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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ken and Me

So I saw Ken yesterday.

Waiting at the rainy bus stop, I looked over and, yes, I saw Ken.

I see Ken at least once a year. I don't know Ken's last name. I mean, I've been told his last name many times, but I can't retain it. I can't retain his first name either. I can only tell you his first name now because I asked him what it was - again - 18 hours ago. This is due more to my narcissism and self-absorption than Ken's personality, which is invariably pleasant.

We stood in the rain, Ken and me, waiting for the eastbound Wilshire bus. I looked over at him. He didn't look over at me. I looked over at him again. He didn't look over at me again. I recognized him on account of his height, his very red hair and the fact that I have been running into him in random places, at random times for 15 years. I was sure that Ken recognized me too - or so I imagined. And I was sure - or so I continued to imagine - that he knew that I knew he recognized me...and so forth. But we pretended to wait for the bus very intently - intensely, in fact - as if this bus trip meant either escape from the invading forces or spending our last remaining months in a detention camp. We both did some very serious, very dramatic bus waiting.

Ken and I attended USC's School of Cinema-TV Production together. Back then I knew his name, maybe even knew his last name. He was part of the extended USC "Cinema House" (self-proclaimed and not in any way associated with the university or the university's fine fraternity system) family of ne'er-do-well film schoolers (many of whom are now doing well - consult your IMDb for details). I remember him as pleasant and friendly - and tall and red-haired. His red hair was much, much longer than. But as we get older, our hair gets shorter - until we begin to lose our hair altogether and complain that we don't have enough hair.

I run into Ken at museums, malls, restaurants, parties, and bus stops. I think the last time was over near the Farmer's Market. I do not know anything about Ken - except that he has red hair and I went to film school with him and that we know all the same people. But he is - permanently, I guess - in my "karass".

"Karass" is a term coined by the great Kurt Vonnegut in his book "Cat's Cradle" to describe that group of people whom you interact with on a regular basis, but with whom you appear to have little or nothing in common. Your destiny is forever interwoven with theirs for reasons beyond both your...well, for reasons beyond...beyond your ken.

The official definition, per Wikipedia.org:

"A group of people who, unbeknownst to them, are collectively doing God's will in carrying out a specific, common task. A karass is driven forward in time and space by tension within the karass."

After some minutes of riding within spitting distance of each other - I standing, Ken sitting - both of us ready to grimly deny our karass to the bitter end, I thought to myself: "This is ridiculous. I met Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan today and I'm not going to say hi to whathisname here?" (Yes, I met Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan yesterday, but this post is not about Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan, this post is about Ken and me) So I screwed up my courage and after waving my hands in his face and clearing my throat like a 19th century heroine dying of consumption, I got Ken's attention. He remembered my name. I had to ask his - once again. We asked what we were up to and what the old gang was up to as far as we knew and that was that.

Fearful of the possibility of mile after mile of uncomfortable silence, I prepared to get off at the next stop and take my Alternate Route home. He beat me to it. "I have to deplane here," he said and exited into the rain. And so I took his seat.

I knew I would see Ken again. And I knew he knew that he would see me again. Or I imagined he did.

I wonder: when I move to London, will I still see Ken? I don't know how such a thing would come about, but I have faith that somehow it will. A year from now, Ken and me will be standing at a bus stop under Big Ben, pretending not to notice each other, and I will be, once more, trying to remember his name.

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Sidewalk Pattern

Photo Hosted at Buzznet.com

Algae-stained sidewalk outside
the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study

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Monday, February 27, 2006

10 Weepies

Warren Hsu Leonard (he who is ScreenwritingLife.com), a few months back, offered up a list of films that make him cry like a LEEEDLE GURRRRL!!!

