Wednesday January 26, 11
what I have learned so far
1. Remember to breathe.
2. Do not argue with people older than you.*
3. No good marriage ends in divorce.
4. Thank God for music.
5. I must clean the soles of my feet better.
*=And the larger that gap in age is, the more you should not argue with them. Not just because of the whole "respect your elders" thing, but also because the older people are, the harder it is for many of them to see any other view point other than their own as being valid, this is a terrifying prospect we wish most ardently seek to avoid for ourselves, hooah...
Wednesday December 08, 10
fear, boredom, confusion & shame
Have I got your attention now?
Well, guess what!?
I am no longer in San Francisco, I am back in the "Mojave Desert"
a couple of hours to the northeat of L.A.
I hope to make it all the way back down the hill by summer...
Tuesday June 15, 10
I know I only write in this when someone special to me dies
but 4 months ago my, I guess you could say my first best friend, the friend I have had the longest and who therefore was still very dear to me even though we had not spoken in about 2 years. But my once mightiest of friends, Eric, succumbed to cancer earlier this year(its amazing the mail ever got to me at all actually). He had beaten it(or so we thought) & I really thought we were past this whole cancer thing in his life as well. And now poof he is just gone, or in all actuality he was long gone, but I just found out yesterday. He was only 38. He seemed so strong again when I last saw him in 06. I should have called him right before Christmas like I did for the mainly years we spent apart since those now forgotten days at East Whittier Middle School back in the mid 80s and the others after that.
Yep, must have been the summer of 83 when we first met, well, met is not really the right word, more like he was just riding his bike & minding his own business at the bottom of the street, Strub Avenue, that I had just moved into with my pregnant with twins mom, step dad, and 2 year old little brother.
And bam! I come crashing into him from up the street. I had been hurtling myself down the street(which sloped downward) just to see how fast I could go.
Thats how we met twenty seven years ago, and that moment could have been a second ago for me. I never rode down that street without looking to see if someone was coming along the one underneath. Or how amazed I was when the kid I had just crashed into got up almost before I did and did not seem overly concerned about his own injuries but instead was asking me if I was alright then looking to his bike. That was Eric to a fault, selfless in the extreme. Here I was worried that I had hurt some other kid my first day in the new neighborhood, but Eric was indestructible even then, already tall, the first of my "tall guy" friends. Strike that, he did not just happen to come first, he was the model on which all other ones were "based". Tall, tough, quiet around most, but always one good for a laugh. Jesus Christ, he's gone now, no more chapters to add to our friendship, the early years together in Whittier, then seeing each other every once and a while during our high school years, where he lived even further down behind the "Orange curtain" than I. Til finally we lost touch when he moved up to some place I had not really heard of in 1989, Victorville. Then came the miracle of just happening to be standing behind him in line to register for classes at VVC like 4 years later. He was always there for me I felt, I really do not know what I gave him in return, fuck man, I should have called, I should have gone back up to the farm again, or something, the fucker cant be dead, shit, fuck, damnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
Thursday January 07, 10
from my lj on jan 1st
I had NOT seen them for 5 years and for all I know they either barely remembered me or still harbored animosity towards me.
But that does not matter really, all I know is I was mad at them for a long time for what I chose to see as the small role they played in the great betrayal of my life.
My feeling this way still after all this time was petty in the extreme and I realized it the moment I heard of their death.
It was only then that I realized how much I missed knowing them. My god, what a truly beautiful, special and unique person she was!
Ok, well, I am going to spend some time now on thinking about them and writing down a memory of them...
Sunday July 19, 09
Das Richtige zu tun.
music: The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning by SP
the above German phrase translates to doing the right thing*
For me, I usually clearly perceive what the right course of action is, or at least what the wrong one would be.
Yet, why is that not enough to make me take action?
Even when I have succeeded in being only "at" right here & in the right now.
Still, rarely is that enough to cause me to do instead of just merely be.
Simply put, its not that I do not have the will to do so much I wish to do, but that my will is unwilling.
It is not my own. So for a long time I desired to conquer myself, but now I have a sense that death brings that about soon enough.
There must be another path to these different parts of me, which are supposed to act in unison, if there ever is to be the real me "Robby".
