“It shall take a long-term, keenly processed, whole-world paradigm shift in our consciousness
to perceive, acknowledge, and accept that all we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste are but five tiny shells on one small
dune on the cosmic beach-head of Everywhere Else.”
“So you want to be more than you are?Fine.But be prepared for it to take
effort- hard work and self-discovery.Be ready to spend a lifetime twisting and
turning at the puzzle.And then,when
you’ve finally given up hope,the answer will be delivered,and the changes will come.And the changes will hurt.”
- Fred Burke
The point is, for me, while these two statements are not mutually exclusive; I am undergoing each
in a long, exhaustive paradigm shifting sense.
And it hurts occasionally.
And it’s exhilarating, freeing, and fun, occasionally.
Mostly it’s just good old-fashioned WORK.
Doin’ the JOB.
…Where was I? Oh,
I remember. Alone and in a constant state of torment. I awoke at with an ache in my chest that made me afraid
to touch my hand to it; for fear of encountering some gaping wound. Ribs shattered, splintered and protruding, the still beating
heart the source of pain.
In the unanimously panned ‘Star Trek V:
The Final Frontier’, Kirk is confronted by Spock’s renegade Vulcan brother, Sybok, who is, among other things,
an empathic healer. He offers to take away Kirk’s pain and Bones is trying to convince him, to which he says:
Kirk: Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with
a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose
ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain.
So you see. My closest friends (I can still count them on one hand), know there is no
cure for me being who I am. It’s mine, it’s my choice. If this is all I’m being given, then I will cherish
it as if it were the most precious of gifts. A beloved possession; my hell, my torment, my pain. You could stare at the artwork
I give away for years and not get the barest glimpse of it. And hopefully you will never know the black thoughts that churn
in my brackish mind; that haunt me daily, hourly.
My wit is diseased. Somebody should just put me out of my misery. They still shoot horses,
6am, I fade in and out of sleep and dreams of violence, tenderness, and terror. Nothing
makes sense; it’s just like being awake. Just because a thing happens doesn’t mean it should be. “Come on
sweet amnesia, you’re needed here tonight.”
Here for a short time( I'm going back to
Memorial Day 2005(last year, not a typo)
Even though the trip to Ohio was strange,
I had no inkling of what was coming once I got back to Seattle. Bellevue, home, whatever.
Even now, I ache inside, empty, longing
and not-rightness tearing my soul apart.
What do you do when you care so deeply,
when someone who was such a part of your life doesn’t want or need you there anymore? I’m not sure. I care, I
love her and her son, but I can see my presence and all it entails to me: faithfulness, loyalty, truth, commitment, monogamy,
and above all love; was not going to fix this because, despite what I hoped she was saying, she’s not interested in
a working relationship with me. That’s RELATIONSHIP not FRIENDSHIP.
If you know me, and you have the deep unfortune
to actually be one of my friends, you know the demands I’ve made on you in the name of friendship. And what I’ve
done for you in return. And in some warped, confusing way, I would never make those demands of my romantic life partner. My
friends have paid their dues in more ways than just not sleeping with someone else. That’s small potatoes compared to
what Dangerman, Cypher,
Logan, D-Man and Yoda; hell, even my boss,
have been asked to do for me.
I though just leaving would be the best
thing to do. I mean- I make no bones about being an all or nothing type of person- at least when it comes to a relationship.
So if I’m not someone she could be faithful to after 3 years, what was the use?
Three years of commitment, support, sacrifice,
love, care, work and time.
I have yet to even get a cursory apology
for the betrayal, the humiliation, the backstabbing deceitfulness and seemingly casual disregard for everything we ever said
we meant to each other.
If you’re a woman, tell the person
you’re leaving why. And no matter what bullshit story you’ve made up so you can live with yourself, the real reason
is always, always the same. They don’t want to sleep with you anymore; they want to sleep with some other guy.
That’s what we want to hear.
a bunch of nonsense about how we can’t relate, how we don’t communicate- they’re the ones cutting off and
disconnecting because they can’t face being such a slave to their appetites. So it has to be a failure on everyone’s
No. I never turned away. I never stopped
and I resent not being told the truth in so many words.
I’m still here. I’ll always
be here for her. Or the boy.
Use me while
it’s own ends
inner workings of
love and honor
many times a day are you absolutely, positively certain about what you want?Without
a shadow of a doubt, no room for negotiation; all or nothing “this is what I want.”
maybe twice a day.
hungry: I want food.
sleepy: I want to go to bed.
else in between is up for grabs.
do you think you want?
want people and things to stay, not change, not go away or die, break.
things do change, people do leave, move away, move on; things break, die.
not fast enough to suit us.
is all artifice; there are no permanent structures anymore: I think September 11th showed us the folly of thinking oneself
untouchable. Unbreakable. How do you do it?
an artist I feel much more deeply and immediately EVERYTHING around me. Most days it is just too fucking much, I have to filter,
I have to make the world make sense to me- is life like a movie today, or a book?Is
life like a song today?Is the soundtrack something we can tolerate? A piece
of music so sublime it soothes my fragile, shattered psyche.
famous writer once asked:
you aware how much pain there is in the world?”