Here's my list:

10 Films That Make Neal R. Cry Like A Leeedle Gurrrrl
  1. Brief Encounter (1945)
  2. Black Robe (1991)
  3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  4. Dangerous Liasons (1988) - Valmont death scene and death speech are a killer, not to mention the rejection (??) of his final message to Madame de Tourvel when she says on her death bed "Enough. Draw the curtains."
  5. Doctor Zhivago (1965) - Every time I see "Zhivago", I'm overcome by a different moment, or two. Usually it's in the last 20 minutes: "She died or vanished somewhere. In one of the labour camps. A nameless number on a list that was afterward mislaid." Or Rita Tushingham's breakthrough: "He let go of my hand! He let go of my hand...And I was lost." But, of course, always, inevitably: "Ah. Then it's a gift." and the dam breaks.
  6. King Kong (2005) - Naomi Watts' sincere love for the creature make his persecution and death utterly heartbreaking.
  7. Robin and Marian (1976)
  8. Spartacus (1960) - It's that very last scene with Jean Simmons going off in the wagon with Peter Ustinov, looking back at the dying Kirk Douglas repeating her farewell to him like a litany: "Goodbye, my love, my life, goodbye, goodbye..."
  9. Stairway to Heaven (1946) - It's the only movie I can think of that has me sniveling in the first 10 minutes.
  10. Whale Rider (2002) - oh, you know the scene.


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Sunday, February 26, 2006

20p 5000 Miles from Home

My wife and I will be moving the whole shebang to London by the end of the year - which is ironic because I will probably need to be available here in Los Angeles more in the next year or so than I have in some time.

Last week, walking across the madcap intersection of La Cienega and Wilshire, I spotted this gleam of silver...

Photo Hosted at Buzznet.com

...a British 20p coin, embedded in the crosswalk asphalt.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Blackberry Birthday Cake For Two

Today my dad is 75 years old. Which means he only has 25 more years left.

Today my wife and I reentered couples therapy? Why? Because our marriage is really good and we want to make it even better. That sounds plausible, right? Yeah. I think I'll stick with that one.

But seriously, volks, we seek perfection in all things, my wife and me, and we want to try to iron our possible problems now before they turn up in twenty years down the line with us wondering what happened to our son who was such a nice boy before he joined that hunting club and starting drinking all that cheap hooch.

Still haven't replaced my broken cell phone.

I'm thinking of getting a Blackberry. Tomorrow may be the day.

Blackberry info anyone?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

From Countries to Counties

By the time I was 21, I had visited the following countries:
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany (West)
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

In the years since I was 21, I have visited the following countries:
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

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Decader Projection

I don't want to write today. I've left the post to the last possible hour. I feel like I could avoid posting to the blog altogether.

Maybe I'm withdrawing. Withdrawing from society. Withdrawing from the Internets. Withdrawing from heroin.

photo by AttakkatNo, no, no. Not withdrawing from heroin.

I've never done heroin - not that I recall anyway. I suppose it is possible that in some drunken black-out or other I could have done heroin, but I don't think I did. I think that's the kind of thing you remember. I think I did smoke opium once though, long ago. I have a vague drunken memory of some party-guru, surrounded by his Yes Men, offering me a very unwieldy wooden pipe and I took an unpleasant, spit-soaked hit from it and then...that's all I remember. It's not unlikely that I threw up in the next hour. It kind of rings a bell. But then the memory could be blurring with scores of other identical nights.

The twenties are horrible. No one should have to do the twenties. The teens are no picnic, of course, but the twenties are really a nightmare. At least, in your teens, everything is new and fresh and very strange and even the most mundane experiences take on the thrill of a sci-fi odyssey. By the time you reach the mid-twenties - or by the time I did anyway (I realize I speak entirely for myself and that there are many who look back on their twenties, or are currently experiencing them, as the best years of their lives - Good on them!) - that newness has worn off things and life starts to become familiar. And for some of us, familiarity breeds not contempt - but utter terror and dread. So we set about trying to create something new, trying to spice up the settling in fog of familiarity and normality and calm with frantic activity and odd risk-taking binges that have no purpose other than to cause complications for our hero. Hellish.

Fortunately - and unexpectedly - I was kicked off that train - like Thomas A. Edison, grabbed by the ears and thrown headlong out.

...which has allowed my 30's to happen. And the 30's, well, I think this is what I was looking for.

