Friday, December 10, 2021


My heart is filled with fear and anxiety right now. I can't trust my senses. Black is white, up is down, reality is all out of skew. The unthinkable has happened. The impossible has come to pass.

The 5AM Q64 was actually on time this morning.

I stare at the skies, anticipation, joy, and dread in my heart. Surely, this must be a sign of the end of times! Surely, my soul is now to be judged. Will I be cast into the lake of fire? There have been times I've donated my time and money to helping the poor. That's all The Magic Mushroom Trip of Saint John the Divine says you need to do now and then, right? "Whatsoever you do to the least of my ( gender ), that you do unto me." What a truly elegant rule for a religion to follow. Can't argue with that one.

I miss the pre-9/11 days of construction work. The days when you'd just show up at a skyscraper, walk in the front door, and take the elevator to your floor. If they were absolute tight asses and did make you use the loading dock entrance, no one poured over your ID every morning. If, on the off chance, you did have to sign in, everyone was either "Seymour Butts," "Richard Hertz," or the ubiquitous "Michael Hunt." Good times!

This M train has been adorned with ads for Peanuts Swatches. I guess they're back, or maybe they've never been gone? I remember they were a huge fad back when I was twelve, but they haven't occupied a neuron or synapse ever since. It is I who have faded in and out of the world of Swatches, not the other way around.

More and more I find myself putting on Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in the background while I write or work. It's catchy!


Thursday, December 09, 2021


Remember kids, it's winter, so bundle up so that you're not too cold when the early morning bus you need to take to work is never there!

I've been a fan of Rougelikes ever since... well... Rogue. But they've become an exercise in psychology and patience that I usually fail. As they are generally turn-based, the player has all the time in the world before each move. Yet most of my deaths come from rushing through (quickly tapping on directions or attack,) or hoarding due to overcautiousness (I have plenty of health potions, but I am reluctant to use them because I may need them later on.)

Life is much more fun if you view everything as an alien giving you a Rorschach test. Or perhaps I'm the ink blot, and it's the aliens who are interpreting me and my life to reveal something about their own psychology? That would necessitate some sort of cosmic symmetry.

Speaking of the evils of the MTA, who do they think they're kidding with this OMNY nonsense? (Tapping your chipped ATM/credit card or electronic device, rather than swiping the MTA card.) It's not in any way beneficial to the rider, unless they have electronic pay set up through their smartwatch. Otherwise, you still have to take something out of your wallet and use it to get through the turnstile, or onto the bus. It's nothing like E-ZPass, where you just drive your car though the toll booth without stopping. Hey, let's make it easier for the MTA to collect my personal data, so they can sell it! Just what I've always wanted.

My god, I bitch too much. I think if I didn't kvetch, I'd honestly have nothing to say.  Maybe I'm one of those toxic people society is always warning everyone about. 

What a nice subway car! There's no one around who stinks to high heaven of some communicable disease or other, it's not warm at all but it's not too cold. Look, there's some nice graffiti... "Hearts over hate." Well, isn't that nice? Not nice for whoever will have to scrub it off, but it's a nice sentiment nonetheless.


Wednesday, December 08, 2021


Third day in a row with no 5am Q64, as scheduled. May the incompetence and daily nincompoopery of the NYC MTA never be forgotten!

I re-watched Star Trek V for the first time in years. It's one of those frustrating films that had great potential, but far too many flaws to balance out. But I have to hand it to Shatner for at least trying to do something different and creative. (I also found him a competent director. As I said, the film has many flaws, but direction isn't one of them.)

For those who haven't seen it, the Enterprise gets hijacked by an evangelical "passionate Vulcan" who is on a quest to find god. He uses an empathic form of the Vulcan Mind Meld (TM) to relieve his enemies of their darkest pains and depressions, after which they follow him. 

Why is religion such a constant in my mind? It comes through in my books, my conversations, and my daily thoughts. I consider myself agnostic (some atheists have called me a "pussy" for it, not willing to acknowledge that they've become a fundamentalist religion of their own), but I have to admit that I often find that my own lack of faith to be just as reactionary. My lack of religion is obviously defined by religion. It's like the tale of the man who spent his life cursing Krishna. When he died, he was shocked to find himself in paradise. "Sure," said Krishna. "Even though you cursed me, it meant that you were still constantly thinking of me, which is all you were required to do. Hors d'oeuvre?"

