Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Part One

“Soup or Salad?”

“I'm famished. When are we going to eat?”

Sylvia looked up from her book at her husband standing in the doorway. Why does he always have to be like this? One of the reasons they were still together was due to his persistent need to always get what he wants.

Her eyelids fell heavy as the acid dripped from her lips.

“What shall we eat, dear?”

Sylvia hated him. His presence was a knife that shivered through her skull every time he entered the room. His sweaty glistening forehead was growing larger each day and the brain beneath that shine grew more useless. He padded his belly with an insider trading appetite for filet mignon and mutton stew and online escort services, his ever shrinking hooded scepter disappearing from her life. No complaints there, it had never been of much use anyway. Couldn't provide a child or an orgasm if his life depended on it. She should count her blessings, especially now that he began to carry a strange unrecognizable odor.

At first she thought, or hoped at least, that it was the smell of the unwell, maybe a sickness that would take him from this world, but once the odor grew and began to permeate every eave of their home, Sylvia understood that her thoughts of chivalry, of her knight of the diseased order, were not to be fulfilled. The stench that her husband of ten years began to acquire was simply the sweet scent of success, the smell of those who feel that they deserve everything that the universe has given them. It was the perfume of privilege and the more that Sylvia sensed it in her nostrils the more it smelled of coiled and burning fat, hearty and rich, lathered with the proper dose of oily perspiration. It quite often made her gag.

She recalled his aroma from their years at Cornell. It was more the sour and acrid taste of desperation, or perhaps it was determination, the two weren't so far from each other on the periodic scale after all. Although, now that she thought about it, it seemed like this new scent had always been inside his skin waiting for the opportune moment to come out. Even when her desire for him cloaked all of his disturbing predilections, in the back of her mind there was a warning flash that echoed like the dull ache of a migraine that hasn't quite caught hold. She was young and foolish, like everyone else who grew up with the promise that this godforsaken place will take care of you, that your dreams are bound to come true so long as you watch enough television and discovered what it is you were supposed to be dreaming of in the first place. He bought her beautiful things and took her to swanky places and introduced her to the wealthy, and all of her princess visions swarmed through her mind with the misguided touch of enticement and the poisonous taste of decay. She fell under the spell of what he had to offer until it was too late to see that all he was offering was misery and the slow death of being compartmentalized. She was simply another item in his collection of privileged pieces, priceless until the cost of the divorce would tally her true worth.

Uuuuuughhh, how much longer would she have to wait?

Sylvia shuddered at the thought of the years that still lay before her. He wasn't large enough for a separation, wasn't at that obscene section of the privileged trough, wasn't gorging himself on the innards of those less fortunate than him. Not yet. He was still learning how to truly devour, to emaciate the landscape around him and eventually discover the ultimate gift of all great economic predators. How to cover his tracks? Because he didn't want to end up like Ken Lay, dead in disgrace, face down in a jail cell while the press pissed all over his carcass. No, it didn't have to be that way, people got away with it everyday and the keys to the kingdom were only available to those who were very committed. Sylvia knew that her husband was one of those people, learned it long ago when their marriage was more about her guests than the two of them and in order for him to reach the peak, he needed a devoted spouse to help him smile before the onslaught of vultures who would do anything to take him down. She was the ultimate shine of jewelry that he'd purchased to fit on his left arm. It didn't take much effort on her part to become accustomed to that role.

But she hated it and she hated him with every ounce of her soul. Every day she contemplated the choice between taking him down and destroying all that he worked for or suffering through the muck of their marriage until her big payday. Both visions offered treasure, one material and the other complete psychic bliss. Either way she would have to wait, it just depended on how long that wait was going to be? He was too small after all, puny on the hook and would be thrown back if she took the bait too soon. He couldn't continue to breathe, to go on living while she threw herself upon the blade. No, if she was going to bring him down, she wouldn't go to her demise alone.

She kept her eyes on the page of her book, though she didn't see a word, as the lasers from his eyes tried to burn through her defenses. She softly practiced her mediative breathing and composed her heart into blankness. Having too much time on her hands was bound to be good for something.

His voice was shaking with control when he finally spoke to her.

“I hear there's a great new restaurant down in the Valley.”

Her eyes were dead when she looked up at him.

“And who did you hear this from?”

“The new receptionist.”

But his eyes flickered down for a brief instant and she knew right away that the receptionist was actually one of his whores. There was always a new receptionist wasn't there? No need to address that issue.

“Hmmm, what kind of food did she say?”

Oh, but why bother asking, it was bound to be another steakhouse.

“It's a steakhouse, but apparently this one's supposed to be special.”

She could feel her stomach clenching up at the thought of endlessly chewing on red meat. For chrissakes, there better be a decent salad at this place! Placing her book on the side table, she stood up and turned to him.

“Sounds very nice dear.”