My life is interesting to me, which is a wonderful, wonderful thing. One of the most wretched feelings I can remember is being not interested in anything - bored - not even slightly interested in any happening in my life, or in the lives of others. I suppose that was a symptom of depression. Today, things are a very different color. Things interest me.

The sky interests me. Wood interests me. How phlegm forms interests me. The manner and experience of my imminent death interests me. Whether global warming or military misadventure will do us all in interests me. My present irrational, seething rage at my wife's repeated loud sniffing (she's getting a cold) interests me. Form and emptiness interest me. I'm fully in my life now. I no longer have to prepare for it, I'm not quite old enough to regret it - not much of it anyway - and so there is nothing to do but lean back, stay relaxed, and take the strange parade in.

And very strange it is. Very strange. And interesting.

I wonder what will happen.

There she goes again with that sniffing.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Orange Skirt Blowing

orange skirt + wind

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10 Things I Like About President Bush

  1. He has declared his devotion to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and I like having a Commander In Chief who puts forgiveness, love, and compassion above all else.
  2. He has 4 letters in his last name, and all real presidents have four 4 letters in their last names. Or they have names that end in the letter "N". All other president's names are strange and creepy.
  3. He is from Texas and I am from Texas and so that's good.
  4. He talks in simple language that I can understand what he is saying at.
  5. He follows instructions.
  6. He is not afraid of serving his country in wartime.
  7. He makes the trains run on time - or would if we had trains.
  8. Because of his fine governmental initiatives, that sad feeling I have that no one is listening to me has vanished.
  9. He's certainly not shy about delegating.
  10. He will make the next Emperor to succeed him seem kind, wise, and just.

Happy Presidents's Day (weekend)!


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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tripping With Red Shoes

Tripping With Red Shoes


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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Oscar Nominations Breakfast Extravaganzer

The 3 parts of the Oscar Nominees Breakfast podcasts have been combined into one delightful cauldron of breakfasty delight that you can listen to on your mp3 player of choice.

click to listen; right click to download

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Words Of Wiseness #2

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

(a quotation to inspire artists - and others -
from today's ArtQuotes.net newsletter)

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Some Guys In Girls Underwear

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!

And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real.

See the pretty girl in that mirror there:
Who can that attractive girl be?
Such a pretty face,
Such a pretty dress,
Such a pretty smile,
Such a pretty me!

I feel stunning
And entrancing,
Feel like running and dancing for joy,
For I'm loved
By a pretty wonderful boy!

Have you met my good friend Maria,
The craziest girl on the block?
You'll know her the minute you see her,
She's the one who is in an advanced state of shock.

She thinks she's in love.
She thinks she's in Spain.
She isn't in love,
She's merely insane.

It must be the heat
Or some rare disease,
Or too much to eat
Or maybe it's fleas.

Keep away from her,
Send for Chino!
This is not the
Maria we know!

Modest and pure,

Polite and refined,
Well-bred and mature
And out of her mind!

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty
That the city should give me its key.
A committee
Should be organized to honor me.

La la la la . . .

I feel dizzy,
I feel sunny,
I feel fizzy and funny and fine,
And so pretty,
Miss America can just resign!

La la la la . . .

See the pretty girl in that mirror there:

What mirror where?

Who can that attractive girl be?

Which? What? Where? Whom?

Such a pretty face,
Such a pretty dress,
Such a pretty smile,
Such a pretty me!

Such a pretty me!

I feel stunning
And entrancing,
Feel like running and dancing for joy,
For I'm loved
By a pretty wonderful boy!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Great Movie Beheadings #1

In an attempt to keep up with the times, we introduce "Great Movie Beheadings".

Our introductory beheading takes place at the climax of the great Frazetta-esque adventure, "Conan The Barbarian" (1982)...

Great Movie Beheadings #2

Buy the "Conan The Barbarian" DVD at Amazon.com.