When Robby's time shall come to an end, I do not want it to be without ever having actualized more of that as "the real me".
However, what I now perceive as my catalysts for really living this life exist only outside of "Robby".
None of their points of origins are me.
Not her, not them, not this country, not any kind of "earthly pleasure" or "high minded ideal" which I love so, none of it is why I am really here.
At this point, its like I have been waiting for the transmission of some kind "orders" to you know make the sleeper awaken.
Then, for a while, I even feared they would never come, followed by my shocking experiences in New Zealand.
After that I became struck with how much I was not hearing what the world was so clearly saying to me for so long.
Sometimes this makes me frantic to disentangle the jumble of words, ideas, feelings, hopes, dreams, nightmares, wonders, rules and all the rest of it from each other.
Fuck that sidetrack though.
I am, happily now, leaving that to the experts who specialize in each specific niche, that was never where my strength was anyways.
Not even with my vast knowledge of history did I ever really rely on memorizing particulars of each measured historical event.
My facility is to easily see the logic of how an event will lead from one point to another.
Too long I, and others like me, have wasted our time trying to make others understand what we are saying.
All that matters is understanding oneself and understanding what others say to us.
When we do the above, progress will return.
Resulting in the decline of much of the science, rhetoric, economics, art, et al now stifling all of humanity.
We must all stop giving a shit about what we perceive as how others see us!
*=I have simplified things for myself down from the ideas of Kant to one concept central to Bushido.
Wednesday July 15, 09
music: Is Electronic Love to Blame? by Apop
I tried to get up as late as I could without being late for work, but sleep alluded me by late morning. So I put a wash on and it was all down hill from there really, I just did not know it yet, which I should be use to by now I think. Soon after, I just gave into this(yesterday) being Tina's Day. No matter what I did, hell, no matter even the likely fact such a notion is now either repugnant to her or possibly cruelest of all, she really does not care at all.
At least in giving in to the haunting before me I thought perhaps I could exert some control over it. After all, this way of thinking had been a driving reason behind my previous drug usage on every prior July 14th since she left. Then I recalled something I had first thought of when I was in New Zealand. My uncle M.(who happens to be going through a divorce right now actually) was watching episodes of the "new" BSG most nights of the week. He was up to Season 3 when I got there and by the time I returned from my long excursion to the South Island he was up to episode 15. "A Day in the Life" one of the episodes that had touched me the most. So I just sat there and watched it with him for what must have been at least the 3rd time for me since it had come out 2 years ago. Still, its story of how Adama reflected upon his wedding anniversary every year it came back first even when they were estranged from each other to further still doing so after her death. This demonstration of his faithfulness and ability to conjure her memory with such reverie. Well, if that was not written for someone like me to know, then there really is no divinity to be found in the universe. So yesterday while I waited for my clothes to dry before work, I watched "A Day in the Life" one more time. Perhaps doing so shall become a part of my annual day dedicated forever to her.
When it was over, I got my laundry and was surprised to find my ipod fall out of the dryer. Its broken now of course, which not only means I have to buy a new one, but that I did not have one on yesterday, off all days, one in which I would be desiring the distraction of music as I started to feel more and more low. Soon after, I took a half a Vicodin before leaving for work. My hope was that it would help stave off the blues at least until I got through work. It worked for a while, until I had some hectic stuff to do that involved not only some physical strain for me, but also stressed me mentally because my task was to do something I did not know how to do and was afraid would end in at least my breaking something if not some kind of electrical mishap. Thankfully, nothing like that occurred. As a matter of fact, those 4 hours at work yesterday were the only ones I was really able to keep my growing depression in check. And maybe if I had gone straight home to bed after work, then I would have escaped some pain. Who knows really, all I know is that I ended up drunk and unable to figure out how to get home other than by cab. Eventually though, I wast just wandering, I feel I am perfecting a form of aimless motion now. Somehow, the act of trying to absorb all the external "direction" around me eventually overwhelms the despair inside. But as my feet grew tired, loneliness became complete. Then when I got home finally, I had music to be my company. There are a number of great songs evocative of Tina's Day.