“Uh, you're not going dressed like that. Are you?”

(go to part two)

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Going, Going Gonzo #1

After seeing the movie Gonzo: The Life & Times of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, I've come to realize that it is vitally important that we discuss the crucial elements of our times-politics, religion, community, education, culture, the future-with those around us-family, friends, coworkers, neighbors-so that we don't have any regrets about the path that unfolds during our lives. One of the greatest aspects of Thompson, beyond his writing of course, is the spirit with which he approached life. He never hesitated to ask the awkward question or engage in heated dialogue or cause discomfort upon those who become too comfortable. For more than a decade he was a revelation in the mainstream press and his impact was felt in high places.

For too long I've remained on the sideline when ignorant fools spew hatred of fear or ignorance, holding onto the heart of "political correctness", only wishing to keep the boat from rocking, trying to remain high and dry, never realizing that when we allow such evil ideas to thrive with our silence that our ships have already sunk. So now I'm attempting to change my reticent behavior by engaging in dialogue with my fellow citizens.

First up-the coming Presidential election.

This is the most obvious avenue to pursue at the moment since we only have three months til our national identity changes, either minutely or in a big way. Plus, this is one of the first Presidential elections where I see such an obvious need for a certain candidate's success. The United States of America has gone down the wrong rabbit hole my friend and the view from here ain't very pretty. We are in the shitter and their is one reason for all of it; the Bush Administration. They have made colossal mistake after colossal mistake and we are reaping the rewards. Now, most people might take umbrage with my using the word reward in regards to what has recently occurred with the economy or the war or the cost of oil, but I feel that ultimately this all will be a blessing.

Yeah, the Bush Administration has destroyed our way of life and their war on terror has caused the deaths of millions of people and our presence in Iraq has crippled our military threat throughout the world, which only allowed the price of the dollar to plummet and their lies have caused hundreds of thousands of good-hearted Americans to lose their faith, along with their pensions. But...but here's the thing, that's what we needed so that people will finally pull their eyes from the highs and lows of the Bachelorette and start focusing on what we need to do to change this country into an instrumental power for change.

That's what I'm hoping for at least and if that really happens, people will understand the terrifyingly simple reality that John McCain is going to do nothing to change any of it. If people don't come to this understanding, all I have to say to everyone is this, "You ain't seen nothing yet." There is only one electable candidate who will try to create some changes that might lead us down a brighter road and that person is Barack Obama. Let's not kid ourselves. I'm not saying that he is going to be a savior, a superhero who will prop the crumbling infrastructure upon his shoulders like the mighty hand of God but at least the man will give an honest go at it, at least it'll be something different. Right now, I can handle that because I've seen the road down which were currently traveling and it scares the shit out of me. John McCain may be a nice individual and he probably would have been a much better President if he was elected eight years ago (God I wish it were so!) but at the moment, the idea of that man sitting in the oval office is terrifying.

It's enough for me to tell people that they have to vote for Obama, people who I'd imagined would normally vote for someone like McCain, someone who probably voted for Bush, someone like my Mother. And I got a positive response for my first time out into Gonzo territory. She actually sounded like she really would vote for a black man for President. I was shocked! But then I must admit that I'm a bit judgmental when it comes to my parents, and you know that the moment a judgment is cast it's so difficult to alter the way we look at the dice. We've already made up our minds on the subject and the perspective is very persistent. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that this Gonzo attitude created such quick results and that's when the conversation took a turn down much more familiar territory.

She starts to tell me that there's one thing about Obama's campaign that she didn't really like. It was an image that appeared on her teevee of the candidate during his current worldwide tour. He was in Afghanistan, she tells me, with the troops and the thing that she complained about was that all of the troops around him were black. I was so stunned by the comment that I was struck silent as she waffled and hemmed and hahhed regarding whether that's how it truly was or if it was simply this one image that she saw...but yeah, she didn't like it.

This is the exact type of scenario that I'm talking about when I say that we can't remain quiet. Racism is alive and well in this country and this election is going to reveal this terrible fact quite dramatically, seeing and hearing it in obvious ways, without shame, and it'll also be revealed in many utterly subtle ways that most people won't even recognize. Like this vision that my Mother witnessed upon her network televised program of Barack Obama cavorting strictly with his fellow black folk. It was probably a small segment of the entire program, I really don't know because I refuse to watch that shite for this exact reason, but it was enough for my White Mother to be threatened by all of the blackness that Obama might bring along with his Presidency, like a step-cousin who can help but ruin the family reunion.

My first reaction was one of dismay, I mean, why would she think that Obama's campaign would plan something like that? Would they really only request soldiers with a certain skin hue? And how in the hell would that actually benefit his campaign? In fact, as my Mother pointed out, it could only hurt his view with White voters. So, once you ask these simple questions, it seems quite obvious to me that someone with the network manipulated the tape so that Barack Obama might take a step back along his triumphant march toward a better America. Someone who just happens to be a racist.

