Archive for January, 2010

January 28, 2010

bg/ish: The Peoples Historian

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places–and there are so many–where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of the world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” – Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn passed away yesterday at the age of 87.

A People’s History of the United States

January 27, 2010

bg/ish: State of the Union

ag’s boy Obama is giving the annual State of the Union address tonight. Propaganda ensues.

As for me, I throw these things out there every now and then. It certainly seemed fitting today. Silly me though, I pissed all my good content away today in previous posts…

This post will be disappointing at best.

* * * * *

I’m going to be an uncle soon. Any day now. Which is to say, my brother is going to be a father. It’s exciting. I’m basically on-call, waiting to make my way down to Southern Cal. I’m looking forward to seeing my family. Hopefully I will see some old friends. I’m ready. Just waiting on you now Elle. C’mon!

* * * * *

I feel like I’m suffering from a lack of creative outlets right now. There’s just so much I want to do. I feel like I need to do. I’d like to be writing more, but working all day is more of an atmosphere conducive to things like blogging. I’m dying to do something musically, and I’m frustrated that right now I don’t have the equipment or the chee$e to buy it. My old roommate kind of screwed me over because he said he was going to leave some older equipment he wasn’t using for me to use when he moved out, but then he went back on that. I don’t want to make excuses, but I really want to do shit.

I’ve also been thinking more lately about filming a short. ag and I have discussed this in the past. So maybe when he’s done with school I can kidnap him for a couple of weeks and we can do something.

In the meantime, I think I’ll need to pick up the camera a bit more.

* * * * *

Chewie goes under the knife tomorrow. Losing the lady parts. I guess I’m a bit nervous. Trying not to think about it. I’m sure she’ll be fine. She’s just the sweetest fucking thing and I hate to think of her suffering at all. Unless of course I’m verbally berating her or punching her in the face. Jokes.

Here’s a recent shot I took of her with Kristen’s new 50mm lens…

* * * * *

Fact is, for the most part, things are great. Kristen and I are settling into the apartment. She is such a pleasure to be around, I’m lucky to wake up next to her everyday.

As for this nation of ours? Well, I’d hate to be Obama tonight. What do you say? War, Recession, Millions without health insurance… It’s not all good. I doubt I’ll even watch…

January 27, 2010

bg/ish: The Westboro Baptists Are Coming!

The Bible says, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) So, why so much hate?

These despicable hate mongering “Christians” are bringing their pathetic message of hate and discrimination to San Francisco this week.

Please, go back to Kansas.

Their tour of hateful protesting through San Francisco “includes the Contemporary Jewish Museum (12:15 p.m.), the Anti-Defamation League (1:10 p.m.), Jewish Community Center (1:50 p.m.), Lowell High School (3:20 p.m.), and Golden Gate Theatre’s “Fiddler on Roof” (7:20 p.m.)”

See, not only do they “hate fags”, but they’re also Anti-Semites! Charming bunch.

The Jewish Contemporary Museum is about 3 blocks from where I work. If it weren’t for the unavoidable feeling of self-loathing resulting from stooping down to these degenerates scummy level, I’d be all for some brick throwing violence during my lunch break tomorrow.

As it stands, I’l likely have to settle for making a witty sign of my own and hoping others turn out to drown out these racist, hateful, misguided people.

30 Best Anti-Westboro Baptist Church Protest Signs

January 27, 2010

bg/ish: Back In The Saddle

I’m back on my bike after getting hit about nine weeks ago and breaking a tiny bone in my wrist. Not good times. Yesterday was my first mash. My taint hates you. My first ride was all nerves and apprehension. No confidence.

Today felt a little better. A fleeting moment of feeling good again. I’m almost forcing myself to do it. The rain had been providing a convenient excuse. Today was dry. Had to push.

It won’t be long now, I’ll get my swag back…

Which leads us to, this weeks Wednesday Wobble

January 27, 2010

bg/ish: Well…?

Seen @ this isn’t happiness

January 26, 2010

chair: untitled

I forget how my love affair with pharmaceutical drugs began. My journey through the adolescent drug phase didn’t’ even take off until I entered my twenties. High school was a sheltered, sugar-coated daze where I drifted between groups of friends, anchoring myself with the bad boys but never participating in their afterschool activities. I would only hear about their shenanigans the day after, when threats of suspension or expulsion would spread quickly across the tiny campus.

