Monday, May 31, 2010

bad code

im not very savvy when it comes to the internet. i can surf it pretty well, and i have no problem navigating its many pages and sites, but doing something like, say, building a webpage or adding fancy images to this here blog are beyond me.

thats why i no longer have links to my favorite sites on the sidebar of this page.

i was fussing around with the html of my site —i forget what it was i was trying to do. perhaps change the comments format or the overall font, or maybe trying to add a clever picture to my header— and i changed some things in the html then hit "save changes" instead of previewing it first. when i looked at the changes i had saved i realized that i had erased all my links. in a minor panic i attempted to revert back to the original format but by then it was too late. and i have no idea what it was i had put, or where i had put it, that allowed me to add links to my page.

when i first started this site a friend of mine, who had encouraged me to do it because back then blogs were all the rage, gave me the html code from which to link my friends. from there i would just copy and paste it, changing the web addresses and names to reflect the correct page. but i dont remember what that code was and, maybe because im too lazy or maybe because im ashamed, i havent asked my friend who how to do it again.

Snooze tried to help at some point, and i think i tried her tricks, but apparently they didnt work. it could be that i was doing it wrong, it wouldnt be the first time, but i gave up after one feeble attempt.

now i wish i could link the people and pages i like. not for the traffic but because i like to share. there arent many but those that there are mean most. if anyone knows how to link friend on blogger, help a brother out. that is, if anyone actually read this trite anymore...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

snap shot

i was on a swing. it was black rubber and hung above a sandbox. i was swinging back and forth, extending my legs out on the upswing and bending them back while going back down. when at the height i would be beaming and at the same time repressing the ache to jump out and beyond, and on the way down i would breath a sigh of relief that the ache was no longer there and at the same time anticipate the ache swelling up again upon ascension. while moving my legs, i made the motions hesitantly, because i am so tall and it felt awkward moving them in such a way, ugly, retarded, especially when my feet kicked up sand at the bottom of the stroke. but i pretended i didnt notice, or at least i pretended no one else noticed.

it was me, jimmy, aaron, and two girls whose name i forget. the girls were sitting on the wooden jungle gym. one was at the bottom of the slide, the other was at the top of the apparatus, in a domed area surrounded in colored plastic windows. i could see spontaneous sparks igniting inside the plastic windows dull reflection, exposing the colors they were made from. green and red and blue, the top a dirty yellow witches hat. aaron and jimmy sat at the edges of the sandbox and jimmy was making patterns in the sand with his foot and aaron was staring down and jimmy's foot and no one was saying anything.

it was a summer warm morning still black with night. the air was thick in cricket chirps, boredom and shyness. the girl on the slide lit a cigarette and asked what we were going to do, but we all knew that there was no answer to that. there, in the quiet lunacy of youth, we were to do exactly what we were doing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


in the past i would dj every day. i called it practice because thats what it was. i'd spend at least two hours a day standing behind the decks, trying to perfect my craft. organizing records i thought would sound good together. putting together sets that i hoped would translate the meaning behind the melodies. i relished in the process, completely consumed by the notes i could possibly create. i wont say i ever reached perfection, but i got pretty good.

it wasnt the end result i am most impressed with today, but the discipline of it all that i displayed back then. without fail i would, every day, close my bedroom door, pick out about an hour and a half of records [usually inspired by new ones i got and curious on how they blended with the old ones i already had] and —always hitting record before i began — make yet another attempt at creating the best set id ever done.

this was my life for a good ten years, with a few minor hiatus's to have my heart broken or get lost in drugs. i cant say whether or not i wanted to become the best dj in san francisco, or if i wanted to be adored for my skills behind the "ones and twos," or if i wanted to become a minor celebrity on the club circuit, or if i wanted to evolve into a full fledged musician of sorts. i only knew i wanted to be able to speak with music. i knew i wanted to be able to take the sounds in my head and make them actually come out of speakers. it was a lofty goal, but a reasonably modest one by my standards. i didnt want to be the best dj. but i wanted to become a great dj.

and in some ways, i did.

by the end of my stay in san francisco i was djing regularly at all the big clubs in the city, and most of the small ones too. i was rarely recognized on the street, but when i played people came to hear me and the sound that i tried to create. it was a satisfying feeling; i wasnt completely accomplished in what i wanted to achieve, but i had gotten into the dirt of my desires. i had dug into my future and planted my seeds.

then i got bored with it all.

it wasnt the art of djing i got bored with, but the music i was djing. so when i moved to new york i began to dj a completely different style, mixing all kinds of genres except the one that inspired me to dj in the first place. this worked for a while, though i never got to the status i had when i was living in san francisco. i even reverted back to djing house —the initial style of music i djed in san francisco— every now and again, only to impress the dancefloor even more with my experience with the genre. but it wasnt the same.

eventually i decided to focus on writing, something id been doing for years even before i wanted to become a dj. this led me back to school, and turned my goals a different color. instead of trying to succeed in a field that was uncertain in music, i decided to succeed in a field that was uncertain in words. i stopped djing as regularly as before. i stopped buying new music. and finally, when i moved into my own place, i lent my friend my turntables, so that even if i wanted to, i couldnt practice at will.

now im involved in sentences and phrases. words attached and detached from meaning. now i work in meter and rhythm, but not the kind i worked in before. i cant go out and buy new words to inspire a new story. i cant peruse crates of sentences in hopes that they become a pillar to a new set. its all on me now, in my head. and sometimes my head is blank.

like today.