I believe I do. And I care. And it makes me angry to feel helpless, inadequate, and inconsequential. Is it a life or merely
do we make it all count for something?
you slowly, gently Drawing the words from your lips Truth from stone I am the devil And I may care
in our perspectives Only hands holding Us forever together apart Delight in recognition A cherished name whispered
Over and over For all the world to know
The sequence of forms Becoming exercise Of the inner-ness
of being A dalliance with the mud Bringing our fruition
Turning myself slowly, deliberate The words coming
from The place I have not want known I am an angel And I don't care
-Sin Titulo Minor 1997
vomit of the psyche. At present, I seem to be adrift in a sea of it. Confusing but tangible and manageable, if a bit messy.
But if you’re smart, you can get it cleaned up with a minimum of fuss and clutter. What do all these random archetypes
represent?What am I trying to tell myself with these confusing actions and misplaced
and misspent deeds and gifts?
One used to hope it would all mean something, lead somewhere, but
I think there are too many Suckers at work out there, and what we think are the noblest of our works goes unnoticed; uncared
Can’t sit still, can’t wait for whatever it is, but
won’t move forward, either. Full on Hamlet: this is about when everyone’s had just about enough of my shit.
Thank you so much. In the words of the late Sam Kinison, do me a
favor: if you love me- kill me, run me over, shoot me, I’m in HELL---HELL!!!!!
Except for these brownies. Thank you Del, wherever you
was I? Oh, yes, IN HELL. Heh heh heh… So, yeah, but I guess I’m choosing to be here; I guess we’ll all just
have to wait until I chose to leave.
So quit pushing, I’ll just push back- HARD!
you goddamned bet you will not like what happens. Vindictive is still my middle fucking name. Sometimes I wish it would rain
You never know what you’ll see as the zoetrope of life goes
whirling by you. Shadows and light. Today I feel like a ray, piercing the darkness around me; but remember, every silver lining
has a dark cloud.
The red-haired girl on the bus is two seats up from me on the opposite
side, reading; oblivious. The rounded outside of her thigh delicious, tantalizingly in view, clad in faded blue denim, frayed
promisingly at the seam. The back of her hand is smooth, strong looking but not worn or overly veiny. Her sweater is my favorite
shade of red. I’ve never seen her before in my life, and I’ll probably never see her again. And we all know I
won’t as much as say “hi” to her. Ah, the exquisite romantic torments of the artist’s mind.
goodnight to the Sandman.
was I? Oh, I remember. Alone and in a constant state of torment. I awoke at with an ache in my chest that made me afraid
to touch my hand to it; for fear of encountering some gaping wound. Ribs shattered, splintered and protruding, the still beating
heart the source of pain.
In the unanimously panned ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’,
Kirk is confronted by Spock’s renegade Vulcan brother, Sybok, who is, among other things, an empathic healer. He offers
to take away Kirk’s pain and Bones is trying to convince him, to which he says:
Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the
things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken
away. I need my pain.
So you see. My closest friends (I can still count them on one hand),
know there is no cure for me being who I am. It’s mine, it’s my choice. If this is all I’m being given,
then I will cherish it as if it were the most precious of gifts. A beloved possession; my hell, my torment, my pain. You could
stare at the artwork I give away for years and not get the barest glimpse of it. And hopefully you will never know the black
thoughts that churn in my brackish mind; that haunt me daily, hourly.
My wit is diseased. Somebody should just put me out of my misery.
They still shoot horses, don’t they?
6am, I fade in and out of sleep and dreams of violence, tenderness,
and terror. Nothing makes sense; it’s just like being awake. Just because a thing happens doesn’t mean it should
be. “Come on sweet amnesia, you’re needed here tonight.”
owes respect to the living; to the dead one owes only truth.”
in a darkened eye
than pools of
the dragon wings across the sky
tears the stars from sight
coils of Leviathan
those smaller stars
as only a mother can
us from harm
away fresh tears and scars
shall the light return
cast the knighted land to day?
will there not be spurn
the words that lovers say?
care where you travel
responsibility for the words you have said
action is not without consequence
in heart, or soul, or head
I think the last text entry didn’t make much sense. But for the sake of posterity, I’ll let it stand for now.
I wish I had something I felt was weighty, philosophical and poignant to discuss today, but it’s just the same crap
as yesterday and the day before.
I completed an anger management course recently. We dealt with the physical
reaction to our anger, but the deeper more psychological come to the fore as you learn to make yourself calmer. And then you
have to confront your thought process and belief system.
If you know me, then you might be aware that, despite whatever I’m
putting up with, I still think I’m always right and that my way is the best way.
Because of the course and other significant changes going on in
my life, brain, thought process, etc. I’m learning to slow down, ask questions, listen to different perspectives, and,
more importantly, explain myself more than I used to.
But some wounds run very deep, and every scar is a badge of honor.
It’s going to be a very busy September. Be safe wherever you
why it’s all breaking down structure wise.
was ignoring all but my own most basic self-preservation instincts. I’d flipped that mental switch on my emotions and
became consumed with grief and, in some way, making atonement.
I figured if I made myself feel bad enough it would be plain to
everybody how sorry I was for the way things working out the way they did. But- there really was no one there to notice- and
God forbid I open my mouth to draw attention to my misery. Eternally prepared to suffer in my silence.
