic to me but it's more like 5% true. Still, it's a relief to find some outlet that works and I find entertaining. Any dull moments in the book can be rescued with letters like this. To the mayor, to friends, to presidents, dead people, parents, wolves. The variations are endless as well as the...AH! A whole series of conversations back and forth between the mayor and Oggy. That's a winning idea and actually happened. I have the mayor's blunt response to philosophical lectures on ecology. So funny. Signed by the city attorney, who also responded to my 40 page motion to dismiss an infraction ticket. "Mr. Bleacher's argument is devoid of substance." Perfect.
"Dear Mayor. What do you mean humanity is better off with inventions like the steam engine? Are you crazy? Look around! The Ohlone Indian tribes probably wouldn't agree with you, if any had survived the genocide enabled by the steam engine. They lived in perfect harmony on this same coast for thousands of years and we have..."

oh, so funny. That's really the kind of juggling act I'm aiming for. A letter to the mayor written on used bakery wrapping paper.

Dear mom- Hi! How are you? How are the cats? Do you remember that one stuffed mouse that Lois used to play with? What happened to that mouse? I remember I had it in my treasure chest after Lois died and it smelled like her. I loved Lois. Where is she buried? I think if I have time one day I will find that stuffed mouse and put it with Lois, if we can remember where she is buried. Was it the forest? Probably the back yard. I may have a map in an old journal that will tell the exact location of her grave. If you could look for that journal I would appreciate it.

You remember the girl I told you I met? Well, we're in love! She really understands the importance of ecology and natural habitat preservation. So we built a cabin in the forest just like I always talked about doing. I'm planting beans and we've already grown some tomatoes but the foxes or wild rabbits and woodchucks ate them before we could make a salad. Oh well! All animals have to eat. Isabelle knits in the evening using the candles for light while I guard the area. There are these roving bands of drug addicts called the Tweakers living out here too and they have invaded and stolen our furniture before so I have built a perimeter alarm system. Ha ha!

So we're safe + happy. I haven't spent any money in three months which I feel is important because it's going to help slow the environmental destruction that the United States is causing to wolf habitat. Isabelle also feels strongly about protecting the wolf.
The only thing I need is the location of that stuffed mouse that Lois loved so much. It's in my journal (the location) and I think that is where I usually keep it in my old tree house out by the river. We're all going into town next week for a big rally and socialist solidarity rally for imprisoned political prisoners. Should be important and revolutionary! Say hello to the cats. Love Oggy!
P.S. Don't send me any money because it's really hurting the wolves.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cafe Bella ........ Opening Soon!

Opening soon... a neighborhood cafe on the balcony overlooking beautiful Portsmouth Neighborhood. Your romantic getaway dinner for two hot spot.

The Cafe Bella Menu:

Ice Cold Purified Water with Lemon sprig: $4.50
Apple and banana orange slices in yogurt with turbinado sugar: $9.95
Couscous Salad with almonds and raisins: $11.50
Organic Bison "Bella" Burger on fresh baked bread: $19.95 (Goat Cheese and Avocado $2 extra)
Rum (Sailor Jerry) milkshake: $7.50
Spinach salad with ham and hard boiled egg: $9.95
Matzo Pizza: $5
Hard Boiled Farm Fresh Egg: $2.25
Two Egg Omelet A'la Oggy with bacon avocado and asparagus: $9.95
Nachos with or without beans: $8.50
Vodka Sauce and Spaghetti: $11.95
Croissant with ham and avocado: 9.95
Granola and soymilk: $4.95
Chef's special: Quatro Frommage with Fettuccine: $19.95

For desert: Pot Brownies with Ben and Jerry Ice Cream. $7.25
Apple Pie with Rum ice cream. $7.25
Chocolate chip crepe: $5.25

Here's a happy customer's meal...

Chef Oggy Bleacher invites you to dine by candlelight among the treetops
Reservations are being accepted. Special meal requests will be considered.
Music provided by Nat King Cole or request live music by Oggy himself.

Interest in Coin Collecting Inversely Related to Interest in Playboy Magazine

I got some detritus from my youth back and aside from some useless nickles from the '50s I can see that things started to fade in 1985. I was 14 years old and coin collecting didn't have the same importance, and not nearly the excitement level of a stolen copy of Penthouse's Pillow Talk magazine.
Funny. There's one book in which a missing hole for a 1971 quarter has scrawled on it in my unmistakable chicken scratch, "I HAVE THIS ONE BUT IT DOESN'T FIT" in bright red ink. I even tried to draw an approximation of the quarter inside the slot, which leads me to believe I was delusional even at eleven years old. It was written in 1982 when I thought all these things had to be organized and if a slot were empty then the world was not completely organized. But since I had the coin but it didn't fit I had to make a note to myself and maybe God that there was a reason the slot was empty. When you can't be bothered to find a penny from 1986 and put it in then that's the end of the collecting bug. Hell, I've probably got one in my pocket right now and I still can't be bothered.
I should point out that the hand written numbers actually stopped at 1981 and just today I wrote 82, 83, 84, 85 because it wasn't exactly clear what was going on. But that means I stopped even caring enough to write two numbers under the penny I had just put in the slot. Or did it mean I had accepted that the date was on the coin and it was redundant to write it also? I'm not sure. For a picture I thought it should be clear the exact year I had stopped and not that there were 4 coins after 1981 that had no date. Of course now that I see this I'm not completely cured because I have a strong urge to write in all the missing dates. It's creepy to see time stop in 1985.

Farther On by Jackson Browne

It's hard to resist the desire to learn the entire Late For the Sky album by JB.
Aside from For A Dancer, which is an amazing song, it's got this tune. Farther On. It makes me think I've got more than dark hair in common with this guy,

"In my early years I hid my tears and passed my days alone
adrift on an ocean of loneliness
My dreams like nets were thrown
to catch the love that I'd heard of in books and films and songs
now there's a world of illusion and fantasy
in the place where reality belongs
Still I look for the beauty in the songs
to fill my head and lead me on
though my dreams have come up torn and empty
as many times as love has come and gone"

It sounds so easy to write and sing until I sit down and try and the words don't come together like this.

