Monday, June 27, 2011


Okay... maybe I like this blog too much to give it up.

Sigh... well, let's just call the past two weeks a vacation. Since FestivALL's over, I have lots to talk about now.

More to follow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eat your head

There comes a point when it becomes time to do new things --and this blog is an old thing. It's a wonderfully clunky, anachronistic hodgepodge of my observations, artistic muddlings, noonday confessions and general everything except math homework --but it's sort of reached an impasse.

Probably, because it has been everything, it's become sort of nothing and while I love this thing, it's time for me to put it down for a while.

This does not mean I'm quitting blogging. I am not pulling a Hippie Killer and gently going into that good night. I'm just focusing my activities in two other places. Think of it as the various members of the band going solo.

The Gazz blog I'm running, which seems to be getting some traffic, will be where I do some of the stuff I used to do about my job with music. The boss seems to be okay with me going off the reservation a bit. I can say I don't like something. I can disagree, which wasn't always the case --see Gazz blogs circa 2004.

Anyway, that's going to be the lightweight stuff --the family friendly stuff --the silly and fun stuff.

The other place... well, that's a different journey. I'll be a different guy.

I'll start in a few days. Maybe you'll find me.

Meanwhile, I'll keep the door here unlocked. I might come back one day. So, stay out of the liquor cabinet. The good stuff's in the closet anyway.

Thanks for reading. It meant something to me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gym class heroes

Over in their little corner of the gym, the muscle-heads were chuckling it up --discussing loudly, their deep admiration for internet porn. Old women in hot pink spandex, wearing jewelry and old men with black socks, not wanting to look embarrassed, scooted quietly over to the back row near the windows or across the room to the clunking, grinding noise of the treadmills.

If the men, all of them giants, noticed they were making a few geezers uncomfortable, they didn't let on.

"I like the women to look normal," one of them said. "You know, I've got plenty of moles on my body. I don't want them to look too perfect, you know?"

Not everybody agreed. They liked what they liked. In a wild, excited cacophony, the men rattled off names of places they went, each representing a different flavor of masturbation --none of them were familiar to me, which seemed kind of funny. While it's not one of my all-consuming passions, I can honestly say I've looked at some porn. I've had roommates who were huge into it --one of them, once he got into a serious relationship that included frequent and vigorous sex, decided to divest himself of most of his collection.

There wasn't much of a discussion. He figured he didn't need it. I'm not sure how that worked out in the long run, but from his room he brought out a bulging leaf bag full of DVDs and video tapes.

I remember he only kept the stuff that was signed by someone --a vaguely Asian porn starlet he went to high school with. He also had an action figure, I think, a 12 inch, doll on some kind of stand. He kept it on a shelf next to his collection of Star Wars action figures.

He offered to let me have whatever I wanted of the stuff, but sheesh... it was a lot of porn. I passed and the guy who took it, kept it for a single weekend of relentless self-abuse before he gave it to Goodwill or his church or something.

But anyway, I know porn. I just didn't know nearly as much as these guys.

The sites they visited were practically boutiques, offering only specific images to them. They also cost money and not everybody liked to pay for the opportunity to jerk off to porn clips or pictures of dwarfs doing housework while wearing flippers or whatever.

"I'm a big fan of redtube," the one guy, the loudest guy said. "I like anything for free."

The weirdest things happen when you bring your kid to the gym.

Friday, June 3, 2011

word search

I got the e-mail this morning. He said he found me through google --some sort of alert. His business is business communications and marketing --an Ad man --and he was from Bluefield.

I should mention that I used to work in advertising. I was a copywriter and creative director for a nine station radio company. The company is in Bluefield. I worked there for four years, went to school just down the road and grew up about 40 minutes from the place. It was my neighborhood.

I looked him up. It seemed only fair. We couldn't pass as brothers by any length of the imagination. He's probably 20 to 25 years older than me, but well-scrubbed, successful --a millionaire according to his biography --with a staff working for him to help conquer the world.

Really sort of amazing.

He told me he got these alerts because of my byline, which pops up from time to time. He said he liked what he read and asked if I thought we might be related, but no, we're not related. At least, it seems pretty unlikely. My dad is from Arkansas. I was born in Michigan. We moved around some before settling in Virginia.

Parts of my family tree have been submerged. The roots are obscure and secrets have not been revealed, but instead, have been held tight for generations. A few years ago, I found out I had a cousin who'd been given up for adoption almost a decade before I was born. Before that, I was told that my grandfather might not have been my father's Dad --not that it matters, but there's probably other things lurking in closet behind those moth-eaten winter coats.

I thanked him for reaching out, told him it was nice that someone with the same name was doing so well. It was a fascinating, though probably not entirely rare occurrence. These days, it's very easy to discover dopplegangers and namesakes through the web. It's just as easy to reach out to them.

But I'm the kind of guy who believes more in signs and symbols than random coincidences. I'm just crazy enough to think the universe is constantly playing some ridiculous game of charades with everybody all the time --and this feels like some kind of clue: a man from my neck of the woods with my name --which common enough elsewhere was always rare back in the day -- working in a field I came from, making contact.

Why? I'm stumped. Pat can I buy a vowel?

Maybe I could have been that guy one of these days --if I'd stayed with advertising. I was good at it --diabolically good at it. Maybe I could have been that guy if I'd made a couple of right turns instead of gone left or the other way around.

And I have frequently mentioned that I get mistaken for other people on a fairly regular basis. I always look, sound or remind people of someone else. There's always a cousin, a brother, an uncle or an old friend of a girl someone used to date. It's endless and only a handful of people in my life, outside of blood relations, have ever said different.

I'm mostly at peace with this. There are only so many possibilities out there and while we may all be unique snowflakes, some of us are going to tend to look the same --and besides, it's mostly worked to my advantage. I blend in when I need to and can seem oddly familiar when such a thing is more helpful.

I don't know. It's cool, but it's also pretty fucking weird.