Oh, I suppose I could go on about my theories of art, what drives
a person like me to create. But, I’ll tell you, all artists are inveterate liars. You could ask me about anyone of my
paintings every day for a year and never get the same story twice about what it is.
This is not my fault. The answers probably differ, but not greatly,
and each one would contain a grain of “the big picture”.
I can look back on my sketchbooks, particularly the earliest ones,
and say I drew the majority of that work in order to get laid. Years later I would realize I was going about that all backwards.
You have to let your personality develop, nurture it and let your awareness grow. I stunted mine for years on a steady diet
of strip clubs, comic books, sci-fi and alcohol.
But eventually I did begin to LIVE. Much to my shock, I found out
I was a far more decent person than I had led myself to believe. I cared about people; I worried incessantly about the health
of my family, myself, and those friends close to me. If anyone needed help bad enough to ask me for it, I was there.
But life goes on, eating up your good deeds along with your misspent
ones. Does anyone ever get ahead? It’s dangerous when you start feeling that way, because, as it has been pointed out
to me, that’s when the ground falls out from under you.
I believe in unconditional love. I’ve searched for it all
my life and I’ll probably die looking for it still.
memoir from the summer of love; 1991
an artist, I sometimes find the most obscure and circuitous route to draw or paint whatever I want, while not disappointing
my imagined audience, whom supposedly expect a certain degree of material or subject matter from me. There are paintings on
this site which are just that.
while on the surface is a portrait of a centaur or satyr girl is really, for me, a study of trees. The same with 'Three Lanterns';
the 'Raphael' paintings a need to paint ancient architecture or temples, churches.
is a famous drawing- or series of drawings- by Barry Windsor-Smith called 'Withering', the original features a spectral figure
of a skull headed being in a cloak fading into a heavy forest. The second version features just the forest. The third features
Dante Rossetti in place of the specter. Each executed just for the sake of drawing some trees.
get me wrong, I love the human figure more than any other subject still. And there are pieces which are all about the subject:
witness 'Ariadne', 'Polaris', 'Bowl of Night', the ballet dancer paintings. I swing both ways.
now I'm at work on a painting featuring roof tops in Paris. It's my most ambitious piece ever, I think, and it should be done by Christmas time.
And I'm already resisting the urge to pop Hellboy or the Shadow in there, up above the city, stalking some elusive prey. I
hope the plain, more commercial version will win out. Yay for me. Yay art!
you ever been hurt?
bad that it felt like everything you are has been taken away from you?
we're still here, despite the fact that the life we knew is gone, lost to us forever. Which is not always a bad thing. And
all we have now is the future.
the kind of person who struggles with my anger at those kinds of losses; those kind of hurts.
I know that if I let that anger consume me, I'll lose that future, too. And that's all I have.
don't know what fabric lies beneath the life we live, but on the other side of our mortal pain, there must be a place of sanctuary.
not convinced that God, the Powers that Be, or whatever you subscribe to, I'm not sure they want us to be happy. And I'm paraphrasing
C.S. Lewis here, I think they want us to love and be loved. But we are like children, thinking our toys will make us happy
and the whole world is our nursery. There's a name for the thing which drives us out of the nursery and into the lives of
others, and that something is called suffering.
do we do all these things to each other? In the end, after all the reasons have died with us, what's the point? I can't help
feeling we're all being used. Manipulated. Using each other. That somebody somewhere has set us all up. And they're laughing
at us as we fall, taking each other out, one by one....until we're all gone.
suki desu. Itsumo. Itsumademo.
is it that makes a man a man? Is it his origins, the way things start? Or is it something else, something harder to describe?
I thought for years that I was only capable of defining myself by my pain, what I had endured, what I could endure which forged
me into the sword of spite, insight and torturous logic I wielded. By identifying that pain in others and forming bonds of
friendship that way. Flawed, the botched, the bungled.
it the art that defines me? No, that is merely the process through which I am coming to know who I am.
now I’m just holding that sobbing little boy I was and reassuring him that he is okay, that I love him and everything
will be all right. That he can play however he wants and no one can make fun of him. And it doesn’t matter if they do,
because they’ll all never know that joy, the absolute pleasure of being your own best friend. I’m trying. Lord
knows I’m trying.
the Great Wrong Place you can see truths you hide from yourself. You can’t hide a lie, can’t deny
your nature; you embrace it. And there you’ll learn how to nurture that wounded self and bring it back to whole; the
sum of its parts yielding its glorious being.
movie was right; it’s what a man does that makes him who he is. How he arrives at the means to an end. Is he constantly
building something newer, better? Refining a thought process, updating ideas and discarding old destructive paths of thought?
How he treats himself, family, strangers. What is important to him?
could be more important than the welfare of his fellow inhabitants of this planet?
you living your best self?