Enough for one day

Fortunately, Brian was eager to sort through the 1000 pictures he took Friday (200 an hour for five hours) and send me one that can be posted here. The others are for my private family album. Or I'll print them out and autograph them for any ladies (or men) who can't get enough of my broken back body and skinny chicken legs and shriveled I lay on the ground reaching toward a dangling violin, my ass sagging like a wet paper towel.

It's a good picture except for the fact the bow is not perfectly perpendicular to the strings. That was something my teacher always told me to watch out for. There are like a dozen things to keep in mind when playing the violin and I remembered two or three. I hope I got it perpendicular a few times for him. Terrible form!

Speaking of remembering...The picture below is a reminder to take the ring off when playing tennis.
Today's contribution to the Santa Cruz saga makes me think the problem with wanting to live in a tree so I can recreate the frame of mind I was in at the time is that as soon as I move into the tree I will start a completely unrelated experience that will then overshadow the original experience. It reminds me of my second trip to Alaska in 1994 where I wanted to "Vanquish the demons from 1990." Yeah, in the process I basically unleashed a goddamn army of totally different demons that joined forces with the ones from 1990 and haven't shut up since. So, although the tie dye demons from 1995 are horrible I have learned to live with them and I just ask them to cooperate with me so I can get it down on paper LIKE WE AGREED.

Diagonally across Oggy’s view an ice cream truck’s Ragtime melody lures children from distant activities. A father of one of the children is in the act of protecting his child from viewing the ragged robbed aluminum scavenger. This sets off a chain reaction of free association within Oggy’s mind, an association of his image of a swear word, “FUCK” written in chalk on a brick wall much like the brick wall on the elementary school in Oggy’s home town of Bone Harbor, New Hampshire. “FUCK”, written there not in reality but only transposed there after a 9th grade reading of Catcher in the Rye. This moment here of a parent protecting his child from the sight of a man in rags digging through trash cans in search of recyclable aluminum has the exact same dramatic implications as the fabricated moment in Oggy’s childhood where he saw the word FUCK written in chalk on his own elementary school and thus the two moments are forever linked and Oggy categorizes them mentally in a file of categorized moments that is forever and always reshuffled and reorganized to make room for more and better defined experiences. To further develop the cross referencing, Oggy then transcends his flesh and sees the moment from a vantage point in a tree or a cloud above. There is Oggy, tangled hair and tattered canvas poncho waving through the split air, his juggling pins dangle precariously next to his bicycle tire, a pleather guitar case strapped to his back, the guitar itself visible through several holes, his legs in the fixed motion of pedaling, eyes scanning a pastoral scene, the Frisbee, the dog, the hippies, the children in the grass, the stoners and tweakers and drunks and junk poppers in the weeds, the aluminum man with his ragged pants and plastic bag of cans, the playground and the children catching the first note of ragtime jingling toward them and the one child who is already scanning the colorful menu for his favorite Neapolitan ice cream sandwich while his father has seen the aluminum can man as an idealistic danger to his perfect outing in the park, not prepared to field questions on poverty and lifestyle choices, preferring to simply buy ice cream and play toss with the boy and teach him to catch with both hands. Isn’t that enough for one day?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rosin up the bow

Even though we didn't use the violin music in the studio I have it now and it's all coming back to me. There was a day I could make a sonorous sound out of this instrument. The problem was making two sonorous sounds in a row. I think the key was being completely naked. I'd never played the violin naked before. It was like that scene in Bull Durham when Tim Robbins wore a garter belt under his uniform to take his mind off the game. I've always had a problem with hyperobservation getting in the way of performance. When I played baseball I could hear every clink of the fry machine a hundred yards the ball flew toward me at 70mph. I can remember conversations that took place as I was chasing a ball into the outfield.
And the same goes when I get in front of an audience to play a song I've played a thousand times before. I become aware of the sounds and people and the meta-moment. It's easy to say I've got to focus but what button do I push for that? So being naked helped me focus because my shriveled junk swinging in the breeze was more than enough to keep my attention. I hardly paid attention to the guy jumping across the room and laying on the ground to get a good angle on my hands.
The next thing is to figure out how to play tennis naked. Nudist colony?

Friday, April 23, 2010

High score on a low day

Man, in a million years I didn't think this was how I thought I'd be spending a day. My grandmother never would've imagined this was where the violin would end up taking me. Oh, oh, oh, how has it come to this? I want someone to tell me that the world is not coming apart at the seams. The tattered ruins of a tarp covering the Yokens sign. I'm going on a stealth mission to take the tarp off. Anyone want to join me?

Having a photographer run his fingers through my hair...that's styling gel, or at least he told me it was styling gel.
The worst part is that I have posed for nude pics before, but I'm sort of falling apart and when he asks me to relax I have to pretend to try instead of saying, "This is relaxed." My back is like a wood plank. I wish I could've had some warning instead of the sneaky, "Hey, I've got an idea. Could you take your shirt off."
Then later.
"You know, I wonder...could you take your pants off."
"Could I..."
"My pants?"
"Yes. Naked. Please. I've got this series in mind. I won't show your privates."
"Ok, but how are you going to miss them?"
"It'll be tasteful."

Taking my underwear off and socks in a bare apartment made me feel like an exploited teen. You show up thinking you'll get one thing and then by the time you get around to it you haven't been paid a penny and you need the money so you'll do anything to get the money. If you leave then you've lost the money you spent getting you to the gig. See? So, if he asks you to give him a hand job "artistically" then you shrug. What's the difference? It's almost like you're punishing your parents for being so strict or too lenient. You aren't fucking the guy, you're fucking your father, you're hurting him for not being perfect. You're hate-fucking the world without a condom.

That makes it sound worse than it was. I'm a nude model. big deal. The photographer is an artist who also works another full time gig. He was going for a vision that he couldn't do without a model.

Am I going to have to explain this? I don't see how I can. A man wanted me to be naked playing the violin on the ground with a backdrop of a Schubert piano impromptu. Who am I to question this? His camera was a $3K SLR with wideframe lens. The pics will probably be fantastic, unlike these crappy 4mp kodak point and shoot ones. If you want learn more about Brian, the man who took pictures of me today, go here...
I asked for a sample that "I could show my mother" and when he sends it to me I'll post it. I'll share my ass crack with the whole world!

I did not want to go into details but the chicken farmer told me to be honest. Ok, you want honesty? How about this:
I didn't wipe my ass good enough last time I dropped a deuce and so when I sat on the construction paper floor I left a skid mark. The guys eyes weren't good enough to pick it up but I'll bet the pictures will need to be edited. There. That's the worst thing I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time.