Look closely at the Catholic Church, and you'll see how fictionally self-serving it is, especially vs. the Bible. Jesus said a lot about sins and forgiveness, but he never said, "I'm a good Jewish boy, but in a few hundred years there's going to be this new religion based on me. God won't forgive anyone's sins unless they use their priests as a regular intermediary. Sorry, I know that sucks for you lot right now, but your many-great-grandkids will get the benefit of it. Also, you know how I said that bread and wine are my body and blood, and when you drink them, you should remember me? What I REALLY meant is that in a few hundred years - you know, that future religion I was talking about - well, you'll have to go to them once a week to have a tiny cracker and a sip of wine that only they can dispense, because only their priests will have the magic ability to actually turn them into my body and blood. Otherwise, you'll go to Hell. Yep, sorry, again, I know that sucks dick for all of you now, but I'll see what I can do about getting you in anyway. Oh, and don't forget to tithe to them - I mean, to My Father through them. Always tithe."

As with so much in our lives, it comes down to the ideologies that govern our subconsciouses. Political party, gender, sexual persuasion, religion, favorite team, Apple vs. Android, we make our decisions based on these ideologies, and rationalize them later. I've come to the conclusion that I need to start a religion where I worship myself, complete with candles, dashboard miniature statues, and other merchandising.

I believe the first step is tax exempt status.


Tuesday, December 07, 2021


Oh, to live the life of an MTA bus,
To go to work whenever I please,
To keep a schedule that's superfluous,
And as trustworthy as a mouldy cheese!

- The Ancient Rhyme of the Pomonok Commuter

What is it about earbud cushions that they always want to eject themselves whilst either going in or out of my pockets? I suspect they don't enjoy having the earpiece constantly up their tuchus, and just want some relief. I imagine the first and foremost rule of earbud designing is planned obsolescence. Why make a product that will last years, when for the same price they can make garbage that will easily wear out in a few months? I once had a pair of Skullcandy Titanium buds that lasted two years - even after being left in a puddle over the weekend. No wonder they ended that product line.

Songwriting, like all art, is easy. It's creating something good that's difficult. But what is good? There's thousands of beautiful songs out there that no one knows, remembers, or will likely ever even hear, but I'll bet eighty percent of the western world can sing the chorus of "Two of Hearts." Not that there's anything wrong with that...

It is psychologically impossible for me to watch a film with David Warner in it without commenting that he would have made an awesome Doctor (Who). Thank you, Big Finish.

Did you know that GPS satellites don't receive, they just broadcast, and it's our devices that triangulate their signals? And here I always thought that it was a two-way relationship. But don't worry, President Biden's "safety" kill switch mandate that will give the government monitoring and "emergency" control of every new vehicle in five years is good for you, and not at all a scary privacy violation. Remember kids, it's always the other party that's the "fascist bad guys." (Or girls! Let's not be sexist.)

There's a general feeling that more and more movies and shows, especially those made by streaming services, are being catered to those who want to (or at this stage is it need to?) pay attention to other devices, have it on in the background, and just need to glance at it occasionally. I'd guess that we've reached the evolutionary point where paying attention to any one thing causes anxiety. That's why I'm listening to Iron Maiden while I write this. "Twenty-two, the avenue, that's place swinging cats go..."

It amazes me that The Powers That Be can't figure out that the way to fix the supply line issue is to... gasp... give workers decent hours, pay, and benefits. But, they scream as they tear their hair out by the roots, that would mean that they might only rake in nine billion more next year instead of ten! Much better to let the common folk suffer. Eventually they'll give in, and we'll all be working five jobs to keep studio apartments. Because it's always the __________'s fault.

Hmm... Look around and see what's nice... my back doesn't hurt this morning. That's nice. I have my health, that's nice. I have a job, that's nice. Gozer the Gozarian hasn't slaughtered us all... yet. That's nice!


Monday, December 06, 2021


Here I am, once again, waiting for a Q64 bus that never showed up. Yes, good people of Flushing, social distancing at the bus stop is good. But if you stand fifteen feet apart, and more and more people come, don't be shocked if they fill in the gaps.

Dear NYC MTA, you're supposed to be working to prevent COVID, not making it worse with buses packed to the gills because the previous ones couldn't be bothered to be punctual.

I took a blogging break over the weekend, but nothing Earth-shattering happened to write about. Just the same old continual erosion.

I re-watched Breakfast of Champions last night. It's a decent adaptation of a Vonnegut novel that's difficult to adapt. Kudos to Bruce Willis for always being willing to take on different types of roles - love the comb-over, and Albert Finney was perfectly cast as Vonnegut's alter-ego, Kilgore Trout. A throw-away line in the movie, "Look around you, isn't this nice?" was something Vonnegut often said: Every once in a while we should stop, look around us, and - if things are nice - acknowledge it. It can be very easy to get so wrapped up in our hurts and anxieties that we forget to do this.