I just as full of shit as you?
is a gypsy caravan, steals away in the night To leave you stranded in Dreamland Distance is a long range filter Memory
a flickering light, left behind in the heartland." Rush-'Dreamline'
had quite a harsh dreamscape lately. I think my brain is still processing the new information- additions to the dream language. There
was a dumbwaiter that was being used as a toy box. A lengthy college lecture given in a huge horse stable. Sea creatures
undergoing a sea-change, frightening, but I could not look away. The narrative of the dreamscape hasn't become apparent
of consciousness from the artwalk. A strange time on the artwalk. Everyone seemed to be speaking some thick, Eastern Block
language. I'm not wearing nearly enough black. Eliza, the Pirate Queen is in the kitchen, she's got her cat ears on. Is she
even 21 yet? Her conversation is peppered with references to her Mum & Dad. Grim doin's at Shorty's; you really
need a few members of your tribe with you to drink comfortably in here. Again. I'm not wearing nearly enough black. And
this Cosby sweater itches. The Guinness is disappearing very easily. I am an unapologetic drinker and meat-eater. I've
ordered the veal just to piss the vegans off. Eating only vegetables automatically lowers your ranking on the food chain;
think about that. For a minute I think about dying my hair or shaving my head, but it passes. Mmmmmmm...Nasty Nachos. The
carnival decor is alarming. One tries not to get sucked into it. Right about now I'm wishing for one of those acid flashbacks
they always promised us would happen if we ever dropped a tab. ---Please...? You ever notice the freaks only ever come
out to mess with you when you're least equipped to deal with them? Thank God for these scathing jalapeņos; at least it
distracts me from the swill I'm surrounded by. And though this all I can't help but wonder where the dream will lead tonight. There
are kids in the next booth not old enough to even get the 'Summer of Love' reference he's just made. I can't really begrudge
them, everyone's entitled to their own little summer of love; I was only four at the time, anyway. I think Riff Raff just
came in looking for Columbia and Magenta. Easin' on down the road,
Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie
was the last time you were truly happy? No, really. When did that wave of inescapable, pure, joyful knowledge that you were
truly, deliriously happy beyond all your wildest dreams- so much so, that you didn't even care that that state of being is
transient and fleeting at best. You just appreciated it for what it was for as long as it lasted. That's what I meant.
we wake up.
honest, there are times when you wish people wouldn't wake you, wouldn't intrude on your dream with their questions, concerns,
and those annoying little day to day, day in day out nigglers that fuck up our perfect reveries.
does it work? Because it works.
should it happen? Because it happens.
was the last time someone who wasn't YOU tried to tell you that you were unhappy? Hm? Bit presumptuous of them, don't you
there's some truth to the old adage "you can lead a horse to water...", but if the horse just doesn’t wanna drink, why
let it beat you up? Let the dog lie. He'll get his day eventually, and he'll be all the more happy if you helped him by standing
back and letting him do on his own time.
I cast two shadows- most of the time. Nothing unusual about that, most people, animals and other
inanimate objects do. One from sun or moonlight, one from man-made or reflected light. The DIFFERENCE is between things
which are INCIDENTAL and things that are ACCIDENTAL. Can you control which shadow you cast? Didn't think so. If
you tried, perhaps you could prevent your self from casting an accidental shadow, but who really has that kind of time? Obviously
not everyone, when even airlines can't prevent mere accidents in the wake of world-wide tragedies. Sometimes you're just
gonna cast a shadow. And if you don't think you do it in the dark, you're wrong again. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to
the phrase "scared of your own shadow".
This was all going somewhere. Accidental/Incidental and the fine line
between. Many incidents can arise from a single accident. Can a single incident cause many accidents? There's one for your
next philosophy exam. Incidents and accidents both occur because of, or arise from CIRCUMSTANCE. From that you may infer
that many of the predicaments we find ourselves in on any given day are, by and large, circumstantial. Accident or incident,
depends on your point of view. Or whether or not you need to(or want to) blame yourself, or somebody else.
first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." -Henry VI, part II William Shakespeare
10-05-001 supplemental to 10-02-001
This usually never happens, but I had an after-thought
about the last entry and instead of just letting it fly, I think I need to revisit it in this context.
is based on a scrawled note to myself from 1994:
SO- nobody KNOWS anything. Nobody knows anyone, and nothing matters
and what if it did? Life as we know it means nothing, unless you SHARE it. Most people, without CONSCIOUSLY knowing
it, are living, walking, and talking contradictions. It's not intentional, I realize, because I'm one, too.
ever MEAN to confuse folks, but, if you pay attention, you'll find yourself contradicting something you once said, something
you once believed in, even someway you thought you felt- almost on a daily basis. We can't help it, the curse of humanity.
Everyone has double standards for how the people they know should act and how they themselves should. It's nigh inevitable,
and if you claim to know otherwise, I'm here to tell ya Sparky; You're a liar.
If you never explain yourself, you
may end up a lot better off, but you'll end up really frustrating the folks around you that are trying to help. Don't
explode without a reason and always explode the minute you have one. All we can do is live.
"Wave on wave of life Like the great wide ocean's roll Haunting hands of memory Pluck
silver strands of soul The damage and the dying done The clarity of light Gentle bows and glasses raised To
the charity of night" -Bruce Cockburn
I've been trying to reclaim some part of myself. That indefinable part.