Friday June 26, 09
I haven't talked to my dad in a long time either.
music: Daddy's Gone by Glasvegas
mood: waiting for slumber to return
My father and I were very close when I was a kid. My parent's divorce, his globetrotting career and domineering demeanor made it hard for us to relate even though I finally was allowed to live with him @ 14.
Looking back now, I see those 1st couple years of high school fondly and my biggest regret in life is that I came to truly hate him by the time I left for the Army @ 17. My dad had left home at 17 to the Marines and the last time he saw his father the two of them got in a fistfight. Me and Bob did not come to blows that Friday after my high school graduation in 90, but I see now that was only because I broke his heart. He had passed up major foreign projects to stay "at home". He had set aside the money for my tuition to Ucla that he expected to be paying.(i did not know that) Dont get me wrong, with Bob there was always strings attached. My was a hard core AA guy, chairing numerous meetings and sponsor to a number people & my step mom was one of those weirdo (only in the oc) new age preachers to yuppy types. So clean living, hard work and a sense of community were all but mandatory.
I guess you might say my dad had made it by 1990. He was no longer a poor kid that joined the Marines to pay for college and escape his drunken ex-con father. He was, well, the opposite of all that and he looked forward to steering me to success in college. So when i did basically the same thing he did in 1965 by joining the service right of high school he felt betrayed, we argued and i left that night. I lived it up the next 2 weeks b4 going to training and by the time i got back on leave in october, he'd rented the house, put it up for sale and was in south africa building a new refinery(actually, he was originally supposed to build one in kuwait, but saddam's invasion killed that)
so there i stood in my brand new uniform at his front door on halloween 90, only when i rang the doorbell a chinese man answered the door and thought i was just another trick or treater. eventually he figured out i was the owner's son and let me in, while there i went through my stuff which had been carefully boxed and put in the garage. at some point he also gave me a letter bob had wrote months earlier, it was a strange letter, he started out by consoling me as if he assumed i had not made it through training and then giving me the numbers and address of local family as if might need a place to stay. also, he gave me a number to call in south africa. it ended with him speculating about the weird coincidence of his joining the marines in 64/5 and ending up in nam from 66to68 and my joining the "peacetime" us army only to have a war on the horizon. he sincerely hoped i would not go to war or have to kill anybody, i think he assumed i would have a technical mos and not be infantry like he was. for years this stuff bugged me, i always saw it through a haze of adolescent defiance. to me, all i could see was bob acting like i wasnt tough enough or shit like that. yet behind his abrasive facade, he was just a father who cared for his son and did want me to be exposed to the same harshness that he had been. but i was not listening to that, i was all spoiling for combat and reporting to active duty on my bday. i did finally call him on feb19th 91 right b4 taking part in a Reconnaissance in force into iraq. he knew i couldnt talk about what was happening, so we talked sports and i told him i loved him and that i hope we see each other when i get back.
best laid plans though of mice and men, when i did get my next leave i spent most of it in new orleans doing all sorts of things he would not tolerate.
then after leaving the army i did not want to explain all that so we still did not see other until he tracked me down to our 'goth house' in hollywood on new years eve 94
i was not there, but he took my roommates to dinner, and pumped them full of questions
finally, in may of 95 we went to a dodger game
the dodgers lost in extra innings, but we did not care
even though we were happy to see each other, those 5 years hung heavy between us
so much so that our relationship remained fragile
but still, in late 97 i tried living with him while planning on going back to school
then he made the fatal mistake of basically making me choose between him and my then girlfriend
he simply couldnt stand the smell of vietnamese food, thought she was 'monopolizing' my time off, and didnt like her coming over unannounced or late at night
so just after we watched the rose bowl on new years day 98, he gave me an ultimatum about 'her'
when i packed up and left that night he was more shocked than in 90
He asked,'But where will you go?'