Ah, if gay soft porn was my ticket then I left Los Angeles too soon. Gay for Pay was a good gig out there. Back here it barely pays gas fare.

After this I went to an apres porn Weirs beach party and scored the highest score in a long time on Venture. It puts me at #2 in the world* and the stunts I pulled off to score it were ridiculous. At my very best in 1982 I think I got 210,000 points.

It was my last token and when I cleared the 5th screen I was sweating and I jumped for joy and pumped my fist as The Naked Eyes covered "Always Something There to Remind Me" by Burt Bacharach. I was so happy I forgot to use my alias in the high score letters. I like WEB better because it reminds me of 1981 when I did this so many times. The same motions. Can I be the best Venture player today? I was as good as I could be, overcoming the joystick problems and fatigue from doing some weird poses with a violin.

Then I drove back south through the woods and slowed down for a beautiful red fox crossing the road. I saw one in Stratham the other day but this one touched my heart with its lonely side trot and bushy red tail, searching for some bit of safety in all the developed chaos of the coastal lake region. I cried a bit, maybe for the fox and maybe for these mad days sliding away into oblivion no matter what I do, like the fox looking for a den, a mate and some purpose.

*Actually #4 top score in the world.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tennis Anyone?

My second personal ad in as many months. Let's see what kind of action this one gets.

I've been metaphorically hitting the ball against a backboard for too long. Get your racket out of the closet and meet me at the Mill Pond tennis courts. If you have a private court then that's even better. I normally play in long pants but if you like a man in '70s style short shorts then we can work something out as long as you agree to play tennis in a catholic school girl's uniform.
either email me or go to the courts in the afternoon and bring your game face. If you play to win then so will I. If you play for fun then I'm just going to win every time until you beg for mercy. My punishing serves will leave you breathless and pale.
My name is Oggy.

Reading this ad again it's sexual overtones are hardly hidden. I was trying to attract a mate to tennis like a bee finds a flower. But now I think someone will read this and think I was using tennis as a cover for wanting to get laid. I also want that but I really want to play tennis. Sex lasts like ten minutes. Tennis can take hours to finish. I can talk about tennis at the coffee shop. There are no condoms involved with tennis. Tennis is where my head is right now. I guess I wanted to make tennis sound sexy and instead I made sex sound tennis-y.

Here's one response...

PortsmouthHi! I read your message on Craigs List !I am Tabitha.To me 25 years , very kind and sexy girl, I live in Portsmouth We can meet in some motel in Portsmouth today or tomorrow!

Tabitha, how are we going to play tennis in a motel room?

I took the ad down due to the quality of responses I was getting. I'm just going to play tennis every day until someone challenges me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not a diary

I'm tempted to describe my day but that boils down to a description of the Chicken and Sausage cream soup I had in North Hampton. The bread with butter. The pretty deli worker who did a good job of not making it look like she was trying not to make eye contact with me. Was I staring? Yes I was. Since I'm thinking from a negative frame of reference I will switch it up...
Things I didn't do today:
Drink booze
Smoke pot
Have sex
Play Martin in tennis
call the temp agency about that shitty job in Dover
I didn't plummet to my death off a ladder either.

that's about it. I did everything else.
it reminds me of a drinking game called "I Never"
for example, If it is true, You say, "I've never had a cock in my ass."
Everyone for whom that statement is false must drink.

It's pretty funny. Someone said, "I've never called a phone sex 1 900 number."
And of course I had to drink. A gay guy was drinking and looked at me and said, "That wath you on the other end of the line?"

burned hand... cold heart

No, I'm not showing off my physique. I'm trying to get work as a nude model. I'm whoring myself out like everyone wants me to do. I suck cock in the port-a-potty for $20 a trick. So this picture makes me money. That's no different than me going to dover and cranking levers and feeding machinery for a penny a day. This way I get to see the world through my lenses and there is no slack on these chains.
I sent this picture to a photographer in Lebanon, NH. Now I see the wild look in my eyes and am not surprised he didn't write back to me. It was only that the camera took me by surprise.

I did burn my hand on a wood stove but it is only because I'm not careful and fell as I was dodging a chicken.
I do want to point out my $2 pants from the thrift store in Kittery, Maine. They work for me though my waist now has no hip and they fall down my ass every ten minutes. Suspenders might be the answer.

meatball world

No better way to enjoy a meatball sub from spinners. Stuff it in yo mouth.

Metball head

Spinners is a pizza joint on the Lee traffic circle. All thumbs were down on the chicken finger sandwich, which sounds wrong just by name. Too tired to expand on the vile pinball world.

And I huffed and I puffed...

It was about three little pigs but it still applies to goats.

Color My Pain

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Day

Dentist visit is done for the next half a year and I'm ready to save the planet.
Goals for earth day gleaned from the inspirational messages on the ceiling of the dentist office:
Plan to have a good day
Expect a good day.
Imagine what a good day would be like and make it come true.

So far it's been good. I'm wearing some new $2 pants, got some money for keeping the dog alive, played some good tennis and even flirted with a girl on her lunch break playing tennis.

The car is getting serviced and I've got a lead on a nude modeling gig in upstate NH. It involves a violin but it pays good money and I need to pay off the debts I just built up getting my teeth cleaned. The dentist talked me into a tooth bleaching service because I am a vain and shallow person.

I'm imagining myself writing good punchlines.
I rode my bicycle today in recognition of Earth Day. What did you do? Smoking pot doesn't count.

Monday, April 19, 2010

1976 Yamaha XS360 C model

I had the chicken farmer believing I knew what I was doing right up until I dropped an important screw into a bucket of oil. Then I tried and failed to get the valve cover off. One bolt head is completely hidden from all tools that I know of. I'm going to hope the valves have ok clearance. It's just needs some clean up and I believe it will be a daily runner.
Clean tank
Clean carbs
change oil
change plugs
service brakes
service spine (arthritis)

Martin serving Oggy

Martin showed up and was beside himself when he saw my moped putting up the hill. His wife who he said was "Getting along in years." doesn't have a license and thus bicycles around York. He thought the Moped would be a good answer. Getting along in years is a mild understatement considering her birth certificate is probably written in Sanskrit. They have to be 80 years old. I don't want to ask him until we meet a few more times.
I have my doubts about the moped but only because I'm driving the worst moped that I've ever seen and until recently I was the only one who could even start it and keep it rolling. A nice moped would work for the lady.
Martin and I met up for our daily tennis match now that the rain has stopped. He works at Hannafords and at Irving Oil. "That's enough for me," he said and I felt like a complete loser for not having a job.
I told him about the gig in Dover and he said, "That's not far." And coming from his mouth I accepted it. I really don't see Martin steering me wrong. The tennis game is coming along but the wind at the courts is the worst.

