Friday, December 26, 2003

A run of good days unparalleled in recent history. Head bobbing in Christmas headphones here in-office under lights around conference room corner and no breezes no not ever. The coffee is cheap. Air fabricated. Welcome to the homeland of industry. And but so teeth chatter and beat’s got my chin working. I am smirking like the bad guy but just can’t help it. I really got into the story yesterday. Couple more hours and I’ll be in back in the thick of it.

Lost in Translation. I don't know which is better, the movie or Ebert's review. Let's call it a wash. Make it a double.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Birthday time. Well-wishes and cash donations accepted.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Friday night: a festival of carnival proportions. We descended upon Matito's in various degrees of physiological disrepair. Staff provided food and drinks gratis and we ate, drank with vim under the multi-colored lights of Christmas parties present. Our performance reinforced every holiday party cliche in the handbook. The staff appreciated our efforts. We toasted. But then no we really didn't. Bottom-shelf red swirling down amid a flurry of handshakes and intros and serial name trading. All beers spiked with citrus while mass-produced margaritas engendered kind words between enemies.

I was voted Christmas Party King. Which information shall not leave this conversation.

Captain Slaughter, an editor and leader of men, was conspicuously absent, no doubt throwing back a cheap cocktail somewhere in rural Oklahoma. No doubt wishing he could have seen Bernadette and Dorothy and Jill and Celia et. al. (distinguished, finely dressed women with husbands and children and bridge clubs) cutting a rug to the likes of Outkast and James Brown. Merlot came out of my nose.

When the free drinks dried up the vultures retreated for warmer climes.


Friday, December 19, 2003

Working: Panther.

Playing: Pollack.

Loving: Justice.

Annihilating: History.

Waiting: Patiently.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

We head out to Oz Park early, which under the circumstances arrives just before noon. Ben beats out a broken rhythm, tapping the knob of the bat on concrete every few paces as we head east on Cornelia. The clouds are sliding fast south-to-north, a pile of big, white Volkswagons, and the air is cool and damp on the neck. The circumstances are grim. Last night we wound up at the 404 Wine Bar at some absurd hour, stumbling in and pushing through like we were looking for something. We found enough to keep us occupied and paid for the drinks with the evening's tired last cash.

Joe showed up at some point toting a tall blossom on his right arm. She didn't have a name, as far as I can remember, but Joe insisted she was a supermodel in Japan. Indeed, she knew every East Asian patron within blocks and service suddenly came smiling with row upon row of fresh potable. Joe just smiled and nodded as she explained a bathroom break in her second tongue. Her English badly broken and hardly discernable. Her hair over the shoulders a crescendo of follicular competence. Joe ordered us drinks in a stupor.

Four, maybe five spilled out pushing it. Daylight pending, we headed to Joe's and crashed out on fine couches.

Ben twists the bat in my side and jars me loose. We hit the grass running. It was the first time really smelling sweet. The texture of it rising from the ground and mixing with noon rays and synergizing. The ball drags on wet grass and hides in the sun. The rounds are difficult but good. The torque of throwing makes a knot inside my arm. A knot I've been getting since grade school. I fight through it and it flattens and the ball launches off my fingertips like a javelin, cutting a wide arc about 15 feet off the ground and popping into Ben's mitt opposite.

As the afternoon ripens, the heat gets its momentum and turns us into panting layabouts. We walk back to Ben's and rest, and as evening comes we too gain momentum and the heat retreats to accommodate. By 9, 10 p.m. we are clean and well-groomed, inaugural drinks in hand.

It only takes seconds to call. We do, and last night's lovely devils come in heartbeat after heartbeat and join. We are group mentality. We are mob action. We are individuals out to make a difference. We are tight. Heading streetside we get a cab and exit spread the word. Upon our arrival. Wallets snap shut. Gather round. Young. Eyes never so wide. Ever.

Monday, December 15, 2003

KARMA, 1999
The stairs down are perilous, and the traffic moves with no regard to its conventions. I am crawling with early-morning desperation over the sweaty-backed relics of a New Year's Eve gone haywire. The fire department will close this club within three months.

My eyes float in a sea of various liquors. My heels fall heavy. I am repeatedly arm-bumped wallward. I am bruised and overhot. Sankara pushes past suddenly and pukes on the landing. Ben grabs our fallen comrade and pulls him up. Arm-shoulder-arm, they push on wounded. The entire action so like a battleground cliche that the scene is an insult to war veterans worldwide.