I don't even know what network it was, although one quickly comes to mind, but imagine what type of reaction all of the true racists out there had to that one. My Mother, who only seems racist some of the time and will quickly waffle about that fact whenever she reveals it, was pulled right into their scheme, hook line and sinker and I can guarantee that there were a lot of people out their who "just didn't like it" either. A lot of people who are searching for an excuse to follow their heart even though they know it's not the right thing to do, because the evil residing in that heart is eating them from the inside out and it is the reason that we're stuck in the stink. It's the heart of Bush Co. and it is the heart that will eventually destroy everything that we hold dear...

...if we let it.

(to be continued)


Thursday, July 17, 2008


Quinn is moving around! Rolling and twisting and squirming and inching her way everywhere. I found her in the playgym on her elbows and knees, so the bug will soon be crawling. I'm not sure how ready we are. The first time around, we were a bit ignorant of all that lay before us but we had a such a beautiful attitude about everything. Even though it was difficult, we strove to embrace it all. Now that Lucas is almost Four, we have so many different challenges that we have to face before Quinn can walk all over us. No matter what anyone says, the second child doesn't fall under the same umbrella we initially called parenthood. It's not quite so new, the spokes kinked at certain spots and the fabric torn here and there, allowing the weather to briskly affect our comfort. She's still a wonderful delight but can I please have a moment with her that is mine and hers alone?

This week, I was able to do just that when their Nana took Lucas for the afternoon and Xtimu went to work. Lately, I've been writing like a mad fool whenever I have a moment free but this time I piddled around and ended up flipping on the all-star game and scooping up my little cherie to hold for a couple hours. It was such a pleasure to communicate solely with her beautiful nature. At six months old, it's an age where their aura brightens and they begin to really let you know who they are. Quinn is a gentle light that fills you with love until you are swollen. My heart was so restful after those two hours that I had a smile on my face for the rest of the night...

...that is, until the National League lost. Bastards!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Six Months: The Second

Quinn has a sensitivity to dairy. Lucas had it for a short while as well when he was her age but it wasn't as dramatic. So what all of this really means is that we haven't been eating or drinking anything that has cowmilk in it. We've substituted goat milk for some of our needs, such as cheese, and other types of milk, soy or hemp or almond, for our liquid necessity. It's worked out well for the most part and the adjustment has gone over smoothly, cheese being the only thing that I greatly miss and since I no longer eat burritos every day for my own personal health, dairy has been noticeably absent in all of our lives. We've also cut out alcohol for about a month because Xtimu is currently on a moratorium. I've had a few beers here and there but otherwise have remained sober.

The strangest thing happened. On the few occasions that I have cheese now, I immediately notice how much it affects me. My sinuses get clogged with the vestiges of phlegm. For most of my life, I've woken with this problem, hacking up in the morning and clearing out my nostrils before I can even get the day started. When I met Xtimu, she told me about the problems that she and her family had with allergies. I thought to myself, Oh that must be terrible, since I've never had to deal with allergies...or so I thought. Suddenly I have this feeling that I've always been allergic to cowmilk!

Then I began to think about it. Lucas had an issue with it when he was breastfeeding. Once he reached a certain age, we began to make blends for him with cowmilk in them and for the longest time he was passing really mushy bowel movements. So we decided to cut it out of his diet as well and now he has perfectly formed poop. He hardly has to wipe!

And now Quinn has a problem. She gets really congested...I mean REALLY congested. She also gets a very noticeable red mark around her nose. I asked Xtimu what she thought and it grew into this long discussion about the health benefits of cowmilk. Is it truly something that we should be putting in our bodies? We've been told throughout our lives that it's an essential part of the food pyramid and that we need our dairy every day. But who invented the food pyramid? Was it guided by corporate interests like everything else in our society or is it actually beneficial?

I don't know? The more that I think about it, the more I become convinced that human beings weren't designed to drink cowmilk. Maybe it's one of the root allergy problems that have affected humanity since we domesticated cows. Just because it's easy to obtain, doesn't necessarily mean that we should obtain it. Ultimately, what I have noticed is that the more that I regard my children and their dietary issues and habits and desires, the more I learn about myself.

In these past few months we've developed a keen awareness on some of the things that aren't really vital needs for us. We're learning about the activities that we truly want to embrace. It's a profound awakening that is continuing to grow in our family dynamic. I think that one of the main reasons for this is due to our roles as parents. The simple act of raising children has opened our eyes to renewed purpose, both in the ways and needs of our children and in our own personal desires. This is the great gift of parenthood and the one aspect that is so difficult for those who are not parents to understand. It's a perception that's enlightened by the presence of these divine kids.

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