Four Redux

I'm tired of only having my Charlie Manson look up on youtube. My public deserves better.

Here's the original attempt at this way back in '07 or '08. I guess I was begging for Jesus and Manson comments with the beard and such. But damn, the elevator music comparison does hurt my feelings. I see their point but in a million years you are not going to be in an elevator and hear an amateur guitar improv on Four by Miles Davis. If it were...Take my Breath Away, by Berlin, then I'd understand. But not Four. No.

Dentist Visit

I was overdue to say the least. But I've tried to eliminate sugar from my diet and I do floss and brush regularly since I was told my breath smells like spoiled milk. So Dr. Herold over on Islington went over my choppers and didn't tsk tsk me too much. In fact, I felt in good hands. He was professional and told me things he's said a thousand times but he really told them to me like I was the first person who had ever been to a dentist. He actually said, "Tooth decay is caused by bacteria on your teeth that take the sugar you eat and turn it into plaque which can eat a hole in the tooth."
I nodded gravely.
"I'm going to check your gums now. The gums are the fleshy tissue that surround the bone. Open wide....I'm going to check the depth of your gum connectivity. 1-3 is normal. 4 indicates recession of the flesh and can lead to periodontal disease. 5 and above indicate disease. Open wide."
I had some #4s and the Caribbean seascape on the ceiling had the inspirational sayings like, "Dance at home - when you're alone." or "Live today." and "Do what you love."
Then the doctor showed me a picture of teeth and gums and bone.
"In this day and age, there is no reason you should lose a tooth. If your gums are healthy then we can save all your teeth."
I thanked him for telling me good information. I listened this time. I want to keep my teeth or should I say I don't want to lose my teeth because losing teeth is a nightmare of painful chewing and crowns and dentures and bridges. My buddy George was always supergluing his bridge back together. He swallowed part of it in a nap. Root canal surgery. It's awful and I don't want it. The dentist also talked about mouth cancer. Is there something I can do about that? No smoking or chewing tobacco.
There are so many things out there trying to kill me. I don't really worry about these things like you would think based on my obsessive concern for water and wolves and tennis. In fact, I translate a sudden bump in my chest to something external. Like, I'm having a mild heart attack BECAUSE America hasn't declared war on anyone in the 60 years of war with everyone. Like this country is all a big fraud...ERGO my heart valves are malfunctioning.
I heard a health insurance company sends its associates to golf school so they can play better golf when they have golf meetings. And people wonder why I don't have insurance. My theory is that if someone is going to be playing golf then it's going to be me. I'm not paying for anyone to take putting lessons.

I'm going to go play tennis now and get this out of my mind.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What does your web history say about you?

Mine tells a sad story, a story I don't think I'll have time to fully develop. I was taking a piss in the woods today and thinking about John Updike. Not many people deserve to live forever but I think he did. I really believe that Updike had a gift of observation that deserved to last forever. Maybe there are other people out there with the same gift but they don't get a chance to write. They just observe. Then I wonder if it makes any difference at all. I decided to listen to conservative talk radio instead of NPR. I'm tired of caring. I want Rush Limbaugh to tell me everything is fine, that we've got nothing to worry about.

I did hear an interesting comment that the human population is supposed to peak at 9 or 10 billion. We're at 7 right now. But there need not be a cataclysm for 5 or 6 billion to die. It all comes down to 1.4 babies per woman. In something like a few years it would go from 9 billion to 2 billion without any great plague, just natural die off. Those 2 billion are going to live SO WELL because of the 300 trillion who died before them and slaved building the infrastructure they will enjoy. Or maybe they will curse us like you curse a previous tenant who leaves cat shit in the closet and roaches under the kitchen sink.

If you've never seen a leatherback turtle then I don't see how they will miss them. Biodiversity is relative to the decline you've witnessed. So a baby born in 2100 will only know what is and not what was. Does anyone miss the dodo bird? No, but I grieve for the wolf, noble and rugged living honestly without wifi or earth friendly toilet paper. But the kid who only knows the wolf as an animal in a Jack London book won't miss it. We already idealize these animals since they're so rare. The idealization will be complete in a few decades.

So I did some looking into heart disease to find out when I can expect to be a part of that die off. I don't have shortness of breath but something isn't working right in the plumbing department. Clean up on aisle 4. Hell, even gallows humor doesn't make me laugh anymore.

Speaking of Rush, here's a transcript from the very town I'm writing about. Santa Cruz. How serendipitous~I don't want to edit if for space but here's a sample...


RUSH: Cat in Santa Cruz, California, great to have you on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hi.

CALLER: Hi. First of all, mega dittos, Rush. What an honor. I'm a 20-year-listener calling you from the sea of crazy radical liberals. (chuckles) I've got a brief story I thought you'd enjoy. My son -- a Republican, a conservative like his dad and I -- got a job here in Santa Cruz in a very popular local health food store. He had a button he wore on his work shirt every day that said, "I'm a Republican, bless America." Well, he was told by his supervisor he could not wear the button to work. Well, he continued to wear it. All the other employees there have pierced noses, lips, eyebrows, dreadlock down the back, tie-dyed shirts, whatever so he kind of stood out. Well, he continued to wear his button, proudly, and he got fired. And I refuse to leave Santa Cruz because I love the local area. It's a gorgeous town. But the hate for right-wingers in this town is unbelievable. Please don't ever stop. Don't ever stop and don't forget us out here in Santa Cruz.

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: We need you desperately, desperately. Everybody's in tie-dyed clothing. Oh!

RUSH: Don't worry, you will never be the forgotten. "The forgotten in Santa Cruz "will never be a phrase uttered here, you will never be forgotten. Let me ask. These long-haired, maggot-infested, dope-smoking types that work at the health food store.

