Oct 26, 2008

Three Years of Love.

According to her papers, Tegan is 3 today.
If there were dog awards (not that "dog show" circus crap), Tegan would take the cake in every category.
I'm talking about real awards, like endless unconditional love of which no other living creature could compare or compete.
She has survived being hit by a car, jumping out of a truck and jumping over the railing of a third story balcony.
She shakes with either hand, gives high-fives, turns 360's, rolls over and understands Spanish.
I've never known a dog with more intuition, resilience, honesty (thats right, honesty) intelligence, patience, selflessness and social abilities.
I'm obsessed.

Oct 24, 2008

Times are tough, but outlook is outstanding

This is what you signed up for.

You push the alarm clock until you have only ten minutes to pull on a pair of pants.
They're so caked with dirt you can see a cloud of dust in the darkness of your room.
There's no point in washing them til they can stand up on their own.
You'll be filthy within five minutes after 7:00.

Manual labor hardens nearly every aspect of your life.
Your hands, your eyelids, your knees and feet.
Your nostrils and muscles.
Your social life, your fashion sense.
Your creative outlets and overall energy.

You hardly recognize days of the week anymore.
Monday could be Thursday and Sunday could be Tuesday. It simply does not matter.
They all bleed together. 17 hours of work, 6 hours of sleep, 1 hour to eat two meals.
Your schedule remains the same regardless of what day it is.
You recognize only day and night. Rain or shine. Clouds or clear. Windy or calm.

You only remember the 1st and the 18th. Those days we're different.
The 1st brought you October. You celebrated the arrival of the best month and purchased a pumpkin. Then you lamented as you realized you would miss almost all of it.
The 18th brought you another year of life and a molotov cocktail as a birthday gift. It missed the road and made a small fire in the grass. You went to a graveyard and smoked pot alongside the deceased. That night seemed like the best night on earth.

You were standing amongst the dead when you realized how much you love life.
You realized you love life because of how often you don't get to experience it.

Manual labor makes nearly every aspect of life incredible.
Things you once took for granted are now the substance of your soul.
Every minute of sleep, every drink of beer.
A bowl of soup, a sip of wine, a sip of water.
An extra hour for free time, a gasoline bomb as a birthday gift.
A breath of fresh air.
The 1st and the 18th.

Oct 18, 2008

Can Your Birthday Have a Theme Song?

MGMT - "Kids"
I think I've watched this six or seven times today.
It makes me feel like a kid again, with the face painting, the colors, the care-free dancing and Full House.
And how appropriately titled.

It sounds good.
It feels good.
It has been the theme of my day.

I feel like the girl in the video has something really special.
Something we all desire or have but are unable to express. I want to take on that spirit in my 25th year.
For some reason this song just makes me happy to still be alive.
And Go, Charlie Chaplin, Go!

Oct 15, 2008

An Apple a Day Keeps the Pessimism Away

It's a strong and damp wind. It kinda pats you on the face.
The rain is more like a thick mist.
I'd love to be at home, curled in a ball in my bed.
A hoodie is second best to a blanket.
Coffee and smokes feel like the perfect accessories.
I understand why Seattle has so many coffee shops.

My boss' face has a look of concern, distaste, or discomfort. I can't tell which.
He asks, "You really want to live there?"
Me, "Yeah..."
Him, "But it's so......... rainy."
It was a look of distaste.

A few farmers are sitting near us.
They're drinking all my coffee.
"Wet this"
"Wet that"
"Shitty weather this"
"Shitty weather that"
"Damn rain this"
"Damn rain that"
They might be the only people in the world who complain so frequently about things they can't control.

I can't stand it when people speak slanderously of the weather.
I can't understand people who say "I like sunny days better." as though you could choose a side or have one without the other.
I've always found the two to compliment each other,
like Sun and Moon, Day and Night.
Two days ago a friend told me "Without great sorrow you can not appreciate the greatness of it's opposite."
She was speaking of life.
I think one could apply that wisdom to a lot of things.

A farmer reaches into the back of his truck and lifts out a box of apples.
"Here, these might brighten your day a little"
I think they would brighten the brightest day.
"These came out of my yard. Let me know when you run out and I'll bring you some more."
He's the first one who doesn't curse the storm-front moving through.
I almost mention it to him (for small-talk sake) but I catch myself.
I don't want to talk about the weather. I want to enjoy it.

I want to be at home by an open window.
For some reason rain always sounds perfect
outside of an open window.
The only thing better than an open window is a covered porch.
Ours is more like a stoop and it's drenched

I want to hear a shower of October rain smack against the pavement
and the crackle of old vinyl as Frederic Chopin spins around at 33 rpm's

I want to watch the storm and enjoy an apple.

Oct 10, 2008

Gang Slang & Grain Trains

A train passes through town.
I see a dozen pass by daily.
The elevator where I work is butted right up against the tracks.
I see boxcar after boxcar after boxcar.
Hell, sometimes I fill them full of grain.
Other people put new cars in them.
Some people paint them.

I never realized the amount of graffiti on commercial train cars, but it's endless.
I've fallen in love with it. It's often unintelligible but I don't really care, that's not the point.
Most the employees despise it. They sneer every chance they get.
I find myself cheering out loud at the really good stuff. I even find the bad stuff to be tolerable; I know with time and practice the armature spray-paintist is going to send something impressive my way.