The part that realizes that sometimes even your memories aren't your own. Those events shared with someone else. Intimate
moments. Or even ordinary moments made special by the people or person you happened to share them with. All those memories,
picked over, edited, deleted, and compiled in somebody else's memory banks. How does it make you feel to know this? That
your memory of an event or a person may be colored entirely differently in someone else's mind? So, in futility, it seems,
I attempt to reclaim these things- intangible thoughts. Take something away for myself that no thoughtlessness by any other
can ever touch.
Hmmm. Lots of wool gathering. Can't wait for the next bonfire of the vanities. A hint of rebuke
and more than a few regrets. Don't take it personally. I'll try to do the same, deal? And maybe that's what this art is
all about. Some of it more than others. Like the ones that sprang whole from my mind, unbidden by some patron's request.
Pieces like "Three Lanterns" and "The Veil" still have a sense of mystery, even to me. Where they came from and why, as opposed
to "Fellowship of the Rings" or "La Vie Dansante", which people asked me to paint for them. I'm not saying they don't have
their own air or magic to them. It's just different because I can point to a source- instead of say, an idea.
"Sounds like you still have some issues." Well, yes. I do. But they're MY issues. "Don't you think that they might
be the thing that's holding you back?" So? I mean, really. Who doesn’t hang on to a few old ghosts and memories
and a whole cache of false hopes? You just can't let them define you. But I imagine they're very much a part of who I
think I am. And if letting them BURN in my mind is the thing halting my evolution, so be it.
"If I can't have
a pony, I want a shotgun!" -John Belushi
So here it is and the night train is in my ears. I just finished a painting I'm hoping to post with a whole new batch of images
in a few weeks. It came out OKAY but I should have taken more time with it. On the next one, I promise. Where’s the
best hotel to stay at in Bali, I wonder? 'Til next time, watch your back!
"And isn't it ironic? Don't 'cha think?" -Alanis Morrisette
It's official. I am Karma's
red-headed step-child. Collective sigh of relief. See? And you thought it was you. I've started to look for the patterns
again, the cycles we move through in our lives, repeating and rearranging different orders, but the same basic events- over
and over. It has to do with how we process low-level broad-spectrum input. Pattern recognition. I'd like to think
that my artistic background helps me pick up on these things as easily as I can. NOT that I always WANT to. It's like when
you SEE an optical illusion, once you get the trick, you CAN'T see it any other way. Remember "Finda da Pope inna da pizza"?
There's a certain amount of discipline involved in training yourself to see things as they are, as opposed to most normal
folks who only see things as they REMEMBER them to be, do you follow? We get lazy and stop trying to see things the way they
are once we've accepted the "normal" point of view. Things Change, remember? I think that's how we arrive at which people
we consider to be the "Great Artists". The ones who've mastered and then proceed to play with how we perceive or recognize
"When you create you get a little endorphin buzz. Why do you think Einstein looked like that?" -Robin
And that's part of it. I'm not sure who catches on to this earlier, men or women. Catch me when I'm drunk
enough and I'm sure I'd say men, but go figure. But answer me this; what names spring to mind when we think of great athletes,
musicians and artists? Hmm? It's a man's world, baby, get over yo'self, mama. Those activities are the sort of things
boys start out fairly early developing. We create music, art, sculpt our forms because we are lacking the ability to give
birth in a biological way- and most of us guys don't realize until we're 10 or 11 that what we really want to do, what drives
us most of all, is the desire to help MAKE babies. All the other stuff is just window dressing. Yes, Virginia, it's true.
Artists just want to get laid. And paid. And when we can do both, its heaven. Pure job SATISFACTION. The trick is figuring
out and being able to realize that those times are fleeting and far between, so make the most of them when they come along
and appreciate it, LET THEM HELP YOU GROW and then move on. And hopefully you'll be able to show others down the line that,
"Hey, its okay. We all do that sometimes. Here's how I get along..." And so we open the door and give ourselves another
chance to grow. 'Til next time, peace.
"We all live under the same sky We all will live, we all will die There is no wrong, there is no right The
circle only has one side..." -Travis from "Side"
Is forgiveness a virtue or a fault? I'm starting to believe
that the human soul's capacity for ALL emotions is FINITE. I'm not exactly sure what I mean by that. Perhaps it's that
I think people are prone to let themselves get 'used up'. They get used to things being a certain way and never try to expand
those borders or horizons. They only go so far and sputter out and die, they have no guide or map for the territory beyond,
so they just stick with the same old avenues and nod vacantly at the other denisions of their blasted wasteland of relationships
and figure 'this is it, it's as good as it gets'. I sincerely hope someone has the good will and mercy to blow me out
of my socks if I ever utter any words like that myself. I will not lie down! I will not go quietly! WE can have
things the way we want them, you've just got to EVOLVE. And never, ever settle. If your situation is not what you thought
you wanted, be brave, change it. We must all be willing to keep on learning. If not, you'll probably end up as one of
those shambling husks I see when I'm out among the masses. Killing time until someone finally comes along to cover them over
with the dirt for their nap. The ones who AMAZE me are the people who become more ALIVE as they get older. I'd like to
imagine those are the folks who 'get it'. I think it's time to wake up.
09-13-001 GET A GRIP! I'm not gonna tell ya again!