CALLER: (laughs)

RUSH: Do they wear pro-Obama or pro-left-wing cause buttons?

CALLER: You know, I am not really sure about that, but to just look at them, you know, they might as well.

RUSH: Now, da-da-da-da-da-da! You're profiling out there. The regime doesn't like that.

CALLER: Yeah. I don't like the regime, so we're even.

"...long-haired, maggot-infested, dope-smoking types..." I think I'll borrow that for my book. What a great thinker this man is.
I know that health food store on River Street. It was across the street from the Food Not Bombs Saturday meal location, the community garden that I'm writing about, the sunflower garden where Jar went to hide from the non-vegans. Or maybe there's a Whole Foods that moved in since I fled back in 1995.

Blue Hills

Bonnie has me on a short leash. She will allow me to take 4 hours to do errands before she shits on the carpet. I took her for a long walk at 11pm and she was in my face at 6:15. These other dog owners must have some kind of system worked out because I'm the only person walking their dog in the predawn and near midnight. If you are fond of sleeping then steer clear of the King James Spaniel. At this point I'm going to steer clear of dogs in general.

I did manage to slip out to be the camera operator on a no budget horror film called The Blue Hills. Advance buzz is that it's headed for Sundance.
Here's a behind the scene picture on Little Harbor Road. The one man crew, Kurt, is applying fake blood to Kevin's knee. Damon the director is in the helmet.

This was taken before the heavens unloaded on us. The final shot was filmed in a complete downpour with me riding through puddles chasing Kevin on his bike with the camera mounted on the handlebars. I said we couldn't have paid a rain truck to do a better job.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oggy goes Bloggy

Have I cursed this maddening gigabyte world today? I don't think so. Let me take a moment to admit my ignorance regarding most things related to computers. I know JUST ENOUGH to buy an EIDE hard drive to store my music video footage...but NOT ENOUGH to realize the PATA signifies Parallel ATA, which will not work with the EIDE/SATA hard drive enclosures that I bought. IS this the end of the world? Yes. Yes it is. The world is ending. Goddamn it! I'm cracking. This is such a western lifestyle. I could either buy a SATA drive to go with my enclosure or buy a PATA compatible enclosure. This just sounds insane to me:
"40 pin or 80 pin?"
"PATA. No, wait. EIDE."
"Is it PATA or EIDE or both?"
"Both. The HD is both."
"Your enclosure?"
"So you need a PATA USB 2.0 enclosure?"
"Correct. PATA EIDE. Not SATA EIDE."
"Or EIDE?"
"No, the HD is 40 pin PATA EIDE."
"That won't work in a SATA EIDE USB 2.0 enclosure."

It sounds like the world is ending. Please, let's just go back to the old days. PLEASE! Haven't we had enough of this repulsive bullshit? My grandparents not only never used a computer (Grandma wrote long hand or on a manual typewriter) but the worst they had to adjust to was fuel injected engines. It isn't that I'm incapable of adjusting to THIS TAWDRY BULLSHIT but at the end of the day I feel it's devouring all the humanity that remained after Ronald Reagan left office, which wasn't too much. We've managed to create the machines that we must nurse 24/7. They work for us but my god, we've all got to be film directors now? Current TV has millions of videos made by random people. But the technology to allow that is less than a decade old. In my lifetime it's gone from "the internet doesn't exist" to "my existence revolves around the internet."
And this damn PATA SATA EIDE 1.21 Gigawatt debate is driving me crazy. I think the adobe suite is overwhelming my computer and even if it worked flawlessly it's the most comprehensive editing software in the world and I'm going to need to go to workshops to learn to use it so I can edit a damn song about a guy getting on a bus. Does that make sense to anyone? I make a video about chickens that's now viewable by the entire wired world, chickens in Nairobi can watch that video, but it's still about chickens. Was it really necessary to learn the skills to put that video together?

I'm going to persevere because at this point I don't have anything to lose. They broke Don Quixote but they're not going to break me. It's only intolerable when I compare myself to the cultural norm.

In happier news I'd like to point out that I have posted 174 times in 2010 compared to 172 times in all of 2009. That shouldn't surprise anyone since I had absolutely no electricity for 9 months of 2009. In fact, I go look at some of the posts from this time last year and I was dog sitting at a house for two dogs (the big one ended up with a different family) and playing guitar in the desert dungeon with Mack and Jay. I had to drive into town and go to the internet cafe and do everything in under one hour for 15 or 20 pesos. My computer didn't work but I had my camera. So, I've got electricity now and a computer that works. I don't really have internet service but I've got a library nearby. I don't think quantity counts for much more than a demonstration of how much free time I have to be writing. I'm convinced that the Santa Cruz book has monstrous potential. I've isolated the dichotomy of a reflexive/passive personality and an instinctive/active personality. It's a study of extremes like Narcissus and Goldmund. John Updike wrote his first Rabbit book with the help of a Guggenheim Fellowship Grant. I think I'm going to apply for one. Anyone want to be a character reference? In the meantime it looks like I'll be a clean room medical machine operator after all. It's a means to an end, like my buddy down in Wellesley said. I'm just afraid that the means will become the end. The upside is that it doesn't pay enough to live on so I'll die much sooner. Oh, the irony of making medical devices that I can't afford to have fix me!

Let's hope the chicken man has thick skin

I'm going to risk ridicule and put this video up on youtube with the comments feature enabled. That exposes Farmer Ken and me to the entire world's low brow (and high brow) opinions. I've said before that I posted a video of me playing the guitar and someone commented "Charlie Manson live at the Holiday Inn" I didn't know if I should be flattered because I made it to a hotel lounge, or if I should be insulted because it's only the Holiday Inn and not the Marriott. Manson is a martyr in my opinion so that part didn't bother me much. I'm in the process of recording a different video of my guitar work as a response to those cruel comments.

My point is that people are cruel and youtube comments are notoriously cruel and a documentary about chickens is already exposed to cruel comments in any venue. But the comments are important because I'm curious how others will respond to this. It'll be amusing no matter what they say.

Here's the same video on Current TV. It probably violates some agreement if I post the same content on two different sites but I'll wait and see.