i told him not to worry, he would never have to see me or her ever again
he did see me again though but only twice b4 he died
we went to a laker game in may of 2000, then he dropped by out of the blue in december
that was the last time i spoke to him and the last thing we did together was go see the movie 'cast away'*
(which has always stuck with me, on occasion, i still dream that he is not dead, just marooned on an island somewhere)
b4 the movie he told me, he was getting a divorce, afterwards i told him that he had a daughter in law since july of 98
we made plans to all 3 of us go to a ucla basketball game together, he even implied to me that he would make sure 'she' knew that he did not hold her responsible for what happened back in 97/8
just hearing and seeing him act like that was astonishing to me
i was genuinely looking forward to our next meeting and his plans to stay local in california again
but, we waited too long
in the early morning of February 26th, 2001 Bob suffered a massive brain hemmorage which destroyed most of his frontal lobe, resulting in a coma and the necessity for life support to keep him breathing
it took them the entire week to contact me, his recently 'appointed' next of kin and he had recently given me the responsibility over the decision to withdraw life support or not
i still remember the stunning sequence of events:
1st, at approximately the time my dad's head exploded, i was sure i saw a ghostly figure in my hallway
it was a real enough event that i made note of it in my writing journal
then when my phone rang thursday night and the call said it was from Bob i was all smiles and thinking that he was calling to make sure we were still on for the basketball game on saturday
however, as soon as i heard my uncle's voice, i knew something horrible had happened
still, just hearing that someone is 'brain dead' makes one think that maybe the brain can come back to life
after all, its just a part of your body, hell, the egyptians didnt even think it was an important one
so we drove like a hundred miles an hour to the hospital(girlfriend in a coma annoyingly playing, the whole time, in my head)
then i was confronted with his 'living' corpse, ive seen a lot of dead people and sometimes when you see a corpse floating in the water you can even 4get it was a person, then there is ones that have just fallen down on the ground, from certain angles you might think they are just sleeping, but Bob's living corpse was more like that iraqi i recall with the back of his skull blown off but him still just sitting there hunched in front of the wheel of his front half of an army truck, where the back half was gone
Only with 'dead Bob', theyve patched over the hole in his head and there are all these bells and whistles making noises around him, which some might mistake for liveliness
not me though, i knew bob wasnt in the room as soon as i entered it
some people just have 'presence' and my father defo had that
i barely recognized his body/face
it was terrible, i knew then, he was gone and silently apologized for this macabre act of animation continuing for almost 5 days at that point
still, before turning him off i listened to the docs
they told me there was almost 0 chance of him ever waking up
and when pressed, one of the doctors confided in me that with damage to his brain he would basically be 'retarded'
that was all i needed to hear to know to shut him off
see, my father was a brilliant engineer, his mind was something he gr8ly prized
eventually, just after b4 midnite on march 1st
the nurse turned off the machines and left me alone in his icu room as they wound down
thats when a huge wave of emotion struck me
and i hugged him and cried and told him "i love you daddy" and how sorry i was we did not get more time
what followed that freaked me out so much so i had to do some research;
as his breathing expired, his eyes almost fluttered open and it felt like he squeezed one of my hands
for a moment i was simultaneously elated and mortified
then his body just sagged all in and went cold
after that, in the truly empty space of that dark, now silent room, i tried to get a hold of myself and i had this odd epiphany that though i killed a lot of people during the war, this was the 1st time i had actually experienced someone 'dying'
followed by reminding myself that he was most already gone after brain death
lastly, i now know for fact that what i experienced when his body died is quite common
and is related to the body's bio-electric field, sort of, 'draining out' after death
this results in all sorts of phenomena and there is a wide variance in how much electrical 'traffic' occurs from one death to another
*=we disagreed about the film, he found it uplifting, while i just could not 4give helen hunts character for 'moving on' like that...