Labels: ,

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wife-lentine's Day

14 Cool Things About My Wife

  1. She has two Masters Degrees
  2. She's kind to animals - lots of animals
  3. She's a great writer
  4. She loves horror movies
  5. She reads books - lots of books
  6. She's a British citizen
  7. She laughs at my jokes
  8. (expurgated)
  9. She likes me, apparently
  10. She's the smartest woman I've ever been allowed to touch
  11. She loves bacon
  12. She understands just how important coffee is
  13. She wants to go live in England
  14. She's yummy

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Monday, February 13, 2006

My New David Rees Technique Is On

If you didn't go see the great David Rees at REDCAT Theatre this past Saturday, then you are a Fool.

I didn't see David Rees at REDCAT this weekend. And I'm a Fool. So there you go. Actually, if you didn't see David this weekend I think you may be, in fact, me. To level with you...I fully believe you are me, but we must be scientific about these things. We must be rigorous. So...


you = One who didn't see David Rees at RedCat


One who didn't see David Rees at RedCat = A Fool


Neal = One who didn't see David Rees at RedCat; or Neal = A Fool


you = Neal

And I can't speak for those who live in Austin and haven't yet seen the stageshow based on Rees's's Nobel Prize-worthy "Get Your War On", but I'm assuming, if you are one of them there, and you ain't seen it, then you're a Fool too. And so, also, probably, me as well. The show runs till February...oops...11th. So if you haven't seen it yet, sorry. Guess what? You're a fool - i.e., me.

But us we in Los Angeles have a last chance to redeem ourselves, for God is merciful and kind, and USC has a renowned journalism school.

TONIGHT, David Rees will APPEAR at the University of Southern California, Waite Phillips Hall, RM B28, 6:30PM.

Will I be there?

You can bet your neckbone I won't be. No, sir. For I am a Fool, you see. And I have a date with friends to catch a screening of "Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room" (2005). But you should go, definitely. And if you go, then me will go too, for - as we have established - you are me. And if you do go, you may perhaps expunge your Fool-ishness and so, no longer be me...etc.

My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

30 Words To Describe The Beloved

Here is a list of 30 adjectives describing The Beloved:
  1. Slow
  2. Blind
  3. Clean
  4. Simple
  5. Adorable
  6. Holy
  7. Just
  8. Fair
  9. Kind
  10. Humble
  11. Reverent
  12. Selfless
  13. Enlightened
  14. Visionary
  15. Temperate
  16. Realistic
  17. Wise
  18. Developed
  19. Generous
  20. Loving
  21. Human
  22. Big-Hearted
  23. Curative
  24. Civilized
  25. Light
  26. Angelic
  27. Straightforward
  28. Honest
  29. Inquisitive
  30. Mild

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rabbit + crow Bits & Shows

Hey Garbos and Gargoyles!

The rabbit + crow blog is now podcasting!

And you know what the means!

Yes, you do. You know!

You know, and we know you know. And you know we know you know.

It means: not only are we posting downloadable mp3's and video here on the r+c blog, but that we are making audio and video available through an RSS feed that you can capture via a PODCAST AGGRAVATOR. Most people use the iTunes!

Paste this URL ...


... into the window which appears after selecting "Subscribe To Podcast" under your iTunes's "Advanced" menu (unless you aren't using iTunes, in which case do the same kind of thing, but with whatever aggravator solution you're using instead of iTunes).

Then when we record new rabbit + crow Bits & Shows, you'll be the first to know - not just the first to know, but the first to HEAR and to SEE. O, glory be!

When we post video and audio content, we will still make it available right here in a blog post too. If you don't want to mess with all that iTunes nonsense, and if you're a regular reader anyway, just download all that right from the blog page. The rabbit + crow blog will always be here for you.

