Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Here's something I was doing ten years ago...

So I've been paddling in the slough of despond for a few days now -- a week, actually, now that I think about it. Thankfully not the "I've got to tear a hole in my skin so I can crawl out of it" kind of depression but the more sedate and genteel "I've been walking between the TV and the fridge for more than an hour; I seem unlikely to make any decisions in the near future" kind.

No writing or drawing or school or basically anything worthwhile has been done in a week; enough of this nonsense. Glendon Mellow has hit me with my first meme. (A troll, a meme -- internet, I have arrived!) Now I have no idea what this crazy gadget is supposed to do -- I suppose the only thing is work my way through it one step at a time.

It's called the Five Things meme.

Five Things I was doing Ten Years Ago

1) I was working in a book warehouse as a box lugger. The hardest part of the job was staying away from the vast areas where poorly-selling titles were shelved -- that's where the art books were and after I found stuff like Thirty-Six Ghosts and One Hundred Views of the Moon, both by Yoshitoshi and both in the hundred dollar range I realized I lacked both the sense and will necessary to resist such temptations.

2) I was playing a lot of music, bass and vocals and songwriting and even accordion, once. Band practice four days a week, including two full days. We were in the process of recording the tragically-prophetic album They Used To Be Really Cool.

3) I was getting wasted. Really wasted. A lot. See the above.

4) I was with the woman I'm with today -- and I had been for about ten years. At that point we'd made the transition from "What the hell am I doing here" to "Seems to be working well -- good thing we stuck with it."

5) I was just starting to draw dinosaurs and had no ideas of putting them in front of the public.

Five Things on my To-Do List Today (This is not the day I want to answer that question -- I am dealing with extraordinarily low levels of ambition at this point.)

1) Take a hike and have lunch with my dad. Done -- we went to Sunol, then Mr. T's burgers in Martinez. Poor ol' Dad is looking for a good chili dog platter and is having no luck...

2) Get caught up on my internets, including posting and emails.

3) Stay awake until bedtime and then go to sleep. More challenging than it sounds.

4) Work on the climactic fight scene for the novel. This is one of the reasons I stepped on my dick; my climax didn't work. It made sense, it brought many of the themes of the work to a climax, it was soft and dull and I failed to bring the thunder. Now I gotta find me some thunder. Then I gotta bring it.

5) Eat some fruit. Like I said, it's a low-ambition day so it's a good thing those tangerines are seedless.

Five Snacks I Love (This is just crazy. I'm all about meals -- I know nothing of these things you call snacks. That said...)

1) Booze.

2) Congealed animal fat stripped off the carcass in the fridge, dipped in the jellied juices at the bottom of the pan, possibly sprinkled with salt.

3) A spoonful of the missus's dried coconut milk eaten straight from the container.

4) Pretentious flavored chips -- the cheesier, the better. Bonus points for scary tropical roots that are toxic in their natural state.

5) Toast. Buttered toast, nut-brown.

Five Things I would do if I were a Millionaire. (I believe the term 'millionaire' to be antiquated. It summons up an image of unimaginable wealth and luxury -- while the possession of a million dollars will get you a nice double-wide these days.)

1) Periodically have my hair cut by a pleasant female person rather than doing it myself with the dog buzzers. I like a little grooming every so often.

2) Let's get to some charity stuff here -- Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, CBLDF, etc. All the usual suspects for a lazy leftie such as myself.

3) Health Insurance. I've got a lump in my neck the size of a hockey puck and the last time I poked it, it bit me. Definately health insurance.

4) Have the stairs to my studio moved outside. That would give me a big chunk of floor space but most importantly it would let me come and go without worrying about the missus's students and clients. I'd get in hours more worktime every week. As it is, her workspace is downstairs from my workspace so my access is hampered.

5) Start a more serious exercise program, preferably one involving some kind of martial arts. A vigorous shellacking would do me a world of good.

Five Places I've Lived. (Hmmm. I don't even know if I've got that many.)

1) Richmond, California. Some towns you move away from -- this one you escape.

2) Santa Cruz, California. No doubt it is a lovely place to be a member of the privileged classes. I was a janitor.

3) Sonoma, California. I miss the downtown -- the sausage shop, the cheese factory, the French bakery...

4) Oakland, California. We were the classic bad neighbors, Jesus we were awful. Agent Orange and Flipper at top volume to start off a Sunday morning cleanup? Drunken brawling at all hours? The Wall of Kids? Bad booze is bad news, my friends, and these were the days of St. Ides and Olde English.

5) Berkeley, California, where I've been residing for nearly twenty years. (Whew! Just made it!)

Five Jobs I've Had

1) Day-care center worker and janitor.

2) Janitor at a fashion department store.

3) Under-the-counter laborer for a landscape architecture project.

4) Office worker for Holden-Day, the first company to publish Carl Sagan. Man, that's a story -- only office job in the world where you had to worry about getting chickenshit in the files. Since I was the only one in the office who didn't have a thick accent I was put on the phones when our entire accounts receivable was handed over to a collection agency...

5) Script writer for Mondo Media. Best job ever, aside from the sick guilt and karma and the grodious corporate hack thing. On one hand I was paid fifty dollars an hour to fail to laugh at comedians, on the other hand I was hired for one show only to find months later that the previous staff had been fired after they'd won an award and the boss got scared that they might ask for raises -- so in the interests of damage control he let them go before they found out about the award. Not to mention the whole "reviewing movies before they've been made" thing -- which, honestly, worked fine. The reviews were every bit as accurate as those made by people claiming to have seen the films in question. (Which is as good a way of summing up the state of the art in cinema as I know.) Before that job I was a guy who looked like a writer; after that job I was a guy who could claim to be a writer. I got, by my pathetic standards, good money to train on the job. I need more work like this.

Five People I'll Tag -- no way. I don't know anything about how this stuff works. I've seen enough movies to know that tagging people can lead to plot development and I want no part of it. First I tag someone, next thing you know it's all microchips and bikinis and Yakuza and car chases and I don't even drive.
No thank you.

1 comment:

Glendon Mellow said...

Not even one car chase?

Interesting info, man!