Turbinado Sugar

I was in the health food store today picking up Blueberry jam and giving sunflower seed butter a try (tastes a little nuttier than peanut).
I saw a bag of turbinado sugar and a wave of memories from Santa Cruz came back to me. There's a bread store where I would buy baguettes and a cup of tea and pile in the turbinado sugar, listening to the rain on the plastic awning, reading the paper or a book of philosophy, wrapped in a blanket. The turbinado sugar represents that coastal california ethic of honey and philosophy, tea and fresh bread, street musicians on the corner with a tambourine and harmonica.

I'm struggling to get in the right frame of mind to write more about Santa Cruz. All the pieces are in place except my frame of mind. I'm not focused on the details as I know in my heart. I want to blame it on all these frivolous blog entries which strike to the heart of the story in 500 words or less. That's bullshit as far as I'm concerned. It'll entertain but it doesn't linger and it doesn't build into an out of control avalanche of images and dramatic concepts.

The sugar reminded me of the poverty, of saving for a week to buy that cup of tea and drinking it in the garden out back, pipe smoke drifting from over a worn fence. Maybe there were carp in the pond. A student or two would be nearby gravely bent over their texts, and the cup of tea in a big white mug was a thread of connection to civilization that I didn't have in the forest. This was before the sitcom Friends had made these cafe moments cliche and it was my first exposure to the california Kerouac might've known. I was in Yosemite the first time I lived in California and the Sierras/Central Valley are not really a cafe/turbinado sugar types of culture. Redwood City had elements of culture but it was mainly latin based. Santa Cruz was different. This is where everyone would use the same spoon to get the sugar, where styrofoam cups did not exist, where big groups of yoga lovers would pose on the beach, where ravens flew into the forest at night. I felt a lifestyle devoted to economy was not abnormal there. Fruit and nut communes were planned at every table. Social Justice workshops were free with the purchase of a blueberry muffin. The people in Santa Cruz believed that philosophy was an active noun.

My point is that this isn't an anecdote. This can't be tackled with 500 words and talking about myself every other sentence won't work either. My experiences were unusual while I was there so that will help piece together the ideas I think are valuable but the normally flippant way I write, unedited and stream of consciousness, is not the frame of mind I want to have. It doesn't work for a 15 year old story. But the turbinado sugar holds the key, those large brown grains, the way it sticks to the wet spoon, the way it slowly dissolves in hot tea, the way it represents the unrefined, organic nature of the Santa Cruz lifestyle. Yoga and washable menstrual pads and bike racks and needle exchanges and frisbee in the park and a guy who roller skated around in disco short shorts listening to a transistor radio. I'll have to buy some turbinado sugar to get myself in the right frame of mind. It's all about the frame of mind. I'm always in the frame of mind to whip off an amusing 1000 words about beating off when I was 17 years old, but it's a completely different perspective to paint a grand mural covering several years of turmoil.


“And Jar wants to ask,” Jar says with his finger pointed straight into the sky, “If there have been any meat products eaten today by any of you, you food not bombs family people. And Jar…”
“Jar, that’s a personal question for some people,” says Kim in a textbook social service tone of voice, a tone of voice perfected through hours of welfare case meetings and mental health adjudications.
A sound that is Jar’s approximation of “Ah” creeps from his whiskered lips. His worn hemp turban tilts slightly to his left as he processes this hitch in his inquiry. In fact, Oggy thinks Jar is going to have a meltdown judging by the way his mouth is moving without any words coming out and the increasingly violent rocking motion that Jar has developed.
“Now, Jar, it’s a personal question but we understand why you are asking it.”
“Jar thinks of the baby chickens and goats,” spits out Jar.
“We know. Most of us are vegetarians.”
“What about milk?”
“I drink milk. Milk’s good,” says a shaggy man nearby. “They got milk at the shelter. Chocolate milk on Thursdays, from the dairy in Boulder Creek. Why? You got any?”
Jar backs away like a cannibal ghost has materialized near the broccoli florets pile. Kim attempts to intervene with her calming words but Jar is stumbling backwards toward the safety of the corn stalks. Kim reaches out to his shoulder but he has renounced all contact with women and this only makes him recoil further into a shocked shell.
“Milk!” he cries.
Jar turns and plows through a group of gutterpunks sniffing crank powder off a notebook cover.
“Hey! Puta!” one of the punks yells and watches Jar disappear into the sunflower garden. His tweaker friends sag with indifference, their tongues drooping over lip rings and tattoos.


In the plaza in downtown La Paz is a courtyard called the zocalo. They play a bingo style game called Loteria in the afternoon. The object is to fill up the whole card when they call things like "Dama" or "Mano" or "Pajaro". You could say it was a cheap Spanish lesson. It cost cinco pesos every game, which is about 40 cents. Some people got three or four cards but they were faster than I was. I could barely keep up with one card. This picture was posed, like I'd won something, but I never won. I was walking down memory lane today and saw all these pictures from Mexico and I decided I had the right idea but you've got to be a warrior to sustain it without flipping out. Gypsy wandering is an art form, like meditation. There is no way to prevent getting older or to avoid the troubles that will befall you on the road, but there is a way to maximize contentment, to roll with the punches, to experience the highs and the lows.
I didn't plan my trip well enough to stay the whole year (It's been about a year since this picture was taken) but I can see in reflection what changes to make so the time doesn't run out. This was not a vacation. There is only one reason why I would not be wearing a ring on my right hand in this photo. A reason that continues to haunt me...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mo ped

Bonnie has returned for a visit and I already feel it's ill fated. In less than an hour after her arrival she was running free across a lawn in Stratham. I chased her down but not before she injured her leg. It was the first time I'd seen her run in the whole time I've known her. She forgot her age and pulled a muscle. I don't feel too good myself. Bonnie is a dog, by the way.

More rain is coming.
The car is in the shop.
And I've got to decide if I want to take a job moving corpses or else feeding materials into machinery. I feel everything eventually comes down to feeding things to machines. That's the essential human experience today.

Driving the 1974 Vespa Ciao to Canada might be another solution. It gets 80 miles to the gallon. Just drive it up to Labrador.

Has anyone noticed how uber-clever the comment sections on The Onion are? The new fad is to make a comment only in Haiku form.

For instance, under the story about Steven Seagal's sex slavery accusations one person not only wrote a haiku, but put a Seagal movie title in a pun with the word pun included. Can you get more clever? I don't think so. Check it out:

We now find ourselves
Under Siege with pun haikus
This one is as well

I love it because it takes a trashy story and cuts the legs out of it by discussing it only in poem format. The gossip is so paper thin that as soon as you write a poem about it the poem, however quickly written, becomes more substantial than the gossip.