Always - with open beak and gyrating ears, twitchy nose and a thunderous caw - just for you.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

30 Words To Describe The Enemy

Here is a list of 30 adjectives to describe The Enemy:
  1. Agile
  2. Ever-Watchful
  3. Dirty
  4. Tricky
  5. Vile
  6. Profane
  7. Unjust
  8. Unfair
  9. Unkind
  10. Power-mad
  11. Irreverent
  12. Self-Centered
  13. Unenlightened
  14. Reactionary
  15. Radical
  16. Unrealistic
  17. Naive
  18. Primitive
  19. Greedy
  20. Jealous
  21. Inhuman
  22. Heartless
  23. Bloodthirsty
  24. Barbaric
  25. Dark
  26. Fiendish
  27. Sly
  28. Cunning
  29. Fanatical
  30. Unstoppable

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Los Angeles Evening

Los Angeles Evening


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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon #5

Today's Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon

And I think that does it for our Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon series. I hope you found it obnoxious. I certainly felt obnoxious while creating them. I hope it comes through. I'm still feeling obnoxious. Hopefully, I'll be able to turn that feeling to some other useful purpose. Don't want to let it go to waste.

I guess what I've learned is that it's easier to make odd little illustrations and graphics about various religious figures than it is to utterly surrender yourself to loving every human being as if they were your own mother or your own child. I don't know why such a thing should be so hard. But I spose that's just the way it is.

As for me, I'm going to put a fucking brick through that fucking windshield if that fucker's car alarm goes off one more time.

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A Billion Of My Good Friends

Can I tell you how good "How To Blog" is? I can?

Okay, then, I will.

"How To Blog" is very good.

I had ordered a copy of "Stiff" from Tony Pierce, of the BusBlog, and because there was some lateness in the sending, Tony threw in a copy of "How To Blog", which also features many fine BusBloggings.

Why is Tony's writing so pleasing? For one, there is the sense - even when he's making crap up - that he's leveling with you. There is a clear, loud honesty in his style - which may be an affectation, but I tend to doubt it. This directness is the great strength of blogging and Tony nails it.

The blog - whatever it is (it's more than just a "web log", we know that much) - is as close as we've yet come to a genuine one-on-one between creator and audience. You could say theater is capable of a similar thing, but you are still in a formalized setting, taking part in a ritual where one party sits and the other party - however intimately - performs a performance performingly. In the blog, the positions of audience and creator are always in motion. The blogger creates, the audience responds - an audience which includes other bloggers - and the blogger responds to that response. And the audience can be one person or, literally, a billion. If the normal human conversation could be raised to a high art and integrated with colors, sounds, and a kaleidoscope of supporting information, I guess that would be the blog. I guess that is the blog.

If you've listened to Tony P's podcasts, you can hear his straightforwardness in the way he interviews fellow bloggers. Some of us would be - are - inclined toward self-glorification in a conversation, but Tony appears to be genuinely interested in what his interviewees are thinking and feeling and doing. God-for-flippin'-bid. Likewise, his blogging often has the ring of a guy genuinely interested in telling you the best stories he can tell right now, presenting the most useful facts about his life. The word that keeps rising to my mind is "generosity".

I aspire to that kind of generosity. That straightforwardness. I come out of a writer experience where building an impersonal construct for the reader to examine (while the writer himself is out back having a cigarette) is an ideal. Sometimes this presentation of artifice leaks its way into my conversation - and, of course, into my bloggage. But that will change. I don't know how. Or why. Or whether for good or bad. But it will change, because that's just what happens.

The artist is traditionally a self-absorbed figure. When he can actually be in love with things other than himself, large wonderfulness may result. I tend to fall into the fallacy that the opposite of self-absorption is self-hatred - which is looney nonsense. Self-hatred and self-absorption are identical. The opposite of self-absorption is OTHER-absorption. I must learn to be more absorbent of others. I shall do dishes and muse upon my sponge.

Wait. Did I say "artist"?

Is blogging an art form?


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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon #4

Today's Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon

This is not a Jesus

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Games I Never Played

The reasons for my strange behavior may never become completely clear. Perhaps something occurred in childhood.

I think back to all the wonderful games I played. I did play lots of games. But then, I think...I wonder...did I play the RIGHT games? Was it the quality of play, not the quantity that doomed me to my present fate? Could that have been where I went so terribly wrong? I played chess, checkers, Risk, and Dungeons and Dragons, to name a few.