Monday June 15, 09
a lot happening(sort of) but i think i'll just cover some
music: We Care a Lot by Faith No More
my Lakers got another championship, putting them only 2 behind the Celtics now
and of course, people in L.A. rioted, surprise, surprise
still, it would be nice to go to the Laker game where they hang the new banner in the rafters of the "Staples" center, kind of like old times, me and my dad went to the Laker home game when they raised banners in
80, 82, 85, 87, 88
my god were we spoiled in the 80s, well at least at the pro level, Bob and me never went to Pauley to seee a championship raised since we were not on speaking terms for most of the 90s
and man do i really get how much that was my fault now, its just weird though how you learn this stuff, i mean there are people who will never speak to me again & i really truly know how hard that must have been for him
but hey, at least we had 88, the Lakers won, the Rams made the playoffs on the strength of 2 great home games we were at, and we watched Harrick notch a bunch of wins in his 1st year at UCLA only to lose almost right off the bat in the tournament of course, but hey, were talking about Jim Harrick here one of the most untalented coaches when it comes to the x's and o's of maybe anybody ive ever seen
still, what 88 was all about was that moment when the Dodgers became "New York Knights" and Gibby became "The Natural"
with that homerun in the last World Series game I have been to
its also about Orel and his incredible "bull dog" like play, and young Ramon Martinez and old Don Sutton and Jesse Orosco in his 1st stint with the Dodgers sticking it to the Mets one year after he closed out there 87 championship season and people expected the Mets to go back to the World Series in 88, i mean they clobbered the Dodgers all year long and Davey Johnson supposedly knew better than anybody how Tommy was gonna coach that series
instead the Dodgers pitching staff held the high powered Mets offense to under 4 runs a game and almost half those in blow out losses of games in which the Dodgers had no chance
but the Dodger pitching staff's tenacity was only the half of it or less
on the other side of the ball, the Dodgers put on a hit and run clinic of the likes never seen since then, with timely home runs from Scioscia, and suicide squeeze bunts by 39 year old catcher Rick Dempsey , and Steve Sax picking Mets pitching for steals, Orel even had some extra base hits to go along with all those timely pinch hits by
The Stuntmen! Mickey Hatcher(pictured) Dave Anderson, Mike Davis, Pedero Guerrero, Tracy Wooden
& Danny Heap
basically,they were the greatest bench ever and under the tutoring of Manny Mota(one of the gr8est pinch hitters of all time) they became the best clutch hitting gang of platoon players ever, seriously, all one ever need learn about hitting could be learned by watching them all those years ago and after beating the Mets then came the even bigger mountain of the As to conquer in the World Series
Oakland was a monster that year, they had destroyed the American League but me and my dead just knew if we could win that 1st game
won, they seemed to be guided by some divine force that game, i just knew we were going to win in the end!
and we did , amen
and now its 21 years since that championship for my Dodgers
this year the drought might end for them too, here's hoping
Well, enough about sport and over 20 years ago. Its time to talk about the Army.
The Continental Army which was formed on June 14th in 1775, so the glorious American army just had another birthday.(Congress created the United States Army on June 14th, 1784 to replace the Continetal Army.)
I have been thinking about the Army a lot lately, even dreaming about it, its really never left my blood. And well, something that started out as me thinking of when and if I get really old has lead to me possibly change my life in in major way by the end of the year. See, what happened was when I got back from NZ I finally went to the V.A. to see about getting my discharge changed from a General one to an honorable one, not this effects my benefits really, its just that honorable gets go to the "front of the line" if you will, as opposed to other discharges, but that might matter you know, in case I end up in one of those old homes for Vets someday. I mean its not liking I have been saving up for when I get real old and I do not see me suddenly making a lot of $ anytime soon, so I just sometimes think of these things. Regardless, so when I start the long "correspondence" on this effort of mine to "clear my name" you might say, I also emailed this sarge who runs the recruitment office after somebody joked about the fact that the Army was giving out all sorts of waivers to recruits to join either with criminal records or in many cases the waivers were for less than honorable discharges, so just one a lark, I wrote this sarge @ the Golden Gate Commons. and I heard back from him, here is some of what he said:
The current policy for Prior Service member states:
No conduct waiver authorized at any level, No DAT waivers; No prior separation / discharge waivers for misconduct, or any other type of involuntary waiver that involved misconduct. No administrative waivers for performance.
However, it goes on to state:
(Note: prior service applicants who were awarded medals for valor or wounded in combat may be granted an exception to this policy. Contact the waivers branch if applicable).
Then the recruiter who emailed me back went on to tell me:
If your situation really does meet this criteria and you meet the height/weight standards as a Prior service member of the Army, then contact as soon as possible.
I wish you the best of luck.