I'll give it a try:

"This is a very nice and relatively clean R train that's just sitting here in the tunnel as other trains whoosh by on the other tracks. I have a seat, which is nice. It's not too hot or cold, which is nice. The gentleman who stank to high heaven got off at the last stop, which is nice. I have friends and family whom I love that love me back. That's nice. I always leave extra early in case all the MTA's failures would otherwise make me late for work, so despite all their foibles, I'll still get there just in time... that's nice."

One of the best parts of the novel which really wasn't adaptable is that it's full of summaries of Trout's creative but completely uncommercial stories, which are meta-fictionally published in "beaver-books," aka, porn magazines. I'm guessing that these are ideas that Vonnegut had developed over the years, but knew would never sell. (And for the record, Venus on the Half Shell was not written by Vonnegut under Trout's name, it was penned by Philip José Farmer, but I digress.)

"'What is the purpose of life?'
'To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool!'"


Friday, December 03, 2021


Years ago, there was a popular self-help art book called The Artist's Way. Its ritual prescribed a mental dredging where you journaled for three pages first thing every morning. By this method, you would supposedly scoop away the garbage floating in your mind, and then your subconscious would be free to be more creative. This blog can serve that function for me to a degree. We do now live in an age where anything you say can and forever will be used against you in a court of public opinion, unless you're willing to process through the streets as you smack yourself in the face with a block of wood, begging for forgiveness - but I digress.

I can force myself to write about all the usual political hypocrisies and outrages, but I'm honestly not in the mood. The battle of the sexes? More hypocrisy and outrage. Pop culture? It just goes back to the hypocrisies and outrages of politics and the battle of the sexes.

Instead, let's have some fun. I'm going to open a random article, and put my finger on a word: "said," no, that's no good... "found," no... "may,"... "stolen!" Okay, that's good. Now a second one. Different article. "Clinic." Okay, that one was pretty easy: stolen, and clinic.

Random simile time.

You know, running a health clinic is a lot like stealing. First of all, the clinics often ransack patients for some sort of bodily fluid. Urine, blood, semen... oh sure, the doctors CLAIM that they're performing some sort of tests on them, but how do you really know? They could just be googling your basic symptoms, and diagnosing you based on that, if you're lucky. Furthermore, you're actually paying them for the privilege of pilfering your fluids. You have no idea what they're doing with them. They could be drinking them, cloning you, sprinkling your DNA at a crime scene, using them as eucharist in some sort of bizarre sexual pagan ritual involving The Gotham City Cheerleaders and penguins dressed as Elvis, which - despite plundering your precious bodily fluids - they don't even have the decency to invite you to. The mind boggles at the possibilities.

And how about mental health clinics? Every day they rob patients of their psychosis, dreams, hopes, fears, and anxieties - once again at the patient's own expense. But to what end? Inspiration for manga comics? Do they sell them on the black market to the media to use as ways to make us more anxious, angry, and upset, so that we'll purchase more vibrating vacuum attachments and other such comfort items? (Fnord!) Insert them orally into the audio canals of begging masochists? Sell them to supervillains to use for ammo in their mass-hypnosis rays?

It's high time the governments of the world got off of their collective complacent asses, and did something about it.


Thursday, December 02, 2021


And here we are, on the bus again, once more heading off to bring home the bacon. I'd say "earn my daily bread," but I'm back on Keto.

The problem with Keto is how boring it can get. Meat, cheese, eggs, whey shakes with that tiny allotment of peanut butter, coconut oil... I am agnostic, but I do believe in god, after a fashion. Look at pigs! Biological machines put on earth for the sole purpose of converting sunlight (in the form of disgusting vegetables) into yummy, yummy bacon.

I hate vegetables, except for avocados (yes, I know it's a fruit) and dried seaweed. That's become a bit of a crapshoot lately. You have one brand (I can't remember which, I'll look it up later) which has extremely dodgy quality. Sometimes they're crisp and tasty, sometimes the packages are 3/4 full, and the seaweed is blah and gross. Then you have the other brand which is usually high quality, but DRENCHED in oil. Like, not lightly sprayed with oil, but oil literally drips from every package upon opening. I'm wondering if I should bottle it. Maybe put it in my vape pipe and smoke it. Or sell it, as an Essential Oil. 