09-07-001 Things Change. That's the number one law of this or any other universe. Oh, there are minions
of order in their own little pocket dimensions, where everything runs like clockwork. Everything is in its place and accounted
for, where and when they eat, sleep, work, work-out, and love. etc. All on schedule. But I wouldn't want to live there. I
find it funny when the crack in the sky opens just enough to give us a glimpse of those other places where you wouldn't be
interested in going. The gravity of my world is never too oppressive. I constantly feel given to flight. My pens
and brushes are wings, canvas, boards and paper- sky. Ah-ha, you say, but what is this "quintessence of dust" without
that spark of something greater? Something from beyond? Something divine? Guard your mind. Don't try to play with
other peoples heads and always protect your own. REMEMBER- you're never as smart as you think you are or as smart as people
tell you you are. Feed your head. If you want to know something, go out there and study it. All that information is right
there- it's up to you what you do or don't do with it, but "I don't have time" is simply unacceptable. "In time I will
collect the world."- from a song by Toad the Wet Sprocket. I am becoming less bitter, but maybe that's just the cynic
in me. When you cannot control your environment, make damned sure you're not letting IT control YOU. You have to rise
above temporal discomforts. Things are okay, could be better, and could be worse. It all depends on your perspective.
Unlike Norman Mailer, who shed a year on his last wedding day, I AM a free man in Paris. Kissed by a rose from a grave. Super Green. Are our natures issued at birth? Along with our hair and eye
color, height, features, fingerprints? There's an odd phrase- "the myth of fingerprints". No two persons prints are the
same, is that the myth, then? Coincidence is the great munkar. The devil in our details. Unaccountable ignote. Coincidence?
08-11-001 Hola from Ohio's vacation paradise! I was walking along the shore
of beautiful Lake Erie yesterday. My friend and I were out on Cedar Point Causeway doing an estimate
for a hardwood flooring job, and to kill time I wandered on down to the beach. Ah! That lake smell! Anyway, as I strolled
along I couldn't help but notice all the other footprints in the sand. All over the place heading in all sorts of directions.
Now, while the great majority of free-thinking Christians might think of a particular bible passage immediately, I have
a somewhat more mystical or romantic bent on my perceptions. You see, my first thought was along the lines of- "What if
that was my soul mate’s footprint and THIS is the closest we will ever be in this universe?" Followed secondly by- "What
if those are the footprints of (one of) my long lost loves and this is the closest we'll ever be again?" Much later, while
I was enjoying a fine dinner at the Sandbar, it occurred to me that when there is only one set of footprints (instead of two,
say); those are usually the times when you were strong enough to walk them alone. So stick that in your pipe and smoke
08-08-001 Do you remember your dreams? I'm not speaking metaphorically, I don't mean all the things you thought
you wanted to do with your life-I mean the dreams you have every night. Most of the time I do. The other night, for
example, I dreamt of a spinning Wheel of Fortune, the kind you see on the tarot cards. Then a flaming, orange daemon or spirit
or SOMETHING in the shape of a dragon tried to take control of my body. But my guardian green dragon drove it away. Of
course, these are the sort of dreams that wake you up at and don't let you go back to sleep. It's almost as I'm writing this now. Why am I up? I dunno. I know that I'm tired,
I WANT to sleep. But I just don't. On a spiritual level, I feel alot like the new kid in the shower at the detention center.
Not that things aren't getting better-you can only go up from this vicinity. I've never felt I like had to be on my
guard like this before! I've never been particularly sensitive to spirits, guides, and angels, what have you. I don't
doubt they're there, hell, I've seen ghosts before- I just can't seem to see those benevolent little mysteries, like auras,
people are always trying to tell me about. And I don't necessarily trust the people who say they do see them. Seeing is
believing, I guess. A side note on angels. In my circle of friends, I believe it is a consensus that none of us would
particularly WANT to see an angel, let alone hear what it had to say. "Shape up! All that 'God' stuff is for real, and
boy are you pissing her off!" Probably.
08-02-001 "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss
gazes also into you." -Nietzsche
"too much caffeine" jitters are becoming a bitch. My sleep habits are becoming more and more messed up. I've been
looking into the abyss, again. Its familiar territory to me and returning to it now and then makes me feel like the prodigal
child. Embracing the darkness. Or does it embrace me? Pretty sad when it's the only thing reaching back is all I know.
I'm sure I feel it has no small claim on me because of the indiscressions of my youth and the desperation of passion.
How many times have YOU sold YOUR soul? But then there's some who say that the soul is not yours to give, that it
belongs to and serves a higher purpose. You see, I am lost. Ever wish upon a star only to realize that you've just
pinned your hopes and dreams on a passing airplane? Oh, well. Better than wishing on somebody else's star.
a key here, somewhere, that unlocks that maze. A hidden lever that, once tripped, will spill out all those things you think
you've lost but you've only just secreted them away from yourself. Why? As Mark Twain said, "Sometimes too much drink
is barely enough." He also said, in the dedication to "Following the Equator"- "Be good and you'll be lonesome." I
must be a fucking angel.