i have nothing inside me. no stories no poems no phrases no nothing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

party crashers

im going to a bar. its always a bar. this one id never been to before and it is the last night its open so i feel obligated to attend its final rounds. as if the importance of that particular institution cant be ignored. like the shuttering of its doors is the end of something special. but i never went there and to be honest, never planned to go. its only the desperate feeling that id be missing out on something that urges me to make the trek. truth is, if it closed then it would be just another thing that came and went and id go on fine and the world would continue its steady rotations. no need to mourn the ghost never known.

i get to the bar and there is a friend and she is standing among a thick crowd of loud people all huddled in a mass outside the bar doors. She is on her phone. many are on their phone. talking to friends or family in persuasive voices, trying to convince the rest of the world that there is no where else they should be. it is a warm night and cars are out and these pleading voices rise in the air. my friend is texting and when i walk up her face is disgusted and she nods to the bar, packed wall to wall with people drunk in mournful celebration, and sneers.

do you even want to go in? she ask.


we walk in and squeeze through the thick, boisterous patrons, all slurping on their drinks and screaming at each other and throwing their heads back in laughter and muttering excuse me when their elbows bump a passing person. the bartender is drunk but still trying to take care of as many people as possible, spilling shots on the bar and slamming beer bottles and letting the suds rise and fall down the sides of their necks, calculating totals and getting them wrong and shoving the change in his overflowing tip cup. we order a couple beers and a whiskey. i take them in my hand and scan the place for a space to fill.

lets go sit and that booth with those people, she says, pointing to booth with a guy sitting in it alone, clearly waiting for someone else. he has glassy eyes and long, almost spiritual hair, and he is staring ahead patiently, the empty glass in front of him waiting to be replenished.

we scoot towards the booth and she leans in and says something to him i cant hear and he nods his head and moves some half full pints to the far side of the table, ushering us in. we sit down and i nod to him and he just slowly blinks his eyes in return. no one says anything for a moment, the confused din of a thousand conversations speaks for all of us. then finally she introduces herself, then me, and he extends his hand over the table and tells us his name. upon hearing it i ask him to repeat it just once more.

Gattica, he says.

it takes everything in my power not to ask if he's from the future. but then just as soon as it interested me, his unique name is a thing of the past. he goes on to explain he is an indian, even offering that its the feather kind, not dot. she pinches me under the table at this bold definition and we share a quiet laugh at his expense.

his girlfriend comes to the booth and sits on the side opposite of us. she is wearing a red tanktop and has tattoos covering both her pale arms and a large one on her chest that reaches up to her neck. she tells us her name but the noisy confusion that surrounds us steals the sound coming from her mouth. we smile and reach over the table and shake her hand. then there is a brief quiet at the booth that no one cares to address. we all sip our beers. i finish my whiskey. finally Gattica speaks.

who's got the weed?

the question seems to come shooting from my teenage past. me and my friend look at one another then shrug. i explain i dont have any on me and that these days, because im so busy, i rarely get to smoke as often. i cant tell if i said that to appear cool to him or if it was because it is the truth. he seems to dismiss it all together then launches into a rant about how he can hardly function with out smoking at least four to five joints a day. that it keeps him even. i nod slowly in understanding and grunt because i really have nothing else to say on the matter. he goes on to give us an oral history of his smoking habits, how often he does smoke and how much it means to him. i cant gather weather or not it is because of some religious, native american thing, or because hes a typical, american stoner. i lean towards the former, as it doesnt seem he has any passion other than smoking weed and being stoned and living for that unfortunate identity. i finish my beer and she finishes hers.

i turn to her. do you want to get more drinks, or leave? she shrugs, but behind that shrug is a plea to make our exit.

Gattica and his tattooed girlfriend speak to each other in whispers and it occurs to me that i dont belong there at at. that it is not my scene and that i was trying to be part of something i would never be accepted to. im a party crasher. i grab her hand under the table and squeeze it and look towards the door. she takes the hint and slides up from the booth.

it was nice meeting you guys, she lies.

you too, they lie back.

we shove are way to the exit and into the warm night air. it is early enough for cars to still be rumbling down the streets in long, illuminated processions. the crowd still huddles outside, waiting to get in.

well, im never going back there again, she says.

you cant, i say, ever.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

another commercial break

i found myself thinking about the white castle burger candle today. its a scented candle that smells like white castle burgers, if the name confused you.

i cant tell if its a brilliant new high in marketing, or an invasion of the senses by a fast food chain. i suppose maybe its both.

i mean, those that would buy a candle, that was scented like a white castle burger, are probably white castles target market demographic. so it makes perfect sense. except now instead of white castle having to wait until surge in hunger strikes or a tv advert inspires them, white castle is right there in their living room, teasing their olfactory system with the help of some wax and fire.

i, personally, feel sick even thinking about it. serious, i am slightly ill just considering the idea that the independent smell of white castle burgers exist.

and its not that i havent indulged in the gorging of five too many tiny, nearly pill like white castle burgers in one sitting myself; on multiple occasions i have, in fact. im not ashamed of it. but the inevitable consequences of these particular lapses always outweigh the pleasure of the experience. the unease that follows the meal just cant be forgotten.

at least for a while, until the alcohol and weed even the scales again.

but i cant say im not curious to actually smell it myself.

i cant imagine that anyone buying a white castle burger scented candle is thin. they have to be fat. and if they arent, then soon they will be. its inevitable. what else would a white castle burger lover not be able to resist, other than the smell of white castle burgers? if a person dies from a heart attack, because they bought white castle burger scented candles and was subtly URGED to go out and buy white castle burgers because the aroma of them just made thought of going without them any longer UNBEARABLE, would the spouse be able to sue?
Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at