Traditional haiku consist of 17 syllables, in three metrical phrases of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively.

I'd like to encourage you to stretch your brains a bit and comment only in something close to Haiku form. Or don't. We all can't be as cool as people who read The Onion.

Like this:

My dog is injured
Running on lawns without snow
Spring is for the young

I apologize for the fragmented writing. I am a lost soul. Wait, can I make a haiku out of that?

I am a lost soul
fragmented and tormented
my scales are broken

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Haven't been back on PHS property in many years. 2003, I think, and that was only for a moment. I'm going to have a hard time making this visit interesting for the majority of humanity. I went to school here 1985-1989. Ok, even I'm bored now. I'd be wrong to say these were my glory years. No, it was just an inevitable period of time that now sticks out as a few gray memories, highlights that are slightly dim except for peaks of elation and valleys of despair.

Speaking of memories, this plaque is at the start of the PHS 1/4 mile track.
I don't know if Mr. Grogan is dead or if they dedicated the track to him en vita. Does anyone know? The research I did indicates he is retired but alive. He also taught a class called "New England Folklore" I missed that one.It says that for over 35 years he made athletes believe anything is possible ("Nothing was impossible" is how the plaque words it) if they were willing to work for it. That sounds about right. He, along with another dude named Mr. Nelson were my gym teachers. There was a female teacher. Anyone remember her name? I can't. Mr. Grogan was the weight training coach for the many times I thought I'd lift enough weights to get bulging biceps. Ha! That's one thing I'm not destined to have without serious human growth hormones.
Mr. Grogan coached football, I believe, and that's where he made his mark because football players are unruly and you need to have military leadership skills to win a football game. I think Mr. Grogan had that. I didn't play football but I watched him coach.
This was the first time I walked on Mr. Grogan's track. I went there to watch a baseball game. The PHS varsity team hasn't lost in two seasons and they are 2-0 this season. I'm proud that during my talk with the Ports. Herald reporter I kept it strictly business, mainly talking about the career of young Mike Montville who has power, speed and a presence you don't see very often. He did hit a towering home run to left center, scored twice and played flawless first base in the 6-1 win. I'm considering having a talk with the boy to see where his head is. He plays basketball and is a wide receiver so that's three letters. This is his last season and a buddy says he's going to get drafted which would be a first for a small division school.
There's a story there, I'm sure.

Fiction and Reality

I want to start a series of pictures demonstrating the difference between fiction and reality. Here's the first swing. Dinner time at Oggy's house usually involves Grateful Dead music and some leftover chicken salad and crackers eaten off of a used paper plate or napkin, often a guitar is involved. This tasty baked chicken dinner from Marie Callanders was on the menu tonight. It looks so good on the box. Homemade by grandma and kid. $2.50. Set oven to 350. Remove plastic wrap from chicken. Mmmmmm. Sounds good and it isn't fried so it won't clog my arteries and leave me on a basketball court struggling to breathe as people stand around and say,
"He was fine one minute and then just dropped like a sack of cement. Smack!"
"Do you know who he is?"
"Naw, he lives in that van over there."
"Oh, well no wonder he's sick."
"Said he was saving money to go to Labrador."
"What does he do?"
"Said he juggles on the street for spare change."
"Oh, I've seen him downtown. He's a bum. He was babbling about killing wolves or something."
"Why else would he be playing tennis every day? What a loser."
"Is he trying to say something? Wait. Listen..."

I don't want that so I'm eating baked chicken from now on. I even passed up two slices of pizza today. You heard that right. I didn't eat two slices of pizza today. I'm getting off track. The point here is that the fiction of the homemade frozen dinner doesn't match the reality. It's way off.

Here's the fiction. Potatoes as white as the Norwegian families these models came from. Milk. Butter. The soft lighting is actually my mistake in the picture process. The aprons are repulsive. This is bullshit.

Here's the reality...attic apartment, living like a freak on applesauce and raisins. No job. No money. Borrowed life and borrowed time. Not even a nasty brownie desert in the single serve dinner. Just bones and dried out broccoli and an empty bed. You see an apron? I don't.

I think I could get a more grotesque picture, but this one will have to do for now. It's the reality, folks. There ain't nothing picturesque about a baked chicken dinner.

Northern Mariana Islands

I ended up with one of these quarters in my pocket. I thought it was counterfit. Or worth only 20 cents like the Canadian quarter. But no. It's real!
The islands are somewhere near the Phillipines. Between Hawaii. They are politically allied with the fundamentalist U.S. corporatist regime. (I'm reading Shock Doctrine so expect a lot of rhetoric for the next month)
Saipan is included. Guam.
I may have to take a trip there to find out the state of affairs.

Some info:

The Northern Mariana Islands quarter reverse design represents the wealth of the islands in its natural resources of land, air and sea. Near the shore stands a large limestone latte, the supporting column of ancient indigenous Chamorro structures. A canoe of the indigenous Carolinians represents the people’s seafaring skills across vast distances. Two white fairy tern birds fly in characteristic synchrony overhead. A Carolinian mwar (head lei) composed of plumeria, langilang (Ylang Ylang), angagha (peacock flower) and teibwo (Pacific Basil) borders the bottom of the design near the inscription, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS. The mwar is symbolic of the virtues of honor and respect.
Honor and Respect I think are metaphoric since the Enola Gay flew out of Guam to drop radioactive gifts on Hiroshima.

Once upon a time...

Maybe I never noticed the sly manipulations of temp agencies before. More likely, it was in Los Angeles where everyone is a professional actor, that I was first introduced to them, so the almost stunning women who followed their dream from Iowa to Santa Monica and were deciding my daily fate actually didn't care if they manipulated me or not. They were temporary themselves so it made no difference if they led me on to think I was either important or else munificently unimportant...and should beg for their good favors. I genuinely liked some of the dispatchers, locked in a climate controlled lobby for five days a week, sending people like me to exotic places in the Valley or Orange County. We were all chasing a dream that was just on the other side of a traffic light, if only...oops, the light turned red. Maybe we'll catch it one day. So I grew up with these folks and we almost became human beings to one another. I gave one of them a plant for Christmas. Not because I wanted more work (that's insane) but because it was Christmas in a city without a soul and I thought...well, who knows what I thought. It was silly.