Growing up, I watched my single mother buy cases of Heineken and inhale packs of Marlboro Lights—an image that grew taboo in our family because in our culture, women don’t do that. Men are allowed their cognacs filtered with sparkling club soda and ashtrays reaching their brim, needing to be emptied every few hours. Even now, two decades and a stroke later, she secretly sips wine with her medication. The cruel irony is that she’s asking me to pour it for her. Somehow, growing up in her shadows, I’ve inherited her traits. The smoking and drinking that I grew up hating is now my lifestyle. Her indulgences were, no doubt, a result of a lonely life. And I’m filled with remorse and sadness when I think of what she might see as I come home stumbling from drinks. I’m approaching my mid-twenties now and the layers are beginning to peel. It’s funny how our silent common denominator is also reason we’re growing miles apart. I can only begin to fathom her train of thought. Me, her youngest daughter, caught up in drugs and alcohol, an obvious reflection of her past. She’s brought the topic up various times, caught me red handed and even ate my stash of tainted brownies that I carelessly stuffed in the freezer. “I feel funny,” she said. I tried to laugh it off and told her they were spoiled, while having an anxiety attack but carefully battling it with a helpful green pill.

That green pill is the product of months of feigned mental sickness. It first came in the form of a scored, yellow pill that my ex-boyfriend’s dad was prescribed for anxiety. I remember going through their medicine cabinet, looking for bottles with warning labels and checking online to see if there was any potential for abuse. I struck gold with a bottle labeled “Clonazepam”. I convinced him to give me most of the bottle, and I began experimenting. The pills became party favors that I would wash down with a beer and hand out to unsuspecting friends to try. No harm was done, or I just had no memory of it.

I do remember my next episode, a kind of follow-up introduction to this family of prescription drugs. I was in tear-inducing pain from an infected front tooth, sending me to the dentist’s office. I was still an undergrad, working part-time at an office job and uninsured. I was told that I needed a root canal for my left front tooth, which sent me into a fit of vain hysteria. Eventually, I calmed down. The dentist gave me a prescription for valium, which I knew via popular culture, made you literally melt in a sort of anxiety-free dreamland. I remembered this, shed a few extra tears, and got a few extra pills.

Idle days at the office meant my rate of online productivity in all things useless went up. I bookmarked sites with pages of information on prescription drugs, the symptoms under which patients were prescribed specific drugs, and started to memorize them. At this time, I was already an experienced drug user and loved my highs. I dabbled enough to know which highs I preferred, but prescription drugs was a new territory. My reservoir of information proved useful, as I began seeing a psychiatrist at school. It’s insanely easy to be diagnosed with depression, brainwashed into thinking there is maybe, no definitely, something wrong with your chemical makeup. I was prescribed various anti-depressants and would pretend to be taking them, but complain of the various side effects that were popularized online and eventually, I got the medications that I came in for.

I was already buying various drugs off the black market, but obtaining a legitimate prescription made life easier. I now have a certified history of mental problems and could pretty much get what I wanted out of my fifteen minute sessions. These sessions continued after I graduated and I was getting refills that I would have no use for, since my medication was taken on an abuse-only schedule. But by this time, I had shared the wonderful care-free drug with too many friends, most took to them well and I didn’t mind sharing. It was like I was injecting a modicum of happiness into people’s lives, and it made me happy.

Anxiety though, is not something to be fucked with. What started off as a casual encounter is now making me question my own sanity. I haven’t stayed sober long enough to really figure it out—but I think these periods of experimentation and abuse has made me somewhat dependent on these pills. My bookmarked pages are less about ways of potentiating the drugs and more about possible withdrawal symptoms. I’ve grown kind of obsessive, creating a calendar to track my binges, and subsequent breaks. Recent stories of celebrities overdosing make me laugh and cringe simultaneously as the autopsy reveals the list of drugs found in their bodies at the time of death. I go down the list, putting a check mark against the clinical name, quickly recognizing them in my own medicine cabinet.