My Marlboro soft pack is hopelessly smashed. I push back. We are streetside momentarily. I find Ben, Sank, in the service alley 30 yards away. Janet and Lindsay coax cigarettes from passersby. We have lost a few. People and cigarettes. My neck is coiled. Cabs are few and far between. Wind chill puts razors in our bones. We are the finely dressed remnants of a New Year's Eve gone apeshit. We wear neither coats nor boots. We are a portrait of drunken stupidity as five, maybe six trudge arbitrarily over the snowpack. Lindsay weaves her arm in and covers my right side. We hold on for the hope of warmth and balance. Our grip is numb but for the pressure. Lindsay sticks her cigarette through the nap of her scarf and puffs away. The whitewash of smoke and breath swallows her head and lingers and peels off the back and drifts away. With every inhale. Exhale. A locomotive.

There is no cab to be found. We are learning lessons. Decisions embedded in the frost.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

On the importance of being aware. George Landown spoke of this shit in detail years ago. It fascinated me then. We meandering art consumers — always looking for connections. And always looking for another excuse to interpolate the word “gestalt” into casual conversation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Not that I haven’t been busier than a parasite at an anemics convention, but I do feel a touch of guilt about my spotty posting of late. Yesterday I didn’t have a spare second and my Mac was suffering from what IT professionals refer to as “prejudicial file intercourse.” A late night was had by all, if by “all” you mean me and like two other people. Dallas winds were kicking it old school by nightfall and power gusts seriously fucked up my mojo as I careered homeward on I-75. I was all over the road, but then so was everyone else. After 15 fender-benders and 360-degree wipe out, I pulled into my trusty parking space and headed indoors. My days are short.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

How does Objectivism reconcile P2P music file sharing?

Which is a bitch of a query considering the possibility that its relevence is subject to debate. Because shit, is file sharing even illegal? I’ve heard fire from one side and brimstone from the other and my ears are burning up in the mess. I want a cogent, utilitarian argument. But the music sharing debacle has become a political wasteland of its own. I.e., few of the key players are trying to appeal to logic, opting instead to employ misdirection and propaganda. Suffice it to say that when a product is overpriced, a black market will emerge. But I don’t want to get mixed up in all that right now. Spoon feed me.

Objectivists are a pretty headstrong lot. Independent. Ambitious. And capitalistic to the marrow. So answers. Please.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I rode in the back seat of the Fastest Cab in Chi-Town, my fingernails digging into whatever piece of upholstery centrifugal forces delivered me into. And I can't remember where we were headed, but I'm fairly certain that it was not Beaumont Bar & Grille. Minutes earlier, as the evening's fledgeling drinks began to take effect, young Brandy McCluster put her elbow through a plate glass window and sent several patrons to the ER with sundry cuts of tremendous depth. That was at BB&G, and while we felt somewhat responsible for reasons that my legal team advises I keep off the record, we quickly closed the tab and headed streetside for the next taxi out of Dodge. Brandy soon forgotten, we twisted the cap off a pint and clutched tight as Moses delivered us to Anywhere Else with cunning automotive dispatch. We re-capped the bottle and pushed out somewhere near the college-bar strip of Diversey. Walked up a half block in headwind, turned into a burger joint and plied ourselves with greasy loads of cheap sustenance. We made ourselves proud. We walked out with headsteam and headed back down that half block, turning off Diversey to the side street and picking the first bar on the right.

Hadley's concoctions were a stiff mix of alcohol and brilliant blue electricity. My gin & tonic trembled on the bar, the glass sweating off the heat. The ice cubes. What ice cubes? I drank down the sparks and cleaned my chin with a backhand. Ben got shot and shot again and I was obliged to join him. By midnight our ecosystems were begging for mercy. We showed none from there on out because we are put off by weakness.

Jessie and Lindsay and Janet came through in the clutch, joining us, they in their skirts and dresses and cosmopolitan coats. In a warm bar basking in the smell of clean girls in coats coming in from the cold. My head ends on a shoulder. My cheek there. Background blur. Focus. I live for a minute within a radius of my own construction.

This has been a test.

• I’ve got post-nasal drip, dry eyeballs, carpal tunnel syndrome and a whisky-swilling editor who left a disturbing graffito in my guestbook. I will press charges.

• After stellar holiday fun at a cavalcade of metropolitan watering holes, I spent the weekend in that exquisite pre-sick state where a potent blend of sneezing fits and gelatinous emissions turned my apartment into an overly viscous version of Splash Mountain. So I chilled out flu-style — tossing back a noggin or two of hot toddy and cozying up in front of movies and football.

• I may or may not have broken up a fight between dueling street cats. One might have had the other’s throat in its maw. Maybe a tire iron was involved. What I do know for sure is that the confrontation precipitated the loudest caterwaul in feline history.

• Don’t take my absence of late as an indication of creative ebb.

Paris Hilton

• I still ain’t quite right. But coffee makes me grow.