That was Los Angeles, where everyone is hedging their bets that they'll be touched by the gold finger and their lives would change. The lies ran deep. Here in New Hampshire I finally met the professional ball buster, the hired hatcheman, the trained filter for the corporations. I was confused that the good humor I remembered from California was absent in my conversations. Did they actually take their jobs seriously? Impossible. But could they take the jobs they were offering me seriously? Aluminum fin assembler. Cable trimmer. Auto Detailer. Light bulb changer. They dangled these jobs in front of me like a tempting fisherman and I kept thinking, "You forgot to put the worm on the hook."
The tone of their voices is so grave, like demanding my birth certificate without even explaining if there is a job opportunity available is a reasonable request. You want a reference to make sure I can operate a spray bottle? Their tone, the same in every agency, is too similar, like a trainer has been doing his job too well. Let me guess what a few of the chapters in orientation are:
1: Keep the client guessing.
2: Sound superior.
3: Never volunteer any information.

I always liked the way the dispatchers would ask me to go somewhere and then pause when I asked how much I was going to get paid.
"Let me check."
"Take your time."
"It changes every time."
"Give me a ballpark figure."

Two recent experiences have left me cold. The attitude I got over at Seacoast associates was like I was the scum of the earth who was wasting their time. Save your breath if you want to tell me to swallow my pride. There comes a point where a company policy of breaking your spirit (so you will be deemed worthy of their corporations) is sadistic. Not because of a single loose nut asking the questions, but sadistic because you must pass the tests you'll later face when you work in an aluminum mill. I see the point. If you can't take the attitude from the temp agency then you won't get far in the workplace. That might've been the problem up in Laconia. The temp agency treated me casually. I felt welcome, like I had an opinion that mattered. I see this was misleading because the workplace was the exact opposite. I was dirt, an expense, that either justified itself or was dismissed. The Portsmouth area has truly embraced temp agency work models. There are about 8 local agencies and several more that operate from Mass. Temp agencies are the number one employer in America and always growing. It's allowed companies to close human resources and accounting departments. They outsource these tasks to the Leddy Group, Manpower, Apple One, Wilson, Labor Ready, John Galt Group, Seacoast Associates and others.
I remember working for a temp agency in the early '90s and it was a friend of mine doing the dispatching. She was friendly, asked the minimal number of questions, tried to match certain skills with certain jobs. That was where I got a job alphebetizing videos for a new store. They were mostly VHS tapes to give you an idea of when that was. The corporate paradigm took almost 20 years to develop the teeth I'm seeing now. They're tired of slackers coming and going and since half the state is on welfare they figure they are in charge. They not only can pick and choose who they assign work, they can treat you like dirt from the moment you are on the phone. I can tell by the tone of their voice that they have been trained to talk that way. They are the gatekeepers and now the gatekeepers have a training manual. The screening process doesn't start at the interview, it starts when they answer the phone like you've just interrupted them during a shower.

No moral to this story. I just wanted to send out a heads up to any temp agencies that I'm the guy your trainer warned you about. I've got a manual too. Yes, I'll call you and yes, I'll come to your interviews, but I know your game and it's not going to work. In fact, you know that frustrated, bitter, sick feeling you have after meeting me? It's no accident.
When I'm in Labrador this is something I won't be missing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A bedtime story

I'm chuckling about a humorous tale from Junior High school. I was basically chased off school property by two future convicts and when they caught me they threw my bookbag in the millpond and then one of them picked me up (WWF was big then) and bodyslammed me. I'm glad I can laugh about this now because it wasn't funny at the time. I may have expanded on this incident in my book but I can't remember. I'm sure I called one or both of their mothers a whore to deserve this beating.
"Hey Kevin, I fucked your mom last night. She is such a disgusting slut!"
"Why know my mom is dead."
"I don't care. I still fucked her. That whore!"
"Get him! Get Oggy!"

I would estimate that 97% of my time at PJHS was wasted. I would've been better off panning for gold in North Conway all winter. I wouldn't wish Junior High School on my worst enemy. And whatever I learned during tennis class wasn't enough to keep me from hitting the ball over the backboard. Will someone please come over and give me some competition. Take a day off from work. It won't kill you!
good night

Knives and Hippies

“Bring the blade through the carrot. Don’t chop. Slice.”
Kim demonstrates Food Not Bombs approved cutting techniques to Oggy, who watches mesmerized with a long knife in his hand and a pile of potatoes and carrots in front of him, seated on a box of community supported propaganda.
“I got it,” says Oggy. He wants to please these sophisticated organizers. They radiate an aura of togetherness that he has never encountered. They are actually working for no money, no reward, with no leader or schedule or funds. It feels improbable that these men and women would voluntarily choose to dig through dumpsters and flee the police not for a better meal for themselves, but a better meal for others. The little slice of their lives that Oggy has seen has touched him deeply. Robert, Kim, Gar, Bob and others were proving that an unconventional community could be grown, intentionally, consensually, peacefully without the benefit of electricity or a car or even the blessings of the state. Abe always cautioned Oggy against defining these conflicts with sports terminology, but he can’t help it. These Food Not Bombs volunteers are fighting a battle against all odds, all ideology, financial, cultural, emotional, legal and metaphysical odds…and they’re prevailing here at the corner of River Street and Levee Spur Road on a patch of browned grass with half blind homeless cripples carrying buckets of water from the river to the wilting community garden. They are prevailing over the state police and the local judges who blockade their efforts and the Mayor’s henchmen of assassins disguised as city council members. They’re winning and Oggy has not been part of a winning team since Middle School cross country track. For the first time in many years he is proud of his company, these revolutionaries, these iconoclasts, especially Robert with his quiet demeanor and soft, unobtrusive humor, never bullying another, merely pointing out his observations. Robert, a walking St. Francis of Assisi, healing the sick and oppressed, carrying buckets of soup across town to the hungry street denizens of Santa Cruz, And Kim compliments her lover Robert because she is assertive, direct, not afraid to offend, never backing down, loud, emotional, slightly embarrassed by her crooked teeth, an anomaly in California, a woman who spends no time on her appearance. He admires this first couple of grassroots organization. He loves them, especially Kim who is slender and gentle and recycles glass and plastic automatically, and washes out plastic bags to reuse, and always composts food.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.