But here are 10 games I never played as a child:

  1. Connect Four
  2. Escape From Colditz
  3. Gnip Gnop
  4. Hungry Hungry Hippos
  5. Mouse Trap
  6. Scrabble
  7. Stay Alive
  8. Stratego
  9. Toss Across
  10. Which Witch?

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon #3

Today's Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon

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How To Blog

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Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon #2

Today's Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon


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Yearly Haircut

The last haircut I had was in 2004.

No, that's not true.

The last haircut I had was at 3:30 this afternoon (Pacific Time).

The haircut previous to that was in 2004. December. Before my wedding.

I am, have been, a scruffy fellow. But no more of that. No. From now on, I'm spic and span, a man with a plan.

Here's the before & after of that bright, cool December day a year and two months ago...

Here's how I looked yesterday...

And today ...

Things are going to be different from now on.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Obnoxious Jesus Cartoon #1

There has been much ruckus over the solicitation and subsequent printing of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad by right-wing Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten.

In Islam - as has also been traditionally the case in Judaism - pictorial depictions of the Divine are sacrilege. The taboo against depicting the sacred and holy is rooted in a concern that a worshipper will begin to turn his or her contemplation toward the finite image presented and away from the inexpressible and eternal Divine.

However in Christianity, greatly influenced by Roman culture, no such taboo exists and the representation of Jesus in art - like those of the great icons of Hinduism - provides an essential arm of Christian meditation - for the image of Jesus crucified is itself a study on the galling marriage of the material and the eternal, to which we must all surrender.

With this in mind, I have set myself to producing a set of obnoxious Jesus cartoons, which I hope many people will find offensive.

Let's begin...


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Quadra Farewell

Usually, when gifts are bestowed upon me, or when I am fortunate enough to own some material item of worth, I immediately lose it or break it.

But there's one material object that has stood by me - and I by it - for many years, as reliable and unflagging as an abusive spouse. That would be my Apple Quadra 800 computer, purchased in 1993.

I have written many great works of genius on this computer, and have looked at many unsavory pictures on the internet. The computer hasn't worked well for a few years. And the last time it was able to run the most up-to-date system software was some time in 1998, I think. Before the great 68K/Power PC switchover.

Over the years, the computer inhaled tremendous amounts of second-hand smoke, at all hours of the day and night, and still ran without complaint. It is the Ford LTD station wagon of computers. Indestructible - and the battle vehicle of choice for soldiers from the future who have returned to the present to fight deadly unstoppable androids (see "The Terminator" (1984) and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991) for examples which so feature station wagons)(though not Apple Quadra computers).

But the Quadra has sat dark and brooding under various desks, for several years - like a very old cat - looking enviously at the computers that actually work.

We had been talking about it for a while. But I decided...today was the day...

I took the Quadra out to the woods down near the crick...tied its leash to a tree...and, fighting back tears, raised my shotgun...while the Quadra looked back with innocent eyes...

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Stiff One With Trail Mix

Dear Diary,

Today was a real good day. Not only did I come home to find that the volume of Tony Pierce's "Stiff' that I had done ordered did have arrived but also there was a special surprise in the package which will cause me to be happier than I already am and will gain me much wisdom.

Also I took this series of three pictures of some trail mix which was on the sidewalk near the bus stop near LACMA. Normally, you would call an assembly of three pictures a "triptych", but I think I will call this one a "triptrailmixych" - for it is trail mix that is the subject of the images therein presented...

Photo Hosted at Buzznet.com

Also got a nice email from Dad, who says he likes my work. And that's a big deal. I mean it's not a big deal. But it's a big deal. Try to grow up as we might, spend hours and hours in therapy, build a life of your own to be proud of, and still all you really want in life is approval from your parents. How very sad and how very, very wonderful. If I was a Space Alien looking down on us, I'd say "Oh, the wretched little twits. How sweet they are. Ready the neutron cannon."

Soon - this weekend - I will get my annual haircut. The last haircut I got was over a year ago, before my wedding.