You know what I love about fat? Something they never old us growing up: First and foremost, fat cells never go away without surgery. They just deflate. Then they wait there, begging to be refilled. They literally whisper to your subconscious that they need to be refilled until you give in. Likewise, deflated rolls of stretched skin will never go away without surgery. This is why "taping" (measuring a stomach with a tape measure) to gauge BMI is a complete scam. Even completely deflated, if it was once full of fat, it's never going to be within the charts. You know what crunchies and situps do? They just build and tone the muscles under the fat and deflated skin. Get out the vacuum and the xacto knife! It's the ultimate Mark of Cain.

Stay away from body, Fat, kids. It's like collecting Funco Pops. The best way is to stop before you start.

After forty years and loving the original novel (Dune) for thirty-five, I have finally read God Emperor of Dune. I find it fascinating that Frank Herbert set up Paul and Alia as heroes in his first book, and then deconstructs them and their descendants in his sequels. We all know Dune was one of Lucas's heavy influences when making Star Wars, but I can't help wondering if the giant half-worm God Emperor Leto II was the inspiration for Jabba the Hutt. 

You know why Frank Herbert's deconstruction of his heroes is interesting and well done, while the deconstruction of Luke and Han in the Star Wars sequels is woke garbage? It's because the characters and the Dune universe were Herbert's to do with as he liked. The Star Wars sequels, on the other hand, are just vengeful fan-fiction.

But I digress.

I find myself falling back on Patton Oswalt, who once had a hysterical rant about the Star Wars prequels (which sucked in their own way, but at least they were Lucas's creation to ruin as he wished.) He said at some point he stopped criticizing because he realized he was just bitching and whining about a creator, instead of creating. He was just validating unhappiness, not adding happiness of his own.

There's a great lesson there, maybe I'll learn it someday.

Is anyone else out there a fan of Phantom of The Paradise? How did I go so many years without ever seeing this before? I'm listening to Paul Williams's awesome soundtrack on the subway as I write this. Extremely catchy!

I'm going to return to Debris of Shadows Book III. It needs a conclusion before I go anywhere else. 

Sigh... I can't wait for the day when some frustrated nerd spends his morning commute ranting and raving about me!


Wednesday, December 01, 2021


Perspective is a relative concept. 

Pink Floyd sang that our lives are composed of bricks that made up our "wall." As I've gotten older, it seems much more like a jigsaw. When I was young, I realized that something was wrong with my life, but I wasn't sure what. Eventually came the inevitable "it's just me, I need therapy to accept things as they are." But then bit by bit, pieces clicked into place. I can't see the whole picture, I don't think anyone ever will. But the tiny bit I do see is a little bit clearer. 

I wish those pieces had been in place decades ago, but I'm pretty sure everyone wishes that. 

I would tell you what the picture is and what the pieces are, but they may not be of any help to you. Everyone's picture is different, everyone's pieces are different. Furthermore, everyone's model may be different. For you, it may be fractal swirls of oil in water, with different colors added to your kaleidoscope. Or it may be lenses snapping down in an optometrist's device. Or perhaps, all in all, they are just bricks in your Wall. Maybe none of those, or maybe, simultaneously, all.

Likewise, my pieces are my own. If I were to tell you that the Catholicism I had been force-fed as a child, and basically all religions were man-made and self-serving, you might see it as a revelation that you've always secretly agreed with. Or, you may know deep in your heart that that's a filthy lie, and that Jesus (or Muhammad, Jehova, Buddha, Krishna, or even A Head of Lettuce Named Ralph) is your true lord and savior who will love you and save you from the fires of Hell. It may not be something so contested. It could be waking up in your mid-forties and realizing that you've always been "neurodivergent," and that your constant learned coping mechanisms are exhausting - along with the knowledge that that and $2.75 gets you a ride on the subway.

Sometimes trying to explain your pieces to others will just result in anger. There are those who feel that they have a monopoly on suffering, and if you are a certain race, gender (sex?), or sexual orientation, then you should feel shame for their pain, and have no right to speak out against their damnation. Others will agree with you, and find comfort and consolation in your refusal to accept hate as a zero-sum game that's only allowed to be played on someone else's terms.

Everything falls back to ideology, sooner or later.

Anyways, I hope you don't feel like this is a recipe that rambles on for five pages about how the chef's mother was eaten by a pack of wild hamsters before actually getting to the ingredient list. The only advice I can give is to seek out other views and opinions, and validate ideals over ideology. Learn what you can, rather than staying within the comfort of what you know. By all means, reject what feels wrong. But you may find something new that feels right.

The most important this is to seek out what feels right for you, rather than outrage and confirmation bias against those who feel differently. Bit by bit, your own view of your world, whatever form it takes, will become clearer.

Peace, love and soul.