07-30-01 "Just leave me alone and I'll be okay." This is becoming the mantra I chant to my memory just to get
through my day- and most of the night. Being cursed with an artist's memory is the most torturous part of being me. "I
wish I could draw." If only every person who ever told me that knew what the fuck they were really saying. Yes! Yes! I
want to instantly be able to recall every experience I've ever had in excruciating detail! Everything I've ever seen, that
my eyes have followed and my hands have traced, be able to leap into my mind the same as if it were happening now, whenever,
without warning. And leaves one curled in a fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably, murmuring "just leave me alone and I'll
be okay", over and over until it sounds like gibberish. Yeah. You want that. Just be glad I'm me so you don't have
07-23-001 You shouldn't try to take the short-cut to maturity and growth. Don't be tempted to short change yourself
and your experiences. Just go through it, whatever it is, whatever you think it is that you can't face. Too many people
attempt to fill up these gaps with "things". You can't will your negativity into a stone or some crystals, burn it up
in a candle or some incense. True SATISFACTION in learning a life's lesson for me comes from having the courage to go
through the fire myself. Embrace that lesson and you'll find out MORE about who you are. Don't deny your soul and its
chance to grow. In the end, we're all just here for the ride, try, and you might just find out you'll have a good time.
I read once, and I'm paraphrasing here, "If you're going to play the game, you can count on some bad calls, botched plays,
lost games and generally being tackled and having the stuffing knocked out of you. But you'll never forget what it's like
to have run with the ball".
Two (Don’t ask what happened to Chapter One; there’s not enough gin in the world to make me regurgitate that!)
end of 1990 going into '91 saw my first ever great love affair. With something besides a gin bottle, that is. And the
start of a new sketchbook to chronicle the better part of a year of hell I put myself through because of it.
fell for this girl named Stacey while I was taking a sabbatical from Eide's. Everyone had gotten raises but me. Anyway,
she clerked at the specialty 'Toye & Gifte Shoppe' I came to work at for a few months, until the fateful day when
we both pretty much quit. She the goth-punk rebel; I the chivalrous albeit misguided idiot. So I crawled back to Eide's,
confused over my feelings for this girl who, all together now, guys, "just wants to be friends", and my incredible, yet
soon to be short lived luck, at getting my old job back. Still, anytime Stacey invited me out to do anything with her
weird group of socially misfit friends, of course, I went. If only to feel geeky and left out of their cute little in-jokes.
But I digress. It was on one of these excursions that I was introduced to Tony, Dee and Sheree. Tony was a big RPG
gamer and was currently running a game called 'Cyberpunk', and, gee, would I want to play? No sooner had the invitation left
his lips then his room mate Sheree wandered in. Duh, sure, I'd like to play... I figured the way was clear for me to pursue
Sheree, because Tony and Dee were in a committed relationship and even Stacey had told me the next day how much Sheree had
liked me. So, after a few gaming sessions and a little flirting- comic book artists wannabees flirt by doing sketches for
people- I asked her out. She was about 5'3", long, wavy chestnut brown hair, heart shaped face, fine features. I was smitten.
Even more so than with Stacey, because this girl actually seemed attainable. I remember our first date- burgers at the
mall and Mel Gibson's "Hamlet". Later that night I took her to see my friend Ed's band play and we got pelted by Hostess snack
cakes they threw from the stage. It was a great time. Well, we sort of dated for the rest of the month, maybe shorter;
meanwhile, sinister forces in the form of our gaming group were at work behind the scenes to ruin our rendezvous.
short version is that Sheree was also interested in this other guy in the group. A friend of Tony's that treated women like
Kleenex. What girl couldn't resist? So I moped around for a month or so, drank myself silly, and generally slacked off at
work. This led up to a series of events which ended up in me being asked to remove myself permanently from the warm comics
womb of Eide's. Jobless in Pittsburgh is not something you want to be.
In a week or
so, after my money ran out, I found myself at a telephone market research company that my friend Brian's mom helped run. It
kept me in beer money for most of the summer of '91. By chance I ran into an old friend from the comic shop who told me
that my friend Matt was home from the Navy and there was a party going on at some guy named John's house. John it turned out
was the brother of my friend Michael, whom I knew from the gaming group. One of the few not involved in Sheree and my parting
ways. Feeling as optimistic about a reunion with some of the people I'd been avoiding for the last few months, I wander
up the hill to the house. And there they all were, sitting around on the front porch, consuming mass quantities of beer, iced
tea(the kind you got in cardboard carton's from places like Coulteryan Dairies or even more coveted Fike's), and Gatorade,
while they exchanged bullshit stories; John, Des, Tony, Matt, Michael, Mark, Beth, Brian, Jesse, the other Mark- and Sheree.
As it would turn out, some variation of this rotating cast of characters could be found here on a near daily basis. I'd
brought my sketchbooks along to pass around; this would save me time from having to tell everyone what I'd been up to and
leave me free to drink as much beer as possible. Things went well. So I started hanging out in Mount Washington with this crew. Bonded with beer and bullshit, the occasional joint, music and art. Des and John
were all about starting a band that summer and rehearsed constantly in the spacious attic of his grandmother's house.
day we ran out of beer. Matt and I wandered down to the corner to the beer distributor and convenience store to stock up on
liquid provisions. On the way we passed his parent's house where Matt's girlfriend had been trying to track him down. With
her was a very pretty blonde girl of indeterminate age who was left to make small talk with me while Matt and his girl went
to have a few words in private.