Somewhere around is a before & after photo of that 2004 shearing. I'll post it. My hair now is long. Too long. Oolong.

And while we're discussing oolong, you know what I learned today? Do NOT venture out of your rut. Doing so will only make you unhappy. I stopped at my local coffee shop this morning, as I do every morning, to get a coffee and sometimes a croissant. When I order the croissant, I make sure I say the "r" with a slight "w" to it, so the barrista will think that I am either a.) well-traveled, b.) fluent in French, or c.) gay. I can't stop myself.

But this morning I thought I'd just shake it up a little bit - what with today being the first day of the rest of my life and all. So I ordered an Oolong tea instead of my usual strong black coffee.

I drank the tea on the bus on the way to the work. And the nausea began. And began some more. And continued. And continued some more. And I remembered, from some dim experience way, way in my past, that when I drink tea on an empty stomach I become nauseated. I did not throw up on the bus because, I didn't want to be known as The White Guy Who Threw Up On The Bus This Morning and because I wanted to show off my tremendous strength of will. When I got to work and put down a couple stiff shots of black coffee I felt right as rain, but it was rough going there for a half hour or so.

So...stay in your rut. Do not try new things. Remember, your rut is protecting you!

There was beautiful low-hanging cloud cover in L.A. this evening - cold, blankets of mist, blown in from the sea, obscuring the tops of the 12-storey office buildings.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Shut Up

"Shut up."

- response of an unidentified man at the National Press Club to a protester's outburst during yesterday's lunch with Donald Rumsfeld

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

In Praise Of Lurkers

TheWretchedLurker.gifYesterday, a friend of mine made a confession. He confessed to me he was a lurker.

He told me he lurked here at the rabbit + crow blog. He may be lurking now. As you read this, somewhere, in some damp basement with high-speed Internet access, he may be lurking.

I told him then, and I'm telling you now, that I am sick of this expression "lurking". "Lurker", as far as I'm aware, refers to someone who reads the content of a site or newsgroup or chatroom without participating in creating that content.

Traditionally - perhaps those who have heard of the sport "football" will understand - the act of watching without participating has been called "spectating".

You see, watching a football game instead of playing it does not make me a football lurker.

When I went to see the Tutankhamen exhibit last year I was not lurking, even though I am not a member of the royal lineage of Ancient Egypt, as far as I know.

When I watch "Lord of the Rings" I am not lurking, even though I do not live in New Zealand or work for New Line.

When I go to an art gallery, the fact that I have not painted a single picture on display does not mean I am a museum lurker.

And when it's December, am I lurking when I enjoy the colored lights on someone's house without going up to their door and telling them about it? I don't think so, Mr. Claus.

I enjoy watching the Olympics, but having not the slightest interest in learning how to bobsled or speed skate doesn't make me an Olympics lurker.

I like to read who has won the latest state lottery, even though I don't play. Am I a lottery lurker?

And if you are talking at me, and I'm calmly nodding - while secretly judging the hell out of you but not telling you about it - I am not lurking. Or maybe I am. I'm not completely certain about this one.

I've published the rabbit + crow blog for anyone and everyone to read, whether they be black, white, Christian, or unsavory foreign person who can't be bothered to learn English.

The Wikipedia definition of lurker divides lurkers into "benign lurkers", "malevolent lurkers", and constructive lurkers. Balls, I say! We are all lurkers by Divine Right! We should not be ashamed, whatever our status! Lurking is a God-given treasure that separates us from the beasts!

I invite you to lurk.

In fact I insist that you lurk.

In fact...I beg you to lurk. Please lurk. Without your lurking, I'm just talking to myself and though this is one of my favorite activites, unchecked it is sure to end me up on skid row. So lurk more.

And remember the motto:

"The rabbit + crow blog - if you don't lurk, you be a jerk."

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Krayon Shirt Humphries

Available NOW is...


You must buy Krayon Shirt Humphries at ONCE!!!

Go to the rabbit + crow shop! Go now! Do it! Do it!!!

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Strolling Crow

Crow stroll good!

Walking Crow photo

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