So basically, the Army is not just letting anybody in again anymore, but they could still make an exception for me since I was indeed awarded a medal for valor once long ago
i mean, i do not have it anymore, i think i foolishly gave it to someone i use to know, i dont remember anymore really
but hey, i am sure that will be with my copy of my records along with my DD-214 whenever that finally arrives in the mail, if it does not come in a month then i will just have to go down there every day til it does
because I really got to get moving on this before the end of the year if I am going to do it, if it takes too long, I am not going to join back up even if they will have me. Right now I can see doing 8 years then getting out @ 45. If not then I will just try and get this Army thing out of my system!
I mean the things its conjuring up for me and that I have to do, like when I told them I was divorced they said I have to get them a copy of the record of the marriage being over. Which is much harder to send away for than a marriage certificate actually, but maybe they will let me get away with the marriage certificate and
the picture above, you know, until I saw this I did not even know when the divorce was final i think it means it was on December 15th, 2005, I know its long ago now to some, but for me its not so much so long ago, as so far away...
ps: Yesterday, I finally got a new Fedora and I really do feel like just a little more of me has come back to life.
Thursday April 30, 09
me, morrissey & the future
music: This Used To Be The Future by Pet Shop Boys
mood: awake & hungry
the dream i just awoke from was real intense man and Moz played a side role in it
it started with me and my buddy Andi deciding to road trip to Mexico city to see Moz perform(a crazy idea i know)
the time was somewhere near now, but as we hit the road out of San Francisco something happened
next thing i knew i was no longer in a car but instead on my feet(which had no shoes on them)
Andi was no longer there and the landscape which stretched out before me was familiar yet alien
it was Mexico city to be sure, yet not the one i remember from when i went there like 15 years ago
still, i saw a billboard for Moz performing which for some reason i could read(though i know little Spanish)
then there was this bustle of crowd coming towards me and i began to climb
see, the place was filled with these strange crystal towers and new ones that were being put up
they started out hollow but with a rebar lattice work that these crystal structures grew into i surmised
i climbed up to the top of one that was empty and saw Moz at the center of this phalanx of security making his way to this large building which i assume is where the concert was going to happen
the leading edge of the crowd was coming towards me, they seemed to be photographers of some kind and a lot of them
it struck me even then, in the dream, that it was odd for so many paparazzi to be still stalking Moz, but before i knew it, the crowd was under my tower like a flood
then they were all just gone as soon as they came
then i looked up and saw some floating craft, part balloon - part ufo, it was then i just knew i was in some future or alternate reality
i wanted to climb down, but i had no shoes! & the ground had felt weird under my feet
i mean it looked like dirt but felt like some spongy membrane
still, when this guy started climbing up towards me with flip flops in his hand
i took them from him(even though i h8 flip-flops) and then went down
he seemed to be some kind of worker on these crystalline things
next i found myself on some big huge underground transport hurtling home i hoped, i had just got on the one that would take me home to the good old USA
i told no one i was from the past, i thought i might get in trouble or something
but while on this "super-subway" i further figured out that
the world had suffered some cataclysm, the transport was not going to California, for there was no California anymore!
i did not know what happened to it, but it was gone, under water, blown up, all that and more
so i no longer could return not even to my time, but also not my place
at that point i was very sad in my dream and wanted to wake up
which i did once i decided to go look for Moz in it, since he was the only thing familiar from "my world" in it
i thought he might have the answers if i could see him and speak to him
then i woke up in the here and now, thank God!
Wednesday April 15, 09
my most recent dream, tax day & coachella
music: It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry by Glasvegas
mood: good, ive got Dim Sum!
so last night i slept soundly and had placid dreams
i dreamt that i saw people i have not seen in years, no not her, but of others, people far less important than her
& you know what?
there was nothing there, just the deadness of time
it was nice, untroubled sleep is something to be thankful for and i am
yes, yoga is something i am going to keep doing
tonite i go to a class in a church
how cool is that!?
also, my taxes are done and sent
if not, shame on you
Andi and me head off to socal late thursday night to go to Coachella
it should be great and i really look forward
we'll stop by my mom's 1st though
she is losing her house, which is sad, but i will remain positive and upbeat
you cannot let these things get you down, you know?
yeah, another trip will be good
and Andi and me have not done a "road trip" in years
also, i feel i have lost some of what i brought back with in me from NZ these last 2 weeks here @ "home"
i hope this little journey brings more of it back!