What follows is a recollection of the encounter I wrote down, probably some time in
was looking for love
a ship trying to fix on a beacon
learned how to sigh
the ribbons and wires
a habit that's so hard to weaken"
On The Air'
was pretty in the way the girls of the WB would be years later, seemingly intelligent beyond my wildest dreams. And she left
with Matt's girlfriend before I could get her phone number.
But that was okay, because she sent it over with Matt the next day. I called her the day after that.
Yeah, we each thought the other was pretty interesting. Why don't I come over and visit her some day before I went to work?
At the time I was working at a market research company at a cake-like conducting telephone surveys. Once you
convinced people you weren't selling anything, it was pretty easy.
Anyway, back to Wendy. That was her name- still is as far as I know. She lived in a little, cottage like house a block or
two across the tracks from South Hills Junction. She was home alone most days 'cause her folks worked, and her brother, who
was just out of the Navy, was out with his friends or unconscious most of the time.
What can I say? She was charming. Having nothing to talk about, initially, I brought along my sketchbooks to fill in the gaps
in our conversation. But, talk we did, at length, about almost everything. I couldn't tell you exactly what we discussed to
this day, but it certainly seemed deep and meaningful and full of that underlying tension of two people who found themselves
alone and attracted to each other. We sat side by side on her folk's couch and just luxuriated in the company and presence
of each other.
Then I had to go to work. She walked me to the front door and I'm pretty sure she asked me if I wanted to kiss her. Well,
duh. What started as a soft, tender and tentative gentle kiss became passionate and full of hunger. I ended up being a little
late for work that night.
So I started going over to see her, some days before work, most nights after work. And we stayed up into the early hours of
the morning. I remember one night; we'd been making out rather heavily, and were taking a breather. I can still see her, looking
across at me intently, emotion washing over her features; upset about something so obvious neither of us had figured it out.
I asked her, "Are you in love?"
Tears came as she nodded, she couldn't even speak so she just pointed at me. As I kissed those tears away I prayed to whatever
gods were listening that I'd always be there to do that. It was two weeks before my 25th birthday. Wendy was 17, I think.
Now. Somewhere in all this whirlwind romance, I lost my virginity. And not to Wendy, as fate would have it. I know, I'm a
slut. And all my romances and relationships since this time have been scrambled versions from this template.
I'd been striking up conversations with Sheree whenever I'd see her around. I'd even walked her home a few times from John's
and even kissed her good-night. I tried to let her know she could consider me a friend, if she ever needed one. Especially
around the hang-out gang that gathered nightly at John's.
Well, one drunken, stupid night during a band rehearsal at John's I was flirting with about very girl who was in the attic.
Sheree, Jesse, the band's girl drummer who's name escapes me, a neighborhood girl named Rose, and John's cousin's girlfriend-
I forget her name, too.
I was getting nowhere. I think I was getting too drunk for Sheree to continue paying attention to, and when Ryan showed her
a little too much unwanted attention, she went home. I went downstairs to wait for a turn at the restroom. Out walked Rose,
who walked straight up to me, grabbed my head, and stuck her tongue down my throat. Wow.
She was what you thought of when people talk of meeting the proverbial farmer's daughter. Long, honey blonde hair, lots of
curves, generous to a fault. She lived with her sister, "Bug", a few blocks up the street from John's, just a few doors down
from where Sheree was staying.
we ended up making out in from of everybody who was left after the jam session, including the other John and Des, who had
the biggest crush in the world on her. After a week of sticky nights, reveling in the attention of the local females, I ended
up alone with Rose in her apartment. That was all she wrote.
I wasn't doing much artwork just then, a few character sketches, a painting of one of Ryan's old Cyberpunk characters, but
I hadn't even gotten a new sketchbook yet and the last one had been full for over a month.
After much cajoling, I finally got Wendy to come up and visit with me while I hung out with my reprobate friends on John's
front porch. Next, she went with me to the Ryan's-going-into-the-Army party. That was the first night we spent together at
my place. Then things started to get strange and strained.
Wendy started hanging out at John's while I was at work. She played guitar like he did, and when the band's girl drummer got
fed up with vying for John's attention and quit the band, it turned out Wendy's brother, Darren, was a drummer, too.
So, I was walking her home one night and we were having what I had come to privately think of as another one of 'Wendy's bullshit
rants', when she drops the bomb. She just doesn't feel the same way about me anymore. When she kisses me it feels like
kissing her brother. Which, in retrospect, I think I was too stunned to accept as a truer statement of friendship than I would
ever get from a woman again. But I had cared for the girl, she'd said she loved me, and it still hurt. Even through all that
stuff that happened above.
I asked for all the books and cds I'd lent her and took off so she wouldn't
see me cry. Which I didn't actually do until the next day when I was alone in the woods, after my run. The next day I had
to take her lingerie back over. She struggled to play me a new song she had written; I sat there, listening to her story about
a pretty girl in a sun dress who took a ride with a boy named Jimmy Dean, shell shocked and wondering: was this
the way it was always going to be?