I wonder about the people who duck low in dark shadows to dodge the police, or the ones who blatantly shake and spray in the daylight.
I wonder about the guy who's been tagging for years and how he got his start.
I wonder who "TooTIE" and "MICE" are, or in what city the "KINGZ" claim their stopping ground?
I wonder about the guy who's thrilled just to have a moving canvas.

It's like traveling art. Like a new exhibition comes through town everyday.
Tolono doesn't have a gallery and most likely never will.
In a town lacking such resources it's nice to see new art so often.
We have little more than trains and grain.
It's the most fluorescent color and sub-cultural flare available to a place defined by neutrals.

For a date I'm going to take a girl to see the trains.

What if there was a public area or after school program where people could go and freely express themselves all over the sides of boxcars?
I suppose then it would become a bit exploited and lackluster. It would lose all it's edginess and purpose.
The trains would look awesome but I'd like this thing to remain "guerrilla style" and randomly unsung.

I've got a box of spray paint in my closet.
Before I leave this tiny town I'm gonna tag a train - "Midwest Kid". Keep your eyes out.

Here's a few more.
(NOTE: All these were taken with my cell phone, but you can rest assured, when I have the proper tools I will write a coffee-table book on the matter.)

Oct 5, 2008

Fast Cars. Slow Sunday.

Wind blows dust up from the ground.
It forms mini cyclones. For a moment I wonder what wind would look like if it was a color.
I kick some random kernels of corn in the driveway.
"This is fucking silly. Work on Sunday."
The things I could do with this afternoon.

Junk, rides up on his bicycle.
He's got a bucket of chicken. He's late.
He smells like booze. Not fresh booze, last nights booze.
Later he tells me about how drunk he got. I think, "no shit."
He's harder than any 50 year old person I have ever known.

The minutes crawl.
That's alright, the day is really nice.
I would be at the apple orchard.
I would be at the pumpkin patch
I would be by a body of water.
I would be at Hollywood beach.

I put my hands in my pockets.
I kick some more corn around.

I'm listening to the NASCAR race on the radio of all things.
Well i'm not, but by default and circumstance I guess I am listening to it.
Who knew such events were even hosted on the radio? This is wildly interesting to me.
The best part about it is the excitement of the announcers. These guys must have done a pile of blow before the race. I can't believe the play by play commentary and the amount of useless NASCAR facts these two can rattle off! Is this even real?

I unload a couple trucks
I smash my finger in the rear latch of an old ford. I curse at it. I say things you shouldn't say to such a good old truck.
I still feel it eight hours later.
It will be fine.

I try talking to Junk.
He stands right next to the radio. He looks in my direction like he might respond but he never says anything. He's too deeply focused on the race.
I won't bring myself to listen to it. I don't want anyone to catch me up on it either.

I smell grilled hotdogs and hamburgers in the wind.
somebody's enjoying their day.

I walk up to the main office to have some chicken and maybe talk to someone else.
The NASCAR race is on T.V.
I liked it better over the radio. At least then I only had to surrender one of my senses.
The office employees are getting worked up over a discussion about current gas prices. This happens almost daily.
It's puzzling to me that some people are so puzzled by the cost of gasoline.
I mean... you assholes realize it's only going to keep increasing right?
I stay out of these conversations at all costs.
I wish I had a Pabst to wash down this chicken.

The trucks are lining up again, gotta get back to the pits.

I turn the wheel-door on a wagon-trailer filled with soybeans.
The farmer gets down from his tractor and approaches me (Those are the nice farmers.)
"Are we havin fun yet?" So far this is my favorite line of small talk. It's always followed by a small chuckle.
He is very old. I'll bet he has probably farmed more than 60 harvests.
He's has trails of dried tobacco spit on his face.
I strangely recognize him from my youth. He's unchanged, exactly as I remember him.

The day goes on, as does the race...
Tolono is a ghost town.
Besides the few farmers coming and going I haven't seen a soul on the streets.
Where are the people? Why aren't they out doing afternoon activities?
I hope everyone didn't pass up such a perfect day to stay home and watch fast cars go around a circle.
If that's the case, I fear the world is going to end very badly.

A commercial comes on.
It's an add for a new Ford Truck.
I can't help but roll my eyes at new car commercials. The marketing has gotten way out of line. It's nothing like the Ford that smashed my finger. That one does honest and practical work.
The new one apparently can make your dick look bigger. I'm thinking about getting a loan...

Following the "Ford F150" is a commercial about "the gasoline crisis" and coming up with solutions to solve the amount money we spend at the pump. "How perfectly ironic" I think.

Here's a solution - Stop building vehicles that operate on gas!
Did anybody think of that one? We have the technology right? Right.
It's too bad we don't have technology that makes Americans less naive and foolish.

Here's a solution - Gasoline crisis? Quit racing ridiculously fast cars around a race track for hours at a time. Quit encouraging that kind of excessiveness.

Thanks for making my Sunday top notch, NASCAR!

Oct 1, 2008

Today Is October.

October arrived just as it should.
The 10th month is arguably the best month on Planet Earth.