I’d like to think I’m a responsible drug user. Legal troubles aside, I try to keep my recreational doses at safe but enjoyable level. Last Saturday, a close friend called me after I had gone to bed. It was an early night, only because I had started drinking at five that afternoon. “Dinner” ended with two pitchers and a little green pill that I took on occasions where I wanted to be extra sedated (that night being one). He was calling to see if I had Xanax. I did. It wasn’t my prescription, but having established a pretty effective medicinal bartering system with some other friends; I had pills of various colors, sizes, and uses. He was in a fit of desperation and although it worried me, I agreed to give him a few of everything. He was going to make a trek down from the Valley, roughly an hour commute, to pick up his bag of goodies.

I’ve had many moments of epiphany that made me want to quit, get my act together, whatever. I’ve gone on enough self-awareness hiatuses to prove to myself that these pills don’t control me. I handed the stuff to my friend, someone I considered intelligent but misguided, having only begun his drug experimentation phase less than a year ago. I gave him my verbal warning, expressed my concern, and sent him on his way with mood stabilizers. He drove off, probably back to his apartment to enjoy whatever cocktail sent him into euphoric bliss, and I went off on my own dreamless, voiceless slumber. The perfect kind.

January 25, 2010

Movies…Fuck ‘Em – World’s Greatest Dad

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.”

In my review of films from 2009 earlier this month, I listed several films that I was planning to watch that I felt could shake up my Top 10 list upon further review. At that time, I’d intentionally left World’s Greatest Dad off of that list. I had planned to watch it, but held out very little hope for enjoying it. Well, let the shake up begin.

I loved this film. Written and directed by (four words that always put a hop in my step) Bobcat Goldthwait, it is the epitome of a black comedy. It explores the most selfish, narcissistic and easily influenced nature of people, and somehow, manages to squeeze just enough redemption out of it to make you feel good.

The subject matter is, well, I don’t know… Taboo? Inappropriate? Cold? The characters are, well, unlikeable? Pitiful? Disturbed? So… why do I wish I was sitting on the couch with them at the end of the film? Why was I nearly moved to laugh and cry at the same time by someone being called a “douchebag”? Why will I never be able to hear Queen’s “Under Pressure” again without recalling this film and how much I love it? (Think “Ooh La La” and Rushmore.)

Well, the answers to those questions, surprisingly enough, are, Robin Williams, Robin Williams, and Robin Williams. And if that doesn’t fuck with your head as much as it did mine, then you clearly aren’t familiar with my taste in film. The truth is, Robin Williams as Lance Clayton is to this film what Bill Murray is to Rushmore. And listen, I just don’t go around throwing out comparisons to Rushmore on whims and fucking cookie crumbs.

Another thing, and this is something that I didn’t appreciate immediately. This film is beautiful to look at. The shots are gorgeous and profound without being obtuse or pretentious. For example, near the end, Lance is walking across a parking lot, and is stopped just short of stepping over a painted parking space line by another character, Andrew, impeding his path. The symbolism in this shot is simple and moving, and when you see the film, you’ll understand that at this point, although nearly there, Lance Clayton is not quite ready to cross the finish line.

I’ve purposely avoided talking specifically about the story. There is not a twist, so much as there is an event that drives the story forward for the last two-thirds of the film. A lot of reviews or synopsis of the film you can read will talk openly about it. Personally, I knew nothing about the plot going into watching the film, and, I think I gained more satisfaction from seeing it this way.

If you feel compelled, watch the trailer. Or, you can take my word for it. But either way, I hope you’ll give this film a chance.

Bobcat Goldthwait has crafted a work of dark, foul humor, full of scathing satire and selfish, loathsome people. It’s simply brilliant.

* * * * *

I have to say, the soundtrack for this film was also top notch, and introduced me to this tune, which has been wrapped around my head ever since…

January 22, 2010

bg/ish: Fuck. That.

This shit gives me the perma-creeps…

Seen @ Laughing Squid

January 21, 2010

bg/ish: This Is, Most Likely, NSFW

Seen @ The Percy Trout Hour

January 20, 2010

Movies…Fuck ‘Em – 100 Reasons Why